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Newcome at her brother's house. Sir Barnes Newcome was quitting his own door as I entered it, and he eyed me with such a severe countenance, as made me augur but ill of the business upon which I came. The expression of Ethel's face was scarcely more cheering : she was standing at the window, sternly looking at Sir Barnes, who yet lingered at his own threshold, having some altercation with his cab-boy ere he mounted his vehicle to drive into the City.
Miss Newcome was very pale when she advanced and gave me her hand. I looked with some alarm into her face, and inquired what news ?
“ It is as you expected, Mr. Pendennis," she said—“not as I did. My brother is averse to making restitution. He just now parted from me in some anger. But it does not matter; the restitution must be made, if not by Barnes, by one of our family=must it not?"
66 God bless you for a noble creature, my dear, dear Miss Newcome !" was all I could say..
“For doing what is right? Ought I not to do it? I am the eldest of our family after Barnes: I am the richest after him. Our father left all his younger children the very sum of money which Mrs. Newcome here devises to Clive; and you know, besides, I have all my grandmother's, Lady Kew's, property. Why, I don't think I could sleep if this act of justice were not done. Will you come with me to my lawyer's? He and my brother Barnes are trustees of my property; and I have been thinking, dear Mr. Pendennis--and you are very good to be so kind, and to express so kind an opinion of me, and you and Laura have always, always been the best friends to me”-(she says this, taking one of my hands and placing her other hand over it) _“I have been thinking, you know, that this transfer had better be made through Mr. Luce, you understand, and as coming from the family, and then I need not appear in it at all, you see; and-and my dear good old uncle's pride need not be wounded." She fairly gave way to tears as she spokemand for me, I longed to kiss the hem of her robe, or anything else she would let me embrace, I was so happy, and so touched by the simple demeanour and affection of the noble young lady.
“Dear Ethel," I said, “ did I not say I would go to the end of the world with you—and won't I go to Lincoln's Inn ?"
A cab was straightway sent for, and in another half-hour we were in the presence of the courtly little old Mr. Luce, in his chambers in Lincoln's Inn Fields.
He knew the late Mrs. Newcome's handwriting at once. He remembered having seen the little boy at the Hermitage, had talked with Mr. Newcome regarding his son in India, and had even encouraged Mrs. Newcome in her idea of leaving some token of good-will tū the latter. “I was to have dined with your grandmamma on the Saturday, with my poor wife. Why, bless my soul! I remember the circumstance perfectly well, my dear young lady. There can't be a doubt about the letter, but of course the bequest is no bequest at all, and Colonel Newcome has behaved so ill to your brother that I suppose Sir Barnes will not go out of his way to benefit the Colonel."
6 What would you do, Mr. Luce ?" asks the young lady.
“ H'm! And pray why should I tell you what I should do under the circumstances ?" replied the little lawyer. “Upon my word, Miss Newcome, I think I should leave matters as they stand. Sir Barnes and I, you are aware, are not the very best of friends-as your father's, your grandmother's old friend and adviser, and your own too, my dear young lady, I and Sir Barnes Newcome remain on civil terms. But neither is over much pleased with the other, to say the truth; and, at any rate, I cannot be accused---nor can any one else that I know ofm of being a very warm partisan of your brother's. But candidly, were his case mine-had I a relation who had called me unpleasant names, and threatened me I don't know with what, with sword and pistolwho had put me to five or six thousand pounds' expense in contesting an election which I had lost,—I should give him, I think, no more than the law obliged me to give him; and that, my dear Miss Newcome, is not one farthing."
“I am very glad you say so," said Miss Newcome, rather to my astonishment.
“Of course, my dear young lady; and so you need not be alarmed at showing your brother this document. Is not that the point about which you came to consult me? You wished that I should prepare him for the awful disclosure, did you not? You know, perhaps, that he does not like to part with his money, and thought the appearance of this note might agitate him ? It has been a long time coming to its address, but nothing can be done, don't you see ? and be sure Sir Barnes Newcome will not be the least agitated when I tell him its contents."
“I mean I am very glad you think my brother is not called upon to obey Mrs. Newcome's wishes, because I need not think so hardly of him as I was disposed to do," Miss Newcome said. “I showed him the paper this morning, and he repelled it with scorn; and not kind words passed between us, Mr. Luce, and unkind thoughts remained in my mind. But if he, you think, is justified, it is I who have been in the wrong for saying that he was self-for upbraiding him as I own I did.”
“You called him selfish !—You had words with him! Such things have happened before, my dear Miss Newcome, in the best-regulated families."
“But if he is not wrong, sir, holding his opinions, surely I should be wrong, sir, with mine, not to do as my conscience tells me; and having found this paper only yesterday at Newcome, in the library there, in one of my grandmother's books, I consulted with this gentleman, the husband of my dearest friend, Mrs. Pendennis--the most intimate friend of my uncle and cousin Clive; and I wish, and I desire and insist, that my share of what my poor father left us girls should be given to my cousin, Mr. Clive Newcome, in accordance with my grandmother's dying wishes."
“My dear, you gave away your portion to your brothers and sisters ever so long ago!” cried the lawyer.
“I desire, sir, that six thousand pounds may be given to my cousin," Miss Newcome said, blushing deeply. “My dear uncle, the best man in the world, whom I love with all my heart, sir, is in the most dreadful poverty. Do you know where he is, sir? My dear, kind, generous uncle!”—and, kindling as she spoke, and with eyes beaming a bright kindness, and flushing cheeks, and a voice that thrilled to the heart of those two who heard her, Miss Newcome went on to tell of her uncle's and cousin's misfortunes, and of her wish, under God, to relieve them. I see before me now the figure of the noble girl as she speaks; the pleased little old lawyer, bobbing his white head, looking up at her with his twinkling eyes-patting his knees, patting his snuff-box-as he sits before his tapes and his deeds, surrounded by a great background of tin boxes.
“And I understand you want this money paid as coming from the family, and not from Miss. Newcome ?” says Mr. Luce.
" Coming from the family-exactly"answers Miss Newcome.
Mr. Luce rose up from his old chair-his worn-out old horse-hair chair-where he had sat for half a century and listened to many a speaker very different from this one. “Mr. Pendennis," he said, “I envy you your journey along with this young lady. I envy you the good news you are going to carry to your friends-and, Miss Newcome, as I am an old-old gentleman who have known your family these sixty years, and saw your father in his long-clothes, may I tell you how heartily and sincerely I—I love and respect you, my dear? When should you wish Mr. Clive Newcome to have his legacy ?"
“I think I should like Mr. Pendennis to have it this instant, Mr. Luce, please," said the young lady-and her veil dropped over her face as she bent her head down, and clasped her hands together for a moment, as if she were praying.
Mr. Luce laughed at her impetuosity; but said that if she was bent upon having the money, it was at her instant service; and, before we left the room, Mr. Luce prepared a letter, addressed to Clive New
come, Esquire, in which he stated, that amongst the books of the late Mrs. Newcome a paper had only just been found, of which a copy was enclosed, and that the family of the late Sir Brian Newcome, desirous to do honour to the wishes of the late Mrs. Newcome, had placed the sum of 6,000l, at the bank of Messrs. H. W at the disposal of Mr. Clive Newcome, of whom Mr. Luce had the honour to sign himself the most obedient servant, &c. And, the letter approved and copied, Mr. Luce said Mr. Pendennis might be the postman thereof, if Miss Newcome so willed it: and, with this document in my pocket, I quitted the lawyer's chambers, with my good and beautiful young companion.
Our cab had been waiting several hours in Lincoln's Inn Fields, and I asked Miss Ethel whither I now should conduct her?
“ Where is Grey Friars ?” she said. “Mayn't I go to see my uncle ?"
IN WHICH OLD FRIENDS COME TOGETHER. W E made the ascent of Snowhill, we passed by the miry pens of
Smithfield; we travel through the street of St. John, and presently reach the ancient gateway, in Cistercian Square, where lies the old Hospital of Grey Friars. I passed through the gate, my fair young companion on my arm, and made my way to the rooms occupied by Brother Newcome.
As we traversed the court the Poor Brothers were coming from dinner. A couple of score, or more, of old gentlemen in black gowns, issued from the door of their refectory, and separated over the court, betaking themselves to their chambers. Ethel's arm trembled under mine as she looked at one and another, expecting to behold her dear. uncle's familiar features. But he was not among the brethren. We went to his chamber, of which the door was open: a female attendant was arranging the room; she told us Colonel Newcome was out for the day, and thus our journey had been made in vain.
Ethel went round the apartment and surveyed its simple decorations; she looked at the pictures of Clive and his boy; the two sabres. crossed over the mantel-piece, the Bible laid on the table, by the old latticed window. She walked slowly up to the humble bed, and sat down on a chair near it. No doubt her heart prayed for him who slept there; she turned round where his black pensioner's cloak was hanging on the wall, and lifted up the homely garment, and kissed it. The servant looked on admiring, I should think, her melancholy and her gracious beauty. I whispered to the woman that the young lady was the Colonel's niece. “He has a son who comes here, and is very handsome, too," said the attendant.
The two women spoke together for a while. “Oh, miss !" cried the elder and humbler, evidently astonished at some gratuity which Miss Newcome bestowed upon her, " I didn't want this to be good to him. Everybody here loves him for himself; and I would sit up for him for weeks that I would."
My companion took a pencil from her bag and wrote “ Ethel" on a piece of paper, and laid the paper on the Bible. Darkness had again fallen by this time, feeble lights were twinkling in the chamber windows of the Poor Brethren as we issued into the courts ;-feeble lights illumining a dim, grey, melancholy old scene. Many a career, once bright, was flickering out here in the darkness; many a night was closing in. We went away silently from that quiet place; and in another minute were in the flare and din and tumult of London.
“ The Colonel is most likely gone to Clive's," I said. Would not Miss Newcome follow him thither? We consulted whether she should go. She took heart and said “yes.” “Drive, cabman, to Howland Street!” The horse was, no doubt, tired, for the journey seemed extraordinarily long: I think neither of us spoke a word on the way.
I ran upstairs to prepare our friends for the visit. Clive, his wife, his father, and his mother-in-law were seated by a dim light in Mrs. Clive's sitting-room. Rosey on the sofa, as usual; the little boy on his grandfather's knees.
I hardly made a bow to the ladies, so eager was I to communicate with Colonel Newcome. "I have just been to your quarters at Grey Friars, sir," said I. 6 That is__"
“You have been to the Hospital, sir! You need not be ashamed to mention it, as Colonel Newcome is not ashamed to go there," cried out the Campaigner. "Pray speak in your own language, Clive, unless there is something not fit for ladies to hear." Clive was growl. ing out to me in German that there had just been a terrible scene, his father having, a quarter of an hour previously, let slip the secret about Grey Friars.
“ Say at once, Clive !" the Campaigner cried, rising in her might, and extending a great strong arm over her helpless child,“ that Colonel Newcome owns that he has gone to live as a pauper in a hospital! He who has squandered his own money-he who has squandered my money-he who has squandered the money of that darling helpless child-compose yourself, Rosey my love !-has completed the disgrace