<SPAN name="link2HCH0005" id="link2HCH0005">
<!-- H2 anchor --> </SPAN>
<div style="height: 4em;">
<br /><br /><br /><br />
TO tie a prominent statesman to her train and to lead him about like a
tame bear, is for a young and vivacious woman a more certain amusement
than to tie herself to him and to be dragged about like an Indian squaw.
This fact was Madeleine Lee's first great political discovery in
Washington, and it was worth to her all the German philosophy she had ever
read, with even a complete edition of Herbert Spencer's works into the
bargain. There could be no doubt that the honours and dignities of a
public career were no fair consideration for its pains. She made a little
daily task for herself of reading in succession the lives and letters of
the American Presidents, and of their wives, when she could find that
there was a trace of the latter's existence. What a melancholy spectacle
it was, from George Washington down to the last incumbent; what vexations,
what disappointments, what grievous mistakes, what very objectionable
manners! Not one of them, who had aimed at high purpose, but had been
thwarted, beaten, and habitually insulted! What a gloom lay on the
features of those famous chieftains, Calhoun, Clay, and Webster; what
varied expression of defeat and unsatisfied desire; what a sense of
self-importance and senatorial magniloquence; what a craving for flattery;
what despair at the sentence of fate! And what did they amount to, after
They were practical men, these! they had no great problems of thought to
settle, no questions that rose above the ordinary rules of common morals
and homely duty. How they had managed to befog the subject! What elaborate
show-structures they had built up, with no result but to obscure the
horizon! Would not the country have done better without them? Could it
have done worse? What deeper abyss could have opened under the nation's
feet, than that to whose verge they brought it?
Madeleine's mind wearied with the monotony of the story. She discussed the
subject with Ratcliffe, who told her frankly that the pleasure of politics
lay in the possession of power. He agreed that the country would do very
well without him. "But here I am," said he, "and here I mean to stay." He
had very little sympathy for thin moralising, and a statesmanlike contempt
for philosophical politics. He loved power, and he meant to be President.
That was enough.
Sometimes the tragic and sometimes the comic side was uppermost in her
mind, and sometimes she did not herself know whether to cry or to laugh.
Washington more than any other city in the world swarms with simple-minded
exhibitions of human nature; men and women curiously out of place, whom it
would be cruel to ridicule and ridiculous to weep over. The sadder
exhibitions are fortunately seldom seen by respectable people; only the
little social accidents come under their eyes. One evening Mrs. Lee went
to the President's first evening reception. As Sybil flatly refused to
face the crowd, and Carrington mildly said that he feared he was not
sufficiently reconstructed to appear at home in that august presence, Mrs.
Lee accepted Mr. French for an escort, and walked across the Square with
him to join the throng that was pouring into the doors of the White House.
They took their places in the line of citizens and were at last able to
enter the reception-room. There Madeleine found herself before two
seemingly mechanical figures, which might be wood or wax, for any sign
they showed of life. These two figures were the President and his wife;
they stood stiff and awkward by the door, both their faces stripped of
every sign of intelligence, while the right hands of both extended
themselves to the column of visitors with the mechanical action of toy
dolls. Mrs. Lee for a moment began to laugh, but the laugh died on her
lips. To the President and his wife this was clearly no laughing matter.
There they stood, automata, representatives of the society which streamed
past them. Madeleine seized Mr. French by the arm.
"Take me somewhere at once," said she, "where I can look at it. Here! in
the corner. I had no conception how shocking it was!"
Mr. French supposed she was thinking of the queer-looking men and women
who were swarming through the rooms, and he made, after his own delicate
notion of humour, some uncouth jests on those who passed by. Mrs. Lee,
however, was in no humour to explain or even to listen. She stopped him
"There, Mr. French! Now go away and leave me. I want to be alone for half
an hour. Please come for me then." And there she stood, with her eyes
fixed on the President and his wife, while the endless stream of humanity
passed them, shaking hands.
What a strange and solemn spectacle it was, and how the deadly fascination
of it burned the image in upon her mind! What a horrid warning to
And in all that crowd there was no one besides herself who felt the
mockery of this exhibition. To all the others this task was a regular part
of the President's duty, and there was nothing ridiculous about it. They
thought it a democratic institution, this droll a ping of monarchical
forms. To them the deadly dulness of the show was as natural and proper as
ever to the courtiers of the Philips and Charleses seemed the ceremonies
of the Escurial. To her it had the effect of a nightmare, or of an
opium-eater's vision, She felt a sudden conviction that this was to be the
end of American society; its realisation and dream at once. She groaned in
"Yes! at last I have reached the end! We shall grow to be wax images, and
our talk will be like the squeaking of toy dolls. We shall all wander
round and round the earth and shake hands. No one will have any object in
this world, and there will be no other. It is worse than anything in the
'Inferno.' What an awful vision of eternity!"
Suddenly, as through a mist, she saw the melancholy face of Lord Skye
approaching. He came to her side, and his voice recalled her to reality.
"Does it amuse you, this sort of thing?" he asked in a vague way.
"We take our amusement sadly, after the manner of our people," she
replied; "but it certainly interests me."
They stood for a time in silence, watching the slowly eddying dance of
Democracy, until he resumed:
"Whom do you take that man to be—the long, lean one, with a long
woman on each arm?"
"That man," she replied, "I take to be a Washington department-clerk, or
perhaps a member of Congress from Iowa, with a wife and wife's sister. Do
they shock your nobility?"
He looked at her with comical resignation. "You mean to tell me that they
are quite as good as dowager-countesses. I grant it. My aristocratic
spirit is broken, Mrs. Lee. I will even ask them to dinner if you bid me,
and if you will come to meet them. But the last time I asked a member of
Congress to dine, he sent me back a note in pencil on my own envelope that
he would bring two of his friends with him, very respectable constituents
from Yahoo city, or some such place; nature's noblemen, he said."
"You should have welcomed them."
"I did. I wanted to see two of nature's noblemen, and I knew they would
probably be pleasanter company than their representative. They came; very
respectable persons, one with a blue necktie, the other with a red one:
both had diamond pins in their shirts, and were carefully brushed in
respect to their hair. They said nothing, ate little, drank less, and were
much better behaved than I am. When they went away, they unanimously asked
me to stay with them when I visited Yahoo city."
"You will not want guests if you always do that."
"I don't know. I think it was pure ignorance on their part. They knew no
better, and they seemed modest enough. My only complaint was that I could
get nothing out of them. I wonder whether their wives would have been more
"Would they be so in England, Lord Skye?"
He looked down at her with half-shut eyes, and drawled: "You know my
"Hardly at all."
"Then let us discuss some less serious subject."
"Willingly. I have waited for you to explain to me why you have to-night
an expression of such melancholy."
"Is that quite friendly, Mrs. Lee? Do I really look melancholy?"
"Unutterably, as I feel. I am consumed with curiosity to know the reason."
The British minister coolly took a complete survey of the whole room,
ending with a prolonged stare at the President and his wife, who were
still mechanically shaking hands; then he looked back into her face, and
said never a word.
She insisted: "I must have this riddle answered. It suffocates me. I
should not be sad at seeing these same people at work or at play, if they
ever do play; or in a church or a lecture-room. Why do they weigh on me
like a horrid phantom here?"
"I see no riddle, Mrs. Lee. You have answered your own question; they are
neither at work nor at play."
"Then please take me home at once. I shall have hysterics. The sight of
those two suffering images at the door is too mournful to be borne. I am
dizzy with looking at these stalking figures. I don't believe they're
real. I wish the house would take fire. I want an earthquake. I wish some
one would pinch the President, or pull his wife's hair."
Mrs. Lee did not repeat the experiment of visiting the White House, and
indeed for some time afterwards she spoke with little enthusiasm of the
presidential office. To Senator Ratcliffe she expressed her opinions
strongly. The Senator tried in vain to argue that the people had a right
to call upon their chief magistrate, and that he was bound to receive
them; this being so, there was no less objectionable way of proceeding
than the one which had been chosen. "Who gave the people any such right?"
asked Mrs. Lee. "Where does it come from? What do they want it for? You
know better, Mr. Ratcliffe! Our chief magistrate is a citizen like any one
else. What puts it into his foolish head to cease being a citizen and to
ape royalty? Our governors never make themselves ridiculous. Why cannot
the wretched being content himself with living like the rest of us, and
minding his own business? Does he know what a figure of fun he is?" And
Mrs. Lee went so far as to declare that she would like to be the
President's wife only to put an end to this folly; nothing should ever
induce her to go through such a performance; and if the public did not
approve of this, Congress might impeach her, and remove her from office;
all she demanded was the right to be heard before the Senate in her own
Nevertheless, there was a very general impression in Washington that Mrs.
Lee would like nothing better than to be in the White House. Known to
comparatively few people, and rarely discussing even with them the
subjects which deeply interested her, Madeleine passed for a clever,
intriguing woman who had her own objects to gain. True it is, beyond
peradventure, that all residents of Washington may be assumed to be in
office or candidates for office; unless they avow their object, they are
guilty of an attempt—and a stupid one—to deceive; yet there is
a small class of apparent exceptions destined at last to fall within the
rule. Mrs. Lee was properly assumed to be a candidate for office. To the
Washingtonians it was a matter of course that Mrs. Lee should marry Silas
P. Ratcliffe. That he should be glad to get a fashionable and intelligent
wife, with twenty or thirty thousand dollars a year, was not surprising.
That she should accept the first public man of the day, with a flattering
chance for the Presidency—a man still comparatively young and not
without good looks—was perfectly natural, and in her undertaking she
had the sympathy of all well-regulated Washington women who were not
possible rivals; for to them the President's wife is of more consequence
than the President; and, indeed, if America only knew it, they are not
very far from the truth.
Some there were, however, who did not assent to this good-natured though
worldly view of the proposed match. These ladies were severe in their
comments upon Mrs. Lee's conduct, and did not hesitate to declare their
opinion that she was the calmest and most ambitious minx who had ever come
within their observation. Unfortunately it happened that the respectable
and proper Mrs. Schuyler Clinton took this view of the case, and made
little attempt to conceal her opinion. She was justly indignant at her
cousin's gross worldliness, and possible promotion in rank.
"If Madeleine Ross marries that coarse, horrid old Illinois politician,"
said she to her husband, "I never will forgive her so long as I live."
Mr. Clinton tried to excuse Madeleine, and even went so far as to suggest
that the difference of age was no greater than in their own case; but his
wife trampled ruthlessly on his argument.
"At any rate," said she, "I never came to Washington as a widow on purpose
to set my cap for the first candidate for the Presidency, and I never made
a public spectacle of my indecent eagerness in the very galleries of the
Senate; and Mrs. Lee ought to be ashamed of herself. She is a
cold-blooded, heartless, unfeminine cat."
Little Victoria Dare, who babbled like the winds and streams, with utter
indifference as to what she said or whom she addressed, used to bring
choice bits of this gossip to Mrs. Lee. She always affected a little
stammer when she said anything uncommonly impudent, and put on a manner of
languid simplicity. She felt keenly the satisfaction of seeing Madeleine
charged with her own besetting sins. For years all Washington had agreed
that Victoria was little better than one of the wicked; she had done
nothing but violate every rule of propriety and scandalise every
well-regulated family in the city, and there was no good in her. Yet it
could not be denied that Victoria was amusing, and had a sort of irregular
fascination; consequently she was universally tolerated. To see Mrs. Lee
thrust down to her own level was an unmixed pleasure to her, and she
carefully repeated to Madeleine the choice bits of dialogue which she
picked up in her wanderings.
"Your cousin, Mrs. Clinton, says you are a ca-ca-cat, Mrs. Lee."
"I don't believe it, Victoria. Mrs. Clinton never said anything of the
"Mrs. Marston says it is because you have caught a ra-ra-rat, and Senator
Clinton was only a m-m-mouse!"
Naturally all this unexpected publicity irritated Mrs. Lee not a little,
especially when short and vague paragraphs, soon followed by longer and
more positive ones, in regard to Senator Ratcliffe's matrimonial
prospects, began to appear in newspapers, along with descriptions of
herself from the pens of enterprising female correspondents for the press,
who had never so much as seen her. At the first sight of one of these
newspaper articles, Madeleine fairly cried with mortification and anger.
She wanted to leave Washington the next day, and she hated the very
thought of Ratcliffe. There was something in the newspaper style so
inscrutably vulgar, something so inexplicably revolting to the sense of
feminine decency, that she shrank under it as though it were a poisonous
spider. But after the first acute shame had passed, her temper was roused,
and she vowed that she would pursue her own path just as she had begun,
without regard to all the malignity and vulgarity in the wide United
States. She did not care to marry Senator Ratcliffe; she liked his society
and was flattered by his confidence; she rather hoped to prevent him from
ever making a formal offer, and if not, she would at least push it off to
the last possible moment; but she was not to be frightened from marrying
him by any amount of spitefulness or gossip, and she did not mean to
refuse him except for stronger reasons than these. She even went so far in
her desperate courage as to laugh at her cousin, Mrs.
Clinton, whose venerable husband she allowed and even encouraged to pay
her such public attention and to express sentiments of such youthful
ardour as she well knew would inflame and exasperate the excellent lady
Carrington was the person most unpleasantly affected by the course which
this affair had taken. He could no longer conceal from himself the fact
that he was as much m love as a dignified Virginian could be. With him, at
all events, she had shown no coquetry, nor had she ever either flattered
or encouraged him. But Carrington, m his solitary struggle against fate,
had found her a warm friend; always ready to assist where assistance was
needed, generous with her money in any cause which he was willing to vouch
for, full of sympathy where sympathy was more than money, and full of
resource and suggestion where money and sympathy failed. Carrington knew
her better than she knew herself. He selected her books; he brought the
last speech or the last report from the Capitol or the departments; he
knew her doubts and her vagaries, and as far as he understood them at all,
helped her to solve them.
Carrington was too modest, and perhaps too shy, to act the part of a
declared lover, and he was too proud to let it be thought that he wanted
to exchange his poverty for her wealth. But he was all the more anxious
when he saw the evident attraction which Ratcliffe's strong will and
unscrupulous energy exercised over her. He saw that Ratcliffe was steadily
pushing his advances; that he flattered all Mrs. Lee's weaknesses by the
confidence and deference with which he treated her; and that in a very
short time, Madeleine must either marry him or find herself looked upon as
a heartless coquette. He had his own reasons for thinking ill of Senator
Ratcliffe, and he meant to prevent a marriage; but he had an enemy to deal
with not easily driven from the path, and quite capable of routing any
number of rivals.
Ratcliffe was afraid of no one. He had not fought his own way in life for
nothing, and he knew all the value of a cold head and dogged
Nothing but this robust Americanism and his strong will carried him safely
through the snares and pitfalls of Mrs. Lee's society, where rivals and
enemies beset him on every hand. He was little better than a schoolboy,
when he ventured on their ground, but when he could draw them over upon
his own territory of practical life he rarely failed to trample on his
It was this practical sense and cool will that won over Mrs. Lee, who was
woman enough to assume that all the graces were well enough employed in
decorating her, and it was enough if the other sex felt her superiority.
Men were valuable only in proportion to their strength and their
appreciation of women. If the senator had only been strong enough always
to control his temper, he would have done very well, but his temper was
under a great strain in these times, and his incessant effort to control
it in politics made him less watchful in private life. Mrs. Lee's tacit
assumption of superior refinement irritated him, and sometimes made him
show his teeth like a bull-dog, at the cost of receiving from Mrs. Lee a
quick stroke in return such as a well-bred tortoise-shell cat administers
to check over-familiarity; innocent to the eye, but drawing blood. One
evening when he was more than commonly out of sorts, after sitting some
time in moody silence, he roused himself, and, taking up a book that lay
on her table, he glanced at its title and turned over the leaves. It
happened by ill luck to be a volume of Darwin that Mrs. Lee had just
borrowed from the library of Congress.
"Do you understand this sort of thing?" asked the Senator abruptly, in a
tone that suggested a sneer.
"Not very well," replied Mrs. Lee, rather curtly.
"Why do you want to understand it?" persisted the Senator. "What good will
it do you?"
"Perhaps it will teach us to be modest," answered Madeleine, quite equal
to the occasion.
"Because it says we descend from monkeys?" rejoined the Senator, roughly.
"Do you think you are descended from monkeys?"
"Why not?" said Madeleine.
"Why not?" repeated Ratcliffe, laughing harshly. "I don't like the
connection. Do you mean to introduce your distant relations into society?"
"They would bring more amusement into it than most of its present
members," rejoined Mrs. Lee, with a gentle smile that threatened mischief.
But Ratcliffe would not be warned; on the contrary, the only effect of
Mrs. Lee's defiance was to exasperate his ill-temper, and whenever he lost
his temper he became senatorial and Websterian. "Such books," he began,
"disgrace our civilization; they degrade and stultify our divine nature;
they are only suited for Asiatic despotisms where men are reduced to the
level of brutes; that they should be accepted by a man like Baron Jacobi,
I can understand; he and his masters have nothing to do in the world but
to trample on human rights. Mr. Carrington, of course, would approve those
ideas; he believes in the divine doctrine of flogging negroes; but that
you, who profess philanthropy and free principles, should go with them, is
astonishing; it is incredible; it is unworthy of you."
"You are very hard on the monkeys," replied Madeleine, rather sternly,
when the Senator's oration was ended. "The monkeys never did you any harm;
they are not in public life; they are not even voters; if they were, you
would be enthusiastic about their intelligence and virtue. After all, we
ought to be grateful to them, for what would men do in this melancholy
world if they had not inherited gaiety from the monkeys—as well as
Ratcliffe, to do him justice, took punishment well, at least when it came
from Mrs. Lee's hands, and his occasional outbursts of insubordination
were sure to be followed by improved discipline; but if he allowed Mrs.
Lee to correct his faults, he had no notion of letting himself be
instructed by her friends, and he lost no chance of telling them so. But
to do this was not always enough. Whether it were that he had few ideas
outside of his own experience, or that he would not trust himself on
doubtful ground, he seemed compelled to bring every discussion down to his
own level. Madeleine puzzled herself in vain to find out whether he did
this because he knew no better, or because he meant to cover his own
"The Baron has amused me very much with his account of Bucharest society,"
Mrs. Lee would say: "I had no idea it was so gay."
"I would like to show him our society in Peonia," was Ratcliffe's reply;
"he would find a very brilliant circle there of nature's true noblemen."
"The Baron says their politicians are precious sharp chaps," added Mr.
"Oh, there are politicians in Bulgaria, are there?" asked the Senator,
whose ideas of the Roumanian and Bulgarian neighbourhood were vague, and
who had a general notion that all such people lived in tents, wore
sheepskins with the wool inside, and ate curds: "Oh, they have politicians
there! I would like to see them try their sharpness in the west."
"Really!" said Mrs. Lee. "Think of Attila and his hordes running an
"Anyhow," cried French with a loud laugh, "the Baron said that a set of
bigger political scoundrels than his friends couldn't be found in all
"Did he say that?" exclaimed Ratcliffe angrily.
"Didn't he, Mrs. Lee? but I don't believe it; do you? What's your candid
opinion, Ratcliffe? What you don't know about Illinois politics isn't
worth knowing; do you really think those Bulgrascals couldn't run an
Illinois state convention?"
Ratcliffe did not like to be chaffed, especially on this subject, but he
could not resent French's liberty which was only a moderate return for the
wooden nutmeg. To get the conversation away from Europe, from literature,
from art, was his great object, and chaff was a way of escape.
Carrington was very well aware that the weak side of the Senator lay in
his blind ignorance of morals. He flattered himself that Mrs. Lee must see
this and be shocked by it sooner or later, so that nothing more was
necessary than to let Ratcliffe expose himself. Without talking very much,
Carrington always aimed at drawing him out. He soon found, however, that
Ratcliffe understood such tactics perfectly, and instead of injuring, he
rather improved his position. At times the man's audacity was startling,
and even when Carrington thought him hopelessly entangled, he would sweep
away all the hunter's nets with a sheer effort of strength, and walk off
bolder and more dangerous than ever.
When Mrs. Lee pressed him too closely, he frankly admitted her charges.
"What you say is in great part true. There is much in politics that
disgusts and disheartens; much that is coarse and bad. I grant you there
is dishonesty and corruption. We must try to make the amount as small as
"You should be able to tell Mrs. Lee how she must go to work," said
Carrington; "you have had experience. I have heard, it seems to me, that
you were once driven to very hard measures against corruption."
Ratcliffe looked ill-pleased at this compliment, and gave Carrington one
of his cold glances that meant mischief. But he took up the challenge on
"Yes, I was, and am very sorry for it. The story is this, Mrs. Lee; and it
is well-known to every man, woman, and child in the State of Illinois, so
that I have no reason for softening it. In the worst days of the war there
was almost a certainty that my State would be carried by the peace party,
by fraud, as we thought, although, fraud or not, we were bound to save it.
Had Illinois been lost then, we should certainly have lost the
Presidential election, and with it probably the Union. At any rate, I
believed the fate of the war to depend on the result. I was then Governor,
and upon me the responsibility rested. We had entire control of the
northern counties and of their returns. We ordered the returning officers
in a certain number of counties to make no returns until they heard from
us, and when we had received the votes of all the southern counties and
learned the precise number of votes we needed to give us a majority, we
telegraphed to our northern returning officers to make the vote of their
districts such and such, thereby overbalancing the adverse returns and
giving the State to us. This was done, and as I am now senator I have a
right to suppose that what I did was approved. I am not proud of the
transaction, but I would do it again, and worse than that, if I thought it
would save this country from disunion. But of course I did not expect Mr.
Carrington to approve it. I believe he was then carrying out his reform
principles by bearing arms against the government."
"Yes!" said Carrington drily; "you got the better of me, too. Like the old
Scotchman, you didn't care who made the people's wars provided you made
Carrington had missed his point. The man who has committed a murder for
his country, is a patriot and not an assassin, even when he receives a
seat in the Senate as his share of the plunder. Women cannot be expected
to go behind the motives of that patriot who saves his country and his
election in times of revolution.
Carrington's hostility to Ratcliffe was, however, mild, when compared with
that felt by old Baron Jacobi. Why the baron should have taken so violent
a prejudice it is not easy to explain, but a diplomatist and a senator are
natural enemies, and Jacobi, as an avowed admirer of Mrs. Lee, found
Ratcliffe in his way. This prejudiced and immoral old diplomatist despised
and loathed an American senator as the type which, to his bleared European
eyes, combined the utmost pragmatical self-assurance and overbearing
temper with the narrowest education and the meanest personal experience
that ever existed in any considerable government. As Baron Jacobi's
country had no special relations with that of the United States, and its
Legation at Washington was a mere job to create a place for Jacobi to
fill, he had no occasion to disguise his personal antipathies, and he
considered himself in some degree as having a mission to express that
diplomatic contempt for the Senate which his colleagues, if they felt it,
were obliged to conceal. He performed his duties with conscientious
precision. He never missed an opportunity to thrust the sharp point of his
dialectic rapier through the joints of the clumsy and hide-bound
senatorial self-esteem. He delighted in skilfully exposing to Madeleine's
eyes some new side of Ratcliffe's ignorance. His conversation at such
times sparkled with historical allusions, quotations in half a dozen
different languages, references to well-known facts which an old man's
memory could not recall with precision in all their details, but with
which the Honourable Senator was familiarly acquainted, and which he could
readily supply. And his Voltairian face leered politely as he listened to
Ratcliffe's reply, which showed invariable ignorance of common literature,
art, and history. The climax of his triumph came one evening when
Ratcliffe unluckily, tempted by some allusion to Moli�re which he thought
he understood, made reference to the unfortunate influence of that great
man on the religious opinions of his time. Jacobi, by a flash of
inspiration, divined that he had confused Moli�re with Voltaire, and
assuming a manner of extreme suavity, he put his victim on the rack, and
tortured him with affected explanations and interrogations, until
Madeleine was in a manner forced to interrupt and end the scene. But even
when the senator was not to be lured into a trap, he could not escape
assault. The baron in such a case would cross the lines and attack him on
his own ground, as on one occasion, when Ratcliffe was defending his
doctrine of party allegiance, Jacobi silenced him by sneering somewhat
"Your principle is quite correct, Mr. Senator. I, too, like yourself, was
once a good party man: my party was that of the Church; I was
ultramontane. Your party system is one of your thefts from our Church;
your National Convention is our OEcumenic Council; you abdicate reason, as
we do, before its decisions; and you yourself, Mr. Ratcliffe, you are a
Cardinal. They are able men, those cardinals; I have known many; they were
our best friends, but they were not reformers. Are you a reformer, Mr.
Ratcliffe grew to dread and hate the old man, but all his ordinary tactics
were powerless against this impenetrable eighteenth century cynic. If he
resorted to his Congressional practise of browbeating and dogmatism, the
Baron only smiled and turned his back, or made some remark in French which
galled his enemy all the more, because, while he did not understand it, he
knew well that Madeleine did, and that she tried to repress her smile.
Ratcliffe's grey eyes grew colder and stonier than ever as he gradually
perceived that Baron Jacobi was carrying on a set scheme with malignant
ingenuity, to drive him out of Madeleine's house, and he swore a terrible
oath that he would not be beaten by that monkey-faced foreigner. On the
other hand Jacobi had little hope of success: "What can an old man do?"
said he with perfect sincerity to Carrington; "If I were forty years
younger, that great oaf should not have his own way. Ah! I wish I were
young again and we were in Vienna!" From which it was rightly inferred by
Carrington that the venerable diplomatist would, if such acts were still
in fashion, have coolly insulted the Senator, and put a bullet through his