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secret as mine to a man of whom I know nothing, i woman. My sex will make her necessary communiand a woman of whom I only know that she wants cations more frank in your lordship's absence.' discretion."
“True, madam ; but then I am called here in my "I–I want discretion !" said Lady Penelope ; but capacity of a magistrate." at a signal from Lord Etherington she seeined to * Hush !" said Lady Penelope ; ." she speaks." restrain herself; nor did the sick woman, whose "They say every woman that yields, makes herself powers of observation were greatly impaired, seem to a slave to her seducer; but I sold my liberty not to a be aware of the interruption. She spoke, not with man, but a demon! He made me serve him in his standing her situation, with an intelligible and even vile schemes against my friend and patroness-and emphatic voice; her manner in a great measure be- oh! he found in me an agent too willing, from mere traying the influence of the fever, and her tone and envy, to destroy the virtue which I had lost myself. language seeming much superior to her most inisera- Do not listen to me any more-Go, and leave me to ble condition.
my fate! I am the most detestable wretch that ever "I am not the abject creature which I seem," she lived-detestable to myself worst of all, because even said; "at least, I was not born to be so. I wish I in my penitence there is a secret whisper that tells were that utter object! I wish I were a wretched me, that were I as I have been, I would again act pauper of the lowest class-a starving vagabond-a over all the wickedness I have done, and much worse. wifeless mother-ignorance and insensibility would oh! for Heaven's assistance, to crush the wicked make me bear my lot like the outcast animal that thought!" dies patiently on the side of the common, where it has She closed her eyes, folded her en aciated hands, been half-starved during its life. But 1-but 1-born and held them upwards in the attitude of one who and bred to better things, have not lost the memory prays internally; presently the hands separated, and of them, and they make my present condition--my fell genıly down on the miserable couch; but ner shame-my poverty--my infamy-the sight of my eyes did not open, nor was there the slightest sign dying babes--the sense that my own death is coming of motion in the features. Lady
Penelope shrieked fast on-they make these things a foretaste of hell ! faintly, hid her eyes, and hurried back from the bed,
Lady Penelope's self-conceit and affectation were while Lord Etherington, his looks darkening with a broken down by this fearful exordium. She sobbed, complication of feelings, remained gazing on the poor shuddered, and, for once perhaps in her life, felt the woman, as if eager to discern whether the spark of real, not the
assumed necessity, of putting her hand- life was totally extinct. Her grim old assistant hurkerchief to her eyes. Lord Etherington also was ried to the bedside, with some spirits in a broken moved.
glass. "Good woman," he said, "as far as relieving your “Have ye no had pennyworths for your charity?" personal wants can mitigate your distress, I will see she said, in spiteful scorn. “Ye buy the very life o that that is fully performed, and that your poor chil- us wi' your shillings and sixpences, your goals and dren are attended to."
your boddles--ye hae garr'd the puír wretch speak May God bless you !" said the poor woman, with ill she swarss, and now ye stand as if ye never saw a glance at the wretched forms beside her; '"and a woman in a dwam before? Let me till her wi' tbe may you,” she added, after a momentary pause, “de- dram-mony words mickle drought, ye ken-Stand serve the blessing of God, for it is bestowed in vain out o' my gate, my leddy, if sae be that ye are a on those who are unworthy of it!"
leddy ; there is little use of the like of you when there Lord Etherington felt, perhaps, a twinge of con- is death in the pot." science; for he said, something hastily, "Pray, go on, Lady Penelope, half affronted, but still more fright good woman, if you really have any thing to commu- ened by the manners of the old hag, now gladly emnicate to me as a magistrate-it is time your con- braced Lord Etherington's renewed offer to escort dition was somewhat mended, and I will cause you her from the hut. He left it not, however, without to be cared for directly.".
bestowing an additional gratuity on the old woman, "Stop yet a moment,” she said ; "let me unload who received it with a whining benediction. my conscience before I go hence, for no earthly relief "The Almighty guide your course through the trouwill long avail to prolong my time here. I was well bles of this wicked warld-and the muckle deer?! born, the more my present shame! well educated, the blaw wind in your sails," she added, in her natural greater my present guilt!-! was always, indeed, tone, as the guests vanished from her miserable poor, but I felt not of the ills of poverty. I only threshold—"A wheen cork-headed, barmy-brained thought of it when my vanity demanded idle and ex- gowks! that wụnna let puir folks sae muckle as die was companion of a young lady of higher rank than
in quins witheir ressings and their copine de
"This poor creature's declaration," said Lord my own, my relative however, and one of such exqui- Etherington to Lady Penelope, seems to refer to site kindness of disposition, that she treated me as a matters which the law has nothing to do with, and sister, and would have shared with me all that she which, perhaps, as they seem to implicate the peace of had on earth I scarce think I can go farther with
* The author has made an attempt in this character to draw my story!-something rises to my throat when I re
a picture of what is too often seen, a wretched being whose collect how I rewarded her sisterly love! I was elder heart becomes hardened and spited at the world, in which she than Clara-I should have directed her reading, and is doomed to experience much misery and little sympathy. This confirmed her understanding; but my own bent led system of compulsory charity by poor's rates, of which the ab me to peruse only works, which, though they bur- it on hotli sides some of the most od: Jus and malerolectieel lesque nature are seductive to the imagination. We ings that can agitate humanity. The quality of true chanty read these follies together, until we had fashioned out not strained. Like that of mercy, of which, in a large sene.it for ourselves a little world of romance, and prepared him that takes. It awakens kindly feelings both
in the mish ourselves for a maze of adventures. Clara's imagina of the donor and in that of the relieved object. The giver and tions were as pure ao those of angels; mine were- receiver are recommended to each other by mutual feeling of but it is unneccessary to tell them. The fiend, al- good-will, and the pleasurable emotions connected with
the ways watchful, presented a tempter at the moment the ono, wlule a sense of gratitude renders it holy to the other, when it was most dangerous."
In the legal and compulsory assessment for the proclaimed She paused here, as if she found difficulty in ex- parish pauper, there is nothing of all this. The alms are er pressing herself; and Lord Etherington, turning, torted from an unwilling hand, and a heart which desire the with great appearance of interest, 10 Lady Penelope, The object of charity, sensible of the ill
will with which the began to inquire, " Whether it were quite agreeable to pittance is bestowed. scires on it as his right, not as a favour. her ladyship to remain any longer an ear-witness of The manner of conferring it being direcuy calculated to hurt this unfortunate confession ?-it seems to be verging pudent and clamorous. A more odious picture, or more likely on some things-things that it might be unpleasant to deprave tic feelings of those exposed to its influence, cai for your ladyship to hear."
hardly be imagined ; and yet to such a point have me bern "I was just forming the same opinion, my lord ; brought by an artificial system of society, that we must either and, to say truth, was about to propose to your lord- the fruits of the earth, or afford them some ineans of subsisk ship to withdraw, and leave me alone with the poorence out of them by the institution of positive law.
a family of respectability, and the character of a | true;' for I had a mysterious hint from a very worthy, young lady, we ought to inquire no farther after." but a very singular man, (your lordship knows how I
“I differ from your lordship,” said Lady Penelope; adore originality,) the clergyman of the parish, who "I differ extremely-I suppose you guess whom her made me aware there was something wrong about discourse touched upon ?"!
Miss Clara-something that-your lordship will ex“ Indeed, your ladyship does my acuteness too cuse my speaking more plainly; -Oh, no!--I fear-I much honour."
fear it is all too true-You know Mr. Cargill, I sup“Did she not mention a Christian name? said pose, my lord ?" Lady Penelope; "your lordship is strangely dull this “Yes-no-1-I think I have seen him," said Lord morning!"
Etherington. "But how came the lady to make the "A Christian name?-No, none that I heard-yes, parson her father-confessor?—they have no auricular she said something about-a Catherine, think it confession in the Kirk-it must have been with the
I · Catherine!" answered the lady; "No, my lord,
place-perhaps it really was so--did he, Cargill it was Clara-rather a rare name in this country, and the minister, I mean-say any thing of such a matbelonging, I think, to a young lady of whom your ter.?" lordship should know something, unless your evening “Not a word-not a word-I see where you are, my Airtations with Lady Binks have blotted entirely out lord; you would put a good face on't.of your memory your morning visits to Shaws-Cas
'They call'd it marriage, by that specious name tle. You are a bold man, my lord. I would advise To veil the crime, and sanctify the shame.' you to include Mrs. Blower among the objects of your Queen Dido for that. How the clergyman came into attention, and then you will have maid, wife, and the secret I cannot tell-he is a very close man. But widow upon your list.”
I know he will not hear of Miss Mowbray being mar"Upon my honour, your ladyship is too severe," ried to any one, unquestionably because he knows said Lord Etherington; "you surround yourself every that, in doing so, she would introduce disgrace into evening with all that is clever and accomplished some honest family-and, truly, I am much of his among the people here, and then you ridicule a poor mind, my lord." secluded monster, who dare not approach your charm- "Perhaps Mr. Cargill may know the lady is pried circle, because he seeks for some amusement else- vately married already," said the Earl; “I think that where. This is to tyrannize, and not to reign-it is is the more natural inference, begging your ladyship’s Turkish despotism !".
pardon for presuming to differ in opinion. Ah! my lord, I know you well, my lord,” said Lady Penelope seemed determined not to take this Lady Penelope-"Sorry would your lordship be, had view of the case. you not power to render yourself welcome to any cir- “No, no--no, I tell you,” she replied; "she cannot cle which you may please to approach."
be married, for if she were married, how could the "That is to say," answered the lord, "you will poor wretch say that she was ruined ?-You know pardon me if I intrude on your ladyship's coterie this there is a difference betwixt ruin and marriage." evening?".
"Some people are said to have found them synony“There is no society which Lord Etherington can mous, Lady Penelope," answered the Earl. think of frequenting, where he will not be a welcome "You are smart on me, my lord; but still, in comguest.'
mon parlance, when we say a woman is ruined, we “I will plead then at once my pardon and privilege mean quite the contrary of her being married—it is imthis evening--And now," (speaking as if he had suc- possible for me to be more explicit upon such a topic, ceeded in establishing some confidence with her la
lord.” dyship) "what do you really think of this blind "I defer to your ladyship's better judgment," said story'
Lord Etherington. “I only entreat you to observe a "Ó, I must believe it concerns Miss Mowbray. She little caution in this business- I will make the strictwas always an odd girl--something about her I could est inquiries of this woman, and acquaint you with the never endure--a sort of effrontery-that is, perhaps, a result; and I hope, out of regard to the respectable harsh word, but a kind of assurance-an air of confi- family of St. Ronan's, your ladyship will be in no hurdence-so that though I kept on a footing with her, ry to intimate any thing to Miss Mowbray's prejubecause she was an orphan girl of good family, and dice:' because I really knew nothing positively bad of her, "I certainly am no person to spread scandal, my yet she sometimes absolutely shocked me.
lord," answered the lady, drawing herself up; " at the "Your ladyship, perhaps, would not think it right to same time, I must say, the Mowbrays have little claim give publicity to the story? at least, till you know ex- on me for forbearance. I am sure I was the first peractly what it is,” said the Earl, in a tone of sugges- son to bring this Spa into fashion, which has been a tion.
matter of such consequence to their estate; and yet “Depend upon it, that it is quite the worst, the very Mr. Mowbray set himself against me, my lord, in worst-You heard ihe woman say that she had ex- every possible sort of way, and encouraged the underposed Clara to ruin--and you know she must have bred people about him to behave very strangely. meant Clara Mowbray, because she was so anxious There was the business of building the Belvidere, to tell the story to her brother, St. Ronan's." which he would not permit to be done out of the
“Very true--I did not think of that," answered stock-purse of the company, because I had given the Lord Etherington; "still it would be hard on the poor workmen the plan and the orders--and then, about girl if it should get abroad.”
the tea-room-and the hour for beginning dancing“O, it will never get abroad for me," said Lady Pe- and about the subscription for Mr. Rymour's new nelope ; "I would not tell the very wind of it. But Tale of Chivalry-in short, I owe no consideration to then I cannot meet Miss Mowbray as formerly-I Mr. Mowbray of St. Ronan's.” have,a station in life to maintain, my lord--and I “But the poor young lady?" said Lord Etherington. am under the necessity of being select in my society- "Oh! the poor young lady ?-the poor young lady it is a duty I owe the public, if it were even not my can be as saucy as a rich young lady, I promise you. – own inclination."
There was a business in which she used me scanda* Certainly, my lady Penelope," said Lord Ether. I lously, Lord Etherington--it was about a very trifling ington; "but then consider, that, in a place where all I matter-a shawl. Nobody minds dress less than eyes are necessarily observant of your ladyship's be- do, my lord; I thank Heaven my thoughts turn upon haviour, the least coldness on your part to Miss very different topics--but it is in trifles that disrespect Mowbray-and, after all, we have nothing like as- and unkindness are shown; and I have had a full surance of any thing being wrong there-would ruin share of both from Miss Clara, besides a good deal her with the company here, and with the world at of impertinence from her brother upon the same large.”
subject." Oh! my lord," answered Lady Penelope, "as ** There is but one way remains,” thought the Earl for the truth of the story, I have some private reasons as they approached the Spa," and that is to work on of my own for 'holding the strange tale devoutly the fears of this d-vindictive blue-stocking'd wild
VOL. IV.-3 T
See all clear to reef each course ;
cat.-Your ladyship,” he said aloud, "is aware what | sufficiently familiarized with guilt, he was not as yet severe damages have been awarded in late cases acquainted with it in its basest shapes-he had not where something approaching to scandal has been yet acted with meanness, or at least with what the traced to ladies of consideration--the privileges of the world terms such. He had been a duellist, the mantea-table have been found insufficient to protect some ners of the age authorized it--a libertine, the world fair critics against the consequences of too frank and excused it to his youth and condition-a bold and liberal animadversion upon the characters of their successful gambler, for that quality he was admired friends. So pray, remember, that as yet we know and envied; and a thousand other inaccuracies, to very little on this subject.”
which these practices and habits lead, were easily Lady Penelope loved money, and feared the law; slurred over in a man of quality, with fortune and and this hint, fortified by her acquaintance with Mow- spirit to support his rank. But his present meditated bray's love of his sister, and his irritable and revengeful act was of a different kind. Tell it not in Bond Street, disposition, brought her in a moment much nearer the whisper it not on St. James's pavement!-it amounttemper in which Lord Etherington wished to leave ed io an act of petty larcny, for which the code of her. She protested that no one
could be more tender honour would admit of no composition. than she of the fame of the unfortunate, even supposing Lord Etherington, under the influence of these their guilt was fully proved-promised caution on the recollections, stood for a few minutes suspendedsubject of the pauper's declaration, and hoped Lord But the devil always finds logic to convince his folEtherington would join her tea-party early in the lowers. He recollected the wrong done to his mother, evening, as she wished to make him acquainted with and to himself, her offspring, to whom his father had, one or two of her protegés, whom, she was sure, his in the face of the whole world, imparted the herelordship would find deserving of his advice and coun- ditary rights, of which he was now, by a posthumous tenance. Being by this time at the door of her own deed, endeavouring to deprive the memory of the one, apartment, her ladyship took leave of the Earl with and the expectations of the other. Surely, the night a most gracious smile.
being his own, he had a full title, by the most effectual means, whatever such means might be, to repel
all attacks on that right, and even destroy, if necesCHAPTER XXXII.
sary, the documents by which his enemies were
prosecuting their unjust plans against his honour and On the lee-beam lies the land, boys,
This reasoning prevailed, and Lord Etherington Let the fore sheets go, don't mind, boys,
again held the devoted packet above the flames; when Though the weather should be worse. - The Storm. it occurred to him, that his resolution being taken, he
ought to carry it into execution as effectually as pos"Ir darkens round me like a tempest," thought sible; and to do so, it was necessary to know, ihat Lord Etherington, ag, with slow step, folded arms, the packet actually contained the papers which he and his white hat slouched over his brows, he tra- was desirous to destroy. versed the short interval of space betwixt his own Never did a doubt arise in juster time; for no apartments and those of the Lady Penelope. In a sooner had the seal burst, and the envelope rustled buck of the old school, one of Congreve's men of wit under his fingers, than he perceived, 10 his utter conand pleasure about town, this would have been a sternation, that he held in his hand only the copies of departure from character; but the present fine man the deeds for which Francis Tyrrel had written, the does not derogate from his quality, even by exhibiting originals of which he had too sanguinely concluded all the moody and gentlemanlike solemnity of Master would be forwarded according to his requisition. Stephen. So, Lord Etherington was at liberty to letter from a partner of the house with which they carry on his reflections, without attracting observa- were deposited, stated that they had not felt themtion. -"I have put a stopper into the mouth of that selves at liberty, in the absence of the head of their old vinegar-cruet of quality, but the acidity of her firm, to whom these papers had been committed, to temper will soon dissolve the charm-And what to part with them even to Mr. Tyrrel, though they had do ?"
proceeded so far as to open the parcel, and now trans As he looked round him, he saw his trusty valet mitted to him formal copies of the papers contained Solmes, who, touching his hat with due respect, said in it, which, they presumed, would serve Mr. Tyrrel's as he passed him, “Your lordship's letters are in your purpose for consulting counsel, or the like. They private despatch-box.”
themselves, in a case of so much delicacy, and in the Simple as these words were, and indifferent the absence of their principal partner, were determined tone in which they were spoken, their import made to retain the originals, unless called to produce them Lord Etherington's heart bound as if his fate had in a court of justice. depended on the accents. He intimated no farther With a solemn imprecation on the formality and interest in the communication, however, than to absurdity of the writer, Lord Etherington let the desire Solmes to be below, in case he should ring; letter of advice drop from his hand into the fire, and and with these words entered his apartment, and throwing himself into a chair, passed his hand across barred and bolted the door, even before he looked on his eyes, as if their very power of sight had been the table where his despatch-box was placed. blighted by what he had read. His title, and his
Lord Etherington had, as is usual, one key to the paternal fortune, which he thought but an instant box which held his letters, his confidential servant before might be rendered unchallengeable by a single being intrusted with the other; so that, under the movement of his hand, seemed now on the verge of protection of a patent lock, his despatches escaped all being lost for ever. His rapid recollection failed pot risk of being iampered with,-a precaution not al- to remind him of what was less known to the world, together unnecessary on the part of those who fre- that his early and profuse expenditure had greatly quent hotels and lodging-houses.
dilapidated his maternal fortune; and that the estate By your leave, Mr. Bramah," said the Earl as he of Nettlewood, which five minutes ago he only covetapplied the key, jesting, as it were, with his own ed as a wealthy man desires increase of his store, agitation, as he would have done with that of a third must now be acquired, if he would avoid being a poor party. The lid was raised, and displayed the packet
, and embarrassed spendthrift. To impede his pose ssthe appearance and superscription of which had ing himself of this property, fate had restored to the attracted his observation but a short while before in scene the penitent of the morning, who, as he had too the post-office. Then he would have given much to much reason to believe, was returned to this neighbe possessed of the opportunity which was now in his bourhood, to do justice to Clara Mowbray, and who power; but many pause on the brink of a crime, who was not unlikely to put the whole story of the marhave contemplated it at a distance without scruple. riage on its right footing. She, however, might be Eord Etherington's first impulse bad led him to poke got rid of; and it might still be possible to hurry Miss the fire; and he held in his hand the letter which he Mowbray, by working on her fears, or through
the was more than half tempted to commit
, without even agency of her brother, into a union with him while he breaking the seal, to the fiery element. But, though I still preserved the title of Lord Etherington. This
therefore, he resolved to secure, if effort or if intrigue " there is a spring put in motion, which, well oiled, could carry the point; nor was it the least considera- will move the whole machine-And here, in lucky tion, that, should he succeed, he would obtain over time, comes Harry Jekyl - I hear his whistle on the Tyrrel, his successful rival, such a triumph, as would stairs. There is a silly lightness of heart about that be sufficiently to embitter the tranquillity of his whole fellow, which I envy, while I despise it; but he is wellife.
come now, for I want him." In a few minutes, his rapid and contriving inven- Jekyl entered accordingly, and broke out with "I tion had formed a plan for securing the sole advan- am glad to see one of your fellows laying a cloth for tage which seemed to remain open for him; and con- two in your parlour, Étherington--I was afraid you scious that he had no time to lose, he entered imme- were going down among these confounded bores diately upon the execution.
again to-day.” The bell summoned Solmes to his lordship’s apart- " You are not to be one of the two, Hal,” answered ment, when the Earl, as coolly as if he had hoped to Lord Etherington. dupe his experienced valet by such an assertion, said, “No ?-then I may be a third, I hope, if not se"You have brought me a packet designed for some cond ?" man at the Aultoun-let it be sent to him-Stay, I "Neither first, second, nor third, Captain. The will re-seal it first."
truth is, I want a tête-à-tête with Mr. Mowbray of He accordingly re-sealed the packet, containing all St. Ronan’s,” replied the Earl; "and, besides, I have the writings, excepting the letter of advice, (which he to beg the very particular favour of you to go again to had burnt,) and gave it to the valet, with the cau- that fellow Martigny. It is time that he should protion, "I wish you would not make such blunders in duce his papers, if he has any-of which, for one, I do future."
not believe a word. He has had ample time to hear "I beg your lordship’s pardon-I will take better from London; and I think I have delayed long enough care again-thought it was addressed to your lord- in an important matter upon his bare assertion.'
"I cannot blame your impatience,” said Jekyl, So answered Solmes, too knowing to give the least "and I will go on your errand instantly. As you look of intelligence, far less to remind the Earl that waited on my advice, I am bound to find an end to his own directions had occasioned the mistake of your suspense.--At the same time, if the man is not which he complained.
possessed of such papers as he spoke of, I must own “Solmes, continued the Earl," you need not men- he is happy in a command of consummate assurance, tion your blunder at the post-office; it would only which might set up the whole roll of attorneys." occasion tattle in this idle place—but be sure that the "You will be soon able to judge of that,” said Lord gentleman has his letter. And, Solmes, I see Mr. Etherington ;." and now, off with you-Why do you Mowbray walk across-ask him to dine with me to look at me so anxiously?" day at five. I have a headache, and cannot face the “I cannot tell--I have strange forebodings about clamour of the savages who feed at the public table.- this tête-à-tête with Mowbray. You should spare And let me see-make my compliments to Lady Pe-bim Etherington-he is not your match-wants both nelope Penfeather-I will certainly have the honour judgment and temper.", of waiting on her ladyship this evening to tea, agree- "Tell him so, Jekyl,” answered the Earl, "and his ably to her very boreing invitation received-write her proud Scotch stomach will be up in an instant, and a proper card, and word it your own way. Bespeak he will pay you with a shot for your pains.-Why, he dinner for two, and see you have some of that batch thinks himself cock of the walk, this strutting bantam, of Burgundy. The servant was retiring, when his notwithstanding the lesson I gave him before-And master added, "Stay a moment-I have a more im- what do you think ?-He has the impudence to talk portant business than I have yet mentioned.-Solmes, about my attentions to Lady Binks as inconsistent you have managed devilish ill about the woman with the prosecution of my suit to his sister! Yes, Irwin!"
Hal-this awkward Scotch laird, that has scarce tact “I, my lord ?" answered Solmes.'
enough to make love to a ewe-milker, or, at best, to Yes, you, sir-did you not tell me she had gone to some daggletailed soubrette, has the assurance to the West Indies with a friend of yours, and did not I start himself as my rival !" give them a couple of hundred pounds for passage- "Then, good-night to St. Ronan's!-this will be a money ?"
fatal dinner to him.-Etherington, I know by that "Yes, my lord,” replied the valet.
laugh you are bent on mischief-I have a great mind Ay, but now it proves no, my lord,” said Lord to give him a hint." Etherington; "for she has found her way back to "I wish you would," answered the Earl ; "it would this country in miserable plight-half-starved, and, no all turn to my account.” doubt, willing to do or say any thing for a livelihood - “Do you defy me?-Well, if I meet him, I will put How has this happened ?"
him on his guard." "Biddulph must have taken her cash, and turned The friends parted; and it was not long ere Jekyl her loose, my lord," answered Solmes, as if he had encountered Mowbray on one of the public walks. been speaking of the most commonplace transaction "You dine with Etherington to-day?" said the in the world; "but I know the woman's nature so Captain-"Forgive me, Mr. Mowbray, if I say one well, and am so much master of her history, that I can single word-Beware.". carry her off the country in twenty-four hours, and “Of what should I beware, Captain Jekyl,” anplace her where she will never think of returning, swered Mowbray," when I dine with a friend of your provided your lordship, can spare me so long." own, and a man of honour ?''
About it directly-but I can tell you, that you will "Certainly Lord Etherington is both, Mr. Mowfind the woman in a very penitential humour, and bray; but he loves play, and is too hard for most very ill in health to boot."
people." "I am sure of my game," answered Solmes ; " with "I thank you for the hint Captain Jekyl-I am a submission to your lordship, I think if death and her raw Scotchman, it is true; but yet I know a thing or good angel had hold of one of that woman's arms, two. Fair play is always presumed amongst gentlethe devil and I could make a shift to lead her away men; and thai taken for granted, I have the vanity to by the other."
think I need no one's caution on the subject, not even "Away and about it, then," said Etherington. "But, Captain Jekyl's, though his experience must needs be hark ye, Solmes, be kind to her, and see all her wants so much superior to mine. relieved. I have done her mischief enough--though "In that case, sir," said Jekyl, bowing coldly, "I nature and the devil had done half the work to my have no more to say, and I hope there is no harm hand.”
done.-Conceited coxcomb!" he added, mentally, as Solmes at length was permitted to withdraw to they parted, “how truly did Etherington judge of execute his various commissions, with an assurance him, and what an ass was I to intermeddle !-1 hope that his services would not be wanted for the next Etherington will strip him of every feather!". twenty-four hours.
He pursued his walk in quest of Tyrrel, and Mow "So!" said the Earl, as his agent withdrew, bray proceeded to the apartments of the Earl, in a temper of mind well suited to the purposes of the lat-, said Etherington; "you know well enough it is your ier, who judged of his disposition accurately when he sister's fault that there is any delay. I am most wilpermitted Jekyl to give his well-meant warning. To ling-most desirousto call her Lady Ethringtonbe supposed, by a man of acknowledged fashion, so nothing but her unlucky prejudices against me have decidedly inferior to his antagonist-1o be considered retarded a union which I have so many reasons for as an object of compassion, and made the subject of desiring. a good-boy warning, was gall and bitterness to his "Well," replied Mowbray, "that shall be my proud spirit, which, the more that he felt a conscious business. I know no reason she can pretend to inferiority in the arts which they all cultivated, strug- decline a marriage so honourable to her house, gled the more to preserve the footing of at least ap- and which is approved of by me, that house's parent equality.
head. That matter shall be arranged in twenty-four Since the first memorable party at piquet, Mowbray hours." had never hazarded his luck with Lord Etherington, " It will do me the most sensible pleasure," said except for trifling stakes; but bis conceit led him to Lord Etherington; you shall soon see how sinsuppose that he now fully understood his play, and, cerely I desire your alliance; and as for the trifle agreeably to the practice of those who have habituated you have lost". themselves to gambling, he had every now and then "It is no trifle to me, my lord-it is my ruinfelt a yearning to try for his revenge. He wished also but it shall be paid-and let me tell your lordship, to be out of Lord Etherington's debt, feeling galled you may thank your good luck for it more than under a sense of pecuniary obligation, which hin- your good play." dered his speaking his mind to him fully upon the sub- “We will say no more of it at present, if you ject of his flirtation with Lady Binks, which he justly please," said Lord Etherington, to-morrow is a considered as an insult to his family, considering the new day; and you will take my advice, you will footing on which the Earl seemed desirous to stand not be too harsh with your sister. A little firmwith Clara Mowbray. From these obligations a fa- ness is seldom amiss with young women, but sevevourable evening might free him, and Mowbray was, rity":in fact, indulging in a waking dream to this purpose, "I will pray your lordship to spare me your advice when Jekyl interrupted him. His untimely warning on this subject. However valuable it may be in only excited a spirit of contradiction, and a determina- other respects, I can, I take it, speak to my own tion to show the adviser how little he was qualified sister in my own way.' to judge of his talents; and in this humour, his ruin,
Since you are
so caustically disposed, Mow. which was the consequence of that afternoon, was bray," answered the Earl, "I presume you will not far from seeming to be the premeditated, or even the honour her ladyship's tea-table to-night, though I voluntary work of the Earl of Etherington.
believe it will be the last of the season?' On the contrary, the victim himself was the first “And why should you think so, my lord ?" anto propose play--deep play- double stakes; while swered Mowbray, whose losses had rendered him Lord Etherington, on the other hand, often proposed testy and contradictory upon every subject that to diminish their game, or to break off entirely; but was started. “Why should not I pay my respects it was always with an affectation of superiority, which to Lady Penelope, or any other tabby of quality? only stimulated Mowbray to farther and more despe- have no title, indeed; but I suppose that my rate risks; and, at last, when Mowbray became his family'': debtor to an overwhelming amount, (his circumstan- "Entitles you to become a canon of Strasburgh, ces considered,) the Earl threw down the cards, and doubtless-But you do not seem in a very Christian declared he should be too late for Lady Penelope's mood for taking orders. All I meant to say was tea-party, to which he was positively engaged. that you and Lady Pen were not used to be on such
"Will you not give me my revenge !" said Mow- a good footing.' bray, taking up the cards, and shuffling them with Well, she sent me a card for her blow-out," fierce anxiety.
said Mowbray: "and so I am resolved to go. When "Not now, Mowbray; we have played too long I have been there half an hour, I will ride up to already--you have lost too much-more than perhaps Shaws-Castle, and you shall hear of my speed in is convenient for you to pay."
wooing for you to-morrow morning." Mowbray gnashed his teeth, in spite of his resolution to maintain an exterior, at least of firmness. “You can take your time, you know," said the
CHAPTER XXXIV. a note of hand will suit me as well as the money.”.
"No, by G-!" answered Mowbray, "I will not be Let all the curtains, wheel the sofa round; so taken in a second time--I had better have sold
And while the bubbling and loud-hissing urn
Throws up a steamy column, and the cups myself to the devil than to your lordship-I have never That cheer, but not inebriate, wait on cach, been my own man since.
Thus let us welcome peaceful evening in, "These are not very kind expressions, Mowbray,'' said the Earl;
you would play, and they that will The approach of the cold and rainy season had play must expect sometimes to lose"
now so far thinned the company at the Well, thal, And they who win will expect to be paid,” said in order to secure the necessary degree of crowd Mowbray, breaking in. “I know that as well as you, upon her tea-nights, Lady Penelope was obliged to my lord, and you shall be paid I will pay you-I will employ some coaxing towards those whom she had pay you, by G-! Do you make any doubt that I will considered as much under par in society. Even the pay you, my lord ?"!
Doctor and Mrs. Blower were graciously smiled You look as if you thought of paying me in sharp upon--for their marriage was now an arranged coin," said Lord Etherington; and I think that affair; and the event was of a nature likely to would scaree be consistent with the terms we stand spread the reputation of the Spa among wealthy upon towards each other.”'
widows, and medical gentlemen of more skill than " By my soul, my lord," said Mowbray, "I cannot practice. So in they came, the Doctor smirking, tell what these terms are; and to be at my wit's end gallanting, and performing all the bustling parade of at once, I should be glad to know. You set out upon settled and arranged courtship, with much of that paying addresses to my sister, and with your visits grace wherewith a turkey-cock goes through the and opportunities at Shaws-Castle, I cannot find the same ceremony. Old Touchwood had also attended matter makes the least progress--it keeps moving her ladyship's summons, chietly, it may be supposed, without advancing, like a child's rocking-horse. from his restless fidgety disposition, which seldom Perhaps you think that you have curbed me up so suffered him to remain abseni even from those places tightly, that I dare not stir in the matter ; but you will of resort of which he usually professed his detestation. find it otherwise.-Your lordship may keep á haram There was
, besides, Mr. Winterblossom, who, in his you will, but my sister shall not enter it.'
usual spirit of quiet epicurism and self-indulgence, was You are angry, and therefore you are unjust,” | under the fire of a volley of compliments to Lady