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He stood by the altar with that convulsion of the throat and that sickness of the heart which accompany the sense of catastrophe.

And as he and his sister drove home he was wrapped in silence.

'You are not gay this morning, my dear,' said Lady Roehampton; 'they say that weddings are depressing. Now I am in rather high spirits. I am very glad that Imogene has become Lady Beaumaris. She is beautiful, and dangerously beautiful. Do you know, my Endymion, I have had some uneasy moments about this young lady. Women are prescient in these matters, and I have observed with anxiety that you admired her too much yourself.'

I am sure you had no reason, Myra,' said Endymion, blushing deeply.

Certainly not from what you said, my dear. It was from what you did not say that I became alarmed. You seldom mentioned her name, and when I referred to her, you always turned the conversation. However, that is all over now. She is Countess of Beaumaris,' added Myra, dwelling slowly and with some unction on the title, and may be a powerful friend to you; and I am Countess of Roehampton, and am your friend, also not quite devoid of power. And there are other countesses, I suspect, on whose good wishes you may rely. If we cannot shape your destiny, there is no such thing as witchcraft. No, Endymion, marriage is a mighty instrument in your hands. It must not be lightly used. Come in and lunch; my lord is at home, and I know he wants to see you.'

These sentiments of Myra are the inspiring sentiments of the novel. The reader, while constantly piqued by the interesting relations into which the hero is thrown, and the amazing events which turn upon these relations, need not expect to have his feelings moved by any tale of hopeless or conquering love. No hearts are broken, and even the gentle Adriana comforts herself with Waldershare when Endymion fails to smile upon her, notwithstanding all the promptings of his sister. The marriages, of which there are many, are not love-knots but 'alliances,' and passion is everywhere clothed with purple and fine linen, and fares sumptuously every day.

It is not interest of this kind that will draw readers, but the brilliant and moving panorama, not merely of lofty personages, but of significant characters and events throughout the book-the pictures descriptive and satirical with which it abounds. There are features, it may be, omitted or misrepresented, but there is vivacity and movement everywhere on the stirring canvas, and there are few aspects of the period that fail to find in it their image.

The Neuchatel family, representing the great financial world, are painted with care, and the evident cordiality which this subject has always excited in the writer's mind. Adrian Neuchatel, the head of the house, is a matter-of-fact personage indeed, in comparison with the well-known Sidonia of previous romances; he has none of the same ubiquitous personality or influence; but he is equally hand and glove with the statesmen of his time. Lord Roehampton, Foreign Minister in the year that preceded 1841, goes to Hainault House to dine and stay. I like the family, all of them,' he says.


'I like Neuchatel particularly. I like his house and style of living. You always meet nice people there, and learn the last thing that has been said or done all over the world.' There, his lordship meets his fate in Myra, who, after her father's death, has gone to be a companion to the daughter of the house. The magnificence of the house and the place is on the usual scale. The building was Palladian. It was a chief work of Sir William Chambers, and in its style, its beauty, and almost its dimensions, was a rival of Stowe or Wanstead. It stood in a deer park, and was surrounded by a royal forest.' The stables had been modelled on those at Chantilly, and were almost as splendid a pile as the mansion itself.' The family had not only the art of accumulating wealth, but of expending it with taste and generosity.' The fine ladies of their political partyfor the Neuchatels were Whigs, like Lord Roehampton and Endymion himself-strange to say!—at first merely deigned to notice the Neuchatel family.

But they soon discovered that this amiable descent from their Olympian heights on their part did not amount exactly to the sacrifice or service which they had contemplated. They found their hosts as refined as themselves, and much more magnificent, and in a very short time it was not merely the wives of Ambassadors and Ministers of State that were found at the garden fêtes of Hainault, or the balls and banquets and concerts of Portland Place; but the fitful and capricious realm of fashion surrendered like a fair country conquered, as it were, by surprise. To visit the Neuchatels became the mode; all solicited to be their guests, and some solicited in vain.

The contrasts of character in this family-father, mother, and daughter-all stand out in distinct and interesting relief. But we do not attempt to follow the description or to give a name to the portraits presented to us.

There is evident design, as we have already hinted, in the blending of personalities throughout the book. Now this person and now that has sat for a model of the same character to the painter. Traits are transferred from one to another, and the careers of public men are jumbled up so as to elude the curiosity of the key-maker. Myra's first husband, Lord Roehampton, for example, is evidently intended so far for Lord Palmerston. He is Foreign Secretary during the Melbourne Administration which preceded 1841; he is again Foreign Minister after 1846, with Endymion for bis Under-Secretary. He is described as somewhat advanced in middle life, tall, and of a stately presence,' with an impressive countenance, and a truly Olympian brow; the lower part of his face indicating not feebleness but flexibility, and his mouth somewhat sensuous.' 'His manner was at once winning, natural, and singularly unaffected, and seemed to sympathise entirely with those whom he addressed.' There are many other traits both of character and conduct that point unmistakably to the renowned Foreign Secretary of the time. But then Lord Roehampton dies suddenly, after his accession to office in 1846; and Sidney Wilton, who hovers throughout the novel as a sort of mentor


of Endymion-who is for some time his private secretary-seems to take up the rôle of Lord Palmerston after the fall of the Aberdeen Ministry in 1855. He is then described as 'chagrined with life and a martyr to the gout;' but a great gentleman and too chivalric to refuse a Royal command when the Sovereign was in distress.' He becomes Premier almost against his will, and the first colleague he recommends to fill the most important post after his own, the Secretaryship of State for Foreign Affairs,' is Mr. Ferrars.

Confusions of the same kind everywhere puzzle the reader without destroying his interest. Once or twice only does the author distinctly emerge from behind the masks which he has placed on the stage, and describe events in his own name. This he does especially in telling of the establishment of a Romish hierarchy in England,' and the effect of Lord John Russell's famous Protestant manifesto and again when he describes the accession of the first Derby Ministry to power in 1852. The latter narrative is particularly interesting as giving an insight into his first experience of official life, his opinion of his colleagues on the occasion, and what followed their summons to Windsor.


The Whigs tottered on for a year after the rude assault of Cardinal Penruddock (a very thin disguise for Cardinal Manning, whose career is described with appreciation, but without special interest], but they were doomed, and the Protectionists were called upon to form an administration. As they had no one in their ranks who had ever been in office except their chief, who was in the House of Lords, the affair seemed impossible. The attempt, however, could not be avoided. A dozen men, without the slightest experience of official life, had to be sworn in as privy councillors, before even they could receive the seals and insignia of their intended offices. On their knees, according to the constitutional custom, a dozen men, all in the act of genuflexion at the same moment, and headed, too, by one of the most powerful peers in the country, the Lord of Alnwick Castle himself, humbled themselves before a female Sovereign, who looked serene and imperturbable before a spectacle never seen before, and which, in all probability, will never be seen again.

One of this band, a gentleman without any official experience whatever, was not only placed in the Cabinet, but was absolutely required to become the leader of the House of Commons, which had never occurred before, except in the instance of Mr. Pitt in 1782. It has been said that it was unwise in the Protectionists assuming office when, on this occasion and on subsequent ones, they were far from being certain of a majority in the House of Commons. It should, however, be remembered, that unless they had dared these ventures, they never could have formed a body of men competent from their official experience and their practice in debate to form a Ministry. The result has rather proved that they were right.

Of the many sharply-limned portraits in the book, there are few, if any, ill-natured. The spice of bitterness that mingled with the sketches of Vivian Grey' disappeared in the pages of Sybil' and Lothair,' and the same benignity still tempers the satire of Endymion.' The author has lived too long to think it worth while


to cherish ill-will towards anyone or any class; not to say that his natural temperament inclines him to a lofty rather than a spiteful or petulant sarcasm. The portrait of St. Barbe is an example of this tempered exercise of his critical faculty. We offer no conjecture of his prototype, although Jawett of the Precursor' ('The Leader') might perhaps be indicated without difficulty. St. Barbe is originally a fellow-clerk with Endymion in Somerset House, and is introduced as one who, when the public taste has improved, will be the most popular author of the day.' In the meantime he is ready to bestow copies of his novel, which has not sold as it ought to have done,' and in which all his friends are supposed to be quizzed. Afterwards he becomes Paris correspondent of the Chuck-Farthing,' and on his return to London he meets Endymion and gives him an account of the glories of his new career.


'By Jove, sir, I can walk into a minister's private room with as much ease as if I were entering the old den. The ambassadors are hand and glove with me. There are few things I do not know. I have made the fortunes of the "Chuck-Farthing," trebled its circulation, and invented a new style, which has put me at the head of all "our own correspondents." I wish you were at Paris; I would give you a dinner at the Rocher. I gave a dinner the other day to forty of them, all "our own correspondents," or such like. Do you know, my dear fellow, when I looked round the room, there was not a man who had not done his best to crush me; running down my works or not noticing them, or continually dilating on Gushy, as if the English public would never read anything else.'

And then he inquires of Endymion how he is able to live at the Albany, from the court-yard of which he has met him emerging.

'I have left Somerset House,' answers Endymion, and am now at the Board of Trade, and am private secretary to Mr. Sidney Wilton.'


'Oh!' said St. Barbe; then we have friends at court. You may do something for me, if I only knew what I wanted. They have no decorations here. Curse this aristocratic country, they want all the honours to themselves. I should like to be at the Board of Trade, and would make some sacrifice for it. The proprietors of the "Chuck-Farthing" pay well; they pay like gentlemen; though, why I say so I do not exactly know, for no gentleman ever paid me anything. But, if I could be Secretary of the Board of Trade, or get 1,500l. a year secure, I would take it; and I dare say I would get employed on some treaties, as I speak French, and then I might get knighted.'

Well, I think you are well off,' said Endymion; 'carrying, as you say, everything before you. What more can you want?'

"I hate the craft,' said St. Barbe, with an expression of genuine detestation; I should like to show them all up before I died. I suppose it was your sister marrying a lord got you on in that way. I could have married a countess myself, but then, to be sure, she was only a Polish one, and hard up. I never had a sister; I never had any luck in life at all. I wish I had been a woman. Women are the only people who get on. A man works all his life, and thinks he has done a wonderful thing if, with one leg in the grave, and no hair on his head, he manages to get a coronet; and

a woman dances at a ball with some young fellow or other, or sits next to some old fellow at dinner, and pretends she thinks him charming, and he makes her a peeress on the spot. Oh! it is a disgusting world; it must end in revolution. Now you tell your master, Mr. Sidney Wilton, that if he wants to strengthen the institutions of this country, the Government should establish an order of merit, and the press ought to be represented in it. I do not speak only for myself; I speak for my brethren. Yes, sir, I am not ashamed of my order.'

And so they bade each other farewell.

"Unchanged,' thought Endymion as he crossed Piccadilly; 'the vainest, the most envious, and the most amusing of men!'

St. Barbe is the author of 'Topsy Turvy,' which Lord Montfort describes to his wife as a most amusing book.' It comes out in



'I like books,' his lordship says, 'that come out in numbers, as there is a little suspense, and you cannot deprive yourself of all interest by glancing at the last page of the last volume. I think you must read "Topsy Turvy," Berengaria. I am mistaken if you do not hear of it. It is very cynical, which authors who know a little of the world are apt to be; and everything is exaggerated, which is another of their faults when they are only a trifle acquainted with manners. A little knowledge of the world is a very dangerous thing, especially in literature. But it is clever, and the man writes in capital style; and style is everything, especially in fiction.'

Lord Montfort himself is one of the most elaborate characters set before us, in sharp and somewhat ugly outline, and yet with goodnature. He was

the only living Englishman who gave one an idea of the nobleman of the eighteenth century. He was totally devoid of the sense of responsibility, and he looked what he resembled. His manner, though simple and natural, was finished and refined, and free from forbidding reserve, was yet characterised by an air of severe grace. There was no subject, divine or human, in which he took the slightest interest. He entertained for human nature generally, and without any exception, the most cynical appreciation. No one could say Lord Montfort was a bad-hearted man, for he had no heart. He was good-natured, provided it brought him no inconvenience; and as for his temper, his was never disturbed, but this not from sweetness of disposition, rather from a contemptuous fine taste, which assured him that a gentleman should never be deprived of tranquillity in a world where nothing was of the slightest consequence.

Nor is it only in the walks of higher life or of literature that the author hits off such varied and picturesque sketches. Job Thornberry, the great orator of the Anti-Corn-Law League and tribune of the people, his father, his wife, and his son, John Hampden,' are all described with vivid, if sometimes inconsistent, strokes.

Thornberry was a pale and slender man, with a fine brow and an eye that occasionally flashed with the fire of a creative mind. His voice certainly was not like Hollabaloo's. It was rather thin, but singularly clear. There was nothing clearer except his meaning. Endymion never heard a case stated with such pellucid art; facts marshalled with such vivid sim

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