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second marriages of the grave between the quick and the dead, with lioc and his angels the sole witnesses.
And Snippeton was denied such consolation. His widowhood prermitted no .-uch second troth. Living to the world, his wife was dead to him ; vet though dead, not severed. There was the horror : there, the foul condition of disgraced wedlock : the flesh Wis still of his fleshi, cancerous, ulcerous ; with a life in it to torture him. By day, that flesh of his flesh would wear him ; by night, with time and darkness lying like a weight upon him, would be to him as a fiend that would cling to him ; that would touch his lips ; that would murmur in luis ear. And let him writhe, and strugele, and with a strongnian's strong will determine to put away that close tormentor, it would not be. The flesh was still of his flesli, alike incorporate in guilt and truth.
But Snipeton is still a happy man. As yet he knows not of his misery: dreams not of the desolation that, in an hour or so, shall blast him at his threshold. IIe is still at his desk ; happy in his day-lream ; his imagination running over, as in wayward moments of half-thrift, half-idleness, it was wont to do, upon the his desk before him.- Imagination, complete and circling ; and making that dim sanctuary of dirty Plutus a glistening palace ! The pen—the ragged stump, that in his hand had worked as surely as Italian stcel, striking through a heart or so, but drawing no blood—the pen, as it had been plucked from the winged heel of the thief's god, Mercury, worked strange sorcery; crept and scratched about the paper, conjuring glories there, that made the old man sternly smile ; even as an enchanter smiles at the instant handiwork of all-obedient fiends. Reader, look upon the magic that, cunningly exercised by the Snipetons of the world, fills it with beauty; behold the jottings of the black art that, simple as they look, hold, like the knotted ropes of Lapland witches, a power invincible. Here they are ; faithfully copied from that piece of paper ; the tablet of old Snipeton's dearest thoughts, divinest aspirations : “ £70,000 "-" £85,700 "_“ £90,000 "_" £100,000”
“ £150,000 "-" £1,000,000 !" In this way did Snipeton--in pleasant, thrifty idleness-pour out his heart; dallying with hope, and giving to the unuttered wish a certain sum in black and white ; running up the figures as a rapturous singer climbs the gamut, touching the highest heaven
of music to his own delight, and the wonder of the applauding world.
In this manner would Snipeton take pastime with his spirit. In this manner was the paper on his desk writ and over-writ with promised sums that, it was his hope, his day-dream, would surely some day bless him. And the numerals ever rose with his spirits. When very dumpish—with the world going all wrong with himhe would write himself down a pauper; in bitterness of heart loving to enlarge upon his beggary, as thus : 000,000,000,000. But to-day, he had ridden with Clarissa ; she had looked so lovely and so loving ; he was so re-assured of her affection ; could promise to himself such honied days and nights that, dreaming over this ; smiling at her flushed face ; and with half-closed eyes, and curving mouth, gazing in fancy at her dancing plume,-he somehow took the pen between his fingers, and made himself a paradise out of arithmetic.---Thus he laid out his garden of Eden, circling it with rivers of running gold ! How the paradise smiled upon paper! llow the trees, clustered with ruddy bearing, rose up; how odorous the flowers—and what a breath of immortality came fluttering to his check! Snipeton liad written
“ £1,000,000;" and then he sank gently back in his chair, and softly drew his breath as he looked upon what should be his, foreshadowed by his hopes.
Now, at the very moment-yes, by Satan's best chronometerat the
very moment, Clarissa was lifted from her horse, placed in a carriage, and whirled away from home and husband. And he saw not her face of terror-heard not her shriek for help. How could he? Good man was he not in Paradise ? Let us not break in
him. No; for a while, blind and innocent, we will leave him there.
The reader may remenber that Mr. Capstick was threatened with an ignominious dismissal from the British senate, as having, it was alleged, bought an honour that, like chastity, is too precious to be sold. The misanthropic member for Liquorish, in his deep contempt of all human dealings, took little heed of the petition against him ; whilst Tangle called it an ugly business, as though in truth he secretly rejoiced in such uncomeliness. Snipeton, too, looked
grave; and then, as taking heart from the depth of his pocket, said he would " fight the young profligate to his last guinea ;” (and when the weapons are gold, how bloody oft the
Wbvreupon ('apstick relented a little in his savage thoughts ; believing that pure patriotism did exist in human nature, and had one dwelling-place at least in the heart of Mr. Snipeton.
• Turn you out of Parliament, sir ; they might chuck you out o'the window, sir, for what he'd care, if it warn’t for his spite. I've told you that all along, and you won't see it,” said Bright Jem.
“I am sorry; Jem, that in your declining years—for there 's no disyuising it, James—your 're getting old and carthy-cracking like dry clay, Jem”—said ('àpstick.
“ I don't want to hide the cracks,” answered Jem : “ why should I ? Vo: I'm not afraid to look Time in the face, and tell him to do his worst. IIe never could spile much, that's one comfort."
“ I am sorry, nevertheless, that you have not a little charity. If I don't think well of anybody myself, that's no reason you shouldn't ; on the contrary, it is slightly an impertinence in you to interfere with what I've been used to consider my own privilege. Thus, with dignity, spoke ('apstick.
“ All I know is this--and I'm sure of it—if Mrs. Snipeton had as big a wart upon her nose as her husband, you 'd never have been member for Liquorish,” said Jem, with new emphasis.
“ Really, Mr. Aniseed ”—for C'apstick became very lofty indeed—“I cannot perceive how Mrs. Snipeton's wart—that is, if she'd had one could in any way interfere with my seat in Parliament.”
“ In this manner,” said Jem ; laying one hand flat upon the othier. “ In this manner. If she 'd liad a wart upon her nose, young St. James, when he went to borrow money of her husband, wouli have behaved himself like a honest young gentleman ; wouldn't have written letters, and tried to send presents, and so forth, till old Snipeton—poor old fellow! for though he was a fool to marry such a young beauty, there's no knowing how any on us may be tempted”
“ You and I are safe, I think, James ? ” said Capstick, with a smile.
** I think so; but don't let's be persumptious. However, that 's no reason we shouldn't pity the unfortinate,” said Jem.
Well, old Snipeton wouldn't have been forced to send his young wife into the country, where his young lordship went after
her-I've heard all about it. And then Snipeton wouldn't ha' been jealous of the young gentleman, and then you'd have been at the Tub, happy with the pigs and the geese, as if they was your own flesh and blood; and you'd still ha' been an independent country gentleman, walking about in your own garden, and talking, as you used to do, to your own trees and flowers, that minded you—. I'm bound for it—more than any body in the house o' Parliament will do."
“Don't you be too sure of that, Mr. Aniseed. When the Minister hears my speech
Well, I only hope my dream of last night won't come true. I dreamt you 'd made your speech, and as soon as you'd made it, I thought you was changed into a garden roller, and the Minister, as you call him, did nothing but turn you round and round. IIowsomever, that's nothing to do with what I was saying,-saving your presence, I don't like you to be made a tool on.
" A tool, Mr. Aniseed ! A tool-define, if you please, for this is serious. What tool ? ” and Capstick frowned.
“Well, I don't know what sort of tool they send to Parliament; but, if
you 'll be so good, just feel here.” Saying this, Jem took off his hat, and turning himself, presented the back part of his head to the touch of Capstick, - Bless
heart! Dear me—a very dreadful wound! My poor fellow-good Jem”-and Capstick put his arm upon Jem's neck, and with a troubled look, cried—“ Who was the atrocious miscreant ?-eh!--the scoundrel !
“Oh no : lie didn't mean nothing. You see, it was last night, while I was waiting for you till the House was up. Taking a quiet pint and a pipe among the other servants, some on 'em begun to talk about bribery and corruption : and didn't they sit there and pull their masters to pieces ; I should think a little more than they pulled one another to bits inside. Well, your name come up, and all about the petition ; and somebody said you'd be turned out ; condemned like a stale salmon at Billingsgate. I didn't say nothing to this : till Ralph Gum--the saucy varmint, though he 's my own flesh and blood ; that is, as far as marriage can make it
Marriage can do a good deal that way,” said Capstick, smiling pensively,
“Till Ralph Gum- he was waiting for the Marquis--cried out, • What! Capstick, the muffin-maker?'"
"I do not forget the muffins," said Capstick, meekly. “On the contrary; in Parliament I shall be proud to stand upon them.”
· But he said more than that : Wly, he's a thing we'll turn out neck and heels; he's only a tool !
** Oh, a tool!” cried Capstick, “I am a tool, am I ? Very well: a tool! What said you to this?”
". Nothing only this. Ile was sitting next to me, and I said, - You saucy monkey, hold your tongue, or learn better manners,' —and with this, in the softest way in the world, I broke my pipe over his head : whereupon, the Marquis's coachman and footmen all swore you was à tool, and nothing but a tool—and they wouldn't see their livery insulted, and I forget how it ended, but there was a changing of pewter-pots, and somehow or other this”—and Jem passed his hand over his bruised head—" this is one on 'em.”
For a few minutes Capstick remained silent. At length he said, determinedly—“ Jem, I feel that it would be some satisfaction to me to see this Mrs. Snipeton.” 6. What for? asked Jem, in his simplicity.
Why—well—I don't know ; but if she is really what people say, there can be no harm in looking on a beautiful woman.
Well, I don't know—but for certain, they'd never do no harm, if they never was looked upon,” said Jem.
“ Jem, you ought to know me by this time ; ought to know that since AIrs. Capstick died I look upon beauty as no more than painted picture.
Well, that's all right enough, so long as we don't ask the picturs to walk out o' their frames,” answered Jem.“ But, sir, in this Parliament matter and I'd sooner die than tell a lie to you, in the same way as I think it my bound duty to tell you
all the truth, though you do sometimes call me James and Mr. Aniseed, instead of Jem for doing it—in this Parliament matter, master,' and Jem paused, and looked mournfully at Capstick.
“ Out with it," said the Member for Liquorish. “After the hustings, surely I can bear anything. Speak." then, and
you 'll not be offended? But if ever there was a tool in Parliament, master- now, don't be hurt—you are a tool, and nothing better than a tool. There ! When they were flinging pewter pots about last night, I didn't choose to own as much ; ; now, when we ’re together, I must say it. Member for