In the early days of the paper, the proprietor, who at that time acted also as chief editor, asked me to undertake a duty — of which the agony would indeed at no one moment have been so sharp as that endured in the casual ward, but might have been prolonged until human nature sank under it. He suggested to me that I should during an entire season attend the May meetings in Exeter Hall, and give a graphic and, if possible, amusing description of the proceedings. I did attend one — which lasted three hours — and wrote a paper which I think was called A Zulu in Search of a Religion. But when the meeting was over I went to that spirited proprietor, and begged him to impose upon me some task more equal to my strength. Not even on behalf of the Pall Mall Gazette, which was very dear to me, could I go through a second May meeting — much less endure a season of such martyrdom.
M. beckoned to a passing waiter. "Piquet cards, please, Tanner," he said.
"May be a-ing crocodile," yelled the leading man though the hubbub. He was carrying a short whip which he occasionally cracked like a whipper-in on the hunting field.
I don't know that Mr. Micawber attached any meaning to this last phrase; I don't know that anybody ever does, or did; but he appeared to relish it uncommonly, and repeated, with an impressive cough, 'as between man and man'.
His nonchalance seemed to irritate her. She sat down in front of the writing-desk. "Now then," she said, and her voice had an edge to it, "Let's get down to business. In the first place, why did you take on this job?"
I suppose we had some notion that this was to end in marriage. We must have had some, because Dora stipulated that we were never to be married without her papa's consent. But, in our youthful ecstasy, I don't think that we really looked before us or behind us; or had any aspiration beyond the ignorant present. We were to keep our secret from Mr. Spenlow; but I am sure the idea never entered my head, then, that there was anything dishonourable in that.
"You can if you like. But not for me. That'll be for the court-martial. Your old corps will be handling all that. I've got nothing to do with the legal aspects. I shall put in a report to my own Service of what you've told me, and they'll pass it on to the Royal Marines. Then I suppose it'll go to the Public Prosecutor via Scotland Yard."
Can you come out to the entrance hall for a moment? I have news for your companion.
'To tell you the truth (at which you will not be offended), I came Out to walk alone, because I have had so much company.'
And so the cord was cut, and I was a free man to run about the world where I would.
With all Charlotte’s gaiety and merriment, her delight in dancing and acting, and her love of games, there was a stern side, even in those early days, to her girlish nature; and in this respect she and Robert were well suited the one to the other. She was, as one says who knew her well, ‘a born heroine’; indeed, both she and Robert were of the stuff of which in former centuries martyrs have been made.
Carl Schurz, himself a man of large nature and wide and sympathetic comprehension, says of Lincoln: