페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

work of the person who was sent to put on be weighed one against the other, the conthe dresses, Matilda looked blooming as a ceit scale would go down with a bang." thirty-year-old matron, and aristocratic as Janet pouted and sneered, and remarked an empress.

that commoners could not understand aris"Tom," said Mrs. Gummer, looking in tocracy. Nancy admitted he was proud, the glass, “it is a wonder; and if I were but pleaded that pride was the fault of his put on my oath, I should not like to swear education. Mrs. Gummer said it was stupid I am not somebody else. A bird may be to suppose that as fine a blood horse as old, but if it is fresh feathered it looks equal was ever shod would not show his breed and to new-fledged. Depend upon it, Tom, his feed; and that if the Emperor of Russia, these West-end people could turn, twist, with his crown on his head, was to pay atand twiddle a woman of ninety into a long- tention to the poor dear girls, their pa clothes baby."

would take a pleasure in grinding them On our way to Grammont Lodge, we down into dust and ashes. agreed to do as the others did. I was to Evidently a storm was brewing; and so follow the example of the Colonel, Mrs. Nancy, who is a peacemaker, took Janet Gummer was to imitate Mrs. De Crespin, to bed. Janet was indignant, and instead and the girls were to take copy of the Misses of kissing me offered me her cheek. De Crespin. Though we did not say so, “Perhaps, Gummer, if the poor dear girls we all of us wished that the party was were dissected before your eyes you might over.

believe they had hearts in their bosoms, and At first we were as uncomfortable as I not beating stones. What will be will be, suppose

fish would be in warm water. Al- and it is not for a man and a father to be though Mrs. Gummer was a long way off

, I sowing domestic jars, which will grow fast could see that the soup was a trial to her. enough before they are wanted.” I defy any one to take soup elegantly; and, Really, Matilda, if opening my mouth to a nervous person, it is torture. But the leads to this bother, I will keep it shut.” Colonel and his wife were so jolly that, “Tom, your temper is getting that bad after drinking a little wine, we were much that it will bring me to my grave; and when more at our ease; and before the dinner I am gone, Gummer, your fortune and your was over, Matilda was talking freely. Mrs. sorrowing won't bring me back again.” De Crespin told me that Mrs. Gummer was Mrs. Gummer mixed my grog, but not a dear, good creature, that Nancy was a any anti-spasms medicine for herself

. noble girl, and that Janet was a sweet pet. Take a little, Matilda. It will settle the So the dreaded dinner party went off as wine." well as we could desire; and we were home “Not to-night, Gummer; for if you were before twelve o'clock, quite content with to guess for a month of Sundays, you would our behaviour. We did not go to bed, but never hit upon what happened in Mrs. De sat down to talk over the party.

Crespin's dressing-room." Nancy thought the Misses De Crespin I took a long whiff at my pipe, and shook were too free and easy in their manner. Janet told Nancy that she was a fool to "Gummer, what we know is wonderful, suppose that real bred and born ladies would but what we don't know is double wonderbehave as if they were crabby old cats at a ful. Before I could put on my hood and cup of tea party. Nancy said that a lady cloak, Mrs. De Crespin asked me whether I was not obliged to talk in a way that was patronized night-caps. not proper.

Janet went off like ginger-beer Yes, mum, for it is untidy to have one's in July, and observed that some people were hair tangled like a hundred skeins of silk used always thinking evil of others, and perhaps without winding, and nets don't keep the they had better look at home. A quarrel grease from the pillow-case.'

- which was common since we had come “With that Mrs. C. laughed at me as if I into a fortune-was at hand; and, by way of was a pantomime. a stopper, I asked what they thought of young My dear, forgive the laugh, but I did Mr. De Crespin, and the reply was- not refer to night-caps for the head, but for “What do you think of him?"

the stomach. I meant, if you take a little "Not to be compared to the Colonel. If something before going out into the air?' his conceit and brains were put into scales to “In walked her maid with a tiny kettle

my head.

of boiling water, and set it on the stove, two for character, and fail of effect. I often tumblers, spoons, lemon, and sugar on the fancied him hung against a dining-room wall, table, and a bottle from the cupboard-a a portrait in a blue, wooden-cut coat. He downright public-house bottle of Old Tom. would have been in perfect harmony. This

“If you prefer any other night-cap say was but half a dozen years ago; yet he must so, and Fanny will fetch it.'

have been past seventy. "Well, Tom, I took a little, and Mrs. C. I liked him, enjoyed his company with a mixed for herself. Not an inch of empti- surprising zest, and grieved when he passed ness in her tumbler, and it was fair half and away. There was a solidity, a roundness half. It went down with no sipping and no in the natures of men of his type which gasping. Now, Gummer, who would have the juniors of our time have not, and never thought that a genuine lady—an aristocrat will have: a weight and impressiveness in of high breed — would let her lips come every little thought or sentence, which gave within an inch of gin and water?"

the idea that each had been thought over, “Well, my dear, there is no harm in it.” or had been cast in little private moulds

“I did not insinuate it, Gummer. But which were kept in stock. So with his little there is no harm in Margate oysters, or black stories and traits, which were piquant, and puddings, or liver and bacon; but it is not had a racy flavour. There was, of course, aristocratic food, any more than champagne an old-fashioned twang about them; but this is drink for common people—which, be-only made them more acceptable. There tween ourselves, I admit is no better than was an individuality in his dress, his clothes ginger beer without the ginger.”

seeming always to be the same garments;

though they were carefully renewed—being, MR. DILLY'S TABLE TALK. as it were, rebuilt on the same lines and

patterns: the hat rather limp, and withTHE Jate James Dilly was one of the old out the defiant curl and flourish of old milifashioned school-stiff

, short, and an- tary men; the very short, light waistcoat; the gular, with a face like some of the walnut- rather ill-cut pantaloons, skimpy, but of the featured comedians of Garrick’s day. This, tone known as tendre et uni; the brown snuffin their case as in his, was no arbitrary gift coloured coat with the velvet collar; and the of nature: the lines and sinuosities of these walking-stick with the small gold top. In delved and dented countenances being pro- this dress he might have come out in a light duced by a deep purpose and intensity of comedy—say, fifty years ago—and scolded expression — an earnestness within, which his disobedient son, who would not marry the scores this deep impression on the face. heiress. With him lived his sister Bridget; Hence these gnarled, sagacious, twinkling and the name will recall the Elias, brother old faces—such as any one may find who and sister, who together made up a quaint visits the Haymarket, and sees the admirable and curious ménage. Chippendale, whom our friend really resem- Bridget Dilly was matronly, and had all bled. He wanted the old, high-collared coat the air of having daughters; and she comes and neckcloth, but made his garments cor- back on me now in an antique bonnet, respond to those models as boldly as fashion open at the chin, the strings hanging down would allow. He actually wore a wig;- limp. Her dress was always costly, but not one of our modern deceptions, that each garment seemed to be a failure; and simulate the natural hair, partings, &c., but the ordering of a velvet mantle was a flat, scrubby article, of a bay colour, which great occasion, undertaken with consultation at its extremities curled up, and seemed among females, and their personal assistto long to display itself in “pipes.” His ance at the purchase. It was next to choosvoice was sharp, and had the sarcastic, in- ing a house or a carriage. James was her cisive emphasis of those old comedians; treasure; no mother could have more prized indeed, from him I got a clear idea of that and cherished her only darling. In these lost art of making a tolerable, indifferent female councils, of which she was so fond, sentence tell. This is, in fact, the secret of " James” was the grand precedent: his true acting — genuine character making a deeds, sayings-symptoms even-were the colourless sentence reflect the humour and eternal theme. To her eyes he was some nature of the speaker; whereas nowadays, radiant Apollo, with youth and health and sharp sentences are devised as substitutes strength glowing on his shoulders, instead

a

of the slippered pantaloon which, compara-ing English. This tradition, with the good tively speaking, he was. Not but that they dinners, and their own efforts—not obtrusive had their little jars and outpost skirmishing, --secured them the acquaintance of the frequently before the guests and visitors: distinguished. James Dilly dearly loved she impassive, yet aggravating; he very tart twanging off on his tongue a "Lady Mary," and aggressive. But she had the calmest or a “ Lord John;" and at these occasional and sweetest of tempers.

banquets we were certain to meet some lean, They lived together in a suburb, in a elderly dame of high degree, with, more handsome house; and were what is called rarely, an ancient peer and his lady. On “well off.” He had musical tastes of a these occasions, the meat, wines, and cookery really high order, and could perform on were of great merit

. Our friend appeared in “the instrument" in the old classical man- a grand

tenue, modelled on that of the days ner. The established and rather hackneyed of the Reform Bill, suggesting the portraits “chief works” of Mozart, Beethoven, Haydn, of Mr. Canning and other politicians, in their were all familiar to his fingers; and he exe- full dress—high collars, gold eyeglass, with cuted these masterpieces in a steady, firm, a broad, black riband, &c. I believe our and accurate style which spoke of good host diligently prepared—furbishing up a training. He was modest about these stock of piquant stories, which he introgifts, and “pooh - poohed” himself as duced, not laboriously by the “ question rococo, or such as the lights of the pre- detached,” but by the more physical amsent day would not care to listen to. Yet buscade of some especial dish, wine, or it was impossible not to admire his steady other material object. These anecdotes march through the forty or so pages of some were of a personal kind, and were really ingreat work-a little “ fumbling" in some teresting. And, indeed, this sketch is conparts, it is true; but, on the whole, a “sound” ceived in no jesting spirit, but with a wish rendering of the piece. But he more fa- to recall a most agreeable figure, whose voured such professors as Cramer, whose kindly gifts are sadly wanted nowadays to pupil he had been; John Field, who wrote temper the unalloyed selfishness of our time. some fine symphony music; Kalkbrenner, I see him at the top of the table: his eyes or Dussek, with his piece, entitled “Ne twinkling, his old comedy face, like Farren's, Plus Ultra." It was impossible not to feel with the half compliment, dry as his own an interest and sympathy for this veteran, champagne, before utterance. I can hear as he sat at his piano, his silver spectacles his quaint story which has lurked behind on, his head nodding time, as he laboured the vol-au-vent—or has, rather, been carried hard over the“ broken stones” of the piece. in with the dish itself; for, as it is presented Sometimes he would adventure a duet with to the Lady Mary or Lady Olivia of the feast, some fair musician some fifty years behind he brings it out in the most natural way his own age: he taking charge of the bass, imaginable. and never sacrificing reproof or duty to the With such a face, and gifts which have charms of beauty. He insisted imperiously been duly whetted against the grindstones of on “the piece being played as written," to society, there was nothing wonderful in his the consternation and ever rebellion of his having dramatic powers of no inconsiderable companion; who, after completing an arduous order. On a rare occasion, and after some movement—the 'andante maestoso, or allegro such dinner, he would consent to oblige con briowas mercilessly obliged to recom- Lady Mary, who was dying to see him, by mence in obedience to the composer's written arraying himself as Mr. Hardcastle or Lord directions for the repeat.' He could thrum Ogleby; and, with the assistance of a junior off scraps of old operas, odds and ends of friend—the present writer often being called airs, in profusion.

on to make up hastily for Young Marlow, or It had been his favourite fashion for years some such character-would make his entry to repair with his sister to Tunbridge Wells, unexpectedly, in scratch wig, cocked hat, where, always looking out for the best people, and worsted stockings, and play off two or our friends had cemented alliances with va- three scenes with a breadth, vigour, and point rious old ladies—Lady This and Lady Olivia that would have shamed our modern actors. That. They gave dinners occasionally, and No scenery was required. Both stood upyears ago had kept a good house at Paris, the party grouped round. It was d la Theswhere they had known many of the wander- | pis, wanting the cart. He was the character

It may

ance:

itself-the old Hardcastle, or Ogleby, or --which were highly fashionable some forty Croaker, among these ladies and gentlemen. or fifty years ago

was living with him at Pleasant nights, indeed, these were ! one near Dublin. Quadrilles were then all

For many years this agreeable intimacy the rage, and had been lately introduced. went on. It became almost a regular Sun- Maturin would get up parties for practice day's diversion for me to go down, and have during the day, closing the window shuta walk and dinner. During this walk and ters, and having the rooms lit up; Captain dinner it was that he gave out the lively D- who was a tolerable musician and stories and recollections which I now pro- lame, being put to fiddle. The clergyman pose laying before the reader. In this place also organized theatricals. But these pleathey appear under a disadvantage, as they sant pastimes were broken up by a strange will lack his dry, incisive manner, which im- freak of his—for one day he presented himparted a sort of "olive” flavour, as well as self in the drawing-room in a sort of circus that excellent air of apropos which made each dress-light web fleshings: a spectacle that take its place as an illustration. Here they sent the ladies screaming from the room. are disjointed, in a .certain sense. be that some have made a previous appear- He saw the execution of the men con

cerned in the well-known "burning of Wild

goose Lodge.” He described the procession As a great treat, he was brought to a party to two great hills—some sixteen or sevenone night in Paris, to meet Cherubini. It teen criminals, sitting in carts, a priest and was hoped that the great maestro would two black coffins with each prisoner. Vast manifest his musical tastes, and due prepa-crowds of dragoons and police. On the rations had been made to entertain him. hills, a row of gibbets; and the bodies were His first words were

left swinging in canvas bags for a year, with “Now, place me where I sha'n't hear a a guard of soldiers. This part of the specnote of music the whole evening."

tacle left a deep impression, and is still And so, accordingly, he was placed; and talked of among the peasantry. he played cards the whole night. He was a queer, strange-looking old man.

Many years ago, the well-known figure of

King William III., in College-green, Dublin, Braham told me of his being at a party was blown from his horse. The effect of where Catalani was, when the Bishop of the riderless steed was very droll. But the

expressed his wish to be introduced to anger and consternation in the high Tory her. This was being done with extraordinary was so great, you would have imagined the solemnity, the bishop advancing graciously, constitution and "pious and immortal" when suddenly Catalani ran forward, and, memory had been blown away with it. with a scream of laughter, seized the bishop's Early in the morning, a wag sent an exapron, exclaiming

press to Crampton, the well-known surgeon, “Oh, my God! vat is dis leetle black bidding him to come with all speed, as a

person of rank had been thrown from his She was a delightful creature, full of horse in College-green. I believe he went. spirits.

This reminds me of a piece of wit, when

the shape of a monument to Sir Henry Shiel told me that he knew Maturin very Marsh, another Dublin physician, was diswell. A nobleman of influence, who was cussed. It was to be put up in the public over in Dublin, went to hear him preach, burying ground. Some one then suggested and was so pleased that he called to offer the inscription over Wren, "Si monumentum him a living in England. After knocking quæris, circumspice." This is worthy of some time, the door was opened by the Sydney Smith. clergyman himself, who was ready dressed for the character of Douglas! The noble- READY-MONEY MORTIBOY. - This Novel man retired without mentioning his business. was commenced in No. 210, and can be obtained

through all Booksellers, or by post, from the Ofice He was a strange being, this Maturin,

direct on receipt of stamps. and devoted to amusement. Captain D-

Terms of Subscription for ONCE A WEEK, free by

post :- Weekly Numbers for Six Months, 5s. 5d.; who lived a great deal in boarding-houses Monthly Parts, 5s. 8d.

ting?"

NEW SERIES.

No. 222.

March 30, 1872.

Price 2d.

READY-MONEY MORTIBOY.

ligion, if not to godliness—to give money

to their pet society, which, they said, called A MATTER-OF-FACT STORY.

alike for the support of church and chapel,

for providing Humble Breakfasts and fannel CHAPTER THE TWENTY-THIRD.

in winter for the Deserving Poor. This was

explained to mean, not the industrious poor, T was a godly and an nor the provident poor, nor the sober poor,

ancient custom in but the poor who attended some place of
Market Basing, that, worship. Dick said that going to church
on a certain Sunday did not of itself prove a man to be religious,
afternoon in the year, artfully instancing himself as a case in point;
the children should and refused to give.
have a “church pa- Then the secretaries of London societies,
rade” all to them- finding out that there was another man who
selves, followed by a had money to give, and was shown already
bun. Of late years, to be of liberal disposition, sent him beg-
an addition had been ging letters through the curates. They all
made to this festival got much the same answer. The missionary
by setting apart a societies were dismissed because, as Dick
weekday in the sum- told them, he had seen missionaries with
mer for a school feast his own eyes. That noble institution in Lin-
and treat. It was

coln's Inn Fields, which exists for the double generally a dreary purpose of maintaining a large staff and conaffair enough. The verting the Jews, was refused on the ground boys and girls were of noresults commensurable with the expense. marshalled, and He offered, indeed, a large sum for a suc

marched to some cessful mission among the professions-espefield not far off, where they were turned cially the bar-in England. And he rashly loose previous to the tea, and told to play. proposed a very handsome prize— no less As the Market Basing boys saw no novelty than a thousand pounds—to anybody who in a field-unlike the Londoner, to whom a would succeed in converting him. Rev. Pobird's nest is a new discovery, and a field-tiphar Demas, a needy vessel, volunteered; mouse the most remarkable of wild animals but Dick declined to hear him, because he —these feasts, although preceded by cake didn't want to know what Mr. Demas had to and followed by tea, had no great charms. say. Now, this seemed discourteous to the Perhaps they were overweighted by hymns. reverend gentleman.

Now, Dick, pursuing that career of social All which might have been counterbalanced usefulness already hinted at, had succeeded, by his many virtues. For it was notorious in a very few weeks, in alienating the affec- that he had given a pension to old Sandertions of all the spiritual leaders of the town. son, the ruined cashier of Melliship's bank; The way was this. First, he refused to be also that he had withdrawn the Mortiboy long to the chapel any more, and declined claims on the Melliship estate: this was 'to pay for a pew in the church, on the rea- almost as if the Americans were to withsonable ground that he did not intend to go draw their Alabama claims, because there to either. They came to him-Market Bas- was no knowing how they might end. Being was regularly whipped and driven to re- sides which, it made an immediate difference

[graphic]
[ocr errors]

VOL. IX.

NO. 222,

« 이전계속 »