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*Jonathan,' I once said to him but with thee, Eliza? Aha, did I not bah! autres
temps, autres maurs. love thee? Did I not walk with Another magnum, James.”
thee then? Do I not see thee still?" This was all very well. “My good This was passing strange. My sir," I said, " it may suit you to order ancestress but there is no need to bottles of '20 port, at à guinea a publish her revered
did bottle; but that kind of price does not indeed live at Bungay Saint Mary's, suit me. I only happen to have where she lies buried. She used to thirty-four and sixpence in my pock- walk with a tortoise-shell cane. She et, of which I want a shilling for the used to wear little black velvet shoes, waiter, and eighteenpence for my cab. with the prettiest high heels in the You rich foreigners and swells may world. spend what you like” (I had him "Did you - did you — know, then, there : for my friend's dress was as my great gr-ndm-ther?" I said, shabby as an old-clothes-man's);“ but He pulled up his coat-sleeve -“Is a man with a family, Mr. What that her name?” he said. d’you-call’im, cannot afford to spend
“ Eliza seven or eight hundred a year on his There, I declare, was the very name dinner alone.”
of the kind old creature written in red “Bah!” he said. “Nunkey pays on his arm. for all, as you say. I will what you “ You knew her old,” he said, call stant the dinner, if you are so divining my thoughts (with his strange poor !” and again he gave that dis- knack); I knew her young and agreeable grin, and placed an odious lovely. I danced with her at the crooked-nailed and by no means clean Bury ball. Did I not, dear, dear finger to his nose. But I was not so Miss afraid of him now, for we were in a As I live, he here mentioned dear public place; and the three glasses gr-nny's maiden name. Her maiden of port-wine had, you see, given me name was Her honored marcourage.
ried name was “What a pretty snuff-box!” he re “She married your great gr-ndmarked as I handed him mine, which I f-th-r the year Poseidon won the Newam still old-fashioned enough to carry. market Plate,” Mr. Pinto dryly reIt is a pretty old gold box enough, but marked. valuable to me especially as a relic Merciful powers ! I remember, of an old, old relative, whom I can over the old shagreen knife and spoon just remember as a child, when she case on the sideboard in my gr-nny's was very kind to me. "Yes ; a pretty parlor, a print by Stubbs of that box. I can remember when many very horse. My grandsire, in a red ladies-most ladies, carried a box = coat, and his fair hair flowing over his nay, two boxes — tabatière and bonbon- shoulders, was over the mantelpiece, nière. What lady carries snuff-box and Poseidon won the Newmarket now, hey? Suppose your astonish- Cup in the year 1783! ment if a lady in an assembly were to Yes; you are right. I danced a offer you a prise? I can remember a minuet with her at Bury that very lady with such a box as this, with a night, before I lost my poor leg. And tour, as we used to call it then; with I quarrelled with your grandf-, paniers, with a tortoise-shell cane, ha ! with the prettiest little high-heeled As he said “Ha!” there came velvet shoes in the world ! - ah! three quiet little taps on the tablethat was a time, that was a time! it is the middle table in the “Gray'sAh, Eliza, Eliza, I have thee now inn Coffee-house,” under the bust of in my mind's eye! At Bungay the late Duke of W-11-ngt-n. on the Waveney, did I not walk “I fired in the air,” he continued ;
"did I not?". (Tap, tap, tap.) | eas, and the façon we will put at six "Your grandfather hit me in the leg. more.” He married three months afterwards. “ One tausend guineas !' he
Captain Brown,' I said, 'who could screeched. “One tausend and fifty see Miss Sm-th without loving her ?' pound, dere !” and he sank back in She is there! She is there! (Tap, his chair - no, by the way, on his tap, tap.) “ Yes, my first love »
bench, for he was sitting with bis But here there came tap, tap, which back to one of the partitions of the everybody knows means "No." boxes, as I dare say James remem
“I forgot,” he said with a faint bers. blush stealing over his wan features, “ Don't go on in this way,” I con“she was not my first love. In Germ tinued, rather weakly, for I did not
in my own country -- there was a know whether I was in a dream. young woman
“If you offer me a thousand guineas Tap, tap, tap: There was here for this box I must take it. Mustn't quite a lively little treble knock; and I, dear gr-nny? when the old man said, “But I loved The table most distinctly said, thee better than all the world, Eliza," “ Yes ;” and putting out his claws to the affirmative signal was briskly seize the box, Mr. Pinto plunged his repeated.
hooked nose into it and eagerly inAnd this I declare UPON MY HONOR. haled some of my 47 with a dash of There was, I have said, a bottle of Hardman. port-wine before us - I should say a " But stay, you old harpy!" I exdecanter. That decanter was LIFTED claimed, being now in a sort of rage, UP, and out of it into our respective and quite familiar with him. “Where glasses two bumpers of wine were is the money. Where is the check ? poured. I appeal to Mr. Hart, the “ James, a piece of note-paper and landlord — I appeal to James, the a receipt stamp ! respectful and intelligent waiter, if “ This is all mighty well, sir,” I this statement is not true ? And said," but I don't know you ; I never when we had finished that magnum, saw you before. I will trouble you and I said - for I did not now in the to hand me that box back again, or least doubt of her presence “ Dear give me a check with some known gr-nny, may we have another mag- signature." num?”
the table distinctly rapped " Whose ? Ha, HA, HA!” “No.”
The room happened to be very • Now, my good sir," Mr. Pinto dark. Indeed, all the waiters were said, who really began to be affected gone to supper, and there were only by the wine, you understand the two gentlemen snoring in their reinterest I have taken in you. I loved spective boxes. I saw a hand come Eliza (of course I don't mention quivering down from the ceiling family names). "I knew you had very pretty hand, on which was a that box which belonged to her - I ring with a coronet, with a lion ramwill give you what you like for that pant gules for a crest. I saw that hand box. Name your price at once, and take a dip of ink and write across the I pay you on the spot."
paper. Mr. Pinto, then, taking a Why, when we came out, you gray receipt-stamp out of his blue said you had not sixpence in your leather pocket-book, fastened it on to pocket.”
the paper by the usual process; and “ Bah! give you any thing you like the hand then wrote across the receipt - fifty
a hundred tausend stamp, went across the table and pound.”
shook hands with Pinto, and then, as Come, come,” said I, “ the gold if waving him an adieu, vanished in of the box may be worth nine guin- I the direction of the ceiling.
There was the paper before me, I ly acceded, reminding him, by the wet with the ink. There was the pen way, that he had not yet told me the which THE HAND had used. Does story of the headless man. anybody doubt me? I have that pen
À cedar-stick of a not uncom “Your poor gr-ndm-ther was right mon sort, and holding one of Gillott's just now, when she said she was not pens. It is in my inkstand now, I my first love. 'Twas one of those tell you. Anybody may see it. The banale expressions” (here Mr. P. handwriting on the check, for blushed once more) “which we use such the document was, was the writ- to women. We tell each she is our ing of a female. It ran thus : first passion. They reply with a “ London, midnight, March 31, 1862. similar illusory formula. No man is Pay the bearer one thousand and fifty any woman's first love; no woman pounds. Rachel Sidonia. To Messrs. any man's. We are in love in our Sidonia, Pozzosanto and Co., Lon- nurse's arms, and women coquette don."
with their eyes before their tongue “Noblest and best of women !" can form a word. How could your said Pinto, kissing the sheet of paper lovely relative love me? I was far, far with much reverence. “My good Mr. too old for her. I am older than I Roundabout, I suppose you do not look. I am so old that you would question that signature ?
not believe my age were I to tell you. Indeed, the house of Sidonia, Poz- I have loved many and many a wozosanto, and Co., is known to be one man before your relative. It has not of the richest in Europe, and as for always been fortunate for them to the Countess Rachel, she was known love me. Ah, Sophronia ! Round to be the chief manager of that enor- the dreadful circus where you fell, mously wealthy establishment. There and whence I was dragged corpsewas only one little difficulty, the like by the heels, there sat multitudes Countess Rachel died last October. more savage than the lions which
I pointed out this circumstance, and mangled your sweet form! Ah, tossed over the paper to Pinto with a tenez ! when we marched to the tersneer.
rible stake together at Valladolid “ C'est a brendre ou à laisser,” he the Protestant and the J– But said with some heat. “You literary away with memory! Boy! it was men are all imprudent; but I did not happy for thy grandam that she loved tink you such a fool wie dis. Your me not. box is not worth twenty pound, and “During that strange period,” he I offer you a tausend because I know went on " when the teeming Time you want money to pay dat rascal was great with the revolution that Tom's college bills.” * (This strange was speedily to be born, I was on man actually knew that my scapegrace a mission in Paris with my excelTom has been a source of great ex- lent, my maligned friend, Cagliostro. pense and annoyance to me.) “You Mesmer was one of our band. I see money costs me nothing, and you seemed to occupy but an obscure rank refuse to take it! Once, twice; will in it: though, as you know, in secret you take this check in exchange for societies the humble man may be a your trunipery snuff-box?”
chief and director - the ostensible What could I do? My poor gran- leader but a puppet moved by unseen ny's legacy was valuable and dear to hands. Never mind who was chief, me, but after all a thousand guineas or who was second. Never mind my are not to be had every day. “ Be it age. It boots not to tell it; why a bargain," said I. "Shall we have shall I expose myself to your scornful a glass of wine on it?” says Pinto; incredulity
- or reply to your quesand to this proposal I also unwilling- tions in words that are familiar to
you, but which yet you cannot under- | dreadful fate befell poor Fatima. An stand? Words are symbols of things accident shortened her life. Poor which you know, or of things which thing! she had a foolish sister who you don't know. If you don't know urged her on. I always told her to them, to speak is idle.” (Here I beware of Ann. She died. They confess Mr. P. spoke for exactly said her brothers killed me. thirty-eight minutes, about physics, falsehood. Am I dead? If I were, metaphysics, language, the origin could I pledge you in this wine? and destiny of man, during which “ Was your name," I asked, quite time I was rather bored, and, to re- bewildered, “was your name, pray, lieve my ennui, drank a half glass or then, ever Blueb— ?" so of wine.) “LOVE, friend, is the “ Hush! the waiter will overhear fountain of youth! It may not hap- you. Methought we were speaking pen to me once-once in an age : but of Blanche de Béchamel. I loved when I love, then I am young, I her, young man. My pearls, and loved when I was in Paris. Bathilde, diamonds, and treasure, my wit, my Bathilde, I loved thee- ah, how wisdom, my passion, I flung them all fondly! Wine, I say, more wine! into the child's lap. I was a fool! Love is ever young.
I was a boy at Was strong Samson not as weak as the little feet of Bathilde de Béchamel I? Was Solomon the Wise much
- the fair, the fond, the fickle, ah, better when Balkis wheedled him? the false!” the strange old man's I said to the king - But enough agony was here really terrific, and he of that, I spake of Blanche de Béchshowed himself much more agitated amel. than he had been when speaking “ Curiosity was the poor child's about my gr-ndm-th-r.
foible. I could see, as I talked to “I thought Blanche might love her, that her thoughts were elsewhere
I could speak to her in the (as yours, my friend, have been absent language of all countries, and tell her once or twice to-night). To know the lore of all ages. I could trace the the secret of Masonry
was the wretched nursery legends which she loved up child's mad desire. With a thousand to their Sanscrit source, and whisper wiles, smiles, caresses, she strove to her the darkling mysteries of Egyp- to coax it from me — from me tian Magi. I could chant for her the ha! ha! wild chorus that rang in the dishev “I had an apprentice — the son of elled Eleusinian revel: I could tell a dear friend, who died by my side at her, and I would, the watchword Rossbach, when Soubise, with whose never known but to one woman, the army I happened to be, suffered a Saban Queen, which Hiram breathed dreadful defeat for neglecting my in the abysmal ear of Solomon – You advice. The young Chevalier Goby don't attend. Psha!
you have drunk de Mouchy was glad enough to serve too much wine!” Perhaps I may as as my clerk, and help in some chemwell own that I was not attending, ical experiments in which I was enfor he had been carrying on for about gaged with my friend Dr. Mesmer. fifty-seven minutes; and I don't like Bathilde saw this young man. Since a man to have all the talk to him women were, has it not been their self.
business to smile and deceive, to fon“Blanche de Béchamel was wild, dle and lure? Away! From the then, about this secret of Masonry. In very first it has been so !”
And as early, early days I loved, I married a my companion spoke, he looked as girl fair as Blanche, who, too, was wicked as the serpent that coiled tormented by curiosity, who, too, round the tree, and hissed a poisoned would peep into my closet - into the counsel to the first woman. only secret I guarded from her. Al “One evening I went, as was my
wont, to see Blanche. She was ra- | am scarcely uglier than Jack Wilkes. diant : she was wild with spirits : a We were members of the same club saucy triumph blazed in her blue eyes. at Medenham Abbey, Jack and I, and She talked, she rattled in her childish had many a merry night together. way. She uttered, in the course of Well, sir, I - Mary of Scotland knew her rhapsody, a hint, an intimation, me but as a little hunch-backed musicso terrible that the truth flashed across master; and yet, and yet, I think she me in a moment. Did I ask her? was not indifferent to her David Riz She would lie to me. But I know and she came to misfortune. They how to make falsehood impossible. all do they all do!” And I ordered her to go to sleep." “Sir, you are wandering from your
At this moment the clock (after point!” I said, with some severity. its previous convulsions) sounded For, really, for this old humbug to TWELVE. And as the new Editor* hint that he had been the baboon who of " The Cornhill Magazine "- and frightened the club at Medenham, he, I promise you, won't stand any that he had been in the Inquisition at
will only allow seven Valladolid — that under the name of pages, I am obliged to leave off at the D. Riz, as he called it, he had known VERY MOST INTERESTING POINT OF the lovely Queen of Scots — was a THE STORY.
little too much. “Sir," then I said, "you were speaking about a Miss de
Béchamel. I really have not time to PART III.
hear all your biography.” “ ARE you of our fraternity? I see * Faith, the good wine gets into my you are not. The secret which Made- head.” (I should think so, the old moiselle de Béchamel confided to me toper! Four bottles all but two in her mad triamph and wild hoyden glasses.) “ To return to poor Blanche. spirits — she was but a child, poor As I sat laughing, joking with her, thing, poor thing, scarce fifteen : she let slip a word, a little word, but I love them young-a folly not which filled me with dismay. Some unusual with the old ! (Here Mr. one had told her a part of the Secret Pinto thrust his knuckles into his -- the secret which has been divulged hollow eyes; and, I am sorry to say, scarce thrice in three thousand years so little regardful was he of personal - the Secret of the Freemasons. Do cleanliness, that his tears made streaks you know what happens to those unof white over his gnarled dark hands.) initiate who learn that secret ? to “Ah, at fifteen, poor child, thy fate those wretched men, the initiate who was terrible! Go to! It is not good reveal it?” to love me, friend. They prosper As Pinto spoke to me, he looked not who do. I divine you. You through and through me with his need not say what you are think- horrible piercing glance, so that I sat
quite uneasily on my bench. He conIn truth, I was thinking, if girls tinued : “Did I question her awake? fall in love with this sallow, hook- I knew she would lie to me. Poor nosed, glass-eyed, wooden-legged, child! I loved her no less because I dirty, hideous old man, with the did not believe a word she said. I sham teeth, they have a queer taste. loved her blue eye, her golden hair, That is what I was thinking.
her delicious voice, that was true in “ Jack Wilkes said the handsomest song, though when she spoke, false man in London had but half an hour's as Eblis ! You are aware that I start of him. And without vanity, I possess in rather a remarkable degree * Mr. Thackeray retired from the
what we have agreed to call the mesEditorship of "The Cornhill Magazine” meric power. I set the unhappy girl in March, 1862.
to sleep. Then she was obliged to