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Lady Anna
by Anthony Trollope
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"And I may ask Sir William?" said the Earl.

"Of course we shall be glad to see Sir William Patterson if you choose to invite him," said the rector, still oppressed by gloom. "Sir William Patterson is a gentleman no doubt, and a man of high standing. Of course I and your aunt will be pleased to receive him. As a lawyer I don't think much of him;—but that has nothing to do with it." It may be remarked here that though Mr. Lovel lived for a great many years after the transactions which are here recorded, he never gave way in reference to the case that had been tried. If the lawyers had persevered as they ought to have done, it would have been found out that the Countess was no Countess, that the Lady Anna was no Lady Anna, and that all the money had belonged by right to the Earl. With that belief,—with that profession of belief,—he went to his grave an old man of eighty.

In the meantime he consented that the invitation should be given. The Countess and her daughter were to be asked to Yoxham;—the use of the parish church was to be offered for the ceremony; he was to propose to marry them; the Earl was to give the bride away; and Daniel Thwaite the tailor was to be asked to dine at Yoxham Rectory on the day before the marriage! The letters were to be written from the rectory by aunt Julia, and the Earl was to add what he pleased for himself. "I suppose this sort of trial is sent to us for our good," said the rector to his wife that night in the sanctity of their bedroom.



CHAPTER XLVII.

THINGS ARRANGE THEMSELVES.

But the Countess never gave way an inch. The following was the answer which she returned to the note written to her by aunt Julia;—

"The Countess Lovel presents her compliments to Miss Lovel. The Countess disapproves altogether of the marriage which is about to take place between Lady Anna Lovel and Mr. Daniel Thwaite, and will take no part in the ceremony."

"By heavens,—she is the best Lovel of us all," said the rector when he read the letter.

This reply was received at Yoxham three days before any answer came either from Lady Anna or from the tailor. Daniel had received his communication from the young lord, who had called him "Dear Mr. Thwaite," who had written quite familiarly about the coming nuptials with "his cousin Anna,"—had bade him come down and join the family "like a good fellow,"—and had signed himself, "Yours always most sincerely, Lovel." "It almost takes my breath away," said the tailor to his sweetheart, laughing.

"They are cousins, you know," said Lady Anna. "And there was a little girl there I loved so much."

"They can't but despise me, you know," said the tailor.

"Why should any one despise you?"

"No one should,—unless I be mean and despicable. But they do,—you may be sure. It is only human nature that they should. We are made of different fabric,—though the stuff was originally the same. I don't think I should be at my ease with them. I should be half afraid of their gilt and their gingerbread, and should be ashamed of myself because I was so. I should not know how to drink wine with them, and should do a hundred things which would make them think me a beast."

"I don't see why you shouldn't hold up your head with any man in England," said Lady Anna.

"And so I ought;—but I shouldn't. I should be awed by those whom I feel to be my inferiors. I had rather not. We had better keep to ourselves, dear!" But the girl begged for some delay. It was a matter that required to be considered. If it were necessary for her to quarrel with all her cousins for the sake of her husband,—with the bright faineant young Earl, with aunts Jane and Julia, with her darling Minnie, she would do so. The husband should be to her in all respects the first and foremost. For his sake, now that she had resolved that she would be his, she would if necessary separate herself from all the world. She had withstood the prayers of her mother, and she was sure that nothing else could move her. But if the cousins were willing to accept her husband, why should he not be willing to be accepted? Pride in him might be as weak as pride in them. If they would put out their hands to him, why should he refuse to put out his own? "Give me a day, Daniel, to think about it." He gave her the day, and then that great decider of all things, Sir William, came to him, congratulating him, bidding him be of good cheer, and saying fine things of the Lovel family generally. Our tailor received him courteously, having learned to like the man, understanding that he had behaved with honesty and wisdom in regard to his client, and respecting him as one of the workers of the day; but he declared that for the Lovel family, as a family,—"he did not care for them particularly." "They are poles asunder from me," he said.

"Not so," replied Sir William. "They were poles asunder, if you will. But by your good fortune and merit, if you will allow me to say so, you have travelled from the one pole very far towards the other."

"I like my own pole a deal the best, Sir William."

"I am an older man than you, Mr. Thwaite, and allow me to assure you that you are wrong."

"Wrong in preferring those who work for their bread to those who eat it in idleness?"

"Not that;—but wrong in thinking that there is not hard work done at the one pole as well as the other; and wrong also in not having perceived that the best men who come up from age to age are always migrating from that pole which you say you prefer, to the antipodean pole to which you are tending yourself. I can understand your feeling of contempt for an idle lordling, but you should remember that lords have been made lords in nine cases out of ten for good work done by them for the benefit of their country."

"Why should the children of lords be such to the tenth and twentieth generation?"

"Come into parliament, Mr. Thwaite, and if you have views on that subject opposed to hereditary peerages, express them there. It is a fair subject for argument. At present, I think that the sense of the country is in favour of an aristocracy of birth. But be that as it may, do not allow yourself to despise that condition of society which it is the ambition of all men to enter."

"It is not my ambition."

"Pardon me. When you were a workman among workmen, did you not wish to be their leader? When you were foremost among them, did you not wish to be their master? If you were a master tradesman, would you not wish to lead and guide your brother tradesmen? Would you not desire wealth in order that you might be assisted by it in your views of ambition? If you were an alderman in your borough, would you not wish to be the mayor? If mayor, would you not wish to be its representative in Parliament? If in Parliament, would you not wish to be heard there? Would you not then clothe yourself as those among whom you lived, eat as they ate, drink as they drank, keep their hours, fall into their habits, and be one of them? The theory of equality is very grand."

"The grandest thing in the world, Sir William."

"It is one to which all legislative and all human efforts should and must tend. All that is said and all that is done among people that have emancipated themselves from the thraldom of individual aggrandizement, serve to diminish in some degree the distance between the high and the low. But could you establish absolute equality in England to-morrow, as it was to have been established in France some half century ago, the inequality of men's minds and character would re-establish an aristocracy within twenty years. The energetic, the talented, the honest, and the unselfish will always be moving towards an aristocratic side of society, because their virtues will beget esteem, and esteem will beget wealth,—and wealth gives power for good offices."

"As when one man throws away forty thousand a year on race-courses."

"When you make much water boil, Mr. Thwaite, some of it will probably boil over. When two men run a race, some strength must be wasted in fruitless steps beyond the goal. It is the fault of many patriotic men that, in their desire to put down the evils which exist they will see only the power that is wasted, and have no eyes for the good work done. The subject is so large that I should like to discuss it with you when we have more time. For the present let me beg of you, for your own sake as well as for her who is to be your wife, that you will not repudiate civility offered to you by her family. It will show a higher manliness in you to go among them, and accept among them the position which your wife's wealth and your own acquirements will give you, than to stand aloof moodily because they are aristocrats."

"You can make yourself understood when you speak, Sir William."

"I am glad to hear you say so," said the lawyer, smiling.

"I cannot, and so you have the best of me. But you can't make me like a lord, or think that a young man ought to wear a silk gown."

"I quite agree with you that the silk gowns should be kept for their elders," and so the conversation was ended.

Daniel Thwaite had not been made to like a lord, but the eloquence of the urbane lawyer was not wasted on him. Thinking of it all as he wandered alone through the streets, he began to believe that it would be more manly to do as he was advised than to abstain because the doing of the thing would in itself be disagreeable to him. On the following day, Lady Anna was with him as usual; for the pretext of his wound still afforded to her the means of paying to him those daily visits which in happier circumstances he would naturally have paid to her. "Would you like to go to Yoxham?" he said. She looked wistfully up into his face. With her there was a real wish that the poles might be joined together by her future husband. She had found, as she had thought of it, that she could not make herself either happy or contented except by marrying him, but it had not been without regret that she had consented to destroy altogether the link which bound her to the noble blood of the Lovels. She had been made to appreciate the sweet flavour of aristocratic influences, and now that the Lovels were willing to receive her in spite of her marriage, she was more than willing to accept their offered friendship. "If you really wish it, you shall go," he said.

"But you must go also."

"Yes;—for one day. And I must have a pair of gloves and a black coat."

"And a blue one,—to be married in."

"Alas me! Must I have a pink silk gown to walk about in, early in the morning?"

"You shall if you like, and I'll make it for you."

"I'd sooner see you darning my worsted stockings, sweetheart."

"I can do that too."

"And I shall have to go to church in a coach, and come back in another, and all the people will smell sweet, and make eyes at me behind my back, and wonder among themselves how the tailor will behave himself."

"The tailor must behave himself properly," said Lady Anna.

"That's just what he won't do,—and can't do. I know you'll be ashamed of me, and then we shall both be unhappy."

"I won't be ashamed of you. I will never be ashamed of you. I will be ashamed of them if they are not good to you. But, Daniel, you shall not go if you do not like it. What does it all signify, if you are not happy?"

"I will go," said he. "And now I'll sit down and write a letter to my lord."

Two letters were written accepting the invitation. As that from the tailor to the lord was short and characteristic it shall be given.

MY DEAR LORD,

I am much obliged to you for your lordship's invitation to Yoxham, and if accepting it will make me a good fellow, I will accept it. I fear, however, that I can never be a proper fellow to your lordship. Not the less do I feel your courtesy, and I am,

With all sincerity, Your lordship's very obedient servant,

DANIEL THWAITE.

Lady Anna's reply to aunt Julia was longer and less sententious, but it signified her intention of going down to Yoxham a week before the day settled for the marriage, which was now the 10th of July. She was much obliged, she said, to the rector for his goodness in promising to marry them; and as she had no friends of her own she hoped that Minnie Lovel would be her bridesmaid. There were, however, sundry other letters before the ceremony was performed, and among them was one in which she was asked to bring Miss Alice Bluestone down with her,—so that she might have one bridesmaid over and beyond those provided by the Yoxham aristocracy. To this arrangement Miss Alice Bluestone acceded joyfully,—in spite of that gulf, of which she had spoken;—and, so accompanied, but without her lady's-maid, Lady Anna returned to Yoxham that she might be there bound in holy matrimony to Daniel Thwaite the tailor, by the hands of her cousin, the Rev. Charles Lovel.



CHAPTER XLVIII.

THE MARRIAGE.

The marriage was nearly all that a marriage should be when a Lady Anna is led to the hymeneal altar. As the ceremony was transferred from Bloomsbury, London, to Yoxham, in Yorkshire, a licence had been procured, and the banns of which Daniel Thwaite thought so much, had been called in vain. Of course there are differences in aristocratic marriages. All earls' daughters are not married at St. George's, Hanover Square, nor is it absolutely necessary that a bishop should tie the knot, or that the dresses should be described in a newspaper. This was essentially a quiet marriage,—but it was quiet with a splendid quietude, and the obscurity of it was graceful and decorous. As soon as the thing was settled,—when it was a matter past doubt that all the Lovels were to sanction the marriage,—the two aunts went to work heartily. Another Lovel girl, hardly more than seen before by any of the family, was gathered to the Lovel home as a third bridesmaid, and for the fourth,—who should officiate, but the eldest daughter of Lady Fitzwarren? The Fitzwarrens were not rich, did not go to town annually, and the occasions for social brilliancy in the country are few and far between! Lady Fitzwarren did not like to refuse her old friend, Mrs. Lovel; and then Lady Anna was Lady Anna,—or at any rate would be so, as far as the newspapers of the day were concerned. Miss Fitzwarren allowed herself to be attired in white and blue, and to officiate in the procession,—having, however, assured her most intimate friend, Miss De Moleyns, that no consideration on earth should induce her to allow herself to be kissed by the tailor.

In the week previous to the arrival of Daniel Thwaite, Lady Anna again ingratiated herself with the ladies at the rectory. During the days of her persecution she had been silent and apparently hard;—but now she was again gentle, yielding, and soft. "I do like her manner, all the same," said Minnie. "Yes, my dear. It's a pity that it should be as it is to be, because she is very nice." Minnie loved her friend, but thought it to be a thing of horror that her friend should marry a tailor. It was almost as bad as the story of the Princess who had to marry a bear;—worse indeed, for Minnie did not at all believe that the tailor would ever turn out to be a gentleman, whereas she had been sure from the first that the bear would turn into a prince.

Daniel came to Yoxham, and saw very little of anybody at the rectory. He was taken in at the house of a neighbouring squire, where he dined as a matter of course. He did call at the rectory, and saw his bride,—but on that occasion he did not even see the rector. The squire took him to the church in the morning, dressed in a blue frock coat, brown trousers, and a grey cravat. He was very much ashamed of his own clothes, but there was nothing about him to attract attention had not everybody known he was a tailor. The rector shook hands with him politely but coldly. The ladies were more affectionate; and Minnie looked up into his face long and anxiously. "He wasn't very nice," she said afterwards, "but I thought he'd be worse than that!" When the marriage was over he kissed his wife, but made no attempt upon the bridesmaids. Then there was a breakfast at the rectory,—which was a very handsome bridal banquet. On such occasions the part of the bride is always easily played. It is her duty to look pretty if she can, and should she fail in that,—as brides usually do,—her failure is attributed to the natural emotions of the occasion. The part of the bridegroom is more difficult. He should be manly, pleasant, composed, never flippant, able to say a few words when called upon, and quietly triumphant. This is almost more than mortal can achieve, and bridegrooms generally manifest some shortcomings at the awful moment. Daniel Thwaite was not successful. He was silent and almost morose. When Lady Fitzwarren congratulated him with high-flown words and a smile,—a smile that was intended to combine something of ridicule with something of civility,—he almost broke down in his attempt to answer her. "It is very good of you, my lady," said he. Then she turned her back and whispered a word to the parson, and Daniel was sure that she was laughing at him. The hero of the day was the Solicitor-General. He made a speech, proposing health and prosperity to the newly-married couple. He referred, but just referred, to the trial, expressing the pleasure which all concerned had felt in recognising the rights and rank of the fair and noble bride as soon as the facts of the case had come to their knowledge. Then he spoke of the truth and long-continued friendship and devoted constancy of the bridegroom and his father, saying that in the long experience of his life he had known nothing more touching or more graceful than the love which in early days had sprung up between the beautiful young girl and her earliest friend. He considered it to be among the happinesses of his life that he had been able to make the acquaintance of Mr. Daniel Thwaite, and he expressed a hope that he might long be allowed to regard that gentleman as his friend. There was much applause, in giving which the young Earl was certainly the loudest. The rector could not bring himself to say a word. He was striving to do his duty by the head of his family, but he could not bring himself to say that the marriage between Lady Anna Lovel and the tailor was a happy event. Poor Daniel was compelled to make some speech in reply to his friend, Sir William. "I am bad at speaking," said he, "and I hope I shall be excused. I can only say that I am under deep obligation to Sir William Patterson for what he has done for my wife."

The couple went away with a carriage and four horses to York, and the marriage was over. "I hope I have done right," said the rector in whispered confidence to Lady Fitzwarren.

"I think you have, Mr. Lovel. I'm sure you have. The circumstances were very difficult, but I am sure you have done right. She must always be considered as the legitimate child of her father."

"They say so," murmured the rector sadly.

"Just that. And as she will always be considered to be the Lady Anna, you were bound to treat her as you have done. It was a pity that it was not done earlier, so that she might have formed a worthier connection. The Earl, however, has not been altogether overlooked, and there is some comfort in that. I dare say Mr. Thwaite may be a good sort of man, though he is—not just what the family could have wished." These words were undoubtedly spoken by her ladyship with much pleasure. The Fitzwarrens were poor, and the Lovels were all rich. Even the young Earl was now fairly well to do in the world,—thanks to the generosity of the newly-found cousin. It was, therefore, pleasant to Lady Fitzwarren to allude to the family misfortune which must in some degree alloy the prosperity of her friends. Mr. Lovel understood it all, and sighed; but he felt no anger. He was grateful to Lady Fitzwarren for coming to his house at all on so mournful an occasion.

And so we may bid farewell to Yoxham. The rector was an honest, sincere man, unselfish, true to his instincts, genuinely English, charitable, hospitable, a doer of good to those around him. In judging of such a character we find the difficulty of drawing the line between political sagacity and political prejudice. Had he been other than he was, he would probably have been less serviceable in his position.

The bride and bridegroom went for their honeymoon into Devonshire, and on their road they passed through London. Lady Anna Thwaite,—for she had not at least as yet been able to drop her title,—wrote to her mother telling her of her arrival, and requesting permission to see her. On the following day she went alone to Keppel Street and was admitted. "Dear, dear mamma," she said, throwing herself into the arms of her mother.

"So it is done?" said the Countess.

"Yes;—mamma,—we are married. I wrote to you from York."

"I got your letter, but I could not answer it. What could I say? I wish it had not been so;—but it is done. You have chosen for yourself, and I will not reproach you."

"Do not reproach me now, mamma."

"It would be useless. I will bear my sorrows in silence, such as they are. Do not talk to me of him, but tell me what is the life that is proposed for you."

They were to stay in the south of Devonshire for a month and then to sail for the new colony founded at the Antipodes. As to any permanent mode of life no definite plan had yet been formed. They were bound for Sydney, and when there, "my husband,"—as Lady Anna called him, thinking that the word might be less painful to the ears of her mother than the name of the man who had become so odious to her,—would do as should seem good to him. They would at any rate learn something of the new world that was springing up, and he would then be able to judge whether he would best serve the purpose that he had at heart by remaining there or by returning to England. "And now, mamma, what will you do?"

"Nothing," said the Countess.

"But where will you live?"

"If I could only find out, my child, where I might die, I would tell you that."

"Mamma, do not talk to me of dying."

"How should I talk of my future life, my dear? For what should I live? I had but you, and you have left me."

"Come with me, mamma."

"No, my dear. I could not live with him nor he with me. It will be better that he and I should never see each other again."

"But you will not stay here?"

"No;—I shall not stay here. I must use myself to solitude, but the solitude of London is unendurable. I shall go back to Cumberland if I can find a home there. The mountains will remind me of the days which, sad as they were, were less sad than the present. I little dreamed then when I had gained everything my loss would be so great as it has been. Was the Earl there?"

"At our marriage? Oh yes, he was there."

"I shall ask him to do me a kindness. Perhaps he will let me live at Lovel Grange?"

When the meeting was over Lady Anna returned to her husband overwhelmed with tears. She was almost broken-hearted when she asked herself whether she had in truth been cruel to her mother. But she knew not how she could have done other than she had done. Her mother had endeavoured to conquer her by hard usage,—and had failed. But not the less her heart was very sore. "My dear," said the tailor to her, "hearts will be sore. As the world goes yet awhile there must be injustice; and sorrow will follow."

When they had been gone from London about a month the Countess wrote to her cousin the Earl and told him her wishes. "If you desire to live there of course there must be an end of it. But if not, you might let the old place to me. It will not be as if it were gone out of the family. I will do what I can for the people around me, so that they may learn not to hate the name of Lovel."

The young lord told her that she should have the use of the house as long as she pleased,—for her lifetime if it suited her to live there so long. As for rent,—of course he could take none after all that had been done for him. But the place should be leased to her so that she need not fear to be disturbed. When the spring time came, after the sailing of the vessel which took the tailor and his wife off to the Antipodes, Lady Lovel travelled down with her maid to Cumberland, leaving London without a friend to whom she could say adieu. And at Lovel Grange she took up her abode, amidst the old furniture and the old pictures, with everything to remind her of the black tragedy of her youth, when her husband had come to her and had told her, with a smile upon his lips and scorn in his eye, that she was not his wife, and that the child which she bore would be a bastard. Over his wicked word she had at any rate triumphed. Now she was living there in his house the unquestioned and undoubted Countess Lovel, the mistress of much of his wealth, while still were living around her those who had known her when she was banished from her home. There, too often with ill-directed generosity, she gave away her money, and became loved of the poor around her. But in the way of society she saw no human being, and rarely went beyond the valley in which stood the lonely house to which she had been brought as a bride.

Of the further doings of Mr. Daniel Thwaite and his wife Lady Anna,—of how they travelled and saw many things; and how he became perhaps a wiser man,—the present writer may, he hopes, live to tell.

Printed by Virtue and Co., City Road, London.



* * * * * *



Transcriber's note:

Obvious typographical errors have been corrected.

Specific changes in wording of the text are listed below.

Volume I, Chapter XIX, paragraph 43. The word "Lady" was changed to "Aunt" in the sentence: Mrs. Lovel accompanied them, but AUNT Julia made her farewells in the rectory drawing-room.

Volume II, Chapter XXXVII, paragraph 1. The word "was" was changed to "were" in the sentence: The Countess had assented;—but when the moment came, there WERE reasons against her sudden departure.

Volume II, Chapter XXXIX, paragraph 5. The word "or" was deleted from the sentence: He pointed it out as a fact that the Earl had not the slightest claim upon any portion of the estate,—not more than he would have had if this money had come to Lady Anna from her mother's instead of [OR] from her father's relatives.

Volume II, Chapter XXXIX, paragraph 6. The word "not" was deleted from the sentence: If the Earl could get L10,000 a year by amicable arrangement, the Solicitor-General would be shown to have been right in the eyes of all men, and it was [NOT] probable,—as both Mr. Goffe and Mr. Flick felt,—that he would not repudiate a settlement of the family affairs by which he would be proved to have been a discreet counsellor.

Volume II, Chapter XLV, paragraph 20. "David" was changed to "Daniel" in the sentence: Neither on that occasion, or on either of the two further callings, did any one get up in church to declare that impediment existed why DANIEL Thwaite the tailor and Lady Anna Lovel should not be joined together in holy matrimony.

THE END

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