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them to cry hear,' and spoke, spoke;' sometimes they had coughs; and I often gave them full permission to try to put me down in every possible way, but they never were able to do it.”
Capital practice for the House,” said the Professor.
“ I used often to repeat the speech of young Norval,” added the Doctor,—“. My name is Norval on the Grampian hills,' you know."
The Professor suggested the propriety oí making a pause at the Norval, and told him the story of the actor in Dublin who adopted the Doctor's reading, whereupon a wag in the galleries called out,
“And what the deuce is your name in Patrick Street ?”
The Doctor laughed very long and loud, and after taking a note of the improved reading, said,
“ I'll tell you a very odd thing,-my grandmother was an Irish woman, one of the Beamishes of Cork—if she wasn't a Beamish, she was a Murphy.”
“You will be coming in for an Irish borough one of these days,” said the master of rhetoric.
The Doctor heaved a profound sigh, pleaded guilty to a hankering after senatorial honours, and alluded pathetically to the closeness of a rich old father he had, which had always stood in the way of his advancement. But he was not without hopes, he added, that the old fellow might be induced to come down with a few thousands for a borough at the next general election, which he understood was not very far off.
Mr. Medlicott lost this and much more of the like curious discourse, by not accepting the Professor's invitation to supper. What followed would, of course, not have met his ear,----probably would not have passed at all.
The Professor asked Pigwidgeon what his private opinion of Reuben was, as he had known him so long, and was so intimate with him.
“ Well, he is a deuced clever fellow, I won't deny,” replied the Doctor, “ though he is not such a prodigy as his family take him for; they think he is the greatest genius that this country ever produced; I am told they talk of him as the coining man,' whatever they mean by that.”
Always coming, but never comes," said the Professor, hitting off happily enough the contrast between Mr. Mediicott's promise and performance in every stage of his career. Don't
think him a coxcomb?" said the Doctor.
“A confounded coxcomb,” said Chatterton.
The conversation ended in Pigwidgeon asking the Professor what he sincerely thought of Mr. Medlicott's style of eloquence.
“ I'll tell you candidly,” said Chatterton; " he is not fit to hold a candle to you, and if ever you are both in the House of Commons together, and pitted against one another, which is not an unlikely event in these stirring times, you will beat him to stock-fish, if you only mind my instructions."
MR. MEDLIOOTT SYMPATHISES WITH THE POLES, AND IS NATURALLY
LED FROM ONE SYMPATHY TO ANOTHER.
consequence chiefly of the brief revolution in taste mentioned in the last chapter, Mr. Medlicott was actually in some little danger at this period of being confounded with the common herd of working lawyers, to whom Chancery Lane is the world, and a bigger wig the summit of human ambition. A few friends stuck to him through thick and thin, and the horrors of professional success were almost beginning to stare him in the face, when he was opportunely seized with another of his paroxysms of genius, in the form of a violent sympathy with the cause of Poland.
We have been rather neglectful of Mr. Medlicott's social existence and experiences for some time back, hoping the reader would kindly presume that dinners and balls went on as usual, and that a respectable list of good houses in the proper streets and squares were ambitious of the honour of receiving the coming man, if not always successful in securing him as their guest. Let it not be supposed that he persisted obstinately in that hostility to the practice of dining, which had formerly distressed some of his best friends, particularly the convivial Mr. De Tabley. Mr. Medlicott resumed the knife and fork soon after he joined the bar, and not only frequented those tables where he was duly appreciated, but gave a dinner now and then in his own chambers, or invited a select party of agreeable listeners to Lovegrove's, or the Star and Garter. His chambers were furnished only too handsomely for a man of his means and standing. Mrs. Mountjoy had insisted on transferring to them all the articles of luxury which she had accumulated for his use in her lodgings in Burlington Gardens, the cosy chairs, the comfortable sofas, and even the spacious looking-glass in which Goliath of Gath might have surveyed himself from top to toe, had his giantship lived in the age of mirrors, or had mirrors existed in the days of giants. The Barsacs had frowned on him, ever since his grandfather did so, but this littleness of theirs Reuben was so far from stooping to resent, that meeting the consequential merchant one day in Fleet Street, he carelessly extended him a finger, and asked him to dine the following day, to meet Lord Appleby. Barsac would have bristled like a porcupine at such an informal invitation, prrticularly from such a quarter, if the name of the peer had not effectually stifled every unchristian feeling within him. To meet Lord Appleby, however, was a most agreeable prospect, and having had that privilege, it was incumbent on him to return Mr. Medlicott's dinner, which he did shortly after. Mr. Medlicott went to Portland Place, and met a distinguished company, among whom was Lord Maudlin, a nobleman, conspicuous at that time (as more eminent nobleman have been since) for his zeal in behalf of the Poles, and patron of a society for sympathising with that suffering nation. Barsac had invited the secretary of the society on the same day, as a delicate compliment, no doubt, to my Lord Maudlin ; and the secretary (a gentleman with a black moustache, and a name ending with “inski"), having had the good fortune to be placed beside Mr. Medlicott at dinner, an acquaintanceship commenced between them, which grew first into intimacy, and afterwards ripened into sympathy before long. Mr. Barsac himself sympathised with the Poles, that is to say, he invited the secretary to dinner, whenever Lord Maudlin honoured him ; but the merchant was not so devoted to Poland as to sacrifice to her cause either his time or much of his
Mr. Medlicott was not long without setting him an example of sympathising with spirit. He introduced the secretary to many of his friends, and among others to Trevor, the bookseller, who enlisted him occasionally for his Sunday parties at Hampstead. Mr. Medlicott walked into town, one fine evening, with the representative of Poland, and discoursed himself into a fever upon her history, and her wrongs. The Pole, a man of business and a capital secretary, determined to strike while the iron was hot, as the saying is; so, pulling out of his pocket a list of recent subscriptions, he excited Reuben's indignation by showing him the names of two such wealthy men as Mr. Barsac and Mr. Leadenhall, who were the paltry contributors of no more than a few guineas each. Mr. Medlicott, with one of Professor Chatterton's electric starts, seized the paper, and by the light of a lamp at the corner of Tottenham Court Road, where it meets the New Road, he wrote his name down for fifty pounds; and before he reached Holborn he suffered himself, after some little coy resistance, to be persuaded to move a resolution at the next public meeting, which was very soon to be held.
Fifty pounds was a munificent subscription. It deserved a conspicuous announcement, and it received it. The newspapers complimented Mr. Medlicott upon his well-timed liberality, and mentioned him anong the noblemen and gentlemen who had promised to honour with their presence, and adorn with their eloquence, the approaching meeting at the Freemasons' Tavern.
A general impression prevailed in the neighbourhood of Chichester, particularly in the parish of Und ood, as soon as these announcements arrived there, that Mr. Medlicott was about to compel Russia and Austria to disgorge their several shares of the plunder of Poland, and that nothing short the restoration of that country to a glorious place among the independent states of Europe would be the result of the philippic that was now in preparation. Mr. Broad resolved to go up to town to hear it, and meanwhile ran about the streets in just such a state of excitement as you may fancy a cutler of Athens, exhibiting on the eve of an oration of Demosthenes, to be followed by instant war with Macedon.
“He will make the despots of the continent look about them, sir; he will make the tyrants tremble.”
“ Much the despots of the continent will trouble themselves about a speech at the Freemasons' Tavern, if it was made by Brougham himself,” said the Alderman.
" I'm not of your way of thinking, Alderman Codd,” said the cutler ; " though making swords is my business, and though it will be a bad day for me when swords go out of fashion, I have a higher opinion of eloquence, sir, than of the best sword that ever was manufactured. The tryants hate eloquence, sir, as a certain personage hates holy-water. Did you ever hear of an orator at St. Petersburg, or in the Austrian dominions ? me that, Alderinan Codd.”
"Well, then, I never did, to be candid with you," said the Alderman.
" And now, Alderman, let me crave your subscription to the cause of Poland, for I want to have something handsome to hand in at the meeting to do credit to our city and our distinguished townsman." The Alderman shook his head, laughed, and buttoned up
" Come, Alderman, you won't have it said, I hope,” said Mr. Broad, insinuatingly, “ that you are in the Russian interest; you would not like people to say that ?"
“I should not like that,” said Alderman Codd, and ended by handing the cutler a couple of guineas, which was all he could afford the Polish cause without doing his family injustice.
Matthew Cox, who was always generous when the interests of freedom or of humanity were to be promoted, subscribed handsomely, Mr. Oldport and Mrs. Winning did so likewise ; so that Mr. Broad had a very respectable tribute to bring up with him from Chichester, which had never before distinguished itself in belialf of Poland. Even Mr. Pigw.dgeon put his name down for a guinea, but he never paid it-an economical way of sympathising practised by many as well as Mr. Pigwidgeon.
Meanwhile, Reuben's London friends were equally on the qui vive. Mr. Trevor and his family were in the highest state of excitement : so were the Proctor, the Attorney-in short, everybody who either knew Mr. Medlicott, or had heard the whistling of his name. The Polish Secretary gave
breakfast in Golden Square on the morning of this second great demonstration. Mr. Medlicott was to have been present, but on the previous evening he was surprised, and to a certain extent embarrassed and disconcerted, by the arrival of a large party from Chichester, consisting of his mother and the two Quakeresses, under the escort of Mr. Broad. The Vicar was strongly against this expedition, and still more displeased at the absurd munificence of his son. He wanted to know what Reuben had to do with the Poles. Mrs. Medlicott said he might as well ask what he had to do with the Protestants. The Vicar shrugged his shoulders, and wished, with considerable bitterness, Reuben would let both Poles and Protestants alone, and attend to his profession.
Mr. Broad conducted his little band of enthusiasts to the old Black Lion, in Whitefriars, the inn which he patronised whenever he travelled to town, and where everything, he said, was always tidy, and the landlady did her best to make her guests snug and comfortable. It may have been so; but the Black Lion was