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Title: The Confessions of Harry Lorrequer — Volume 6
Author: Lever, Charles James, 1806-1872
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Confessions of Harry Lorrequer — Volume 6" ***

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THE CONFESSIONS OF HARRY LORREQUER, v6

[By Charles James Lever (1806-1872)]


Dublin

MDCCCXXXIX.



Volume 6. (Chapter XLII-LV)



Contents:

CHAPTER XLII.
The Journey

CHAPTER XLIII.
The Journey

CHAPTER XLIV.
A Reminscence of the East

CHAPTER XLV.
A Day in the Phoenix

CHAPTER XLVI.
An Adventure in Canada

CHAPTER XLVII.
The Courier's Passport

CHAPTER XLVIII.
A Night in Strasbourg

CHAPTER XLIX.
A Surprise

CHAPTER L.
Jack Waller's Story

CHAPTER LI.
Munich

CHAPTER LII.
Inn at Munich

CHAPTER LIII.
The Ball

CHAPTER LIV.
A Discovery

CHAPTER LV.
Conclusion



CHAPTER XLII.

THE JOURNEY.

Trevanion came at last.  He had obtained my passport, and engaged a
carriage to convey me about eight miles, where I should overtake the
diligence--such a mode of travelling being judged more likely to favour
my escape, by attracting less attention than posting.  It was past ten
when I left the Rue St. Honore, having shaken hands with Trevanion for
the last time, and charged him with ten thousand soft messages for the
"friends" I left behind me.

When I arrived at the village of St. Jacques, the diligence had not come
up.  To pass away the time, I ordered a little supper and a bottle of St.
Julien.  Scarcely had I seated myself to my "cotelette," when the rapid
whirl of wheels was heard without, and a cab drew up suddenly at the
door.  So naturally does the fugitive suspect pursuit, that my immediate
impression was, that I was followed.  In this notion I was strengthened
by the tones of a cracked, discordant voice, asking in very peculiar
French if the "diligence had passed?"  Being answered in the negative he
walked into the room where I was, and speedily by his appearance, removed
any apprehensions I had felt as to my safety.  Nothing could less
resemble the tall port and sturdy bearing of a gendarme, than the
diminutive and dwarfish individual before me.  His height could scarcely
have reached five feet, of which the head formed fully a fourth part; and
even this was rendered in appearance still greater by a mass of loosely
floating black hair that fell upon his neck and shoulders, and gave him
much the air of a "black lion" on a sign board.  His black frock,
fur-collared and braided--his ill-made boots, his meerschaum projecting
from his breast-pocket, above all, his unwashed hands, and a heavy gold
ring upon his thumb--all made up an ensemble of evidences that showed he
could be nothing but a German.  His manner was bustling, impatient, and
had it not been ludicrous, would certainly be considered as insolent to
every one about him, for he stared each person abruptly in the face, and
mumbled some broken expressions of his opinion of them half-aloud in
German.  His comments ran on:--"Bon soir, Monsieur," to the host: "Ein
boesewicht, ganz sicher"--"a scoundrel without doubt;" and then added,
still lower, "Rob you here as soon as look at you."  "Ah, postillion!
comment va?"--"much more like a brigand after all--I know which I'd take
you for."  "Ver fluchte fraw"--"how ugly the woman is."  This compliment
was intended for the hostess, who curtsied down to the ground in her
ignorance.  At last approaching me, he stopped, and having steadily
surveyed me, muttered, "Ein echter Englander"--"a thorough Englishman,
always eating."  I could not resist the temptation to assure him that I
was perfectly aware of his flattering impression in my behalf, though I
had speedily to regret my precipitancy, for, less mindful of the rebuke
than pleased at finding some one who understood German, he drew his chair
beside me and entered into conversation.

Every one has surely felt, some time or other in life, the insufferable
annoyance of having his thoughts and reflections interfered with, and
broken in upon by the vulgar impertinence and egotism of some "bore,"
who, mistaking your abstraction for attention and your despair for
delight, inflicts upon you his whole life and adventures, when your own
immediate destinies are perhaps vacillating in the scale.

Such a doom was now mine!  Occupied as I was by the hope of the future,
and my fears lest any impediment to my escape should blast my prospects
for ever, I preferred appearing to pay attention to this confounded
fellow's "personal narrative" lest his questions, turning on my own
affairs, might excite suspicions as to the reasons of my journey.

I longed most ardently for the arrival of the diligence, trusting that
with true German thrift, by friend might prefer the cheapness of the
"interieure" to the magnificence of the "coupe," and that thus I should
see no more of him.  But in this pleasing hope I was destined to be
disappointed, for I was scarcely seated in my place when I found him
beside me.  The third occupant of this "privileged den," as well as my
lamp-light survey of him permitted, afforded nothing to build on as a
compensation for the German.  He was a tall, lanky, lantern-jawed man,
with a hook nose and projecting chin; his hair, which had only been
permitted to grow very lately, formed that curve upon his forehead we
see in certain old fashioned horse-shoe wigs; his compressed lip and
hard features gave the expression of one who had seen a good deal of the
world, and didn't think the better of it in consequence.  I observed that
he listened to the few words we spoke while getting in with some
attention, and then, like a person who did not comprehend the language,
turned his shoulder towards us, and soon fell asleep.  I was now left to
the "tender mercies" of my talkative companion, who certainly spared me
not.  Notwithstanding my vigorous resolves to turn a deaf ear to his
narratives, I could not avoid learning that he was the director of music
to some German prince--that he had been to Paris to bring out an opera
which having, as he said, a "success pyramidal," he was about to repeat in
Strasbourg.  He further informed me that a depute from Alsace had
obtained for him a government permission to travel with the courier; but
that he being "social" withal, and no ways proud, preferred the democracy
of the diligence to the solitary grandeur of the caleche, (for which
heaven confound him,) and thus became my present companion.

Music, in all its shapes and forms made up the staple of the little
man's talk.  There was scarcely an opera or an overture, from Mozart to
Donizetti, that he did not insist upon singing a scene from; and wound up
all by a very pathetic lamentation over English insensibility to music,
which he in great part attributed to our having only one opera, which he
kindly informed me was "Bob et Joan."  However indisposed to check the
current of his loquacity by any effort of mine, I could not avoid the
temptation to translate for him a story which Sir Walter Scott once
related to me, and was so far apropos, as conveying my own sense of the
merits of our national music, such as we have it, by its association with
scenes, and persons, and places we are all familiar with, however
unintelligible to the ear of a stranger.

A young French viscomte was fortunate enough to obtain in marriage the
hand of a singularly pretty Scotch heiress of an old family and good
fortune, who, amongst her other endowments, possessed a large
old-fashioned house in a remote district of the highlands, where her
ancestors had resided for centuries.  Thither the young couple repaired
to pass their honeymoon; the enamoured bridegroom gladly availing himself
of the opportunity to ingratiate himself with his new connexion, by
adopting the seclusion he saw practised by the English on such occasions.
However consonant to our notions of happiness, and however conducive to
our enjoyment this custom be--and I have strong doubts upon the subject
--it certainly prospered ill with the volatile Frenchman, who pined for
Paris, its cafes, its boulevards, its maisons de jeu, and its soirees.
His days were passed in looking from the deep and narrow windows of some
oak-framed room upon the bare and heath-clad moors, or watching the
cloud's shadows as they passed across the dark pine trees that closed the
distance.

Ennuyee to death, and convinced that he had sacrificed enough and more
than enough to the barbarism which demanded such a "sejour," he was
sitting one evening listlessly upon the terrace in front of the house,
plotting a speedy escape from his gloomy abode, and meditating upon the
life of pleasure that awaited him, when the discordant twang of some
savage music broke upon his ear, and roused him from his reverie. The
wild scream and fitful burst of a highland pibroch is certainly not the
most likely thing in nature to allay the irritable and ruffled feelings
of an irascible person--unless, perhaps, the hearer eschew breeches.  So
thought the viscomte.  He started hurriedly up, and straight before him,
upon the gravel-walk, beheld the stalwart figure and bony frame of an old
highlander, blowing, with all his lungs, the "Gathering of the clans."
With all the speed he could muster, he rushed into the house, and,
calling his servants, ordered them to expel the intruder, and drive him
at once outside the demesne.  When the mandate was made known to the old
piper, it was with the greatest difficulty he could be brought to
comprehend it--for, time out of mind, his approach had been hailed
with every demonstration of rejoicing; and now--but no; the thing was
impossible--there must be a mistake somewhere.  He was accordingly about
to recommence, when a second and stronger hint suggested to him that it
were safer to depart.  "Maybe the 'carl' did na like the pipes," said the
highlander musingly, as he packed them up for his march.  "Maybe he did
na like me;" "perhaps, too, he was na in the humour of music."  He paused
for an instant as if reflecting--not satisfied, probably, that he had hit
upon the true solution--when suddenly his eye brightened, his lips
curled, and fixing a look upon the angry Frenchman, he said--"Maybe ye
are right enow--ye heard them ower muckle in Waterloo to like the skirl
o' them ever since;" with which satisfactory explanation, made in no
spirit of bitterness or raillery, but in the simple belief that he had
at last hit the mark of the viscomte's antipathy, the old man gathered
up his plaid and departed.

However disposed I might have felt towards sleep, the little German
resolved I should not obtain any, for when for half an hour together I
would preserve a rigid silence, he, nowise daunted, had recourse to some
German "lied," which he gave forth with an energy of voice and manner
that must have aroused every sleeper in the diligence: so that, fain to
avoid this, I did my best to keep him on the subject of his adventures,
which, as a man of successful gallantry, were manifold indeed.  Wearying
at last, even of this subordinate part, I fell into a kind of half doze.
The words of a student song he continued to sing without ceasing for
above an hour--being the last waking thought on my memory.

Less as a souvenir of the singer than a specimen of its class I give here
a rough translation of the well-known Burschen melody called

                           THE POPE

               I.
               The Pope, he leads a happy life,
               He fears not married care, nor strife,
               He drinks the best of Rhenish wine,
               I would the Pope's gay lot were mine.

               CHORUS.
               He drinks the best of Rhenish wine.
               I would the Pope's gay lot were mine.

               II.
               But then all happy's not his life,
               He has not maid, nor blooming wife;
               Nor child has he to raise his hope--
               I would not wish to be the Pope.

               III.
               The Sultan better pleases me,
               His is a life of jollity;
               His wives are many as he will--
               I would the Sultan's throne then fill.

               IV.
               But even he's a wretched man,
               He must obey his Alcoran;
               And dares not drink one drop of wine--
               I would not change his lot for mine.

               V.
               So then I'll hold my lowly stand,
               And live in German Vaterland;
               I'll kiss my maiden fair and fine,
               And drink the best of Rhenish wine.

               VI.
               Whene'er my maiden kisses me,
               I'll think that I the Sultan be;
               And when my cheery glass I tope,
               I'll fancy then I am the Pope.



CHAPTER XLIII.

THE JOURNEY.

It was with a feeling of pleasure I cannot explain, that I awoke in the
morning, and found myself upon the road.  The turmoil, the bustle, the
never-ending difficulties of my late life in Paris had so over-excited
and worried me, that I could neither think nor reflect.  Now all these
cares and troubles were behind me, and I felt like a liberated prisoner
as I looked upon the grey dawn of the coming day, as it gradually melted
from its dull and leaden tint to the pink and yellow hue of the rising
sun.  The broad and richly-coloured plains of "la belle France" were
before me--and it is "la belle France," however inferior to parts of
England in rural beauty--the large tracts of waving yellow corn,
undulating like a sea in the morning breeze--the interminable reaches of
forest, upon which the shadows played and flitted, deepening the effect
and mellowing the mass, as we see them in Ruysdael's pictures--while now
and then some tall-gabled, antiquated chateau, with its mutilated terrace
and dowager-like air of bye-gone grandeur, would peep forth at the end of
some long avenue of lime trees, all having their own features of
beauty--and a beauty with which every object around harmonizes well.
The sluggish peasant, in his blouse and striped night-cap--the heavily
caparisoned horse, shaking his head amidst a Babel-tower of gaudy worsted
tassels and brass bells--the deeply laden waggon, creeping slowly
along--are all in keeping with a scene, where the very mist that rises
from the valley seems indolent and lazy, and unwilling to impart the rich
perfume of verdure with which it is loaded.  Every land has its own
peculiar character of beauty.  The glaciered mountain, the Alpine peak,
the dashing cataract of Switzerland and the Tyrol, are not finer in their
way than the long flat moorlands of a Flemish landscape, with its clump
of stunted willows cloistering over some limpid brook, in which the oxen
are standing for shelter from the noon-day heat--while, lower down, some
rude water-wheel is mingling its sounds with the summer bees and the
merry voices of the miller and his companions.  So strayed my thoughts as
the German shook me by the arm, and asked if "I were not ready for my
breakfast?"  Luckily to this question there is rarely but the one answer.
Who is not ready for his breakfast when on the road?  How delightful, if
on the continent, to escape from the narrow limits of the dungeon-like
diligence, where you sit with your knees next your collar-bone, fainting
with heat and suffocated by dust, and find yourself suddenly beside the
tempting "plats" of a little French dejeune, with its cutlets, its fried
fish, its poulet, its salad, and its little entre of fruit, tempered with
a not despicable bottle of Beaune.  If in England, the exchange is nearly
as grateful--for though our travelling be better, and our equipage less
"genante," still it is no small alterative from the stage-coach to the
inn parlour, redolent of aromatic black tea, eggs, and hot toast, with a
hospitable side-board of red, raw surloins, and York hams, that would
made a Jew's mouth water.  While, in America, the change is greatest of
all, as any one can vouch for who has been suddenly emancipated from the
stove-heat of a "nine-inside" leathern "conveniency," bumping ten miles
an hour over a corduroy road, the company smoking, if not worse; to the
ample display of luxurious viands displayed upon the breakfast-table,
where, what with buffalo steaks, pumpkin pie, gin cock-tail, and other
aristocratically called temptations, he must be indeed fastidious who
cannot employ his half-hour.  Pity it is, when there is so much good to
eat, that people will not partake of it like civilized beings, and with
that air of cheerful thankfulness that all other nations more or less
express when enjoying the earth's bounties.  But true it is, that there
is a spirit of discontent in the Yankee, that seems to accept of benefits
with a tone of dissatisfaction, if not distrust.  I once made this remark
to an excellent friend of mine now no more, who, however, would not
permit of my attributing this feature to the Americans exclusively,
adding, "Where have you more of this than in Ireland? and surely you
would not call the Irish ungrateful?"  He illustrated his first remark by
the following short anecdote:--

The rector of the parish my friend lived in was a man who added to the
income he derived from his living a very handsome private fortune, which
he devoted entirely to the benefit of the poor around him.  Among the
objects of his bounty one old woman--a childless widow, was remarkably
distinguished.  Whether commiserating her utter helplessness or her
complete isolation, he went farther to relieve her than to many, if not
all, the other poor.  She frequently was in the habit of pleading her
poverty as a reason for not appearing in church among her neighbours;
and he gladly seized an opportunity of so improving her condition, that
on this score at least no impediment existed.  When all his little plans
for her comfort had been carried into execution, he took the opportunity
one day of dropping in, as if accidentally, to speak to her.  By degrees
he led the subject to her changed condition in life--the alteration from
a cold, damp, smoky hovel, to a warm, clean, slated house--the cheerful
garden before the door that replaced the mud-heap and the duck-pool--and
all the other happy changes which a few weeks had effected.  And he then
asked, did she not feel grateful to a bountiful Providence that had
showered down so many blessings upon her head?

"Ah, troth, its thrue for yer honour, I am grateful," she replied, in a
whining discordant tone, which astonished the worthy parson.

"Of course you are, my good woman, of course you are--but I mean to say,
don't you feel that every moment you live is too short to express your
thankfulness to this kind Providence for what he has done?"

"Ah, darlin', it's all thrue, he's very good, he's mighty kind, so he
is."

"Why then, not acknowledge it in a different manner?" said the parson,
with some heat--"has he not housed you, and fed you, and clothed you?"

"Yes, alanah, he done it all."

"Well, where is your gratitude for all these mercies?"

"Ah, sure if he did," said the old crone, roused at length by the
importunity of the questioner--"sure if he did, doesn't he take it
out o' me in the corns?"



CHAPTER XLIV.

A REMINISCENCE OF THE EAST.

The breakfast-table assembled around it the three generations of men who
issued from the three subdivisions of the diligence, and presented that
motley and mixed assemblage of ranks, ages, and countries, which forms
so very amusing a part of a traveller's experience.

First came the "haute aristocratie" of the coupe, then the middle class
of the interieure, and lastly, the tiers etat of the rotonde, with its
melange of Jew money-lenders, under-officers and their wives, a Norman
nurse with a high cap and a red jupe; while, to close the procession, a
German student descended from the roof, with a beard, a blouse, and a
meerschaum.  Of such materials was our party made up; and yet, differing
in all our objects and interests, we speedily amalgamated into a very
social state of intimacy, and chatted away over our breakfast with much
good humour and gaiety.  Each person of the number seeming pleased at the
momentary opportunity of finding a new listener, save my tall companion
of the coupe.  He preserved a dogged silence, unbroken by even a chance
expression to the waiter, who observed his wants and supplied them by a
species of quick instinct, evidently acquired by practice.  As I could
not help feeling somewhat interested about the hermit-like attachment he
evinced for solitude, I watched him narrowly for some time, and at length
as the "roti" made its appearance before him, after he had helped himself
and tasted it, he caught my eye fixed upon him, and looking at me
intently for a few seconds, he seemed to be satisfied in some passing
doubt he laboured under, as he said with a most peculiar shake of the
head--"No mangez, no mangez cela."

"Ah," said I, detecting in my friend's French his English origin, "you
are an Englishman I find."

"The devil a doubt of it, darlin'," said he half testily.

"An Irishman, too--still better," said I.

"Why then isn't it strange that my French always shows me to be English,
and my English proves me Irish?  It's lucky for me there's no going
farther any how."

Delighted to have thus fallen upon a "character," as the Irishman
evidently appeared, I moved my chair towards his; and finding, however,
he was not half pleased at the manner in which my acquaintance had been
made with him, and knowing his country's susceptibility of being taken by
a story, I resolved to make my advances by narrating a circumstance which
had once befallen me in my early life.

Our countrymen, English and Irish, travel so much now a days, that one
ought never to feel surprised at finding them anywhere.  The instance I
am about to relate will verify to a certain extent the fact, by showing
that no situation is too odd or too unlikely to be within the verge of
calculation.

When the 10th foot, to which I then belonged, were at Corfu, I obtained
with three other officers a short leave of absence, to make a hurried
tour of the Morea, and taking a passing glance at Constantinople--in
those days much less frequently visited by travellers than at present.

After rambling pleasantly about for some weeks, we were about to return,
when we determined that before sailing we should accept an invitation
some officers of the "Dwarf" frigate, then stationed there, had given us,
to pass a day at Pera, and pic-nic in the mountain.

One fine bright morning was therefore selected--a most appetizing little
dinner being carefully packed up--we set out, a party of fourteen, upon
our excursion.

The weather was glorious, and the scene far finer than any of us had
anticipated--the view from the mountain extending over the entire city,
gorgeous in the rich colouring of its domes and minarets; while, at one
side, the golden horn was visible, crowded with ships of every nation,
and, at the other, a glimpse might be had of the sea of Marmora, blue and
tranquil as it lay beneath.  The broad bosom of the Bosphorus was sheeted
out like a map before us--peaceful yet bustling with life and animation.
Here lay the union-jack of old England, floating beside the lilies of
France--we speak of times when lilies were and barricades were not--the
tall and taper spars of a Yankee frigate towering above the low timbers
and heavy hull of a Dutch schooner--the gilded poop and curved galleries
of a Turkish three-decker, anchored beside the raking mast and curved
deck of a suspicious looking craft, whose red-capped and dark-visaged
crew needed not the naked creese at their sides to bespeak them Malays.
The whole was redolent of life, and teeming with food for one's fancy to
conjure from.

While we were debating upon the choice of a spot for our luncheon, which
should command the chief points of view within our reach, one of the
party came to inform us that he had just discovered the very thing we
were in search of.  It was a small kiosk, built upon a projecting rock
that looked down upon the Bosphorus and the city, and had evidently, from
the extended views it presented, been selected as the spot to build upon.
The building itself was a small octagon, open on every side, and
presenting a series of prospects, land and seaward, of the most varied
and magnificent kind.

Seeing no one near, nor any trace of habitation, we resolved to avail
ourselves of the good taste of the founder; and spreading out the
contents of our hampers, proceeded to discuss a most excellent cold
dinner.  When the good things had disappeared, and the wine began to
circulate, one of the party observed that we should not think of enjoying
ourselves before we had filled a bumper to the brim, to the health of our
good king, whose birth-day it chanced to be.  Our homeward thoughts and
loyalty uniting, we filled our glasses, and gave so hearty a "hip, hip,
hurra," to our toast, that I doubt if the echoes of those old rocks ever
heard the equal of it.

Scarcely was the last cheer dying away in the distance, when the door of
the kiosk opened, and a negro dressed in white muslin appeared, his arms
and ancles bearing those huge rings of massive gold, which only persons
of rank distinguish their servants by.

After a most profound obeisance to the party, he explained in very
tolerable French, that his master the Effendi, Ben Mustapha Al Halak, at
whose charge (in house rent) we were then resting, sent us greetings, and
begged that if not considered as contrary to our usages, &c. we should
permit him and his suite to approach the kiosk and observe us at our
meal.

Independent of his politeness in the mode of conveying the request, as he
would prove fully as entertaining a sight to us as we could possibly be
to him, we immediately expressed our great willingness to receive his
visit, coupled with a half hint that perhaps he might honour us by
joining the party.

After a half hour's delay, the door was once more thrown open, and a
venerable old Turk entered: he salaamed three times most reverently, and
motioned to us to be seated, declining, at the same time, by a gentle
gesture of his hand, our invitation.  He was followed by a train of six
persons, all splendidly attired, and attesting, by their costume and
manner, the rank and importance of their chief.  Conceiving that his
visit had but one object--to observe our convivial customs--we
immediately reseated ourselves, and filled our glasses.

As one after another the officers of the effendi's household passed
round the apartments, we offered them a goblet of champagne, which they
severally declined, with a polite but solemn smile--all except one, a
large, savage-looking Turk, with a most ferocious scowl, and the largest
black beard I ever beheld.  He did not content himself with a mute
refusal of our offer, but stopping suddenly, he raised up his hands above
his head, and muttered some words in Turkish, which one of the party
informed us was a very satisfactory recommendation of the whole company
to Satan for their heretic abomination.

The procession moved slowly round the room, and when it reached the door
again retired, each member of it salaaming three times as they had done
on entering.  Scarcely had they gone, when we burst into a loud fit of
laughter at the savage-looking fellow who thought proper to excommunicate
us, and were about to discuss his more than common appearance of disgust
at our proceedings, when again the door opened, and a turbaned head
peeped in, but so altered were the features, that although seen but the
moment before, we could hardly believe them the same.  The dark
complexion--the long and bushy beard were there--but instead of the
sleepy and solemn character of the oriental, with heavy eye and closed
lip, there was a droll, half-devilry in the look, and partly open mouth,
that made a most laughable contrast with the head-dress.  He looked
stealthily around him for an instant, as if to see that all was right,
and then, with an accent and expression I shall never forget, said, "I'll
taste your wine, gentleman, an it be pleasing to ye."



CHAPTER XLV.

A DAY IN THE PHOENIX.

When we were once more in the coupe of the diligence, I directed my
entire attention towards my Irish acquaintance, as well because of his
apparent singularity, as to avoid the little German in the opposite
corner.

"You have not been long in France, then, sir," said I, as we resumed our
conversation.

"Three weeks, and it seems like three years to me--nothing to
eat--nothing to drink--and nobody to speak to.  But I'll go back soon
--I only came abroad for a month."

"You'll scarcely see much of the Continent in so short a time."

"Devil a much that will grieve me--I didn't come to see it."

"Indeed!"

"Nothing of the kind; I only came--to be away from home."

"Oh!  I perceive."

"You're quite out there," said my companion, misinterpreting my meaning.
"It wasn't any thing of that kind.  I don't owe sixpence.  I was laughed
out of Ireland--that's all, though that same is bad enough."

"Laughed out of it!"

"Just so--and little you know of Ireland if that surprises you."

After acknowledging that such an event was perfectly possible, from what
I myself had seen of that country, I obtained the following very brief
account of my companion's reasons for foreign travel:

"Well, sir," began he, "it is about four months since I brought up to
Dublin from Galway a little chesnut mare, with cropped ears and a short
tail, square-jointed, and rather low--just what you'd call a smart hack
for going to cover with--a lively thing on the road with a light weight.
Nobody ever suspected that she was a clean bred thing--own sister to
Jenny, that won the Corinthians, and ran second to Giles for the
Riddlesworth--but so she was, and a better bred mare never leaped the
pound in Ballinasloe.  Well, I brought her to Dublin, and used to ride
her out two or three times a week, making little matches sometimes to
trot--and, for a thorough bred, she was a clipper at trotting--to trot
a mile or so on the grass--another day to gallop the length of the nine
acres opposite the Lodge--and then sometimes, back her for a ten pound
note, to jump the biggest furze bush that could be found--all or which
she could do with ease, nobody thinking, all the while, that the
cock-tailed pony was out of Scroggins, by a 'Lamplighter mare.'  As every
fellow that was beat to-day was sure to come back to-morrow, with
something better, either of his own or a friend's, I had matches booked
for every day in the week--for I always made my little boy that rode, win
by half a neck, or a nostril, and so we kept on day after day pocketing
from ten to thirty pounds or thereabouts.

"It was mighty pleasant while it lasted, for besides winning the money,
I had my own fun laughing at the spoonies that never could book my bets
fast enough.  Young infantry officers and the junior bar--they were for
the most part mighty nice to look at, but very raw about racing.  How
long I might have gone on in this way I cannot say; but one morning I
fell in with a fat, elderly gentleman, in shorts and gaiters, mounted on
a dun cob pony, that was very fidgety and hot tempered, and appeared to
give the rider a great deal of uneasiness.

"'He's a spicy hack you're on, sir,' said I, 'and has a go in him, I'll
be bound.'

"'I rayther think he has,' said the old gentleman, half testily.

"'And can trot a bit, too.'

"'Twelve Irish miles in fifty minutes, with my weight.'  Here he looked
down at a paunch like a sugar hosghead.

"'Maybe he's not bad across a country,' said I, rather to humour the old
fellow, who, I saw, was proud of his poney.

"'I'd like to see his match, that's all.'  Here he gave a rather
contemptuous glance at my hack.

"Well, one word led to another, and it ended at last in our booking a
match, with which one party was no less pleased than the other.  It was
this: each was to ride his own horse, starting from the school in the
Park, round the Fifteen Acres, outside the Monument, and back to the
start--just one heat, about a mile and a half--the ground good, and only
soft enough.  In consideration, however, of his greater weight, I was to
give odds in the start; and as we could not well agree on how much, it
was at length decided that he was to get away first, and I to follow as
fast as I could, after drinking a pewter quart full of Guinness's double
stout--droll odds, you'll say, but it was the old fellow's own thought,
and as the match was a soft one, I let him have his way.

"The next morning the Phoenix was crowded as if for a review.  There were
all the Dublin notorieties, swarming in barouches, and tilburies, and
outside jaunting-cars--smart clerks in the post-office, mounted upon
kicking devils from Dycer's and Lalouette's stables--attorney's wives
and daughters from York-street, and a stray doctor or so on a hack that
looked as if it had been lectured on for the six winter months at the
College of Surgeons.  My antagonist was half an hour late, which time I
occupied in booking bets on every side of me--offering odds of ten,
fifteen, and at last, to tempt the people, twenty-five to one against the
dun.  At last, the fat gentleman came up on a jaunting-car, followed by a
groom leading the cob.  I wish you heard the cheer that greeted him on
his arrival, for it appeared he was a well-known character in town, and
much in favour with the mob.  When he got off the car, he bundled into a
tent, followed by a few of his friends, where they remained for about
five minutes, at the end of which he came out in full racing costume
--blue and yellow striped jacket, blue cap and leathers--looking as funny
a figure as ever you set eyes upon.  I now thought it time to throw off
my white surtout, and show out in pink and orange, the colours I had been
winning in for two months past.  While some of the party were sent on to
station themselves at different places round the Fifteen Acres, to mark
out the course, my fat friend was assisted into his saddle, and gave a
short preliminary gallop of a hundred yards or so, that set us all
a-laughing.  The odds were now fifty to one in my favour, and I gave them
wherever I could find takers.  'With you, sir, if you please, in pounds,
and the gentleman in the red whiskers, too, if he likes--very well, in
half sovereigns, if you prefer it.'  So I went on, betting on every side,
till the bell rung to mount.  As I knew I had plenty of time to spare, I
took little notice, and merely giving a look to my girths, I continued
leisurely booking my bets.  At last the time came, and at the word
'Away!' off went the fat gentleman on the dun, at a spluttering gallop,
that flung the mud on every side of us, and once more threw us all
a-laughing.  I waited patiently till he got near the upper end of the park,
taking bets every minute; and now that he was away, every one offered to
wager.  At last, when I had let him get nearly half round, and found no
more money could be had, I called out to his friends for the porter, and,
throwing myself into the saddle, gathered up the reins in my hand.  The
crowd fell back on each side, while from the tent I have already
mentioned came a thin fellow with one eye, with a pewter quart in his
hand: he lifted it up towards me, and I took it; but what was my fright
to find that the porter was boiling, and the vessel so hot I could barely
hold it.  I endeavoured to drink, however: the first mouthful took all
the skin off my lips and tongue--the second half choked, and the third
nearly threw me into an apoplectic fit--the mob cheering all the time
like devils.  Meantime, the old fellow had reached the furze, and was
going along like fun.  Again I tried the porter, and a fit of coughing
came on that lasted five minutes.  The pewter was now so hot that the
edge of the quart took away a piece of my mouth at every effort. I
ventured once more, and with the desperation of a madman I threw down the
hot liquid to its last drop.  My head reeled--my eyes glared--and my
brain was on fire.  I thought I beheld fifty fat gentlemen galloping on
every side of me, and all the sky raining jackets in blue and yellow.
Half mechanically I took the reins, and put spurs to my horse; but before
I got well away, a loud cheer from the crowd assailed me.  I turned, and
saw the dun coming in at a floundering gallop, covered with foam, and so
dead blown that neither himself nor the rider could have got twenty yards
farther.  The race was, however, won.  My odds were lost to every man on
the field, and, worse than all, I was so laughed at, that I could not
venture out in the streets, without hearing allusions to my misfortune;
for a certain friend of mine, one Tom O'Flaherty--"

"Tom of the 11th light dragoons?"

"The same--you know Tom, then?  Maybe you have heard him mention me
--Maurice Malone?"

"Not Mr. Malone, of Fort Peak?"

"Bad luck to him.  I am as well known in connexion with Fort Peak, as the
Duke is with Waterloo.  There is not a part of the globe where he has not
told that confounded story."

As my readers may not possibly be all numbered in Mr. O'Flaherty's
acquaintance, I shall venture to give the anecdote which Mr. Malone
accounted to be so widely circulated.



CHAPTER XLVI.

AN ADVENTURE IN CANADA.

Towards the close of the last war with America, a small detachment of
military occupied the little block house of Fort Peak, which, about eight
miles from the Falls of Niagara, formed the last outpost on the frontier.
The Fort, in itself inconsiderable, was only of importance as commanding
a part of the river where it was practicable to ford, and where the easy
ascent of the bank offered a safe situation for the enemy to cross over,
whenever they felt disposed to carry the war into our territory.

There having been, however, no threat of invasion in this quarter, and
the natural strength of the position being considerable, a mere handful
of men, with two subaltern officers, were allotted for this duty--such
being conceived ample to maintain it till the arrival of succour from
head-quarters, then at Little York, on the opposite side of the lake.
The officers of this party were our old acquaintance Tom O'Flaherty, and
our newly-made one Maurice Malone.

Whatever may be the merits of commanding officers, one virtue they
certainly can lay small claim to--viz. any insight into character, or at
least any regard for the knowledge.  Seldom are two men sent off on
detachment duty to some remote quarter, to associate daily and hourly for
months together, that they are not, by some happy chance, the very people
who never, as the phrase is, "took to each other" in their lives.  The
grey-headed, weather-beaten, disappointed "Peninsular" is coupled with
the essenced and dandified Adonis of the corps; the man of literary
tastes and cultivated pursuits, with the empty headed, ill informed
youth, fresh from Harrow or Westminster.  This case offered no exception
to the rule; for though there were few men possessed of more assimilating
powers than O'Flaherty, yet certainly his companion did put the faculty
to the test, for any thing more unlike him, there never existed.  Tom all
good humour and high spirits--making the best of every thing--never
non-plussed--never taken aback--perfectly at home, whether flirting with
a Lady Charlotte in her drawing-room, or crossing a grouse mountain in
the highlands--sufficiently well read to talk on any ordinary topic--and
always ready-witted enough to seem more so.  A thorough sportsman,
whether showing forth in the "park" at Melton, whipping a trout-stream in
Wales, or filling a country-house with black cock and moor-fowl; an
unexceptionable judge of all the good things in life, from a pretty ancle
to a well hung tilbury--from the odds at hazard to the "Comet vintage."
Such, in brief, was Tom.  Now his confrere was none of these; he had been
drafted from the Galway militia to the line, for some election services
rendered by his family to the government candidate; was of a saturnine
and discontented habit; always miserable about some trifle or other, and
never at rest till he had drowned his sorrows in Jamaica rum--which,
since the regiment was abroad, he had copiously used as a substitute for
whiskey.  To such an extent had this passion gained upon him, that a
corporal's guard was always in attendance whenever he dined out, to
convey him home to the barracks.

The wearisome monotony of a close garrison, with so ungenial a companion,
would have damped any man's spirits but O'Flaherty's.  He, however, upon
this, as other occasions in life, rallied himself to make the best of it;
and by short excursions within certain prescribed limits along the river
side, contrived to shoot and fish enough to get through the day, and
improve the meagre fare of his mess-table.  Malone never appeared before
dinner--his late sittings at night requiring all the following day to
recruit him for a new attack upon the rum bottle.

Now, although his seeing so little of his brother officer was any thing
but unpleasant to O'Flaherty, yet the ennui of such a life was gradually
wearing him, and all his wits were put in requisition to furnish
occupation for his time.  Never a day passed without his praying ardently
for an attack from the enemy; any alternative, any reverse, had been a
blessing compared with his present life.  No such spirit, however, seemed
to animate the Yankee troops; not a soldier was to be seen for miles
around, and every straggler that passed the Fort concurred in saying that
the Americans were not within four day's march of the frontier.

Weeks passed over, and the same state of things remaining unchanged,
O'Flaherty gradually relaxed some of his strictness as to duty; small
foraging parties of three and four being daily permitted to leave the
Fort for a few hours, to which they usually returned laden with wild
turkeys and fish--both being found in great abundance near them.

Such was the life of the little garrison for two or three long summer
months--each day so resembling its fellow, that no difference could be
found.

As to how the war was faring, or what the aspect of affairs might be,
they absolutely knew nothing.  Newspapers never reached them; and whether
from having so much occupation at head-quarters, or that the difficulty
of sending letters prevented, their friends never wrote a line; and thus
they jogged on, a very vegetable existence, till thought at last was
stagnating in their brains, and O'Flaherty half envied his companion's
resource in the spirit flask.

Such was the state of affairs at the Fort, when one evening O'Flaherty
appeared to pace the little rampart that looked towards Lake Ontario,
with an appearance of anxiety and impatience strangely at variance with
his daily phlegmatic look.  It seemed that the corporal's party he had
despatched that morning to forage, near the "Falls," had not returned,
and already were four hours later than their time away.

Every imaginable mode of accounting for their absence suggested itself to
his mind.  Sometimes he feared that they had been attacked by the Indian
hunters, who were far from favourably disposed towards their poaching
neighbours.  Then, again, it might be merely that they had missed their
track in the forest; or could it be that they had ventured to reach Goat
Island in a canoe, and had been carried down the rapids.  Such were the
torturing doubts that passed as some shrill squirrel, or hoarse night owl
pierced the air with a cry, and then all was silent again.  While thus
the hours went slowly by, his attention was attracted by a bright light
in the sky.  It appeared as if part of the heavens were reflecting some
strong glare from beneath, for as he looked, the light, at first pale and
colourless, gradually deepened into a rich mellow hue, and at length,
through the murky blackness of the night, a strong clear current of flame
rose steadily upwards from the earth, and pointed towards the sky.  From
the direction, it must have been either at the Falls, or immediately near
them; and now the horrible conviction flashed upon his mind that the
party had been waylaid by the Indians, who were, as is their custom,
making a war feast over their victims.

Not an instant was to be lost.  The little garrison beat to arms; and, as
the men fell in, O'Flaherty cast his eyes around, while he selected a few
brave fellows to accompany him.  Scarcely had the men fallen out from the
ranks, when the sentinel at the gate was challenged by a well-known
voice, and in a moment more the corporal of the foraging party was among
them.  Fatigue and exhaustion had so overcome him, that for some minutes
he was speechless.  At length he recover sufficiently to give the
following brief account:--

The little party having obtained their supply of venison above Queenston,
were returning to the Fort, when they suddenly came upon a track of feet,
and little experience in forest life soon proved that some new arrivals
had reached the hunting grounds, for on examining them closely, they
proved neither to be Indian tracks, nor yet those made by the shoes of
the Fort party.  Proceeding with caution to trace them backwards for
three or four miles, they reached the bank of the Niagara river, above
the whirlpools, where the crossing is most easily effected from the
American side.  The mystery was at once explained: it was a surprise
party of the Yankees, sent to attack Fort Peak; and now the only thing to
be done was to hasten back immediately to their friends, and prepare for
their reception.

With this intent they took the river path as the shortest, but had not
proceeded far when their fears were confirmed; for in a little embayment
of the bank they perceived a party of twenty blue coats, who, with their
arms piled, were lying around as if waiting for the hour of attack.  The
sight of this party added greatly to their alarm, for they now perceived
that the Americans had divided their force--the foot-tracks first seen
being evidently those of another division.  As the corporal and his few
men continued, from the low and thick brushwood, to make their
reconnaisance of the enemy, they observed with delight that they were not
regulars, but a militia force.  With this one animating thought, they
again, with noiseless step, regained the forest, and proceeded upon their
way.  Scarcely, however, had they marched a mile, when the sound of
voices and loud laughter apprised them that another party was near,
which, as well as they could observe in the increasing gloom, was still
larger than the former.  They were now obliged to make a considerable
circuit, and advance still deeper into the forest--their anxiety hourly
increasing, lest the enemy should reach the Fort before themselves.  In
this dilemma it was resolved that the party should separate--the corporal
determining to proceed alone by the river bank, while the others, by a
detour of some miles, should endeavour to learn the force of the Yankees,
and, as far as they could, their mode of attack.  From that instant the
corporal knew no more; for, after two hours' weary exertion, he reached
the Fort, which, had it been but another mile distant, his strength had
not held out for him to attain.

However gladly poor O'Flaherty might have hailed such information under
other circumstances, now it came like a thunderbolt upon him.  Six of his
small force were away, perhaps ere this made prisoners by the enemy;
the Yankees, as well as he could judge, were a numerous party; and he
himself totally without a single adviser--for Malone had dined, and was,
therefore, by this time in that pleasing state of indifference, in which
he could only recognise an enemy, in the man that did not send round the
decanter.

In the half indulged hope that his state might permit some faint exercise
of the reasoning faculty, O'Flaherty walked towards the small den they
had designated as the mess-room, in search of his brother officer.

As he entered the apartment, little disposed as he felt to mirth at such
a moment, the tableau before him was too ridiculous not to laugh at.  At
one side of the fire-place sat Malone, his face florid with drinking, and
his eyeballs projecting.  Upon his head was a small Indian skull cap,
with two peacock feathers, and a piece of scarlet cloth which hung down
behind.  In one hand he held a smoking goblet of rum punch, and in the
other a long, Indian Chibook pipe.  Opposite to him, but squatted upon
the floor, reposed a red Indian, that lived in the Fort as a guide,
equally drunk, but preserving, even in his liquor, an impassive, grave
aspect, strangely contrasting with the high excitement of Malone's face.
The red man wore Malone's uniform coat, which he had put on back
foremost--his head-dress having, in all probability been exchanged for
it, as an amicable courtesy between the parties.  There they sat, looking
fixedly at each other; neither spoke, nor even smiled--the rum bottle,
which at brief intervals passed from one to the other, maintained a
friendly intercourse that each was content with.

To the hearty fit of laughing of O'Flaherty, Malone replied by a look of
drunken defiance, and then nodded to his red friend, who returned the
courtesy.  As poor Tom left the room, he saw that nothing was to be hoped
for in this quarter, and determined to beat the garrison to arms without
any further delay.  Scarcely had he closed the door behind him, when a
sudden thought flashed through his brain.  He hesitated, walked forward a
few paces, stopped again, and calling out to the corporal, said--

"You are certain they were militia?"

"Yes, sir; quite sure."

"Then, by Jove, I have it," cried O'Flaherty.  "If they should turn out
to be the Buffalo fencibles, we may get through this scrape better than I
hoped for."

"I believe you are right, sir; for I heard one of the men as I passed
observe, 'what will they say in Buffalo when it's over?'."

"Send Mathers here, corporal; and do you order four rank and file, with
side-arms to be in readiness immediately."

"Mathers, you have heard the news," said O'Flaherty, as the sergeant
entered.  "Can the Fort hold out against such a force as Jackson reports?
You doubt; well, so do I; so let's see what's to be done.  Can you
remember, was it not the Buffalo militia that were so tremendously
thrashed by the Delawares last autumn?"

"Yes, sir, they chased them for two days and nights, and had they not
reached the town of Buffalo, the Delawares would not have left a scalp
in the regiment."

"Can you recollect the chief's name--it was Carran--something, eh?"

"Caudan-dacwagae."

"Exactly.  Where is he supposed to be now?"

"Up in Detroit, sir, they say, but no one knows.  Those fellows are here
to-day, and there to-morrow."

"Well then, sergeant, here's my plan."  Saying these words, O'Flaherty
proceeded to walk towards his quarters, accompanied by the sergeant, with
whom he conversed for some time eagerly--occasionally replying, as it
appeared, to objections, and offering explanations as the other seemed to
require them.  The colloquy lasted half an hour--and although the veteran
sergeant seemed difficult of conviction, it ended by his saying, as he
left the room,

"Well, sir, as you say, it can only come to hard knocks at worst.  Here
goes--I'll send off the scout party to make the fires and choose the men
for the out picquets, for no time is to be lost."

In about an hour's time from the scene I have mentioned, a number of
militia officers, of different grades, were seated round a bivouac fire,
upon the bank of the Niagara river.  The conversation seemed of an angry
nature, for the voices of the speakers were loud and irrascible, and
their gestures evidenced a state of high excitement.

"I see," said one, who seemed the superior of the party--"I see well
where this will end.  We shall have another Queenston affair, as we had
last fall with the Delawares."

"I only say," replied another, "that if you wish our men to stand fire
to-morrow morning, the less you remind them of the Delawares the better.
What is that noise?  Is not that a drum beating?"

The party at these words sprung to their legs, and stood in an attitude
of listening for some seconds.

"Who goes there?" sung out a sentinel from his post; and then, after a
moment's delay, added--"Pass flag of truce to Major Brown's quarters."

Scarcely were the words spoken, when three officers in scarlet, preceded
by a drummer with a white flag, stood before the American party.

"To whom may I address myself?" said one of the British--who, I may
inform my reader, en passant, was no other than O'Flaherty--"To whom may
I address myself as the officer in command?"

"I am Major Brown," said a short, plethoric little man, in a blue uniform
and round hat--"And who are you?"

"Major O'Flaherty, of his majesty's fifth foot," said Tom, with a very
sonorous emphasis on each word--"the bearer of a flag of truce and an
amicable proposition from Major-General Allen, commanding the garrison of
Fort Peak."

The Americans, who were evidently taken by surprise at their intentions
of attack being known, were silent, while he continued--

"Gentlemen, it may appear somewhat strange that a garrison, possessing
the natural strength of a powerful position--supplied with abundant
ammunition and every muniment of war--should despatch a flag of truce on
the eve of an attack, in preference to waiting for the moment, when a
sharp and well-prepared reception might best attest its vigilance and
discipline.  But the reasons for this step are soon explained.  In the
first place, you intend a surprise.  We have been long aware of your
projected attack.  Our spies have tracked you from your crossing the
river above the whirlpool to your present position.  Every man of your
party is numbered by us; and, what is still more, numbered by our allies
--yes, gentlemen, I must repeat it, 'allies'--though, as a Briton, I
blush at the word.  Shame and disgrace for ever be that man's portion,
who first associated the honourable usages of war with the atrocious and
bloody cruelties of the savage.  Yet so it is: the Delawares of the
hills"--here the Yankees exchanged very peculiar looks--"have this
morning arrived at Fort Peak, with orders to ravage the whole of your
frontier, from Fort George to Lake Erie.  They brought us the information
of your approach, and their chief is, while I speak, making an infamous
proposition, by which a price is to paid for every scalp he produces in
the morning.  Now, as the general cannot refuse to co-operate with the
savages, without compromising himself with the commander-in-chief,
neither can he accept of such assistance without some pangs of
conscience.  He has taken the only course open to him: he has despatched
myself and my brother officers here"--O'Flaherty glanced at two privates
dressed up in his regimentals--"to offer you terms"--

O'Flaherty paused when he arrived thus far, expecting that the opposite
party would make some reply; but they continued silent: when suddenly,
from the dense forest, there rung forth a wild and savage yell, that rose
and fell several times, like the pibroch of the highlander, and ended at
last in a loud whoop, that was echoed and re-echoed again and again for
several seconds after.

"Hark!" said O'Flaherty, with an accent of horror--"Hark! the war-cry of
the Delawares!  The savages are eager for their prey.  May it yet be time
enough to rescue you from such a fate!  Time presses--our terms are
these--as they do not admit of discussion, and must be at once accepted
or rejected, to your own ear alone can I impart them."

Saying which, he took Major Brown aside, and, walking apart from the
others, led him, by slow steps, into the forest.  While O'Flaherty
continued to dilate upon the atrocities of Indian war, and the revengeful
character of the savages, he contrived to be always advancing towards the
river side, till at length the glare of a fire was perceptible through
the gloom.  Major Brown stopped suddenly, and pointed in the direction of
the flame.

"It is the Indian picquet," said O'Flaherty, calmly; "and as the facts I
have been detailing may be more palpable to your mind, you shall see them
with your own eyes.  Yes, I repeat it, you shall, through the cover of
this brushwood, see Caudan-dacwagae himself--for he is with them in
person."

As O'Flaherty said this, he led Major Brown, now speechless with terror,
behind a massive cork tree, from which spot they could look down upon the
river side, where in a small creek sat five or six persons in blankets,
and scarlet head-dresses; their faces streaked with patches of yellow and
red paint, to which the glare of the fire lent fresh horror.  In the
midst sat one, whose violent gestures and savage cries gave him the very
appearance of a demon, as he resisted with all his might the efforts of
the others to restrain him, shouting like a maniac all the while, and
struggling to rise.

"It is the chief," said O'Flaherty; "he will wait no longer.  We have
bribed the others to keep him quiet, if possible, a little time; but I
see they cannot succeed."

A loud yell of triumph from below interrupted Tom's speech.  The
infuriated savage--who was no other than Mr. Malone--having obtained the
rum bottle, for which he was fighting with all his might--his temper not
being improved in the struggle by occasional admonitions from the red end
of a cigar, applied to his naked skin by the other Indians--who were his
own soldiers acting under O'Flaherty's orders.

"Now," said Tom, "that you have convinced yourself, and can satisfy your
brother officers, will you take your chance? or will you accept the
honoured terms of the General--pile your arms, and retreat beyond the
river before day-break?  Your muskets and ammunition will offer a bribe
to the cupidity of the savage, and delay his pursuit till you can reach
some place of safety."

Major Brown heard the proposal in silence, and at last determined upon
consulting his brother officers.

"I have outstaid my time," said O'Flaherty, "but stop; the lives of so
many are at stake, I consent."  Saying which, they walked on without
speaking, till they arrived where the others were standing around the
watch-fire.

As Brown retired to consult with the officers, Tom heard with pleasure
how much his two companions had worked upon the Yankees' fears, during
his absence, by details of the vindictive feelings of the Delawares, and
their vows to annihilate the Buffalo militia.

Before five minutes they had decided.  Upon a solemn pledge from
O'Flaherty that the terms of the compact were to be observed as he stated
them, they agreed to march with their arms to the ford, where, having
piled them, they were to cross over, and make the best of their way home.

By sunrise the next morning, all that remained of the threatened attack
on Fort Peak, were the smouldering ashes of some wood fires--eighty
muskets piled in the fort--and the yellow ochre, and red stripes that
still adorned the countenance of the late Indian chief,--but now snoring
Lieutenant Maurice Malone.



CHAPTER XLVII.

THE COURIER'S PASSPORT.

A second night succeeded the long dreary day of the diligence, and the
only one agreeable reflection arose in the feeling that every mile
travelled, was diminishing the chance of pursuit, and removing me still
further from that scene of trouble and annoyance that was soon to furnish
gossip for Paris--under the title of "The Affaire O'Leary."

How he was ever to extricate himself from the numerous and embarrassing
difficulties of his position, gave me, I confess, less uneasiness than
the uncertainty of my own fortunes.  Luck seemed ever to befriend him--me
it had always accompanied far enough through life to make its subsequent
desertion more painful.  How far I should blame myself for this,
I stopped not to consider; but brooded over the fact in a melancholy
and discontented mood.  The one thought uppermost in my mind was, how
will Lady Jane receive me--am I forgotten--or am I only remembered as
the subject of that unlucky mistake, when, under the guise of an elder
son, I was feted and made much of.  What pretensions I had, without
fortune, rank, influence, or even expectations of any kind, to seek the
hand of the most beautiful girl of the day, with the largest fortune as
her dowry, I dare not ask myself--the reply would have dashed all my
hopes, and my pursuit would have at once been abandoned.  "Tell the
people you are an excellent preacher," was the advice of an old and
learned divine to a younger and less experienced one--"tell them so every
morning, and every noon, and every evening, and at last they will begin
to believe it."  So thought I.  I shall impress upon the Callonbys that
I am a most unexceptionable "parti."  Upon every occasion they shall hear
it--as they open their newspapers at breakfast--as they sip their soup at
luncheon--as they adjust their napkin at dinner--as they chat over their
wine at night.  My influence in the house shall be unbounded--my
pleasures consulted--my dislikes remembered.  The people in favour with
me shall dine there three times a-week--those less fortunate shall be put
into schedule A.  My opinions on all subjects shall be a law--whether I
pronounce upon politics, or discuss a dinner: and all this I shall
accomplish by a successful flattery of my lady--a little bullying of my
lord--a devoted attention to the youngest sister--a special cultivation
of Kilkee--and a very "prononce" neglect of Lady Jane.  These were my
half-waking thoughts, as the heavy diligence rumbled over the pave into
Nancy; and I was aroused by the door being suddenly jerked open, and a
bronzed face, with a black beard and moustache, being thrust in amongst
us.

"Your passports, Messieurs," as a lantern was held up in succession
across our faces, and we handed forth our crumpled and worn papers to the
official.

The night was stormy and dark--gusts of wind sweeping along, bearing with
them the tail of some thunder cloud--mingling their sounds with a falling
tile from the roofs, or a broken chimney-pot.  The officer in vain
endeavoured to hold open the passports while he inscribed his name; and
just as the last scrawl was completed, the lantern went out.  Muttering a
heavy curse upon the weather, he thrust them in upon us en masse, and,
banging the door to, called out to the conducteur, "en route."

Again we rumbled on, and, ere we cleared the last lamps of the town, the
whole party were once more sunk in sleep, save myself.  Hour after hour
rolled by, the rain pattering upon the roof, and the heavy plash of the
horses' feet contributing their mournful sounds to the melancholy that
was stealing over me.  At length we drew up at the door of a little
auberge; and, by the noise and bustle without, I perceived there was a
change of horses.  Anxious to stretch my legs, and relieve, if even for a
moment, the wearisome monotony of the night, I got out and strode into
the little parlour of the inn.  There was a cheerful fire in an open
stove, beside which stood a portly figure in a sheepskin bunta and a
cloth travelling cap, with a gold band; his legs were cased in high
Russia leather boots, all evident signs of the profession of the wearer,
had even his haste at supper not bespoke the fact that he was a
government courier.

"You had better make haste with the horses, Antoine, if you don't wish
the postmaster to hear of it," said he, as I entered, his mouth filled
with pie crust and vin de Beaune, as he spoke.

A lumbering peasant, with a blouse, sabots, and a striped nightcap,
replied in some unknown patois; when the courier again said--

"Well, then, take the diligence horses; I must get on at all events; they
are not so presse, I'll be bound; besides it will save the gens-d'armes
some miles of a ride if they overtake them here."

"Have we another vise of our passports here, then?" said I, addressing
the courier, "for we have already been examined at Nancy?"

"Not exactly a vise," said the courier, eyeing me most suspiciously as
he spoke, and then continuing to eat with his former voracity.

"Then, what, may I ask, have we to do with the gens-d'armes?"

"It is a search," said the courier, gruffly, and with the air of one who
desired no further questioning.

I immediately ordered a bottle of Burgundy, and filling the large goblet
before him, said, with much respect,

"A votre bonne voyage, Monsier le Courier."

To this he at once replied, by taking off his cap and bowing politely as
he drank off the wine.

"Have we any runaway felon or a stray galerien among us?" said I,
laughingly, "that they are going to search us?"

"No, monsieur," said the courier; "but there has been a government order
to arrest a person on this road connected with the dreadful Polish plot,
that has just eclated at Paris.  I passed a vidette of cavalry at Nancy,
and they will be up here in half an hour."

"A Polish plot!  Why, I left Paris only two days ago, and never heard of
it."

"C'est bien possible, Monsieur?  Perhaps, after all, it may only be an
affair of the police; but they have certainly arrested one prisoner at
Meurice, charged with this, as well as the attempt to rob Frascati, and
murder the croupier."

"Alas," said I, with a half-suppressed groan, "it is too true; that
infernal fellow O'Leary has ruined me, and I shall be brought back to
Paris, and only taken from prison to meet the open shame and ignominy of
a public trial."

What was to be done?--every moment was precious.  I walked to the door to
conceal my agitation.  All was dark and gloomy.  The thought of escape
was my only one; but how to accomplish it!  Every stir without suggested
to my anxious mind the approaching tread of horses--every rattle of the
harness seemed like the clink of accoutrements.

While I yet hesitated, I felt that my fate was in the balance.
Concealment where I was, was impossible; there were no means of
obtaining horses to proceed.  My last only hope then rested in the
courier; he perhaps might be bribed to assist me at this juncture.
Still his impression as to the enormity of the crime imputed, might
deter him; and there was no time for explanation, if even he would listen
to it.  I returned to the room; he had finished his meal, and was now
engaged in all the preparations for encountering a wet and dreary night.
I hesitated; my fears that if he should refuse my offers, all chance of
my escape was gone, deterred me for a moment.  At length as he wound a
large woollen shawl around his throat, and seemed to have completed his
costume, I summoned nerve for the effort, and with as much boldness in my
manner as I could muster, said--

"Monsieur le Courier, one word with you."  I here closed the door, and
continued.  "My fortunes--my whole prospects in life depend upon my
reaching Strasbourg by to-morrow night.  You alone can be the means of my
doing so.  Is there any price you can mention, for which you will render
me this service?--if so, name it."

"So then, Monsieur," said the Courier, slowly--"so, then, you are the--"

"You have guessed it," said I, interrupting.  "Do you accept my
proposal?"

"It is impossible," said he, "utterly impossible; for even should I be
disposed to run the risk on my own account, it would avail you nothing;
the first town we entered your passport would be demanded, and not being
vised by the minister to travel en courier, you would at once be detained
and arrested."

"Then am I lost," said I, throwing myself upon a chair; at the same
instant my passport, which I carried in my breast pocket, fell out at the
feet of the courier.  He lifted it and opened it leisurely.  So engrossed
was I by my misfortunes, that for some minutes I did not perceive, that
as he continued to read the passport, he smiled from time to time, till
at length a hearty fit of laughing awoke me from my abstraction.  My
first impulse was to seize him by the throat; controlling my temper,
however, with an effort, I said--

"And pray, Monsieur, may I ask in what manner the position I stand in
at this moment affords you so much amusement?  Is there any thing so
particularly droll--any thing so excessively ludicrous in my situation
--or what particular gift do you possess that shall prevent me throwing
you out of the window?"

"Mais, Monsieur," said he, half stifled with laughter, "do you know the
blunder I fell into? it is really too good.  Could you only guess who I
took you for, you would laugh too."

Here he became so overcome with merriment, that he was obliged to sit
down, which he did opposite to me, and actually shook with laughter.

"When this comedy is over," thought I, "we may begin to understand each
other."  Seeing no prospect of this, I became at length impatient, and
jumping on my legs, said--

"Enough, sir, quite enough of this foolery.  Believe me, you have every
reason to be thankful that my present embarrassment should so far engross
me, that I cannot afford time to give you a thrashing."

"Pardon, mille pardons," said he humbly; "but you will, I am sure,
forgive me when I tell you that I was stupid enough to mistake you for
the fugitive Englishman, whom the gens-d'armes are in pursuit of.  How
good, eh?"

"Oh! devilish good--but what do you mean?"

"Why, the fellow that caused the attack at Frascati, and all that, and--"

"Yes--well, eh?  Did you think I was him?"

"To be sure I did, till I saw your passport."

"Till you saw my passport!"  Why, what on earth can he mean? thought I.
"No, but," said I, half jestingly, "how could you make such a blunder?"

"Why, your confused manner--your impatience to get on--your hurried
questions, all convinced me.  In fact, I'd have wagered any thing you
were the Englishman."

"And what, in heaven's name, does he think me now?" thought I, as I
endeavoured to join the laugh so ludicrous a mistake occasioned.

"But we are delaying sadly," said the courier.  "Are you ready?"

"Ready?--ready for what?"

"To go on with me, of course.  Don't you wish to get early to
Strasbourg?"

"To be sure I do."

"Well, then, come along.  But, pray, don't mind your luggage, for my
caleche is loaded.  Your instruments can come in the diligence."

"My instruments in the diligence!  He's mad--that's flat."

"How they will laugh at Strasbourg at my mistake."

"That they will," thought I.  "The only doubt is, will you join in the
merriment?"

So saying, I followed the courier to the door, jumped into his caleche,
and in another moment was hurrying over the pave at a pace that defied
pursuit, and promised soon to make up for all our late delay.  Scarcely
was the fur-lined apron of the caleche buttoned around me, and the German
blinds let down, when I set to work to think over the circumstance that
had just befallen me.  As I had never examined my passport from the
moment Trevanion handed it to me in Paris, I knew nothing of its
contents; therefore, as to what impression it might convey of me, I was
totally ignorant.  To ask the courier for it now might excite suspicion;
so that I was totally at sea how to account for his sudden change in my
favour, or in what precise capacity I was travelling beside him.  Once,
and once only, the thought of treachery occurred to me.  Is he about to
hand me over to the gens-d'armes? and are we now only retracing our steps
towards Nancy?  If so, Monsieur le Courier, whatever be my fate, your's
is certainly an unenviable one.  My reflections on this head were soon
broken in upon, for my companion again returned to the subject of his
"singular error," and assured me that he was as near as possible leaving
me behind, under the mistaken impression of my being "myself;" and
informed me that all Strasbourg would be delighted to see me, which
latter piece of news was only the more flattering, that I knew no one
there, nor had ever been in that city in my life; and after about an
hour's mystification as to my tastes, habits, and pursuits, he fell fast
asleep, leaving me to solve the difficult problem as to whether I was not
somebody else, or the only alternative--whether travelling en courier
might not be prescribed by physicians as a mode of treating insane
patients.



CHAPTER XLVIII.

A NIGHT IN STRASBOURG.

With the dawn of day my miseries recommenced; for after letting down the
sash, and venting some very fervent imprecations upon the postillion for
not going faster than his horses were able, the courier once more
recurred to his last night's blunder, and proceeded very leisurely to
catechise me as to my probable stay at Strasbourg, when I should go from
there, &c.  As I was still in doubt what or whom he took me for, I
answered with the greatest circumspection--watching, the while, for any
clue that might lead me to a discovery of myself.  Thus, occasionally
evading all pushing and home queries, and sometimes, when hard pressed,
feigning drowsiness, I passed the long and anxious day--the fear of being
overtaken ever mingling with the thoughts that some unlucky admission of
mine might discover my real character to the courier, who, at any post
station, might hand me over to the authorities.  Could I only guess at
the part I am performing, thought I, and I might manage to keep up the
illusion; but my attention was so entirely engrossed by fencing off all
his threats, that I could find out nothing.  At last, as night drew near,
the thought that we were approaching Strasbourg rallied my spirits,
suggesting an escape from all pursuit, as well as the welcome prospect of
getting rid of my present torturer, who, whenever I awoke from a doze,
reverted to our singular meeting with a pertinacity that absolutely
seemed like malice.

"As I am aware that this is your first visit to Strasbourg," said the
courier, "perhaps I can be of service to you in recommending a hotel.
Put up, I advise you, at the 'Bear'--a capital hotel, and not ten
minutes' distance from the theatre."

I thanked him for the counsel; and, rejoicing in the fact that my
prototype, whoever he might be, was unknown in the city, began to feel
some little hope of getting through this scrape, as I had done so many
others.

"They have been keeping the 'Huguenots' for your arrival, and all
Strasbourg is impatient for your coming."

"Indeed!" said I, mumbling something meant to be modest.  "Who the devil
am I, then, to cause all this fracas?  Heaven grant, not the new
'prefect,' or the commander of the forces."

"I am told the 'Zauberflotte' is your favourite opera?"

"I can't say that I ever heard it--that is, I mean that I could say--well
got up."

Here I floundered on having so far forgot myself as to endanger every
thing.

"How very unfortunate!  Well, I hope you will not long have as much to
say.  Meanwhile, here we are--this is the 'Bear.'"

We rattled into the ample porte cochere of a vast hotel--the postillion
cracking his enormous whip, and bells ringing on every side, as if the
crown prince of Russia had been the arrival, and not a poor sub. in the
__th.

The courier jumped out, and running up to the landlord, whispered a few
words in his ear, to which the other answered by a deep "ah, vraiment!"
and then saluted me with an obsequiousness that made my flesh quake.

"I shall make 'mes hommages' in the morning," said the courier, as he
drove off at full speed to deliver his despatches, and left me to my own
devices to perform a character, without even being able to guess what it
might be.  My passport, too, the only thing that could throw any light
upon the affair, he had taken along with him, promising to have it vised,
and save me any trouble.

Of all my difficulties and puzzling situations in life, this was
certainly the worst; for however often my lot had been to personate
another, yet hitherto I had had the good fortune to be aware of what and
whom I was performing.  Now I might be any body from Marshal Soult to
Monsieur Scribe; one thing only was certain, I must be a "celebrity."
The confounded pains and trouble they were taking to receive me, attested
that fact, and left me to the pleasing reflection that my detection,
should it take place, would be sure of attracting a very general
publicity.  Having ordered my supper from the landlord, with a certain
air of reserve, sufficient to prevent even an Alsace host from obtruding
any questions upon me, I took my opportunity to stroll from the inn down
to the river side.  There lay the broad, rapid Rhine, separating me, by
how narrow a gulph, from that land, where, if I once arrived, my safety
was certain.  Never did that great boundary of nations strike me so
forcibly, as now when my own petty interests and fortunes were at stake.
Night was fast settling upon the low flat banks of the stream, and
nothing stirred, save the ceaseless ripple of the river.  One fishing
barque alone was on the water.  I hailed the solitary tenant of it, and
after some little parley, induced him to ferry me over.  This, however,
could only be done when the night was farther advanced--it being against
the law to cross the river except at certain hours, and between two
established points, where officers of the revenue were stationed.  The
fisherman was easily bribed, however, to evade the regulation, and only
bargained that I should meet him on the bank before daybreak.  Having
settled this point to my satisfaction, I returned to my hotel in better
spirits; and with a Strasbourg pate, and a flask of Nierensteiner, drank
to my speedy deliverance.

How to consume the long, dreary hours between this time and that of my
departure, I knew not; for though greatly fatigued, I felt that sleep was
impossible; the usual resource of a gossip with the host was equally out
of the question; and all that remained was the theatre, which I happily
remembered was not far from the hotel.

It was an opera night, and the house was crowded to excess; but with some
little management, I obtained a place in a box near the stage.  The piece
was "Les Franc Macons," which was certainly admirably supported, and drew
down from the audience--no mean one as judges of music--the loudest
thunders of applause.  As for me, the house was a great a curiosity as
the opera.  The novel spectacle of some hundred (thousand?) people
relishing and appreciating the highest order of musical genius, was
something totally new and surprising to me.  The curtain at length fell
upon the fifth act.

And now the deafening roar of acclamation was tremendous; and amid a
perfect shout of enthusiasm, the manager announced the opera for the
ensuing evening.  Scarcely had this subsided, when a buzz ran through the
house; at first subdued, but gradually getting louder--extending from the
boxes to the balcone--from the balcone to the parterre--and finally even
to the galleries.  Groups of people stood upon the benches, and looked
fixedly in one part of the house; then changed and regarded as eagerly
the other.

What can this mean? thought I.  Is the theatre on fire?  Something surely
has gone wrong!

In this conviction, with the contagious spirit of curiosity, I mounted
upon a seat, and looked about me on every side; but unable still to catch
the object which seemed to attract the rest, as I was about to resume my
place, my eyes fell upon a well-known face, which in an instant I
remembered was that of my late fellow-traveller the courier.  Anxious to
avoid his recognition, I attempted to get down at once; but before I
could accomplish it, the wretch had perceived and recognised me; and I
saw him, even with a gesture of delight, point me out to some friends
beside him.

"Confound the fellow," muttered I; "I must leave this at once, or I shall
be involved in some trouble."

Scarcely was my my resolve taken, when a new burst of voices arose from
the pit--the words "l'Auteur," "l'Auteur," mingling with loud cries for
"Meerberger," "Meerberger," to appear.  So, thought I, it seems the great
composer is here.  Oh, by Jove!  I must have a peep at him before I go.
So, leaning over the front rail of the box, I looked anxiously about to
catch one hasty glimpse of one of the great men of his day and country.
What was my surprise, however, to perceive that about two thousand eyes
were firmly rivetted upon the box I was seated in; while about half the
number of tongues called out unceasingly, "Mr. Meerberger--vive
Meerberger--vive l'Auteur des Franc Macons--vive Franc Macons," &c.
Before I could turn to look for the hero of the scene, my legs were taken
from under me, and I felt myself lifted by several strong men and held
out in front of the box, while the whole audience, rising en masse,
saluted me--yes, me, Harry Lorrequer--with a cheer that shook the
building.  Fearful of precipitating myself into the pit beneath, if I
made the least effort, and half wild with terror and amazement, I stared
about like a maniac, while a beautiful young woman tripped along the edge
of the box, supported by her companion's hand, and placed lightly upon my
brow a chaplet of roses and laurel.  Here the applause was like an
earthquake.

"May the devil fly away with half of ye," was my grateful response, to as
full a cheer of applause as ever the walls of the house re-echoed to.

"On the stage--on the stage!" shouted that portion of the audience who,
occupying the same side of the house as myself, preferred having a better
view of me; and to the stage I was accordingly hurried, down a narrow
stair, through a side scene, and over half the corps de ballet who were
waiting for their entree.  Kicking, plunging, buffetting like a madman,
they carried me to the "flats," when the manager led me forward to the
foot lights, my wreath of flowers contrasting rather ruefully with my
bruised cheeks and torn habiliments.  Human beings, God be praised, are
only capable of certain efforts--so that one-half the audience were
coughing their sides out, while the other were hoarse as bull-frogs from
their enthusiasm in less than five minutes.

"You'll have what my friend Rooney calls a chronic bronchitis for this,
these three weeks," said I, "that's one comfort," as I bowed my way back
to the "practicable" door, through which I made my exit, with the
thousand faces of the parterre shouting my name, or, as fancy dictated,
that of one of "my" operas.  I retreated behind the scenes, to encounter
very nearly as much, and at closer quarters, too, as that lately
sustained before the audience.  After an embrace of two minutes duration
from the manager, I ran the gauntlet from the prima donna to the last
triangle of the orchestra, who cut away a back button of my coat as a
"souvenir."  During all this, I must confess, very little acting was
needed on my part.  They were so perfectly contented with their
self-deception, that if I had made an affidavit before the mayor--if
there be such a functionary in such an insane town--they would not have
believed me.  Wearied and exhausted at length, by all I had gone through,
I sat down upon a bench, and, affecting to be overcome by my feelings,
concealed my face in my handkerchief.  This was the first moment of
relief I experienced since my arrival; but it was not to last long, for
the manager, putting down his head close to my ear, whispered--

"Monsieur Meerberger, I have a surprise for you--such as you have not had
for some time, I venture to say"--

"I defy you on this head," thought I.  "If they make me out king Solomon
now, it will not amaze me"--

"And when I tell you my secret," continued he, "you will acknowledge I
cannot be of a very jealous disposition.  Madame Baptiste has just told
me she knew you formerly, and that--she--that is, you--were--in fact, you
understand--there had been--so to say--a little 'amourette' between you."

I groaned in spirit as I thought, now am I lost without a chance of
escape--the devil take her reminiscences.

"I see," continued le bon mari, "you cannot guess of whom I speak; but
when I tell you of Amelie Grandet, your memory will, perhaps, be better."

"Amelie Grandet!" said I, with a stage start.  I need not say that I had
never heard the name before.  "Amelie Grandet here!"

"Yes, that she is," said the manager, rubbing his hands; "and my wife,
too"--

"Married!--Amelie Grandet married!  No, no; it is impossible--I cannot
believe it.  But were it true--true, mark me--for worlds would I not meet
her."

"Comment il est drole," said the manager, soliloquising aloud; "for my
wife takes it much easier, seeing they never met each other since they
were fifteen."

"Ho, ho!" thought I, "the affair is not so bad either--time makes great
changes in that space."  "And does she still remember me?" said I, in a
very Romeo-in-the-garden voice.

"Why, so far as remembering the little boy that used to play with her in
the orchard at her mother's cottage near Pirna, and with whom she used to
go boating upon the Elbe, I believe the recollection is perfect.  But
come along--she insists upon seeing you, and is this very moment waiting
supper in our room for you."

"A thorough German she must be," thought I, "with her sympathies and her
supper--her reminiscences and her Rhine wine hunting in couples through
her brain."

Summoning courage from the fact of our long absence from each other, I
followed the manager through a wilderness of pavilions, forests, clouds
and cataracts, and at length arrived at a little door, at which he
knocked gently.

"Come in," said a soft voice inside.  We opened, and beheld a very
beautiful young woman, in Tyrolese costume.  She was to perform in the
afterpiece--her low boddice and short scarlet petticoat displaying the
most perfect symmetry of form and roundness of proportion.  She was
dressing her hair before a low glass as we came in, and scarcely turned
at our approach; but in an instant, as if some sudden thought had struck
her, she sprung fully round, and looking at me fixedly for above a
minute--a very trying one for me--she glanced at her husband, whose
countenance plainly indicated that she was right, and calling out,
"C'est lui--c'est bien lui," threw herself into my arms, and sobbed
convulsively.

"If this were to be the only fruits of my impersonation," thought I, "it
is not so bad--but I am greatly afraid these good people will find out a
wife and seven babies for me before morning."

Whether the manager thought that enough had been done for stage effect,
I know not; but he gently disengaged the lovely Amelie, and deposited her
upon a sofa, to a place upon which she speedily motioned me by a look
from a pair of very seducing blue eyes.

"Francois, mon cher, you must put off La Chaumiere.  I can't play
to-night."

"Put it off!  But only think of the audience, ma mie--they will pull down
the house."

"C'est possible," said she, carelessly.  "If that give them any pleasure,
I suppose they must be indulged; but I, too, must have a little of my own
way.  I shall not play."

The tone this was said in--the look--the easy gesture of command--no less
than the afflicted helplessness of the luckless husband, showed me that
Amelie, however docile as a sweetheart, had certainly her own way as
wife.

While Le cher Francois then retired, to make his proposition to the
audience, of substituting something for the Chaumiere--the "sudden
illness of Madame Baptiste having prevented her appearance,"--we began to
renew our old acquaintance, by a thousand inquiries from that long-past
time, when we were sweethearts and lovers.

"You remember me then so well?" said I.

"As of yesterday.  You are much taller, and your eyes darker; but
still--there is something.  You know, however, I have been expecting to
see you these two days; and tell me frankly how do you find me looking?"

"More beautiful, a thousand times more beautiful than ever--all save in
one thing, Amelie."

"And that is--"

"You are married."

"How you jest.  But let us look back.  Do you ever think on any of our
old compacts?"  Here she pulled a leaf from a rose bud in her bouquet,
and kissed it.  "I wager you have forgotten that."

How I should have replied to this masonic sign, God knows; but the
manager fortunately entered, to assure us that the audience had kindly
consented not to pull down the house, but to listen to a five act tragedy
instead, in which he had to perform the principal character.  "So, then,
don't wait supper, Amelie; but take care of Monsieur Meerberger till my
return."

Thus, once more were we left to our souvenirs, in which, whenever hard
pushed myself, I regularly carried the war into the enemy's camp, by
allusions to incidents, which I need not observe had never occurred.
After a thousand stories of our early loves, mingled with an occasional
sigh over their fleeting character--now indulging a soft retrospect of
the once happy past--now moralising on the future--Amelie and I chatted
away the hours till the conclusion of the tragedy.

By this time, the hour was approaching for my departure; so, after a very
tender leave-taking with my new friend and my old love, I left the
theatre, and walked slowly along to the river.

"So much for early associations," thought I; "and how much better pleased
are we ever to paint the past according to our own fancy, than to
remember it as it really was.  Hence all the insufferable cant about
happy infancy, and 'the glorious schoolboy days,' which have generally no
more foundation in fact than have the 'Chateaux en Espagne' we build up
for the future.  I wager that the real Amant d'enfance, when he arrives,
is not half so great a friend with the fair Amelie as his unworthy
shadow.  At the same time, I had just as soon that Lady Jane should have
no 'premiers amours' to look back upon, except such as I have performed a
character in."

The plash of oars near me broke up my reflections, and the next moment
found me skimming the rapid Rhine, as I thought for the last time.  What
will they say in Strasbourg to-morrow?  How will they account for the
mysterious disappearance of Monsieur Meerberger?  Poor Amelie Grandet!
For so completely had the late incidents engrossed my attention, that I
had for the moment lost sight of the most singular event of all--how I
came to be mistaken for the illustrious composer.



CHAPTER XLIX.

A SURPRISE.

It was late upon the following day ere I awoke from the long deep sleep
that closed my labours in Strasbourg.  In the confusion of my waking
thoughts, I imagined myself still before a crowded and enthusiastic
audience--the glare of the foot-lights--the crash of the orchestra--the
shouts of "l'Auteur," "l'Auteur," were all before me, and so completely
possessed me, that, as the waiter entered with hot water, I could not
resist the impulse to pull off my night-cap with one hand, and press the
other to my heart in the usual theatrical style of acknowledgments for a
most flattering reception.  The startled look of the poor fellow as he
neared the door to escape, roused me from my hallucination, and awakened
me to the conviction that the suspicion of lunacy might be a still
heavier infliction than the personation of Monsieur Meerberger.

With thoughts of this nature, I assumed my steadiest demeanour--ordered
my breakfast in the most orthodox fashion--eat it like a man in his
senses; and when I threw myself back in the wicker conveniency they call
a caleche, and bid adieu to Kehl, the whole fraternity of the inn would
have given me a certificate of sanity before any court in Europe.

"Now for Munich," said I, as we rattled along down the steep street of
the little town.  "Now for Munich, with all the speed that first of
postmasters and slowest of men, the Prince of Tour and Taxis, will afford
us."

The future engrossed all my thoughts; and puzzling as my late adventures
had been to account for, I never for a moment reverted to the past.  "Is
she to be mine?" was the ever-rising question in my mind.  The thousand
difficulties that had crossed my path might long since have terminated a
pursuit where there was so little of promise, did I not cherish the idea
in my heart, that I was fated to succeed.  Sheridan answered the ribald
sneers of his first auditory, by saying, "Laugh on; but I have it in me,
and by ____ it shall come out."  So I whispered to myself:--Go on Harry.
Luck has been hitherto against you, it is true; but you have yet one
throw of the dice, and something seems to say, a fortunate one in store;
and, if so----, but I cannot trust myself with such anticipations.  I am
well aware how little the world sympathises with the man whose fortunes
are the sport of his temperament--that April-day frame of mind is ever
the jest and scoff of those hardier and sterner natures, who, if never
overjoyed by success, are never much depressed by failure.  That I have
been cast in the former mould, these Confessions have, alas! plainly
proved; but that I regret it, I fear also, for my character for sound
judgment, I must answer "No."

               Better far to be
                In utter darkness lying,
               Than be blest with light, and see
                That light for ever flying

is, doubtless, very pretty poetry, but very poor philosophy.  For myself
--and some glimpses of sunshine this fair world has afforded me, fleeting
and passing enough, in all conscience--and yet I am not so ungrateful as
to repine at my happiness, because it was not permanent, as I am thankful
for those bright hours of "Love's young dream," which, if nothing more,
are at least delightful souvenirs.  They form the golden thread in the
tangled web of our existence, ever appearing amid the darker surface
around, and throwing a fair halo of brilliancy on what, without it, were
cold, bleak, and barren.  No, no--

                    The light that lies
                    In woman's eyes,

were it twice as fleeting--as it is ten times more brilliant--than the
forked lightning, irradiates the dark gloom within us for many a long day
after it has ceased to shine upon us.  As in boyhood it is the humanizing
influence that tempers the fierce and unruly passions of our nature, so
in manhood it forms the goal to which all our better and higher
aspirations tend, telling us there is something more worthy than gold,
and a more lofty pinnacle of ambition than the praise and envy of our
fellow-men; and we may rest assured, that when this feeling dies within
us, that all the ideal of life dies with it, and nothing remains save the
dull reality of our daily cares and occupations.  "I have lived and have
loved," saith Schiller; and if it were not that there seems some
tautology in the phrase, I should say, such is my own motto.  If Lady
Jane but prove true--if I have really succeeded--if, in a word--but why
speculate upon such chances?--what pretensions have I?--what reasons to
look for such a prize?  Alas! and alas! were I to catechise myself too
closely, I fear that my horses' heads would face towards Calais, and that
I should turn my back upon the only prospect of happiness I can picture
to myself in this world.  In reflections such as these, the hours rolled
over, and it was already late at night when we reached the little village
of Merchem.  While fresh horses were being got ready, I seized the
occasion to partake of the table d'hote supper of the inn, at the door
of which the diligence was drawn up.  Around the long, and not
over-scrupulously clean table, sat the usual assemblage of a German
"Eilwagen"--smoking, dressing salad, knitting, and occasionally picking
their teeth with their forks, until the soup should make its appearance.
Taking my place amid this motley assemblage of mustachioed shopkeepers
and voluminously-petticoated frows, I sat calculating how long human
patience could endure such companionship, when my attention was aroused
by hearing a person near me narrate to his friend the circumstances of my
debut at Strasbourg, with certain marginal notes of his own that not a
little surprised me.

"And so it turned out not to be Meerberger, after all,": said the
listener.

"Of course not," replied the other.  "Meerberger's passport was stolen
from him in the diligence by this English escroc, and the consequence
was, that our poor countryman was arrested, the other passport being
found upon him; while the Englishman, proceeding to Strasbourg, took his
benefit at the opera, and walked away with above twelve thousand florins.

"Sappermint" said the other, tossing off his beer.  "He must have been a
clever fellow, though, to lead the orchestra in the Franc Macons."

"That is the most astonishing part of all; for they say in Strasbourg
that his performance upon the violin was far finer than Paganini's; but
there seems some secret in it, after all: for Madame Baptiste swears that
he is Meerberger; and in fact the matter is far from being cleared up
--nor can it be till he is apprehended."

"Which shall not be for some time to come," said I to myself, as,
slipping noiselessly from the room, I regained my "caleche," and in ten
minutes more was proceeding on my journey.  So much for correct
information, thought I.  One thing, however, is certain--to the chance
interchange of passports I owe my safety, with the additional
satisfaction that my little German acquaintance is reaping a pleasant
retribution for all his worry and annoyance of me in the coupe.

Only he who has toiled over the weary miles of a long journey
--exclusively occupied with one thought--one overpowering feeling--can
adequately commiserate my impatient anxiety as the days rolled slowly
over on the long tiresome road that leads from the Rhine to the south of
Germany.

The morning was breaking on the fourth day of my journey as the tall
spires of Munich rose to my view, amid the dull and arid desert of sand
that city is placed in.  At last! was my exclamation as the postilion
tapped at the window with his whip, and then pointed towards the city.
At last!  Oh! what would be the extacy of my feelings now could I
exchange the torturing anxieties of suspense for the glorious certainty
my heart throbs for; now my journey is nearing its end to see me claim as
my own what I now barely aspire to in the sanguine hope of a heart that
will not despair.  But cheer up, Harry.  It is a noble stake you play
for; and it is ever the bold gambler that wins.  Scarcely was this
reflection made half aloud, when a sudden shock threw me from my seat.
I fell towards the door, which, bursting open, launched me out upon the
road, at the same moment that the broken axletree of the caleche had
upset it on the opposite side, carrying one horse along with it, and
leaving the other with the postillion on his back, kicking and plunging
with all his might.  After assisting the frightened fellow to dismount,
and having cut the traces of the restive animal, I then perceived that in
the melee I had not escaped scatheless.  I could barely stand; and, on
passing my hand upon my instep, perceived I had sprained my ancle in the
fall.  The day was only breaking, no one was in sight, so that after a
few minutes' consideration, the best thing to do, appeared to get the
other horse upon his legs, and despatching the postillion to Munich,
then about three leagues distant, for a carriage, wait patiently on the
road-side for his return.  No sooner was the resolve made than carried
into execution; and in less than a quarter of an hour from the moment of
the accident, I was seated upon the bank, watching the retiring figure of
the postillion, as he disappeared down a hill, on his way to Munich.
When the momentary burst of impatience was over, I could not help
congratulating myself, that I was so far fortunate in reaching the end of
my journey ere the mischance befell me.  Had it occurred at Stuttgard I
really think that it would have half driven me distracted.

I was not long in my present situation till a number of peasants, with
broad-brimmed hats, and many-buttoned coats, passed on their way to work;
they all saluted me respectfully; but although they saw the broken
carriage, and might well guess at the nature of my accident, yet not
one ever thought of proffering his services, or even indulging curiosity,
by way of inquiry.  "How thoroughly German," thought I; "these people are
the Turks of Europe, stupified with tobacco and 'starkes bier.'  They
have no thought for any thing but themselves, and their own immediate
occupations."  Perceiving at length one whose better dress and more
intelligent look bespoke a rank above the common, I made the effort with
such "platt deutsch," as I could muster, to ask if there were any house
near, where I could remain till the postillion's return? and learned
greatly to my gratification, that by taking the path which led through a
grove of pine trees near me, I should find a chateau; but who was the
proprietor he knew not; indeed the people were only newly come, and he
believed were foreigners.  English he thought.  Oh, how my heart jumped
as I said, "can they be the Callonbys; are they many in family; are there
ladies--young ladies, among them?"--he knew not.  Having hastily arranged
with my new friend to watch the carriage till my return, I took the path
he showed me, and smarting with pain at every step, hurried along as best
I could towards the chateau.  I had not walked many minutes, when a break
in the wood gave me a view of the old mansion, and at once dispelled the
illusion that was momentarily gaining upon me.  "They could not be the
Callonbys."  The house was old; and though it had once been a fine and
handsome structure, exhibited now abundant traces of decay; the rich
cornices which supported the roof had fallen in many places, and lay in
fragments upon the terrace beneath; the portico of the door was half
tumbling; and the architraves of the windows were broken and dismantled;
the tall and once richly ornamented chimnies, were bereft of all their
tracery, and stood bolt upright in all their nakedness above the high
pitched roof.  A straggling "jet d'eau" was vigorously fighting its way
amid a mass of creeping shrubs and luxuriant lichens that had grown
around and above a richly carved fountain, and fell in a shower of
sparkling dew upon the rank grass and tall weeds around.  The gentle
murmur was the only sound that broke the stillness of the morning.

A few deities in lead and stone, mutilated and broken, stood like the
Genii loci, guarding the desolation about them, where an old,
superannuated peacock, with dropping, ragged tail was the only living
thing to be seen.  All bespoke the wreck of what once was great and
noble, and all plainly told me that such could not be the abode of the
Callonbys.

Half doubting that the house were inhabited, and half scrupling if so to
disturb its inmates from their rest, I sat down upon the terrace steps
and fell into a fit of musing on the objects about.  That strange
propensity of my countrymen to settle down in remote and unfrequented
spots upon the continent, had never struck me so forcibly; for although
unquestionably there were evident traces of the former grandeur of the
place, yet it was a long past greatness; and in the dilapidated walls,
broken statues, weed grown walls, and dark and tangled pine grove, there
were more hints for sadness than I should willingly surround myself by in
a residence.  The harsh grating of a heavy door behind roused me; I
turned and beheld an old man in a species of tarnished and worm-eaten
livery, who, holding the door, again gazed at me with a mingled
expression of fear and curiosity.  Having briefly explained the
circumstances which had befallen me, and appealed to the broken caleche
upon the road to corroborate a testimony that I perceived needed such
aid, the old man invited me to enter, saying that his master and mistress
were not risen, but that he would himself give me some breakfast, of
which by this time I stood much in want.  The room into which I was
ushered, corresponded well with the exterior of the house.  It was large,
bleak, and ill furnished; the ample, uncurtained windows; the cold, white
pannelled walls; the uncarpeted floor; all giving it an air of
uninhabitable misery.  A few chairs of the Louis-quatorze taste, with
blue velvet linings, faded and worn, a cracked marble table upon legs
that once had been gilt; two scarcely detectable portraits of a mail-clad
hero and a scarcely less formidable fair, with a dove upon her wrist,
formed the principal articles of furniture in the dismal abode, where so
"triste" and depressing did every thing appear, that I half regretted the
curiosity that had tempted me from the balmy air, and cheerful morning
without, to the gloom and solitude around me.

The old man soon re-appeared with a not despicable cup of "Cafe noir,"
and a piece of bread as large as a teaspoon, and used by the Germans
pretty much in the same way.  As the adage of the "gift horse" is of
tolerably general acceptation, I eat and was thankful, mingling my
acknowledgments from time to time with some questions about the owners of
the mansion, concerning whom I could not help feeling curious.  The
ancient servitor, however, knew little or nothing of those he served; his
master was the honourable baron; but of his name he was ignorant; his
mistress was young; they had not been many months there; they knew no
one--had no visitors--he had heard they were English, but did not know it
himself; they were "Gute leute," "good people," and that was enough for
him.  How strange did all this seem, that two people, young, too, should
separate themselves from all the attractions and pleasures of the world,
and settle down in the dark and dreary solitude, where every association
was of melancholy, every object a text for sad reflections.  Lost in
these thoughts I sat down beside the window, and heeded not the old man
as he noiselessly left the room.  My thoughts ran on over the strange
phases in which life presents itself, and how little after all external
influences have to do with that peace of mind whose origin is within.
The Indian, whose wigwam is beside the cataract, heeds not its thunders,
nor feels its sprays as they fall in everlasting dews upon him; the Arab
of the desert sees no bleakness in those never ending plains, upon whose
horizon his eye has rested from childhood to age.  Who knows but he who
inhabits this lonely dwelling may have once shone in the gay world,
mixing in its follies, tasting of its fascination; and to think that now
--the low murmurs of the pine tops, the gentle rustle of the water
through the rank grass, and my own thoughts combining, overcame me at
length, and I slept--how long I know not; but when I awoke, certain
changes about showed me that some length of time had elapsed; a gay wood
fire was burning on the hearth; an ample breakfast covered the table; and
the broadsheet of the "Times" newspaper was negligently reposing in the
deep hollow of an arm chair.  Before I had well thought how to apologize
for the cool insouciance of my intrusion, the door opened, and a tall,
well built man entered; his shooting jacket and gaiters were evidence of
his English origin, while a bushy moustache and most ample "Henri quatre"
nearly concealed features, that still were not quite unknown to me; he
stopped, looked steadily at me, placed a hand on either shoulder, and
calling out, "Harry--Harry Lorrequer, by all that's glorious!" rushed
from the room in a transport of laughter.

If my escape from the gallows depended upon my guessing my friend, I
should have submitted to the last penalty of the law; never was I so
completely nonplussed.  Confound him what does he mean by running away
in that fashion.  It would serve him right were I to decamp by one of
the windows before he comes back; but hark! some one is approaching.

"I tell you I cannot be mistaken," said the man's voice from without.

"Oh, impossible!" said a lady-like accent that seemed not heard by me for
the first time.

"Judge for yourself; though certainly the last time you saw him may
confuse your memory a little."

"What the devil does he mean by that?" said I, as the door opened, and a
very beautiful young woman came forward, who, after a moment's
hesitation, called out--

"True, indeed, it is Mr. Lorrequer, but he seems to have forgotten me."

The eyes, the lips, the tone of the voice, were all familiar.  What! can
it be possible?  Her companion who had now entered, stood behind her,
holding his sides with ill-suppressed mirth; and at length called out--

"Harry, my boy, you scarcely were more discomposed the last morning we
parted, when the yellow plush--"

"By Jove it is," said I, as I sprang forward, and seizing my fair friend
in my arms, saluted upon both cheeks my quondam flame, Miss Kamworth, now
the wife of my old friend Jack Waller, of whom I have made due mention in
an early chapter of these Confessions.

Were I given a muster roll of my acquaintance to say which of them might
inhabit this deserted mansion, Jack Waller would certainly have been the
last I should have selected--the gay, lively, dashing, high-spirited
Jack, fond of society, dress, equipage, living greatly in the world,
known to and liked by every body, of universal reputation.  Did you want
a cavalier to see your wife through a crush at the opera, a friend in a
duel, a rider for your kicking horse in a stiff steeple chase, a bow oar
for your boat at a rowing match, Jack was your man.  Such then was my
surprise at finding him here, that although there were many things I
longed to inquire about, my first question was--

"And how came you here?"

"Life has its vicissitudes," replied Jack, laughing; "many stranger
things have come to pass than my reformation.  But first of all let us
think of breakfast; you shall have ample satisfaction for all your
curiosity afterwards."

"Not now, I fear; I am hurrying on to Munich."

"Oh, I perceive; but you are aware that--your friends are not there."

"The Callonbys not at Munich!" said I, with a start.

"No; they have been at Saltzburgh, in the Tyrol, for some weeks; but
don't fret yourself, they are expected to-morrow in time for the court
masquerade; so that until then at least you are my guest."

Overjoyed at this information, I turned my attention towards madame,
whom I found much improved; the embonpoint of womanhood had still farther
increased the charms of one who had always been handsome; and I could not
help acknowledging that my friend Jack was warrantable in any scheme for
securing such a prize.



CHAPTER L.

JACK WALLER'S STORY.

The day passed quickly over with my newly-found friends, whose curiosity
to learn my adventures since we parted, anticipated me in my wish to
learn theirs.  After an early dinner, however, with a fresh log upon the
hearth, a crusty flask of red hermitage before us, Jack and I found
ourselves alone and at liberty to speak freely together.

"I scarcely could have expected such would be our meeting, Jack," said I,
"from the way we last parted."

"Yes, by Jove, Harry; I believe I behaved but shabbily to you in that
affair; but 'Love and War,' you know; and besides we had a distinct
agreement drawn up between us."

"All true; and after all you are perhaps less to blame than my own
miserable fortune that lies in wait to entrap and disappoint me at every
turn in life.  Tell me what do you know of the Callonbys?"

"Nothing personally; we have met them at dinner, a visit passed
subsequently between us, 'et voila tout;' they have been scenery hunting,
picture hunting, and all that sort of thing since their arrival; and
rarely much in Munich; but how do you stand there? to be or not to
be--eh?"

"That is the very question of all others I would fain solve; and yet am
in most complete ignorance of all about it; but the time approaches which
must decide all.  I have neither temper nor patience for further
contemplation of it; so here goes; success to the Enterprize."

"Or," said Jack, tossing off his glass at the moment, "or, as they would
say in Ireland, 'your health and inclinations, if they be virtuous.'"

"And now, Jack, tell me something of your own fortunes since the day you
passed me in the post-chaise and four."

"The story is soon told.  You remember that when I carried off Mary, I
had no intention of leaving England whatever: my object was, after making
her my wife, to open negociations with the old colonel, and after the
approved routine of penitential letters, imploring forgiveness, and
setting forth happiness only wanting his sanction to make it heaven
itself, to have thrown ourselves at his feet 'selon les regles,' sobbed,
blubbered, blew our noses, and dressed for dinner, very comfortable
inmates of that particularly snug residence, 'Hydrabad Cottage.'  Now
Mary, who behaved with great courage for a couple of days, after that got
low-spirited and depressed; the desertion of her father, as she called
it, weighed upon her mind, and all my endeavours to rally and comfort
her, were fruitless and unavailing.  Each day, however, I expected to
hear something of, or from, the colonel, that would put an end to this
feeling of suspense; but no--three weeks rolled on, and although I took
care that he knew of our address, we never received any communication.
You are aware that when I married, I knew Mary had, or was to have, a
large fortune; and that I myself had not more than enough in the world
to pay the common expenses of our wedding tour.  My calculation was this
--the reconciliation will possibly, what with delays of post--distance
--and deliberation, take a month--say five weeks--now, at forty pounds per
week, that makes exactly two hundred pounds--such being the precise limit
of my exchequer, when blessed with a wife, a man, and a maid, three
imperials, a cap-case, and a poodle, I arrived at the Royal Hotel, in
Edinburgh.  Had I been Lord Francis Egerton, with his hundred thousand a
year, looking for a new 'distraction,' at any price; or still more--were
I a London shopkeeper, spending a Sunday in Boulogne sur Mer, and trying
to find out something expensive, as he had only one day to stay, I could
not have more industriously sought out opportunities for extravagance,
and each day contrived to find out some two or three acquaintances to
bring home to dinner.  And as I affected to have been married for a long
time, Mary felt less genee among strangers, and we got on famously; still
the silence of the colonel weighed upon her mind, and although she
partook of none of my anxieties from that source, being perfectly
ignorant of the state of my finances, she dwelt so constantly upon this
subject, that I at length yielded to her repeated solicitations, and
permitted her to write to her father.  Her letter was a most proper one;
combining a dutiful regret for leaving her home, with the hope that her
choice had been such as to excuse her rashness, or, at least, palliate
her fault.  It went to say, that her father's acknowledgment of her, was
all she needed or cared for, to complete her happiness, and asking for
his permission to seek it in person.  This was the substance of the
letter, which upon the whole, satisfied me, and I waited anxiously for
the reply.  At the end of five days the answer arrived.  It was thus:--

     "'Dear Mary,

     "'You have chosen your own path in life, and having done so, I have
     neither the right nor inclination to interfere with your decision;
     I shall neither receive you, nor the person you have made your
     husband; and to prevent any further disappointment, inform you that,
     as I leave this to-morrow, any future letters you might think proper
     to address, will not reach me.

                              "'Yours very faithful,
                                        C. Kamworth, Hydrabad Cottage.'

"This was a tremendous coup, and not in the least anticipated by either
of us; upon me the effect was stunning, knowing, as I did, that our
fast-diminishing finances were nearly expended.  Mary on the other hand,
who neither knew nor thought of the exchequer, rallied at once from her
depression, and after a hearty fit of crying, dried her eyes, and putting
her arm round my neck, said:

"'Well, Jack, I must only love you the more, since papa will not share
any of my affection.'

"'I wish he would his purse though,' muttered I, as I pressed her in my
arms, and strove to seem perfectly happy.

"I shall not prolong my story by dwelling upon the agitation this letter
cost me; however, I had yet a hundred pounds left, and an aunt in
Harley-street, with whom I had always been a favourite.  This thought,
the only rallying one I possessed, saved me for the time; and as fretting
was never my forte, I never let Mary perceive that any thing had gone
wrong, and managed so well in this respect, that my good spirits raised
her's, and we set out for London one fine sunshiny morning, as happy a
looking couple as ever travelled the north road.

"When we arrived at the 'Clarendon,' my first care was to get into a cab,
and drive to Harley-street.  I rung the bell; and not waiting to ask if
my aunt was at home, I dashed up stairs to the drawing-room; in I bolted,
and instead of the precise old Lady Lilford, sitting at her embroidery,
with her fat poodle beside her, beheld a strapping looking fellow, with a
black moustache, making fierce love to a young lady on a sofa beside him.

"'Why, how is this--I really--there must be some mistake here.'  In my
heart I knew that such doings in my good aunt's dwelling were impossible.

"'I should suspect there is, sir,' drawled out he of the moustache, as he
took a very cool survey of me, through his glass.

"'Is Lady Lilford at home, may I ask,' said I, in a very apologetic tone
of voice.

"'I haven't the honor of her ladyship's acquaintance,' replied he in a
lisp, evidently enjoying my perplexity, which was every moment becoming
more evident.

"'But this is her house,' said I, 'at least--'

"'Lady Lilford is at Paris, sir,' said the young lady, who now spoke for
the first time.  'Papa has taken the house for the season, and that may
perhaps account for your mistake.'

"What I muttered by way of apology for my intrusion, I know not; but I
stammered--the young lady blushed--the beau chuckled, and turned to the
window, and when I found myself in the street, I scarcely knew whether to
laugh at my blunder, or curse my disappointment.

"The next morning I called upon my aunt's lawyer, and having obtained her
address in Paris, sauntered to the 'Junior Club,' to write her a letter
before post hour.  As I scanned over the morning papers, I could not help
smiling at the flaming paragraph which announced my marriage, to the only
daughter and heiress of the Millionaire, Colonel Kamworth.  Not well
knowing how to open the correspondence with my worthy relative, I folded
the paper containing the news, and addressed it to 'Lady Lilford, Hotel
de Bristol, Paris.'

"When I arrived at the 'Clarendon,' I found my wife and her maid
surrounded by cases and band-boxes; laces, satins and velvets were
displayed on all sides, while an emissary from 'Storr and Mortimer' was
arranging a grand review of jewellery on a side table, one half of which
would have ruined the Rajah of Mysore, to purchase.  My advice was
immediately called into requisition; and pressed into service, I had
nothing left for it, but to canvass, criticise, and praise, between
times, which I did, with a good grace, considering that I anticipated the
'Fleet,' for every flounce of Valenciennes lace; and could not help
associating a rich diamond aigrette, with hard labour for life, and the
climate of New South Wales.  The utter abstraction I was in, led to some
awkward contre temps; and as my wife's enthusiasm for her purchases
increased, so did my reverie gain ground.

"'Is it not beautiful, Jack?--how delicately worked--it must have taken a
long time to do it.'

"'Seven years,' I muttered, as my thoughts ran upon a very different
topic.

"'Oh, no--not so much,' said she laughing; 'and it must be such a hard
thing to do.'

"'Not half so hard as carding wool, or pounding oyster shells.'

"'How absurd you are.  Well, I'll take this, it will look so well in--'

"'Botany Bay,' said I, with a sigh that set all the party laughing, which
at last roused me, and enabled me to join in the joke.

"As, at length, one half of the room became filled with millinery, and
the other glittered with jewels and bijouterie, my wife grew weary with
her exertions, and we found ourselves alone.

"When I told her that my aunt had taken up her residence in Paris, it
immediately occurred to her, how pleasant it would be to go there too;
and, although I concurred in the opinion for very different reasons, it
was at length decided we should do so; and the only difficulty now
existed as to the means, for although the daily papers teem with 'four
ways to go from London to Paris;' they all resolved themselves into one,
and that one, unfortunately to me, the most difficult and impracticable
--by money.

"There was, however, one last resource open--the sale of my commission.
I will not dwell upon what it cost me to resolve upon this--the
determination was a painful one, but it was soon come to, and before
five-o'clock that day, Cox and Greenwood had got their instructions to
sell out for me, and had advanced a thousand pounds of the purchase.  Our
bill settled--the waiters bowing to the ground (it is your ruined man
that is always most liberal)--the post-horses harnessed, and impatient
for the road, I took my place beside my wife, while my valet held a
parasol over the soubrette in the rumble, all in the approved fashion of
those who have an unlimited credit with Coutts and Drummond; the whips
cracked, the leaders capered, and with a patronizing bow to the
proprietor of the 'Clarendon,' away we rattled to Dover.

"After the usual routine of sea sickness, fatigue, and poisonous cookery,
we reached Paris on the fifth day, and put up at the 'Hotel de Londres,'
Place Vendome.

"To have an adequate idea of the state of my feelings as I trod the
splendid apartments of this princely Hotel, surrounded by every luxury
that wealth can procure, or taste suggest, you must imagine the condition
of a man, who is regaled with a sumptuous banquet on the eve of his
execution.  The inevitable termination to all my present splendour, was
never for a moment absent from my thoughts, and the secrecy with which I
was obliged to conceal my feelings, formed one of the greatest sources of
my misery.  The coup, when it does come, will be sad enough, and poor
Mary may as well have the comfort of the deception, as long as it lasts,
without suffering as I do.  Such was the reasoning by which I met every
resolve to break to her the real state of our finances, and such the
frame of mind in which I spent my days at Paris, the only really unhappy
ones I can ever charge my memory with.

"We had scarcely got settled in the hotel, when my aunt, who inhabited
the opposite side of the 'Place,' came over to see us and wish us joy.
She had seen the paragraph in the Post, and like all other people with
plenty of money, fully approved a match like mine.

"She was delighted with Mary, and despite the natural reserve of the old
maiden lady, became actually cordial, and invited us to dine with her
that day, and every succeeding one we might feel disposed to do so.  So
far so well, thought I, as I offered her my arm to see her home; but if
she knew of what value even this small attention is to us, am I quite so
sure she would offer it?--however, no time is to be lost; I cannot live
in this state of hourly agitation; I must make some one the confidant of
my sorrows, and none so fit as she who can relieve as well as advise upon
them.  Although such was my determination, yet somehow I could not pluck
up courage for the effort.  My aunt's congratulations upon my good luck,
made me shrink from the avowal; and while she ran on upon the beauty and
grace of my wife, topics I fully concurred in, I also chimed in with her
satisfaction at the prudential and proper motives which led to the match.
Twenty times I was on the eve of interrupting her, and saying, 'But,
madam, I am a beggar--my wife has not a shilling--I have absolutely
nothing--her father disowns us--my commission is sold, and in three
weeks, the 'Hotel de Londres' and the 'Palais Royale,' will be some
hundred pounds the richer, and I without the fare of a cab, to drive me
to the Seine to drown myself.'

"Such were my thoughts; but whenever I endeavoured to speak them, some
confounded fulness in my throat nearly choked me; my temples throbbed, my
hands trembled, and whether it was shame, or the sickness of despair, I
cannot say; but the words would not come, and all that I could get out
was some flattery of my wife's beauty, or some vapid eulogy upon my own
cleverness in securing such a prize.  To give you in one brief sentence
an idea of my state, Harry--know, then, that though loving Mary with all
my heart and soul, as I felt she deserved to be loved, fifty times a day
I would have given my life itself that you had been the successful man,
on the morning I carried her off, and that Jack Waller was once more a
bachelor, to see the only woman he ever loved, the wife of another.

"But, this is growing tedious, Harry, I must get over the ground faster;
two months passed over at Paris, during which we continued to live at
the 'Londres,' giving dinners, soirees, dejeuners, with the prettiest
equipage in the 'Champs Elysees,' we were quite the mode; my wife, which
is rare enough for an Englishwoman, knew how to dress herself.  Our
evening parties were the most recherche things going, and if I were
capable of partaking of any pleasure in the eclat, I had my share, having
won all the pigeon matches in the Bois de Boulegard, and beat Lord Henry
Seymour himself in a steeple chase.  The continual round of occupation in
which pleasure involves a man, is certainly its greatest attraction
--reflection is impossible--the present is too full to admit any of the
past, and very little of the future; and even I, with all my terrors
awaiting me, began to feel a half indifference to the result in the
manifold cares of my then existence.  To this state of fatalism, for
such it was becoming, had I arrived, when the vision was dispelled in
a moment, by a visit from my aunt, who came to say, that some business
requiring her immediate presence in London, she was to set out that
evening, but hoped to find us in Paris on her return.  I was
thunderstruck at the news, for, although as yet I had obtained no manner
of assistance from the old lady, yet, I felt that her very presence was a
kind of security to us, and that in every sudden emergency, she was there
to apply to.  My money was nearly expended, the second and last
instalment of my commission was all that remained, and much of even that
I owed to trades-people.  I now resolved to speak out--the worst must be
known, thought I, in a few days--and now or never be it.  So saying, I
drew my aunt's arm within my own, and telling her that I wished a few
minutes conversation alone, led her to one of the less frequented walks
in the Tuilleries gardens.  When we had got sufficiently far to be
removed from all listeners, I began then--'my dearest aunt, what I have
suffered in concealing from you so long, the subject of my present
confession, will plead as my excuse in not making you sooner my
confidante.'  When I had got thus far, the agitation of my aunt was such,
that I could not venture to say more for a minute or two.  At length, she
said, in a kind of hurried whisper, 'go on;' and although then I would
have given all I possessed in the world to have continued, I could not
speak a word.

"'Dear John, what is it, any thing about Mary--for heavens sake speak.'

"'Yes,' dearest aunt, 'it is about Mary, and entirely about Mary.'

"'Ah, dear me, I feared it long since; but then, John, consider she is
very handsome--very much admired--and--'

"'That makes it all the heavier, my dear aunt--the prouder her present
position, the more severely will she feel the reverse.'

"'Oh, but surely, John, your fears must exaggerate the danger.'

"'Nothing of the kind--I have not words to tell you--'

"'Oh dear, oh dear, don't say so,' said the old lady blushing, 'for
though I have often remarked a kind of gay flirting manner she has with
men--I am sure she means nothing by it--she is so young--and so--'

"I stopped, stepped forward, and looking straight in my aunt's face,
broke out into a fit of laughter, that she, mistaking for hysterical
from its violence, nearly fainted upon the spot.

"As soon as I could sufficiently recover gravity to explain to my aunt
her mistake, I endeavoured to do so, but so ludicrous was the contre
temps, and so ashamed the old lady for her gratuitous suspicions, that
she would not listen to a word, and begged me to return to her hotel.
Such an unexpected turn to my communication routed all my plans, and
after a very awkward silence of some minutes on both sides, I mumbled
something about our expensive habits of life, costly equipage, number of
horses, &c., and hinted at the propriety of retrenchment.

"'Mary rides beautifully,' said my aunt, drily.'

"'Yes, but my dear aunt, it was not exactly of that I was going to speak,
for in fact--'

"Oh John,' said she, interrupting--'I know your delicacy too well to
suspect; but, in fact, I have myself perceived what you allude to, and
wished very much to have some conversation with you on the subject.'

"'Thank God,' said I to myself, 'at length, we understand each other--and
the ice is broken at last.'

"'Indeed, I think I have anticipated your wish in the matter; but as time
presses, and I must look after all my packing, I shall say good by for a
few weeks, and in the evening, Jepson, who stays here, will bring you,
"what I mean," over to your hotel; once more, then, good by.'

"'Good by, my dearest, kindest friend,' said I, taking a most tender
adieu of the old lady.  'What an excellent creature she is,' said I, half
aloud, as I turned towards home--'how considerate, how truly kind--to
spare me too all the pain of explanation.'  Now I begin to breathe once
more.  'If there be a flask of Johannisberg in the "Londres," I'll drink
your health this day, and so shall Mary;' so saying, I entered the hotel
with a lighter heart, and a firmer step than ever it had been my fortune
to do hitherto.

"'We shall miss the old lady, I'm sure, Mary, she is so kind.'

"'Oh! indeed she is; but then, John, she is such a prude.'

"Now I could not help recurring in my mind to some of the conversation in
the Tuilleries garden, and did not feel exactly at ease.

"'Such a prude, and so very old-fashioned in her notions.'

"'Yes, Mary,' said I, with more gravity than she was prepared for, 'she
is a prude; but I am not certain that in foreign society, where less
liberties are tolerated than in our country, if such a bearing be not
wiser.'  What I was going to plunge into, heaven knows, for the waiter
entered at the moment, and presenting me with a large and carefully
sealed package, said, 'de la part de mi ladi Lilfore,'--'but stay, here
comes, if I am not mistaken, a better eulogy upon my dear aunt, than any
I can pronounce.'

"How heavy it is, said I to myself, balancing the parcel in my hand.
'There is no answer,' said I, aloud to the waiter, who stood as if
expecting one.

"'The servant wishes to have some acknowledgment in writing, sir, that it
has been delivered into your own hands.'

"Jepson entered,--'well, George, your parcel is all right, and here is a
Napoleon to drink my health.'

"Scarcely had the servants left the room, when Mary, whose curiosity was
fully roused, rushed over, and tried to get the packet from me; after a
short struggle, I yielded, and she flew to the end of the room, and
tearing open the seals, several papers fell to the ground; before I could
have time to snatch them up, she had read some lines written on the
envelope, and turning towards me, threw her arms around my neck, and
said, 'yes Jack, she is, indeed, all you have said; look here,' I turned
and read--with what feeling I leave to you to guess--the following:--

"'Dear Nephew and Niece,

"'The enclosed will convey to you, with my warmest wishes for your
happiness, a ticket on the Francfort Lottery, of which I inclose the
scheme.  I also take the opportunity of saying that I have purchased the
Hungarian pony for Mary--which we spoke of this morning.  It is at
Johnston's stable, and will be delivered on sending for it.'

"'Think of that, Jack, the Borghese poney, with the silky tail; mine--Oh!
what a dear good old soul; it was the very thing of all others I longed
for, for they told me the princess had refused every offer for it.'

"While Mary ran on in this strain, I sat mute and stupified; the sudden
reverse my hopes had sustained, deprived me, for a moment, of all
thought, and it was several minutes before I could rightly take in the
full extent of my misfortunes.

"How that crazy old maid, for such, alas, I called her to myself now,
could have so blundered all my meaning--how she could so palpably have
mistaken, I could not conceive; what a remedy for a man overwhelmed with
debt--a ticket in a German lottery, and a cream-coloured pony, as if my
whole life had not been one continued lottery, with every day a blank;
and as to horses, I had eleven in my stables already.  Perhaps she
thought twelve would read better in my schedule, when I, next week,
surrendered as insolvent.

"Unable to bear the delight, the childish delight of Mary, on her new
acquisition, I rushed out of the house, and wandered for several hours in
the Boulevards.  At last I summoned up courage to tell my wife.  I once
more turned towards home, and entered her dressing-room, where she was
having her hair dressed for a ball at the Embassy.  My resolution failed
me--not now thought I--to-morrow will do as well--one night more of
happiness for her and then--I looked on with pleasure and pride, as
ornament after ornament, brilliant with diamonds and emeralds, shone in
her hair, and upon her arms, still heightened her beauty, and lit up with
a dazzling brilliancy her lovely figure.--But it must come--and whenever
the hour arrives--the reverse will be fully as bitter; besides I am able
now--and when I may again be so, who can tell--now then be it, said I, as
I told the waiting-maid to retire; and taking a chair beside my wife, put
my arm round her.

"'There, John dearest, take care; don't you see you'll crush all that
great affair of Malines lace, that Rosette has been breaking her heart to
manage this half hour.'

"'Et puis,' said I.

"'Et puis.  I could not go to the ball, naughty boy.  I am bent on great
conquest to-night; so pray don't mar such good intentions.'

"'And you should be greatly disappointed were you not to go?'

"'Of course I should; but what do you mean; is there any reason why I
should not?  You are silent, John--speak--oh speak--has any thing
occurred to my--'

"'No, no, dearest--nothing that I know has occurred to the Colonel.'

"'Well then, who is it?  Oh tell me at once.'

"'Oh, my dear, there is no one in the case but ourselves;' so saying,
despite the injunction about the lace, I drew her towards me, and in as
few words, but as clearly as I was able, explained all our circumstances
--my endeavour to better them--my hopes--my fears--and now my bitter
disappointment, if not despair.

"The first shock over, Mary showed not only more courage, but more
sound sense than I could have believed.  All the frivolity of her former
character vanished at the first touch of adversity; just as of old,
Harry, we left the tinsel of our gay jackets behind, when active service
called upon us for something more sterling.  She advised, counselled, and
encouraged me by turns; and in half an hour the most poignant regret I
had was in not having sooner made her my confidante, and checked the
progress of our enormous expenditure somewhat earlier.

"I shall not now detain you much longer.  In three weeks we sold our
carriages and horses, our pictures, (we had begun this among our other
extravagances,) and our china followed; and under the plea of health set
out for Baden; not one among our Paris acquaintances ever suspecting the
real reason of our departure, and never attributing any monied
difficulties to us--for we paid our debts.

"The same day we left Paris, I despatched a letter to my aunt, explaining
fully all about us, and suggesting that as I had now left the army for
ever, perhaps she would interest some of her friends--and she has
powerful ones--to do something for me.

"After some little loitering on the Rhine, we fixed upon Hesse Cassel for
our residence.  It was very quiet--very cheap.  The country around
picturesque, and last but not least, there was not an Englishman in the
neighbourhood.  The second week after our arrival brought us letters from
my aunt.  She had settled four hundred a year upon us for the present,
and sent the first year in advance; promised us a visit as soon as we
were ready to receive her; and pledged herself not to forget when an
opportunity of serving me should offer.

"From that moment to this," said Jack, "all has gone well with us.  We
have, it is true, not many luxuries, but we have no wants, and better
still, no debts.  The dear old aunt is always making us some little
present or other; and somehow I have a kind of feeling that better luck
is still in store; but faith, Harry, as long as I have a happy home, and
a warm fireside, for a friend when he drops in upon me, I scarcely can
say that better luck need be wished for."

"There is only one point, Jack, you have not enlightened me upon, how
came you here?  You are some hundred miles from Hesse, in your present
chateau."

"Oh! by Jove, that was a great omission in my narrative; but come, this
will explain it; see here"--so saying, he drew from a little drawer a
large lithographic print of a magnificent castellated building, with
towers and bastions, keep, moat, and even draw-bridge, and the walls
bristled with cannon, and an eagled banner floated proudly above them.

"What in the name of the Sphynxes is this?"

"There," said Jack, "is the Schloss von Eberhausen; or, if you like it in
English, Eberhausen Castle, as it was the year of the deluge; for the
present mansion that we are now sipping our wine in bears no very close
resemblance to it.  But to make the mystery clear, this was the great
prize in the Francfort lottery, the ticket of which my aunt's first note
contained, and which we were fortunate enough to win.  We have only been
here a few weeks, and though the affair looks somewhat meagre, we have
hopes that in a little time, and with some pains, much may be done to
make it habitable.  There is a capital chasses of some hundred acres;
plenty of wood and innumerable rights, seignorial, memorial, &c., which,
fortunately for my neighbours, I neither understand nor care for; and we
are therefore the best friends in the world.  Among others I am styled
the graf or count--."

"Well, then, Monsieur Le Comte, do you intend favouring me with your
company at coffee this evening; for already it is ten o'clock; and
considering my former claim upon Mr. Lorrequer, you have let me enjoy
very little of his society."

We now adjourned to the drawing-room, where we gossipped away till past
midnight; and I retired to my room, meditating over Jack's adventures,
and praying in my heart, that despite all his mischances, my own might
end as happily.



CHAPTER LI.

MUNICH.

The rest and quietness of the preceding day had so far recovered me from
the effects of my accident, that I resolved, as soon as breakfast was
over, to take leave of my kind friends, and set out for Munich.

"We shall meet to-night, Harry," said Waller, as we parted--"we shall
meet at the Casino--and don't forget that the Croix Blanche is your
hotel; and Schnetz, the tailor, in the Grande Place, will provide you
with every thing you need in the way of dress."

This latter piece of information was satisfactory, inasmuch as the
greater part of my luggage, containing my uniform, &c., had been left in
the French diligence; and as the ball was patronised by the court, I was
greatly puzzled how to make my appearance.

Bad roads and worse horses made me feel the few leagues I had to go the
most tiresome part of my journey.  But, of course, in this feeling
impatience had its share.  A few hours more, and my fate should be
decided; and yet I thought the time would never come.  If the Callonbys
should not arrive--if, again, my evil star be in the ascendant, and any
new impediment to our meeting arise--but I cannot, will not, think this
--Fortune must surely be tired of persecuting me by this time, and, even to
sustain her old character for fickleness, must befriend me now.  Ah! here
we are in Munich--and this is the Croix Blanche--what a dingy old
mansion!  Beneath a massive porch, supported by heavy stone pillars,
stood the stout figure of Andreas Behr, the host.  A white napkin,
fastened in one button-hole, and hanging gracefully down beside him--a
soup-ladle held sceptre-wise in his right hand, and the grinding motion
of his nether jaw, all showed that he had risen from his table d'hote to
welcome the new arrival; and certainly, if noise and uproar might explain
the phenomenon, the clatter of my equipage over the pavement might have
risen the dead.

While my postillion was endeavouring, by mighty efforts, with a heavy
stone, to turn the handle of the door, and thus liberate me from my cage,
I perceived that the host came forward and said something to him--on
replying, to which, he ceased his endeavours to open the door, and looked
vacantly about him.  Upon this I threw down the sash, and called out--

"I say, is not this the Croix Blanche?"

"Ya," said the man-mountain with the napkin.

"Well, then, open the door, pray--I'm going to stop here."

"Nein."

"No!  What do you mean by that?  Has not Lord Callonby engaged rooms
here?"

"Ya."

"Well, then, I am a particular friend of his, and will stay here also."

"Nein."

"What the devil are you at, with your ya and nein?" said I.  "Has your
confounded tongue nothing better than a monosyllable to reply with."

Whether disliking the tone the controversy was assuming, or remembering
that his dinner waited, I know not, but at these words my fat friend
turned leisurely round, and waddled back into the house; where, in a
moment after, I had the pleasure of beholding him at the head of a long
table, distributing viands with a very different degree of activity from
what he displayed in dialogue.

With one vigorous jerk, I dashed open the door, upsetting, at the same
time, the poor postillion, who had recommenced his operations on the
lock, and, foaming with passion, strode into the "salle a manger."
Nothing is such an immediate damper to any sudden explosion of temper, as
the placid and unconcerned faces of a number of people, who, ignorant of
yourself and your peculiar miseries at the moment, seem only to regard
you as a madman.  This I felt strongly, as, flushed in face and tingling
in my fingers, I entered the room.

"Take my luggage," said I to a gaping waiter, "and place a chair there,
do you hear?"

There seemed, I suppose, something in my looks that did not admit of much
parley, for the man made room for me at once at the table, and left the
room, as if to discharge the other part of my injunction, without saying
a word.  As I arranged my napkin before me, I was collecting my energies
and my German, as well as I was able, for the attack of the host, which,
I anticipated from his recent conduct, must now ensue; but, greatly to my
surprise, he sent me my soup without a word, and the dinner went on
without any interruption.  When the desert had made its appearance, I
beckoned the waiter towards me, and asked what the landlord meant by his
singular reception of me.  The man shrugged his shoulders, and raised his
eyebrows, without speaking, as if to imply, "it's his way."

"Well, then, no matter," said I.  "Have you sent my luggage up stairs?"

"No, sir, there is no room--the house is full."

"The house full!  Confound it--this is too provoking.  I have most urgent
reasons for wishing to stay here.  Cannot you make some arrangement--see
about it, waiter."  I here slipped a Napoleon into the fellow's hand, and
hinted that as much more awaited the finale of the negociation.

In about a minute after, I perceived him behind the host's chair,
pleading my cause with considerable energy; but to my complete chagrin,
I heard the other answer all his eloquence by a loud "Nein," that he
grunted out in such a manner as closed the conference.

"I cannot succeed, sir," said the man, as he passed behind me, "but don't
leave the house till I speak with you again."

What confounded mystery is there in all this, thought I.  Is there any
thing so suspicious in my look or appearance, that the old bear in the
fur cap will not even admit me.  What can it all mean.  One thing I'm
resolved upon--nothing less than force shall remove me.

So saying I lit my cigar, and in order to give the waiter an opportunity
of conferring with me unobserved by his master, walked out into the porch
and sat down.

In a few minutes he joined me, and after a stealthy look on each side,
said--

"The Herr Andreas is a hard man to deal with, and when he says a thing,
never goes back of it.  Now he has been expecting the new English Charge
d'Affaires here these last ten days, and has kept the hotel half empty in
consequence; and as mi Lor Callonby has engaged the other half, why we
have nothing to do; so that when he asked the postillion if you were mi
Lor, and found that you were not, he determined not to admit you."

"But why not have the civility to explain that?"

"He seldom speaks, and when he does only a word or two at a time.  He is
quite tired with what he has gone through to-day, and will retire very
early to bed; and for this reason I have requested you to remain, for as
he never ventures up stairs, I will then manage to give you one of the
ambassador's rooms, which, even if he come, he'll never miss.  So that if
you keep quiet, and do not attract any particular attention towards you,
all will go well."

This advice seemed so reasonable, that I determined to follow it--any
inconvenience being preferable, provided I could be under the same roof
with my beloved Jane; and from the waiter's account, there seemed no
doubt whatever of their arrival that evening.  In order, therefore, to
follow his injunctions to the letter, I strolled out toward the Place in
search of the tailor, and also to deliver a letter from Waller to the
chamberlain, to provide me with a card for the ball.  Monsieur Schnetz,
who was the very pinnacle of politeness, was nevertheless, in fact,
nearly as untractable as my host of the "Cross."  All his "sujets" were
engaged in preparing a suit for the English Charge d'Affaires, whose
trunks had been sent in a wrong direction, and who had despatched a
courier from Frankfort, to order a uniform.  This second thwarting, and
from the same source, so nettled me, that I greatly fear, all my respect
for the foreign office and those who live thereby, would not have saved
them from something most unlike a blessing, had not Monsieur Schnetz
saved diplomacy from such desecration by saying, that if I could content
myself with a plain suit, such as civilians wore, he would do his
endeavour to accommodate me.

"Any thing, Monsieur Schnetz--dress me like the Pope's Nuncio, or the
Mayor of London, if you like, but only enable me to go."

Although my reply did not seem to convey a very exalted idea of my taste
in costume to the worthy artiste, it at least evinced my anxiety for the
ball; and running his measure over me, he assured me that the dress he
would provide was both well looking and becoming; adding, "At nine
o'clock, sir, you'll have it--exactly the same size as his Excellency the
Charge d'Affaires."

"Confound the Charge d'Affaires!" I added, and left the house.



CHAPTER LII.

INN AT MUNICH.

As I had never been in Munich before, I strolled about the town till
dusk.  At that time the taste of the present king had not enriched the
capital with the innumerable objects of art which render it now second to
none in Europe.  There were, indeed, then but few attractions--narrow
streets, tall, unarchitectural-looking houses, and gloomy, unimpressive
churches.  Tired of this, I turned towards my inn, wondering in my mind
if Antoine had succeeded in procuring me the room, or whether yet I
should be obliged to seek my lodging elsewhere.  Scarcely had I entered
the porch, when I found him waiting my arrival, candle in hand.  He
conducted me at once up the wide oaken stair, then along the gallery,
into a large wainscotted room, with a most capacious bed.  A cheerful
wood fire burned and crackled away in the grate--the cloth was already
spread for supper--(remember it was in Germany)--the newspapers of the
day were placed before me--and, in a word, every attention showed that I
had found the true avenue to Antoine's good graces, who now stood bowing
before me, in apparent ecstasy at his own cleverness.

"All very well done, Antoine, and now for supper--order it yourself for
me--I never can find my way in a German 'carte de diner;' and be sure to
have a fiacre here at nine--nine precisely."

Antoine withdrew, leaving me to my own reflections, which now, if not
gloomy, were still of the most anxious kind.

Scarcely was the supper placed upon the table, when a tremendous tramping
of horses along the street, and loud cracking of whips, announced a new
arrival.

"Here they are," said I, as, springing up, I upset the soup, and nearly
threw the roti into Antoine's face, as he was putting it before me.

Down stairs I rushed, through the hall, pushing aside waiters and
overturning chambermaids in my course.  The carriage was already at the
door.  Now for a surprise, thought I, as I worked through the crowd in
the porch, and reached the door just as the steps were clattered down,
and a gentleman began to descend, whom twenty expectant voices, now
informed of his identity, welcomed as the new Charge d'Affaires.

"May all the--"

What I wished for his excellency it would not be polite to repeat, nor
most discreet even to remember; but, certes, I mounted the stairs with as
little good will towards the envoy extraordinary as was consistent with
due loyalty.

When once more in my room, I congratulated myself that now at least no
more "false starts" could occur--"the eternal Charge d'Affaires, of whom
I have been hearing since my arrival, cannot come twice--he is here now,
and I hope I'm done with him."

The supper--some greasiness apart--was good--the wine excellent.  My
spirits were gradually rising, and I paced my room in that mingled state
of hope and fear, that amid all its anxieties, has such moments of
ecstasy.  A new noise without--some rabble in the street; hark, it comes
nearer--I hear the sound of wheels; yes, there go the horses--nearer and
nearer.  Ah, it is dying away again--stay--yes, yes--here it is--here
they are.  The noise and tumult without now increased every instant--the
heavy trot of six or eight horses shook the very street, and I heard the
round, dull, rumbling sound of a heavy carriage, as it drew up at last at
the door of the inn.  Why it was I know not, but this time I could not
stir--my heart beat almost loud enough for me to hear--my temples
throbbed, and then a cold and clammy perspiration came over me, and I
sank into a chair.  Fearing that I was about to faint, sick as I was, I
felt angry with myself, and tried to rally, but could not, and only at
length was roused by hearing that the steps were let down, and shortly
after the tread of feet coming along the gallery towards my room.

They are coming--she is coming, thought I.  Now then for my doom!

There was some noise of voices outside.  I listened, for I still felt
unable to rise.  The talking grew louder--doors were opened and shut
--then came a lull--then more slamming of doors, and more talking--then
all was still again--and at last I heard the steps of people as if
retiring, and in a few minutes after the carriage door was jammed to, and
again the heavy tramp of the horses rattled over the pave.  At this
instant Antoine entered.

"Well, Antoine," said I, in a voice trembling with weakness and
agitation, "not them yet?"

"It was his Grace the Grand Mareschal," said Antoine, scarcely heeding my
question, in the importance of the illustrious visitor who had arrived.

"Ah, the Grand Mareschal," said I, carelessly; "does he live here?"

"Sappermint nein, Mein Herr; but he has just been to pay his respects to
his Excellency the new Charge d'Affaires."

In the name of all patience, I ask, who could endure this?  From the hour
of my arrival I am haunted by this one image--the Charge d'Affaires.  For
him I have been almost condemned to go houseless, and naked; and now the
very most sacred feelings of my heart are subject to his influence.  I
walked up and down in an agony.  Another such disappointment, and my
brain will turn, thought I, and they may write my epitaph--"Died of love
and a Charge d'Affaires."

"It is time to dress," said the waiter.

"I could strangle him with my own hands," muttered I, worked up into a
real heat by the excitement of my passion.

"The Charge--"

"Say that name again, villain, and I'll blow your brains out," cried I,
seizing Antoine by the throat, and pinning him against the wall; "only
dare to mutter it, and you'll ever breathe another syllable."

The poor fellow grew green with terror, and fell upon his knees before
me.

"Get my dressing things ready," said I, in a more subdued tone.  "I did
not mean to terrify you--but beware of what I told you."

While Antoine occupied himself with the preparations for my toilette, I
sat broodingly over the wood embers, thinking of my fate.

A knock came to the door.  It was the tailor's servant with my clothes.
He laid down the parcel and retired, while Antoine proceeded to open it,
and exhibit before me a blue uniform with embroidered collar and cuffs
--the whole, without being gaudy, being sufficiently handsome, and quite
as showy as I could wish.

The poor waiter expressed his unqualified approval of the costume, and
talked away about the approaching ball as something pre-eminently
magnificent.

"You had better look after the fiacre, Antoine," said I; "it is past
nine."

He walked towards the door, opened it, and then, turning round, said, in
a kind of low, confidential whisper, pointing, with the thumb of his left
hand, towards the wall of the room as he spoke--

"He won't go--very strange that."

"Who do you mean?" said I, quite unconscious of the allusion.

"The Charge d'Aff--"

I made one spring at him, but he slammed the door to, and before I could
reach the lobby, I heard him rolling from top to bottom of the oak
staircase, making noise enough in his fall to account for the fracture of
every bone in his body.



CHAPTER LIII.

THE BALL.

As I was informed that the King would himself be present at the ball, I
knew that German etiquette required that the company should arrive before
his Majesty; and although now every minute I expected the arrival of the
Callonbys, I dared not defer my departure any longer.

"They are certain to be at the ball," said Waller, and that sentence
never left my mind.

So saying, I jumped into the fiacre, and in a few minutes found myself in
the long line of carriages that led to the "Hof saal."  Any one who has
been in Munich will testify for me, that the ball room is one of the most
beautiful in Europe, and to me who for some time had not been living much
in the world, its splendour was positively dazzling.  The glare of the
chandeliers--the clang of the music--the magnificence of the dresses--the
beauty of the Bavarian women too, all surprized and amazed me.  There
were several hundred people present, but the king not having yet arrived,
dancing had not commenced.  Feeling as I then did, it was rather a relief
to me than otherwise, that I knew no one.  There was quite amusement
enough in walking through the saloons, observing the strange costumes,
and remarking the various groups as they congregated around the trays of
ices and the champagne glacee.  The buzz of talking and the sounds of
laughter and merriment prevailed over even the orchestra; and, as the gay
crowds paraded the rooms, all seemed pleasure and excitement.  Suddenly a
tremendous noise was heard without--then came a loud roll of the drums,
which lasted for several seconds, and the clank of musketry--then a
cheer;--it is the king.

The king! resounded on all sides; and in another moment the large
folding-doors at the end of the saal were thrown open, and the music
struck up the national anthem of Bavaria.

His majesty entered, accompanied by the queen, his brother, two or three
archduchesses, and a long suite of officers.

I could not help remarking upon the singular good taste with which the
assembly--all anxious and eager to catch a glimpse of his majesty
--behaved on this occasion.  There was no pressing forward to the
"estrade" where he stood,--no vulgar curiosity evinced by any one, but
the group continued, as before, to gather and scatter.  The only
difference being, that the velvet chair and cushion, which had attracted
some observers before, were, now that they were tenanted by royalty,
passed with a deep and respectful salutation.  How proper this, thought
I, and what an inducement for a monarch to come among his people, who
remember to receive him with such true politeness.  While these thoughts
were passing through my mind, as I was leaning against a pillar that
supported the gallery of the orchestra, a gentleman whose dress, covered
with gold and embroidery, bespoke him as belonging to the court, eyed me
aside with his lorgnette and then passed rapidly on.  A quadrille was now
forming near me, and I was watching, with some interest, the proceeding,
when the same figure that I remarked before, approached me, bowing deeply
at every step, and shaking a very halo of powder from his hair at each
reverence.

"May I take the liberty of introducing myself to you?" said he.--"Le
Comte Benningsen."  Here he bowed again, and I returned the obeisance
still deeper.  "Regretted much that I was not fortunate enough to make
your acquaintance this evening, when I called upon you."

"Never heard of that," said I to myself.

"Your excellency arrived this evening?"

"Yes," said I, "only a few hours since."

"How fond these Germans are of titles," thought I.  Remembering that in
Vienna every one is "his grace," I thought it might be Bavarian
politeness to call every one his excellency.

"You have not been presented, I believe?"

"No," said I; "but I hope to take an early opportunity of paying 'mes
homages' to his majesty."

"I have just received his orders to present you now," replied he, with
another bow.

"The devil, you have," thought I.  "How very civil that."  And, although
I had heard innumerable anecdotes of the free-and-easy habits of the
Bavarian court, this certainly surprized me, so that I actually, to
prevent a blunder, said, "Am I to understand you, Monsieur le Comte, that
his majesty was graciously pleased"--

"If you will follow me," replied the courtier, motioning with his chapeau;
and in another moment I was elbowing my way through the mob of marquisses
and duchesses, on my way to the raised platform where the king was
standing.

"Heaven grant I have not misunderstood all he has been saying," was my
last thought as the crowd of courtiers fell back on either side, and I
found myself bowing before his majesty.  How the grand mareschal entitled
me I heard not; but when the king addressed me immediately in English,
saying,

"I hope your excellency has had a good journey?"

I felt, "Come, there is no mistake here, Harry; and it is only another
freak of fortune, who is now in good humour with you."

The king, who was a fine, tall, well-built man, with a large, bushy
moustache, possessed, though not handsome, a most pleasing expression;
his utterance was very rapid, and his English none of the best, so that
it was with the greatest difficulty I contrived to follow his questions,
which came thick as hail upon me.  After some commonplaces about the
roads, the weather, and the season, his majesty said,

"My Lord Callonby has been residing some time here.  You know him?"  And
then, not waiting for a reply, added, "Pleasant person--well informed
--like him much, and his daughters, too, how handsome they are."  Here I
blushed, and felt most awkwardly, while the king continued.

"Hope they will remain some time--quite an ornament to our court.
Monsieur le Comte, his excellency will dance?"  I here muttered an
apology about my sprained ankle, and the king turned to converse with
some of the ladies of the court.  His majesty's notice brought several
persons now around me, who introduced themselves; and, in a quarter of an
hour, I felt myself surrounded by acquaintances, each vieing with the
other in showing me attention.

Worse places than Munich, Master Harry, thought I, as I chaperoned a fat
duchess, with fourteen quarterings, towards the refreshment-room, and had
just accepted invitations enough to occupy me three weeks in advance.

"I have been looking every where for your excellency," said the grand
mareschal, bustling his way to me, breathless and panting.  "His majesty
desires you will make one of his party at whist, so pray come at once."

"Figaro qua, Figaro la," muttered I.  "Never was man in such request.
God grant the whole royal family of Bavaria be not mad, for this looks
very like it.  Lady Jane had better look sharp, for I have only to throw
my eyes on an archduchess, to be king of the Tyrol some fine morning."

"You play whist, of course; every Englishman does," said the king.  "You
shall be my partner."

Our adversaries were the Prince Maximilian, brother to his Majesty and
the Prussian Ambassador.  As I sat down at the table, I could not help
saying in my heart, "now is your time, Harry, if my Lord Callonby should
see you, your fortune is made."  Waller passed at this moment, and as he
saluted the king, I saw him actually start with amazement as he beheld
me--"better fun this than figuring in the yellow plush, Master Jack," I
muttered as he passed on actually thunder-struck with amazement.  But the
game was begun, and I was obliged to be attentive.  We won the first
game, and the king was in immense good humour as he took some franc
pieces from the Prussian minister, who, small as the stake was, seemed
not to relish losing.  His majesty now complimented me upon my play, and
was about to add something when he perceived some one in the crowd, and
sent an Aide de camp for him.

"Ah, my Lord, we expected you earlier," and then said some words in too
low a tone for me to hear, motioning towards me as he spoke.  If Waller
was surprised at seeing me where I was, it was nothing to the effect
produced upon the present party, whom I now recognized as Lord Callonby.
Respect for the presence we were in, restrained any expression on either
side, and a more ludicrous tableau than we presented can scarcely be
conceived.  What I would have given that the whist party was over, I need
not say, and certainly his majesty's eulogy upon my play came too soon,
for I was now so "destrait and unhinged," my eyes wandering from the
table to see if Lady Jane was near, that I lost every trick, and finished
by revoking.  The king rose half pettishly, observing that "Son
Excellence a apparement perdu la tete," and I rushed forward to shake
hands with Lord Callonby, totally forgetting the royal censure in my
delight at discovering my friend.

"Lorrequer, I am indeed rejoiced to see you, and when did you arrive."

"This evening."

"This evening! and how the deuce have you contrived already, eh? why you
seem quite chez vous here?"

"You shall hear all," said I hastily, "but is Lady Callonby here?"

"No.  Kilkee only is with me, there he is figuranting away in a gallope.
The ladies were too tired to come, particularly as they dine at court
to-morrow, the fatigue would be rather much."

"I have his majesty's order to invite your Excellency to dinner
to-morrow," said the grand Mareschal coming up at this instant.

I bowed my acknowledgments, and turned again to Lord Callonby, whose
surprise now seemed to have reached the climax.

"Why Lorrequer, I never heard of this? when did you adopt this new
career?"

Not understanding the gist of the question, and conceiving that it
applied to my success at court, I answered at random, something about
"falling upon my legs, good luck, &c.," and once more returned to the
charge, enquiring most anxiously for Lady Callonby's health.

"Ah! she is tolerably well.  Jane is the only invalid, but then we hope
Italy will restore her."  Just at this instant, Kilkee caught my eye, and
rushing over from his place beside his partner, shook me by both hands,
saying,

"Delighted to see you here Lorrequer, but as I can't stay now, promise to
sup with me to-night at the 'Cross'."

I accepted of course, and the next instant, he was whirling along in his
waltze, with one of the most lovely German girls I ever saw.  Lord
Callonby saw my admiration of her, and as it were replying to my gaze,
remarked,

"Yes, very handsome indeed, but really Kilkee is going too far with it.
I rely upon you very much to reason him out of his folly, and we have all
agreed that you have most influence over him, and are most likely to be
listened to patiently."

Here was a new character assigned me, the confidential friend and adviser
of the family, trusted with a most delicate and important secret, likely
to bring me into most intimate terms of intercourse with them all, for
the "we" of Lord Callonby bespoke a family consultation, in which I was
deputed as the negociator.  I at once promised my assistance, saying, at
the same time, that if Kilkee really was strongly attached, and had also
reason to suppose that the Lady liked him, it was not exactly fair; that
in short, if the matter had gone beyond flirtation, any interference of
mine would be imprudent, if not impertinent.  Lord Callonby smiled
slightly as he replied,

"Quite right, Lorrequer, I am just as much against constraint as
yourself, if only no great barriers exist; but here with a difference of
religion, country, language, habits, in fact, everything that can create
disparity, the thing is not to be thought of."

I suspected that his Lordship read in my partial defence of Kilkee, a
slight attempt to prop up my own case, and felt confused and embarrassed
beyond measure at the detection.

"Well, we shall have time enough for all this.  Now let us hear something
of my old friend Sir Guy.  How is he looking?"

"I am unfortunately unable to give you any account of him.  I left Paris
the very day before he was expected to arrive there."

"Oh then, I have all the news myself in that case, for in his letter
which I received yesterday, he mentions that we are not to expect him
before Tuesday."

"Expect him.  Is he coming here then?"

"Yes.  Why, I thought you were aware of that, he has been long promising
to pay us a visit, and at last, by great persuasion, we have succeeded in
getting him across the sea, and, indeed, were it not that he was coming,
we should have been in Florence before this."

A gleam of hope shot through my heart as I said to myself, what can this
visit mean? and the moment after I felt sick, almost to fainting, as I
asked if "my cousin Guy were also expected."

"Oh yes.  We shall want him I should think" said Lord Callonby with a
very peculiar smile.

I thought I should have fallen at these few words.  Come, Harry, thought
I, it is better to learn your fate at once.  Now or never; death itself
were preferable to this continued suspense.  If the blow is to fall, it
can scarcely sink me lower than I now feel: so reasoning, I laid my hand
upon Lord Callonby's arm, and with a face pale as death, and a voice all
but inarticulate, said,

"My Lord, you will pardon, I am sure--"

"My dear Lorrequer," said his lordship interrupting me, "for heaven's
sake sit down.  How ill you are looking, we must nurse you, my poor
fellow."

I sank upon a bench--the light danced before my eyes--the clang of the
music sounded like the roar of a waterfall, and I felt a cold
perspiration burst over my face and forehead; at the same instant, I
recognized Kilkee's voice, and without well knowing why, or how,
discovered myself in the open air.

"Come, you are better now," said Kilkee, "and will be quite well when you
get some supper, and a little of the tokay, his majesty has been good
enough to send us."

"His majesty desires to know if his excellency is better," said an aide
de camp.

I muttered my most grateful acknowledgments.

"One of the court carriages is in waiting for your excellency," said a
venerable old gentleman in a tie wig, whom I recognized as the minister
for foreign affairs--as he added in a lower tone to Lord Callonby, "I
fear he has been greatly overworked lately--his exertions on the subject
of the Greek loan are well known to his majesty."

"Indeed," said Lord Callonby, with a start of surprise, "I never heard of
that before."

If it had not been for that start of amazement, I should have died of
terror.  It was the only thing that showed me I was not out of my senses,
which I now concluded the old gentleman must be, for I never had heard of
the Greek loan in my life before.

"Farewell, mon cher colleague," said the venerable minister as I got into
the carriage, wondering as well I might what singular band of brotherhood
united one of his majesty's __th with the minister for foreign affairs of
the Court of Bavaria.

When I arrived at the White-cross, I found my nerves, usually proof to
any thing, so shaken and shattered, that fearing with the difficult game
before me any mistake, however trivial, might mar all my fortunes for
ever, I said a good night to my friends, and went to bed.



CHAPTER LIV.

A DISCOVERY.

"A note for Monsieur," said the waiter, awaking me at the same time from
the soundest sleep and most delightful dream.  The billet was thus:--

"If your excellency does not intend to slumber during the next
twenty-four hours, it might be as well to remember that we are waiting
breakfast.  Ever yours,

"Kilkee."

"It is true, then," said I--following up the delusion of my dream.  "It
is true, I am really domesticated once more with the Callonbys.  My suit
is prospering, and at length the long-sought, long-hoped for moment is
come--"

"Well, Harry," said Kilkee, as he dashed open the door.  "Well, Harry,
how are you, better than last night, I hope?"

"Oh yes, considerably.  In fact, I can't think what could have been the
matter with me; but I felt confoundedly uncomfortable."

"You did!  Why, man, what can you mean; was it not a joke?"

"A joke," said I, with a start.

"Yes, to be sure.  I thought it was only the sequel of the other humbug."

"The sequel of the other humbug!"  Gracious mercy! thought I, getting
pale with horror, is it thus he ventures to designate my attachment to
his sister?

"Come, come, it's all over now.  What the devil could have persuaded you
to push the thing so far?"

"Really, I am so completely in the dark as to your meaning that I only
get deeper in mystery by my chance replies.  What do you mean?"

"What do I mean!  Why, the affair of last night of course.  All Munich is
full of it, and most fortunately for you, the king has taken it all in
the most good-humoured way, and laughs more than any one else about it."

Oh, then, thought I, I must have done or said something last night during
my illness, that I can't remember now.  "Come, Kilkee, out with it.  What
happened last night, that has served to amuse the good people of Munich?
for as I am a true man, I forget all you are alluding to."

"And don't remember the Greek Loan--eh?"

"The Greek Loan!"

"And your Excellency's marked reception by his Majesty?  By Jove though,
it was the rarest piece of impudence I ever heard of; hoaxing a crowned
head, quizzing one of the Lord's anointed is un peu trop fort."

"If you really do not wish to render me insane at once, for the love of
mercy say, in plain terms, what all this means."

"Come, come, I see you are incorrigible; but as breakfast is waiting all
this time, we shall have your explanations below stairs."

Before I had time for another question Kilkee passed his arm within mine,
and led me along the corridor, pouring out, the entire time a whole
rhapsody about the practical joke of my late illness, which he was
pleased to say would ring from one end of Europe to the other.

Lord Callonby was alone in the breakfast-room when we entered, and the
moment he perceived me called out,

"Eh, Lorrequer, you here still?  Why, man, I thought you'd have been over
the frontier early this morning?"

"Indeed, my lord, I am not exactly aware of any urgent reason for so
rapid a flight."

"You are not!  The devil, you are not.  Why, you must surely have known
his majesty to be the best tempered man in his dominions then, or you
would never have played off such a ruse, though I must say, there never
was anything better done.  Old Heldersteen, the minister for foreign
affairs, is nearly deranged this morning about it--it seems that he was
the first that fell into the trap; but seriously speaking, I think it
would be better if you got away from this; the king, it is true, has
behaved with the best possible good feeling; but--"

"My lord, I have a favour to ask, perhaps, indeed in all likelihood the
last I shall ever ask of your lordship, it is this--what are you alluding
to all this while, and for what especial reason do you suggest my
immediate departure from Munich?"

"Bless my heart and soul--you surely cannot mean to carry the thing on
any further--you never can intend to assume your ministerial functions by
daylight?"

"My what!--my ministerial functions."

"Oh no, that were too much--even though his majesty did say--that you
were the most agreeable diplomate he had met for a long time."

"I, a diplomate."

"You, certainly.  Surely you cannot be acting now; why, gracious mercy,
Lorrequer! can it be possible that you were not doing it by design, do
you really not know in what character you appeared last night?"

"If in any other than that of Harry Lorrequer, my lord, I pledge my
honour, I am ignorant."

"Nor the uniform you wore, don't you know what it meant?"

"The tailor sent it to my room."

"Why, man, by Jove, this will kill me," said Lord Callonby, bursting into
a fit of laughter, in which Kilkee, a hitherto silent spectator of our
colloquy, joined to such an extent, that I thought he should burst a
bloodvessel.  "Why man, you went as the Charge d'Affaires."

"I, the Charge d'Affaires!"

"That you did, and a most successful debut you made of it."

While shame and confusion covered me from head to foot at the absurd and
ludicrous blunder I had been guilty of, the sense of the ridiculous was
so strong in me, that I fell upon a sofa and laughed on with the others
for full ten minutes.

"Your Excellency is, I am rejoiced to find, in good spirits," said Lady
Callonby, entering and presenting her hand.

"He is so glad to have finished the Greek Loan," said Lady Catherine,
smiling with a half malicious twinkle of the eye.  Just at this instant
another door opened, and Lady Jane appeared.  Luckily for me, the
increased mirth of the party, as Lord Callonby informed them of my
blunder, prevented their paying any attention to me, for as I half sprung
forward toward her, my agitation would have revealed to any observer, the
whole state of my feelings.  I took her hand which she extended to me,
without speaking, and bowing deeply over it, raised my head and looked
into her eyes, as if to read at one glance, my fate, and when I let fall
her hand, I would not have exchanged my fortune for a kingdom.

"You have heard, Jane, how our friend opened his campaign in Munich last
night."

"Oh, I hope, Mr. Lorrequer, they are only quizzing.  You surely could
not--"

"Could not.  What he could not--what he would not do, is beyond my
calculation to make out," said Kilkee, laughing, "anything in life, from
breaking an axletree to hoaxing a king;" I turned, as may be imagined, a
deaf ear to this allusion, which really frightened me, not knowing how
far Kilkee's information might lead, nor how he might feel disposed to
use it.  Lady Jane turned a half reproachful glance at me, as if rebuking
my folly; but in the interest she thus took in me, I should not have
bartered it for the smile of the proudest queen in Christendom.

Breakfast over, Lord Callonby undertook to explain to the Court the
blunder, by which I had unwittingly been betrayed into personating the
newly arrived minister, and as the mistake was more of their causing than
my own, my excuses were accepted, and when his lordship returned to the
hotel, he brought with him an invitation for me to dine at Court in my
own unaccredited character.  By this time I had been carrying on the
siege as briskly as circumstances permitted; Lady Callonby being deeply
interested in her newly arrived purchases, and Lady Catherine being
good-natured enough to pretend to be so also, left me, at intervals,
many opportunities of speaking to Lady Jane.

As I feared that such occasions would not often present themselves, I
determined on making the best use of my time, and at once led the
conversation towards the goal I aimed at, by asking, "if Lady Jane had
completely forgotten the wild cliffs and rocky coast of Clare, amid the
tall mountains and glaciered peaks of the Tyrol?"

"Far from it," she replied.  "I have a most clear remembrance of bold
Mogher and the rolling swell of the blue Atlantic, and long to feel its
spray once more upon my cheek; but then, I knew it in childhood--your
acquaintance with it was of a later date, and connected with fewer happy
associations."

"Fewer happy associations--how can you say so?  Was it not there the
brightest hours of my whole life were passed, was it not there I first
met--"

"Kilkee tells me," said Lady Jane, interrupting me shortly, "that Miss
Bingham is extremely pretty."

This was turning my flank with a vengeance; so I muttered something about
differences of tastes, &c. and continued, "I understand my worthy cousin
Guy, had the good fortune to make your acquaintance in Paris."

It was now her turn to blush, which she did deeply, and said nothing.

"He is expected, I believe, in a few days at Munich," said I, fixing my
eyes upon her, and endeavouring to read her thoughts; she blushed more
deeply, and the blood at my own heart ran cold, as I thought over all I
had heard, and I muttered to myself "she loves him."

"Mr. Lorrequer, the carriage is waiting, and as we are going to the
Gallery this morning, and have much to see, pray let us have your
escort."

"Oh, I am sure," said Catherine, "his assistance will be considerable
--particularly if his knowledge of art only equals his tact in botany.
Don't you think so, Jane?"--But Jane was gone.

They left the room to dress, and I was alone--alone with my anxious, now
half despairing thoughts, crowding and rushing upon my beating brain.
She loves him, and I have only come to witness her becoming the wife of
another.  I see it all, too plainly;--my Uncle's arrival--Lord Callonby's
familiar manner--Jane's own confession.  All--all convince me, that my
fate is decided.  Now, then, for one last brief explanation, and I leave
Munich, never to see her more.  Just as I had so spoken, she entered.
Her gloves had been forgotten in the room, and she came in not knowing
that I was there.  What would I not have given at that moment, for the
ready witted assurance, the easy self-possession, with which I should
have made my advances had my heart not been as deeply engaged as I now
felt it.  Alas!  My courage was gone; there was too much at stake, and
I preferred, now, that the time was come, any suspense, any vacillation,
to the dreadful certainty of refusal.

These were my first thoughts, as she entered; how they were followed, I
cannot say.  The same evident confusion of my brain, which I once felt
when mounting the breach in a storm-party, now completely beset me; and
as then, when death and destruction raged on every side, I held on my way
regardless of every obstacle, and forgetting all save the goal before me;
so did I now, in the intensity of my excitement, disregard every thing,
save the story of my love, which I poured forth with that fervour which
truth only can give.  But she spoke not,--her averted head,--her cold and
tremulous hand, and half-drawn sigh were all that replied to me, as I
waited for that one word upon which hung all my fortune.  At length her
hand, which I scarcely held within my own, was gently withdrawn.  She
lifted it to her eyes, but still was silent.

"Enough," said I, "I seek not to pain you more.  The daring ambition that
prompted me to love you, has met its heaviest retribution.  Farewell,
--You, Lady Jane, have nothing to reproach yourself with--You never
encouraged, you never deceived me.  I, and I alone have been to blame,
and mine must be the suffering.  Adieu, then once more, and now for
ever."

She turned slowly round, and as the handkerchief fell from her hand,--her
features were pale as marble,--I saw that she was endeavouring to speak,
but could not; and at length, as the colour came slowly back to her
cheek, her lips moved, and just as I leaned forward, with a beating heart
to hear, her sister came running forward, and suddenly checked herself in
her career, as she said, laughingly,--

"Mille pardons, Jane, but his Excellency must take another occasion to
explain the quadruple alliance, for mamma has been waiting in the
carriage these ten minutes."

I followed them to the door, placed them in the carriage, and was turning
again towards the house, when Lady Callonby said--

"Oh, Mr. Lorrequer, we count upon you--you must not desert us."

I muttered something about not feeling well.

"And then, perhaps, the Greek loan is engaging your attention," said
Catherine; "or, mayhap, some reciprocity treaty is not prospering."

The malice of this last sally told, for Jane blushed deeply, and I felt
overwhelmed with confusion.

"But pray come--the drive will do you good."

"Your ladyship will, I am certain, excuse"--

Just as I had got so far, I caught Lady Jane's eye, for the first time
since we had left the drawing-room.  What I read there, I could not, for
the life of me, say; but, instead of finishing my sentence, I got into
the carriage, and drove off, very much to the surprise of Lady Callonby,
who, never having studied magnetism, knew very little the cause of my
sudden recovery.

The thrill of hope that shot through my heart succeeding so rapidly the
dark gloom of my despairing thoughts, buoyed me up, and while I whispered
to myself, "all may not yet be lost," I summoned my best energies to my
aid.  Luckily for me, I was better qualified to act as cicerone in a
gallery than as a guide in a green-house; and with the confidence that
knowledge of a subject ever inspires, I rattled away about art and
artists, greatly to the edification of Lady Callonby--much to the
surprise of Lady Catherine--and, better than all, evidently to the
satisfaction of her, to win whose praise I would gladly have risked my
life.

"There," said I, as I placed my fair friend before a delicious little
madonna of Carl Dolci--"there is, perhaps, the triumph of colouring--for
the downy softness of that cheek--the luscious depth of that blue eye
--the waving richness of those sunny locks, all is perfect--fortunately so
beautiful a head is not a monopoly, for he painted many copies of this
picture."

"Quite true," said a voice behind, "and mine at Elton is, I think, if
anything, better than this."

I turned, and beheld my good old uncle, Sir Guy, who was standing beside
Lady Callonby.  While I welcomed my worthy relative, I could not help
casting a glance around to see if Guy were also there, and not perceiving
him, my heart beat freely again.

My uncle, it appeared, had just arrived, and lost no time in joining us
at the gallery.  His manner to me was cordial to a degree; and I
perceived that, immediately upon being introduced to Lady Jane, he took
considerable pains to observe her, and paid her the most marked
attention.

The first moment I could steal unnoticed, I took the opportunity of
asking if Guy were come.  That one fact were to me all, and upon the
answer to my question, I hung with deep anxiety.

"Guy here!--no, not yet.  The fact is, Harry, my boy, Guy has not got on
here as well as I could have wished.  Everything had been arranged among
us--Callonby behaved most handsomely--and, as far as regarded myself, I
threw no impediment in the way.  But still, I don't know how it was, but
Guy did not advance, and the matter now"--

"Pray, how does it stand?  Have you any hopes to put all to rights
again?"

"Yes, Harry, I think, with your assistance, much may be done."

"Oh, count upon me by all means," said I, with a sneering bitterness,
that my uncle could not have escaped remarking, had his attention not
been drawn off by Lady Callonby.

What have I done--what sin did I meditate before I was born, that I
should come into the world branded with failure in all I attempt?  Is it
not enough that my cousin, my elder by some months, should be rich while
I am poor--honoured and titled, while I am unknown and unnoticed?--but is
he also to be preferred to me in every station in life?  Is there no
feeling of the heart so sacred that it must not succumb to primogeniture?

"What a dear old man Sir Guy is," said Catherine, interrupting my sad
reflections, "and how gallant; he is absolutely flirting with Lady Jane."

And quite true it was.  The old gentleman was paying his devoirs with a
studied anxiety to please, that went to my very heart as I witnessed it.
The remainder of that day to me was a painful and suffering one.  My
intention of suddenly leaving Munich had been abandoned, why, I knew not.
I felt that I was hoping against hope, and that my stay was only to
confirm, by the most "damning proof," how surely I was fated to
disappointment.  My reasonings all ended in one point.  If she really
love Guy, then my present attentions can only be a source of unhappiness
to her; if she do not, is there any prospect that from the bare fact of
my attachment, so proud a family as the Callonbys will suffer their
daughter to make a mere "marriage d'inclination?"

There was but one answer to this question, and I had at last the courage
to make it: and yet the Callonbys had marked me out for their attentions,
and had gone unusually out of their way to inflict injury upon me, if all
were meant to end in nothing.  If I only could bring myself to think that
this was a systematic game adopted by them, to lead to the subsequent
arrangement with my cousin!--if I could but satisfy my doubts on this
head----What threats of vengeance I muttered, I cannot remember, for I
was summoned at that critical moment to attend the party to the palace.

The state of excitement I was in, was an ill preparative for the rigid
etiquette of a court dinner.  All passed off, however, happily, and the
king, by a most good-natured allusion to the blunder of the night before,
set me perfectly at ease on that head.

I was placed next to Lady Jane at dinner; and half from wounded pride,
half from the momentarily increasing conviction that all was lost,
chatted away gaily, without any evidence of a stronger feeling than the
mere vicinity of a pretty person is sure to inspire.  What success this
game was attended with I know not; but the suffering it cost me, I shall
never cease to remember.  One satisfaction I certainly did experience
--she was manifestly piqued, and several times turned towards the person
on the other side of her, to avoid the tone of indifference in which I
discussed matters that were actually wringing my own heart at the moment.
Yet such was the bitterness of my spirit, that I set down this conduct
on her part as coquetry; and quite convinced myself that any slight
encouragement she might ever have given my attentions, was only meant
to indulge a spirit of vanity, by adding another to the list of her
conquests.

As the feeling grew upon me, I suppose my manner to her became more
palpably cutting, for it ended at last in our discontinuing to speak, and
when we retired from the palace, I accompanied her to the carriage in
silence, and wished her a cold and distant good night, without any
advance to touch her hand at parting--and yet that parting, I had
destined for our last.

The greater part of that night I spent in writing letters.  One was to
Jane herself owning my affection, confessing that even the "rudesse" of
my late conduct was the fruit of it, and finally assuring her that
failing to win from her any return of my passion, I had resolved never to
meet her more--I also wrote a short note to my uncle, thanking him for
all he had formerly done in my behalf, but coldly declining for the
future, any assistance upon his part, resolving that upon my own efforts
alone should I now rest my fortunes.  To Lord Callonby I wrote at greater
length, recapitulating the history of our early intimacy, and accusing
him of encouraging me in expectations, which, as he never intended to
confirm them, were fated to prove my ruin.  More--much more I said, which
to avow, I should gladly shrink from, were it not that I have pledged
myself to honesty in these "Confessions," and as they depict the
bitterness and misery of my spirit, I must plead guilty to them here.  In
a word, I felt myself injured.  I saw no outlet for redress, and the only
consolation open to my wounded pride and crushed affection, was to show,
that if I felt myself a victim, at least I was not a dupe.  I set about
packing up for the journey, whither, I knew not.  My leave was nearly
expired, yet I could not bear the thought of rejoining the regiment.
My only desire was to leave Munich, and that speedily.  When all my
arrangements were completed I went down noiselessly to the inn yard to
order post-horses by day-break, there to my surprise I found all activity
and bustle.  Though so late at night, a courier had arrived from England
for Lord Callonby, with some important dispatches from the Government;
this would, at any other time, have interested me deeply; now I heard
the news without a particle of feeling, and I made all the necessary
dispositions for my journey, without paying the slightest attention to
what was going on about me.  I had just finished, when Lord Callonby's
valet came to say, that his lordship wished to see me immediately in his
dressing room.  Though I would gladly have declined any further
interview, I saw no means of escape, and followed the servant to his
lordship's room.

There I found Lord Callonby in his dressing gown and night cap,
surrounded by papers, letters, despatch boxes, and red tape-tied parcels,
that all bespoke business.

"Lorrequer, sit down, my boy, I have much to say to you, and as we have
no time to lose, you must forego a little sleep.  Is the door closed?
I have just received most important news from England, and to begin,"
here his lordship opened a letter and read as follow:--

"My Lord--They are out at last--the majority on Friday increased to forty
yesterday evening, when they resigned; the Duke has, meanwhile, assumed
the reins till further arrangements can be perfected, and despatches are
now preparing to bring all our friends about us.  The only rumours as yet
are, L___, for the Colonies, H___, to the Foreign Office, W____ President
of the Council, and we anxiously hope yourself Viceroy to Ireland.  In
any case lose no time in coming back to England.  The struggle will be a
sharp one, as the outs are distracted, and we shall want you much.  Ever
yours, my dear lord,

"Henry ____."

"This is much sooner than I looked for, Lorrequer, perhaps almost than I
wished; but as it has taken place, we must not decline the battle; now
what I wanted with you is this--if I go to Ireland I should like your
acceptance of the Private Secretary's Office.  Come, come, no objections;
you know that you need not leave the army, you can become unattached,
I'll arrange all that; apropos, this concerns you, it is from the Horse
Guards, you need not read it now though, it is merely your gazette to the
company; your promotion, however, shall not stop there; however, the
important thing I want with you is this, I wish you to start for England
to-morrow; circumstances prevent my going from this for a few days.  You
can see L____ and W____, &c., and explain all I have to say; I shall
write a few letters, and some hints for your own guidance; and as Kilkee
never would have head for these matters, I look to your friendship to do
it for me."

Looking only to the post, as the proposal suited my already made resolve
to quit Munich, I acceded at once, and assured Lord Callonby that I
should be ready in an hour.

"Quite right, Lorrequer, but still I shall not need this, you cannot
leave before eleven or twelve o'clock, in fact I have another service to
exact at your hands before we part with you; meanwhile, try and get some
sleep, you are not likely to know anything of a bed before you reach the
Clarendon."  So saying, he hurried me from the room, and as he closed the
door, I heard him muttering his satisfaction, that already so far all had
been well arranged.



CHAPTER LV.

CONCLUSION.

Sleep came on me, without my feeling it, and amid all the distracting
cares and pressing thoughts that embarrassed me, I only awoke when the
roll of the caleche sounded beneath my window, and warned me that I must
be stirring and ready for the road.

Since it is to be thus, thought I, it is much better that this
opportunity should occur of my getting away at once, and thus obviate all
the unpleasantness of my future meeting with Lady Jane; and the thousand
conjectures that my departure, so sudden and unannounced might give rise
to.  So be it, and I have now only one hope more--that the terms we last
parted on, may prevent her appearing at the breakfast table; with these
words I entered the room, where the Callonbys were assembled, all save
Lady Jane.

"This is too provoking; really, Mr. Lorrequer," said Lady Callonby, with
her sweetest smile, and most civil manner, "quite too bad to lose you
now, that you have just joined us."

"Come, no tampering with our party," said Lord Callonby, "my friend here
must not be seduced by honied words and soft speeches, from the high road
that leads to honours and distinctions--now for your instructions."  Here
his lordship entered into a very deep discussion as to the conditions
upon which his support might be expected, and relied upon, which Kilkee
from time to time interrupted by certain quizzing allusions to the low
price he put upon his services, and suggested that a mission for myself
should certainly enter into the compact.

At length breakfast was over, and Lord Callonby said, "now make your
adieux, and let me see you for a moment in Sir Guy's room, we have a
little discussion there, in which your assistance is wanting."  I
accordingly took my farewell of Lady Callonby, and approached to do so to
Lady Jane, but much to my surprise, she made me a very distant salute,
and said in her coldest tone, "I hope you may have a pleasant journey."
Before I had recovered my surprise at this movement, Kilkee came forward
and offered to accompany me a few miles of the road.  I accepted readily
the kind offer, and once more bowing to the ladies, withdrew.  And thus
it is, thought I, that I leave all my long dreamed of happiness, and such
is the end of many a long day's ardent expectation.  When I entered my
uncle's room, my temper was certainly not in the mood most fit for
further trials, though it was doomed to meet them.

"Harry, my boy, we are in great want of you here, and as time presses, we
must state our case very briefly.  You are aware, Sir Guy tells me, that
your cousin Guy has been received among us as the suitor of my eldest
daughter.  It has been an old compact between us to unite our families by
ties still stronger than our very ancient friendship, and this match has
been accordingly looked to, by us both with much anxiety.  Now, although
on our parts I think no obstacle intervenes, yet I am sorry to say, there
appear difficulties in other quarters.  In fact, certain stories have
reached Lady Jane's ears concerning your cousin, which have greatly
prejudiced her against him, and we have reason to think most unfairly;
for we have succeeded in tracing some of the offences in question, not to
Guy, but to a Mr. Morewood, who it seems has personated your cousin upon
more than one occasion, and not a little to his disadvantage.  Now we
wish you to sift these matters to the bottom, by your going to Paris as
soon as you can venture to leave London--find out this man, and if
possible, make all straight; if money is wanting, he must of course have
it; but bear one thing in mind, that any possible step which may remove
this unhappy impression from my daughter's mind, will be of infinite
service, and never forgotten by us.  Kilkee too has taken some dislike to
Guy.  You have only, however, to talk to him on the matter, and he is
sure to pay attention to you."

"And, Harry," said my uncle, "tell Guy, I am much displeased that he is
not here, I expected him to leave Paris with me, but some absurd wager at
the Jockey Club detained him."

"Another thing, Harry, you may as well mention to your cousin, that Sir
Guy has complied with every suggestion that he formerly threw out--he
will understand the allusion."

"Oh yes," said my uncle, "tell him roundly, he shall have Elton Hall; I
have fitted up Marsden for myself; so no difficulty lies in that
quarter."

"You may add, if you like, that my present position with the government
enables me to offer him a speedy prospect of a Regiment, and that I think
he had better not leave the army."

"And say that by next post Hamercloth's bond for the six thousand shall
be paid off, and let him send me a note of any other large sum he owes."

"And above all things, no more delays.  I must leave this for England
inevitably, and as the ladies will probably prefer wintering in Italy--"

"Oh certainly," said my uncle, "the wedding must take place."

"I scarcely can ask you to come to us on the occasion, though I need not
say how greatly we should all feel gratified if you could do so," said my
Lord.

While this cross fire went on from both sides, I looked from one to the
other of the speakers.  My first impression being, that having perceived
and disliked my attention to Lady Jane, they adopted this "mauvaise
plaisanterie" as a kind of smart lesson for my future guidance.  My next
impression was that they were really in earnest, but about the very
stupidest pair of old gentlemen that ever wore hair powder.

"And this is all," said I, drawing a long breath, and inwardly uttering a
short prayer for patience.

"Why, I believe, I have mentioned everything," said Lord Callonby,
"except that if anything occurs to yourself that offers a prospect of
forwarding this affair, we leave you a carte blanche to adopt it."

"Of course, then," said I, "I am to understand that as no other
difficulties lie in the way than those your Lordship has mentioned, the
feelings of the parties, their affections are mutual."

"Oh, of course, your cousin, I suppose, has made himself agreeable; he
is a good looking fellow, and in fact, I am not aware, why they should
not like each other, eh Sir Guy?"

"To be sure, and the Elton estates run half the shire with your
Gloucester property; never was there a more suitable match."

"Then only one point remains, and that being complied with, you may
reckon upon my services; nay, more, I promise you success.  Lady Jane's
own consent must be previously assured to me, without this, I most
positively decline moving a step in the matter; that once obtained,
freely and without constraint, I pledge myself to do all you require."

"Quite fair, Harry, I perfectly approve of your scruples," so saying, his
Lordship rose and left the room.

"Well, Harry, and yourself, what is to be done for you, has Callonby
offered you anything yet?"

"Yes sir, his Lordship has most kindly offered me the under secretaryship
in Ireland, but I have resolved on declining it, though I shall not at
present say so, lest he should feel any delicacy in employing me upon the
present occasion."

"Why, is the boy deranged--decline it--what have you got in the world,
that you should refuse such an appointment."

The colour mounted to my cheeks, my temples burned, and what I should
have replied to this taunt, I know not, for passion had completely
mastered me.  When Lord Callonby again entered the room, his usually calm
and pale face was agitated and flushed; and his manner tremulous and
hurried; for an instant he was silent, then turning towards my uncle,
he took his hand affectionately, and said,

"My good old friend, I am deeply, deeply grieved; but we must abandon
this scheme.  I have just seen my daughter, and from the few words which
we have had together, I find that her dislike to the match is invincible,
and in fact, she has obtained my promise never again to allude to it.  If
I were willing to constrain the feelings of my child, you yourself would
not permit it.  So here let us forget that we ever hoped for, ever
calculated on a plan in which both our hearts were so deeply interested."

These words, few as they were, were spoken with deep feeling, and for the
first time, I looked upon the speaker with sincere regard.  They were
both silent for some minutes; Sir Guy, who was himself much agitated,
spoke first.

"So be it then, Callonby, and thus do I relinquish one--perhaps the only
cheering prospect my advanced age held out to me.  I have long wished to
have your daughter for my niece, and since I have known her, the wish has
increased tenfold."

"It was the chosen dream of all my anticipations," said Lord Callonby,
"and now Jane's affections only--but let it pass."

"And is there then really no remedy, can nothing be struck out?"

"Nothing."

"I am not quite so sure, my Lord," said I tremulously.

"No, no, Lorrequer, you are a ready witted fellow I know, but this passes
even your ingenuity, besides I have given her my word."

"Even so."

"Why, what do you mean, speak out man," said Sir Guy, "I'll give you ten
thousand pounds on the spot if you suggest a means of overcoming this
difficulty."

"Perhaps you might not accede afterwards."

"I pledge myself to it."

"And I too," said Lord Callonby, "if no unfair stratagem be resorted to
towards my daughter.  If she only give her free and willing consent, I
agree."

"Then you must bid higher, uncle, ten thousand won't do, for the bargain
is well worth the money."

"Name your price, boy, and keep your word."

"Agreed then," holding my uncle to his promise, "I pledge myself that his
nephew shall be husband of Lady Jane Callonby, and now, my Lord, read
Harry vice Guy in the contract, and I am certain my uncle is too faithful
to his plighted word, and too true to his promise not to say it shall
be."

The suddenness of this rash declaration absolutely stunned them both, and
then recovering at the same moment, their eyes met.

"Fairly caught, Guy" said Lord Callonby, "a bold stroke if it only
succeeds."

"And it shall, by G--," said my uncle, "Elton is yours, Harry, and with
seven thousand a year, and my nephew to boot, Callonby won't refuse you."

There are moments in life in which conviction will follow a bold "coup de
main," that never would have ensued from the slow process of reasoning.
Luckily for me, this was one of those happy intervals.  Lord Callonby
catching my uncle's enthusiasm, seized me by the hand and said,

"With her consent, Lorrequer, you may count upon mine, and faith
if truth must be told, I always preferred you to the other."

What my uncle added, I waited not to listen to; but with one bound sprung
from the room--dashed up stairs to Lady Callonby's drawing-room--looked
rapidly around to see if SHE were there, and then without paying the
slightest attention to the questions of Lady Callonby and her younger
daughter, was turning to leave the room, when my eye caught the flutter
of a Cachmere shawl in the garden beneath.  In an instant the window was
torn open--I stood upon the sill, and though the fall was some twenty
feet, with one spring I took it, and before the ladies had recovered from
their first surprise at my unaccountable conduct, put the finishing
stroke to their amazement, by throwing my arms around Lady Jane, and
clasping her to my heart.

I cannot remember by what process I explained the change that had taken
place in my fortunes.  I had some very vague recollection of vows of
eternal love being mingled with praises of my worthy uncle, and the state
of my affections and finances were jumbled up together, but still
sufficiently intelligible to satisfy my beloved Jane--that this time at
least, I made love with something more than my own consent to support me.
Before we had walked half round the garden, she had promised to be mine;
and Harry Lorrequer, who rose that morning with nothing but despair and
darkness before him, was now the happiest of men.

Dear reader, I have little more to confess.  Lord Callonby's politics
were fortunately deemed of more moment than maidenly scruples, and the
treasury benches more respected than the trousseau.  Our wedding was
therefore settled for the following week.  Meanwhile, every day seemed
to teem with its own meed of good fortune.  My good uncle, under whose
patronage, forty odd years before, Colonel Kamworth had obtained his
commission, undertook to effect the reconciliation between him and the
Wallers, who now only waited for our wedding, before they set out for
Hydrabad cottage, that snug receptacle of Curry and Madeira, Jack
confessing that he had rather listen to the siege of Java, by that
fire-side, than hear an account of Waterloo from the lips of the great
Duke himself.

I wrote to Trevanion to invite him to Munich for the ceremony, and the
same post which informed me that he was en route to join us, brought also
a letter from my eccentric friend O'Leary, whose name having so often
occurred in these confessions, I am tempted to read aloud, the more so as
its contents are no secret, Kilkee having insisted upon reading it to a
committee of the whole family assembled after dinner.

     "Dear Lorrequer,

     "The trial is over, and I am acquitted, but still in St. Pelagie;
     for as the government were determined to cut my head off if guilty,
     so the mob resolved to murder me if innocent.  A pleasant place
     this: before the trial, I was the most popular man in Paris; my face
     was in every print shop; plaster busts of me, with a great organ
     behind the ear, in all the thoroughfares; my autograph selling at
     six and twenty sous, and a lock of my hair at five francs.  Now that
     it is proved I did not murder the "minister at war," (who is in
     excellent health and spirits) the popular feeling against me is very
     violent; and I am looked upon as an imposter, who obtained his
     notoriety under false pretences; and Vernet, who had begun my
     picture for a Judas, has left off in disgust.  Your friend Trevanion
     is a trump; he procured a Tipperary gentleman to run away with Mrs.
     Ram, and they were married at Frankfort, on Tuesday last.  By the
     by, what an escape you had of Emily: she was only quizzing you all
     the time.  She is engaged to be married to Tom O'Flaherty, who is
     here now.  Emily's imitation of you, with the hat a little on one
     side, and a handkerchief flourishing away in one hand, is capital;
     but when she kneels down and says, 'dearest Emily, &c.' you'd swear
     it was yourself."--[Here the laughter of the auditory prevented
     Kilkee proceeding, who, to my utter confusion, resumed after a
     little.]--"Don't be losing your time making up to Lord Callonby's
     daughter"--[here came another burst of laughter]--"they say here you
     have not a chance, and moreover she's a downright flirt."--["It is
     your turn now, Jane," said Kilkee, scarcely able to proceed.]
     --"Besides that, her father's a pompous old Tory, that won't give a
     sixpence with her; and the old curmudgeon, your uncle, has as much
     idea of providing for you, as he has of dying."--[This last sally
     absolutely convulsed all parties.]--"To be sure Kilkee's a fool, but
     he is no use to you."--["Begad I thought I was going to escape,"
     said the individual alluded to, "but your friend O'Leary cuts on
     every side of him."]  The letter, after some very grave reflections
     upon the hopelessness of my pursuit, concluded with a kind pledge to
     meet me soon, and become my travelling companion.  Meanwhile, added
     he, "I must cross over to London, and look after my new work, which
     is to come out soon, under the title of 'the Loiterings of Arthur
     O'Leary.'"

This elegant epistle formed the subject of much laughter and conversation
amongst us long after it was concluded; and little triumph could be
claimed by any party, when nearly all were so roughly handled.  So passed
the last evening I spent in Munich--the next morning I was married.

THE END.



EBOOK EDITOR'S BOOKMARKS:

Accept of benefits with a tone of dissatisfaction
Mistaking your abstraction for attention
My English proves me Irish
My French always shows me to be English
Nine-inside  leathern "conveniency," bumping ten miles an hour
Pleased are we ever to paint the past according to our own fancy
Sure if he did, doesn't he take it out o' me in the corns?
They were so perfectly contented with their self-deception
Unwashed hands, and a heavy gold ring upon his thumb





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