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stance of the perennial inequality the same moment in respect to Mr between the two halves of mankind. Wentworth—whose affairs, as was He had to brace himself up to the natural, were extensively canvassed encounter of all his people, while she in Grange Lane, as well as in other had to meet nothing less delightful less exclusive quarters——it would than her own dreams.

This was

be wrong to omit a remarkable how matters came to an issue in consultation which took place in respect of Frank Wentworth's per- the Rectory, where Mrs Morgan sat sonal happiness. His worldly affairs in the midst of the great bouquets were all astray as yet, and he had of the drawing-room carpet, making not the most distant indication of up her first matrimonial difficulty. any gleam of light dawning upon It would be difficult to explain what the horizon which could reconcile influence the drawing-room carpet his duty and honour with good for in the Rectory had on the fortunes tune and the delights of life. Mean- of the Perpetual Curate; but when while other discussions were going Mr Wentworth's friends come to on in Carlingford, of vital import- hear the entire outs and ins of the ance to the two young people who business, it will be seen that it was had made up their minds to cast not for nothing that Mr Proctor themselves upon Providence. And covered the floor of that pretty among the various conversations apartment with roses and lilies half which were being carried on about a yard long

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“I SUPPOSE M'Gruder's right,” courage to make the communication muttered Tony, as he sauntered to Alice. He fancied her as she away drearily from the door at read the avowal repeating the word Downing Street, one day in the “rags," and, while her lips trembled second week after his arrival in with the coming laughter, saying, London. A man gets to feel very “What in the name of all absurdity like a 'flunkey,' coming up in this led him to such a choice ?” And fashion each morning for orders.' what a number of vapid and tasteI am more than half disposed to less jokes would it provoke! “Such close with his offer and go 'into snobbery as it all is,” cried he, as rags' at once."

he walked the room angrily; If he hesitated, he assured him- if there was any poetry in cotton self, very confidently too, that it bales, or anything romantic in molwas not from the name or nature asses, and yet I might engage in of the commercial operation. He these without reproach, without had no objection to trade in rags ridicule. I think I ought to be any more than in hides, or tallow, above such considerations. I do or oakum, and some gum which did think my good blood might serve not “ breathe of Araby the blest.” to assure me, that in whatever I do He was sure that it could not pos- honourably, honestly, and avowedsibly affect his choice, and that rags ly, there is no derogation.” were just as legitimate and just as But the snobbery was stronger elevating a speculation as sherry than he wotted of; for, do what he from Cadiz or silk from China. He would, he could not frame the senwas ingenious enough in his self- tence in which he should write the discussions ; but, somehow, though tidings to Alice, and yet he felt he thought he could tell his mother that there would be a degree of frankly and honestly the new trade meanness in the non-avowal infihe was about to embark in, for the nitely more intolerable. life of him he could not summon While he thus chafed and fretted,


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he heard a quick step mounting the scribbling all the time he talks, and stair, and at the same instant his he kept on scratching with a pen door was flung open, and Skeffy on a sheet of blotting-paper, and Damer rushed towards him and what do you think he wrote ?—the grasped both his hands.

one word, over and over again, "Well, old Tony, you scarcely Skeff, Skeif-nothing else. Which expected to see me here, nor did I led us,' says Walewski, 'to add, either thirty hours ago, but they Who or what was Skeff ? when they telegraphed for me to come at once. told us he was a young fellow'I'm off for Naples.”

these are his own words—ʻof splenAnd why to Naples ?”.

did abilities in the Foreign Office ;' “I'll tell you, Tony," said he, con- and if there is anything remarkable fidentially; “but remember this is in Cavour, it is the way he knows for yourself alone. These things and finds out the coming man.” mustn't get abroad; they are Cabinet “But how could he have heard secrets, and not known out of the of you ?” Privy Council.”

« These fellows have their spies 'You may trust me," said Tony; everywhere, Tony. Gortchakoff has and Skeffy went on.

a photograph of me, with two words “I'm to be attached there,” said in Russian underneath, that I got he, solemnly.

translated, and that mean “infer'What do you mean by attach- nally dangerous' tanski seratczed ?"

trakof, infernally dangerous !-over “I'm going there officially. They his stove in his study. You're bewant me at our Legation. Sir hind the scenes now, Tony, and it George Home is on leave, and will be rare fun for you to watch Mecklam is Chargé d'Affaires ; of the newspapers and see how differcourse every one knows what that ently things will go on at Naples

after I arrive there." “But I don't,” said Tony, bluntly. “Tell me something about home,

“It means being bullied, being Skeffy; I want to hear about Tiljockeyed, being out - manouvred, ney. Whom did you leave there laughed at by Brennier, and derided when you came away ?” by Caraffa. Mecklam's an ass, Tony, “I left the Lyles, Alice and Bella that's the fact, and they know it at -none else. I was to have gone the Office, and I'm sent out to steer back with them to Lyle Abbey if I the ship."

had stayed till Monday, and I left “But what do you know about them, of course, very disconsolate, Naples ?

and greatly put out. “I know it just as I know the "I suppose you made up to Alice. Ecuador question—just as I know I thought you would," said Tony, the Mouth of the Danube question half sulkily.

-as I know the slave treaty with No, old fellow, you do me Portugal, and the Sound dues with wrong; that's a thing I never do. Denmark, and the right of search, As I said to Ernest Palfi about and the Mosquito frontier, and Pauline Esterhazy, I'll take no uneverything else that is pending fair advantage—I'll take no steps throughout the whole globe. Let in your absence; and Alice saw this me tell you, old fellow, the others— herself.” the French, the Italians, and the “How do you mean? Alice saw Austrians—know me as well as they it?" said Tony, reddening. know Palmerston. What do you She saw it, for she said to me think Walewski told Lady Pancroft one day, 'Mr Damer, it seems to me the day Cavour went down to Vichy you have very punctilious notions to see the Emperor? They held a on the score of friendship.' long conversation at a table where " • I have,' said I; 'you're right there were writing materials, and there.' Cavour has an Italian habit of “ 'I thought so,' said she.”

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"After all,” said Tony, in a half- love. You prefer Alice—I consent. dogged tone, “ I don't see that the Take her, take her, Tony, and may speech had any reference to me, or you be happy with her !” And as to any peculiar delicacy of yours he spoke he laid his hand on the with respect to me.”

other's head with a reverend solemAh, my poor Tony, you have a nity. deal to learn about women and their

6 This is nonsense,

and ways! By good luck fortune has than nonsense,” said Tony, angrily; given you a friend—the one man- but the other's temper was imperI declare I believe what I say—the turbable, and he went on. one man in Europe that knows the fancy this is all dreamland that whole thing; as poor Balzac used to I'm promising you; but that is say, “Cher Skeffy, what a fellow because you, my dear Tony, with you would be if


had my pen !' many good qualities, are totally wantHe was

a vain creature, Balzac; ing in one-you have no imaginabut what he meant was, if I could tion, and, like all fellows denied this add his descriptive power to my gift, you never can conceive anyown knowledge of life; for you see, thing happening to you except what Tony, this was the difference be- has already happened. You like to tween Balzac and me. He knew live in a circle, and you do live in Paris, and the salons of Paris, and a circle—you are the turnspits of the women who frequent these sal- humanity.”

I knew the human heart. It “ I'm a troublesome dog, though, was woman, as a creature, not a if you anger me,” said Tony, half mere conventionality, that she ap- fiercely. peared to me."

Very possibly, but there are “Well, I take it,” grumbled out certain men dogs never attack.” Tony, “ you and your friend had And as Skeffy said this he threw some points of resemblance too.” forward his chest, held his head

“ Ah! you would say that we back, and looked with an air of such were both vain. So we were, Tony proud defiance that Tony lay back -so is every man that is the deposi- in a chair and laughed heartily. tary of a certain power. Without “I never saw a great hulking this same conscious thought, which fellow yet that was not impressed you common folk call vanity, how with the greatness of his stature,” should we come to exercise the gift? said Skeffy. “Every inch after five The little world taunts us with the feet six takes a foot off a man's very quality that is the essence of intellectual standard. It is Skeff our superiority.”

Damer says it, Tony, and you may “ Had Bella perfectly recovered ? believe it." was she able to be up and about ?“I wish you'd tell me about

“Yes, she was able to take car- Tilney," said Tony, half irritably. riage airings, and to be driven about “I appreciate you, as the French in a small phaeton by the neatest say. You want to hear that I am not whip in Europe.”

your rival—you want to know that “Mr Skeff Damer, eh ?”

I have not taken any ungenerous “ The same. Ah, these drives, advantage of your absence. Tonino these drives ! What delicious mem- mio, be of good comfort - I preories of woodland and romance! ferred the sister; shall I tell you I fell desperately in love with that why?” girl, Tony-I pledge you my honour I don't want to hear anything I did. I've thought a great deal about it.” over it all since I started for Ire- “ What a jealous dog it is, even land, and I have a plan, a plan for after I have declared, on the word us both.”

of a Damer, that he has nothing to “ What is it?

apprehend from me!

It was a “ Let us marry these girls. Let lucky day led me down there, us be brothers in law as well as in Tony. Don't you remember the

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old woman's note to me, men- said, more worldly. She would not, tioning a hundred pounds, or some- she said, have me leave a career thing like it, she had forgotten wherein I had given such great proto enclose ? She found the bank- mise. "You might be an ambassanote afterwards on her table, and dor one day,' said she. “Must be!' after much puzzling with herself, as- interposed I ; must be !'

My certained it was the sum she had unfortunate admission decided the meant to remit me. Trifling as question, and I started that night.” the incident was, she thought it de- “ I don't think I clearly underlicate, or high-minded, or something stand you," said Tony, passing his or other, on my part. She said 'it hand over his brow. “Am I to bewas so nice of me ;' and she wrote lieve that you and Bella are ento my uncle to ask if he ever heard gaged?” such a pretty trait, and my uncle I know what's passing in your said he knew scores of spendthrifts mind, old fellow ; I read you like would have done much the same; large print. You won't, you can't, whereupon the old lady of Tilney, credit the fact that I would marry regarding me as ill - used by my out of the peerage. Say it frankly; relatives, declared she would do out with it.” something for me; but as her good “Nothing of the kind ; but I intentions were double - barrelled, cannot believe that Bellaand she wanted to do something “Ay, but she did,” said Skeffy, fillalso for Bella, she suggested that ing up his pause, while he smoothed we might, as the Oberland peasants and caressed his very young mussay, ' put our eggs in the same bas- taches. “Trust a woman to find out ket.' A day was named, too, in the coming man ! Trust a woman which we were all to have gone over to detect the qualities that insure to Lyle Abbey, and open negotia- supremacy! I wasn't there quite tions with Sir Arthur, when came three weeks in all, and see if she this confounded despatch ordering did not discover me. What's this?

? me off to Naples! At first I deter- Here comes an order for you, Tony,” mined not to go-to resign—to give said he, as he looked into the street up public life for ever. " What’s and recognised one of the porters Hecuba to him ?' said I; that is, of the Foreign Office.

“ This is the "What signifies it to me how Europe place, Trumins,” cried he, openfares ? Shall I not think of Skeff ing the window and calling to the Damer and his fortunes ?' Bowl- man. “You're looking for Mr Buting down dynasties and setting up ler, aren't you?" nine-pin princes may amuse a man,

Mr Butler on duty, Friday 21," but, after all, is it not to the tran- was all that the slip of paper conquil enjoyments of home he looks tained. “There," cried Skeffy, for happiness ? I consulted Bella, 66 who knows if we shall not cross but she would not agree with me. the Channel together to-night? Put Women, my dear Tony, are more on your hat and we'll walk down to ambitious than men-I had almost the Office.”


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Tony Butler was ordered to Brus- “I'd go across Europe to thrash sels to place himself at the disposal the fellow would say a hard word of the Minister as an ex-messenger:

of him," muttered Tony; while He crossed over to Calais with Skeffy, with an emotion that made Skeffy in the mail-boat; and after his lip tremble, said, “If the world a long night's talking, for neither goes hard with you, I'll turn my back attempted to sleep, they parted on it, and we'll start for New Zealand with the most fervent assurances or Madagascar, Tony, remember of friendship.

that I give it to you as a pledge.”

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