« AnteriorContinuar »
morning a cab dashed up to Fitzroy Square, and a veiled lady came out thence, and was closeted with Colonel Newcome for five minutes, and when he led her back to the carriage there were tears in his eyes.
Mrs. Mackenzie joked about the transaction (having watched it from the dining-room windows), and asked the Colonel who his sweetheart was? Newcome replied, very sternly, that he hoped no one would ever speak lightly of that young lady, whom he loved as his own daughter; and I thought Rosey looked vexed at the praises. thus bestowed. This was the day before we all went down to Brighton. Miss Honeyman's lodgings were taken for Mr. Binnie and his ladies. Clive and her dearest Colonel had apartments next door. Charles Honeyman came down and preached one of his very best sermons. Fred Bayham was there, and looked particularly grand and noble on the pier and the cliff. I am inclined to think he had had some explanation with Thomas Newcome, which had placed F. B. in a state of at least temporary prosperity. Whom did he not benefit whom he knew, and what eye that saw him did not bless him? F. B. was greatiy affected at Charles's sermon, of which our party of course could see the allusions. Tears actually rolled down his brown cheeks; for Fred was a man very easily moved, and, as it were, a softened sinner. Little Rosey and her mother sobbed audibly, greatly to the surprise of stout old Miss Honeyman, who had no idea of such watery exhibitions, and to the discomfiture of poor Newcome, who was. annoyed to have his praises even hinted in that sacred edifice. Good Mr. James Binnie came for once to church; and, however variously their feelings might be exhibited or repressed, I think there was not one of the little circle there assembled who did not bring to the place a humble prayer and a gentle heart. It was the last Sabbath-bell our dear friend was to hear for many a day on his native shore. The great sea washed the beach as we came out, blue with the reflection of the skies, and its innumerable waves crested with sunshine. I see the good man and his boy yet clinging to him as they pace together by the shore.
The Colonel was very much pleased by a visit from Mr. Ridley, and the communication which he made my Lord Todmorden has a mansion and park in Sussex, whence Mr. Ridley came to pay his duty to Colonel Newcome). He said he never could forget the kindness with which the Colonel have a treated him. His lordship have taken a young man, which Mr. Ridley had brought him up under his own eye, and can answer for him, Mr. R. says, with impunity; and which he is to be his lordship's own man for the future. And his lordship. have appointed me his steward, and having, as he always hev been, been most liberal in point of sellary. And me and Mrs. Ridley was
thinking, sir, most respectfully, with regard to our son, Mr. John James Ridley--as good and honest a young man, which I am proud to say it, that if Mr. Clive goes abroad we should be most proud and happy if John James went with him. And the money which you have paid us so handsome, Colonel, he shall have it; which it was the excellent ideer of Miss Cann; and my lord have ordered a pictur of John James in the most lib'ral manner, and have asked my son to dinner, sir, at his lordship's own table, which I have faithfully served him five-and-thirty years." Ridley's voice fairly broke down at this part of his speech, which evidently was a studied composition, and he uttered no more of it, for the Colonel cordially shook him by the hand; and Clive jumped up clapping his, and saying that it was the greatest wish of his heart that J. J. and he should be companions in France and Italy. “But I did not like to ask my dear old father," he said, “who has had so many calls on his purse, and besides, I knew that J. J. was too independent to come as my follower.”
The Colonel's berth has been duly secured ere now. This time he makes the overland journey; and his passage is to Alexandria, taken in one of the noble ships of the Peninsular and Oriental Company. His kit is as simple as a subaltern's; I believe, but for Clive's friendly compulsion, he would have carried back no other than the old uniform which has served him for so many years. Clive and his father travelled to Southampton together by themselves. F. B. and I took the Southampton coach: we had asked leave to see the last of him, and say a “God bless you” to our dear old friend. So the day came when the vessel was to sail. We saw his cabin, and witnessed all the bustle and stir on board the good ship on a day of departure. Our thoughts, however, were fixed but on one person-the case, no doubt, with hundreds more on such a day. There was many a group of friends closing wistfully together on the sunny deck, and saying the last words of blessing and farewell. The bustle of the ship passes dimly round aboụt them; the hurrying noise of crew and officers running on their duty; the tramp and song of the men at the capstan bars; the bells ringing, as the hour for departure comes nearer and nearer, as mother and son, father and daughter, husband and wife, hold hands yet for a little while. We saw Clive and his father talking together by the wheel. Then they went below; and a passenger, her husband, asked me to give my arm to an almost fainting lady, and to lead her off the ship. Bayham followed us, carrying their two children in his arms, as the husband turned away, and walked aft. | The last bell was ringing, and they were crying, “Now for the shore.” The whole ship had begun to throb ere this, and its great wheels to beat the water, and the chimneys had flung out their black signals for sailing. We were as yet close on the dock, and we saw Clive coming
up from below, looking very pale; the plank was drawn after him as he stepped on land.
Then, with three great cheers from the dock, and from the crew in the bows, and from the passengers on the quarter-deck, the noble ship strikes the first stroke of her destined race, and swims away towards the ocean. “There he is, there he is,” shouts Fred Bayham, waving his hat. “God bless him, God bless him!” I scarce perceived at the ship's side, beckoning an adieu, our dear old friend, when the lady, whose husband had bidden me to lead her away from the ship, fainted in my arms, Poor soul! Her, too, has fate stricken. Ah, pangs of hearts torn asunder, passionate regrets, cruel, cruel partings! Shall you not end one day, ere many years; when the tears shall be wiped from all eyes, and there shall be neither sorrow nor pain ?
YOUTH AND SUNSHINE.
ALTHOUGH Thomas Newcome was gone back to India in search
of more money, finding that he could not live upon his income at home, he was nevertheless rather a wealthy man; and at the moment of his departure from Europe had two lakhs of rupees. invested in various Indian securities.“ A thousand a year," he thought, “ more added to the interest accruing from my two lakhs, will enable us to live very comfortably at home. I can give Clive ten thousand pounds when he marries, and five hundred a year out of my allowances. If he gets a wife with some money, they may have every enjoyment of life; and as for his pictures, he can paint just as few or as many of those as he pleases.” Newcome did not seem seriously to believe that his son would live by painting pictures, but considered Clive as a young prince who chose to amuse himself with painting. The Muse of Painting is a lady whose social station is not altogether recognized with us as yet. The polite world permits a gentleman to amuse himself with her, but to take her for better or for worse! forsake all other chances and cleave unto her! to assume her name! Many a respectable person would be as much shocked at the notion, as if his son had married an opera-dancer.
Newcome left a hundred a year in England, of which the principal sum was to be transferred to his boy as soon as he came of age. He endowed Clive farther with a considerable aninual sum, which his London bankers would pay: “And if these are not enough," says he kindly, “you must draw upon my agents, Messrs. Franks and Merryweather, at Calcutta, who will receive your signature just as if it were mine." Before going away, he introduced Clive to F. and M.'s corresponding London house, Jolly and Baines, Fog Court-leading out of Leadenhall-Mr. Jolly, a myth as regarded the firm, now married to Lady Julia Jolly-a park in Kent-evangelical interest-great at Exeter Hall meetings~knew Clive's grandmother--that is, Mrs. Newcome, a most admirable woman. Baines represents a house in the Regent's Park, with an emigrative tendency towards Belgravia -musical daughters-Herr Moscheles, Benedict, Ella, Osborne, constantly at dinner-sonatas in P flat (op. 936), composed and dedicated
to Miss Euphemia Baines, by her most obliged, most obedient servant, Ferdinando Blitz. Baines hopes that his young friend will come constantly to York Terrace, where the girls will be most happy to see him; and mentions at home a singular whim of Colonel Newcome's, who can give his son twelve or fifteen hundred a year, and makes an artist of him. Euphemia and Flora adore artists; they feel quite interested about this young man. “He was scribbling caricatures all the time I was talking with his father in my parlour," says Mr. Baines, and produces a sketch of an orange-woman near the Bank, who had struck Clive's eyes, and been transferred to the blotting-paper in Fog Court. “He needn't do anything," said goodnatured Mr. Baines. I guess all the pictures he'll paint won't sell for much.”
“Is he fond of music, papa ?” asks Miss. “What a pity he had not come to our last evening; and now the season is over!”
“And Mr. Newcome is going out of town. He came to me to-day for circular notes--says he's going through Switzerland and into Italy-lives in Charlotte Street, Fitzroy Square. Queer place, ain't it? Put his name down in your book, and ask him to dinner next season.”
Before Clive went away, he had an apparatus of easels, sketchingstools, umbrellas, and painting-boxes, the most elaborate and beautiful that Messrs. Soap and Isaac could supply. It made J. J.'s eyes glisten to see those lovely gimcracks of art; those smooth millboards, those slab-tinted sketching-blocks, and glistening rows of colour-tubes lying in their boxes, which seemed to cry,“ Come, squeeze me.” If paintingboxes made painters; if sketching-stools would but enable one to sketch, şurely I would hasten this very instant to Messrs. Soap and Isaac! but, alas! these pretty toys no more make artists than cowls make monks.
As a proof that Clive did intend to practise his profession, and to live by it too, at this time he took four sporting sketches to a printseller in the Haymarket, and disposed of them at the rate of seven shillings and sixpence per sketch. His exultation at receiving a sovereign and half a sovereign from Mr. Jones was boundless. “I can do half-a-dozen of these things easily in a morning," says he. 66 Two guineas a day is twelve guineas—say ten guineas a week, for I won't work on Sundays, and may take a holiday in the week besides.
Ten guineas a week is five hundred a year. That is pretty nearly as much money as I shall want, and I need not draw the dear old governor's allowance at all.” He wrote an ardent letter, full of happiness and affection, to the kind father, which he shall find a month after he has arrived in India, and read to his friends in Calcutta and Barrackpore, Clive invited many of his artist friends to a grand feast