truth. Besides, you can get from that dog Clavering-I can fetch that for you easily enough an acknowledgment that the reasons which you have given to him as the head of the family are amply sufficient for breaking off the union. Don't you think with me, Laura?" He scarcely dared to look her in the face as he spoke. Any lingering hope that he might have-any feeble hold that he might feel upon the last spar of his wrecked fortune, he knew he was casting away; and he let the wave of his calamity close over him. Pen had started up whilst he was speaking, looking eagerly at him. He turned his head away. He saw Laura rise up also and go to Pen, and once more take his hand and kiss it. "She thinks so too-God bless her!" said George.


"Her father's shame is not Blanche's fault, dear Arthur, is it?" Laura said, very pale, and speaking very quickly. Suppose you had been married, would you desert her because she had done no wrong? Are you not pledged to her? Would you leave her because she is in misfortune? And if she is unhappy, wouldn't you console her? Our mother would, had she been here." And, as she spoke, the kind girl folded her arms round him, and buried her face upon his heart.

"Our mother is an angel with God," Pen. sobbed out. "And you are the dearest and best of women-the dearest, the dearest and the best. Teach me my duty. Pray for me that I may do it pure heart. God bless you-God bless you, my sister."


Amen," groaned out Warrington, with his head in his hands. "She is right," he murmured to himself. "She can't do any wrong, I think-that girl." Indeed, she looked and smiled like an angel. Many a day after he saw that smile-saw her radiant face as she looked up at Pen - saw her putting back her curls, blushing and smiling, and still looking fondly towards him.

She leaned for a moment her little fair hand on the table, playing on it. "And now, and now," she said, looking at the two gentlemen

"And what now?" asked George.

"And now we will have some tea," said Miss Laura, with her smile.

But before this unromantic conclusion to a rather sentimental scene could be suffered to take place, a servant brought word that Major Pendennis had returned to the hotel, and was waiting to see his nephew. Upon this announcement, Laura, not without some alarm, and an appealing look to Pen, which said "Behave yourself well-hold to the right, and do your duty-be gentle, but firm with your uncle"-Laura, we say, with these warnings written in her face, took leave of the two gentlemen, and retreated to her dormitory. Warrington, who was not generally fond of tea, yet grudged that expected cup very much. Why could not old Pendennis have come in an hour later? Well, an hour sooner or later, what matter? The hour strikes at last. The inevitable moment comes to say Farewell. The hand is shaken, the door closed, and the friend gone; and, the brief joy over, you are alone. "In which of those many windows of the hotel does her light beam?" perhaps he asks himself as he passes down the street. He strides away to the smokingroom of a neighbouring Club, and there applies himself to his usual solace of a cigar. Men are brawling and talking loud about politics, opera-girls, horseracing, the atrocious tyranny of the committee; bearing this sacred secret about him, he enters into this brawl. Talk away, each louder than the other. Rattle and crack jokes. Laugh and tell your wild stories. It is strange to take one's place and part in the midst of the smoke and din, and think every man here has his secret ego most likely, which is sitting lonely and apart, away in the private chamber, from the loud game in which the rest of us is joining!

Arthur, as he traversed the passages of the hotel, felt his anger rousing up within him. He was indignant to think that yonder old gentleman whom he was about to meet, should have made him such a tool and puppet, and so compromised his honour and good name. The old fellow's hand was very cold and shaky when Arthur took it. He was coughing; he was grumbling over the fire;

Frosch could not bring his dressinggown or arrange his papers as that dd confounded impudent scoundrel of a Morgan. The old gentleman bemoaned himself, and cursed Morgan's ingratitude with peevish pathos.

The confounded impudent scoundrel! He was drunk last night, and challenged me to fight him, Pen: and, begad, at one time I was so excited that I thought I should have driven a knife into him; and the infernal rascal has made ten thousand pound, I believeand deserves to be hanged, and will be; but, curse him, I wish he could have lasted out my time. He knew all my ways, and, dammy, when I rang the bell, the confounded thief brought the thing I wanted-not like that stupid German lout. And what sort of time have you had in the country? Been a good deal with Lady Rockminster? You can't do better. She is one of the old schoolvieille ecole, bonne ecole, hey? Dammy, they don't make gentlemen. and ladies now; and in fifty years you'll hardly know one man from another. But they'll last my time. I ain't long for this business: I am getting very old, Pen, my boy; and, gad, I was thinking to-day, as I was packing up my little library, there's a Bible amongst the books that belonged to my poor mother; I would like you to keep that, Pen. I was thinking, sir, that you would most likely open the box when it was your property, and the old fellow was laid under the sod, sir," and the Major coughed and wagged his old head over the fire.

His age-his kindness, disarmed Pen's anger somewhat, and made Arthur feel no little compunction for the deed which he was about to do. He knew that the announcement which he was about to make would destroy the darling hope of the old gentleman's life, and create in his breast a woful anger and commotion.

"Hey-hey-I'm off, sir," nodded the Elder; "but I'd like to read a speech of yours in the Times' before I go—' Mr. Pendennis said, Unaccustomed as I am to public speaking' hey, sir? hey, Arthur? Begad, you look dev'lish well and healthy, sir. I always said my brother Jack would bring the family right.

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"Indeed!" The old gentleman's cheek began to flush involuntarily, and he muttered, "The cat's out of the bag now, begad!"

"He told me a story, sir, which gave me the deepest surprise and pain," said Pen.

The Major tried to look unconcerned. "What-that story about-about Whatdoyoucall'em, hey?"

About Miss Amory's father-about Lady Clavering's first husband, and who he is, and what."

"Hem-a devilish awkward affair !" said the old man, rubbing his nose. "" I -I've been aware of that-eh-confounded circumstance for some time."

"I wish I had known it sooner, or not at all," said Arthur, gloomily.

"He is all safe," thought the Senior, greatly relieved. "Gad! I should have liked to keep it from you altogetherand from those two poor women, who are as innocent as unborn babes in the transaction."

"You are right. There is no reason why the two women should hear it; and I shall never tell them-though that villain, Morgan, perhaps, may," Arthur said, gloomily." He seems disposed to trade upon his secret, and has already proposed terms of ransom to me. I wish I had known of the matter earlier, sir. It is not a very pleasant thought to me that I am engaged to a convict's daughter."

"The very reason why I kept it from you-my dear boy. But Miss Amory is not a convict's daughter, don't you see? Miss Amory is the daughter of Lady Clavering, with fifty or sixty thousand pounds for a fortune; and her father-in

law, a Baronet and country gentleman, of high reputation, approves of the match, and gives up his seat in Parliament to his son-in-law. What can be more simple ?"

"Is it true, sir?"

"Begad, yes, it is true, of course it's true. Amory's dead. I tell you he is dead. The first sign of life he shows, he is dead. He can't appear. We have him at a dead-lock, like the fellow in the play-the Critic,' hey?-devilish amusing play that 'Critic.' Monstrous witty man Sheridan: and so was his son. By Gad, sir, when I was at the Cape, I remember-"

The old gentleman's garrulity, and wish to conduct Arthur to the Cape, perhaps arose from a desire to avoid the subject which was nearest his nephew's heart; but Arthur broke out, interrupting him-"If you had told me this tale sooner, I believe you would have spared me and yourself a great deal of pain and disappointment; and I should not have found myself tied to an engagement from which I can't, in honour, recede."

"No, begad, we've fixed you-and a man who's fixed to a seat in Parliament, and a pretty girl, with a couple of thousand a-year, is fixed to no bad thing, let me tell you," said the old man.

"Great Heavens, sir!" said Arthur; "are you blind? Can't you see?"

"See what, young gentleman?" asked the other.

"See, that rather than trade upon this secret of Amory's," Arthur cried out, "I would go and join my father-in-law at the hulks. See, that rather than take a seat in Parliament as a bribe from Clavering for silence, I would take the spoons off the table! See, that you have given me a felon's daughter for a wife; doomed me to poverty and shame; cursed my career when it might have been-when it might have been so different but for you! Don't you see that we have been playing a guilty game, and have been over-reached;-that in offering to marry this poor girl, for the sake of her money, and the advancement she would bring, I was degrading myself, and prostituting my honour?"

"What in Heaven's name do you mean, sir?" cried the old man.

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"And, begad, her parents shall keep their's to you."

"Not so, please God," Arthur answered. "I have sinned, but, Heaven help me, I will sin no more. I will let Clavering off from that bargain which was made without my knowledge. I will take no money with Blanche but that which was originally settled upon her; and I will try to make her happy. You have done it. You have brought this on me, sir. But you knew no better and I forgive"

"Arthur-in God's name-in your father's, who, by Heavens, was the proudest man alive, and had the honour of the family always at heart-in minefor the sake of a poor broken-down old fellow, who has always been dev'lish fond of you-don't fling this chance away-I pray you, I beg you, I implore you, my dear, dear boy, don't fling this chance away. It's the making of you. You're sure to get on. You'll be a Baromet it's three thousand a year: dammy, on my knees, there, I beg of you, don't do this."

And the old man actually sank down on his knees, and seizing one of Arthur's hands, looked up piteously at him. It was cruel to remark the shaking hands, the wrinkled and quivering face, the old eyes weeping and winking, the broken voice. "Ah, sir," said Arthur, with a groan, "you have brought pain enough on me, spare me this. You have wished me to marry Blanche. I marry her.

For God's sake, sir, rise, I can't bear it."

66 You-you mean to say that you will take her as a beggar, and be one yourself?" said the old gentleman, rising up and coughing violently.

"I look at her as a person to whom a great calamity has befallen, and to whom am promised. She cannot help the misfortune; and as she had my word when she was prosperous, I shall not withdraw it ow she is poor. I will not take Clavering's seat, unless afterwards it should be given of his free will. I will not have a shilling more than her original fortune."

Have the kindness to ring the bell," said the old gentleman. "I have done my best, and said my say; and I'm a dev'lish old fellow. And-and-it don't matter. And and Shakspeare was right-and Cardinal Wolsey-begad'and had I but served my God as I've served you'-yes, on my knees, by Jove, to my own nephew-I mightn't have been-Good night, sir, you needn't trouble yourself to call again."

Arthur took his hand, which the old man left to him; it was quite passive and clammy. He looked very much oldened and it seemed as if the contest and defeat had quite broken him.

On the next day he kept his bed, and refused to see his nephew.



WHEN, arrayed in his dressing-gown, Pen walked up, according to custom, to Warrington's chambers next morning, to inform his friend of the issue of the last night's interview with his uncle; and to ask, as usual, for George's advice and opinion; Mrs. Flanagan, the laundress, was the only person whom Arthur found in the dear old chambers. George had taken a carpet-bag, and was gone. His address was to his brother's house, in Suffolk. Packages addressed to the newspaper and review for which he wrote, lay on the table, awaiting delivery.

"I found him at the table, when I


came, the dear gentleman!" Flanagan said, "writing at his papers, and one of the candles was burned out: and hard as his bed is, he wasn't in it all night, sir."

Indeed, having sat at the Club until the Brawl there became intolerable to him, George had walked home, and had passed the night finishing some work on which he was employed, and to the completion of which he bent himself with all his might. The labour was done, and the night was worn away somehow, and the tardy November dawn came and looked in on the young man as he sate over his desk. In the next day's paper, or quarter's review, many of us very lightly admired the work of his genius, the variety of his illustration, the fierce vigour of his satire, the depth of his reason. There was no hint in his writing of the other thoughts which occupied him, and always accompanied him in his work: a tone more melancholy than was customary, a satire more bitter and impatient than that which he afterwards showed, may have marked the writings of this period of his life to the very few persons who knew his style or his name. We have said before, could we know the man's feelings as well as the author's thoughts-how interesting most books would be more interesting than merry. I suppose harlequin's face behind his mask is always grave, if not melancholy -certainly each man who lives by the pen, and happens to read this, must remember, if he will, his own experiences, and recal many solemn hours of solitude and labour. What a constant care sate at the side of the desk and accompanied him! Fever or sickness were lying possibly in the next room: a sick child might be there, with a wife watching over it terrified and in prayer; or grief might be bearing him down, and the cruel mist before the eyes rendering the paper scarce visible as he wrote on it, and the inexorable necessity drove on the pen. What man among us has not had nights and hours like these? But to the manly heart-severe as these pangs are, they are endurable: long as the night seems the dawn comes at last, and the wounds heal, and the fever abates, and rest comes, and you can

afford to look back on the past misery with feelings that are anything but bitter.

Two or three books for reference, fragments of torn up manuscript, drawers open, pens in inkstand, lines half visible on the blotting paper, a bit of sealing wax twisted and bitten and broken into sundry pieces-such relics as these were about the table, and Pen flung himself down in George's empty chair-noting things according to his wont, or spite of himself. There was a gap in the book-case (next to the old College Plato, with the Boniface Arms), where Helen's Bible used to be. He has taken that with him, thought Pen. He knew why

his friend was gone. Dear, dear old

George !

Pen rubbed his hand over his eyes. O, how much wiser, how much better, how much nobler he is than I, he thought. Where was such a friend, or such a brave heart? Where shall I ever hear such a frank voice, and kind laughter? Where shall I ever see such a true gentleman? No wonder she loved him. God bless him. What was I compared to him? What could she do else but love him? To the end of our days we will be her brothers, as fate wills that we can be no more. We'll be her knights, and wait on her; and when we're old, we'll say how we loved her. Dear, dear old George !

When Pen descended to his own chambers, his eye fell on the letter-box of his outer door, which he had previously overlooked, and there was a little note to A. P., Esq., in George's wellknown handwriting, George had put into Pen's box probably as he was going


"Dr Pen, I shall be half way home when you breakfast, and intend to stay over Christmas, in Suffk, or elsewhere.

"I have my own opinion of the issue of matters about which we talked in J-St. yesterday; and think my presence de trop. "Vale. G. W. 66 Give my very best regards and adieux to your cousin."

And so George was gone, and Mrs. Flanagan, the laundress, ruled over his empty chambers

Pen of course had to go and see his uncle on the day after their colloquy, and not being admitted, he naturally went to Lady Rockminster's apartments, where the old lady instantly asked for Bluebeard, and insisted that he should come to dinner.

"Bluebeard is gone," Pen said, and he took out poor George's scrap of paper, and handed it to Laura, who looked at it-did not look at Pen in return, but passed the paper back to him, and walked away. Pen rushed into an eloquent eulogium upon his dear old George to Lady Rockminster, who was astonished at his enthusiasm. She had never heard him so warm in praise of anybody; and told him with her usual frankness, that she didn't think it had been in his nature to care so much about any other person.

As Mr. Pendennis was passing in Waterloo Place, in one of his many walks to the hotel where Laura lived, and whither duty to his uncle carried Arthur every day, Arthur saw issuing from Messrs. Gimcrack's celebrated shop an old friend, who was followed to his Brougham by an obsequious shopman bearing parcels. The gentleman was in the deepest mourning: the Brougham, the driver, and the horse, were in mourning. Grief in easy circumstances, and supported by the comfortablest springs and cushions, was typified in the equipage, and the little gentleman, its proprietor.

"What, Foker! Hail, Foker ! " cried out Pen-the reader, no doubt, has likewise recognised Arthur's old schoolfellow-and he held out his hand to the heir of the late lamented John Henry Foker, Esq., the master of Logwood and other houses, the principal partner in the great brewery of Foker & Co.: the greater portion of Foker's Entire.

A little hand, covered with a glove of the deepest ebony, and set off by three inches of a snowy wristband, was put forth to meet Arthur's salutation. The other little hand held a little morocco case, containing, no doubt, something precious, of which Mr. Foker had just become proprietor in Messrs. Gimcrack's shop. Pen's keen eyes and satiric turn showed him at once upon what errand

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