« PreviousContinue »
All communications respecting Advertisements to be addressed to Messrs.
TIME. 1889 .
The Editor intends the New Series of TIME to be in every sense a NEW
Among others the following well-known writers have promised their cooperation : F. C. PHILIPS.
MRS. CLIFFORD (Author of SIR EDWIN ARNOLD.
“ Mrs. Keith's Crime"). T. E. KEPPEL.
ARTHUR CECIL. OSCAR WILDE.
FRANK LOCKWOOD, Q.C., M.P. H. W. LUCY (“ TOBY, M.P.”). J. M. BARRIE.
ALFRED GERMAN REED.
The WORK AND WORKERS series—critical articles by experts on their several vocations—has been so successful during the past year that it has been decided to continue it.
Papers on ART AND ARTISTS, by W. P. FRITH, R.A.; on THE STAGE, by ARTHUR CECIL; on THE BAR, by FRANK LOCKWOOD, Q.C., have already been arranged for immediate publication. One on the POLICE, which must remain anonymous, appears in the January number, and others are to follow.
Larger space will henceforth be devoted to Fiction and the lighter forms of literature, to make room for which “Time's Footsteps for the Month” will be discontinued. The January number opens with Mr. F. C. PHILIP'S novel, entitled “ YOUNG MR. AINSLIE'S COURTSHIP.”
An original feature, entirely new to journalism, being a fresh form of criticism at once of Plays, Players, and Audience, will also be inaugurated with the January number : it is sufficient to add that Mr. J. M. BARRIE is responsible for their authorship.
SWAN SONNENSCHEIN & CO., PATERNOSTER SQUARE, LONDON, E.C.
YOUNG MR. AINSLIE'S COURTSHIP.
By F. C. PHILIPS.
CHAPTER I. A MAN with a natural taste for litigation is, as a rule, greatly to be pitied, and still more is he deserving of our sympathy when in addition he is afflicted with an insane desire to plead his own cause in person. No doubt a railway manager, thoroughly conversant with his work and with all the details of his own line, and of long experience in Parliamentary committees, and accustomed also to address meetings of shareholders, would be very well able to figure as a Parliamentary counsel. This, however, is an exceptional case. And we are as far off from the ideal state of things in which every man is to be his own lawyer, as from that in which every man will be his own architect, engineer, stockbroker, banker, surgeon, and physician. Lawyers and doctors know better than this. They almost invariably take advice even upon small occasions. They are quite aware that a man is very seldom indeed a competent judge of his own case. But there are many such people to be found in the world as the man to whom I have referred, and amongst the number was Colonel George Ainslie.
This warrior, after giving up the command of that famous old regiment, the 25th (the Prince of Wales' Own) Lancers, retired to his country place in Surrey, and with the exception of marrying a charming and accomplished wife, and begetting a promising son, occupied himself in no other way than in quarrelling with his neighbours and his friends and his tradespeople, and, indeed, with nearly every one with whom he was brought in contact.
N. S. I.
These quarrels generally found their solution in the courts of law, and as the Colonel was for the most part in the wrong, and even when he happened to be in the right managed to spoil a good cause by insisting upon conducting it himself, his success as a litigant was not altogether brilliant. Indeed, fifteen years of indulgence in this expensive amusement reduced his fortune, which had been a very ample one, to what is called a modest competence. Want of success, however, did not diminish the Colonel's ardour, nor quench his desire to exhibit his prowess in the law courts, and there is little doubt that if a chill, caught (as he said) out hunting, or, as Mrs. Ainslie affirmed, in the corridors of the Royal Courts of Justice (and this interesting problem was never satisfactorily solved), had not providentially carried him off, he and his wife and child would before long have been reduced to positive beggary. Mrs. Ainslie was perilously approaching her fortieth year at the time of the Colonel's death, while their only child, Philip, with whose fortunes this veracious history will for the most part deal, was just fourteen; and it was seven years from the date of that not altogether to be regretted event when the story opens.
Colonel Ainslie had been usually described by the garrison hacks, and the ladies'-maids, and the nurse-maids in the various towns where he had been quartered during his period of military service, as a magnificent man, and in this description there was scarcely a tinge of exaggeration. In this respect, and in this respect only, did Philip resemble his father. He was of fine stature and build, being considerably over six feet, and his chest and limbs were those of a giant, and, the physiognomy excepted, he reminded you of some of those quaint statuettes and rice paper paintings, now everywhere to be seen, of Burmese wrestlers. Indeed, this peculiarity was very marked, and it is on record that during his sixteenth year, when a great lout twice his weight insulted him by calling him a “Daddy Longlegs,” he took the offender by his collar and the slack of his nether garments, and threw him into a quick-set hedge, from which the unhappy young man emerged considerably dilapidated and with much loss of personal dignity, having to hold his garments together with both hands as he wended his way home a sadder and a wiser person.
As years grew upon him, Master Philip's physical strength did not develop itself at all in the direction of the modern craze, now happily past its prime, of athleticism. He knew what he could do, and he was content with it; and at Cambridge he rowed in his college eight, and was persuaded to occupy a thwart in the University boat, very much, however, against bis inclination. But he entirely declined to go about pot-hunting at athletic sports and regattas, and took his exercise by himself or with his companions, having a distinct preference for the prosaic and useful side of athletics. He was only an ordinary runner, but he could walk any number of hours a day; he could keep up swimming till his limbs were numbed; he could lift and carry great weights with comparative ease; his boxing and wrestling almost reached professional rank; and-a fact which students of character will appreciate—he was a first-rate climber of trees, and would spend hours together among their branches, sometimes with a pipe or a book, or both, and very often without any other source of occupation than his own thoughts.
So Philip grew up until it became necessary to think what was to be done with him. He had not been sent to a public school. Now, this was, of course, in many ways a great disadvantage to the lad. On the other hand, his character retained its originality. For the English public-school boy is now as stereotyped as is the English public-school boy's Sunday dress of sober trousers, black waistcoat and jacket, or tail coat, according to age and size, with shirt collar to match, silver watch and chain, and tall silk hat. Philip was a child of nature.
He left the University with what is termed the highest credit. He had by no means covered himself with academical honours, and bets were freely laid that he would not take his degree at the first opportunity. The layers were disappointed, for he took his degree without any trouble, if without any great distinction, the first time he had the chance to offer himself for examination, and was of the standing to do so. He left Cambridge without a shilling of University debts, with a considerable number of friendships more or less close, and leaving behind him a general and well-deserved impression that he was a thoroughly good fellow, or, as they call it at Cambridge, “a good man all round.”