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throb, which made the green and violet ribbons jump and thrill; and then she came to herself, and recognised, as she had so often done before, that she had to fight her way by herself, and had nobody to look to. Such a thought is dreary enough sometimes, and there are minds that sink under it; but at other times it is like the touch of the mother earth which gave the giant back his strength; and Lucilla was of the latter class of intelligence. When she saw the triumph with which her embarrassment was received, and that she had no sympathy nor aid to look for, she recovered herself as if by magic. Let what would come in the way, nothing could alter her certainty that Mr Ashburton was the man for Carlingford; and that determination not to be beaten, which is the soul of British valour, sprang up in an instant in Miss Marjoribanks's mind. There was not even the alternative of victory or "Westminster Abbey for Lucilla. If she was ever to hold up her head again, or have any real respect for herself, she must win. All this passed through her head in the one bewildering moment, while her father's words were still making her ears tingle, and that name, printed in big inky letters, seemed to flutter in all the air round her. It was hard to believe the intelligence thus conveyed, and harder still to go on in the face of old friendships and the traditions of her youth; but still duty was dearer than tradition, and it was now a necessity to fight the battle to the last, and at all risks to win.
"Thank you all the same, papa, for bringing me the paper," said Lucilla. "It would have been a great deal worse if I had not known of it before I saw him. I am sure I am very glad for one thing. He can't be married or dead, as people used to say. I am quite ashamed to keep you so long down - stairs, aunt Jemima, when I know you must be longing for a cup of tea—but it is somebody come back whom nobody expected. Tell him I shall be so glad to see him, papa; though I have no reason to be glad, for he was one of my young friends, you know, and he is sure to think I have gone off." As she spoke, Lucilla turned aunt Jemima, to whom she had given her arm, quite round, that she might look into the great glass over the mantelpiece: "I don't think I am quite so much gone off as I expected to be," said Miss Marjoribanks, with candid impartiality; "though of course he will think me stouter—but it does not make any difference about Mr Ashburton being the right man for Carlingford" She said the words with a certain solemnity, and turned Mrs John, who was so much surprised as to be speechless, round again, and led her up-stairs. It was as if they were walking in a procession of those martyrs and renouncers of self, who build up the foundations of society; and it would not be too much
to say that under her present circumstances, and in the excitement of this singular and unexpected event, such was the painful but sublime consciousness which animated Lucilla's breast.
As for Dr Marjoribanks, his triumph was taken out of him by that spectacle. He closed the door after the ladies had gone, and came back to his easy-chair by the side of the fire, and could not but feel that he had had the worst of it. It was actually Mr Cavendish who had come home, and whose address to the electors of Carlingford, dated from Dover on his return to England, the Doctor had just put into his daughter's hand. But wonderful and unlooked-for as was the event, Lucilla, though taken unawares, had not given in, nor shown any signs of weakness. And the effect upon her father of her last utterance and confession was such that he took up the paper again and read both addresses, which were printed side by side. In other days Mr Cavendish had been the chosen candidate of Grange Lane; and the views which he expressed (and he expressed his views very freely) were precisely those of Dr Marjoribanks. Yet when the Doctor turned to Mr Ashburton's expression of his conviction that he was the right man for Carlingford, it cannot be denied that the force of that simple statement had a wonderful effect upon his mind—an effect all the greater, perhaps, in comparison with the political exposition made by the other unexpected candidate. The Doctor's meditations possibly took a slumbrous tone from the place and the moment at which ho pursued them; for the fact was that the words he had just been hearing ran in his head all through the reading of the two addresses. Mr Cavendish would think Lucilla had gone off; but yet she had not gone off so much as might have been expected, and Mr Ashburton was the man for Carlingford. Dr Marjoribanks laughed quietly by himself in his easychair, and then went back to Mr Cavendish's opinions; and ended again, without knowing it, in a kind of odd incipient agreement with Lucilla. The new candidate was right in politics; but, after all, Mr Ashburton was a more satisfactory sort of person. He was a man whom people knew everything about, and a descendant of old Tenrhyn, and had the Firs, and lived in it, and spent about so much money every year honestly in the face of the world. When a man conducts himself in this way, his neighbours can afford to be less exacting as to his political opinions. This comparison went on in the Doctor's thoughts until the distinction between the two grew confused and faint in that ruddy and genial glow of firelight and lamplight and personal wellbeing which is apt to engross a man's mind after he has come in out of the air, as people say, and has eaten a good dinner, and feels himself comfortable;
and at last all that remained in Dr Marjoribanks's mind was that Mr Cavendish would think Lucilla had gone off, though she had not gone off nearly so much as might have been expected; at which he laughed with an odd sound, which roused him, and might have induced some people to think he had been sleeping— if, indeed, anybody had been near to hear.
But this news was naturally much more serious to Miss Marjoribanks when she got up-stairs, and had time to think of it. She would not have been human if she had heard without emotion of the return of the man whom she had once dreamed of as member for Carlingford, with the addition of other dreams which had not been altogether without their sweetness. He had returned now and then for a few days, but Lucilla knew that he had never held up his head in Grange Lane since the day when she advised him to marry Barbara Lake. And now when he had bethought himself of his old ambition, had he possibly bethought himself of other hopes as well? And the horrible thing was, that she had pledged herself to another, and put her seal upon it that Mr Ashburton was the man for Carlingford! It may be supposed that, with such a complication in her mind, Miss Marjoribanks was very little capable of supporting aunt Jemima's questions as to what it was about, and who was Mr Cavendish, and why was his return of