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Chapter 37
"Thrice happy she that is so well assured
Unto herself and settled so in heart
That neither will for better be allured
Ne fears to worse with any chance to start,
But like a steddy ship doth strongly part
The raging waves and keeps her course aright;
Ne aught for tempest doth from it depart,
Ne aught for fairer weather's false delight.
Such self-assurance need not fear the spight
Of grudging foes; ne favour seek of friends;
But in the stay of her own stedfast might
Neither to one herself nor other bends.
Most happy she that most assured doth rest,
But he most happy who such one loves best."
The doubt hinted by Mr. Vincy whether it were only the general election or the
end of the world that was coming on, now that George the Fourth was dead,
Parliament dissolved, Wellington and Peel generally depreciated and the new
King apologetic, was a feeble type of the uncertainties in provincial opinion at
that time. With the glow-worm lights of country places, how could men see which
were their own thoughts in the confusion of a Tory Ministry passing Liberal
measures, of Tory nobles and electors being anxious to return Liberals rather
than friends of the recreant Ministers, and of outcries for remedies which seemed
to have a mysteriously remote bearing on private interest, and were made
suspicious by the advocacy of disagreeable neighbors? Buyers of the
Middlemarch newspapers found themselves in an anomalous position: during the
agitation on the Catholic Question many had given up the "Pioneer"--which had a
motto from Charles James Fox and was in the van of progress-- because it had
taken Peel's side about the Papists, and had thus blotted its Liberalism with a
toleration of Jesuitry and Baal; but they were illsatisfied with the "Trumpet,"
which--since its blasts against Rome, and in the general flaccidity of the public
mind (nobody knowing who would support whom)--had become feeble in its
It was a time, according to a noticeable article in the "Pioneer," when the crying
needs of the country might well counteract a reluctance to public action on the
part of men whose minds had from long experience acquired breadth as well as
concentration, decision of judgment as well as tolerance, dispassionateness as
well as energy-- in fact, all those qualities which in the melancholy experience of
mankind have been the least disposed to share lodgings.
Mr. Hackbutt, whose fluent speech was at that time floating more widely than
usual, and leaving much uncertainty as to its ultimate channel, was heard to say
in Mr. Hawley's office that the article in question "emanated" from Brooke of
Tipton, and that Brooke had secretly bought the "Pioneer" some months ago.