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reason can there be for him to be in debt?"

"He is always talking of those elections."

"But, my dear, Boxall Hill paid all that off. Of course Frank will
not have such an income as there was when you married into the
family; we all know that. And whom will he have to thank but his
father? But Boxall Hill paid all those debts, and why should there be
any difficulty now?"

"It was those nasty dogs, Rosina," said the Lady Arabella, almost in
tears.

"Well, I for one never approved of the hounds coming to Greshamsbury.
When a man has once involved his property he should not incur any
expenses that are not absolutely necessary. That is a golden rule
which Mr Gresham ought to have remembered. Indeed, I put it to him
nearly in those very words; but Mr Gresham never did, and never will
receive with common civility anything that comes from me."

"I know, Rosina, he never did; and yet where would he have been
but for the de Courcys?" So exclaimed, in her gratitude, the Lady
Arabella; to speak the truth, however, but for the de Courcys, Mr
Gresham might have been at this moment on the top of Boxall Hill,
monarch of all he surveyed.

"As I was saying," continued the countess, "I never approved of the
hounds coming to Greshamsbury; but yet, my dear, the hounds can't
have eaten up everything. A man with ten thousand a year ought to be
able to keep hounds; particularly as he had a subscription."

"He says the subscription was little or nothing."

"That's nonsense, my dear. Now, Arabella, what does he do with his
money? That's the question. Does he gamble?"

"Well," said Lady Arabella, very slowly, "I don't think he does." If
the squire did gamble he must have done it very slyly, for he rarely
went away from Greshamsbury, and certainly very few men looking like
gamblers were in the habit of coming thither as guests. "I don't
think he does gamble." Lady Arabella put her emphasis on the word
gamble, as though her husband, if he might perhaps be charitably
acquitted of that vice, was certainly guilty of every other known in
the civilised world.

"I know he used," said Lady de Courcy, looking very wise, and rather
suspicious. She certainly had sufficient domestic reasons for
disliking the propensity; "I know he used; and when a man begins, he
is hardly ever cured."

"Well, if he does, I don't know it," said the Lady Arabella.

"The money, my dear, must go somewhere. What excuse does he give when
you tell him you want this and that - all the common necessaries of
life, that you have always been used to?"

"He gives no excuse; sometimes he says the family is so large."

"Nonsense! Girls cost nothing; there's only Frank, and he can't have
cost anything yet. Can he be saving money to buy back Boxall Hill?"

"Oh no!" said the Lady Arabella, quickly. "He is not saving anything;
he never did, and never will save, though he is so stingy to me. He
_is_ hard pushed for money, I know that."

"Then where has it gone?" said the Countess de Courcy, with a look of
stern decision.

"Heaven only knows! Now, Augusta is to be married. I must of course
have a few hundred pounds. You should have heard how he groaned when
I asked him for it. Heaven only knows where the money goes!" And the
injured wife wiped a piteous tear from her eye with her fine dress
cambric handkerchief. "I have all the sufferings and privations of
a poor man's wife, but I have none of the consolations. He has no
confidence in me; he never tells me anything; he never talks to
me about his affairs. If he talks to any one it is to that horrid
doctor."

"What, Dr Thorne?" Now the Countess de Courcy hated Dr Thorne with a
holy hatred.

"Yes; Dr Thorne. I believe that he knows everything; and advises
everything, too. Whatever difficulties poor Gresham may have, I do
believe Dr Thorne has brought them about. I do believe it, Rosina."

"Well, that is surprising. Mr Gresham, with all his faults, is
a gentleman; and how he can talk about his affairs with a low
apothecary like that, I, for one, cannot imagine. Lord de Courcy has
not always been to me all that he should have been; far from it." And
Lady de Courcy thought over in her mind injuries of a much graver
description than any that her sister-in-law had ever suffered; "but I
have never known anything like that at Courcy Castle. Surely Umbleby
knows all about it, doesn't he?"

"Not half so much as the doctor," said Lady Arabella.

The countess shook her head slowly; the idea of Mr Gresham, a country
gentleman of good estate like him, making a confidant of a country
doctor was too great a shock for her nerves; and for a while she was
constrained to sit silent before she could recover herself.

"One thing at any rate is certain, Arabella," said the countess,
as soon as she found herself again sufficiently composed to offer
counsel in a properly dictatorial manner. "One thing at any rate is
certain; if Mr Gresham be involved so deeply as you say, Frank has
but one duty before him. He must marry money. The heir of fourteen
thousand a year may indulge himself in looking for blood, as Mr
Gresham did, my dear" - it must be understood that there was very
little compliment in this, as the Lady Arabella had always conceived
herself to be a beauty - "or for beauty, as some men do," continued
the countess, thinking of the choice that the present Earl de Courcy
had made; "but Frank must marry money. I hope he will understand this
early; do make him understand this before he makes a fool of himself;
when a man thoroughly understands this, when he knows what his
circumstances require, why, the matter becomes easy to him. I hope
that Frank understands that he has no alternative. In his position he
must marry money."

But, alas! alas! Frank Gresham had already made a fool of himself.

"Well, my boy, I wish you joy with all my heart," said the Honourable
John, slapping his cousin on the back, as he walked round to the
stable-yard with him before dinner, to inspect a setter puppy of
peculiarly fine breed which had been sent to Frank as a birthday
present. "I wish I were an elder son; but we can't all have that
luck."

"Who wouldn't sooner be the younger son of an earl than the eldest
son of a plain squire?" said Frank, wishing to say something civil in
return for his cousin's civility.

"I wouldn't for one," said the Honourable John. "What chance have I?
There's Porlock as strong as a horse; and then George comes next. And
the governor's good for these twenty years." And the young man sighed
as he reflected what small hope there was that all those who were
nearest and dearest to him should die out of his way, and leave him
to the sweet enjoyment of an earl's coronet and fortune. "Now, you're
sure of your game some day; and as you've no brothers, I suppose the
squire'll let you do pretty well what you like. Besides, he's not so
strong as my governor, though he's younger."

Frank had never looked at his fortune in this light before, and was
so slow and green that he was not much delighted at the prospect now
that it was offered to him. He had always, however, been taught to
look to his cousins, the de Courcys, as men with whom it would be
very expedient that he should be intimate; he therefore showed no
offence, but changed the conversation.

"Shall you hunt with the Barsetshire this season, John? I hope you
will; I shall."

"Well, I don't know. It's very slow. It's all tillage here, or else
woodland. I rather fancy I shall go to Leicestershire when the
partridge-shooting is over. What sort of a lot do you mean to come
out with, Frank?"

Frank became a little red as he answered, "Oh, I shall have two," he
said; "that is, the mare I have had these two years, and the horse my
father gave me this morning."

"What! only those two? and the mare is nothing more than a pony."

"She is fifteen hands," said Frank, offended.

"Well, Frank, I certainly would not stand that," said the Honourable
John. "What, go out before the county with one untrained horse and a
pony; and you the heir to Greshamsbury!"

"I'll have him so trained before November," said Frank, "that
nothing in Barsetshire shall stop him. Peter says" - Peter was
the Greshamsbury stud-groom - "that he tucks up his hind legs
beautifully."

"But who the deuce would think of going to work with one horse; or
two either, if you insist on calling the old pony a huntress? I'll
put you up to a trick, my lad: if you stand that you'll stand
anything; and if you don't mean to go in leading-strings all your
life, now is the time to show it. There's young Baker - Harry Baker,
you know - he came of age last year, and he has as pretty a string of
nags as any one would wish to set eyes on; four hunters and a hack.
Now, if old Baker has four thousand a year it's every shilling he has
got."

This was true, and Frank Gresham, who in the morning had been made so
happy by his father's present of a horse, began to feel that hardly
enough had been done for him. It was true that Mr Baker had only four
thousand a year; but it was also true that he had no other child than
Harry Baker; that he had no great establishment to keep up; that he
owed a shilling to no one; and, also, that he was a great fool in
encouraging a mere boy to ape all the caprices of a man of wealth.
Nevertheless, for a moment, Frank Gresham did feel that, considering
his position, he was being treated rather unworthily.

"Take the matter in your own hands, Frank," said the Honourable John,
seeing the impression that he had made. "Of course the governor knows
very well that you won't put up with such a stable as that. Lord
bless you! I have heard that when he married my aunt, and that was
when he was about your age, he had the best stud in the whole county;
and then he was in Parliament before he was three-and-twenty."

"His father, you know, died when he was very young," said Frank.

"Yes; I know he had a stroke of luck that doesn't fall to everyone;
but - "

Young Frank's face grew dark now instead of red. When his cousin
submitted to him the necessity of having more than two horses for
his own use he could listen to him; but when the same monitor talked
of the chance of a father's death as a stroke of luck, Frank was
too much disgusted to be able to pretend to pass it over with
indifference. What! was he thus to think of his father, whose face
was always lighted up with pleasure when his boy came near to him,
and so rarely bright at any other time? Frank had watched his father
closely enough to be aware of this; he knew how his father delighted
in him; he had had cause to guess that his father had many troubles,
and that he strove hard to banish the memory of them when his son was
with him. He loved his father truly, purely, and thoroughly, liked to
be with him, and would be proud to be his confidant. Could he then
listen quietly while his cousin spoke of the chance of his father's
death as a stroke of luck?

"I shouldn't think it a stroke of luck, John. I should think it the
greatest misfortune in the world."

It is so difficult for a young man to enumerate sententiously a
principle of morality, or even an expression of ordinary good
feeling, without giving himself something of a ridiculous air,
without assuming something of a mock grandeur!

"Oh, of course, my dear fellow," said the Honourable John, laughing;
"that's a matter of course. We all understand that without saying it.
Porlock, of course, would feel exactly the same about the governor;
but if the governor were to walk, I think Porlock would console
himself with the thirty thousand a year."

"I don't know what Porlock would do; he's always quarrelling with my
uncle, I know. I only spoke of myself; I never quarrelled with my
father, and I hope I never shall."

"All right, my lad of wax, all right. I dare say you won't be tried;
but if you are, you'll find before six months are over, that it's a
very nice thing to master of Greshamsbury."

"I'm sure I shouldn't find anything of the kind."

"Very well, so be it. You wouldn't do as young Hatherly did, at
Hatherly Court, in Gloucestershire, when his father kicked the
bucket. You know Hatherly, don't you?"

"No; I never saw him."

"He's Sir Frederick now, and has, or had, one of the finest fortunes
in England, for a commoner; the most of it is gone now. Well, when he
heard of his governor's death, he was in Paris, but he went off to
Hatherly as fast as special train and post-horses would carry him,
and got there just in time for the funeral. As he came back to
Hatherly Court from the church, they were putting up the hatchment
over the door, and Master Fred saw that the undertakers had put at
the bottom 'Resurgam.' You know what that means?"

"Oh, yes," said Frank.

"'I'll come back again,'" said the Honourable John, construing the
Latin for the benefit of his cousin. "'No,' said Fred Hatherly,
looking up at the hatchment; 'I'm blessed if you do, old gentleman.
That would be too much of a joke; I'll take care of that.' So he
got up at night, and he got some fellows with him, and they climbed
up and painted out 'Resurgam,' and they painted into its place,
'Requiescat in pace;' which means, you know, 'you'd a great deal
better stay where you are.' Now I call that good. Fred Hatherly did
that as sure as - as sure as - as sure as anything."

Frank could not help laughing at the story, especially at his
cousin's mode of translating the undertaker's mottoes; and then they
sauntered back from the stables into the house to dress for dinner.

Dr Thorne had come to the house somewhat before dinner-time, at Mr
Gresham's request, and was now sitting with the squire in his own
book-room - so called - while Mary was talking to some of the girls
upstairs.

"I must have ten or twelve thousand pounds; ten at the very least,"
said the squire, who was sitting in his usual arm-chair, close to his
littered table, with his head supported on his hand, looking very
unlike the father of an heir of a noble property, who had that day
come of age.

It was the first of July, and of course there was no fire in the
grate; but, nevertheless, the doctor was standing with his back to
the fireplace, with his coat-tails over his arms, as though he were
engaged, now in summer as he so often was in winter, in talking, and
roasting his hinder person at the same time.

"Twelve thousand pounds! It's a very large sum of money."

"I said ten," said the squire.

"Ten thousand pounds is a very large sum of money. There is no doubt
he'll let you have it. Scatcherd will let you have it; but I know
he'll expect to have the title deeds."

"What! for ten thousand pounds?" said the squire. "There is not a
registered debt against the property but his own and Armstrong's."

"But his own is very large already."

"Armstrong's is nothing; about four-and-twenty thousand pounds."

"Yes; but he comes first, Mr Gresham."

"Well, what of that? To hear you talk, one would think that there was
nothing left of Greshamsbury. What's four-and-twenty thousand pounds?
Does Scatcherd know what rent-roll is?"

"Oh, yes, he knows it well enough: I wish he did not."

"Well, then, why does he make such a bother about a few thousand
pounds? The title-deeds, indeed!"

"What he means is, that he must have ample security to cover what he
has already advanced before he goes on. I wish to goodness you had
no further need to borrow. I did think that things were settled last
year."

"Oh if there's any difficulty, Umbleby will get it for me."

"Yes; and what will you have to pay for it?"

"I'd sooner pay double than be talked to in this way," said the
squire, angrily, and, as he spoke, he got up hurriedly from his
chair, thrust his hands into his trousers-pockets, walked quickly to
the window, and immediately walking back again, threw himself once
more into his chair.

"There are some things a man cannot bear, doctor," said he, beating
the devil's tattoo on the floor with one of his feet, "though God
knows I ought to be patient now, for I am made to bear a good many
things. You had better tell Scatcherd that I am obliged to him for
his offer, but that I will not trouble him."

The doctor during this little outburst had stood quite silent with
his back to the fireplace and his coat-tails hanging over his arms;
but though his voice said nothing, his face said much. He was very
unhappy; he was greatly grieved to find that the squire was so soon
again in want of money, and greatly grieved also to find that this
want had made him so bitter and unjust. Mr Gresham had attacked him;
but as he was determined not to quarrel with Mr Gresham, he refrained
from answering.

The squire also remained silent for a few minutes; but he was not
endowed with the gift of silence, and was soon, as it were, compelled
to speak again.

"Poor Frank!" said he. "I could yet be easy about everything if it
were not for the injury I have done him. Poor Frank!"

The doctor advanced a few paces from off the rug, and taking his hand
out of his pocket, he laid it gently on the squire's shoulder. "Frank
will do very well yet," said the he. "It is not absolutely necessary
that a man should have fourteen thousand pounds a year to be happy."

"My father left me the property entire, and I should leave it entire
to my son; - but you don't understand this."

The doctor did understand the feeling fully. The fact, on the other
hand, was that, long as he had known him, the squire did not
understand the doctor.

"I would you could, Mr Gresham," said the doctor, "so that your mind
might be happier; but that cannot be, and, therefore, I say again,
that Frank will do very well yet, although he will not inherit
fourteen thousand pounds a year; and I would have you say the same
thing to yourself."

"Ah! you don't understand it," persisted the squire. "You don't know
how a man feels when he - Ah, well! it's no use my troubling you with
what cannot be mended. I wonder whether Umbleby is about the place
anywhere?"

The doctor was again standing with his back against the
chimney-piece, and with his hands in his pockets.

"You did not see Umbleby as you came in?" again asked the squire.

"No, I did not; and if you will take my advice you will not see him
now; at any rate with reference to this money."

"I tell you I must get it from someone; you say Scatcherd won't let
me have it."

"No, Mr Gresham; I did not say that."

"Well, you said what was as bad. Augusta is to be married in
September, and the money must be had. I have agreed to give Moffat
six thousand pounds, and he is to have the money down in hard cash."

"Six thousand pounds," said the doctor. "Well, I suppose that is not
more than your daughter should have. But then, five times six are
thirty; thirty thousand pounds will be a large sum to make up."

The father thought to himself that his younger girls were but
children, and that the trouble of arranging their marriage portions
might well be postponed a while. Sufficient for the day is the evil
thereof.

"That Moffat is a griping, hungry fellow," said the squire. "I
suppose Augusta likes him; and, as regards money, it is a good
match."

"If Miss Gresham loves him, that is everything. I am not in love with
him myself; but then, I am not a young lady."

"The de Courcys are very fond of him. Lady de Courcy says that he is
a perfect gentleman, and thought very much of in London."

"Oh! if Lady de Courcy says that, of course, it's all right," said
the doctor, with a quiet sarcasm, that was altogether thrown away on
the squire.

The squire did not like any of the de Courcys; especially, he did not
like Lady de Courcy; but still he was accessible to a certain amount
of gratification in the near connexion which he had with the earl and
countess; and when he wanted to support his family greatness, would
sometimes weakly fall back upon the grandeur of Courcy Castle. It
was only when talking to his wife that he invariably snubbed the
pretensions of his noble relatives.

The two men after this remained silent for a while; and then the
doctor, renewing the subject for which he had been summoned into the
book-room, remarked, that as Scatcherd was now in the country - he
did not say, was now at Boxall Hill, as he did not wish to wound the
squire's ears - perhaps he had better go and see him, and ascertain
in what way this affair of the money might be arranged. There was
no doubt, he said, that Scatcherd would supply the sum required at
a lower rate of interest than that at which it could be procured
through Umbleby's means.

"Very well," said the squire. "I'll leave it in your hands, then. I
think ten thousand pounds will do. And now I'll dress for dinner."
And then the doctor left him.

Perhaps the reader will suppose after this that the doctor had some
pecuniary interest of his own in arranging the squire's loans; or, at
any rate, he will think that the squire must have so thought. Not in
the least; neither had he any such interest, nor did the squire think
that he had any. What Dr Thorne did in this matter the squire well
knew was done for love. But the squire of Greshamsbury was a great
man at Greshamsbury; and it behoved him to maintain the greatness of
his squirehood when discussing his affairs with the village doctor.
So much he had at any rate learnt from his contact with the de
Courcys.

And the doctor - proud, arrogant, contradictory, headstrong as he
was - why did he bear to be thus snubbed? Because he knew that the
squire of Greshamsbury, when struggling with debt and poverty,
required an indulgence for his weakness. Had Mr Gresham been in easy
circumstances, the doctor would by no means have stood so placidly
with his hands in his pockets, and have had Mr Umbleby thus thrown in
his teeth. The doctor loved the squire, loved him as his own oldest
friend; but he loved him ten times better as being in adversity than
he could ever have done had things gone well at Greshamsbury in his
time.

While this was going on downstairs, Mary was sitting upstairs with
Beatrice Gresham in the schoolroom. The old schoolroom, so called,
was now a sitting-room, devoted to the use of the grown-up young
ladies of the family, whereas one of the old nurseries was now the
modern schoolroom. Mary well knew her way to the sanctum, and,
without asking any questions, walked up to it when her uncle went to
the squire. On entering the room she found that Augusta and the Lady
Alexandrina were also there, and she hesitated for a moment at the
door.

"Come in, Mary," said Beatrice, "you know my cousin Alexandrina."
Mary came in, and having shaken hands with her two friends, was
bowing to the lady, when the lady condescended, put out her noble
hand, and touched Miss Thorne's fingers.

Beatrice was Mary's friend, and many heart-burnings and much mental
solicitude did that young lady give to her mother by indulging in
such a friendship. But Beatrice, with some faults, was true at heart,
and she persisted in loving Mary Thorne in spite of the hints which
her mother so frequently gave as to the impropriety of such an
affection.

Nor had Augusta any objection to the society of Miss Thorne. Augusta
was a strong-minded girl, with much of the de Courcy arrogance, but
quite as well inclined to show it in opposition to her mother as in
any other form. To her alone in the house did Lady Arabella show much
deference. She was now going to make a suitable match with a man of
large fortune, who had been procured for her as an eligible _parti_
by her aunt, the countess. She did not pretend, had never pretended,
that she loved Mr Moffat, but she knew, she said, that in the present
state of her father's affairs such a match was expedient. Mr Moffat
was a young man of very large fortune, in Parliament, inclined to
business, and in every way recommendable. He was not a man of birth,
to be sure; that was to be lamented; - in confessing that Mr Moffat
was not a man of birth, Augusta did not go so far as to admit that he
was the son of a tailor; such, however, was the rigid truth in this
matter - he was not a man of birth, that was to be lamented; but in
the present state of affairs at Greshamsbury, she understood well
that it was her duty to postpone her own feelings in some respect. Mr
Moffat would bring fortune; she would bring blood and connexion. And
as she so said, her bosom glowed with strong pride to think that she
would be able to contribute so much more towards the proposed future
partnership than her husband would do.

'Twas thus that Miss Gresham spoke of her match to her dear friends,
her cousins the de Courcys for instance, to Miss Oriel, her sister



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