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“No, no, not Colonel Mannering; but what do you think of your acquaintance, Mr. Charles Hazlewood ? He talks of taking his lessons here; I wish we may have accommodation for him.'
Lucy blushed deeply. “For Heaven's sake, no, Mr. MacMorlan, do not let that be; Charles Hazlewood has had enough of mischief about that already.'
About the classics, my dear young lady?' wilfully seeming to misunderstand her; 'most young gentlemen have so at one period or another, sure enough ; but his present studies are voluntary.
Miss Bertram let the conversation drop, and her host made no effort to renew it, as she seemed to pause upon the intelligence in order to form some internal resolution.
The next day Miss Bertram took an opportunity of conversing with Mr. Sampson. Expressing in the kindest manner her grateful thanks for his disinterested attachment, and her joy that he had got such a provision, she hinted to him that his present mode of superintending Charles Hazlewood's studies must be so inconvenient to his pupil that, while that engagement lasted, he had better consent to a temporary separation, and reside either with his scholar or as near him as might be. Sampson refused, as indeed she had expected, to listen a moment to this proposition ; he would not quit her to be made preceptor to the Prince of Wales. “But I see,' he added, “you are too proud to share my pittance; and peradventure I grow wearisome unto you.'
“No indeed; you were ay father's ancient, almost his only, friend. I am not proud ; God knows, I have no reason to be so. You shall do what you judge best in other matters; but oblige me by telling Mr. Charles Hazlewood that
had some conversation with me concerning his studies, and that I was of opinion that his carrying them on in this house was altogether impracticable, and not to be thought of.'
Dominie Sampson left her presence altogether crestfallen, and, as he shut the door, could not help muttering the 'varium et mutabile' of Virgil. Next day he appeared with a very rueful visage, and tendered Miss Bertram a letter. Mr. Hazlewood,' he said, 'was to discontinue his lessons, though he had generously made up the pecuniary loss. But how will he make up the loss to himself of the knowledge he might have acquired under my instruction ? Even in that one article of writing,—he was an hour before he could write that brief note, and destroyed many scrolls, four quills, and some good white
paper. I would have taught him in three weeks a firm, current, clear, and legible hand; he should have been a calligrapher,but God's will be done.'
The letter contained but a few lines, deeply regretting and murmuring against Miss Bertram's cruelty, who not only refused to see him, but to permit him in the most indirect manner to hear of her health and contribute to her service. But it concluded with assurances that her severity was vain, and that nothing could shake the attachment of Charles Hazlewood.
Under the active patronage of Mrs. Mac-Candlish, Sampson picked up some other scholars—very different indeed from Charles Hazlewood in rank, and whose lessons were proportionally unproductive. Still, however, he gained something, and it was the glory of his heart to carry it to Mr. Mac-Morlan weekly, a slight peculium only subtracted to supply his snuffbox and tobacco pouch.
And here we must leave Kippletringan to look after our hero, lest our readers should fear they are to lose sight of him for another quarter of a century.
Our Polly is a sad slut, nor heeds what we have taught her;
Beggar's Opera. AFTER the death of Mr. Bertram, Mannering had set out upon a short tour, proposing to return to the neighbourhood of Ellangowan before the sale of that property should take place. He went, accordingly, to Edinburgh and elsewhere, and it was in his return towards the south-western district of Scotland, in which our scene lies, that, at a post-town about a hundred miles from Kippletringan, to which he had requested his friend, Mr. Mervyn, to address his letters, he received one from that gentleman which contained rather unpleasing intelligence. We have assumed already the privilege of acting a secretis to this gentleman, and therefore shall present the reader with an extract from this epistle.
'I beg your pardon, my dearest friend, for the pain I have given you in forcing you to open wounds so festering as those your letter referred to. I have always heard, though erroneously perhaps, that the attentions of Mr. Brown were intended for Miss Mannering. But, however that were, it could not be supposed that in your situation his boldness should escape notice and chastisement. Wise men say that we resign to civil society our natural rights of self-defence only on condition that the ordinances of law should protect us.
Where the price cannot be paid, the resignation becomes void. For instance, no one supposes that I am not entitled to defend my purse and person against a highwayman, as much as if I were a wild Indian, who owns neither law nor magistracy. The question of resistance or submission must be determined by my means and situation. But if, armed and equal in force, I submit to injustice and violence from any man, high or low, I presume it will hardly be attributed to religious or moral feeling in me, or in any one but a Quaker. An aggression on my honour seems to me much the same. The insult, however trifling in itself, is one of much deeper consequence to all views in life than any wrong which can be inflicted by a depredator on the highway, and to redress the injured party is much less in the power of public jurisprudence, or rather it is entirely beyond its reach. If any man chooses to rob Arthur Mervyn of the contents of his purse, supposing the said Arthur has not means of defence, or the skill and courage to use them, the assizes at Lancaster or Carlisle will do him justice by tucking up the robber; yet who will say I am bound to wait for this justice, and submit to being plundered in the first instance, if I have myself the means and spirit to protect my own property? But if an affront is offered to me, submission under which is to tarnish my character for ever with men of honour, and for which the twelve judges of England, with the chancellor to boot, can afford me no redress, by what rule of law or reason am I to be deterred from protecting what ought to be, and is, so infinitely dearer to every man of honour than his whole fortune? Of the religious views of the matter I shall say nothing, until I find a reverend divine who shall condemn self-defence in the article of life and property. If its propriety in that case be generally admitted, I suppose little distinction can be drawn between defence of person and goods and protection of reputation. That the latter is liable to be assailed by persons of a different rank in life, untainted perhaps in morals, and fair in character, cannot affect my legal right of self-defence. I may that circumstances have engaged me in personal strife with such an individual; but I should feel the same sorrow for a generous enemy who fell under my sword in a national quarrel. I shall leave the question with the casuists, however; only observing, that what I have written will not avail either the professed duellist or him who is the aggressor in a dispute of honour. I only presume to exculpate him who is dragged into the field by such an offence as, submitted to in patience, would forfeit for ever his rank and estimation in society.
'I am sorry you have thoughts of settling in Scotland, and yet glad that you will still be at no immeasurable distance, and that the latitude is all in our favour. To move to Westmoreland from Devonshire might make an East-Indian shudder; but to come to us from Galloway or Dumfries-shire is a step, though a
short one, nearer the sun. Besides, if, as I suspect, the estate in view be connected with the old haunted castle in which you played the astrologer in your northern tour some twenty years since, I have heard you too often describe the scene with comic unction to hope you will be deterred from making the purchase. I trust, however, the hospitable gossiping Laird has not run himself upon the shallows, and that his chaplain, whom you so often made us laugh at, is still in rerum natura.
' And here, dear Mannering, I wish I could stop, for I have incredible pain in telling the rest of my story; although I am sure I can warn you against any intentional impropriety on the part of my temporary ward, Julia Mannering. But I must still earn my college nickname of Downright Dunstable. In one word, then, here is the matter.
*Your daughter has much of the romantic turn of your disposition, with a little of that love of admiration which all pretty women share less or more. She will besides, apparently, be your heiress; a trifling circumstance to those who view Julia with my eyes, but a prevailing bait to the specious, artful, and worthless. You know how I have jested with her about her soft melancholy, and lonely walks at morning before any one is up, and in the moonlight when all should be gone to bed, or set down to cards, which is the same thing. The incident which follows may not be beyond the bounds of a joke, but I had rather the jest upon it came from you than me.
Two or three times during the last fortnight I heard, at a late hour in the night or very early in the morning, a flageolet play the little Hindu tune to which your daughter is so partial. I thought for some time that some tuneful domestic, whose taste for music was laid under constraint during the day, chose that silent hour to imitate the strains which he had caught up by the ear during his attendance in the drawing-room. But last night I sat late in my study, which is immediately under Miss Mannering's apartment, and to my surprise I not only heard the flageolet distinctly, but satisfied myself that it came from the lake under the window. Curious to know who serenaded us at that unusual hour, I stole softly to the window of my apartment. But there were other watchers than me. You may remember, Miss Mannering preferred that apartment on account of a balcony which opened from her window upon the lake. Well, sir, I heard the sash of her window thrown up, the shutters opened, and her own voice in conversation with some person who answered from below. This is not “Much