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Kind Uncle James was not at all afraid of little Roscy, whose pretty face and modest manners, and sweet songs, and blue eyes, cheered and soothed the old bachelor. Nor was Rosey's mother less agreeable and pleasant. She had married the captain (it was a love-match, against the will of her parents, who had destined her to be the third wife of old Dr. M'Mull) when very young. Many sorrows she had had, including poverty, the captain's imprisonment for debt, and his demise; but she was of a gay and lightsome spirit. She was but thrce-and-thirty years old, and looked five-and-twenty. She was active, brisk, jovial, and alert; and so good-looking, that it was a wonder she had not taken a successor to Captain Mackenzie. James Binnie cautioned his friend the Colonel against the attractions of the buxom syren; and laughingly would ask Clive how he would like Mis. Mackenzie for a mamaw!
Colonel Neweome felt himself very much at ease regarding his future prospects. He was very glad that his friend James was reconciled to his family, and hinted to Clive that the late Captain Mackenzie's extravagance had been the cause of the rupture between him and his brother-inlaw, who had helped that prodigal captain repeatedly during his life; and in spite of family quarrels, had never ceased to act generously to his widowed sister and her family. "But I think, Mr. Clive," said he, "that as Miss Rosa is very pretty, and you have a spare room at your studio, you had best take up your quarters in Charlotte Street as long as the ladies are living with us." Clive was nothing loth to be independent; but he showed himself to be a very good home-loving youth. He walked home to breakfast every morning, dined often, and spent the evenings with the family. Indeed, the house was a great deal more cheerful for the presence of the two pleasant ladies. Nothing could be prettier than to sec the two ladies tripping down stairs together, mamma's pretty arm round Rosey's pretty waist. Mamma's talk was perpetually of Rosey. That child was always gay, always good, always happy! That darling girl woke with a smile on her face—it was sweet to sec her! Uncle James, in his dry way, said, he dared to say it wat very pretty. "Go away, you droll, dear old kind Uncle James!" Rosey's mamma would cry out. "You old bachelors arc wicked old things!" Uncle James used to kiss Rosey very kindly and pleasantly. She was as modest, as gentle, as eager to please Colonel Neweome as any little girl could be. It was pretty to see her tripping across the room with his codee-cup; or peeling walnuts for him after dinner with her white, plump little fingers.
Mrs. Irons, the housekeeper, naturally detested Mrs. Mackenzie, and was jealous of her: though the latter did every thing to soothe and coax the govorness of the two gentlemen's establishment. She praised her dinners, delighted in her puddings, must beg Mrs. Irons to allow her to see one of those delicious puddings made, and to write the receipt for her, that Mrs. Mackenzie might use it
when she was away. It was Mrs. Irons' belief that Mrs. Mackenzie never intended to go away. She had no idecr of ladies, as were ladies, coming into her kitchen. The maids vowed that they heard Miss Rosa crying, and mamma scolding in her bedroom, for all she was so softspoken. How was that jug broke, and that chair smashed in the bedroom, that day there was such a awful row up there!
Mrs. Mackenzie played admirably, in the oldfashioned way, dances, reels, and Scotch and Irish tunes, the former of which filled James Binnie's soul with delectation. The good mother naturally desired that her darling should have a few good lessons of the piano while she was in London. Roscy was eternally strumming upon an instrument which had been taken up stairs for her special practice; and the Colonel, who was always seeking to do harmless jobs of kindness for his friends, bethought him of little Miss Cann, the governess at Ridley's, whom he recommended as an instructress. "Any body whom you recommend I'm sure, dear Colonel, we shall like," said Mrs. Mackenzie, who looked as black as thunder, and had probably intended to have Monsieur Quatremains or Signor Twankeydillo; and the little governess came to her pupil. Mrs. Mackenzie treated her very gruffly and haughtily at first; but as soon as she heard Miss Cann play, the widow was pacified, nay charmed. Monsieur Quatremains charged a guinea for three quarters of an hour; while Miss Cann thankfully took five shillings for an hour and a half; and the difference of twenty lessons, for which dear Uncle James paid, went into Mrs. Mackenzie's pocket, and thence probably on to her pretty shoulders and head in the shape of a fine silk dress and a beautiful French bonnet, in which Captain Goby said, upon his life, she didn't look twenty. ,
The little governess trotting home after her lesson would often look into Clive's studio in Charlotte Street, where her two boys, as she called Clive and J. J., were at work each at his easel. Clive used to laugh, and tell us who joked him about the widow and her daughter, what Miss Cann said about them. Mrs. Mack was not all honey it appeared. If Rosey played incorrectly, mamma flew at her with prodigious vehemence of language; and sometimes with a slap on poor Rosey's back. She must make Rosey wear tight boots, and stamp on her little feet if they refused to enter into the slipper. I blush for the indiscretion of Miss Cann; but she actually told J. J., that mamma insisted upon lacing her Ro tight, as nearly to choke the poor little lass. Rosey did not fight: Rosey always yielded; and the scolding over and the tears dried, would come simpering down stairs with mamma's arm round her waist, and her pretty, artless, happy smile for the gentlemen below. Besides the Scottish songs without musie, she sang ballads at the piano very sweetly. Mamma used to cry at these ditties. "That child's voice brings tears into my eyes, Mr. Neweome," she would say. "She has never known a moment's sorrow yet! Heaven grant, Heaven grant, she may be happy! But what shall I be when I lose her?"
"Why, my dear, wheu you lose Rosey, ye'll console yourself with Josey," says droll Mr. Binnie from the sofa, who perhaps saw the manotuvre of the widow.
The widow laughs heartily and really. She places a handkerchief over her mouth. She glances at her brother with a pair of eyes full of knowing mischief. "Ah, dear James," she says, "you don't know what it is to have a mother's feelings.
"I can partly understand them," says James. "Rosey, sing me that pretty little French song." Mrs. Mackenzie's attention to Clive was really quite atTecting. If any of his friends came to the house, she took them aside and praised Clive to them. The Colonel she adored. She had never met with such a man or seen such a manner. The manners of the Bishop of Tobago were beautiful, and he certainly had one of the softest and finest hands in the world , but not finer than Colonel Neweome's. "Look at his foot!" (and she put out her own, which was uneommonly pretty, and suddenly withdrew it, with an arch glance meant to represent a blush) "my shoe would fit it! When we were at Coventry Island, Sir Peregrine Blaody, who succeeded poor dear Sir Rawdon Crawley—I saw his dear boy was gazetted to a lieutenant-coloneley in the Guards last week—Sir Peregrine, who was one of the Prince of Wales's most intimate friends, was always said to have the finest manner and presence of any man of his,day . and very grand and noble he was, but I don't think he was equal to Colonel Neweome; I really don't think so. Do you tliink so, Mr. Honeyman! What a charming discourse that was last Sunday! I know there were two pair of eyes not dry in the church. I could not see the other people just for crying myself. O, but I wish wc could have you at Musselburgh! I was bred a Presbyterian of course; but in much traveling through the world with my dear husband, I came to love his church. At home we sit under Dr. McCraw, of course; but he is so awfully long! Four hours every Sunday at least, morning and afternoon! It nearly kills poor Rosey. Did you hear her voice at your church? The dear girl is delighted with the chants. Rosey, were you not delighted with the chants J"
If she is delighted with the chants, Honcyman is delighted with the chantress and her mamma. He dashes the fair hair from his brow: he sits down to the piano, and plays one or two of them, warbling a faint vocal accompaniment, and looking as if he would be lifted off the screw musiestool, and flutter up to the ceiling.
"O, it's just seraphic !" says the widow. "It's just the breath of incense, and the pealing of the organ at the Cathedral at Montreal. She was a wee wee child. She was born on the voyage out, and christened at sea. You remember, Goby."
"'Gad, I promised and vowed to teach her her catechism; but 'gad, I haven't," says Captain Goby. "We were between Montreal and Quebec for three years with the Hundredth, the Hundred and Twentieth Highlanders, and the Thirty
third Dragoon Guards a part of the time; Fipley commanded them, and a very jolly time we had. Much better than the West Indies, where a fellow's liver goes to the deuce with hot pickles and sangarcc. Mackenzie was a dev'lish wild fellow," whispers Captain Goby to his neighbor (the present biographer indeed), "and Mrs. Mack was— was as pretty a little woman as ever you set eyeson." (Captain Goby winks, and looks peculiarly sly as he makes this statement.) "Our regiment wasn't on your side of India, Colonel."
And in the interchange of such delightful remarks, and with music and song the evening passes away. "Since the house had been adorned by the fair presence of Mrs. Mackenzie and her daughter," Honcyman said, always gallant in behavior and flowery in expression, "it seemed as if spring had visited it. Its hospitality was invested with a new grace; its ever weleome little reunions were doubly charming. But why did did these ladies come, if they were to go away again? How—how would Mr. Binnie console himself (not to mention others), if they left him in solitude!"
"Wc have no wish to leave my brother James in solitude,'' eries Mrs. Mackenzie, frankly laughing. "We like London a great deal better than Musselburgh."
"O, that we do!" ejaculates the blushing Rosey.
"And we will stay as long as ever my brother will keep us," continues the widow.
"Uncle James is so kind and dear," says Rosey. "I hope he won't send me and mamma
"He were a brute—a savage, if he did!" cries Binnie, with glances of rapture toward the two pretty faces. Every body liked them. Binnie received their caresses very good-humoredly. The Colonel liked every woman under the sun. Clive laughed, and joked, and waltzed, alternately with Rosey and her mamma. The latter was the briskest partner of the two. The unsuspicious widow, poor dear innocent, would leave her girl at the painting-room, and go shopping herself; but little J. J. also worked there, being occupied with his second picture: and he was almost the only one of Clive's friends whom the widow did not like. She pronounced the quiet little painter a pert little obtrusive, under-bred creature.
In a word, Mrs. Mackenzie was, as the phrase is, "setting her cap" so openly at Clive, that none of us could avoid seeing her play: and Clive laughed at her simple manoeuvres as merrily as the rest. Sho was a merry little woman. We gave her and her pretty daughter a luncheon in Lamb Court, Temple; in Sibwrigbt's chambers— luncheon from Dick's Coffee House—ices and dessert from Partington's in the Strand. Miss Rosey, Mr. Sibwright, our neighbor in Lamb Court, and the Rev. Charles Honeyman sang very delightfully after lunch; there was quite a crowd of porters, laundresses, and boys to listen in the Court. Mr. Paley was disgusted with the noise we made—in fact, the party was perfectly successful. We all liked the widow, and if she did set her pretty ribbons at Clive, why should not she! We all liked the pretty, fresh, modest Rosey. Why, even the grave old benchers in the Temple church, when the ladies visited it on Sunday, winked their revered eyes with pleasure, as they looked at those two uncommonly smart, ,pretty, well-dressed, fashionable women. Ladies, go to the Temple church. You will see more young men, and receive more respectful attention there than in any place, except perhaps at Oxford or Cambridge. Go to the Temple church—not, of course, for the admiration which you will excite and which you can not help; but because the sermon is excellent, the choral services beautifully performed, and the church so interesting as a monument of the thirteenth century, and as it contains the tombs of those dear Knights Templars!
Mrs. Mackenzie could be grave or gay, according to her company: nor could any woman be of more edifying behavior when an occasional Scottish friend, bringing a letter from darling Josey, or a recommendatory letter from Josey's grandmother, paid a visit in Fitzroy Square. Little Miss Cann used to laugh and wink knowingly, saying, "You will never get back your bedroom, Mr. Clive. You may bo sure that Miss Josey will come in a few months; and perhaps old Mrs. Binnie, only no doubt she and her daughter do not agree. But the widow has taken possession of Uncle James; and she will carry off somebody else if I am not mistaken. Should you like a stepmother, Mr. Clive, or should you prefer a wife?"
Whether the fair lady tried her wiles upon Colonel Neweome the present writer has no certain means of ascertaining: but I think another image occupied his heart;. and this Circe tempted him no more than a score of other enchantresses who had tried their spells upon him. If she tried she failed. She was a very shrewd woman, quite frank in her talk when such frankness suited her. She said to me, " Colonel Neweome has had some great passion, once upon a time, I am sure of that, and has no more heart to give away. The woman who had his must have been a very lucky woman: though I dare say she did nbt value what she had; or did not live to enjoy it—or—or something or other. You see tragedies in some people's faces. I recollect when we were in Coventry Island—there was a chaplain there—a very good man—a Mr. Bell, and married to a pretty little woman who died. The first day I saw him I said,' I know that man has had a great grief in life. I am sure that he left his heart in England.' You gentlemen who write books, Mr. Pendennis, and stop at the third volume, know very well that the real story often begins afterward. My third volume ended when I was sixteen, and was married to my poor husband. Do you think all our adventures ended then, and that we lived happy ever after? I live for my darling girls now. All I want is to see them comfortable in life. Nothing can be more generous than my dear brother James has been. I am only his half-sister, you know, and was an infant in arms when he went sway. He
had differences with Captain Mackenzie, whewas headstrong and imprudent, and I own my poor dear husband was in the wrong. James could not live with my poor mother. Neither could by possibility suit the other. I have often, I own, longed to come and keep house for him. His home, the society he sees, of men of talents likeMr. Warrington and—and—I won't mention names, or pay compliments to a man who knows human nature so well as the author of' Walter Lorraine:' this house is pleasantcr a thousand times th>n Musselburgh—pleasanter for me and my dearest Rosey, whose delicate nature shrunk and withered up in poor mamma's society. She was never happy except in my room, the dear child! She's all gentleness and affection. She doesn't seem to show it; but she has the most wonderful appreciation of wit, of genius, and talent of all kinds. She always hides her feelings, except from her fond old mother. I went up into our room yesterday, and found her in tears. I can't bear to see her eyes red or to think of her suffering. I asked her what ailed her, and kissed her. She is a tender plant, Mr. Pendennis! Heaven knows with what care I have nurtured her! She looked up smiling on my shoulder. She looked so pretty !' 0, mamma,' the darling child said, 'I couldn't help it. I have been crying over " Walter Lorraine!"' (Enter Rosey.) "Rosey, darling! I have been telling Mr. Pendennis what a naughty, naughty child you were yesterday, and how you read a book which I told you you shouldn't read; for it is a very wiched book; and though it contains some sad, sad truths, it is a great deal too misanthropic (is that the right word? I'm a poor soldier's wife, and no scholar, you know), and a great deal too bitter; and though the Reviews praise it, and the clever people—ice are poor simple country people—wt won't praise it. Sing, dearest, that little song" (profuse kisses to Rosey) —" that pretty thing that Mr. Pendennis likes."
"I am sure that I will sing any thing that Mr. Pendennis likes," says Rosey, with her candid bright eyes; and she goes to the piano and warbles Batti, Batti, with her sweet fresh artless voice.
More caresses follow. Mamma is in a rapture. How pretty they look—the mother and daughter —two lilies twining together. The necessity of an entertainment at the Temple — lunch from Dick's (as before mentioned), dessert from Partington's, Sibwright's spoons, his boy to aid ours —nay, Sib himself, and his rooms, which are so much more elegant than ours, and where there is a piano and guitar: all these thoughts pass in rapid and brilliant combination in the pleasant Mr. Pendennis's mind. How delighted the ladies are with the proposal! Mrs. Mackenzie claps her pretty hands, and kisses Rosey again. If osculation is a mark of love, surely Mrs. Mack is the best of mothers. I may say, without false modesty, that our little entertainment was most successful. The Champagne was iced to a nicety. The ladies did not perceive that our laundress, Mrs. Flanagan, was intoxicated very early
m the afternoon. Percy Sibwright sang admira* bly, and with the greatest spirit, ditties in many languages. I am sure Miss Rosey thought him (as indeed he is) one of the most fascinating young fellows about town. To her mother's excellent accompaniment Rosey sang her favorite songs (by the way, her stock was very small— five, I think, was the number). Then the table was moved into- a corner, where the quivering moulds of jelly seemed to keep time to the music; and while Percy played, two couple of waltzers actually whirled round the little room. No wonder that the court below was thronged with admirers, that Paley, the reading man, was in a rage, and Mrs. Flanagan in a state of excitement. Ah! pleasant days, happy old dingy chambers illuminated by youthful sunshine! merry songs and kind faces—it is pleasant to recall yon. Some of those bright eyes shine no more: some of those smiling lips do not speak. Soma are not less kind, but sadder than in those days; of which the memories revisit us for a moment, and sink back into the gray past. The dear old Colonel beat time with great delight to the songs; the widow lit his cigar with her own fair fingers. That was the only smoke permitted during the entertainment—George Warrington himself not being allowed to use his cutty-pipe—though the gay little widow said that she had been used to smoking in the West Indies, and I dare say spoke the truth. Our entertainment lasted actually until after dark: and a particularly neat cab being called from St. Clement's by Mr. Binnie's boy, you may be sure we all conducted the ladies to their vehicle: and many a fellow returning from his lonely club that evening into chambers must have envied us the pleasure of having received two such beauties.
The clerical bachelor was not to be outdone by the gentlemen of the bar; and the entertainment at the Temple was followed by one at Honeyman's lodgings, which, I must own, greatly exceeded ours in splendor, for Honeyman had his luncheon from Gunter's; and if he had been Miss Rosey's mother, giving a breakfast to the dear girl on her marriage, the affair could not have been more elegant and handsome. We had but two bouquets at our entertainment; at Honeyman's there were four upon the breakfast-table, besides a great pine-apple, which must have cost the rogue three or four guineas, and which Percy Sibwright delicately cut up. Rosey thought the pine-apple delicious. "The dear thing does not remember the pine-apples in the West Indies!" cries Mrs. Mackenzie; and she gave us many exciting narratives of entertainments at which she had been present at various colonial governors' tables. After luncheon, our host hoped we should have a little music. Dancing, of course, could not be allowed. "That," said Honeyman, with his "soft-bleating sigh," "were scarcely clerical. You know, besides, you are in a hermitage; and (with a glance round the table) must put up with Cenobite's fare." The fare was, as I have said, excellent. The wine was bad, as George, and I, and Sib agreed; and in
so far we flattered ourselves that our feast altogether excelled the parson's. The Champagne especially was such stuff, that Warrington remarked on it to his neighbor, a dark gentleman, with a tuft to his chin, and splendid rings and chains.
The dark gentleman's wife and daughter were the other two ladies invited by our host. The elder was splendidly dressed. Poor Mrs. Mackenzie's simple gimeracks, though she displayed them to the most advantage, and could make an ormolu bracelet go as far as another woman's emerald clasps, were as nothing compared to the other lady's gorgeous jewelry. Her fingers glittered with rings innumerable. The head of her smelling-bottle was as big as her husband's gold snuff-box, and of the same splendid material. Our ladies, it must be confessed, came in a modest cab from Fitzroy Square; these arrived in a splendid little open carriage with white ponies, and harness all over brass, which the lady of the rings drove with a whip that was a parasol. Mrs. Mackenzie, standing at Honeyman's window, with her arm round Rosey's waist, viewed this arrival perhaps with envy. "My dear Mr. Honeyman, whose arc those beautiful horses V cries Rosey, with enthusiasm.
The divine says with a faint blush—" It is— ah—it is Mrs. Sherrick and Miss Sherrick, who have done me the favor to come to luncheon."
t'Wine merchant. Oh!" thinks Mrs. Mackenzie, who has seen Sherrick's brass-plate on the cellar-door of Lady Whittlesea's chapel; and hence, perhaps, she was a trifle more magniloquent than usual, and entertained us with stories of colonial governors and their ladies, mentioning no persons but those who "had handles to their names," as the phrase is.
Although Sherrick had actually supplied the Champagne which Warrington abused to him in confidence, the wine-merchant was not wounded; on the contrary, he roared with laughter at the remark, and some of us smiled who understood the humor of the joke. As for George Warrington, he scarce knew more about the town than the ladies opposite to him, who, yet more innocent than George, thought the Champagne very good. Mrs. Sherrick was silent during the meal, looking constantly up at her husband, as if alarmed and always in the habit of appealing to that gentleman, who gave her, as I thought, knowing glances and savage winks, which made me augur that he bullied her at home. Miss Sherrick was exceedingly handsome: she kept the fringed curtains of her eyes constantly down; but when she lifted them up toward Clive, who was very attentive to her (the rogue never sees a handsome woman, but to this day he continues the same practice)—when she looked up and smiled, she was indeed a beautiful young creature to behold—with her pale forehead, her thick arched eyebrows, her rounded cheeks, and her full lips slightly shaded—how shall I mention the word?—slightly penciled, after the manner of the lips of the French governess, Mademoiselle Lenoir.
Percy Sibwright engaged Miss Mackenzie with bis usual grace and affability. Mrs. Mackenzie did her very utmost to be gracious; but it was evident the party was not altogether to her liking. Poor Percy, about whose means and expectations she had in the most natural way in the world asked information from me, was not perhaps a very eligible admirer for darling Rosey. She knew not that Percy can no more help gallantry than the sun can help shining. As soon as Rosey had done eating up her pine-apple, artlessly confessing (to Percy Sibwright's inquiries) that she preferred it to the rasps and hinnyblobs in her grandmamma's garden, "Now, dearest Rosey," cries Mrs. Mack, " now, a little song. You promised Mr. Pendennis a littlo song." Honeyman whisks open the piano in a moment. The widow takes off her cleaned gloves (Mrs. Sherrick's were new, and of the best Paris make), and little Rosey sings, No. 1 followed by No. 2, with very great applause. Mother and daughter entwine as they quit the piano. "Brava! brava!" says Percy Sibwright. Does Mr. Clive Noweome say nothing? His back is turned to the piano, and he is looking with all his might into the eyes of Miss Sherrick.
Percy sings a Spanish seguidella, or a German lied, or a French romance, or a Neapolitan canzonet, which, I am bound to say, excites very little attention. Mrs. Ridley is sending in coffee
at this juncture, of which Mrs. Sherrick partakes, with lots of sugar, as she has partaken of numberless things before. Chickens, plover's eggs, prawns, aspies, jellies, creams, grapes, and what not. Mr. Honeyman advances, and with deep respect asks if Mrs. Sherrick and Miss Sherrick will not be persuaded to sing. She rises and bows, and again takes off the French gloves, and shows the large white hands glittering with rings, and, summoning Emily her daughter, they go to the piano.
"Can she sing?" whispers Mrs. Mackenzie, "can she sing after eating so much?" Can she sing, indeed! O, you poor ignorant Mrs. Mackenzie! Why, when you were in the West Indies, if you ever read the English newspapers, you must have read of the fame of Miss Folthorpe. Mrs. Sherrick is no other than the famous artist, who, after three years of brilliant triumphs at the Scala, the Pergola, the San Carlo, the opera in England, forsook her profession, rejected a hundred suitors, and married Sherrick, who was Mr. Cox's lawyer, who failed, as every body knows, as manager of Drury Lane. Sherrick, like a man of spirit, would not allow his wife to sing in public after his marriage ; but in private society, of course, she is weleome to perform: and now, with her daughter, who possesses a noble contralto voice, she takes her place royally at the piano, and the two sing so magnificently that every