Imágenes de páginas

for better or for worse in that breed of men of which the judgment must be so mixed ? Not to desire or admire, but to walk all day like a sultan in his garden, was a dignity of isolation to which he had never attained. He did not hold himself aloof. Ah ! how he came among us here in London, simply, quietly, grandly, the large-framed, massive-headed, and grey-haired sage that he was—comporting himself as one of us, though he was weightier than all of us; listening to our many-voiced clamour, and dropping in his wise occasional word ; nay, not forbidding, but rather joining with a smile, if, in hilarity, we raised his own song of evening festivity :

Here let us sport,
Boys as we sit,
Laughter and wit
Flashing so frec:
Life is but short;
When we are gone,
Let them sing on
Round the old tree.

Ah! the old tree remains, and the surviving company still sits round it, and they will raise the song in the coming evenings as in the evenings gone by. But the chair of the sage is vacant. It will be long before London, or the nation, or our literature, shall see a substitute for the noble Thackeray,

D. M.

To the Editor of Macmillan's Magazine. SIR,—In your last number I made certain allegations against the teaching of Dr. John Henry Newman, which I thought were justified by a Sermon of his entitled “Wisdom and Innocence,” (Sermon 20 of “Sermons Bearing on Subjects of the Day”). Dr. Newman has by letter exprest, in the strongest terms, his denial of the meaning which I have put upon his words. It only remains, therefore, for me to express my hearty regret at having so seriously mistaken him.

Yours faithfully,



MARCH, 1864.






As Samuel Burton came, hat in hand, with bent and cringing body, into George Hillyar's office in the barracks at Palmerston, George Hillyar turned his chair round towards him ; and when the door was shut behind him, and the trooper's footfall had died away, he still sat looking firmly at him, without speaking..

George could not turn pale, for he was always pale ; he could not look anxious, for he had always a worn look about his eyes. He merely sat and stared steadily at the bowing convict, with a look of inquiry in his face. The convict spoke first :

“I have not seen your honour for many years.”

“ Not for many years," said George Hillyar.

I have been in trouble since I had the pleasure of seeing your honour.”

“ So I understand, Samuel," said George.

« Thank you, Master George, for that kind expression. You have not forgot me. Thank you, sir.”

“You and I are not likely to forget one another, are we?” said George Hillyar..

“I have noticed," said the convict, “ in a somewhat chequered career, that

No. 53.-VOL. IX.

the memories of gentlefolks were weak, and wanted jogging at times—"

“ Look here," said George Hillyar, rising coolly, and walking towards the man. “ Let me see you try to jog mine. Let me see you only once attempt it. Do you hear ? Just try. Are you going to threaten, hey? D-n you; just try it, will you. Do you hear ?

He not only heard, but he minded. As George Hillyar advanced towards him, he retreated, until at last, being able to go no further, he stood upright against the weather-boards of the wall, and George stood before him, pointing at him with his finger.

“ Bah!” said George Hillyar, after a few seconds, going back to his chair. “ Why do you irritate me? You should know my temper by this time, Samuel. I don't want to quarrel with you.”..

“I am sure you don't, sir," said Burton. . “Why are you sure I don't ?” snarled George, looking at him angrily. “ Why, eh? Why are you sure that I don't want to quarrel with you, and be rid of you for ever? Hey ?

"Oh dear! I am sure I don't know, sir. I meant no offence. I am very humble and submissive. I do assure you, Mr. George, that I am very submissive. I didn't expect such a reception, sir. I had no reason to. I have been faithful and true to you, Mr. George, through everything. I am


a poor miserable used-up man, all alone anything of the sort. I merely thought in the world. Were I ever such a you might have a warm place left in traitor, Mr. George, I am too old and your heart for one who served you so broken by trouble, though not by years, well, for evil or for good. I am very to be dangerous."

humble, sir. If I were ungrateful The cat-like vitality which showed enough to do so, I should never dare to itself in every movement of his body try a game of bowls with an inspector told another story though. George of police, in this country, sir. I only Hillyar saw it, and he saw also, now humbly ask for your assistance." that he had had an instant for reflection, “Samuel,” said George Hillyar, “we that he had made a sad mistake in his have been mistaking one another.” way of receiving the man. The con- “I think we have, sir," said Burton. sciousness of his terrible blunder came And, although George looked up upon him with a sudden jar. He had quickly enough, the sly scornful expresshown the man, in his sudden irritation, sion was smoothed out of Burton's face, that he distrusted and hated him; and and he saw nothing of it. he had sense to see, that no cajolery or “I am sure we have,” continued flattery would ever undo the mischief George. “Just be reasonable. Supwhich he had made, by his loss of pose I did think at first, that you were temper, and by a few wild words. He going to try to extort money from me : saw by the man's last speech, that the why, then, it all comes to this, that I miserable convict had some sparks of was mistaken. Surely that is enough love left for his old master, until he had of an apology." wilfully trampled them out in his folly. “I need no apologies, Mr. George. He saw, now it was too late, that he As I told you before, I am only submight have negotiated successfully on missive. I am your servant still, sir. the basis of their old association; and Only your servant.” at the same time that he, by a few “What am I to do for you, Samuel ? cruel words, had rendered it impossible. Anything ?" The poor wretch had come to him in “I came here to-day, sir, to ask a humility, believing him to be the last favour. The fact is, sir, I came to ask person left in the world who cared for for some money. After what has passed, him. George had rudely broken his I suppose, I may go away again. Neverfancy by his causeless suspicion, and theless, sir, you needn't be afraid of put the matter on a totally different refusing. I haven't-haven't-Well, footing.

never mind; all these years to turn He clumsily tried to patch the matter Turk at last, with such odds against up. He said, “There, I beg your me, too." pardon; I was irritated and nervous. “How much do you want, Samuel ?” You must forget all I have said.” said George Hillyar.

“And a good deal else with it, sir, I “I'll tell you, sir, all about it. A am afraid,” said Burton. “Never mind, man who owes me money, an old mate sir ; I'll forget it all. I am worse than of mine, is doing well in a public-house I was."

at Perth, in West Australia. He has “Now don't you get irritated," said written to me to say that, if I will George, “ because that would be very come, I shall go into partnership for the ridiculous, and do no good to any one. debt. It is a great opening for me ; I If you can't stand my temper after so shall never have to trouble you again. many years, we shall never get on." Thirty pounds would make a gentleman

“ I am not irritated, sir. I came to of me just now. I say nothing of your you to ask for your assistance, and you getting rid of me for good " seem to have taken it into your head “You need say nothing more, Samuel," that I was going to threaten you with said George. “I will give you the money. old matters. I had no intention of What ship shall you go by ?"

“The Windsor sails next week, sir, At last George spoke, and he smiled and calls at King George's Sound. That as though he knew what was coming. would do for me."

"Samuel,” he said, “I believe your “Very well, then," said George; “here wife died ; did she not?”. is the money; go by her. It is better “Yes, sir, she died.” that we separate. You see that these “How did she die ?” confidences, these long tête-à-têtes, be- “Cold. Caught in Court." tween us are not reputable. I mean no “I don't mean that. I mean, what unkindness; you must see it.",

was her frame of mind-there, go away, “ You are right, sir. It shall not for God's sake; there will be some inferhappen again. I humbly thank you, nal scandal or another if we stay much sir. And I bid you good day."

longer. Here! Guard! See this man He was moving towards the door, out. I tell you I won't act on such when George Hillyar turned his chair information. Go along with you. Unaway from him, as though he was going less you can put your information togeto look out of window into the paddock, ther better than that, you may tell and said, “Stop a moment, Samuel.” your story to the marines on board the

The convict faced round at once. He Pelorus. Go away.” could see nothing but the back of Samuel Burton put on the expression George's head, and George seemed to of a man who was humbly assured be sitting in profound repose, staring that his conclusions were right, and at the green trees, and the parrots which only required time to prove it. It were whistling and chattering among was an easy matter for those facile, the boughs. Burton's snake-like eyes practised features to twist themselves gleamed with curiosity.

into any expression in one instant. “You watched me to-day in the Post There is no actor like an old convict. office,” said George.

He sneaked across the yard with this “Yes, sir; but I did not think you expression on his face, until he came to saw me.”

the gate, at which stood five troopers, “No more I did. I felt you," an- watching him as he passed. swered George. “By the bye, you He couldn't stand it. The devil was got fourteen years for the Stanlake too strong in him. Here were five of business, did you not?”

these accursed bloodhounds, all in blue “Yes, sir; fourteen weary years," said and silver lace, standing looking at Burton, looking inquiringly at the back him contemptuously, and twisting their of George's head, and madly wishing moustaches : five policemen-men who that he could see his face.

had never had the pluck to do a dis“ Only just out now, is it?” said honest action in their lives-standing George.

and sneering at him, who knew the “I was free in eight, sir. Then I whole great art and business of crime got two. I should have got life over at his fingers' ends. It was intolerable. this last bank robbery, but that I turned He drew himself up, and began on them. Queen's evidence."

It was as if a little Yankee Monitor, “I hope you will mend your ways,” steaming past our fleet of great iron-clad said George, repeating, unconsciously, frigates, should suddenly, spitefully, and Mr. Oxton's words to the same man hopelessly open fire on it. on a former occasion. “By George, I can see the group now. The five Samuel, why don't you?”

big, burly, honest, young men, standing “I am going to, sir,” replied Burton, silently and contemptuously looking at hurriedly; and still he stood, without Samuel, in the bright sunlight; and the moving a muscle, staring at the back of convict sidling past them, rubbing his George Hillyar's head so eagerly that hands, with a look of burlesqued politehe never drew his breath, and his ness in his face. red-brown face lost its redness in his “And good day, my noble captains," anxiety,

B B 2

he began, with a sidelong bow, his head on one side like a cockatoo's, and

CHAPTER XX. his eye turned up looking nowhere. JAMES BURTON'S STORY : REUBEY ENTERGood day, my veterans, my champions. TAINS MYSTERIOUS AND UNSATISFACMy bonny, pad-clinking, out-after-eight TORY COMPANY. o'clock-parade, George Street bucks. Good day. Does any one of you know I was doubtful, at this time, whether or aught of one trooper Evans, lately no Sir George Hillyar knew or guessed quartered at Cape Wilberforce ?”

that we were relations of Samuel Burton, “Ah !” said the youngest of the men, the man who had robbed him. I think a mere lad ; "why, he's my brother.”

even now that he did not know; if he “No,” said Samuel, who was per- did, it was evident that he generously fectly aware of the fact. “Well, well ! meant to ignore it. Mr. Compton, who It seems as if I was always to be the had recommended Samuel, told us to bearer of bad news somehow."

say nothing about it; and we said “What d'ye mean, old man ?" said the nothing. Emma surprised Joe and me young fellow, turning pale. “There's one night, when we were alone together nothing the matter with Bill, is there?” by firing up on the subject, and saying

Samuel merely shook his head slowly. distinctly and decidedly that she thought His enjoyment of that look of concern, we were all wrong in not telling him. which he had brought upon the five I was rather inclined to agree with her; honest faces, was more intense than but what was to be done? It was not anything we can understand.

for us to decide. “ Come : cheer up, Tom," said the The relations between the two families oldest of the troopers to the youngest. were becoming very intimate indeed.

Speak out, old man ; don't you see Sir George Hillyar had taken a most our comrade's in distress ?”

extraordinary fancy for Reuben, which "I should like to have broke it to he showed by bullying him in a petuhim by degrees,” said Samuel ; “but lant way the whole day long; and by it must all come out. Bear up, I tell you continually giving him boots and clothes, Take it like a man. Your brother's as peace-offerings. Reuben would take been took ; and bail's refused.”

everything said to him with the most “ That's a lie,” said Tom, who was unfailing good humour, and would no other than George Hillyar's orderly. stand quietly and patiently, hat in .“ If you tell me that Bill has been up hand, before Sir George, and rub his oto anything, I tell you it's a lie.”

cheek, or scratch his head, or chew a “He was caught,” said Samuel,

piece of stick, while the "jobation" steadily, “boning of his lieutenant's was going on. He took to Sir George pomatum to ile his moustachers. Two

Hillyar amazingly. He would follow Blacks and a Chinee seen him a-doing him about like a dog, and try to anon it, and when he was took his 'ands ticipate his wishes in every way. He was greasy. Bail was refused in conse did not seem to be in the least afraid of quence of a previous conviction again him, but would even grin in the middle him, for robbing a blind widder woman of one of Sir George's most furious of a Bible and a old possum rug while

tirades. They were a strange couple; she was attending her husband's funeral. so utterly different in character; Sir The clerk of the bench has got him a- George so ferociously obstinate, and digging in his potato-garden, now at Reuben so singularly weak and yielding; this present moment, waiting for the and yet they had a singular attraction sessions. Good-bye, my beauties. Keep for one another. out of the sun, and don't spile your

“ Erne," Sir George would roar out .complexions. Good-bye.”

of window, “where the devil is that

tiresome monkey of a waterman ?1 Alluding to the clinking of their spurs.

“I haven't seen him to-day,” Erne

« AnteriorContinuar »