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that the Major should choose her family for a union with his own, said she was quite willing to consent.

But frankly he said, "My dear lady, my boy has but five hundred a year, and a wife with ten thousand pounds to her fortune would scarcely better him. We could do better for him than that, permit me to say; and he is a shrewd cautious young fellow who has sown his wild oats now-who has very good parts and plenty of ambition— and whose object in marrying is to better himself. If you and Sir Francis chose-and Sir Francis, take my word for it, will refuse you nothing-you could put Arthur in a way to advance very considerably in the world, and show the stuff which he has in him. Of what use is that seat in Parliament to Clavering, who scarcely ever shows his face in the House, or speaks a word there? I'm told by gentlemen who heard my boy at Oxbridge, that he was famous as an orator, begad!—and once put his foot into the stirrup and mount him, I've no doubt he won't be the last of the field, ma'am. I've tested the chap, and know him pretty well, I think. He is much too lazy, and careless, and flighty a fellow, to make a jog-trot journey, and arrive, as your lawyers do, at the end of their lives! but give him a start and good friends, and an opportunity, and take my word for it, he'll make himself a name that his sons shall be proud of. I don't see any way for a fellow like him to parvenir, but by making a prudent marriage-not with a beggarly heiress--to sit down for life upon a miserable fifteen hundred a year-but with somebody whom he can help, and who can help him forward in the world, and whom he can give a good name and a station in the country, begad, in return for the advantages which she brings him. It would be better for you to have a distinguished son-in-law, than to keep

your husband on in Parliament, who's of no good to himself or to anybody else there, and that's, I say, why I've been interested about you, and offer you what I think a good bargain for both."

"You know I look upon Arthur as one of the family almost now," said the good-natured Begum; "he comes and goes when he likes; and the more I think of his dear mother, the more I see there's few people so good— none so good to me. And I'm sure I cried when I heard of her death, and would have gone into mourning for her myself, only black don't become me. And I know who his mother wanted him to marry—Laura, I mean—whom old Lady Rockminster has taken such a fancy to, and no wonder. She's a better girl than my girl. I know both. And my Betsy-Blanche, I mean-ain't been a comfort to me, Major. It's Laura Pen ought to marry."

"Marry on five hundred a year! My dear good soul, you are mad!" Major Pendennis said. "Think over what I have said to you. Do nothing in your affairs with that unhappy husband of yours without consulting me; and remember that old Pendennis is always your friend."

For some time previous, Pen's uncle had held similar language to Miss Amory. He had pointed out to her the convenience of the match which he had at heart, and was bound to say, that mutual convenience was of all things the very best in the world to marry upon-the only thing. "Look at your love-marriages, my dear young creature. The love-match people are the most notorious of all for quarrelling afterwards; and a girl who runs away with Jack to Gretna Green, constantly runs away with Tom to Switzerland afterwards. The great point in marriage is for people to agree to be useful to one another. The lady brings the means, and the gentleman avails himself

of them. My boy's wife brings the horse, and begad, Pen goes in and wins the plate. That's what I call a sensible union. A couple like that have something to talk to each other about when they come together. If you had Cupid himself to talk to - if Blanche and Pen were Cupid and Psyche, begad-they'd begin to yawn after a few evenings, if they had nothing but sentiment to speak on."

――――

As for Miss Amory, she was contented enough with Pen as long as there was nobody better. And how many other young ladies are like her?-and how many lovemarriages carry on well to the last? and how many sentimental firms do not finish in bankruptcy?—and how many heroic passions don't dwindle down into despicable indifference, or end in shameful defeat?

These views of life and philosophy the Major was constantly, according to his custom, inculcating on Pen, whose mind was such that he could see the right on both sides of many questions, and, comprehending the sentimental life which was quite out of the reach of the honest Major's intelligence, could understand the practical life too, and acccommodate himself, or think he could accommodate himself, to it. So it came to pass that during the spring succeeding his mother's death he was a good deal under the influence of his uncle's advice, and domesticated in Lady Clavering's house; and in a measure was accepted by Miss Amory without being a suitor, and was received without being engaged. The young people were extremely familiar, without being particularly sentimental, and met and parted with each other in perfect good-humour. "And I," thought Pendennis, "am the fellow who eight years ago had a grand passion, and last year was raging in a fever about Briseis!"

Yes, it was the same Pendennis, and time had brought to him, as to the rest of us, its ordinary consequences, consolations, developments. We alter very little. When we talk of this man or that woman being no longer the same person whom we remember in youth, and remark (of course to deplore) changes in our friends, we don't, perhaps, calculate that circumstance only brings out the defect or quality, and does not create it. The selfish languor and indifference of to-day's possession is the consequence of the selfish ardour of yesterday's pursuit: the scorn and weariness which cries vanitas vanitatum is but the lassitude of the sick appetite palled with pleasure: the insolence of the successful parvenu is only the necessary continuance of the career of the needy struggler: our mental changes are like our grey hairs or our wrinkles-but the fulfilment of the plan of mortal growth and decay: that which is snow-white now was glossy black once; that which is sluggish obesity to-day was boisterous rosy health a few years back; that calm weariness, benevolent, resigned, and disappointed, was ambition, fierce and violent, but a few years since, and has only settled into submissive repose after many a battle and defeat. Lucky he who can bear his failure so generously, and give up his broken sword to Fate the Conqueror with a manly and humble heart! Are you not awestricken, you, friendly reader, who, taking the page up for a moment's light reading, lay it down, perchance, for a graver reflection,-to think how you, who have consummated your success or your disaster, may be holding marked station, or a hopeless and nameless place, in the crowd-who have passed through how many struggles of defeat, success, crime, remorse, to yourself only known!

who may have loved and grown cold, wept and laughed again, how often!-to think how you are the same You, whom in childhood you remember, before the voyage of life began? It has been prosperous, and you are riding into port, the people huzzaing and the guns saluting,and the lucky captain bows from the ship's side, and there is a care under the star on his breast which nobody knows of: or you are wrecked, and lashed, hopeless, to a solitary spar out at sea:-the sinking man and the successful one are thinking each about home, very likely, and remembering the time when they were children; alone on the hopeless spar, drowning out of sight; alone in the midst of the crowd applauding you.

CHAPTER IX.

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CONVERSATIONS.

OUR good-natured Begum was at first so much enraged at this last instance of her husband's duplicity and folly, that she refused to give Sir Francis Clavering any aid in order to meet his debts of honour, and declared that she would separate from him, and leave him to the consequences of his incorrigible weakness and waste. After that fatal day's transactions at the Derby, the unlucky gambler was in such a condition of mind that he was disposed to avoid everybody; alike his turf-associates with whom he had made debts which trembled lest he should not have the means of paying, and his wife, his long-suffering banker, on whom he reasonably doubted whether he should be allowed any longer to draw. When Lady Clavering asked the next morning whether Sir Francis was in the house, she received answer that he

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