Anthony Trollope.

John Caldigate online

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I. Folking
II. Puritan Grange
III. Daniel Caldigate
IV. The Shands
V. The Goldfinder
VI. Mrs. Smith
VII. The Three Attempts
VIII. Reaching Melbourne
IX. Nobble
X. Polyeuka Hall
XI. Ahalala
XII. Mademoiselle Cettini
XIII. Coming Back
XIV. Again at Home
XV. Again at Pollington
XVI. Again at Babington
XVII. Again at Puritan Grange
XVIII. Robert Bolton
XIX. Men are so wicked
XX. Hester's Courage
XXI. The Wedding
XXII. As to touching Pitch
XXIII. The New Heir
XXIV. News from the Gold Mines
XXV. The Baby's Sponsors
XXVI. A Stranger in Cambridge
XXVII. The Christening
XXVIII. Tom Crinkett at Folking
XXIX. 'Just by telling me that I am'
XXX. The Conclave at Puritan Grange
XXXI. Hester is Lured Back
XXXII. The Babington Wedding
XXXIII. Persuasion
XXXIV. Violence
XXXV. In Prison
XXXVI. The Escape
XXXVII. Again at Folking
XXXIX. Restitution
XL. Waiting for the Trial
XLI. The First Day
XLII. The Second Day
XLIII. The Last Day
XLIV. After the Verdict
XLV. The Boltons are much Troubled
XLVI. Burning Words
XLVII. Curlydown and Bagwax
XLVIII. Sir John Jorum's Chambers
XLIX. All the Shands
L. Again at Sir John's Chambers
LI. Dick Shand goes to Cambridgeshire
LII. The Fortunes of Bagwax
LIII. Sir John backs his Opinion
LIV. Judge Bramber
LV. How the Conspirators Throve.
LVI. The Boltons are very Firm
LVII. Squire Caldigate at the Home Office
LVIII. Mr. Smirkie is Ill-used
LIX. How the Big-Wigs doubted
LX. How Mrs. Bolton was nearly conquered
LXI. The News reaches Cambridge
LXII. John Caldigate's Return
LXIII. How Mrs. Bolton was quite conquered
LXIV. Conclusion

Chapter I


Perhaps it was more the fault of Daniel Caldigate the father than of his
son John Caldigate, that they two could not live together in comfort in
the days of the young man's early youth. And yet it would have been much
for both of them that such comfortable association should have been
possible to them. Wherever the fault lay, or the chief fault - for
probably there was some on both sides - the misfortune was so great as to
bring crushing troubles upon each of them.

There were but the two of which to make a household. When John was
fifteen, and had been about a year at Harrow, he lost his mother and his
two little sisters almost at a blow. The two girls went first, and the
poor mother, who had kept herself alive to see them die, followed them
almost instantly. Then Daniel Caldigate had been alone.

And he was a man who knew how to live alone, - a just, hard,
unsympathetic man, - of whom his neighbours said, with something of
implied reproach, that he bore up strangely when he lost his wife and
girls. This they said, because he was to be seen riding about the
country, and because he was to be heard talking to the farmers and
labourers as though nothing special had happened to him. It was rumoured
of him, too, that he was as constant with his books as before; and he
had been a man always constant with his books; and also that he had
never been seen to shed a tear, or been heard to speak of those who had
been taken from him.

He was, in truth, a stout, self-constraining man, silent unless when he
had something to say. Then he could become loud enough, or perhaps it
might be said, eloquent. To his wife he had been inwardly affectionate,
but outwardly almost stern. To his daughters he had been the
same, - always anxious for every good thing on their behalf, but never
able to make the children conscious of this anxiety. When they were
taken from him, he suffered in silence, as such men do suffer; and he
suffered the more because he knew well how little of gentleness there
had been in his manners with them.

But he had hoped, as he sat alone in his desolate house, that it would
be different with him and his only son, - with his son who was now the
only thing left to him. But the son was a boy, and he had to look
forward to what years might bring him rather than to present happiness
from that source. When the boy came home for his holidays, the father
would sometimes walk with him, and discourse on certain chosen
subjects, - on the politics of the day, in regard to which Mr. Caldigate
was an advanced Liberal, on the abomination of the Game Laws, on the
folly of Protection, on the antiquated absurdity of a State Church; - as
to all which matters his son John lent him a very inattentive ear. Then
the lad would escape and kill rabbits, or rats, or even take birds'
nests, with a zest for such pursuits which was disgusting to the father,
though he would not absolutely forbid them. Then John would be allured
to go to his uncle Babington's house, where there was a pony on which he
could hunt, and fishing-rods, and a lake with a boat, and three fine
bouncing girl-cousins, who made much of him, and called him Jack; so
that he soon preferred his uncle Babington's house, and would spend much
of his holidays at Babington House.

Mr. Caldigate was a country squire with a moderate income, living in a
moderate house called Folking, in the parish of Utterden, about ten
miles from Cambridge. Here he owned nearly the entire parish, and some
portion of Netherden, which lay next to it, having the reputation of an
income of £3,000 a-year. It probably amounted to about two-thirds of
that. Early in life he had been a very poor man, owing to the
improvidence of his father; but he had soon quarrelled with his
father, - as he had with almost everyone else, - and had for some ten
years earned his own bread in the metropolis among the magazines and
newspapers. Then, when his father died, the property was his own, with
such encumbrances as the old squire had been able to impose upon it.
Daniel Caldigate had married when he was a poor man, but did not go to
Folking to live till the estate was clear, at which time he was forty
years old. When he was endeavouring to inculcate good Liberal principles
into that son of his, who was burning the while to get off to a battle
of rats among the corn-stacks, he was not yet fifty. There might
therefore be some time left to him for the promised joys of
companionship if he could only convince the boy that politics were
better than rats.

But he did not long make himself any such promise. It seemed to him that
his son's mind was of a nature very different from his own; and much
like to that of his grandfather. The lad could be awakened to no
enthusiasm in the abuse of Conservative leaders. And those Babingtons
were such fools! He despised the whole race of them, - especially those
thick-legged, romping, cherry-cheeked damsels, of whom, no doubt, his
son would marry one. They were all of the earth earthy, without an idea
among them. And yet he did not dare to forbid his son to go to the
house, lest people should say of him that his sternness was unendurable.

Folking is not a place having many attractions of its own, beyond the
rats. It lies in the middle of the Cambridgeshire fens, between St.
Ives, Cambridge, and Ely. In the two parishes of Utterden and Netherden
there is no rise of ground which can by any stretch of complaisance be
called a hill. The property is bisected by an immense straight dike,
which is called the Middle Wash, and which is so sluggish, so straight,
so ugly, and so deep, as to impress the mind of a stranger with the
ideas of suicide. And there are straight roads and straight dikes, with
ugly names on all sides, and passages through the country called droves,
also with ugly appellations of their own, which certainly are not worthy
of the name of roads. The Folking Causeway possesses a bridge across the
Wash, and is said to be the remains of an old Roman Way which ran in a
perfectly direct line from St. Neots to Ely. When you have crossed the
bridge going northward, - or north-westward, - there is a lodge at your
right hand, and a private road running, as straight as a line can be
drawn, through pollard poplars, up to Mr. Caldigate's house. Round the
house there are meadows, and a large old-fashioned kitchen garden, and a
small dark flower-garden, with clipt hedges and straight walks, quite in
the old fashion. The house itself is dark, picturesque, well-built, low,
and uncomfortable. Part of it is as old as the time of Charles II., and
part dates from Queen Anne. Something was added at a later
date, - perhaps early in the Georges; but it was all done with good
materials, and no stint of labour. Shoddy had not been received among
building materials when any portion of Folking was erected. But then
neither had modern ideas of comfort become in vogue. Just behind the
kitchen-garden a great cross ditch, called Foul-water Drain, runs, or
rather creeps, down to the Wash, looking on that side as though it had
been made to act as a moat to the house; and on the other side of the
drain there is Twopenny Drove, at the end of which Twopenny Ferry leads
to Twopenny Hall, a farmhouse across the Wash belonging to Mr.
Caldigate. The fields around are all square and all flat, all mostly
arable, and are often so deep in mud that a stranger wonders that a
plough should be able to be dragged through the soil. The farming is,
however, good of its kind, and the ploughing is mostly done by steam.

Such is and has been for some years the house at Folking in which Mr.
Caldigate has lived quite alone. For five years after his wife's death
he had only on rare occasions received visitors there. Twice his brother
had come to Folking, and had brought a son with him. The brother had
been a fellow of a college at Cambridge, and had taken a living, and
married late in life. The living was far away in Dorsetshire, and the
son, at the time of these visits, was being educated at a private
school. Twice they had both been at Folking together, and the uncle had,
in his silent way, liked the boy. The lad had preferred, or had
pretended to prefer, books to rats; had understood or seemed to
understand, something of the advantages of cheap food for the people,
and had been commended by the father for general good conduct. But when
they had last taken their departure from Folking, no one had entertained
any idea of any peculiar relations between the nephew and the uncle. It
was not till a year or two more had run by, that Mr. Daniel Caldigate
thought of making his nephew George the heir to the property.

The property indeed was entailed upon John, as it had been entailed upon
John's father. There were many institutions of his country which Mr.
Caldigate hated with almost an inhuman hatred; but there were none more
odious to him than that of entails, which institution he was wont to
prove by many arguments to be the source of all the ignorance and all
the poverty and all the troubles by which his country was inflicted. He
had got his own property by an entail, and certainly never would have
had an acre had his father been able to consume more than a
life-interest. But he had denied that the property had done him any
good, and was loud in declaring that the entail had done the property
and those who lived on it very much harm. In his hearts of hearts he did
feel a desire that when he was gone the acres should still belong to a
Caldigate. There was so much in him of the leaven of the old English
squirarchic aristocracy as to create a pride in the fact that the
Caldigates had been at Folking for three hundred years, and a wish that
they might remain there; and no doubt he knew that without repeated
entails they would not have remained there. But still he had hated the
thing, and as years rolled on he came to think that the entail now
existing would do an especial evil.

His son on leaving school spent almost the whole four months between
that time and the beginning of his first term at Cambridge with the
Babingtons. This period included the month of September, and afforded
therefore much partridge shooting, - than which nothing was meaner in the
opinion of the Squire of Folking. When a short visit was made to
Folking, the father was sarcastic and disagreeable; and then, for the
first time, John Caldigate showed himself to be possessed of a power of
reply which was peculiarly disagreeable to the old man. This had the
effect of cutting down the intended allowance of £250 to £220 per annum,
for which sum the father had been told that his son could live like a
gentleman at the University. This parsimony so disgusted uncle
Babington, who lived on the other side of the county, within the borders
of Suffolk, that he insisted on giving his nephew a hunter, and an
undertaking to bear the expense of the animal as long as John should
remain at the University. No arrangement could have been more foolish.
And that last visit made by John to Babington House for the two days
previous to his Cambridge career was in itself most indiscreet. The
angry father would not take upon himself to forbid it, but was worked up
by it to perilous jealousy. He did not scruple to declare aloud that old
Humphrey Babington was a thick-headed fool; nor did Humphrey Babington,
who, with his ten or twelve thousand a-year, was considerably involved,
scruple to say that he hated such cheese-paring ways. John Caldigate
felt more distaste to the cheese-paring ways than he did to his uncle's
want of literature.

Such was the beginning of the rupture which took place before the time
had come for John to take his degree. When that time came he had a
couple of hunters at Cambridge, played in the Cambridge eleven, and
rowed in one of the Trinity boats. He also owed something over £800 to
the regular tradesmen of the University, and a good deal more to other
creditors who were not 'regular.' During the whole of this time his
visits to Folking had been short and few. The old squire had become more
and more angry, and not the less so because he was sensible of a
non-performance of duty on his own part. Though he was close to
Cambridge he never went to see his son; nor would he even press the lad
to come out to Folking. Nor when, on rare occasions, a visit was made,
did he endeavour to make the house pleasant. He was jealous, jealous to
hot anger, at being neglected, but could not bring himself to make
advances to his own son. Then when he heard from his son's tutor that
his son could not pass his degree without the payment of £800 for
recognised debts, - then his anger boiled over, and he told John
Caldigate that he was expelled from his father's heart and his father's

The money was paid and the degree was taken: and there arose the
question as to what was to be done. John, of course, took himself to
Babington House, and was condoled with by his uncle and cousins. His
troubles at this time were numerous enough. That £800 by no means summed
up his whole indebtedness; - covered indeed but a small part of it. He
had been at Newmarket; and there was a pleasant gentleman, named Davis,
who frequented that place and Cambridge, who had been very civil to him
when he lost a little money, and who now held his acceptances for, alas!
much more than £800. Even uncle Babington knew nothing of this when the
degree was taken. And then there came a terrible blow to him. Aunt
Babington, - aunt Polly as she was called, - got him into her own closet
upstairs, where she kept her linen and her jams and favourite liqueurs,
and told him that his cousin Julia was dying in love for him. After all
that had passed, of course it was expected he would engage himself to
his cousin Julia. Now Julia was the eldest, the thickest-ankled, and the
cherry-cheekedest of the lot. To him up to that time the Babington folk
had always been a unit. No one else had been so good-natured to him, had
so petted him, and so freely administered to all his wants. He would
kiss them all round whenever he went to Babington; but he had not kissed
Julia more than her sisters. There were three sons, whom he never
specially liked, and who certainly were fools. One was the heir, and, of
course, did nothing; the second was struggling for a degree at Oxford
with an eye to the family living; the third was in a fair way to become
the family gamekeeper. He certainly did not wish to marry into the
family; - and yet they had all been so kind to him!

'I should have nothing to marry on, aunt Polly,' he said.

Then he was reminded that he was his father's heir, and that his
father's house was sadly in want of a mistress. They could live at
Babington till Folking should be ready. The prospect was awful!

What is a young man to say in such a position? 'I do not love the young
lady after that fashion, and therefore I must decline.' It requires a
hero, and a cold-blooded hero, to do that. And aunt Polly was very much
in earnest, for she brought Julia into the room, and absolutely
delivered her up into the young man's arms.

'I am so much in debt,' he said, 'that I don't care to think of it.'

Aunt Polly declared that such debts did not signify in the least.
Folking was not embarrassed. Folking did not owe a shilling. Every one
knew that. And there was Julia in his arms! He never said that he would
marry her; but when he left the linen-closet the two ladies understood
that the thing was arranged.

Luckily for him aunt Polly had postponed this scene till the moment
before his departure from the house. He was at this time going to
Cambridge, where he was to be the guest, for one night, of a certain Mr.
Bolton, who was one of the very few friends to whom his father was still
attached. Mr. Bolton was a banker, living close to Cambridge, an old man
now, with four sons and one daughter; and to his house John Caldigate
was going in order that he might there discuss with Mr. Bolton certain
propositions which had been made between him and his father respecting
the Folking property. The father had now realised the idea of buying his
son out; and John himself, who had all the world and all his life before
him, and was terribly conscious of the obligations which he owed to his
friend Davis, had got into his head a notion that he would prefer to
face his fortune with a sum of ready money, than to wait in absolute
poverty for the reversion of the family estate. He had his own ideas,
and in furtherance of them he had made certain inquiries. There was gold
being found at this moment among the mountains of New South Wales, in
quantities which captivated his imagination. And this was being done in
a most lovely spot, among circumstances which were in all respects
romantic. His friend, Richard Shand, who was also a Trinity man, was
quite resolved to go out, and he was minded to accompany his friend. In
this way, and, as he thought, in this way only, could a final settlement
be made with that most assiduous of attendants, Mr. Davis. His mind was
fully set upon New South Wales, and his little interview with his
cousin Julia did not tend to bind him more closely to his own country,
or to Babington, or to Folking.

Chapter II

Puritan Grange

Perhaps there had been a little treachery on the part of Mr. Davis, for
he had, in a gently insinuating way, made known to the Squire the fact
of those acceptances, and the additional fact that he was, through
unforeseen circumstances, lamentably in want of ready money. The Squire
became eloquent, and assured Mr. Davis that he would not pay a penny to
save either Mr. Davis or his son from instant imprisonment, - or even
from absolute starvation. Then Mr. Davis shrugged his shoulders, and
whispered the word, 'Post-obits.' The Squire, thereupon threatened to
kick him out of the house, and, on the next day, paid a visit to his
friend Mr. Bolton. There had, after that, been a long correspondence
between the father, the son, and Mr. Bolton, as to which John Caldigate
said not a word to the Babingtons. Had he been more communicative, he
might have perhaps saved himself from that scene in the linen-closet. As
it was, when he started for Cambridge, nothing was known at Babington
either of Mr. Davis or of the New South Wales scheme.

Mr. Bolton lived in a large red-brick house, in the village of
Chesterton, near to Cambridge, which, with a large garden, was
surrounded by an old, high, dark-coloured brick-wall. He rarely saw any
company; and there were probably not many of the more recently imported
inhabitants of the town who had ever been inside the elaborate iron
gates by which the place was to be approached. He had been a banker all
his life, and was still reported to be the senior partner in Bolton's
bank. But the management of the concern had, in truth, been given up to
his two elder sons. His third son was a barrister in London, and a
fourth was settled in Cambridge as a solicitor. These men were all
married, and were doing well in the world, living in houses better than
their father's, and spending a great deal more money. Mr. Bolton had the
name of being a hard man, because, having begun life in small
circumstances, he had never learned to chuck his shillings about easily;
but he had, in a most liberal manner, made over the bulk of his fortune
to his sons; and though he himself could rarely be got to sit at their
tables, he took delight in hearing that they lived bounteously with
their friends. He had been twice married, and there now lived with him
his second wife and a daughter, Hester, - a girl about sixteen years of
age at the period of John Caldigate's visit to Puritan Grange, as Mr.
Bolton's house was called. At this time Puritan Grange was not badly
named; for Mrs. Bolton was a lady of stern life, and Hester Bolton was
brought up with more of seclusion and religious observances than are now
common in our houses.

Mr. Bolton was probably ten years older than the Squire of Folking; but
circumstances had, in early life, made them fast friends. The old Squire
had owed a large sum of money to the bank, and Mr. Bolton had then been
attracted by the manner in which the son had set himself to work, so
that he might not be a burden on the estate. They had been fast friends
for a quarter of a century, and now the arrangement of terms between the
present Squire and his son had been left to Mr. Bolton.

Mr. Bolton had, no doubt, received a very unfavourable account of the
young man. Men, such as was Mr. Bolton, who make their money by lending
it out at recognised rates of interest, - and who are generally very keen
in looking after their principal, - have no mercy whatsoever for the
Davises of creation, and very little for their customers. To have had
dealings with a Davis is condemnation in their eyes. Mr. Bolton would
not, therefore, have opened his gates to this spendthrift had not his
feelings for the father been very strong. He had thought much upon the
matter, and had tried hard to dissuade the Squire. He, the banker, was
not particularly attached to the theory of primogeniture. He had divided
his wealth equally between his own sons. But he had a strong idea as to
property and its rights. The young man's claim to Folking after his
father's death was as valid as the father's claim during his life. No
doubt, the severance of the entail, if made at all, would be made in
accordance with the young man's wishes, and on certain terms which
should be declared to be just by persons able to compute the value of
such rights. No doubt, also, - so Mr. Bolton thought, - the property would
be utterly squandered if left in its present condition. It would be
ruined by incumbrances in the shape of post-obits. All this had been
deeply considered, and at last Mr. Bolton had consented to act between
the father and the son.

When John Caldigate was driven up through the iron gates to Mr. Bolton's
door, his mind was not quite at ease within him. He had seen Mr. Bolton on
two or three occasions during his University career, and had called at
the house; but he had never entered it, and had never seen the ladies;
and now it was necessary that he should discuss his own follies, and own
all his faults. Of course, that which he was going to do would, in the
eyes of the British world, be considered very unwise. The British world
regards the position of heirship to acres as the most desirable which a
young man could hold. That he was about to abandon. But, as he told
himself, without abandoning it he could not rid himself from the horror
of Davis. He was quite prepared to acknowledge his own vice and

Online LibraryAnthony TrollopeJohn Caldigate → online text (page 1 of 46)