|Aspern.||Pardon, my lord--I speak for Sigismund.|
For him? Oh, ay--for him I always hold|
A pardon safe in bank, sure he will draw
Sooner or later on me. What his need?
Mad project broken? fine mechanic wings
That would not fly? durance, assault on watch,
Bill for Epernay, not a crust to eat?
Oh, none of these, my lord; he has escaped|
From Circe's herd, and seeks to win the love
Of your fair ward Cecilia; but would win
First your consent. You frown.
|I said I held a pardon, not consent.|
IN spite of Deronda's reasons for wishing to be in town again-- reasons in which his anxiety for Mirah was blent with curiosity to know more of the enigmatic Mordecai--he did not manage to go up before Sir Hugo, who preceded his family that he might he ready for the opening of Parliament on the 6th of February. Deronda took up his quarters in Park Lane, aware that his chambers were sufficiently tenanted by Hans Meyrick. This was what he expected; but he found other things not altogether according to his expectations.
Most of us remember Retzsch's* drawing of destiny in the shape of Mephistopheles playing at chess with man for his soul, a game in which we may imagine the clever adversary making a feint of unintended moves so as to set the beguiled mortal on carrying his defensive pieces away from the true point of attack. The fiend makes preparation his favourite object of mockery, that he may fatally persuade us against our best safeguard: he even meddles so far as to suggest our taking out waterproofs when he is well aware the sky is going to clear, foreseeing that the imbecile will turn this delusion into a prejudice against waterproofs instead of giving a closer study to the weather-signs. It is a peculiar test of a man's metal when, after he has painfully adjusted himself to what seems a wise provision, he finds all his mental precaution a little beside the mark, and his excellent intentions no better than miscalculated dovetails, accurately cut from a wrong starting-point. His magnanimity has got itself ready to meet