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friend's own frugality and prudence, fortune aided him considerably in his endeavor, and brought him to the point which he so panted to attain. He laid out some money very advantageously in the purchase of a house and small estate close upon the village of Clavering before mentioned. A lucky purchase which he had made of shares in a copper-mine added very considerably to his wealth, and he realized with great prudence while this mine was still at its full vogue. Finally, he sold his business, at Bath, to Mr. Parkins, for a handsome sum of ready money, and for an annuity to be paid to him during a certain number of years after he had forever retired from the handling of the mortar and pestle.
Arthur Pendennis, his son, was eight years old at the time of this event, so that it is no wonder that the lad, who left Bath and the surgery so young, should forget the existence of such a place almost entirely, and that his father's hands had ever been dirted by the compounding of odious pills, or the preparation of filthy plasters. The old man never spoke about the shop himself, never alluded to it; called in the medical practitioner of Clavering to attend his family; sunk the black breeches and stockings altogether; attended market and sessions, and wore a bottle-green coat and brass buttons with drab gaiters, just as if he had been an English gentleman all his life. He used to stand at his lodge-gate, and see the coaches come in, and bow gravely to the guards and coachmen as they touched their hats and drove by. It was he who founded the Clavering Book Club: and set up the Samaritan Soup and Blanket Society. It was he who brought the mail, which used to run through Cacklefield before, away from that village and through Clavering. At church
he was equally active as a vestryman and a worshipper. At market every Thursday, he went from pen to stall; looked at samples of oats, and munched corn; felt beasts, punched geese in the breast, and weighed them with a knowing air; and did business with the farmers at the Clavering Arms, as well as the oldest frequenter of that house of call. It was now his shame, as it formerly was his pride, to be called Doctor, and those who wished to please him always gave him the title of Squire. Heaven knows where they came from, but a whole range of Pendennis portraits presently hung round the Doctor's oak dining-room; Lelys and Vandycks he vowed all the portraits to be, and when questioned as to the history of the originals, would vaguely say they were “ancestors of his.” His little boy believed in them to their fullest extent, and Roger Pendennis of Agincourt, Arthur Pendennis of Crecy, General Pendennis of Blenheim and Oudenarde, were as real and actual beings for this young gentleman as—whom shall we say? — as Robinson Crusoe, or Peter Wilkins, or the Seven Champions of Christendom, whose histories were in his library. Pendennis's fortune, which was not above eight hundred pounds a-year, did not, with the best economy and management, permit of his living with the great folks of the county; but he had a decent comfortable society of the second sort. If they were not the roses, they lived near the roses, as it were, and had a good deal of the odor of genteel life. They had out their plate, and dined each other round in the moonlight nights twice a-year, coming a dozen miles to these festivals; and besides the county, the Pendennises had the society of the town of Clavering, as much as, nay, more than they liked: for Mrs.
Pybus was always poking about Helen's conservatories, and intercepting the operation of her souptickets and coal-clubs ; Captain Glanders (H. P., 50th Dragoon Guards), was forever swaggering about the Squire's stables and gardens, and endeavoring to enlist him in his quarrels with the Vicar, with the Postmaster, with the Reverend F. Wapshot of Clavering Grammar School, for over-flogging his son, Anglesea Glanders, — with all the village in fine. And Pendennis and his wife often blessed themselves, that their house of Fairoaks was nearly a mile out of Clavering, or their premises would never have been free from the prying eyes and prattle of one or other of the male and female inhabitants there.
Fairoaks lawn comes down to the little river Brawl, and on the other side were the plantations and woods (as much as were left of them) of Clavering Park, Sir Francis Clavering, Bart. The park was let out in pasture and fed down by sheep and cattle when the Pendennises came first to live at Fairoaks. Shutters were up in the house; a splendid freestone palace, with great stairs, statues, and porticos, whereof you may see a picture in the “Beauties of England and Wales.” Sir Richard Clavering, Sir Francis's grandfather, had commenced the ruin of the family by the building of this palace: his successor had achieved the ruin by living in it. The present Sir Francis was abroad somewhere; nor could anybody be found rich enough to rent that enormous mansion, through the deserted rooms, mouldy clanking halls, and dismal galleries of which, Arthur Pendennis many a time walked trembling when he was a boy. At sunset, from the lawn of Fairoaks, there was a pretty sight: it and the opposite park of Clavering were in the habit of putting on a rich golden tinge, which became
them both wonderfully. The upper windows of the great house flamed so as to make your eyes wink; the little river ran off noisily westward, and was lost in a sombre wood, behind which the towers of the old abbey church of Clavering (whereby that town is called Clavering St. Mary's to the present day) rose up in purple splendor. Little Arthur's figure and his mother's cast long blue shadows over the grass: and he would repeat in a low voice (for a scene of great natural beauty always moved the boy, who inherited this sensibility from his mother) certain lines beginning, “These are thy glorious works, Parent of Good; Almighty thine this universal frame,” greatly to Mrs. Pendennis's delight. Such walks and conversation generally ended in a profusion of filial and maternal embraces; for to love and to pray were the main occupations of this dear woman's life; and I have often heard Pendennis say in his wild way, that he felt that he was sure of going to heaven, for his mother never could be happy there without him. As for John Pendennis, as the father of the family, and that sort of thing, everybody had the greatest respect for him: and his orders were obeyed like those of the Medes and Persians. His hat was as well brushed, perhaps, as that of any man in this empire. His meals were served at the same minute every day, and woe to those who came late, as little Pen, a disorderly little rascal, sometimes did. Prayers were recited, his letters were read, his business despatched, his stables and garden inspected, his hen-houses and kennel, his barn and pigsty visited, always at regular hours. After dinner he always had a nap with the Globe newspaper on his knee, and his yellow bandanna handkerchief on his face (Major Pendennis sent the yellow handkerchiefs from India,
and his brother had helped in the purchase of his majority, so that they were good friends now). And so, as his dinner took place at six o'clock to a minute, and the sunset business alluded to may be supposed to have occurred at about half-past seven, it is probable that he did not much care for the view in front of his lawn windows, or take any share in the poetry and caresses which were taking place there.
They seldom occurred in his presence. However frisky they were before, mother and child were hushed and quiet when Mr. Pendennis walked into the drawing-room, his newspaper under his arm. ... And here, while little Pen, buried in a great chair, read all the books of which he could lay hold, the Squire perused his own articles in the “ Gardener's Gazette," or took a solemn hand at piquet with Mrs. Pendennis, or an occasional friend from the village.
Pendennis usually took care that at least one of his grand dinners should take place when his brother, the Major, who, on the return of his regiment from India and New South Wales, had sold out and gone upon half-pay, came to pay his biennial visit to Fairoaks. “My brother, Major Pendennis,” was a constant theme of the retired Doctor's conversation. All the family delighted in my brother the Major. He was the link which bound them to the great world of London, and the fashion. He always brought down the last news of the nobility, and spoke of such with soldier-like respect and decorum. He would say, “My Lord Bareacres has been good enough to invite me to Bareacres for the pheasant shooting," or, “My Lord Steyne is so kind as to wish for my pres. ence at Stillbrook for the Easter holidays ;” and you may be sure the whereabouts of my brother the