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But Mr. Pinchum had more important duties to-day than visits of ceremony. Poor Jem was not in a state to be bled, either from the veins or the pocket. Mr. Barker, on the contrary, to whose head-quarters Pinchum immediately afterwards repaired, was exactly in the state in which pecuniary bleeding was almost necessary to relieve the system. And Pinchum's observation of human nature had told him that it is in the first hours of gratitude for mercies supposed to have been received, that patients pay their doctors, and candidates their agents, most lavishly.

• Allow me to congratulate you, sir, on your splendid victory! It is to myself a reward for many sleepless nights passed in untiring efforts for our cause. I suppose, Mr. Barker, this contest has shortened my natural life by ten years, but I trust it has ensured you a lease of Parliamentary life of twice that duration.'

* A thousand thanks, Mr. Pinchum,' responded the jubilant senator, and here's what's better--a draft for a thousand pounds for your trouble. As for the election expenses, you've only to let me know your figure, and I'll be down with the dust--that's the only course for a man of honour, you know, Mr. Pinchum.'

“Quite right, sir,' replied the lawyer, slowly pocketing the draft which his client had pushed across the table. Quite right, the only way to do business in electioneering. But as to the expenses, those rascally Blues are talking of petitioning, as if they weren't tarred with the same brush ; but in case of accidents we'd better wait to settle accounts when these little matters are squared. Your personal acknowledgment to me,' tapping the waistcoat pocket which contained the draft lying next to Pinchum's heart, my fee, in fact-is quite a separate thing. Much obliged to you, sir. Wish you long life to wear your honours. Good evening, sir!

And as Mr. Pinchum tripped along the street to his office, it is difficult to say whether the predominating emotion in his rascally breast was contempt for his purse-proud client, whose seat was not, he knew, worth ten minutes' purchase if challenged before a Parliamentary Committee, or self-congratulation at the adroitness with which he had made sure of his own share of the spoil before an uncomfortable day of reckoning might dawn on Shamboro' and its enterprising politicians.

'

CHAPTER XV.

To Greville the result of the Shamboro' election can hardly be said to have been a disappointment. The practical experience of electioneering which the last few weeks had afforded him had considerably cooled his political zeal, and when Mr. Cheetham's clerk brought to the Grange, where Greville had found an asylum after the nomination, the tidings of the final close of the poll, it was almost a relief to the defeated candidate to know that, whatever might happen to him, he would at all events no longer be called upon to bear any

trying a part. An ill-spelt note of condolence from Mr. Dibbs was pitched by our hero into the waste-paper basket almost unread, and a similar communication from Mr. Cheetham, mysteriously alluding to the ó temporary defeat of constitutional principles, and the coming retribution,' experienced a similar fate.

“Well, I cannot condole with you after all,” said Sir Henry. It's almost a matter of congratulation to be free for ever from all contact with such a place.'

•I should think it was, quietly responded Greville; “but for Heaven's sake let us say no more about it. I only wish I could get that fellow Cheetham's bill this moment, and wipe the whole affair off my memory, even if it emptied my pocket altogether.'

"Well, you know the worst of the money part, at any rate. It was to be 1,000l., wasn't it, if you lost ?'

• Yes, that was the bargain, and I suppose he'll keep to it.'

• Any witness, or any writing from Cheetham about it?' inquired Sir Henry.

• No, it was just a few words at the front door; so that if they are rogues, I suppose I am at their mercy; and as for the honourable Member, though he will no doubt bleed freely as long as the Shamboro' leeches stick to him, woe be to me if they should take a fancy to me for a change.'

In the meantime the electioneering gamblers of Shamboro', rather apprehensive lest the lawyers, having made sure of their own spoils, should compromise matters before the outsiders had had a finger in the pie, showed symptoms of considerable restlessness. They had carried only one of their men, and the successful candidate was not likely to trouble himself about his less fortunate colleague in the contest. It became therefore a serious question on whom, in the event of a petition, they should rely for the sinews of war.

Pinchum, knowing that neither Sir T. Tarleton nor Mr. Maxwell were likely to involve themselves further in Boro' politics, made successful overtures to Mr. Barker, dexterously baiting his application with the prospect of future rewards from the party if they succeeded by his aid in ousting Dibbs. The election had taken place, as will be remembered, in November, and as Parliament did not meet for the despatch of business until the latter end of the following January, there was abundance of time for the Shamborians to make up their books, and form their plan of operations for the coming session.

CHAPTER XVI.

• Post come in? Rather early to-day, isn't it?' inquired Sir Henry, seeing Greville with an open letter in his hand.

Yes, rejoined Charles, rather too early for me, I assure you, and so you will think when you peruse this precious document. The

6

cause,

But Mr. Pinchum had more important duties to-day than visits of ceremony. Poor Jem was not in a state to be bled, either from the veins or the pocket. Mr. Barker, on the contrary, to whose head-quarters Pinchum immediately afterwards repaired, was exactly in the state in which pecuniary bleeding was almost necessary to relieve the system. And Pinchum's observation of human nature had told him that it is in the first hours of gratitude for mercies supposed to have been received, that patients pay their doctors, and candidates their agents, most lavishly.

“Allow me to congratulate you, sir, on your splendid victory! It is to myself a reward for many sleepless nights passed in untiring efforts for our

I suppose, Mr. Barker, this contest has shortened my natural life by ten years, but I trust it has ensured you a lease of Parliamentary life of twice that duration.'

A thousand thanks, Mr. Pinchum,' responded the jubilant senator, and here's what's better —a draft for a thousand pounds for your trouble. As for the election expenses, you've only to let me know your figure, and I'll be down with the dust—that's the only course for a man of honour, you know, Mr. Pinchum.'

“Quite right, sir,' replied the lawyer, slowly pocketing the draft which his client had pushed across the table. Quite right, the only way to do business in electioneering. But as to the expenses, those rascally Blues are talking of petitioning, as if they weren't tarred with the same brush; but in case of accidents we'd better wait to settle accounts when these little matters are squared. Your personal acknowledgment to me,' tapping the waistcoat pocket which contained the draft lying next to Pinchum's heart, my fee, in fact-is quite a separate thing. Much obliged to you, sir. Wish you long life to wear your honours. Good evening, sir!

And as Mr. Pinchum tripped along the street to his office, it is difficult to say whether the predominating emotion in his rascally breast was contempt for his purse-proud client, whose seat was not, he knew, worth ten minutes' purchase if challenged before a Parliamentary Committee, or self-congratulation at the adroitness with which he had made sure of his own share of the spoil before an uncomfortable day of reckoning might dawn on Shamboro' and its enterprising politicians.

CHAPTER XV. To Greville the result of the Shamboro' election can hardly be said to have been a disappointment. The practical experience of electioneering which the last few weeks had afforded him had considerably cooled his political zeal, and when Mr. Cheetham's clerk brought to the Grange, where Greville had found an asylum after the nomination, tbe tidings of the final close of the poll, it was almost a relief to the defeated candidate to know that, whatever might happen to him, he would at all events no longer be called upon to bear any was Augustus that chose Charles, not Charles who chose Augustus. Inferior characters cleave to those above them, not from any capacity of appreciating their intelligence or of sympathy with their tastes, but simply from admiration of an unselfish spirit, to which they know they have themselves never attained. So it was with Augustus. At Oxford he had lived in a noisy and expensive set to which Charles had neither the means nor the inclination to belong; but the two young men met occasionally at the tennis court, and the acquaintance ripened into a queer sort of friendship. Augustus would probably have been rusticated more than once if Charles had not kept him out of scrapes, and possibly might have taken a degree (which he never vid) if Charles had fallen in with him a term or two earlier. When Greville left Oxford, Augustus never lost sight of him, and was always reminding him of promised visits to the Grange, which, as we have seen, were destined ere long to come about with consequences not at first sight so convenient to our hero as his friends might have desired.

CHAPTER XVII.

CHRISTMAS at the Grange bore a strong family resemblance to the ordinary features of that serio-comic season at thousands of the happy homes of England. There, as in the circles gathered round other firesides, there were elements of joy and woe

gaps once filled hy happy smiling faces--traces of anxiety and disappointment illveiled by a temporary and artificial hilarity--the boisterous mirth of youth mingled with the chastened and subdued cheerfulness of middle

age,

and here and there a heart which bore its own life-long burden, lightened perhaps at the great Christian festival by a joy with which strangers did not intermeddle. Sir Henry was one of those taciturn easy-going country gentlemen, who having been a keen sportsman in his youth, and a distinguished member of the • Coaching Club,' was sometimes described by his friends as “a man of few words and four horses. If his epitaph had told survivors that he was a loving husband, a kind father, and a firm friend, it would have been truer than epitaphs generally are. But the time had not yet come for writing Sir Henry's epitaph, and his contemporaries and old schoolfellows now were and had long been contented with describing him as ó not half a bad fellow, but a trifle slow.'

Though Sir Henry was never guilty of the pompous vulgarity of telling his guests that his house was • Liberty Hall,' they all found it ont soon enough without being told. If the men wished to shoot they shot, if the women wished to flirt they flirted, if the boys home for the holidays preferred lying in bed to coining down to breakfast they dropped in to their matutinal meal whenever it pleased them. For though Sir Henry hiraself was more punctual than ordinary modern clockwork as his own chaplain at family prayers, this ordinance had no relation whatever to breakfast, and was conducted. like everything else at the Grange, on principles of civil and religious liberty. In the breakfast-room little tables were scattered up and down, and from 9 till 11 any guest who chanced to drop in bad his choice of tea or coffee with its usual accompaniments of bot or cold viands. Lady Berkeley was in rather delicate health, and seldom appeared at all at breakfast, leaving the guests to the guardianship of her pieces and of an old friend of the family who generally passed her Christmas at the Grange. For the gentlemen, hunting and shooting alternated as their daily occupation almost as evenly as the bread and meat in a pile of sandwiches, though to Sir Henry him elf the regularity was often broken by his attendance at the Board of Guardians and Petty Sessions, of both of which he was the Chairman, In justice to the worthy Baronet it must be said at once that thout his twenty years of Parliamentary life had not won for him any great distinction as a statesman, his independence and honesty had corciliated the good-will of all his neighbours. As a preserver of game his arrangements contrasted favourably with those of most of the county nabobs.

His tenants could kill all the rabbits on their farms if they pleased. He never sold his venison or his pheasants, and besides distributing the latter very liberally all round the neighbourhood, he generally sent ten or twenty brace every year to the County Hospital at Shamboro'. He subscribed to all the publie charities, supported the Bishop of the diocese whatever might be his theological opinions, kept in his cellar a capital stock of claret, and was the best judge of shorthorns in the county.

The old friend of the family to whom we have referred deserves to be specially described. Lady Anne Makepeace was quite a personage of social authority, uniting a warm heart to great practical usefulness. She was one of those ladies who are always in request in half a dozen quarters at once. No birth, death, or marriage could occur within the wide circle of Lady Anne's acquaintance without involving her in urgent appeals for her personal presence and active sympathy in the joys or sorrows of her friends. Everybody appealed to her as the supreme court of judicature on all points of moral casuistry.

· Don't you think so, Lady Anne?' was evermore on Lads Berkeley's lips when her guest was at the Grange.

• What can we do to interest the boys and make them les desultory? What does Lady Anne think of this book, or that announcement, or of Mr. Proser's sermon, or of the signs of the times ?'

Such were the constant queries addressed to this walking oracle, to whom consequently all members of the family of all ages were predisposed to render an almost mysterious homage.

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