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had turned away in search of his friend Augustus, to whom he longed to communicate his political secret, when a scream from a bevy of young ladies seemed to give note of some trick or tragedy, past or impending. The cause soon revealed itself in half-a-dozen riderless horses plunging in the brook. Two or three hunting-caps were seen floating on the stream, and an equal number of drenched and dripping sportsmen struggling to the bank. A contingent from the Grange was instantly on the spot. Greville and Augustus ran across the park, but before they had reached the brook all the riders but one had recovered their horses and their seats, and were again at full gallop after the hounds. One only was hors de combat, and as he limped along the bank a slight droop in the right shoulder indicated some fracture or dislocation, which subsequent examination proved to have taken place. Sir Henry's groom bad caught and was leading his horse towards the house, whither the young sportsman reluctantly turned his steps, yielding to the earnest entreaties of Augustus Berkeley, who in this respect only anticipated his father's hospitalities.

No bones broken, I hope,' said Sir Henry, cheerfully encountering his approaching guest, whose countenance and gait indicated, nevertheless, suppressed pain and discomfort.

“Yes, there are, though,' answered Augustus; “but I've sent for Gregory. It's his day at the Union, and we shall just catch him there: he'll be here directly. Meanwhile Mr. Maxwell can rest on the sofa in the library.'

Before this move had been accomplished, the Union doctor appeared, trotting quickly up the drive, and was presently at his patient's side ; and having set the broken bone and prescribed rest, and forbidden Maxwell's mad proposal of an immediate return home through fifteen miles of pouring rain, departed, promising to come again next morning, and inwardly rejoicing in the thought that one Grange patient for a week would be worth more to him than the whole Union for six months. Mr. Gregory on the following morning revisited his patient, who had passed a restless night, and was evidently depressed at the prospect of confinement and interruption to his duties at so unseasonable a time; but the doctor, who hinted to Sir Henry at a 'nervous shock,' occasioned by the fall, told his patient plainly and positively that he must make up his mind to ten days' or a fortnight's imprisonment to his bedroom. In addition to the broken arm, it was discovered that an ankle had been badly sprained, and much inflamed by Jem's walk across the park, and his endeavours to conceal his lameness. So that he had become what would have been called in the Union an “irremovable pauper,' and travelling was for the present quite out of the question.

Maxwell philosophically submitted, and his father and brothers, who on hearing of his accident had immediately driven over to the Grange, quieted Jem's political apprehension by assuring him that they had seen the Australian squatter who had come down the night

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not quite in the humour for all this chaff; and, determined to escape all further interrogations, he quickly evaded his tormentors, and found refuge in the library, into which sanctuary he knew the fear of the elders would deter the juniors from pursuing him.

Sir Henry Berkeley, who was absorbed in the newspaper, scarcely observed Charles's entrance at first; but, hearing the sound of some step across the room, asked, without looking up, whether any visitor had called, and whose carriage he had heard on the drive.

• Only a solicitor,' said Charles, “who came to see me from Shamboro' about the election there.'

• And what did he want of you?' asked Sir Henry, eyeing his son's friend with a scrutinising glance.

He came as a deputation from the Conservative Committee, asking me to stand with Mr. Dibbs at this election,' replied Charles,

against the two candidates the Reform Club have started. I think he said their names were Barker and Maxwell.'

• And what did you say?'

Well, I told him I didn't mind spending 1,00ol. on the chance, but I thought it was a poor one, because I knew nobody in the borough.

I don't think that signifies much, dryly observed Sir Henry: there are very few people worth knowing there, I believe; and, so far as I have ever heard, they don't trouble themselves much about politics. It's simply an affair of publicans and attorneys—nothing

The only difficulty I see is the money. Of course Dibbs can pay it all without feeling it, even if he buys up the town. But he's the greatest rogue unhanged, and if he can cheat you, or anyone else, he will.'

‘I named my outside figure,' said Charles, “to Cheetham, the attorney, who was here this morning.'

Were there any witnesses present ?' asked Sir Henry.

Well,' said Charles, eye witnesses, but not, I suspect, ear witnesses of our conversation.'

Here a sudden rap at the library window put an end to the dialogue, for Lady Berkeley had come to summon the inmates to take a view of the fox-hounds, as they were in full cry at the lower end of the park, and in sight of the windows.

Come out and let Mr. Greville see the sport, Henry; don't sit muzzing over the papers all the morning,' said her ladyship, opening at the same time the casement-window, and the political discussion was necessarily adjourned. Charles did not care much for fox-hunting at any time, and now his thoughts were too much absorbed with other topics to leave space for more than a casual glance at the landscape, dotted with red-coated riders, who were galloping across the greensward as if life and death depended on who should first reach a brook which, swollen with recent rains, wound across the park at no great distance, and which was destined on this occasion to provide

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had turned away in search of his friend Augustus, to whom he longed to communicate his political secret, when a scream from a bevy of young ladies seemed to give note of some trick or tragedy, past or impending. The cause soon revealed itself in half-a-dozen riderless horses plunging in the brook. Two or three hunting-caps were seen floating on the stream, and an equal number of drenched and dripping sportsmen struggling to the bank. A contingent from the Grange was instantly on the spot. Greville and Augustus ran across the park, but before they had reached the brook all the riders but one had recovered their horses and their seats, and were again at full gallop after the hounds. One only was hors de combat, and as he limped along the bank a slight droop in the right shoulder indicated some fracture or dislocation, which subsequent examination proved to have taken place. Sir Henry's groom had caught and was leading bis horse towards the house, whither the young sportsman reluctantly turned his steps, yielding to the earnest entreaties of Augustus Berkeley, who in this respect only anticipated his father's hospitalities.

No bones broken, I hope,' said Sir Henry, cheerfully encountering his approaching guest, whose countenance and gait indicated, nevertheless, suppressed pain and discomfort.

“Yes, there are, though,' answered Augustus ; ‘but I've sent for Gregory. It's his day at the Union, and we shall just catch him there: he'll be here directly. Meanwhile Mr. Maxwell can rest on the sofa in the library.'

Before this move had been accomplished, the Union doctor appeared, trotting quickly up the drive, and was presently at his patient's side ; and having set the broken bone and prescribed rest, and forbidden Maxwell's mad proposal of an immediate return home through fifteen miles of pouring rain, departed, promising to come again next morning, and inwardly rejoicing in the thought that one Grange patient for a week would be worth more to him than the whole Union for six months. Mr. Gregory on the following morning revisited his patient, who had passed a restless night, and was evidently depressed at the prospect of confinement and interruption to his duties at so unseasonable a time; but the doctor, who hinted to Sir Henry at a 'nervous shock,' occasioned by the fall, told his patient plainly and positively that he must make up his mind to ten days' or a fortnight's imprisonment to his bedroom. In addition to the broken arm, it was discovered that an ankle had been badly sprained, and much inflamed by Jem's walk across the park, and his endeavours to conceal his lameness. So that he had become what would have been called in the Union an “irremovable pauper,' and travelling was for the present quite out of the question.

Maxwell philosophically submitted, and his father and brothers, who on hearing of his accident had immediately driven over to the Grange, quieted Jem's political apprehension by assuring him that they had seen the Australian squatter who had come down the night hoardings of that interesting town which had not been previously occupied by the blue posters of Dibbs and Greville ' were already decorated with those of · Barker and Maxwell' in flaming yellow.

Barker's photographs were about to be presented to the electors on a canvassing card, with a chapter of autobiography, in which his sayings and doings as Legislative Councillor in New South Wales, together with the number of sheep on his run, and the tons of tallow he had boiled down, were as faithfully recorded as were the coarse lineaments of his visage on the accompanying presentation portrait.

The joint Liberal Committee were, it was said, getting up a duplicate of Jem, and had already concocted his history from scraps of local papers, in which bis double first' and a grand innings in which he had scored ninety-seven at Lord's were duly registered.

A medallion of Barker and Maxwell, enveloped in a chaplet of laurel leaves, with their respective biographies, and surmounted by the Shamboro' coat-of-arms, would be in the possession of all Shamboro' electors to-morrow.

Such was the glowing account of his political prospects brought from Maxwell Park to poor Jem, who received the tidings with illsuppressed contempt, and inwardly cursed the fate which had linked his fortunes as a patriot with those of a vulgar and illiterate upstart.

CHAPTER IX.

GREVILLE, who was Jem's senior by about three years, had lived in a distant part of the country; and though both had been at Oxford, they were of different standing and had been at different colleges, and had never even met before the accident which compelled Jem to take refuge at the Grange.

The repose prescribed by Mr. Gregory isolated his patient for the first week at least which followed, from the rest of the family; but any meeting between the two rival candidates, who by this odd conjuncture were thrown under the same roof, was prevented for a still further period by a summons which reached Greville on the very next morning, urging the immediate commencement of his canvass at Shamboro'. This process lasted for ten continuous days (Sunday excepted), during which, the unhappy Greville was trotted about through the lanes and alleys of the town to pay his respects,' as Mr. Cheetham called it, to the inhabitants. But as the working classes were seldom to be caught at home except either at the sacred hour of dinner or after striking off at night, Greville was not allowed to leave the town at all until his preliminary canvass was completed. He had to take up his quarters at the “Swan with Two Necks,' and to prowl about night after night to pick up votes among the newly enfranchised mechanics, whose political ardour was often manifested by their votes, the doctrine of reserve' seemed to be very generally held at Shamboro.' Plenty of time before the election, sir,' Never promise till the day of poll, "We shall see you again, sir,' were the stock replies of a large class of electors, who, whatever value they attached to the franchise as a right or a privilege, at all events appreciated it as a 'perquisite.'

Now and then an exceptionally intelligent elector catechised the candidate on the Beer Bill, Poor Rates, Protestantism, or direct taxation, and was met by Greville with a frank earnestness which alarmed Mr. Cheetham, who more than once hinted to his pupil that • these fellows must be cut short,' or that what's one voter's meat is another's poison,' and other similar phrases indicating the inexpediency of condescending on particulars' during the solemn farce in which candidates for Shamboro' were compelled to bear a part. In his political intercourse with the parsons especially, who wanted to draw Greville about Convocation, the Universities, Education, Church and State, &c., Cheetham absolutely enjoined most careful reticence. Nothing which by possible ingenuity could be tortured into a pledge on these questions was tolerated by the wily attorney, who immediately. choked off any such conversations by reminding interrogators that Mr. Greville was really too young to be expected to speak decidedly on such subjects, that he would doubtless be prepared to give his consideration to them in Parliament if sent there as their representative.' Mr. Cheetham was loud in his praises of Mr. Dibbs, whom he held up to Greville as a model canvasser.

Called on a thousand electors-never told one of 'em his opinion, Sir, or what he'd do on any question of the day; all he said was that he was a Conservative, would do good to the town, and would oppose the Merrypebble Ministry—that's your sort, Sir; means nothing, as Mr. Taper said, and won't interfere with business when you get in.

While the Conservative candidates were diligently prosecuting their canvass, and addressing nightly meetings of the electors, their opponents, though temporarily deprived of the personal presence and eloquence of Maxwell, were by no means idle spectators of the scene. But old Dibbs, who knew too well all the weak points of his brother electors, and how, if in any case the shoe did not pinch sufficiently, it might be possible to make it pinch a little more, cared little for the glowing reports which the Radical newspapers circulated of their glorious canvass.' The fragile material of which the promises of Shamboro' voters were constructed had broken very often in Dibbs's hands, and he knew by experience by what cement these broken vows could be repaired. It was perhaps true that Stiggins had not only promised his own vote to the other side, but had exhorted his congregation at Ebenezer Chapel to support Barker and Maxwell, but it was also true that Dibbs had a mortgage on the chapel and all the furniture therein, and could turn Stiggins and his flock to the right-about should any falling off in the alms of the faithful disable the trustees

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