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packed, and communicated to her maid and footman her intention of going to London the next day. All this accomplished, Miss Wells wrote a short note to Miss Thomson, informing her that she would dispense with her company in future, enclosing the amount which was due of her salary; and finally requesting her to inform her brother, Mr. Thomas Thomson, that the "chalky piece of goods" was not so much in want of a husband as to marry an unprincipled liar, and that everything was at an end between them.

Mr. Thompson was not inclined to give up the heiress so easily, and, having waited until he thought her anger would have cooled a little, he endeavoured to force himself into her presence. He did make good his entry into her dressing-room, but she threatened to send for a policeman and give him in charge if he continued to molest her, and to intrude into her private apartments. Finding her very resolute, he at last left the house, but with the intention of renewing his efforts at a reconciliation the next day.

Miss Wells was not usually an early riser, but the following morning she was up at daylight, and, before Mr. Thomson had awoke to the consciousness of his loss-of fortune-the owner of the coveted wealth had crossed to Portsmouth, and was off by an early train to London. She went, attended by her maid and man-servant, to the hotel where apartments had been bespoken for the wedding; but here she felt it would hardly do for her to remain long, yet whither to go she knew not. With all her money, she was homeless and friendless, and she dreaded entering again into society, inexperienced as she was, for fear she should again become the prey of low or unprincipled adventurers.

After mature deliberation she determined on spending the rest of her minority at the school at Blackheath where she had been educated, provided the ladies who kept it would receive her as a parlour-boarder. The terms she offered were so liberal, that they closed with her proposition. Her guardians made no objection, and to Blackheath she removed with her maid, thankful to have a safe and respectable asylum until she should become her own mistress, and have entire command of her own money.


Perhaps the fifteen or sixteen months she spent at Blackheath formed the happiest portion of Mary Wells's life. There was a cheerful circle in the house, and her time was employed to advantage, for she took masters, and improved herself in French, Italian, and German especially. Everybody knows how much rational occupation tends to happiness; in fact, idleness is as much the mother of misery as of mischief. seemed to fly, and her twenty-first birthday came almost too soon; yet she was glad to be relieved from the annoyance of always being obliged to consult her guardians in matters of any moment. She found herself mistress of 80,0007., and knew that she might do with it and with herself what she pleased. Still, where could she go? There was not a creature on the face of the earth on whose affection she had any claim, except her mother, whom she had not seen for upwards of three years. She had never even once heard from Mrs. Wells; but Mr. Grubb had informed her that her mother was still alive. Mary Wells had never cared so much for her mother as for her father; she remembered that she had been ashamed of her, still she felt a longing to see her once

more, and having obtained her address in Cornwall from Mr. Grubb, she went there to pay her a visit, leaving her maid at Blackheath.

Cold-hearted as Miss Wells was, the sight of her wretched mother shocked her exceedingly. She found her a poor, old-looking, brokendown slattern, an habitual drunkard, and an associate of the lowest of the low. Mrs. Wells did not evince the slightest pleasure at seeing her daughter; on the contrary, she asked if she had come there to trouble her, and told her that she did not want a fine lady to live with her.

The daughter found that there was no hope of reclaiming the mother, that her presence was only an annoyance to her, and with some little sorrow, and very deep disgust, she left her to her own devices, and returned to Blackheath.

Notwithstanding her disagreeable adventure at Boulogne, she longed to revisit the Continent, and deputed the ladies with whom she was then living to look out for a proper chaperone for her. Fortunately they knew the widow of an officer who had died in the East Indies, leaving his wife with a very slender portion, who was inclined to accept the situation. This lady was perfectly respectable, had always moved in good society, and, having resided for some time on the Continent, spoke French and German fluently.

Miss Wells was delighted to meet with so eligible a companion, and made very liberal arrangements in money matters. Baden-Baden was the place recommended by Mrs. Montagu, and thither they repaired, after having visited every place of any interest from Antwerp, Brussels, and Spa, to Heidelberg and Carlsruhe.

It was at Baden-Baden, as we have seen, that she became acquainted with Alphonse de Florennes. He was no mere adventurer, and Miss Wells tried hard to win him from Agatha, but in vain. When he de

clined her invitation to accompany her to Switzerland, she gave him up for lost, and, after spending a little time in Paris, returned to England dispirited and disappointed, but quite determined to try what could still be done in the matrimonial market.

Mrs. Montagu knew some rich East Indians at Brighton; through them it would be easy to get into society, and that fashionable resort was therefore selected by Miss Wells for her abode. She hired a splendidly furnished house, of which Mrs. Montagu took the entire charge, had a handsome equipage, riding-horses, and everything that was needed for living in first-rate style.

And it was not long before she found herself moving in a very gay circle-not merely moving in it, indeed, but somewhat courted in it. Danglers, though not exactly declared admirers, she had in abundance; dashing young Guardsmen, old roués, younger sons of aristocratic families, and fashionable paupers of all kinds-those sort of human sharks who swim after heiresses as greedily as the ugly fishes of that name swim after ships at sea.

Miss Wells rode, and danced, and walked with these various gentlemen, but she did not flirt with them; she was not a flirt; in fact, she was too seriously anxious to be married to waste her time in mere badinage. At length she determined to give a ball under Mrs. Montagu's auspices, and she left all the arrangements to that lady, giving herself no direction, except that everything should be in the handsomest style, and no expense spared.



THAT the noblest Roman of them all, by whom Cæsar, himself the foremost man of all this world, was done to death,—that Marcus Junius Brutus, despite eighteen centuries of puff and panegyric, was a wrongheaded man, an impracticable politician, incompetent as a statesman, and as a general faulty and grasping; is now as commonly allowed by the modern school of historical critics, as in bygone ages it would have been scouted with indignant denial.

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As Dr. Liddell remarked, in his History of Rome, the name of Brutus had, by Plutarch's beautiful narrative, sublimed by Shakspeare, become a proverb for self-devoted patriotism. "This exalted opinion," adds the learned Dean of Christ Church, "is now generally confessed to be unjust. Brutus, he contends, was not a patriot, unless devotion to the party of the Senate be patriotism :-towards the Provincials he was a true Roman, harsh and oppressive. Cicero says he never received a letter from him in which there was not something arrogant and overbearing. "He urged the Orator, when Proconsul of Cilicia, to exact debts due to him from Ariobarzanes king of Cappadocia and the people of Salamis in Cyprus. Cicero was shocked at the usurious interest he demanded for his money from the wretched Asiaties, and at the cruel way in which he extorted payment from his debtors.

"He was entirely free from the sensuality and profligacy of his age, as became one who professed a high philosophic rule. But for public life he was unfit. His habits were those of a student. His application was great, his memory remarkable. But he possessed little power of turning his acquirements to account; and to the last he was rather a learned man than a man improved by learning. In comparison with Cassius he was humane and generous; but in almost every respect his character is contrasted for the worse with that of the great man from whom he accepted favours, and then became his murderer."

His conduct after the " tyrannicide," is shown to have been not only vacillating and weak, but as illegal as the usurpation of Caius Julius. He left Rome as Prætor, without the permission of the Senate; he took possession of a province which, even by Cicero's testimony, had been assigned to another; he arbitrarily passed beyond the boundaries of his province, and set his effigy on the coins.†

He attacked the Bessi, as Professor Long remarks, in order to give his soldiers booty; and he plundered Asia, to get money for the conflict against Cæsar and Antony, for the mastery of Rome and Italy. "The means that he had at his disposal, show that he robbed without measure and without mercy; and never was greater tyranny exercised over helpless people in the name of liberty, than the wretched inhabitants of Asia experienced from Brutus, the Liberator,' and Cassius the last of the

Liddell, History of Rome, vol. ii. book vii. ch. lxix.

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Romans.' But all these great resources were thrown away in an illconceived and worse-executed campaign."*

It was some years after his residence in Cyprus, the historian of Rome under the Empire has pointed out, that Brutus commissioned one Scaptius to collect his debts with their accumulated interest-and allowed his agent to urge the most questionable interpretations of the law, and to enforce a rate of interest beyond what Cicero considered either legal or equitable. Scaptius, in his zeal for his employer, obtained the services of a troop of horse, with which he shut up the Salaminian senators in their house of assembly, till five of them died of starvation, being really unable to procure the sum required. "The bitter reflections which Cicero makes upon the conduct of Brutus mark the strong contrast between the tried and practical friend of virtue and the pedantic aspirant, to philosophic renown."

And yet with what venerating enthusiasm, and all but absolute unanimity, was it the wide world's wont for ages and ages to glorify Brutus as the patriot of patriots-the model of that class-the incarnation of all the political virtues for all time, a name of terror to political evil-doers, and of praise to them that do well; as one that beareth not the sword in vain, where tyrants still survive; and as one that. being dead yet speaketh, to all the sons of, freedom, with the eloquence of burning words and of immortal deeds,

Ah Brutus ever thine be Virtue's tear!
Lo, his dim eyes to Liberty he turns
As, scarce supported on her broken spear,
O'er her expiring son the goddess mourns.§

So pipes,, or quavers, the author of the "Minstrel," approved in high places, while he lived and wrote, as a pattern for all that is orthodox and tasteful. And in his encomium of the Roman patriot, he was but spokesman for his own age, and for most others. For, as Coleridge pointed out, at the time of Bonaparte's advance to empire, we had so long con nected the names of Brutus and Cassius with the word Liberty, that we had forgotten that, by the Roman populace, they were considered as the leaders of the senatorian aristocracy,-Cæsar being the child and champion of Jacobinism.||

Alluding to the act of Horace, as a young man, in joining the republican army of Brutus, in which he received the rank of military tribune, the Quarterly Reviewer of Tate's Horatius Restitutus observes, that it would have been matter for surprise if the whole Roman youth, breathing the air of Aristides, and Pericles, and Demosthenes-imbibing the sentiments of liberty from all which was the object of their study at this ardent and generous period of life-had not thrown themselves at once into the ranks of Brutus, and rallied round what they could not but consider the endangered freedom of Rome. "No German university, not

*George Long, Characters from Plutarch.

Merivale, Romans under the Empire, I. 382.
Beattie, The Triumph of Melancholy.

† Cic. ad Att. v. 21, vi. 1.

Elsewhere Coleridge says, "Brutus was a republican, but he perished in. consequence of having killed the Jacobin, Cæsar."-Essays on his Own Times, vol. ii. cf. pp. 507, 508, 547–

even the Polytechnic school at Paris, can have poured forth its enthu siastic boys with stronger excitement, or in so noble a cause, as that of Brutus ought to have appeared to the sons of Roman fathers:"*

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When Swift lands Gulliver at Glubbdubdrib, and causes the great men of antiquity to pass before him, in the governor's chamber,-without irony, for once, the travelled Lemuel thus characterises Rome's pink of patriots: "I was struck with a profound veneration at the sight of Brutus, and could easily discover the most consummate virtue, the greatest intrepidity and firmness of mind, the truest love of his country, and general benevolence for mankind, in every lineament of his countenance." Cæsar is made to advance alongside of Brutus, in this Laputa vision; and Mr. Gulliver notes with no small pleasure that "these two persons were in good intelligence with each other;" and Cæsar freely confesses to him, that the greatest action of his own life were not equal, by many degrees, to the glory of taking it away. With Brutus the same veracious traveller has the honour of a prolonged colloquy, and is told by him "that his ancestor Junius, with Socrates, Epaminondas, Cato the younger, Sir Thomas More, and himself, were perpetually together;" a sextumvirate, affirms the Dean of St. Patrick's, to which all the ages of the world cannot add a seventh.

That is the approved style, Old Style, of appraising Brutus.

The constant Brutus, that being proof

Against all charms of benefit, did strike
So brave a blow into the monster's heart
That sought unkindly to captive his country,‡

as the Jonsonian Arruntius has it. So the poet of the Seasons:

And thou, unhappy Brutus, kind of heart,
Whose steady arm, by aweful virtue urged,
Lifted the Roman steel against thy friend.§

As again elsewhere honest James glances at "Philippi's field," where in dust

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The last of Romans, matchless Brutus! lay.||

The bard of Grongar Hill pictures for us: a

Desponding Brutus, dubious of the right,
In evil days, of faith, of public weal,
Solicitous and sad. T

And that classic old Whig, who wrote the Pleasures of Memory, refers in Rome itself to

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And so the chain of tradition drags on, or runs out, the length of its

† Gulliver's Travels, part. iii. ch. vii. § Thomson's Seasons, Winter. Dyer, The Ruins of Rome..

* Quarterly Review, vol. lxii. p. 298.
Ben Jonson, Sejanus, Act I. Sc. 1.
Liberty, part iii.
** Rogers, Italy.

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