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fabular portrayal of one whom “the squires and the rural population familiarly call Pam, as in the game of cards they call the Knave of Clubs. "I know not whether the idea of clubs was suggested by his pugnacity in former days, or the idea of knave by some odd resemblance to the court card. He still is mettlesome, and, when the market folks press him, he knows how to strike.” The pressure of the market folks is generally enough—nor is high pressure needed to keep him moving, when once fairly off, like the fast old stager he is. Setting aside, however, this one principle of action, the rest of Lord Palmerston's foreign policy is not unreasonably called “vagary.” As a journalist already quoted, says, he has two classes of assailants : those who believe he is in the interest of despotism, and those who are convinced he is an agent of democratic revolution : and the explanation suggested is, that, in point of fact, he is sometimes one thing, and sometimes the other. “The Germans sang, in 1848 and 1849 :

-Hat der Teufel einen Sohn,

So ist er, sicher, Palmerston : men like Blum, and men like Schwarzenberg, entertaining, upon exactly opposite grounds, precisely the same aversion. Those kings, and ministers, and bureaucrats, who were submerged in the storm of 1848, traced the European catastrophe to the design of Lord Palmerston, Minto being universally regarded on the Continent as the dyspeptic Æolus; and again, when reaction set in, the patriots everywhere recognised as the original reason, the duplicity of Lord Palmerston.” Possibly his lordship loves to have it so-to be thought to belong to all parties, as occasion may require - to be all things to all men, in a not at all apostolic sense : at any rate he has more than once, but once in particular, found the advantage of such a reputation-witness the way in which journals of all parties claimed him for their own, when he was called to the head of affairs, as the only possible master of the situation-wafted on the wings of the wind of popularity, a covert Conservative in the eyes of credulous Conservatives, a staunch overt old Whig by the verdict of Whig authorities, an all but prononcé Radical, and perhaps something more, on the affidavit of a few sanguine ultrà-liberals, who have been miraculously living upon hopes deferred, and awaiting a Reform Bill that, to the confusion of finality Jack, is to be “no end of” a measure, going all lengths, and plus ultra besides.

That self-reliance is invaluable to a public man-aided by a liberal allowance of self-assertion-the career of the noble Viscount since his elevation to Premier's post, has made evident enough. That he is a host in himself, must be a practical axiom with him-else how could he think to impose upon the country a Government composed of such materials, Vernon Smiths and Laboucheres in foremost places,—“strengthened," when a vacancy occurs, by a Clanricarde, perhaps with a view to gratify the ir-religious world, after such a broadcast of sops to an opposite section, in a series of nolentes (volentes) episcopari thick and threefold, of the Simeonite school.

Well; time tries all. And the whirligig of time brings round its revenges. Whether a Nemesis is pretty close or not on the heels of Lord Palmerston-hitherto so nimble, so prosperous, so light-of-heart and

light-of-tongue as well as light-of-heels,—que scay-je ? Personally, time that tries all has touched him very lightly, as though, like old Izaak with his bait, it loved him, or, like Zanoni or Joseph Balsamo, it had forgotten him. As you watch that care-beset yet seemingly careless septuagenarian, tripping up the Treasury stairs two at a time, or with elastic tread and jaunty mien making his way to the Treasury bench, you recognise a veteran who, more accurately than the original, might claim a proprietorship in Chaucer's lines :

Though I be hoor, I fare as doth a tree
That blossemith er that the fruit i-waxe be,
A blossemy tre is neither drye ne deed;
I fele me no wher hoor but on myn heed.
Myn herte and al my lymes ben as greene

Aš laurer thurgh the yeer is for to seene.
Since the que scay-je ? in the top line was printed, Mr. Milner
Gibson's amendment has divided the House, and spoilt that note of
interrogation.

HEIRESSES.

PART THE FIRST.

I. "IF I only knew how much the girl has," soliloquised Philip Sutton, as he lay back in an arm-chair in his chambers one hot day of August, 1854, “I should know if it is worth while going down to Stamford House or no; if it's to be another case of merely ten or fifteen thousand pounds, why I needn't waste any time, and may as well go down and shoot Lester's moor in Scotland or walk through Germany. What a strange thing it is that in this enlightened century there should still exist that absurd prejudice against letting one know what a young lady's fortune is or will be! Ignorance entirely on our side. A man's fortune is always pretty well ascertained before your excellent chaperones permit an acquaintance to be furthered, though, by the way, there has been some strange mistake or remissness in this instance, or why should Mrs. Stamford have been so pressing in asking me down ? The fact of my being a ‘rising barrister isn't a sufficient investment for one's daughter's affections ; and if she had inquired properly, she might have discovered that not my face,' but my wig and gown, are all the fortune I can boast of. Possibly she imagines I have expectations, and thinks my old Aunt Pennington intends to make me her heir ? Poor Mrs. Stamford ! However that may be, she has repeatedly asked me to Stamford, and I think I should rather like to see what her daughter really is ; at present, I only know that she's a distinguished-looking girl, with more to say for herself than the generality of her species, that she usually considers me worth saying it to, and that she is a reputed heiress. It may be amusing

to go and spy out the land ; it can do no harm, and I'm not young enough to singe my wings in a hurry. . . . Yes, I'll go down to Stamford House on Tuesday. Now to work." And taking his feet down from the chair on which they had been resting, Philip Sutton turned to a writing-table covered with papers, and was immediately immersed in the deep waters of a case in Chancery.

The truth was, Mr. Sutton wanted very much to be married, for, having arrived at the age of two-and-thirty, and gone through the usual amount of firtation, while undergoing ten London seasons, without ever having seen a woman whom he could marry, thoroughly for love's sake, he began to think that, if ever, his bachelorhood should now cease, and that he must be content to do without a grande passion. There were several young ladies among whom he thought he could have selected one to love quite sufficiently to be happy with, but unfortunately there was another matter besides his choice to be thought of. Philip Sutton was, as he just now soliloquised, “a rising barrister," and getting on far better in his up-hill profession than most of his compeers. Philip was very clever ; but full as was his brain, so in proportion were his pockets void, and the proceeds of his law-work sufficed only for his own maintenance. Ergo, Philip Sutton could not support a wife, and therefore the wife must bring wherewith to support herself, for Sutton could not bear the idea of entailing poverty upon any one of the above-mentioned young ladies, to whom he might otherwise, Ahasuerus-like, have held out his sceptre. He did not like the idea of rosy cheeks fading, bright eyes growing dim, and smooth brows wrinkling with the cares of such a household as his poor one would be. He did not like to think of all Philips or Philipesses not having bread-and-butter enough to eat, and appearing in dirty pinafores and little worn frocks, and making an unchecked racket through a small ill-deafened house, where he, the rather recherché Philip Sutton, had come to seek repose after a tiring day in gloomy chambers. Very young men might do such things, might marry, ignoring the prospect before them; but what was the use of his having reached the mature age of two-and-thirty if he were not to know the folly and selfishness of such a proceeding ?

It was a great pity young ladies did not wear the amount of their fortunes on a ticket round their neck, that a man might know whether he could safely bestow his affections; but that pitch of civilisation had not yet been reached, and as Miss Stamford was reputed an heiress, there could be no harm in endeavouring to find out more about her. And the more Philip thought it over, the more he concurred in his recent determination to go down to Stamford House. Therefore, when the following Tuesday arrived, and with it the commencement of the long vacation, and a gracious acceptance by Mrs. Stamford of his proposed visit, Mr. Sutton stepped into a cab, drove to the station, took a ticket for Wyefield, and very soon found himself hurrying on the wings of the express towards the spot where dwelt the lady of his thoughts, or, more correctly, the lady of his very mature deliberations.

Stamford House was situated on the English border of Wales, and both the situation and place pleased Philip's eye as he drove through the beech avenue and well-kept park, till he came in front of the house, a very handsome modern building, with a gentlemanlike, well-cared-for

look about it that made up for its lack of antiquity. Mr. Stamford had built it when he came into possession of a large fortune left him by a distant relation; he, a younger son, being now three times as rich as his elder brother, the representative of an ancient but somewhat declining family.

On the strength of his inheritance he had married a poor peer's daughter, to whom he had been long attached, and by her had two children —a son, and the Miss Stamford who formed the subject of Philip's soliloquy

“Mrs. and Miss Stamford are out driving, sir,” said the servant who answered Philip's summons, “ but they'll be home very soon now. Please to step into the morning-room ;” and, leading the way across the hall, ushered Sutton into a very pretty bay-windowed room, bright with chintz, and flowers, and afternoon sunshine, where, in the window recess, a young lady sat writing. She bowed as he entered, repeated the servant's intelligence with regard to his mistress, and quietly went on with her letter, after having informed Philip that he would “ find the Times on that table”-that table being well covered besides with magazines and new books. Philip took the hint and an arm-chair, felt rather relieved that the young lady did not think it necessary to entertain him, and proceeded to read a leading article on Crimean affairs. (The fall of Sebastopol was then pending.)

Thus half an hour elapsed, and our hero had taken out his watch to see if Stamford and London time agreed, when the door opened, and “ How do you do, Mr. Sutton ?” a lady's voice exclaimed, and Mrs. Stamford entered. She was so glad to see him, and had the train kept time? and did he think the country pretty ? and how tired of town he must be after that horrid season! and “ Emily, my dear, do you know Mr. Sutton ?-Miss Hope”-and Philip bowed again, and the young lady did the same. And another half-hour slipped away, till Mrs. Stamford, in her turn, had recourse to her watch, and said it was positively six, and they dined at seven ; and so they all went away to dress.

Miss Stamford was sitting in the drawing-room when Philip came down again-seemed very glad to see him, he thought, and introduced him to her brother, whom he had never met. The brother and sister were very unlike. Though not beautiful, Helen Stamford was a very striking-looking girl, and, as Philip said, very " distinguished.” A tall, lithe figure; rather large, but well-shaped head, and very dark hair ; a pale complexion (ill-natured people called it sallow, but it was quite a clear pale); straight nose; and large, grey eyes, with black lashes curling backward from them-very true, honest eyes, that looked full at you, with a curious mixture of solemnity and inquiry in them.

Jack Stamford, as he was familiarly called, was unmistakably plain, and there was even something grotesque in his plainness. But it was a clever face and good-tempered withal, and you ended by forgetting that he had a face, though you were often forcibly reminded of it when he spoke. Poor Jack Stamford had a terrible stammer, and an unmanageable word caused him to make contortions in trying to force it out that were at first horrible to behold, and seriously alarmed Philip Sutton the first time Jack underwent an attack of talkativeness. The only consolation was that he never seemed to mind it at all himself, and, from not

being the least shy in speaking, he prevented his hearers feeling shy for him.

Any news in town from the Crimea ?” he asked, after the preliminaries had been exchanged—“later, at least, than yesterday's Times

gives?”

“None," answered Philip, in the off-hand way in which people got to talk of the war news the year after the Alma. “ The trench work still going on, and knocking over a great many of our fellows—Cranston, of the —th, by-the-by; did you know him ?—and they still expect the place to fall daily. Have you many friends out there, Miss Stamford ?”

“ Two or three cousins," Miss Stamford replied, as if she were not paying particular attention to the conversation. “My brother and I have just been settling a riding and driving party for to-morrow, Mr. Sutton. You have never seen Tintern Abbey, and you know we are within a few miles of it.”

“Not at all a patriotic young lady,” thought Philip Sutton. “She won't be flying off to the Scutari Hospital, at any rate!" And just as he was going to express his willingness to go anywhere and do anything, Mrs. Stamford rustled into the room in a Quaker-coloured silk gown that made her look like a middle-aged dove, and with a black lace scarf over her shoulders. The scarf was merely necessary as a concession to other ladies who were still on the right side of forty, for Mrs. Stamford's fair neck and arms were yet unwrinkled, and she was certainly a very well-preserved woman (as old Lady Bundledum always added, after talking of

women of Mrs. Stamford's and my time of life," her ladyship being very nearly old enough to be Mrs. Stamford's mother). Mrs. Stamford had been a blonde beauty, and but slight resemblance was to be traced between her and her daughter.

Miss Hope entered with her, and presently Mr. Stamford, whom Philip knew only slightly, appeared, and dinner was announced.

Our hero sat between Helen and her mother, and found his position by no means disagreeable, for the former was undoubtedly cleverer than most of the girls he was.in the habit of meeting; and Mrs. Stamford, though not clever, had acquired a certain talent of conversation, which, with an easy and graceful manner, concealed her lack of originality.

Miss Hope sat between Mr. Stamford and Jack, and seemed to act more the part of listener to the latter than to share in the conversation, which was, however, for the most part general. Mr. Stamford the elder, be it known, was a profound metaphysician, and often deviated from the path of ordinary conversation to follow the by-ways of his own lucubrations, which made the task of entertaining him comparatively easy. He rarely interfered with his family in any wise, except on important occasions, when he usually showed that he was by no means the cypher in the establishment that he might have been taken for.

“My dear boy,” said Mrs. Stamford, in the drawing-room after dinner, "did you write to ask Sir Harry Clayton down, as I asked you? and are you going to ride over to the Amhersts to-morrow?”

“ I wrote to Clayton, and he is to be here in time for the ball. But for your second question, mother, Helen wants to take Mr. Sutton to T-intern to-morrow, and I believe I'm to be of the party."

“Oh, certainly,” Mrs. Stamford resumed, giving a pleased look at her

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