« ZurückWeiter »
hement, as his dress was ostentatiously plain. His eager eye, “ in a fine frenzy rolling,” now glanced at the astonished crowd-now turned, indignant, towards the handsome equipage that was trying to make its way through it. Borrowing, as is the custom with his brethren, a hint from every passing object, the preacher thus continued, in a loud voice, his exhortation" Ay, there go the carriages and the horsemen-the carriage of the mighty man and the wicked, who comes from dinners with privy councillors, and suppers at the Castle. Did Joseph give cabinet dinners when he ruled over Egypt, think you?-did Daniel thus find favour in the sight of Nebuchadnezzar? No, my brethren! they knew better things, my brethren! and you, poor deluded sinners! Pat Riley, John Byrne, Thady Grogan, and the rest of you—for what have you wandered so far? To meet the woman Louisa Southwell, who lives without God in the world. Out upon her, with her ribbons and her
stuffs, and her hat manufactories! Would queen Esther have patronized a fancyball, think you, my brethren? - would Deborah, who judged the twelve tribes of Israel, have gone to a masquerade ?would righteous Judith, who cut off the head of Holofernes
Oh, the horrid creature !” exclaimed Matilda Southwell, who had been forced, by the stopping of the carriage, to listen to these frenzied exclamations; “ he is mad_absolutely mad-out of his senses ! This is assuredly the Zephaniah, with an odious Methodistical name, Mr. Pendennis told us of in town. It is assuredly-heavens !--no! it is not possible--it cannot be !"
It was but too true. The near approach of the carriage, and a break in the crowd affording a full view of the orator, discovered to Miss Southwell's astonished eyes, not Zephaniah Toplofty, but her quondam sighing adorer, and the subsequently ridiculous coxcomb, Cobham Pendennis!
What a change was here! Instead of the dress, at once showy and fantastical, in the most outrageous extreme of ultradandyism, a suit of rusty black adorned the person they had lately beheld in the gay habiliments of Florizel, the pastoral prince; while his cropped hair, and “face than razor thinner,” announced him at once, to the intelligent observer, as a newly-enrolled volunteer in that class of combatants, who, endowed by nature with the unfortunate gift of a sullen and saturnine disposition, revenge themselves for her unkindness, by declaring "war to the knife,” against every elegant pleasure and liberal pursuit.
Sir Charles and Miss Southwell, once they had discovered who the inspired orator was, found the incident so irresistibly diverting, that they completely forgot their usual polite and insipid nullité of character, and indulged in repeated and violent bursts of laughter ; but lady Louisa, who never considered any thing in a
ludicrous light which struck her as degrading, called out, in her most authoritative voice, to the postilions, to drive on at their peril; and they had nearly obeyed her ladyship’s mandate, when Cobham, springing from his tub, suddenly threw himself exactly across the path of the horses. At the manifest risk of terrifying those much nobler and more rational animals, he thundered out, in the voice of a maniac, that he had an irresistible impulse to address lady Louisa. He then began to reproach her for the ungodly life, as he called it, that she had led in Dublin, declaring, with many groans, he had been too great a participator in such scenes, not to have dearly purchased a right to rouse and call her to repentance.
He was proceeding in this strain, with the same absurd and disgusting mixture of scripture images and figures with the most familiar and ignoble phrases, that distinguishes this kind of oratory, when he was interrupted by the still-louder voice of a female, exclaiming=“ Arrah now, Mr. Cobham Pindinnis, or Glindinnis, or whatever your name is, is it yourself would be after taking lave of your sinses altogether and entirely, and all the quality in it? Sorrow the taste of good your poor uncle ever got of you since you had the new birth, as you call it, and was degenerated! And you, ye pack of teeves !" continued the Amazon, turning fiercely to the half-stupified assembly, " is this the way you let her ladyship be affronted-and you, and your wives, and your childer, and your cattle, that she give larning, and food, and raiment to, looking on? But ye are an ungrateful kit altogether and entirely. Farmer Davies, sitting there a top of your fine, tall, big hunter, like a midge upon the back of an elephant, I'm ashamed of you! Neighbour Brennan, make way, if you've any sinse in you, and let the quality pass !”