thousand acres, for two-thirds its real value, from
that enthusiastic sportsman Lord Peu de Cervelle,
whose family had come in with the Conqueror,
and gone out with George IV. So, at least, they
always said; but it was remarkable that their
name could never be traced farther back than the
dissolution of the monasteries : and calumnious
Dryasdusts would sometimes insolently father
their title on James I. and one of his batches of
bought peerages. But let the dead bury their
dead. There was now a new lord in Minchamp-
stead ; and every country Caliban was finding, to
his disgust, that he had "got a new master," and
must perforce "be a new man." Oh! how the
squires swore and the farmers chuckled, when the
"Parvenu" sold the Minchampstead hounds, and
celebrated his ist of September by exterminating
every hare and pheasant on the estate ! How the
farmers swore and the laborers chuckled when he
took all the cottages into his own hands and
rebuilt them, set up a first-rate industrial school,
gave every man a pig and a garden, and broke up
all the commons " to thin the labor-market. " Oh,
how the laborers swore and the farmers chuckled,
when he put up steam-engines on all his farms,
refused to give away a farthing in alms, and
enforced the new Poor-law to the very letter.
How the country tradesmen swore, when he called
Vogue la Galere 99
them "a pack of dilatory jobbers," and announced
his intention of employing only London workmen
for his improvements. Oh ! how they all swore
together (behind his back, of course, for his
dinners were worth eating), and the very ladies
said naughty words, when the stern political
economist proclaimed at his own table that "he
had bought Minchampstead for merely commer-
cial purposes, as a profitable investment of capital,
and he would see that, whatever else it did, it
But the new lord heard of all the hard words
with a quiet self-possessed smile. He had formed
his narrow theory of the universe, and he was
methodically and conscientiously carrying it out.
True, too often, like poor Keats 's merchant
" Half-ignorant, he turned an easy wheel,
Which set sharp racks at work to pinch and peel."
But of the harm which he did he was uncon-
scious; in the good which he did he was consis-
tent and indefatigable; infinitely superior, with
all his defects, to the ignorant, extravagant do-
nothing Squire Lavingtons around him. At
heart, however Mammoth-blinded, he was kindly
and upright. A man of a stately presence; a
broad, honest north-country face; a high square
forehead, bland and unwrinkled. I sketch him
here once for all, because I have no part for him
after this scene in my corps de ballet.
Lord Minchampstead had many reasons for
patronizing Lancelot. In the first place, he had
a true eye for a strong man wherever he met him ;
in the next place, Lancelot's uncle, the banker,
was a stanch Whig ally of his in the House. " In
the rotten-borough times, Mr. Smith," he once
said to Lancelot, " we could have made a senator
of you at once; but, for the sake of finality, we
were forced to relinquish that organ of influence.
The Tories had abused it, really, a little too far;
and now we can only make a commissioner of you
which, after all, is a more useful post, and a
more lucrative one." But Lancelot had not as
yet "Galliolized," as the Irish schoolmaster used
to call it, and cared very little to play a political
The first thing which caught his eyes as he
entered the drawing-room before dinner was
Argemone listening in absorbed reverence to her
favorite vicar, a stern, prim, close-shaven, dys-
peptic man, with a meek, cold smile, which might
have become a cruel one. He watched and
watched in vain, hoping to catch her eye; but
no there she stood, and talked and listened
"Ah," said Bracebridge, smiling, "it is in
vain, Smith ! When did you know a woman
leave the Church for one of us poor laymen?"
" Good heavens ! " said Lancelot, impatiently,
"why will they make such fools of themselves with
"They are quite right. They always like the
strong men the fighters and the workers. In
Voltaire's time they all ran after the philosophers.
In the middle ages, books tell us, they worshipped
the knights errant. They are always on the win-
ning side, the cunning little beauties. In the war-
time, when the soldiers had to play the world's
game, the ladies all caught the red-coat fever;
now, in these talking and thinking days (and be
Vogue la Galere 101
hanged to them for bores), they have the black-
coat fever for the same reason. The parsons are
the workers nowadays or rather, all the world
expects them to be so. They have the game in
their own hands, If they did but know how to
Lancelot stood still, sulking over many thoughts.
The colonel lounged across the room towards Lord
Vieuxbois, a quiet, truly high-bred young man,
with a sweet open countenance, and an ample
forehead, whose size would have vouched for great
talents, had not the promise been contradicted by
the weakness of the over-delicate mouth and chin.
" Who is that with whom you came into the
room, Bracebridge ? " asked Lord Vieuxbois. " I
am sure I know his face."
"Lancelot Smith, the man who has taken the
shooting-box at Lower Whitford."
" Oh, I remember him well enough at Cam-
bridge ! He was one of a set who tried to look
like blackguards, and really succeeded tolerably.
They used to eschew gloves, and drink nothing
but beer, and smoke disgusting short pipes ; and
when we established the Coverley Club in Trinity,
they set up an opposition, and called themselves
the Navvies. And they used to make piratical ex-
peditions down to Lynn in eight oars, to attack
bargemen, and fen girls, and shoot ducks, and
sleep under turf-stacks, and come home when they
had drank all the public-house taps dry. I re-
member the man perfectly."
" Navvy or none," said the colonel, " he has just
the longest head and the noblest heart of any man
I ever met. If he does not distinguish himself be-
fore he dies, I know nothing of human nature."
u Ah yes, I believe he is clever enough ! took
a good degree, a better one than I did but hor-
ribly eclectic; full of mesmerism, and German
metaphysics, and all that sort of thing. I heard
of him one night last spring, on which he had been
seen, if you will believe it, going successively into
a Swedenborgian chapel, the Garrick's Head, and
one of Elliotson's magnetic soirees. What can you
expect after that? "
" A great deal," said Bracebridge, drily. " With
such a head as he carries on his shoulders the man
might be another Mirabeau, if he held the right
cards in the right rubber. And he really ought to
suit you, for he raves about the middle ages, and
chivalry, and has edited a book full of old ballads."
"Oh, all the eclectics do that sort of thing;
and small thanks to them. However, I will speak
to him after dinner, and see what there is in
And Lord Vieuxbois turned away, and, alas
for Lancelot! sat next to Argemone at dinner.
Lancelot, who was cross with everybody for what
was nobody's fault, revenged himself all dinner-
time by never speaking a word to his next neigh-
bor, Miss Newbroom, who was longing with all
her heart to talk sentiment to him about the Exhi-
bition; and when Argemone, in the midst of a
brilliant word-skirmish with Lord Vieuxbois, stole
a glance at him, he chose to fancy that they were
both talking of him, and looked more cross than
After the ladies retired, Lancelot, in his sulky
way, made up his mind that the conversation was
going to be ineffably stupid ; and set to to dream,
sip claret, and count the minutes till he found
Vogue la Gal ere 103
himself in the drawing-room with Argemone. But
he soon discovered, as I suppose we all have, that
" it never rains but it pours," and that one cannot
fall in with a new fact or a new acquaintance but
next day twenty fresh things shall spring up as if
by magic, throwing unexpected light on one's new
phenomenon. Lancelot's head was full of the
condition-of-the-poor question, and lo ! everybody
seemed destined to talk about it.
" Well, Lord Vieuxbois," said the host, casually,
" my girls are raving about your new school.
They say it is a perfect antiquarian gem."
"Yes, tolerable, I believe. But Wales has
disappointed me a little. That vile modernist
naturalism is creeping back even into our painted
glass. I could have wished that the artist's designs
for the windows had been a little more Catholic."
"How then?" asked the host, with a puzzled
"Oh, he means," said Bracebridge, "that the
figures' wrists and ankles were not sufficiently dis-
located, and the patron saint did not look quite
like a starved rabbit with its neck wrung. Some
of the faces, I am sorry to say, were positively like
good-looking men and women."
" Oh, I understand," said Lord Minchampstead ;
" Bracebridge's tongue is privileged, you know,
Lord Vieuxbois, so you must not be angry."
" I don't see my way into all this," said Squire
Lavington ( which was very likely to be true, con-
sidering that he never looked for his way). "I
don't see how all these painted windows, and
crosses, and chanting, and the deuce and the Pope
only know what else, are to make boys any
1 04 Yeast
"We have it on the highest authority," said
Vieuxbois, " that pictures and music are the books
of the unlearned. I do not think that we have any
right in the nineteenth century to contest an
opinion which the fathers of the Church gave in
" At all events," said Lancelot, " it is by pictures
and music, by art and song, and symbolic repre-
sentations, that all nations have been educated in
their adolescence ! and as the youth of the individ-
ual is exactly analogous to the youth of the col-
lective race, we should employ the same means of
instruction with our children which succeeded in
the early ages with the whole world."
Lancelot might as well have held his tongue
nobody understood him but Vieuxbois, and he
had been taught to scent German neology in
everything, as some folks are taught to scent
Jesuitry, especially when it involved an inductive
law, and not a mere red-tape precedent, and,
therefore, could not see that Lancelot was arguing
"All very fine, Smith," said the Squire; " it's a
pity you won't leave off puzzling your head with
books, and stick to fox-hunting. All you young
gentlemen will do is to turn the heads of the poor
with your cursed education." The national oath
followed, of course. "Pictures and chanting!
Why, when I was a boy, a good honest laboring
man wanted to see nothing better than a half-penny
ballad, with a wood-cut at the top, and they worked
very well then, and wanted for nothing."
" Oh, we shall give them the half-penny ballads
in time ! " said Vieuxbois, smiling.
"You will do a very good deed, then," said mine
Vogue la Galere 105
host. "But I am sorry to say that, as far as I can
find from my agents, when the upper classes write
cheap publications, the lower classes will not read
" Too true," said Vieuxbois.
"Is not the cause," asked Lancelot, "just that
the upper classes do write them? "
" The writings of working men, certainly," said
Lord Minchampstead, "have an enormous sale
among their own class."
"Just because they express the feelings of that
class, of which I am beginning to fear that we
know very little. Look again, what a noble liter-
ature of people's songs and hymns Germany has.
Some of Lord Vieuxbois's friends, I know, are busy
translating many of them."
" As many of them, that is to say," said Vieux-
bois, " as are compatible with a real Church spirit."
"Be it so; but who wrote them? Not the Ger-
man aristocracy for the people, but the German
people for themselves. There is the secret of their
power. Why not educate the people up to such
a standard that they should be able to write their
own literature ? "
"What," said Mr. Chalklands, of Chalklands,
who sat opposite, " would you have working men
turn ballad writers? There would be an end of
work, then, I think."
"I have not heard," said Lancelot, "that the
young women ladies, I ought to say, if the word
mean anything who wrote the ' Lowell Offering^'
spun less or worse cotton than their neighbors."
" On the contrary," said Lord Minchampstead,
"we have the most noble accounts of heroic
industry and self-sacrifice in girls whose education,
F Vol. V
1 06 Yeast
to judge by its fruits, might shame that of most
English young ladies."
Mr. Chalklands expressed certain confused
notions that, in America, factory girls carried
green silk parasols, put the legs of pianos into
trousers, and were too prudish to make a shirt, or
to call it a shirt after it was made, he did not quite
" It is a great pity," said Lord Minchampstead,
" that our factory girls are not in the same state of
civilization. But it is socially impossible. America
is in an abnormal state. In a young country the
laws of political economy do not make themselves
fully felt. Here, where we have no uncleared world
to drain the labor-market, we may pity and allevi-
ate the condition of the working-classes, but we can
do nothing more. All the modern schemes for
the amelioration which ignore the laws of competi-
tion must end either in pauperization " (with a
glance at Lord Vieuxbois), " or in the destruc-
tion of property."
Lancelot said nothing, but thought the more. It
did strike him at the moment that the few might,
possibly, be made for the many, and not the many
for the few ; and that property was made for man,
not man for property. But he contented himself
with asking :
" You think, then, my lord, that in the present
state of society, no dead-lift can be given to the
condition in plain English, the wages of work-
ing men, without the destruction of property?"
Lord Minchampstead smiled, and parried the
" There may be other dead-lift ameliorations, my
young friend, besides a dead-lift of wages."
Vogue la Galere 107
So Lancelot thought, also; but Lord Min-
champstead would have been a little startled could
he have seen Lancelot's notion of a dead-lift.
Lord Minchampstead was thinking of cheap bread
and sugar. Do you think that I will tell you of
what Lancelot was thinking?
i But here Vieuxbois spurred in to break a last
lance. He had been very much disgusted with
the turn the conversation was taking, for he con-
sidered nothing more heterodox than the notion
that the poor were to educate themselves. In his
scheme, of course the clergy and the gentry were
to educate the poor, who were to take down thank-
fully as much as it was thought proper to give
them : and all beyond was " self-will " and " private
judgment," the fathers of Dissent and Chartism,
Trades'-union strikes, and French Revolutions,
et si qua alia.
" And pray, Mr. Smith, may I ask what limit
you would put to education ? "
" The capacities of each man," said Lancelot
" If man living in civilized society has one right
which he can demand it is this, that the State
which exists by his labor shall enable him to
develop, or, at least, not hinder his developing,
his whole faculties to their very utmost, however
lofty that may be. While a man who might be an
author remains a spade-drudge, or a journeyman
while he has capacities for a master; while any
man able to rise in life remains by social circum-
stances lower than he is willing to place himself,
that man has a right to complain of the State's
injustice and neglect."
" Really, I do not see," said Vieuxbois, " why
people should wish to rise in life. They had no
such self-willed fancy in the good old times. The
whole notion is a product of these modern
He would have said more, but he luckily remem-
bered at whose table he was sitting.
" I think, honestly," said Lancelot, whose blood
was up, " that we gentlemen all run into the same
fallacy. We fancy ourselves the fixed and neces-
sary element in society, to which all others are to
accommodate themselves. ' Given the rights of the
few rich, to find the condition of the many poor.'
It seems to me that other postulate is quite as
fair : ' Given the rights of the many poor, to find
the condition of the few rich.' "
Lord Minchampstead laughed.
" If you hit us so hard, Mr. Smith, I must really
denounce you as a Communist. Lord Vieuxbois,
shall we join the ladies? "
In the drawing-room, poor Lancelot, after
rejecting overtures of fraternity from several
young ladies, set himself steadily again against
the wall to sulk and watch Argemone. But this
time she spied in a few minutes his melancholy,
moonstruck face, swam up to him, and said some-
thing kind and commonplace. She spoke in the
simplicity of her heart, but he chose to think she
was patronizing him she had not talked com-
monplaces to the vicar. He tried to say some-
thing smart and cutting, stuttered, broke down,
blushed, and shrank back again to the wall,
fancying that every eye in the room was on him ;
and for one moment a flash of sheer hatred to
Argemone swept through him.
Was Argemone patronizing him? Of course
she was. True, she was but three-and -twenty,
Vogue la Galere 109
and he was of the same age ; but, spiritually and
socially, the girl develops ten years earlier than
the boy. She was flattered and worshipped by
gray-headed men, and in her simplicity she
thought it a noble self-sacrifice to stoop to notice
the poor awkward youth. And yet if he could
have seen the pure moonlight of sisterly pity
which filled all her heart as she retreated, with
something of a blush and something of a sigh,
and her heart fluttered and fell, would he have
been content? Not he. It was her love he
wanted, and not her pity; it was to conquer her
and possess her, and inform himself with her
image, and her with his own; though as yet he
did not know it; though the moment that she
turned away he cursed himself for selfish vanity,
and moroseness and conceit.
" Who am I to demand her all to myself ? Her,
the glorious, the saintly, the unfallen ! Is not a
look, a word, infinitely more than I deserve?
And yet, I pretend to admire tales of chivalry!
Old knightly hearts would have fought and wan-
dered for years to earn a tithe of the favors which
have been bestowed on me unasked. "
Peace ! poor Lancelot ! Thy egg is by no
means addle ; but the chick is breaking the shell
in somewhat a cross-grained fashion.
THE DRIVE HOME, AND WHAT CAME OF IT
NOW it was not extraordinary that Squire
Lavington had "assimilated" a couple of
bottles of Carbonel's best port; for however
abstemious the new lord himself might be, he
felt for the habits, and for the vote of an old-
fashioned Whig squire. Nor was it extraordi-
nary that he fell fast asleep the moment he got
into the carriage; nor, again, that his wife and
daughters were not solicitous about waking him ;
nor, on the other hand, that the coachman and
footman, who were like all the squire's servants,
of the good old sort, honest, faithful, boozing,
extravagant, happy-go-lucky souls, who had " been
about the place these forty years," were somewhat
owlish and unsteady on the box. Nor was it
extraordinary that there was a heavy storm of
lightning, for that happened three times a-week
in the chalk hills the summer through ; nor,
again, that under these circumstances the horses,
who were of the squire's own breeding, and never
thoroughly broke (nothing was done thoroughly
at Whitford), went rather wildly home, and that
the carriage swung alarmingly down the steep
hills, and the boughs brushed the windows rather
too often. But it was extraordinary that Mrs.
The Drive Home in
Lavington had cast off her usual primness, and
seemed to-night, for the first time in her life, in
an exuberant good humor, which she evinced by
snubbing her usual favorite Honoria, and lavish-
ing caresses on Argemone, whose vagaries she
usually regarded with a sort of puzzled terror,
like a hen who has hatched a duckling.
" Honoria, take your feet off my dress. Arge-
mone, my child, I hope you spent a pleasant
evening ? "
Argemone answered by some tossy common-
A pause and then Mrs. Lavington recom-
"How very pleasing that poor young Lord
Vieuxbois is, after all ! "
"I thought you disliked him so much."
"His opinions, my child; but we must hope
for the best. He seems moral and well in-
clined, and really desirous of doing good in his
way; and so successful in the House, too, I
"To me," said Argemone, "he seems to want
life, originality, depth, everything that makes a
great man. He knows nothing but what he has
picked up ready-made from books. After all,
his opinions are the one redeeming point in
"Ah, my dear, when it pleases Heaven to open
your eyes, you will see as I do ! "
Poor Mrs. Lavington ! Unconscious spokes-
woman for the ninety-nine hundredths of the
human race ! What are we all doing from morn-
ing to night, but setting up our own fancies
as the measure of all heaven and earth, and say-
ing, each in his own dialect, Whig, Radical, or
Tory, Papist or Protestant, "When it pleases
Heaven to open your eyes you will see as I
"It is a great pity," went oi\ Mrs. Lavington,
meditatively, " to see a young man so benighted
and thrown away. With his vast fortune, too
such a means of good ! Really we ought to have
seen a little more of him. I think Mr. O' Blare-
away 's conversation might be a blessing to
him. I think of asking him over to stay a
week at Whitford, to meet that sainted young
Now Argemone did not think the Reverend
Panurgus O'Blareaway, incumbent of Lower
Whitford, at all a sainted young man, but, on
the contrary, a very vulgar, slippery Irishman;
and she had, somehow, tired of her late favor-
ite, Lord Vieuxbois; so she answered tossily
"Really, mamma, a week of Lord Vieuxbois
will be too much. We shall be bored to death
with the Cambridge Camden Society, and ballads
for the people."
"I think, my dear," said Mrs. Lavington (who
had, half unconsciously to herself, more reasons
than one for bringing the young lord to Whitford),
" I think, my dear, that his conversation, with all
its faults, will be a very improving change for
your father. I hope he's asleep."
The squire's nose answered for itself.
" Really, what between Mr. Smith, and Colonel
Bracebridge, and their very ineligible friend,
Mr. Mellot, whom I should never have allowed
to enter my house if I had suspected his religious
The Drive Home 113
views, the place has become a hot-bed of false
doctrine and heresy. I have been quite fright-
ened when I have heard their conversation at
dinner, lest the footmen should turn infidels ! "
"Perhaps, mamma," said Honoria, slyly, "Lord
Vieuxbois might convert them to something quite
as bad. How shocking if old Giles, the butler,
should turn Papist ! "
" Honoria, you are very silly. Lord Vieuxbois,
at least, can be trusted. He has no liking for low
companions. He is above joking with grooms,
and taking country walks with gamekeepers."
It was lucky that it was dark, for Honoria and
Argemone both blushed crimson.
"Your poor father's mind has been quite un-
settled by all their ribaldry. They have kept
him so continually amused, that all my efforts
to bring him to a sense of his awful state have
been more unavailing than ever."
Poor Mrs. Lavington ! She had married, at
eighteen, a man far her inferior in intellect ; and
had become as often happens in such cases a
prude and a devotee. The squire, who really
admired and respected her, confined his disgust
to sly curses at the Methodists (under which
name he used to include every species of religious
earnestness, from Quakerism to that of Mr.
Newman). Mrs. Lavington used at first to dig-
nify these disagreeables by the name of persecu-
tion, and now she was trying to convert the old
man by coldness, severity, and long curtain-
lectures, utterly unintelligible to their victim,
because couched in the peculiar conventional
phraseology of a certain school. She forgot,
poor earnest soul, that the same form of religion
which had captivated a disappointed girl of
twenty, might not be the most attractive one for
a jovial old man of sixty.
Argemone, who a fortnight before would have
chimed in with all her mother's lamentations,
now felt a little nettled and jealous. She could
not bear to hear Lancelot classed with the