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the earliest friend and schoolfellow of criminating : qualities of his, these old Mrs Aubrey, and so forth. Then latter, so well known, however, as to Kate had several visits to pay on her leave him at length scarce any opporown account; and, being fond of horse- tunities of exercising them. His quiet back, she did not like riding about the but decisive interference put an end country with only a groom in attend. to a number of local unpleasantnesses ance on her; so her brother must ac- and annoyances, and caused his incompany her on these occasions. The creasing absence from Yatton to be first week of their stay in the country very deeply regretted. Was a lad or a was devoted to visiting their neighwench taking to idle and dissolute bours and friends in the way I have courses? A kind, or, as the occasion stated; the next was to be spent in required, a stern expostulation of hisreceiving them at Yatton, during for he was a justice of the peace morewhich time the old hall was to ring over_brought them to their senses. with merry hospitality.
He had a very happy knack of reaThen there was a little world of soning and laughing quarrelsome other matters to occupy Mr Aubrey's neighbours into reconciliation and attention, and which naturally crowded good-humour. He had a very keen eye upon him, living so little at Yatton as after the practical details of agriculhe had latterly. He often had a kind ture ; was equally quick at detecting of levee of his humbler neighbours, an inconvenience, and appreciatingtenants, and constituents;
sometimes even suggesting—a rethese occasions his real goodness of medy; and had, on several occasions, nature, his simplicity, his patience, brought such knowledge to bear very his forbearance, his sweetness of tem- effectively upon discussions in Par. per, his benevolence, shone conspicu- liament. His constituents, few in
With all these more endearing number undoubtedly, and humble, qualities, there was yet a placid dig- were quite satisfied with and proud of nity about him that chilled undue their member; and his unexpected familiarity, and repelled presumption. appearance diffused among them real He had here no motive or occasion for and general satisfaction. As a landostentation, or, as it is called, popu- lord, he was beloved by his numerous larity-hunting. In a sense it might tenantry; and well he might-for be said of him, that he was “ monarch never was there so easy and liberal a of all he surveyed.” It is true, he landlord : he might at any time have was member for the borough-an increased his rental by £1500 or honour, however, for which he was £2000 a-year, as his steward fre. indebted to the natural influence of quently intimated to him—but in vain. his commanding position-one which 67 Ten thousand a-year,” said Mr Aubleft him his own master, not convert. rey, “is far more than my necessities ing him into a paltry delegate, hand- require_it affords me and my family cuffed by pledges on public questions, every luxury that I can conceive of; and laden with injunctions concerning and its magnitude reminds me conpetty local interests only - liable, stantly that hereafter I shall be called moreover, to be called to an account
upon to give a very strict and solemn at any moment by ignorant and account of my stewardship.” I would insolent demagogues—but a member I had time to complete, as it ought to of Parliament training to become a be completed, this portraiture of a statesman, possessed of a free will, true Christian gentleman! and therefore capable of independ- As he rode up to the Hare and ent and enlightened deliberations ; Hounds Inn, at Grilston, one morning, placed by his fortune above the reach to transact some little business, and of temptation--but I shall not go any also to look in on the Farmer's Club, further, for the portraiture of a mem- which was then holding one of its ber of Parliament of those days sug- fortnightly meetings, (all touching gests such a humiliating and bitter their hats and bowing to bim on each contrast, that I shall not ruffle either side of the long street as he slowly my own or my reader's temper by passed up it, he perceived one of his touching it any further. On the occa. horse's fcet limp a little. On dis. sions I have been alluding to, Mr Au- mounting, therefore, he stopped to see brey was not only condescending and what was the matter, while his groom generous, but practically acute and dis- took up the foot to examine it,
“ Dey-vilish fine horse,” exclaimed of fining him five shillings for every the voice of one standing close beside oath he utters.” him, and in a tone of most disagreeable • What! sir, has he been speaking confidence. The exclamation was ad.
Well, I never--he's the dressed to Mr Aubrey; who, on turning most forward little upstart I ever to the speaker, beheld a young man- seed !” said she, dropping her voice; 'twas Titmouse-dressed in a style of " and the sooner he takes himself the most extravagant absurdity. One off from here the better; for he's hand was stuck into the hinder pocket always winking at the maids and of a stylish top-coat, (the everlasting tip talking impudence to them. I'se box of a white pocket-handkerchief glisten- his ears, I warrant him, one of these ing at the mouth of his breast-pocket;) times ! ” Mr Aubrey smiled, and the other held a cigar to his mouth, went up stairs. from which, as he addressed Mr Aub- 6. There don't seem much wrong,' rey with an air of provoking impu- quoth Titmouse to the groom, with dence, he slowly expelled the smoke a condescending air, as soon as Mr that he had inhaled. Mr Aubrey Aubrey had entered the house. bowed with a cold and surprised air, “ Much
you know about it, I don't without replying, at the same time guess!” quoth Sam, with a contemptwondering where he had seen the ridi. uous smile. culous object before.
" Who's your master, fellow ?”“ The horses in these parts ar'n't to enquired Titmouse, knocking off the be compared with them at London— ashes from the tip of his cigar. eh, sir ? " quoth Titmouse, approach- “ A gentleman. What's yours ?” ing closer to Mr Aubrey and his • Curse your impudence, you vagagroom, to see what the latter was do- bond "--. The words were hardly ing-who, on hearing Titmouse's last out of his mouth before Sam, with a sally, gave him a very significant look. slight tap of his hand, had knocked
" I'm afraid the people here won't Titmouse's glossy hat off his head, relish your remarks, sir!” replied Mr and Titmouse's purple-hued hair Aubrey, hardly able to forbear a smile, stood exposed to view, provoking at the same time calmly scanning the the jeers and laughter of one figure of his companion from head to two bystanders. Ti foot.
ed about to strike the groom; who, “ Who cares?" enquired Titmouse, hastily giving the bridles of his with a very energetic oath. At this horses into the hands of an ostler, moment up came a farmer, who, ob- threw himself into boxing attitude ; serving Mr Aubrey, made him a very and, being a clean, tight-built, stout low bow. Mr Aubrey's attention young fellow, looked a very formidabeing at the moment occupied with ble object, as he came squaring nearer Titmouse, he did not observe the sa- and nearer to the dismayed Titmouse; lutation not so with Titmouse, who and on behalf of the outraged honour acknowledged it by taking off his hat of all the horses of Yorkshire, was with great grace! Mr Aubrey fol- just going to let fly his one-two, lowed in to the house, having ordered when a sharp tapping at the bowhis groom to bring back the horse in window overhead startled him for an hour's time. “ Pray,” said he a moment, interrupting his warlike mildly to the landlady, - who is that demonstrations; and, on casting up person smoking the cigar outside ?" his eyes, he beheld the threatening
Why, sir, he's a Mr Brown; and figure of his master, who was shaking has another with him here-who's his whip at him. He dropped his going up to London by this after- guard, touched his hat very humbly, noon's coach-this one stays behind a and resumed his horse's bridles; mutday or two longer. They're queer tering, however, to Titmouse, “ If people, sir. Such dandies! Do no- thou'rt a man, come down into t yard, thing but smoke, and drink brandy and I'll make thee think a horse kicked and water, sir; only that t'other writes thee, a liar as thou art !” a good deal.”
66 Who's that gentleman gone up “ Well, I wish you would remind stairs ?" enquired Titmouse of the him," said Mr Aubrey, smiling, “that, landlady, after he had sneaked into
, if he thinks fit to speak to me again, the inn. I am a magistrate, and have the power « Squire Aubrey, of Yatton,” Tit
mouse's face, previously very pale, and in doing so, attracting that of all flushed all over. “ Ay, ay, thou must his envious fellow-sportsmen ;
and be chattering to the grand folks, and that was Delamere. He seemed, inthou'st nearly put thy foot into 't at deed, infinitely more taken up with last, I can tell thee; for that's a magis- the little party from Yatton than trate, and thou'st been a-swearing with the serious business of the day. afore him." Titmouse smiled rather His horse, however, had an eye to faintly ; and entering the parlour, business; and with erected ears, catchaffected to be engaged with a county ing the first welcome signal sooner newspaper ; and he remained very than its gallant rider, sprung off like quiet for upwards of an hour, not ven- light, and would have left its abstractturing out of the room till he had seen ed rider behind, had he not been a off Mr Aubrey and his formidable first-rate seat. In fact, Kate herself Sam.
was not quite sufficiently on her guard; It was the hunting season ; but Mr and her eager filly suddenly put in reAubrey, though he had as fine horses quisition all her rider's little strength as were to be found in the county, and skill to rein her in—which having and which were always at the service done, Kate's eye looked rather anxiof his friends, partly from want of ously after her late companion, who, inclination, and partly from the deli- however, had already cleared the first cacy of his constitution, never shared hedge, and was fast making up to the in the sports of the field. Now and scattering scarlet crowd. Oh, the then, however, he rode to cover, to bright exhilarating scene ! see the hounds throw off, and exchange “ Heigh ho!" said Kate, with a greetings with a great number of his slight sigh, as soon as Delamere had friends and neighbours, on such occa- disappeared—“ I was very nearly off.” sions collected together. This he did “ So was somebody else, Kate!" the morning after that on which he said Mrs Aubrey, with a sly smile. had visited Grilston, accompanied, at “ This is a very cool contrivance of their earnest entreaty, by Mrs Aubrey yours, Kate,“bringing us here this and Kate. I am not painting angels, morning,” said her brother, rather but describing frail human nature ; gravely. and truth forces me to say, that Kate 6 What do you mean Charles ?" she knew pretty well that on such occa- enquired, slightly reddening: . He sions she appeared to no little advan- good-naturedly tapped her shoulder tage. I protest I love her not the less with his whip, laughed, urged his for it-but is there a beautiful woman horse into a canter, and they were all under the sun who is not aware of her soon on their way to General Grim, charms; and of the effect they pro- a friend of the late Mr Aubrey's. duce upon our sex? Pooh! I never
The party assembled on New Year's will believe to the contrary. In Kate's eve at Fotheringham Castle, the recomposition this ingredient was but an sidence of Lord De la Zouch, was imperceptible alloy in virgin gold. numerous and brilliant. The Aubreys
. Now, how was it that she came to arrived about five o'clock; and on think of this hunting appointment? I their emerging from their chambers do not exactly know; but I recollect into the drawing-room, about half.past that when Lord De la Zouch last six-Mr Aubrey leading in his lovely called at Yatton, he happened to inen- wife and his very beautiful sister--they tion it at lunch, and to say that he and attracted general attention. He him. one Geoffrey Lovel Delamere-but self looked handsome, for the brisk however that may be, behold, on a country air had brought out a glow bright Thursday morning, Aubrey upon his too frequently sallow counteand his two lovely companions made nance--sallow with the unwholesome their welcome appearance at the field, atmosphere, the late hours, the wastall superbly mounted, and most cordial- ing excitement of the House of Comly greeted by all present. Miss Aubrey mons; and his smile was cheerful, his attracted universal admiration ; but eye bright and penetrating. There is there was one handsome youngster, nothing that makes such quick trihis well-formed figure showing to umphant way in English society as great advantage in his new scarlet the promise of speedy political distinccoat and spotless cords, that made a tion. It will supply to its happy pospoint of challenging her special notice, sessor the want of family and fortune -it rapidly melts away all distinc- ance with the varying emotions of a tions; the obscure but eloquent com- sensitive nature-a most susceptible moner finds himself suddenly standing heart. How her sunny curls harin the rarefied atmosphere of privilege monize with the delicacy and richness and exclusiveness—the familiar equal, of her complexion ! Her figure, oboften the conscious superior, of the serve, is rather fuller than her rival's haughtiest peer of the realm. A single stay, don't let your eyes settle so in. successful speech in the House of tently upon her budding form, or you Commons, opens before its utterer the will confuse Kate—turn away, or she shining doors of fashion and greatness, will shrink from you like the sensitive as if by magic. It is as it were Power plant. Lady Caroline seems the exstepping into its palace, welcomed by quisite but frigid production of skilful gay crowds of eager obsequious expec- statuary, who had caught a divinity tants. Who would not press forward to in the very act of disdainfully setting graspin anxious welcome the hand that, her foot for the first time upon this in a few short years, may dispense the poor earth of ours; but Kate is a glittering baubles sighed after by the living and breathing beauty-as it great, and the more substantial pa- were, fresh from the hand of God tronage of office, which may point himself. public opinion in any direction ? But, Kate was very affectionately greeted to go no further, what if to all this be by Lady De la Zouch, a lofty and added a previous position in society ? dignified woman of about fifty; so such as that occupied by Mr Aubrey! also by Lord De la Zouch : but when There were several very fine women, young Delamere welcomed her with married and single, in that splendid a palpable embarrassment of manner, drawing-room; but there were two a more brilliant colour stole into her girls, in very different styles of beauty, cheek, and a keen observer might who were soon allowed by all present have noticed a little, rapid, undu. to carry off the palm between them lating motion in her bosom, which I mean Miss Aubrey and Lady Caro- told of some inward emotion. And a line Caversham, the only daughter of keen observer Kate at that moment the Marchioness of Redborough, both had in her beautiful rival ; from whose of whom were on a visit at the castle cheek, as that of Kate deepened in its of some duration.
Lady Caroline roseate bloom, faded away the colour and Miss Aubrey were of about the entirely, leaving it the hue of the lily. same age, and dressed almost exactly Her drooping eyelids could scarcely alike, viz, in white satin ; only Lady conceal the glances of alarm and anger Caroline wore a brilliant diamond which she darted at her plainly successnecklace, whereas Kate had not a ful rival in the affections of the future single ornament.
Lord De la Zouch. Kate was quickly Lady Caroline was a trifle the taller, aware of this state of matters ; and it and had a very stately carriage. Her required no little self-control to appear hair was black as jet—her features un-aware ofit. Delamere took her down were refined and delicate ; but they to dinner; in doing which he defied wore a very cold, haughty expression. the laws of etiquette in a little point of After a glance at her half-closed eyes, precedence; and he seated himself beand the swan-like curve of her snowy side her, and paid her such pointed neck, you unconsciously withdrew attentions as at length really distressfrom her, as from an inaccessible ed her; and she was quite relieved beauty. The more you looked at her, when the time came for the ladies to the more she satisfied your critical withdraw. That she had not a secret scrutiny ; but your feelings went not yearning towards Delamere, the freout towards her, they were, in a quent companion of her early days, I manner, chilled and repulsed. Look, cannot assert, because I know it would now, at our own Kate Aubrey—nay, be contrary to the fact. Circumstances never fear to place her beside yon had kept him on the Continent for supercilious divinity-look at her, more than a year between the period and your heart acknowledges her of his quitting Eton and going to Ox- . loveliness ; your soul thrills at sight ford, where another twelvemonth had of her bewitching blue eyes_eyes slipped away without his visiting now sparkling with excitement, then Yorkshire: thus two years had elapslanguishing with softness, in accord- ed-and behold Kate had become a
woman, and he a man! They had mu. shawl, and resolved to accompany the. tual predispositions towards each other, servant to the village. She said not a and 'twas mere accident which of them word to either her mother, her sisterfirst manifested symptoms of fondness in-law, or her brother ; but simply for the other-the same result must left word with her maid where she have followed, namely (to use a great was going, and that she should quickly word) reciprocation. Lord and Lady return. It was snowing smartly when De la Zouch idolized their son, and were Kate set off; but she cared not, hurried old and very firm friends of the Aubrey on by the impulse of kindness, which family; and, if Delamere really form- led her to pay perhaps a last visit to ed an attachment to one of Miss Aub- the humble sufferer. She walked rey's beauty, accomplishments, talent, alongside of the elderly female seramiability, and good family – why vant, asking her a number of questions should he not be gratified ? Kate, about Phæbe, and her sorrowing fawhether she would or not, was set ther and mother. It was nearly dark down to the piano, Lady Caroline ac- as they quitted the Park gates, and companying her on the harp-on which snowing, if anything, faster than when she usually performed with mingled they had left the Hall. Kate, wrapskill and grace; but, on the present ping her shawl still closer round her occasion, both the fair performers slender figure, and her face pretty found fault with their instruments - well protected by her veil, hurried on, then with themselves and presently and they soon reached Williams's cotgave up the attempt in despair. But tage. Its humble tenants were, as when, at a later period of the evening, may be imagined, not a little surprised Kate's spirits had been a little exhila- at her appearance at such an hour, rated with dancing, and she sat down, and in such inclement weather, and so at Lord De la Zouch's request, and apparently unattended. Poor Phæbe, gave that exquisite song from the worn to a shadow, was sitting opposite
Tempest,- -- Where the bee sucks,". the fire, in a little wooden arm-chair, all the witchery of her voice and man- and propped up by a pillow. She ner had returned; and as for Delamere, trembled, and her lips moved on seeing he would havegiven the world to marry Miss Aubrey, who, sitting down on a her that minute, and so for ever ex- stool beside her, after laying aside her tinguish the hopes of—as he imagined snow-whitened shawl and bonnet, -two or three nascent competitors for spoke to her in the most gentle and the beautiful prize then present. soothing strain imaginable.
What a That Kate was good as beautiful, contrast in their two figures! 'Twould the following little incident, which have been no violent stretch of imahappened to her on the ensuing even- gination to say, that Catharine Aubrey ing, will show. There was a girl in at that moment looked like a ministerthe village at Yatton, about sixteen oring angel sent to comfort the wretched seventeen years old, called Phæbe sufferer in her extremity: Phæbe's Williams ; a very pretty girl, and who father and mother stood on each side had spent about two years at the Hall of the little fireplace, gazing with as a laundry-maid, but had been ob- tearful eyes upon their only child, liged, some few months before the soon about to depart from them for time I am speaking of, to return to her The poor girl was indeed a parents in the village, ill of a decline. touching object. She had been very She had been a sweet-tempered girl pretty, but now her face was white in her situation, and all her fellow-ser- and wofully emaciated the dread imvants felt great interest in her, as also press of consumption was upon it. did Miss Aubrey. Mrs Aubrey sent Her wasted fingers were clasped toher daily, jellies, sago, and other such gether on her lap, holding between matters,suitableforthe poorgirl's condi- them little handkerchief, with tion, and about a quarter of an hourafter which, evidently with great effort, she her return from Fotheringham, Miss occasionally wiped the dampness from Aubrey, finding one of the female ser- her face. vants about to set off with some of the “ You're very good, ma'am," she above-mentioned articles, and hearing whispered, “ to come to see me, and that poor Phæbe was getting rapidly so late. They say it's a sad cold worse, instead of retiring to her room night." to undress, slipped on an additional * I heard, Phæbe, that you were