T. H. (Thomas Henry) Lister.

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already quoted Price, Repton, Gilpin, and heaven
knows what besides, to each of them — depend
upon it, they can do very well without me.


But I'm afraid the fact is that I am wanting
in attention to ladies — I mean generally. I
beheve, if the truth were known, I am consi-
dered a sort of woman-hater."

" You are not drawing an amiable picture
of yourself, but still you might have said worse ;
for I believe that hatred is considered by our
sex more pardonable than indifference.'*'

" Very true ; but unfortunately, the word * in-
difference' is much more applicable to my case.
It is in fact, my fault — I am indifferent. Ay,
you look incredulous ; but so it is. I can talk,
laugh, and philander, and keep up a little silly
persiflage, with the thousand pretty nonentities
that one meets in society ; but it is mere habit,
or mere idleness ; they excite no interest, and
they seem to know it. And then the stuff!
good heavens ! the mere stuff they are flattered
and amused with ! I am sometimes quite out
of the habit of talking sense : and why should I
talk it, when they are contented with an easy
substitute .'' In fact, I talk like a reasonable


being only to those few who do excite some

" Excuse me," said Caroline, " as I am going
to be very impertinent. I will not be so presump-
tuous as to set myself up as a defender of my
sex ; but I really cannot think that you were per-
fectly serious in what you have just been saying."''

" You may fairly suspect me ; it is so seldom
my case to be so. But I was serious ; or if you
cannot believe this, at any rate," said he, seating
himself by her, " I will be. I have said that
your sex in general does not interest me; but
did I say that no one ever could ? No, I could
not say that, for I cannot feel it. I am no rhap-
sodist ; but I have formed in my mind a stand-
ard, which is but too seldom even approached ;
and that is the cause of my general indifference.
But ask yourself, Miss Jermyn, whether there
is no lady from whom my thoughts hardly ever
wander ; whose looks I can read ; whose slightest
wishes I can guess, and I flatter myself am not
unsuccessful in trying to anticipate ? Yes, there


is one lady whom I have often endeavoured to
protect from an annoyance of a very pecuhar na-
ture, but to which she of all others will ever be
most liable, — the annoyance of unwelcome admi-
ration. But, perhaps,'' (added he, with a sigh)
" she is subject to it still, and I have only changed
the tormentor, without removing the evil."

'' I will not," said she, colouring, and speak-
ing with forced composure, " pretend to mis-
understand you. You are alluding to Lord
Chesterton. Certainly his attentions were un-
welcome, and I ought, I suppose, to be obliged
to you for your diversion of them. But you
must be aware, that any such step on your part
was utterly uncalled for and unexpected by

" And is it laid to my charge as a crime,
that I voluntarily lent my services in a case,
where I knew, that however required, they
never could be asked ? Do you blame me for
anticipating your wishes ?"

" My wishes, Mr. Trebeck T

GRAKBY.- 193

*' Excuse the word — call them what you
will — ^your sentiments — ^your — ""

" I beg your pardon — I only meant to say,
that you are really taking for granted more
than I ever expressed ; and indeed you have
somehow or other drawn me into a sort of under-
standing — a collusion — a confidence into which
I think I ought not so readily to have fallen."

" Do not blame yourself for what was un-
avoidable. We cannot always bestow our con-
fidences when and where we choose. There are
minds which think and feel ahke, and will con-
fide in each other in spite of themselves. There
is a sort of mental free-masonry, a secret sym-
pathy between some people ; and this I flatter
myself has been our case."

" I do not know," said she, hastily, a httle
alarmed at the course the conversation was
taking, and gaining a desperate courage at the
same time, '* but allow me to say, that I think
you were principally influenced by a love of ridi-



cule, and the desire of amusing yourself at
Lord Chesterton's expense."

*' Principally influenced !" said Trebeck with
an air of astonishment, " and by that ! you
must not so totally misunderstand my motives.
Can you suppose that the paltry pleasure of
teazing and thwarting that poor creature Ches-
terton, could have any weight with me one
instant. My dear Miss Jermyn, you have only
to reflect one little moment on your own charms
and perfections, and you will be well aware,
that there was an object more than worthy of all
my labours."

" I cannot," swd she, much confused, and
making a desperate eflbrt to change the subject,
*'I cannot much approve of personal ridicule;
and I do not think it at all commendable to
draw others into absurdities for the sake of ex-
posing them."

Trebeck gave a hasty glance at her agitated
countenance, and prudently following her lead.

ghaxby. 195

calmly replied, '' Ridicule, you know, haa been
said, by many wise people, to be the test of
truth ; I do not know with what correctness ;
but, you see, at any rate, I have authority for
using it ; and as for bantering the unwary, — I
assure you I always keep people in agreeable
error, upon the most humane principles. But
you think this is trifling, and I see you don't
like it. I will be serious. Your observations
have struck me ; and I wish to know your sen-
timents more thoroughly, and to learn of what
points of my character you chiefly disapprove ;
for I fear — nay, 1 am sure, that you do in fact
disapprove of some."

'' I have no right, Mr. Trebeck, to make
myself the judge of your conduct and charac-
ter. It would be very presumptuous, and I
really have no wish to assume such a privilege.''*

" You do not assume it — it is I who give it

you ; and I give it with pleasure : surely I may

bestow that power on whom I please. Ah ! you

will not speak — but I know what you think



of me. You think me cold, and selfish, arid^
frivolous, and worldly, and incapable of warm
and constant attachment. You do — you do —
you cannot deny it; — but you do not know
me, and few, if any, do. I am not what I

" And why are you other than what you
seem ? Why do you disguise your real charac-
ter, and act a part .?"

" Why.?" said Trebeck, with a significant
smile ; '* Miss Jermyn, allow me to be explicit,
and say to you what I have never said to
human being yet, and never, perhaps, may say
again. What are the pretensions with which
the proudest people in the land invest the
humble individual who addresses you ? Ask
any — ^all— of your exclusive aristocrats, whether
my suffrage does not exalt their fashionable
fame. Ask their Graces of Jlminster, if they
would dare to shrink from an equality, or if
even their rank would not tremble at a sarcasm
from me. This may look vain and boastful.


but it is the truth, and nothing more, and I
wish to speak without disguise. Why am I
courted by persons who, both in rank and
fortune, are immeasurably my superiors ? Is
this eminence obtained without an effort ? Cer-
tainly not ; and this is my answer to your
question ; it is for this that I have acted a
part ; and why should w^e quarrel with the
means, if they lead to success ?""

'* I think we should quarrel with them. I
cannot think the end justifies the means. We
should never do evil, even that good may

" A charming moral, and charmingly de-
livered. But my dear Miss Jermyn — nay, —
do not draw back at that little harmless expres-
sion of regard; — I was going to observe, that even
admitting what you say, still you have not proved
the evil I trust that no part of my career deserves
to be designated by so strong a term. My
errors, be they what they may, should be
attributed partly to my associates. We adapt


the bait to the palate for which it is intended ;
and if that with which I amuse the world,
offends your judgment, it is only because the
generality do not possess that delicate tact, that
refined moral sense, which renders you (excuse
my freedom in saying so) fastidious even to an
injustice. Do not associate me with the silly,
worldly characters around me. I laugh at them,
while I laugh with them. They are mere steps
in my ladder. I regard them as tools, and
treat them accordingly. Do not think that I
am really heartless. How can I show that I
have a heart, while I live with people who have
none ? Our best and warmest feelings require
reciprocity for their display. With the world
at large, I see the tone which best suits it.
To you I am addressing a different language.
Towards you I have no disguise. I wish to
unbosom myself completely. You already un-
derstand me better than your thousand keen-
sighted, thorough-paced people of the world ;
and I wish that you should know me entirely.'*

€ KAN BY. 199

*' I thank you for the comphment ; but
surely people are not always best known from
their own descriptions.""

" Do you mean that I am insincere in what I
have been saying ? I am sure you cannot mean
it. Does anything I have uttered carry with
it the smallest indication of deceit ? Is there
any want of sincerity in my manner ? Its very
difference from my usual manner ought to prove
the contrary."^

*' You are aware, it seems, of that difference ;
and I should have judged you more sincere if
you were not When a person is conscious of a
change in his manner, it rather seems to show
that the change is assumed."

" I will not dispute the principle, but you
are too severe in applying it to myself. But I
see that it is vain to look for anything but

*' Nay, Mr. T rebeck, I trust I have given you
no reason to say that."

'* I am but too well convinced of it," said he,


in a desponding tone ; " your usual charitable
feelings, I can plainly see, are not extended to

" I do not know why you should think so.
I am sure what I said was not uncharitably

*' I wish I could be persuaded of it ; but I
see that I have given you some deep offence.
Heaven knows how ! — I certainly have.''

" Oh, no, no— no deep offence."^

" To offend unknowingly," continued he,
not seeming to hear her, " is hard indeed ; but
I have been too aspiring. I have thought too
much of my own importance, and too little of
your''s. I have not bowed sufficiently low at the
shrine of wealth; and I have used language
which only high rank and fortune are permitted
to address to the heiress of Brackingsley."

" Mr. Trebeck, you astonish me by such im-
putations. I could not have supposed that you
would have ventured to suggest them, or that
you should have known me so little as to sup-

gea:nby. 201

pose them true. How can you think me in-
fluenced by such unjustifiable, sordid views?
No, Sir, even if I were the heiress. I mean —
I mean — '''' she stopped much confused. Hur-
ried on by the eagerness of self-vindication she
found herself on the point of discovering her
secret; and her presence of mind so utterly
failed her at this crisis, that she felt unable to
give a different turn to the sentence.

" You mean/' said he, after a momentary
pause, in a calm tone, which considerably re-
assured her, " that were you heiress of ten
Brackingsleys you never could entertain the un-
worthy feelings which I hastily imputed to you."

She scorned to adopt a meaning that was not
her own, and was silent.

" I ought," he continued, " to be convinced,
and I am inchned to think that there are other
reasons, by which your evident reluctance to
admit my addresses may be more easily ac-
counted for. Yes, Miss Jermyn, there are
other reasons, which it is much more painful for
K 3


me to admit, and to which, therefore, I have ab-
stained hitherto from alluding. But the time
for concealment is now past, and allude to them
I must. Two words will explain your conduct."

" And what are they .?" said she, turning pale.

" Pre-engaged affections."

She coloured violently, and her previous pale-
ness only served to render her emotion more
visible. She could not deny it; nor dare she
look up and meet his eye, which she felt con-
vinced was fixed upon her in calm, acute, deli-
berate scrutiny. But indignation at his boldness
came seasonably to her aid, and she said with
warmth, " Mr. Trebeck I you forget yourself.
This behaviour is unwarrantable. You have
no right to impute such sentiments ; it is a
liberty which, in justice to myself, I ought not
to permit.''

" Pray forgive me. I am more deserving of
your pity than your anger. The truth of the
suggestion ought in some degree to excuse its

GRA^'BY. S03

« The truth, Sir !'»

** You have not denied it."

" Why should I be called upon to deny what
you have no right to assume ?"

" You sliaJl never be called upon by me to
make an avowal unpleasant to yourself; but
permit me to say, (which I do with the most
unfeigned sincerity and respect), that you have
no friend to whom such an avowal might be
made with more safety than to me ; and let me
assure you that your secret shall be rehgiously
preserved, and that through me no part of this
conversation shall ever transpire."

'' I make no claim upon your secresy."

" I know you do not. You would scorn to
ask it. I can appreciate the dignity of your
feelings, but I can also read your wishes ; and
I feel bound to a fidelity which is not less due
than if you had solicited it. Time will come
when this temporary displeasure will have
passed away, and you will do me more justice
than you can at present ; but I cannot omit


this opportunity of expressing my warm convic-
tion, that there is no one to whom your happiness
and welfare will ever be an object of more deep
and lively interest, than it is to me."

So saying, he pressed her hand between both
his own, and bowing with an air of friendly
respect, gravely left the room.



Benedict. Do yon question me as an honest man should do for my
simple true judgment ? or would you have me speak after my customj as
being a professed tyrant to their sex ?

Ciaudio. Nay, I pr'ythee, speak in sober judgment.

Benedict. Why, i' faith, methinks she is too low for an high praise,
too brown for a fair praise, and too little for a gi-eat praise. Only this
commendationlcan afford her, that were she other than she is, she were
unhandsome, and being no other but as she is, I do not like her.

MccH Ado abott Nothivs,

It will appear evident, from the foregoing
conversation, that Mr. Trebeck was not deeply
in love, and that his happiness did not promise
to be dangerously affected by the unauspicious
result of his conference with the lady. But at
the same time it is not to be imagined that his
object in addressing her was merely mercenary.


His motives, like those of most other people,
were of a mixed character. He had no intention
of ever making a sacrifice to wealth. Rank he
disregarded, — flattering himself that the object of
his choice would always be possessed of sufficient
consideration in the world of fashion ; and his
natural extravagance, and the diminished state
of his finances, did not admit of his uniting
himself with a pennyless charmer. He, therefore^
wisely resolved to combine, as far as was possi-
ble, all the requisites of rank, beauty, fortune,
and fashion ; and to please his eye and gratify
his taste as well as he could, consistently with a
prudent attention to that first great indispensable
' — money. In Caroline Jermyn he found a suf-
ficient union of requisites to justify his choice.
She was, he presumed, a considerable heiress,
well-born, and well-connected. She had beauty
which satisfied even his fastidious eye ; sufficient
accomplishments ; manners which would pass
muster in any circle ; and, above all, a naiveU^
a sort of intellectual verdure, which, to use a


hackneyed expression, was perfectly " refresh-
ing." The circumstances, too, under which their
acquaintance had strengthened, seemed to invite
his subsequent approaches. He saw her exposed,
against her will, to the awkward and tedious
attentions of one whom he had never failed,
upon any fair opportunity, to make his butt.
He could thus, in the pursuit of his ultimate
object, gratify his malicious love of ridicule.
He could at once establish himself in the inti-
macy of the lady, by appearing to enter into
her feelings upon a subject on which, if confi-
dence is once seized by a coup de main, it is not
easily withdrawn ; and he could strengthen his
hold upon her, by the flattering interest which
he so unobtrusively betrayed, and the collusion
into which he forced her, mth his daily plans
for protecting her from the petty annoyance of
her unwelcome admirer.

He had also a rival to supplant ; but of thi?
he thought little; for he was not of sufficient
consequence to add much to the piquancy of


the pursuit. He was, however, aware that he
had but slight grounds to proceed upon. He
had not even her esteem ; nay, he was not cer-
tain that she did not at heart dishke him. He
trusted only to the trifling gratitude which his
attentions might, and, as he thought, ought to
have excited, and to the naturally flattered
vanity of a youthful mind, on finding itself an
object of admiration to the most fastidious fine
gentleman of his day, and at once the constituted
judge and ruling motive of his actions. He,
therefore, wisely abstained from assuming a
warmth which he was sure would not be met by
anything like a corresponding feeling, and for
the truth of which she probably would not give
him credit ; but rather brought into view his
claims upon her gratitude, and his high standing
in the fashionable world, and endeavoured to
flatter her vanity by a laboured endeavour to
justify his character in her eyes.

But Caroline had not sufficient vanitv for
his purpose, nor was she sufficiently conversant


in the ways of the world ; consequently, he could
not impress her with an adequate notion of liis
real elevation, nor could she sufficiently appre-
ciate the homage which rank and fortune sub-
mitted to pay to the magic influence of adroit

But, besides all this, her unguarded expres-
sions concerning her inheritance, changed in an
instant the course of his proceedings. The
words were few and simple, and their sense in-
complete ; but, coupled with her hesitating, em-
barrassed manner, they were sufficient to inform a
man of Trebeck's penetration, that her fortune,
at best, was an uncertain one. His plan was there-
fore instantly changed, and as quickly acted upon^ •
and, pretending to give another meaning to her
words, he sought to secure a graceful retreat.
With this view he struck the chord of pre-en-
gaged affections; but was not prepared to find it
answer so readily to his touch, and felt for a
moment some apprehensions. However, con-
cluding that he could securely pounce upon his


quarry at any time, he determined to prosecute
his enquiries concerning the nature of her
expectations ; and, in the meantime, he could
quietly repose upon the safe basis of friendly

Caroline was much surprised and agitated by
the singular interview which she had undergone,
and for which no part of his previous conduct,
however remarkable, had in any degree prepared
her. That he either would or could admire
her, she, in her humility, had never imagined
for an instant ; and she had always been inclined
to regard his attentions as the mere result of a
compassionate whim. As for a proposal, it was
as unexpected as it was unwelcome. About her
two secrets she felt some anxiety ; for she feared,
in spite of his protestations, that they were not
in the safest hands. She had least apprehension
about the inheritance ; for he had given an oppo-
site meaning to her words, and she could not
imagine that the little which escaped could
convey any definite idea. She was angry with


herself for being so unguai'ded, and was also
mortified at the necessity of such unworthy
precautions. She longed to avow her situation
at once. But this, she reflected, she had no
right to do. The secret was entrusted to her by
her parents, under the condition of her silence,
and it was not for her to follow the dictates of
her own feelings, in opposition to their positive

That Mr. Trebeck should have discovered
that she had an attachment, although he did not
know to whom, was to her a subject of much
greater uneasiness. She felt a considerable
dread of meeting him again, and knew not
where to turn her eyes when she found him
seated directly opposite to her at dinner. She
actually trembled, as she thought of encountering
that look of hjs, which she seemed to view in
imagination — so keen, so scrutinizing, with such
an air of cruel meaning and malicious intel-


It was not long before she did encounter it —
and what after all was the formidable look ?
Mild, calm, impenetrable, utterly devoid of
significance or consciousness — a look that con-
veyed absolutely nothing — a look like that with
which you meet the eye of a person you barely
know to speak to. He soon afterwards addressed
her ; and his tone was as composed as his
countenance. She was re-assured by this, and
felt obliged to him for the dehcacy of his beha-
viour. She also observed, with pleasure, that
he paid this evening more than usual attention
to her mother.

Trebeck did this in pursuance of his
plan, of being upon friendly terms with the
family during the course of his investigation ;
and though he had hitherto ratlier neglected Sir
Thomas and Lady Jermyn, he now began to
tliink it advisable to win their favour by a little
condescension. The lady wearied him most of
the two ; for in cajoling Sir Thomas he contrived
to find some amusement.

GRANBY. f gl3' i

*' What have you been doing with your-
self, Trebeck?" said l\lr. Duncan the next

" You would not easily guess," said he ; "I
have been playing the sociable— keeping up the
ball with Sir Thomas Jermyn. He is really a
treat for a little time — but I believe'' (yawning)
" I have had rather too much of him.""

" You do look rather bored. What were
3'our topics ?"*

*' Politics, pohtics ; I won his heart by calling
him a Radical ; and he brought out all his best
common-places to prove that he was not. And
I have been asking him for some half dozen
franks, one-half of which I shall throw in the
fire. I got them purely to oblige him.
He likes, good man ! to exercise his privi-

"I see you can tolerate a proser occa-

" Why, there certainly is some pleasure in


watching a machine that you have wound up
and set ar-going yourself. But when they pre-
sume to work on their own accord, then I grant
you they are perfectly intolerable. In fact^ Sir
Thomas would not do for long.*'

" You would not like him, I presume, for a

" Oh, God forbid !— That is not to be thought
of on any account.''

" Not on his, perhaps, or his Lady's either ;
but surely the daughter is a charming girl."

" Why ! what the deuce ! — do you want me
to marry her .?"

" Not unless you like — I w^as simply praising

" Simply!— ha!— ha!"

*' Why, what do you think of her ?"

" I think her tolerable, all things considered ;
but she is quite an uninformed country girl ;
and as for beauty — she looks well enough here,
where there is not a face, except Lady Harriet's,


that does not serve as a foil to her own ; but in
town, you really would not look at her."

'' Well," said Mr. Duncan, '* there is no ac-
counting for tastes ; but with all due deference
to your judgment, I must say, I admire her ex-
tremely. She seems particularly amiable; she
has great natural elegance of manner, and a
good deal of pleasing accomplishment, which
she certainly exhibits most imaffectedly ; she
seems to have very sufficient information, and
considerable quickness and intelligence ; and
what I particularly like, — a quiet subdued turn
for pleasantry ; as much in fact, as a woman
should have ; for I positively hate a female wag.
Then as for externals, she is sweetly pretty, ia
my opinion, particularly when she smiles.'*

'^ Bravo ! rapturous Sir ! — I hope Lady
Harriet is not w^ithin hearing/'

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