Part 2 out of 3
from the room in a transport of laughter.
If my escape from the gallows depended upon my guessing my friend, I
should have submitted to the last penalty of the law; never was I so
completely nonplussed. Confound him what does he mean by running away
in that fashion. It would serve him right were I to decamp by one of
the windows before he comes back; but hark! some one is approaching.
"I tell you I cannot be mistaken," said the man's voice from without.
"Oh, impossible!" said a lady-like accent that seemed not heard by me for
the first time.
"Judge for yourself; though certainly the last time you saw him may
confuse your memory a little."
"What the devil does he mean by that?" said I, as the door opened, and a
very beautiful young woman came forward, who, after a moment's
hesitation, called out--
"True, indeed, it is Mr. Lorrequer, but he seems to have forgotten me."
The eyes, the lips, the tone of the voice, were all familiar. What! can
it be possible? Her companion who had now entered, stood behind her,
holding his sides with ill-suppressed mirth; and at length called out--
"Harry, my boy, you scarcely were more discomposed the last morning we
parted, when the yellow plush--"
"By Jove it is," said I, as I sprang forward, and seizing my fair friend
in my arms, saluted upon both cheeks my quondam flame, Miss Kamworth, now
the wife of my old friend Jack Waller, of whom I have made due mention in
an early chapter of these Confessions.
Were I given a muster roll of my acquaintance to say which of them might
inhabit this deserted mansion, Jack Waller would certainly have been the
last I should have selected--the gay, lively, dashing, high-spirited
Jack, fond of society, dress, equipage, living greatly in the world,
known to and liked by every body, of universal reputation. Did you want
a cavalier to see your wife through a crush at the opera, a friend in a
duel, a rider for your kicking horse in a stiff steeple chase, a bow oar
for your boat at a rowing match, Jack was your man. Such then was my
surprise at finding him here, that although there were many things I
longed to inquire about, my first question was--
"And how came you here?"
"Life has its vicissitudes," replied Jack, laughing; "many stranger
things have come to pass than my reformation. But first of all let us
think of breakfast; you shall have ample satisfaction for all your
"Not now, I fear; I am hurrying on to Munich."
"Oh, I perceive; but you are aware that--your friends are not there."
"The Callonbys not at Munich!" said I, with a start.
"No; they have been at Saltzburgh, in the Tyrol, for some weeks; but
don't fret yourself, they are expected to-morrow in time for the court
masquerade; so that until then at least you are my guest."
Overjoyed at this information, I turned my attention towards madame,
whom I found much improved; the embonpoint of womanhood had still farther
increased the charms of one who had always been handsome; and I could not
help acknowledging that my friend Jack was warrantable in any scheme for
securing such a prize.
JACK WALLER'S STORY.
The day passed quickly over with my newly-found friends, whose curiosity
to learn my adventures since we parted, anticipated me in my wish to
learn theirs. After an early dinner, however, with a fresh log upon the
hearth, a crusty flask of red hermitage before us, Jack and I found
ourselves alone and at liberty to speak freely together.
"I scarcely could have expected such would be our meeting, Jack," said I,
"from the way we last parted."
"Yes, by Jove, Harry; I believe I behaved but shabbily to you in that
affair; but 'Love and War,' you know; and besides we had a distinct
agreement drawn up between us."
"All true; and after all you are perhaps less to blame than my own
miserable fortune that lies in wait to entrap and disappoint me at every
turn in life. Tell me what do you know of the Callonbys?"
"Nothing personally; we have met them at dinner, a visit passed
subsequently between us, 'et voila tout;' they have been scenery hunting,
picture hunting, and all that sort of thing since their arrival; and
rarely much in Munich; but how do you stand there? to be or not to be--
"That is the very question of all others I would fain solve; and yet am
in most complete ignorance of all about it; but the time approaches which
must decide all. I have neither temper nor patience for further
contemplation of it; so here goes; success to the Enterprize."
"Or," said Jack, tossing off his glass at the moment, "or, as they would
say in Ireland, 'your health and inclinations, if they be virtuous.'"
"And now, Jack, tell me something of your own fortunes since the day you
passed me in the post-chaise and four."
"The story is soon told. You remember that when I carried off Mary, I
had no intention of leaving England whatever: my object was, after making
her my wife, to open negociations with the old colonel, and after the
approved routine of penitential letters, imploring forgiveness, and
setting forth happiness only wanting his sanction to make it heaven
itself, to have thrown ourselves at his feet 'selon les regles,' sobbed,
blubbered, blew our noses, and dressed for dinner, very comfortable
inmates of that particularly snug residence, 'Hydrabad Cottage.' Now
Mary, who behaved with great courage for a couple of days, after that got
low-spirited and depressed; the desertion of her father, as she called
it, weighed upon her mind, and all my endeavours to rally and comfort
her, were fruitless and unavailing. Each day, however, I expected to
hear something of, or from, the colonel, that would put an end to this
feeling of suspense; but no--three weeks rolled on, and although I took
care that he knew of our address, we never received any communication.
You are aware that when I married, I knew Mary had, or was to have, a
large fortune; and that I myself had not more than enough in the world
to pay the common expenses of our wedding tour. My calculation was this
--the reconciliation will possibly, what with delays of post--distance--
and deliberation, take a month--say five weeks--now, at forty pounds per
week, that makes exactly two hundred pounds--such being the precise limit
of my exchequer, when blessed with a wife, a man, and a maid, three
imperials, a cap-case, and a poodle, I arrived at the Royal Hotel, in
Edinburgh. Had I been Lord Francis Egerton, with his hundred thousand a
year, looking for a new 'distraction,' at any price; or still more--were
I a London shopkeeper, spending a Sunday in Boulogne sur Mer, and trying
to find out something expensive, as he had only one day to stay, I could
not have more industriously sought out opportunities for extravagance,
and each day contrived to find out some two or three acquaintances to
bring home to dinner. And as I affected to have been married for a long
time, Mary felt less genee among strangers, and we got on famously; still
the silence of the colonel weighed upon her mind, and although she
partook of none of my anxieties from that source, being perfectly
ignorant of the state of my finances, she dwelt so constantly upon this
subject, that I at length yielded to her repeated solicitations, and
permitted her to write to her father. Her letter was a most proper one;
combining a dutiful regret for leaving her home, with the hope that her
choice had been such as to excuse her rashness, or, at least, palliate
her fault. It went to say, that her father's acknowledgment of her, was
all she needed or cared for, to complete her happiness, and asking for
his permission to seek it in person. This was the substance of the
letter, which upon the whole, satisfied me, and I waited anxiously for
the reply. At the end of five days the answer arrived. It was thus:--
"'You have chosen your own path in life, and having done so, I have
neither the right nor inclination to interfere with your decision;
I shall neither receive you, nor the person you have made your
husband; and to prevent any further disappointment, inform you that,
as I leave this to-morrow, any future letters you might think proper
to address, will not reach me.
"'Yours very faithful,
C. Kamworth, Hydrabad Cottage.'
"This was a tremendous coup, and not in the least anticipated by either
of us; upon me the effect was stunning, knowing, as I did, that our fast-
diminishing finances were nearly expended. Mary on the other hand, who
neither knew nor thought of the exchequer, rallied at once from her
depression, and after a hearty fit of crying, dried her eyes, and putting
her arm round my neck, said:
"'Well, Jack, I must only love you the more, since papa will not share
any of my affection.'
"'I wish he would his purse though,' muttered I, as I pressed her in my
arms, and strove to seem perfectly happy.
"I shall not prolong my story by dwelling upon the agitation this letter
cost me; however, I had yet a hundred pounds left, and an aunt in Harley-
street, with whom I had always been a favourite. This thought, the only
rallying one I possessed, saved me for the time; and as fretting was
never my forte, I never let Mary perceive that any thing had gone wrong,
and managed so well in this respect, that my good spirits raised her's,
and we set out for London one fine sunshiny morning, as happy a looking
couple as ever travelled the north road.
"When we arrived at the 'Clarendon,' my first care was to get into a cab,
and drive to Harley-street. I rung the bell; and not waiting to ask if
my aunt was at home, I dashed up stairs to the drawing-room; in I bolted,
and instead of the precise old Lady Lilford, sitting at her embroidery,
with her fat poodle beside her, beheld a strapping looking fellow, with a
black moustache, making fierce love to a young lady on a sofa beside him.
"'Why, how is this--I really--there must be some mistake here.' In my
heart I knew that such doings in my good aunt's dwelling were impossible.
"'I should suspect there is, sir,' drawled out he of the moustache, as he
took a very cool survey of me, through his glass.
"'Is Lady Lilford at home, may I ask,' said I, in a very apologetic tone
"'I haven't the honor of her ladyship's acquaintance,' replied he in a
lisp, evidently enjoying my perplexity, which was every moment becoming
"'But this is her house,' said I, 'at least--'
"'Lady Lilford is at Paris, sir,' said the young lady, who now spoke for
the first time. 'Papa has taken the house for the season, and that may
perhaps account for your mistake.'
"What I muttered by way of apology for my intrusion, I know not; but I
stammered--the young lady blushed--the beau chuckled, and turned to the
window, and when I found myself in the street, I scarcely knew whether to
laugh at my blunder, or curse my disappointment.
"The next morning I called upon my aunt's lawyer, and having obtained her
address in Paris, sauntered to the 'Junior Club,' to write her a letter
before post hour. As I scanned over the morning papers, I could not help
smiling at the flaming paragraph which announced my marriage, to the only
daughter and heiress of the Millionaire, Colonel Kamworth. Not well
knowing how to open the correspondence with my worthy relative, I folded
the paper containing the news, and addressed it to 'Lady Lilford, Hotel
de Bristol, Paris.'
"When I arrived at the 'Clarendon,' I found my wife and her maid
surrounded by cases and band-boxes; laces, satins and velvets were
displayed on all sides, while an emissary from 'Storr and Mortimer' was
arranging a grand review of jewellery on a side table, one half of which
would have ruined the Rajah of Mysore, to purchase. My advice was
immediately called into requisition; and pressed into service, I had
nothing left for it, but to canvass, criticise, and praise, between
times, which I did, with a good grace, considering that I anticipated the
'Fleet,' for every flounce of Valenciennes lace; and could not help
associating a rich diamond aigrette, with hard labour for life, and the
climate of New South Wales. The utter abstraction I was in, led to some
awkward contre temps; and as my wife's enthusiasm for her purchases
increased, so did my reverie gain ground.
"'Is it not beautiful, Jack?--how delicately worked--it must have taken a
long time to do it.'
"'Seven years,' I muttered, as my thoughts ran upon a very different
"'Oh, no--not so much,' said she laughing; 'and it must be such a hard
thing to do.'
"'Not half so hard as carding wool, or pounding oyster shells.'
"'How absurd you are. Well, I'll take this, it will look so well in--'
"'Botany Bay,' said I, with a sigh that set all the party laughing, which
at last roused me, and enabled me to join in the joke.
"As, at length, one half of the room became filled with millinery, and
the other glittered with jewels and bijouterie, my wife grew weary with
her exertions, and we found ourselves alone.
"When I told her that my aunt had taken up her residence in Paris, it
immediately occurred to her, how pleasant it would be to go there too;
and, although I concurred in the opinion for very different reasons, it
was at length decided we should do so; and the only difficulty now
existed as to the means, for although the daily papers teem with 'four
ways to go from London to Paris;' they all resolved themselves into one,
and that one, unfortunately to me, the most difficult and impracticable--
"There was, however, one last resource open--the sale of my commission.
I will not dwell upon what it cost me to resolve upon this--the
determination was a painful one, but it was soon come to, and before
five-o'clock that day, Cox and Greenwood had got their instructions to
sell out for me, and had advanced a thousand pounds of the purchase. Our
bill settled--the waiters bowing to the ground (it is your ruined man
that is always most liberal)--the post-horses harnessed, and impatient
for the road, I took my place beside my wife, while my valet held a
parasol over the soubrette in the rumble, all in the approved fashion of
those who have an unlimited credit with Coutts and Drummond; the whips
cracked, the leaders capered, and with a patronizing bow to the
proprietor of the 'Clarendon,' away we rattled to Dover.
"After the usual routine of sea sickness, fatigue, and poisonous cookery,
we reached Paris on the fifth day, and put up at the 'Hotel de Londres,'
"To have an adequate idea of the state of my feelings as I trod the
splendid apartments of this princely Hotel, surrounded by every luxury
that wealth can procure, or taste suggest, you must imagine the condition
of a man, who is regaled with a sumptuous banquet on the eve of his
execution. The inevitable termination to all my present splendour, was
never for a moment absent from my thoughts, and the secrecy with which I
was obliged to conceal my feelings, formed one of the greatest sources of
my misery. The coup, when it does come, will be sad enough, and poor
Mary may as well have the comfort of the deception, as long as it lasts,
without suffering as I do. Such was the reasoning by which I met every
resolve to break to her the real state of our finances, and such the
frame of mind in which I spent my days at Paris, the only really unhappy
ones I can ever charge my memory with.
"We had scarcely got settled in the hotel, when my aunt, who inhabited
the opposite side of the 'Place,' came over to see us and wish us joy.
She had seen the paragraph in the Post, and like all other people with
plenty of money, fully approved a match like mine.
"She was delighted with Mary, and despite the natural reserve of the old
maiden lady, became actually cordial, and invited us to dine with her
that day, and every succeeding one we might feel disposed to do so. So
far so well, thought I, as I offered her my arm to see her home; but if
she knew of what value even this small attention is to us, am I quite so
sure she would offer it?--however, no time is to be lost; I cannot live
in this state of hourly agitation; I must make some one the confidant of
my sorrows, and none so fit as she who can relieve as well as advise upon
them. Although such was my determination, yet somehow I could not pluck
up courage for the effort. My aunt's congratulations upon my good luck,
made me shrink from the avowal; and while she ran on upon the beauty and
grace of my wife, topics I fully concurred in, I also chimed in with her
satisfaction at the prudential and proper motives which led to the match.
Twenty times I was on the eve of interrupting her, and saying, 'But,
madam, I am a beggar--my wife has not a shilling--I have absolutely
nothing--her father disowns us--my commission is sold, and in three
weeks, the 'Hotel de Londres' and the 'Palais Royale,' will be some
hundred pounds the richer, and I without the fare of a cab, to drive me
to the Seine to drown myself.'
"Such were my thoughts; but whenever I endeavoured to speak them, some
confounded fulness in my throat nearly choked me; my temples throbbed, my
hands trembled, and whether it was shame, or the sickness of despair, I
cannot say; but the words would not come, and all that I could get out
was some flattery of my wife's beauty, or some vapid eulogy upon my own
cleverness in securing such a prize. To give you in one brief sentence
an idea of my state, Harry--know, then, that though loving Mary with all
my heart and soul, as I felt she deserved to be loved, fifty times a day
I would have given my life itself that you had been the successful man,
on the morning I carried her off, and that Jack Waller was once more a
bachelor, to see the only woman he ever loved, the wife of another.
"But, this is growing tedious, Harry, I must get over the ground faster;
two months passed over at Paris, during which we continued to live at
the 'Londres,' giving dinners, soirees, dejeuners, with the prettiest
equipage in the 'Champs Elysees,' we were quite the mode; my wife, which
is rare enough for an Englishwoman, knew how to dress herself. Our
evening parties were the most recherche things going, and if I were
capable of partaking of any pleasure in the eclat, I had my share, having
won all the pigeon matches in the Bois de Boulegard, and beat Lord Henry
Seymour himself in a steeple chase. The continual round of occupation in
which pleasure involves a man, is certainly its greatest attraction--
reflection is impossible--the present is too full to admit any of the
past, and very little of the future; and even I, with all my terrors
awaiting me, began to feel a half indifference to the result in the
manifold cares of my then existence. To this state of fatalism, for
such it was becoming, had I arrived, when the vision was dispelled in
a moment, by a visit from my aunt, who came to say, that some business
requiring her immediate presence in London, she was to set out that
evening, but hoped to find us in Paris on her return. I was
thunderstruck at the news, for, although as yet I had obtained no manner
of assistance from the old lady, yet, I felt that her very presence was a
kind of security to us, and that in every sudden emergency, she was there
to apply to. My money was nearly expended, the second and last
instalment of my commission was all that remained, and much of even that
I owed to trades-people. I now resolved to speak out--the worst must be
known, thought I, in a few days--and now or never be it. So saying, I
drew my aunt's arm within my own, and telling her that I wished a few
minutes conversation alone, led her to one of the less frequented walks
in the Tuilleries gardens. When we had got sufficiently far to be
removed from all listeners, I began then--'my dearest aunt, what I have
suffered in concealing from you so long, the subject of my present
confession, will plead as my excuse in not making you sooner my
confidante.' When I had got thus far, the agitation of my aunt was such,
that I could not venture to say more for a minute or two. At length, she
said, in a kind of hurried whisper, 'go on;' and although then I would
have given all I possessed in the world to have continued, I could not
speak a word.
"'Dear John, what is it, any thing about Mary--for heavens sake speak.'
"'Yes,' dearest aunt, 'it is about Mary, and entirely about Mary.'
"'Ah, dear me, I feared it long since; but then, John, consider she is
very handsome--very much admired--and--'
"'That makes it all the heavier, my dear aunt--the prouder her present
position, the more severely will she feel the reverse.'
"'Oh, but surely, John, your fears must exaggerate the danger.'
"'Nothing of the kind--I have not words to tell you--'
"'Oh dear, oh dear, don't say so,' said the old lady blushing, 'for
though I have often remarked a kind of gay flirting manner she has with
men--I am sure she means nothing by it--she is so young--and so--'
"I stopped, stepped forward, and looking straight in my aunt's face,
broke out into a fit of laughter, that she, mistaking for hysterical
from its violence, nearly fainted upon the spot.
"As soon as I could sufficiently recover gravity to explain to my aunt
her mistake, I endeavoured to do so, but so ludicrous was the contre
temps, and so ashamed the old lady for her gratuitous suspicions, that
she would not listen to a word, and begged me to return to her hotel.
Such an unexpected turn to my communication routed all my plans, and
after a very awkward silence of some minutes on both sides, I mumbled
something about our expensive habits of life, costly equipage, number of
horses, &c., and hinted at the propriety of retrenchment.
"'Mary rides beautifully,' said my aunt, drily.'
"'Yes, but my dear aunt, it was not exactly of that I was going to speak,
for in fact--'
"Oh John,' said she, interrupting--'I know your delicacy too well to
suspect; but, in fact, I have myself perceived what you allude to, and
wished very much to have some conversation with you on the subject.'
"'Thank God,' said I to myself, 'at length, we understand each other--and
the ice is broken at last.'
"'Indeed, I think I have anticipated your wish in the matter; but as time
presses, and I must look after all my packing, I shall say good by for a
few weeks, and in the evening, Jepson, who stays here, will bring you,
"what I mean," over to your hotel; once more, then, good by.'
"'Good by, my dearest, kindest friend,' said I, taking a most tender
adieu of the old lady. 'What an excellent creature she is,' said I, half
aloud, as I turned towards home--'how considerate, how truly kind--to
spare me too all the pain of explanation. Now I begin to breathe once
more. If there be a flask of Johannisberg in the "Londres," I'll drink
your health this day, and so shall Mary;' so saying, I entered the hotel
with a lighter heart, and a firmer step than ever it had been my fortune
to do hitherto.
"'We shall miss the old lady, I'm sure, Mary, she is so kind.'
"'Oh! indeed she is; but then, John, she is such a prude.'
"Now I could not help recurring in my mind to some of the conversation in
the Tuilleries garden, and did not feel exactly at ease.
"'Such a prude, and so very old-fashioned in her notions.'
"'Yes, Mary,' said I, with more gravity than she was prepared for, 'she
is a prude; but I am not certain that in foreign society, where less
liberties are tolerated than in our country, if such a bearing be not
wiser.' What I was going to plunge into, heaven knows, for the waiter
entered at the moment, and presenting me with a large and carefully
sealed package, said, 'de la part de mi ladi Lilfore,'--'but stay, here
comes, if I am not mistaken, a better eulogy upon my dear aunt, than any
I can pronounce.'
"How heavy it is, said I to myself, balancing the parcel in my hand.
'There is no answer,' said I, aloud to the waiter, who stood as if
"'The servant wishes to have some acknowledgment in writing, sir, that it
has been delivered into your own hands.'
"Jepson entered,--'well, George, your parcel is all right, and here is a
Napoleon to drink my health.'
"Scarcely had the servants left the room, when Mary, whose curiosity was
fully roused, rushed over, and tried to get the packet from me; after a
short struggle, I yielded, and she flew to the end of the room, and
tearing open the seals, several papers fell to the ground; before I could
have time to snatch them up, she had read some lines written on the
envelope, and turning towards me, threw her arms arouind my neck, and
said, 'yes Jack, she is, indeed, all you have said; look here,' I turned
and read--with what feeling I leave to you to guess--the following:--
"'Dear Nephew and Niece,
"'The enclosed will convey to you, with my warmest wishes for your
happiness, a ticket on the Francfort Lottery, of which I inclose the
scheme. I also take the opportunity of saying that I have purchased the
Hungarian pony for Mary--which we spoke of this morning. It is at
Johnston's stable, and will be delivered on sending for it.'
"'Think of that, Jack, the Borghese poney, with the silky tail; mine--Oh!
what a dear good old soul; it was the very thing of all others I longed
for, for they told me the princess had refused every offer for it.'
"While Mary ran on in this strain, I sat mute and stupified; the sudden
reverse my hopes had sustained, deprived me, for a moment, of all
thought, and it was several minutes before I could rightly take in the
full extent of my misfortunes.
"How that crazy old maid, for such, alas, I called her to myself now,
could have so blundered all my meaning--how she could so palpably have
mistaken, I could not conceive; what a remedy for a man overwhelmed with
debt--a ticket in a German lottery, and a cream-coloured pony, as if my
whole life had not been one continued lottery, with every day a blank;
and as to horses, I had eleven in my stables already. Perhaps she
thought twelve would read better in my schedule, when I, next week,
surrendered as insolvent.
"Unable to bear the delight, the childish delight of Mary, on her new
acquisition, I rushed out of the house, and wandered for several hours in
the Boulevards. At last I summoned up courage to tell my wife. I once
more turned towards home, and entered her dressing-room, where she was
having her hair dressed for a ball at the Embassy. My resolution failed
me--not now thought I--to-morrow will do as well--one night more of
happiness for her and then--I looked on with pleasure and pride, as
ornament after ornament, brilliant with diamonds and emeralds, shone in
her hair, and upon her arms, still heightened her beauty, and lit up with
a dazzling brilliancy her lovely figure.--But it must come--and whenever
the hour arrives--the reverse will be fully as bitter; besides I am able
now--and when I may again be so, who can tell--now then be it, said I, as
I told the waiting-maid to retire; and taking a chair beside my wife, put
my arm round her.
"'There, John dearest, take care; don't you see you'll crush all that
great affair of Malines lace, that Rosette has been breaking her heart to
manage this half hour.'
"'Et puis,' said I.
"'Et puis. I could not go to the ball, naughty boy. I am bent on great
conquest to-night; so pray don't mar such good intentions.'
"'And you should be greatly disappointed were you not to go?'
"'Of course I should; but what do you mean; is there any reason why I
should not? You are silent, John--speak--oh speak--has any thing
occurred to my--'
"'No, no, dearest--nothing that I know has occurred to the Colonel.'
"'Well then, who is it? Oh tell me at once.'
"'Oh, my dear, there is no one in the case but ourselves;' so saying,
despite the injunction about the lace, I drew her towards me, and in as
few words, but as clearly as I was able, explained all our circumstances
--my endeavour to better them--my hopes--my fears--and now my bitter
disappointment, if not despair.
"The first shock over, Mary showed not only more courage, but more
sound sense than I could have believed. All the frivolity of her former
character vanished at the first touch of adversity; just as of old,
Harry, we left the tinsel of our gay jackets behind, when active service
called upon us for something more sterling. She advised, counselled, and
encouraged me by turns; and in half an hour the most poignant regret I
had was in not having sooner made her my confidante, and checked the
progress of our enormous expenditure somewhat earlier.
"I shall not now detain you much longer. In three weeks we sold our
carriages and horses, our pictures, (we had begun this among our other
extravagances,) and our china followed; and under the plea of health set
out for Baden; not one among our Paris acquaintances ever suspecting the
real reason of our departure, and never attributing any monied
difficulties to us--for we paid our debts.
"The same day we left Paris, I despatched a letter to my aunt, explaining
fully all about us, and suggesting that as I had now left the army for
ever, perhaps she would interest some of her friends--and she has
powerful ones--to do something for me.
"After some little loitering on the Rhine, we fixed upon Hesse Cassel for
our residence. It was very quiet--very cheap. The country around
picturesque, and last but not least, there was not an Englishman in the
neighbourhood. The second week after our arrival brought us letters from
my aunt. She had settled four hundred a year upon us for the present,
and sent the first year in advance; promised us a visit as soon as we
were ready to receive her; and pledged herself not to forget when an
opportunity of serving me should offer.
"From that moment to this," said Jack, "all has gone well with us. We
have, it is true, not many luxuries, but we have no wants, and better
still, no debts. The dear old aunt is always making us some little
present or other; and somehow I have a kind of feeling that better luck
is still in store; but faith, Harry, as long as I have a happy home, and
a warm fireside, for a friend when he drops in upon me, I scarcely can
say that better luck need be wished for."
"There is only one point, Jack, you have not enlightened me upon, how
came you here? You are some hundred miles from Hesse, in your present
"Oh! by Jove, that was a great omission in my narrative; but come, this
will explain it; see here"--so saying, he drew from a little drawer a
large lithographic print of a magnificent castellated building, with
towers and bastions, keep, moat, and even draw-bridge, and the walls
bristled with cannon, and an eagled banner floated proudly above them.
"What in the name of the Sphynxes is this?"
"There," said Jack, "is the Schloss von Eberhausen; or, if you like it in
English, Eberhausen Castle, as it was the year of the deluge; for the
present mansion that we are now sipping our wine in bears no very close
resemblance to it. But to make the mystery clear, this was the great
prize in the Francfort lottery, the ticket of which my aunt's first note
contained, and which we were fortunate enough to win. We have only been
here a few weeks, and though the affair looks somewhat meagre, we have
hopes that in a little time, and with some pains, much may be done to
make it habitable. There is a capital chasses of some hundred acres;
plenty of wood and innumerable rights, seignorial, memorial, &c., which,
fortunately for my neighbours, I neither understand nor care for; and we
are therefore the best friends in the world. Among others I am styled
the graf or count--."
"Well, then, Monsieur Le Comte, do you intend favouring me with your
company at coffee this evening; for already it is ten o'clock; and
considering my former claim upon Mr. Lorrequer, you have let me enjoy
very little of his society."
We now adjourned to the drawing-room, where we gossipped away till past
midnight; and I retired to my room, meditating over Jack's adventures,
and praying in my heart, that despite all his mischances, my own might
end as happily.
The rest and quietness of the preceding day had so far recovered me from
the effects of my accident, that I resolved, as soon as breakfast was
over, to take leave of my kind friends, and set out for Munich.
"We shall meet to-night, Harry," said Waller, as we parted--"we shall
meet at the Casino--and don't forget that the Croix Blanche is your
hotel; and Schnetz, the tailor, in the Grande Place, will provide you
with every thing you need in the way of dress."
This latter piece of information was satisfactory, inasmuch as the
greater part of my luggage, containing my uniform, &c., had been left in
the French diligence; and as the ball was patronised by the court, I was
greatly puzzled how to make my appearance.
Bad roads and worse horses made me feel the few leagues I had to go the
most tiresome part of my journey. But, of course, in this feeling
impatience had its share. A few hours more, and my fate should be
decided; and yet I thought the time would never come. If the Callonbys
should not arrive--if, again, my evil star be in the ascendant, and any
new impediment to our meeting arise--but I cannot, will not, think this--
Fortune must surely be tired of persecuting me by this time, and, even to
sustain her old character for fickleness, must befriend me now. Ah! here
we are in Munich--and this is the Croix Blanche--what a dingy old
mansion! Beneath a massive porch, supported by heavy stone pillars,
stood the stout figure of Andreas Behr, the host. A white napkin,
fastened in one button-hole, and hanging gracefully down beside him--a
soup-ladle held sceptre-wise in his right hand, and the grinding motion
of his nether jaw, all showed that he had risen from his table d'hote to
welcome the new arrival; and certainly, if noise and uproar might explain
the phenomenon, the clatter of my equipage over the pavement might have
risen the dead.
While my postillion was endeavouring, by mighty efforts, with a heavy
stone, to turn the handle of the door, and thus liberate me from my cage,
I perceived that the host came forward and said something to him--on
replying, to which, he ceased his endeavours to open the door, and looked
vacantly about him. Upon this I threw down the sash, and called out--
"I say, is not this the Croix Blanche?"
"Ya," said the man-mountain with the napkin.
"Well, then, open the door, pray--I'm going to stop here."
"No! What do you mean by that? Has not Lord Callonby engaged rooms
"Well, then, I am a particular friend of his, and will stay here also."
"What the devil are you at, with your ya and nein?" said I. "Has your
confounded tongue nothing better than a monosyllable to reply with."
Whether disliking the tone the controversy was assuming, or remembering
that his dinner waited, I know not, but at these words my fat friend
turned leisurely round, and waddled back into the house; where, in a
moment after, I had the pleasure of beholding him at the head of a long
table, distributing viands with a very different degree of activity from
what he displayed in dialogue.
With one vigorous jerk, I dashed open the door, upsetting, at the same
time, the poor postillion, who had recommenced his operations on the
lock, and, foaming with passion, strode into the "salle a manger."
Nothing is such an immediate damper to any sudden explosion of temper, as
the placid and unconcerned faces of a number of people, who, ignorant of
yourself and your peculiar miseries at the moment, seem only to regard
you as a madman. This I felt strongly, as, flushed in face and tingling
in my fingers, I entered the room.
"Take my luggage," said I to a gaping waiter, "and place a chair there,
do you hear?"
There seemed, I suppose, something in my looks that did not admit of much
parley, for the man made room for me at once at the table, and left the
room, as if to discharge the other part of my injunction, without saying
a word. As I arranged my napkin before me, I was collecting my energies
and my German, as well as I was able, for the attack of the host, which,
I anticipated from his recent conduct, must now ensue; but, greatly to my
surprise, he sent me my soup without a word, and the dinner went on
without any interruption. When the desert had made its appearance, I
beckoned the waiter towards me, and asked what the landlord meant by his
singular reception of me. The man shrugged his shoulders, and raised his
eyebrows, without speaking, as if to imply, "it's his way."
"Well, then, no matter," said I. "Have you sent my luggage up stairs?"
"No, sir, there is no room--the house is full."
"The house full! Confound it--this is too provoking. I have most urgent
reasons for wishing to stay here. Cannot you make some arrangement--see
about it, waiter." I here slipped a Napoleon into the fellow's hand, and
hinted that as much more awaited the finale of the negociation.
In about a minute after, I perceived him behind the host's chair,
pleading my cause with considerable energy; but to my complete chagrin,
I heard the other answer all his eloquence by a loud "Nein," that he
grunted out in such a manner as closed the conference.
"I cannot succeed, sir," said the man, as he passed behind me, "but don't
leave the house till I speak with you again."
What confounded mystery is there in all this, thought I. Is there any
thing so suspicious in my look or appearance, that the old bear in the
fur cap will not even admit me. What can it all mean. One thing I'm
resolved upon--nothing less than force shall remove me.
So saying I lit my cigar, and in order to give the waiter an opportunity
of conferring with me unobserved by his master, walked out into the porch
and sat down.
In a few minutes he joined me, and after a stealthy look on each side,
"The Herr Andreas is a hard man to deal with, and when he says a thing,
never goes back of it. Now he has been expecting the new English Charge
d'Affaires here these last ten days, and has kept the hotel half empty in
consequence; and as mi Lor Callonby has engaged the other half, why we
have nothing to do; so that when he asked the postillion if you were mi
Lor, and found that you were not, he determined not to admit you."
"But why not have the civility to explain that?"
"He seldom speaks, and when he does only a word or two at a time. He is
quite tired with what he has gone through to-day, and will retire very
early to bed; and for this reason I have requested you to remain, for as
he never ventures up stairs, I will then manage to give you one of the
ambassador's rooms, which, even if he come, he'll never miss. So that if
you keep quiet, and do not attract any particular attention towards you,
all will go well."
This advice seemed so reasonable, that I determined to follow it--any
inconvenience being preferable, provided I could be under the same roof
with my beloved Jane; and from the waiter's account, there seemed no
doubt whatever of their arrival that evening. In order, therefore, to
follow his injunctions to the letter, I strolled out toward the Place in
search of the tailor, and also to deliver a letter from Waller to the
chamberlain, to provide me with a card for the ball. Monsieur Schnetz,
who was the very pinnacle of politeness, was nevertheless, in fact,
nearly as untractable as my host of the "Cross." All his "sujets" were
engaged in preparing a suit for the English Charge d'Affaires, whose
trunks had been sent in a wrong direction, and who had despatched a
courier from Frankfort, to order a uniform. This second thwarting, and
from the same source, so nettled me, that I greatly fear, all my respect
for the foreign office and those who live thereby, would not have saved
them from something most unlike a blessing, had not Monsieur Schnetz
saved diplomacy from such desecration by saying, that if I could content
myself with a plain suit, such as civilians wore, he would do his
endeavour to accommodate me.
"Any thing, Monsieur Schnetz--dress me like the Pope's Nuncio, or the
Mayor of London, if you like, but only enable me to go."
Although my reply did not seem to convey a very exalted idea of my taste
in costume to the worthy artiste, it at least evinced my anxiety for the
ball; and running his measure over me, he assured me that the dress he
would provide was both well looking and becoming; adding, "At nine
o'clock, sir, you'll have it--exactly the same size as his Excellency the
"Confound the Charge d'Affaires!" I added, and left the house.
INN AT MUNICH.
As I had never been in Munich before, I strolled about the town till
dusk. At that time the taste of the present king had not enriched the
capital with the innumerable objects of art which render it now second to
none in Europe. There were, indeed, then but few attractions--narrow
streets, tall, unarchitectural-looking houses, and gloomy, unimpressive
churches. Tired of this, I turned towards my inn, wondering in my mind
if Antoine had succeeded in procuring me the room, or whether yet I
should be obliged to seek my lodging elsewhere. Scarcely had I entered
the porch, when I found him waiting my arrival, candle in hand. He
conducted me at once up the wide oaken stair, then along the gallery,
into a large wainscotted room, with a most capacious bed. A cheerful
wood fire burned and crackled away in the grate--the cloth was already
spread for supper--(remember it was in Germany)--the newspapers of the
day were placed before me--and, in a word, every attention showed that I
had found the true avenue to Antoine's good graces, who now stood bowing
before me, in apparent ecstasy at his own cleverness.
"All very well done, Antoine, and now for supper--order it yourself for
me--I never can find my way in a German 'carte de diner;' and be sure to
have a fiacre here at nine--nine precisely."
Antoine withdrew, leaving me to my own reflections, which now, if not
gloomy, were still of the most anxious kind.
Scarcely was the supper placed upon the table, when a tremendous tramping
of horses along the street, and loud cracking of whips, announced a new
"Here they are," said I, as, springing up, I upset the soup, and nearly
threw the roti into Antoine's face, as he was putting it before me.
Down stairs I rushed, through the hall, pushing aside waiters and
overturning chambermaids in my course. The carriage was already at the
door. Now for a surprise, thought I, as I worked through the crowd in
the porch, and reached the door just as the steps were clattered down,
and a gentleman began to descend, whom twenty expectant voices, now
informed of his identity, welcomed as the new Charge d'Affaires.
"May all the--"
What I wished for his excellency it would not be polite to repeat, nor
most discreet even to remember; but, certes, I mounted the stairs with as
little good will towards the envoy extraordinary as was consistent with
When once more in my room, I congratulated myself that now at least no
more "false starts" could occur--"the eternal Charge d'Affaires, of whom
I have been hearing since my arrival, cannot come twice--he is here now,
and I hope I'm done with him."
The supper--some greasiness apart--was good--the wine excellent. My
spirits were gradually rising, and I paced my room in that mingled state
of hope and fear, that amid all its anxieties, has such moments of
ecstasy. A new noise without--some rabble in the street; hark, it comes
nearer--I hear the sound of wheels; yes, there go the horses--nearer and
nearer. Ah, it is dying away again--stay--yes, yes--here it is--here
they are. The noise and tumult without now increased every instant--the
heavy trot of six or eight horses shook the very street, and I heard the
round, dull, rumbling sound of a heavy carriage, as it drew up at last at
the door of the inn. Why it was I know not, but this time I could not
stir--my heart beat almost loud enough for me to hear--my temples
throbbed, and then a cold and clammy perspiration came over me, and I
sank into a chair. Fearing that I was about to faint, sick as I was, I
felt angry with myself, and tried to rally, but could not, and only at
length was roused by hearing that the steps were let down, and shortly
after the tread of feet coming along the gallery towards my room.
They are coming--she is coming, thought I. Now then for my doom!
There was some noise of voices outside. I listened, for I still felt
unable to rise. The talking grew louder--doors were opened and shut--
then came a lull--then more slamming of doors, and more talking--then all
was still again--and at last I heard the steps of people as if retiring,
and in a few minutes after the carriage door was jammed to, and again the
heavy tramp of the horses rattled over the pave. At this instant Antoine
"Well, Antoine," said I, in a voice trembling with weakness and
agitation, "not them yet?"
"It was his Grace the Grand Mareschal," said Antoine, scarcely heeding my
question, in the importance of the illustrious visitor who had arrived.
"Ah, the Grand Mareschal," said I, carelessly; "does he live here?"
"Sappermint nein, Mein Herr; but he has just been to pay his respects to
his Excellency the new Charge d'Affaires."
In the name of all patience, I ask, who could endure this? From the hour
of my arrival I am haunted by this one image--the Charge d'Affaires. For
him I have been almost condemned to go houseless, and naked; and now the
very most sacred feelings of my heart are subject to his influence. I
walked up and down in an agony. Another such disappointment, and my
brain will turn, thought I, and they may write my epitaph--"Died of love
and a Charge d'Affaires."
"It is time to dress," said the waiter.
"I could strangle him with my own hands," muttered I, worked up into a
real heat by the excitement of my passion.
"Say that name again, villain, and I'll blow your brains out," cried I,
seizing Antoine by the throat, and pinning him against the wall; "only
dare to mutter it, and you'll ever breathe another syllable."
The poor fellow grew green with terror, and fell upon his knees before
"Get my dressing things ready," said I, in a more subdued tone. "I did
not mean to terrify you--but beware of what I told you."
While Antoine occupied himself with the preparations for my toilette, I
sat broodingly over the wood embers, thinking of my fate.
A knock came to the door. It was the tailor's servant with my clothes.
He laid down the parcel and retired, while Antoine proceeded to open it,
and exhibit before me a blue uniform with embroidered collar and cuffs--
the whole, without being gaudy, being sufficiently handsome, and quite as
showy as I could wish.
The poor waiter expressed his unqualified approval of the costume, and
talked away about the approaching ball as something pre-eminently
"You had better look after the fiacre, Antoine," said I; "it is past
He walked towards the door, opened it, and then, turning round, said, in
a kind of low, confidential whisper, pointing, with the thumb of his left
hand, towards the wall of the room as he spoke--
"He won't go--very strange that."
"Who do you mean?" said I, quite unconscious of the allusion.
"The Charge d'Aff--"
I made one spring at him, but he slammed the door to, and before I could
reach the lobby, I heard him rolling from top to bottom of the oak
staircase, making noise enough in his fall to account for the fracture of
every bone in his body.
As I was informed that the King would himself be present at the ball, I
knew that German etiquette required that the company should arrive before
his Majesty; and although now every minute I expected the arrival of the
Callonbys, I dared not defer my departure any longer.
"They are certain to be at the ball," said Waller, and that sentence
never left my mind.
So saying, I jumped into the fiacre, and in a few minutes found myself in
the long line of carriages that led to the "Hof saal." Any one who has
been in Munich will testify for me, that the ball room is one of the most
beautiful in Europe, and to me who for some time had not been living much
in the world, its splendour was positively dazzling. The glare of the
chandeliers--the clang of the music--the magnificence of the dresses--the
beauty of the Bavarian women too, all surprized and amazed me. There
were several hundred people present, but the king not having yet arrived,
dancing had not commenced. Feeling as I then did, it was rather a relief
to me than otherwise, that I knew no one. There was quite amusement
enough in walking through the saloons, observing the strange costumes,
and remarking the various groups as they congregated around the trays of
ices and the champagne glacee. The buzz of talking and the sounds of
laughter and merriment prevailed over even the orchestra; and, as the gay
crowds paraded the rooms, all seemed pleasure and excitement. Suddenly a
tremendous noise was heard without--then came a loud roll of the drums,
which lasted for several seconds, and the clank of musketry--then a
cheer;--it is the king.
The king! resounded on all sides; and in another moment the large
folding-doors at the end of the saal were thrown open, and the music
struck up the national anthem of Bavaria.
His majesty entered, accompanied by the queen, his brother, two or three
archduchesses, and a long suite of officers.
I could not help remarking upon the singular good taste with which the
assembly--all anxious and eager to catch a glimpse of his majesty--
behaved on this occasion. There was no pressing forward to the "estrade"
where he stood,--no vulgar curiosity evinced by any one, but the group
continued, as before, to gather and scatter. The only difference being,
that the velvet chair and cushion, which had attracted some observers
before, were, now that they were tenanted by royalty, passed with a deep
and respectful salutation. How proper this, thought I, and what an
inducement for a monarch to come among his people, who remember to
receive him with such true politeness. While these thoughts were passing
through my mind, as I was leaning against a pillar that supported the
gallery of the orchestra, a gentleman whose dress, covered with gold and
embroidery, bespoke him as belonging to the court, eyed me aside with his
lorgnette and then passed rapidly on. A quadrille was now forming near
me, and I was watching, with some interest, the proceeding, when the same
figure that I remarked before, approached me, bowing deeply at every
step, and shaking a very halo of powder from his hair at each reverence.
"May I take the liberty of introducing myself to you?" said he.--"Le
Comte Benningsen." Here he bowed again, and I returned the obeisance
still deeper. "Regretted much that I was not fortunate enough to make
your acquaintance this evening, when I called upon you."
"Never heard of that," said I to myself.
"Your excellency arrived this evening?"
"Yes," said I, "only a few hours since."
"How fond these Germans are of titles," thought I. Remembering that in
Vienna every one is "his grace," I thought it might be Bavarian
politeness to call every one his excellency.
"You have not been presented, I believe?"
"No," said I; "but I hope to take an early opportunity of paying 'mes
homages' to his majesty."
"I have just received his orders to present you now," replied he, with
"The devil, you have," thought I. "How very civil that." And, although
I had heard innumerable anecdotes of the free-and-easy habits of the
Bavarian court, this certainly surprized me, so that I actually, to
prevent a blunder, said, "Am I to understand you, Monsieur le Comte, that
his majesty was graciously pleased"--
If you will follow me," replied the courtier, motioning with his chapeau;
and in another moment I was elbowing my way through the mob of marquisses
and duchesses, on my way to the raised platform where the king was
"Heaven grant I have not misunderstood all he has been saying," was my
last thought as the crowd of courtiers fell back on either side, and I
found myself bowing before his majesty. How the grand mareschal entitled
me I heard not; but when the king addressed me immediately in English,
"I hope your excellency has had a good journey?"
I felt, "Come, there is no mistake here, Harry; and it is only another
freak of fortune, who is now in good humour with you."
The king, who was a fine, tall, well-built man, with a large, bushy
moustache, possessed, though not handsome, a most pleasing expression;
his utterance was very rapid, and his English none of the best, so that
it was with the greatest difficulty I contrived to follow his questions,
which came thick as hail upon me. After some commonplaces about the
roads, the weather, and the season, his majesty said,
"My Lord Callonby has been residing some time here. You know him?" And
then, not waiting for a reply, added, "Pleasant person--well informed--
like him much, and his daughters, too, how handsome they are." Here I
blushed, and felt most awkwardly, while the king continued.
"Hope they will remain some time--quite an ornament to our court.
Monsieur le Comte, his excellency will dance?" I here muttered an
apology about my sprained ankle, and the king turned to converse with
some of the ladies of the court. His majesty's notice brought several
persons now around me, who introduced themselves; and, in a quarter of an
hour, I felt myself surrounded by acquaintances, each vieing with the
other in showing me attention.
Worse places than Munich, Master Harry, thought I, as I chaperoned a fat
duchess, with fourteen quarterings, towards the refreshment-room, and had
just accepted invitations enough to occupy me three weeks in advance.
"I have been looking every where for your excellency," said the grand
mareschal, bustling his way to me, breathless and panting. "His majesty
desires you will make one of his party at whist, so pray come at once."
"Figaro qua, Figaro la," muttered I. "Never was man in such request.
God grant the whole royal family of Bavaria be not mad, for this looks
very like it. Lady Jane had better look sharp, for I have only to throw
my eyes on an archduchess, to be king of the Tyrol some fine morning."
"You play whist, of course; every Englishman does," said the king. "You
shall be my partner."
Our adversaries were the Prince Maximilian, brother to his Majesty and
the Prussian Ambassador. As I sat down at the table, I could not help
saying in my heart, "now is your time, Harry, if my Lord Callonby should
see you, your fortune is made." Waller passed at this moment, and as he
saluted the king, I saw him actually start with amazement as he beheld
me--"better fun this than figuring in the yellow plush, Master Jack," I
muttered as he passed on actually thunder-struck with amazement. But the
game was begun, and I was obliged to be attentive. We won the first
game, and the king was in immense good humour as he took some franc
pieces from the Prussian minister, who, small as the stake was, seemed
not to relish losing. His majesty now complimented me upon my play, and
was about to add something when he perceived some one in the crowd, and
sent an Aide de camp for him.
"Ah, my Lord, we expected you earlier," and then said some words in too
low a tone for me to hear, motioning towards me as he spoke. If Waller
was surprised at seeing me where I was, it was nothing to the effect
produced upon the present party, whom I now recognized as Lord Callonby.
Respect for the presence we were in, restrained any expression on either
side, and a more ludicrous tableau than we presented can scarcely be
conceived. What I would have given that the whist party was over, I need
not say, and certainly his majesty's eulogy upon my play came too soon,
for I was now so "destrait and unhinged," my eyes wandering from the
table to see if Lady Jane was near, that I lost every trick, and finished
by revoking. The king rose half pettishly, observing that "Son
Excellence a apparement perdu la tete," and I rushed forward to shake
hands with Lord Callonby, totally forgetting the royal censure in my
delight at discovering my friend.
"Lorrequer, I am indeed rejoiced to see you, and when did you arrive."
"This evening! and how the deuce have you contrived already, eh? why you
seem quite chez vous here?"
"You shall hear all," said I hastily, "but is Lady Callonby here?"
"No. Kilkee only is with me, there he is figuranting away in a gallope.
The ladies were too tired to come, particularly as they dine at court to-
morrow, the fatigue would be rather much."
"I have his majesty's order to invite your Excellency to dinner to-
morrow," said the grand Mareschal coming up at this instant.
I bowed my acknowledgments, and turned again to Lord Callonby, whose
surprise now seemed to have reached the climax.
"Why Lorrequer, I never heard of this? when did you adopt this new
Not understanding the gist of the question, and conceiving that it
applied to my success at court, I answered at random, something about
"falling upon my legs, good luck, &c.," and once more returned to the
charge, enquiring most anxiously for Lady Callonby's health.
"Ah! she is tolerably well. Jane is the only invalid, but then we hope
Italy will restore her." Just at this instant, Kilkee caught my eye, and
rushing over from his place beside his partner, shook me by both hands,
"Delighted to see you here Lorrequer, but as I can't stay now, promise to
sup with me to-night at the 'Cross'."
I accepted of course, and the next instant, he was whirling along in his
waltze, with one of the most lovely German girls I ever saw. Lord
Callonby saw my admiration of her, and as it were replying to my gaze,
"Yes, very handsome indeed, but really Kilkee is going too far with it.
I rely upon you very much to reason him out of his folly, and we have all
agreed that you have most influence over him, and are most likely to be
listened to patiently."
Here was a new character assigned me, the confidential friend and adviser
of the family, trusted with a most delicate and important secret, likely
to bring me into most intimate terms of intercourse with them all, for
the "we" of Lord Callonby bespoke a family consultation, in which I was
deputed as the negociator. I at once promised my assistance, saying, at
the same time, that if Kilkee really was strongly attached, and had also
reason to suppose that the Lady liked him, it was not exactly fair; that
in short, if the matter had gone beyond flirtation, any interference of
mine would be imprudent, if not impertinent. Lord Callonby smiled
slightly as he replied,
"Quite right, Lorrequer, I am just as much against constraint as
yourself, if only no great barriers exist; but here with a difference of
religion, country, language, habits, in fact, everything that can create
disparity, the thing is not to be thought of."
I suspected that his Lordship read in my partial defence of Kilkee, a
slight attempt to prop up my own case, and felt confused and embarrassed
beyond measure at the detection.
"Well, we shall have time enough for all this. Now let us hear something
of my old friend Sir Guy. How is he looking?"
"I am unfortunately unable to give you any account of him. I left Paris
the very day before he was expected to arrive there."
"Oh then, I have all the news myself in that case, for in his letter
which I received yesterday, he mentions that we are not to expect him
"Expect him. Is he coming here then?"
"Yes. Why, I thought you were aware of that, he has been long promising
to pay us a visit, and at last, by great persuasion, we have succeeded in
getting him across the sea, and, indeed, were it not that he was coming,
we should have been in Florence before this."
A gleam of hope shot through my heart as I said to myself, what can this
visit mean? and the moment after I felt sick, almost to fainting, as I
asked if "my cousin Guy were also expected."
"Oh yes. We shall want him I should think" said Lord Callonby with a
very peculiar smile.
I thought I should have fallen at these few words. Come, Harry, thought
I, it is better to learn your fate at once. Now or never; death itself
were preferable to this continued suspense. If the blow is to fall, it
can scarcely sink me lower than I now feel: so reasoning, I laid my hand
upon Lord Callonby's arm, and with a face pale as death, and a voice all
but inarticulate, said,
"My Lord, you will pardon, I am sure--"
"My dear Lorrequer," said his lordship interrupting me, "for heaven's
sake sit down. How ill you are looking, we must nurse you, my poor
I sank upon a bench--the light danced before my eyes--the clang of the
music sounded like the roar of a waterfall, and I felt a cold
perspiration burst over my face and forehead; at the same instant, I
recognized Kilkee's voice, and without well knowing why, or how,
discovered myself in the open air.
"Come, you are better now," said Kilkee, "and will be quite well when you
get some supper, and a little of the tokay, his majesty has been good
enough to send us."
"His majesty desires to know if his excellency is better," said an aide
I muttered my most grateful acknowledgments.
"One of the court carriages is in waiting for your excellency," said a
venerable old gentleman in a tie wig, whom I recognized as the minister
for foreign affairs--as he added in a lower tone to Lord Callonby, "I
fear he has been greatly overworked lately--his exertions on the subject
of the Greek loan are well known to his majesty."
"Indeed," said Lord Callonby, with a start of surprise, "I never heard of
If it had not been for that start of amazement, I should have died of
terror. It was the only thing that showed me I was not out of my senses,
which I now concluded the old gentleman must be, for I never had heard of
the Greek loan in my life before.
"Farewell, mon cher colleague," said the venerable minister as I got into
the carriage, wondering as well I might what singular band of brotherhood
united one of his majesty's __th with the minister for foreign affairs of
the Court of Bavaria.
When I arrived at the White-cross, I found my nerves, usually proof to
any thing, so shaken and shattered, that fearing with the difficult game
before me any mistake, however trivial, might mar all my fortunes for
ever, I said a good night to my friends, and went to bed.
"A note for Monsieur," said the waiter, awaking me at the same time from
the soundest sleep and most delightful dream. The billet was thus:--
"If your excellency does not intend to slumber during the next twenty-
four hours, it might be as well to remember that we are waiting
breakfast. Ever yours,
"It is true, then," said I--following up the delusion of my dream. "It
is true, I am really domesticated once more with the Callonbys. My suit
is prospering, and at length the long-sought, long-hoped for moment is
"Well, Harry," said Kilkee, as he dashed open the door. "Well, Harry,
how are you, better than last night, I hope?"
"Oh yes, considerably. In fact, I can't think what could have been the
matter with me; but I felt confoundedly uncomfortable."
"You did! Why, man, what can you mean; was it not a joke?"
"A joke," said I, with a start.
"Yes, to be sure. I thought it was only the sequel of the other humbug."
"The sequel of the other humbug!" Gracious mercy! thought I, getting
pale with horror, is it thus he ventures to designate my attachment to
"Come, come, it's all over now. What the devil could have persuaded you
to push the thing so far?"
"Really, I am so completely in the dark as to your meaning that I only
get deeper in mystery by my chance replies. What do you mean?"
"What do I mean! Why, the affair of last night of course. All Munich is
full of it, and most fortunately for you, the king has taken it all in
the most good-humoured way, and laughs more than any one else about it."
Oh, then, thought I, I must have done or said something last night during
my illness, that I can't remember now. "Come, Kilkee, out with it. What
happened last night, that has served to amuse the good people of Munich?
for as I am a true man, I forget all you are alluding to."
"And don't remember the Greek Loan--eh?"
"The Greek Loan!"
"And your Excellency's marked reception by his Majesty? By Jove though,
it was the rarest piece of impudence I ever heard of; hoaxing a crowned
head, quizzing one of the Lord's anointed is un peu trop fort."
"If you really do not wish to render me insane at once, for the love of
mercy say, in plain terms, what all this means."
"Come, come, I see you are incorrigible; but as breakfast is waiting all
this time, we shall have your explanations below stairs."
Before I had time for another question Kilkee passed his arm within mine,
and led me along the corridor, pouring out, the entire time a whole
rhapsody about the practical joke of my late illness, which he was
pleased to say would ring from one end of Europe to the other.
Lord Callonby was alone in the breakfast-room when we entered, and the
moment he perceived me called out,
"Eh, Lorrequer, you here still? Why, man, I thought you'd have been over
the frontier early this morning?"
"Indeed, my lord, I am not exactly aware of any urgent reason for so
rapid a flight."
"You are not! The devil, you are not. Why, you must surely have known
his majesty to be the best tempered man in his dominions then, or you
would never have played off such a ruse, though I must say, there never
was anything better done. Old Heldersteen, the minister for foreign
affairs, is nearly deranged this morning about it--it seems that he was
the first that fell into the trap; but seriously speaking, I think it
would be better if you got away from this; the king, it is true, has
behaved with the best possible good feeling; but--"
"My lord, I have a favour to ask, perhaps, indeed in all likelihood the
last I shall ever ask of your lordship, it is this--what are you alluding
to all this while, and for what especial reason do you suggest my
immediate departure from Munich?"
"Bless my heart and soul--you surely cannot mean to carry the thing on
any further--you never can intend to assume your ministerial functions by
"My what!--my ministerial functions."
"Oh no, that were too much--even though his majesty did say--that you
were the most agreeable diplomate he had met for a long time."
"I, a diplomate."
"You, certainly. Surely you cannot be acting now; why, gracious mercy,
Lorrequer! can it be possible that you were not doing it by design, do
you really not know in what character you appeared last night?"
"If in any other than that of Harry Lorrequer, my lord, I pledge my
honour, I am ignorant."
"Nor the uniform you wore, don't you know what it meant?"
"The tailor sent it to my room."
"Why, man, by Jove, this will kill me," said Lord Callonby, bursting into
a fit of laughter, in which Kilkee, a hitherto silent spectator of our
colloquy, joined to such an extent, that I thought he should burst a
bloodvessel. "Why man, you went as the Charge d'Affaires."
"I, the Charge d'Affaires!"
"That you did, and a most successful debut you made of it."
While shame and confusion covered me from head to foot at the absurd and
ludicrous blunder I had been guilty of, the sense of the ridiculous was
so strong in me, that I fell upon a sofa and laughed on with the others
for full ten minutes.
"Your Excellency is, I am rejoiced to find, in good spirits," said Lady
Callonby, entering and presenting her hand.
"He is so glad to have finished the Greek Loan," said Lady Catherine,
smiling with a half malicious twinkle of the eye. Just at this instant
another door opened, and Lady Jane appeared. Luckily for me, the
increased mirth of the party, as Lord Callonby informed them of my
blunder, prevented their paying any attention to me, for as I half sprung
forward toward her, my agitation would have revealed to any observer, the
whole state of my feelings. I took her hand which she extended to me,
without speaking, and bowing deeply over it, raised my head and looked
into her eyes, as if to read at one glance, my fate, and when I let fall
her hand, I would not have exchanged my fortune for a kingdom.
"You have heard, Jane, how our friend opened his campaign in Munich last
"Oh, I hope, Mr. Lorrequer, they are only quizzing. You surely could
"Could not. What he could not--what he would not do, is beyond my
calculation to make out," said Kilkee, laughing, "anything in life, from
breaking an axletree to hoaxing a king;" I turned, as may be imagined, a
deaf ear to this allusion, which really frightened me, not knowing how
far Kilkee's information might lead, nor how he might feel disposed to
use it. Lady Jane turned a half reproachful glance at me, as if rebuking
my folly; but in the interest she thus took in me, I should not have
bartered it for the smile of the proudest queen in Christendom.
Breakfast over, Lord Callonby undertook to explain to the Court the
blunder, by which I had unwittingly been betrayed into personating the
newly arrived minister, and as the mistake was more of their causing than
my own, my excuses were accepted, and when his lordship returned to the
hotel, he brought with him an invitation for me to dine at Court in my
own unaccredited character. By this time I had been carrying on the
siege as briskly as circumstances permitted; Lady Callonby being deeply
interested in her newly arrived purchases, and Lady Catherine being good-
natured enough to pretend to be so also, left me, at intervals, many
opportunities of speaking to Lady Jane.
As I feared that such occasions would not often present themselves, I
determined on making the best use of my time, and at once led the
conversation towards the goal I aimed at, by asking, "if Lady Jane had
completely forgotten the wild cliffs and rocky coast of Clare, amid the
tall mountains and glaciered peaks of the Tyrol?"
"Far from it," she replied. "I have a most clear remembrance of bold
Mogher and the rolling swell of the blue Atlantic, and long to feel its
spray once more upon my cheek; but then, I knew it in childhood--your
acquaintance with it was of a later date, and connected with fewer happy
"Fewer happy associations--how can you say so? Was it not there the
brightest hours of my whole life were passed, was it not there I first
"Kilkee tells me," said Lady Jane, interrupting me shortly, "that Miss
Bingham is extremely pretty."
This was turning my flank with a vengeance; so I muttered something about
differences of tastes, &c. and continued, "I understand my worthy cousin
Guy, had the good fortune to make your acquaintance in Paris."
It was now her turn to blush, which she did deeply, and said nothing.
"He is expected, I believe, in a few days at Munich," said I, fixing my
eyes upon her, and endeavouring to read her thoughts; she blushed more
deeply, and the blood at my own heart ran cold, as I thought over all I
had heard, and I muttered to myself "she loves him."
"Mr. Lorrequer, the carriage is waiting, and as we are going to the
Gallery this morning, and have much to see, pray let us have your
"Oh, I am sure," said Catherine, "his assistance will be considerable--
particularly if his knowledge of art only equals his tact in botany.
Don't you think so, Jane?"--But Jane was gone.
They left the room to dress, and I was alone--alone with my anxious, now
half despairing thoughts, crowding and rushing upon my beating brain.
She loves him, and I have only come to witness her becoming the wife of
another. I see it all, too plainly;--my Uncle's arrival--Lord Callonby's
familiar manner--Jane's own confession. All--all convince me, that my
fate is decided. Now, then, for one last brief explanation, and I leave
Munich, never to see her more. Just as I had so spoken, she entered.
Her gloves had been forgotten in the room, and she came in not knowing
that I was there. What would I not have given at that moment, for the
ready witted assurance, the easy self-possession, with which I should
have made my advances had my heart not been as deeply engaged as I now
felt it. Alas! My courage was gone; there was too much at stake, and
I preferred, now, that the time was come, any suspense, any vacillation,
to the dreadful certainty of refusal.
These were my first thoughts, as she entered; how they were followed, I
cannot say. The same evident confusion of my brain, which I once felt
when mounting the breach in a storm-party, now completely beset me; and
as then, when death and destruction raged on every side, I held on my way
regardless of every obstacle, and forgetting all save the goal before me;
so did I now, in the intensity of my excitement, disregard every thing,
save the story of my love, which I poured forth with that fervour which
truth only can give. But she spoke not,--her averted head,--her cold and
tremulous hand, and half-drawn sigh were all that replied to me, as I
waited for that one word upon which hung all my fortune. At length her
hand, which I scarcely held within my own, was gently withdrawn. She
lifted it to her eyes, but still was silent.
"Enough," said I, "I seek not to pain you more. The daring ambition that
prompted me to love you, has met its heaviest retribution. Farewell,--
You, Lady Jane, have nothing to reproach yourself with--You never
encouraged, you never deceived me. I, and I alone have been to blame,
and mine must be the suffering. Adieu, then once more, and now for
She turned slowly round, and as the handkerchief fell from her hand,--her
features were pale as marble,--I saw that she was endeavouring to speak,
but could not; and at length, as the colour came slowly back to her
cheek, her lips moved, and just as I leaned forward, with a beating heart
to hear, her sister came running forward, and suddenly checked herself in
her career, as she said, laughingly,--
"Mille pardons, Jane, but his Excellency must take another occasion to
explain the quadruple alliance, for mamma has been waiting in the
carriage these ten minutes."
I followed them to the door, placed them in the carriage, and was turning
again towards the house, when Lady Callonby said--
"Oh, Mr. Lorrequer, we count upon you--you must not desert us."
I muttered something about not feeling well.
"And then, perhaps, the Greek loan is engaging your attention," said
Catherine; "or, mayhap, some reciprocity treaty is not prospering."
The malice of this last sally told, for Jane blushed deeply, and I felt
overwhelmed with confusion.
"But pray come--the drive will do you good."
"Your ladyship will, I am certain, excuse"--
Just as I had got so far, I caught Lady Jane's eye, for the first time
since we had left the drawing-room. What I read there, I could not, for
the life of me, say; but, instead of finishing my sentence, I got into
the carriage, and drove off, very much to the surprise of Lady Callonby,
who, never having studied magnetism, knew very little the cause of my
The thrill of hope that shot through my heart succeeding so rapidly the
dark gloom of my despairing thoughts, buoyed me up, and while I whispered
to myself, "all may not yet be lost," I summoned my best energies to my
aid. Luckily for me, I was better qualified to act as cicerone in a
gallery than as a guide in a green-house; and with the confidence that
knowledge of a subject ever inspires, I rattled away about art and
artists, greatly to the edification of Lady Callonby--much to the
surprise of Lady Catherine--and, better than all, evidently to the
satisfaction of her, to win whose praise I would gladly have risked my
"There," said I, as I placed my fair friend before a delicious little
madonna of Carl Dolci--"there is, perhaps, the triumph of colouring--for
the downy softness of that cheek--the luscious depth of that blue eye--
the waving richness of those sunny locks, all is perfect--fortunately so
beautiful a head is not a monopoly, for he painted many copies of this
"Quite true," said a voice behind, "and mine at Elton is, I think, if
anything, better than this."
I turned, and beheld my good old uncle, Sir Guy, who was standing beside
Lady Callonby. While I welcomed my worthy relative, I could not help
casting a glance around to see if Guy were also there, and not perceiving
him, my heart beat freely again.
My uncle, it appeared, had just arrived, and lost no time in joining us
at the gallery. His manner to me was cordial to a degree; and I
perceived that, immediately upon being introduced to Lady Jane, he took
considerable pains to observe her, and paid her the most marked
The first moment I could steal unnoticed, I took the opportunity of
asking if Guy were come. That one fact were to me all, and upon the
answer to my question, I hung with deep anxiety.
"Guy here!--no, not yet. The fact is, Harry, my boy, Guy has not got on
here as well as I could have wished. Everything had been arranged among
us--Callonby behaved most handsomely--and, as far as regarded myself, I
threw no impediment in the way. But still, I don't know how it was, but
Guy did not advance, and the matter now"--
"Pray, how does it stand? Have you any hopes to put all to rights
"Yes, Harry, I think, with your assistance, much may be done."
"Oh, count upon me by all means," said I, with a sneering bitterness,
that my uncle could not have escaped remarking, had his attention not
been drawn off by Lady Callonby.
What have I done--what sin did I meditate before I was born, that I
should come into the world branded with failure in all I attempt? Is it
not enough that my cousin, my elder by some months, should be rich while
I am poor--honoured and titled, while I am unknown and unnoticed?--but is
he also to be preferred to me in every station in life? Is there no
feeling of the heart so sacred that it must not succumb to primogeniture?
"What a dear old man Sir Guy is," said Catherine, interrupting my sad
reflections, "and how gallant; he is absolutely flirting with Lady Jane."
And quite true it was. The old gentleman was paying his devoirs with a
studied anxiety to please, that went to my very heart as I witnessed it.
The remainder of that day to me was a painful and suffering one. My
intention of suddenly leaving Munich had been abandoned, why, I knew not.
I felt that I was hoping against hope, and that my stay was only to
confirm, by the most "damning proof," how surely I was fated to
disappointment. My reasonings all ended in one point. If she really
love Guy, then my present attentions can only be a source of unhappiness
to her; if she do not, is there any prospect that from the bare fact of
my attachment, so proud a family as the Callonbys will suffer their
daughter to make a mere "marriage d'inclination?"
There was but one answer to this question, and I had at last the courage
to make it: and yet the Callonbys had marked me out for their attentions,
and had gone unusually out of their way to inflict injury upon me, if all
were meant to end in nothing. If I only could bring myself to think that
this was a systematic game adopted by them, to lead to the subsequent
arrangement with my cousin!--if I could but satisfy my doubts on this
head----What threats of vengeance I muttered, I cannot remember, for I
was summoned at that critical moment to attend the party to the palace.
The state of excitement I was in, was an ill preparative for the rigid
etiquette of a court dinner. All passed off, however, happily, and the
king, by a most good-natured allusion to the blunder of the night before,
set me perfectly at ease on that head.
I was placed next to Lady Jane at dinner; and half from wounded pride,
half from the momentarily increasing conviction that all was lost,
chatted away gaily, without any evidence of a stronger feeling than the
mere vicinity of a pretty person is sure to inspire. What success this
game was attended with I know not; but the suffering it cost me, I shall
never cease to remember. One satisfaction I certainly did experience--
she was manifestly piqued, and several times turned towards the person on
the other side of her, to avoid the tone of indifference in which I
discussed matters that were actually wringing my own heart at the moment.
Yet such was the bitterness of my spirit, that I set down this conduct
on her part as coquetry; and quite convinced myself that any slight
encouragement she might ever have given my attentions, was only meant
to indulge a spirit of vanity, by adding another to the list of her
As the feeling grew upon me, I suppose my manner to her became more
palpably cutting, for it ended at last in our discontinuing to speak, and
when we retired from the palace, I accompanied her to the carriage in
silence, and wished her a cold and distant good night, without any
advance to touch her hand at parting--and yet that parting, I had
destined for our last.
The greater part of that night I spent in writing letters. One was to
Jane herself owning my affection, confessing that even the "rudesse" of
my late conduct was the fruit of it, and finally assuring her that
failing to win from her any return of my passion, I had resolved never to
meet her more--I also wrote a short note to my uncle, thanking him for
all he had formerly done in my behalf, but coldly declining for the
future, any assistance upon his part, resolving that upon my own efforts
alone should I now rest my fortunes. To Lord Callonby I wrote at greater
length, recapitulating the history of our early intimacy, and accusing
him of encouraging me in expectations, which, as he never intended to
confirm them, were fated to prove my ruin. More--much more I said, which
to avow, I should gladly shrink from, were it not that I have pledged
myself to honesty in these "Confessions," and as they depict the
bitterness and misery of my spirit, I must plead guilty to them here. In
a word, I felt myself injured. I saw no outlet for redress, and the only
consolation open to my wounded pride and crushed affection, was to show,
that if I felt myself a victim, at least I was not a dupe. I set about
packing up for the journey, whither, I knew not. My leave was nearly
expired, yet I could not bear the thought of rejoining the regiment.
My only desire was to leave Munich, and that speedily. When all my
arrangements were completed I went down noiselessly to the inn yard to
order post-horses by day-break, there to my surprise I found all activity
and bustle. Though so late at night, a courier had arrived from England
for Lord Callonby, with some important dispatches from the Government;
this would, at any other time, have interested me deeply; now I heard
the news without a particle of feeling, and I made all the necessary
dispositions for my journey, without paying the slightest attention to
what was going on about me. I had just finished, when Lord Callonby's
valet came to say, that his lordship wished to see me immediately in his
dressing room. Though I would gladly have declined any further
interview, I saw no means of escape, and followed the servant to his
There I found Lord Callonby in his dressing gown and night cap,
surrounded by papers, letters, despatch boxes, and red tape-tied parcels,
that all bespoke business.
"Lorrequer, sit down, my boy, I have much to say to you, and as we have
no time to lose, you must forego a little sleep. Is the door closed?
I have just received most important news from England, and to begin,"
here his lordship opened a letter and read as follow:--
"My Lord--They are out at last--the majority on Friday increased to forty
yesterday evening, when they resigned; the Duke has, meanwhile, assumed
the reins till further arrangements can be perfected, and despatches are
now preparing to bring all our friends about us. The only rumours as yet
are, L___, for the Colonies, H___, to the Foreign Office, W____ President
of the Council, and we anxiously hope yourself Viceroy to Ireland. In
any case lose no time in coming back to England. The struggle will be a
sharp one, as the outs are distracted, and we shall want you much. Ever
yours, my dear lord,
"This is much sooner than I looked for, Lorrequer, perhaps almost than I
wished; but as it has taken place, we must not decline the battle; now
what I wanted with you is this--if I go to Ireland I should like your
acceptance of the Private Secretary's Office. Come, come, no objections;
you know that you need not leave the army, you can become unattached,
I'll arrange all that; apropos, this concerns you, it is from the Horse
Guards, you need not read it now though, it is merely your gazette to the
company; your promotion, however, shall not stop there; however, the
important thing I want with you is this, I wish you to start for England
to-morrow; circumstances prevent my going from this for a few days. You
can see L____ and W____, &c., and explain all I have to say; I shall
write a few letters, and some hints for your own guidance; and as Kilkee
never would have head for these matters, I look to your friendship to do
it for me."
Looking only to the post, as the proposal suited my already made resolve
to quit Munich, I acceded at once, and assured Lord Callonby that I
should be ready in an hour.
"Quite right, Lorrequer, but still I shall not need this, you cannot
leave before eleven or twelve o'clock, in fact I have another service to
exact at your hands before we part with you; meanwhile, try and get some
sleep, you are not likely to know anything of a bed before you reach the
Clarendon." So saying, he hurried me from the room, and as he closed the
door, I heard him muttering his satisfaction, that already so far all had
been well arranged.
Sleep came on me, without my feeling it, and amid all the distracting
cares and pressing thoughts that embarrassed me, I only awoke when the
roll of the caleche sounded beneath my window, and warned me that I must
be stirring and ready for the road.
Since it is to be thus, thought I, it is much better that this
opportunity should occur of my getting away at once, and thus obviate all
the unpleasantness of my future meeting with Lady Jane; and the thousand
conjectures that my departure, so sudden and unannounced might give rise
to. So be it, and I have now only one hope more--that the terms we last
parted on, may prevent her appearing at the breakfast table; with these
words I entered the room, where the Callonbys were assembled, all save
"This is too provoking; really, Mr. Lorrequer," said Lady Callonby, with
her sweetest smile, and most civil manner, "quite too bad to lose you
now, that you have just joined us."
"Come, no tampering with our party," said Lord Callonby, "my friend here
must not be seduced by honied words and soft speeches, from the high road
that leads to honours and distinctions--now for your instructions." Here
his lordship entered into a very deep discussion as to the conditions
upon which his support might be expected, and relied upon, which Kilkee
from time to time interrupted by certain quizzing allusions to the low
price he put upon his services, and suggested that a mission for myself
should certainly enter into the compact.
At length breakfast was over, and Lord Callonby said, "now make your
adieux, and let me see you for a moment in Sir Guy's room, we have a
little discussion there, in which your assistance is wanting." I
accordingly took my farewell of Lady Callonby, and approached to do so to
Lady Jane, but much to my surprise, she made me a very distant salute,
and said in her coldest tone, "I hope you may have a pleasant journey."
Before I had recovered my surprise at this movement, Kilkee came forward
and offered to accompany me a few miles of the road. I accepted readily
the kind offer, and once more bowing to the ladies, withdrew. And thus
it is, thought I, that I leave all my long dreamed of happiness, and such
is the end of many a long day's ardent expectation. When I entered my
uncle's room, my temper was certainly not in the mood most fit for
further trials, though it was doomed to meet them.
"Harry, my boy, we are in great want of you here, and as time presses, we
must state our case very briefly. You are aware, Sir Guy tells me, that
your cousin Guy has been received among us as the suitor of my eldest
daughter. It has been an old compact between us to unite our families by
ties still stronger than our very ancient friendship, and this match has
been accordingly looked to, by us both with much anxiety. Now, although
on our parts I think no obstacle intervenes, yet I am sorry to say, there
appear difficulties in other quarters. In fact, certain stories have
reached Lady Jane's ears concerning your cousin, which have greatly
prejudiced her against him, and we have reason to think most unfairly;
for we have succeeded in tracing some of the offences in question, not to
Guy, but to a Mr. Morewood, who it seems has personated your cousin upon
more than one occasion, and not a little to his disadvantage. Now we
wish you to sift these matters to the bottom, by your going to Paris as
soon as you can venture to leave London--find out this man, and if
possible, make all straight; if money is wanting, he must of course have
it; but bear one thing in mind, that any possible step which may remove
this unhappy impression from my daughter's mind, will be of infinite
service, and never forgotten by us. Kilkee too has taken some dislike to
Guy. You have only, however, to talk to him on the matter, and he is
sure to pay attention to you."
"And, Harry," said my uncle, "tell Guy, I am much displeased that he is
not here, I expected him to leave Paris with me, but some absurd wager at
the Jockey Club detained him."
"Another thing, Harry, you may as well mention to your cousin, that Sir
Guy has complied with every suggestion that he formerly threw out--he
will understand the allusion."
"Oh yes," said my uncle, "tell him roundly, he shall have Elton Hall; I
have fitted up Marsden for myself; so no difficulty lies in that
"You may add, if you like, that my present position with the government
enables me to offer him a speedy prospect of a Regiment, and that I think
he had better not leave the army."
"And say that by next post Hamercloth's bond for the six thousand shall
be paid off, and let him send me a note of any other large sum he owes."
"And above all things, no more delays. I must leave this for England
inevitably, and as the ladies will probably prefer wintering in Italy--"
"Oh certainly," said my uncle, "the wedding must take place."
"I scarcely can ask you to come to us on the occasion, though I need not
say how greatly we should all feel gratified if you could do so," said my
While this cross fire went on from both sides, I looked from one to the
other of the speakers. My first impression being, that having perceived
and disliked my attention to Lady Jane, they adopted this "mauvaise
plaisanterie" as a kind of smart lesson for my future guidance. My next
impression was that they were really in earnest, but about the very
stupidest pair of old gentlemen that ever wore hair powder.
"And this is all," said I, drawing a long breath, and inwardly uttering a
short prayer for patience.
"Why, I believe, I have mentioned everything," said Lord Callonby,
"except that if anything occurs to yourself that offers a prospect of
forwarding this affair, we leave you a carte blanche to adopt it."
"Of course, then," said I, "I am to understand that as no other
difficulties lie in the way than those your Lordship has mentioned, the
feelings of the parties, their affections are mutual."
"Oh, of course, your cousin, I suppose, has made himself agreeable; he
is a good looking fellow, and in fact, I am not aware, why they should
not like each other, eh Sir Guy?"
"To be sure, and the Elton estates run half the shire with your
Gloucester property; never was there a more suitable match."
"Then only one point remains, and that being complied with, you may
reckon upon my services; nay, more, I promise you success. Lady Jane's
own consent must be previously assured to me, without this, I most
positively decline moving a step in the matter; that once obtained,
freely and without constraint, I pledge myself to do all you require."
"Quite fair, Harry, I perfectly approve of your scruples," so saying, his
Lordship rose and left the room.
"Well, Harry, and yourself, what is to be done for you, has Callonby
offered you anything yet?"
"Yes sir, his Lordship has most kindly offered me the under secretaryship
in Ireland, but I have resolved on declining it, though I shall not at
present say so, lest he should feel any delicacy in employing me upon the
"Why, is the boy deranged--decline it--what have you got in the world,
that you should refuse such an appointment."
The colour mounted to my cheeks, my temples burned, and what I should
have replied to this taunt, I know not, for passion had completely
mastered me. When Lord Callonby again entered the room, his usually calm
and pale face was agitated and flushed; and his manner tremulous and
hurried; for an instant he was silent, then turning towards my uncle,
he took his hand affectionately, and said,
"My good old friend, I am deeply, deeply grieved; but we must abandon
this scheme. I have just seen my daughter, and from the few words which
we have had together, I find that her dislike to the match is invincible,
and in fact, she has obtained my promise never again to allude to it. If
I were willing to constrain the feelings of my child, you yourself would
not permit it. So here let us forget that we ever hoped for, ever
calculated on a plan in which both our hearts were so deeply interested."
These words, few as they were, were spoken with deep feeling, and for the
first time, I looked upon the speaker with sincere regard. They were
both silent for some minutes; Sir Guy, who was himself much agitated,
"So be it then, Callonby, and thus do I relinquish one--perhaps the only
cheering prospect my advanced age held out to me. I have long wished to
have your daughter for my niece, and since I have known her, the wish has
"It was the chosen dream of all my anticipations," said Lord Callonby,
"and now Jane's affections only--but let it pass."
"And is there then really no remedy, can nothing be struck out?"
"I am not quite so sure, my Lord," said I tremulously.
"No, no, Lorrequer, you are a ready witted fellow I know, but this passes
even your ingenuity, besides I have given her my word."
"Why, what do you mean, speak out man," said Sir Guy, "I'll give you ten
thousand pounds on the spot if you suggest a means of overcoming this
"Perhaps you might not accede afterwards."
"I pledge myself to it."
"And I too," said Lord Callonby, "if no unfair stratagem be resorted to
towards my daughter. If she only give her free and willing consent, I
"Then you must bid higher, uncle, ten thousand won't do, for the bargain
is well worth the money."
"Name your price, boy, and keep your word."
"Agreed then," holding my uncle to his promise, "I pledge myself that his
nephew shall be husband of Lady Jane Callonby, and now, my Lord, read
Harry vice Guy in the contract, and I am certain my uncle is too faithful
to his plighted word, and too true to his promise not to say it shall
The suddenness of this rash declaration absolutely stunned them both, and
then recovering at the same moment, their eyes met.
"Fairly caught, Guy" said Lord Callonby, "a bold stroke if it only
"And it shall, by G--," said my uncle, "Elton is yours, Harry, and with
seven thousand a year, and my nephew to boot, Callonby won't refuse you."
There are moments in life in which conviction will follow a bold "coup de
main," that never would have ensued from the slow process of reasoning.
Luckily for me, this was one of those happy intervals. Lord Callonby
catching my uncle's enthusiasm, seized me by the hand and said,
"With her consent, Lorrequer, you may count upon mine, and faith
if truth must be told, I always preferred you to the other."
What my uncle added, I waited not to listen to; but with one bound sprung
from the room--dashed up stairs to Lady Callonby's drawing-room--looked
rapidly around to see if SHE were there, and then without paying the
slightest attention to the questions of Lady Callonby and her younger
daughter, was turning to leave the room, when my eye caught the flutter
of a Cachmere shawl in the garden beneath. In an instant the window was
torn open--I stood upon the sill, and though the fall was some twenty
feet, with one spring I took it, and before the ladies had recovered from
their first surprise at my unaccountable conduct, put the finishing
stroke to their amazement, by throwing my arms around Lady Jane, and
clasping her to my heart.
I cannot remember by what process I explained the change that had taken
place in my fortunes. I had some very vague recollection of vows of
eternal love being mingled with praises of my worthy uncle, and the state
of my affections and finances were jumbled up together, but still
sufficiently intelligible to satisfy my beloved Jane--that this time at
least, I made love with something more than my own consent to support me.
Before we had walked half round the garden, she had promised to be mine;
and Harry Lorrequer, who rose that morning with nothing but despair and
darkness before him, was now the happiest of men.
Dear reader, I have little more to confess. Lord Callonby's politics
were fortunately deemed of more moment than maidenly scruples, and the
treasury benches more respected than the trousseau. Our wedding was
therefore settled for the following week. Meanwhile, every day seemed
to teem with its own meed of good fortune. My good uncle, under whose
patronage, forty odd years before, Colonel Kamworth had obtained his
commission, undertook to effect the reconciliation between him and the
Wallers, who now only waited for our wedding, before they set out for
Hydrabad cottage, that snug receptacle of Curry and Madeira, Jack
confessing that he had rather listen to the siege of Java, by that fire-
side, than hear an account of Waterloo from the lips of the great Duke
I wrote to Trevanion to invite him to Munich for the ceremony, and the
same post which informed me that he was en route to join us, brought also
a letter from my eccentric friend O'Leary, whose name having so often
occurred in these confessions, I am tempted to read aloud, the more so as
its contents are no secret, Kilkee having insisted upon reading it to a
committee of the whole family assembled after dinner.
"The trial is over, and I am acquitted, but still in St. Pelagie;
for as the government were determined to cut my head off if guilty,
so the mob resolved to murder me if innocent. A pleasant place
this: before the trial, I was the most popular man in Paris; my face
was in every print shop; plaster busts of me, with a great organ
behind the ear, in all the thoroughfares; my autograph selling at
six and twenty sous, and a lock of my hair at five francs. Now that
it is proved I did not murder the "minister at war," (who is in
excellent health and spirits) the popular feeling against me is very
violent; and I am looked upon as an imposter, who obtained his
notoriety under false pretences; and Vernet, who had begun my
picture for a Judas, has left off in disgust. Your friend Trevanion
is a trump; he procured a Tipperary gentleman to run away with Mrs.
Ram, and they were married at Frankfort, on Tuesday last. By the
by, what an escape you had of Emily: she was only quizzing you all
the time. She is engaged to be married to Tom O'Flaherty, who is
here now. Emily's imitation of you, with the hat a little on one
side, and a handkerchief flourishing away in one hand, is capital;
but when she kneels down and says, 'dearest Emily, &c.' you'd swear
it was yourself."--[Here the laughter of the auditory prevented
Kilkee proceeding, who, to my utter confusion, resumed after a
little.]--"Don't be losing your time making up to Lord Callonby's
daughter"--[here came another burst of laughter]--"they say here you