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MR WENTWORTH did not accept I have had things my own way Mrs Morgan's sudden invitation, since I came here,” said Jack; partly because his
somehow it appears I have a not leave Carlingford that evening, great luck for having things my and partly because, though quite own way; It is you scrupulous amiably disposed towards the Rec- people who think of others and tor, whom he had worsted in fair of such antiquated stuff as duty, fight, he was not sufficiently in- and so forth, that get yourselves terested in anything he was like into difficulties. My dear aunt, I to hear or see in Mr Morgan's am going away; if I were to rehouse to move him to spend his main an inmate of this house-I evening there. He returned a very mean to say, could I look forward civil answer to the invitation of
to the privilege of continuing a the Rector's wife, thanking her member of this Christian familywarmly for her friendliness, and another day, I should know better explaining that he could not leave how to conduct myself; but I am his father on the last night of his going back_to my bad courses, stay in Carlingford ; after which aunt Dora ; I am returning to the he went to dinner at his aunts’, world where the household was still much “ Oh! Jack, my dear, I hope agitated. Not to speak of all the not,” said aunt Dora, who was events which had happened and much bewildered, and did not were happening, Jack, who had know what to say. begun to tire of his new character of “Too true," said the relapsed the repentant prodigal, had shown sinner; "and considering all the himself in a new light that even- lessons you have taught me, don't ing, and was preparing to leave, to you think it is the best thing I the relief of all parties. The prodi- could do? There is my brother gal, who no longer pretended to be Frank, who has been carrying other penitent, had taken the conversa- people about on his shoulders, and tion into his own hands at dinner. doing his duty ; but I don't see
VOL XCVI.NO. DLXXXVII.
« The man
that you good people are at all with a momentary flush, “that I I moved in his behalf. You leave have never been considered much him to fight his way by himself, of a credit to the family ; but if I and confer your benefits elsewhere, were to announce my intention of which is an odd sort of lesson marrying and settling, there is not for a worldling like me. As for one of the name that would not Gerald, you know he's a virtuous lend a hand to smooth matters. fool, as I have heard you all de That is the reward of wickedness,' clare. There is nothing in the said Jack, with a laugh ; world that I can see to prevent Frank, he's a perpetual curate, him keeping his living and doing and may marry perhaps fifty years as he pleases, as most parsons do. hence ; that's the way you good However, that's his own business. people treat a man who never did It is Frank's case which is the anything to be ashamed of in his edifying case to me. If my con- life; and you expect me to give up victions of sin had gone just a step my evil courses after such a lesson? farther, ” said the pitiless critic, I trust I am not such a fool,” said “if I had devoted myself to bring- the relapsed prodigal. He sat looking others to repentance, as is the ing at them all in his easy way, first duty of a reformed sinner, enjoying the confusion, the indigmy aunt Leonora would not have nation, and wrath with which his hesitated to give Skelmersdale to address was received.
who gets his own way is the man “ Jack, hold your tongue,” said who takes it,” he concluded, with Miss Leonora ; but though her his usual composure, pouring out cheeks burned, her voice was not Miss Leonora's glass of claret as he so firm as usual, and she actually spoke. failed in puttng down the man who Nobody had ever before seen the had determined to have his say. strong-minded woman in so much
“Fact, my dear aunt,” said Jack: agitation. “ Frank knows what my “ if I had been a greater rascal feelings are,” she said, abruptly. “I than I am, and gone a little farther, have a great respect for himself, but you and your people would have I have no confidence in his princithought me quite fit for a cure of ples. I—I have explained my ideas souls. I'd have come in for your about Church patronagegood things that way as well as But here the Squire broke in. “I other ways ; but here is Frank, always said, sir," said the old man, who even I can see is a right sort with an unsteady voice, “that if I of parson. I don't pretend to fixed ever lived to see a thing or two theological opinions," said this un- amended that was undoubtedly oblooked-for oracle, with a comicglance jectionable, your brother Jack's adaside at Gerald, the most unlikely vice would be invaluable to the person present to make any response; family as a—as a man of the world. "but, so far as I can see, he's a kind I have nothing to say against clerof fellow most men would be glad gymen, sir,” continued the Squire, to make a friend of when they were without it being apparent whom he under a cloud-not that he was was addressing, “but I have always ever very civil to me. I tell you, expressed my conviction of-of the so far from rewarding him for value of your brother Jack's advice being of the true sort, you do no- as—as a man of the world.” thing but snub him, that I can see. This speech had a wonderful efHe looks to me as good for work fect upon the assembled family, as any man I know ; but you'll but most of all upon the son thus give your livings to any kind of commended, who lost all his ease wretched make-believe before you'll and composure as his father spoke, give them to Frank. I am aware," and turned his head stiffly to one said the heir of the Wentworths, side, as if afraid to meet the Squire's
eyes, which indeed were not seeking While his father was speaking, his, but were fixed upon the table, as Jack recovered a little from his was natural, considering the state of momentary attendrissement. “Goodemotion in which Mr Wentworth bye, sir-I hope you'll live a hun
, I As for Jack, when he had dred years," he said, wringing his steadied himself a little, he got up father's hand, “if you don't last from his seat, and tried to laugh, out half-a-dozen of me, as you ought though the effort was far from being to do. But I'd rather not anticia successful one.
pate such a change. In that case, "Even my father applauds me, the prodigal went on with a certain you see, because I am a scamp and huskiness in his voice, “I daresay don't deserve it,” he said, with a I should not turn out so great a voice which was partially choked. rascal as-as I ought to do. To“Good-bye, sir ; I am going away." day and yesterday it has even oc
The Squire rose too, with the curred to me by moments that I hazy bewildered look of which his was your son, sir,” said Jack Wentother children were afraid. “Good- worth; and then he made an abrupt bye, sir," said the old man, and stop and dropped the Squire's
” then made a pause before he held hand, and came to himself in a out his hand. “You'll not forget surprising way. When he turned what I've said, Jack,” he added, towards the rest of the family he with a little haste.
6 It's true
was in perfect possession of his enough, though I haven't that confi- usual courtesy and good spirits. dence in you that—that I might have He nodded to them all round-with had. I am getting old, and I have superb good-humour. “Good-bye, had two attacks, sir,” said Mr Went- all of you ; I wish you better luck, worth, with dignity; "and anyhow, Frank, and not so much virtue. I can't live for ever. Your brothers Perhaps you will have a better can make their own way in the chance now the lost sheep has gone world, but I haven't saved all that back to the wilderness. Good-bye I could have wished. When I am to you all. I don't think I've any gone, Jack, be just to the girls and other last words to say. the little children," said the Squire; ed his cigar with his ordinary comand with that took his son's hand posure in the hall, and whistled and grasped it hard, and looked his one of his favourite airs as he heir full in the face.
went through the garden. "Oddly Jack Wentworth was not prepar- enough, however, our friend Wodeed for any such appeal ; he was still house can beat me in that," he less prepared to discover the unex- said, with a smile, to Frank, who had pected and inevitable sequence with followed him out, “perhaps in other which one good sentiment leads to things too, who knows? Good-bye, another. He quite faltered and and good-luck, old fellow.” And broke down in this unlooked-for thus the heir of the Wentworths emergency. “Father,” he said, un- disappeared into the darkness which awares, for the first time for ten swallowed him up, and was seen no years, “if you wish it, I will join more. you in breaking the entail.”
But naturally there was a good “No such thing, sir," said the deal of commotion in the house. Squire, who, so far from being pleas- Miss Leonora, who never had known ed, was irritated and disturbed by what it was to have nerves in the the proposal. “I ask you to do entire course of her existence, reyour duty, sir, and not to shirk it,” tired to her own room with a headthe head of the house said, with ache, to the entire consternation of natural vehemence, as he stood with the family. She had been a strongthat circle of Wentworths round minded woman all her life, and him, giving forth his code of hon- managed everybody's affairs withour to his unworthy heir.
out being distracted and hampered
." He light
in her career by those doubts of her the unpleasant discovery was agown wisdom, and questions as to gravated by having been thus pointher own motives, which will now ed out by Jack, who in his own and then afflict the minds of weaker person had taken her in, and cheatpeople when they have to decide for ed his sensible aunt. She felt humothers. But this time an utterly bled, and wounded in the tenderest novel and unexpected accident had point, to think that her reprobate nebefallen Miss Leonora ; a man of phew had seen through her, but that no principles at all had delivered she had not been able to see through his opinion upon her conduct—and him, and had been deceived by his so far from finding his criticism con- professions of penitence. The temptible, or discovering in it the more she turned it over in her ordinary outcry of the wicked against mind, the more Miss Leonora's the righteous, she had found it true, head ached ; for was it not growing
1; and by means of it had for perhaps apparent that she, who prided herthe first time in her life seen herself self so much on her impartial judgas others saw her. Neither was the ment, had been moved, not by position in which she found herself heroic and stoical justice and the one from which she could get extri- love of souls, but a good deal by cated even by any daring arbitrary prejudice and a good deal by skilexertion of will, such as a woman ful artifice, and very little indeed in difficulties is sometimes capable by that highest motive which she of. To be sure, she might still have called the glory of God? And it cut the knot in a summary feminine was Jack who had set all this beway; might have said “No” ab- fore her clear as daylight. No ruptly to Julia Trench and her cu- wonder the excellent woman was rate, and, after all, have bestowed disconcerted. She went to bed Skelmersdale, like any other prize gloomily with her headache, and or reward of virtue, upon her ne- would tolerate no ministrations, phew Frank—a step which Miss neither of sal-volatile nor eau-deDora Wentworth would have con- cologne, nor even of green tea. “It cluded upon at once without any always does Miss Dora a power hesitation. The elder sister, how- of good,” said the faithful domesever, was gifted with a truer per- tic who made this last suggestion ; ception of affairs. Miss Leonora but Miss Leonora answered only knew that there were some things by turning the unlucky speaker which could be done, and yet could out of the room, and locking the not be done—a piece of knowledge door against any fresh intrusion. difficult to a woman. She recog- Miss Dora's innocent headaches nised the fact that she had commit- were articles of a very different ted herself, and got into a corner kind from this, which proceeded from which there was but one neither from the heart nor the dipossible egress; and as she acknow- gestion, but from the conscience, ledged this to herself, she saw at as Miss Leonora thought-with, the same time that Julia Trench (for possibly, a little aid from the whom she had been used to enter- temper, though she was less contain a good-humoured contempt as scious of that. It was indeed a a clever sort of girl enough) had long series of doubts and qualms, managed matters very cleverly, and and much internal conflict, which that, instead of dispensing her piece resulted, through the rapidly maturof patronage like an optimist to the ing influences of mortification and best, she had, in fact, given it up to humbled self-regard, in this ominthe most skilful and persevering ous and awe-inspiring Headache angler, as any other woman might which startled the entire assembled have done. The blow was bitter, family, and added fresh importance and Miss Leonora did not seek to to the general crisis of Wentworth hide it from herself, not to say that affairs.
“I should not wonder if it was to a previous stage of existence. At the Wentworth complaint,” said present he was full of the grand disMiss Dora, with a sob of fright, covery, boldly stated by his brother to the renewed and increased indig- Jack “ The man who gets his nation of the Squire.
own way is the man who takes it." “I have already told you that It was not an elevated doctrine, or the Wentworth complaint never one that had hitherto commended attacks females,” Mr Wentworth itself specially to the mind of the said emphatically, glad to employ Perpetual Curate; but he could not what sounded like a contemptuous help thinking of his father's pathtitle for the inferior sex.
etic reliance upon Jack's advice as a Yes, oh yes; but then Leonora man of the world, as he laid up in is not exactly what you would call his mind the prodigal's maxim, and —a female,” said poor Miss Dora, felt, with a little thrill of excitefrom whom an emergency so unex- ment, that he was about to act on pected had taken all her little wits. it ; from which manner of stating
While the house was in such an the case Mr Wentworth's friends agitated condition, it is not to will perceive that self-will had be supposed that it could be very seized upon him in the worst form; comfortable forthe gentlemen when for he was not going boldly up they came up-stairs to the drawing to the new resolution with his eyes room, and found domestic sove- open, but had resigned himself to reignty overthrown by a head- the tide, which was gradually rising ache which nobody could compre- in one united flux of love, pride, imhend, and chaos reigning in Miss patience, sophistry, and inclination; Leonora's place. Naturally there which he watched with a certain was, for one of the party at least, a passive content, knowing that the refuge sweet and close at hand, to stormy current would carry him which his thoughts had escaped away. already. Frank Wentworth did Mr Wentworth, however, recknot hesitate to follow his thoughts. oned without his host, as is now Against the long years when family and then the case with most men, bonds make up all that is happiest Perpetual Curates included. He in life, there must always be reck- walked into the otherdrawing-room, oned those moments of agitation and which was occupied only by two revolution, during which the bosom ladies, where the lamp was burning of a family is the most unrestful softly on the little table in the and disturbing place in existence, corner, and the windows, half open, from which it is well to have a per- admitted the fragrant air, the personal refuge and means of escape. fumed breath, and stillness and The Perpetual Curate gave himself faint inarticulate noises of the a little shake, and drew a long night. Since the visit of Wodehouse breath, as he emerged from one in the morning, which had driven green door in Grange Lane and be- Lucy into her first fit of passion, an took himself to another. He shook indescribable change had come over himself clear of all the Wentworth the house, which had now returned perplexities, all the family diffi- to the possession of its former culties and doubts, and betook him- owners, and looked again like home. self into the paradise which was It was very quiet in the familiar altogether his own, and where there room which Mr Wentworth knew were no conflicting interests or dif- so well, for it was only wben excited ferences of opinion. He was in such by events “beyond their control," a hurry to get there that he did not as Miss Wodehouse said, that the pay any attention to the general sisters could forget what had hapaspect of Grange Lane, or to the pened so lately—the loss which had gossips who were gathered round made a revolution in their world. Elsworthy's door: all that belonged Miss Wodehouse, who for the first