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felt that he had every thing to learn, and so went on learning, and found his account in it. I wish that Mr. Samuel Smiles could have known John Clere. He would have added another chapter then to his good book on Self Help.
John Clere could not paint much. He dreaded the idleness of companionship, and the temptations to mooning and day-dreaming of a studio. The steward was kind to him, and there being an unoccupied cabin at the top of the house with, fortunately, a window in it,--for the majority of the chambers only enjoyed a dim illumination from a common studio,
-allowed him to go up there and try his hand at painting, which he did now and then, in a rough-and-ready fashion, with a board propped against a locker for an easel. He had a taste for mediæval art too, and was dextrous at missal painting ; but those were long before the days of illuminating Art Union, and the missals would not bring in bread. He had a mingled scorn and loathing for the picture-dealers, and so did not devote himself to the production of the hasty oil sketches known as “potboilers," or the money-bringing daubs that turn up in cheap auctions. He cultivated a few of the rougher species of design, and lived by it, preferring mostly to work in the common reading-room below, where the poor old Dictionary-maker used sometimes to watch his labours in meek admiration; and Clidger used to scowl at him because he had no grievances, and Tottlepot rail at him because he did not cultivate High Art, and had no sense of the Beautiful. He would have conciliated Tottlepot by listening to any amount of his poetry, which rather amused him than otherwise, but for a falling off of which you are speedily to hear. So he worked and worked, and sufficient for the day was the Humble Pie thereof. He drew cheap valentines; he touched' up portraits for cheap miniatures (great is photography in the land now, but it was only a weak and suckling art then); he drew cartoons on wood of landaus, and electro-plate, and artificial limbs, and gentlemen measuring themselves with a view to being provided by cheap tailors at their provincial residences with exquisitely fitting habiliments,—the destination of most of which cartoons was the advertising columns of newspapers. And now and then he had a romance to illustrate for a cheap publisher, or a portrait to draw on stone, and was quite happy on about fifteen shillings a week, reserving any overplus for the development of a certain purpose, of which only his strong human will and the Power who had given it to him knew the purport.
Pendragon had not been many days in the chambers before he struck up something like a friendship with this simple, quiet, earnest young man. But for his dread of eating that Humble Pie, of which the other partook every day quite contentedly, and even thankfully, he would have asked him to recommend him to any employment he knew of; but he refrained; and John Clere, who had a habit of minding his own business, naturally thought that the parson had some private means, or that he
would not sit all day long reading books and biting his nails. Pendragon found out, little by little, that Clere took an interest in Church matters, and that be used to go to early service every morning to a certain celebrated and much-decorated church in Wells Street, Oxford Street, and on Sundays to a fane even more highly decorated at Knightsbridge. He began to hesitate whether it were not incumbent upon him—who had sacrificed so much for conscience' sake—who had given up his curacy at Swordsley because he differed from the rector as to red crosses, and surplices, and brass work, and artificial flowers, and candlesticks—to hate this poor toiling young artist because he was a Puseyite, and confessed that he read Alban Butler's Lives of the Saints. But was he a Pusevite? Somehow Ruthyn had to own to himself that John Clere did not talk as the Reverend Ernest Goldthorpe talked; that he shared much more knowledge and much more liberality than the aristocratic rector, that he seemed to have made a deep and earnest study of things which Ernest Goldthorpe—so his ex-curate thought—had only adopted as a fashion and a whim. “This Puseyism, or whatever it is,” said Pendragon, “has made yonder magnifico at Swordsley supercilious; it has made Magdalen Hill proud and disdainful; but it seems to have instilled into this young man only a profound humility, and a desire to go on learning good things.” It was easy to see that John Clere was no bigot. If he leant even Romewards, and on this Pendragon pressed him bard, but unavailingly, it was with no supine reliance. If he turned away from cant, and howling Boanergism, and the puly shabby piety which prompts some people, with no fear of the Mendicity Society before their eyes, to de perpetually scrawling begging-letters to Heaven : not honest prayers, but selfish petitions based on good deeds they affect to have done but never have, -it was without intolerance and without severity. John Clere belonged to a little knot of theologians who lived quietly and contentedly at the chambers, and who, when Pendragon had been admitted to their intimacy, and had made up his mind not to hate the artist for his Puseyism, he discovered could agree excellently well among themselves. There was one of the hardest of Scotchmen, who had something to do with a Manchester warehouse, and who held by Crown-Court prophecy and Doctor Cumming. There was a mild old man in a large black stock and a larger black wig, and who, in-doors and out of doors, wore a blue cloak with a fur collar; who sat under a famous preacher, then wont to hold forth at a chapel in Oxendon Street, Haymarket. He was slightly afraid, the mild old gentleman in the stock and wig used to remark, that the Doctor bad Socinian tendencies ; but he could not help admiring his eloquence, and revering his truly practical piety. There was a Unitarian, who attended a place of worship where Gray's Elegy or Campbell's Last Man were occasionally sung by way of hymns, and whom Pendragon at first regarded with the kind of feeling with which Torquemada might have regarded a relapsed heretic, but who was nevertheless a very quiet, honest, God-fearing man, of grave conversation and blameless life. There was a
Welsh Baptist, who had been an usher in a school; and a Methodist mechanic from Lancashire. And these four, and John Clere, the Puseyite, and Ruthyn Pendragon, who had sacrificed so much for conscience' sake, would sit and talk together seriously on new connections and old connections, and orthodoxy and heterodoxy,-arguing closely and sternly too, but never quarrelling. Only one trilling squall troubled the tranquil sea of their daily discourse. There came a Calvinist, a town traveller, I think, for a firework manufacturer. He was well read, and a fluent speaker, and at first was a welcome addition to the little knot of those whom the censorious Clidger used to stigmatise as“the Hypocrites," and the satirical Tottlepot deride as “the Saints.” But there was no eliminating the brimstone and saltpetre from the Calvinist. He would persist in maintaining that only the elect could be saved; that he was one of the elect, and that his companions were not. This was personal, and the quiet theologians of the chambers declined to argue further with him; and the Calvinist went away in dudgeon, to travel for fireworks among a people who had more grace.
How happily Ruthyn Pendragon thought the days would pass if he could continue to dwell among these tranquil and charitably minded men. But, alack, the silver sands of his purse were fast running out. He had now only a few shillings left, and the dreadful alternative of Humble Pie or Starvation stared him in the face.
WOMAN'S WORK. Onyx Square, Tyburnia, was itself again. The auriferous tide had once more its ebb and flow between Beryl Court and the mansion of Mammon; and splendour, if not gaiety, resumed its reign in the domains of Sir Jasper Goldthorpe.
The Baronet had come home for the London season, Lady Gold. thorpe with him; and Miss Magdalen Hill had come up from The Casements to join her adopted mother. Sir Jasper's health, said Dr. Sardonix, was entirely restored. It was a mercy—it was a blessing, quoth Dr. Sardonix. If it were not impertinent to say, neatly observed the Physician, that one to whom Society owed so much owed something likewise to Society, he, the Doctor, could state, that his distinguished patient was perfectly prepared to discharge that debt. His place had long been vacant, but he was now ready to fill it again, and would do
so, as worras very neat latients to conciciety could not of Society
This was very neat language, and from a courtly doctor who had numbers of distinguished patients to conciliate, came very appropriately; but . it was not the less a lie. Perhaps Society could not get on without such elegant untruths: at any rate, they are told every day of Society's life, and, in Society, prosper exceedingly. “There is not the slightest foundation,” says the Morning Smoother, “ for the absurd statement to which an unscrupulous contemporary just gave currency, that the pecuniary embarrass
ments of a certain gallant officer in the Household Brigade have led to bis quitting the country in a precipitate manner.” It is perfectly well known at all Captain De Loos clubs that he has been cheating at cards, that the usurers refuse to renew any more of the Captain's bills, and, tired of large interests, uproariously demand their principal in full. The Captain is rusticating at Kissingen, whence he will speedily remove to some northern clime, where extradition treaties with England are not known; for, lo, in a scandalous trial in the Common Pleas steps into the witness-box De Loos' great chum, Viscount Groomporter, and maketh oath and sweareth that the signatures to half-a-dozen bills of exchange, which the Captain has been getting discounted as accepted by his lordship, are none of his handwriting. Not a word of truth, I can assure you, in the story about the fracas between Lord Raffborough and his wife, Tom Soapley—that eminent professor of the art of making things comfortable-is instructed to say to any body who will believe him. But nobody will believe him, for the reason that it is perfectly well known that Lord Raffborough has broken Lady Raffborough's cache-peigne, and very nearly her head into the bargain, with a champagne-bottle, and that her Ladyship has run away with Signor Mercandotti, the musicmaster.
Nobody who heard Dr. Sardonix believed a word that he said about Sir Jasper Goldthorpe's complete restoration to health. Every body could see that Mammon looked exceedingly ill and exceedingly shaky. Indeed, some went so far as to say that the Baronet's lengthened tour on the Continent was all a pretence, and that he had been sojourning in a private lunatic asylum. Still it was a kind and charitable thing for Dr. Sardonix to trot about town reporting his entire convalescence; and Society, to say nothing of Mammon, was very grateful to him for it. When Madame de Genlis's Palace of Truth is built, the window-blind makers will all realise rapid fortunes.
However, Dr. Sardonix's amiable fictions notwithstanding, there was no denying that pomp and luxury had reasserted themselves in Onyx Square. If the dead man, and the awful circumstances of his death, were not, and could never be, forgotten, his remains, at least, were interred in a pompous catafalque, and he was mourned for beneath veils of gold-and-silver tissue. His mother still wore mourning for him; still shed tears when, routing among the drawers of her dressing-table, or in some of her woman's hiding-places,—and what woman has not a hiding-place? -she came upon some boyish memento of him who was gone, never to return :-now a glove, now the agate-mounted whip he had with his first pony, now a school theme, beautifully engrossed over faintly-ruled lines, and elaborately flourished with swans and cherubims by the writing-master attached to the well-known classical establishment of Dr. Budds, Broomley Heath, Birchshire. These and dozens other things—his epaulette-box, the cashmere shawl and ivory chessmen he had sent her from India, a rough pen-and-ink drawing he had made of himself in canton
ments, in white jacket and pith bat, lounging in a rocking-chair, smoking a monstrous Trichinopoly cheroot, with a glass of brandy pawnee beside him,—all these were so many mute but eloquent disclaimers of the possibility of his ever quite fading away from the memory of his parents. We can't get rid of these awfully silent legacies of the dead, these whispers from beyond the grave. Poor Lady Goldthorpe did not lose the memory of her sorrow, but she ceased to dwell upon it; she only bethought herself of it with a chastened sadness: the image of the lost son was as that of a country visited long, long ago, of which only the dim outline is permanent in the mind, but which now and again, and in a transient manner, starts up distinct and vivid. Moreover she was a cheerful woman by nature, and her susceptibilities were not of the keenest. Heartily grieve as she might, sorrow seldom spoilt her appetite: she might cry over her dinner, but she was rarely so wretched as to go utterly dinnerless. New cares, new preoccupations, conspired, however, about this time to cast a shade over Lady Goldthorpe's generally beaming temperament. The chief care was her husband's infirm state of health, coupled with an uneasy sensation that he was brooding over some deep and secret sorrow, to which the loss of his son was comparatively trifling. What it was she did not know; but that there was something lying dark in his pathsomething evil lowering over his head-her womanly instinct persuaded her.
“My Goldy usen't to take on so,” she would remark to the confidential Cashman. “He's had troubles enough in his time, poor dear; but he always got over them, and was as merry as a grig a fortnight afterwards. He's had losses and people to worrit him; but he never seemed so down as he is now. Depend upon it, Cash,”—Lady Goldthorpe had a pleasant liking for abbreviation,—“there's more in it than either of us think for. What vexes me most is, that he never tells me any thing. He used to tell me every thing; and now he has scarcely a word to throw at a dog."
In Mrs. Cashman's mind there was one prime and fundamental root for all human evil. It was not money which Mrs. Cashman, who had saved a comfortable little peculium of her own, so stanchly held to be the root of all good, The fons et origo of all misery and disaster had in her philosophy an intimate and inseparable connection with the human abdomen and the human liver. She considered the two as identical, and seldom mentioned one without the other.
“Praps its the stommick, my lady,” she suggested. “P’raps its the boil” (Mrs. Cashman always called the biliary secretion the “boil") “that's the matter with the poor dear gentleman.”
“Cashman,” replied her mistress, with decision, but without acrimony, "you're a fool. Sir Jasper never had any thing the matter with his liver. Bless his heart, he could digest a saddle and bridle for breakfast, and a copper stewpan for dinner. No, Cash; there's something else. It's something in the City that troubles my—".