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grown pompous in their undisturbed quarterings of dust; and she nearly expended her strength in convincing her son, first, that it would break her heart if he turned from his father's politics; and secondly, that the Whig ministry were on the point of rendering themselves beloved and popular, by bringing into force the Emancipation Bill, whilst several members she averred acted most generously, and would, in fact, lose by the abolition of the slave trade. “ Indeed, indeed, it would break my heart if you were not a Whig!” continued Lady Cunnington.
“ I tell you what, mother, you will break a blood-vessel if you talk for two hours every evening without stopping.”
“Oh, never mind that,” said the disinterested politician,“ never mind that !”
“ But I do mind it,” said Augustus, who really believed his mother looked very pale, and feared some political ghost was following her from the world of shadows.
“Let me tell you,” said Lady Cunnington, coughing (another bad symptom), “let me tell you, Augustus, that so firmly am I (that is, your father) impressed with the justice of an act, which if carried out will reflect honour on William the Fourth's reign, that I would stake the Cunnington title, my fortune, and our ancestral halls—I would become a poor man's wife, and work for your father's bread, sooner than our cause of humanity should be shaken.”
“I believe you,” said Augustus ; “but I do not care a rushlight for all the race of blacks or browns put together, and I really hope my fortune and title are as safe as I am sure of feeling very easy on the subject.”
"I cannot bear to hear you talk so,” said Lady Cunnington, looking nervously at her son, “you have not a drop of the Cunnington
blood in you; pray what on earth do you care for?”
“Oh, a great many things,” replied Augustus ; “ let me see, I...I... the deuce take it! talking politics fairly addles my brains ; I really cannot tell you just now what I care for, unless it be a glass of sherry and water, for I am very tired; there is at least policy in drinking wine, it gives us strength to talk more politics.”.
Lady Cunnington would have allowed her son to drink the cellar dry, if she could by that means have made him more inclined to listen to her, she therefore ordered the desired beverage, and then resumed the subject.
“Now, perhaps you will be kind enough to tell me what you care for ?” said the indefatigable mother, just speaking in time, for Augustus was on the point of exclaiming, as he placed his glass on the table, “ After
all, wine is better than politics !" If he did not say it, he thought it,--and something very like a sigh broke from his lips as, to use his own words (when he afterwards recounted the parley to a friend), he found his mother was “at it again.”
“What do I like? why really, dear mother, I fancy I like what most young men of my age do—everything in life that is pleasant and agreeable; but as to politics I really have no taste for them at present."
“Suppose every young man of your age said the same, a pretty set of beings truly would watch over the weal or woe of a great nation! Why do the working classes passively submit to the laws of their higher born brethren ? Think you it be because they are rich and titled ? Ah, my son, it is because they imagine that members of parliament, having leisure they cannot spare from their toil, employ those leisure hours in weighing those politics which either make
a nation wise and happy, by their wellweighed influence working its welfare, or on the contrary, plunge the most flourishing kingdom into woe.”
“But, mother, I am not a member of parliament.”
“Not now, my son, but live not for a day, think of the future.' Be not suddenly called to a post you cannot duly fill : to my female mind it truly seems a member of parliament holds more than a high post; he has an exquisitely nice path of honour to follow, he must learn to be true to himself before he can work out the good he seeks to do,-he must not blind his conscience, or he will never acquit himself with honour.”
“Bah, bah, if I ever become a popular member, that is to say, make good speeches, and eloquently enforce the subject which the people have at heart,—what more could you wish ?”
“A popular member,” said Lady Cun