The Caxtons — Volume 10
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The Caxtons — Volume 10


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The Project Gutenberg EBook The Caxtons, by Bulwer-Lytton, Part 10 #24 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: The Caxtons, Part 10Author: Edward Bulwer-LyttonRelease Date: February 2005 [EBook #7595] [Yes, we are more than one year ahead of schedule] [This file was firstposted on January 1, 2003]Edition: 10Language: English*** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE CAXTONS, BY LYTTON, PART 10 ***This eBook was produced by Pat Castevens and David Widger PART X.CHAPTER I.My uncle's conjecture as to the parentage of Francis Vivian seemed to me a positive discovery. Nothing more ...



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The Project Gutenberg EBook The Caxtons, byBulwer-Lytton, Part 10 #24 in our series by EdwardBulwer-LyttonsCuorpey triog chth leacwk st haer ec ocphyarniggihnt gl aawll so fvoerr  ytohue r wcooruldn.t rByebefore downloading or redistributing this or anyother Project Gutenberg eBook.vTiheiws inhge atdhiesr  Psrhoojeulcdt  bGeu ttehne bfierrsgt  tfihlien. gP lseeaesne  wdho ennotremove 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***C*oEmBopoutkesr sR, eSaidnacbel e1 9B7y1 *B*oth Humans and By*****These EBooks Were Prepared By Thousandsof Volunteers*****Title: The Caxtons, Part 10
Author: Edward Bulwer-LyttonRelease Date: February 2005 [EBook #7595] [Yes,we are more than one year ahead of schedule][This file was first posted on January 1, 2003]Edition: 10Language: English*** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERGEBOOK THE CAXTONS, BY LYTTON, PART 10***This eBook was produced by Pat Castevens andDavid Widger <>PART X.
CHAPTER I.My uncle's conjecture as to the parentage ofFrancis Vivian seemed to me a positive discovery.Nothing more likely than that this wilful boy hadformed some headstrong attachment which nofather would sanction, and so, thwarted andirritated, thrown himself on the world. Such anexplanation was the more agreeable to me as itcleared up much that had appeared discreditable inthe mystery that surrounded Vivian. I could neverbear to think that he had done anything mean andcriminal, however I might believe he had been rashand faulty. It was natural that the unfriendedwanderer should have been thrown into a society,the equivocal character of which had failed to revoltthe audacity of an inquisitive mind and adventuroustemper; but it was natural also that the habits ofgentle birth, and that silent education which Englishgentlemen commonly receive from their verycradle, should have preserved his honor, at least,intact through all. Certainly the pride, the notions,the very faults of the well-born had remained in fullforce,— why not the better qualities, howeversmothered for the time? I felt thankful for thethought that Vivian was returning to an element inwhich he might repurify his mind, refit himself forthat sphere to which he belonged, thankful that wemight yet meet, and our present half- intimacymature, perhaps, into healthful friendship.
It was with such thoughts that I took up my hat thenext morning to seek Vivian, and judge if we hadgained the right clew, when we were startled bywhat was a rare sound at our door,—thepostman's knock. My father was at the Museum;my mother in high conference, or close preparationfor our approaching departure, with Mrs. Primmins;Roland, I, and Blanche had the room to ourselves."The letter is not for me," said Pisistratus."Nor for me, I am sure," said the Captain, when theservant entered and confuted him,—for the letterwas for him. He took it up wonderingly andsuspiciously, as Glumdalclitch took up Gulliver, oras (if naturalists) we take up an unknown creaturethat we are not quite sure will not bite and sting us.Ah! it has stung or bit you, Captain Roland; for youstart and change color,—you suppress a cry asyou break the seal; you breathe hard as you read;and the letter seems short—but it takes time in thereading, for you go over it again and again. Thenyou fold it up, crumple it, thrust it into your breast-pocket, and look round like a man waking from adream. Is it a dream of pain, or of pleasure? Verily,I cannot guess, for nothing is on that eagle faceeither of pain or pleasure, but rather of fear,agitation, bewilderment. Yet the eyes are bright,too, and there is a smile on that iron lip.hMisy  cuannclee  alonod kheisd  rhoaut,n ad,n Id  sthaey,n  abnedg acanl lbeudt thoansitnilgy  hfiosrhcoota te ancoruogshs  thoi sh abrvoe aud nbbruettaostn,e tdh oeuvgerhy t hbree daasty  iwn atshe
metropolis."You are not going out, uncle?""Yes, Yes.""But are you strong enough yet? Let me go with".uoy"No, sir; no. Blanche, come here." He took thechild in his arms, surveyed her wistfully, and kissedher. "You have never given me pain, Blanche:say,'God bless and prosper you, father!'""God bless and prosper my dear, dear papa!" saidBlanche, putting her little hands together, as if inprayer."There—that should bring me luck, Blanche," saidthe Captain, gayly, and setting her down. Thenseizing his cane from the servant, and putting onhis hat with a determined air, he walked stoutlyforth; and I saw him, from the window, marchalong the streets as cheerfully as if he had beenbesieging Badajoz."God prosper thee too!" said I, involuntarily.And Blanche took hold of my hand, and said in herprettiest way (and her pretty ways were many), "Iwish you would come with us, cousin Sisty, andhelp me to love papa. Poor papa! he wants usboth,—he wants all the love we can give him.""That he does, my dear Blanche; and I think it a
great mistake that we don't all live together. Yourpapa ought not to go to that tower of his at theworld's end, but come to our snug, pretty house,with a garden full of flowers, for you to be Queenof the May,—from May to November; to saynothing of a duck that is more sagacious than anycreature in the Fables I gave you the other day."Blanche laughed and clapped her hands. "Oh, thatwould be so nice! But"—and she stopped gravely,and added, "but then, you see, there would not bethe tower to love papa; and I am sure that thetower must love him very much, for he loves itdearly."It was my turn to laugh now. "I see how it is, youlliitvtlee  wwitithc hy,o" us aaindd I ;t h"ey oouw lws!o uWldi tch oaallx  musy  thoe carot,m seo  afnardas I am concerned.""Sisty," said Blanche, with an appalling solemnityon her face, "do you know what I've beenthinking?""Not I, miss—what? Something very deep, I cansee,—very horrible, indeed, I fear; you look soserious."r"eWlahxyi,n Ig' vae  mbeuescnl te,h iannkidn gw,i"t hcoountt itnhuee lde aBslta nbcith oef,  anotbalnuds hthe"nI,' voef  bceoeurns teh,i nwkei nsgh tahlla ta lIl' llli vbee  tyooguert hlitetrl.e" wife;yBelaanrsc hhee ndicde ,n iof t yboluu sdha, rbe,u ty Io ud iidm. "pAusdke nmt eli tttlhea tt htienng;
and now, run away to Mrs. Primmins and tell her tokeep you out of mischief, for I must say 'Goodmorning.'"But Blanche did not run away, and her dignityseemed exceedingly hurt at my mode of taking heralarming proposition, for she retired into a cornerpouting, and sat down with great majesty. So thereI left her, and went my way to Vivian. He was out;but seeing books on his table, and having nothingto do, I resolved to wait for his return. I hadenough of my father in me to turn at once to thebooks for company; and by the side of somegraver works which I had recommended, I foundcertain novels in French that Vivian had got from acirculating library. I had a curiosity to read these;for except the old classic novels of France, thismighty branch of its popular literature was thennew to me. I soon got interested; but what aninterest!—the interest that a nightmare mightexcite if one caught it out of one's sleep and set towork to examine it. By the side of what dazzlingshrewdness, what deep knowledge of those holesand corners in the human system of which Goethemust have spoken when he said somewhere,—if Irecollect right, and don't misquote him, which I'llnot answer for "There is something in every man'sheart which, if we could know, would make us hatehim,"—by the side of all this, and of much morethat showed prodigious boldness and energy ofintellect, what strange exaggeration; what mocknobility of sentiment; what inconceivable perversionof reasoning; what damnable demoralization! Thetrue artist, whether in Romance or the Drama, will
often necessarily interest us in a vicious or criminalcharacter; but he does not the less leave clear toour reprobation the vice or the crime. But here Ifound myself called upon, not only to feel interestin the villain (which would be perfectly allowable,—Iam very much interested in Macbeth andLovelace), but to admire and sympathize with thevillany itself. Nor was it the confusion of all wrongand right in individual character that shocked methe most, but rather the view of society altogether,painted in colors so hideous that, if true, instead ofa revolution, it would draw down a deluge. It wasthe hatred, carefully instilled, of the poor againstthe rich; it was the war breathed between classand class; it was that envy of all superiorities whichloves to show itself by allowing virtue only to ablouse, and asserting; that a man must be a rogueif he belong to that rank of society in which, fromthe very gifts of education, from the necessaryassociations of circumstance, roguery is the lastthing probable or natural. It was all this, and thingsa thousand times worse, that set my head in awhirl, as hour after hour slipped on, and I stillgazed, spell-bound, on these Chimeras andTyphons,—these symbols of the DestroyingPrinciple. "Poor Vivian!" said I, as I rose at last; "ifthou readest these books with pleasure or fromhabit, no wonder that thou seemest to me soobtuse about right and wrong, and to have a greatcavity where thy brain should have the bump of'conscientiousness' in full salience!"gNoetv tehrrtohuelgehs tsi, mtoe  idmo ptehrocseep tdibelym obnyi tahcesi rj upsetiscteil,e In thad
help; and I was startled to see, by my watch, howlate it was. I had just resolved to leave a line fixingan appointment for the morrow, and so depart,when I heard Vivian's knock, —a knock that hadgreat character in it, haughty, impatient, irregular;not a neat, symmetrical, harmonious, unpretendingknock, but a knock that seemed to set the wholehouse and street at defiance: it was a knockbullying—a knock ostentatious—a knock irritatingand offensive— impiger and iracundus.But the step that came up the stairs did not suit theknock; it was a step light, yet firm—slow, yetelastic.The maid-servant who had opened the door had,no doubt, informed Vivian of my visit, for he did notseem surprised to see me; but he cast thathurried, suspicious look round the room which aman is apt to cast when he has left his papersabout and finds some idler, on whosetrustworthiness he by no means depends, seatedin the midst of the unguarded secrets. The lookwas not flattering; but my conscience was sounreproachful that I laid all the blame upon thegeneral suspiciousness of Vivian's character."Three hours, at least, have I been here!" said I,maliciously."Three hours!"—again the look."aAnnd dI  tphoisi nitse tdh teo  wthorosste  slietcerreatr yI  hMaavnei cdhisecaonvs.ered,"
"wOohn!d" esr ayido uh es,t acyaerde lesso slloy,n g".F rI ecnacnh't  nroevaedl sy! oI udron'tEnglish novels,—flat and insipid; there are truthand life here.""Truth and life!" cried I, every hair on my headerect with astonishment. "Then hurrah forfalsehood and death!""They don't please you,—no accounting for tastes.""I beg your pardon,—I account for yours, if youreally take for truth and life monsters so nefast andflagitious. For Heaven's sake, my dear fellow, don'tsuppose that any man could get on in England,—get anywhere but to the Old Bailey or NorfolkIsland,—if he squared his conduct to such topsy-turvy notions of the world as I find here.""How many years are you my senior," askedVivian, sneeringly, "that you should play the mentorand correct my ignorance of the world?""Vivian, it is not age and experience that speakhere, it is something far wiser than they,—theinstinct of a man's heart and a gentleman's honor.""Well, well," said Vivian, rather discomposed, "letthe poor books alone; you know my creed—thatbooks influence us little one way or the other.""DBioy dtohreu sg!r eI awt isEhg yypotuia cn oliublrd ahrye aarn dm ty hfea tshoeur l uopfonthat point. Come," added I, with sublimecompassion, "come, it is not too late, do let me