« AnteriorContinuar »
blotted out. Oh, I suppose she was crying then—some of her tears, idle tears.... Hark, there is Barnes Newcome's eloquence still plapping on like water from a cistern-and our thoughts, where have they wandered ? far away from the lecture-as far away as Clive's almost. And now the fountain ceases to trickle; the mouth from which issued that cool and limpid flux ceases to smile; the figure is seen to bow and retire; a buzz, a hum, a whisper, a scuffle, a meeting of bonnets and wagging of feathers and rustling of silks ensue. “ Thank you! delightful, I am sure !” “I really was quite overcome.” “Excellent.” “ So much obliged," are rapid phrases heard amongst the polite on the platform. While down below, “ Yaw! quite enough of that.”. 6 Mary Jane, cover your throat up, and don't kitch cold, and don't push me, please, sir.” “?Arry! coom along and 'av a pint a' ale,” &c., are the remarks heard, or perhaps not heard, by Clive Newcome as he watches at the private entrance of the Athenæum, where Sir Barnes's carriage is waiting with its flaming lamps, and domestics in state liveries. One of them comes out of the building bearing the little girl in his arms and lays her in the carriage. Then Sir Barnes, and Lady Ann, and the Mayor. Then Ethel issues forth, and as she passes under the lamps, beholds Clive's face as pale and sad as her own.
Shall we go visit the lodge-gates of Newcome Park with the moon shining on their carving. Is there any pleasure in walking by miles of grey paling and endless palisades of firs? O you fool, what do you hope to see behind that curtain ? Absurd fugitive, whither would you run? Can you burst the tether of fate: and is not poor dear little Rosey Mackenzie sitting yonder waiting for you by the stake? Go home, sir ; and don't catch cold. So Mr. Clive returns to the “ King's Arms," and up to his bed-room, anl he hears Mr. F. Bayham's deep voice as he passes by the Boscawen Room, where the jolly Britons are as usual assembled.
NEWCOME AND LIBERTY.
ITE have said that the Baronet's lecture was discussed in the mid
V night senate assembled at the “ King's Arms,” where Mr. Tom Potts showed the orator no mercy. The senate of the “King's Arms” was hostile to Sir Barnes Newcome. Many other Newcomites besides were savage and inclined to revolt against the representative of their borough. As these patriots met over their cups, and over the bumper of friendship uttered the sentiments of freedom, they had often asked of one another, where should a man be found to rid Newcome of its dictator ? Generous hearts writhed under the oppression: patriotic eyes scowled when Barnes Newcome went by: with fine satire, Tom Potts at Brown the hatter's shop, who made the hats for Sir Barnes Newcome's domestics, proposed to take one of the beavers—a goldlaced one with a cockade and a cord--and set it up in the marketplace and bid all Newcome come bow to it, as to the hat of Gessler. “ Don't you think, Potts," says F. Bayham, who of course was admitted into the “ King's Arms” club, and ornamented that assembly by his presence and discourse, “Don't you think the Colonel would make a good William Tell to combat against that Gessler ?” Ha! Proposal received with acclamation-eagerly adopted by Charles Tucker, Esq., attorney-at-law, who would not have the slighest objection to conduct Colonel Newcome's, or any other gentleman's, electioneering business in Newcome or elsewhere.
Like those three gentlemen in the plays and pictures of William Tell who conspire under the moon, calling upon liberty and resolving to elect Tell as their especial champion-like Arnold, Melchthal, and Werner-Tom Potts, Fred Bayham, and Charles Tucker, Esqs., conspired round a punch-bowl, and determined that Thomas Newcome should be requested to free his country. A deputation from the electors of Newcome, that is to say, these very gentlemen, waited on the Colonel in his apartment the very next morning, and set before him the state of the borough; Barnes Newcome's tyranny under which it groaned, and the yearning of all honest men to be free from that usurpation. Thomas Newcome received the deputation with great solemnity and politeness, crossed his legs, folded his arms, smoked his cheroot, and listened most decorously, as now Potts, now Tucker expounded to him; Bayham giving the benefit of his emphatic “hear, hear," to their statements, and explaining dubious phrases to the Colonel in the most affable manner.
Whatever the conspirators had to say against poor Barnes, Colonel Newcome was only too ready to believe. He had made up his mind that that criminal ought to be punished and exposed. The lawyer's covert inuendoes, who was ready to insinuate any amount of evil against Barnes which could safely be uttered, were by no means strong enough for Thomas Newcome. “Sharp practice! exceedingly alive to his own interests-reported violence of temper and tenacity of money'-say swindling at once, sir-say falsehood and rapacity-say cruelty and avarice," cries the Colonel—“I believe, upon my honour and conscience, that unfortunate young man to be guilty of every one of those crimes.”
Mr. Bayham remarks to Mr. Potts that our friend the Colonel, when he does utter an opinion, takes care there shall be no mistake about it.
“And I took care there should be no mistake before I uttered it at all, Bayham!” cries F. B.'s patron. “As long as I was in any doubt about this young man, I gave the criminal the benefit of it, as a man who admires our glorious constitution should do, and kept my own counsel, sir."
“At least,” remarks Mr. Tucker, " enough is proven to show that Sir Barnes Newcome Newcome, Baronet, is scarce a fit person to represent this great borough in Parliament.
" Represent Newcome in Parliament ! It is a disgrace to that noble institution the English House of Commons, that Barnes Newcome should sit in it. A man whose word you cannot trust; a man stained with every private crime. What right has he to sit in the assembly of the legislators of the land, sir?” cries the Colonel, waving his hand as if addressing a chamber of deputies.
“ You are for upholding the House of Commons ?" inquires the lawyer.
« Of course, sir, of course."...
“And for increasing the franchise, Colonel Newcome, I should hope?" continues Mr. Tucker.
“ Every man who can read and write ought to have a vote, sir; that is my opinion !” cries the Colonel.
“He's a Liberal to the backbone," says Potts to Tucker.
"To the backbone !" responds Tucker to Potts. “The Colonel will do for us, Potts."
“ We want such a man, Tucker; the Independent has been crying out for such a man for years past. We ought to have a Liberal as second representative of this great town-not a sneaking half-and-half Ministerialist like Sir Barnes, a fellow with one leg in the Carlton and the other in Brookes's. Old Mr. Bunce we can't touch. His place is safe; he is a good man of business : we can't meddle with Mr. Bunce - I know that, who know the feeling of the country pretty well.”
“Pretty well! Better than any man in Newcome, Potts !” cries: Mr. Tucker.
“But a good man like the Colonel,--a good Liberal like the Colonel,—a man who goes in for household suffrage--"
“ Certainly, gentlemen."
“And the general great Liberal principles—we know, of coursesuch a man would assuredly have a chance against Sir Barnes Newcome at the coming election, could we find such a man--a real friend of the people!”
“ I know a friend of the people if ever there was one,” F. Bayham interposes.
“A man of wealth, station, experience; a man who has fought for his country; a man who is beloved in this place as you are, Colonel Newcome: for your goodness is known, sir-You are not ashamed of your origin, and there is not a Newcomite old or young but knows how admirably good you have been to your old friend, Mrs.-Mrs. What-d'you-call’em ?”
“ Mrs. Mason," from F. B.
“Mrs. Mason. If such a man as you, sir, would consent to put himself in nomination at the next election, every true Liberal in this place would rush to support you; and crush the oligarch who rides over the liberties of this borough !"
“Something of this sort, gentlemen, I own to you had crossed my mind," Thomas Newcome remarked. “When I saw that disgrace to my name, and the name of my father's birthplace, representing the borough in Parliament, I thought for the credit of the town and the family, the Member for Newcome at least might be an honest man. I ann an old soldier; have passed all my life in India; and am little conversant with affairs at home (cries of 'You are, you are). I hoped that my son, Mr. Clive Newcome, might have been found qualified to contest this borough against his unworthy cousin, and possibly to sit as your representative in Parliament. The wealth I have had the good fortune to amass will descend to him naturally, and at no very distant period of time, for I am nearly seventy years of age, gentlemen.”
The gentlemen are astonished at this statement.
“But," resumed the Colonel, “my son Clive,' as friend Bayham knows, and to my own regret and mortification, as I don't care to confess to you, declares he has no interest in politics, nor desire for public
distinction--prefers his own pursuits and even these I fear do not absorb him-declines the offer which I made him, to present himself in opposition to Sir Barnes Newcome. It becomes men in a certain station, as I think, to assert that station; and though a few years back I never should have thought of public life at all, and proposed to end my days in quiet as a retired dragoon officer, since-since it has pleased heaven to increase very greatly my pecuniary means, to place me as a director and manager of an important banking company, in a station of great public responsibility, I and my brother directors have thought it but right that one of us should sit in Parliamento, if possible, and I am not a man to shirk from that or from any other duty.”
“Colonel, will you attend a meeting of electors which we will call, and say as much to them and as well?” cries Mr. Potts. “Shall I put an announcement in my paper to the effect that you are ready to come forward ?”
“ I am prepared to do so, my good sir." And presently this solemn palaver ended.
Besides the critical article upon the Baronet's lecture, of which Mr. Warrington was the author, there appeared in the leading columns of the ensuing number of Mr. Potts's Independent some remarks of a very smashing or hostile nature against the Member for Newcome. “ This gentleman has shown such talent in the lecturing business," the Independent said, “ that it is a great pity he should not withdraw himself from politics, and cultivate what all Newcome knows are the arts which he understands best; namely, poetry and the domestic affections. The performance of our talented representative last night was so pathetic as to bring tears into the eyes of several of our fair friends. We have heard, but never believed until now, that Sir Barnes Newcome possessed such a genius for making women cry. Last week we had the talented Miss Noakes, from Slowcome, reading Milton to us; how far superior was the eloquence of Sir Barnes Newcome Newcome, Bart., even to that of the celebrated actress! Bets were freely offered in the room last night that Sir Barnes would beat any woman,
bets which were not taken, as we scarcely need say, so well do our citizens appreciate the character of our excellent, our admirable representative. Let the Baronet stick to his lectures, and let Newcome relieve him of his political occupations. He is not fit for them, he is: too sentimental a man for us; the men of Newcome want a sound practical person; the Liberals of Newcome have a desire to be represented. When we elected Sir Barnes, he talked liberally enough, and we thought he would do, but you see the honourable Baronet is: so poetical! we ought to have known that, and not to have believed him. Let us have a straightforward gentleman. If not a man of