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them. War raged with redoubled violence for this temporary truce, and the Bantam renewed his boast of invading Freeland, and actually marched a large body of troops to the edge of the moat for the purpose. Never was greater alacrity shewn by any people than the Freelanders in turning out to arms. Either the Squire was, or made a show of being, roused from his ignoble lethargy. He addressed a letter to Addleton, expressing his ardour to head the Freelanders in their defence of the manor; but as he had only the command of a company, he desired Addleton to use his influence with the Lord to bestow on him a command more suitable to the rank of the second personage in the manor,
Whether the Squire had been urged on by some doughty Parolles
"To th' wars, my boys, to th’ wars. He wears his honour in a box, unseen, -That hugs his kicksy-wicksy here at home; Spending his manly marrow in her arms, Which should sustain the bound and high curvet
Of Mars's fiery steed;" — or he wished to acquire popularity, or the power of creating dependents, was uncertain and doubtful; the request was, however, refused, probably because a jealousy still remained of the eagerness which he bad shewn to get into power during his father's illness. The reason alleged for the refusal was, that the chief civil and military commands would be incompatible with each other, and that, besides, the latter had been confided to his brother Frederic, who was a proper person to hold it.
Frederic was, in his youthful days, as has been already mentioned, strongly tinctured with some improper propensities, particularly that of gaming, which he had carried to an excess. Having one night been pigeoned of a vast property, when a military man, a Captain Joiner, was present, and in all probability against his inclination, the Lord, with whom he had been a great favourite, afterwards looked so coldly on him, that the unfortunate gentleman, unable to bear the loss of his favour, jogged the hand of Atropos, and made her fatal scissars cut his thread of life in twain before it was spun out. Either this tragical event, or repeated losses, or a thirst for military ardour, had awakened him from his dream. In the debates on the Squire's marriage-establishment, it was mentioned that he was bound for his brother in considerable sums;. but that these debts were in a train of Iquidation, and a course of punctual discharge; so that there was no fear of their becoming burthensome to the tenantry. This was true, and although Frederic had been unsuccessful abroad in practical warfare, yet he had shewn great abilities in organizing the troops at home. It was to be regretted, however, that the Squire's request could not have been, in some measure, granted, as it might have liberated him from the old talismanic charm, which had so long benumbed all his faculties.
As Brush and his party found Addleton to be inaccessible, like men of desperate fortunes who, finding nothing to be done in the present posture of affairs, imagine that any change will be for the better, they measured back their steps, and, without any previous understanding or hints at a coalition, they joined Vortex in so forcible an attack on Addleton, that he was obliged, though loth enough, to fly from the Money Bench. Vortex and Brush instantaneously rushed towards it: but, as the former was more of the greyhound make, he reached it first, and had
no sooner taken bis seat, than he bade bis competitor stand off, as it was no den for foxes. Brush shrugged up his shoulders, pulled up his small-clothes, cried out, “ A dead hoax, by G—” marched back to his old place, and fell into his old train of opposition to Vortex. Addleton, as he had been offended by both parties, was sulky, and would side with neither.
Brush and his party insisted that the manor was brought to the verge of ruin, and that nothing could rescue it from downfall, except a household was formed, on such a broad bottom, as would comprize All the Talents of the country; to wit, themselves !! This modesty caused the tenants to give them credit for as great a stock of impudence as ever any public body of men' possessed; but, as for talents--they suspended their judgment, not being so foolish as to speak well of a pudding before they had tasted it. The Brushites still continued to give themselves a good character, in strains somewhat like the following advertisement of a virtuous and honest maid of all - work, which is frequently to be met with in the newspaper :
“ Wants a place- A maid servant, who is
capable of putting her hand to any thing. A single gentleman's would be preferred.”
The Brushites only parodied this :
“ Want places, or pensions,—A body of men monopolizing all the talents of the country. A K--g, who may be led by the nose, would be preferred.”
Vortex ridiculed the broad bottoms, and, like a positive tub as he was, swore that he would stand on his own bottom.
Vortex resumed his old schemes of raising a confederacy against the Gulls by gifts and loans of money, and as the Lord of the Gormands was very uneasy under the yoke which the Bantam had imposed upon him, he was easily induced to prepare for another struggle. It was, however, an unfortunate bait that he had swallowed; for the Bantam got intelligence of his designs, and coming upon bim before he was in readiness, he beat, by dint of arms and bribery, all his warriors, and even took possession of his mansion-house, where the Bantam finally reduced him to a mere cypher.
The sensations of the Freelanders at those painful tidings were somewhat allayed by the