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Of all that Anthony there describes I saw 안양오피 nothing. I was attending the “divinity lectures” in Oxford. But as soon as the short course of them was completed, I left England to join my parents at Bruges. And here is the condensed record of the journey as performed in 1834. I suppose that I went by the Thames to Calais, instead of by Dover, as a measure of economy. I left Oxford by the “Rocket” at three in the morning on Tuesday, the 20th May, and on reaching London found that there was no packet to Ostend till the following Saturday. I determined, therefore, to go to Calais by that which left Tower Stairs on the Wednesday. It was the first time I had ever crossed the Channel. The times I have crossed that salt girdle subsequently must be counted by hundreds! I observe that having begun my journey at 3 A.M. did not prevent me from finding “Farren admirable” in both The Minister and the Mercer and in Secret Service, at Drury Lane that Tuesday evening. I slept at the Spread Eagle in Gracechurch Street that night, and{244} left Tower Stairs at 10 A.M. the next morning in the Lord Melville, Captain Middleton (names of ship and captain duly recorded), and had a rough passage of thirteen hours; all hands sick, “even I a little at last,” says the veracious chronicle. I was taken by the victor in a sharp contest with half a dozen rivals over my body, to the Hôtel de Londres, a clean, comfortable, and quiet, but, I suppose, quite second-rate inn. There was no conveyance to Dunkirk before one the next day. So, “after a delicious breakfast on coffee.” (Ah! how la belle France has dégringoléd in respect to coffee and some other matters since those happy days! Then coffee really was always good everywhere in France. Now England has no cause whatever to envy her neighbour in that respect.) I spent the intervening hours in going (of all things in the world) to the top of the church tower. The diligence brought me to Dunkirk in time for supper at the Tête de Flandres Hôtel, at which “a Frenchman, who sat next me, insisted on my sharing his bottle of vin de Bourdeaux, and would not hear of my paying my share of the cost, saying that he was at home in his own country.” I find that I went after supper “to the top of a fine tower” (my second that day! I had a mania, not quite cured yet, for ascending towers), and started at five the next morning for Nieuport “in a vile little barge, in company with two young pedestrianising Belgians,” and arrived there about noon, after a most tedious voyage, and changing, without bettering, our barge{245} three or four times. At Nieuport we found “a sort of immense overgrown gig with two horses, which conveyed eight of us to Ostend.”

There I was most kindly and hospitably received by Mr. Fauche, the English Consul, and his very lovely wife. Mrs. Fauche had been before her marriage one of my mother’s cohort of pretty girl friends, and was already my old acquaintance. She was the daughter of Mr. Tomkisson, a pianoforte manufacturer, who had married the daughter of an Irish clergyman. Their daughter Mary was, as I first knew her, more than a pretty girl. She was a very beautiful and accomplished woman, with one of the most delicious soprano voices I ever heard. I was anxious to join my mother at Bruges, who, despite her literary triumphs, had passed through so much trouble since I had seen her. But it needed the reinforcement of this anxiety by a sense of duty to enable me to resist Mrs. Fauche’s invitation to remain a day or two at Ostend.

I found my father and mother, and my two sisters, Cecilia and Emily, established in a large and very roomy house, just outside the southern gate of the city, known as the Château d’Hondt. It was a thoroughly good and comfortable house, and, taken unfurnished, speedily became under my mother’s hands a very pleasant one. Nor was it long before it became socially a very agreeable one, for the invariable result of my mother’s presence, which drew what was pleasant around her as surely as a magnet draws iron, showed itself in the collection of{246} a variety of agreeable people—some from the other side of the Channel, some from Ostend, and some few from Bruges.

All this made a social atmosphere, which with the foreign flavouring so wholly new to me, was very pleasant; but it seems not to have sufficed to prevent me from seizing the opportunity for a little of that locomotive sight-seeing, the passion for which, still unquenched, appears to have been as strong in me as when I hankered after a place on some one of the “down” coaches starting from the “Cellar” in Piccadilly, or gazed enviously at the outward bound ships in the docks. For I find the record of a little week’s tour among the Belgian cities, with full details of all the towers I ascended, observations of an ecclesiological neophyte on the churches I everywhere visited, and remarks on men and manners, the rawness of which does not entirely destroy the value of them, as illustrating the changes wrought there too by the lapse of half a century.

In one place I find myself tasting the contents of the library of a Carmelite monastery, and remarking on the strangeness of the sole exception to the theological character of the collection having consisted in a Cours Gastronomique, which appeared to me scarcely needed by a community bound by its vows to perpetual abstinence from animal food.

Some pages of the record also are devoted to the statement of “a case” which I lighted on in some folio on casuistry, on the question “whether it is lawful to adore a crucifix, when there is strong{247} ground for supposing that a demon may be concealed in the material of which it is constructed!”

It seems to me on reading these pages (for the first time since they were written), that I was to no small degree seductively impressed by the music, architectural beauties, and splendid ceremonial of the Roman Catholic worship, seen in those days to much better effect in Belgium, than at the present time in Rome. But amid it all, the sturdy Protestantism of Whately’s pupil manifests itself in a moan over the pity, the pity of it, that it should “all be based on falsehood.”

All the pleasant state of things at the Château d’Hondt at Bruges, 안양오피 described above, was of short duration however, for disquieting accounts of the health of my brother Henry, who had been staying at Exeter with that dear old friend, Fanny Bent, to whom the reader has already been introduced, began to arrive from Devonshire.

It was moreover necessary that I should without loss of time set my hand to something that might furnish me with daily bread. So on the 21st of June I “went on board Captain Smithett’s vessel the Arrow and had a quiet passage to Dover.” On arriving there I “hastened to secure my place on a coach about to start, and the first turn for having my baggage examined at the custom-house. This examination was rather a rigid one, and they made me pay 4s. 7d. for two or three books I had with me. We reached Canterbury about nightfall, breakfasted at Rochester, and arrived at Charing{248} Cross at six.” My diary does not say “six P.M.,” and it seems incredible that any coach—though on the slowest road out of London, as the Dover road always was—should have breakfasted at Rochester, and taken the whole day to travel thence to Charing Cross; but it is more incredible still that we should have stopped to breakfast at Rochester, and then reached London at 6 A.M.

It must have been 6 P.M.; but I read that “I started at once to walk to Harrow by the canal (!) where I was received with more than kindness by the Grants.”

I had come to London with the intention of giving classical teaching to any who were willing to pay about ten shillings an hour for it. I had testimonials and recommendations galore from a very varied collection of pastors, masters, and friends. Several of the latter also were actively eager to assist my object, foremost among whom I may name with unforgetting gratitude Dr. David Williams, my old master at Winchester, then Warden of New College. Thus furnished, pupils were not wanting, and money amply sufficient for my immediate needs seemed to come in easily. I did my best with my pupils during the short hours of my work; but much success is not to be expected from pupils the very circumstance and terms of whose tuition gives rise to the presumption that they are irremediably stupid or idle, and the hired “coach” a dernier resort. Such employers as I had to deal with, however, if they assigned you somewhat{249} hopeless tasks, appeared to be satisfied with an infinitesimal amount of results, and I believe I gave satisfaction in all cases save that of a lady, the widowed mother of an only son, a very elegant and fashionable dame in Belgrave Square, who complained once to the clergyman who had recommended me to her, that I had come to her house one Monday morning “in a very dusty condition.” I fear she might have said every Monday morning, for my custom was to walk up to my lesson from Harrow, where I had been spending the Sunday with the Grants, and “immer noch stäuben die Wege” hardly less on the Harrow road, than Goethe found them to do in Italy! I had to tell her that the dust on my shoes had not reached my brain, and that I had no pretension, and entirely declined, to be an exemplar to her son in the matter of his toilet. We parted very good friends however at the end of my engagement. When she said some complimentary words about my work with her son, I could not refrain from saying that I had done my best to prepare myself for it by having my shoes carefully blacked. She laughed, and said, “I could not find fault with your Latin and Greek, Mr. Trollope. And would it not be better if people always confined their criticism to what they do understand?”

I was living during these months in Little Marlborough Street, in a house kept by a tailor and his mother. It was a queer house, disconnected with the row of buildings in which it stood, a{250} survival of some earlier period. It stood in its own court, by which it was separated from the street. I found all the place transmogrified when I visited it a year or two ago. During the latter part of my residence there the lodgings were shared by my brother Anthony, who, as related by himself, had accepted a place in the secretary’s office in the Post Office. The lodgings were very cheap, more so I think than the goodness of them might have justified. We were the only lodgers; and the cheapness of the rooms was, I suspect, in some degree caused by the fact that the majority of young men lodgers would not have tolerated the despotic rule of our old landlady, the tailor’s mother. She made us very comfortable; but her laws were many, and of the nature of those of the Medes and Persians.

Meantime matters were becoming more and more gloomy in the Château d’Hondt, outside the St. Peter’s Gate, at Bruges. My brother Henry had returned thither from Devonshire; and his condition was unmistakably becoming worse. While I was still living in Little Marlborough Street, my mother came over hurriedly to London, bringing him and my sister Emily with her. They travelled by boat from Ostend to London to avoid the land journey, I take it poor Henry was led to suppose that the journey was altogether caused by the necessity of interviews between my mother and her publishers. But the real motive of it was to obtain the best medical advice for him and (as, alas! it began to appear to be necessary) for my sister Emily.{251}

All kinds of schemes of southern travel, and voyages to Madeira, &c., had been proposed for Henry, who, having himself, with the hopefulness peculiar to his malady, no shadow of a doubt of his own recovery, entered into them all with the utmost zest. A kind friend, I forget by what means or interest, had offered to provide free passages to Madeira. Alas! the first consultation with the medical authorities put an end to all such schemes. And my poor mother had the inexpressibly sad and difficult task of quashing them all without allowing her patient to suspect the real reason of their being given up.

She had to take him back to Bruges; and I accompanied them to the boat lying off the Tower, and remained with them an hour before it weighed anchor. And then and there I took the last leave of my brother Henry, I well knowing, he never imagining, that it was for ever.

And now began at Bruges a time of such stress and trouble for my mother as few women have ever passed through. The grief, the Rachel sorrows of mothers watching by the dying beds of those, to save whose lives they would—ah! how readily!—give their own, are, alas, common enough. But no account, no contemplation of any such scene of anguish can give an adequate conception of what my mother went through victoriously.

Her literary career had hitherto been a succession of triumphs. Money was coming 안양오피 in with increasing abundance. But these successes had not yet lasted{252} long enough to enable her, in the face of all she had done for the ruined household to which she had returned from America, to lay by any fund for the future. And though the proceeds of her labour were amply sufficient for all current needs, it was imperative that that labour should not be suspended.

It was under these circumstances that she had to pass her days in watching by the bedside of a very irritable invalid, and her nights—when he fortunately for the most part slept—in composing fiction! It was desirable to keep the invalid’s mind from dwelling on the hopelessness of his condition. And, indeed, he was constantly occupied in planning travels and schemes of activity for the anticipated time of his recovery, which she had to enter into and discuss with a cheerful countenance and bleeding heart. It was also especially necessary that my sisters, especially the younger, already threatened by the same malady, should be kept cheerful, and prevented from dwelling on the phases of their brother’s illness. This was the task in which, with agonised mind, she never faltered from about nine o’clock every morning till eight o’clock in the evening! Then with wearied body, and mind attuned to such thoughts as one may imagine, she had to sit down to her desk to write her novel with all the verve at her command, to please light-hearted readers, till two or three in the morning! This, by the help of green tea and sometimes laudanum, she did daily and nightly till the morning of the{253} 23rd of December of that sad 1834; and lived after it to be eighty-three!

But her mind was one of the most extraordinarily constituted in regard to recuperative power and the capacity of throwing off sorrow, that I ever knew or read of. Any one who did not know her, as her own son knew her, might have supposed that she was deficient in sensibility. No judgment could be more mistaken. She felt acutely, vehemently. But she seemed to throw off sorrow as, to use the vulgar phrase, a duck’s back throws off water, because the nature of the organism will not suffer it to rest there. How often have I applied to her the words of David under a similar affliction!
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