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“The Russian Embassy,” says Mr. Honeyman, who knew the town quite well.
" And he said he was disengaged and would dine with us,” con-tinues the Colonel.
“Am I to understand, Colonel Newcome,” says Mr. Frederick Bayham," that you are related to the eminent banker, Sir Brian Newcome, who gives such uncommonly swell parties in Park Lane?"
“What is a swell party?" asks the Colonel, laughing, “I dined with my brother last Wednesday, and it was a very grand dinner certainly. The Governor-General himself could not give a more splendid entertainment. But, do you know, I scarcely had enough to eat ? I don't eat side-dishes; and as for the roast-beef of old England, why, the meat was put on the table and whisked away like, Sancho's inauguration feast at Barataria. We did not dine till nine o'clock. I like a few glasses of claret and a cosy talk after dinner; but--well, well”-no doubt the worthy gentleman was accusing himself of telling tales out of school and had come to a timely repentance.) “Our dinner, I hope, will be different. James Binnie will take care of that. That fellow is full of anecdote and fun. You will meet one or two more of our service: Sir Thomas de Boots, who is not a bad chap over a glass of wine; Mr. Pendennis's chum, Mr. Warrington, and my nephew, Barnes Newcome-a dry fellow at first, but I daresay he has good about him when you know him; almost every man has," said the good-natured philosopher. “ Clive, you rogue, mind and be moderate with the champagne, sir!"
“ Champagne's for women," says Clive. “I stick to claret."
“ I say, Pendennis," here Bayham remarked, “it is my deliberate opinion that F. B. has got into a good thing."
Mr. Pendennis seeing there was a great party, was for going home to his chambers to dress. “H’m!” says Mr. Bayham," don't see the necessity. What right-minded man looks at the exterior of his neighbour? He looks here, sir, and examines there," and Bayham tapped his forehead, which was expansive, and then his heart, which he considered to be in the right place.
“What is this I hear about dressing?" asks our host. “ Dine in your frock, my good friend, and welcome, if your dress-coat is in the country."
"It is at present at an uncle's," Mr. Bayham said, with great gravity,"and I take your hospitality as you offer it, Colonel Newcome, cordially and frankly."
Honest Mr. Binnie made his appearance a short time before the appointed hour for receiving the guests, arrayed in a tight little pair of trousers, and white silk stockings and pumps, his bald head shining like a billiard-ball, his jolly gills rosy with good humour. He was bent
on pleasure. “Hey, lads !” says he; “but we'll make a night of it. We haven't had a night since the farewell dinner off Plymouth"
“And a jolly night it was, James," ejaculates the Colonel.
“ And I think you beat iny one I iver hard in "Tom Bowling," yourself, Tom!” cries the Colonel's delighted chum. Mr. Pendennis opened the eyes of astonishment at the idea of the possibility of renewing these festivities, but he kept the lips of prudence closed. And now the carriages began to drive up, and the guests of Colonel Newcome to arrive.
IN WHICH THOMAS NEWCOME SINGS HIS LAST SONG. THE earliest comers were the first mate and the medical officer or
1 the ship in which the two gentlemen had come to England. The mate was a Scotchman; the doctor was a Scotchman ; of the gentlemen from the Oriental Club, three were Scotchmen.
The Southerons, with one exception, were the last to arrive, and for a while we stood looking out of the windows awaiting their coming. The first mate pulled out a penknife, and arranged his nails. The Doctor and Mr. Binnie talked of the progress of medicine. Binnie had walked the hospitals of Edinburgh before getting his civil appointment to India. The three gentlemen from Hanover Square and the Colonel had plenty to say about Tom Smith of the Cavalry, and Harry Hall of the Engineers : how Topham was going to marry poor little Bob Wallis's widow; how many lakhs Barber had brought home, and the like. The tall grey-headed Englishman, who had been in the East too, in the King's service, joined for a while in this conversation, but presently left it, and came and talked with Clive. “I knew your father in India," said the gentleman to the lad; “there is not a more gallant or respected officer in that service. I have a boy too, a stepson, who has just gone into the army; he is older than you; he was born at the end of the Waterloo year, and so was a great friend of his and mine, who was at your school, Sir Rawdon Crawley."
“He was in Gown Boys, I know," says the boy; “succeeded his uncle Pitt, fourth Baronet. I don't know how his mother-her who wrote the hymns, you know, and goes to Mr. Honeyman's chapel comes to be Rebecca, Lady Crawley. His father, Colonel Rawdon Crawley, died at Coventry Island, in August, 182, and his uncle, Sir Pitt, not till September here. I remember, we used to talk about it at Grey Friars, when I was quite a little chap; and there were bets whether Crawley, I mean the young one, was a Baronet or not."
“When I sailed to Rigy, Cornel,” the first mate was speaking nor can any spelling nor combination of letters of which I am master reproduce this gentleman's accent when he was talking his best“I racklackt they used always to sairve us a drem before denner, And as your frinds are kipping the denner, and as I've no watch to
night, I'll jist do as we used to do at Rigy. James, my fine fellow, jist look alive and breng me a small glass of brandy, will ye? Did ye iver try a brandy cock-tail, Cornel? Whin I sailed on the New York line, we used jest to make bits before denner: and--thank ye, James"and he tossed off a glass of brandy.
Here a waiter announces, in a loud voice, “Sir Thomas de Boots," and the General enters, scowling round the room according to his fashion, very red in the face, very tight in the girth, splendidly attired with a choking white neckcloth, a voluminous waistcoat, and his orders on.
“Stars and garters, by jingo !” cries Mr. Frederick Bayham; “I say, Pendennis, have you any idea, is the Duke coming? I wouldn't have come in these Bluchers if I had known it. Confound it, noHoby himself, my own bootmaker, wouldn't have allowed poor F. B. to appear in Bluchers, if he had known that I was going to meet the Duke. My linen's all right, anyhow ;” and F. B. breathed a thankful prayer for that. Indeed, who but the very curious could tell that not F. B.'s, but C. H.'s-Charles Honeyman's--was the mark upon that decorous linen?
Colonel Newcome introduced Sir Thomas to every one in the room, as he had introduced us all to each other previously; and as Sir Thomas looked at one after another, his face was kind enough to assume an expression which seemed to ask, “ And who the devil are you, sir ?” as clearly as though the General himself had given utterance to the words. With the gentleman in the window talking to Clive he seemed to have some acquaintance, and said, not unkindly, “How d'you do, Dobbin ?"
The carriage of Sir Brian Newcome now drove up, from which the Baronet descended in state, leaning upon the arm of the Apollo in plush and powder, who closed the shutters of the great coach, and mounted by the side of the coachman, laced and periwigged. The Bench of Bishops has given up its wigs; cannot the box, too, be made to resign that insane decoration ? Is it necessary for our comfort, that the men who do our work in stable or household, should be dressed like Merry-Andrews ? Enter Sir Brian Newcome, smiling blandly ; he greets his brother affectionately, Sir Thomas gaily ; he nods and smiles to Clive, and graciously permits Mr. Pendennis to take hold of two fingers of his extended right hand. That gentleman is charmed, of course, with the condescension. What man could be otherwise than happy to be allowed a momentary embrace of two such precious fingers ? When a gentleman so favours me, I always ask, mentally, why he has taken the trouble at all, and regret that I have not had the presence of mind to poke one finger against his two. If I were worth ten thousand a year, I cannot help inwardly reflecting, and kept a large account in Threadneedle Street, I cannot help thinking he would have favoured me with the whole palm.
The arrival of these two grandees has somehow cast a solemnity over the company. The weather is talked about: brilliant in itself, it does not occasion very brilliant remarks among Colonel Newcome's. guests. Sir Brian really thinks it must be as hot as it is in India. Sir Thomas de Boots, swelling in his white waistcoat, in the armholes of which his thumbs are engaged, smiles scornfully, and wishes Sir Brian had ever felt a good sweltering day in the hot winds in India.. Sir Brian withdraws the untenable proposition that London is as hot. as Calcutta. Mr. Binnie looks at his watch, and at the Colonel. “We have only your nephew, Tom, to wait for," he says ; “I think we may make so bold as to order the dinner,"-a proposal heartily seconded by Mr. Frederick Bayham.
The dinner appears steaming, borne by steaming waiters. The grandees take their places, one on each side of the Colonel. He begs. Mr. Honeyman to say grace, and stands reverentially during that brief ceremony, while De Boots looks queerly at him from over his napkin. All the young men take their places at the further end of the table, round about Mr. Binnie; and, at the end of the second course, Mr. Barnes Newcome makes his appearance.
Mr. Barnes does not show the slightest degree of disturbance, although he disturbs all the company. Soup and fish are brought for him, and meat, which he leisurely eats, while twelve other gentlemen are kept waiting. We mark Mr. Binnie's twinkling eyes as they watch. the young man. “Eh," he seems to say, “but that's just about as free-and-easy a young chap as ever I set eyes on.” And so Mr. Barnes was a cool young chap. That dish is so good, he must really have some more. He discusses the second supply leisurely; and turning round, simpering, to his neighbour, says, “I really hope I'm not keeping everybody waiting.”
“ Hem!" grunts the neighbour, Mr. Bayham, “it doesn't much matter, for we had all pretty well done dinner.” Barnes takes a note of Mr. Bayham's dress—his long frock-coat, the ribbon round his neck; and surveys him with an admirable impudence. “Who are these people," thinks he, “my uncle has got together?” He bows graciously to the Colonel, who asks him to take wine. He is so insufferably affable, that every man near him would like to give him a beating.
All the time of the dinner the host was challenging everybody to. drink wine, in his honest old-fashioned way, and Mr. Binnie seconding the chief entertainer. Such was the way in England and Scotland when they were young men. And when Binnie, asking Sir Brian, receives for reply from the Baronet-" Thank you, no, my dear sir;