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former to his parties. “An artist is any man's equal,” he said. “I have no prejudice of that sort; and think that Sir Joshua Reynolds and Doctor Johnson were fit company for any person, of whatever rank. But a young man whose father may have had to wait behind me at dinner, should not be brought into my company" Clive compromises the dispute with a laugh. “First," says he, “I will wait till I am asked; and then I promise I will not go to dine with Lord Todmorden."
CONTAINS MORE PARTICULARS OF THE COLONEL AND HIS
CLIVE'S amusements, studies, or occupations, such as they were,
filled his day pretty completely, and caused the young gentleman's time to pass rapidly and pleasantly. His father, it must be owned, had no such resources, and the good Colonel's idleness hung heavily upon him. He submitted very kindly to this infliction, however, as he would have done to any other for Clive's sake; and though he may have wished himself back with his regiment again, and engaged in the pursuits in which his life had been spent, he chose to consider these desires as very selfish and blameable on his part, and sacrificed them resolutely for his son's welfare. The young fellow, I daresay, gave his parent no more credit for his long self-denial than many other children award to theirs. We take such life-offerings as our due commonly. The old French satirist avers that, in a love affair, there is usually one person who loves, and the other qui se laisse aimer; it is only in later days, perhaps, when the treasures of love are spent, and the kind hand cold which ministered them, that we remember how tender it was; how soft to soothe; how eager to shield; how ready to support and caress. The cars may no longer hear which would have received our words of thanks so delightedly. Let us hope those fruits of love, though tardy, are yet not all too late; and though we bring our tribute of reverence and gratitude, it may be to a gravestone, there is an acceptance even there for the stricken heart's oblation of fond remorse, contrite memories, and pious tears. I am thinking of the love of Clive Newcome's father for him ; (and, perhaps, young reader, that of yours and mine for ourselves ;) how the old man lay awake, and devised kindnesses, and gave his all for the love of his son; and the young man took, and spent, and slept, and made merry. Did we not say, at our tale's commencement, that all stories were old? Careless prodigals and anxious elders have been from the beginning: --and so may love, and repentance, and forgiveness endure even till the end.
The stifling fogs, the slippery mud, the dun dreary November mornings, when the Regent's Park, where the Colonel took his early
walk, was wrapped in yellow mist, must have been a melancholy exchange for the splendour of Eastern sunrise, and the invigorating gallop at dawn, to which for so many years of his life, Thomas Newcome had accustomed himself. His obstinate habit of early waking accompanied him to England, and occasioned the despair of his London domestics, who, if master wasn't so awfully early, would have found no fault with him, for a gentleman as gives less trouble to his servants; as scarcely ever rings the bell for hisself; as will brush his own clothes; as will even boil his own shaving-water in the little hetna which he keeps up in his dressing-room; as pays so regular, and never looks twice at the accounts, such a man deserved to be loved by his household, and I daresay comparisons were made between him and his son, who do ring the bells, and scold if his boots ain't nice, and horder about like a young lord. But Clive, though imperious, was very liberal and good-humoured, and not the worse served because he insisted upon exerting his youthful authority. As for friend Binnie, he had a hundred pursuits of his own, which made his time pass very comfortably. He had all the Lectures at the British Institution ; he had the Geographical Society, the Asiatic Society, and the Political Economy Club; and though he talked year after year of going to visit his relations in Scotland, the months and seasons passed away, and his feet still beat the London pavement.
In spite of the cold reception his brothers gave him, duty was duty, and Colonel Newcome still proposed, or hoped to be well with the female members of the Newcome family, and having, as we have said, plenty of time on his hands, and living at no very great distance from either of his brothers' town houses, when their wives were in London, the elder Newcome was for paying them pretty constant visits. But after the good gentleman had called twice or thrice upon his sister-in-law in Bryanston Square-bringing, as was his wont, a present for this little niece, or a book for that-Mrs. Newcome, with her usual virtue, gave him to understand that the occupation of an English matron, who, besides her multifarious family duties, had her own intellectual culture to mind, would not allow her to pass the mornings in idle gossip; and of course took great credit to herself for having so rebuked him. I am not above instruction of any age." says she, thanking heaven (or complimenting it rather for having .created a being so virtuous and humble-minded). “When Professor Schroff comes, I sit with my children, and take lessons in German; and I say my verbs with Maria and Tommy in the same class ! ” Yes, with curtseys and fine speeches she actually bowed her brother out of doors, and the honest gentleman meekly left her, though with bewilderment, as he thought of the different hospitality to which he had been accụstomed in the East, where no friend's house was ever closed to him, where no neighbour was so busy but he had time to make Thomas Newcome welcome.
When Hobson Newcome's boys came home for the holidays, their kind uncle was for treating them to the sights of the town, but here Virtue again interposed, and laid its interdict upon pleasure. “Thank you, very much, my dear Colonel,” says Virtue; “there never was, surely, such a kind, affectionate, unselfish creature as you are, and so indulgent for children, but my boys and yours are brought up on a very different plan. Excuse me for saying that I do not think it is. advisable that they should even see too much of each other. Clive's. company is not good for them.”
“ Great heavens, Maria !” cries the Colonel, starting up,“ do you mean that my boy's society is not good enough for any boy alive ?"
Maria turned very red : she had said not more than she meant, but more than she meant to say. “My dear Colonel, how hot we are ! how angry you Indian gentlemen become with us poor women ! Your boy is much older than mine. He lives with artists, with all sorts of eccentric people. Our children are bred on quite a different plan. Hobson will succeed his father in the bank, and dear Samuel, I trust, will go into the church. I told you before the views I had regarding the boys ; but it was most kind of you to think of them most generous and kind.”
“ That Nabob of ours is a queer fish,” Hobson Newcome remarked to his nephew Barnes. “He is as proud as Lucifer, he is always taking huff about one thing or the other. He went off in a fume the other night because your aunt objected to his taking the boys to the play. She don't like their going to the play. My mother didn't either. Your aunt is a woman who is uncommon wide-awake, I can tell you."
“I always knew, sir, that my aunt was perfectly aware of the time of day," says Barnes, with a bow.
“And then the Colonel flies out about his boy, and says that my wife insulted him! I used to like that boy. Before his father came he was a good lad enough-a jolly brave little fellow.”
“I confess I did not know Mr. Clive at that interesting period of his existence,” remarks Barnes.
“ But since he has taken this mad-cap freak of turning painter," the uncle continues, “ there is no understanding the chap. Did you ever see such a set of fellows as the Colonel had got together at his party the other night? Dirty chaps in velvet coats and beards? They looked like a set of mountebanks. And this young Clive is going to turn painter !".
“Very advantageous thing for the family. He'll do our pictures for nothing. I always said he was a darling boy," simpered Barnes.
“ Darling jackass !" growled out the senior. “ Confound it, why
doesn't my brother set him up in some respectable business? I ain't proud. I have not married an earl's daughter. No offence to you Barnes.”
“ Not at all, sir. I can't help it if my grandfather is a gentleman," says Barnes, with a fascinating smile.
The uncle laughs. “I mean I don't care what a fellow is if he is. a good fellow. But a painter! hang it—a painter's no trade at all-I don't fancy seeing one of our family sticking up pictures for sale. I don't like it, Barnes.”
“ Hush! Here comes his distinguished friend, Mr. Pendennis," whispers Barnes ; and the uncle growling out, “ Damn all literary fellows--all artists—the whole lot of them !” turns away. Barnes waves three languid fingers of recognition towards Pendennis; and when the uncle and nephew have moved out of the club newspaperroom, little Tom Eaves comes up and tells the present reporter every word of their conversation.
Very soon Mrs. Newcome announced that their Indian brother found the society of Bryanston Square very little to his taste, as indeed how should he ? being a man of a good, harmless disposition: certainly, but of small intellectual culture. It could not be helped. She had done her utmost to make him welcome, and grieved that their pursuits were not more congenial. She heard that he was much more intimate in Park Lane. Possibly the superior rank of Lady Ann's family might present charms to Colonel Newcome, who fell asleep at her assemblies. His boy, she was afraid, was leading the most irregular life. He was growing a pair of mustachios, and going about with all sorts of wild associates. She found no fault; who was she, to find fault with any one ? But she had been compelled to hint that her children must not be too intimate with him. And so, between one brother who meant no unkindness, and another who was all affection and goodwill, this undoubting woman created difference, distrust, dislike, which might one day possibly lead to open rupture. The wicked are wicked no doubt, and they go astray and they fall, and they come by their deserts; but who can tell the mischief which the very virtuous do ?
To her sister-in-law, Lady Ann, the Colonel's society was more welcome. The affectionate gentleman never tired of doing kindnesses to his brother's many children, and as Mr. Clive's pursuits now separated him a good deal from his father, the Colonel, not perhaps without a sigh that fate should so separate him from the society which he loved best in the world, consoled himself as best he might with his nephews and nieces, especially with Ethel, for whom his belle passion, conceived at first sight, never diminished. “If Uncle Newcome had