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foolish marriage with_Madame di Leslie, add to the £5000 I mean to Negra, who told you Frank meant give him, an equal sum in your will, to take such a step ?
and I shall feel that he has received “ He told me himself; but it is no justice.” matter. Randal and I both did all Observing that the Squire, though we could to dissuade him; and he listened attentively, made no Randal advised me to come to you." ready answer, Audley turned the
“ He has acted generously, then, subject again to Frank; and with our kinsman Randal-I am glad to the adroitness of a man of the world, hear it”-said Audley, his brow backed by cordial sympathy in his somewhat clearing. “I have no in- brother's distress, he pleaded so well fluence with this lady ; but, at least, Frank's lame cause, urged so gently I can counsel her. Do not consider the wisdom of patience and delay, the marriage fixed because a young and the appeal to filial feeling rather man desires it. Youth is ever hot than recourse to paternal threats, and rash."
that the Squire grew mollified in “Your youth never was," retorted spite of himself, and left his brother's the Squire bluntly. “You married house a much less angry, and less well enough, I'm sure. I will say doleful man. one thing for you: you have been, Mr Ha Idean was still in the square, to my taste, a bad politician-beg when he came upon Randal himpardon-but you were always a gen- self, who was walking with a dark tleman. You would never have whiskered, showy gentleman, towards disgraced your family and married Egerton's house. Randal and the a”
gentleman exchanged a hasty wbis. “ Hush!” interrupted Egerton per, and the former then exclaimedgently. " Do not make matters " What, Mr Hazeldean, have you worse than they are. Madame di just left your brother's house? Is it Negra is of high birth in her own possible ? country; and if scandal”—
“Why, you advised me to go there, “ Scandal !” cried the Squire, and I did. I scarcely knew what I shrinking and turning pale.
was about. I am very glad I did go. you speaking of the wife of a Hazel- Hang politics ! hang the landed indean? At least she shall never sit terest! what do I care for either by the hearth at which now sits his mother; and whatever I may do for “Foiled with Madame di Negra ?” Frank, her children shall not succeed. asked Randal, drawing the Squire No mongrel cross-breed shall kennel aside. in English Hazeldean. Much obliged “Never speak of her again !” cried to you, Audley, for your good feel- the Squire fiercely." And as to that ing-glad to have seen you; and ungrateful boy-but I don't mean to harkye, you startled me by that behave barshly to him-he shall have shake of your head, when I spoke money enough to keep her if he of your wealth; and, from what you likes-keep her from coming to me-say about Randal's prospects, I guess keep him, too, from counting on my that you London gentlemen are not death, and borrowing post-obits oil so thrifty as we are. You shall let the Casino-for he'll be doing that me speak. I say again, that I have next-no, I hope I wrong him there; some thousands quite at your service. I have been too good a father for And though you are not a Hazel- him to count on my death already. dean, still you are my mother's son ; After all," continued the Squire, and now that I am about to alter beginning to relax, “as Audley says, my will, I can as well scratch in the the marriage is not yet made; and name of Egerton as that of Leslie. if the woman has taken him in, he Cheer up, cheer up; you are younger is young, and his heart is warm. than I am, and you have no child; Make yourself easy, my boy. I so you will live longer than I shall." don't forget how kindly you took
"My dear brother," answered his part; and before I do anything Audley, “ believe me I shall never rash, I'll at least take advice with his live to want your aid. And as to poor mother."
Randal gnawed his pale lip, and “ Manage it as you will," said the a momentary cloud of disappointment Squire. passed over his face.
Randal took Mr Hazeldean's arm, ** True, sir," said he gently; "true, and joined Levy—“A friend of mine yon must not be rash. Indeed, I from the country, Baron.” Levy was thinking of you and poor dear bowed profoundly, and the three Frank at the very moment I met walked slowly on. you. It occurred to me whether we "By the by," said Randal, pressing might not make Frank's very em- significantly upon Levy's arm, “my barrassments a reason to induce friend has come to town upon the Madame di Negra to refuse him; somewhat unpleasant business of setand I was on my way to Mr Egerton, tling the debts of another-a young in order to ask his opinion, in com- man of fashion-a relation of his own. pany with the gentleman yonder." No one, sir, (turning to the Squire,)
"Gentleman yonder! Why should could so ably assist you in such he thrust his long nose into my family arrangements, could Baron affairs? Who the devil is he?” Levy."
“ Don't ask, sir. Pray let me BARON, (modestly, and with a act."
moralising air.)-"I have some exBut the Squire continued to eye perience in such matters, and I hold askant the dark-whiskered personage it a duty to assist the parents and thus thrust between himself and his relations of young men who, from son, and who waited patiently a few want of reflection, often ruin themyards in the rear, carelessly re- selves for life. I hope the young adjusting the camelia in his button- gentleman in question is not in the hole.
hands of the Jews ?" “He looks very outlandish. Is he RANDAL.-—" Christians are as fond a foreigner too ?” asked the Squire of good interest for their money as at last.
ever the Jews can be." “No, not exactly. However, he BARON.—“Granted, but they have knows all about Frank's embarrass- not always so much money to lend. ments; and"
The first thing, sir, (addressing the “Embarrassments! what, the debt Squire,)—the first thing for you to do he paid for that woman? How did is to buy up such of your relation's he raise the money?”
bills and notes of hand as may be in “I don't know," answered Randal, the market. No doubt we can get "and that is the reason I asked Baron them a bargain, unless the young Levy to accompany me to Egerton's, man is heir to some property that may that he might explain in private what soon be his in the course of nature." I have no reason"
RANDAL.-"Not soon-heaven for" Baron Levy !” interrupted the bid! His father is still a young manSquire. “Levy, Levy-I have heard a fine healthy man,” leaning heavily of a Levy who has nearly ruined my on Levy's arm ;
s and as to postneighbour Thornhill—a money-lender. obits”Zounds! is that the man who knows Barox.—" Post-obits
on sound my son's affairs ? I'll soon learn, sir.” security cost more to buy up, how
Randal caught hold of the Squire's ever healthy the obstructing relative arm: "Stop, stop; if you really insist may be." upon learning more about Frank's RANDAL:-" I should hope that debts, you must not appeal to Baron there are not many sons who can Levy directly, and as Frank's father: calculate, in cold blood, on the death he will not answer you. But if I of their fathers." present you to him as a mere acquain- BARON.—“ Ha, ha,he is young, tance of mine, and turn the conversa- our friend Randal ; eh, sir ?" tion, as if carelessly, upon Frank- RANDAL.-"Well, I am not more why, since, in the London world, such scrupulous than others, I daresay ; matters are never kept secret except and I have often been pinched bard from the parents of young men—I for money, but I would go barehave no doubt he will talk out foot rather than give security upon a openly."
father's grave! I can imagine nothing
more likely to destroy natural feeling this very post-obit is a proof of it. A
He must allow that Frank has acted
Baron.—“ Čertainly, or how could bills, but he would never sign post- you be induced to buy it up ? But on obits."
one condition ; you must not betray BARON, (who with the apt docility me to your son. And, indeed, take of a managed charger to the touch of my advice, and don't say a word to a rider's hand, had comprehended and him on the matter." complied with each quick sign of SQUIRE.—“Let me see it, let me Randal's.)—" Pooh! the young fellow
see it, with my own eyes. His we are talking of? Nonsense. He mother else will never believe itwould not be so foolish as to give nor will I.” five times the percentage he other
BARON.—“I can call on you this wise might. Not sign post-obits ! evening." Of course he has signed one."
SQUIRE.—“Now--now." RANDAL. — “ Hist-you mistake,
Baron.—“You can spare me, Ranyou mistake.”
dal; and you yourself can open to Mr SQUIRE, (leaving Randal's arm and Egerton the other affair, respecting seizing Levy's.)–– Were you speak- Lansmere. No time should be lost, ing of Frank Hazeldean?"
lest L'Estrange suggest a candiBARON.--"My dear sir, excuse me;
date." I never mention names before stran- RANDAL, (whispering.) – “Never gers."
mind me. 'ì'his is more important. SQUIRE.—“Strangers again! Man, (Aloud)-Go with Mr Hazeldean. My I am the boy's father! Speak ont, dear kind friend, (to the Squire,) do sir," and his hand closed on Levy's not let this vex you so much. After arm with the strength of an iron all, it is what nine young men out of vice.
ten would do in the same circumBARON." Gently; you hurt me, stances. And it is best you should sir; but I excuse your feelings. Ran- know it ; you may save Frank from dal, you are to blame for leading me into farther ruin, and prevent, perhaps, this indiscretion ; but I beg to assure this very marriage. Mr Hazeldean, that though his son has "We will see," exclaimed the been a little extravagant”
Squire hastily. * Now, Mr Levy, RANDAL.—" Owing chiefly to the
come.” arts of an abandoned woman."
Levy and the Squire walked on, BARON. Of an abandoned wo- not arm in arm, but side by side. man ;-still he has shown more pru- Randal proceeded to Egerton's dence than you would suppose ; and house.
"I am glad to see you, Leslie,” Levy says, the party would subscribe said the ex-minister. “What is for my election; you, of course, would it I bave heard ? My nephew, refuse all such aid for your own; and Frank Hazeldean, proposes to marry indeed, with your great name, and Madame di Negra against his father's Lord Lansmere's interest, there can consent? How could you suffer him be little beyond the strict legal exto entertain an idea so wild ? And penses." how never confide it to me?"
As Randal spoke thus at length, RANDAL.--.“My dear Mr Egerton, he watched anxiously his patron's it is only to-day that I was informed reserved unrevealing countenance. of Frank's engagement. I have al- EGERTON, (drily.)- I will consider. ready seen him, and expostulated You may safely leave in my hands in vain; till then, though I knew any matter connected with your amyour nephew admired Madame di bition and advancement. I have beNegra, I could never suppose he har- fore told you I hold it a duty to do all boured a serious intention.'
in my power for the kinsman of my EGERTON.—“I must believe you, late wife-for one whose career I unRandal. I will myself see Madame dertook to forward-for one whom di Negra, though I have no power, honour has compelled to share in my and no right, to dictate to her. I own political reverses.” have but little time for all such Here Egerton rang the bell for his private business. The dissolution of hat and gloves, and walking into the Parliament is so close at hand.” hall, paused at the street door. There
RANDAL, (looking down.)—“It is beckoning to Randal, he said slowly, on that subject that I wished to speak " You seem intimate with Baron to you, sir. You think of standing for Levy; I caution you against him—a Lansmere. Well, Baron Levy has dangerous acquaintance, first to the suggested to me an idea that I could purse, next to the honour." not, of course, even countenance, till RANDAL.—“I know it, sir; and I had spoken to you. It seems that am surprised myself at the acquainthe has some acquaintance with the ance that has grown up between us. state of parties in that borough! Perhaps its cause is in his respect for He is informed that it is not only as
yourself." easy to bring in two of our side, as to EGERTON.-" Tut." carry one; but that it would make RANDAL.--"Whatever it be, he your election still more safe, not to contrives to obtain a singular hold fight single-handed against two oppo- over one's mind, even where, as in my nents; that if canvassing for yourself case, he has no evident interest to alone, you could not carry a sufficient serve. How is this? It puzzles me!" number of plumper votes ; that split EGERTON.—"For his interest, it is votes would go from you to one or most secured where he suffers it to be other of the two adversaries; that, in least evident ; for his hold over the a word, it is necessary to pair you mind, it is easily accounted for. He with a colleague. If it really be so, ever appeals to two temptations, you of course will learn best from strong with all men-Avarice and your own Committee; but should they Ambition. Good day." concur in the opinion Baron Levy has RANDAL. "Are you going to formed-do I presume too much on Madame di Negra's ? Shall I not acyour kindness—to deem it possible company you? Perhaps I may be that you might allow me to be the able to back your own remonstrances." second candidate on your side ? I EGERTON.-—"No, I shall not reshould not say this, but that Levy quire you." told me you had some wish to see me RANDAL.-" I trust I shall hear in Parliament, amongst the support- the result of your interview? I feel ers of your policy. And what other so much interested in it. Poor opportunity can occur ? Here the Frank !" cost of carrying two would be scarcely Audley nodded. 6 Of course, of more than that of carrying one. And course."
On entering the drawing-room of know men. And yet each sex conMadame di Negra, the peculiar charm trives to dupe and to fool the other ! which the severe Audley Egerton Listen to me. I have little acquainthad been ever reputed to possess with ance with my nephew, but I allow he women, would have sensibly struck one is a handsome young gentleman, with who had hitherto seen him chiefly in whom a handsome young lady in her his relations with men in the business- teens might fall in love in a ball-room. like affairs of life. It was a charm in But you who have known the higher strong contrast to the ordinary manners order of our species-you who have of those who are emphatically called received the homage of men, whose “Ladies' men." No artificial smile, thoughts and mind leave the small no conventional hollow blandness, no talk of drawing-room triflers — SO frivolous gossip, no varnish either of poor and bald—you cannot look me ungenial gaiety or affected grace. in the face and say that it is any The charm was a simplicity that passion resembling love which you unbent more into kindriess than it feel for my nephew. And as to posidid with men. Audley's nature, tion, it is right that I should inform whatever its faults and defects, was you that if he marry you he will have essentially masculine; and it was the
He may risk his inheritance. sense of masculine power that gave You will receive no countenance from to his voice a music when addressing his parents. You will be poor, but the gentler sex—a sort of indulgent not free. You will not gain the intenderness that appeared equally void dependence you seek for. The sight of insincerity and presumption. of a vacant discontented face in that
Frank had been gone about half-an- opposite chair will be worse than hour, and Madame di Negra was solitude. And as to grateful affecscarcely recovered from the agitation tion," added the man of the world, into which she had been thrown by “it is a polite synonym for tranquil the affront from the father and the indifference." pleading of the son.
" Mr Egerton," said Beatrice, Egerton took her passive hand “people say you are made of bronze. cordially, and seated himself by her Did you ever feel the want of a side.
home?" “My dear Marchesa,” said he, “I answer you frankly," replied the “are we then likely to be near con- statesman, “ if I bad not felt it, do nections ? And can you seriously con- you think I should have been, and template marriage with my young
that I should be to the last, the joynephew, Frank Hazeldean? You less drudge of public life ? Bronze turn away. Ah, my fair friend, there though you call my nature, it would are but two inducements to a frce have melted away long since like wax woman to sign away her liberty at in the fire, if I had sat idly down and the altar. I say a free woman, for dreamed of a Home !" widows are free, and girls are not. “But we women,” answered BeaThese inducements are, first, worldly trice, with pathos, " have no public position; secondly, love. Which of life, and we do idly sit down and these motives can urge Madame di dream. Oh," she continued, after a Negra to marry Mr Frank Hazel- short pause, and clasping her hands dean?"
firmly together, "you think meworld. “There are other motives than ly, grasping, ambitious; how different those you speak of-the need of pro. my fate had been had I known a tection, the sense of solitude-the home!-known one whom I could love curse of dependence-gratitude for and venerate — known one whose honourable affection. But you men smiles would have developed the good never know women !"
that was once within me, and the “I grant that you are right there— fear of whose rebuking or sorrowful we never do; neither do women ever eye would have corrected what is evil."