Absentee | Maria Edgeworth | Literary Fiction, Published 1800 -1900 | English | 2/7



chapter 4 off the absentee by Mariah Edgeworth this LibriVox recording is in the public domain ladie clan brownie was taken ill the day after her gala she had caught cold by standing when much overheated in a violent draught of wind paying her parting compliments to the Duke of V who thought her a boor and wished her in heaven all the while for keeping his horses standing her ladyship's illness was severe and long she was confined to her room for some weeks by a rheumatic fever and an inflammation in her eyes every day when Lord Callum burr went to see his mother he found miss Nugent in her apartment and every hour he found fresh reason to admire this charming girl the affectionate tenderness the indefatigable patience the strong attachment she showed for her aunt actually raised lady clan brownie in her son's opinion he was persuaded she must surely have some good or great qualities or she could not have excited such strong affection a few foibles out of the question such as her love of fine people her affectation of being English and other affectations too tedious to mention Lady clan brownie was really a good woman had good principles moral and religious and selfishness not immediately interfering she was good-natured and though her soul and attention were so completely absorbed in the duties of acquaintanceship that she did not know it she really had affections they were concentrated upon a few near relations she was extremely fond and extremely proud of her son next to her son she was fonder of her niece than of any other creature she had received grace Nugent into her family when she was left an orphan and deserted by some of her other relations she had bred her up and had treated her with constant kindness this kindness and these obligations had raised the warmest gratitude in mrs. Nugent's heart and it was the strong principle of gratitude which rendered her capable of in Durin's and exertions seemingly far above her strength this young lady was not of a robust appearance though she now underwent extraordinary fatigue her aunt could scarcely bear that she should leave her for a moment she could not close her eyes unless grace set up with her many hours every night night after night she bore this fatigue and yet with little sleep or rest she preserved her health at least supported her spirits and every morning when lord kelabra cam into his mother's room he saw miss Nugent look as blooming as if she had enjoyed the most refreshing sleep the bloom was as he observed not permanent it came and went with every emotion of her feeling heart and he soon learned to fancy her almost as handsome when she was pale as when she had a color he had thought her beautiful when he beheld her in all the radiance of light and with all the advantages of dress at the gala but he found her infinitely more lovely and interesting now when he saw her in a sick room a half darkened chamber where often he could but just discern her form or distinguish her except by her graceful motion as she passed or when but for a moment a window curtain drawn aside let the Sun Shine upon her face or on the unadorned ringlets of her hair much must be allowed for an inflammation in the eyes and something for a romantic fever yet it may seem strange that lady clown brownie should be so blind and deaf as neither to see nor hear all this time that having lived so long in the world it should never occur to her that it was rather imprudent to have a young lady not eighteen nursing her and such a young lady when her son not one in twenty and such a son came to visit her daily but so it was Lady clown brownie knew nothing of love she had read of it indeed in novels which sometimes for fashions sake she had looked at and over which she had been a to those but this was only love in books love in real life she had never met with in the life she led how should she she had heard of its making young people and old people even do foolish things but those were foolish people and if they were worse than foolish why it was shocking and nobody visited them but lady Kwan brownie had not for her own part the slightest notion how people could be brought to this pass nor how anybody out of bedlam could prefer to a good house a decent equipage and a proper establishment what is called love in a cottage as to clamber she had too good an opinion of his understanding to say nothing of his duty to his family his pride his rank and his being her son to let such an idea across her imagination as to her niece in the first place she was her niece and first cousins should never marry because they form no new connections to strengthen the family interest or raise its consequence this doctrine her ladyship had repeated for years so often and so dogmatically that she conceived it to be incontrovertible and of as full force as any law of the land or as any moral or religious obligation she would as soon have suspected her niece of an intention of stealing her diamond necklace as of purloining culebras heart or marrying this heir of the house of clan brownie miss Nugent was so well apprised and so thoroughly convinced of all this that she never for one moment allowed herself to think of Lord clamber as a lover duty honor and gratitude gratitude the strong feeling and principle of her mind forbade it she had so prepared and habituated herself to consider him as a person with whom she could not possibly be united that with perfect ease and simplicity she behaved towards him exactly as if he was her brother not in the equivocating sentimental romance style in which ladies talk of treating men as their brothers whom they are all the time secretly thinking of and endeavouring to please as lovers not using this phrase as a convenient pretense a safe mode of securing herself from suspicion or scandal and of enjoying the advantages of confidence and the intimacy of friendship till the propitious moment when it should be time to declare or a vow the secret of the heart know this young lady was quite above all double-dealing she had no mental reservation no metaphysical subtleties but with plain unsophisticated morality in good faith and simple truth acted as she professed thought what she said and was that which she seemed to be as soon as lady clan brony was able to see anybody her niece sent to mrs. Broadhurst who was very intimate with the family she used to come frequently almost every evening to sit with the invalid miss Broadhurst accompanied her mother for she did not like to go out with any other chaperone it was disagreeable to spend her time alone at home and most agreeable to spend it with her friend miss Nugent in this she had no design no a tree miss Broadhurst had too lofty and independent a spirit to stoop to a tree she thought that in their interview at the gala she understood Lord clamber and that he understood her that he was not inclined to court her for her fortune that she would not be content with any suitor who was not a lover she was two or three years older than Lord clamber perfectly aware of her want of beauty yet with a just sense of her own merit and of what was becoming and due to the dignity of her sex this she trusted was visible in her manners and established in Lord clambers mind so that she ran no risk of being misunderstood by him and as to what the rest of the world thought she was so well used to hear weekly and Ely reports of her going to be married to 50 different people that she cared little for what was said on this subject indeed conscious of rectitude and with an utter contempt for mean and commonplace gossiping she was for a woman in the young woman rather too disdainful of the opinion of the world mrs. Broadhurst though her daughter had fully explained herself respecting lord calibre before she began this course of visiting yet rejoiced that even on this footing there should be constant intercourse between them it was mrs. brought Hurst's warmest wish that her daughter should obtain rank and connect herself with an ancient family she was sensible that the young ladies being older than the gentlemen might be an obstacle and very sorry she was to find that her daughter had so imprudently so unnecessarily declared her age but still this little obstacle might be overcome much greater difficulties in the marriage of inferior Eris's were every day got over and thought nothing of then as to the young lady's own sentiments her mother knew them better than she did herself she understood her daughter's pride that she dreaded to be made an object of bargain and sale but mrs. Broadhurst who with all her coarseness of mind had rather a better notion of love matters than lady kaan brownie perceived through her daughter's horror of being offered to Lord clamber through her anxiety that nothing approaching to an advance on the part of her family should be made that if Lord calamba should himself advance he would stand a better chance of being accepted than any other of the numerous persons who had yet aspired to the favor of this heiress the very circumstance of his having paid no court to her at first operated in his favour for it proved that he was not mercenary and that whatever attention he might afterwards show she must be sure would be sincere and disinterested and now let them but see one another in this easy intimate kind of way and you will find by dearly the clown brownie things will go on of their own accord all the better for our minding our cards and never minding anything else I remember when I was young but let that pass let the young people see one another and manage their own affairs their own way let them be together that's all I say ask half the men you are acquainted with why they married and their answer if they speak truth will be because I met miss such a one at such a place and we were continually together propinquity propinquity as my father used to say and he was married five times and twice to Eris's in consequence of this plan of leaving things to themselves every evening lady can grow and he made out her own little card table with mrs. Broadhurst and the mr. and Miss Pratt a brother and sister who were the most obliging convenience neighbors imaginable from time to time as lady clown brownie gathered up her cards she would direct an inquiring glance to the group of young people at the other table whilst the more prudent mrs. Broadhurst sat plump with her back to them pressing up her lips and contracting her brows in token of deeper calculation looking down impenetrable at her cards never even noticing lead Econ grones glances but inquiring from her partner how many they were by honors the young part he generally consisted of Miss Broadhurst Lord clamber miss Nugent and her admirer mr. Salisbury mr. Salisbury was a middle-aged gentleman very agreeable and well-informed he had traveled had seen a great deal of the world had lived in the best company had acquired what he's called good tact was full of anecdote not mere gossiping anecdotes that lead to nothing anecdotes characteristic of national manners of human nature in general or of those illustrious individuals who excite public curiosity and interest miss Nugent had seen him always in large companies where he was admired for his savoir vivre and for his entertaining anecdotes but where he had no opportunity of producing any of the higher powers of his understanding or showing character she found that mr. Salisbury appeared to her quite a different person when conversing with Lord Callum burr Lord Callum burr with that ardent thirst for knowledge which it is always agreeable to gratify had an air of openness and generosity a frankness a warmth of manner which with good breeding but with something beyond it and superior to its established forms irresistible won the confidence and attracted the affection of those with whom he conversed his manners were peculiarly agreeable to a person like mr. Salisbury tired of the sameness and egotism of men of the world miss Nugent had seldom till now had the advantage of hearing much conversation on literary subjects in the life she had been compelled to lead she had acquired accomplishments had exercised her understanding upon everything that passed before her and from circumstances had formed her judgment and her taste by observations on real life but the ample page of knowledge had never been unrolled to her eyes she had never had opportunities of acquiring the literature herself but she admired it in others particularly in her friend miss Broadhurst miss Broadhurst had received all the advantages of education which money could procure and had profited by them in a manner uncommon among those for whom they are purchased in such abundance she not only had had many masters and read many books but had thought of what she read and had supplied by the strength and energy of her own mind what cannot be acquired by the assistance of masters miss Nugent perhaps overvaluing the information that she did not possess and free from all idea of envy looked up to her friend as to a superior being with the sort of enthusiastic admiration and now with charmed attention listened by turns to her to mr. Salisbury and to Lord calibre whilst they conversed on literary subjects listened with a countenance so full of intelligence of animation so expressive of every good and kind affection that the gentleman did not always know what they were saying pray go on said she wants to mr. Salisbury you stopped perhaps from politeness to me from compassion to my ignorance but though I am ignorant you do not tire me I assure you did you ever condescend to read the Arabian tales like him whose eyes were touched by the magical application from the Dervis I am enabled at once to see the riches of a new world oh how unlike how superior to that in which I have lived the great world as it is called Lord Culebra brought down a beautiful edition of the Arabian tales looked for the story to which miss Nugent had alluded and showed it to miss Broadhurst who was also searching for it in another volume Leedy clan brownie from her card table saw the young people of thus engaged I professed not to understand these things so well as you say you do my dear mrs. Broadhurst whispered she but look there now they are at their books what do you expect can come of that sort of thing so ill-bred and downright rude of calamba I must give him a hint no no for mercy's sake my dear lady clan brony no hints no hints no remarks what would you have she reading and my lord at the back of her chair leaning over and a loud mind to lean over to read the same thing can't be better never saw any man yet allowed to come so near her now lady clan brony not her word not a look I beseech but if they had a little music my daughter is tired of music how much do I owe your ladyship now three rubbers I think now though you would not believe it of a young girl continued mrs. Broadhurst I can assure your ladyship my daughter would often rather go to a book than a ball well now that's very extraordinary in the style on which she has been brought up yet books and all that are so fashionable now that it's very natural said Lady clan brownie about this time mr. Barrow Lord clambers cambridge friend for whom his lordship had fought the Battle of the Qura coal with Mordechai came to town Lord Columbo introduced him to his mother by whom he was graciously received for mr. barrel was a young gentleman of good figure good address good family heir to a good fortune and in every respect the fit match for miss Nugent lady Conroe and he thought that it would be wise to secure him for her niece before he should make his appearance in the London world where mothers and daughters would soon make him feel his own consequence mr. barrel as Lord clambers intimate friend was admitted to the private evening parties at lady clan bronies and he contributed to render them still more agreeable his information his habits of thinking and his views were all totally different for mr. Salisbury's and their collision continually struck out that sparkling novelty which pleases peculiarly in conversation mr. barrels education disposition and tastes fitted him exactly for the station which he was destined to fill in society that of a country gentleman not meaning by that expression a mere eating drinking hunting shooting ignorant country squire of the old race which is now nearly extinct but a cultivated enlightened independent English country gentleman the happiest perhaps of human beings on the comparative felicity of the town and country life on the dignity utility elegance and interesting nature of their different occupations and general scheme of passing their time mr. Barrow and mr. Salisbury had one evening a playful entertaining and perhaps instructive conversation each party at the end remaining has frequently happens of their own opinion it was observed that miss Broadhurst a Blee and warmly defended mr. barrows side of the question and in their views plans and estimates of life there appeared a remarkable and as Lord calamba thought a happy coincidence when she was at last called upon to give her decisive judgment between a town and the country life she declared that if she were condemned to the extremes of either she should prefer a country life as much as she should prefer Robinson Crusoe's diary to the journal of the idle man in The Spectator Lord bless me mrs. Broadhurst do you hear what your daughter is saying cried lady Khan brownie who from the card-table lent an attentive ear to all that was going forward is it possible that miss brought Hurst with her fortune and pretensions and cents can really be serious in saying she would be content to live in the country what's that you say child about living in the country said mrs. Broadhurst miss Broadhurst repeated what she had said girls always think so who have lived in town said mrs. Broadhurst they are always dreaming of sheep and sheep but the first winter in the country cures them a shepherdess in winter is a sad and sorry sort of personage except at a masquerade calamba said lady clan brony I am sure miss Broadhurst sentiments about town life and all that must delight you for do you know ma'am he is always trying to persuade me to give up living in town calamba and miss Broadhurst perfectly agree mind your cards my dear lady con brony interrupted mrs. Broadhurst in pity to your partner mr. Pratt has certainly the patience of Job your ladyship has revoked twice this hand lady clan granny begged a Thousand pardons fixed her eyes and endeavoured to fix her mind on the cards but there was something said at the other end of the room about an estate in Cambridgeshire which soon distracted her attention again mr. Pratt certainly had the patience of Job she revoked and lost the game though they had for by honors as soon as she rose from the card table and could speak to mrs. Broadhurst apart she communicated her apprehensions seriously my dear madam said she I believe I have been very wrong to admit mr. barrel just now though it was on Greece's account I did it but ma'am I did not know Miss Broadhurst had an estate in Cambridgeshire there two estates just close to one another I heard them say Lord bless me ma'am there's the danger of propinquity indeed no danger no danger persisted mrs. Broadhurst I know my girl better than you do begging your ladyship's pardon no one thinks less of his States than she does well I only know I heard her talking of them and earnestly – yes very likely but don't you know that girls never think of what they are talking about or rather never talk of what they are thinking about and they have always ten times more to say to the man they don't care for than to him they do very extraordinary said lady kaan brownie I only hope you are right I am sure of it said mrs. Broadhurst only let things go on and mind your cards I beseech you tomorrow night better than you did tonight and you will see that things will turn that just as I prophesied Lord kelabra will come to a point-blank proposal before the end of the week and will be accepted or my name's not Broadhurst why in plain English I am clear my girl likes him and when that's the case you know can you doubt how the thing will end missus Broadhurst was perfectly right in every point of her reasoning but one from long habit of seeing and considering that such an heiress as her daughter might marry whom she pleased from constantly seeing that she was the person to decide and to reject mrs. Broadhurst had literally taken it for granted that everything was to depend upon her daughter's inclinations she was not mistaken in the present case in opining that the young lady would not be averse to lord calamba if he came to what she called a point-blank proposal it really never occurred to mrs. Broadhurst that any man whom her daughter was the least inclined to favor could think of anybody else quick-sighted in these affairs as the matron thought herself she saw but one side of the question blind and dole of comprehension as she thought lady kahn droney on this subject she was herself so completely blinded by her own prejudices as to be incapable of discerning the plain thing that was before her eyes videlicet that lord calamba preferred grace Nugent calamba made no proposal before the end of the week but this missus Broadhurst attributed to an unexpected occurrence which prevented things from going on in the train in which they had been proceeding so smoothly sir john barrow mr barrels father was suddenly seized with a dangerous illness the news was brought to mr. Barrow one evening whilst he was athletic on bronys the circumstances of domestic distress which afterwards occurred in the family of his friend entirely occupied Lord Callum burrs time and attention all thoughts of love were suspended and his whole mind was given up to the active services of friendship the sudden illness of Sir John Barrow spread an alarm among his creditors which brought to light at once the disorder of his affairs of which his son had no knowledge or suspicions lady Beryl had been a very expensive woman especially in equipages and Mordecai the coach maker appeared at this time the foremost and the most inexorable of their creditors conscious that the charges in his account were exorbitant and that they would not be allowed if examined by a court of justice that it was a debt which only ignorant and extravagance could have in the first instance incurred swelled afterwards to an amazing amount by interest and interest upon interest Mordecai was impatient to obtain payment whilst Sir John yet lived or at least to obtain legal security for the wholesome from the air mr. Barrow offered his bond for the amount of the reasonable charges in his account but this Mordecai absolutely refused declaring that now he had the power in his own hands he would use it to obtain the utmost penny of his debt that he would not let the thing slip through his fingers that a debtor never yet escaped him and never should that a man's lying upon his deathbed was no excuse to a creditor that he was not a whiff ler to stand upon ceremony about disturbing a gentleman in his last moments that he he was not to be cheated out of his due by such niceties that he was prepared to go all lengths the law would allow for that as to what people said of him he did not care a dirt cover your face with your hands if you like mr. barrel you may be ashamed for me but I feel no shame for myself I am NOT so weak Mordecai's countenance said more than his words livid with malice and with atrocious determination in his eyes he stood yes sir said he you may look at me as you please it is possible I am in earnest consult what you will do now behind my back or before my face it comes to the same thing for nothing will do but my money or your bond mr. barrel the arrest is made on the person of your father luckily meanwhile the breath is still in the body yes start for richest strike me if you dare your father Sir John barrel sick or well is my prisoner lady barrel and mr. barrows sisters in an agony of grief rushed into the room it's all useless cried Martic I turning his back upon the ladies these tricks upon creditors won't do with me I'm used to these scenes and I'm not made of such stuff as you think leave a gentleman in peace in his last moments no he ought not nor shan't die in peace if he don't pay his debts and if you are all so mighty sorry ladies there's the gentlemen you may kneel – if tenderness is the order of the day it's for the son to show it not me I now mr. Barrow cried he as mr. barrel took up the bond to sign it you're beginning to know I'm not a fool to be trifled with stop your hand if you choose it sir it's all the same to me the person or the money I'll carry with me out of this house mr. barrel signed the bond and threw it to him tear monster quit the house monster is not actionable I wish you had called me rascal said Mordecai grinning a horrible smile and taking up the bonds deliberately returned it to mr. Barrow this paper is worth nothing to me sir it is not witnessed mr. barrel hastily left the room and returned with Lord clamber Mordecai changed countenance and grew pale for a moment at sight of Lord calamba well my lord since it so happens I am not sorry that you should be witnessed to this paper said he and indeed not sorry that you should witness the whole proceeding for I trust I shall be able to explain to you my conduct I do not come here sir interrupted Lord caliber to listen to any explanations of your conduct which I perfectly understand I come to witness a bond for my friend mr. barrel if you think proper to extort from him such a bond I extort nothing my lord mr. barrel it is quite a voluntary act take notice on your part sign or not witness or not as you please gentlemen said Mordecai sticking his hands in his pockets and recovering his look of black and fixed determination witness it witness it My dear Lord said Mr Barrow looking at his mother and weeping sister's witness it quick mr. barrel must just run over his name again in your presence my lord with a dry pen said Mordecai putting the pen into mr. barrows hand no sir said Lord calibre my friend shall never sign it as you please my lord the bond or the body before I quit this house said Mordecai neither sir shall you have and you quit this house directly how my lord how's this sir the arrest you have made is as illegal as it is inhuman if legal my lord said Mordecai startled illegal sir I came into this house at the moment when your bailiff asked and was refused admittance afterwards in the confusion of the family above stairs he forced opened the house door with an iron bar I saw him I am ready to give evidence of the fact now proceed at your peril Mordecai without reply snatched up his hat and walked towards the door but Lord Callum burr held the door open the door was immediately at the head of the stairs and Mordecai seeing his indignant look in proud form hesitated to pass for he had always heard that Irishmen are quick in the executive part of Justice pass on sir repeated Lord Callum burr with an air of ineffable contempt I am a gentleman you have nothing to fear Mordecai ran downstairs Lord clamber before he went back into the room waited to see Mordecai answers bailiff out of the house when Mordecai was fairly at the bottom of the stairs he turned and white with rage looked up at Lord clamber charity begins at home My Lord said he look at home you shall pay for this hadith he standing half shielded by the house door for Lord clamber moved forward as he spoke the last words and I give you this warning because I know it will be of no use to you your most obedient my lord the hosts door closed after Mordecai thank heaven thought Lord clamber that I did not horsewhip that mean wretch this warning shall be of use to me but it is not time to think of that yet Lord Callum returned from his own affairs to those of his friend to offer all the assistance and consolation in his power Sir John barrel died that night his daughters who had lived in the highest style in London were left totally unprovided for his widow had mortgaged her joint sure mr. barrel had an estate now left to him but without any income he could not be so dishonest as to refuse to pay his father's just debts he could not let his mother and sisters starve the scene of distress to which Lord clamber was witness in this family made a still greater impression upon him than had been made by the warning or the threats of Mordecai the similarity between the circumstances of his friends family and of his own struck him forcibly all this evil had arisen from Lady barrels passion for living in London and at watering places she had made her husband an absentee an absentee from his home his affairs his duties and his estate the sea the Irish Channel did not indeed flow between him and his estate but it was of little importance whether the separation was affected by land or water the consequences the negligence the extravagance were the same of the few people of his age who are capable of profiting by the experience of others Lord Columbo was one experienced as an elegant writer has observed is an article that may be borrowed with safety and is often dearly bought end of chapter 4 chapter 5 of the absentee by Mariah Edgeworth this LibriVox recording is in the public domain in the mean time lady clan brownie had been occupied with thoughts very different from those which passed in the mind of her son though she had never completely recovered from her rheumatic pains she had become an inordinately impatient of confinement to her own house and weary of those though evenings at home which had in her son's absence become insupportable she told over her visiting tickets regularly twice a day and gave to every card of invitation a heartfelt sigh miss pratt alarmed her ladyship by bringing intelligence of some parties given by persons of consequence to which she was not invited she feared that she should be forgotten in the world well knowing how soon the world forgets those they do not see every day and everywhere how miserable is the fine ladies lot who cannot forget the world and who is forgot by the world in a moment how much more miserable still is the condition of a would-be fine lady working her way up in the world with care and pains by her every the slightest failure of attention from persons of rank and fashion is marked and felt with jealous anxiety and with the sense of mortification the most acute an invitation omitted is a matter of the most serious consequence not only as it regards the present but the future for if she be not invited by lady a it will lower her in the eyes of lady B and of all the ladies of the alphabet it will form a precedent of the most dangerous and inevitable application if she has nine invitations and the tenth be wanting the nine have no power to make her happy this was precisely the Conroe knees case there was to be a party at lady st. james's for which lady clan brony had no card so ungrateful so monstrous of lady st. James what was the gala so soon forgotten and all the marked attentions paid that night to lady st. James attentions you know grant which were looked upon with a jealous eye and made me enemies enough I am told in another quarter of all people I did not expect to be slated by Lady st. James miss Pratt who was ever ready to undertake the defense of any person who had a title pleaded in mitigation of censor that perhaps lady st. James might not be aware that her ladyship was yet well enough to venture out oh my dear Miss Pratt that cannot be the thing for in spite of my rheumatism which really was bad enough last Sunday I went on purpose to the Royal Chapel to show myself in the closet and knelt close to her ladyship and my dear we curtseyed and she congratulated me after church upon my being abroad again and was so happy to see me look so well and all that oh it is something very extraordinary and unaccountable but I dare say a card will come yet said miss Pratt upon this hint lady Kahn baronies Hope revived and staying her anger she began to consider how she could manage to get herself invited refreshing tickets were left next morning at lady st. James's with their corners properly turned up to do the thing better separate tickets for herself and for miss Nugent were left for each member of the family and her civil messages left with the footman extended to the utmost possibility of remainder it had occurred to her ladyship that for miss somebody the companion of whom she had never in her life thought before she had omitted to leave a card last time and she now left a note of explanation she further with her rheumatic head and arm out of the Coach window sat the wind blowing keen upon her explaining to the porter and the footmen to discover whether her former tickets had gone safely up to lady st. James and on the present occasion to make assurance doubly sure she slid handsome expedition money into the servants hand sir you will be sure to remember oh certainly your ladyship she well knew what dire offence has frequently been taken what said disasters have occurred in the fashionable world from the neglect of a porter in delivering or of a footman in carrying up one of those talismanic cards but in spite of all her manoeuvres no invitation to the party arrived next day Pratt was next set to work miss Pratt was a most convenient go-between who in consequence of doing a thousand little services to which few others of her rank and life would stoop had obtained the entree to a number of great houses and was behind the scenes in many fashionable families Pratt could find out and Pratt could hint and Pratt could manage to get things done cleverly and hints were given in all directions to work ground to lady st. James but still they did not take effect at last Pratt suggested that perhaps though everything else had failed dried salmon might be tried with success lady khan granny had just had some uncommon ly good from Ireland which Pratt knew lady st. James would like to have at her supper because a certain person in whom she would not name was particularly fond of it wheel with in wheel in the fine world as well as in the political world bribes for all occasions and for all ranks the timely present was sent accepted with many thanks and understood as it was meant per favor of this propitiatory offering and of a promise of half a dozen pair of real Limerick gloves to miss Pratt a promise which Pratt clearly comprehended to be a conditional promise the grand object was at length accomplished the very day before the party was to take place came cards of invitation to lady come granny and to miss Nugent with lady st. James's apologies her ladyship was concerned to find that by some negligence of her servants these cards were not sent in proper time how slight an apology will do from some people thought miss Nugent how eager to forgive when it is for our interest or our pleasure how well people act the being deceived even when all parties know that they see the whole truth and and how low pride will stoop to gain its object ashamed of the whole transaction miss Nugent earnestly wished that a refusal should be sent and reminded her hand off her rheumatism but rheumatism and all other objections were overruled Lady Klan groan II would go it was just when this affair was thus in her opinion successfully settled that Lord clamber came in with a countenance of unusual seriousness his mind full of The Melancholy scenes he had witnessed in his friends family what is the matter clamber he related what had passed he described the brutal conduct of Mordecai the anguish of the mother and sisters the distress of mr. barrel tears rolled down miss Nugent's cheeks lady clan grown a declared it was very shocking listened with attention to all the particulars but never failed to correct her son whenever he said mr. Barrow Sir Arthur barrel you mean she was however really touched with compassion when he spoke of Lady barrels destitute condition and her son was going on to repeat what Mordecai had said to him but lady clan crony interrupted oh my dear Kalama don't repeat that detestable man's impertinent speeches to me if there is anything really about business speak to your father any rate don't tell us of it now because I have a hundred things to do said her ladyship hurrying out of the room grace grace Nugent I want you Lord Callum resides deeply don't despair said miss Nugent as she followed to obey her hence summons don't despair don't attempt to speak to her again till tomorrow morning her head is now full of Lady st. James's party when it is emptied of that you will have a better chance never despair never while you encouraged me to hope that any good can be done lady clown brownie was particularly glad but she had carried her point about this party at lady st. James's because from the first private intimation that the Duchess of tour castor was to be there her ladyship flattered herself that the long desired introduction might then be accomplished but of this hope lady st. James had likewise received information from the double-dealing miss Pratt and a warning note was dispatched to the Duchess to let her grace know that circumstances had occurred which had rendered it impossible not to ask the culantro knees an excuse of course for not going to this party was sent by the Duchess her grace did not like large parties she would have the pleasure of accepting lady st. James's invitation for her select party on Wednesday of the tenth into these select parties Lady Anne brownie had never been admitted in return for her great entertainments she was invited to great entertainments to large parties but farther she could never penetrate at lady st. James's aunt with her set lady clown brownie suffered a different kind of mortification from that which Lady Langdale and mrs. devil made her injurer she was safe from the witty raillery the sly innuendo the insolent mimicry but she was kept at a cold impassable distance by ceremony so far shalt thou go and no further was expressed in air look in every word and in a thousand different ways by the most punctilious respect and nice regard to presidency even by words of courtesy your ladyship does me honor etc ladies st. James contrived to mortify and to mark the difference between those with whom she was and with whom she was not upon terms of intimacy and equality thus the ancient Grandy's of Spain drew a line of demarcation between themselves and the newly created nobility whenever or wherever they met they treated the new Nobles with the utmost respect never addressed them but with all their titles with low boughs and with all the appearance of being with the most perfect consideration anything but their equals whilst towards one another the grand ease laid aside their state and omitting their titles it was Alcala Medina Sidonia invented oh and a freedom and familiarity which marked equality entrenched in etiquette in this manner and mocked with marks of respect it was impossible either to intrude or to complain of being excluded at supper at lady st. James's lady clan bronies present was pronounced by some gentlemen to be remarkably high flavored this observation turned the conversation to Irish commodities and Ireland lady clown brownie possessed by the idea that it was disadvantageous to appear as an Irish woman or as a favour of Ireland began to be embarrassed by lady st. James's repeated thanks head had been in her power to offer anything else with propriety she would not have thought of sending her ladyship anything from Ireland vexed by the questions that were asked her about her country lady clan brownie as usual denied it to be her country and went on to depreciate and to be use everything Irish to declare that there was no possibility of living in Ireland and that for her own part she was resolved never to return thither ladies st. James preserving perfect silence let her go on lady tan brownie imagining that this silence arose from coincidence of opinion proceeded with all the eloquence she possessed which was very little repeating the same exclamations and reiterating her vow of Perpetual expatriation till at last an elderly lady who was a stranger to her and whom she had till this moment scarcely noticed took up the defense of Ireland with much warmth and energy the eloquence with which she spoke and the respect with which she was heard astonished lady Quon brownie who is she whispered her ladyship does not your ladyship no lady Oran more the Irish lady or Anne Moore Lord bless me what have I said what have I done oh why did you not give me a hint lady st. James I was not aware that your ladyship was not acquainted with Lady Oran Mar replied Liddy st. James unmoved by her distress everybody sympathized with lady or and more and admired the honest zeal with which she abided by her country and defended it against unjust aspersions and affected execrations everyone present enjoy Lady Khan bronies confusion except miss Nugent who sat with her eyes bowed down by penetrative shame during the whole of the scene she was glad that Lord clamber was not witnessed to it and comforted herself with the hope that upon the whole Lady clan brownie would be benefited by the pain she had felt this instance might convince her that it was not necessary to deny her country to be received in any company in England and that those who have the courage and steadiness to be themselves and to support what they feel and believe to be the truth must command respect miss Nugent hoped that in consequence of this conviction Lady Klan brownie would lay aside the little affectations by her manners were painfully constrained and ridiculous and above all she hoped that what lady Oren Marr had said of Ireland might dispose her aunt to listen with patients to all Lord calamba might urge in favour of returning to her home but miss Nugent hoped in vain lady fan brony never in her life generalized any observations or drew any but a partial conclusion from the most striking facts Lord my dear grace said she as soon as they were seated in their carriage what a scrape I got into tonight at supper and what disgrace I came to and all this because I did not know Lady Oran more now you see the inconceivable disadvantage of not knowing everybody everybody of a certain rank of course I mean miss Nugent endeavoured to slide in her own moral on the occasion but it would not do yes my dear Lady Oran more may talk in that kind of style of Ireland because on the other hand she is so highly connected in England and besides she is an old lady and may take liberties in short she is lady or and more and that's enough the next morning when they all met at breakfast lady clan Bruni complained bitterly of her increased rheumatism of the disagreeable stupid party they had had the preceding night and of the necessity of going to another formal party that night the next and the next and in the true fine lady style deplored her situation and the impossibility of avoiding those things which felt they curse yet covet still to feel miss Nugent determined to retire as soon as she could from the breakfast room to leave Lord Kalama an opportunity of talking over his family affairs at full liberty she knew by the seriousness of his countenance that his mind was intent upon doing so and she hoped that his influence with his father and mother would not be exerted in vain but just as she was rising from the breakfast table in came sir Taryn Sophie and seating himself quite at his ease in spite of Leedy clan bronies repulsive looks his awe of Lord calamba having now worn off I'm tired said he and have a right to be tired for it's no small walk I've taken for the good of this noble family this morning and miss Nugent before I say more I'll take a cup of coffe from you if you please lady can brownie rows with great stateliness and walked to the farthest end of the room where she established herself at her writing table and began to write notes sir Terrence wiped his forehead deliberately the knife had a fine run miss Nugent I believe you never saw any run but oh I can run I promise you when it's – sir of a friend and my lord turning to learn plan brownie what do you think I run for this morning to buy a bargain and of what a bargain of a bad debt a debt of yours which I bargained for and up just in time and Mordecai's ready to hang himself this minute for what do you think but that rascal was bringing upon you but an execution he was an execution repeated everybody present except Lord clamber and how has this been prevented sir said Lord clamber oh let me alone for that said sir Terrance well I got a hint from my little friend paddy Brady who would not be paid for it either though he's as poor as a rat well as soon as I got the hint I dropped the ting I had in my hand which was the Dublin evenin and ran for the bear life for there wasn't a coach in my slippers as I was to get into the prior creditors choose who is the little solicitor that lives in crushed friars which Mordecai never dreamt of luckily so he was very genteel though he was taken on a sudden and from his breakfast which an Englishman don't like particularly by party Emma deuce heir of a draft at 31 days on Garrety the agent of which he must get notice but I won't this can't on the law before the ladies he handed me over his debt and execution and he me prior creditor in a choice then I took Cochin state the first I met and away with me to Long Acre saw Mordechai sir so sorry I hear you're meditating an execution on a friend of mine am i said the rascal who told you so no matter said I but I just called in to let you know there's no use in life of your execution for there's a prior creditor with his execution to be satisfied first so he made a great many black faces and said a great deal which I never listened to but came off here clean to tell you all the story not one word of which do I understand said lady pan brownie then my dear you are very ungrateful said Lord fun brownie Lord Colombo said nothing for he wished to learn more of certain so phase character of the state of his father's affairs and of the family methods of proceeding in matters of business faith Terry I know I'm very thankful to you but an executions an ugly thing and I hope there's no danger never fear said Sir Terence haven't I been at my wits ends for myself for my friends ever since I come to man's estate two years of discretion I should say for the deuce a foot of a state have i but use has shortened my wits pretty well for your service so never be in dread my good Lord for look he cried the reckless night sticking his arms akimbo lookee here in sir Terrance wolf a stands a host that desires no better than to encounter single wit had all the Duns in the United Kingdom's Mordecai the Jew inclusive yeah that's the devil that Mordecai Sid lurked on brownie that's the only man on earth I dread why he is only a coach maker is not he said lady con brawny I can't think how you can talk my lord of dreading such a low man tell him if he's troublesome we won't be speak any more carriages and I'm sure I wish you would not be so silly my lord to employ him any more when you know he disappointed me the last birthday about the Landau which I have not got yet nonsense my dear said 'lord clan brony you don't know what you're talking of Perry I say even a friendly execution is an ugly thing fufu an ugly ting so is a fit of the goat but ones all the better for it after it is just a renewal of life my lord for which one must pay a bit of a fine you know thick patience and leave me to manage all properly you know I'm used to these things only you recollect if you please how I managed my friend Lord it's bad to be mentioned in names but Lord everybody knows who didn't I bring him through cleverly when there was that rascally attempt to seize the family plate he had noticed and what did I do but broke open a partition between that Lord's house and my lodgings which I had taken next door and so when the sheriff's officers were searching below on the ground floor I just shoved the plate easy true to my bedchamber at a moment's warning and then bid the gentlemen walk in for they couldn't set a foot in my paradise The Devil's so they stood looking at him to the wall and cursed me and I holden both my slides with laughter at their fallen faces sir Terrance and Lord clung brunet left in concert this is a good story said miss Nugent smiling but surely sir Terrance such things are never done in real life done oh hey are they and I could tell you a hundred better strokes my dear miss Nugent grease cried lady Klan brony do pray have the goodness to seal and send these notes for really whispered she as her niece came to the table I can't see I can't bear that man his voice his accent grows horrid her and horrid er her ladyship rose and left the rim boy then continued sir Terrance following up mr. gent to the table where she was sealing letters I must tell you how I served that same man on another occasion and got the victory too no general officer could talk of his victories or fight his battles or again with more complacency of answer Terran Sophie recounted his civil exploits now I'll tell miss Nugent there was a footman in the family not nourishment but one of your powdered English scoundrels the ladies are so fond of heaven hangin to the backs of their carriages when Fleming he was that turned spy and traitor and informer went privately and gave notice to the creditors where the plate was hid in the thickness of the chimney but if he did what happened why I had my counter spy an honest little Irish boy in the creditors shop that I had secured with a little deuce air of a squib ah and he outwitted as was natural the English lion valet and gave us noticed just in the neck and I got ready for their reception and mr. Nugent I only wish you'd seen the excellent sport we had letting them follow the scent they got and when they were sure of their game what did they find dragged out after a world of labour a heavy box of a load of brick Bats not an item of my friends plate that was all snug in the coal hole where them dances never thought of looking for it but come Terry cried lurked on brownie now pull down your pride how finally another time your job of the false ceiling answered in the hall I've heard that story and have been told how the sheriff's fellow thrust his bayonet up through your false plaster and down came tumbling the family plate hey Terry that hit cost your friends Lord everybody knows who more than your head's worth Terry oh yes your pardon my lord it never cost him a farthing when he pays seven thousand pounds for the plate to redeem it well and did not make up for that at the races of blank the creditors learned that my Lords horse Nabal Krish was to run at blank races and as a sheriff's officer knew he dare not touch him on the race ground what does he do but he comes down early in the mornin on the male coach and walks straight down to the livery stables he had an exact gription of the stables and the star and the horse's body clothes oh it was there seeing the horse taken care of and knowing the cut of the fellows jib what does I do but whips the body clothes off NABBA clutch and collapse them upon Agra room that the priest would not ride n comes the bailiff good morrow to you sir says oi leaden out of the stable my Lords horse with an old saddle and bridle on Tim Neil says way to the groom who was rubbin down the Garonne seals minder hits today and we wet the plate tonight not so fast neither he says the bailiff here's my writ for season the horse walk says aye you wouldn't be so cruel that's all my eye says he seasoned the Garonne while I mounted nabek leash and rode him off deliberately – that was neat I grant you Terry said Lord Klan brownie but what a dolt of a born ignorant as must that sheriffs fellow have been not to know nabek leche when he saw him but stay my lord stay miss Nugent I have more for you following her wherever she moved I did not let him also even at the can i bid and bid against them for the pretended snapper Krish til I left him on their hands for 500 guineas hahaha was not that famous but said miss Nugent I cannot believe you are in earnest sir Terrance surely this would be what out with it My dear Miss Nugent I am afraid of offending you you can't my dear I defy you say the word that came to the tongues and it's always the best I was going to say swindling said the young lady colouring deeply oh you was going to say wrong then it's not called swindlin amongst gentlemen who know the world it's only chalk Ian fine sport and very honourable to help a friend that had dead left anything to get a friend out of a present present difficulty and when the present difficulty is over do your friends never think of the future the future leave the future to posterity said sir Terrence I am counsel only for the present and when the evil comes it's time enough to think of it I can't bring the guns of my wits to bear till the enemy's alongside of me or within sight of me at the least besides there never was a good commander yet by sea or land that would tell his little expedience beforehand or before the very day of battle it must be a sad thing said miss Nugent sighing deeply to be reduced to live by little expedience the expedience Lord Callum her struck his forehead but said nothing but if you are beaten your brains about your own affairs my Lord calamba My dear said sir Terrence there's an easy way of settling your family affairs at once and since you don't like little daily expedience miss Nugent there's one great expedient and inexpedient for life that will settle it all to your satisfaction and ours I hinted it delicately to you before but between friends delicacy is impertinent so I tell you in plain English you've nothing to do but go and propose yourself just as you stand to the heiress miss Bea that desires no better sir cried Lord clamber stepping forward red with sudden anger miss Nugent laid her hand upon his arm oh my lord sir Terrance oaf a continued Lord calibre in a moderated tone you are wrong to mention that young lady's name in such a manner why then I said only miss Bea and there are a whole hive of bees but royal engaged she thanked me for what I suggested and think herself the queen bee of my expedient was adopted by you sir Terrance said his lordship smiling if my father thinks proper that you should manage his affairs and devise expedients for him I have nothing to say on that point but I must beg you will not trouble yourself to suggest expedience for me and that you will have the goodness to eat me to settle my own affairs sir Terrance made it low bow and was silent for five seconds then turning to Lord Clan Bruin he who looked much more bashed than he did why the wise one my good lord I believe there are some men noblemen too that don't know their friends from their enemies it's my firm persuasion now that if I had served you as I served my friend I was talking of your son there would ten-to-one think I had done him an injury by saving the family plate I certainly should sir the family plate sir is not the first object in my mind replied lord calamba family honor name is Nugent I must speak continued his lordship perceiving by her countenance that she was alarmed never fear mr. Jones dear said sir Terrance I am as cool as a cucumber faith then my lord clamber I agree with you that family honors a mighty fine thing only troublesome to oneself and one's friends and expensive to keep up with all the other expenses and debts of gentleman has nowadays so I that him under no natural obligations to it by birth or otherwise have just stood by true-life and asked myself before I would volunteer being bound to it what could the same family honour do for a man in this world and first and foremost I never remembered to see family honour stand a man in much stead in a court of law never saw family honour stand against an execution or a custodian or an injunction even to zurer tang this same family honor and a very fine thing but I never knew it yet at a pinch pay for a pair of boots even added sir Terrance drawing up his own with much complacency at this moment sir Terrance was called out of the room by one who wanted to speak to him on particular business my dear father and cried lord clamored do not follow him stay for one moment and hear your son your true friend mr. Nugent went out of the room that she might leave the father and son at liberty here your natural friend for one moment cried Lord calamba let me beseech you father not to have recourse to any of these paltry expedients but trust your son with the state of your affairs and we shall find some honorable means yes yes yes very true when you're of age calamba will talk of it but nothing can be done till then we shall get on we shall get through very well till then with Terry's assistance and I must beg you will not say a word more against Terry I can't bear it I can't hear it I can't do without him pray don't detain me I can say no more except edit he returning to his usual concluding sentence that there need at all offense be none of this if people would but live upon their own estates and kill their own mutton he stole out of the room glad to escape however Shapley from present explanation and present pain there are persons without resource who in difficulties returned always to the same point and usually to the same words while lord calamba was walking up and down the room much vexed and disappointed at finding that he could make no impression on his father's mind nor obtain his confidence as to his family affairs lady clan bronies woman mrs. Patito knocked at the door with a message from her lady to beg he if Lord kilometre was by himself he would go to her dressing room as she wished to have a conference with him he obeyed her summons sit down my dear clamber and she began precisely with her old sentence with the fortune I brought your father and with my Lords estate I can't understand the meaning of all these pecuniary difficulties and all that strange creature sir Terrance says is algebra to me who speak English and I am particularly sorry he was let in this morning but he's such a brute that he does not think anything of forcing one's door and he tells my footman he does not mind not at home a pinch of snuff now what can you do with a man who would say that sort of thing you know the world's at an end I wish my father had nothing to do with him ma'am as much as you can wish it said Lord calamba but I have said all that a son can with propriety say and without effect what particularly provokes me against him continued lady Cahn brownie is what I have just heard from grace who was really hurt by a two-for she is the warmest friend in the world i allude to the creatures in delicate way of touching upon a tender pint and mentioning an amiable young heiresses name my dear clamber I trust you have given me credit for my inviolable silence all this time upon the pint nearest my heart I am rejoiced to hear you were so warm when she was mentioned inadvertently by that brute and I trust you now see the advantages of the projected union in as strong and agreeable a point of view as I do my own calamba and I should leave things to themselves and let you prolong the Dees of courtship as you please only for what I now hear incidentally from my Lord and the brute about pecuniary embarrassments and the necessity of something being done before next winter and indeed I think now in propriety the proposal cannot be delayed much longer for the world begins to talk of the thing as done and even mrs. Broadhurst I know had no doubt that is this contract all about the poor barrels have not occurred your proposal would have been made before the end of last week our hero was not a man to make a proposal because mrs. Broadhurst expected it or to marry because the world said he was going to be married he steadily said that from the first moment the subject had been mentioned he had explained himself distinctly that the young lady's friends could not therefore be under any doubt as to his intentions that if they had voluntarily deceived themselves or exposed the lady in situations from which the world was led to make false conclusions he was not answerable he felt his conscience at ease entirely so as he was convinced that the young lady herself for whose merit talents and dependence and generosity of character he professed high respect esteem and admiration had no doubts either of the extent or the nature of his regard regard respect esteem admiration why my dearest clamber this is saying all I want satisfies me and I am sure would satisfy mrs. Broadhurst and miss Broadhurst do no doubt it will ma'am but not if I aspired to the honor of miss brought Hurst's hand or professed myself her lover My dear you are mistaken miss Broadhurst is too sensible a girl a vast deal to look for love and a dying lover and all that sort of stuff I am persuaded indeed I have it from good from the best authority that the young lady you know one must be delicate in these cases where a young lady of such fortune and no despicable family too is concerned therefore I cannot speak quite plainly but I say I have it from the best authority that you would be preferred to any other suitor and in short that I beg your pardon madam for interrupting you cried Lord calamba colouring a good deal but you must excuse me if I say that the only Authority on which I could believe this is one from which I am morally certain I shall never hear it from Miss Broadhurst herself Lord child if you would only ask her the question she would tell you it is truth I dare say but as I have no curiosity on the subject ma'am Lord bless me I thought everybody had curiosity but still without curiosity I am sure it would gratify you when you did hear it and can't you just put the simple question impossible impossible now that is so very provoking when the thing is all but done well take your own time all I will ask of you then is to let things go on as they are going smoothly and pleasantly and I'll not press you farther on the subject at present let things go on smoothly that's all I ask and say nothing I wish I could oblige you mother but I cannot do this since you tell me that the world and miss Broadhurst friends have already misunderstood my intentions it becomes necessary injustice to the young lady and to myself that I should make all further do't impossible I shall therefore put an end to it at once by leaving town tomorrow lady pan brownie breathless for a moment with surprise exclaimed bless me leave town tomorrow just at the beginning of the season impossible I never saw such a precipitate rash young man but stay only a few weeks Kalama the physicians advised buckston for my rheumatism and you shall take us to Buxton early in the season you cannot refuse me that why if Miss Broadhurst was a dragon you could not be in a greater hurry to run away from her what are you afraid of of doing what is wrong the only thing I trusted which I shall never be afraid lady Kwan brownie tried persuasion and argument such argument as she could use but all in vain Lord Callum burr was firm in his resolution at last she came to tears and her son in much agitation said I cannot bear this mother I would do anything you ask that I could do with honor but this is impossible why impossible I will take all blame upon myself and you are sure that Miss Broadhurst does not misunderstand you and you esteem her and admire her and all that and all I ask is that you'll go on as you are and see more of her and how do you know but you may fall in love with her as you call it tomorrow because madam since you press me so far my affections are engaged to another person do not look so dreadfully shocked My dear mother I have told you truly that I think myself too young much too young yet to marry in the circumstances in which I know my family are it is probable that I shall not for some years be able to marry as I wish you may depend upon it that I shall not take any step I shall not even declare my attachment to the object of my affection without your knowledge and far from being inclined to follow headlong my own passions strong as they are be assured that the honor of my family your happiness my mother my father's are my first objects I shall never think of my own till these are secured of the conclusion of this speech lady clan Rani heard only the sound of the words from the moment her son had pronounced that his affections were engaged she had been running over in her head every probable and improbable person she could think of at last suddenly starting up she opened one of the folding doors into the next apartment and called grace grace Nugent put down your pencil grace this minute and come here miss Nugent obeyed with her usual alacrity and the moment she entered the room they decline brownie fixing her eyes full upon her said there's your cousin clamber tells me his affection are engaged yes Toomas Broadhurst no doubt said miss nugent smiling with a simplicity and openness of countenance which assured lady clan brony that all was safe in that quarter a suspicion which had darted into her mind was dispelled no doubt died do you hear that no doubt calamba grace you see has no doubt nobody has any doubt but yourself calamba and are your affections engaged and not to miss Broadhurst said miss nugent approaching lord calamba there now you see how you surprise and disappoint everybody calamba I am sorry that miss nugent should be disappointed said Lord clamber but because I am disappointed pray do you not call me miss nugent or turn away from me as if you were displeased it must then be some cambridgeshire lady said lady calm brony I am sure I am very sorry he ever went to Cambridge Oxford I advised one of the Miss barrels I presume who have nothing I have nothing more to do with those barrels there was the reason of the sun's vast intimacy grace you may give up all thoughts of Sir Arthur I have no thoughts to give up ma'am said Miss Nugent smiling miss Broadhurst continued she going on eagerly with what she was saying to Lord clamber miss Broadhurst is my friend a friend I love and admire but you will allow that I strictly kept my promise never to praise her to you till you should begin to praise her to me now recollect last night you did praise her to me so justly that I thought you liked her I confess so that it is natural I should feel a little disappointed now you know the whole of my mind I have no intention to encroach on your confidence therefore there is no occasion to look so embarrassed I give you my word I will never speak to you again upon the subject said she holding out her hand to him provided you will never again call me miss Nugent am I not your own cousin grace do not be displeased with her you are of my own dear cousin grace and nothing can be farther from my mind than any thought of being displeased with her especially just at this moment when I'm going away probably for a considerable time away when where tomorrow morning for Ireland Ireland of all places cried lady con brawny what upon earth puts it into your head to go to Ireland you do very well to go out of the way of falling in love ridiculously since that is the reason of your going but what put Ireland into your head child I will not presume to ask my mother what put Ireland out of her head said Lord calamba smiling but she will recollect that it is my native country that was your father's fault not mine said lady Cahn brownie for I wished to have been confined in England but he would have it to say that his son and heir was born at clan brownie Castle and there was a great argument between him and my uncle and something about the Prince of Wales and carne Arvin castle was thrown in and that turned the scale much against my will for it was my wish that my son should be an Englishman born like myself but after all I don't see that having the misfortune to be born in a country should tie one to it in any sort of way and I should have hoped your English education Kalama would have given you two liberal ideas for that so I really don't see why you should go to Ireland merely because it's your native country not merely because it is my native country but I wish to go thither I desire to become acquainted with it because it is the country in which my father's property lies and from which we draw our subsistence subsistence Lord best me what a word fit her for a popper than a nobleman subsistence then if you are going to look after your father's property I hope you will make the agents do their duty and send us remittances and pray how long do you mean to stay till I am of age madam if you have no objection I will spend the ensuing months in travelling in Ireland and I will return here by the time I am of age unless you and my father should before that time be in Ireland not the least chance of that if I can prevent it and I promise you said lead upon brownie lured clamber and miss Nugent signed and I am sure I shall take it very unkindly of yukl amber if you go and turn out a partisan for Ireland after all Lake grace Nugent the partisan no I hope not a partisan but a friend said miss Nugent nonsense child I hate to hear people women especially and young ladies particularly talk of being friends to this country or that country what can they know about countries better think of being friends to themselves and friends to their friends I was wrong said miss Nugent to call myself a friend to Ireland I meant to say that Ireland had been a friend to me that I found Irish friends when I had no other an Irish home when I had no other that my earliest and happiest years under your kind care had been spent there and that I can never forget that my dear aunt I hope you do not wish that I should heaven forbid my sweet grace said lady pan brownie touched by her voice and manner heaven forbid I don't wish you to do or be anything but what you are for I am convinced there's nothing I could ask you would not do for me and I can tell you there's few things you could ask love I would not do for you a wish was instantly expressed in the eyes of her niece lady clan brownie though not usually quick at interpreting the wishes of others understood and answered before she ventured to make her request in words ask anything but that grace returned to clan brownie while I am able to live in London that I never can or will do for you or anybody looking at her son in all the pride of obstinacy so there is an end of the matter go you where you please clamber and I shall stay where I please I suppose as your mother I have a right to say this much her son with the utmost respect assured her that he had no design to infringe upon her undoubted Liberty of judging for herself that he had never interfered except so far as to tell her circumstances of her affairs with which she seemed to be totally unacquainted and of which it might be dangerous to her to continue in ignorance don't talk to me about Affairs cried she drawing her hand away from her son talk to my lord or my Lords agents since you are going to Ireland about business I know nothing about business but this I know I shall stay in England and be in London every season as long as I can afford it and when I cannot afford to live here and I hope I shall not live anywhere that's my notion of life and that's my determination once for all for if none of the rest of the clan Bruni family have any I thank heaven I have some spirit saying this with her most stately manner she walked out of the room Lord : Berg instantly followed her for after the resolution and the promise he had made he did not dare to trust himself at this moment with miss Nugent there was to be a concert this night at lady con grones at which mrs. and Miss Broadhurst were of course expected that they might not be quite unprepared for the event of her son's going to Ireland Lady clan brony wrote a note to mrs. Broadhurst begging her to come half an hour earlier than the time mentioned in the cards that she might talk over something particular that had just occurred what passed at this cabinet council as it seems to have had no immediate influence on affairs we need not record suffice it to observe that a great deal was said and nothing done miss Broadhurst however was not a young lady who could be easily deceived even where her passions were concerned the moment her mother told her of Lord Columbus intended departure she saw the whole truth she had a strong mind was capable of drawing aside at once the curtain of self-delusion and looking steadily at the skeleton of truth she had a generous perhaps because a strong mind for surrounded as she had been from her childhood by every means of self indulgence which wealth and flattery could bestow she had discovered early what few persons in her situation discovered till late in life that selfish gratifications may render us incapable of other happiness but can never of themselves make us happy despising flatterers she had determined to make herself friends to make them in the only possible way by deserving them her father made his immense fortune by the power and habit of constant bold and just calculation the power and habit which she had learned from him she applied on a far larger scale with him it was confined to speculations for the acquisition of money with her it extended to the attainment of happiness he was calculating and mercenary she was estimative and generous miss Nugent was dressing for the concert or rather was sitting half dressed before her glass reflecting when Miss Broadhurst came into her room miss Nugent immediately sent her maid out of the room Greece said miss Broadhurst looking at grace with an air of open deliberate composure you and I are thinking of the same thing of the same person yes of Lord Callum burr said miss Nugent ingenuously and sorrowfully then I can put your mind at ease at once my dear friend by assuring you that I shall think of him no more that I have thought of him I do not deny I have thought that if not withstanding the difference in our ages and other differences he had preferred me I should have preferred him to any person who has ever yet addressed me on our first acquaintance I clearly saw that he was not disposed to pay court to my fortune that I had also then coolness of judgment sufficient to perceive that it was not probable he should fall in love with my person but I was too proud in my humility too strong in my honesty too brave too ignorant in short I knew nothing of the matter we are all of us more or less subject to the delusions of vanity or hope or love I even I who thought myself so clear-sighted did not know how with one flutter of his wings Cupid can set the whole atmosphere in motion changed the proportion size color value of every object lead us into a mirage and leave us in a dismal desert my dearest friend said miss Nugent in a tone of true sympathy but none but a coward or a fool would sit down in the desert and weep instead of trying to make his way back before the storm rises obliterates the track and overwhelms everything poetry apart my dear grace you may be assured that I shall think no more of Lord clamber and believe you are right but I am sorry very sorry it must be so Oh spare me your sorrow my sorrow is for Lord calamba said miss Nugent where will he find such a wife not in Miss Beryl I am sure pretty as she is a mere fine lady is it possible that Lord Callum birth Lord Callum burr should prefer such a girl Lord clamour miss Broadhurst looked at her friend as she spoke and saw truth in her eyes saw that she had no suspicion that she was herself the person beloved tell me Crais are you sorry that Lord calamba is going away no I am glad I was sorry when I first heard it but now I am glad very glad it may save him from a marriage unworthy of him restore him to himself and reserve him for the only woman I ever saw who is suited to him who is equal to him who would value and love him as he deserves to be valued and loved stop My dear if you mean me I am NOT and I never can be that woman therefore as you are my friend and wish my happiness as I sincerely believe you do never I conjure you present such an idea before my mind again it is out of my mind I hope forever it is important to me that you should know and believe this at least I will preserve my friends now let this subject never be mentioned or alluded to a king between us my dear we have subjects enough of conversation we need not have recourse to pernicious sentimental gossiping 'he's there is a great difference between wanting a confidante and treating a friend with confidence my confidence you possess all that ought all it is to be known of my mind you know and now I will leave you in peace to dress for the concert oh don't go you don't interrupt me I shall be dressed in a few minutes stay with me and you may be assured that neither now or at any other time shall I ever speak to you on the subject you desire me to avoid I entirely agree with you about confidence and sentimental gossiping I love you for not loving them a thundering knock at the door announced the arrival of company think no more of love but as much as you please of friendship dress yourself as fast as you can said Miss Broadhurst dress dress is the order of the day order of the day hand order of the night and all four people I don't care for in the Beast said grace so life passes dear me miss Nugent cried poquito lady kaan bronies woman coming in with a face of alarm not dressed yet my lady has gone down and misses Broadhurst and my lady Pocock's come and the Honorable mrs. tremble 'im and signor the Italian singing gentleman has been walking up and down the apartments there by himself disconsolate this half hour and I wondering all the time nobody rang for me but my lady dressed lord knows how without anybody Oh merciful miss Nugent if you could stand still for one single particle of a second so then I thought of stepping into miss Nugent for the young ladies are talking so fast says i to myself at the door they will never know how time goes unless I give in my hint but now my lady is below there's no need to be sure to be nervous so we may take the thing quietly without being enough lustrum dear ladies is not this now a very sudden motion of our young lords for Ireland what a mercy miss Nugent I'm sure your motions is sudden enough and your dress behind is all I'm sure I can't tell how oh never mind said the young lady escaping from her it will do very well thank you Patito it will do very well never mind repeated Patito muttering to herself as she looked after the ladies whilst they ran downstairs I can't abide to dress in a young lady who says never mind and it will do very well that and her never talking to one confidentially or trusting one with the least bit of her secrets is the thing I can't put up with from miss Nugent and Miss Broadhurst holding the pins to me as much as to say do your business petite oh and don't talk now that's so impertinent as if one wasn't the same flesh and blood and had not as good a right to talk of everything and hear of everything as themselves and mrs. Broadhurst to cabinet counseling with my lady and person up her City mouth when I come in and turning off the discourse to snuff forsooth as if I was an ignorant to think they closeted themselves to talk of snuff now I think a lady of qualities woman has as good a right to be trusted with her lady's secrets as with her jewels and if my lady can brownie was a real lady of quality she'd know that and consider the one as much my paraphernalia as the other so I shall tell my lady tonight as I always do when she fixes me that I never lived in an Irish family before and don't know the ways of it then she'll tell me she was born in Oxford sure then I shall say with my saucy look Oh was you my lady I always forget that you was an English woman then maybe she'll say forget you forget yourself strangely Patito then I shall say with a great deal of dignity if your ladyship think so milady I'd better go and I desire no better than that she would take me at my word for milady – farts is a much better place I'm told and she's dying to have me I know and having formed this resolution Patito concluded her apparently interminable soliloquy and went with my Lords gentlemen into the antechamber to hear the concert and give her judgment on everything as she peeped in through the vista of heads into the Apollo saloon for tonight the Alhambra was transformed into the Apollo saloon she saw that whilst the company ranked behind rank in clothes semicircles had crowded round the performers to hear a favorite singer miss Broadhurst and Lord Callum burr were standing in the outer semicircle talking to one another earnestly now would Patito have given up her reversionary chance of the three nearly new gowns she expected from Lady Kwan brownie in case she stayed or in case she went the reversionary chance of any dress of Lady dashboards except her scarlet velvet merely to hear what miss Broadhurst and Lord collabora were saying alas she could only see their lips move and of what they were talking whether of music or love and whether the match was to be on or off she could only conjecture but the diplomatic style having now descended to waiting maids mrs. potato talked to her friends in the antechamber with as mysterious and consequential and hair and tone as a chargee d'affaires or as the lady of a chargee d'affaires could have assumed she spoke of her private belief of the impression left upon her mind and her confidential reasons for thinking as she did of her having had it from the fountains head and of her fear of any committal of her authorities notwithstanding all these authorities Lord Callum her left London next day and pursued his way to Ireland determined that he would see and judge of that country for himself and decide whether his mother's dislike to residing there was founded on Caprice or reasonable causes in the meantime it was reported in London that his lordship was gone to Ireland to make out the title to some estate which would be necessary for his marriage settlement with the great heiress Miss Broadhurst whether mrs. Patito or certain sophie had the greater share in raising and spreading this report it would be difficult to determine but it is certain however or by whomsoever raised it was most useful to Lourdes clan brownie by keeping his creditors quiet end of chapter 5

2 thoughts on “Absentee | Maria Edgeworth | Literary Fiction, Published 1800 -1900 | English | 2/7

  1. Absentee | Maria Edgeworth | Literary Fiction, Published 1800 -1900 | English | 2/7

    Parts of this video:

    Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YG4pJg5QiEo

    Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NcEsbPBy0Mg (this video)

    Part 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWsPB67z9tw

    Part 4: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_OAfWkodoPU

    Part 5: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=___EBc2AuZU

    Part 6: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePQquUhgLMg

    Part 7: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DCMLzzpke30

  2. Absentee | Maria Edgeworth | Literary Fiction, Published 1800 -1900 | English | 2/7

    4: [00:00:00] – Chapter 4

    5: [00:36:02] – Chapter 5

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