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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesPelham - Volume 5 - Chapter 60
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Pelham - Volume 5 - Chapter 60 Post by :delpin Category :Long Stories Author :Edward Bulwer-lytton Date :May 2012 Read :2654

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Pelham - Volume 5 - Chapter 60

VOLUME V CHAPTER LX

Charge, Chester, charge!--Marmion.

Though this was one of the first mercantile transactions of my life, I had no doubt about acquitting myself with reputation.--Vicar of Wakefield.

The next morning I was at breakfast, when a packet was brought me from Tyrrell; it contained a sealed letter to Glanville, and a brief note to myself. The latter I transcribe:--

"My Dear Sir,

"The enclosed letter to Sir Reginald Glanville will explain my reasons for not keeping my pledge: suffice it to state to you, that they are such as wholly to exonerate me, and fairly to satisfy Sir Reginald. It will be useless to call upon me; I leave town before you will receive this. Respect for myself obliges me to add that, although there are circumstances to forbid my meeting Sir Reginald Glanville, there are none to prevent my demanding satisfaction of any one, whoever he may be, who shall deem himself authorized to call my motives into question,

"I have the honour,

"John Tyrrell."


It was not till I had thrice read this letter that I could credit its contents. From all I had seen of Tyrrell's character, I had no reason to suspect him to be less courageous than the generality of worldly men; and the conclusion of his letter, evidently pointed at myself, should I venture to impugn his conduct, seemed by no means favourable to any suspicion of his cowardice. And yet, when I considered the violent language of Glanville's letter, and Tyrrell's apparent resolution the night before, I scarcely knew to what more honourable motive to attribute his conduct. However, I lost no time in despatching the whole packet to Glanville, with a few lines from myself, saying I should call in an hour.

When I fulfilled this promise, Glanville's servant told me his master had gone out immediately on reading the letters I had sent, and had merely left word that he should not return home the whole day. That night he was to have brought an important motion before the House. A message from him, pleading sudden and alarming illness, devolved this duty upon another member of our party. Lord Dawton was in despair; the motion was lost by a great majority; the papers, the whole of that week, were filled with the most triumphant abuse and ridicule of the Whigs. Never was that unhappy and persecuted party reduced to so low an ebb: never did there seem a fainter probability of their coming into power. They appeared almost annihilated--a mere nominis umbra.

On the eighth day from Glanville's disappearance, a sudden event in the cabinet threw the whole country into confusion; the Tories trembled to the very soles of their easy slippers of sinecure and office; the eyes of the public were turned to the Whigs; and chance seemed to effect in an instant that change in their favour, which all their toil, trouble, eloquence, and art, had been unable for so many years to render even a remote probability.

But there was a strong though secret party in the state, which reminded me of the independents in the reign of Charles the First, that, concealed under a general name, worked only for a private end, and made a progress in number and respectability, not the less sure for being but little suspected. Foremost among the leaders of this party was Lord Vincent. Dawton, who knew of their existence, and regarded them with fear and jealousy, considered the struggle rather between them and himself, than any longer between himself and the Tories; and strove, while it was yet time, to reinforce himself by a body of allies, which, should the contest really take place, might be certain of giving him the superiority. The Marquis of Chester was among the most powerful of the neutral noblemen: it was of the greatest importance to gain him to the cause. He was a sturdy, sporting, independent man, who lived chiefly in the country, and turned his ambition rather towards promoting the excellence of quadrupeds, than the bad passions of men. To this personage Lord Dawton implored me to be the bearer of a letter, and to aid, with all the dexterity in my power, the purpose it was intended to effect. It was the most consequential mission yet entrusted to me, and I felt eager to turn my diplomatic energies to so good an account. Accordingly, one bright morning I wrapped myself carefully in my cloak, placed my invaluable person safely in my carriage, and set off to Chester Park, in the county of Suffolk.

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VOLUME V CHAPTER LXIHinc Canibus blandis rabies venit--Virgil Georgics. I should have mentioned, that the day after I sent Glanville Tyrrell's communication, I received a short and hurried note from the former, saying, that he had left London in pursuit of Tyrrell, and that he would not rest till he had brought him to account. In the hurry of the public events in which I had been of late so actively engaged, my mind had not had leisure to dwell much upon Glanville; but when I was alone in my carriage, that singular being, and the mystery which attended him, forced
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VOLUME V CHAPTER LIXI do defy him, and I spit at him, Call him a slanderous coward and a villain--Which to maintain I will allow him odds.--Shakspeare. I found Glanville walking before the door with a rapid and uneven step. "Thank Heaven!" he said, when he saw me--"I have been twice to Mivart's to find you. The second time, I saw your servant, who told me where you were gone. I knew you well enough to be sure of your kindness." Glanville broke off aburptly: and after a short pause, said, with a quick, low, hurried tone--"The office I wish you
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