Tantissimi classici della letteratura e della cultura politica,
economica e scientifica in lingua inglese con audio di ReadSpeaker e traduttore
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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 WAY WE LIVE NOW
by ANTHONY TROLLOPE
I. THREE EDITORS.
II. THE CARBURY FAMILY.
III. THE BEARGARDEN.
IV. MADAME MELMOTTE'S BALL.
V. AFTER THE BALL.
VI. ROGER CARBURY AND PAUL MONTAGUE.
IX. THE GREAT RAILWAY TO VERA CRUZ.
X. MR. FISKER'S SUCCESS.
XI. LADY CARBURY AT HOME.
XII. SIR FELIX IN HIS MOTHER'S HOUSE.
XIII. THE LONGESTAFFES.
XIV. CARBURY MANOR.
XV. "YOU SHOULD REMEMBER THAT I AM HIS MOTHER."
XVI. THE BISHOP AND THE PRIEST.
XVII. MARIE MELMOTTE HEARS A LOVE TALE.
XVIII. RUBY RUGGLES HEARS A LOVE TALE.
XIX. HETTA CARBURY HEARS A LOVE TALE.
XX. LADY POMONA'S DINNER PARTY.
XXI. EVERYBODY GOES TO THEM.
XXII. LORD NIDDERDALE'S MORALITY.
XXIII. "YES;--I'M A BARONET."
XXIV. MILES GRENDALL'S TRIUMPH.
XXV. IN GROSVENOR SQUARE.
XXVI. MRS. HURTLE.
XXVII. MRS. HURTLE GOES TO THE PLAY.
XXVIII. DOLLY LONGESTAFFE GOES INTO THE CITY.
XXIX. MISS MELMOTTE'S COURAGE.
XXX. MR. MELMOTTE'S PROMISE.
XXXI. MR. BROUNE HAS MADE UP HIS MIND.
XXXII. LADY MONOGRAM.
XXXIII. JOHN CRUMB.
XXXIV. RUBY RUGGLES OBEYS HER GRANDFATHER.
XXXV. MELMOTTE'S GLORY.
XXXVI. MR. BROUNE'S PERILS.
XXXVII. THE BOARD-ROOM.
XXXVIII. PAUL MONTAGUE'S TROUBLES.
XXXIX. "I DO LOVE HIM."
XL. "UNANIMITY IS THE VERY SOUL OF THESE THINGS."
XLI. ALL PREPARED.
XLII. "CAN YOU BE READY IN TEN MINUTES?"
XLIII. THE CITY ROAD.
XLIV. THE COMING ELECTION.
XLV. MR. MELMOTTE IS PRESSED FOR TIME.
XLVI. ROGER CARBURY AND HIS TWO FRIENDS.
XLVII. MRS. HURTLE AT LOWESTOFT.
XLVIII. RUBY A PRISONER.
XLIX. SIR FELIX MAKES HIMSELF READY.
L. THE JOURNEY TO LIVERPOOL.
LI. WHICH SHALL IT BE?
LII. THE RESULTS OF LOVE AND WINE.
LIII. A DAY IN THE CITY.
LIV. THE INDIA OFFICE.
LV. CLERICAL CHARITIES.
LVI. FATHER BARHAM VISITS LONDON.
LVII. LORD NIDDERDALE TRIES HIS HAND AGAIN.
LVIII. MR. SQUERCUM IS EMPLOYED.
LIX. THE DINNER.
LX. MISS LONGESTAFFE'S LOVER.
LXI. LADY MONOGRAM PREPARES FOR THE PARTY.
LXII. THE PARTY.
LXIII. MR. MELMOTTE ON THE DAY OF THE ELECTION.
LXIV. THE ELECTION.
LXV. MISS LONGESTAFFE WRITES HOME.
LXVI. "SO SHALL BE MY ENMITY."
LXVII. SIR FELIX PROTECTS HIS SISTER.
LXVIII. MISS MELMOTTE DECLARES HER PURPOSE.
LXIX. MELMOTTE IN PARLIAMENT.
LXX. SIR FELIX MEDDLES WITH MANY MATTERS.
LXXI. JOHN CRUMB FALLS INTO TROUBLE.
LXXII. "ASK HIMSELF."
LXXIII. MARIE'S FORTUNE.
LXXIV. MELMOTTE MAKES A FRIEND.
LXXV. IN BRUTON STREET.
LXXVI. HETTA AND HER LOVER.
LXXVII. ANOTHER SCENE IN BRUTON STREET.
LXXVIII. MISS LONGESTAFFE AGAIN AT CAVERSHAM.
LXXIX. THE BREHGERT CORRESPONDENCE.
LXXX. RUBY PREPARES FOR SERVICE.
LXXXI. MR. COHENLUPE LEAVES LONDON.
LXXXII. MARIE'S PERSEVERANCE.
LXXXIII. MELMOTTE AGAIN AT THE HOUSE.
LXXXIV. PAUL MONTAGUE'S VINDICATION.
LXXXV. BREAKFAST IN BERKELEY SQUARE.
LXXXVI. THE MEETING IN BRUTON STREET.
LXXXVII. DOWN AT CARBURY.
LXXXVIII. THE INQUEST.
LXXXIX. "THE WHEEL OF FORTUNE."
XC. HETTA'S SORROW.
XCI. THE RIVALS.
XCII. HAMILTON K. FISKER AGAIN.
XCIII. A TRUE LOVER.
XCIV. JOHN CRUMB'S VICTORY.
XCV. THE LONGESTAFFE MARRIAGES.
XCVI. WHERE "THE WILD ASSES QUENCH THEIR THIRST."
XCVII. MRS. HURTLE'S FATE.
XCVIII. MARIE MELMOTTE'S FATE.
XCIX. LADY CARBURY AND MR. BROUNE.
C. DOWN IN SUFFOLK.
"JUST SO, MOTHER;--BUT HOW ABOUT THE CHAPTER III.
THE DUCHESS FOLLOWED WITH THE MALE VICTIM. CHAPTER IV.
"THERE'S THE £20." CHAPTER VII.
THEN MR. FISKER BEGAN HIS ACCOUNT. CHAPTER IX.
THEN THE SQUIRE LED THE WAY OUT OF THE CHAPTER XIII.
ROOM, AND DOLLY FOLLOWED.
"YOU SHOULD REMEMBER THAT I AM HIS MOTHER." CHAPTER XV.
THE BISHOP THINKS THAT THE PRIEST'S ANALOGY CHAPTER XVI.
IS NOT CORRECT.
"YOU KNOW WHY I HAVE COME DOWN HERE?" CHAPTER XVII.
SHE MARCHED MAJESTICALLY OUT OF THE ROOM. CHAPTER XXI.
"IN THE MEANTIME WHAT IS YOUR OWN PROPERTY?" CHAPTER XXIII.
"I HAVE COME ACROSS THE ATLANTIC TO SEE YOU." CHAPTER XXVI.
"GET TO YOUR ROOM." CHAPTER XXIX.
SIR DAMASK SOLVING THE DIFFICULTY. CHAPTER XXXII.
"I LOIKS TO SEE HER LOIK O' THAT." CHAPTER XXXIII.
THE BOARD-ROOM. CHAPTER XXXVII.
LADY CARBURY ALLOWED HERSELF TO BE KISSED. CHAPTER XXXIX.
"IT'S NO GOOD SCOLDING." CHAPTER XLI.
"I DON'T CARE ABOUT ANY MAN'S COAT." CHAPTER XLIII.
THE SANDS AT LOWESTOFT. CHAPTER XLVI.
"YOU, I THINK, ARE MISS MELMOTTE." CHAPTER L.
THE DOOR WAS OPENED FOR HIM BY RUBY. CHAPTER LI.
"CAN I MARRY THE MAN I DO NOT LOVE?" CHAPTER LII.
FATHER BARHAM. CHAPTER LVI.
MR. SQUERCUM IN HIS OFFICE. CHAPTER LVIII.
"HAVE YOU HEARD WHAT'S UP, JU?" CHAPTER LXI.
MR. MELMOTTE SPECULATES. CHAPTER LXII.
"NOT A BOTTLE OF CHAMPAGNE IN THE HOUSE." CHAPTER LXIX.
MELMOTTE IN PARLIAMENT. CHAPTER LXIX.
"GET UP, YOU WIPER." CHAPTER LXXI.
"I MIGHT AS WELL SEE WHETHER THERE IS ANY CHAPTER LXXV.
SIGN OF VIOLENCE HAVING BEEN USED."
"YOU HAD BETTER GO BACK TO MRS. HURTLE." CHAPTER LXXVI.
"AH, MA'AM-MOISELLE," SAID CROLL, "YOU CHAPTER LXXVII.
SHOULD OBLIGE YOUR FADER."
"HE THOUGHT I HAD BETTER BRING THESE CHAPTER LXXXII.
BACK TO YOU."
"WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES THAT MAKE?" CHAPTER LXXXV.
"SHE'S A COOMIN; SHE'S A COOMIN." CHAPTER LXXXVII.
"OF COURSE YOU HAVE BEEN A DRAGON OF VIRTUE." CHAPTER LXXXIX.
"SIT DOWN SO THAT I MAY LOOK AT YOU." CHAPTER XCI.
THE HAPPY BRIDEGROOM. CHAPTER XCIV.
MRS. HURTLE AT THE WINDOW. CHAPTER XCVII.
"THERE GOES THE LAST OF MY ANGER." CHAPTER C.
Let the reader be introduced to Lady Carbury, upon whose character
and doings much will depend of whatever interest these pages may
have, as she sits at her writing-table in her own room in her own
house in Welbeck Street. Lady Carbury spent many hours at her desk,
and wrote many letters,--wrote also very much beside letters. She
spoke of herself in these days as a woman devoted to Literature,
always spelling the word with a big L. Something of the nature of her
devotion may be learned by the perusal of three letters which on this
morning she had written with a quickly running hand. Lady Carbury was
rapid in everything, and in nothing more rapid than in the writing of
letters. Here is Letter No. 1;--
I have taken care that you shall have the early sheets of
my two new volumes to-morrow, or Saturday at latest, so
that you may, if so minded, give a poor struggler like
myself a lift in your next week's paper. Do give a poor
struggler a lift. You and I have so much in common, and
I have ventured to flatter myself that we are really
friends! I do not flatter you when I say, that not only
would aid from you help me more than from any other
quarter, but also that praise from you would gratify my
vanity more than any other praise. I almost think you will
like my "Criminal Queens." The sketch of Semiramis is at
any rate spirited, though I had to twist it about a little
to bring her in guilty. Cleopatra, of course, I have taken
from Shakespeare. What a wench she was! I could not quite
make Julia a queen; but it was impossible to pass over
so piquant a character. You will recognise in the two or
three ladies of the empire how faithfully I have studied
my Gibbon. Poor dear old Belisarius! I have done the best
I could with Joanna, but I could not bring myself to
care for her. In our days she would simply have gone to
Broadmore. I hope you will not think that I have been too
strong in my delineations of Henry VIII. and his sinful
but unfortunate Howard. I don't care a bit about Anne
Boleyne. I am afraid that I have been tempted into too
great length about the Italian Catherine; but in truth she
has been my favourite. What a woman! What a devil! Pity
that a second Dante could not have constructed for her a
special hell. How one traces the effect of her training
in the life of our Scotch Mary. I trust you will go with
me in my view as to the Queen of Scots. Guilty! guilty
always! Adultery, murder, treason, and all the rest of it.
But recommended to mercy because she was royal. A queen
bred, born and married, and with such other queens around
her, how could she have escaped to be guilty? Marie
Antoinette I have not quite acquitted. It would be
uninteresting;--perhaps untrue. I have accused her
lovingly, and have kissed when I scourged. I trust
the British public will not be angry because I do not
whitewash Caroline, especially as I go along with them
altogether in abusing her husband.
But I must not take up your time by sending you another
book, though it gratifies me to think that I am writing
what none but yourself will read. Do it yourself, like a
dear man, and, as you are great, be merciful. Or rather,
as you are a friend, be loving.
Yours gratefully and faithfully,
After all how few women there are who can raise themselves
above the quagmire of what we call love, and make
themselves anything but playthings for men. Of almost all
these royal and luxurious sinners it was the chief sin
that in some phase of their lives they consented to be
playthings without being wives. I have striven so hard to
be proper; but when girls read everything, why should not
an old woman write anything?
This letter was addressed to Nicholas Broune, Esq., the editor of the
"Morning Breakfast Table," a daily newspaper of high character; and,
as it was the longest, so was it considered to be the most important
of the three. Mr. Broune was a man powerful in his profession,--and
he was fond of ladies. Lady Carbury in her letter had called herself
an old woman, but she was satisfied to do so by a conviction that no
one else regarded her in that light. Her age shall be no secret to
the reader, though to her most intimate friends, even to Mr. Broune,
it had never been divulged. She was forty-three, but carried her
years so well, and had received such gifts from nature, that it was
impossible to deny that she was still a beautiful woman. And she
used her beauty not only to increase her influence,--as is natural
to women who are well-favoured,--but also with a well-considered
calculation that she could obtain material assistance in the
procuring of bread and cheese, which was very necessary to her, by
a prudent adaptation to her purposes of the good things with which
providence had endowed her. She did not fall in love, she did not
wilfully flirt, she did not commit herself; but she smiled and
whispered, and made confidences, and looked out of her own eyes into
men's eyes as though there might be some mysterious bond between her
and them--if only mysterious circumstances would permit it. But the
end of all was to induce some one to do something which would cause
a publisher to give her good payment for indifferent writing, or an
editor to be lenient when, upon the merits of the case, he should
have been severe. Among all her literary friends, Mr. Broune was the
one in whom she most trusted; and Mr. Broune was fond of handsome
women. It may be as well to give a short record of a scene which had
taken place between Lady Carbury and her friend about a month before
the writing of this letter which has been produced. She had wanted
him to take a series of papers for the "Morning Breakfast Table," and
to have them paid for at rate No. 1, whereas she suspected that he
was rather doubtful as to their merit, and knew that, without special
favour, she could not hope for remuneration above rate No. 2, or
possibly even No. 3. So she had looked into his eyes, and had left
her soft, plump hand for a moment in his. A man in such circumstances
is so often awkward, not knowing with any accuracy when to do one
thing and when another! Mr. Broune, in a moment of enthusiasm, had
put his arm round Lady Carbury's waist and had kissed her. To say
that Lady Carbury was angry, as most women would be angry if so
treated, would be to give an unjust idea of her character. It was a
little accident which really carried with it no injury, unless it
should be the injury of leading to a rupture between herself and
a valuable ally. No feeling of delicacy was shocked. What did it
matter? No unpardonable insult had been offered; no harm had been
done, if only the dear susceptible old donkey could be made at once
to understand that that wasn't the way to go on!
Without a flutter, and without a blush, she escaped from his arm, and
then made him an excellent little speech. "Mr. Broune, how foolish,
how wrong, how mistaken! Is it not so? Surely you do not wish to put
an end to the friendship between us!"
"Put an end to our friendship, Lady Carbury! Oh, certainly not that."
"Then why risk it by such an act? Think of my son and of my
daughter,--both grown up. Think of the past troubles of my life;--so
much suffered and so little deserved. No one knows them so well as
you do. Think of my name, that has been so often slandered but never
disgraced! Say that you are sorry, and it shall be forgotten."
When a man has kissed a woman it goes against the grain with him to
say the very next moment that he is sorry for what he has done. It is
as much as to declare that the kiss had not answered his expectation.
Mr. Broune could not do this, and perhaps Lady Carbury did not quite
expect it. "You know that for worlds I would not offend you," he
said. This sufficed. Lady Carbury again looked into his eyes, and
a promise was given that the articles should be printed--and with
When the interview was over Lady Carbury regarded it as having been
quite successful. Of course when struggles have to be made and hard
work done, there will be little accidents. The lady who uses a street
cab must encounter mud and dust which her richer neighbour, who has a
private carriage, will escape. She would have preferred not to have
been kissed;--but what did it matter? With Mr. Broune the affair was
more serious. "Confound them all," he said to himself as he left the
house; "no amount of experience enables a man to know them." As he
went away he almost thought that Lady Carbury had intended him to
kiss her again, and he was almost angry with himself in that he had
not done so. He had seen her three or four times since, but had not
repeated the offence.
We will now go on to the other letters, both of which were addressed
to the editors of other newspapers. The second was written to Mr.
Booker, of the "Literary Chronicle." Mr. Booker was a hard-working
professor of literature, by no means without talent, by no means
without influence, and by no means without a conscience. But,
from the nature of the struggles in which he had been engaged,
by compromises which had gradually been driven upon him by the
encroachment of brother authors on the one side and by the demands
on the other of employers who looked only to their profits, he had
fallen into a routine of work in which it was very difficult to be
scrupulous, and almost impossible to maintain the delicacies of a
literary conscience. He was now a bald-headed old man of sixty, with
a large family of daughters, one of whom was a widow dependent on
him with two little children. He had five hundred a year for editing
the "Literary Chronicle," which, through his energy, had become
a valuable property. He wrote for magazines, and brought out some
book of his own almost annually. He kept his head above water, and
was regarded by those who knew about him, but did not know him, as
a successful man. He always kept up his spirits, and was able in
literary circles to show that he could hold his own. But he was
driven by the stress of circumstances to take such good things as
came in his way, and could hardly afford to be independent. It must
be confessed that literary scruple had long departed from his mind.
Letter No. 2 was as follows;--
25th February, 187--.
DEAR MR. BOOKER,--
I have told Mr. Leadham--[Mr. Leadham was senior partner
in the enterprising firm of publishers known as Messrs.
Leadham and Loiter]--to send you an early copy of my
"Criminal Queens." I have already settled with my friend
Mr. Broune that I am to do your "New Tale of a Tub" in
the "Breakfast Table." Indeed, I am about it now, and
am taking great pains with it. If there is anything
you wish to have specially said as to your view of the
Protestantism of the time, let me know. I should like you
to say a word as to the accuracy of my historical details,
which I know you can safely do. Don't put it off, as the
sale does so much depend on early notices. I am only
getting a royalty, which does not commence till the first
four hundred are sold.
ALFRED BOOKER, Esq.,
"Literary Chronicle," Office, Strand.
There was nothing in this which shocked Mr. Booker. He laughed
inwardly, with a pleasantly reticent chuckle, as he thought of Lady
Carbury dealing with his views of Protestantism,--as he thought also
of the numerous historical errors into which that clever lady must
inevitably fall in writing about matters of which he believed her to
know nothing. But he was quite alive to the fact that a favourable
notice in the "Breakfast Table" of his very thoughtful work, called
the "New Tale of a Tub," would serve him, even though written by the
hand of a female literary charlatan, and he would have no compunction
as to repaying the service by fulsome praise in the "Literary
Chronicle." He would not probably say that the book was accurate,
but he would be able to declare that it was delightful reading, that
the feminine characteristics of the queens had been touched with a
masterly hand, and that the work was one which would certainly make
its way into all drawing-rooms. He was an adept at this sort of work,
and knew well how to review such a book as Lady Carbury's "Criminal
Queens," without bestowing much trouble on the reading. He could
almost do it without cutting the book, so that its value for purposes
of after sale might not be injured. And yet Mr. Booker was an
honest man, and had set his face persistently against many literary
malpractices. Stretched-out type, insufficient lines, and the French
habit of meandering with a few words over an entire page, had been
rebuked by him with conscientious strength. He was supposed to be
rather an Aristides among reviewers. But circumstanced as he was he
could not oppose himself altogether to the usages of the time. "Bad;
of course it is bad," he said to a young friend who was working with
him on his periodical. "Who doubts that? How many very bad things are
there that we do! But if we were to attempt to reform all our bad
ways at once, we should never do any good thing. I am not strong
enough to put the world straight, and I doubt if you are." Such was
Then there was letter No. 3, to Mr. Ferdinand Alf. Mr. Alf managed,
and, as it was supposed, chiefly owned, the "Evening Pulpit," which
during the last two years had become "quite a property," as men
connected with the press were in the habit of saying. The "Evening
Pulpit" was supposed to give daily to its readers all that had been
said and done up to two o'clock in the day by all the leading people
in the metropolis, and to prophesy with wonderful accuracy what would
be the sayings and doings of the twelve following hours. This was
effected with an air of wonderful omniscience, and not unfrequently
with an ignorance hardly surpassed by its arrogance. But the
writing was clever. The facts, if not true, were well invented; the
arguments, if not logical, were seductive. The presiding spirit of
the paper had the gift, at any rate, of knowing what the people for
whom he catered would like to read, and how to get his subjects
handled, so that the reading should be pleasant. Mr. Booker's
"Literary Chronicle" did not presume to entertain any special
political opinions. The "Breakfast Table" was decidedly Liberal. The
"Evening Pulpit" was much given to politics, but held strictly to the
motto which it had assumed;--
"Nullius addictus jurare in verba magistri;"--
and consequently had at all times the invaluable privilege of abusing
what was being done, whether by one side or by the other. A newspaper
that wishes to make its fortune should never waste its columns and
weary its readers by praising anything. Eulogy is invariably dull,--a
fact that Mr. Alf had discovered and had utilized.
Mr. Alf had, moreover, discovered another fact. Abuse from those who
occasionally praise is considered to be personally offensive, and
they who give personal offence will sometimes make the world too
hot to hold them. But censure from those who are always finding
fault is regarded so much as a matter of course that it ceases to be
objectionable. The caricaturist, who draws only caricatures, is held
to be justifiable, let him take what liberties he may with a man's
face and person. It is his trade, and his business calls upon him to
vilify all that he touches. But were an artist to publish a series of
portraits, in which two out of a dozen were made to be hideous, he
would certainly make two enemies, if not more. Mr. Alf never made
enemies, for he praised no one, and, as far as the expression of his
newspaper went, was satisfied with nothing.
Personally, Mr. Alf was a remarkable man. No one knew whence he came
or what he had been. He was supposed to have been born a German Jew;
and certain ladies said that they could distinguish in his tongue the
slightest possible foreign accent. Nevertheless it was conceded to
him that he knew England as only an Englishman can know it. During
the last year or two he had "come up" as the phrase goes, and had
come up very thoroughly. He had been black-balled at three or four
clubs, but had effected an entrance at two or three others, and
had learned a manner of speaking of those which had rejected him
calculated to leave on the minds of hearers a conviction that the
societies in question were antiquated, imbecile, and moribund. He
was never weary of implying that not to know Mr. Alf, not to be on
good terms with Mr. Alf, not to understand that let Mr. Alf have been
born where he might and how he might he was always to be recognised
as a desirable acquaintance, was to be altogether out in the dark.
And that which he so constantly asserted, or implied, men and
women around him began at last to believe,--and Mr. Alf became an
acknowledged something in the different worlds of politics, letters,
He was a good-looking man, about forty years old, but carrying
himself as though he was much younger, spare, below the middle
height, with dark brown hair which would have shown a tinge of
grey but for the dyer's art, with well-cut features, with a smile
constantly on his mouth the pleasantness of which was always belied
by the sharp severity of his eyes. He dressed with the utmost
simplicity, but also with the utmost care. He was unmarried, had
a small house of his own close to Berkeley Square at which he
gave remarkable dinner parties, kept four or five hunters in
Northamptonshire, and was reputed to earn £6,000 a year out of the
"Evening Pulpit" and to spend about half of that income. He also was
intimate after his fashion with Lady Carbury, whose diligence in
making and fostering useful friendships had been unwearied. Her
letter to Mr. Alf was as follows;--
DEAR MR. ALF,--
Do tell me who wrote the review on Fitzgerald Barker's
last poem. Only I know you won't. I remember nothing done
so well. I should think the poor wretch will hardly hold
his head up again before the autumn. But it was fully
deserved. I have no patience with the pretensions of
would-be poets who contrive by toadying and underground
influences to get their volumes placed on every
drawing-room table. I know no one to whom the world has
been so good-natured in this way as to Fitzgerald Barker,
but I have heard of no one who has extended the good
nature to the length of reading his poetry.
Is it not singular how some men continue to obtain the
reputation of popular authorship without adding a word
to the literature of their country worthy of note? It is
accomplished by unflagging assiduity in the system of
puffing. To puff and to get one's self puffed have become
different branches of a new profession. Alas, me! I wish
I might find a class open in which lessons could be taken
by such a poor tyro as myself. Much as I hate the thing
from my very soul, and much as I admire the consistency
with which the "Pulpit" has opposed it, I myself am so
much in want of support for my own little efforts, and
am struggling so hard honestly to make for myself a
remunerative career, that I think, were the opportunity
offered to me, I should pocket my honour, lay aside the
high feeling which tells me that praise should be bought
neither by money nor friendship, and descend among the low
things, in order that I might one day have the pride of
feeling that I had succeeded by my own work in providing
for the needs of my children.
But I have not as yet commenced the descent downwards;
and therefore I am still bold enough to tell you that I
shall look, not with concern but with a deep interest,
to anything which may appear in the "Pulpit" respecting
my "Criminal Queens." I venture to think that the
book,--though I wrote it myself,--has an importance of
its own which will secure for it some notice. That my
inaccuracy will be laid bare and presumption scourged I do
not in the least doubt, but I think your reviewer will be
able to certify that the sketches are life-like and the
portraits well considered. You will not hear me told,
at any rate, that I had better sit at home and darn
my stockings, as you said the other day of that poor
unfortunate Mrs. Effington Stubbs.
I have not seen you for the last three weeks. I have a few
friends every Tuesday evening;--pray come next week or
the week following. And pray believe that no amount of
editorial or critical severity shall make me receive you
otherwise than with a smile.
Most sincerely yours,
Lady Carbury, having finished her third letter, threw herself back
in her chair, and for a moment or two closed her eyes, as though
about to rest. But she soon remembered that the activity of her life
did not admit of such rest. She therefore seized her pen and began
scribbling further notes.
THE CARBURY FAMILY.
Something of herself and condition Lady Carbury has told the reader
in the letters given in the former chapter, but more must be added.
She has declared she had been cruelly slandered; but she has also
shown that she was not a woman whose words about herself could be
taken with much confidence. If the reader does not understand so much
from her letters to the three editors they have been written in vain.
She has been made to say that her object in work was to provide for
the need of her children, and that with that noble purpose before
her she was struggling to make for herself a career in literature.
Detestably false as had been her letters to the editors, absolutely
and abominably foul as was the entire system by which she was
endeavouring to achieve success, far away from honour and honesty as
she had been carried by her ready subserviency to the dirty things
among which she had lately fallen, nevertheless her statements about
herself were substantially true. She had been ill-treated. She had
been slandered. She was true to her children,--especially devoted to
one of them,--and was ready to work her nails off if by doing so she
could advance their interests.
She was the widow of one Sir Patrick Carbury, who many years since
had done great things as a soldier in India, and had been thereupon
created a baronet. He had married a young wife late in life and,
having found out when too late that he had made a mistake, had
occasionally spoilt his darling and occasionally ill used her. In
doing each he had done it abundantly. Among Lady Carbury's faults
had never been that of even incipient,--not even of sentimental
infidelity to her husband. When as a very lovely and penniless girl
of eighteen she had consented to marry a man of forty-four who had
the spending of a large income, she had made up her mind to abandon
all hope of that sort of love which poets describe and which young
people generally desire to experience. Sir Patrick at the time of
his marriage was red-faced, stout, bald, very choleric, generous in
money, suspicious in temper, and intelligent. He knew how to govern
men. He could read and understand a book. There was nothing mean
about him. He had his attractive qualities. He was a man who might
be loved;--but he was hardly a man for love. The young Lady Carbury
had understood her position and had determined to do her duty. She
had resolved before she went to the altar that she would never allow
herself to flirt and she had never flirted. For fifteen years things
had gone tolerably well with her,--by which it is intended that the
reader should understand that they had so gone that she had been able
to tolerate them. They had been home in England for three or four
years, and then Sir Patrick had returned with some new and higher
appointment. For fifteen years, though he had been passionate,
imperious, and often cruel, he had never been jealous. A boy and
a girl had been born to them, to whom both father and mother had
been over indulgent;--but the mother, according to her lights, had
endeavoured to do her duty by them. But from the commencement of her
life she had been educated in deceit, and her married life had seemed
to make the practice of deceit necessary to her. Her mother had run
away from her father, and she had been tossed to and fro between
this and that protector, sometimes being in danger of wanting any
one to care for her, till she had been made sharp, incredulous,
and untrustworthy by the difficulties of her position. But she was
clever, and had picked up an education and good manners amidst the
difficulties of her childhood,--and had been beautiful to look at.
To marry and have the command of money, to do her duty correctly, to
live in a big house and be respected, had been her ambition,--and
during the first fifteen years of her married life she was successful
amidst great difficulties. She would smile within five minutes of
violent ill-usage. Her husband would even strike her,--and the first
effort of her mind would be given to conceal the fact from all the
world. In latter years he drank too much, and she struggled hard
first to prevent the evil, and then to prevent and to hide the ill
effects of the evil. But in doing all this she schemed, and lied, and
lived a life of manoeuvres. Then, at last, when she felt that she
was no longer quite a young woman, she allowed herself to attempt to
form friendships for herself, and among her friends was one of the
other sex. If fidelity in a wife be compatible with such friendship,
if the married state does not exact from a woman the necessity of
debarring herself from all friendly intercourse with any man except
her lord, Lady Carbury was not faithless. But Sir Carbury became
jealous, spoke words which even she could not endure, did things
which drove even her beyond the calculations of her prudence,--and
she left him. But even this she did in so guarded a way that, as to
every step she took, she could prove her innocence. Her life at that
period is of little moment to our story, except that it is essential
that the reader should know in what she had been slandered. For
a month or two all hard words had been said against her by her
husband's friends, and even by Sir Patrick himself. But gradually
the truth was known, and after a year's separation they came again
together and she remained the mistress of his house till he died. She
brought him home to England, but during the short period left to him
of life in his old country he had been a worn-out, dying invalid.
But the scandal of her great misfortune had followed her, and some
people were never tired of reminding others that in the course of her
married life Lady Carbury had run away from her husband, and had been
taken back again by the kind-hearted old gentleman.
Sir Patrick had left behind him a moderate fortune, though by no
means great wealth. To his son, who was now Sir Felix Carbury, he had
left £1,000 a year; and to his widow as much, with a provision that
after her death the latter sum should be divided between his son
and daughter. It therefore came to pass that the young man, who had
already entered the army when his father died, and upon whom devolved
no necessity of keeping a house, and who in fact not unfrequently
lived in his mother's house, had an income equal to that with which
his mother and his sister were obliged to maintain a roof over their
head. Now Lady Carbury, when she was released from her thraldom
at the age of forty, had no idea at all of passing her future
life amidst the ordinary penances of widowhood. She had hitherto
endeavoured to do her duty, knowing that in accepting her position
she was bound to take the good and the bad together. She had
certainly encountered hitherto much that was bad. To be scolded,
watched, beaten, and sworn at by a choleric old man till she was at
last driven out of her house by the violence of his ill-usage; to be
taken back as a favour with the assurance that her name would for
the remainder of her life be unjustly tarnished; to have her flight
constantly thrown in her face; and then at last to become for a year
or two the nurse of a dying debauchee, was a high price to pay for
such good things as she had hitherto enjoyed. Now at length had come
to her a period of relaxation--her reward, her freedom, her chance of
happiness. She thought much about herself, and resolved on one or two
things. The time for love had gone by, and she would have nothing
to do with it. Nor would she marry again for convenience. But she
would have friends,--real friends; friends who could help her,--and
whom possibly she might help. She would, too, make some career for
herself, so that life might not be without an interest to her. She
would live in London, and would become somebody at any rate in some
circle. Accident at first rather than choice had thrown her among
literary people, but that accident had, during the last two years,
been supported and corroborated by the desire which had fallen upon
her of earning money. She had known from the first that economy
would be necessary to her,--not chiefly or perhaps not at all from a
feeling that she and her daughter could not live comfortably together
on a thousand a year,--but on behalf of her son. She wanted no luxury
but a house so placed that people might conceive of her that she
lived in a proper part of the town. Of her daughter's prudence she
was as well convinced as of her own. She could trust Henrietta in
everything. But her son, Sir Felix, was not very trustworthy. And yet
Sir Felix was the darling of her heart.
At the time of the writing of the three letters, at which our story
is supposed to begin, she was driven very hard for money. Sir Felix
was then twenty-five, had been in a fashionable regiment for four
years, had already sold out, and, to own the truth at once, had
altogether wasted the property which his father had left him. So much
the mother knew,--and knew, therefore, that with her limited income
she must maintain not only herself and daughter, but also the
baronet. She did not know, however, the amount of the baronet's
obligations;--nor, indeed, did he, or any one else. A baronet,
holding a commission in the Guards, and known to have had a fortune
left him by his father, may go very far in getting into debt; and Sir
Felix had made full use of all his privileges. His life had been in
every way bad. He had become a burden on his mother so heavy,--and
on his sister also,--that their life had become one of unavoidable
embarrassments. But not for a moment had either of them ever
quarrelled with him. Henrietta had been taught by the conduct of both
father and mother that every vice might be forgiven in a man and in
a son, though every virtue was expected from a woman, and especially
from a daughter. The lesson had come to her so early in life that she
had learned it without the feeling of any grievance. She lamented
her brother's evil conduct as it affected him, but she pardoned it
altogether as it affected herself. That all her interests in life
should be made subservient to him was natural to her; and when she
found that her little comforts were discontinued, and her moderate
expenses curtailed because he, having eaten up all that was his
own, was now eating up also all that was his mother's, she never
complained. Henrietta had been taught to think that men in that rank
of life in which she had been born always did eat up everything.
The mother's feeling was less noble,--or perhaps, it might better
be said, more open to censure. The boy, who had been beautiful as a
star, had ever been the cynosure of her eyes, the one thing on which
her heart had rivetted itself. Even during the career of his folly
she had hardly ventured to say a word to him with the purport of
stopping him on his road to ruin. In everything she had spoilt him
as a boy, and in everything she still spoilt him as a man. She was
almost proud of his vices, and had taken delight in hearing of doings
which if not vicious of themselves had been ruinous from their
extravagance. She had so indulged him that even in her own presence
he was never ashamed of his own selfishness or apparently conscious
of the injustice which he did to others.
From all this it had come to pass that that dabbling in literature
which had been commenced partly perhaps from a sense of pleasure in
the work, partly as a passport into society, had been converted into
hard work by which money if possible might be earned. So that Lady
Carbury when she wrote to her friends, the editors, of her struggles
was speaking the truth. Tidings had reached her of this and the other
man's success, and,--coming near to her still,--of this and that
other woman's earnings in literature. And it had seemed to her that,
within moderate limits, she might give a wide field to her hopes. Why
should she not add a thousand a year to her income, so that Felix
might again live like a gentleman and marry that heiress who, in Lady
Carbury's look-out into the future, was destined to make all things
straight! Who was so handsome as her son? Who could make himself more
agreeable? Who had more of that audacity which is the chief thing
necessary to the winning of heiresses? And then he could make his
wife Lady Carbury. If only enough money might be earned to tide over
the present evil day, all might be well.
The one most essential obstacle to the chance of success in all
this was probably Lady Carbury's conviction that her end was to
be obtained not by producing good books, but by inducing certain
people to say that her books were good. She did work hard at what
she wrote,--hard enough at any rate to cover her pages quickly;
and was, by nature, a clever woman. She could write after a glib,
common-place, sprightly fashion, and had already acquired the knack
of spreading all she knew very thin, so that it might cover a vast
surface. She had no ambition to write a good book, but was painfully
anxious to write a book that the critics should say was good. Had Mr.
Broune, in his closet, told her that her book was absolutely trash,
but had undertaken at the same time to have it violently praised in
the "Breakfast Table," it may be doubted whether the critic's own
opinion would have even wounded her vanity. The woman was false from
head to foot, but there was much of good in her, false though she
Whether Sir Felix, her son, had become what he was solely by bad
training, or whether he had been born bad, who shall say? It is
hardly possible that he should not have been better had he been taken
away as an infant and subjected to moral training by moral teachers.
And yet again it is hardly possible that any training or want of
training should have produced a heart so utterly incapable of feeling
for others as was his. He could not even feel his own misfortunes
unless they touched the outward comforts of the moment. It seemed
that he lacked sufficient imagination to realise future misery though
the futurity to be considered was divided from the present but by
a single month, a single week,--but by a single night. He liked to
be kindly treated, to be praised and petted, to be well fed and
caressed; and they who so treated him were his chosen friends. He
had in this the instincts of a horse, not approaching the higher
sympathies of a dog. But it cannot be said of him that he had
ever loved any one to the extent of denying himself a moment's
gratification on that loved one's behalf. His heart was a stone. But
he was beautiful to look at, ready-witted, and intelligent. He was
very dark, with that soft olive complexion which so generally gives
to young men an appearance of aristocratic breeding. His hair, which
was never allowed to become long, was nearly black, and was soft
and silky without that taint of grease which is so common with
silken-headed darlings. His eyes were long, brown in colour, and
were made beautiful by the perfect arch of the perfect eyebrow. But
perhaps the glory of the face was due more to the finished moulding
and fine symmetry of the nose and mouth than to his other features.
On his short upper lip he had a moustache as well formed as his
eyebrows, but he wore no other beard. The form of his chin too was
perfect, but it lacked that sweetness and softness of expression,
indicative of softness of heart, which a dimple conveys. He was about
five feet nine in height, and was as excellent in figure as in face.
It was admitted by men and clamorously asserted by women that no man
had ever been more handsome than Felix Carbury, and it was admitted
also that he never showed consciousness of his beauty. He had given
himself airs on many scores;--on the score of his money, poor fool,
while it lasted; on the score of his title; on the score of his army
standing till he lost it; and especially on the score of superiority
in fashionable intellect. But he had been clever enough to dress
himself always with simplicity and to avoid the appearance of thought
about his outward man. As yet the little world of his associates had
hardly found out how callous were his affections,--or rather how
devoid he was of affection. His airs and his appearance, joined with
some cleverness, had carried him through even the viciousness of
his life. In one matter he had marred his name, and by a moment's
weakness had injured his character among his friends more than he had
done by the folly of three years. There had been a quarrel between
him and a brother officer, in which he had been the aggressor; and,
when the moment came in which a man's heart should have produced
manly conduct, he had first threatened and had then shown the white
feather. That was now a year since, and he had partly outlived the
evil;--but some men still remembered that Felix Carbury had been
cowed, and had cowered.
It was now his business to marry an heiress. He was well aware that
it was so, and was quite prepared to face his destiny. But he lacked
something in the art of making love. He was beautiful, had the
manners of a gentleman, could talk well, lacked nothing of audacity,
and had no feeling of repugnance at declaring a passion which he did
not feel. But he knew so little of the passion, that he could hardly
make even a young girl believe that he felt it. When he talked of
love, he not only thought that he was talking nonsense, but showed
that he thought so. From this fault he had already failed with one
young lady reputed to have £40,000, who had refused him because, as
she naively said, she knew "he did not really care." "How can I show
that I care more than by wishing to make you my wife?" he had asked.
"I don't know that you can, but all the same you don't care," she
said. And so that young lady escaped the pit-fall. Now there was
another young lady, to whom the reader shall be introduced in time,
whom Sir Felix was instigated to pursue with unremitting diligence.
Her wealth was not defined, as had been the £40,000 of her
predecessor, but was known to be very much greater than that. It was,
indeed, generally supposed to be fathomless, bottomless, endless.
It was said that in regard to money for ordinary expenditure, money
for houses, servants, horses, jewels, and the like, one sum was
the same as another to the father of this young lady. He had great
concerns;--concerns so great that the payment of ten or twenty
thousand pounds upon any trifle was the same thing to him,--as to men
who are comfortable in their circumstances it matters little whether
they pay sixpence or ninepence for their mutton chops. Such a man
may be ruined at any time; but there was no doubt that to any one
marrying his daughter during the present season of his outrageous
prosperity he could give a very large fortune indeed. Lady Carbury,
who had known the rock on which her son had been once wrecked, was
very anxious that Sir Felix should at once make a proper use of the
intimacy which he had effected in the house of this topping Croesus
of the day.
And now there must be a few words said about Henrietta Carbury. Of
course she was of infinitely less importance than her brother, who
was a baronet, the head of that branch of the Carburys, and her
mother's darling; and, therefore, a few words should suffice. She
also was very lovely, being like her brother; but somewhat less
dark and with features less absolutely regular. But she had in her
countenance a full measure of that sweetness of expression which
seems to imply that consideration of self is subordinated to
consideration for others. This sweetness was altogether lacking to
her brother. And her face was a true index of her character. Again,
who shall say why the brother and sister had become so opposite to
each other; whether they would have been thus different had both been
taken away as infants from their father's and mother's training, or
whether the girl's virtues were owing altogether to the lower place
which she had held in her parent's heart? She, at any rate, had
not been spoilt by a title, by the command of money, and by the
temptations of too early acquaintance with the world. At the present
time she was barely twenty-one years old, and had not seen much of
London society. Her mother did not frequent balls, and during the
last two years there had grown upon them a necessity for economy
which was inimical to many gloves and costly dresses. Sir Felix went
out of course, but Hetta Carbury spent most of her time at home with
her mother in Welbeck Street. Occasionally the world saw her, and
when the world did see her the world declared that she was a charming
girl. The world was so far right.
But for Henrietta Carbury the romance of life had already commenced
in real earnest. There was another branch of the Carburys, the head
branch, which was now represented by one Roger Carbury, of Carbury
Hall. Roger Carbury was a gentleman of whom much will have to be
said, but here, at this moment, it need only be told that he was
passionately in love with his cousin Henrietta. He was, however,
nearly forty years old, and there was one Paul Montague whom
Henrietta had seen.
Lady Carbury's house in Welbeck Street was a modest house
enough,--with no pretensions to be a mansion, hardly assuming even
to be a residence; but, having some money in her hands when she
first took it, she had made it pretty and pleasant, and was still
proud to feel that in spite of the hardness of her position she had
comfortable belongings around her when her literary friends came to
see her on her Tuesday evenings. Here she was now living with her son
and daughter. The back drawing-room was divided from the front by
doors that were permanently closed, and in this she carried on her
great work. Here she wrote her books and contrived her system for the
inveigling of editors and critics. Here she was rarely disturbed by
her daughter, and admitted no visitors except editors and critics.
But her son was controlled by no household laws, and would break
in upon her privacy without remorse. She had hardly finished two
galloping notes after completing her letter to Mr. Ferdinand Alf,
when Felix entered the room with a cigar in his mouth and threw
himself upon the sofa.
"My dear boy," she said, "pray leave your tobacco below when you come
"What affectation it is, mother," he said, throwing, however, the
half-smoked cigar into the fire-place. "Some women swear they like
smoke, others say they hate it like the devil. It depends altogether
on whether they wish to flatter or snub a fellow."
"You don't suppose that I wish to snub you?"
"Upon my word I don't know. I wonder whether you can let me have
"My dear Felix!"
"Just so, mother;--but how about the twenty pounds?"
[Illustration: "Just so, mother;--but how about the twenty
"What is it for, Felix?"
"Well;--to tell the truth, to carry on the game for the nonce till
something is settled. A fellow can't live without some money in his
pocket. I do with as little as most fellows. I pay for nothing that
I can help. I even get my hair cut on credit, and as long as it was
possible I had a brougham, to save cabs."
"What is to be the end of it, Felix?"
"I never could see the end of anything, mother. I never could nurse
a horse when the hounds were going well in order to be in at the
finish. I never could pass a dish that I liked in favour of those
that were to follow. What's the use?" The young man did not say
"carpe diem," but that was the philosophy which he intended to
"Have you been at the Melmottes' to-day?" It was now five o'clock on
a winter afternoon, the hour at which ladies are drinking tea, and
idle men playing whist at the clubs,--at which young idle men are
sometimes allowed to flirt, and at which, as Lady Carbury thought,
her son might have been paying his court to Marie Melmotte the great
"I have just come away."
"And what do you think of her?"
"To tell the truth, mother, I have thought very little about her.
She is not pretty, she is not plain; she is not clever, she is not
stupid; she is neither saint nor sinner."
"The more likely to make a good wife."
"Perhaps so. I am at any rate quite willing to believe that as wife
she would be 'good enough for me.'"
"What does the mother say?"
"The mother is a caution. I cannot help speculating whether, if I
marry the daughter, I shall ever find out where the mother came from.
Dolly Longestaffe says that somebody says that she was a Bohemian
Jewess; but I think she's too fat for that."
"What does it matter, Felix?"
"Not in the least."
"Is she civil to you?"
"Yes, civil enough."
"And the father?"
"Well, he does not turn me out, or anything of that sort. Of course
there are half-a-dozen after her, and I think the old fellow is
bewildered among them all. He's thinking more of getting dukes to
dine with him than of his daughter's lovers. Any fellow might pick
her up who happened to hit her fancy."
"And why not you?"
"Why not, mother? I am doing my best, and it's no good flogging a
willing horse. Can you let me have the money?"
"Oh, Felix, I think you hardly know how poor we are. You have still
got your hunters down at the place!"
"I have got two horses, if you mean that; and I haven't paid a
shilling for their keep since the season began. Look here, mother;
this is a risky sort of game, I grant, but I am playing it by your
advice. If I can marry Miss Melmotte, I suppose all will be right.
But I don't think the way to get her would be to throw up everything
and let all the world know that I haven't got a copper. To do that
kind of thing a man must live a little up to the mark. I've brought
my hunting down to a minimum, but if I gave it up altogether there
would be lots of fellows to tell them in Grosvenor Square why I had
There was an apparent truth in this argument which the poor woman was
unable to answer. Before the interview was over the money demanded
was forthcoming, though at the time it could be but ill afforded, and
the youth went away apparently with a light heart, hardly listening
to his mother's entreaties that the affair with Marie Melmotte might,
if possible, be brought to a speedy conclusion.
Felix, when he left his mother, went down to the only club to which
he now belonged. Clubs are pleasant resorts in all respects but one.
They require ready money, or even worse than that in respect to
annual payments,--money in advance; and the young baronet had been
absolutely forced to restrict himself. He, as a matter of course, out
of those to which he had possessed the right of entrance, chose the
worst. It was called the Beargarden, and had been lately opened with
the express view of combining parsimony with profligacy. Clubs were
ruined, so said certain young parsimonious profligates, by providing
comforts for old fogies who paid little or nothing but their
subscriptions, and took out by their mere presence three times as
much as they gave. This club was not to be opened till three o'clock
in the afternoon, before which hour the promoters of the Beargarden
thought it improbable that they and their fellows would want a
club. There were to be no morning papers taken, no library, no
morning-room. Dining-rooms, billiard-rooms, and card-rooms would
suffice for the Beargarden. Everything was to be provided by a
purveyor, so that the club should be cheated only by one man.
Everything was to be luxurious, but the luxuries were to be achieved
at first cost. It had been a happy thought, and the club was said to
prosper. Herr Vossner, the purveyor, was a jewel, and so carried on
affairs that there was no trouble about anything. He would assist
even in smoothing little difficulties as to the settling of card
accounts, and had behaved with the greatest tenderness to the drawers
of cheques whose bankers had harshly declared them to have "no
effects." Herr Vossner was a jewel, and the Beargarden was a
success. Perhaps no young man about town enjoyed the Beargarden more
thoroughly than did Sir Felix Carbury. The club was in the close
vicinity of other clubs, in a small street turning out of St. James's
Street, and piqued itself on its outward quietness and sobriety. Why
pay for stone-work for other people to look at;--why lay out money
in marble pillars and cornices, seeing that you can neither eat such
things, nor drink them, nor gamble with them? But the Beargarden had
the best wines,--or thought that it had,--and the easiest chairs, and
two billiard-tables than which nothing more perfect had ever been
made to stand upon legs. Hither Sir Felix wended on that January
afternoon as soon as he had his mother's cheque for £20 in his
He found his special friend, Dolly Longestaffe, standing on the steps
with a cigar in his mouth, and gazing vacantly at the dull brick
house opposite. "Going to dine here, Dolly?" said Sir Felix.
"I suppose I shall, because it's such a lot of trouble to go anywhere
else. I'm engaged somewhere, I know; but I'm not up to getting home
and dressing. By George! I don't know how fellows do that kind of
thing. I can't."
"Going to hunt to-morrow?"
"Well, yes; but I don't suppose I shall. I was going to hunt every
day last week, but my fellow never would get me up in time. I can't
tell why it is that things are done in such a beastly way. Why
shouldn't fellows begin to hunt at two or three, so that a fellow
needn't get up in the middle of the night?"
"Because one can't ride by moonlight, Dolly."
"It isn't moonlight at three. At any rate I can't get myself to
Euston Square by nine. I don't think that fellow of mine likes
getting up himself. He says he comes in and wakes me, but I never
"How many horses have you got at Leighton, Dolly?"
"How many? There were five, but I think that fellow down there sold
one; but then I think he bought another. I know he did something."
"Who rides them?"
"He does, I suppose. That is, of course, I ride them myself, only I
so seldom get down. Somebody told me that Grasslough was riding two
of them last week. I don't think I ever told him he might. I think he
tipped that fellow of mine; and I call that a low kind of thing to
do. I'd ask him, only I know he'd say that I had lent them. Perhaps
I did when I was tight, you know."
"You and Grasslough were never pals."
"I don't like him a bit. He gives himself airs because he is a lord,
and is devilish ill-natured. I don't know why he should want to ride
"To save his own."
"He isn't hard up. Why doesn't he have his own horses? I'll tell you
what, Carbury, I've made up my mind to one thing, and, by Jove, I'll
stick to it. I never will lend a horse again to anybody. If fellows
want horses let them buy them."
"But some fellows haven't got any money, Dolly."
"Then they ought to go tick. I don't think I've paid for any of mine
I've bought this season. There was somebody here yesterday--"
"What! here at the club?"
"Yes; followed me here to say he wanted to be paid for something! It
was horses, I think, because of the fellow's trousers."
"What did you say?"
"Me! Oh, I didn't say anything."
"And how did it end?"
"When he'd done talking I offered him a cigar, and while he was
biting off the end I went up-stairs. I suppose he went away when he
was tired of waiting."
"I'll tell you what, Dolly; I wish you'd let me ride two of yours
for a couple of days,--that is, of course, if you don't want them
yourself. You ain't tight now, at any rate."
"No; I ain't tight," said Dolly, with melancholy acquiescence.
"I mean that I wouldn't like to borrow your horses without your
remembering all about it. Nobody knows as well as you do how awfully
done up I am. I shall pull through at last, but it's an awful squeeze
in the meantime. There's nobody I'd ask such a favour of except you."
"Well, you may have them;--that is, for two days. I don't know
whether that fellow of mine will believe you. He wouldn't believe
Grasslough, and told him so. But Grasslough took them out of the
stables. That's what somebody told me."
"You could write a line to your groom."
"Oh, my dear fellow, that is such a bore; I don't think I could do
that. My fellow will believe you, because you and I have been pals.
I think I'll have a little drop of curaçoa before dinner. Come along
and try it. It'll give us an appetite."
It was then nearly seven o'clock. Nine hours afterwards the same
two men, with two others,--of whom young Lord Grasslough, Dolly
Longestaffe's peculiar aversion, was one,--were just rising from a
card-table in one of the up-stairs rooms of the club. For it was
understood that, though the Beargarden was not to be open before
three o'clock in the afternoon, the accommodation denied during
the day was to be given freely during the night. No man could get
a breakfast at the Beargarden, but suppers at three o'clock in
the morning were quite within the rule. Such a supper, or rather
succession of suppering, there had been to-night, various devils and
broils and hot toasts having been brought up from time to time first
for one and then for another. But there had been no cessation of
gambling since the cards had first been opened about ten o'clock. At
four in the morning Dolly Longestaffe was certainly in a condition
to lend his horses and to remember nothing about it. He was quite
affectionate with Lord Grasslough, as he was also with his other
companions,--affection being the normal state of his mind when
in that condition. He was by no means helplessly drunk, and was,
perhaps, hardly more silly than when he was sober; but he was willing
to play at any game whether he understood it or not, and for any
stakes. When Sir Felix got up and said he would play no more, Dolly
also got up, apparently quite contented. When Lord Grasslough, with
a dark scowl on his face, expressed his opinion that it was not
just the thing for men to break up like that when so much money had
been lost, Dolly as willingly sat down again. But Dolly's sitting
down was not sufficient. "I'm going to hunt to-morrow," said Sir
Felix,--meaning that day,--"and I shall play no more. A man must go
to bed at some time."
"I don't see it at all," said Lord Grasslough. "It's an understood
thing that when a man has won as much as you have he should stay."
"Stay how long?" said Sir Felix, with an angry look. "That's
nonsense; there must be an end of everything, and there's an end of
this for me to-night."
"Oh, if you choose," said his lordship.
"I do choose. Good night, Dolly; we'll settle this next time we meet.
I've got it all entered."
The night had been one very serious in its results to Sir Felix. He
had sat down to the card-table with the proceeds of his mother's
cheque, a poor £20, and now he had,--he didn't at all know how much
in his pockets. He also had drunk, but not so as to obscure his mind.
He knew that Longestaffe owed him over £800, and he knew also that
he had received more than that in ready money and cheques from Lord
Grasslough and the other player. Dolly Longestaffe's money, too,
would certainly be paid, though Dolly did complain of the importunity
of his tradesmen. As he walked up St. James's Street, looking for a
cab, he presumed himself to be worth over £700. When begging for a
small sum from Lady Carbury, he had said that he could not carry
on the game without some ready money, and had considered himself
fortunate in fleecing his mother as he had done. Now he was in
the possession of wealth,--of wealth that might, at any rate, be
sufficient to aid him materially in the object he had in hand. He
never for a moment thought of paying his bills. Even the large sum of
which he had become so unexpectedly possessed would not have gone far
with him in such a quixotic object as that; but he could now look
bright, and buy presents, and be seen with money in his hands. It is
hard even to make love in these days without something in your purse.
He found no cab, but in his present frame of mind was indifferent to
the trouble of walking home. There was something so joyous in the
feeling of the possession of all this money that it made the night
air pleasant to him. Then, of a sudden, he remembered the low wail
with which his mother had spoken of her poverty when he demanded
assistance from her. Now he could give her back the £20. But it
occurred to him sharply, with an amount of carefulness quite new to
him, that it would be foolish to do so. How soon might he want it
again? And, moreover, he could not repay the money without explaining
to her how he had gotten it. It would be preferable to say nothing
about his money. As he let himself into the house and went up to his
room he resolved that he would not say anything about it.
On that morning he was at the station at nine, and hunted down in
Buckinghamshire, riding two of Dolly Longestaffe's horses,--for the
use of which he paid Dolly Longestaffe's "fellow" thirty shillings.
MADAME MELMOTTE'S BALL.
The next night but one after that of the gambling transaction at the
Beargarden, a great ball was given in Grosvenor Square. It was a
ball on a scale so magnificent that it had been talked about ever
since Parliament met, now about a fortnight since. Some people had
expressed an opinion that such a ball as this was intended to be
could not be given successfully in February. Others declared that the
money which was to be spent,--an amount which would make this affair
something quite new in the annals of ball-giving,--would give the
thing such a character that it would certainly be successful. And
much more than money had been expended. Almost incredible efforts
had been made to obtain the co-operation of great people, and these
efforts had at last been grandly successful. The Duchess of Stevenage
had come up from Castle Albury herself to be present at it and to
bring her daughters, though it has never been her Grace's wont to be
in London at this inclement season. No doubt the persuasion used with
the Duchess had been very strong. Her brother, Lord Alfred Grendall,
was known to be in great difficulties, which,--so people said,--had
been considerably modified by opportune pecuniary assistance. And
then it was certain that one of the young Grendalls, Lord Alfred's
second son, had been appointed to some mercantile position, for which
he received a salary which his most intimate friends thought that he
was hardly qualified to earn. It was certainly a fact that he went to
Abchurch Lane, in the City, four or five days a week, and that he did
not occupy his time in so unaccustomed a manner for nothing. Where
the Duchess of Stevenage went all the world would go. And it became
known at the last moment, that is to say only the day before the
party, that a prince of the blood royal was to be there. How this
had been achieved nobody quite understood; but there were rumours
that a certain lady's jewels had been rescued from the pawnbroker's.
Everything was done on the same scale. The Prime Minister had indeed
declined to allow his name to appear on the list; but one Cabinet
Minister and two or three under-secretaries had agreed to come
because it was felt that the giver of the ball might before long be
the master of considerable parliamentary interest. It was believed
that he had an eye to politics, and it is always wise to have great
wealth on one's own side. There had at one time been much solicitude
about the ball. Many anxious thoughts had been given. When great
attempts fail, the failure is disastrous, and may be ruinous. But
this ball had now been put beyond the chance of failure.
The giver of the ball was Augustus Melmotte, Esq., the father of the
girl whom Sir Felix Carbury desired to marry, and the husband of the
lady who was said to have been a Bohemian Jewess. It was thus that
the gentleman chose to have himself designated, though within the
last two years he had arrived in London from Paris, and had at first
been known as M. Melmotte. But he had declared of himself that he
had been born in England, and that he was an Englishman. He admitted
that his wife was a foreigner,--an admission that was necessary as
she spoke very little English. Melmotte himself spoke his "native"
language fluently, but with an accent which betrayed at least a long
expatriation. Miss Melmotte,--who a very short time since had been
known as Mademoiselle Marie,--spoke English well, but as a foreigner.
In regard to her it was acknowledged that she had been born out of
England,--some said in New York; but Madame Melmotte, who must have
known, had declared that the great event had taken place in Paris.
It was at any rate an established fact that Mr. Melmotte had made
his wealth in France. He no doubt had had enormous dealings in other
countries, as to which stories were told which must surely have been
exaggerated. It was said that he had made a railway across Russia,
that he provisioned the Southern army in the American civil war, that
he had supplied Austria with arms, and had at one time bought up all
the iron in England. He could make or mar any company by buying or
selling stock, and could make money dear or cheap as he pleased. All
this was said of him in his praise,--but it was also said that he
was regarded in Paris as the most gigantic swindler that had ever
lived; that he had made that City too hot to hold him; that he had
endeavoured to establish himself in Vienna, but had been warned away
by the police; and that he had at length found that British freedom
would alone allow him to enjoy, without persecution, the fruits of
his industry. He was now established privately in Grosvenor Square
and officially in Abchurch Lane; and it was known to all the world
that a Royal Prince, a Cabinet Minister, and the very cream of
duchesses were going to his wife's ball. All this had been done
within twelve months.
There was but one child in the family, one heiress for all this
wealth. Melmotte himself was a large man, with bushy whiskers and
rough thick hair, with heavy eyebrows, and a wonderful look of power
about his mouth and chin. This was so strong as to redeem his face
from vulgarity; but the countenance and appearance of the man were
on the whole unpleasant, and, I may say, untrustworthy. He looked as
though he were purse-proud and a bully. She was fat and fair,--unlike
in colour to our traditional Jewesses; but she had the Jewish nose
and the Jewish contraction of the eyes. There was certainly very
little in Madame Melmotte to recommend her, unless it was a readiness
to spend money on any object that might be suggested to her by her
new acquaintances. It sometimes seemed that she had a commission from
her husband to give away presents to any who would accept them. The
world had received the man as Augustus Melmotte, Esq. The world so
addressed him on the very numerous letters which reached him, and so
inscribed him among the directors of three dozen companies to which
he belonged. But his wife was still Madame Melmotte. The daughter had
been allowed to take her rank with an English title. She was now Miss
Melmotte on all occasions.
Marie Melmotte had been accurately described by Felix Carbury to his
mother. She was not beautiful, she was not clever, and she was not a
saint. But then neither was she plain, nor stupid, nor, especially, a
sinner. She was a little thing, hardly over twenty years of age, very
unlike her father or mother, having no trace of the Jewess in her
countenance, who seemed to be overwhelmed by the sense of her own
position. With such people as the Melmottes things go fast, and it
was very well known that Miss Melmotte had already had one lover
who had been nearly accepted. The affair, however, had gone off.
In this "going off" no one imputed to the young lady blame or even
misfortune. It was not supposed that she had either jilted or been
jilted. As in royal espousals interests of State regulate their
expedience with an acknowledged absence, with even a proclaimed
impossibility, of personal predilections, so in this case was money
allowed to have the same weight. Such a marriage would or would not
be sanctioned in accordance with great pecuniary arrangements. The
young Lord Nidderdale, the eldest son of the Marquis of Auld Reekie,
had offered to take the girl and make her Marchioness in the process
of time for half a million down. Melmotte had not objected to the
sum,--so it was said,--but had proposed to tie it up. Nidderdale had
desired to have it free in his own grasp, and would not move on any
other terms. Melmotte had been anxious to secure the Marquis,--very
anxious to secure the Marchioness; for at that time terms had not
been made with the Duchess; but at last he had lost his temper, and
had asked his lordship's lawyer whether it was likely that he would
entrust such a sum of money to such a man. "You are willing to trust
your only child to him," said the lawyer. Melmotte scowled at the man
for a few seconds from under his bushy eyebrows; then told him that
his answer had nothing in it, and marched out of the room. So that
affair was over. I doubt whether Lord Nidderdale had ever said a word
of love to Marie Melmotte,--or whether the poor girl had expected it.
Her destiny had no doubt been explained to her.
Others had tried and had broken down somewhat in the same fashion.
Each had treated the girl as an encumbrance he was to undertake,--at
a very great price. But as affairs prospered with the Melmottes, as
princes and duchesses were obtained by other means,--costly no doubt,
but not so ruinously costly,--the immediate disposition of Marie
became less necessary, and Melmotte reduced his offers. The girl
herself, too, began to have an opinion. It was said that she had
absolutely rejected Lord Grasslough, whose father indeed was in a
state of bankruptcy, who had no income of his own, who was ugly,
vicious, ill-tempered, and without any power of recommending himself
to a girl. She had had experience since Lord Nidderdale, with a half
laugh, had told her that he might just as well take her for his
wife, and was now tempted from time to time to contemplate her own
happiness and her own condition. People around were beginning to say
that if Sir Felix Carbury managed his affairs well he might be the
There was considerable doubt whether Marie was the daughter of that
Jewish-looking woman. Enquiries had been made, but not successfully,
as to the date of the Melmotte marriage. There was an idea abroad
that Melmotte had got his first money with his wife, and had gotten
it not very long ago. Then other people said that Marie was not his
daughter at all. Altogether the mystery was rather pleasant as the
money was certain. Of the certainty of the money in daily use there
could be no doubt. There was the house. There was the furniture.
There were the carriages, the horses, the servants with the livery
coats and powdered heads, and the servants with the black coats and
unpowdered heads. There were the gems, and the presents, and all the
nice things that money can buy. There were two dinner parties every
day, one at two o'clock called lunch, and the other at eight. The
tradesmen had learned enough to be quite free of doubt, and in the
City Mr. Melmotte's name was worth any money,--though his character
was perhaps worth but little.
The large house on the south side of Grosvenor Square was all
ablaze by ten o'clock. The broad verandah had been turned into a
conservatory, had been covered in with boards contrived to look like
trellis-work, was heated with hot air and filled with exotics at
some fabulous price. A covered way had been made from the door, down
across the pathway, to the road, and the police had, I fear, been
bribed to frighten foot passengers into a belief that they were bound
to go round. The house had been so arranged that it was impossible to
know where you were, when once in it. The hall was a paradise. The
staircase was fairyland. The lobbies were grottoes rich with ferns.
Walls had been knocked away and arches had been constructed. The
leads behind had been supported and walled in, and covered and
carpeted. The ball had possession of the ground floor and first
floor, and the house seemed to be endless. "It's to cost sixty
thousand pounds," said the Marchioness of Auld Reekie to her old
friend the Countess of Mid-Lothian. The Marchioness had come in spite
of her son's misfortune when she heard that the Duchess of Stevenage
was to be there. "And worse spent money never was wasted," said
the Countess. "By all accounts it was as badly come by," said the
Marchioness. Then the two old noblewomen, one after the other, made
graciously flattering speeches to the much-worn Bohemian Jewess, who
was standing in fairyland to receive her guests, almost fainting
under the greatness of the occasion.
The three saloons on the first or drawing-room floor had been
prepared for dancing, and here Marie was stationed. The Duchess
had however undertaken to see that somebody should set the dancing
going, and she had commissioned her nephew Miles Grendall, the young
gentleman who now frequented the City, to give directions to the band
and to make himself generally useful. Indeed there had sprung up a
considerable intimacy between the Grendall family,--that is Lord
Alfred's branch of the Grendalls,--and the Melmottes; which was as
it should be, as each could give much and each receive much. It was
known that Lord Alfred had not a shilling; but his brother was a duke
and his sister was a duchess, and for the last thirty years there
had been one continual anxiety for poor dear Alfred, who had tumbled
into an unfortunate marriage without a shilling, had spent his own
moderate patrimony, had three sons and three daughters, and had lived
now for a very long time entirely on the unwilling contributions
of his noble relatives. Melmotte could support the whole family in
affluence without feeling the burden;--and why should he not? There
had once been an idea that Miles should attempt to win the heiress,
but it had soon been found expedient to abandon it. Miles had no
title, no position of his own, and was hardly big enough for the
place. It was in all respects better that the waters of the fountain
should be allowed to irrigate mildly the whole Grendall family;--and
so Miles went into the city.
The ball was opened by a quadrille in which Lord Buntingford, the
eldest son of the Duchess, stood up with Marie. Various arrangements
had been made, and this among them. We may say that it had been part
of a bargain. Lord Buntingford had objected mildly, being a young man
devoted to business, fond of his own order, rather shy, and not given
to dancing. But he had allowed his mother to prevail. "Of course they
are vulgar," the Duchess had said,--"so much so as to be no longer
distasteful because of the absurdity of the thing. I dare say he
hasn't been very honest. When men make so much money, I don't know
how they can have been honest. Of course it's done for a purpose.
It's all very well saying that it isn't right, but what are we to do
about Alfred's children? Miles is to have £500 a-year. And then he is
always about the house. And between you and me they have got up those
bills of Alfred's, and have said they can lie in their safe till it
suits your uncle to pay them."
"They will lie there a long time," said Lord Buntingford.
"Of course they expect something in return; do dance with the girl
once." Lord Buntingford disapproved--mildly, and did as his mother
The affair went off very well. There were three or four card-tables
in one of the lower rooms, and at one of them sat Lord Alfred
Grendall and Mr. Melmotte, with two or three other players, cutting
in and out at the end of each rubber. Playing whist was Lord Alfred's
only accomplishment, and almost the only occupation of his life. He
began it daily at his club at three o'clock, and continued playing
till two in the morning with an interval of a couple of hours for his
dinner. This he did during ten months of the year, and during the
other two he frequented some watering-place at which whist prevailed.
He did not gamble, never playing for more than the club stakes and
bets. He gave to the matter his whole mind, and must have excelled
those who were generally opposed to him. But so obdurate was fortune
to Lord Alfred that he could not make money even of whist. Melmotte
was very anxious to get into Lord Alfred's club,--The Peripatetics.
It was pleasant to see the grace with which he lost his money, and
the sweet intimacy with which he called his lordship Alfred. Lord
Alfred had a remnant of feeling left, and would have liked to kick
him. Though Melmotte was by far the bigger man, and was also the
younger, Lord Alfred would not have lacked the pluck to kick him.
Lord Alfred, in spite of his habitual idleness and vapid uselessness,
had still left about him a dash of vigour, and sometimes thought that
he would kick Melmotte and have done with it. But there were his poor
boys, and those bills in Melmotte's safe. And then Melmotte lost
his points so regularly, and paid his bets with such absolute good
humour! "Come and have a glass of champagne, Alfred," Melmotte
said, as the two cut out together. Lord Alfred liked champagne, and
followed his host; but as he went he almost made up his mind that on
some future day he would kick the man.
Late in the evening Marie Melmotte was waltzing with Felix Carbury,
and Henrietta Carbury was then standing by talking to one Mr. Paul
Montague. Lady Carbury was also there. She was not well inclined
either to balls or to such people as the Melmottes; nor was
Henrietta. But Felix had suggested that, bearing in mind his
prospects as to the heiress, they had better accept the invitation
which he would cause to have sent to them. They did so; and then
Paul Montague also got a card, not altogether to Lady Carbury's
satisfaction. Lady Carbury was very gracious to Madame Melmotte for
two minutes, and then slid into a chair expecting nothing but misery
for the evening. She, however, was a woman who could do her duty and
endure without complaint.
"It is the first great ball I ever was at in London," said Hetta
Carbury to Paul Montague.
"And how do you like it?"
"Not at all. How should I like it? I know nobody here. I don't
understand how it is that at these parties people do know each other,
or whether they all go dancing about without knowing."
"Just that; I suppose when they are used to it they get introduced
backwards and forwards, and then they can know each other as fast as
they like. If you would wish to dance why won't you dance with me?"
"I have danced with you,--twice already."
"Is there any law against dancing three times?"
"But I don't especially want to dance," said Henrietta. "I think
I'll go and console poor mamma, who has got nobody to speak to her."
Just at this moment, however, Lady Carbury was not in that wretched
condition, as an unexpected friend had come to her relief.
Sir Felix and Marie Melmotte had been spinning round and round
throughout a long waltz, thoroughly enjoying the excitement of the
music and the movement. To give Felix Carbury what little praise
might be his due, it is necessary to say that he did not lack
physical activity. He would dance, and ride, and shoot eagerly, with
an animation that made him happy for the moment. It was an affair not
of thought or calculation, but of physical organisation. And Marie
Melmotte had been thoroughly happy. She loved dancing with all her
heart if she could only dance in a manner pleasant to herself. She
had been warned especially as to some men,--that she should not dance
with them. She had been almost thrown into Lord Nidderdale's arms,
and had been prepared to take him at her father's bidding. But she
had never had the slightest pleasure in his society, and had only not
been wretched because she had not as yet recognised that she had an
identity of her own in the disposition of which she herself should
have a voice. She certainly had never cared to dance with Lord
Nidderdale. Lord Grasslough she had absolutely hated, though at first
she had hardly dared to say so. One or two others had been obnoxious
to her in different ways, but they had passed on, or were passing on,
out of her way. There was no one at the present moment whom she had
been commanded by her father to accept should an offer be made. But
she did like dancing with Sir Felix Carbury.
It was not only that the man was handsome but that he had a power of
changing the expression of his countenance, a play of face, which
belied altogether his real disposition. He could seem to be hearty
and true till the moment came in which he had really to expose his
heart,--or to try to expose it. Then he failed, knowing nothing
about it. But in the approaches to intimacy with a girl he could
be very successful. He had already nearly got beyond this with
Marie Melmotte; but Marie was by no means quick in discovering his
deficiencies. To her he had seemed like a god. If she might be
allowed to be wooed by Sir Felix Carbury, and to give herself to him,
she thought that she would be contented.
"How well you dance," said Sir Felix, as soon as he had breath for
"Do I?" She spoke with a slightly foreign accent, which gave a little
prettiness to her speech. "I was never told so. But nobody ever told
me anything about myself."
"I should like to tell you everything about yourself, from the
beginning to the end."
"Ah,--but you don't know."
"I would find out. I think I could make some good guesses. I'll tell
you what you would like best in all the world."
"What is that?"
"Somebody that liked you best in all the world."
"Ah,--yes; if one knew who?"
"How can you know, Miss Melmotte, but by believing?"
"That is not the way to know. If a girl told me that she liked me
better than any other girl, I should not know it, just because she
said so. I should have to find it out."
"And if a gentleman told you so?"
"I shouldn't believe him a bit, and I should not care to find out.
But I should like to have some girl for a friend whom I could love,
oh, ten times better than myself."
"So should I."
"Have you no particular friend?"
"I mean a girl whom I could love,--oh, ten times better than myself."
"Now you are laughing at me, Sir Felix," said Miss Melmotte.
"I wonder whether that will come to anything?" said Paul Montague to
Miss Carbury. They had come back into the drawing-room, and had been
watching the approaches to love-making which the baronet was opening.
"You mean Felix and Miss Melmotte. I hate to think of such things,
"It would be a magnificent chance for him."
"To marry a girl, the daughter of vulgar people, just because
she will have a great deal of money? He can't care for her
really,--because she is rich."
"But he wants money so dreadfully! It seems to me that there is no
other condition of things under which Felix can face the world, but
by being the husband of an heiress."
"What a dreadful thing to say!"
"But isn't it true? He has beggared himself."
"Oh, Mr. Montague."
"And he will beggar you and your mother."
"I don't care about myself."
"Others do though." As he said this he did not look at her, but spoke
through his teeth, as if he were angry both with himself and her.
"I did not think you would have spoken so harshly of Felix."
"I don't speak harshly of him, Miss Carbury. I haven't said that it
was his own fault. He seems to be one of those who have been born to
spend money; and as this girl will have plenty of money to spend, I
think it would be a good thing if he were to marry her. If Felix had
£20,000 a year, everybody would think him the finest fellow in the
world." In saying this, however, Mr. Paul Montague showed himself
unfit to gauge the opinion of the world. Whether Sir Felix be rich or
poor, the world, evil-hearted as it is, will never think him a fine
Lady Carbury had been seated for nearly half an hour in uncomplaining
solitude under a bust, when she was delighted by the appearance of
Mr. Ferdinand Alf. "You here?" she said.
"Why not? Melmotte and I are brother adventurers."
"I should have thought you would find so little here to amuse you."
"I have found you; and, in addition to that, duchesses and their
daughters without number. They expect Prince George!"
"And Legge Wilson from the India Office is here already. I spoke to
him in some jewelled bower as I made my way here, not five minutes
since. It's quite a success. Don't you think it very nice, Lady
"I don't know whether you are joking or in earnest."
"I never joke. I say it is very nice. These people are spending
thousands upon thousands to gratify you and me and others, and all
they want in return is a little countenance."
"Do you mean to give it then?"
"I am giving it them."
"Ah;--but the countenance of the 'Evening Pulpit.' Do you mean to
give them that?"
"Well; it is not in our line exactly to give a catalogue of names
and to record ladies' dresses. Perhaps it may be better for our host
himself that he should be kept out of the newspapers."
"Are you going to be very severe upon poor me, Mr. Alf?" said the
lady after a pause.
"We are never severe upon anybody, Lady Carbury. Here's the Prince.
What will they do with him now they've caught him! Oh, they're going
to make him dance with the heiress. Poor heiress!"
"Poor Prince!" said Lady Carbury.
"Not at all. She's a nice little girl enough, and he'll have nothing
to trouble him. But how is she, poor thing, to talk to royal blood?"
Poor thing indeed! The Prince was brought into the big room where
Marie was still being talked to by Felix Carbury, and was at once
made to understand that she was to stand up and dance with royalty.
The introduction was managed in a very business-like manner. Miles
Grendall first came in and found the female victim; the Duchess
followed with the male victim. Madame Melmotte, who had been on her
legs till she was ready to sink, waddled behind, but was not allowed
to take any part in the affair. The band were playing a galop, but
that was stopped at once, to the great confusion of the dancers. In
two minutes Miles Grendall had made up a set. He stood up with his
aunt, the Duchess, as vis-a-vis to Marie and the Prince, till, about
the middle of the quadrille, Legge Wilson was found and made to take
his place. Lord Buntingford had gone away; but then there were still
present two daughters of the Duchess who were rapidly caught. Sir
Felix Carbury, being good-looking and having a name, was made to
dance with one of them, and Lord Grasslough with the other. There
were four other couples, all made up of titled people, as it was
intended that this special dance should be chronicled, if not in the
"Evening Pulpit," in some less serious daily journal. A paid reporter
was present in the house ready to rush off with the list as soon as
the dance should be a realized fact. The Prince himself did not quite
understand why he was there, but they who marshalled his life for
him had so marshalled it for the present moment. He himself probably
knew nothing about the lady's diamonds which had been rescued, or
the considerable subscription to St. George's Hospital which had been
extracted from Mr. Melmotte as a make-weight. Poor Marie felt as
though the burden of the hour would be greater than she could bear,
and looked as though she would have fled had flight been possible.
But the trouble passed quickly, and was not really severe. The Prince
said a word or two between each figure, and did not seem to expect a
reply. He made a few words go a long way, and was well trained in the
work of easing the burden of his own greatness for those who were for
the moment inflicted with it. When the dance was over he was allowed
to escape after the ceremony of a single glass of champagne drank in
the presence of the hostess. Considerable skill was shown in keeping
the presence of his royal guest a secret from the host himself
till the Prince was gone. Melmotte would have desired to pour out
that glass of wine with his own hands, to solace his tongue by
Royal Highnesses, and would probably have been troublesome and
disagreeable. Miles Grendall had understood all this and had managed
the affair very well. "Bless my soul;--his Royal Highness come and
gone!" exclaimed Melmotte. "You and my father were so fast at your
whist that it was impossible to get you away," said Miles. Melmotte
was not a fool, and understood it all;--understood not only that it
had been thought better that he should not speak to the Prince, but
also that it might be better that it should be so. He could not have
everything at once. Miles Grendall was very useful to him, and he
would not quarrel with Miles, at any rate as yet.
[Illustration: The Duchess followed with the male victim.]
"Have another rubber, Alfred?" he said to Miles's father as the
carriages were taking away the guests.
Lord Alfred had taken sundry glasses of champagne, and for a moment
forgot the bills in the safe, and the good things which his boys were
receiving. "Damn that kind of nonsense," he said. "Call people by
their proper names." Then he left the house without a further word
to the master of it. That night before they went to sleep Melmotte
required from his weary wife an account of the ball, and especially
of Marie's conduct. "Marie," Madame Melmotte said, "had behaved well,
but had certainly preferred 'Sir Carbury' to any other of the young
men." Hitherto Mr. Melmotte had heard very little of "Sir Carbury,"
except that he was a baronet. Though his eyes and ears were always
open, though he attended to everything, and was a man of sharp
intelligence, he did not yet quite understand the bearing and
sequence of English titles. He knew that he must get for his daughter
either an eldest son, or one absolutely in possession himself.
Sir Felix, he had learned, was only a baronet; but then he was
in possession. He had discovered also that Sir Felix's son would
in course of time also become Sir Felix. He was not therefore at
the present moment disposed to give any positive orders as to
his daughter's conduct to the young baronet. He did not, however,
conceive that the young baronet had as yet addressed his girl in such
words as Felix had in truth used when they parted. "You know who it
is," he whispered, "likes you better than any one else in the world."
"Nobody does;--don't, Sir Felix."
"I do," he said as he held her hand for a minute. He looked into her
face and she thought it very sweet. He had studied the words as a
lesson, and, repeating them as a lesson, he did it fairly well. He
did it well enough at any rate to send the poor girl to bed with a
sweet conviction that at last a man had spoken to her whom she could
AFTER THE BALL.
"It's weary work," said Sir Felix as he got into the brougham with
his mother and sister.
"What must it have been to me then, who had nothing to do?" said his
"It's the having something to do that makes me call it weary work.
By-the-bye, now I think of it, I'll run down to the club before I go
home." So saying he put his head out of the brougham, and stopped the
"It is two o'clock, Felix," said his mother.
"I'm afraid it is, but you see I'm hungry. You had supper, perhaps;
I had none."
"Are you going down to the club for supper at this time in the
"I must go to bed hungry if I don't. Good night." Then he jumped
out of the brougham, called a cab, and had himself driven to the
Beargarden. He declared to himself that the men there would think it
mean of him if he did not give them their revenge. He had renewed his
play on the preceding night, and had again won. Dolly Longestaffe
owed him now a considerable sum of money, and Lord Grasslough was
also in his debt. He was sure that Grasslough would go to the club
after the ball, and he was determined that they should not think that
he had submitted to be carried home by his mother and sister. So
he argued with himself; but in truth the devil of gambling was hot
within his bosom; and though he feared that in losing he might lose
real money, and that if he won it would be long before he was paid,
yet he could not keep himself from the card-table.
Neither mother or daughter said a word till they reached home and had
got up-stairs. Then the elder spoke of the trouble that was nearest
to her heart at the moment. "Do you think he gambles?"
"He has got no money, mamma."
"I fear that might not hinder him. And he has money with him, though,
for him and such friends as he has, it is not much. If he gambles
everything is lost."
"I suppose they all do play,--more or less."
"I have not known that he played. I am wearied too, out of all heart,
by his want of consideration to me. It is not that he will not obey
me. A mother perhaps should not expect obedience from a grown-up son.
But my word is nothing to him. He has no respect for me. He would as
soon do what is wrong before me as before the merest stranger."
"He has been so long his own master, mamma."
"Yes,--his own master! And yet I must provide for him as though he
were but a child. Hetta, you spent the whole evening talking to Paul
"No, mamma;--that is unjust."
"He was always with you."
"I knew nobody else. I could not tell him not to speak to me. I
danced with him twice." Her mother was seated, with both her hands up
to her forehead, and shook her head. "If you did not want me to speak
to Paul you should not have taken me there."
"I don't wish to prevent your speaking to him. You know what I
want." Henrietta came up and kissed her, and bade her good night.
"I think I am the unhappiest woman in all London," she said, sobbing
"Is it my fault, mamma?"
"You could save me from much if you would. I work like a horse,
and I never spend a shilling that I can help. I want nothing for
myself,--nothing for myself. Nobody has suffered as I have. But Felix
never thinks of me for a moment."
"I think of you, mamma."
"If you did you would accept your cousin's offer. What right have you
to refuse him? I believe it is all because of that young man."
"No, mamma; it is not because of that young man. I like my cousin
very much;--but that is all. Good night, mamma." Lady Carbury just
allowed herself to be kissed, and then was left alone.
At eight o'clock the next morning daybreak found four young men who
had just risen from a card-table at the Beargarden. The Beargarden
was so pleasant a club that there was no rule whatsoever as to its
being closed,--the only law being that it should not be opened before
three in the afternoon. A sort of sanction had, however, been given
to the servants to demur to producing supper or drinks after six in
the morning, so that, about eight, unrelieved tobacco began to be too
heavy even for juvenile constitutions. The party consisted of Dolly
Longestaffe, Lord Grasslough, Miles Grendall, and Felix Carbury, and
the four had amused themselves during the last six hours with various
innocent games. They had commenced with whist, and had culminated
during the last half-hour with blind hookey. But during the whole
night Felix had won. Miles Grendall hated him, and there had been an
expressed opinion between Miles and the young lord that it would be
both profitable and proper to relieve Sir Felix of the winnings of
the last two nights. The two men had played with the same object, and
being young had shown their intention,--so that a certain feeling of
hostility had been engendered. The reader is not to understand that
either of them had cheated, or that the baronet had entertained
any suspicion of foul play. But Felix had felt that Grendall and
Grasslough were his enemies, and had thrown himself on Dolly for
sympathy and friendship. Dolly, however, was very tipsy.
At eight o'clock in the morning there came a sort of settling, though
no money then passed. The ready-money transactions had not lasted
long through the night. Grasslough was the chief loser, and the
figures and scraps of paper which had been passed over to Carbury,
when counted up, amounted to nearly £2,000. His lordship contested
the fact bitterly, but contested it in vain. There were his own
initials and his own figures, and even Miles Grendall, who was
supposed to be quite wide awake, could not reduce the amount. Then
Grendall had lost over £400 to Carbury,--an amount, indeed, that
mattered little, as Miles could, at present, as easily have raised
£40,000. However, he gave his I.O.U. to his opponent with an easy
air. Grasslough, also, was impecunious; but he had a father,--also
impecunious, indeed; but with them the matter would not be hopeless.
Dolly Longestaffe was so tipsy that he could not even assist in
making up his own account. That was to be left between him and
Carbury for some future occasion.
"I suppose you'll be here to-morrow,--that is to-night," said Miles.
"Certainly,--only one thing," answered Felix.
"What one thing?"
"I think these things should be squared before we play any more!"
"What do you mean by that?" said Grasslough angrily. "Do you mean to
"I never hint anything, my Grassy," said Felix. "I believe when
people play cards, it's intended to be ready-money, that's all. But
I'm not going to stand on P's and Q's with you. I'll give you your
"That's all right," said Miles.
"I was speaking to Lord Grasslough," said Felix. "He is an old
friend, and we know each other. You have been rather rough to-night,
"Rough;--what the devil do you mean by that?"
"And I think it will be as well that our account should be settled
before we begin again."
"A settlement once a week is the kind of thing I'm used to," said
There was nothing more said; but the young men did not part on good
terms. Felix, as he got himself taken home, calculated that if he
could realize his spoil, he might begin the campaign again with
horses, servants, and all luxuries as before. If all were paid, he
would have over £3,000!
ROGER CARBURY AND PAUL MONTAGUE.
Roger Carbury, of Carbury Hall, the owner of a small property in
Suffolk, was the head of the Carbury family. The Carburys had been in
Suffolk a great many years,--certainly from the time of the War of
the Roses,--and had always held up their heads. But they had never
held them very high. It was not known that any had risen ever to
the honour of knighthood before Sir Patrick, going higher than that,
had been made a baronet. They had, however, been true to their
acres and their acres true to them through the perils of civil wars,
Reformation, Commonwealth, and Revolution, and the head Carbury of
the day had always owned, and had always lived at, Carbury Hall. At
the beginning of the present century the squire of Carbury had been
a considerable man, if not in his county, at any rate in his part of
the county. The income of the estate had sufficed to enable him to
live plenteously and hospitably, to drink port wine, to ride a stout
hunter, and to keep an old lumbering coach for his wife's use when
she went avisiting. He had an old butler who had never lived anywhere
else, and a boy from the village who was in a way apprenticed to the
butler. There was a cook, not too proud to wash up her own dishes,
and a couple of young women;--while the house was kept by Mrs.
Carbury herself, who marked and gave out her own linen, made her own
preserves, and looked to the curing of her own hams. In the year 1800
the Carbury property was sufficient for the Carbury house. Since that
time the Carbury property has considerably increased in value, and
the rents have been raised. Even the acreage has been extended by
the enclosure of commons. But the income is no longer comfortably
adequate to the wants of an English gentleman's household. If a
moderate estate in land be left to a man now, there arises the
question whether he is not damaged unless an income also be left to
him wherewith to keep up the estate. Land is a luxury, and of all
luxuries is the most costly. Now the Carburys never had anything but
land. Suffolk has not been made rich and great either by coal or
iron. No great town had sprung up on the confines of the Carbury
property. No eldest son had gone into trade or risen high in a
profession so as to add to the Carbury wealth. No great heiress had
been married. There had been no ruin,--no misfortune. But in the days
of which we write the Squire of Carbury Hall had become a poor man
simply through the wealth of others. His estate was supposed to bring
him in £2,000 a year. Had he been content to let the Manor House, to
live abroad, and to have an agent at home to deal with the tenants,
he would undoubtedly have had enough to live luxuriously. But he
lived on his own land among his own people, as all the Carburys
before him had done, and was poor because he was surrounded by rich
neighbours. The Longestaffes of Caversham,--of which family Dolly
Longestaffe was the eldest son and hope,--had the name of great
wealth, but the founder of the family had been a Lord Mayor of
London and a chandler as lately as in the reign of Queen Anne. The
Hepworths, who could boast good blood enough on their own side, had
married into new money. The Primeros,--though the good nature of the
country folk had accorded to the head of them the title of Squire
Primero,--had been trading Spaniards fifty years ago, and had bought
the Bundlesham property from a great duke. The estates of those three
gentlemen, with the domain of the Bishop of Elmham, lay all around
the Carbury property, and in regard to wealth enabled their owners
altogether to overshadow our squire. The superior wealth of a bishop
was nothing to him. He desired that bishops should be rich, and was
among those who thought that the country had been injured when the
territorial possessions of our prelates had been converted into
stipends by Act of Parliament. But the grandeur of the Longestaffes
and the too apparent wealth of the Primeros did oppress him, though
he was a man who would never breathe a word of such oppression into
the ear even of his dearest friend. It was his opinion,--which he
did not care to declare loudly, but which was fully understood to be
his opinion by those with whom he lived intimately,--that a man's
standing in the world should not depend at all upon his wealth. The
Primeros were undoubtedly beneath him in the social scale, although
the young Primeros had three horses apiece, and killed legions of
pheasants annually at about 10"s". a head. Hepworth of Eardly was a
very good fellow, who gave himself no airs and understood his duties
as a country gentleman; but he could not be more than on a par with
Carbury of Carbury, though he was supposed to enjoy £7,000 a year.
The Longestaffes were altogether oppressive. Their footmen, even in
the country, had powdered hair. They had a house in town,--a house
of their own,--and lived altogether as magnates. The lady was Lady
Pomona Longestaffe. The daughters, who certainly were handsome, had
been destined to marry peers. The only son, Dolly, had, or had had,
a fortune of his own. They were an oppressive people in a country
neighbourhood. And to make the matter worse, rich as they were,
they never were able to pay anybody anything that they owed. They
continued to live with all the appurtenances of wealth. The girls
always had horses to ride, both in town and country. The acquaintance
of Dolly the reader has already made. Dolly, who certainly was a poor
creature though good natured, had energy in one direction. He would
quarrel perseveringly with his father, who only had a life interest
in the estate. The house at Caversham Park was during six or seven
months, of the year full of servants, if not of guests, and all
the tradesmen in the little towns around, Bungay, Beccles, and
Harlestone, were aware that the Longestaffes were the great people
of that country. Though occasionally much distressed for money,
they would always execute the Longestaffe orders with submissive
punctuality, because there was an idea that the Longestaffe property
was sound at the bottom. And, then, the owner of a property so
managed cannot scrutinise bills very closely.
Carbury of Carbury had never owed a shilling that he could not pay,
or his father before him. His orders to the tradesmen at Beccles were
not extensive, and care was used to see that the goods supplied were
neither overcharged nor unnecessary. The tradesmen, consequently, of
Beccles did not care much for Carbury of Carbury;--though perhaps one
or two of the elders among them entertained some ancient reverence
for the family. Roger Carbury, Esq., was Carbury of Carbury,--a
distinction of itself, which, from its nature, could not belong to
the Longestaffes and Primeros, which did not even belong to the
Hepworths of Eardly. The very parish in which Carbury Hall stood,--or
Carbury Manor House, as it was more properly called,--was Carbury
parish. And there was Carbury Chase, partly in Carbury parish and
partly in Bundlesham,--but belonging, unfortunately, in its entirety
to the Bundlesham estate.
Roger Carbury himself was all alone in the world. His nearest
relatives of the name were Sir Felix and Henrietta, but they were no
more than second cousins. He had sisters, but they had long since
been married and had gone away into the world with their husbands,
one to India, and another to the far west of the United States. At
present he was not much short of forty years of age, and was still
unmarried. He was a stout, good-looking man, with a firmly set square
face, with features finely cut, a small mouth, good teeth, and
well-formed chin. His hair was red, curling round his head, which
was now partly bald at the top. He wore no other beard than small,
almost unnoticeable whiskers. His eyes were small, but bright, and
very cheery when his humour was good. He was about five feet nine in
height, having the appearance of great strength and perfect health.
A more manly man to the eye was never seen. And he was one with
whom you would instinctively wish at first sight to be on good
terms,--partly because in looking at him there would come on you an
unconscious conviction that he would be very stout in holding his own
against his opponents; partly also from a conviction equally strong,
that he would be very pleasant to his friends.
When Sir Patrick had come home from India as an invalid, Roger
Carbury had hurried up to see him in London, and had proffered him
all kindness. Would Sir Patrick and his wife and children like to
go down to the old place in the country? Sir Patrick did not care
a straw for the old place in the country, and so told his cousin
in almost those very words. There had not, therefore, been much
friendship during Sir Patrick's life. But when the violent
ill-conditioned old man was dead, Roger paid a second visit, and
again offered hospitality to the widow and her daughter,--and to the
young baronet. The young baronet had just joined his regiment and
did not care to visit his cousin in Suffolk; but Lady Carbury and
Henrietta had spent a month there, and everything had been done to
make them happy. The effort as regarded Henrietta had been altogether
successful. As regarded the widow, it must be acknowledged that
Carbury Hall had not quite suited her tastes. She had already begun
to sigh for the glories of a literary career. A career of some
kind,--sufficient to repay her for the sufferings of her early
life,--she certainly desired. "Dear cousin Roger," as she called him,
had not seemed to her to have much power of assisting her in these
views. She was a woman who did not care much for country charms.
She had endeavoured to get up some mild excitement with the
bishop, but the bishop had been too plain spoken and sincere for
her. The Primeros had been odious; the Hepworths stupid; the
Longestaffes,--she had endeavoured to make up a little friendship
with Lady Pomona,--insufferably supercilious. She had declared to
Henrietta "that Carbury Hall was very dull."
But then there had come a circumstance which altogether changed her
opinions as to Carbury Hall, and its proprietor. The proprietor
after a few weeks followed them up to London, and made a most
matter-of-fact offer to the mother for the daughter's hand. He was at
that time thirty-six, and Henrietta was not yet twenty. He was very
cool;--some might have thought him phlegmatic in his love-making.
Henrietta declared to her mother that she had not in the least
expected it. But he was very urgent, and very persistent. Lady
Carbury was eager on his side. Though the Carbury Manor House did not
exactly suit her, it would do admirably for Henrietta. And as for
age, to her thinking, she being then over forty, a man of thirty-six
was young enough for any girl. But Henrietta had an opinion of her
own. She liked her cousin, but did not love him. She was amazed, and
even annoyed by the offer. She had praised him and praised the house
so loudly to her mother,--having in her innocence never dreamed of
such a proposition as this,--so that now she found it difficult to
give an adequate reason for her refusal. Yes;--she had undoubtedly
said that her cousin was charming, but she had not meant charming in
that way. She did refuse the offer very plainly, but still with some
apparent lack of persistency. When Roger suggested that she should
take a few months to think of it, and her mother supported Roger's
suggestion, she could say nothing stronger than that she was afraid
that thinking about it would not do any good. Their first visit to
Carbury had been made in September. In the following February she
went there again,--much against the grain as far as her own wishes
were concerned; and when there had been cold, constrained, almost
dumb in the presence of her cousin. Before they left the offer was
renewed, but Henrietta declared that she could not do as they would
have her. She could give no reason, only she did not love her cousin
in that way. But Roger declared that he by no means intended to
abandon his suit. In truth he verily loved the girl, and love with
him was a serious thing. All this happened a full year before the
beginning of our present story.
But something else happened also. While that second visit was being
made at Carbury there came to the hall a young man of whom Roger
Carbury had said much to his cousins,--one Paul Montague, of whom
some short account shall be given in this chapter. The squire,--Roger
Carbury was always called the squire about his own place,--had
anticipated no evil when he so timed this second visit of his cousins
to his house that they must of necessity meet Paul Montague there.
But great harm had come of it. Paul Montague had fallen into love
with his cousin's guest, and there had sprung up much unhappiness.
Lady Carbury and Henrietta had been nearly a month at Carbury, and
Paul Montague had been there barely a week, when Roger Carbury thus
spoke to the guest who had last arrived. "I've got to tell you
"Very serious to me. I may say so serious that nothing in my own
life can approach it in importance." He had unconsciously assumed
that look, which his friend so thoroughly understood, indicating his
resolve to hold to what he believed to be his own, and to fight if
fighting be necessary. Montague knew him well, and became half aware
that he had done something, he knew not what, militating against this
serious resolve of his friend. He looked up, but said nothing. "I
have offered my hand in marriage to my cousin Henrietta," said Roger
"Yes; to Henrietta Carbury. She has not accepted it. She has refused
me twice. But I still have hopes of success. Perhaps I have no right
to hope, but I do. I tell it you just as it is. Everything in life to
me depends upon it. I think I may count upon your sympathy."
"Why did you not tell me before?" said Paul Montague in a hoarse
Then there had come a sudden and rapid interchange of quick speaking
between the men, each of them speaking the truth exactly, each of
them declaring himself to be in the right and to be ill-used by
the other, each of them equally hot, equally generous, and equally
unreasonable. Montague at once asserted that he also loved Henrietta
Carbury. He blurted out his assurance in the baldest and most
incomplete manner, but still in such words as to leave no doubt.
No;--he had not said a word to her. He had intended to consult Roger
Carbury himself,--should have done so in a day or two,--perhaps on
that very day had not Roger spoken to him. "You have neither of you
a shilling in the world," said Roger; "and now you know what my
feelings are you must abandon it." Then Montague declared that he
had a right to speak to Miss Carbury. He did not suppose that Miss
Carbury cared a straw about him. He had not the least reason to think
that she did. It was altogether impossible. But he had a right to his
chance. That chance was all the world to him. As to money,--he would
not admit that he was a pauper, and, moreover, he might earn an
income as well as other men. Had Carbury told him that the young
lady had shown the slightest intention to receive his, Carbury's,
addresses, he, Paul, would at once have disappeared from the scene.
But as it was not so, he would not say that he would abandon his
The scene lasted for above an hour. When it was ended, Paul Montague
packed up all his clothes and was driven away to the railway station
by Roger himself, without seeing either of the ladies. There had been
very hot words between the men, but the last words which Roger spoke
to the other on the railway platform were not quarrelsome in their
nature. "God bless you, old fellow," he said, pressing Paul's hands.
Paul's eyes were full of tears, and he replied only by returning the
Paul Montague's father and mother had long been dead. The father had
been a barrister in London, having perhaps some small fortune of his
own. He had, at any rate, left to this son, who was one among others,
a sufficiency with which to begin the world. Paul when he had come
of age had found himself possessed of about £6,000. He was then at
Oxford, and was intended for the bar. An uncle of his, a younger
brother of his father, had married a Carbury, the younger sister
of two, though older than her brother Roger. This uncle many years
since had taken his wife out to California, and had there become an
American. He had a large tract of land, growing wool, and wheat, and
fruit; but whether he prospered or whether he did not, had not always
been plain to the Montagues and Carburys at home. The intercourse
between the two families had in the quite early days of Paul
Montague's life, created an affection between him and Roger, who, as
will be understood by those who have carefully followed the above
family history, were not in any degree related to each other. Roger,
when quite a young man, had had the charge of the boy's education,
and had sent him to Oxford. But the Oxford scheme, to be followed by
the bar, and to end on some one of the many judicial benches of the
country, had not succeeded. Paul had got into a "row" at Balliol, and
had been rusticated,--had then got into another row, and was sent
down. Indeed he had a talent for rows,--though, as Roger Carbury
always declared, there was nothing really wrong about any of them.
Paul was then twenty-one, and he took himself and his money out to
California, and joined his uncle. He had perhaps an idea,--based on
very insufficient grounds,--that rows are popular in California. At
the end of three years he found that he did not like farming life in
California,--and he found also that he did not like his uncle. So he
returned to England, but on returning was altogether unable to get
his £6,000 out of the Californian farm. Indeed he had been compelled
to come away without any of it, with funds insufficient even to take
him home, accepting with much dissatisfaction an assurance from his
uncle that an income amounting to ten per cent. upon his capital
should be remitted to him with the regularity of clockwork. The
clock alluded to must have been one of Sam Slick's. It had gone
very badly. At the end of the first quarter there came the proper
remittance;--then half the amount;--then there was a long interval
without anything; then some dropping payments now and again;--and
then a twelvemonth without anything. At the end of that twelvemonth
he paid a second visit to California, having borrowed money from
Roger for his journey. He had now again returned, with some little
cash in hand, and with the additional security of a deed executed in
his favour by one Hamilton K. Fisker, who had gone into partnership
with his uncle, and who had added a vast flour-mill to his uncle's
concerns. In accordance with this deed he was to get twelve per cent.
on his capital, and had enjoyed the gratification of seeing his name
put up as one of the firm, which now stood as Fisker, Montague, and
Montague. A business declared by the two elder partners to be most
promising had been opened at Fiskerville, about two hundred and fifty
miles from San Francisco, and the hearts of Fisker and the elder
Montague were very high. Paul hated Fisker horribly, did not love his
uncle much, and would willingly have got back his £6,000 had he been
able. But he was not able, and returned as one of Fisker, Montague,
and Montague, not altogether unhappy, as he had succeeded in
obtaining enough of his back income to pay what he owed to Roger, and
to live for a few months. He was intent on considering how he should
bestow himself, consulting daily with Roger on the subject, when
suddenly Roger had perceived that the young man was becoming attached
to the girl whom he himself loved. What then occurred has been told.
Not a word was said to Lady Carbury or her daughter of the real
cause of Paul's sudden disappearance. It had been necessary that he
should go to London. Each of the ladies probably guessed something
of the truth, but neither spoke a word to the other on the subject.
Before they left the Manor the squire again pleaded his cause with
Henrietta, but he pleaded it in vain. Henrietta was colder than
ever,--but she made use of one unfortunate phrase which destroyed all
the effect which her coldness might have had. She said that she was
too young to think of marrying yet. She had meant to imply that the
difference in their ages was too great, but had not known how to
say it. It was easy to tell her that in a twelvemonth she would be
older;--but it was impossible to convince her that any number of
twelvemonths would alter the disparity between her and her cousin.
But even that disparity was not now her strongest reason for feeling
sure that she could not marry Roger Carbury.
Within a week of the departure of Lady Carbury from the Manor House,
Paul Montague returned, and returned as a still dear friend. He had
promised before he went that he would not see Henrietta again for
three months, but he would promise nothing further. "If she won't
take you, there is no reason why I shouldn't try." That had been
his argument. Roger would not accede to the justice even of this.
It seemed to him that Paul was bound to retire altogether, partly
because he had got no income, partly because of Roger's previous
claim,--partly no doubt in gratitude, but of this last reason Roger
never said a word. If Paul did not see this himself, Paul was not
such a man as his friend had taken him to be.
Paul did see it himself, and had many scruples. But why should his
friend be a dog in the manger? He would yield at once to Roger
Carbury's older claims if Roger could make anything of them. Indeed
he could have no chance if the girl were disposed to take Roger for
her husband. Roger had all the advantage of Carbury Manor at his
back, whereas he had nothing but his share in the doubtful business
of Fisker, Montague, and Montague, in a wretched little town 250
miles further off than San Francisco! But if, with all this, Roger
could not prevail, why should he not try? What Roger said about want
of money was mere nonsense. Paul was sure that his friend would have
created no such difficulty had not he himself been interested. Paul
declared to himself that he had money, though doubtful money, and
that he certainly would not give up Henrietta on that score.
He came up to London at various times in search of certain employment
which had been half promised him, and, after the expiration of the
three months, constantly saw Lady Carbury and her daughter. But from
time to time he had given renewed promises to Roger Carbury that
he would not declare his passion,--now for two months, then for
six weeks, then for a month. In the meantime the two men were fast
friends,--so fast that Montague spent by far the greater part of
his time as his friend's guest,--and all this was done with the
understanding that Roger Carbury was to blaze up into hostile wrath
should Paul ever receive the privilege to call himself Henrietta
Carbury's favoured lover, but that everything was to be smooth
between them should Henrietta be persuaded to become the mistress of
Carbury Hall. So things went on up to the night at which Montague
met Henrietta at Madame Melmotte's ball. The reader should also be
informed that there had been already a former love affair in the
young life of Paul Montague. There had been, and indeed there still
was, a widow, one Mrs. Hurtle, whom he had been desperately anxious
to marry before his second journey to California;--but the marriage
had been prevented by the interference of Roger Carbury.
Lady Carbury's desire for a union between Roger and her daughter was
greatly increased by her solicitude in respect to her son. Since
Roger's offer had first been made, Felix had gone on from bad to
worse, till his condition had become one of hopeless embarrassment.
If her daughter could but be settled in the world, Lady Carbury said
to herself, she could then devote herself to the interests of her
son. She had no very clear idea of what that devotion would be. But
she did know that she had paid so much money for him, and would have
so much more extracted from her, that it might well come to pass that
she would be unable to keep a home for her daughter. In all these
troubles she constantly appealed to Roger Carbury for advice,--which,
however, she never followed. He recommended her to give up her
house in town, to find a home for her daughter elsewhere, and also
for Felix if he would consent to follow her. Should he not so
consent, then let the young man bear the brunt of his own misdoings.
Doubtless, when he could no longer get bread in London he would find
her out. Roger was always severe when he spoke of the baronet,--or
seemed to Lady Carbury to be severe.
But, in truth, she did not ask for advice in order that she might
follow it. She had plans in her head with which she knew that Roger
would not sympathise. She still thought that Sir Felix might bloom
and burst out into grandeur, wealth, and fashion, as the husband of a
great heiress, and in spite of her son's vices, was proud of him in
that anticipation. When he succeeded in obtaining from her money, as
in the case of that £20,--when, with brazen-faced indifference to her
remonstrances, he started off to his club at two in the morning, when
with impudent drollery he almost boasted of the hopelessness of his
debts, a sickness of heart would come upon her, and she would weep
hysterically, and lie the whole night without sleeping. But could he
marry Miss Melmotte, and thus conquer all his troubles by means of
his own personal beauty,--then she would be proud of all that had
passed. With such a condition of mind Roger Carbury could have no
sympathy. To him it seemed that a gentleman was disgraced who owed
money to a tradesman which he could not pay. And Lady Carbury's heart
was high with other hopes,--in spite of her hysterics and her fears.
The "Criminal Queens" might be a great literary success. She almost
thought that it would be a success. Messrs. Leadham and Loiter, the
publishers, were civil to her. Mr. Broune had promised. Mr. Booker
had said that he would see what could be done. She had gathered from
Mr. Alf's caustic and cautious words that the book would be noticed
in the "Evening Pulpit." No;--she would not take dear Roger's advice
as to leaving London. But she would continue to ask Roger's advice.
Men like to have their advice asked. And, if possible, she would
arrange the marriage. What country retirement could be so suitable
for a Lady Carbury when she wished to retire for awhile,--as Carbury
Manor, the seat of her own daughter? And then her mind would fly away
into regions of bliss. If only by the end of this season Henrietta
could be engaged to her cousin, Felix be the husband of the richest
bride in Europe, and she be the acknowledged author of the cleverest
book of the year, what a Paradise of triumph might still be open to
her after all her troubles! Then the sanguine nature of the woman
would bear her up almost to exultation, and for an hour she would be
happy, in spite of everything.
A few days after the ball Roger Carbury was up in town, and was
closeted with her in her back drawing-room. The declared cause
of his coming was the condition of the baronet's affairs and the
indispensable necessity,--so Roger thought,--of taking some steps by
which at any rate the young man's present expenses might be brought
to an end. It was horrible to him that a man who had not a shilling
in the world or any prospect of a shilling, who had nothing and never
thought of earning anything, should have hunters! He was very much in
earnest about it, and quite prepared to speak his mind to the young
man himself,--if he could get hold of him. "Where is he now, Lady
Carbury;--at this moment?"
"I think he's out with the Baron." Being "out with the Baron" meant
that the young man was hunting with the stag hounds some forty miles
away from London.
"How does he manage it? Whose horses does he ride? Who pays for
"Don't be angry with me, Roger. What can I do to prevent it?"
"I think you should refuse to have anything to do with him while he
continues in such courses."
"My own son!"
"Yes;--exactly. But what is to be the end of it? Is he to be allowed
to ruin you, and Hetta? It can't go on long."
"You wouldn't have me throw him over."
"I think he is throwing you over. And then it is so thoroughly
dishonest,--so ungentlemanlike! I don't understand how it goes on
from day to day. I suppose you don't supply him with ready money."
"He has had a little."
Roger frowned angrily. "I can understand that you should provide him
with bed and food, but not that you should pander to his vices by
giving him money." This was very plain speaking, and Lady Carbury
winced under it. "The kind of life that he is leading requires a
large income of itself. I understand the thing, and know that with
all I have in the world I could not do it myself."
"You are so different."
"I am older of course,--very much older. But he is not so young that
he should not begin to comprehend. Has he any money beyond what you
Then Lady Carbury revealed certain suspicions which she had begun to
entertain during the last day or two. "I think he has been playing."
"That is the way to lose money,--not to get it," said Roger.
"I suppose somebody wins,--sometimes."
"They who win are the sharpers. They who lose are the dupes. I would
sooner that he were a fool than a knave."
"O Roger, you are so severe!"
"You say he plays. How would he pay, were he to lose?"
"I know nothing about it. I don't even know that he does play; but
I have reason to think that during the last week he has had money at
his command. Indeed I have seen it. He comes home at all manner of
hours and sleeps late. Yesterday I went into his room about ten and
did not wake him. There were notes and gold lying on his table;--ever
"Why did you not take them?"
"What; rob my own boy?"
"When you tell me that you are absolutely in want of money to pay
your own bills, and that he has not hesitated to take yours from you!
Why does he not repay you what he has borrowed?"
"Ah, indeed;--why not? He ought to if he has it. And there were
papers there;--I. O. U.'s, signed by other men."
"You looked at them."
"I saw as much as that. It is not that I am curious, but one does
feel about one's own son. I think he has bought another horse. A
groom came here and said something about it to the servants."
"Oh dear;--oh dear!"
"If you could only induce him to stop the gambling! Of course it is
very bad whether he wins or loses,--though I am sure that Felix would
do nothing unfair. Nobody ever said that of him. If he has won money,
it would be a great comfort if he would let me have some of it,--for,
to tell the truth, I hardly know how to turn. I am sure nobody can
say that I spend it on myself."
Then Roger again repeated his advice. There could be no use in
attempting to keep up the present kind of life in Welbeck Street.
Welbeck Street might be very well without a penniless spendthrift
such as Sir Felix, but must be ruinous under the present conditions.
If Lady Carbury felt, as no doubt she did feel, bound to afford a
home to her ruined son in spite of all his wickedness and folly, that
home should be found far away from London. If he chose to remain in
London, let him do so on his own resources. The young man should make
up his mind to do something for himself. A career might possibly be
opened for him in India. "If he be a man he would sooner break stones
than live on you," said Roger. Yes, he would see his cousin to-morrow
and speak to him;--that is if he could possibly find him. "Young men
who gamble all night, and hunt all day are not easily found." But
he would come at twelve as Felix generally breakfasted at that hour.
Then he gave an assurance to Lady Carbury which to her was not the
least comfortable part of the interview. In the event of her son not
giving her the money which she at once required he, Roger, would lend
her a hundred pounds till her half year's income should be due. After
that his voice changed altogether, as he asked a question on another
subject, "Can I see Henrietta to-morrow?"
"Certainly;--why not? She is at home now, I think."
"I will wait till to-morrow,--when I call to see Felix. I should like
her to know that I am coming. Paul Montague was in town the other
day. He was here, I suppose?"
"Was that all you saw of him?"
"He was at the Melmottes' ball. Felix got a card for him;--and we
were there. Has he gone down to Carbury?"
"No;--not to Carbury. I think he had some business about his partners
at Liverpool. There is another case of a young man without anything
to do. Not that Paul is at all like Sir Felix." This he was induced
to say by the spirit of honesty which was always strong within him.
"Don't be too hard upon poor Felix," said Lady Carbury. Roger, as he
took his leave, thought that it would be impossible to be too hard
upon Sir Felix Carbury.
The next morning Lady Carbury was in her son's bedroom before he was
up, and with incredible weakness told him that his cousin Roger was
coming to lecture him. "What the Devil's the use of it?" said Felix
from beneath the bedclothes.
"If you speak to me in that way, Felix, I must leave the room."
"But what is the use of his coming to me? I know what he has got to
say just as if it were said. It's all very well preaching sermons
to good people, but nothing ever was got by preaching to people who
"Why shouldn't you be good?"
"I shall do very well, mother, if that fellow will leave me alone. I
can play my hand better than he can play it for me. If you'll go now
I'll get up." She had intended to ask him for some of the money which
she believed he still possessed, but her courage failed her. If she
asked for his money, and took it, she would in some fashion recognise
and tacitly approve his gambling. It was not yet eleven, and it was
early for him to leave his bed; but he had resolved that he would get
out of the house before that horrible bore should be upon him with
his sermon. To do this he must be energetic. He was actually eating
his breakfast at half-past eleven, and had already contrived in
his mind how he would turn the wrong way as soon as he got into
the street,--towards Marylebone Road, by which route Roger would
certainly not come. He left the house at ten minutes before twelve,
cunningly turned away, dodging round by the first corner,--and just
as he had turned it encountered his cousin. Roger, anxious in regard
to his errand, with time at his command, had come before the hour
appointed and had strolled about, thinking not of Felix but of
Felix's sister. The baronet felt that he had been caught,--caught
unfairly, but by no means abandoned all hope of escape. "I was going
to your mother's house on purpose to see you," said Roger.
"Were you indeed? I am so sorry. I have an engagement out here with a
fellow which I must keep. I could meet you at any other time, you
"You can come back for ten minutes," said Roger, taking him by the
"Well;--not conveniently at this moment."
"You must manage it. I am here at your mother's request, and can't
afford to remain in town day after day looking for you. I go down
to Carbury this afternoon. Your friend can wait. Come along." His
firmness was too much for Felix, who lacked the courage to shake
his cousin off violently, and to go his way. But as he returned
he fortified himself with the remembrance of all the money in his
pocket,--for he still had his winnings,--remembered too certain sweet
words which had passed between him and Marie Melmotte since the ball,
and resolved that he would not be "sat upon" by Roger Carbury. The
time was coming,--he might almost say that the time had come,--in
which he might defy Roger Carbury. Nevertheless, he dreaded the words
which were now to be spoken to him with a craven fear.
"Your mother tells me," said Roger, "that you still keep hunters."
"I don't know what she calls hunters. I have one that I didn't part
with when the others went."
"You have only one horse?"
"Well;--if you want to be exact, I have a hack as well as the horse
"And another up here in town?"
"Who told you that? No; I haven't. At least there is one staying at
some stables which has been sent for me to look at."
"Who pays for all these horses?"
"At any rate I shall not ask you to pay for them."
"No;--you would be afraid to do that. But you have no scruple in
asking your mother, though you should force her to come to me or to
other friends for assistance. You have squandered every shilling of
your own, and now you are ruining her."
"That isn't true. I have money of my own."
"Where did you get it?"
"This is all very well, Roger; but I don't know that you have any
right to ask me these questions. I have money. If I buy a horse I can
pay for it. If I keep one or two I can pay for them. Of course I owe
a lot of money, but other people owe me money too. I'm all right, and
you needn't frighten yourself."
"Then why do you beg her last shilling from your mother, and when you
have money not pay it back to her?"
"She can have the twenty pounds, if you mean that."
"I mean that, and a good deal more than that. I suppose you have been
"I don't know that I am bound to answer your questions, and I
won't do it. If you have nothing else to say, I'll go about my own
"I have something else to say, and I mean to say it." Felix had
walked towards the door, but Roger was before him, and now leaned his
back against it.
"I am not going to be kept here against my will," said Felix.
"You have to listen to me, so you may as well sit still. Do you wish
to be looked upon as a blackguard by all the world?"
"That is what it will be. You have spent every shilling of your
own,--and because your mother is affectionate and weak, you are now
spending all that she has, and are bringing her and your sister to
"I don't ask them to pay anything for me."
"Not when you borrow her money?"
"There is the £20. Take it and give it her," said Felix, counting the
notes out of the pocket-book. "When I asked her for it, I did not
think she would make such a row about such a trifle." Roger took up
the notes and thrust them into his pocket. "Now, have you done?" said
[Illustration: "There's the £20."]
"Not quite. Do you purpose that your mother should keep you and
clothe you for the rest of your life?"
"I hope to be able to keep her before long, and to do it much better
than it has ever been done before. The truth is, Roger, you know
nothing about it. If you'll leave me to myself, you'll find that I
shall do very well."
"I don't know any young man who ever did worse, or one who had less
moral conception of what is right and wrong."
"Very well. That's your idea. I differ from you. People can't all
think alike, you know. Now, if you please, I'll go."
Roger felt that he hadn't half said what he had to say, but he hardly
knew how to get it said. And of what use could it be to talk to a
young man who was altogether callous and without feeling? The remedy
for the evil ought to be found in the mother's conduct rather than
the son's. She, were she not foolishly weak, would make up her mind
to divide herself utterly from her son, at any rate for a while, and
to leave him to suffer utter penury. That would bring him round. And
then when the agony of want had tamed him, he would be content to
take bread and meat from her hand and would be humble. At present he
had money in his pocket, and would eat and drink of the best, and
be free from inconvenience for the moment. While this prosperity
remained it would be impossible to touch him. "You will ruin your
sister, and break your mother's heart," said Roger, firing a last
harmless shot after the young reprobate.
When Lady Carbury came into the room, which she did as soon as the
front door was closed behind her son, she seemed to think that a
great success had been achieved because the £20 had been recovered.
"I knew he would give it me back, if he had it," she said.
"Why did he not bring it to you of his own accord?"
"I suppose he did not like to talk about it. Has he said that he got
"No,--he did not speak a word of truth while he was here. You may
take it for granted that he did get it by gambling. How else should
he have it? And you may take it for granted also that he will lose
all that he has got. He talked in the wildest way,--saying that he
would soon have a home for you and Hetta."
"Did he;--dear boy!"
"Had he any meaning?"
"Oh; yes. And it is quite on the cards that it should be so. You have
heard of Miss Melmotte."
"I have heard of the great French swindler who has come over here,
and who is buying his way into society."
"Everybody visits them now, Roger."
"More shame for everybody. Who knows anything about him,--except that
he left Paris with the reputation of a specially prosperous rogue?
But what of him?"
"Some people think that Felix will marry his only child. Felix is
handsome; isn't he? What young man is there nearly so handsome? They
say she'll have half a million of money."
"That's his game;--is it?"
"Don't you think he is right?"
"No; I think he's wrong. But we shall hardly agree with each other
about that. Can I see Henrietta for a few minutes?"
Roger Carbury said well that it was very improbable that he and
his cousin, the widow, should agree in their opinions as to the
expedience of fortune-hunting by marriage. It was impossible that
they should ever understand each other. To Lady Carbury the prospect
of a union between her son and Miss Melmotte was one of unmixed joy
and triumph. Could it have been possible that Marie Melmotte should
be rich and her father be a man doomed to a deserved sentence in a
penal settlement, there might perhaps be a doubt about it. The wealth
even in that case would certainly carry the day against the disgrace,
and Lady Carbury would find reasons why "poor Marie" should not be
punished for her father's sins, even while enjoying the money which
those sins had produced. But how different were the existing facts?
Mr. Melmotte was not at the galleys, but was entertaining duchesses
in Grosvenor Square. People said that Mr. Melmotte had a reputation
throughout Europe as a gigantic swindler,--as one who in the
dishonest and successful pursuit of wealth had stopped at nothing.
People said of him that he had framed and carried out long
premeditated and deeply laid schemes for the ruin of those who
had trusted him, that he had swallowed up the property of all who
had come in contact with him, that he was fed with the blood of
widows and children;--but what was all this to Lady Carbury? If the
duchesses condoned it all, did it become her to be prudish? People
also said that Melmotte would yet get a fall,--that a man who had
risen after such a fashion never could long keep his head up. But he
might keep his head up long enough to give Marie her fortune. And
then Felix wanted a fortune so badly;--was so exactly the young man
who ought to marry a fortune! To Lady Carbury there was no second way
of looking at the matter.
And to Roger Carbury also there was no second way of looking at it.
That condonation of antecedents which, in the hurry of the world,
is often vouchsafed to success, that growing feeling which induces
people to assert to themselves that they are not bound to go outside
the general verdict, and that they may shake hands with whomsoever
the world shakes hands with, had never reached him. The old-fashioned
idea that the touching of pitch will defile still prevailed with him.
He was a gentleman;--and would have felt himself disgraced to enter
the house of such a one as Augustus Melmotte. Not all the duchesses
in the peerage, or all the money in the city, could alter his notions
or induce him to modify his conduct. But he knew that it would be
useless for him to explain this to Lady Carbury. He trusted, however,
that one of the family might be taught to appreciate the difference
between honour and dishonour. Henrietta Carbury had, he thought, a
higher turn of mind than her mother, and had as yet been kept free
from soil. As for Felix,--he had so grovelled in the gutters as to be
dirt all over. Nothing short of the prolonged sufferings of half a
life could cleanse him.
He found Henrietta alone in the drawing-room. "Have you seen Felix?"
she said, as soon as they had greeted each other.
"Yes. I caught him in the street."
"We are so unhappy about him."
"I cannot say but that you have reason. I think, you know, that your
mother indulges him foolishly."
"Poor mamma! She worships the very ground he treads on."
"Even a mother should not throw her worship away like that. The fact
is that your brother will ruin you both if this goes on."
"What can mamma do?"
"Leave London, and then refuse to pay a shilling on his behalf."
"What would Felix do in the country?"
"If he did nothing, how much better would that be than what he does
in town? You would not like him to become a professional gambler."
"Oh, Mr. Carbury; you do not mean that he does that!"
"It seems cruel to say such things to you,--but in a matter of such
importance one is bound to speak the truth. I have no influence over
your mother; but you may have some. She asks my advice, but has not
the slightest idea of listening to it. I don't blame her for that;
but I am anxious for the sake of--, for the sake of the family."
"I am sure you are."
"Especially for your sake. You will never throw him over."
"You would not ask me to throw him over."
"But he may drag you into the mud. For his sake you have already been
taken into the house of that man Melmotte."
"I do not think that I shall be injured by anything of that kind,"
said Henrietta, drawing herself up.
"Pardon me if I seem to interfere."
"Oh, no;--it is no interference from you."
"Pardon me then if I am rough. To me it seems that an injury is done
to you if you are made to go to the house of such a one as this man.
Why does your mother seek his society? Not because she likes him;
not because she has any sympathy with him or his family;--but simply
because there is a rich daughter."
"Everybody goes there, Mr. Carbury."
"Yes,--that is the excuse which everybody makes. Is that sufficient
reason for you to go to a man's house? Is there not another place to
which we are told that a great many are going, simply because the
road has become thronged and fashionable? Have you no feeling that
you ought to choose your friends for certain reasons of your own?
I admit there is one reason here. They have a great deal of money,
and it is thought possible that he may get some of it by falsely
swearing to a girl that he loves her. After what you have heard, are
the Melmottes people with whom you would wish to be connected?"
"I don't know."
"I do. I know very well. They are absolutely disgraceful. A
social connection with the first crossing-sweeper would be less
objectionable." He spoke with a degree of energy of which he was
himself altogether unaware. He knit his brows, and his eyes flashed,
and his nostrils were extended. Of course she thought of his own
offer to herself. Of course her mind at once conceived,--not that the
Melmotte connection could ever really affect him, for she felt sure
that she would never accept his offer,--but that he might think that
he would be so affected. Of course she resented the feeling which she
thus attributed to him. But, in truth, he was much too simple-minded
for any such complex idea. "Felix," he continued, "has already
descended so far that I cannot pretend to be anxious as to what
houses he may frequent. But I should be sorry to think that you
should often be seen at Mr. Melmotte's."
"I think, Mr. Carbury, that mamma will take care that I am not taken
where I ought not to be taken."
"I wish you to have some opinion of your own as to what is proper for
"I hope I have. I am sorry you should think that I have not."
"I am old-fashioned, Hetta."
"And we belong to a newer and worse sort of world. I dare say it is
so. You have been always very kind, but I almost doubt whether you
can change us now. I have sometimes thought that you and mamma were
hardly fit for each other."
"I have thought that you and I were,--or possibly might be fit for
"Oh,--as for me, I shall always take mamma's side. If mamma chooses
to go to the Melmottes I shall certainly go with her. If that is
contamination, I suppose I must be contaminated. I don't see why I'm
to consider myself better than any one else."
"I have always thought that you were better than any one else."
"That was before I went to the Melmottes. I am sure you have altered
your opinion now. Indeed, you have told me so. I am afraid, Mr.
Carbury, you must go your way, and we must go ours."
He looked into her face as she spoke, and gradually began to perceive
the working of her mind. He was so true himself that he did not
understand that there should be with her even that violet-coloured
tinge of prevarication which women assume as an additional charm.
Could she really have thought that he was attending to his own
possible future interests when he warned her as to the making of new
"For myself," he said, putting out his hand and making a slight vain
effort to get hold of hers, "I have only one wish in the world; and
that is, to travel the same road with you. I do not say that you
ought to wish it too; but you ought to know that I am sincere. When
I spoke of the Melmottes, did you believe that I was thinking of
"Oh no;--how should I?"
"I was speaking to you then as to a cousin who might regard me as an
elder brother. No contact with legions of Melmottes could make you
other to me than the woman on whom my heart has settled. Even were
you in truth disgraced,--could disgrace touch one so pure as you,--it
would be the same. I love you so well that I have already taken you
for better or for worse. I cannot change. My nature is too stubborn
for such changes. Have you a word to say to comfort me?" She turned
away her head, but did not answer him at once. "Do you understand how
much I am in need of comfort?"
"You can do very well without comfort from me."
"No, indeed. I shall live, no doubt; but I shall not do very well.
As it is, I am not doing at all well. I am becoming sour and moody,
and ill at ease with my friends. I would have you believe me, at any
rate, when I say I love you."
"I suppose you mean something."
"I mean a great deal, dear. I mean all that a man can mean. That is
it. You hardly understand that I am serious to the extent of ecstatic
joy on the one side, and utter indifference to the world on the
other. I shall never give it up till I learn that you are to be
married to some one else."
"What can I say, Mr. Carbury?"
"That you will love me."
"But if I don't?"
"Say that you will try."
"No; I will not say that. Love should come without a struggle. I
don't know how one person is to try to love another in that way. I
like you very much; but being married is such a terrible thing."
"It would not be terrible to me, dear."
"Yes;--when you found that I was too young for your tastes."
"I shall persevere, you know. Will you assure me of this,--that if
you promise your hand to another man, you will let me know at once?"
"I suppose I may promise that," she said, after pausing for a moment.
"There is no one as yet?"
"There is no one. But, Mr. Carbury, you have no right to question me.
I don't think it generous. I allow you to say things that nobody else
could say because you are a cousin and because mamma trusts you so
much. No one but mamma has a right to ask me whether I care for any
"Are you angry with me?"
"If I have offended you it is because I love you so dearly."
"I am not offended, but I don't like to be questioned by a gentleman.
I don't think any girl would like it. I am not to tell everybody all
"Perhaps when you reflect how much of my happiness depends upon it
you will forgive me. Good-bye now." She put out her hand to him and
allowed it to remain in his for a moment. "When I walk about the old
shrubberies at Carbury where we used to be together, I am always
asking myself what chance there is of your walking there as the
"There is no chance."
"I am, of course, prepared to hear you say so. Well; good-bye, and
may God bless you."
The man had no poetry about him. He did not even care for romance.
All the outside belongings of love which are so pleasant to many men
and which to many women afford the on
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