Benjamin Disraeli.

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Earl of Beaconsficid, K. G.,




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/ggl ENDYMION.^3 \/^


IT was a rich, warm night at the beginning of August,
when a gentleman enveloped in a cloak for he was in even-
ing dress emerged from a club-house at the top of St. James's
Street, and descended that celebrated eminence. He had not
proceeded more than half-way down the street, when, encoun-
tering a friend, he stopped with some. abruptness.

" I have been looking for you everywhere," he said.

"What is it?"

" We can hardly talk about it here."

" Shall we go to White's?"

" I have just left it, and, between ourselves, I would rather
we should be more alone. 'Tis as warm as noon. Let us
cross the street and get into St. James's Place. That is always
my idea of solitude."

So they crossed the street, and, at the corner of St. James's
Place, met several gentlemen who had just come out of
Brookes's Club-house. These saluted the companions as they
passed, and said, " Capital account from Chiswick Lord
Howard says the chief will be in Downing Street on Monday."

" It is of Chiswick that I am going to speak to you," said
the gentleman in the cloak, putting his arm in that of his com-
panion as they walked on. " What I am about to tell you is
known only to three persons, and is the most sacred of secrets.
Nothing but our friendship could authorize me to impart it
to you."

" I hope it is something to your advantage," said his

"Nothing of that sort; it is of yourself that I am thinking.
Since our political estrangement, I have never had a contented
moment. From Christ Church, until that unhappy paralytic
stroke, which broke up a government that had lasted fifteen


years, and might have continued fifteen more, we seemed al-
ways to have been working together. That we should again
unite is my dearest wish. A crisis is at hand. I want you to
use it to your advantage. Know, then, that what they were
just saying about Chiswick is moonshine. His case is hopeless,
and it has been communicated to the king."


"Rely upon it; it came direct from the Cottage to my

"I thought he had a mission?" said his companion, with
emotion; "and men with missions do not disappear till they
have fulfilled them."

" But why did you think so ? How often have I asked you
for your grounds for such a conviction ! There are none. The
man of the age is clearly the duke, the savior of Europe, in the
perfection of manhood, and with an iron constitution."

" The salvation of Europe is the affair of a past generation,"
said his companion. " We want something else now. The
salvation of England should be the subject rather of our pres-
ent thoughts."

"England! why, when were things more sound? Except
the split among our own men, which will be now cured, there
is not a cause of disquietude."

" I have much," said his friend.

" You never used to have any, Sidney. What extraordinary
revelations can have been made to you during three months of
office under a semi-Whig Ministry?"

Your taunt is fair, though it pains me. And I confess to
you that when 1 resolved to follow Canning and join his new
allies, I had many a twinge. I was bred in the Tory camp;
the Tories put me in Parliament and gave me office; I lived
with them and liked them; we dined and voted together, and
together pasquinaded our opponents. And yet, after Castle-
reagh's death, to whom like yourself I was much attached, I
had threat misgivings as to the position of our party and the
future of the country. I tried to drive them from my mind,
and at last took refuge in Canning, who seemed just the man
appointed for an age of transition."

"But a transition to what?"

"Well, his foreign policy was Liberal."

"The same as the (hike's; the same as poor dear Castle-
reagh's. Nothing more unjust than the affected belief that
there was any difference between them a ruse of the Whigs


to foster discord in our ranks. And as for domestic affairs, no
one is stouter against Parliamentary Reform, while he is for
the Church and no surrender, though he may make a harmless
speech now and then, as many of us do, in favor of Catholic

" Well, we will not now pursue this old controversy, my
dear Ferrars, particularly if it be true, as you say, that Mr.
Canning now lies upon his death-bed."

" If ! I tell you at this very moment it may be all over."

" I am shaken to my very centre."

" It is doubtless a great blow to you," rejoined Mr. Ferrars,
" and I wish to alleviate it. That is why I was looking for
you. The king will, of course, send for the duke; but I can
tell you there will be a disposition to draw back our friends
that left us, at least the younger ones of promise. If you are
awake, there is no reason why you should not retain your

" I am not so sure the king will send for the duke."

" It is certain."

" Well," said his companion, musingly, " it may be fancy,
but I cannot resist the feeling that this country, and the world
generally, are on the eve of a great change and I do not
think the duke is the man for the epoch."

"I see no reason why there should be any great change;
certainly not in this country," said Mr. Ferrars. " Here we
have changed everything that was required. Peel has settled
the criminal law, and Huskisson the currency, and though I am
prepared myself still further to reduce the duties on foreign
imports, no one can deny that on this subject the government
is in advance of public opinion."

" The whole affair rests on too contracted a basis," said his
companion. " We are habituated to its exclusiveness, and, no
doubt, custom in England is a power; but let some event sud-
denly occur which makes a nation feel or think, and the whole
thing might vanish like a dream."

"What can happen? Such affairs as the Luddites do not
occur twice in a century, and as for Spafields riots, they are
impossible now with Peel's new police. The country is em-
ployed and prosperous, and were it not so, the landed interest
would always keep things straight."

" It is powerful, and has been powerful for a long time ; but
there are other interests besides the landed interest now."

"Well, there is the colonial interest, and the shipping inter-


est," said Mr. Ferrars, "and both of them thoroughly with us.' t

"I was not thinking of them," said his companion. "It is
the increase of population, and of a population not employed
in the cultivation of the soil, and all the consequences of such
circumstances, that were passing over my mind."

"Don't you be too doctrinaire, my dear Sidney; you and I
are practical men. We must deal with the existing, the ur-
gent; and there is nothing more pressing at this moment than
the formation of a new government. What I want is to see
you a member of it.

"Ah !" said his companion, with a sigh, "do you really think
it is so near as that?"

"Why, what have we been talking of all this time, my dear
Sidney? Clear your head of all doubt, and, if possible, of all
regrets ; we must deal with facts, and we must deal with them

"I still think he had a mission," said Sidney, with a sigh, "if
it were only to bring hope to a people."

"Well, I do not see he could have done anything more,"
said Mr. Ferrars, " nor do I believe his government would
have lasted during the session. However, I must now say
good-night, for I must look in at the Square. Think well of
what I have said, and let me hear from you as soon as you


ZENOBIA was the queen of London, of fashion, and of the
Tory party. When she was not holding high festivals, or at-
tending them, she was always at home to her intimates, and
as she deigned but rarely to honor the assemblies of others
with her presence, she was generally at her evening post to
receive the initiated. To be her uninvited guest under such
circumstances proved at once that you had entered the high-
est circle of the social paradise.

Zenobia was leaning back on a brilliant sofa, supported by
many cushions, and a great personage, gray-headed and blue-
ribboned, who was permitted to share the honors of the high
place-, was han^in^ on her animated and inspiring accents.
An ambassador, in an armed chair which he had placed some-
what before her, while he listened with apparent devotion to
the oracle, now and then interposed a remark, polished and oc-
casionally cynical. More remote, some dames of" high degree
were surrounded by a chosen band of rank and fashioiTand celeb-


rity ; and now and then was heard a silver laugh, and now and
then was breathed a gentle sigh. Servants glided about the suite
of summer chambers occasionally with sherbets and ices, and
sometimes a lady entered and saluted Zenobia, and then re-
treated to the general group, and sometimes a gentleman en-
tered and pressed the hand of Zenobia to his lips, and then
vanished into air.

"What I want you to see," said Zenobia, "is that reaction is
the'law of life, and that we are on the eve of a great reaction.
Since Lord Castlereagh's death we have had five years of rev-
olution nothing but change, and every change has been dis-
astrous. Abroad we are in league with all the conspirators of
the Continent, and if there were a general war we should
not have an ally ; at home our trade, I am told is quite ruined,
and we are deluged with foreign articles ; while, thanks to Mr.
Huskisson, the country banks, which enabled Mr. Pitt to carry
on the war and saved England, are all broken. There was
one thing of which I thought we should always be
proud, and that was our laws and their administration; but
now our most sacred enactments are questioned, and people
are told to call out for the reform of our courts of judicature,
which used to be the glory of the land. This cannot last. I
see, indeed, many signs of national disgust; people would
have borne a great deal from poor Lord Liverpool for they
knew he was a good man, though I always thought a weak
one ; but when it was found that this boasted Liberalism only
meant letting the Whigs into office who, if they had always
been in office, would have made us the* slaves of Bonaparte
their eyes were opened. Depend upon it, the reaction has

" We shall have some trouble with France," said the ambas-
sador, " unless there is a change here."

" The Church is weary of the present men," said the great
personage. " No one really knows what they are after."

" And how can the country be governed without the Church?"
exclaimed Zenobia. " If the country once thinks the Church
is in danger, the affair will soon be finished. The king ought
to be told what is going on."

"Nothing is going on," said the ambassador; "but every-
body is afraid of something."

" The king's friends should impress upon him never to lose
sight of the landed interest," said the great personage.

" How can any government go on without the support of


the Church and the land?" exclaimed Zenobia. "It is quite

" That is the mystery," remarked the ambassador. " Here
is a government, supported by none of the influences hitherto
deemed indispensable, and yet it exists."

" The newspapers support it," said the great personage, " and
the Dissenters, who are trying to bring themselves into notice,
and who are said to have some influence in the northern coun-
ties; and the Whigs, who are in a hole, are willing to seize the
hand of the ministry to help them out of it; and then there is al-
ways a number of people who will support any government
and so the thing works."

" They have got a new name for this hybrid sentiment,"
said the ambassador. " They call it public opinion."

" How very absurd !" said Zenobia ; " a mere nickname. As
if there could be any opinion but that of the sovereign and the
two Houses of Parliament."

" They are trying to introduce here the Continental Liberal-
ism," said the great personage. " Now we know what Liber-
alism means on the Continent. It means the abolition of prop-
erty and religion. Those ideas would not suit this country ;
and I often puzzle myself to foresee how they will attempt to
apply Liberal opinions here."

" I shall always think," said Zenobia, " that Lord Liverpool
went much too far, though I never said so in his time; for I
always uphold my friends."

" \Vell, we shall see what Canning will do about the Test
and Corporation Acts," said the great personage. " I under-
stand they mean to push him."

" By-the-by, how is he really !" said the ambassador. " What
arc the accounts this afternoon!"

- I lere is a gentleman who will tell us," said Zenobia, as Mr.
Ferrars entered and saluted her."

"And what is your news from Chiswick?" she inquired.
"They -ay at Brookes's that he will be at Downing Street
on Monday."

* I doubt it," said Zenobia, but with an expression of disap-

"l.ia invited Mr. Ferrars to join her immediate circle.
The -_Teat personage and the ambassador were confidentially
aflal.le to one whom Zenobia so distinguished. Their conver-
^atioii was in hushed tones, as become the initiated. Even
Zenol'ia seemed Milxlucd, and listened; and to listen, among


her many talents, was perhaps her rarest. Mr. Ferrars was
one of her favorites, and Zenobia liked young men who she
thought would become ministers of State.

A Hungarian princess, who had quitted the opera early that
she might look in at Zenobia's, was now announced. The ar-
vival of this great lady made a stir. Zenobia embraced her, and
the great personage with affectionate homage yielded to her
instantly the place of honor, and then soon retreated to the
laughing voices in the distance that had already more than
once attracted and charmed his ear.

"Mind; I see you to-morrow," said Zenobia to Mr. Ferrars,
as he also withdrew. " I shall have something to tell you."


The father of Mr. Ferrars had the reputation of being the son
of a once somewhat celebrated statesman, but the only patrimony
he inherited from his presumed parent was a clerkship in the
Treasury, where he found himself drudging at an early age.
Nature had endowed him with considerable abilities, and pe-
culiarly adapted to the scene of their display. It was difficult
to decide which was most remarkable, his shrewdness or his
capacity of labor. His quickness of perception and mastery
of details made him in a few years an authority in the office
and a Secretary of the Treasury, who was quite ignorant of
details, but who was a good judge of human character, had
the sense to appoint Ferrars his private secretary. This hap-
py preferment in time opened the whole official world to one
not only singularly qualified for that kind of life, but who
possessed the peculiar gifts that were then commencing to be
much in demand in those circles. We were then entering that
era of commercial and financial reform which had been, if not
absolutely occasioned, certainly precipitated by the revolt of
our colonies. Knowledge of finance and acquaintance with
tariffs were then rare gifts, and before five years of his pri-
vate secretaryship had expired, Ferrars was mentioned to Mr.
Pitt as the man at the Treasury who could do something that
the great minister required. This decided his lot. Mr. Pitt
found in Ferrars the instrument he wanted, and, appreci-
ating all his qualities, placed him in a position which afforded
them full play. The minister returned Ferrars to Parlia-
ment, for the Treasury then had boroughs of its own, and the
new member was preferred to an important and laborious


post. So long as Pitt and Grenville were in the ascendent,
Mr. Ferrars toiled and flourished. He was exactly the man
they liked unwearied, vigilant, clear, and cold, with a dash of
natural sarcasm developed by a sharp and varied experience,
lie disappeared from the active world in the latter years of the
Liverpool reign, when a newer generation and more bustling
ideas successfully asserted their claims; but he retired with the
solace of a sinecure, a pension, and a privy-councillorship.
The cabinet he had never entered, nor dared to hope to enter.
It was the privilege of an inner circle even in our then con-
tracted public life. It was the dream of Ferrars to revenge in
this respect his fate in the person of his son and only child.
He was resolved that his offspring should enjoy all those ad-
vantages of education and breeding and society of which he
himself had been deprived. For him was to be reserved a
full initiation in those costly ceremonies which, under the
names of Eton and Christchurch, in his time fascinated and
dazzled mankind. His son, William Pitt Ferrars, realized
even more than his father's hopes. Extremely good looking,
he was gifted with a precocity of talent. He was the mar-
vel of Eton and the hope of Oxford. As a boy, his Latin
verses threw enraptured tutors into paroxysms of praise, while
debating-societies hailed with acclamation clearly another
heaven-born minister. He went up to Oxford about the time
that the examinations were reformed and rendered really effi-
cient. This only increased his renown, for the name of Fer-
rars figured among the earliest double-firsts. Those were days
when a crack university reputation often opened the doors of
the House of Commons to a young aspirant at least, after a
season. But Ferrars had not to wait. His father, who
watched his career with the passionate interest with which a
Newmarket man watches the development of some gifted
yearling, took care that all the odds should be in his favor in
the race of life. An old colleague of the elder Mr. Ferrars,
a worthy peer with many boroughs, placed a seat at the dis-
pn-al of the youthful hero the moment he was prepared to
accept it, and he might be said to have left the university
only to enter the House of Commons.

There, it" his career had not yet realized the dreams of his
youthful admirers, it had at least been one of progress and
unbroken prosperity. His first speech was successful, though
florid, hut it was on foreign affairs, which permit rhetoric, and
in those days demanded at least one Virgilian quotation. In


this latter branch of oratorical adornment Ferrars was never
deficient. No young man of that time, and scarcely any old
one, ventured to address Mr. Speaker without being equipped
with a Latin passage. Ferrars, in this respect, was triply
armed. Indeed, when he entered public life, full of hope and
promise, though disciplined to a certain extent by his mathe-
matical training, he had read very little more than some Latin
writers, some Greek plays, and some treatises of Aristotle.
These, with a due course of Bampton Lectures, and some dip-
ping into the Quarterly Review, then in its prime, qualified a
man in those days, not only for being a member of Parliament,
but becoming a candidate for the responsibility of statesman-
ship. Ferrars made his way ; for two years he was occasionally
asked by the minister to speak, and then Lord Castlereagh,
who liked young men, made him a lord of the Treasury. He
was Under-Secretary of State, and " very rising," when the
death of Lord Liverpool brought about the severance of the
Tory party, and Mr. Ferrars, mainly under the advice of
Zenobia, resigned his office when Mr. Canning was appointed
minister, and cast in his lot with the great destiny of the Duke
of Wellington.

The elder Ferrars had the reputation of being wealthy. It
was supposed that he had enjoyed opportunities of making
money and had availed himself of them, but this was not true.
Though a cynic, and with little respect for his fellow-creatures,
Ferrars had a pride in official purity, and when the govern-
ment was charged with venality and corruption, he would
observe, with a dry chuckle, that he had seen a great deal of
life, and that for his part he would not much trust any man out
of Downing Street. He had been unable to resist the tempta-
tion of connecting his life with that of an individual of birth
and rank ; and in a weak moment, perhaps his only one, he
had geiven his son a step-mother, in a still good-looking and
very xpensive viscountess dowager.

Mr Ferrars was anxious that his son should make a great
allian.ce, but he was so distracted between prudential considera-
tions and his desire that in the veins of his grandchildren there
should flow blood of undoubted nobility, that he could never
bring to his purpose that clear and concentrated will which
was one of the causes of his success in life; and, in the midst of
his perplexities, his son unexpectedly settled the question him-
self. Though naturally cold and calculating, William Ferrars
like most of us, had a vein of romance in his being, and it


asserted itself. There was a Miss Carey who suddenly
became the beauty of the season. She was an orphan, and
reputed to be no inconsiderable heiress, and was introduced to
the world by an aunt who was a duchess, and who meant that
her niece should be the same. Everybody talked about them,
and they went everywhere among other places to the House
of Commons, where Miss Carey, spying the senators from the
old ventilator in the ceiling of St. Stephen's Chapel, dropped
in her excitement her opera-glass, which fell at the feet of Mr.
Under-secretary Ferrars. He hastened to restore it to its
beautiful owner, whom he found accompanied by several of
his friends, and he was not only thanked, but invited to
remain with them; and the next day he called, and he called
very often afterwards, and many other things happened, and
at the end of July, the beauty of the season was married, not
to a duke, but to a rising man, who Zenobia, who at first dis-
approved of the match for Zenobia never liked her male
friends to marry was sure would be one day prime-minister
of England.

Mrs. Ferrars was of the same opinion as Zenobia, for she
was ambitious, and the dream was captivating. And Mrs.
Ferrars soon gained Zenobia's good graces, for she had many
charms, and, though haughty to the multitude, was a first-rate
flatterer. Zenobia liked flattery, and always said she did. Mr.
Under-secretary Ferrars took a mansion in Hill Street, and
furnished it with befitting splendor. His dinners were cele-
brated, and Mrs. Ferrars gave suppers after the opera. The
equipages of Mrs. Ferrars were distinguished, and they had a
large retinue of servants. They had only two children, and
they were twins, a brother and a sister, who were brought up
like the children of princes. Partly for them, and partly
because a minister should have a Tusculum, the Ferrars soon
-ed a magnificent villa at Wimbledon, which had the ad-
vantage of admirable stables, convenient, as Mrs. Ferrars was
fond of horses, ami liked the children, too, with their fancy
ponies to he early accustomed to riding. All this occasioned
expenditure, but old Mr. Ferrars made his son a liberal al-
lowance-, and young Mrs. Ferrars was an heiress, or the world
thought so, which is nearly the same, and then, too, young Mr.
tn was a rising man, in office, and who would always be
in office for tin- re^t of hi- lilV; at least, Zenobia said so, because
he- was on ihe riichl sidr and the Whigs were nowhere, and
never would he am where, which was quite right, as they had
wished to make us the slaves of Bonaparte.


" My dear, you know I do not understand money matters,"
Zenobia said in reply. " I never could; but you should remem-
ber that old Ferrars must be very rich, and that William Fer-
rars is the most rising man of the day, and is sure to be in the
cabinet before he is forty."

Everybody had an appetite for dinner to-day, and the din-
ner was worthy of the appetites. Zenobia's husband declared
to himself that he never dined so well, though he gave his
chef .500 a year; and old Lord Pomeroy, who had not yet
admitted French wines to his own table, seemed quite abashed
with the number of his wine-glasses, and their various colors;
and, as he tasted one succulent dish after another, felt a proud
satisfaction in having introduced to public life so distinguished
a man as William Ferrars.

With the dessert, not without some ceremony, were intro-
duced the two most remarkable guests of the entertainment,

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