페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

pistol at his breast. Murderer, poisoner, Brin- ! There is this at least to be said, that if the Duc villiers, a hundred more such epithets he used d'Ivry did die he was a very old gentleman, and against his kinswoman, regretting that the good had been a great viveur for at least threescore old times were past-that there was no Chambre years of his life. As Prince de Moncontour in Ardente to try her, and no rack and wheel to give his father's time before the Revolution, during her her due.

the Emigration, even after the Restoration M. le The biographer of the Newcomes has no need Duc had vécu with an extraordinary vitality. He (although he possesses the fullest information) to had gone through good and bad fortune ; extreme touch upon the Duchesse's doings, further than as poverty, display and splendor, affairs of love-afthey relate to that most respectable English fam- | fairs of honor-and of one disease or another a ily. When the Duke took his wife into the man must die at the end. After the Baden busicountry, Floraç never hesitated to say that to live ness—and he had dragged off his wife to Chamwith her was dangerous for the old man, and to pagne—the Duke became greatly broken; he cry out to his friends of the Boulevards or the brought his little daughter to a convent at Paris, Jockey Club, “ Ma parole d'honneur, cette fem- putting the child under the special guardianship me la tuera!"

of Madame de Florac, with whom and with whose Do you know, O gentle and unsuspicious read-family in these latter days the old chief of the ers, or have you ever reckoned as you have made house effected a complete reconciliation. The your calculation of society, how many most re- Duke was now forever coming to Madame de spectable husbands help to kill their wives—how Florac; he poured all his wrongs and griefs into many respectable wives aid in sending their hus- her ear with garrulous senile eagerness. “That bands to Hades? The wife of a chimney-sweep little Duchesse is a Médée, a monstre, a femme or a journeyman butcher comes shuddering before d’Eugène Sue," the Vicomte used to say ; "the a police magistrate-her head bound up-her poor old Duke he cry—ma parole d'honneur, he body scarred and bleeding with wounds, which cry and I cry too when he comes to recount to the drunken ruffian, her lord, has administered: my poor mother, whose sainted heart is the asile a poor shopkeeper or mechanic is driven out of of all griefs, a real Hôtel Dieu, my word the most his home by the furious ill-temper of the shrill sacred, with beds for all the afflicted, with sweet virago his wife-takes to the public-house-to words, like Sisters of Charity, to minister to them evil courses-to neglecting his business-to the -I cry, inon bon Pendennis, when this vieillard gin-bottle-to delirium-tremens — to perdition. tells his stories about his wife and tears his white Bow Street, and policemen, and the newspaper hairs to the feet of my mother." reporters, have cognizance and a certain jurisdic- When the little Antoinette was separated by tion over these vulgar matrimonial crimes; but her father from her mother, the Duchesse d'Ivry, in politer company how many murderous assaults it might have been expected that that poetess are there by husband or wife-where the woman would have dashed off a few more cris de l'âme, is not felled by the actual fist, though she stag- shrieking according to her wont, and baring and gers and sinks under blows quite as cruel and beating that shriveled maternal bosom of hers, effectual; where, with old wounds yet unhealed, from which her child had been just torn. The which she strives to hide under a smiling face child skipped and laughed to go away to the confrom the world, she has to bear up and to be vent. It was only when she left Madame de stricken down and to rise to her feet again, under | Florac that she used to cry; and when urged by fresh daily strokes of torture ; where the husband, that good lady to exhibit a little decorous sentifond and faithful, has to suffer slights, coldness, ment in writing to her mamma, Antoinette would insult, desertion, his children sneered away from ask, in her artless way, * Pourquoi ? Mamma used their love for him, his friends driven from his never to speak to me except sometimes before the door by jealousy, his happiness strangled, his world, before ladies that understands itself. When whole life embittered, poisoned, destroyed! If her gentleman came, she put me to the door; she you were acquainted with the history of every gave me tapes, o oui, she gave me tapes! I cry family in your street, don't you know that in two no more; she has so much made to cry M. le Duc, or three of the houses there such tragedies have that it is quite enough of one in a family.” So been playing? Is not the young mistress of Madame la Duchesse d'Ivry did not weep, even Number 20 already pining at her husband's de- in print, for the loss of her pretty little Antoinsertion? The kind master of Number 30 racking ette; besides, she was engaged, at that time, by his fevered brains and toiling through sleepless other sentimental occupations. A young grazier nights to pay for the jewels on his wife's neck, of their neighboring town, of an aspiring mind and the carriage out of which she ogles Lothario and remarkable poetic talents, engrossed the Duchin the park? The fate under which man or wo-esse's platonic aflections at this juncture. When man falls, blow of brutal tyranny, heartless de- he had sold his beasts at market, he would ride sertion, weight of domestic care too heavy to bear over and read Rousseau and Schiller with Ma

are not blows such as these constantly striking dame la Duchesse, who formed him. His pretty people down! In this long parenthesis we are young wife was rendered miserable by all these wandering ever so far away from M. le Duc and readings, but what could the poor little ignorant Madame la Duchesse d'Ivry, and from the viva-countrywoman know of Platonism? Faugh! cious Florac's statement regarding his kinsman, there is more than one woman we see in society that that woman will kill him.

smiling about from house to house, pleasant and

[ocr errors]

sentimental and formosa supernè enough; but I ing boys was led away. They understood very fancy a fish's tail is flapping under her fine well who the personage was who had come to flounces, and a forked fin at the end of it! disturb the matrimonial ceremony; it did not

commence until Mrs. De Lacy (as this lady chose Finer flounces, finer bonnets, more lovely to be called), had quitted this temple of Hymen. wreaths, more beautiful lace, smarter carriages, She slunk through the throng of emblazoned carbigger white bows, larger footmen, were not seen, riages, and the press of footmen arrayed as splenduring all the season of 18–, than appeared round | didly as Solomon in his glory, John jeered at about St. George's, Hanover Square, in the beau- Thomas, William turned his powdered head, and tiful month of June succeeding that September signaled Jeames, who answered with a cortewhen so many of our friends, the Newcomes, sponding grin, as the woman with sobs, and wild were assembled at Baden. Those flaunting car- imprecations, and frantic appeals, made her way riages, powdered and favored footmen, were in through the splendid crowd, escorted by her aids attendance upon members of the Newcome fam- de-camp in blue. I dare say her little history ily and their connections, who were celebrating was discussed at many a dinner-table that day in what is called a marriage in high life in the tem- the basement story of several fashionable houses. ple within. Shall we set down a catalogue of I know that at clubs in St. James's, the facetious the dukes, marquises, earls, who were present ; little anecdote was narrated. A young fellow cousins of the lovely bride? Are they not al. came to Bays's after the marriage breakfast and ready in the Morning Herald, and Court Jour- mentioned the circumstance with funny comnal, as well as in the Newcome Chronicle and ments; although the Morning Post, in describing Independent, and the Dorking Intelligencer and this affair in high life, naturally omitted all menChanticleer Weekly Gazette? There they are, tion of such low people as Mrs. De Lacy and her all printed at full length sure enough; the name children. of the bride, Lady Clara Pulleyn, the lovely and Those people who knew the noble families accomplished daughter of the Earl and Countess whose union had been celebrated by such a proof Dorking; of the beautiful bridesmaids, the fusion of grandees, fine equipages, and footmen, Ladies Henrietta Belinda Adelaide Pulleyn, Miss brass bands, brilliant toilets, and wedding favors, Newcome, Miss Alice Newcome, Miss Maude asked how it was that Lord Kew did not assist Newcome, Miss Anna Maria (Hodson) New- at Barnes Newcome's marriage: other persons come; and all the other persons engaged in the in society inquired waggishly why Jack Belsize ceremony. It was performed by the Right Hon was not present to give Lady Clara away. orable Viscount Gallow glass, Bishop of Bally- As for Jack Belsize, his clubs had not been shannon, brother-in-law to the bride, assisted by ornamented by his presence for a year past. It the Honorable and Reverend Hercules O'Grady, was said he had broken the bank at Hombourg his lordship's Chaplain, and the Reverend John last autumn; had been heard of during the winBulders, Rector of St. Mary's, Newcome. Then ter at Milan, Venice, and Vienna; and when a follow the names of all the nobility who were few months after the marriage of Barnes Newpresent, and of the noble and distinguished per come and Lady Clara, Jack's elder brother died, sonages who signed the book. Then comes an and he himself became the next in succession to account of the principal dresses, chefs-d'æuvre of the title and estates of Highgate, many folks said Madame Crinoline ; of the bride's coronal of bril!- it was a pity little Barney's marriage had taken iants, supplied by Messrs. Morr and Stortimer; / place so soon. Lord Kew was not present, beof the vail of priceless Chantilly lace, the gift of cause Kew was still abroad; he had had a gamthe Dowager Countess of Kew. Then there is a bling duel with a Frenchman, and a narrow squeak description of the wedding breakfast at the house for his life. He had turned Roman Catholic, of the bride's noble parents, and of the cake, dec- some men said; others vowed that he had joined orated by Messrs. Gunter with the most delicious the Methodist persuasiorr, At all events Kew taste and the sweetest hymenial allusions. | bad given up his wild courses, broken with the

No mention was made by the fashionable chron- turf, and sold his stud off; he was delicate yet, icler, of a slight disturbance which occurred at and his mother was taking care of him; between St. George's, and which indeed was out of the whom and the old dowager of Kew, who had province of such a genteel purveyor of news. made up Barney's marriage, as every body knew, Before the marriage service began, a woman of there was no love lost. vulgar appearance, and disorderly aspect, accom- Then who was the Prince de Moncontour, who, panied by two scared children who took no part with his princess, figured at this noble marriage? in the disorder occasioned by their mother's pro | There was a Moncontour, the Duc d'Ivry's son, ceeding, except by their tears and outcries to but he died at Paris before the revolution of '30 : augment the disquiet, made her appearance in one or two of the oldsters at Bays's, Major Penone of the pews of the church, was noted there dennis, General Tufto, old Cackleby-the old by persons in the vestry, was requested to retire fogies in a word -- remembered the Duke of by a beadle, and was finally induced to quit the Ivry when he was here during the Emigration, sacred precincts of the building by the very stron- and when he was called Prince de Moncontour, gest persuasion of a couple of policemen ; X and the title of the eldest son of the family. Ivry Y laughed at one another, and nodded their heads was dead, having buried his son before him, and knowingly as the poor wretch with her whimper- having left only a daughter by that young woman whom he married, and who led him such a life., well furnished with the current coin of the realm. Who was this present Moncontour?

Without making any show of wealth, he would, He was a gentleman to whom the reader has at first, cheerfully engage in our little parties : already been presented, though when we lately his lodgings in the neighborhood of Leicester saw him at Baden, he did not enjoy so magnifi- Square, though dingy, were such as many noble cent a title. Early in the year of Barnes New. foreign exiles have inhabited. It was not until come's marriage, there came to England, and to he refused to join some pleasure-trip which we our modest apartment in the Temple, a gentle- of Lamb Court proposed, honestly confessing his man bringing a letter of recommendation from poverty, that we were made aware of the Viaur dear young Clive, who said that the bearer, comte's little temporary calamity; and, as we the Vicomte de Florac, was a great friend of his, became more intimate with him, he acquainted and of the Colonel's, who had known his family us, with great openness, with the history of all from boyhood. A friend of our Clive and our his fortunes. He described energetically that Colonel was sure of a welcome in Lamb Court; splendid run of luck which had set in at Baden we gave him the hand of hospitality, thc best with Clive's loan; his winnings, at that fortunate cigar in the box, the easy chair with only one period, had carried him through the winter with broken leg; the dinner in chambers and at the considerable brilliancy; but Bouillotte and Madeclub, the banquet at Greenwich (where, ma foi, moiselle Atala, of the Variétés (une ogresse, mon the little whites baits elicited his profound satis- cher ! who devours thirty of our young men every faction); in a word, did our best to honor that year in her cavern, in the Rue de Bréda), had bill which our young Clive had drawn upon us. declared against him, and the poor Vicomte's We considered the young one in the light of a pockets were almost empty when he came to nephew of our own; we took a pride in him, and London. were fond of him; and as for the Colonel, did He was amiably communicative regarding himwe not love and honor him; would we not do self, and told us his virtues and his faults (if inour utmost in behalf of any stranger who came deed a passion for play and for women could be recommended to us by Thomas Newcome's good considered as faults in a gay young fellow of two word? So Florac was straightway adinitted to or three-and-forty), with a like engaging frankour companionship. We showed him the town, ness. He would weep in describing his angel and some of the modest pleasures thereof; we mother: he would fly off again into tirades reintroduced him to the Haunt, and astonished him specting the wickedness, the wit, the extravaby the company which he met there. Between gance, the charms of the young lady of the VaBrent's “Deserter," and Mark Wilders “Garry- riétés. He would then (in conversation) introowen,” Florac sang

duce us to Madame de Florac, née Higg, of ManTiens voici ma pipe, voila mon bri--vuet ; chesterre. His prattle was incessant, and to my Et quand la Tulipe fait le noir trajet

friend Mr. Warrington especially, he was an obQue tu sois la seule dans le régi--ment

ject of endless delight, and amusement, and wonAvec la brûle-gueule, de ton cher r'a-mant ;

der. He would roll and smoke countless paper to the delight of Tom Sarjent, who, though he segars, talking unrestrainedly when we were not only partially comprehended the words of the busy, silent when we were engaged: he would song, pronounced the singer to be a rare gentle- only rarely partake of our meals, and altogether man, full of most excellent differences. We took refused all offers of pecuniary aid. He disapour Florac to the Derby; we presented him in peared at dinner-time into the mysterious purFitzroy Square, whither we still occasionally went, lieus of Leicester Square, and dark ordinaries for Clive's and our dear Colonel's sake.

only frequented by Frenchmen. As we walked The Vicomte pronounced himself strongly in with him in the Regent Street precincts, he favor of the blanche misse, dittle Rosy Mackenzie, would exchange marks of recognition with many of whom we have lost sight for some few chap-dusky personages, smoking bravos, and whiskered ters. Mrs. Mac he considered, my faith, to be a refugees of his nation. " That gentleman,” he woman superb. He used to kiss the tips of his would say, “ who has done me the honor to saown fingers, in token of his admiration for the lute me, is a coiffeur of the most celebrated; he lovely widow; he pronounced her again and again forms the délices of our table d'hôte. •Bon jour, more pretty than her daughter; and paid her a thou- mon cher monsieur! We are friends, though sand compliments which she received with ex- not of the same opinion. Monsieur is a republiceeding good humor. If the Vicomte gave us to can of the most distinguished; conspirator of understand presently, that Rosy and her mother profession, and at this time engaged in constructwere both in love with him, but that for all the ing an infernal machine to the address of His world he would not meddle with the happiness Majesty, Louis Philippe, King of the French.” of his dear little Clive, nothing unfavorable to the “Who is my friend with the scarlet beard and character or constancy of the before-mentioned the white paletôt ?” “My good Warrington ! ladies must be inferred from M. de Florac's speech; you do not move in the world: you make yourhis firm conviction being, that no woman could self a hermit, my dear! Not know Monsieur! pass many hours in his society without danger to Monsieur is secretary to Mademoiselle Caracoher subsequent peace of mind.

Line, the lovely rider at the circus of Astley ; I For some little time we had no reason to sus shall be charmed to introduce you to this amiable pect that our French friend was not particularly society some day at our table d'hôte." euros

Warrington vowed that the company of Florac's men in France who actually have authentic titles friends would be infinitely more amusing than and do not choose to bear them. the noblest society ever chronicled in the Morn-Mr. George Warrington was hugely amused ing Post; but we were neither sufficiently fa- with this notion of Florac's ranks and dignities. miliar with the French language to make conver- The idea of the Prince purchasing penny segars; sation in that tongue as pleasant to us as talking of the Prince mildly expostulating with his landin our own; and so were content with Florac's lady regarding the rent; of his punting for halfdescription of his compatriots, which the Vicomte crowns at a neighboring hall in Air Street, whither delivered in that charming French-English of the poor gentleman desperately ran when he had which he was a master.

money in his pocket, tickled George's sense of However threadbare in his garments, poor in humor. It was Warrington who gravely saluted purse, and eccentric in morals our friend was, his the Vicomte, and compared him to King Alfred, manners were always perfectly gentlemanlike, on that afternoon when we happened to call upon and he draped himself in his poverty with the him and found him engaged in cooking his modgrace of a Spanish grandee. It must be con- est dinner. fessed that the grandee loved the estarinet, where We were bent upon an excursion to Greenhe could play billiards with the first comer; that wich, and on having our friend's company on that he had a passion for the gambling-house; that voyage, and we induced the Vicomte to forego his he was a loose and disorderly nobleman: but, in bacon, and be our guest for once. George Warwhatever company he found himself, a certain rington chose to indulge in a great deal of ironkindness, simplicity, and politeness distinguished ical pleasantry in the course of the afternoon's him always. He bowed to the damsel who sold excursion. As we went down the river, he pointhim a penny segar, as graciously as to a duchess; ed out to Florac the very window in the Tower he crushed a manant's impertinence or familiar- where the captive Duke of Orleans used to sit ity as haughtily as his noble ancestors ever did when he was an inbabitant of that fortress. At at the Louvre, at Marli, or Versailles. He de- Greenwich, which palace Florac informed us was clined to obtempérer to his landlady's request to built by Queen Elizabeth, George showed the very pay his rent; but he refused with a dignity which spot where Raleigh laid his cloak down to enable struck the woman with awe: and King Alfred, her Majesty to step over a puddle. In a word he over the celebrated muffin (on which Gandish and mystified M. de Florac: such was Mr. Warringother painters have exercised their genius), could ton's reprehensible spirit. not have looked more noble than Florac in a robe! It happened that Mr. Barnes Newcome came de-chambre, once gorgeous, but shady now as to dine at Greenwich on the same day when our became its owner's clouded fortunes; toasting little party took place. He had come down to his bit of bacon at his lodgings, when the fare meet Rooster and one or two other noble friends even of his table d'hôte had grown too dear for whose names he took care to give us, cursing him.

them at the same time for having thrown him over. As we know from Gandish's work that better Having missed his own company, Mr. Barnes times were in store for the wandering monarch, condescended to join ours, Warrington gravely and that the officers came acquainting him that thanking him for the great honor which he conhis people demanded his presence, à grands cris, ferred upon us by volunteering to take a place at when of course King Alfred laid down the toast our table. Barnes drank freely, and was good and resumed the sceptre; so, in the case of Flo- enough to resume his acquaintance with Monsieur rac, two humble gentlemen, inhabitants of Lamb de Florac, whom he perfectly well recollected at Court, and members of the Upper Temple, had Baden, but had thought proper to forget on the the good luck to be the heralds, as it were, nay, one or two occasions when they had met in pubindeed, the occasion of the rising fortunes of the lic since the Vicomte's arrival in this country. Prince de Moncontour. Florac had informed us There are few men who can drop and resume an of the death of his cousin the Duc d'Ivry, by acquaintance with such admirable self-possession whose demise the Vicomte's father, the old Count as Barnes Newcome. When, over our dessert, de Florac, became the representative of the house by which time all tongues were unloosed and each of Ivry, and possessor, through his relative's be- man talked gayly, George Warrington feelingly quest, of an old chateau still more gloomy and thanked Barnes, in a little mock speech, for his spacious than the count's own house in the Fau- great kindness in noticing us, presenting him bourg St. Germain--a chateau, of which the at the same time to Florac as the ornament of the woods, domains, and appurtenances, had been city, the greatest banker of his age, the beloved lopped off by the Revolution. « Monsieur le kinsman of their friend Clive, who was always Comte," Florac says, “has not wished to change writing about him ; Barnes said, with one of his his name at his age; he has shrugged his old accustomed curses, he did not know whether Mr. shoulder, and said it was not the trouble to make Warrington was “chaffing” him or not, and into engrave a new card; and for me,” the philo- deed could never make him out. Warrington resophical Vicomte added, “of what good shall be plied that he never could make himself out: and a title of prince in the position where I find my- if ever Mr. Barnes could, George would thank self?" It is wonderful for us who inhabit a coun- him for information on that subject. try where rank is worshiped with so admirable a Florac, like most Frenchmen, very sober in his reverence, to think that there are many gentle- potations, left us for a while over ours, which were conducted after the more liberal English manner,, in Lombard Street.” George Warrington never and retired to smoke his segar on the terrace. bragged about his pedigree except under certain Barnes then freely uttered his sentiments regard- influences. I am inclined to think that on this ing him, which were not more favorable than occasion he really did find the claret very good. those which the young gentleman generally emit- “You don't mean to say," says Barnes, adted respecting gentlemen whose backs were turn- dressing Florac in French, on which he piqued ed. He had known a little of Florac the year himself, “que vous avez un tel manche à votre before, at Baden: he had been mixed up with | nom, et que vous ne l' usez pas ?” Kew in that confounded row in which Kew was Florac shrugged his shoulders; he at first did hit: he was an adventurer, a pauper, a blackleg, not understand that familiar figure of English a regular Greek; he had heard Florac was of old speech, or what was meant by “having a handle family, that was true : but what of that? He to your name.” “Moncontour can not dine betwas only one of those d— French counts; every ter than Florac," he said. “Florac has two Louis body was a count in France, confound 'em! The in his pocket, and Moncontour exactly forty shilclaret was beastly-not fit for a gentleman to lings. Florac's proprietor will ask Moncontour todrink! He swigged off a great bumper as he was morrow for five weeks' rent; and as for Florac's making the remark ; for Barnes Newcome abuses friends, my dear, they will burst out laughing to the men and things which he uses, and perhaps Moncontour's nose !” “How droll you English is better served than more grateful persons. I are !” this acute French observer afterward said,

"Count!” cries Warrington, “what do you laughing, and recalling the incident. “Did you mean by talking about beggarly counts. Florac's not see how that little Barnes, as soon as he knew family is one of the noblest and most ancient in my title of Prince, changed his manner and beEurope. It is more ancient than your illustrious came all respect toward me?" This, indeed, Monfriend, the barber-surgeon ; it was illustrious be- sieur de Florac's two friends remarked with no fore the house, ay, or the pagoda of Kew was in little amusement. Barnes began quite well to reexistence.” And he went on to describe how member their pleasant days at Baden, and talked of Florac, by the demise of his kinsman, was now their acquaintance there: Barnes offered the Prince actually Prince de Moncontour, though he did not the vacant seat in his brougham, and was ready to choose to assume that title. Very likely the no- set him down any where that he wished in town. ble Gascon drink in which George had been in- “Bah!" says Florac; “we came by the steamdulging, imparted a certain warmth and eloquence er, and I prefer the péniboat.” But the hospitato his descriptions of Florac's good qualities, high ble Barnes, nevertheless, called upon Florac the birth, and considerable patrimony ; Barnes look- next day. And now having partially explained ed quite amazed and scared at these announce | how the Prince de Moncontour was present at ments, then laughed, and declared once more that Mr. Barnes Newcome's wedding, let us show how Warrington was chaffing him.

it was that Barnes's first cousin, the Earl of Kew, “As sure as the Black Prince was lord of Ac- did not attend that ceremony. quitaine---as sure as the English were masters of Bourdeaux-and why did we ever lose the country?" cries George, filling himself a bumper, “every word I have said about Florac is true;" and Florac coming in at this juncture, having just finished his segar, George turned round and made him a fine speech in the French language, in which he lauded his constancy and good hu- 52 mor under evil fortune, paid him two or three more cordial compliments, and finished by drinking another great bumper to his good health.

CHAPTER XXXVII.

Diva Florac took a little wine, replied “with effu

RETURNS TO LORD KEW. sion" to the toast which his excellent, his noble We do not propose to describe at length or friend had just carried. We rapped our glasses with precision the circumstances of the duel at the end of the speech. The landlord himself which ended so unfortunately for young Lord seemed deeply touched by it as he stood by with Kew. The meeting was inevitable: after the puba fresh bottle. “ It is good wine--it is honest lic acts and insult of the morning, the maddened wine—it is capital wine,” says George, “and Frenchman went to it convinced that his antaghonni soit qui mal y pense! What business have onist had willfully outraged him, eager to show his you, you little beggar, to abuse it? my ancestor bravery upon the body of an Englishman, and as drank the wine and wore the motto round his leg proud as if he had been going into actual war. long before a Newcome ever showed his pale face That commandment, the sixth in our decalogue,

« 이전계속 »