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"It'll be a treat for her husband, too!" I says. "I ain't gonna take the whole neighborhood to the movies. You must think I'm the Liberty Loan, don't you?"
The sallow features of the lawyer seemed to stiffen. He drew himself up coldly and a wicked expression flashed in his eyes.
MR. TRILLO. Shall we have any music?
Such counsels were either futile or dangerous. How was it possible that the frank impetuosity of Essex should ever bend itself to these crooked ways? Everyone knew — everyone, apparently, but Bacon — that the Earl was incapable of dissembling. “He can conceal nothing,” said Henry Cuffe; “he carries his love and his hatred on his forehead.” To such a temperament it was hard to say which was the most alien — the persistent practice of some profoundly calculated stratagem or the momentary trickery of petty cunning. “Apparel, wearings, gestures!” How vain to hope that Essex would ever attend to that kind of tiresome particularity! Essex, who was always in a hurry or a dream — Essex, who would sit at table unconscious of what he ate or drank, shovelling down the food, or stopping suddenly to fall into some long abstraction — Essex, who to save his time would have himself dressed among a crowd of friends and suitors, giving, as Henry Wotton says, “his legs, arms, and breast to his ordinary servants to button and dress him, with little heed, his head and face to his barber, his eyes to his letters, and ears to petitioners,” and so, clad in he knew not what, a cloak hastily thrown about him, would pass out, with his odd long steps, and his head pushed forward, to the Queen.
Matters went on pretty smoothly for several days, when an unlucky newspaper threw all into confusion. Mr. Chainmail received newspapers by the post, which came in three times a week. One morning, over their half-finished breakfast, the Captain had read half a newspaper very complacently, when suddenly he started up in a frenzy, hurled over the breakfast table, and, bouncing from the apartment, knocked down Harry Ap Heather, who was coming in at the door to challenge his supposed rival to a boxing-match.
When we came back, nothing would serve him but he must read us the poems he had been speaking of; and Miss Pole encouraged him in his proposal, I thought, because she wished me to hear his beautiful reading, of which she had boasted; but she afterwards said it was because she had got to a difficult part of her crochet, and wanted to count her stitches without having to talk. Whatever he had proposed would have been right to Miss Matty; although she did fall sound asleep within five minutes after he had begun a long poem, called "Locksley Hall," and had a comfortable nap, unobserved, till he ended; when the cessation of his voice wakened her up, and she said, feeling that something was expected, and that Miss Pole was counting -
From my eighth to my twelfth year the Latin books which I remember reading were, the Bucolics of Virgil, and the first six books of the AEneid; all Horace except the Epodes; the Fables of Phaedrus; the first five books of Livy (to which from my love of the subject I voluntarily added, in my hours of leisure, the remainder of the first decade); all Sallust; a considerable part of Ovid's Metamorphoses; some plays of Terence; two or three books of Lucretius; several of the Orations of Cicero, and of his writings on oratory; also his letters to Atticus, my father taking the trouble to translate to me from the French the historical explanations in Mongault's notes. In Greek I read the Iliad and Odyssey through; one or two plays of Sophocles, Euripides, and Aristophanes, though by these I profited little; all Thucydides; the Hellenics of Xenophon; a great part of Demosthenes, AEschines, and Lysias; Theocritus; Anacreon; part of the Anthology; a little of Dionysius; several books of Polybius; and lastly Aristotle's Rhetoric, which, as the first expressly scientific treatise on any moral or psychological subject which I had read, and containing many of the best observations of the ancients on human nature and life, my father made me study with peculiar care, and throw the matter of it into synoptic tables. During the same years I learnt elementary geometry and algebra thoroughly, the differential calculus and other portions of the higher mathematics far from thoroughly: for my father, not having kept up this part of his early acquired knowledge, could not spare time to qualify himself for removing my difficulties, and left me to deal with them, with little other aid than that of books; while I was continually incurring his displeasure by my inability to solve difficult problems for which he did not see that I had not the necessary previous knowledge.
The same guards which protect us from disaster, defect, and enmity, defend us, if we will, from selfishness and fraud. Bolts and bars are not the best of our institutions, nor is shrewdness in trade a mark of wisdom. Men suffer all their life long, under the foolish superstition that they can be cheated. But it is as impossible for a man to be cheated by any one but himself, as for a thing to be and not to be at the same time. There is a third silent party to all our bargains. The nature and soul of things takes on itself the guaranty of the fulfilment of every contract, so that honest service cannot come to loss. If you serve an ungrateful master, serve him the more. Put God in your debt. Every stroke shall be repaid. The longer the payment is withholden, the better for you; for compound interest on compound interest is the rate and usage of this exchequer.
Yes, the outbreak at the Nore was put down. But not every grievance was redressed. If the contractors, for example, were no longer permitted to ply some practices peculiar to their tribe everywhere, such as providing shoddy cloth, rations not sound, or false in the measure, not the less impressment, for one thing, went on. By custom sanctioned for centuries, and judicially maintained by a Lord Chancellor as late as Mansfield, that mode of manning the fleet, a mode now fallen into a sort of abeyance but never formally renounced, it was not practicable to give up in those years. Its abrogation would have crippled the indispensable fleet, one wholly under canvas, no steam-power, its innumerable sails and thousands of cannon, everything in short, worked by muscle alone; a fleet the more insatiate in demand for men, because then multiplying its ships of all grades against contingencies present and to come of the convulsed Continent.
And the rector lighted his wife’s candle, and opened the door for her with a suavity and almost gallantry which would have brought tears to the eyes of the parish, had they been there to see. “How perfect Mr. Damerel’s behavior is to that rather common-place wife!” Such was the kind of thing people said. He went to look over his box of books from the London library after his talk, with much amusement in his mind as to Rose’s lovers. He thought his child perfect as a child; but the idea that a serious man like Incledon should think of her in the serious position of a wife, tickled the rector’s fancy. He thought over the matter as he glanced at the books which had been unpacked for him, leaving nothing for his delicate ivory hands to do but turn the volumes over. There was an agreeable and a disagreeable side to it. Incledon, for one thing, would be a capable referee in all money matters, and would help to arrange about the boys and get them on in the world, which was a great relief to think of; for ere now Mr. Damerel had felt the painful reflection thrust upon him, that some time or other he must do something about the boys. The other side of the question was, that he would lose the society of his Rose in June, his pretty companion, whose ornamental presence lent a new charm to his pretty house. He shrugged his shoulders a little over this, saying to himself that it must be sooner or later, and that, after all, he had done without Rose for many years, and had been much of a sufferer in consequence. It was the way of the world; and then he smiled again at the thought of Rose in the serious position of Mr. Incledon’s wife.