T. H. (Thomas Henry) Lister.

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love did not long outlive the honey-moon.

Connected with his daughter, Sir Thomas liad
one subject of deep concern. She was his only
child, and yet she could not inherit his fortune.
In default of male issue, the Brackingsley estate,
which formed almost the whole of his property,
would go, on his death, to a distant relation.
This circumstance was known only to Sir Tho-
mas, Lady Jermyn, Caroline, the heir-at-law,
and a trusty attorney, and was kept by the
Baronet religiously secret, — a secresy which was
facilitated by the heir-at-law, Avho lived in a
retired and distant part of the kingdom, being
a humourist and a recluse, and by no means
likely to communicate the fact. The attorney
had sohd reasons for silence; and as no one
ever thought of questioning the truth of so


apparently self-evident a proposition, as that the
daughter of Sir Thomas Jermyn should suc-
ceed to his estate, Caroline, as her parents
d^ired, was universally looked upon as a very
great heiress. She herself had not till lately
been apprised of the truth. Her parents had
long been of opinion that she had much better
be kept in ignorance ; but at length Lady Jer-
myn, in a lecture upon imprudent alliances, in
order to impress upon her daughter's mind that
she could not afford to marry as she pleased, let
out the direful secret. This she did, as Sir Tho-
mas said, " with the best intentions in the world,
no doubt, but rather unnecessarily, nevertheless ;"
and sundry discussions took place in conse-
quence. The information, however, came
coupled with an injunction, which was repeated
with double force by Sir Thomas, that on no
account should she ever reveal it, until she
came to be married, or had received permission
to do so from them. She felt with pain that


there was a dishonesty in this silence, but she
could not remonstrate, and ventured not to dis-

With the ambitious and mercenary feelings
which prompted Sir Thomas and Lady Jermyn
to such a line of conduct, we cannot be sur-
prised at that change of manner which struck
such a chill to the heart of Henry Granby. It
is indeed rather a matter for surprise that this
change should have come so late, and that they
should have been so long insensible to the
natural consequence of the association which
they permitted. It is, however, attributable to
that infatuation with which people sometimes
rest satisfied, that events which they have long
predetermined to be inadmissible, can never
presume to take place. They, however, flat-
tered themselves that they had not been too
tardy in crushing the growing evil, and, well
pleased with the steps which they had latterly
taken, were reposing in placid satisfaction upon


the success of their manoeuvres, when the dream
of security was unpleasantly dissolved by Henry
Granby"'s letter to Caroline.

The letter was received by Sir Thomas,
in the presence of Lady Jermyn only; and,
after opening the envelope, and observing that
it was from Ashton, he gave the enclosure to
the latter to deliver to her daughter. But
Lady Jermyn, who knew the hand, imme-
diately opened it ; and although in some degree
re-assured by the inoffensive nature of its con-
tents, she found cause for considerable anxiety, on
a patient re-perusal. It was, she thought, a \-ery
dangerous kind of letter, and exactly of that
sort which would be most fatal to her plans.
It was its very faultlessness she dreaded. Be-
yond the mere fact of \\Titing, there was nothing
reprehensible ; not a word, not a sentiment, to
which blame could be attached, and to which
she could reply in terms of censure. Then, if
delivered to Caroline, it could not fail to make
an impression favourable to the \mter ; and this


could never be allowed. How to reply to it
she knew not, whether she did it in her own
name or Caroline''s. A reply would certainly
bring on a remonstrance ; and thus she should
be involved in an epistolatory conference, of
which she clearly foresaw the difficulty and dan-
ger. No : — silence was at once both easiest and
safest ; and after a conversation on the subject
with her husband, who entered fully into aU
her ideas, she re-enclosed to its author this
luckless epistle, and told Caroline that Mr.
Granby (she used to call him Henry) had sent
her so very improper a letter, that she did not
chuse to let her see it, but had immediately
sent it back, that being the only treatment of
which she considered it deserving.

Caroline was much hurt at this intelligence,
— more indeed than she was willing to show.
She found much difficulty in imagining Henry
really guilty of any great impropriety, and yet
she knew not how to believe him innocent.
Lady Jermyn had stopped her enquiries, by


severely commenting on the indelicacy of seek-
ing too minute an explanation ; and this rebuke,
coupled Tvith her mysterious nod, her grave and
studied censure of Henry's conduct, and the
tone of her intimation, in which more seemed
meant than met the ear, all this conveyed to
the unsophisticated mind of CaroHne an almost
a\^'ful impression of some dire and indefinable
delinquency. Lady Jemiyn also signified, but
more by manner than by words, that the sup-
pression of the letter, and her refusal to explain,
were acts of tenderness towards the cidprit.

But while Caroline was lamenting Granby's
unworthiness, and deeply pondering upon the
slight and unsatisfactory hints, which were all
she was allowed to receive, Sir Thomas and his
lady were beginning to subside into comfortable
forgetfulness of this aggravated case, when they
were roused afresh by the expostulation of
General Granby. This both increased their
irritation, and seemed to throw fresh light upon
the subject. They now began to view the


whole as a concerted scheme between the unck
and the nephew ; and although the idea of the
union of Henry and Caroline had never entered
the mind of the former until the receipt of Sir
Thomas''s letter, they were soon able to enume-
rate many circumstances in his previous conduct,
plainly indicative of such a design.

Such treacherous behaviour was, in their opi-
nion, deserving of severe rebuke, and entirely
cancelled all the obligations of former friendship.
The Baronet, therefore, sat down, full of his
wrongs, to the business of reply ; and being fresh
from the perusal of a parliamentary protest of
the Upper House, which he justly regarded as
an able specimen of the suaviter in modo,Jortiier
in re, he endeavoured to embody, in his brief
remonstrance, the circumlocutory graces of the
great original.

We have already witnessed the feelings
which this letter excited, and the fate which
it received. The rage of the Baronet on re-
ceiving it again, could be equalled only by his


surprise ; and he solemnly vowed that he would
renounce all connection with a family, whom his
interest prompted him to neglect, and who had
laboured to accelerate a formal rupture, by so
gross a complication of studied insults: and
thus ended all communication between the
houses of Brackingsley and Ashton.



How convenient it proves to be a rational animal, who knows how to
find or invent a plausible pretext for whatever it has an incliuaUon
to do! — Franklin.

About a month after the disastrous close of the
correspondence just alluded to, Lady Jermyn's
eye, in glancing over the fashionable movements
in the Morning Post, rested upon a paragraph
copied from a provincial paper, announcing that
on such a day, " the Duke and Duchess of Ihnin-

ster and suite passed through the town of

on a visit to Viscount Daventry, at his superb
seat, Hemingsworth Castle, in the county of

." Lord Daventry had married the

only sister of Sir T. Jermyn, and lived at a


distance which prevented any considerable fre-
quency of intercourse. The Daventrys, it is
true, might perhaps be suspected (from their
superior rank, great fortune, and acknowledged
station in the fashionable world,) of looking a
little de haut en has upon their relations at
Brackingsley ; but they always maintained a
very decent degree of cordiality and attention,
said and wrote " an elegant sufficiency" of civil
things, and appeared glad to see them whenever
they met. Their intercourse, however, had at
this time suffered a long interruption, and it
struck Lady Jermyn, that the approaching visit
of the Ducal party would afford a desirable
opportunity of renewing it. She therefore
oj:>ened the subject next morning at breakfast.

" I have been tliinking for some time. Sir
Thomas, that we have been using the Daventrys
rather ill, and you cannot tliink how it lies upon
my mind."

" Using them ill ! how so ?'^ said the Baro-



net, raising his head from a cup of green tea,
and the Report of the Game Committee.

" Why, you know how kind they have
always been, and how fond they are of having
us with them, and how long it is since they
have been with us."

" Yes — I know it is a long time; but whose
fault was that.'' I'm sure we have asked them
often enough.'"*

^' True, true, Sir Thomas, so we have. Cir-
cumstances, you know, always prevented them.
But what I was going to say was this — I
really think we have not behaved quite well
to them. Your sister Daventry, when we saw
them at Leamington, said a great deal — a great
deal indeed, about our meeting so seldom ; and
she seemed to allude to it again in her note,
when she sent us those seeds and cuttings for
the green-house ; and you know. Sir Thomas,
you have had two letters from Lord Daven-
try, written expressly to ask you there."

aRAXBY. 69

" No, no, my dear ; not written expressly ;
no such thing. One was about an under game-
keeper, and the other was full of the Compton-
heath Inclosure Bill. He said something, to be
sure, in each of them, about seeing us at Hem-
ingsworth ; but he did not fix any day. They
were mere general invitations."*'

" Certainly, certainly, there were other sub-
jects in both letters. You know, you gentle-
men seldom write except upon business. But
you are aware, yourself, that he has invited
us twice; and after that, I really think it is
now our turn to show some attention, and that
we cannot do less than offer to go to them."

" Go to them ! oh ! that is the attention
you mean ! Why I thought. Lady Jermyn,
you were going to propose that we should ask
them to come to us."

" I should be truly happy, I'm sure, to bee
them here, as I always am, and ever have been ;
but you know, Sir Thomas, at this time of the
year, they are constantly engaged with company


at home ; therefore, much as we may desire it, our
seeing them here is out of the question. Be-
sides, I think it would be quite unpardonable to
take no notice of their invitation, after all that
your sister has said, and Lord Daventry having
written twice on the subject."'

" I don't know what my sister may have said,
but as for Daventry 's two letters, they were
nothing, as I told you, but general invitations ;
and I always have said, and always shall say,
that general invitations stand for nothing."

"Now, really, Sir Thomas, I cannot agree with
you. I know it is the fashion to abuse general
invitations, but for my part, I always stand
up for them. To be sure, they are often used
to indifferent people that one does'nt care about,
because, perhaps, one must ask them, and can-
not exactly at the moment fix any time ; but,
surely, when friends and relations invite one
in that way, they mean, that one shall at all
times be equally welcome.''

"Equally welcome ! — aye, very likely — that


is to say, just as little at one time as another.
No, no, my dear, I am no friend to general
invitations. I have always said, and I always
shall say, that a person who asks you to come
' at any time,' had much rather you never
came at aU.'"*

" Oh, Sir Thomas ! you must not say that, be-
cause you are doing yourself a great injustice.
You know, you often do that very thing to many
excellent people, that I am sure we have a great
regard for. There are the Joneses, and the
Gibbses, and the Robinses, and the Bai'kers :
you never meet them but you make a speech
about seeing them, and yet we never have them
but once in two years."

" Why, between ourselves, my dear," said the
baronet, in a confidential tone, " towards a cer-
tain class of people that one must be civil to,
a little management of this sort is very useful ;
and you may depend upon it, that Daventry
pays off his scores in that coin as well as our-


" I have not the least doubt of it— to certain
people — but I cannot suppose that he does to us.
Really, Sir Thomas we ought to go, if it is only
to show that we do not place ourselves in that class.
Your dear sister would feel it very much ; and I
am sure. Sir Thomas, that you, who are so gene-
rally civil to everybody, would never be guilty
of an act of rtyd^ness to your own near relations."

" Oh, I have no objection to go to them ;
only, I have a great deal of business of one sort
or other ; and I think I am rather wanted here
at present."

'* Ah, Sir Thomas ! — as for that, you know
you are always wanted in this neighbourhood. We
could never leave home if that were an excuse.
But they ought to be taught to do without you.
A man in your situation is not to be made a
drudge. He ought to take an opportunity of
showing his independence."

" Yes, yes— no doubt — no doubt— well, do
aa you please — I say again, I have no objection
to go to Hemingsworth,"


" Very well. I could do nothing, you know,
without your concurrence ; but since you agree
to go, I "11 write directly to your sister Da-
ventry, and tell her we'll come to them, if
they can receive us, on ^Monday next. There
will be ample time for an answer."

A polite and carefully worded note wa*
quickly dispatched to Lord Daventry, and re-
ceived, as soon as the distance would permit, a
very civil and favourable reply.




This castle liath a pleasant seat: the air,
Nimbly and svveetly recommends itself
Unto our gentle senses. — Macbeth.

Monday came : it was a bright, clear, cheer-
ful, frosty day — one of those which breathe pe-
culiar exhilaration, and in which the smiling
aspect of winter, like the ingratiating vivacity
of green old age, charms the more because the
less expected. The sun shone brightly through
the thin silvery haze, and was gaily reflected by
small twinkling drops upon every bough, and
the dazzling rime upon the grass below. The
stillness of the air allowed the ear to catch, with
more than usual ease, an enlivening medley of
familiar sounds, denoting life, gaiety, and


bustle; the rattle of the distant coach, the
strong clear whistle of the light-hearted labourer,
the busy hum of the neighbouring village, the
distant clamour of foraging rooks, and, nearer
at hand, the merry chattering of the redwing,
and the brisk chirp of the plump-looking little
birds which frisked about, apparently larger and
gayer than ever.

On such a morning, when there was just a
sufficient accession of cold to awaken " the fair''
to a becoming sense of the soft comforts of
siransdown and chinchilla, and the " lords of
the creation*' to the substantial merits of double-
milled drab and lined beaver, did Sir Thomas
Jermyn, his lady, and their daughter, step into
their carriage, and depart for Hemingsworth. It
is not to be expected, in this age of M'Adamized
roads, patent axles, anti-attrition, and all the
other luxurious aids of speedy conveyance, that
a forty miles journey in one of Leader's best
carriages, drawn by four good horses, should


afford many interesting casualties to embellish
the narration. On the contrary, not a linchpin
presumed to quit its post; and they rolled
smootlily along, till, as the shades of night drew
near, or, to speak in loftier and more befitting
language, " when the declining orb of day had
tinged with his expiring beams the waxing
glories of the western hemisphere,'"' our party
entered the park at Hemingsworth.

This was a level and rather uninteresting tract
of ground, fringed with a thin belt of spiry
poplars, and many a kidne}^- formed clump of
spruce looking trees, which had been browzed
into more than their natural formality. Here
and there, thinly scattered, was a solitary
giant of the woods, which seemed to frown
with disdain upon these congregated upstarts,
and which showed by its growth the anti-
quity of the demesne, and by its soHtary situa-
tion the subsequent ravages of the destroying
axe. It seemed as if an unfortunate effort had


been lately made, to clothe afresh a half denuded
place, which was now ahnost in the situation of
a person who should put on a modem-made coat
over the trunk hose and long-lapped waistcoat
of his great grandfather.

A neat, well-kept road, which wriggled un-
meaningly across a flat, conducted them to the
mansion, which, from the humility of its situa-
tion, might with most propriety have exhibited
the Palladian, Old English, or Abbey-Gothic
styles of architecture, but which the taste of
the noble owner had lately destined to as-
sume the martial air of a baronial castle. It
had frowning battlements, and well buttressed
walls, with small arched windows, and round
towers of a most imposing air of strength,
pierced here and there with those narrow slits,
from which the archer of other days could
" shoot his bolt" securely. What with bringing
the offices into play, and here and there a sup-
plementary dead wall, the castle exhibited a very
formidable extent. The owner had also laboured

^8 GRAN Br.

to blend his outward bravery with inward con-
venience, and to cloak the most peaceful pur-
poses under the most menacing exterior. The
white cotton cap of his French cook, seen be-
tween the broad stanchions of a deep gothic
window, betrayed that one massy wing contained
a kitchen. The larder was a feudal guard-room ;
the dairy was a " donjon keep f' and a draw-
bridge conducted to the coal-hole.

But while we are describing the appearance of
the place, we are keeping the newly arrived
guests waiting at the door, for what both them-
selves and the noble owners of the mansion
would certainly have thought an unconscionable
time. They were ushered through a spacious
hall, and several rooms, of which the united
effects of twilight and firelight only sufficed to
inform them of the size ; and they saw, in their
short and rapid progress, few objects to arrest
their attention. In one room were two young
men in shooting jackets, playing or pretending
to play at billiards ; and in another, a person,


they believed of the male sex, sitting by the
fire, dressed in something red, most probably a
hunting coat, apparently asleep in a deep arm-
chair. They passed on — another door was
opened — their names were announced — and they
found winding towards them, through a mighty
maze of tables, chairs, and ottomans. Lady Da-
ventry and her eldest daughter ; and several
minutes were quickly passed in the cordial inter-
change of customary civilities.

Lady Daventry was as glad to see them as
she seemed to be ; for she was a remarkably
good-natured woman, and was really fond both
of her brother and her niece, and had no dislike
to Lady Jerrayn, whose worldly sense she re-
spected, and for whose little occasional want of
refinement she was always ready to make more
than requisite allowances, upon the consider-
ation that, '•' poor thing, she had few advantages
in early life." Lady Daventry was not clever,
but pleasing and amiable ; and she was single-


hearted and guileless to a degree which Lady
Jermyn thought quite incompatible with the
worldly avocations of her station, and her long
and high standing in fashionable circles.

Lord Daventry presently entered, and drew
off Sir Thomas Jermyn to another room, to
show him, as well as the light would permit, a
projected alteration from an adjoining window,
and left the ladies to themselves. They talked
long ; and Lady Daventry at length began to
speak of their present and expected guests. " 1
am glad you happened to come to us now, for
we have got the Duke and Duchess of Ilminster
with us, and their daughter — the unmarried
one — delightful people — you are sure to like
them. They have made a long stay with us.
Most of the party are gone that we asked here
to meet them, but there are more arriving to-
morrow. Lord Chesterton, and Mr. Duncan
and Lady Harriet — Oh ! and who do you think
we have here now? Mr. Trebeck — the Tre-


beck — you know whom I mean — we take his
visit as a great compliment," said she, laughing.
" But it is really very fortunate, for we were
disappointed in Lord and Lady Tenby, who
were to have come to meet the Duke and
Duchess; and Mr. Trebeck is the person of all
others, for he is particularly intimate — quite in
their set. Perhaps you don't know him, but of
course you have heard him spoken of; — very fine,
and every thing of that sort ; but pleasant, re-
markably pleasant where he is known. But I
must not keep you here," said she, warned of
the time by seeing a servant enter to light the
lamps ; and they accordingly betook themselves
to the pleasing labour of adornment.

When Caroline found herself alone with her
mother, she could not forbear a question among
others, concerning the Mr. Trebeck whom she
had just heard spoken of.

" I do not know much about him, my dear,'"
said her mother, " any farther than this, that he
is what they call very fine."



" Yes, mamma, so my aunt said; but in what
way ' fine ?' "

" Oh, gives himself airs, and is very con-
ceited, and a great dandy, and every thing of
that sort."

Caroline thought she comprehended ; and was
satisfied and silent, and repaired to her apart-
ment, where she occupied her mind as much as
the important business of the toilette would
permit, in forming abstract ideas of a duke and
duchess, and in endeavouring to divine what
manner of man the Trebeck could possibly be.

On descending to the drawing-room with Lady
Jermyn, after having undergone the maternal
scrutiny, and been complacently pronounced " a
presentable figure," she found most of the party
assembled, and among them the Duke and
Duchess, and their daughter Lady Elizabeth
Bellasys, to all of whom the Brackingsley party
were severally and summarily introduced.

The Duke was a fat, jovial, good-humoured
looking man^ with a twinkling eye, and a chuck-


ling laugh at his friend's remarks, which it did
one's heart good to hear. — The Duchess seemed a
quiet, common-place woman, of gentle manners,
with a countenance guiltless of much meaning,
and in fact with no very distinguishing character
about her. She fluently uttered some good-
humoured every day civihties, — praising, among
other things, the beauties of Brackingsley, for
which it turned out that she had mistaken
another place, and enquiring after a supposed
near neighbour, whom Lady Jermyn had never
seen. — Her daughter was an old young lady,
whose celibacy might be considered as fixed.
She was rather plain, but had a countenance
that possessed all the intelligence which her mo-
ther's wanted ; a keen quick eye, and a sarcastic
turn of the mouth, which gave rather an ill-na-
tured and unprepossessing expression to her face.
Caroline was introduced to her by Lady Da-
ventry, and received with a rapid, careless, but
acute scrutiny, and an air, which though devoid


of formality, was felt by the former to be chilling
and repulsive.

There were no other ladies except the Misses
Chfton. The rest of the gentlemen consisted of
Mr. Clifton, and a sporting friend, Mr. AVilliam
Charlecote; a tall, upright, smirking man in
black, whose name was Bennett, and who was
in orders, and had newly entered into the situa-
tion of domestic tutor to the younger Cliftons ;
Mr. Rigby, a factotum of the Duke's, — a bluff,
coarse, square-built person, with a steady step,
and an ease of manner, which, though not ob-
trusive, was still not gentlemanly ; and though
^ast not least, the Hon. Mr. Tarleton, an effemi-
nate looking young man, more particularly dis-
tinguished by a very " recherche'' attire, a pro-
fusion of chain work, several rings, a well curled
head, and a highly scented handkerchief. His

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