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RETURNS TO SOME OLD FRIENDS. THE haggard youth burst into my chambers, in the Temple, on the
very next morning, and confided to me the story which has been just here narrated. When he had concluded it, with many ejaculations regarding the heroine of the tale, " I saw her, sir," he added, “walking with the children and Miss Cann as I drove round in the fly to the station and didn't even bow to her."
“Why did you go round by the cliff?” asked Clive's friend. “That is not the way from the Steyne Arms' to the railroad.”
“ Hang it,” says Clive, turning very red, “I wanted to pass just under her windows, and if I saw her, not to see her; and that's what I did.”
“Why did she walk on the cliff," mused Clive's friend, " at that early hour? Not to meet Lord Farintosh, I should think. He never gets up before twelve. It must have been to see you. Didn't you tell her you were going away in the morning?”
"I tell you what she does with me," continues Mr. Clive. “Sometimes she seems to like me, and then she leaves me. Sometimes she is quite kind-kind she always is-I mean, you know, Pen-you know what I mean; and then up comes the old Countess, or a young Marquis, or some fellow with a handle to his name, and she whistles me off till the next convenient opportunity.”
“Women are like that, my ingenuous youth," says Clive's counsellor.
“I won't stand it. I won't be made a fool of !” he continues. 6 She seems to expect everybody to bow to her, and moves through the world with her imperious airs. Oh, how confoundedly handsome she is with them! I tell you what. I feel inclined to tumble down and feel one of her pretty little feet on my neck and say, There ! Trample my life out. Make a slave of me. Let me get a silver collar and mark Ethel' on it, and go through the world with my badge."
“And a blue ribbon for a footman to hold you by; and a muzzle to wear in the dog-days. Bow! wow!” says Mr. Pendennis.
(At this noise Mr. Warrington puts his head in from the neighbouring bed-chamber, and shows a beard just lathered for shaving. “We are talking sentiment! Go back till you are wanted!” says Mr. Pendennis. Exit he of the soap-suds.)
" Don't make fun of a fellow," Clive continues, laughing ruefully. 66 You see I must talk about it to somebody. I shall die if I don't. Sometimes, sir, I rise up in my might and I defy her lightning. The sarcastic dodge is the best: I have borrowed that from you, Pen, old boy. That puzzles her: that would beat her if I could but go on with it. But there comes a tone of her sweet voice, a look out of those killing grey eyes, and all my frame is in a thrill and a tremble. When she was engaged to Lord Kew I did battle with the confounded passion and I ran away from it like an honest man, and the gods rewarded me with ease of mind after a while. But now the thing rages worse than ever. Last night, I give you my honour, I heard every one of the confounded hours toll, except the last, when I was dreaming of my father, and the chamber-maid woke me with a hot-water jug."
“ Did she scald you? What a cruel chamber-maid! I see you have shaven the mustachios off.”
“Farintosh asked me whether I was going into the army," said Clive, “and she laughed. I thought I had best dock them. Oh, I would like to cut my head off as well as my hair!”
“Have you ever asked her to marry you?" asked Clive's friend.
“I have seen her but five times since my return from abroad," the lad went on; "there has been always somebody by. Who am I? a painter with five hundred a year for an allowance. Isn't she used to walk upon velvet and dine upon silver; and hasn't she got marquises and barons, and all sorts of swells, in her train ? I daren't ask her—"
Here his friend hummed Montrose's lines—“He either fears his fate too much, or his desert is small, who dares not put it to the touch, and win or lose it all.”
“I own I dare not ask her. If she were to refuse me, I know I should never ask again. This isn't the moment, when all Swelldom is at her feet, for me to come forward and say, 'Maiden, I have watched thee daily, and I think thou lovest me well.' I read that ballad to her at Baden, sir. I drew a picture of the Lord of Burleigh wooing the maiden, and asked what she would have done?”
“Oh, you did? I thought, when we were at Baden, we were so modest that we did not even whisper our condition ?"
“A fellow can't help letting it be seen and hinting it,” says Clive, with another blush. “ They can read it in our looks fast enough; and what is going on in our minds, hang them! I recollect she said, in her grave; cool way, that after all the Lord and Lady of Burleigh did
not seem to have made a very good marriage, and that the lady would have been much happier in marrying one of her own degree."
“ That was a very prudent saying for a young lady of eighteen," remarks Clive's friend.
“Yes; but it was not an unkind one. Say Ethel thoughtthought what was the case; and being engaged herself, and knowing how friends of mine had provided a very pretty little partner for me
she is a dear, good little girl, little Rosey; and twice as good, Pen, when her mother is away—knowing this and that, I say, suppose Ethel wanted to give me a hint to keep quiet, was she not right in the counsel she gave me? She is not fit to be a poor man's wife. Fancy Ethel Newcome going into the kitchen and making pies like Aunt Honeyman!”
“ The Circassian beauties don't sell under so many thousand purses,” remarked Mr. Pendennis. “If there's a beauty in a wellregulated Georgian family, they fatten her; they feed her with the best Racahout des Arabes. They give her silk robes and perfumed baths; have her taught to play on the dulcimer and dance and sing; and when she is quite perfect, send her down to Constantinople for the Sultan's inspection. The rest of the family never think of grumbling, but eat coarse meat, bathe in the river, wear old clothes, and praise Allah for their sister's elevation. Bah! Do you suppose the Turkish system doesn't obtain all the world over? My poor Clive, this article in the May Fair Market is beyond your worship's price. Some things in this world are made for our betters, young man. Let Dives say grace for his dinner, and the dogs and Lazarus be thankful for the crumbs. Here comes Warrington, shaven and smart as if he was going out a-courting.”
Thus it will be seen, that in his communication with certain friends who approached nearer to his own time of life, Clive was much more eloquent and rhapsodical than in the letter which he wrote to his father, regarding his passion for Miss Ethel. He celebrated her with pencil and pen. He was for ever drawing the outline of her head, the solemn eyebrow, the nose (that wondrous little nose), descending from the straight forehead, the short upper lip, and chin. sweeping in a full curve to the neck, &c. &c. &c. A frequenter of his studio might see a whole gallery of Ethels there represented: when Mrs. Mackenzie visited that place, and remarked one face and figure repeated on a hundred canvases and papers, grey, white, and brown, I believe she was told that the original was a famous Roman model, from whom Clive had studied a great deal during his residence in Italy; on which Mrs. Mack gave it as her opinion that Clive was a sad wicked young fellow. The widow thought rather the better of him for being a sad wicked young fellow; and as for Miss Rosey, she, of course, was of mamma's way of thinking. Rosey went through the world constantly smiling at whatever occurred. She was goodhumoured through the dreariest long evenings at the most stupid parties; sat good-humouredly for hours at Shoolbred's whilst mamma was making purchases; heard good-humouredly those old old stories of her mother's day after day; bore an hour's joking or an hour's scolding with equal good humour; and whatever had been the occur. rences of her simple day, whether there was sunshine or cloudy weather, or flashes of lightning and bursts of rain, I fancy Miss Mackenzie slept. after them quite undisturbedly, and was sure to greet the morrow's. dawn with a smile.
Had Clive become more knowing in his travels, had Love or Experience opened his eyes, that they looked so differently now uponi objects which before used well enough to please them? It is a fact that, until he went abroad, he thought widow Mackenzie a dashing, lively, agreeable woman: he used to receive her stories about Cheltenham, the colonies, the balls at Government House, the observations: which the Bishop made, and the peculiar attention of the Chief Justice to Mrs. Major MacShane, with the Major's uneasy behaviour--all these to hear at one time did Clive not ungraciously incline. “Our friend, Mrs. Mack," the good old Colonel used to say, "is a clever woman of the world, and has seen a great deal of company." That story of Sir Thomas Sadman dropping a pocket-handkerchief in his court at Colombo, which the Queen's Advocate O’Goggarty picked up, and on which Laura Mac S. was embroidered, whilst the Major was absolutely in the witness-box giving evidence against a native servant who had stolen one of his cocked-hats—that story always made good Thomas Newcome laugh, and Clive used to enjoy it too, and the widow's mischievous fun in narrating it; and now, behold, one day when Mrs. Mackenzie recounted the anecdote in her best manner to Messrs. Pendennis and Warrington, and Frederick Bayham, who had been invited to meet Mr. Clive in Fitzroy Square-when Mr. Binnie chuckled, when Rosey, as in duty bound, looked discomposed and said, “ Law, mamma!”-not one sign of good humour, not one ghost of a smile, made its apparition on Clive's dreary face. He painted imaginary portraits with a strawberry-stalk; he looked into his water-glass as though he would plunge and drown there; and Bayham had to remind him that the claret-jug was anxious to have another embrace from its constant friend, F. B. When Mrs. Mack went away distributing smiles, Clive groaned out, “ Good heavens! how that story does bore me!" and lapsed into his former moodiness, not giving so much as a glance to Rosey, whose sweet face looked at him kindly for a moment, as she followed in the wake of her mamma.
“ The mother's the woman for my money," I heard F. B. whisper
to Warrington. “Splendid figure-head, sir--magnificent build, sir, from bows to stern—I like 'em of that sort. Thank you, Mr. Binnie, I will take a back-hander, as Clive don't seem to drink. The youth, sir, has grown melancholy with his travels; I'm inclined to think some noble Roman has stolen the young man's heart? Why did you not send us over a picture of the charmer, Clive? Young Ridley, Mr. Binnie, you will be happy to hear, is bidding fair to take a distinguished place in the world of arts. His picture has been greatly admired; and my good friend Mrs. Ridley tells me that Lord Todmorden has sent him over an order to paint him a couple of pictures at a hundred guineas a-piece.”
“I should think so. J. Jo's pictures will be worth five times a hundred guineas ere five years are over,” says Clive.
“In that case, it wouldn't be a bad speculation for our friend Sherrick,” remarked F. B., " to purchase a few of the young man's works. I would, only I haven't the capital to spare. Mine has been vested in an Odessa venture, sir, in a large amount of wild oats, which up to the present moment make me no return. But it will always be a consolation to me to think that I have been the means --the humble means--of furthering that deserving young man's prospects in life.”
“ You, F. B.! and how ?" we asked.
“ By certain humble contributions of mine to the press," answered Bayham, majestically. “Mr. Warrington, the claret happens to stand with you; and exercise does it good, sir. Yes, the articles, trifling as they may appear, have attracted notice, continued F. B., sipping his wine with great gusto. “They are noticed, Pendennis, give me
the political part of the Pall Mall Gazette, though both, I am told by those who read them, are conducted with considerable-consummate ability. John Ridley sent a hundred pounds over to his father, the other day, who funded it in his son's name. And Ridley told the story to Lord Todmorden, when the venerable nobleman congratulated him on having such a child. I wish F. B. had one of the same sort, sir.” In which sweet prayer we all of us joined with a laugh.
One of us had told Mrs. Mackenzie (let the criminal blush to own that quizzing his fellow-creatures used at one time to form part of his youthful amusement) that F. B. was the son of a gentleman of most ancient family and vast landed possessions, and as Bayham was
she was greatly pleased by his politeness, and pronounced him a most distingué man-reminding her, indeed, of General Hopkirk, who commanded in Canada. And she bade Rosey sing for Mr. Bayham, who was in a rapture at the young lady's performances, and said no wonder