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only a blind and contemptible obedience to their party leaders in every measure, how absurd and perilous soever; while in private, they are continually deploring the necessity to which they are subjected of supporting Lord Grey's administration. Now this, we say, is altogether unpardonable, to excite the people by language which they know at the time they use it to be as delusive as it is dangerous, and support their party in measures which, they confess themselves, are at once hazardous and unnecessary.
Reversing the principle and practice of their opponents, let it be the maxim of the Conservatives to throw themselves cordially, openly, and without reserve, upon the middling ranks; upon the gentlemen of England; upon all of whatever birth, or in whatever profession, whose worth, talents, education, and manners fit them for their society. This great and weighty class, whom Whig aristocracy excludes from its saloons, whom Whig legislation has cast down to the earth, still contains the preponderating influence in the scale; if thrown cordially to the Conservative side, it will in the end cast the balance. Let the Whigs ally themselves with the Tenpounders; let them alternately adulate the great, and flatter the multitude; let them degrade rank by an alliance with violence, and elegance by the contact of vulgarity; let their haughty nobles bow to deputations headed by tailors, and their exclusive eligibles sink into the society of urban intrigue; but let the great and noble Conservative body draw closer the bonds which are beginning to unite them to the gentlemen of the country, and cordially receive into that phalanx all whose manuers and principles, of whatever birth, qualify them to enter its ranks. It is by so doing that they will in the end acquire the supre macy over their adversaries; the weight of the middling ranks, when fairly committed to the scale, ever decides the contest. It was not in the refuse of cities, but the sons of the yeomanry, that Cromwell recruited for the Iron Bands, which finally gave victory to the republicFas est et ab hoste doceri.
For the same reason, let the disastrous measure of the Reform Bill
be as soon as possible, if not forgotten, at least forgiven. We know the difficulty of doing this; we are alive to the shudder which every true Conservative must feel at acting with men who they think have ruined their country; we recommend it, albeit in the firm and sincere belief that the passing of that measure was the death-warrant of the British empire. But though we can never expel the poison, we may for a time provide antidotes to its malignity; though we cannot restore health, we may prolong an anxious and precarious existence. This is the utmost to which patriotic hope can now aspire; this the limit assigned to public duty. To this melancholy duty, however, all who love their country, are imperiously called; and much remains even in this world to reward its conscientious discharge. The Reform Bill, and the means by which it was passed, have become matter of his tory; let them leave to History to do justice to its authors. It will stretch them on the rack of ages, and paint their conduct with the pencil of Tacitus. But let all who love their country, or are even solicitous to preserve themselves from destruction, unite with those of the opposite party who are inclined, even at the eleventh hour, to take their stand firmly and decidedly on Conservative principles. Let them recollect Napoleon's maxim,—“ Il ne faut pas nous facher des choses passés ;" and the good sense of Mr Sheridan's saying,-"The question is not, how we got into the war, but being in it, in the name of God what are we to do?" Let them recollect that it is the destiny of man to err; that the Conservatives have committed many errors, which should make them lenient to those of their opponents; that the Whigs contain many able and good men, guiltless of the fatal step, and in secret as apprehensive of its consequences as themselves; that it was the divisions among the respectable classes, consequent on Catholic Emancipation, which opened the door to the Demon of Revolution, and that if his march is yet to be stayed, it can only be by a cordial union amongst all the talent, worth, character, and property, which yet remains in the state.
1834.] Passages from the Diary of a late Physician. Chap. XV.
PASSAGES FROM THE DIARY OF A LATE PHYSICIAN.
THE BARONET'S BRIDE.
NEVER was man married under more auspicious circumstances than Sir Henry Harleigh. Himself the descendant of an ancient house, and the accomplished possessor of a splendid fortune; his bride the fairest flower in the family of a distinguished nobleman; surely here were elements of high happiness, warrant ing the congratulations of the "troops of friends" who, by their presence, added éclat to the imposing nuptials. "Heaven bless thee, sweet Anne!" sobbed the venerable peer, her father, folding his daughter in his arms, as Sir Henry advanced to conduct her to his travelling-chariot; "may these be the last tears thou wilt have occasion to shed!" The blushing, trembling girl could make no reply; and linking her arm in that of her handsome husband, dizzy with agitation, and almost insensible of the many hands that shook hers in passing, suffered him to lead her through the throng of guests above, and lines of be-favoured lacqueys below, to the chariot waiting to conduct "the happy pair" to a romantic residence of Sir Henry's in Wales. The moment they were seated, the steps were shut up-the door closed. Sir Henry hastily waved a final adieu to the company thronging the windows of the drawingroom he had just quitted; the postilions cracked their whips, and away dashed the chariot-and-four, amidst the cheery pealing of the bells
"bearing its precious throbbing charge To halcyon climes afar."
could not fail, under all his calmness of demeanour, to observe the strugglings of talent and ambition. Lady Anne, on the contrary, was all sprightliness and frolic. 'Twas like a sunbeam and a cloud brought together; the one, in short, "L'Allegro;" the other, "Il Penseroso." The qualities of each were calculated to attemper those of the other, alternately instigating and brightening; and who would not predicate a happy harmonious union of such extremes?
Six months after their marriage, the still "happy couple" returned to town, after having traversed an extensive portion of the Continent. Lady Anne looked lovelier, and her spirits were more buoyant and brilliant than ever. She had apparently transfused not a little of her vivacity into her husband's more tranquil temperament: his manners exhibited a briskness and joyousness which none of his friends had ever witnessed in him before. During the whole of the London "season," Lady Anne revelled in enjoyment; the idol of her husband-the centre of gaiety and cheerfulness-the star of fashion. Her début at Court was the most flattering of the day. It was generally talked of, that the languid elegance, the listless fastidiousness of royalty, had been quickened into something like an appearance of interest, as the fair bride bowed before it, in the graceful attitude of loyal duty. Once or twice I had the satisfaction of meeting with her Ladyship in public-all charming vivacity -all sparkle-followed by crowds of flatterers-till one would have thought her nearly intoxicated with their fragrant incense! "What a sweet smile!"-"How passing graceful!"" Heavens, what a swan-like neck!"-" Ah! happy fellow that Harleigh!"-" Seen Lady Anne? Oh! yonder she moves-there-that laughing lady in white satin, tapping the French Ambassador on the shoulder with her fan."-" What! Is that Lady Anne, now waltzing with Lord
Sir Henry's character contrasted strongly, in some respects, with that of his lady. His urbanity was tinctured with a certain reserve, or rather melancholy, which some considered the effect of an early and severe devotion to study; others, and perhaps more truly, of a constitutional tendency inherited from his mother. There was much subdued energy in his character; and you
VOL. XXXV. NO, CCXVII,
? What a superb foot and ankle! What a sylph it is!" Such was the ball-room tittle-tattle that ever accompanied Sir Henry and his lady, in passing through the mazes of a London season; and I doubt not the reader would have joined in it, could he have seen Lady Anne! Should I attempt to present her bodily before him, he would suspect me of culling the hyperboles of the novelist, while I should feel that after all I had failed. He should have seen for himself the light of passion-of feeling and thought-that shone in her blue eyes-the beauteous serenity that reigned in her aristocratic brow -"in all her gestures, dignity and love!" There is a picture of a young lady by Sir Joshua Reynolds that has been sworn to by hundreds as the image of Lady Anne; and it is one worthy of the artist's pencil. Not the least characteristic trait about her, was the naïveté with which she acknowledged her love of Sir Henry, displaying it on all occasions by
"Looks of reverent fondness," that disdained concealment. And so was it with the Baronet. Each was the other's pride and contentment; and both were the envy of society. Ah, who could look upon them, and believe that so dark a day was to come!
In due time Sir Henry completed the extensive arrangements for his town residence; and by the beginning of the ensuing winter, Lady Anne found herself at the head of as noble an establishment as her heart could desire. The obsequious morning prints soon teemed with accounts of his dinners; and of the balls, routs, soirées, and conversaziones given by this new " queen of the evening hour." Sir Henry, who represented his county in Parliament, and consequently had many calls upon his time-for he was rather disposed to be a working" member-let his lady have it all her own way. He mingled but little in her gaieties; and when he did, it was evident that his thoughts were elsewhere that he rather tolerated than enjoyed them. He soon settled into the habitudes of the man of political fashion, seldom deviating from the track, with all its absorbing associations, bounded by the House and the
Clubs;-those sunk-rocks of many a woman's domestic happiness! In short, Sir Henry-man of fashion as he was-was somewhat of a charac ter, and was given ample credit for sporting "the eccentric." His manners were marked by a dignity that often froze into hauteur, and sometimes degenerated into almost surly abruptness; which, however, was easily carried to the account of severe political application and abstraction. Towards his beautiful wife, however, he preserved a demeanour of uniform tenderness. She could not form a wish that he did not even personally endeavour to secure her the means of gratifying. Considering the number and importance of his public engagements, many wondered that he could contrive to be so often seen accompanying her in rides and drives about the Park and elsewhere; but who could name
"The sacrifice affection would not yield!"
Some there were, however, who ere long imagined they detected a moodiness-an irritability-a restlessness-of which his political engagements afforded no sufficient explanation. They spoke of his sudden fits of absence, and the agitation he displayed on being startled from them. What could there be to disturb him? was he running beyond his income to supply his lady's extravagance? was he offended at any lightness or indiscretion of which she might have been guilty? had he given credence to any of the hundred tales circulated in society of every woman eminent in the haut ton? was he embarrassed with the consequences of some deep political move? No one could tell; but many marked the increasing indications of his dissatisfaction and depression. Observation soon fastened her keen eyes upon Lady Anne, and detected occasional clouds upon her generally joyous countenance. Her bright eye was often laden with anxiety; the colour of her cheek varied; the blandness and cheerfulness of her manner gave place to frequent abruptness, petulance, and absence: symptoms, these, which soon set her friends sympathizing, and her acquaintance speculating. Whenever this sort of enquiry is aroused,
dance with her, drew her arm within
charity falls asleep. She never seemed at ease, it was said, in her husband's presence-his departure seemed the signal for her returning gaiety. Strange to say, each seemed the conscious source of the other's anxiety and apprehension. Each had been detected casting furtive glances at the other-tracking one another's motions, and listening, even, to one another's conversation; and some went so far as to assert that each had been observed on such occasions to turn suddenly pale. What could be the matter? Every body wondered-no one knew. Some attributed their changed deportment to the exhaustion consequent upon late hours and excitement; a few hinted the probability of a family; many whispered that Sir Henrysome that Lady Anne-gambled. Others, again, insinuated that each had too good cause to be dissatisfied with the other's fidelity. When, however, it got currently reported that a letter was one evening given to Sir Henry at his club, which blanched his face and shook his hand as he read it-that his whole manner was disturbed for days after, and that he even absented himself from a grand debate in the House--and an occasion on which he was specially pledged to support his partycuriosity was at once heightened and bewildered. Then, again, it was undeniable that they treated one another with the utmost tenderness really unequivocally. Lady Anne, however, daily exhibited symptoms of increasing disquietude; the lustre faded from her eye, the colour from her cheek-her vivacity totally disappeared-she no longer even affected it. "How thin she gets!" was an exclamation heard on all hands. They were seen less frequently in society; and even when they did enter into it, 'twas evidently an intolerable burden. Sighs were heard to escape from Lady Anne; her eyes were seen occasionally filled with tears; and it was noticed, that, on observing Sir Henry watching her-which was often the case-she made violent efforts to recover her composure. Thus in tears one evening, curiosity was strained to the utmost when Sir Henry approached her, bowed among the gentlemen who were proposing to
"Afraid they lead a woful life together," said one. "I never thought they would suit one another," was the reply.
"'Pon my soul," simpered a sickly scion of nobility, "'tis an odd thing to say-but-but-gad, I do believe I can explain it all! Harleigh, I know, hates to see her dance with me-whew!"
"Haven't you seen her turn pale, and seem quite sick at heart, when she has noticed him talking to Miss
?" wheezed an old Dowager, whose daughter had attempted to join in the race for the Baronet's hand? These, and a thousand others, were questions, hints, and innuendoes bandied about everywhere during the remainder of the season: soon after the close of which, Lady Anne brought her husband a son and heir;" and as soon as circumstances would permit, the whole establishment was ordered out of town Sir Henry and his lady set off no one knew whither. It was presently discovered, however, that they were spending the summer in a sequestrated part of Switzerland. At an advanced period of the autumn they returned to London; and the little that was seen of them in society served to shew that their continental sojourn had worked little or no change in either-save that Lady Anne, since her accouchement, was far more delicate in health than usual under similar circumstances. mour and speculation were suddenly revived by an extraordinary move of Sir Henry's-he broke up, at a moment's warning, his extensive town establishment, and withdrew to a beautiful mansion about ten or twelve miles distant from the metropolis. Strange as was such a step, it had the effect, probably contemplated by the Baronet, of quieting curiosity, as soon as the hubbub occasioned by the removal of its cause, had ceased. In the vortex of London pleasure and dissipation, who can think of objects no longer present to provoke enquiry? One thing was
obvious that Lady Anne's family either were, or affected to be, in the dark about the source of her disquietude. The old peer, whose health was rapidly declining, had removed to his native air, in a remote part of Ireland. Several of his daughters, fine fashionable women, continued in town. It was whispered that their visits to Sir Henry's new residence had been coldly discouraged: and thus, if secrecy and seclusion were the objects aimed at by the Baronet, he apparently succeeded in attaining them.
I may observe, that during the period above referred to, several enquiries had been made of me concerning the topics in question, by my patients, and others-who supposed that a former professional acquaintance with the Baronet, slight though it was, gave me some initiation into the mysteries of his conduct. Such, I need hardly say, were queries I was utterly unable to answer. Sir Henry, though a polite, was at all times a distant, uncommunicative man and had he even been otherwise, we came but seldom into personal contact since his marriage. I therefore shared, instead of satisfying, the prevalent curiosity respecting his movements.
It was late in the evening of the 25th of April 181-, that a letter was put into my hands, bearing on the envelope the words "Private and confidential." The frank was by Sir Henry Harleigh, and the letter, which also was from him, ran thus. Let the reader imagine my astonishment in perusing it!
"Dear Doctor My travelling carriage-and-four will be at your door to morrow morning between nine and ten o'clock, for the purpose of conveying you down to my house, about ten miles from town-where your services are required. Let me implore you not to permit any engagement-short of life or deathto stand in the way of your coming at the time, and in the mode I have presumed to point out. Your presence-believe me !-is required on matters of special urgency,-andyou will permit me to add-of special confidence. I may state, in a word, that the sole object of your visit is Lady Anne, I shall, if possi
ble, and you are punctual, meet you on the road, in order that you may be in some measure prepared for the duties that will await you. I am, &c. &c., HENRY HARLeigh.
"P.S. Pray forgive me, if I say I have opened my letter for the sake of entreating you not to apprise any body of the circumstance of my sending for you."
This communication threw me into a maze of conjectures. I apprehended that the ensuing morning would introduce me to some scene of distress-and my imagination could suggest only family discord as the occasion. I soon made the requisite arrangements; and when the morning came, without having shewn my wife the Baronet's letter, or giving her any clue to my destination, jumped into the pea-green chariot-and-four the instant that it drew up at my door-and was presently whirled out of town at the rate of twelve miles an hour. I observed that the panels of the carriage had neither crest nor supporters; and the colour was not that of the Baronet's. I did not meet the Baronet, as his letter had led me to expect. On reaching the park gates, which stood open, the groom behind leaped down the instant that the reeking horses could be stopped, opened the carriage-door, and with a respectful bow informed me that the Baronet begged I would alight at the gates. Of course I acquiesced, and walked up the avenue to the house, full of amazement at the apparent mystery which was thrown about my movements. I ascended the spreading steps which led to the hall-door, and even pushed it open without encountering any one. On ringing the bell, however, an elderly and not very neatly dressed female made her appearance-and asked me, with a respectful curtsy, whether my name was "Dr On being answered in the affirmative, she said that Sir Henry was waiting for me in a room adjoining, and immediately led the way to it. I thought it singular enough that no male domestic should have hitherto made his appearance, knowing that in town Sir Henry kept an unusually large retinue of such gentry. I thought,