« ZurückWeiter »
as to have discarded his coat and waistcoat, and assumed a dirty gray flannel dressing-gown.
This cold shoulder greeting again set our friend in a flutter, and he felt as if he would be extremely obliged if an earthquake would take and swallow him up.
“I–1–1-beg--beg—beg—I beg—I beg--pardon--that's to say I ask pardon-but 1-1-1-wasn't aware-1-1-1-didn't know, in short, it was so late; but I-I-I-will-will-will-that's to say, I'll come back in the morning, sir, when-when-when-”
“Oh, never mind," replied the old man, assuming a milder tone ; never mind,” repeated he, “ take a chair. I've nothing to do—sit down -glad to see you-old men's hours and young one's differ-was thinking of bed, to tell you the truth. Coals are expensive--so are candles.”
This observation upset all the smoothness of the previous portion of the speech, and again threw our friend into a twitter. Here he had come to ask money of a man who grudged himself fire and light. Charles felt that he had been talked into it by Mrs. Dooey, and that he ought to have known better than give in to a person who could know nothing of the uncle. But for his natural ingenuousness, he would have feigned an excuse even at this, the eleventh hour, and shuffled out of the scrape the best way he could.
The uncle, however, had lived too long in the world to suppose that he had come on other than a special mission, and after a brief silence, interrupted only by the loud ticking of a great boisterous silver watch, as it lay on the deal table in the next room, and the mewing of a cat below, he essayed to lead him on by a—“Well, my boy, how's the world using
That was a good comprehensive inquiry, and but for the unfortunate observation about the fire and lights, might have led to a confession. As it
parried it with the worse than side blow of " Oh, very well, thank
sir." Another long pause then ensued, during which the uncle ran through his mind all the speculative points that he thought he could have come about-the most usual ones, bail or money, not omitted. He could not think of any thing. His allowance had been punctually paid; he concluded, and contrasting it with his own niggardly expenditure, he could not but think it equal to any thing-any thing, at least, that a youth like Charles could require.
There are few things more tantalising than for a person who one knows has come on a specific, and very likely an important errand, and who yet will not deliver himself of it-who sits gaping, and staring, and talking about the weather, or any thing rather than the real thing, looking very often as though he expected you to tell him what he has come for. We once heard of a great clown of an Englishman, who somehow or other had got an audience of the then English ambassador (Lord Cowley) at Paris, and who persisted in sit-sit--sitting, long after he had got every thing said and finished that he had come about. His excellency, after trying to get rid of him in various ways, at last asked, with a low bow, 6. If there was
thing else he could do for him?" “Why, n-o-a,” replied Chaw, turning his hat about ; " why, n-o-a," repeated he, with a vacant stare ; adding, “ but you haven't asked me to dine.”
“ I beg pardon," replied his lordship, with the greatest suavity," I beg
pardon,” repeated he, “ I wasn't aware that it was in my instructionsbut I'll refer to them and see.”
Charles could not be waiting for that, seeing that his uncle never dined at home, the only dinner they had ever had together having been at a cheap chop-house in Rupert Street.
The old man's curiosity at last got the better of his patience, and casting a scrutinising eye on our much embarrassed friend, asked him point blank if there was any thing particular he wanted ?
“Why yes—10—yes,” stammered Charles ; “ that's to say I'll return in the morning, for I hear—that's to say I see—that you're going to dress—I mean going to bed.”
“Oh, but I'm not in such a hurry as all that,” replied the ancient; “ I'm not in such a hurry as all that, --it'll not be a long story, perhaps."
Thus put to it Charles essayed to make a cominencement.
“Well, I wish–I wanted—I thought-that's to say I came to ask, to know, if you'd have any objection to my-tomy- to my getting married.”
• Getting what !” exclaimed the old man in astonishment.
“Getting married," repeated Charles, blushing, and hanging down his head.
“ Married !” repeated the old man ; “married !” extending his face to its utmost length, “why that,” replied he, “will depend a good deal
who it is to.” “Oh, she's a most charming and amiable young lady,” gasped Charles, emboldened by the answer.
“ No doubt,” replied the uncle, “no doubt, and beautiful--but has she money?"
“A great deal-a great deal,” gasped Charles, "at least she will have.”
“Oh! will have," replied the old man, “will have, that's an awkward term—bird in the hand—bird in the hand, my boy,” added he, with a solemn shake of the head,
Oh, but she'll have a good deal now, I should think," observed Charles, “ at least I imagine so."
Well, who is it?" asked the uncle. “Miss Dooey, of Bryanstone Square," replied Charles.
“Dooey-Dooey-Dooey," repeated Brown, thinking the name sounded like money, “you don't mean Dooey, the hop-merchant, do
“The same," gasped Charles.
“ There's money there," replied Brown, thoughtfully, “there's money there-- what will he give ?'
“ Why that I don't know-that's to say I haven't asked-in fact, I've not spoken to Mr. Dooey about it as yet-only to Mrs. Dooey.”
“ And what does she say?" asked Brown.
“Oh she's quite agreeable,” stammered Charles—“that's to say she's no objection-only she wished to know what I-that's to
you would do."
“ Ay, there's the rub!" sighed Brown ; “ there's the rub,” repeated he, looking the very picture of despair. “I was afraid of that,” continued he, “I was afraid of that."
So was Charles, but having broken the ice he had no alternative but to rest on his oars.
“I'm poor," sighed Brown, “ desperately poor," and truly his pinched and haggard look, and the wretched ill-furnished garret in which he sat confirmed the statement. “I'm miserably poor,” continued he, clasping his upraised hands and then pressing them downwards to the ground.
“Say no more, my dear uncle !” exclaimed Charles, “say no moreI'll give it up. I'll give it up sooner than you should be put about.”
Nay, my boy,” replied the old man, relaxing, “it's worth following up-it's worth following up-but we must be cautious—we must be cautious. I'll strain a point to serve you, but be wary—it's a desperate world for roguery-nobody knows what a world it is that hasn't tried it -a thousand and twenty-five knaves to one honest man-must go about it gingerly-don't appear too keen-feel your way-say I'll advance fifty a year--three hundred and fifty that's to say—if that won't do go as far as four hundred, but mind, not a farthing more, and Dooey must come down, too-Dooey must come down, too-can well afford it-can well afford it-lives on the fat of the land- lives on the fat of the landso now, my dear boy, good night, and God bless you !" saying which the withered old man looked with a loving eye on the fresh, handsome youth, and pressing his hand showed him to the attic door.
“ Try seventy-five before you go to the hundred,” hallooed the uncle, as he stood listening to Charles' descending footsteps.
“ Yes, sir," replied Charles from below, astonished at his success and at the nature of the injunction.
AN EVENING LANDSCAPE.
Beams of gold
Deck the wold,
Still and free
Gleams the sea,
Lights the strand-
Gilt in edge,
In the grove,
On the stream
Dies the gleam,
Decks the height,
MR. JOLLY GREEN'S VISIT TO PARIS SINCE THE LAST
The reader is aware that previously to my heading the Peckham Deputation to the Hotel de Ville, I addressed a letter to Monsieur Cr-mi-ux demanding the rights of Fr—nch citizenship. I did not give that letter textually at the time, but I think it advisable to do so now, in order to guard against the possibility of a garbled version of my correspondence with the m-n-st-r being foisted upon the public.
It was a production, which, however hastily thrown off, bore the impress of my own mind, and was well calculated to accomplish what I sought. I had originally intended to have literally transcribed the epistle from C—nnes, which had already become matter of history (as my own will shortly be), but on reperusing that famous document it struck me that without falsifying facts, I could not take upon myself to say with L-rd Br-gh-m that I had “possedé et habité plus de cinq ans, et plus de trois ans de fait” (this last passage of the noble and learneul l—rd's I do not quite comprehend); neither could I write to the Mayor of C-nnes for a "certificat de conduite morale," as, invulnerable on that point though I be, I have not the advantage of being known to that gentlemen otherwise than through the trumpet of fame. I resolved, therefore, upon relying on my own genius, and here is the result. For the convenience of posterity, I follow the example of a friend of mine who numbered his love letters, in the full expectation that his chère amie would keep them!
No. I.–From Mr. Jolly Green (autrement Marquis de Cornichon now citizen of the same) to Monsieur Cr-m-eux, M-n-stre de J-st-ce.
“ Privé et effronté.
“P.-ris Avril, 1, 1818. “Citoyenne M-n--stre,
“Pendant la tarde dynastie moi payé un considerable somme pour la propreté de Cornichon, dans la commune de Fanfreluches, dans le department des Pyr-nees, et étant passionné d'étant naturalisé citoyenne de la R-p-bl-que Fr--nc-ise, je prie vous avoir la bonté d'avoir l'acte de naturalisation passé toute suite, parceque moi proposer moi-même un candidat pour election dans la National Assembly.
“Acceptez l'assurance parfaite de Jolly Green, une fois Marquis de Cornichon, à present citoyenne de la même.”
No. II.—Le M-n-stre de J—st-ce à M. Jolly Green.
“ M-n-stère de J-st-ce, le ler Avril, 1818. “ Monsieur, “Je ne sais
si j'ai bien compris la lettre que vous m'avez fait l'honneur de m'addresser, dans laquelle vous exposez votre demande d'être admis citoyen de la R-p-bl-que Fr-nc-se; mais, mettant à côté quelque petites difficultés grammatiques, je m'empresse de vous répondre.' Il n'est guère necessaire de dire à un homme d'une intelli
June.- VOL. LXXXIII, NO. CCCXXX.
gence haute comme la votre qu'il n'est pas possible (à moins, comme un Irlandais celèbre an dit, qu'on ne soit pas oiseau) d'être à la même fois dans deux differents endroits ; ainsi, j'ose présumer, par analogie, que, malgré votre grande capacité, les rôles de citoyen Fr-nc-is et de
Brit-sh subject' (eux-mêmes, assez distincts), ne peuvent pas se réunir dans le même individu. Il vous faudra alors faire cette choix : ou rester Angl-is, ou devenir tout à fait Fr-ne-is ; il n'y a pas de terme moyenne ; la race hybride est inconnue en Fr-nce ; il ne se trouve rien entre chien et loup. Choisissez donc, monsieur, l'état qui vous convienne le mieux ; soyez Fr--nc-is et Dieu vous benisse ; soyez Angl-is et Dieu vous-mais, n'importe pour celà.
“ J'ai l'honneur d'être, monsieur,
" A. CR-MI-UX.” The above letter was handed to me on my return from the interview with M. L-mart-ne, by the porter of my hotel. By dint of my own unaided exertions—for I don't call the Fr—nch waiter, who spoke Engl-sh, and to whom I showed it, any thing-I managed to make out what the m-n-st-r meant, in spite of the obscurity of his style. I then saw that he wanted me to choose between being an Engl—shm—n and a Fr-nchm-n; to make a sort of n-t-nal toss-up of the matter, an Engl-sh head or a Fr-nch tail. I presume the Br—t—sh public will anticipate what course I adopted—they are right; I did so ; but not in exactly the way that Podder suggested. "He, when I translated the letter to him, burst into a violent passion, and urged me to reply to Monsieur Cr-mi-ux in terms of the most forcible and tar-like nature ; but I, who knew too well what the consequences to Eur—pe would have been had I, by any act of mine, led to a misunderstanding between the two countries, contented myself with returning the following dignified and courteous answer, paying him off for his impertinent proposition, quietly in Engl-sh, a language which no Fr-nchm-n has ever been able perfectly to understand.
No. III.- Mr. Green to M. Cr-mi--us.
“P-r-s, April 1, 1848.
“ I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your very obliging letter of this day's date! I never could have supposed that getting myself naturalised as a Fr-nch citizen I should lose all my rights as a Br-t-sh subject and Peckham churchwarden and rate-payer in Fr—nce. I should only retain those privileges in Peckham ; in Fr—nce I should be all that Fr-nce could desire. As, above all, I desire the happiness of the two countries, and their mutual peace (which, I thought, might have been endangered had I not belonged to both), I thought it my duty to give a proof
of my confidence in the institutions of Fr—nce, in order to encourage my Engl—sh compatriots to trust in them as I do.
“ Receive, &c.,
“ J. GREEN." I may as well give the last letter of his correspondence at once, though some rather stirring events took place before I received it. Not to be behindhand with me it also was written in English, the best the Pr-y-s-nal G-y-rnm-nt could muster.