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structors in the world. By the way, I have a large dinner and evening party to-morrow, which you will do well, and which as my aid-de-camp it is a sort of duty in you, to attend. Let us see what that will produce.”
Then, recommending the précis to my best care, as it was to be laid before the king, he took his leave for some hours.
The last intimation was rather awful, and I bestowed all my pains on the task, which, however, from the clearness of the papers Lord Castleton had himself drawn, was so little difficult, that on his return he expressed, to my great pleasure, the highest satisfaction in what I had done, and we parted in mutual good humour-not always the case between patron and protégé.
OF A GREAT AND ACCOMPLISHED LADY TO WHOM
DE CLIFFORD WAS INTRODUCED, AND THE BENEFICIAL EFFECTS IT WAS LIKELY TO HAVE IN
Sweet lady, you have given me life and living.
SHAKSPEARE.—Merchant of Venice.
LORD CASTLETON had told me he would not affront me by recommending me to read Chesterfield. That was only with a view to taking my part among fine people. Manners, however, before he left me, recommended me a page of the same authority, with a view to my situation with my patron, and which, he said, I would do well always to remember, bearing in mind the numbers who had failed, for want of doing so, with this very nobleman. The passage was this:
“ A young man, be his merit what it will, can never raise himself, but must, like the ivy round the oak, twine himself round some man of great power and interest. You must belong to a mi
nister some time before anybody can belong to you; and an inviolable fidelity to that minister, even in his disgrace, will be meritorious, and recommend you to the next. Ministers love a personal, much more than a party attachment."
I thought this excellent information, coming from such an experienced party man himself. I resolved to profit by it, and, from what I had seen, I was pleased to think that Lord Castleton was a man to command one's personal attachment, exclusive of all the attractions created by his power.
Pondering these things, I employed the time previous to the great dinner to which the earl had bidden me, in making little arrangements for my future comforts. I was still a demy of Maudlin, and resolved to keep it, as Prior did his fellowship, to give him “a crust and a clean shirt,” after he and his party had been shipwrecked in the world. Meantime, my salary from Lord Castleton was £500 a-year, with which I took a pretty lodging in Green-street, to be always near my patron, and went to some expense in my wardrobe, to make the figure called for by my new position.
The party at Lord Castleton's was one of those grand ones, as they were called, which as a minister he was occasionally expected to give; I was rather anxious, therefore, as to its effect upon my appearance and manners, and how to acquit myself in a scene so entirely new to me. The family at
Foljambe had been the only one of any greatfashion with which I had been acquainted, and the retired habits of their dignity had prevented the display of it so as to occasion me any very particular fears of a failure on my part. In my last visit, too, God knows their afflictions made them little able to dazzle any one by an exhibition of what may be termed high manners.
Here, however, I was called upon to make 'my first appearance, as it were, upon a theatre royal -1, who had never figured except upon country boards, and little even of that. I had, nevertheless, something within me that told me I should not fail. The self-respect which had not abandoned me at Oxford, where every thing was new, would, I thought, bear me through this trial, not severer in proportion than that I had undergone.
Exclusive of this, the man I had the most, and indeed only cause to fear, had seemed, by his consideration and urbanity, to put all fear to sleep; and as for others, why should I fear them? They were but human, like myself, and if they were illbred enough to despise me for not knowing forms I had never been taught, I felt I could despise them with more justice in my turn, for not having common sense any more than common good nature.
As it was, therefore, I felt bold, and even promised my inquiring disposition some pleasant food in examining the new habits and manners to which
I expected to be introduced. I was even impatient for the dinner hour, and could not be persuaded, by a sort of valet de place whom I had hired, that if I waited half an hour after the time appointed, I should yet find none of the company assembled.
I was in Grosvenor Street exactly as the clock struck six-a dinner hour fashionably late in those days—and found that my valet knew these things, at least, better than myself; for not a creature was in the drawing-room, not even Lord Castleton, whom I at least expected to see prepared to receive his guests. So far from it, the company was more than half assembled before he made his appearance. As they, however, all knew one another, nobody felt any awkwardness but myself.
Both ladies and gentlemen, as they dropt in, levelled their eye-glasses at me, but instantly lowered them on finding that they did not know me, treating me as if I were one of the tables or chairs. Natural benignity told me this was wrong, and I thought not better of these persons of the highest English monde for this sample of their breeding
While reflecting upon this, as if to relieve me, Granville, whom I had not seen for twelve months, and thought still on the continent, was announced. He knew everybody in the room ; and seeing him accost me with his usual friendliness, all the glasses were again pointed at me for a minute, and again