154 Glimpses of Our Ancestors.
cry, joke, rage—do anything but walk? One would think that it lay in his office to dance; but he did not. He was the medium by which other people danced, flirted, fell in love, married—or tried to do so—and repented. But none of these things did he do himself. Was he ever merry, angry, sorry, glad, depressed, exalted? We doubt it. He was above, or beneath, "those natural shocks" that flesh is heir to. He wrote on his door, and on his cards, " M.C.," and they passed him by, as exempt from them by virtue of his office. Was he ever ill? He must have died, or we should still rejoice in an M.C. But, to ensure ourselves from error on this point, we would prefer to say that he ceased to exist— that he disappeared—that with him closed the dynasty of the Brighton M.C.'s. If he did die, only such a pen as that which described the last moments of the Knight of La Mancha could do justice to the scene. But as we have no credible record of his coming in, neither have we any trustworthy report of his going out. Like Arthur, that flos regum, our flower of M.C.'s may be only hiding his pedal extremities in some Vale of Avilion—behind the faded curtains of a deserted ball-room—until the propitious moment returns when the glories of the olden times shall be revived. Until then spinsters may wail and widows lament: ladies of a certain age and uncertain position may look round with despairing eyes for " help meet for them," and even younger ones may learn the fatuity of balls without partners and take to Rinks! For they have lost their last, best, truest friend, who, for " a consideration," would run down their game and bring to their arms a partner. Lieut.-Col. Eld, M.C., walks on earth no more, and Brighton has seen " The last of the M.C.'s."