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enamoured of Miss Dallas's bright eyes,
and laid himself and his handsome fortune
at her feet. They were admirably suited
to each other: she would not have been
happy with any man who had not let her
have her own way, and Mr.Cartaret
indulged her every whim and fancy. The
sayings and doings of the little lady often
sorely tried her sober husband, but his
temper was excellent, and it is a question
whether the blameless ways of more
discreet matrons would have had the charm
for him that the changing humours of his
impulsive little wife possessed. She failed
to inspire him with any ardour in the cause
of Legitimacy; she could not get him to
join her in vituperation of the house of
Orleansthat race of "ingrats"—as long
as it was in power, nor, when it had been
ousted, to wage war against the second
Empire, and express a desire to poison all
the canaille who now desecrated the holy
places of the Tuileries. He had not plotted
and intrigued for "Henri Cinq," nor had
he visited Frohsdorf, but he had allowed
his wife to do these things; he had been
very tolerant of the visits of melancholy
foreigners in straitened circumstances,
with the politest manners and the slenderest
stock of English at their command; he
had even given his wife money for all sorts
of purposes which, when he was not ignorant
of them, he mildly disapproved: and
for acting thus, during his life-time, Mrs.
Cartaret was certainly bound to lament him
at his death, as the best and most indulgent
of husbands, which she duly did. To her
was bequeathed for her life-time, absolutely
and entirely, the whole of the property;
Lowndes, the only son of this strangely-
assorted couple, being dependent on his
mother, with the exception of a small estate
which had been devised to him by an uncle.
Mr.Cartaret' s will caused great animadversion.
That so flighty and passionate a
woman should be left with unlimited power
to do as she liked, during her life, with her
son's natural inheritance, was looked upon
as a lamentable instance of uxorious folly.
She could not alienate it, it is true; but
might she not administer to the property
in a manner most prejudicial to her son's
interests? Nay, who could tell but that
she might cut down half the trees to
subsidise troops for another French Revolution?
The event proved that Mr.Cartaret
knew his wife better than the world did;
that its estimate, in this case, as in many
others, was founded upon a one-sided view
of the truth. In the first place, the weft
of her mental extravagance, on many
points, was crossed by a woof of shrewdness
and worldly knowledge which those
who saw how she was indulged by her
husband and ruled by her servants failed
to perceive. Then all her convictions, all
her hallucinations upon certain subjects,
were independent of her principles in the
conduct of every-day life, which, in the
main, were sensible enough, as we shall
see. Lastly, there was her paramount and
intense devotion to her son, a devotion not
always wise, perhaps; short-sighted,
passionate, ill-restrained; but one which made
her ready at any moment to sacrifice her
own interests, her own peace, every
consideration under the sun, to the furtherance
of his welfare. She had been and still was
a conscientious steward of the property
committed to her charge. Lowndes, who
was now five-and-twenty, would long since
have made "ducks and drakes" of it. It
was a perception of the boy's tendencies
he was sixteen when Mr.Cartaret died
which had no doubt led the father to make
the will he did. His son was at that time
at Eton, a pleasure-loving, impudent boy,
with capital natural abilities, and no
application or ambition; but very popular,
and utterly reckless of money. As it had
been in the green tree, so was it now in
the dry. Oxford had not improved him;
he had launched out into the wildest
dissipation, and had come home upwards of
two thousand pounds in debt. Then had
Mrs.Cartaret wept and raved, and gnashed
her teeth, and one of those violent "scenes"
which were of periodical occurrence
between mother and son took place. Lowndes
used to declare that they were as necessary
to Mrs.Cartaret's well-being, from time to
time, as are the storms which clear the
atmosphere too heavily charged with

Lowndes Cartaret was to be in diplomacy;
he was to be in the Guards; to
have a clerkship in the Treasury, and be
private secretary to a cousin of his father's
who was in the cabinet; but he followed
none of these lines, preferring to lead an
utterly profitless existence, without one
serious aim or interest in life. He would
one day have eight thousand a year; he
had now twelve hundred of his own; it
enabled him to keep a lodging in St.
James's-street, and as many hunters (at
his mother's expense) as he chose; to go
to Scotland for grouse shooting, and to
Paris at least twice a year; to have his
stall at the Opera, and to spend considerable