Sure I think I have the means to bring Herr P- into somewhat better conduct towards his household, but I am in some concern that I go about entirely like unto Mr R- O-.
I am about my correspondence, with much breaking off as my mind continues puzzle over this matter, when Sandy is shown in looking in most excellent spirits.
How now, o bello scozzese, you are very chearfull the morn.
Why, says Sandy, sitting down, as Celeste comes with coffee and scones, have just done exceeding well for an acquaintance of mine by preferring him to Lord A- as secretary, I think 'twill entirely answer all round.
And indeed, he continues, there is still somewhat of a feeling of port after stormy seas that is most exceeding agreeable. But, dear sibyl, I saw you frowning a little over your correspondence when I came in – is there some matter troubles you?
O, I cry, 'tis naught to do with any letters, or even the prospect of an afternoon among the orphanage ladies, I am in a pother over what I should do about the matter of Herr P-.
Herr P-? says Sandy, that one hears has entire reliquisht any thought of going living upon the bosom of nature in an ideal community in the wilderness, and instead becomes a complete businessman.
'Tis so, says I, indeed Mr Sebastian K- considers he becomes exceeding sharp, and he also manifests quite the domestick tyrant.
Sandy looks thoughtfull and says, although one would suppose that fellows that were of a radickal inclination would be quite entire oppos’d to tyranny and find it antipathetick, yet one cannot but notice that there are those – sure can one not discern it in certain excesses of the French Revolution? – that are not so much oppos’d to tyranny, but any tyranny that is not their own, and 'tis that they would wish o’erthrow and replace.
Indeed, he says with a smile, 'tis ever a temptation to suppose that one has deviz’d an entire better way of ordering matters that only needs putting into place, but 'tis a delusion. Tho’, he goes on with a more sober expression, one may also observe fellows that are of the finest democratick principles yet leave 'em behind at their own front door.
Entirely so, my dear, says I, and sure one should cry confusion to tyranny! wherever it may lye. But I am like to think that one might not come about to persuade Herr P- to be kinder to his wife and mother-in-law, and more respectfull towards that excellent young fellow Franz H-, by rational argument.
Perchance not, says Sandy, for however much one might see the benefits of an ideal community, on reflection should not wish to be in one rul’d by him.
But, says I, I mind that I daresay there are fellows in the Bavarian Embassy would very much like to know where they might come across Herr P-, on the one hand; and on the other hand, there are exil’d compatriots of his that might not only wish drink in his fine ideas did they know his direction, but would observe that he is now in a comfortable position whence he might help 'em out.
Sandy grins considerable. ‘Twixt Scylla and Charybdis, he says.
But, dear Sandy, I go on, I am not sure 'twould be in accordance with universal law to go menace Herr P- with the threat of revealing his whereabouts to those I daresay he would rather avoid, to bring him into kinder ways.
He meditates for a moment and say, dearest C-, 'tis one of those instances I have not’d where a desirable maximization of felicity may not be in entire accordance with the principles of universal law. 'Twould entirely improve the condition of Frau H- and her offspring, did you go advance the matter to Herr P-, and who knows but that the exercise of benevolence, even is’t at first under some duress, might come to have the finest effect on his character? And surely, cannot be in accordance with universal law that a fellow goes tyrannize over his household.
La, Mr MacD-, says I, you are as casuistickal as a Jesuit.
Why, dear sibyl, I daresay you go trouble yourself again over Mr R- O-'s proceedings, but was’t not the case that he desir’d bring his threats to bear to compell his victims to behave worse than their natures would lead 'em? whereas you go about to make Herr P- behave better.
But, says I, I am but a silly creature that would not wish to set myself up in judgement.
Sandy goes laugh somewhat immoderate.
I endeavour pout but cannot prevent myself from laughing too.
Dearest Nemesis, says he, provid’d Herr P- is not acquaint’d with any serpents, and perchance did you mention that you have friends that have an apprehension of what you are about, I confide you should go about to bring him to a more democratick domestick existence.
La, says I, I will be rul’d by your manly wisdom in the matter.
We look at one another very amuz’d.
But, says I, I daresay I may not be about it for some little while, for I have a deal of matters upon hand and tho’ I should quite dearly like to cut the orphanage ladies, I think 'twould not be advizable, particular as Lady J- is not going about among 'em at present.
Sandy says, but perchance I may find a moment or two to peruse the books he has brought for me: has consult’d with a friend that studies the history of the Middle Ages -
O, I cry, that is most exceeding kind!
- tho’ I am now like to fear that he will consider the authorship entire prov’d upon me.
Poo, says I, I am like to suppose 'twill be some while afore I may hope to have anything writ ready to be print’d in three pretty volumes. I sigh.
We take a very fond leave of one another.
'Tis with a deal of gloomy anticipation that I set off for a meeting of the orphanage ladies, for I fear that, is Lady J-'s hand remov’d, they will go brangle a deal worse than ever.
But I go in, and the ladies cry, o, here is Lady B-, have we not greatly misst Lady B-, there is none can write so telling a pamphlet as she can –
I groan inwardly for I am in no great desire to write yet another telling pamphlet for the orphanage ladies, but I daresay I must concede to the matter.
Lady D- sits in Lady J-'s usual place, wearing a very serious expression upon her pretty young face, and I am in fears that there will be a deal of brangling, and having of feelings, and indeed the only thing that brings a little peace to my mind is the thought that the matron of the orphanage is a good sensible prudent woman that gets on with the necessary work and considers the ladies as a matter like unto the weather that must be endur’d. I read thro’ the report she has supply’d and consider that we should just go approve her recommendations, take tea, and go home, but I doubt 'twill happen thus.
And indeed there are troubles and objections rais’d, but after there has been a little flustering about each thing, Lady D- will go clear her throat and say, Lady J- told me to say, and is there any contention, her lower lip will go quiver. 'Tis most exceeding effective, for the ladies look upon her with some fondness, and doubtless consider that they should not like to have the responsibility for Lady J- giving her a scold for failure to carry out her commission.
I remark, when we go take tea, that she is a most excellent lieutenant, and she gives me her pretty dimpling smile and says, that is pleasing to hear, for she is in no wise like unto Lady J- and 'tis somewhat distressing to be contradict’d. She was sometimes fear’d that she would go burst into tears. So I am like to confide that her manner is by no means a stratagem.
As the meeting ends a deal more expeditious than is wont, she looks up at me and says, would I care come see how the matters I recommend’d have been carry’d out at P- House? and I might like to see little Arthur, that is a very fine infant.
Indeed I should like to see how P- House looks now that the improvements I recommend’d have been undertook, and to see Arthur.
And one may see at once how very much better it looks inside, with the fine hall tiles replac’d where they were broke or uneven, and a deal of fresh paint, and mirrors that greatly relieve the gloom, and also flowers.
We go into the small parlour and she rings for tea and for the nurse to bring Arthur, and I look about, and I see that the furniture quite gleams with good polishing, and there is a fine scent from the polishes and I think also there is potpourri in the fine china bowl that sits upon a table.
I admire very much what they have done, sure, says I, one would hardly know it the same place.
But then comes the tea, and the nurse brings Arthur, that is a fine bouncing child that does not speak words but will make meaningfull sounds and if put upon the rug will go proceed by wriggling. She looks at him very doating.
And all is well with you? I ask.
Oh yes, she says, she has quite the kindest and best of husbands, and a fine son, and 'tis delightfull to see Agnes so happyly wed and her husband in the way to advancement in the Church.
And, she goes on, looking very serious, I think I become braver, and consider that Arthur should have brothers and sisters, and indeed…
She falls silent and I am like to suppose that she finds conjugal restraint bears hard upon her as well as Lord D-.
But at this moment comes in Lord D- himself, wearing the spectacles I have been told of, and greets me very effusive, draws attention to various points in the furbishment of the house I may have overlookt and desires take me for a very extensive tour.