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Cashel Byron's Profession

Chapter 16
Miss Carew, averse to the anomalous relations of courtship, made as little delay as
possible in getting married. Cashel's luck was not changed by the event. Bingley Byron
died three weeks after the ceremony (which was civic and private); and Cashel had to
claim possession of the property in Dorsetshire, in spite of his expressed wish that the
lawyers would take themselves and the property to the devil, and allow him to enjoy his
honeymoon in peace. The transfer was not, however, accomplished at once. Owing to
his mother's capricious reluctance to give the necessary information without reserve,
and to the law's delay, his first child was born some time before his succession was fully
established and the doors of his ancestral hall opened to him. The conclusion of the
business was a great relief to his attorneys, who had been unable to shake his
conviction that the case was clear enough, but that the referee had been squared. By
this he meant that the Lord Chancellor had been bribed to keep him out of his property.
His marriage proved an unusually happy one. To make up for the loss of his occupation,
he farmed, and lost six thousand pounds by it; tried gardening with better success;
began to meddle in commercial enterprises, and became director of several trading
companies in the city; and was eventually invited to represent a Dorsetshire
constituency in Parliament in the Radical interest. He was returned by a large majority;
and, having a loud voice and an easy manner, he soon acquired some reputation both
in and out of the House of Commons by the popularity of his own views, and the extent
of his wife's information, which he retailed at second hand. He made his maiden speech
in the House unabashed the first night he sat there. Indeed, he was afraid of nothing
except burglars, big dogs, doctors, dentists, and street-crossings. Whenever any
accident occurred through any of these he preserved the newspaper in which it was
reported, read it to Lydia very seriously, and repeated his favorite assertion that the only
place in which a man was safe was the ring. As he objected to most field sports on the
ground of inhumanity, she, fearing that he would suffer in health and appearance from
want of systematic exercise, suggested that he should resume the practice of boxing
with gloves. But he was lazy in this matter, and had a prejudice that boxing did not
become a married man. His career as a pugilist was closed by his marriage.
His admiration for his wife survived the ardor of his first love for her, and she employed
all her forethought not to disappoint his reliance on her judgment. She led a busy life,
and wrote some learned monographs, as well as a work in which she denounced
education as practised in the universities and public schools. Her children inherited her
acuteness and refinement with their father's robustness and aversion to study. They
were precocious and impudent, had no respect for Cashel, and showed any they had
for their mother principally by running to her when they were in difficulties. She never
punished nor scolded them; but she contrived to make their misdeeds recoil naturally
upon them so inevitably that they soon acquired a lively moral sense which restrained
them much more effectually than the usual methods of securing order in the nursery.
Cashel treated them kindly for the purpose of conciliating them; and when Lydia spoke
of them to him in private, he seldom said more than that the imps were too sharp for
 
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