Ernest Maltravers — Volume 07
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Ernest Maltravers — Volume 07

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The Project Gutenberg EBook Ernest Maltravers, by Bulwer-Lytton, Book 7 #74 in our series by Edward Bulwer-LyttonCopyright laws are changing all over the world. Be sure to check the copyright laws for your country before downloadingor redistributing this or any other Project Gutenberg eBook.This header should be the first thing seen when viewing this Project Gutenberg file. Please do not remove it. Do notchange or edit the header without written permission.Please read the "legal small print," and other information about the eBook and Project Gutenberg at the bottom of thisfile. Included is important information about your specific rights and restrictions in how the file may be used. You can alsofind out about how to make a donation to Project Gutenberg, and how to get involved.**Welcome To The World of Free Plain Vanilla Electronic Texts****EBooks Readable By Both Humans and By Computers, Since 1971*******These EBooks Were Prepared By Thousands of Volunteers*****Title: Ernest Maltravers, Book 7Author: Edward Bulwer-LyttonRelease Date: March 2005 [EBook #7646] [Yes, we are more than one year ahead of schedule] [This file was firstposted on March 11, 2004]Edition: 10Language: English*** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK ERNEST MALTRAVERS, LYTTON, V7 ***This eBook was produced by Dagny, dagnypg@yahoo.com and David Widger, widger@cecomet.netBOOK VII. Every man should strive to be as good as possible, but not suppose himself to be the only thing ...

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The Project Gutenberg EBook Ernest Maltravers,by Bulwer-Lytton, Book 7 #74 in our series byEdward Bulwer-LyttonCopyright laws are changing all over the world. Besure to check the copyright laws for your countrybefore downloading or redistributing this or anyother Project Gutenberg eBook.This header should be the first thing seen whenviewing this Project Gutenberg file. Please do notremove it. Do not change or edit the headerwithout written permission.Please read the "legal small print," and otherinformation about the eBook and ProjectGutenberg at the bottom of this file. Included isimportant information about your specific rights andrestrictions in how the file may be used. You canalso find out about how to make a donation toProject Gutenberg, and how to get involved.**Welcome To The World of Free Plain VanillaElectronic Texts****EBooks Readable By Both Humans and ByComputers, Since 1971*******These EBooks Were Prepared By Thousandsof Volunteers*****Title: Ernest Maltravers, Book 7
Author: Edward Bulwer-LyttonRelease Date: March 2005 [EBook #7646] [Yes,we are more than one year ahead of schedule][This file was first posted on March 11, 2004]Edition: 10Language: English*** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERGEBOOK ERNEST MALTRAVERS, LYTTON, V7 ***This eBook was produced by Dagny,dagnypg@yahoo.com and David Widger,widger@cecomet.netBOOK VII.  Every man should strive to be as good aspossible, but not  suppose himself to be the only thing that is good.               —PLOTIN. EN. 11. lib. ix. c. 9.
CHAPTER I.  "Deceit is the strong but subtle chain which runsthrough   all the members of a society, and links themtogether;   trick or be tricked is the alternative; 'tis the wayof   the world, and without it intercourse would drop."               /Anonymous writer/ of 1722.  "A lovely child she was, of looks serene,   And motions which o'er things indifferent shed   The grace and gentleness from whence theycame."               PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY."His years but young, but his experience old."SHAKESPEARE."He after honour hunts, I after love."—/Ibid./LUMLEY FERRERS was one of the few men in theworld who act upon a profound, deliberate, andorganized system—he had done so even from aboy. When he was twenty-one, he had said tohimself, "Youth is the season for enjoyment: thetriumphs of manhood, the wealth of age, do notcompensate for a youth spent in unpleasurabletoils." Agreeably to this maxim, he had resolved notto adopt any profession; and being fond of travel,and of a restless temper, he had indulged abroad
in all the gratifications that his moderate incomecould afford him: that income went farther on theContinent than at home, which was another reasonfor the prolongation of his travels. Now, when thewhims and passions of youth were sated; and,ripened by a consummate and various knowledgeof mankind, his harder capacities of mind becamedeveloped and centred into such ambition as it washis nature to conceive, he acted no less upon aregular and methodical plan of conduct, which hecarried into details. He had little or nothing withinhimself to cross his cold theories by contradictorypractice; for he was curbed by no principles andregulated but by few tastes: and our tastes areoften checks as powerful as our principles. Lookinground the English world, Ferrers saw, that at hisage and with an equivocal position, and nochances to throw away, it was necessary that heshould cast off all attributes of the character of thewanderer and the /garcon/."There is nothing respectable in lodgings and acab," said Ferrers to himself—that "/self/" was hisgrand confidant!—"nothing stationary. Such are theappliances of a here-to-day-gone-to-morrow kindof life. One never looks substantial till one paysrates and taxes, and has a bill with one's butcher!"Accordingly, without saying a word to anybody,Ferrers took a long lease of a large house, in oneof those quiet streets that proclaim the owners donot wish to be made by fashionable situations—streets in which, if you have a large house, it issupposed to be because you can afford one. He
was very particular in its being a respectable street—Great George Street, Westminster, was the onehe selected.No frippery or baubles, common to the mansionsof young bachelors—no buhl, and marquetrie, andSevres china, and cabinet pictures, distinguishedthe large dingy drawing-rooms of Lumley Ferrers.He bought all the old furniture a bargain of the latetenant—tea-coloured chintz curtains, and chairsand sofas that were venerable and solemn with theaccumulated dust of twenty-five years. The onlythings about which he was particular were a verylong dining-table that would hold four-and-twenty,and a new mahogany sideboard. Somebody askedhim why he cared about such articles. "I don'tknow," said he "but I observe all respectablefamily-men do—there must be something in it—Ishall discover the secret by and by."In this house did Mr. Ferrers ensconce himself withtwo middle-aged maidservants, and a man out oflivery, whom he chose from a multitude ofcandidates, because the man looked especiallywell fed. Having thus settled himself, and told everyone that the lease of his house was for sixty-threeyears, Lumley Ferrers made a little calculation ofhis probable expenditure, which he found, withgood management, might amount to about one-fourth more than his income."I shall take the surplus out of my capital," said he,"and try the experiment for five years; if it don't do,and pay me profitably, why, then either men are
not to be lived upon, or Lumley Ferrers is a muchduller clog than he thinks himself!"Mr. Ferrers had deeply studied the character of hisuncle, as a prudent speculator studies the qualitiesof a mine in which he means to invest his capital,and much of his present proceedings was intendedto act upon the uncle as well as upon the world. Hesaw that the more he could obtain for himself, nota noisy, social, fashionable reputation, but a good,sober, substantial one, the more highly Mr.Templeton would consider him, and the more likelyhe was to be made his uncle's heir,—that is,provided Mrs. Templeton did not supersede thenepotal parasite by indigenous olive-branches. Thislast apprehension died away as time passed, andno signs of fertility appeared. And, accordingly,Ferrers thought he might prudently hazard moreupon the game on which he now ventured to rely.There was one thing, however, that greatlydisturbed his peace; Mr. Templeton, though harshand austere in his manner to his wife, wasevidently attached to her; and, above all, hecherished the fondest affection for hisstepdaughter. He was as anxious for her health,her education, her little childish enjoyments, as ifhe had been not only her parent, but a very dotingone. He could not bear her to be crossed orthwarted. Mr. Templeton, who had never spoiledanything before, not even an old pen (so careful,and calculating, and methodical was he), did hisbest to spoil this beautiful child whom he could noteven have the vain luxury of thinking he hadproduced to the admiring world. Softly, exquisitely
lovely was that little girl; and every day sheincreased in the charm of her person, and in thecaressing fascination of her childish ways. Hertemper was so sweet and docile, that fondnessand petting, however injudiciously exhibited, onlyseemed yet more to bring out the colours of agrateful and tender nature. Perhaps the measuredkindness of more reserved affection might havebeen the true way of spoiling one whose instinctswere all for exacting and returning love. She was aplant that suns less warm might have nipped andchilled. But beneath an uncapricious and uncloudedsunshine she sprang up in a luxurious bloom ofheart and sweetness of disposition.Every one, even those who did not generally likechildren, delighted in this charming creature,excepting only Mr. Lumley Ferrers. But thatgentleman, less mild than Pope's Narcissa,—"To make a wash, had gladly stewed the child!"He had seen how very common it is for a rich man,married late in life, to leave everything to a youngwidow and her children by her former marriage,when once attached to the latter; and he sensiblyfelt that he himself had but a slight hold overTempleton by the chain of the affections. Heresolved, therefore, as much as possible, toalienate his uncle from his young wife; trusting that,as the influence of the wife was weakened, that ofthe child would be lessened also; and to raise inTempleton's vanity and ambition an ally that mightsupply to himself the want of love. He pursued his
twofold scheme with masterly art and address. Hefirst sought to secure the confidence and regard ofthe melancholy and gentle mother; and in this—forshe was peculiarly unsuspicious and inexperienced,he obtained signal and complete success. Hisfrankness of manner, his deferential attention, theart with which he warded off from her the spleen orill-humour of Mr. Templeton, the cheerfulness thathis easy gaiety threw over a very gloomy house,made the poor lady hail his visits and trust in hisfriendship. Perhaps she was glad of anyinterruption to /tetes-a-tetes/ with a severe andungenial husband, who had no sympathy for thesorrows, of whatever nature they might be, whichpreyed upon her, and who made it a point ofmorality to find fault wherever he could.The next step in Lumley's policy was to armTempleton's vanity against his wife, by constantlyrefreshing his consciousness of the sacrifices hehad made by marriage, and the certainty that hewould have attained all his wishes had he chosenmore prudently. By perpetually, but mostjudiciously, rubbing this sore point, he, as it were,fixed the irritability into Templeton's constitution,and it reacted on all his thoughts, aspiring ordomestic. Still, however, to Lumley's great surpriseand resentment, while Templeton cooled to hiswife, he only warmed to her child. Lumley had notcalculated enough upon the thirst and craving foraffection in most human hearts; and Templeton,though not exactly an amiable man, had someexcellent qualities; if he had less sensitivelyregarded the opinion of the world, he would neither
have contracted the vocabulary of cant, norsickened for a peerage—both his affectation ofsaintship, and his gnawing desire of rank, arosefrom an extraordinary and morbid deference toopinion, and a wish for worldly honours andrespect, which he felt that his mere talents couldnot secure to him. But he was, at bottom, a kindlyman—charitable to the poor, considerate to hisservants, and had within him the want to love andbe loved, which is one of the desires wherewith theatoms of the universe are cemented andharmonised. Had Mrs. Templeton evinced love tohim, he might have defied all Lumley's diplomacy,been consoled for worldly disadvantages, and beena good and even uxorious husband. But sheevidently did not love him, though an admirable,patient, provident wife; and her daughter /did/ lovehim—love him as well even as she loved hermother; and the hard worldling would not haveaccepted a kingdom as the price of that littlefountain of pure and ever-refreshing tenderness.Wise and penetrating as Lumley was, he nevercould thoroughly understand this weakness, as hecalled it; for we never know men entirely, unlesswe have complete sympathies with men in all theirnatural emotions; and Nature had left theworkmanship of Lumley Ferrers unfinished andincomplete, by denying him the possibility of caringfor anything but himself.His plan for winning Templeton's esteem anddeference was, however, completely triumphant.He took care that nothing in his /menage/ shouldappear "/extravagant/;" all was sober, quiet, and
well-regulated. He declared that he had somanaged as to live within his income: andTempleton receiving no hint for money, nor awarethat Ferrers had on the Continent consumed aconsiderable portion of his means, believed him.Ferrers gave a great many dinners, but he did notgo on that foolish plan which has been laid down bypersons who pretend to know life, as a means ofpopularity—he did not profess to give dinnersbetter than other people. He knew that, unless youare a very rich or a very great man, no folly isequal to that of thinking that you soften the heartsof your friends by soups /a la bisque/, andJohannisberg at a guinea a bottle. They all goaway saying, "What right has that d——d fellow togive a better dinner than we do? What horrid taste!What ridiculous presumption."No; though Ferrers himself was a most scientificepicure, and held the luxury of the palate at thehighest possible price, he dieted his friends onwhat he termed "respectable fare." His cook putplenty of flour into the oyster sauce; cod's headand shoulders made his invariable fish; and four/entrees/, without flavour or pretence, were dulysupplied by the pastry-cook, and carefullyeschewed by the host. Neither did Mr. Ferrersaffect to bring about him gay wits and brillianttalkers. He confined himself to men of substantialconsideration, and generally took care to behimself the cleverest person present; while heturned the conversation on serious matterscrammed for the occasion—politics, stocks,commerce, and the criminal code. Pruning his