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Lady Dormer was highly pleased with her interview; the adroit Flummery only wanted to see her to-morrow, so she could go down to dear Lady Torchester on Saturday.
“Mr. Trafford was here to-day. I thought he was with Lord Torchester. Pray write to Miss Grantham to-morrow and say Johnson shall go down to Ryde on Saturday about a house."
The evening passed rather nervously to Maggie, though she managed to discover an old Quarterly' with several interesting articles in it; still she could not help a sort of dread, not all fear, lest Mr. Trafford might come in to ask about Miss Grantham; but he did not.
The next morning brought a long list of divers and sundry articles which Maggie was to procure, and which two days' stay at Llanelwy proved to be indispensable; they were to be despatched that evening without fail. "The party,” Miss Grantham wrote, “was most amusing, not too large, and there was a talk of theatricals. Sir Hugh Erskine was quite an orthodox hero-handsome, dark, taciturn, and did the 'inscrutable' remarkably well. Nevertheless, he unbends a little to
Torchester is expected on Saturday, and Mr. Trafford at the same time, if he has not gone to Paris. Lady B. does not come till next week. I
I miss you in many ways. Pray amuse yourself if you You were certainly triste. You must turn your cousin to some account in London; no doubt he is at your service,” &c.
Maggie was very glad to have something to do, so set about her commissions with great good will, and after an arduous day's work managed to despatch a tolerably sized box and a long letter in time for the evening mail. Maggie quite enjoyed writing to her admired friend. She told her of her own small plans, assured her that she would be in London again on Tuesday at furthest to await her commands, gave all and sundry the messages delivered to her by Lady Dormer" between sleeping and waking,” the changing of her plate at dinner, and the trying on of sundry caps and bonnets, for even Lady Dormer had her vanities. Finally, she put a concluding paragraph : " Mr. Trafford is not gone to Paris. I saw his card here yesterday, and I think Lady Dormer expects to meet him at the 'Beeches' on Saturday.”
That evening there was a telegram from the heiress, “Do not let Johnson go to Ryde, or take any house, till you hear from me."
And so, in total uncertainty as to future plans, Maggie started next day to meet cousin John, having had a very cordial invitation from uncle Grey bimself.
She was much relieved, and the least bit disappointed, that Mr. Trafford had not appeared, for she always hoped he would in some way clear himself from her suspicions of treachery—the last crime of which she could have thought him guilty.
To J. S., Esq., M.P.
If you can quit the fuss and noise of town,
Accept my welcome, leave it, and come down.
Hurried and hustled by that ceaseless swarm,
Learn that my quiet has its special charm.
Perhaps you'll find, like me, how keen's the zest,
How fresh the flavour is, of perfect rest.
All human creatures like it; surfeit can
Affect the heavy-bodied alderman;
Such folks as these, I hear, have sometimes ceased
To stuff and swill at one perennial feast,
Change French Clicquot for English malt and hops,
And barter turtle soup for mutton chops.
I don't disparage well-cooked food; the wise
Know what and when to relish, what despise ;
Buckland, whose wit and wisdom were at one,
The cheery father of a cheerier son,
Put the case thus : “That man's a Sybarite
Who can't eat bread and cheese with appetite;
But he who scorns a dinner that's well drest
Is but a squalid savage at the best.”
If you can sit, then, at my homely board,
And eat and drink what I can well afford,
Dispense awhile with Francatelli's art,
Dine on good mutton and on apple tart;
If, for the nonce, such simple food will please-
Here, let me say, I always choose my cheese,
Roquefort, or Gruyère, Stilton, Parmesan,
I strive to get the very best I can;
Your London dinners seldom give you such
As man should see, or smell, or taste, or touch ;-
If, I repeat, you eat what's good and plain,
Come here next Friday, 4 P.m.'s the train.
I've told you what you'll eat, and how you'll dine ;
I take some pride in keeping wholesome wine-
Fair port and sherry, and some sound Lafitte,
Its age the year of Gladstone's Oxford seat;
If such contents you, then the thing is done,
If not, you'll imitate Dean Waddington.
This churchman took his wine with so much zest
That he would act the host, although the guest.
"I'll come,” he used to write, “if you'll take in
A dozen bottles from my oldest bin.
Custom is nature with me. Yours is good,
I doubt it not; I'd drink it if I could.
Excuse an old man's harmless prejudice,
I cannot sleep unless I sleep on this.”
The man was modest also in his way.
“I'm Dean of Durham," he would often say,
“A lucky soldier in the Church's ranks.
I never pray, I only offer thanks."
If you don't suffer from so nice a goût
Put up with what my means can offer you.
A cheerful fire is burning in the grate,
The maids have rubbed the chairs and cleaned the plate.
Quit the dull game of party for a space,
Its watchwords, claptrap, chatter, and grimace.
Let Disraeli ventilate his chams,
And gull his dupes by hollow epigrams,
Gibe at all candour, act his studied part,
And mock his friends and foes with equal art ;
Let Gladstone sentence upon sentence string,
Pile words on words, on periods periods fling,
And, highest skill which human power can reach,
Convey no meaning in a three-hours' speech ;
Let Pakington imply that he could fill
Each public office with consummate skill;
Let Fortescue expound how this is done
By occupying place on place with none;
Let Cardwell, like the girl in fairy lore,
Shed out a stream of sawdust on the floor ;
Let colonels make a guess at what he states,
And loudly scream for larger estimates;
Let Lowe each human creature's anger stir,
From match girls to Professor Sylvester
(This self-denying patriot, by the way,
Libelled the nation, and then took its pay);
Let Hunt display, in his conspicuous case,
How little brains are needed for the place;
Let Forster vaunt, and find that what he says
Wins praise from priests, and wins no other praise ;
Let Bruce's blunders this one art disclose,
How to turn trusty friends to angry foes;
Let Ayrton rule the parks, and still dispense
With tact and taste and even common sense,
Till Glyn detects that Gladstone's stanchest hack
Has all the will to welcome Manners back;
Let Cochrane find where mares have made their nest;
Let Bentinck prophesy, and Osborne jest;
Let Hardy help the clergy at their need,
And Collins back the Athanasian Creed ;
Let Newdegate inveigh against the Pope,
Let Miall wrangle with the sprightly Hope ;
Let Coleridge utter honeyed words, while he
Drops sharper venom than the angriest bee;
Let Fawcett scorn and Smith defend the Peers,
And Charley use his natural noise and ears-
But why recall the horrors you endure,
Except it be to make your coming sure ?
Although the month is our uncertain May,
Sometimes the season grants a balmy day.
I well remember once, when Bright came down
(He used to visit me, and liked the town),
How with calm pleasure he surveyed the scene,
The crumbling stones, the groves of freshest green,
The ancient walls with ivy overhung
(Man's work grows old, but Nature's ever young).
Well, on to Christ Church Quod onr wanderings tend,
I meet a canon, introduce my friend.
Then said our churchman, “ I'll go get the key;
Perhaps you'd like to view the library.”
We enter; find it musty, quiet, cool,
Hung round with pictures of each foreign school,
While, through an open door, upon the grass,
, We see a troop of laughing children pass.
The trees were crowded with the flowers of spring,
Bright watched the group, and heard the thrushes sing;
Then turned and said: “Till now I never knew
Why 'twas Reform had no delights for you."
'Tis the Queen's birthday; show your loyalty
By quitting work and coming down to me.
Let Dilke declaim, let Odger prove his scorn;
The easiest shoe is always longest worn.
Virgil, my friend, has made the matter plain :
“ Tug at the golden bough, and tug in vain;
As long as life is in it, it will be,
As in a vice, held by the parent tree;
But if the trunk from which it sprang and grew
Withholds the sap to which its life is due,
Rent by a tap, a touch, a breath, a sign,
It drops with ease, and goes to-Proserpine."
Some change, no doubt, is good ; this granted, then
Your change should be a day with idle men.
Idle—for each conceives his neighbour's lot
An easy one to bear, and his own-not.
At times I find it a supreme delight
To chat and gossip through a summer night.
What is the sense in which that caitiff lives
Who dares not use the joys which Nature gives?
How oft the care a stingy father takes
Affords his sons the means of turning rakes !
The miser, after all his thrift, may find
Sam Warren sitting-heavens !-upon his mind.
We'll dine and talk and sip our claret, man;
Hang the Alliance and its water-can!
Lawson's the best of creatures ; must I think
He's always wise in what he likes to drink?
Well, let him, if he will, uphold his rule,
And call me, quid pro quo, a special fool.
A cheerful glass will make the timid stout,
Will make the bashful man speak boldly out,
Give form to hope, lift up the weight of care,
And let the blockhead gain an easy air.
Wine makes the stammering tongue grow eloquent,
And grants to straitened poverty content-
Some kinds of wine at least, I fancy, may.
I well remember Cobden used to say
That when our ancestors sipped claret, hock,
Champagne, and burgundy, et genus hoc,