Part 1 out of 9
Produced by Lee Dawei, Michael Lockey and PG Distributed Proofreaders
THE HISTORY OF PENDENNIS.
HIS FORTUNES AND MISFORTUNES, HIS FRIENDS AND HIS GREATEST ENEMY.
BY WILLIAM MAKEPEACE THACKERAY.
WITH ILLUSTRATIONS ON WOOD BY THE AUTHOR,
IN TWO VOLUMES.
1.--RELATES TO MR. HARRY FOKER's AFFAIRS
2.--CARRIES THE READER BOTH TO RICHMOND AND GREENWICH
3.--CONTAINS A NOVEL INCIDENT
5.--IN WHICH THE COLONEL NARRATES SOME OF HIS ADVENTURES
6.--A CHAPTER OF CONVERSATIONS
7.--MISS AMORY'S PARTNERS
9.--A VISIT OF POLITENESS
10.--IN SHEPHERD'S INN
11.--IN OR NEAR THE TEMPLE GARDEN
12.--THE HAPPY VILLAGE AGAIN
13.--WHICH HAD VERY NEARLY BEEN THE LAST OF THE STORY
14.--A CRITICAL CHAPTER
16.--FANNY'S OCCUPATION'S GONE
17.--IN WHICH FANNY ENGAGES A NEW MEDICAL MAN
19.--"FAIROAKS TO LET"
23.--THE WAY OF THE WORLD
24.--WHICH ACCOUNTS PERHAPS FOR CHAPTER XXIII
25.--PHILLIS AND CORYDON
27.--IN WHICH PEN BEGINS HIS CANVASS
28.--IN WHICH PEN BEGINS TO DOUBT ABOUT HIS ELECTION
29.--IN WHICH THE MAJOR IS BIDDEN TO STAND AND DELIVER
30.--IN WHICH THE MAJOR NEITHER YIELDS HIS MONEY NOR HIS LIFE
31.--IN WHICH PENDENNIS COUNTS HIS EGGS
33.--IN WHICH THE DECKS BEGIN TO CLEAR
34.--MR. AND MRS. SAM HUXTER
35.--SHOWS HOW ARTHUR HAD BETTER HAVE TAKEN A RETURN-TICKET
36.--A CHAPTER OF MATCH-MAKING
37.--EXEUNT OMNES PENDENNIS.
RELATES TO MR. HARRY FOKER'S AFFAIRS.
Since that fatal but delightful night in Grosvenor place, Mr. Harry
Foker's heart had been in such a state of agitation as you would
hardly have thought so great a philosopher could endure. When we
remember what good advice he had given to Pen in former days, how an
early wisdom and knowledge of the world had manifested itself in the
gifted youth; how a constant course of self-indulgence, such as
becomes a gentleman of his means and expectations, ought by right to
have increased his cynicism, and made him, with every succeeding day
of his life, care less and less for every individual in the world,
with the single exception of Mr. Harry Foker, one may wonder that he
should fall into the mishap to which most of us are subject once or
twice in our lives, and disquiet his great mind about a woman. But
Foker, though early wise, was still a man. He could no more escape the
common lot than Achilles, or Ajax, or Lord Nelson, or Adam our first
father, and now, his time being come, young Harry became a victim to
Love, the All-conqueror.
When he went to the Back Kitchen that night after quitting Arthur
Pendennis at his staircase-door in Lamb-court, the gin-twist and
deviled turkey had no charms for him, the jokes of his companions
fell flatly on his ear; and when Mr. Hodgen, the singer of "The Body
Snatcher," had a new chant even more dreadful and humorous than that
famous composition, Foker, although he appeared his friend, and said
"Bravo Hodgen," as common politeness, and his position as one of the
chiefs of the Back Kitchen bound him to do, yet never distinctly heard
one word of the song, which under its title of "The Cat in the
Cupboard," Hodgen has since rendered so famous. Late and very tired,
he slipped into his private apartments at home and sought the downy
pillow, but his slumbers were disturbed by the fever of his soul, and
the very instant that he woke from his agitated sleep, the image of
Miss Amory presented itself to him, and said, "Here I am, I am your
princess and beauty, you have discovered me, and shall care for
nothing else hereafter."
Heavens, how stale and distasteful his former pursuits and friendships
appeared to him! He had not been, up to the present time, much
accustomed to the society of females of his own rank in life. When he
spoke of such, he called them "modest women." That virtue which, let
us hope they possessed, had not hitherto compensated to Mr. Foker for
the absence of more lively qualities which most of his own relatives
did not enjoy, and which he found in Mesdemoiselles, the ladies of the
theater. His mother, though good and tender, did not amuse her boy;
his cousins, the daughters of his maternal uncle, the respectable Earl
of Rosherville, wearied him beyond measure. One was blue, and a
geologist; one was a horsewoman, and smoked cigars; one was
exceedingly Low Church, and had the most heterodox views on religious
matters; at least, so the other said, who was herself of the very
Highest Church faction, and made the cupboard in her room into an
oratory, and fasted on every Friday in the year. Their paternal house
of Drummington, Foker could very seldom be got to visit. He swore he
had rather go to the tread-mill than stay there. He was not much
beloved by the inhabitants. Lord Erith, Lord Rosherville's heir,
considered his cousin a low person, of deplorably vulgar habits and
manners; while Foker, and with equal reason, voted Erith a prig and a
dullard, the nightcap of the House of Commons, the Speaker's
opprobrium, the dreariest of philanthropic spouters. Nor could George
Robert, Earl of Gravesend and Rosherville, ever forget that on one
evening when he condescended to play at billiards with his nephew,
that young gentleman poked his lordship in the side with his cue, and
said, "Well, old cock, I've seen many a bad stroke in my life, but I
never saw such a bad one as that there." He played the game out with
angelic sweetness of temper, for Harry was his guest as well as his
nephew; but he was nearly having a fit in the night; and he kept to
his own rooms until young Harry quitted Drummington on his return to
Oxbridge, where the interesting youth was finishing his education at
the time when the occurrence took place. It was an awful blow to the
venerable earl; the circumstance was never alluded to in the family:
he shunned Foker whenever he came to see them in London or in the
country, and could hardly be brought to gasp out a "How d'ye do?" to
the young blasphemer. But he would not break his sister Agnes's
heart, by banishing Harry from the family altogether; nor, indeed,
could he afford to break with Mr. Foker, senior, between whom and his
lordship there had been many private transactions, producing an
exchange of bank checks from Mr. Foker, and autographs from the earl
himself, with the letters I O U written over his illustrious
Besides the four daughters of Lord Gravesend whose various qualities
have been enumerated in the former paragraph, his lordship was blessed
with a fifth girl, the Lady Ann Milton, who, from her earliest years
and nursery, had been destined to a peculiar position in life. It was
ordained between her parents and her aunt, that when Mr. Harry Foker
attained a proper age, Lady Ann should become his wife. The idea had
been familiar to her mind when she yet wore pinafores, and when
Harry, the dirtiest of little boys, used to come back with black eyes
from school to Drummington, or to his father's house of Logwood, where
Lady Ann lived much with her aunt. Both of the young people coincided
with the arrangement proposed by the elders, without any protests or
difficulty. It no more entered Lady Ann's mind to question the order
of her father, than it would have entered Esther's to dispute the
commands of Ahasuerus. The heir-apparent of the house of Foker was
also obedient, for when the old gentleman said, "Harry, your uncle and
I have agreed that when you're of a proper age, you'll marry Lady Ann.
She won't have any money, but she's good blood, and a good one to look
at, and I shall make you comfortable. If you refuse, you'll have your
mother's jointure, and two hundred a year during my life:" Harry, who
knew that his sire, though a man of few words, was yet implicitly to
be trusted, acquiesced at once in the parental decree, and said,
"Well, sir, if Ann's agreeable, I say ditto. She's not a
"And she has the best blood in England, sir. Your mother's blood, your
own blood, sir," said the brewer. "There's nothing like it, sir."
"Well, sir, as you like it," Harry replied. "When you want me, please
ring the bell. Only there's no hurry, and I hope you'll give us a long
day. I should like to have my fling out before I marry."
"Fling away, Harry," answered the benevolent father. "Nobody prevents
you, do they?" And so very little more was said upon this subject, and
Mr. Harry pursued those amusements in life which suited him best; and
hung up a little picture of his cousin in his sitting-room, amidst the
French prints, the favorite actresses and dancers, the racing and
coaching works of art, which suited his taste and formed his gallery.
It was an insignificant little picture, representing a simple round
face with ringlets; and it made, as it must be confessed, a very poor
figure by the side of Mademoiselle Petitot, dancing over a rainbow, or
Mademoiselle Redowa, grinning in red boots and a lancer's cap.
Being engaged and disposed of, Lady Ann Milton did not go out so much
in the world as her sisters; and often stayed at home in London at the
parental house in Gaunt-square, when her mamma with the other ladies
went abroad. They talked and they danced with one man after another,
and the men came and went, and the stories about them were various.
But there was only this one story about Ann: she was engaged to Harry
Foker: she never was to think about any body else. It was not a very
Well, the instant Foker awoke on the day after Lady Clavering's
dinner, there was Blanche's image glaring upon him with its clear gray
eyes, and winning smile. There was her tune ringing in his ears, "Yet
round about the spot, ofttimes I hover, ofttimes I hover," which poor
Foker began piteously to hum, as he sat up in his bed under the
crimson silken coverlet. Opposite him was a French print, of a Turkish
lady and her Greek lover, surprised by a venerable Ottoman, the
lady's husband; on the other wall, was a French print of a gentleman
and lady, riding and kissing each other at the full gallop; all round
the chaste bed-room were more French prints, either portraits of gauzy
nymphs of the Opera or lovely illustrations of the novels; or mayhap,
an English chef-d'oeuvre or two, in which Miss Calverley of T. R. E. O.
would be represented in tight pantaloons in her favorite page part; or
Miss Rougemont as Venus; their value enhanced by the signatures of
these ladies, Maria Calverley, or Frederica Rougemont, inscribed
underneath the prints in an exquisite fac-simile. Such were the
pictures in which honest Harry delighted. He was no worse than many of
his neighbors; he was an idle, jovial, kindly fast man about town; and
if his rooms were rather profusely decorated with works of French art,
so that simple Lady Agnes, his mamma, on entering the apartments where
her darling sate enveloped in fragrant clouds of Latakia, was often
bewildered by the novelties which she beheld there, why, it must be
remembered, that he was richer than most young men, and could better
afford to gratify his taste.
A letter from Miss Calverley written in a very dégagé style of
spelling and hand-writing, scrawling freely over the filigree paper,
and commencing by calling Mr. Harry, her dear Hokey-pokey-fokey, lay
on his bed table by his side, amid keys, sovereigns, cigar-cases, and
a bit of verbena, which Miss Amory had given him, and reminding him of
the arrival of the day when he was "to stand that dinner at the
Elefant and Castle, at Richmond, which he had promised;" a card for a
private box at Miss Rougemont's approaching benefit, a bundle of
tickets for "Ben Budgeon's night, the North Lancashire Pippin, at
Martin Faunce's, the Three-corned Hat in St. Martin's Lane; where
Conkey Sam, Dick the Nailor, and Deadman (the Worcestershire Nobber),
would put on the gloves, and the lovers of the good old British sport
were invited to attend"--these and sundry other memoirs of Mr. Foker's
pursuits and pleasures lay on the table by his side when he woke.
Ah! how faint all these pleasures seemed now. What did he care for
Conkey Sam or the Worcestershire Nobber? What for the French prints
ogling him from all sides of the room; those regular stunning slap-up
out-and-outers? And Calverley spelling bad, and calling him
Hokey-fokey, confound her impudence! The idea of being engaged to a
dinner at the Elephant and Castle at Richmond, with that old woman
(who was seven and thirty years old, if she was a day), filled his
mind with dreary disgust now, instead of that pleasure which he had
only yesterday expected to find from the entertainment.
When his fond mamma beheld her boy that morning, she remarked on the
pallor of his cheek, and the general gloom of his aspect. "Why do you
go on playing billiards at that wicked Spratt's?" Lady Agnes asked.
"My dearest child, those billiards will kill you, I'm sure they will."
"It isn't the billiards," Harry said, gloomily. "Then it's the
dreadful Back Kitchen," said the Lady Agnes. "I've often thought,
d'you know, Harry, of writing to the landlady, and begging that she
would have the kindness to put only very little wine in the negus
which you take, and see that you have your shawl on before you get
into your brougham."
"Do, ma'am. Mrs. Cutts is a most kind, motherly woman," Harry said.
"But it isn't the Back Kitchen, neither," he added with a
As Lady Agnes never denied her son any thing, and fell into all his
ways with the fondest acquiescence, she was rewarded by a perfect
confidence on young Harry's part, who never thought to disguise from
her a knowledge of the haunts which he frequented; and, on the
contrary, brought her home choice anecdotes from the clubs and
billiard-rooms, which the simple lady relished, if she did not
understand. "My son goes to Spratt's," she would say to her
confidential friends. "All the young men go to Spratt's after their
balls. It is _de rigeur_, my dear; and they play billiards as they
used to play macao and hazard in Mr. Fox's time. Yes, my dear father
often told me that they sate up _always_ until nine o'clock the next
morning with Mr. Fox at Brooks's, whom I remember at Drummington, when
I was a little girl, in a buff waistcoat and black satin small
clothes. My brother Erith never played as a young man, nor sate up
late--he had no health for it; but my boy must do as every body does,
you know. Yes, and then he often goes to a place called the Back
Kitchen, frequented by all the wits and authors, you know, whom one
does not see in society, but whom it is a great privilege and pleasure
for Harry to meet, and there he hears the questions of the day
discussed; and my dear father often said that it was our duty to
encourage literature, and he had hoped to see the late Dr. Johnson at
Drummington, only Dr. Johnson died. Yes, and Mr. Sheridan came over
and drank a great deal of wine--every body drank a great deal of wine
in those days--and papa's wine-merchant's bill was ten times as much
as Erith's is, who gets it as he wants it from Fortnum and Mason's,
and doesn't keep any stock at all."
"That was an uncommon good dinner we had yesterday, ma'am," the artful
Harry broke out. "Their clear soup's better than ours. Moufflet will
put too much taragon into every thing. The suprème de volaille was
very good--uncommon, and the sweets were better than Moufflet's
sweets. Did you taste the plombière, ma'am and the maraschino jelly?
Stunningly good that maraschino jelly!"
Lady Agnes expressed her agreement in these, as in almost all other
sentiments of her son, who continued the artful conversation, saying,
"Very handsome house that of the Claverings. Furniture, I should say,
got up regardless of expense. Magnificent display of plate, ma'am."
The lady assented to all these propositions.
"Very nice people the Claverings."
"Hem!" said Lady Agnes.
"I know what you mean. Lady C. ain't distangy exactly, but she is very
good-natured." "O very," mamma said, who was herself one of the
most good-natured of women.
"And Sir Francis, he don't talk much before ladies: but after dinner
he comes out uncommon strong, ma'am--a highly agreeable well-informed
man. When will you ask them to dinner? Look out for an early day,
ma'am;" and looking into Lady Agnes's pocket-book, he chose a day only
a fortnight hence (an age that fortnight seemed to the young
gentleman), when the Claverings were to be invited to Grosvenor-street.
The obedient Lady Agnes wrote the required invitation. She was
accustomed to do so without consulting her husband, who had his own
society and habits, and who left his wife to see her own friends
alone. Harry looked at the card; but there was an omission in the
invitation which did not please him.
"You have not asked Miss Whatdyecallem--Miss Emery, Lady Clavering's
"O, that little creature!" Lady Agnes cried. "No, I think not, Harry."
"We must ask Miss Amory," Foker said. "I--I want to ask Pendennis; and
he's very sweet upon her. Don't you think she sings very well, ma'am?"
"I thought her rather forward, and didn't listen to her singing. She
only sang at you and Mr. Pendennis, it seemed to me. But I will ask
her if you wish, Harry," and so Miss Amory's name was written on the
card with her mother's.
This piece of diplomacy being triumphantly executed, Harry embraced
his fond parent with the utmost affection, and retired to his own
apartments, where he stretched himself on his ottoman, and lay
brooding silently, sighing for the day which was to bring the fair
Miss Amory under his paternal roof, and devising a hundred wild
schemes for meeting her.
On his return from making the grand tour, Mr. Foker, junior, had
brought with him a polyglot valet, who took the place of Stoopid, and
condescended to wait at dinner, attired in shirt fronts of worked
muslin, with many gold studs and chains, upon his master and the
elders of the family. This man, who was of no particular country, and
spoke all languages indifferently ill, made himself useful to Mr.
Harry in a variety of ways--read all the artless youth's
correspondence, knew his favorite haunts and the addresses of his
acquaintance, and officiated at the private dinners which the young
gentleman gave. As Harry lay upon his sofa after his interview with
his mamma, robed in a wonderful dressing-gown, and puffing his pipe in
gloomy silence, Anatole, too, must have remarked that something
affected his master's spirits; though he did not betray any ill-bred
sympathy with Harry's agitation of mind. When Harry began to dress
himself in his out-of-door morning costume: he was very hard indeed to
please, and particularly severe and snappish about his toilet: he
tried, and cursed, pantaloons of many different stripes, checks, and
colors: all the boots were villainously varnished, the shirts too
"loud" in pattern. He scented his linen and person with peculiar
richness this day; and what must have been the valet's astonishment,
when, after some blushing and hesitation on Harry's part, the young
gentleman asked, "I say, Anatole, when I engaged you, didn't
you--hem--didn't you say that you could dress--hem--dress hair?"
The valet said, "Yes, he could."
"_Cherchy alors une paire de tongs--et--curly moi un pew_" Mr. Foker
said, in an easy manner; and the valet wondering whether his master
was in love or was going masquerading, went in search of the
articles--first from the old butler who waited upon Mr. Foker, senior,
on whose bald pate the tongs would have scarcely found a hundred hairs
to seize, and finally of the lady who had the charge of the meek
auburn fronts of the Lady Agnes. And the tongs being got, Monsieur
Anatole twisted his young master's locks until he had made Harry's
head as curly as a negro's; after which the youth dressed himself with
the utmost care and splendor and proceeded to sally out.
"At what time sall I order de drag, sir, to be to Miss Calverley's
door, sir?" the attendant whispered as his master was going forth.
"Confound her! Put the dinner off--I can't go!" said Foker. "No, hang
it--I must go. Poyntz and Rougemont, and ever so many more are coming.
The drag at Pelham Corner at six o'clock, Anatole."
The drag was not one of Mr. Foker's own equipages, but was hired from
a livery stable for festive purposes; Foker, however, put his own
carriage into requisition that morning, and for what purpose does the
kind reader suppose? Why to drive down to Lamb-court, Temple, taking
Grosvenor-place by the way (which lies in the exact direction of the
Temple from Grosvenor-street, as every body knows), where he just had
the pleasure of peeping upward at Miss Amory's pink window curtains,
having achieved which satisfactory feat, he drove off to Pen's
chambers. Why did he want to see his dear friend Pen so much? Why did
he yearn and long after him; and did it seem necessary to Foker's very
existence that he should see Pen that morning, having parted with him
in perfect health on the night previous? Pen had lived two years in
London, and Foker had not paid half a dozen visits to his chambers.
What sent him thither now in such a hurry?
What?--if any young ladies read this page, I have only to inform them
that when the same mishap befalls them, which now had for more than
twelve hours befallen Harry Foker, people will grow interesting to
them for whom they did not care sixpence on the day before; as on the
other hand persons of whom they fancied themselves fond will be found
to have become insipid and disagreeable. Then your dearest Eliza or
Maria of the other day, to whom you wrote letters and sent locks of
hair yards long, will on a sudden be as indifferent to you as your
stupidest relation: while, on the contrary, about _his_ relations you
will begin to feel such a warm interest! such a loving desire to
ingratiate yourself with _his_ mamma; such a liking for that dear kind
old man _his_ father! If He is in the habit of visiting at any house,
what advances you will make in order to visit there too. If He has a
married sister you will like to spend long mornings with her. You will
fatigue your servant by sending notes to her, for which there will be
the most pressing occasion, twice or thrice in a day. You will cry if
your mamma objects to your going too often to see His family. The only
one of them you will dislike, is perhaps his younger brother, who is
at home for the holidays, and who will persist in staying in the room
when you come to see your dear new-found friend, his darling second
sister. Something like this will happen to you, young ladies, or, at
any rate, let us hope it may. Yes, you must go through the hot fits
and the cold fits of that pretty fever. Your mothers, if they would
acknowledge it, have passed through it before you were born, your dear
papa being the object of the passion of course--who could it be but
he? And as you suffer it so will your brothers in their way--and after
their kind. More selfish than you: more eager and headstrong than you:
they will rush on their destiny when the doomed charmer makes her
appearance. Or if they don't, and you don't, Heaven help you! As the
gambler said of his dice, to love and win is the best thing, to love
and lose is the next best. You don't die of the complaint: or very few
do. The generous wounded heart suffers and survives it. And he is not
a man, or she a woman, who is not conquered by it, or who does not
conquer it in his time...... Now, then, if you ask why Henry Foker,
Esquire, was in such a hurry to see Arthur Pendennis, and felt such a
sudden value and esteem for him, there is no difficulty in saying it
was because Pen had become really valuable in Mr. Foker's eyes;
because if Pen was not the rose, he yet had been near that fragrant
flower of love. Was not he in the habit of going to her house in
London? Did he not live near her in the country?--know all about the
enchantress? What, I wonder, would Lady Ann Milton, Mr. Foker's cousin
and _prétendue_, have said, if her ladyship had known all that was
going on in the bosom of that funny little gentleman?
Alas! when Foker reached Lamb-court, leaving his carriage for the
admiration of the little clerks who were lounging in the arch-way that
leads thence into Flag-court which leads into Upper Temple-lane,
Warrington was in the chambers, but Pen was absent. Pen was gone to
the printing-office to see his proofs. "Would Foker have a pipe, and
should the laundress go to the Cock and get him some beer?"
--Warrington asked, remarking with a pleased surprise the
splendid toilet of this scented and shiny-booted young aristocrat; but
Foker had not the slightest wish for beer or tobacco: he had very
important business: he rushed away to the "Pall-Mall Gazette" office,
still bent upon finding Pen. Pen had quitted that place. Foker wanted
him that they might go together to call upon Lady Clavering. Foker
went away disconsolate, and whiled away an hour or two vaguely at
clubs: and when it was time to pay a visit, he thought it would be but
decent and polite to drive to Grosvenor-place and leave a card upon
Lady Clavering. He had not the courage to ask to see her when the door
was opened, he only delivered two cards, with Mr. Henry Foker engraved
upon them, to Jeames, in a speechless agony. Jeames received the
tickets bowing his powdered head. The varnished doors closed upon him.
The beloved object was as far as ever from him, though so near. He
thought he heard the tones of a piano and of a siren singing, coming
from the drawing-room and sweeping over the balcony-shrubbery of
geraniums. He would have liked to stop and listen, but it might not
be. "Drive to Tattersall's," he said to the groom, in a voice
smothered with emotion--"And bring my pony round," he added, as the
man drove rapidly away.
As good luck would have it, that splendid barouche of Lady
Clavering's, which has been inadequately described in a former
chapter, drove up to her ladyship's door just as Foker mounted the
pony which was in waiting for him. He bestrode the fiery animal, and
dodged about the arch of the Green Park, keeping the carriage well in
view, until he saw Lady Clavering enter, and with her--whose could be
that angel form, but the enchantress's, clad in a sort of gossamer,
with a pink bonnet and a light-blue parasol--but Miss Amory?
The carriage took its fair owners to Madame Rigodon's cap and lace
shop, to Mrs. Wolsey's Berlin worsted shop--who knows to what other
resorts of female commerce? Then it went and took ices at Hunter's,
for Lady Clavering was somewhat florid in her tastes and amusements,
and not only liked to go abroad in the most showy carriage in London,
but that the public should see her in it too. And so, in a white
bonnet with a yellow feather, she ate a large pink ice in the sunshine
before Hunter's door, till Foker on his pony, and the red jacket who
accompanied him, were almost tired of dodging.
Then at last she made her way into the Park, and the rapid Foker made
his dash forward. What to do? Just to get a nod of recognition from
Miss Amory and her mother; to cross them a half-dozen times in the
drive; to watch and ogle them from the other side of the ditch, where
the horsemen assemble when the band plays in Kensington Gardens. What
is the use of looking at a woman in a pink bonnet across a ditch? What
is the earthly good to be got out of a nod of the head? Strange that
men will be contented with such pleasures, or if not contented, at
least that they will be so eager in seeking them. Not one word did
Harry, he so fluent of conversation ordinarily, change with his
charmer on that day. Mutely he beheld her return to her carriage, and
drive away among rather ironical salutes from the young men in the
Park. One said that the Indian widow was making the paternal rupees
spin rapidly; another said that she ought to have burned herself
alive, and left the money to her daughter. This one asked who
Clavering was?--and old Tom Eales, who knew every body, and never
missed a day in the Park on his gray cob, kindly said that Clavering
had come into an estate over head and heels in mortgage: that there
were dev'lish ugly stories about him when he was a young man, and that
it was reported of him that he had a share in a gambling house, and
had certainly shown the white feather in his regiment. "He plays
still; he is in a hell every night almost," Mr. Eales added. "I
should think so, since his marriage," said a wag.
"He gives devilish good dinners," said Foker, striking up for the
honor of his host of yesterday.
"I daresay, and I daresay he doesn't ask Eales," the wag said. "I say,
Eales, do you dine at Clavering's--at the Begum's?"
"_I_ dine there?" said Mr. Eales, who would have dined with Beelzebub,
if sure of a good cook, and when he came away, would have painted his
host blacker than fate had made him.
"You might, you know, although you _do_ abuse him so," continued the
wag. "They say it's very pleasant. Clavering goes to sleep after
dinner; the Begum gets tipsy with cherry-brandy, and the young lady
sings songs to the young gentlemen. She sings well, don't she, Fo?"
"Slap up," said Fo. "I tell you what, Poyntz, she sings like a--
whatdyecallum--you know what I mean--like a mermaid, you know, but
that's not their name."
"I never heard a mermaid sing," Mr. Poyntz, the wag replied. "Who ever
heard a mermaid? Eales, you are an old fellow, did you?"
"Don't make a lark of me, hang it, Poyntz," said Foker, turning red,
and with tears almost in his eyes, "you know what I mean: it's those
what's-his-names--in Homer, you know. I never said I was a
"And nobody ever said it of you, my boy," Mr. Poyntz remarked, and
Foker striking spurs into his pony, cantered away down Rotten Row, his
mind agitated with various emotions, ambitions, mortifications. He
_was_ sorry that he had not been good at his books in early life--that
he might have cut out all those chaps who were about her, and who
talked the languages, and wrote poetry, and painted pictures in her
album, and--and that. "What am I," thought little Foker, "compared to
her? She's all soul, she is, and can write poetry or compose music, as
easy as I could drink a glass of beer. Beer?--damme, that's all I'm
fit for, is beer. I am a poor, ignorant little beggar, good for
nothing but Foker's Entire. I misspent my youth, and used to get the
chaps to do my exercises. And what's the consequences now? O, Harry
Foker, what a confounded little fool you have been!"
As he made this dreary soliloquy, he had cantered out of Rotten Row
into the Park, and there was on the point of riding down a large, old,
roomy family carriage, of which he took no heed, when a cheery voice
cried out, "Harry, Harry!" and looking up, he beheld his aunt, the
Lady Rosherville, and two of her daughters, of whom the one who spoke
was Harry's betrothed, the Lady Ann.
He started back with a pale, scared look, as a truth about which he
had not thought during the whole day, came across him. _There_ was his
fate, there, in the back seat of that carriage.
"What is the matter Harry? why are you so pale? You have been raking
and smoking too much, you wicked boy," said Lady Ann.
Foker said, "How do, aunt?" "How do, Ann?" in a perturbed
manner--muttered something about a pressing engagement--indeed he saw
by the Park clock that he must have been keeping his party in the
drag waiting for nearly an hour--and waved a good-by. The little man
and the little pony were out of sight in an instant--the great
carriage rolled away. Nobody inside was very much interested about his
coming or going; the countess being occupied with her spaniel, the
Lady Lucy's thoughts and eyes being turned upon a volume of sermons,
and those of Lady Ann upon a new novel, which the sisters had just
procured from the library.
CARRIES THE READER BOTH TO RICHMOND AND GREENWICH.
Poor Foker found the dinner at Richmond to be the most dreary
entertainment upon which ever mortal man wasted his guineas. "I wonder
how the deuce I could ever have liked these people," he thought in his
own mind. "Why, I can see the crow's-feet under Rougemont's eyes, and
the paint on her cheeks is laid on as thick as clown's in a pantomime!
The way in which that Calverley talks slang, is quite disgusting. I
hate chaff in a woman. And old Colchicum! that old Col, coming down
here in his brougham, with his coronet on it, and sitting bodkin
between Mademoiselle Coralie and her mother! It's too bad. An English
peer, and a horse-rider of Franconi's! It won't do; by Jove, it won't
do. I ain't proud; but it will _not_ do!"
"Twopence-halfpenny for your thoughts, Fokey!" cried out Miss
Rougemont, taking her cigar from her truly vermilion lips, as she
beheld the young fellow lost in thought, seated at the head of his
table, amidst melting ices, and cut pine-apples, and bottles full and
empty, and cigar-ashes scattered on fruit, and the ruins of a dessert
which had no pleasure for him.
"_Does_ Foker ever think?" drawled out Mr. Poyntz. "Foker, here is a
considerable sum of money offered by a fair capitalist at this end of
the table for the present emanations of your valuable and acute
intellect, old boy!"
"What the deuce is that Poyntz a talking about?" Mrs. Calverley asked
of her neighbor. "I hate him. He's a drawlin', sneerin' beast."
"What a droll of a little man is that little Fokare, my lor,"
Mademoiselle Coralie said, in her own language, and with the rich
twang of that sunny Gascony in which her swarthy cheeks and bright
black eyes had got their fire. "What a droll of a man! He does not
look to have twenty years."
"I wish I were of his age," said the venerable Colchicum, with a sigh,
as he inclined his purple face toward a large goblet of claret.
"_C'te Jeunesse. Peuh! je m'en fiche_," said Madame Brack, Coralie's
mamma, taking a great pinch out of Lord Colchicum's delicate gold
snuff-box. "_Je n'aime que les hommes faits, moi. Comme milor Coralie!
n'est ce pas que tu n'aimes que les hommes faits, ma bichette?"
My lord said, with a grin, "You flatter me, Madame Brack."
"_Taisez vous, Maman, vous n'ètes qu'une bête_," Coralie cried, with a
shrug of her robust shoulders; upon which, my lord said that _she_ did
not flatter at any rate; and pocketed his snuff-box, not desirous that
Madame Brack's dubious fingers should plunge too frequently into
There is no need to give a prolonged detail of the animated
conversation which ensued during the rest of the banquet; a
conversation which would not much edify the reader. And it is scarcely
necessary to say, that all ladies of the _corps de danse_ are not like
Miss Calverley, any more than that all peers resemble that illustrious
member of their order, the late lamented Viscount Colchicum. But there
have been such in our memories who have loved the society of riotous
youth better than the company of men of their own age and rank, and
have given the young ones the precious benefit of their experience and
example; and there have been very respectable men too who have not
objected so much to the kind of entertainment as to the publicity of
it. I am sure, for instance, that our friend Major Pendennis would
have made no sort of objection to join a party of pleasure, provided
that it were _en petit comité_, and that such men as my Lord Steyne
and my Lord Colchicum were of the society. "Give the young men their
pleasures," this worthy guardian said to Pen more than once. "I'm not
one of your straight-laced moralists, but an old man of the world,
begad; and I know that as long as it lasts, young men will be young
men." And there were some young men to whom this estimable philosopher
accorded about seventy years as the proper period for sowing their
wild oats: but they were men of fashion.
Mr. Foker drove his lovely guests home to Brompton in the drag that
night; but he was quite thoughtful and gloomy during the whole of the
little journey from Richmond; neither listening to the jokes of the
friends behind him and on the box by his side, nor enlivening them, as
was his wont, by his own facetious sallies. And when the ladies whom
he had conveyed alighted at the door of their house, and asked then
accomplished coachman whether he would not step in and take some thing
to drink, he declined with so melancholy an air, that they supposed
that the governor and he had had a difference, or that some calamity
had befallen him: and he did not tell these people what the cause of
his grief was, but left Mesdames Rougemont and Calverley, unheeding
the cries of the latter, who hung over her balcony like Jezebel, and
called out to him to ask him to give another party soon.
He sent the drag home under the guidance of one of the grooms, and
went on foot himself; his hands in his pockets, plunged in thought.
The stars and moon shining tranquilly over head, looked down upon Mr.
Foker that night, as he, in his turn, sentimentally regarded them. And
he went and gazed upward at the house in Grosvenor-place, and at the
windows which he supposed to be those of the beloved object; and he
moaned and he sighed in a way piteous and surprising to witness, which
Policeman X. did, who informed Sir Francis Clavering's people, as they
took the refreshment of beer on the coach-box at the neighboring
public-house, after bringing home their lady from the French play,
that there had been another chap hanging about the premises that
evening--a little chap, dressed like a swell.
And now with that perspicuity and ingenuity and enterprise which only
belongs to a certain passion, Mr. Foker began to dodge Miss Amory
through London, and to appear wherever he could meet her. If Lady
Clavering went to the French play, where her ladyship had a box, Mr.
Foker, whose knowledge of the language, as we have heard, was not
conspicuous, appeared in a stall. He found out where her engagements
were (it is possible that Anatole, his man, was acquainted with Sir
Francis Clavering's gentleman, and so got a sight of her ladyship's
engagement-book), and at many of these evening parties Mr. Foker made
his appearance, to the surprise of the world, and of his mother
especially, whom he ordered to apply for cards to these parties, for
which until now he had shown a supreme contempt. He told the pleased
and unsuspicious lady that he went to parties because it was right for
him to see the world: he told her that he went to the French play
because he wanted to perfect himself in the language, and there was no
such good lesson as a comedy or vaudeville--and when one night the
astonished Lady Agnes saw him stand up and dance, and complimented him
upon his elegance and activity, the mendacious little rogue asserted
that he had learned to dance in Paris, whereas Anatole knew that his
young master used to go off privily to an academy in Brewer-street,
and study there for some hours in the morning. The casino of our
modern days was not invented, or was in its infancy as yet; and
gentlemen of Mr. Foker's time had not the facilities of acquiring the
science of dancing which are enjoyed by our present youth.
Old Pendennis seldom missed going to church. He considered it to be
his duty as a gentleman to patronize the institution of public
worship, and that it was quite a correct thing to be seen in church of
a Sunday. One day it chanced that he and Arthur went thither together:
the latter, who was now in high favor, had been to breakfast with his
uncle, from whose lodging they walked across the Park to a church not
far from Belgrave-square. There was a charity sermon at Saint James's,
as the major knew by the bills posted on the pillars of his parish
church, which probably caused him, for he was a thrifty man, to
forsake it for that day: besides he had other views for himself and
Pen. "We will go to church, sir, across the Park; and then, begad,
we will go to the Claverings' house, and ask them for lunch in a
friendly way. Lady Clavering likes to be asked for lunch, and is
uncommonly kind, and monstrous hospitable."
"I met them at dinner last week, at Lady Agnes Foker's, sir," Pen
said, "and the Begum was very kind indeed. So she was in the country:
so she is every where. But I share your opinion about Miss Amory; one
of your opinions, that is, uncle, for you were changing, the last time
we spoke about her."
"And what do you think of her now?" the elder said.
"I think her the most confounded little flirt in London," Pen
answered, laughing. "She made a tremendous assault upon Harry Foker,
who sat next to her; and to whom she gave all the talk, though I took
"Bah! Henry Foker is engaged to his cousin, all the world knows it:
not a bad coup of Lady Rosherville's, that. I should say, that the
young man at his father's death, and old Mr. Foker's life's devilish
bad: you know he had a fit, at Arthur's, last year: I should say, that
young Foker won't have less than fourteen thousand a year from the
brewery, besides Logwood and the Norfolk property. I've no pride about
_me_, Pen. I like a man of birth certainly, but dammy, I like a
brewery which brings in a man fourteen thousand a year; hey, Pen? Ha,
ha, that's the sort of man for me. And I recommend you now that you
are _lancéd_ in the world, to stick to fellows of that sort; to
fellows who have a stake in the country, begad."
"Foker sticks to me, sir," Arthur answered. "He has been at our
chambers several times lately. He has asked me to dinner. We are
almost as great friends, as we used to be in our youth: and his talk
is about Blanche Amory from morning till night. I'm sure he's sweet
"I'm sure he is engaged to his cousin, and that they will keep the
young man to his bargain," said the major. "The marriages in these
families are affairs of state. Lady Agnes was made to marry old Foker
by the late Lord, although she was notoriously partial to her cousin
who was killed at Albuera afterward, and who saved her life out of the
lake at Drummington. I remember Lady Agnes, sir, an exceedingly fine
woman. But what did she do? of course she married her father's man.
Why, Mr. Foker sate for Drummington till the Reform Bill, and paid
dev'lish well for his seat, too. And you may depend upon this, sir,
that Foker senior, who is a parvenu, and loves a great man, as all
parvenus do, has ambitious views for his son as well as himself, and
that your friend Harry must do as his father bids him Lord bless you!
I've known a hundred cases of love in young men and women: hey, Master
Arthur, do you take me? They kick, sir, they resist, they make a deuce
of a riot and that sort of thing, but they end by listening to
"Blanche is a dangerous girl, sir," Pen said. "I was smitten with
her myself once, and very far gone, too," he added; "but that is
"Were you? How far did it go? Did she return it?" asked the major,
looking hard at Pen.
Pen, with a laugh, said "that at one time he did think he was pretty
well in Miss Amory's good graces. But my mother did not like her, and
the affair went off." Pen did not think it fit to tell his uncle all
the particulars of that courtship which had passed between himself and
the young lady.
"A man might go farther and fare worse, Arthur," the major said, still
looking queerly at his nephew.
"Her birth, sir; her father was the mate of a ship, they say; and she
has not money enough," objected Pen, in a dandyfied manner. "What's
ten thousand pound and a girl bred up like her?"
"You use my own words, and it is all very well. But, I tell you in
confidence, Pen--in strict honor, mind--that it's my belief she has a
devilish deal more than ten thousand pound: and from what I saw of her
the other day, and--and have heard of her--I should say she was a
devilish accomplished, clever girl: and would make a good wife with a
"How do you know about her money?" Pen asked, smiling. "You seem to
have information about every body, and to know about all the town."
"I do know a few things, sir, and I don't tell all I know. Mark that,"
the uncle replied. "And as for that charming Miss Amory--for
charming, begad! she is--if I saw her Mrs. Arthur Pendennis, I should
neither be sorry nor surprised, begad! and if you object to ten
thousand pound, what would you say, sir, to thirty, or forty, or
fifty?" and the major looked still more knowingly, and still harder
"Well, sir," he said, to his godfather and namesake, "make her Mrs.
Arthur Pendennis. You can do it as well as I."
"Psha! you are laughing at me, sir," the other replied, rather
peevishly, and you ought not to laugh so near a church gate. "Here we
are at St. Benedict's. They say Mr. Oriel is a beautiful preacher."
Indeed, the bells were tolling, the people were trooping into the
handsome church, the carriages of the inhabitants of the lordly
quarter poured forth their pretty loads of devotees, in whose company
Pen and his uncle, ending their edifying conversation, entered the
fane. I do not know whether other people carry their worldly affairs
to the church door. Arthur, who, from habitual reverence and feeling,
was always more than respectful in a place of worship, thought of the
incongruity of their talk, perhaps; while the old gentleman at his
side was utterly unconscious of any such contrast. His hat was
brushed: his wig was trim: his neckcloth was perfectly tied. He looked
at every soul in the congregation, it is true: the bald heads and the
bonnets, the flowers and the feathers: but so demurely that he hardly
lifted up his eyes from his book--from his book which he could not
read without glasses. As for Pen's gravity, it was sorely put to the
test when, upon looking by chance toward the seats where the servants
were collected, he spied out, by the side of a demure gentleman in
plush, Henry Foker, Esquire, who had discovered this place of
devotion. Following the direction of Harry's eye, which strayed a good
deal from his book, Pen found that it alighted upon a yellow bonnet
and a pink one: and that these bonnets were on the heads of Lady
Clavering and Blanche Amory. If Pen's uncle is not the only man who
has talked about his worldly affairs up to the church door, is poor
Harry Foker the only one who has brought his worldly love into
When the congregation issued forth at the conclusion of the service,
Foker was out among the first, but Pen came up with him presently, as
he was hankering about the entrance which he was unwilling to leave,
until my lady's barouche, with the bewigged coachman, had borne away
its mistress and her daughter from their devotions.
When the two ladies came out, they found together the Pendennises,
uncle and nephew, and Harry Foker, Esquire, sucking the crook of his
stick, standing there in the sunshine. To see and to ask to eat were
simultaneous with the good-natured Begum, and she invited the three
gentlemen to luncheon straightway.
Blanche was, too, particularly gracious. "O! do come," she said to
Arthur, "if you are not too great a man. I want so to talk to you
about--but we mustn't say what, _here_, you know. What would Mr.
Oriel say?" And the young devotee jumped into the carriage after her
mamma. "I've read every word of it. It's _adorable_," she added, still
addressing herself to Pen.
"I know _who_ is," said Mr. Arthur, making rather a pert bow.
"What's the row about?" asked Mr. Foker, rather puzzled.
"I suppose Miss Amory means 'Walter Lorraine,'" said the major,
looking knowing, and nodding at Pen.
"I suppose so, sir. There was a famous review in the Pall Mall this
morning. It was Warrington's doing, though, and I must not be
"A review in Pall Mall?--Walter Lorraine? What the doose do you mean?"
Foker asked. "Walter Lorraine died of the measles, poor little
beggar, when we were at Gray Friars. I remember his mother coming up."
"You are not a literary man, Foker," Pen said, laughing, and hooking
his arm into his friend's. "You must know I have been writing a novel,
and some of the papers have spoken very well of it. Perhaps you don't
read the Sunday papers?"
"I read Bell's Life regular, old boy," Mr. Foker answered: at which
Pen laughed again, and the three gentlemen proceeded in great good-humor
to Lady Clavering's house.
The subject of the novel was resumed after luncheon by Miss Amory, who
indeed loved poets and men of letters if she loved any thing, and was
sincerely an artist in feeling. "Some of the passages in the book made
me cry, positively they did," she said.
Pen said, with some fatuity, "I am happy to think I have a part of
_vos larmes_, Miss Blanche"--And the major (who had not read more than
six pages of Pen's book) put on his sanctified look, saying, "Yes,
there are some passages quite affecting, mons'ous affecting:
and,"--"O, if it makes you cry,"--Lady Amory declared she would not
read it, "that she wouldn't."
"Don't, mamma," Blanche said, with a French shrug of her shoulders;
and then she fell into a rhapsody about the book, about the snatches
of poetry interspersed in it, about the two heroines, Leonora and
Neaera; about the two heroes, Walter Lorraine and his rival the young
duke--"and what good company you introduce us to," said the young
lady, archly, "_quel ton!_ How much of your life have you passed at
court, and are you a prime minister's son, Mr. Arthur?"
Pen began to laugh--"It is as cheap for a novelist to create a duke as
to make a baronet," he said. "Shall I tell you a secret, Miss Amory? I
promoted all my characters at the request of the publisher. The young
duke was only a young baron when the novel was first written; his
false friend the viscount, was a simple commoner, and so on with all
the characters of the story."
"What a wicked, satirical, pert young man you have become! _Comme vous
voilà formé!_" said the young lady, "How different from Arthur
Pendennis of the country! Ah! I think I like Arthur Pendennis of the
country best, though!" and she gave him the full benefit of her
eyes--both of the fond, appealing glance into his own, and of the
modest look downward toward the carpet, which showed off her dark
eyelids and long fringed lashes.
Pen of course protested that he had not changed in the least, to which
the young lady replied by a tender sigh; and thinking that she had
done quite enough to make Arthur happy or miserable (as the case might
be), she proceeded to cajole his companion, Mr. Harry Foker, who
during the literary conversation had sate silently imbibing the head
of his cane, and wishing that he was a clever chap, like that Pen.
If the major thought that by telling Miss Amory of Mr. Foker's
engagement to his cousin, Lady Ann Milton (which information the old
gentleman neatly conveyed to the girl as he sate by her side at
luncheon below stairs)--if, we say, the major thought that the
knowledge of this fact would prevent Blanche from paying any further
attention to the young heir of Foker's Entire, he was entirely
mistaken. She became only the more gracious to Foker: she praised him,
and every thing belonging to him; she praised his mamma; she praised
the pony which he rode in the Park; she praised the lovely breloques
or gimcracks which the young gentleman wore at his watch-chain, and
that dear little darling of a cane, and those dear little delicious
monkeys' heads with ruby eyes, which ornamented Harry's shirt, and
formed the buttons of his waistcoat. And then, having praised and
coaxed the weak youth until he blushed and tingled with pleasure, and
until Pen thought she really had gone quite far enough, she took
"I am afraid Mr. Foker is a very sad young man," she said, turning
round to Pen.
"He does not look so," Pen answered with a sneer.
"I mean we have heard sad stories about him. Haven't we, mamma? What
was Mr. Poyntz saying here, the other day, about that party at
Richmond? O you naughty creature!" But here, seeing that Harry's
countenance assumed a great expression of alarm, while Pen's wore a
look of amusement, she turned to the latter and said, "I believe you
are just as bad: I believe you would have liked to have been
there--wouldn't you? I know you would: yes--and so should I."
"Lor, Blanche!" mamma cried.
"Well, I would. I never saw an actress in my life. I would give any
thing to know one; for I adore talent. And I adore Richmond, that I
do; and I adore Greenwich, and I say I _should_ like to go there."
"Why should not we three bachelors," the major here broke out,
gallantly, and to his nephew's special surprise, "beg these ladies to
honor us with their company at Greenwich? Is Lady Clavering to go on
forever being hospitable to us, and may we make no return? Speak for
yourselves young men--eh, begad! Here is my nephew, with his pockets
full of money--his pockets full, begad! and Mr. Henry Foker, who as I
have heard say is pretty well to do in the world, how is your lovely
cousin, Lady Ann, Mr. Foker?--here are these two young ones--and they
allow an old fellow like me to speak. Lady Clavering will you do me
the favor to be my guest? and Miss Blanche shall be Arthur's, if she
will be so good."
"O delightful," cried Blanche.
"I like a bit of fun, too," said Lady Clavering; "and we will take
some day when Sir Francis--"
"When Sir Francis dines out--yes mamma," the daughter said, "it will
And a charming day it was. The dinner was ordered at Greenwich, and
Foker, though he did not invite Miss Amory, had some delicious
opportunities of conversation with her during the repast, and
afterward on the balcony of their room at the hotel, and again during
the drive home in her ladyship's barouche. Pen came down with his
uncle, in Sir Hugh Trumpington's brougham, which the major borrowed
for the occasion.
"I am an old soldier, begad," he said, "and I learned in early life to
make myself comfortable."
And, being an old soldier, he allowed the two young men to pay for the
dinner between them, and all the way home in the brougham he rallied
Pen about Miss Amory's evident partiality for him: praised her good
looks, spirits, and wit: and again told Pen in the strictest
confidence, that she would be a devilish deal richer than people
CONTAINS A NOVEL INCIDENT.
Some account has been given in a former part of this story, how Mr.
Pen, during his residence at home, after his defeat at Oxbridge, had
occupied himself with various literary compositions, and among other
works, had written the greater part of a novel. This book, written
under the influence of his youthful embarrassments, amatory and
pecuniary, was of a very fierce, gloomy and passionate sort--the
Byronic despair, the Wertherian despondency, the mocking bitterness of
Mephistopheles of Faust, were all reproduced and developed in the
character of the hero; for our youth had just been learning the German
language, and imitated, as almost all clever lads do, his favorite
poets and writers. Passages in the volumes once so loved, and now read
so seldom, still bear the mark of the pencil with which he noted them
in those days. Tears fell upon the leaf of the book, perhaps, or
blistered the pages of his manuscript as the passionate young man
dashed his thoughts down. If he took up the books afterward, he had no
ability or wish to sprinkle the leaves with that early dew of former
times: his pencil was no longer eager to score its marks of approval:
but as he looked over the pages of his manuscript, he remembered what
had been the overflowing feelings which had caused him to blot it, and
the pain which had inspired the line. If the secret history of books
could be written, and the author's private thoughts and meanings noted
down alongside of his story, how many insipid volumes would become
interesting, and dull tales excite the reader! Many a bitter smile
passed over Pen's face as he read his novel, and recalled the time and
feelings which gave it birth. How pompous some of the grand passages
appeared; and how weak others were in which he thought he had
expressed his full heart! This page was imitated from a then favorite
author, as he could now clearly see and confess, though he had
believed himself to be writing originally then. As he mused over
certain lines he recollected the place and hour where he wrote them:
the ghost of the dead feeling came back as he mused, and he blushed to
review the faint image. And what meant those blots on the page? As you
come in the desert to a ground where camels' hoofs are marked in the
clay, and traces of withered herbage are yet visible, you know that
water was there once; so the place in Pen's mind was no longer green,
and the fons lacrymarum was dried up.
He used this simile one morning to Warrington, as the latter sate over
his pipe and book, and Pen, with much gesticulation, according to his
wont when excited, and with a bitter laugh, thumped his manuscript
down on the table, making the tea-things rattle, and the blue milk
dance in the jug. On the previous night he had taken the manuscript
out of a long neglected chest, containing old shooting jackets, old
Oxbridge scribbling books, his old surplice, and battered cap and
gown, and other memorials of youth, school, and home. He read in the
volume in bed until he fell asleep, for the commencement of the tale
was somewhat dull, and he had come home tired from a London
"By Jove!" said Pen, thumping down his papers, "when I think that
these were written but very few years ago, I am ashamed of my memory.
I wrote this when I believed myself to be eternally in love with that
little coquette, Miss Amory. I used to carry down verses to her, and
put them into the hollow of a tree, and dedicate them 'Amori.'"
"That was a sweet little play upon words," Warrington remarked, with a
puff "Amory--Amori. It showed profound scholarship. Let us hear a bit
of the rubbish." And he stretched over from his easy chair, and caught
hold of Pen's manuscript with the fire-tongs, which he was just using
in order to put a coal into his pipe. Thus, in possession of the
volume, he began to read out from the "Leaves from the Life-book of
"'False as thou art beautiful! heartless as thou art fair! mockery of
Passion!' Walter cried, addressing Leonora; 'what evil spirit hath
sent thee to torture me so? O Leonora * * * '"
"Cut that part," cried out Pen, making a dash at the book, which,
however, his comrade would not release. "Well! don't read it out, at
any rate. That's about my other flame, my first--Lady Mirabel that is
now. I saw her last night at Lady Whiston's. She asked me to a party
at her house, and said, that, as old friends, we ought to meet
oftener. She has been seeing me any time these two years in town, and
never thought of inviting me before; but seeing Wenham talking to me,
and Monsieur Dubois, the French literary man, who had a dozen orders
on, and might have passed for a Marshal of France, she condescended to
invite me. The Claverings are to be there on the same evening. Won't
it be exciting to meet one's two flames at the same table?" "Two
flames!--two heaps of burnt-out cinders," Warrington said. "Are both
the beauties in this book?"
"Both or something like them," Pen said. "Leonora, who marries the
duke, is the Fotheringay. I drew the duke from Magnus Charters, with
whom I was at Oxbridge; it's a little like him; and Miss Amory is
Neaera. By gad, Warrington, I did love that first woman! I thought of
her as I walked home from Lady Whiston's in the moonlight; and the
whole early scenes came back to me as if they had been yesterday. And
when I got home I pulled out the story which I wrote about her and the
other three years ago: do you know, outrageous as it is, it has some
good stuff in it, and if Bungay won't publish it, I think Bacon will."
"That's the way of poets," said Warrington. "They fall in love, jilt,
or are jilted; they suffer, and they cry out that they suffer more
than any other mortals: and when they have experienced feelings
enough, they note them down in a book, and take the book to market.
All poets are humbugs, all literary men are humbugs; directly a man
begins to sell his feelings for money he's a humbug. If a poet gets a
pain in his side from too good a dinner, he bellows Ai, Ai, louder
"I suppose a poet has greater sensibility than another man," said Pen,
with some spirit. "That is what makes him a poet. I suppose that he
sees and feels more keenly: it is that which makes him speak of what
he feels and sees. You speak eagerly enough in your leading articles
when you espy a false argument in an opponent, or detect a quack in
the House. Paley, who does not care for any thing else in the world,
will talk for an hour about a question of law. Give another the
privilege which you take yourself, and the free use of his faculty,
and let him be what nature has made him. Why should not a man sell his
sentimental thoughts as well as you your political ideas, or Paley his
legal knowledge? Each alike is a matter of experience and practice. It
is not money which causes you to perceive a fallacy, or Paley to argue
a point; but a natural or acquired aptitude for that kind of truth:
and a poet sets down his thoughts and experiences upon paper as a
painter does a landscape or a face upon canvas, to the best of his
ability, and according to his particular gift. If ever I think I have
the stuff in me to write an epic, by Jove, I will try. If I only feel
that I am good enough to crack a joke or tell a story, I will
"Not a bad speech, young one," Warrington said, "but that does not
prevent all poets from being humbugs."
"What--Homer, Aeschylus, Shakspeare, and all?"
"Their names are not to be breathed in the same sentence with you
pigmies," Mr. Warrington said; "there are men and men, sir."
"Well, Shakspeare was a man who wrote for money, just as you and I
do," Pen answered, at which Warrington confounded his impudence, and
resumed his pipe and his manuscript.
There was not the slightest doubt then that this document contained a
great deal of Pen's personal experiences, and that "Leaves from the
Life-book of Walter Lorraine" would never have been written but for
Arthur Pendennis's own private griefs, passions, and follies. As we
have become acquainted with these in the first volume of his
biography, it will not be necessary to make large extracts from the
novel of "Walter Lorraine," in which the young gentleman had depicted
such of them as he thought were likely to interest the reader, or were
suitable for the purposes of his story.
Now, though he had kept it in his box for nearly half of the period
during which, according to the Horatian maxim, a work of art ought to
lie ripening (a maxim, the truth of which may, by the way, be
questioned altogether), Mr. Pen had not buried his novel for this
time, in order that the work might improve, but because he did not
know where else to bestow it, or had no particular desire to see it. A
man who thinks of putting away a composition for ten years before he
shall give it to the world, or exercise his own maturer judgment upon
it, had best be very sure of the original strength and durability of
the work; otherwise, on withdrawing it from its crypt, he may find
that, like small wine, it has lost what flavor it once had, and is
only tasteless when opened. There are works of all tastes and smacks,
the small and the strong, those that improve by age, and those that
won't bear keeping at all, but are pleasant at the first draught, when
they refresh and sparkle.
Now Pen had never any notion, even in the time of his youthful
inexperience and fervor of imagination, that the story he was writing
was a masterpiece of composition, or that he was the equal of the
great authors whom he admired; and when he now reviewed his little
performance, he was keenly enough alive to its faults, and pretty
modest regarding its merits. It was not very good, he thought; but it
was as good as most books of the kind that had the run of circulating
libraries and the career of the season. He had critically examined
more than one fashionable novel by the authors of the day then
popular, and he thought that his intellect was as good as theirs, and
that he could write the English language as well as those ladies or
gentlemen; and as he now ran over his early performance, he was
pleased to find here and there passages exhibiting both fancy and
vigor, and traits, if not of genius, of genuine passion and feeling.
This, too, was Warrington's verdict, when that severe critic, after
half-an-hour's perusal of the manuscript, and the consumption of a
couple of pipes of tobacco, laid Pen's book down, yawning
portentously. "I can't read any more of that balderdash now," he said;
"but it seems to me there is some good stuff in it, Pen, my boy.
There's a certain greenness and freshness in it which I like, somehow.
The bloom disappears off the face of poetry after you begin to shave.
You can't get up that naturalness and artless rosy tint in after days.
Your cheeks are pale, and have got faded by exposure to evening
parties, and you are obliged to take curling-irons, and macassar, and
the deuce knows what to your whiskers; they curl ambrosially, and you
are very grand and genteel, and so forth; but, ah! Pen, the spring
time was the best."
"What the deuce have my whiskers to do with the subject in hand?" Pen
said (who, perhaps, may have been nettled by Warrington's allusion
to those ornaments, which, to say the truth, the young man coaxed, and
curled, and oiled, and purfumed, and petted, in rather an
"Do you think we can do any thing with 'Walter Lorraine?' Shall we
take him to the publishers, or make an _auto-da-fe_ of him?"
"I don't see what is the good of incremation," Warrington said,
"though I have a great mind to put him into the fire, to punish your
atrocious humbug and hypocrisy. Shall I burn him indeed? You have much
too great a value for him to hurt a hair of his head."
"Have I? Here goes," said Pen, and "Walter Lorraine" went off the
table, and was flung on to the coals. But the fire having done its
duty of boiling the young man's breakfast-kettle, had given up work
for the day, and had gone out, as Pen knew very well; and Warrington,
with a scornful smile, once more took up the manuscript with the tongs
from out of the harmless cinders.
"O, Pen, what a humbug you are!" Warrington said; "and, what is worst
of all, sir, a clumsy humbug. I saw you look to see that the fire was
out before you sent 'Walter Lorraine' behind the bars. No, we won't
burn him: we will carry him to the Egyptians, and sell him. We will
exchange him away for money, yea, for silver and gold, and for beef
and for liquors, and for tobacco and for raiment. This youth will
fetch some price in the market; for he is a comely lad, though not
over strong; but we will fatten him up, and give him the bath, and
curl his hair, and we will sell him for a hundred piastres to Bacon or
to Bungay. The rubbish is salable enough, sir; and my advice to you is
this: the next time you go home for a holiday, take 'Walter Lorraine'
in your carpet-bag--give him a more modern air, prune away, though
sparingly, some of the green passages, and add a little comedy, and
cheerfulness, and satire, and that sort of thing, and then we'll take
him to market, and sell him. The book is not a wonder of wonders, but
it will do very well."
"Do you think so, Warrington?" said Pen, delighted; for this was great
praise from his cynical friend.
"You silly young fool! I think it's uncommonly clever," Warrington
said in a kind voice. "So do you, sir." And with the manuscript which
he held in his hand he playfully struck Pen on the cheek. That part of
Pen's countenance turned as red as it had ever done in the earliest
days of his blushes: he grasped the other's hand and said, "Thank you,
Warrington," with all his might; and then he retired to his own room
with his book, and passed the greater part of the day upon his bed
re-reading it: and he did as Warrington had advised, and altered not a
little, and added a great deal, until at length he had fashioned
"Walter Lorraine" pretty much into the shape in which, as the
respected novel-reader knows, it subsequently appeared.
While he was at work upon this performance, the good-natured
Warrington artfully inspired the two gentlemen who "read" for Messrs.
Bacon and Bungay with the greatest curiosity regarding, "Walter
Lorraine," and pointed out the peculiar merits of its distinguished
author. It was at the period when the novel, called "The Fashionable,"
was in vogue among us; and Warrington did not fail to point out, as
before, how Pen was a man of the very first fashion himself, and
received at the houses of some of the greatest personages in the land.
The simple and kind-hearted Percy Popjoy was brought to bear upon
Mrs. Bungay, whom he informed that his friend Pendennis was occupied
upon a work of the most exciting nature; a work that the whole town
would run after, full of wit, genius, satire, pathos, and every
conceivable good quality. We have said before, that Bungay knew no
more about novels than he did about Hebrew or Algebra, and neither
read nor understood any of the books which he published and paid for;
but he took his opinions from his professional advisers and from Mrs.
B., and, evidently with a view to a commercial transaction, asked
Pendennis and Warrington to dinner again. Bacon, when he found that
Bungay was about to treat, of course, began to be anxious and curious,
and desired to out-bid his rival. Was any thing settled between Mr.
Pendennis and the odious house "over the way" about the new book? Mr.
Hack, the confidential reader, was told to make inquiries, and see if
any thing was to be done, and the result of the inquiries of that
diplomatist, was, that one morning, Bacon himself toiled up the
staircase of Lamb-court, and to the door on which the names of Mr.
Warrington, and Mr. Pendennis were painted.
For a gentleman of fashion as poor Pen was represented to be, it must
be confessed, that the apartments he and his friend occupied, were not
very suitable. The ragged carpet had grown only more ragged during the
two years of joint occupancy: a constant odor of tobacco perfumed the
sitting-room: Bacon tumbled over the laundress's buckets in the
passage through which he had to pass; Warrington's shooting jacket was
as shattered at the elbows as usual; and the chair which Bacon was
requested to take on entering, broke down with the publisher.
Warrington burst out laughing, said that Bacon had got the game chair,
and bawled out to Pen to fetch a sound one from his bedroom. And
seeing the publisher looking round the dingy room with an air of
profound pity and wonder, asked him whether he didn't think the
apartments were elegant, and if he would like, for Mrs. Bacon's
drawing-room, any of the articles of furniture? Mr. Warrington's
character as a humorist, was known to Mr. Bacon: "I never can make
that chap out," the publisher was heard to say, "or tell whether he is
in earnest or only chaffing."
It is very possible that Mr. Bacon would have set the two gentlemen
down as impostors altogether, but that there chanced to be on the
breakfast-table certain cards of invitation which the post of the
morning had brought in for Pen, and which happened to come from some
very exalted personages of the _beau-monde_, into which our young man
had his introduction. Looking down upon these, Bacon saw that the
Marchioness of Steyne would be at home to Mr. Arthur Pendennis upon a
given day, and that another lady of distinction proposed to have
dancing at her house upon a certain future evening. Warrington saw the
admiring publisher eying these documents. "Ah," said he, with an air
of simplicity, "Pendennis is one of the most affable young men I ever
knew, Mr. Bacon. Here is a young fellow that dines with all the great
men in London, and yet he'll take his mutton-chop with you and me
quite contentedly. There's nothing like the affability of the old
"O, no, nothing," said Mr. Bacon.
"And you wonder why he should go on living up three pair of stairs
with me, don't you, now? Well, it _is_ a queer taste. But we are fond
of each other; and as I can't afford to live in a grand house, he
comes and stays in these rickety old chambers with me. He's a man that
can afford to live any where."
"I fancy it don't cost him much _here_," thought Mr. Bacon; and the
object of these praises presently entered the room from his adjacent
Then Mr. Bacon began to speak upon the subject of his visit; said he
heard that Mr. Pendennis had a manuscript novel; professed himself
anxious to have a sight of that work, and had no doubt that they could
come to terms respecting it. What would be his price for it? would he
give Bacon the refusal of it? he would find our house a liberal house,
and so forth. The delighted Pen assumed an air of indifference, and
said that he was already in treaty with Bungay, and could give no
definite answer. This piqued the other into such liberal, though vague
offers, that Pen began to fancy Eldorado was opening to him, and that
his fortune was made from that day.
I shall not mention what was the sum of money which Mr. Arthur
Pendennis finally received for the first edition of his novel of
"Walter Lorraine," lest other young literary aspirants should expect
to be as lucky as he was, and unprofessional persons forsake their own
callings, whatever they may be, for the sake of supplying the world
with novels, whereof there is already a sufficiency. Let no young
people be misled and rush fatally into romance-writing: for one book
which succeeds let them remember the many that fail, I do not say
deservedly or otherwise, and wholesomely abstain: or if they venture,
at least let then do so at their own peril. As for those who have
already written novels, this warning is not addressed, of course, to
them. Let them take their wares to market; let them apply to Bacon and
Bungay, and all the publishers in the Row, or the metropolis, and may
they be happy in their ventures. This world is so wide, and the tastes
of mankind happily so various, that there is always a chance for every
man, and he may win the prize by his genius or by his good fortune.
But what is the chance of success or failure; of obtaining popularity,
or of holding it, when achieved? One man goes over the ice, which
bears him, and a score who follow flounder in. In fine, Mr.
Pendennis's was an exceptional case, and applies to himself only: and
I assert solemnly, and will to the last maintain, that it is one thing
to write a novel, and another to get money for it.
By merit, then, or good fortune, or the skillful playing off of Bungay
against Bacon which Warrington performed (and which an amateur
novelist is quite welcome to try upon any two publishers in the
trade), Pen's novel was actually sold for a certain sum of money to
one of the two eminent patrons of letters whom we have introduced to
our readers. The sum was so considerable that Pen thought of opening
an account at a banker's, or of keeping a cab and horse, or of
descending into the first floor of Lamb-court into newly furnished
apartments, or of migrating to the fashionable end of the town.
Major Pendennis advised the latter move strongly; he opened his eyes
with wonder when he heard of the good luck that had befallen Pen; and
which the latter, as soon as it occurred, hastened eagerly to
communicate to his uncle. The major was almost angry that Pen should
have earned so much money. "Who the doose reads this kind of thing?"
he thought to himself, when he heard of the bargain which Pen had
made. "_I_ never read your novels and rubbish. Except Paul de Kock,
who certainly makes me laugh, I don't think I've looked into a book of
the sort these thirty years. 'Gad! Pen's a lucky fellow. I should
think he might write one of these in a month now--say a month--that's
twelve in a year. Dammy, he may go on spinning this nonsense for the
next four or five years, and make a fortune. In the mean time, I
should wish him to live properly, take respectable apartments, and
keep a brougham." And on this simple calculation it was that the major
Arthur, laughing, told Warrington what his uncle's advice had been;
but he luckily had a much more reasonable counselor than the old
gentleman, in the person of his friend, and in his own conscience,
which said to him, "Be grateful for this piece of good fortune; don't
plunge into any extravagancies. Pay back Laura!" And he wrote a letter
to her, in which he told her his thanks and his regard; and inclosed
to her such an installment of his debt as nearly wiped it off. The
widow and Laura herself might well be affected by the letter. It was
written with genuine tenderness and modesty; and old Dr. Portman, when
he read a passage in the letter, in which Pen, with an honest heart
full of gratitude, humbly thanked Heaven for his present prosperity,
and for sending him such dear and kind friends to support him in his
ill-fortune,--when Doctor Portman read this portion of the letter,
his voice faltered, and his eyes twinkled behind his spectacles. And
when he had quite finished reading the same, and had taken his glasses
off his nose, and had folded up the paper and given it back to the
widow, I am constrained to say, that after holding Mrs. Pendennis's
hand for a minute, the doctor drew that lady toward him and fairly
kissed her: at which salute, of course, Helen burst out crying on the
doctor's shoulder, for her heart was too full to give any other reply:
and the doctor, blushing a great deal after his feat, led the lady,
with a bow, to the sofa, on which he seated himself by her; and he
mumbled out, in a low voice, some words of a Great Poet whom he loved
very much, and who describes how in the days of his prosperity he had
made "the widow's heart to sing for joy."
"The letter does the boy very great honor, very great honor, my dear,"
he said, patting it as it lay on Helen's knee--"and I think we have
all reason to be thankful for it--very thankful. I need not tell you
in what quarter, my dear, for you are a sainted woman: yes, Laura, my
love, your mother is a sainted woman. And Mrs. Pendennis, ma'am, I
shall order a copy of the book for myself, and another at the
We may be sure that the widow and Laura walked out to meet the mail
which brought them their copy of Pen's precious novel, as soon as that
work was printed and ready for delivery to the public; and that they
read it to each other: and that they also read it privately and
separately, for when the widow came out of her room in her
dressing-gown at one o'clock in the morning with volume two, which she
had finished, she found Laura devouring volume three in bed. Laura did
not say much about the book, but Helen pronounced that it was a
happy mixture of Shakspeare, and Byron, and Walter Scott, and was
quite certain that her son was the greatest genius, as he was the best
son, in the world.
Did Laura not think about the book and the author, although she said
so little? At least she thought about Arthur Pendennis. Kind as his
tone was, it vexed her. She did not like his eagerness to repay that
money. She would rather that her brother had taken her gift as she
intended it; and was pained that there should be money calculations
between them. His letters from London, written with the good-natured
wish to amuse his mother, were full of descriptions of the famous
people and the entertainments, and magnificence of the great city.
Every body was flattering him and spoiling him, she was sure. Was he
not looking to some great marriage, with that cunning uncle for a
Mentor (between whom and Laura there was always an antipathy), that
inveterate worldling, whose whole thoughts were bent upon pleasure,
and rank, and fortune? He never alluded to--to old times, when he
spoke of her. He had forgotten them and her, perhaps: had he not
forgotten other things and people?
These thoughts may have passed in Miss Laura's mind, though she did
not, she could not, confide them to Helen. She had one more secret,
too, from that lady, which she could not divulge, perhaps, because she
knew how the widow would have rejoiced to know it. This regarded an
event which had occurred during that visit to Lady Rockminster, which
Laura had paid in the last Christmas holidays: when Pen was at home
with his mother, and when Mr. Pynsent, supposed to be so cold and so
ambitious, had formally offered his hand to Miss Bell. No one except
herself and her admirer knew of this proposal: or that Pynsent had
been rejected by her, and probably the reasons she gave to the
mortified young man himself, were not those which actuated her
refusal, or those which she chose to acknowledge to herself. "I
never," she told Pynsent, "can accept such an offer as that which you
make me, which you own is unknown to your family, as I am sure it
would be unwelcome to them. The difference of rank between us is too
great. You are very kind to me here--too good and kind, dear Mr.
Pynsent--but I am little better than a dependent."
"A dependent! who ever so thought of you? You are the equal of all the
world," Pynsent broke out.
"I am a dependent at home, too," Laura said, sweetly, "and indeed I
would not be otherwise. Left early a poor orphan, I have found the
kindest and tenderest of mothers, and I have vowed never to leave her
--never. Pray do not speak of this again--here, under your relative's
roof, or elsewhere. It is impossible."
"If Lady Rockminster asks you herself, will you listen to her?"
Pynsent cried, eagerly.
"No," Laura said. "I beg you never to speak of this any more. I must
go away if you do;" and with this she left him.
Pynsent never asked for Lady Rockminster's intercession; he knew how
vain it was to look for that: and he never spoke again on that subject
to Laura or to any person.
When at length the famous novel appeared, it not only met with
applause from more impartial critics than Mrs. Pendennis, but, luckily
for Pen, it suited the taste of the public, and obtained a quick and
considerable popularity. Before two months were over, Pen had the
satisfaction and surprise of seeing the second edition of "Walter
Lorraine," advertised in the newspapers; and enjoyed the pleasure of
reading and sending home the critiques of various literary journals
and reviewers upon his book. Their censure did not much affect him;
for the good-natured young man was disposed to accept with
considerable humility the dispraise of others. Nor did their praise
elate him overmuch; for, like most honest persons, he had his own
opinion about his own performance, and when a critic praised him in
the wrong place, he was hurt rather than pleased by the compliment.
But if a review of his work was very laudatory, it was a great
pleasure to him to send it home to his mother at Fairoaks, and to
think of the joy which it would give there. There are some natures,
and perhaps, as we have said, Pendennis's was one, which are improved
and softened by prosperity and kindness, as there are men of other
dispositions, who become arrogant and graceless under good fortune.
Happy he who can endure one or the other with modesty and good-humor!
Lucky he who has been educated to bear his fate, whatsoever it may be,
by an early example of uprightness, and a childish training in honor!
Bred up, like a bailiff or a shabby attorney, about the purlieus of
the Inns of Court, Shepherd's Inn is always to be found in the close
neighborhood of Lincoln's-Inn-Fields, and the Temple. Somewhere
behind the black gables and smutty chimney-stacks of Wych-street,
Holywell-street, Chancery-lane, the quadrangle lies, hidden from the
outer world; and it is approached by curious passages, and ambiguous
smoky alleys, on which the sun has forgotten to shine. Slop-sellers,
brandy-ball and hard-bake venders, purveyors of theatrical prints for
youth, dealers in dingy furniture, and bedding suggestive of any thing
but sleep, line the narrow walls and dark casements with their wares.
The doors are many-belled, and crowds of dirty children form endless
groups about the steps, or around the shell-fish dealers' trays in
these courts, whereof the damp pavements resound with pattens, and are
drabbled with a never-failing mud. Ballad-singers come and chant here,
in deadly, guttural tones, satirical songs against the Whig
administration, against the bishops and dignified clergy, against the
German relatives of an august royal family; Punch sets up his theater,
sure of an audience, and occasionally of a halfpenny from the swarming
occupants of the houses; women scream after their children for
loitering in the gutter, or, worse still, against the husband who
comes reeling from the gin-shop. There is a ceaseless din and life in
these courts, out of which you pass into the tranquil, old-fashioned
quadrangle of Shepherd's Inn. In a mangy little grass-plat in the
center rises up the statue of Shepherd, defended by iron railings from
the assaults of boys. The hall of the Inn, on which the founder's
arms are painted, occupies one side of the square, the tall and
ancient chambers are carried round other two sides, and over the
central archway, which leads into Oldcastle-street, and so into the
great London thoroughfare.
The Inn may have been occupied by lawyers once: but the laity have
long since been admitted into its precincts, and I do not know that
any of the principal legal firms have their chambers here. The offices
of the Polwheedle and Tredyddlum Copper Mines occupy one set of the
ground-floor chambers; the Registry of Patent Inventions and Union of
Genius and Capital Company, another--the only gentleman whose name
figures here and in the "Law List," is Mr. Campion, who wears
mustaches, and who comes in his cab twice or thrice in a week; and
whose West End offices are in Curzon-street, Mayfair, where Mrs.
Campion entertains the nobility and gentry to whom her husband lends
money. There, and on his glazed cards, he is Mr. Somerset Campion;
here he is Campion and Co.; and the same tuft which ornaments his
chin, sprouts from the under lip of the rest of the firm. It is
splendid to see his cab-horse harness blazing with heraldic bearings,
as the vehicle stops at the door leading to his chambers. The horse
flings froth off his nostrils as he chafes and tosses under the
shining bit. The reins and the breeches of the groom are glittering
white--the luster of that equipage makes a sunshine in that
Our old friend, Captain Costigan, has examined Campion's cab and horse
many an afternoon, as he trailed about the court in his carpet
slippers and dressing-gown, with his old hat cocked over his eye. He
suns himself there after his breakfast when the day is suitable; and
goes and pays a visit to the porter's lodge, where he pats the heads
of the children, and talks to Mrs. Bolton about the thayatres and me
daughter Leedy Mirabel. Mrs. Bolton was herself in the profession
once, and danced at the Wells in early days as the thirteenth of Mr.
Serle's forty pupils.
Costigan lives in the third floor at No. 4, in the rooms which were
Mr. Podmore's, and whose name is still on the door (somebody else's
name, by the way, is on almost all the doors in Shepherd's Inn). When
Charley Podmore (the pleasing tenor singer, T.R.D.L., and at the
Back-Kitchen Concert Rooms), married, and went to live at Lambeth, he
ceded his chambers to Mr. Bows and Captain Costigan, who occupy them
in common now, and you may often hear the tones of Mr. Bows's piano of
fine days when the windows are open, and when he is practicing for
amusement, or for the instruction of a theatrical pupil, of whom he
has one or two. Fanny Bolton is one, the porteress's daughter, who has
heard tell of her mother's theatrical glories, which she longs to
emulate. She has a good voice and a pretty face and figure for the
stage; and she prepares the rooms and makes the beds and breakfasts
for Messrs. Costigan and Bows, in return for which the latter
instructs her in music and singing. But for his unfortunate propensity
to liquor (and in that excess she supposes that all men of fashion
indulge), she thinks the captain the finest gentleman in the world,
and believes in all the versions of all his stories; and she is very
fond of Mr. Bows, too, and very grateful to him; and this shy, queer
old gentleman has a fatherly fondness for her, too, for in truth his
heart is full of kindness, and he is never easy unless he
Costigan has had the carriages of visitors of distinction before his
humble door in Shepherd's Inn: and to hear him talk of a morning (for
his evening song is of a much more melancholy nature) you would fancy
that Sir Charles and Lady Mirabel were in the constant habit of
calling at his chambers, and bringing with them the select nobility to
visit the "old man, the honest old half-pay captain, poor old Jack
Costigan," as Cos calls himself.
The truth is, that Lady Mirabel has left her husband's card (which has
been stuck in the little looking-glass over the mantle-piece of the
sitting-room at No. 4, for these many months past), and has come in
person to see her father, but not of late days. A kind person,
disposed to discharge her duties gravely, upon her marriage with Sir
Charles, she settled a little pension upon her father, who
occasionally was admitted to the table of his daughter and son-in-law.
At first poor Cos's behavior "in the hoight of poloit societee," as he
denominated Lady Mirabel's drawing-room table, was harmless, if it was
absurd. As he clothed his person in his best attire, so he selected
the longest and richest words in his vocabulary to deck his
conversation, and adopted a solemnity of demeanor which struck with
astonishment all those persons in whose company he happened to be.
"Was your Leedyship in the Pork to-dee?" he would demand of his
daughter. "I looked for your equipage in veen:--the poor old man was
not gratified by the soight of his daughter's choriot. Sir Chorlus, I
saw your neem at the Levée; many's the Levee at the Castle at Dublin
that poor old Jack Costigan has attended in his time. Did the Juke
look pretty well? Bedad, I'll call at Apsley House and lave me cyard
upon 'um. I thank ye, James, a little dthrop more champeane." Indeed,
he was magnificent in his courtesy to all, and addressed his
observations not only to the master and the guests, but to the
domestics who waited at the table, and who had some difficulty in
maintaining their professional gravity while they waited on
On the first two or three visits to his son-in-law, Costigan
maintained a strict sobriety, content to make up for his lost time
when he got to the Back-Kitchen, where he bragged about his
son-in-law's clart and burgundee, until his own utterance began to
fail him, over his sixth tumbler of whiskey-punch. But with
familiarity his caution vanished, and poor Cos lamentably disgraced
himself at Sir Charles Mirabel's table, by premature inebriation. A
carriage was called for him: the hospitable door was shut upon him.
Often and sadly did he speak to his friends at the Kitchen of his
resemblance to King Lear in the plee--of his having a thankless
choild, bedad--of his being a pore worn-out, lonely old man, dthriven
to dthrinking by ingratitude, and seeking to dthrown his sorrows
It is painful to be obliged to record the weaknesses of fathers, but
it must be furthermore told of Costigan, that when his credit was
exhausted and his money gone, he would not unfrequently beg money from
his daughter, and make statements to her not altogether consistent
with strict truth. On one day a bailiff was about to lead him to
prison, he wrote, "unless the--to you insignificant--sum of three
pound five can be forthcoming to liberate a poor man's gray hairs from
jail." And the good-natured Lady Mirabel dispatched the money
necessary for her father's liberation, with a caution to him to be
more economical for the future. On a second occasion the captain met
with a frightful accident, and broke a plate-glass window in the
Strand, for which the proprietor of the shop held him liable. The
money was forthcoming on this time too, to repair her papa's disaster,
and was carried down by Lady Mirabel's servant to the slip-shod
messenger and aid-de-camp of the captain, who brought the letter
announcing his mishap. If the servant had followed the captain's
aid-de-camp who carried the remittance, he would have seen that
gentleman, a person of Costigan's country too (for have we not said,
that however poor an Irish gentleman is, he always has a poorer Irish
gentleman to run on his errands and transact his pecuniary affairs?)
call a cab from the nearest stand, and rattle down to the Roscius's
Head, Harlequin-yard, Drury-lane, where the captain was indeed in
pawn, and for several glasses containing rum and water, or other
spirituous refreshment, of which he and his staff had partaken. On a
third melancholy occasion he wrote that he was attacked by illness,
and wanted money to pay the physician whom he was compelled to call
in; and this time Lady Mirabel, alarmed about her father's safety, and
perhaps reproaching herself that she had of late lost sight of her
father, called for her carriage and drove to Shepherd's Inn, at the
gate of which she alighted, whence she found the way to her father's
chambers, "No. 4, third floor, name of Podmore over the door," the
porteress said, with many courtesies, pointing toward the door of the
house into which the affectionate daughter entered, and mounted the
dingy stair. Alas! the door, surmounted by the name of Podmore, was
opened to her by poor Cos in his shirt-sleeves, and prepared with the
gridiron to receive the mutton-chops, which Mrs. Bolton had gone
Also, it was not pleasant for Sir Charles Mirabel to have letters
constantly addressed to him at Brookes's, with the information that
Captain Costigan was in the hall waiting for an answer; or when he
went to play his rubber at the Travelers', to be obliged to shoot out
of his brougham and run up the steps rapidly, lest his father-in-law
should seize upon him; and to think that while he read his paper or
played his whist, the captain was walking on the opposite side of Pall
Mall, with that dreadful cocked hat, and the eye beneath it fixed
steadily upon the windows of the club. Sir Charles was a weak man; he
was old, and had many infirmities: he cried about his father-in-law to
his wife, whom he adored with senile infatuation: he said he must go
abroad--he must go and live in the country--he should die, or have
another fit if he saw that man again--he knew he should. And it was
only by paying a second visit to Captain Costigan, and representing to
him, that if he plagued Sir Charles by letters, or addressed him in
the street, or made any further applications for loans, his allowance
would be withdrawn altogether; that Lady Mirabel was enabled to keep
her papa in order, and to restore tranquillity to her husband. And on
occasion of this visit, she sternly rebuked Bows for not keeping a
better watch over the captain; desired that he should not be allowed
to drink in that shameful way; and that the people at the horrid
taverns which he frequented should be told, upon no account to give
him credit. "Papa's conduct is bringing me to the grave," she said
(though she looked perfectly healthy), "and you, as an old man, Mr.
Bows, and one that pretended to have a regard for us, ought to be
ashamed of abetting him in it." These were the thanks which honest
Bows got for his friendship and his life's devotion. And I do not
suppose that the old philosopher was much worse off than many other
men, or had greater reason to grumble. On the second floor of the
next house to Bows's, in Shepherd's Inn, at No. 3, live two other
acquaintances of ours. Colonel Altamont, agent to the Nawaab of
Lucknow, and Captain the Chevalier Edward Strong. No name at all is
over their door. The captain does not choose to let all the world know
where he lives, and his cards bear the address of a Jermyn-street
hotel; and as for the Embassador Plenipotentiary of the Indian
potentate, he is not an envoy accredited to the Courts of St. James's
or Leadenhall-street, but is here on a confidential mission, quite
independent of the East India Company or the Board of Control.
"In fact," as Strong says, "Colonel Altamont's object being financial,
and to effectuate a sale of some of the principal diamonds and rubies
of the Lucknow crown, his wish is _not_ to report himself at the India
House or in Cannon-row, but rather to negotiate with private
capitalists--with whom he has had important transactions both in this
country and on the Continent."
We have said that these anonymous chambers of Strong's had been very
comfortably furnished since the arrival of Sir Francis Clavering in
London, and the chevalier might boast with reason to the friends who
visited him, that few retired captains were more snugly quartered than
he, in his crib in Shepherd's Inn. There were three rooms below: the
office where Strong transacted his business--whatever that might
be--and where still remained the desk and railings of the departed
officials who had preceded him, and the chevalier's own bedroom and
sitting room; and a private stair led out of the office to two upper
apartments, the one occupied by Colonel Altamont, and the other
serving as the kitchen of the establishment, and the bedroom of Mr.
Grady, the attendant. These rooms were on a level with the apartments
of our friends Bows and Costigan next door at No. 4; and by reaching
over the communicating leads, Grady could command the mignonnette-box
which bloomed in Bows's window.
From Grady's kitchen casement often came odors still more fragrant.
The three old soldiers who formed the garrison of No. 4, were all
skilled in the culinary art. Grady was great at an Irish stew; the
colonel was famous for pillaus and curries; and as for Strong, he
could cook any thing. He made French dishes and Spanish dishes, stews,
fricassees, and omelettes, to perfection; nor was there any man in
England more hospitable than he when his purse was full, or his credit
was good. At those happy periods, he could give a friend, as he said,
a good dinner, a good glass of wine, and a good song afterward; and
poor Cos often heard with envy the roar of Strong's choruses, and the
musical clinking of the glasses as he sate in his own room, so far
removed and yet so near to those festivities. It was not expedient to
invite Mr. Costigan always; his practice of inebriation was
lamentable; and he bored Strong's guests with his stories when sober,
and with his maudlin tears when drunk.
A strange and motley set they were, these friends of the chevalier;
and though Major Pendennis would not much have relished their company,
Arthur and Warrington liked it not a little, and Pen thought it
as amusing as the society of the finest gentlemen in the finest houses
which he had the honor to frequent. There was a history about every
man of the set: they seemed all to have had their tides of luck and
bad fortune. Most of them had wonderful schemes and speculations in
their pockets, and plenty for making rapid and extraordinary fortunes.
Jack Holt had been in Don Carlos's army, when Ned Strong had fought on
the other side; and was now organizing a little scheme for smuggling
tobacco into London, which must bring thirty thousand a year to any
man who would advance fifteen hundred, just to bribe the last officer
of the Excise who held out, and had wind of the scheme. Tom Diver, who
had been in the Mexican navy, knew of a specie-ship which had been
sunk in the first year of the war, with three hundred and eighty
thousand dollars on board, and a hundred and eighty thousand pounds in
bars and doubloons. "Give me eighteen hundred pounds," Tom said, "and
I'm off tomorrow. I take out four men, and a diving-bell with me; and
I return in ten months to take my seat in parliament, by Jove! and to
buy back my family estate." Keightley, the manager of the Tredyddlum
and Polwheedle Copper Mines (which were as yet under water), besides
singing as good a second as any professional man, and besides the
Tredyddlum Office, had a Smyrna Sponge Company, and a little
quicksilver operation in view, which would set him straight with the
world yet. Filby had been every thing: a corporal of dragoons, a
field-preacher, and missionary-agent for converting the Irish; an
actor at a Greenwich fair-booth, in front of which his father's
attorney found him when the old gentleman died and left him that
famous property, from which he got no rents now, and of which nobody
exactly knew the situation. Added to these was Sir Francis Clavering,
Bart., who liked their society, though he did not much add to its
amusements by his convivial powers. But he was made much of by the
company now, on account of his wealth and position in the world. He
told his little story and sang his little song or two with great
affability; and he had had his own history, too, before his accession
to good fortune; and had seen the inside of more prisons than one, and
written his name on many a stamped paper.
When Altamont first returned from Paris, and after he had communicated
with Sir Francis Clavering from the hotel at which he had taken up his
quarters (and which he had reached in a very denuded state,
considering the wealth of diamonds and rubies with which this honest
man was intrusted), Strong was sent to him by his patron the baronet;
paid his little bill at the inn, and invited him to come and sleep for
a night or two at the chambers, where he subsequently took up his
residence. To negotiate with this man was very well, but to have such
a person settled in his rooms, and to be constantly burdened with such
society, did not suit the chevalier's taste much: and he grumbled not
a little to his principal.
"I wish you would put this bear into somebody else's cage," he said to
Clavering. "The fellow's no gentleman. I don't like walking with
him. He dresses himself like a nigger on a holiday. I took him to the
play the other night: and, by Jove, sir, he abused the actor who was
doing the part of villain in the play, and swore at him so, that the
people in the boxes wanted to turn him out. The after-piece was the
'Brigand,' where Wallack comes in wounded, you know, and dies. When he
died, Altamont began to cry like a child, and said it was a d--d
shame, and cried and swore so, that there was another row, and every
body laughing. Then I had to take him away, because he wanted to take
his coat off to one fellow who laughed at him; and bellowed to him to
stand up like a man. Who is he? Where the deuce does he come from? You
had best tell me the whole story. Frank, you must one day. You and he
have robbed a church together, that's my belief. You had better get it
off your mind at once, Clavering, and tell me what this Altamont is,
and what hold he has over you."
"Hang him! I wish he was dead!" was the baronet's only reply; and his
countenance became so gloomy, that Strong did not think fit to
question his patron any further at that time; but resolved, if need
were, to try and discover for himself what was the secret tie between
Altamont and Clavering.
IN WHICH THE COLONEL NARRATES SOME OF HIS ADVENTURES.
Early in the forenoon of the day after the dinner in Grosvenor-place,
at which Colonel Altamont had chosen to appear, the colonel emerged
from his chamber in the upper story at Shepherd's Inn, and entered
into Strong's sitting-room, where the chevalier sat in his easy-chair
with the newspaper and his cigar. He was a man who made his tent
comfortable wherever he pitched it, and long before Altamont's
arrival, had done justice to a copious breakfast of fried eggs and
broiled rashers, which Mr. Grady had prepared _secundum artem_.
Good-humored and talkative, he preferred any company rather than none;
and though he had not the least liking for his fellow-lodger, and
would not have grieved to hear that the accident had befallen him
which Sir Francis Clavering desired so fervently, yet kept on fair
terms with him. He had seen Altamont to bed with great friendliness on
the night previous, and taken away his candle for fear of accidents;
and finding a spirit-bottle empty, upon which he had counted for his
nocturnal refreshment, had drunk a glass of water with perfect
contentment over his pipe, before he turned into his own crib and to
sleep. That enjoyment never failed him: he had always an easy temper,
a faultless digestion, and a rosy cheek; and whether he was going into
action the next morning or to prison (and both had been his lot), in
the camp or the Fleet, the worthy captain snored healthfully through
the night, and woke with a good heart and appetite, for the struggles
or difficulties or pleasures of the day.
The first act of Colonel Altamont was to bellow to Grady for a pint of
pale ale, the which he first poured into a pewter flagon, whence he
transferred it to his own lips. He put down the tankard empty, drew
a great breath, wiped his mouth in his dressing-gown (the difference
of the color of his heard from his dyed whiskers had long struck
Captain Strong, who had seen too that his hair was fair under his
black wig, but made no remarks upon these circumstances)--the colonel
drew a great breath, and professed himself immensely refreshed by his
draught. "Nothing like that beer," he remarked, "when the coppers are
hot. Many a day I've drunk a dozen of Bass at Calcutta, and--and--"
"And at Lucknow, I suppose," Strong said with a laugh. "I got the beer
for you on purpose: knew you'd want it after last night." And the
colonel began to talk about his adventures of the preceding evening.
"I can not help myself," the colonel said, beating his head with his
big hand. "I'm a madman when I get the liquor on board me; and ain't
fit to be trusted with a spirit-bottle. When I once begin I can't stop
till I've emptied it; and when I've swallowed it, Lord knows what I
say or what I don't say. I dined at home here quite quiet. Grady gave
me just my two tumblers, and I intended to pass the evening at the
Black and Red as sober as a parson. Why did you leave that confounded
sample-bottle of Hollands out of the cupboard, Strong? Grady must go
out, too, and leave me the kettle a-boiling for tea. It was of no use,
I couldn't keep away from it. Washed it all down, sir, by Jingo. And
it's my belief I had some more, too, afterward at that infernal little
"What, were you there, too?" Strong asked, "and before you came to
Grosvenor-place? That was beginning betimes."
"Early hours to be drunk and cleared out before nine o'clock, eh? But
so it was. Yes, like a great big fool, I must go there; and found the
fellows dining, Blackland and young Moss, and two or three more of the
thieves. If we'd gone to Rouge et Noir, I must have won. But we didn't
try the black and red. No, hang 'em, they know'd I'd have beat 'em at
that--I must have beat 'em--I can't help beating 'em, I tell you. But
they was too cunning for me. That rascal Blackland got the bones out,
and we played hazard on the dining-table. And I dropped all the money
I had from you in the morning, be hanged to my luck. It was that that
set me wild, and I suppose I must have been very hot about the head,
for I went off thinking to get some more money from Clavering, I
recollect; and then--and then I don't much remember what happened till
I woke this morning, and heard old Bows, at No. 3, playing on
Strong mused for a while as he lighted his cigar with a coal. "I
should like to know how you always draw money from Clavering,
colonel," he said.
The colonel burst out with a laugh, "Ha, ha! he owes it me," he said.
"I don't know that that's a reason with Frank for paying," Strong
answered. "He owes plenty besides you."
"Well, he gives it me because he is so fond of me," the other said,
with the same grinning sneer. "He loves me like a brother; you know
he does, captain. No?--He don't?--Well, perhaps he don't; and if you
ask me no questions, perhaps I'll tell you no lies, Captain
Strong--put that in your pipe and smoke it, my boy."
"But I'll give up that confounded brandy-bottle," the colonel