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nington, almost sternly; "and think you a member not so popular at first, not so showy, not so eloquent, is not more respected by those men whose opinion is worth cultivating, than he who dashes headlong into a course of policy with the sole view of making himself popular? A certain degree of popularity is pleasing to possess : convince the people that you have weighed, pondered on, and digested the opinion of the day, and if it does not coincide with your conscientious manner of thinking, say so plainly, never heed the varnish of popularity: on-on-your track is over mountains, but there is a path to guide your way, the path so cheered by the knowledge that you are acting rightly, my son,—is not this better than being a popular member, in your view of the meaning of that popularity ?”

These last words were uttered accompanied by a smile of such winning persuasion, that young Cunnington half determined to apply himself seriously to politics ; but as sons very rarely see any great beauty in their mothers, and as Augustus kept his eyes, for the most part of the conversation, on the shining tops of his boots, it so happened that he lost the peculiarly beautiful expression of Lady Cunnington's dark eyes, as she so softly, so gently, yet so energetically endeavoured to agitate the lukewarm feelings of her lightly disposed son. Augustus broke the pause which succeeded his mother's question, but it was only to say—

“Really, if Cunnington Abbey is to be the sieged abode of politics, let us have more listeners, dear mother, for other opinions may perchance influence mine."

“Shall you heed others more than your

mother?”

“In candid truth, yes,” replied Augustus, who, with many weak points, overbalanced some by his extreme frankness : “ you know that men will not allow women to be politicians, and I am now listening to a very energetic character, still you are a woman, and I do not like political women.”

"I believe you are right,” said Lady Cunnington, with a certain degree of sadness in her voice, “men in general do not like political women ; and yet when we look back in the page of history, how well we can trace those female minds who were early trained to dwell on national and political events, and those who fed on the silly nothings of the world's vanity! The unfortunate Stuart Queen, Scotia’s beautiful Mary,—there was not a grain of political feeling in her nature, and her mind fell a victim to its many frivolous weaknesses. Her great contemporary was a politician ; and

when we consider that, notwithstanding the differences in the religious opinions of those troublous times, notwithstanding the jealousy of foreign nations, Elizabeth handed down her name to posterity as a great and glorious Queen,' why, then I answer those who say—and justly, alas !—that Elizabeth though a great politician was a weak woman; I say, what would that vain heart have been, had it not been more than half upheld by the engrossing feelings of politics, which stirred it on to forget the pleadings of frivolity, passion, and love ?”

"Mother, you talk with the feelings of a woman ready to uphold her own tenets : what can you advance on the part of the black-hearted Medicis ? she was a politician.”

“Ah, my son, there are shadows as well as lights in every question of human momento; but really, I think, I dare find a loop-hole even for the crime-woven career of the fascinating Medicis. Do not suffer your memory to dwell upon Catherine, whilst your ideas associate her with the present century; but fancy the times in which that much censured queen lived : discontented foreign powers-Huguenot rebellions—the pride of the Guises—the hopes of the race of Béarn—the hauteur of the Pope—the frivolity of Charles the Ninth, the weakness of his predecessor ; take the whole panorama into your mind, and give the Medicis credit that her policy frequently cemented disunited parties, quelled proud and party-feeling spirits,—her faults I place to her heart, her crimes I attribute greatly to superstition; but her policy, in many instances, was admirable, for the times in which she lived. Nay, smile not, nor think I admire Catherine de Medicis,-I am now forgetting the woman and thinking of the politician.”

"Well, if there were anything admirable

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