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   Chapter 4 THE MARQUIS OF EDBURY AND HIS PUPPET

The Adventures of Harry Richmond — Volume 4 By George Meredith Characters: 30455

Updated: 2017-12-01 00:02


I passed from man to man, hearing hints and hesitations, alarming half- remarks, presumed to be addressed to one who could supply the remainder, and deduce consequences. There was a clearer atmosphere in the street of Clubs. Jennings was the first of my father's more intimate acquaintances to meet me frankly. He spoke, though not with great seriousness, of the rumour of a possible prosecution. Sir Weeton Slater tripped up to us with a mixed air of solicitude and restraint, asked whether I was well, and whether I had seen the newspapers that morning; and on my informing him that I had just come up from Riversley, on account of certain rumours, advised me to remain in town strictly for the present. He also hinted at rumours of prosecutions. 'The fact is--' he began several times, rendered discreet, I suppose, by my juvenility, fierte, and reputed wealth.

We were joined by Admiral Loftus and Lord Alton. They queried and counterqueried as to passages between my father and the newspapers, my father and the committee of his Club, preserving sufficient consideration for me to avoid the serious matter in all but distant allusions; a point upon which the breeding of Mr. Serjeant Wedderburn was not so accurate a guide to him. An exciting public scandal soon gathers knots of gossips in Clubland. We saw Wedderburn break from a group some way down the pavement and pick up a fresh crumb of amusement at one of the doorsteps. 'Roy Richmond is having his benefit to-day!' he said, and repeated this and that, half audible to me. For the rest, he pooh-poohed the idea of the Law intervening. His 'How d' ye do, Mr. Richmond, how d' ye do?' was almost congratulatory. 'I think we meet at your father's table to-night? It won't be in the Tower, take my word for it. Oh! the papers! There's no Act to compel a man to deny what appears in the papers. No such luck as the Tower!-though Littlepitt (Mr. Wedderburn's nickname for our Premier) would be fool enough for that. He would. If he could turn attention from his Bill, he'd do it. We should have to dine off Boleyn's block:-coquite horum obsonia he'd say, eh?''

Jennings espied my father's carriage, and stepped to speak a word to the footman. He returned, saying, with a puff of his cheeks: 'The Grand Monarque has been sending his state equipage to give the old backbiting cripple Brisby an airing. He is for horse exercise to-day they've dropped him in Courtenay Square. There goes Brisby. He'd take the good Samaritan's shilling to buy a flask of poison for him. He 'll use Roy's carriage to fetch and carry for that venomous old woman Kane, I'll swear.'

'She's a male in Scripture,' said Wedderburn, and this reminded me of an anecdote that reminded him of another, and after telling them, he handed round his hat for the laugh, as my father would have phrased it.

'Has her ladyship declared war?' Sir Weeton Slater inquired.

'No, that's not her preliminary to wageing it,' Wedderburn replied. These high-pressure smart talkers had a moment of dulness, and he bethought him that he must run into the Club for letters, and was busy at Westminster, where, if anything fresh occurred between meridian and six o'clock, he should be glad, he said, to have word of it by messenger, that he might not be behind his Age.

The form of humour to express the speed of the world was common, but it struck me as a terrible illustration of my father's. I had still a sense of pleasure in the thought that these intimates of his were gentlemen who relished and, perhaps, really liked him. They were not parasites; not the kind of men found hanging about vulgar profligates.

I quitted them. Sir Weeton Slater walked half-a-dozen steps beside me. 'May I presume on a friendly acquaintance with your father, Mr. Richmond?' he said. 'The fact is-you will not be offended?-he is apt to lose his head, unless the Committee of Supply limits him very precisely. I am aware that there is no material necessity for any restriction.' He nodded to me as to one of the marvellously endowed, as who should say, the Gods presided at your birth. The worthy baronet struggled to impart his meaning, which was, that he would have me define something like an allowance to my father, not so much for the purpose of curtailing his expenditure-he did not venture upon private ground-as to bridle my father's ideas of things possible for a private gentleman in this country. In that character none were like him. As to his suit, or appeal, he could assure me that Serjeant Wedderburn, and all who would or could speak on the subject, saw no prospect of success; not any. The worst of it was, that it caused my father to commit himself in sundry ways. It gave a handle to his enemies. It-he glanced at me indicatively.

I thanked the well-meaning gentleman without encouraging him to continue.

'It led him to perform once more as a Statue of Bronze before the whole of gaping London!' I could have added. That scene on the pine-promontory arose in my vision, followed by other scenes of the happy German days. I had no power to conjure up the princess.

Jorian DeWitt was the man I wanted to see. After applications at his Club and lodgings I found him dragging his Burgundy leg in the Park, on his road to pay a morning visit to his fair French enchantress. I impeached him, and he pleaded guilty, clearly not wishing to take me with him, nor would he give me Mlle. Jenny's address, which I had. By virtue of the threat that I would accompany him if he did not satisfy me, I managed to extract the story of the Dauphin, aghast at the discovery of its being true. The fatal after-dinner speech he believed to have been actually spoken, and he touched on that first. 'A trap was laid for him, Harry Richmond; and a deuced clever trap it was. They smuggled in special reporters. There wasn't a bit of necessity for the toast. But the old vixen has shown her hand, so now he must fight. He can beat her single-handed on settees. He'll find her a tartar at long bowls: she sticks at nothing. She blazes out, that he scandalizes her family. She has a dozen indictments against him. You must stop in town and keep watch. There's fire in my leg to explode a powder-magazine a mile off!'

'Is it the Margravine of Rippau?' I inquired. I could think of no other waspish old woman.

'Lady Dane,' said Jorian. 'She set Edbury on to face him with the Dauphin. You don't fancy it came of the young dog "all of himself," do you? Why, it was clever! He trots about a briefless little barrister, a scribbler, devilish clever and impudent, who does his farces for him. Tenby 's the fellow's name, and it's the only thing I haven't heard him pun on. Puns are the smallpox of the language;-we're cursed with an epidemic. By gad, the next time I meet him I 'll roar out for vaccine matter.'

He described the dinner given by Edbury at a celebrated City tavern where my father and this so-called Dauphin were brought together. 'Dinner to- night,' he nodded, as he limped away on his blissful visit of ceremony to sprightly Chassediane (a bouquet had gone in advance): he left me stupefied. The sense of ridicule enveloped me in suffocating folds, howling sentences of the squire's Boeotian burlesque by fits. I felt that I could not but take the world's part against the man who allowed himself to be made preposterous externally, when I knew him to be staking his frail chances and my fortune with such rashness. It was unpardonable for one in his position to incur ridicule. Nothing but a sense of duty kept me from rushing out of London, and I might have indulged the impulse advantageously. Delay threw me into the clutches of Lady Kane herself, on whom I looked with as composed a visage as I could command, while she leaned out of her carriage chattering at me, and sometimes over my head to passing gentlemen.

She wanted me to take a seat beside her, she had so much to say. Was there not some funny story abroad of a Pretender to the Throne of France? she asked, wrinkling her crow'sfeet eyelids to peer at me, and wished to have the particulars. I had none to offer. 'Ah! well,' said she; 'you stay in London? Come and see me. I'm sure you 're sensible. You and I can put our heads together. He's too often in Courtenay Square, and he's ten years too young for that, still. He ought to have good advice. Tell me, how can a woman who can't guide herself help a man?-and the most difficult man alive! I'm sure you understand me. I can't drive out in the afternoon for them. They make a crush here, and a clatter of tongues! . . . That's my private grievance. But he's now keeping persons away who have the first social claim . . . I know they can't appear. Don't look confused; no one accuses you. Only I do say it 's getting terribly hot in London for somebody. Call on me. Will you?'

She named her hours. I bowed as soon as I perceived my opportunity. Her allusions were to Lady Edbury, and to imputed usurpations of my father's. I walked down to the Chambers where Temple was reading Law, for a refuge from these annoyances. I was in love with the modest shadowed life Temple lived, diligently reading, and glancing on the world as through a dusky window, happy to let it run its course while he sharpened his weapons. A look at Temple's face told me he had heard quite as much as was known in the West. Dining-halls of lawyers are not Cistercian; he was able to give me three distinct versions of the story of the Dauphin. No one could be friendlier. Indeed Temple now urged me forcibly to prevent my father from spending money and wearing his heart out in vain, by stopping the case in Dettermain and Newson's hands. They were respectable lawyers, he said, in a lawyer's ordinary tone when including such of his species as are not black sheep. He thought it possible that my father's personal influence overbore their judgment. In fact, nothing bound them to refuse to work for him, and he believed that they had submitted their views for his consideration.

'I do wish he'd throw it up,' Temple exclaimed. 'It makes him enemies. And just examining it, you see he could get no earthly good out of it: he might as well try to scale a perpendicular rock. But when I'm with him, I'm ready to fancy what he pleases-I acknowledge that. He has excess of phosphorus, or he's ultra-electrical; doctors could tell us better than lawyers.' Temple spoke of the clever young barrister Tenby as the man whom his father had heard laughing over the trick played upon 'Roy Richmond.' I conceived that I might furnish Mr. Tenby a livelier kind of amusement, and the thought that I had once been sur le terrain, and had bitterly regretted it, by no means deterred me from the idea of a second expedition, so black was my mood. A review of the circumstances, aided by what reached my ears before the night went over, convinced me that Edbury was my man. His subordinate helped him to the instrument, and possibly to the plot, but Edbury was the capital offender.

The scene of the prank was not in itself so bad as the stuff which a cunning anecdotist could make out of it. Edbury invited my father to a dinner at a celebrated City tavern. He kept his guests (Jennings, Jorian DeWitt, Alton, Wedderburn, were among the few I was acquainted with who were present) awaiting the arrival of a person for whom he professed extraordinary respect. The Dauphin of France was announced. A mild, flabby, amiable-looking old person, with shelving forehead and grey locks-excellently built for the object, Jorian said-entered. The Capet head and embonpoint were there. As far as a personal resemblance might go, his pretensions to be the long-lost Dauphin were grotesquely convincing, for, notwithstanding the accurate picture of the Family presented by him, the man was a pattern bourgeois:-a sturdy impostor, one would have thought, and I thought so when I heard of him; but I have been assured that he had actually grown old in the delusion that he, carrying on his business in the City of London, was the identical Dauphin.

Edbury played his part by leading his poor old victim half way to meet his other most honoured guest, hesitating then and craving counsel whether he was right in etiquette to advance the Dauphin so far. The Dauphin left him mildly to decide the point: he was eminently mild throughout, and seems to have thought himself in good faith surrounded by believers and adherents. Edbury's task soon grew too delicate for that coarse boy. In my father's dexterous hands he at once lost his assumption of the gallantry of manner which could alone help him to retain his advantage. When the wine was in him he began to bawl. I could imagine the sort of dialogue he raised. Bets on the Dauphin, bets on Roy: they were matched as on a racecourse. The Dauphin remembered incidents of his residence in the Temple, with a beautiful juvenile faintness: a conscientious angling for recollection, Wedderburn said. Roy was requested to remember something, to drink and refresh his memory infantine incidents were suggested. He fenced the treacherous host during dinner with superb complacency.

The Dauphin was of an immoveable composure. He 'stated simple facts: he was the Dauphin of France, providentially rescued from the Temple in the days of the Terror.' For this deliverance, somewhat to the consternation of the others, he offered up a short prayer of thanksgiving over his plate. He had, he said, encountered incredulity. He had his proofs. He who had never been on the soil of France since early boyhood, spoke French with a pure accent: he had the physical and moral constitution of the Family: owing to events attending his infant days, he was timid. Jorian imitated him:-'I start at the opening of a door; I see dark faces in my sleep: it is a dungeon; I am at the knees of my Unfortunate Royal Father, with my Beautiful Mother.' His French was quaint, but not absurd. He became loquacious, apostrophizing vacancy with uplifted hand and eye. The unwonted invitation to the society of noblemen made him conceive his Dauphinship to be on the high road to a recognition in England, and he was persuaded to drink and exhibit proofs: which were that he had the constitution of the Family, as aforesaid, in every particular; that he was peculiarly marked with testificatory spots; and that his mere aspect inspired all members and branch members of the Family with awe and stupefaction. One of the latter hearing of him, had appointed to meet him in a pastrycook's shop. He met him, and left the place with a cloud on his brow, showing tokens of respectful sympathy.

Conceive a monomaniacal obese old English citizen, given to lift hand and eye and address the cornices, claiming to be an Illustrious Boy, and calling on a beautiful historic mother and unfortunate Royal sire to attest it! No wonder the table was shaken with laughter. He appealed to Tenby constantly, as to the one man he knew in the room. Tenby it was who made the discovery of him somewhere in the City, where he earned his livelihood either as a corn-merchant; or a stockbroker, or a chronometer- maker, or a drysalter, and was always willing to gratify a customer with the sight of his proofs of identity. M

r. Tenby made it his business to push his clamorous waggishness for the exhibition. I could readily believe that my father was more than his match in disposable sallies and weight of humour, and that he shielded the old creature successfully, so long as he had a tractable being to protect. But the Dauphin was plied with wine, and the marquis had his fun. Proof upon proof in verification of his claims was proffered by the now-tremulous son of St. Louis-so he called himself. With, Jorian admitted, a real courtly dignity, he stood up and proposed to lead the way to any neighbouring cabinet to show the spots on his person; living witnesses to the truth of his allegations, he declared them to be. The squire had authority for his broad farce, except in so far as he mixed up my father in the swinery of it.

I grew more and more convinced that my father never could have lost his presence of mind when he found himself in the net of a plot to cover him with ridicule. He was the only one who did not retire to the Dauphin's 'chamber of testification,' to return convulsed with vinous laughter after gravely inspecting the evidence; for which abstention the Dauphin reproached him violently, in round terms of abuse, challengeing him to go through a similar process. This was the signal for Edbury, Tenby, and some of the rest. They formed a circle, one-half for the Dauphin, one for Roy. How long the boorish fun lasted, and what exactly came of it, I did not hear. Jorian DeWitt said my father lost his temper, a point contested by Wedderburn and Jennings, for it was unknown of him. Anyhow, he thundered to some effect, inasmuch as he detached those that had gentlemanly feelings from the wanton roysterers, and next day the latter pleaded wine. But they told the story, not without embellishments. The world followed their example.

I dined and slept at Temple's house, not caring to meet my incarnate humiliation. I sent to hear that he was safe. A quiet evening with a scholarly man, and a man of strong practical ability and shrewdness, like Mr. Temple, did me good. I wished my father and I were on the same footing as he and his son, and I may add his daughters. They all talked sensibly; they were at feud with nobody; they reflected their condition. It was a simple orderly English household, of which the father was the pillar, the girls the ornaments, the son the hope, growing to take his father's place. My envy of such a home was acute, and I thought of Janet, and how well she was fashioned to build one resembling it, if only the mate allotted to her should not be a fantastical dreamer. Temple's character seemed to me to demand a wife like Janet on its merits; an idea that depressed me exceedingly. I had introduced Temple to Anna Penrhys, who was very kind to him; but these two were not framed to be other than friends. Janet, on the contrary, might some day perceive the sterling fellow Temple was, notwithstanding his moderate height. She might, I thought. I remembered that I had once wished that she would, and I was amazed at myself. But why? She was a girl sure to marry. I brushed these meditations away. They recurred all the time I was in Temple's house.

Mr. Temple waited for my invitation to touch on my father's Case, when he distinctly pronounced his opinion that it could end but in failure. Though a strict Constitutionalist, he had words of disgust for princes, acknowledging, however, that we were not practical in our use of them, and kept them for political purposes often to the perversion of our social laws and their natural dispositions. He spoke of his son's freak in joining the Navy. 'That was the princess's doing,' said Temple. 'She talked of our naval heroes, till she made me feel I had only to wear the anchor buttons to be one myself. Don't tell her I was invalided from the service, Richie, for the truth is, I believe, I half-shammed. And the time won't be lost. You'll see I shall extract guineas from "old ocean" like salt. Precious few barristers understand maritime cases. The other day I was in Court, and prompted a great Q.C. in a case of collision. Didn't I, sir?'

'I think there was a hoarse whisper audible up to the Judge's seat at intervals,' said Mr. Temple.

'The Bar cannot confess to obligations from those who don't wear the robe,' Temple rejoined.

His father advised me to read for the Bar, as a piece of very good training.

I appealed to Temple, whether he thought it possible to read law-books in a cockboat in a gale of wind.

Temple grimaced and his father nodded. Still it struck me that I might one day have the felicity of quiet hours to sit down with Temple and read Law-far behind him in the race. And he envied me, in his friendly manner, I knew. My ambition had been blown to tatters.

A new day dawned. The household rose and met at the breakfast-table, devoid of any dread of the morning newspapers. Their talk was like the chirrup of birds. Temple and his father walked away together to chambers, bent upon actual business-upon doing something! I reflected emphatically, and compared them to ships with rudders, while I was at the mercy of wind, tide, and wave. I called at Dettermain and Newson's, and heard there of a discovery of a witness essential to the case, either in North Wales or in New South. I did not, as I had intended, put a veto on their proceedings. The thing to do was to see my father, and cut the case at the fountain head. For this purpose, it was imperative that I should go to him, and prepare myself for the interview by looking at the newspapers first. I bought one, hastily running my eyes down the columns in the shop. His name was printed, but merely in a fashionable notification that carriages took up and set down for his costume Ball, according to certain regulations. The relief of comparative obscurity helped me to breathe freely: not to be laughed at, was a gain. I was rather inclined to laud his courage in entering assembly-rooms, where he must be aware that he would see the Dauphin on every face. Perhaps he was guilty of some new extravagance last night, too late for scandal to reinforce the reporters!

Mrs. Waddy had a woeful visage when informing me that he was out, gone to Courtenay Square. She ventured a murmur of bills coming in. Like everybody else, she fancied he drew his supplies from my inexhaustible purse; she hoped the bills would be paid off immediately: the servants' wages were overdue. 'Never can I get him to attend to small accounts,' she whimpered, and was so ready to cry outright, that I said, 'Tusk,' and with the one word gave her comfort. 'Of course, you, Mr. Harry, can settle them, I know that.' We were drawing near to poor old Sewis's legacy, even for the settling of the small accounts!

London is a narrow place to one not caring to be seen. I could not remain in this creditor-riddled house; I shunned the Parks, the Clubs, and the broad, brighter streets of the West. Musing on the refreshing change it would be to me to find myself suddenly on board Captain Jasper Welsh's barque Priscilla, borne away to strange climes and tongues, the world before me, I put on the striding pace which does not invite interruption, and no one but Edbury would have taken the liberty. I heard his shout. 'Halloa! Richmond.' He was driving his friend Witlington in his cabriolet. 'Richmond, my hearty, where the deuce have you been? I wanted you to dine with me the other night.'

I replied, looking at him steadily, that I wished I had been there.

'Compendious larks!' cried he, in the slang of his dog's day. 'I say; you're one at Duke Fitz's masquerade to-night? Tell us your toggery. Hang it, you might go for the Black Prince. I'm Prince Hal. Got a headache? Come to my Club and try my mixture. Yoicks! it'd make Methuselah and Melchisedec jump up and have a twirl and a fandango. I say, you're thick with that little French actress Chastedian jolly little woman! too much to say for herself to suit me.'

He described the style of woman that delighted him-an ideal English shepherdess of the print-shops, it appeared, and of extremely remote interest to me, I thought at the time. Eventually I appointed to walk round to his Club, and he touched his horse gently, and bobbed his diminutive henchman behind his smart cabriolet, the admiration of the street.

I found him waiting for me on the steps of his Club, puffing a cigar with all his vigour, in the classic attitude of a trumpeter. My first words were: 'I think I have to accuse you of insulting me.'

'Insulting you, Richmond!' he cried, much surprised, holding his cigar in transit.

'If you insult my father, I make you responsible to me.'

'Insult old Duke Fitz! I give you my word of honour, Richmond-why,

I like him; I like the old boy. Wouldn't hurt him for the world and all

Havannah.

What the deuce have you got into your head? Come in and smoke.'

The mention of his dinner and the Dauphin crazed him with laughter. He begged me as a man to imagine the scene: the old Bloated Bourbon of London Wall and Camberwell! an Illustrious Boy!-drank like a fish!- ready to show himself to the waiters! And then with 'Gee' and 'Gaw,' the marquis spouted out reminiscences of scene, the best ever witnessed! 'Up starts the Dauphin. "Damn you, sir! and damn me, sir, if believe you have a spot on your whole body!" And snuffles and puffs-you should have been there Richmond, I wrote to ask you: did, upon my life! wanted you there. Lord! why, you won't get such fun in a century. And old Roy! he behaved uncommonly finely: said capital things, by Jove! Never saw him shine so; old trump! Says Dauphin, "My beautiful mother had a longing for strawberries out of season. I am marked with a strawberry, here." Says Roy: "It is an admirable and roomy site, but as I am not your enemy, sir, I doubt if I shall often have the opportunity to behold it." Ha! ha!-gee! Richmond, you've missed the deucedest good scene ever acted.'

How could I, after having had an adversary like Prince Otto, call upon a fellow such as Edbury to give me reason for his conduct? He rollicked and laughed until my ungovernable impatience brought him to his senses.

'Dash it, you're a fire-eater, I know, Richmond. We can't fight in this country; ain't allowed. And fighting 's infernal folly. By Jove! If you're going to tumble down every man who enjoys old Roy, you've your work cut out for you. He's long chalks the best joke out. 'Twixt you and me, he did return thanks. What does it matter what old Duke Fitz does? I give him a lift on his ladder with all my heart. He keeps a capital table. And I'll be hanged if he hasn't got the secret of the women. How he does it old Roy! If the lords were ladies they'd vote him premier peer, double quick. And I'll tell you what, Richmond, I'm thought a devil of a good-tempered fellow for not keeping watch over Courtenay Square. I don't call it my business to be house dog for a pretty stepmother. But there's talking and nodding, and oh! leave all that: come in and smoke, and let me set you up; and I'll shake your hand. Halloa! I'm hailed.'

A lady, grasping the veil across her face, beckoned her hand from a closed carriage below. Edbury ran down to her. I caught sight of ravishing golden locks, reminding me of Mabel Sweetwinter's hair, and pricking me with a sensation of spite at the sex for their deplorable madness in the choice of favourites. Edbury called me to come to the carriage window. I moved slowly, but the carriage wheeled about and rolled away. I could just see the outline of a head muffled in furs and lace.

'Queer fish, women!' he delivered himself of the philosophical ejaculation cloudily. I was not on terms with him to offer any remark upon the one in question. His imperturbable good humour foiled me, and I left him, merely giving him a warning, to which his answer was:

'Oh! come in and have a bottle of claret.'

Claret or brandy had done its work on him by the time I encountered him some hours later, in the Park. Bramham DeWitt, whom I met in the same neighbourhood, offered me a mount after lunch, advising me to keep near my father as much as I conveniently could; and he being sure to appear in the Park, I went, and heard his name to the right and left of me. He was now, as he said to me once that he should become, 'the tongue of London.' I could hardly expect to escape from curious scrutiny myself; I was looked at. Here and there I had to lift my hat and bow. The stultification of one's feelings and ideas in circumstances which divide and set them at variance is worse than positive pain. The looks shed on me were rather flattering, but I knew that in the background I was felt to be the son of the notorious. Edbury came trotting up to us like a shaken sack, calling, 'Neigh! any of you seen old Roy?' Bramham DeWitt, a stiff, fashionable man of fifty, proud of his blood and quick as his cousin Jorian to resent an impertinence, replied:

'Are you the Marquis of Edbury, or a drunken groom, sir?'

"Gad, old gentleman, I've half a mind to ride you down,' said Edbury, and, espying me, challenged me to a race to run down the fogies.

A cavalcade of six abreast came cantering along. I saw my father listen to a word from Lady Edbury, and push his horse to intercept the marquis. They spoke. 'Presently, presently,' my father said; 'ride to the rear, and keep at half a stone's throw-say, a groom's distance.'

'Groom be hanged!' Edbury retorted. 'I made a bet I'd drive you out of the Park, old Roy!'

'Ride behind, then,' said my father, and to my astonishment Edbury obeyed him, with laughter. Lady Edbury smiled to herself; and I experienced the esteem I perceived in her for a masterful manner. A few minutes later my father beckoned me to pay my respects to Graf Kesensky, an ambassador with strong English predilections and some influence among us. He asked me if he was right in supposing I wished to enter Parliament. I said he was, wondering at the interest a foreigner could find in it. The count stopped a quiet-pacing gentleman. Bramhaxri DeWitt joined them, and a group of friends. I was introduced to Mr. Beauchamp Hill, the Government whip, who begged me to call on him with reference to the candidature of a Sussex borough: 'that is,' said he, turning to Graf Kesensky, 'if you're sure the place is open? I've heard nothing of Falmouth's accident.' The count replied that Falmouth was his intimate friend; he had received a special report that Falmouth was dying, just as he was on the point of mounting his horse. 'We shan't have lost time,' said Mr. Hill. The Government wanted votes. I went down to the House of Commons at midnight to see him. He had then heard of Falmouth's hopeless condition, and after extracting my political views, which were for the nonce those of a happy subserviency, he expressed his belief that the new writ for the borough of Chippenden might be out, and myself seated on the Government benches, within a very short period. Nor would it be necessary, he thought, for the Government nominee to spend money: 'though that does not affect you, Mr. Richmond!' My supposed wealth gave me currency even in political circles.

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