Many of them had personally known the late Sir Horace Fewbanks, and their interest in the trial of the man accused of his murder was intensified by the rumours afloat that there were to be some spicy revelations concerning the dead judge's private life.
By the end of supper a fresh rumour spread which caused the affair to assume a still graver and more important aspect.
His convictions "do not in broad rumour lie," nor are they "set off to the world in the glistering foil" of fashion; but "live and breathe aloft in those pure eyes, and perfect judgment of all-seeing time."
eeShould heav'n's just bolts Orgilio's wealth confound, JAnd spread his flaming palace on the ground, Swift o'er the land the dismal rumour flies, And publick mournings pacify the skies; The laureate tribe in venal verse relate, How virtue wars with persecuting fate; ffWith well-feign'd gratitude the pension'd band Refund the plunder of the beggar'd land.
But straight the direful Trump of Slander sounds; Through the big dome the doubling thunder bounds; Loud as the burst of cannon rends the skies, The dire report through ev'ry region flies; In ev'ry ear incessant rumours rung, And gath'ring scandals grew on ev'ry tongue.
Whose soul is still prepared for death Not tied unto the world with care Of prince's ear, or vulgar breath: Who hath his life from rumours freed, Whose conscience is his strong retreat Whose state can neither flatterers feed.
Rumour doth double, like the voice and echo, The numbers of the feared.
Anerley took up the slip of paper and read:-- Merryweather obstacles stop journey confer general stop nature difficulties later stop rumours dervishes.
Last week, when all those ridiculous rumours anent Timbuctoo were flying about, you will remember how I warned you to set no faith in them.