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years, and how different it might have been, and whose fault it all was".
This Mr. Cavendish said in a low voice, but it did not the less horrify aunt Jemima, who felt prepared for any atrocity after it. She would have withdrawn, in justice to her own sense of propriety; but then she thought it was not impossible that he might propose to Lucilla on the spot, or take her hand or something, and for propriety's sake she stayed.
yet. I have nobody but my sister to take me in hand, you know. There was once a time when it might have been different" and he gave Lucilla a look which she thought on the whole it was best to meet.
"Yes," said Miss Marjoribanks, with cruel distinctness, "there was a time when you were the most popular man in Grange Lane-everybody was fond of you. I remember it as if it had been yesterday," said Lucilla, with a sigh.
"Yes," said Lucilla and her heart did "You don't give a man much encouragefor one little moment give a faint thump ment, by Jove!" said the unlucky candidate. against her breast. She could not help" You remember it like yesterday! It may thinking what a difference it might have be vanity, but I flatter myself I shall still be made to him, poor fellow, had he been un- found the most popular man in Grange der her lawful and righteous sway these ten Lane." years. But as she looked at him it became more and more apparent to Miss Marjoribanks that Mr. Cavendish had gone off, whatever she herself might have done. The outlines of his fine figure had changed considerably, and his face was a little red, and he had the look of a man whose circumstances, spiritual and temporal, would not quite bear a rigid examination. As she looked at him her pity became tinged by a certain shade of resentment, to think that after all it was his own fault. She could not, notwithstanding her natural frankness of expression, say to him-"You foolish soul, why didn't you marry me somehow, and make a man of yourself?" Lucilla carried honesty very far, but she could not go as far as that. Yes," she said, turning her eyes upon him with a sort of abstract sympathy, and then she added softly-"Have you ever seen Her again?" with a lowering of her voice.
This interesting question, which utterly bewildered aunt Jemima, drove Mr. Cavendish wild with rage. Mrs. John said afterwards that she felt a shiver go through her as he took up the carving-knife, though it was only to cut some cold beef. He grew white all at once, and pressed his lips tightly together, and fixed his eyes on the wall straight before him. "I did not think, after what I once said to you, Miss Marjoribanks, that you would continue to insult my judgment in that way," he said, with a chill which fell upon the whole table, and took the life out of everything, and dimmed the very fire in the chimney. And after that the conversation was of a sufficiently ordinary description until they went back again into the drawing-room, by which time Mr. Cavendish seemed to have concluded that it was best to pocket the affront.
I am going to begin my canvass to-morrow," he said. "I have not seen anybody
Miss Marjoribanks sighed again, but she did not say anything. On the contrary she turned to aunt Jemima, who kept in the background an alarmed and alert spectator, to consult her about a shade of wool — and just then Mr. Cavendish, looking out of the window, saw Major Brown conducting his rival through his garden, and shaking hands with him cordially at the door This was more than the patience of the other candidate could bear. A sudden resolution, hot and angry, as are the resolutions of men who feel themselves to have a failing cause, came into his mind. He had been badgered and baited to such an extent (as he thought) that he had not time to consider if it was wise or not. He, too, had sat to Maria Brown, and commanded once the warmest admiration of the household. He thought he would put it to the test, and see if after all his popularity was only a thing to be remembered likelyesterday - and it was with this intention that he bade a hurried good-by to Lucilla, and rushing out, threw himself at once upon the troubled waves of society, which had once been as smooth as glass to the most popular man in Grange Lane.
MR. CAVENDISH thought he had been an object of admiration to Maria Brown, as we have said. He thought of it with a little middle-aged complacency, and a confidence that this vague sentiment would stand the test he was about to apply to it, which did honour to the freshness of his heart. With this idea it was Miss Brown he asked for as he knocked at the Major's door; and he found them both in the drawing-room, Maria with gloves on to hide the honourable stains of her photography, which made her com
paratively useless when she was out of her "studio" - and her father walking about in a state of excitement, which was, indeed, what Mr. Cavendish expected. The two exchanged a guilty look when they saw who their visitor was. They looked as people might well look who had been caught in the fact and did not know how to get over it. They came forward, both of them, with a cowardly cordiality and eagerness to welcome him-"How very good of you to come to see us so soon!" Miss Brown said, and fluttered and looked at her father, and could not tell what more to say. And then a dead pause fell upon them. - such a pause as not unfrequently falls upon people who have got through their mutual greetings almost with an excess of cordiality. They stopped short all at once, and looked at each other, and smiled, and made a fatal conscious effort to talk of something. "It is so good of you to come so soon," Miss Brown repeated; "perhaps you have been to see Lucilla," and then she stopped again, slightly tremulous, and turned an appealing gaze to her papa.
"I have come to see you," said Mr. Cavendish, plucking up all his courage. "I have been a long time gone, you know, but I have not forgotten Carlingford; and you must forgive me for saying that I was very glad to hear I might still come to see Miss Brown. As for Lydia?" said the candidate, looking about him with a smile.
"Ah, Lydia," said her sister, with a sigh, "her eldest is eight, Mr. Cavendish. We don't see her so often as we should like-marriage makes such a difference. Of course it is quite natural she should be all for her own family now."
"Quite natural," said Mr. Cavendish, and then he turned to the Major. "I don't think there are quite so many public changes as I expected to see. The old Rector always holds out, and the old Colonel; and you have not done much that I can see about the new paving. You know what I have come home about, Major; and I am sure I can count upon you to support me," the candidate said, with a great deal more confidence than he felt in his voice.
Major Brown cleared his throat; his heart was moved by the familiar voice, and he could not conceal his embarrassment. "I hope nothing will ever occur," he said, "to make any difference in the friendly feelings-1 am sure I shall be very glad to welcome you back permanently to Carlingford. You may always rest assured of that," and he held out his hand. But he grew red as he thought of his treachery,
and Maria, who was quaking over it, did not even try to say a word to help him and as for Mr. Cavendish, he took up his position on the arm of the sofa, as he used to do. But he had a slim youthful figure when he used to do it, and now the attitude was one which revealed a certain dawning rotundity, very different, as Maria afterwards said, from one's idea of Mr. Cavendish. He was not aware of it himself, but as these two people looked, their simultaneous thought was how much he had changed.
"Thank you, you are very kind,” said Mr. Cavendish. "I have been a little lazy, I am afraid, since I came here; but I expect my agent down to-night, and then, I hope, you'll come over to my place and have a talk with Woodburn and Centum and the rest about it. I am a poor tactician, for my part. You shall contrive what is best to be done, and I'll carry it out. I suppose I may expect almost to walk over," he said. It was the confidence of despair that moved him. The more he saw that his cause was lost, the more he would make it out that he was sure to win which is not an unusual state of mind.
“I—I don't know, I am sure," said poor Major Brown. "To tell the truth, I — though I can safely say my sympathies are always with you, Cavendish-I-have been so unfortunate as to commit myself, you know. It was quite involuntary, 1 am sure, for I never thought my casual expression of opinion likely to have any weight"
"Papa, never will perceive the weight that is attached to his opinion," said Miss Brown.
"I was not thinking of it in the least, Maria," said the modest Major; "but the fact is, it seems to have been that that decided Ashburton to stand; and after drawing a man into such a thing, the least one can do is to back him out in it. Nobody had an idea then, you know, that you were coming back, my dear fellow. I assure you, if I had known"
"But even if you had known, you know you never meant it, papa," said Maria. And Mr. Cavendish sat on the arm of the sofa, and put his hands deep into his pockets, and dropped his upper lip, and knit his eyebrows a little, and listened to the apxious people excusing themselves. He did not make any answer one way or another. He was terribly mortified and disappointed, and it went against his pride to make any further remonstrances. When they had done, he got down off his seat and took his right hand out of his pocket and
offered it to Miss Brown, who, putting her now to have been sure of his election withown into it, poor soul! with the remem- out paying much for it. He had been livbrance of her ancient allegiance, was like ing fast, and spending a great deal of to cry.
money, and this, after all, was the only “Well,” he said, “if that is the case, I real ambition he had ever had ; and he suppose I need not bother you any longer. had thought within himself that if he You'll give me your good wishes all the won he would change his mode of life,
I used to hear of Ashburton some- and turn over a new leaf, and become times, but I never had the least idea he all at
When was so popular. And to tell the truth, I a man has made such a resolution, and don't think he's any great things to brag of feels not only that a mere success but - though I suppose it's not to be expected a moral reformation depends upon his I should appreciate his qualities,” Mr. Cav- victory, he may be permitted to consider en lish added, with a laugh. As for Miss that he has a right to win; and it may be Brown, it was all she could do to keep from divined what his state of mind was when he crying as he went away. She said she could had made the discovery that even bis old see, by the way he left the drawing-room, friends did not see his election to be of any that he was a stricken deer; and yet, not- such importance as he did, and could think withstanding this sympathetic feeling, she of a miserable little bit of self-importance or could not but acknowledge, when Miss
Mar- gratified vanity more than of his interests – joribanks mentioned it, that to have been even the women who had once been so such a handsome man, he was inconceivably kind to him! He had just got, so far in his
thoughts when he met Mr. Centum, who Mr. Cavendish went up Grange Lane stared for a moment, and then burst into with his hands in his pockets, and tried to one of his great laughs as he greeted him. think that he did not care; but he did care “ Good Lord ! Cavendish, is this you? I all the same, and was very bitter in his never expected to see you like that!” the mind over the failure of friends and the van- banker said, in his coarse way. “ You're ity of expectations. The last time he had stouter than I am, old fellow; and such an walked past those garden walls he had Adonis as you used to be !” Mr Caventhought himself sure of the support of Car-dish had to bear all this without giving way lingford, and the personal esteem of all the to his feelings, or even showing them any people in all the houses he was passing. It more than he could help it. Nobody would was after the Archdeacon had broken down spare him that imbecile suggestion as to in his case against the man whom he called how things used to be. To be growing an adventurer, and when Mr. Cavendish stouter than Centum without Centum's exfelt all the sweetness of being a member cuse of being a well-to-do house-holder and of an oligarchy, and entitled to the sympa- father of a family, and respectable man thy and support of his order. Now he from whom stoutness was expected, was went along the same path with his hat over very bitter to him; but he had to gulp it his ears and his hands in his pockets, and down, and recollect that Centum was as rage and pain in his heart. Whose fault yet the only influential supporter, except was it that his friends had deserted him and his brother-in-law, whom he had in CarlingCarlingford knew him no more ? He might ford. as well have asked whose fault it was that “ What have you been doing with your. he was getting stout and red in the face, self since you came that nobody has seen and has not the same grace of figure nor you?” said Mr. Centum. “ If you are to ease of mind as he used to have? He bad do any good here, you know we shall have come very near to settling down and be- to look alive.” coming a man of domestic respectability in “I have been ill,” said the unfortunate this quiet place, and he had just escaped in candidate, with a little natural loss of temtime, and had laughed over it since, and per. “ You would not have a man to trudge imagined himself, with much glee, an old about at this time of year in all weathers fogie looking after a lot of children. But when he is ill.” the fact is that men do become old fogies “I would not be ill again, if I were you, even when they have no children to look till it's all over,” said Mr. Centum. after, and lose their figure and their elas- shall have to fight every inch of our ground; ticity just as soon and perhaps a little and I tell you that fellow Ashburton knows sooner in the midst of what is called life what he's about – he goes at everything in than in any milder scene of enjoyment. a steady sort of way. He's not brilliant, And it would have been very handy just you know, but he's sure
"Brilliant!" said Mr Cavendish, "Iped in his brougham. The Doctor was should think not. It is Lucilla Marjori- looking very strange that morning, though banks who is putting him up to it. You nobody had particularly remarked it know she had an old grudge at me." perhaps because he smoothed his countenance when he was out of the brougham, which was his refuge when he had anything to think about. But he stopped suddenly to speak to Mr. Cavendish, and perhaps he had not time to perform that ceremony. He looked dark and cloudy, and constrained, and as if he forced himself to speak; which, to be sure, under the circumstances, was not so very strange.
"Oh, nonsense about Lucilla," said Mr. Centum. "I can tell you Ashburton is not at all a contemptible adversary. He is going to work in the cunningest way a woman's sort of thing; and he's not a ladies'-man like you," the banker added, with a laugh.
"I am very glad to see you," the Doctor said, "though you were a day too late you know. Why didn't you give us warning before we all went and committed ourselves? If we had known that you were coming".
"Ah, that's what old Brown said,” said Mr. Cavendish, with a slight shrug of his shoulders; which was imprudent, for the Major was not so old as the Doctor, and besides was a much less important man in Grange Lane.
"So you have been to see old Brown," said Dr. Marjoribanks, in his dry way. "He always was a great admirer of yours. I can't wish you luck, you know, for if you win we lose "
“But I am afraid you can't go in for that sort of thing as you used to do, Cavendish. You should marry, and settle, and become a steady member of society, now you've grown so stout." This was the kind of way in which he was addressed even by his own supporter, who uttered another great laugh as he went off upon his busy way. It was a sort of thing Mr. Cavendish was not used to, and he felt it accordingly. To be sure he knew that he was ten years older, and that there were several things which he could not do with the same facility as in his youth. But he had saved up Carlingford in his imagination as a spot in which he would always be young, and where nobody should find out the difference; and instead of that, it was precisely in Carlingford that he was fated to hear how changed he was, with a frankness which only old friends would have been justified in using. As for Lucilla Marjoribanks, she was rather better looking than otherwise, and absolutely had not gone off. It did not occur to Mr. Cavendish that this might be because Lucilla at present was not still so old as he had been ten years ago, in the period which he now considered his youth. He was rather disposed, on the contrary, to take a moral view, and to consider that it was her feminine incapacity for going too far, which had kept years and amusements from having their due effect upon Miss Marjoribanks. And, poor fellow, he had He had not been as caregone too far. ful in his life as he might have been had he stayed at Carlingford; and now he was paying the penalty. Such was the edifying state of mind which he had come to when he reached the top of Grove Street. And there a waft of soft recollections came across his mind. In the absence of all sympathy he could not help turning back to the thought of the enchantress of old who used to sing to him, and listen to him, and storm at him. Probably he would have ended by strolling along the familiar street, and canvassing for Mr. Lake's vote, which would have done him no good in Carling- his tone. "Have you heard Woodburn ford, but just then Dr. Marjoribanks stop-talking of that great crash in town?" he said
"You young men always go too fast," said the Doctor, with a strange little smile; but the term at least was consolatory; and after that Dr. Marjoribanks quite changed
"Oh, I don't want you to wish me luck. I don't suppose there can be much comparison between my chance and that of a new man whom nobody ever heard of in my time," said the candidate for Carlingford. "I thought you Scotchmen, Doctor, always liked to be on the winning side."
"We've a way of making our side the winning side," said Dr. Marjoribanks, grimly, for he was touchy where his nationality was Health all right, I hope?" he added, looking at Mr. Cavendish with that critical medical glance which shows that a verbal response is quite unnecessary. This time there was in the look a certain insinuation of doubt on the subject, which was not pleasant. · You are getting stout, I see," Dr. Marjoribanks added- -not laughing, but as if that too was poor Mr. Cavendish's fault.
Yes, I'm very well," he answered, curtly; but the truth was that he did not feel sure that he was quite well after he had seen the critical look in Dr. Marjoribanks's eye.
_"that India house, you know - I suppose it's quite true?”
" Quite true," said Mr. Cavendish, THERE were a great many reasons why promp ly, and somehow he felt a pleasure this should be a critical period in Miss Marin saying it.'" I got all the particulars to- joribanks's life. For one thing, it was the day in one of my letters - and lots of limit she had always proposed to herself for private people involved, which is always her term of young-ladyhood; and naturally, the way with these old houses,” he added, as she outgrew the age for them, she felt with a mixture of curiosity and malice- disposed to put away childish things. To " widows, and all sorts of superannuated have the control of scciety in her hands folks.”
was a great thing ; but still the mere mearis, “It's a great pity,” said the Doctor : “I without any end, was not worth Lucilla's knew old Linchfield once, the chief partner while and her Thursdays were almost a
- I am very sorry to hear it's true;" and bore to her in her present stage of developthen the two shook hands, and the brough- ment. They occured every week, to be am drove on. As for Mr. Cavendish, he sure, as usual; but the machinery was all made up his mind at once that the Doctor perfect, and went on by itself, and it was was involved, and was not sorry, and felt pot in the nature of things that such a light that it was a sort of judicial recompense adjunct of existence should satisfy Lucilla, for his desertion of his friends. And he as she opened out into the ripeness of her went home to tell his sister of it, who shared thirtieth year. It was this that made Mr. in his sentiments. And then it was not Ashburton so interesting to her, and his worth while going out any more that day election a matter into which she entered so — for the electioneering agent, who knew warmly, for she had come to an age at all about it, was not coming till the last which she might have gone into Parliament train. “I suppose I shall have to work herself had there been no disqualification when he is here,” Mr. Cavendish said. And of sex; and when it was almost a necessity in the mean time he threw himself into an for her to make some use of her social ineasy-chair. Perhaps that was why he was fluence. Miss Marjoribanks had her own getting so stout.
ideas in respect to charity, and never went And in the mean time the Doctor went upon ladies' committees, nor took any furon visiting his patients. When he came ther share than what was proper and necesback to bis brougham between his visits, sary in parish work; and when a woman and went bowling along in that comfortable has an active mind, and still does not care way, along the familiar roads, there was a for parish work, it is a little hard for her to certain glumness upon his face. Ile was find a “sphere." And Lucilla, though she not a demonstrative man, but when he was said nothing about a sphere, was still more alone you could tell by certain lines about or less in that condition of mind which has the well-worn cordage of his countenance been so often and so fuily described to the whether all was right with the Doctor; and British public — when the ripe female intelit was easy to see just at this moment that ligence, not having the natural resource of all was not right with him. But he did a nursery and a husband to manage, turns not say anything about it when he got home; inwards, and begins to make a protest” on the contrary, he was just at usual, and against the existing order of society, and to told his daughter all about his encounter call the world to account for giving it no with Mr. Cavendish. “A man at his time due occupation — and to consume itself. of life has no right to get fat - it's a sort She was not the woman to make protests, ot' thing I don't like to see. And he'll nor to claim for herself the doubtful honouis never be a ladies' man no more, Lucilla,” of a false position; but she felt all the same said the Doctor, with a gleam of humour that at her age she had outlived the occupa
tions that were suficient for her youth. To " Ile is exactly like George the Fourth, be sure, there were still the dinners to atpapa,” said Miis Marjoribanks; and the tend to, a branch of human affairs worthy of Doctor laughed as he sat dowh to dinner. the weightiest consideration, and she liad a If he had anything on his mind be bore it house of her own, as much as if she had like a hero, and gave no sign; but then, as heen half-a-dozen times married; but still Mrs. John very truly remarked, when a there are instincts which go even beyond man does not disclose his annoyances they dinners, and Lucilla had become conscious always tell more upon him in the end. that her capabilities were greater than her
in his eye.