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''I declare you will make me quite afraid of Mr. Mason."
"Oh, he never talks Greek—at least, he never has to me. I rather like him. But what I mean is this, that I do not think a man a bit more likely to be agreeable because he has the reputation of being very clever. For my part I rather think that I like stupid young men."
"Oh, do you? Then now I shall know what you think of Augustus. We think he is very clever; but I do not know any man who makes himself more popular with young ladies."
"Ah, then he is a gay deceiver."
"He is gay enough, but I am sure he is no deceiver. A man may make himself nice to young ladies without deceiving any of them; may he not?"
"You must not take mo 'au pied de la lettre,' Miss Staveley, or I shall be lost. Of course he may. But when young gentlemen are so very nice, young ladies are so apt to—"
"Not to fall in love with them exactly, but to be ready to be fallen in love with; and then if a man does do it he is a deceiver. I declare it seems to me that we don't allow them a chance of going right."
"I think that Augustus manages to steer through such difficulties very cleverly."
"He sails about in the open sea, touching at all the most lovely capes and promontories, and is never driven on shore by stress of weather! What a happy sailor he must be!"
"I think he is happy, and that he makes others so."
"He ought to be made an admiral at once. But we shall hear some day of his coming to a terrible shipwreck."
"Oh, I hope not!"
"He will return home in desperate plight, with only two planks left together, with all his glory and beauty broken and crumpled to pieces against some rock that he has despised in his pride."
"Why do you prophesy such terrible things for him?"
"I mean that he will get married."
"Get married! Of course he will. That's just what we all want. You don't call that a shipwreck; do you?"
"It's the sort of shipwreck that these very gallant barks have to encounter."
"You don't mean that he'll marry a disagreeable wife!"
"Oh no; not in the least. I only mean to say that, like other sons of Adam, he will have to strike his colors. I dare say, if the truth were known, he has done so already."
"I am sure he has not."
"I don't at all ask to know his secrets, and I Hhonld look upon you as a very bad sister if you told them."
"But I am sure he has not got any—of that kind."
"Would he tell you if he had?"
"Oh, I hope so; any serious secret. I am
sure he ought, for I am always thinking about him."
"And would you tell him your secrets?"
"But when you have, will vou do so?"
"Will I? Well, yes; I think so. But a girl has no such secret," she continued to say, after pausing for a moment. "None, generally, at least, which she tells, even to herself, till the time comes in which she tells it to all whom she really loves." And then there was another pause for a moment.
"I am not quite so sure of that," said Miss Furnival. After which the gentlemen came into the drawing-room.
Augustus Staveley had gone to work in a manner which he conceived to be quite systematic, having before him the praiseworthy object of making a match between Felix Graham and Sophia Furnival. "By George, Graham," he had said, "the fmest girl in London is coming down to Noningsby; upon my word I think she is."
"And brought there expressly for your delectation, I suppose."
"Oh no, not at all; indeed, she is not exactly in my style; she is too—too—too—in point of fact, too much of a girl for me. She has lots of money, and is very clever, and all that kind of thing."
"I never knew you so humble before."
"Iam not joking at all. She is a daughter of old Furnival's, whom, by-the-by, I hate as I do poison. Why my governor has him down at Noningsby I can't guess. But I tell you what, old fellow, he can give his daughter five-andtwenty thousand pounds. Think of that, Master Brook." But Felix Graham was a man who could not bring himself to think much of such things on the spur of the moment, and when he was introduced to Sophia, he did not seem to be taken with her in any wonderful way.
Augustus had asked his mother to help him, but she had laughed at him. "It would be a splendid arrangement," he had said, with energy. "Nonsense, Gus," she had answered. "You should always let those things take their chance. All I will ask of you is that you don't fall in love with her yourself; I don't think her family would be nice enough for you."
But FeKx Graham certainly was ungrateful for the friendship spent upon him, and so his friend felt it. Augustus had contrived to whisper into the lady's ear that Mr. Graham was the cleverest young man now rising at the bar, and as far as she was concerned, some amount of intimacy might at any rate have been produced; but he, Graham himself, would not put himself forward. "I will pique him into it," said Augustus to himself, and therefore, when on this occasion they came into the drawing-room, Staveley immediately took a vacant seat beside Miss Furnival, with the very friendly object which he had proposed to himself.
There was great danger in this, for Miss Furnival was certainly handsome, and Augustus Staveley was very susceptible. But what will not a man go through for his friend? "I hope we are to have the honor of your company as far as Monkton Grange the day we meet there," he said. The hounds were to meet at Monkton Grange, some seven miles from Noningsby, and all the sportsmen from the house were to be there.
"I shall be delighted," said Sophia; "that is to say if a seat in the carriage can be spared for me."
"But we'll mount you. I know that you are a horsewoman." In answer to which Miss Furnival confessed that she was a horsewoman, and owned also to having brought a habit and hat with her.
'' That will be delightful. Madeline will ride also, and you will meet the Miss Tristrams. They are the famous horsewomen of this part of the country."
"You don't mean that they go after the dogs across the hedges."
"Indeed they do."
"And does Miss Staveley do that?"
"Oh no; Madeline is not good at a fivebarred gate, and would make but a very bad hand at a double ditch. If you are inclined to remain among the tame people, she will be true to your side."
"I shall certainly be one of the tame people, Mr. Staveley."
"I rather think I shall be with you myself; I have only one horse that will jump well, and Graham will ride him. By-the-by, Miss Furnival, what do you think of my friend Graham?"
"Think of him! Am I bound to have thought any thing about him by this time?"
"Of course you are, or at any rate of course you have. I have no doubt that you have composed in your own mind an essay on the character of every body here. People who think at all always do."
"Do they? My essay upon him then is a very short one."
"But perhaps not the less correct on that account. You must allow me to read it."
"Like all my other essays of that kind, Mr. Staveley, it has been composed solely for my own use, and will be kept quite private."
"I am so sorry for that, for I intended to propose a bargain to you. If you would have shown me some of your essays, I would have been equally liberal with some of mine." And in this way, before the evening was over, Augustus Staveley and Miss Furnival became very good friends.
"Upon my word she is a very clever girl," he said afterward, as young Orme and Graham were sitting with him in an outside room which had been fitted up for smoking.
"And uncommonly handsome," said Peregrine.
"And they say she'll have lots of money," said Graham. "After all, Staveley, perhaps you could not do better."
"She's not my style at all," said he. "But of course a man is obliged to be civil to girls in his own house." And then they all went to bed.
ME. DOCKWEATU IN UIS OWN OFFICE. In the conversation which had taken place after dinner at Noningsby with regard to the Masons, Peregrine Orme took no part, but his silence had not arisen from any want of interest on the subject. He had been over to Hamworth that day on a very special mission regarding it, and as he was not inclined to speak of what he had then seen and done, he held his tongue altogether.
"I want you to do me a great favor," Lucius had said to him, when the two were together in the breakfast-parlor of Noningsby; "but I am afraid it will give you some trouble."
"I sha'n't mind that," said Peregrine, "if that's all."
"You have heard of this row about Joseph Mason and my mother? It has been so talked of that I fear you must have heard it."
"About the lawsuit? Oh yes. It has certainly been spoken of at The Cleeve."
"Of course it has. All the world is talking of it. Now there is a man named Dockwrath in Hamworth—;" and then he went on to explain how it had reached him from various quarters that Mr. Dockwrath was accusing his mother of the crime of forgery; how he had endeavored to persuade his mother to indict the man for libel; how his mother had pleaded to him with tears in her eyes that she found it impossible to go through such an ordeal; and how he, therefore, had resolved to go himself to Mr. Dockwrath. "But," said he, "I must have some one with me, some gentleman whom I can trust, and therefore I have ridden over to ask you to accompany me as far as Hamworth."
"I suppose he is not a man that you can kick," said Peregrine.
"I am afraid not," said Lucius; "he's over forty years old, and has dozens of children."
"And then he is such a low beast," said Peregrine.
"I have no idea of kicking him, but I think it would be wrong to allow him to go on saying these frightful things of my mother without showing him that we are not afraid of him." Upon this the two young men got on horseback, and, riding into Hamworth, put their horses up at the inn.
"And now I suppose we might as well go at once," said Peregrine, with a very serious face.
"Yes," said the other; "there's nothing to delay us. I can not tell you how much obliged I am to you for coming with me."
"Oh, don't say any thing about that; of course I'm only too happy." But all the same he felt that his heart was beating, and that he was a little nervous. Had he been called upon to go in and thrash somebody, he would have been quite at home; but he did not feel at his ease in making an inimical visit to an attorney's office.
It would have been wise, perhaps, if in this matter Lucius had submitted himself to Lady Mason's wishes. On the previous evening they had talked the matter over with much serious energy. Lucius had been told in the streets of Hamworth by an intermeddling little busybody of an apothecary that it behooved him to do something, as Mr. Dockwrath was making grievous accusations against his mother. Lucius had replied haughtily, that he and his mother would know how to protect themselves, and the apothecary had retreated, resolving to spread the report every where. Lucius on his return home had declared to the unfortunate lady that she had now no alternative left to her. She must bring an action against the man, or at any rate put the matter into the hands of a lawyer with a view of ascertaining whether she could do so with any chance of success. If she could not, she must then make known her reason for remaining quiet. In answer to this, Lady Mason had begun by praying her son to allow the matter to pass by.
"But it will not pass by," Lucius had said.
"Yes, dearest, if we leave it, it will—in a month or two. We can do nothing by interference. 'Remember the old saying, You can not touch pitch without being defiled."
But Lucins had replied, almost with anger, that the pitch had already touched him, and that he was defiled. "I can not consent to hold the property," he had said, "unless something be done." And then his mother had bowed her head as she sat, and had covered her face with her hands.
"I shall go to the man myself," Lucius had declared with energy.
"As your mother, Lucius, I implore you not to do so," she had said to him through her tears.
"I must either do that or leave the country. It is impossible that I should live here, hearing such things said of you, and doing nothing to clear your name." To this she had made no actual reply, and now he was standing at the attorney's door about to do that which he had threatened.
They found Mr. Dockwrath sitting at his desk, at the other side of which was seated his clerk. He had not yet promoted himself to the dignity of a private office, but generally used his parlor as such when he was desirous of seeing his clients without disturbance. On this occasion, however, when he saw young Mason enter, he made no offer to withdraw. His hat was on his head as he sat on his stool, and he did not even take it off as ho returned the stiff salutation of his visitor. ''Keepyour hat on your head, Mr. Orme," he said, as Peregrine was about to take his off. "Well, gentlemen, what can I do for you?"
Lucius looked at the clerk, and felt that there would be great difficulty in talking about his mother before such a witness. "We wish to see you in private, Mr. Dockwrath, for a few minutes—if it be convenient."
"Is not this private enough ?" said Dockwrath. "There is no one here but my confidential clerk."
"If you could make it convenient—" began Lucius.
Vol. XXIII.—No. 136.—K K
"Well, then, Mr. Mason, I can not make it convenient, and there is the long and the short of it. You have brought Mr. Orme with you to hear what you've got to say, and I choose that my clerk shall remain by to hear it also. Seeing the position in which you stand there is no knowing what may come of such an interview as this."
"In what position do I stand, Sir?"
"If you don't know, Mr. Mason, I am not going to tell you. I feel for you, I do upon my word. I feel for you, and I pity you." Mr. Dockwrath as he thus expressed his commiseration was sitting with his high chair tilted back, with his knees against the edge of his desk, with his hat almost down upon his nose as he looked at his visitors from under it, and he amused himself by cutting up a quill pen into small pieces with his penknife. It was not pleasant to be pitied by such a man as that, and so Peregrine Orme conceived.
"Sir, that is nonsense," said Lucius. "I require no pity from you or from any man."
"I don't suppose there is one in all Hamworth that does not feel for you," said Dockwrath.
"He means to be impudent," said Peregrine. "You had better come to the point with him at once."
"No, I don't mean to bo impudent, young gentleman. A man may speak his own mind in his own house I suppose without any impudence. You wouldn't stand cap in hand to me if I were to go down to you at The Cleove."
"I have come here to ask of you," said Lucins, '' whether it be true that you are spreading these reports about the town with reference to Lady Mason? If you are a man you will tell me the truth."
"Well, I rather think I am a man."
"It is necessary that Lady Mason should be protected from such infamous falsehoods, and it may be necessary to bring the matter into a court of law—"
"You may be quite easy about that, Mr. Mason. It will be necessary."
"As it may be necessary, I wish to know whether you will acknowledge that these reports have come from you?"
"You want me to give evidence against myself. Well, for once in a way I don't mind if I do. The reports have come from me. Now, is that manly?" And Mr. Dockwrath, as he spoke, pushed his hat somewhat off his nose, and looked steadily across into the face of his opponent.
Lucius Mason was too young for the task which he had undertaken, and allowed himself to be disconcerted. He had expected that the lawyer would deny the charge, and was prepared for what he would say and do in such a case; but now he was not prepared.
"How on earth could you bring yourself to be guilty of such villainy?" said young Orme.
"Highty-tighty 1 What are you talking about, young man? The fact is, you do not know what you are talking about. But as I have a respect for your grandfather, and for your mother, I will give you and them a piece of advice, gratis. Don't let them be too thick with Lady Mason till they see how this matter goes."
''Mr. Dockwrath," said Lucius, "you are a mean, low, vile scoundrel."
"Very well, Sir. Adams, just take a note of that. Don't mind what Mr. Orme said. I can easily excuse him. He'll know the truth before long, and then he'll beg my pardon."
"I'll take my oath I look upon you as the greatest miscreant that ever I met," said Peregrine, who was of course bound to support his friend.
"You'll change your mind, Mr. Orme, before long, and then you'll find that you have met a worse miscreant than I am. Did you put down those words, Adams?"
"Them as Mr. Mason spoke? Yes; I've got them down."
"Read them," said the master.
And the clerk read them, "Mr. Dockwrath, you are a mean, low, vile scoundrel."
"And now, young gentlemen, if you have got nothing else to observe, as I am rather busy, perhaps you will allow me to wish you goodmorning."
"Very well, Mr. Dockwrath," said Mason; "you may 'be sure that you will hear further from me."
"We shall be sure to hear of each other. There is no doubt in the world about that,'' said the attorney. And then the two young men withdrew with an unexpressed feeling in the mind of each of them, that they had not so completely got the better of their antagonist as the justice of their case demanded.
They then remounted their horses, and Orme accompanied his friend as far as Orley Farm, from whence he got into the Alston road through The Cleeve grounds. "And what do you intend to do now?" said Peregrine, as soon as they were mounted.
"I shall employ a lawyer," said he, "on my own footing; not my mother's lawyer, but some one else. Then I suppose I shall be guided by his advice." Had he done this before he made his visit to Mr. Dockwrath, perhaps it might have been better. All this sat very heavily on poor Peregrine's mind; and therefore, as the company were talking about Lady Mason after diuner, he remained silent, listening, but not joining in the conversation.
The whole of that evening Lucius and his mother sat together, saying nothing. There was not absolutely any quarrel between them, but on this terrible subject there was an utter want of accordance, and almost of sympathy. It was not that Lucius had ever for a moment suspected his mother of aught that was wrong. Had he done so he might perhaps have been more gentle toward her in his thoughts and words. He not only fully trusted her, but he was quite fixed in his confidence that nothing could shake either her or him in their rights. But under these circumstances he could not understand how she could consent to endure without resistance the indignities which were put
upon her. "She should combat them for my sake, if not for her own," he said to himself over and over again. And he had said so also to her, but his words had had no effect.
She, on the other hand, felt that he was cruel to her. She was weighed down almost to the ground by these sufferings which had fallen on her, and yet he would not be gentle and soft to her. She could have borne it all, she thought, if ho would have borne with her. She still hoped that if she remained quiet no further trial would take place. At any rate this might be so. That it would be so she had the assurance of Mr. Furnival. And yet all this evil which she dreaded worse than death was to be precipitated on her by her son! So they sat through the long evening speechless; each seated with the pretense of reading, but neither of them capable of the attention which a book requires.
He did not tell her then that he had been with Mr. Dockwrath, but she knew by his manner that he had taken some terrible step. She waited patiently the whole evening, hoping that he would tell her, but when the hour came for her to go up to her room he had told her nothing. If he now were to turn against her, that would be worse than all! She went up to her room and sat herself down to think. All that passed through her brain on that night I may not now tell; but the grief which pressed on her at this moment with peculiar weight was the self-will and obstinacy of her boy. She said to herself that she would be willing now to die—to give back her life at once, if such might be God's pleasure; but that her son should bring down her hairs with shame and sorrow to the grave—! In that thought there was a bitterness of agony which she knew not how to endure!
The next morning at breakfast he still remained silent, and his brow was still black. "Lucius," she said, "did you do any thing in that matter yesterday?"
"Yes, mother; I saw Mr. Dockwrath."
"I took Peregrine Orme with me that I might have a witness, and I then asked him whether he had spread these reports. He acknowledged that he had done so, and I told him that he was a villain."
Upon hearing this she uttered a long, low sigh, but she said nothing. What use could there now be in her saying aught? Her look of agony went to the young man's heart, but he still thought he had been right. "Mother," he continued to say, "I nm very sorry to grieve you in this way—very sorry; but I could not hold up my head in Hamworth—I could not hold up my head any where, if I heard these things said of you and did not resent it."
"Ah, Lucius, if you knew the weakness of a woman!"
"And therefore you should let me bear it all. There is nothing I would not suffer; no cost I would not undergo rather than you should endure all this. If you would only say that you would leave it to me!"
"But it can not be left to you. I have gone to a lawyer, to Mr. Furnival. Why will you not permit that I should act in it as he thinks best? Can you not believe that that will be the best for both of us?"
"If you wish it, I will see Mr. Furnival?"
Lady Mason did not wish that, but she was obliged so far to yield as to say that he might do so if he would. Her wish was that he should bear it all and say nothing. It was not that she was indifferent to good repute among her neighbors, or that she was careless as to what the apothecaries and attorneys said of her; but it was easier for her to bear the evil than to combat it. The Ormes and the Furnivals would support her. They and such-like persons would acknowledge her weakness, and would know that from her would not be expected such loud outbursting indignation as might be expected from a man. She had caleulated the strength of her own weakness, and thought that she might still be supported by that—if only her son would so permit.
It was two days after this that Lucins was allowed the honor of a conference by appointment with the great lawyer; and at the expiration of of an hour's delay he was shown into the room by Mr. Crabwitz. "And, Crabwitz," said the barrister, before he addressed himself to his young friend, "just run your eye over those papers, and let Mr. Bideawhile have them to-morrow morning; and, Crabwitz—"
''That opinion of Sir Richard's in the Ahatualpaca Mining Company—I have not seen it, have 11"
"It's all ready, Mr. Furnival."
"I will look at it in five minutes. And now, my young friend, what can I do for you?"
It was quite clear from Mr. Furnival's tone and manuer that he did not mean to devote much time to Lucius Mason, and that he was not generally anxious to hold any conversation with him on the subject in question. Such, indeed, was the case. Mr. Furnival was determined to pull Lady Mason out of the sea of trouble into which she had fallen, let the effort cost him what it might, but he did not wish to do so by the instrumentality, or even with the aid, of her son.
"Mr. Furnival," began Mason, "I want to ask your advice about these dreadful reports which are being spread on every side in Hamworth about my mother."
"If you will allow me then to say so, I think that the course which you should pursue is very simple. Indeed there is, I think, only one course which you can pursue with proper deference to your mother's feelings."
"And what is that, Mr. Furnival?"
"Do nothing, and say nothing. I fear from what I have heard that you have already done and said much more than was prudent."
"But how am I to hear such things as these spoken of my own mother?"
"That depends on tho people by whom the
things are spoken. In this world, if we meet a chimney-sweep in the path we do not hustle with him for the right of way. Your mother is going next week to The Cleeve. It was only yesterday that I heard that the Noningsby people are going to call on her. You can hardly, I suppose, desire for your mother better friends than such as these. And can you not understand why such people gather to her at this moment? If you can understand it, you will not trouble yourself to interfere much more with Mr. Dockwrath."
There was a rebuke in this which Lucins Mason was forced to endure; but nevertheless, as he retreated disconcerted from the barrister's chambers, he could not bring himself to think it right that such calumny should be borne without resistance. He knew but little, as yet, of the ordinary life of gentlemen in England; but he did know—so at least he thought—that it was the duty of a son to shield his mother from insult and libel.
WHAT is the fascination of water? And what the fascination of motion? And what the duplex joy of motion upon water? They seem—at least the first two—ultimate pleasurable sensations, as little analyzable as the pleasures of taste or smell or sight. As to many another question, so must we reply to these: we are so made that we enjoy them.
The most beautiful locomotions are two: of a swift boat over the sea, and of a swift horse over the land. They are indeed identical, both lines of progress being free, flowing, easy curves, horizontal in general direction, and of periodic flexure. And the sources of the derived enjoyment are identical. They are:
1. The passive reception of subtle delicate delight from the lithe sinuous freedom of the movement. ,
2. The proud consciousness of mastery, so sweet to men; the towering and predominating pleasure of control, felt in the strong, determinate wielding by the rider of the vast strength of the beast; in the sly, indirect domination of the sailor over the measureless forces of the elemental kings, the powers of the air and of the sea.
3. The emotion, unsubstantial and almost fantastic, stiller and more solemn, remoter and profounder in essence, imparting a loftier and grander exultation, which comes from the autocracy of the situation; the pride of knowing that although death, as beside Sintram, rides close beside you to snatch your life at the least default, nevertheless yon can and do momently guard your life, and that by conscious skill and strength.
The water, however, chiefly tho sea, has always been to me pre-eminently a delight—a charmed realm. Nor have I ever enjoyed days of more unmixed pleasure than those during which, alone, with tiller in one hand and main