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Hasn't he grown a fine boy? He can say several words now, sir, and can walk surprisingly well. Soon he will be able to walk with his grandfather, and then Marie will not have the trouble to wait upon: either of us." He repeated this sentiment in his pretty old French, and turning with a bow to Marie. The girl said Monsieur knew very well that she did not desire better than to come out with baby; that it. was better than staying at home, pardieu; and, the clock striking at this moment, she rose up with her child, crying out that it was time to return, or Madame would scold.
“ Mrs. Mackenzie has rather a short temper," the Colonel said, with a gentle smile. “Poor thing, she has had a great deal to bear in consequence, Pen, of my imprudence. I am glad you never took shares in our bank. I should not be so glad to see you as I am now, if I had brought losses upon you as I have upon so many of my friends." I, for my part, trembled to hear that the good old man was. under the domination of the Campaigner.
“ Bayham sends me the paper regularly; he is a very kind faithful creature. How glad I am that he has got a snug berth in the City ? His company really prospers, I am happy to think, unlike some companies you know of, Pen. I have read your two speeches, sir, and Clive and I liked them very much. The poor boy works all day at his pictures. You know he has sold one at the exhibition, which has given us a great deal of heart and he has completed two or three more-and I am sitting to him now for what do you think, sir? for Belisarius. Will you give Belisarius and the Obolus a kind word ?""
“My dear, dear old friend,” I said in great emotion, " if you will do me the kindness to take my Obolus or to use my services in any way, you will give me more pleasure than ever I had from your generous bounties in old days. Look, sir, I wear the watch which you gave me when you went to India. Did you not tell me then to: look after Clive and serve him if I could ? Can't I serve him now?" and I went on further in this strain, asseverating with great warmth and truth that my wife's affection and my own were most sincere for both of them, and that our pride would be to be able to help such dear friends.
The Colonel said I had a good heart, and my wife had, though, though he did not finish this sentence, but I could interpret it. without need of its completion. My wife and the two ladies of Colonel Newcome's family never could be friends, however much my poor Laura tried to be intimate with these women. Her very efforts at intimacy caused a frigidity and hauteur which Laura could not overcome. Little Rosey and her mother set us down as two aristocratic personages; nor for our parts were we very much disturbed at this opinion of the Campaigner and little Rosey.
I talked with the Colonel for half-an-hour or more about his affairs, which indeed were very gloomy, and Clive's prospects, of which he strove to present as cheering a view as possible. He was obliged to confirm the news which Sherrick had given me, and to own, in fact, that all his pension was swallowed up by a payment of interest and life-insurance for sums which he had been compelled to borrow. How could he do otherwise than meet his engagements ? Thank God, he had Clive's full approval for what he had done-had communicated the circumstance to his son almost immediately after it took place, and that was a comfort to him-an immense comfort, “ For the women are very angry," said the poor Colonel; “you see they do not understand the laws of honour, at least as we understand them: and perhaps I was wrong in hiding the truth as I certainly did from Mrs. Mackenzie, but I acted for the best-I hoped against hope that some chance might turn in our favour. God knows, I had a hard task enough in wearing a cheerful face for months, and in following my little Rosey about to her parties and balls; but poor Mrs. Mackenzie has a right to be angry, only I wish my little girl did not side with her mother so entirely, for the loss of her affection gives me pain.”
So it was as I suspected. The Campaigner ruled over this family, and added to all their distresses by her intolerable presence and tyranny. “Why, sir," I ventured to ask, “if, as I gather from youand I remember," I added with a laugh, “ certain battles royal which Clive described to me in old days—if you and the Campai-Mrs. Mackenzie do not agree, why should she continue to live with you, when you would all be so much happier apart ?"
“She has a right to live in the house," says the Colonel ; “it is I who have no right in it. I am a poor old pensioner, don't you see, subsisting on Rosey's bounty? We live on the hundred a year secured to her at her marriage, and Mrs. Mackenzie has her forty pounds of pension which she adds to the common stock. It is I who have made away with every shilling of Rosey's 17,000l., God help me, and with 1,500 of her mother's. They put their little means together, and they keep us-me and Clive. What can we do for a living ? Great God ! What can we do? Why, I am so useless that even when my poor boy earned 251. for his picture, I felt we were bound to send it to Sarah Mason, and you may fancy when this came to Mrs. Mackenzie's ears, what a life my boy and I led. I have never spoken of these things to any mortal soul--I even don't speak of them with Clive--but seeing your kind, honest face has made me talk--you must pardon my garrulity-I am growing old, Arthur. This poverty and these quarrels have beaten my spirit down-there, I shall talk on this subject no more. I wish, sir, I could ask you to dine with us, but”-and here he smiled—“we must get the leave of the higher powers."
I was determined, in spite of prohibitions and Campaigners, to see my old friend Clive, and insisted on walking back with the Colonel to his lodgings, at the door of which we met Mrs. Mackenzie and her daughter. Rosey blushed up a little-looked at her mamma-and then greeted me with a hand and a curtsey. The Campaigner also saluted me in a majestic but amicable manner, made no objection even to my entering her apartments and seeing the condition to which they were reduced: this phrase was uttered with particular emphasis and a significant look towards the Colonel, who bowed his meek head, and preceded me into the lodgings, which were in truth very homely, pretty and comfortable. The Campaigner was an excellent manager ---restless, bothering, brushing perpetually. Such fugitive gimcracks as they had brought away with them decorated the little salon. Mrs. Mackenzie, who took the entire command, even pressed me to dine and partake, if so fashionable a gentleman would condescend to partake of a humble exile's fare. No fare was perhaps very pleasant to me in company with that woman, but I wanted to see my dear old Clive, and gladly accepted his valuable mother-in-law's not disinterested hospitality. She beckoned the Colonel aside; whispered to him, putting something into his hand; on which he took his hat and went away. Then Rosey was dismissed upon some other pretext, and I had the felicity to be left alone with Mrs. Captain Mackenzie.
She instantly improved the occasion; and with great eagerness and volubility entered into her statement of the present affairs and position of this unfortunate family. She described darling Rosey's delicate state, poor thing—nursed with tenderness and in the lap of luxury brought up with every delicacy and the fondest mother-never knowing in the least how to take care of herself, and likely to fall down and perish unless the kind Campaigner were by to prop and protect her. She was in delicate health-very delicate-ordered cod-liver oil by the doctor. Heaven knows how he could be paid for those expensive medicines out of the pittance to which the impriidence--the most culpable and designing imprudence, and extravagance, and folly of Colonel Newcome had reduced them! Looking out from the window as she spoke I saw-we both saw-the dear old gentleman sadly advancing towards the house, a parcel in his hand. Seeing his near approach, and that our interview was likely to come to an end, Mrs. Mackenzie rapidly whispered to me that she knew I had a good heart—that I had been blessed by Providence with a fine fortune, which I knew how to keep better than some folks—and that if, as no doubt was my intention--for with what other but a charitable view could I have come to see them ?"and most generous and noble was: it of you to come, and I always thought it of you, Mr. Pendennis, whatever other people said to the contrary”-if I proposed to give
them relief, which was most needful-and for which a mother's blessings would follow me-let it be to her, the Campaigner, that my loan should be confided-for as for the Colonel, he is not fit to be trusted with a shilling, and has already flung away immense sums upon some old woman he keeps in the country, leaving his darling Rosey without the actual necessaries of life.
The woman's greed and rapacity--the flattery with which she chose to belabour me at dinner, so choked and disgusted me, that I could hardly swallow the meal, though my poor old friend had been sent out to purchase a pâté from the pastrycook's for my especial refection. Clive was not at the dinner. He seldom returned till late at night on sketching days. Neither his wife nor his mother-in-law seemed much to miss him; and seeing that the Campaigner engrossed the entire share of the conversation, and proposed not to leave me for five minutes alone with the. Colonel, I took leave rather speedily of my entertainers, leaving a message for Clive, and a prayer that he would come and see me at my hotel.
IN WHICH BELISARIUS RETURNS FROM EXILE.
T WAS sitting in the dusk in my room at the Hôtel des Bains, when 1 the visitor for whom I hoped made his appearance in the person of Clive, with his broad shoulders, and broad hat, and a shaggy beard, which he had thought fit in his quality of painter to assume. Our greeting it need not be said was warm; and our talk, which extended far into the night, very friendly and confidential. If I make my readers confidants in Mr. Clive's private affairs, I ask my friend's pardon for narrating his history in their behoof. The world had gone very ill with my poor Clive, and I do not think that the pecuniary losses which had visited him and his father afflicted him near so sorely as the state of his home. In a pique with the woman he loved, and from that generous weakness which formed part of his character, and which led him to acquiesce in most wishes of his good father, the young man had gratified the darling desire of the Colonel's heart, and had taken the wife whom his two old friends brought to him. Rosey, who was also, as we have shown, of a very obedient and ductile nature, had acquiesced gladly enough in her mamma's opinion, that she was in love with the rich and handsome young Clive, and accepted him for better or worse. So undoubtedly would this good child have accepted Captain Hoby, her previous adorer, have smilingly promised fidelity to the Captain at church, and have made a very good, happy, and sufficient little wife for that officer,—had not mamma commanded her to jilt him. What wonder that these elders should wish to see their two dear young ones united ? They began with suitable age, money, good temper, and parents' blessings. It is not the first time that with all these excellent helps to prosperity and happiness, a marriage has turned out unfortunately--a pretty, tight ship gone to wreck that set forth on its voyage with cheers from the shore, and every prospect of fair wind and fine weather.
If Clive was gloomy and discontented even when the honeymoon had scarce waned, and he and his family sat at home in state and splendour under the boughs of the famous silver cocoa-nut tree, what was the young man's condition now in poverty, when they had no love along with a scant dinner of herbs; when his mother-in-law grudged