Old Man's Love | Anthony Trollope | Literary Fiction | Audiobook Full | English | 4/5

Old Man's Love | Anthony Trollope | Literary Fiction | Audiobook Full | English | 4/5

chapter 17 of an old man's love by Anthony Trollope this LibriVox recording is in the public domain mr. Whittle staff meditates a journey the next day was Sunday and was passed in absolute tranquility nothing was said either by mr. Whittle staff or by Mary Laurie nor to the eyes of those among whom they lived was there anything to show that their minds were disturbed they went to church in the morning as was usual with them and Mary went also to the evening service it was quite pleasant to see mrs. Baggett start for her slow Sabbath morning walk and to observe how her appearance altogether belied that idea of rags and tatters which she had given as to her own wardrobe a nicer dressed old lady or a more becoming black silk gown you shall not see on a Sunday morning making her way to any country Church in England while she was looking so pleasant and demure one may say almost so handsome in her old-fashioned and apparently new bonnet what could have been her thoughts respecting the Red Nosed one leg warrior and her intended life to be passed in fetching two pennyworth of gin for him and her endeavours to get for him a morsel of wholesome food she had had her breakfast out of her own china teacup which she used to boast was her own property as it had been given to her by mr. Whittle staffs mother and had had her little drop of cream and to tell the truth her boiled egg which she always had on a Sunday morning to enable her to listen to the long sermon of the Reverend mr. low lad she would talk of her hopes and her burdens and undoubtedly she was in earnest but she certainly did seem to make her hay very comfortably while the son Shawn everything on this Sunday morning was pleasant or apparently Pleasant at Kroger's hall in the evening when Mary and the maidservants went to church leaving mrs. Baggett at home to look after the house and go to sleep mr. Whittle staff walked off to the wooded path with his Horace he did not read it very long the bits which he did usually read never amounted to much at a time he would take a few lines and then digest them thoroughly wailing over them or rejoicing as the case might be he was not at the present moment much given to joy in turn miss Venus do lorvis Bella movas bark a break or play cor this was the passage to which he turned at the present moment and very little was the consolation which he found in it what was so crafty he said to himself more so vain as that an old man should heart back to the pleasures of a time of life which was past and gone non swim Cuates arum he said and then thought with shame of the time when he had been jilted by Catherine Bailey the time in which he had certainly been young enough to love and be loved had he been as lovable as he had been prone to love he then put the book in his pocket his latter effort had been to recover something of the sweetness of life and not as had been the poets to drain those dregs to the bottom but when he got home he bad mary tell him what mr. Lowe lad had said in his sermon and was quite cheery in his manner of picking mr. Lowe lads theology to pieces for mr. Whittle staff did not altogether agree with mr. Lowe lad as to the uses to be made of the Sabbath on the next morning he began to bustle about a little as was usual with him before he made a journey and it did escape him while he was talking to mrs. Baggett about a pair of trousers which it turned out that he had given away last some her that he meditated a journey to London on the next day you ain't a-goin said mrs. baguette I think I shall then don't take my word for it sir don't but mr. Whittle staff only snubbed her and nothing more was said about the journey at the moment and the course of the afternoon visitors came miss Evelina hall with miss Forrester had been driven into al restored and now called in company with mr. Blake mr. Blake was full of his own good tidings but not so full but that he could remember before he took his departure to say a half whispered word on behalf of John Gordon what do you think mr. Whittle staff since you were at little Alice Ford we settled the day you needn't be telling it to everybody about the county said Katie Forrester why shouldn't I tell it to my particular friends I am sure miss lorry will be delighted to hear it indeed I am said Mary and mr. Whittle staff also are you not mr. Whittle staff I am very happy to hear that a couple whom I like so well are soon to be made happy but you have not yet told us the day the first of August said Evelina Hall the first of August said mr. Blake is an auspicious day I am sure there is some reason for regarding it as auspicious though I cannot exactly remember what it is something about August as I think I never heard of such an idea to come from a clergyman of the Church of England said the bride I declare Montague never seems to think that he's a clergyman at all it will be better for him said mr. Whittle staff and for all those about him that he should ever remember the fact and never seem to do so all the same said Blake although the first of August is auspicious I was very anxious to be married in July only the painter said they couldn't be done with a house in time one is obliged to go by what these sort of people say and do where to have a month honeymoon only just a month because mr. Lowell ed won't make himself as agreeable as he ought to do about the services and new face the plumber and glazier says he can't have the house done as Katie would like to live in it before the end of August where do you think we're going to miss Laurie you would never guess perhaps to Rome said Mary at a shot not quite so far we're going to the Isle of Wight it's rather remarkable that I never spent but one week in the Isle of Wight since I was born we haven't quite made up our mind whether it's to be black gang shine or Ventnor it's a matter of dress as you see don't be a fool Montagu said miss Forrester well it is if we decide upon Ventnor she must have frocks and things to come out with I suppose so said mr. wills staff but she'll want nothing of the kind of black gang to hold your tongue and not make an ass of yourself what do you know what dresses I shall want as it is I don't think I shall go either to the one place or the other the Smiths are right ride and the girls are my great friends I think we'll go to ride after all I'm so sorry mr. Whittle staff that we can't expect the pleasure of seeing you at our wedding it is of course imperative that Katy should be married in the cathedral her father as one of the dignitaries and could not bear not to put his best foot foremost on such an occasion the Dean will be there of course I'm afraid the bishop cannot come up from Farnham because he will have friends with him I'm afraid John Gurdon will have gone by that time where else we certainly would have had him down I should like John Gordon to be present because he would see how the kind of thing is done the name of John Gordon at once silenced all the matrimonial chitchat which was going on among them it was manifest both to mr. Whittle staff to marry that it had been lugged in without a cause to enable mr. Blake to talk about the absent man it would have been pleasant akt we should have been very glad to see mr. Gordon if it would have suited him to come said Miss Forrester it would have been just the thing for him and we had Oxford together and everything don't you think he would have liked to be there it would have put him in mind of other things you know to this appeal there was no answer made it was impossible that Mary should bring herself to talk about John Gordon in mixed company and the allusion to him stirred mr. Whittle staff's wrath of course it was understood as having been spoken in Mary's favor and mr. Whittle staff had been made to perceive by what had passed a little al restored that the little al Burruss Ford people all took the side of John Gordon and were supposed to be taking the side of Mary at the same time there was not one of them he said to himself that had half the sense of mrs. Baggett and there was a vulgarity about their interference of which mrs. Baggett was not guilty he is halfway on his road to the diamond fields said Evelina and went away from here on Saturday morning said Montague Blake he has not started yet not dreamed of it I heard him whispered to Mister Whittle staff about his address he's to be in London at his club I didn't hear him say for how long but when a man gets his address at his club he doesn't mean to go away at once I have a plan in my head some of those boats go to the diamond fields from Southampton all the steamers go everywhere from Southampton Winchester is on the way to Southampton nothing will be easier for him than to drop in for our marriage on his way out that is if he must go at last then he looked hard at Mary Laurie and bring some of his diamonds with him said Evelina Hall that would be very nice but not a word more was said then about John Gurdon by the inhabitants of Croaker's Hall and after that the visitors went and Montague Blake chaperoned the girls out of the house without an idea that he had made himself disagreeable that young man is a most egregious ass said mr. Whittle staff he is good-natured and simple but I doubt whether he sees things for he plainly he has not an idea of what a man may talk about and when he should hold his tongue and he has such a fool as to think that his idle chatter can influence others I don't suppose a bishop can refuse to ordain a gentleman because he is a general idiot otherwise I think the bishop is responsible for letting in such an ass as this Mary said to herself as she heard this that it was the most ill-natured remark which he had ever known to fall from the mouth of mr. Whittle staff I think I am going away for a few days mr. Whittle staff said to Mary when the visitors were gone where are you going well I suppose I shall be in London when one goes anywhere it is generally to London though I haven't been there for more than two months not since I came to live with you she said you are the most stay at home person by way of a gentleman that I ever heard of then there was a pause for a few minutes and he said nothing further might a person ask what you are going for this she asked in the playful manner which she knew he would take in good part well I don't quite know that a person can I am going to see a man upon business and if I begin to tell you part of it I must tell it all which would not be convenient may I not ask how long you will be away there can't be any dreadful secret in that and I shall want to know what to get for your dinner when you come back she was standing now at his elbow and he was holding her by the arm it was to him almost as though she were already his wife and the feeling to him was very pleasant only if you were his wife or if it were positively decided among them that she would become so he would certainly tell her the reason for which he might undertake any journey indeed there was no reason connected with any business of his which might not be told other than that special reason which was about to take him to London he only answered her now by pressing her hand and smiling into her face will it be for a month oh dear no what should I do away from home for a month how can I tell the mysterious business may require you to be absent for a whole year fancy might being left at home all that time you don't think of it but you have never left me for a single night since you first brought me to live here and you have never been away oh no why should I go away what business can a woman have to move from home especially such a woman as I am you are just like mrs. baguette she always talks of women with supreme contempt and yet she is just as proud of herself as the Queen when you come to contradict her you never contradict me perhaps the day may come when I shall then he recollected himself and added or perhaps the day may never come never mind put up my things for one week at any rate I shall not be above a week gone then she left him and went away to his room to do what was necessary she knew the business on which he was about to travel to London as well as though he had discussed with her the whole affair in the course of the last two or three days there had been moments in which she had declared to herself that he was cruel there had been moments in which she had fainted almost with sorrow when she thought of the life which fate had in store for her there must be endless misery while there might have been joy so ecstatic in its nature as to make it seem to her to be perennial then she had almost fallen and had declared him to be preternatural ich rule but these moments had been short and had endured only while she had allowed herself to dream of the ecstatic joy which she confessed to herself to be an unfit condition of life for her and then she had told herself that mr. Whittle staff was not cruel and that she herself was no better than a weak poor flighty creature unable to look in its face life into all its realities and then she would be lost in amazement as she thought of herself and all her vacillations she now was resolved to take his part and to fight his battle to the end when he had told her that he was going up to London and going up on business as to which he could tell her nothing she knew that it behold her to prevent him from taking the journey John Gordon should be allowed to go in quest of his diamonds and mr. Whittle staff should be persuaded not to interfere with him it was for her sake and not for John Gordon's that he was about to make the journey he had asked her whether she were willing to marry him and she had told him that he was pressing her too hard she would tell him now now before it was too late that this was not so his journey to London must at any rate be prevented end of chapter 17 recording by Arnold banner Thurmond North Carolina chapter 18 of an old man's love by Anthony Trollope this LibriVox recording is in the public domain mr. and mrs. Tukey on the day arranged early on the morning after the dinner at little Alice Ford Park John Gordon went up to London he had not been much moved by the intimation made to him by mr. Whittle staff that some letter should be written to him at his London address he had made his appeal to mr. Whittle staff and had received no answer whatever and he had after a fashion made his appeal also to the girl he felt sure that his plea must reach her his very presence then in this house had been an appeal to her he knew that she so far believed in him as to be conscious that she could at once become his wife if she were willing to throw over his rival he knew also that she loved him or had certainly loved him he did not know the nature of her regard nor was it possible that he should ever know that unless she were his wife she had given a promise to that other man and it was thus he read her character she could be true to her promise without any great heartbreak at any rate she intended to be true to it he did not for a moment suspect that mr. Whittle staff was false Mary had declared that she would not withdraw her word that only from her own mouth was to be taken her intention of such withdrawal and that such intention she certainly would never utter of her character he understood much but not quite all he was not aware of the depth of her feeling but mr. Whittle staff he did not understand it all of all those vacillating softness 'as he knew nothing or of those moments spent with the poet in which he was wont to fight against the poet's pretenses and of those other moments spent with mrs. Baggett in which he would listen to and always finally reject those invitations to manly strength which she would always pour into his ears that mr. Whittle staff should spend hour after hour and now day after day in teaching himself to regard nothing but what might best suit the girls happiness of that he was altogether in the dark to his thinking mr. Whittle staff was a hard man who having gained his object intended to hold fast by what he had gained he John Gordon knew or thought that he knew that Mary as his wife would leave a happier life than with mr. Whittle staff but things had turned out and fortunately and there was nothing for him but to return to the diamond fields therefore he had gone back to London with the purpose of preparing for his journey a man does not start for South Africa tomorrow or if not tomorrow then the next day he was aware that there must be some delay but any place would be better in which to stay than the neighborhood of Croaker's Hall there were things which must be done and people with whom he must do it but of all that he needs say nothing down at a laroz Ford therefore when he got back to London he meant to make all his arrangements and did so far settle his affairs as to take a berth on board one of the Mail steamers he had come over in company with a certain lawyer who had gone out to Kimberley with a view to his profession and had then as is the case with all the world that goes to Kimberley gone into diamonds diamonds had become more to him than either briefs or pleadings he had been there for fifteen years and had ruined himself and made himself half a dozen times he had found diamonds to be more pleasant than law and to be more compatible with champagne tinned lobsters and young ladies he had married a wife and had parted with her and taken another man's wife and paid for her with diamonds he had then possessed nothing and had afterwards come forth a third part owner of the important stick-in-the-mud claim which at one time was paying 12% per month it must be understood that the stick-in-the-mud claim was an almost infinitesimal portion of soil and the great Kimberley mine it was but the sixteenth part of an original subdivision but from the centre of the Great Basin or rather Bowl which forms the mine there ran up two wires to the high mound erected on the circumference on which continually to iron cages were traveling up and down coming back empty but going up laden with Gemina phorus earth here traveled the diamonds out of the stick-in-the-mud claim the owner of one third of which mr. Fitz Walker Tookie had come home with John Gordon taking a first general glance at affairs in the diamond fields I doubt whether we should have been inclined to suspect that John Gordon and Fitz Walker Tookie would have been likely to come together as partners in a diamond speculation but Jon Gordon had in the course of things become owner of the other two shares and when Fitz Walker Tookie determined to come home he had done so with the object of buying his partners interest this he might have done it once only that he suffered under the privation of an insufficiency of means he was a man of great intelligence and knew well that no ready or mode to wealth had ever presented itself to him than the purchase of his partner shares much was said to persuade John Gordon but he would not part with his documents without seeing security for his money therefore our Messrs Gordon and Tookie put the old stick-in-the-mud into the hands of competent lawyers and came home together I am not at all sure that I shall sell John Gordon had said but I thought you offered it yes for money down for the sum named I will sell now but if I start from here without completing the bargain I shall keep the option in my own hands the fact is I do not know whether I shall remain in England or return if I do come back I am not likely to find anything better than the old stick-in-the-mud do this mr. Tookie assented but still he resolved that he would go home hence it came to pass that mr. Fitz Walker Tookie was now in London and that John Gordon had to see him frequently here Tookie had found another would-be partner who had the needed money and it was fervently desired by mr. Tookie that John Gordon might not go back to South Africa the two men were not at all alike in their proclivities but they had been thrown together and each had learned much of the inside life of the other the sort of acquaintance with whom a steady man becomes intimate in such a locality often surprises the steady man himself Fitz Walker Tookie had the antecedents and education of a gentleman champagne and lobster suppers the lobster coming out of tin cases diamonds and strange ladies even with bloated cheeks and strong language had not altogether destroyed the vestiges of the temple he at any rate was fond of a companion with whom he could discuss his English regrets then John Gordon was not inclined to shut himself up altogether among his precious stones and to refuse the conversation of a man who could talk Tookie had told him of his great distress in reference to his wife my god you know the cruelest thing you ever heard in the world there was a little tight one night and the next morning she was off with Atkinson who got away with his pocket full of diamonds poor girl she went down to the Portuguese settlement and he was nabbed he's doing penal service now at Cape Town that's the kind of thing that does upset a fellow and poor Fitz Walker began to cry among such confidences gordon allowed it to escape from him that were he to become married in England he did not think it probable that he should return thus it was known at least to his partner that he was going to look for a wife and the desire and mr. took his breast that the wife might be forthcoming was intense well he said immediately on Gordon's return to London what does well mean of course you went down there to look after the lady I have never told you so but you did do you not I have told you nothing about any lady though you are constantly asking questions as a fact I think I shall go back next month to Kimberly I think so the steak I have there is of too great importance to be abandoned I have the money ready to pay over absolute cash on the nail you don't call that abandoning it the claim has gone up in value 25% as you have already heard yes it has gone up a little but not so much as that it will come down as much by the next mail with diamonds you can never stick to anything that's true but you can only go by the prices as you see them quoted they may be up 25% again by next mail at any rate I am going back the devil you are that's my present idea as I like to be on the square with you altogether I don't mind saying that I have booked a berth in the kentucky castle the deuce you have and you won't take a wife with you I am not aware that I shall have such an impediment then Fitz Walker took he assumed a very long face it is difficult to trace the workings of such a man's mind or to calculate the meager chances on which he is too often driven to base his hopes of success he feared that he could not show his face in Kimberly unless as the representative of the whole old stick-in-the-mud and with that object he had declared himself in London to have the actual power of disposing of Gordon's chairs Gordon had gone down to Hampshire and would no doubt be successful with a young lady at any rate as he described it to himself he had gone in for that he could see his way in that direction but in no other upon my word this you know is what I call rather throwing a fella over I am as good as my word I don't know about that Gordon but I do and I won't hear any assertion to the contrary I offered you the shares for a certain price and you rejected them I did not do that you did do that exactly then there came up in my mind a feeling that I might probably wish to change my purpose and I am to suffer for that not in the least I then told you that you should still have the shares for the price named but I did not offer them to anyone else so I came home and you chose to come with me but before I started and again after I told you that the offer did not hold good and that I should not make up my mind as to selling till after I got to England we understood that you meant to be married I never said so I never said a word about marriage I am now going back and mean to manage the mine myself without asking me yes I shall ask you but I have two thirds I will give you for your share ten percent more than the price you offered me for each of my shares if you do not like that you need not accept the offer but I don't mean to have any more words about it mr. Fitz Walker took his face became longer and longer and he didn't reveal himself to be much aggrieved within his very soul there were still two lines of conduct opened to him he might move the stern man by a recapitulation of the sorrow of his circumstances or he might burst out into passionate wrath and lay all his ruin to his partners doing he might still hope that in this latter way he could rouse all Kimberly against Gordon and thus creep back into some vestige of property under the shadow of Gordon's iniquities he would try both he would first endeavour to move the stern man to pity I don't think you can imagine the condition in which you are about to place me I can't admit that I am placing you anywhere I'll just explain of course I know I can tell you everything in strictest confidence I don't know it at all oh yes I can you remember the story of my poor wife yes I remember she's in London now what she got back from the Portuguese settlement yes she did not stay there long I don't suppose that the Portuguese are very nice people perhaps not at any rate they don't have much money among them not after the lavish expenditure of the diamond fields suggested Gordon just so poor Mathilde had been accustomed to all that money could buy for her I never used to be close fisted with her though sometimes I would be tight as far as I could understand you never used to agree at all I don't think we did hit it off perhaps it was my fault you used to be a little free in your way of living I was I confessed that I was so that was young then but I am older now I haven't touched a B and s before 11 o'clock since I have been in London about two or three times I do mean to do the best I can for my young family it was the fact that mr. Tookie had three little children boarding out in Kimberley and what is the lady doing in London to tell the truth she's at my lodgings oh I do admit it she is she is indifferent to the gentleman in the Cape Town penal settlement altogether I don't think she ever really cared for him to tell the truth she only wanted someone to take her away from me and now she trusts you again oh dear yes completely she is my wife you know still I suppose so that sacred tie has never been severed you must always remember that I don't know what your feelings are on such a subject but according to my views it should not be severed roughly when there are children that should always be borne in mind don't you think so the children should be borne in mind just so that's what I mean who can look after a family of young children so well their young mother men have various ways of looking at the matter to this John Gordon gave his ready consent and was anxious to hear in what way his assistance was to be asked and again putting mr. and mrs. Tookie with their young children respectively on their feet there are men you know standoff sort of fellows who think that a woman should never be forgiven it must depend on how far the husband has been in fault exactly now these standoff sort of fellows will never admit that they have been in fault at all that's not my case you drank a little for the matter of that so did she when a woman drinks she gets herself to bed somehow a man gets out on a spree that's what I used to do and then I would hit about me rather recklessly I have no doubt Matilda did get it sometimes when there has been that kind of thing forgive and forget is the best thing you can do I suppose so and then at the fields there isn't the same sort of prudish life which one is accustomed to in England here in London a man is nowhere if he takes his wife back nobody knows her because there are plenty to know of another sort but there are things are not quite so strict of course she oughtn't to have gone off with Adkinson a vulgar low fellow – and you oughtn't to have licked her that's just it it was tit for tat I think that's the way I look at it at any rate we are living together now and no one can say we're not man and wife there'll be a deal of trouble saved in that way a great deal we are man and wife and can begin again as though nothing had happened no one can say that blacks the white of our eye she'll take to those darling children as though nothing had happened you can't conceive how anxious she is to get back to them and there's no other impediment that's a comfort another impediment would have upset you rather I couldn't have put up with that mr. Fitz Walker took he looked for very grave and high-minded as he made the assertion but there's nothing of that kind it's all open sailing now what are we going to live upon just for a beginning you have means out there not as things are at present I am sorry to say to tell the truth my third chair of the old stick-in-the-mud is gone I had to raise money when it was desirable that I should come with you not on my account and then I did owe something at any rate it's all gone now I should find myself stranded at Kimberley without a red cent what can I do well I will explain poker and Hajj will buy your shares for the son named Joshua poker who was out there has got my third chair poker and Hajj have the money down and when I have arranged the sale will undertake to give me the agency at 1% on the whole take for three years certain that'll be a thousand pounds a year and it's on if I can't float myself again in that time gordon stood silent scratching his head or if you'd give me the agency on the same terms it would be the same thing i don't care a straw for poker and hajj i dare say not but you'd find me as true as steel what little good i did at the fields i did by looking after my own business then what do you propose that poker and Hajj have them and i shall bless you forever to this mild appeal mister Tookie had been brought by the manner in which Jon Gordon had scratched his head I think you are bound to do it you know do this he was brought by the subsequent look which appeared in John Gordon's eyes I think not man will say so I don't care us draw what men say or women and you two come back in the same ship with me and my wife you couldn't do it the fields wouldn't receive you Gordon bee thought himself whether this imagined rejection might not arise rather from the character of his traveling companion to bring back the mother of three little sainted babes and then to walk in upon every showing of property which had belonged to their father you never could hold up your head in Kimberley again I should have to stand the bash before your virtue yes you would I should be known to have come back with my poor repentant wife the mother of three dear babes and she would be known to have returned with her misguided husband the humanity of the fields would not utter a word of reproval to either of us but upon my word I should not like to stand in your shoes and how could you sit opposite to her and look her in the face on the journey out I don't know it would be unpleasant do sit unpleasant I should say you remember the old Roman saying never be conscious of anything within your own bosom only think how you would feel when you were swelling it about in Kimberley while that poor lady won't be able to buy a pair of boots for herself or her children I say nothing about myself I didn't think you were the man to do it I didn't indeed Gordon did find himself moved by the diversity of lights through which he was being made to look at the circumstances in question in the first place there was the journey back with mr. Tookie and his wife companions he had not anticipated the lady would probably begin by soliciting his intimacy which on board ship he could hardly refuse with a fellow passenger whose husband has been your partner you must quarrel bitterly or be warm friends upon the whole he thought that he could not travel to South Africa with mr. and mrs. Fitz Walker Tukey and then he understood what the man's tongue would do if he were there for a month in advance the whole picture of life – at the fields was not made attractive by mr. tookies description he was not afraid of the reception which might be accorded to mrs. Tookie but saw that took he found himself able to threaten him with violent evils simply because he would claim his own then they're shot across his brain some reminiscence of Mary laurie and a comparison between her and her life and the sort of life which a man must lead under the auspices of mrs. Tookie Mary Laurie was altogether beyond his reach but it would be better to have her to think of than the other to know his idea of the diamond fields was disturbed by the promised return of his late partner and his wife and you mean to reduce me to this misery asked mr. Tookie I don't care a straw for your misery what not for your picture of your misery I do not doubt but that when you have been there for a month you will be drunk as often as ever and just as free with your fists when a woman comes in your way never and I do not see that I am at all bound to provide for you and for your wife and children you have seen many ups and downs and will be doomed to see many more as long as you can get hold of a bottle of wine I mean to take the pledge I do indeed I must do it gradually because of my Constitution but I shall do it I don't in the least believe in it nor do I believe in any man who thinks to redeem himself after such a fashion it may still be possible that I shall not go back thank God I may kill beasts in Buenos Aires or take a key farm in Tibet or join the colonists in Tennessee in that case I will let you know what arrangement I may propose to make about the Kimberley claim at any rate I may say this I shall not go back in the same vessel with you I thought it would have been so comfortable you and mrs. Tookie would find yourself more at your ease without me not in the least don't let that thought disturb you whatever misery fate may have in store for me you will always find that for the hour I will endeavor to be a good companion sufficient for the day is the evil thereof that is the first of my mottos at any rate shall not go back in the kentucky castle if you do I'm afraid our money is paid so is mine but that does not signify you have a week yet and I will let you know by 11 o'clock on Thursday what steps I shall finally take if in any way I can serve you I will do so but I can admit of no claim a thousand thanks and I am so glad you approve of what I have done about Matilda I'm sure that a steady going fellow like you would have done the same to this John Gordon could make no answer but left his friend and went away about his own business he had to decide between Tennessee Tibet and Buenos Aires and wanted his time for his own purposes when he got to dinner at his club he found a letter from mr. Whittle staff which had come by the de mail it was a letter which for the time drove Tibet and Buenos Aires and Tennessee also clean out of his mind it was as follows Croaker's Hall June 1880 blank Gare mr. John Gordon I shall be in town this afternoon probably by the same train which will bring this letter and will do myself the honour of calling upon you at your club on the next day at 12:00 I am dear mr. John Gordon faithfully yours William Whittle staff then there was to be an answer to the appeal which he had made of what nature would be the answer as he laid his hand upon his heart and felt the violence of the emotion to which he was subjected he could not doubt the strength of his own love end of chapter 18 recording by Arnold banner Thurmond North Carolina nineteen of an old man's love by Anthony Trollope this LibriVox recording is in the public domain mr. Whittle staff's journey discussed I don't think that if I were you I would go up to London mr. Whittle staff said Mary this was on the Tuesday morning why not I don't think I would why should you interfere I know I ought not to interfere I don't think you ought especially as I have taken the trouble to conceal what I am going about I can guess said Mary you are not to guess in such a matter you ought not to have it on your mind at all I told you that I would not tell you I shall go that's all I have got to say the words with which he spoke were ill-natured and savage the reader will find them to be so if he thinks of them they were such that a father would hardly speak under any circumstances to a grown-up daughter much less that a lover would address to his mistress and Mary was at present filling both capacities she had been taken into his house almost as an adopted daughter and had since that time had all the privileges accorded to her she had now been promoted still higher and had become his affianced bride that the man should have turned upon her thus in answer to her counsel was savage or at least ungracious but at every word her heart became fuller and more full of an affection as for something almost divine what other man had ever shown such love for any woman and this love was shown to her who was nothing to him wait the bread of charity in his house and it amounted to this that he intended to give her up to another man he who had given such proof of his love he of whom she knew that this was a question of almost life and death because in looking into his face she had met there the truth of his heart since that first a vowel made before Gordon had come made at a moment when some such a vowel from her was necessary she had spoken no word as to John Gordon she had endeavored to show no sign she had given herself up to her elder lover and had endeavored to have it understood that she had not intended to transfer herself because the other man had come across her path again like a flash of lightning she had dined in company with her younger lover without exchanging a word with him she had not allowed her eyes to fall upon him more than she could help lest some expression of tenderness should be seen there not a word of hope had fallen from her lips when they had first met because she had given herself to another she was sure of herself in that no doubt there had come moments in which she had hoped nay almost expected that the elder of the two might give her up and when she had felt sure that it was not to be so her very soul had rebelled against him but as she had taken time to think of it she had absolved him and had turned her anger against herself whatever he wanted that she believed it would be her duty to do for him as far as its achievement might be in her power she came round and put her arm upon him and looked into his face don't go to London I asked you not to go why should I not go to oblige me you pretend to have a secret and refuse to say why you are going of course I know I have written a letter to say that I am coming it is still lying on the hall table downstairs it will not go to the post till you have decided who has dared to stop it I have I have dared to stop it I shall dare to put it in the fire and burn it don't go he is entitled to nothing you're entitled to have whatever it is that you may want though it is but such a trifle a trifle merry yes a woman has a little gleam of prettiness about her though here it is but if a common order anything so uncommon I never came near before let that pass whether common or uncommon it matters nothing it is something soft which will soon pass away and of itself can do no good it is contemptible you are just like mrs. baguette over again very well I am quite satisfied mrs. baguette is a good woman she can do something beyond lying on a sofa and reading novels while her good looks fade away it is simply because a woman is pretty and weak that she has made so much of and is encouraged to neglect her duties by God's help I will not neglect mine do not go to London he seemed as though he hesitated as he sat there under the spell of her little hand upon his shoulder and in truth he did hesitate could it not be that he should be allowed to sit there all his days and have her hand about his neck somewhat after this fashion was he bound to give it all up what was it that ordinary selfishness allowed what depth of self-indulgence amounted to a wickedness which a man could not permit himself to enjoy without absolutely hating himself it would be easy in this case to have all that he wanted he need not send the letter he need not take this wretched journey to London looking forward as he thought that he could look judging from the girls character he believed that he would have all that he desired all that a gracious God could give him if he would make her the recognised partner of his bed and his board then would he be proud when men should see what sort of a wife he had got for himself at last in place of Catherine Bailey and why should she not love him did not all her words tend to show that there was love and then suddenly there came a frown across face as she stood looking at him she was getting to know the manner of that frown now she stooped down to kiss it away from his brow it was a brave thing to do but she did it with a consciousness of her courage now I may burn the letter she said as though she were about to depart upon the errand no by heaven he said let me have a sandwich and a glass of wine fry shall start in an hour with a glance of his thoughts he had answered all those questions he had taught himself with ordinary selfishness allowed ordinary selfishness such selfishness as that of which he would have permitted himself the indulgence must have allowed him to disregard the misery of John Gurdon and to keep the girl to himself as far as John Gordon was concerned he would not have cared for his sufferings he was as much to himself or more than could be John Gurdon he did not love John Gurdon and could have doomed him to tearing his hair not without regret but at any rate without remorse he had settled that question but with Mary Laurie there must be a never dying pang of self accusation were he to take her to his arms while her love was settled elsewhere it was not that he feared her for himself but that he feared himself for her sake God had filled his heart with love of the girl and if it was love could it be that he would destroy her future for the gratification of his own feelings I tell you it is no good he said as she crouched down beside him almost sitting on his knee at this moment mrs. Baggett came into the room detecting Mary almost in the embrace of her old master he's come back again sir said mrs. Baggett who has come back the sergeant then you may tell him to go about his business he is not wanted at any rate you are to remain here and have your own way like an old fool I am that sir there is not anyone coming to interfere with you sir then Mary got up and stood sobbing at the open window at any rate you'll have to remain here to look after the house even if I go away where is the sergeant he is in the stable again what drug well no he's not drunk I think his wooden leg is affected sooner than if he had to like mine or yours sir and he did manage to go in of his self now that he knows the way he's there among the hay and I do think it's very unkind of hay and oats to say as he'll spoil it but how am I to get him out unless I goes away with him let him stay there and give him some dinner I don't know what else you've to do he can't stay always in course sir as Han oat says what's he to do with a wooden legged sergeant in his stable as a permanence I had come to say I was to go home with him you're to do nothing of the kind what is it you mean then about my taking care of the house never you mind when I want you to know I shall tell you then mrs. bag had bobbed her head three times in the direction of Mary Laurie's back as though to ask some question whether the leaving the house might not be in reference to Mary's marriage but she feared that it was not made in reference to mr. Whittle staffs marriage also what had her master meant when he had said that there was no one coming to interfere with her mrs. Baggett you needn't ask any questions just at present mrs. Baggett he said he don't mean as you are going up to London just to give her up to that young fellow I am going about my own business and I won't be inquired into said mr. Whittle staff then you're going to do what no man ought to do you are an impertinent old woman said her master I dare say I am all the same it's my duty to tell you my mind you can't eat me mr. wittle staff and it wouldn't much matter if you could when you said that you'll do a thing you are not to go back for any other man let him be who it may especially not in respect of a female its weak and nobody wouldn't think of straw of you for doing it it's some idea of being generous that you have got into your head there ain't no real generosity in it I say it ain't manly and that's what a man ought to be marry though she was standing at the window pretending to look out of it knew that during the whole of this conversation mrs. Baggett was making signs at her as though indicating an opinion that she was the person in fault it was as though mrs. Baggett had said that it was for her sake to do something to gratify her that mr. Whittle staff was about to go to London she knew that she at any rate was not to blame she was struggling for the same end as mrs. Baggett and did deserve better treatment you oughtn't to bother going up to London sir on any such errand and so I tells you mr. Whittle staff said mrs. Baggett I have told him the same thing myself said Mary Laurie turning round if you told him as though you meant it he wouldn't go said mrs. Baggett that's all you know about it said mr. Whittle staff now the fact is I won't stand this kind of thing if you mean to remain here you must be less free with your tongue I don't mean to remain here mr. Whittle staff it's just that as I'm coming to theirs Timothy Baggett is down there among the bosses and he says as I am to go with him so I've come up here to say that if he's allowed to sleep it off today I'll be ready to start tomorrow I tell you I am NOT going to make any change at all said mr. Whittle staff you was saying you was going away for the honeymoon I did suppose a man may go away if he pleases without any reason of that kind oh dear Oh that letter is not gone I insist that that letter should go I suppose I must see about it myself then when he began to move the women moved also Mary went to look after the sandwiches and mrs. baguette to dispatch the letter in ten minutes the letter was gone and half an hour afterwards mr. Whittle staff had himself driven down to the station what is it he means miss said mrs. baguette when the master was gone I do not know said Mary who wasn't truth very angry with the old woman he wants to make you mrs. Whittle staff in whatever he wants I shall obey him if I only knew how it's what you was bound to do miss Mary think of what he has done for you I require no one to tell me that what did mr. Gordon come here for disturbing everybody nobody asked him at least I suppose nobody asked him there was an insinuation in this which Mary found it hard to bear but it was better to bear it than to argue on such a point with a servant and he said things which put the master about terribly it was not my doing but he's a man as needn't have his own way why should mr. Gordon have everything just as he likes it I never heard tell of mr. Gordon till he came here the other day I don't think so much of mr. Gordon myself to this Mary of course made no answer he's no business disturbing people when he's not sent for I can't abide to see mr. Whittle staff put about in this way I have known him longer than you have no doubt he's a man that'll be driven pretty nigh out of his mind if he's disappointed then there was silence as Mary was determined not to discuss the matter any further if you come to that you needn't marry no one unless you pleases Mary was still silent they shouldn't make me marry them unless I was that way minded I can't abide such doings the old woman again went on after a pause I knows what I knows and I sees what I sees what do you know said marry driven beyond her powers of silence the meaning is that mr. Whittle staff is to be disappointed after he have received the promise didn't he have a promise to this mrs. Baggett got no reply though she waited for one before she went on with her argument you knows he had and a promise between a lady and gentleman ought to be as good as the law of the land you stand there as dumb as grim death and won't say a word and yet it all depends upon you why is it to go about among everybody that he's not to get a wife just because a man's come home with his pockets full of diamonds it's that that people will say and they'll say that you went back from your word just because of a few precious stones I wouldn't like to have it said of me anyhow this was very hard to bear but Mary found herself compelled to bear it she had determined not to be led into an argument with mrs. Baggett on the subject feeling that even to discuss her conduct would be an impropriety she was strong in her own conduct and knew how utterly at variance it had been with all that this woman and puted to her the glitter of the diamonds had been merely thrown in by mrs. Baggett in her passion Mary did not think that anyone would be so based as to believe such an accusation as that it would be said of her that her own young lover had come back suddenly and that she had preferred him to the gentleman to whom she was tied by so many bonds it would be said that she had given herself to him and had then taken back the gift because the young lover had come across her path and it would be told also that there had been no word of promise given to this young lover all that would be very bad without any allusion to a wealth of diamonds it would not be said that before she had pledged herself to mr. Whittle staff she had pleaded her affection for her young lover when she had known nothing even of his present existence it would not be known that though there had been the lovers vows between her and John Gurdon there had yet been on both sides that unspoken love which could not have been strengthened by any vows against all that she must guard herself without thinking of the Diamonds she had endeavored to guard herself and she had thought also of the contentment of the man who had been so good to her she had declared to herself that of herself she would think not at all and she had determined also that all the likings nay the affection of John Gordon himself should not weigh it all with her she had to decide between the two men and she had decided that both honesty and gratitude required her to comply with the wishes of the elder she had done all that she could with that object and was at her fault that mr. Whittle staff had read the secret of her heart and had determined to give way before it this had so touched her that it might almost be said that she knew not to which of her two suitors her heart belonged all this is stated in answer to mrs. Baggett's accusations would certainly exonerate herself from the stigma thrown upon her but to mrs. baggert she could not repeat the explanation it night drives me wild said mrs. Baggett I don't suppose you ever heard of Catherine Bailey never and I ain't a-going to tell you it's a romance that shall be wrapped inside my own bosom it was quite a tragedy was Catherine Baily and one as would stir your heart up if you was to hear it Catherine Bailey was a young woman but I'm not going to tell you the story only that she was no more fit for mr. Whittle staff than any of them stupid young girls that walks about the streets gaping in at the shop windows in Al restored I do you the justice miss to say as you are such a female as he ought to look after thank you mrs. baguette but she led him into such trouble because his heart is soft as was dreadful to look at he is one of them as always wants a wife why didn't he get one before he'll say because till you came in the way he was always thinking of Catherine Bailey mrs. compass she become drat her and her babies I often said to myself what was compass no more than an Old Bailey lawyer not fit to be looked at alongside of our mr. Whittle staff no more ain't mr. John Gurdon to my thinking you think of all that Miss Mary and make up your mind whether you'll break his heart after giving a promise heartbreaking ink to him what it is to join Gordon and the likes of him end of chapter 19 recording by Arnold banner Thurmond North Carolina chapter 20 of an old man's love by Anthony Trollope this LibriVox recording is in the public domain mr. Whittle staff takes his journey mr. Whittle staff did at last get into the train and have himself carried up to London and he ate his sandwiches and drank his sherry with an air of supreme satisfaction as though he had carried his point and so he had he had made up his mind on a certain matter and with the object of doing a certain piece of work he had escaped from the two dominant women of his household who had done their best to intercept him so far his triumph was complete but as he sat silent in the corner of the carriage his mind reverted to the purpose of his journey and he cannot be said to have been triumphant he knew it all as well as did mrs. baguette and he knew too that except mrs. baguette and the girl herself all the world was against him that ass Montagu Blake every time he opened his mouth as to his own bride let out the idea that John Gordon should have his bride because John Gordon was young and lusty and because he will staff might be regarded as an old man the Miss halls were altogether of the same opinion and were not slow to express it all Alice Ford would know it and would sympathize with John Gordon and as it came to be known that he himself had given up the girl whom he loved he could read the ridicule which would be conveyed by the smiles of his neighbors to tell the truth of mr. Whittle staff he was a man very open to such shafts of ridicule the robe or @s xxx which fortified his heart went only to the doing of a good and unselfish action and did not extend to providing him with that adamantine shield which virtue should of itself supply he was as pervious to these things as a man might be who had not strength to act in opposition to them he could screw himself up to the doing of a great deed for the benefit of another and could as he was doing so deplore with inward tears the punishment which the world would Accord to him for the deed as he sat there in the corner of his carriage he was thinking of the punishment rather than of the glory and the punishment must certainly come now it would be a punishment lasting for the remainder of his life and so bitter in its kind as to make any further living almost impossible to him it was not that he would kill himself he did not meditate any such step as that he was a man who considered that by doing an outrage to God's work an offense would be committed against God which admitted of no repentance he must live through it to the last but he must live as a man who was degraded he had made his effort but his effort would be known to all al Rose mr. Montague Blake would take care of that the evil done to him would be one which would admit of no complaint from his own mouth he would be left alone living with mrs. Baggett who of course knew all the facts the idea of mrs. Baggett going away with her husband was of course not to be thought of that was another nuisance a small evil in comparison with the great misfortune of his life he had brought this girl home to his house to be the companion of his days and she had come to have in his mouth a flavour as it were and sweetness beyond all other sweetnesses she had lent a grace to his days of which for many years he had not believed them to be capable he was a man who had thought much of love reading about it in all the poets with whose lines he was conversant he was one who and all that he read would take the gist of it home to himself and ask himself how it was with him in that matter his favorite horace had a fresh love for every day but he had told himself that Horace knew nothing of love of Petrarch and Laura he had thought but even to Petrarch Laura had been a subject for expression rather than for passion Prince Arthur and his love for Guinevere went nearer to the mark which he had fancied for himself Imaging and her love for posthumous gave to him a picture of all that love should be it was thus that he had thought of himself in all his readings and as years had gone by he had told himself that for him there was to be nothing better than reading but yet his mind had been full and he had still thought to himself that in spite of his mistake in reference to Catherine Bailey there was still room for a strong passion then Mary Laurie had come upon him and the Sun seemed to shine nowhere but in her eyes and in the expression of her face he had told himself distinctly that he was now in love and that his life had not on so far forward as to leave him stranded on the dry sand hills she was there living in his house subject to his orders affectionate and docile but as far as he could judge a perfect woman and as far as he could judge there was no other man whom she loved then with many doubting –zz he asked her the question and he soon learned the truth but not the whole truth there had been a man but he was one who seemed to have passed by and left his mark and then to have gone on altogether out of sight she had told him that she could not but think of John Gurdon but that that was all she would if he asked it played her truth to him and become his wife although she must think of John Gurdon this thinking would last but for a while he told himself and he at his age what right had he to expect aught better than that she was of such a nature that when she had given herself up in marriage she would surely learn to love her husband so he had accepted her promise and allowed himself for one hour to be a happy man then John Gurdon had come to his house falling upon it like the blast of a storm he had come at once instantly as though fate had intended to punish him Whittle staff utterly and instantly Mary had told him that she could not promise not to think of him who had once loved her when lo and behold the man himself was there who ever suffered a blow so severe as this he had left them together he had felt himself compelled to do so by the exigencies of the moment it was impossible that he should give either one or the other to understand that they would not be allowed to meet in his house they had met and Mary had been very firm for a few hours there had existed in his bosom the feeling that even yet he might be preferred but gradually that feeling had disappeared and the truth had come home to him she was as much in love with John Gordon as could any girl be with a man who she adored and the other rock on which he had depended was gradually shivered beneath his feet he had fancied at first that the man had come back as do so many adventurers without the means of making a woman happy it was not for John Gordon that he was solicitous but for Mary Laurie if John Gordon were a pauper or so nearly so as to be able to offer Mary no home then it would clearly be his duty not to allow the marriage in such case the result to him would be if not heavenly sweet enough at any rate to satisfy his longings she would come to him and John Gordon would depart to London and to the world beyond and there would be an end of him but it became palpable to his senses generally that the man's fortunes had not been such as this and then there came home to him a feeling that were it so it would be his duty to make up for Mary's sake what was walking since he had discovered of what caliber was the man himself it was at mr. Hall's house that the idea had first presented itself to him with all the firmness of a settled project it would be he had said to himself a great thing for a man to do what after all is the meaning of love but that a man should do his best to serve the woman he loves who cares a straw for him he said to himself as though to exempt himself from any idea of general charity and to prove that all the good which he intended to do was to be done for love alone not a straw whether he shall stay at home here and have all that is sweetest in the world or be sent out alone to find fresh diamonds amidst the dirt and misery of that horrid place is as nothing as far as he is concerned I am at any rate more to myself than John Gordon I do not believe in doing a kindness of such a nature as that to such a one but for her and I could not hold her to my bosom knowing that she would so much rather be in the arms of another man all this he said to himself but he said it in words fully formed and with the thoughts on which the words were based clearly established when he came to the end of his journey he had himself driven to the hotel and ordered his dinner and ate it in solitude still supported by the ecstasy of his thoughts he knew that there was before him a sharp cruel punishment and then a weary lonely life there could be no happiness no satisfaction in store for him he was aware that it must be so but still for the present there was a joy to him and thinking that he would make her happy and in that he was determined to take what immediate delight it would give him he asked himself how long that delight could last and he told himself that when John Gurdon should have once taken her by the hand and claimed her as his own the time of his misery would have come there had hung about him a dream clinging to him up to the moment of his hotel dinner by which he had thought it possible that he might yet escape from the misery of pandemonium and be carried into the light and joy of paradise but as he sat with his beefsteak before him and ate his accustomed potato with apparently as good a gusto as any of his neighbors the dream departed he told himself that under no circumstances should the dream be allowed to become a reality the dream had been of this wise with all the best intentions in his power he would offer the girl to John Gurdon and then not doubting Gordon's acceptance of her would make the same offer to the girl herself what if the girl refused to accept the offer what if the girl should stubbornly adhere to her original promise was he to refuse to marry her when she should insist that such was her right was he to decline to enter in upon the joys of paradise when paradise should be thus open to him he would do his best royally and sincerely with his whole heart but he could not force her to make him a wretch miserable for the rest of his life in fact it was she who might choose to make the sacrifice and thus save him from the unhappiness in store for him such had been the nature of his dream as he was eating his beef steak and potatoes he told himself that it could not be so and that the jury must be flung to the winds a certain amount of strength was now demanded of him and he thought that he would be able to use it no my dear not me it may not be that you should become my wife though all the promises under heaven had been given though you say that you wish it it is a lie which may not be ratified though you implore it of me it cannot be granted it is he that is your love and it is he that must have you I love you too God in His wisdom knows but it cannot be so go and be his wife for mine you shall never become I have meant well but have been unfortunate now you know the state of my mind then which nothing is more fixed on this earth it was thus that he would speak to her and then he would turn away in the term of his misery would have commenced on the next morning he got up and prepared for his interview with John Gordon he walked up and down the sward of the green park thinking to himself of the language which he would use if he could only tell the man that he hated him while he surrendered to him the girl whom he loved so dearly it would be well for in truth there was nothing of Christian charity in his heart towards John Gordon but he thought at last that it would be better that he should announce his purpose in the simplest language he could hate the man in his own heart as thoroughly as he desired but it would not be becoming in him were he on such an occasion to attempt to rise to the romance of tragedy it will be all the same a thousand years hence he said to himself as he walked in at the club door end of chapter 20 recording by Arnold Banner Thurmond North Carolina chapter 21 of an old man's love by Anthony Trollope this LibriVox recording is in the public domain the green park he asked whether mr. John Gordon was within and in two minutes found himself standing in the hall with that hero of romance mr. Whittle staff told himself as he looked at the man that he was such a hero as ought to be happy in his love whereas of himself he was conscious of a personal appearance which no girl could be expected to adore he thought too much of his personal appearance generally complaining to himself that it was mean whereas in regard to Mary Laurie it may be said that no such idea had ever entered her mind it was just because he had come first she would have said if asked and the he alluded to would have been John Gordon he had come first and therefore I had learned to love him it was thus that Mary Laurie would have spoken but mr. Whittle staff as he looked up into John Gordon's face felt that he himself was mean you have got my letter mr. Gordon yes I got it last night I have come up to London because there is something that I want to say to you it is something that I can't very well put up into a letter and therefore I have taken the trouble to come to town as he said this he endeavoured no doubt to assert his own dignity by the look which he assumed nor did he intend that mr. Gordon should know anything of the struggle which he had endured but mr. Gordon knew as well what mr. Whittle staff had to say as did mr. Whittle staff him he had turned the matter over in his own mind since the letter had reached him and was aware that there could be no other cause for seeing him which could bring mr. Whittle staff up to London but a few days since he had made an appeal to mr. Whittle staff an appeal which might certainly require much thought for its answer and here was mr. Whittle staff with his reply it could not have been made quicker it was thus that John Gordon had thought of it as he had turned mr. Whittle Staz letter over in his mind the appeal had been made readily enough the making of it had been easy the words to be spoken had come quickly and without the necessity for a moment's premeditation he had known it all and from a full heart the mouth speaks but was it to have been expected that a man so placed as had been mr. Whittle staff should be able to give his reply with equal celerity he John Gordon had seen at once on reaching Croaker's Hall the state in which things were almost hopelessly he had made his appeal to the man who had her promise then he had met the man at Mr Hall's house and hardly a word had passed between them what word could have been expected Montagu Blake with all his folly had judged rightly and bringing them together when he received the letter John Gordon had remembered that last word which mr. Whittle staff had spoken to him in the Squires Hall he had thought of the appeal and had resolved to give an answer to it it was an appeal which required an answer he had turned it over in his mind and had at last told himself what the answer should be John Gordon had discovered all that when he received the letter and it need hardly be said that his feelings in regard to mr. Whittle staff were very much kinder than those of mr. Whittle staff to him perhaps you wouldn't mind coming out into the street said Mr Whittle staff I can't say very well what I've got say in here certainly said Gordon I will go anywhere let's go into the park it is green there and there are some shade among the trees then they went out of the club into pal Nell and mr. Whittle staff walked on ahead without a word now we will not go down there he said as he passed the entrance into st. James Park bye Marlborough house and led the way through st. James palace into the green Park will go on till we come to the trees there are seeds there unless the people have occupied them all one can't talk here under the Blazing Sun at least I can't then he walked on at a rapid pace wiping his brow as he did so yes there's a seat I'll be hanged if that man isn't going to sit down upon it what up beast he is now I can't sit down on a seat that another man is occupying I don't want anyone to hear what I've got to say there two women have gone a little further on then he hurried to the vacant bench and took possession of it it was placed among the thick trees which gave a perfect shade on the north side of the park and had mr. Whittle staff searched all London through he could not have found a more pleasant spot in which to make his communication this will do said he very nicely indeed said John Gordon I couldn't talk about absolutely private business and the hall of the club you know I could have taken you into a private room mr. Whittle staff had you wished it with everybody coming in and out just as they pleased I don't believe in private rooms and London clubs what I've got to say can be said better subkey oh I suppose you know what it is that I've got to talk about hardly said John Gordon but that is not exactly true I think I know but I am not quite sure of it on such a subject I should not like to make us or my is unless they were confident it's about Miss Laury I suppose so what makes you suppose that said Whittle staff sharply you told me that you were sure I should know so I am quite sure you came all the way down to ours forward to see her if you spoke the truth you came all the way home from the diamond fields with the same object I certainly spoke the truth mr. Whittle staff then what's the good of your pretending not to know I have not pretended I merely said that I could not presume to put the young lady's name into your mouth until you had uttered it yourself there could be no other subject of conversation between you and me of which I was aware you had spoken to me about her said mr. Whittle staff no doubt I had when I found that you had given her a home and had made yourself as it were a father to her I had not made myself her father nor yet her mother I had loved her as you professed to do my profession is at any rate true I dare say you may or you may and I at any rate know nothing about it why otherwise should I have come home and left my business in South Africa I think you may take it for granted that I love her I don't care tuppence whether you do or don't said mr. Whittle staff it's nothing to me whom you love I should have been inclined to say at first sight that a man groping in the dirt for diamonds wouldn't love anyone and even if you did though you might break your heart and die it would be nothing to me had you done so I should not have heard of you nor should I have wished to hear of you there was an insula T in all this of which Jon Gordon felt that he was obliged to take some notice there was a want of courtesy in the man's manner rather than his words which he could not quite pass by although he was most anxious to do so I dare say not said he that here I am and here also is miss Laurey I had said what I had to say down at al Burruss Ford and of course it is for you now to decide what is to be done I have never supposed that you would care personally for me you needn't be so conceited about yourself I don't know that I am said Gordon except that a man cannot but be a little conceited who has won the love of Mary Lauri you think it impossible that I should have done so at any rate I did it before you had seen her though I may be conceited I am NOT more conceited for myself than you are for yourself had I not known her you would probably have engaged her affections I had known her and you are aware of the result but it is for you to decide miss Lori thinks that she owes you a debt which she is bound to pay if you exact it exact it exclaimed mr. Whittle staff there is no question of exacting Jon Gordon shrugged his shoulders I say there is no question of exacting the word should not have been used she has my full permission to choose as she may think fit and she knows that she has it what right have you to speak to me of exacting mr. Whittle staff had now talked himself into such a passion and was apparently so angry at the word which his companion had used that Jon Gordon began to doubt whether he did in truth know the purpose for which the man had come to London could it be that he had made the journey merely with the object of asserting that he had the power of making this girl his wife and of proving his power by marrying her what is it that you wish mr. Whittle staff he asked wish what business have you to ask after my wishes but you know what my wishes are very well I will not pretend to keep them in the dark she came to my house and I soon learned to desire that she should be my wife if I know what love is I loved her if I know what love is I do love her still she is the world to me I have no diamonds to care for I have no rich mines to occupy my heart I am NOT eager in the pursuit of wealth I had lived a melancholy lonely life till this young woman had come to my table till I had felt her sweet hand upon mine till she had hovered around me covering everything with bright sunshine then I asked her to be my wife and she told me of you she told you of me yes she told me of you of you who might then have been dead for all she knew and when I pressed her she said that she would think of you always she said so yes that she would think of you always but she did not say that she would always love you and in the same breath she promised to be my wife I was contented and yet not quite contented why should she think of you always but I believed that it would not be so I thought that if I were good to her I should overcome her I knew that I should be better to her than you would be why should I not be good to her there is an old saying of a young man slay than an old man's darling she would at any rate have been my darling it might be that you would have been your slave my fellow workmen in all things you think so now but the man always becomes the master if you grovelled in the earth for diamonds she would have to look for them amidst the mud and the slime I have never dreamed of taking her to the diamond fields it would have been so in all other pursuits she would have had none that she had not chosen said John Gurdon how am I to know that how am I to rest assured that the world would be smooth to her if she were your creature I am NOT assured I do not know who can tell as you say can I promised her a succession of joys if she be my wife is not one who will be likely to look for such a life as that she will know that she must take the rough and smooth together there would have been no rough with me said mr. Whittle staff I do not believe in such a life said John Gordon a woman should not wear a stuff gown always but the silk finery and the stuff gown should follow each other to my taste the more there may be of the stuff gown and the less of the finery the more it will be to my wishes I am NOT speaking of her gowns it is not of such things as those that I am thinking here mr. Whittle staff got up from the bench and began walking rapidly backwards and forwards under the imperfect shade on the path you will beat her I think not beat her in the spirit you will domineer over her and desire to have your own way when she is toiling for you you will frown at her because you have business on hand or perhaps pleasure you will leave her in solitude there may a time come when the diamonds shall have all gone if she is to be mine that time will have come already the diamonds will be sold did you ever see a diamond in my possession why do you twit me with diamonds if I had been a coal owner should I have been expected to keep my coals these things stick to the very soul of a man they are a poison of which he cannot rid himself there like gambling they make everything cheap that should be dear and everything dear that should be cheap I trust them not at all and I do not trust you because you deal in them I tell you that I shall not deal in them but mr. Whittle staff I must tell you that you are unreasonable no doubt I am a poor miserable man who does not know the world I have never been to the diamond fields of course I understand nothing of the charms of speculation a quiet life with my books is all that I care for with just one other thing one other thing you be grudge me that mr. wittle staff it does not signify a straw would I begrudge you mr. wittle staff had now come close to him and was listening to him nor as I take it what you begrudge me before I left England she and I had learned to love each other it is so still for the sake of her happiness do you mean to let me have her I do you do of course I do you have known that all along of course I do do you think I would make her miserable would it be in my bosom to make her come and live with a stupid silly old man to Potter on from day to day without any excitement would I force her into a groove in which her days would be wretched to her had she come to me and wanted bread and have seen before her all the misery of poverty the stone coldness of a governesses life had she been left to earn her bread without anyone to love her it might then have been different she would have looked out into another world and have seen another prospect a comfortable home with kindness and her needs supplied would have sufficed she would then have thought herself happy and becoming my wife there would then have been no cruelty but she had seen you and though it was but a dream she thought that she could endure it to wait better that then surrender all the delight of loving so she told me that she would think of you poor dear I can understand now the struggle which he intended to make then in the very next you filled her heart full with joy but only to be crushed when she thought that the fatal promise had been given to me I saw it all I knew it I thought to myself for a few hours that it might be so but it cannot be so mr. wittle staff it cannot be so he said with a firm determined voice as though asserting a fact which admitted of no doubt mr. Whittle staff what am I to say to you you what are you to say nothing what should you say why should you speak it is not for love of you that I would do this thing nor yet altogether from love of her not that I would not do much for her sake I almost think that I would do it entirely for her sake if there were no other reason but to shame myself by taking that which belongs to another as though it were my own property to live a coward and mine own esteem though I may be the laughingstock and the butt of all those around me I would still be a man to myself I ought to have felt that it was sufficient when she told me that some of her thoughts must still be given to you she is yours mr. Gordon but I doubt much whether you care for the possession not care for her up to the moment when I received your note I was about to start again for South Africa South Africa is no place for her nor for me either with such a wife mr. Whittle staff will you not allow me to say one word to you in friendship not a word how am I to come and take her out of your house she must manage it as best she can but no I would not turn her from my door for all the world could do for me this too will be part of the punishment that I must bear you can settle the day between you I suppose and then you can come down and after the accustomed fashion you can meet her at the church door then you can come to my house and eat your breakfast there if you will you will see fine things prepared for you such as a woman wants on those occasions and then you can carry her off wherever you please I need know nothing of your whereabouts good morning now do not say anything further but let me go my way to chapter 21 recording by Arnold banner Thurmond North Carolina chapter 22 of an old man's love by Anthony Trollope this LibriVox recording is in the public domain John Gordon writes a letter when they parted in the park mr. Whittle staff trudged off to his own hotel through the heat and sunshine he walked quickly and never looked behind him and went as though he had fully accomplished his object in one direction and must hurry to get it done in another to Gordon he had left no directions whatever was he to be allowed to go down to Mary or even to write her a letter he did not know whether Mary had ever been told of this wonderful sacrifice which had been made on her behalf he understood that he was to have his own way and was to be permitted to regard himself as betrothed to her but he did not at all understand what steps he was to take in the matter except that he was not to go again to the diamond fields but mr. Whittle staff hurried himself off to his hotel and shut himself up in his own bedroom and when there he sobbed alas like a child the wife whom he had won for himself was probably more valuable to him than if he had simply found her disengaged and ready to jump into his arms she at any rate had behaved well mr. Whittle staff had no doubt proved himself to be an angel perfect all-round such a man as you shall not meet perhaps once in your life but Mary too had so behaved as to enhance the love of any man who had been already engaged to her as he thought of the whole story of the past week the first idea that occurred to him was that he certainly had been present to her mind during the whole period of his absence though not a word had passed between them and though no word of absolute love for each other had even been spoken before she had been steady to him with no actual basis on which to found her love he had known and she had been sure and therefore she had been true to him of course being a true man himself he worshipped her all the more mister Whittle staff was absolutely undoubtedly perfect but in Gordon's estimation Mary was not far off perfection but what was he to do now so that he might approach her he had pledged himself to one thing and he must at once go to work and busy himself in accomplishing it he had promised not to return to Africa and he must at once see mr. Tookie and learn whether that gentleman's friends would be allowed to go on with the purchase as arranged he knew poker and Hajj to be moneyed men or to be men at any rate in command of money if they would not pay him at once he must look elsewhere for buyers but the matter must be settled Tookie had promised to come to his club this day and there he would go and wait his coming he went to his club but the first person who came to him was mr. Whittle staff mr. Whittle staff when he had left the park had determined never to see John Gordon again or to see him only during that ceremony of the marriage which it might be that he would even yet escape all that was still in the distant future dim ideas as to some means of avoiding it flitted through his brain but even though he might see Gordon on that terrible occasion he need not speak to him and it would have to be done then and then only but now another idea certainly very vague had found its way into his mind and with the object of carrying it out mr. Whittle staff had come to the club Oh mr. Whittle staff how do you do again I'm very much the same as I was before thank you there hasn't happened anything too prove my health I hope nothing may happen to injure it it doesn't much matter you said something about some property you've got in diamonds and you said once that you must go out to look after it but I'm not going now I shall sell my share in the mines I am going to see a mr. Tookie about it immediately can't you sell them to me the diamond shares to you why not to me if the thing has to be done at once of course you and I must trust each other I suppose you can trust me certainly I can as I don't care much about it whether I get what I buy or not it does not much matter for me but in truth in such an affair as this I would trust you why should not I go in your place I don't think you are the man who ought to go there I am too old I'm not a cripple if you mean that I don't see why I shouldn't go to the diamond fields as well as a younger man it is not about your age mr. Whittle staff but I do not think you would be happy there happy I do not know that my state of bliss here is very great if I had bought your shares as you call them and paid money for them I don't see why my happiness needs stand in the way you are a gentleman mr. Whittle staff well I hope so and of that kind that you would have your eyes picked out of your head before you had been there a week don't go take my word for it that life will be pleasanter to you here than there and that for you the venture would be altogether dangerous here is mr. Tookie at this point of the conversation mr. Tookie entered the hall door and some fashion of introduction took place between the two strangers John Gurdon led the way into a private room and the two others followed him here's a gentleman anxious to buy my shares Tookie said Gordon what the whole lot of the old stick-in-the-mud he'll have to shell down some money in order to do that if I were to be asked my opinion I should say that that transaction was hardly one in the gentleman's way of business I suppose an honest man may work at it said mr. Whittle staff it's the honestest business I know said Fitz Walker Tukey but it does require a gentleman to have his eyes about him haven't I got my eyes Oh certainly certainly said Tukey I never knew a gentleman to have them brighter but there are eyes and eyes here's mr. Gordon did have a stroke of luck out there quite wonderful but because he tumbled onto a good thing it's no reason that others should and he sold his claim already if he doesn't go himself either to me or else to poker and Hodge I'm afraid it is so said John Gordon there's my darling wife who was to go out with me and who means to stand all the hardship of the hard work amidst those scenes of constant labour a lady who was dying to see her babies there I am sure sir that mr. Gordon won't forget his promises to me and my wife if you have the money ready there is mr. poker in a hansom cab outside and ready to go with you to the bank at once as the matter is rather pressing if you will come with him he will explain everything I will follow in another cab and then everything can be completed John Gordon did make an appointment to meet mr. poker in the city later on in the day and then was left together with mr. Whittle staff at the club it was soon decided that mr. Whittle staff should give up all idea of the diamond fields and in so doing he allowed himself to be brought back to a state of semi courteous conversation with his happy rival well yes you may write to her I suppose indeed I don't know what right I have to say that you may or mant she's more yours than mine I suppose turn her out I don't know what makes you take such an idea as that in your head Gordon had not suggested that mr. Whittle staff would turn Mary laurie out though he had spoken of the steps he would have to take were he to find Mary left without a home she shall have my house as her own till she can find another as she will not be my wife she shall be my daughter till she is somebody else's wife I told you before that you may come and marry her indeed I can't help myself of course you may go on as you would with some other girl only I wish it were some other girl you can go and stay with Montague Blake if you please it is nothing to me everybody knows it now then he did say goodbye though he could not be persuaded to shake hands with John Gordon mr. Whittle staff did not go home that day but on the next remaining in town until he was driven out of it by 24 hours of absolute misery he had said to himself that he would remain till he could think of some future plan of life that should have in it some better promise of success for him than his sudden scheme of going to the diamond fields but there was no other plan which became practicable in his eyes on the afternoon of the very next day London was no longer bearable to him and as there was no other place but Croaker's Hall to which he could take himself with any prospect of meeting friends who would know anything of his ways of life he did go down on the following day one consequence of this was that Mary had received from her lover the letter which he had written almost as soon as he had received mr. Whittle staff's permission to write the letter was as follows dear Mary I do not know whether you are surprised by what mr. Whittle staff has done but I am so much so that I hardly know how to write to you on the matter if you will think of it I have never written to you and have never been in a position in which writing seemed to be possible nor do I know as yet whether you are aware of the business which has brought mr. Whittle staff to town I suppose I am to take it for granted that all that he tells me is true though when I think what it is that I have to accept and that on the word of a man who is not your father and who is a perfect stranger to me it does seem as though I were assuming a great deal and yet it is no more than I asked him to do for me when I saw him at his own house I had no time then to ask for your permission nor had I asked for it would you have granted it to me you had pledged yourself and would not have broken your pledge if I asked for your hand at all it was from him that I had to ask how will it be with me if you shall refuse to come to me at his bidding I have never told you that I loved you nor have you expressed your willingness to receive my love dear Mary how shall it be no doubt I do count upon you in my very heart as being my own after this week of troubles it seems as though I can look back upon a former time in which you and I had talked to one another as though we had been lovers may I not think that it was so may it not be so may I not call you my Mary and indeed between man and man as I would say only that you are not a man have I not a right to assume that it is so I told him that it was so down at Kroger's Hall and he did not contradict me and now he has been the most indiscreet of men and has allowed all your secrets to escape from his breast he has told me that you loved me and hazbad me do as seems good to me in speaking to you of my love but Mary Why should there be any mock modesty or pretence between us when a man and women mean to become husband and wife they should at any rate be earnest in their profession I am sure of my love for you and of my earnest longing to make you my wife tell me am I not right in counting upon you for wishing the same thing what shall I say in writing to you of mr. Whittle staff to me personally he assumes the language of an enemy but he contrives to do so in such a way that I can take it only as the expression of his regret that I should be found to be standing in his way his devotion to you is the most beautiful expression of self-abnegation that I have ever met he tells me that nothing is done for me but it is only that I may understand how much more is done for you next to me yes Mary next to myself he should be the dearest to you of human beings I am jealous already almost jealous of his goodness with that I could look forward to a life in which I would be regarded as his friend let me have a line from you to say that it is as I would wish it and name a day in which I may come to visit you I shall now remain in London only to obey Europe es as to my future life I can settle nothing till I can discuss it with you as it will be your life also god bless you my own one yours affectionately John Gurdon we are not to return to the diamond fields I have promised mr. Whittle staff that it shall be so Mary when she received this letter retired into her own room to read it for indeed her life in public her life that is to which mrs. Baggett had access had been in some degree disturbed since the departure of the master of the house mrs. Baggett certainly proved herself to be a most unreasonable old woman she praised Mary Laurie up to the sky as being the only woman fitted to be her master's wife at the same time abusing Mary for driving her out of the house for the marriage to take place and then abusing her also because mr. Whittle staff had gone to town to look up another lover on Mary's behalf it isn't my fault I did not send him said Mary you could make his going of no account you needn't have the young man when he comes back he has come here disturbing us all with his diamonds in a most objectionable manner you would be able to remain here and not have to go away with that dreadfully drunken old man this mary had said because there had been a rather violent scene with the one-legged hero in the stable what's that to do with it baguette ain't the worst man in the world by any means if he was a little cross last night he ain't so always you'd be cross yourself miss if you didn't get straw enough under you to take off the hardness of the stones but you would go and live with him and he my husband and why shouldn't a woman live with her husband and what does it matter where I live or how you ain't going to marry John Gordon I know to save me from Timothy baguette then the letter had come the letter from Mary's lover and Mary retired to her own room to read it the letter she thought was perfect but not so perfect as was mr. Whittle staff when she had read the letter although she had pressed it to her bosom and kissed it a score of times although she had declared that it was the letter of one who was from head to foot a man still there was room for that jealousy of which John Gordon had spoken when Mary had said to herself that he was of all human beings surely the best it was to mr. Whittle staff and not to John Gordon that she made allusion end of chapter 22 recording by Arnold banner Thurmond North Carolina

One thought on “Old Man's Love | Anthony Trollope | Literary Fiction | Audiobook Full | English | 4/5

  1. Old Man's Love | Anthony Trollope | Literary Fiction | Audiobook Full | English | 4/5
    18: [00:17:11] – MR AND MRS TOOKEY
    21: [01:19:56] – THE GREEN PARK
    22: [01:39:52] – JOHN GORDON WRITES A LETTER

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