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impatience of one who had thus far years, and my hand is completely experienced many disappointments. out.” There was a little dinner, prepared “Then get it in again. Every by Mrs Talbot herself, in honour of man's hand gets out after a short the first visit of Margrave's friends. spell of idleness. Choose your own The menu would not have been field, and work in it your own regarded by Brillat Savarin as way.” worthy of any particular mention, “But I do not agree with your but to Creek it was a feast of the politics." gods. What was on the table he “ Well, then, let politics alone. did not much know or care; but You shall leave the ship of state when he saw Kate sitting opposite to be managed by me. I will send to him, and was greeted by her you some books to review—the with words of hearty welcome hardest work in the world for an which made him forget all the editor to get done well. Every burdens which oppressed him, in- blockhead thinks he can review cluding Moss Jacobs, he would not any book ever written—and you have changed places in life with the see the stuff which is turned out. President of the Royal Academy. We think we manage things toler
Kate told him of her experiences ably well in the 'Sentinel,' but in the effort to find some occupa- we want new blood. That is what tion which would yield her a little every editor should be looking for, more profit than the pork-butcher's from the rising of the sun even to twelve shillings a-week. The artist the going down of the same. Come, explained to her that she had gone take this shilling," and Delvar took the wrong way to work. “You out that coin from his waistcoatmust,” he said, “ go to one of the pocket, “and let me enlist you on large houses which make all the the spot.” fashionable furniture nowadays. “Very well; but I will not They are always ready to pay for promise that you will get even the new designs of any kind, and they value of your shilling." pay moderately well. Let me go “That will be my look - out. and speak to Lintows about you. Recollect that you are on duty toI have done something for them morrow morning. Promptness and myself before now; they gave me despatch," said the editor, with twenty guineas for a new pattern mock severity, "are my only confor a tile for one of their fireplaces. ditions. In these days books are I am sure you could have done it reviewed twelve months after date. a great deal better."
I treat them as part of my news; “A capital idea,” said Delvar, the fresher the reviews, the better who was the only other visitor everybody likes them—including present, and who had the good the publishers. So now that matsense to see that Kate ought to be ter is settled.” encouraged in her purpose. “And Between these two friends the I want to enlist you, Margrave, evening passed away so pleasantly among my contributors—there is that Kate was sorry when it came nothing like work for making a to an end. She remembered many man forget an adverse tilt with evenings spent amid much more fortune. When will you begin ?” brilliant surroundings, of which
“My dear fellow, I should neither she had a very different recollecknow when nor how to begin. I tion. He almost forgot that they have not written a line for three were poor.
fore she contrived to give them duly paid her fees, she heard no some touch of the bright and more from them; and had she cheerful aspect of the home which known London and its ways a they had just lost. A few flowers little better, she would perhaps arranged with a woman's taste and have been quite as well pleased dexterity imparted a distant fla- that she did not. At last she vour of the country to the town determined to seek the advice of lodgings; and some pieces of silk Creek; and the once-favoured proembroidery thrown over Mrs Tal- tégé of Moss Jacobs was overjoyed bot's commonplace furniture pro- to receive a note from Margrave duced an effect which made the requesting him to call and see landlady herself fancy that she had them. A summons for his instant stumbled into the wrong house attendance at Court to receive a when she entered her best sitting- commission to paint the portraits room. It is true that luxuries of all the Royal Family would not were absent, but there was noth have been received by poor Creek ing to make the new-comers feel with half so much pride and joy. that they had fallen into the gulf His sketch - book contained drawof sordid poverty.
ing after drawing of Kate's beauFrom the first, however, Kate tiful face; unfinished portraits of was resolved that as little as pos- her stood in a dusty corner, dissible should be touched of the carded by the artist as ludicrously slender means still remaining to unworthy of the original, whose them. If she was indeed so skil- sweet smile and irresistible eyes ful with her pencil as her friends were seldom long absent from his had assured her, now was the time thoughts. There was one portrait to turn the gift to good account. on his easel which he had brought Everybody said that the opportu- nearer to completion than the nities of employment for women others, and which had so struck were far greater than they used to the fancy of the discerning dealer be; but when Kate sought for that he had actually offered to them, they were not so easily to pay some ready money for it, and be found. One day there was let the old debt stand. But a tempting advertisement in the Creek would not hear of it. He papers for a young lady who could would have gone without bread teach drawing in a “ highly re- rather than have parted with that spectable family.” She answered picture, all imperfect and unsatisit, and found that somewhere amid factory as it was in his own eyes. the melancholy wilderness of Cam- At length, then, he was to see berwell there were four daughters once more the object of his secret of a pork-butcher who were willing worship—and see her, too, under to be taught as much of what they circumstances which encouraged a called “ drawring” as anybody faint hope that a friendship so could teach them for twelve shill- precious to him would not again be ings a-week. Kate at this time interrupted. She was no longer was reluctant to turn away from rich; that barrier was removed. any employment, but this proposal The artist almost dared to recall discouraged her. Then there were the dreams which had once cheered offices without number which un- his labours, but which had long dertook to introduce ladies to re- been nothing more to him than a munerative occupations. But after sad recollection. He waited for Kate had seen the managers and the appointed evening with the for ourselves, and Kate took a paper. Come what might, she and childish pleasure in turning over her father would at least never see and over the sovereigns which she the grim figure of want standing at received at the bank for her slip of their door,
CHAPTER XVI.—THE UNANSWERED LETTER.
It has been said that Reginald strange. Was there nothing more Tresham had hitherto sent no reply than his daughter had been sufto Kate Margrave's letter. He fered to know to explain the myshad, however, written several re- tery of his course? The suspicions plies, but each one had found its which Lady Tresham had once way into the fire. The revelation thrown out — were they wholly which Kate's letter conveyed was unfounded ? Her son had thought sudden and unexpected. It is so at the time, but he did not feel true that there had been rumours the same degree of certainty on the of a threatened lawsuit in refer- subject now. ence to the Grange property, and And then it appeared that there Lady Tresham had made allusion was to be a total loss of fortune. to them; but Margrave himself had Sir Reginald was not by any means kept silence on the subject, and a rich man; not rich enough, as the young baronet had allowed the prudence whispered to him, to be stories to pass as a part of the idle able to afford the luxury of marrygossip which is always afloat in the ing a poor woman because he loved country. And now, without pre- her. His mother had objected to vious sign or warning, the house the marriage even when no such was left deserted, and he was told disadvantage as this was in quesin a few brief sentences, that it tion. Could it be supposed that would be better both for Kate and she would welcome Kate to Owlshimself that they should not meet cote Manor as her son's wife with again. What was a man to do something very like a scandal who found himself unexpectedly hanging over her? For of course placed in such a position ? Per- the departure of the Margraves haps the lover, who thought only from the Grange under such cirof his love, would have answered cumstances could not be entirely the question by hastening without divested of scandal Reginald delay in pursuit of the fugitive; Tresham was naturally a proud he would have declined to be man, and he could not but enterset free quite so summarily, and tain some painful doubts whether been eloquent in protestations that the conditions which now surchanges of circumstances or of for- rounded his engagement were caltune were powerless to influence culated to bring happiness into his his affections. But it must be home. He had told his mother confessed that Reginald Tresham that he hoped to make Kate his was not a lover of this description. wife, and she had submitted, He could not help feeling that the though not without allowing him circumstances described by Kate to perceive that her own judgment were very serious, and there was and inclination were utterly opmuch in them which he did not posed to his own. Surely his quite understand. Margrave's be- difficulties would be increased tenhaviour was, to say the least, very fold by the disaster which had And now the days went quickly your gifts are quite out of the over, and still there was no reply common way. Now none of the from Reginald Tresham. He had, work which I have just shown you to all appearance, accepted Kate at indicates anything of that kind. her word; but it seemed to the young It is all on one dead level-neither girl that at least one expression of very good nor very bad. These farewell might have been vouch- ladies go to a school of art and safed to her. Margrave could see pick up a smattering of knowledge, that she suffered, notwithstanding and think that all the world will her constant endeavour to conceal rush forward to buy their producit from him. But there are situa- tions. I am led to think you can tions in life in which words, even do better than that." from those who are dearest to each “I will try,” said Kate, with a other, are of no avail. Kate made grateful glance at the worthy man no allusion to the grief which was who was dealing so frankly with her. deep in her heart, and her father “Depend upon it, that anything did not dare to speak. He divined you submit to us shall have fair what had occurred, and he knew consideration. I am always sorry that there was nothing to be done. when we cannot use a design sent And meanwhile he found some to us by a lady. I have daughters relief from his own anxieties by of my own, and I think of them performing the daily task which placed in the position of these apDelvar took care should be pro- plicants, and I find it hard to say vided for him. There were many No. But I am only a man of busiin his position who had not even ness, and have my master to conthe solace of work --- men who sult, and I can assure you that the needed work to provide them with public is a hard master. And their daily bread, and who were now, good day-rely at least upon willing to do it, but could not find our goodwill towards you.” it. And of all lots in life, there is Kate went away by no means none so hard as that.
despairing. That very evening Kate was not long before she she drew some designs for the made her visit to the great house coverings of a beautiful set of of Lintows which Creek had re- drawing-room furniture which had commended to her. A member of been shown her at the Lintows', the firm-an elderly and dignified and which had been made for a man-received her with courtesy, merchant in China. Some special although he gave her no very strong coverings were needed, and Kate encouragement. “You see,” he set to work with enthusiasm to said, “ London is full of ladies who prepare them. Creek came and are anxious to earn a living, and examined them, and was delighted. who can do such work as we are But Kate more than half suspected able to give them fairly well. I that he could not be a harsh critic will give you an idea.” He turned of anything which came from her over a large pile of drawings upon hand. She thought better of his his desk, and Kate saw indeed that judgment when, in due time, it there were many competitors in was confirmed by the Lintows. the field.
There came to her a very pleasant “I am afraid that my chance is letter, enclosing an equally pleasbut a poor one,” she said.
ant cheque; and thus the first “I do not say that. Our old start was made. No money is so friend, Mr Creek, tells me that bright as that which we first earn “But I cannot offer any advice tinct and flattering recognition till he asks me for it. These are which he received. He was a delicate subjects for even the truest clever man, though not so clever friends to meddle with. It would as he fancied. Whether he had be only too easy to do more harm ten talents, or whether he had but than good.”
one, it could not but be admitted "Oh, but I have the greatest that he had made the most of his confidence in your tact. Depend share. He could deliver a very upon it, the opportunity will arise fair speech, if he had time enough quite naturally. Reginald will given him for its preparation. speak to you, I feel certain, before His jokes were rather elaborately you have been alone with him many studied, and were delivered with hours. Then you must frankly and an air which savoured a little too boldly declare your opinion. I need much of the conventicle; but, upon not ask you, for I feel confident the whole, they were generally well beforehand, that you will be upon received. He diligently read most my side,—will you not?”
of the celebrated speeches of the "I can promise you that with statesmen of former times, and out hesitation, for I believe you to came to the conclusion that they be entirely in the right. But it had been greatly overpraised. They may not be so easy to get Reginald were certainly not equal to Mr to think so too."
Spinner's. In his most sacred mo“Well, we will do our best. I ments of confidence, he told himdeclare I never shall be sufficiently self that they were not equal to grateful to you if you remove this speeches which a man at present heavy load from my mind. Would less famous than Mr Spinner had that I could see my son marry as delivered on one or two memorable you have done !” Now, although occasions. He fancied he most reLord Splint had married a great sembled Fox in his style of oratory, heiress, prizes of that kind are not though not in person; for Lord sufficiently numerous to go round Splint was very tall and thin, with among all the eligible young men light hair and pale complexionin England. Some such thought as what ladies generally called an inthat passed through Lord Splint's teresting-looking man. At a very mind, and it made him all the more opportune moment there had hapcontented with his own good luck pened the event which placed him in the lottery.
beyond all thought or care for this Lord Splint had been fortunate world's goods. Some people said in more ways than one. He had, that this also was owing to his luck, as Lady Tresham had said, never and not to his merit; but, at any made a mistake. He had played rate, it was one of the stakes for every card in the game to win, and which Lord Splint had played very thus far he had won everything. carefully, and, as usual, he won it. His first speeches in the House of Such was the man whom Lady Lords had marked him out as a Tresham summoned to her aid in man who was sure to rise in the the great emergency which had political world, and no one was overtaken her. He had no great surprised when it was announced inclination to undertake the task that he had joined Mr Spinner's assigned to him ; for what was it Ministry. He stood high in that to him whether this marriage took great statesman's confidence, and place or not? His own feelings, had done much to deserve the dis- and what were of still greater mo
VOL. CXXXIV.--NO, DCCCXIII.