“The truth is I do not know him,” said he, trying to correct his blunder.
“No;—not as yet. But I hope that you may some day, as he is one of those men who are both useful and estimable.”
“I do not know that I can use him,” said Phineas; “but if you wish it, I will endeavour to esteem him.”
“I wish you to do both;—but that will all come in due time. I think it probable that in the early autumn there will be a great gathering of the real Whig Liberals at Loughlinter;—of those, I mean, who have their heart in it, and are at the same time gentlemen. If it is so, I should be sorry that you should not be there. You need not mention it, but Mr. Kennedy has just said a word about it to papa, and a word from him always means so much! Well;—good-night; and mind you come up on Friday. You are going to the club, now, of course. I envy you men your clubs more than I do the House;—though I feel that a woman’s life is only half a life, as she cannot have a seat in Parliament.”
Then Phineas went away, and walked down to Pall Mall with Laurence Fitzgibbon. He would have preferred to take his walk alone, but he could not get rid of his affectionate countryman. He wanted to think over what had taken place during the evening; and, indeed, he did so in spite of his friend’s conversation. Lady Laura, when she first saw him after his return to London, had told him how anxious her father was to congratulate him on his seat, but the Earl had not spoken a word to him on the subject. The Earl had been courteous, as hosts customarily are, but had been in no way specially kind to him. And then Mr. Kennedy! As to going to Loughlinter, he would not do such a thing,—not though the success of the liberal party were to depend on it. He declared to himself that there were some things which a man could not do. But although he was not altogether satisfied with what had occurred in Portman Square, he felt as he walked down arm-in-arm with Fitzgibbon that Mr. Low and Mr. Low’s counsels must be scattered to the winds. He had thrown the die in consenting to stand for Loughshane, and must stand the hazard of the cast.
“Bedad, Phin, my boy, I don’t think you’re listening to me at all,” said Laurence Fitzgibbon.
“I’m listening to every word you say,” said Phineas.
“And if I have to go down to the ould country again this session, you’ll go with me?”
“If I can I will.”
“That’s my boy! And it’s I that hope you’ll have the chance. What’s the good of turning these fellows out if one isn’t to get something for one’s trouble?”
Mr. and Mrs. Bunce