Man and Wife eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 882 pages of information about Man and Wife.

In the House of Commons the new member and Mr. Vanborough met again.

They sat on the same bench, and sided with the same party.  Mr. Delamayn noticed that Mr. Vanborough was looking old and worn and gray.  He put a few questions to a well-informed person.  The well-informed person shook his head.  Mr. Vanborough was rich; Mr. Vanborough was well-connected (through his wife); Mr. Van borough was a sound man in every sense of the word; but—­nobody liked him.  He had done very well the first year, and there it had ended.  He was undeniably clever, but he produced a disagreeable impression in the House.  He gave splendid entertainments, but he wasn’t popular in society.  His party respected him, but when they had any thing to give they passed him over.  He had a temper of his own, if the truth must be told; and with nothing against him—­on the contrary, with every thing in his favor—­he didn’t make friends.  A soured man.  At home and abroad, a soured man.


Five years more passed, dating from the day when the deserted wife was laid in her grave.  It was now the year eighteen hundred and sixty six.

On a certain day in that year two special items of news appeared in the papers—­the news of an elevation to the peerage, and the news of a suicide.

Getting on well at the Bar, Mr. Delamayn got on better still in Parliament.  He became one of the prominent men in the House.  Spoke clearly, sensibly, and modestly, and was never too long.  Held the House, where men of higher abilities “bored” it.  The chiefs of his party said openly, “We must do something for Delamayn,” The opportunity offered, and the chiefs kept their word.  Their Solicitor-General was advanced a step, and they put Delamayn in his place.  There was an outcry on the part of the older members of the Bar.  The Ministry answered, “We want a man who is listened to in the House, and we have got him.”  The papers supported the new nomination.  A great debate came off, and the new Solicitor-General justified the Ministry and the papers.  His enemies said, derisively, “He will be Lord Chancellor in a year or two!” His friends made genial jokes in his domestic circle, which pointed to the same conclusion.  They warned his two sons, Julius and Geoffrey (then at college), to be careful what acquaintances they made, as they might find themselves the sons of a lord at a moment’s notice.  It really began to look like something of the sort.  Always rising, Mr. Delamayn rose next to be Attorney-General.  About the same time—­so true it is that “nothing succeeds like success”—­a childless relative died and left him a fortune.  In the summer of ’sixty-six a Chief Judgeship fell vacant.  The Ministry had made a previous appointment which had been universally unpopular.  They saw their way to supplying the place of their Attorney-General, and they offered the judicial appointment to Mr. Delamayn.  He preferred remaining in the

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Man and Wife from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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