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address me the word. If I had, like you, assassins in my pay, I would have you killed; do you hear me?" and she hobbled on her way. The household to which she went was in terrible agitation; the kind Lady Ann frightened beyond measure, poor Ethel full of dread, and feeling guilty almost as if she had been the cause, as indeed she was the occasion, of Kew's misfortune. And the family had further 'cause of alarm from the shock which the news had given to Sir Brian. It has been said that he had had illnesses of late which caused his friends much anxiety. He had passed two months at Aix-la-Chapelle, his physicians dreading a paralytic attack; and Madame d'Ivry's party still sauntering on the walk, the men smoking their cigars, the women breathing their scandal, now beheld Doctor Finck issuing from Lady Ann's apartments, and wearing such a face of anxiety, that the Duchesse asked with some emotion, “Had there been a fresh bulletin from Kehl ?"
“No, there had been no fresh bulletin from Kehl; but two hours since Sir Brian Newcome had had a paralytic seizure."
“ Is he very bad ?”
“ How inconsolable M. Barnes will be !” said the Duchesse, shrugging her haggard shoulders. Whereas the fact was that Mr. Barnes retained perfect presence of mind under both of the misfortunes which had befallen his family. Two days afterwards the Duchesse's husband arrived himself, when we may presume that exemplary woman was too much engaged with her own affairs to be able to be interested about the doings of other people. With the Duke's arrival the court of Mary Queen of Scots was broken up. Her Majesty was conducted to Loch Leven, where her tyrant soon dismissed her very last lady-in-waiting, the confidential Irish secretary, whose performance had produced such a fine effect amongst the Newcomes.
Had poor Sir Brian Newcome's seizure occurred at an earlier period of the autumn, his illness no doubt would have kept him for some months confined at Baden; but as he was pretty nearly the last of Dr. Von Finck's bath patients, and that eminent physician longed to be off to the Residenz, he was pronounced in a fit condition for easy travelling in rather a brief period after his attack, and it was determined to transport him to Mannheim, and thence by water to London and Newcome.
During all this period of their father's misfortune no sister of charity could have been more tender, active, cheerful, and watchful than Miss Ethel. She had to wear a kind face and exhibit no anxiety when occasionally the feeble invalid made inquiries regarding poor Kew at Baden; to catch the phrases as they came from him; to
NEWCOMES. acquiesce, or not to deny, when. Sir Brian talked of the marriagesboth marriages-taking place at Christmas. , Sir Brian was especially eager for his daughter's, and repeatedly, with his broken words, and smiles, and caresses, which were now quite senile, declared that his Ethel would make the prettiest countess in England. There came a letter or two from Clive, no doubt, to the young nurse in her sick-room.. Manly and generous, full of tenderness and affection, as those letters surely were, they could give but little pleasure to the young ladyindeed, only add to her doubts and pain.
She had told none of her friends as yet of those last words of Kew's, which she interpreted as a farewell on the young nobleman's part. Had she told them they very likely would not have understood. Kew's meaning as she did, and persisted in thinking that the two were reconciled. At any rate, whilst he and her father were still lying stricken by the blows which had prostrated them both, all questions of love and marriage had been put aside. Did she love him? She felt such a kind pity for his misfortune, such an admiration for his generous gallantry, such a remorse for her own wayward conduct and cruel behaviour towards this most honest, and kindly, and affectionate gentleman, that the sum of regard which she could bestow upon him might surely be said to amount to love. For such a union as that contemplated between them, perhaps for any marriage, no greater degree of attachment was necessary as the common cement. Warm. friendship and thorough esteem and confidence (I do not say that our young lady calculated in this matter-of-fact way) are safe properties invested in the prudent marriage stock, multiplying and bearing an increasing value with every year. Many a young couple of spendthriftsget through their capital of passion in the first twelve months, and have no love left for the daily demands of after life. Oh me! for the day when the bank account is closed, and the cupboard is empty, and the firm of Damon and Phyllis insolvent!
Miss Newcome, we say, without doubt, did not make her calculations in this debtor and creditor fashion; it was only the gentlemen of that family who went to Lombard Street. But suppose she thought that regard, and esteem, and affection being sufficient, she could joyfully and with almost all her heart bring such a portion to Lord Kew; that her harshness towards him as contrasted with his own generosity, and above all with his present pain, infinitely touched her; and suppose she fancied that there was another person in the world to whom, did fates permit, she could offer not esteem, affection, pity only, but something ten thousand times more precious ? We are not in the young lady's secrets, but if she has some as she sits by her father's chair and bed, who day or night will have no other attendant; and, as she busies herself to interpret his wants, silently
moves on his errands, administers his potions, and watches his sleep, thinks of Clive absent and unhappy, of Kew wounded and in danger, she must have subject enough of thought and pain. "Little wonder that her cheeks are pale and her eyes look red; she has her cares to endure now in the world, and her burden to bear in it, and somehow she feels she is alone, since that day when poor Clive's carriage drove away.
In a mood of more than ordinary depression and weakness Lady Kew must have found her granddaughter upon one of the few occasions after the double mishap, when Ethel and her elder were together. Sir Brian's illness, as it may be imagined, affected a lady very slightly who was of an age when these calamities occasion but small disquiet, and who, having survived her own father, her husband, her son, and witnessed their lordships' respective demises with perfect composure, could not reasonably be called upon to feel any particular dismay at the probable departure from this life of a Lombard Street banker, who happened to be her daughter's husband. In fact not Barnes Newcome himself could await that event more philosophically. So, finding Ethel in this melancholy mood, Lady Kew thought a drive in the fresh air would be of service to her, and, Sir Brian happening to be asleep, carried the young girl away in her barouche.
They talked about Lord Kew, of whom the accounts were encouraging, and who is mending in spite of his silly mother and her medicines," and as soon as he is able to move we must go and fetch him, my dear," Lady Kew graciously said, “ before that foolish woman has made a Methodist of him. He is always led by the woman who is nearest him, and I know one who will make of him just the best little husband in England.” Before they had come to this delicate point the lady and her grandchild had talked Kew's character over, the girl, you may be sure, having spoken feelingly and eloquently about his kindness and courage, and many admirable qualities. She kindled when she heard the report of his behaviour at the commencement of the fracas with M. de Castillonnes, his great forbearance and good-nature, and his resolution and magnanimity when the moment of collision came.
But when Lady Kew arrived at that period of her discourse in which she stated that Kew would make the best little husband in England, poor Ethel's eyes filled with tears; we must remember that her high spirit was worn down by watching and much varied anxiety, and then she confessed that there had been no reconciliation, as all the family fancied, between Frank and herself on the contrary, a parting, which she understood to be final; and she owned that her conduct towards her cousin had been most captious and cruel, and that she could not expect they should ever again come together. Lady
Kew, who hated sick beds and surgeons, except for herself, who hated her daughter-in-law above all, was greatly annoyed at the news which Ethel gave her; made light of it, however, and was quite confident that a very few words from her would place matters on their old footing, and determined on forthwith setting out for Kehl. She would have carried Ethel with her, but that the poor Baronet with cries and moans insisted on retaining his nurse, and Ethel's grandmother was left to undertake this mission by herself, the girl remaining behind acquiescent, not unwilling, owning openly a great regard and esteem for Kew, and the wrong which she had done him, feeling secretly a sentiment which she had best smother. She had received a letter from that other person, and answered it with her mother's cognisance, but about this little affair neither Lady Ann nor her daughter happened to say a word to the manager of the whole family.
CHAPTER XXXVIII. IN WHICH LADY KEW LEAVES HIS LORDSHIP QUITE CONVALESCENT. TMMEDIATELY after Lord Kew's wound, and as it was necessary I to apprise the Newcome family of the accident which had occurred, the good-natured young Kew had himself written a brief note to acquaint his relatives with his mishap, and had even taken the precaution to antedate a couple of billets to be despatched on future days; kindly forgeries, which told the Newcome family and the Countess of Kew, that Lord Kew was progressing very favourably, and that his hurt was trifling. The fever had set in, and the young patient was lying in great dạnger, as most of the laggards at Baden knew, when his friends there were set at ease by this fallacious bulletin. On the third day after the accident, Lady Walham arrived with her younger son, to find Lord Kew in the fever which ensued after the wound. As the terrible anxiety during the illness had been Lady Walham's, so was hers the delight of the recovery. The commander-in-chief of the family, the old lady at Baden, showed her sympathy by sending couriers, and repeatedly issuing orders to have news of Kew. Sick beds scared her away invariably. When illness befel a member of her family she hastily retreated from before the sufferer, showing her agitation of mind, however, by excessive ill-humour to all the others within her reach.
A fortnight passed, a ball had been found and extracted, the fever was over, the wound was progressing favourably, the patient advancing towards convalescence, and the mother, with her child once more under her wing, happier than she had been for seven years past, during which her young prodigal had been running the thoughtless career of which he himself was weary, and which had occasioned the fond lady such anguish. Those doubts which perplex many a thinking man, and, when formed and uttered, give many a fond and faithful woman pain so exquisite, had most fortunately never crossed Kew's mind. His early impressions were such as his mother had left them, and he came back to her as she would have him, as a little child, owning his faults with a hearty humble repentance, and with a thousand simple confessions lamenting the errors of his past days. We have seen him tired and ashamed of the pleasures which he was pursuing, of the companions, who surrounded him, of the brawls and dissipation which