Tantissimi classici della letteratura e della cultura politica,
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Abbe Prevost - MANON LESCAUT
Alcott, Louisa M. - AN OLDFASHIONED GIRL
Alcott, Louisa M. - LITTLE MEN
Alcott, Louisa M. - LITTLE WOMEN
Alcott, Louisa May - JACK AND JILL
Alcott, Louisa May - LIFE LETTERS AND JOURNALS
Andersen, Hans Christian - FAIRY TALES
Anonimo - BEOWULF
Ariosto, Ludovico - ORLANDO ENRAGED
Aurelius, Marcus - MEDITATIONS
Austen, Jane - EMMA
Austen, Jane - MANSFIELD PARK
Austen, Jane - NORTHANGER ABBEY
Austen, Jane - PERSUASION
Austen, Jane - PRIDE AND PREJUDICE
Austen, Jane - SENSE AND SENSIBILITY
Authors, Various - LETTERS OF ABELARD AND HELOISE
Authors, Various - SELECTED ENGLISH LETTERS
Autori Vari - THE WORLD ENGLISH BIBLE
Bacon, Francis - THE ADVANCEMENT OF LEARNING
Balzac, Honore de - EUGENIE GRANDET
Balzac, Honore de - FATHER GORIOT
Baroness Orczy - THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL
Barrie, J. M. - PETER AND WENDY
Barrie, James M. - PETER PAN
Bierce, Ambrose - THE DEVIL'S DICTIONARY
Blake, William - SONGS OF INNOCENCE AND EXPERIENCE
Boccaccio, Giovanni - DECAMERONE
Brent, Linda - INCIDENTS IN THE LIFE OF A SLAVE GIRL
Bronte, Charlotte - JANE EYRE
Bronte, Charlotte - VILLETTE
Buchan, John - GREENMANTLE
Buchan, John - MR STANDFAST
Buchan, John - THE 39 STEPS
Bunyan, John - THE PILGRIM'S PROGRESS
Burckhardt, Jacob - THE CIVILIZATION OF THE RENAISSANCE IN ITALY
Burnett, Frances H. - A LITTLE PRINCESS
Burnett, Frances H. - LITTLE LORD FAUNTLEROY
Burnett, Frances H. - THE SECRET GARDEN
Butler, Samuel - EREWHON
Carlyle, Thomas - PAST AND PRESENT
Carlyle, Thomas - THE FRENCH REVOLUTION
Cellini, Benvenuto - AUTOBIOGRAPHY
Cervantes - DON QUIXOTE
Chaucer, Geoffrey - THE CANTERBURY TALES
Chesterton, G. K. - A SHORT HISTORY OF ENGLAND
Chesterton, G. K. - THE BALLAD OF THE WHITE HORSE
Chesterton, G. K. - THE INNOCENCE OF FATHER BROWN
Chesterton, G. K. - THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH
Chesterton, G. K. - THE MAN WHO WAS THURSDAY
Chesterton, G. K. - THE WISDOM OF FATHER BROWN
Chesterton, G. K. - TWELVE TYPES
Chesterton, G. K. - WHAT I SAW IN AMERICA
Chesterton, Gilbert K. - HERETICS
Chopin, Kate - AT FAULT
Chopin, Kate - BAYOU FOLK
Chopin, Kate - THE AWAKENING AND SELECTED SHORT STORIES
Clark Hall, John R. - A CONCISE ANGLOSAXON DICTIONARY
Clarkson, Thomas - AN ESSAY ON THE SLAVERY AND COMMERCE OF THE HUMAN SPECIES
Clausewitz, Carl von - ON WAR
Coleridge, Herbert - A DICTIONARY OF THE FIRST OR OLDEST WORDS IN THE ENGLISH
Coleridge, S. T. - COMPLETE POETICAL WORKS
Coleridge, S. T. - HINTS TOWARDS THE FORMATION OF A MORE COMPREHENSIVE THEORY
Coleridge, S. T. - THE RIME OF THE ANCIENT MARINER
Collins, Wilkie - THE MOONSTONE
Collodi - PINOCCHIO
Conan Doyle, Arthur - A STUDY IN SCARLET
Conan Doyle, Arthur - MEMOIRS OF SHERLOCK HOLMES
Conan Doyle, Arthur - THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES
Conan Doyle, Arthur - THE RETURN OF SHERLOCK HOLMES
Conan Doyle, Arthur - THE SIGN OF THE FOUR
Conrad, Joseph - HEART OF DARKNESS
Conrad, Joseph - LORD JIM
Conrad, Joseph - NOSTROMO
Conrad, Joseph - THE NIGGER OF THE NARCISSUS
Conrad, Joseph - TYPHOON
Crane, Stephen - LAST WORDS
Crane, Stephen - MAGGIE
Crane, Stephen - THE RED BADGE OF COURAGE
Crane, Stephen - WOUNDS IN THE RAIN
Dante - THE DIVINE COMEDY: HELL
Dante - THE DIVINE COMEDY: PARADISE
Dante - THE DIVINE COMEDY: PURGATORY
Darwin, Charles - THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF CHARLES DARWIN
Darwin, Charles - THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES
Defoe, Daniel - A GENERAL HISTORY OF THE PYRATES
Defoe, Daniel - A JOURNAL OF THE PLAGUE YEAR
Defoe, Daniel - CAPTAIN SINGLETON
Defoe, Daniel - MOLL FLANDERS
Defoe, Daniel - ROBINSON CRUSOE
Defoe, Daniel - THE COMPLETE ENGLISH TRADESMAN
Defoe, Daniel - THE FURTHER ADVENTURES OF ROBINSON CRUSOE
Deledda, Grazia - AFTER THE DIVORCE
Dickens, Charles - A CHRISTMAS CAROL
Dickens, Charles - A TALE OF TWO CITIES
Dickens, Charles - BLEAK HOUSE
Dickens, Charles - DAVID COPPERFIELD
Dickens, Charles - DONBEY AND SON
Dickens, Charles - GREAT EXPECTATIONS
Dickens, Charles - HARD TIMES
Dickens, Charles - LETTERS VOLUME 1
Dickens, Charles - LITTLE DORRIT
Dickens, Charles - MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT
Dickens, Charles - NICHOLAS NICKLEBY
Dickens, Charles - OLIVER TWIST
Dickens, Charles - OUR MUTUAL FRIEND
Dickens, Charles - PICTURES FROM ITALY
Dickens, Charles - THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD
Dickens, Charles - THE OLD CURIOSITY SHOP
Dickens, Charles - THE PICKWICK PAPERS
Dickinson, Emily - POEMS
Dostoevsky, Fyodor - CRIME AND PUNISHMENT
Dostoyevsky, Fyodor - THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV
Du Maurier, George - TRILBY
Dumas, Alexandre - THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO
Dumas, Alexandre - THE MAN IN THE IRON MASK
Dumas, Alexandre - THE THREE MUSKETEERS
Eliot, George - DANIEL DERONDA
Eliot, George - MIDDLEMARCH
Eliot, George - SILAS MARNER
Eliot, George - THE MILL ON THE FLOSS
Engels, Frederick - THE CONDITION OF THE WORKING-CLASS IN ENGLAND IN 1844
Equiano - AUTOBIOGRAPHY
Esopo - FABLES
Fenimore Cooper, James - THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS
Fielding, Henry - TOM JONES
France, Anatole - THAIS
France, Anatole - THE GODS ARE ATHIRST
France, Anatole - THE LIFE OF JOAN OF ARC
France, Anatole - THE SEVEN WIVES OF BLUEBEARD
Frank Baum, L. - THE PATCHWORK GIRL OF OZ
Frank Baum, L. - THE WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ
Franklin, Benjamin - AUTOBIOGRAPHY
Frazer, James George - THE GOLDEN BOUGH
Freud, Sigmund - DREAM PSYCHOLOGY
Galsworthy, John - COMPLETE PLAYS
Galsworthy, John - STRIFE
Galsworthy, John - STUDIES AND ESSAYS
Galsworthy, John - THE FIRST AND THE LAST
Galsworthy, John - THE FORSYTE SAGA
Galsworthy, John - THE LITTLE MAN
Galsworthy, John - THE SILVER BOX
Galsworthy, John - THE SKIN GAME
Gaskell, Elizabeth - CRANFORD
Gaskell, Elizabeth - MARY BARTON
Gaskell, Elizabeth - NORTH AND SOUTH
Gaskell, Elizabeth - THE LIFE OF CHARLOTTE BRONTE
Gay, John - THE BEGGAR'S OPERA
Gentile, Maria - THE ITALIAN COOK BOOK
Gilbert and Sullivan - PLAYS
Goethe - FAUST
Gogol - DEAD SOULS
Goldsmith, Oliver - SHE STOOPS TO CONQUER
Goldsmith, Oliver - THE VICAR OF WAKEFIELD
Grahame, Kenneth - THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS
Grimm, Brothers - FAIRY TALES
Harding, A. R. - GINSENG AND OTHER MEDICINAL PLANTS
Hardy, Thomas - A CHANGED MAN AND OTHER TALES
Hardy, Thomas - FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD
Hardy, Thomas - JUDE THE OBSCURE
Hardy, Thomas - TESS OF THE D'URBERVILLES
Hardy, Thomas - THE MAYOR OF CASTERBRIDGE
Hartley, Cecil B. - THE GENTLEMEN'S BOOK OF ETIQUETTE
Hawthorne, Nathaniel - LITTLE MASTERPIECES
Hawthorne, Nathaniel - THE SCARLET LETTER
Henry VIII - LOVE LETTERS TO ANNE BOLEYN
Henry, O. - CABBAGES AND KINGS
Henry, O. - SIXES AND SEVENS
Henry, O. - THE FOUR MILLION
Henry, O. - THE TRIMMED LAMP
Henry, O. - WHIRLIGIGS
Hindman Miller, Gustavus - TEN THOUSAND DREAMS INTERPRETED
Hobbes, Thomas - LEVIATHAN
Homer - THE ILIAD
Homer - THE ODYSSEY
Hornaday, William T. - THE EXTERMINATION OF THE AMERICAN BISON
Hume, David - A TREATISE OF HUMAN NATURE
Hume, David - AN ENQUIRY CONCERNING HUMAN UNDERSTANDING
Hume, David - DIALOGUES CONCERNING NATURAL RELIGION
Ibsen, Henrik - A DOLL'S HOUSE
Ibsen, Henrik - AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE
Ibsen, Henrik - GHOSTS
Ibsen, Henrik - HEDDA GABLER
Ibsen, Henrik - JOHN GABRIEL BORKMAN
Ibsen, Henrik - ROSMERHOLM
Ibsen, Henrik - THE LADY FROM THE SEA
Ibsen, Henrik - THE MASTER BUILDER
Ibsen, Henrik - WHEN WE DEAD AWAKEN
Irving, Washington - THE LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW
James, Henry - ITALIAN HOURS
James, Henry - THE ASPERN PAPERS
James, Henry - THE BOSTONIANS
James, Henry - THE PORTRAIT OF A LADY
James, Henry - THE TURN OF THE SCREW
James, Henry - WASHINGTON SQUARE
Jerome, Jerome K. - THREE MEN IN A BOAT
Jerome, Jerome K. - THREE MEN ON THE BUMMEL
Jevons, Stanley - POLITICAL ECONOMY
Johnson, Samuel - A GRAMMAR OF THE ENGLISH TONGUE
Jonson, Ben - THE ALCHEMIST
Jonson, Ben - VOLPONE
Joyce, James - A PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A YOUNG MAN
Joyce, James - CHAMBER MUSIC
Joyce, James - DUBLINERS
Joyce, James - ULYSSES
Keats, John - ENDYMION
Keats, John - POEMS PUBLISHED IN 1817
Keats, John - POEMS PUBLISHED IN 1820
King James - THE BIBLE
Kipling, Rudyard - CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS
Kipling, Rudyard - INDIAN TALES
Kipling, Rudyard - JUST SO STORIES
Kipling, Rudyard - KIM
Kipling, Rudyard - THE JUNGLE BOOK
Kipling, Rudyard - THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING
Kipling, Rudyard - THE SECOND JUNGLE BOOK
Lawrence, D. H - THE RAINBOW
Lawrence, D. H - THE WHITE PEACOCK
Lawrence, D. H - TWILIGHT IN ITALY
Lawrence, D. H. - AARON'S ROD
Lawrence, D. H. - SONS AND LOVERS
Lawrence, D. H. - THE LOST GIRL
Lawrence, D. H. - WOMEN IN LOVE
Lear, Edward - BOOK OF NONSENSE
Lear, Edward - LAUGHABLE LYRICS
Lear, Edward - MORE NONSENSE
Lear, Edward - NONSENSE SONG
Leblanc, Maurice - ARSENE LUPIN VS SHERLOCK HOLMES
Leblanc, Maurice - THE ADVENTURES OF ARSENE LUPIN
Leblanc, Maurice - THE CONFESSIONS OF ARSENE LUPIN
Leblanc, Maurice - THE HOLLOW NEEDLE
Leblanc, Maurice - THE RETURN OF ARSENE LUPIN
Lehmann, Lilli - HOW TO SING
Leroux, Gaston - THE MAN WITH THE BLACK FEATHER
Leroux, Gaston - THE MYSTERY OF THE YELLOW ROOM
Leroux, Gaston - THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA
London, Jack - MARTIN EDEN
London, Jack - THE CALL OF THE WILD
London, Jack - WHITE FANG
Machiavelli, Nicolo' - THE PRINCE
Malthus, Thomas - PRINCIPLE OF POPULATION
Mansfield, Katherine - THE GARDEN PARTY AND OTHER STORIES
Marlowe, Christopher - THE JEW OF MALTA
Marryat, Captain - THE CHILDREN OF THE NEW FOREST
Maupassant, Guy De - BEL AMI
Melville, Hermann - MOBY DICK
Melville, Hermann - TYPEE
Mill, John Stuart - PRINCIPLES OF POLITICAL ECONOMY
Milton, John - PARADISE LOST
Mitra, S. M. - HINDU TALES FROM THE SANSKRIT
Montaigne, Michel de - ESSAYS
Montgomery, Lucy Maud - ANNE OF GREEN GABLES
More, Thomas - UTOPIA
Nesbit, E. - FIVE CHILDREN AND IT
Nesbit, E. - THE PHOENIX AND THE CARPET
Nesbit, E. - THE RAILWAY CHILDREN
Nesbit, E. - THE STORY OF THE AMULET
Newton, Isaac - OPTICKS
Nietsche, Friedrich - BEYOND GOOD AND EVIL
Nietsche, Friedrich - THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
Nightingale, Florence - NOTES ON NURSING
Owen, Wilfred - POEMS
Ozaki, Yei Theodora - JAPANESE FAIRY TALES
Pascal, Blaise - PENSEES
Pellico, Silvio - MY TEN YEARS IMPRISONMENT
Perrault, Charles - FAIRY TALES
Pirandello, Luigi - THREE PLAYS
Plato - THE REPUBLIC
Poe, Edgar Allan - THE COMPLETE POETICAL WORKS 1
Poe, Edgar Allan - THE COMPLETE POETICAL WORKS 2
Poe, Edgar Allan - THE COMPLETE POETICAL WORKS 3
Poe, Edgar Allan - THE COMPLETE POETICAL WORKS 4
Poe, Edgar Allan - THE COMPLETE POETICAL WORKS 5
Poe, Edgar Allan - THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER
Potter, Beatrix - THE TALE OF PETER RABBIT
Proust, Marcel - SWANN'S WAY
Radcliffe, Ann - A SICILIAN ROMANCE
Ricardo, David - ON THE PRINCIPLES OF POLITICAL ECONOMY AND TAXATION
Richardson, Samuel - PAMELA
Rider Haggard, H. - ALLAN QUATERMAIN
Rider Haggard, H. - KING SOLOMON'S MINES
Rousseau, J. J. - THE ORIGIN AND FOUNDATION OF INEQUALITY AMONG MANKIND
Ruskin, John - THE SEVEN LAMPS OF ARCHITECTURE
Schiller, Friedrich - THE DEATH OF WALLENSTEIN
Schiller, Friedrich - THE PICCOLOMINI
Schopenhauer, Arthur - THE ART OF CONTROVERSY
Schopenhauer, Arthur - THE WISDOM OF LIFE
Scott Fitzgerald, F. - FLAPPERS AND PHILOSOPHERS
Scott Fitzgerald, F. - TALES OF THE JAZZ AGE
Scott Fitzgerald, F. - THE BEAUTIFUL AND DAMNED
Scott Fitzgerald, F. - THIS SIDE OF PARADISE
Scott, Walter - IVANHOE
Scott, Walter - QUENTIN DURWARD
Scott, Walter - ROB ROY
Scott, Walter - THE BRIDE OF LAMMERMOOR
Scott, Walter - WAVERLEY
Sedgwick, Anne Douglas - THE THIRD WINDOW
Sewell, Anna - BLACK BEAUTY
Shakespeare, William - COMPLETE WORKS
Shakespeare, William - HAMLET
Shakespeare, William - OTHELLO
Shakespeare, William - ROMEO AND JULIET
Shelley, Mary - FRANKENSTEIN
Shelley, Percy Bysshe - A DEFENCE OF POETRY AND OTHER ESSAYS
Shelley, Percy Bysshe - COMPLETE POETICAL WORKS
Sheridan, Richard B. - THE SCHOOL FOR SCANDAL
Sienkiewicz, Henryk - QUO VADIS
Smith, Adam - THE WEALTH OF NATIONS
Smollett, Tobias - TRAVELS THROUGH FRANCE AND ITALY
Spencer, Herbert - ESSAYS ON EDUCATION AND KINDRED SUBJECTS
Spyri, Johanna - HEIDI
Sterne, Laurence - A SENTIMENTAL JOURNEY
Sterne, Laurence - TRISTRAM SHANDY
Stevenson, Robert Louis - A CHILD'S GARDEN OF VERSES
Stevenson, Robert Louis - ESSAYS IN THE ART OF WRITING
Stevenson, Robert Louis - KIDNAPPED
Stevenson, Robert Louis - NEW ARABIAN NIGHTS
Stevenson, Robert Louis - THE BLACK ARROW
Stevenson, Robert Louis - THE STRANGE CASE OF DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE
Stevenson, Robert Louis - TREASURE ISLAND
Stoker, Bram - DRACULA
Strindberg, August - LUCKY PEHR
Strindberg, August - MASTER OLOF
Strindberg, August - THE RED ROOM
Strindberg, August - THE ROAD TO DAMASCUS
Strindberg, August - THERE ARE CRIMES AND CRIMES
Swift, Jonathan - A MODEST PROPOSAL
Swift, Jonathan - A TALE OF A TUB
Swift, Jonathan - GULLIVER'S TRAVELS
Swift, Jonathan - THE BATTLE OF THE BOOKS AND OTHER SHORT PIECES
Tagore, Rabindranath - FRUIT GATHERING
Tagore, Rabindranath - THE GARDENER
Tagore, Rabindranath - THE HUNGRY STONES AND OTHER STORIES
Thackeray, William - BARRY LYNDON
Thackeray, William - VANITY FAIR
Thackeray, William Makepeace - THE BOOK OF SNOBS
Thackeray, William Makepeace - THE ROSE AND THE RING
Thackeray, William Makepeace - THE VIRGINIANS
Thoreau, Henry David - WALDEN
Tolstoi, Leo - A LETTER TO A HINDU
Tolstoy, Lev - ANNA KARENINA
Tolstoy, Lev - WAR AND PEACE
Trollope, Anthony - AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY
Trollope, Anthony - BARCHESTER TOWERS
Trollope, Anthony - FRAMLEY PARSONAGE
Trollope, Anthony - THE EUSTACE DIAMONDS
Trollope, Anthony - THE MAN WHO KEPT HIS MONEY IN A BOX
Trollope, Anthony - THE WARDEN
Trollope, Anthony - THE WAY WE LIVE NOW
Twain, Mark - LIFE ON THE MISSISSIPPI
Twain, Mark - SPEECHES
Twain, Mark - THE ADVENTURES OF HUCKLEBERRY FINN
Twain, Mark - THE ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER
Twain, Mark - THE PRINCE AND THE PAUPER
Vari, Autori - THE MAGNA CARTA
Verga, Giovanni - SICILIAN STORIES
Verne, Jules - 20000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEAS
Verne, Jules - A JOURNEY TO THE CENTRE OF THE EARTH
Verne, Jules - ALL AROUND THE MOON
Verne, Jules - AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS
Verne, Jules - FIVE WEEKS IN A BALLOON
Verne, Jules - FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON
Verne, Jules - MICHAEL STROGOFF
Verne, Jules - THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND
Voltaire - PHILOSOPHICAL DICTIONARY
Vyasa - MAHABHARATA
Wallace, Edgar - SANDERS OF THE RIVER
Wallace, Edgar - THE DAFFODIL MYSTERY
Wallace, Lew - BEN HUR
Webster, Jean - DADDY LONG LEGS
Wedekind, Franz - THE AWAKENING OF SPRING
Wells, H. G. - KIPPS
Wells, H. G. - THE INVISIBLE MAN
Wells, H. G. - THE ISLAND OF DOCTOR MOREAU
Wells, H. G. - THE STOLEN BACILLUS AND OTHER INCIDENTS
Wells, H. G. - THE TIME MACHINE
Wells, H. G. - THE WAR OF THE WORLDS
Wells, H. G. - WHAT IS COMING
Wharton, Edith - THE AGE OF INNOCENCE
White, Andrew Dickson - FIAT MONEY INFLATION IN FRANCE
Wilde, Oscar - A WOMAN OF NO IMPORTANCE
Wilde, Oscar - AN IDEAL HUSBAND
Wilde, Oscar - DE PROFUNDIS
Wilde, Oscar - LADY WINDERMERE'S FAN
Wilde, Oscar - SALOME
Wilde, Oscar - SELECTED POEMS
Wilde, Oscar - THE BALLAD OF READING GAOL
Wilde, Oscar - THE CANTERVILLE GHOST
Wilde, Oscar - THE HAPPY PRINCE AND OTHER TALES
Wilde, Oscar - THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST
Wilde, Oscar - THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GREY
Wilde, Oscar - THE SOUL OF MAN
Wilson, Epiphanius - SACRED BOOKS OF THE EAST
Wollstonecraft, Mary - A VINDICATION OF THE RIGHTS OF WOMAN
Woolf, Virgina - NIGHT AND DAY
Woolf, Virgina - THE VOYAGE OUT
Woolf, Virginia - JACOB'S ROOM
Woolf, Virginia - MONDAY OR TUESDAY
Wordsworth, William - POEMS
Wordsworth, William - PROSE WORKS
Zola, Emile - THERESE RAQUIN
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ISTRUZIONI D'USO DETTAGLIATE
THE EUSTACE DIAMONDS
By ANTHONY TROLLOPE
First published in serial form in the "Fortnightly Review" from July,
1871, to February, 1873, and in book form in 1872
I. Lizzie Greystock
II. Lady Eustace
III. Lucy Morris
IV. Frank Greystock
V. The Eustace Necklace
VI. Lady Linlithgow's Mission
VII. Mr. Burke's Speeches
VIII. The Conquering Hero Comes
IX. Showing What the Miss Fawns Said, and What Mrs. Hittaway
X. Lizzie and Her Lover
XI. Lord Fawn at His Office
XII. "I Only Thought of It"
XIII. Showing What Frank Greystock Did
XIV. "Doan't Thou Marry for Munny"
XV. "I'll Give You a Hundred Guinea Brooch"
XVI. Certainly an Heirloom
XVII. The Diamonds Are Seen in Public
XVIII. "And I Have Nothing to Give"
XIX. "As My Brother"
XX. The Diamonds Become Troublesome
XXI. "Ianthe's Soul"
XXII. Lady Eustace Procures a Pony for the Use of Her Cousin
XXIII. Frank Greystock's First Visit to Portray
XXIV. Showing What Frank Greystock Thought About Marriage
XXV. Mr. Dove's Opinion
XXVI. Mr. Gowran Is Very Funny
XXVII. Lucy Morris Misbehaves
XXVIII. Mr. Dove in His Chambers
XXIX. "I Had Better Go Away"
XXX. Mr. Greystock's Troubles
XXXI. Frank Greystock's Second Visit to Portray
XXXII. Mr. and Mrs. Hittaway in Scotland
XXXIII. "It Won't Be True"
XXXIV. Lady Linlithgow at Home
XXXV. Too Bad for Sympathy
XXXVI. Lizzie's Guests
XXXVII. Lizzie's First Day
XXXVIII. Nappie's Grey Horse
XXXIX. Sir Griffin Takes an Unfair Advantage
XL. "You Are Not Angry?"
XLI. "Likewise the Bears in Couples Agree"
XLII. Sunday Morning
XLIII. Life at Portray
XLIV. A Midnight Adventure
XLV. The Journey to London
XLVI. Lucy Morris in Brook Street
XLVII. Matching Priory
XLVIII. Lizzie's Condition
XLIX. Bunfit and Gager
L. In Hertford Street
LII. Mrs. Carbuncle Goes to the Theatre
LIII. Lizzie's Sick-Room
LIV. "I Suppose I May Say a Word"
LV. Quints or Semitenths
LVI. Job's Comforters
LVII. Humpty Dumpty
LVIII. "The Fiddle with One String"
LIX. Mr. Gowran Up in London
LX. "Let It Be As Though It Had Never Been"
LXI. Lizzie's Great Friend
LXII. "You Know Where My Heart Is"
LXIII. The Corsair Is Afraid
LXIV. Lizzie's Last Scheme
LXVI. The Aspirations of Mr. Emilius
LXVII. The Eye of the Public
LXVIII. The Major
LXIX. "I Cannot Do It"
LXXI. Lizzie Is Threatened with the Treadmill
LXXII. Lizzie Triumphs
LXXIII. Lizzie's Last Lover
LXXIV. Lizzie at the Police-Court
LXXV. Lord George Gives His Reasons
LXXVI. Lizzie Returns to Scotland
LXXVII. The Story of Lucy Morris Is Concluded
LXXVIII. The Trial
LXXIX. Once More at Portray
LXXX. What Was Said About It All at Matching
It was admitted by all her friends, and also by her enemies,--who
were in truth the more numerous and active body of the two,--that
Lizzie Greystock had done very well with herself. We will tell the
story of Lizzie Greystock from the beginning, but we will not dwell
over it at great length, as we might do if we loved her. She was the
only child of old Admiral Greystock, who in the latter years of his
life was much perplexed by the possession of a daughter. The admiral
was a man who liked whist, wine,--and wickedness in general we may
perhaps say, and whose ambition it was to live every day of his life
up to the end of it. People say that he succeeded, and that the
whist, wine, and wickedness were there, at the side even of his dying
bed. He had no particular fortune, and yet his daughter, when she was
little more than a child, went about everywhere with jewels on her
fingers, and red gems hanging round her neck, and yellow gems pendent
from her ears, and white gems shining in her black hair. She was
hardly nineteen when her father died and she was taken home by that
dreadful old termagant, her aunt, Lady Linlithgow. Lizzie would have
sooner gone to any other friend or relative, had there been any other
friend or relative to take her possessed of a house in town. Her
uncle, Dean Greystock, of Bobsborough, would have had her, and a more
good-natured old soul than the dean's wife did not exist,--and there
were three pleasant, good-tempered girls in the deanery, who had
made various little efforts at friendship with their cousin Lizzie;
but Lizzie had higher ideas for herself than life in the deanery at
Bobsborough. She hated Lady Linlithgow. During her father's lifetime,
when she hoped to be able to settle herself before his death, she was
not in the habit of concealing her hatred for Lady Linlithgow. Lady
Linlithgow was not indeed amiable or easily managed. But when the
admiral died, Lizzie did not hesitate for a moment in going to the
old "vulturess," as she was in the habit of calling the countess in
her occasional correspondence with the girls at Bobsborough.
The admiral died greatly in debt;--so much so that it was a marvel
how tradesmen had trusted him. There was literally nothing left
for anybody,--and Messrs. Harter and Benjamin of Old Bond Street
condescended to call at Lady Linlithgow's house in Brook Street, and
to beg that the jewels supplied during the last twelve months might
be returned. Lizzie protested that there were no jewels,--nothing
to signify, nothing worth restoring. Lady Linlithgow had seen the
diamonds, and demanded an explanation. They had been "parted with,"
by the admiral's orders,--so said Lizzie,--for the payment of other
debts. Of this Lady Linlithgow did not believe a word, but she could
not get at any exact truth. At that moment the jewels were in very
truth pawned for money which had been necessary for Lizzie's needs.
Certain things must be paid for,--one's own maid for instance; and
one must have some money in one's pocket for railway-trains and
little knick-knacks which cannot be had on credit. Lizzie when she
was nineteen knew how to do without money as well as most girls; but
there were calls which she could not withstand, debts which even she
She did not, however, drop her acquaintance with Messrs. Harter and
Benjamin. Before her father had been dead eight months, she was
closeted with Mr. Benjamin, transacting a little business with him.
She had come to him, she told him, the moment she was of age, and
was willing to make herself responsible for the debt, signing any
bill, note, or document which the firm might demand from her, to that
effect. Of course she had nothing of her own, and never would have
anything. That Mr. Benjamin knew. As for payment of the debt by Lady
Linlithgow, who for a countess was as poor as Job, Mr. Benjamin,
she was quite sure, did not expect anything of the kind. But-- Then
Lizzie paused, and Mr. Benjamin, with the sweetest and wittiest
of smiles, suggested that perhaps Miss Greystock was going to be
married. Lizzie, with a pretty maiden blush, admitted that such a
catastrophe was probable. She had been asked in marriage by Sir
Florian Eustace. Now Mr. Benjamin knew, as all the world knew, that
Sir Florian Eustace was a very rich man indeed; a man in no degree
embarrassed, and who could pay any amount of jewellers' bills for
which claim might be made upon him. Well; what did Miss Greystock
want? Mr. Benjamin did not suppose that Miss Greystock was actuated
simply by a desire to have her old bills paid by her future husband.
Miss Greystock wanted a loan sufficient to take the jewels out of
pawn. She would then make herself responsible for the full amount
due. Mr. Benjamin said that he would make a few inquiries. "But you
won't betray me," said Lizzie, "for the match might be off." Mr.
Benjamin promised to be more than cautious.
There was not so much of falsehood as might have been expected in the
statement which Lizzie Greystock made to the jeweller. It was not
true that she was of age, and therefore no future husband would be
legally liable for any debt which she might then contract. And it was
not true that Sir Florian Eustace had asked her in marriage. Those
two little blemishes in her statement must be admitted. But it was
true that Sir Florian was at her feet, and that by a proper use of
her various charms,--the pawned jewels included,--she might bring
him to an offer. Mr. Benjamin made his inquiries, and acceded to the
proposal. He did not tell Miss Greystock that she had lied to him in
that matter of her age, though he had discovered the lie. Sir Florian
would no doubt pay the bill for his wife without any arguments as
to the legality of the claim. From such information as Mr. Benjamin
could acquire he thought that there would be a marriage, and that
the speculation was on the whole in his favour. Lizzie recovered
her jewels and Mr. Benjamin was in possession of a promissory note
purporting to have been executed by a person who was no longer a
minor. The jeweller was ultimately successful in his views,--and so
was the lady.
Lady Linlithgow saw the jewels come back, one by one, ring added
to ring on the little taper fingers, the rubies for the neck, and
the pendent yellow earrings. Though Lizzie was in mourning for her
father, still these things were allowed to be visible. The countess
was not the woman to see them without inquiry, and she inquired
vigorously. She threatened, stormed, and protested. She attempted
even a raid upon the young lady's jewel-box. But she was not
successful. Lizzie snapped and snarled and held her own,--for at that
time the match with Sir Florian was near its accomplishment, and
the countess understood too well the value of such a disposition of
her niece to risk it at the moment by any open rupture. The little
house in Brook Street,--for the house was very small and very
comfortless,--a house that had been squeezed in, as it were, between
two others without any fitting space for it,--did not contain a happy
family. One bedroom, and that the biggest, was appropriated to the
Earl of Linlithgow, the son of the countess, a young man who passed
perhaps five nights in town during the year. Other inmate there was
none besides the aunt and the niece and the four servants,--of whom
one was Lizzie's own maid. Why should such a countess have troubled
herself with the custody of such a niece? Simply because the
countess regarded it as a duty. Lady Linlithgow was worldly, stingy,
ill-tempered, selfish, and mean. Lady Linlithgow would cheat a
butcher out of a mutton-chop, or a cook out of a month's wages, if
she could do so with some slant of legal wind in her favour. She
would tell any number of lies to carry a point in what she believed
to be social success. It was said of her that she cheated at cards.
In back-biting, no venomous old woman between Bond Street and Park
Lane could beat her,--or, more wonderful still, no venomous old man
at the clubs. But nevertheless she recognised certain duties,--and
performed them, though she hated them. She went to church, not merely
that people might see her there,--as to which in truth she cared
nothing,--but because she thought it was right. And she took in
Lizzie Greystock, whom she hated almost as much as she did sermons,
because the admiral's wife had been her sister, and she recognised
a duty. But, having thus bound herself to Lizzie,--who was a
beauty,--of course it became the first object of her life to get rid
of Lizzie by a marriage. And, though she would have liked to think
that Lizzie would be tormented all her days, though she thoroughly
believed that Lizzie deserved to be tormented, she set her heart upon
a splendid match. She would at any rate be able to throw it daily in
her niece's teeth that the splendour was of her doing. Now a marriage
with Sir Florian Eustace would be very splendid, and therefore she
was unable to go into the matter of the jewels with that rigour which
in other circumstances she would certainly have displayed.
The match with Sir Florian Eustace,--for a match it came to
be,--was certainly very splendid. Sir Florian was a young man
about eight-and-twenty, very handsome, of immense wealth, quite
unencumbered, moving in the best circles, popular, so far prudent
that he never risked his fortune on the turf or in gambling-houses,
with the reputation of a gallant soldier, and a most devoted lover.
There were two facts concerning him which might, or might not, be
taken as objections. He was vicious, and--he was dying. When a
friend, intending to be kind, hinted the latter circumstance to Lady
Linlithgow, the countess blinked and winked and nodded, and then
swore that she had procured medical advice on the subject. Medical
advice declared that Sir Florian was not more likely to die than
another man,--if only he would get married; all of which statement on
her ladyship's part was a lie. When the same friend hinted the same
thing to Lizzie herself, Lizzie resolved that she would have her
revenge upon that friend. At any rate the courtship went on.
We have said that Sir Florian was vicious;--but he was not altogether
a bad man, nor was he vicious in the common sense of the word. He was
one who denied himself no pleasure, let the cost be what it might in
health, pocket, or morals. Of sin or wickedness he had probably no
distinct idea. In virtue, as an attribute of the world around him, he
had no belief. Of honour he thought very much, and had conceived a
somewhat noble idea that because much had been given to him much was
demanded of him. He was haughty, polite,--and very generous. There
was almost a nobility even about his vices. And he had a special
gallantry of which it is hard to say whether it is or is not to be
admired. They told him that he was like to die,--very like to die, if
he did not change his manner of living. Would he go to Algiers for a
period? Certainly not. He would do no such thing. If he died, there
was his brother John left to succeed him. And the fear of death never
cast a cloud over that grandly beautiful brow. They had all been
short-lived,--the Eustaces. Consumption had swept a hecatomb of
victims from the family. But still they were grand people, and never
were afraid of death.
And then Sir Florian fell in love. Discussing this matter with his
brother, who was perhaps his only intimate friend, he declared that
if the girl he loved would give herself to him, he would make what
atonement he could to her for his own early death by a princely
settlement. John Eustace, who was somewhat nearly concerned in
the matter, raised no objection to this proposal. There was ever
something grand about these Eustaces. Sir Florian was a grand
gentleman; but surely he must have been dull of intellect, slow of
discernment, blear-eyed in his ways about the town, when he took
Lizzie Greystock,--of all the women whom he could find in the
world,--to be the purest, the truest, and the noblest. It has been
said of Sir Florian that he did not believe in virtue. He freely
expressed disbelief in the virtue of women around him,--in the virtue
of women of all ranks. But he believed in his mother and sisters as
though they were heaven-born; and he was one who could believe in his
wife as though she were the queen of heaven. He did believe in Lizzie
Greystock, thinking that intellect, purity, truth, and beauty, each
perfect in its degree, were combined in her. The intellect and beauty
were there;--but, for the purity and truth--; how could it have been
that such a one as Sir Florian Eustace should have been so blind!
Sir Florian was not, indeed, a clever man; but he believed himself
to be a fool. And believing himself to be a fool, he desired, nay,
painfully longed, for some of those results of cleverness which
might, he thought, come to him, from contact with a clever woman.
Lizzie read poetry well, and she read verses to him,--sitting very
near to him, almost in the dark, with a shaded lamp throwing its
light on her book. He was astonished to find how sweet a thing was
poetry. By himself he could never read a line, but as it came from
her lips it seemed to charm him. It was a new pleasure, and one
which, though he had ridiculed it, he had so often coveted! And
then she told him of such wondrous thoughts,--such wondrous joys
in the world which would come from thinking! He was proud, I have
said, and haughty; but he was essentially modest and humble in his
self-estimation. How divine was this creature, whose voice to him was
as that of a goddess!
Then he spoke out to her, with his face a little turned from her.
Would she be his wife? But, before she answered him, let her listen
to him. They had told him that an early death must probably be his
fate. He did not himself feel that it must be so. Sometimes he was
ill,--very ill; but often he was well. If she would run the risk with
him he would endeavour to make her such recompense as might come from
his wealth. The speech he made was somewhat long, and as he made it
he hardly looked into her face.
But it was necessary to him that he should be made to know by some
signal from her how it was going with her feelings. As he spoke of
his danger, there came a gurgling little trill of wailing from her
throat, a soft, almost musical sound of woe, which seemed to add an
unaccustomed eloquence to his words. When he spoke of his own hope
the sound was somewhat changed, but it was still continued. When he
alluded to the disposition of his fortune, she was at his feet. "Not
that," she said, "not that!" He lifted her, and with his arm round
her waist he tried to tell her what it would be his duty to do
for her. She escaped from his arm and would not listen to him.
But,--but--! When he began to talk of love again, she stood with her
forehead bowed against his bosom. Of course the engagement was then a
But still the cup might slip from her lips. Her father was now dead
but ten months, and what answer could she make when the common
pressing petition for an early marriage was poured into her ear? This
was in July, and it would never do that he should be left, unmarried,
to the rigour of another winter. She looked into his face and knew
that she had cause for fear. Oh, heavens! if all these golden hopes
should fall to the ground, and she should come to be known only as
the girl who had been engaged to the late Sir Florian! But he himself
pressed the marriage on the same ground. "They tell me," he said,
"that I had better get a little south by the beginning of October.
I won't go alone. You know what I mean;--eh, Lizzie?" Of course she
married him in September.
They spent a honeymoon of six weeks at a place he had in Scotland,
and the first blow came upon him as they passed through London, back
from Scotland, on their way to Italy. Messrs. Harter and Benjamin
sent in their little bill, which amounted to something over £400, and
other little bills were sent in. Sir Florian was a man by whom such
bills would certainly be paid, but by whom they would not be paid
without his understanding much and conceiving more as to their
cause and nature. How much he really did understand she was never
quite aware;--but she did know that he detected her in a positive
falsehood. She might certainly have managed the matter better than
she did; and had she admitted everything there might probably have
been but few words about it. She did not, however, understand the
nature of the note she had signed, and thought that simply new bills
would be presented by the jewellers to her husband. She gave a false
account of the transaction, and the lie was detected. I do not
know that she cared very much. As she was utterly devoid of true
tenderness, so also was she devoid of conscience. They went abroad,
however; and by the time the winter was half over in Naples, he knew
what his wife was;--and before the end of the spring he was dead.
She had so far played her game well, and had won her stakes. What
regrets, what remorse she suffered when she knew that he was going
from her,--and then knew that he was gone, who can say? As man is
never strong enough to take unmixed delight in good, so may we
presume also that he cannot be quite so weak as to find perfect
satisfaction in evil. There must have been qualms as she looked at
his dying face, soured with the disappointment she had brought upon
him, and listened to the harsh querulous voice that was no longer
eager in the expressions of love. There must have been some pang when
she reflected that the cruel wrong which she had inflicted on him had
probably hurried him to his grave. As a widow, in the first solemnity
of her widowhood, she was wretched and would see no one. Then she
returned to England and shut herself up in a small house at Brighton.
Lady Linlithgow offered to go to her, but she begged that she might
be left to herself. For a few short months the awe arising from the
rapidity with which it had all occurred did afflict her. Twelve
months since she had hardly known the man who was to be her husband.
Now she was a widow,--a widow very richly endowed,--and she bore
beneath her bosom the fruit of her husband's love.
But, even in these early days, friends and enemies did not hesitate
to say that Lizzie Greystock had done very well with herself; for it
was known by all concerned that in the settlements made she had been
treated with unwonted generosity.
There were circumstances in her position which made it impossible
that Lizzie Greystock,--or Lady Eustace, as we must now call
her,--should be left altogether to herself in the modest widow's
retreat which she had found at Brighton. It was then April, and it
was known that if all things went well with her, she would be a
mother before the summer was over. On what the Fates might ordain
in this matter immense interests were dependent. If a son should be
born he would inherit everything, subject, of course, to his mother's
settlement. If a daughter, to her would belong the great personal
wealth which Sir Florian had owned at the time of his death. Should
there be no son, John Eustace, the brother, would inherit the estates
in Yorkshire which had been the backbone of the Eustace wealth.
Should no child be born, John Eustace would inherit everything that
had not been settled upon or left to the widow. Sir Florian had made
a settlement immediately before his marriage, and a will immediately
afterwards. Of what he had done then, nothing had been altered in
those sad Italian days. The settlement had been very generous. The
whole property in Scotland was to belong to Lizzie for her life,--and
after her death was to go to a second son, if such second son there
should be. By the will money was left to her, more than would be
needed for any possible temporary emergency. When she knew how it was
all arranged,--as far as she did know it,--she was aware that she was
a rich woman. For so clever a woman she was infinitely ignorant as
to the possession and value of money and land and income,--though,
perhaps, not more ignorant than are most young girls under
twenty-one. As for the Scotch property,--she thought that it was her
own, for ever, because there could not now be a second son,--and yet
was not quite sure whether it would be her own at all if she had
no son. Concerning that sum of money left to her, she did not know
whether it was to come out of the Scotch property or be given to
her separately,--and whether it was to come annually or to come
only once. She had received, while still in Naples, a letter from
the family lawyer, giving her such details of the will as it was
necessary that she should know, and now she longed to ask questions,
to have her belongings made plain to her, and to realise her wealth.
She had brilliant prospects; and yet, through it all, there was a
sense of loneliness that nearly killed her. Would it not have been
much better if her husband had lived, and still worshipped her, and
still allowed her to read poetry to him? But she had read no poetry
to him after that affair of Messrs. Harter and Benjamin.
The reader has, or will have, but little to do with these days, and
may be hurried on through the twelve, or even twenty-four months
which followed the death of poor Sir Florian. The question of the
heirship, however, was very grave, and early in the month of May
Lady Eustace was visited by her husband's uncle, Bishop Eustace, of
Bobsborough. The bishop had been the younger brother of Sir Florian's
father,--was at this time a man about fifty, very active and very
popular,--and was one who stood high in the world, even among
bishops. He suggested to his niece-in-law that it was very expedient
that, during her coming hour of trial, she should not absent herself
from her husband's family, and at last persuaded her to take up her
residence at the palace at Bobsborough till such time as the event
should be over. Lady Eustace was taken to the palace, and in due time
a son was born. John, who was now the uncle of the heir, came down,
and, with the frankest good humour, declared that he would devote
himself to the little head of the family. He had been left as
guardian, and the management of the great family estates was to be in
his hands. Lizzie had read no poetry to him, and he had never liked
her, and the bishop did not like her, and the ladies of the bishop's
family disliked her very much, and it was thought by them that the
dean's people,--the Dean of Bobsborough was Lizzie's uncle,--were not
very fond of Lizzie since Lizzie had so raised herself in the world
as to want no assistance from them. But still they were bound to do
their duty by her as the widow of the late and the mother of the
present baronet. And they did not find much cause of complaining as
to Lizzie's conduct in these days. In that matter of the great family
diamond necklace,--which certainly should not have been taken to
Naples at all, and as to which the jeweller had told the lawyer and
the lawyer had told John Eustace that it certainly should not now be
detained among the widow's own private property,--the bishop strongly
recommended that nothing should be said at present. The mistake, if
there was a mistake, could be remedied at any time. And nothing in
those very early days was said about the great Eustace necklace,
which afterwards became so famous.
Why Lizzie should have been so generally disliked by the Eustaces, it
might be hard to explain. While she remained at the palace she was
very discreet,--and perhaps demure. It may be said they disliked her
expressed determination to cut her aunt, Lady Linlithgow;--for they
knew that Lady Linlithgow had been, at any rate, a friend to Lizzie
Greystock. There are people who can be wise within a certain margin,
but beyond that commit great imprudences. Lady Eustace submitted
herself to the palace people for that period of her prostration, but
she could not hold her tongue as to her future intentions. She would,
too, now and then ask of Mrs. Eustace, and even of her daughter, an
eager, anxious question about her own property. "She is dying to
handle her money," said Mrs. Eustace to the bishop. "She is only like
the rest of the world in that," said the bishop. "If she would be
really open, I wouldn't mind it," said Mrs. Eustace. None of them
liked her,--and she did not like them.
She remained at the palace for six months, and at the end of that
time she went to her own place in Scotland. Mrs. Eustace had strongly
advised her to ask her aunt, Lady Linlithgow, to accompany her,
but in refusing to do this, Lizzie was quite firm. She had endured
Lady Linlithgow for that year between her father's death and her
marriage; she was now beginning to dare to hope for the enjoyment
of the good things which she had won, and the presence of the
dowager-countess,--"the vulturess,"--was certainly not one of these
good things. In what her enjoyment was to consist, she had not as
yet quite formed a definite conclusion. She liked jewels. She liked
admiration. She liked the power of being arrogant to those around
her. And she liked good things to eat. But there were other matters
that were also dear to her. She did like music,--though it may be
doubted whether she would ever play it or even listen to it alone.
She did like reading, and especially the reading of poetry,--though
even in this she was false and pretentious, skipping, pretending to
have read, lying about books, and making up her market of literature
for outside admiration at the easiest possible cost of trouble. And
she had some dream of being in love, and would take delight even in
building castles in the air, which she would people with friends
and lovers whom she would make happy with the most open-hearted
benevolence. She had theoretical ideas of life which were not
bad,--but in practice, she had gained her objects, and she was in a
hurry to have liberty to enjoy them.
There was considerable anxiety in the palace in reference to the
future mode of life of Lady Eustace. Had it not been for that
baby-heir, of course there would have been no cause for interference;
but the rights of that baby were so serious and important that it was
almost impossible not to interfere. The mother, however, gave some
little signs that she did not intend to submit to much interference,
and there was no real reason why she should not be as free as
air. But did she really intend to go down to Portray Castle all
alone;--that is, with her baby and nurses? This was ended by an
arrangement, in accordance with which she was accompanied by her
eldest cousin, Ellinor Greystock, a lady who was just ten years
her senior. There could hardly be a better woman than Ellinor
Greystock,--or a more good-humoured, kindly being. After many debates
in the deanery and in the palace,--for there was much friendship
between the two ecclesiastical establishments,--the offer was made
and the advice given. Ellinor had accepted the martyrdom on the
understanding that if the advice were accepted she was to remain at
Portray Castle for three months. After a long discussion between Lady
Eustace and the bishop's wife the offer was accepted, and the two
ladies went to Scotland together.
During those three months the widow still bided her time. Of her
future ideas of life she said not a word to her companion. Of her
infant she said very little. She would talk of books,--choosing
such books as her cousin did not read; and she would interlard her
conversation with much Italian, because her cousin did not know
the language. There was a carriage kept by the widow, and they had
themselves driven out together. Of real companionship there was
none. Lizzie was biding her time, and at the end of the three months
Miss Greystock thankfully, and, indeed, of necessity, returned to
Bobsborough. "I've done no good," she said to her mother, "and have
been very uncomfortable." "My dear," said her mother, "we have
disposed of three months out of a two years' period of danger. In two
years from Sir Florian's death she will be married again."
When this was said Lizzie had been a widow nearly a year, and had
bided her time upon the whole discreetly. Some foolish letters she
had written,--chiefly to the lawyer about her money and property; and
some foolish things she had said,--as when she told Ellinor Greystock
that the Portray property was her own for ever, to do what she liked
with it. The sum of money left to her by her husband had by that time
been paid into her own hands, and she had opened a banker's account.
The revenues from the Scotch estate,--some £4,000 a year,--were
clearly her own for life. The family diamond-necklace was still in
her possession, and no answer had been given by her to a postscript
to a lawyer's letter in which a little advice had been given
respecting it. At the end of another year, when she had just
reached the age of twenty-two, and had completed her second year
of widowhood, she was still Lady Eustace, thus contradicting the
prophecy made by the dean's wife. It was then spring, and she had
a house of her own in London. She had broken openly with Lady
Linlithgow. She had opposed, though not absolutely refused, all
overtures of brotherly care from John Eustace. She had declined
a further invitation, both for herself and for her child, to the
palace. And she had positively asserted her intention of keeping the
diamonds. Her late husband, she said, had given the diamonds to her.
As they were supposed to be worth £10,000, and were really family
diamonds, the matter was felt by all concerned to be one of much
importance. And she was oppressed by a heavy load of ignorance, which
became serious from the isolation of her position. She had learned to
draw cheques, but she had no other correct notion as to business. She
knew nothing as to spending money, saving it, or investing it. Though
she was clever, sharp, and greedy, she had no idea what her money
would do, and what it would not; and there was no one whom she would
trust to tell her. She had a young cousin, a barrister,--a son
of the dean's, whom she perhaps liked better than any other of
her relations,--but she declined advice even from her friend the
barrister. She would have no dealings on her own behalf with the old
family solicitor of the Eustaces,--the gentleman who had now applied
very formally for the restitution of the diamonds; but had appointed
other solicitors to act for her. Messrs. Mowbray and Mopus were of
opinion that as the diamonds had been given into her hands by her
husband without any terms as to their surrender, no one could claim
them. Of the manner in which the diamonds had been placed in her
hands, no one knew more than she chose to tell.
But when she started with her house in town,--a modest little house
in Mount Street, near the park,--just two years after her husband's
death, she had a large circle of acquaintances. The Eustace people,
and the Greystock people, and even the Linlithgow people, did not
entirely turn their backs on her. The countess, indeed, was very
venomous, as she well might be; but then the countess was known for
her venom. The dean and his family were still anxious that she should
be encouraged to discreet living, and, though they feared many
things, thought that they had no ground for open complaint. The
Eustace people were forbearing, and hoped the best. "D---- the
necklace!" John Eustace had said, and the bishop unfortunately had
heard him say it! "John," said the prelate, "whatever is to become
of the bauble, you might express your opinion in more sensible
language." "I beg your lordship's pardon," said John, "I only mean to
say that I think we shouldn't trouble ourselves about a few stones."
But the family lawyer, Mr. Camperdown, would by no means take this
view of the matter. It was, however, generally thought that the young
widow opened her campaign more prudently than had been expected.
And now as so much has been said of the character and fortune and
special circumstances of Lizzie Greystock, who became Lady Eustace
as a bride, and Lady Eustace as a widow and a mother, all within the
space of twelve months, it may be as well to give some description of
her person and habits, such as they were at the period in which our
story is supposed to have its commencement. It must be understood in
the first place that she was very lovely;--much more so, indeed, now
than when she had fascinated Sir Florian. She was small, but taller
than she looked to be,--for her form was perfectly symmetrical. Her
feet and hands might have been taken as models by a sculptor. Her
figure was lithe, and soft, and slim, and slender. If it had a fault
it was this,--that it had in it too much of movement. There were some
who said that she was almost snake-like in her rapid bendings and
the almost too easy gestures of her body; for she was much given to
action, and to the expression of her thought by the motion of her
limbs. She might certainly have made her way as an actress, had
fortune called upon her to earn her bread in that fashion. And her
voice would have suited the stage. It was powerful when she called
upon it for power; but, at the same time, flexible and capable of
much pretence at feeling. She could bring it to a whisper that would
almost melt your heart with tenderness,--as she had melted Sir
Florian's, when she sat near to him reading poetry; and then she
could raise it to a pitch of indignant wrath befitting a Lady Macbeth
when her husband ventured to rebuke her. And her ear was quite
correct in modulating these tones. She knew,--and it must have been
by instinct, for her culture in such matters was small,--how to use
her voice so that neither its tenderness nor its wrath should be
misapplied. There were pieces in verse that she could read,--things
not wondrously good in themselves,--so that she would ravish you; and
she would so look at you as she did it that you would hardly dare
either to avert your eyes or to return her gaze. Sir Florian had not
known whether to do the one thing or the other, and had therefore
seized her in his arms. Her face was oval,--somewhat longer than an
oval,--with little in it, perhaps nothing in it, of that brilliancy
of colour which we call complexion. And yet the shades of her
countenance were ever changing between the softest and most
transparent white, and the richest, mellowest shades of brown. It
was only when she simulated anger,--she was almost incapable of real
anger,--that she would succeed in calling the thinnest streak of pink
from her heart, to show that there was blood running in her veins.
Her hair, which was nearly black,--but in truth with more of softness
and of lustre than ever belong to hair that is really black,--she
wore bound tight round her perfect forehead, with one long love-lock
hanging over her shoulder. The form of her head was so good that
she could dare to carry it without a chignon, or any adventitious
adjuncts from an artiste's shop. Very bitter was she in consequence
when speaking of the head-gear of other women. Her chin was perfect
in its round, not over long,--as is the case with so many such faces,
utterly spoiling the symmetry of the countenance. But it lacked a
dimple, and therefore lacked feminine tenderness. Her mouth was
perhaps faulty in being too small, or, at least, her lips were
too thin. There was wanting from the mouth that expression of
eager-speaking truthfulness which full lips will often convey. Her
teeth were without flaw or blemish, even, small, white, and delicate;
but perhaps they were shown too often. Her nose was small, but struck
many as the prettiest feature of her face, so exquisite was the
moulding of it, and so eloquent and so graceful the slight inflations
of the transparent nostrils. Her eyes, in which she herself thought
that the lustre of her beauty lay, were blue and clear, bright as
cerulean waters. They were long large eyes,--but very dangerous. To
those who knew how to read a face, there was danger plainly written
in them. Poor Sir Florian had not known. But, in truth, the charm
of her face did not lie in her eyes. This was felt by many even who
could not read the book fluently. They were too expressive, too loud
in their demands for attention, and they lacked tenderness. How few
there are among women, few perhaps also among men, who know that the
sweetest, softest, tenderest, truest eyes which a woman can carry in
her head are green in colour! Lizzie's eyes were not tender,--neither
were they true. But they were surmounted by the most wonderfully
pencilled eyebrows that ever nature unassisted planted on a woman's
We have said that she was clever. We must add that she had in truth
studied much. She spoke French, understood Italian, and read German.
She played well on the harp, and moderately well on the piano. She
sang, at least in good taste and in tune. Of things to be learned
by reading she knew much, having really taken diligent trouble with
herself. She had learned much poetry by heart, and could apply it.
She forgot nothing, listened to everything, understood quickly, and
was desirous to show not only as a beauty but as a wit. There were
men at this time who declared that she was simply the cleverest and
the handsomest woman in England. As an independent young woman she
was perhaps one of the richest.
Although the first two chapters of this new history have been
devoted to the fortunes and personal attributes of Lady Eustace,
the historian begs his readers not to believe that that opulent and
aristocratic Becky Sharp is to assume the dignity of heroine in the
forthcoming pages. That there shall be any heroine the historian will
not take upon himself to assert; but if there be a heroine, that
heroine shall not be Lady Eustace. Poor Lizzie Greystock!--as men
double her own age, and who had known her as a forward, capricious,
spoilt child in her father's lifetime, would still call her. She did
so many things, made so many efforts, caused so much suffering to
others, and suffered so much herself throughout the scenes with which
we are about to deal, that the story can hardly be told without
giving her that prominence of place which has been assigned to her in
the last two chapters.
Nor does the chronicler dare to put forward Lucy Morris as a heroine.
The real heroine, if it be found possible to arrange her drapery for
her becomingly, and to put that part which she enacted into properly
heroic words, shall stalk in among us at some considerably later
period of the narrative, when the writer shall have accustomed
himself to the flow of words, and have worked himself up to a state
of mind fit for the reception of noble acting and noble speaking. In
the meantime, let it be understood that poor little Lucy Morris was
a governess in the house of old Lady Fawn, when our beautiful young
widow established herself in Mount Street.
Lady Eustace and Lucy Morris had known each other for many
years,--had indeed been children together,--there having been some
old family friendship between the Greystocks and the Morrises. When
the admiral's wife was living, Lucy had, as a little girl of eight or
nine, been her guest. She had often been a guest at the deanery. When
Lady Eustace had gone down to the bishop's palace at Bobsborough, in
order that an heir to the Eustaces might be born under an auspicious
roof, Lucy Morris was with the Greystocks. Lucy, who was a year
younger than Lizzie, had at that time been an orphan for the last
four years. She too had been left penniless, but no such brilliant
future awaited her as that which Lizzie had earned for herself. There
was no countess-aunt to take her into her London house. The dean and
the dean's wife and the dean's daughters had been her best friends,
but they were not friends on whom she could be dependent. They were
in no way connected with her by blood. Therefore, at the age of
eighteen, she had gone out to be a child's governess. Then old Lady
Fawn had heard of her virtues,--Lady Fawn, who had seven unmarried
daughters running down from seven-and-twenty to thirteen, and Lucy
Morris had been hired to teach English, French, German, and something
of music to the two youngest Miss Fawns.
During that visit at the deanery, when the heir of the Eustaces was
being born, Lucy was undergoing a sort of probation for the Fawn
establishment. The proposed engagement with Lady Fawn was thought to
be a great thing for her. Lady Fawn was known as a miracle of Virtue,
Benevolence, and Persistency. Every good quality that she possessed
was so marked as to be worthy of being expressed with a capital.
But her virtues were of that extraordinarily high character that
there was no weakness in them,--no getting over them, no perverting
them with follies or even exaggerations. When she heard of the
excellencies of Miss Morris from the dean's wife, and then, after
minutest investigation, learned the exact qualities of the young
lady, she expressed herself willing to take Lucy into her house on
special conditions. She must be able to teach music up to a certain
point. "Then it's all over," said Lucy to the dean with her pretty
smile,--that smile which caused all the old and middle-aged men to
fall in love with her. "It's not over at all," said the dean. "You've
got four months. Our organist is about as good a teacher as there is
in England. You are clever and quick, and he shall teach you." So
Lucy went to Bobsborough, and was afterwards accepted by Lady Fawn.
While she was at the deanery there sprung up a renewed friendship
between her and Lizzie. It was, indeed, chiefly a one-sided
friendship; for Lucy, who was quick and unconsciously capable of
reading that book to which we alluded in a previous chapter, was
somewhat afraid of the rich widow. And when Lizzie talked to her
of their old childish days, and quoted poetry, and spoke of things
romantic,--as she was much given to do,--Lucy felt that the metal
did not ring true. And then Lizzie had an ugly habit of abusing all
her other friends behind their backs. Now Lucy did not like to hear
the Greystocks abused, and would say so. "That's all very well, you
little minx," Lizzie would say playfully, "but you know that they are
all asses!" Lucy by no means thought that the Greystocks were asses,
and was very strongly of opinion that one of them was as far removed
from being an ass as any human being she had ever known. This one was
Frank Greystock, the barrister. Of Frank Greystock some special--but,
let it be hoped, very short--description must be given by-and-by. For
the present it will be sufficient to declare that, during that short
Easter holiday which he spent at his father's house in Bobsborough,
he found Lucy Morris to be a most agreeable companion.
"Remember her position," said Mrs. Dean to her son.
"Her position! Well;--and what is her position mother?"
"You know what I mean, Frank. She is as sweet a girl as ever lived,
and a perfect lady. But with a governess, unless you mean to marry
her, you should be more careful than with another girl, because you
may do her such a world of mischief."
"I don't see that at all."
"If Lady Fawn knew that she had an admirer, Lady Fawn would not let
her come into her house."
"Then Lady Fawn is an idiot. If a girl be admirable, of course she
will be admired. Who can hinder it?"
"You know what I mean, Frank."
"Yes--I do; well. I don't suppose I can afford to marry Lucy Morris.
At any rate, mother, I will never say a word to raise a hope in
her,--if it would be a hope--"
"Of course it would be a hope."
"I don't know that at all. But I will never say any such word to
her,--unless I make up my mind that I can afford to marry her."
"Oh, Frank, it would be impossible!" said Mrs. Dean.
Mrs. Dean was a very good woman, but she had aspirations in the
direction of filthy lucre on behalf of her children, or at least on
behalf of this special child, and she did think it would be very
nice if Frank would marry an heiress. This, however, was a long time
ago, nearly two years ago; and many grave things had got themselves
transacted since Lucy's visit to the deanery. She had become quite
an old and an accustomed member of Lady Fawn's family. The youngest
Fawn girl was not yet fifteen, and it was understood that Lucy was to
remain with the Fawns for some quite indefinite time to come. Lady
Fawn's eldest daughter, Mrs. Hittaway, had a family of her own,
having been married ten or twelve years, and it was quite probable
that Lucy might be transferred. Lady Fawn fully appreciated her
treasure, and was, and ever had been, conscientiously anxious to make
Lucy's life happy. But she thought that a governess should not be
desirous of marrying, at any rate till a somewhat advanced period of
life. A governess, if she were given to falling in love, could hardly
perform her duties in life. No doubt, not to be a governess, but a
young lady free from the embarrassing necessity of earning bread,
free to have a lover and a husband, would be upon the whole nicer.
So it is nicer to be born to £10,000 a year than to have to wish for
£500. Lady Fawn could talk excellent sense on this subject by the
hour, and always admitted that much was due to a governess who knew
her place and did her duty. She was very fond of Lucy Morris, and
treated her dependent with affectionate consideration;--but she did
not approve of visits from Mr. Frank Greystock. Lucy, blushing up
to the eyes, had once declared that she desired to have no personal
visitors at Lady Fawn's house; but that, as regarded her own
friendships, the matter was one for her own bosom. "Dear Miss
Morris," Lady Fawn had said, "we understand each other so perfectly,
and you are so good, that I am quite sure everything will be as it
ought to be." Lady Fawn lived down at Richmond all the year through,
in a large old-fashioned house with a large old-fashioned garden,
called Fawn Court. After that speech of hers to Lucy, Frank Greystock
did not call again at Fawn Court for many months, and it is possible
that her ladyship had said a word also to him. But Lady Eustace, with
her pretty little pair of grey ponies, would sometimes drive down to
Richmond to see her "dear little old friend" Lucy, and her visits
were allowed. Lady Fawn had expressed an opinion among her daughters
that she did not see any harm in Lady Eustace. She thought that she
rather liked Lady Eustace. But then Lady Fawn hated Lady Linlithgow
as only two old women can hate each other;--and she had not heard the
story of the diamond necklace.
Lucy Morris certainly was a treasure,--a treasure though no heroine.
She was a sweetly social, genial little human being whose presence in
the house was ever felt to be like sunshine. She was never forward,
but never bashful. She was always open to familiar intercourse
without ever putting herself forward. There was no man or woman with
whom she would not so talk as to make the man or woman feel that
the conversation was remarkably pleasant,--and she could do the
same with any child. She was an active, mindful, bright, energetic
little thing to whom no work ever came amiss. She had catalogued
the library,--which had been collected by the late Lord Fawn with
peculiar reference to the Christian theology of the third and fourth
centuries. She had planned the new flower-garden,--though Lady Fawn
thought that she had done that herself. She had been invaluable
during Clara Fawn's long illness. She knew every rule at croquet,
and could play piquet. When the girls got up charades they had to
acknowledge that everything depended on Miss Morris. They were
good-natured, plain, unattractive girls, who spoke of her to her face
as one who could easily do anything to which she might put her hand.
Lady Fawn did really love her. Lord Fawn, the eldest son, a young man
of about thirty-five, a Peer of Parliament and an Under-Secretary
of State,--very prudent and very diligent,--of whom his mother and
sisters stood in great awe, consulted her frequently and made no
secret of his friendship. The mother knew her awful son well, and was
afraid of nothing wrong in that direction. Lord Fawn had suffered a
disappointment in love, but he had consoled himself with blue-books,
and mastered his passion by incessant attendance at the India Board.
The lady he had loved had been rich, and Lord Fawn was poor; but
nevertheless he had mastered his passion. There was no fear that his
feelings towards the governess would become too warm;--nor was it
likely that Miss Morris should encounter danger in regard to him. It
was quite an understood thing in the family that Lord Fawn must marry
Lucy Morris was indeed a treasure. No brighter face ever looked into
another to seek sympathy there, either in mirth or woe. There was a
gleam in her eyes that was almost magnetic, so sure was she to obtain
by it that community of interest which she desired,--though it were
but for a moment. Lord Fawn was pompous, slow, dull, and careful;
but even he had given way to it at once. Lady Fawn, too, was very
careful, but she had owned to herself long since that she could not
bear to look forward to any permanent severance. Of course Lucy would
be made over to the Hittaways, whose mother lived in Warwick Square,
and whose father was Chairman of the Board of Civil Appeals. The
Hittaways were the only grandchildren with whom Lady Fawn had as yet
been blessed, and of course Lucy must go to the Hittaways.
She was but a little thing;--and it cannot be said of her, as of Lady
Eustace, that she was a beauty. The charm of her face consisted in
the peculiar, watery brightness of her eyes,--in the corners of which
it would always seem that a diamond of a tear was lurking whenever
any matter of excitement was afoot. Her light-brown hair was soft
and smooth and pretty. As hair it was very well, but it had no
speciality. Her mouth was somewhat large, but full of ever-varying
expression. Her forehead was low and broad, with prominent temples,
on which it was her habit to clasp tightly her little outstretched
fingers as she sat listening to you. Of listeners she was the very
best, for she would always be saying a word or two, just to help
you,--the best word that could be spoken, and then again she would
be hanging on your lips. There are listeners who show by their mode
of listening that they listen as a duty,--not because they are
interested. Lucy Morris was not such a one. She would take up your
subject, whatever it was, and make it her own. There was forward just
then a question as to whether the Sawab of Mygawb should have twenty
millions of rupees paid to him and be placed upon a throne, or
whether he should be kept in prison all his life. The British world
generally could not be made to interest itself about the Sawab, but
Lucy positively mastered the subject, and almost got Lord Fawn into a
difficulty by persuading him to stand up against his chief on behalf
of the injured prince.
What else can be said of her face or personal appearance that will
interest a reader? When she smiled, there was the daintiest little
dimple on her cheek. And when she laughed, that little nose, which
was not as well-shaped a nose as it might have been, would almost
change its shape and cock itself up in its mirth. Her hands were very
thin and long, and so were her feet,--by no means models as were
those of her friend Lady Eustace. She was a little, thin, quick,
graceful creature, whom it was impossible that you should see without
wishing to have near you. A most unselfish little creature she was,
but one who had a well-formed idea of her own identity. She was quite
resolved to be somebody among her fellow-creatures,--not somebody
in the way of marrying a lord or a rich man, or somebody in the way
of being a beauty, or somebody as a wit; but somebody as having a
purpose and a use in life. She was the humblest little thing in
the world in regard to any possible putting of herself forward or
needful putting of herself back; and yet, to herself, nobody was her
superior. What she had was her own, whether it was the old grey silk
dress which she had bought with the money she had earned, or the wit
which nature had given her. And Lord Fawn's title was his own, and
Lady Fawn's rank her own. She coveted no man's possessions,--and no
woman's; but she was minded to hold by her own. Of present advantages
or disadvantages,--whether she had the one or suffered from the
other,--she thought not at all. It was her fault that she had nothing
of feminine vanity. But no man or woman was ever more anxious
to be effective, to persuade, to obtain belief, sympathy, and
co-operation;--not for any result personal to herself, but because,
by obtaining these things, she could be effective in the object then
before her, be it what it might.
One other thing may be told of her. She had given her heart,--for
good and all, as she owned to herself,--to Frank Greystock. She
had owned to herself that it was so, and had owned to herself that
nothing could come of it. Frank was becoming a man of mark,--but was
becoming a man of mark without much money. Of all men he was the last
who could afford to marry a governess. And then, moreover, he had
never said a word to make her think that he loved her. He had called
on her once or twice at Fawn Court,--as why should he not? Seeing
that there had been friendship between the families for so many
years, who could complain of that? Lady Fawn, however, had--not
complained, but just said a word. A word in season, how good is
it? Lucy did not much regard the word spoken to herself; but
when she reflected that a word must also have been spoken to Mr.
Greystock,--otherwise how should it have been that he never came
again?--that she did not like.
In herself she regarded this passion of hers as a healthy man regards
the loss of a leg or an arm. It is a great nuisance, a loss that
maims the whole life,--a misfortune to be much regretted. But because
a leg is gone, everything is not gone. A man with a wooden leg may
stump about through much action, and may enjoy the keenest pleasures
of humanity. He has his eyes left to him, and his ears, and his
intellect. He will not break his heart for the loss of that leg. And
so it was with Lucy Morris. She would still stump about and be very
active. Eyes, ears, and intellect were left to her. Looking at her
position, she told herself that a happy love could hardly have been
her lot in life. Lady Fawn, she thought, was right. A governess
should make up her mind to do without a lover. She had given away her
heart, and yet she would do without a lover. When, on one dull, dark
afternoon, as she was thinking of all this, Lord Fawn suddenly put
into her hands a cruelly long printed document respecting the Sawab,
she went to work upon it immediately. As she read it, she could not
refrain from thinking how wonderfully Frank Greystock would plead the
cause of the Indian prince, if the privilege of pleading it could be
given to him.
The spring had come round, with May and the London butterflies, at
the time at which our story begins, and during six months Frank
Greystock had not been at Fawn Court. Then one day Lady Eustace came
down with her ponies, and her footman, and a new dear friend of hers,
Miss Macnulty. While Miss Macnulty was being honoured by Lady Fawn,
Lizzie had retreated to a corner with her old dear friend Lucy
Morris. It was pretty to see how so wealthy and fashionable a woman
as Lady Eustace could show so much friendship to a governess. "Have
you seen Frank, lately?" said Lady Eustace, referring to her cousin
"Not for ever so long," said Lucy, with her cheeriest smile.
"He is not going to prove a false knight?" asked Lady Eustace, in her
"I don't know that Mr. Greystock is much given to knighthood at all,"
said Lucy,--"unless it is to being made Sir Francis by his party."
"Nonsense, my dear; as if I didn't know. I suppose Lady Fawn has been
interfering--like an old cat as she is."
"She is not an old cat, Lizzie! and I won't hear her called so. If
you think so, you shouldn't come here. And she hasn't interfered.
That is, she has done nothing that she ought not to have done."
"Then she has interfered," said Lady Eustace, as she got up and
walked across the room, with a sweet smile to the old cat.
Frank Greystock the barrister was the only son of the Dean of
Bobsborough. Now the dean had a family of daughters,--not quite so
numerous indeed as that of Lady Fawn, for there were only three of
them,--and was by no means a rich man. Unless a dean have a private
fortune, or has chanced to draw the happy lot of Durham in the
lottery of deans, he can hardly be wealthy. At Bobsborough the dean
was endowed with a large, rambling, picturesque, uncomfortable house,
and with £1,500 a year. In regard to personal property it may be
asserted of all the Greystocks that they never had any. They were a
family of which the males would surely come to be deans and admirals,
and the females would certainly find husbands. And they lived on the
good things of the world, and mixed with wealthy people. But they
never had any money. The Eustaces always had money, and the Bishop of
Bobsborough was wealthy. The dean was a man very different from his
brother the admiral, who had never paid anybody anything. The dean
did pay; but he was a little slow in his payments, and money with
him was never very plentiful. In these circumstances it became very
expedient that Frank Greystock should earn his bread early in life.
Nevertheless, he had chosen a profession which is not often lucrative
at first. He had been called to the Bar, and had gone,--and was still
going,--the circuit in which lies the cathedral city of Bobsborough.
Bobsborough is not much of a town, and was honoured with the judges'
visits only every other circuit. Frank began pretty well, getting
some little work in London, and perhaps nearly enough to pay the cost
of his circuit out of the county in which the cathedral was situated.
But he began life after that impecunious fashion for which the
Greystocks have been noted. Tailors, robemakers, and booksellers
gave him trust, and did believe that they would get their money. And
any persistent tradesman did get it. He did not actually hoist the
black flag of impecuniosity, and proclaim his intention of preying
generally upon the retail dealers, as his uncle the admiral had done.
But he became known as a young man with whom money was "tight." All
this had been going on for three or four years before he had met Lucy
Morris at the deanery. He was then eight-and-twenty, and had been
four years called. He was thirty when old Lady Fawn hinted to him
that he had better not pay any more visits at Fawn Court.
But things had much altered with him of late. At the time of that
visit to the deanery he had made a sudden start in his profession.
The Corporation of the City of London had brought an action against
the Bank of England with reference to certain alleged encroachments,
of which action, considerable as it was in all its interests, no
further notice need be taken here than is given by the statement
that a great deal of money in this cause had found its way among the
lawyers. Some of it penetrated into the pocket of Frank Greystock;
but he earned more than money, better than money, out of that
affair. It was attributed to him by the attorneys that the Bank
of England was saved from the necessity of reconstructing all its
bullion-cellars, and he had made his character for industry. In the
year after that the Bobsborough people were rather driven into a
corner in search of a clever young Conservative candidate for the
borough, and Frank Greystock was invited to stand. It was not thought
that there was much chance of success, and the dean was against it.
But Frank liked the honour and glory of the contest, and so did
Frank's mother. Frank Greystock stood, and at the time in which he
was warned away from Fawn Court had been nearly a year in Parliament.
"Of course it does interfere with one's business," he had said to his
father, "but then it brings one business also. A man with a seat in
Parliament who shows that he means work will always get nearly as
much work as he can do." Such was Frank's exposition to his father.
It may perhaps not be found to hold water in all cases. Mrs. Dean was
of course delighted with her son's success, and so were the girls.
Women like to feel that the young men belonging to them are doing
something in the world, so that a reflected glory may be theirs. It
was pleasant to talk of Frank as member for the city. Brothers do not
always care much for a brother's success, but a sister is generally
sympathetic. If Frank would only marry money, there was nothing he
might not achieve. That he would live to sit on the woolsack was
now almost a certainty to the dear old lady. But in order that he
might sit there comfortably it was necessary that he should at least
abstain from marrying a poor wife. For there was fear at the deanery
also in regard to Lucy Morris.
"That notion of marrying money as you call it," Frank said to his
second sister Margaret, "is the most disgusting idea in the world."
"It is as easy to love a girl who has something as one who has
nothing," said Margaret.
"No,--it is not; because the girls with money are scarce, and those
without it are plentiful,--an argument of which I don't suppose you
see the force." Then Margaret for the moment was snubbed and retired.
"Indeed, Frank, I think Lady Fawn was right," said the mother.
"And I think she was quite wrong. If there be anything in it, it
won't be expelled by Lady Fawn's interference. Do you think I should
allow Lady Fawn to tell me not to choose such or such a woman for my
"It's the habit of seeing her, my dear. Nobody loves Lucy Morris
better than I do. We all like her. But, dear Frank, would it do for
you to make her your wife?"
Frank Greystock was silent for a moment, and then he answered his
mother's question. "I am not quite sure whether it would or would
not. But I do think this--that if I were bold enough to marry now,
and to trust all to the future, and could get Lucy to be my wife, I
should be doing a great thing. I doubt, however, whether I have the
courage." All of which made the dean's wife uneasy.
The reader, who has read so far, will perhaps think that Frank
Greystock was in love with Lucy as Lucy was in love with him. But
such was not exactly the case. To be in love, as an absolute,
well-marked, acknowledged fact, is the condition of a woman more
frequently and more readily than of a man. Such is not the common
theory on the matter, as it is the man's business to speak, and the
woman's business to be reticent. And the woman is presumed to have
kept her heart free from any load of love, till she may accept the
burthen with an assurance that it shall become a joy and a comfort to
her. But such presumptions, though they may be very useful for the
regulation of conduct, may not be always true. It comes more within
the scope of a woman's mind, than that of a man's, to think closely
and decide sharply on such a matter. With a man it is often chance
that settles the question for him. He resolves to propose to a woman,
or proposes without resolving, because she is close to him. Frank
Greystock ridiculed the idea of Lady Fawn's interference in so high
a matter as his love,--or abstinence from love. Nevertheless, had
he been made a welcome guest at Fawn Court, he would undoubtedly
have told his love to Lucy Morris. He was not a welcome guest, but
had been banished; and, as a consequence of that banishment, he had
formed no resolution in regard to Lucy, and did not absolutely know
whether she was necessary to him or not. But Lucy Morris knew all
Moreover, it frequently happens with men that they fail to analyse
these things, and do not make out for themselves any clear definition
of what their feelings are or what they mean. We hear that a man has
behaved badly to a girl, when the behaviour of which he has been
guilty has resulted simply from want of thought. He has found a
certain companionship to be agreeable to him, and he has accepted
the pleasure without inquiry. Some vague idea has floated across
his brain that the world is wrong in supposing that such friendship
cannot exist without marriage, or question of marriage. It is simply
friendship. And yet were his friend to tell him that she intended to
give herself in marriage elsewhere, he would suffer all the pangs
of jealousy, and would imagine himself to be horribly ill-treated!
To have such a friend,--a friend whom he cannot or will not make
his wife,--is no injury to him. To him it is simply a delight, an
excitement in life, a thing to be known to himself only and not
talked of to others, a source of pride and inward exultation. It is
a joy to think of when he wakes, and a consolation in his little
troubles. It dispels the weariness of life, and makes a green spot of
holiday within his daily work. It is, indeed, death to her;--but he
does not know it. Frank Greystock did think that he could not marry
Lucy Morris without making an imprudent plunge into deep water, and
yet he felt that Lady Fawn was an ill-natured old woman for hinting
to him that he had better not, for the present, continue his visits
to Fawn Court. "Of course you understand me, Mr. Greystock," she had
said, meaning to be civil. "When Miss Morris has left us,--should she
ever leave us,--I should be most happy to see you." "What on earth
would take me to Fawn Court, if Lucy were not there!" he said to
himself,--not choosing to appreciate Lady Fawn's civility.
Frank Greystock was at this time nearly thirty years old. He was a
good-looking, but not strikingly handsome man; thin, of moderate
height, with sharp grey eyes, a face clean shorn with the exception
of a small whisker, with wiry, strong dark hair, which was already
beginning to show a tinge of grey;--the very opposite in appearance
to his late friend Sir Florian Eustace. He was quick, ready-witted,
self-reliant, and not over scrupulous in the outward things of the
world. He was desirous of doing his duty to others, but he was
specially desirous that others should do their duty to him. He
intended to get on in the world, and believed that happiness was to
be achieved by success. He was certainly made for the profession
which he had adopted. His father, looking to certain morsels of
Church patronage which occasionally came in his way, and to the fact
that he and the bishop were on most friendly terms, had wished his
son to take orders. But Frank had known himself and his own qualities
too well to follow his father's advice. He had chosen to be a
barrister, and now, at thirty, he was in Parliament.
He had been asked to stand for Bobsborough in the Conservative
interest, and as a Conservative he had been returned. Those who
invited him knew probably but little of his own political beliefs or
feelings,--did not, probably, know whether he had any. His father was
a fine old Tory of the ancient school, who thought that things were
going from bad to worse, but was able to live happily in spite of his
anticipations. The dean was one of those old-world politicians,--we
meet them every day, and they are generally pleasant people,--who
enjoy the politics of the side to which they belong without any
special belief in them. If pressed hard they will almost own that
their so-called convictions are prejudices. But not for worlds would
they be rid of them. When two or three of them meet together, they
are as freemasons, who are bound by a pleasant bond which separates
them from the outer world. They feel among themselves that everything
that is being done is bad,--even though that everything is done by
their own party. It was bad to interfere with Charles, bad to endure
Cromwell, bad to banish James, bad to put up with William. The House
of Hanover was bad. All interference with prerogative has been bad.
The Reform bill was very bad. Encroachment on the estates of the
bishops was bad. Emancipation of Roman Catholics was the worst of
all. Abolition of corn-laws, church-rates, and oaths and tests were
all bad. The meddling with the Universities has been grievous. The
treatment of the Irish Church has been Satanic. The overhauling of
schools is most injurious to English education. Education bills and
Irish land bills were all bad. Every step taken has been bad. And yet
to them old England is of all countries in the world the best to live
in, and is not at all the less comfortable because of the changes
that have been made. These people are ready to grumble at every boon
conferred on them, and yet to enjoy every boon. They know, too, their
privileges, and, after a fashion, understand their position. It is
picturesque, and it pleases them. To have been always in the right
and yet always on the losing side; always being ruined, always under
persecution from a wild spirit of republican-demagogism,--and yet
never to lose anything, not even position or public esteem, is
pleasant enough. A huge, living, daily increasing grievance that does
one no palpable harm, is the happiest possession that a man can have.
There is a large body of such men in England, and, personally, they
are the very salt of the nation. He who said that all Conservatives
are stupid did not know them. Stupid Conservatives there may
be,--and there certainly are very stupid Radicals. The well-educated,
widely-read Conservative, who is well assured that all good things
are gradually being brought to an end by the voice of the people,
is generally the pleasantest man to be met. But he is a Buddhist,
possessing a religious creed which is altogether dark and mysterious
to the outer world. Those who watch the ways of the advanced Buddhist
hardly know whether the man does believe himself in his hidden god,
but men perceive that he is respectable, self-satisfied, and a man
of note. It is of course from the society of such that Conservative
candidates are to be sought; but, alas, it is hard to indoctrinate
young minds with the old belief, since new theories of life have
become so rife!
Nevertheless Frank Greystock, when he was invited to stand for
Bobsborough in the Conservative interest, had not for a moment
allowed any political heterodoxy on his own part to stand in the way
of his advancement. It may, perhaps, be the case that a barrister is
less likely to be influenced by personal convictions in taking his
side in politics than any other man who devotes himself to public
affairs. No slur on the profession is intended by this suggestion. A
busy, clever, useful man, who has been at work all his life, finds
that his own progress towards success demands from him that he shall
become a politician. The highest work of a lawyer can only be reached
through political struggle. As a large-minded man of the world,
peculiarly conversant with the fact that every question has two
sides, and that as much may often be said on one side as on the
other, he has probably not become violent in his feelings as a
political partisan. Thus he sees that there is an opening here or an
opening there, and the offence in either case is not great to him.
With Frank Greystock the matter was very easy. There certainly was no
apostasy. He had now and again attacked his father's ultra-Toryism,
and rebuked his mother and sisters when they spoke of Gladstone as
Apollyon, and called John Bright the Abomination of Desolation. But
it was easy to him to fancy himself a Conservative, and as such he
took his seat in the House without any feeling of discomfort.
During the first four months of his first session he had not
spoken,--but he had made himself useful. He had sat on one or two
Committees, though as a barrister he might have excused himself, and
had done his best to learn the forms of the House. But he had already
begun to find that the time which he devoted to Parliament was much
wanted for his profession. Money was very necessary to him. Then a
new idea was presented to him.
John Eustace and Greystock were very intimate,--as also had been Sir
Florian and Greystock. "I tell you what I wish you'd do, Greystock,"
Eustace said to him one day, as they were standing idly together in
the lobby of the House. For John Eustace was also in Parliament.
"Anything to oblige you, my friend."
"It's only a trifle," said Eustace. "Just to marry your cousin, my
"By Jove,--I wish I had the chance!"
"I don't see why you shouldn't. She is sure to marry somebody, and
at her age so she ought. She's not twenty-three yet. We could trust
you,--with the child and all the rest of it. As it is, she is giving
us a deal of trouble."
"But, my dear fellow--"
"I know she's fond of you. You were dining there last Sunday.
"And so was Fawn. Lord Fawn is the man to marry Lizzie. You see if he
doesn't. He was uncommonly sweet on her the other night, and really
interested her about the Sawab."
"She'll never be Lady Fawn," said John Eustace. "And to tell the
truth, I shouldn't care to have to deal with Lord Fawn. He would
be infinitely troublesome; and I can hardly wash my hands of her
affairs. She's worth nearly £5,000 a year as long as she lives, and
I really don't think that she's much amiss."
"Much amiss! I don't know whether she's not the prettiest woman I
ever saw," said Greystock.
"Yes;--but I mean in conduct, and all that. She is making herself
queer; and Camperdown, our lawyer, means to jump upon her; but it's
only because she doesn't know what she ought to be at, and what she
ought not. You could tell her."
"It wouldn't suit me at all to have to quarrel with Camperdown," said
the barrister, laughing.
"You and he would settle everything in five minutes, and it would
save me a world of trouble," said Eustace.
"Fawn is your man;--take my word for it," said Greystock, as he
walked back into the House.
* * * * *
Dramatists, when they write their plays, have a delightful privilege
of prefixing a list of their personages;--and the dramatists of old
used to tell us who was in love with whom, and what were the blood
relationships of all the persons. In such a narrative as this, any
proceeding of that kind would be unusual,--and therefore the poor
narrator has been driven to expend his first four chapters in the
mere task of introducing his characters. He regrets the length of
these introductions, and will now begin at once the action of his
The Eustace Necklace
John Eustace, Lady Eustace's brother-in-law, had told his friend
Greystock, the lady's cousin, that Mr. Camperdown the lawyer intended
to "jump upon" that lady. Making such allowance and deduction from
the force of these words as the slang expression requires, we may say
that John Eustace was right. Mr. Camperdown was in earnest, and did
intend to obtain the restoration of those jewels. Mr. Camperdown
was a gentleman of about sixty, who had been lawyer to Sir
Florian's father, and whose father had been lawyer to Sir Florian's
grandfather. His connexion with the property and with the family
was of a nature to allow him to take almost any liberty with the
Eustaces. When therefore John Eustace, in regard to those diamonds,
had pleaded that the heir in his long minority would obtain ample
means of buying more diamonds, and of suggesting that the plunder for
the sake of tranquillity should be allowed, Mr. Camperdown took upon
himself to say that he'd "be ---- if he'd put up with it!" "I really
don't know what you are to do," said John Eustace.
"I'll file a bill in Chancery if it's necessary," said the old
lawyer. "Heaven on earth! as trustee how are you to reconcile
yourself to such a robbery? They represent £500 a year for ever, and
she is to have them simply because she chooses to take them!"
"I suppose Florian could have given them away. At any rate he could
have sold them."
"I don't know that," said Mr. Camperdown. "I have not looked as yet,
but I think that this necklace has been made an heirloom. At any rate
it represents an amount of property that shouldn't and couldn't be
made over legally without some visible evidence of transfer. It's
as clear a case of stealing as I ever knew in my life, and as bad
a case. She hadn't a farthing, and she has got the whole of the
Ayrshire property for her life. She goes about and tells everybody
that it's hers to sell to-morrow if she pleases to sell it! No,
John;--" Mr. Camperdown had known Eustace when he was a boy, and had
watched him become a man, and hadn't yet learned to drop the name by
which he had called the boy,--"we mustn't allow it. What do you think
of her applying to me for an income to support her child,--a baby not
yet two years old?" Mr. Camperdown had been very adverse to all the
circumstances of Sir Florian's marriage, and had subjected himself to
Sir Florian's displeasure for expressing his opinion. He had tried to
explain that as the lady brought no money into the family she was not
entitled to such a jointure as Sir Florian was determined to lavish
upon her. But Sir Florian had been obstinate,--both in regard to the
settlement and the will. It was not till after Sir Florian's death
that this terrible matter of the jewels had even suggested itself to
Mr. Camperdown. The jewellers in whose custody the things had been
since the death of the late Lady Eustace had mentioned the affair to
him immediately on the young widow's return from Naples. Sir Florian
had withdrawn, not all the jewels, but by far the most valuable of
them, from the jewellers' care on his return to London from their
marriage tour to Scotland, and this was the result. The jewellers
were at that time without any doubt as to the date at which the
necklace was taken from them.
Mr. Camperdown's first attempt was made by a most courteous and even
complimentary note, in which he suggested to Lady Eustace that it
would be for the advantage of all parties that the family jewels
should be kept together. Lizzie as she read this note smiled, and
said to herself that she did not exactly see how her own interests
would be best served by such an arrangement. She made no answer to
Mr. Camperdown's note. Some months after this, when the heir was
born, and as Lady Eustace was passing through London on her journey
from Bobsborough to Portray, a meeting had been arranged between her
and Mr. Camperdown. She had endeavoured by all the wiles she knew to
avoid this meeting, but it had been forced upon her. She had been
almost given to understand that unless she submitted to it, she would
not be able to draw her income from the Portray property. Messrs.
Mowbray and Mopus had advised her to submit. "My husband gave me a
necklace, and they want me to give it back," she had said to Mr.
Mopus. "Do nothing of the kind," Mr. Mopus had replied. "If you find
it necessary, refer Mr. Camperdown to us. We will answer him." The
interview had taken place, during which Mr. Camperdown took the
trouble to explain very plainly and more than once that the income
from the Portray property belonged to Lady Eustace for her life
only. It would after her death be rejoined, of necessity, to the
rest of the Eustace property. This was repeated to Lady Eustace
in the presence of John Eustace; but she made no remark on being
so informed. "You understand the nature of the settlement, Lady
Eustace?" Mr. Camperdown had said. "I believe I understand
everything," she replied. Then, just at the close of the interview,
he asked a question about the jewels. Lady Eustace at first made no
reply. "They might as well be sent back to Messrs. Garnett's," said
Mr. Camperdown. "I don't know that I have any to send back," she
answered; and then she escaped before Mr. Camperdown was able to
arrange any further attack. "I can manage with her better by letter
than I can personally," he said to John Eustace.
Lawyers such as Mr. Camperdown are slow, and it was three or four
months after that when he wrote a letter in his own name to Lady
Eustace, explaining to her, still courteously, that it was his
business to see that the property of the Eustace family was placed in
fit hands, and that a certain valuable necklace of diamonds, which
was an heirloom of the family, and which was undeniably the property
of the heir, was believed to be in her custody. As such property was
peculiarly subject to risks, would she have the kindness to make
arrangements for handing over the necklace to the custody of the
Messrs. Garnett? To this letter Lizzie made no answer whatever, nor
did she to a second note, calling attention to the first. When John
Eustace told Greystock that Camperdown intended to "jump on" Lady
Eustace, the following further letter had been written by the
firm;--but up to that time Lizzie had not replied to it:
62, New Square, Lincoln's Inn,
May 5, 186--.
It is our duty as attorneys acting on behalf of the estate
of your late husband Sir Florian Eustace, and in the
interest of your son, his heir, to ask for restitution
of a certain valuable diamond necklace which is believed
to be now in the possession of your ladyship. Our senior
partner, Mr. Camperdown, has written to your ladyship more
than once on the subject, but has not been honoured with
any reply. Doubtless had there been any mistake as to
the necklace being in your hands we should have been
so informed. The diamonds were withdrawn from Messrs.
Garnett's, the jewellers, by Sir Florian soon after his
marriage, and were, no doubt, entrusted to your keeping.
They are appanages of the family which should not be in
your hands as the widow of the late baronet, and they
constitute an amount of property which certainly cannot
be alienated from the family without inquiry or right, as
might any trifling article either of use or ornament. The
jewels are valued at over £10,000.
We are reluctantly compelled, by the fact of your having
left unanswered three letters from Mr. Camperdown, Senior,
on the subject, to explain to you that if attention be
not paid to this letter, we shall be obliged, in the
performance of our duty, to take legal steps for the
restitution of the property.
We have the honour to be,
Your ladyship's most obedient servants,
CAMPERDOWN & SON.
To Lady Eustace.
A few days after it was sent old Mr. Camperdown got the letter-book
of the office and read the letter to John Eustace.
"I don't see how you're to get them," said Eustace.
"We'll throw upon her the burthen of showing that they have become
legally her property. She can't do it."
"Suppose she sold them?"
"We'll follow them up. £10,000, my dear John! God bless my soul! it's
a magnificent dowry for a daughter,--an ample provision for a younger
son. And she is to be allowed to filch it, as other widows filch
china cups, and a silver teaspoon or two! It's quite a common thing,
but I never heard of such a haul as this."
"It will be very unpleasant," said Eustace.
"And then she still goes about everywhere declaring that the Portray
property is her own. She's a bad lot. I knew it from the first. Of
course we shall have trouble." Then Mr. Eustace explained to the
lawyer that their best way out of it all would be to get the widow
married to some respectable husband. She was sure to marry sooner or
later,--so John Eustace said,--and any "decently decent" fellow would
be easier to deal with than she herself. "He must be very indecently
indecent if he is not," said Mr. Camperdown. But Mr. Eustace did not
name Frank Greystock the barrister as the probable future decent
When Lizzie first got the letter, which she did on the day after the
visit at Fawn Court of which mention has been made, she put it by
unread for a couple of days. She opened it, not knowing the clerk's
handwriting, but read only the first line and the signature. For two
days she went on with the ordinary affairs and amusements of her
life, as though no such letter had reached her; but she was thinking
of it all the time. The diamonds were in her possession, and she had
had them valued by her old friend Mr. Benjamin--of the firm of Harter
and Benjamin. Mr. Benjamin had suggested that stones of such a value
should not be left to the risk of an ordinary London house; but
Lizzie had felt that if Mr. Benjamin got them into his hands, Mr.
Benjamin might perhaps not return them. Messrs. Camperdown and
Garnett between them might form a league with Mr. Benjamin. Where
would she be, should Mr. Benjamin tell her that under some legal
sanction he had given the jewels up to Mr. Camperdown? She hinted
to Mr. Benjamin that she would perhaps sell them if she got a good
offer. Mr. Benjamin, who was very familiar with her, hinted that
there might be a little family difficulty. "Oh, none in the least,"
said Lizzie;--"but I don't think I shall part with them." Then she
gave Mr. Benjamin an order for a strong box, which was supplied to
her. The strong box, which was so heavy that she could barely lift it
herself, was now in her London bedroom.
On the morning of the third day she read the letter. Miss Macnulty
was staying with her, but she had not said a word to Miss Macnulty
about the letter. She read it up in her own bedroom, and then sat
down to think about it. Sir Florian, as he had handed to her the
stones for the purpose of a special dinner party which had been
given to them when passing through London, had told her that they
were family jewels. "That setting was done for my mother," he said,
"but it is already old. When we are at home again they shall be
reset." Then he had added some little husband's joke as to a future
daughter-in-law who should wear them. Nevertheless she was not sure
whether the fact of their being so handed to her did not make them
her own. She had spoken a second time to Mr. Mopus, and Mr. Mopus had
asked her whether there existed any family deed as to the diamonds.
She had heard of no such deed, nor did Mr. Camperdown mention such a
deed. After reading the letter once she read it a dozen times; and
then, like a woman, made up her mind that her safest course would be
not to answer it.
But yet she felt sure that something unpleasant would come of it. Mr.
Camperdown was not a man to take up such a question and to let it
drop. Legal steps! What did legal steps mean, and what could they do
to her? Would Mr. Camperdown be able to put her in prison,--or to
take away from her the estate of Portray? She could swear that her
husband had given them to her, and could invent any form of words
she pleased as accompanying the gift. No one else had been near them
then. But she was, and felt herself to be absolutely, alarmingly
ignorant, not only of the laws, but of custom in such matters.
Messrs. Mowbray and Mopus and Mr. Benjamin were the allies to whom
she looked for guidance; but she was wise enough to know that
Mowbray and Mopus, and Harter and Benjamin were not trustworthy,
whereas Camperdown and Son and the Messrs. Garnett were all
as firm as rocks and as respectable as the Bank of England.
Circumstances,--unfortunate circumstances,--drove her to Harter and
Benjamin and to Mowbray and Mopus, while she would have taken so much
delight in feeling the strong honesty of the other people to be on
her side! She would have talked to her friends about Mr. Camperdown
and the people at Garnett's with so much satisfaction! But ease,
security, and even respectability may be bought too dearly. Ten
thousand pounds! Was she prepared to surrender such a sum as that?
She had, indeed, already realised the fact that it might be very
difficult to touch the money. When she had suggested to Mr. Benjamin
that he should buy the jewels, that worthy tradesman had by no means
jumped at the offer. Of what use to her would be a necklace always
locked up in an iron box, which box, for aught she knew, myrmidons
from Mr. Camperdown might carry off during her absence from the
house? Would it not be better to come to terms and surrender? But
then what should the terms be?
If only there had been a friend whom she could consult; a friend
whom she could consult on a really friendly footing!--not a simply
respectable, off-handed, high-minded friend, who would advise her as
a matter of course to make restitution. Her uncle the dean, or her
cousin Frank, or old Lady Fawn, would be sure to give her such advice
as that. There are people who are so very high-minded when they have
to deal with the interests of their friends! What if she were to ask
Thoughts of a second marriage had, of course, crossed Lady Eustace's
mind, and they were by no means the worst thoughts that found a place
there. She had a grand idea,--this selfish, hard-fisted little woman,
who could not bring herself to abandon the plunder on which she had
laid her hand,--a grand idea of surrendering herself and all her
possessions to a great passion. For Florian Eustace she had never
cared. She had sat down by his side, and looked into his handsome
face, and read poetry to him,--because of his wealth, and because
it had been indispensable to her to settle herself well. And he had
been all very well,--a generous, open-hearted, chivalrous, irascible,
but rather heavy-minded gentleman; but she had never been in love
with him. Now she desired to be so in love that she could surrender
everything to her love. There was as yet nothing of such love in her
bosom. She had seen no one who had so touched her. But she was alive
to the romance of the thing, and was in love with the idea of being
in love. "Ah," she would say to herself in her moments of solitude,
"if I had a Corsair of my own, how I would sit on watch for my
lover's boat by the sea-shore!" And she believed it of herself, that
she could do so.
But it would also be very nice to be a peeress,--so that she might,
without any doubt, be one of the great ladies of London. As a
baronet's widow with a large income, she was already almost a great
lady; but she was quite alive to a suspicion that she was not
altogether strong in her position. The bishop's people and the dean's
people did not quite trust her. The Camperdowns and Garnetts utterly
distrusted her. The Mopuses and Benjamins were more familiar than
they would be with a really great lady. She was sharp enough to
understand all this. Should it be Lord Fawn or should it be a
Corsair? The worst of Lord Fawn was the undoubted fact that he was
not himself a great man. He could, no doubt, make his wife a peeress;
but he was poor, encumbered with a host of sisters, dull as a
blue-book, and possessed of little beyond his peerage to recommend
him. If she could only find a peer, unmarried, with a dash of the
Corsair about him! In the meantime, what was she to do about the
There was staying with her at this time a certain Miss Macnulty, who
was related, after some distant fashion, to old Lady Linlithgow, and
who was as utterly destitute of possessions or means of existence
as any unfortunate, well-born, and moderately-educated, middle-aged
woman in London. To live upon her friends, such as they might be,
was the only mode of life within her reach. It was not that she had
chosen such dependence; nor, indeed, had she endeavoured to reject
it. It had come to her as a matter of course,--either that or the
poor-house. As to earning her bread, except by that attendance which
a poor friend gives,--the idea of any possibility that way had never
entered her head. She could do nothing,--except dress like a lady
with the smallest possible cost, and endeavour to be obliging.
Now, at this moment, her condition was terribly precarious. She
had quarrelled with Lady Linlithgow, and had been taken in by
her old friend Lizzie,--her old enemy might, perhaps, be a truer
expression,--because of that quarrel. But a permanent home had not
even been promised to her; and poor Miss Macnulty was aware that even
a permanent home with Lady Eustace would not be an unmixed blessing.
In her way, Miss Macnulty was an honest woman.
They were sitting together one May afternoon in the little back
drawing-room in Mount Street. They had dined early, were now drinking
tea, and intended to go to the opera. It was six o'clock, and was
still broad day, but the thick coloured blind was kept across the
single window, and the folding doors of the room were nearly closed,
and there was a feeling of evening in the room. The necklace during
the whole day had been so heavy on Lizzie's heart, that she had been
unable to apply her thoughts to the building of that castle in the
air in which the Corsair was to reign supreme, but not alone. "My
dear," she said,--she generally called Miss Macnulty my dear,--"you
know that box I had made by the jewellers."
"You mean the safe."
"Well,--yes; only it isn't a safe. A safe is a great big thing. I had
it made especially for the diamonds Sir Florian gave me."
"I supposed it was so."
"I wonder whether there's any danger about it?"
"If I were you, Lady Eustace, I wouldn't keep them in the house. I
should have them kept where Sir Florian kept them. Suppose anybody
should come and murder you!"
"I'm not a bit afraid of that," said Lizzie.
"I should be. And what will you do with it when you go to Scotland?"
"I took them with me before;--in my own care. I know that wasn't
safe. I wish I knew what to do with them!"
"There are people who keep such things," said Miss Macnulty.
Then Lizzie paused a moment. She was dying for counsel and for
confidence. "I cannot trust them anywhere," she said. "It is just
possible there may be a lawsuit about them."
"How a lawsuit?"
"I cannot explain it all, but I am very unhappy about it. They want
me to give them up;--but my husband gave them to me, and for his
sake I will not do so. When he threw them round my neck he told me
that they were my own;--so he did. How can a woman give up such a
present,--from a husband,--who is dead? As to the value, I care
nothing. But I won't do it." By this time Lady Eustace was in tears,
and had so far succeeded as to have produced some amount of belief in
Miss Macnulty's mind.
"If they are your own, they can't take them from you," said Miss
"They sha'n't. They shall find that I've got some spirit left." Then
she reflected that a real Corsair lover would protect her jewels
for her;--would guard them against a score of Camperdowns. But she
doubted whether Lord Fawn would do much in that way. Then the door
was opened, and Lord Fawn was announced. It was not at all unusual
with Lord Fawn to call on the widow at this hour. Mount Street is not
exactly in the way from the India Office to the House of Lords; but
a Hansom cab can make it almost in the way. Of neglect of official
duty Lord Fawn was never guilty; but a half hour for private business
or for relaxation between one stage of duty and another,--can any
Minister grudge so much to an indefatigable follower? Lady Eustace
had been in tears as he was announced, but the light of the room was
so low that the traces of them could hardly be seen. She was in her
Corsair state of mind, divided between her jewels and her poetry, and
caring not very much for the increased rank which Lord Fawn could
give her. "The Sawab's case is coming on in the House of Commons this
very night," he said, in answer to a question from Miss Macnulty.
Then he turned to Lady Eustace. "Your cousin, Mr. Greystock, is going
to ask a question in the House."
"Shall you be there to answer him?" asked Miss Macnulty innocently.
"Oh dear, no. But I shall be present. A peer can go, you know."
Then Lord Fawn, at considerable length, explained to the two ladies
the nature and condition of the British Parliament. Miss Macnulty
experienced an innocent pleasure in having such things told to her by
a lord. Lady Eustace knew that this was the way in which Lord Fawn
made love, and thought that from him it was as good as any other way.
If she were to marry a second time simply with the view of being a
peeress, of having a respected husband, and making good her footing
in the world, she would as lief listen to parliamentary details and
the prospects of the Sawab as to any other matters. She knew very
well that no Corsair propensities would be forthcoming from Lord
Fawn. Lord Fawn had just worked himself round to the Sawab again,
when Frank Greystock entered the room. "Now we have both the Houses
represented," said Lady Eustace, as she welcomed her cousin.
"You intend to ask your question about the Sawab to-night?" asked
Lord Fawn, with intense interest, feeling that, had it been his lot
to perform that task before he went to his couch, he would at this
moment have been preparing his little speech.
But Frank Greystock had not come to his cousin's house to talk of
the Prince of the Mygawb territory. When his friend Eustace had
suggested to him that he should marry the widow, he had ridiculed
the idea;--but nevertheless he had thought of it a good deal. He was
struggling hard, working diligently, making for himself a character
in Parliament, succeeding,--so said all his friends,--as a barrister.
He was a rising young man, one of those whose names began to be much
in the mouths of other men;--but still he was poor. It seemed to
himself that among other good gifts that of economy had not been
bestowed upon him. He owed a little money, and though he owed it,
he went on spending his earnings. He wanted just such a lift in the
world as a wife with an income would give him. As for looking about
for a girl whom he could honestly love, and who should have a fortune
of her own as well as beauty, birth, and all the other things,--that
was out of his reach. If he talked to himself of love, if he were
ever to acknowledge to himself that love was to have sway over him,
then must Lucy Morris be the mistress of his heart. He had come to
know enough about himself to be aware of that;--but he knew also
that he had said nothing binding him to walk in that path. It was
quite open to him to indulge a discreet ambition without dishonour.
Therefore he also had come to call upon the beautiful widow. The
courtship with her he knew need not be long. He could ask her to
marry him to-morrow,--as for that matter to-day,--without a feeling
of hesitation. She might accept him or might reject him; but, as he
said to himself, in neither case would any harm be done.
An idea of the same kind flitted across Lizzie's mind as she sat
and talked to the two gentlemen. She knew that her cousin Frank was
poor, but she thought that she could fall in love with him. He was
not exactly a Corsair;--but he was a man who had certain Corsair
propensities. He was bold and dashing, unscrupulous and clever, a man
to make a name for himself, and one to whom a woman could endure to
be obedient. There could be no question as to choice between him and
Lord Fawn, if she were to allow herself to choose by liking. And she
thought that Frank Greystock would keep the necklace, if he himself
were made to have an interest in the necklace; whereas Lord Fawn
would undoubtedly surrender it at once to Mr. Camperdown.
Lord Fawn had some slight idea of waiting to see the cousin go; but
as Greystock had a similar idea, and as he was the stronger of the
two, of course Lord Fawn went. He perhaps remembered that the Hansom
cab was at the door,--costing sixpence every fifteen minutes,--and
that he wished to show himself in the House of Lords before the peers
rose. Miss Macnulty also left the room, and Frank was alone with the
widow. "Lizzie," said he, "you must be very solitary here."
"I am solitary."
"And hardly happy."
"Anything but happy, Frank. I have things that make me very
unhappy;--one thing that I will tell you if you will let me." Frank
had almost made up his mind to ask her on the spot to give him
permission to console all her sorrows, when there came a clattering
double-knock at the door. "They know I shall be at home to nobody
else now," said Lady Eustace. But Frank Greystock had hardly regained
his self-possession when Miss Macnulty hurried into the room, and,
with a look almost of horror, declared that Lady Linlithgow was in
Lady Linlithgow's Mission
"Lady Linlithgow!"--said Frank Greystock, holding up both his hands.
"Yes, indeed!" said Miss Macnulty. "I did not speak to her, but I saw
her. She has sent her--love to Lady Eustace, and begs that she will
Lady Eustace had been so surprised by the announcement that hitherto
she had not spoken a word. The quarrel between her and her aunt
had been of such a nature that it had seemed to be impossible that
the old countess should come to Mount Street. Lizzie had certainly
behaved very badly to her aunt;--about as badly as a young woman
could behave to an old woman. She had accepted bread, and shelter,
and the very clothes on her back from her aunt's bounty, and had
rejected even the hand of her benefactress the first moment that she
had bread, and shelter, and clothes of her own. And here was Lady
Linlithgow down-stairs in the parlour, and sending up her love to her
niece! "I won't see her!" said Lizzie.
"You had better see her," said Frank.
"I can't see her!" said Lizzie. "Good gracious, my dear--what has she
"She says it's very important," said Miss Macnulty.
"Of course you must see her," said Frank. "Let me get out of the
house, and then tell the servant to show her up at once. Don't be
weak now, Lizzie, and I'll come and find out all about it to-morrow."
"Mind you do," said Lizzie. Then Frank took his departure, and Lizzie
did as she was bidden. "You remain in here, Julia," she said,--"so as
to be near if I want you. She shall come into the front room." Then,
absolutely shaking with fear of the approaching evil, she took her
seat in the largest drawing-room. There was still a little delay.
Time was given to Frank Greystock to get away, and to do so without
meeting Lady Linlithgow in the passage. The message was conveyed by
Miss Macnulty to the servant, and the same servant opened the front
door for Frank before he delivered it. Lady Linlithgow, too, though
very strong, was old. She was slow, or perhaps it might more properly
be said she was stately in her movements. She was one of those old
women who are undoubtedly old women,--who in the remembrance of
younger people seem always to have been old women,--but on whom old
age appears to have no debilitating effects. If the hand of Lady
Linlithgow ever trembled, it trembled from anger;--if her foot ever
faltered, it faltered for effect. In her way Lady Linlithgow was
a very powerful human being. She knew nothing of fear, nothing of
charity, nothing of mercy, and nothing of the softness of love. She
had no imagination. She was worldly, covetous, and not unfrequently
cruel. But she meant to be true and honest, though she often failed
in her meaning;--and she had an idea of her duty in life. She was not
self-indulgent. She was as hard as an oak post,--but then she was
also as trustworthy. No human being liked her;--but she had the good
word of a great many human beings. At great cost to her own comfort
she had endeavoured to do her duty to her niece, Lizzie Greystock,
when Lizzie was homeless. Undoubtedly Lizzie's bed, while it had been
spread under her aunt's roof, had not been one of roses; but such as
it had been, she had endured to occupy it while it served her needs.
She had constrained herself to bear her aunt;--but from the moment
of her escape she had chosen to reject her aunt altogether. Now her
aunt's heavy step was heard upon the stairs! Lizzie also was a brave
woman after a certain fashion. She could dare to incur a great danger
for an adequate object. But she was too young as yet to have become
mistress of that persistent courage which was Lady Linlithgow's
When the countess entered the drawing-room Lizzie rose upon her
legs, but did not come forward from her chair. The old woman was not
tall;--but her face was long, and at the same time large, square
at the chin and square at the forehead, and gave her almost an
appearance of height. Her nose was very prominent, not beaked, but
straight and strong, and broad at the bridge, and of a dark-red
colour. Her eyes were sharp and grey. Her mouth was large, and over
it there was almost beard enough for a young man's moustache. Her
chin was firm, and large, and solid. Her hair was still brown, and
was only just grizzled in parts. Nothing becomes an old woman like
grey hair, but Lady Linlithgow's hair would never be grey. Her
appearance on the whole was not pre-possessing, but it gave one
an idea of honest, real strength. What one saw was not buckram,
whalebone, paint, and false hair. It was all human,--hardly
feminine, certainly not angelic, with perhaps a hint in the other
direction,--but a human body, and not a thing of pads and patches.
Lizzie, as she saw her aunt, made up her mind for the combat. Who is
there that has lived to be a man or woman, and has not experienced
a moment in which a combat has impended, and a call for such sudden
courage has been necessary? Alas!--sometimes the combat comes, and
the courage is not there. Lady Eustace was not at her ease as she saw
her aunt enter the room. "Oh, come ye in peace, or come ye in war?"
she would have said had she dared. Her aunt had sent up her love,--if
the message had been delivered aright; but what of love could there
be between the two? The countess dashed at once to the matter in
hand, making no allusion to Lizzie's ungrateful conduct to herself.
"Lizzie," she said, "I've been asked to come to you by Mr.
Camperdown. I'll sit down, if you please."
"Oh, certainly, Aunt Penelope. Mr. Camperdown!"
"Yes;--Mr. Camperdown. You know who he is. He has been with me
because I am your nearest relation. So I am, and therefore I have
come. I don't like it, I can tell you."
"As for that, Aunt Penelope, you've done it to please yourself," said
Lizzie, in a tone of insolence with which Lady Linlithgow had been
familiar in former days.
"No, I haven't, miss. I haven't come for my own pleasure at all.
I have come for the credit of the family, if any good can be done
towards saving it. You've got your husband's diamonds locked up
somewhere, and you must give them back."
"My husband's diamonds were my diamonds," said Lizzie stoutly.
"They are family diamonds, Eustace diamonds, heirlooms,--old property
belonging to the Eustaces, just like their estates. Sir Florian
didn't give 'em away, and couldn't, and wouldn't if he could. Such
things ain't given away in that fashion. It's all nonsense, and you
must give them up."
"Who says so?"
"I say so."
"That's nothing, Aunt Penelope."
"Nothing, is it? You'll see. Mr. Camperdown says so. All the world
will say so. If you don't take care, you'll find yourself brought
into a court of law, my dear, and a jury will say so. That's what it
will come to. What good will they do you? You can't sell them;--and
as a widow you can't wear 'em. If you marry again, you wouldn't
disgrace your husband by going about showing off the Eustace
diamonds! But you don't know anything about 'proper feelings.'"
"I know every bit as much as you do, Aunt Penelope, and I don't want
you to teach me."
"Will you give up the jewels to Mr. Camperdown?"
"Or to the jewellers?"
"No; I won't. I mean to--keep them--for--my child." Then there came
forth a sob, and a tear, and Lizzie's handkerchief was held to her
"Your child! Wouldn't they be kept properly for him, and for the
family, if the jewellers had them? I don't believe you care about
"Aunt Penelope, you had better take care."
"I shall say just what I think, Lizzie. You can't frighten me. The
fact is, you are disgracing the family you have married into, and as
you are my niece--"
"I'm not disgracing anybody. You are disgracing everybody."
"As you are my niece, I have undertaken to come to you and to tell
you that if you don't give 'em up within a week from this time,
they'll proceed against you for--stealing 'em!" Lady Linlithgow, as
she uttered this terrible threat, bobbed her head at her niece in a
manner calculated to add very much to the force of her words. The
words, and tone, and gesture combined were, in truth, awful.
"I didn't steal them. My husband gave them to me with his own hands."
"You wouldn't answer Mr. Camperdown's letters, you know. That alone
will condemn you. After that there isn't a word to be said about
it;--not a word. Mr. Camperdown is the family lawyer, and when he
writes to you letter after letter you take no more notice of him
than a--dog!" The old woman was certainly very powerful. The way in
which she pronounced that last word did make Lady Eustace ashamed of
herself. "Why didn't you answer his letters, unless you knew you were
in the wrong? Of course you knew you were in the wrong."
"No; I didn't. A woman isn't obliged to answer everything that is
written to her."
"Very well! You just say that before the judge! for you'll have to go
before a judge. I tell you, Lizzie Greystock, or Eustace, or whatever
your name is, it's downright picking and stealing. I suppose you want
to sell them."
"I won't stand this, Aunt Penelope!" said Lizzie, rising from her
"You must stand it;--and you'll have to stand worse than that. You
don't suppose Mr. Camperdown got me to come here for nothing. If you
don't want to be made out to be a thief before all the world--"
"I won't stand it!" shrieked Lizzie. "You have no business to come
here and say such things to me. It's my house."
"I shall say just what I please."
"Miss Macnulty, come in." And Lizzie threw open the door, hardly
knowing how the very weak ally whom she now invoked could help her,
but driven by the stress of the combat to seek assistance somewhere.
Miss Macnulty, who was seated near the door, and who had necessarily
heard every word of the conversation, had no alternative but to
appear. Of all human beings Lady Linlithgow was to her the most
terrible, and yet, after a fashion, she loved the old woman. Miss
Macnulty was humble, cowardly, and subservient; but she was not a
fool, and she understood the difference between truth and falsehood.
She had endured fearful things from Lady Linlithgow; but she knew
that there might be more of sound protection in Lady Linlithgow's
real wrath than in Lizzie's pretended affection.
"So you are there, are you?" said the countess.
"Yes;--I am here, Lady Linlithgow."
"Listening, I suppose. Well;--so much the better. You know well
enough, and you can tell her. You ain't a fool, though I suppose
you'll be afraid to open your mouth."
"Julia," said Lady Eustace, "will you have the kindness to see that
my aunt is shown to her carriage. I cannot stand her violence, and I
will go up-stairs." So saying she made her way very gracefully into
the back drawing-room, whence she could escape to her bed-room.
But her aunt fired a last shot at her. "Unless you do as you're bid,
Lizzie, you'll find yourself in prison as sure as eggs!" Then, when
her niece was beyond hearing, she turned to Miss Macnulty. "I suppose
you've heard about these diamonds, Macnulty?"
"I know she's got them, Lady Linlithgow."
"She has no more right to them than you have. I suppose you're afraid
to tell her so, lest she should turn you out;--but it's well she
should know it. I've done my duty. Never mind about the servant. I'll
find my way out of the house." Nevertheless the bell was rung, and
the countess was shown to her carriage with proper consideration.
The two ladies went to the opera, and it was not till after their
return, and just as they were going to bed, that anything further was
said about either the necklace or the visit. Miss Macnulty would not
begin the subject, and Lizzie purposely postponed it. But not for a
moment had it been off Lady Eustace's mind. She did not care much for
music, though she professed to do so,--and thought that she did. But
on this night, had she at other times been a slave to St. Cecilia,
she would have been free from that thraldom. The old woman's threats
had gone into her very heart's blood. Theft, and prison, and juries,
and judges had been thrown at her head so violently that she was
almost stunned. Could it really be the case that they would prosecute
her for stealing? She was Lady Eustace, and who but Lady Eustace
should have these diamonds or be allowed to wear them? Nobody could
say that Sir Florian had not given them to her. It could not, surely,
be brought against her as an actual crime that she had not answered
Mr. Camperdown's letters? And yet she was not sure. Her ideas about
law and judicial proceedings were very vague. Of what was wrong and
what was right she had a distinct notion. She knew well enough that
she was endeavouring to steal the Eustace diamonds; but she did not
in the least know what power there might be in the law to prevent, or
to punish her for the intended theft. She knew well that the thing
was not really her own; but there were, as she thought, so many
points in her favour, that she felt it to be a cruelty that any one
should grudge her the plunder. Was not she the only Lady Eustace
living? As to these threats from Mr. Camperdown and Lady Linlithgow,
she felt certain they would be used against her whether they were
true or false. She would break her heart should she abandon her
prey and afterwards find that Mr. Camperdown would have been wholly
powerless against her had she held on to it. But then who would tell
her the truth? She was sharp enough to understand, or at any rate
suspicious enough to believe, that Mr. Mopus would be actuated by no
other desire in the matter than that of running up a bill against
her. "My dear," she said to Miss Macnulty, as they went up-stairs
after the opera, "come into my room a moment. You heard all that my
"I could not help hearing. You told me to stay there, and the door
"I wanted you to hear. Of course what she said was the greatest
nonsense in the world."
"I don't know."
"When she talked about my being taken to prison for not answering
a lawyer's letter, that must be nonsense?"
"I suppose that was."
"And then she is such a ferocious old termagant,--such an old
vulturess. Now isn't she a ferocious old termagant?" Lizzie paused
for an answer, desirous that her companion should join her in her
enmity against her aunt, but Miss Macnulty was unwilling to say
anything against one who had been her protectress, and might,
perhaps, be her protectress again. "You don't mean to say you don't
hate her?" said Lizzie. "If you didn't hate her after all she has
done to you, I should despise you. Don't you hate her?"
"I think she's a very upsetting old woman," said Miss Macnulty.
"Oh, you poor creature! Is that all you dare to say about her?"
"I'm obliged to be a poor creature," said Miss Macnulty, with a red
spot on each of her cheeks.
Lady Eustace understood this, and relented. "But you needn't be
afraid," she said, "to tell me what you think."
"About the diamonds, you mean?"
"Yes; about the diamonds."
"You have enough without them. I'd give 'em up for peace and quiet."
That was Miss Macnulty's advice.
"No;--I haven't enough;--or nearly enough. I've had to buy ever so
many things since my husband died. They've done all they could to be
hard to me. They made me pay for the very furniture at Portray." This
wasn't true; but it was true that Lizzie had endeavoured to palm off
on the Eustace estate bills for new things which she had ordered for
her own country-house. "I haven't near enough. I am in debt already.
People talked as though I were the richest woman in the world; but
when it comes to be spent, I ain't rich. Why should I give them up if
they're my own?"
"Not if they're your own."
"If I give you a present and then die, people can't come and take it
away afterwards because I didn't put it into my will. There'd be no
making presents like that at all." This Lizzie said with an evident
conviction in the strength of her argument.
"But this necklace is so very valuable."
"That can't make a difference. If a thing is a man's own he can give
it away;--not a house, or a farm, or a wood, or anything like that;
but a thing that he can carry about with him,--of course he can give
"But perhaps Sir Florian didn't mean to give it for always,"
suggested Miss Macnulty.
"But perhaps he did. He told me that they were mine, and I shall
keep them. So that's the end of it. You can go to bed now." And Miss
Macnulty went to bed.
Lizzie, as she sat thinking of it, owned to herself that no help was
to be expected in that quarter. She was not angry with Miss Macnulty,
who was, almost of necessity, a poor creature. But she was convinced
more strongly than ever that some friend was necessary to her who
should not be a poor creature. Lord Fawn, though a peer, was a poor
creature. Frank Greystock she believed to be as strong as a house.
Mr. Burke's Speeches
Lucy Morris had been told by Lady Fawn that,--in point of fact that,
being a governess, she ought to give over falling in love with
Frank Greystock, and she had not liked it. Lady Fawn no doubt had
used words less abrupt,--had probably used but few words, and had
expressed her meaning chiefly by little winks, and shakings of her
head, and small gestures of her hands, and had ended by a kiss,--in
all of which she had intended to mingle mercy with justice, and had,
in truth, been full of love. Nevertheless, Lucy had not liked it. No
girl likes to be warned against falling in love, whether the warning
be needed or not needed. In this case Lucy knew very well that the
caution was too late. It might be all very well for Lady Fawn to
decide that her governess should not receive visits from a lover in
her house;--and then the governess might decide whether, in those
circumstances, she would remain or go away; but Lady Fawn could have
no right to tell her governess not to be in love. All this Lucy said
to herself over and over again, and yet she knew that Lady Fawn had
treated her well. The old woman had kissed her, and purred over her,
and praised her, and had really loved her. As a matter of course,
Lucy was not entitled to have a lover. Lucy knew that well enough. As
she walked alone among the shrubs she made arguments in defence of
Lady Fawn as against herself. And yet at every other minute she would
blaze up into a grand wrath, and picture to herself a scene in which
she would tell Lady Fawn boldly that as her lover had been banished
from Fawn Court, she, Lucy, would remain there no longer. There were
but two objections to this course. The first was that Frank Greystock
was not her lover; and the second, that on leaving Fawn Court
she would not know whither to betake herself. It was understood
by everybody that she was never to leave Fawn Court till an
unexceptionable home should be found for her, either with the
Hittaways or elsewhere. Lady Fawn would no more allow her to go away,
depending for her future on the mere chance of some promiscuous
engagement, than she would have turned one of her own daughters out
of the house in the same forlorn condition. Lady Fawn was a tower
of strength to Lucy. But then a tower of strength may at any moment
become a dungeon.
Frank Greystock was not her lover. Ah,--there was the worst of it
all! She had given her heart and had got nothing in return. She
conned it all over in her own mind, striving to ascertain whether
there was any real cause for shame to her in her own conduct. Had she
been unmaidenly? Had she been too forward with her heart? Had it been
extracted from her, as women's hearts are extracted, by efforts on
the man's part; or had she simply chucked it away from her to the
first comer? Then she remembered certain scenes at the deanery, words
that had been spoken, looks that had been turned upon her, a pressure
of the hand late at night, a little whisper, a ribbon that had been
begged, a flower that had been given;--and once, once--; then there
came a burning blush upon her cheek that there should have been so
much, and yet so little that was of avail. She had no right to say
to any one that the man was her lover. She had no right to assure
herself that he was her lover. But she knew that some wrong was done
her in that he was not her lover.
Of the importance of her own self as a living thing with a heart to
suffer and a soul to endure, she thought enough. She believed in
herself, thinking of herself, that should it ever be her lot to be a
man's wife, she would be to him a true, loving friend and companion,
living in his joys, and fighting, if it were necessary, down to the
stumps of her nails in his interests. But of what she had to give
over and above her heart and intellect she never thought at all. Of
personal beauty she had very little appreciation even in others. The
form and face of Lady Eustace, which indeed were very lovely, were
distasteful to her; whereas she delighted to look upon the broad,
plain, colourless countenance of Lydia Fawn, who was endeared to
her by frank good humour and an unselfish disposition. In regard to
men she had never asked herself the question whether this man was
handsome or that man ugly. Of Frank Greystock she knew that his face
was full of quick intellect; and of Lord Fawn she knew that he bore
no outward index of mind. One man she not only loved, but could not
help loving; the other man, as regarded that sort of sympathy which
marriage should recognise, must always have been worlds asunder from
her. She knew that men demand that women shall possess beauty, and
she certainly had never thought of herself as beautiful; but it did
not occur to her that on that account she was doomed to fail. She was
too strong-hearted for any such fear. She did not think much of these
things, but felt herself to be so far endowed as to be fit to be
the wife of such a man as Frank Greystock. She was a proud, stout,
self-confident, but still modest little woman, too fond of truth to
tell lies of herself even to herself. She was possessed of a great
power of sympathy, genial, very social, greatly given to the mirth
of conversation,--though in talking she would listen much and say
but little. She was keenly alive to humour, and had at her command a
great fund of laughter, which would illumine her whole face without
producing a sound from her mouth. She knew herself to be too good to
be a governess for life;--and yet how could it be otherwise with her?
Lady Linlithgow's visit to her niece had been made on a Thursday,
and on that same evening Frank Greystock had asked his question in
the House of Commons,--or rather had made his speech about the Sawab
of Mygawb. We all know the meaning of such speeches. Had not Frank
belonged to the party that was out, and had not the resistance to
the Sawab's claim come from the party that was in, Frank would not
probably have cared much about the prince. We may be sure that he
would not have troubled himself to read a line of that very dull
and long pamphlet of which he had to make himself master before he
could venture to stir in the matter, had not the road of Opposition
been open to him in that direction. But what exertion will not a
politician make with the view of getting the point of his lance
within the joints of his enemies' harness? Frank made his speech, and
made it very well. It was just the case for a lawyer, admitting that
kind of advocacy which it is a lawyer's business to practise. The
Indian minister of the day, Lord Fawn's chief, had determined, after
much anxious consideration, that it was his duty to resist the claim;
and then, for resisting it, he was attacked. Had he yielded to the
claim, the attack would have been as venomous, and very probably
would have come from the same quarter. No blame by such an assertion
is cast upon the young Conservative aspirant for party honours. It is
thus the war is waged. Frank Greystock took up the Sawab's case, and
would have drawn mingled tears and indignation from his hearers, had
not his hearers all known the conditions of the contest. On neither
side did the hearers care much for the Sawab's claims, but they felt
that Greystock was making good his own claims to some future reward
from his party. He was very hard upon the minister,--and he was
hard also upon Lord Fawn, stating that the cruelty of Government
ascendancy had never been put forward as a doctrine in plainer terms
than those which had been used in "another place" in reference to the
wrongs of this poor ill-used native chieftain. This was very grievous
to Lord Fawn, who had personally desired to favour the ill-used
chieftain;--and harder again because he and Greystock were intimate
with each other. He felt the thing keenly, and was full of his
grievance when, in accordance with his custom, he came down to Fawn
Court on the Saturday evening.
The Fawn family, which consisted entirely of women, dined early. On
Saturdays, when his lordship would come down, a dinner was prepared
for him alone. On Sundays they all dined together at three o'clock.
On Sunday evening Lord Fawn would return to town to prepare himself
for his Monday's work. Perhaps, also, he disliked the sermon which
Lady Fawn always read to the assembled household at nine o'clock on
Sunday evening. On this Saturday he came out into the grounds after
dinner, where the oldest unmarried daughter, the present Miss Fawn,
was walking with Lucy Morris. It was almost a summer evening;--so
much so, that some of the party had been sitting on the garden
benches, and four of the girls were still playing croquet on the
lawn, though there was hardly light enough to see the balls. Miss
Fawn had already told Lucy that her brother was very angry with
Mr. Greystock. Now, Lucy's sympathies were all with Frank and the
Sawab. She had endeavoured, indeed, and had partially succeeded, in
perverting the Under-Secretary. Nor did she now intend to change her
opinions, although all the Fawn girls, and Lady Fawn, were against
her. When a brother or a son is an Under-Secretary of State, sisters
and mothers will constantly be on the side of the Government, so far
as that Under-Secretary's office is concerned.
"Upon my word, Frederic," said Augusta Fawn, "I do think Mr.
Greystock was too bad."
"There's nothing these fellows won't say or do," exclaimed Lord Fawn.
"I can't understand it myself. When I've been in opposition, I never
did that kind of thing."
"I wonder whether it was because he is angry with mamma," said Miss
Fawn. Everybody who knew the Fawns knew that Augusta Fawn was not
clever, and that she would occasionally say the very thing that ought
not to be said.
"Oh, dear, no," said the Under-Secretary, who could not endure the
idea that the weak women-kind of his family should have, in any way,
an influence on the august doings of Parliament.
"You know mamma did--"
"Nothing of that kind at all," said his lordship, putting down his
sister with great authority. "Mr. Greystock is simply not an honest
politician. That is about the whole of it. He chose to attack me
because there was an opportunity. There isn't a man in either House
who cares for such things, personally, less than I do;"--had his
lordship said "more than he did," he might, perhaps, have been
correct;--"but I can't bear the feeling. The fact is, a lawyer never
understands what is and what is not fair fighting."
Lucy felt her face tingling with heat, and was preparing to say
a word in defence of that special lawyer, when Lady Fawn's voice
was heard from the drawing-room window. "Come in, girls. It's nine
o'clock." In that house Lady Fawn reigned supreme, and no one ever
doubted, for a moment, as to obedience. The clicking of the balls
ceased, and those who were walking immediately turned their faces to
the drawing-room window. But Lord Fawn, who was not one of the girls,
took another turn by himself, thinking of the wrongs he had endured.
"Frederic is so angry about Mr. Greystock," said Augusta, as soon as
they were seated.
"I do feel that it was provoking," said the second sister.
"And considering that Mr. Greystock has so often been here, I don't
think it was kind," said the third.
Lydia did not speak, but could not refrain from glancing her eyes at
Lucy's face. "I believe everything is considered fair in Parliament,"
said Lady Fawn.
Then Lord Fawn, who had heard the last words, entered through the
window. "I don't know about that, mother," said he. "Gentleman-like
conduct is the same everywhere. There are things that may be said
and there are things which may not. Mr. Greystock has altogether
gone beyond the usual limits, and I shall take care that he knows my
"You are not going to quarrel with the man?" asked the mother.
"I am not going to fight him, if you mean that; but I shall let him
know that I think that he has transgressed." This his lordship said
with that haughty superiority which a man may generally display with
safety among the women of his own family.
Lucy had borne a great deal, knowing well that it was better that she
should bear such injury in silence;--but there was a point beyond
which she could not endure it. It was intolerable to her that Mr.
Greystock's character as a gentleman should be impugned before all
the ladies of the family, every one of whom did, in fact, know her
liking for the man. And then it seemed to her that she could rush
into the battle, giving a side blow at his lordship on behalf of his
absent antagonist, but appearing to fight for the Sawab. There had
been a time when the poor Sawab was in favour at Fawn Court. "I think
Mr. Greystock was right to say all he could for the prince. If he
took up the cause, he was bound to make the best of it." She spoke
with energy and with a heightened colour; and Lady Fawn, hearing her,
shook her head at her.
"Did you read Mr. Greystock's speech, Miss Morris?" asked Lord Fawn.
"Every word of it, in the "Times"."
"And you understood his allusion to what I had been called upon to
say in the House of Lords on behalf of the Government?"
"I suppose I did. It did not seem to be difficult to understand."
"I do think Mr. Greystock should have abstained from attacking
Frederic," said Augusta.
"It was not--not quite the thing that we are accustomed to," said
"Of course I don't know about that," said Lucy. "I think the prince
is being used very ill,--that he is being deprived of his own
property,--that he is kept out of his rights, just because he is
weak, and I am very glad that there is some one to speak up for him."
"My dear Lucy," said Lady Fawn, "if you discuss politics with Lord
Fawn, you'll get the worst of it."
"I don't at all object to Miss Morris's views about the Sawab," said
the Under-Secretary generously. "There is a great deal to be said on
both sides. I know of old that Miss Morris is a great friend of the
"You used to be his friend too," said Lucy.
"I felt for him,--and do feel for him. All that is very well. I ask
no one to agree with me on the question itself. I only say that Mr.
Greystock's mode of treating it was unbecoming."
"I think it was the very best speech I ever read in my life," said
Lucy, with headlong energy and heightened colour.
"Then, Miss Morris, you and I have very different opinions about
speeches," said Lord Fawn, with severity. "You have, probably, never
read Burke's speeches."
"And I don't want to read them," said Lucy.
"That is another question," said Lord Fawn; and his tone and manner
were very severe indeed.
"We are talking about speeches in Parliament," said Lucy. Poor Lucy!
She knew quite as well as did Lord Fawn that Burke had been a House
of Commons orator; but in her impatience, and from absence of the
habit of argument, she omitted to explain that she was talking about
the speeches of the day.
Lord Fawn held up his hands, and put his head a little on one side.
"My dear Lucy," said Lady Fawn, "you are showing your ignorance.
Where do you suppose that Mr. Burke's speeches were made?"
"Of course I know they were made in Parliament," said Lucy, almost in
"If Miss Morris means that Burke's greatest efforts were not made
in Parliament,--that his speech to the electors of Bristol, for
instance, and his opening address on the trial of Warren Hastings,
were, upon the whole, superior to--"
"I didn't mean anything at all," said Lucy.
"Lord Fawn is trying to help you, my dear," said Lady Fawn.
"I don't want to be helped," said Lucy. "I only mean that I thought
Mr. Greystock's speech as good as it could possibly be. There wasn't
a word in it that didn't seem to me to be just what it ought to be. I
do think that they are ill-treating that poor Indian prince, and I am
very glad that somebody has had the courage to get up and say so."
No doubt it would have been better that Lucy should have held her
tongue. Had she simply been upholding against an opponent a political
speaker whose speech she had read with pleasure, she might have held
her own in the argument against the whole Fawn family. She was a
favourite with them all, and even the Under-Secretary would not have
been hard upon her. But there had been more than this for poor Lucy
to do. Her heart was so truly concerned in the matter, that she could
not refrain herself from resenting an attack on the man she loved.
She had allowed herself to be carried into superlatives, and had
almost been uncourteous to Lord Fawn. "My dear," said Lady Fawn,
"we won't say anything more upon the subject." Lord Fawn took up a
book. Lady Fawn busied herself in her knitting. Lydia assumed a look
of unhappiness, as though something very sad had occurred. Augusta
addressed a question to her brother in a tone which plainly indicated
a feeling on her part that her brother had been ill-used and was
entitled to special consideration. Lucy sat silent and still, and
then left the room with a hurried step. Lydia at once rose to follow
her, but was stopped by her mother. "You had better leave her alone
just at present, my dear," said Lady Fawn.
"I did not know that Miss Morris was so particularly interested in
Mr. Greystock," said Lord Fawn.
"She has known him since she was a child," said his mother.
About an hour afterwards Lady Fawn went up-stairs and found Lucy
sitting all alone in the still so-called school-room. She had no
candle, and had made no pretence to do anything since she had left
the room down-stairs. In the interval family prayers had been read,
and Lucy's absence was unusual and contrary to rule. "Lucy, my dear,
why are you sitting here?" said Lady Fawn.
"Because I am unhappy."
"What makes you unhappy, Lucy?"
"I don't know. I would rather you didn't ask me. I suppose I behaved
"My son would forgive you in a moment if you asked him."
"No;--certainly not. I can beg your pardon, Lady Fawn, but not his.
Of course I had no right to talk about speeches, and politics, and
this prince in your drawing-room."
"Lucy, you astonish me."
"But it is so. Dear Lady Fawn, don't look like that. I know how good
you are to me. I know you let me do things which other governesses
mayn't do;--and say things; but still I am a governess, and I know I
misbehaved--to you." Then Lucy burst into tears.
Lady Fawn, in whose bosom there was no stony corner or morsel of hard
iron, was softened at once. "My dear, you are more like another
daughter to me than anything else."
"Dear Lady Fawn!"
"But it makes me unhappy when I see your mind engaged about Mr.
Greystock. There is the truth, Lucy. You should not think of Mr.
Greystock. Mr. Greystock is a man who has his way to make in the
world, and could not marry you, even if, under other circumstances,
he would wish to do so. You know how frank I am with you, giving you
credit for honest, sound good sense. To me and to my girls, who know
you as a lady, you are as dear a friend as though you were--were
anything you may please to think. Lucy Morris is to us our own dear,
dear little friend Lucy. But Mr. Greystock, who is a Member of
Parliament, could not marry a governess."
"But I love him so dearly," said Lucy, getting up from her chair,
"that his slightest word is to me more than all the words of all the
world beside! It is no use, Lady Fawn. I do love him, and I don't
mean to try to give it up!" Lady Fawn stood silent for a moment, and
then suggested that it would be better for them both to go to bed.
During that minute she had been unable to decide what she had better
say or do in the present emergency.
The Conquering Hero Comes
The reader will perhaps remember that when Lizzie Eustace was told
that her aunt was down-stairs Frank Greystock was with her, and that
he promised to return on the following day to hear the result of the
interview. Had Lady Linlithgow not come at that very moment Frank
would probably have asked his rich cousin to be his wife. She had
told him that she was solitary and unhappy; and after that what else
could he have done but ask her to be his wife? The old countess,
however, arrived, and interrupted him. He went away abruptly,
promising to come on the morrow;--but on the morrow he never came. It
was a Friday, and Lizzie remained at home for him the whole morning.
When four o'clock was passed she knew that he would be at the House.
But still she did not stir. And she contrived that Miss Macnulty
should be absent the entire day. Miss Macnulty was even made to go
to the play by herself in the evening. But her absence was of no
service. Frank Greystock came not; and at eleven at night Lizzie
swore to herself that should he ever come again, he should come in
vain. Nevertheless, through the whole of Saturday she expected him
with more or less of confidence, and on the Sunday morning she was
still well-inclined towards him. It might be that he would come on
that day. She could understand that a man with his hands so full of
business, as were those of her cousin Frank, should find himself
unable to keep an appointment. Nor would there be fair ground
for permanent anger with such a one, even should he forget an
appointment. But surely he would come on the Sunday! She had been
quite sure that the offer was about to be made when that odious old
harridan had come in and disturbed everything. Indeed, the offer had
been all but made. She had felt the premonitory flutter, had asked
herself the important question,--and had answered it. She had told
herself that the thing would do. Frank was not the exact hero that
her fancy had painted,--but he was sufficiently heroic. Everybody
said that he would work his way up to the top of the tree, and become
a rich man. At any rate she had resolved;--and then Lady Linlithgow
had come in! Surely he would come on the Sunday.
He did not come on the Sunday, but Lord Fawn did come. Immediately
after morning church Lord Fawn declared his intention of returning at
once from Fawn Court to town. He was very silent at breakfast, and
his sisters surmised that he was still angry with poor Lucy. Lucy,
too, was unlike herself,--was silent, sad, and oppressed. Lady Fawn
was serious, and almost solemn;--so that there was little even of
holy mirth at Fawn Court on that Sunday morning. The whole family,
however, went to church, and immediately on their return Lord Fawn
expressed his intention of returning to town. All the sisters felt
that an injury had been done to them by Lucy. It was only on Sundays
that their dinner-table was graced by the male member of the family,
and now he was driven away. "I am sorry that you are going to desert
us, Frederic," said Lady Fawn. Lord Fawn muttered something as to
absolute necessity, and went. The afternoon was very dreary at Fawn
Court. Nothing was said on the subject; but there was still the
feeling that Lucy had offended. At four o'clock on that Sunday
afternoon Lord Fawn was closeted with Lady Eustace.
The "closeting" consisted simply in the fact that Miss Macnulty was
not present. Lizzie fully appreciated the pleasure, and utility, and
general convenience of having a companion, but she had no scruple
whatever in obtaining absolute freedom for herself when she desired
it. "My dear," she would say, "the best friends in the world
shouldn't always be together; should they? Wouldn't you like to
go to the Horticultural?" Then Miss Macnulty would go to the
Horticultural,--or else up into her own bed-room. When Lizzie was
beginning to wax wrathful again because Frank Greystock did not come,
Lord Fawn made his appearance. "How kind this is," said Lizzie. "I
thought you were always at Richmond on Sundays."
"I have just come up from my mother's," said Lord Fawn, twiddling his
hat. Then Lizzie, with a pretty eagerness, asked after Lady Fawn and
the girls, and her dear little friend Lucy Morris. Lizzie could be
very prettily eager when she pleased. She leaned forward her face
as she asked her questions, and threw back her loose lustrous lock
of hair, with her long lithe fingers covered with diamonds,--the
diamonds, these, which Sir Florian had really given her, or which she
had procured from Mr. Benjamin in the clever manner described in the
opening chapter. "They are, all quite well, thank you," said Lord
Fawn. "I believe Miss Morris is quite well, though she was a little
out of sorts last night."
"She is not ill, I hope," said Lizzie, bringing the lustrous lock
"In her temper, I mean," said Lord Fawn.
"Indeed! I hope Miss Lucy is not forgetting herself. That would be
very sad, after the great kindness she has received." Lord Fawn said
that it would be very sad, and then put his hat down upon the floor.
It came upon Lizzie at that moment, as by a flash of lightning,--by
an electric message delivered to her intellect by that movement of
the hat,--that she might be sure of Lord Fawn if she chose to take
him. On Friday she might have been sure of Frank,--only that Lady
Linlithgow came in the way. But now she did not feel at all sure of
Frank. Lord Fawn was at any rate a peer. She had heard that he was a
poor peer,--but a peer, she thought, can't be altogether poor. And
though he was a stupid owl,--she did not hesitate to acknowledge to
herself that he was as stupid as an owl,--he had a position. He was
one of the Government, and his wife would, no doubt, be able to go
anywhere. It was becoming essential to her that she should marry.
Even though her husband should give up the diamonds, she would not
in such case incur the disgrace of surrendering them herself. She
would have kept them till she had ceased to be a Eustace. Frank had
certainly meant it on that Thursday afternoon;--but surely he would
have been in Mount Street before this if he had not changed his mind.
We all know that a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. "I have
been at Fawn Court once or twice," said Lizzie, with her sweetest
grace, "and I always think it a model of real family happiness."
"I hope you may be there very often," said Lord Fawn.
"Ah, I have no right to intrude myself often on your mother, Lord
There could hardly be a better opening than this for him had he
chosen to accept it. But it was not thus that he had arranged
it,--for he had made his arrangements. "There would be no feeling of
that kind, I am sure," he said. And then he was silent. How was he to
deploy himself on the ground before him so as to make the strategy
which he had prepared answer the occasion of the day? "Lady Eustace,"
he said, "I don't know what your views of life may be."
"I have a child, you know, to bring up."
"Ah, yes;--that gives a great interest, of course."
"He will inherit a very large fortune, Lord Fawn;--too large, I fear,
to be of service to a youth of one-and-twenty; and I must endeavour
to fit him for the possession of it. That is,--and always must be,
the chief object of my existence." Then she felt that she had said
too much. He was just the man who would be fool enough to believe
her. "Not but what it is hard to do it. A mother can of course devote
herself to her child;--but when a portion of the devotion must be
given to the preservation of material interests there is less of
tenderness in it. Don't you think so?"
"No doubt," said Lord Fawn;--"no doubt." But he had not followed
her, and was still thinking of his own strategy. "It's a comfort, of
course, to know that one's child is provided for."
"Oh, yes;--but they tell me the poor little dear will have forty
thousand a year when he's of age; and when I look at him in his
little bed, and press him in my arms, and think of all that money, I
almost wish that his father had been a poor plain gentleman." Then
the handkerchief was put to her eyes, and Lord Fawn had a moment in
which to collect himself.
"Ah!--I myself am a poor man;--for my rank I mean."
"A man with your position, Lord Fawn, and your talents and genius for
business, can never be poor."
"My father's property was all Irish, you know."
"Was it indeed?"
"And he was an Irish peer, till Lord Melbourne gave him an English
"An Irish peer, was he?" Lizzie understood nothing of this, but
presumed that an Irish peer was a peer who had not sufficient money
to live upon. Lord Fawn, however, was endeavouring to describe his
own history in as few words as possible.
"He was then made Lord Fawn of Richmond, in the peerage of the United
Kingdom. Fawn Court, you know, belonged to my mother's father before
my mother's marriage. The property in Ireland is still mine, but
there's no place on it."
"There was a house, but my father allowed it to tumble down. It's in
Tipperary;--not at all a desirable country to live in."
"Oh, dear, no! Don't they murder the people?"
"It's about five thousand a year, and out of that my mother has half
for her life."
"What an excellent family arrangement," said Lizzie. There was so
long a pause made between each statement that she was forced to make
"You see, for a peer, the fortune is very small indeed."
"But then you have a salary;--don't you?"
"At present I have;--but no one can tell how long that may last."
"I'm sure it's for everybody's good that it should go on for ever so
many years," said Lizzie.
"Thank you," said Lord Fawn. "I'm afraid, however, there are a great
many people who don't think so. Your cousin Greystock would do
anything on earth to turn us out."
"Luckily, my cousin Frank has not much power," said Lizzie. And
in saying it she threw into her tone, and into her countenance, a
certain amount of contempt for Frank as a man and as a politician,
which was pleasant to Lord Fawn.
"Now," said he, "I have told you everything about myself which I was
bound, as a man of honour, to tell before--I--I--I--. In short you
know what I mean."
"Oh, Lord Fawn!"
"I have told you everything. I owe no money, but I could not afford
to marry a wife without an income. I admire you more than any woman I
ever saw. I love you with all my heart." He was now standing upright
before her, with the fingers of his right hand touching his left
breast, and there was something almost of dignity in his gesture and
demeanour. "It may be that you are determined never to marry again.
I can only say that if you will trust yourself to me,--yourself and
your child,--I will do my duty truly by you both, and will make your
happiness the chief object of my existence." When she had listened to
him thus far, of course she must accept him; but he was by no means
aware of that. She sat silent, with her hands folded on her breast,
looking down upon the ground; but he did not as yet attempt to seat
himself by her. "Lady Eustace," he continued, "may I venture to
entertain a hope?"
"May I not have an hour to think of it?" said Lizzie, just venturing
to turn a glance of her eye upon his face.
"Oh, certainly. I will call again whenever you may bid me."
Now she was silent for two or three minutes, during which he still
stood over her. But he had dropped his hand from his breast, and had
stooped, and picked up his hat ready for his departure. Was he to
come again on
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