« PreviousContinue »
embarrassment in reply to all ques- don't bore !” And the bravo, opentions on that score-Where was the ing a jaw strong enough for any young person ? With whom had she carnivorous animal
, yawned-yawnlived? What was she like? Could ed much as a bored tiger does in the the Colonel see her, and hear her own face of a philosophical student of tale that Alban entertained savage manners in the Zoological strong suspicion that no such girl Gardens. was in existence; that she was a pure Bore !” said Poole, astounded, fiction and myth; or that, if Jasper and recoiling from that expanded were compelled to produce some pet- jaw. “But I should have thought ticoated fair, she would be an artful no subject could bore you less than baggage hired for the occasion. the consideration of how you are to
Poole waited Jasper's next visit live ?”. with impatience and sanguine delight. Why, Dolly, I have learned to He had not a doubt that the ruffian be easily contented, and you see at would cheerfully consent to allow present I live upon you." that, on farther inquiry, he found he "Yes," groaned Poole, “but that had been deceived in his belief of can't go on for ever; and, besides, Sophy's parentage, and that there was you promised that you would leave nothing in England so peculiarly me in peace as soon as I had got sacred to his heart, but what he might Darrell to provide for you.” consent to breathe the freer air of “So I will. Zounds, sir, do you Columbian skies, or even to share the doubt my word ? So I will. But I shepherd's harmless life amidst the don't call exile a provision-Basta! pastures of auriferous Australia! But, I understand from you that Colonel to Poole's ineffable consternation, Morley offers to restore the niggardly Jasper declared sullenly that he would L.200 a-year Darrell formerly allowed not consent to expatriate himself to me, to be paid monthly or weekly, merely for the sake of living.
through some agent in Van Diemen's “I am not so young as I was," said Land, or some such uncomfortable the bravo; “I don't speak of years, half-way house to Eternity, that was but feeling. I have not the same not even in the Atlas when I studied energy ; once I had high spirits geography at school. But L.200 a. they are broken ; once I had hope-I year is exactly my income in England, have none: I am not up to exertion; paid weekly too, by your agreeable I have got into lazy habits. To go self, with whom it is a pleasure to into new scenes, form new plans, live talk over old times. Therefore that in a horrid raw new world, everybody proposal is out of the question. Tell round me bustling and pushing Colonel Morley, with my compliNo! that may suit your thin dapper ments, that if he will double the sum, light Hop-o'-my-thumbs! Look at and leave me to spend it where Í me! See how I have increased in please, I scorn haggling, and say weight the last five years—all solid done. And as to the girl, since I bone and muscle. I defy any four cannot find her (which, on penalty of draymen to move me an inch if I am being thrashed to a mummy, you will not in the mind to it; and to be blown take care not to let out), I would off to the antipodes as if I were the agree to leave Mr Darrell free to disdown of a pestilent thistle, I am not own her. But are you such a dolt as in the mind for that, Dolly Poole!” not to see that I put the ace of trumps
“ Hum !” said Poole, trying to on my adversary's pitiful deuce, if I smile. “This is funny talk. You depose that my own child is not my always were a funny fellow. But I own child, when all I get for it is am quite sure, from Colonel Morley's what I equally get out of you, with decided manner, that you can get my ace of trumps still in my hands ? nothing from Darrell if you choose to Basta !-I say again Basta! It is remain in England."
evidently an object to Darrell to get “Well, when I have nothing else rid of all fear that Sophy should ever left, I may go to Darrell myself, and pounce upon him tooth and claw : if have that matter out with him. At he be so convinced that she is not present I am not up to it. Dolly, his daughter's child, why make a
VOL. LXXXIV.—NO. DXIII,
point of my saying that I told him sensitive vanity which once had given a fib, when I said she was? Evident- him delight, and now only gave him ly, too, he is afraid of my power pain. Meet thus—altered, fallen, to harass and annoy him; or why imbruted—the fine gentleman whose make it a point that I shall only calm eye had quelled bim in the nibble his cheese in a trap at the widow's drawing-room in his day of world's end, stared at by bushmen, comparative splendour-that in itself and wombats, and rattlesnakes, and was distasteful to the degenerated alligators, and other American citi- bravoBut he felt as if he should be zens or British settlers ? L.200 a- at more disadvantage in point of arguyear, and my own wife's father a ment with a cool and wary represenmillionaire ! The offer is an insult. tative of Darrell's interests, than he Ponder this; put on the screw; make should be even with Darrell himself. them come to terms which I can do And unable to produce the child them the honour to accept ; mean whom he ascribed the right to obwhile, I will trouble you for my four trude, he should be but exposed to a sovereigns.
fire of cross questions without a shot Poole had the chagrin to report to in his own locker. Accordingly, he the Colonel, Jasper's refusal of the declined, point-blank, to see Colonel terms proposed, and to state the Morley; and declared that the terms counter-proposition he was commis- he himself had proposed were, the sioned to make. Alban was at first lowest he would accept. “Tell Colsurprised, not conjecturing the means onel Morley, however, that if negotiaof supply, in his native land, which tions fail, I shall not fail
, sooner or Jasper had secured in the coffers of later, to argue my view of the points Poole himself. On sounding the un- in dispute with
in dispute with my kind father-inhappy negotiator as to Jasper's rea- law, and in person. sons, he surmised, however, one part of “Yes, hang it !” cried Poole, exasthe truth -- viz. that Jasper built hopes perated; go and see Darrell yourof better terms precisely on the fact self. He is easily found.” that terms had been offered to him “Ay,” answered Jasper, with the at all; and this induced Alban almost hardest look of his downcast sideto regret that he had made any such long eye-—“Ay; some day or other overtures, and to believe that Darrell's it may come to that. I would rather repugnance to open the door of con- not, if possible. I might not keep ciliation a single inch to so sturdy a my temper. It is not merely a matmendicant, was more worldly-wise ter of money between us, if we two than Alban had originally supposed. meet. There are affronts to efface. Yet partly, even for Darrell's own Banished his house like a mangy security and peace, from that persua-dog-treated by a jackanapes law. sion of his own powers of manage- yer like the dirt in the kennel ! ment which a consummate man of The Loselys, I suspect, would have the world is apt to entertain, and looked down on the Darrells fifty partly from a strong curiosity to see years ago ; and what if my father the audacious son of that poor dear was born out of wedlock, is the blood rascal Willy, and examine himself not the same? Does the breed dwininto the facts he asserted, and the dle down for want of a gold ring and objects he aimed at, Alban bade Poole priest? Look at me. No; not what inform Jasper that Colonel Morley I now am; not even as you saw me would be quite willing to convince five years ago; but as I leapt into him, in a personal interview, of the youth! Was Í born to cast sums impossibility of acceding to the pro- and nib pens as a City clerk? Aha, positions Jasper had made; and that my poor father, you were wrong he should be still more willing to see there! Blood will out! Mad devil, the young person whom Jasper as- indeed, is a racer in a citizen's gig Berted to be the child of his mar- Spavined, and windgalled, and founriage.
dered-let the brute go at last to the Jasper, after a moment's moody knackers ; but by his eye, and his deliberation, declined to meet Colonel pluck, and his bone, the brute
shows Morley - partly, indeed, from the the stock that he came from !”
Dolly opened his eyes and — him ; it is not fair to worry nobody blinked. Never in his gaudy days but me! had Jasper half so openly revealed “Dolly, don't bluster! If I could what, perhaps, had been always a stand at his door, or stop him in the sore in his pride ; and his outburst streets, with the girl in my hand, now may possibly aid the reader to your advice would be judicious. The a subtler comprehension of the arro- world would not care for a row begance, and levity, and egotism, which tween a rich man and a penniless accompanied his insensibility to hon- son-in-law. But an interesting young our, and had converted his very lady, who calls him grandfather, and claim to the blood of a gentleman falls at his knees, he could not send into an excuse for a cynic's disdain her to hard labour; and if he does of the very virtues for which a gen- not believe in her birth, let the thing tleman is most desirous of obtaining but just get into the newspapers, and credit. But by a very ordinary pro- there are plenty who will ; and I cess in the human mind, as Jasper should be in a very different position had fallen lower and lower into the for treating; 'Tis just because, if I lees and dregs of fortune, his pride meet Darrell again, I don't wish that had more prominently emerged from again it should be all bark and no the groupe of the other and more bite, that I postpone the interview. flaunting vices by which, in health All your own laziness - exert yourand high spirits, it had been pushed self and find the girl.” aside and outshone.
“But I can't find the girl, and "Humph!” said Poole, after a you know it! And I tell you what, pause. “ If Darrell was as uncivil Mr Losely, Colonel Morley, who is a to you as he was to me, I don't won- very shrewd man, does not believe in der that you owe him a grudge. the girl's existence.”. But even if you do lose temper in “Does not he! I begin to doubt seeing him, it might rather do good it myself. But, at all events, you than not. You can make yourself can't doubt of mine, and I am gratecursedly unpleasant if you choose it; ful for yours ; and since you have and perhaps you will have a better given me the trouble of coming here chance of getting your own terms if to no purpose, I may as well take the they see you can bite as well as next week's pay in advance-four sobark ! Set at Darrell, and worry vereigns, if you please, Dolly Poole.”
Another halt-Change of Horses—and a turn on the road.
Colonel Morley, on learning that formed Poole" that his interference Jasper declined a personal conference was at an end ; that if Mr Losely, with himself, and that the proposal either through himself, or through of an interview with Jasper's alleged Mr Poole, or any one else, presumdaughter was equally scouted or puted to address Mr Darrell direct, aside, became still more confirmed in the offer previously made would be his belief that Jasper had not yet peremptorily and irrevocably withbeen blest with a daughter suffi- drawn. I myself,” added the Colociently artful to produce. And nel, “shall be going abroad very pleased to think that the sharper shortly for the rest of the summer ; was thus unprovided with a means and should Mr Losely, in the meanof annoyance, which, skilfully man- while, think better of a proposal aged, might have been seriously which secures him from want, I harassing; and convinced that when refer him to Mr Darrell's solicitor. Jasper found no farther notice taken To that proposal, according to your of him, he himself would be com- account of his destitution, he must pelled to petition for the terms he come sooner or later ; and I am glad now rejected, the Colonel dryly in- to see that he has in yourself so judicious an adviser" - a compliment order to recognise the advantages of which by no means consoled the mis- emigration. Another £100 a-year or erable Poole.
so, it is true, he might bargain for, In the briefest words, Alban in- and such a demand might be worth formed Darrell of his persuasion that conceding. But, on the whole, AlJasper was not only without evidence ban congratulated Darrell upon the to support a daughter's claim, but probability of hearing very little that the daughter herself was still more of the son-in-law, and no more in that part of Virgil's Hades appro- at all of the son-in-law's daughter. priated to souls that have not yet Darrell made no comment nor reappeared upon the upper earth, and ply. A grateful look, a warm presthat Jasper himself, although hold- sure of the hand, and, when the subing back, as might be naturally ex- ject was changed, a clearer brow and pected, in the hope of conditions livelier smile, thanked the English more to his taste, had only to be left Alban better than all words. quietly to his own meditations in
Colonel Morley shows that it is not without reason that he enjoys his reputation of
knowing something about everybody. “Well met," said Darrell, the day “Good,” said Darrell, with his rare, after Alban had conveyed to him the manly laugh. “Being shy myself, comforting assurances which had I like men who meet one half-way. taken one thorn from his side—dis- I see that we shall be at our ease persed one cloud in his evening sky with each other.”
Well met,” said Darrell, encounter- And perhaps still more when I ing the Colonel a few paces from his tell you that he is connected with an own door.
“Pray walk with me as old Eton friend of ours, and deriving far as the New Road. I have pro- great benefit from that connection ; mised Lionel to visit the studio of you remember poor Sidney Branthan artist friend of his, in whom he waite?” chooses to find a Raffaelle, and in “ To be sure. He and I were great whom I suppose, at the price of friends at Eton-somewhat in the truth, I shall be urbanely compelled same position of pride and poverty. to compliment a dauber.“
Of all the boys in the school we two "Do you speak of Frank Vance ?” had the least pocket-money. Poor “ The same!”
Branthwaite ! I lost sight of him “You could not visit a worthier afterwards. He went into the man, nor compliment a more pro- Church, got only a curacy, and died mising artist. Vance is one of the young. few who unite gusto and patience, “And left a son, poorer than himfancy and brushwork. His female self, who married Frank Vance's sisheads, in especial, are exquisite, ter." though they are all, I confess, too “You don't say so. The Branthmuch like one another. The man waites were of good old family; what himself is a thoroughly fine fellow. is Mr Vance's ?" He has been much made of in good “Respectable enough. Vance's society, and remains unspoiled, You father was one of those clever men will find his manner rather off-hand, who have too many strings to their the reverse of shy; partly, perhaps, bow. He, too, was a painter ; but because he has in himself the racy he was also a man of letters, in a freshness and boldness which he sort of a way–had a share in a jour. gives to his colours ; partly, per- nal, in which he wrote Criticisms on haps, also, because he has in his the Fine Arts. A musical composer, art the self-esteem that patricians too. Rather a fine gentleman, I sustake from their pedigree, and shakes pect, with a wife who was rather a a duke by the hand to prevent the fine lady. Their house was much duke holding out to him a finger.” frequented by artists and literary men: old Vance, in short, was hose which the critics all solemnly depitable-his wife extravagant. Be- posed to his surpassing riches--of lieving that posterity would
do that imagination, rushed to the altar, justice to his pictures which his con- and sacrificed a wife to the Muses ! temporaries refused, Vance left to Those villanous critics will have a his family no other provision. After dark account to render in the next selling his pictures and paying his world! Poor Arthur Branthwaite ! debts, there was just enough left to For the sake of our old friend his bury him. Fortunately, Šir father, I bought a copy of his little the great painter of that day, had volume. Little as the volume was, already conceived a liking to Frank I could not read it through.” Vance—then a mere boy-who had “What !-below contempt ?". shown genius from an infant, as all “On the contrary, above compretrue artists do. Sir took him hension. All poetry praised by into his studio, and gave him les- critics nowadays is as hard to sons. It would bave been unlike understand as a hieroglyphic. I Sir who was open-hearted but own a weakness for Pope and comclose-fisted, to give anything else. mon sense. I could keep up with our But the boy contrived to support his age as far as Byron ; after him I was mother and sister. That fellow, who thrown out. However, Arthur was is now as arrogant a stickler
for the declared
by the critics to be a great dignity of art as you or my Lord improvement on Byron-more poeChancellor may be for that of the tical in form'-more ‘æsthetically bar, stooped then to deal clandes- artistic'--more objective' or 'subjectinely with fancy-shops, and imitate tive' (I am sure I forget which, but Watteau on fans. I have now two it was one or the other, nonsensical, hand-screens that he painted for a and not English) in his views of man shop in Rathbone Place. I suppose and nature. Very possibly. All I he may have got 10s. for them, and know is—I bought the poems, but now any admirer of Frank's would could not read them; the critics read give £100 a-piece for them."
them, but did not buy. All that "That is the true soul in which Frank Vance could make by paintgenius lodges, and out of which fire ing hand-screens and fans and album springs,” cried Darrell, cordially. scraps, he sent, I believe, to the poor “Give me the fire that lurks in poet; but I fear it did not suffice. the flint, and answers by light the Arthur, I suspect, must have been stroke of the bard steel. I'm glad publishing another volume on his Lionel has won a friend in such a own account.
a Monody man. Sidney Branthwaite's son mar- on something or other, by Arthur ried Vance's sister--after Vance had Branthwaite, advertised,
and no won reputation ?"
doubt Frank's fans and hand-screens “No; while Vance was still a boy. must have melted into the printer's Young Arthur Branthwaite was an bill. But the Monody never aporphan. If he had any living rela- peared : the poet died, his young tions, they were too poor to assist wife too. Frank Vance remains å him. He wrote poetry much praised bachelor, and sneers at gentilityby the critics (they deserve to be abhors poets—is insulted if you prohanged, those critics !)-scribbled, I mise posthumous fame - gets the suppose, in old Vance's journal; saw best price he can for his picturesMary Vance a little before her father and is proud to be thought a miser. died; fell in love with her; and on Here we are at his door." the strength of a volume of verse, in
Romantic Love pathologically regarded by Frank Vance and Alban Morley, Vance was before his easel, Lionel that day to Frank Vance. The two looking over his shoulder. 'Never inen took to each other at once, and was Darrell more genial than he was talked as familiarly as if the retired