Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

I'll

had finished speaking, he remained, “ My name isn't Billy Traynor; if with slightly drooped head and clasp- I'd not send you out of this hale and ed hands, in deep meditation.

hearty before two months. I read you « It's a strange thing,” said he, at like a printed book.” last; “but the more I see of the “ You really give 'me great confia aristocracy, the more I'm convinced dence, for 1 perceive you understand that they ought to have doctors for the tone of my temperament. Let us themselves alone, just as they have try this same embrocation at once ; their own tailors and coachmakers most implicitly obey you in everychaps that could devote themselves to thing.” the study of physic for the peerage, My head on a block, then, but and never think of any other disorders I'll cure yoti,” said Billy; who deterbut them that befal people of ränk. mined that no scruples on his side Your mistake, Sir Horace, was in con- should mar the trust reposed in him sulting the regular middle-class prac- by the patient. “But you must give titioner, who invariably imagined there yourself entirely up to me, not only us must be a disease to treat."

to your eatin' and drinkin', but your “ And you set me down as a hypo- hours of recreation and study, exercise, chondriac, then ?" said Upton, smiling. amusement, and all, must be at my

“Nothing of the kind! You have biddin'. It is the principle of harmony a malady sure enough, but nothing or- between the moral and physical naganic. 'Tis the oceans of tinctures; ture constitutes the whole sacret of the sieves-full of pills, the quarter- my system. To be stimulatin' thé casks of bitters you're takin', bas nerves, and lavin' the arteries dorplayed the divil with you. The hu- mant, is like playing a jig to minuet man ma-chine is like a clock, and it de. time-all must move in simultaneous pends on the proportion the parts bear action, and the cerebellum, the great to each other, whether it keeps time. fly-wheel of the whole, must be made You may make the spring too strong, to keep orderly time, d'ye mind." or the chain too thick, or the balance “I follow you with great interest,” too heavy for the rest of the works, said Sir Horace, to whose subtle naand spoil everything just by over se- ture there was an intense pleasure in curity. That's what your doctors was the thought of having discovered what doing with their tonics and cordials. he deemed a man of original genius They did'nt see, here's a poor washy under this unpromising exterior frame, with a wake circulation and “ There is but one bar to these ho vigour. If we nourish biin his arrangements - I must leave this at heart will go quicker, to be sure, but once ; I ought to go to-day. I must what will his brain be at? There's be off to-morrow.” the rub! His brain will begin to go " Then I'll not take the helm when fast, too, and already it's going the I can't pilot you through the shoals,” pace. 'Tis soothin' and calmin' you said Billy. * To begin my system, want; allayin' the irritability of an ir- and see you go away before I developed rascible, fretful nature, always on the my grand invigoratin' arcanum, would watch for self-torment. Say-bathin', be only to destroy your confidence in early hours, a quiet, mopin' kind of an elegant discovery." life, that would, maybe, tend to tor. “ Were I only as certain as you por and sleepiness — them's the first seem to be-" began Sir Horace, and things you need ; and for exercise, a then stopped. little work in the garden that you'd “You'd stay and be cured, you take interest in."

were goin' to say. Well, if you didn't “And no physic?" asked Sir Horace. feel that same trust in me, you'd be

“Sorra screed l not as much as a pow. right to go; for it is that very confi. der or a draught, barrin'," said he, dence that turns the balance. Ould suddenly catching the altered expres- Babbington used to say that between sion of the sick man's face, “ a little a good physician and a bad one there mixture of hyoscyamus I'll compound was just the difference between å for you myself. This, and friction pound and a guinea. But between over the region of the heart, with a the one you trust and the one you mild embrocation, is all my tratement!” don't, there's a whole wide ocean."

* And you have hopes of my re- « On that score every advantage bovery?" asked Sir Horace, faintly. is with you,” said Upton, with all the

common

winning grace of his incomparable health and shattered frame, alleging manner; "and I must now bethink all the while that no exertion is too me how I can manage to prolong.my much, no effort too great for us." stay here.” And with this he fell into And may be, after all, it's that a musing fit, letting drop occasionally very struggle that makes you more some stray word or two, to mark the than

men," said Billy. current of his thoughts—“The Duke “ There's a kind of irritability that of Headwater's on the thirteenth-Ard- keeps the brain at stretch, and renders roath Castle the Tuesday after_More- it equal to higher efforts than ever hampton for the Derby day. These accompanies good every-day health. easily disposed of. Prince Boratinsky, Dyspepsia is the soul of a prose-, about that Warsaw affair, must be writer, and a slight ossification of the attended to; a letter, yes, a letter, aortic valves is a great help to the will keep that question open. Lady imagination.” Grencliffe is a difficulty ; if I plead “Do you really say so ?” asked Sir illness, she'll say I'm not

strong enough Horace, with all the implicit confidence to go to Russia. I'll think it over.” with which he accepted any marvel And with this he rested his head on that had its origin in medicine. his hands, and sank into profound re- “Don't you feel it yourself, sir ?". flection. “ Yes, doctor," said he, at asked Billy. “Do you ever pen a length, as though summing up his reply to a knotty state-paper as nately secret calculations, “ health is the first as when you've the heartburn ?- are requisite. If you can but restore me, you ever as epigrammatic as when you will be I am above the mere per- you're driven to a listen slipper ?-and sonal consideration you will be the when do you give a minister a jobation means of conferring an important ser- as purtily as when you are labourin' vice on the King's Government. A under a slight indigestion ? Not that variety of questions, some of them it would sarve a man to be permadeep and intricate, are now pending, nently in gout or the cholic; but for of which I alone understand the secret a spurt like a cavalry charge, there's meaning. A new band would in- nothing like eatin' something that fallibly spoil the game; and yet, in disagrees with you." my present condition, how could I “An ingenious notion," said the bear the fatigues of long interviews, diplomatist, smiling., ministerial deliberations, incessant note- “ And now I'll take my lave," said writing, and evasive conversations ?" Billy, rising. “I'm going out to

“Utterly unpossible!” exclaimed gather some mountain-colchicum and the doctor.

sorrel, to make a diaphoretic ipfusion ; “ As you observe, it is utterly im. and I've to give Master Charles his possible," rejoined Sir Horace, with Greek lesson ; and blister the colt one of his own dubious smiles; and he's thrown out a bone spavin ; and, then, in a manner more natural, re- after that, Handy Carr's daughter has sumed." We public men have the the shakin' ague, and the smith at the sad necessity of concealing the suffer- forge is to be bled.

all before two ings on which others trade for sym- o'clock, when the lord' sends for me; pathy. We must never confess to an but the rest of the day, and the night, ache or a pain, lest it be rumoured too, I'm your honor's obaydient." that we are unequal to the fatigues of And with a low bow, repeated in a office; and so is it that we are con- more reverential manner at the door, demned to run the race with broken Billy took his leave and retired.

CHAPTER X.

A

DISCLOSURE.

“Have you seen Upton ?” asked Glencore eagerly, of Harcourt, as he entered his bedroom.

“Yes; he vouchsafed me an audience during his toilet, just as the old kings of France were accustomed to honour a favourite with one."

66 And is he full of miseries at the dreary place, the rough fare, and deplorable resources of this wild spot ?"

“Quite the reverse ; he is charmed with everything and everybody. The view from his window is glorious; the air has already invigorated him. For

years he has not breakfasted with the whether it was an act of friendship to same appetite ; and he finds, that of attach me ever so lightly to a life of all the places he has ever chanced upon, which I am well weary. Ceasing as I this is the one veritable exact spot have done for years back to feel intewhich suits him.”

rest in anything, I dread whatever may « This is very kind on his part," again recall me to the world of hopes said Glencore, with a faint smile. and fears—that agitated sea of passion, " Will the humour last, Harcourt ? whereon I have no longer vigour to That is the question."

contend. To speak to me then of plans “I trust it will; at least it may well to carry out, schemes to accomplish, endure for the short period he means was to point to a future of activity and to stay; although already he has ex. exertion ; and I"-here he dropped his tended that, and intends remaining till voice to a deep and mournful tonenext week.”

“can have but one future !-the dark “ Better still,” said Glencore, with and dreary one before the grave." more animation of voice and manner. Harcourt was too deeply impressed “I was already growing nervous about by the solemnity of these words to ven. the brief space in which I was to crowd ture on a reply, and he sat silently con. in all that I want to say to him; but if templating the sorrow-struck, but placid he will consent to wait a day or two, I features of the sick man. hope I shall be equal to it.'

" There is nothing to prevent a man In his present mood there is no struggling, and successfully, too, against impatience to be off; on the contrary, mere adverse fortune," continued Glenhe has been inquiring as to all the avail- core. “I feel at times that if I had able means of locomotion, and by what been suddenly reduced to actual begconvenience he is to make various sea gary_left without a shilling in the and land excursions."

world—that there are many ways in “We have no carriage—we have no which I could eke out subsistence. A roads, even," said Glencore, peevishly. great defeat to my personal ambition

“ He knows all that; but he is con- I could resist. The casualty that should certing measures about a certain turf- exclude me from a proud position and kish, I think they call it, which, by public life, I could bear up against with the aid of pillows to lie on, and donkeys patience, and I hope with dignity. to drag, can be made a most useful ve- Loss of fortune-loss of influence-loss hicle ; while for longer excursions he of station_loss of health, even dearer has suggested a convenience of wheels than them all, can be borne. There is and axles to the punt, rendering it but one intolerable ill-one that no equally eligible on land or water. time alleviates, no casuistry diminishes Then he has been designing great im. -loss of honour! Ay, Harcourt, rank provements in horticulture, and given and riches do little for him who feels orders about a rake, a spade, and a himself the inferior of the meanest that hoe for himself. I'm quite serious,” elbows him in a crowd ; and the man said Harcourt, as Glencore smiled with whose name is a scoff and a gibe has a kind of droll incredulity. “It is per. but one part to fill-to make himself fectly true; and as he hears that the forgotten." messenger occasionally crosses the I hope I'm not deficient in a sense Lough to the Post – when there are of personal honour, Glencore,” said no letters there, he hints at a little Harcourt ; “but I must say, that I simple telegraph for Leenane, which think your reasoning on this point is should announce what the mail con- untenable and wrong." tains, and which might be made useful “Let us not speak more of it,” said to convey other intelligence. In fact, Glencore, faintly. “I know not how all my changes here will be as nothing I have been led to allude to what it is to his reforms, and between us you'll better to bear in secret, than confide not know your own house again, if you even to friendship;” and be pressed even be able to live in it."

the strong fingers of the other, as he You have already done much to spoke, in his own feeble grasp. “Leave make it more habitable, Harcourt," me now, Harcourt, and send Upton said Glencore, feelingly; "and if I here. It may be that the time is come had not the grace to thank you for it, when I shall be able to speak to I'm not the less grateful. To say him.” truth, my old friend, I balf doubted “ You are too weak to-day, Glen.

You

Upton.

core--too much agitated. Pray defer gent observation; and he seems to this interview."

have studied his art more like a phi. “ No, Harcourt; these are my mo. losopher than a mere physician of the ments of strength. The little energy schools ; and depend upon it, Glennow left to me is the fruit of strong ex. core, the curative art must mainly decitement. Heaven knows how I shall pend upon the secret instinct which be to-morrow."

divines the malady, less by the rigid Harcourt made no further opposi. rules of acquired skill than by that tion, but left the room in search of prerogative of genius, which, however

exerted, arrives at its goal at once. It was full an hour later when Sir Our conversation had scarcely lasted Horace Upton made his appearance in a quarter of an hour, when he revealed Glencore's chamber, attired in a pur. to me the exact seat of all my suffer ple dressing-gown, profusely braided ings, and the most perfect picture of with gold, loose trowsers as richly bro- my temperament. And then bis sagcaded, and a pair of real Turkish slip- gestions as to treatment were all so pers, resplendent with costly embroi- reasonable_$0 well argued." dery; a small fez of blue velvet, with “A elever fellow no doubt of it," a deep gold tassel, covered the top of said Glencore. his head, at either side of which bis “ But he is far more than that, soft silky hair descended in long massy Glencore. Cleverness is only a tanuwaves, apparently negligently, but in facturing quality—that man supplies reality arranged with all the artistic the raw article also. It has often regard to effect of a consummate mas- struck me as very singular that such ter. From the gold girdle at his heads are not found in our class they waist depended a watch, a bunch of belong to another order altogetber. keys, a Turkish purse, an embroidered It is possible that the stimulus of ne. tobacco-bag, a gorgeously chased cessity engenders the greatest of all smelling-bottle, and a small stiletto, efforts, calling to the operations of the with an opal handle. In one hand he mind the continued strain for contriearried a meerschaum, the other leaned vance; and thus do we find the most upon a cane, and with all the depen. remarkable men are those, every step dance of one who could not walk with- of whose knowledge has been gained out its aid. The greeting was cordial with a struggle." and affectionate on both sides; and “ suspect you are rigbt,” said when Sir Horace, after a variety of Glencore ; " and that our old system preparations to ensure his comfort, at of school education, wherein all was length seated himself beside the bed, rough, rugged, and difficult, turned his features beamed with all their out better

men than the present day wonted gentleness and kindness. habit of everything-made-easy and

I'm charmed at what Harcourt everybody-made-anything. Flippancy has been telling me, Upton," said is the characteristic of our age, and we Glencore ; "and that you really can owe it to our schools.” exist in all the savagery of this wild “By the way, what do you mean to spot."

do with Charley ?" said Upton. “ Do “ I'm in ecstasy with the place, you intend him for Eton ?" Glencore. My memory cannot recall “I scarcely know-I make plang the same sensations of health and vi. only to abandon them," said Glencore, gour I have experienced since I came gloomily. here. Your cook is first-rate ; your “ I'm greatly struck with him. He fare is exquiste; the quiet is a positive is one of those fellows, however, who blessing; and that queer creature, your require the nicest management, and doctor, is a very remarkable genius." who either rise superior to all around

“ So he is," said Glencore, gravely. them, or drop down into an indolent,

“One of those men of original dreamy existence, conseious of power, mould, who leave cultivation leagues but too bashful or too lazy to exert it." behind, and arrive at truth by a “ You have hit him off, Upton, with bound.”

all your own subtlety ; and it was to " He certainly treated me with con- speak of that boy I have been so eager siderable skill.”

to see you." “ I'm satisfied of it; his conversa- Glencore paused as he said these tion is replete with shrewd and intelli. words, and passed his band over hig brow, as though to prepare himself for not fire at you ; what then was it posa the task before him.

sible for you to do?" “Upton,” said be, at last, in a voice “ Shoot him-shoot him like a dog!" of deep and solemn meaning, “the re- cried Glencore, while his eyes gleamed solution I am about to impart to you like the glittering eyes of an enraged is not unlikely to meet your strenuous beast. “You talk of his lingering opposition ; you will be disposed to life of pain ; think of mine ; have some show me strong reasons against it on sympathy for what I suffer! Would every ground ; you may refuse me that all the agony of his whole existence amount of assistance I shall ask of you equal one hour of the torment he has to carry out my purpose ; but if your bequeathed to me, its shame and igarguments were all unanswerable, and nominy?" if your denial to aid me was to sever “These are things which passion the old friendship between us, I'd still can never treat of, my dear Glencore." persist in my determination. For more “ Passion alone can feel them,” said than two years the project has been the other sternly. " Keep subtleties before my mind. The long hours of for those who use like weapons. As the day, the longer ones of the night, for me, no casuistry is needed to tell me bave found me deep in the consider- I am dishonoured, and just as little ation of it. I have repeated over to to tell me I must be avenged! If you myself everything that my ingenuity think differently, it were better not to could suggest against it-I have said to discuss this question further between to my own heart all that my worst us; but I did think I could bave reckenemy could utter, were he to read oned upon you, for I felt you had the scheme and detect my plan. I have barred my first chance of a vengeance." done more, I have struggled with my- “Now, then, for your plan, Glenself to abandon it; but all in vain. core,” said Upton, who with all the My heart is linked to it; it forms the dexterity of his calling preferred openone sole tie that attaches me to life. ing a new channel in the discussion, Without it, the apathy that I feel steal- to aggravating difficulties by a further ing over me would be complete, and opposition. my existence become a mournfut dream. • I must rid myself of her! There's In a word, Upton, all is passionless my plan !” eried Glencore, savagely. within me, save one sentiment; and I " You have it all in that resolution. drag on life merely for a vendetta.Of no avail is it that I have separated

Upton shook his head mournfully, my fortune from hers so long as she as the other paused here, and said bears my name, and renders it infa

“ This is disease, Glencore !" mous in every city of Europe ? Is it

“ Be it so; the malady is beyond to you who live in the world, who mix cure," said be, sternly.

with men of every country, that I need “ Trust me it is not so," said Up- tell this? If a man cannot throw off ton, gently; "you listened to my such a shame he must sink under it." persuasions on a more

“ But you told me you had an un. “Ay, that I did I" cried Glencore, conquerable aversion to the notion of interrupting, " and have I ever ceased seeking a divorce ?" to rue the day I did so! But for your “ So I had so I have! The indearguments, and I had not lived this life licate, the ignominious course of a of bitter, self-reproaching misery; but trial at law, with all its shocking exfor you, and my vengeance had been posure, would be worse than a thousated ere this !"

sand deaths! To survive the suffering “ Remember, Glencore,” said the of all the licensed ribaldry of some other," that you had obtained all the gowned coward, aspersing one's howorld has decreed as satisfaction. He nour, calumniating, inventing, and met you and received your fire ; you when invention failed, suggesting moshot him through the chest ; not mor- tives, the very thought of which in tally, it is true, but to carry to bis secret bad driven a man to madness! grave a painful, lingering disease. to endure this to read it to know it To have insisted on his again meeting went published over the wide globe, you would have been little less than till one's shame became the gossip of murder. No man could have stood millions and then, with a verdiet exyour friend in such a quarrel. I told torted from pity, damages awarded you so then, I repeat it now, he could to repair a broken heart and a sullied

60

« ПредишнаНапред »