‘A great object the other way,’ Clara had nearly cried, in her indignation that James could not be supposed disinterested in an invitation to an old man, who probably was destitute.
Brother and uncle appeared to have left her out of the consultation; but she was resolved not to let him be a burthen on those who had so little already, and she called her old friend Jane to take counsel with her, whether it would not be doing them an injury to carry him thither at all. So much of Jane’s heart as was not at Cheveleigh was at Dynevor Terrace, and her answer was decided.
‘To be sure, Miss Clara, nothing couldn’t be more natural.’
‘Nothing, indeed, but I can’t put them to trouble and expense.’
‘I’ll warrant,’ said Jane, ’that I’ll make whatever they have go twice as far as Charlotte ever will. Why, you know I keeps myself; and for the rest, it will be a mere saving to have me in the kitchen! There’s no air so good for Master Oliver.’
‘I see you mean to go, Jane,’ said Clara. ’Now, I have to look out for myself.’
’Bless me, Miss Clara, don’t you do nothing in a hurry. Go home quiet and look about you.’
Jane had begun to call Northwold home; and, in spite of her mournings over the old place, Clara thought she had never been so happy there as in her present dominion over Master Oliver, and her prospects of her saucepans and verbenas at No. 5.
Poor Oliver! what a scanty measure of happiness had his lifelong exertions produced! Many a human sacrifice has been made to a grim and hollow idol, failing his devotees in time of extremity. Had it not been thus with Oliver Dynevor’s self-devotion to the honour of his family?
FAREWELL TO GREATNESS.
Soon from the halls my fathers reared
Their scutcheons must descend.
Mr. Holdsworth contrived to set James at liberty for a fortnight, and he was thus enabled to watch over the negotiation, and expedite matters for the removal. The result was, that the resignation of the estate, furniture, and of Clara’s jewels, honourably cleared off the debts contracted in poor Mr. Dynevor’s eagerness to reinstate the family in all its pristine grandeur, and left him totally dependent on whatever might be rescued in Peru. He believed this to be considerable, but the brother and sister founded little hopes on the chance; as, whatever there might be, had been entangled in the Equatorial Company, and nothing could be less comprehensible than Mr. Robson’s statements.
Clara retained her own seventy pounds per annum, which, thrown into the common stock, would, James assured her, satisfy him, in a pecuniary point of view, that he was doing no wrong to his children; though he added, that even if there had been nothing, he did not believe they would ever be the worse for what might be spent on their infirm old uncle.