Albinia, and Mr. Ferrars looked more happy and joyous than any time
since his wife's health had begun to fail. Always cheerful, and
almost always taking matters up in the most lively point of view, it
was only by comparison that want of spirits in him could be detected;
and it was chiefly by the vanishing of a certain careworn, anxious
expression about his eyes, and by the ring of his merry laugh, that
Albinia knew that he thought better of his wife's state than for the
last five or six years.
Albinia and Ulick drove off at six o'clock on a lovely summer Sunday
morning, with Maurice between them in a royal state of felicity.
That long fresh drive, past summer hay-fields sleeping in their
silver bath of dew, and villages tardily awakening to the well-earned
Sunday rest, was not the least pleasant part of the day; and yet it
was completely happy, not even clouded by one outbreak of Master
Maurice. Luckily for him, Mary had a small class, who absorbed her
superabundant love of rule; and little Alby was a fair-haired,
apple-cheeked maiden of five, who awoke both admiration and chivalry,
and managed to coquet with him and Ulick both at once, so that Willie
had no disrespect to his sisters to resent.
He was exemplary at church, well-behaved at dinner, and so little on
his mamma's mind, that she had a delightful renewal of her
acquaintance with the Sunday-school, and a leisurable gossip with
Mrs. Reid and the two Miss Reids, collectively and individually; but
the best of all was a long quiet tete-a-tete with Winifred.
After the evening service, Mr. Ferrars himself carried his newly-christened
boy back to the mother, and paused that his sister might come with him,
and they might feel like the old times, when the three had been alone
'Yes,' said Winifred, when he had left them, 'it is very pretty
playing at it; but one cannot be the same.'
'Nor would one exactly wish it,' said Albinia; 'though I think you
are going to be more the same.'
'Perhaps,' said Winifred; 'the worst of being ill is that it does
wear one's husband so! When he came in, and tried to make me fancy
we were gone back to Willie's time, I could not help thinking how
different you both looked.'
'Well, so much the better and more respectable,' said Albinia. 'You
know I always wanted to grow old; I don't want to stop short like
your sister Anne, who looks as much the child of the house as ever.
'I wish you had as few cares as Anne. Look; I declare that's a grey
'I know. I like it; now Sophy is growing young, and I'm growing old,
it is all correct.'
'Old, indeed!' ejaculated Winifred, looking at her fair fresh
complexion and bright features; 'don't try for that, when even Edmund
is not grey.'
'Yes he is,' said Albinia, gravely; 'Malta sowed many white threads
in his black head, and worry about those buildings has brought more.'
'Worry; I'm very sorry to hear of it.'
'Yes; the tenures are so troublesome, and everybody is so
cantankerous. If he wanted to set up some pernicious manufacture, it
could not be worse! The Osbornes, after having lived with Tibb's
Alley close to them all their lives, object to the almshouses! Mr.
Baron wont have the new drains carried through his little strip of
land. The Town Council think we are going to poison the water; and
Pettilove, and everybody else who owns a wretched tenement, that we
shall increase the wants of their tenants, and lower their rents. If
it be carried through, it will be by that sheer force in going his
own way that Edmund can exert when he chooses.'
'And he will?'
'O, yes, no fear of that; he goes on, avoiding seeing or hearing what
he has not to act upon; but worse than all are the people themselves;
Tibb's Alley all has notice to quit, but none of them can be got rid
of till Martinmas, and some not till Lady-day, and the beer-house
people are in such a rage! The turn-out of the public-houses come
and roar at our gate on Saturday nights; and they write up things on
the wall against him! and one day they threw over into the garden
what little Awkey called a poor dear dead pussy. I believe they tell
them all sorts of absurd things about his tyranny; poor creatures.'
'Can't you get it stopped?'
'Edmund wont summon any one, because he thinks it would do more harm
than good. He says it will pass off; but it grieves him more than he
shows: he thinks he could once have made himself more popular: but I
don't know, it is a horrid set.'
'I thought you said he was in good spirits.'
'And so he is: he never gets depressed and unwilling to be spoken to.
He is ready to take interest in everything; and always so busy! When
I remember how he never seemed to be obliged to attend to anything, I
laugh at the contrast; and yet he goes about it all so gravely and
slowly, that it never seems like a change.'
In this and other home talk nearly an hour had passed, when Mr.
Ferrars returned. 'Are you come to tell me to go?' said Albinia.
'Not particularly,' he said, in a tone that made her laugh.
'No, no,' said Winifred. 'I want a great deal more of her. Where
have you been?'
'I have been to see old Wilks; Ulick walked down with me. By-the-bye,
Albinia, what nonsense has Fred's wife been talking to his brother?'
'Emily does not talk nonsense!' fired up Albinia, colouring,
'The worse for her, then! However, it seems Bryan has disturbed this
poor fellow very much, by congratulating him on his prospects at
'Oh! that is what made him so distant and cautious, is it?' laughed
Albinia. 'I think Mrs. Emily might as well not have betrayed it.'
'Betrayed! What could have passed?'
'Oh! Emily and Fred saw it as plain as I did. Why, it does not do
credit to your discernment, Maurice; papa found it out long ago, and
'Yes, that he did, and did not mind the notion at all; rather liked
it, in fact.'
'Well!' said Mr. Ferrars, in a different tone, 'it is a very queer
business! I certainly did not think the lad showed any symptoms. He
said he had heard gossip about it before, and had tried to be
careful; his aunt talked to him once, but, as he said, it would be
nothing but the rankest treason to think of such a thing, on the
terms on which he is treated.'
'Ay, that's it!' said Albinia; 'he acts most perfectly.'
'Perfectly indeed, if that were acting,' said Mr. Ferrars.
'And what made him speak to you?' asked Winifred.
'He wanted to consult me. He said it was very hard on him, for all
the pleasure he had came from his intercourse with Willow Lawn; and
he could not bear to keep at a distance, because it looked as if he
bad not forgotten the old folly about the caricature; but he was
afraid of the report coming to your ears or Mr. Kendal's, because you
would think it so wrong and shameful an abuse of your kindness.'
'And that's his whole concern?'
'So he told me.'
'And what advice did you give him?'
'I told him Bayford was bent on gossip, and no one heeded it less
than my respected brother and sister.'
'That was famous of you, Maurice. I was afraid you would have put it
upon his honour and the state of his own heart.'
'Sooth to say, I did not think his heart appeared very ticklish.'
'Oh! Maurice, Maurice! But you've not been there to see the hot
fits and the cold fits! It is a very fine thermometer whether he
says Sophy or Miss Kendal.'
'And you say Edmund perceived this?'
'Much you would trust my unassisted 'cuteness! I tell you he did,
and that it will make him happier than anything.'
'Very well; then my advice will have done no harm. I did not think
there had been so much self-control in an Irishman.'
'Had he not better say, so much blindness in the rector of Fairmead?'
'And pray what course is the affair to take?'
'The present, I suppose. Some catastrophe will occur at last to
prove to him that we honour him, and don't view it as outrageous
presumption; and then - oh! there can be no doubt that he will have a
share in the bank; and Sophy may buy toleration for his round O.
After all, he has the best of it as to ancestry, and we Kendals need
not turn up our noses at banking.'
'I think he will be too proud to address her, except on equality as
to money matters.'
'Pride is sometimes quelled and love free,' said Albinia. 'No, no;
content yourself with having given the best advice in the world, with
your eyes fast shut!'
And Albinia went home in high spirits.
Not long afterwards, Ulick O'More was summoned to Bristol, where his
uncle had become suddenly worse; but he had only reached Hadminster
when a telegraph met him with the news of Mr. Goldsmith's death, and
orders to remain at his post.
He came to the Kendals in the evening in great grief; he had really
come to love and esteem his uncle, and he was very unhappy at having
lost the chance of a reconciliation for his mother. As her chief
friend and confidant, he knew that she regarded the alienation of her
own family as the punishment of her disobedient marriage, and that
his own appointment had been valued chiefly as an opening towards
fraternal feeling, and reproached himself for not having made more
direct efforts to induce his uncle to enter into personal intercourse
'If I had only ventured it before he went to Bristol,' he said; 'I
was a fool not to have done so; and there, the Goldsmiths detest the
very name of us! Why could they not have telegraphed for me? I
might have heard what would have done my mother's heart good for the
rest of her life. I am sure my poor uncle wanted to ease his mind!'
'May he not have sent some communication direct to her?'
'I trust he did! I have long thought he only kept her aloof from
habit, and felt kindly towards her all the time.'
'And never could persuade himself to make a move towards her until
too late,' said Albinia.
'Yes. Nothing comes home to one more than the words, "Agree with
thine adversary quickly whiles thou art in the way with him." If
once one comes to think there's creditable pride in holding out,
there's no end to it, or else too much end.'
'Mr. Goldsmith was persevering in the example his father had set
him,' said Mr. Kendal.
'Ay! my mother never blamed either, and I'm afraid, if the truth were
told, my father was hot enough too, though it would all have been
bygones with him long ago, if they would have let it. But I was
thinking just then of my own foolishness last winter, when I would
not grant you it was pride, Mrs. Kendal, for fear I should have to
repent of it.'
'What has brought you to see that it was?' asked she.
'One comes to a better mind when the fit is off,' he said. 'I hope I
will not be as bad next time.'
'I hope we shall never give you a next time,' said Albinia; 'for
neither party is comfortable, perched on a high horse.'
'And you see,' continued Ulick, 'it is hard for us to give up our
pride, because it is the only thing we've got of our own, and has
been meat, drink, and clothing to us for many a year.'
'So no wonder you make the most of it.'
'True; I think a very high born and very rich man might be humble,'
said Ulick, so meditatively that they laughed; but Sophy said,
'No, that is not a paradox; the real difficulty is not in willingly
yielding, but in taking what we cannot help.'
'Well,' said Ulick, 'I hope it is not pride not to intend working
under Andrew Goldsmith.'
'Do you consider that as your fate?' asked Albinia.
'Never my fate,' said Ulick, quickly; 'hardly even my alternative,
for he would like to put up a notice, "No Irish need apply." We had
enough of each other last winter.'
'And do you suppose,' said Mr. Kendal, 'that Mr. Goldsmith has left
your position exactly the same?'
'I've no reason to think otherwise. I refused all connexion with the
bank if it was to interfere with my name. I don't think it unlikely
that he may have left me a small compliment in the way of shares; but
if so, I shall sell them, and make them keep me at Oxford. I'm not
too old yet!'
'Then the work of these four years is wasted,' said Mr. Kendal,
'No, indeed,' cried Ulick; 'not if it takes me where I've always
longed to be! Or, if not, I flatter myself I'm accountant enough to
be an agent in my own country.'
'Anything to get away from here,' said Albinia, with a shade of
asperity, provoked by the spirit of enterprise in his voice.
'After all, it is a bit of a place,' said Ulick; 'and the office
parlour is not just a paradise! Then 'tis all on such a narrow
scale, too little to absorb one, and too much to let one do anything
else; I see how larger transactions might be engrossing, but this is
mere cramping and worrying; I know I could do better for my family in
the end than by what I can screw out of my salary now; and if it is
no longer to give my poor mother a sense of expiation, as she calls
it, why, then, the cage-door is open.'
His eyes glittered, and Sophy exclaimed, 'Yes; and now the training
is over, it has made you fitter to fly.'
'It has,' he said; 'and I'm thankful for it. Without being here, I
would never have learnt application - nor some better things, I hope.'
They scarcely saw him again till after the funeral, when late in the
day he came into the drawing-room, and saying that his aunt was
pretty well and composed, he knelt down on the floor with the little
Awk, and silently built up a tower with her wooden bricks. His hand
trembled nervously at first, but gradually steadied as the elevation
became critical; and a smile of interest lighted his face as he
became absorbed in raising the structure to the last brick, holding
back the eager child with one hand lest she should overthrow it.
Completion, triumph, a shock, a downfall!
'Well,' cried the elder Albinia, unable to submit to the suspense.
'Telle est la vie,' answered Ulick, smiling sadly as he passed his
hand over his brow.
'It's too bad of him,' broke out Mrs. Kendal.
'I thought you were prepared,' said Sophy, severely, disappointed to
see him so much discomposed.
'How should I be prepared,' said he, petulantly, 'for the whole
concern, house, and bank, and all the rest of it?'
'Left to you?' was the cry.
'Every bit of it, and an annuity apiece charged on it to my mother
and aunt for their lives! My aunt told me how it came about. It was
all that fellow Andrew's fault.'
'Or misfortune,' murmured Albinia.
'My poor uncle had made a will in Andrew's favour long before my
time, and at Bristol he wanted to make some arrangement for my mother
and for me; but it seems Mr. Andrew took exception at me - would not
promise to continue me on, nor to give me a share in the business,
and at last my uncle was so much disgusted, that be sent for a lawyer
and cut Andrew out of his will altogether. My aunt says he went on
asking for me, and it was Andrew's fault that they wrote instead of
telegraphing. You can't think what kind messages he sent to me;' and
Ulick's eyes filled with tears. 'My poor uncle, away from home, and
with that selfish fellow.'
'Did he send any message to your mother?'
'Yes! he told my aunt to write to her that he was sorry they had been
strangers so long, and that - I'd been like a son to him. I'm sure I
wish I had been. I dare say he would have let me if I had not flown
out about my O. I could have saved changing it without making such
an intolerable row, and then he might have died more at peace with
'At peace with you at least he did.'
'I trust so. But if I could only have been by his side, and felt
myself a comfort, and thanked him with all my heart. Maybe he would
have listened to me, and not have sown ill-will between Andrew and
me, by giving neither what we would like.'
'Do you expect us to be sorry?'
'Nay, I came to be helped out of my ingratitude and discontent at
finding the cage-door shut, and myself chained to the oar; for as
things are left, I could not get it off my hands without giving up my
mother's interests and my aunt's. Besides, my poor uncle left me an
entreaty to keep things up creditably like himself, and do justice by
the bank. It is as if, poor man, it was an idol that he had been
high priest to, and wanted me to be the same - ay, and sacrifice too.'
'Nay, there are two ways of working, two kinds of sacrifice; and
besides, you are still working for your mother.'
'So I am, but without the hope she had before. To be sure, it would
be affluence at home, or would be if she could have it in her own
hands. Little Redmond shall have the best of educations! And we
must mind there is something in advance by the time Bryan wants to
purchase his company.'
Albinia asked how his aunt liked the arrangement. It seemed that
Andrew had offended her nearly as much as her brother, and that she
was clinging to Ulick as her great comfort and support; he did not
like to stay long away from her, but he had rushed down to Willow
Lawn to avoid the jealous congratulations of the cousinhood.
'You will hardly keep from glad people,' said Albinia. 'You must
shut yourself up if you cannot be congratulated. How rejoiced Mr.
Dusautoy will be!'
'Whatever is, is best,' sighed Ulick. 'I shall mind less when the
first is past! I must go and entertain all these people at dinner!'
and he groaned. 'Good evening. Heigh ho! I wonder if our Banshee
will think me worth keening for?'
'I hope she will have no occasion yet,' said Albinia, as he shut the
door; 'but she will be a very foolish Banshee if she does not, for
she will hardly find such another O'More! Well, Sophy, my dear.'
'We should have missed him,' said Sophy, as grave as a judge.
Albinia's heart beat high with the hope that Ulick would soon
perceive sufficient consolation for remaining at Bayford, but of
course he could make no demonstration while Miss Goldsmith continued
with him. She made herself very dependent on him, and he devoted his
evenings to her solace. He had few leisure moments, for the
settlement of his affairs occupied him, and full attention was most
important to establish confidence at this critical juncture, when it
might be feared that his youth, his nation, and Andrew Goldsmith's
murmurs might tell against him. Mr. Kendal set the example of
putting all his summer rents into his hands, and used his influence
to inspire trust; and fortunately the world had become so much
accustomed to transacting affairs with him, that the country business
seemed by no means inclined to fall away. Still there was much hard
work and some perplexity, the Bristol connexion made themselves
troublesome, and the ordinary business was the heavier from the
clerks being both so young and inexperienced that he was obliged to
exercise close supervision. It was guessed, too, that he was not
happy about the effect of the influx of wealth at home, and that he
feared it would only add to the number of horses and debts.
He soon looked terribly fagged and harassed, and owned that he envied
Mr. Hope, who had just received the promise of a district church, in
course of building under Colonel Bury's auspices, about four miles
from Fairmead. To work his way through the University and take Holy
Orders had been Ulick's ambition; he would gladly have endured
privation for such an object, and it did seem hard that such
aspirations should be so absolutely frustrated, and himself forced
into the stream of uncongenial, unintellectual toil, in so obscure
and uninviting a sphere. The resignation of all lingering hope of
escape, and the effort to be contented, cost him more than even his
original breaking in; and Mr. Kendal one day found him sitting in his
little office parlour unable to think or to speak under a terrible
visitation of his autumnal tormentor, brow-ague.
This made Mr. Kendal take to serious expostulation. It was
impossible to go on in this way; why did he not send for a brother to
Ulick could not restrain a smile at the fruitlessness of thinking of
assistance of this kind from his elder brothers, and as to little
Redmond, the only younger one still to be disposed of, he hoped to do
better things for him.
'Then send for a sister.'
He hoped he might bring Rose over when his aunt was gone, but he
could not shut those two up together at any price.
Then,' said Mr. Kendal, rather angrily, 'get an experienced,
trustworthy clerk, so as to be able to go from home, or give yourself
'Yes, I inquired about such a person, but there's the salary; and
where would be the chance of getting Redmond to school?'
'I think your father might see to that.'
Ulick had no answer to make to this. The legacy to Mrs. O'More might
nearly as well have been thrown into the sea.
'Well,' said Mr. Kendal, walking about the room, 'why don't you keep
'As a less costly animal than brother, sister, or clerk?' said Ulick,
'Your health will prove more costly than all the rest if you do not
'Well, my aunt told me it would be respectable and promote confidence
if I lived like a gentleman and kept my horse. I'll see about it,'
said Ulick, in a more persuadable tone.
The seeing about it resulted in the arrival of a genuine product of
county Galway, a long-legged, raw-boned hunter, with a wild,
frightened eye, quivering, suspicious-looking ears, and an ill-omened
name compounded of kill and of kick, which Maurice alone endeavoured
to pronounce; also an outside car, very nearly as good as new. This
last exceeded Ulick's commission, but it had been such a bargain,
that Connel had not been able to resist it, indeed it cost more in
coming over than the original price; but Ulick nearly danced round
it, promising Mrs. and Miss Kendal that when new cushioned and new
painted they would find it beat everything.
He was not quite so envious of Mr. Hope when he devoted the early
morning hours to Killye-kickye, as the incorrect world called his
steed, and, if the truth must be told, he first began to realize the
advantages of wealth, when he set his name down among the subscribers
to the hounds.
Nor was this the only subscription to which he was glad to set his
name; there were others where Mr. Dusautoy wanted funds, and Mr.
Kendal's difficulties were lessened by having another lord of the
soil on his side. Some exchanges brought land enough within their
power to make drainage feasible, and Ulick started the idea that it
would be better to locate the almshouses at the top of the hill, on
the site of Madame Belmarche's old house, than to place them where
Tibb's Alley at present was, close to the river, and far from church.
Mr. Kendal's plans were unpopular, and two or three untoward
circumstances combined to lead to his being regarded as a tyrant. He
could not do things gently, and had not a conciliating manner. Had
he been more free spoken, real oppression would have been better
endured than benefits against people's will. He interfered to
prevent some Sunday trading; and some of the Tibb's Alley tenants who
ought to have gone at midsummer, chose to stay on and set him at
defiance till they had to be forcibly ejected; whereupon Ulick O'More
showed that he was not thoroughly Anglicised by demanding if, under
such circumstances, it was safe to keep the window shutters unclosed
at night, Mr. Kendal's head was such a beautiful mark under the lamp.
If not a mark for a pistol, he was one for the disaffected blackguard
papers, which made up a pathetic case of a helpless widow with her
bed taken away from under her, ending with certain vague
denunciations which were read with roars of applause at the last beer
shop which could not be cleared till Christmas, while the closing of
the rest sent herds thither; and papers were nightly read;
representing the Nabob expelling the industrious from the beloved
cottages of their ancestors, by turns, to swell his own overgrown
garden, or to found a convent, whence, as a disguised Jesuit, he
meant to convert all Bayford to popery.
As Albinia wrote to Genevieve, they were in a state of siege, for
only in the middle of the day did Mr. Kendal allow the womankind to
venture out without an escort, the evening was disturbed by howlings
at the gate, and all sorts of petty acts of spite were committed in
the garden, such as injuring trees, stealing fruit, and carrying off
the children's rabbits. Let that be as it might, Genevieve owned
herself glad to come to hospitable Willow Lawn, though sorry for the
Poor Mr. Rainsforth, after vainly striving to recruit his health at