Boys and Girls from Thackeray - K. D. Sweetser

Clive and Ethel Newcome

When one is about to write the biography of a certain person, it seems but fair to give as its background such facts concerning the hero's antecedents as place the details of his life in their proper setting. And so, having the honour to be the juvenile biographer of Mr. Clive Newcome, I deem it wise to preface the story of his life with a brief account of events and persons antecedent to his birth.

Thomas Newcome, Clive's grandfather, had been a weaver in his native village, and brought the very best character for honesty, thrift, and ingenuity with him to London, where he was taken into the house of Hobson Brothers, cloth-manufacturers; afterwards Hobson & Newcome. When Thomas Newcome had been some time in London, he quitted the house of Hobson, to begin business for himself. And no sooner did his business prosper than he married a pretty girl from his native village. What seemed an imprudent match, as his wife had no worldly goods to bring him, turned out a very lucky one for Newcome. The whole countryside was pleased to think of the marriage of the prosperous London tradesman with the penniless girl whom he had loved in the days of his own poverty; the great country clothiers, who knew his prudence and honesty, gave him much of their business, and Susan Newcome would have been the wife of a rich man had she not died a year after her marriage, at the birth of her son, Thomas.

Newcome had a nurse for the child, and a cottage at Clapham, hard by Mr. Hobson's house, and being held in good esteem by his former employers, was sometimes invited by them to tea. When his wife died, Miss Hobson, who since her father's death had become a partner in the firm, met Mr. Newcome with his little boy as she was coming out of meeting one Sunday, and the child looked so pretty, and Mr. Newcome so personable, that Miss Hobson invited him and little Tommy into the grounds; let the child frisk about in the hay on the lawn, and at the end of the visit gave him a large piece of pound-cake, a quantity of the finest hot-house grapes, and a tract in one syllable. Tommy was ill the next day; but on the next Sunday his father was at meeting, and not very long after that Miss Hobson became Mrs. Newcome.

After his father's second marriage, Tommy and Sarah, his nurse, who was also a cousin of Mr. Newcome's first wife, were transported from the cottage, where they had lived in great comfort, to the palace hard by, surrounded by lawns and gardens, graperies, aviaries, luxuries of all kinds. This paradise was separated from the outer world by a, thick hedge of tall trees and an ivy-covered porter's gate, through which they who travelled to London on the top of the Clapham coach could only get a glimpse of the bliss within. It was a serious paradise. As you entered at the gate, gravity fell on you; and decorum wrapped you in a garment of starch. The butcher boy who galloped his horse and cart madly about the adjoining lanes, on passing that lodge fell into an undertaker's pace, and delivered his joints and sweetbreads silently at the servant's entrance. The rooks in the elms cawed sermons at morning and evening; the peacocks walked demurely on the terraces; the guinea fowls looked more Quaker-like than those birds usually do. The lodge-keeper was serious, and a clerk at the neighbouring chapel. The pastor, who entered at that gate and greeted his comely wife and children, fed the little lambkins with tracts. The head gardener was a Scotch Calvinist, after the strictest order. On a Sunday the household marched away to sit under his or her favourite minister, the only man who went to church being Thomas Newcome, with Tommy, his little son. Tommy was taught hymns suited to his tender age, pointing out the inevitable fate of wicked children and giving him a description of the punishment of little sinners, which poems he repeated to his step-mother after dinner, before a great shining mahogany table, covered with grapes, pineapples, plum cake, port wine, and madeira, and surrounded by stout men in black, with baggy white neckcloths, who took the little man between their knees and questioned him as to his right understanding of the place whither naughty boys were bound. They patted his head if he said well, or rebuked him if he was bold, as he often was.

Then came the birth of Mrs. Newcome's twin boys, Hobson and Bryan, and now there was no reason why young Newcome, their step-brother, should not go to school, and to Grey Friars Thomas Newcome was accordingly sent, exchanging—O ye gods! with what delight—the splendour of Clapham for the rough, plentiful fare of the new place. The pleasures of school-life were such to him that he did not care to go home for a holiday; for by playing tricks and breaking windows, by taking the gardener's peaches and the housekeeper's jam, by upsetting his two little brothers in a go-cart (of which injury the Baronet's nose bore marks to his dying day), by going to sleep during the sermons, and treating reverend gentlemen with levity, he drew down on himself the merited anger of his step-mother; and many punishments. To please Mrs. Newcome, his father whipped Tommy for upsetting his little brothers in the go-cart; but, upon being pressed to repeat the whipping for some other prank, Mr. Newcome refused, saying that the boy got flogging enough at school, with which opinion Master Tommy fully agreed. His step-mother, however, determined to make the young culprit smart for his offences, and one day, when Mr. Newcome was absent, and Tommy refractory as usual, summoned the butler and footman to flog the young criminal. But he dashed so furiously against the butler's shins as to cause that menial to limp and suffer for many days after; and, seizing the decanter, he threatened to discharge it at Mrs. Newcome's head before he would submit to the punishment she desired administered. When Mr. Newcome returned, he was indignant at his wife's treatment of Tommy, and said so, to her great displeasure. This affair, indeed, almost caused a break in their relations, and friends and clergy were obliged to interfere to allay the domestic quarrel. At length Mrs. Newcome, who was not unkind, and could be brought to own that she was sometimes in fault, was induced to submit to the decrees of her husband, whom she had vowed to love and honour. When Tommy fell ill of scarlet fever she nursed him through his illness, and uttered no reproach to her husband when the twins took the disease. And even though Tommy in his delirium vowed that he would put on his clothes and run away to his old nurse Sarah, Mrs. Newcome's kindness to him never faltered. What the boy threatened in his delirium, a year later he actually achieved. He ran away from home, and appeared one morning, gaunt and hungry, at Sarah's cottage two hundred miles away from Clapham. She housed the poor prodigal with many tears and kisses, and put him to bed and to sleep; from which slumber he was aroused by the appearance of his father, whose instinct, backed by Mrs. Newcome's intelligence, had made him at once aware whither the young runaway had fled. Seeing a horsewhip in his parent's hand, Tommy, scared out of a sweet sleep and a delightful dream of cricket, knew his fate; and getting out of bed, received his punishment without a word. Very likely the father suffered more than the child; for, when the punishment was over, the little man yet quivering with the pain, held out his little bleeding hand, and said, "I can—I can take it from you, sir," saying which his face flushed, and his eyes filled, whereupon the father burst into a passion of tears, and embraced the boy, and kissed him, besought him to be rebellious no more, flung the whip away from him, and swore, come what would, he would never strike him again. The quarrel was the means of a great and happy reconciliation. But the truce was only a temporary one. War very soon broke out again between the impetuous lad and his rigid, domineering step-mother. It was not that he was very bad, nor she so very stern, but the two could not agree. The boy sulked and was miserable at home, and, after a number of more serious escapades than he had before indulged in, he was sent to a tutor for military instruction, where he was prepared for the army and received a fairly good professional education. He cultivated mathematics and fortification, and made rapid progress in his study of the French language. But again did our poor Tommy get into trouble, and serious trouble indeed this time, for it involved his French master's pretty young daughter as well as himself. Frantic with wrath and despair at the unfortunate climax of events, young Newcome embarked for India, and quitted the parents whom he was never more to see. His name was no more mentioned at Clapham, but he wrote constantly to his father, who sent Tom liberal private remittances to India, and was in turn made acquainted with the fact of his son's marriage, and later received news of the birth of his grandson, Clive.

Old Thomas Newcome would have liked to leave all his private fortune to his son Thomas, for the twins were only too well provided for, but he dared not, for fear of his wife, and he died, and poor Tom was only secretly forgiven.

So much for the history of Clive Newcome's father and grandfather. Having related it in full detail, we can now proceed to the narrative of Clive's life, he being the hero of this tale.

From the day of his birth until he was some seven years old, Clive's English relatives knew nothing about him. Then, Colonel Newcome's wife having died, and having kept the boy with him as long as the climate would allow, Thomas Newcome, now Lieutenant-Colonel, decided that it was wise to send Clive to England, to entrust him to the boy's maternal aunt, Miss Honeyman, who was living at Brighton, that Clive might have the superior advantages of school days in England.

Let us glance at a few extracts from letters received by Colonel Newcome after his boy had reached England. The aunt to whose care he was entrusted wrote as follows:

With the most heartfelt joy, my dear Major, I take up my pen to announce to you the happy arrival of the Ramchunder and the dearest and handsomest little boy who, I am sure, ever came from India. Little Clive is in perfect health. He speaks English wonderfully well. He cried when he parted from Mr. Sneid, the supercargo, who most kindly brought him from Southhampton in a postchaise, but these tears in childhood are of very brief duration!...

You may be sure that the most liberal sum which you have placed to my credit with the Messrs. Hobson & Co. shall be faithfully expended on my dear little charge. Of course, unless Mrs. Newcome,—who can scarcely be called his grandmamma, I suppose,—writes to invite dear Clive to Clapham, I shall not think of sending him there. My brother, who thanks you for your continuous bounty, will write next month, and report progress as to his dear pupil. Clive will add a postscript of his own, and I am, my dear Major,

Your grateful and affectionate,


In a round hand and on lines ruled with pencil:

Dearest Papa I am very well I hope you are Very Well. Mr. Sneed brought me in a postchaise I like Mr. Sneed very much. I like Aunt Martha I like Hannah. There are no ships here I am your affectionate son


There was also a note from Colonel Newcome's stepbrother, Bryan, as follows:

My Dear Thomas: Mr. Sneid, supercargo of the Ramchunder, East Indiaman, handed over to us yesterday your letter, and, to-day, I have purchased three thousand three hundred and twenty-three pounds 6 and 8, three per cent Consols, in our joint names (H. and B. Newcome), held for your little boy. Mr. S. gives a favourable account of the little man, and left him in perfect health two days since, at the house of his aunt, Miss Honeyman. We have placed L200 to that lady's credit, at your desire. I dare say my mother will ask your little boy to the Hermitage; and when we have a house of our own I am sure Ann and I shall be very happy to see him.

Yours affectionately,


And another from Miss Honeyman's brother, containing the following:


My Dear Colonel: ... Clive is everything that a father's and uncle's, a pastor's, a teacher's, affections could desire. He is not a premature genius; he is not, I frankly own, more advanced in his classical and mathematical studies than some children even younger than himself; but he has acquired the rudiments of health; he has laid in a store of honesty and good-humour which are not less likely to advance him in life than mere science and language ... etc., etc.,

Your affectionate brother-in-law,


Another letter from Miss Honeyman herself said:

My Dear Colonel: ... As my dearest little Clive was too small for a great school, I thought he could not do better than stay with his old aunt and have his uncle Charles for a tutor, who is one of the finest scholars in the world. Of late he has been too weak to take a curacy, so I thought he could not do better than become Clive's tutor, and agreed to pay him out of your handsome donation of L250 for Clive, a sum of one hundred pounds per year. But I find that Charles is too kind to be a schoolmaster, and Master Clive laughs at him. It was only the other day after his return from his grandmamma's that I found a picture of Mrs. Newcome and Charles, too, and of both their spectacles, quite like. He has done me and Hannah, too. Mr. Speck, the artist, says he is a wonder at drawing.

Our little Clive has been to London on a visit to his uncles and to Clapham, to pay his duty to his step-grandmother, the wealthy Mrs. Newcome. She was very gracious to him, and presented him with a five pound note, a copy of Kirk White's poems and a work called Little Henry and his Bearer, relating to India, and the excellent catechism of our Church. Clive is full of humour, and I enclose you a rude scrap representing the Bishopess of Clapham, as Mrs. Newcome is called.

Instead then of allowing Clive to be with Charles in London next month I shall send him to Doctor Timpany's school, Marine Parade, of which I hear the best account; but I hope you will think of soon sending him to a great school. My father always said it was the best place for boys, and I have a brother to whom my poor mother spared the rod, and who I fear has turned out but a spoiled child.

I am, dear Colonel, your most faithful servant,


Besides the news gleaned from these letters we gather the main facts concerning little Clive's departure from the Colonel's side. He had kept the child with him until he felt sure that the change would be of advantage to the pretty boy, then had parted from him with bitter pangs of heart, and thought constantly of him with longing and affection. With the boy, it was different. Half an hour after his father had left him and in grief and loneliness was rowing back to shore, Clive was at play with a dozen other children on the sunny deck of the ship. When two bells rang for their dinner, they were all hurrying to the table, busy over their meal, and forgetful of all but present happiness.

But with that fidelity which was an instinct of his nature, Colonel Newcome thought ever of his absent child and longed after him. He never forsook the native servants who had had charge of Clive, but endowed them with money sufficient to make all their future lives comfortable. No friends went to Europe, nor ship departed, but Newcome sent presents to the boy and costly tokens of his love and thanks to all who were kind to his son. His aim was to save money for the youngster, but he was of a nature so generous that he spent five rupees where another would save them. However, he managed to lay by considerable out of his liberal allowances, and to find himself and Clive growing richer every year.

"When Clive has had five or six years at school"—that was his scheme—"he will be a fine scholar, and have at least as much classical learning as a gentleman in the world need possess. Then I will go to England, and we will pass three or four years together, in which he will learn to be intimate with me, and, I hope, to like me. I shall be his pupil for Latin and Greek, and try and make up for lost time. I know there is nothing like a knowledge of the classics to give a man good breeding. I shall be able to help him with my knowledge of the world, and to keep him out of the way of sharpers and a pack of rogues who commonly infest young men. And we will travel together, first through England, Scotland, and Ireland, for every man should know his own country, and then we will make the grand tour. Then by the time he is eighteen he will be able to choose his profession. He can go into the army, or, if he prefers, the church, or the law—they are open to him; and when he goes to the university, by which time I shall be, in all probability, a major-general, I can come back to India for a few years, and return by the time he has a wife and a home for his old father; or, if I die, I shall have done the best for him, and my boy will be left with the best education, a tolerable small fortune, and the blessing of his old father."

Such were the plans of the kind schemer. How fondly he dwelt on them, how affectionately he wrote of them to his boy! How he read books of travels and looked over the maps of Europe! and said, "Rome, sir, glorious Rome; it won't be very long, major, before my boy and I see the Colosseum, and kiss the Pope's toe. We shall go up the Rhine to Switzerland, and over the Simplon, the work of the great Napoleon. By jove, sir, think of the Turks before Vienna, and Sobieski clearing eighty thousand of 'em off the face of the earth! How my boy will rejoice in the picture galleries there, and in Prince Eugene's prints! The boy's talent for drawing is wonderful, sir, wonderful. He sent me a picture of our old school. The very actual thing, sir; the cloisters, the school, the head gown boy going in with the rods, and the doctor himself. It would make you die of laughing!"

He regaled the ladies of the regiment with dive's letters, and those of Miss Honeyman, which contained an account of the boy. He even bored some of his hearers with this prattle; and sporting young men would give or take odds that the Colonel would mention Clive's name, once before five minutes, three times in ten minutes, twenty-five times in the course of dinner, and so on. But they who laughed at the Colonel laughed very kindly; and everybody who knew him, loved him; everybody that is, who loved modesty, generosity and honour.

As to Clive himself, by this time he was thoroughly enjoying his new life in England. After remaining for a time at Doctor Timpany's school, where he was first placed by his aunt, Miss Honeyman, he was speedily removed to that classical institution in which Colonel Newcome had been a student in earlier days. My acquaintance with young Clive was at this school, Grey Friars, where our acquaintance was brief and casual. He had the advantage of being six years my junior, and such a difference of age between lads at a public school puts intimacy out of the question, even though we knew each other at home, as our school phrase was, and our families were somewhat acquainted. When Newcome's uncle, the Reverend Charles Honeyman, brought Newcome to the Grey Friars School, he recommended him to my superintendence and protection, and told me that his young nephew's father, Colonel Thomas Newcome, C.B., was a most gallant and distinguished officer in the Bengal establishment of the honourable East India Company; and that his uncles, the Colonel's half-brothers, were the eminent bankers, heads of the firm of Hobson Brothers & Newcome, Hobson Newcome, Esquire, Brianstone Square, and Marblehead, Sussex, and Sir Brian Newcome, of Newcome, and Park Lane, "whom to name," says Mr. Honeyman, with the fluent eloquence with which he decorated the commonest circumstances of life, "is to designate two of the merchant princes of the wealthiest city the world has ever known; and one, if not two, of the leaders of that aristocracy which rallies round the throne of the most elegant and refined of European sovereigns."

I promised Mr. Honeyman to do what I could for the boy; and he proceeded to take leave of his little nephew in my presence in terms equally eloquent, pulling out a long and very slender green purse, from which he extracted the sum of two and sixpence, which he presented to the child, who received the money with rather a queer twinkle in his blue eyes.

After that day's school I met my little protege in the neighbourhood of the pastry cook's, regaling himself with raspberry tarts. "You must not spend all the money, sir, which your uncle gave you," said I, "in tarts and ginger-beer."

The urchin rubbed the raspberry jam off his mouth, and said, "It don't matter, sir, for I've got lots more."

"How much?" says the Grand Inquisitor: for the formula of interrogation used to be, when a new boy came to the school, "What's your name? Who's your father? and how much money have you got?"

The little fellow pulled such a handful of sovereigns out of his pocket as might have made the tallest scholar feel a pang of envy. "Uncle Hobson," says he, "gave me two; Aunt Hobson gave me one—no, Aunt Hobson gave me thirty shillings; Uncle Newcome gave me three pound; and Aunt Ann gave me one pound five; and Aunt Honeyman sent me ten shillings in a letter. And Ethel wanted to give me a pound, only I wouldn't have it, you know; because Ethel's younger than me, and I have plenty."

"And who is Ethel?" I ask, smiling at the artless youth's confessions.

"Ethel is my cousin," replied little Newcome; "Aunt Ann's daughter. There's Ethel and Alice, and Aunt Ann wanted the baby to be called Boadicea, only uncle wouldn't; and there's Barnes and Egbert and little Alfred, only he don't count; he's quite a baby, you know. Egbert and me was at school at Timpany's; he's going to Eton next half. He's older than me, but I can lick him."

"And how old is Egbert?" asks the smiling senior.

"Egbert's ten, and I'm nine, and Ethel's seven," replied the little chubby-faced hero, digging his hands deep into his trousers, and jingling all the sovereigns there. I advised him to let me be his banker; and, keeping one out of his many gold pieces, he handed over the others, on which he drew with great liberality till his whole stock was expended. The school hours of the upper and under boys were different at that time; the little fellows coming out of their hall half an hour before the Fifth and Sixth Forms; and many a time I used to find my little blue-jacket in waiting, with his honest square face, and white hair, and bright blue eyes, and I knew that he was come to draw on his bank. Ere long one of the pretty blue eyes was shut up, and a fine black one substituted in its place. He had been engaged, it appeared, in a pugilistic encounter with a giant of his own form whom he had worsted in the combat. "Didn't I pitch into him, that's all?" says he in the elation of victory; and, when I asked whence the quarrel arose, he stoutly informed me that "Wolf Minor, his opponent, had been bullying a little boy, and that he, the gigantic Newcome, wouldn't stand it."

So, being called away from the school, I said "Farewell and God bless you," to the brave little man, who remained a while at the Grey Friars, where his career and troubles had only just begun, and lost sight of him for several years. Nor did we meet again until I was myself a young man occupying chambers in the Temple.

Meanwhile the years of Clive's absence had slowly worn away for Colonel Newcome, and at last the happy time came which he had been longing more passionately than any prisoner for liberty, or schoolboy for holiday. The Colonel had taken leave of his regiment. He had travelled to Calcutta; and the Commander-in-Chief announced that in giving to Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas Newcome, of the Bengal Cavalry, leave for the first time, after no less than thirty-four years' absence from home, he could not refrain from expressing his sense of the great services of this most distinguished officer, who had left his regiment in a state of the highest discipline and efficiency.

This kind Colonel had also to take leave of a score, at least, of adopted children to whom he chose to stand in the light of a father. He was forever whirling away in post-chaises to this school and that, to see Jack Brown's boys, of the Cavalry; or Mrs. Smith's girls, of the Civil Service; or poor Tom Hick's orphan, who had nobody to look after him now that the cholera had carried off Tom and his wife, too. On board the ship in which he returned from Calcutta were a dozen of little children, some of whom he actually escorted to their friends before he visited his own, though his heart was longing for his boy at Grey Friars. The children at the schools seen, and largely rewarded out of his bounty (his loose white trousers had great pockets, always heavy with gold and silver, which he jingled when he was not pulling his moustaches, and to see the way in which he tipped children made one almost long to be a boy again) and when he had visited Miss Pinkerton's establishment, or Doctor Ramshorn's adjoining academy at Chiswick, and seen little Tom Davis or little Fanny Holmes, the honest fellow would come home and write off straightway a long letter to Tom's or Fanny's parents, far away in the country, whose hearts he made happy by his accounts of their children, as he had delighted the children themselves by his affection and bounty. All the apple and orange-women (especially such as had babies as well as lollipops at their stalls), all the street-sweepers on the road between Nerot's and the Oriental, knew him, and were his pensioners. His brothers in Threadneedle Street cast up their eyes at the cheques which he drew.

The Colonel had written to his brothers from Portsmouth, announcing his arrival, and three words to Clive, conveying the same intelligence. The letter was served to the boy along with one bowl of tea and one buttered roll, of eighty such which were distributed to fourscore other boys, boarders of the same house with our young friend. How the lad's face must have flushed and his eyes brightened when he read the news! When the master of the house, the Reverend Mister Popkinson, came into the lodging-room, with a good-natured face, and said, "Newcome, you're wanted," he knew who had come. He did not heed that notorious bruiser, old Hodge, who roared out, "Confound you, Newcome: I'll give it you for upsetting your tea over my new trousers." He ran to the room where the stranger was waiting for him. We will shut the door, if you please, upon that scene.

If Clive had not been as fine and handsome a young lad as any in that school or country, no doubt his fond father would have been just as well pleased and endowed him with a hundred fanciful graces; but, in truth, in looks and manners he was everything which his parent could desire. He was the picture of health, strength, activity, and good-humour. He had a good forehead shaded with a quantity of waving light hair; a complexion which ladies might envy; a mouth which seemed accustomed to laughing; and a pair of blue eyes that sparkled with intelligence and frank kindness. No wonder the pleased father could not refrain from looking at him.

The bell rang for second school, and Mr. Popkinson, arrayed in cap and gown, came in to shake Colonel Newcome by the hand, and to say he supposes it was to be a holiday for Newcome that day. He said not a word about Clive's scrape of the day before, and that awful row in the bedrooms, where the lad and three others were discovered making a supper off a pork pie and two bottles of prime old port from the Red Cow public-house in Grey Friars Lane.

When the bell was done ringing, and all these busy little bees swarmed into their hive, there was a solitude in the place. The Colonel and his son walked the play-ground together, that gravelly flat, as destitute of herbage as the Arabian desert, but, nevertheless, in the language of the place, called the green. They walked the green, and they paced the cloisters, and Clive showed his father his own name of Thomas Newcome carved upon one of the arches forty years ago. As they talked, the boy gave sidelong glances at his new friend, and wondered at the Colonel's loose trousers, long moustaches, and yellow face. He looked very odd, Clive thought, very odd and very kind, and like a gentleman, every inch of him:—not like Martin's father, who came to see his son lately in highlows, and a shocking bad hat, and actually flung coppers amongst the boys for a scramble. He burst out a-laughing at the exquisitely ludicrous idea of a gentleman of his fashion scrambling for coppers.

And now enjoining the boy to be ready against his return, the Colonel whirled away in his cab to the city to shake hands with his brothers, whom he had not seen since they were demure little men in blue jackets under charge of a serious tutor.

He rushed into the banking house, broke into the parlour where the lords of the establishment were seated, and astonished these trim, quiet gentlemen by the warmth of his greeting, by the vigour of his handshake, and the loud tones of his voice, which might actually be heard by the busy clerks in the hall without. He knew Bryan from Hobson at once—that unlucky little accident in the go-cart having left its mark forever on the nose of Sir Bryan Newcome. He had a bald head and light hair, a short whisker cut to his cheek, a buff waistcoat, very neat boots and hands, and was altogether dignified, bland, smiling, and statesmanlike.

Hobson Newcome, Esquire, was more portly than his elder brother, and allowed his red whiskers to grow on his cheeks and under his chin. He wore thick shoes with nails in them, and affected the country gentleman in his appearance. His hat had a broad brim, and his ample pockets always contained agricultural produce, samples of bean or corn, or a whiplash or balls for horses. In fine, he was a good old country gentleman, and a better man of business than his more solemn brother, at whom he laughed in his jocular way; and said rightly that a gentleman must get up very early to get ahead of him.

These gentlemen each received the Colonel in a manner consistent with his peculiar nature. Sir Bryan regretted that Lady Ann was away from London, being at Brighton with the children, who were all ill of the measles. Hobson said, "Maria can't treat you to such good company as Lady Ann could give you; but when will you take a day and come and dine with us? Let's see, to-day is Wednesday; to-morrow we are engaged. Friday, we dine at Judge Budge's; Saturday I am going down to Marblehead to look after the hay. Come on Monday, Tom, and I'll introduce you to the missus and the young uns."

"I will bring Clive," says Colonel Newcome, rather disturbed at this reception. "After his illness my sister-in-law was very kind to him."

"No, hang it, don't bring boys; there's no good in boys; they stop the talk downstairs, and the ladies don't want 'em in the drawing-room. Send him to dine with the children on Sunday, if you like, and come along down with me to Marblehead, and I'll show you such a crop of hay as will make your eyes open. Are you fond of farming?"

"I have not seen my boy for years," says the Colonel; "I had rather pass Saturday and Sunday with him, if you please, and some day we will go to Marblehead together."

"Well, an offer's an offer. I don't know any pleasanter thing than getting out of this confounded city and smelling the hedges, and looking at the crops coming up, and passing the Sunday in quiet." And his own tastes being thus agricultural, the worthy gentleman thought that everybody else must delight in the same recreation.

"In the winter, I hope, we shall see you at Newcome," says the elder brother, blandly smiling. "I can't give you any tiger-shooting, but I'll promise you that you shall find plenty of pheasants in our jungle," and he laughed very gently at this mild sally.

At this moment a fair-haired young gentleman, languid and pale, and dressed in the height of fashion, made his appearance and was introduced as the Baronet's oldest son, Barnes Newcome. He returned Colonel Newcome's greeting with a smile, saying, "Very happy to see you, I am sure. You find London very much changed since you were here? Very good time to come, the very full of the season."

Poor Thomas Newcome was quite abashed by his strange reception. Here was a man, hungry for affection, and one relation asked him to dinner next Monday, and another invited him to shoot pheasants at Christmas. Here was a beardless young sprig, who patronised him and asked him whether he found London was changed. As soon as possible he ended the interview with his step-brothers, and drove back to Ludgate Hill, where he dismissed his cab and walked across the muddy pavements of Smithfield, on his way back to the old school where his son was, a way which he had trodden many a time in his own early days. There was Cistercian Street, and the Red Cow of his youth; there was the quaint old Grey Friars Square, with its blackened trees and garden, surrounded by ancient houses of the build of the last century, now slumbering like pensioners in the sunshine.

Under the great archway of the hospital he could look at the old Gothic building; and a black-gowned pensioner or two crawling over the quiet square, or passing from one dark arch to another. The boarding-houses of the school were situated in the square, hard by the more ancient buildings of the hospital. A great noise of shouting, crying, clapping forms and cupboards, treble voices, bass voices, poured out of the schoolboys' windows; their life, bustle, and gaiety contrasted strangely with the quiet of those old men, creeping along in their black gowns under the ancient arches yonder, whose struggle of life was over, whose hope and noise and bustle had sunk into that grey calm. There was Thomas Newcome arrived at the middle of life, standing between the shouting boys and the tottering seniors and in a situation to moralise upon both, had not his son Clive, who espied him, come jumping down the steps to greet his sire. Clive was dressed in his very best; not one of those four hundred young gentlemen had a better figure, a better tailor, or a neater boot. Schoolfellows, grinning through the bars, envied him as he walked away; senior boys made remarks on Colonel Newcome's loose clothes and long moustaches, his brown hands and unbrushed hat. The Colonel was smoking a cheroot as he walked; and the gigantic Smith, the cock of the school, who happened to be looking majestically out of the window, was pleased to say that he thought Newcome's governor was a fine manly-looking fellow.

"Tell me about your uncles, Clive," said the Colonel, as they walked on arm in arm.

"What about them, sir?" asks the boy. "I don't think I know much."

"You have been to stay with them. You wrote about them. Were they kind to you?"

"Oh, yes, I suppose they are very kind. They always tipped me: only you know when I go there I scarcely ever see them. Mr. Newcome asks me the oftenest—two or three times a quarter when he's in town, and gives me a sovereign regular."

"Well, he must see you to give you the sovereign," says Clive's father, laughing.

The boy blushed rather.

"Yes. When it's time to go back to Smithfield on a Saturday night, I go into the dining-room to shake hands, and he gives it to me; but he don't speak to me much, you know, and I don't care about going to Bryanstone Square, except for the tip (of course that's important), because I am made to dine with the children, and they are quite little ones; and a great cross French governess, who is always crying and shrieking after them, and finding fault with them. My uncle generally has his dinner parties on Saturday, or goes out; and aunt gives me ten shillings and sends me to the play; that's better fun than a dinner party." Here the lad blushed again. "I used," said he, "when I was younger, to stand on the stairs and prig things out of the dishes when they came out from dinner, but I'm past that now. Maria (that's my cousin) used to take the sweet things and give 'em to the governess. Fancy! she used to put lumps of sugar into her pocket and eat them in the schoolroom! Uncle Hobson don't live in such good society as Uncle Newcome. You see, Aunt Hobson, she's very kind, you know, and all that, but I don't think she's what you call comme il faut"

"Why, how are you to judge?" asks the father, amused at the lad's candid prattle, "and where does the difference lie?"

"I can't tell you what it is, or how it is," the boy answered, "only one can't help seeing the difference. It isn't rank and that: only somehow there are some men gentlemen and some not, and some women ladies and some not. There's Jones now, the fifth-form master, every man sees he's a gentleman, though he wears ever so old clothes; and there's Mr. Brown, who oils his hair, and wears rings, and white chokers—my eyes! such white chokers!—and yet we call him the handsome snob! And so about Aunt Maria, she's very handsome and she's very finely dressed, only somehow she's not the ticket, you see."

"Oh, she's not the ticket?" says the Colonel, much amused.

"Well, what I mean is—but never mind," says the boy. "I can't tell you what I mean. I don't like to make fun of her, you know, for after all she's very kind to me; but Aunt Ann is different, and it seems as if what she says is more natural; and though she has funny ways of her own, too, yet somehow she looks grander,"—and here the lad laughed again. "And do you know, I often think that as good a lady as Aunt Ann herself, is old Aunt Honeyman at Brighton—that is, in all essentials, you know? And she is not a bit ashamed of letting lodgings, or being poor herself, as sometimes I think some of our family—"

"I thought we were going to speak no ill of them," says the Colonel, smiling.

"Well, it only slipped out unawares," says Clive, laughing, "but at Newcome when they go on about the Newcomes, and that great ass, Barnes Newcome, gives himself his airs, it makes me die of laughing. That time I went down to Newcome I went to see old Aunt Sarah, and she told me everything, and do you know, I was a little hurt at first, for I thought we were swells till then? And when I came back to school, where perhaps I had been giving myself airs, and bragging about Newcome, why, you know, I thought it was right to tell the fellows."

"That's a man," said the Colonel, with delight; though had he said, "That's a boy," he had spoken more correctly. "That's a man," cried the Colonel; "never be ashamed of your father, Clive."

[Illustration] from Boys and Girls from Thackeray by K. D. Sweetser


"Ashamed of my father!" says Clive, looking up to him, and walking on as proud as a peacock. "I say," the lad resumed, after a pause—

"Say what you say," said the father.

"Is that all true what's in the Peerage—in the Baronetage, about Uncle Newcome and Newcome; about the Newcome who was burned at Smithfield; about the one that was at the battle of Bosworth; and the old, old Newcome who was bar—that is, who was surgeon to Edward the Confessor, and was killed at Hastings? I am afraid it isn't; and yet I should like it to be true."

"I think every man would like to come of an ancient and honourable race," said the Colonel in his honest way. "As you like your father to be an honourable man, why not your grandfather, and his ancestors before him? But if we can't inherit a good name, at least we can do our best to leave one, my boy; and that is an ambition which, please God., you and I will both hold by."

With this simple talk the old and young gentleman beguiled their way, until they came into the western quarter of the town, where Hobson Newcome lived in a handsome and roomy mansion. Colonel Newcome was bent on paying a visit to his sister-in-law, although as they waited to be let in they could not but remark through the opened windows of the dining-room that a great table was laid and every preparation was made for a feast.

"My brother said he was engaged to dinner to-day," said the Colonel.

"Does Mrs. Newcome give parties when he is away?"

"She invites all the company," answered Clive. "My uncle never asks any one without aunt's leave."

The Colonel's countenance fell. "He has a great dinner, and does not ask his own brother!" Newcome thought. "Why, if he had come to India with all his family, he might have stayed for a year, and I should have been offended had he gone elsewhere."

A hot menial in a red waistcoat came and opened the door, and without waiting for preparatory queries said, "Not at home."

"It's my father, John," said Clive. "My aunt will see Colonel Newcome."

"Missis is not at home," said the man. "Missis is gone in carriage—Not at this door!—Take them things down the area steps, young man!"

This latter speech was addressed to a pastry cook's boy with a large sugar temple and many conical papers containing delicacies for dessert. "Mind the hice is here in time; or there'll be a blow-up with your governor,"—and John struggled back, closing the door on the astonished Colonel.

"Upon my life, they actually shut the door in our faces," said the poor gentleman.

"The man is very busy, sir. There's a great dinner. I'm sure my aunt would not refuse you," Clive interposed. "She is very kind. I suppose it's different here from what it is in India. There are the children in the Square,—those are the girls in blue,—that's the French governess, the one with the yellow parasol. How d'ye do, Mary? How d'ye do, Fanny? This is my father,—this is your uncle."

The Colonel surveyed his little nieces with that kind expression which his face always wore when it was turned toward children.

"Have you heard of your uncle in India?" he asked them.

"No," says Maria.

"Yes," says Fannie. "You know mademoiselle said that if we were naughty we should be sent to our uncle in India. I think I should like to go with you."

"Oh, you silly child!" cries Maria.

"Yes, I should, if Clive went, too," says little Fanny.

"Behold madame, who arrives from her promenade!" mademoiselle exclaimed, and, turning round, Colonel Newcome beheld, for the first time, his sister-in-law, a stout lady with fair hair and a fine bonnet and a pelisse, who was reclining in her barouche with the scarlet plush garments of her domestics blazing before and behind her.

Clive ran towards his aunt. She bent over the carriage languidly towards him. She liked him. "What, you, Clive!" she said, "How come you away from school of a Thursday, sir?"

"It is a holiday," said he. "My father is come; and he is come to see you."

She bowed her head with an expression of affable surprise and majestic satisfaction. "Indeed, Clive!" she exclaimed, and the Colonel stepped forward and took off his hat and bowed and stood bareheaded. She surveyed him blandly, and put forward a little hand, saying, "You have only arrived to-day, and you came to see me? That was very kind. Have you had a pleasant voyage? These are two of my girls. My boys are at school. I shall be so glad to introduce them to their uncle. This naughty boy might never have seen you, but that we took him home after the scarlet fever, and made him well, didn't we Clive? And we are all very fond of him, and you must not be jealous of his love for his aunt. We feel that we quite know you through him, and we know that you know us, and we hope you will like us. Do you think your papa will like us, Clive? Or, perhaps you will like Lady Ann best? Yes; you have been to her first, of course? Not been? Oh! because she is not in town." Leaning fondly on Clive's arm, mademoiselle standing with the children hard by, while John with his hat off stood at the opened door, Mrs. Newcome slowly uttered the above remarkable remarks to the Colonel, on the threshold of her house, which she never asked him to pass.

"If you will come in to us about ten this evening," she then said, "you will find some men not undistinguished, who honour me of an evening. Perhaps they will be interesting to you, Colonel Newcome, as you are newly arriven in Europe. A stranger coming to London could scarcely have a better opportunity of seeing some of our great illustrations of science and literature. We have a few friends at dinner, and now I must go in and consult with my housekeeper. Good-bye for the present. Mind, not later than ten, as Mr. Newcome must be up betimes in the morning, and our parties break up early. When Clive is a little older I dare say we shall see him, too. Goodbye!"

And again the Colonel was favoured with a shake of the hand, and the lady sailed up the stair, and passed in at the door, with not the faintest idea but that the hospitality which she was offering to her kinsman was of the most cordial and pleasant kind.

Having met Colonel Newcome on the steps of her house, she ordered him to come to her evening party; and though he had not been to an evening party for five and thirty years—though he had not been to bed the night before—he never once thought of disobeying Mrs. Newcome's order, but was actually at her door at five minutes past ten, having arrayed himself, to the wonderment of Clive, and left the boy to talk to Mr. Binnie, a friend and fellow-passenger, who had just arrived from Portsmouth, who had dined with him, and taken up his quarters at the same hotel.

Well, then, the Colonel is launched in English society of an intellectual order, and mighty dull he finds it. During two hours of desultory conversation and rather meagre refreshments, the only bright spot is his meeting with Charles Honeyman, his dead wife's brother, whom he was mighty glad to see. Except for this meeting there was little to entertain the Colonel, and as soon as possible he and Honeyman walked away together, the Colonel returning to his hotel, where he found his friend James Binnie installed in his room in the best arm-chair, sleeping-cosily, but he woke up briskly when the Colonel entered. "It is you, you gadabout, is it?" cried Binnie. "See what it is to have a real friend now, Colonel! I waited for you, because I knew you would want to talk about that scapegrace of yours."

"Isn't he a fine fellow, James?" says the Colonel, lighting a cheroot as he sits on the table. Was it joy, or the bedroom candle with which he lighted his cigar, which illuminated his honest features so, and made them so to shine?

"I have been occupied, sir, in taking the lad's moral measurement: and I have pumped him as successfully as ever I cross-examined a rogue in my court. I place his qualities thus:—Love of approbation, sixteen. Benevolence, fourteen. Combativeness, fourteen. Adhesiveness, two. Amativeness is not yet of course fully developed, but I expect will be prodigiously strong. The imaginative and reflective organs are very large; those of calculation weak. He may make a poet or a painter, or you may make a sojor of him, though worse men than him's good enough for that—but a bad merchant, a lazy lawyer, and a miserable mathematician. My opinion, Colonel, is that young scapegrace will give you a deal of trouble; or would, only you are so absurdly proud of him, and you think everything he does is perfection. He'll spend your money for you; he'll do as little work as need be. He'll get into scrapes with the sax. He's almost as simple as his father, and that is to say that any rogue will cheat him; and he seems to me to have your obstinate habit of telling the truth, Colonel, which may prevent his getting on in the world; but on the other hand will keep him from going very wrong. So that, though there is every fear for him, there's some hope and some consolation."

"What do you think of his Latin and Greek?" asked the Colonel. Before going out to his party Newcome had laid a deep scheme with Binnie, and it had been agreed that the latter should examine the young fellow in his humanities.

"Wall," cries the Scot, "I find that the lad knows as much about Greek and Latin as I knew myself when I was eighteen years of age."

"My dear Binnie, is it possible? You, the best scholar in all India!"

"And which amounted to exactly nothing. By the admirable seestem purshood at your public schools, just about as much knowledge as he could get by three months' application at home. Mind ye, I don't say he would apply; it is most probable he would do no such thing. But, at the cost of—how much? two hundred pounds annually—for five years—he has acquired about five and twenty guineas' worth of classical leeterature—enough, I dare say, to enable him to quote Horace respectably through life, and what more do you want from a young man of his expectations? I think I should send him into the army, that's the best place for him—there's the least to do and the handsomest clothes to wear," says the little wag, daintily taking up the tail of his friend's coat. "In earnest now, Tom Newcome, I think your boy is as fine a lad as I ever set eyes on. He seems to have intelligence and good temper. He carries his letter of recommendation in his countenance; and with the honesty—and the rupees, mind ye,—which he inherits from his father, the deuce is in it if he can't make his way. What time's the breakfast? Eh, but it was a comfort this morning not to hear the holystoning on the deck. We ought to go into lodgings, and not fling our money out of the window of this hotel. We must make the young chap take us about and show us the town in the morning, eh, Colonel?"

With this the jolly gentleman nodded over his candle to his friend, and trotted off to bed.

The Colonel and his friend were light sleepers and early risers. The next morning when Binnie entered the sitting-room he found the Colonel had preceded him. "Hush," says the Colonel, putting a long finger up to his mouth, and advancing towards him as noiselessly as a ghost.

"What's in the wind now?" asks the little Scot; "and what for have ye not got your shoes on?"

"Clive's asleep," says the Colonel, with a countenance full of extreme anxiety.

"The darling boy slumbers, does he?" said the wag. "Mayn't I just step in and look at his beautiful countenance whilst he's asleep, Colonel?"

"You may if you take off those confounded creaking, shoes," the other answered, quite gravely: and Binnie turned away to hide his jolly round face, which was screwed up with laughter.

"Have ye been breathing a prayer over your rosy infant's slumbers, Tom?" asks Mr. Binnie.

"And if I have, James Binnie," the Colonel said gravely, and his sallow face blushing somewhat, "if I have I hope I've done no harm. The last time I saw him asleep was nine years ago, a sickly little pale-faced boy, in his little cot, and now, sir, that I see him again, strong and handsome and all that a fond father can wish to see a boy, I should be an ungrateful villain, James, if I didn't do what you said just now, and thank God Almighty for restoring him to me."

Binnie did not laugh any more. "By George! Tom Newcome," said he, "you're just one of the saints of the earth. If all men were like you there'd be an end of both our trades; and there would be no fighting and no soldiering, no rogues, and no magistrates to catch them." The Colonel wondered at his friend's enthusiasm, who was not used to be complimentary; indeed what so usual with him as that simple act of gratitude and devotion about which his comrade spoke to him? To ask a blessing for his boy was as natural to him as to wake with the sunrise, or to go to rest when the day was over. His first and his last thought was always the child.

The two gentlemen were home in time enough to find Clive dressed, and his uncle arrived for breakfast. The Colonel said a grace over that meal; the life was begun which he had longed and prayed for, and the son smiling before his eyes who had been in his thoughts for so many fond years.

If my memory serves me right it was at about this time that I, the humble biographer of Mr. Clive Newcome's life, met him again for the first time since my school days at Grey Friars.

Going to the play one night with some fellows of my own age, and laughing enthusiastically at the farce, we became naturally hungry at midnight, and a desire for Welch Rabbits and good old glee-singing led us to the "Cave of Harmony," then kept by the celebrated Hoskins, with whom we enjoyed such intimacy that he never failed to greet us with a kind nod. We also knew the three admirable glee-singers. It happened that there was a very small attendance at the "Cave" that night, and we were all more sociable and friendly because the company was select. The songs were chiefly of the sentimental class; such ditties were much in vogue at the time of which I speak.

There came into the "Cave" a gentleman with a lean brown face and long black moustaches, dressed in very loose clothes, and evidently a stranger to the place. At least he had not visited it for a long time. He was pointing out changes to a lad who was in his company; and, calling for sherry and water, he listened to the music, and twirled his moustaches with great enthusiasm.

At the very first glimpse of me the boy jumped up from the table, bounded across the room, ran to me with his hands out, and, blushing, said, "Don't you know me?"

It was little Newcome, my school-fellow, whom I had not seen for six years, grown a fine tall young stripling now, with the same bright blue eyes which I remembered when he was quite a little boy.

"What the deuce brings you here?" said I.

He laughed and looked roguish. "My father—that's my father—would come. He's just come back from India. He says all the wits used to come here. I told him your name, and that you used to be very kind to me when I first went to Smithfield. I've left now: I'm to have a private tutor. I say, I've got such a jolly pony. It's better fun than old Smiffle."

Here the whiskered gentleman, Newcome's father, strode across the room twirling his moustaches, and came up to the table where we sat, making a salutation with his hat in a very stately and polite manner, so that Hoskins himself felt obliged to bow; the glee-singers murmured among themselves, and that mischievous little wag, little Nadab the Improvisatore, began to mimic him, feeling his imaginary whiskers, after the manner of the stranger, and flapping about his pocket-handkerchief in the most ludicrous manner. Hoskins checked this sternly, looking towards Nadab, and at the same time calling upon the gents to give their orders.

Newcome's father came up and held out his hand to me, and he spoke in a voice so soft and pleasant, and with a cordiality so simple and sincere, that my laughter shrank away ashamed; and gave place to a feeling much more respectful and friendly.

"I have heard of your kindness, sir," says he, "to my boy. And whoever is kind to him is kind to me. Will you allow me to sit down by you? And may I beg you to try my cheroots?" We were friends in a minute, young Newcome snuggling by my side, his father opposite, to whom, after a minute or two of conversation, I presented my three college friends.

"You have come here, gentlemen, to see the wits," says the Colonel. "Are there any celebrated persons in the room? I have been five and thirty years from home, and want to see all there is to be seen."

King of Corpus (who was an incorrigible wag) was about to point out a half dozen of people in the room, as the most celebrated wits of that day; but I cut King's shins under the table, and got the fellow to hold his tongue, while Jones wrote on his card to Hoskins, hinted to him that a boy was in the room, and a gentleman who was quite a greenhorn: hence that the songs had better be carefully selected.

And so they were. A lady's school might have come in, and have taken no harm by what happened. It was worth a guinea to see the simple Colonel and his delight at the music. He forgot all about the distinguished wits whom he had expected to see, in his pleasure over the glees, and joined in all the choruses with an exceedingly sweet voice.

And now young Nadab commenced one of those surprising feats of Improvisation with which he used to charm audiences. He took us all off and had rhymes pat about all the principal persons in the room; when he came to the Colonel himself, he burst out—

A military gent I see, and while his face I scan, I think you'll all agree with me he came from Hindostan. And by his side sits laughing free a youth with curly head, I think you'll all agree with me that he was best in bed. Ritolderol, etc., etc.

The Colonel laughed immensely at this sally, and clapped his son, young Clive, on the shoulder. "Hear what he says of you, sir? Clive, best be off to bed, my boy—ho, ho! No, no. We know a trick worth two of that. 'We won't go home till morning, till daylight does appear.' Why should we? Why shouldn't my boy have innocent pleasure? I was allowed none when I was a young chap, and the severity was nearly the ruin of me. I must go and speak with that young man—the most astonishing thing I ever heard in my life. What's his name? Mr. Nadab? Mr. Nadab; sir, you have delighted me. May I make so free as to ask you to come and dine with me to-morrow at six. I am always proud to make the acquaintance of men of genius, and you are one or my name is not Newcome!"

"Sir, you do me the Honour," says Mr. Nadab, "and perhaps the day will come when the world will do me justice,—may I put down your Honoured name for my book of poems?"

"Of course, my dear sir," says the enthusiastic Colonel, "I'll send them all over India. Put me down for six copies and do me the favour to bring them to-morrow when you come to dinner."

And now Mr. Hoskins, asking if any gentleman would volunteer a song, what was our amazement when the simple Colonel offered to sing himself, at which the room applauded vociferously; whilst methought poor Clive Newcome hung down his head, and blushed as red as a peony.

The Colonel selected the ditty of "Wapping Old Stairs," which charming old song he sang so pathetically that even the professional gentlemen buzzed a sincere applause, and some wags who were inclined to jeer at the beginning of the performance, clinked their glasses and rapped their sticks with quite a respectful enthusiasm. When the song was over, Clive held up his head too; looked round with surprise and pleasure in his eyes; and we, I need not say, backed our friend, delighted to see him come out of his queer scrape so triumphantly. The Colonel bowed and smiled with very pleasant good-nature at our plaudits. There was something touching in the naivetee and kindness of the placid and simple gentleman.

Whilst the Colonel had been singing his ballad there had come into the room a gentleman, by name Captain Costigan, who was in his usual condition at this hour of the night. Holding on by various tables, he had sidled up without accident to himself or any of the jugs and glasses round about him, to the table where we sat, and seated himself warbling the refrain of the Colonel's song. Then having procured a glass of whiskey and water he gave what he called one of his prime songs. The unlucky wretch, who scarcely knew what he was doing or saying, selected the most offensive song in his repertoire. At the end of the second verse the Colonel started up, clapping on his hat, seizing his stick, and looking ferocious. "Silence!" he roared out.

"Hear, hear!" cried certain wags at a farther table. "Go on, Costigan!" said others.

"Go on!" cries the Colonel in his high voice, trembling with anger. "Does any gentleman say go on? Does any man who has a wife and sisters or children at home, say go on? Do you dare, sir, to call yourself a gentleman, and to say that you hold the King's commission, and to sit amongst Christians and men of honour, and defile the ears of young boys with this wicked balderdash?"

"Why do you bring young boys here, old boy?" cries a voice of the malcontents.

"Why? Because I thought I was coming to a society of gentlemen," cried out the indignant Colonel. "Because I never could have believed that Englishmen could meet together and allow a man, and an old man, so to disgrace himself. For shame, you old wretch! Go home to your bed, you hoary old sinner! And for my part, I'm not sorry that my son should see, for once in his life, to what shame and degradation and dishonour, drunkenness and whiskey may bring a man. Never mind the change, sir!—Curse the change!" says the Colonel, facing the amazed waiter. "Keep it till you see me in this place again; which will be never—by George, never!" And shouldering his stick, and scowling round at the company of scared bacchanalians, the indignant gentleman stalked away, his boy after him.

Clive seemed rather shamedfaced, but I fear the rest of the company looked still more foolish. For if the truth be told that uplifted cane of the Colonel's had somehow fallen on the back of every man in the room.

While Clive and his father are becoming better acquainted let us pass on to Brighton, and glance at the household of that good, brisk old lady, Clive's Aunt Honeyman. Now Aunt Honeyman was a woman of spirit and resolution, and when she found her income sadly diminished by financial reverses she brought her furniture to Brighton, also a faithful maid servant who had learned her letters and worked her first sampler under Miss Honeyman's own eye, and whom she adored all through her life. With this outfit the brisk little lady took a house, and let the upper floors to lodgers, and because of her personal attractions and her good housekeeping her rooms were seldom empty.

On the morning when we first visit Miss Honeyman's a gentleman had just applied there for rooms. "Please to speak to mistress," says Hannah, the maid, opening the parlour door with a curtsey. "A gentleman about the apartments, mum."

"Fife bet-rooms," says the man entering. "Six bets, two or dree sitting-rooms? We gome from Dr. Good-enough."

"Are the apartments for you, sir?" says Miss Honeyman, looking up at the large gentleman.

"For my lady," answers the man.

"Had you not better take off your hat?" asks Miss Honeyman.

The man grins and takes off his hat. Whereupon Miss Honeyman, having heard also that a German's physician has especially recommended Miss Honeyman's as a place in which one of his patients can have a change of air and scene, informs the man that she can let his mistress have the desired number of apartments. The man reports to his mistress, who descends to inspect the apartments, and pronounces them exceedingly neat and pleasant and exactly what are wanted. The baggage is forthwith ordered to be brought from the carriages. The little invalid, wrapped in his shawl, is carried upstairs as gently as possible, while the young ladies, the governess, the maids, are shown to their apartments. The eldest young lady, a slim black-haired young lass of thirteen, frisks about the rooms, looks at all the pictures, runs in and out of the veranda, tries the piano, and bursts out laughing at its wheezy jingle. She also kisses her languid little brother laid on the sofa, and performs a hundred gay and agile motions suited to her age.

"Oh, what a piano! Why, it is as cracked as Miss Quigley's voice!"

"My dear!" says mamma. The little languid boy bursts out into a jolly laugh.

"What funny pictures, mamma! Action with Count de Grasse; the death of General Wolfe; a portrait of an officer, an old officer in blue, like grandpapa; Brasenose College, Oxford; what a funny name."

At the idea of Brasenose College, another laugh comes from the invalid. "I suppose they've all got brass noses there," he says; and he explodes at this joke. The poor little laugh ends in a cough, and mamma's travelling basket, which contains everything, produces a bottle of syrup, labelled "Master A. Newcome. A teaspoonful to be taken when the cough is troublesome."

"Oh, the delightful sea! the blue, the fresh, the ever free," sings the young lady, with a shake. "How much better is this than going home and seeing those horrid factories and chimneys! I love Dr. Goodenough for sending us here. What a sweet house it is. What nice rooms!"

Presently little Miss Honeyman makes her appearance in a large cap bristling with ribbons, with her best chestnut front and her best black silk gown, on which her gold watch shines very splendidly. She curtseys with dignity to her lodger, who vouchsafes a very slight inclination of the head, saying that the apartments will do very well.

"And they have such a beautiful view of the sea!" cries Ethel.

"As if all the houses hadn't a view of the sea, Ethel! The price has been arranged, I think? My servants will require a comfortable room to dine in—by themselves mam, if you please. My governess and the younger children will dine together. My daughter dines with me—and my little boy's dinner will be ready at two o'clock precisely if you please. It is now near one."

"Am I to understand—?" interposed Miss Honeyman.

"Oh! I have no doubt we shall understand each other, mam," cried Lady Ann Newcome, for it was no other than that noble person, with her children, who had invaded the precincts of Miss Honeyman's home. "Dr. Goodenough has given me a most satisfactory account of you—more satisfactory, perhaps, than you are aware of. Breakfast and tea, if you please, will be served in the same manner as dinner, and you will have the kindness to order fresh milk every morning for my little boy—ass's milk. Dr. Goodenough has ordered ass's milk. Anything further I want I will communicate through the man who first spoke to you—and that will do."

A heavy shower of rain was descending at this moment, and little Miss Honeyman, looking at her lodger, who had sat down and taken up her book, said, "Have your ladyship's servants unpacked your trunks?"

"What on earth, madam, have you—has that to do with the question?"

"They will be put to the trouble of packing again, I fear. I cannot provide—three times five are fifteen—fifteen separate meals for seven persons—besides those of my own family. If your servants cannot eat with mine, or in my kitchen, they and their mistress must go elsewhere. And the sooner the better, madam, the sooner the better!" says Miss Honeyman, trembling with indignation, and sitting down in a chair, spreading her silks.

"Do you know who I am?" asks Lady Ann, rising.

"Perfectly well, madam," says the other, "And had I known, you should never have come into my house, that's more."

"Madam!" cries the lady, on which the poor little invalid, scared and nervous, and hungry for his dinner, began to cry from his sofa.

"It will be a pity that the dear little boy should be disturbed. Dear little child, I have often heard of him, and of you, miss," says the little householder, rising. "I will get you some dinner, my dear, for Clive's sake. And meanwhile your ladyship will have the kindness to seek for some other apartments—for not a bit shall my fire cook for any one else of your company." And with this the indignant little landlady sailed out of the room.

"Gracious goodness! Who is the woman?" cries Lady Ann. "I never was so insulted in my life."

"Oh, mamma, it was you began!" says downright Ethel. "That is—Hush, Alfred dear,—Hush my darling!"

"Oh, it was mamma began! I'm so hungry! I'm so hungry!" howled the little man on the sofa, or off it rather, for he was now down on the ground kicking away the shawls which enveloped him.

"What is it, my boy? What is it, my blessed darling? You shall have your dinner! Give her all, Ethel. There are the keys of my desk, there's my watch, there are my rings. Let her take my all. The monster! The child must live! It can't go away in such a storm as this. Give me a cloak, a parasol, anything—I'll go forth and get a lodging. I'll beg my bread from house to house, if this fiend refuses me. Eat the biscuits, dear! A little of the syrup, Alfred darling; it's very nice, love, and come to your old mother—your poor old mother."

Alfred roared out, "No, it's not n—ice; it's n-a-a-sty! I won't have syrup. I will have dinner." The mother, whose embraces the child repelled with infantine kicks, plunged madly at the bells, rang them all four vehemently, and ran downstairs towards the parlour, whence Miss Honeyman was issuing.

The good lady had not at first known the names of her lodgers, until one of the nurses intrusted with the care of Master Alfred's dinner informed her that she was entertaining Lady Ann Newcome; and that the pretty girl was the fair Miss Ethel; the little sick boy, the little Alfred of whom his cousin spoke, and of whom Clive had made a hundred little drawings in his rude way, as he drew everybody. Then bidding Sally run off to St. James Street for a chicken, she saw it put on the spit, and prepared a bread sauce, and composed a batter-pudding, as she only knew how to make batter puddings. Then she went to array herself in her best clothes, as we have seen; then she came to wait upon Lady Ann, not a little flurried as to the result of that queer interview; then she whisked out of the drawing-room, as before has been shown; and, finding the chicken roasted to a turn, the napkin and tray ready spread by Hannah the neat-handed, she was bringing them up to the little patient when the frantic parent met her on the stair.

"Is it—is it for my child?" cried Lady Ann, reeling against the bannister.

"Yes, it's for the child," says Miss Honeyman, tossing up her head. "But nobody else has anything in the house."

"God bless you! God bless you! A mother's bl—l-ess-ings go with you," gurgled the lady, who was not, it must be confessed, a woman of strong moral character.

It was good to see the little man eating the fowl. Ethel, who had never cut anything in her young existence, except her fingers now and then with her brother's and her governess's penknives, bethought her of asking Miss Honeyman to carve the chicken. Lady Ann, with clasped hands and streaming eyes, sat looking on at the ravishing scene.

"Why did you not let us know you were Clive's aunt?" Ethel asked, putting out her hand. The old lady took hers very kindly, and said, "Because you didn't give me time,—and do you love Clive, my dear?"

The reconciliation between Miss Honeyman and her lodger was perfect, and for a brief season Lady Ann Newcome was in rapture with her new lodgings and every person and thing which they contained. The drawing-rooms were fitted with the greatest taste; the dinner was exquisite; were there ever such delicious veal cutlets, such fresh French beans?

"Indeed they were very good," said Miss Ethel, "I am so glad you like the house, and Clive, and Miss Honeyman."

Ethel's mother was constantly falling in love with new acquaintances; so these raptures were no novelty to her daughter. Ethel had had so many governesses, all darlings during the first week, and monsters afterwards, that the poor child possessed none of the accomplishments of her age. She could not play on the piano; she could not speak French well; she could not tell you when gunpowder was invented; she had not the faintest idea of the date of the Norman Conquest, or whether the earth went round the sun, or vice versa. She did not know the number of counties in England, Scotland and Wales, let alone Ireland; she did not know the difference between latitude and longitude. She had had so many governesses; their accounts differed; poor Ethel was bewildered by a multiplicity of teachers, and thought herself a monster of ignorance. They gave her a book at a Sunday school, and little girls of eight years old answered questions of which she knew nothing. The place swam before her. She could not see the sun shining on their fair flaxen heads and pretty faces. The rosy little children, holding up their eager hands and crying the answer to this question and that, seemed mocking her. She seemed to read in the book, "Oh, Ethel, you dunce, dunce, dunce!" She went home silent in the carriage, and burst into bitter tears on her bed. Naturally a haughty girl of the highest spirit, resolute and imperious, this little visit to the parish school taught Ethel lessons more valuable than ever so much arithmetic and geography.

When Ethel was thirteen years old she had grown to be such a tall girl that she overtopped her companions by a head or more, and morally perhaps, also, felt herself too tall for their society. "Fancy myself," she thought, "dressing a doll like Lily Putland, or wearing a pinafore like Lucy Tucker!" She did not care for their sports. She could not walk with them; it seemed as if everyone stared; nor dance with them at the academy; nor attend the Cours de Litterature Universelle et de Science Comprehensive of the professor then the mode. The smallest girls took her up in the class. She was bewildered by the multitude of things they bade her learn. At the youthful little assemblies of her sex, when, under the guide of their respected governesses, the girls came to tea at six o'clock, dancing, charades, and so forth, Ethel herded not with the children of her own age, nor yet with the teachers who sat apart at these assemblies, imparting to each other their little wrongs. But Ethel romped with the little children, the rosy little trots, and took them on her knees, and told them a thousand stories. By these she was adored, and loved like a mother almost, for as such the hearty, kindly girl showed herself to them; but at home she was alone, and intractable, and did battle with the governesses, and overcame them one after another.

While Lady Ann Newcome and her children were at Brighton, Lady Kew, mother of Lady Ann, was also staying there, but refused to visit the house in which her daughter was stopping for fear that she herself might contract the disease from which her grandchildren were recovering. She received news of them, however, through her grandson, Lord Kew, and his friend Jack Belsize, who enjoyed dining with the old lady whenever they were given the opportunity. Having met their cousins one day before dining with Lady Kew their news was most interesting and enthusiastic.

"That little chap who has just had the measles—he's a dear little brick," said Jack Belsize. "And as for Miss Ethel—"

"Ethel is a trump, mam," says Lord Kew, slapping his hand on his knee.

"Ethel is a brick, and Alfred is a trump, I think you say," remarks Lady Kew, "and Barnes is a snob. This is very satisfactory to know."

"We met the children out to-day," cries the enthusiastic Kew, "as I was driving Jack in the drag, and I got out and talked to 'em. The little fellow wanted a drive and I said I would drive him and Ethel, too, if she would come. Upon my word she's as pretty a girl as you can see on a summer's day. And the governess said, no, of course; governesses always do. But I said I was her uncle, and Jack paid her such a fine compliment that she finally let the children take their seats beside me, and Jack went behind. We drove on to the Downs; my horses are young, and when they get on the grass they are as if they were mad. They ran away, ever so far, and I thought the carriage must upset. The poor little boy, who has lost his pluck in the fever, began to cry; but that young girl, though she was as white as a sheet, never gave up for a moment, and sat in her place like a man. We met nothing, luckily; and I pulled the horses in after a mile or two, and I drove 'em into Brighton as quiet as if I had been driving a hearse. And that little trump of an Ethel, what do you think she said? She said: 'I was not frightened, but you must not tell mamma.' My aunt, it appears, was in a dreadful commotion. I ought to have thought of that."

There is a brother of Sir Brian Newcome's staying with them, Lord Kew perceives; an East India Colonel, a very fine-looking old boy. He was on the lookout for them, and when they came in sight he despatched a boy who was with him, running like a lamplighter, back to their aunt to say all was well. And he took little Alfred out of the carriage, and then helped out Ethel, and said, "My dear, you are too pretty to scold; but you have given us all a great fright." And then he made Kew and Jack a low bow, and stalked into the lodgings. Then they went up and made their peace and were presented in form to the Colonel and his youthful cub.

"As fine a fellow as I ever saw," cries Jack Belsize. "The young chap is a great hand at drawing—upon my life the best drawings I ever saw. And he was making a picture for little What-do-you-call-'im, and Miss Newcome was looking over them. And Lady Ann pointed out the group to me, and said how pretty it was."

In consequence of this conversation, which aroused her curiosity, Lady Kew sent a letter that night to Lady Ann Newcome, desiring that Ethel should be sent to see her grandmother; Ethel, who was no weakling in character despite her youth, and who always rebelled against her grandmother and always fought on her Aunt Julia's side when that amiable invalid lady, who lived with her mother, was oppressed by the dominating older woman.

From the foregoing facts we gather that Thomas Newcome had not been many weeks in England before he favoured good little Miss Honeyman with a visit, to her great delight. You may be sure that the visit was an event in her life. And she was especially pleased that it should occur at the time when the Colonel's kinsfolk were staying under her roof. On the day of the Colonel's arrival all the presents which Newcome had ever sent his sister-in-law from India had been taken out of the cotton and lavender in which the faithful creature kept them. It was a fine hot day in June, but I promise you Miss Honeyman wore her blazing scarlet Cashmere shawl; her great brooch, representing the Taj of Agra, was in her collar; and her bracelets decorated the sleeves round her lean old hands, which trembled with pleasure as they received the kind grasp of the Colonel of colonels. How busy those hands had been that morning! What custards they had whipped! What a triumph of pie-crusts they had achieved! Before Colonel Newcome had been ten minutes in the house the celebrated veal-cutlets made their appearance. Was not the whole house adorned in expectation of his coming? The good woman's eyes twinkled, the kind old hand and voice shook, as, holding up a bright glass of Madeira, Miss Honeyman drank the Colonel's health. "I promise you, my dear Colonel," says she, nodding her head, adorned with a bristling superstructure of lace and ribbons, "I promise you, that I can drink your health in good wine!" The wine was of his own sending, and so were the China firescreens, and the sandal-wood work-box, and the ivory card case, and those magnificent pink and white chessmen, carved like little sepoys and mandarins, with the castles on elephants' backs, George the Third and his queen in pink ivory against the Emperor of China and lady in white—the delight of Clive's childhood, the chief ornament of the old spinster's sitting-room.

Miss Honeyman's little feast was pronounced to be the perfection of cookery; and when the meal was over, came a noise of little feet at the parlour door, which being opened, there appeared: first, a tall nurse with a dancing baby; second and third, two little girls with little frocks, little trowsers, long ringlets, blue eyes, and blue ribbons to match; fourth, Master Alfred, now quite recovered from his illness and holding by the hand, fifth, Miss Ethel Newcome, blushing like a rose.

Hannah, grinning, acted as mistress of the ceremonies, calling out the names of "Miss Newcome, Master Newcome, to see the Colonel, if you please, ma'am," bobbing a curtsey, and giving a knowing nod to Master Clive, as she smoothed her new silk apron. Miss Ethel did not cease blushing as she advanced towards her uncle; and the honest campaigner started up, blushing too. Mr. Clive rose also, as little Alfred, of whom he was a great friend, ran towards him. Clive rose, laughed, nodded at Ethel, and ate ginger-bread nuts all at the same time. As for Colonel Thomas Newcome and his niece, they fell in love with each other instantaneously, like Prince Camaralzaman and the Princess of China.

"Mamma has sent us to bid you welcome to England, uncle," says Miss Ethel, advancing, and never thinking for a moment of laying aside that fine blush which she brought into the room, and which was her pretty symbol of youth and modesty and beauty.

He took a little slim white hand and laid it down on his brown palm, where it looked all the whiter; he cleared the grizzled moustache from his mouth, and stooping down he kissed the little white hand with a great deal of grace and dignity, after which he was forever the humble and devoted admirer of that bright young girl.

Raising himself from his salute, he heard a pretty little infantile chorus. "How do you do, uncle?" said girls number two and three, while the dancing baby in the arms of the bobbing nurse babbled a welcome. Alfred looked up for a while at his uncle in the white trousers, and then instantly proposed that Clive should make some drawings; and was on his knees at the next moment. He was always climbing on somebody or something, or winding over chairs, curling through bannisters, standing on somebody's head, or his own head; as his convalescence advanced, his breakages were fearful. Miss Honeyman and Hannah talked about his dilapidations for years after. When he was a jolly young officer in the Guards, and came to see them at Brighton, they showed him the blue dragon Chayny jar on which he would sit, and over which he cried so fearfully upon breaking it.

When this little party had gone out smiling to take its walk on the sea shore, the Colonel from his balcony watched the slim figure of pretty Ethel, looked fondly after her, and as the smoke of his cigar floated in the air, formed a fine castle in it, whereof Clive was Lord, and Ethel Lady. "What a frank, generous, bright young creature is yonder!" thought he. "How cheering and gay she is; how good to Miss Honeyman, to whom she behaved with just the respect that was the old lady's due. How affectionate with her brothers and sisters! What a sweet voice she had! What a pretty little white hand it is! When she gave it me, it looked like a little white bird lying in mine."

Thus mused the Colonel, upon the charms of the young girl who was henceforth to occupy the first place in his affection.

His admiration for her might have been still further heightened had he been at Lady Ann's breakfast table some four or five weeks later, when Lady Ann and her nursery had just returned to London, little Alfred being perfectly set up by a month of Brighton air. Barnes Newcome had just discovered an article in the Newcome Independent commenting warmly upon a visit which Colonel Newcome and Clive had recently paid to Newcome, the object of that visit having been the Colonel's desire to gladden the eyes of his old nurse Sarah with a sight of him. Inhabitants of Newcome, feeling that the same Sarah Mason, who was a much respected member of the community, was much neglected by her rich and influential relatives in London, took great delight in commenting upon the Colonel's attention to the aged woman. The article in the Independent on that subject was anything but pleasing to the family pride of Mr. Barnes, who remarked in a sneering tone, "My uncle the Colonel, and his amiable son, have been paying a visit to Newcome. That is the news which the paper announces triumphantly," said Mr. Barnes.

"You are always sneering about our uncle," broke in Ethel, impetuously, "and saying unkind things about Clive. Our uncle is a dear, good, kind man, and I love him. He came to Brighton to see us, and went out every day for hours and hours with Alfred; and Clive, too, drew pictures for him. And he is good, and kind, and generous, and honest as his father. Barnes is always speaking ill of him behind his back; and Miss Honeyman is a dear little old woman too. Was not she kind to Alfred, mamma, and did not she make him nice jelly?"

"Did you bring some of Miss Honeyman's lodging-house cards with you, Ethel?" sneered her brother, "and had we not better hang up one or two in Lombard Street; hers and our other relation's, Mrs. Mason?"

"My darling love, who is Mrs. Mason?" asks Lady Ann.

"Another member of the family, ma'am. She was cousin—"

"She was no such thing, sir," roars Sir Brian.

"She was relative and housemaid of my grandfather during his first marriage. She has retired into private life in her native town of Newcome. The Colonel and young Clive have been spending a few days with their elderly relative. It's all here in the paper, by Jove!" Mr. Barnes clenched his fist and stamped upon the newspaper with much energy.

"And so they should go down and see her, and so the Colonel should love his nurse and not forget his relations if they are old and poor!" cries Ethel, with a flush on her face, and tears starting in her eyes. "The Colonel went to her like a kind, dear, good brave uncle as he is. The very day I go to Newcome I'll go to see her." She caught a look of negation in her father's eye. "I will go—that is, if papa will give me leave," says Miss Ethel, adding simply, "if we had gone sooner there would not have been all this abuse of us in the papers." To which statement her worldly father and brother perforce agreeing, we may congratulate good old nurse Sarah upon adding to the list of her friends such a frank, open-hearted, high-spirited young woman as Miss Ethel Newcome.

In spite of the notoriety given him in the newspapers by his visit to Nurse Sarah, at his native place, he still remained in high favour with Sir Brian Newcome's family, where he paid almost daily visits, and was received with affection at least by the ladies and children of the house. Who was it that took the children to Astley's but Uncle Newcome? I saw him there in the midst of a cluster of these little people, all children together, the little girls, Sir Brian's daughters, holding each by a finger of his hands, young Masters Alfred and Edward clapping and hurrahing by his side; while Mr. Clive and Miss Ethel sat in the back of the box enjoying the scene, but with that decorum which belonged to their superior age and gravity. As for Clive, he was in these matters much older than the grizzled old warrior his father. It did one good to hear the Colonel's honest laughs at Clown's jokes, and to see the tenderness and simplicity with which he watched over this happy brood of young ones. How lavishly did he supply them with sweetmeats between the acts! There he sat in the midst of them, and ate an orange himself with perfect satisfaction, and was eager to supply any luxury longed for by his young companions.

The Colonel's organ of benevolence was so large that he would have liked to administer bounties to the young folks his nephews and nieces in Brianstone Square, as well as to their cousins in Park Lane; but Mrs. Newcome was a great deal too virtuous to admit of such spoiling of children. She took the poor gentleman to task for an attempt upon her boys when those lads came home for their holidays, and caused them ruefully to give back the shining gold sovereigns with which their uncle had thought to give them a treat. So the Colonel was obliged to confine his benevolence to that branch of the family where it was graciously accepted.

Meanwhile the Colonel had a new interest to absorb his attention. He had taken a new house at 120 Fitzroy Square in connection with that Indian friend of his, Mr. Binnie. The house being taken, there was fine amusement for Clive, Mr. Binnie, and the Colonel, in frequenting sales, in inspection of upholsterers' shops, and the purchase of furniture for the new mansion. There were three masters with four or five servants under them. Irons for the Colonel and his son, a smart boy with boots for Mr. Binnie; Mrs. Irons to cook and keep house, with a couple of maids under her. The Colonel himself was great at making hash mutton, hotpot, and curry. What cosy pipes did we not smoke in the dining-room, in the drawing-room, or where we would! What pleasant evenings did we not have together.

Clive had a tutor—Grindley of Corpus—with whom the young gentleman did not fatigue his brains very much, his great talent lying decidedly in drawing. He sketched the horses, he sketched the dogs, all the servants, from the bleer-eyed boot-boy to the rosy cheeked lass whom the housekeeper was always calling to come downstairs. He drew his father in all postures, and jolly little Mr. Binnie too. Young Ridley, known to his young companions as J.J., was his daily friend now, to the great joy of that young man, who considered Clive Newcome to be the most splendid, fortunate, beautiful, high-born and gifted youth in the world. What generous boy in his time has not worshipped somebody? Before the female enslaver makes her appearance, every lad has a friend of friends, a crony of cronies, to whom he writes immense letters in vacation, whom he cherishes in his hearts of hearts; whose sister he proposes to marry in after life; whose purse he shares; for whom he will take a thrashing if need be; who is his hero. Clive was John James's youthful divinity; when he wanted to draw Thaddeus of Warsaw, a Prince, Ivanhoe, or some one splendid and egregious, it was Clive he took for a model. His heart leapt when he saw the young fellow. He would walk cheerfully to Grey Friars with a letter or message for C. on the chance of seeing him and getting a kind word from him or a shake of the hand. The poor lad was known by the boys as Newcome's Punch. He was all but hunchback, long and lean in the arm; sallow, with a great forehead and waving black hair, and large melancholy eyes. But his genius for drawing was enormous, which fact Clive fully appreciated. Because of J. J.'s admiration for Clive it was his joy to be with Clive constantly; and after Grindley's classics and mathematics in the morning, the young men would attend Gandish's Drawing Academy, together.

"Oh," says Clive, if you talk to him now about those early days, "it was a jolly time! I do not believe there was any young fellow in London so happy."

Clive had many conversations with his father as to the profession which he should follow. As regarded mathematical and classical learning, the elder Newcome was forced to admit that out of every hundred boys there were fifty as clever as his own, and at least fifty more industrious; the army in time of peace Colonel Newcome thought a bad trade for a young fellow so fond of ease and pleasure as his son. His delight in the pencil was manifest to all. Were not his school books full of caricatures of the masters? While his tutor was lecturing him, did he not draw Grindley instinctively under his very nose? A painter Clive was determined to be, and nothing else; and Clive, being then some sixteen years of age, began to study art under the eminent Mr. Gandish of Soho.

It was that well-known portrait painter, Andrew Smee, Esq., R.A., who recommended Gandish to Colonel Newcome one day when the two gentleman met at dinner at Lady Ann Newcome's. Mr. Smee happened to examine some of Clive's drawings, which the young fellow had executed for his cousins. Clive found no better amusement than in making pictures for them and would cheerfully pass evening after evening in that direction. He had made a thousand sketches of Ethel before a year was over; a year every day of which seemed to increase the attractions of the fair young creature. Also, of course Clive drew Alfred and the nursery in general, Aunt Ann and the Blenheim spaniels, the majestic John bringing in the coal-scuttle, and all persons or objects in that establishment with which he was familiar.

"What a genius the lad has," the complimentary Mr. Smee averred; "what a force and individuality there is in all his drawings! Look at his horses! Capital, by Jove, capital! And Alfred on his pony, and Miss Ethel in her Spanish hat, with her hair flowing in the wind! I must take this sketch, I positively must now, and show it to Landseer."

And the courtly artist daintily enveloped the drawing in a sheet of paper, put it away in his hat, and vowed subsequently that the great painter had been delighted with the young man's performance. Smee was not only charmed with Clive's skill as an artist, but thought his head would be an admirable one to paint. Such a rich complexion, such fine turns in his hair! Such eyes! To see real blue eyes was so rare now-a-days! And the Colonel too, if the Colonel would but give him a few sittings, the grey uniform of the Bengal Cavalry, the silver lace, the little bit of red ribbon just to warm up the picture! It was seldom, Mr. Smee declared, that an artist could get such an opportunity for colour. But no cajoleries could induce the Colonel to sit to any artist save one. There hangs in Clive's room now, a head, painted at one sitting, of a man rather bald, with hair touched with grey, with a large moustache and a sweet mouth half smiling beneath it, and melancholy eyes. Clive shows that portrait of their grandfather to his children, and tells them that the whole world never saw a nobler gentleman.

Well, then; Clive having decided to become an artist, on a day marked with a white stone, Colonel Newcome with his son and Mr. Smee, R. A., walked to Gandish's and entered the would-be artist on the roll call of that famous academy, and of J. J. as well, for the Colonel had insisted upon paying his expenses as an art student together with his son.

Mr. Gandish was an excellent master and the two lads made great progress under his excellent training. Clive used to give droll accounts of the young disciples at Gandish's, who were of various ages and conditions, and in whose company the young fellow took his place with that good temper and gaiety which seldom deserted him and put him at ease wherever his fate led him. Not one of the Gandishites but liked Clive, and at that period of his existence he enjoyed himself in all kinds of ways, making himself popular with dancing folks and with drawing folks, and the jolly king of his company everywhere. He gave entertainments in the rooms in Fitzroy Square which were devoted to his use, inviting his father and Mr. Binnie now and then, but the good Colonel did not often attend those parties. He saw that his presence rather silenced the young men, and went away to play his rubber of whist at the club. And although time hung a bit heavily on the good Colonel's hands, now that Clive's interests were separate from his own, yet of nights as he heard Clive's companions tramping by his bedchamber door, where he lay wakeful within, he was happy to think his son was happy. As for Clive, those were glorious days for him. If he was successful in the Academy, he was doubly victorious out of it. His person was handsome, his courage high, his gaiety and frankness delightful and winning. His money was plenty and he spent it like a young king. He was not the most docile of Mr. Gandish's pupils, and if the truth must be told about him, though one of the most frank, generous and kind-hearted persons, was somewhat haughty and imperious. He had been known to lament since that he was taken from school too early where a further course of thrashings would, he believed, have done him good. He lamented that he was not sent to college, where if a young man receives no other discipline at least he meets his equals in society and assuredly finds his betters; whereas in Mr. Gandish's studio our young gentleman scarcely found a comrade that was not in one way or other his flatterer, his inferior, his honest or dishonest admirer. The influence of his family's rank and wealth acted more or less on all these simple folks, who would run on his errands and vied with each other winning his favour. His very goodness of heart rendered him a more easy prey to their flattery, and his kind and jovial disposition led him into company from which he had much better have been away. In fact, as the Colonel did not attempt in any way to check him in his youthful career of extravagance and experiences which were the result of an excessive high spirit, our young gentleman at this time brought down upon himself much adverse criticism for his behaviour, especially from his uncles. Because of this and other reasons there was not much friendliness exhibited by the several branches of the family for Clive and his father. Colonel Newcome, in spite of coldness, felt it his duty to make constant attempts to remain on friendly terms at least with the wives of his stepbrothers. But after he had called twice or thrice upon his sister-in-law in Brianstone Square, bringing as was his wont a present for this little niece or a book for that, Mrs. Newcome gave him to understand that the occupation of an English matron would not allow her to pass the mornings in idle gossip, and with curtseys and fine speeches actually bowed her brother out of doors; and the honest gentleman meekly left her, though with bewilderment as he thought of the different hospitality to which he had been accustomed in the East, where no friend's house was ever closed to him, where no neighbour was so busy but he had time to make Thomas Newcome welcome.

When Hobson Newcome's boys came home for the holidays, their kind uncle was for treating them to the sights of the town, but here Virtue again interposed, and laid his interdict upon pleasure. "Thank you, very much, my dear Colonel," says Virtue; "there never was surely such a kind, affectionate, unselfish creature as you are, and so indulgent for children, but my boys and yours are brought up on a very different plan. Excuse me for saying that I do not think it is advisable that they should even see too much of each other, Clive's company is not good for them."

"Great heavens, Maria!" cries the Colonel, starting up, "do you mean that my boy's society is not good enough for any boy alive?"

Maria turned very red; she had said not more than she meant, but more than she meant to say. "My dear Colonel, how hot we are! how angry you Indian gentlemen become with us poor women! Your boy is much older than mine. He lives with artists, with all sorts of eccentric people. Our children are bred on quite a different plan. Hobson will succeed his father in the bank, and dear Samuel, I trust, will go into the church. I told you before the views I had regarding the boys; but it was most kind of you to think of them—most generous and kind."

"That nabob of ours is a queer fish," Hobson Newcome remarked to his nephew Barnes. "He is as proud as Lucifer; he is always taking huff about one thing or the other. He went off in a fume the other night because your aunt objected to his taking the boys to the play. And then he flew out about his boy, and said that my wife insulted him! I used to like that boy. Before his father came he was a good lad enough—a jolly, brave little fellow. But since he has taken this madcap freak of turning painter there is no understanding the chap. I don't care what a fellow is, if he is a good fellow, but a painter is no trade at all! I don't like it, Barnes!"

To Lady Ann Newcome the Colonel's society was more welcome than to her sister-in-law, and the affectionate gentleman never tired of doing kindnesses for her children, and consoled himself as best he might for Clive's absences with his nephews and nieces, especially with Ethel, for whom his admiration conceived at first sight never diminished. He found a fine occupation in breaking a pretty little horse for her, of which he made her a present, and there was no horse in the Park that was so handsome, and surely no girl who looked more beautiful than Ethel Newcome with her broad hat and red ribbon, with her thick black locks waving round her bright face, galloping along the ride on "Bhurtpore." Occasionally Clive was at their riding-parties, but Ethel rallied him and treated him with such distance and dignity, at the same time looking fondly and archly at her uncle, that Clive set her down as a very haughty, spoiled, aristocratic young creature. In fact, the two young people were too much alike in disposition to agree perfectly, and Ethel's parents were glad that it was so.

It was pleasant to watch the kind old face of Clive's father, that sweet young blushing lady by his side, as the two rode homewards at sunset talking happily together. Ethel wanted to know about battles; about lover's lamps, which she had read of in "Lalla Rookh." "Have you ever seen them, uncle, floating down the Ganges of a night? About Indian widows, did you actually see one burning, and hear her scream as you rode up?"

She wonders whether he will tell her anything about Clive's mother; how she must have loved Uncle Newcome! Rambling happily from one subject to another Ethel commands: "Next year, when I am presented at Court, you must come, too, sir! I insist upon it, you must come, too!"

"I will order a new uniform, Ethel," says her uncle.

The girl laughs. "When little Egbert took hold of your sword, and asked you how many people you had killed, do you know I had the same question in my mind? I thought perhaps the King would knight you instead of that horrid little Sir Danby Jilks, and I won't have you knighted anymore!"

The Colonel, laughing, says he hopes Egbert won't ask Sir Danby Jilks how many men he has killed; then thinking the joke too severe upon Sir Danby, hastens to narrate some anecdotes about the courage of surgeons in general. Ethel declares that her uncle always will talk of other people's courage, and never say a word about his own. So the pair talked kindly on, riding homewards through the pleasant summer twilight. Mamma had gone out to dinner and there were cards for three parties afterward.

"Oh, how I wish it was next year!" says Miss Ethel.

Many a splendid assembly and many a brilliant next year will the young creature enjoy; but in the midst of her splendour and triumphs she will often think of that quiet happy season before the world began for her, and of that dear old friend on whose arm she leaned while she was yet a young girl.

On account of the ugly rumours spread abroad concerning young Clive's extravagant habits and gaiety of living, also on account of the profession he had chosen, Sir Bryan Newcome's family preferred to have young Clive see as little of his handsome Cousin Ethel as possible, and Ethel's brother, Barnes, whose hatred for Clive was not untinged by jealousy, was the most vigorous of the family in spreading disagreeable reports about his cousin, whom he spoke of as an impudent young puppy.

Even old Lady Kew was particularly rude to Colonel Newcome and Clive. On Ethel's birthday she had a small party chiefly of girls of her own age who came and played and sang together and enjoyed such mild refreshments as sponge cake, jellies, tea, and the like. The Colonel, who was invited to this little party, sent a fine present to his favourite Ethel; and Clive and his friend J. J. made a funny series of drawings, representing the life of a young lady as they imagined it, and drawing her progress from her cradle upwards: now engaged with her doll, then with her dancing master; now marching in her backboard; now crying over her German lessons; and dressed for her first ball finally, and bestowing her hand upon a dandy of preternatural ugliness, who was kneeling at her feet as the happy man. This picture was the delight of the laughing, happy girls; except, perhaps, the little cousins from Brianstone Square, who were invited to Ethel's party, but were so overpowered by the prodigious new dresses in which their mamma had attired them that they could admire nothing but their rustling pink frocks, their enormous sashes, their lovely new silk stockings.

Lady Kew, coming to London, attended on the party, and presented her granddaughter with a sixpenny pincushion. The Colonel had sent Ethel a beautiful little gold watch and chain. Her aunt had complimented her with that refreshing work, "Allison's History of Europe," richly bound. Lady Kew's pincushion made rather a poor figure among the gifts, whence probably arose her ladyship's ill-humour.

Ethel's grandmother became exceedingly testy, when, the Colonel arriving, Ethel ran up to him and thanked him for the beautiful watch, in return for which she gave him a kiss, which I daresay amply repaid Colonel Newcome; and shortly after him Mr. Clive arrived. As he entered, all the girls who had been admiring his pictures began to clap their hands. Mr. Clive Newcome blushed, and looked none the worse for that indication of modesty.

Lady Kew had met Colonel Newcome a half-dozen times at her daughter's house; but on this occasion she had quite forgotten him, for when the Colonel made a bow, her ladyship regarded him steadily, and beckoning her daughter to her, asked who the gentleman was who had just kissed Ethel.

With the clapping of hands that greeted Clive's arrival, the Countess was by no means more good-humoured. Not aware of her wrath, the young fellow, who had also previously been presented to her, came forward presently to make her his compliments. "Pray, who are you?" she said, looking at him very earnestly in the face. He told her his name.

"H'm," said Lady Kew, "I have heard of you, and I have heard very little good of you."

"Will your ladyship please to give me your informant?" cried out Colonel Newcome.

Barnes Newcome, who had condescended to attend his sister's little party, and had been languidly watching the frolics of the young people, looked very much alarmed, and hastened to soften the incident by a change of conversation.

But the attitude of Lady Kew and young Barnes was only a reflection of the attitude of Ethel's parents concerning Clive, and Ethel, who was really friendly towards him, found it difficult to deny the charges which were constantly brought against the boy. The truth was the young fellow enjoyed life, as one of his age and spirit might be expected to do; but he did very little harm and meant less; and was quite unconscious of the reputation which he was gaining.

There had been a long-standing promise that Clive and his father were to go to Newcome at Christmas; and I daresay Ethel proposed to reform the young prodigal, if prodigal he was, for she busied herself delightedly in preparing the apartments for their guests and putting off her visit to this pleasant neighbour, or that pretty scene in the vicinity, until her uncle should come and they might enjoy the excursion together. And before the arrival of her relatives, Ethel, with one of her young brothers, went to see Mrs. Mason and introduced herself as Colonel Newcome's niece, and came back charmed with the old lady and eager once more in defence of Clive, for had she not seen the kindest letter which Clive had written to old Mrs. Mason, and the beautiful drawing of his father on horseback, and in regimentals, waving his sword in front of the gallant Bengal Cavalry, which the lad had sent down to the good old woman? He could not be very bad, Ethel thought, who was so kind and thoughtful for the poor. And the young lady went home quite fired with enthusiasm for her cousin, but encountered Barnes, who was more than usually bitter and sarcastic on the subject. Ethel lost her temper, and then her firmness, while bursting into tears she taxed Barnes with cruelty for uttering stories to his cousin's disadvantage and for pursuing with constant slander one of the very best of men. But notwithstanding her defence of the Colonel and Clive, when they came to Newcome for the Christmas holidays, there was no Ethel there. She had gone on a visit to her sick aunt. Colonel Newcome passed the holidays sadly without her, and Clive consoled himself by knocking down pheasants with Sir Brian's keepers; and increased his cousin's attachment for him by breaking the knees of Barnes's favourite mare out hunting. It was a dreary holiday; father and son were glad enough to get away from it, and to return to their own humbler quarters in London.

Thomas Newcome had now been for three years in the possession of that joy which his soul longed after, and yet in spite of his happiness, his honest face grew more melancholy, his loose clothes hung only the looser on his lean limbs; he ate his meals without appetite; his nights were restless and he would sit for hours silent, and was constantly finding business which took him to distant quarters of England. Notwithstanding this change in him the Colonel insisted that he was perfectly happy and contented, but the truth was, his heart was aching with the knowledge that Clive had occupations, ideas, associates, in which the elder could take no interest. Sitting in his blank, cheerless bedroom, Newcome could hear the lad and his friends making merry and breaking out in roars of laughter from time to time. The Colonel longed to share in the merriment, but he knew that the party would be hushed if he joined it, that the younger men were happier and freer without him, and without laying any blame upon them for this natural state of affairs, it saddened the days and nights of our genial Colonel.

Clive, meanwhile, passed through the course of study prescribed by Mr. Gandish and drew every cast and statue in that gentleman's studio. Grindley, his tutor, getting a curacy, Clive did not replace him, but took a course of modern languages, which he learned with great rapidity. And now, being strong enough to paint without a master, Mr. Clive must needs have a studio, as there was no good light in the house in Fitzroy Square. If his kind father felt any pang even at this temporary parting, he was greatly soothed and pleased by a little mark of attention on Clive's part. He walked over with Colonel Newcome to see the new studio, with its tall centre window, and its curtains and hard wardrobes, china jars, pieces of armour, and other artistic properties, and with a very sweet smile of kindness and affection lighting up his honest face, took out a house-key and gave it to his father: "That's your key, sir," he said to the Colonel; "and you must be my first sitter, please, father; for, though I am to be a historical painter, I shall condescend to do a few portraits, you know." The Colonel grasped his son's hand as Clive fondly put the other hand on his father's shoulder. Then Colonel Newcome walked away for a minute or two, and came back wiping his moustache with his handkerchief, and still holding the key in the other hand. He spoke about some trivial subject when he returned; but his voice quite trembled, his face glowed with love and pleasure, and the little act of affection compensated him for many weary hours of solitude. It is certain that Clive worked much better after he had this apartment of his own, and meals at home were gayer; and the rides with his father more frequent and agreeable. The Colonel used his key not infrequently, and found Clive and his friend J. J. as a general thing absorbed in executing historical subjects on the largest possible canvases. Meanwhile Colonel Newcome was preparing his mind to leave his idol, who he knew would be happy without as with him. During the three years since he had come from India the Colonel had spent money lavishly and had also been obliged to pay dearly for some of Clive's boyish extravagances. At first, the Colonel had thought he might retire from the army altogether, but experience showed him that he could not live upon his income. He proposed now to return to India to get his promotion as full Colonel when the thousand a year to which that would entitle him, together with his other investments, would be ample for Clive and himself to live on. While the Colonel's thoughts were absorbed in this matter his favourite Ethel was constantly away with her grandmother. The Colonel went to see her at Brighton, and once, twice, thrice, Lady Kew's door was denied to him. Once when the Colonel encountered his pretty Ethel with her riding master she greeted him affectionately, but when he rode up to her she looked so constrained, when he talked about Clive she was so reserved, when he left her, so sad, he could only feel pain and regret. Back he went to London, having in a week only caught this single glance of his darling, but filled with determination to have a frank talk with his sister-in-law, Lady Ann, and if possible to mend the family disagreement and turn the tide of Lady Ann's affection again towards his son. This he attempted to do, and would have succeeded had not Barnes Newcome been the head of the house. As we know, his opinion of Clive was not to that young man's advantage. These opinions were imparted to his Uncle Hobson at the bank, and Uncle Hobson carried them home to his wife, who took an early opportunity of repeating them to the Colonel, and the Colonel was brought to see that Barnes was his boy's enemy, and words very likely passed between them, for Thomas Newcome took a new banker at this time, and was very angry because Hobson Brothers wrote to him to say that he had overdrawn his account. "I am sure there is some screw loose," remarked Clive to a friend, "and that my father and the people in Park Lane have disagreed, because he goes there very little now; and he promised to go to Court when Ethel was presented and he didn't go." This state of affairs between the members of the Newcome family continued for some months. Then, happily, a truce was declared, the quarrel between the Newcome brothers came to an end—for that time at least—and was followed by a rather showy reconciliation and a family dinner at Brianstone Square. Everybody was bent upon being happy and gracious. It was "My dear brother, how do you do?" from Sir Brian. "My dear Colonel, how glad we are to see you! How well you look!" from Lady Ann. Ethel Newcome ran to him with both hands out, an eager welcome on her beautiful face. And even Lady Kew held out her hand to Colonel Newcome, saying briskly: "Colonel, it is an age since we met," and turning to Clive with equal graciousness to say, "Mr. Clive, let me shake hands with you; I have heard all sorts of good of you, that you have been painting the most beautiful things, that you are going to be quite famous." There was no doubt about it,—it was an evening of reconciliation on every side.

Ethel was so happy to see her dear uncle that she had no eyes for any one else, until Clive advancing, those bright eyes became brighter still as she saw him; and as she looked she saw a very handsome fellow, for Clive at that time was of the ornamental class of mankind—a customer to tailors, a wearer of handsome rings, shirt studs, long hair, and the like; nor could he help, in his costume or his nature, being picturesque, generous, and splendid. Silver dressing cases and brocade morning gowns were in him a sort of propriety at this season of his youth. It was a pleasure to persons of colder temperament to sun themselves in the warmth of his bright looks and generous humour. His laughter cheered one like wine. I do not know that he was very witty; but he was pleasant. He was prone to blush; the history of a generous trait moistened his eyes instantly. He was instinctively fond of children and of the other sex from one year old to eighty. Coming from the Derby once and being stopped on the road in a lock of carriages during which the people in a carriage ahead saluted us with many insulting epithets, and seized the heads of our leaders, Clive in a twinkling jumped off the box, and the next minute we saw him engaged with a half dozen of the enemy: his hat gone, his fair hair falling off his face, his blue eyes flashing fire, his lips and nostrils quivering with wrath. His father sat back in the carriage looking on with delight and wonder while a policeman separated the warriors. Clive ascended the box again, with his coat gashed from waist to shoulder. I hardly ever saw the elder Newcome in such a state of triumph.

While we have been making this sketch of Clive, Ethel was standing looking at him, and the blushing youth cast down his eyes before hers while her face assumed a look of arch humour. And now let us have a likeness of Ethel. She was seventeen years old; rather taller than the majority of girls; her face somewhat grave and haughty, but on occasion brightening with humour or beaming with kindliness and affection. Too quick to detect affectation or insincerity in others, too impatient of dulness or pomposity, she was more sarcastic now than she became when after-years of suffering had softened her nature. Truth looked out of her bright eyes, and rose up armed and flashed scorn or denial when she encountered flattery or meanness or imposture.

But those who had no cause to fear her keenness or her coldness admired her beauty; nor could the famous Parisian model whom Clive said she resembled be more perfect in form than this young lady. Her hair and eyebrows were jet black, but her complexion was dazzlingly fair and her cheeks as red as those belonging by right to a blonde. In her black hair there was a slight natural ripple. Her eyes were grey; her mouth rather large; her teeth were regular and white, her voice was low and sweet; and her smile, when it lighted up her face and eyes, as beautiful as spring sunshine; also her eyes could lighten and flash often, and sometimes, though rarely, rain. As for her figure, the tall, slender form clad in a simple white muslin robe in which her fair arms were enveloped, and which was caught at her slim waist by a blue ribbon, let us make a respectful bow to that fair image of youth, health, and modesty, and fancy it as pretty as we will.

Not yet overshadowed by the cloud of Colonel Newcome's departure, light-hearted in the joy of reconciliation and meeting, once again full of high spirits and mindful of no moment beyond the present, the two cousins never looked brighter or happier, and as Colonel Newcome gazed upon them in the freshness of their youth and vigour his heart was filled with delight.

Not many days after the dinner the good Colonel found it necessary to break the news of his intended departure to Clive. His resolution to go being taken, and having been obliged to dip somewhat deeply into the little purse he had set aside for European expenses to help a kinsman in distress, the Colonel's departure came somewhat sooner than he had expected. But, as he said, "A year sooner or later, what does it matter? Clive will go away and work at his art, and see the great schools of painting while I am absent. I thought at one time how pleasant it would be to accompany him. I fancy now a lad is not the better for being always tied to his parents' apron-strings. You young fellows are too clever for me. I haven't learned your ideas or read your books. I feel myself very often an old damper in your company. I will go back, sir, where I have some friends, and where I am somebody still. I know an honest face or two, white and brown, that will lighten up in the old regiment when they see Tom Newcome again."

With this resolution taken, the Colonel began saying farewell to his friends. He and Clive made a pilgrimage to Grey Friars; and the Colonel ran down to Newcome to give Mrs. Mason a parting benediction; went to all the boys' and girls' schools where his little proteges were, so as to be able to take the very latest account of the young folks to their parents in India; and thence proceeded to Brighton to pass a little time with good Miss Honeyman. With Sir Brian's family he parted on very good terms. I believe Sir Brian even accompanied him downstairs from the drawing-room in Park Lane, and actually saw his brother into his cab, but as for Ethel, she was not going to be put off with this sort of parting; and the next morning a cab dashed up to Fitzroy Square and she was closeted with Colonel Newcome for five minutes, and when he led her back to the carriage there were tears in his eyes. Then came the day when Clive and his father travelled together to Southampton, where a group of the Colonel's faithful friends were assembled to say a "God bless you" to their dear old friend, and see the vessel sail. To the end Clive remained with his father and went below with him, and when the last bell was ringing, came from below looking very pale. The plank was drawn after him almost as soon as he stepped on land, and the vessel had sailed.

Although Thomas Newcome had gone back to India in search of more money, he was nevertheless rather a wealthy man and was able to leave a hundred a year in England to be transferred to his boy as soon as he came of age. He also left a considerable annual sum to be paid to the boy, and so as soon as the parting was over and his affairs were settled, Clive was free to start on his travels, to study art in new lands, accompanied by his faithful friend J.J. They went first to Antwerp; thence to Brussels, and next Clive's correspondents received a letter from Bonn: in which Master Clive said, "And whom should I find here but Aunt Ann, Ethel, Miss Quigley and the little ones. Uncle Brian is staying at Aix, and, upon my conscience, I think my pretty cousin looks prettier every day. J.J. and I were climbing a little hill which leads to a ruin, when I heard a little voice cry, 'Hello! it's Clive! Hooray, Clive,' and an ass came down the incline with a little pair of white trousers at an immensely wide angle over the donkey's back, and there was little Alfred grinning with all his might.

"He turned his beast and was for galloping up the hill again, I suppose to inform his relations; but the donkey refused with many kicks, one of which sent Alfred plunging amongst the stones, and we were rubbing him down just as the rest of the party came upon us. Miss Quigley looked very grim on an old white pony; my aunt was on a black horse that might have turned grey, he is so old. Then came two donkeys-full of children, with Kuhn as supercargo; then Ethel on donkey back, too, with a bunch of wild flowers in her hand, a great straw hat with a crimson ribbon, a white muslin jacket, you know, bound at the waist with a ribbon of the first, and a dark skirt, with a shawl round her feet, which Kuhn had arranged. As she stopped, the donkey fell to cropping greens in the hedge; the trees there chequered her white dress and face with shadow. Her eyes, hair, and forehead were in shadow, too, but the light was all upon her right cheek. Upon her shoulder down to her arm, which was of a warmer white, and on the bunch of flowers which she held, blue, yellow, and red poppies, and so forth.

"J. J. says, 'I think the birds began to sing louder when she came.' We have both agreed that she is the handsomest woman in England. It's not her form merely, which is certainly as yet too thin and a little angular; it is her colour. I do not care for women or pictures without colour. Oh, ye carnations! Oh, such black hair and solemn eyebrows. It seems to me the roses and carnations have bloomed again since we saw them last in London, when they were drooping from the exposure to night air, candle light, and heated ballrooms.

"Here I was in the midst of a regiment of donkeys bearing a crowd of relations; J. J. standing modestly in the background, beggars completing the group. Throw in the Rhine in the distance flashing by the Seven Mountains—but mind and make Ethel the principal figure: if you make her like she certainly will be, and other lights will be only minor fires. You may paint her form, but can't paint her colour."

Thus wrote Clive from Bonn, and now that the old Countess and Barnes were away, the barrier between Clive and this family was withdrawn. The young folks who loved him were free to see him as often as he would come. They were going to Baden: would he come, too? He was glad enough to go with them, and to travel in the orbit of such a lovely girl as Ethel Newcome, whose beauty made all the passengers on all the steamers look round and admire. The journey was all sunshine and pleasure and novelty; and I like to think of the pretty girl and the gallant young fellow enjoying this holiday. Few sights are more pleasant than to watch a happy, manly English youth, freehanded and generous-hearted, content and good-humour shining in his honest face, pleased and pleasing, eager, active, and thankful for services, and exercising bravely his noble youthful privilege to be happy and to enjoy. As for J. J., he, too, had his share of enjoyment. Clive was still his hero as ever, his patron, his splendid young prince and chieftain. Who was so brave, who was so handsome, generous, witty as Clive? To hear Clive sing, as the lad would whilst they were seated at their work, or driving along on this happy journey, through fair landscapes in the sunshine, gave J. J. the keenest pleasure; his wit was a little slow, but he would laugh with his eyes at Clive's sallies, or ponder over them and explode with laughter presently, giving a new source of amusement to these merry travellers, and little Alfred would laugh at J.J.'s laughing; and so, with a hundred harmless jokes to enliven, and the ever-changing, ever-charming smiles of Nature to cheer and accompany it, the happy day's journey would come to an end.

So they travelled by the accustomed route to the prettiest town of all places where Pleasure has set up her tents, and there enjoyed themselves to the fullest extent.

Among Colonel Newcome's papers to which the family biographer has had access, there are a couple of letters from Clive, dated Baden this time, and full of happiness, gaiety, and affection. Letter No. 1 says: "Ethel is the prettiest girl here. At the Assemblies all the princes, counts, dukes, etc., are dying to dance with her. She sends her dearest love to her uncle." By the side of the words "Prettiest girl" are written in a frank female hand the monosyllable "stuff"; and as a note to the expression "dearest love," with a star to mark the text and the note, are squeezed in the same feminine characters at the bottom of Clive's page the words "that I do. E. N."

In letter No. 2, Clive, after giving amusing details of life at Baden and the company whom he met there, concludes with this: "Ethel is looking over my shoulder. She thinks me such a delightful creature that she is never easy without me. She bids me to say that I am the best of sons and cousins, and am, in a word, a darling du—" The rest of this important word is not given, but "goose" is added in the female hand.

Ethel takes up the pen. "My dear uncle," she says, "while Clive is sketching out of the window, let me write to you a line or two on his paper, though I know you like to hear no one speak but him. I wish I could draw him for you as he stands yonder looking the picture of good health, good spirits, and good-humour. Everybody likes him. He is quite unaffected; always gay, always pleased, and he draws more beautifully every day."

When these letters were received by the good Colonel in India we can well imagine the joy that warmed his fond heart. He, himself, was comfortably settled in the only place which would ever be home to him,—his son, the idol of his heart, was with Ethel, his darling. The objects of his tenderest affection were gay, happy, together, and, best of all, thinking of him. That he was not with them gave him no regrets; his love was too great for that. That their youth was soon to give place to the soberer experiences of life, gave him no pang of fear for them. Reading their letters, the Colonel was filled with quiet contentment; their future he could trust to the care of that Guiding Hand to whom he had entrusted his boy in childhood's earliest days.