« AnteriorContinuar »
engaged was showy and commodious. ened the timid — such as bending He added largely to his wardrobe-- a poker or horse - shoe between his dressing-case -- his trinket-box. hands elegantly white nor unadorned Nor, be it here observed, was Mr with rings—or lifting the weight of Losely one of those beauish brigands Samuel Dolly by the waistband, and who wear tawdry scarfs over soiled holding him at arm's-length, with a linen, and paste rings upon unwashed playful bet of ten to one that he digitals. To do him justice, the man, could stand by the fireplace and 80 stony-hearted to others, loved pitch the said Samuel Dolly out of and cherished his own person with the open window. To know so strong exquisite tenderness, lavished upon a man, so fine an animal, was someit delicate attentions, and gave to thing to boast of! Then, too, if it the very best he could afford. Jasper had a false brilliancy, he had He
coarse debauchee, also a false bonhommie; it was true smelling of bad cigars and ardent that he was somewhat imperious, spirits. Cigars, indeed, were not swaggering, bullying — but he was among his vices (at worst the rare also off-hand and jocund; and as you peccadillo of a cigarette) — spirit- knew him, that sidelong look, that drinking was; but the monster's defying gait (look and gait of the digestion was still so strong, that he man whom the world cuts), wore could have drunk out a gin palace, away. In fact, he had got into a and you would only have sniffed the world which did not cut him, and his jasmine or heliotrope on the dainty exterior was improved by the atmoscambric that wiped the last drop phere. from his lips. Had his soul been a Mr Losely professed to dislike tenth part as clean as the form that general society. Drawing-rooms were belied it, Jasper Losely had been a insipid ; clubs full of old fogies. "I saint! His apartments recured, his am for life, my boys," said Mr Losely, appearance thus revised and embellished, Jasper's next care was an
“Can sorrow from the goblet flow,
Or pain from Beauty's eye ?'” equipage in keeping; he hired a smart cabriolet with a high-stepping Mr Losely, therefore, his hat on one horse, and, to go behind it, a groom side, lounged into the saloons of whose size had been stunted in in- theatres, accompanied by a cohort of fancy by provident parents design- juvenile admirers, their hats on one ing him to earn his bread in the side also, and returned to the pleastables as a light-weight, and there- santest little suppers in his own fore mingling his mother's milk with apartment. There “the goblet” flowheavy liquors. In short, Jasper Losely ed-and after the goblet, cigars for set up to be a buck about town; in some, and a rubber for all. that capacity Dolly Poole introduced So puissant Losely's vitality, and him to several young gentlemen who so blest by the stars his luck, that combined commercial vocations with his form seemed to wax stronger and sporting tastes; they could not but his purse fuller by this “life. No participate in Poole's admiring and wonder he was all for a life of that somewhat envious respect for Jasper kind; but the slight beings who Losely. There was indeed about the tried to keep up with him, grew vigorous miscreant a great deal of thinner and thinner, and poorer and false brilliancy. Deteriorated from poorer; a few weeks made their earlier youth though the beauty of cheeks spectral and their pockets a his countenance might be, it was still dismal void. Then as some dropped undeniably handsome; and as force off from sheer inanition, others whom of muscle is beauty in itself in the they had decoyed by their praises of eyes of young sporting men, so Jasper “Life” and its hero, came into the dazzled many a gracilis puer, who had magic circle to fade and vanish in the ambition to become an athlete, their turn. with the rare personal strength In a space of time incredibly brief, which, as if in the exuberance of not a whist-player was left upon the animal spirits, he would sometimes field ; the victorious Losely had condescend to display, by feats that trumped out the last ! Some few astonished the curious and fright- whom Nature had endowed more
liberally than Fortune, still retained graves ! Don't talk to me of heirstrength enough to sup—if asked; esses, Dolly, I have been the victim “But none who came to sup remained to of heiresses. But a rich widow play."
is an estimable creature. Against Plague on it,” said Losely to widows, if rich, I have not a word Poole, as one afternoon they were to say; and to tell you the truth, dividing the final spoils. * Your there is a widow whom I suspect I friends are mightily soon cleaned out; have fascinated, and whose conneccould not even get up double dummy tion I have a particular private reason last night ; and we must hit on some for deeming desirable ! She has a new plan for replenishing the coffers! whelp of a son, who is a spoke in my You have rich relations; can't I help wheel were I his father-in-law, you to make them more useful ?” would not I be a spoke in his? I'd
Said Dolly Poole, who was looking teach the boy 'life, Dolly.” Here all exceedingly bilious, and had become trace of beauty vanished from Jasper's a martyr to chronic headache, “My face,and Poole, staring at him, pushed relations are prigs ! Some of them away his chair. “But,"--continued give me the cold shoulder, others--a Losely, regaining his more usual exgreat deal of jaw. But as for tin, I pression of levity and boldness—“But might as well scrape a flint for it. I am not yet quite sure what the My uncle Sam is more anxious about widow has, besides her son, in her my sins than the other codgers, be- own possession; we shall see. Meancause he is my godfather, and re- while, is there—no chance of a rubber sponsible for my sins, I suppose; and to-night ?" he says he will put me in the way of “ None ; unless you will let Brown being respectable. My head's split- and Smith play upon tick.” ting—"
“ Pooh! but there's Robinson, he Wood does split till it is season- has an aunt he can borrow from ” ed," answered Losely. “Good fellow, " Robinson ! spitting blood, with uncle Sam! He'll put you in the an attack of delirium tremens.-you way of tin; nothing else makes a have done for him.” man respectable.”
“Can sorrow from the goblet flow?" so he says; a girl with said Losely.
suppose it money
can—when a man has no coats to “A wife-tin canister ! Introduce his stomach ; but you and I, Dolly me to her, and she shall be tied to Poole, have stomachs thick as peayou."
jackets, and proof as gutta-percha." Samuel Dolly did not appear to Poole forced a ghastly smile, while relish the idea of such an introduc- Losely, gaily springing up, swept his tion. “I have not been introduced share of booty into his pockets, to her myself,” said he. “But if you slapped his comrade on the back, and advise me to be spliced, why don't said-“Then, if the mountain will not you get spliced yourself!- a handsome come to Mahomet, Mahomet must go fellow like you can be at no loss for to the mountain ! Hang whist, and an heiress.'
up with rouge-et-noir! I have an 'Heiresses are the most horrid infallible method of winning-only, cheats in the world,” said Losely : it requires capital. You will club “there is always some father, or your cash with mine, and I'll play for uncle, or fusty Lord Chancellor whose both. Sup here to-night, and we'll consent is essential, and not to be go to the hell afterwards.” had. Heiresses in scores have been Samuel Dolly had the most perfect over head and ears in love with me. confidence in his friend's science in Before I left Paris, I sold their locks the art of gambling, and he did not, of hair to a wig-maker-three great therefore, dissent from the proposal trunksful. Honour bright. But there made. Jasper gave a fresh touch to were only two whom I could have his toilette, and stepped into his safely allowed to run away with me; cabriolet. Poole cast on him a look and they were so closely watched, of envy, and crawled to his lodgingpoor things, that I was forced to too ill for his desk, and with a strong leave them to their fate — early desire to take to his bed.
“Is there a heart that never loved,
Nor felt soft woman's sigh?”
If there be such a heart, it is not in the breast of a Pocket-Cannibal. Your true Man
eater is usually of an amorous temperament: he can be indeed sufficiently fond of a lady to eat her up. Mr Losely makes the acquaintance of a widow. For farther particulars inquire within.
The dignified serenity of Gloucester supposed that she had unexpectedly Place, Portman Square, is agitated come into a fortune-on the strength by the intrusion of a new inhabitant. of which she had removed from A house in that favoured locality, Pimlico into Gloucester Place. At which had for several months main- length-the preparations completed tained “ the solemn stillness and -one Monday afternoon the widow, the dread repose" which appertain to accompanied by her son, came to dwellings that are to be let upon settle. The next day a footman in lease, unfurnished, suddenly started genteel livery (brown and orange) into that exuberant and aggressive appeared at the door. Then, for the life which irritates the nerves of its rest of the week, the baker and peaceful neighbours. The bills have butcher called regularly. On the been removed from the windows, following Sunday, the lady and her the walls have been cleaned down and
son appeared at church. pointed—the street-door repainted a No reader will be at a loss to dislively green-workmen have gone cover in the new tenant of No. in and out. The observant ladies Gloucester Place, the widowed mother (single ones) in the house opposite, dis- of Lionel Haughton. The letter for cover, by the help of a telescope, that that lady which Darrell had intrusted the drawing-rooms have been new pa- to his young cousin, had, in compered, canary-coloured ground-fes. plimentary and cordial language, toon borders, and that the mouldings claimed the right to provide for her of the shutters have been gilt. Gilt comfortable and honourable subshutters! that looks ominous of an sistence ; and announced that, henceostentatious and party-giving tenant. forth, £800 a-year would be placed
Then carts full of furniture have quarterly to her account at Mr Darstopped at the door--carpets, tables, rell's banker, and that an additional chairs, beds, wardrobes—all seeming- sum of £1200 was already there ly new, and in no inelegant taste, deposited in her name, in order to have been disgorged into the hall. enable her to furnish any residence to It has been noticed, too, that every which she might be inclined to reday a lady of slight figure and
Mrs Haughton, therewith, genteel habiliments has come, seem- had removed to Gloucester Place. ingly to inspect progress-evidently She is seated by the window in her the new tenant. Sometimes she front drawing-room-surveying with comes alone; sometimes with a dark- proud though grateful heart the eleeyed handsome lad, probably her son. gancies by which she is surrounded. Who can she be? what is she? what A very winning countenance- lively is her name? her history? has she a eyes, that in themselves may be overright to settle in Gloucester Place, quick and petulant; but their exPortman Square? The detective pression is chastened by a gentle police of London is not peculiarly kindly mouth. And over the whole vigilant ; but its defects are supplied face, the attitude, the air, even the by the voluntary efforts of unmarried dress itself, is diffused the unmistakladies. The new-comer was a widow; able simplicity of a sincere, natural her husband had been in the army; character. No doubt Mrs Haughton of good family ; but a mauvais sujet; has her tempers, and her vanities, and she had been left in straitened cir- her little harmless feminine weakcuinstances with an only son. It was
nesses; but you could not help feeling
in her presence that you were with just in time; but the wheel grazed an affectionate, warm-hearted, honest, her dress, and though she ran back good woman. She might not have the instinctively, yet, when she was safe refinements of tone and manner which on the pavement, the fright overstamp the high-bred gentlewoman of powered her nerves, and she clung to convention ; she might evince the the street-post almost fainting. Two deficiencies of an imperfect third-rate or three passers-by humanely gathereducation ; but she was saved from ed round her; and the driver, looking vulgarity by a certain undefinable back, and muttering to himselfgrace of person and music of voice “Not bad-looking-neatly dressed -even when she said or did things lady-like-French shawl-may have that well-bred people do not say or tin-worth while perhaps!"-gallant
! do ; and there was an engaging in- ly descended and hastened to offer telligence in those quick hazel eyes apologies, with a respectful hope that that made you sure that she was she was not injured. sensible, even when she uttered what Mrs Haughton answered somewhat was silly.
tartly, but being one of those goodMrs Haughton turned from the in- hearted women who, apt to be rude, terior of the room to the open win- are extremely sorry for it the modow. She is on the look-out for her ment afterwards, she wished to reson, who has gone to call on Colonel pair any hurt to his feelings occaMorley, and who ought to be returned sioned by her first impulse; and, when, by this time. She begins to get a renewing his excuses, he offered his little fidgety-somewhat cross. While arm over the crossing, she did not thus standing, and thus watchful, like to refuse. On gaining the side there comes thundering down thé of the way on which her house was street a high-stepping horse—bay, situated, she had recovered sufficientwith white legs-it whirls on a ly to blush for having accepted such cabriolet blue, with vermilion familiar assistance from a perfect wheels — two hands, in yellow kid stranger, and somewhat to falter in gloves, are just seen under the hood. returning thanks for his politeness. Mrs Haughton suddenly blushes and Our gentleman, whose estimate draws in her head. Too late! the of his attractions was not humble, cabriolet has stopped-a gentleman ascribed the blushing cheek and falleans forward, takes off his hat, tering voice to the natural effect probows respectfully. “Dear, dear! duced by his appearance; and he himmurmurs Dirs Haughton," I do think self admiring very inuch a handsome he is going to call ; some people are braceleton her wrist, which he deemed born to be tempted-my temptations a favourable prognostic of “tin," he have been immense! He is getting watched her to her door, and sent his out-he knocks I can't say, now, groom in the course of the evening to that I am not at home-very awk- make discreet inquiries in the neighward! I wish Lionel were here! bourhood. The result of the inquiries What does he mean--neglecting his induced him to resolve upon prose own mother, and leaving her a prey cuting the acquaintance thus begun. to tempters ?"
He contrived to learn the hours at While the footman is responding to which Mrs Haughton usually visited the smart knock of the visitor, we the house, and to pass by Gloucester will explain how Mrs Haughton had Place at the very nick of time. His incurred that gentleman's acquaint- bow was recognising, respectful, inance. In one of her walks to her new terrogative—a bow that asked “how house while it was in the hands of the much farther ?” But Mrs Haughdecorators, her mind being much ab- ton's bow respondent seemed to lesorbed in the consideration whether clare “not at all!” The stranger her drawing-room curtains should be did not adventure more that day; chintz or tabouret-just as she was but a day or two afterwards he came crossing the street, she was all but again into Gloucester Place, on foot. run over by a gentleman's cabriolet. On that occasion, Mrs Haughton The horse was hard-mouthed, going was with her son, and the gentleat full speed. The driver pulled up man would not seem to perceive her.
The next day he returned ; she was "No, sir, but he wishes it very
The lady bowed in surprise. All we have we owe to him.”
"Ah, madam, your lamented hus- The gentleman abruptly turned band was one of my most particular aside-wisely-for his expression of friends."
face at that praise might have startled “You don't say so !” cried Mrs Mrs Haughton. Haughton, and looking more atten- “Yes, I knew him once. He has tively at the stranger. There was in had many a fee out of my family. his dress and appearance something Goodish lawyer-cleverish man-and that she thought very stylish—a par- rich as a Jew. I should like to see ticular friend of Charles Haughton's my old friend's son, ma'am. He was sure to be stylish-to be a man must be monstrous handsome with of the first water. And she loved the such parents !” poor Captain's memory—her heart Oh, sir, very like his father. warmed to any “particular friend of shall be proud to present him to you.' his."
“Ma'am, I thank you I will “ Yes," resumed the gentleman, have the honour to call-” noting the advantage he had gained, And thus is explained how Jasper " though I was considerably his Losely has knocked at Mrs Haughjunior, we were great cronies-excuse ton's door--has walked up her stairs that familiar expression—in the Hus- -has seated himself in her drawingsars together
room, and is now edging his chair “ The Captain was not in the Hus- somewhat nearer to her, and throwsars, sir; he was in the Guards.” ing into his voice and looks a degree
“Of course he was; but I was say- of admiration, which has been sining in the Hussars, together with the cerely kindled by the aspect of her Guards, there were some very fine elegant apartments. fellows—very fine-he was one of Jessica Haughton was not one of them. I could not resist paying my those women, if such there be, who respects to the widowed lady of so do not know when a gentleman is fine a fellow. I know it is a liberty, making up to them. She knew perma'am, but 'tis my way. People fectly well, that with a very little enwho know me well—and I have a couragement, her visitor would declare large acquaintance-are kind enough himself a suitor. Nor, to speak truth, to excuse my way. And to think that was she quite insensible to his handvillanous horse, which I had just some person, nor quite unmoved by bought out of Lord Bolton's stud- his flatteries. She had her weak (200 guineas, ma'am, and cheap)- points, and vanity was one of them. should have nearly taken the life of Nor conceived she, poor lady, the Charles Haughton's lovely relict. If slightest suspicion that Jasper Losely anybody else had been driving that was not a personage whose attentions brute, I shudder to think what might might flatter any woman. Though have been the consequences ; but I he had not even announced a name, have a wrist of iron. Strength is a but, pushing aside the footman, had vulgar qualification-very vulgar- sauntered in with as familiar an ease but when it saves a lady from perish- as if he had been a first cousin ; ing, how can one be ashamed of it ? though he had not uttered a syllable But I am detaining you. Your own that could define his station, or athouse, Mrs Haughton?"
test his boasted friendship with the “Yes, sir, I have just taken it, but dear defunct, still Mrs Haughton the workmen have not finished. I implicitly believed that she was with am not yet settled here."
one of those gay Chiefs of Ton who “ Charming situation! My friend had glittered round her Charlie in left a son, I believe? In the army that earlier morning of his life, ere already ?"
he had sold out of the Guards, and