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who was thrust aside, his fidelity and
devotion availing him nothing, directly a
more eligible opportunity offered itself.
That would be sweet indeed! Yes, his
mind was made up; he would use all his
energies for the prosecution of the scheme;
it should be war to the knife between him
and Marian Creswell.

Joyce's manner was so thorough and so
hearty, his remarks were so practical, and
his spirits so high, when he called on
Messrs. Potter and Fyfe on the next day,
that those gentlemen were far better pleased
with him, and far more sanguine of his
popularity and consequent success at
Brocksopp, than they had been after the first
interview. Modesty and self-depreciation
were qualities very seldom seen, and very
little esteemed, in the parliamentary agents'
offices in Abingdon-street. The opinion of
the head of the firm was that Walter
wanted "go," and it was only owing to the
strenuous interposition of Mr. Harrington,
who knew Joyce's writings, and had more
than once heard him speak in public, that
they did not openly bemoan their choice
and proceed to look out for somebody else.
This, however, they did not do; neither did
they mention their doubts to the deputation
from Brocksopp, the members of which
did not, indeed, give them time to do so,
had they been so inclined, clearing out so
soon as the interview was over, and making
back to the Tavistock Hotel, in Covent
Garden, there to eat enormous dinners,
and thence to sally forth for the enjoyment
of those festivities in which our provincials
so much delight, and the reminiscences of
which serve for discussion months
afterwards. The parliamentary agents were
very glad of their reticence the next
day. The young man's heartiness and
high spirits seemed contagious; 'the sound
of laughter, a phenomenon in Abingdon-
street, was heard by Mr. Harrington to
issue from "the governors' room;" and
old Mr. Potter forgot so far the staid
dignity of a chapel-deacon as to clap Walter
Joyce on the back, and wish him luck.
Joyce was going down on his first canvass
to Brocksopp by himself; he would not
take any one with him, not even Mr.
Harrington; he was much obliged to them;
he knew something of Mr. South, the local
Liberal agent (he laughed inwardly as he
said this, remembering how he used to look
upon Mr. South as a tremendous gun), and
he had no doubt they would get on very well

"You know South, Mr. Joyce?" said
Mr. Fyfe, " what a very curious thing! I
should have thought that old South's
celebrity was entirely local, or at all events
confined to the county."

"Doubtless it is," replied Joyce; "but
then you know I—"

"Ah! I forgot," interrupted Mr. Fyfe.
"You have some relations with the place.
Yes, yes, I heard! By the way, then, I
suppose you know your opponent, Mr.
KerswillCreswellwhat's his name?"

"Oh yes, I remember Mr. Creswell
perfectly; but he never saw much of me, and
I should scarcely think would recollect

"Ah! you'll excuse me, my dear sir,"
Mr. Fyfe added, after a short pause; " but
of course there's no necessity to impress
upon you the importance of courtesy
towards your opponentI mean Kerswill.
You're certain to meet on the hustings,
and most probably, in a swellish place like
Brocksopp, you'll be constantly running
across each other in the streets while
you're on your canvass. Then, courtesy,
my dear sir, before everything else!"

"You need not be afraid, Mr. Fyfe,"
said Joyce, smiling; "I shall be perfectly
courteous to Mr. Creswell!"

"Of course you will, my dear sir, of
course you will! Musn't think it odd in
me to suggest itpart of my business to
point these things out when I'm coaching
a candidate, and necessary too, deuced
necessary sometimes, though you wouldn't
think it. Less than six months ago, when
poor Wiggington was lost in his yacht in
the Mediterraneanyou remember?—we
sent down a man to stand for his borough.
Lord-. No! I won't tell you his
name; but the eldest son of an earl. The
other side sent down a man toa brewer,
or a maltster, or something of that kind,
but a deucedly gentlemanly fellow. They
met on their canvass, these two, just as you
and Kerswill might, and this man, like a
gentleman, took off his hat. What did
our man do? Stopped still, stuck his glass
in his eye, and stared, never bowed, never
movedgive you my word! Had to
withdraw him at once; his committee stood by
and saw it, and wouldn't act for him any
more! ' Lordship be damned!' that's what
they said. Strong language, but that's
what they saidgive you my word! Had
to withdraw him, too late to find another
man, so our people lost the seat!"

The first thing that astonished Joyce on
his arrival at Brocksopp was the sight of
his own name printed in large letters on

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