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great men, and swinish multitudes, and return to our narrative. · The Squire was excessively irritated against Vortex, as well on account of his endeavouring to restrain his extravagance by limiting the bounty of the tenantry, as of his having given publicity to the report of his being married to Mrs. Fitzwaddle. Brush, as we have said before, had been an in veterate opponent to Vortex ever since he had knocked up the coalition, and dispossessed the coalitionists of their bed of roses. He and all the hungry crew, who wished to get into the store rooms, had espoused the cause of the Squire, whom they unblushingly represented as having been illiberally treated. An occasion soon after presented itself, which called into play all the abilities and intrigue, which ambition, avarice, and lust of power, inflamed them to exert against each other. Both parties had the stale device of the Public Good,'inscribed on their banners, to colour their design, ai captanduin vulgus, as experienced fishermen very cften mddy the stream to prevent the fish from discovering the danger, which is concealed under the bait.
“ Ambition, like a torrent, ne'er looks back:
The cause was this: the good old Lord Gildrig was seized with a disorder, which the phy: sicians either would not, or could not, account for; but they were, at length, obliged to declare, that the Lord was incapable of superintending the affairs of the manor. Brush and his party thought that the present was a favourable time to storm the Money-Bench, and triumph and exultation shone upon their, till then, gloomy faces. Brush hastened towards the door of the Steward's room; and Merryman, after having wetted both eyes with brandy, for the same reason as
“ Michael from Adam's eyes the film remov'd,
-and borrowed from the property-man of the theatre the iron bar, with which Romeo forces the tomb of Juliet, ran to break open the cellar door of the Mansion House, or the Treasury-he did not care which, for the latter gave access to all the rooms in the house. The whole party fol. . lowed, to partake of the loaves and fishes ; but Billy Vortex stood before the door of the Treasury, which he was resolved to defend to the last drop of his blood; Old Hurlothrombo, the lord · keeper, stood beside him, flourishing a broom
stick, and crying, “ When I forget my Lord, may my Lord forget me. -D-e Billy! who's afraid ?” Vortex was armed with the court rolls of the manor, which he proposed to have examined for precedents of similar, or analogous unfortunate cases. Brush asserted, that there were no such preceden s, and that, under existing circumstances, the heir-apparent had as indisputable a claim to the seignory, in the name and on the behalf of the Lord, during his incapacity, as in the case of his death. Vortex, on the contrary, maintained, that the heir-apparent had no more right than any of the tenants, to whom it pertained to supply the deficiency as they should think proper. The end of the parties in this contest must be perfectly obvi.
ous to the Reader, if he has a single grain of comprehension:-Vortex had no inclination to go out of his office, and Brush had a great desire to get into it. If the heir-apparent was appointed the locum-tenens, or acting Lord, Vortex must go out; if a committee should be ap. pointed, Brush must stay out. The worthy Lady Gildrig, who entertained apprehensions that if the Squire could once get the reins into his own hand, it would be a very difficult matter to get them out of it again, even if the Lord's temporary incapacity should cease, took part with Vortex. Two or three of the Squire's younger brothers, on the other hand, sided with Brush, and took an open part in the contest, although the tenantry conceived that it would have been much more decorous in them to have remained neuter. The question was agitated with the utmost vehemence, and the tenants looked on with the greatest astonishment, terror and expectation, whilst the ball was bandied about, to see who would get possession of it; when to their great comfort and satisfaction, the physicians announced that the Lord was in a state of convalescency. All their
apprehensions grounded on the Scripture saying, that a house, divided in itself, can never stand, instantly began to subside. They exulted in the defeat of the invaders of the pantry and butlery, and it was evident that the Lord had no better opinion of the Squire's intentions than his Lady, by his continuing Vortex in his stewardship, and setting his face against Brush ever afterwards. When the victory was completed by the Lord's perfect recovery, the victors chaunted a solemn Te Deum, whilst the vanquished drowned their defeat at the expense of their wine merehants.