‘I must get that money for Longestaffe,’ said Melmotte to his friend.
’What, eighty thousand pounds! You can’t do it this week,—nor yet before this day week.’
’It isn’t eighty thousand pounds. I’ve renewed the mortgage, and that makes it only fifty. If I can manage the half of that which goes to the son, I can put the father off.’
‘You must raise what you can on the whole property.’
‘I’ve done that already,’ said Melmotte hoarsely.
‘And where’s the money gone?’
’Brehgert has had L40,000. I was obliged to keep it up with them. You can manage L25,000 for me by Monday?’ Mr Cohenlupe said that he would try, but intimated his opinion that there would be considerable difficulty in the operation.
The Conservative party at this particular period was putting its shoulder to the wheel,—not to push the coach up any hill, but to prevent its being hurried along at a pace which was not only dangerous, but manifestly destructive. The Conservative party now and then does put its shoulder to the wheel, ostensibly with the great national object above named; but also actuated by a natural desire to keep its own head well above water and be generally doing something, so that other parties may not suppose that it is moribund. There are, no doubt, members of it who really think that when some object has been achieved,—when, for instance, a good old Tory has been squeezed into Parliament for the borough of Porcorum, which for the last three parliaments has been represented by a Liberal,—the coach has been really stopped. To them, in their delightful faith, there comes at these triumphant moments a conviction that after all the people as a people have not been really in earnest in their efforts to take something from the greatness of the great, and to add something to the lowliness of the lowly. The handle of the windlass has been broken, the wheel is turning fast the reverse way, and the rope of Radical progress is running back. Who knows what may not be regained if the Conservative party will only put its shoulder to the wheel and take care that the handle of the windlass be not mended! Sticinthemud, which has ever been a doubtful little borough, has just been carried by a majority of fifteen! A long pull, a strong pull, and a pull altogether,—and the old day will come back again. Venerable patriarchs think of Lord Liverpool and other heroes, and dream dreams of Conservative bishops, Conservative lord-lieutenants, and of a Conservative ministry that shall remain in for a generation.