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them: but when she did, I promise you she looked uncommonly pretty as she advanced to Colonel Newcome and put that pretty fresh cheek of hers up to his grizzled mustachio.
“ I protest I don't know which of you blushes the most," chuckles James Binnie-and the truth is, the old man and the young girl had both hung out those signals of amiable distress.
On this day, and as Miss Rosey was to be overpowered by flowers,
bouquet? on which Uncle James said Rosey should go to the ball like an American Indian, with her scalps at her belt.
“ Scalps !” cries Mrs. Mackenzie,
“ Scalps ! O law, uncle !” exclaims Miss Rosey. “What can you mean by anything so horrid ?"
Goby recalls to Mrs. Mack, Hook-ee-ma-goosh, the Indian chief, whom she must have seen when the Hundred and Fiftieth were at Quebec, and who had his lodge full of them; and who used to lie about the barracks so drunk, and who used to beat his poor little European wife ; and presently Mr. Clive Newcome joins this company, when the chirping, tittering, joking, laughing cease somehow.
Has Clive brought a bouquet too? No. He has never thought about a bouquet. He is dressed in black, with long hair, a long mustachio, and melancholy imperial. He looks very handsome, but as glum as an undertaker, And James Binnie says, “Egad, Tom, they used to call you the knight of the woeful countenance, and Clive has just inherited the paternal mug.” Then James calls out in a cheery voice, “Dinner, dinner !” and trots off with Mrs. Pendennis under his arm; Rosey nestles up against the Colonel ; Goby and Mrs. Mack walk away arm-in-arm very contentedly; and I don't know with which of her three nosegays pretty Rosey appears at the ball.
Our stay with our friends at Brussels could not be prolonged beyond a month, for at the end of that period we were under an engagement to other friends in England, who were good enough to desire the presence of Mrs. Pendennis and her suite of baby, nurse, and husband. So we presently took leave of Rosey and the Campaigner, of the two stout elders, and our melancholy young Clive, who bore us company to Antwerp, and who won Laura's heart by the neat way in which he took her child on board ship. Poor fellow ! how sad he looked as he bowed to us and took off his hat! His eyes did not seem to be looking at us, though : they and his thoughts were turned another way. He moved off immediately, with his head down, puffing his eternal cigar, and lost in his own meditations ; our going or our staying was of very little importance to the lugubrious youth.
“ I think it was a great pity they came to Brussels," says Laura, as we sat on the deck, while her unconscious infant was cheerful, and while the water of the lazy Scheldt as yet was smooth.
“ Who? The Colonel and Clive? They are very handsomely lodged. They have a good maître-d’hôtel. Their dinners, I am sure, are excellent; and your child, madam, is as healthy as it possibly can be.”
.“ Blessed darling! Yes!” (Blessed darling crows, moos, jumps in his nurse's arms, and holds out a little mottled hand for a biscuit of Savoy, which mamma supplies.) “I can't help thinking, Arthur, that Rosey would have been much happier as Mrs. Hoby than she will be as Mrs. Newcome.”
“Who thinks of her being Mrs. Newcome?"
“ Her mother, her uncle, and Clive's father. Since the Colonel has been so rich, I think Mrs. Mackenzie sees a great deal of merit in Clive.' Rosey will do anything her mother bids her. If Clive can be brought to the same obedience, Uncle James and the Colonel will be delighted. Uncle James has set his heart on this marriage. (He and his sister agree upon this point.) He told me last night that he would sing Nunc dimittis,' could he but see the two children happy ; and that he should lie easier in purgatory if that could be brought about."
“And what did you say, Laura ? "
“ I laughed, and told Uncle James I was of the Hoby faction. He is very good-natured, frank, honest, and gentlemanlike, Mr. Hoby, But Uncle James said he thought Mr. Hoby was so-well, so stupid --that his Rosey would be thrown away upon the poor Captain. So I did not tell Uncle James that, before Clive's arrival, Rosey had found Captain Hoby far from stupid. He used to sing duets with her; he used to ride with her before Clive came. Last winter, when they were at Pau, I feel certain Miss Rosey thought Captain Hoby very pleasant indeed. She thinks she was attached to Clive formerly, and now she admires him, and is dreadfully afraid of him. He is taller and handsomer, and richer and cleverer than Captain Hoby, certainly."
“ I should think so, indeed," breaks out Mr. Pendennis. “Why, my dear, Clive is as fine a fellow as one can see on a summer's day. It does one good to look at him. What a pair of frank bright blue eyes he has, or used to have, till this mishap overclouded them ! What a pleasant laugh he has ! What a well-built, agile figure it is what pluck, and spirit, and honour there is about my young chap! I don't say he is a genius of the highest order, but he is the staunchest, the bravest, the cheeriest, the most truth-telling, the kindest heart. Compare him and Hoby! Why, Clive is an eagle, and yonder little creature a mousing owl !”
“I like to hear you speak so," cries Mrs. Laura, very tenderly, “ People say that you are always sneering, Arthur; but I know my. husband better. We know papa better, don't we, baby?” (Here my wife kisses the infant Pendennis with great effusion, who has come up dancing on his nurse's arms.) “ But,” says she, coming back and snuggling by her husband's side again—“ But suppose your favourite Clive is an eagle, Arthur, don't you think he had better have an eagle for a mate? If he were to marry little Rosey, I daresay he would be very good to her; but I think neither he nor she would be very happy. My dear, she does not care for his pursuits; she does not understand him when he talks. The two captains, and Rosey and I, and the Campaigner, as you call her, laugh and talk, and prattle, and have the merriest little jokes with one another, and we all are as quiet as mice when you and Clive come in.”
“What, am I an eagle, too? I have no aquiline pretensions at all, Mrs. Pendennis."
“No. Well, we are not afraid of you. We are not afraid of papa, are we, darling ?” this young woman now calls out to the other member of her family; who, if you will calculate, has just had time to be walked twice up and down the deck of the steamer whilst Laura has been making her speech about eagles. And soon the mother, child, and attendant descend into the lower cabins: and then dinner is announced : and Captain Jackson treats us to champagne from his end of the table: and yet a short while, and we are at sea, and conversation becomes impossible; and morning sees us under the grey London sky, and amid the million of masts in the Thames.
ROSEBURY AND NEWCOME.
THE friends to whom we were engaged in England were Florac
1 and his wife, Madame la Princesse de Montcontour, who were determined to spend the Christmas holidays at the Princess's countryseat. It was for the first time since their reconciliation that the Prince and Princess dispensed their hospitalities at the latter's château. It is situated, as the reader has already been informed, at some five miles from the town of Newcome; away from the chimneys and smoky atmosphere of that place, in a sweet country of rural woodlands; over which quiet villages, grey church spires, and ancient gabled farmhouses are scattered : still wearing the peaceful aspect which belonged to them when Newcome was as yet but an antiquated country town, before mills were erected on its river banks, and dyes and cinders blackened its stream. Twenty years since Newcome Park was the: only great house in that district; now scores of fine villas have sprung up in the suburb lying between the town and park. Newcome New Town, as everybody knows, has grown round the park-gates, and the “New Town Hotel” (where the railway-station is) is a splendid structure in the Tudor style, more ancient in appearance than the park itself; surrounded by little antique villas with spiked gables, stacks of crooked chimneys, and plate-glass windows looking upon trim lawns; with glistening hedges of evergreens, spotless gravel walks, and Elizabethan gig-houses. Under the great railway viaduct of the New Town goes the old tranquil winding London high-road, once busy with a score of gay coaches, and ground by innumerable wheels; but at a few miles from the New Town Station the road has become so mouldy that the grass actually grows on it; and Rosebury, Madame de Montcontour's house, stands at one end of a village-green, which is even more quiet now than it was a hundred years ago.
When first Madame de Florac bought the place, it scarcely ranked amongst the county houses; and she, the sister of manufacturers at Newcome and Manchester, did not of course visit the county families. A homely little body, married to a Frenchman from whom she was separated, may or may not have done a great deal of good in her village, have had pretty gardens, and won prizes at the Newcome
flower and fruit shows; but, of course, she was nobody in such an aristocratic county as we all know — shire is. She had her friends and relatives from Newcome. Many of them were Quakers-many were retail shopkeepers. She even frequented the little branch Ebenezer, on Rosebury Green; and it was only by her charities and kindness at Christmas-time, that the Rev. Dr. Potter, the rector at Rosebury, knew her. The old clergy, you see, live with the county families. Good little Madame de Florac was pitied and patronized by the Doctor, treated with no little superciliousness by Mrs. Potter and the young ladies, who only kept the first society. Even when her rich brother died, and she got her share of all that money, Mrs. Potter said poor Madame de Florac did well in not trying to move out of her natural sphere (Mrs. P. was the daughter of a bankrupt hatter in London, and had herself been governess in a noble family, out of which she married Mr. P., who was private tutor). Madame de Florac did well, she said, not to endeavour to leave her natural sphere, and that The County never would receive her. Tom Potter, the rector's son, with whom I had the good fortune to be a fellow-student at Saint Boniface College, Oxbridge, - a rattling, forward, and it must be owned, vulgar youth, -asked me whether Florac was not a billiardmarker by profession ? and was even so kind as to caution his sisters not to speak of billiards before the lady of Rosebury. Tom was surprised to learn that Monsieur Paul de Florac was a gentleman of lineage, incomparably better than that of any except two or three families in England (including your own, my dear and respected reader, of course, if you hold to your pedigree). But the truth is, heraldically speaking, that union with the Higgs of Manchester was the first misalliance which the Florac family had made for long long years. Not that I would wish for a moment to insinuate that any nobleman is equal to an English nobleman; nay, that an English snob, with a coat-of-arms bought yesterday, or stolen out of Edmonston, or a pedigree purchased from a peerage-maker, has not a right to look down upon any of your paltry foreign nobility.
One day the carriage-and-four came in state from Newcome Park, with the well-known chaste liveries of the Newcomes, and drove up Rosebury Green, towards the parsonage-gate, where Mrs. and the Miss Potters happened to be standing, cheapening fish from a donkey-man, with whom they were in the habit of dealing. The ladies were in their pokiest old head-gear and most dingy gowns, when they perceived the carriage approaching; and considering, of course, that the visit of the Park people was intended for them, dashed into the rectory to change their clothes, leaving Rowkins, the costermonger, in the very midst of the negotiation about the three mackerel. Mamma got that new bonnet out of the band-box; Lizzy and Liddy skipped up to their