Page:The King's Men (1884).djvu/36

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26
THE KINGS MEN.

"I cannot yet bring myself to sympathize with the Liberals, although their leader, Richard Lincoln, is a great and upright man. While the King lives I can no more be disloyal to the House of Hanover than my namesake up there could have been to his master's cause. Still, I feel we are living in an age when opinions are no more secure from revolution than dynasties."

"Speaking just now of the Chevalier Bayard reminds me that Jawkins mentioned as one of the guests he had procured for the occasion—"

"Like so much plate or china," interrupted the quondam peer, bitterly.

"Sir John Dacre," continued Miss Windsor, without regard to his petulance.

"John Dacre?" he cried, with interest.

"Yes. Do you know him?"

"Know him! He was one of my dearest college friends. He is a man of the utmost dignity of soul and consummate breeding."

"Jawkins spoke of him with positive awe as a gentleman of the old school. 'He is a chevalier sans peur et sans reproche, miss,' said, he, 'and one of my choicest specimens. He is more precious than Sèvres china; but at present he declines pay.'"

"St. George and the dragon!" cried Lord Brompton, "what would Dacre say could he hear the comparison? Jawkins's life would not be worth an hour's purchase. We regarded John Dacre at Oxford as the ideal of a chivalric nature."

"You interest me greatly," said she. "But what has he been doing since you graduated?"

"We have not met, but I have heard of him as loyal