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THE FITZ-BOODLE PAPERS.*
a cocktail), - I was, I say, forced to GEORGE FITZ-BOODLE, ESQUIRE, TO give him up my cob'in exchange for OLIVER YORKE, ESQUIRE.
four ponies which I owed him. Thus,
as I never walk, being a heavy man Omnium Club, May 20, 1842. whom nobody cares to mount, my EAR SIR, - I have always been time hangs heavily on my hands; and player in Europe, and (though never - a bachelor's lodgings and as I betting more than five pounds) have have nothing earthly to do now until for many years past added consider- I can afford to purchase another horse, ably to my yearly income by my skill I spend my time in sauntering from in the game, until the commencement one club to another, passing many of the present season, when a French rather listless hours in them before gentleman, Monsieur Lalouette, was the men come in. admitted to the club where I usually You will say, Why not take to play. His skill and reputation were backgammon, or écarté, or so great, that no men of the club were yourself with a book? Sir (putting inclined to play against us two of a out of the question the fact that I do side; and the consequence has been, not play upon credit), I make a point that we have been in a manner pitted never to play before candles are lightagainst one another. By a strange ed ; and as for books, I must candidturn of luck (for I cannot admit the ly confess to you I am not a reading idea of his superiority), Fortune, man. 'Twas but the other day that since the Frenchman's arrival, has some one recommended me to read been almost constantly against me, your Magazine after dinner, saying it and I have lost two and thirty nights contained an exceedingly witty article in the course of a couple score of upon — I forget what. I give you nights' play.
my honor, sir, that I took up the Everybody knows that I am a poor work at six, meaning to amuse myman; and so much has Lalouette's self till seven, when Lord Trumpingluck drained my finances, that only ton's dinner was to come off, and last week I was obliged to give him egad! in two minutes I fell asleep, that famous gray cob on which you and never woke till midnight. Nohave seen me riding in the Park (I body ever thought of looking for me can't afford a thorough-bred, and hate in the library, where nobody ever
* “The Fitz-Boodle Papers ” first appeared in “ Fraser's Magazine” for the year 1842.
goes; and so ravenously hungry was course, I don't know; but you will I, that I was obliged to walk off to remember that Richelieu and MarlCrockford's for supper.
borough could not spell, and, egad! What is it that makes you literary I am an honest man, and desire to be persons so stupid? I have met_vari- no better than they. I know that it ous individuals in society who I was is the matter, and not the manner, told were writers of books, and that which is of importance. Have the sort of thing, and, expecting rather goodness, then, to let one of your to be amused by their conversation, understrappers correct the spelling have invariably found them dull to a and the grammar of my papers; and degree, and as for information, with you can give him a few shillings in out a particle of it. Sir, I actually my name for his trouble. asked one of these fellows, “What Begging you to accept the assurwas the nick to seven?” and he stared ance of my high consideration, I am, in my face, and said he didn't know. sir, He was hugely over-dressed in satin, Your obedient servant, rings, chains, and so forth; and at GEORGE SAVAGE Fitz-BOODLE. the beginning of dinner was disposed to be rather talkative and pert; but
By the way, I have said in my little sally silenced him, I promise my letter that I found all literary peryou, and got up a good laugh at his sons vulgar and dull. Permit me to expense too.
" Leave George alone,” contradict this with regard to yoursaid little Lord Cinqbars, " I warrant self. I met you once at Blackwall, he'll be a match for any of you literary I think it was, and really did not fellows." Cinqbars is no great wise- remark any thing offensive in your acre; but, indeed, it requires no great accent or appearance. wiseacre to know that.
What is the simple deduction to be BEFORE commencing the series of drawn from this truth? Why, this moral disquisitions, &c., which I in
- that a man to be amusing and tend, the reader may as well know well-informed, has no need of books who I am, and what my past conrse at all, and had much better go to the of life has been. To say that I am a world and to men for his knowledge. Fitz-Boodle is to say at once that I There was Ulysses, now, the Greek am a gentleman. Our family has fellow engaged in the Trojan war, as held the estate of Boodle ever since I dare say you know; well, he was the reign of Henry II. ; and it is out the cleverest man possible, and how ? of no ill will to my elder brother, or From having seen men and cities, unnatural desire for his death, but their manners noted and their realms only because the estate is a very good surveyed, to be sure. So have I. I one, that I wish heartily it was mine: have been in every capital, and can I would say as much of Chatsworth order a dinner in every language in or Eton Hall. Europe.
I am not, in the first place, what is My notion, then, is this. I have a called a ladies' man, having contractgreat deal of spare time on my hands, ed an irrepressible habit of smoking and as I am told you pay a handsome after dinner, which has obliged me to sum to persons writing for you, I will give up a great deal of the dear creafurnish you occasionally with some tures' society; nor can I go much to of my views upon men and things; country-houses for the same reason. occasional histories of my acquaint- Say what they will, ladies do not like ance, which I think may amuse you ; you to smoke in their bed-rooms; personal narratives of my own ; es- their silly little noses scent out the says, and what not. I am told that odor upon the chintz, weeks after you I do not spell correctly. This, of havę left them. Sir John has been
caught coming to bed particularly beard, the women of the harem do not merry and redolent of cigar-smoke; disturb his meditations, but only add young George, from Eton, was abso- to the delight of them by tinkling on lutely found in the little green-house a dulcimer and dancing before him. puffing an Havanna; and when dis- When Professor Strumpff of Göttincovered, they both lay the blame upon gen takes down No. 13 from the wall, Fitz-Boodle. “ It was Mr. Fitz-Boo- with a picture of Beatrice Cenci upon dle, mamma, says George, “who it, and which holds a pound of canasoffered me the cigar, and I did not like ter, the Frau Professorin kuows that to refuse him.” “ That rascal Fitz for two hours Hermann is engaged, seduced us, my dear,” says Sir John, and takes up her stockings and knits " and kept us laughing until past mid- in quiet. The constitution of French night.” Her ladyship instantly sets society has been quite changed within me down as a person to be avoided. the last twelve years : an ancient and
George,” whispers she to her boy, respectable dynasty has been over
promise me, on your honor, when thrown; an aristocracy which Napoyou go to town, not to know that leon could never master has disapman.'
And when she enters the peared : and from what cause? I do breakfast-room for prayers, the first not hesitate to say, -- from the habit of greeting is a peculiar expression of sinoking. Ask any man whether, five countenance, and inhaling of breath, years before the revolution of July, if by which my lady indicates the pres- you wanted a cigar at Paris, they did ence of some exceedingly disagreeable not bring you a roll of tobacco with a odor in the room. She makes you straw in it? Now, the whole city the faintest of courtesies, and regards smokes ; society is changed; and be you, if not with a flashing eye,” as sure of this, ladies, a similar combat in the novels, at least with a “dis- is going on in this country at present tended nostril.” During the whole between cigar-smoking and you. Do of the service, her heart is filled with you suppose you will conquer ? Look the blackest gall towards you; and over the wide world, and see that she is thinking about the best means your adversary has overcome it. Gerof getting you out of the house. many has been puffing for threescore
What is this smoking that it should years; France smokes to a man. Do be considered a crime? I believe in you think you can_keep the enemy my heart that women are jealous of out of England ? Psha! look at his it, as of a rival. They speak of it as progress. Ask the club-houses, Have of some secret, awful vice that seizes they smoking-rooms, or not? Are upon a man, and makes him a pariah they not obliged to yield to the genefrom genteel society, I would lay a ral want of the age, in spite of the guinea that many a lady who has just resistance of the old women on the been kind enough to read the above committees ? I, for my part, do not lines lays down the book, after this despair to see a bishop lolling out of confession of mine that I am a smoker, “The Atheneum" with a cheroot in and says, “Oh, the vulgar wretch !” his mouth, or, at any rate, a pipe stuck and passes on to something else. in his shovel-hat.
The fact is, that the cigar is a But as in all great causes and in rival to the ladies, and their conqueror promulgating new and illustrious the
In the chief pipe-smoking na-ories, their first propounders and extions they are kept in subjection. ponents are generally the victims of While the chief, Little White Belt, their enthusiasm, of course the first smokes, the women are silent in his preachers of smoking have been wigwam ; while Mahomet Ben Jaw. martyrs, too; and George Fitzbrahim causes volumes of odorous in- Boodle is one. The first gas-man cense of Latakia to play round his was ruined; the inventor of steam
engine printing became a pauper. I sprung towards that unfortunate began to smoke in days when the person, to set him an imposition. task was one of some danger, and paid Every thing, in fact, but tobacco he the penalty of my crime. I was could forgive. · Why did cursed forflogged most fiercely for my first tune bring him into the rooms over cigar; for, being asked to dine one mine? The odor of the cigars made Sunday evening with a half-pay his gentle spirit quite furious; and colonel of dragoons (the gallant, one luckless morning, when I was simple, humorous Shortcut - heaven standing before my oak," and bless him! - I have had many a chanced to puff a great bouffée of guinea from him who had so few), he Varinas into his face, he forgot his insisted upon my smoking in his room respect for my family altogether (I
The Salopian," and the conse was the second son, and my brother quence was, that I became so violent- a sickly creature then, — he is now ly ill as to be reported intoxicated sixteen stone in weight, and has a upon my return to Slaughter-House half-score of children); gave me a School, where I was a boarder, and I severe lecture, to which I replied was whipped the next morning for rather hotly, as was my wont. And my peccadillo. At Christ Church, then came demand for an apology; one of our tutors was the celebrated refusal on my part; appeal to the lamented Otto Rose, who would have dean; convocation; and rustication been a bishop under the present Gov- of George Savage Fitz-Boodle. ernment, had not an immoderate My father had taken a second wife indulgence in water-gruel cut short (of the noble house of Flintskinner), his elegant and useful career. He and Lady Fitz-Boodle detested smok was a good man, a pretty scholar and ing, as a woman of her high principoet (the episode upon the discovery ples should. She had an entire of eau-de-Cologne, in his prize-poem mastery over the worthy old gentleon “ The Rhine,” was considered a man, and thought I was a sort of masterpiece of art, though I am not demon of wickedness. The old man much of a judge myself upon such went to his grave with some similar matters), and he was as remarkable for notion, - heaven help him! and left his fondness for a tuft as for his ner- me but the wretched twelve thousand vous antipathy to tobacco. As ill- pounds secured to me on my poor luck would have it, my rooms (in mother's property.
Tom Quad) were exactly under his; In the army, my luck was much thu and I was grown by this time to be a same. I joined the --th Lancers, confirmed smoker. I was a baronet's Lieut.-Col. Lord Martingale, in the son (we are of James the First's year 1817. I only did duty with the creation), and I do believe our tutor regiment for three months.
We were could have pardoned any crime in the quartered at Cork, where I found the world but this. He had seen me in a Irish doodheen and tobacco the tandem, and at that moment was pleasantest smoking possible; and seized with a violent fit of sneezing was found by his lordship, one day (sternutatory paroxysm he called it) upon stable duty, smoking the short
at the conclusion of which I was a est, dearest little dumpy clay-pipe in mile down the Woodstock Road, He the world. had seen me in pink, as we used to “ Cornet Fitz-Boodle," said my call it, swaggering in the open sun-lord, in a towering passion, “from shine across a grass-plat in the court; what blackguard did you get that but spied out opportunely a servitor, pipe ?” one Todhunter by name, who was I omit the oaths which garnished going to morning chapel with his invariably his lordship’s conversation. shoestring untied, and forthwith “I got it, my lord," said I, “from