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THE CAXTONS.PART VI.
"I DON'T know that,” said my gentleman, ere the word dandy was father.
known, and before exquisite became " What is it my father does not a noun substantive - let me here know? My father does not know pause to describe thee! Sir Sedley that happiness is our being's end Beaudesert was the contemporary of and aim."
Trevanion and my father ; but, withAnd pertinent to what does my out affecting to be young, he still father reply, by words so sceptical, seemed so. Dress, tone, look, manto an assertion so little disputed ? ner--all were young-yet all had a
Reader, Mr Trevanion has been certain dignity which does not belong half-an-hour seated in our little draw- to youth. At the age of five-anding-room. He has received two cups twenty, he had won what would have of tea from my mother's fair hand , he been fame to a French marquis of has made himself at home. With Mr the old regime, viz.he was “ the Trevanion has come another old friend most charming man of his day”-the of my father's, whom he has not seen most popular with our sex- the most since he left college-Sir Sedley Beatz- favoured, my dear lady reader, with desert.
yours. It is a mistake, I believe, to Now, you must understand that it suppose that it does not require talent is a warm night, a little after nine to become the fashion; at all events, o'clock- a night between departing Sir Sedley was the fashion, and he summer and approaching autumn had talent. He had travelled much, he the windows are open-We have a had read much- especially in memoirs, balcony, which my mother has taken history, and belles-lettres-he made care to fill with flowers--the air, verses with grace and a certain origithough we are in London, is sweet nality of easy wit and courtly sentiand fresh the street quiet, except ment-he conversed delightfully-he that an occasional carriage or hackney was polished and urbane in manner cabriolet rolls rapidly by a few he was brave and honourable in constealthy passengers pass to and froduct ; in words he could flatterin noiselessly on their way homeward. deeds he was sincere. We are on classic ground-near that Sir Sedley Beaudesert had never old and venerable Museum, the dark married. Whatever his years, he was monastic pile, with its learned trea- still young enough in looks to be sures, which the taste of the age had married for love. He was high-born, spared then--and the quiet of the he was rich; he was, as I have said, temple seems to hallow the precincts; popular ; yet on his fair features there Captain Roland is seated by the fire was an expression of melancholy; and place, and though there is no fire, on that forehead-pure from the lines he is shading his face with a hand- of ambition, and free from the weight screen ; my father and Mr Trevanion of study-there was the shadow of have drawn their chairs close to each unmistakeable regret. other in the middle of the room ; Sir “I don't know that,” said my Sedley Beaudesert leans against the father; “ I have never yet found in wall near the window, and behind life one man who made happiness his my mother, who looks prettier and end and aim. One wants to gain a more pleased than usual, since her fortune, another to spend it-one to Austin has his old friends about him; get a place, another to build a name; and I, leaning my elbow on the table, but they all know very well that it is and my chin upon my hand, am gazing not happiness they search for. No with great admiration on Sir Sedley Utilitarian was ever actuated by selfBeaudesert.
interest, poor man, when he sate down Orare specimen of a race fast to scribble his unpopular crochets to decaying!-specimen of the true fine prove self-interest universal. And as to that notable distinction-between “ Exactly," said my father; “beself-interest vulgar and self-interest cause to every question there are two enlightened—the more the self-interest sides, and you look at them both." is enlightened, the less we are in- “You have said it," answered fluenced by it. If you tell the young Trevanion, smiling also. “For public man who has just written a fine book life a man should be one-sided; he or made a fine speech, that he will not must act with a party; and a party be any happier if he attains to the insists that the shield is silver, when, fame of Milton, or the power of Pitt, if it will take the trouble to turn the and that, for the sake of his own hap- corner, it will see that the reverse of piness, he had much better cultivate a the shield is gold. Wo to the man who farm, live in the country, and post- makes that discovery alone, while his pone to the last the days of dyspepsia party are still swearing the shield is and gout, he will answer you fairly, silver, and that not once in his life,
I am quite as sensible of that as you but every night!” are. But I am not thinking whether “You have said quite enough to or not I shall be happy. I have made convince me that you ought not to up my mind to be, if I can, a great belong to a party, but not enough to author or a prime minister.' So it is convince me why you should not be with all the active sons of the world. happy," said my father. To push on is the law of nature. And " Do you remember,” said Sir you can no more say to men and to Sedley Beaudesert, “an anecdote of nations than to children,- Sit still, the first Duke of Portland ? He had a and don't wear out your shoes !'”. gallery in the great stable of his villa
“ Then," said Trevanion, " if I tell in Holland, where a concert was given you I am not happy, your only answer once a-week, to cheer and amuse his is, that I obey an inevitable law." horses! I have no doubt the horses
“No! I don't say that it is an inevi. thrived all the better for it. What table law that man should not be Trevanion wants is a concert once happy; but it is an inevitable law a-week. With him it is always saddle that a man, in spite of himself, should and spur. Yet, after all, who would live for something higher than his not envy him? If life be a drama, his own happiness. He cannot live in name stands high in the playbill, and himself or for himself, however egotis. is printed in capitals on the walls." tical he may try to be. Every desire Envy mel” cried Trevanionhe has links him with others. Man "ME!- no, you are the enviable manis not a machine- he is a part of you who have only one grief in the
world, and that so absurd a one, “True, brother, he is a soldier, that I will make you blush by disnot an army," said Captain Roland. closing it. Hear, Osage Austin !
“Life is a drama, not a mono- ( sturdy Roland !- Olivares was logue," pursued my father. “ Drama haunted by a spectre, and Sedley is derived from a Greek verb, signify. Beaudesert by the dread of old age !" ing to do. Every actor in the drama 6 Well," said my mother seriously, has something to do, which helps on “I do think it requires a great sense the progress of the whole : that is the of religion, or, at all events, chilobject for which the Author created dren of one's own, in whom one is him. Do your part, and let the Great young again, to reconcile one's-self to Play get on."
becoming old." “ Ah!" said Trevanion briskly, “My dear ma'am," said Sir Sedley, " but to do the part is the difficulty! who had slightly coloured at TreEvery actor helps to the catastrophe, vanion's charge, but had now recoverand yet must do his part without ed his easy self-possession, “ you knowing how all is to end. Shall he have spoken so admirably that you help the curtain to fall on a tragedy give me courage to confess my weakor a comedy ? Come, I will tell you ness. I do dread to be old. All the the one secret of my public life-that joys of my life have been the joys of which explains all its failure (for, in youth. I have had so exquisite a spite of my position, I have failed) and pleasure in the mere sense of living, its regrets- I want conviction !"
that old age, as it comes near, terrifies
me by its dull eyes and gray hairs. The Captain turned uneasily in his I have lived the life of the butterfly. chair, for the rheumatism was gpawSummer is over, and I see my flowers ing his shoulder, and sharp pains withering; and my wings are chilled were shooting through his mutilated by the first airs of winter. Yes, I limb. envy Trevanion; for, in public life, “I say," answered Roland, “ that no man is ever young; and while he these men are wearied with marchcan work he is never old.”
ing from Brentford to Windsor—that “ My dear Beaudesert," said my they have never known the bivouac father," when St Amable, patron and the battle." saint of Riom, in Auvergne, went to Both the grumblers turned their Rome, the sun waited upon him as a eyes to the veteran : the eyes rested servant, carried his cloak and gloves first on the furrowed, care-worn lines for him in the heat, and kept off the on his eagle face-then they fell on rain, if the weather changed, like an the stiff, outstretched cork limb-and umbrella. You want to put the sun to then they turned away. the same use; you are quite right; Meanwhile my mother had softly but then, you see, you must first be a risen, and, under pretence of looking saint before you can be sure of the for her work on the table near him, sun as a servant."
bent over the old soldier, and pressed Sir Sedley smiled charmingly ; but his hand. the smile changed to a sigh as he “ Gentlemen," said my father, “I added, " I don't think I should much don't think my brother ever heard of mind being a saint if the sun would Nichocorus, the Greek comic writer; be my sentinel instead of my courier. yet he has illustrated him very ably. I want nothing of him but to stand Saith Nichocorus, 'the best cure for still. You see he moved even for St drunkenness is a sudden calamity.' Amable. My dear madam, you and For chronic drunkenness, a continued I understand each other; and it is a course of real misfortune must be very very hard thing to grow old, do what salutary!" one will to keep young."
No answer came from the two " What say you, Roland, of these complainants; and my father took up two malcontents ?" asked my father. a great book.
“My friends," said my father, look- means. Nitre in broth, for instanceing up from his book, and addressing about three grains to ten-(cattle fed himself to his two visitors, “ I know upon nitre grow fat); or earthy odours of one thing, milder than calamity, such as exist in cucumbers and that would do you both a great deal cabbage. A certain great lord had of good."
a clod of fresh earth, laid in a napkin, “What is that?" asked Sir Sedley. put under his nose every morning after
"A saffron bag, worn at the pit of sleep. Light anointing of the head the stomach !"
with oil, mixed with roses and salt, is “Austin, my dear!" said my mother not bad; but, upon the whole, I prereprovingly.
scribe the saffron bag at the"My father did not heed the inter- “ Sisty, my dear, will you look for ruption, but continued gravely, my scissors ?” said my mother. “Nothing is better for the spirits! " What nonsense are you talking ! Roland is in no want of saffron, Question, question !" cried Mr Trebecause he is a warrior; and the vanion. desire of fighting, and the hope of “Nonsense!” exclaimed my father, victory, infuse such a heat into the opening his eyes; “ I am giving you spirits as is profitable for long life, the advice of Lord Bacon.-You want and keeps up the system.”
conviction - conviction comes from " Tut!" said Trevanion.
passion-passion from the spirits“ But gentlemen in your predica- spirits from a saffron bag. You, ment must have recourse to artificial Beaudesert, on the other hand, want to keep youth. He keeps youth no doubt of that. In the pit of the longest who lives longest. Nothing stomach is that great central web of more conduces to longevity than a nerves called the ganglions; thence saffron bag, provided always it is they affect the head and the heart. worn at the"
Mr Squills proved that to us, Sisty." +6 Sisty, my thimble !" said my “ Yes," said I; “ but I never heard mother.
Mr Squills talk of a saffron bag." 46 You laugh at us justly,” said " Oh, foolish boy! it is not the Beaudesert, smiling; “ and the same saffron bag—it is the belief in the remedy, I dare say, would cure us saffron bag. Apply BELIEF to the both!''
centre of the nerves, and all will go “Yes," said my father, “there is well,” said my father.
. " But it is a devil of a thing to have moirs with the expectation of finding too nice a conscience!” quoth the sermons, iso to that circle let its fame member of Parliament.
be circumscribed. All I shall say "And it is not an angel of a thing about it is, that it was a very fine to lose one's front teeth!" sighed the sermon, and that it proved indispufine gentleman.
tably, to me at least, the salubrious Therewith my father rose, and, effects of a saffron bag applied to the putting his hand into his waistcoat, great centre of the nervous system. more suo, delivered his famous
But the wise Ali saith, that “a fool
doth not know what maketh him look SERMON UPON THE CONNEXION BETWEEN
little, neither will he hearken to him FAITH AND PURPOSE.
that adviseth him." I cannot assert Famous it was in our domestic that my father's friends were fools, circle. But as yet, it has not gone but they certainly came under this beyond. And since the reader, I am definition of Folly. sure, does not turn to the Caxton me
For therewith arose not conviction lust nor leisure for longer instructions. but discussion ; Trevanion was logi- And this saffron bag, it came down cal, Beaudesert sentimental. My with such a whack, at every round in father held firm to the saffron bag. the argument ! You would have When James the First dedicated to thought my father one of the old plethe Duke of Buckingham his Medi- beian combatants in the popular ordeal, tation on the Lord's Prayer, he who, forbidden to use sword and lance, gave a very sensible reason for fought with a sand-bag tied to a flail: selecting his grace for that honour, a very stunning weapon it was when "For," (saith the king) "it is made up- filled only with sand ; but a bag on a very short and plaine prayer, and, filled with saffron,-it was irresistible! therefore, the fitter for a courtier, for Though my father had two to one courtiers are for the most part thought against him, they could not stand neither to have lust nor leisure to say such a deuce of a weapon. And after long prayers ; liking best courte messe tuts and pishes innumerable from Mr et long disner." I suppose it was for Trevanion, and sundry bland grimaces a similar reason that my father per- from Sir Sedley Beaudesert, they fairly sisted in dedicating to the member of gave in, though they would not own parliament and the fine gentleman, they were beaten. this “ short and plaine” morality of “Enough," said the member, “I see his—to wit, the saffron bag. He was that you don't comprehend me; I must evidently persuaded, if he could once continue to move by my own imget them to apply that, it was all that pulse." was needful ; that they had neither My father's pet book was the Collaquies of Erasmus; he was wont tous gathered to the open window, and say that those Colloquies furnished enjoyed in silence the cool air and the life with illustrations in every page. moonlight. Out of the Colloquies of Erasmus he Austin," said my mother at now answered the member:
last, “I fear it is for my sake that “Rabirius, wanting his servant you refuse going amongst your old Syrus to get up," quoth my father, friends : you knew I should be fright. 4 cried out to him to move. I do ened by such fine people, and" move,' said Syrus. I see you move,' "And we have been happy for more Teplied Rabirius, but you move no- than eighteen years without them, thing.' To return to the saffron Kitty! My poor friends are not bag,
happy, and we are. To leave well . . Confound the saffron bag !" cried alone is a golden rule worth all in
Trevanion in a rage ; and then, soften- Pythagoras. The ladies of Bubastis, ing his look as he drew on his gloves, my dear, a place in Egypt where the he turned to my mother, and said, cat was worshipped, always kept with more politeness than was natu- rigidly aloof from the gentlemen in ral to, or at least customary with Athribis, who adored the shrewmice. him :
Cats are domestic animals, — your "By the way, my dear Mrs Cax shrewmice are sad gadabouts : you ton, I should tell you that Lady can't find a better model, my Kitty, Ellinor comes to town to-morrow, than the ladies of Bubastis !” on purpose to call on you. We “How Trevanion is altered!" said shall be here some little time, Austin; Roland, musingly—“he who was so and though London is so empty, there lively and ardent!” are still some persons of note to whom “He ran too fast up-hill at first, I should like to introduce you, and and has been out of breath ever since," yours,"
said my father. "Nay," said my father, "your " And Lady Ellinor ;" said Roland, world and my world are not the same. hesitatingly, "shall you see her toBooks for me, and men for you. morrow?" Neither Kitty nor I can change our "Yes!” said my father, calmly. habits, even for friendship; she has a As Captain Roland spoke, somegreat piece of work to finish, and so thing in the tone of his question seemed have I. Mountains.cannot stir, espe- to flash a conviction on my mother's cially when in labour ; but Mahomet heart, the woman there was quick; can come to the mountain as often as she drew back, turning pale, even in he likes."
the moonlight, and fixed her eyes Mr Trevanion insisted, and Sir on my father, while I felt her hand Sedley Beaudesert mildly put in his which had clasped mine tremble conown claims; both boasted acquain- vulsively. tance with literary men, whom my I understood her. Yes, this Lady father would, at all events, be pleased Ellinor was the early rival whose to meet. My father doubted whether name till then she had not known. he could meet any literary men more She fixed her eyes on my father, and eloquent than Cicero, or more amus- at his tranquil tone and quiet look she ing than Aristophanes; and observed, breathed more freely, and sliding her that if such did exist, he would rather hand from mine rested it fondly on his meet them in their books than in a shoulder. A few moments afterwards,
drawing-room. In fine, he was im- Land Captain Roland found ourselves - movable ; and so also, with less ar standing alone by the window. gument, was Captain Roland.
"You are young, nephew," said Then Mr Trevanion turned to me. the Captain ; "and you have the
* Your son, at all events, should see name of a fallen family to raise. something of the world.”
Your father does well not to reject for My mother's soft eyes sparkled. you that opening into the great world
* My dear friend, I thank you," which Trevanion offers. As for me, said my father, touched; and Pisis- my business in London seems over : tratus and I will talk it over."
I cannot find what I came to seek. I d. Our guests had departed. All four of have sent for my daughter; when she