Part 2 out of 4
. . . . . .
My remarks on Parris you shall have by an early opportunity. Me
and Deuceace played some curious pranx there, I can tell you.
MR. DEUCEACE AT PARIS.
THE TWO BUNDLES OF HAY.
Lieutenant-General Sir George Griffin, K.C.B., was about seventy-
five years old when he left this life, and the East Ingine army, of
which he was a distinguished ornyment. Sir George's first
appearance in Injar was in the character of a cabbingboy to a
vessel; from which he rose to be clerk to the owners at Calcutta,
from which he became all of a sudden a capting in the Company's
service; and so rose and rose, until he rose to be a leftenant-
general, when he stopped rising altogether--hopping the twig of
this life, as drummers, generals, dustmen, and emperors must do.
Sir George did not leave any mal hair to perpetuate the name of
Griffin. A widow of about twenty-seven, and a daughter avaritching
twenty-three, was left behind to deploar his loss, and share his
proppaty. On old Sir George's deth, his interesting widdo and
orfan, who had both been with him in Injer, returned home--tried
London for a few months, did not like it, and resolved on a trip to
Paris; where very small London people become very great ones, if
they've money, as these Griffinses had. The intelligent reader
need not be told that Miss Griffin was not the daughter of Lady
Griffin; for though marritches are made tolrabbly early in Injer,
people are not quite so precoashoos as all that: the fact is, Lady
G. was Sir George's second wife. I need scarcely add, that Miss
Matilda Griffin wos the offspring of his fust marritch.
Miss Leonora Kicksey, a ansum, lively Islington gal, taken out to
Calcutta, and, amongst his other goods, very comfortably disposed
of by her uncle, Capting Kicksey, was one-and-twenty when she
married Sir George at seventy-one; and the 13 Miss Kickseys, nine
of whom kep a school at Islington (the other 4 being married
variously in the city), were not a little envius of my lady's luck,
and not a little proud of their relationship to her. One of 'em,
Miss Jemima Kicksey, the oldest, and by no means the least ugly of
the sett, was staying with her ladyship, and gev me all the
partecklars. Of the rest of the famly, being of a lo sort, I in
course no nothink; MY acquaintance, thank my stars, don't lie among
them, or the likes of them.
Well, this Miss Jemima lived with her younger and more fortnat
sister, in the qualaty of companion, or toddy. Poar thing! I'd a
soon be a gally slave, as lead the life she did! Every body in the
house despised her; her ladyship insulted her; the very kitching
gals scorned and flouted her. She roat the notes, she kep the
bills, she made the tea, she whipped the chocklate, she cleaned the
canary birds, and gev out the linning for the wash. She was my
lady's walking pocket, or rettycule; and fetched and carried her
handkercher, or her smell-bottle, like a well-bred spaniel. All
night, at her ladyship's swarries, she thumped kidrills (nobody
ever thought of asking HER to dance!); when Miss Griffing sung, she
played the piano, and was scolded because the singer was out of
tune; abommanating dogs, she never drove out without her ladyship's
puddle in her lap; and, reglarly unwell in a carriage, she never
got anything but the back seat. Poar Jemima! I can see her now in
my lady's SECKND-BEST old clothes (the ladies'-maids always got the
prime leavings): a liloc sattn gown, crumpled, blotched, and
greasy; a pair of white sattn shoes, of the color of Inger rubber;
a faded yellow velvet hat, with a wreath of hartifishl flowers run
to sead, and a bird of Parrowdice perched on the top of it,
melumcolly and moulting, with only a couple of feathers left in his
Besides this ornyment to their saloon, Lady and Miss Griffin kept a
number of other servants in the kitching; 2 ladies'-maids; 2
footmin, six feet high each, crimson coats, goold knots, and white
cassymear pantyloons; a coachmin to match; a page: and a Shassure,
a kind of servant only known among forriners, and who looks more
like a major-general than any other mortial, wearing a cock-hat, a
unicorn covered with silver lace, mustashos, eplets, and a sword by
his side. All these to wait upon two ladies; not counting a host
of the fair sex, such as cooks, scullion, housekeepers, and so
My Lady Griffin's lodging was at forty pound a week, in a grand
sweet of rooms in the Plas Vandome at Paris. And, having thus
described their house, and their servants' hall, I may give a few
words of description concerning the ladies themselves.
In the fust place, and in coarse, they hated each other. My lady
was twenty-seven--a widdo of two years--fat, fair, and rosy. A
slow, quiet, cold-looking woman, as those fair-haired gals
generally are, it seemed difficult to rouse her either into likes
or dislikes; to the former, at least. She never loved any body but
ONE, and that was herself. She hated, in her calm, quiet way,
almost every one else who came near her--every one, from her
neighbor, the duke, who had slighted her at dinner, down to John
the footman, who had torn a hole in her train. I think this
woman's heart was like one of them lithograffic stones, you CAN'T
RUB OUT ANY THING when once it's drawn or wrote on it; nor could
you out of her ladyship's stone--heart, I mean--in the shape of an
affront, a slight, or real, or phansied injury. She boar an
exlent, irreprotchable character, against which the tongue of
scandal never wagged. She was allowed to be the best wife posbill--
and so she was; but she killed her old husband in two years, as
dead as ever Mr. Thurtell killed Mr. William Weare. She never got
into a passion, not she--she never said a rude word; but she'd a
genius--a genius which many women have--of making A HELL of a
house, and tort'ring the poor creatures of her family, until they
were wellnigh drove mad.
Miss Matilda Griffin was a good deal uglier, and about as amiable
as her mother-in-law. She was crooked, and squinted; my lady, to
do her justice, was straight, and looked the same way with her i's.
She was dark, and my lady was fair--sentimental, as her ladyship
was cold. My lady was never in a passion--Miss Matilda always; and
awfille were the scenes which used to pass between these 2 women,
and the wickid, wickid quarls which took place. Why did they live
together? There was the mistry. Not related, and hating each
other like pison, it would surely have been easier to remain
seprat, and so have detested each other at a distans.
As for the fortune which old Sir George had left, that, it was
clear, was very considrabble--300 thousand lb. at the least, as I
have heard say. But nobody knew how it was disposed of. Some said
that her ladyship was sole mistriss of it, others that it was
divided, others that she had only a life inkum, and that the money
was all to go (as was natral) to Miss Matilda. These are subjix
which are not praps very interesting to the British public, but
were mighty important to my master, the Honrable Algernon Percy
Deuceace, esquire, barrister-at-law, etsettler, etsettler.
For I've forgot to inform you that my master was very intimat in
this house; and that we were now comfortably settled at the Hotel
Mirabew (pronounced Marobo in French), in the Rew delly Pay, at
Paris. We had our cab, and two riding horses; our banker's book,
and a thousand pound for a balantz at Lafitt's; our club at the
corner of the Rew Gramong; our share in a box at the oppras; our
apartments, spacious and elygant; our swarries at court; our
dinners at his excellency Lord Bobtail's and elsewhere. Thanks to
poar Dawkins's five thousand pound, we were as complete gentlemen
as any in Paris.
Now my master, like a wise man as he was, seaing himself at the
head of a smart sum of money, and in a country where his debts
could not bother him, determined to give up for the present every
think like gambling--at least, high play; as for losing or winning
a ralow of Napoleums at whist or ecarty, it did not matter;
it looks like money to do such things, and gives a kind of
respectabilaty. "But as for play, he wouldn't--oh no! not for
worlds!--do such a thing." He HAD played, like other young men of
fashn, and won and lost [old fox! he didn't say he had PAID]; but
he had given up the amusement, and was now determined, he said, to
live on his inkum. The fact is, my master was doing his very best
to act the respectable man: and a very good game it is, too; but it
requires a precious great roag to play it.
He made his appearans reglar at church--me carrying a handsome
large black marocky Prayer-book and Bible, with the psalms and
lessons marked out with red ribbings; and you'd have thought, as I
graivly laid the volloms down before him, and as he berried his
head in his nicely brushed hat, before service began, that such a
pious, proper morl, young nobleman was not to be found in the whole
of the peeridge. It was a comfort to look at him. Efry old tabby
and dowyger at my Lord Bobtail's turned up the wights of their i's
when they spoke of him, and vowed they had never seen such a dear,
daliteful, exlent young man. What a good son he must be, they
said; and oh, what a good son-in-law! He had the pick of all the
English gals at Paris before we had been there 3 months. But,
unfortunately, most of them were poar; and love and a cottidge was
not quite in master's way of thinking.
Well, about this time my Lady Griffin and Miss G. made their
appearants at Parris, and master, who was up to snough, very soon
changed his noat. He sate near them at chapple, and sung hims with
my lady: he danced with 'em at the embassy balls; he road with them
in the Boy de Balong and the Shandeleasies (which is the French
High Park); he roat potry in Miss Griffin's halbim, and sang jewets
along with her and Lady Griffin; he brought sweet-meats for the
puddle-dog; he gave money to the footmin, kissis and gloves to the
sniggering ladies'-maids; he was sivvle even to poar Miss Kicksey;
there wasn't a single soal at the Griffinses that didn't adoar this
good young man.
The ladies, if they hated befoar, you may be sure detested each
other now wuss than ever. There had been always a jallowsy between
them: miss jellows of her mother-in-law's bewty; madam of miss's
espree: miss taunting my lady about the school at Islington, and my
lady sneering at miss for her squint and her crookid back. And now
came a stronger caws. They both fell in love with Mr. Deuceace--my
lady, that is to say, as much as she could, with her cold selfish
temper. She liked Deuceace, who amused her and made her laff. She
liked his manners, his riding, and his good loox; and being a
pervinew herself had a dubble respect for real aristocratick flesh
and blood. Miss's love, on the contry, was all flams and fury.
She'd always been at this work from the time she had been at
school, where she very nigh run away with a Frentch master; next
with a footman (which I may say, in confidence, is by no means
unnatral or unusyouall, as I COULD SHOW IF I LIKED); and so had
been going on sins fifteen. She reglarly flung herself at
Deuceace's head--such sighing, crying, and ogling, I never see.
Often was I ready to bust out laffin, as I brought master skoars of
rose-colored billydoos, folded up like cockhats, and smellin like
barber's shops, which this very tender young lady used to address
to him. Now, though master was a scoundrill and no mistake, he was
a gentlemin, and a man of good breading; and miss CAME A LITTLE TOO
STRONG (pardon the wulgarity of the xpression) with her hardor and
attachmint, for one of his taste. Besides, she had a crookid
spine, and a squint; so that (supposing their fortns tolrabbly
equal) Deuceace reely preferred the mother-in-law.
Now, then, it was his bisniss to find out which had the most money.
With an English famly this would have been easy: a look at a will
at Doctor Commons'es would settle the matter at once. But this
India naybob's will was at Calcutty, or some outlandish place; and
there was no getting sight of a coppy of it. I will do Mr.
Algernon Deuceace the justass to say, that he was so little musnary
in his love for Lady Griffin, that he would have married her
gladly, even if she had ten thousand pounds less than Miss Matilda.
In the meantime, his plan was to keep 'em both in play, until he
could strike the best fish of the two--not a difficult matter for a
man of his genus: besides, Miss was hooked for certain.
"HONOR THY FATHER."
I said that my master was adoard by every person in my Lady
Griffin's establishmint. I should have said by every person excep
one,--a young French gnlmn, that is, who, before our appearants,
had been mighty partiklar with my lady, ockupying by her side
exackly the same pasition which the Honrable Mr. Deuceace now held.
It was bewtiffle and headifying to see how coolly that young
nobleman kicked the poar Shevalliay de L'Orge out of his shoes, and
how gracefully he himself stept into 'em. Munseer de L'Orge was a
smart young French jentleman, of about my master's age and good
looks, but not possest of half my master's impidince. Not that
that quallaty is uncommon in France; but few, very few, had it to
such a degree as my exlent employer, Mr. Deuceace. Besides De
L'Orge was reglarly and reely in love with Lady Griffin, and master
only pretending: he had, of coars, an advantitch, which the poor
Frentchman never could git. He was all smiles and gaty, while
Delorge was ockward and melumcolly. My master had said twenty
pretty things to Lady Griffin, befor the shevalier had finished
smoothing his hat, staring at her, and sighing fit to bust his
weskit. O luv, luv! THIS isn't the way to win a woman, or my
name's not Fitzroy Yellowplush! Myself, when I begun my carear
among the fair six, I was always sighing and moping, like this poar
Frenchman. What was the consquints? The foar fust women I adoared
lafft at me, and left me for something more lively. With the rest
I have edopted a diffrent game, and with tolerable suxess, I can
tell you. But this is eggatism, which I aboar.
Well, the long and the short of it is, that Munseer Ferdinand
Hyppolite Xavier Stanislas, Shevalier de L'Orge, was reglar cut out
by Munseer Algernon Percy Deuceace, Exquire. Poar Ferdinand did
not leave the house--he hadn't the heart to do that--nor had my
lady the desire to dismiss him. He was usefle in a thousand
different ways, gitting oppra-boxes, and invitations to French
swarries, bying gloves, and O de Colong, writing French noats, and
such like. Always let me recommend an English famly, going to
Paris, to have at least one young man of the sort about them.
Never mind how old your ladyship is, he will make love to you;
never mind what errints you send him upon, he'll trot off and do
them. Besides, he's always quite and well-dresst, and never drinx
moar than a pint of wine at dinner, which (as I say) is a pint to
consider. Such a conveniants of a man was Munseer de L'Orge--the
greatest use and comfort to my lady posbill; if it was but to laff
at his bad pronunciatium of English, it was somethink amusink; the
fun was to pit him against poar Miss Kicksey, she speakin French,
and he our naytif British tong.
My master, to do him justace, was perfickly sivvle to this poar
young Frenchman; and having kicked him out of the place which he
occupied, sertingly treated his fallen anymy with every respect and
consideration. Poar modist, down-hearted little Ferdinand adoured
my lady as a goddice! and so he was very polite likewise to my
master--never venturing once to be jellows of him, or to question
my Lady Griffin's right to change her lover, if she choase to do
Thus, then, matters stood; master had two strinx to his bo, and
might take either the widdo or the orfn, as he preferred: com bong
lwee somblay, as the Frentch say. His only pint was to discover
how the money was disposed off, which evidently belonged to one or
other, or boath. At any rate he was sure of one; as sure as any
mortal man can be in this sublimary spear, where nothink is suttin
. . . . . .
A very unixpected insident here took place, which in a good deal
changed my master's calkylations.
One night, after conducting the two ladies to the oppra, after
suppink of white soop, sammy-deperdrow, and shampang glassy (which
means eyced), at their house in the Plas Vandom, me and master
droav hoam in the cab, as happy as possbill.
"Chawls you d----d scoundrel," says he to me (for he was in an
exlent humer), "when I'm married, I'll dubbil your wagis."
This he might do, to be sure, without injuring himself, seeing that
he had us yet never paid me any. But, what then? Law bless us!
things would be at a pretty pass if we suvvants only lived on our
WAGIS; our puckwisits is the thing, and no mistake.
I ixprest my gratitude as best I could; swoar that it wasn't for
wagis I served him--that I would as leaf weight upon him for
nothink; and that never, never, so long as I livd, would I, of my
own accord, part from such an exlent master. By the time these two
spitches had been made--my spitch and his--we arrived at the "Hotel
Mirabeu;" which, us every body knows, ain't very distant from the
Plas Vandome. Up we marched to our apartmince, me carrying the
light and the cloax, master hummink a hair out of the oppra, as
merry as a lark.
I opened the door of our salong. There was lights already in the
room; an empty shampang bottle roalin on the floar, another on the
table; near which the sofy was drawn, and on it lay a stout old
genlmn, smoaking seagars as if he'd bean in an inn tap-room.
Deuceace (who abommunates seagars, as I've already shown) bust into
a furious raige against the genlmn, whom he could hardly see for
the smoak; and, with a number of oaves quite unnecessary to repeat,
asked him what bisniss he'd there.
The smoaking chap rose, and, laying down his seagar, began a ror of
laffin, and said, "What! Algy my boy! don't you know me?"
The reader may praps recklect a very affecting letter which was
published in the last chapter of these memoars; in which the writer
requested a loan of five hundred pound from Mr. Algernon Deuceace,
and which boar the respected signatur of the Earl of Crabs, Mr.
Deuceace's own father. It was that distinguished arastycrat who
was now smokin and laffin in our room.
My Lord Crabs was, as I preshumed, about 60 years old. A stowt,
burly, red-faced, bald-headed nobleman, whose nose seemed blushing
at what his mouth was continually swallowing; whose hand, praps,
trembled a little; and whose thy and legg was not quite so full or
as steddy as they had been in former days. But he was a
respecktabble, fine-looking old nobleman; and though it must be
confest, 1/2 drunk when we fust made our appearance in the salong,
yet by no means moor so than a reel noblemin ought to be.
"What, Algy my boy!" shouts out his lordship, advancing and seasing
master by the hand, "doan't you know your own father?"
Master seemed anythink but overhappy. "My lord," says he, looking
very pail, and speakin rayther slow, "I didn't--I confess--the
unexpected pleasure--of seeing you in Paris. The fact is, sir,
said he," recovering himself a little; "the fact is, there was such
a confounded smoke of tobacco in the room, that I really could not
see who the stranger was who had paid me such an unexpected visit."
"A bad habit, Algernon; a bad habit," said my lord, lighting
another seagar: "a disgusting and filthy practice, which you, my
dear child, will do well to avoid. It is at best, dear Algernon,
but a nasty, idle pastime, unfitting a man as well for mental
exertion as for respectable society; sacrificing, at once, the
vigor of the intellect and the graces of the person. By-the-by,
what infernal bad tobacco they have, too, in this hotel. Could not
you send your servant to get me a few seagars at the Cafe de Paris?
Give him a five-franc piece, and let him go at once, that's a good
Here his lordship hiccupt, and drank off a fresh tumbler of
shampang. Very sulkily, master drew out the coin, and sent me on
Knowing the Cafe de Paris to be shut at that hour, I didn't say a
word, but quietly establisht myself in the ante-room; where, as it
happened by a singler coinstdints, I could hear every word of the
conversation between this exlent pair of relatifs.
"Help yourself, and get another bottle," says my lord, after a
sollum paws. My poar master, the king of all other compnies in
which he moved, seamed here but to play secknd fiddill, and went to
the cubbard, from which his father had already igstracted two
bottils of his prime Sillary.
He put it down before his father, coft, spit, opened the windows,
stirred the fire, yawned, clapt his hand to his forehead, and
suttnly seamed as uneezy as a genlmn could be. But it was of no
use; the old one would not budg. "Help yourself," says he again,
"and pass me the bottil."
"You are very good, father," says master; "but really, I neither
drink nor smoke."
"Right, my boy: quite right. Talk about a good conscience in this
life--a good STOMACK is everythink. No bad nights, no headachs--
eh? Quite cool and collected for your law studies in the morning?--
eh?" And the old nobleman here grinned, in a manner which would
have done creddit to Mr. Grimoldi.
Master sate pale and wincing, as I've seen a pore soldier under the
cat. He didn't anser a word. His exlent pa went on, warming as he
continued to speak, and drinking a fresh glas at evry full stop.
"How you must improve, with such talents and such principles! Why,
Algernon, all London talks of your industry and perseverance:
you're not merely a philosopher, man; hang it! you've got the
philosopher's stone. Fine rooms, fine horses, champagne, and all
for 200 a year!"
"I presume, sir," says my master, "that you mean the two hundred a
year which YOU pay me?"
"The very sum, my boy; the very sum!" cries my lord, laffin as if
he would die. "Why, that's the wonder! I never pay the two
hundred a year, and you keep all this state up upon nothing. Give
me your secret, O you young Trismegistus! Tell your old father how
such wonders can be worked, and I will--yes, then, upon my word, I
will--pay you your two hundred a year!"
"Enfin, my lord," says Mr. Deuceace, starting up, and losing all
patience, "will you have the goodness to tell me what this visit
means? You leave me to starve, for all you care; and you grow
mighty facetious because I earn my bread. You find me in
"Precisely, my boy; precisely. Keep your temper, and pass that
bottle. I find you in prosperity; and a young gentleman of your
genius and acquirements asks me why I seek your society? Oh,
Algernon! Algernon! this is not worthy of such a profound
philosopher. WHY do I seek you? Why, because you ARE in
prosperity, O my son! else, why the devil should I bother my self
about you? Did I, your poor mother, or your family, ever get from
you a single affectionate feeling? Did we, or any other of your
friends or intimates, ever know you to be guilty of a single honest
or generous action? Did we ever pretend any love for you, or you
for us? Algernon Deuceace, you don't want a father to tell you
that you are a swindler and a spendthrift! I have paid thousands
for the debts of yourself and your brothers; and, if you pay nobody
else, I am determined you shall repay me. You would not do it by
fair means, when I wrote to you and asked you for a loan of money.
I knew you would not. Had I written again to warn you of my
coming, you would have given me the slip; and so I came, uninvited,
to FORCE you to repay me. THAT'S why I am here, Mr. Algernon; and
so help yourself and pass the bottle."
After this speach, the old genlmn sunk down on the sofa, and puffed
as much smoke out of his mouth as if he'd been the chimley of a
steam-injian. I was pleased, I confess, with the sean, and liked
to see this venrabble and virtuous old man a-nocking his son about
the hed; just as Deuceace had done with Mr. Richard Blewitt, as
I've before shown. Master's face was, fust, red-hot; next, chawk-
white: and then sky-blew. He looked, for all the world, like Mr.
Tippy Cooke in the tragady of Frankinstang. At last, he mannidged
"My lord," says he, "I expected when I saw you that some such
scheme was on foot. Swindler and spendthrift as I am, at least it
is but a family failing; and I am indebted for my virtues to my
father's precious example. Your lordship has, I perceive, added
drunkenness to the list of your accomplishments, and, I suppose,
under the influence of that gentlemanly excitement, has come to
make these preposterous propositions to me. When you are sober,
you will, perhaps, be wise enough to know, that, fool as I may be,
I am not such a fool as you think me; and that if I have got money,
I intend to keep it--every farthing of it, though you were to be
ten times as drunk, and ten times as threatening as you are now."
"Well, well, my boy," said Lord Crabs, who seemed to have been half
asleep during his son's oratium, and received all his sneers and
surcasms with the most complete good-humor; "well, well, if you
will resist, tant pis pour toi. I've no desire to ruin you,
recollect, and am not in the slightest degree angry but I must and
will have a thousand pounds. You had better give me the money at
once; it will cost you more if you don't."
"Sir," says Mr. Deuceace, "I will be equally candid. I would not
give you a farthing to save you from--"
Here I thought proper to open the doar, and, touching my hat, said,
"I have been to the Cafe de Paris, my lord, but the house is shut."
"Bon: there's a good lad; you may keep the five francs. And now,
get me a candle and show me down stairs."
But my master seized the wax taper. "Pardon me, my lord," says he.
"What! a servant do it, when your son is in the room? Ah, par
exemple, my dear father," said he, laughing, "you think there is no
politeness left among us." And he led the way out.
"Good night, my dear boy," said Lord Crabs,
"God bless you, sir," says he. "Are you wrapped warm? Mind the
And so this affeckshnate pair parted.
Master rose the nex morning with a dismal countinants--he seamed to
think that his pa's visit boded him no good. I heard him muttering
at his brexfast, and fumbling among his hundred pound notes; once
he had laid a parsle of them aside (I knew what he meant), to send
'em to his father. "But no," says he at last, clutching them all
up together again, and throwing them into his escritaw, "what harm
can he do me? If he is a knave, I know another who's full as
sharp. Let's see if we cannot beat him at his own weapons." With
that Mr. Deuceace drest himself in his best clothes, and marched
off to the Plas Vandom, to pay his cort to the fair widdo and the
It was abowt ten o'clock, and he propoased to the ladies, on seeing
them, a number of planns for the day's rackryation. Riding in the
Body Balong, going to the Twillaries to see King Looy Disweet (who
was then the raining sufferin of the French crownd) go to chapple,
and, finely, a dinner at 5 o'clock at the Caffy de Parry; whents
they were all to adjourn, to see a new peace at the theatre of the
Pot St. Martin, called Sussannar and the Elders.
The gals agread to everythink, exsep the two last prepositiums.
"We have an engagement, my dear Mr. Algernon," said my lady.
"Look--a very kind letter from Lady Bobtail." And she handed over
a pafewmd noat from that exolted lady. It ran thus:--
"FBG. ST. HONORE, Thursday, Feb. 15, 1817.
"MY DEAR LADY GRIFFIN,--It is an age since we met. Harassing
public duties occupy so much myself and Lord Bobtail, that we have
scarce time to see our private friends; among whom, I hope, my dear
Lady Griffin will allow me to rank her. Will you excuse so
unceremonious an invitation, and dine with us at the embassy to-
day? We shall be en petite comite, and shall have the pleasure of
hearing, I hope, some of your charming daughter's singing in the
evening. I ought, perhaps, to have addressed a separate, note to
dear Miss Griffin; but I hope she will pardon a poor diplomate, who
has so many letters to write, you know.
"Farewell till seven, when I POSITIVELY MUST see you both. Ever,
dearest Lady Griffin, your affectionate
Such a letter from the ambassdriss, brot by the ambasdor's
Shassure, and sealed with his seal of arms, would affect anybody in
the middling ranx of life. It droav Lady Griffin mad with delight;
and, long before my master's arrivle, she'd sent Mortimer and
Fitzclarence, her two footmin, along with a polite reply in the
Master read the noat with no such fealinx of joy. He felt that
there was somethink a-going on behind the seans, and, though he
could not tell how, was sure that some danger was near him. That
old fox of a father of his had begun his M'Inations pretty early!
Deuceace handed back the letter; sneared, and poohd, and hinted
that such an invitation was an insult at best (what he called a
pees ally); and, the ladies might depend upon it, was only sent
because Lady Bobtail wanted to fill up two spare places at her
table. But Lady Griffin and Miss would not have his insinwations;
they knew too fu lords ever to refuse an invitatium from any one of
them. Go they would; and poor Deuceace must dine alone. After
they had been on their ride, and had had their other amusemince,
master came back with them, chatted, and laft; he was mighty
sarkastix with my lady; tender and sentrymentle with Miss; and left
them both in high sperrits to perform their twollet, before dinner.
As I came to the door (for I was as famillyer as a servnt of the
house), as I came into the drawing-room to announts his cab, I saw
master very quietly taking his pocket-book (or pot fool, as the
French call it) and thrusting it under one of the cushinx of the
sofa. What game is this? thinx I.
Why, this was the game. In abowt two hours, when he knew the
ladies were gon, he pretends to be vastly anxious abowt the loss of
his potfolio; and back he goes to Lady Griffinses to seek for it
"Pray," says he, on going in, "ask Miss Kicksey if I may see her
for a single moment." And down comes Miss Kicksey, quite smiling,
and happy to see him.
"Law, Mr. Deuceace!" says she, trying to blush as hard as ever she
could, "you quite surprise me! I don't know whether I ought,
really, being alone, to admit a gentleman."
"Nay, don't say so, dear Miss Kicksey! for do you know, I came here
for a double purpose--to ask about a pocket-book which I have lost,
and may, perhaps, have left here; and then, to ask you if you will
have the great goodness to pity a solitary bachelor, and give him a
cup of your nice tea?"
NICE TEA! I thot I should have split; for I'm blest if master had
eaten a morsle of dinner!
Never mind: down to tea they sat. "Do you take cream and sugar,
dear sir?" says poar Kicksey, with a voice as tender as a tuttle-
"Both, dearest Miss Kicksey!" answers master; who stowed in a power
of sashong and muffinx which would have done honor to a washawoman.
I shan't describe the conversation that took place betwigst master
and this young lady. The reader, praps, knows y Deuceace took the
trouble to talk to her for an hour, and to swallow all her tea. He
wanted to find out from her all she knew about the famly money
matters, and settle at once which of the two Griffinses he should
The poar thing, of cors, was no match for such a man as my master.
In a quarter of an hour, he had, if I may use the igspression,
"turned her inside out." He knew everything that she knew; and
that, poar creature, was very little. There was nine thousand a
year, she had heard say, in money, in houses, in banks in Injar,
and what not. Boath the ladies signed papers for selling or
buying, and the money seemed equilly divided betwigst them.
NINE THOUSAND A YEAR! Deuceace went away, his cheex tingling, his
heart beating. He, without a penny, could nex morning, if he
liked, be master of five thousand per hannum!
Yes. But how? Which had the money, the mother or the daughter?
All the tea-drinking had not taught him this piece of nollidge; and
Deuceace thought it a pity that he could not marry both.
. . . . . .
The ladies came back at night, mightaly pleased with their
reception at the ambasdor's; and, stepping out of their carridge,
bid coachmin drive on with a gentlemin who had handed them out--a
stout old gentlemin, who shook hands most tenderly at parting, and
promised to call often upon my Lady Griffin. He was so polite,
that he wanted to mount the stairs with her ladyship; but no, she
would not suffer it. "Edward," says she to the coachmin, quite
loud, and pleased that all the people in the hotel should hear her,
"you will take the carriage, and drive HIS LORDSHIP home." Now,
can you guess who his lordship was? The Right Hon. the Earl of
Crabs, to be sure; the very old genlmn whom I had seen on such
charming terms with his son the day before. Master knew this the
nex day, and began to think he had been a fool to deny his pa the
Now, though the suckmstansies of the dinner at the ambasdor's only
came to my years some time after, I may as well relate 'em here,
word for word, as they was told me by the very genlmn who waited
behind Lord Crabseses chair.
There was only a "petty comity" at dinner, as Lady Bobtail said;
and my Lord Crabs was placed betwigst the two Griffinses, being
mighty ellygant and palite to both. "Allow me," says he to Lady G.
(between the soop and the fish), "my dear madam, to thank you--
fervently thank you for your goodness to my poor boy. Your
ladyship is too young to experience, but, I am sure, far too tender
not to understand the gratitude which must fill a fond parent's
heart for kindness shown to his child. Believe me," says my lord,
looking her full and tenderly in the face, "that the favors you
have done to another have been done equally to myself, and awaken
in my bosom the same grateful and affectionate feelings with which
you have already inspired my son Algernon."
Lady Griffin blusht, and droopt her head till her ringlets fell
into her fish-plate: and she swallowed Lord Crabs's flumry just as
she would so many musharuins. My lord (whose powers of slack-jaw
was notoarious) nex addrast another spitch to Miss Griffin. He
said he'd heard how Deuceace was SITUATED. Miss blusht--what a
happy dog he was--Miss blusht crimson, and then he sighed deeply,
and began eating his turbat and lobster sos. Master was a good un
at flumry, but, law bless you! he was no moar equill to the old man
than a mole-hill is to a mounting. Before the night was over, he
had made as much progress as another man would in a ear. One
almost forgot his red nose and his big stomick, and his wicked
leering i's, in his gentle insiniwating woice, his fund of
annygoats, and, above all, the bewtific, morl, religious, and
honrabble toan of his genral conservation. Praps you will say that
these ladies were, for such rich pipple, mightaly esaly captivated;
but recklect, my dear sir, that they were fresh from Injar,--that
they'd not sean many lords,--that they adoared the peeridge, as
every honest woman does in England who has proper feelinx, and has
read the fashnabble novvles,--and that here at Paris was their fust
step into fashnabble sosiaty.
Well, after dinner, while Miss Matilda was singing "Die tantie," or
"Dip your chair," or some of them sellabrated Italyian hairs (when
she began this squall, hang me if she'd ever stop), my lord gets
hold of Lady Griffin again, and gradgaly begins to talk to her in a
very different strane.
"What a blessing it is for us all," says he, "that Algernon has
found a friend so respectable as your ladyship."
"Indeed, my lord; and why? I suppose I am not the only respectable
friend that Mr. Deuceace has?"
"No, surely; not the only one he HAS HAD: his birth, and, permit me
to say, his relationship to myself, have procured him many. But--"
(here my lord heaved a very affecting and large sigh).
"But what?" says my lady, laffing at the igspression of his dismal
face. "You don't mean that Mr. Deuceace has lost them or is
unworthy of them?"
"I trust not, my dear madam, I trust not; but he is wild,
thoughtless, extravagant, and embarrassed: and you know a man under
these circumstances is not very particular as to his associates."
"Embarrassed? Good heavens! He says he has two thousand a year
left him by a god-mother; and he does not seem even to spend his
income--a very handsome independence, too, for a bachelor."
My lord nodded his head sadly, and said,--"Will your ladyship give
me your word of honor to be secret? My son has but a thousand a
year, which I allow him, and is heavily in debt. He has played,
madam, I fear; and for this reason I am so glad to hear that he is
in a respectable domestic circle, where he may learn, in the
presence of far greater and purer attractions, to forget the dice-
box, and the low company which has been his bane."
My Lady Griffin looked very grave indeed. Was it true? Was
Deuceace sincere in his professions of love, or was he only a
sharper wooing her for her money? Could she doubt her informer?
his own father, and, what's more, a real flesh and blood pear of
parlyment? She determined she would try him. Praps she did not
know she had liked Deuceace so much, until she kem to feel how much
she should HATE him if she found he'd been playing her false.
The evening was over, and back they came, as wee've seen,--my lord
driving home in my lady's carridge, her ladyship and Miss walking
up stairs to their own apartmince.
Here, for a wonder, was poar Miss Kicksey quite happy and smiling,
and evidently full of a secret,--something mighty pleasant, to
judge from her loox. She did not long keep it. As she was making
tea for the ladies (for in that house they took a cup regular
before bedtime), "Well, my lady," says she, "who do you think has
been to drink tea with me?" Poar thing, a frendly face was a event
in her life--a tea-party quite a hera!
"Why, perhaps, Lenoir my maid," says my lady, looking grave. "I
wish, Miss Kicksey, you would not demean yourself by mixing with my
domestics. Recollect, madam, that you are sister to Lady Griffin."
"No, my lady, it was not Lenoir; it was a gentleman, and a handsome
"Oh, it was Monsieur de l'Orge, then," says Miss; "he promised to
bring me some guitar-strings."
"No, nor yet M. de l'Orge. He came, but was not so polite as to
ask for me. What do you think of your own beau, the Honorable Mr.
Algernon Deuceace;" and, so saying, poar Kicksey clapped her hands
together, and looked as joyfle as if she'd come in to a fortin.
"Mr. Deuceace here; and why, pray?" says my lady, who recklected
all that his exlent pa had been saying to her.
"Why, in the first place, he had left his pocket-book, and in the
second, he wanted, he said, a dish of my nice tea; which he took,
and stayed with me an hour, or moar."
"And pray, Miss Kicksey," said Miss Matilda, quite contempshusly,
"what may have been the subject of your conversation with Mr.
Algernon? Did you talk politics, or music, or fine arts, or
metaphysics?" Miss M. being what was called a blue (as most hump-
backed women in sosiaty are), always made a pint to speak on these
"No, indeed; he talked of no such awful matters. If he had, you
know, Matilda, I should never have understood him. First we talked
about the weather, next about muffins and crumpets. Crumpets, he
said, he liked best; and then we talked" (here Miss Kicksey's voice
fell) "about poor dear Sir George in heaven! what a good husband he
"What a good fortune he left, eh, Miss Kicksey?" says my lady, with
a hard, snearing voice, and a diabollicle grin.
"Yes, dear Leonora, he spoke so respectfully of your blessed
husband, and seemed so anxious about you and Matilda, it was quite
charming to hear him, dear man!"
"And pray, Miss Kicksey, what did you tell him?"
"Oh, I told him that you and Leonora had nine thousand a year, and--"
"Why, nothing; that is all I know. I am sure I wish I had ninety,"
says poor Kicksey, her eyes turning to heaven.
"Ninety fiddlesticks! Did not Mr. Deuceace ask how the money was
left, and to which of us?"
"Yes; but I could not tell him."
"I knew it!" says my lady, slapping down her tea-cup,--"I knew it!"
"Well!" says Miss Matilda, "and why not, Lady Griffin? There is no
reason you should break your tea-cup, because Algernon asks a
harmless question. HE is not mercenary; he is all candor,
innocence, generosity! He is himself blessed with a sufficient
portion of the world's goods to be content; and often and often has
he told me he hoped the woman of his choice might come to him
without a penny, that he might show the purity of his affection."
"I've no doubt," says my lady. "Perhaps the lady of his choice is
Miss Matilda Griffin!" and she flung out of the room, slamming the
door, and leaving Miss Matilda to bust into tears, as was her
reglar custom, and pour her loves and woas into the buzzom of Miss
"HITTING THE NALE ON THE HEDD."
The nex morning, down came me and master to Lady Griffinses,--I
amusing myself with the gals in the antyroom, he paying his devours
to the ladies in the salong. Miss was thrumming on her gitter; my
lady was before a great box of papers, busy with accounts, bankers'
books, lawyers' letters, and what not. Law bless us! it's a kind
of bisniss I should like well enuff; especially when my hannual
account was seven or eight thousand on the right side, like my
lady's. My lady in this house kep all these matters to herself.
Miss was a vast deal too sentrimentle to mind business.
Miss Matilda's eyes sparkled as master came in; she pinted
gracefully to a place on the sofy beside her, which Deuceace took.
My lady only looked up for a moment, smiled very kindly, and down
went her head among the papers agen, as busy as a B.
"Lady Griffin has had letters from London," says Miss, "from nasty
lawyers and people. Come here and sit by me, you naughty man you!"
And down sat master. "Willingly," says he, "my dear Miss Griffin;
why, I declare, it is quits a tete-a-tete."
"Well," says Miss (after the prillimnary flumries, in coarse), "we
met a friend of yours at the embassy, Mr. Deuceace."
"My father, doubtless; he is a great friend of the ambassador, and
surprised me myself by a visit the night before last."
"What a dear delightful old man! how he loves you, Mr. Deuceace!"
"Oh, amazingly!" says master, throwing his i's to heaven.
"He spoke of nothing but you, and such praises of you!"
Master breathed more freely. "He is very good, my dear father; but
blind, as all fathers are, he is so partial and attached to me."
"He spoke of you being his favorite child, and regretted that you
were not his eldest son. 'I can but leave him the small portion of
a younger brother,' he said; 'but never mind, he has talents, a
noble name, and an independence of his own.'"
"An independence? yes, oh yes; I am quite independent of my
"Two thousand pounds a year left you by your godmother; the very
same you told us you know."
"Neither more nor less," says master, bobbing his head; a
sufficiency, my dear Miss Griffin,--to a man of my moderate habits
an ample provision."
"By-the-by," cries out Lady Griffin, interrupting the conversation,
"you who are talking about money matters there, I wish you would
come to the aid of poor ME! Come, naughty boy, and help me out
with this long long sum."
DIDN'T HE GO--that's all! My i, how his i's shone, as he skipt
across the room, and seated himself by my lady!
"Look!" said she, "my agents write me over that they have received
a remittance of 7,200 rupees, at 2s. 9d. a rupee. Do tell me what
the sum is, in pounds and shillings;" which master did with great
"Nine hundred and ninety pounds. Good; I daresay you are right.
I'm sure I can't go through the fatigue to see. And now comes
another question. Whose money is this, mine or Matilda's? You see
it is the interest of a sum in India, which we have not had
occasion to touch; and, according to the terms of poor Sir George's
will, I really don't know how to dispose of the money except to
spend it. Matilda, what shall we do with it?"
"La, ma'am, I wish you would arrange the business yourself."
"Well, then, Algernon, YOU tell me;" and she laid her hand on his
and looked him most pathetickly in the face.
"Why," says he, "I don't know how Sir George left his money; you
must let me see his will, first."
Master's chair seemed suddenly to have got springs in the cushns;
he was obliged to HOLD HIMSELF DOWN.
"Look here, I have only a copy, taken by my hand from Sir George's
own manuscript. Soldiers, you know, do not employ lawyers much,
and this was written on the night before going into action." And
she read, "'I, George Griffin,' &c. &c.--you know how these things
begin--'being now of sane mind'--um, um, um,--'leave to my friends,
Thomas Abraham Hicks, a colonel in the H. E. I. Company's Service,
and to John Monro Mackirkincroft (of the house of Huffle,
Mackirkincroft, and Dobbs, at Calcutta), the whole of my property,
to be realized as speedily as they may (consistently with the
interests of the property), in trust for my wife, Leonora Emilia
Griffin (born L. E. Kicksey), and my only legitimate child, Matilda
Griffin. The interest resulting from such property to be paid to
them, share and share alike; the principal to remain untouched, in
the names of the said T. A. Hicks and J. M. Mackirkincroft, until
the death of my wife, Leonora Emilia Griffin, when it shall be paid
to my daughter, Matilda Griffin, her heirs, executors, or assigns.'"
"There," said my lady, "we won't read any more; all the rest is
stuff. But now you know the whole business, tell us what is to be
done with the money?"
"Why, the money, unquestionably, should be divided between you."
"Tant mieux, say I; I really thought it had been all Matilda's."
. . . . . .
There was a paws for a minit or two after the will had been read.
Master left the desk at which he had been seated with her ladyship,
paced up and down the room for a while, and then came round to the
place where Miss Matilda was seated. At last he said, in a low,
"I am almost sorry, my dear Lady Griffin, that you have read that
will to me; for an attachment such as mine must seem, I fear,
mercenary, when the object of it is so greatly favored by worldly
fortune. Miss Griffin--Matilda! I know I may say the word; your
dear eyes grant me the permission. I need not tell you, or you,
dear mother-in-law, how long, how fondly, I have adored you. My
tender, my beautiful Matilda, I will not affect to say I have not
read your heart ere this, and that I have not known the preference
with which you have honored me. SPEAK IT, dear girl! from your own
sweet lips: in the presence of an affectionate parent, utter the
sentence which is to seal my happiness for life. Matilda, dearest
Matilda! say, oh say, that you love me!"
Miss M. shivered, turned pail, rowled her eyes about, and fell on
master's neck, whispering hodibly, "I DO!"
My lady looked at the pair for a moment with her teeth grinding,
her i's glaring, her busm throbbing, and her face chock white; for
all the world like Madam Pasty, in the oppra of "Mydear" (when
she's goin to mudder her childring, you recklect); and out she
flounced from the room, without a word, knocking down poar me, who
happened to be very near the dor, and leaving my master along with
his crook-back mistress.
I've repotted the speech he made to her pretty well. The fact is,
I got it in a ruff copy; only on the copy it's wrote, "Lady
Griffin, Leonora!" instead of "Miss Griffin, Matilda," as in the
abuff, and so on.
Master had hit the right nail on the head this time, he thought:
but his adventors an't over yet.
THE GRIFFIN'S CLAWS.
Well, master had hit the right nail on the head this time: thanx to
luck--the crooked one, to be sure, but then it had the GOOLD NOBB,
which was the part Deuceace most valued, as well he should; being a
connyshure as to the relletiff valyou of pretious metals, and much
preferring virging goold like this to poor old battered iron like
my Lady Griffin.
And so, in spite of his father (at which old noblemin Mr. Deuceace
now snapt his fingers), in spite of his detts (which, to do him
Justas, had never stood much in his way), and in spite of his
povatty, idleness, extravagans, swindling, and debotcheries of all
kinds (which an't GENERALLY very favorable to a young man who has
to make his way in the world); in spite of all, there he was, I
say, at the topp of the trea, the fewcher master of a perfect
fortun, the defianced husband of a fool of a wife. What can
mortial man want more? Vishns of ambishn now occupied his soal.
Shooting boxes, oppra boxes, money boxes always full; hunters at
Melton; a seat in the house of Commins: heaven knows what! and not
a poar footman, who only describes what he's seen, and can't, in
cors, pennytrate into the idears and the busms of men.
You may be shore that the three-cornered noats came pretty thick
now from the Griffinses. Miss was always a-writing them befoar;
and now, nite, noon, and mornink, breakfast, dinner, and sopper, in
they came, till my pantry (for master never read 'em, and I carried
'em out) was puffickly intolrabble from the odor of musk, ambygrease,
bargymot, and other sense with which they were impregniated. Here's
the contense of three on 'em, which I've kep in my dex these twenty
years as skeewriosities. Faw! I can smel 'em at this very minit, as
I am copying them down.
BILLY DOO. No. I.
"Monday morning, 2 o'clock.
"'Tis the witching hour of night. Luna illumines my chamber, and
falls upon my sleepless pillow. By her light I am inditing these
words to thee, my Algernon. My brave and beautiful, my soul's
lord! when shall the time come when the tedious night shall not
separate us, nor the blessed day? Twelve! one! two! I have heard
the bells chime, and the quarters, and never cease to think of my
husband. My adored Percy, pardon the girlish confession,--I have
kissed the letter at this place. Will thy lips press it too, and
remain for a moment on the spot which has been equally saluted by
This was the FUST letter, and was brot to our house by one of the
poar footmin, Fitzclarence, at sicks o'clock in the morning. I
thot it was for life and death, and woak master at that extraornary
hour, and gave it to him. I shall never forgit him, when he red
it; he cramped it up, and he cust and swoar, applying to the lady
who roat, the genlmn that brought it, and me who introjuiced it to
his notice such a collection of epitafs as I seldum hered, excep at
Billinxgit. The fact is thiss; for a fust letter, miss's noat was
RATHER too strong and sentymentle. But that was her way; she was
always reading melancholy stoary books--"Thaduse of Wawsaw," the
"Sorrows of MacWhirter," and such like.
After about 6 of them, master never yoused to read them, but handid
them over to me, to see if there was anythink in them which must be
answered, in order to kip up appearuntses. The next letter is
"BELOVED! to what strange madnesses will passion lead one! Lady
Griffin, since your avowal yesterday, has not spoken a word to your
poor Matilda; has declared that she will admit no one (heigho! not
even you, my Algernon); and has locked herself in her own dressing-
room. I do believe that she is JEALOUS, and fancies that you were
in love with HER! Ha, ha! I could have told her ANOTHER TALE--
n'est-ce pas? Adieu, adieu, adieu! A thousand thousand million
"Monday afternoon, 2 o'clock."
There was another letter kem before bedtime; for though me and
master called at the Griffinses, we wairnt aloud to enter at no
price. Mortimer and Fitzclarence grin'd at me, as much as to say
we were going to be relations; but I don't spose master was very
sorry when he was obleached to come back without seeing the fare
objict of his affeckshns.
Well, on Chewsdy there was the same game; ditto on Wensday; only,
when we called there, who should we see but our father, Lord Crabs,
who was waiving his hand to Miss Kicksey, and saying HE SHOULD BE
BACK TO DINNER AT 7, just as me and master came up the stares.
There was no admittns for us though. "Bah! bah! never mind," says
my lord, taking his son affeckshnately by the hand. "What, two
strings to your bow; ay, Algernon? The dowager a little jealous,
miss a little lovesick. But my lady's fit of anger will vanish,
and I promise you, my boy, that you shall see your fair one to-
And so saying, my lord walked master down stares, looking at him as
tender and affeckshnat, and speaking to him as sweet as posbill.
Master did not know what to think of it. He never new what game
his old father was at; only he somehow felt that he had got his
head in a net, in spite of his suxess on Sunday. I knew it--I knew
it quite well, as soon as I saw the old genlmn igsammin him by a
kind of smile which came over his old face, and was somethink
betwigst the angellic and the direbollicle.
But master's dowts were cleared up nex day and every thing was
bright again. At brexfast, in comes a note with inclosier, boath
of witch I here copy:--
"Victoria, Victoria! Mamma has yielded at last; not her consent to
our union, but her consent to receive you as before; and has
promised to forget the past. Silly woman, how could she ever think
of you as anything but the lover of your Matilda? I am in a whirl
of delicious joy and passionate excitement. I have been awake all
this long night, thinking of thee, my Algernon, and longing for the
blissful hour of meeting.
"Come! M. G."
This is the inclosier from my lady:--
"I will not tell you that your behavior on Sunday did not deeply
shock me. I had been foolish enough to think of other plans, and
to fancy your heart (if you had any) was fixed elsewhere than on
one at whose foibles you have often laughed with me, and whose
person at least cannot have charmed you.
"My step-daughter will not, I presume, marry without at least going
through the ceremony of asking my consent; I cannot, as yet, give
it. Have I not reason to doubt whether she will be happy in
trusting herself to you?
"But she is of age, and has the right to receive in her own house
all those who may be agreeable to her,--certainly you, who are
likely to be one day so nearly connected with her. If I have
honest reason to believe that your love for Miss Griffin is
sincere; if I find in a few months that you yourself are still
desirous to marry her, I can, of course, place no further obstacles
in your way.
"You are welcome, then, to return to our hotel. I cannot promise
to receive you as I did of old; you would despise me if I did. I
can promise, however, to think no more of all that has passed
between us, and yield up my own happiness for that of the daughter
of my dear husband.
"L. E. G."
Well, now, an't this a manly, straitforard letter enough, and
natral from a woman whom we had, to confess the truth, treated most
scuvvily? Master thought so, and went and made a tender, respeckful
speach to Lady Griffin (a little flumry costs nothink). Grave and
sorroflle he kist her hand, and, speakin in a very low adgitayted
voice, calld Hevn to witness how he deplord that his conduct should
ever have given rise to such an unfornt ideer; but if he might offer
her esteem, respect, the warmest and tenderest admiration, he
trusted she would accept the same, and a deal moar flumry of the
kind, with dark, sollum glansis of the eyes, and plenty of white
He thought he'd make all safe. Poar fool! he was in a net--sich a
net as I never yet see set to ketch a roag in.
The Shevalier de l'Orge, the young Frenchmin whom I wrote of in my
last, who had been rather shy of his visits while master was coming
it so very strong, now came back to his old place by the side of
Lady Griffin: there was no love now, though, betwigst him and
master, although the shevallier had got his lady back agin;
Deuceace being compleatly devoted to his crookid Veanus.
The shevalier was a little, pale, moddist, insinifishnt creature;
and I shoodn't have thought, from his appearants, would have the
heart to do harm to a fli, much less to stand befor such a
tremendious tiger and fire-eater as my master. But I see putty
well, after a week, from his manner of going on--of speakin at
master, and lookin at him, and olding his lips tight when Deuceace
came into the room, and glaring at him with his i's, that he hated
the Honrabble Algernon Percy.
Shall I tell you why? Because my Lady Griffin hated him: hated him
wuss than pison, or the devvle, or even wuss than her daughter-in-
law. Praps you phansy that the letter you have juss red was
honest; praps you amadgin that the sean of the reading of the will
came on by mere chans, and in the reglar cors of suckmstansies: it
was all a GAME, I tell you--a reglar trap; and that extrodnar
clever young man, my master, as neatly put his foot into it, as
ever a pocher did in fesnt preserve.
The shevalier had his q from Lady Griffin. When Deuceace went off
the feald, back came De l'Orge to her feet, not a witt less tender
than befor. Por fellow, por fellow! he really loved this woman.
He might as well have foln in love with a bore-constructor! He was
so blinded and beat by the power wich she had got over him, that if
she told him black was white he'd beleave it, or if she ordered him
to commit murder, he'd do it: she wanted something very like it, I
can tell you.
I've already said how, in the fust part of their acquaintance,
master used to laff at De l'Orge's bad Inglish, and funny ways.
The little creature had a thowsnd of these; and being small, and a
Frenchman, master, in cors, looked on him with that good-humored
kind of contemp which a good Brittn ot always to show. He rayther
treated him like an intelligent munky than a man, and ordered him
about as if he'd bean my lady's footman.
All this munseer took in very good part, until after the quarl
betwigst master and Lady Griffin; when that lady took care to turn
the tables. Whenever master and miss were not present (as I've
heard the servants say), she used to laff at shevalliay for his
obeajance and sivillatty to master. For her part, she wondered how
a man of his birth could act a servnt: how any man could submit to
such contemsheous behavior from another; and then she told him how
Deuceace was always snearing at him behind his back; how, in fact,
he ought to hate him corjaly, and how it was suttaly time to show
Well, the poar little man beleaved all this from his hart, and was
angry or pleased, gentle or quarlsum, igsactly as my lady liked.
There got to be frequint rows betwigst him and master; sharp words
flung at each other across the dinner-table; dispewts about handing
ladies their smeling-botls, or seeing them to their carridge; or
going in and out of a roam fust, or any such nonsince.
"For hevn's sake," I heerd my lady, in the midl of one of these
tiffs, say, pail, and the tears trembling in her i's, "do, do be
calm, Mr. Deuceace. Monsieur de l'Orge, I beseech you to forgive
him. You are, both of you, so esteemed, lov'd, by members of this
family, that for its peace as well as your own, you should forbear
It was on the way to the Sally Mangy that this brangling had begun,
and it ended jest as they were seating themselves. I shall never
forgit poar little De l'Orge's eyes, when my lady said "both of
you." He stair'd at my lady for a momint, turned pail, red, look'd
wild, and then, going round to master, shook his hand as if he
would have wrung it off. Mr. Deuceace only bow'd and grin'd, and
turned away quite stately; Miss heaved a loud O from her busm, and
looked up in his face with an igspreshn jest as if she could have
eat him up with love; and the little shevalliay sate down to his
soop-plate, and wus so happy, that I'm blest if he wasn't crying!
He thought the widdow had made her declyration, and would have him;
and so thought Deuceace, who look'd at her for some time mighty
bitter and contempshus, and then fell a-talking with Miss.
Now, though master didn't choose to marry Lady Griffin, as he might
have done, he yet thought fit to be very angry at the notion of her
marrying anybody else; and so, consquintly, was in a fewry at this
confision which she had made regarding her parshaleaty for the
And this I've perseaved in the cors of my expearants through life,
that when you vex him, a roag's no longer a roag: you find him out
at onst when he's in a passion, for he shows, as it ware, his
cloven foot the very instnt you tread on it. At least, this is
what YOUNG roags do; it requires very cool blood and long practis
to get over this pint, and not to show your pashn when you feel it
and snarl when you are angry. Old Crabs wouldn't do it; being like
another noblemin, of whom I heard the Duke of Wellington say, while
waiting behind his graci's chair, that if you were kicking him from
behind, no one standing before him would know it, from the bewtifle
smiling igspreshn of his face. Young master hadn't got so far in
the thief's grammer, and, when he was angry, show'd it. And it's
also to be remarked (a very profownd observatin for a footmin, but
we have i's though we DO wear plush britchis), it's to be remarked,
I say, that one of these chaps is much sooner maid angry than
another, because honest men yield to other people, roags never do;
honest men love other people, roags only themselves; and the
slightest thing which comes in the way of thir beloved objects sets
them fewrious. Master hadn't led a life of gambling, swindling,
and every kind of debotch to be good-tempered at the end of it, I
He was in a pashun, and when he WAS in a pashn, a more insalent,
insuffrable, overbearing broot didn't live.
This was the very pint to which my lady wished to bring him; for I
must tell you, that though she had been trying all her might to set
master and the shevalliay by the years, she had suxeaded only so
far as to make them hate each profowndly: but somehow or other, the
2 cox wouldn't FIGHT.
I doan't think Deuceace ever suspected any game on the part of her
ladyship, for she carried it on so admirally, that the quarls which
daily took place betwigst him and the Frenchman never seemed to
come from her; on the contry, she acted as the reglar pease-maker
between them, as I've just shown in the tiff which took place at
the door of the Sally Mangy. Besides, the 2 young men, though
reddy enough to snarl, were natrally unwilling to come to bloes.
I'll tell you why: being friends, and idle, they spent their
mornins as young fashnabbles genrally do, at billiads, fensing,
riding, pistle-shooting, or some such improoving study. In
billiads, master beat the Frenchman hollow (and had won a pretious
sight of money from him: but that's neither here nor there, or, as
the French say, ontry noo); at pistle-shooting, master could knock
down eight immidges out of ten, and De l'Orge seven; and in
fensing, the Frenchman could pink the Honorable Algernon down evry
one of his weskit buttns. They'd each of them been out more than
onst, for every Frenchman will fight, and master had been obleag'd
to do so in the cors of his bisniss; and knowing each other's
curridg, as well as the fact that either could put a hundrid bolls
running into a hat at 30 yards, they wairnt very willing to try
such exparrymence upon their own hats with their own heads in them.
So you see they kep quiet, and only grould at each other.
But to-day Deuceace was in one of his thundering black humers; and
when in this way he wouldn't stop for man or devvle. I said that
he walked away from the shevalliay, who had given him his hand in
his sudden bust of joyfle good-humor; and who, I do bleave, would
have hugd a she-bear, so very happy was he. Master walked away
from him pale and hotty, and, taking his seat at table, no moor
mindid the brandishments of Miss Griffin, but only replied to them
with a pshaw, or a dam at one of us servnts, or abuse of the soop,
or the wine; cussing and swearing like a trooper, and not like a
well-bred son of a noble British peer.
"Will your ladyship," says he, slivering off the wing of a pully
ally bashymall, "allow me to help you?"
"I thank you! no; but I will trouble Monsieur de l'Orge." And
towards that gnlmn she turned, with a most tender and fasnating
"Your ladyship has taken a very sudden admiration for Mr. de
l'Orge's carving. You used to like mine once."
"You are very skilful; but to-day, if you will allow me, I will
partake of something a little simpler."
The Frenchman helped; and, being so happy, in cors, spilt the
gravy. A great blob of brown sos spurted on to master's chick, and
myandrewed down his shert-collar and virging-white weskit.
"Confound you!" says he, "M. de l'Orge, you have done this on
purpose." And down went his knife and fork, over went his tumbler
of wine, a deal of it into poar Miss Griffinses lap, who looked
fritened and ready to cry.
My lady bust into a fit of laffin, peel upon peel, as if it was the
best joak in the world. De l'Orge giggled and grin'd too.
"Pardong," says he; "meal pardong, mong share munseer."* And he
looked as if he would have done it again for a penny.
* In the long dialogues, we have generally ventured to change the
peculiar spelling of our friend Mr. Yellowplush.
The little Frenchman was quite in extasis; he found himself all of
a suddn at the very top of the trea; and the laff for onst turned
against his rivle: he actialy had the ordassaty to propose to my
lady in English to take a glass of wine.
"Veal you," says he, in his jargin, "take a glas of Madere viz me,
mi ladi?" And he looked round, as if he'd igsackly hit the English
manner and pronunciation.
"With the greatest pleasure," says Lady G., most graciously nodding
at him, and gazing at him as she drank up the wine. She'd refused
master before, and THIS didn't increase his good-humer.
Well, they went on, master snarling, snapping, and swearing, making
himself, I must confess, as much of a blaggard as any I ever see;
and my lady employing her time betwigst him and the shevalliay,
doing every think to irritate master, and flatter the Frenchmn.
Desert came: and by this time, Miss was stock-still with fright,
the chevaleer half tipsy with pleasure and gratafied vannaty, my
lady puffickly raygent with smiles and master bloo with rage.
"Mr. Deuceace," says my lady, in a most winning voice, after a
little chaffing (in which she only worked him up moar and moar),
"may I trouble you for a few of those grapes? they look delicious."
For answer, master seas'd hold of the grayp dish, and sent it
sliding down the table to De l'Orge; upsetting, in his way, fruit-
plates, glasses, dickanters, and heaven knows what.
"Monsieur de l'Orge," says he, shouting out at the top of his
voice, "have the goodness to help Lady Griffin. She wanted MY
grapes long ago, and has found out they are sour!"
. . . . . .
There was a dead paws of a moment or so.
. . . . . .
"Ah!" says my lady, "vous osez m'insulter, devant mes gens, dans ma
propre maison--c'est par trop fort, monsieur." And up she got, and
flung out of the room. Miss followed her, screeching out, "Mamma--
for God's sake--Lady Griffin!" and here the door slammed on the
Her ladyship did very well to speak French. DE L'ORGE WOULD NOT
HAVE UNDERSTOOD HER ELSE; as it was he heard quite enough; and as
the door clikt too, in the presents of me, and Messeers Mortimer
and Fitzclarence, the family footmen, he walks round to my master,
and hits him a slap on the face, and says, "prends ca, menteur et
lache!" which means, "Take that, you liar and coward!"--rayther
strong igspreshns for one genlmn to use to another.
Master staggered back and looked bewildered; and then he gave a
kind of a scream, and then he made a run at the Frenchman, and then
me and Mortimer flung ourselves upon him, whilst Fitzclarence
embraced the shevalliay.
"A demain!" says he, clinching his little fist, and walking away,
not very sorry to git off.
When he was fairly down stares, we let go of master: who swallowed
a goblit of water, and then pawsing a little and pullout his pus,
he presented to Messeers Mortimer and Fitzclarence a luydor each.
"I will give you five more to-morrow," says he, "if you will
promise to keep this secrit."
And then he walked in to the ladies. "If you knew," says he, going
up to Lady Griffin, and speaking very slow (in cors we were all at
the keyhole), "the pain I have endured in the last minute, in
consequence of the rudeness and insolence of which I have been
guilty to your ladyship, you would think my own remorse was
punishment sufficient, and would grant me pardon."
My lady bowed, and said she didn't wish for explanations. Mr.
Deuceace was her daughter's guest, and not hers; but she certainly
would never demean herself by sitting again at table with him. And
so saying out she boltid again.
"Oh! Algernon! Algernon!" says Miss, in teers, "what is this
dreadful mystery--these fearful shocking quarrels? Tell me, has
anything happened? Where, where is the chevalier?"
Master smiled and said, "Be under no alarm, my sweetest Matilda.
De l'Orge did not understand a word of the dispute; he was too much
in love for that. He is but gone away for half an hour, I believe;
and will return to coffee."
I knew what master's game was, for if miss had got a hinkling of
the quarrel betwigst him and the Frenchman, we should have had her
screeming at the "Hotel Mirabeu," and the juice and all to pay. He
only stopt for a few minnits and cumfitted her, and then drove off
to his friend, Captain Bullseye, of the Rifles; with whom, I spose,
he talked over this unplesnt bisniss. We fownd, at our hotel, a
note from De l'Orge, saying where his secknd was to be seen.
Two mornings after there was a parrowgraf in Gallynanny's
Messinger, which I hear beg leaf to transcribe:--
"FEARFUL DUEL.--Yesterday morning, at six o'clock, a meeting took
place, in the Bois de Boulogne, between the Hon. A. P. D--ce-ce, a
younger son of the Earl of Cr-bs, and the Chevalier de l'O---. The
chevalier was attended by Major de M---, of the Royal Guard, and
the Hon. Mr. D--- by Captain B-lls-ye, of the British Rifle Corps.
As far as we have been able to learn the particulars of this
deplorable affair, the dispute originated in the house of a lovely
lady (one of the most brilliant ornaments of our embassy), and the
duel took place on the morning ensuing.
"The chevalier (the challenged party, and the most accomplished
amateur swordsman in Paris) waived his right of choosing the
weapons, and the combat took place with pistols.
"The combatants were placed at forty paces, with directions to
advance to a barrier which separated them only eight paces. Each
was furnished with two pistols. Monsieur de l'O--- fired almost
immediately, and the ball took effect in the left wrist of his
antagonist, who dropped the pistol which he held in that hand. He
fired, however, directly with his right, and the chevalier fell to
the ground, we fear mortally wounded. A ball has entered above his
hip-joint, and there is very little hope that he can recover.
"We have heard that the cause of this desperate duel was a blow
which the chevalier ventured to give to the Hon. Mr. D. If so,
there is some reason for the unusual and determined manner in which
the duel was fought.
"Mr. Deu--a-e returned to his hotel; whither his excellent father,
the Right Hon. Earl of Cr-bs, immediately hastened on hearing of
the sad news, and is now bestowing on his son the most affectionate
parental attention. The news only reached his lordship yesterday
at noon, while at breakfast with his Excellency Lord Bobtail, our
ambassador. The noble earl fainted on receiving the intelligence;
but in spite of the shock to his own nerves and health, persisted
in passing last night by the couch of his son."
And so he did. "This is a sad business, Charles," says my lord to
me, after seeing his son, and settling himself down in our salong.
"Have you any segars in the house? And hark ye, send me up a
bottle of wine and some luncheon. I can certainly not leave the
neighborhood of my dear boy."
The shevalliay did not die, for the ball came out of its own
accord, in the midst of a violent fever and inflamayshn which was
brot on by the wound. He was kept in bed for 6 weeks though, and
did not recover for a long time after.
As for master, his lot, I'm sorry to say, was wuss than that of his
advisary. Inflammation came on too; and, to make an ugly story
short, they were obliged to take off his hand at the rist.
He bore it, in cors, like a Trojin, and in a month he too was well,
and his wound heel'd; but I never see a man look so like a devvle
as he used sometimes, when he looked down at the stump!
To be sure, in Miss Griffinses eyes, this only indeerd him the mor.
She sent twenty noats a day to ask for him, calling him her
beloved, her unfortunat, her hero, her wictim, and I dono what.
I've kep some of the noats, as I tell you, and curiously
sentimentle they are, beating the sorrows of MacWhirter all to
Old Crabs used to come offen, and consumed a power of wine and
seagars at our house. I bleave he was at Paris because there was
an exycution in his own house in England; and his son was a sure
find (as they say) during his illness, and couldn't deny himself to
the old genlmn. His eveninx my lord spent reglar at Lady Griffin's;
where, as master was ill, I didn't go any more now, and where the
shevalier wasn't there to disturb him.
"You see how that woman hates you, Deuceace," says my lord, one
day, in a fit of cander, after they had been talking about Lady
Griffin: "SHE HAS NOT DONE WITH YOU YET, I tell you fairly."
"Curse her," says master, in a fury, lifting up his maim'd arm--
"curse her! but I will be even with her one day. I am sure of
Matilda: I took care to put that beyond the reach of a failure.
The girl must marry me, for her own sake."
"FOR HER OWN SAKE! O ho! Good, good!" My lord lifted his i's,
and said gravely, "I understand, my dear boy: it is an excellent
"Well," says master, grinning fearcely and knowingly at his exlent
old father, "as the girl is safe, what harm can I fear from the
fiend of a step-mother?"
My lord only gev a long whizzle, and, soon after, taking up his
hat, walked off. I saw him sawnter down the Plas Vandome, and go
in quite calmly to the old door of Lady Griffinses hotel. Bless
his old face! such a puffickly good-natured, kind-hearted, merry,
selfish old scoundrel, I never shall see again.
His lordship was quite right in saying to master that "Lady Griffin
hadn't done with him." No moar she had. But she never would have
thought of the nex game she was going to play, IF SOMEBODY HADN'T
PUT HER UP TO IT. Who did? If you red the above passidge, and saw
how a venrabble old genlmn took his hat, and sauntered down the
Plas Vandome (looking hard and kind at all the nussary-maids--buns
they call them in France--in the way), I leave you to guess who was
the author of the nex scheam: a woman, suttnly, never would have
pitcht on it.
In the fuss payper which I wrote concerning Mr. Deuceace's adventers,
and his kind behayvior to Messrs. Dawkins and Blewitt, I had the
honor of laying before the public a skidewl of my master's detts, in
witch was the following itim:
"Bills of xchange and I.O.U.'s, 4963L. 0s. 0d."
The I.O.U.se were trifling, say a thowsnd pound. The bills
amountid to four thowsnd moar.
Now, the lor is in France, that if a genlmn gives these in England,
and a French genlmn gits them in any way, he can pursew the
Englishman who has drawn them, even though he should be in France.
Master did not know this fact--laboring under a very common mistak,
that, when onst out of England, he might wissle at all the debts he
left behind him.
My Lady Griffin sent over to her slissators in London, who made
arrangemints with the persons who possest the fine collection of
ortografs on stampt paper which master had left behind him; and
they were glad enuff to take any oppertunity of getting back their
One fine morning, as I was looking about in the court-yard of our
hotel, talking to the servant-gals, as was my reglar custom, in
order to improve myself in the French languidge, one of them comes
up to me and says, "Tenez, Monsieur Charles, down below in the
office there is a bailiff, with a couple of gendarmes, who is
asking for your master--a-t-il des dettes par hasard?"
I was struck all of a heap--the truth flasht on my mind's hi.
"Toinette," says I, for that was the gal's name--"Toinette," says
I, giving her a kiss, "keep them for two minits, as you valyou my
affeckshn;" and then I gave her another kiss, and ran up stares to
our chambers. Master had now pretty well recovered of his wound,
and was aloud to drive abowt: it was lucky for him that he had the
strength to move. "Sir, sir," says I, "the bailiffs are after you,
and you must run for your life."
"Bailiff?" says he: "nonsense! I don't, thank heaven, owe a
shilling to any man."
"Stuff, sir," says I, forgetting my respeck; "don't you owe money
in England? I tell you the bailiffs are here, and will be on you
in a moment."
As I spoke, cling cling, ling ling, goes the bell of the antyshamber,
and there they were sure enough!
What was to be done? Quick as litening, I throws off my livry
coat, claps my goold lace hat on master's head, and makes him put
on my livry. Then I wraps myself up in his dressing-gown, and
lolling down on the sofa, bids him open the dor.
There they were--the bailiff--two jondarms with him--Toinette, and
an old waiter. When Toinette sees master, she smiles, and says:
"Dis donc, Charles! ou est donc ton maitre? Chez lui, n'est-ce
pas? C'est le jeune a monsieur," says she, curtsying to the
The old waiter was just a-going to blurt out, "Mais ce n'est pas!"
when Toinette stops him, and says, "Laissez donc passer ces
messieurs, vieux bete;" and in they walk, the 2 jon d'arms taking
their post in the hall.
Master throws open the salong doar very gravely, and touching MY
hat says, "Have you any orders about the cab, sir?"
"Why, no, Chawls," says I; "I shan't drive out to-day."
The old bailiff grinned, for he understood English (having had
plenty of English customers), and says in French, as master goes
out, "I think, sir, you had better let your servant get a coach,
for I am under the painful necessity of arresting you, au nom de la
loi, for the sum of ninety-eight thousand seven hundred francs,
owed by you to the Sieur Jacques Francois Lebrun, of Paris;" and he
pulls out a number of bills, with master's acceptances on them sure
"Take a chair, sir," says I; and down he sits; and I began to chaff
him, as well as I could, about the weather, my illness, my sad
axdent, having lost one of my hands, which was stuck into my busum,
and so on.
At last, after a minnit or two, I could contane no longer, and bust
out in a horse laff.
The old fellow turned quite pail, and began to suspect somethink.
"Hola!" says he; "gendarmes! a moi! a moi! Je suis floue, vole,"
which means, in English, that he was reglar sold.
The jondarmes jumped into the room, and so did Toinette and the
waiter. Grasefly rising from my arm-chare, I took my hand from my
dressing-gownd, and, flinging it open, stuck up on the chair one of
the neatest legs ever seen.
I then pinted majestickly--to what do you think?--to my PLUSH
TITES! those sellabrated inigspressables which have rendered me
famous in Yourope.
Taking the hint, the jondarmes and the servnts rord out laffing;
and so did Charles Yellowplush, Esquire, I can tell you. Old
Grippard the bailiff looked as if he would faint in his chare.
I heard a kab galloping like mad out of the hotel-gate, and knew
then that my master was safe.
THE END OF MR. DEUCEACE'S HISTORY. LIMBO.
My tail is droring rabidly to a close; my suvvice with Mr. Deuceace
didn't continyou very long after the last chapter, in which I
described my admiral strattyjam, and my singlar self-devocean.
There's very few servnts, I can tell you, who'd have thought of
such a contrivance, and very few moar would have eggsycuted it when
But, after all, beyond the trifling advantich to myself in selling
master's roab de sham, which you, gentle reader, may remember I
woar, and in dixcovering a fipun note in one of the pockets,--
beyond this, I say, there was to poar master very little advantich
in what had been done. It's true he had escaped. Very good. But
Frans is not like Great Brittin; a man in a livry coat, with 1 arm,
is pretty easily known, and caught, too, as I can tell you.
Such was the case with master. He coodn leave Paris, moarover, if
he would. What was to become, in that case, of his bride--his
unchbacked hairis? He knew that young lady's temprimong (as the
Parishers say) too well to let her long out of his site. She had
nine thousand a yer. She'd been in love a duzn times befor, and
mite be agin. The Honrabble Algernon Deuceace was a little too
wide awake to trust much to the constnsy of so very inflammable a
young creacher. Heavn bless us, it was a marycle she wasn't
earlier married! I do bleave (from suttn seans that past betwigst
us) that she'd have married me, if she hadn't been sejuiced by the
supearor rank and indianuity of the genlmn in whose survace I was.
Well, to use a commin igspreshn, the beaks were after him. How was
he to manitch? He coodn get away from his debts, and he wooden
quit the fare objict of his affeckshns. He was ableejd, then, as
the French say, to lie perdew,--going out at night, like a howl out
of a hivy-bush, and returning in the daytime to his roast. For its
a maxum in France (and I wood it were followed in Ingland), that
after dark no man is lible for his detts; and in any of the royal
gardens--the Twillaries, the Pally Roil, or the Lucksimbug, for
example--a man may wander from sunrise to evening, and hear nothing
of the ojus dunns: they an't admitted into these places of public
enjyment and rondyvoo any more than dogs; the centuries at the
garden-gates having orders to shuit all such.
Master, then, was in this uncomfrable situation--neither liking to
go nor to stay! peeping out at nights to have an interview with his
miss; ableagd to shuffle off her repeated questions as to the
reason of all this disgeise, and to talk of his two thowsnd a year
jest as if he had it and didn't owe a shilling in the world.
Of course, now, he began to grow mighty eager for the marritch.
He roat as many noats as she had done befor; swoar against delay
and cerymony; talked of the pleasures of Hyming, the ardship that
the ardor of two arts should be allowed to igspire, the folly of
waiting for the consent of Lady Griffin. She was but a step-
mother, and an unkind one. Miss was (he said) a major, might marry
whom she liked; and suttnly had paid Lady G. quite as much
attention as she ought, by paying her the compliment to ask her at
And so they went on. The curious thing was, that when master was
pressed about his cause for not coming out till night-time, he was
misterus; and Miss Griffin, when asked why she wooden marry,
igsprest, or rather, DIDN'T igspress, a simlar secrasy. Wasn't it
hard? the cup seemed to be at the lip of both of 'em, and yet
somehow, they could not manitch to take a drink.
But one morning, in reply to a most desprat epistol wrote by my
master over night, Deuceace, delighted, gits an answer from his
soal's beluffd, which ran thus:--
MISS GRIFFIN TO THE HON. A. P. DEUCEACE.
"DEAREST,--You say you would share a cottage with me; there is no
need, luckily, for that! You plead the sad sinking of your spirits
at our delayed union. Beloved, do you think MY heart rejoices at
our separation? You bid me disregard the refusal of Lady Griffin,
and tell me that I owe her no further duty.
"Adored Algernon! I can refuse you no more. I was willing not to
lose a single chance of reconciliation with this unnatural step-
mother. Respect for the memory of my sainted father bid me do all
in my power to gain her consent to my union with you: nay, shall I
own it? prudence dictated the measure; for to whom should she leave
the share of money accorded to her by my father's will but to my
"But there are bounds beyond which no forbearance can go; and,
thank heaven, we have no need of looking to Lady Griffin for sordid
wealth: we have a competency without her. Is it not so, dearest
"Be it as you wish, then, dearest, bravest, and best. Your poor
Matilda has yielded to you her heart long ago; she has no longer
need to keep back her name. Name the hour, and I will delay no
more; but seek for refuge in your arms from the contumely and
insult which meet me ever here.
"P.S. Oh, Algernon! if you did but know what a noble part your
dear father has acted throughout, in doing his best endeavors to
further our plans, and to soften Lady Griffin! It is not his fault
that she is inexorable as she is. I send you a note sent by her to
Lord Crabs; we will laugh at it soon, n'est-ce pas?
"MY LORD,--In reply to your demand for Miss Griffin's hand, in
favor of your son, Mr. Algernon Deuceace, I can only repeat what I
before have been under the necessity of stating to you,--that I do
not believe a union with a person of Mr. Deuceace's character would
conduce to my stepdaughter's happiness, and therefore REFUSE MY
CONSENT. I will beg you to communicate the contents of this note
to Mr. Deuceace; and implore you no more to touch upon a subject
which you must be aware is deeply painful to me.
"I remain your lordship's most humble servant,
"L. E. GRIFFIN.
"THE RIGHT HON. THE EARL OF CRABS."
"Hang her ladyship!" says my master, "what care I for it?" As for
the old lord who'd been so afishous in his kindness and advice,
master recknsiled that pretty well, with thinking that his lordship
knew he was going to marry ten thousand a year, and igspected to
get some share of it; for he roat back the following letter to his
father, as well as a flaming one to Miss:
"Thank you, my dear father, for your kindness in that awkward
business. You know how painfully I am situated just now, and can
pretty well guess BOTH THE CAUSES of my disquiet. A marriage with
my beloved Matilda will make me the happiest of men. The dear girl
consents, and laughs at the foolish pretensions of her mother-in-
law. To tell you the truth, I wonder she yielded to them so long.
Carry your kindness a step further, and find for us a parson, a
license, and make us two into one. We are both major, you know; so
that the ceremony of a guardian's consent is unnecessary.
"How I regret that difference between us some time back! Matters
are changed now, and shall be more still AFTER THE MARRIAGE."
I knew what my master meant,--that he would give the old lord the
money after he was married; and as it was probble that miss would
see the letter he roat, he made it such as not to let her see two
clearly into his present uncomfrable situation.
I took this letter along with the tender one for Miss, reading both
of 'em, in course, by the way. Miss, on getting hers, gave an
inegspressable look with the white of her i's, kist the letter, and
prest it to her busm. Lord Crabs read his quite calm, and then
they fell a-talking together; and told me to wait awhile, and I
should git an anser.
After a deal of counseltation, my lord brought out a card, and
there was simply written on it,
To-morrow, at the Ambassador's, at Twelve.
"Carry that back to your master, Chawls," says he, "and bid him not
You may be sure I stept back to him pretty quick, and gave him the
card and the messinge. Master looked sattasfied with both; but
suttnly not over happy; no man is the day before his marridge; much
more his marridge with a hump-back, Harriss though she be.
Well, as he was a-going to depart this bachelor life, he did what
every man in such suckmstances ought to do; he made his will,--that
is, he made a dispasition of his property, and wrote letters to his
creditors telling them of his lucky chance; and that after his
marridge he would sutnly pay them every stiver. BEFORE, they must
know his povvaty well enough to be sure that paymint was out of the
To do him justas, he seam'd to be inclined to do the thing that was
right, now that it didn't put him to any inkinvenients to do so.
"Chawls," says he, handing me over a tenpun-note, "here's your
wagis, and thank you for getting me out of the scrape with the
bailiffs: when you are married, you shall be my valet out of
liv'ry, and I'll treble your salary."
His vallit! praps his butler! Yes, thought I, here's a chance--a
vallit to ten thousand a year. Nothing to do but to shave him, and
read his notes, and let my whiskers grow; to dress in spick and
span black, and a clean shut per day; muffings every night in the
housekeeper's room; the pick of the gals in the servants' hall; a
chap to clean my boots for me, and my master's opera bone reglar
once a week. I knew what a vallit was as well as any genlmn in
service; and this I can tell you, he's genrally a hapier, idler,
handsomer, mor genlmnly man than his master. He has more money to
spend, for genlmn WILL leave their silver in their waistcoat
pockets; more suxess among the gals; as good dinners, and as good
wine--that is, if he's friends with the butler: and friends in
corse they will be if they know which way their interest lies.
But these are only cassels in the air, what the French call shutter
d'Espang. It wasn't roat in the book of fate that I was to be Mr.
Days will pass at last--even days befor a wedding, (the longist and
unpleasantist day in the whole of a man's life, I can tell you,
excep, may be, the day before his hanging); and at length Aroarer
dawned on the suspicious morning which was to unite in the bonds of
Hyming the Honrable Algernon Percy Deuceace, Exquire, and Miss
Matilda Griffin. My master's wardrobe wasn't so rich as it had
been; for he'd left the whole of his nicknax and trumpry of
dressing-cases and rob dy shams, his bewtifle museum of varnished
boots, his curous colleckshn of Stulz and Staub coats, when he had
been ableaged to quit so suddnly our pore dear lodginx at the Hotel
Mirabew; and being incog at a friend's house, ad contentid himself
with ordring a coople of shoots of cloves from a common tailor,
with a suffishnt quantaty of linning.
Well, he put on the best of his coats--a blue; and I thought it my
duty to ask him whether he'd want his frock again: he was good
natured and said, "Take it and be hanged to you." Half-past eleven
o'clock came, and I was sent to look out at the door, if there were
any suspicious charicters (a precious good nose I have to find a
bailiff out, I can tell you, and an i which will almost see one
round a corner); and presenly a very modest green glass coach
droave up, and in master stept. I didn't in corse, appear on the
box; because, being known, my appearints might have compromised
master. But I took a short cut, and walked as quick as posbil down
to the Rue de Foburg St. Honore, where his exlnsy the English
ambasdor lives, and where marridges are always performed betwigst
English folk at Paris.
. . . . . .
There is, almost nex door to the ambasdor's hotel, another hotel,
of that lo kind which the French call cabbyrays, or wine-houses;
and jest as master's green glass-coach pulled up, another coach
drove off, out of which came two ladies, whom I knew pretty well,--
suffiz, that one had a humpback, and the ingenious reader will know
why SHE came there; the other was poor Miss Kicksey, who came to
see her turned off.
Well, master's glass-coach droav up, jest as I got within a few
yards of the door; our carridge, I say, droav up, and stopt. Down
gits coachmin to open the door, and comes I to give Mr. Deuceace an
arm, when out of the cabaray shoot four fellows, and draw up
betwigst the coach and embassy-doar; two other chaps go to the
other doar of the carridge, and, opening it, one says--"Rendez-
vous, M. Deuceace! Je vous arrete au nom de la loi!" (which means,
"Get out of that, Mr. D.; you are nabbed and no mistake.") Master
turned gashly pail, and sprung to the other side of the coach, as
if a serpint had stung him. He flung open the door, and was for
making off that way; but he saw the four chaps standing betwigst
libbarty and him. He slams down the front window, and screams out,
"Fouettez, cocher!" (which means, "Go it, coachmm!" in a despert
loud voice; but coachmin wooden go it, and besides was off his box.
The long and short of the matter was, that jest as I came up to the
door two of the bums jumped into the carridge. I saw all; I knew
my duty, and so very mornfly I got up behind.
"Tiens," says one of the chaps in the street; "c'est ce drole qui
nous a floure l'autre jour." I knew 'em, but was too melumcolly to
"Ou irons-nous donc?" says coachmin to the genlmn who had got
A deep woice from the intearor shouted out, in reply to the
coachmin, "A SAINTE PELAGIE!"
. . . . . .
And now, praps, I ot to dixcribe to you the humors of the prizn of
Sainte Pelagie, which is the French for Fleat, or Queen's Bentch:
but on this subject I'm rather shy of writing, partly because the
admiral Boz has, in the history of Mr. Pickwick, made such a
dixcripshun of a prizn, that mine wooden read very amyousingly
afterwids; and, also, because, to tell you the truth, I didn't stay
long in it, being not in a humer to waist my igsistance by passing
away the ears of my youth in such a dull place.
My fust errint now was, as you may phansy, to carry a noat from
master to his destined bride. The poar thing was sadly taken
aback, as I can tell you, when she found, after remaining two hours
at the Embassy, that her husband didn't make his appearance. And
so, after staying on and on, and yet seeing no husband, she was
forsed at last to trudge dishconslit home, where I was already
waiting for her with a letter from my master.
There was no use now denying the fact of his arrest, and so he
confest it at onst: but he made a cock-and-bull story of treachery
of a friend, infimous fodgery, and heaven knows what. However, it
didn't matter much; if he had told her that he had been betrayed by
the man in the moon, she would have bleavd him.
Lady Griffin never used to appear now at any of my visits. She kep
one drawing-room, and Miss dined and lived alone in another; they
quarld so much that praps it was best they should live apart; only
my Lord Crabs used to see both, comforting each with that winning
and innsnt way he had. He came in as Miss, in tears, was lisning
to my account of master's seazure, and hoping that the prisn wasn't
a horrid place, with a nasty horrid dunjeon, and a dreadfle jailer,
and nasty horrid bread and water. Law bless us! she had borrod her
ideers from the novvles she had been reading!
"O my lord, my lord," says she, "have you heard this fatal story?"
"Dearest Matilda, what? For heaven's sake, you alarm me! What--
yes--no--is it--no, it can't be! Speak!" says my lord, seizing me
by the choler of my coat. "What has happened to my boy?"
"Please you, my lord," says I, "he's at this moment in prisn, no
wuss,--having been incarserated about two hours ago."
"In prison! Algernon in prison! 'tis impossible! Imprisoned, for
what sum? Mention it, and I will pay to the utmost farthing in my
"I'm sure your lordship is very kind," says I (recklecting the sean
betwixgst him and master, whom he wanted to diddil out of a
thowsand lb.); "and you'll he happy to hear he's only in for a
trifle. Five thousand pound is, I think, pretty near the mark."