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ETHEL AND HER RELATIONS. LOR four-and-twenty successive hours Lady Ann Newcome was T perfectly in raptures with her new lodgings, and every person and thing which they contained. The drawing-rooms were fitted with the greatest taste; the dinner was exquisite. Were there ever such delicious veal-cutlets, such verdant French beans ? “Why do we have those odious French cooks, my dear, with their shocking principlesthe principles of all Frenchmen are shocking--and the dreadful bills they bring us in; and their consequential airs and graces? I am determined to part with Brignol. I have written to your father this evening to give Brignol warning. When did he ever give us vealcutlets ? What can be nicer ?”
“Indeed they were very good," said Miss Ethel, who had mutton five times a week at one o'clock. “I am so glad you like the house, and Clive, and Miss Honeyman."
“ Like her! the dear little old woman. I feel as if she had been my friend all my life! I feel quite drawn towards her. What a wonderful coincidence that Dr. Goodenough should direct us to this very house. I have written to your father about it. And to think that I should have written to Clive at this very house, and quite forgotten Miss Honeyman's name and such an odd name too. I forget everything, everything! You know I forgot your Aunt Louisa's husband's name; and when I was godmother to her baby, and the clergyman said, 'What is the infant's name?' I said, 'Really I forget.' And so I did. He was a London clergyman, but I forget at what church. Suppose it should be this very Mr. Honeyman! It may have been, you know, and then the coincidence would be still more droll. That tall, old, nice-looking, respectable person, with a mark on her nose, the housekeeper-what is her name?—seems a most invaluable person. I think I shall ask her to come to us. I am sure she would save me I don't know how much money every week; and I am certain Mrs. Trotter is making a fortune by us. I shall write to your papa, and ask him permission to ask this person.” Ethel's mother was constantly falling in love with her new acquaintances; their men-servants and their maid-servants, their horses and ponies, and the visitor within their gates. She would ask strangers to Newcome, hug and embrace them on Sunday; not speak to them on Monday; and on Tuesday behave so rudely to them, that they were gone before Wed
during the first week, and monsters afterwards--that the poor child possessed none of the accomplishments of her age. She could not play on the piano; she could not speak French well; she could not tell you when gunpowder was invented; she had not the faintest idea
the sun, or vice versa. She did not know the number of counties in England, Scotland, and Wales, let alone Ireland; she did not know the difference between latitude and longitude. She had had so many governesses: their accounts differed; poor Ethel was bewildered by a multiplicity of teachers, and thought herself a monster of ignorance. They gave her a book at a Sunday School, and little girls of eight years old answered questions of which she knew nothing. The place swam before her. She could not see the sun shining on their fair flaxen heads and pretty faces. The rosy little children holding up their eager hands, and crying the answer to this question and that, seemed mocking her. She seemed to read in the book, “O Ethel, you dunce, dunce, dunce!”. She went home silent in the carriage, and burst into bitter tears on her bed. Naturally a haughty girl of the highest spirit, resolute and imperious, this little visit to the parish school taught Ethel lessons, more valuable than ever so much arithmetic and geography.-Clive has told me a story of her in her youth, which, perhaps, may apply to some others of the youthful female aristocracy. She used to walk, with other select young ladies and gentlemen, their nurses and governesses, in a certain reserved plot of ground railed off from Hyde Park, whereof some of the lucky dwellers in the neighbourhood of Apsley House have a key. In this garden, at the age of nine or thereabout, she had contracted an intimate friendship with the Lord Hercules O'Ryan, as every one of my gentle readers knows, one of the sons of the Marquis of Ballyshannon. The Lord Hercules was a year younger than Miss Ethel Newcome, which may account for the passion which grew up between these young persons; it being a provision in nature that a boy always falls in love with a girl older than hiniself, or rather, perhaps, that a girl bestows her affections on a little boy, who submits to receive them.
One day Sir Brian Newcome announced his intention to go to Newcome that very morning, taking his family, and of course Ethel, with him. She was inconsolable. “What will Lord Hercules do when he finds I am gone?” she asked of her nurse. The nurse endeavouring to soothe her, said, “ Perhaps his lordship would know nothing about the circumstance." "He will,” said Miss Ethel-he'll read it in the newspaper." My Lord Hercules, it is to be hoped, strangled this infant passion in the cradle; having long since married Isabella, only daughter of — Grains, Esq., of Drayton, Windsor, a partner in the great brewery of Foker & Co.
: When Ethel was thirteen years old, she had grown to be such a tall girl, that she overtopped her companions by a head or more, and morally perhaps, also, felt herself too tall for their society. “Fancy myself,” she thought, “dressing a doll like Lily Putland, or wearing a pinafore like Lucy Tucker !” She did not care for their sports. She could not walk with them: it seemed as if every one stared; nor dance with them at the academy; nor attend the Cours de Littérature Universelle et de Science Compréhensive of the professor then the mode--the smallest girls took her up in the class. She was bewil
little assemblies of her sex, when, under the guide of their respected governesses, the girls came to tea at six o'clock, dancing, charades, and so forth, Ethel herded not with the children of her own age, nor yet with the teachers who sit apart at these assemblies, imparting to: each other their little wrongs; but Ethel romped with the little children -the rosy little trots—and took them on her knees, and told them a thousand stories. By these she was adored, and loved like a mother almost, for as such the hearty kindly girl showed herself to them; but at home she was alone, farouche, and intractable, and did battle with the governesses, and overcame them one after another. I break the promise of a former page, and am obliged to describe the youthful days of more than one person who is to take a share in this story. Not always doth the writer know whither the divine Muse leadeth him. But of this be sure-she is as inexorable as Truth. We must tell our tale as she imparts it to us, and go on or turn aside at her bidding.
· Here she ordains that we should speak of other members of this family, whose history we chronicle, and it behoves us to say a word regarding the Earl of Kew, the head of the noble house into which Sir Brian Newcome had married.
When we read in the fairy stories that the King and Queen, who lived once upon a time, build a castle of steel, defended by moats and sentinels innumerable, in which they place their darling only child, the Prince or Princess, whose birth has blessed them after so many years. of marriage, and whose christening feast has been interrupted by the cantankerous humour of that notorious old fairy who always persists in coming, although she has not received any invitation, to the baptismal ceremony: when Prince Prettyman is locked up in the steel tower provided only with the most wholesome food, the most edifying educational works, and the most venerable old tutor to instruct and to bore
him, we know, as a matter of course, that the steel bolts and brazen bars will one day be of no avail, the old tutor will go off in a doze, and the moats and drawbridges will either be passed by his Royal Highness's'implacable enemies, or crossed by the young scapegrace himself, who is determined to outwit his guardians, and see the wicked world. The old King and Queen always come in and find the chambers empty, the saucy heir-apparent flown, the porters and sentinels drunk, the ancient tutor asleep; they tear their venerable wigs in anguish, they kick the major-domo downstairs, they turn the duenna out of
Princess will slip out of window by the rope-ladder; the Prince will be off to pursue his pleasures, and sow his wild oats at the appointed season. How many of our English princes have been coddled at home by their fond papas and mammas, walled up in inaccessible castles, with a tutor and a library, guarded by cordons of sentinels, sermoners, old aunts, old women from the world without, and have nevertheless escaped from all these guardians, and astonished the world by their extravagance and their frolics? What a wild rogue was that Prince Harry, son of the austere sovereign who robbed Richard the Second of his crown,--the youth who took purses on Gadshill, frequented Eastcheap taverns with Colonel Falstaff and worse company, and boxed Chief-Justice Gascoigne's ears. What must have been the venerable. Queen Charlotte's state of mind when she heard of the courses of her beautiful young Prince; of his punting at gamingtables; of his dealings with horse-jockeys; of his awful doings with Perdita? Besides instances taken from our Royal Family, could we not draw examples from our respected nobility? There was that young Lord Warwick, Mr. Addison's stepson. We know that his mother was severe, and his stepfather a most eloquent moralist, yet the young gentleman's career was shocking, positively shocking. He boxed the watch; he fuddled himself at taverns; he was no better than a Mohock. The chronicles of that day contain accounts of many a mad prank which he played, as we have legends of a still earlier date of the lawless freaks of the wild Prince and Poins. Our people have never looked very unkindly on these frolics. A young nobleman, full of life and spirits, generous of his money, jovial in his humour, ready with his sword, frank, handsome, prodigal, courageous, always finds favour. Young Scapegrace rides a steeplechase or beats a bargeman, and the crowd applauds him. Sages and seniors shake their heads, and look at him not unkindly; even stern old female moralists are disarmed at the sight of youth, and gallantry, and beauty. I know very well that Charles Surface is a sad dog, and Tom Jones no better than he should be; but, in spite of such critics as Dr. Johnson and Colonel Newcome, most of us have a sneaking regard for honest Tom, and hope Sophia will be happy, and Tom will end well at last. · Five-and-twenty years ago the young Earl of Kew came upon the town, which speedily rang with the feats of his Lordship. He began life time enough to enjoy certain pleasures from which our young aris-. tocracy of the present day seem, alas! to be cut off. So much more. peaceable and polished do we grow, so much does the spirit of the age appear to equalise all ranks; so strongly has the good sense of society, to which, in the end, gentlemen of the very highest fashion must bow, put its veto upon practices and amusements with which our fathers. were familiar. At that time the Sunday newspapers contained many' and many exciting reports of boxing-matches. Bruising was con-sidered a fine manly old English custom. Boys at public schools fondly perused histories of the noble science, from the redoubtable days of Broughton and Slack, to the heroic times of Dutch Sam and. the Game Chicken. Young gentlemen went eagerly to Moulsey to see the Slasher punch the Pet's head, or the Negro beat the Jew's nose to a jelly. The island rang as yet with the tooting horns and rattling teams of the mail-coaches; a gay sight was the road in merry England in those days, before steam-engines arose and flung its hostelry and chivalry over. To travel in coaches, to drive coaches, to know coachmen and guards, to be familiar with inns along the road, to laugh with the jolly hostess in the bar, to chuck the pretty chambermaid under the chin, were the delight of men who were young not very long ago. The Road was an institution, the Ring was an institution. Men rallied round them; and, not without a kind conservatism, expatiated upon the benefits with which they endowed the country, and the evils which would occur when they should be no more:-decay of English spirit, decay of manly pluck, ruin of the breed of horses, and.. so forth, and so forth. To give and take a black eye was not unusual nor derogatory in a gentleman; to drive a stage-coach the enjoyment, the emulation of generous youth. · Is there any young fellow of the present time who aspires to take the place of a stoker? You see occasionally in Hyde Park one dismal old drag with a lonely driver. Where are: you, charioteers ? Where are you, O rattling “Quicksilver," 0. swift“ Defiance ?” You are passed by racers stronger and swifter than you. Your lamps are out, and the music of your horns has died away,
Just at the ending of that old time, Lord Kew's life began. That. kindly, middle-aged gentleman whom his county knows; that good. landlord, and friend of all his tenantry round about; that builder of churches, and indefatigable visitor of schools; that writer of letters to the farmers of his shire, so full of sense and benevolence; who wins prizes at agricultural shows, and even lectures at county town insti