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A bartered honour : a novel (Volume 2) online

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de Bienaimee was broken up and scattered in
different directions.

The Baroness, accompanied by Euphrosyne and
Bianca, departed for Florence, and after their
departure Charles could no longer stay at Sorrento.
Mangles had gone back to England, after having
done Charles as much mischief as he well could.
Charles had had an interview with him at the
Tramontano, the same evening that he had bade
Euphrosyne a last good-night. Mangles professed
himself glad to see him, but Charles cut him short
by flinging down a cheque for £150, and bidding
him give him a receipt and hold his peace.

" I am in no humour," he had said, '^ to put up
with your vulgarity, and I wish to say that I hope
that now all intercourse between us will stop. You
have been a stumbling-block to me many times,
and now that you have no claims on me — you will
observe I have calculated the interest due on your
loan — I must request you to forget that we were
ever acquainted."

Mangles had answered by crushing the cheque
up in his hand and throwing it into the corner,
and then signed the receipt. (A rather crumpled


cheque for £150, payable by the Penrith Bank to
Mr. Mangles was^ let it be added, shortly after-
wards passed through the London clearing-house.)
Charles then went home to his lodgings, and
drew up and sent to the Oxford Guardian and
Oxford Chronicle the following advertisement : —

NOTICE. — All Tradesmen having claims upon
Mr, Charles Hauberk (Benson), late of St.
Mary's College, are requested to send in a state-
ment of such claims on or before Wednesday, the
14th inst., for payment. No letters from solicitors
can be entertained, and, if sent in, will not be
answered. — Address, CHARLES HAUBERK, The
Grande Sentinelle Hotel, Sorrento, Golfo di Napoli.

In about eight days Charles was favoured with
a shower of bills, the first to come in being that
of The Spider, who had written across the back —
" Mr. Harrison begs to call the special attention
of Mr. Bauberk to the sweet things in summer
trowserings which he has in stock; also to a few
cases of Havanna cigars, at £5 the box. — P.S.
Twelve months' credit, or ten per cent, discount
for cash within three months."

Charles paid all his bills, and felt greatly relieved
at being no longer under any. obligation to men of
the Harrison type, so rightly nicknamed after the
insect that never looses its prey till its victim's
last drop of blood has been sucked out. When
these matters were at last settled he began to
think what he should do, and how to best employ
his talents and his £2,000. He had, it is true,
first had the idea of following Euphrosyne to


Florence, but bis sense of bonour and of tbe con-
sideration due to tbe Baroness, prevented him;
and yet be felt very miserable wandering about
alone_, for baving declined tbe friendship and
society of tbe Mertons, and by baving, in doing
so, practically renounced tbe society of Herbert
Lovell, wben be did not need it, be felt too proud
to seek it now. Often tbe poor boy would wander
Tip to tbe Yilla Dresda gate, and press bis face
against tbe cold iron bars, and strain bis eyes
gazing on tbe ground wbere be bad first spoken to
tbe dear girl be so fondly loved; and often, too,
he would call " Eupbrosyne, Eupbrosyne ! " What
times tbe bum of tbe buzzing gadfly, or, at even-
tide, tbe wanton chirping of the cicada, would
alone respond !

At last be could stand it no longer, and deter-
mined to go back to England, and after a little
reflection decided on doing so. He went, tbere-
fore, to tell Herbert and bid him good-bye. Her-
bert was as usual with the Mertons, and when
Charles entered be found bis friend in a very
affectionate pose with Mildred, while Brother John
looked on, beaming with happy smiles.

Charles bowed to tbe Mertons, and addressing
Herbert, said — " I've come to say good-bye,

'' Good-bye, Charles ? "

" Yes ; I am leaving in a day or two for

" Oh, Charles," said Herbert, " why did you not
tell me so before P '


" I have only just decided on doing so. Plans
are quickly formed with, me."

" Then you are really decided/' said Herbert.


" Well, let me help you with your things — to
pack, and so on.^'

Charles readily availed himself of his friend's
offer, and while they were so engaged Herbert
said —

" Charles, do you look on me as a friend ? "

Charles disliked exhibitions of sentiment and
sentimental phrases, so he answered rather ab-
ruptly, and consequently without much grace —

'' Yes, yes, of course ; why do you ask ? "

" Because/' said Herbert gravely, " I want to
tell you something which will interest you, and yet
I fear to pain you."

" What is it," said Charles, sitting down on his
portmanteau with an air of resignation.

Herbert put a letter into his hands and said —
^^ I have loved you, Charles, very much, and now
I am forbidden, by the only person whose authority
I acknowledge, to have any intercourse with you."


"Yes, Charles, that letter is from my mother;
I wish you to read it, and, if you can, to give me
an explanation of its contents. I cannot obey it,
for I love you, my friend, and yet I want an
explanation. There is some mistake, I am certain."

" Perhaps this letter will not be a very pleasant
one for me to read, and as I dislike sentimentali-


ties of any sort, I must ask you to excuse me from
reading this letter."

" No, no," said Herbert, anxiously. " I want you
to read it. It alters nothing. There is a mis-

" As you wish it," said Charles, " I will do it."
Charles then unfolded the letter. It dated from
Havre, and announced the arrival of Mrs. Dixon,
Herbert's mother, at that port. After sundry
observations on financial matters, and on her pas-
sage from New York, the writer paragraphed off
as follows : —

'* You tell me now for the first time that you
have a friend named Charles Hauberk, and that
he is staying with you at Sorrento, and that you
will be very glad to introduce him to me. This is
what I say. Loathe the man who bears that name
as you loathe an unclean thing, as you loathe folly,
treachery, vice, deceit and liars. If you love your
mother, sunder at once all connection with him
and shun him as you would a leper. I cannot
come to Sorrento while he is there. I could not
come within a hundred miles of him. Therefore
choose ; either abandon your friend or be content
never to see me again. Unless I hear that you
have done as I wish, I shall take the next mail
back to America. Either get rid of your friend, and
come and meet me at Paris, or renounce all hope
of ever seeing me again."

" What can it mean ? " said Herbert, pained to
see how deeply his friend was wounded.


'^Mean? ali — mean? And you say that this in-
teresting, lady-like epistle was written by " —

" Dora Dixon, my mother,'^ said Herbert.

" Dora Dixon, indeed, widow of the late " —

"John Dixon, brewer of Surat beer, at l^ew
York," said Herbert, rather piqued by his friend's

" Oh, a brewer. Well, well, perhaps that ex-
plains it," said Charles, with the greatest insol-
ence, and hardly knowing what he was saying.

"Yes, never mind that, but tell me, Charles,
what do you think it means 9 " said Herbert affec-
tionately, and making every allowance for his
friend's feelings.

" Mean ? How can I know. The lady apparently
dislikes the aristocracy of England, and therefore
includes the bearer of one of its names. I cannot
offer to explain the line of reasoning she pursued
in penning these lines, I have not the lady's ac-
quaintance, and do not desire it. Ail I can say is,
that I can, of course, not be the reason that so
polite a lady and so loving a son should be
separated, and all I can do is to wish you a very
good day."

Now there are limits to all human tempers, and
Charles's tone was even more insolent than his ex-
pressions. Herbert, who had been quite startled,,
and, in no ordinary measure, pained on reading the
letter which he had only that very morning re-
ceived, had made the amplest allowance, for
Charles's amour-'projpre, and the pride which he
knew was his besetting sin ; but hearing his


mother insulted, and not seeing in his natural
anger that the effect of the letter had quite bereft
Charles of any discernment or consideration, he
could contain himself no longer, and said in some
anger —

" You shall not insult my mother. I will not
allow it."

"I had no intention of insulting Mrs. Do-ra
Di-xon, as I believe she is called. The insult seems
to be on her side."

" I tell you I will not allow it."

''You will not allow what ? "

*' I will not allow you to insult my mother. 1
gave you the letter to read, telling you there was a
mistake. You make no allowances."

" I can make no allowances for such a letter.
The letter is the worst specimen of " —

" I tell you to be quiet."

" Indeed, you tell me to be quiet. Mr. Lovell,
you are as unreasonable as — ■ "

*' Have you no feeling ? " cried Herbert. " Have
you no gentlemanly honour ? "

'' I answer no questions," said Charles, starting^
to his feet, and pointing to the door.

Herbert looked at him, his blood was up. And
yet he loved his friend well, and was sick at heart
at this unseemly quarrel.

Charles was utterly disgusted with himself at
what he had been saying, but perverseness had got
hold of him, and spoke from his lips, while his
whole body winced at the cruel words he himself

VOL. II. o


Perhaps Herbert noticed this, for he grew calm
and said —

" I can understand your anger. It is not un-
natural. It is not illegitimate as you are " —

" You are a mean^ damned scoundrel," said
Charles, starting forward in a burst of rage,
" You are the lowest of blackguards. Take that,"
and he struck him with all his force on the mouth.

Charles had not marked his friend's altered tone,
but had only heard the words — " It is not illegiti-
mate as you are " — and did not wait, but, driven
by perverseness, and probably knowing all the
while in his heart of hearts that Herbert had
never meant his words as a reproach, but was only
beginning a sentence, had sprung forward and done
his cruel deed.

He raised his arm to strike again, but Herbert
caught his arm, and said —

" Are you mad, Charles ? What have you
done ? '^

"What I will repeat," said Charles ;" what I
will do to chastise everyone who insults me."*^

" Do you know whom you have struck ? "

'^ Aye, well enough, Herbert Lovell."

" You have struck " — began Herbert ; then he
paused and looking sorrowfully at Charles, put his
handkerchief to his bleeding mouth, and walked
slowly to the door. There he paused and said —
'' You will be very sorry some day, Charles. I wish
jou a true good-bye."

*' Get away," said Charles, through his teeth.

The door opened, and Herbert went out. The


next minute Charles threw himself on Ids bed and
gave way to a passion of grief and a flood of burn-
ing tears.

In a few moments he jumped up, and struck
himself with his balled fist in the face, and asrain,
and again, and then he ran to the door and cried —

'^ Herbert, Herbert, come back ! "

But Herbert was out of hearing, and they met
no more.

That evening Charles left the Grande Sentinelle,
and took the Florio-Eubattino steamer to Genoa,
which he reached the followinof morninor. He was
driven to an hotel, and the first thing he did was
to write the two following letters : —

To Mr. Herbert Lovell, Sorrento.
"My Dear Herbert,

'^ Forgive me. I cannot excuse my be-
haviour. I must have been mad. I misunder-
stood what you said. I was very sorry immediately

"Your very affectionate,

^^C. Hauberk."

To Mademoiselle Euphrosyne de Bienaimee,
Lungarno, Firenze.
" My own Darling Little Euphrosyne,

" You see I have left Sorrento. I could
not bear it after you had left, and so I went too.
I wanted very much to come to Florence after you,
but thought it might vex the Baroness, as indeed
it would have done. Is Mademoiselle Bianca with,
you ? Do you know, I met her the morning you


left, and she looked very strangely at me, and all
slie said was, ' Hope,' and, indeed, Hope is all I
live on — hope some day to have you for ever. My
pretty little darling, I cannot tell you how much I
am looking forward to your first letter. Be sure
to write it in English.

" Oh, I forgot ; I have such a droll thing to tell.
I bought the Paris Figaro to-day, and saw a para-
graph called La Maree et Le Mart in the gossip
column, under the heading, Carnet cVun Mondain,
which seems to refer to the Chevalier de la Yigne ;
and as I believe he was my rival, I send you the
cuttino^, to show you to what heroic deeds the love
of you can drive men.

[The cutting, freely translated, is as follows : —
A few months ago, the fraternity of houlevar-
diers lost one of their members, a man who was
the most regular at the heure d* absinthe, and the
heure du vermouth, and who was always to be seen
between three and five o'clock driving in the Bois
with the fameuse equestrienne of the Hippodrome,
Mme. C. There was much grief among this coterie,
and nobody knew what had become of him. He
has suddenly reappeared, and is mute to all ques-
tions as to where he has been. I am, however,
informed that this gentleman has been on a pil-
grimage to Cythera, the object of his passion being
a young lady, daughter of a very old and aristo-
cratic Bourbon family, who resides with her mother
in a coquet villa not far from N — , in Italy. I am
also informed that the lady's dot is very consider-
able, and would by no means have been unwelcome


to the young man, who, as it may be remembered,
lost rather heavily over Cafe au lait at the
Auteuil races last sftring. He was, however,
unsuccessful in his wooing, and planned a ter-
rible revenge, nothing less than to prove his
love and wound his cruel love's heart by a
melodramatic suicide. Imitating the hero of
Victor Hugo^s romance, Les Travailleurs de la Mer,
he chose a rock in full view of the Villa Dresda,
and sat there waiting for the cruel sea to engnlf
him and his miseries. But the sacre Mediterranean
^as not en accord, and refused the shelter of her
bosom to the luckless, lovelorn young man. After
waiting five hours for the tide to rise, he abandoned
his seat, and his project, in disgust, and thus a
valuable life has been spared, and the restaurateurs
of the Boulevards have once more among their
clientele unfameux consommateur.^

" Fancy the poor little Chevalier waiting for the
tide of the tideless sea — is it not droll ?

" I shall be here some time, and then go on to
Venice. Write soon, and believe me, with a
thousand kisses^ ever your devoted lover,

'* Chaeles Haubeek."



Correspondence between Charles Hauberk and
Eupbrosjne de Bienaimee^ and others : —

^' My Dearest Charles,

" If I could write to you every day I
would, for nothing gives me more pleasure tban
to commune with you even through the silent
medium of a letter ; but I am obliged to be very
careful, for I know that mamma would be dis-
pleased if she knew that I was writing to you.
Therefore also, I ask you, though my heart aches
to do so, not to write every day as you have done
all this month. Mamma sees all the letters that
come into the house, and as it is not very usual
for me to receive so many letters, she will become
suspicious, and perhaps forbid me to write to you
or receive your letters.

'' I am not very happy, and but for your dear
letters and tbe love that speaks forth from every
line, I should be very miserable. I feel certain
that mamma knows that I still love you, and is so
.opposed to it that she is doing her best to marry
me to the Duke, Arnolfo, you know, the brother
of dear Bianca, whom, as a child, and before I
met yoUj I fancied I could love. He is here con-
stantly, and 1 believe he wishes to court me. I

LOST. 199

do not like him the least bit now, for my eyes
have been opened, and I cannot love such a man.

"Bianca is very kind to me, and it is to her I
confide my secrets, and it is to her every ni;^ht in
my chamber that I talk of you ; she speaks so
well of you, and I am sure will use all her influ-
ence with her brother to prevent him from troub-
ling me.

" I will write to you again as soon as T hear
that you have reached Venice, and now, with all
my heart, I wish you a happy good-night; oh, if
I might be near you now ! — A loving kiss.
*^Tua Sposa,


" Venice.
"My own Darling Etjphrostne,

"Your letter, which reached me on the

eve of my departure, gave me pain. I cannot tell

you how anxious I feel when I hear from you that

you are forced to be with the Duca di Caserta,

while I am far away from you. Surely your

mother will never force you to marry a man whom

you cannot love. I can say nothing against the

Duke. I liked what I saw of him very much.

He is brave and handsome, and has the worldly

recommendation of possessing a princely fortune,

and an unstained name. But he is not the man

to pick my little flower and hold it in his hot

grasp. Did I ever read you my lines —

The lily quivers in the peasant's grasp,
The aspen shivers in the cold north wind,

The gilded moth within the eager clasp
Leaves of its beauty not a trace behind.


You are a tender lily, and not made to bloom in
tlie liot breatli of the world. Oh, Euphrosjne,
when I think of the happiness that would be mine,
to live in the same secluded spot of beauty with
you, and to be with you always where never harm
or hurt mic]^ht befall you, and where we should
live in and for ourselves alone. When will that
day come ? When, when ?

'^ I cannot obey your injunction about writing,
but if you wish I will not post my letters each day,
but write every day and send them ofB together in
one envelope at the end of the week. They will
be very similar. I can tell you nothing but that
I love you, and love you, and love you.

" I shall not be at Yenice very long. I want to
go back to England. I want to clear up this
mystery about my birth. I want to be certain one
way or other if I am a pariah, or, after all, a
respectable citizen. If I find, as I know I shall,
that I am what the world holds me to be, I shall
come to you at once and take your decision. In
the other case I shall be an ordinary mortal, and
must take my chance with your mother. I will
write again before I leave.

" With undying love I remain, my own sweet

" Your loving and devoted
. *' Charles Hauberk.*'

Letter from Herbert Lovell, Sorrento (For-
warded from Genoa) : —

LOST. 201

"My Dearest Charles,

" I received jour note from Genoa, and
-would have answered it at once, but when I am in
anger with a person, I like to test mj own feel-
ings before writing on impulse. There was, how-
ever, little need for me to follow m^^ rule in this
case^ for I have never borne you the least ill-will.
I was very sorry at what had happened, and very
glad that I controlled my feelings. Your blow
was decidedly hard, I should not have thought you
could have hit so well. It is a great gift is hard
hitting in these days, where everybody, thinking
themselves protected by the law, are as insolent
as they can be. Well, let us say nothing more
.about it.

^' My mother is now staying at Sorrento. She
has been here three weeks, and is charmed with
the place. She bears you as much ill-will as ever,
and will not hear your name mentioned. She has
forbidden me ever to speak about you, and when
I asked her why, she got very angry and spoke
quite harshly to me. It is a sad mystery. I so
much wanted you to know her. She is so kind
and gentle as a rule, and would, I know, have
grown very fond of you, and replaced, perhaj)s, the
mother you have lost.

'' And now, dear Charles, let me preach. You
said once something which pained me very much.
Do you remember ? It was just after I heard the
news of my stepfather's death. I asked you if
you loved your mother dearly, and you said — ' But
for the fact that I am alive, I have no proof


I ever had a mother. No, I have no reason to
cherish her memory. Her legacy was to me one
of grief, of tears, of reproach. I never knew her
— my happiness lies there.' I felt very sorry when
I heard you speak thus, for whatever her fault
or whatever her life, she was and is still your
mother. Just think of the word, mother, what
a holy sound it has. How true were the words
of my poor countryman —

Because I feel that in the heavens above,
The angels whispering to one another,

Can find among their burning words of love
None so devotional as that of * mother.*

" From all you have said about yourself, I can-
not help knowing what it is that grieves you every
day, but why turn your resentment on your
mother ; the woman is always the less culpable in
those matters, and bears all the shame, and all the
suffering. And you should not, even in your
thoug-hts, be one of those who condemn her. Be
certain she loved you, oh, she loved you, and no
doubt her last thoughts, when hunted from the
world, broken-hearted with shame and sufferings
she laid herself down for the last time, were of her
dear boy, and those lips so soon to become cold in
death, kissed you, and kissed you, and whispered
with her last breath a prayer for you,

'^ I think my inferences have been correct and
may tell you I have often thought of your posi-
tion with great pain in one direction and hope and
consolation in another. In the presence of a great
grief; my lips have sometimes remained silent.

LOST. 203

*The heai-t knoweth its own bitterness, and a
stranger intermeddletli not with its joy,' says
Solomon. I feel, in wishing to console yon, how
very possible it is to be C7'uel in the attempt to ad-
minister comfort. But there are some people in
the world who are only legitimate in point of
birth and illegitimate in every other thing almost,
and fully alive to the disadvantages and the pain
of your position, all the greater and the more in-
tense by reason of your education and social posi-
tion, I say this, and I mean what I say, that
your heart being turned to good, I would rather,
by one hundred times, be you, than plenty of legi-
timate gentlemen, and those even far from being
what the world would stigmatise as scoundrels.
Nothing really disgraces a man but bad conduct,
and the very fact that your position is a painful
one in a certain sense, would but lead the good
and noble to take you the more readily into the
inner sanctuary of the heart.

" You will not mind my saying this. I have
long wanted to tell you that I am not one of those
fools who think that a service gabbled over a
couple makes their children any better than the
children of love.

" I hope you will not forget to vn-ite to
" Your very affectionate friend,

"Heebeet Lovell."

A week later Charles got the following from
Bianca di Caserta : —

204 a baeteeed honoitb.

" Dear Signor Caelo,

" I feel I must write to you, because we
were good friends together, and it would not be
friendship on my part if I were to be silent. I
know that you love Eupbrosyne, and Eupbrosyne
adores you, and to me it seems that you could
not be better matched, and I love Eupbrosyne
so much that I am quite happy in seeing ber
bappy, and therefore to see ber sad makes me
sad also, and sbe is sad now, and not with-
out reason. The Baroness seems determined to
marry her to my brother, and my brotber is at
present not unwilling, and has indeed broken off
an engagement wbicb he bad contracted between
himself and the Principessa di Benvenuta, of
this town. They are not engaged yet, but it
seems very imminent. I will still do my best to
prevent this marriage, for much as I love my
hrother, I love —

(N.B. — Bianca scratched out the words I have
nnderlinecl.) " Therefore be watchful, as I will be,
■ and believe me ever yours,

'' BlAl^CA."

Tbis letter rather upset Cbarles, but he trusted

in Eupbrosyne, and so made no mention of it to ber.

In a few days be took train to London, via Paris,

He bad not left bis botel four days, when another

note came from Bianca.

"Dear Charles,

" What I feared is done. Eupbrosyne is

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