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“No, no," said Cheveley, smiling, “I rather think they have got a troublesome customer in Denham, and it would be well to have me as a catspaw, to pretend that I have been promised whatever he wants, no matter what; but I am very certain Canada is not farther from England than it is from his wishes : nor is Halifax so near it,” added he, laughing, “ that they should imagine there was so much of the Captain Bold about me as that I should favour them with the pleasing variation of hanging myself in their garters. However, as I see that precious document is marked private, I must beg of you not to mention the contents to anybody.”.
“Now, pray, where can you have lived ever since your entrée into this best of all possible worlds,” said Fanny, “to ask or expect that women should keep a
"In the world,” replied he, “where I have invariably found that they are the only people who can."
“Well,” said Fanny, laughing, “ I have long intended working you a waistcoat, and now I'll delay it no longer, for that last very just observation of yours. It shall be full of little, secret, unfindoutable, mysterious pockets, against the time when you join the Whigs and turn diplomatist.”
" Well, who knows,” said Lord Cheveley, smiling. “ Tutte le grau facaude si fauno di poca cosa! But I hope your waistcoat will never be worn by a turncoat."
Here the door opened suddenly, and Herbert Grimstone, without apparently noticing that Lady de Clifford or Fanny were in the room, rushed up to Lord Cheveley, and nearly wringing his hand off, breathlessly exclaimed, “ 'Pon my soul, my dear fellow, I congratulate you with all my heart; I hear you've a letter from Melford; has he offered you anything? what does he say, eh?"
“Not much," replied Lord Cheveley, coldly: “at all events, the letter is private, and chiefly on the subject of my uncle's death."
"Oh, ah, yes, certainly; anything about Denham in it?" probed Herbert.
"Only that he has returned from Russia, and is now in England; but I fear we are making poor Lady de Clifford's head ache,” added Lord Cheveley, turning haughtily away from his selfish interrogator, who had been standing with his hat on, his arms folded, and his
back to Julia, whom he had not yet condescended to notice. “By-the-by, the Lyonese alway swear their hats when they are going to be hanged; who knows but there may be something infectious in the custom."
"I beg you a thousand pardons, my dear Julia,” said he, turning suddenly round; “I cannot tell you how anxious I have been about you, or the delight it gives me," added he, kissing her hand," to see you so perfectly recovered from your accident." And then, without waiting for any reply to so much affectionate solicitude, he again turned round to Lord Cheveley; and for a moment raising his hat to run his fingers through his hair, said, “So Denham is actually returned, is he? When do you go to England, my dear fellow ?"
“Tomorrow !" reiterated Herbert ; " by Jove, I have a great mind to go with you."
"I never travel with any man but Saville,” said Lord Cheveley, repulsively, "for they bore me to death.”
Civil, thought Herbert, as he left the room in quest of his brother, to tell him that he thought Mowbray had become deusedly pompous and impertinent since he had grown into a marquis, and to inform him of Lord Denham's arrival from the North, and his opinion of the expediency of his and his brother's immediate return to England, to see what was to be done, or, in other words, what was to be got. But Lord de Clifford said he could not possibly return to England without first going on to Naples, as Captain Datchet was to meet them there at the end of the month; and Herbert, recollecting that he was also charge d'affaire from the chest of Miss MacScrew, was fain to agree to the measure.
That day poor Julia had to endure the successive congratulations of the whole party upon her recovery from her accident; and to consent to remain in the drawing. room, as dinner had been ordered there on her account. Lord Cheveley had also to endure the individual and combined congratulations of everybody; and to engage, nolens volens, in alternate political discussions with Lord de Clifford and Herbert; who could not understand a man's being so apparently insensible and apathetic under the yet infant acquisition of a marquisate, two hundred thousand a year, immense political influence, and, doubt. less, the choice of the highest offices in the state.
“But surely, my dear fellow," said Herbert, with his
mouth full of Charteruse and a half-sipped glass of barley water in his hand, “in the position you now stand, you will not think of continuing a Tory ?”
“And why not?" replied Cheveley: " if, when I might have wanted something, my principles were not to be swayed or shaken by self-interest, it is not likely that, now I can possibly want nothing, I shall voluntarily relinquish them.”
"No, I don't mean exactly upon the score of selfinterest,” shrugged Herbert; “but, you see, it's quite impossible that the Tories can ever rally as a party, or that England can ever again be governed on Tory principles.”
“Very likely not, by a faction bearing that worn-out name; but the time must come, and that shortly, when the country will rebel against being governed by no principles at all, which is at present the case."
“You forget, my dear Cheveley,” said Saville, in his own peculiarly dry manner, “ that the Whigs can always take refuge in their philosophy, which is about the soundest in the world, being that of Confucius. And you know one of his maxims is, 'That a man ought to change often if he would be constant to wisdom;' and another, that 'In the state wherever we are, perseverance in well doing consists not so much in not falling, as to rise again as often as we fall;' and 'nobody can deny the dexterity which the Whigs have evinced in this particular of late.”
“Jesting, apart, my dear Saville," replied Cheveley, “ the first maxim contains the quintessence of truth; for 'which reason no really honest politician (always supposing there be such a thing) can be a party man. For, inasmuch as no set of men are infallible, neither can their measures be so; consequently, whoever unconditionally pledges himself to a party, must pledge himself to voting, nine times out of ten, against his conscience."
“Well, but you will allow," interposed Herbert,“ that there never was an administration so completely popular; that is, which so entirely studied the rights and privileges of the people ?". * “I allow no such thing,” said Lord Cheveley; " for I do not think they act up by any means to the soi disant principles that brought them into office. Imprimis, in my estimate of the people I include the inhabitants of the sister kingdom; and how their interests have been cared for, the conduct of the Whig government upon the Irish appropriation clause, during Sir Robert Peel's administration, and their subsequent measures upon that same clause under their own auspices during the last session, will best testify True, ever since the Union, Ireland has been treated as the wife of England; and, consequently, is expected to endure without murmur, struggle, or retaliation, whatever insults, injuries, and oppressions her manly and patriotic spouse, Mr. John Bull, may choose to inflict upon her; while he passes for a very fine fellow in the world, as long as he rants about his own and his brother man's liberties in England.”
66 Which liberties," said Saville," appear to me to be poised on the same basis as the Harrow boys' right to Mr. Newcome's fruit.”.
“And what might that be?" asked Lord de Clifford, sneeringly.
" Why," replied Saville,“ poor Newcome's garden adjoined the schoolhouse at Harrow; the consequence was, that it was stripped of its fruit even before it was ripe. Whereupon, tired of applying to the masters for redress to no purpose, he at length appealed to the boys; and sending for the head of the sixth form to his house, he said to him, “Now, my good fellow, I'll make an agreement with you and your companions; let my fruit remain on the trees till it is ripe, and I promise to give you half! The boy, assuming an ambassadorial dignity of deliberation, coolly replied, 'I can say nothing to the proposition myself, sir, but I will make it known to the rest of the boys, and inform you of their decision tomorrow! Well, to-morrow came, and with it this reply: 'The gentlemen of Harrow cannot agree to receive so unequal a share ; since Mr. Newcome is an individual, and they are many! Now I leave you, my good friends,” concluded Saville, “to draw a corollary between the numerous gentlemen of the people, and the individual gentleman or lady on the throne."
“Oh, if you did but know, or could but imagine,” said Fanny, yawning, “how sick I am of those eternal politics, you would have mercy on me, and talk sense, pay compliments, or quote poetry.”
"Well,” said Saville, laughing, “I will try and obey you; but to talk sense when a pretty woman is at one's
side is not so easy; and as to paying compliments with you for their object, they would never end ; and then for poetry—but yes, as this dinner is not served à la Russe, with the fruit on the table, I think old Herrick can help me to a stanza : to you, sweet ladies all, I say,
"• Ye may simper, blush, and smile,
And perfume the air a while;' and to the confectionary,” continued he, bowing to the table, “I can only add,
««• But, sweet things, ye must be gono,
Fruit, you know, is coming on.'" “And so is something better too," said Lord Cheveley, kissing little Julia, who had just come into the room and clambered on his knee as was her wont. “Do you know what they told me?" said the child, throwing her little arms round his neck; “but I didn't believe it, and now I see I was right; there, stoop down your pretty little ear, and I'll tell you. Well, they told me that you were not Mr. Mowbray any more; my own dear, kind Augustus Mowbray; but that you were Lord Cheveley or Lord Something; and Mademoisello d'Antoville said I was not to climb up upon your knee and tease you, but that I was to make you a low courtesy and say, 'Monsieur le Marquis, je vous en felicité de tout mon cœur.'” And here the little thing pursed up her mouth, raised her eyebrows, and lowered her eyelids, in imitation of her governess, which set every one laughing but her father, who said, “ I'm sure Mademoiselle d'Antoville would tell you not to be so loud and so rude if she were here, Julia.” “Yes, papa; but, thank goodness, she is not here; so, Monsieur le Marquis, je vous en felicité de tout mon ceur,” laughed the child, mimicking Mademoiselle d'Antoville more accurately than before, and burying her face on Lord Cheveley's shoulder in a peal of laughter, in which every one joined except her sire, who cried out in an angry voice,
“Come, come, Julia, if you don't know how to behave yourself, you had better go to bed."
From this she knew there was no appeal; and tho poor little thing was preparing reluctantly to obey, when Lord Cheveley interposed.
“Nay,” said he, “as I go to-morrow, I must request,