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him, as if presenting a new barrier against escape, which seemed to engage his speculations to the exclusion of everything else. “After a long pause, “Tell Mrs Knowles," said Sir Hugh, looking benevolently towards the butler, whilst his eyes watered, and the colour in his cheeks was something heightened, “that she has been rather too bountiful with her seasoning in the soup.” “‘Certainly, Sir Hugh ; but I had informed Mrs Knowles, Sir Hugh, that her ladyship, on Tuesday last, thought the vermicelli rather insipid.” “‘Excellent Roland,’ interrupted her ladyship, “ you recollect my most trifling wishes.” “‘They are our law, my lady;" and, at the signal, all the grey-headed liverymen bowed in token of their sympathy. “‘Extremes,” observed Sir Hugh, with a smile, “are generally pernicious. And so, my good Lady Rodolpha, I have been a martyr in your cause ; your ladyship cannot do less than assuage my torments by a glass of Madeira.” “‘ God forbid," returned the gracious lady, “that I should ever be the occasion of torment to my ever-indulgent Sir Hugh. But I flatter myself, if your present sufferings can be so easily relieved, they have not been very excruciating. Am I not a saucy creature, Sir Hugh 2'" This speaking in parables is really beautiful! “* You are all excellence, and are never more endeared to me than when your ladyship suffers your little playfulness of fancy to animate our happy domestic circle.— Good Roland, a glass of old Madeira to your excellent lady.’”
There's no resisting this—we must positively try thestyle ourselves. “Excellent What's-your-name, a small glass of warm brandy and water—(we drink)—Why, you first-born of Satan did we bid you bring it us boiling hot?”—But, to continue, “‘You have forgiven good Mrs Knowles, my best of friends,’ said Lady Rodolpha, with one of her most winning smiles, • for her bountiful extreme." “‘Sweetly engaging Lady Rodolpha had. I really cause of offence, your ladyship's happy mode of intercession would make me forget it, in the admiration of a talent so peculiarly your own.' “. Kind Sir Hugh —you will make me vain.” “* No one has more reason—no one is less likely to become so than Lady Rodolpha de Lacy.’ “‘ I declare, Sir Hugh, you make me blush “‘For a naughty world, excellent woman, but never for yourself. Worthy Roland, turning to the butler, tell Mrs
Knowles that her soup is like all she does —she is indeed a most excellent person.” ** * You are the most charitable—Sir Hugh,” said her ladyship, in a subdued tone of voice. “‘It is my humble effort to be so—it is the duty of us all to be so. Tell her, good Roland, that her soup is admirable; but add, as from yourself, that perhaps it would suit the taste of Lady Rodolpha and myself better, were it, in future, less highly seasoned.” “‘ I shall, Sir Hugh—What a master!’ was added, in a half whisper to Mrs Polson, who stood retired—and was seconded by a bend, as before, from every one of the grey-headed circle in worsted lace.”
Sir Hugh continues to be tedious, and makes an observation touching “ the moral virtues.” Percy, at the same moment, asks Lady Rodolpha for “ some trout—before it is cold.” Miss Gertrude smiles, and Lady Rodolpha requests the cause.
“‘Why, dear mamma–I really am ashamed of myself—I was only thinking of Percy's interruption.” “‘Mister Percy, now, if you please, my excellent Gertrude. “The girl blushed again : “‘Say on, sweet innocence," said Sir Hugh, in an encouraging tone—for a subject once introduced was never suffered to die a natural death. “‘Only, sir, I was struck by the odd circumstance of Mr Percy—’ “‘What have I done, Gertrude P' asked Percy, looking up from his plate. (The cause of action—the trout— having ceased, no doubt, to be deeristentibus.) “‘ Miss Gertrude, Mr Percy Rycott, is about to inform us,” observed Lady Rodolpha, drawing herself up in form. “‘Merely,” continued the hesitating girl, “that he should think of the fish be. ing cold, just as papa was talking oftalking of-moral virtues.” “‘ I beg pardon,’ said Percy; but I thought Sir Hugh had been scolding the cook for putting too much pepper in the soup.' “ . I-I scold ! Mr Percy Rycott " “‘Sir Hugh Ferebee de Lacy scold his domestics' exclaimed her ladyship, with a look of utter dismay. A sudden convulsive movement agitated the whole line of domestics. “ . It is clear that my good young friend," observed Sir Hugh, * did not pay very particular attention to the few observations which the occasion appeared to require.” “ . The transition from soup to fish was natural,” said Percy, laughing, in the ob
vious desire to avoid any farther explanation. “‘ I should rather have said artificial, my good Mr Percy, as it is habit only which — ” “‘Habit is second nature you know, Sir Hugh; and therefore—” “‘I must not be interrupted, Mr Percy • * > And the bare thought of such a heresy so startles the servant who is changing Sir Hugh's plate, that he lets it fall, and disposes the contents over his master's laced waistcoat. “The poor man apologized and trembled. Mr Butler pushed the man with some rudeness from the post of honour, and frowned on him whilst he applied his napkin to the part affected. “It’s no matter,” observed Sir Hugh, collecting all his benevolence of manner (which appeared to be necessary on the occasion) ; “Good Richard did not intend it.” “‘No, indeed, your honour, Sir Hugh.” “‘I am perfectly assured of that—Go, my worthy Richard, you had better retire; you seem much agitated.” “‘ Such a clumsy fellow !' muttered the steward. “‘Such a master 1’ repeated the butler. “‘God bless him 1' whispered the liveried semi-chorus. “‘The Dresden set, too !” exclaimed Mr Polson, the steward, in a louder and more emphatic tone of voice.” This last fact almost ruffles the pile of her ladyship's velvet; but she observes that— * * Good Richard must not have his mind disturbed by that reflection.” “‘Heavenly, considerate being !' cried Sir Hugh, who stood in the act of being rubbed down, like one of his own longtailed coach horses, by his zealous grooms. * Thou ““, Mistress of thyself, though china fall!” This quotation is out of its place. Sir Hugh is perfectly serious in all his commendations of Lady, Rodolpha, and would be shocked at the very idea of a joke upon such a subject. Even the spilling of the soup, however, cannot break the thread of the worthy baronet's reflections; and he is getting back to the analysis of “the moral virtues,” when the sound of a carriage, under the windows, makes a diversion in Percy's favour. This is Grandison de Lacy—returned from his travels. The servants are drawn up, in form, in the avenue; and the dinner party adjourns to receive him, at the entrance of the great hall.
There was ample time, as well as space, to afford the worthy host and hostess a full opportunity of making their observations upon the person and appearance of Mr Grandison de Lacy. “‘The excellent youth still preserves
the dignified deportment of the family,”
* the Baronet complacently to his ady. “‘Ingenuous Grandison 1—But what, my good Sir Hugh, has the beloved child of my heart tied round his neck o' “‘It’s a Belcher,’ interrupted Percy, thrusting his head forward. “‘Mr Percy Rycott 1–we are not accustomed to—” “. . Good heavens !” exclaimed Lady Rodolpha, “he walks lame—I trust no accident—" “‘Harbour no fears, my too sensitive Lady Rodolpha,” said Sir Hugh, soothingly. “‘His eyes seem affected, papa,” whispered Miss Gertrude. “Grandison never used a glass before he left England.” “* None of the Grandisons were nearsighted,” said her ladyship, who had also observed that he was eyeing everything and every person through his glass. But there was no more time for observation, the hero approached.”
He appears, accompanied by a friend, and looking a good deal like a puppy.
“Towards the end of the line,” (of servants) “a cherry-cheeked dairy-maid attracted his eye, whom he patted under the chin ; and, turning to his companion, observed, “a fine Cumberland pippin, upon my soul, Birty l’ “Sir Hugh and Lady Rodolpha absolutely started, in defiance of the habitual rigidity of their muscles; but they felt that it was not intended for their ears; and suddenly regaining their self-possession, graciously advanced a few steps, hand in hand, towards their son. “‘My beloved Grandison 1’ cried her ladyship, with a tearful eye. “‘Welcome, most excellent son, to the hall of thy fathers' said Sir Hugh. “‘Hah!” looking at them through his glass—“My father, and my lady mother here too !' shaking both with a listless cordiality by the hands, which had been extended for him to kiss upon his bended knees 1–4 Delighted to see you—am upon my honour—not a day older—who should think of seeing you in the hall among this omnium gatherem—taken by surprise, ‘pon my soul. “‘Where should we be, Mr Grandison de Lacy, but in our proper station ?’ demanded Sir Hugh, with no slight accession to the austere formality of his manners. “. . Beg pardon – quite forgot—you keep up the antiquated forms still-hey, my very best of fathers I’ “Sir Hugh was thrown out.—“You do not, Mr Grandison, seem to recollect your sister Gertrude l’ ““Gertrude l—is that fine girl my sister Gertrude 2–may I die if I should have :*-* years have done woners.” “‘ Indeed they have,” sighed Sir Hugh I. Lady Rodolpha sighed hike a triple ecolo. “‘Come, my girl—give me a kiss–F like old customs sometimes.” “‘These are not the customs of Lacy Royal,” observed Sir Hugh, in a tone which proved that his equanimity was not quite proof against unexpected assaults; * but,” recollecting himself, he added, “we had better adjourn, with the permission of your best of mothers, to the Oak Parlour.””
They do adjourn to “the Oak Parlour;” and there our author, to carr on his action, takes (right or j the first means that happen to present themselves. Grandison I. Lacy—who is afterwards to “do amiable” in the book—outrages, without the slightest reason, the feelings of all his family; and insults his old play-mate Percy, who leaves the house upon the instant! The next chapter is full of (not very original) might adventure. Percy, halting at an inn half way between Lacy Royal and Wolston Worthy, wanders about in the dark, and falls into a house occupied by smugglers. He is wounded almost to the death— hears strange things from the É. Alice Halpin—is saved by a “Ghost,” who turns out to be his oldest acquaintance—and attains, grievously battered, into the fair hands of Miss Bellenden. The second volume opens with a visit (again) from our friend Dr Drizzlethwaite. Before Mr Percy sent for him to Miss Bellenden—now, Miss Bellenden sends for him to Mr Percy. The Doctor arrives (it being very i. in the morning) without having made his toilet; and he shaves himself at the sick man's bedside—using the French governess's flounced petticoat by way of dressing gown.—Medical men near town use Packwood's patent razor, which enables them to shave on horseback, as they come along.—The story then, for about two hundred pages, grows very intricate indeed." Mr Rycott, going to Miss Bellenden's to fetch his son home, Vol. XV
meets with a Mrs Wigram (the ci devant Judy Mallory, who was transported for filching our hero from his nursery;) and Mrs Mallory (as she had done at the Old Bailey) again claims Percy for her child. This strange issue is eventually tried at law, and Mrs Wigram is successful. Mr Rycott is broken-hearted, and would compromise; but Percy (now Mallory) becomes heroic. Miss Bellenden owns her passion for him; but he renounces both love and fortune; and starting for London, to enter himself for the Bar, takes leave of his long supposed father. The parting interview between Percy and Mr Rycott is a fair example of our author's talents for serious writing; but it is long, and we must limit our extract from it almost to a single passage. The question is as to our hero's marriage with Miss Bellenden. He alleges his poverty, and refuses to let Mr Rycott remove the obstacle. It is Mr Rycott here who replies—
“‘By Jove 1 sir, I will be obeyed. Not now—not now—you have it all your own way, and I cannot, must not, deny that you are right; but my time may come, nay, shall come—yes, sirrah, when these old bones are whitening in their grave— when my caprices, and my whims, and my fancies, are consigned to the vault of all the Capulets.”
“‘Heaven, in its mercy, long avert the day !”
“I believe you love me, Percy;’—and again the old man was softened. “I will not press you; you have much to contend with. It is a heavy, cruel reverse, and you bear it better, far better, than your poor deserted father;' and he grasped the hands of Percy, whilst he attempted to raise his eyes to his face. “I have run riot so long, Percy, and commanded others until 1 have no command over myself. Go, whilst I am able to part with you. You, Percy, my beloved boy,'—and he paused tremulously, * are no longer my son; but' and he seemed at once animated by a new spirit equally remote from querulousness and impetuosity, as he solemnly rose from his chair, and pressed the youth in his arms, “but you are my HEIR l–Speak not, object not—what I have, or may have, in this world, was destined to you from the hour I hoped—I thought-I possessed a son. Not an act, not a word, not a thought from your cradle to this hour, has cast a shade over your claims to my affection. Do not speak to me; I cannot bear it. On ,
tempted to stamp, upon the whitesand beneath, which feels unnaturally firm, and level, and silent, whenever you suddenlyleave yournoisy and unstead footing on the gravelly rampart whic borders it;-to revel hour after hour amidst the in-drawing breeze from the ocean, which has, for both the sensation and the imagination, something of elemental purity, and of renovating freshness in it, that is soberly luxurious:—this, then, is the sort of seaside enjoyment which is the perfection of that kind of delight; and with all appliances and means to taste it, I had it, when, as a stripling, I sometimes staid at a little village in the immediate neighbouroood of Hordle Cliff. Let me now endeavour to live over again, one day at least, of that season of buoyant spirits, and well-tuned nerves, and of ravenous but easily-fed curiosity; and if I should, perchance, combine as the occurrences of one day what were belike those of divers, I will not intentionally stray from substantial and intrinsic truth, however I may tread a little awry, where that which is merely formal and non-essential, comes into the woof of my narrative. My wish is, to go again in a day-dream upon one of my old visits to Hurst Castle. The spot where it lies is a little world's end of its own, terminating a wearisome and narrow spot of heaped-up gravel of more than twomilesin length; this only road-way to the Castle, has a limitless view of the main ocean on the right hand, while, on the left, the water touches it indeed when the tide is up; but, as it ebbs, a vast expanse of weedy ooze offers itself, spreading out towards the channel, which separates the Isle of Wight from Hampshire. Well then, I am off for Hurst—a gloriously bright morning—my companions, two boys and a girl of my own age, with an elder sister of hers, of authority enough, from her farther advance towards womanhood, to keep us in check, without any suspicion on our part of her wishing to thwart us—
“It seems a day, I speak of one from many singled out, One of those heavenly days that cannot die, When forth I sallied.”
A boat conveyed us from the ham
let of Keyhaven, down the winding outlet of a nameless stream, which was joined, before we got to Hurst, by as
inconsiderable a one, which has the better fortune of having a name, being called the Start. We landed on the small barren peninsula, which furmishes a site for the fortress, and has an area bearing about as much proportion to the long contracted path, which fastens it on to the mainland, as the crook of a bishop's crosier does to the taper shaft; and, on the map of Hants, the ichnography of the whole bears no unapt resemblance to the shape of that emblem of prelatical authority. We have landed on no valuable territory; it is a mere waste of brown pebbles, girdled with a belt of pale grey sand. The castle is a fortification of Harry the Eighth's days, though it has been remodelled in our times, and since the date of my visits, by having the centre turned into a martello tower. It is chiefly remarkable as having been at one time the place of captivity of Charles the First—unluckily the alterations made it necessary to demolish the room he was confined in ; so that now the call for local emotion is not so urgently made upon our sympathies. When I was there, however, the dark chamber was in being, and though the shores of the beautiful isle were before the eyes of the royal prisoner, yet was he within such precincts of actual barrenness and desolation, that it must have weighed heavy on his spirits. The rest of the habitable world here may be summed up in saying, there is a public-house, two light-houses (one a recent erection,) and they answer to the high one on the down at the Needles, for the jaws of our channel are of no safe approach —and there is here an anomalous structure or two besides, the relics, I believe, of an abandoned speculation in fish-curing. What then is there for such highly applauded amusement? some one may say. Never fear— let us work our way over the heaps of loosely-piled shingle, down to the “tip of ocean,” and we shall find matters enough to hold us in some sort of occupation. Now look seaward—is not this capacious bay worthgazing upon, with the Needle Rocks for our Pillars of Hercules at the home extremity, and having the far-off, but still dazzling cliffs of Portland, at the other horn of the crescent P Often on this coast have I seen those exquisite lines of Southey verified, often borne witness that they are not extravagantthe marine picture has been as bright
that the true is not always the probable; which position, as regards the “true,” may be perfectly sound; but the probability of .flew should certainly be invariable. We have used up our allowance of roomfor selection; and the diffuse style in which the author of Percy Mallory succeeds best, would make short extracts unavailing. There are many admirable things in the last volume, mixed with a great deal that is slovenly. The scene in which Percy, by Dossiter's contrivance, is taken for a madman, is one of the best hits in the book. Dr Beekerdyke, the lunatic professor, is very happily touched indeed. We feel sure, through all his solemnity, that he has a strait waistcoat in his pocket. And, indeed, the whole scene in which he questions and cross-examines his supposed patient, shews so much acquaintance with the etiquette of Bedlam, that we are not sure that our author is not a mad doctor himself. But be he what he may—and if he were even a mad man, much less a mad-doctor, we should on that score raise no objection to him—he has talent, and a vast deal of talent, if he would but take the trouble to make
the best use of it. His present work is better, upon the whole, than Pen Owen; but its faults (and they are not few) are pretty generally of the same character. In both novels, the great charm lies unquestionably in the display of a very extraordinary measure of practical Ho and knowledge of life. In addition to this, Pen Owen had a strong spice of political, and this book has a strong spice of romantic interest. The author appears to be gaining skill as to the management of fable; although we are far from wishing him to believe that he is not still much below what he might make himself as to this point. In that and other minor matters he may and must improve; we certainly can scarcely hope to see him better than he is already in regard to certain qualifications of a much higher order—qualifications in which he certainly is not surpassed by any living author, in any style whatever—the charming idiomatic character of his language—the native flow of his wit—his keen satire and thorough acquaintance with man, as man exists in the 19th century, and more especially as he exists in LoNDon.
A FINE day's lounge on the seashore is as high a treat as can be imained for all young persons, to whom t is either a novelty or an indulgence, some space removed out of their everyday reach. During my early years, I was in the latter predicament; the beach, which stretches from a point opposite to the west end of the Isle of Wight on to Dorsetshire, being at the distance of a few miles from my abode; it was, indeed, easily within a ride; and, after I had entered my teens, come-at-able by me in a walk, provided that I put my best foot foremost, and stepped out stoutly; but then this was no proper prelude to the sort of enjoyment I have been speaking of.
Such a day as I mean, must begin with an uninterrupted morning, spent in idling j the sun—“One long summer's day of indolence and mirth,” is the postulate of the gratification;to have nothing to do of more moment than to pelt the tenth wave, which is the largest, though some say the ninth, some the seventh, well, it shall be allowable to bring that knotty point, and that only, under discussion;-to ramble, as humour urges, along this selvidge of nature's web;-now laboriously to plod your way in the loose shingle above, that rattles and rolls under your tread, as if you were on the roof of a house where the tiles are loose ;-now to pace, and be almost