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to-morrow the march begins again, and the toil, and the struggle, and the desert. Good-by, fountain! Whisper kisses to my dearest little ones from their affectionate AUNT ETHEL.
“A friend of his, a Mr. Warrington, has spoken against us several times with extraordinary ability as Barnes owns. Do you know Mr. W.? He wrote a dreadful article in the Independent, about the last poor lecture, which was indeed sad sentimental commonplace : and the critique is terribly comical. I could not help laughing, remembering some passages in it, when Barnes mentioned it : and my brother became so angry! They have put up a dreadful caricature of B. in Newcome: and my brother says he did it, but I hope
he has spirits for it. Good-by, again.-E. N.”
.“ He says he did it!” cries Mr. Pendennis, laying the letter down. “Barnes Newcome would scarcely caricature himself, my dear!"
“He' often means—means Clive-I think,” says Mrs. Pendennis, in an off-hand manner.
“Oh! he means Clive, does he, Laura ?”
6 Yes—and you mean goose, Mr. Pendennis !” that saucy lady replies.
It must have been about the very time that this letter was written, that a critical conversation occurred between Clive and his father, of which the lad did not inform me until much later days; as was the case--the reader has been more than once begged to believe-with many other portions of this biography.
One night the Colonel, having come home from a round of electioneering visits, not half-satisfied with himself; exceedingly annoyed (much more than he cared to own) with the impudence of some rude fellows at the public-houses, who had interrupted his fine speeches with odious hiccups and familiar jeers, was seated brooding over his cheroot by his chimney-fire; friend F. B. (of whose companionship his patron was occasionally tired) finding much better amusement with the “ Jolly Britons” in the Boscawen room below. The Colonel, as an electioneering business, had made his appearance in the club. But that ancient Roman warrior had frightened those simple Britons, His manners were too awful for them: so were Clive's, who visited them also under Mr. Potts's introduction; but the two gentlemeneach being full of care and personal annoyance at the time, acted like wet blankets upon the Britons whereas F. B. warmed them and cheered them, affably partook of their meals with them, and graciously shared their cups. So the Colonel was alone, listening to the far-off roar of the Briton's choruses by an expiring fire, as he sat by a glass of cold negus and the ashes of his cigar. I daresay he may have been thinking that his fire was well nigh out, his cup at the dregs, his pipe little more now than dust and ashes --when Clive, candle in hand, came into their sitting-room.
As each saw the other's face, it was so very sad and worn and pale, that the young man started back; and the elder, with quite the tenderness of old days, cried, “ God bless me, my boy, how ill you look! Come and warm yourself-look, the fire's out. Have something, Clivy!”
For months past they had not had a really kind word. The tender old voice smote upon Clive, and he burst into sudden tears. They rained upon his father's trembling old brown hand as he stooped down and kissed it.
“ You look very ill too, father," says Clive.
“ Ill? not I!” cries the father, still keeping the boy's hand under both his own on the mantelpiece. “Such a battered old fellow as I am has a right to look the worse for wear; but you, boy, why do you look so pale ?"
“ I have seen a ghost, father," Clive answered. Thomas, however, looked alarmed and inquisitive as though the boy'was wandering in his mind.
“ The ghost of my youth, father, the ghost of my happiness, and the best days of my life," groaned out the young man. “I saw Ethel to-day. I went to see Sarah Mason, and she was there."
“I had seen her, but I did not speak of her," said the father. “I thought it was best not to mention her to you, my poor boy. And are --are you fond of her still, Clive?"
“ Still! once means always in these things, father, doesn't it? Once means to-day, and yesterday, and for ever and ever."
“ Nay, my boy, you mustn't talk to me so, or even to yourself so. You have the dearest little wife at home, a dear little wife and child.”
“You had a son, and have been kind enough to him, God knows. You had a wife: but that doesn't prevent other-other thoughts. Do you know you never spoke twice in your life about my mother? You didn't care for her.”
“I–I did my duty by her; I denied her nothing. I scarcely ever had a word with her, and I did my best to make her happy," interposed the Colonel.
“I know, but your heart was with the other. So is mine. It's fatal; it runs in the family, father.”
· The boy looked so ineffably wretched that the father's heart melted still more." I did my best, Clive," the Colonel gasped out. “I went to that villain Barnes and offered him to settle every shilling I was worth on you—I did you didn't know that I'd kill myself for your sake, Clivy. What's an old fellow worth living for? I can live upon ia crust and a cigar. I don't care about a carriage, and only go in it to please Rosey. I wanted to give up all for you, but he played me false, that scoundrel cheated us both; he did, and so did Ethel.”
"No, sir; I may have thought so in my rage once, but I know better now. She was the victim and not the agent. Did Madame de Florac play you false when she married her husband ? It was her fate, and she underwent it. We all bow to it, we are in the track and the car passes over us. You know it does, father.” The Colonel was a fatalist: he had often advanced this Oriental creed in his simple discourses with his son and Clive's friends.
“Besides," Clive went on, “Ethel does not care for me. She received me to-day quite coldly, and held her hand out as if we had only parted last year. I suppose she likes that marquis who jilted her-God bless her. How shall we know what wins the hearts of women ? She has mine. There was my Fate. Praise be to Allah! It is over."
“But there's that villain who injured you. His isn't over yet," cried the Colonel, clenching his trembling hand.
“Ah, father! Let us leave him to Allah too! Suppose Madame de Florac had a brother who insulted you. You know you wouldn't have revenged yourself. You would have wounded her in striking him."
“You called out Barnes yourself, boy,” cried the father.
“That was for another cause, and not for my quarrel. And how do you know I intended to fire ? By Jove, I was so miserable then that an ounce of lead would have done me little harm !"
The father saw the son's mind more clearly than he had ever done hitherto. They had scarcely ever talked upon that subject, which the Colonel found was so deeply fixed in Clive's heart. He thought of his own early days, and how he had suffered, and beheld his son before him racked with the same cruel pangs of enduring grief. And he began to own that he had pressed him too hastily in his marriage; and to make an allowance for an unhappiness of which he had in part been the cause. . “Mashallah! Clive, my boy,” said the old man,“ what is done is done."
“Let us break up our camp before this place, and not go to war with Barnes, father,” said Clive. “Let us have peace—and forgive him if we can."
"And retreat before this scoundrel, Clive?”
“What is a victory over such a fellow ? One gives a chimney-sweep the wall, father.”
“I say again-What is done is done. I have promised to meet him at the hustings, and I will. I think it is best: and you are right: and you act like a high-minded gentleman-and my dear, dear old boy-not to meddle in the quarrel—though I didn't think so—and the difference gave me a great deal of pain--and so did what Pendennis said--and I'm wrong and thank God I am wrong-and God bless you, my own boy," the Colonel cried out in a burst of emotion; and the two went to their bed-rooms together, and were happier as they shook hands at the doors of their adjoining chambers than they had been for many a long day and year.
P AVING thus given his challenge, reconnoitred the enemy, and 11 pledged himself to do battle at the ensuing election, our Colonel took leave of the town of Newcome, and returned to his banking affairs in London. His departure was as that of a great public personage; the gentlemen of the Committee followed him obsequiously down to the train. “ Quick," bawls out Mr. Potts to Mr. Brown, the stationmaster, “Quick, Mr. Brown, a carriage for Colonel Newcome!” Halfa-dozen hats are taken off as he enters into the carriage, F. Bayham and his servant after him, with portfolios, umbrellas, shawls, despatchboxes. Clive was not there to act as his father's aide-de-camp. After their conversation together the young man had returned to Mrs. Clive and his other duties in life.
It has been said that Mr. Pendennis was in the country, engaged in a pursuit exactly similar to that which occupied Colonel Newcome, The menaced dissolution of Parliament did not take place so soon as 'we expected. The Ministry still hung together, and by consequence, Sir Barnes Newcome kept his seat in the House of Commons, from which his elder kinsman was eager to oust him. Away from London, and having but few correspondents, save on affairs of business, I heard little of Clive and the Colonel, save an occasional puff of one of Colonel Newcome's entertainments in the Pall Mall Gazette, to which journal F. Bayham still condescended to contribute; and a satisfactory announcement in a certain part of that paper, that on such a day, in Hyde Park Gardens, Mrs. Clive Newcome had presented her husband with a son. Clive wrote to me, presently, to inform me of the circumstance, stating at the same time, with but moderate gratification on his own part, that the Campaigner, Mrs. Newcome's mamma, had upon this second occasion made a second lodgment in her daughter's house and bed-chamber, and showed herself affably disposed to forget the little unpleasantries which had clouded over the sunshine of her former visit.
Laura, with a smile of some humour, said she thought now would be the time when, if Clive could be spared from his bank, he might pay us that visit at Fairoaks which had been due so long, and hinted that