Page:The King's Men (1884).djvu/23

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13
RICHARD LINCOLN.

the effect of his words, "only two Englishmen have been heard of to any extent—the demagogue leader, Bagshaw, and Sir John Dacre, the insolent young leader of the aristocrats."

This time it was the daughter that flushed at Mr. Patterson's words.

"Mr. Dacre is not insolent," said Mary, warmly. "I have met him several times. He is a most remarkable man."

"He couldn't well be insolent to you, Mary," the wily Patterson answered, with a smile for his favorite, who usually agreed with his radicalism," but his tone to the public is a different thing."

"You extremists are at least responsible for one of these—for the demagogue—" said Richard Lincoln.

"Yes; I admit it. The election of Bagshaw for Liverpool was a terrible mistake. But, if we had had our way, the other evil should have lost its head—O, I beg your pardon, Mary; I did not mean your friend, Mr. Dacre, but the principle he represents."

Mary Lincoln had exclaimed as if shocked, which brought out the concluding words from Mr. Patterson.

"If one were gone, would not the danger be greater.?" asked Richard Lincoln." They keep each other in check. They are useful enemies."

"Take care they don't some day turn round and be useful friends," retorted Patterson. "I believe they did so in Derby yesterday. If they were to do it in Nottingham they would sweep the city."

Mr. Patterson had scored his mark. The ex-Minister was silent and thoughtful.

"The Republic is like an iceberg," he said presently,