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We have now got all parties “before the court,” as they say in Chancery-Mr., Mrs., and the two Miss Dooeys, our friend the Richest Commoner in England, and that tiresome chaperone teasing, three hundred a year boy, Charles Summerley.

“ Richest Commoners" rather abound in England. We have known a good many—several going at the same time indeed-so that there are dead heats in riches, as well as in races.

“ Charles Summerleys”-nice young men- -we need hardly say are most abundant too. Every mamma has a lot of them on her list, and would be too happy to transmute a whole bunch of them into one Richest Commoner. Richest Commoner! there's music in the sound of it. No country but England raises such articles. It has a far more metallic bell-metal sort of sound than the Richest Nobleman. The Richest Commoner speaks of a man who gets ten per cent. for his money instead of two, of one whom the sudden inundation of wealth has not afforded time to turn his argent into acres, or disguise himself in a title. All honour to Richest Commoners, say we.

The particular Charles Summerley under consideration, it must be confessed, was rather more insinuating and more dangerous than the generality of “nice young men,” added to which, being untied by business or profession, he had just sufficient means to enable him to appear like gentleman, and be wherever he was not wanted. Maria Dooey to be sure wanted him—at least she wanted a beau, indeed, before she saw any chance of the Richest Commoner, she had written him a sweet billet-doux without beginning or ending, a precaution that she always took with her men, and thought amply sufficient to prevent any one saying where the letters came from, should any one be base enough to give her an airing in Westminster Hall, or take her to an assize town for other purposes than that of attending the ball. In this highly glazed and perfumed production to Charles she expatiated on the delights of rural life (Glauberend Life), the charms of country scenery, and concluded by saying, that if “a certain somebody had not quite forgotten a certain other somebody, a certain somebody would perhaps come and help the certain other somebody to enjoy it.” To this Charles returned a red-hot answer, with an embossed circular garland of Cupids, hearts, darts, flowers, &c., at the top, under cover to the maid, Lucy Green, vowing many forty-horsepower vows of eternal constancy, and promising to be down as fast as ever the panting engine would draw the early train of the Monday morning, May.-VOL. LXXXIII. NO. CCCXXIX.


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when he calculated upon having the pleasure of passing old Dooey on the

up rail.

We will now take a glance at the exact position of affairs.

So long as there was nothing better in view, Mrs. Dooey was content to connive at the flirtation, as she had connived at many before, but not being able after the most minute and careful inquiry to flatter herself with the hope of any thing satisfactory coming of it, that is to say, of Charles turning out any thing better than what he then appeared-an idle, small-incomed dangler, she now determined to extinguish him and capture the Richest Commoner in her most masterly, motherly manner.

The first move of course was to prepare the soil of her daughter's heart. Love and the fashions are apropos to any thing in a woman's conversation, and Mrs. Dooey would not have had the slightest difficulty in leading the way out of any, the most intricate subject, though, as it happened, she was saved the trouble of any“ beat about the bush” circumlocution, for on going to muffle the view of the adjacent country and distant hills with a fog of drawing-room muslin curtains, to keep it as it were all fresh and new against Dooey's return on the Saturday, who should she see reconnoitering the house from the iron palisades enclosing the long slip of garden opposite, but the tiresome object of her thoughts.

There he was examining the house up and down, and lengthways and sideways, in a manner that none but a suitor, or a sheriff's officer, would adopt. If he looked well in London, we need not say how much more formidable he appeared in the country. He was neatly, but not flashily, dressed; well brushed hat, dark coat and vest, Joinville tie to a black stock, with well got up white trousers and varnished boots.

Mrs. Dooey was desperately exasperated at the sight, nor was her indignation diminished by Charles, mistaking her lavender coloured dress for that of one of the young ladies, blowing her a speculative kiss from the tips of his primrose coloured kid gloved fingers.

“ I'm dratted," said she, “ if there isn't that impittant boy himself !” exclaimed Mrs. Dooey, shrouding herself in a fall of muslin, “I only wish • D.' was back, shouldn't he have a trimmin' for that.

Ere she got her“ back down” the door opened, and in popped Maria.

Mrs. Dooey saw by her face that she had seen Charles, so she entered at once in medias res."

I do wish, Maria,” snapped she, “ that you'd be done with that tiresome, idle boy,with a strong emphasis on the word boy, “what's he come botherin' down here about ? I wish you'd be done with him.”.

Age is a fine elastic accommodating commodity in female hands. Women just stretch or contract it as they would a piece of Indian rubber.

“ Men can't marry too young,” says an experienced matron to a newlyfledged suitor that she thinks will “do."

“ Mere boy!" sneers the same party when she finds he “won't.”

“Just the right age,” says another, who has hooked a piece of antiquity-liberal forty for sixty say—whom she proposes uniting to blushing eighteen. “Old enough to be her grandfather,” retorts she in disgust when she finds he won't. Youth, however, is a thing that very soon rectifies itself. Age, we fear, is not so accommodating.

But hark to Maria ! and hear what she said when her mamma wanted her to be off with her man-or man-boy.

“Why, mamma ?" asked she, colouring brightly.

" Why, mamma?” snapped Mrs. Dooey, angrily, “ because no good can come of such a connexion, and he's only keepin' desirable men off.”

“ But, mamma, I thought you approved of him."

“ 'Proved of him p'raps as a dangler," retorted Mrs. Dooey, who clipped her English desperately when excited, “'prov'd of him p'raps as a dangler, and in London, where people are not all on the watch as they are here, and where a gal may have balf-a-dozen men goin', provided they don't meet, but here it's very different-here it's very different-you can't lift a finger but everybody knows—I do believe this is the most scandalous place in the world." The place we are in generally is.

“Oh dear, but I wish you'd only told me all this before,” exclaimed Maria, bursting into tears and burying her pretty fair face in her rather fat hands.

“ Silly girl!" sneered Mrs. Dooey, “who'd ha' thought o' you takin' on that way-you, with all your advantages and opportunities—who'd ha' thought of you throwin' yourself away in such a ridicklous, I may say scandalous, way?”—Maria sat sobbing in silence. “We know nothin' on the boy, nobody knows nothin' on him," observed Mrs. Dooey, determined to, what she called, argufy Maria out of him.

“ Well then, mamma, that's the reason why we shouldn't reject him, why we shouldn't treat him so cavalierly; at all events, I'm sure he's a most agreeable, gentlemanly young man, and—”

“Oh, they are all most agreeable, gentlemanly young men,” interrupted Mrs. Dooey, “ I'm sure the number of most agreeable, gentlemanly young men I've had through hands, first and last, is somethin' quite appalin'. First there was Mr. Primnose, who all the world said had a plum of his own ; 'stead of that we found he'd only ten thousand, out of which he had to pay his sister a hundred, then there was young Peck, with his enormous expectations from an uncle, who it turned out was educatin' a family of naturals of his own; then there was Charles James Smith—no, he was Amelia's—but you had that great Captain O'Rian, who swore he had a castle in Ireland as big as Windsor, and who cost your pa no end of money in sendin' Mr. Inkeyfingers over to look for it."

“Well, well, well, I don't want to hear you go through the list,” interrupted Maria, "you know you approved of them all at the time.”

*“ 'Proved of them all at the time!" retorted Mrs. Dooey, boiling up. 'Proved of them all at the time ! Did you ever know me 'prove of them after they proved to have nothin' ?!”

Maria couldn't say she had, for it was just “ that" upon which all the engagements had hitherto gone off. Indeed she had begun to think that the “sootable fortin,” as Mrs. Dooey called it, was not in existence, and to consider whether she had not better suit herself without reference to one. She thus broached the delicate subject to mamma.

“ But even supposing he hasn't a fortune,” observed Maria, “I suppose I shall have enough to keep us both upon."

“Oh Maria !" shrieked Mrs. Dooey, “oh Maria,” repeated she, “don't talk to me in such a way-don't talk to me in such a way, it's a disgrace to your bringin' up-it's a disgraec to your bringin' up-you that have been taught to hold yourself high, and to look for a great connexion, if not a coronet, at all events for diamonds, and an opera-box to show them in. Oh Maria! I'm ashamed of you— I'm disgusted;" so saying, the old lady sank back in her chair thoroughly overcome.

The wise ones say it is extremely foolish giving way to temper, and that getting into a passion never does any good, but let them say what they will, a good " let off” on either side often tends very much to the subsequent promotion of a good understanding.

Mother and daughter having both had their say, and each thinking she had gone far enough, indulged in a long pause.

Maria at length got up, and consulting the most becoming mirror as to her looks, passed a fine fringe and cypher handkerchief across her now slightly reddened blue eyes, arranged her long brown ringlets, and prepared for renewed elegance. Mamma took a peep through the curtains, to see whether that horrid boy was gone or not. All this allowed time for the collection of scattered thoughts and the return of cooler moments.

Mrs. Dooey felt there was some truth in Maria's observation that they would be discarding Charles without “sounding him," a practice that she was not at all given to, though she much feared that the Dumps' representations as to his probable means would turn out one of those flattering tales that hope delights in and mammas detest.

“I don't by no means wish you to do nothin' hasty or unfeelin' by the young man," observed Mrs. Dooey, soothingly, as Maria circled, with a deep sigh, from the mirror to the sofa, “but I really must say that a girl with your fortin', figure, and pretensions, would be doin' extremely wrong-that is to say, not justice to herself, if she was to throw herself away-without-without-without an equivalent, at all events," added she.

Maria saw that mamma was coming round,” so prudently held her tongue, to hear what her sagacity would suggest.

" I've often said that an offer does a girl no harm,” continued Mrs. Dooey, “none whatever-rather the contrary, indeed ; but it is your long.continued, hangin'-on, never-finishin' sort of engagements, that I object to; and, indeed, so does your pa; still, I wouldn't advise you to do nothin' hasty or unfeelin'; if he hasn't offered, it's time he did ; and if he has, it's time he was looked after, because he may keep danglin' on for ever, drivin' off no end of desirable offers. Besides, remember this, looks don't last for ever.

“Oh! my own dear, dear mamma,” exclaimed Maria, again bursting into tears, falling on her knees before her mamma, and burying her face in the old lady's capacious lap, “oh! my dear mamma, sobbed she, “but there is no better person in view at present.”

“ There's Mr. Rocket !" exclaimed Mrs. Dooey, at once," a gen'lman of the highest character and most undoubted wealth ; the richest commoner in England, they say,” added she. “But Amelia insists upon having him," sobbed Maria;

" she says it's her turn.

That was just the point that Mrs. Dooey dreaded ; and if our readers have a single drop of the milk of human kindness in their composition, we think they will feel for her situation. Not only had she the whole out-of-door force of fathers, mothers, daughters, uncles, aunts, nieces, cousins, all the relations of this world, in short, to contend with, but the difficult cards of the domestic circle to manage

and arrange. Poor Mrs. Dooey !

In Maria, however, she had a congenial spirit, if not a very dutiful daughter. Though she would not give up a man to please the old lady, she had no objection to meet her in the fair open market of matrimonial

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