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Rachel's tea-board occasionally, and discuss topics of domestic interest. Both would listen with pleasure to my notes for the continuation of my father's "Dictionary of Possibilities," which, however, made at this time but slow progress.
I think now, that had it not been for Miss Rachel, or rather for the Pincott affairs generally, I should have been able to have formularized, at all events, one volume of the work.
I ask myself, now, in my day of Second Thoughts, whether all this anxiety for the welfare of Master Dick Pincott was solely on that young gentleman's account.
Ah, well! who would live his life over again, backing all his experiences against whole "Dictionaries of Possibilities!" Quod scripsi, scripsi-let the scribble remain; I cannot erase it. Et quæ scripsit scripsit; I have a drawer full of poor Dick Pincott's dated letters. Scratch out those dates, alter the names, and the fable may be told of you, of me, of whom you will. Oh these leaves, which being dead yet speak! I have by me duplicates of his college bills, for wines of France, of Spain, of Madeira, for precious stones set in bracelets-I do not remember his indulging in this barbarous ornament-for luxurious sofas, chairs, horses, prints, and such-like necessaries. These fell into my hands, when to me was entrusted the settlement of the small accounts left outstanding by Monsieur L'Enfant Prodigue. From nurseryhood to collegehood, from pap-boat to champagne-bottle, he had been brought up to do as he liked best; and what best pleased him, at first best pleased those who had the care of him.
But, train up a child in the way he is to go, and if it is a pleasant, easy road, he will not depart from it.
Gather a moral while ye may.
". . . I SAID I was late last night. I was. I had been out to smoke my evening pipe (I can't do it here, even in the garden) with Maurice (Maurice Passmore. Do you know him?-a Fellow of St. Henry's), who is, luckily or unluckily for me, stopping in the neighbourhood, and when I came home the house was shut up. I knocked, and after a while Samson, the new butler, gets up sulkily, and lets me in. She (I never call her anything now, having dropped aunt, stepmother, and other
honorary titles) complained to the Governor: the Governor lectured me on late hours, dissolute habits, disturbing households, etc., etc. "To-day there was silence at luncheon. We are on the eve of a great battle. I feel it. When the trumpets sound I will write you
"Wars, and rumours of wars. I brought home that unfortunate Maurice Passmore to dinner, uninvited by the mistress of the house. Maurice is a deuced good fellow, and took everything as pleasantly as possible, despite the hints thrown out at me about nobody being expected, unprepared,' and so forth.
"The fact is, she wasn't in evening dress, and her eyebrows were not put on as well as usual. Maurice, however, got into her good graces after our wine, when we joined her in the garden, and she had had time to dodge up' in the interval. Maurice and she have met before --somewhere casually. I forget where he said; perhaps in Yorkshire. I haven't had another opportunity of asking him something about the Caswall family in general, as he has gone away for a few days."
THE SHOWMAN SPEAKS.
A NEW character you will observe has been added to the Dramatis Persona: Maurice Passmore.
A handsome, well-made fellow, with dark brown hair, and darker whiskers. His eyebrows were somewhat heavy; but their peculiar mobility powerfully aided the bold glances which were shot out from beneath them.
He looked any age between thirty and forty, and even past that was a young forty-five. He had, as a boy, worked himself into the Captaincy of Holyshade, the great public school; thence he walked into a scholarship at St. Henry's, the probationary state of Holyshadian Foundation-boys; and thence in due course he rolled naturally and easily into a Fellowship at St. Henry's worth £300 a year and his rooms, whenever he liked to use them, which he generally did during the pleasantest term times of May or October.
Through this continued residence, and from the fact of his not belonging to any particular set, for the St. Henry's men generally, from the Provost down to the last made scholar, have always kept them
selves very much to themselves-he was welcome in every college hall, dining even with the great Dr. Buster, the master of St. Tuft's, on gaudy days, interesting that magnificent personage by carefully considered remarks on continental education (Dr. Buster knew very little of the continent, or of any place in fact outside St. Tuft's and the University), and when the seniors had withdrawn, amusing the younger Fellows with his imitations of unpopular Dons, scandalous college stories, and occasional references to the literary gossip of the day. He would finish his evening at the supper and loo tables of undergraduate rooms, for which places he had another stock of anecdotes exactly suited to the time and temper of his younger audience.
I have said he was a Fellow of St. Henry's. I have only to add, that, for certain academical considerations, he had lately been ordained. You see what a nice fellow he was, and what an excellent companion for Dick Pincott, was such a Fellow of such a College, and such a clergyman as the Reverend Maurice Passmore.
There was one good thing about Passmore (but how many good things have I not already told of him?) he was no toady. Certainly he was senior to all the young noblemen of his acquaintance, when I came across him in Dick's time. Passmore stood still while a procession of gay nobility and gentry (as the tradesmen's circulars have it) passed before him. He could patronise them and be revenged upon the aristocratic generation of his Holyshadian days, when he and his comrades on the foundation were nicknamed by the wealthy Oppidan boys Tug-muttons, abbreviated to "Tugs," snubbed on the river, snubbed in the field, forced by the snobbishness of Charity to wear a distinguishing badge of poverty, and forwarded in a decent suit of clothes, obtained by public subscription at a fancy-dress tomfoolery in the broad daylight of summer, to that ancient Home of dignified Ease and Ecclesiastical Comfort, St. Henry's.
These figures are not waxwork, but living. As they pass by or as they stop, I can point them out to you. What I know you shall know. We will keep Dick Pincott in view as long as we can. Sometimes shall lose sight of him down a turning out of the straight course. Parties of men, of women, young and old, will stop him; will buttonhole us, may be, on the promenade. A band of music, the theatre lights, the church bell, may distract us. Let us onward: and while we run, let us read. On Second Thoughts I have no capacity for running; let us sit and read. Now as we do this our eyes are on the
paper, and many may pass by unheeded who have much to do with me and mine. we will presently overtake them.
Let them go
STROLLING beneath the waving tulip-trees,
Whose brown leaves throw soft furrows on the grass,
Nellie and I on this sweet autumn eve,
Watch the gold-tinted clouds as by they pass.
Saith Nell to me, "How beautiful the glow
This glorious sunset casts athwart the west:"
"True, love," I answered, 66 as the
Nellie looked up: "How beautiful the calm,
"La morale est pleine des jours,' the proverb says,
If to be foolish is to learn to love,
My gaze perchance is dazzled by the sun Looking, as look I must, into those eyes, Of such fond fools, I thank the gods I'm one! ASTLEY H. BALDWIN.
THE FORTUNES OF A FREE LANCE.
BY THE AUTHOR OF GUY LIVINGSTONE," ETC., ETC.
THE BATTLE ON THE CAUSEWAY.
THE bustle and turmoil of arrival and departure was over at last. Queen Phillippa-after safe deliverance of a daughter-sailed for England with her consort; in Calais were left only the new settlers, with the strong garrison in which Hawkwood and his followers were numbered; and, whilst autumn passed into winter, all in the town. rested as men love to rest after long and sharp toil, never witting that they were as those who keep watch on a wall well-nigh already mined. For Emeric of Pavia, governor of the castle-whom King Edward trusted as his own right hand-had been tempted by the French, and was in covenant to open the gates, at a fitting time and season, to Geoffrey de Chargny, who held command at St. Omer. Before the treason was complete, tidings thereof were brought to Windsor; and the wary monarch-disdaining to wreak his anger on one head, howsoever guilty-contrived to turn the plot to his own advantage: the shameless Lombard was only too ready to purchase his own safety at the price of a double treason.
The last day of December saw Edward and his son back again at Calais. They sailed into the harbour, not as they had gone out--with flourish of trumpet and flaunt of standard-but under cover of a black winter's night, in a lull betwixt storms. On that very night Emeric of Pavia had covenanted to open the Boulogne gate to De Chargny and his men-at-arms. But first the blood-money was to be paid; and paid it was-no less punctually, than the pieces of silver to the most famous of traitors fourteen centuries before. Scarcely had Odoart de Renty and those who bore the gold lightened themselves of their base burden, when they found themselves hopelessly trapped, with no choice but to render themselves to Edward's mercy. Half-an hour later the