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Title: The Dodd Family Abroad, Vol. I
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 Dodd Family Abroad, Vol. I" ***

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THE DODD FAMILY ABROAD

By Charles James Lever

With Illustrations By Phiz And W. Cubitt Cooke.

In Two Volumes: Vol. I.

Boston: Little, Brown, And Company

1895.



TO SIR EDWARD LYTTON BULWER LYTTON, Bart., M.P.

My Dear Sir Edward,--While asking you to accept the dedication of this
volume, I feel it would be something very nigh akin to the Bathos
were _I_ to say one word of Eulogy of those powers which the world has
recognised in _you_.

Let me, however, be permitted, in common with thousands, to welcome the
higher development which your Genius is hourly attaining, to say God
speed to the Author of "The Caxtons" and "My Novel," and cry "Hear!" to
the Eloquent Orator whose words have awakened an enthusiasm that shows
Chivalry still lives amongst us.

Believe me, in all admiration and esteem,

Your faithful friend,

CHARLES LEVER.

Casa Capponi, Florence, March, 1854.



PREFACE.

Although the faulty judgment of authors on their own productions has
assumed something like the force of a proverb, I am ready to incur the
hazard of avowing that the present volume is, to my own thinking, better
than anything else I have done. I am not about to defend its numerous
shortcomings and great faults. I will not say one word in extenuation of
a plan which, to many readers, forms an insuperable objection,--that
of a story in letters. I wish simply to record the fact that the book
afforded me much pleasure in the writing, and that I felt an amount of
interest in the character of Kenny Dodd such as I have never before nor
since experienced for any personage of my own creation.

The reader who is at all acquainted with the incidents of foreign
travel, and the strange individuals to be met with on every European
highway, will readily acquit me of exaggeration either in describing the
mistaken impressions conceived of Continental life, or the difficulties
of forming anything like a correct estimate of national habits by those
whose own sphere of observation was so limited in their own country.
In Kenny Dodd, I attempted to portray a man naturally acute and
intelligent, sensible and well judging where his prejudices did not
pervert his reason, and singularly quick to appreciate the ridicule
of any absurd situation in which he did not figure himself. To all the
pretentious ambitions of his family,--to their exaggerated sense of
themselves and their station,--to their inordinate desire to figure in a
rank above their own, and appear to be something they had never hitherto
attempted,--I have made him keenly and sensitively alive. He sees Mrs.
Dodd's perils,--there is not a sunk rock nor a shoal before her that he
has not noted, and yet for the life of him he can't help booking himself
for the voyage. There is an Irishman's love of drollery,--that passion
for what gives him a hearty laugh, even though he come in for his share
of the ridicule, which repays him for every misadventure. If he is
momentarily elated by the high and distinguished company in which he
finds himself, so far from being shocked when he discovers them to be
swindlers and blacklegs, he chuckles over the blunders of Mrs. D. and
Mary Anne, and writes off to his friend Purcell a letter over which he
laughs till his eyes run.

Of those broad matters to which a man of good common-sense can apply
his faculties fairly, his opinions are usually just and true; he likes
truth, he wants to see things as they are. Of everything conventional he
is almost invariably in error; and it is this struggle that in a manner
reflects the light and shade of his nature, showing him at one moment
clear-headed and observant, and at the next absurdly mistaken and
ignorant.

It was in no spirit of sarcasm on my countrymen that I took an Irishman
to represent these incongruities; nay, more, I will say that in the very
liability to be so strongly impressed from without, lies much of that
unselfishness which forms that staple of the national character which so
greatly recommends them to strangers.

If I do not speak of the other characters of the book, it is because I
feel that whatever humble merit the volume may possess is ascribable to
the truthfulness of this principal personage. It is less the Dodd family
for which I would bespeak the reader's interest, than for the trials of
Kenny Dodd himself, his thoughts and opinions.

Finally, let me observe that this story has had the fortune to be better
liked by my friends, and less valued by the public, than any other of my
books.

I wrote it, as I have said, with pleasure; well satisfied should I be
that any of my readers might peruse it with as much. It was planned and
executed in a quiet little cottage in the Gulf of Spezia, something more
than six years ago. I am again in the same happy spot; and, as I turn
over the pages, not altogether lost to some of the enjoyment they once
afforded me in the writing, and even more than before anxious that I
should not be alone in that sentiment.

It is in vain, however, for an author to bespeak favor for that which
comes not recommended by merits of its own; and if Kenny Dodd finds no
acceptance with you on his own account, it is hopeless to expect that he
will be served by the introduction of so partial a friend as

Your devoted servant,

CHARLES LEVER.

Marola, Gulf of Spezia,

October 1,1859.



A WORD FROM THE EDITOR.

The Editor of the Dodd Correspondence may possibly be expected to give
the Public some information as to the manner by which these Letters
came into his possession, and the reasons which led him to publish them.
Happily he can do both without any breach of honorable confidence. The
circumstances were these:--

Mr. Dodd, on his returning to Ireland, passed through the little
watering-place of Spezzia, where the Editor was then sojourning. They
met accidentally, formed acquaintanceship, and then intimacy. Amongst
the many topics of conversation between them, the Continent and its
habits occupied a very wide space. Mr. D. had lived little abroad; the
Editor had passed half of a life there. Their views and judgment were,
as might be surmised, not always alike; and if novelty had occasionally
misled one, time and habit had not less powerfully blunted the
perceptions of the other. The old resident discovered, to his
astonishment, that the very opinions which he smiled at from his
friend, had been once his own; that he had himself incurred some of the
mistakes, and fallen into many of the blunders, which he now ridiculed,
and that, so far from the Dodd Family being the exception, they were
in reality no very unfair samples of a large class of our travelling
countrymen. They had come abroad with crude and absurd notions of what
awaited them on the Continent. They dreamed of economy, refinement,
universal politeness, and a profound esteem for England from all
foreigners. They fancied that the advantages of foreign travel were
to be obtained without cost or labor; that locomotion could educate,
sight-seeing cultivate them; that in the capacity of British subjects
every society should be open to them, and that, in fact, it was enough
to emerge from home obscurity to become at once recognized in the
fashionable circles of any Continental city.

They not only entertained all these notions, but they held them in
defiance of most contradictory elements. They practised the most rigid
economy when professing immense wealth; they affected to despise the
foreigner while shunning their own countrymen; they assumed to be
votaries of art when merely running over galleries; and lastly, while
laying claim, and just claim, for their own country to the highest moral
standard of Europe, they not unfrequently outraged all the proprieties
of foreign life by an open and shameless profligacy. It is difficult to
understand how a mere change of locality can affect a man's notions of
right and wrong, and how Cis-Alpine evil may be Trans-Alpine good. It
is very hard to believe that a few parallels of latitude can affect the
moral thermometer; but so it is, and so Mr. Dodd honestly confessed he
found it. He not only avowed that he could do abroad what he could
not dare to do at home, but that, worse still, the infraction cost
no sacrifice of self-esteem, no self-reproach. It was not that these
derelictions were part of the habits of foreign life, or at least of
such of it as met the eye; it was, in reality, because he had come
abroad with his own preconceived ideas of a certain latitude in morals,
and was resolved to have the benefit of it. Such inconsistency in
theory led, naturally, to absurdity in action, and John Bull became, in
consequence, a mark for every trait of eccentricity that satirists could
describe, or caricaturists paint.

The gradations of rank so rigidly defined in England are less accurately
marked out abroad. Society, like the face of the soil, is not enclosed
by boundaries and fenced by hedgerows, but stretches away in boundless
undulations of unlimited extent. The Englishman fancies there are no
boundaries, because he does not see the landmarks. Since all seems open,
he imagines there can be no trespass. This is a serious mistake! Not
less a one is, to connect title with rank. He fancies that nobility
represents abroad the same pretensions which it maintains in England,
and indignantly revenges his own blunder by calumniating in common every
foreigner of rank.

Mr. Dodd fell into some of these errors; from others he escaped. Most,
indeed, of his mistakes were those inseparable from a false position;
and from the acuteness of his remarks in conversation, it is clear that
he possessed fair powers of observation, and a mind well disposed to
receive and retain the truth. One quality certainly his observations
possessed,--they were "his own." They were neither worked out from the
Guide-book, nor borrowed from his _Laquais de Place_. They were the
honest convictions of a good ordinary capacity, sharpened by the habits
of an active life. It was with sincere pleasure the Editor received from
him the following note, which reached him about three weeks after they
parted:--


"DODSBOROUGH, BRUFF.

"My dear Harry Lorrequer,--I have fished up all the Correspondence of
the Dodd Family during our _Annus Mirabilis_ abroad, and send it to you
with this. You have done some queer pranks at Editorship before now, so
what would you say to standing Sponsor to us all, foundlings as we are
in the world of letters? I have a notion in my head that we were n't a
bit more ridiculous than nine-tenths of our travelling countrymen, and
that, maybe, our mistakes and misconceptions might serve to warn such
as may come after us over the same road. At all events, use your own
discretion on the matter, but say nothing about it when you write to me,
as Mrs. D. reads all my letters, and if she knew we were going to print
her, the consequences would be awful!

"You 'll be glad to hear that we got safe back here,--Tuesday was a
week,--found everything much as usual,--farming stock looking up, pigs
better than ever I knew them. I have managed to get James into the
Police, and his foreign airs and graces are bringing him into the
tip-top society of the country. Purcell tells me that we 'll be driven
to sell Dodsborough in the Estates Court, and I suppose it 's the best
thing after all, for we can buy it in, and clear off the mortgages that
was the ruin of us.

"When everything is settled, I have an idea of taking a run through the
United States, to have a peep at Jonathan. If so, you shall hear from
me.

"Meanwhile, I am yours, very faithfully,

"Kenny I. Dodd.

"Do you know any Yankees, or could you get me a few letters to some of
their noticeable men? for I 'd like to have an opportunity of talk with
them."

The Editor at once set about the inspection of the documents forwarded
to him, and carefully perused the entire correspondence; nor was it
until after a mature consideration that he determined on accepting the
responsible post which Mr. Dodd had assigned to him.

He who edits a Correspondence, to a certain extent is assumed to be a
concurring party, if not to the statements contained in it, at least to
its general tone and direction. It is in vain for him to try and hide
his own shadow behind the foreground figure of the picture, or merge
his responsibility in that of his principal. The reader will hold him
chargeable for opinions that he has made public, and for sentiments
which, but for his intervention, had slept within the drawer of a
cabinet. This is more particularly the case where the sentiments
recorded are not those of any great thinker or high authority amongst
men whose _dicta_ may be supposed capable of standing the test of
a controversy, on the mere strength of him who uttered them. Now,
unhappily, the Dodd Family have not as yet produced one of these gifted
individuals. Their views of the world, as they saw it in a foreign tour,
are those of persons of very moderate capacity, with very few special
opportunities for observation. They wrote in all the frankness of close
friendship to those with whom they were most intimately allied. They
uttered candidly what they felt acutely. They chronicled their
sorrows, their successes, their triumphs, and their shame. And although
experience did teach them something as they went, their errors tracked
them to the last. It cannot be expected, then, that the Editor is
prepared to back their opinions and uphold their notions, nor is he
blamable for the judgments they have pronounced on many points. It is
true, it was open to him to have retrenched this and suppressed that. He
might have cancelled a confession here, or blotted out an avowal there;
but had he done so in one Letter, the allusion contained in some other
might have been pointless,--the distinctive character of the writer
lost; and what is of more moment than either, a new difficulty
engendered, viz., what to retain where there was so much to retrench.
Besides this, Mrs. D. is occasionally wrong where K. I. is right, and it
is only by contrasting the impressions that the value of the judgments
can be appreciated.

It is not in our present age of high civilization that an Editor need
fear the charge of having divulged family secrets, or made the private
history of domestic life a subject for public commentary. Happily, we
live in a period of enlightenment that can defy such petty slanders.
Very high and titled individuals have shown themselves superior to
similar accusations, and if the "Dodds" can in any wise contribute
to the amusement or instruction of the world, they may well feel
recompensed for an exposure to which others have been subjected before
them.

As in all cases of this kind, the Editor's share has been of the very
lightest. It would not have become him to have added anything either
of explanation or apology to the contents of these Letters. Even when a
word or two might have served to correct a mistaken impression, he
has preferred to leave the obvious task to the reader's judgment to
obtrusively making himself the means of interpretation. In fact, he has
had little to do beyond opening the door and announcing the company, and
his functions cease when this duty is accomplished. It would be alike
ungracious and ungrateful in him, however, were he to retire without
again thanking those kind and indulgent friends who have so long and so
warmly welcomed him.

With no higher ambition in life than to be the servant of that same
Public, nor any more ardent desire than to merit well at their hands, he
writes himself, as he has so often had occasion to do before, but at no
time more sincerely than now,

Their very devoted and faithful servant,

THE EDITOR.



THE DODD FAMILY ABROAD



LETTER I. TO MR. THOMAS PURCELL, OF THE GRANGE, BRUFF

Hôtel Des Bains, Ostend.

Dear Tom,--Here we are at last,--as tired and seasick a party as
ever landed on the same shore! Twenty-eight hours of it, from the St.
Katharine Docks, six of them bobbing opposite Margate in a fog,--ringing
a big bell all the time, and firing minute-guns, lest some thumping
India-man or a homeward-bound Peninsular should run into us,--and five
more sailing up and down before Ostend, till it was safe to cross the
bar, and enter the blackguard little harbor. The "Phoenix"--that was our
boat--started the night before the "Paul Jones" mail-packet, and we
only beat her by a neck, after all! And this was a piece of Mrs. Dodd's
economy: the "Phoenix" only charges "ten-and-six" for the first cabin;
but, what with the board for a day and night, boats to fetch you out,
and boats to fetch you in, brandy-and-water against the sickness,--much
good it was!--soda-water, stewards, and the devil knows what of broken
crockery,--James fell into the "cuddy," I think they call it,
and smashed two dozen and three wine-glasses, the most of a blue
tea-service, and a big tureen,--the economy turned out a "delusion and a
snare," as they say in the House. It 's over now, thank God! and, except
some bruises against the bulkheads and a touch of a jaundice, I 'm
nothing the worse. We landed at night, and were marched off in a gang to
the Custom House. Such a time I never spent before! for when they upset
all our things on the floor, there was no getting them into the trunks
again; and so we made our way through the streets, with shawls and muffs
and silk dresses all round us, like a set of play-actors. As for me, I
carried a turban in one hand, and a tray of artificial flowers in the
other, with a toque on my head and a bird-of-paradise feather in my
mouth. James fell, crossing the plank, with three bran-new frocks and a
bonnet of the girls', and a thing Mrs. D. calls a "visite,"--egad,
they made a visite of it, sure enough, and are likely to stay some time
there, for they are under some five feet of black mud, that has lain
there since before the memory of man. This was n't the worst of it;
for Mrs. D., not seeing very well in the dark, gave one of the passport
people a box on the ear that she meant for poor Paddy, and we were
hauled up before the police, and made pay thirty francs for "insulting
the authorities," with something written on our passport, besides,
describing my wife as a dangerous kind of woman, that ought to be looked
after. Poor Mathews had a funny song, that ran,--

     "If ever you travel, it must n't seem queer
     That you sometimes get rubs that you never get here."

But, faith, it appears to me that we have fallen in with a most uncommon
allowance of friction. Perhaps it's all for the best; and by a little
roughing at first, we'll the sooner accustom ourselves to our new
position.

You know that I never thought much of this notion of coming abroad,
but Mrs. D. was full of it, and gave me neither peace nor ease till I
consented. To be sure, if it only realizes the half of what she says,
it's a good speculation,--great economy, tip-top education for Tom and
the girls, elegant society without expense, fine climate, and wine for
the price of the bottles. I 'm sorry to leave Dodsborough.

I got into a way of living there that suited me; and even in the few
days I spent in London I was missing my morning's walk round the big
turnip-field, and my little gossip with Joe Moone. Poor Joe! don't let
him want while I 'm away, and be sure to give him his turf off our own
bog. We won't be able to drain the Lough meadows this year, for we 'll
want every sixpence we can lay our hands on for the start. Mrs. D. says,
"'T is the way you begin abroad decides everything;" and, faith, our
opening, up to this, has not been too prosperous.

I thought we 'd have got plenty of letters of recommendation for the
Continent while we were in London; but it is downright impossible to
see people there. Vickars, our member, was never at home, and Lord
Pummistone--I might besiege Downing Street from morning till night, and
never get a sight of him! I wrote as many as twenty letters, and it was
only when I bethought me of saying that the Whigs never did anything
except for people of the Grey, Elliott, or Dundas family, that he sent
me five lines, with a kind of introduction to any of the envoys or
plenipotentiaries I might meet abroad,--a roving commission after a
dinner,--sorrow more or less! I believe, however, that this is of no
consequence; at least, a most agreeable man, one Krauth, the sub-consul
at Moelendrach, somewhere in Holland, and who came over in the same
packet with us, tells me that people of condition, like us, find
their place in the genteel society abroad as naturally as a man with
moustaches goes to Leicester Square. That seems a comfort; for, between
me and you, the fighting and scrambling that goes on at home about
_who_ we 'll have, and who 'll have us, makes life little better than
an election shindy! K. is a mighty nice man, and full of information. He
appears to be rich, too, for Tom saw as many as thirteen gold watches
in his room; and he has chains and pins and brooches without end. He was
trying to persuade us to spend the winter at Moelendrach, where, besides
a heavenly climate, there are such beautiful walks on the dikes, and
elegant society! Mrs. D. does n't like it, however, for, though we 've
been looking all the morning, we can't find the place on the map;
but that does n't signify much, since even our post town of
Kellynnaignabacklish is put down in the "Gazetteer" "a small village on
the road to Bruff," and no mention whatever of the police-station, nor
Hannagin's school, nor the Pound. That's the way the blackguards make
books nowadays!

Mary Anne is all for Brussels, and, afterwards, Germany and the
Rhine; but we can fix upon nothing yet Send me the letter of credit on
Brussels, in any case, for we 'll stay there, to look about us, a
few weeks. If the two townlands cannot be kept out of the "Encumbered
Estates," there 's no help for it; but sure any of our friends would
bid a trifle, and not see them knocked down at seven or eight years'
purchase. If Tullylicknaslatterley was drained, and the stones off it,
and a good top dressing of lime for two years, you 'd see as fine a crop
of oats there as ever you 'd wish; and there hasn't been an "outrage,"
as they call it, on the same land since they shot M'Shea, last
September; and when you consider the times, and the way winter set in
early, this year, 't is saying a good deal. I wish Prince Albert would
take some of these farms, as they said he would. Never mind enclosing
the town parks, we can't afford it just now; but mind that you look
after the preserves. If there 's a cock shot in the boundary-wood, I 'll
turn out every mother's son of the barony.

I was going to tell you about Nick Mahon's holding, but it's gone clean
out of my head, for I was called away to the police-office to bail out
Paddy Byrne, the dirty little spalpeen; I wish I never took him from
home. He saw a man running off with a yellow valise,--this is his
story,--and thinking it was mine, he gave him chase; he doubled and
turned,--now under an omnibus, now through a dark passage,--till Paddy
overtook him at last, and gave him a clippeen on the left ear, and
a neat touch of the foot that sent him sprawling. This done, Paddy
shouldered the spoil, and made for the inn; but what d' ye think? It
turned out to be another man's trunk, and Paddy was taken up for the
robbery; and what with the swearing of the police, Pat's yells, and
Mrs. D.'s French, I have passed such a half-hour as I hope never to
see again. Two "Naps." settled it all, however, and five francs to the
Brigadier, as well-dressed a chap as the Commander of the Forces at
home; but foreigners, it seems, are the devil for bribery. When I told
Pat I 'd stop it out of his wages, he was for rushing out, and taking
what he called the worth of his money out of the blackguard; so that I
had to lock him into my room, and there he is now, crying and screeching
like mad. This will be my excuse for anything I may make in way of
mistakes; for, to say truth, my head is fairly moidered! As it is,
we 've lost a trunk; and when Mrs. D. discovers that it was the one
containing all her new silk dresses, and a famous red velvet that was to
take the shine out of the Tuileries, we'll have the devil to pay! She's
in a blessed humor, besides, for she says she saw the Brigadier wink
at Mary Anne, and that it was a good kicking he deserved, instead of
a live-franc piece; and now she's turning on me in the vernacular,
in which, I regret to say, her fluency has no impediment. I must now
conclude, my dear Tom, for it 's quite beyond me to remember more than
that I am, as ever,

Your sincere friend,

Kenny I. Dodd.

Betty Cobb insists upon being sent home; this is more of it! The journey
will cost a ten-pound note, if Mrs. D. can't succeed in turning her off
of it. I 'm afraid the economy, at least, begins badly.



LETTER II. MRS. DODD TO MISTRESS MARY GALLAGHER, AT DODSBOROUGH

Hotel of the Baths, Ostend. Dear Molly,--This is the first blessed
moment of quiet I've had since I quitted home; and even now there's the
_table d'hôte_ of sixty-two in the next room, and a brass band in the
lobby, with, to be sure, the noisiest set of wretches as waiters ever
I heard, shouting, screaming, knife-jingling, plate-crashing, and
cork-drawing, till my head is fairly turned with the turmoil. The
expense is cruel, besides,--eighteen francs a day for the rooms,
although James sleeps in the _salon_; and if you saw the bed,--his
father swears it was a mignonette-box in one of the windows! The eating
is beautiful; that must be allowed. Two soups, three fishes, five roast
chickens, and a piece of veal, stewed with cherries; a dish of chops
with chiccory, and a meat-pie garnished with cock's-combs,--you maybe
sure I didn't touch them; after them there was a carp, with treacle, and
a big plate of larks and robins, with eggs of the same, all round. Then
came the heavy eating: a roast joint of beef, with a batter-pudding, and
a turkey stuffed with chestnuts, ducks ditto, with olives and onions,
and a mushroom tart, made of grated chickens and other condiments. As
for the sweets, I don't remember the half of them, nor do I like to try,
for poor dear James got a kind of surfeit, and was obliged to go to bed
and have a doctor,--a complaint, they tell me, mighty common among the
English on first coming abroad. He was a nice man, and only charged five
francs. I wish you 'd tell Peter Belton that; for though we subscribe a
pound a year to the dispensary, Mr. Peter thinks to get six shillings
a visit every time he comes over to Dodsborough,--a pleasant ride of
eleven miles,--and sure of something to eat, besides; and now that
I think of it, Molly, 'tis what's called the learned professions in
Ireland is eating us all up,--the attorneys, the doctors, the parsons.
Look at them abroad: Mr. Krauth, a remarkably nice man, and a consul,
told me, last night, that for two-and-sixpence of our money you 'd have
the best advice, law or medical, the Continent affords; and even that
same is a comfort!

The _table d' hôte_ is not without some drawbacks, however, my dear
Molly, for only yesterday I caught an officer, the Brigadier of the
Gendarmerie they call him, throwing sly glances at Mary Anne across the
table. I mentioned it to K. I., but like all fathers that were a little
free-and-easy when young, he said, "Pooh! nonsense, dear. 'Tis the way
of foreigners; you'll get used to it at last." We dined to-day in our
own room; and just to punish us, as I suppose, they gave us a scrag of
mutton and two blue-legged chickens; and by the bill before me,--for I
have it made up every day,--I see "_dîner particulier_" put down five
francs a head, and the _table d'hôte_ is for two!

K. I. was in a blessed passion, and cursed my infernal prudery, as he
called it. To be sure, I did n't know it was to cost us a matter of
fifteen francs. And now he 's gone off to the _café_, and Mary Anne is
crying in her own room, while Caroline is nursing James; for, to tell
you the truth, Betty Cobb is no earthly use to us; and as for Paddy
Byrne, 't is bailing him out of the police-office and paying fines for
him we are, all day.

We 'll scarcely save much this first quarter, for what with travelling
expenses and the loss of my trunk,--I believe I told you that some
villain carried away the yellow valise, with the black satin trimmed
with blonde, and the peach-colored "gros de Naples," and my two elegant
ball-dresses, one covered with real Limerick lace,--these losses, and
the little contingencies of the road, will run away with most of our
economies; but if we live we learn, and we 'll do better afterwards.

I never expected it would be all pure gain, Molly; but is n't it worth
something to see life,--to get one's children the polish and refinement
of the Continent, to teach them foreign tongues with the real accent,
to mix in the very highest circles, and learn all the ways of people of
fashion? Besides, Dodsborough was dreadful; K. I. was settling down to
a common farmer, and in a year or two more would never have asked any
higher company than Purcell and Father Maher; as for James, he was
always out with the greyhounds, or shooting, or something of the kind;
and lastly, you saw yourself what was going on between Peter Belton and
Mary Anne!... She might have had the pride and decency to look higher
than a Dispensary doctor. I told her that her mother's family was
McCarthys, and, indeed, it was nothing but the bad times ever made me
think of Kenny Dodd. Not that I don't think well of poor Peter, but
sure it's hard to dress well, and keep three horses, and make a decent
appearance on less than eighty pounds a year,--not to talk of a wife at
all!

I hope you 'll get Christy into the Police; they are just the same as
the Hussars, and not so costly. Be sure that you send off the two trunks
to Ostend with the first sailing-vessel from Limerick; they'll only cost
one-and-fourpence a cubic foot, whatever that is, and I believe they 'll
come just as speedy as by steam. I 'm sorry for poor Nancy Doran; she
'll be a loss to us in the dairy; but maybe she 'll recover yet. How
can you explain Brindled Judy not being in calf? I can scarce believe
it yet. If it be true, however, you must sell her at the spring fair.
Father Maher had a conceit out of her. Try if he is disposed to give ten
pounds, or guineas,--guineas if you can, Molly.

There's no curing that rash in Caroline's face, and it's making her
miserable. I 've lost Peter's receipt; and it was the only thing stopped
the itching. Try and get a copy of it from him; but say it's for Betty
Cobb.

I was interrupted, my dear Molly, by a visit from a young gentleman
whose visiting-card bears the name of Victor de Lancy, come to ask after
James,--a very nice piece of attention, considering that he only met
us once at the _table d'hôte_. He and Mary Anne talked a great deal
together; for, as he does n't speak English, I could only smile and
say "We-we" occasionally. He's as anxious about James as if he was his
brother, and wanted to sit up the night with him; though what use would
it be? for poor J. does n't know a word of French yet. Mary Anne tells
me that he 's a count, and that his family was very high under the
late King; but it's dreadful to hear him talk of Louis Philippe and
the Orleans branch. He mentioned, too, that they set spies after him
wherever he goes; and, indeed, Mary Anne saw a gendarme looking up at
the window all the time he was with us.

He spent two hours and a half here; and I must say, Molly, foreigners
have a wonderful way of ingratiating themselves with one: we felt,
when he was gone away, as if we knew him all our life. Don't pay any
attention to Mat, but sell the fruit, and send me the money; and as for
Bandy Bob, what's the use of feeding him now we 're away? Take care that
the advertisement about Dodsborough is in the "Mail" and the "Packet"
every week: "A Residence fit for a nobleman or gentleman's family,--most
extensive out-offices, and two hundred acres of land, more if required,"
ought to let easy! To be sure, it's in Ireland, Molly; that's the worst
of it There is n't a little bit of a lodging here on the sands, with
rush-bottom chairs and a painted table, doesn't bring fifty francs a
week!

I must conclude now, for it's nigh post-hour. Be sure you look after
the trunks and the pony. Never mind sending the Limerick paper; it costs
three sous, and has never anything new. K. I. sees the "Times" at the
rooms, and they give all the outrages just as well as the Irish papers.
By the way, who was the Judkin Delaney that was killed at Bruff? Sure it
is n't the little creature that collected the county-cess: it would be a
disgrace if it was; he was n't five foot high!

Tell Father Maher to send me a few threatening lines for Betty Cobb;
'tis nothing but the priest's word will keep her down.

Your most affectionate friend,

James Dodd



LETTER III. MISS DODD TO MISS DOOLAN, OF BALLYDOOLAN

HÔTEL DE BELLEVUE, BRUSSELS.

Dearest Kitty,--If anything could divert the mind from sorrow,--from the
"grief that sears and scalds,"--it would be the delightful existence of
this charming city, where associations of the past and present pleasure
divide attention between them. We are stopping at the Bellevue, the
great hotel of the upper town; but my delight, my ecstasy, is the old
city,--the Grande Place, especially, with its curious architecture,
of mediaeval taste, its high polished roofs, and carved architraves. I
stood yesterday at the window where Count Egmont marched forth to the
scaffold; I touched the chair where poor Horn sat for the last
time, whilst his fainting wife fell powerless at his knees, and I
thought,--yes, dearest Kitty, I own it,--I thought of that last dreadful
parting in the summer-house with poor Peter.--My tears are blotting out
the words as I write them. Why,--why, I ask, must we be wretched? Why
are we not free to face the humble destiny which more sordid spirits
would shrink from? What is there in narrow fortune, if the heart soars
above it? Papa is, however, more inexorable than ever; and as for mamma,
she looks at me as though I were the disgrace of our name and lineage.
Cary never did--never could understand me, poor child!--may she never
know what it is to suffer as I do! But why do I distress you with my
sorrows?--"let me tune my harp to lighter lays," as that sweet poet,
Haynes Bailey, says. We were yesterday at the great ball of Count
Haegenstroem, the Danish Ambassador here. Papa received a large packet
of letters of introduction on Monday last, from the Foreign Office. It
would seem that Lord P. thought pa was a member, for he addressed him as
M.P.; but the mistake has been so far fortunate, that we are invited on
Tuesday to dine at Lord Gledworth's, our ambassador here, and we
have his box for to-night at the Opera,--not to speak of last night's
invitation, which came from him. I wore my amber gauze over the satin
slip, with the "jonquilles" and white roses, two camellias in my hair,
with mamma's coral chain twined through the roll at the back. Count
Ambrose de Roncy called me a "rose-cameo," and I believe I _did_ look my
best. I danced with "Prince Sierra d'Aguila Nero," a Sicilian that ought
to be King of Sicily, and will, they say, if the King of Naples dies
without leaving seven sons. What a splendid man, Kitty! not tall, rather
the reverse; but such eyes, and such a beard, and so perfumed,--the very
air around him was like the garden of Attarghul! He spoke very little
English, and could not bear to talk French; he said the French betrayed
"_la sua carissima patria;_" and so, my dear Kitty, I did my best in the
syllables of the sweet South. _He_, at least, called my accent "divina,"
and said that he would come and read Petrarch with me tomorrow.
Don't let Peter be a fool when he hears this. The Prince is in a very
different sphere from poor Mary Anne! he always dances with Queen
Victoria when he's at Windsor, and called our Prince Consort "_Il suo
diletto Alberto_;" and, more than all, he's married, but separated from
the Princess. He told me this himself, and with what terrible emotion,
Kitty! I thought of Charles Kean in Claude Melnotte, as he spoke in a
low guttural voice, with his hand on his bosom. It was very dreadful,
but these temperaments, moulded alike by southern climes and ancient
descent, are awful in their passionate vehemence. I assure you, it was a
relief to me when he stopped one of the trays and took a pineapple ice.
I felt that it was a moment of peril passed in safety. You can form no
notion, dearest, of the fascination of foreign manners; something there
is so gently insinuating, so captivating, so bewitching, and withal
so natural, Kitty,--that's the very strangest thing of all. There is
absolutely nothing a foreigner cannot say to you. I almost blush as
I think of what I now know must have been the veriest commonplace of
society, but which to my ears, in all their untutored ignorance, sounded
very odd.

Mamma--and you know her prudery--is actually in ecstasy with them. The
Prince said to me last night, "Savez-vous, Mademoiselle! Madame votre
mère est d'une beauté classique?" and I assure you ma was delighted with
the compliment when she heard it. Papa is not so tractable: he calls
them the most atrocious names, and has all the old prejudices about the
Continent that we see in the old farces. Cary is, however, worse again,
and thinks their easy elegance, is impertinence, and all the graceful
charm of their manner nothing but--her own words--"egregious vanity."
Shall I whisper you a bit of a secret? Well, then, Kitty, the reason
of this repugnance may be that she makes no impression whatever,
notwithstanding her beauty; and there is no denying that she does not
possess the gift--whatever it be--of fascination. She has, besides, a
species of antipathy to everything foreign, that she makes no effort
to disguise. A rather unfortunate acquaintance ma made, on board the
steam-packet, with a certain Mr. Krauth, who called himself sub-consul
of somewhere in Holland, but who turned out to be a Jew pedler, has
given Cary such an opportunity of inveighing against all foreigners that
she is positively unendurable. This Krauth, I must say, was atrociously
vulgar, and shockingly ugly; but as he could talk some broken English,
ma rather liked him, and we had him to tea; after which he took James
home to his lodgings, to show him some wonderful stuffed birds that he
was bringing to the Royal Princesses. I have not patience to tell you
all the narrative; but the end of it was that poor dear James, having
given all his pocket-money and his silver pencil-case for a tin musical
snuff-box that won't play Weber's last waltz, except in jerks like a
hiccough, actually exchanged two dozen of his new shirts for a box of
Havannah cigars and a cigar-case with a picture of Fanny Elssler on it!
Papa was in a towering passion when he heard of it, and hastened off to
K.'s lodgings; but he had already decamped. This unhappy incident threw
a shade over our last few days at Ostend; for James never came down
to dine, but sat in his own room smoking the atrocious cigars, and
contemplating the portrait of the charming Fanny,--pursuits which, I
must say, seemed to have conduced to a most melancholy and despondent
frame of mind.

There was another _mésaventure_, my dearest Kitty. My thanks to that
sweet language for the word by which I characterize it! A certain Count
Victor de Lancy, who made acquaintance with us at the _table d'hôte_,
and was presuming enough to visit us afterwards, turned out to be a
common thief! and who, though under the surveillance of the police,
made away with ma's workbox, and her gold spectacles, putting on pa's
paletot, and a new plaid belonging to James, as he passed out. It is
very shocking; but confess, dearest, what a land it must be, where the
pedlers are insinuating, and the very pickpockets have all the ease and
breeding of the best society. I assure you that I could not credit the
guilt of M. de L., until the Brigadier came yesterday to inquire about
our losses, and take what he called his _signalement_. I thought, for
a moment or two, that he had made a mistake, Kitty, and was come for
_mine_; for he looked into my eyes in such a way, and spoke so softly,
that I began to blush; and mamma, always on the watch, bridled up, and
said, "Mary Anne!" in that voice you must so well remember; and so it
is, my dear friend, the thief and the constable, and I have no doubt,
too, the judge, the jury, and the jailer, are all on the same beat!

I have just been called away to see such a love of a rose tunic, all
_glacé_, to be worn over a dull slate-colored jupe, looped up at one
side with white camellias and lilies of the valley. Think of me, Kitty,
with my hair drawn back and slightly powdered, red heels to my shoes,
and a great fan hanging to my side, like grave Aunt Susan In the
picture, wanting nothing but the love-sick swain that plays the
flageolet at her feet!--Madame Adèle, the modiste, says, "not long to
wait for a dozen such,"--and this not for a fancy ball, dearest, but for
a simple evening party,--a "dance-able tea," as papa will call it. I
vow to you, Kitty, that it greatly detracts from the pictorial effect
of this taste, to see how obstinately men will adhere to their present
ungainly and ungraceful style of dress,--that shocking solecism in
costume, a narrow-tailed coat, and those more fearful outrages on shape
and symmetry for which no name has been invented in any language. Now,
the levelling effect of this black-coat system is terrific; and there is
no distinguishing a man of real rank from his tailor,--amongst English
at least, for the crosses and decorations so frequent with foreigners
are unknown to us. Talking of these, Kitty, the Prince of Aguila Nero is
splendid. He wears nearly every bird and beast that Noah had in the
ark, and a few others quite unknown to antediluvial zoology. These
distinctions are sad reflections on the want of a chivalric feeling in
our country; and when we think of the heroic actions, the doughty deeds,
and high achievements of these Paladins, we are forced to blush for the
spirit that condemns us to be a nation of shopkeepers.

How I run on, dearest, from one topic to another! just as to my mind
is presented the delightful succession of objects about me,--objects of
whose very existence I did not know till now! And then to think of what
a life of obscurity and darkness we were condemned to, at home!--our
neighborhood, a priest, a miller, and those odious Davises; our
gayeties, a detestable dinner at the Grange; our theatricals, "The
Castle Spectre," performed in the coach-house; and instead of those
gorgeous and splendid ceremonials of our Church, so impressive, so
soul-subduing, Kitty, the little dirty chapel at Bruff, with Larry
Behan, the lame sacristan, hobbling about and thrashing the urchins
with the handle of the extinguisher! his muttered "If I was near yeez!"
breaking in on the "Oremus, Domine." Shall I own it, Kitty, there is a
dreadful vulgarity about our dear little circle of Dodsborough; and "one
demoralizes," as the French say, by the incessant appeal of low and too
familiar associations.

I have been again called away to interpret for papa, with the police.
That graceless little wretch, Paddy Byrne, who was left behind by the
train at Malines, went to eat his dinner at one of the small restaurants
in the town, called the "Cheval Pie," and not finding the food to his
satisfaction, got into some kind of an altercation with the waiter, when
the name of the hostel coming up in the dispute, suggested to Paddy
the horrid thought that it was the "Horse Pie-house" he had chanced
upon,--an idea so revolting to his culinary prejudices that he smashed
and broke everything before him, and was only subdued at last by a
corporal's party of the gendarmerie, who handcuffed and conveyed him to
Brussels; and here he is, now, crying and calling himself a "poor boy
that was dragged from home," and, in fact, trying to persuade himself
and all around him that he has been sold into slavery by a cruel
master. Betty Cobb, too, has just joined the chorus, and is eloquently
interweaving a little episode of Irish wrongs and sorrows into the
tissue of Paddy's woes!

Betty is worse than him. There is nothing good enough for her to eat; no
bed to sleep upon; she even finds the Belgians deficient in cleanliness.
This, after Bruff, is a little too bad; mamma, however, stands by her in
everything, and in the end she will become intolerable. James intends
to send a few lines to your brother Robert; but if he should fail--not
improbable, as writing, with him, combines the double difficulties of
orthography and manuscript--pray remember us kindly to him, and believe
me ever, my dearest Kitty,

Your heart-devoted

Mart Anne Dodd.

P. S. must not think of writing; but you may tell him that I'm
unchanged, unchangeable. The cold maxims of worldly prudence, the sordid
calculations of worldly interests affect me not. As Metastasio says,--

     "O, se ragione intende Subito amor, non è."

I know it,--I feel it. There is what Balzac calls _une perversité
divine_ in true affection, that teaches one to brave father and
mother and brother, and this glorious sentiment is the cradle of true
martyrdom. May my heart cherish this noble grief, and never forget that
if there is no struggle, there is no victory!

Do you remember Captain Morris, of the 25th, the little dark officer
that came down to Bruff, after the burning of the Sheas? I saw him
yesterday; but, Kitty, how differently he looked here in his _passé_
blue frock, from his air in "our village!" He wanted to bow, but I
cut him dead. "No," thought I, "times are changed, and we with them!"
Caroline, who was walking behind me with James, however, not only
saluted, but spoke to him. He said, "I see your sister forgets me; but
I know how altered ill-health has made me. I am going to leave the
service." He asked where we were stopping,--a most unnecessary piece
of attention; for after the altercation he had with pa on the Bench at
Bruff, I think common delicacy might keep him from seeking us out.

Try and persuade your papa to take you abroad, Kitty, if only for a
summer ramble; believe me, there is no other refining process like it.
If you only saw James already--you remember what a sloven he was--you'd
not know him; his hair so nicely divided and perfumed; his gloves so
accurately fitting; his boots perfection in shape and polish; and all
the dearest little trinkets in the world--pistols and steam-carriages,
death's-heads, ships and serpents--hanging from his watch-chain; and as
for the top of his cane, Kitty, it is paved with turquoise, and has
a great opal in the middle. Where, how, and when he got all this
"elegance," I can't even guess, and I see it must be a secret, for
neither pa nor ma have ever yet seen him _en gala_. I wish your brother
Robert was with him. It would be such an advantage to him. I am certain
Trinity College is all that you say of it; but confess, Kitty, Dublin is
terribly behind the world in all that regards civilization and "ton."



LETTER IV. JAMES DODD TO ROBERT DOOLAN, ESQUIRE TRINITY COLLEGE, DUBLIN

HÔTEL DE BELLEVUE, BRUSSELS.

Dear Bob,--Here we are, living another kind of life from our old
existence at Dodsborough! We have capital quarters at the "Bellevue,"--a
fine hotel, excellent dinners, and, what I think not inferior to either,
a most obliging Jew money-changer hard by, who advances "moderate loans
to respectable parties, on personal security,"--a process in which I
have already made some proficiency, and with considerable advantage to
my outward man. The tailors are first-rate, and rig you out with gloves,
boots, hat, even to your cane,--they forget nothing. The hairdressers
are also incomparable. I thought, at first, that capillary attraction
was beyond _me_; but, to my agreeable surprise, I discover that I boast
a very imposing _chevelure_, and a bright promise of moustache which, as
yet, is only faintly depicted by a dusky line on my upper lip.

It's all nonsense to undervalue dress: I'm no more the same man in my
dark-green paletot, trimmed with Astracan, that I was a month ago in my
fustian shooting-jacket, than a well-plumed eagle is like a half-moulted
turkey. There is an inseparable connection between your coat and your
character; and few things so react on the morality of a man as the cut
of his trousers. Nothing more certainly tells me this than the feeling
with which I enter any public place now, compared to what I experienced
a few weeks back. It was then half shame, half swagger,--a conflict
between modesty and defiance. Now, it is the easy assurance of being
"all right,"--the conviction that my hat, my frock, my cravat, my
vest, can stand the most critical examination; and that if any one be
impertinent enough to indulge in the inquiry through his eye-glass, I
have the equal privilege to return stare for stare, with, mayhap, an
initiatory sneer into the bargain. By the way, the habit of looking
unutterably fierce seems to be the first lesson abroad. The passport
people, as you land, the officers of the Customs, the landlord of your
inn, the waiters, the railroad clerks, all "get up" a general air of
sovereign contempt for everybody and everything, rather puzzling at
first, but quite reassuring when you are trained to reciprocity. For the
time, I rather flatter myself to have learned the dodge well; not but,
I must confess to you, Bob, that my education is prosecuted under
difficulties. During the whole of the morning I 'm either with the
governor or my mother, sight-seeing and house-hunting,--now seeking
out a Rubens, now making an excursion into the market, and making
exploratory researches into the prices of fish, fowl, and vegetables;
cheapening articles that we don't intend to buy,--a process my mother
looks upon as a moral exercise; and climbing up "two-pair," to see
lodgings we have no intention to take: all because, as she says, "we
ought to know everything;" and really the spirit of inquiry that moves
her will have its reward,--not always, perhaps, without some drawbacks,
as witness what happened to us on Tuesday. In our rambles along the
Boulevard de Waterloo, we saw a smart-looking house, with an _affiche_
over the door, "A louer;" and, of course, mother and Mary Anne at once
stopped the carriage for an exploration. In we went, asked for the
proprietor, and saw a small, rosy-cheeked little man, with a big wig,
and a very inquiet, restless look in his eyes. "Could we see the house?
Was it furnished?" "Yes," to both questions. "Were there stables?"
"Capital room for four horses; good water,--two kinds, and both
excellent." Upstairs we toiled, through one _salon_ into another,--now
losing ourselves in dark passages, now coming abruptly to unlock-able
doors,--everlastingly coming back to the spot we had just left, and
conceiving the grandest notions of the number of rooms, from the manner
of our own perambulations. Of course you know the invariable incidents
of this tiresome process, where the owner is always trying to open
impracticable windows, and the visitors will rush into inscrutable
places, in despite of all advice and admonition. Our voyage of discovery
was like all preceding ones; and we looked down well-staircases and up
into skylights,--snuffed for possible smells, and suggested imaginary
smoke, in every room we saw. While we were thus busily criticising
the domicile, its owner, it would seem, was as actively engaged in an
examination of _us_, and apparently with a less satisfactory result, for
he broke in upon one of our consultations by a friendly "No, no, ladies;
it won't do,--it won't do at all. This house would never suit;"
and while my mother stared, and Mary Anne opened wide her eyes in
astonishment, he went on: "We 're only losing time, ladies; both your
time and mine will be wasted. This is not the house for _you_." "I beg
to observe, sir, that I think it is," interposed my mother, who, with
a very womanly feeling, took a prodigious fancy to the place the moment
she discovered there was a difficulty about it. The owner, however,
was to the full as decided; and in fact hurried us out of the rooms,
downstairs, and into the street, with a degree of haste savoring far
more of impatience than politeness. I rather was disposed to laugh
at the little man's energetic rejection of us; but my mother's rage
rendered any "mirthful demonstration inopportune," as the French would
say; and so I only exchanged glances with Mary Anne, while our eloquent
parent abused the "little wretch" to her heart's content. Although the
circumstance was amply discussed by us that evening, we had well-nigh
forgotten it in the morning, when, to our astonishment, our little
friend of the Boulevard sent in his name, "Mr. Cherry," with a request
to see papa. My mother was for seeing him herself; but this amendment
was rejected, and the original motion carried.

After about five minutes' interview, we were alarmed by a sudden noise
and violent cries; and on rushing from the drawing-room, I just caught
sight of Mr. Cherry making a flying leap down the first half of the
staircase, while my father's uplifted foot stood forth to evidence what
had proved the "vis à tergo." His performance of the next flight was
less artistic, for he rolled from top to bottom, when, by an almost
preternatural effort, he made his escape into the street. The governor's
passion made all inquiries perilous for some minutes; in fact, this
attempt to make "Cherry-bounce," as Cary called it, seemed to have got
into his head, for he stormed like a madman. At last the _causa belli_
came out to be, that this unhappy Mr. Cherry had come with an apology
for his strange conduct the day before,--by what think you? By his
having mistaken my mother and sister for what slang people call "a case
of perhaps,"--a blunder which certainly was not to be remedied by
the avowal of it. So at least thought my father, for he cut short the
apology and the explanation at once, ejecting Mr. Cherry by a more
summary process than is recognized in the law-courts.

My mother had hardly dried up her tears in crying, and I mine in
laughing over this strange incident, when there came an emissary of the
gendarmerie to arrest the governor for a violent assault, with intent,
&c. &c, and it is only by the intervention of our Minister here that
bail has been accepted; my father being bound to appear before the
"Court of Correctional Police" on Monday next. If we remain much longer
here, we are likely to learn something of the laws, at least in a way
which people assure you is always most indelible,--practically. If we
continue as we have commenced, a little management on the part of the
lawyers, and a natural desire on the part of my father to obtain
justice, may prolong our legal affairs far into the spring; so that we
may possibly not leave this for some months to come, which, with the aid
of my friend, Lazarus Simrock, may be made pleasurable and profitable.

[Illustration: 058]

It's all very well to talk about "learning French, seeing galleries and
studying works of art," my dear Bob, but where's the time?--that's the
question. My mother and the girls poach my entire morning. It's the
rarest thing in the world for me to get free of them before five
o'clock; and then I have just time to dash down to the club, and have a
"shy" at the écarté before dinner. Smart play it is, sometimes seventy,
ay, a hundred Naps, on a game; and such players too!--fellows that sit
for ten minutes with a card on their knee, studying your face,
watching every line and lineament of your features, and reading you,
by Jove,--reading you like a book. All the false air of ease and
indifference, all the brag assurance you may get up to conceal a "bad
hand," isn't worth sixpence. They laugh at your puerile efforts, and
tell you "you are voled" before you've played a card. We hear so much
about genius and talent, and all that kind of thing at home, and you,
I have no doubt, are full of the high abilities of some fellowship
or medallist man of Trinity; but give _me_ the deep penetration, the
intense powers of calculation, the thorough insight into human nature,
of some of the fellows I see here; and for success in life, I 'll back
them against all your conic section and x plus y geniuses, and all the
double first classes that ever breathed. There's a splendid fellow here,
a Pole, called Koratinsky; he commanded the cavalry at Ostrolenca,
and, it is said, rode down the Russian Guard, and sabred the Imperial
Cuirassiers to a man. He's the first écarté and piquet player in Europe,
and equal to Deschapelles at whist. Though he is very distant and cold
in his manner to strangers, he has been most kind and good-natured to
me; has given me some capital advice, too, and warned me against several
of the fellows that frequent the club. He tells me that he detests and
abhors play, but resorts to it as a distraction. "Que voulez-vous?"
said he to me the other day; "when a man who calls himself Ladislaus
Koratinsky, who has the blood of three monarchs in his veins, who has
twice touched the crown of his native land, sees himself an exile and a
'proscrit,' it is only in the momentary excitement of the gaming-table
he can find a passing relief for crushing and withering recollections."
He could be in all the highest circles here. The greatest among the
nobles are constantly begging and entreating him to come to their
houses, but he sternly refuses. "Let me know one family," says he, "one
domestic circle, where I can go uninvited, when I will,--where I can
repose my confidence, tell my sorrows, and speak of my poor country;
give me one such, and I ask for no more; but as for dukes and grand
seigneurs, princesses and duchesses, I've had but too much of them." I
assure you, Bob, it 's like a page out of some old story of chivalry to
listen to him. The splendid sentiments, the glorious conceptions, and
the great plans he has for the regeneration of Europe; and how he abhors
the Emperor of Russia! "It's a 'duel à mort entre Nicholas et moi,'"
said he to me yesterday.

"The terms of the conflict were signed on the field of Ostrolenca; for
the present the victory is his, but there is a time coming!" I have been
trying all manner of schemes to have him invited to dine with us. Mother
and Mary Anne are with me, heart and hand; but the governor's late
mischances have soured him against all foreigners, and I must bide my
time. I feel, however, when my father sees him, he'll be delighted with
him; and then he could be invaluable to us in the way of introductions,
for he knows every crowned head and prince on the Continent.

After dinner, pretending to take an evening lesson in French, I'm off to
the Opera. I belong to an omnibus-box,--all the fast fellows here,--such
splendid dressers, Bob, and each coming in his brougham. I'm deucedly
ashamed that I've nothing but a cabriolet, which I hire from my friend
Lazarus at twelve pounds a month. They quiz me tremendously about my
"rococo" taste in equipage, but I turn off the joke by telling them that
I'm expecting my cattle and my "traps" from London next week. Lazarus
promises me that I shall have a splendid "Malibran" from Hobson, and two
grays over by the Antwerp packet, if I give him a bill for the price, at
three months; and that he'll keep them for me at his stables till I
'm quite ready to pay. Stickler, the other job-master here, wanted the
governor's name on the bills, and behaved like a scoundrel, threatening
to tell my father all about it It cost me a "ten-pounder" to stop him.

After the theatre we adjourn to Dubos's to supper, and I can give you
no idea, Bob, of what a thing that supper is! I remember when we used
to fancy it was rather a grand affair to finish our evening at Jude's or
Hayes's with a vulgar set-out of mutton-chops, spatchcocks, and devilled
kidneys, washed down with* that filthy potation called punch. I shudder
at the vile abomination of the whole when I think of our delicate
lobster en mayonnaise^ or crouton aux truffes, red partridges in Rhine
wine, and maraschino jelly, with Moët frappé to perfection. We generally
invite some of the "corps," who abound in conversational ability, and
are full of the pleasant gossip of the stage. There is Mademoiselle
Léonine, too, in the ballet, the loveliest creature ever was seen. They
say Count Maerlens, aide-de-camp of the King, is privately married
to her, but that she won't leave the boards till she has saved a
million,--but whether of francs or pounds, I don't remember.

When our supper is concluded, it is generally about four o'clock, and
then we go to D'Arlaen's rooms, where we play chicken-hazard till our
various houses are accessible.

I 'm not much up to this as yet; my forte is écarté, at which I am the
terror of these fellows; and when the races come on next month, I
think my knowledge of horseflesh will teach them a thing or two. I have
already a third share in a splendid horse called Number Nip, bred out
of Barnabas by a Middleton mare; he's engaged for the Lacken Cup and
the Salle Sweepstakes, and I 'm backing him even against the field for
everything I can get. If you 'd like to net a fifty without risk, say so
before the tenth, and I 'll do it for you.

So that you see, Bob, without De Porquet's Grammar and "Ollendorff's
Method," my time is tolerably full. In fact, if the day had forty-eight
hours, I have something to fill every one of them.

There would be nothing but pleasure in this life, but for certain
drawbacks, the worst of which is that I am not alone here. You have no
idea, Bob, to what subterfuges I 'm reduced, to keep my family out
of sight of my grand acquaintances. Sometimes I call the governor my
guardian; sometimes an uncle, so rich that I am forced to put up with
all his whims and caprices. Egad! it went so far, f other day, that I
had to listen to a quizzing account of my aunt's costume at a concert,
and hear my mother shown up as a _précieuse ridicule_ of the first
water. There's no keeping them out of public places, too; and how they
know of all the various processions, Te Deums, and the like I cannot
even guess. My own metamorphosis is so complete that I have cut them
twice dead, in the Park; and no later than last night, I nearly ran over
my father in the Allée Verte with my tandem leader, and heard the whole
story this morning at breakfast, with the comforting assurance that "he
'd know the puppy again, and will break every bone in his body if he
catches him." In consequence of which threat, I have given orders for a
new beard and moustache of the Royal Albert hue, instead of black, which
I have worn heretofore. I must own, though, it is rather a bore to
stand quietly by and see fellows larking your sister; but Mary Anne is
perfectly incorrigible, notwithstanding all I have said to her. Cary's
safety lies in hating the Continent and all foreigners, and that is just
as absurd.

The governor, it seems, is perpetually writing to Vickars, our member,
about something for _me_. Now, I sincerely hope that he may not succeed;
for I own to you that I do not anticipate as much pleasure and amusement
from either a "snug berth in the Customs" or a colonial situation; and
after all, Bob, why should I be reduced to accept of either? Our estate
is a good one, and if a little encumbered or so, why, we 're not worse
off than our neighbors. If I must do something, I 'd rather go into a
Light Cavalry Regiment--such as the Eleventh, or the Seventeenth--than
anything else. I say this to you, because your uncle Purcell is bent on
his own plans for me, which would be nothing short of utter degradation;
and if there's anything low-bred and vulgar on earth, it's what they
call a "Profession." You know the old adage about leading a horse to the
water; now I frankly declare to you that twenty shall not make me drink
any of the springs of this knowledge, whether Law, Medicine, or Divinity
lie at the bottom of the well.

It does not require any great tact or foresight to perceive that not
a man of my "set" would ever know me again under such circumstances.
I have heard their opinions often enough on these matters not to be
mistaken; and whatever we may think in Ireland about our doctors and
barristers, they are what Yankees call "mighty small potatoes" abroad.

Lord George Tiverton said to me last night, "Why doesn't your governor
put you into 'the House'? You'd make a devilish good figure there." And
the notion has never left me since. Lord George himself is Member for
Hornby, but he never attends the sittings, and only goes into Parliament
as a means of getting leave from his regiment. They say he's the
"fastest" fellow in the service; he has already run through seventeen
thousand a year, and one hundred and twenty thousand of his wife's
fortune. They are separated now, and he has something like twelve
hundred a year to live on; just enough for cigars and brandy and water,
he calls it. He's the best-tempered fellow I ever saw, and laughs and
jokes about his own misfortunes as freely as possible. He knows the
world--and he's not yet five-and-twenty--perhaps better than any man
I ever saw. There is not a bill-discounter, not a betting-man, nor a
ballet-dancer, he is not acquainted with; and such amusing stories as he
tells of his London life and experiences. When he found that he had run
through everything--when all his horses were seized at Ascot, and his
house taken in execution in London, he gave a splendid _fête_ at Hornby,
and invited upwards of sixty people down there, and half the county to
meet them. "I resolved," said he, "on a grand finish; and I assure you
that the company did not enjoy themselves the less heartily because
every second fellow in my livery was a sheriff's officer, and that
all the forks and spoons on the table were under seizure. There was
a 'caption,' as they term it, on everything, down to the footmen's
bag-wigs and knee-buckles. We went to supper at two o'clock; and I took
in the Duchess of Allington, who assuredly never suspected that there
was such a close alliance between my drawing-room and the Queen's Bench.
The supper was exquisite; poor Marriton had exhausted himself in the
devices of his art, and most ingeniously intimated his appreciation
of my situation by a plate of ortolans _en salmi, sautés à la
Fonblanque_,--a delicate allusion to the Bankrupt Commissioner. I nearly
finished the dish myself, drank off half a bottle of champagne, took out
Lady Emily de Maulin for the cotillon, and then, slipping away, threw
myself into a post-chaise, arrived at Dover for the morning mail-packet,
and landed at Boulogne free as William Tell, or that eagle which he
is so enthusiastic in describing as a most remarkable instance of
constitutional liberty." These are his own words, Bob; but without you
saw his manner, and heard his voice, you could form no notion whatever
of the careless, happy self-satisfaction of one who calls himself
irretrievably ruined.

From all that I have been jotting down, you may fancy the set I am
moving in, and the class with whom I associate. Then there is a German
Graf von Blumenkohl, and a Russian Prince Kubitzkoy, two tremendous
swells; a young French Marquis de Tregues, whose mother was
granddaughter, I believe, of Madame du Barri, and a large margin of
inferior dons, Spanish, Italian, and Belgian. That your friend Jemmy
Dodd should be a star, even a little one, in such a galaxy, is no small
boast; and such, my dear Bob, I am bound to feel it. Each of these
fellows has a princely fortune, as well as a princely name, and it is
not without many a clever dodge and cunning artifice that, weighted as I
am, I can keep pace with them. I hope you'll succeed, with all my heart,
for the scholarship or fellowship. Which is it? Don't blame me for the
blunder, for I have never, all my life through, been able to distinguish
between certain things which I suppose other persons find no resemblance
in. Thus I never knew exactly whether the word "people" was spelled "eo"
or "oe." I never knew the Derby from the Oaks, nor shall I ever, I'm
certain, be able to separate in my mind Moore O'Ferral from Carew
O'Dwyer, though I am confidently informed there is not a particle of
similarity in the individuals, any more than in the names.

Write to me when your match is over,--I mean your examination,--and say
where you 're placed. I 'll take you against the field, at the current
odds, in "fives."

And believe me, ever your attached friend,

J. Dodd.



LETTER V. KENNY DODD TO THOMAS PURCELL, ESQ.

HÔTEL DE BELLEVUE, BRUSSELS.

Dear Tom,--Yours did not reach me till yesterday, owing to some
confusion at the Post-office. There is another Dodd here, who has been
receiving _my_ letters, and I _his_, for the last week; and I conclude
that each of us has learned more than was quite necessary of the other's
affairs; for while _he_ was reading of all the moneyed distresses
and embarrassments of your humble servant, _I_ opened a letter dated
Doctors' Commons, beginning, "Dear sir, we have at last obtained the
most satisfactory proofs against Mrs. Dodd, and have no hesitation in
now submitting the case to a jury." We met yesterday, and exchanged
credentials, with an expression of face that I'm sure "Phiz" would have
given a five-pound note to look at. Peachem and Lockit were nothing to
it. We agreed that either of us ought to leave this, to prevent similar
mistakes in future, although, in my heart, I believe that we now know so
much of each other's affairs, that we might depute one of us to conduct
both correspondences. In consequence, we tossed up who was to go. _He_
won; so that we take our departure on Wednesday next, if I can settle
matters in the mean while. I 'm told Bonn, on the Rhine, is a cheap
place, and good for education,--a great matter as regards James,--so
that you may direct your next to me there. To tell you the truth, Tom,
I'm scarcely sorry to get away, although the process will be anything
but a cheap one. First of all, we have taken the rooms for three months,
and hired a job-coach for the same time. Moving is also an expensive
business, and not over-agreeable at this season; but against these
there is the setoff that Mrs. D. and the girls are going to the devil in
expense for dress. From breakfast-time till three or four o'clock
every day, the house is like a fair with milliners, male and female,
hairdressers, perfumers, shoemakers, and trinket-men. I thought we'd
done with all this when we left London; but it seems that everything we
bought there is perfectly useless, and Mrs. D. comes sailing in every
now and then, to make me laugh, as she says, at a bit of English taste
by showing me where her waist is too short, or her sleeves too long; and
Mary Anne comes down to breakfast in a great stiff watered silk, which
for economy she has converted into a house-dress. Caroline, I must say,
has not followed the lead, and is quite satisfied to be dressed as
she used to be. James I see little of, for he 's working hard at the
languages, and, from what the girls say, with great success. Of course,
this is all for the best; but it's little use French or even Chinese
would be to him in the Customs or the Board of Trade, and it's there I'm
trying to get him. Vickars told me last week that his name is down on
no less than four lists, and it will be bad luck but we 'll bit upon
something. Between ourselves, I'm not over-pleased with Vickars.
Whenever I write to him about James, his reply is always what he's doing
about the poor laws, or the Jews, or the grant to Maynooth; so that I
had to tell him, at last, that I 'd rather hear that my son was in the
Revenue, than that every patriarch in Palestine was in Parliament, or
every papist in Ireland eating venison and guinea-hens. Patriotism is
a fine thing, if you have a fine fortune, and some men we could mention
have n't made badly out of it, without a sixpence; but for one like
myself, the wrong side of fifty, with an encumbered estate, and no
talents for agitation, it's as expensive as horse-racing, or yachting,
or any other diversion of the kind. So there's no chance of a tenant
for Dodsborough! You ought to put it in the English papers, with a
puff about the shooting and the trout-fishing, and the excellent
neighborhood, and all that kind of thing. There 's not a doubt but it's
too good for any Manchester blackguard of them all! What you say about
Tully Brack is quite true. The encumbrances are over eleven thousand;
and if we bought in the estate at three or four, there would be so much
gain to us. The "Times" little knew the good it was doing us when it
was blackguarding the Irish landlords, and depreciating Irish property.
There's many a one has been able to buy in his own land for one-fifth of
the mortgages on it; and if this is n't repudiation, it's not so far off
Pennsylvania, after all.

I don't quite approve of your plan for Ballyslevin. Whenever a property
's in Chancery, the best thing is to let it go to ruin entirely. The
worse the land is, the more miserable the tenants, the cheaper will be
the terms you 'll get it on; and if the boys shoot a receiver once or
twice, no great harm. As for the Government, I don't think they 'll
do anything for Ireland except set us by the ears about education and
church matters; and we 're getting almost tired of quarrelling, Tom; for
so it is, the very best of dispositions may be imposed on too far!

Now, as to "education," how many amongst those who insist on a
particular course for the poor, ever thought of stipulating for the
same for their own children? or do they think that the Bible is only
necessary for such as have not an independent fortune? And as to
Maynooth, is there any man such a fool as to believe that £30,000 a
year would make the priests loyal? You gave the money well knowing what
for,--to teach Catholic theology, not to instil the oath of allegiance.
To expect more would be like asking a market-gardener to raise
strawberries with fresh cream round them! The truth is, they don't wish
to advance our interests in England. They 're afraid of us, Tom. If we
ever were to take a national turn, like the Scotch, for instance, we
might prove very dangerous rivals to them in many ways. I 'm sick of
politics; not, indeed, that I know too much of what's doing, for the
last "Times" I saw was cut up into a new pattern for a polka, and they
only kept me the supplement, which, as you know, is more varied than
amusing. In reply to your question as to how I like this kind of life, I
own to you that it does n't quite suit me. Maybe I 'm too old in years,
maybe too old in my notions, but it does n't do, Tom. There is an
everlasting bowing and scraping and introducing,--a perpetual prelude
to acquaintanceship that never seems to begin. It appears to me like an
orchestra that never got further than the tuning of the instruments!
I 'm sure that, at the least, I 've exchanged bows and grins and leers
with fifty gentlemen here, whom _I_ should n't know to-morrow, nor
do _they_ care whether I did or no. Their intercourse is like their
cookery, and you are always asking, "Is there nothing substantial
coming?" Then they 're frivolous, Tom. I don't mean that they are fond
of pleasure, and given up to amusement, but that their very pleasures
and amusements are contemptible in themselves. No such thing as
field-sports; at least, nothing deserving the name; no manly pastimes,
no bodily exercises; and lastly, they all, even the oldest of them,
think that they ought to make love to your wife and daughters, just as
you hand a lady a chair or a cup of tea in our country,--a mere matter
of course. I need not tell you that my observations on men and manners
are necessarily limited by my ignorance of the language; but I have
acquired the deaf man's privilege, and if I hear the less, I see the
more.

I begin to think, my dear Tom, that we all make a great mistake in this
taste we've got into for foreign travel, foreign languages, and foreign
accomplishments. We rear up our families with notions and habits quite
inapplicable to home purposes; and we are like the Parisian shopkeepers,
that have nothing on sale but articles of luxury; and, after all, we
have n't a genius for this trifling, and we make very ungraceful idlers
in the end. To train a man for the Continent, you must begin early;
teach him French when a child; let him learn dominoes at four, and to
smoke cigars at six, wear lacquered boots at eight, and put his hair
in paper at nine; eat sugar-plums for dinner, and barley-water for tea;
make him a steady shot with the pistol, and a cool hand with the rapier;
and there he is finished and fit for the Boulevard,--a nice man for the
_salons_.

It is cheap, there is no doubt; but it costs a great deal of money to
come at the economy. You 'll perhaps say that's my own fault. Maybe it
is. We 'll talk of it more another time.

I ought to confess that Mrs. D. is delighted with everything; she vows
that she is only beginning to live; and to hear her talk, you 'd think
that Dodsborough was one of the new model penitentiaries. Mary Anne's
her own daughter, and she raves about princes and dukes and counts, all
day long. What they 'll say when I tell them that we 're to be off on
Wednesday next, I can't imagine. I intend to dine out that evening, for
I know there will be no standing the row!

The Ambassador has been mighty polite and attentive: we dined there last
week. A grand dinner, and fine company; but, talking French, and nothing
but French, all the time, Mrs. D. and your humble servant were rather
at a nonplus. Then we had his box at the opera, where, I must say, Tom,
anything to equal the dancing I never saw,--indecency is no name for it.
Not but Mrs. D. and Mary Anne are of a contrary opinion, and tauntingly
ask me if I prefer a "Tatter Jack Walsh," at the cross-roads, to
Taglioni. As for the singing, it's screeching,--that's the word for it,
screeching. The composer is one Verdi,--a fellow, they tell me, that
cracks every voice in Europe; and I can believe it. The young woman that
played the first part grew purple in the face, and strained till
her neck looked like a half-unravelled cable; her mouth was dragged
sideways; and it was only when I thought she was off in strong
convulsions that the audience began to applaud. There's no saying what
their enthusiasm might not have been had she burst a blood-vessel.

I intended to have despatched this by to-day's post, but it is Saint
Somebody's day, and the office closes at two o'clock, so that I 'll have
to keep it over, perhaps till Saturday, for to-morrow, I find, we 're to
go to Waterloo, to see the field of battle. There's a prince--whose name
I forget, and, indeed, I could n't spell, if I remembered it--going to
be our "Cicerone." I 'm not sure if he says he was there at the battle;
but Mrs. D. believes him as she would the Duke of Wellington. Then
there's a German count, whose father did something wonderful, and two
Belgian barons, whose ancestors, I 've no doubt, sustained the national
reputation for speed. The season is hardly suitable for such an
excursion; but even a day in the country--a few hours in the fields and
the free air--will be a great enjoyment James is going to bring a Polish
friend of his,--a great Don he calls him,--but I 'm so overlaid with
nobility, the Khan of Tartary would not surprise me now. I 'll keep this
open to add a few lines, and only say good-bye for the present.


Saturday.

Waterloo's a humbug, Tom. I don't mean to say that Bony found it so some
thirty-odd years back, but such it now appears. I assure you they 've
cut away half the field to commemorate the battle,--a process mighty
like slicing off a man's nose to establish his identity. The result is
that you might as well stand upon Hounslow Heath or Salisbury Plain, and
listen to a narrative of the action, as visit Waterloo for the sake of
the localities. La Haye Sainte and Hougoumont stand, certainly, in the
old places, but the deep gorge beside the one, and the ridge from whence
the cannonade shattered the other, are totally obliterated. The guides
tell you, indeed, where Vivian's brigade stood, where Picton charged and
fell, where Ney's column halted, faltered, and broke; they speak of the
ridge behind which the guard lay in long expectancy; they describe to
you the undulating swell over which our line advanced, cheering madly:
but it's like listening to a description of Killarney in a fog, and
being informed that Turk Mountain is yonder, and that the waterfall is
down a glen to your right. One thing is clear, Tom, however,--we beat
the French; and when I say "We," I mean what I say. England knows, and
all Europe knows, who won the battle, and more's the disgrace for
the way we 're treated. But, after all, it's our own fault in a great
measure, Tom; we take everything that comes from Parliament as a boon
and a favor, little guessing often how it will turn out. Our conduct in
this respect reminds me of poor Jack Whalley's wife. You remember Jack,
that was postboy at the Clanbrazil Arms. Well, his wife one day chanced
to find an elegant piece of white leather on the road, and she brought
it home with her in great delight, to mend Jack's small clothes, which
she did very neatly. Jack set off the next day, little suspecting what
was in store for him; but when he trotted about five miles,--it was in
the month of July,--he began to feel mighty uneasy in the saddle,--a
feeling that continued to increase at every moment, till at last, as he
said, "It was like taking a canter on a beehive in swarming time;" and
well it might, for the piece of leather was no other than a blister that
the apothecary's boy had dropped that morning on the road; and so it is,
Tom. There's many a thing we take to be a fine patch for our nakedness
that's only a blister, after all. Witness the Poor Law and the "Cumbrous
Estates Court," as Rooney calls it. But I 'm wandering away from
Waterloo all this time. You know the grand controversy is about what
time the Prussians came up; because that mainly decides who won the
battle. I believe it's nearly impossible to get at the truth of the
matter; for though it seems clear enough they were in the wood early in
the day, it appears equally plain they stayed there--and small blame to
them--till they saw the Inniskillings cutting down the Cuirassiers and
sabring all before them. They waited, as you and I often waited in a
row, till the enemy began to run, and then they were down on them.
Even that same was no small help; for, by the best accounts, the French
require a deal of beating, and we were dreadfully tired giving it to
them! Sergeant Cotton, the guide, tells me it was a grand sight just
about seven o'clock, when the whole line began cheering; first, Adam's
brigade, then Cooke's battalion, all taking it up and cheering madly;
the general officers waving their hats, and shouting like the rest. I
was never able to satisfy myself whether we gained or lost most by that
same victory of Waterloo; for you see, Tom, after all our fighting in
Spain and Portugal, after all Nelson's great battles, all our
triumphs and votes of thanks, Europe is going back to the old system
again,--kings bullying their people, setting spies on them, opening
their letters, transporting the writers, and hanging the readers. If
they 'd have let Bony alone when he came back from Elba, the chances
were that he 'd not have disturbed the peace of the world. He had
already got his bellyful of fighting; he was getting old, falling into
flesh, and rather disposed to think more of his personal ease than he
used to do. Are you aware that the first thing he said on entering
the Tuileries from Elba was, "Avant tout, un bon dîner"? One of the
marshals, who heard the speech, whispered to a friend, "He is greatly
changed; you 'll see no more campaigns." I know you 'll reply to me with
your old argument about legitimacy and divine right, and all that kind
of thing. But, my dear Tom, for the matter of that, have n't I a divine
right to my ancestral estate of Tullylicknaslatterley; and look
what they 're going to do with it, to-morrow or next day! 'T is much
Commissioner Longfield would mind, if I begged to defer the sale, on
the ground of "my divine right." Kings are exactly like landlords; they
can't do what they like with their own, hard as it may seem to say so.
They have their obligations and their duties; and if they fail in them,
they come into the Encumbered Estates Court, just like us,--ay, and,
just like us, they "take very little by their motion."

I know it's very hard to be turned out of your "holding." I can imagine
the feelings with which a man would quit such a comfortable quarter
as the Tuileries, and such a nice place for summer as Versailles;
Dodsborough is too fresh in my mind to leave any doubt on this point;
but there 's another side of the question, Tom. What were they there
for? You'll call out, "This is all Socialism and Democracy," and the
devil knows what else. Maybe I 'll agree with you. Maybe I 'll say I
don't like the doctrine myself. Maybe I 'll tell you that I think the
old time was pleasantest, when, if we pressed a little hard to-day, why,
we were all the kinder to-morrow, and both ruler and ruled looked more
leniently on each other's faults. But say what we will, do what we will,
these days are gone by, and they 'll not come back again. There 's a set
of fellows at work, all over the world, telling the people about their
rights. Some of these are very acute and clever chaps, that don't
overstate the case; they neither go off into any flights about universal
equality, or any balderdash about our being of the same stock; but they
stick to two or three hard propositions, and they say, "Don't pay more
for anything than you can get it for,--that's free-trade; don't pay for
anything you don't want,--that's a blow at the Church Establishment;
don't pay for soldiers if you don't want to fight,--that 's at 'a
standing army;' and, above all, when you have n't a pair of breeches
to your back, don't be buying embroidered small-clothes for
lords-in-waiting or gentlemen of the bedchamber." But here I am again,
running away from Waterloo just as if I was a Belgian.

When we got to Hougoumont, a dreadful storm of rain came on,--such
rain as I thought never fell out of Ireland. It came swooping along
the ground, and wetting you through and through in five minutes. The
thunder, too, rolled awfully, crashing and cannonading around these old
walls, as if to wake up the dead by a memory of the great artillery.
Mrs. D. took to her prayers in the little chapel, with Mary Anne and
the Pole, James's friend. Caroline stood with me at a little window,
watching the lightning; and James, by way of airing his French, got into
a conversation, or rather a discussion, about the battle with a small
foreigner with a large beard, that had just come in, drenched to the
skin. The louder it thundered, the louder they spoke, or rather screamed
at each other; and though I don't fancy James was very fluent in the
French, it's clear the other was getting the worst of the argument, for
he grew terribly angry and jumped about and flourished a stick, and, in
fact, seemed very anxious to try conclusions once more on the old field
of conflict.

James carried the day, at last; for the other was obliged, as Uncle Toby
says, "to evacuate Flanders,"--meaning, thereby, to issue forth into the
thickest of the storm rather than sustain the combat any longer. When
the storm passed over, we made our way back to the little inn at the
village of Waterloo, kept in the house where Lord Anglesey suffered
amputation, and there we dined. It was neither a very good dinner nor
a very social party. Mrs. D.'s black velvet bonnet and blue ribbons
had got a tremendous drenching; Mary Anne contrived to tear a new
satin dress all down the back, with a nail in the old chapel; James
was unusually grave and silent; and as for the Pole, all his efforts at
conversation were so marred by his bad English that he was a downright
bore. It is a mistake to bring one of these foreigners out with a small
family party! they neither understand _you_ nor _you them_. Cary was the
only one that enjoyed herself; but she went about the inn, picking up
little curiosities of the battle,--old buttons, bullets, and the like;
and it was a comfort to see that one, at least, amongst us derived
pleasure from the excursion.

I have often heard descriptions of that night march from Brussels to
the field; and truly, what with the gloomy pine-wood, the deep and miry
roads, and the falling rain, it must have been a very piteous affair;
but for downright ill-humor and discontent, I 'd back our own journey
over the same ground against all. The horses, probably worn out with
toiling over the field all day, were dead beat, and came gradually down
from a trot to a jog, and then to a shamble, and at last to a stop.
James got down from the box, and helped to belabor them; it was raining
torrents all this time. I got out, too, to help; for one of the beasts,
although too tired to go, contrived to kick his leg over the pole,
and couldn't get it back again; but the Count contented himself with
uttering most unintelligible counsels from the window, which when he
saw totally unheeded, he threw himself back in the coach, lighted his
meerschaum, and began to smoke.

Imagine the scene at that moment, Tom. The driver was undressing himself
coolly on the roadside, to examine a kick he had just received from one
of the horses; James was holding the beasts by the head, lashing, as
they were, all the time; I was running frantically to and fro, to seek
for a stone to drive in the linch-pin, which was all but out; while
Mrs. D. and the girls, half suffocated between smoke and passion,
were screaming and coughing in chorus. By dint of violent bounding and
jerking, the wheel was wrenched clean off the axle at last, and down
went the whole conveniency on one side, our Polish friend assisting
himself out of the window by stepping over Mrs. D.'s head, as she lay
fainting within. I had, however, enough to do without thinking of him,
for the door being jammed tight would not open, and I was obliged to
pull Mrs. D. and the girls out by the window. The beasts, by the same
time, had kicked themselves free of everything but the pole, with which
appendage they scampered gayly away towards Brussels; James shouting
with laughter, as if it was the best joke he had ever known. When we
began to look about us and think what was best to be done, we discovered
that the Count had taken a French leave of us, or rather a Polish one;
for he had carried off James's cloak and umbrella along with him.

We were now all wet through, our shoes soaked, not a dry stitch on
us,--all except the coachee, who, having taken off a considerable
portion of his wearables, deposited them in the coach, while he ran up
and down the road, wringing his hands, and crying over his misfortune in
a condition that I am bound to say was far more pictorial than decent.
It was in vain that Mrs. D. opened her parasol as the last refuge of
offended modesty. The wind soon converted it into something like a
convolvulus, so that she was fain once more to seek shelter inside the
conveyance, which now lay pensively over on one side, against a muddy
bank.

Such little accidents as these are not uncommon in our own country; but
when they do occur, you are usually within reach of either succor
or shelter. There is at least a house or a cabin within hail of you.
Nothing of the kind was there here. This "Bois de Cambre," as they call
it, is a dense wood of beech or pine trees, intersected here and there
by certain straight roads, without a single inhabitant along the line.
A solitary diligence may pass once in the twenty-four hours, to or
from Wâvre. A Waterloo tourist party is occasionally seen in spring or
summer, but, except these, scarcely a traveller is ever to be met with
along this dreary tract These reassuring facts were communicated to us
by the coachee, while he made his toilet beside the window.

By great persuasions, much eloquence, French and English, and a Napoleon
in gold, our driver at length consented to start on foot for Brussels,
whence he was to send us a conveyance to return to the capital. This
bargain effected, we settled ourselves down to sleep or to grumble, as
fancy or inclination prompted.

I will not weary you with any further narrative of our sufferings, nor
tell of that miserable attempt I made to doze, disturbed by Mrs. D.'s
unceasing lamentations over her ruined bonnet, her shocked feelings,
and her shot-silk. A little before daybreak, an empty furniture-van came
accidentally by, with the driver of which we contracted for our return
to Brussels, where we arrived at nine o'clock this morning, almost as
sad a party as ever fled from Waterloo! I thought I 'd jot down these
few details before I lay down for a sleep, and it is likely that I may
still add a line or two before post-hour.


Monday.

My dear Tom,--We've had our share of trouble since I wrote the last
postscript. Poor James has been "out," and was wounded in the leg, above
the knee. The Frenchman with whom he had a dispute at Hougoumont sent
him a message on Saturday last; but as these affairs abroad are always
greatly discussed and argued before they come off, the meeting did n't
take place till this morning, when they met near Lacken. James's
friend was Lord George Tiverton, Member for Hornby, and son to some
Marquis,--that you'll find out in the "Peerage," for my head is too
confused to remember.

He stood to James like a trump; drove him to the ground in his own
phaeton, lent him his own pistols,--the neatest tools ever I looked at,
I wonder he could miss with them,--and then brought him back here, and
is still with him, sitting at the bedside like a brother. Of course it's
very distressing to us all, and poor James is in terrible pain, for the
leg is swelled up as thick as three, and all blue, and the doctors don't
well know whether they can save it; but it's a grand thing, Tom, to know
that the boy behaved beautifully. Lord G. says: "I've been out something
like six-and-twenty times, principal or second, but I never saw anything
cooler, quieter, or in better taste than young Dodd's conduct." These
are his own words, and let me tell you, Tom, that's high praise from
such a quarter, for the English are great sticklers for a grave,
decorous, cold-blooded kind of fighting, that we don't think so much
about in Ireland. The Frenchman is one Count Roger,--not pronounced
Roger, but Rogee,--and, they say, the surest shot in France. He left
his card to inquire after James, about half an hour ago,--a very
pretty piece of attention, at all events. Mrs. D. and the girls are not
permitted to see James yet, nor would it be quite safe, for the poor
fellow is wandering in his mind. When I came into the room he told Lord
George that I was his uncle! and begged me not to alarm his aunt on any
account!

I can't as yet say how far this unlucky event will interfere with our
plans about moving. Of course, for the present, this is out of the
question; for the surgeon says that, taking the most favorable view of
his case, it will be weeks before J. can leave his bed. To tell you my
mind frankly, I don't think they know much about gunshot wounds abroad;
for I remember when I hit Giles Eyre, the bullet went through his chest
and came out under the bladebone, and Dr. Purden just stopped up the
hole with a pitch-plaster, and gave him a tumbler of weak punch, and he
was about again, as fresh as ever, in a week's time. To be sure, he used
to have a hacking kind of a short cough, and complained of a pain now
and then; but everybody has his infirmities!

I mentioned what Purden did, to Baron Seutin, the surgeon here; but
he called him a barbarian, and said be deserved the galleys for it! I
thought to myself, "It's lucky old Sam does n't hear you, for he's just
the boy would give you an early morning for it!"

I was called away by a message from the Commissary of the Police, who
has sent one of his sergeants to make an inquiry about the duel.

If it was to Roger he went, it would be reasonable enough; but why come
and torment us that have our own troubles? I was obliged to sit quiet
and answer all his questions, giving my Christian name and my wife's,
our ages, what religion we were, if we were really married,--egad, it's
lucky it was n't Mrs. D. was under examination,--what children we had,
their ages and sex,--I thought at one time he was going to ask how many
more we meant to have. Then he took an excursion into our grandfathers
and grandmothers, and at last came back to the present generation and
the shindy.

If it was n't for Lord George, we 'd never have got through the
business; but he translated for me, and helped me greatly,--for what
with the confusion I was in, and the language, and the absurdity of the
whole thing, I lost my temper very often; and now I discover that we
're to have a kind of prosecution against us, though of what kind, or
at whose suit, or why, I can't find out. This will be, therefore, number
three in my list of law-suits here,--not bad, considering that I 'm
scarce as many weeks in the country! I have n't mentioned this to you
before, for I don't like dwelling on it; but it's truth, nevertheless.
I must close this at last, for we have Lord G. to dinner; and I must go
and put Paddy Byrne through his facings, or there 'll be all kinds of
blundering. I wish I'd never brought him with us, nor the jaunting-car.
The young chaps--the dandies here--have a knack of driving, as if down
on us, just to see Mary Anne trying to save her legs; but I 'll come
across them one day with the whip, in a style they won't like. Betty
Cobb, too, was no bargain, and I wish she was back at Dodsborough.

We 're always reading in the newspapers how well the Irish get on out
of Ireland,--how industrious they become, how thrifty, and so on;
don't believe a word of it, Tom. There's Betty, the same lazy,
good-for-nothing, story-telling, complaining, discontented devil ever
she was; and as for Paddy Byrne, his fists have never been out of
somebody's features, except when there were handcuffs on them,--_semper
eadem!_ Tom, as we used to say at Dr. Bell's. Whatever we may be at
home,--and the "Times" won't say much for us there,--it's _there_ we 're
best, after all. The doctors are here again to see James; so that I must
conclude with love to all yours, and Remain ever faithfully your friend,

Kenny I. Dodd.



LETTER VI. MISS MARY AUNE DODD TO MISS DOOLAN, OF BALLYDOOLAN

Dearest Kitty,--What a dreadful fortnight have we passed through! We
thought that poor dear James must have lost his leg; the inflammation
ran so high, and the pain and the fever were so great, that one night
the Baron Seutin actually brought the horrid instruments with him, and
I believe it was Lord George alone persuaded him to defer the operation.
What a dear, kind, affectionate creature he is! He has scarcely ever
left the house since it happened; and although he sits up all night with
James, he seems never tired nor sleepy, but is so full of life all day
long, playing on the piano, and teaching us the mazurka! I should rather
say teaching me, for Cary, bless the mark, has taken a prudish turn, and
says she has no fancy for being pulled about, even by a lord! I may
as well mention here, that there is nothing less like romping than the
mazurka, when danced properly; and so Lord George as much as told her.
He scarcely touches your waist, Kitty; he only "gives you support," as
he says himself, and he never by any chance squeezes your hand, except
when there 's something droll he wants you to remark.

I must say, Kitty, that in Ireland we conceive the most absurd notions
about the aristocracy. Now, here, we have one of the first, the very
first young nobleman of the day actually domesticated with us. For the
entire fortnight he has never been away, and yet we are as much at home
with him, as easy in his presence, and as unconstrained as if it were
your brother Robert, or anybody else of no position. You can form
no idea how entertaining he is, for, as he says himself, "I 've done
everything," and I 'm certain so he has; such a range of knowledge on
every subject,--such a mass of acquaintances! And then he has been all
over the world in his own yacht. It's like listening to the "Arabian
Nights," to hear him talk about the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn; and
I'm sure I never knew how to relish Byron's poetry till I heard Lord
G.'s description of Patras and Salamis. I must tell you, as a great
secret though, that he came, the other evening, in his cloak to the
drawing-room door, to say that James wanted to see me; and when I went
out, there he was in full Albanian dress, the most splendid thing you
ever beheld,--a dark violet velvet jacket all braided with gold, white
linen jupe, like the Scotch kilt, but immensely full,--he said, two
hundred ells wide,--a fez on his head, embroidered sandals, and such a
scimitar! it was a mass of turquoises and rubies. Oh, Kitty! I have no
words to describe him; for, besides all this, he has such eyes, and the
handsomest beard in the world,--not one of those foppish little tufts
they call imperials, nor that grizzly clothes-brush Young France
affects, but a regular "Titian," full, flowing, and squared beneath.
Now, don't let Peter fancy that he ought to get up a "_moyen âge_ look,"
for, between ourselves, these things, which sit so gracefully on my
Lord, would be downright ridiculous in the dispensary doctor; and while
I 'm on the topic, let me say that nothing is so thoroughly Irish as the
habit of imitating, or rather of mimicking, those of stations above our
own. I 'll never forget Peter's putting the kicking-straps on his mare
just because he saw Sir Joseph Vickare drive with them; the consequence
was that the poor beast, who never kicked before, no sooner felt the
unaccustomed encumbrance than she dashed out, and never stopped till she
smashed the gig to atoms. In the same way, I 'm certain that if he
only saw Lord George's dress, which is a kind of black velvet paletot,
braided, and very loose in the sleeves, he'd just follow it, quite
forgetting how inconvenient it might be in what he calls "the surgery."
At all events, Kitty, do not say that I said so. I'm too conscious how
little power I have to serve him, to wish to hurt his feelings.

You could not believe what interest has been felt about James in the
very highest circles here. We were at last obliged to issue a species of
bulletin every morning, and leave it with the porter at the hotel door.
I own to you I thought it did look a little pretentious at first to read
these documents, with the three signatures at the foot; but Lord George
only laughed at my humility, and said that it was "expected from us."
From all this you may gather that poor James's misfortune has not
been unalloyed with benefit. The sympathy--I had almost said the
friendship--of Lord G. is indeed priceless, and I see, from the names of
the inquiries, that our social position has been materially benefited
by the accident. In the little I have seen of the Continent, one thing
strikes me most forcibly. It is that to have any social eminence or
success you must be notorious. I am free to own that in many instances
this is not obtained without considerable sacrifice, but it would seem
imperative. You may be very rich, or very highly connected, or very
beautiful, or very gifted. You may possess some wonderful talent as a
painter or a musician or as a dramatist. You may be the great talker
of dinner-parties,--the wit who never wanted his repartee. A splendid
rider, particularly if a lady, has always her share of admiration.
But apart from these qualities, Kitty, you have only to reckon on
eccentricities, and, I am almost ashamed to write it, on follies.
Chance--I never could call it good fortune, when I think of poor
James--has achieved for us what, in all likelihood, we never could have
accomplished for ourselves, and by a turn of the wheel we wake and
find ourselves famous. I only wish you could see the list of visitors,
beginning with princes, and descending by a sliding scale to barons and
chevaliers; such flourishing of hats, too, as we receive whenever we
drive out! Papa begins to complain that he might as well leave his at
home, as he is perpetually carrying it about in his hand. But for Lord
George, we should never know who one-half of these fine folk were; but
he is acquainted with them all, and such droll histories-as he has of
them would convulse you with laughter to listen to.

I need not say that so long as poor dear James continues to suffer,
we do not accept of any invitation whatever; we just receive a few
intimates--say fifteen or twenty very dear friends--twice a week.
Then it is merely a little music, tea, and perhaps a polka, always
improvised, you understand, and got up without the slightest
forethought. Lord G. is perfect for that kind of thing, and whatever
he does seems to spring so naturally from the impulse of the moment.
Yesterday, however, Just as we were dressing for dinner, papa alone was
in the drawing-room, the servant announced Monsieur le Général Comte de
Vanderdelft, aide-de-camp to the King, and immediately there entered a
very tall and splendidly dressed man, with every order you can think of
on his breast. He saluted pa most courteously, who bowed equally low
in return, and then began something which pa thought was a kind of set
speech, for he spoke so fluently and so long, and with such evident
possession of his subject, that papa felt it must have been all got up
beforehand.

At last he paused, and poor papa, whose French never advanced beyond the
second page of Cobbett's Grammar, uttered his usual "Non comprong," with
a gesture happily more explanatory than the words. The General, deeming,
possibly, that he was called upon for a recapitulation of his discourse,
began it all over again, and was drawing towards the conclusion when
mamma entered. He at once addressed himself to her, but she hastily rang
the bell, and sent for _me_. I, of course, did not lose a moment, but,
arranging my hair in plain bands, came down at once. When I came into
the drawing-room, I saw there was some mystification, for papa was
sitting with his spectacles on, busily hunting out something in the
little Dialogue Book of five languages, and mamma was seated directly
in front of the General, apparently listening to him with the utmost
attention, but as I well knew, from her contracted eyebrows and
pursed-up mouth, only endeavoring to read his sentiments from the
expression of his features. He turned at once towards me as I saluted
him, showing how unmistakably he rejoiced at the sound of his own
language. "I come, Mademoiselle," said he, "on the part of the
King"--and he paused and bowed at the word as solemnly as if he were in
a church. "His Majesty having obtained from the English Legation here
the names of the most distinguished visitors of your countrymen, has
graciously commanded me to wait upon the Honorable Monsieur--" Here he
paused again, and, taking out a slip of paper from his pocket, read the
name--"Dodd. I am right, am I not, Mademoiselle Dodd?" At the mention
of his name, papa bowed, and placed his hand on his waistcoat as if
to confirm his identity; while mamma smiled a bland assent to the
partnership. "To wait upon Monsieur Dodd," resumed the General, "and
invite him and Madame Dodd to be present at the grand ceremony of the
opening of the railroad to Mons." I could scarcely believe my ears,
Kitty, as I listened. The inauguration ceremony has been the stock
theme of the newspapers for the last month. Archbishops and
bishops--cardinals, for aught I know--have been expected, regardless of
expense, to bless everything and everybody, from the sovereign down to
the stokers. The programme included a High Mass, military bands, the
presence of the whole Court, and a grand _déjeuner_. To have been deemed
worthy of an invitation to such a festival was a very legitimate reason
for pride. "I have not his Majesty's commands, Mademoiselle," said the
General, "to include you in the invitation; but as the King is always
pleased to see his Court distinguished by beauty, I may safely
promise that you will receive a card within the course of this day or
to-morrow." I suppose I must have looked very grateful, for the
General dropped his eyes, placed his band on his heart, and said, "Oh,
Mademoiselle!" in a tone of voice the most touching you can conceive. I
believe, from watching my emotion, and the General's acknowledgment of
it, mamma had arrived at the conclusion that the General had come
to propose for me. Indeed, I am convinced, Kitty, that such was the
impression on her mind, for she whispered in my ear, "Tell him, Mary
Anne, that he must speak to papa first." This suggestion at
once recalled me to myself, and I explained what he had come
for,--apologizing, of course, to the General for having to speak in a
foreign language before him. I am certain mamma's satisfaction at the
royal invitation totally obliterated any disappointment she might have
felt from baffled expectations, and she courtesied and smiled, and papa
bowed and simpered so much, that I felt quite relieved when the General
withdrew,--having previously kissed ma's hand and mine, with an air of
respectful homage only acquired in Courts.

Perhaps this scene did not occupy more space than I have taken to
describe it, and yet, Kitty, it seems to me as though we had been
inhaling the atmosphere that surrounds royalty for a length of time!
From my revery on this theme I was aroused by a lively controversy
between papa and mamma.

"Egad!" says papa, "Pummistone's blunder has done us good service. They
've surely taken us for something very distinguished. Look out, Mary
Anne, and see if there 's any Dodds in the peerage."

"Fudge!" cried mamma; "there's no blunder whatever in the case! We
are beginning to be known, that's all; nor is there anything very
astonishing in the fact, seeing that King Leopold is the uncle to our
own Queen. I should like to know what is there more natural than that we
should receive attention from his Court?"

"Maybe it's James's accident," muttered papa.

"It's no such thing, I'm certain," replied mamma, angrily, "and it's
downright meanness to impute to a mere casualty what is the legitimate
consequence of our position."

Now, Kitty, whenever mamma uses the word "position," she has generally
come to the end of her ammunition, which is of the less consequence
that she usually contrives with this last shot to explode the enemy's
magazine, and blow him clean out of the water! Papa knows this so well,
that the moment he hears it, he takes to the long boat, or, to drop
the use of metaphor, he seizes his hat and decamps; which he did on the
present occasion, leaving ma and myself in the field.

"A Dodd indeed, in the peerage!" said she, contemptuously; "I 'd like
to know where you 'd find it! If it was a M'Carthy, there would be some
difference; M'Carthy More slew Shawn Bhuy na Tiernian in the year ten
thousand and six, and was hanged for it at his own gate, in a rope of
silk of the family colors, green and white; and I 'd like to know where
were the Dodds then? But it's the way with your father always, Mary
Anne; he quite forgets the family he married into."

Though this was somewhat of unjust reproach, Kitty, I did not reply to
it, but turned ma's attention to the King's gracious message, and the
approaching _dejeuner_. We agreed that as Cary would n't and indeed
could n't go, that ma and I should dress precisely alike, with our hair
in bands in front, with two long curls behind the ears, white tarletan
dresses, three jupes, looped up with marigolds; the only distinction
being that ma should wear her carbuncles, and I nothing but moss-roses.
It sounds very simple costume, Kitty, but Mademoiselle Adèle has such
taste we felt we might rely upon its not being too plain. Papa, of
course, would wear his yeomanry uniform, which is really very neat, the
only ungraceful part being the white shorts and black gaiters to the
knee; and these he insists on adhering to, as well as the helmet, which
looks exactly like a gigantic caterpillar crawling over a coal-box!
However, it's military; and abroad, my dearest Kitty, if not a soldier,
you are nothing. The English are so well aware of this that not one of
them would venture to present himself at a foreign court in that absurd
travesty of footmen called the "corbeau" coat. Even the lawyers
and doctors, the newspaper editors, the railroad people, the civil
engineers, and the solicitors, all come out as Yorkshire Hussars,
Gloucestershire Fencibles, Hants Rifles, or Royal Archers; these last,
very picturesque, with kilt, filibeg, and dirk, much handsomer than any
other Highland regiment! We also discussed a little plot about making pa
wear a coronation-medal, which would pass admirably as an "order," and
procure him great respect and deference amongst the foreigners; but
this, I may as well mention here, he most obstinately rejected, and
swore at last that if we persisted, he 'd have his commission as a
justice of the peace fixed on a pole, and carry it like a banner before
him. Of course, in presence of such a threat, we gave up our project.
You may smile, Kitty, at my recording such trivial circumstances; but of
such is life. We are ourselves but atoms, dearest, and all around us are
no more! As eagerly as _we_ strive upwards, so determinedly does
_he_ drag us down to earth again, and ma's noblest ambitions are ever
threatened by papa's inglorious tastes and inclinations.

I 'm so full of this delightful _fête_ my dear Kitty, that I can think
of nothing else; nor, indeed, are my thoughts very collected even on
that,--for that wild creature, Lord George, is thumping the piano,
imitating all the opera people, and occasionally waltzing about the room
in a manner that would distract any human head to listen to! He has just
been tormenting me to tell him what I 'm saying to you, and bade me tell
you that he 's dying to make your acquaintance; so you see, dearest,
that he has heard of those deep-blue eyes and long-fringed lids that
have done such marvels in our western latitudes! It is really no use
trying to continue. He is performing what he calls a "Grand March,
with a full orchestral accompaniment," and there is a crowd actually
assembling in front of the house. I had something to say, however, if I
could only remember it.

I have just recalled what I wanted to mention. It is this: P. B. is most
unjust, most ungenerous. Living, as he does, remote from the world and
its exciting cares, he can form no conception of what is required from
those who mingle in its pleasures, and, alas! partake of its trials! To
censure me for the sacrifices I am making to that world, Kitty, is then
great injustice. I feel that he knows nothing of these things! What knew
I myself of them till within a few weeks back! Tell him so, dearest.
Tell him, besides, that I am ever the same, save in that expansion of
the soul which comes of enlarged views of life,--more exalted notions
and more ennobling emotions! When I think of what I was, Kitty, and
of what I am, I may indeed shudder at the perils of the present, but I
blush deeply for the past! Of course you will not permit him to think
of coming abroad; "settling as a doctor," as he calls it, "on the
Continent," is too horrid to be thought of! Are you aware, Kitty, what
place the lawyer and the physician occupy socially here? Something
lower than the courier, and a little higher than the cook! Two or three,
perhaps, in every capital city are received in society, wear decent
clothes, and wash their hands occasionally, but there it ends! and
even they are only admitted on sufferance, and as it were by a tacit
acknowledgment of the uncertainty of human life, and that it is good to
have a "learned leech" within call. Shall I avow it, Kitty, I think they
are right! It is, unquestionably, a gross anomaly to see everlastingly
around one in the gay world those terrible remembrancers of dark hours
and gloomy scenes. We do not scatter wills and deeds and settlements
amongst the prints and drawings and light literature of our drawing-room
tables, nor do we permit physic-bottles to elbow the odors and essences
which deck our "consoles" and chimney-pieces; and why should we admit
the incarnation of these odious objects to mar the picturesque elegance
of our _salons?_ No, Kitty; they may figure upon a darker canvas,
but they would ill become the gorgeous light that illumines the grand
"tableau" of high life! Peter, too, would be quite unsuited to the
habits of the Continent Wrapped up as he is in his profession, he
never could attain to that charming negligence of manner, that graceful
trifling, that most insinuating languor, which distinguish the well-bred
abroad. If they fail to captivate, Kitty, they at least never wound your
susceptibilities, nor hurt your prejudices. The delightful maxim that
pronounces "Tous les goûts sont respectables," is the keystone of this
system. No, no, Peter must not come abroad!

Let me not forget to congratulate you on Robert's success. What is it
he has gained? for I could not explain to Lord George whether he is a
"double first" or a something else.

You are quite mistaken, my dear friend, about lace. It is fully as
dear here as with us. At the same time I must say we never do see real
"Brussels point" in Ireland; for even the Castle folk are satisfied with
showing you nothing but their cast-off London finery; and as to lace,
it is all what they call here "application,"--that is, the flowers and
tracery are worked in upon common net, and are not part of the fabric,
as in real "point de Bruxelles." After all, even this is as superior
to "Limerick lace" as a foreign ambassador is, in manner, to a Dublin
alderman.

I should like to keep this over till the _dejeuner_ at Mons; but as it
goes by "the Messenger,"--Lord Gledworth having given pa the privilege
of the "bag,"--I cannot longer defer writing myself my dearest Kitty's
most attached friend,

Mary Anne Dodd.

I open my letter to send you the last bulletin about James:--

     "Monsieur James Dodd has passed a tranquil night, and is
     proceeding favorably. The wound exhibits a good appearance,
     and the general fever is slight

     (Signed)          "Baron De Seutin.

     "El'stache De Mornaye, Méd. du Roi. "Samuel Mossin,
     M.R.C.S.L."

We 're in another mess with that wretch Paddy Byrne. The gendarmes are
now in the house to inquire after him. It would seem that he has beaten
a whole hackney-coach stand, and set the vehicles and horses off full
speed down the "Montagne de la Cour," one of the steepest streets in
Europe. When will papa see it would be cheaper to send him home by a
special steamer than to keep him here and pay for all his "escapades"?

Paddy, who got on to the roof to escape the police, has just fallen
through a skylight, and has been conveyed to hospital, terribly injured.
He fell upon an old gentleman of eighty-two, who says he will look to
papa for compensation. The tumult the affair has caused is dreadful, and
pa is like a madman.

The General Count Vanderdelft has come back to say that I am invited.



LETTER VII. MRS. DODD TO MISTRESS MARY GALLAGHER, DODSBOROUGH.

Dear Molly,--I scarcely have courage to take up my pen, and, maybe, if
it was n't that I 'm driven to the necessity of writing, I could n't
bring myself to the effort. You have already heard all about poor dear
James's duel. It was in the "Post" and "Galignani," and got copied into
the French papers; and, indeed, I must say that so far as notoriety
goes, it was all very gratifying to our feelings, though the poor boy
has had to pay dearly for the honor. His sufferings were very great, and
for ten days he did n't know one of us; even to this time he constantly
calls me his aunt! He's now out of danger at last, and able to sit up
for a few hours every day, and take a little sustenance, and hear the
papers read, and see the names of the people that have called to ask
after him; and a proud list it is,--dukes, counts, and barons without
end!

This, of course, is all very pleasing, and no one is more ready to
confess it than myself; but life is nothing but trials, Molly; you 're
up to-day, and you 're down tomorrow; and maybe 'tis when you think the
road is smoothest and best, and that your load is lightest, 't is just
at that very moment you see yourself harnessed between the "shafts of
adversity." We never think of these things when all goes well with us;
but what a shock we feel when the hand of fate turns the tables on us,
with, maybe, the scarlatina or the sheep-rot, the smut in the wheat, or
a stain on your reputation! When I wrote last, I mentioned to you the
high station we were in, the elegant acquaintances we made, and the
fine prospect before us; but I 'm not sure you got my letter, for the
gentleman that took charge of it thought of going home by Norway, so
that perhaps it has not reached you. It's little matter; maybe 't is all
the better, indeed, if it never does come to hand! The last three weeks
has been nothing but troubles; and as for expense, Molly, the money goes
in a way I never witnessed before, though, if you knew all the shifts I
'm put to, you 'd pity me, and the sacrifices I make to keep our heads
above water would drown you in tears.

I don't know where to begin with our misfortunes, though I believe the
first of them was Wednesday week last. You must know, Molly, that we
were invited by the King, who sent his own aide-de-camp, in full fig,
with crosses and orders all over him, to ask us to a breakfast, or, as
they call it, a _déjeûner_, in honor of the opening of a new railroad at
Mons. It was, as you may believe, a very great honor to pay us, nothing
being invited but the very first families,--the embassies and the
ministers; and we certainly felt it well became us not to disgrace
either the country we came from or the proud distinction of his Majesty;
and so Mary and I had two new dresses made just the same, like
sisters, very simple, but elegant, Molly,--a light stuff that cost
only two-and-five a yard, thirty-two yards of which would make the two,
leaving me a breadth more in the skirt than Mary Anne,--the whole
not coming to quite four pounds, without the making. That was our
calculation, Molly, and we put it down on paper; for K. I. insists on
our paying for everything when it comes home, as he is always saying,
"We never know how suddenly we may have to leave this place yet."

Low as the price was, it took a day and a half before he gave in. He
stormed and swore about all the expenses of the family,--that there
was no end of our extravagant habits, and what with hairdressers,
dancing-masters, and doctors, it cost five-and-twenty pounds in a week.

"And if it did, K. I.," said I,--"if it did, is four pounds too much to
spend on the dress of your wife and daughter, when they 're invited to
Court? If you can squander in handfuls on your pleasures, can you spare
nothing for the wants of your family?"

I reminded him who _he_ was and _I_ was. I let him know what was the
stock I came from, and what we were used to, Molly; and, indeed,
I believe he 'd rather than double the money not have provoked the
discussion.

The end of it was, we carried the day; and early on Wednesday morning
the two dresses came home; Mademoiselle Adèle herself coming with them
to try them on. I have n't words to tell you how mine fitted; if it was
made on me, it could n't be better. I need n't say more of the general
effect than that Betty--and you know she is no flatterer--called me
nothing but "miss" till I took it off. Conscious of how it became me,
I too readily listened to her suggestion to "go and show it to the
master," and accordingly walked into the room where he was seated
reading the newspaper.

[Illustration: 090]

"Ain't you afraid of catching cold?" says he, dryly.

"Why so?" replied I.

"Had n't you better put on your gown, going about the passages?" says
he, in a cross kind of way.

"What do you mean, K. I.? Is not this my gown?"

"That!" cried he, throwing down the newspaper on the floor. "_That!_"

"And why not, pray, Mister Dodd?"

"Why not?" exclaimed he; "because you're half-naked, madam,--because
it would n't do for a bathing-dress,--because the Queen of the Tonga
Islands would n't go out in it."

"If my dress is not high enough for your taste, K. I., maybe the bill
is," says I, throwing down the paper on the table, and sweeping out of
the room. Oh, Molly, little I knew the words I was saying, for I never
had opened the bill at all, contenting myself with Mademoiselle Adèle's
promise that making would be a "bagatelle of some fifteen or twenty
francs!" What do you think it came to? Eight hundred and thirty-three
francs five sous. Thirty-three pounds six and tenpence-half penny! as
sure as I write these lines. I was taken with the nerves,--just as I
used to be long ago,--screeching and laughing and crying altogether,
when I heard it; and the attack lasted two hours, and left me very weak
and exhausted after it was over. Oh, Molly dear, what a morning it was!
for what with ether and curacoa, strong sherry and aniseed cordial,
my head was splitting; and Betty ran downstairs into the _table-d'hôte_
room, and said that "the master was going to murder the mistress," and
brought up a crowd of gentlemen after her. K. I. was holding my hands
at the time, for they say that I wanted to make at Mademoiselle Adèle
to tear her eyes out; so that, naturally enough, perhaps, they believed
Betty's story; however that might be, they rushed in a body at K. I.,
who, quitting hold of me, seized the poker. I need n't tell you what he
is like when in a passion! I 'm told the scene was awful; for they all
made for the stairs together,--K. I. after them! The appearance of the
place afterwards may give you some notion of what it witnessed: all the
orange-trees in the tubs thrown down, two lamps smashed, the bust of
the King and Queen on the landing in shivers, several of the banisters
broken; while tufts of hair, buttons, and bits of cloth were strewn
about on all sides. The head-waiter is wearing a patch over his eye
still, and the Swiss porter, one of the biggest men I ever saw, has cut
his face fearfully by a fall into a glass globe with gold-fish. It was
a costly morning's work, Molly! and if twenty pounds sees us through it,
we 're lucky! Mr. Profiles, too, the landlord, came up to request we 'd
leave the hotel; that there was nothing but rows and disturbances in the
house since we entered it; and much more of the same sort. K. I.
flared up at this, and they abused each other for an hour. This is very
unfortunate, for I hear that P. is a baron, and a great friend of the
King; for abroad, Molly dear, the nobles are not above anything, and
sell cigars, and show the town to strangers to turn a penny, without
any one thinking the worse of them! All this, as you may suppose, was a
blessed preparation for the Court breakfast; but yet, by two o'clock
we got away, and reached the Allée Verte, when we heard that all the
special trains were already off, and had to take our places in the
common conveyances meant for the public, and, worse again, to be
separated from K. I., who had to go into a third-class, while Mary Anne
and I were in a second. There we were, dressed up in full style in the
noonday, with bare necks and arms, in a crowd of bagmen, officers, and
clerks, who, you may be sure, had their own thoughts about us; and,
indeed, there's no saying what they might n't have done as well as
thought, if K. I. did n't come to the window every time we stopped,
with a big stick in his hand, and by a very significant gesture gave
the company to comprehend that he 'd make mince veal of the man that
molested us.

You may think, Molly, of what a two hours we spent, for the women in the
train were worse than the men; and although I did not understand what
they said, their looks were quite intelligible; but I have not patience
to tell you more. We reached Mons at four o'clock; a great part of
the ceremony was over. The High Mass and Benediction pronounced by
the Cardinal of M alines; the rail was blessed; and the deputation
had addressed the King, and his Majesty had replied, and all kinds of
congratulations were exchanged, orders and crosses given to everybody,
from the surveyors to the stokers, and now the procession was forming to
the royal pavilion, where there were tables laid out for eight hundred
people.

K. I.'s scarlet uniform, though a little the worse for wear, and so
tight in the waist that the last three buttons were left unfastened,
procured him immediate respect, and we passed through sentries and
patrols as if we were royalty itself; indeed, the military presented
arms to K. I. at every step, and such clinking of muskets and bayonets I
never heard before.

All this time, Molly, we were going straight on, without knowing where
to; for K. I. said to me in a whisper, "Let us put a bold face on it, or
they 'll ask us for tickets or something of the kind;" and so we went,
hoping every moment to see our friend the Count, who would take us under
his protection. If it was n't for our own anxieties, the scene would
have amused us greatly, for there was all manner of elegant females, and
men in fine uniforms, and the greatest display of jewels I ever saw; but
for all that, we were getting uneasy, for we saw that they each carried
cards in their hands, and that the official came and asked for them as
they passed on.

"We 'll be in a nice way if Vanderdelft does n't turn up," says K.
I.; and as he said it, there was the General himself beside us. He was
greatly heated, as if he had been running or walking fast, and, although
dressed in full uniform, his stock was loose, and his cocked-hat was
without the feather. "I was afraid I should have missed you," said he,
in a hurried voice to Mary Anne, "and I 'm half-killed running about
after you. Where's the Queen-Mother?" This was n't very ceremonious, my
dear, but I did n't know what he said at the time; indeed, he spoke
so fast, it was all Mary Anne could do to follow him! for he talked of
everything and everybody in a breath. "We 've not a minute to lose,"
cried he, drawing Mary Anne's arm inside his own. "If Leopold once sits
down to table, I can't present you. Come along, and I 'll get you a good
place."

How we pierced the crowd the saints alone can tell! but the General went
at them in a way of his own, and they fell back as they saw him coming,
in a style that made us think we had no common guide to conduct us. At
last, by dint of crushing, driving, and pushing everybody out of our
way, we reached a kind of barrier, where two fine-looking men in blue
and gold were taking the tickets. As Mary Anne and the General were in
advance of us, I did n't see what happened first; but when we came
up, we found Vanderdelft in a flaring passion, and crying out, "These
scullions don't know me; this canaille never heard of my name?"

[Illustration: 094]

"We're in a mess, Mrs. D.," said K. I. to me, in a whisper.

"How can that be?" said I.

"We 're in a mess," says he, again, "and a pretty mess, too, or I 'm
mistaken;" but he had n't time for more, for just then the General
kicked up the bar with his foot, and passed in with Mary Anne,
flourishing his drawn sword in the air, and crying out, "Take them in
flank--sabre them, every man--no prisoners!--no quarter!" Oh, Molly, I
can't continue, though I 'll never forget the scene that followed. Two
big men in gray coats burst through the crowd and laid hands on the
General, who, it seems, had made his escape out of a madhouse at Ghent
a week before, and was, as they said, the most dangerous lunatic in all
Belgium. It appeared that he had gone down to his own country-house near
Brussels, and stolen his uniform and his orders, for he was once on
a time aide-de-camp to the Prince of Orange, and went mad after the
Revolution.

Just think of our situation as we stood there, among all the nobles and
grandees, suffocated with laughter; for, as they tore the poor General
away, he cried out "to take care of the Queen-Mother, and to be sure and
get something to eat for the Aga of the Janissaries," meaning K. I.!

The mob at this time began screeching and hooting, and there's
no knowing how it might have ended, if it was n't for the little
Captain--Morris is his name--that was once quartered at Bruff, and who
happened to be there, and knew us, and he came up and explained who we
were, and got us away to a coach, more dead than alive, Molly.

And so we got back to Brussels that night, in a state of mind and body I
leave you to imagine, K. I. abusing us all the way about the milliner's
bill, the expense of the trip, and the exposure! "It's clear," says he,
"we may leave this city now, for you 'll never recover what you call
your 'position' here, after this day's exploit!" You may conceive how
humbled and broken I was when he dared to say that to me, Molly, and I
did n't so much as give him a word back!

You 'll see from this that life is n't all roses with us; and indeed,
for the last two days I 've done nothing but cry, and Mary Anne the
same; for how we're ever to go to court and be presented now, nobody can
tell! Morris advises K. I. to go into Germany for the summer, and maybe
he is right; but, to tell you the truth, Molly, I can't bear that little
man,--he has a dry, sneering kind of way with him that is odious to me.
Mary Anne, too, hates him.

So Father Maher won't buy "Judy," because she's not in calf. It's just
like him,--he must have everything in this life his own way! Send me the
price of the wool by Purcell; he can get a post-bill for it; and be sure
to dispose of the fruit to the best advantage. Don't make any jam this
year, for I 'd rather have the money than be spending it on sugar. You
'd not believe the straits I 'm put to for a pound or two. It was only
last week I sold four pair of K. I.'s drab shorts and gaiters, and a
brown surtout, to a hawker for a trifle of fifteen francs, and persuaded
him they were stolen out of his drawers! and I believe he has spent
nearly double the money in handbills, offering a reward for the
thief! That's the fruits of his want of confidence, and the secret and
mysterious way he behaves to me! Many 's the time I told him that his
underhand tricks cost him half his income!

I tell him every day it's "no use to be here if we don't live in a
certain style;" and then he says, "I'm quite ready to go back, Mrs. D.
It was never my will that we came here at all." And there he is right,
for it's just Ireland he's fit for! Father Maher and Tom Purcell and Sam
Davis are exactly the company to suit him; but it's very hard that me
and the girls are to suffer for his low tastes!

The "Evening Mail," I see, puts Dodsborough down at the bottom of a
column, as if it was Holloway's Ointment. That's what we get by having
dealings with an Orange newspaper. They could murder us,--that's their
feeling. They know in their hearts that they 're heretics, and they hate
the True Church. There is nothing I detest so much as bigotry. Go to
heaven _your own_ way, and let the Protestants go to the other place
_theirs_. Them's my sentiments, Molly, and I believe they're the
sentiments of a good Christian!

I 'm sorry for Peter Belton, but what business has he to think of a girl
like Mary Anne? If Dr. Cavanagh was dead himself, the whole practice
of the country would n't be three hundred a year. Try and get an
opportunity to tell him what I think, and say that he ought to look out
for one of the Davises; though what a dispensary doctor wants with a
wife the Lord only knows! K. I. civilly says he ought to be content
making blisters for the neighbors, without wanting one on his own back!
That's the way he talks of women. Father Maher never sent me the lines
for Betty Cobb, and maybe I 'll be driven to have her cursed by a
foreign priest after all. She and Paddy are the torment of our lives.
I saved up five pounds to send them both back by a sailing-ship, but by
good luck I discovered the vessel was going to Cuba instead of Cork, and
so here they are still; maybe it would have been better if I had sent
them off, though the way was something of a roundabout. There's no use
in my speaking to K. I. about Christy, for he can get nothing for James.
We may write to Vickars every week, but he never answers; he knows
Parliament won't be dissolved soon, and he does n't mind us. If I 'd my
will, there would be a general election every year, at least, and then
we'd have a chance of getting something. I don't know which is worst,
the Whigs or the Tories, nor is there much difference between them. K.
I. supported each of them in turn, and never got bit nor sup from one or
other, yet!

I was sounding K. I. about Christy last night, and _he_ thinks you ought
to send him to the gold diggings; he wants nothing but a pickaxe and a
tin cullender and a pair of waterproof boots, to make a fortune there;
and that's more than we can say of the County Limerick. There's nothing
so hard to provide for as a boy in these times, except a girl!

The trunks have not arrived yet: I hope you despatched them.

Your attached and sincere friend,



LETTER VIII. BETTY COBB TO MRS. SHUSAN O'SHEA, PRIEST'S HOUSE, BRUFF

Dear Misses Shusan,--This comes with my heart's sorrow that I'm not at
home where I was bred and born, but livin' abroad like a pelican on a
dissolute island, more by token that I never wanted to come, but was
persuaded by them that knew nothin' about what they wor talking; but
thought it was all figs and lemons and raisins, with green pays and the
sun in season all the year round; but, on the contrahery, sich rain and
wind I never seen afore; and as for the eating, the saints forgive me if
it's not true, but I b'leve I ate more rats since I 've come, than ever
ould Tib did since she was kittened. The drinkin' 's as bad or worse.
What they call wine is spoilt vinegar; and the vegables has no bone nor
eatin' in them at all, but melts away in the mouth like butter in July.
But 't is the wickedness is the worst of all. O Shusan! but the men is
bad, and the women worse. Of all the devils ever I heerd of, they bate
them: 'T is n't a quiet walk to mass on Sunday, with maybe a decent boy
beside you, discoorsin' or the like, and then sitting under a hedge for
the evening, with your apron afore you, talkin' about the praties, or
the price of pigs, or maybe the polis; but here 'tis dancin' and rompin'
and eatin', with merry-go-rounds, swing-swongs, and skittles all the day
long. The dancin' 's dreadful! they don't stand up fornent other, like
a jig, where anything of a dacent partner would n't so much as look hard
at you, but keep minding his steps and humorin' the tune; but they catch
each other round the waist--'tis true I am saying--and go huggin' and
tearin' about like mad, till they can't breathe nor spake; and then, the
noise! for 'tis n't one fiddle they have, but maybe twenty, with horns
and flutes and a murderin' big brown tube, that a man blows into at one
side, that makes a sound like the sea among the rocks at Kelper; and
that's dancin', my dear! I got lave from the mistress last Sunday to go
out in the evening with Mr. Francis, the currier, as they call him,--a
mighty nice man, but a little free in his manners; and we went to the
Moelenbeck Gardens, an iligant place, no doubt, with a hundred little
tables under the trees, and a flure for dancin' and fireworks and a
boat on a lake, with an island in it, where there was a hermit,--a
fine-looking ould man, with a beard down to his waist, but, for all
that, no better than he ought to be, for he made an offer to kiss me
when I was going into the boat, and Mr. Francis laughed at me bekase
I was angry. No matter, we went off to a place they call the Temple of
Bakis, where there was a fat man, as I thought, stark nakit; but it was
flesh-colored web he had on, and he was settin' on a beer-barrel, with a
wreath of roses round his head, and looking as drunk as ever I seen;
and for half a franc apiece, Bakis pulled out the spiget, and gave you a
glassful of the nicest drink ever was tasted,--warm wine, with nutmeg
in it, and cloves, and a taste of mint. I was afeerd to do more nor sup,
seein' the place and the croud; but indeed, Shusan, little as I took, it
got into my head; and I sat down on the steps of the Temple, and begun
to cry about home and Dodsborough; and something came over me that Mr.
Francis did n't mane well; and so I told everybody that I was a poor
Irish girl, and that he was a wicked blaguard; and then the polis came,
and there was a shindy! I don't know how far my head was wrong all the
time; and they said that I sung the "Croniawn Dhubh;" maybe I did; but I
know that I bate off the polis; and at last they took me away home, when
every stitch on me was in ribbins; my iligant bonnet with the green bows
as flat as a halfpeny; and the bombazine the mistress gave me, all rags;
one of my shoes, too, was lost; and except a handful of hair I tore out
of the corporal's beard, 'twas all loss to me.

[Illustration: 100]

This wasn't the worst; for little Paddy Byrne, that was in bed for a
baiting he got 'mong the hackney-coachmen, jumped up and flew at Mister
Francis for the honor of ould Ireland; and they fit for twenty minutes
in the pantry, and broke every bit of glass and chaney in the house,
forbye three lamps and some alybastard figures that was put there for
safety; and the end of it was, Mr. Francis was discharged, but would n't
take his wages, if the master did n't pay him half a year in advance,
with diet and washing, and his expenses home to Swisserland, wherever
that is; and there it is now, and master is in a law-shute, that
everybody says will go agin him; for there's one good thing abroad,
Shusan dear, the coorts stands by poor sarvants, and won't see them
wronged by any cruel masters; and maybe it would be taching ould Mister
Dodd something, if they made him smart for this!

Ye may think, from all this, that I 'd be glad to be back again, and
so it is. I cry all day and night, and sorrow stich I do for either the
mistress or the young ladies, and maybe at last they 'll see 't is best
to send me home. They needn't begrudge me the thrifle 'twould cost, for
they're spending money like mad; and even the mistress, that would skin
a flay in Ireland, thinks nothing of layin' out ten or fifteen pounds
here of a day. Miss Mary Anne is as bad as the mother, and grown so
proud and stand off that I never spake to her. Miss Caroline is what she
used to be, barrin' the spirits; to be sure, she has no divarsion and no
horse to ride, nor doesn't be out in the fields as she used, but for all
that she bears it better than myself. Mister James is grown a young mau
in three weeks, and never passes me on the stair without a wink or a
look of the same kind; that's the way the Continent taches good manners!
Mrs. Shusan! oh dear! oh dear! but 'tis wishing it I am, the day I come
on this incontential tour. If I can't get back,--though it's not my
fault if I don't,--send me the pair of strong shoes you 'll find in my
hair trunk, and the two petticoats in the corner. If you could get a
blade in the big scissors, send it too, and the two bits of dimity I
want for mendin'. There was some Dandy Lion in a paper, I'd like; for
there's none here, they say, has strength in it. You 'll be able to send
me these by somebody coming this way, for I heerd mistress say everybody
is travellin' these times. What was it Father Tom used to take for the
redness in his nose? mine is tormentin' me dreadful, and though I'm
poulticin' it every night with ash-bark, earthworms, and dragon's blood,
I think it's only worse it's gettin'. Mr. Francis said that I must larn
to sleep with my nose higher than my head, though how I'm to do it, the
saints alone can tell! No time for more than to say your loving friend,

Betty Cobb.



LETTER IX. KENNY DODD TO THOMAS PURCELL, ESQ.

BELLEVUE, BRUSSELS.

Dear Tom,--It 's no use in talking; I can't go over to Ireland now, and
you know that as well as myself. Besides, what 's the good of me taking
a part in the elections? Who can tell which side will be uppermost,
after all? And if one is "to enter, it's as well to ride the winning
horse." Vickars has behaved so badly that I don't think I'd support him;
but there's a fortnight yet before the elections, and perhaps he may see
the errors of his ways before that!

I 've little heart or spirits for politics, for my life is fairly
bothered out of me with domestic troubles. James is going on very
slowly. There was a bit of glove-leather round the ball--a most
inexcusable negligence on the part of his second--that has given much
uneasiness; and he has a kind of night fever that keeps him low and
weak. With that, too, he has too many doctors. Three of them come every
morning, and never go away without a dispute.

It strikes me forcibly, Tom, that medical science is one of the things
that makes little progress, considering all the advantages of our
century. I don't mean to say that they don't know better what's inside
of you, what your bones are made of, that they have n't more hard names
for everything than formerly; but that when it comes to cure you of a
toothache, or a colic, or a fit of the gout, my sure belief is they made
just as good a hand of it two hundred years ago. I won't deny that they
'll whip off your leg, tie one of your arteries, or take your hip out
of the socket quicker than they used long ago; but how few of us, thank
God, have need of that kind of skill! and if we have, what signifies a
quarter of a minute more or less? Tim Hackett, that was surgeon to our
County Infirmary forty years, never used any other tools than an old
razor and a pair of pincers, and I believe he was just as successful as
Astley Cooper; and yet these fellows that come to see James cover
the table every day with instruments that would puzzle the Royal
Society,--things like patent corkscrews, scissors with teeth like a saw,
and one little crankum for all the world like a landing-net: James is
more afraid of that than all the rest When I saw it first, I thought it
was a new contrivance for taking the fees in. The Pharmacopoeia--I hope
I spell it right--is greater, to be sure, than long ago, but what's the
advantage of that? We never discover a new kind of beast for food, and
I see little benefit in multiplying what only disgusts you. 'T is
with medicine as with law, Tom; the more precedents we have, the more
confused we get; and where our ignorant ancestors saw their way clearly,
we, with all our enlightenment, never can hit on the right track at all.
The mill-owner and the engineer, the tanner, the dyer, the printer,
ay, even the fanner, picks up something every day that helps him in
his craft. It's only the learned professions that never learn anything;
maybe that's how they got the name "lucus à non," Tom, as Dr. Bell would
say.

You keep preaching to me about economy and making "both ends meet," and
all that kind of balderdash; and if you only saw the way we 're living,
you 'd be surprised at our cheapness. Whenever a five-pound note sees
me through our bill for the day, I give myself a bottle of champagne at
night out of gratitude! You remember all Mrs D.'s promises about thrift
and saving; and, faith, I must say that so far as cutting "down the
estimates" for the rest of the family, she 's worthy of the Manchester
school; but whenever it touches herself, her liberality becomes
boundless.

I believe it would be cheaper to give the milliner a room in the house
than pay her coach-hire, for she 's here every morning, and generally
in my room when I 'm shaving, sometimes before I 'm up. Not that this
trifling circumstance ever disconcerted her. On my conscience, I believe
she 'd have taken Eve's measure before Adam, without a blush at the
situation! So far as I have seen of foreign life, Tom, shamelessness
is the grand characteristic, and I grieve to say that one picks up the
indecency much easier than the irregular verbs. I wish, however, I had
nothing to complain of but this.

I told you in one of my late letters that I was getting into law here;
the plot is thickening since that, and I have now, I believe, four
actions--I hope it is not five--pending in four different courts; in
some I 'm the plaintiff, in some the defendant, and in another I 'm
something between the two; but what that may be, or what consequences
it entails, I know as much as I do about calculating the next eclipse!
Indeed, to distinguish between the several suits and the advocates I
have engaged is no small difficulty, and a considerable part of every
conference is occupied with purely introductory matter. These foreign
lawyers have a mysterious kind of way with them, too, that always gives
you the impression that a law-suit is something like the Gunpowder Plot!
There's a fellow comes to me every morning for instructions, as he calls
it, muffled up in a great cloak, and using as many precautions
against being seen by the servants as if he were going to blow up the
Government. I 'd not be so sensitive on the subject, if it had n't
provoked a species of annoyance, at which, perhaps, you 'll be more
disposed to laugh than sympathize.

For the last week Mrs. D. has adopted a kind of warfare at which she,
I 'll be bound to say, has few equals and no superior,--a species of
irregular attack, at all times and on all subjects, by innuendo and
insinuation, so dexterously thrown out as to defy opposition; for you
might as well take your musket to keep off the mosquitoes! What she was
driving at I never could guess, for the assault came on every flank,
and in all manner of ways. If I was dressed a little more carefully than
usual, she called attention to my "smartness;" if less so, she hinted
that I was probably going out "on the sly." If I stayed at home, I was
"waiting for somebody;" if I went out, it was to "meet them." But
all this guerilla warfare gave way at last to a grand attack, when I
ventured to remonstrate about some extravagance or other. "It came well
from _me_," she burst forth, with indignant anger,--"it came well from
_me_ to talk of the little necessary expenses of the family,--the bit
they ate, and the clothes on their backs." She spoke as if they were
Mandans or Iraquois, and lived in a wigwam! "It came well from me,
living the life I did, to grudge them the commonest requirements
of decency!" "Living the life I did!" I avow to you, Tom, the words
staggered me. Warren Hastings tells us that when Burke concluded his
terrible invective, that he actually sat for five minutes overwhelmed
with a sense of guilt; and so stunning was this charge that it took me
full double as long to rally! for though Mrs. D.'s eloquence may not
possess all the splendor or sublimity of the great Edmund, there is a
homely significance, a kind of natural impressiveness, about it not to
be despised. "Living the life I did," rang in my ears like the words of
a judge in a charge. It sounded like--"Kenny Dodd, you have been fairly
convicted by an honest and impartial jury!" and I confess I sat there
expecting to hear "the last sentence of the law." It was only after some
interval I was able to ask myself, "what was really the kind of life I
had been leading." My memory assured me it was a very stupid, tiresome
existence,--very good-for-nothing and un instructive. It was by no
means, however, one of flagrant vice or any outrageous wickedness; and I
could n't help muttering with honest Jack,--

     "If sack and sugar be a sin, God help the wicked!"

The only things like personal amusements I had indulged in being
gin-and-water and dominoes,--cheap pleasures, if not very fascinating
ones!

"Living the life I did!" Why, what does the woman mean? Is she
throwing in my teeth the lazy, useless, unprofitable course of my
daily existence, without a pursuit, except to hear the gossip of the
town,--without an object, except to retail it? "Mrs. D.," said I, at
last, "you are, generally speaking, comprehensible. Whatever faults may
attach to your parts of speech, it must be owned they usually convey
your meaning. Now, for the better maintenance of this characteristic,
will you graciously be pleased to explain the words you have just
spoken? What do you mean by the 'life I am leading'?" "Not before the
girls, certainly, Mr. D.," said she, in a Lady Macbeth whisper that made
my blood curdle.

The mischief was out at once, Tom,--I know you are laughing at it
already; it's quite true, she was jealous,--mad jealous! Ah, Tom, my
boy, it 's all very good fun to laugh at Keeley, or Buckstone, or any
other of those diverting vagabonds who can convulse the house with such
a theme; but in real life the farce is downright tragedy. There is not a
single comfort or consolation of your life that is not kicked clean from
under you! A system of normal agitation is a fine thing, they tell us,
in politics, but it is a cruel adjunct of domestic life! Everything
you say, every look you give, every letter you seal, or every note you
receive, are counts in a mysterious indictment against you, till at last
you are afraid to blow your nose, lest it be taken for a signal to the
fat widow lady that is caressing her poodle at the window over the way!

You may be sure, Tom, that I repelled the charge with all the
indignation of injured innocence. I invoked my thirty years' good
character, the gravity of my demeanor, the gray of my whiskers; I
confessed to twenty other minor misdemeanors,--a taste for practical
jokes, a love of cribbage and long whist; I went further,--I expressed a
kind of St. Kevenism about women in general; but she cut me short with,
"Pray, Mr. D., make one exception; do be gallant enough to say that
there is one, at least, not included in this category of horrors."

"What are you at now?" cried I, almost losing all patience.

"Yes, sir," said she, in a grand melodramatic tone that she always
reserves for the peroration,--as postilions keep a trot for
the town,--"yes, sir, I am well accustomed to your perfidy and
dissimulation. I know perfectly for what infamous purposes abroad your
family are treated so ignominiously at home; I'm no stranger to your
doings." I tried to stop her by an appeal to common-sense; she despised
it. I invoked my age,--egad! I never put my foot in it till then.
That was exactly what made me the greatest villain of all! Whatever
veneration attaches to white hairs, it must be owned they get mighty ill
treated in discussions like the present; at least, Mrs. D. assured me
so, and gave me to understand that one pays a higher premium for their
morality, as they do for their life-assurance, as they grow older.
"Not," added she, as her eyes glittered with anger, and she sidled near
the door for an exit,--"not but, in the estimation of others, you may be
quite an Adonis,--a young gentleman of wit and fashion,--a beau of the
first water; I have no doubt Mary Jane thinks so,--you old wretch!"
This, in all, and a bang of the door that brought down an oil picture
that hung over it, closed the scene.

"Mary Jane thinks so!" said I, with my hand to my temples to collect
myself. Ah, Tom! it would have required a cooler head than mine was at
that moment to go hunting through the old archives of memory! Nor will I
torment you with even a narrative of my struggles. I passed that evening
and the night in a state of half distraction; and it was only when I was
giving one of our lawyers a check the next morning that I unravelled the
mystery, for, as I wrote down his name, I perceived it was Marie Jean
de Rastanac,--a not uncommon Christian name for men, though, considering
the length and breadth of the masculine calendar; a very needless
appropriation.

This was "Mary Jane," then, and this the origin of as pretty a conjugal
flare-up as I remember for the last twelvemonth!

Mrs. D. reminds me of the Opposition, and the Opposition of Vickars. I
suppose he wants to be a Lord of the Treasury. It's very like what
old Frederick used to call making a "goat a gardener." What rogues the
fellows are! You write to them about your son or your nephew, and they
answer you with some tawdry balderdash about their principles, as if any
one of us ever believed they were troubled with principles! I'm all for
fair straightforward dealing. Put James in the Board of Trade, and you
may cut up the Caffres for ten years to come. Give us something in the
Customs, and I don't care if New Zealand never has a constitution! 'Tis
only the fellows that have no families ask questions at the hustings!
Show me a man that wants _pledges_ from his _representative_, and I 'll
show you one that has got none from his wife!

And there's Vickars writing to me, as if I was a fool, about all the old
clap-traps that we used to think were kept for the election dinner; and
these chaps, like him, always spoil a good argument when they get hold
of it. Now, when a parson has n't tact enough to write his sermons, he
buys a volume of Tillotson or Blair, or any other, and reads one out as
well as he can; but your member--God bless the mark!--must invent his
own nonsense. How much better if he 'd give you Peel, or Russell, or Ben
Disraeli in the original! There are skeleton sermons for drowsy curates;
I wish any one would compose skeleton speeches for the county members.
You 'll say that I 'm unreasonably testy about these things; but I 've
got a letter this instant from Vickers, expressing his hope that I 'll
be satisfied with the view he has taken on the "question of free-labor
sugar." Did I ever dispute it, Tom? I drink no tea,--I hate sweet
things, and, except a lump, and that a small one, that I take in my
tumbler of punch, I never use sugar; and I care no more what 'a the
color of the man that raises it than I do for the name of the supercargo
that brought it over. Don't put cockroaches in it, and sell it cheap,
and I don't care a brass farthing whether it grew in Barbary or
Barbadoes! Not, my dear Tom, but it's all gammon, the way they discuss
the question; for the two parties are always debating two different
issues; one crying out cheap sugar, the other no slavery! and the
consequence is, they never meet in argument As to the preference Vickars
insists should be given to free-labor sugar, carry out the principle and
see what it comes to. I ought to receive eight or ten shillings a barrel
more for my wheat than old Joe M'Curdy, because _I_ always gave my
laborers eight-pence a day, and _he_ never went higher than sixpence,
more often fourpence. Is not that free labor and slavery, just as well
exemplified as if every man in the barony was a black?

They tell me the niggers won't work if you don't thrash them, and I
don't wonder, when I think of the heat of the climate; but sure if
they've more idleness, they ought to get less money; and lastly, I take
the Abolitionists--bother it for a long word!--on their own ground, and
are they prepared to say that if you impose a duty on slave sugar, the
Cubans and the rest of them won't only take more out of the niggers to
meet "the exigency of the market," as the newspapers call it? If they do
so, they 'll only be imitating our own farmers since the repeal of the
corn law. "You must bestir yourselves," says Lord Stanley; "competition
with the foreigner will demand all your activity. It won't do to go
on as you used. You must buy guano, take to drainage, study Smith of
Deanstown, and mind the rotation of your crops." Don't you think that
some enlightened Cuban will hit upon the same train of argument, and
make a fresh investment in whipcord? Ah, Tom! these are only party
squabbles, after all; and so I told Vickars. I don't know why, but it
always seemed to me that the blacks absorb a very unfair amount of our
loose sympathies; whether it's the color of them, or that they 're so
far away, or because they 're naked, I never knew; but certain it is,
we pity them far more than our own people, and I back myself to get up a
ladies' committee for a nigger question, before you collect three people
to hear you discuss a home grievance.

I have just been interrupted to receive Monsieur Jellicot, my defender
in action No. 3, a suit preferred by my late courier, "François
Tehetuer, born in the canton of Zug, aged thirty-seven years, single,
and a Protestant, against Monsieur Kenyidod, natif d'Irlande, près de
Dublin, dans le Royaume de la Grande Bretagne," &c., &c.; the demand
being for a year's wages, bed, board, and travelling expenses to his
native country. He, the aforesaid François, having been sent away for a
disgraceful riot in my house, in which he beat Pat, the other servant,
and smashed about five-and-twenty pounds' worth of glass and china. A
very pretty claim, Tom,--the preliminary resistance to which has already
cost me about one hundred and fifty francs to remove the litigation into
an upper court, where the bribery is higher, and consequently deemed
more within the reach of _my_ finances than those of honest Francis!

To tell you all that I think of the rascality of the administration of
justice here, would lead me into a diffusiveness something like that of
the pleasant "Mémoire" which my advocate has just left me to read, and
in which, as a measure of defence against an iniquitous demand, I 'm
obliged to give a short history of my life, with some account of my
father and grandfather. I made it as brief as I could, and said
nothing about the mortgages nor Hackett's bond; but even with all my
conciseness, the thing is very voluminous. The greatest difficulty of
all is the examination of Paddy Byrne, who, imagining that a law process
cannot have any other object than either to hang or transport _him_, has
already made two efforts at escape, and each time been brought back by
the police. His repugnance to the course of justice has already damaged
my case with my own defender, who, naturally enough, thinks if _my
own_ witnesses are so little to my credit, what will be the _opposite_
evidence? »

Another of my "causes célèbres," as Cary calls them,--she is the only
one of us has a laugh left in her,--is for the assault and battery of
a certain Mr. Cherry, a little rascal that came one day to tell me
that Mrs. D. 's appearance struck him as being more fascinating than
respectable! I kicked him downstairs into the street, and in return he
has dragged me into the Court of the Correctional Police, where I 'm
told they 'll maul _me_ far worse than I did him; besides this, I have
a small interlude suit for a breach of contract, in not taking a lodging
next an Anatomy School; and lastly, James's duel! I have compromised
fully double the number, and have received vague threats from different
quarters, that may either mean being waylaid or prosecuted, as the case
may be.

So far, therefore, as economy goes, this Continentalizing has not
succeeded up to this. Instead of living rent free at Dodsborough, with
our own mutton and turnips, the ducks and peas, that cost us, I may
say, nothing, here we are, keeping up the price of foreign markets,
and feeding the foreigners at the expense of our own poor people. If,
instead of excluding British manufactures from the Continent, Bony had
only struck out the notion of seducing over here John Bull himself and
his family, let me assure you, Tom, that he'd have done us far more
lasting and irreparable mischief. We can do without their markets. What
between their Zollvereins, their hostile tariffs, and troublesome trade
restrictions, they have themselves taught us to do without them; and,
indeed, except when we get up a row at Barcelona, and smuggle five or
six hundred thousand pounds' worth of goods into Spain, we care little
for the old Continent; but I 'll tell you what we cannot do without,--we
cannot do without their truffled turkeys, their tenors, their men-cooks,
and their dancing-women. French novels and Italian knavery have got a
fast hold of us; and I doubt much if the polite world of England would
n't rather see this country cut off from all the commerce of America
than be themselves excluded from the wicked old cities of Europe!

When I think of myself holding these opinions, and still living abroad,
I almost fancy I was meant for a Parliamentary life; for assuredly my
convictions and my actions are about as contradictory as any honorable
or right honorable gentleman on either side of the House. But so it is,
Tom. Whatever 's the reason of it I can't tell, but I believe in my
heart that every Irishman is always doing something or other that he
doesn't approve of; and that this is the real secret of that want of
conduct, deficient steadiness, uncertainty of purpose, and all the other
faults that our polite neighbors ascribe to us, and what the "Times" has
a word of its own for, and sets shortly down as "Celtic barbarism." And
between ourselves, the "Times" is too fond of blackguarding us. What's
the use of it? What good does it ever do? I may throw mud at a man every
day till the end of the world, but I 'll never make his face the cleaner
for it!

The same system we used to follow once with America; and at last, what
with sneering and jibing, we got up a worse feeling between the two
countries than ever existed in the heat of the war. No matter how stupid
the writer, how little he saw, or how ill he told it, let a fellow
come back from the United States with a good string of stories about
whittling, spitting, and chewing, interlard the narrative with a full
share of slang, show up Jonathan as a vulgar, obtrusive, self-important
animal, boastful and ignorant, and I 'll back the book to run through
its two or three editions with a devouring and delighted public. But
what would you think of a man that went down to Leeds or Manchester, to
look at some of our great factories at full work; who saw the evidences
of our enterprise and industry, that are felt at the uttermost ends
of the earth; who knew that every bang of that big piston had its
responsive answer in some far-away land over the sea, where British
skill and energy were diffusing comfort and civilization,--what, I say,
would you think of him if, instead of standing amazed at the future
before such a people, he sat down to chronicle how many fustian jackets
had holes in them, how many shaved but twice a week, whether the
overseer made a polite bow, or the timekeeper talked with a strong
Yorkshire accent?

I tell you, Tom, our travellers in the States did little other than
this. I don't mean to say that it wouldn't be pleasanter and prettier to
look at, if all the factory-folk were dressed like Young England,
with white waistcoats and cravats, and all the young ladies wore silk
petticoats and white satin shoes; but I'm afraid that, considering the
work to do, that's scarcely practicable; and so with regard to America,
considering the work to do,--ay, Tom, and the way they are doing it,--I
'm not over-disposed to be critical about certain asperities that are
sure to rub off in time, particularly if we don't sharpen them into
spikes by our own awkward attempts to polish them.

If I was able, I'd like to write a book about America. I'd like to
inquire, first, if, seeing the problem that the Yankees are trying to
solve, the way they have set about it is the best and the shortest? I'd
like, too, to study what secret machinery combines a weak government
and a strong people,--the very reverse of what we see in the Old World,
where the governments are strong and the people weak? I'd like to find
out, if I could, why people that, for the most part, have formed the
least subordinate populations of the Old World, behave so remarkably
well in the New?

In running off into these topics, Tom, I suppose I'm like every one
else, who, in proportion as his own affairs become embarrassed, takes a
wonderful interest in those of his neighbors. Half the patriotism in the
world comes out of the bankruptcy courts.

And, here's Monsieur Gabriel Dulong "for my instructions _in re_
Cherry," as if to recall me from foreign affairs, and once more bring
back my wandering thoughts to the Home Office.

Write to me, Tom, and send me money. You have no idea how it goes here;
and as for the bankers, I never met the like of them! The exchange is
always against you, and if you want a ten-pound English note, they'll
make you smart for it.

The more I see of this foreign life, the less I like it. I know that we
have been unfortunate in one or two respects. I know that it is rash in
me to speak on so brief an acquaintance with it, but I already dread
our being more intimate. Mrs. D. is not the woman you knew her. No
more thrift, no more saving,--none of that looking after trifles that,
however we may laugh at in our wives, we are right glad to profit by.
She has taken a new turn, and fancies, God forgive her! that we have
an elegant estate, and a fine, thriving, solvent tenantry. Wherever the
delusion came from, I cannot guess; but I 'm certain that the little
slip of sea between Dover and Calais is the origin of more false notions
and extravagant fancies than the wide Atlantic.

I have been thinking for some days back that you ought to write me
a strong letter,--you know what I mean, Tom,--a strong letter about
matters at home. There's no great difficulty, when a man lives in
Ireland, to make out a good list of grievances.

Give it to us, then, and let us have our fill of rotten potatoes,
blighted wheat, runaway tenants, and workhouse riots. Throw in a murder
if you like, and make it "strong," Tom. Say that, considering the
cheapness of the Continent, we draw a terrible sight of money, and add
that you can't imagine what we do with the cash. Put "Strictly private
and confidential" on the outside, and I 'll take care to be out of the
way when it comes. You can guess that Mrs. D. will soon open it, and
perhaps it may give her a shock. Is n't it hard that I have to go about
the bush in this way? but that's what we 're come to. If I hint a word
about expense, they look on me as if I was Shylock; and I believe they
'd rather hear me blaspheme than say the phrase "economy." I think, from
what I see in James, that he's fretting about this very same thing. He
did n't say exactly _that_, but he dropped a remark the other day that
showed me he was grieved by the turn for dress and finery that Mrs. D.
and Mary Anne have taken up; and one of the nurses that sat up with
him told me that he used to sigh dreadfully at times, and mutter broken
expressions about money.

To tell you the truth, Tom, I 'd go back to-morrow, if I could. "And why
can't you?--what prevents you, Kenny?" I hear you say. Just this, then,
I haven't the pluck! I couldn't stand the attack of Mrs. D. and her
daughter. I 'm not equal to it. My constitution is n't what it used to
be, and I'm afraid of the gout. At my time of life, they say it always
flies to the heart or to the head,--maybe because there 's a vacancy in
these places after fifty-six or seven years of age! I see, too, by the
looks Mrs. D. gives Mary Anne occasionally, that they know this; and she
often gives me to understand that she does n't wish to dispute with me,
for reasons of her own. This is all very well, and kindly meant, Tom,
but it throws me into a depression that is dreadful.

I see by the papers that you've taken up all kinds of "Sanitary
Questions" at home. As for the health of towns, Tom, the grand thing
is not to suffer them to grow too big. You're always crying out about
twelve people sleeping in one room somewhere, and you gave the ages of
each of them in the "Times," and you grow moral and modest, and I don't
know what else, about decency, destitution, and so forth; but what's
London itself but the very same thing on an enlarged scale? It's
nonsense to fret about a wart, when you have a wen in the same
neighborhood. Not that I'm sorry to see fine folk taking trouble about
what concerns the poor, particularly when they go about it sensibly and
quietly, without any balderdash of little books, and, above all, without
a ladies' committee. If there 's anything chokes me, it's a
ladies' committee. Three married women on bad terms with
their husbands, four widows, and five old maids, all prying,
pedantic, and impertinent,--going loose about the world with little
subscription-cards, decrying innocent pleasures, and decoying your
children's pocket-money,--turning benevolence into a house-tax, and
making charity like the "Pipe-water." You remark, too, that the pretty
women won't join these gangs at all. Now and then you may see one take
out a letter of marque, and cruise for herself, but never in company.
Seeing the importunity of these old damsels, I often wondered why the
Government never thought of employing ladies as tax-collectors. He 'd be
a hardy man who 'd make one or two I could mention call twice.

I have been turning over in my mind what you said about Dodsborough; and
though I don't like the notion of giving a lease, still it's possible we
might do it without much danger. "He is an Englishman," you say, "that
has never lived in Ireland." Now, my notion is, Tom, that if he be
as old as you say, it's too late for him to try. They're a mulish,
obstinate, unbending kind of people, these English; and wherever you
see them, they never conform to the habits of the people. After thirty
years' experience of Ireland, you'll hear them saying that they cannot
accustom themselves to the "lies and the climate "! If I have heard that
same remark once, I've heard it fifty times. And what does it amount to
but a confession that they won't take the world as they find it. Ireland
is rainy, there's no doubt, and Paddy is fond of telling you what he
thinks is agreeable to you,--a kind of native courtesy, just like his
offering you his potato when he knows in his heart that he can't spare
it,--but he gives it, nevertheless.

I 'd say, then, we might let him have Dodsborough, on the chance that he
'd never stay six months there, and perhaps in the mean while we 'd find
out another Manchester gentleman to succeed him. I remember poor old
Dycer used to sell a little chestnut mare every Saturday,--nobody ever
kept her a fortnight,--and when she died, by jumping over Bloody Bridge
into the Liffey, and killed herself and her rider, Dycer said, "There's
four-and-twenty pounds a year lost to _me,_"--and so it was too! Think
over this, and tell me your mind on it.

I believe I told you of the Polish Count that we took with us to
Waterloo. I met him yesterday with my cloak on him; but really the
number of my legal embroilments here is so great that I was shy of
arresting him. We hear a great deal of talk about the partition of
Poland, and there is an English lord keeps the subject for his own
especial holdings forth; but I am convinced that the greatest evil
of that nefarious act lies in having thrown all these Polish fellows
broadcast over Europe. I wish it was a kingdom to-morrow, if they
'd only consent to stay there. To be well rid of them and their
sympathizers, whom I own I like even less, would be a great blessing
just now. I wish the "Times" would stop blackguarding Louis Napoleon. If
the French like being bullied, what is that to us? My own notion is that
the people and their ruler are well met; besides, if we only reflect
a little on it, we 'll see that anything is better for _us_ than a
Bourbon,--I don't care what branch! They are under too deep obligations
to us, and have too often accepted of English hospitality, not to hate
us; and hate us they do. I believe the first Frenchman that cherishes an
undying animosity to England is your Legitimist; next to him comes the
Orleanist.

It's a strange thing, but the more I have to think of about my own
affairs, and the worse they are going with me, the more my thoughts run
after politics and the newspapers. I suppose that's all for the best,
and that if people dwelled too much on their own troubles, their heads
would n't stand it. You've seen a trick the horse jockeys have when a
horse goes lame of one foot,--to pinch him a little with the shoe of the
opposite one; and it's not bad philosophy to practise mentally, and you
may preserve your equanimity just by putting on the load fairly. And
so it is I try to divert my thoughts from mortgages, creditors, and
Chancery, by wondering how the King of Naples will contrive to keep his
throne, and how the Austrians will save themselves from bankruptcy! I
know it would be more to the purpose if I turned my thoughts to getting
Mary Anne married, and James into the Board of Trade; at least, so Mrs.
D. tells me, and although she is always repeating the old saw about
"marriages being made in heaven," she evidently does n't wish to give
too much trouble in that quarter, and would like to lend a hand herself
to the work.

Jellicot has sent his clerk here to tell me that I have been pronounced
"Contumacious," for not appearing somewhere, and before somebody that I
never heard of! Egad! these kind of proceedings are scarcely calculated
to develop the virtues of humanity! They sent me something I thought
was a demand for a tax, and it turns out a judge's warrant; for aught I
know, there may be an order to seize the body of Kenny James Dodd, and
consign him to the dungeons of the Inquisition! Write to me at once,
Tom, and above all don't forget the money.

Yours, most faithfully,

K. I. Dodd.

Why does Molly Gallagher keep pestering me about Christy? She wants me
to get him into the "Grand Canal." I wish they were both there, with all
my heart.

I open this to say that Vickars has just sent me a copy of his address
to the "Independent Electors of Bruff." I'd like to see one of them,
for the curiosity of the thing. He asks me to give him my opinion of the
document, and the "benefit of my advice and counsel," as if I had not
been reading the very same productions since I was a child. The very
phraseology is unaltered. Why can't they hit on something new? He "hopes
that he restores to them, unsullied, the high trust they had committed
to his keeping." Egad! if he does so, he ought to get a patent for
taking out spots, stains, and discolorations, for a dirtier garment than
our representative mantle has been, would be hard to find. Like all our
patriots that sit in Whig company, he is sorely puzzled between his love
for Ireland and his regard for himself, and has to limit his political
line to a number of vague threats about overgrown Church Establishments
and Landlord tyranny, not being quite sure how far his friends in power
are disposed to worry the Protestants and grind the gentry.

Of course be batters up the pastors of the people; but he might as well
leave _that_ alone; the priests are too cunning for all that balderdash
nowadays. They'll insist on something real, tangible, and substantial.
What they say is this: "The landlords used to have it all their own
way at one time. _Our_ day is come now." And there they're right, Tom;
there's no doubt of it. O'Connell said true when he told the English,
"Ye're always abusing me,--and call me the 'curse of Ireland' and the
destroyer of the public peace,--but wait a bit. I 'll not be five years
in my grave till you 'd wish me back again." There never was anything
more certain. So long as you had Dan to deal with, you could make your
bargain,--it might be, it often was, a very hard one,--but when it was
once made, he kept the terms fairly and honestly! But with whom will you
treat _now?_ Is it with M'Hale, or Paul Cullen, or Dr. Meyler? Sure each
of them will demand separate and specific conditions, and you might as
well try to settle the Caffre war by a compact with Sandilla, who, the
moment he sells himself to you, enters into secret correspondence with
his successor.

I'm never so easy in my mind as when I see the English in a row with the
Catholics. I don't care a brass farthing how much it may go against
us at first,--how enthusiastically they may yell "No Popery," burn
cardinals in effigy, and persecute the nuns. Give them rope enough, Tom,
and see if they don't hang themselves! There never came a fit of rampant
Protestantism in England that all the weak, rash, and ridiculous
zealots did n't get to the head of the movement. Off they go at score,
subsidizing renegade vagabonds of our Church to abuse us, raking up bad
stories of conventual life, and attacking the confessional. There
never were gulls like them! They swallow all the cases of cruelty
and persecution at once,--they foster every scoundrel, if he's only
a deserter from us,--ay, and they even take to their fireplaces the
filthiest novels of Eugene Sue, if he only satisfies their rancorous
hate of a Jesuit. And where does it end? I'll tell you. Their converts
turn out to be scoundrels too infamous for common contact; their
prosecutions fail,--why would n't they, when we get them up
ourselves?--John Bull gets ashamed of himself; round comes the Press,
and that's the moment when any young rising Catholic barrister in the
House can make his own terms, whether it be to endow the true Church or
to smash the false one!

As for John Bull, he never can do mischief enough when he 's in a
passion, but he's always ready to pay double the damage in the morning.
And as for putting "salt on our tails," let him try it with the "Dove of
Elphin," that 's all.

I was forgetting to tell you that I sent back Vickars's address, only
remarking that I was sorry not to know his sentiments about the Board of
Trade. _Ver. sap._



LETTER X. CAROLINE DODD TO MISS COX, AT MISS MINCING'S ACADEMY

BLACK ROCK, IRELAND.

My dear Miss Cox,--I have long hesitated and deliberated with myself
whether it were not better to appear ungrateful for my silence, than by
writing inflict you with a very tiresome, good-for-nothing epistle; and
if I have now taken the worst counsel, it is because I prefer anything
rather than seem forgetful of one to whom I owe so much as to my dear,
kind governess. Were I only to tell you of our adventures and mishaps
since we came abroad, there might, perhaps, be enough to fill half a
dozen letters; but I greatly doubt if the theme would amuse you. You
were always too good-natured to laugh at anything where there was even
one single feature that suggested sorrow; and I grieve to say that,
however ludicrously many of our accidents might read, there is yet mixed
with them too much that is painful and distressing. You will say this is
a very gloomy opening, and from one whom you had so often to chide
for the wild gayety of her spirits; but so it is: I am sad enough
now,--sadder than ever you wished to see me. It is not that I am not in
the very midst of objects full of deep interest,--it is not that I do
not recognize around me scenes, places, and names, all of which are
imbued with great and stirring associations. I am neither indifferent
nor callous, but I see everything through a false medium, and I hear
everything with a perverted judgment; in a word, we seem to have come
abroad, not to derive the advantages that might arise from new sources
of knowledge in language, literature, and art, but to scramble for a
higher social position,--to impose ourselves on the world for something
that we have no pretension to, and to live in a way that we cannot
afford. You remember us at Dodsborough,--how happy we were, how
satisfied with the world; that is, with our world, for it was a
very little one. We were not very great folk, but we had all the
consideration as if we were; for there were none better off than
ourselves, and few had so many opportunities of winning the attachment
of all classes. Papa was always known as the very best of landlords,
mamma had not her equal for charity and kindness, James was actually
adored by the people, and I hesitate not to say that Mary Anne and
myself were not friendless. There was a little daily round of duties
that brought us all together in our cares and sympathies; for, however
different our ages or tastes, we had but one class of subjects to
discuss, and, happily, we saw them always with the same light and
shadow. Our life was, in short, what fashionable people would have
deemed a very vulgar, inglorious kind of existence; but it was full of
pleasant little incidents, and a thousand little cares and duties, that
gave it abundant variety and interest. I was never a quick scholar, as
you know too well. I have tried my dear Miss Cox's patience sorely
and often, but I loved my lessons; I loved those calm hours in the
summer-house, with the perfume of the rose and the sweetbrier around
us, and the hum of the bee mingling its song with my own not less drowsy
French. That sweet "Telemachus," so easy and so softly sounding; that
good Madame de Genlis, so simple-minded when she thought herself most
subtle! Not less did I love the little old schoolroom of a winter's
day, when the pattering rain streamed down the windows, and gave, by
contrast, all the aspect of more comfort within. How pleasant was it, as
we gathered round the turf fire, to think that we were surrounded with
such appliances against gloomy hours,--the healthful exercise of happy
minds! Ah, my dear Miss Cox, how often you told us to study hard, since
that, once launched upon the great sea of life, the voyage would exact
all our cares; and yet see, here am I upon that wide ocean, and already
longing to regain the quiet little creek,--the little haven of rest that
I quitted!

I promised to be very candid with you, to conceal nothing whatever;
but I did not remember that my confessions, to be thus frank, must
necessarily involve me in remarks on others, in which I may be often
unjust,--in which I am certain to be unwarranted,--since nothing in my
position entitles me to be their censor. However, I will keep my pledge
this once, and you will tell me afterwards if I should continue to
observe it. And now to begin. We are living here as though we were
people of vast fortune. We occupy the chief suite of apartments at the
first hotel, and we have a carriage, with showy liveries, a courier, and
are quite beset with masters of every language and accomplishment you
can fancy,--expensive kind of people, whose very dress and style bespeak
the terms on which their services are rendered. Our visitors are all
titled: dukes, princes, and princesses shower amongst our cards. Our
invitations are from the same class, and yet, my dear Miss Cox, we feel
all the unreality of this high and stately existence. We look at each
other and think of Dodsborough! We think of papa in his old fustian
shooting-jacket, paying the laborers, and higgling about half a day to
be stopped here, and a sack of meal to be deducted there. We think of
mamma's injunctions to Darby Sloan about the price he is to get for the
"boneens,"--have you forgotten our vernacular for little pigs?--and how
much he must "be sure to ask" or the turkeys. We think of Mary Anne
and myself taking our lesson from Mr. Delaney, and learning the
Quad--drilles as he pronounced it, as the last new discovery of the
dancing art, and dear James hammering away at the rule of three on an
old slate, to try and qualify himself for the Board of Trade. And we
remember the utter consternation of the household--the tumult dashed
with a certain sense of pride--when some subaltern of the detachment
at Bruff cantered up to the door and sent in his name! Dear me, how
the little words 25th Regiment, or 91st, used to make our hearts beat,
suggestive as they were of gay balls at the Town-hall with red-coated
partners, the regimental band, and the colors tastefully festooning the
whitewashed walls. And now, my dear Miss Sarah, we are actually ashamed
of the contact with one of those whom once it was our highest glory to
be acquainted with! You may remember a certain Captain Morris, who was
stationed at Bruff,--dark, with very black eyes, and most beautiful
teeth; he was very silent in company, and, indeed, we knew him but
slightly, for he chanced to have some altercation with pa on the bench
one day, and, as I hear he was all in the right, pa did not afterwards
forgive him. Well, here he is now, having left the army,--I don't know
if on half-pay, or sold out altogether,--but here he is, travelling for
the benefit of his mother's health,--a very old and infirm lady, to whom
he is dotingly attached. She fretted so much when she discovered that
his regiment was ordered abroad to the Cape, that he had no other
resource than to leave the service! He told me so himself.

"I had nobody else in the world," said he, "who felt any interest in my
fortunes; _she_ had made a hundred sacrifices for me. It was but fair I
should make one for _her_."

He knew he was surrendering position and prospect forever,--that to him
no career could ever open again; but he had placed a duty high above all
considerations of self, and so he parted with comrades and pursuit,
with everything that made up his hope and his object, and descended to a
little station of unobtrusive, undistinguished humility, satisfied to be
the companion of a poor, feeble old lady! He has as much as confessed to
me that their means are very small. It was an accidental admission with
reference to something he thought of doing, but which he found to be too
expensive; and the avowal was made so easily, so frankly, so free from
any false shame on one side, or any unworthy desire to entrap sympathy
on the other! It was as if he spoke of something which indeed concerned
him, but in no wise gave the mainspring to his thoughts or actions! He
came to visit us here; but his having left the service, coupled with our
present taste for grand acquaintance, were so little in his favor that
I believed he would not have repeated his call. An accidental service,
however, that he was enabled to render mamma and Mary Anne at a railroad
station the other day, and where but for him they might have been
involved in considerable difficulties, has opened a chance of further
intimacy, for he has already been here two mornings, and is coming this
evening to tea.

You will, perhaps, ask me how and by what chain of circumstances Captain
Morris is linked with the earlier portion of this letter, and I will
tell you. It was from him that I learned the history of those high and
distinguished individuals by whom we are surrounded; from him I heard
that, supposing us to be people of immense wealth, a whole web of
intrigue has been spun around us, and everything that the ingenuity and
craft of the professional adventurer could devise put in requisition to
trade upon our supposed affluence and inexperience! He has told me of
the dangerous companions by whom James is surrounded; and if he has
not spoken so freely about a certain young nobleman--Lord George
Tiverton--who is now seldom or never out of the house, it is because
that they have had something of a personal difference,--a serious one,
I suspect, and which Captain Morris seems to reckon as a bar to anything
beyond the merest mention of his name. It is not impossible, too, that
though he might not make any revelations to _me_ on such a theme, he
would be less guarded with papa or James. Whatever may be the fact, he
does not advance at all in the good graces of the others. Mamma
calls him a dry crust,--a confirmed old bachelor. Mary Anne and Lord
George--for they are always in partnership in matters of opinion--have
set him down as a "military prig;" and papa, who is rarely unjust in the
long run, says that "there 's no guessing at the character of a fellow
of small means, who never goes in debt" This may or may not be true;
but it is certainly hard to condemn him for an honorable trait, simply
because it does not give the key to his nature. And now, my last hope
is what James may think of him, for as yet they have not met. I think
I hear you echo my words, "And why your 'last hope,' Miss Cary? What
possible right have you to express yourself in these terms?" Simply
because I feel that one man of true and honorable sentiments, one
right-judging, right-feeling gentleman, is all-essential to us abroad!
and if we reject this chance, I 'm not so sure we shall meet with
another.

How ashamed I am not to be able to tell you of all I have seen! But so
it is,--description is a very tame performance in good hands; it is a
lamentable exhibition in weak ones! As to painters, I prefer Vandyk to
Rubens; not that I have even the pretence of a reason for my criticism.
I know nothing, whatever, of what constitutes excellence in color,
drawing, or design. I understand in a picture only what it suggests to
my own mind, either as a correct copy of nature, or as originating new
trains of thought, new sources of feeling; and by these tests Vandyk
pleases me more than his master. But, shall I own it, there is a class
of pictures of a far inferior order that gives me greater enjoyment than
either, I meau those scenes of real life, those representations of some
little uneventful incident of the every-day world,--an old chemist
at work in his dim old laboratory; an old house Vrow knitting in her
red-tiled chamber, the sunlight slanting in, and tipping with an azure
tint the tortoiseshell cat that purrs beside her; a lover teaching
his mistress the guitar; an old cavalier giving his horse a drink at a
fountain. These, in all the lifelike power of Gerard Dow, Teerburgh, or
Mieris, have a charm for me I cannot express. They are stories, and they
are better than stories; for oftentimes the writer conveys his meaning
imperfectly, and oftentimes he overlays you with his explanations,
stifling within you those expansive bursts of sentiment that ought to
have been his aim to evoke, and thus, by elaborating, he obliterates.
Now, your artist--I mean, of course, your great artist--is eminently
suggestive. He gives you but one scene, it is true, but how full is it
of the past, and the future too! Can you gaze on that old alchemist,
with his wrinkled forehead, and dim, deep-set eyes, his threadbare
doublet, and his fingers tremulous from age? Can you watch that
countenance, calm but careworn, where every line exhibits the long
struggle there has been between the keen perceptions of science and the
golden dreams of enthusiasm, where the coldest passions of a worldly
nature have warred with the most glorious attributes of a poetic
temperament? Can you see him, as he sits watching the alembic wherein
the toil of years is bubbling, and not weave within your own mind the
life-long conflict he has sustained? Have you him not before you in his
humble home, secluded and forgotten of men, yet inhabiting a dream-world
of crowded images? What beautiful stories--what touching little episodes
of domestic life--lie in the quiet scenes of those quaint interiors;
and how deep the charm that attaches one to these peaceful spots of home
happiness! The calm intellectuality of the old, the placid loveliness
of the young, the air of cultivated enjoyment that pervades all, are in
such perfect keeping that you feel as though they imparted to yourself
some share of that gentle, tranquil pleasure that forms their own
atmosphere!

Oh, my dear Miss Cox! if there be "sermons in stones," there are
romances in pictures,--and romances far more truthful than the
circulating libraries supply us with. And, to turn back to real life,
shall I own to you that I am sadly disappointed with the gay world? I am
fully alive to all the value of the confession. I appreciate perfectly
how double-edged is the weapon of this admission, and that I am in
reality but pleading guilty to my own unfitness for its enjoyments; but
as I never tried to evade or deny that fact, I may be suffered to give
my testimony with so much of qualification. When I compare the little
gratification that society confers on the very highest classes, with the
heartfelt delight intercourse imparts to the humble, I am at a loss
to see wherein lies the advantage of all the exclusive regulations of
fashionable life. Of one thing I feel assured, and that is, that one
must be bora in a certain class, habituated from the earliest years to
its ideas and habits, filled with its peculiar traditions, and animated
by its own special hopes, to conform gracefully and easily to its laws.
_We_ go into society to perform a part,--just as artificial a one as any
in a genteel comedy,--and consequently are too much occupied with
"our character" to derive that benefit from intercourse which is so
attainable by those less constrained by circumstances. If all this
amounts to the simple confession that I am by no means at home in the
great world, and far more at my ease with more humble associates, it is
no more than the fact, and comes pretty near to what you often remarked
to me,--that "in criticising external objects one is very frequently but
delineating little traits and lineaments of one's own nature."

I am unable to answer your question about our future plans; for, indeed,
they appear anything but fixed. I believe if papa had his choice he
would go back at once.

This, however, mamma will not hear of; and, indeed, the word Ireland is
now as much under ban amongst us as that name that is never "syllabled
to ears polite." The doctors say James ought to pass a month or six
weeks at Schwalbach, to drink the waters and take the baths; and,
from what I can learn, the place is the perfection of rural beauty and
quietude. Captain Morris speaks of it as a little paradise. He is going
there himself; for I have learned--though not from him--that he was
badly wounded in the Afghan war. I will write to you whenever our
destination is decided on; and, meanwhile, beg you to believe me my dear
Miss Cox's

Most attached and faithful pupil,

Caroline Dodd.



LETTER XI. MR. DODD TO THOMAS PURCELL, ESQ., OF THE GRANGE, BRUFF.

Dear Tom,--I got the bills all safe, and cashed two of them yesterday.
They came at the right moment,--when does not money?--for we are going
to leave this for Germany, one of the watering-places there, the name
of which I cannot trust myself to spell, being recommended for James's
wound. I suppose I 'm not singular, but somehow I never was able to
compute what I owed in a place till I was about to leave it. From that
moment, however, in come a shower of bills and accounts that one never
dreamed of. The cook you discharged three months before has never paid
for the poultry, and you have as many hens to your score as if you were
a fox. You 've lost the fishmonger's receipts, and have to pay him over
again for a whole Lent's consumption. Your courier has run up a bill
in your name for cigars and curaçoa, and your wife's maid has been
conducting the most liberal operations in perfumery and cosmetics, under
the title of her mistress. Then comes the landlord, for repairs and
damages. Every creaky sofa and cracked saucer that you have been
treating for six months with the deference due to their delicate
condition must be replaced by new ones. Every window that would n't
shut, and every door that would not open, must be put in perfect order;
keys replaced, bells rehung. The saucepans, whose verdigris has almost
killed you with colic, must be all retinned or coppered; and, lastly,
the pump is sure to be destroyed by the housemaid, and vague threats
about sinking a new well are certain to draw you into a compromise. Nor
is the roguery the worst of it; but all the sneaking scoundrels that
would n't "trouble you with their little demands" before, stand out now
as sturdy creditors that would not abate a jot of their claims. Lucky
are ye if they don't rake up old balances, and begin the score with
"_Restant du dernier compte_."

The moralists say that a man should be enabled to visit the world after
his death, if he would really know the opinion entertained of him by
his fellows. Until this desirable object be attainable, one ought to be
satisfied with the experience obtained by change of residence. There is
no disguise, no concealment then! The little blemishes of your temper,
once borne with such Christian charity, are remembered in a more
chastening spirit; and it is half hinted that your custom was more than
compensated for by your complaining querulousness. Is not the moral
of all this that one should live at home, in his own place, where his
father lived before him, and his son will live after him; where the
tradespeople have a vested interest in your welfare, and are nearly as
anxious about your wheat and potatoes as you are yourself? Unlike
these foreign rascals, that think you have a manufactory of "Hemes and
Farquhar's circular notes," and can coin at will, your neighbors know
when and at what times it's no use to tease you,--that asking for money
at the wrong season is like expecting new peas in December, or grouse in
the month of May.

I make these remarks in all the spirit of recent suffering, for I have
paid away two hundred pounds since yesterday morning, of which I was
not conscious that I owed fifty. And, besides, I have gone through more
actual fighting--in the way of bad language, I mean--than double the
money would repay me for. In these wordy combats, I feel I always come
off worst; for as my knowledge of the language is limited, I 'm like
the sailor that for want of ammunition crammed in whatever he could lay
hands on into his gun, and fired off his bag of doubloons against the
enemy instead of round shot. Mrs. D., too, whom the sounds of conflict
always "summon to the field," does not improve matters; for if
her vocabulary be limited, it is strong, and even the most roguish
shopkeeper does not like to be called a thief and a highwayman! These
diversions in our parts of speech have cost me dearly, for I have had
to compromise about six cases of "defamation," and two of threatened
assault and battery, though these last went no further than
demonstrations on Mrs. D.'s part, which, however, were quite sufficient
to terrify our grocer, who is a colonel in the National Guard, and a
gigantic hairdresser, whose beard is the glory of a "_Sapeur_ company."
I have discovered, besides, that I have done something, but what it
is--in contravention to the laws--I do not know, and for which I am
fined eighty-two francs five centimes, plus twenty-seven for contumacy;
and I have paid it now, lest it should grow into more by to-morrow,
for so the Brigadier has just hinted to me; for that formidable
functionary--with tags that would do credit to a general--is just come
to "invite me," as he calls it, to the Prefecture. As these invitations
are like royal ones, I must break off now abruptly.

Here I am again, Tom, after four hours of ante-chamber and audience. I
had been summoned to appear before the authorities to purge myself of a
contempt,--for which, by the way, they had already fined me; my offence
being that I had not exchanged some bit of paper for another bit of
paper given me in exchange for my passport, the purport of which was to
show that I, Kenny Dodd, was living openly and flagrantly in the city
of Brussels, and not following out any clandestine pursuit or object
injurious to the state, and subversive of the monarchy. Well, I hope
they 're satisfied now; and if my eighty-two francs five centimes gave
any stability to their institutions, much good may it do them! This,
however, seems but the beginning of new troubles; for on my applying to
have the aforesaid passport _vised_ for Germany, they told me that
there were two "detainers" on it, in the shape of two actions at law yet
undecided, although I yesterday morning paid up what I understood to be
the last instalment for compromising all suits now pending against said
Kenny I. Dodd. On hearing this, I at once set out for the tribunal to
see Vanhoegen and Draek, my chief lawyers. Such a place as the tribunal
you never set eyes on. Imagine a great quadrangle, with archways all
round crammed full of dirty advocates,--black-gowned, black-faced, and
black-hearted; peasants, thieves, jailers, tip-staffs, and the general
public of fruit-sellers and lucifer-matches all mixed up together,
with a turmoil and odor that would make you hope Justice was as little
troubled with nose as eyesight. Over the heads of this mob you catch
glimpses of the several courts, where three old fellows, like the
figures in a Holbein, sit behind a table covered with black cloth,
administering the law,--a solemn task that loses some of its imposing
influence when you think that these reverend seigniors, if wanting in
the wisdom, are not free from one of the weaknesses of Bacon! By dint of
great pressing, pushing, and perseverance, I forced my way forward into
one of these till I reached a strong wooden rail, or barrier, within
which was an open space, where the accused sat on a kind of bench, the
witness under examination being opposite to him, and the procureur hard
by in a little box like a dwarf pulpit I thought I saw Draek in the
crowd, but I was mistaken,--an easy matter, they all look so much
alike. Once in, however, I thought I 'd remain for a while and see the
proceedings. It was a trial for murder, as well as I could ascertain
the case. The prisoner, a gentlemanlike young fellow of six or seven and
twenty, had stabbed another in some fit of jealousy. I believe they were
at supper, or were going to sup together when the altercation occurred.
There was a waiter in the witness-box giving evidence when I came up;
and really the tone of deference he exhibited to the prisoner, and the
prisoner's own off-hand, easy way of interrogating him, were greatly to
be admired. It was easy to see that he had got many a half-crown from
the accused, and had not given up hope of many more in future. His chief
evidence was to the effect that Monsieur de Verteuil, the accused, had
ordered a supper for two in a private room, the bill of fare offering a
wide field for discussion, one of the points of the case being whether
the guest who should partake of the repast was a lady or the deceased;
and this the advocates on each side handled with wonderful dexterity, by
inferences drawn from the _carte_. You see, Verteuil's counsel wanted
to show that Bretigny was an intruder, and had forced himself into the
company of the accused. The opposite side were for implying that he came
there on invitation, and was murdered of malice aforethought I don't
think the point would have been so very material with us; or, at all
events, that we should have tried to elicit it in this manner; but they
have their own way of doing things, and I suppose they know what suits
them. After half an hour's very animated skirmishing, the president,
with a sudden flash of intelligence, bethought him of asking the accused
for whom he bespoke the entertainment.

"You must excuse me, Monsieur le Président," said he, blandly; "but I 'm
sure that your nice sense of honor will show that I cannot answer your
question."

"Très bien, très bien," rang through the crowded court, in approbation
of this chivalrous speech, and one young lady from the gallery flung
down her bouquet of moss-roses to the prisoner, in token of her
enthusiastic concurrence. The delicate reserve of the accused seemed to
touch every one. Husbands and wives, sons and daughters, all appeared
to feel that they had a vested interest in the propagation of such
principles; and the old judge who had propounded the ungracious
interrogatory really seemed ashamed of himself.

The waiter soon after this retired, and what the newspapers next day
called a _sensation prononcée_ was caused by the entrance of a very
handsome and showy-looking young lady,--no less a personage than
Mademoiselle Catinka Lovenfeld, the prima donna of the opera, and the
Dido of this unhappy Æneid. With us, the admiration of a pretty witness
is always a very subdued homage; and even the reporters do not like
venturing beyond the phrase, "here a person of prepossessing appearance
took her place on the table." They are very superior to us here,
however, for the buzz of admiration swelled from the lowest benches
till it rose to the very judicial seat itself, and the old president,
affecting to look at his notes, wiped his glasses afresh, and took a sly
peep at the beauty, like the rest of us.

Though, as Macheath says, "Laws were made for every degree," the mode of
examining witnesses admits of considerable variety. The interrogatories
were now no longer jerked out with abruptness; the questions were not
put with the categorical sternness of that frowning aspect which, be
the lawyer Belgian, French, or Irish, seems an instinct with him; on
the contrary, the pretty witness was invited to tell her name, she was
wheedled out of her birthplace coaxed out of her peculiar religious
profession, and joked into saying something about her age.

I must say, if she had rehearsed the part as often as she had that of
Norma, she couldn't be more perfect. Her manner was the triumph of ease
and grace. There was an almost filial deference for the bench, an air
of respectful attention for the bar, courtesy for the jury, and a most
touching shade of compassion for the prisoner, and all this done without
the slightest seeming effort. I do not pretend to know what others felt;
but as for me, I paid very little attention to the matter, so much more
did the manner of the inquiry engage me: still, I heard that she was a
Saxon by birth, of noble parentage, born with the highest expectations,
but ruined by the attachment of her father to the cause of the Emperor
Napoleon. The animation with which she alluded to this parental trait
elicited a most deafening burst of applause, and the tip-staff, a
veteran of the Imperial Guard, was carried out senseless, overcome by
his emotions. Ah, Tom! we have nothing like this in England, and strange
enough that they should have it here; but the fact is, these Belgians
are only "second-chop" Frenchmen,--a kind of weak "after grass," with
only the weeds luxuriant! It's pretty much as with ourselves,--the
people that take a loan of a language never take a lease of the
traditions! They catch up just some popular clap-traps of the mother
country, but there ends the relationship!

But to come back to Mademoiselle Catinka. She now had got into a little
narrative of her youth, in some old chateau on the Elbe, which held the
Court breathless; to be sure, it had not a great deal to do with the
case in hand; but no matter for that: a more artless, gifted, lovely,
and loving creature than she appeared to have been never existed. On
this last attribute she laid considerable stress. There was, I think, a
little rhetorical art in the confession; for certainly a young lady who
loved birds, flowers, trees, water, clouds, and mountains so devotedly,
might possibly have a spare corner for something else; and even the old
judge could n't tell if he had not chanced on the lucky ticket in that
lottery. I wish I could have heard the case out; I'd have given a great
deal to see how they linked all that Paul and Virginia life with
the bloody drama they were there to investigate, and what possible
connection existed between Heck's romances and sticking a man with a
table-knife. This gratification was, however, denied me; for just as I
was listening with my greediest ears, Vanhoegen placed his hand on my
shoulder, and whispered, "Come along--don't lose a minute--_your_ cause
is on!"

"What do you mean? Have n't I compro--"

"Hush!" said he, warningly; "respect the majesty of the law."

"With all my heart; but what's _my_ cause?--what do you mean by _my_
cause?"

"It's no time for explanation," said he, hurrying me along; "the judges
are in chamber,--you'll soon hear all about it."

He said truly; it was neither the fitting time nor place for much
converse, for we had to fight our way through a crowd that was every
moment increasing; and it took at least twenty minutes of struggle and
combat to get out, my coat being slit up to the collar, and my friend's
gown being reduced to something like bell-ropes.

He did n't seem to think much about his damaged costume, but still
dragged me along, across a courtyard, up some very filthy stairs, down
a dark corridor, then up another flight, and, passing into a large
ante-room, where a messenger was seated in a kind of glass cage, he
pushed aside a heavy curtain of green baize, and we found ourselves in
a court, which, if not crowded like that below, was still sufficiently
filled, and by persons of respectable exterior. There was a dead silence
as we entered. The three judges were examining their notes, and handing
papers back and forward to each other in dumb show. The procureur
was picking his teeth with a paper-knife, and the clerk of the court
munching a sandwich, which he held in his hat. Vanhoegen, however,
brushed forward to a prominent place, and beckoned me to a seat beside
him. I had but time to obey, when the clerk, seeing us in our places,
bolted down an enormous mouthful, and, with an effort that nearly choked
him, cried ont, "L'affaire de Dodd fils est en audience." My heart
drooped as I heard the words. The "affaire de Dodd fils" could mean
nothing but that confounded duel of which I have already told you. All
the misfortune and all the criminality seemed to fall upon us. For at
least four times a week I was summoned somewhere or other, now before a
civil, now a military auditor; and though I swore repeatedly that I knew
nothing about the matter till it was all over, they appeared to think
that if I was well tortured, I might make great revelations. They were
not quite wrong in their calculations. I would have turned "approver"
against my father rather than gone on in this fashion. But the
difficulty was, I had really nothing to tell. The little I knew had
been obtained from others. Lord George had told me so much as I was
acquainted with; and, from my old habits of the bench at home, I was
well aware that such could not be admitted as evidence.

Still it was their good pleasure to pursue me with warrants and
summonses, and there was nothing for it but to appear when and wherever
they wanted me.

"Is this confounded affair the cause of my passport being detained?"
whispered I to Van.

"Precisely," said he; "and if not very dexterously handled, the expense
may be enormous."

I almost lost all self-possession at these words. I had been a mark for
legal pillage and robbery from the first moment of my arrival, and it
seemed as if they would not suffer me to leave the country while I had
a Napoleon remaining. Stung nearly to madness, I resolved to make one
desperate effort at rescue, and, like some of those woebegone creatures
in our own country who insist on personal appeals to a Chief Justice,
I called, "Monsieur le Président--" There, however, my French left me,
and, after a terrible struggle to get on, I had to continue my address
in the vernacular.

"Who is this man?" asked he, sternly.

"Dodd père, Monsieur le Président," interposed my lawyer, who seemed
most eager to save me from the consequences of my rashness.

"Ah! he is Dodd père," said the president, solemnly; and now he and
his two colleagues adjusted their spectacles, and gazed at me long and
attentively; in fact, with such earnestness did they stare that I
began to feel my character of Dodd père was rather an imposing kind of
performance. "Enfin," said the president, with a faint sigh, as though
the reasoning process had been rather a fatiguing one,--"enfin! Dodd
père is the father of Dodd fils, the respondent."

Vanhoegen bowed submissive assent, and muttered, as I thought, some
little flattery about the judicial acuteness and perspicuity.

"Let him be sworn," said the president; and accordingly I held up my
hand, while the clerk recited something with a humdrum rapidity that I
guessed must mean an oath.

"You are called Dodd père?" said the Attorney-General, addressing me.

"I find I am so called here, but I never was so before," said I, tartly.

"He means that the appellation is not usual in his own country," said
one of the judges,--a small, red-eyed man, with pock-marks.

"Put it down," observed the president, gravely. "The witness informs us
that he is only called Dodd."

"Kenny James Dodd, Monsieur," cried I, interrupting.

"Dodd--dit Kenny James," dictated the small judge; and the amanuensis
took it down.

"And you swear you are the father of Dodd fils?" asked the president.

I suppose that the adage of a wise child knowing his own father cuts
both ways; but I answered boldly, that I 'd swear to the best of
my belief,--a reservation, however, that excited a discussion of
three-quarters of an hour, the point being at last ruled in my favor.

I am bound to say that there was a great deal of legal learning
displayed in the controversy,--a vast variety of authorities cited,
from King David downwards; and although at one time matters seemed going
against me, the red-eyed man turned the balance in my favor, and it was
agreed that I was the father of my own son. If I knew but all, it might
have been better for me there had been a hitch in the case. But I am
anticipating.

There now arose another dispute, on a point of law, I believe, and which
was, what degree of responsibility--there were fourteen degrees, it
seems, in the Pandects--I stood in as regarded the present suit. From
the turn the debate took, I began to suspect we might all of us have
to plead to our responsibilities in the other world ere it could be
finished; but the red-eyed man, who seemed the shrewdest of them all,
cut the matter short by proposing that I should be invited--that's the
phrase--to say so much as I pleased in the question before the Court.

"Yes, yes," assented the president. "Let him relate the affair." And the
whole bar and the audience seemed to reecho the words.

You know me well, Tom, and you can vouch for it that I never had any
objection to telling a story. It was, in truth, a kind of weakness with
me, and some used to say that I was getting into the habit of telling
the same ones too often. Be that as it may, I never was accused of
relating a garbled, broken, and disjointed tale, and for the honor of my
anecdotic powers, I resolved not to do so.

"My Lord," said I, "I 'm like the knife-grinder,--I have no story!"

Bad luck to my illustration, it took half an hour to show that my
identity was not somehow mixed up with a wheel and a grinding-stone!

"Let him relate the affair," said the president, once more; and this
time his voice and manner both proclaimed that his patience was not to
be trifled with.

"Relate what?" asked I, tartly.

"All that you know,--anything you have heard," whispered Van, who was
trembling for my rashness.

"My Lord," said I, "of myself I know nothing; I was in bed all the
time."

"He was in bed all the time," said the president to the others.

"In bed," said red eyes; "let us see;" and he turned over a file of
documents before him for several minutes. "Dodd père swears that he was
in bed from the 7th of February, which is the first entry here, to the
19th of May, inclusive."

"I swear no such thing, my Lord," cried I.

"What does he swear, then?" asked the small judge.

"Let us hear his own version; tell us unreservedly all that you
know," said the president, who really spoke as if he compassionated my
embarrassment.

"My Lord," said I, "there is nothing would give me more pleasure than to
display the candor you require; but when I assure you that I actually
know nothing--"

"Know nothing, sir!" interposed the president. "Do you mean to tell this
Court that you are, and were, in total ignorance of every part of your
son's conduct,--that you never heard of his difficulties, nor of his
efforts to meet them?"

"If hearsay be sufficient, then," said I, "you shall have it;" and so,
taking a long breath, for I saw a weary road before me, I began thus,
the amanuensis occasionally begging of me a slight halt to keep up:--

"It was about five or six weeks ago, my Lord, we--that is, Mrs. D., the
girls, James, and myself--made an excursion to the field of Waterloo,
filled by the very natural desire to see a spot so intimately associated
with our country's glory. I will not weary you with any detail of
disappointment, nor deplore the total absence of everything that could
revive recollections of that great day. In fact, except the big lion
with his tail between his legs, there is nothing symbolic of the nations
engaged."

I waited a moment here, Tom, to see how they took this; but they never
winced, and so I perceived my shell exploded harmlessly.

"We prowled about, my Lord, for two or three hours, and at last reached
Hougoumont, in time to take shelter against a tremendous storm which
just then broke over us; and there it was that James accidentally came
in contact with the young gentleman whom I may not wrongfully call the
cause of all our misfortunes. It would appear that they began discussing
the battle, with all the natural prejudices of the two conflicting
sides. I will not affirm that James was very well read on the subject;
indeed, my impression is that his stock of information was principally
derived from a representation he had witnessed by an equestrian troop
at home, and where Bony, after galloping twice round the circus, throws
himself on his knees and begs for mercy,--a fact so strongly impressed
upon his memory that he insisted the Frenchman should receive it as
historical. The dispute, it would seem, was not conducted within the
legitimate limits of debate; they waxed angry, and the Frenchman, after
a fierce provocation, set off into the thickest of the storm rather than
endure the further discussion."

"This seems to me, sir," interposed the president, "to be perfectly
irrelevant to the matter before us. The Court accords the very widest
latitude to explanations, but if they really have no bearing on the
case in hand,--if, as it appears to my learned brethren and myself,
this polemic on a battle has no actual connection with your son's
difficulties--"

"It's the very source and origin of them, my Lord," broke I in. "He has
no embarrassment which does not date from that incident and that hour."

"In that case you may proceed, sir," said he, blandly; and I went on.

"I do not mean to say, my Lord, that all that followed was inevitable;
nor that, with cooler heads and calmer tempers, the whole affair could
not have been arranged; but James is hot, mighty hot,--the Celt is
strong in him. He really likes a 'shindy,' not like some chaps for the
notoriety of it,--not because it gets into the newspapers, and makes a
noise,--but he likes it for itself, and for its own intrinsic merits,
as one might say. And I may remark here, my Lord, that the Irishman is,
perhaps, the only man in Europe that understands fighting in this sense;
and this trait, if rightly considered, will give a strong clew to our
national character, and will explain the general failure of all our
attempts at revolution. We take so much diversion in a row that we quite
forget it's only the means to an end. We have, so to say, so much fun on
the road that we lose sight of the place we were going to.

"I don't know, Tom, how much further I might have gone on in my
analytical researches into our national character; but the interpreter
cut me short, by assuring the Court that he was totally unable to follow
me. In the narrative parts of my discourse he was good enough; but it
seemed that my reflections, and my general remarks on men and manners,
were a cut above him. I was therefore warned to 'try back' to the line
of my story, which I did accordingly.

"As for the affair itself, my Lord," resumed I, "I understand from
eyewitnesses that it was most respectably and discreetly conducted.
James was put up with his face to the west, so that Roger had the sun on
him. The tools were beauties. It was a fine May morning, mellow, and not
too bright. There was nothing wanting to make the scene impressive,
and, I may add, instructive. Roger's friend gave the word--one, two,
three--bang went both pistols together, and poor James received the
other's fire just here,--between the bone and the artery, so Seutin
described it,--a critical spot, I'm sure."

"Dodd père," said the president, solemnly, "you are trifling with
the patience of the tribunal!" A grave edict, which the other judges
responded to by a majestic inclination of the bead.

"If you are not," resumed he, slowly, and with great emphasis,--"if you
are not a man of weak intellects and deficient reasoning powers, the
conduct you have pursued is inexcusable,--it is a high contempt!"

"And we shall teach you, sir," said the red-eyed, "that no pretence of
national eccentricity can weigh against the claims of insulted justice."

"Ay, sir," chimed in number three, who had not spoken before, "and
we shall let you feel that the majesty of the law in this country is
neither to be assailed by covert impertinence nor cajoled by assumed
ignorance."

"My Lords," said I, "all this rebuke is a riddle to me. You asked me to
tell you a story; and if it be not a very connected and consistent one,
the fault is not mine."

"Let him stand committed for contempt," said the president. "The Petits
Carmes may teach him decorum."

Now, Tom, the Petite Carmes is Newgate, no less! and you may imagine my
feelings at this announcement, particularly as I saw the clerk busily
taking down, from dictation, a little history of my offence and its
penalty. I turned to look for Van in my sore distress, and there he was,
searching the volumes, briefs, and records, to find, as he afterwards
said, "some clew to what I had been saying."

"By Heaven!" cried I, losing all patience, "this is too bad. You urge
me into a long account of what I know nothing, and then to rescue _your_
own ignorance, you declare _me_ impertinent. There is not a lawyer's
clerk in Ireland, there is no pettifogging practitioner for half-crown
fees, there's not a brat that carries a blue bag down the Bachelor's
Walk, could n't teach you all three. You go through some of the forms,
but you know nothing of the facts of justice. You sit up there, like
three stucco-men in mourning,--a perfect mockery of--"

I was not suffered to finish, Tom, for, at a signal from the president,
two gendarmes seized me on either side, and, notwithstanding some
demonstrations of resistance, led me off to prison. Ay, I must write the
word again--to prison! Kenny, I, Dodd, of Dod s borough, Justice of
the Peace, and chairman of the Union of Bruff, committed to jail like a
common felon!

[Illustration: 142]

I 'm sorry I suffered my feelings to get the better--perhaps I ought to
say the worse--of me. Now that it's all over, it were better that I had
not knocked down the turnkey, and kicked Vanhoegen out of my cell. It
would have been both more discreet and more decorous, to have submitted
patiently. I know it's what _you_ would have done, Tom, and trusted
to your action for damages to indemnify you; but I'm hasty, that's the
fact; and if I wanted to deny it, the state of the jailer's nose, and
my own sprained thumb, would give evidence against me. But are there
no allowances to be made for the provocation? Perhaps not for a simple
assault; but if I had killed the turnkey, I'm certain the jury would
discover the "circonstances atténuantes."

Partly out of respect to my own feelings, partly out of regard to yours,
I have not put the words "Petits Carmes" at the top of this letter; but
truth will out, Tom, and the real fact is that I date the present from
cell No. 65, in the common prison of Brussels! Is not that a pretty
confession? Is not that a new episode in this Iliad of enjoyment,
cultivation, and Heaven knows what besides, that Mrs. D. projected by
our tour on the Continent? But I swear to you, solemnly, as I write
this, that, if I live to get back, I'll expose the whole system of
foreign travel. I don't think I could write a book, and it's hard
nowadays to find a chap to put down one's own sentiments fairly and
honestly, neither overlaying them with bits of poetry, nor explaining
them away by any garbage of his own; so that, maybe, I'll not be able to
come out hot-pressed and lettered; but if the worst comes to it, I 'll
go about the country giving lectures. I 'll hire an organ-man to play at
intervals, and I 'll advertise, "Kenny Dodd on Men and Manners
abroad--Evenings with Frenchmen, and Nights with Distinguished
Belgians." I'll show up their cookery, their morals, their modesty,
their sense of truth, and their notions of justice. And though I well
know that I 'll expose myself to the everlasting hate of a legion of
hairdressers, dancing-masters, and white-mice men, I'll do it as sure as
I live. I have heard you and Peter Belton wax warm and eloquent about
the disgrace to our laws in permitting every kind of quackery to prevail
unhindered; but what quackery was ever the equal to this taste for the
Continent? If people ate Morison's pills like green peas, they would n't
do themselves as much moral injury as by a month abroad! And if I were
called before a committee of the House to declare, on my conscience,
what I deemed the most pernicious reading of the day, I 'd say--Murray's
Handbooks! I give you this under my hand and seal. That fellow--Murray,
I mean--has got up a kind of Pictorial Europe of his own, with bits of
antiquarianism, history, poetry, and architecture, that serves to
convince our vulgar, vagabondizing English that they are doing a refined
thing in coming abroad. He half persuades them that it is not for cheap
champagne and red partridges they 're come, but to see the Cathedral of
Cologne and the Dome of St. Peter's, till he breeds up a race of
conceited, ill-informed, prating coxcombs, that disgrace us abroad and
disgust us at home.

I think I see your face now, and I half hear you mutter, "Kenny's in one
of his fits of passion;" and you'd be right, too, for I have just upset
my ink-bottle over the table, and there's scarcely enough left to finish
this scrawl, as I must reserve a little for a few lines to Mrs. D.
Apropos to that same, Tom, I don't know how to break it to her that I'm
in a jail, for her feelings will be terribly shocked at first; not but,
between you and me, before a year's over, she 'll make it a bitter
taunt to me whenever we have a flare-up, and remind me that, for all my
justiceship of the peace, I was treated like a common felon in Brussels!

I believe that the best thing I can do is to send for Jellicot, since
Vanhoegen and Draek have sent to say that they retire from my cause,
"reserving to themselves all liberty of future action as regards the
injury personally sustained;" which means that they require ten pounds
for the kicking. Be it so!

When I have seen Jellicot, I 'll give you the result of the interview,
that is, if there be any result; but my friend J. is a lawyer of the
lawyers, and it is not only that he keeps his right hand on terms of
distance with his left, but I don't believe that the thumb and the
forefinger of the same side are ever acquainted. He is very much that
stamp of man your English Protestants call a Jesuit. God help them,
little they know what a real Jesuit is!

It's now a quarter to two in the morning, and I sit down to finish this
with a heavy heart, and certainly no inclination for sleep. I don't know
where to begin, nor how to tell you, what has happened; but the short of
it is, Tom, I'm half ruined. Jellicot has been here for hours and gone
over the whole case; he received the papers from D. and V.; and, indeed,
everything considered, he has done the thing kindly and feelingly. I
'm sure my head would n't stand the task of telling you all the
circumstances; the matter resolves itself simply into this: The "affaire
de Dodd fils," instead of being James's duel, as I thought, is a series
of actions against him for debt, amounting to upwards of two thousand
pounds sterling! There is not an extravagance, from the ballet to the
betting-book, that he has not tasted; and saddle-horses, suppers,
velvet waistcoats, jewelry, and gimcracks are at this moment dancing an
infernal reel through my poor brain.

He has contrived, in less than three months, to condense and concentrate
wickedness enough for a lifetime; this is technically called "going
fast." Egad, I should say it's a pace far too quick to last with any
man, much less with the son of a broken-down Irish gentleman! You would
not believe that the boy could know the very names of the things that he
appears to have reckoned as mere necessaries of daily life; and how he
contrived to raise money and contract loans--a thing that has been a
difficulty to myself all my life long--is clean beyond me to explain. I
'll get a copy of the "claims" and send it over to you, and I feel that
your astonishment will equal my own. It would appear that the young
vagabond talked as if the Barings were his next of kin, and actually
took delight in squandering money! Only think! all the time I believed
he was hard at work at his French lessons, it was rattling a dice-box
he was, and his education for the Board of Trade was going on in the
side-scenes of the opera! Vickars has been the cause of all this. If
he 'd have kept his promise, the boy wonld n't have been rained with
rascally companions and spendthrift associates.

Where's the money to come from, Tom? Have you any device in your head to
get us out of this scrape? I suppose some, at least, of the demands will
admit of abatement, and Lazarus, they say, always takes a fourth of
his claim. You can estimate the pleasant game of cross-purposes I was
playing all yesterday with the Court of Cassation, and what a chaotic
mass of rubbish the field of Waterloo and the duel must have appeared in
an action for debt! But why did n't they apprise me of what I was
there for? Why did they go on with their ridiculous demand, "Racontez
l'affaire"? Recount what? What should I know of the nefarious dealings
of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego? They torment me for six weeks by
a daily examination, till it would be nothing singular if I became
monomaniac, and could discuss no other theme than a duel and a gunshot
wound, and then, without the slightest suggestion of a change, they
launch me into a thing like a Court of Bankruptcy!

It appears that I have been committed for three days for my "contempt,"
and before that time elapses, there is no 'resource in Belgian law to
compel them to bring up the body of Kenny Dodd; so that here I must
stay, "chewing," as the poet says, "the cud of sweet and bitter fancy."
Not that I have not a great deal of business to transact in this
interval. Jellicot's papers would fill a cart; besides which, I have in
contemplation a letter for Mrs. D. that will, I suspect, astonish her. I
mean briefly, but clearly, to place before her the state we are in,
and her own share in bringing us to it. I'll let her feel that her own
extravagance has given the key-note to the family, and that she alone is
to blame for this calamity. Among the many fine things promised me for
coming abroad, she forgot to say that I was to be like Silvio Pellico;
but _I_ 'll not forget it, Tom!

Then, I have an epistle special for James. He shall feel that he has a
share in the general ruin; for I will write to Vickars, and ask for a
commission for him in a black regiment, or an appointment in the Cape
Mounted Rifles,--what old Burrowes used to call the Blessed Army of
Martyrs. I don't care a jot where he goes! But he 'll find it hard to
give suppers at four pound a head in the Gambia, and ballet-dancers will
scarcely be costly acquaintances on the banks of the Niger! And lastly,
I mean to threaten a return to Ireland! "Only threaten," you say: "why
not do it in earnest?" As I told you before, I'm not equal to it! I
've pluck for anything that can be done by one effort, but I have not
strength for a prolonged conflict. I could better jump off the Tarpeian
rock than I could descend a rugged mountain! Mrs. D. knows this so well
that whenever I show fight, she lays down her parallels so quietly, and
prepares for a siege with such deliberation, that I always surrender
before she brings up her heavy guns. Don't prate to me of pusillanimity
and cowardice! Nobody is brave with his wife. From the Queen of Sheba
down to the Duchess of Marlborough, ay, and to our own days, if I liked
to quote instances, history teaches the same lesson. What chance have
you with one that has been studying every weak point, and every frailty
of your disposition, for, maybe, twenty years? Why, you might as well
box with your doctor, who knows where to plant the blow that will be the
death of you.

I have another "dodge," too, Tom,--don't object to the phrase, for it's
quite parliamentary; see Bernai Osborne, _passim_. I 'll tell Mrs. D.
that I 'll put an advertisement in "Galignani," cautioning the public
against giving credit to her, or her son, or her daughters; that the
Dodd family is come abroad especially for economy, and has neither
pretension to affluence, nor any claim to be thought rich. If that won't
frighten her, my name is not Kenny! The fact is, Tom, I intend to pursue
a very brave line of action for the three days I'm "in," since she
cannot have access to me without my own request. You understand me.

I cannot bring my mind to answer your questions about Dodsborough; my
poor head is too full of its own troubles. They 've just brought me
my breakfast,--prison fare,--for in my indignation I have refused all
other. Little I used to think, while tasting the jail diet at home,
as one of the visitors, that I'd ever be reduced to eating it on less
experimental grounds!

I must reserve all my directions about home affairs for my next; but
bestir yourself to raise this money for us. Without some sort of a
compromise we cannot leave this; and I am as anxious to "evacuate
Flanders" as ever was Uncle Toby! Captain Morris told me, the other
day, of a little town in Germany where there are no English, and where
everything can be had for a song. The cheapness and the isolation would
both be very advisable just now. I 'll get the name of it before I write
next.

By the way, Morris is a better fellow than I used to think him: a little
priggish or so, but good-hearted at bottom, and honest as the sun. I
think he has an eye on Mary Anne. Not that at present he 'd have much
chance in that quarter. These foreign counts and barons give a false
glitter to society that throws into the shade all untitled gentility;
and your mere country gentleman beside them is like your mother's
old silver teapot on a table with a show specimen of Elkington's new
galvanic plate. Not but if you wanted to raise a trifle of money on
either, the choice would be very difficult.

I 'll keep anything more for another letter, and now sign myself

Your old and attached friend,

Kenny I. Dodd. Petits Cabmes, Brussels, Tuesday Morning.



LETTER XII. MRS. DODD TO MISTRESS MARY GALLAGHER, DODSBOROUGH

Dear Molly,--The blessed Saints only can tell what sufferings I have
gone through the last two days, and it's more than I 'm equal to, to say
how it happened! The whole family has been turned topsy and turvy, and
there's not one of us is n't upside down; and for one like me, that
loves to live in peace and enmity with all mankind, this is a sore
trial!

Many 's the time you heard me remark that if it was n't for K. I.'s
temper, and the violence of his passion, that we 'd be rich and well off
this day. Time, they say, cures many an evil; but I 'll tell you one,
Molly, that it never improves, and that is a man's wilful nature; on
the contrary, they only get more stubborn and cross-grained, and I often
think to myself, what a blessed time one of the young creatures must
have had of it, married to some patriarch in the Old Testament; and then
I reflect on my own condition,--not that Kenny Dodd is like anything in
the Bible! And now to tell you, if I 'm able, some of my distresses.

You have heard about poor dear James, and how he was shot; but you don't
know that these last six weeks he has never been off his back, with
three doctors, and sometimes five-and-thirty leeches on him; and what
with the torturing him with new-fashioned instruments, and continued
"repletion," as they call it,--if it had n't been for strong wine-gruel
that I gave him, at times, "unknownst,"--my sure belief is that he would
n't have been spared to us. This has been a terrible blow, Molly; but
the ways of Providence is unscrupulous, and we must submit.

Here it is, then. James, like every boy, spent a little more money than
he had, and knowing well his father's temper, he went to the Jews to
help him. They smarted the poor dear child, who, in his innocent heart,
knew nothing of the world and its wicked ways. They made him take
all kinds of things instead of cash,--Dutch tiles, paving-stones, an
altar-piece, and a set of surveying-tools, amongst the rest; and these
he had to sell again to raise a trifle of cash. Some of them he disposed
of mighty well,--particularly the altar-piece,--but on others he lost a
good deal, and, at the end, was a heavy balance in debt. If it had n't
been for the duel, however, he says he 'd have no trouble at all in
"carrying on,"--that's his own word, and I suppose alludes to the
business. Be that as it may, his wound was his ruin. Nobody knew how
to manage his affairs but himself. It was the very same way with my
grandfather, Maurice Lynch McCarthy; for when he died there wasn't a
soul left could make anything of his papers. There was large sums in
them,--thousands and thousands of pounds mentioned,--but where they
were, and what's become of them, we never discovered.

And so with James. There he was, stretched on his bed, while villains
and schemers were working his ruin! The business came into the courts
here, which, from all I can learn, Molly, are not a bit better than at
home with ourselves. Indeed, I believe, wherever one goes, lawyers is
just the same for roguery and rampacity. To be sure, it 's comfort to
think that you can have another, to the full as bad as the one against
you; and if there is any abuse or bad language going, you can give it as
hot as you get it; that's equal justice, Molly, and one of the proudest
boasts of the British constitution! And you 'd suppose that K. I.,
sitting on the bench for nigh four-and-twenty years, would know that
as well as anybody. Yet what does he do?--you 'll not believe me when I
tell you! Instead of paying one of these creatures to go in and torment
the others, to pick holes in all he said, and get fellows to swear
against them, he must stand out, forsooth, and be his own lawyer! And
a blessed business he made of it! A reasonable man would explain to the
judges how it all was,--that James was a child; that it was the other
day only he was flying a kite on the lawn at home; that he knew as much
about wickedness as K. I. did of paradise; that the villains that led
him on ought to be publicly whipped! Faith, I can fancy, Molly, it was a
beautiful field for any man to display every commotion of the heart; but
what does he do? He gets up on his legs,--I did n't see, but I 'm told
it,--he gets up on his legs and begins to ballyrag and blackguard all
the courts of justice, and the judges, and the attorneys, down to the
criers,--he spares nobody! There is nothing too dreadful for him to say,
and no words too bad to express it in; till, their patience being all
run out, they stop him at last, and give orders to have him taken from
the spot, and thrown into a dungeon of the town jail,--a terrible old
place, Molly, that goes by the name of the "Petit Carême!" and where
they say the diet is only a thin sheet of paper above starving.

[Illustration: 152]

And there he is now, Molly; and you may picture to yourself, as the poet
says, "what frame he's in"! The news reached me when we were going to
the play. I was under the hands of the hairdresser, and I gave such a
screech that he jumped back, and burned himself over the mouth with the
curling-irons. Even that was a relief to me, Molly; for Mary Anne and
myself laughed till we cried again!

I was for keeping the thing all snug and to ourselves about K. I.;
but Mary Anne said we should consult Lord George, that was then in the
house, and going with us to the theatre. They are a wonderful people,
the great English aristocracy; and if it's anything more than another
distinguishes them, 't is the indifference to every kind and description
of misfortune. I say this, because, the moment Lord George heard the
story, he lay down on the sofa, and laughed and roared till I thought he
'd split his sides. His only regret was that he had n't been there, in
the courts, to see it all. As for James's share of the trouble, he said
it "didn't signify a rush!"

He made the same remark I did myself,--that James was the same as an
infant, and could, consequently, know nothing of the world and its
pompous vanities.

"I 'll tell you how to manage it all," said he, "and how you 'll not
only escape all gossip, but actually refute even the slightest scandal
that may get abroad. Say, first of all, that Mr. Dodd is gone over to
England--we 'll put it in the 'Galignani'--to attend his Parliamentary
duties. The Belgian papers will copy it at once. This being done, issue
invitations for an evening at home, 'tea and dance,'--that's the way to
do it. Say that the governor hates a ball, and that you are just taking
the occasion of his absence to see your friends without disturbing
_him_. The people that will come to you won't be too critical about
the facts. Believe me, the gay company will be the very last to inquire
where is the head of the house. I 'll take care that you 'll have
everybody worth having in Brussels, and with Latour's band, and the
supper by Dubos, I 'd like to see who 'll have a spare thought for Mr.
Dodd the absent."

I own to you, Molly, the counsel shocked my feelings at first, and I
asked my heart, "What will the world say, if it ever comes out that we
had our house full of company, and the height of gayety going on, when
the head of the family was, maybe, in chains in a dungeon?" "Don't you
perceive," says Lord G., "that what I 'm advising will just prevent the
possibility of all that,--that you are actually rescuing your family, by
a master-stroke, from the evil consequences of Mr. D.'s rashness? As
to the boldness of the policy," added he, "that is the only merit it
possesses." And then he said something about the firing at St. Sebastian
above somebody's head, that I didn't quite lightly understand. The
upshot was, Molly, I was convinced, not, you may be sure, that I felt
any pleasure or gratification in the prospect of a ball under such
trying circumstances, but just as Lord G. said, I felt I was "rescuing
the family."

When we came home, from the play,--for we went with heavy hearts, I
assure you, though we afterwards laughed a great deal,--we set about
writing the invitations for "Our Evening;" and although James and Mary
Anne assisted Lord G., it was nigh daybreak when we were done. You 'll
ask, where was Caroline? And you might well ask; but as long as I live
I 'll never forget her unnatural conduct! It is n't that she opposed
everything about the ball, but she had the impudence to say to my face
"that hitherto we had been only ridiculous, but that this act would be
one of downright shame and disgrace." Her language to Lord George was
even worse, for she told him that his "counsel was a very sorry requital
for the generous hospitality her father had always extended to him."
Where the hussey got the words so glibly, I can't imagine; but she, that
rarely speaks at all, talked away with the fluency of a lawyer. As to
helping us to address the notes, she vowed she 'd rather cut her fingers
off; and what made this worse was, that she's the only one of them knows
the genders in French, and whether a _soirée_ is a man or a woman!

You may imagine the trouble of the next day; for in order to have the
ball come off before K. I. was out, we were only able to give two days'
notice. Little the people that come to your house to dance or to sup
know or think what a deal of trouble--not to say more--it costs to give
a ball. Lord George tells me that even the Queen herself always gives
it in another house, so she 's not put out of her way with the
preparations,--and, to be sure, what is more natural?--and that she
would n't like to be exposed to the turmoil of taking down beds, hanging
lustres, fixing sconces, raising a platform for the music, and settling
tables for the supper. I 'm sure and certain, if she only knew what it
was to pass such a day as yesterday was with me, she 'd never have a
larger party than that lord that's always in waiting, and the ladies of
the bedroom! As for regular meals, Molly, we had none. There was a ham
and cold chickens in the lobby, and a veal pie and some sherry on the
back stairs; and that's the way we breakfasted, dined, and supped. To
be sure, we laughed heartily all the time, and I never saw Mary Anne in
such spirits. Lord George was greatly struck with her,--I saw it by his
manner,--and I would n't be a bit surprised if something came of it yet!

I have little time to say more now, for I 'm called down to see the
flowerpots and orange-trees that's to line the hall and the stairs; but
I 'll try and finish this by post hour.

As I see that this cannot be despatched to-day, I 'll keep it over,
to give you a "full and true" account of the ball, which Lord George
assures me will be the greatest _fête_ Brussels has seen this winter;
and, indeed, if I am to judge from the preparations, I can well believe
him! There are seven men cooks in the kitchen making paste and drinking
sherry in a way that's quite incredible, not to speak of an elderly man
in my own room that's doing the M'Carthy arms in spun-sugar for a temple
that is to represent Dodsborough, in the middle of the table, with K.
I. on the top of it, holding a flag, and crying out something in French
that means welcome to the company. Poor K. I., 'tis something else he's
thinking of all the time!

Then, the whole stairs and the landing is all one bower of camellias
and roses and lilies of the valley, brought all the way from Holland for
another ball, but, by Lord George's ingenuity, obtained by us. As for
ice, Molly, you 'd think my dressing-room was a Panorama of the North
Pole; and there's every beast of that region done in strawberries or
lemon, with native creatures, the color of life, in coffee or chocolate.
The music will be the great German Brass Band, fifty-eight performers,
and two Blacks with cymbals. They 're practising now, and the noise
is dreadful! Carts are coming in every moment with various kinds of
eatables, for I must tell you, Molly, they don't do things here the
way we used at Dodsborough. Plenty of cold roast chickens, tongues, and
sliced ham, apple-pies, tarts, jelly, and Spanish flummery, with Naples
biscuits and a plum-cake, is a fine supper in Ireland; and if you begin
with sherry, you can always finish with punch: but here there's nothing
that ever was eaten they won't have. Ice when they 're hot, soup when
they 're chilly, oyster patties and champagne continually during
the dancing, and every delicacy under the sun afterwards on the
supper-table.

There's nothing distresses me in it all but the Polka, Molly. I can't
learn it. I always slide when I ought to hop, and where there 's a hop
I duck down in spite of me! And whether it's the native purity of an
Irishwoman, or that I never was reared to it, I can't say; but the
notion of a man's arm round me keeps me in a flutter, and I 'm always
looking about to see how K. I. bears it. I suppose, however, I 'll get
through it well enough, for Lord George is to be my partner; and as I
know K. I.'s "safe," my mind is more easy.

Perhaps it's the shortness of the invitation, but there's a great many
apologies coming in. The English Ambassador won't come. Lord G. says
it's all the better, for the Tories are going out, and it will be a
great service to K. I. with the Whigs if it's thought he did n't invite
him! This may be true, but it's no reason in life for the Austrian, the
French, the Prussian, and the Spanish Ministers sending excuses.
Lord George, however, thinks it's the terrible state of the Continent
explains it all, and the Despotic Powers are so angry with Lord Dudley
Stuart and Roebuck that they like to insult the English! If it be so,
they haven't common-sense. Kenny James has taken a turn with all their
parties, and much good it has done him!

Lord G. and Mary Anne are in high spirits, notwithstanding these
disappointments, for "the Margravine" is coming,--at least, so he
tells me; but whether the Margravine be a man or woman, Molly, or only
something to eat, I don't rightly know, and I 'm ashamed to ask.

I have just been greatly provoked by a visit from Captain Morris, who
called twice this morning, and at last insisted on seeing me. He came to
entreat me, he says, "if not to abandon, at least to put off, our
ball till Mr. Dodd's return." I tried to browbeat him, Molly, for his
impertinent interference, but it would n't do; and he showed me that he
knew perfectly well where K. I. was,--a piece of information that, of
course, he obtained from Caroline. Oh, Molly dear, when one's own flesh
and blood turns against them,--when children forget all the lessons you
've been teaching them from infancy,--it's a sore, sore trial! Not but I
have reason to be thankful. Mary Anne and James are like part of
myself; nothing mean or little-minded about _them_, but fine, generous,
confiding creatures,--happy for to-day, hopeful for to-morrow!

When I mentioned to Lord G. what Morris came about, he only laughed, and
said, "It was a clever dodge of the half-pay,--he wanted an invitation;"
and I see now that such must have been his object. The more one sees of
mankind, the greater appears their meanness; and in my heart I feel how
unsuited guileless, simple-hearted creatures like myself are to combat
against the stratagems and ambuscades of this wicked world. Not that
little Morris will gain much by his morning's work, for Mary Anne says
that Lord George will never suffer him to get on full pay as long as he
lives. "A friend in need is a friend indeed," Molly, more particularly
when he's a lord.

The Margravine is a princess, Molly. I 've just found it out; for James
is to receive her at the foot of the stairs, Mary Anne and myself on
the lobby. Lord G. says she must have whist at half-"Nap." points, and
always play with her own "Gentleman-in-Waiting." She never goes out on
any other conditions. But he says, "She 's cheap even at that price, for
an occasion like the present;" and maybe he's right.

No more now, for my gown is come to be tried on.

*****

*****

Dear Molly, I'll try and finish this, since, maybe, it's the last lines
you 'll ever receive from your attached friend. Three days have elapsed
since I put my hand to paper, and three such days, I 'll be bound, no
human creature ever passed. Out of one fit of hysterics into another,
and taking the strongest stimulants, with no more effect than if
they were water! My screeches, I am told, were dreadful, and there 's
scarcely one of the family can't show the mark of my nails; and this is
what K. I. has brought me to. _You_ know well what I used to suffer
from him at Dodsborough, and the terrible scenes we always had when
the Christmas bills came in; but it's all nothing, Molly, to what has
happened here. But as my Uncle Joe said, no good ever came out of a
"mess-alliance."

My moments are few so I 'll be brief. The ball was beautiful, Molly;
there never was the like of it for elegance and splendor! For great
names, rank, fashion, beauty, and jewels, it was, they tell me, far
beyond the Court, because we had a great many people who, from political
reasons, refuse to go to Leopold, but who had no prejudices against your
humble servant; for, strange enough, they have Orangemen here as well
as in Ireland! Princes, dukes, counts, and generals came pouring in, all
shining with stars and crosses, blue and red ribbons, and keys worked
on their coat-tails, till nearly twelve o'clock. There were, then,
nigh seven hundred souls in the house, eating, dancing, drinking, and
enjoying themselves; and a beautiful sight it was: everybody happy, and
thinking only of pleasure. Mary Anne looked elegant, and many remarked
that we must be sisters. Oh dear, if they only saw me now!

There was a mazurka that lasted till half-past one, for it's a dance
that everybody must take out each in turn, and you 'd fancy there was
no end to it, for, indeed, they never do seem tired of embracing and
holding each other round the waist; but Lord George came to say that the
Margravine had finished her whist and wanted her supper, so down we must
go at once.

James was to take her Supreme Highness, and the Prince of Dammiseisen--a
name that always made me laugh--was to take me; but he is a great man
in Germany, and had a kingdom of his own till he was "modified" by
Bonaparte, which means, as Lord George says, that "he took it out in
money." But why do I dwell on these things? Down we went, Molly,--down
the narrow stairs,--for the supper was laid out below; and a terrible
crush it was, for, strange as it may seem, your grand people are just as
anxious to get good places as any; and I saw a duke fighting his way in,
just like old Ted Davis at Dodsborough!

When we came to the last flight of stairs, the crowd was awful, and the
banisters creaked, and the wood-work groaned, so that I thought it was
going to give way; and instead of James moving on in front, he pressed
back upon us, and increased the confusion, for we were forced forward by
hundreds behind us.

"What's the matter, James?" said I. "Why don't you goon?"

"I 'd rather be excused," said he. "It 's like Donnybrook Fair, down
there,--a regular shindy!"

It was no less, Molly; for although the hall was filled with servants,
there were two men armed with sticks, laying about them like mad, and
fighting their way towards the supper-room.

"Who are those wretches?" cried I; "why don't they turn them out?"

The words weren't well out, my dear Molly, when the door gave way, and
the two, trampling down all before them, passed into the room. From that
moment it was crash after crash! Lamps, lustres, china, glass, plates,
dishes, fruit, and confectionery flying on all sides! In less time than
I 'm writing it, the table was cleared, and of the elegant temple there
wasn't a bit standing. I just got inside the door to see the McCarthy
arms in smithereens! and K. I.--for it was him!--dancing over them, with
that little blackguard Paddy Byrne smashing everything round him! I went
off into fits, Molly, and never saw more; and, indeed, I wish with all
my heart that I never came to again, if what they tell me be only true.
K. I., it seems, no sooner demolished the supper than he set to work on
the company. He snatched off the Margravine's wig, and beat her with it,
kicking Dammiseisen and two other princes into the street. They say that
many of the nobility leaped out of the first-pair windows, and one fat
old gentleman, a chamberlain to the King of Bavaria, was caught by a
lamp iron, and hung there for twenty minutes, with a mob shouting round
him!

This all came of the Belgians letting out K. I. at one o'clock, which,
according to their reckoning, was the end of his three days.

I 'm getting another attack, so I must conclude. We left Brussels the
next morning, and arrived here the same night. I don't know where we are
going, and I don't care. K. I. has never had the face to come near me
since his infamous conduct, and I hope, for the little time I may be
spared on this side of the grave, not to see him again. Mary Anne is in
bed, too, and nearly as bad as myself; and as for Caroline, I wouldn't
let her into the room! Lord George took James away to his own lodgings
till K. I. learns to behave more like a Christian; but when that may be
is utterly beyond

Your afflicted and disgraced friend,

Jemima Dodd.


Hôtel d'Angleterre, Liège.

Dear Molly, I open this to say that I have made my will; for, if Divine
Providence doesn't befriend me, your poor Jemima will be in paradise
before this reaches you! I have left you my black satin with the bugles,
and my brown bombazine, which, when it is dyed, will be very nice
mourning for common wear. I also bequeath to you the things you 'll find
in the oak press in my own room, and ten silver spoons, and a fish-knife
marked with the McCarthy arms, which, not to be too particular, I have
put down in the will as "plate and linen." I leave you, besides, my book
of "Domestic Cookery," "The Complete Housewife," and the "Way to Glory,"
by St. Francis Xavier. There are marks all through them with my own
pen; and be particular to observe the receipt for snow pancakes, and the
prayers for a "Plenary" after Candlemas.

It will be a comfort to your feelings to know that I am departing from
this life in peace and charity with every one. Tell Mat I forgive him
the fleece he stole out of the hayloft; and though he swears still he
never laid hand on it, who else was there, Molly? You can give Kitty
Hogan the old shoes in the closet, for, though she never wears any, she
'd like to have them for keepsakes! K. I. cared too little for my peace
here to suppose that he will think of my repose hereafter, so that
Father John can take the yearling calf and the two ewes out in masses!
My feelings is overcoming me, Molly, and I can't go on!--breathing my
last, as I am, in a far-away land, and sinking under the cruelty of a
hard-hearted man!

I think it would only be a decent mark of respect to my family if the
M'Carthy arms was hung up over the door, to show I was n't a Dodd. The
crest is an angel sheltering a fox, or a beast like a fox, under his
wing; but you 'll see it on the spoons. When you sell the piggs--maybe I
ought n't to put two g's in them, but my head is wandering--pay old
Judy Cobb two-and-sevenpence for the yarn, and say that I won't stop the
ninepence out of Betty's wages. Maybe, when I 'm gone, they 'll begin to
see what they 've lost, and maybe E. I. will feel it too, when he finds
no buttons on his shirts and the strings out of his waistcoat; and
what's far worse, nobody to contradict him, and control his wilful
nature! That's the very struggle that's killing me now! Nobody knows,
nor would believe, the opposition I 've given him for twenty years. But
_he_ 'll feel it, Molly, and that before I'm six weeks in the grave.

I don't know my age to a day or a month, but you can put me down at
thirty-nine, and maybe the "Blast of Freedom" would say a word or
two about my family. I 'd like that far better than to be "deeply
regretted," or "to the inexpressible grief of her bereaved relations."

I have made it a last request that my remains are to be sent home, and
as I know K. I. won't go to the expense, he'll have to bear all the
disgrace of neglecting my dying entreaty. That's my legacy to him,
Molly; and if it's not a very profitable one, the "duty" will not be
heavy.

Remember me affectionately to everybody, and say that to the last my
heart was in my own country; and indeed, Molly, I never did hear so much
good about Ireland as since we left it!

I have just taken a draught that has restored me wonderfully. It has a
taste of curaçoa, and evidently suits my constitution. Maybe Providence,
in his mercy, means to reserve me for more trials and misfortunes; for
I feel stronger already, and am going to taste a bit of roast duck, with
sage and onions. Betty has done it for me herself.

If I do recover, Molly, I promise you K. I. won't find me the poor
submissive worm he has been trampling upon these more than twenty years!
I feel more like myself already; the "mixture" is really doing me good.

You may write to me to this place, with directions to be opened by Mary
Anne, if I 'm no more. The very thought of it overwhelms me. The idea of
one's own death is the most terrible of all afflictions; and as for me,
I don't think I could ever survive it.

I mean to send for K. I., to take leave of him, and forgive him,
before I go. I 'm not sure that I 'd do so, Molly, if it wasn't for the
opportunity of telling him my mind about all his cruelty to me, and that
I know well what he's at, and that he'll be married again before six
months. That's the treachery of men; but there's one comfort,--they are
well paid off for it when they marry--as they always do--some young minx
of nineteen or twenty. It's exactly what K. I. is capable of; and I mean
to show him that I see it, and all the consequences besides.

The mixture is really of service to me, and I feel as if I could take a
sleep. Mary Anne will seal this if I 'm not awake before post hour. #



LETTER XIII. FROM K. I. DODD TO THOMAS PURCELL, ESQ., OF THE GRANGE, BRUFF

Liège, Tuesday Evening.

My dear Tom,--Your reproaches are all just, but I really have not had
courage to wield a pen these last three weeks, nor have I now patience
to go back on the past. Perhaps when we meet--if ever that good time
is to come round again--I may be able to tell you something of my final
exit from Brussels; but now with the shame yet fresh, and the disgrace
recent, I cannot find pluck for it.

Here we are at what they call the "Pavilion," having changed from the
Hotel d'Angleterre yesterday. You must know, Tom, that this same city
of Liège is the noisiest, most dinning, hammering, hissing, clanking,
creaking, welding, smelting, and furnace-roaring town in Europe.
Something like a hundred thousand tinkers are at work every day; and
from an egg saucepan to a steam-boiler there is something to be hammered
at by every capacity!

You would say that tumult like this might satisfy the most craving
appetite for uproar; but not so: the Liégeois are regular gluttons for
noise, and they insist upon having Verdi's new opera of "Nabuchodonosor"
performed at their great theatre. Now, this same theatre is exactly
in front of the Hôtel d'Angleterre, so that when, by dint of time,
patience, and a partial dulness of the acoustic nerves, we were getting
used to steam-factories and shot-foundries, down comes Verdi on us,
with a din and clangor to which even the works of Seraing were like
an _Æolian_ harp! Now, of all the Pretenders of these days of especial
humbug, with our "Long ranges," Morison's pills and Louis Napoleons, I
don't think you could show me a greater charlatan than this same Verdi.
I don't pretend to know a bit about music; I only knew two tunes all my
life, "God save the King" and "Patrick's Day," and these only because
we used to stand up and take off our hats to them in the Dublin theatre;
but modulated, soft sounds have always had their effect on me, and I
never heard a country girl singing as she beetled her linen beside a
river's bank, or listened to the deep bay of an old fox-hound of a clear
winter's morning, without feeling that there was something inside of
me somewhere that responded to the note. But this fellow is all
marrow-bones and cleavers! Trumpets, drums, big fiddles, and bassoons
are the softest things he knows. I take it as a providential thing that
his music cracks every voice after one season; for before long
there will be nobody left in Europe to sing him, except it be the
steam-whistle of an express-train!

But we live in strange times, Tom, that's the fact. The day was when
our operas used to be taken from real life,--or what authors and poets
thought was real life. We had the "Maid of the Mill," and the "Duenna,"
and "Love in a Village," and a score more, pleasant and amusing enough;
and except that there was nothing wrong or incomprehensible in them,
perhaps they might have stood their ground. There was the great failure,
Tom; everybody could understand them, and nobody need be shocked. Now,
the taste is, puzzle a great many, and shock every one!

A grand opera now must be from the Old Testament. Not even drums and
kettle-drums would save you, if you haven't Moses or Melchisedek to
sit down in white raiment, and see some twenty damsels, with petticoats
about as long as a lace ruffle, capering and attitudinizing in a way
that ought to make even a patriarch blush. Now, this is all wrong,
Tom. The public might be amused without profanity, and even the most
inveterate lover of dancing needn't ask David and Uriah for a _pas
de deux_. And now, let me remark to you, that a great deal of that
so-much-vaunted social liberty abroad is neither more nor less than this
same latitude with respect to any and every thing. We at home were
bred up to believe that good-breeding mainly consists in a certain
reserve,--a cautious deference not alone for the feelings, but even the
prejudices of others; that you have no right to offend your neighbor's
sense of respect for fifty things that you held cheaply yourself. They
reverse all this here. Everybody talks to you of yourself, ay, and of
your wife and your mother, as frankly as though they were characters
of the heathen mythology: they treat you like a third party in these
discussions, and very likely it was a practice of this kind originally
suggested the phrase of being "beside oneself."

You'll perhaps remark that my tone is very low and depressed, Tom; and I
own to you I feel so. For a man that came abroad to enjoy himself, I am,
to say the least, going a mighty strange way about it. The most rigid
moralist couldn't accuse me of my epicurism, for I seem to be husbanding
my Continental pleasures with a laudable degree of self-denial. Would
you like a peep at us? Well, Mrs. D. is over there in No. 19, in bed
with fourteen leeches on her temples, and a bottle as big as a black
jack of camphor and sal-volatile beside her as a kind of table beverage;
Mary Anne and Caroline are somewhere in the dim recesses of the same
chamber, silent, if they 're not sobbing; James is under lock and key in
No. 17, with Ollendorff's Method, and the Gospel of St. John in French;
and here am I, trying to indite a few lines, with blast furnaces and
brass instruments baying around me, and Paddy Byrne cleaning knives
outside the door!

[Illustration: 168]

Mrs. D.'s attack is not serious, but it is very distressing. She has got
the notion into her head that foreign apothecaries have a general pardon
for poisoning, and so she requires that some of us should always take
part of her physic before she touches it. The consequence is that I
have been going through a course of treatment that would have pushed an
elephant rather hard. I can stand some things pretty well; but what they
call réfrigérants, Tom, play the devil with me! and I am driven to
brandy and water to an extent that I can scarcely call myself quite
sober at any time of the day. Were we at home in Dodsborough, there
would be none of this; so that here, again, is another of the blessings
of our foreign experiences! Ah, Tom! it's all a mistake from beginning
to end. You would n't know your old friend if you saw him; and although
they've padded me out, and squeezed me in, I 'm not the man I used to
be!

You tell me that I'm not to expect any more money till November; but you
forgot to tell me how I 'm to live without it. We compromised with the
Jews for fifteen hundred.

Our "extraordinaries," as the officials would call them, amounted to
three more; so that, taking all things into account, we have been living
since April last at a trifle more than eleven thousand a year. It's a
mercy that when they sell a man out by the Encumbered Estates Court,
they ask no impertinent questions about how he contracted his debts. I
'd cut a sorry figure under such an examination.

We have begun the economy, Tom, and I hope that even you will be
satisfied; for although this place is detestable to me, here I 'll stay,
if my hearing can stand it, till winter. Mary Anne says we might as well
be in Birmingham, and my reply is, I'm quite ready to go there! I own to
you I have a kind of diabolical delight in seeing them all nonplussed.
There are neither dukes nor marquises here, neither princesses nor
ballet-dancers! The most reckless spendthrift could only ruin himself in
steam-boilers, gun-barrels, and kitchen-rauges; there's nothing softer
than cast-iron in the whole town.

Our rooms are in the third story. James and I dine at the public table.
Our only piece of extravagance is the doctor that attends Mrs. D.; and
if you saw him, you 'd scarcely give him the name of a luxury! I needn't
say that there is very little pleasure in all this; indeed, for anything
_I_ see, I think we might be leading the same kind of life in Kilmainham
Jail; and perhaps at last they 'll see this themselves, and consent to
return home.

I go out for an hour's walk every day, but it does me little good. My
usual stroll is to a shot factory, and back by a patent bolt and rivet
establishment; but this avoids the theatre, for I own to you Nabucco,
as they call him for shortness, shouts in a manner that makes me quite
irritable.

James never leaves his room; he's studying hard at last; and although
his health would be the better for a little exercise, I 'll just leave
him to himself. It's right he should pay some penalty for his late
conduct. As for the girls, Mary Anne is indignant with me, and only
comes to say good-morning and good-night; and Cary, though she tries
to look cheerful and happy, is evidently fretting in secret. Betty Cobb
takes less trouble to repress her feelings, and goes howling about the
hotel like a dog run over by the mail, and is always getting accompanied
by strange and inquisitive travellers, who insist upon hearing her
sorrows, and occasionally push their inquiries even as far as my room!

Paddy Byrne alone appears to have taken a philosophical view of his
position, for he has been drunk ever since we arrived. He usually sleeps
in the hall, on the stairs, or the lobbies; and although this saves the
cost of a bedroom, the economy is counterbalanced by occasional little
reprisals he takes, as stray gentlemen stumble over him with their
bedroom candles. At such moments he smashes lamps and china ornaments,
for which his wages will require a long sequestration to clear off. And
now a word about home. Our English tenant, you tell me, is getting
tired of Dodsborough; we guessed how it would be already. "He thinks the
people lazy"! Ask him, did he ever try to cut turf, with two meals of
wet potatoes per diem? "They are bigoted and superstitious too." How
much better would they be if they knew all about Lord Rosse's telescope?
"They won't give up their old barbarous ways." Is n't that the very
boast of the Conservative party? Is n't that what Disraeli is preaching
every day and every hour?--"Fall back upon this,--fall back upon
that,--think of the spirit of your ancestors." Now they say, our
ancestors yoked their horses by the tails to save a harness. It's rather
hard that all the "progress," as they call it, must begin with the poor.
It's a dead puzzle to me, Tom, to explain one thing. All the moralists,
from the earliest ages, keep crying up humility, and telling you that
true nobility of soul consists in self-denial and moderation, simple
tastes, and so on; and yet, what is the great reproach they bring
against Paddy? Is n't it that he is satisfied with the potato? There's
the head and front of his offence. That he does n't want beef, like the
Englishman,--nor soup and three courses, like "Mounseer"--nor sauerkraut
and roast veal, like a German; "cups and cold water" being the food of a
fellow that could thrash the whole three of them all round, and think it
mighty good fun besides.

Poor Dan used to say that he was the best abused man in Europe: but
I 'll tell you that the potato is the best abused vegetable in the
universal globe. From the "Times" down to the Scotch farmers, it's one
hue-and-cry after it,--"The filthy root"--"The disgusting tuber,"--"The
source of all Irish misery,"--"The father of famine, and mother of
fever,"--on they go, blackguarding the only food of the people, till at
last, as if it were a judgment on their bad tongues, it took to rot in
the ground, and left us with nothing to eat. Now, Tom, you know as well
as myself, Ireland is not a wheat country; it's one year in three that
we can raise a crop of it; for our climate is as treacherous as the
English Government. I hope you would n't have us live on oats, like the
Scotch; nor on Indian com, like the savages; so what is there like the
potato? And then, how easy the culture, and how simple the cookery! It
does well in every soil, and agrees well with every constitution.
It feeds the peasant, it fattens the pig, it rears the children, and
supports the chickens. What can compare with that?

Do you know that there's no cant of the day annoys me more than that cry
about model farming, and green crops, and rotations, and subsoiling, and
so on. The whole ingenuity of mankind would seem devoted to ascertaining
how much a bullock can eat, and how little will feed a laborer.
Stuff one and starve the other, and you may be the President of an
Agricultural Society, and Chairman of your Union. What treatises we have
upon stock, and improving the breed of boars! Will you tell me who ever
thought of turning the same attention to the condition of the people?
and I'm sure, if you go into the county Galway, you 'll soon acknowledge
that they need it. "Look at that lanky pig," calls out the Scotch
steward, in derision; "his snout and his legs are fit for a greyhound!"
But I say, "Look at Paddy, there. His neck is shrivelled and knotted,
like an old vine-tree; his back rounded, and his legs crooked; all for
want of care and nourishment. Is all your sympathy to be kept for the
sheep, and have you none for the shepherd?"

I made some memorandums for you about Belgian farming, but Mary Anne
curled her hair with them. It's no loss to you, however, for their
system would n't do with us. Small tenures and spade husbandry do mighty
well here, because there are great cities within a few miles of each
other, and agriculture takes somewhat the character of market gardening;
but their success would be far different were there long distances to be
traversed with the produce.

This country is certainly prospering; but I 'm not so certain that it
can continue to do so.' Their industry is now stimulated to a high state
of productiveness, because they are daily extending their railroads; but
there must come an end to that, and it strikes me that a country that
only deals with itself is pretty much what the adage says of the "man
that is his own doctor." They are now, however, enjoying what your
political economists all agree in pronouncing to be the great test of
prosperity. Everything has nearly doubled in price: house rent, meat,
vegetables, wages, clothes, luxuries of all kind, and, of course,
taxation. I own to you I never clearly understood this problem; it
always seemed to me as if a whole population took to walk upon stilts,
for the pleasure of thinking themselves nine feet high.

These matters put me in mind of Vickars. I now see that I was wrong in
not going over to the election. His tone is quite changed, and he writes
to me as if I were a deputation from the distressed hand-loom weavers.
He acknowledges mine of the 5th ult, and he deplores, and regrets, and
feels constrained to remind me, and so on, ending with being "humble and
obedient,"--two things that I believe his own mother never found him.
The fact is, Tom, he's in Parliament, and he is a Lord of the Treasury,
and he does n't care a brass farthing for one of us. Do you remark how
the Ministerial papers praise the Government for promoting Irishmen?
It is not on the ground of their superior capacity for office, their
readiness and natural ability. Nothing of the kind; it is simply the
unbounded generosity of the administration, and perhaps as a proof of
their humility! They put an Irishman in the Cabinet, just as the Roman
Conqueror took a slave in his chariot, to show that they don't intend to
forget themselves!

I wish "Punch" would make a picture of it. Pat with his pipe in his
mouth beside the Premier; the roguish leer of the eye, the careless ease
of his crossed legs, and smallclothes open at the knee, would be a grand
contrast to the high-bred air of his companion.

Don't bother me any more about the salmon weirs; make the best bargain
you can, and I 'll be satisfied. It appears to me, however, the more
laws we have, the less fish we catch. In my father's time there was no
legislation at all, and salmon was a penny a pound. The fish seem to
hate Acts of Parliament just as much as ourselves. And, talking of that,
I 'm glad we 're out of our scrape with the Yankees.

Depend upon it, all the cod that ever was salted would n't pay for
one collision. It would n't be like any other war, Tom, for French
and Russians, Austrians and Italians, have each their separate
peculiarities,--giving certain advantages in certain situations; but
we--that is, English and Americans--fight exactly in the same way.
Each knows every dodge of the other,--long sixty-fives and thirty-twos,
boarders, riflemen, riggers,--all alike. It 's the old story of the
Kilkenny cats, and I'm greatly afraid our "tail" would be nearly as much
mauled as Jonathan's.

The longer I live, the nearer I find myself drawing to these Yankees;
and I 've some notion of going over there to have a look at them. They
tell me that the worst thing about them is the air of gravity, even of
depression, that prevails,--a strange fault, considering how many Irish
there are amongst them; but I suppose Paddy is like the rest of the
world, and he loses his fun when he gets prosperous. There was Tom
Martin, that went our circuit, and there was n't as pleasant a fellow
at the bar till he got into business. There was no good asking him
to dinner after that; as he owned himself, "he kept his jokes for his
clients." Now, there may be something like this the case in America; at
all events, Tom, I 'd have one advantage there,--I 'd know the language,
what I 'm never likely to do here; not but I'm doing my best every day
at the _table d'hôte_; occasionally, perhaps, with some sacrifice of the
"propers;" but as a foreigner is too polite to laugh, the stranger has
little chance to learn. For my own part, I 'd rather they 'd tell me
when I was wrong, and give me some hope of going right I 'd think it
more friendly of a man to say, "Kenny Dodd, you 're going into a hole,"
than if he smiled and simpered, and assured me that I was in the middle
of the path, and getting on beautifully.

And there isn't any good-nature in it; not a bit. It's not
good-heartedness, nor kindness, nor amiability. I don't believe a word
of it; because the chap that does it isn't thinking of you at all,--he
's only minding himself; he 's fancying how he 's delighting you, or
captivating your wife or your sister-in-law; or, if it's a woman, she
wants to fascinate or make a fool of you.

The real and essential difference between us and all foreigners is that
they are always thinking of what effect they are producing; they never
for a single moment forget that there is an audience. Now we, on the
contrary, never remember it. Life with them is a drama, in all the blaze
of wax-lights and a crowded house; with us, it's a day-rehearsal, and
we slip about, mumbling our parts, getting through the performance,
unmindful of all but our own share in it.

More than half of what is attributed to rudeness and unsociality in us,
springs out of the simple fact that we do not care to obtrude even our
politeness when there seems no need of it. _Our_ civilities are like a
bill of exchange, that must represent value one day or other. _Theirs_
are like the gilt markers on a card-table: they have a look of money
about them, but are only counterfeit. Perhaps this may explain why our
women like the Continent so much better than ourselves. All this mock
interchange of courtesy amuses and interests _them_; it only worries
_us_.

To come back to Vickars. He 'll do nothing for James. His "own list is
quite full;" he "has mentioned his name," he says, "to the Secretary for
the Colonies," and will speak of him "at the Home Office." But I know
what that means. The party is safe for the present, and don't need our
dirty voices for many a day to come. It's distressing me to find out
what to do with him. Can you get me any real information about the gold
diggings? Is it a thing that would suit him? His mother, I know well,
would never consent to the notion of his working with his hands; but,
upon my conscience, if it's his head he's to depend on, he'll fare
worse! He is very good-looking, six foot one and a half, strong as a
young bull; and to ride an unbroken horse, drive a fresh team, to shoot
a snipe, or book a salmon, I 'll back him against the field. I hear,
besides, he 's a beautiful cue at billiards. But what's the use of all
these at the Board of Trade, if he had even the luck to get there?
Many 's the time I 've heard poor old Lord Kilmahon say that an Irish
education was n't worth a groat for England; and I now see the force of
the remark.

Not but he 's working hard every day, with French and fortification and
military surveying, with a fine old officer that served in the wars of
the Empire,--Captain de la Bourdonaye,--a regular old soldier of Bony's
day, that hates the English as much as any Irishman going. He comes and
sits with me now and then of an evening, but there 's not much society
in it, since we can't understand each other. We have a bottle of rum and
some cigars between us, and our conversation goes on somewhat in this
fashion:--

"Help yourself, Mounseer."

A grin and bow, and something mumbled between his teeth.

"Take a weed?"

We smoke.

"James is getting on well, I hope? Mon fils James improving, eh? Grand
general one of these days, eh?"

"Oui, oui." Fills and drinks.

"Another Bonaparte, I suppose?"

"Ah! le grand homme" Wipes his eyes, and looks up to the ceiling.

"Well, we thrashed him for all that! Faith, we made him dance in Spain
and Portugal. What do you say to Talavera and Vittoria?"

Swears like a trooper, and rattles out whole volumes of French, with
gestures that are all but blows. I wait till it 's over, and just say
"Waterloo!"

This nearly drives him crazy, and he forgets to put water in his glass;
and off he goes about Waterloo in a way that's dreadful to look at. I
suppose, if I understood him, I 'd break his neck; but as I don't, I
only go on saying "Waterloo" at intervals; but every time I utter it,
he has to blow off the steam again. When the rum is finished, he usually
rushes out of the room, gnashing his teeth, and screaming something
about St. Helena. But it 's all over the next day, and he 's as polite
as ever when we meet,--grins, and hands me his tin snuff-box with the
air of an emperor. They 're a wonderful people, Tom; and though they 'd
murder you, they 'd never forget to make a bow to your corpse.

You may imagine, from what I tell you, that I am very lonely here; and
so I am. I never meet anybody I can speak to; I never see any newspaper
I can read! I eat things without knowing the names of them, or, what's
worse, what they are; and all this I must do for economy, while I could
live for less than one-half the expense at Dodsburough!

Mary Anne has just come to say that the doctors are agreed Mrs. D. must
be removed; the noise of the town will destroy her. My only surprise is
that she did n't discover it sooner. They speak of a place called Chaude
Fontaine, seven miles away, and of a little watering-place called Spa.
But I 'll not budge an inch till I have all the particulars, for I know
well they 're all dying to be at the old work again,--tea-parties,
and hired horses, and polkas, in the evening, and the rest of it. Lord
George has arrived at Liège, and I would n't be astonished if he was at
the bottom of it all; not but he behaved well in James's business. To
deal with a Jew there 's nothing in the world like one of your young
sprigs of nobility! Moses does n't care a bulrush for you or me; but
when he hears of a Lord Charles or Lord Augustus, he alters his tone.
It is that class which supplies his customers, and he dares not outrage
them.

I wish you saw the way he managed our friend Lazarus! He would n't look
into his statement, read one of his accounts, or even bestow a glance at
the bills.

"I 'm up to all those dodges, Lazzy," said he; "it's no use coming that
over _me_. What 'll you do it for?"

"Ah, my good Lord Shorge, you know better as me, that we cannot give
away our moneys. Here are all the bills--"

"Don't care for that, Lazzy,--won't look at 'em. What 'll you do it
for?"

"If I lend my moneys at a fair per shent--"

"Well, what's the figure to be? Say it at once, or I'm off."

"You 'll shurely look at my claims--"

"Not one of them."

"Nor the bills."

"No."

"Nor the vouchers?"

"No."

"Oh dear! oh dear! how hard you are grown; and you so young and so
handsome, so little like--"

"Never mind the resemblance, but answer me. How much?"

"It 's impossible, my Lord Shorge!" "Will two hundred do? Well, two
fifty?" "No, nor twelve fifty, my Lord. I will have my claim." "That 's
what I want to come at, Lazzy. How much?" This process goes on for half
an hour, without any apparent result on either side; when, at last, Lord
George, taking out his pocket-book, proceeds to count various bank-notes
on the table. The effect is magical; the sight of the money melts
Lazarus,--he hesitates, and gives in. Of course his compliance does not
cost him much; fifty per cent is the very lowest we escape for! But even
at this, Tom, our bargain is a good one.

I see it all, Tom; they are bent on getting to a watering-place, and
that's exactly the very thing I won't stand. Our Irish notions on these
subjects are all taken from Bundoran, or Kilkee, or Dunmore, or some
such localities; and where, to say the least, there is not a great deal
to find fault with. Tiresome they are enough; and, after a week or so,
one gets wearied of always walking over ankles in deep sand,
listening to the plash of the tide, or the less musical squall of some
half-drowned baby, or sitting on a rock to watch some miraculous draught
of fishes, that is sure to be sent off some twenty miles into the
interior. These, and occasional pictorial studies of your acquaintances,
in all the fascinations of oil-skin caps and wet drapery, tire at last.
But they are cheap pleasures, Tom; and, as the world goes, that is
something.

Now, from all I can learn, for I know nothing of them myself, your
foreign watering-place is just a big city taking an airing. The
self-same habits of dress, late hours, play, dancing, debt, and
dissipation; the great difference being that wickedness is cultivated in
straw hats and Russia-duck, instead of its more conventional costume of
black coat and trousers! From my own brief experience of life, I think a
garden by moonlight is just as dangerous as a conservatory with colored
lamps; and a polka in public is less perilous than a mountain excursion,
even on donkeys! They 'll not catch me at that game, Tom!

I have just discovered in "Cochrane's Guide"--for I have burned my "John
Murray"--the very place to suit me,--Bonn on the Rhine. He says it has
a pleasant appearance, and contains 1,300 houses and 15,000 inhabitants,
and that the Star, kept by one Schmidt, is reasonable, and that
he speaks English, and takes in the "Galignani,"--two evidences of
civilization not to be despised.

I think I see you smile; but that's the fact,--we come abroad to hunt
after somebody we can talk to, or find a newspaper we can read, making
actual luxuries of what we had every day at home for nothing.

Besides these, Bonn has a university, and that will be a great thing for
James, and masters of various kinds for the girls; but, better than all
this, there's no society, no balls, no dinners, no theatre. The only
places of public amusement are the Cathedral and the Anatomy House; and
even Mrs. D. will be puzzled to get up a jinketing in them.

I 'll write to Schmidt this evening about rooms, and I 'll show him that
we are not to be "done," like your newly arrived Bulls; for I won't pay
more than "four-and-six" a head for dinner; and plenty it is too. I
wish we could have remained here; but now that the doctors have decided
against it, there's no help. It is not that I liked the place,--Heaven
knows I have no right to be pleased with it,--but I 'll tell you one
great advantage about it: it was actually "breaking them all in to
hate the Continent;" another month of this tinkering din, this tiresome
_table d'hote_, and wearisome existence, and I 'd wager a trifle they 'd
agree to any terms to get away. You 'd not believe your eyes if you saw
how they are altered. The girls so thin, and no color in their cheeks;
James as lank as a greyhound, and always as if half asleep; and myself,
pluffy and full and short-winded, irascible about everything, and always
thirsty, without anything wholesome to drink. But I 'd bear it all, Tom,
for the result, or for what I at least expect the result would be. I
'd submit to it like a course of physic, looking to the cure for my
recompense.

Shall I now tell you, Tom, that I have my misgivings about Mrs. D.'s
illness? I was passing the lobby last night, and I heard her laughing
as heartily as ever she did in her life, though it was only two hours
before she had sent down for the man of the house to witness her will.
To be sure, she always does make a will whenever she takes to bed; but
this time she went further, and had a grand leave-taking of us all,
which I only escaped by being wrapped up in blankets, under the
"influence," as the doctors call it, of "tartarized antimony," of which
I partook, to satisfy her scruples, before she would taste it. If I have
to perform much longer as a pilot balloon, Tom, I 'm thinking I 'm very
likely to explode.

As for one word of truth from the doctors, I 'm not such a fool as to
expect it. The priest or the physician that attends your wife always
seems to regard _you_ as a natural enemy. If he happen to be well bred,
he conducts himself with all the observance due to a distinguished
opponent; but no confidence, Tom,--nothing candid. He never forgets that
he is engaged for the "opposite party."

Your foreign doctor, too, is a dreadful animal. He has not the bland
look, the soft smile, the noiseless slide, the snowy shirt-frill, and
the tender squeeze of the hand, of our own fellows, every syllable of
whose honeyed lips seems like a lenitive electuary made vocal. He is a
mean, scrubby, little, damp-looking chap, not unlike the bit of dirty
cotton in the bottom of an ink-bottle, the incarnation of black draught
and a bitter mixture. He won't poison you, however, for his treatment
ranges between dill-water and syrup of gum; in fact, to use the
expressive phrase of the French, he only comes to "assist" at your
death, and not to cause it. I have remarked that homoopathic fellows
are more attentive to the outward man than the others, whatever be
the reason. Their beards and whiskers are certainly not cut on the
infinitesimal principle, and, assuredly, flattery is one of the
medicaments they never administer in small doses. By the way, Tom, I
wish this same theory could be applied to the distresses of a man's
estate as well as that of his body. It would be a right comfortable
thing to pay off one's mortgagees with fractional parts of a halfpenny,
and get rid of one's creditors on the "decillionth" scale.

I have now finished my paper, and I have just discovered that I have not
answered one of your questions about home affairs; but, after all, does
it matter much, Tom? Things in Ireland go their own way, however we may
strive to direct and control them. In fact, I am half disposed to think
we ought to manage our business on the principle that our countryman
drove his pig,--turning his head towards Cork because he wanted him to
go to Fermoy! Look at us at this moment. We never were so thoroughly
divided as since we have enjoyed the benefits of a united education!

If Tullylicknaslatterley must be sold, see that it is soon done; for
if we put it off till November, the boys will be shooting somebody, or
doing some infernal folly or other, that will take five years off the
purchase-money. These Manchester fellows are always so terrified at
what is called an outrage! Sure, if they had the least knowledge of the
doctrine of chances, they 'd see that the estate where a man was shot
was exactly the place there would be no more mischief for many a year to
come. The only spot where accidents are always recurring is the drop in
front of a jail.

Try and persuade the Englishman to take Dodsborough for another year.
Tell him Ireland is looking up, prices are improving, &c. If he be
Hibernian in his leanings, show him how teachable Paddy is,--how
disposed to learn, and how grateful for instruction. If he be bitten
by the "Times," tell him that the Irish are all emigrating, and that in
three years there will neither be a Pat, a priest, nor a potato to be
seen. As old Fitzgibbon used to say on our circuit, "I wish I had a
hundred pounds to argue it either way!"

I can manage to keep afloat for a couple of weeks, but be sure to remit
me something by that time.

Yours, ever sincerely,

Kenny I. Dodd.



LETTER XIV. JAMES DODD TO ROBERT DOOLAN, ESQ., TRINITY COLLEGE, DUBLIN.

Liège, Tuesday Morning.

My dear Bob,--A thousand pardons for not answering either of your two
last letters. It was not, believe me, that I have not felt the most
sincere interest in all that you tell me about yourself and your doings.
Far from it: I finished two bottles of Hock in honor of your Science
Premium, and I have called a short-tailed hack Bob, after you, though,
unfortunately, she happens to be a mare.

Mine has been rather a varied kind of existence since I wrote last. A
little in the draught-board style, only that the black checkers have
rather predominated! I got "hit hard" at the Brussels races, lost twelve
hundred at écarté, and had some ugly misadventures arising out of a too
liberal use of my autograph. The governor, however, has stumped up, and
though the whole affair was serious enough at one time, I fancy that we
are at length over the stiff country, and with nothing but grass fields
and light cantering laud before us.

The greatest inconvenience of the whole has been that we 've been laid
up here, "dismasted and in ordinary," for the last three weeks, during
which my mother has made a steeple-chase through the Pharmacopoeia, and
the governor finished all the Schiedam in the town. In fact, there
has been nothing very serious the matter with her; but as we left the
capital under rather unpleasant circumstances, we came in here to "blow
off our steam," and cool down to a reasonable temperature. To reduce the
budget and retrench expenditure, the choice was probably not a bad one,
since we are housed, fed, and done for on the most reasonable terms; but
the place is a perfect disgust, and there is actually nothing for a man
to do, except to poke into steam-engines and prove gun-barrels.

As for me, I never leave my room from breakfast till _table d'hôte_
hour. My French master comes at eleven and stays till four. This sounds
all very diligent and studious, and so thinks the governor, Bob. The
real state of the case is, however, different. The distinguished
officer of the Old Guard engaged to instruct me in military science and
mathematics is an old hairdresser, who combines with his functions
of barber the honorable duties of _laquais de place_ and police spy,
occasionally taking a turn at the "scholastic" whenever he is lucky
enough to find any English illiterate enough to be his dupes. The
governor heard of him from the master of the hotel, and took him
especially for his cheapness. Such is the Captain de la Bourdonaye, who
swaggers upstairs every morning with a red ribbon in his button-hole,
and a curling-iron in his pocket; for I take good care, Bob, that as
he cannot furnish the inside of my head, he shall at least decorate it
without.

I must say this is a most nefarious old rascal, and I have heard of more
villany from him than I ever knew before. He knows all the scandal and
gossip of the town, and retails it with an almost diabolical raciness.
As I have already made use of him in various ways, we are bound to each
other in the very heaviest of recognizances. He brought me yesterday a
note from Lord George, who had just arrived here, but judged better not
to see me till he had called on the governor. The Captain was once
Lord G.'s courier, and, I believe, the chief mentor of his earlier
Continental experiences.

Lord George has behaved like a trump to me. He has brought away from
Brussels all my traps, which, in the haste of my retreat, I had fancied
fallen into the hands of the enemy. The brown mare Bob, a neatish
dennet, two sets of single harness, a racing saddle, a lady's
ditto, three chests of toggery, all my pipes and canes, and a
bull-terrier,--the whole of which would have to-day been the chattels of
Lazarus, had not Lord G. made out a bill of sale of them to himself, and
got two "respectable" advocates to swear they were witnesses to it. The
fun of this is, Lazarus saw all the knavery, and Tiverton never denied
it! The most rascally transactions are dashed with such an air
of frankness and candor, that, hang me! if one can regard them
as transportable offences! I know all this would be infamous in
England,--it would n't be quite right even in Ireland, Bob,--but here we
are abroad, and the latitude warps morality just as the vicinity to the
pole affects the compass.

I have learned from Lord George that there are to be races at a place
called Spa, about twelve miles off, and that if Bob were in training we
might do a good thing among "les gentlemen riders," who certainly ride
like neither gents nor jocks. George slipped his knee-cap at a gate the
other day, and cannot ride; and how I am to get away from this for an
entire day without the governor's knowledge, is more than I can see. I
have told the Captain, however, that he must manage it somehow, or I
'll turn king's evidence and betray him; so that the case is not yet
hopeless. Bob is exactly the kind of thing to walk into these fellows.
She 's very nearly thoroughbred, but has a cock-tailed look about her,
and, with a hogged mane and a short dock, is only, to all appearance,
a clever hackney. I know well that these foreigners have got first-rate
cattle,--they buy the very best of horses, and the smartest carriages of
London; but what avails it? They can neither ride nor drive! They curb
up a thoroughbred so that he 's thrown clean out of his stride, and they
clap the saddle on his withers so that he is certain to come smash down
if he tries to cross a furrow. You can imagine what hands they have,
when I tell you that they all hold on by the head! Lord G., however, who
knows them well, says that there 's no use in bringing over a good horse
against them. They are confoundedly cautious, and what they lack in
skill they make up in cunning; and if they heard of anything that ran
second at Goodwood or Chester, they 'd "shut up" at once. It's only a
"dodge" will do, he says, and I am certain nobody knows better than he
does.

Whenever they get pluck enough for hurdle-racing, there will be some
money to be picked up abroad; but the prosperity won't last, for when
one fellow breaks his neck there will be an end of it.

I 'll not close this till I can tell you the success of our scheme for
the races. Meanwhile to your questions, which, to make short work of, I
'll answer all at once. It's all very fine to talk about studying, and
the learned professions; but how many succeed in them? Three or four
swells carry off the stakes, and the rest are nowhere! Let me tell you,
Bob, that the fellows that really do best in life never knew trade nor
profession, except you can call Tattersall's yard a lecture-room, and
short-whist a calling. There 's Collingwood 's got two hundred thousand
with his wife; Upton, he 's netted thirty on the last Derby, and stands
to win at least twelve more on the Spring Meeting. Brook--Shallow Brook,
as you used to call him at school--has been deep enough to break the
bank at Hamburg! I just wish you 'd show me one of your University dons
who could do any one of the three! If it came to a trial of wits, the
heads of houses would n't have houses over their heads. Believe me, Bob,
the poet was right,--"The proper study of mankind is man!" and if he
add thereto a little knowledge of horseflesh, there's no fear of him in
this life!

Look at the thing in another light too. The Church is only open to the
Protestants; the bar is, then, the sole profession with great rewards;
for as to the army and navy, they may do to spend money in and leave
when you 're sick of them, but nothing else. Now the bar is awful
labor,--ten or twelve hours a day for three or four years, as many more
in a special pleader's office, six years after that reporting for the
newspapers; and, perhaps, after three or four struggling terms you drop
off out of the course altogether, and are only heard of as writing a
threatening letter to Lord John Russell, or as our "own Correspondent at
Tahiti"!

As to physic, "I throw it to the dogs." It's not a gentlemanly calling!
So long as a fellow can rout you out of bed at night for a guinea, it's
all nonsense to talk about independence. Your doctor has n't even the
cabman's privilege to higgle for a trifle more. Real liberty, Bob,
consists in having no craft whatsoever. Like the free lances in the
sixteenth century, take a turn of service wherever it suits you, but
wear no man's livery. As Lord George remarks, whenever a fellow takes
to that line of life the men are all afraid, and the women all delighted
with him; he's so sure with his pistol and so lax in his principles,
nothing obstructs his progress.

This same glorious independence I am like enough to attain, since up
to this moment I am a perfect gentleman, according to Lord George's
definition; nor could I, by any means that I know of, support myself for
twenty-four hours. You would probably remark that so blank a prospect
ought to alarm me. Not a bit of it! I never felt more thoroughly
confident and at ease than now as I write these lines. George's theory
is this: Life is a round game, with some skill and a vast amount
of hazard; the majority of the players are dupes, who, some from
inattention, some from deficient ability, and others, again, from utter
indifference, are easy victims to the few shrewd and clever fellows that
never neglect a chance, and who know when to back their luck. "Do not be
too eager," says George,--"do not be over-anxious to play, but just walk
about and watch the game for a year or so, and only cut in when it suits
you. By that time you have mastered the peculiar style of every man's
play. You are up to all their weaknesses, and aware of where their
strength lies; and if you can only afford to lose a little cash yourself
at the start, and pass for a pigeon, your fortune is made!" This, of
course, is but a sorry sketch of his system; for, after all, it requires
his own dashing description, his figurative manner, and his flow of
illustration, to make the thing intelligible. He is, in reality, a
first-rate fellow, and may be what he chooses. All that I know of life I
owe to his teaching; and I own to you I was in the "lowest form" when he
began with me.

The only thing that distresses me now, is the fear that Vickars
may yield to the governor's solicitations, and give or get me
something,--some confounded official appointment that would shut me up
all day in a Government office, on mayhap one hundred and twenty per
annum, with a promised increase of ten pounds when I attain the age of
fifty. I 'd nearly as soon be in the hulks as the Home Office, and I 'm
certain that pounding oyster-shells is just as intellectual, and a far
more salubrious occupation than _précis_ writing! The dread of such a
destiny has induced me to take a rather bold step, and one which it
is possible you will not exactly approve of. I have written myself a
"private and strictly confidential" note to Vickars, to say that my
father's application to him on my behalf never had my sanction nor
approval; that I despise the Board of Trade, and hold the Customs
uncommon cheap; and that although there are some gentlemen in what they
call the diplomatic service, that all the juniors are snobs, and the
grade above them--what George calls snoozers--old red-tapery fellows,
that label their washing-bills "soap question," and send out their boots
to be new soled in an old despatch-bag.

I have added a few lines, by way of showing that my repugnance does not
proceed from any disinclination to exertion or an active life, that I am
quite ready to accept of a commission in the Guards, or any good post
in the household, where my natural advantages might be seen and
appreciated.

I have not told Lord George about this, because he is tremendously
opposed to my taking anything like office. He says it's not only "bad
style," but a positive throwing away of oneself; since, whenever they do
get a regularly clever fellow amongst them, they always keep him in some
subordinate position. "They 'll just treat you the way they did Edmund
Burke," he says; and though I'm not aware how that was, I am quite
satisfied that it was a rascally shame! Our name, too, I own to you, in
all frankness, is awfully against us. Lord George has advised me over
and over to add a syllable or two to it; so I should, perhaps, if I were
not living with the governor; but for the present I must submit.

The Captain has just dropped in to tell me that all is arranged,--I am
to have a fearful toothache, and be confined to bed for two days; and
this, with heavy blankets and nitre whey, will take at least seven
pounds off me. The governor is to be seduced into an excursion, to see
the works of Seraing. We have contrived to have his card of admission
dated for a particular day, and the hackney coachman has been bribed to
break down on the way home, and detain him several hours. Lord George is
to have a drag ready for me at the outside of Liège at eight o'clock
and I hope to figure on the course by twelve! Mary Anne alone is in the
secret. I was obliged to tell her, since without her aid I should have
had no jacket; but she has cut up a splendid green satin of my mother's,
which, with white sleeves and cap to match, will turn me out rather
smart, and national to boot. Bob is already gone, and has had her
canters for the last four mornings, so that who knows but that we shall
do something?

You describe to me the trepidation of heart you felt on going up for
honors at college,--the fits of heat and cold, the tremblings, the
sighings, the throbbings, and faintish-ness; trust me, Bob, it's all
nothing to what one experiences on the eve of a race! _Your_ contest
is conducted in secret; your success or failure is witnessed by a few;
_ours_ is an open tournament, with thousands of spectators, who are,
or who at least fancy that they are, most competent judges of the
performance; and if it be a glorious thing to come sweeping past the
grand stand amidst the vociferous cheers of a mighty host, to catch the
fitful glance of waving hats and floating handkerchiefs as you dash by,
it is a sorry affair to come hobbling along dead-lame or broke down,
three hundred yards behind, greeted only by the scoffs of the multitude
and the jokes of the greasy populace.

Which of these fortunes is to be mine you shall hear before I seal this
epistle; and now, for the present, adieu!


Friday Evening I have just an hour before the post closes to announce to
you my safe return here, though I greatly doubt if my swelled and still
trembling fingers will make me legible. We started at cock-crow, and
reached Spa for an early breakfast, having "tooled along" with a spicy
tandem the thirteen miles in an hour. Before eight o'clock I had taken
a hot bath, and reduced my weight nine pounds, having taken seven rounds
of the race-course in a heavy fur pelisse of Lord George's. Twenty
minutes more toiling, and some hot lemonade, completed my training, and
left me by twelve o'clock somewhat groggy in gait and white about the
gills, and, as George said, very much like a chicken boiled down for
broth!

Our game was not to bet on the general race, but to look on as mere
spectators and see what could be done in a private match. This was not
so easy, since these Belgian fellows were so intent on the "Liège St.
Léger" and the "Spa Derby," and twenty other travesties of the like
kind, that they would not listen to anything but what sounded at least
like English sport. We had therefore to wait with all due patience
for their tiresome races,--"native horses and native jockeys," as the
printed programme very needlessly informed us. "Flemish mares and fat
riders" would have been the suitable description.

I had almost despaired of doing anything, when near five o'clock George
came up to say that he had made a match for a hundred Naps, a side,--Bob
against Bronchitis, twice round the course,--I to ride my own horse,
and Count Amédée de Kaerters the other, he giving me twelve pounds and
a distance. Not too much odds, I assure you, since Bronchitis is out of
Harpsichord by a Bay Middleton mare.

Before I had reached the stand, George had made a very pretty book,
taking five, and even seven to two, against Bob, and an even fifty
on her being distanced. Still I was far from comfortable when I saw
Bronchitis; a splendid-looking horse, with a great slapping stride,
light about the head, and strong in the quarters; just the kind of horse
that wants no riding whatever, only to be let do his own work his own
way.

"The mare can't gallop with that horse, George!" said I, in a whisper.
"She 'll never see him after the first time round!"

"I'm half afraid of that," said he, in the same low voice. "They told me
he wasn't all right, but he's in top condition. We must see what's to
be done." He smoked his cigar quite coolly for a minute or two, and then
said, "Ah, here comes the Count! I have it, 'Jim!'"--he always calls me
"Jim,"--"just mind me, and it will all come right."

I was by no means convinced that everything was so safe, however; and
had I been possessed of the fifty Naps. required, I should gladly have
paid the forfeit. Fortunately, as it turned out, I had n't so much
money; so into the scale I went, my heart being the heaviest spot about
me!

"Eleven two," said George; "we 'll say eleven."

The Count weighed eleven stone four, which, with his added weight,
brought him to upwards of twelve stone.

"It's exactly as I suspected," whispered George to me. "The Belgian has
weighed himself as if he was a gold guinea. He has been so anxious not
to give you an ounce too much, that he has outwitted himself. All that
you 've to do, Jim, is, ride at him every now and then; tease and worry
the fellow wherever you can, and try if you can't take some of that
loose flesh off him before it's over."

I saw the scheme at once, Bob. I had nothing whatever to do but to save
my distance to win the race; for it was clearly impossible that the
Count could go twice round a mile course, and come in as heavy as he
started.

I must be brief, for my minutes are few. Would that you could have seen
us going round!--I lying always on his quarter, making a rush whenever
I got a bit of ugly ground, and, though barely able to keep up with him,
just being near enough to worry him. He wasn't much of a rider, it is
true, but he knew quite enough to see that he could run away from me
whenever he liked; and so he did when he came to the last turn near
home. Off he went at speed, pitching the mud behind him, and making my
smart jacket something like a dirty draught-board. It was only by dint
of incessant spurring and tremendous punishment that I was able to get
inside the distance-post just as the cheering in front announced to me
that he had passed the grand stand.

_My_ canter in--for I was so dead-beat it was only a canter--was
greeted with a universal yell of derision. To have a laugh against the
Englishman on a race-course was a national triumph of no mean order. "It
was a 'set-off' against Waterloo," George said.

In I came, splashed, splattered, and scorned, but not crestfallen, Bob,
for one glance at my victorious rival satisfied me that all was safe.
The Count was so completely fagged that he could scarcely get down from
his horse, and when he did so, he staggered like a drunken man.

"Come now, Count, into the scale!" cried Lord George; "show your weight,
and let us pay our money!"

"I have weighed already," said the other. "I weighed before the start."

"Very true," rejoined George, "but let us see that you are the same
weight still."

It required considerable explanation and argument to show the justice of
this proposition, nor was it till a jury of English jocks decided in its
favor that the Belgians were convinced.

At last he did consent to get into the scale, and to the utter
wonderment of all but the few English present, it was discovered that he
had lost something like six pounds, and consequently lost the race.

It was capital fun to see the consternation of the Belgians at the
announcement. They had been betting with such perfect certainty; they
had been giving any odds to tempt a wager; and there they were!--"in,"
as George said, "for a whole pot of money."

While they were counting down the cash, too, George kept assuring them
that the lesson they had just received was "cheap as dirt;" "that it
ought by right to have cost them thousands instead of hundreds, but that
we preferred doing the thing in an amicable way." At such times, I
must say, George is perfect. He is so cool, so courteous; so apparently
serious, too, that even his sharpest cuts seem like civil speeches and
kindly counsel. I never admired him more than when, having bought a
courier's leather-bag to stuff the gold in, he slung it round his neck,
and, taking leave of the party with a polite bow, said,--

"There are times, gentlemen, when one goes all the lighter for a little
additional weight!"

I scarcely remember how we reached Liège. It was almost one roar of
laughter between us the whole road! And then such plans and schemes for
the future!

Luck stood by me to the last. I reached home before the governor, and in
time to resume my bandages and my toothache. Mary Anne had taken care to
have a very tidy bit of dinner ready; and now, while I sip my Bordeaux,
I dedicate to you the last moments of my long and eventful day.

I do not ask of you to write to me till you hear again, for there is no
guessing where I may be this day fortnight. Vickars may possibly respond
to my request; or I may find some complaisant doctor to order me to a
distant watering-place, in which case I may get free of the Dodd family,
who, I own to you, Bob, are a serious drawback on the progress and
advancement of your

Attached, but now wide-awake friend,

James Dodd.

Dodd père has just come home with a sprained ankle. The scoundrel of
a coachee overdid his instructions, and upset the "conveniency" into a
lime-kiln. I suppose I'll have to pay two or three Naps, additional for
the damage.

One good result, however, has followed: the governor is in such a rage
that he has determined to leave this tomorrow.



LETTER XV. MISS DODD TO MISS DOOLAN, OF BALLYDOOLAN.

My dearest Kitty,--I do not, indeed, deserve your reproaches. Mine is
not a heart to forget the fondest ties of early affection, nor would
you charge me with this were you near me. But how can _you_, lying
peacefully in the calm haven of domestic quiet, "sleeping on your
shadow," as the poetess says, sympathize with one storm-tossed, and all
but shipwrecked on the wild, wide ocean of life?

Of the past I cannot trust myself to speak, and I must say, Kitty, if
there be one lesson which the Continent teaches above all others, it is
not to go over the bygone. A week ago, in foreign acceptation, is half
a century; and he who remembers the events of yesterday rather verges
on being a "bore" for his pains. Probably it is the intensity with which
they throw themselves into the "present" that imparts to foreigners
their incontestable superiority in all that constitutes social
distinction,--their glowing enthusiasm even about what we should call
trifles,--their ardor to attain what we should deem of little moment!

If you were not to witness it, Kitty, you could n't believe what an
odious thing your regular untravelled Englishman is. His pride, his
stiffness, his self-conceit, his contempt for everybody and everything,
from good breeding to grammar. Contrast him with your pliant Frenchman,
your courteous German, or your devoted Italian; so smiling and so
submissive, so grateful for the slightest mark of your favor, that
you feel all the power of riches in the wealth of your smiles or the
resources of your wit!

And they are so ingenious in discovering your perfections! It is not
alone the rich color of your hair, the arch of your eyebrow, or the
symmetry of your instep, Kitty, but even the secret workings of your
fancy, the fitful playings of your imagination: these they understand
by a kind of magic. I really believe that the reason Englishmen do
not comprehend women is that they despise and look down upon them.
Foreigners, on the other hand, adore and revere them! There is a kind of
worship paid to the sex abroad that is most fascinating.

One reason for all this may be that in England there are so many roads
to ambition quite separated from female influence. Now, here this is
not the case. We are everything abroad, Kitty. Political, literary,
artistic, fashionable,--as we will. We can be fascinating and go
everywhere, or exclusive and only admit a chosen few. We can be deep
in all the secrets of State, and exhausted with all the cares of the
cabinet, or can be _lionnes_, and affect cigars and men society, talk
scandal and _coulisses_, wear all the becoming caprices of costume, and
be even more than men in independence.

I see--or I fancy that I see--your astonishment at all that I am telling
you, and that you half exclaim, "Where and how did Mary Anne learn all
this?" I 'll tell you, my dearest Kitty, since even the expansion of
heart to my oldest friend is not sweeter to me than the enjoyment of
speaking of one whose very name is already a spell to me.

You must know, then, that after various incidents, too numerous to
recount, we left Brussels for Liège, where poor mamma was taken so ill
that we were forced to remain several weeks. This, of course, threw
a gloom over our party, and deprived me of the inestimable pleasure
I should have felt in visiting the scenes so graphically described in
Scott's delightful "Quentin Durward." As it was, I did contrive to make
acquaintance with the old palace of the prince bishops, and brought
away, as souvenir, a very pretty lace lappet and a pair of gold earrings
of antique form, which I wanted greatly to suit a _moyen âge_ costume
that I have just completed, and of which I shall speak hereafter.

Liège, however, did not agree with any of us. Mamma never slept at
night; papa did little else than sleep day and night; poor James
overworked himself at study; and Cary and myself grew positively plain!
so that we started at last for Aix-la-Chapelle, intending to proceed
direct to the Rhine. On arriving, however, at the "Quatre Saisons"
Hotel, pa found an excellent stock of port wine, which an Englishman,
just deceased, had brought over for his own drinking, and he resolved
to remain while it lasted. There were fortunately only seven dozen, or
we should not have got away, as we did, in three weeks.

Not that Aix was entirely devoid of amusement. In the morning there is a
kind of promenade round the bath-house, where you drink a sulphur spa to
soft music; but, as James says, a solution of rotten eggs in ditch water
is scarcely palatable, even with Donizetti. After that, you breakfast
with what appetite you may; then you ride out in large parties of
fifteen or twenty till dinner, the day being finished with a kind of
half-dress, or no dress, ball at "the rooms." The rooms, my dear Kitty,
require a word or two of description. They are a set of six or
seven _salons_ of considerable size, and no mean pretension as to
architecture; at least, the ceilings are very handsome, and the
architraves of doors and windows display a vast deal of ornament, but so
dirty, so shamefully, shockingly dirty, it is incredible to say! In some
there are newspapers; in others they talk; in one large apartment there
is dancing; but the rush and recourse of all seem to two chambers, where
they play at rouge-et-noir and roulette.

I only took a passing peep at this pandemonium, and was shocked at the
unshaven and ill-cared-for aspect of the players, who really, to my
eyes, appeared like persons in great poverty; and, indeed, Lord George
informs me that the frequenters of this place are a very inferior class
to those who resort to Ems and Baden.

I was not very sorry to get away from this; for, independently of
other reasons, pa had made us very remarkable--I had almost said very
ridiculous--before the first week was over. In order to prevent James
from frequenting the play-room, papa stationed himself at the door,
where he sat, with a great stick before him, from twelve o'clock every
day till the same hour at night,--a piece of eccentricity that of course
drew public attention to him, and made us all the subject of impertinent
remarks, and indeed of some practical jokes: such as sudden alarms
of fire, anonymous letters, and other devices, to seduce him from his
watch.

It was, therefore, an inexpressible relief to me to hear that we
were off for Cologne,--that city of sweet waters and a glorious
cathedral!--though I must own to you, Kitty, that in the first of these
two attractions the place is disappointing. The manufacturers of the
far-famed perfume would seem so successfully to have extracted the
odor of the richly gifted flowers, that they have actually left nothing
endurable by human nose! Of all the towns in Europe, it is, they tell,
the very worst in this respect; and even papa, who between snuff and
nerves long inured to Irish fairs and quarter sessions, is tolerably
indifferent,--even he said that he felt it "rather close and stuffy."

As for the cathedral, dearest, I have no words to convey my sensations
of awe, wonderment, and worship. Yes, Kitty, it was a sense of soft
devotional bewilderment,--a kind of deliciously pious rapture I felt
come over me, as I sat in a dark recess of this glorious building,
the rich organ notes pealing through the vaulted aisles, and floating
upwards towards the fretted roof. Even Lord George--that volatile
spirit--could not resist the influence of the spot, and he pressed my
hand in the fervor of his feelings,--a liberty, I need scarcely tell
you, he never would have ventured on under less exciting circumstances.

Shall I own to you, Kitty, that this sign of emotion on his part
emboldened me to a step that you will call one of daring heroism? I
could not, however, resist the temptation of contrasting the solemn
grandeur and gorgeous sublimity of _our_ Church with the cold,
unimpressive nakedness of _his_. The theme, the spot, the hour,--all
seemed to inspire me, Kitty; and I suppose I must have pleaded
eloquently, for his hand trembled, his head drooped, and almost fell
upon my shoulder. I told him repeatedly that it was his reason I wished
to convince,--that I neither desired to captivate his imagination nor
engage his heart.

"And why not my heart?" cried he, passionately. "Is it that--"

Oh, Kitty, who can tell what he would have said next, if a dirty little
acolyte had not whisked round the corner and begged of us to move
away and let him light two tapers beside a skull in a glass case? The
officious little wretch might, at least, have waited till we had gone
away; but no, nothing would do for him but he must illuminate his bones
that very instant, and thus, probably, was lost to me forever the un
speakable triumph I had all but accomplished.

We arose and set out in search of our party, who were, it appeared,
in quest of papa: nor was it for two hours that we found him. He had
ascended the tower with us all, but instead of coming down when we did,
he took a short turn on the leads, and, finding the door closed on his
return, remained a prisoner there during all the time we were in search
of him. There is no saying how much longer he might have passed in this
captivity--for all his cries and shouts were unheard--had he not hit
upon an expedient, not entirely devoid of danger, for his rescue. This
was to tear off any loose tiles he could find, and hurl them over into
the street beneath. Why and how nobody was killed by it we cannot guess,
for it is a most crowded thoroughfare, and actually crammed with stalls
of fruit and vegetables. The buttresses and projections of the cathedral
probably arrested many of the missiles in their flight; but one, thrown
I conjecture with extraordinary force, came bang on the roof of the
archbishop's carriage, just as his Grace had got in, the noise and the
shock almost depriving him of consciousness! Papa, however, knew nothing
of all this, and was actually hard at work detaching a lead gutter when
they rushed up and apprehended him.

[Illustration: 200]

It was almost an hour before we could come to anything like a reasonable
explanation of the incident, for papa insisted that he was the aggrieved
person throughout, and raved about his action for false imprisonment.
The dean of the cathedral demanded a handsome sum for reparation, and
threw in a sly word about "sacrilege" if we demurred. Mamma, still weak
and delicate, took to hysterics, while a considerable mob outside gave
token of preparation to maltreat us on our exit. Under all these adverse
conjunctures we thought it wiser to remain where we were till night; so
we sent for something to the hotel, and made ourselves comfortable in
the sacristan's room, where, the first shock over, we grew both merry
and happy, Lord G., as usual, being the life of our party, by that
buoyant exhilaration that really, Kitty, is the first of all nature's
gifts.

I already guess whither your thoughts are carrying you, Kitty! Have I
not divined aright? You are calling to mind the night we passed at the
old windmill at Gariff, when the bridge was earned away by the flood I
I vow to you it was uppermost in my own thoughts too! It was there Peter
first told me of his love! Never till that moment had I the slightest
suspicion of his feeling towards me. I was young, artless, and
confiding,--a mere child of nature! Indeed, I must say that he was not
blameless in taking the advantage he did of my fresh and unsuspecting
heart! What knew I of the world? How could I anticipate the position I
was yet to hold in society, or how measure the degree of presumption by
which he aspired to my hand?

He has many excellent qualities of head and heart. I do not deny it; but
the deceit he thus practised on me I can never forget I do not desire
that you should tell him so. No, Kitty. The likelihood is that we may
never meet again; and I do not wish that one harsh thought should
mar the memory of the past! It may be that at some future time I can
befriend and serve him; and he may rest assured that no station of life,
however exalted and brilliant, will separate me from the ties of early
friendship. Even now, I am certain, Lord George would oblige me on his
behalf. Do you think, or could you ascertain, whether he would like
to go out as surgeon to a convict ship? They tell me that these
are excellent appointments, and admirably suited to young men of
enterprising habits and no friends; and that, if they settle in the
colony, they get several thousand acres of land, and as many natives as
they can catch. From what I can learn, it would suit P. B., for he was
always of a romantic turn, and fond of mutton.

How my wandering fancies have led me away! Where was I? Oh, in the
little vaulted chamber of the sacristan, with its quaint old wainscot
and its one narrow window, dim and many-paned! It was midnight before
we left it to return to our hotel, and then the streets were quite
deserted, and we walked along in silent thoughtfulness, I leaning on
Lord G.'s arm, and wishing--I know not well why--that we had two miles
to go!

We are stopping at the "Emperor," a very fine hotel that looks out upon
the Rhine, and, as my window overhangs the river, I sat and gazed upon
the rushing waters till nigh daybreak, occasionally adding a line
to this scrawl to my dearest Kitty, and then wafting a sigh to the
night-breeze as it stole along.

And now, at length, and after all these windings and digressions, X
come to what I promised to speak of in the early pail of this rambling
epistle. We were at breakfast on the morning after what Lord G. calls
our "cathedral service,"--for he persists in quizzing about it, and says
that pa was practising to become a "minor canon," when a very handsome
travelling-carriage drove up to the hotel door, attracting us all to
the windows by the noise and clatter. It was one of those handsome
britschkas, Kitty, that at once bespeak the style of their owner;
scrupulously plain and quiet,--almost Quaker-like in simplicity, but
elegant in form, and surrounded with all that luxury of cases and
imperials that show the traveller carries every indulgence and comfort
along with him.

There was no courier, but a very smartly dressed maid, evidently French,
occupied the rumble. While we stood speculating as to the new arrival,
Lord George broke out with a sudden exclamation of astonishment and
delight, and rushed downstairs. The next moment he was at the side of
the carriage, from which a very fair, white hand was extended to him.
It was very easy to see, by his air and manner, that he was on the most
intimate terms with the fair traveller; nor was it difficult to detect,
by the gestures of the landlord, that he was deploring the crowded state
of the hotel, and the impossibility of affording accommodation. As is
usual on such occasions, a considerable crowd had gathered,--beggars,
loungers, luggage-porters, waiters, and stablemen, who all eagerly poked
their heads into the carriage, and seemed to take a lively interest in
what was going forward, to escape from whose impertinent curiosity Lord
G. entreated the lady to alight.

To this she consented, and we saw a very elegant-looking person, in a
kind of half-mourning, descend from the carriage, displaying what James
called a "stunning foot and ankle" as she alighted. We had no time to
resume our seats at the breakfast-table, when Lord George rushed in,
saying, "Only think, there 's Mrs. Gore Hampton arrived, and not a place
to put her head in! Her stupid courier has, they say, gone on to Bonn,
although she told him she meant to stay some days here."

Now, my dearest Kitty, I blush to own that not one of us had ever heard
of Mrs. Gore Hampton till that hour, although unquestionably, from the
way Lord George announced the name, she was as well known in the great
world as Albert Prince of Wales and the rest of the Royal Family. We,
of course, however, did not exhibit our ignorance, but deplored and
regretted and sorrowed over her misfortune, as though it had been what
the "Times" calls "a shocking case of destitution."

"It just shows," said Lord George, as he walked hurriedly to and fro,
rubbing his hands through his hair in distraction, "that with every
accident of fortune that can befall human beings,--rank, wealth, beauty,
and accomplishment,--one is not exempt from the annoyances of life. If
a man were to have laid a bet at Brookes's, that Mrs. Gore Hampton would
be breakfasting in the public room of an hotel on the Rhine on such a
day, he 'd have netted a pretty smart sum by the odds."

"And is she?" cried three or four of us together. "Is that possible?"

"It will be an accomplished fact, as the French say, in about ten
minutes," cried he, "for there is really not a corner unoccupied in the
hotel."

We looked at each other, Kitty, for some seconds in silence, and then,
as if by a common impulse, every eye was turned towards papa. Whatever
his feelings, I cannot pretend to guess, but he evidently shrank from
our scrutiny, for he opened the "Galignani," and entrenched himself
behind it.

"I'm sure that either Mary Anne or Cary," broke in mamma, "would
willingly give up her room."

"Oh! delighted,--but too happy too oblige," cried we together. But Lord
George stopped us. "That's the worst of it; she is so timid, so fearful
of giving trouble, and especially when she is not acquainted, that I 'm
certain she could not bring herself to occasion all this inconvenience."

"But it will be none whatever. If she could be content with one room--"

"One room!" cried he,--"one room is a palace at such a moment But that
is precisely the value of the sacrifice."

We assured him, again and again, that we thought nothing of it; that the
opportunity of serving any friend of his--not to speak of one so
worthy of every attention--was an ample recompense for such a trifling
inconvenience. We became eloquent and entreating, and at last, I
actually believe, we had to importune him at least to give the lady
herself the choice of accepting our proposition.

"Be it so," cried he, suddenly; and, starting up, hurried downstairs to
convey our message.

When he had left the room, we sat staring at each other, as if
profoundly conscious that we had done something very magnanimous and
very splendid, and yet at the same time not quite satisfied that we had
done it in the right way. Mamma suggested that papa ought to have gone
down himself with our offer. _He_, on the contrary, said that it was
_her_ business, or that of one of the girls. James was of opinion that
a civil note would be the proper thing. "Mrs. Kenny James Dodd, of
Dodsborough, presents her respectful compliments," and so forth,--thus
giving us the opportunity of mentioning our ancestral seat, not to speak
of the advantage of rounding off a monosyllabic name with a sonorous
termination. James defended his opinion so successfully that I actually
fetched my writing-desk and opened it on the breakfast-table, when Lord
George flung wide the door, and announced "Mrs. Gore Hampton."

You may judge of our confusion, when I tell you that mamma was in her
dressing-gown and without her cap; papa in his shocking old flannel
_robe de chambre_, with the brown spots, which he calls his "Leprosy,"
and a pair of fur boots that he wears over his trousers, giving him the
look of the Russian ferryman we see in the vignette of "Elizabeth, or
the Exiles of Siberia;" Cary and I in curl-papers, and "not fastened;"
and James in a sailor's check shirt and Russia-duck trousers, with a red
sash round him, and an enormous pipe in his hand,--a picturesque group,
if not a pleasing one. I mention these details, dearest Kitty, less
as to any relation they bear to ourselves, than for the sake of
commemorating the inimitable tact of our accomplished visitor. To
any one of less perfect breeding the situation might have seemed
awkward,--almost, indeed, ludicrous. Mamma's efforts to make her scanty
drapery extend to the middle of her legs; papa's struggles to hide his
feet; James's endeavors to escape by an impracticable door; and Cary
and myself blushing as we tried to shake out our curls,--made up a scene
that anything short of courtly good manners might have laughed at.

In this trying emergency she was perfect. The easy grace of her
step, the elegant quietude of her manner, the courtesy with which she
acknowledged what she termed "our most thoughtful kindness," were actual
fascinations. It seemed as if she really carried into the room with her
an atmosphere of good breeding, for we, magically as it were, forgot all
about the absurdities of our appearance. Mamma thought no more of her
almost Highland costume, papa crossed his legs with the air of an old
elephant, and James leaned over the back of a chair to converse with
her, as if he had been a captain of the Coldstreams in full uniform. To
say that she was charming, Kitty, is nothing; for, besides being almost
perfectly beautiful, there is a grace, a delicacy, a feminine refinement
in her manner, that make you feel her loveliness almost secondary to her
elegance. It seemed, besides, like an instinct to her, the way she fell
in with all our humors, enjoying with keen zest papa's acute and droll
remarks about the Continent and the habits of foreigners, mamma's
opinions on the subject of dress and domestic economy, and James's
notions of "fast men" and "smart people" in general.

She repeatedly assured us that she concurred in everything we said, and
gave exactly the same reasons for preferring the Continent to England
that we did, instancing the very fact of our making acquaintance in this
unceremonious manner, as a palpable case in point. "Had we been at the
Star and Garter at Windsor, or the Albion at Brighton," said she,
"you had certainly left me to my fate, and I should not have been now
enjoying the privilege of an acquaintance that I trust is not destined
to end here."

Oh, Kitty! if you could but have heard the tone of winning softness with
which she uttered words simple as these. But, indeed, the real charm of
manner is to invest commonplaces with interest, and impart to the mere
nothings of intercourse a kind of fictitious value and importance. She
congratulated us so heartily on travelling _without_ a courier,--the
very thing we were at the moment ashamed of, and that mamma was trying
all manner of artifices to conceal. "It is so sensible of you," said
she, "so independent, and shows that you thoroughly understand the
Continent. Travelling as _I_ do,"--there was a sorrowful tenderness
as she said this, that brought the tears to my eyes,--"travelling as
I do,"--she paused, and only resumed after a moment of difficulty,--"a
courier is indispensable; but _you_ have no such necessity."

"And Grégoire apparently wants to show you how well you could do without
him," cried Lord George. "He has gone on to Bonn, and left you here to
your destiny."

"Oh, but he is such a good, careful old creature," said she, "that,
though he _does_ make fearful mistakes, I cannot be angry with him."

"It's very kind of you to say so," resumed he; "but if _I_ told him
that I meant to stop at Cologne, and _he_ went forward to order rooms at
Bonn, I 'd break his neck when we met."

"Then I assure you I shall do no such thing," added she, taking off her
gloves, as if to show how unsuited her beautifully taper fingers, all
glittering with gems, would be to any such occupation.

"And now you 'll have to wait here for Fordyce?" said he, half angrily.

"Of course I shall!" said she, with a sweet smile.

Lord George made some rejoinder, but I could not hear it, to this; and
so, Kitty, we all determined that instead of at once setting out for
Bonn, we should stay and dine with Mrs. Gore Hampton, and not leave her
till evening,--a kindness at which she really seemed overjoyed, thanking
each of us again and again for our "dear good-nature."

And now, Kitty, I have just left her to hasten off these lines by
post hour. My heart is yet fluttering with the delight of her charming
conversation, and my hand trembles as I write myself

Your ever attached and fascinated friend,

Mart Anne Dodd.

Hôtel de l'Empereur, Cologne.

P. S. Mrs. G. H. has just slipped, into my dressing-room to say that
she is so sorry that we are going away; that she feels as if we were
actually old friends already. She has, evidently, some secret sorrow;
would that I knew how to console her!

We are to write to each other; but I am not to show her letters to Cary:
this she made an express stipulation. She thinks Cary "a sweet girl, but
volatile;" and I believe, Kitty, that there is something of levity in
her character, which is its greatest defect.



LETTER XVI. KENNY I. DODD TO THOMAS PURCELL, ESQ., OF THE ORANGE, BRUFF

My dear Tom,--There 's an old Turkish proverb, to the effect that,
whenever a man finds himself happy, he should immediately sit down and
write word of it to his friends; for the great likelihood is, that if he
loses a post, he 'll have to change his note. Depend upon it, the adage
has some truth in it! If, for example, I 'd have finished and sent off
a letter I began to you last Wednesday, I 'd have given you a very
favorable account of myself and our prospects here. The place seemed
very much what we were looking for,--a quiet little University town on
the bank of this fine river,--snug and comfortable, and yet, at the
same time, not shut in, but with glorious expansive views on every
side; shady walks for noonday, and hill rambles for sunset; museums
and collections for bad weather occupation, and that kind of simple,
unostentatious living that bespeaks a community of small fortunes and as
small ambitions.

A quaint-looking, half-shy, half-defiant look in the faces showed that
if not very great or very rich folk, they still had other and perhaps
not less sterling claims to worldly reverence; and so they have too!
There are some of the first men, not only in Germany but in Europe,
here, living on the income of a London butler, and letting the "first
floor furnished" to people like the Dodd family.

It is a great privation to me that I don't speak German, for something
tells me we should suit each other wonderfully! Don't mistake me, Tom,
and fancy that I am saying this out of any conceit in my abilities,
or any false notion of my education. I believe, in my heart, I have as
little of one thing as the other; and the only wise thing my father ever
did was to take me away from Dr. Bell's when I was thirteen, and when
he saw that putting Latin and Greek into me was like sowing barley in a
bog,--a waste of good seed in a soil not fit for it. But I 'll tell you
why I think I 'd get on well with these Germans. They seem to be a kind
of dreamy, thoughtful, imaginative creatures, that would relish the dry,
commonplace thoughts, and hard, practical hints of a man like myself.
I could n't discuss a classical subject with them, nor talk about the
varieties of the Greek dialects; but I could converse pleasantly enough
about the difference between the ancients and ourselves in points of
government and on matters of social life. I know little of books, but
I 've seen a good deal of men; and if it be objected that they were
chiefly of my own country, I answer at once, that, however strongly
impressed with his nationality, there's not a man in any country of
Europe so versatile, so many-sided, and so difficult to understand,
as Paddy. Don't be frightened, Tom; I 'm not going off into the
"ethnologies," and not a word will you hear from me about the facial
angle, or frontal development! I 'm not speaking of Pat as if he were
a plaster cast to be measured with a rule and marked with a piece of
charcoal; I 'm talking of him as he is, in a frieze coat or one of
broadcloth,--a sceptical, credulous, patient, headlong, calculating,
impulsive, miserly spendthrift; a species of bull incarnate, that never
prospers till he is ruined outright, and only has real success in life
when all the odds are against him.

Ireland 's birdlime to me,--I stick fast if I only touch it; and why
ain't I back there, growling about the markets, cursing the poor-rates,
and enjoying myself as I used to do? Doesn't it strike you, Tom, that
we take more "out" of ourselves in Ireland--in the way of temper, I
mean--than any other people we hear of in history? Paddy often reminds
me of those cutters on the American lakes, where they saw across the
timbers to give them greater speed; we go fast, it is true, but we
strain ourselves terribly for the sake of it.

And now to come back to Bonn: there is really much to like in it. It is
cheap, it is quiet without seclusion, and there's no snobbery. You know
what I mean, Tom. There 's not a tilbury, nor a tiger, nor a genteel
tea-party in the town. I don't know of a single waistcoat with more
than five colors in it; and, except James and the head waiter, there 's
nobody wears diamond shirt buttons. In fact, if we must live out of our
country, I thought that this was about the best spot we could fix upon.
We made an excellent bargain at our hotel; ten pounds a week was to
cover everything; no extras of any kind after that; so that at last I
began to see my way before me, and perceive some chance of solving
that curious problem that torments alike chancellors and country
gentlemen,--how to meet expenditure by income.

Masters in German, music, and mathematics, and other little odds and
ends, took a couple of pounds more; and I allowed myself ten shillings
a week for what the doctor calls "my little charities," that now
resolve themselves into threepenny whist, or a game of ninepins with the
Professor of Oriental languages. Even _you_, Tom--"Joe" as you are about
the budget--couldn't pick a hole in this! Not that I want to give myself
credit for a measure absolutely imperative; for, to say the truth, our
late performances in Brussels were of the very costliest, and even
Liège ran away with a deal of money. Doctors have about the same ideas
respecting your cash account as your constitution. They never leave
either in a state of plethora! Now, as I was saying, my letter, begun on
Wednesday last, had all these details, and might have concluded with a
flattering picture of James hard at his studies, and the girls not less
diligently occupied with their music and embroidery,--the two resources
by which modern ingenuity fancies it keeps female minds employed! As if
Double-Bass or Berlin wool were disinfecting liquors! I could also have
added that Mrs. D. had fallen into that peculiar condition which is
natural to her whenever she finds a place stupid and unexciting, and
what she fondly fancies to be a religious frame of mind; in other words,
she took to reading her breviary, and worrying Betty Cobb about her
duties; got up for five o'clock mass, and insisted upon Friday coming
three times a week. I could bear all this for quietness' sake; and if
fish diet could insure peace, I 'd be content to live upon isinglass for
the rest of my days.

Mrs. D., however, is not a woman to do things by halves; there's no John
Russellism about her; and now that she had taken this serious turn, I
saw clearly enough what was in store for us. I had actually ordered a
small silk skull-cap, as a protection to my head, not knowing when I
might be sent to do duty in a procession, when suddenly the wind veered
round, and began to blow very fresh in exactly the opposite quarter.
You must know, Tom, that just before we left Cologne we chanced to
make acquaintance with a certain very fashionable person,--a Mrs. Gore
Hampton. She was standing disconsolately to be rained on, in the street,
when Lord George brought her upstairs to our rooms, and introduced her
to us. She was, I must say, what is popularly called a very splendid
woman,--tall, dark-eyed, and dashing, with a bewitching smile, and that
kind of voice that somehow makes commonplaces very graceful. She had,
too, that wonderful tact--wherever it comes from I can't guess--to suit
us all, without seeming to take the slightest trouble about the matter.

She talked to Mrs. D. about London fashionable life, just as if they had
both been going out together for the last three or four seasons; ay,
and stranger still, without even once puzzling her, or making her feel
astray in the geography of this _terra incognita_. I conclude she was
equally successful with the girls; and though she scarcely addressed a
word to James, I suppose she must have made up for it by a look, for he
has never ceased raving of her since.

I have n't told you how she "landed" me, for I 'm not above confessing
that I was as bad as the rest; but the truth is, Tom, I don't really
know how I was caught. I am too old for these blandishments; they no
more suit me now than a tight boot or a runaway hack; one gets too
rheumatic and too stiff in the joints for homage after fifty; and
besides that, there's a kind of croaking conscience that whispers,
"Don't be making a fool of yourself, Kenny James!" and, between you and
me, Tom, 't is well for us when we 're not too deaf to hear it.

Besides this; Tom, it is only the fellows that never were in love when
they were young that become irretrievably entangled in after life. If
you want to see a true sexagenarian victim, look out for some hang-dog,
downcast, mopish creature, or some suspectful, wary, crafty, red-haired
rascal, that thought every woman had a trap laid for him. These are your
hopeless cases; these are the men that always die in some mysterious
manner, and leave wills behind them to be litigated for half a century.

The Kenny Dodds of this world come into another category. They knew that
love and the measles are mildest in young constitutions, and so they
began early. Maybe it was in a firm reliance on this that I felt so easy
about the widow,--if widow she be; for, to tell the truth, I don't yet
know if Mr. Gore Hampton be to the fore or only has left her a memory of
his virtues.

I leave you to guess what impression she made upon me; for the more I
go on trying to explain and refine upon it the less intelligible do I
become. One thing, however, I must say,--these charming women are the
ruin of Irishmen! Our own fair creatures, with a great share of good
looks, and far more than ordinary agreeability, are not so dangerous as
the English, and for this reason: in their demands for admiration they
are too general; they--so to say--fire at the whole covey; now, your
Englishwoman marks her bird,' and never goes home till she bags it!

We were to have left Cologne that morning for Bonn, but so agreeably did
the time pass, that we did n't start till evening, and even then it was
quite tearing ourselves away; for the delightful widow--for widow I must
call her till she shows cause to the contrary--hourly gained on us.

She was obliged to wait there for some lawyers or men of business that
were to follow her with papers to sign; and although Lord George did his
best to persuade her that she might as well come on with us,--that Bonn
was only fifteen miles farther,--she was firm, and said that "Old Mr.
For-dyce was a great prig, and when she had once named Cologne for their
meeting, she would have travelled from Naples rather than break the
appointment." I own to you, there was a tenacity and determination in
all that which pleased me. Maybe the great charm of it was that it was
very unlike what I 'd have done myself!

The whole way to Bonn we talked of nothing but her, the discussion being
all the more unconstrained that Lord George had stayed behind, and
was only to come up the next morning. We were agreed upon a number
of points: her beauty, her elegance, the grace and fascination of her
manner, and her high breeding; but we took different views as to her
condition,--Mrs. D. and the girls thinking that she was married, James
and I standing out for widowhood. Lord George joined us the next day;
and although he could have resolved our doubts at once, Mary Anne
stopped all inquiry, by assuring us that nothing was so hopelessly
vulgar as to display any ignorance about the family or connections of
people of rank. "If she be in the peerage, we ought to know her, and all
about her. She is, of course, some Augusta Louisa, b. 18 and dash; m. to
the Honorable Leopold Conway Gore Hampton, third son, and so on." In a
word, Tom, we had the whole family tree before us, from its old gnarled
root to its last bud, and ours the shame if we were ignorant of its
botanical properties!

A few quiet humdrum days of Bonn existence had almost obliterated our
memory of the charming widow, and we were beginning to "train off"
our attachments to fashionable life, when, in all the splashing and
whip-cracking of foreign posting, up dashes the dark green britschka
to our hotel one fine evening; and before we could well recognize the
carriage, the fair owner herself was making the tour of the Dodd family,
embracing and hand-shaking, as age and sex dictated!

I wish any physiologist would explain why the English, that are so
proverbial for a cold and chilling demeanor at home, grow at once so
cordial when they come abroad. Whether it be the fear of the damp, or
the swell mob, I can't tell, but everybody in England goes about with
his hands in his pockets, and only nods to a friend when he meets him;
whereas here you start with a grin at fifty yards off, then off goes
your hat with a flourish, that, if you have any tact, what with shaking
your head, and looking overcome with delight, occupies you till you come
up with him, when your greeting grows more enthusiastic,--lucky if it
does not finish with a kiss on both cheeks.

I suppose it was the influence of habit betrayed me, for, in a fit of
abstraction, I took the charming widow into my arms, and saluted her as
if she were Mrs. Dodd. If this was in London, Tom, or even in Dublin,
there 's no saying what mischief might not have grown out of it. I might
have been fighting duels every day for the last week, not to mention
still more formidable encounters of a domestic nature; but just to show
you what the Continent does for us,--how instinctively, as it were, we
rise above the little narrow prejudices of our insular situation,--she
threw herself into a chair and laughed immoderately. Ay, and droller
again, so did Mrs. D.! To tell you the truth, Tom, I could n't well
believe my senses when I saw it. It would seem to be the same in morals
as in murder,--you can dignify the offence by the rank of your victim;
for if it had been one of the maids at home, Mrs. D. would have left my
face like a piece of music paper!

[Illustration: 214]

There 's a great deal in how you open an acquaintance! You may be
card-leaving, and bowing, and how-d'ye-doing for years, and never get
farther; or, on the other hand, by some lucky accident, you come plump
down into the right place, just as a chance shell will now and then drop
into a magazine, and finish an engagement at once.

In less than an hour after her arrival, Mrs. Gore Hampton was one of
ourselves. It was not that she was calling the girls dearest Cary, and
darling Mary Anne, but she had got a regular sisterly tone with Mrs. D.
and myself--treating James all the while as if he was about twelve years
old, and at home for the holidays. She had not only done all this, but
before luncheon was on the table we had ratified a solemn league
and covenant that she was to travel with us, and be one of us, going
wherever we went, and living as we did. How the treaty was ever mooted,
who proposed, and who signed it, I know no more than the man in the
moon. It was done in a kind of rattling, bantering fashion; and when we
rose from table it was all settled. Mrs. Gore Hampton was to take
Cary and Mary Anne with her in the britschka; the "dear boy"--viz.
James--would be the "guard in the rumble." There was a place for
everybody and everything; and I believe, if any one had proposed that I
should ride the leader, it would have been carried without opposition.
Never was there such unanimity! The whole arrangement was huddled up
like a road-presentment on a Grand Jury, or a private bill before the
House on a "Wednesday afternoon. As for myself, if I had even the will,
I could not have summoned the shamelessness to offer any opposition to
the measure.

"Devilish good thing for you, Dodd!" whispered Lord George. "Mrs. G.
knows everybody in the world, and doesn't care for money."--"Oh, papa!
she is delightful; there never was such a piece of good fortune as our
meeting with her," cried Mary Anne. And Mrs. D. assured me that, for
the very first time in her life, she had met a person thoroughly
companionable to her in all respects; in fact, a "kindred soul," though
not a "blood relation."

Now, Tom, considering that we came abroad to enjoy the advantages of
high society, fashionable habits, and * refined associations, this
accident did indeed seem a propitious one; for, disguise it how we may,
the great world is a dangerous ocean to venture upon without a pilot.
Our own little experiences might teach that lesson. We sailed out in all
the confidence of a stout crew and a safe vessel, and a pretty voyage
we made of it! Perhaps we did not make more mistakes than our neighbors,
but assuredly our blunders were neither few nor insignificant!

Mrs G., however, would soon rectify all this. "No more making
acquaintance with wrong people, K. I." says Mrs. D.; "no more getting
into vulgar intimacies at the _café_, and cementing friendships over a
game of dominos. James will know the class of young men that he ought
to mix with, and the girls will only dance with suitable partners." It
sounded well, Tom! It was a grand protective policy, that really secured
the Dodd family in the possession of all home advantages, and relieved
them of all aggressions "from the foreigner."

If we had fallen on a prize in the lottery, I don't think the joy of our
circle could have been greater. I am not going to pretend that I did n't
join in it! I make no affectation of prudent reserve and caution, and
Heaven knows what other elegant qualities, that, however natural to
other people, very seldom fall to the lot of an Irishman. I vow to you,
Tom, I went off full cry like the rest of the pack. She is a fine woman,
this Mrs. Gore Hampton; she has a low, soft voice, a very bewitching
smile, and a way of looking at you while you are talking to her, that
somehow half suggests to yourself that you must be making love without
knowing it. Now, don't misunderstand me, Tom, and come out with one of
your long whistles, as much as to say, "Kenny James is as great a fool
as ever!" No such thing! a suit in Chancery, the repeal of the corn
laws, and the Estates Court, have made me an altered man. The very
nature of me is changed, and changed so much that many's the time I ask
myself, "Is this Kenny Dodd? Where upon earth is that light-hearted,
careless, hopeful vagabond, that always took the sunny road in life,
though maybe it was n't exactly the way to the place he was going?" I'm
another man now; I 'm wiser, as they call it; and, upon my conscience, I
'm mighty sorry for it!

But I hear you say, "Have n't you just confessed that you were--what
shall I call it?--fascinated by the widow?"

And if I did, Tom Purcell, do you mean to tell me that you would have
escaped her? Not a bit of it. The brown wig would have been set a little
more forward, so as to bring one of those silky curls over your
right eye. I think I see you exchanging your spectacles for a double
eye-glass, and turning out your toes so as to display to the best
advantage that shapely calf in its trim brown silk stocking. Ah, Tom!
not even quarter sessions and a rate in aid will drive these thoughts
out of an Irishman's head.

From the moment that this new alliance was signed, we entered upon a
new existence. Bonn, as I have told you, was a quiet little collegiate
place, with primitive habits of no very expensive kind. The chief
pleasures were weak wine in a garden, or small whist in a summer-house,
with now and then an "aesthetic tea," as they phrase it, at the
Pro-Rector's; of which, of course, I understand nothing, but sincerely
hope the discourse was better than the beverage. It was, I own it,
Tom, a strange kind of life, that seemed to me always like a moral
convalescence, when you were only strong enough for small virtues. One
undoubted advantage it had,--it was inexpensive, Tom. We were living,
with few comforts and some privations, I confess, at only one-third more
than we used to spend at Dodsbor-ough; and, considering that we know
nothing of the language, I conclude that we were enjoying the Continent
as cheaply as was practicable.

I won't pretend that it suited me. I don't want you to believe that I
was taking a scientific or a studious turn. Still I liked the place for
one thing, which was this,--its quiet monotony, its placid, unvarying
simplicity was telling upon Mrs. D. and the children in an astonishing
manner. It was exactly the way that the water-cure works its wonders
with old drunkards; the mountain air, the light diet, and the early
hours being the best of the remedy. They were getting into a healthy
state of mind without ever suspecting it.

Our grand junction, as Cary calls it, finished this; from the day Mrs.
G. arrived our reforms began. First, we had to change our hotel, and
betake ourselves to one on the river-side, three times as dear, and not
one-fourth as good.

The second story was fine enough for us before; now we have the whole
"premier," taking two rooms more than we want, lest anybody should live
on the same floor with us. Instead of the _table d'hôte_, that was cheap
and cheerful, we were to dine upstairs,--"a particular dinner," as they
call what is particularly bad, and costly besides. Then we have had to
hire two lackeys, one of whom sits in an anteroom all day reading
the newspaper, and only rises to make me a grand bow as I pass; which
worries me so much that I usually go down by the back stairs to escape
him.

We have two job coaches, for we are too many for one, and a boat hired
by the week, with a considerable retinue of mountain ponies and donkeys,
guides, goats, whey-sellers, and geological specimen-folk without end.
If Mrs. G. was only fashionable, we could n't be more than ruined; but
she is learned and literary, and given to the "ologies," Tom, and that's
what I fear will drive us clean mad. She has an eternal restlessness in
her to be at something; one day, it's the date of a medal; the next, it
is the family connections of a "moss," or the chemistry of a meteoric
stone; and, shall I own to you, my dear friend, that I don't believe
she either understands or cares one jot about them all? There 's a big
herbarium bound in green, and a grand book of autographs in blue and
gold, on the drawing-room table; there's a bit of "gneiss," a big
beetle, and a fossil frog on the chimney-piece; but my name isn't
Kenny Dodd if she has n't more sympathies with modern dandies than
antediluvian monsters. That's my private opinion;» and, of course, I
mention it in confidence. You 'll say, "What matter is that to you?"
and, true enough, it is not, as regards her; but what will become of
us, if Mrs. D. takes a turn for entomology or comparative anatomy, and
worse, maybe? She's just the kind of woman to do it. She'd learn the
tight-rope if she thought it was fashionable, or, as the newspapers say,
"patronized by the aristocracy." Now, Tom, you can fancy the unknown
sea upon which we have embarked. For, however unadapted we may be to
fashionable life, one thing is quite clear,--we never were made for the
abstract sciences; and it strikes me forcibly that the great lesson of
Continental life is that everybody can do everything. I am not going to
say that it is not a pleasant and a very flattering theory, but is it
quite safe, Tom? That's the question. The highest step I ever attained
in chemistry was how to concoct a tumbler of punch; and my knowledge of
botany does not go far beyond distinguishing "greens" from geraniums;
and it's not at my time of life that I'm to drive myself crazy with
hard names and classifications; and if I know anything of Mrs. D., her
intellectual faculties have attained all the vigor that nature meant for
them many a year ago.

My own private opinion about these sciences is, they 're capital things
for employing young people, and keeping them out of wickedness! The
fellows that teach them, too, are musty, snuff-taking, prosy old dogs,
with heavy shoes and greasy cravats,--the very reverse of your race of
dancing and music masters, who are a pestilent crew! So that, for a
man who has daughters abroad, my advice is--stick to the sciences.
Gray sandstone is safer than the polka, and there's not as dangerous
an experiment in all chemistry as singing duets with some black-bearded
blackguard from Naples or Palermo. Now mind, Tom, this counsel of mine
applies to the education of the young; for when people come to the
forties, you may rely upon it, if they set about learning anything, they
'll have the devil for a schoolmaster. What does all the geology mean?
Junketing, Tom,--nothing but junketing! Primitive rock is another name
for picnic, and what they call quartz is a figurative expression for
iced champagne. Just reflect for a moment, and see what it comes to.
You can enter a protest against family extravagances when they take the
shape of balls and soirees, but what are you to do against botanical
excursions and antiquarian researches? It 's like writing yourself down
Goth at once to oppose these. "Oh, papa hates chemistry; he despises
natural history," that's the cry at once, and they hold me up to
ridicule, just in the way the rascally Protestant newspapers did Dr.
Cullen for saying that he did n't believe the world was round. If the
liberty of the subject be worth anything,--if the right for which the
same Protestants are always prating, private judgment, be the great
privilege they deem it,--why should n't Dr. Cullen have his own opinion
about the shape of the earth? He can say, "It suits _me_ to think I 'm
walking erect on a flat surface, and not crawling along with my head
down, like a fly on the ceiling! I 'm happier when I believe what does
n't puzzle my understanding, and I don't want any more miracles than
we have in the Church." He may say that, and I'd like to know what harm
does that do you or me? Does it endanger the Protestant succession or
the State religion? Not a bit of it, Tom. The real fact is simply this:
private judgment is a boon they mean to keep for themselves, and never
share with their neighbors. So far as I have seen of life, there's no
such tyrant as your Protestant, and for this reason: it's bad enough
to force a man to believe something that he doesn't like, but it's ten
times worse to make him disbelieve what he's well satisfied with; and
that's exactly what they do. Even on the ground of common humanity it is
indefensible. If my private judgment goes in favor of saints' toe-nails
and martyrs' shin-bones, I have a right to my opinion, and you have
no right to attack it. Besides, I won't be badgered into what may suit
somebody else to think. My opinion is like my flannel waistcoat, that
I'll take off or put on as the weather requires; and I think it very
cruel if I must wear _mine_ simply because _you_ feel cold.

I get warm--I almost grow angry--when I think of these things; and I
wonder within myself why our people don't expose them as they might.
Not that some are not doing the duty well and manfully, Tom. M'Hale is a
glorious fellow; and for blackguarding a Prime Minister, for a real good
effective slanging, it's hard to find his equal. He never embarrasses
himself with logic,--he wastes no time in arguing, but "goes in" at
once, and plants his blow between the eyes! That's what the English
can't stand. They want discussion. They are always fishing for evidence
for this, and a proof of that; but come down on them with a strong
torrent of foul abuse, and you sweep them away like mud in a mill-race.

That's where we always beat them in our controversial discussions, Tom;
and we never failed so long as we relied on this superiority. It was
like the bayonet in the hands of our infantry.

Is n't it strange how I get back to Ireland in spite of me? I 'm like
that madman in the story that can't keep Charles the First out of his
memorial? And, after all, why should I? Is there anything more natural
than to think of my country, if I can't manage to live in it? And this
reminds me to ask you about home matters. What was it you wrote at the
end of your letter about Jones McCarthy? I can't make out the word,
whether it is his "death," or his "debts;" though, from my experience of
the family, I surmise it to be the latter. If it's dead he is, I suppose
we 'll come in for that blessed legacy that Mrs. D. has been talking
about every day for the last twenty-five years, the history of which I
have heard so often that I actually know nothing about it, except that
it was the only bit of property possessed by my wife's relations they
couldn't make away with. It was so strictly "tied up," as they call it
in law, that nobody could ever get the use of it,--pretty much like the
silver sixpence given to a schoolboy, with the express stipulation that
he is never to change it.

I am rather curious to know what Mrs. D. will think of these "wise
provisions" of her ancestors, if she succeeds to the bequest. To tell
you the plain truth, Tom, I don't know a greater misfortune for a man
that has married a wife without money, than to discover at the end of
some fifteen or twenty years that somebody has left her a few hundred
pounds! It is not only that she conceives visions of unbounded
extravagance, and raves about all manner of expense, but she begins to
fancy herself an heiress that was thrown away, and imagines wonderful
destinies she might have arrived at, if she had n't had the bad luck to
meet you. For a real crab-apple of discord, I 'll back a few hundreds in
the Three per Cents against all the family jars that ever were invented.
Save us then from this, if you can, Tom. There must surely be twenty
ways to avoid the legacy; and so that Mrs. D. does n't hear of it, I 'd
rather you 'd prove her illegitimate than allow her to succeed to this
bequest I 'll not enlarge upon all I feel about this subject, hoping
that by your skill and address we may never bear more of it; but I tell
you, frankly, I 'd face the small-pox with a stouter heart than the news
of succeeding to the M'Carthy inheritance.

There are many other matters I intended to write about, but I believe I
must keep them for the next time; such as the plan for taking away the
Church property, and the income-tax for Ireland; and that business of
the Madiais, that I read of in the papers. So far as I have seen, Tom,
the King of Tuscany--if that be his name--was right. There were plenty
of books the Madiais might have read without breaking the laws. There
are translations of all the rascally French novels of the day, from
Georges Sand down to Paul de Kock; and if they wanted mischief, might
n't these have satisfied them? But the truth is, Protestants are never
easy without they are attacking the true Church, and if there were more
of them sent to the galleys, the world would be all the quieter.

You amaze me about the Great Exhibition for this year in Dublin. Faith!
I remember when I used to think that the less we exhibited ourselves the
better! I suppose times are changed. I think, if I could send Mrs. D.
over as a specimen of Continental plating on Irish manufacture, she 'd
deserve a place, and maybe a prize.

Well, well! it's a queer world we live in. They 've just come to tell
me that the man of the post-office has shut up an hour earlier, as he is
engaged out to dine, so that I 'll keep this open till to-morrow's mail.


Wednesday Morning. I suspect that the mischief is done, Tom,--I mean
about the legacy. Mrs. D. received a strange-looking, square-shaped,
formally addressed epistle this morning, the contents of which, not
being a demand for money, she did not communicate to me. She and Mary
Anne both retired to peruse it in secret, and when they again appeared
in the drawing-room, it was with an air of conscious pride and
self-possession that smacked terribly of a bequest I own to you, the
prospect alarms me; it may be that my fears take an exaggerated shape,
but I can't shake off the impression that this is the hardest trial I
had ever to go through.

I know her in most of her moods, Tom, and have got a kind of way
of managing her in each of them,--not very successful, perhaps, but
sufficiently so to get on with. I have seen her in straits about money;
I have seen her in her jealous fits; I have seen her in her moments
of family pride; and I have repeatedly seen her on what she calls
"her dying couch,"--an opportunity she always seizes to say the most
disagreeable things she can think of, so that I often speculate what she
'd say if she was really going off: but all these convey no notion to me
of how she 'd behave if she thought herself rich. As for our poverty, we
never knew anything else; the jealousy I 'm getting used to; the
family pride often gives me a hearty laugh when I 'm alone; and I am
as hardened about death-bed scenes as if I was an undertaker. It's the
prosperity I have n't strength for, Tom; and I feel it.

Maybe, after all, it's only false terror alarms me. I hope it may turn
out so; and in this last wish I am sure of your hearty sympathy and good
feeling.

Ever yours, most sincerely,

Kenny I. Dodd.



LETTER XVII. MRS. DODD TO MISTRESS MARY GALLAGHER, DODSBOROUGH

The Rhine Hotel, Bonn.

MY dear Molly,--If my well-known hand did not strike you, the sight of
all the black around this letter, and the mourning seal, might suggest
the thought that your poor Jemima was no more. Your next impression
will be that Providence had sent for K. I. No, my dear Molly, I am still
reserved for more trials in this vale of tears. I must bear my burden
further! As for K. I., he's just as he used to be,--croaking away about
the pain in his toe, or a gouty cramp in his stomach. He's always taking
things that disagrees with him, and what he calls the "correctives"
makes him worse. I cannot give you the least notion of how irritable he
's grown. You know as well as anybody the blessings he has about him. I
don't speak of myself, nor the stock I came from. I don't want to
revive the dreadful mistake that I made in my youth, nor to mention
the struggles I 've had with him on every subject for more than
five-and-twenty years,--struggles, my dear Molly, that would have killed
any one that had n't the constitution of a horse; but that now, thanks
to the goodness of Providence, have become a part of my nature, so that
there is n't an hour of the day or night that I 'm not able and willing
to dispute and argue with him on any question whatsoever. I don't want
to mention these blessings,--but is n't there James and Mary Anne, and,
indeed, except for some things, Caroline,--was there ever a father with
more reason to be proud? And so you 'd say if you only saw them. As a
dear friend of mine, Mrs. Gore Hampton, said this morning, "Where
will you see such natural advantages?" And I must own, Molly, it's not
flattery; for the way they talk French and waltz, even how they come
into a room, salute, or sit down, has something in it that shows them to
be brought up in the top of fashion.

Any other man than K. I. would overflow with gratitude for all this, but
you 'd scarcely believe, Molly, he only ridicules it!

"If we meant her for the stage," says he,--this is the way he talks of
Mary Anne,--"if we meant her for the stage, I think she has effrontery
enough to stand before a full house, and I don't say it would discompose
her; but for the wife of some respectable man of the middle rank, I see
no use in all this flouncing about here, and flourishing there,
whisking through a room, upsetting small tables and crockery by way of
gracefulness, and never sitting down on a chair till she has spread out
her petticoats like a peacock!"

If I 've said it once to him, Molly, I 've said it fifty times, there's
nothing I despise so much as a respectable man in the middle rank.
There's no refinement about them,--no elegance! They may be what's
called estimable in their families; but what's the use of all that for
the world at large? A man can only have one wife, but he may have a
thousand acquaintances. We don't ask how amiable he is at home; what we
want is, that he should be delightful abroad. "That," says Lord George,
"is true, both socially and economically; it's the grand principle
that everybody stands up for, 'the greatest happiness of the greatest
number!'" And talking of this, I 'd strenuously advise your cultivating
your mind on matters of political economy. It appears dry and
uninteresting at first, but as you get on it improves wonderfully, and
takes a great hold of the mind. I don't think I was ever more unhappy
than since I read a chapter describing what would become of us when the
population got too thick; and if the unthinking creatures in Ireland
don't take warning, it's exactly what will happen. When my mind was full
of it, I ordered up Betty Cobb, and gave her such a lecture about it she
'll never forget.

But you 'll say it's not for this I 'm gone into black; neither is
it, Molly,--it's for my poor relative, the late Jones McCarthy, of the
Folly, one of the last surviving members of the great McCarthy stock, in
the west of Ireland. Grief and sorrow for the miserable condition of his
country preyed upon him, and made him seek obliteration in drink;
and more's the pity, for he was a man of enlarged understanding and
capacious mind. My heart overflows when I think of the beautiful
sentiments I 've heard from him at various times. He loved his country,
and it was a treat to hear him praise it. "Ah!" he would say, "there's
but one blot on her,--the judges is rogues, the Government 's rogues,
the grand jury's rogues, and the people is villains!"

He died as he lived, a little in drink, but a true patriot "Tell
Jemima," says he, "I forgive her. She was a child when she married, and
she never meant to disgrace us; but as she now succeeds to the estate, I
hope she 'll have the pride to resume the family name."

Yes, Molly, the M'Carthy property, that once extended from Gorramuck to
Knocksheedownie, with seventeen townlands and four baronies, descends
now to me. To be sure, it was all mortgaged over and over again, and
'tis little there's left but the parchments and the maps; and, except
the property in the funds, there 's not a great deal coming to me. This
is all that I know at present, for Waters, the attorney, writes in such
a confused way, I can make nothing of it, and I don't wish to show the
letter to K. I. That seems strange to you, Molly, but you 'll think it
stranger when I tell you that the bare notion of my succeeding to the
estate drives him half crazy. He thinks that all the money being on his
side makes up for his low birth, and makes a Dodd equal to a M'Carthy,
and that now when I get my fortune the tables will be turned. Maybe he
's right there; I won't say that he is not; but sure it would be time
enough to show this feeling when my manner was changed to him.

I suppose he must have heard something from Purcell about the matter,
for when I came into the room, with my eyes red from crying, he said,
"Is it for old Jones M'Carthy you 're crying? Begad, then, you must have
a feeling heart, for you never saw him since you were three years old!"

Did you ever hear a more barbarous speech, Molly, not to say a more
ignorant one? Twenty or thirty years might be a very long time in a
family called Dodd, but is it more than a week or so in one with the
name of M'Carthy? And so I told him.

"You don't pretend that you 're sorry after him?" says he. And I could
only answer him with my sobs. "If it was Giles Moore, the distiller,"
says he, "that went into mourning, one could understand the sense of it,
for _he_ has lost a friend indeed!"

"They're to bury him in Cloughdesman Abbey," says I, not wishing to let
his sarcastic remarks provoke me.

"They need n't take much trouble about embalming him, anyway," says he,
"for there's more whiskey soaked into him than could preserve a whole
family!"

You may think, Molly, how far I was overcome by grief when he ventured
to talk this way to me; and, indeed, I left the room in a flood of
tears. When I grew more composed, I went over Waters's letter again with
Mary Anne, but without any great success. There is so much law in it,
and so many words that we never saw before, and to which, indeed, our
pocket dictionary gave us little help: Administer being set down,--to
perform the duty of an administrator; and for Administrator, we are told
to see Administer,--a kind of hide-and-go-seek that one does n't expect
in books like this.

The lawyers and the doctors, my dear Molly, go on the same plan,--they
never let us know the hard names they have for everything. If we once
come to do that, we 'll know what's the matter with ourselves and our
affairs, and neither need one nor the other. Mary Anne thinks that
administering means going to show the will to somebody that's to pay the
money; but my private opinion is that it's something about Ministers'
Money, for I remember my poor cousin Jones never would consent to pay
it, nor, indeed, anything else that went to the Established Church.
It was against his conscience, he used to say; and the Government that
coerces a man's conscience is worthy of "Grim Tartary." My notion is,
then, that they 're coming against me for the arrears, as if I had n't
any conscience too!

At all events, Molly, the property is to come to _me_; and the very
thought of it gives me a feeling of independence and pride that is
really overwhelming. K. I.'s temper was, indeed, becoming a sore trial,
and how I was to go on bearing it was more than I could imagine. He may
now return to Ireland and his dear Dodsborough whenever he pleases. Mary
Anne and I are determined to live abroad. Fortunately for us we have
made acquaintance with a very distinguished English lady--a Mrs. Gore
Hampton--who can introduce us everywhere. She is in the very height of
the fashion, and knows all the great people of Europe. She took a sudden
liking--I might call it an affection--for me and Mary Anne, and actually
proposed our all travelling together as one party. There never was luck
like it, Molly! She has a beautiful barouche of her own, with the arms
on it, and a French maid and a courier, and such heaps of luggage, you
wouldn't believe it could be carried. K. I. was afraid of the expense,
and gave, as you may believe, every kind of opposition to the plan. He
said it would "lead us into this," and "lead us into that;" the great
thing he dreaded being led into--as I told him--being good society and
high company.

So far from costing us anything, I believe it will be a considerable
saving; for, as Lord George says, "You can always make a better bargain
at the hotels when you 're a strong party." And he has kindly taken the
whole of this on himself.

He is a wonderful young man, Lord George; and, considering his tip-top
rank and connections, he's never above doing anything to serve, or be
useful to us. He knows K. I. as well, too, as I do myself. "Let _me_
alone," says he, "to manage the governor; _I_ know him. He's always
grumbling about expense and moaning over his poverty; but you may remark
that he does get the money somehow." And the observation is remarkably
just, Molly; for no matter what distress or distraction he's in, he
does contrive to rub through it; and this convinces me that he is only
deceiving us in talking about his want of means, and so forth. Since I
have discovered this, I never fret the way I used about expense.

It was Lord George that arranged our compact with Mrs. G. "You had
better leave all to me," said he to K. I., "for Mrs. Gore Hampton is a
perfect child about money. She tells that old fool of a courier to put a
hundred pounds in his bag, and he pays away till it's all gone, or till
he says it's gone; and then she gives him another check for the same
amount. So that she's not bored with accounts, nor ever hears of them,
she never cares."

"Of course, then," said I, "her expenses are very great."

"I should say enormous," replied he; "for though personally the simplest
creature on earth, she never objects to the cost of anything."

I hinted that, with our moderate fortune, we should never be able to
maintain a style of living equal to hers; but he stopped me short,
saying, "Don't let that distress you; besides, she has taken such a
fancy for you and Miss Dodd that it would be a downright cruelty to
deny her your companionship; and at this moment, too, when really she
requires sympathy." I was dying to ask on what account, Molly,--was it
that she is a widow, or is she separated, and what?--but I had n't the
courage; nor, indeed, did he give me time, for he went on so fast: "Let
her pay half the expense, it's only fair; she has plenty of tin, and
nothing to do with it Even then she will be a gainer, for old Grégoire
pockets as much as he pays away."

You 'd suppose, Molly, that an arrangement so liberal as this might have
satisfied K. I. Not a bit of it His only remark was, "What 's to be the
amount of the other half?"

"Do you expect to travel about the Continent for nothing, K. I.?" said
I. "Does your experience say that it costs so little?"

"No, faith!" replied he, with that sardonic grin that almost kills me,
"I can't say that."

"Well, then," said I, "is it better for us to go about the world
unnoticed and unknown, or to be visited and received, and made much of
everywhere? The name of Dodd," said I, "is n't a great recommendation;
and there 's some of us, at least, that have n't the exterior of the
first fashion." I wish you saw how he fidgeted when I said this. "And as
the great question is, What did we come abroad for?--"

"Ay, that's exactly it!" cried he, thumping his clenched fist on the
table with a smash that made me scream out. "What did we come abroad
for?"

"There 's no need to drive all the blood to my head, Mr. Dodd," said I,
"to ask that. Though I am accustomed to your violence, my constitution
may sink under it at last; but if you wish to know seriously and calmly
why we came abroad, I 'll tell you."

"Do, then," said he, folding his arms in front of him, "and I'll be
mighty thankful for the information."

"We came abroad," said I, "first of all, for--"

"It was n't economy," said he, with a grin.

"No, not exactly."

"I'm glad of that," cried he. "I'm glad that we've got rid of one
delusion, at least. Now, then, go on."

"Maybe you 'll call refinement a delusion, Mr. Dodd," said I. "Maybe
politeness and good-breeding, the French language and music are
delusions? Is high society a delusion? Is the sphere we move in a
delusion?"

"I am disposed to think it is, Mrs. D.," said he, "and a very great
delusion too. It's like nothing we were ever used to. It is not social,
and it is not friendly. It has nothing to say, nor any concern with a
single topic, or any one theme that we can care for. Do you know one, or
can you even remember the names of any of the princes and princesses
you are always discussing? Do you really care whether Mademoiselle
Zephyrini's pirouette was steadier than Miss Angelina's? Does it concern
you that somebody with a hard name has given the first-class order of
the Pig and Whistle to somebody else, with a harder? Is it the meat
stewed to rags you like, or the reputations with morality boiled out of
them? Is it pleasant to think that, wherever you go, you meet nothing
wholesome for mind or for body? I can stand scandal and wickedness as
well as my neighbors, but I can't spend my life upon them, nor can I
give up the whole day to dominos. You ask me what are delusions, and I
tell you now some things that are not."

But I would n't listen to more, Molly. I stopped him short by saying,
"You, at least, Mr. D., have little reason for your regrets; for really,
in all that regards your manner, language, dress, and demeanor, no one
would ever suspect you had been a day out of Dodsborough."

"I wish to my heart my bank account could tell the same story," says he;
and with that he takes down a file of bills, and begins to read out some
of what he calls his anti-delusions.

"Do you know, Mrs. D.," says he, "that your milliner has got more money
in the last four months than I have spent on my estate for the last
eight years? That Genoa velvet and Mechlin lace have run away with what
would have drained the Low Meadows! Ay, the price of that red turban,
that made you look like Bluebeard, would have put a roof on the
school-house. The priest of our parish at home did n't get as much for
his dues as you gave for a seat to look at a procession in honor of
Saint--Saint--"

"If you 're going to blaspheme, Mr. D.," said I, "I 'll leave you;"and
so I did, Molly, banging the door after me in a way that I know well his
gouty ankle is not the better for.

I mention these particulars to show you the difficulties I have to
contend against, and the struggles it costs me to give my children the
benefits of the Continent. I intended to tell you something about this
place where we are stopping, too; but my head is rambling now on other
matters, so that, maybe, I'll not be able to say much.

It's a university, just like Trinity College in Dublin, only they don't
wear gowns, nor keep within certain buildings, but scatter about over
the whole town. We know several of the young men who are princes, and
more or less related to crowned heads; but for all that, very simple,
quiet, inoffensive creatures as ever you met. Billy Davis, after he was
articled to that attorney in Abbey Street, had more impudence in him
than them all put together.

The place itself is pretty, but I think it does n't suit my
constitution. Maybe it's the running water, for there's a big river
under the windows, but I am never free from cold in my head, and weak
eyes. To be sure, we are always doing imprudent things, such as sitting
out till after midnight in a summer-house, where the young Germans come
to sing for us,--for singing and smoking, Molly, is their two passions.
It's a melancholy kind of music they have, that has no tune whatever,
nor anything like a tune in it; but as Mrs. G. and my daughters agree
that it's beautiful, why, of course, I give in, and say the same. But,
in confidence to you, Molly, I own that it puts me to sleep at once;
and, indeed, most of our other amusements here are of the same kind. We
are either botanizing, or looking for stones and shells, to tell us the
age of the world. Faith! you may well stare, Molly, but it 's truth I 'm
saying, that is what they pretend to find out. They got an elephant's
jawbone the other day, that gave them great delight, and K. I. said, "I
could tell a horse's age by his teeth, but for guessing how old the
earth is by an elephant's grinders is clear beyond me."

[Illustration: 232]

When it rains and we can't go out, we have chemistry at home; but I 'm
always in a fright about the combustibles, and I 'm sure one of these
days we 'll pay for our curiosity. That man that comes to lecture has
n't a bit of eyebrows, and only two fingers on one hand, and half a
thumb on the other; not to say that he sat down one day on a pocketful
of crackers, and blew himself up in a dreadful manner.

If the weather be fine,--and I was near saying, God grant it may n't--we
are to have a course of astronomy every night next week. I can stand
everything, however, better than "moral philosophy and economics." As
to the first of the two, it's not even common-sense. It was only two
evenings ago, they laughed at me for twenty minutes about a remark
that's as true as the Bible.

"What relations does Locke say are least regarded?" says the professor
to me.

"Faith! I know nothing about Locke," says I; "but I know well that the
relations least regarded are poor relations."

As to the economics, if they could enliven it a bit by experiments, as
they do the chemistry, I could bear it well enough; but it's awfully dry
to be always listening to what you can't understand.

This is the way we live at Bonn; and though it's very elevating, I find
it's very depressing to the spirits. But I don't think we'll remain much
longer here, for K. I. is beginning to find out that the sciences are
just as dear as silks and satins; and, as he remarked the other day,
"it would be cheaper to have a dish of asparagus on the table than them
dirty weeds that they are gathering only for the sake of their hard
names."

Of course, when all is settled about the legacy, I 'll not be obliged
to submit to his humors, as I have been up to this. I'll have a voice,
Molly, and I'll take care that it is heard too. I suppose it will come
to a separation yet between us. I own to you, Molly, the "impossibility"
of our tempers will do it at last. Well, when the time comes, I'll be,
as Mrs. G. says, equal to the occasion. I can say, "I brought you
rank, name, and fortune, Kenny Dodd, and I leave you with my character
unvarnished; and maybe both is more than you deserved!"

When I think of where and what I might be, Molly, and see what I am,
I fret for a whole livelong day. And now a word about home before I
conclude. Don't mention a syllable about the legacy to Mat, or he 'll
be expecting a present at Candlemas, and I really can spare nothing.
You can say to Father John that Jones McCarthy is dead, but that nobody
knows how the estate will go. He'll maybe say some masses for him, in
the hope of being paid hereafter by the heir. I'd advise you to keep the
wool back, for they say prices will rise in Ireland, by reason of all
the people leaving it, just as it's described in the Book of Genesis,
Molly, only that Ireland is not Paradise,--that *s the difference.

Mary Anne unites in her affectionate love to you, and I am your attached

Jemima Dodd.



LETTER XVIII. MARY ANNE DODD TO MISS DOOLAN, OF BALLYDOOLAN

Grand Hôtel du Rhin, Bonn.

Dearest Catherine,--Forgive me if I substitute for the loved appellation
of infancy the more softly sounding epithet which is consecrated to
verse in every language of Europe. Yes, thou mayst be Kate of all Kates
to the rest of Christendom, but to me thou art Catherine,--"Catrinella
mia," as thou wilt.

Here, dearest, as I sit embowered beside the wide and winding Rhine, the
day-dream of my childhood is at length realized. I live, I breathe, in
the land glorified by genius. Reflected in that stream is the castled
crag of Drachenfels, mirrored as in my heart the image of my dearest
Catherine. How shall I tell you of our existence here, fascinated by the
charms of song and scenery, elevated by the strains of immortal verse?
We are living at the Grand Hôtel du Rhin, my sweet child; and having
taken the entire first floor, are regarded as something like an imperial
family travelling under the name of Dodd.

I told you in my last of our acquaintance with Mrs. Gore Hampton. It
has, since then, ripened into friendship. It is now love. I feel the
dangerous captivation of speaking of her, even passingly. Her name
suggests all that can fascinate the heart and inthrall the imagination.
She is perfectly beautiful, and not less gifted than she is lovely.
Perhaps I cannot convey to my dearest Catherine a more accurate
conception of this charming being than by mentioning some--a few--of the
changes wrought by her influence on the habits of our daily life.

Our mornings are scientific,--entirely given up to botany, chemistry,
natural history, and geology, with occasional readings in political
economy and statistics. We all attend these except papa. Even James has
become a most attentive student, and never takes his eyes off Mrs. G.
during the lecture. At three we lunch, and then mount our horses for
a ride; since, thanks to Lord George's attentive politeness, seven
saddle-horses have been sent down from Brussels for our use. Once
mounted, we are like a school released from study, so full of gayety, so
overflowing with spirits and animation.

Where shall we go? is then the question. Some are for Godesberg, where
we dismount to eat ice and stroll through the gardens; others, of whom
your Mary Anne is ever one, vote for Rolandseck, that being the very
spot whence Roland the bravo--the brave Roland--sat to gaze upon those
convent walls that enclosed all that he adored on earth.

And oh! Catherine dearest, is there amongst the very highest of those
attributes which deify human nature any one that can compare with
fidelity? Does it not comprise nearly all the virtues, heroic as well
as humble? For my part, I think it should be the great theme of poets,
blending as it does some of the tenderest with some of the grandest
traits of the heart. From Petrarch to Paul--I mean Virginia's
Paul--there is a fascination in these examples that no other quality
ever evokes. My dearest Emily--I call Mrs. G. H. by her Christian name
always--joined me the other evening in a discussion on this subject
against Lord George James, and several others, our only cavalier being
the Ritter von Wolfenschftfer, a young German noble, who is studying
here, and a remarkable specimen of his class. He is tall, and what at
first seems heavy-browed, but, on nearer acquaintance, displays one
of those grand heads which are rarely met with save on the canvas of
Titian; he wears a long beard and moustache of a reddish brown, which,
accompanied by a certain solemnity of manner and a deep-toned voice,
impress you with a kind of awe at first. His family is, I believe, the
oldest in Germany, having been Barons of the Black Forest, in some very
early century. "The first Hapsburg," he says, was a "knecht," or
vassal, of one of his ancestors. His pride is, therefore, something
indescribable.

Lord George met him, I fancy, first at some royal table, and they
renewed their acquaintance here, shyly at the beginning, but after
a while with more cordiality; and now he is here every day singing,
sketching, reciting Schiller and Goethe, talking the most delightful
rhapsodies, and raving about moonlights on the Brocken, and mysticism in
the Hartzwald, till my very brain turns with distraction.

Don't you detest the "positif,"--the dreary, tiresome, tame, sad-colored
robe of reality? and do you not adore the prismatic-tinted drapery, that
envelops the dream-creatures of imagination? I know, dearest Catherine,
that you do. I feel by myself how you shrink from the stern aspect of
reality, and love to shroud yourself in the graceful tissues of fancy!
How, then, would you long to be here,--to discuss with us themes that
have no possible relation to anything actually existing,--to talk of
those visionary essences which form the creatures of the unreal world?
The "Ritter" is perfectly charming on these subjects; there is a vein of
love through his metaphysics, and of metaphysics through his love, that
elevates while it subdues. You will say it is a strange transition that
makes me flit from these things to thoughts of home and Ireland; but in
the wilful wandering of my fancy a vision of the past rises before me,
and I must seize it ere it depart. I wish, in fact, to speak to
you about a passage in your last letter which has given me equal
astonishment and suffering. What, dearest Kitty, do you mean by talking
of a certain person's "long-tried and devoted affection,"--"his hopes,
and his steadfast reliance on my truthfulness"? Have I ever given any
one the right to make such an appeal to me? I do really believe that no
one is less exposed to such a reproach than I am! I have the right, if I
please, to misconstrue your meaning, and assume a total ignorance as to
whom you are referring. But I will not avail myself of the privilege,
Kitty,--I will accept your allusion. You mean Dr. Belton. Now, I own
that I write this name with considerable reluctance and regret. His many
valuable qualities, and the natural goodness of his disposition, have
endeared him to all of that humble circle in which his lot is cast, and
it would grieve me to write one single word which should pain him to
hear. But I ask you, Kitty, what is there in our relative stations in
society which should embolden him to offer me attentions? Do we move in
the same sphere? have we either thoughts, ideas, or ambitions--have we
even acquaintances--in common? I do not want to magnify the position I
hold. Heaven knows that the great world is not a sea devoid of rocks
and quicksands. No one feels its perils more acutely than myself. But
I repeat it: Is there not a wide gulf between us? Could _he_ live, and
move, think, act, or plan, in the circle that I associate with? Could
_I_ exist, even for a day, in _his?_ No, dearest, impossible,--utterly
impossible. The great world has its requirements,--exactions, if you
will; they are imperative, often tyrannical: but their sweet recompense
comes back in that delicious tranquillity of soul, that bland
imperturbability that springs from good breeding,--the calm equanimity
that no accident can shake, from which no sudden shock can elicit a
vibration. I do not pretend, dearest friend, that I have yet attained to
this. I know well that I am still far distant from that great goal; but
I am on the road, Kitty,--my progress has commenced, and not for the
wealth of worlds would I turn back from it.

With thoughts like these in my heart,--instincts I should perhaps call
them.--how unsuited should I be to the humble monotony of a provincial
existence! Were I even to sacrifice my own happiness, should I secure
his? My heart responds, No, certainly not.

As to what you remark of the past, I feel it is easily replied to. The
little chapel at Bruff once struck me as a miracle of architectural
beauty. I really fancied that the doorway was in the highest taste
of florid Gothic, and that the east window was positively gorgeous in
tracery. As to the altar, I can only say that it appeared a mass
of gold, silver, and embroidery, such as we read of in the "Arabian
Nights." Am I to blame, Kitty, that, after having seen the real
splendors of St. Gudule, and the dome of Cologne, I can recant my former
belief, and acknowledge that the little edifice at Bruff is poor, mean,
and insignificant; its architecture a sham, and its splendor all tinsel?
and yet it is precisely what I left it.

You will then retort, that it is _I_ am changed! I own it, Kitty. I am
so. But can you make this a matter of reproach?

If so, is not every step in intellectual progress, every stage of
development, a stigma? Your theory, if carried out, would soar beyond
the limits of this life, and dare to assail the angelic existences of
the next!

But you could not intend this; no, Kitty, I acquit you at once of such
a notion; even the defence of your friend could not make you so unjust.
Dr. Belton must, surely, be in error as to any supposed pledges or
promises on my part. I have taxed my memory to the utmost, and
cannot recall any such. If, in the volatile gayety of a childish
heart,--remember, sweetest, I was only eighteen when I left home,--I may
have said some silly speech, surely it is not worth remembering, still
less recording, to make me blush for it. Lastly, Kitty, I have learned
to know that all real happiness is based upon filial obedience; and
whatever sentiments it would be possible for me to entertain for Dr. B.
would be diametrically opposed to the wishes of my papa and mamma.

I have now gone over this question in every direction I could think of,
because I hope that it may nevermore recur between us. It is a theme
which I advert to with sorrow, for really I am unable to acquit of
presumption one whose general character is conspicuous for a modest and
retiring humility. You will acquaint him with as much of the sentiments
I here express as you deem fitting. I leave everything to your excellent
delicacy and discretion. I only beg that I may not be again asked for
explanations on a matter so excessively disagreeable to discuss, and
that I may be spared alluding to those peculiar circumstances which
separate us forever. If the time should come when he will take a more
reasonable and just view of our respective conditions, nothing will be
more agreeable to me than to renew those relations of friendship which
we so long cultivated as neighbors; and if, in any future state I may
occupy, I can be of the least service to him, I beg you to believe that
it will be both a pride and a pleasure to me to know it.

It is needless, after this, to answer the question of your postscript.
Of course he must not write to me. Nothing could induce me to read his
letter. That he should ever have thought of such a thing is a proof--and
no slight one--of his utter ignorance of all the conventional rules
which regulate social intercourse. But a truce to a theme so painful.

I answer your brief question of the turn-down of your letter as curtly
as it is put. No; I am not in love with Lord George, nor is he with
me. We regard each other as brother and sister; we talk in the most
unreserved confidence; we say things which, in the narrower prejudices
of England, would be infallibly condemned. In fact, Kitty, the sway of
a conscientious sense of right, the inward feeling of purity, admit of
many liberties here, which are denied to us at home. Here I tell you,
in one word, what it is that constitutes the superiority in tone of
the Continent over our own country,--I should say it was this very same
freedom of thought and action.

The language is full of a thousand graceful courtesies that mean so much
or so little. The literature abounding in analysis of emotions,--that
secret anatomy of the heart, so fascinating and so instructive; the
habits of society so easy and so natural; and then that chivalrous
homage paid to the sex,--all contribute to extend the realms of
conversational topics, and at the same time to admit of various ways of
treating them, such as may suit the temper, the talent, or the caprice
of each. How often does it happen from this that one hears the gravest
themes of religion and politics debated in a spirit of the most
sparkling wit and levity, while subjects of the most trivial kind
are discussed with a degree of seriousness and a display of learning
actually astounding! This wonderful versatility is very remarkable in
another respect; for, strange enough, it is the young people abroad who
are the gravest in manner, the most reserved and most saturnine.

The high-spirited, the buoyant, and most daring talkers are the elderly.
In a word, Kitty, everything here is the reverse of that at home; and,
I am forced to confess, possesses a great superiority over our own
notions.

I am dying to tell you more of the Ritter, which, I must explain to you,
is the German for "Chevalier." If you want a confession, too, I will
make one; and that is that he is desperately in love with a poor friend
of yours, who feels herself quite unworthy of the devotion of this scion
of thirty-two quarterings.

In a worldly point of view, Kitty, the possibility of such an event
would be brilliant beyond conception. His estates are a principality,
and his Schloss von Wölfenberg one of the wonders of the Black Forest.
Does not your heart swell and bound, dearest, at the thought of a real
castle, in a real forest, with a real baron, Kitty?--one of those cruel
creatures, perhaps, who lived in feudal times, and always killed a
child, to warm their feet in his heart's blood? Not that our Ritter
looks this. On the contrary, he is gentle, low-voiced, and dreamy,--a
little too dreamy,--if I must say it, and not sufficiently alive to
the rattling drolleries of Lord George and James, who torment him
unceasingly.

Mamma likes him immensely, though their intercourse is limited to mere
bows and greetings; and even papa, whose prejudice against foreigners
increases with every day, acknowledges that he is very amiable and
good-tempered. Cary appears to me to be greatly taken with him, but he
never notices her, nor pays her the slightest attention. I 'm sure I
wish he would, and I should be delighted to contribute towards such a
conjuncture. Who knows what may happen later, for he has invited us
all to the Schloss for the shooting-season,--some time, I believe, in
autumn,--and papa has said "Yes."

I now come to another secret, dearest Kitty, depending on all your
discretion not to divulge it, at least for the present. Mamma has
received a confidential note from Waters, the attorney, informing her
that she is to succeed to the McCarthy estates and property of the late
Jones M'Carthy, of M'Carthy's Folly. The amount is not yet known to us,
and we are surrounded by such difficulties, from our desire to keep the
matter secret, that we cannot expect to know the particulars for some
time. The estates were considerable; but, like those of all the Irish
aristocracy, greatly encumbered. The personal property, mamma
thinks, could not have been burdened, so that this alone may turn out
handsomely.

By some deed of settlement, or something of the kind, executed at
papa's marriage with mamma, he voluntarily abandoned all right over
any property that should descend to her, so that she will possess
the unlimited control over this bequest. Mr. Waters mentions that
the testator desired--I am not certain that he did not require as a
condition--that we should take the name of McCarthy. I hope so with all
my heart I do not believe that anything could offer such obstacles to
us abroad as this terrible and emphatic monosyllable; now, Dodd M'Carthy
has a rhythm in it, and a resonance also.

It sounds territorially, too; like the _de_ of French nobility. We
should figure in fashionable "Arrivals and Departures" with a certain
air of distinction that is denied to us at present; and I really do not
see why we should not be "The M'Carthy." You know, dearest, that the
Herald's office never interferes about Celtic nobility, inasmuch as its
origin utterly defies investigation; and there are, consequently, no
pains nor penalties attached to the assumption of a native title. How
I should be delighted to hear us announced as "The M'Carthy, family and
suite," with an explanatory paragraph about papa being the blue or the
black knight. The English are always impressed with these things,
and foreigners regard them with immense devotion. There is another
incalculable advantage, Kitty, not to be overlooked. All little
eccentricities of manner, little peculiarities of accent, voice, and
intonation, of which neither pa nor ma are totally exempt, instead of
being criticised, as some short-sighted folk might criticise them, as
vulgar, low, and commonplace, rise at once to the dignity of a national
trait.

They are like Breton French, or certain Provençal expressions in use
amongst the ancient "Seigneurie" of the land. They actually dignify
station, instead of disgracing it, so that a "brogue" seems to seal
the very patent of your nobility, and the mutilations of your parts of
speech stand for quarterings on your escutcheon.

It might seem invidious were I to quote the instances which support my
theory; but I assure you, seriously, that social success, to be rapid,
requires aids like these. There was a time when being a Villiers, a
Stanley, or a Seymour gave you a kind of illusory nobility. You were a
species of human shot-silk, that turned blue in one light, and brown
in another; but now that Burke is read in the national schools, and the
"Almanach de Gotha" in the godless colleges, deception on this head is
impossible. They take you "to book" at once. You can't be one of the
Howards of Ettinham, for Lady Mary died childless; nor one of the
Worseley branch, for the present Marquis, who married Lady Alice de
Courtenaye, had only two children,--one, British envoy at the Court of
Prince of Salms und Schweinigen; the other, &c. In fact, Kitty, you are
voted nobody. They will not allow you father nor mother, uncle nor aunt,
nor even any good friends. Better be Popkins, or Perkins, Snooks, or
even Smith, than this! The Celtic _noblesse_, however, is a safe refuge
against all impertinent curiosity. Tracing the Dodd M'Carthy to his
parent stem would be like keeping count of the sheep in Sancho's story.
Besides, matters of succession are made matters of faith in the Church,
and why shouldn't they be in the M'Carthy family? I don't suppose we
want to be more infallible than the Pope?

I have not forgotten what you mentioned about your brother Robert; nor
was it at all necessary, my dear Kitty, for you to speak of his
talents and acquirements, which I well know are first-rate. I took an
opportunity the other day of alluding to the master to Lord George, who
has influence in every quarter. I told him pretty much in the words
of your letter, that he was equally distinguished in science as in
classics, had taken honors in both, and was in all other respects fully
qualified to be a tutor. That, being a gentleman by birth, though
of small fortune, his desire was to obtain the advantages of foreign
travel, and the opportunity of acquiring modern languages, for which he
was quite willing to assume all the labor and fatigue of a teacher. He
stopped me short here by saying, "I 'm afraid it 's no go. They 've made
a farce, and a devilish good one, too, of the 'Irish Tutor;' and I half
suspect that Dr. O'Toole, as he is called, has spoiled the trade."

I tried to introduce a word about Robert's attainments, but he broke in
with,--"That 's all very well; I 'm quite sure of everything you say.
But who takes a 'coach'?"--That's the slang for tutor, Kitty!--"No one
takes a 'coach' for his learning nowadays. What's wanted--particularly
when travelling--is a sharp, wide-awake fellow, that knows all the
dodges of the Continent as well as a courier, can bully the police, quiz
the custom-house, and slang the waiters. He ought to be up to the opera
and the ballet; be a dead hand at écarté, and a capital judge of cigars.
After these, his great requisites are never ceasing good-humor, and a
general flow of high spirits, to stand all the bad jokes and vapid fun
of young college men; a yielding disposition to go anywhere, with any
one, and for anything that may be proposed; and, finally, a ready tact
never to suppose himself included in any invitation with his 'Bear,'
who, however well he may treat him, will always prefer leaving him at
home when he dines at an 'Embassy.'"

This is a rapid sketch of a tutor's life and habits, as practised
abroad, Kitty; and I more than suspect Robert would not like it. Should
I be in error, however, and that such would suit his views, I'm sure
I can reckon on Lord George's kindness to find him an appointment.
Meanwhile let him "accustom himself to much smoking and occasional
brandy-and-water, lay in a good stock of droll anecdotes, and if he can
acquire any conjuring knowledge, or tricks on the cards, it will aid him
greatly." These hints are Lord G. 's, and, I am sure, invaluable.

A thunderstorm has just broken over the valley of the Rhine, and the
dread artillery of heaven comes pealing down from the "Lurlie" like a
chorus of demons in a mod-era opera. Our excursion being impossible, I
once more resume my task, and again seat myself to hold communion with
my dearest Kitty.

I find, besides, innumerable questions still unanswered in your last
dear letter. You ask me if, on the whole, I am happier than I was at
Dodsborough? How could you ever have penned such a quaere? The tone of
seriousness which you tell me of, in my letters, admits perhaps of a
softer epithet May it not be that soul-kindled elevation that comes of
daily association with high intelligences? If I were but to tell you the
names of the illustrious writers and great thinkers whom we meet here
almost every evening, Kitty, you would no longer be amazed at the
soaring flight my faculties have taken. Not that they appear to us, my
dearest friend, in the mystic robes of science, but in the humble garb
of common life, playing "groschen" whist, or a game of tric-trac. Just
fancy, if you can, Professor Faraday playing "petits jeux," or Wollaston
engaged at "hunt the slipper."

These are the intimacies, this the kind of intercourse, which
imperceptibly cultivate the mind, and enlarge the understanding; for, as
Mrs. Gore Hampton beautifully observes, "The charm of high-bred manner
is not to be acquired by attendance on a 'levee' or a 'drawing-room,' it
is imbibed in the atmosphere that pervades a court, in the daily, hourly
association with that harmonious elegance that surrounds a sovereign."
So, dearest Kitty, from intercourse with great minds is there a
perpetual gain to our stock of knowledge. "They are," as Mrs. G. says,
"the charged machines from which the electric sparks of genius are
eternally disengaging themselves." What a privilege to be the receivers!

There is a wondrous charm, too, in their simplicity, as well as in that
habit they have of mystically connecting the most trivial topics with
the most astounding speculations. A fairy tale becomes to _them_ a
metaphysical allegory. You would scarcely credit what curious doctrines
of socialism lie veiled under "Jack the Giant Killer," or that the
Marquis of Carabas, in the tale of "Puss in Boots," is meant to
illustrate the oppression of the landed aristocracy. Nor is this all,
Kitty; but they go further, and they are always speculating on something
beyond the actual catastrophe of a story; as, the other evening, I heard
a learned argument to show that had Bluebeard not been killed, he would
have inevitably formed an alliance with "Sister Anne," just for the sake
of supporting the cause of "marriage with a deceased wife's sister."
I only mention these as passing instances of that rich Imaginative
fertility which is as much their characteristic as is their wonderful
power of argumentation.

Lord George and James worry me greatly for my admiration of Germany and
the Germans. They talk, in slang, on themes that require a high strain
of intelligence to comprehend or even appreciate. No wonder, then, if
their frivolity offend and annoy me! The Bitter von Wolfenschäfer
is an unspeakable relief to me, after this tiresome quizzing. Shall I
own that Cary is their ally in the same ignoble warfare? Indeed, nothing
surprises, and at the same time depresses me more than to remark the
little benefit derived by Caroline from foreign travel. She would seem
to sit down perfectly contented with the information derived from books,
as though the really substantial advantages of a residence abroad were
not all dependent on direct intercourse with the people. "Why not read
Uhland and Tieck at home at Dodsborough?" say I to her. "To what end do
you come hundreds of miles away from your country, to do what might so
easily have been accomplished at home?" What do you think was her reply?
It was this: "That is exactly what I should like to do. Having seen some
parts of the Continent, having enjoyed the spectacle of those wonderful
things of nature and of art which a tour abroad would display, and
having acquired that facility in languages which comes so rapidly by
their daily use, I should like to go home again, adding to the pleasures
my own country supplies, stores of knowledge and resources from other
lands. I neither want to think that Frenchmen and Germans are better
bred than my own countrymen, nor that the rigid decorum of English
manners is only a flimsy veil of hypocrisy thrown over the coarse vices
of a coarse people."

Now, my dear Kitty, be as national and patriotic as one will; play "Rule
Britannia" every morning, with variations, on the piano; wear a Paisley
shawl and a Dunstable bonnet; make yourself as hideous and absurd as
the habits of your native country will admit of,--and that is a wide
latitude,--you will be obliged to own the startling fact, the Continent
_is_ more civilized than England. Daily life is surrounded with more
of elegance and of refinement, for the simple reason that there is
more leisure for both. There is none of that vulgarity of incessant
occupation so observable with us. Men do not live here to be Poor-law
guardians and Quarter Sessions chairmen, directors of railroads, or
members of select committees. They choose the nobler ambition of mental
cultivation and intellectual polish. They study the arts which adorn
social intercourse, and acquire those graceful accomplishments which
fascinate in the great world, and, in the phrase of the newspapers,
"make home happy."

I have now come to the end of my paper, and perhaps of your patience,
but not of my arguments on this theme, nor the wish to impress them upon
my dearest Kitty. Adieu! Adieu!

I can understand your astonishment at reading this, Kitty; but is it
not another proof that Ireland is far behind the rest of the world in
civilization? The systems exploded everywhere are still pursued there,
and the unprofitable learning that all other countries have abandoned is
precisely the object of hardest study and ambition.

There are twenty other things that I wished to consult my dearest Kitty
about, but I must conclude. It is now nigh eleven o'clock, the moon is
rising, and we are off on our excursion to the Drachenfels,--for you
must know that one of the stereotyped amusements of the Continent is to
ascend mountains for the sake of seeing daybreak from the "summit" It
is frequently a failure as regards the picturesque; but never so
with respect to the pleasure of the trip. Think of a mountain path by
moonlight, Kitty; your mule slowly toiling up the steep ascent, while
some one near murmurs "Childe Harold" in your ear, the perils of the
way permitting a hundred little devotional attentions so suggestive of
dependence and protection. I must break off,--they are calling for me;
and I have but time to write myself my dearest Kitty's dearest friend,

Mart Anne Dodd.



LETTER XIX. BETTY COBB TO MRS. SHUSAN O'SHEA, PRIEST'S HOUSE, BRUFF.

Dear Misses Shusan,--I thought before this I 'd be back again in Bruff,
but I leave it all to Providence, that maybe, all the time, is thinkin'
little about me. It's not out of any unpiety I say this, but bekase the
longer I live the more I see how sarvants are trated in this world; and
the next I 'm towld is much the same.

If the mistress would let me alone, I 'd get used to the ways of the
place at last, for there 's some things is n't so bad at all; since we
came to this we have four males every day, but, if you mind grace,
you might as well have none. They've a puddin' for everything,
fish--flesh--fowl--vegebles, it's all alike; but the hardest thing is to
eat blackberries with beef, or stewed pork with rasberries;
not to spake of a pike with pine-apple, that we had yesterday.

There is always an abundance and a confusion at dinner that's plazing to
one's feelin's; for, indeed, in Ireland there is no great variety in
the servants' hall, and polatics has a sameness in them that's very
tiresome.

We are livin' now at an elegant hotel, where we sit down forty-seven of
us every day, at the sound of a big bell at one o'clock. They call it
the table doat, and I don't wonder they do, for it's the pleasantest
place I ever see. We goes down, linked arm-in-arm, me and Lord George's
man, Mister Slipper, and the Frinsh made lan in' on Moun-seer Gregory,
the currier; and there's as much bowin' and scrapin', or more, than
upstairs in the parlor. Mr. Slipper takes the head of the table, and I
am on his rite, and mam-eel on his left, and the dishes all cams to us
first, and we tumble the things about, and helps ourselves to the best
before the others, and we laff so loud, Shusan, for Mr. Slipper is
uncommon drol, and tells a number of stories that makes me cry for
laffin'; and he is just as polite, too, for whinever he tells anything
wrong he says it in French. And if you only heerd the way masters and
mistresses is spoke of, Shu-san, you 'd pity poor sarvants that has to
live with them, and put up with their bad 'umors. Mr. Slipper himself
is trated like a dog, on eighty pounds a year, and what he calls the
spoils,--that's the close that's spoiled. Many the day he never sees the
newspaper, for Lord G. sticks it in his pocket, and carries it out with
him; and when he went out to tay, the other evenin', there was n't an
embroidered shirt of his master's to put on, and he was obleeged to take
a plain cambric to make a clane breast of it! "Faix," says he, "there's
no sayin' what will happen soon, and maybe the day 'll cum I 'll have
to buy my own cigars." He had an iligant place before this one,--Sir
Michael Bexley,--but tho' the wagis was high, and the eating first-rate,
he could n't stay. "We wore in Vi-enna," says he, "where they dance a
grate dale in sosiety, and Sir Michael's hands and feet was smaller than
mine, and I could n't wear either his kid gloves or his dress-boots, and
goin' out every night the expense was krushin'."

Mamsel is trated just as bad. It's maybe three when she gets to bed; her
mistress, Mrs. G., would n't take a flour out of her head herself, but
must have the poor crayture waitin' there, like a centry. And maybe it's
at that time o' night she 'll take the notion of seein' how it bekomes
her to have her hare, this way or that, or to see if she'd look better
with more paint on her, or if her eyebrows was blacker.

Sometimes, too, she takes a fit of tryin' ball dresses, five or six,
one after another; but mamsel says, she thinks she cured her of that by
dropping some lamp oil over a bran new white satin, with Brussels lace,
that was never worn at all. As Mr. Slipper says, "Our ingenuity is taxed
to a degree that destroys our dispositions;" and I may here observe,
Shusan, that all sarvants ever I heerd of get somehow worse trated than
Irish. I don't mane in regard to wagis, bekase the Irish cartainly gets
laste, but I spake of tratement; and the rayson is this, Shusy, the
others do their work as a kind of duty, a thing they 're paid for, and
that they ought to do; we, the Irish I mane, do everything as if it was
out of oar own goodness, and that we would n't do it if we did not like;
and that's the real way to manage a master or a mistress. If he asks
for a knife at diner, sure he can't deny it's a knife bekase it's dirty,
there would n't be common sense in that. There's two ways of doin'
everything, Shusan; but, easy as it is, the Irish is the only people
profits by the lesson! It's only ourselves, Shusan dear, knows how to
make a master or mistress downright miserable!

It is true we seldom have good wagis, but we take it out in temper. If
ye seen the life I sometimes lead the mistress you'd pity her; but why
would you after all? wasn't I taken away from my home and country, and
put down here in a strange place; and if I did n't spend the day now
and then cryin', would she ever think of razing my sperits with a new
bonnet, or a pare of shoes, or a ticket for the play? Take _them_ azy,
Shusy, and they 'll take _you_ the same. But if you show them they 're
in your power, take to your bed, sick, when they 're in a hot hurry,
and want you most, be sulky and out of sperits when they 're all full of
fun, and go singin' about the house the day they 've got a distressin'
letter by the post,--keep to that, and my shure and sartain beleef is,
that you 'll break down the sperit of the wickidest master and mistress
that ever breathed.

Isn't my mistress, I ask you, as hard to dale with as any? Well, many's
the time, when I 'm listenin' at the doore, I beerd her say, "Betty
can't bear me in that shawl,--Betty put it somewhere, and I 'm afraid to
ask for it,--Betty's in one of her tantrums to-day, so I must not cross
her. I wish I knew how to put Betty Cobb in good humor." "Faix, ma'am,"
says I to myself, "I believe you well, and it would puzzle wiser heads
nor you!"

And now, Misses Shusan dear, is it any wonder that our tempers get
spoiled? seein' the lives we lade, and the dreadful turns and twists
we are obleeged to give our natral dispositions. It's for all the world
like play-actin'.

There's many things different betune this and home, and first and
foremost religion, Shusan. Religion is n't the same at all. To begin,
there's no fastin' at all, or next to none; maybe that's bekase, by
the nature of the cookery, nobody could tell what it was he was eatin'.
Then, there 's little penance,--and the little there is ye can get
off of it by a thrifle. Ye go to confessin' whin ye like, and ye keep
any-thing back for another time that ye don't wish to tell just then. In
fact, my dear, it comes to this,--it's harder to go to Heaven in Ireland
than any place ever I heerd of, and costs more money into the bargain!

The priests has n't half the power they have in Ireland, they 're not
as well paid, and they can't curse a congregation, nor do any other good
action that isn't set down in their duty. It's the polis, Shusy, that
makes ye tremble abroad, and that's the great difference between the two
countries.

As to morils, my dear, I 'm afraid we 're not supariar, for it's the
women always makes love to the men, which, till you get used to it, has
a mighty ugly appearance. I b'l'eve it's the smokin' leads to this, for
a German would n't take his pipe out of his mouth for anything; so that
courtin' is n't what it is at home.

These is my general remarks on the habits of furriners, which I give you
as free as you ask for them. As to the family, nobody knows where the
money comes from, but that they're spendin' it in lashins, is true as
I'm here. And they 're broke up, Shusy, and not the way they used to be.
The master walks out alone, or with Miss Caraline. Miss Mary Anne stays
with the mother; and Master James, that's now a grone man, and as bowld
as brass besides, is always phelanderin' about with Mrs. G., the lady
that lives with us. I mistrust her, Shusan dear, and Mamsel Virginy, her
made, too, though she's mighty kind and polite to _me_, and says she has
so many "bounties" for the whole family.

Paddy Byrne is exactly what you suspect. There's nothin' would put the
least polish on him. The very way he ates at the table doat disgraces
us; whenever he gets a thing he likes, instead of helpin' himself and
passin' it on, he takes the whole dish before him, and conshumes it all.
As he is always ready to fite, they let him do as he likes, and he is
become now the terror of the place. I have towld ye now about everybody
but the ould currier, Mounseer Gregory, an invetherate ould Frinsh
bla'guard, that never has a dacent word in his month, though he has n't
a good tooth in it, and ye'd say 't was at his prayers the ould hardened
sinner should be. The very laff he has, and the way his bleery eyes
twinkle, is a shame to see! It's nigh to fifty years since he took to
the road, so that you may think, Shusan dear, what a dale of inequity
he's seen in that time. It's dreadful sometimes to listen to him.

If I was n't ashamed to write them, I 'd tell you two or three of his
stories, but I will when we meet; and now with my hearty blessin' and
love, I remane yours to command,

Betty Cobb.

What's this I heer about one of the M'Carthys dyin', and levin' his
money to the mistress? Get the news right for me, Shusan dear, for I
mane to ask for more wagis if it's true, and if Mrs. D. won't decrease
them, I'll lave the sarvis. Mamsel Virginy towl me last nite there was
a duchés here that wants a confidenshal made to tache her only daughter
English, and that's exactly the thing to shoot me; five hundred franks
a year is equal to twenty pounds, all eatin' and washin', not to mention
the hoith of respect from all the men-ials in the house. I'm takin'
Frinsh lessons from ould Gregory every evenin', and he says I 'll be in
my "accidents" next week.



LETTER XX. JAMES DODD TO ROBERT DOOLAN, ESQUIRE, TRINITY COLLEGE,
DUBLIN.

You guessed rightly, my dear Bob; my letter to Vickars has turned
out confoundedly ill, though I must say, all from his total want of
gentlemanlike feeling. To my ineffable horror the other morning,
the post arrived with a large packet for the governor, containing my
"strictly private and confidential" epistle, which this infernal son of
a pen-wiper sends coolly back to be read by my father.

Matters were not going on exactly quite smooth before. We had had
a rather stormy sitting of the Cabinet the evening previous on the
estimates, which struck the President of the Council as out of all
bounds; and yet, all things considered, were reasonable enough. You
know, Bob, we are a strongish party. Mrs. G. H., with maid and courier;
Lord George and man; the Dodd family five, with two native domestics,
and two foreign supernumeraries; occupying the first floor of the first
hotel at Bonn, with a capital table, and a considerable quantity of
wine, of one kind or other; these--without anything that one can call
extravagance--swell up a bill, and at the end of a month give it an
actually formidable look.

"What are these?" said the governor, peering through his glasses at a
long battalion of figures at the foot of the score,--"what are these?
Groschen, eh?"

"Pardon, Monsieur le Comte," said the other, bowing, "dey are Prussian
thalers!"

I wish you saw his face when he heard it! George and I were obliged to
bolt out of the room, or we should have infallibly exploded.

"You 'd better go back," said George to me after we had our laugh out;
"I 'll take a stroll with the womenkind till you smooth him down a bit."

A pleasant office this for me; but there was no help for it, so in I
went.

The first shock of his surprise was not over as I entered, for he
stood holding the bill in one hand, while he pressed the other on his
forehead, with a most distracted expression of face.

"Do you suspect," said he--"have you any notion of what rate we are
living at, James?"

"Not the slightest," replied I.

"Do you think it 's of any consequence?" asked he again, in a harsher
tone.

"Why, of course, sir, it--is--of some con--"

"I mean," broke he in, "does it signify whether I go to jail, and the
rest of you to the workhouse,--if there be a workhouse in this rascally
land?"

Seeing that he had totally forgotten the landlord's presence, I now
motioned to that functionary to leave the room. The noise of the door
shutting roused up the governor again. He looked wildly about him for
an instant, and then snatching up the poker he aimed a blow at a large
mirror over the chimney. He struck it with such violence that it was
smashed in a dozen pieces, four or five of which came clattering down
upon the floor.

[Illustration: 256]

"I'll be a maniac," cried he. "They shall never say that I ran into
this extravagance in my sober senses; I 'll finish my days in a madhouse
first." And with these words he made a rush over to a marble table,
where a large porcelain vase was standing; by a timely spring I overtook
him, and pressed him down on an ottoman, where, I assure you, it
required all my force to hold him. After a few minutes, however, there
came a reaction; he dropped the poker from his grasp, and said, in a
low, faint voice, "There--there--I 'll do nothing now--you may release
me."

There 's not a doubt of it, Bob, but he really was insane for a few
moments, though, fortunately, it passed away as rapidly as it came.

"That," said he, with a motion towards the looking-glass,--"that will
cost twenty or twenty-five pounds, eh?"

"Not so much, perhaps," said I, though I knew I was considerably below
the mark.

"Well, I 'm sure it saved me from a fit of illness, anyhow," rejoined
he, sighing. "If I hadn't smashed it, I think my head would have burst.
Go over that, James, and see what it is in pounds."

I sat down to a table, and after some calculation made out the total to
be two hundred and seven pounds sterling.

"And with the looking-glass, about two hundred and thirty," said he,
with a sigh. "That's about--taking everything into consideration--five
thousand a year."

"You must remember," said I, trying to comfort him, "that these are not
our expenses solely. There 's Tiverton and his servant, and Mrs. Gore
Hampton and her people also."

"So there is," added he, quickly; "but they had nothing to do with
_that_;" and he pointed to the confounded looking-glass, which somehow
or other had taken a fast hold of his imagination. "Eh, James, that was
a luxury we had for ourselves!" There was a bitter, sardonic laugh that
accompanied these words, indescribably painful to hear.

"Come now," said he, in a more composed and natural voice, "let us see
what 's to be done. This is a joint account, James; why not have sent it
to Lord George--ay, to the widow also? They may as well frank the Dodd
family as _we_ pay for _them_,--of course, omitting the looking-glass."

I hinted that this was a step requiring some delicacy in its management;
that, if not conducted with great tact, it might be the occasion of
deep offence. In a word, Bob, I surmised, and conjectured, and hinted a
hundred things, just to gain a little time, and turn him, if possible,
into another channel.

"Well, what do you advise?" said he, as if wishing to fix me to some
tangible project.

For a moment I was bent on adopting the grand parliamentary tactic of
stating that there were "three courses open to the House," and then
going on to show that one of these was absurd, the second impracticable,
and the last utterly impossible; but I saw that the governor could not
be so easily put down as the Opposition, and so I said, "Give it till
to-morrow morning, and I'll see what can be done."

Here I felt I was on safe ground, for throughout life I have ever
remarked that whenever an Irishman is in difficulties, a reprieve is
as good as a free pardon to him; for so is it, the land which seems
so thoroughly hopeless in its destinies, contains the most hopeful
population of Europe!

The delay of a few hours made all the difference in the governor's
spirits, and he rallied and came down to supper just as usual, only
whispering, as we left the room, with a peculiar low chuckle in
his voice, "I would n't wonder if the fire there cracked that
chimney-glass."

"Nothing more likely," added I, gravely; and down we went.

It might possibly be out of utter recklessness, or perhaps from some
want of a stimulant to cheer him, but he insisted on having two extra
bottles of champagne, and he toasted Mrs. Gore Hampton with a zest
and fervor that certainly my mother didn't approve of. On the whole,
however, all passed off well, and we wished each other goodnight, with
the pleasantest anticipations for the morrow.

All was well; and we were at breakfast the next morning, merrily
discussing the plans for the day, when the post arrived, with that
ominous-looking packet I have already mentioned.

"Shall I guess what that contains?" cried Lord George, pointing to the
words, "on her Majesty's service," printed in the corner. "They 've made
you Lord-Lieutenant of your county, Dodd! You shake your head. Well,
it's something in the colonies they 've given you."

"Perhaps it's the Civil Cross of the Bath," said Mrs. Gore Hampton.
"They told me, before I left town, they were going to select some
Irishman for that distinction."

"I 'd rather it was a baronetcy," interposed my mother.

"You are all forgetting," broke in my father, "that it's the Tories
are in power, and they 'll give me nothing. I was always a moderate
politician, and, for the last ten or fifteen years, there was nothing so
unprofitable. Violence on either side met its reward, but the quiet men,
like myself, were never remembered."

"Then hang me if I should have been quiet!" cried Lord George.

"Well, you see," said my father, breaking his egg slowly with the back
of his spoon, "it suited me! I've seen a great deal of Ireland; I 'm
old enough to remember the time when the Beresfords governed
the country,--if you can call that government that was done with
pitched-caps and cat-o'-nine-tails,--and I remember Lord Whitworth's
Administration, and Lord Wellesley's, and latterly, Lord Normandy's.
But, take my word for it, they were wrong, every one of them, and the
reason was this: the English had a notion in their heads that Ireland
must always be ruled through the intervention of some leadership or
other. One time it was the Protestants, then it was the landlords, then
came Dan O'Connell, and, lastly, it was the priests. Now, every one
of these failed, because they could n't perform a tithe of what they
promised; but still they all had that partial kind of success that saved
the Administration a deal of trouble, and imposed upon the English the
notion that they were at last learning how to govern Ireland. Meanwhile
I 'll tell you what was happening. The Government totally forgot there
was such a thing as a people in Ireland, and, what's worse, the people
forgot it themselves; and the consequence was, they sank down to the
level of a mean party following--a miserable, shabby herd--to shout
after an Orange or a Green Demagogue, as the case might be. It was a
faction, and not a nation; and England saw that, but she had not the
honesty to own it was her own doing made it such. It was seeing all this
made me a moderate politician, or, in other words, one who reposed a
very moderate confidence in either of the parties that pretended to rule
Ireland."

"But you supported your friend, Vickars, notwithstanding," said Lord
George, slyly.

"Very true, so I did; but I never put forward any mock patriotism as the
reason. What I said was, 'Ye 're all rogues and vagabonds alike, and
as I know you 'll do nothing for Ireland, at least do something for the
Dodd family;' and now let us see if he has, for I perceive that this
address is in his handwriting."

I own to you, Bob, I quaked somewhat as I saw him smash the seal. My
mind misgave me in fifty ways. "Vickars," thought I, "has given me some
infernal store-keepership in the Gambia, or made me inspector of yellow
fever in Chusan." I surmised a dozen different promotions, every one
of which was several posts on the road to the next world. Nor were my
anticipations much brightened by watching the workings of the governor's
face as he perused the epistle; for it grew darker and darker, the
angles of the mouth were drawn down, till that expressive feature put
on the semblance of a Saxon arch, while his eyes glistened with an
expression of fiend-like malice.

"Well, K. I.," said my mother, in whom the Job-like element was not of
a high development,--"well, K. I., what does he say? Is it the old story
about his list being full, or has he done it at last?"

"Yes, ma'am," said my father, as though echoing her words. "He has done
it at last!"

"And what is it to be, papa? Is it something that a gentleman can
suitably accept?" cried Mary Anne.

"Done it at last, you may well say!" muttered my father, half aloud.

"Better late than never," cried Lord George, gayly.

"Well, I don't know _that_, my Lord," said my father, turning upon him
with an abruptness little short of offensive; "I am not so sure that
I quite coincide with you. If a young fellow enters life totally
uneducated and unprovided for, his only certain heritage being the
mortgages on his father's property, and perhaps," he added with a
sneer,--"and perhaps some of his mother's virtues, I say I am not
exactly convinced that he has improved his chances of worldly success by
such a production as _that!_"

And with these words, every one of which he delivered with a terrible
distinctness, he handed a letter across the table to Lord George, who
slowly perused it in silence.

"As for _you_, sir," continued my father, turning towards me, "I grieve
to inform you that no vacancy at present offers itself in the Guards,
nor in the household, where your natural advantages could be remarked
and appreciated. It will be, however, a satisfaction to you to know that
your high claims are already understood, and well thought of, in the
proper quarter. There's Mr. Vickars's letter." And he presented me with
the note, which ran thus:--

"Dear Mr. Dodd,--By the enclosed letter, bearing your son's signature, I
have discovered how totally below his just expectations would be any
of those official appointments which are within the limits of my humble
patronage to bestow.

"I have, consequently, cancelled the minute of his nomination to a place
in the Treasury, which was yesterday conferred upon him, and having
myself no influence in either of those departments to which his wishes
incline, I have but to express the regret I feel at my inability to
serve him, and the great respect with which I beg to remain,

"Your very faithful servant,

"Haddington Vickars."

Board of Trade, London.

"To Mr. James K. Dodd, Bonn."


I am able to give you the precious document word for word; for, if I
went over it once, I did so twenty times.

"Perhaps you might like to refresh your memory by a glance at the
enclosure," said my father. "My Lord George will kindly hand it to you."

"It is a devilish good letter, though, I must say," broke in George;
who, to do him justice, Bob, never deserts a friend in difficulties.
"It's all very fine of this fellow to talk of his inability to do this,
that, and t' other. Sure, we all know how they chop and barter their
patronage with one another. One says, you may have that thing at
Pernambuco, and then another says, 'Very well, there 's an ensigncy in
the Fifty-ninth.' And that's only gammon about the appointment made
out yesterday; he wants to ride off on that. A sharp fellow your friend
Vickars! He 'd look a bit surprised, however, if you were to say that
this letter of 'Jem's' was a forgery, and that you most gratefully
accept the nomination he alludes to, and which, of course, is not yet
filled up."

"Eh, what! how do you mean?" cried my father, eagerly, for he caught at
the very shadow of a chance with desperate avidity.

"I was only in jest," said Lord George, who merely wanted, as he
afterwards said, "to hustle the governor through the deep ground" of
his anger. "I was in jest about them, for 'Jem's' letter is so good, so
exceedingly well put, that it would be downright folly to disavow it.
You have no idea," continued he, gravely, "what excellent policy it is
always to ask for a high thing. They respect you for it, even when
they give you nothing; and then, when you do at last receive some
appointment, it is so certain to be beneath what you solicited, it
establishes a claim for your perpetual discontent. You go on eternally
boring about neglect, and so on. You accepted the humble post of Envoy
at Stuttgard, for instance, under an implied pledge about Vienna or
Constantinople. Besides these advantages, it is also to be remembered
that every now and then they actually do take a fellow at his own
valuation, and give him what he asks for."

"Lord George is quite right," chimed in Mrs. Gore Hampton; "half of
these things are purely accidental. I remember so well my uncle writing
to beg that the tutor of his boys might get some small thing in the
Church, just at the moment when the bishop of the diocese had died, and
the minister, reading the letter carelessly,--my uncle's hand is very
hard to decipher,--mistook the object of the request, and appointed him
to the bishopric."

"In that case," remarked my father, dryly, "I think Mrs. D. had better
indite an epistle to the Home Office."

And, although this was said in a sneer, the laughter that followed went
far to restore us all to good-humor, particularly as Lord George took
the opportunity of explaining to Mrs. Gore Hampton what had occurred,
bespeaking her aid and influence in our behalf.

"It is so absurd," said she, "that one should have any difficulty about
these things, but such is the case. The Duchess will be certain to make
excuses; she cannot ask for something, because she _is_ 'in waiting,' or
she is not in waiting. Lord Harrowcliff is sure to tell me that he
has just been refused a request, and cannot subject himself to another
humiliation; but I always reply, these are most selfish arguments, and
that I really must have what I want; that a refusal always attacks
my nerves, and that I will not be ill merely to indulge a caprice of
theirs. What is it Mr. James wants?"

There was something so practical in this short question, Bob, something
so decisive, that had she been talking the rankest absurdity but the
moment before, we should have forgotten it all in an instant.

"A mere nothing," replied Lord George. "You'll smile when you hear what
we 're making such a fuss about." As he said these words, he muttered
in the governor's ear, "It's all right now; she detests asking a favor,
but, if she _will_ stoop to it--" An expressive gesture implied that
success was certain.

"Well, you have n't told me what it is," said she again.

Lord George passed round to the back of her chair, and whispered a few
words. She replied in the same low tone, and then they both laughed.

"You don't mean to say," cried she, turning to my father, "that you have
experienced any difficulty about this trifle?"

The governor blundered out some bashful confession, that he had
encountered the most extraordinary obstacles to his wishes.

"I really think," said she, sighing, "they do these things just to
provoke people. They wanted Augustus t' other day to go out to the
Cape, and I assure you it was as much as Lady Mary could do to have the
appointment changed. They said his 'regiment' was there. '_Tant pis_ for
his regiment!' replied she. 'It must be a most disgusting station.' And
that is, I must say, the worst of the Horse Guards; they are always so
imperative,--so downright cruel. Don't you agree with me, Mrs. Dodd?"

"They could n't be worse than the regiment I 've heard my father speak
of," replied my mother. "They were called the 'North Britains,' and were
the wickedest set of wretches in the rebellion of '98."

This unhappy blunder set my father into a roar of laughter, for latterly
it is only on occasions like this that he is moved to any show of
merriment. Mrs. Gore Hampton, of course, never noticed the mistake, but
saying, "Now for my letters," ordered her writing-desk to be brought: a
sign of promptitude that at once diverted all our thoughts into another
channel.

"Shall I write to the Duke or to Lady Mary first?" said she, pondering;
and her eyes, accidentally falling upon my mother, she thought herself
the person addressed, and replied,--

"Indeed, ma'am, if you ask _me_, I'd say the Duke."

"I'm for Lady Mary," interposed Lord George. "There's nothing like a
woman to ferret out news, and find a way to profit by it. The duke will
just say, casually, 'I've got a letter somewhere--I hope I have not
mislaid it--about a vacancy in the "Coldstreams;" if you hear of
anything, just drop me a hint. By the way--is Fox in the Fusiliers
still?'--or, 'I hope they'll change that shako, it's monstrous!' Now,
my Lady Mary will go another way to work. She'll remember the name of
everybody that can be possibly useful. She 'll drive about, and give
little dinners, and talk, and flatter, and cajole, and intrigue, and,
growing distant here, and jealous there, she'll bring into action a
thousand forces that mere men-creatures know nothing of."

"I'm for the Duke still," said my mother; and Mary Anne, by an
inclination of her head, showed that she seconded the motion.

It became now an actual debate, Bob, and you would be amazed were I to
tell you what strong expressions and angry feelings were evoked by mere
partisanship, on a subject whereupon not one of us had the slightest
knowledge whatsoever. My father and I were with Tiverton, and as
"Caroline walked into the lobby," as George phrased it, we carried the
question. Mrs. G., however, declared that, beside the casting voice,
she had a right to a vote, and, giving it to my mother's side, we were
equal. In this stage of the proceedings a compromise alone could be
resorted to, and so it was agreed that she should write to both by the
same post; but the discussion had already lost us a day, for the mail
went out while my mother was "left speaking."

I have probably been prolix, my dear friend, in all this detail, but it
will at least show you how the Dodd family conduct questions of internal
policy; and teach you, besides, that Cabinets and Councils of State have
no special prerogative for folly and absurdity, since even small and
obscure folk like ourselves can contest the palm with them.

Neither could you well believe what small but bitter animosities, what
schisms, and what divisions grew out of a matter so insignificant as
this. The remainder of the day was passed gloomily enough, for we each
of us avoided the other, with that misgiving that belongs to those who
have uneasy consciences.

They say that a good harvest often saves a bad administration; certainly
a fine day will frequently avert a domestic broil. Had the morning which
followed our debate been a favorable one, the chances are we should have
been away to the Seven Mountains, or the village of Konigswinter, or
some such place; bad luck would have it that the rain came down in
torrents from daybreak, heavy clouds gathered over the Rhine, shutting
out the opposite bank from view, so that nothing remained to us but
home resources, which is but too often a brief expression for row and
recrimination.

Breakfast over, each of us, as if dreading a "call of the House,"
affected some peculiarly pressing duty that he had to perform. The
governor retired to pore over his accounts, and tried to make out that
the debit against him in his bankbook was a balance in his favor. My
mother retreated to her room to hold a grand inspection of her wardrobe;
a species of review that always discovers several desertions, and a vast
amount of "unserviceables." Leaving her and Mary Anne in court-martial
over Betty Cobb, who, as usual, when brought up for sentence, claimed
the right to be sent home, I pass on to Lord George, whose wet days are
generally devoted to practising some new "hazard off the cushion,"
or the investigation of that philosopher's stone, a martingale at
Rouge-et-Noir, and I arrive at my own case, which invariably
resolves itself into a day of gun and pistol cleaning,--an occupation
mysteriously linked with gloomy weather, as though one ought to have
everything in readiness to blow his brains out, if the mercury continued
to fall.

Mrs. G. had a headache, and Caroline was in pursuit of one over the
pages of the "Thirty Years' War." Such was the tableau of the Dodd
family on this agreeable day. I don't give myself much up to reflection,
Bob. I have always thought that as life is a road to be travelled, one
step forward is worth any number in the opposite direction; but I vow to
you that, on this occasion, I did begin to ponder a little over the past
and the present, with a half-glance at the future. What the governor had
said the day before was no more than the truth,--we _were_ living at
a tremendous rate. If all belonging to us were sold, the capital would
scarcely afford six or seven years of such expenditure. These were
serious, if not stunning reflections, and I heartily wished they had
occupied any other head than my own.

To _you_--who have always given your brains their own share of
work--thinking is no labor. It's like a gallop to a horse in hard
bunting condition, and only serves to keep him in wind; but to _me_,
whose faculties are, so to say, fresh from grass, the fatigue of thought
is no trifling infliction. Slow men, I take it, suffer more than your
clever fellows on these occasions, since their minds are not suggestive
of expedients, and they go on plodding over the same ground, till they
make a beaten course in their poor brains, like an old race-ground.
Something in this fashion must have occurred to me; for by dint of
that dreary morning's rumination, I half made up my mind to emigrate
somewhere, and if I did n't exactly know where, the fault lies more in
my geography than my spirit of enterprise.

The only book I could lay my hands on likely to give me any information
was "Cook's Voyages;" and this, I remembered, was in the governor's
room. I at once descended the stairs, and had just reached the little
conservatory outside of it, when I caught sight of a woman's dress
beneath the thick foliage of the orange-trees. I crept noiselessly
onward, and after a very devious series of artful dodges, I detected
Mrs. D. playing eavesdropper at the governor's door.

I tried to persuade myself that I was mistaken. I did my best to fancy
that she was botanizing or "bouquet" gathering; but no, the stubborn
fact would not be denied. There she was, bent down, with ear and eye
alternately at the keyhole. Neither the act nor the situation were very
dignified, and determining that she should not be detected by any other
in this predicament, I kicked down a flower-pot, and, before I had well
time to replace it, she was gone.

I 'm quite prepared for the laugh you 'll give, Bob, when I own to
you that no sooner had I seen her vanish from the horizon than I
deliberately took my place exactly where she had been. Of course, my
sense of honor and delicacy suggested that I had no other object in
view than to ascertain what it was that bad drawn her to the spot. Any
curiosity that possessed me was strictly confined to this.

I accordingly bent my ear to the keyhole, and had just time to recognize
Mrs. Gore Hampton's voice, when the noise of chairs being drawn back,
and the scuffling sounds of feet, showed that the interview had come
to an end. Scarcely a moment was left me to shelter myself among the
leaves, when the door opened, "discovering," as stage directions would
say, Mr. Dodd and Mrs. Gore Hampton in conversation.

There was really a dramatic look in the situation too. The governor's
flowered dressing-gown and velvet skullcap, decorated in front by his
up-raised spectacles, like a portcullis over his nose, contrasted so
well with the graceful morning robe of Mrs. G., all floating and gauzy,
and to which her every gesture imparted some new character of vapory
lightness.

"Dear Mr. Dodd," said she, pressing his hand with extreme cordiality,
"you have been so very, very kind, I really have no words to express
what I feel towards you. I have long felt that I owed you this
explanation--I have tried to summon courage for it for weeks past--then
I sometimes doubted how you might receive it."

"Oh, madam!" interrupted he, gracefully closing his drapery with one
hand, while he pressed the other on his heart.

"You kind creature!" cried she, enthusiastically. "I can now wonder at
myself that I should ever have admitted a doubt on the question. But
if you only knew what sorrows I have seen--if you only knew with what
severe lessons mistrust and suspicion have become graven on this heart,
young as it is--"

"Ah, madam!" murmured he, as though the last few words had made the
deepest impression upon him.

"Well, it's over now," cried she, in her more natural tone of gayety.
"The weary load is off me, and I am myself again,--thanks to you, dear,
dear kind friend."

Faith, Bob, from the enthusiasm of the utterance of this last speech, I
thought that a stage embrace ought to have followed; and I believe that
the governor was of my mind too, and only restrained by some real or
fancied necessity to keep his toga closed in front of him. Mrs.
G., however, as though fearing that he might ultimately forget the
"unities," again pressed his hand with both her own, and murmuring,
"With you, then, my secret is safe,--to _you_ all is confided," she
hurried away, as if overcome by her feelings.

I could not guess what might have reached my mother's ears, but I
thought to myself, if she only had heard even this much, and witnessed
the fervor with which it was uttered, the governor's life for the next
few weeks needs not be envied by any one out of a condemned cell. Not
that to _me_ the scene admitted of any interpretation which should
warrant her suspicions; but so it is, she takes a jealous turn every now
and then, and he can't take a pinch of snuff without her peering over
his shoulder to see if he has not got a miniature in the lid of the box.
He used to try to reason her out of these notions,--his vindications
even took the dangerous length of certain abstract opinions about the
sex in general, very far from complimentary; but latterly he has sought
refuge in drink, which usually ends in an illness, so that an attack of
jealousy was the invariable premonitory symptom of one of gout; and my
mother's temper and tincture of colchicum seemed inseparably connected
by some unseen link.

From these thoughts I followed on to others about the scene itself,
and what possible circumstance could have led Mrs. G. H. to visit the
governor in his own room, and what was the prodigious mystery she had
just confided to his keeping. Probability, I fear, takes up little space
in any speculation about a woman. I am sure that if I were to recount to
you one-half of the absurd and extravagant fancies that occurred to me
on this occasion, you would infallibly set me down as mad. I 'll not tax
your patience with the recital, but frankly confess to you that I have
not a clew, even the slightest, to the mystery; nor from the manner in
which I have learned its existence, can I venture to ask Lord George to
aid me.

The incident had one effect,--it totally banished emigration, clearings,
and log huts from my mind, and set my thoughts a rambling upon all
the strange people and extraordinary events that travelling abroad
introduces one to; and with this reflection I strolled back to my room,
and sat brooding over the fire till it was time to dress for dinner.
Although you may not have the vaguest notion of what is passing in the
minds of certain people, the very fact that they are fully occupied
with certain strong feelings is a reason for observing them with an
extraordinary interest; and so was it that our party at table that day
was full of meaning to me. There was a kind of languid repose about
Mrs. Gore Hampton's manner which seemed especially assumed towards the
governor, and a certain fidgety consciousness in _his_, sufficiently
noticeable; while my mother, dressed in one of her war turbans, looked
unutterably fierce things on every side. It was easy enough to see
that all this additional weight upon the safety-valves of her temper
threatened a terrible explosion at last, and it required all the tact
I could muster to my aid to defer the catastrophe. Lord George gave me,
too, his willing aid, and by the help of an old Professor of Oriental
Languages, we made up her rubber of whist in the evening.

Alas, Bob! even four by honors couldn't console her for the "odd
trick" she suspected the governor was playing her; and she broke up the
card-table, and retired with that swelling dignity of manner that is the
accompaniment of injured feelings.

It had been our plan to proceed from this place direct to Baden-Baden,
which, from everything I can learn, must be a perfect paradise; but now,
to my great surprise, I discovered that for some secret reason we
should first go to Ems, and remain there a week or two before proceeding
further. This arrangement was Mrs. G's, and Lord George seemed to give
it his hearty concurrence; alleging, but for the first time, that it
was absurd to think of Baden before the middle of July. I could easily
perceive that this change of purpose contained some mysterious motive;
but, as Tiverton persisted in averring that it was "all on the square,"
and "no double," I had to accept it as such.

Such is, therefore, our position as I write these lines; and although
to-morrow might develop the first movement of the campaign, I cannot
keep my letter open to communicate it You will see that we are as
divided as a Ministerial Cabinet. Some of us, doubtless, have their
honest convictions, and others are, perhaps, plastic enough to receive
impressions from without, but how we are to work together, and how, as
the great authority said, the "Government is to be carried on," is more
than yet appears to

Your ever attached friend,

James Dodd.

I open my letter to say that Lord G. has just dropped in to tell me what
is the plan of procedure. The Grand Duchess of Hohenschwillinghen is to
arrive at Ems this week, and Mrs. G. H. is anxious to wait upon her at
once. They were dear friends once, but something or other interposed a
coolness between them of late years. Lord G. endeavored to explain this,
but I couldn't follow the story. It was something about one of our royal
family wanting to marry, or not to marry, somebody else, and that Mrs.
G. H. or the Duchess had promoted or opposed the match. Suffice, it was
a regular kingly shindy, and all engaged in it were of the blood royal.

The really important thing at the moment is that the governor is to
conduct Mrs. G. H. to-morrow to Ems, and we are to follow in a day
or two. How my mother will receive this information, or who is to
communicate it to her, are questions not so easily solved.



LETTER XXI. MRS. DODD TO MISTRESS MARY GALLAGHER.

My dear Molly,--If it wasn't that I am supported in a wonderful way, and
that my appetite keeps good for the bit I eat, I would n't be able to
sit down here and relate the sufferings of my afflicted heart There has
been nothing but trials and tribulations over me since I wrote last, and
I knew it was coming, too, for that dirty beast, Paddy Byrne, upset
the lamp, and spilled all the oil over the sofa the other evening; and
whilst the others were scouring and scrubbing with spirit of soap and
neumonia, I sat down to cry heartily, for I foresaw what was coming; and
I knew well that spilt oil is the unluckiest thing that ever happens in
a family.

Maybe I wasn't right The very next morning Betty Cobb goes and cuts my
antic lace flounce down the middle, to make borders for caps; and that
wasn't enough, but she puts the front breadth of my new flowered satin
upside down, so that, "to make the roses go right," as James says, "I
ought to walk on my head." That's spilt oil for you!

Whilst I was endeavoring to bear up against these with all Christian
animosity, in comes the post-bag. The very sight of it, Molly, gave me a
turn; and, I declare to you, I knew as well there was bad news in it as
if I was inside of it. You've often beard of a "presentment" Molly,
and that's what I had; and when you have that, it's no matter what it's
about, whether it's a road that's broke up, or a bridge that's broke
down, take my advice, and never listen to what they call "reason," for
it's just flying in the face of Providence. I had one before Mary Anne
was born. I thought the poor baby would have the mark of a snail on her
neck; and true enough, the very same week K. I. was shot through the
skirts of his coat, and came home with five slugs in him; and when you
think, as Father Maher said, "Slugs and snails are own brothers," or, at
least, have a strong anomaly between them, my dream came true; not but I
acknowledge, gratefully, that in this case the fright was worse than the
reality.

Well, to come back to the bag; I looked at it, and said to myself, as I
often said to K. I., "Smooth and slippery as you seem without, there's
bad inside of you;" and you 'll see yourself if I was n't right both
ways.

The first letter they took out was for myself, and in Waters's
handwriting. It began with all the balderdash and hard names the lawyers
have for everything, trying to confuse and confound, just as, Father
Maher says, the "scuttle-fish" muddies the water before he runs away;
but towards the end, my dear, he grew plainer and more conspicuous, for
he said, "You will perceive, by the subjoined account, that after the
payment of law charges, and other contingent expenses, the sum at your
disposal will amount to twelve hundred and thirty-four pounds six and
ninepence-halfpenny." I thought I 'd drop, Molly, as I read it; I
shook and I trembled, and I believe, indeed, ended with a strong fit of
screeching, for my nerves was weak before, and really this shock was
too much for any constitution. Twelve hundred and thirty-six! when I
expected, at the very least, fifteen or sixteen thousand pounds! It was
only that very blessed morning that I was planning to myself about a
separation from K. I. I calculated that I 'd have about six hundred a
year of my own; and, out of decency sake, he could n't refuse me three
or four more, and with this, and my present knowledge of the Continent,
I thought I 'd do remarkably well. For I must observe to you, Molly,
that there's no manner of disgrace, or even unpleasantness, in being
separated abroad. It is not like in Ireland, where everybody thinks the
worse of you both; and, what between your own friends and your husband's
friends, there is n't an event of your private life that 's not laid
bare before the world, so that, at last, the defence of you turns out
to be just as dreadful as the abuse. No, Molly, here it's all different
Next to being divorced, the most fashionable thing is a separation, and
for one woman, in really high life, that lives with her husband, you 'll
find three that does not. I suppose, like everything else in this sinful
world, there's good and there 's bad in this custom. When I first came
abroad, I own, I disliked to see it. I fancied that, no matter how it
came about, the women was always wrong. But that was merely an Irish
prejudice, and, like many others, I have lived to get rid of it. There
's nothing convinces you of this so soon as knowing intimately the
ladies that are in this situation.

Of all the amiable creatures I ever met, I know nothing to compare with
them. It is not merely of manners and good breeding that I speak,
but the gentle, mild quietness of their temper,--a kind of submissive
softness that, I own to you, one can't have with their husbands, and
maybe that's the reason they 've left them. I merely mention this to
show you that if I had a reasonably good income, and was separated from
K. I., there 's no society abroad that I mightn't be in; and, in fact,
my dear Molly, I may sum all up by saying that living with your husband
may give you some comfort when you 're at home, but it certainly
excludes you from all sympathy abroad; and for one friend that you have
in the former case, you 'll have, at the least, ten in the latter.

This will explain to you why and how my thoughts ran upon separation,
for if I had stayed in Ireland, I 'm sure I 'd never have thought of
it; for I own to you, with shame and sorrow, Molly, that we know no more
about civilization in our poor Ireland "than," as Lord George says, "a
prairie bull does about oil-cake."

You may judge, then, of what my feelings was when I read Waters's
letter, and saw all my elegant hopes melting like jelly on a hot plate.
Twelve hundred pounds! Was it out of mockery he left it to me? Faith,
Molly, I cried more that night than ever I thought to do for old Jones
M'Carthy! Myself and Mary Anne was as red in the eyes as two ferrets.

The first, and of course the great shock was the loss of the money,
and after that came the thought of the way K. I. would behave when he
discovered my disappointment. For I must tell you that the bare idea of
my being independent drove him almost crazy. He seemed, somehow, to have
a kind of lurking suspicion that I'd want to separate, and now, when he
'd come to discover the trifle I was left, there would be no enduring
his gibes and his jeers. I had it all before me how he 'd go on,
tormenting and harassing me from daylight to dark. This was dreadful,
Molly, and overcame me completely. I knew him well; and that he would
n't be satisfied with laughing at my legacy, but he 'd go on to abuse
the M'Carthy family and all my relations. There's nothing a low man
detests like the real old nobility of a country.

Mary Anne and I talked it all over the whole night, and turned it every
way we could think. If we kept the whole secret, it would save "going
into black" for ourselves and the servants, and that was a great object;
but then we could n't take the name of M'Carthy after that of Dodd,
quartering the arms on our shield, and so on, without announcing
the death of poor Jones M'Carthy. There was the hitch; for Mary Anne
persisted in thinking that the best thing about it all was the elegant
opportunity it offered of getting rid of the name of Dodd, or, at the
least, hiding it under the shadow of M'Carthy.

Ah, my dear Molly, you know the proverb, "Man proposes, but fate
opposes." While we were discoursing over these things, little I guessed
the mine that was going to explode under my feet. I mentioned to you in
my last, I think, a lady with whom we agreed to travel in company,--a
Mrs. Gore Hampton, a very handsome, showy woman,--though I own to you,
Molly, not what I call "one of _my_ beauties."

She is tall and dark-haired, and has that kind of soft, tender way with
men that I remark does more mischief than any other. We all liked her
greatly at first,--I suppose she determined we should, and spared no
pains to suit herself to our various dispositions. I 'm sure I tried to
be as accommodating as she was, and I took to arts and sciences that
I could n't find any pleasure in; but I went with the stream, as the
saying is, and you 'll see where it left me! I vow to you I had my
misgivings that a handsome, fine-looking young woman was only thinking
of dried frogs and ferns. They were n't natural tastes, and so I kept a
sharp eye on her. At one time I suspected she was tender on Lord George,
and then I thought it was James; but at last, Molly darling, the truth
flashed across me, like a streak of lightning, making me stone blind
in a minute! What was it I perceived, do you think, but that the real
"Lutherian" was no other than K. I. himself? I feel that I 'm blushing
as I write it The father of three children, grown-up, and fifty-eight in
November, if he's not more, but he won't own to it.

There's things, Molly, "too dreadful," as Father Maher remarks, "for
human credulity," and when one of them comes across you in life, the
only thing is to take up the Litany to St Joseph, and go over it once or
twice, then read a chapter or two of Dr. Croft's "Modern Miracles of the
Church," and by that time you're in a frame to believe anything. Well,
as I had n't the book by me, I thought I 'd take a solitary ramble by
myself, to reflect and consider, and down I went to a kind of greenhouse
that is full of orange and lemon trees, and where I was sure to be
alone.

K. I. has what he calls his dressing-room--it's little trouble dressing
gives him--at the end of this; but I was n't attending to that, but
sitting with a heavy heart under a dwarf fig-tree, like Nebuchadnezzar,
and only full of my own misfortunes, when I heard through the trees the
rustling sound of a woman's dress. I bent down my head to see, and there
was Mrs. G. in a white muslin dressing-gown, but elegantly trimmed with
Malines lace, two falls round the cape, and the same on the arm, just as
becoming a thing as any she could put on.

"What's this for?" said I to myself; for you may guess I knew she
did n't dress that way to pluck lemons and green limes; and so I sat
watching her in silence. She stood, evidently listening, for a minute
or two; she then gathered two or three flowers, and stuck them in her
waist, and, after that, she hummed a few bars of a tune, quite low,
and as if to herself. That was, I suppose, a signal, for K. I.'s door
opened; and there he stood himself, and a nice-looking article he was,
with his ragged _robe de chambre_, and his greasy skull-cap, bowing
and scraping like an old monkey. "I little knew that such a flower
was blooming in the conservatory," said he, with a smirk I suppose he
thought quite captivating.

"You do not pretend that you selected your apartment here but in the
hope of watching the unfolding buds," replied she; and then, with
something in a lower voice, to which he answered in the same, she passed
on into his room, and he closed the door after her.

I suppose I must have fainted, Molly, after that. I remembered nothing,
except seeing lemon and orange trees all sliding and flitting about, and
felt myself as if I was shooting down the Rhine on a raft. Maybe it's
for worse that I 'm reserved. Maybe it would have been well for me if
I was carried away out of this world of woe, wickedness, and artful
widows. When I came to myself, I suddenly recalled everything; and it
was as much as I could do not to scream out and bring all the house to
the spot and expose them both. But I subdued my indigent feelings, and,
creeping over to the door, I peeped at them through the keyhole.

K. I. was seated in his big chair, she in another close beside him. He
was reading a letter, and she watching him, as if her life depended on
him.

"Now read this," said she, thrusting another paper into his hand, "for
you 'll see it is even worse."

[Illustration: 278]

"My heart bleeds for you, my dear Mrs. Gore," said he, taking off his
spectacles and wiping his eyes, and red enough they were afterwards, for
there was snuff on his handkerchief,--"my heart bleeds for you!"

These were his words; and why I didn't break open the door when I heard
them, is more than I can tell.

"I was certain of your sympathy; I knew you 'd feel for me, my dear Mr.
Dodd," said she, sobbing.

"Of course you were," said I to myself. "He was the kind of old fool
you wanted. But, faith, he shall feel for _me_, too, or my name is not
Jemima."

"I don't suppose you ever heard of so cruel a case?" said she, still
sobbing.

"Never,--never," cried he, clasping his hands. "I did n't believe it was
in the nature of man to treat youth, beauty, and loveliness with such
inhumanity. One that could do it must be a Creole Indian."

"Ah, Mr. Dodd!" said she, looking up into his eyes.

"In Tartary, or the Tropics," said he, "such wretches may be found, but
in our own country and our own age--"

"Ah, Mr. Dodd," said she, again, "it is only in an Irish heart such
generous emotions have their home!"

The artful hussey, she knew the tenderest spot of his nature by an
instinct! for if there was anything he could n't resist, it was the
appeal to his being Irish. And to show you, Molly, the designing
craft of her, _she_ knew that weakness of K. I. in less than a month's
acquaintance, that _I_ did n't find out till I was eight or nine years
married to him.

For a minute or two my feelings overcame me so much that I could n't
look or listen to them; but when I did, she had her hand on his arm, and
was saying in the softest voice,--

"I may, then, count upon your kindness,--I may rest assured of your
friendship."

"That you may,--that you may, my dear madam," said he.

Yes, Molly, he called her "madam" to her own face.

"If there should be any cruel enough, ungenerous enough, or base
enough," sobbed she, "to calumniate me, _you_ will be my protector;
and beneath _your_ roof shall I find my refuge. _Your_ character--your
station in society--the honorable position you have ever held in
the world--your claims as a father--your age--will all give the best
contradiction to any scandal that malevolence can invent. Those dear
venerable locks--"

Just as she said this, I heard somebody coming, and in haste too, for a
flower-pot was thrown down, and I had barely time to make my escape to
my own room, where I threw myself on my bed, and cried for two hours.

I have gone through many trials, Molly. Few women, I believe, have seen
more affliction and sorrow than myself; from the day of my ill-suited
marriage with K. I. to the present moment, I may say, it has been out
of one misery into another with me ever since. But I don't think I ever
cried as hearty as I did then, for, you see, there was no delusion
or confusion possible! I heard everything with my own ears, and saw
everything with my own eyes.

I listened to their plans and projects, and even heard them rejoicing
that, because he was stricken in years, and the father of a grown
family, nobody would suspect what he was at "Those dear venerable
locks," as she called them, were to witness for him!

Oh, Molly, wasn't this too bad; could you believe that there was as much
duplicity in the world as this? _I_ own, _I_ never did. I thought I saw
wickedness enough in Ireland. I know the shameless way I was cheated in
wool, and that Mat never was honest about rabbit-skins. But what was all
that compared to this?

When I grew more composed, I sent for Mary Anne, and told her
everything; but just to show you the perversity of human nature, she
would n't agree to one word I said. It was law papers, she was sure,
that Mrs. G. was showing; she had something in Chancery, maybe, or
perhaps it was a legacy "tied up," like our own, "and that she wanted
advice about it" But what nonsense that was! Sure, he needn't be the
father of a family to advise her about all that. And there I was, Molly,
without human creature to support or sustain me! For the first time
since I came abroad, I wished myself back in Dodsborough. Not, indeed,
that K. I. would ever have behaved this way at home in Ireland, with the
eyes of the neighborhood on him, and Father Maher within call.

I passed a weary night of it, for Mary Anne never left me, arguing and
reasoning with me, and trying to convince me that I was wrong, and if I
was to act upon my delusions, that I 'd be the ruin of them all. "Here
we are now," said she, "with the finest opportunity for getting into
society ever was known. Mrs. G. is one of the aristocracy, and intimate
with everybody of fashion: quarrel with her, or even displease her,
and where will we be, or who will know us? Our difficulties are already
great enough. Papa's drab gaiters, and the name of Dodd, are obstacles
in our way, that only great tact and first-rate management can get over.
When we are swimming for our lives," said she, "let us not throw away
a life-preserver." Was n't it a nice name for a woman that was going to
shipwreck a whole family.

The end of it all was, however, that I was to restrain my feelings, and
be satisfied to observe and watch what was going on, for as they could
have no conception of my knowing anything, I might be sure to detect
them.

When I agreed to this plan, I grew easier in my mind, for, as I remarked
to Mary Anne, "I 'm like soda-water, and when you once draw the cork,
I never fret nor froth any more." So that after a cold chicken, cut up
with salad, a thing Mary Anne makes to perfection, and a glass of white
wine negus, I slept very soundly till late in the afternoon.

Mary Anne came twice into my room to see if I was awake, but I was lying
in a dreamy kind of half-sleep, and took no notice of her, till she said
that Mrs. Gore Hampton was so anxious to speak to me about something
confidentially. "I think," said Mary Anne, "she wants your advice
and counsel for some matter of difficulty, because she seems greatly
agitated, and very impatient to be admitted." I thought at first to say
I was indisposed, and could n't see any one; but Mary Anne persuaded me
it was best to let her in; so I dressed myself in my brown satin with
three flounces, and my jet ornaments, out of respect to poor Jones that
was gone, and waited for her as composed as could be.

Mary Anne has often remarked that there's a sort of quiet dignity in my
manner when I 'm offended, that becomes me greatly. I suppose I'm more
engaging when I am pleased. But the grander style, Mary Anne thinks,
becomes me even better. Upon this occasion I conclude that I was looking
my very best, for I saw that Mrs. G. made an involuntary stop as she
entered, and then, as if suddenly correcting herself, rushed over to
embrace me.

"Forgive my rudeness, my dear Mrs. Dodd, and although nothing can be
in worse taste than to offer any remark upon a friend's dress, I must
positively do it. Your cap is charming,--actually charming."

It was a bit of net, Molly, with a rosette of pink and blue ribbon on
the sides, and only cost eight francs, so that I showed her that
the flattery didn't succeed. "It's very simple, ma'am," said I, "and
therefore more suitable to my time of life."

"Your time of life," said she, laughing, so that for several minutes she
could n't continue. "Say _our_ time of life, if you like, and I hope and
trust it's exactly the time in which one most enjoys the world, and is
really most fitted to adorn it."

I can't follow her, Molly; I don't know what she said, or did n't say,
about princesses, and duchesses, and other great folk, that made no
"sensation" whatever in society till they were, as she said, "like us."
She is an artful creature, and has a most plausible way with her; but
this I must say, that many of her remarks were strictly and undeniably
true; particularly when she spoke about the dignified repose and calm
suavity of womanhood. There I was with her completely, for nothing
shocks me more than that giggling levity one sees in young girls; and
even in some young married women.

We talked a great deal on this subject, and I agreed with her so
entirely that I was in danger every moment of forgetting the cold
reserve that I ought to feel towards her; but every now and then it came
over me like a shudder, and I bridled up, and called her "ma'am" in a
way that quite chilled her.

"Here, it's four o'clock," said she, at last, looking at her watch, "and
I have n't yet said one word about what I came for. Of course you know
what I mean?"

"I have not that honor, ma'am," said I, with dignity.

"Indeed! Then Mr. Dodd has not apprised you--he has mentioned nothing--"

"No, ma'am, Mr. Dodd has mentioned nothing;" and this I said with a
significance, Molly, that even stone would have shrunk under.

"Men are too absurd," said she, laughing; "they recollect nothing."

"They do forget themselves at times, ma'am," said I, with a look that
must have shot through her.

She was so confused, Molly, that she had to pretend to be looking for
something in her bag, and held down her head for several seconds.

"Where can I have laid that letter?" said she. "I am so very careless
about letters; fortunately for me I have no secrets, is it not?"

This was too barefaced, Molly, so I only said "Humph!"

"I must have left it on my table," said she, still searching, "or
perhaps dropped it as I came along."

"Maybe in the conservatory, ma'am," said I, with a piercing glance.

"I never go there," said she, calmly. "One is sure to catch cold in it,
with all the draughts."

The audacity of this speech gave me a sick feeling all over, and I
thought I 'd have fainted. "The effrontery that could carry her through
that," thought I, "will sustain her in any wickedness;" and I sat there
powerless before her from that minute.

"The letter," said she, "was from old Madame de Rougemont,
who is in waiting on the Duchess, and mentions that they will reach Ems
by the 24th at latest. It's full of gossip. You know the old Rougemont,
what wonderful tact she has, and how well she tells everything."

She rattled along here at such a rate, Molly, that even if I knew every
topic of her discourse, I could not have kept up with her. There was the
Emperor of Russia, and the Queen of Greece, and Prince this of Bavaria,
and Prince that of the Asturias, all moving about in little family
incidents; and what between the things they were displeased at, and
others that gratified them,--how this one was disgraced, and that got
the cross of St. Something, and why such a one went _here_ to meet
somebody who could n't go _there_--my head was so completely addled that
I was thankful to Providence when she concluded the harangue by
something that I could comprehend. "Under these circumstances, my dear
Mrs. Dodd," said she, "you will, I am sure, agree with me, there is no
time to be lost."

"I think not, ma'am," said I, but without an inkling of what I was
saying.

"I knew you would say so," said she, clasping my hand. "You have an
unerring tact upon every question, which reminds me so strongly of Lady
Paddington. She and the Great Duke, you know, were said to be never in
the wrong. It is therefore an unspeakable relief to me that you see this
matter as I do. It will be, besides, such a pleasure to the poor dear
Duchess to have us with her; for I vow to you, Mrs. Dodd, I love her for
her own sake. Many people make a show of attachment to her from selfish
motives,--they know how gratified our royal family feel for such
attentions,--but I really love her for herself; and so will you, dearest
Mrs. Dodd. Worldly folk would speculate upon the advantages to be
derived from her vast influence,--the posts of honor to be conferred on
sons and daughters; but I know how little these things weigh with _you_.
Not, I must add, but that I give you less credit for this independence
of feeling than I should accord to others. You and yours are happily
placed above all the accidents of fortune in this world; and if it ever
_should_ occur to you to seek for anything in the power of patronage to
bestow, who is there would not hasten to confer it? But to return to
the dear Duchess. She says the 24th at latest, and to-day we are at the
22nd, so you see there is not any time to lose."

"Not a great deal indeed, ma'am," said I, for I suddenly remembered all
about her with K. I., as she laid her hand on my arm exactly as I saw
her do upon his.

"With a sympathetic soul," cried she, "how little need is there of
explanation! You already see what I am pointing at. You have read in my
heart my devotion and attachment to that sweet princess, and you see
how I am bound by every tie of gratitude and affection to hasten to meet
her."

You may be sure, Molly, that I gave my heartiest concurrence to the
arrangement. The very thought of getting rid of her was the best tidings
I could hear; since, besides putting an end to all her plots and devices
for the future, it would give me the opportunity of settling accounts
with K. I., which it would be impossible to do till I had him here
alone. It was, then, with real sincerity that my "sympathetic soul"
fully assented to all she said.

"I knew you would forgive me. I knew that you would not be angry with
me for this sudden flight," said she.

"Not in the least, ma'am," said I, stiffly.

"This is true kindness,--this is real friendship," said she, pressing my
band.

"I hope it is, ma'am," said I, dryly; for, indeed, Molly, it was hard
work for me to keep my temper under.

She never, however, gave me much time for anything, for off she went
once more about her own plans; telling me how little luggage she would
take, how soon we should meet again, how delighted the Duchess would be
with me and Mary Anne, and twenty things more of the same sort.

At last we separated, but not till we had embraced each other three
times over; and, to tell you the truth, I had it in my heart to strangle
her while she was doing it.

The agitation I went through, and my passion boiling in me, and no vent
for it, made me so ill that I was taking Hoffman and camphor the whole
evening after; and I could n't, of course, go down to dinner, but had
a light veal cutlet with a little sweet sauce, and a roast pigeon with
mushrooms, in my own room.

K. I. wanted to come in and speak to me, but I refused admission, and
sent him word that "I hoped I'd be equal to the task of an interview in
the course of a day or so;" a message that must have made him tremble
for what was in store for him. I did this on purpose, Molly, for I often
remarked that there's nothing subdues K. I. so much as to keep something
hanging over him. As he said once himself, "Life isn't worth having, if
a man can be called up at any minute for sentence." And that shows you,
Molly, what I oftentimes mentioned to you, that if you want or expect
true happiness in the married state, there's only one road to it,
and that is by studying the temper and the character of your husband,
learning what is his weakness and which are his defects. When you know
these well, my dear, the rest is easy; and it's your own fault if you
don't mould him to your liking.

Whether it was the mushrooms, or a little very weak shrub punch that
Mary Anne made, disagreed with me, I can't tell, but I had a nightmare
every time I went to sleep, and always woke up with a screech. That's
the way I spent the blessed night, and it was only as day began to
break that I felt a regular drowsiness over me and went off into a good
comfortable doze. Just then there came a rattling of horses' hoofs,
and a cracking of whips under the window, and Mary Anne came up to
say something, but I would n't listen, but covered my head up in the
bedclothes till she went away.

It was twenty minutes to four when I awoke, and a gloomy day, with a
thick, soft rain falling, that I knew well would bring on one of my bad
headaches, and I was just preparing myself for suffering, when Mary Anne
came to the bedside.

"Is she gone, Mary Anne?" said I.

"Yes," said she; "they went off before six o'clock."

"Thanks be to Providence," said I. "I hope I 'll never see one of them
again."

"Oh, mamma," said she, "don't say that!"

"And why wouldn't I say it, Mary Anne?" said I. "Would you have me nurse
a serpent,--harbor a boa-constrictor in my bosom?"

"But, then, papa," said she, sobbing.

"Let him come up," said I. "Let him see the wreck he has made of me. Let
him come and feast his eyes over the ruin his own cruelty has worked."

"Sure he's gone," said she.

"Gone! Who's gone?"

"Papa. He's gone with Mrs. Gore Hampton!"

With that, Molly, I gave a scream that was heard all over the house.
And so it was for two hours--screech after screech--tearing my hair
and destroying everything within reach of me. To think of the old
wretch--for I know his age right well; Sam Davis was at school with
him forty-eight years ago, at Dr. Bell's, and that shows he's no
chicken--behaving this way. I knew the depravity of the man well enough.
I did n't pass twenty years with him without learning the natural
wickedness of his disposition, but I never thought he 'd go the length
of this. Oh, Molly! the shock nearly killed me; and coming as it did
after the dreadful disappointment about Jones M'Carthy's affairs, I
don't know at all how I bore up against it. I must tell you that
James and Mary Anne did n't see it with my eyes. They thought, or they
pretended to think, that he was only going as far as Ems, to accompany
her, as they call it, on a visit to the Princess,--just as if there was
a princess at all, and that the whole story wasn't lies from beginning
to end.

Lord George, too, took their side, and wanted to get angry at my unjust
suspicions about Mrs. G., but I just said, what would the world think of
_me_ if I went away in a chaise and four with _him_ by way of paying a
visit to somebody that never existed? He tried to laugh it off, Molly,
and made little of it, but I wouldn't let him, in particular before Mary
Anne,--for whatever sins they may lay to my charge, I believe that they
can't pretend that I did n't bring up the girls with sound principles of
virtue and morality,--and just to convince him of that, I turned to and
exposed K. I. to James and the two girls till they were well ashamed of
him.

It's a heartless bad world we live in, Molly! and I never knew its
badness, I may say, till now. You'll scarce believe me, when I tell
you that it was n't from my own flesh and blood that I met comfort or
sympathy, but from that good-for-nothing creature, Betty Cobb. Mary Anne
and Caroline persisted in saying that K. I.'s journey was all innocence
and purity,--that he was only gone in a fatherly sort of a way with her;
but Betty knew the reverse, and I must own that she seemed to know more
about him than I ever suspected.

"Ah, the ould rogue!--the ould villain!" she 'd mutter to herself, in a
fashion that showed me the character he had in the servants' hall. If
I had only a little command of my temper, I might have found out many a
thing of him, Molly, and of his doings at Dodsborough, but how could I
at a moment like that?

And that's how I was, Molly, with nothing but enemies about me, in
the bosom of my own family! One saying, "Don't expose us to the
world,--don't bring people's eyes on us;" and the other calling out, "We
'll be ruined entirely if it gets into the papers!" so that, in fact,
they wanted to deny me the little bit of sympathy I might have attracted
towards my destitute and forlorn condition.

Had I been at home, in Dodsborough, I'd have made the country ring with
his disgrace; but they wouldn't let me utter a word here, and I was
obliged to sit down, as the poet says, "like a worm in the bud," and
consume my grief in solitude.

He went away, too, without leaving a shilling behind him, and the bill
of the hotel not even paid! Nothing sustained me, Molly, but the notion
of my one day meeting him, and settling these old scores. I even worked
myself into a half-fever at the thought of the way I 'd overwhelm him.
Maybe it was well for me that I was obliged to rouse my energies to
activity, and provide for the future, which I did by drawing two bills
on Waters for a hundred and fifty each, and, with the help of them,
we mean to remove from this on Saturday, and proceed to Baden, where,
according to Lord George, "there 's no such things as evil speaking,
lying, or slandering;" to use his own words, "It's the most charitable
society in Europe, and every one can indulge his vices without note or
comment from his neighbors." And, after all, one must acknowledge the
great superiority in the good breeding of the Continent in this; for,
as Lord G. remarks, "If there's anything a man's own, it's his
private wickedness, and there's no such indelicacy as in canvassing or
discussing it; and what becomes of a conscience," says he, "if everybody
reviles and abuses you? Sure, doesn't it lead you to take your own part,
even when you're in the wrong?"

He has a persuasive way with him, Molly, that often surprises myself how
far it goes with me, and indeed, even in the midst of my afflictions and
distresses, he made me laugh with his account of Baden, and the strange
people that go there. We're to go to the Hôtel de Russie, the finest in
the place, and say that we are expecting some friends to join us; for K.
I. and madam may arrive at any moment. As I write these lines, the girls
and Betty are packing up the things, so that long before it reaches you
we shall be at our destination.

The worst thing in my present situation is that I must n't mutter a
syllable against K. I., or, if I do, I have them all on my back; and as
to Betty, her sympathy is far worse than the silence of the others. And
there 's the way your poor friend is in.

To be robbed--for I know Waters is robbing me--and cheated and deceived
all at the same time, is too much for my unanimity! Don't let on to the
neighbors about K. I.; for, as Lord G. says, "these things should
never be mentioned in the world till they 're talked of in the House of
Lords;" and I suppose he's right, though I don't see why--but maybe
it's one of the prerogatives of the peerage to have the first of an ugly
story.

I have done now, Molly, and I wonder how my strength has carried me
through it. I 'll write you as soon as I get to Baden, and hope to hear
from you about the wool. I 'm always reading in the papers about the
improvement of Ireland, and yet I get less and less out of it; but maybe
that same is a sign of prosperity; for I remember my poor father was
never so stingy as when he saved a little money; and indeed my own
conviction is that much of what we used to call Irish hospitality was
neither more nor less than downright desperation,--we had so little in
the world, it wasn't worth hoarding.

You may write to me still as Mrs. Dodd, though maybe it will be the last
time the name will be borne by your Injured and afflicted friend,

Jemima.

P. S. I 'm sure Paddy Byrne is in K. I.'s secret, for he goes about
grinning and snickering in the most offensive manner, for which I am
just going to give him warning. Not, indeed, that I'm serious about
discharging him, for the journey is terribly expensive, but by way of
alarming the little blaguard. If Father Maher would only threaten to
curse them, as he used, we'd have peace and comfort once more.



LETTER XXII. KENNY DODD TO THOMAS PURCELL, ESQ., OF THE GRANGE, BRUFF

Eisenach.

My dear Tom,--You will be surprised at the address at the top of this
letter, but not a whit more so than I am myself; how, when, and why I
came here, being matters which require some explanation, nor am I quite
certain of making them very intelligible to you even by that process.
My only chance of success, however, lies in beginning at the very
commencement, and so I shall start with my departure from Bonn, which
took place eight days ago, on the morning of the 22nd.

My last letter informed you of our having formed a travelling alliance
with a very attractive and charming person, Mrs. Gore Hampton. Lord
George Tiverton, who introduced us to each other, represented her as
being a fashionable of the first water, very highly connected, and very
rich,--facts sufficiently apparent by her manners and appearance, as
well as by the style in which she was travelling. He omitted, however,
all mention of her immediate circumstances, so that we were profoundly
ignorant as to whether she were a widow or had a husband living, and, if
so, whether separated from him casually or by a permanent arrangement.

It may sound very strange that we should have formed such a close
alliance while in ignorance of these circumstances, and doubtless in
our own country the inquiry would have preceded the ratification of
this compact, but the habits of the Continent, my dear Tom, teach
very different lessons. All social transactions are carried on upon
principles of unlimited credit, and you indorse every bill of
passing acquaintanceship with a most reckless disregard to the day
of presentation for payment Some would, perhaps, tell you that your
scruples would only prove false terrors. My own notion, however, is less
favorable, and my theory is this: you get so accustomed to "raffish"
intimacies, you lose all taste or desire for discrimination; in fact,
there's so much false money in circulation, it would be useless to "ring
a particular rap on the counter."

Not that I have the very most distant notion of applying my theory
to the case in hand. I adhere to all I said of Mrs. G. in my former
epistle, and notwithstanding your quizzing about my "raptures," &c.,
I can only repeat everything I there said about her loveliness and
fascination.

Perhaps one's heart becomes, like mutton, more tender by being old; but
this I must say, I never remember to have met that kind of woman when I
was young. Either I must have been a very inaccurate observer, or, what
I suspect to be nearer the fact, they were not the peculiar productions
of that age.

When the Continent was closed to us by war, there was a home stamp
upon all our manufactures; our chairs and tables, our knives, and our
candlesticks, were all made after native models, solid and substantial
enough, but, I believe, neither very artistic nor graceful. We were used
to them, however; and as we had never seen any other, we thought them
the very perfection of their kind. The Peace of '15 opened our eyes,
and we discovered, to our infinite chagrin and astonishment, that, in
matters of elegance and taste, we were little better than barbarians;
that shape and symmetry had their claims as well as utility, and that
the happy combination of these qualities was a test of civilization.

I don't think we saw this all at once, nor, indeed, for a number of
years, because, somehow, it's in the nature of a people to stand up for
their shortcomings and deficiencies,--that very spirit being the bone
and sinew of all patriotism; but I 'll tell you where we felt this
discrepancy most remarkably,--in our women, Tom; the very point, of all
others, that we ought never to have experienced it in.

There was a plastic elegance,--a species of soft, seductive way--about
foreign women that took us wonderfully. They did not wait for our
advances, but met us half-way in intimacy, and this without any boldness
or effrontery; quite the reverse, but with a tact and delicacy that were
perfectly captivating.

I don't doubt but that, for home purposes, we should have found that
our own answered best, and, like our other manufactures, that they
would last longer, and be less liable to damage; but, unfortunately, the
spirit of imitation that stimulated us in hardware and jewelry, set in
just as violently about our wives and daughters, and a pretty dance
has it led us! From my heart and soul I wish we had limited the use of
French polish to our mahogany!

I don't know how I got into this digression, Tom, nor have I the least
notion where it would conduct me; but I feel that the Mrs. Gore Hamptons
of this world took their origin in the time and from the spirit I speak
of, and a more dangerous Invention the age never made.

When you read over your notes, and sum up what I 've been saying, you
'll perhaps discover the reason of what you are pleased in your last
letter to call my "extreme sensibility to the widow's charms." But you
wrong us both, for _I_'m not in love, nor is _she_ a widow! And this
brings me back to my narrative.

About ten days ago, as I was sitting in my own room, in the _otium cum
dig._ of my old dressing-gown and slippers, I received a visit from
Mrs. G. in a manner which at once proclaimed the strictest secrecy and
confidence. She came, she said, to consult me, and, as a gentleman, I am
bound to believe her; but if you want to make use of a man's faculties,
you 'd certainly never begin by turning his brain. If you wished to send
him of a message, you 'd surely not set out by spraining his ankle?

They say that the French Cuirassiers puzzled our Horse Guards greatly at
Waterloo. There was no knowing where to get a stick at them. There 's a
kind of dress just now the fashion among ladies, that confuses me fully
as much,--a species of gauzy, filmy, floating costume that makes you
always feel quite near, and yet keeps you a considerable distance
off. It's a most bewitching, etherial style of costume, and especially
invented, I think, for the bewilderment of elderly gentlemen.

More than half of the effect of a royal visit to a man's own house is
in the contrast presented by an illustrious presence to the little
commonplace objects of his daily life. Seeing a king in his own sphere,
surrounded with all the attributes and insignia of his station, is not
nearly so astounding as to see him sitting in your old leather armchair,
with his feet upon your fender,--mayhap, stirring your fire with your
own poker. Just the same kind of thing is the appearance of a pretty
woman within the little den, sacred to your secret smokings and studies
of the "Times" newspaper. An angel taking off her wings in the hall,
and dropping in to take pot-luck with you, could scarcely realize a more
charming vision!

All this preliminary discourse of mine, Tom, looks as if I were skulking
the explanation that I promised. I know well what is passing in your
mind this minute, and I fancy that I hear you mutter, "Why not tell us
what she came about,--what brought her there?" It's not so easy as
you think, Tom Purcell. When a very pretty woman, in the most becoming
imaginable toilette, comes and tells you a long story of personal
sufferings, and invokes your sympathy against the cruel treatment of
a barbarous husband and his hard-hearted family; when the narrative
alternates between traits of shocking tyranny on one side, and angelic
submission on the other; when you listen to wrongs that make your
blood boil, recounted by accents that make your heart vibrate; when the
imploring looks and tones and gesture that failed to excite pity in her
"monster of a husband" are all rehearsed before you yourself,--to _you_
directed those tearful glances of melting tenderness,--to _you_ raised
up those beautiful hands of more than sculptured symmetry,--I say,
again, that your reason is never consulted on the whole process. Your
sensibility is aroused, your sympathy is evoked, and all your tenderest
emotions excited, pretty much as in hearing an Italian opera, where,
without knowing one word of the language, the tones, the gestures,
the play of feature, and the signs of passion move and melt you into
alternate horror at cruelty, and compassionate sorrow for suffering.

Make the place, instead of the stage, your own study, and the personage
no _prima donna_, but a very charming creature of the real world, and
the illusion is ten times more complete.

I have no more notion of Mrs. Gore Hampton's history than I should have
of the plot of a novel from reading a newspaper notice of it. She was
married at sixteen. She was very beautiful, very rich,--a petted, spoilt
child. She thought the world a fairy tale, she said. I was going to ask,
was it "Beauty and the Beast" that was in her mind? At first all was
happiness and bliss; then came jealousy, not on her part, but his;
disagreements and disputes followed. They went abroad to visit some
royal personage,--a duchess, a grand-duchess, an archduchess of
something, who figures through the whole history in a mysterious and
wonderful manner, coming in at all times and places, and apparently
never for any other purpose than wickedness, like Zamiel in the
"Freyschutz;" but, notwithstanding, she is always called the dear,
good, kind Princess,--an apparent contradiction that also assists the
mystification. Then, there are letters from the husband,--reproach and
condemnation; from the wife,--love, tenderness, and fidelity.

The Duchess happily writes French, so I am spared the pains of following
_her_ correspondence. Chancery was nothing to the confusion that comes
of all this letter-writing, but I come out with the one strong fact,
that the dear Princess stands by Mrs. G. through thick and thin, and
takes a bold part against the husband. A shipwrecked sailor never clung
to a hencoop with greater tenacity than did I grasp this one solitary
fact, floating at large upon the wide ocean of uncertainty.

I assure you I almost began to feel an affection for the Duchess,
from the mere feeling of relief this thought afforded. She was like a
sanctuary to my poor, persecuted, hunted-down imagination!

Have you ever, in reading a three-volume novel, Tom, been on the eve
of abandoning the task from pure inability to trace out the story, when
suddenly, and as it were by chance, some little trait or incident gives,
if not a clew to the mystery, at least that small flickering of light
that acts as a guide-star to speculation?

This was what I experienced here, and I said to myself, "I know the
sentiments of the Duchess, at least, and that's something."

Do you know that I did n't like proceeding any farther with the story;
like a tired swimmer, who had reached a rock far out at sea, I did n't
fancy trusting myself once more to the waves. However, I was not allowed
the option. Away went the narrative again,--like an express train in a
dark tunnel. If we now and then did emerge upon a bit of open country
where we could see about us, it was to dive the next minute into some
deep cutting, or some gloomy cavern, without light or intelligence.

It appeared to me that Mr. Gore Hampton would be a very proper case for
private assassination; but I did n't like the notion of doing it myself,
and I was considerably comforted by finding that the course she had
decided on, and for which she was now asking my assistance, was more
pacific in character, and less dangerous. We were to seek out the dear
Princess; she was to be at Ems on the 24th, and we were at once to throw
ourselves, figuratively, into her hands, and implore protection.
The "monster"--the word is shorter than his name, and serves equally
well--had written innumerable letters to prejudice her against his
wife, recounting the most infamous calumnies and the most incredible
accusations. These we were to refute: how I did n't exactly know, but we
were to do it. With the dear Princess on our side, the monster would be
quite powerless for further mischief; for, by some mysterious agency, it
appeared that this wonderful Duchess could restore a damaged reputation,
just as formerly kings used to cure the evil.

It was a great load off my mind, Tom, to know that nothing more was
expected of me. She might have wanted me to go to England, where there
are two writs out against me, or to advance a sum of money for law when
I have n't a sixpence for living, or maybe to bully somebody that would
n't be bullied; in fact, I did n't know what impossibilities mightn't
be passing through her brain, or what difficult tasks she might be
inventing, as we read of in those stories where people make compacts
with the devil, and always try to pose him by the terms of the bargain.

In the present instance, I certainly got off easier than I should have
done with the "Black Gentleman." All that was required of me was to
accompany a very charming and most agreeable woman on an excursion of
about two or three days' duration through one of the most picturesque
parts of the Rhine country, in a comfortable town-built britschka,
with every appliance of ease and luxury about it. We have an adage
in Ireland, "There's worse than this in the North," and faith, Tom, I
couldn't help saying so. Mrs. G.'s motive in asking my companionship was
to show her dear Duchess that she was domesticated, and living with a
most respectable family, of which I was the head. You may laugh at the
notion, Tom, but I was to be brought forward as a model "paterfamilias,"
who could harbor nothing wrong.

I believe I smiled myself at the character assigned. But "isn't life a
stage?" and in nothing more so than the fact that no man can choose his
part, but must just take what the great stage-manager--Fate--assigns
him; and it is just as cruel to ridicule the failures and shortcomings
we often witness in public men as to shout, in gallery-fashion, at
some poor devil actor obliged to play a gentleman with broken boots and
patched pantaloons.

There were, indeed, two difficulties, neither of them inconsiderable,
in the matter. One was money. The journey would needs be costly. Posting
abroad is to the full as expensive as at home. The other was as to
Mrs. Dodd. How would she take it? I was bound over in the very heaviest
recognizances to secrecy. Mrs. G. insisted that I alone should be the
depositary of her secret; and she was wise there, for Mrs. D. would have
revealed it to Betty Cobb before she slept. What if she should take
a jealous turn? It was true the Mary Jane affair had made her rather
ashamed of herself, but time was wearing off the effect. Mrs. Gore
Hampton was a handsome woman, and there would be a kind of _éclat_ in
such a rivalry! I knew well, Tom, that if she once mounted this hobby,
there was nothing could stop her. All her visions of fashionable
introductions, all the bright charms of high society, to which Mrs. G.'s
intimacy was to lead, would melt away, like a mirage, before the high
wind of her angry indignation.

She would have put Mrs. G. in the dock, and arraigned her like any
common offender. It was not without reason, then, that I dreaded such a
catastrophe; and in a kind of semi-serious, semi-jocose way, I told Mrs.
Gore of my misgivings.

She took it beautifully, Tom. She did n't laugh as if the thing was
ridiculous, and as if the idea of Kenny Dodd performing "Amoroso" was a
glaring absurdity. "Not at all," she gravely said; "I have been thinking
over that, and, as you remark, it _is_ a difficulty." Shall I own to
you, Tom, that the confession sent a strange thrill through me; and
like a man selected to lead a forlorn hope, I still felt that the choice
redounded to my credit?

"I think, however," said she, after a pause, "if you confided the matter
to _my_ management, if you leave _me_ to explain to Mrs. Dodd, I shall
be able, without revealing more than I wish, to satisfy her as to the
object of our journey."

I heartily assented to an arrangement so agreeable; I even promised not
to see Mrs. D. before we started, lest any unfortunate combination of
circumstances might interfere with our project.

The pecuniary embarrassment I communicated to Lord George. He quite
agreed with me that I could n't possibly allude to it to Mrs. G. "In all
likelihood," said he, "she will just hand you a book of blank checks, or
Herries's circulars, and say, 'Pray do me the favor to take the trouble
off my hands.' It is what she usually does with any of her friends with
whom she is sufficiently intimate; for, as I told you, she is a 'perfect
child about money.'" I might have told him that, so far as having very
little of it, so was I too.

"But supposing," said I, "that, in the bustle of departure, and in the
preoccupation of other thoughts, she should n't remember to do this;
such is likely enough, you know?"

"Oh, nothing more so," said he, laughing. "She is the most absent
creature in the world."

"In that case," said I, "one ought to be, in a measure, prepared."

"To a certain extent, assuredly," said he, coolly. "You might as well
take something with you,--a hundred pounds or so."

You can imagine the choking gulp in my throat as I heard these words.
Why, I had n't twenty--no, not ten; I doubt, greatly, if I had fully
five pounds in my possession. I was living in the daily hope of that
remittance from you, which, by the way, seems always tardier in coming
in proportion as Ireland grows more prosperous.

Tiverton, however, does not limit his services to good counsel; he can
act as well as think. For a bill of three thousand francs, at thirty-one
days, I received, from the landlord of the hotel, something short of a
hundred Napoleons,--a trifle under six hundred per cent per annum, but,
of course, not meant to run for that time. Lord George said, "Everything
considered, it was reasonable enough;" and if that implied that I 'd
never repay a farthing of it, perhaps he was correct. "I 'm sorry,"
said he, "that the 'bit of stiff,'" meaning the bill, "was n't for five
thousand francs, for I want a trifle of cash myself, at this moment." In
this regret I did not share, Tom, for I clearly saw that the additional
eighty pounds would have been out of _my_ pocket!

I have now, as briefly as I am able, but, perhaps, tediously enough,
told you of all the preliminary arrangements of our journey, save one,
which was three lines that I left for Mrs. D. before starting,--not very
explanatory, perhaps, but written in "great haste."

It was a splendid morning when we started. The sun was just topping the
Drachenfels, and sending a perfect flood of golden glory over the Rhine,
and that rich tract of yellow corn country along its left bank, the
right being still in deep shadow. From the Kreutzberg to the Seven
Mountains it was one gorgeous panorama, with mountain and crag, and
ruined castles, vine-clad cliffs, and plains of waving wheat, all seen
in the calm splendor of a still summer's morning.

I never saw anything as beautiful; perhaps I never shall again. Of my
rapturous enjoyment of the scene, as we whirled along with four posters
at a gallop, the best criterion I can give you is that I totally
forgot everything but the enchanting vision around me. Ireland, home,
Dodsborough, petty sessions, police and poor-rates, county cess,
Chancery, all my difficulties, down even to Mrs. D. herself, faded away,
and left me in undisturbed and unbounded enjoyment.

I have often had to tell you of my disappointment with the Continent;
how little it responded to my previous expectations, and how short
came every trait of nationality of that striking effect I had once
foreshadowed. The distinctive features of race, from which I had
anticipated so much amusement, all the peculiarities of dress, custom,
and manner which I had speculated on as sources of interest, had either
no existence whatever, or demanded a far shrewder and nicer observation
than mine to detect. These have I more than once complained of to you in
my letters; and I was fast lapsing into the deep conviction that, except
in being the rear-guard of civilization, and adhering to habits which
have long since been superseded by improved and better modes with us,
the Continent differs wonderfully little from England.

The reason of this impression was manifestly because I was always in
intercourse with foreigners who live and trade upon English travellers,
who make a livelihood of ministering to John Bull's national leanings
in dress, cookery, and furniture; and who, so to say, get up a kind of
artificial England abroad, where the Englishman is painfully reminded of
all the comforts he has left behind him, without one single opportunity
for remembering the compensations he is receiving in return. To this
cause is attributable, mainly, the vulgar impression conveyed by a first
glance at the Continent It is a bad travesty of a homely original.

[Illustration: 304]

What a sudden change came over me now, as we swept along through this
enchanting country, where every sight and every sound were novel
and interesting! The little villages, almost escarped from the tall
precipice that skirted the river, were often of Roman origin; old towers
of brick, and battlemented walls, displaying the S. P. Q. R.,--those
wonderful letters which, from school days to old age, call up such
conceptions of this mighty people. A great wagon would draw aside to let
us pass; and its giant oxen, with their massive beams of timber on their
necks, remind one of the old pictures in some illustrated edition of the
"Georgics." The splash of oars, and the loud shouts of men, turn your
eyes to the Rhine, and it is a raft, whole acres of timber, slowly
floating along, the evidence of some primeval pine forest hundreds
of miles away, where the night winds used to sigh in the days of the
Cæsars. And now every head is bare, and every knee is bowed, for a
procession moves past, on its way to some holy shrine, the zigzag path
to which, up the mountain, is traceable by the white line of peasant
girls, whose voices are floating down in mellow chorus. Oh, Tom!
the whole scene was full of enchantment, and didn't require the
consciousness that would haunt me to make it a vision of perfect
enjoyment. You ask what was that same consciousness I allude to? Neither
more nor less, my dear friend, than the little whisper within me, that
said, "Kenny Dodd, where are you going, and for what? Is it Mrs. D.
is sitting beside you? or are you quite sure it's not some other man's
wife?"

You 'll say, perhaps, these were rather disturbing reflections, and so
they would have been had they ever got that far; but as mere flitting
fancies, as passing shadows over the mind, they heightened the enjoyment
of the moment by some strange and mysterious agency, which I am quite
unable to explain, but which, I believe, is referable to the same
category as the French Duchess's regret "that iced water was n't a sin,
or it would be the greatest delight of existence."

If my conscience had been unmannerly enough to say, "Ain't you doing
wrong, Kenny Dodd?" I 'm afraid I 'd have said "Yes," with a chuckle of
satisfaction. I'm afraid, my dear Tom, that the human heart, at least in
the Irish version, is a very incomprehensible volume.

Let us strive to be good as much as we may, there is a secret sense of
pleasure in doing wrong that shows what a hold wickedness has of us.
I believe we flatter ourselves that we are cheating the devil all the
while, because we intend to do right at last; but the danger is that the
game comes to an end before we suspect, and there we are, "cleaned out,"
and our hand full of trumps.

You'll say, "What has all this to say to the Rhine, or Mrs. Gore
Hampton?" Nothing whatever. It only shows that, like the Reflections on
a Broomstick, your point of departure bears no relation to the goal of
your voyage.

"What's the name of this village, Mr. Dodd?" whispers a soft voice from
the deep recesses of the britschka.

"This is Andernach, Madam," said I, opening my "John," for I find
there's no doing without him. "It is one of the most ancient cities of
the Rhine. It was called by the Romans--"

"Never mind what it was called by the Romans; isn't there a legend about
this ancient castle? To be sure there is; pray find it."

And I go on mumbling about Drusus, and Roman camps, and vaulted portals.

"Oh, it's not that," cries she, laughing.

"There are two articles of traffic peculiar to this spot Millstones--"
She puts her hand on my lips here, and I am unable to continue my
reading, while she goes on: "I remember the legend now. It was a certain
Siegfried, the Count Palatine of the Rhine, who, on his return from the
Crusades, was persuaded by slanderous tongues to believe his wife had
been faithless to him."

"The wretch!--the Count, I mean."

"So he was. He drove her out a wanderer upon the wide world, and she
fled across the Rhine into that mountain country you see yonder, which
then, as now, was all impenetrable forest There she passed years and
years of solitary existence, unknown and friendless. There were no Mr.
Dodds in those days, or, at least, she had not the good fortune to meet
with them."

I sigh deeply under the influence of such a glance, Tom, and she
resumes,--

"At last, one day, when fatigued with the chase, and separated from
his companions, the cruel Count throws himself down to rest beside a
fountain; a lovely creature, attired gracefully but strangely in the
skins of wild beasts--"

"She did n't kill them herself?" said I, interrupting.

"How absurd you are! Of course she did n't;" and she draws her own
ermine mantle across her as she speaks, smoothing the soft fur with
her softer hand. "The Count starts to his feet, and recognizes her in
a moment, and at the same instant, too, he is so struck by the manifest
protection Providence has vouchsafed her, that he listens to her tale of
justification, and conducts her in triumph home,--his injured but
adored wife. I think, really, people were better formerly than they
are now,--more forgiving, or rather, I mean, more open to truth and its
generous impulses."

"Faith, I can't say," replied I, pondering; "the skins may have had
something to say to it." Here she bursts into such a fit of laughter
that I join from sheer sympathy with the sound, but not guessing in the
least why or at what.

We soon left Andernach behind us, and rolled along beside the rapid
Rhine, on a beautiful road almost level with the river, which now for
some miles becomes less bold and picturesque.

At last we arrived at Coblentz to dinner, stopping at a capital inn
called the "Giant," after which we strolled through the town to stare
at the shops and the quaintly dressed peasant girls, whose embroidered
head-gear, a kind of velvet cap worked in gold or silver, so pleased
Mrs. G. that we bought three or four of them, as well as several of
those curiously wrought silver daggers which they wear stuck through
their black hair.

I soon discovered that my fair friend was a "child" about other things
besides "money." Jewelry was one of these, and for which she seemed
to have the most insatiable desire, combined with a most juvenile
indifference as to cost. The country girls wear massive gold earrings of
the strangest fashion, and nothing would content her but buying several
sets of these. Then she took a fancy to their gold chains and rosaries,
and, lastly, to their uncouth shoe-buckles, all of which she assured me
would be priceless in a fancy dress.

In fact, my dear Tom, these minor preparations of hers, to resemble a
Rhine-land peasant, came to a little over seventeen pounds sterling, and
suggested to me, more than once, the secret wish that our excursion had
been through Ireland, where the habits of the natives could have been
counterfeited at considerably less cost.

As "we were in for it," however, I bore myself as gallantly as might be,
and pressed several trifling articles on her acceptance, but she tossed
them over contemptuously, and merely said, "Oh, we shall find all
these things so much better at Ems. They have such a bazaar there!" an
announcement that gave me a cold shudder from head to foot. After taking
our coffee, we resumed our journey, Ems being only distant some eleven
or twelve miles, and, I must say, a drive of unequalled beauty.

Once more on the road, Mrs. G. became more charming and delightful than
ever. The romantic glen, through which we journeyed, suggested much
material for conversation, and she was legendary and lyrical, plaintive
and merry by turns, now recounting some story of tragic history, now
remembering some little incident of modern fashionable life, but all, no
matter what the theme, touched with a grace and delicacy quite her
own. In a little silence that followed one of these charming sallies, I
noticed that she smiled as if at something passing in her own thoughts.

"Shall I tell you what I was thinking of?" said she, smiling.

"By all means," said I; "it is a pleasant thought, so pray let me share
in it."

"I'm not quite so certain of that," said she. "It is rather puzzling
than pleasant. It is simply this: 'Here we are now within a mile of Ems.
It is one of the most gossiping places in Europe. How shall we announce
ourselves in the Strangers' List?"

The difficulty had never occurred to me before, Tom; nor indeed, did I
very clearly appreciate it even now. I thought that the name of Kenny
Dodd would have sufficed for me, and I saw no reason why Mrs. Gore
Hampton should not have been satisfied with her own appellation.

"I knew," said she, laughing, "that you never gave this a thought. Isn't
that so?" I had to confess that she was quite correct, and she went on:
"Adolphus "--this was the familiar for Mr. Gore Hampton--"is so well
known that you could n't possibly pass for him; besides, he is very
tall, and wears large moustaches,--the largest, I think, in the Blues."

"That's clean out of the question, then," said I, stroking my smooth
chin in utter despair.

"You 're very like Lord Harvey Bruce, could n't you be _him?_"

"I'm afraid not; my passport calls me Kenny James Dodd."

"But Lord Harvey is a kind of relative of mine; his mother was a Gore; I
'm sure you could be him."

I shook my head despondently; but somehow, whenever a sudden fancy
strikes her, the impulse to yield to it seems perfectly irresistible.

"It's an excellent idea," continued she, "and all you have to do is to
write the name boldly in the Travellers' Book, and say your passport is
coming with one of your people."

"But he might be here?"

"Oh, he's not here; he could n't be here! I should have heard of it if
he were here."

"There may be several who may know him personally here."

"There need be no difficulty about that," replied she; "you have only
to feign illness, and keep your room. I 'll take every precaution to
sustain the deception. You shall have everything in the way of comfort,
but no visitors,--not one.".

I was thunderstruck, Tom! the notion of coming away from home, leaving
my family, and braving Mrs. D., all that I might go to bed at Ems, and
partake of low diet under a fictitious title, actually overwhelmed me.
I thought to myself, "This is a hazardous exploit of mine; it may be a
costly one too: at the rate we are travelling, money flies like chaff,
but at least I shall have something for it. I shall see fashionable
life under the most favorable auspices. I shall dine in public with my
beautiful travelling-companion. I shall accompany her to the Cursaal,
to the Promenade, to the play-tables. I shall eat ice with her under the
'Lindens,' in the 'Allée.' I shall be envied and hated by all the puppy
population of the Baths, and feel myself glorious, conquering, and
triumphant." These, and similar, had been my sustaining reflections,
under all the adverse pressure of home thoughts. These had been my
compensation for the terrors that assuredly loomed in the distance.
But now, instead of the realization, I was to seek my consolation in a
darkened room, with old newspapers and water gruel!

Anger and indignation rendered me almost speechless. "Was it for this?"
I exclaimed twice or thrice, without being able to finish my sentence;
and she gently drew her hand within my arm, and, in the tenderest of
accents, stopped me, and said, "No; not for this!"

Ah, Tom! you know what we used to hear in the "Beggar's Opera," long
ago. "'Tis women that seduces all mankind." I suppose it's true. I
suppose that if nature has made us physically strong, she has made us
morally weak.

I wanted to be resolute; injured and indignant, I did my best to feel
outraged, but it wouldn't do. The touch of three taper fingers of an
ungloved hand, the silvery sounds of a soft voice, and the tenderly
reproachful glance of a pair of dark blue eyes routed all my resolves,
and I was half ashamed of myself for needing even such gentle reproof.

From that moment I was her slave; she might have sent me to a
plantation, or sold me in a market-place, resistance, on my part, was
out of the question; and is n't this a pretty confession for the father
of a family, and the husband of Mrs. D.? Not but, if I had time, I could
explain the problem, in a non-natural sense, as the fashionable phrase
has it, or even go farther, and justify my divided allegiance, like
one of our own bishops, showing the difference between submission
to constituted authority, and fidelity to matters of faith,--Mrs. D.
standing to represent Queen Victoria, and Mrs. Gore Hampton Pope Pius
the Ninth!

These thoughts didn't occur to me at once, Tom; they were the fruit of
many a long hour of self-examination and reflection as I lay alone in my
silent chamber, thinking over all the singular things that have occurred
to me in life, the strange situations I have occupied, and of this, I
own, the very strangest of all.

It must be a dreadful thing to be really sick in one of these places.
There seems to be no such thing as night, at least as a season of
repose. The same clatter of plates, knives, and glasses goes on; the
same ringing of bells, and scuffling sounds of running feet; waltzes
and polkas; wagons and mule-carts; donkeys and hurdy-gurdies; whistling
waiters and small puppies, with a weak falsetto, infest the air, and
make up a din that would addle the spirit of Pandemonium.

Hour after hour had I to lie listening to these, taking out my wrath
in curses upon Strauss and late suppers, and anathematizing the whole
family of opera writers, who have unquestionably originated the bleating
performances of every late bed-goer. Not a wretch toiled upstairs, at
four in the morning, without yelling out "Casta Diva," or "Gib, mir
wein." The half-tipsy ones were usually sentimental, and hiccuped the
"Tu che al cielo," out of the "Lucia."

To these succeeded the late sitters at the play-tables,--a race who,
to their honor be it recorded, never sing. Gambling is a grave
passion, and, whether a man win or lose, it takes all fun out of him. A
deep-muttered malediction upon bad luck, a false oath to play no more, a
hearty curse against Fortune were the only soliloquies of these the last
votaries of Pleasure that now sought their beds as day was breaking.

Have you ever stopped your ears, Tom, and looked at a room full of
people dancing? The effect is very curious. What was so graceful but
a moment back is now only grotesque. The plastic elegance of gesture
becomes downright absurdity. She who tripped with such fairy-like
lightness, or that other who floated with swan-like dignity, now seems
to move without purpose, and, stranger still, without grace. It was
the measure which gave the soul to the performance,--it was that mystic
accord, like what binds mind to matter, that gave the wondrous charm
to the whole; divested of this it was like motion without
vitality,--abrupt, mechanical, convulsive. Exactly the same kind of
effect is produced by witnessing fashionable amusements, with a spirit
untuned to pleasure. You know nothing of their motives, nor incentives
to enjoyment; you are not admitted to any participation in their plan or
their object, and to your eyes it is all "dancing without music."

I need not dwell on a tiresome theme, for such would be any description
of my life at Ems. Of my lovely companion I saw but little. About
midday her maid would bring me a few lines, written in pencil, with kind
inquiries after me. Later on I could detect the silvery music of her
voice, as she issued forth to her afternoon drive. Later again I could
hear her, as she passed along the corridor to her room; and then,
as night wore on, she would sometimes come to my door to say a few
words,--very kind ones, and in her own softest manner, but of which I
could recall nothing, so occupied was I with observing her in all the
splendor of evening dress.

When a bright object of this kind passes from your presence, there still
lingers for a second or so a species of twilight, after which comes
the black and starless night of deep despondency. Out of these dreamy
delusive fits of low spirits I used to start with the sudden question,
"What are you doing here, Kenny Dodd? Is it the father of a family ought
to be living in this fashion? What tomfoolery is this? Is this kind of
life instructive, intellectual, or even amusing? Is it respectable? I
am not certain it is any one of the four. How long is it to continue, or
where is it to end? Am I to go down to the grave under a false name, and
are the Dodd family to put on mourning for Lord Harvey Bruce?"

One night that these thoughts had carried me to a high pitch of
excitement, I was walking hurriedly to and fro in my room inveighing
against the absurd folly which originally had embarked me on this
journey. Anger had so far mastered my reason that I began to doubt
everything and everybody. I grew sceptical that there were such people
in the world as Mr. Gore Hampton or Lord Harvey Bruce, and in my heart
I utterly rejected the existence of the "Princess." Up to this moment
I had contented myself with hating her, as the first cause of all my
calamities, but now I denied her a reality and a being. I did n't
at first perceive what would come of my thus disturbing a great
foundation-stone, and how inevitably the whole edifice would come
tumbling down about my ears in consequence.

This terrible truth, however, now stared me in the face, and I sat down
to consider it with a trembling spirit.

"May I come in?" whispered a low but well-known voice,--"may I come in?"

[Illustration: 314]

My first thoughts were to affect sleep and not answer, but I saw that
there was an eagerness in the manner that would not brook denial, and
answered, "Who 's there?"

"It is I, my dear friend," said Mrs. Gore Hampton, entering, and
closing the door behind her. She came forward to where I was sitting
despondingly on the side of the bed, and took a chair in front of me.

"What's the matter; you are surely not ill in reality?" asked she,
tenderly.

"I believe I am," replied I. "They say in Ireland 'mocking is catching,'
and, faith, I half suspect I 'm going to pay the price of my own
deceitfulness."

"Oh, no, no! you only say that to alarm me. You will be perfectly well
when you leave this; the confinement disagrees with you."

"I think it does," said I; "but when are we to go?"

"Immediately; to-night, if possible. I have just received a few lines
from the dear Princess--"

"Oh, the Princess!" ejaculated I, with a faint groan.

"Why, what do you mean?" asked she, eagerly.

"Oh, nothing; go on."

"But, first tell me, what made you sigh so when I spoke of the
Princess?"

"God knows," said I; "I believe my head was wandering."

"Poor, dear head!" said she, patting me as if I was a small King
Charles's spaniel, "it will be better in the fresh air. The Princess
writes to say that we must meet her at Eisenach, since she finds herself
too ill to come on here. She urges us to lose no time about it, because
the Empress Sophia will be on a visit with her in a few days, which of
course would interfere with our seeing her frequently. The letter should
have been here yesterday, but she gave it to the Archduke Nicholas, and
he only remembered it when he was walking with me this evening."

These high and mighty names only made me sigh heartily, and she seemed
at once to read all that was passing within me.

"I see what it is," said she, with deep emotion; "you are growing weary
of me. You are beginning to regret the noble chivalry, the generous
devotion you had shown me. You are asking yourself, 'What am I to her?
Why should she cling to me?' Cruel question--of a still more cruel
answer! But go, sir, return to your family, and leave me if you will to
those heartless courtiers who mete out their sympathies by a sovereign's
smiles, and only bestow their pity when royalty commands it; and yet,
before we part forever, let me here, on my bended knees, thank and
bless--" I can't do it, Tom; I can't write it. I find I am blubbering
away just as badly as when the scene occurred. Blue eyes half swimming
in tears, silky-brown ringlets, and a voice broken by sobs, are
shamefully unfair odds against an Irish gentleman on the shady side of
fifty-two or three.

It 's all very well for you--sitting quietly at your turf fire--with an
old sleepy spaniel snoring on the hearth-rug, and nothing younger in the
house than Mrs. Shea, your late wife's aunt--to talk about "My time of
life"--"Grownup daughters"--and so on. "He scoffs at wounds who never
felt a scar." The fact is, I 'm not a bit more susceptible than other
people; I even think I am less yielding--less open to soft influences
than many of my acquaintances. I can answer for it, I never found
that the strongest persuasions of a tax-gatherer disposed me to
look favorably on "county cess, or a rate-in-aid." Even the priest
acknowledges me a tough subject on the score of Easter dues and
offerings. If I know anything about my own nature, it is that I have
rather a casuistic, hair-splitting kind of way with me,--the very
reverse of your soft, submissive, easily seduced fellows. I was always
known as the obstinate juryman at our assizes, that preferred starvation
and a cart to a glib verdict like the others. I am not sure that anybody
ever found it an easy task to convince me about anything,
except, perhaps, Mrs. D., and then, Tom, it was not precisely
"conviction,"--_that_ was something else.

I think I have now made out a sufficient defence of myself, and I'll not
make the lawyer's blunder of proving too much. Give me the same latitude
that is always conceded to great men when their actions will not square
with their previous sentiments. Think of the Duke and Sir Robert, and be
merciful to Kenny Dodd.

We left Ems, like a thief, in the night; the robbery, however, was
performed by the landlord, whose bill for five days amounted to upwards
of twenty-seven pounds sterling. Whether Grégoire and Mademoiselle
Virginie drank all the champagne set down in it I cannot say; but if
so, they could never have been sober since their arrival. There are some
other curious items, too, such as maraschino and eau de Dantzic, and a
large assessment for "real Havannahs"! Who sipped and smoked the above
is more than I know.

With regard to out-of-door amusements, Mrs. G. must have ridden, at
the least, four donkeys daily, not to speak of carriages, and a sort of
sedan-chair for the evening.

I assure you I left the place with a heart even lighter than my purse.
I was failing into a very alarming kind of melancholy, and couldn't much
longer have answered for my actions.

If we loitered inactively at Ems, we certainly suffered no grass to
grow under our feet now. Four horses on the level, six when the road was
heavy or newly gravelled; bulls at all the hills.

It's the truth I 'm telling you, Tom, for a light London britschka, the
usual team on a rising ground was six horses and three oxen, with
about two men per quadruped,--boys and beggars _ad libitum_, I laughed
heartily at it, till it came to paying for them, after which it became
one of the worst jokes you can imagine. Onward we went, however, in one
fashion or another, walking to "blow the cattle" when the road was level
and smooth, and keeping a very pretty hunting-pace when the ruts were
deep, and the rocks rugged.

It seemed, to judge from our speed, that our haste was most imminent,
for we changed horses at every station with an attempt at despatch that
greatly disconcerted the post functionaries, and probably suggested to
them grievous doubts about our respectability. After twenty-four hours
of this jolting process, I was, as you may suppose, well wearied,--the
more so, since my late confinement to bed had made me weak and
irritable. Mrs. G., however, seemed to think nothing of it, so that for
very shame' sake I could not complain. There is either a greater fund of
endurance about women than in men, or else they have a stronger and more
impulsive will, overcoming all obstacles in its way, or regarding them
as nothing. I assure you, Tom, I'd have pulled up short at any of the
villages we passed through and booked myself for a ten-hours' sleep, in
that horizontal position that nature intended, but she wouldn't hear of
it. "We must get on, dear Mr. Dodd;" "_You_ know how important time is
to us;" "Do our best, and we shall be late enough." These and such like
were the propositions which I had to assent to, without the very vaguest
conception why.

That night seemed to me as if it would never end. I never could close my
eyes without dreaming of bailiffs, writs, judges' warrants, and Mrs. D.
Then I got the notion into my head that I had been sentenced for some
crime or other to everlasting travelling,--an impression, doubtless,
suggested by my hearing through my sleep how we were constantly crossing
some frontier, and entering a new territory. Now it was Hesse Cassel
would pry into our portmanteaus; now it was Bavaria wanted to peep at
our passports. Sigmaringen insisted on seeing that we had no concealed
fire-arms. Hoch Heckingen searched us for smuggled tobacco. From a deep
doze, which to my ineffable shame I discovered I had been taking on my
fair companion's shoulder, I was suddenly awakened at daybreak by the
roll of a drum, and the clatter of presenting arms. This was a place
called Heinfeld, in the Duchy of Saxe-Weimar, where the commandant,
supposing us to be royal personages, from our six horses and mounted
courier, turned out the guard to salute us. I gave him briefly to
understand that we were _incog._, and we passed on without further
molestation.

By noon we reached Eisenach, where, descending at the "Rautenkranz," the
head inn, I bolted my door, and, throwing myself on my bed, slept far
into the night. When I awoke, the house was all at rest, every one had
retired, and in this solitude did I begin the recital of the singular
page in my history which is now before you. I felt like one of those
storm-tossed mariners who, on some unknown and distant ocean, commit
their sorrows to paper, and then enclosing it in a bottle, leave the
address to Fortune. I know not if these lines are ever to reach you.
I know not who may read them. Perhaps, like Perouse, my fate may be a
mystery for future ages. I feel altogether very low about myself.

I was obliged to break off suddenly above, but I am now better. We have
been two days here, and I like the place greatly. It lies in the midst
of a fine mountain range--the Thuringians--with a deep forest on every
side. Up to this we have had no tidings of the Princess, but we pass
our time agreeably enough in visiting the remarkable objects in the
neighborhood, one of which is the Wartburg, where Luther passed a year
of imprisonment.

I have collected some curious materials about the life of this
Protestant champion for Father Maher, which will make a considerable
sensation at home. There is an armory, too, in the castle of the most
interesting kind; but, as usual, all the remarkable warriors were little
fellows. The robbers of antiquity were big, but the great characters
of chivalry, I remark, were small. The Constable dc Bourbon's armor
wouldn't fit Kenny Dodd.

I intend to send off this package to-day, by a "gentleman of the Jewish
persuasion," so he styles himself, who is travelling "in the interest of
soft soap," and will be in England within a fortnight. Where I shall be
myself, by that time, Tom, Heaven alone can tell!

My cash is running very low. I don't think that, above my lawful debts
in this place, I could muster twelve pounds, and, after a careful
exploration of the locality, I see no spot at all likely to "advance
money on good personal security." You must immediately remit me a
hundred, or a hundred and fifty, for present emergencies. My humiliation
will be terrible if I have to speak about pecuniary matters in a certain
quarter; and, as I said before, how long we may remain here, or where
proceed when we leave this, I know as much as you do!

I have begun four letters to Mrs. D., but have not satisfied myself that
I am on the right tack in any of them. Writing home when you have not
heard from it, is like legislation for a distant colony without any clew
to the state of public opinion. You may be trying rigorous measures with
a people ripe for rebellion, or perhaps refusing some concession that
they have just wrested by force. When I think of domestic matters, I am
strongly reminded of the Caffre war, for somehow affairs never look so
badly as when they seem to promise a peace; and, like Sandilla, Mrs. D.
is great at an ambush.

You must write to her, Tom; say that I am greatly distressed at not
getting any answers to my letters; that I wrote four,--which is true,
though I never sent off any of them. Make a plausible case for my
absence out of the present materials, and speak alarmingly about my
health, for she knows I have sold my policy of insurance at the Phoenix,
and is really uneasy when I look ill.

If I was n't in such a mess, I should be distressed about the family,
for I left them at Bonn with a mere trifle. When a man has got an
incurable malady, he spends little money on doctoring, and so there is
nothing saves fretting so much as being irretrievably ruined. Besides,
it is in the world as in the water, it is struggling that drowns you;
lie quietly down on your back, don't stir hand or limb, and somebody
will be sure to pull you out, though it may chance to be by the hair.

I have often thought, Tom, that life is like the game of chess. It's a
fine thing to have the "move," if you play well, but if you don't, take
my word for it, it's better to stay quiet, and not budge. This will give
you the key to my system; and if I ever get into public life, this, I
assure you, shall be "Dodd's Parliamentary Guide."

I have now done, and you 'll say it's time too; but let me tell you,
Tom, that when I seal and send off this, I 'll feel myself very lonely
and miserable. It was a comfort to me some days back to go every now and
then and dot down a line or two-, it kept me from thinking, which was a
great blessing. You know how Gibbon felt when he wrote the last sentence
of his great history; and although the Rise and Fall of Kenny Dodd be a
small matter to posterity, it has a great hold upon his own affections.

I see my pony at the door, and Mrs. G. is already mounted. We are going
to some old abbey in the forest, where she is to sketch, and I am to
smoke for an hour or two; so good-bye, and remember that my escape from
this must depend upon your assistance. This Princess has not yet
made her appearance, nor have I the slightest guide as to her future
intentions.

There are a quantity of home questions I am anxious to speak about,
but must defer the discussion till my next. I have not seen a newspaper
since I started on this excursion. I know not who is "in" or "out." I
shall learn all these things later on; so, once more, good-bye. Address
me at the "Rue Garland," and believe me, faithfully, your friend,

Kenny I. Dodd.

P. S. When you mention to the neighbors having heard from me, it would
be as well to say nothing of this little adventure of mine. Say that the
Dodds are all well, and enjoying themselves, or something like that. If
Mrs. D. has written to old Molly, try and get hold of the epistle, or
otherwise I might as well be in the "Hue and Cry." Indeed, I don't see
why you could n't stop her letters at the post-office in Bruff.



LETTER XXIII. MRS. DODD TO MISTRESS MARY GALLAGHER, DODSBOROUGH.

Cour de Bade, Baden-Baden.

My dear Molly,--It will be five weeks on Tuesday next since we saw K.
I., and except a bit of a note, of which I 'll speak presently, never
any tidings of him has reached us! I suppose, within the memory of
man, wickedness equal to this has not been heard of. To go and disgrace
himself, and, what's more, disgrace _us_, at his time of life, with two
daughters grown up, and a son just going into the world, is a depth of
baseness to which the mind cannot ascend.

They 're away in Germany, my dear,--the happy pair! I wish I was near
him. I 'd only ask to be for five minutes within reach of him. Faith, I
don't think he 'd be so seductive and captivating for a little time to
come. They 're off, I hear, to what they call the "Hearts Forest,"--a
place, I take from the name, to be the favorite resort of loving
couples. From the first day, Molly, I suspected what was coming; for,
though James and Mary Anne persisted in saying that he was only gone
for a day or two, I went to his drawers and saw that he had taken every
stitch of his clothes that was good for anything away with him.

"If he 's only gone for two days," says I, "what does he want with
fourteen shirts and four embroidered fronts for dress, not to speak of
his new black suit and his undress Deputy-Lieutenant's coat?" I tossed
and tumbled over everything, and sure enough there was little left to
look at. So you see, Molly, it was all planned before, and the whole was
arranged with a cold-blooded duplicity that makes me boil to think over.
This wasn't all, either; but he must go and draw a bill on the landlord
for a hundred and twenty pounds; and, without the slightest attention to
all that we owed in the hotel, or even leaving us a sixpence, away goes
my gallant Lutherian, only thinking of love and pleasure!

The half of the McCarthy legacy is gone already to meet these demands
and enable us to come on here; and even with that I could n't have done
it if it had n't been for Lord George's kindness, for he knows so much
about bills, and bankers, and when the exchange is good, and what is
the favorable moment to draw upon London, that, as he says himself, one
learns at last to "make a pound go as far as five."

As to staying any longer at Bonn, it was out of the question. The whole
town was talking of K. I., and everybody used to stop us and ask, with a
mournful voice, if we had n't got any tidings of Mr. Dodd?

And now we're here, I must say it is a charming place; and for real
life and enjoyment, there 's probably not its equal in Europe. And then,
Molly, the great feature is certainly the universal kindness and charity
that prevails. You may do what you like, wear what you like, go where
you like. I was a little bit afraid at first that the story of K. I.
would get abroad and damage us in society; but Lord George said:
"You mistake Baden, my dear Mrs. Dodd. If there 's anything they 're
peculiarly lenient to, it's just _that_. There's no cant, no hypocrisy
here; nobody would endure such for an hour. Everybody knows that the
world is not peopled with angels, and England is the only country where
they affect that delusion. Here all are natural, sincere, and candid."
These were his words, and I assure you they are no more than the
truth; and so far from K. I. 's conduct being regarded in any spirit of
unfairness towards us, I really believe that we have met a great deal of
delicate and refined notice on account of it. As Lord G. remarks, "They
know that you don't belong to that strait-laced set of humbugs that want
to frown down all mankind. They see at once that you have the habits of
the world, and the instincts of good society, and that you come amongst
them neither to criticise nor censure, but to please and be pleased." I
quote his very expressions, Molly, because, with all his wildness, his
sentiments are invariably beautiful; and I must say that an ill-natured
word never comes out of his mouth. If there 's anything he excels in,
too, it's tact. This he showed very remarkably when we arrived here.
"We must do the thing handsomely," said he, "or we shall be sure to
hear that Mr. D.'s absence is owing to pecuniary difficulties." And so,
accordingly, he arranged to purchase a beautiful pair of gray ponies,
and a small park phaeton, belonging to a young Russian, that was just
ruined at the tables. We got the whole equipage for little more
than half what it cost, and a tiger--as they call the little boy in
buttons--goes with it.

We have taken the first apartment in the "Cour de Bade," and have put
Paddy Byrne in a suit of green and gold, that always reminds me of poor
Daniel O'Connell. Lord G. drives me out every day himself, and I hear
all the passers-by say, "It's Tiverton and Mrs. Dodd," in a manner
that shows we 're as well known as the first people in the place. He
is acquainted with every man, woman, and child in the town; and it is a
perpetual "How are ye, Tiverton?"--"How goes it, George?"--"At the old
trade, eh?"--as we drive along, that amuses me greatly. And it isn't
only that he knows them personally, but he is familiar with all their
private histories. It would fill a book--and a nice volume it would
be!--if I were to tell you one-half of the stories he told me yesterday,
going down to Lichtenthal. But the names is so confusing. How he
remembers them all, I can't conceive.

We go to the rooms in the evening, full dressed, and as fine as you
please; and if you saw how the company rises to meet us, and the
gracious manner we are received by all the first people, you 'd think we
were sisters with half the room. For rank, wealth, and beauty, I never
saw its equal; and the "tone," as Lord G. observes, is "so easy." Mary
Anne usually dances all night, but _I_ only stand up for a quadrille,
though Lord George torments me to polka with him. As for James, he never
quits the roulette-table, which is a kind of game where you always win
thirty-six times as much as you put down, though maybe occasionally you
lose your stake, for it 's all chance, Molly, and, like everything else
in this wicked world, in the hands of Fate!

I 'm afraid James does n't understand the game, or forgets to take up
his winnings; for when he joins us at supper, he looks depressed and
careworn, till he has taken two or three glasses of champagne. Caroline,
as you may suppose, stays moping at home. If there's anything distresses
me more than another, it's the way that girl goes on. Here we are,
in the very thick of the fashion, spending money,--as fast as
hops,--ruining ourselves, I may say, with expense; and instead of taking
the benefit of it while "it's going," she sits up in her room reading
her eyes out of her head, and studying things that no woman need
know. As I say to her, "What good is it to you? Will it ever get you a
husband, to know that Sir Humphrey Clinker invented the safety-lamp?
or do you suppose that any man will take a fancy to you for the sake
of your chemistry and eccentricity? Besides," says I, "you could do all
this at home, in Dodsborough, and who knows if we should n't be obliged
to go back and finish our days in Ireland!" And in my heart and soul I
believe it's what she 'd like!

The real affliction in life is to see your children not take after you!
That is the most dreadful calamity of all. You toil and you slave
to bring them up with high notions, to teach them to look down upon
whatever is low and mean, to avoid their poor relations, and whatever
disgraces them, and you find, the whole time, 'tis looking back they
are to their humble origin, and fancying that they were happier, for no
other reason than because they were lower!

It is, maybe, the McCarthy blood in me, but I feel as if the higher
I went the lighter I grew; and so it is, I 'm sure, with Mary Anne.
I know, from her face across the room, whether she's dancing with a
"prince," or only "a gentleman from the United States"! And even in the
matter of looks it makes the greatest difference in her. In the one
case her eyes sparkle, her head is thrown back, her cheek glows with
animation; while in the other she seems half asleep, dances out of time,
and probably answers out of place.

From all these facts, I gather, Molly, that there's nothing so elevating
to the mind as moving in a rank above your own; and I'm sure I don't
forgive myself when I keep company with my equals. I believe James has
less of the Dodd and more of the M'Carthy in him than the girls. He
takes to the aristocracy so naturally,--calls them by their names, and
makes free with them in a way that is really beautiful; and they call
him "Jim," or some of them say "Jeemes," just as familiar as himself.
I suppose it's no use repining, but I often feel, Molly, that if it was
the Lord's will that I was to be left a widow, I 'd see my children high
in the world before long.

This reminds me of K. I., and here's his letter for you. I copy it word
for word, without note or comma:--

"Dear Jemi,--We are waiting here for the Princess, who has not yet
arrived, but is expected to-day or to-morrow at furthest You will be
sorry to hear that I was ill and confined for more than a week to my bed
at Ems." Will I, indeed? "It was a kind of low fever." I read it a love
fever, Molly, when I saw it first "But I am now much better." You never
were worse in your life, you old hypocrite, thinks I. "And am able to
take a little exercise on horseback.

"The expense of this journey, unavoidable as it was! is very
considerable, so that I reckon upon your practising the strictest
economy during my absence." I thought I'd choke, Molly, when I seen
this. Just think of the daring impudence of the man telling me that
while he is lavishing hundreds on his vices and wickedness, the family
is to starve to enable him to bear the expense. "The strictest economy
during my absence." I wish I was near you when you wrote It!

Then comes in some balderdash about the scenery, and the place they
're at, just as coolly described as if it was talking of Bruff or the
neighborhood; the whole winding up with, "Mrs. G. H. desires me to
convey her tender regards"--what she can spare, I suppose, without
robbing him--"to you and the girls. No time for more, from yours
sincerely,

"Kenny James Dodd."


There's an epistle for you! You 'll not find the like of it in the
"Polite Letter-Writer," I 'll wager. The father of a family--and such a
family too!--discoursing as easily about the height of iniquity as if he
was alluding to the state of the weather, or the price of sheep at the
last fair. He flatters himself, maybe, that this free-and-easy way is
the best to bamboozle me, and that by seeming to make nothing of it, I
'll take the same view as himself. Is that all he knows of me yet? Did
he ever succeed in deceiving me during the last seventeen years? Did n't
I find him out in twenty things when he did n't know himself of his own
depravity? I tell you in confidence, Molly, that if coming abroad is an
elegant thing for our sex, it's downright ruin to men of K. I.'s time of
life! When they come to fifty, or thereabouts, in Ireland, they settle
down to something respectable, either on the Bench, or Guardians to the
Union. Their thoughts runs upon green crops and draining, and how to
raise a trifle, by way of loan, from the Board of Works. But not having
these things, abroad, to engage them, they take to smartening themselves
up with polished boots and blackened whiskers, and what between pinching
here, and padding there, they get the notion that they 're just what
they were thirty years ago! Oh dear! oh dear! sure they 've only to go
upstairs a little quick, to stoop to pick up a handkerchief, or button a
boot, to detect the mistake, and if that won't do, let them try a polka
with a young lady just out for her first season!

Of all the old fools, in this fashion, I never met a worse than K.
I.! and what adds to the disgrace, he knows it himself, and he goes on
saying, "Sure I 'm too old for this," or "I'm past that;" and I always
chime in with, "Of course you are; you 'd cut a nice figure;" and so on.
But what's the use of it, Molly? Their vanity and conceit sustains
them against all the snubs in the world, and till they come down to a
Bath-chair, they never believe that they can't dance a hornpipe! I could
say a great deal more on this subject, but I must turn to other things.
You must see Purcell and tell him the way we 're left, without a
fraction of money, nor knowing where to get it Tell him that I wrote to
Waters about a separation, which I would, only that K. I.'s affairs is
in such a state, I 'd have to put up with a mere trifle. Say that I 'm
going to expose him in the newspapers, and there's "no knowing where I
'll stop," for that's exactly the threat Tom Purcell will be frightened
at.

Get him to send me a remittance immediately, and describe our distress
and destitution as touchingly as you can.

Here 's more of it, Molly. James has just come in to say that the
Ministry is out in England, and that the new Government is giving
everything away to the Irish, and that old villain, K. I., not on the
spot to ask for a place! James tells me it's the Brigade is to have the
best things; but I don't remember if K. I. belongs to it, though I know
he's in the Yeomanry. From Lord-Lieutenant down to the letter-carriers,
they must be all Irish now, James says. We 're to have Ireland for
ourselves, and as much of England as we can, for we 'll never rest till
we get perfect equality, and I must say it 's time too!

K. I. is n't fit for much, but maybe he might get something. The
Treasury is where he 'd like to be, but I 'm not certain it would suit
him. At all events, he 's not to the fore, and I don't think they 'll
send to look for him, as they did for Sir Robert Peel! Till we know,
however, whether he has a chance of anything, it would be better to keep
his present conduct a profound secret, for James remarks "that they make
a great fuss about character nowadays;" and it comes well from them,
Molly, if the stories I hear be true!

Ask Purcell what's vacant in K. I.'s line? which, you may say, goes from
Lunatic Asylums to the Court of Chancery. I don't want James to have
an Irish appointment, but he says there's something in Gambia--wherever
that is--that he'd like.

As, of course, K. I. and myself can never live together again, it would
be very convenient if he was to get something that would require him to
stay in Ireland,--either a suspensory magistrate or a place in Newgate
would do. You 'll wonder at my troubling myself about a man that behaved
as he did; and, indeed, I wonder at myself for it; and what I say is,
maybe this might happen, maybe the other, and I 'd be sorry afterwards;
and if he was to be taken away suddenly, I 'd like to be sure to have my
mind easy, and in a happy frame.

Isn't it dreadful to think that it's about these things my letter is
filled, while all the enjoyment in life is going on about me? There's
the band underneath my window playing the Railroad Polka, and the crowd
round them is princesses and duchesses and countesses, all so elegantly
dressed, and looking so sweet and amiable. Every minute the door opens,
with an invitation for this or that, or maybe a nosegay of beautiful
flowers that a prince with a wonderful name has sent to Mary Anne. And
here 's a man with the most tempting jewelry from Vienna, and another
with lace and artificial flowers; and all for nothing, Molly, or next to
nothing,--if one had a trifle to spend on them. And so we might, too, if
K. I. had n't behaved this way.

There's to be a grand ball to-night at the Rooms, and Mary Anne is come
to me about her dress; for one thing here is indispensable,--you must
never appear twice in the same. For the life of me, I don't know what
they do with the old gowns, but Mary Anne and myself has a stock already
that would set up a moderate mantua-maker. As to shoes, and gloves too,
a second night out of them is impossible, though Mary Anne tries to wear
them at small tea-parties. Speaking of this, I must say that girl will
be a treasure to the man that gets her; for she has so many ways of
turning things to account: there 's not an old lace veil, nor a bit of
net, nor even a flower, that she can't find use for, somewhere or other.
As to Caroline, she looks like a poor governess; there's no taste nor
style whatever about her; and as to a bit of ribbon round her throat,
or a cheap brooch, she never wears one! I tell her every day, "You 're a
Dodd, my dear,--a regular Dodd. You have no more of the M'Carthy in you
than if you never saw me." And, indeed, she takes after the father in
everything. She has a dry, sneering way about whatever is genteel or
high-bred, and the same liking for anything low and common; but, after
all, I 'm lucky to have Mary Anne and James what they are! There 's no
position in life that they 're not equal to; and if I 'm not greatly
mistaken, it's in the very highest rank they 'll settle down at last
This opinion of mine, Molly, is the best and shortest answer I can
give to what you ask me in your last letter,--"What's the use of going
abroad?" But, indeed, your question--as Lord George remarked, when I
told him of it--is, "What's the use of civilization? What's the use of
clothes? What's the use of cooked victuals?" You'll say, perhaps, that
you have all these in Ireland; and I'll tell you, just as flatly, You
have not. You stare with surprise, but I repeat to you, You have not.

An old iron shop in Pill Lane, with bits of brass, broken glass, and old
crockery, is just as like Storr and Mortimer's as your Irish habits
and ways are like the real world. Why, Molly, there's no breeding nor
manners at all! You are all twice too familiar, or what you perhaps
would call cordial, with each other; and yet you dare n't, for the life
of you, say what every foreigner would say to a lady the first time he
ever met her. That's your notion of good manners!

As to your clothes, I get red as a turkey-cock with pure shame when I
think of a Dublin bonnet, with a whole botanical garden over it; but,
indeed, when one thinks of the dirty streets and the shocking climate,
they forgive you for keeping all the finery for the head.

The cookery I won't speak of. There's people can eat it, and much good
may it do them; and my heart bleeds when I think of their sufferings.
But maybe Ireland _is_ coming round, after all. What I hear is, that
when everybody is sold out, matters will begin to mend. I suppose it's
just as if the whole country was taking what's called the "Benefit of
the Act," and that they'll start fresh again in the world without owing
sixpence. If that's the meaning of the Cumbered Estates, it's the best
thing ever was done for Ireland, and I only wonder they did n't think
of it earlier; for my sure and certain opinion is that there's nothing
distresses a man like trying to pay off old debts; and it destroys the
spirits besides, for ye 're always saying, "It was n't _me_ that spent
_this_, I had n't any fun for _that_."

James has just come in with the list of the new Ministry, and among all
the Irish appointments I don't see as good a name as K. I.'s; and you
may fancy how respectable they are after that! But the truth is, Molly,
it's the same with politics as with the potatoes: one is satisfied to
put up with anything in a famine. K. I. used to say that when he was
young, his Irish name would have excluded him as much from any chance
of office as if he was a Red Indian; but times is changed now, and I
see two or three in the list that their colleagues will never pronounce
rightly,--and that, at least, is something gained.

And just to think of it, Molly! Who knows, if K. I. wasn't disgracing
himself this minute, that he would n't be high in the Administration? I
remember the time when it was only Lord James this, or Sir Michael that,
got anything; but now you may remark that it's maybe a fellow would rob
the mail is a Lord of the Treasury, and one that would take fright at
his own shadow is made Clerk of the Ordnance. That's a great "step in
the right direction," Molly, and it shows, besides, that we 're daily
living down obscene and antiquated prejudices.

You like a long letter, you say, and I hope you 'll be satisfied with
this, for I 'm four days over it; but, to be sure, half the time is
spent crying over the barbarous treatment I 've met from K. I. That you
may never know what it is to have a like grief, is the prayer of your
affectionate friend,

Jemima Dodd.

P. S. Mary Anne sends her love and regards, and Cary, too, desires to
be remembered to you. She is longing to have old Tib here, as if a black
cat would be anything remarkable on the Continent But that 's the way
with her. All the Dodsborough geese are swans in _her_ estimation.



LETTER XXIV. JAMES DODD TO ROBERT DOOLAN, ESQUIRE, TRINITY COLLEGE,
DUBLIN.

Baden-Baden.

My dear Bob,--I copy the following paragraph from the "Galignani"
of yesterday: "Considerable excitement has been caused amongst the
fashionable visitors of Baden by the rumored elopement of the charming
Mrs. G * * * H * * *. * * with an Irish gentleman of large fortune, and
who, though considerably past the prime of life, is evidently not beyond
the age of fascination. Our readers will appreciate the reserve with
which we only allude to a report, the bare mention of which will
doubtless give the deepest distress amongst a wide circle of our very
highest aristocracy." Probably all your conic sections and spherical
trigonometry learning would never enable you to read the riddle aright,
and so I shall save you the profitless effort by saying that the
delinquent so delicately indicated in the above is no other than the
worthy governor himself. Ay, Bob, as the old song says,--

     "No age, no profession, nor station is free,
     To sovereign beauty mankind bends the knee;"

and how should it be expected that Dodd père could resist the soft
impeachment? To be as intelligible as the circumstances permit, I must
ask of you to call to mind a certain very beautiful fellow-traveller
of ours,--a Mrs. Gore Hampton. She is the Dido of this Æneid. Not
that there is in reality any--even the remotest--shade of truth in the
newspaper paragraph; the entire event being explicable upon far less
romantic and less interesting grounds. Mrs. G. H. having desired the
protection of my father's escort to some small town in Germany, and
not wishing to excite the inevitable hostility of my mother to the
arrangement, determined upon a night march, without beat of drum. In
this way was the fortress evacuated; and when the garrison were mustered
for duty, Dodd père was reported missing.

Tiverton, who was in the secret throughout, explained everything to
me, and I as readily imparted the explanation to the girls; but all our
endeavors to convince my mother were totally fruitless. "She knew him of
old,"--"she guessed many a day since what he was,"--"it was not now that
she had to read his character,"--these and similar intimations, coupled
with others even stronger and less flattering as regarded his time of
life, manners, and personal advantages, were more than enough to drown
all our arguments; and I must confess that she arranged the details of
circumstantial evidence against him with a degree of art and dexterity
that might have reflected credit on a Crown lawyer.

Of course, the first three or four days after the event were not of the
pleasantest; for, not satisfied with the sympathies of a home circle, my
mother empanelled "special juries" of the waiters and chambermaids, and
arraigned the unlucky governor on a series of charges extending to a
period far beyond the "statute of limitations."

Under these circumstances there was nothing for it but to leave this
place at once, and establish our quarters in some new locality. Baden
offered the most advisable sphere, whither we have come, if not to hide
our sorrows, at least to console our griefs. I am perfectly convinced
that if the governor came back to-morrow, and could only obtain a fair
hearing, he could satisfactorily explain why he went, where he was, and
everything else about his absence; but there lies the real difficulty,
Bob. He will be condemned _per contumaciam_, if not actually hooted out
of court with indignation. While this is undeniably true, you will be
astonished to hear how thoroughly public sympathy would be with him,
were he boldly to stand forth and tender his plea of "Guilty." I was
slow to credit this when Tiverton told me so at first, but I now see
it is perfect fact. Good society abroad exacts something in the way of
qualification,--like what certain charitable institutions require at
home,--you must have sinned before you can hope for admittance! It is
not enough that you express profligate opinions,--speak disparagingly
of whatever is right, and praise the wrong,--you are expected to give
a proof, a good, palpable, unmistakable proof of your professions, and
show yourself a man of your word. The oddest thing about all this is
that these evidences are not demanded on any moral or immoral grounds,
but simply as requirements of good breeding,--in other words, you have
no right to mix in society where your purity of character may give
offence; such pretension would be a downright impertinence.

Hence you will perceive that if the governor only knew of it, he might
take brevet rank as a scamp, and actually figure here as one of the
"profligates of the season." Meanwhile, his absence is not without its
inconveniences; and if he remain much longer away, I am sorely afraid,
we shall be reduced to a paper currency, not "convertible" at will.

I have myself been terribly unlucky at "the tables," have lost heavily,
and am deeply in debt. Tiverton, however, tells me never to despair, and
that when pushed to the wall a man can always retrieve himself by a rich
marriage. I confess the remedy is not exactly to my taste,--but what
remedy ever is? If it must be so, it must. There are just now some three
or four great prizes in the wheel matrimonial here, of which I will
speak more fully in my next; my object in the present being rather to
tell you where we are, than to communicate the _res gesto_ of

Your ever attached friend,

James Dodd.

P. S. Don't think of reading for the Fellowship, I beg and entreat of
you. If you will take to "monkery," do it among our own fellows, who
at least enjoy lives of ease and indolence. Besides, it is a downright
absurdity to suppose that any man ever rallies after four years of
hard study and application. As Tiverton says, "You train too fine, and
there's no work in you afterwards."



LETTER XXV. KENNY DODD TO THOMAS PURCELL, ESQ., OF THE GRANGE, BRUFF.

Eisenach, "The Rue Garland."

Mr dear Tom,--You may see by the address that I am still here, although
in somewhat different circumstances from those in which I last wrote to
you. No longer "mi lor," the occupant of the "grand suite of apartments
with the balcony," flattered by beauty, and waited on with devotion. I
am now alone; the humble tenant of a small sanded parlor, and but too
happy to take a very unpretending place at my host's table. I seek
out solitary spots for my daily walks,--I select the very cheapest
"Canastre" for my lonely pipe,--and, in a word, I am undergoing a course
of "the silent system," accompanied by thoughts of the past,
present, and the future, gloomy as ever were inflicted by any code of
penitentiary discipline.

I know not if--seeing the bulk of this formidable despatch--you will
have patience to read it: I have my doubts that you will employ somebody
to "note the brief" for you, and only address yourself to the strong
points of the case. Be this as it may, it is a relief to me to decant my
sorrows even into my ink-bottle; and I come back at night with a sense
of consolation that shows me that, no matter how lonely and desolate
a man may be in the world, there is a great source of comfort in the
sympathy he has for himself. This may sound like a bull, but it is not
one, as I am quite ready to show. But my poor brains are not in order
for metaphysics, and so, with your leave, I 'll just confine myself to
narrative for the present, and keep all the philosophy of my argument
for another occasion.

Lest, however, you should only throw your eyes carelessly over these
lines and not adventure far into the detail of my sorrows, I take this
early opportunity of saying that I am living here on credit,--that I
have n't five shillings left to me,--that my shoemaker lies in wait
for me in the Juden-Gasse, and my washerwoman watches for me near the
church. Schnaps, snuff, and cigars have encompassed me round about with
small duns, and I live in a charmed circle of petty persecutions,
that would drive a less good-tempered man half-crazy. Not that I am
ungrateful to Providence for many blessings; I acknowledge heartily the
great advantage I possess in knowing nothing whatever of the language,
so that I am enabled to preserve my equanimity under what very probably
may be the foulest abuse that ever was poured out upon insolvent
humanity.

My wardrobe is dwindled to the "shortest span." I have "taken out" my
great-coat in Kirschwasser, and converted my spare small-clothes into
cigars. My hat has gone to repair my shoes; and as my razors are pledged
for pen, ink, and paper, I have grown a beard that would make the
fortune of an Italian refugee, or of a missionary speaker at Exeter
Hall!

My host of the "Rue Garland" hasn't seen a piece of my money for the
last fortnight; and now, for the first time since I came abroad, am I
able to say that I find the Continent cheap to live in. Ay, Tom, take
my word for it, the whole secret lies in this,--"Do with little, and pay
for less," and you 'll find a great economy in coming abroad to live.
But if you cannot cheat yourself as well as your creditors, take my
advice and stay at home. These, however, are only spare reflections; and
I'll now resume my story, taking up the thread of it where I left off in
my last.

It is really all like a dream to me, Tom; and many times I am unable to
convince myself that it is not a dream, so strange and so novel are
all the incidents that have of late befallen me, so unlike every
former passage of my life, and so unsuited am I by nature, habit, and
temperament for the curious series of adventures in which I have been
involved.

After all, I suppose it is downright balderdash to say that a man is not
adapted for this, or suited to that. I remember people telling me that
public life would n't do for me; that I was n't the kind of man for
Parliament, and so on; but I see the folly of it all now. The truth
is, Tom, that there is a faculty of accommodation in human nature, and
wherever you are placed, under whatever circumstances situated, you
'll discover that your spirit, like your stomach, learns to digest
everything; though I won't deny that it may now and then be at the cost
of a heartburn in the one case as well as the other.

When I wrote to you last, I was living a kind of pastoral life,--a
species of Meliboeus, without sheep! If I remember aright, I left off
when we were just setting out on an excursion into the forest,--one
of those charming rides over the smooth sward, and under the trellised
shadow of tall trees, now loitering pensively before some vista of the
wood, now cantering along with merry laughter, as though with every
bound we left some care behind never to overtake us. Ah, Tom, it's no
use for me to argue and reason with myself; I always find that I come
back to the same point, and that whatever touches my feelings, whatever
makes my heart vibrate with pleasant emotion, whatever brings back to me
the ardent, confiding, trustful tone of my young days, does me good, and
that I'm a better man for it, even though "the situation," as you would
call it, was rather equivocal. Don't mistake me, Tom Purcell, I don't
want to go wrong; I have not the slightest inclination to break my neck.
The height of my ambition is only to look over the precipice. Can't you
understand that? Try and "realize" that to yourself, as the Yankees say,
and you'll at once comprehend the whole charm and fascination of my late
life here. I was always "looking over the precipice," always speculating
upon the terrible perils of the drop, and always half hugging myself
in my sense of security. Maybe this is metaphysics again; if it is, I'm
sorry for it, but the German Diet must take the blame of it,--a course
of sauerkraut would make any man flighty.

Well, I 'll spare you all description of these "Forest days," at
whatever cost to my own feelings; and it is not every man that would put
that much constraint upon himself, for something tells me that the theme
would make me "come out strong." That, what with my descriptive powers
as regards scenery, and my acute analysis on the score of emotions, I
'd astonish you, and you 'd be forced to exclaim, "Kenny is a very
remarkable man. Faith! I never thought he had this in him." Nor did I
know it myself, Tom Purcell; nor as much as suspect it. The fact is,
my natural powers never had fair play. Mrs. D. kept me in a state of
perpetual conflict. "Little wars," as the Duke used to say, "destroy
a state;" and in the same way it's your small domesticities--to coin
a word--that ruin a man's nature and fetter his genius. You think,
perhaps, that I 'm employing an over-ambitious phrase, but I am not.
Mrs. G. H. assured me that I actually did possess "genius," and I
believe in my heart that she is the only one who ever really understood
me.

No man understood human nature better than Byron, and he says, in one of
his letters, "that none of us ever do anything till a woman takes us
in hand;" by which, of course, he means the developing of our better
instincts,--the illustrating our latent capabilities, and so on; and
that, let me observe to you, is exactly what our wives never do. With
them, it is everlastingly some small question of domestic economy. They
"take the vote on the supplies" every morning at breakfast, and they
go to bed at night with thoughts of the "budget." The woman, therefore,
referred to by the poet cannot be what we should call in Ireland "the
woman that owns you." And here, again, my dear friend, is another
illustration of my old theory,--how hard it is for a man to be good and
great at the same time. Indeed, I am disposed to say that Nature never
intended we should, but in all probability meant to typify, by the
separation, the great manufacturing axiom,--"the division of labor."

Be this as it may, Byron is right, and if there be an infinitesimal
spark of the divine essence in your nature, your female friend will
detect it with the same unerring accuracy that a French chemist hunts
out the ten-thousandth part of a grain of arsenic in a case of poison.
It would amaze you were I to tell you how markedly I perceived the
changes going on in myself when under this influence. There was, so
to say, a great revolution going on within me, that embraced all my
previous thoughts and opinions on men, manners, and morals. I felt that
hitherto I had been taking a kind of Dutch view of life from the mere
level of surrounding objects, but that now I was elevated to a high and
commanding position, from which I looked down with calm dignity. I must
observe to you that Mrs. G. H. was not only in the highest fashionable
circles of London, but that she was one who took a very active part in
political life. This will doubtless surprise you, Tom, as it did myself,
for we know really nothing in Ireland of the springs that set great
events in motion. Little do we suspect the real influence women
exercise,--the sway and control they practise over those who rule us.
I wish you heard Mrs. G. H. talk, how she made Bustle do this, and
persuaded Pumistone do the other. Foreign affairs are her forte, and,
indeed, she owned to me that purely Home matters were too narrow and too
local to interest her. What she likes is a great Russian question, with
the Bosphorus and the Danubian Provinces, and the Hospodar of Wallachia
to deal with; or Italy and the Austrians, with a skirmishing dash at
the Pope and the King of Naples. She is a Whig, for she told me that
the Tories were a set of rude barbarians, that never admitted female
influence; and "the consequence is," says she, "they never know what
is doing at foreign courts. Now _we_ knew everything: there was
the Princess Sleeboffsky, at St. Petersburg; and the Countess von
Schwarmerey, at Berlin; and Madame de la Tour de Force, at Florence,
all in our interest. There was not a single impertinent allusion made
to England, in all the privacy of royal domestic life, that we hadn't it
reported to us; and we knew, besides, all the little 'tendresses' of
the different statesmen of the Continent, for, in our age, we bribe with
Beauty, where formerly it was a matter of Bank-notes. The Tories, on
the other hand, lived with their wives, which at once accounts for the
narrowness of their views, and the limited range of their speculations."

All this may read to you like a digression, my dear Tom, but it is not;
for it enables me to exhibit to you some of those traits by which this
fascinating creature charmed and engaged me. She opened so many new
views of life to me,--explained so much of what was mystery to me
before,--recounted so many amusing stories of great people,--gave me
such passing glimpses of that wonderful world made up of kings and
kaisers and ministers, who are, so to say, the great pieces of the
chess-board, whereon we are but pawns,--that I actually felt as if I had
been a child till I knew her.

Another grand result of this kind of information is, that, as you
extend your observation beyond the narrow sphere of home,--whether it
be politically or domestically,--you learn at last to think so little
of what you once regarded as your own immediate and material interests,
that you have as many--maybe more--sympathies with the world at large
than with those actually belonging to you. Such was the progress I made
in this enlightenment, that I felt far more anxious about the Bosphorus
than ever I did for Bruff, and would rather have seen the Austrians
expelled from Lom-bardy than have turned out every "squatter" off my
own estate at Dodsborough. And it is not only that one acquires grander
notions this way, but there are a variety of consolations in the system.
You grumble at the poor-rates, and I point to the population of
Milan paying ten times as much to their tyrants. You exclaim against
extermination, and I reply, "Look at Poland." You complain of the
priests' exactions, and I say, "Be thankful that you haven't the Pope."

Now, Tom, come back from all these speculations, and bring your thoughts
to bear upon her that originated them, and don't wonder at me if I did
n't know how the days were slipping past; nor could only give a mere
passing, fugitive reflection to the fact that I have a wife and three
children somewhere, not very abundantly furnished with the "sinews of
war." I suppose, if we could only understand it, that we 'd discover our
minds were like our bodies, and that we sometimes succumb to influences
we could resist at other moments. Put your head out of the window at
certain periods, and you are certain to catch a cold. I conclude that
there are seasons the heart is just as susceptible.

I cannot give you a stronger illustration of the strange delirium of my
faculties than the fact that I actually forgot the Princess whom we came
expressly to meet, and never once asked about her. It was some time
in the sixth week of our sojourn that the thought shot through my
brain,--"Was n't there a princess to be here?--did n't we expect to see
her?" How Mrs. G. H. laughed when I asked her the question! She really
could n't stop herself for ten minutes. "But I am right," cried I;
"there really _was_ a princess?"

"To be sure you are, my dear Mr. Dodd," said she, wiping her eyes;
"but you must have been living in a state of trance, or you would have
remembered that the poor dear Duchess was obliged to accompany the
Empress to Sicily, and that she could n't possibly count upon being here
before the middle of September."

"What month are we in now?" asked I, timidly.

"July, of course!" said she, laughing.

"June, July, August, September," said I, counting on my fingers; "that
will be four months!"

"What do you mean?" asked she.

"I mean," said I, "it will be four months since I saw Mrs. D. and the
family."

She pressed her handkerchief to her face, and I thought I heard her sob;
indeed I am certain I did. Nothing was further from my thoughts than to
say a rude thing, or even an unfeeling one, and so I assured her over
and over. I protested that it was the very first time since I came
away that I ever as much as remembered one belonging to me; that it was
impossible for a man to feel less the ties of family; that I looked upon
myself--and, indeed, I hoped she also looked upon me in a way--in fact,
regarded me in a light--I'm not exactly clear, Tom, what light I said;
of course, you can imagine what I intended to say, if I did n't say it.

"Is this really true?" said she, without uncovering her face, while she
extended her other hand towards me.

"True!" repeated I. "If it were not true, why am I here? Why have I
left--" I just caught myself in time, Tom. I was nearly "in it" again,
with an allusion to Mrs. D.; but I changed it, and said, "Why am I your
slave,--why am I at your feet--" Just as I said that, suiting the action
to the words, the door of the room was jerked violently open, and a tall
man, with a tremendous bushy pair of whiskers, poked his head in.

[Illustration: 340]

"Oh, heavens!" cried she; "mined and undone!" and fled before I could
see her; while the stranger, fastening the door behind him with the key,
advanced towards me with an air at once so menacing and warlike that I
seized the poker, an instrument about four feet six long, and stood on
the defensive.

"Mr. Kenny Dodd, I believe," said he, solemnly.

"The same!" said I.

"And not Lord Harvey Bruce, at least, on this occasion," said he, with a
kind of sneer.

"No," said I, "and who are you?"

"I am Lord Harvey Bruce, sir," was the answer.

I don't think I said anything in reply; indeed, I am quite sure I did
not say a syllable; but I must have made some expressive gesture, or
suffered some exclamation to escape me, for he quickly rejoined,--

"Yes, sir, you have, indeed, reason to be thankful; for had it been my
wretched, miserable, and injured friend instead, you would now be lying
weltering in your blood."

"Might I make bold to ask the name of the wretched, miserable, and
injured gentleman to whom I was about to be so much indebted?"

"The husband of your unhappy victim, sir," exclaimed he, and with such
an energy of voice that I brandished the poker to show I was ready for
him. "Yes, sir, Mr. Gore Hampton is now in this village,--to a mere
accident you owe it that he is not in this hotel,--ay, in this very
room."

[Illustration: 342]

And he gave a shudder at the words, as though the thoughts they
suggested were enough to curdle a man's blood.

"I'll tell you what, my Lord," said I, getting the table between us,
to prevent any sudden attack on his part, "all your anger and
high-down indignation are clean thrown away. There is no victim here at
all,--there is no villain; and, so far as I am concerned, your friend
is not either miserable or injured. The circumstances under which I
accompanied that lady to this place are all easy of explanation, and
such as require a very different acknowledgment from what you seem
disposed to make for them."

"If you think you are dealing with a schoolboy, sir, you are somewhat
mistaken," broke he in. "I am a man of the world, and it will save us
a deal of time, sir, if you will please to bear this plain fact in your
memory."

"You may be that, or anything else you like, my Lord," said I; "but I 'd
have you to know that I am a man well respected in the world, the father
of a grown-up family. There is no occasion for that heavy groan at all,
my Lord; the case is not what you suspect. I came here purely out of
friendship--"

"Come, come, sir, this is sheer trifling; or, it is worse,--it is
outrageous insult. The man who elopes with a woman, passes under a false
name, retires with her into one of the most remote and unvisited towns
of Germany, is discovered--as I lately discovered you,--only insults the
understanding of him who listens to such excuses. We have tracked you,
sir,--it is but fair to tell you,--from the Rhine to this village. We
are prepared, when the proper time comes, to bring a host of evidence
against you. In all probability, a more scandalous case has not come
before the public these last twenty years. Rest assured, then, that
denial, no matter how well sustained, will avail you little; and when
you have arrived at this palpable conviction, it will greatly facilitate
our progress towards the termination of this unhappy business."

"Well, my Lord, let us suppose, for argument's sake,--'without
prejudice,' however, as the attorneys say,--that I see everything with
your eyes, what is the nature of the termination you allude to?"

"From a gentleman coming from your side of St George's Channel, the
question is somewhat singular," observed he, with a sneer.

"Oh, I perceive," said I; "your Lordship means a duel." He bowed, and I
went on: "Very well; I'm quite ready, whenever and wherever you please;
and if your friend should n't make the arrangement inconvenient, it
would be a great honor to me to exchange a shot with your Lordship
afterwards. I have no friend by me, it is true; but maybe the landlord
would oblige me so far, and I 'm sure you 'll not refuse me a pistol."

"As regards your polite attentions to myself, sir, I have but to say
I accept them; at the same time, I fear you are paying me a French
compliment. It is not a case for a formal exchange of shots; so long as
Hampton lives, you can never leave the ground alive!"

"Then the best thing I can do is to shoot him," said I; and whether the
speech was an unfeeling one, or the way I said it was bloodthirsty, but
he certainly looked anything but easy in his mind.

"The sooner we settle the affair the better, sir," said he, haughtily.

"I think so, too, my Lord."

"With whom can I, then, communicate on your part?"

"I 'll ask the landlord, and if he declines, I 'll try the little barber
on the Platz."

"I must say, sir, it is the first time in my life I find myself in such
company. Have you no countryman of your acquaintance within a reasonable
distance?"

"If Lord George Tiverton were here--"

"If he were, sir, he could not act for you,--he is the near relative of
my friend."

I thought of everybody I could remember; but what was the use of it? I
couldn't reach any of them, and so I was obliged to own. He seemed to
ponder over this for some time, and then said,--

"The matter requires some consideration, sir. When the unhappy result
gets abroad in the world, it is necessary that nothing should attach to
us as men of honor and gentlemen. Your friends will have the right to
ask if you were properly seconded."

"By the unhappy result, your Lordship delicately insinuates my death?"

He gave a little sigh, adjusted his cravat, and smoothed down his
moustaches at the glass over the chimney.

"If it should occur as your Lordship surmises," said I, "it little
matters who officiates on the occasion; indeed," added I, stroking my
beard, "the barber mightn't be an inappropriate friend. But I 've been
'out' on matters of this kind a few times, and somehow I never got
grazed yet; and that's more than the man opposite me was able to say."

"You 'll stand before a man to-morrow, sir, that can hit a Napoleon at
twenty paces."

Faith, Tom, I was nigh saying I wish he could find one for a mark about
_me_; but I caught myself in time, and only observed,--

"He must be an elegant shot."

"The best in the Blues, sir; but this is beside the question. The
difficulty is, now, about your friend. There may be some retired officer
here,--some one who has served; if you will institute inquiry, I'll wait
upon you this evening, and conclude our arrangements."

I promised I 'd do all in my power, and bowed him out of the room
and downstairs with every civility, which, I am bound to say, he also
returned, and we parted on excellent terms.

Now, Tom, you 'll maybe think it strange of me, with a thing of the kind
on hand, but so it was, the moment he was off, I went to look for Mrs.
Gore Hampton.

"The lady?" cried the waiter; "she started with extra-post half an hour
ago."

"Started!" exclaimed I,--"which way?"

"On the high-road to Munich."

"She left no letter,--no note for me?"

"No, sir."

"Poor thing,--overcome, I suppose. She was crying, wasn't she?"

"No, sir, she looked very much as usual, but hurried, perhaps; for she
nearly forgot the ham sandwiches she had ordered to be got ready for
her."

"The ham sandwiches!" exclaimed I, and they nearly choked me. "I 'm
going to be shot for a woman that, in the very extremity of her ruin,
has the heart to order ham sandwiches!" That was the reflection that
arose to my mind, and can you fancy a more bitter one?

"Are you sure," asked I, "the sandwiches weren't for Madame Virginie, or
the little dog?"

"They might, sir, but my Lady desired us to be sure and put plenty of
mustard on them."

This was the damning circumstance, Tom. She was fond of mustard,--I had
often remarked it; and just see, now, on what a trivial thing a man's
happiness can hang. For I own to you, so long as I was strong in what I
fancied to be her good graces, I could have fought the whole regiment of
Blues; but when I thought to myself, "She doesn't care a brass farthing
for you, Kenny Dodd; she may be laughing at you this minute over the ham
sandwiches,"--I felt like a drowning man that had nothing to grapple
on. Talk of unhappy and injured men, indeed! Wasn't I in that category
myself? Not even a husband's selfishness could dispute the palm of
misery with _me!_ In the matter of desertion we were both in the same
boat, and for the life of me, I don't see what we could have to fight
about. I never heard of two sailors rescued from shipwreck quarrelling
as to who it was lost the vessel!

"The best thing for us to do," thought I, "would be to try and console
each other; and if he be a sensible, good-hearted fellow, he 'll maybe
take the same view of it. I 'll ask him and my Lord to dinner; I'll make
the landlord give us some of that wonderful old Stein berger that was
bottled three hundred years ago; I 'll treat them to a regular Saxon
dish of venison with capers washed down with Marcobrunner, and if we 're
not brothers before morning, my name is n't Kenny Dodd."

I was on "these hospitable thoughts intent," when Lord Harvey Bruce was
again announced. He had found out an old sergeant-major of artillery,
who for a consideration would undertake the duties of my second,--kindly
adding that he and his family, a very large one, would also attend my
obsequies.

I interrupted his Lordship to remark that an event bad just occurred to
modify the circumstances of the case, and mentioned Mrs. Gore Hampton's
departure.

"I really cannot perceive, sir," replied he, "that this in any way
affects the matter in hand. Is my friend less injured--is his honor less
tarnished because this unhappy woman has at last awoke to a sense of her
degraded and pitiable condition?"

I thought of the sandwiches, Tom, but could say nothing.

"Are you less his greatest enemy on earth, sir?" cried he, passionately.

"Now listen to me patiently, my Lord," said I. "I 'll be as brief as I
can, for both our sakes. I don't value it one rush whether I go out with
your friend or not. If you want a proof of what I say, step into the
little garden here and I 'll give it to you. I 'm neither boasting nor
bloodthirsty, when I say that I know how to stand at either end of a
pistol; but there's nothing to fight about between us."

"Oh, if you renew that line of argument," cried he, interrupting me, "It
is totally impossible I can listen."

"And why not?" said I. "Is it a greater satisfaction to your friend to
believe himself injured and dishonored than to know that he is neither
one nor the other?"

"Then why did you come away with her?"

"I can't tell," said I, for my head was quite confused with all the
discussion.

"And why call yourself by _my_ name at Ems?"

"I cannot tell."

"Nor what do you mean by the attitude in which I found you when I
entered the room?"

"I can't tell that, either," cried I, driven to desperation by sheer
embarrassment "It's no use asking me any more. I have been living for
the last five or six weeks like one under a spell of enchantment. I can
no more account for my actions than a patient in Swift's Hospital. I 'm
afraid to commit my scattered thoughts to paper, lest they might convict
me of insanity. I know and feel that I am a responsible being, but
somehow my notions of right and wrong are so confused, I have learned to
look on so many things differently from what I used, that I 'd cut a
sorry figure under cross-examination on any matter of morality. There's
the whole truth of it now. I 'd have kept it to myself if I could; I 'm
heartily ashamed at owning to it--but I can't help it--it would come
out. Therefore, don't bother me with, 'Why did you do this?' 'What made
you do that?' for I can give you no reasons for anything."

"By Jove! this is a very singular affair," said he, leaning over the
back of a chair, and staring me steadfastly in the face. "Your age--your
standing in society--your appearance generally, Mr. Dodd, would, I feel
bound to say, rather--" Here he hesitated and faltered, as if the right
word was not forthcoming; and so I continued for him,--

"Just so, my Lord; would rather refute than fix upon me such an
imputation. I 'm not very like the kind of man that figures usually in
these sort of cases."

"As to _that_," said he, cautiously, "there is no saying. I am now only
speaking my own private sentiments, the result of impressions made upon
myself as an individual. Courts of Law take their own views of these
things; and the House of Lords has also its own way of regarding them."

The words threw me into a cold perspiration from head to foot, Tom!
Courts of Law! and the House of Lords! was n't that a pretty prospect
for an encumbered Irish gentleman? A shot, or even two, at twelve or
fourteen paces, cannot be a very expensive thing, in a pecuniary point,
to any man, and there 's an awkwardness in declining it if others are
anxious to have it, so that you appear ungracious and disobliging. But
Westminster Hall and St. Stephen's, Tom, is mighty different. I won't
speak of the disgrace that attends such a proceeding at my time of life,
nor the hue-and-cry that the Press sets up at you, and follows you with
to your own hearth,--"the place from whence you came," and where now
your wife waits for you--to perform the last sentence of the law. I
won't allude to "Punch" and the "Illustrated News," that live upon
you for three weeks; but I 'll just take the thing in its simplest
form,--financially. Why, racing, railroads, contested elections, are
nothing to it. You go to work exactly as Cobden says France and England
do with their armaments: Chatham launches a seventy-four, and out comes
Cherbourg with a line-of-battle ship,--"Injured Husband," secures Sir
Fitzroy Kelly; "Heartless Seducer," sends his brief to Cock-burn. It's a
game of brag from that moment; and there's as much scheming and plotting
to get a hold of Frank Murphy as if he was the knave of spades! It
matters little or nothing what the upshot of the case may be; you may
sink the enemy, or be compelled to strike your own flag; it does n't
signify, in the least; the damages of the action are fatal to you.

Now, Tom, although I never speculated in all my life as to figuring in
an affair like this, these considerations were often strongly impressed
upon me by reading the newspapers, and I bad come to the conclusion that
a man should never think of defending an action of this kind, no more
than he would a petition against his election, and for the same reason.
Since, although not actually guilty in the one case or the other, you
are certain to have committed so many indiscretions,--written, maybe, so
many ridiculous letters,--and, in fact, exposed yourself so much, that
if you cannot keep out of sight altogether, the next best thing is, let
the judgment go by default. I say this to show you that the moment
my Lord threw out the hint about law I had made up my mind from that
instant.

"I sincerely wish," said he, after some deliberation, "that I could hit
upon any mode of arranging this affair; for although I own you have made
a strongly favorable impression upon me, 'Dodd,'"--he called me Dodd
here, quite like an old friend,--"we cannot expect that Hampton could
concur in this view. The fact is, the whole thing has got so much blazed
abroad,--they are so well known in the fashionable world, both home and
foreign,--she is so very handsome, so much admired, and he is such
a charming fellow,--the case has created a kind of European _éclat_.
Looking at the matter candidly, there may be a good deal in what you
have said, but as a man of the world, I am forced to say that Hampton
must shoot you, or sue for a divorce. I am well aware that whichever
course he adopts many will condemn him. In the clubs there will be
always parties. There may spring up even a kind of _juste milieu_,
who will say, 'Now that poor Dodd is dead, I wonder if he really _was_
guilty?'"

"I protest I feel very grateful to them, my Lord," said I. But he paid
no attention to my remark, and went on,--

"If vengeance be all that a man looks for, probably the law of the
land will do as much for him as the law of honor. You ruin a fellow,
irretrievably ruin him, by an action of this kind. You probably remember
Sir Gaybrook Foster, that ran off with Lady Mudford? Well, he had a
splendid estate, did n't owe a shilling, they said, before that; they
tell me now that some one saw him the other day at Geelong, croupier
to a small 'hell.' Then there was Lackington, whom we used to call the
'Cool of the Evening.'"

"I never knew one of them, my Lord," said I, impatiently, for I did n't
care to hear all the illustrations of his theory.

"Lackington was older than you are," continued he, "when he bolted with
that city man's wife,--what's his confounded name?"

"I am shamefully ill-read, my Lord, in this kind of literature," said
I, "nor has it the same interest for me that it seems to afford your
Lordship. May I take the liberty of recalling your attention to the
matter before us?"

"I am giving to it, sir," said he, gravely, "my best and most careful
consideration. I am endeavoring, by the aid of such information as is
before me, to weigh the difficulties that attach to either course,
and to decide for that one which shall secure to my friend Hampton the
largest share of the world's sympathy and approval. I have seen a
great deal of life, and all that I know of it teaches the one
lesson,--distrust, rather than yield to, first impressions. Awhile ago,
when I entered this room, I would have said to Hampton, 'Shoot him like
a dog, sir.' Now, I own to you, Dodd, this is not the counsel I should
give him. Now, understand me well, I neither acquit nor condemn you;
circumstances are far too strong against you for the one, and I have not
the heart to do the other."

"This talking is dry work, my Lord," said I. "Shall we have a glass of
wine?"

"Willingly," said he, seating himself, and throwing his gloves into his
hat, with the air of a man quite disposed to take his ease comfortably.

Our host produced a flask of his inimitable Steinberger, and another
of a native growth, to which he invited our attention, and left us to
ourselves once more. We filled, touched our glasses, German fashion,
drank, and resumed our converse.

"If any man could have told me, twenty-four hours ago, that I should be
sitting where I now find myself, and with _you_ for my companion, I'd
have told him to his face he was a calumniator and a scoundrel! This
time yesterday, Dodd, I 'd have put a bullet through you, myself."

"You don't say that, my Lord?"

"I do say, and repeat it, I believed you to be the greatest villain the
universe contained. I thought you a monster of the foulest depravity."

"Well, I 'm delighted to have undeceived you, my Lord."

"You _have_ undeceived me!--I own to it. I believe, if I know anything,
it is human nature. I have not been a deep student in other things, but
in the heart of man I have read deeply. I know your whole history
in this affair as well as if I was present at the events. You never
intended seduction here."

"Nothing of the kind, my Lord,--never dreamed of it!"

"I know it; I know it. She got an influence over you,--she fascinated
you,--she held you captive, Dodd. She mingled in your thoughts,--she
became part of all your most secret cogitations. With that warm,
impulsive nature of your country, you made no resistance,--you could
make none. You fell into the net at once,--don't deny it I like you the
better for it,--upon my life I do. Don't suppose that I 'm Archbishop of
Canterbury or Dean of Durham, man."

"I don't suspect, in the least," said I.

"I'm no humbug of that kind," said be, resolutely. "I'm a man of the
world, that just takes life as he finds it, and neither fancies that
human nature is one jot better or worse than it is. Hampton goes and
marries a girl of sixteen; she is very beautiful and very rich. What of
that? She leaves him--and what becomes of the wealth and beauty? She is
ruined,--utterly ruined! He has his action at law, and gets swingeing
damages, of course. What's the use of that? Will twenty thousand--will
forty--would a hundred thousand pounds serve to compensate him for a
lost position in life, and the affection of that charming creature? You
know it would not, sir. Don't affect hesitation nor doubt about it You
know it would not."

"That was n't what I was thinking of at all, my Lord. I was only
speculating on the mighty small chance your friend would have of the
money."

"Do you mean to say, sir, that the jury would n't give it?"

"Theory might, but Kenny Dodd wouldn't," said I.

"The Queen's Bench, sir, or the Court of Exchequer, would take care
of that. They 'd issue a 'Mandamus,'--the strongest weapon of our law;
they'd sell to the last stick of your property; they'd take your wife's
jewels,--the coat off your back--"

"As to the jewels of Mrs. D.," says I, "and my own wardrobe, I 'm afraid
they 'd not go far towards the liquidation."

"They'd attach every acre of your estate."

"Much good it would do them," said I. "We're in the Encumbered Court
already."

"Whatever your income may be derived from, they 're sure to discover
it."

"Faith!" said I, "I 'd be grateful to them for the information, for it's
two months now since I beard from Tom Purcell, and I don't know where
I'm to get a shilling!"

"But what are damages, after all!" said he; "nothing, absolutely
nothing!"

"Nothing indeed!" said I.

"And look at the misery through which a man most wade ere be attain to
them. A public trial, a rule to show cause, a motion,--three or four
thousand gone for that. The case heard at Westminster Hall,--forty-seven
witnesses brought over special from different parts of the Continent, at
from two guineas to ten per diem, and travelling expenses,--what money
could stand it; and see what it comes to: you ruin some poor devil
without benefiting yourself. That 's the folly of it! Believe me,
Dodd, the only people that get any enjoyment out of these cases are the
lawyers!"

"I can believe it well, my Lord."

"I know it,--I know it, sir," said he, fiercely. "I have already told
you that I 'm no humbug. I don't want to pretend to any nonsense about
virtue, and all that. I was once in my life--I was young, it is true--in
the same predicament you now stand in. It won't do to speak of the
parties, but I suspect our cases were very similar. The friend who
acted for the husband happened to be one who knew all my family and
connections. He came frankly to me, and said,--

"'Bruce, this affair will come to a trial,--the damages will be laid at
ten thousand,--the costs will be about three more. Can you meet that?'

"'No,' said I, 'I 'm a younger son,--I 've got my commission in the
Guards, and eight thousand in the "Three-and-a-Half's" to live on, so
that I can't.'

"'What _can_ you pay?' said he.

"'I can stand two thousand,' said I, boldly.

"'Say three,' said he,--'say three.'

"And I said, 'Three be it,' and the affair was settled--an exposure
escaped--a reputation rescued--and a clear saving of something like ten
thousand pounds; and this just because we chanced both of us to be 'men
of the world.' For look at the thing calmly; how should any of us have
been bettered by a three days' publicity at Nisi Prius,--one's little
tendernesses ridiculed by Thesiger, and their soft speeches slanged by
Serjeant Wilkins. Turn it over in your mind how you may, and the same
conclusion always meets you. The husband, it is true, gets less money;
but then he has no obloquy. The wife escapes exposure; and the 'other
party' is only mulct to one-fourth of his liability, and at the same
time is exempt from all the ruffianism of the long robe! A vulgarly
minded fellow might have said, 'What's the woman's reputation to _me?_
I'll defend the action,--I'll prove this, that, and t'other. I'll engage
the first counsel at the bar, and fight the battle out. I don't care a
jot about being blackguarded before a jury, lampooned in the papers, and
caricatured in the windows,' he might say; 'what signifies to _me_ what
character I hold before the world,--I have neither sons nor daughters
to suffer from my disgrace.' I know that all these and similar reasons
might prompt a man of a certain stamp to regret this course, and say,
'Be it so. Let there be a trial!' But neither _you_ nor _I_ Dodd, could
see the matter in this light. There is this peculiarity about a man
of the world, that not alone he sees rightly, but he sees quickly; he
judges passing events with a kind of instinctive appreciation of what
will be the tone of society generally, and he says to himself, 'There
are doubtless elements in this question that I would wish otherwise.
I would, perhaps, say _this_ is not exactly to my taste; I don't like
_that_;' but whoever yet found that he broke his leg exactly in the
right place? What man ever discovered that the toothache ever attacked
the very tooth he wanted! I take it, Dodd, that you are a man who has
seen a good deal of life; now did your heart ever bound with delight
on seeing the outside of a bill of costs? or on hearing the well-known
knock of a better known dun at your hall door? True philosophy consists
in diminishing, so far as may be, the inevitable ills of life. Don't you
agree with me?"

"With the general proposition I do, my Lord; the question here is, how
far the present case may be considered as coming within your theory.
Suppose now, just for argument's sake, I was to observe that there
was no similarity between our situations; that while _you_ openly avow
culpability, _I_ as distinctly deny it."

"You prefer to die innocent, Dodd?" said he, puffing his cigar coolly as
he spoke.

"I prefer, my Lord, to maintain the vantage ground that I feel under my
feet. Had you been patient enough to hear me out, I could have explained
to your perfect satisfaction how I came here, and why. I could have
shown you a reason for everything that may possibly seem strange or
mysterious--"

"As, for instance, the assumption of a name and title that did not
belong to you,--a fortnight's close seclusion to avoid discovery,--the
sudden departure for Ems, and headlong haste of your journey here,--and,
finally, the attitude of more than persuasive eloquence in which I
myself saw you. Of course, to a man of an ingenious and inventive turn,
all these things are capable of at least some approach to explanation.
Lawyers do the thing every day,--some, with tears in their eyes, with
very affecting appeals to Heaven, according to the sums marked on the
outside of the briefs. If your case had been one of murder, I could have
got you a very clever fellow who would have invoked divine vengeance on
his own head in open court if he were not in heart and soul assured of
your spotless innocence! But now please to bear in mind that we are not
in Westminster Hall. We are here talking frankly and honestly, man to
man,--sophistry and special pleading avail nothing; and here I candidly
tell you, that, turn the matter how you will, the advice I have given
is the only feasible and practicable mode of escaping from this
difficulty."

If you think me prolix, my dear Purcell, in narrating so
circumstantially every part of this curious interview, just remember
that I am naturally anxious to bring to bear upon _your_ mind the force
of argument to which _mine_ at last yielded. It is very possible I may
not be able to present these reasonings with all the strength and vigor
with which they appealed to myself. I may--like a man who plays chess
with himself--favor one side a little more than the other, or it is
possible that I may seem weaker in my self-defence than I ought to have
been. However you interpret my conduct on this trying occasion, give me
the benefit of never having for a moment forgotten the fame and fortune
of that lovely creature whose fate was in my hands, and whom I have
rescued at a heavy price.

I do not wish to impose upon you the wearisome task of reading all that
passed between my Lord and myself. The whole correspondence would fill
a blue book, and be about as amusing as such folios usually are. I 'll
spare you, therefore, the steps of the negotiation, and merely give you
the heads of the treaty:--

"Firstly, Mr. G. H., by reason and in virtue of certain compensations
to be hereafter stated, binds himself to consider Mrs. G. H. in all
respects as before her meeting K. I. D., regarding her with the same
feelings of esteem, love, and affection as before that event, and
treating her with the same 'distinguished consideration.'

"Secondly, K. I. D., on his part, agrees to give acceptances for two
thousand pounds sterling, with interest at the rate of five per cent
per annum on same till the time of payment. The dates to be at the
convenience of K. I. D., always provided that the entire payment be
completed within the term of five years from the present day.

"Thirdly, K. I. D. pledges his word of honor never to dispute or contest
his liability to the above debt, by any unworthy subterfuge, such as 'no
value,' 'intimidation used,' or any like artifice, legal or otherwise,
but accepts these conditions in all the frankness of a gentleman."

Here follow the signatures and seals of the high contracting parties,
with those of a host of witnesses on both sides. Brief as the articles
read, they occupied several days in the discussion of them, during which
Hampton retired to a village in the neighborhood, it not being deemed
"etiquette" for us to inhabit the same town until the terms of a treaty
had laid down our respective positions. These were my Lord's ideas,
and you can infer from them the punctilious character of the
whole negotiation. Lord Harvey dined and supped with me every day,
breakfasting at Schweinstock with his principal. I thought, indeed, when
all was finally settled, between us, that G. H. and I might have met and
dined together as friends; but my Lord negatived the notion strongly.
"Come, come, Dodd, you must n't be too hard upon poor Gore; it is not
generous." And although, Tom, I cannot see the force of the observation,
I felt bound to yield to it, rather than appear in any invidious or
unamiable light. I, consequently, never met him during his stay in the
neighborhood.

Lord Harvey left this, about ten days ago, for Dresden. We parted the
very best of friends, for with all his zeal for G. H., I must say that
he behaved handsomely to me throughout; and in the matter of the bills,
he at once yielded to my making the first for £500, at nine months,
though he assured me it would be a great convenience to his friend if I
could have said "six." I should have quitted this to join the family on
the same day; but when I came to pay the hotel bill, I found that the
dinners and champagne during the week of diplomacy had not left me five
dollars remaining, so that I have been detained by sheer necessity;
and partly by my own will, and partly by my host's sense of caution, my
daily life has been gradually despoiled of its little enjoyments, till
I find myself in the narrow circumstances of which this letter makes
mention at the opening.

From beginning to end, it would be difficult to imagine a more unlucky
incident; nor do I believe that any man ever got less for two thousand
pounds since the world began. You cannot say a severe thing to me that I
have not said to myself; you cannot appeal to my age and my habits with
a more sneering insolence than I am daily in the habit of doing; your
very bitterest vituperations would be mild in comparison to one of my
own soliloquies, so that, as a matter of _surplusage,_ spare me all
abuse, and rather devote your loose ingenuities to assisting me out of
my great embarrassments.

I know well, that if we don't discover a gold-mine at Dodsborough, or
fall upon a coal-shaft near Bruff, that I have no possible prospect to
pay these bills; but as the first of them is nine months off, there
is no such pressing emergency. The immediate necessity is, to send me
enough to leave this place, and join Mrs. D. and the family. Write
to me, therefore, at once, with a remittance, and mention where they
are,--if still at Bonn, where I left them.

You had also better write to Mrs. D.; in what strain, and to what
purport, I must leave to your own ingenuity. As for myself, I know no
more how to meet her, nor what mood to assume, than if I wore about to
enter the cage of one of Van Amburgh's lions. Now I fancy that maybe a
contrite, broken-hearted look would be best; and now I rather lean to
the bold, courageous, overbearing tone! Heaven direct me to what is
best, for I never felt myself so much in want of guidance!

When you write to me, be brief; don't worry me with details of home, and
inflict me with one of your national epistles about famine, and fever,
and faction fights. I have no pity for anybody but myself just now, and
I care no more for what's doing in Tipperary than if it was Canton. It
will be time enough when I join the others to speculate upon whither
we shall turn our steps, but my present thoughts tend to going back to
Dodsborough. I wish from my soul that we had never left it, nor
embarked in this infernal crusade after high society, education, and
grandeur,--the vain pursuit of which leaves me to write myself, as I now
do, your most miserable and melancholy friend,

Kenny Dodd.

P. S. I have a gold watch, made by Gaskin of Dublin about fifty years
back; but it's so big and unwieldy that nobody would buy it, except for
a town clock. The case of it alone would n't make a bad-sized covered
dish, and I 'm sure the works are as strong as a French steam-engine;
but what's the use of it all if I can't find a purchaser? I have already
parted with my tortoiseshell snuff-box, that my grandmother swore
belonged to Quintus Curtius; and the only family relic remaining to
me is a bamboo sword-cane, the being possessed of which, if it became
known, would subject me to three months' imprisonment in a fortress,
with hard labor! If I were in Austria, the penalty is death; and maybe
that same would be a mercy in my misfortunes.

The only walk where I don't meet my duns is down by a canal,--a lonely
path, with dwarf willows along it. I almost think I 'd have jumped in
yesterday, if it was n't for the bull-frogs,--the noise they made drove
me away from the place. Depend upon it, Tom, the Humane Society ought to
get the breed for the Serpentine. It's only a most "determined suicide"
could venture into their company! The chorus in "Robert le Diable" is a
love ditty compared to them!



LETTER XXVI. MRS. DODD TO MR. PURCELL, OF THE GRANGE, BRUFF.

BADEN-BADEN.

Dear Mr. Purcell,--Your letter is now before me, and if I did n't know
the mark of your hand before, I 'd scarce believe the sentiments was
yours. It well becomes you, one that but _one_ woman would ever accept
of, to lecture the likes of me on the way I ought to treat my husband. A
stingy old creature that sits croaking over an extra sod of turf on the
fire, and counts out the potatoes to the kitchen, is not exactly the
kind of authority to dictate laws to the respectable head of a family!
I often suspected the nature of the advice you gave K. I., but I did n't
think you 'd have the hardihood to come out with it _yourself_, and to
_me!_ How much you must have forgotten both of us, it's mighty clear!

Where did you get all the elegant expressions about K. I.'s "unavoidably
prolonged absence," "the sacrifices exacted from friendship," "the
generous ardor of a chivalrous nature," and the other fine balderdash
you bestow upon your friend's disgraceful behavior? Do you know what you
are talking about? Have you a notion about the affair at all? Answer me
that. Are you aware that he is now two months and four days away without
as much as a letter, except a bit of an impertinent note, once, to ask
are we alive or dead, not a sixpence in cash, not a check, nor even a
bill that we might try to get protested, or whatever they call it? I
don't make any illusions to why he went, and what he went for. I would
n't disgrace my pen with the subject, nor myself by noticing it; but,
except yourself, in the brown wig and the black satin small clothes, I
don't know one less suited to perform the "Lutherian." You are a nice
pair, and I expect nothing less than to hear of yourself next! And
you have the impudence to tell me that these are some of the "innocent
freedoms of Continental life"! What do you know about them, I 'd beg to
ask,--_you_, that never was nearer the Continent than Malahide? As to
the innocent freedoms of the Continent, there's nobody can teach me
anything; I see them before me in the day when I drive out, at the
_table d'hôte_ where I dine, and at every ball where they dance. Sweet
innocence it is, indeed! and particularly when practised by the father
of a grown-up family,--fifty-seven, he says, in June, but more likely
sixty odd, for I know many of his co-trumperies, and nice young
gentlemen they are too!

You assure me that you sympathize sincerely with K. I. I 've no
objection to that; he 'll need all the comfort it can give him when he
comes home again, or I 'm much mistaken. With the help of the saints, I
'll teach him the differ between going off with a lady and living with
his lawful wife. If he didn't know the distinction before, he shall now!
And then you think to terrify me about the state of his health. It won't
do, Mr. Tom Purcell. He 'll live to disgrace us this many a year. I
know well what his constitution can bear, and what he calls the gout
is neither more nor less than the outbreaks of his violent and furious
temper! Never flatter yourself, therefore, that you can make any of us
uneasy on that score; and if he comes back on a litter, it won't save
him.

Your "sincere regrets that we ever came abroad" are very elegantly
expressed, and require all my acknowledgments. Is n't there anything
else you are sorry for? Is n't it grief to you that we never caught the
smallpox, or that James was n't transported for forgery? We ought to
have stayed at Bruff; and, judging from the charms of your style, I have
no doubt that we might have derived great benefit from your vicinity.

You are eloquent, too, about expense; and add that you always believed
that there was no economy in living abroad. Perhaps not, sir, if one
unites foreign vices with home ones; but I beg to say, when we
left Dodsborough, I, for one, never contemplated the cost of _two_
establishments,--take that, Mr. Tom Purcell!

I wonder at myself how I keep my temper, and condescend to argue with
you about points on which an old bachelor, or widower (for it's the
same), must necessarily be ignorant. Don't you perceive that for you to
discourse on family matters is like a deaf man describing music?

And you wind up about the privileges of old friendship, and so on! It's
a new notion of friendship that makes a man impudent! Where did you ever
hear that knowing people a long time was a reason for insulting them?
As to your kind inquiries for the girls, I 'd have liked them as well if
not coupled with those "natural fears" for the consequences of foreign
contamination. Mary Anne and myself got a hearty laugh out of your
terrors; and so I forgive your mention of them.

James is quite well; and would, he says, be better, if that remittance
you spoke of had arrived.

You tell me that the McCarthy legacy is paid, and the money lodged at
Latouche's. But what's the use of that? It's here I want it. Find out a
safe hand, if you can, and send it over to me; for I 'm resolved to have
nothing to do with bills as long as I live.

And now I believe I have gone through the principal matters in your
last, and I hope given you my ideas as clearly as your own. It may save
you some time and stationery if I say that my mind is made up about
K.I.; and if it was Queen Victoria was interceding for him, I'd not
alter my sentiments. It's no use appealing "to the goodness of my heart,
and the feminine sweetness of my nature;" all that you say on that head
is only a warning to me not to let my weaknesses get the upper hand of
me: a lesson I will endeavor to profit by, so long as I write myself,

Your very obedient to command,

Jemima Dodd.



LETTER XXVII. MRS. DODD TO MRS. MARY GALLAGHER, HOUSEKEEPER, DODSBOROUGH

Dear Molly,--I send you herewith a letter for Tom Pur-cell, which you
'll take care to deliver with your own hands. If you are by when he
reads it, you 'll maybe perceive that it's not the "compliments of the
season" I was sending him. He says he likes plain speaking, and I trust
he is satisfied now.

You are already aware of the barbarous manner K. I. has behaved. I 've
told you how he deserted me and the family, and the disgrace that he has
brought down upon us in the face of Europe; for I must observe to you,
Molly, that whatever is talked of here goes flying over the whole world,
and is the common talk of every Court on the Continent. I could fill
chapters if I was to describe his wickedness and inhumanity. Well, my
dear, what do you think! but in the face of all this Mr. Tom Purcell
takes the opportunity to read me a long lecture on my "congenial"
duties, and to instruct me in what manner I am to treat K. I. on his
return.

Considering what he knows of my character, Molly, I almost suspect that
he might have spared himself this trouble. Did he, or did any one else,
ever see me posed by a difficulty? When did any event take me unawares?
Am I by nature one of those terrified creatures that get flurried
by misfortune; or am I, by the blessing of Providence, gifted in a
remarkable manner with great powers of judgment, matured by a deep
knowledge of life, and a thorough acquaintance with the wickedness of
the human heart? That's the whole question,--which am I? Is it after
twenty-six years' studying his disposition and pondering over all his
badness, that any one can come and teach me how to manage him? I know K.
I. as I know my old slipper; and, indeed, one is worth about as much as
the other! I have n't the patience--it would be too much to expect from
any one--to tell you how beautifully Mister Tom discourses to me about
the innocent freedoms of the Continent, and the harmless fragilities of
female life abroad! Does the old sinner believe in his heart that black
is white abroad? and would he have me think that what's murder in Bruff
was only a justifiable hom'-a-side at Brussels? If he doesn't meau that,
what does he mean? Maybe, to be sure, he 's one of the fashionable set
that make out that the husband is always driven to some kind of vice or
other by his wife's conduct! For, I must remark to you, Molly, there
's a set of people now in the world--they call themselves "The Peace
Congress," I think--that say there must be no more wars, no fighting,
domestically or nationally!

Their notion is this: everybody is right, and nobody need quarrel
with his neighbor, but settle any trifling disagreement by means of
arbitration. Mister Tom is, perhaps, an arbitrator. Well, I hope he
likes the office! Since I knew anything of life myself, I always found
that if there was three people mixed up in a shindy there was no hope of
settling it, on any terms.

He says, K. I. is coming home. Let him come, says I. Let him surrender
himself, Molly, and justice will take its course. That's all the
satisfaction I 'll give either of them.

"Don't be vindictive," says Mister Tom. Isn't that pretty language to
use to me, I ask? Is the Chief Justice "vindictive," Molly, when he
says, "Stand forward, and hear your sentence"? Is he behaving "unlike a
Christian" when he says, "Use the little time that's left you in making
your peace"?

The old creature then goes on to quote Scripture to me, and talks about
the prodigal son. "Very well," says I, "be it so. K. I. may be that if
he likes, but I 'll not be the fatted calf,--that's all!" The fact is,
Molly, I'm immutable as the Maids and Prussians. They may talk till they
're black in the face, but I 'll never forgive him!

Would n't it be a nice example, I ask, to the girls, if I was to
overlook K. I.'s conduct, and call it a "venal" offence? And this, too,
when the eyes of all Europe is staring at us. "How will Mrs. D. take
it?" says the Prince of this. "What will Mrs. D. say to him?" says the
Duke of that "Does _she_ know it yet?" asks the Archduke of Moravia.
That's the way they go on from morning till night; so that, in fact,
Molly,--as Lord George observes,--"he is less of a private culprit than
a great public malefactor."

There's the way I am forced to look on the case; and think more of the
good of society than of my family feelings.

Such are my sentiments, Molly, after giving to the case a most patient
and careful consideration; and it's little good in Tom Purcell's trying
to oppose and obstruct me.

If it were not for this unhappy event, I must own to you, Molly, that we
never enjoyed ourselves anywhere more than we do here. It's a scene of
pleasure and gayety all day,--and, indeed, all nightlong; and nothing
but the anticipation of K. I. 's return could damp the ardor of our
happiness. However it's managed, I can't tell; but the most elegant
balls and entertainments are given here free and for nothing! Who keep
up the rooms, pays for the lighting, the servants, and the refreshments,
is more than I can say. All I know is, that your humble servant never
contributed a sixpence to one of them. Lord George says that the Grand
Duke is never happy except when the place is crammed; and that he 'd
spend his last shilling rather than not see people amuse themselves.
And there's a Frenchman, too,--a Mr. Begasset, or Benasset, or something
like that,--who is so wild about amusement that he goes to any expense
about the place, and even keeps a pack of hounds for the public.

Contrast this, my dear Molly, with one of our little miserable
subscription balls at home, where Dan Cassidy, the dancing-master, is
driving about the country, for maybe three weeks, in his old gig, before
he can scrape together a matter of six or seven pounds, to pay for
mutton lights, two fiddles, and a dulcimer; and, after all, it's
perhaps over the Bridewell we 'd be dancing, and the shouts of the dirty
creatures below would be coming up at every pause of the music. Now,
here, it's like a royal palace,--elegant lustres, with two hundred
wax-lights in each of them,--a floor like glass. Ask Mary Anne if it
isn't as slippery! The dress of the company actually magnificent! none
of your little shabby-colored muslins, or Limerick lace; none of your
gauze petticoats, worn over glazed calico, to look like satin, but
everything real, Molly,--the lace, the silk, the satin, the jewels, the
gold trimmings, the feathers,--all the best of the kind, and fresh as
they came out of the shop. You don't see the white satin shoes with the
mark of a man's foot on them, nor the satin body with four fingers and
a thumb on the back of it, as you would at a Patrick's Ball in Dublin!
Everything is new for each night.

How Mary Anne laughs at the Irish notions of dress, of what they call in
the "Evening Post," "a beautiful lama petticoat over a white satin slip!"
or "a train of elegant figured tabinet." Why, Molly darling, you might
as well wear a mackintosh, or go out in a suit of glazed alpaca
cloth. Mary Anne says that the ball at the Castle of Dublin is like a
tournament, where all the company dance in armor; and, indeed, when
I think of the rattling of bead bracelets, false pearls, and Berlin
necklaces, it rather reminds me of a hornpipe in fetters!

I must confess to you, Molly, there 's nothing as low anywhere as
Dublin, and latterly, when anybody asks Mary Anne or me if it's
pleasant, we always say with a strong English accent, "Our military
friends say, vastly, but we really don't know ourselves." Is n't that a
pretty pass to be reduced to? But I 'm told that all the Irish, of any
distinction, are obliged to do the same, and never confess to have seen
more of Ireland than one does from the Welsh mountains. It's no want of
patriotism makes me say this. I wish, with all my heart, that Ireland
was a perfect paradise; and it's no fault of mine that Providence
intended otherwise.

If I was n't writing with my head so full of Tom Purcell and his late
impudence, I 'd have plenty to tell you about the girls and James. Mary
Anne is more admired than any girl here, and so would Cary, if she 'd
only let herself be so; but she has got a short, snubby, tart kind of
way with people, that never goes down abroad, where, as Lord G. says,
"every cat plays with his claws covered."

And as to Lord George himself, I wonder is it Mary Anne or Cary that
he's after. I watch him day by day, and can make nothing of it; but sure
and certain it is he means one of the two, and that is the reason why he
left this suddenly the other morning for England, and saying,--

"There 's no use letter-writing; I'll just dash over and have a talk
with my governor."

I would n't ask him about what, but I saw the way the girls looked down
when he spoke, and that was enough to show me in what quarter the wind
was blowing.

I wish from my heart and soul the proposal would come before K. I. came
back. I 'd like to have to show the superior way I have always managed
the family affairs; for I need n't tell you, Molly, that _he_ never had
an eye to the peerage for one of his daughters! but if he returns before
it's settled, he 'll say that he had his share in it all! As to James,
he is everything that a fond and doting mother could wish. Six feet two
and a half,--he grew the half since he came here,--with dark eyes, and a
pair of whiskers and moustaches that there's not the like here, dressed
in the very top of the fashion, with opal and diamond studs to his shirt
and waistcoat, and a black velvet paletot with turquoise buttons for
evening wear. The whole room turns to look at him wherever he goes, for
he walks along just for all the world as if he owned the place. You may
suppose, my dear Molly, how little he resembles K. I.; and, indeed, I
have heard many make the same remark when we were at Bonn.

I made Mary Anne write me down a list of the great people here who have
all called on us; but what 's the use of sending it, after all? You
could n't pronounce them if they were before you! I send you, however, a
bit I cut out of "Galignani's Messenger," where you 'll see that we are
put down amongst the distinguished visitors as "Madame M'Carthy Dodd,
family and suite!" James still thinks if K. I. would call himself
"The O'Dodd," it would serve us greatly; and Mary Anne agrees with the
opinion; and perhaps now, when he comes back under a cloud, as one may
say, it may not be so difficult to make him give in. As James remarks,
"Print it on your card, call out and shoot the first fellow that
addresses you as Mr.--make it no laughing matter for anybody, before
your face at least,--and the thing is done." Maybe we 'll live to see
this yet, Molly, but I fear it won't be till Providence sends for K. I.

I spoke rather sharply to Waters in my last; and I find now that the
legacy is paid into Latouche's. Will you remind Purcell that to be of
any use to me the money ought to be here? As to the Loan Fund, I wonder
how you have the face to ask me for anything, knowing the way I 'm in
for ready cash, and that I 'd rather borrow than lend any day. Tell
Peter Belton, also, that I stop my subscription after this year to the
Dispensary; and I am quite sure the old system of physic is nothing but
legalized poisoning. Looking to the facilities of the country, and the
natural habits of the people, I 'm convinced, Molly, that the water-cure
is what you want in Ireland; and I 've half a mind to write a letter to
one of the papers about it. Cheapness is the first requisite in a poor
country; and any one can vouch for it, water is n't a dear commodity
with you.

Father Maher's remarks upon poor Jones M'Carthy is, I must say, very
unfeeling; and I don't coincide with the conclusions he draws from them;
for if he was half as bad as he says, masses will do him little good;
and for a few thousand years, more or less, I can't afford to pay
fifty pounds! Ask him, besides, is it reasonable that when the price of
everything is falling, with Free-trade, that the old tariff of Purgatory
is to be kept up still? That would be downright absurd! Priests, my dear
Molly, must lower their rates, as the Protectionists do their rents:
that's "one of the demands of the age, and can't be resisted." As
Lord George says, "The Church, like the railroad people, fell into the
mistake of lavish expenditure! Purgatory was like a station, and ought
never to be made too costly. No one wants to live there: the most one
requires is to be decently comfortable, till you can 'go on.' What's the
use of fine furniture, elegant chairs and carpets? they 're clean thrown
away in such a place." If Father Maher thinks that the remarks are not
uttered in a respectful spirit, tell him he's wrong; for Lord G. and
all his family are great Whigs, and intend to do more mischief to the
Established Church than any party that ever was in power; and I
must say, I never heard Father Maher abuse Protestants, bigotry, and
intolerance more bitterly than Lord G. It is so seldom that one ever
hears really liberal sentiments, or anything like justice to Ireland,
I could listen to him for hours when he begins. If I 'm right in my
conjecture about the object of his journey to London, it will be the
making of James; since, once that we are connected with the aristocracy,
Molly, there's nothing we cannot have; for, you see, the way is this:
if you belong to the middle classes, they expect that you ought to have
some kind of fitness for the occupation you look for; and they say,
"This would n't suit you at all;" "That's not your line, in the least;"
but when you are one of the "higher orders," there's, so to say, a
general adaptiveness about you, and you can do anything they put before
you, from ranging Windsor Forest to keeping a lighthouse! When one
reflects upon that, it's no wonder that one of our great poets says,
"Oh, bless," or "preserve"--I forget which--"our old nobility!"

Go into any of the great public offices--the Foreign or the Colonial,
for instance--and they tell me that such a set of incapable-looking
creatures never was seen, with spy-glasses stuck in their eyes,
airing themselves before a big fire, and reading the "Times;" and yet,
Molly,--confess it we must,--the work is done somehow and by somebody.
It reminds me of a paper-mill I once saw; and no matter how dirty and
squalid the rags that went in, they came out "Beautiful fine wove," or
"Bath extra."

As to the questions in your last, I can't answer a tithe of them. You go
on, letter after letter, with the same tiresome demand,--"Are we as much
in love with the Continent as we were? Is it so cheap? Is the climate as
fine as they say? Is there never any rain or wind at all? Is everybody
polite and agreeable? Is there no such thing as backbiting or
slandering? Are all the men handsome and brave, and all the women
beautiful and virtuous?" This is but a specimen taken at random out
of your late inquiries; and I 'd like to know that if even you gave me
"notice of a question," as they do in the House, how could I satisfy
you on these points? The most I can do is to say that there may be some
slight exaggeration in one or two of these,--the rain, for instance, and
the virtue,--but that, generally speaking, the rest is all true. I
can be more explicit in regard to what you ask in your last
postscript,--"After living so long abroad, can we ever come back to
reside in Ireland?" Never, Molly, never! I make neither reserve nor
qualification in my answer. _That_ would be clearly impossible! for it's
not only that Ireland would be insupportable to us, but, as Mary Anne
remarks, "we would be insupportable to the Irish." Our walk, our dress,
our looks, our accent, our manner with men, and our way with women;
the homage we 're used to; the respect we feel our due; the topics
we discuss with freedom, and the range of our views generally over
life,--would shock the whole population from Cape Clear to the Causeway.

It's not easy for me to explain it to you, Molly; but, somehow,
everything abroad is different from at home. Not only the things you
talk of, but the way you talk of them, is quite distinct; and the whole
world of men, morals, and manners have quite another standard! It is
the same with one's thoughts as with their diet; half the things we like
best are only what is called acquired tastes. Trouble enough we often
have to learn them; but when once we do so, who'd be fool enough to go
back upon his old ignorance again? High society and genteel manners,
Molly, however you may like them when you are used to them, are just
like London porter,--mighty bitter when you first taste it. I know there
are plenty of people will tell you the contrary, and that they took
to it naturally like mother's milk; but don't believe them, it's quite
impossible it could be true.

Once for all, I beg to tell you that there's no earthly use in
tormenting and teasing us about the state the house is in at
Dodsborough; how the roof is broken here, and the walls given way there.
I trust sincerely that it may soon become perfectly uninhabitable, for I
never wish to see it again! I often think it would n't be a bad plan for
K. I. to go back and reside there. I 'm sure if he collected his rents
himself, instead of leaving all to Tom Purcell, it would be "telling
him something." You say that the country is getting disturbed again, and
that they're likely to have a "sharp winter for the landlords;" but
if it was the will of Providence anything should happen, I hope I have
Christian feelings to support me! Indeed, I'm well used to trials now!
It's a mistake, besides, Molly, to suppose that these--I hate to call
them "outrages," as the newspapers do--these little outbreaks of the
boys have any deep root in the country. The Orangemen, I know, would
make them out as a regular system, and say that it's an organized
society for murder; but it's no such thing. Father Maher himself told
me that he spoke against it from the altar, and said: "What a pass the
country has come to," says he, "that the poor laboring hard-working man
has no justice to right him, except his own stout heart and strong
arm!" What could he say more than that, Molly? But even these beautiful
expressions did n't save him from the "Evening Mail"!

The English are always boasting about their bravery and their courage,
and so on; and when any one says, "Why don't you buy property in
Ireland?" the answer is, "We 're afraid." I have heard it myself,
Molly, with my own ears. But their ignorance is even worse than their
cowardness, for if they only knew the people, they 'd see there was
nothing to be frightened at. Sure, I remember myself, when we lived
at Cloughmanus, Sam Gill came up to the house one morning, to say that
there was two men come from below Lahinch to shoot K. I.

"They have the passwords," says he, "and all the tokens, and though I
'm, your honor's man, I was obliged to take them into my house and feed
them."

"It's a bad business, Sam," says he. "What are they to get for it?"

"Five pound between them, sir,--if it's done complete."

"Would they take three," says K. I., "and let me live?"

"I don't know, sir; but, if you like, I'll ask them."

"I would like it, indeed," says K. I.

And down went Sam to the gate-house, and spoke to them. They were both
decent, reasonable men, and agreed at once to the offer. The money was
paid, and the two came up and ate a hearty breakfast at the house, and
K. I. walked more than a mile of the road with them afterwards,--talking
about the crops and the state of the country down westward,--and shook
hands with them cordially at parting.

Now, Molly, this is as true as the Bible, and yet there's people and
there's newspapers call the Irish "Irreclaimable savages." It is as big
a lie as ever was written! The real truth is, they don't know how,
if they really wished, to reclaim them! And after all, how little
reclaiming they need! To hear English people discuss Ireland, you 'd
suppose that it was the worst part of Arabia Felix they were describing.
But I have n't patience to go on; I fly out the moment I hear them, and
faith they 're not proud of themselves when I 'm done.

"I wish you were in the House, Mrs. Dodd," says one of them to me the
other night.

"I wish I was," says I; "if I would n't make it too hot for Slowbuck, my
name isn't Jemima! for he's the one that abuses us most of all!" Well,
I must say, we are well repaid for all the cruel treatment we receive at
home, by the kindness and "consideration," as they call it, we meet with
abroad! The minute a foreigner hears we 're Irish, he says, "Oh dear,
how sorry we are for your sufferings; we never cease deploring your hard
lot;" and to be sure, Molly, "wicked Old England," and the "Harlequin
Flag," as Dan called it, come in for their share of abuse. Besides these
advantages, I must remark that Catholics is greatly thought of on the
Continent; for it is n't as in Ireland, where 's it's only the common
people to mass. Here you may see royalty at their devotions. They sit in
little galleries with glass windows, which they open every now and then,
to take part in the prayers; and indeed, whatever rank and fashion is in
the place, you 're sure to see it "at church;" mind, Molly, at church,
for no educated Catholic even says "at mass."

You want to hear "all about the converts to our holy faith," you say,
but this is n't the place to get you the best information; but as I hope
we 'll pass the winter in Italy, I 'll maybe be able to give you some
account of them.

Lord George tells me that the Pope makes Rome delightful to strangers;
but whether it's "dinners" or "receptions," I don't know. At any rate, I
conclude he doesn't give "balls."

What a fuss they're making all over the world about these "rapparees,"
or refugees, or whatever they call them. My notion is, Molly, that we
who harbor them have the worst of the bargain; and as to our fighting
for them, it would be almost as sensible as to take up arms in defence
of a flea that got into your bed! Considering how plenty blackguards
are at home, I think it's nothing but greediness in us to want to take
Russian and Austrian ones! We have our own villains; and any one of
moderate desires might be satisfied with them! These are Lord G.'s
sentiments, but I 'm sure you like to hear the opinions of the
aristocracy on all matters.

What you say about Bony's marriage was the very thought that occurred to
myself, and it was just the turn of a pin whether Mary Anne was n't at
this moment Empress of France! Well, who knows what's coming, Molly!
There's many a one, now in a private station, and mighty hard up for
means, that will maybe turn out a King or a Grand-Duke before long. At
any rate, no elevation to rank or dignity will ever make me forget my
old friends, and yourself, the first of them. And with this, I subscribe
myself,

Yours ever affectionately,

Jemima Dodd McCarthy.

P. S. I 'll make one of the girls write to you next week, for I know I
'll be so much overcome by my feelings when K. I. arrives, that I 'll be
quite incapable to take up my pen.

I sometimes think that I 'll take to my bed, and be "given over."
against the day of his coming; for you see there 's nothing gives such
solemnity and weight to one's reproaches as their being last words. You
can say such bitter things, Molly, when you are supposed to be too weak
to bear a reply. But I 've done this once or twice before, and K. I. is
a hardened creature.

Lord G. says: "Treat him as if it were nothing at all, as if you saw him
yesterday: don't give him the importance of having irritated you. Be a
regular woman of fashion." If my temper would permit, perhaps this
would be best of all; but have I a right to acquit a "great public
malefactor"? That's a "case of conscience," Molly, that perhaps only the
Church could resolve. The saints direct me!



LETTER XXVIII. JAMES DODD TO ROBERT DOOLAN, ESQUIRE, TRINITY COLLEGE,
DUBLIN.

My dear Bob,--It is quite true, I am a shameful correspondent, and your
last three letters now before me, unanswered, comprise a tremendous
indictment against me; but reflect for a moment, and you will see that
in all complaints of this kind there is a certain amount of injustice,
since it is hardly possible ever to find two people whose tastes,
habite, and present circumstances place them on such terms of perfect
equality that the interchange of letters is as easy for one as the
other. Think over this for a moment, and you will perceive that sitting
down at your quiet desk, in "No. 2, Old Square," is a different process
from snatching a hurried moment amidst the din, the crash, and the
conflict of life at Baden; and if _your_ thoughts flow on calmly,
tinctured with the solemn influences around you, _mine_ as necessarily
reflect an existence checkered by every rainbow hue of good or evil
fortune.

Be therefore tolerant of my silence and indulgent to my stupidity, since
to transmit one's thoughts requires previously that you should think;
and who can, or ever could, in a place like this? Imagine a winding
valley, with wooded hills rising in some places to the height of
mountains, in the midst of which stands a little village--for it is no
more--nearly every house of which is a palace, some splendid hotel of
France, Russia, or England. You pass from these by a shady alley to
a little rustic bridge, over what might be, and very possibly is, an
excellent trout-stream, and come at once in front of a magnificent
structure, frescoed without and gilded and stuccoed within. "The Rooms,"
the Temple of Fortune, the ordeal of destiny, Bob, is held here; and the
rake of the croupier is the distaff of the Fate. Hither come flocking
the representatives of every nation of the world, and of almost every
class in each. Royalty, princely houses, and nobility with twenty
quarterings, are jostled in the indiscriminate crowd with houseless
adventurers, beggared spendthrifts, and ruined debauchees. All who can
contribute the clink of their Louis d'or to the music are welcome
to this orchestra! And women, too, fair, delicate, and lovely, the
tenderest flowers that ever were nursed within domestic care, mixed up
with others, not less handsome perhaps, but whose siren beauty is almost
diabolic by comparison. What a babel of tongues, and what confusion
of characters! The grandee of Spain, the escaped galley-slave, the
Hungarian magnate, the London "swell," the old and hoary gambler with
snow-white moustaches, and the unfledged minor, anticipating manhood by
ruining himself in his "teens." All these are blended and commingled by
the influence of play? and, differing as they do in birth, in blood, in
lineage, and condition, yet are they members of one guild, associates
of one society,--the gambling-table. And what a leveller is play! He who
whispers in the ear of the Crown Prince yonder is a branded felon from
the Bagnes de Brest; the dark-whiskered man yonder, who leans over the
lady's chair, is an escaped forger; the Carlist noble is asking friendly
counsel of a Christino spy; the London pickpocket offers his jewelled
snuff-box to an Archduke of Austria. "How goes the game today?" cries
a Neapolitan prince of the blood, and the question is addressed to
a red-bearded Corsican, whose livelihood is a stiletto. "Is that the
beautiful Countess of Hapsburg?" asks a fresh-looking Oxford man; and
his friend laughingly answers: "Not exactly; it is Mademoiselle Varenne,
of the Odéon." The fine-looking man yonder is a Mexican general, who
carried off the military chest from Guanaguato; the pompous little
fellow beside him is a Lucchese count, who stole part of the Crown
jewels of his sovereign; the long-haired, broad-foreheaded man, with
open shirt-collar, so violently denouncing the wrongs of injured Italy,
is a Russian spy; and the dark Arab behind him is a Swiss valet, more
than suspected of having murdered his master in the Mediterranean.
Our English contingent embraces lords of the bedchamber, members of
Parliament, railroad magnates, money-lending attorneys, legs, swells,
and swindlers, and a small sprinkling of University men, out to read
and be ruined,--the fair sex, comprising women of a certain fast set in
London, divorced countesses, a long category of the widow class, some
with daughters, some without. There is an abundance of good looks,
splendid dress, and money without limit! The most striking feature of
all, however, is the reckless helter-skelter pace at which every one is
going, whether his pursuit be play, love, or mere extravagance. There
is no such thing as calculation,--no counting the cost of anything. Life
takes its tone from the tables, and where, as wealth and beggary succeed
each other, so does every possible extreme of joy and misery, people
wager their passions and their emotions exactly as they do their
bank-notes and their gold pieces. Chance, my dear Bob,--chance is
ten times a more intoxicating liquor than champagne, and once take to
"dramming" with fortune, and you may bid a long adieu to sobriety! I do
not speak here of the terrible infatuation of play, and the almost utter
impossibility of resisting it, but I allude to what is infinitely worse,
the certainty of your applying play theories and play tactics to every
event and circumstance of real life.

The whole world becomes to you but one great green cloth, and everything
in it a question of luck! Will the bad run continue here? Will good
fortune stand much longer to you? These are the questions ever rising
to your mind. You grow to regard yourself as utterly powerless and
impassive; a football at the toe of Destiny! I think I see your eyebrows
upraised in astonishment at these profound reflections of mine. You
never suspected me of moralizing, nor, shall I own it, was I aware
myself that I had any genius that way. Shall I tell you the secret,
Bob,--shall I unlock the mysterious drawer of hidden motives for you? It
is this, then: I have been a tremendously heavy loser at Rouge-et-Noir!
As long as luck lasted, which it did for three weeks or more, I enjoyed
this place with a zest I cannot describe to you. The moralists tell us
that prosperity hardens the heart; I cannot believe it. I know at least,
that in my brief experience I never felt such a universal tenderness for
everything and everybody. I seemed to live in an atmosphere of beauty,
luxury, and splendor; every one was courteous; all were amiable! It
was not alone that fortune favored me, but I appeared to have the good
wishes of all beholders; words of encouragement murmured around me as I
won; soft bewitching glances beamed over at me, as I raked up my gold.
The very banker seemed to shovel out the shining pieces to me with a
sense of satisfaction! Old veterans of the tables peeped over me to
watch my game, and exclamations of wonder and admiration broke forth
at each new moment of my triumphs! I don't care what it may be that
constitutes the subject of display: a great speech in the House, a
splendid picture at the Gallery, a novel, a song, a spirited lecture, a
wonderful feat of strength or horsemanship; but there is an inward
sense of intoxication in being the "cynosure of all eyes"--the "one in
a thousand"--that comes very nigh to madness! Many a time have I screwed
up my hunter to a fence--a regular yawner--that I knew in my heart was
touch-and-go with both of us, simply because some one in the crowd said,
"Look how young Dodd will do it" I made some smashing ventures at
the "tables," under pretty similar promptings, and, I must say, with
splendid success.

"Are you always so fortunate?" asked a royal personage, with a courteous
smile towards me.

"And in everything?" sighs a gentle voice, with a look of such
bewitching softness that I forgot to take up my stake, and see it remain
on the board to double itself the next deal.

Besides all this, there is a grand magnificence in all your notions
under the access of sudden wealth. You give orders to your tradespeople
with a Jove-like omnipotence. You revel in the unbounded realms of
"I will." What signifies the cost of anything,--the most gorgeous
entertainment? It is only adding twenty Naps, to your next bet! That
rich bracelet of rubies--pshaw!--it is to be had for the turn of a card!
In a word, Bob, I felt that I had fallen upon the "Bendigo Diggins,"
without even the trouble of the search! I wanted fifty Naps, for
a caprice, and strolled in to win them, as coolly as though I were
changing a check at my banker's!

"Come, Jim, be a good fellow, and back me this time; I 'm certain to win
if you do," whispers a young lord, with fifteen thousand a year.

"Which side is Dodd on?" asked an old peer, with his purse in his hand.

"How I should like to win eighty Louis, and buy that roan Arab,"
whispers Lady Mary to her sister.

"I 'd rather spend the money on that opal brooch," murmurs the other.

"Egad! if I win this time, I 'll start for my regiment to-night,"
mutters a pale-looking sub., with a red spot in one cheek, and eyes
lustrous as if on fire.

Fancy the power of him who can accomplish these, and a hundred like
longings, without a particle of sacrifice on his own part! Imagine, my
dear Bob, the conscious rule and sway thus suggested, and ask yourself
what ecstasy ever equalled it! I possessed all that Peter Schlemihl
did, and had n't to give even my "shadow" in return. During these three
glorious weeks, I gave dinners, concerts, and suppers, commanded plays,
bespoke operas, patronized humbugs of all kinds, and headed charities
without number. As to presents of jewelry, I almost fancied myself a
kind of distributing agent for Storr and Mortimer.

The hotel stables were filled with animals of all kinds belonging to
me,--dogs, donkeys, horses, Spanish mules, and a bear; while every shape
and description of equipage crammed the coach-houses and the courtyard.
One of these, with a single wheel in front, and great facilities for
upsetting behind, was invented by a Baden artist, and most flatteringly
and felicitously called "Le Dod." Wasn't that fame for you, my boy?
Think of going down to posterity on noiseless wheels and patent
axles! Fancy being transmitted to remote ages on C springs and elastic
cushions! Such was the rage for my patronage that an ingenious cutler
had dubbed a newly invented forceps by my name, and I was introduced
into the world of surgery as a torture.

Now for the obverse of the medal. It was on that un-luckiest of all
days--a Friday--that fortune changed with me. I had lain all the morning
abed, after being up the whole night previous, and only went down to
"the Rooms" in the evening. As usual, I was accompanied by my train of
followers, lords, baronets, M. P.s, foreign counts and chevaliers,--for
I went to the field like a general, with his full staff around him! You
'll scarcely believe me when I tell you, Bob, but I say it in all truth
and seriousness, that so long as my star was in the ascendant, so long
as my counsels were what Homer would call "wealth-bestowing words,"
there was not an opinion of mine upon any subject, no matter how great
my ignorance of it might have been, that was not listened to with
deference and repeated with approval. "Dodd said so yesterday," "I hear
Dodd thinks highly of it," "Dodd's opinion is unfavorable," and so on,
were phrases that rang around me from every group I passed, and from
the "odds on the Derby" to the "division on the Budget," there was a
profound impression that my sentiments were worth hearing.

The pleasantest talkers in Europe, the wittiest conversera that ever
convulsed a dinner-party with laughter, would have been deserted and
forsaken to hear _me_ hold forth, whether the theme was art, literature,
law and politics, or the drama, or any other you please to mention, and
of which my ignorance was profound. My luck was unfailing. "Dodd never
loses," "Dodd has only to back it,"--these were the gifts which all
could acknowledge and profit by, and these no man undervalued or denied.

"Benasset"--this was the proprietor of the tables--"has been employing
his time profitably, Dodd, during your absence. He has made a great
morning of it,--cleared out the old Elector, and sent the Margraf of
Ragatz penniless to his dominions." This was the speech that met me as I
entered the door, and a general all hail followed it.

"Now you 'll see some smart play," whispered one to his newly come
friend. "Here 's young Dodd; we shall have some fun presently." Amid
these and similar murmurings I approached the tables, at which a place
for me was speedily made, for my coming was regarded by the company as a
good augury.

I could dwell long upon the sensations that then thronged my brain; they
were certainly upon the whole highly pleasurable, but not unmixed with
some sadness; for I already was beginning to feel a kind of contempt
for my worshippers, and for myself too, as the unworthy object of their
devotion. This scorn had not much leisure granted for its indulgence,
for the cards were now presented to me for "the cut," and the game
began.

As usual, my luck was unbroken. If I had doubled my stake, or by caprice
withdrew it altogether, it was the same. Fortune seemed to wait upon my
orders. Revelling in a kind of absolutism over fate, I played a thousand
pranks with luck, and won,--won on, as if to lose was an impossibility.
What strange fancies crossed my mind as I sat there,--vague fears,
shadowy terrors of the oddest kind, wild, dreamy, and undefined! Visions
of joy and misery; orgies, mad and furious with mirth, and agonizing
sights of misery, thoughts of men who had made compacts with the
Fiend, and the terrors that beset them in the midst of their voluptuous
abandonment; Belshazzar at his feast; Faust on the Brocken,--rose to my
mind, and I almost started up and fled from the table at one moment,
so impressed was I by these images! Would that I had! Would that I
had listened to that warning whisper of my good genius that was then
admonishing me!

My revery had become such at last that I really never saw nor heard what
went on about me. You can picture my condition to yourself when I
say that I was only recalled to self-possession by loud and incessant
laughter, that rang out on every side of me. "What 's the matter,--what
has happened?" cried I, in amazement. "Don't you perceive, sir," said
a bystander, "that you have broken the bank, and they are waiting for a
remittance to continue the play?"

[Illustration: 384]

So it was, Bob; I had actually won their last Napoleon, and there I sat
pushing my stake mechanically into the middle of the table, and raking
it up again, playing an imaginary game, to the amusement of that motley
crowd, who looked on at me with screams of laughter. I laughed, too,
when I came to myself. It was such a relief to me to join, even for a
moment, in any feeling that others experienced!

The money came at last. Two strongly clasped, heavily ironed coffers
were borne into the room by four powerful men. I watched them with
interest as they unlocked and poured forth their shining stores; for in
imagination they were already my own. I believe at that moment, if any
one had offered to assure me the winning of them "for fifty Naps.," that
I should have rejected the proposal with disdain, so impossible did it
seem to me that luck could desert me! Do you know, Bob, that what most
interested me at the time was the varied expressions displayed by the
company at sight of the gorgeous treasure before them? It was strange
to mark how little all their good breeding and fine manners availed to
repress vulgarity of thought and feeling, for there was greed or envy or
hatred, or some inordinate passion or other, on every face around; looks
of mild and gentle meaning became dashed with a half ferocity; venerable
old age grew fretful and impatient; youth lost its frank and careless
bearing; and, in fact, gain, and the lust of gain, was the predominant
and overbearing thought of every mind, and wish of every heart! I pledge
you my word, there was more animal savagery in the expressions on all
sides than ever I saw on a pack of yelping fox-hounds when the huntsman
held up the fox in the midst of them. It was the comparison that came
to my mind at the moment, and I repeat it, with the reservation that the
dogs behaved best.

There was an old careworn, meanly dressed man, with a faded blue ribbon
in his button-hole, seated in the place I usually occupied, and he arose
to give it to me with that mingled air of reluctance and respect which
it is so bard to resist. His manner seemed to say, "I am too poor and
too humble to contest the matter, but I 'd remain here if I could."

"So you shall, then," said I to myself, and pushed him gently down upon
the seat again.

"By Jove! the old fellow has got the lucky place," cried one in the
crowd behind me.

"Hang we, if Dodd has n't given up his old chair!" said another.

"I 'd rather have had _that_ seat," exclaimed a third, "than one at the
India Board."

But I only laughed at these absurd superstitions,--as though it were the
spot, and not myself, that Fortune loved to caress! As if to resent the
foolish credulity, I threw a heavy bet on the table, and lost it! Again
and again I did the same, with the like result; and now a murmur ran
through the room that luck had turned with me. I had given up my winning
seat, and was losing at every turn of the cards.

"Let _me_ have a peep at him," I beard one whisper to his friend behind.
"I 'd like to see how he bears it!"

"He loses remarkably well," muttered the other.

"Admirably!" said another. "He seems neither confident nor impatient; I
like the way he stands it."

"Egad, his hand trembles, though! He tore that banknote in trying to get
it out of his fingers!"

"His hand is hot, too,--see how the Louis stick to it!"

"They 'll not do so very long, depend on 't," said a close-shaved,
well-whiskered fellow, with a knowing eye; and the remark met an
approving smile from the bystanders.

"I have just added up his last fifteen bets," said a young man to a lady
on his arm, "and what do you think he has lost? Forty-eight thousand
francs,--close on two thousand pounds!"

"Quite enough for one evening!" said I, with a smile towards him, which
made both himself and his friend blush deeply at being overheard; and
with this I shut up my pocket-book, and strolled away from the tables
into another room, where there were chess and whist players. I took a
chair, and affected to watch the game with interest, my heart at the
moment throbbing as though it would burst through my chest. Don't
mistake, Bob, and fancy it was the accursed thirst for gold that
enthralled me. I swear to you that mere gain, mere wealth, never entered
into my thought at that moment. It was the gambler's lust--to be
the victor, not to be beaten--that was the terrible passion that
now struggled and stormed within me! I 'd like to have staked a
limb--honor--happiness--life itself--on the issue of a chance; for I
felt as though it were a duel with destiny, and I could not quit the
ground till one of us should succumb!

How poor and unsatisfying seemed the slow combinations of skill, as
I watched the chess-players! What miserable minuteness, what petty
plottings for small results!--nothing grand, great, or decisive! It was
like being bled to death from some wretched trickling vessel, instead
of meeting one's fate gloriously, amidst the roar of artillery and the
crash of squadrons!

I lounged into the _salons_ where they dance; it was a very brilliant
and a very beautiful assembly. There were faces and figures there that
might have proved attractive to eyes more critical than my own. My
sudden appearance amongst them, too, was rapturously welcomed. I was
already a celebrity; and I felt that amidst the soft glances and beaming
smiles around me, I had but to choose out her whom I would distinguish
by my attentions. My mother and the girls came to me with pressing
entreaties to take out the beautiful Countess de B., or to be presented
to the charming Marchioness of N. There was a dowager archduchess who
vouchsafed to know me. Miss Somebody, with I forget how many millions in
the funds, told Mary Anne she might introduce me. Already the master
of the ceremonies came to know if I preferred a mazurka or a waltz. The
world was, so to say, at my feet; and, as is usual at such moments, I
kicked it for being there. In plain English, Bob, I saw nothing in
all that bright and brilliant crowd but scheming mammas and designing
daughters; a universal distrust, an utter disbelief in everything
and everybody, had got bold of me. Whatever I could n't explain, I
discredited. The ringlets might be false; the carnation might be rouge;
the gentle timidity of manner might be the cat-like slyness of the
tiger; the artless gayety of heart, the practised coquetry of a
flirt,--ay, the very symmetry that seemed perfection, might it not be
the staymaker's! Play had utterly corrupted me, and there was not one
healthy feeling, one manly thought, or one generous impulse left within
me! I left the room a few minutes after I entered it. I neither danced
nor got presented to any one; but after one lounging stroll through the
_salons_ I quitted the place, as though there was not one to know, not
one to speak to! I have more than once witnessed the performance of this
polite process by another. I have watched a fellow making the tour of
a company, with a glass stuck in his eye, and his hand thrust in
his pocket. I have tracked him as he passed on from group to group,
examining the guests with the same coolness he bestowed on the china,
and smiling his little sardonic appreciation of whatever struck him as
droll or ridiculous; and when he has retired, it has been all I could do
not to follow him out, and kick him down the stairs at his departure.
I have no doubt that my conduct on this occasion must have inspired
similar sentiments; nor have I any hesitation in avowing that they were
well merited.

[Illustration: 388]

When I reached the open air I felt a delicious sense of relief. It was
so still, so calm, so tranquil! a bright starlit summer's night, with
here and there a murmuring of low voices, a gentle laugh, beard amongst
the trees, and the rustling sounds of silk drapery brushing through
the alleys,--all those little suggestive tokens that bring up one's
reminiscences of

     "Those odorous boon
     In jasmine bowers,
     Or under the linden tree!"

But they only came for a second, Bob, and they left not a trace behind
them. The monotonous rubric of the croupier rang ever through my
brain,--"Faîtes votre jeu, Messieurs! "--"Messieurs, faîtes votre jeu!"
The table, the lights, the glittering gold, the clank of the rake, were
all before me, and I set off at full speed to the hotel, to fetch more
money, and resume my play.

I 'll not weary you with a detail, at every step of which I know that
your condemnation tracks me. I re-entered the play-room, secretly and
cautiously; I approached the table stealthily; I hoped to escape all
observation,--at least, for a time; and with this object I betted small
sums, and attracted no notice. My luck varied,--now inclining on this
side, now to that. Fortune seemed as though in a half-capricious mood,
and as it were undetermined how to treat me. "This comes of my own
miserable timidity," thought I; "when I was bold and courageous, she
favored me. It is the same in everything. To win, one must venture."

There was a vacant place in front of me; a young Hungarian had just
quitted it, having lost his last "Louis." I immediately took it. The
card on which he had been marking the chances of the game still lay
there. I took it up, and saw that he had been playing most rashly; that
no luck could possibly have carried a man safely through such a system
as he had followed.

I must let you into a little secret of this game, Bob, and do not be
incredulous of my theory, because my own case is a sorry illustration of
it. Where all men fail at Rouge-et-Noir, is from temper. The loser makes
tremendous efforts to repair his losses; the winner grows cautious with
success, and diminishes his stake. Now the wise course is, play low when
you see Fate against you, and back your luck to the very limit of the
bank. You ask, perhaps, "How are you to ascertain either of these facts?
What evidence have you that Fortune is with or against you?" As you are
not a gambler, I cannot explain this to you. It is part of the masonry
of the play-table, and every one who risks heavily on a chance knows
well what are the instincts that guide him.

I own to you, that though well aware of these facts, and thoroughly
convinced that they form the only rules of play, I soon forgot them
in the excitement of the game, and betted on, as caprice, or rather
as passion, dictated. We Irish are bad stuff for gamblers. We have the
bull-dog resistance of the Englishman,--his stern resolve not to
be beaten,--but we have none of his caution or reserve. We are as
impassioned as the men of the South, but we are destitute of that
intense selfishness that never suffers an Italian to peril his all. In
fact, as an old Belgian said to me one night, we make bad winners and
worse losers,--too lavish in one case, too reckless in the other.

I am not seeking excuses for my failure in my nationality. I accept
the whole blame on my own shoulders. With common prudence I might have
arisen that night a large winner; as it was, I left the table with a
loss of nigh three thousand pounds. Just fancy it, Bob,--five thousand
pounds poorer than when I strolled out after luncheon. A sum
sufficient to have started me splendidly in some career,--the army, for
instance,--gone without enjoyment, even without credit; for already
the critics were busily employed in analyzing my "play," which they
unanimously pronounced "badly reasoned and contemptible." There remained
to me still--at home in the hotel, fortunately--about eight hundred
pounds of my former winnings, and I passed the night canvassing with
myself what I should do with these. Three or four weeks back I had
never given a second thought to the matter,--indeed, it would never have
entered my head to risk such a sum at play; but now the habit of winning
and losing heavy wages, the alternations of affluence and want, had
totally mastered all the calmer properties of reason, and I could
entertain the notion without an effort. I 'll not tire you with my
reasonings on this subject. Probably you would scarcely dignify them
with the name. They all resolved themselves into this: "If I did not
play, I 'd never win back what I lost; if I did, I _might_." My mind
once made up to this, I began to plot how I should proceed to execute
it I resolved to enter the room next day just as the table opened, at
twelve o'clock. The players who frequented the room at that hour were
a few straggling, poor-looking people, who usually combined together to
make up the solitary crown-piece they wished to venture. Of course I had
no acquaintances amongst them, and therefore should be free from all
the embarrassing restraints of observation by my intimates. My judgment
would be calmer, my head cooler, and, in fact, I could devote myself to
the game with all my energies uncramped and unimpeded.

Sharp to the moment of the clock striking twelve, I entered the room.
One of the croupiers was talking to a peasant-girl at the window. The
other, seated on a table, was reading the newspaper. They both looked
astonished at seeing me, but bowed respectfully, not, however, making
any motion to assume their accustomed places, since it never occurred
to them that I could have come to play at such an hour of the morning. A
little group, of the very "seediest" exterior, was waiting respectfully
for when it might be the croupiers' pleasure to begin, but the
functionaries never deigned to notice them.

"At what hour are the tables opened?" asked I, as if for information.

"At noon, Monsieur le Comte," said one of the croupiers, folding up
his paper, and producing the keys of the strongbox; "but, except
these worthy people,"--this he said with a most contemptuous air
of compassion,--"we have no players till four, or even five, of the
afternoon."

"Come, then," said I, taking a seat, "I 'll set the virtuous fashion of
early hours. There go twenty Naps, for a beginning."

The dealer shuffled the cards. I cut them, and we began. _We_ I say;
because I was the only player, the little knot of humble folk gathering
around me in mute astonishment, and wondering what millionnaire they had
before them. If I had not been too deeply engaged in the interest of the
game, I should have experienced the very highest degree of entertainment
from the remarks and comments of the bystanders, who all sympathized
with me, and made common cause against the bank.

Some of them were peasants, some were small shopkeepers from distant
towns,--the police regulations exclude all natives of Baden, it being
the Grand-Ducal policy only to pillage the foreigner,--and one, a
half-starved, decrepit old fellow, had been a professor of something
somewhere, and turned out of his university to starve for having
broached some liberal doctrines in a lecture. He it was who watched me
with most eager intensity, following every alternation of my game with
a card and a pin. At the end of about an hour I was winner of something
more than two hundred pounds, and I sat betting on, my habitual stake of
five, or sometimes ten "Naps." each time.

"Get up and go away now," whispered the old man in my ear. "You have
done enough for once,--gained more in this brief hour than ever I did in
any two years of hard labor."

"At what trade did you work?" asked I, without raising my head from my
game.

"My faculty was the 'Pandects,'" replied he, gravely; "but I lectured in
private on history, philology, and chemistry."

Shocked at the rudeness of my question to one in his station, I muttered
some half-intelligible excuse; but he did not seem to suspect any
occasion for apology,--never recognizing that he who labored with head
could arrogate over him who toiled with his hands.

"There, I told you so," broke he in, suddenly. "You will lose all back
again. You play rashly. The runs of the game have been 'triplets' and
_you_ bet on to the fourth time of passing."

"So, then, you understand it!" said I, smiling, and still making my
stake as before.

"Let the deal pass; don't bet now," whispered he, eagerly.

"Herr Ephraim, I have warned you already," cried the croupier, "that
if you persist in disturbing the gentlemen who play here, you will be
removed by the police."

The word "police"--so dreadful to all German ears--made the old man
tremble from bead to foot; and he bowed twice or thrice in hurried
submission, and protested that he would be more cautious in future.

"You certainly do not exhibit such signs of good fortune on your own
person," said the croupier, "that should entitle you to advise and
counsel others."

"Quite true, Herr Croupier," assented he, with an attempt to smile.

"Besides that, if you reckon upon the Count's good nature to give you
a trifle when the game is over, you 'll certainly merit it better by
silence and respect now."

The old man's face became deep scarlet, and then as suddenly pale. He
made an effort to say something; but though his hands gesticulated,
and his lips moved, no sounds were audible, and with a faint sigh he
tottered back and leaned against the wall. I sprang up and placed him
in a chair, and, seeing that he was overcome by weakness, I called for
wine, and hastily poured a glassful down his throat. I could not induce
him to take a second, and he seemed, while expressing his gratitude, to
be impatient to get away and leave the place.

"Shall I see you home, Herr Ephraim?" said I; "will you allow me to
accompany you?"

"On no account, Herr Graf," said he, giving me the title he had heard
the croupier address me by. "I can go alone; I am quite able, and--I
prefer it."

"But you are too weak, far too weak to venture by yourself,--is he
not so?" said I, turning to the croupier to corroborate my words. A
strangely significant raising of the eyebrow, a sort of--I know not
what--meaning, was all the reply he made me; and half ashamed of the
possibility of being made the dupe of some practised impostor, I drew
nigh the table for an explanation.

"What is it? what do you mean?" asked I, eagerly.

A shrug of the shoulders and a look of pity was his answer.

"Is he a hypocrite?--is he a cheat?" asked I.

"Perhaps not exactly _that_," said he, shuffling the cards.

"A drunkard,--does he drink, then?" asked I.

"I have never heard so," said he.

"Then what has he done?--what is he?" cried I, impatiently.

He made a sign for me to come close, and then whispered in my ear what
I have just told you, only with a voice full of holy horror at the crime
of a man who had dared to have an opinion not in accordance with that of
a Police Prefect! That he--a man of hard study and deep reading--should
venture to draw other lessons from history than those taught at
drum-heads by corporals and petty officers!

"Is that all?--is that all?" asked I, indignantly.

"All all!" exclaimed he; "do you want more?"

"Why, these things may possibly interest police spies, but they have no
imaginable concern for me."

"That is precisely what they have, sir," said he, hastily, and in a
still more cautious tone. "You could not show that miserable man a
kindness without its attracting the attention of the authorities. They
never could be brought to believe mere humanity was the motive, and they
would seek for some explanation more akin to their daily habits. As an
Englishman, I know your custom is to treat these things haughtily, and
make every personal insult of this kind a national question; but the
inconvenience of this course will track you over the whole Continent.
Your passport will be demanded here, permission refused you to remain
there. At one town your luggage will be scrutinized, at another, your
letters opened. I conclude you come abroad to enjoy yourself. Is this
the way to do it? At all events, he is gone now," added he, looking down
the room, "and let's think no more of him. Messieurs, faîtes votre jeu!"
and once more rang out the burden of that monotonous injunction to ruin
and beggary!

I was n't exactly in the mood for high play at the moment; on the
contrary, my thoughts were with poor Ephraim and his sorrows; but, for
very pride's sake, I was obliged to seem indifferent and at ease. For I
must tell you, Bob, this cold, impassive bearing is the high breeding
of the play-table, and to transgress it, even for an instant, is a gross
breach of good manners. I have told you my mind was preoccupied; the
results were soon manifest in my play. Every "coup" was ill-timed. I was
always on the wrong color, and lost without intermission.

"This is not your 'beau moment,' Monsieur le Comte," said the croupier
to me, as he raked in a stake I had suffered to quadruple itself by
remaining. "I should almost say, wait for another time!"

"Had you said so half an hour ago," replied I, bitterly, "the counsel
might have been worth heeding. There goes the last of twenty thousand
francs." And there it did go, Bob! swept in by the same remorseless hand
that gathered all I possessed.

I lingered for a few moments, half stunned. I felt like one that
requires some seconds to recover from the effects of a severe blow, but
who feels conscious that with time he shall rally and be himself again.
After that I strolled out into the open air, lighted my cigar, and
turned off into a steep path that led up the mountain side, under the
cover of a dense pine forest. I walked for hours, without noticing the
way at either side of me, and it was only when, overcome with thirst,
I stooped to drink at a little fountain, that I perceived I had crossed
over the crest of the mountain, and gained a little glen at its foot,
watered by what I guessed must be a capital fishing-stream. Indeed, I
had not long to speculate on this point, for, a few hundred yards off,
I beheld a man standing knee-deep in the water, over which he threw his
line, with that easy motion of the wrist that bespeaks the angler.

I must tell you that the sight of a fly-fisher is so far interesting
abroad that it is only practised by the English; and although, Heaven
knows, there is no scarcity of them in town and cities, the moment you
wander in the least out of the beaten, frequented track of travel, you
rejoice to see your countryman. I made towards him, therefore, at once,
to ask what sport he had, and came up just as he had landed a good-sized
fish.

"I see, sir," said I, "that the fish are not so strong as in our waters.
You 'd have given that fellow twenty minutes more play, had he been in a
Highland tarn."

"Or in that brisk little river at Dodsborough," replied he, laughing;
and, turning round at the same time to sainte me, I perceived that it
was Captain Morris. You may remember him being quartered at Bruff, about
two years ago, and having had some altercation with my governor on
some magisterial topics. He was never much to my taste. I thought him
somewhat of a military prig, very stiff and stand off; but whether it
was the shooting-jacket _vice_ the red coat, or change of place and
scene, I know not, but now he seemed far more companionable than I could
have thought him. He was a capital angler too, and spoke of shooting and
deer-stalking like one passionately fond of them. I felt half ashamed
at first, when he asked me my opinion of the trout streams in the
neighborhood, and it was only as we warmed up that I owned to the
kind of life I had been leading at Baden, and the consequences it had
entailed.

"Fortunately for me, in one sense," said he, laughing, "I have always
been too poor a man to play at anything; and chess, which excludes all
idea of money, is the only game I know. But of this I am quite sure,
that the worst of gambling is neither the time nor the money lost upon
it; it is the simple fact that, if you ever win, from that moment forth
you are unfitted to the pursuits by which men earn their livelihood. The
slow, careworn paths of daily industry become insufferable to him who
can compass a year's labor by the turn of a die. Enrich yourself but
once--only once--at the play-table, and try then what it is to follow
any career of patient toil."

He had seen, he said, many examples of this in his own regiment; some
of the very finest fellows had been ruined by play, for, as he remarked,
"it is strange enough, there are few vices so debasing, and yet the
natures and temperaments most open to the seduction of the gaming-table
are very far from being those originally degraded." I suppose that his
tone of conversation chimed in well with my thoughts at the moment, for
I listened to all he said with deep interest, and willingly accepted his
invitation to eat some of his morning's sport at a little cottage, where
he lived, hard by. He had taken it for the season, and was staying
there with his mother, a charming old lady, who welcomed me with great
cordiality.

I dined and passed the evening with them. I don't remember when I
spent one so much to my satisfaction, for there was something more than
courtesy, something beyond mere politeness, in their manner towards me;
and I could observe in any chance allusion to the girls, there was a
degree of real interest that almost savored of friendship. There was
but one point on which I did not thoroughly go with Morris, and that
was about Tiverton. On that I found him full of the commonest and most
vulgar prejudices. He owned that there was no acquaintanceship between
them, and therefore I was able to attribute much, if not all, of
his impressions to erroneous information. Now I know George
intimately,--nobody can know him better. He is what they call in the
world "a loose fish." He's not overburdened with strict notions or rigid
principles; he 'd tell you himself, that to be encumbered with either
would be like entering for a rowing-match in a strait waistcoat; but
he is a fellow to share his last shilling with a friend,--thoroughly
generous and free-hearted. These are qualities, however, that men like
Morris hold cheap. They seem to argue that nobody stands in need of
such attributes. I differ with them there totally. My notion is that
shipwreck is so common a thing in life, it is always pleasant to think
that a friend can throw you a spare hencoop when you're sinking.

We chatted till the night closed in, and then, as the moon got up,
Morris strolled with me to within a mile of Baden.

"There!" said he, pointing to the little village, now all spangled with
its starry lights,--"there lies the fatal spot that has blighted many a
hope, and made many a heart a ruin! I wish you were miles away from it!"

"It cannot injure me much now," said I, laughing; "I am as regularly
'cleaned out' as a poor old professor I met there this morning, Herr
Ephraim."

"Not Ephraim Gauss?" asked he. "Did you meet _him?_"

"If that be his name,--a small, mean-looking man, with a white beard--"

"One of the first men in Germany--the greatest civilian--the most
learned Orientalist--and a man of almost universal attainment in
science--tell me of him."

I told him the little incident I have already related to you, and
mentioned the caution given me by the croupier.

"Which is not the less valuable," broke he in, "because he who gave it
is himself a paid spy of the police."

I started, and he went on.

"Yes, it is perfectly true; and the advice he gave you was both good and
well intended. These men who act as the croupiers are always in the
pay of the police. Their position affords them the very best and safest
means of obtaining information; they see everybody, and they hear an
immensity of gossip. Still, it is not their interest that the English,
who form the great majority of play-victims, should be excluded from
places of gambling resort. With them, they would lose a great part of
their income; for this reason he gave you that warning, and it is by no
means to be despised or undervalued."

At length we parted,--he to return over the mountain to his cottage, and
I to continue my way to the hotel.

"At least promise me one thing," said he, as he shook my hand: "you 'll
not venture down yonder to-night;" and he pointed to the great building
where the play went forward, now brilliant in all its illumination.

"That's easily done," said I, laughing, "if you mean as regards play."

"It is as regards play, I say it," replied he; "for the rest, I suppose
you'll not incur much hazard."

"I say that the pledge costs little sacrifice; I have no money to
wager."

"All the better, at least for the present. My advice to you would be,
take your rod, or, if you haven't one, take one of mine, and set out for
a week or ten days up the valley of the 'Moorg.' You'll have plenty
of fishing, pretty scenery, and, above all, quiet and tranquillity to
compose your mind and recover your faculties after all this fevered
excitement."

He continued to urge this plan upon me with considerable show of reason,
and such success that as I shook his hand for the last time it was in
a promise to carry out the scheme. He'd have gone with me himself, he
said, but that he could not leave his mother even for a few days; and,
indeed, this I scarcely regretted, because, to own the honest fact,
my dear Bob, I felt that there was a terrible gulf between us in fifty
matters of thought and opinion; and, what was worse, I saw that he was
more often in the right than myself. Now, wise notions of life, prudent
resolves, and sage aphorisms are certain to come some time or other
to everybody; but I 'd as soon think of "getting up" wrinkles and
crows'-feet as of assuming them at one-and-twenty. I know, at least,
that's Tiverton's theory; and he, it can't be denied, does understand
the world as well as most men. Not that I do not like Morris; on
the contrary, I am sure he is an excellent fellow, and worthy of all
respect, but somehow he does n't "go along," Bob; he's--as we used to
say of a clumsy horse in heavy ground--"he's sticky." But I'm not going
to abuse him, and particularly at the moment when I am indebted to his
friendship.

When I reached the hotel, I was so full of my plan that I sent for the
landlord, and asked him to convert all my goods and chattels, live
and dead, into ready cash. After a brief and rather hot discussion the
scoundrel agreed to give me two hundred "Naps." for what would have been
cheap at twelve. No matter, thought I, I 'll make an end of Baden, and
if ever I set foot in it again--

"Come, out with the cash, Master Müller," cried I, impatient to be off;
"I 'm sick of this place, and hope never to set eyes on 't more!"

"Ah, the 'Herr Graf' is going away then?" said he, in some surprise.
"And the ladies, are they, too, about to leave?"

"I know nothing about their intentions, nor have you any business to
make the inquiry," replied I; "pay this money, and make an end of it."

He muttered something about doing the thing regularly, not having "so
much gold by him," and so on, ending with a promise that in half an hour
I should have the cash sent to my room.

I accordingly hurried upstairs to put away my traps. My mother and the
girls had already gone out for the evening, so that I wrote a few
lines to say that I was off for a week's fishing, but would be back
by Wednesday. I had just finished my short despatch, when the landlord
entered with a slip of paper in one hand and a canvas bag of money in
the other.

"This is the inventory of the goods, Herr Graf, which you will please
assign over to me, by affixing your signature."

I wrote it at once.

"This is my little account for your expenses at the hotel," said he,
presenting a hateful-looking strip of a foot and a half long.

"Another time,--no leisure for looking over that now!" said I, angrily.

"Whenever you please, Herr Graf," said he, with the same imperturbable
manner. "You will find it all correct, I 'm sure. This is the balance!"
And opening the bag he poured forth some gold and silver, which, when
counted, made up twenty-seven Napoleons, fourteen francs.

"And what's this?" cried I, almost boiling over with rage.

"Your balance, Herr Graf. All that is coming to you. If you will please
to look here--"

"Give me up that inventory,--that bill of sale," cried I, perfectly wild
with passion.

He only gave a grim smile, while, by a significant gesture, he showed
that the paper in question was in his breeches-pocket For a second, Bob,
I was so thoroughly beside myself with passion, that I determined to
regain possession of it by force. To this end I went to the door, and
locked it; but by the time I returned to him, I found that he had thrown
up the window and addressed some words to the people in the courtyard.
This brought me to my senses, so I counted over my twenty-seven Naps.,
placed the bill on the chimney-piece, unlocked the door, and told him
to go,--an injunction which, I assure you, he obeyed with such alacrity
that had I been disposed to assist his exit I could not have been in
time to do it.

For both our sakes I 'll not recall the state of mind in which this
scene left me. As to going an excursion with such a sum, or rather
with what would have remained of it after paying waiters, porters, and
such-like, it was too absurd to think of, so that I coolly put it in my
pocket, walked over to "the Rooms," threw it on the green cloth of
the gaming-table--and--lost it! There ends the episode of my last
fortnight's existence,--as dreary and disreputable a one as need be. As
to how I have passed the last four days I 'm not quite so clear! I
have walked some twenty-five or thirty miles in each, dining at little
wayside inns, and returning late at night to Baden.

Passing through picturesque glens, and along mountain ridges of
boldest outline, I have marked little. I remember still less. Still the
play-fever is abating. I can sleep without dreaming of the croupier's
chant, and I awake without starting at any imaginary loss! I feel as
though great bodily exertion and fatigue would ultimately antagonize the
excessive tension of nerves too long and too painfully on the stretch,
and I am steadily pursuing this system for a cure.

When I come home--after midnight--I add some pages to this long epistle,
which I sometimes doubt if I shall ever have courage to send you! for
there is this poignant misery about one's play misfortunes, you never
can expect a friend's sympathy, no matter how severe your sufferings be.
The losses at play are thoroughly selfish ills; they appeal to nothing
for consolation!

You will have remarked how I have avoided all mention of the family in
this epistle. The truth is, I scarcely ever see my mother or Mary Anne.
Caroline occasionally comes to me before I 'm up of a morning; but it is
to sorrow over domestic griefs of one kind or other. My father is still
away, and, strangely too, we do not hear from him; and, in fact, we are
a most ill-ordered, broken-up household, each going his own road, and
that being--in almost every case, I fear--a bad one.

This recital--if it be ever destined to come to hand--may possibly tend
to reconcile you to home life, and the want of those advantages which
you are so thoroughly convinced pertain to foreign travel. I know that
in my present mood I am very far from being an impartial witness, and
I am also aware that I am open to the reproach of not having cultivated
those arts which give to Continental residence its peculiar value; but
let me tell you, Bob, the ignorance with which I left home--the utter
neglect of education in youth--left me unable to derive profit from what
lay so seemingly accessible. You do not plate over cast-iron, and the
thin lacquer of gold or silver would never even hide the base metal
beneath. I haven't courage to go over and see Morris; and here I live,
perfectly isolated and companionless.

Tiverton writes me word that he 'll be back in a few days. He went
over to speak on the Jew Bill. He says that his liberal speech on
that measure "stood to him" very handsomely in Lombard Street He has
forwarded the report of his oration, but I have n't read it. His chief
argument in favor of admitting them into Parliament is, "There are so
few of them." It's very like the lady's plea,--of the child being a
little one. However, I don't think it signifies much one way or t'other;
but it seems strange to exclude men from legislation who claim for their
ancestor the first Lawgiver.

I shall be all eagerness to hear what success you have had for the
scholarship. You are a happy fellow to have heart and energy for an
honorable ambition; and that you may have "luck"--for that is requisite,
too--is the sincere wish of your attached friend,

James Dodd.



LETTER XXIX. CAROLINE DODD TO MISS COX AT MISS MINCING'S ACADEMY, BLACK ROCK, IRELAND

The Moorg Thal.

My dear Miss Cox,--How happy would you be if only seated in the spot
where I now write these lines! I am at an open window, the sill of which
is a great rock, all covered with red-brown moss, and beneath, again,
at some thirty feet lower, runs the clear stream of the Moorg River.
Two gigantic mountains, clad in pine forests to the summits, enclose the
valley, the view of which, however, extends to full two miles, showing
little peeps of farmhouses and mills along the river's bank, and high
upon a great bold crag, the ducal castle of Eberstein. The day is hot
but not sultry, for a light summer breeze is playing over the water,
and, high up, the clouds move slowly on, now casting broad masses of
mellow shadow over the deep-tinted forest.

The stream here falls over some masses of rock with a pleasant gushing
music that harmonizes well with the songs of the peasant girls, who are
what we should in Ireland call "beetling" their clothes in the water.
On the opposite bank some mowers are seated at their dinner, under the
shadow of a leafy horsechestnut-tree, and, far away in the distance, a
wagon of the newly cut hay is traversing the river; the horses stop to
drink, and the merry children are screaming their laughter from the top
of the load. I hear them even here.

That you may learn where I am, and how I have come hither, let me tell
you that I am on a visit with Mrs. Morris, the mother of Captain M., at
a little cottage they have taken for the season, about twelve miles from
Baden, in a valley called the Moorg Thal. If its situation be the very
perfection of picturesque choice, it contains within quite enough of
accommodation for those who occupy it. The furniture, too, most
simple though it be, is of that nice old walnut-wood, so bright
and mellow-looking; and our little drawing-room is even handsomely
ornamented by a richly carved cabinet and a centre-table, the support
of which is a grotesque dwarf with four heads. Then we have a piano,
a reasonably well-filled book-shelf, and a painter's easel, to which I
turn at intervals, as I write, to give a passing touch of light to
those trees now waving in the summer's wind, and which I destine, when
finished, for my dear, dear governess. All the externals of rural life
in Germany are highly picturesque,--I might almost call them poetic.
The cottages, the costume, the little phrases in use amongst the people,
their devotional offices, and, above all, their music, make up an ideal
of country life such as I scarcely conceived possible to exist.

There is, too, I am told,--for my imperfect knowledge of the language
does not permit me to state the fact of myself,--an amount of
information amongst the people seldom found in a similar class
throughout the rest of Europe. I do not mean the peasantry here, but
the dwellers in the small villages,--those, for instance, who follow
handicrafts and small trades, and who are usually great readers and
very acute thinkers. Denied almost entirely all access to that daily
literature of newspapers on which our people feed, they fall back upon
a very different class of writing, and are conversant with the works of
their great prose and verse writers. Their thoughts are thus idealized
to a degree; they themselves become assuredly less work-a-day and
practical, but their hopes, their aspirations, and their ambitions
take a higher flight than we could ever think possible from such humble
resting-places. Mrs. Morris, who knew Germany many years ago, tells
me that those fatal years of '48 and '49 have done them great injury.
Suddenly called upon to act, in events and contingencies of which they
derived all their knowledge from some parallels in remote history,
they rushed into the excesses of a mediæval period, as the natural
consequences of the position; and all the atrocities of bygone centuries
were re-enacted by a people who are unquestionably the most docile and
law-obeying of the whole Continent. They are now calming down again,
and there is every reason to think that, if, unshaken by troubles from
without or within, Germany will again be the happy land it used to be.

Forgive me, my dear Miss Cox, if I grow tiresome to you, by a theme
which now fills all my thoughts, and occupies so much of our daily
talking. Captain M. has gone to England on some important matter of
business, and the old lady is my only companion.

Oh, how you would like her! and how capable you would be of appreciating
traits and features of her mind, of which I, in my insufficiency, can
but dimly catch the meaning. She is within a year or two of eighty, and
yet with a freshness of heart and a brightness of intellect that would
shame one of _my_ age.

The mellow gayety of heart that, surviving all the trials of life, lives
on to remote age, hopeful in the midst of disappointments, trusting even
when betrayed, is the most captivating trait that can adorn our poor
nature. The spirit that can extract its pleasant memories from the past,
forgetting all their bitterness, is truly a happy one. This she seems to
do in all gratitude for what blessings remain to her, after a life not
devoid of misfortune. She is devotedly attached to her son, who, in
return, adores her. Probably no picture of domestic affection is more
touching than that subsisting between a man already past youth and his
aged and widowed mother,--the little tender attentions, the watchful
kindnesses on both sides, those graceful concessions which each knows
how and when to make of their own comfort, and, above all, that blending
of tastes by which, at last, each learns to adopt some of the other's
likings, and, even in prejudices, to become more companionable.

To me, the happiness of my present life is greater than I can describe
to you. The peaceful quietude of an existence on which no shocks obtrude
is unspeakably delightful. If the weather forbid us to venture abroad,
which on fine days we do for hours together, our home resources
are numerous. The little cares of a household, amusing as they are,
associated with so many little peculiar traits of nationality, help the
morning to pass; after which I draw, or write, or play, or read aloud,
mostly German, to the old lady. Whatever my occupation, be it at the
easel, the desk, or the pianoforte, her criticisms are always good and
just; for, strange to say, even on subjects of which she professes to
know nothing, there is an instinctive appreciation of the right; and
this would seem to result from an intense study, and deep love of
nature. She herself was the first to show me that this was a charm which
the Bible possessed in the most remarkable manner, and, unlike other
literature, gave it the most uncommon value in the eyes of the humblest
classes, who are from the very accidents of fortune the deep students
of nature. The language whose illustrations are taken from objects and
incidents that every peasant can confirm, has a direct appeal to a lowly
heart; and there is a species of flattery to his intelligence in the
fact that inspiration could not typify more strongly its conception than
by analogies open to the lowliest son of labor.

After this, she places Shakspeare, whose actual knowledge is miraculous,
and whose immortality is based upon that very fact, since the true will
be true to all ages and people; and, however men's minds may differ
about the forms of expression, the fact will remain imperishable.
According to her theory, Shakspeare understood human nature as learned
men do an exact science,--where certain results must follow certain
premises and combinations inevitably and of necessity. How otherwise
explain that intimate acquaintance with the habits and modes of thought
of classes of which he never made one? How account for the delineation
of kingly feelings by him who scarcely saw the steps of a throne? "And
yet," said Mrs. M., "Louis Philippe himself told me, that Shakspeare's
kings were as true as his lovers. His Majesty once amused me much," said
she, "by alluding to a passage in 'Hamlet,' which assuredly would
never have occurred to me to notice. It is where the King and Queen
are dismissing their attendants from further waiting. His Majesty says,
'Thanks, Rosenkrantz, and gentle Guildenstern;' on which the Queen
adds, 'Thanks, Guildenstern, and gentle Rosenkrantz.' 'Now,' said Louis
Philippe, 'one almost should have been a queen to know that it was
needful to balance the seeming preference of the Royal epithet, by
inverting the phrase.'"

While I ramble on thus, I may seem to be forgetting the subjects on
which more properly I ought to dwell,--home and family. Our pursuit of
greatness still continues, my dear Miss Cox. We are determined to
be fine people; and I suppose, after all, that our shortcomings and
disappointments are not greater than usually fall to the lot of those
who aspire to what is beyond or above them. In England the gradations
of rank are as fixed as the degrees of a service; and we, being who
and what we are, could no more pretend to something else than could a
subaltern pass off for a colonel to his own regiment. Here, however,
there is a general scramble for position, and each seems to have the
same privilege to call himself what he likes, that he exercises over
the mere spelling of his name. I judge this to be the case from the
anecdotes I have heard in society about the Count this, and the Baron
that. Since papa's absence in the interior of Germany, whither he
accompanied Mrs. Gore Hampton, to visit, I believe, some crowned head
of her acquaintance, mamma has pursued a kind of royal progress towards
greatness. Our style of living has been most expensive,--I might almost
call it splendid. We have servants, horses, equipage,--everything, in
fact, that appertains to a certain station, but one, and that one thing,
unfortunately, is the grand requisite of all,--the air that belongs to
it. The truth is, Miss Cox, as the old lawyer one day said at dinner
to papa, "You prove too much, Mr. Dodd." That is exactly what mamma is
doing. She dresses magnificently for small occasions; she insists too
eagerly upon what she deems her due; and she is far too exclusive with
respect to those who seek her acquaintanceship. Would you believe it,
that though I am permitted to accept the kind hospitality which I at
this moment enjoy, it is upon the condition that neither mamma nor Mary
Anne are to "be dragged into the mire of low intimacies;" that Mrs.
Morris is to be "Cary's friend." Proud am I, indeed, if she will deign
to consider me such!

I must acknowledge that mamma's "Wednesdays" collected all that was high
and distinguished at Baden. We had the old Kurfurst of something, with a
long white moustache, and thirty orders; an archduchess with a humpback,
and a mediatized prince with one eye. There were generals, marshals,
ministers, envoys, and plenipos without end,--"your Highness" and "your
Excellency" were household words round our tea-table. But I often asked
myself, "Are not these great folk paying off in falsehood the imposition
we are practising upon _them?_ Are they not laughing at the 'Dodds,' and
their thousand solecisms in good breeding?" These would be very unworthy
suspicions of mine if I did not feel convinced they were well founded;
but more than once I have overheard chance words and phrases that have
suffused my cheeks with "shame-red," as the Germans call it, for an hour
after. Is it not an indignity to accept hospitality and requite it by
ridicule? Is it not base to receive attentions, and repay them in scorn?

Whether it is from feeling as I do on the subject or not, I cannot say,
but James rarely or never appears at mamma's receptions. He is among
what is called "a fast set;" but I always incline to think that his
nature is not corrupted, though doubtless sullied, by the tone of
society around us.

You ask me about Mary Anne's appearance, and here I can speak without
reserve or qualification. She is, indeed, the handsomest girl I ever
saw; tall and well-proportioned, and with a carriage and a style about
her that might grace a princess. A critic inclined to severity might say
there was perhaps a slight tendency to haughtiness in the expression of
the features, especially the mouth; the head, too, is a little, a very
little, too much thrown back; but somehow these might be defects in
another, and yet in her they seem to give a peculiar stamp and character
to her beauty. All her gestures are grace itself, and her courtesy,
save that it is a little too low, perfect. She speaks French and German
fluently, and knows the precise title of some hundred acquaintances,
every one of whom would be distracted if defrauded in the smallest coin
of his rank. I need not say how superior all these gifts make her to
your humble and unlettered correspondent. Yes, my dear Miss Cox, the
French "irregulars" are the same puzzle to me they used to be, and
my mind will no more carry me on to the verb at the end of the German
sentence than will my feet bear me over fifty miles a day. I am the
stupid Caroline of long ago, and what renders the case so hopeless is,
with the best of dispositions to do otherwise.

I am, however, improved in my painting, particularly in my use of color.
I begin at last to recognize the merits of harmony in tint, and see how
Nature herself always contrives to be correct. I hope you will like the
little sketch that accompanies this; the rock in the foreground is the
spot on which I sit at every sunset. Would that I had you beside me
there, to counsel, to guide, and to correct me!

When Captain Morris returns, I shall leave this, as Mrs. M. will not
require my companionship any longer, although she is already planning
twenty things we are to do then.

Pray, therefore, write to me, as before, to Baden; and with my most
affectionate regards to all who may remember me, and my dearest love to
yourself,

Believe me, yours ever,

Caroline Dodd.



LETTER XXX. MISS MARY ANNE DODD TO MISS DOOLAN, OF BALLYDOOLAN

My dearest Kitty,--It _was_ our names you saw in the "Morning Post"!
We are "The Dodd M'Carthys." It was no use deferring the decision for
papa's return; and, as I observed to mamma, circumstances are often
stronger than ourselves; for, in all likelihood, Louis Napoleon would
not have declared the Empire so soon if it were not for the "Rouges,"
or the Orléaniste, or the others. Events, in fact, pressed us from
behind,--go forward we must; and so, like the distinguished authority
I have mentioned, we accepted greatness, in the shape of our present
designation.

We took the great step on Monday evening last, and issued one hundred
and thirty-eight cards for our Wednesday at home, as Madame Dodd
M'Carthy. Of course, I conclude the new title was amply discussed
and criticised; but, as James remarked, the _coup d'état_ succeeded
perfectly. He sent me three different bulletins during the day from
"the Rooms," where he was engaged at play. The first was briefly:
"Great excitement, and much curiosity as to the reasons. Causes
assigned,--vague, various, and contradictory. Strict silence on my part"
The second ran: "Funds rising rapidly,--confidence restored." The third
was: "Victory--opposition crushed, annihilated--dynasty secure. Send a
card at once to the Crown Prince of Dalmatia, at the 'Lion.' He is just
come."

Mamma's nervous tremors during this eventful day were dreadful. Nothing
sustained her but a high consciousness, and some excellent curacoa.
Every cry in the street, every chance commotion, the slightest
assemblage, beneath our windows, she took for popular demonstrations.
You know, my dearest Kitty, we live in really eventful times, and
nobody can answer for how the mere populace will receive any attempts
to recover ancient feudal privileges. I own to you, frankly, the attempt
was a bold one. We, so to say, stemmed the foamy torrent of Democracy at
its highest flood; but the moment was also propitious. Now or never was
the time for nobility to raise its head again; and _we_, I am proud to
say, have given the initiative to astonished Europe.

From the hour that we took the great step, Kitty, I felt my heart rise
with the occasion. My spirit seemed to say, "Swell to the magnitude of
those grand proportions around you;" and I really felt myself, as it
were, disenthralled from the narrow limits of a mere Dodd, and expanding
to the wide realms of a M'Carthy! If you only knew the sufferings
and heart-burnings that plebeian appellation has cost us! The hateful
monosyllable seemed to drop down like a shell in the midst of a company;
and often has it needed a fortnight's dinners and evening parties, in a
new place, to overcome the horrid impression caused by the name of Dodd!

Now, as it stands at present, it serves to give vigor and energy to
the name. Dodd M'Carthy is like Gorman O'Moore, Grogan O' Dwyer, or any
other of the patronymics of ancient Ireland.

From the deep interest caused by this decisive step, I was obliged at
once to turn to the details of our great reception to be held on
the Wednesday following, for it was necessary that in splendor and
distinction it should eclipse all that had preceded it. Happily for us,
dearest Caroline was absent as well as papa; she had gone to spend a
week with a tiresome old lady some miles away, and we were therefore
relieved from the annoyance of that vexatious restraint imposed by the
mere presence of those whose thoughts and ideas are never yours. I have
already told you that she has taken up a completely mistaken line, and
utterly destroyed any natural advantages she possessed. I told her so
myself over and over; I reasoned and argued the question deliberately.
"I see," said I, "your tastes are not those of high and fashionable
society. You do not feel the instinctive fascination that comes of being
admired by the distinguished classes. Your ambitions do not soar to
those aristocratic regions whose atmosphere breathes of royalty. Be
it so; there is another path open to you,--the sentimental and the
romantic. Your hair suits it, your complexion, your figure, your style
generally, will easily adapt themselves to the character. If not a part
that attracts general admiration, it is one which never fails, in every
society, to secure some favorable notice; and elder sons, educated
either 'at home or in clergymen's families,' are constantly captured by
its fascination." This, I must remark to you, Kitty, is perfectly true,
and it is of great consequence frequently to have a woman that suits shy
men, and saves them the much-dreaded exhibition of themselves by talking
aloud. I told her all this, and I even condescended to use arguments
derived from her own narrow views of life, by showing that it is a style
requiring little expense in the way of dress,--ringlets and a white
muslin "peignoir" of a morning, a broad-leaved straw hat for the
promenade,--something, in short, of the very simplest kind, and no
ornaments. No! my dearest Kitty, it was of no use! She is one of those
self-opinionated girls that reason never appeals to. She coolly replied
to me, that all this would be unreal and unnatural,--"a mere piece
of acting," as she said, and, consequently, unworthy of her, and
unbecoming. I repeat the very words of her reply, to show you the great
benefits she has derived from foreign travel! Why, dearest Kitty, nobody
is real,--nobody pretends to be real abroad; if they were to do so, they
'd be shunned like wild beasts. What is it, I ask, that constitutes the
very essence of high breeding? Conventional usages, forms of expression,
courtesies, attentions, flatteries, and observances,--all stimulated,
all put on, to please and captivate. Reject this theory, and instead
of society, you have a mob; instead of a _salon_, you have a wild-beast
"menagerie." Caroline says she is Irish; she might as well say she was
Cochin-Chinese. Nobody can recognize any trait in that nationality
but its uniform "savagery;" for I must tell you, Kitty, that Ireland
itself--though politically deplored, pitied, and wept over, abroad--is
encumbered by geographical doubts and difficulties like the North-West
Passage. Many suppose it to be a town in the West of England; others
fancy it a barren tract along the coast; and a few, whose sympathies
are more acute for suffering nations, fancy it to be a species of penal
settlement in an unknown latitude.

If Caroline even developed the character--if she had, as the French
say, _créé le rôle_ of an Irish girl, what with eccentricities of dress,
manner, and Moore's melodies, something might be made of it. It admits
of all those extravagances that are occasionally admired, and any
amount of liberty with the male sex. Cary's reading of the part was very
different; it was neither poetic nor pictorial; in fact, it was a
mere vulgar piece of commonplace devotion to home and its tiresome
associations, and a clinging attachment to whatever recalled memories
of our former obscurity,--these "national traits" being eked out with a
most insolent contempt for the foreigner, and a compassionate sorrow for
the patience with which _we_ endured him.

Pardon me, my dearest friend, if I weary you with this unpleasant theme;
but I wish to satisfy your mind that if my sisterly affection be strong,
it still does not tyrannize over my reason, and that increased powers of
judgment, if they elevate the understanding, are frequently exercised at
the cost of our tenderest feelings.

To come back to the point whence I started, "our Wednesday"--and this,
by the way, enables me to answer some of the questions in your last You
ask about my admirers; you shall have the catalogue as lately revised
and corrected, though I scarcely flatter myself that the names will
admit of vocal repetition. First, then, there is the Neapolitan Prince
Sierra d'Aquila Nero, whom I already mentioned to you in one of my
letters from Brussels. In my then innocence of the Continent I thought
him charming, so impassioned, so poetical, and so perfumed. Now, Kitty,
I find him an intolerable old bore; he is upwards of seventy, but
so painted, patched, and plastered as to pass off panoramically for
five-and-forty. He affects all the habits and even the vices of young
men. He keeps saddle-horses that he dare not ride, and hires a "chasse,"
though he never fires a gun; and lastly, issues from his hairdresser's
shop, at intervals, with a wig of shortened proportions, coolly alleging
that he has just had his hair cut! When he drives out of an evening, the
whole Allée reeks of "Bergamot," and the flutter of his handkerchief is
a tornado in the Spice Islands. Need I say that _his_ chance is at zero?
Count Rastuchewitsky, a Russian Pole, comes next,--at least, in order of
seniority; a short, stern-looking man, of about fifty, with a snow-white
beard and moustache, with abrupt manners, and an unpleasant voice. I
believe that he only pays me any attention because he sees the Prince do
so, for he hates all Italians, and tries to thwart them in everything.
The Count's great claim to distinction rests upon his father, or mother,
I forget which, having helped to assassinate the Emperor Paul,--a piece
of chivalry that he dwells on unceasingly.

The Chevalier de Courcelles makes "No. Three," and thirty years ago he
might have been very presentable; but he belongs to a school even older
than his time. He is of the Richelieu order, and seems to be always in
a terrible fright about the effect of his own powers of fascination: his
constant effort being to show you that he really is not fond of
making victims. There is a German Graf von Herren-shausen, a large,
yellow-bearded, blear-eyed monster, with a frogged coat and a huge
pipe-stick projecting from the hind pock et, who kisses my hand whenever
we meet, and leers at me from the whist-table--for, happily, he is past
dancing--like a Ghoul in an Eastern tale. There are a vast number of
others, one or two of whom I reserve for favorable mention hereafter;
but these are the true "prétendants," of which number, I believe, I
might select the one which pleases me best.

Amongst "home productions," as you term them, I may mention the
Honorable Sackville Cavendish,--a thin, pale, white-eyebrowed babe of
diplomacy, that smallest of Foreign Office infants yclept an "unpaid
attaché." He has just emerged from the "nursery" at Downing Street,
and is really not strong enough to go alone. I have supported him in
an occasional polka, and "hustled him," as James called it, through a
waltz, and have in turn received the meed of his admiration as expressed
in the most lacklustre eyes that ever glittered out of a doll's head;
and, lastly, there is Mister Milo Blake O'Dwyer, who formerly--O'Connell
régnante--represented the town of Tralee in Parliament, and who now,
with altered fortunes, performs the duty of Foreign Correspondent to
that great news-paper, "The Sledge Hammer op Freedom."

Perhaps I 'm not strictly correct in enrolling him amongst the number of
my worshippers; with more rigid justice, I believe he belongs to mamma;
at least he's in constant attendance upon her, and continually assures
me, with upturned eyes and a smack of the lip, that she is a "gorgeous
woman," and "wonderfully preserved!" This worthy individual is really
a curiosity; since being in manner, exterior, knowledge, and fortune
totally deficient of all those aids which achieve success in society,
he has actually contrived, by the bare force of impudence, to move with,
and be received by, persons in the very first ranks. Foreigners, I must
tell you, Kitty, conceive the most ridiculous notions of England; one of
the most popular of which is that more than one-half of our government
is carried on by newspaper writing, the minister contributing his
sentiments one day, some individual of the public replying the next.
Now, the illustrious Milo takes every opportunity of propping up this
fallacy, while he represents himself as the very bone and sinew of all
English opinion on the Continent. To believe him, no foreign prince or
potentate could raise a sixpence on loan till he subscribes the scheme.
How many an appropriation of territory have his warnings arrested? From
what cruelties has he saved the Poles? What a crisis did his pen achieve
in the fortunes of Hungary! And then the bushels of diamond snuff-boxes
that he has thrown from him with disgust, the heaps of orders that he
has rejected with proud scorn! As he says himself, "Haven't I more power
than them all? When I send off my article to the 'Sledge,' don't I see
them trembling and shaking for what's coming? Ay, says I to myself,
haughty enough you look to-day, but won't I expose your Majesty, won't I
lay bare the cruelties of your prisons and the infamy of your spies! And
your Eminence, too, how silky you are; but I know you well, and I 've a
copy of the last rescript you sent over to Ireland! Don't be afraid, my
little darling; never mind the puppies that hissed you at Parma, I 'll
make your fortune in London. A word from me to Lumley, and it's as good
as five thousand pounds in the bank!"

It really gives me a great notion of the glut of genius that we possess
in England, when you see a man whose qualifications are great in war
and peace; whose knowledge ranges over the world of politics, religion,
literature, fine arts, and the drama; who knows mankind to perfection,
and understands statecraft to a miracle, with no higher nor prouder
position than that of writing for the "Sledge." It is but fair to own
that he has been of great service to us here. The hardest thing to find
in the world is some person of pushing habits and impudent address,
who will speak of you at all times and in all companies, doing for
you, socially, what, in the world of trade, is accomplished by huge
advertisements and red-lettered placards. Now, one really cannot stick
up on the walls great announcements of "unrivalled attraction," the
"positively last night but one" of Mrs. Dodd's great _soirées_ and so
on, but you can come pretty nigh the same result by a little tact and
management. A few insignificant commissions about camellias, a change of
arrangement about the fiddles, intrusted to him, and Milo was prepared
to go forth, trumpet in hand, for us, from day to dark. Woe to the
luckless wight that hadn't got a card for our "Evening"! the obligation
Milo would place him under was a bond debt for life. Then he contrived
to know everybody; and though he made sad hash of their names, they only
smiled at his blunders.

I have heard that a great English minister one day confessed that the
only exaction of office he never could thoroughly reconcile himself to,
was the nature of those persons he was occasionally obliged to employ
as subordinates. I suppose that, without being leader of a cabinet,
everybody must have experienced something or other of this kind in life.

I think I hear you ask, "Where is the Ritter von Wolfensbafer all this
time? What has become of _him?_" you say. You really are very tiresome,
dearest Kitty, with your little poisonous allusions to "old loves,"
former attachments, and so on. As to the Ritter, however, I heard from
him yesterday; he cannot, it seems, come to Baden; his father is not
on terms with the Grand-Duke, and he strictly charges me not to mention
their names to any one. His letter repeats the invitation to us all to
spend some weeks at the "Schloss,"--an arrangement which might, very
possibly, suit our plans well, since, when the season ends here, it is
still too early to go into winter quarters; and one is sorely puzzled
what to do with the late autumn, which is as wearisome as the time one
passes in the drawing-room before dinner. Of course we must await pa's
return, to reply to this invitation; and I incline to say we shall
accept it. Why will you be so silly as to remind me of the follies of my
childhood? Are there no naughtinesses of the nursery you can rake up to
record? You know as well, if not better than myself, that the attentions
you allude to could never have been seriously meant! nor could Dr. B.
believe them such, if not totally deficient in those qualities of good
sense and judgment for which I always have given him credit. I will not
say that, in the artless gayety of infancy, I have not amused myself
with the mock devotion he proffered; but you might as well reproach
me with fickleness for not taking a child's interest any longer in the
nursery games that once delighted me, as for not sustaining my share in
this absurd illusion!

I plainly perceive one thing, Kitty,--the gentleman in question has very
little pride; but even _that_ in your eyes, may be an excellence,
for you have discovered innumerable merits in his character under
circumstances which, I am constrained to own, have failed to impress me
with a suitable degree of interest. The subject is so very unpleasant,
however, that I must beg it may never be reopened between us; and if you
really feel for him so acutely as you say, I can only suggest that you
should hit upon some plan of consolation perfectly independent of any
aid from your attached friend,

Mary Anne.



LETTER XXXI. MARY ANNE DODD TO MISS DOOLAN, OF BALLYDOOLAN

My dearest Kitty,--Another delay, and more "last words"! I had thought
that my poor epistle was already miles on the way towards you, wafted
by the sighs of my heaving heart, but I now discover that Mr. Cavendish
will not send off his bag to the Foreign Office before Saturday, as the
Grand-Duke wants to send over some guinea-pigs to the royal children, so
that I shall detain this till that day, and perhaps be able to tell
you of a great "picnic" we are planning to the Castle of Eberstein
for Thursday next. It is one of the things everybody does here, and
of course we must not omit it. James talks of the expense as terrific,
which really comes with an ill grace from one who wagers fifty, or even
sixty, Napoleons on a card! Besides, a "picnic" is an association, and
the whole cost cannot fall to the share of an individual. The Great Milo
begs that we will leave everything to him, and I feel assured that it is
the wisest course we can adopt, not to speak of the advantage of seeing
the whole festivity glowingly described in the columns of the "Sledge."
The Princess Sloboffsky has just driven to the door, so I must conclude
for the present. I come back to say that the picnic is fixed for
Thursday, the number to be, by special request of the Princess, limited
to forty,--the list to be made out this evening. "Mammas" to go in open
carriages,--young ladies horseback or ass-back,--men indiscriminately;
no more at present decided on. I am wild with delight at the pleasure
before us. Would you were one of us, dearest Kitty!

Thursday Morning. Oh, Kitty, what a day! It might be December in London.
The rain is swooping down the mountain sides, and the wind howling
fearfully. It is now seven o'clock, and my maid, Augustine, has called
me to get up and dress. Mamma has had two notes already, which, being in
French, she is waiting for me to read and reply to. I 'll hasten to see
what they mean.

One of the "billets" is from the Duchesse de Sargance, merely asking the
question, "Que faire?" The other is from the Princess Sloboffsky, who,
in consideration "for all the trouble mamma has been put to," deems
it better to go at all events, and that we can dine at the Grand-Ducal
Schloss, instead of on the grass. This reads ominously in one sense,
Kitty, and seems to imply that _we_ are giving the entertainment
ourselves; but I must keep this suspicion to myself, or we should have
a terrible exposure. When an evil becomes inevitable, patient submission
is the true philosophy.

Ten o'clock. What an animated, I might almost call it a stormy, debate
we have just had in the drawing-room! The assembled lieges have been all
discussing the proposed excursion,--if that can be called discussion,
where everybody screamed out his own opinion, and nobody listened to his
neighbor. The two parties for and against going divided themselves into
the two sexes,--the men being for staying where we are, the ladies as
clamorously declaring for the road. Of course the "Ayes" had it, and we
are now putting the whole house in requisition for cloaks, mantles, and
mackintoshes. The half-dozen men for whom no place can be made in coach
or "calèche" are furious at having to ride. I half suspect that some
attachments whose fidelity has hitherto defied time and years, will
yield to-day before the influence of mere water. The truth is, Kitty,
foreigners dread it in every shape. They mix a little of it now and then
with their wine, and they rather like to see it in fountains and "jets
d'eau," but there ends all the acquaintance they ever desire to maintain
with the pure element.

I must confess that the aspect of the "outsiders" is suggestive
of anything rather than amusement. They stand to be muffled and
waterproofed like men who, having resigned themselves to an inevitable
fate, have lost all interest in the preliminaries that conduct to it.
They are, as it were, bound for the scaffold, and they have no care for
the shape of the "hurdle" that is to draw them thither. The others, who
have secured inside places, are overwhelmingly civil, and profuse in all
the little attentions that cost nothing, nor exact any sacrifice. I have
seen no small share of national character this morning, and if I had
time could let you into some secrets about it.

The arrangement of the company--that is, who is to go with whom--is
our next difficulty. There are such intricacies of family history, such
subtle questions of propriety to be solved, we 'd not get away under
a year were we to enter upon half of them. As a general rule, however,
ladies ought not to be packed up in the same coach with the husbands
from whom they have been for years separated, nor people with deadly
feuds between them to be placed _vis-à-vis_. As to the attractive
principles, the cohesionary elements, Kitty, are more puzzling still,
since none but the parties themselves know where the minds are simulated
and where real.

Milo has taken a great part of this arrangement upon his own hands, and,
from what I can see, with his accustomed want of success in all
matters of tact and delicacy. Of this, however, he is most beautifully
unconscious, and goes about in the midst of muttered execrations with
the implicit belief of being a benefactor of the human race. I wish you
could see the self-satisfied chuckle of his greasy laugh, or could hear
his mumbled "Maybe I don't know what ye 'r after, my old lady. Have
n't I put the little Count with the green spectacles next you; don't I
understand the cross looks ye 'r giving me? Ah, Mademoiselle, never fear
me, I have in my eye for you,--a wink is enough for Milo Blake any day.
Yes, my darling, I 'm looking for him this minute." These and such-like
mutterings will show you the spirit of his ministering; and when I
repeat that he makes nothing but blunders, you may picture to yourself
the man. He has appointed himself on mamma's staff; and as I go with
the Princess and the Count Boldourouki, I shall see no more of him for a
while.

It is quite clear, Kitty, that we are the entertainers, though how it
came to be so, I cannot even guess. Some blunder, I suspect, of this
detestable Milo; and James will do nothing whatever. He is still in bed,
and, to all my entreaties to get up, merely says that he'll be with
us at dinner. The hampers of proggery will fill two carriages, and
a charette with the champagne in ice is already sent forward. Three
cooks--for such, I am told, are three gentlemen in black coats and
white neckcloths--are to accompany us; and the whole preparations are
evidently got up in the "very first style," and "totally regardless of
expense."

Twelve o'clock. Another dilemma. There is only one "bus" in the town;
and as none of the band will sit outside in this terrible weather, what
is to be done? Milo proposes billeting them, singly, here and there,
through the carriages; but the bare mention has excited a rebellion
amongst the equestrians, who will not consent to be treated worse than
the fiddlers! The Commissary of Police has just sent to know if we have
obtained "a ministerial permission to assemble in vast numbers and for
objects unnamed." I have got one of the German nobles to settle this
difficulty, which, in Milo's hands,--if he only heard of it,--might
become formidable.

Happily, he is now engaged "telling off" the band, and selecting from
the number such as we can find room to accommodate. The permission has
been accorded, the carriages are drawing up, the guests are taking their
seats, we are ready,--we are off.

Saturday Morning. Dearest Kitty,--Mr. Cavendish has just sent me word
that the courier will start in half an hour, so that I have only time
for a few lines. Gloomily as the day broke yesterday, its setting at
evening was infinitely sadder and more sorrowful. Never did a prospect
of pleasure prove more delusive; never did a scene of enjoyment
terminate more miserably.

Tears of anguish, of passion, and of shame blot my words as I write
them. You must not ask me to describe the course of events, when my
mind has but room for the sad catastrophe that closed them; but in a few
brief lines I will endeavor to convey to you what occurred.

Our journey to Eberstein, from being all up hill and over roads terribly
cut up by the weather, was a slow process. The procession, some of the
riders remarked, had a most funereal look, winding along up the zig-zags
of the mountain, and on a day which assuredly suggested few thoughts of
pleasure. I can only answer for my own companions; but they, I am bound
to say, were in the very worst of tempers the whole way, discussing the
whole plot of the excursion with--considering mamma's share in it--a
far greater degree of candor than politeness. They ridiculed picnics in
general; pronounced them vulgar, tiresome, and usually "failures." They
insinuated that they were the resources of people who felt more at ease
in the semi-civilized scramble of a country party than amid the more
correct courtesies of daily life! As to the "dîner sur l'herbe" itself,
it was a shocking travesty of a real dinner. Spiders and cockroaches
settled in your soup, black beetles bathed in your champagne, wasps
contested your fruit with you, and you were lucky if you did not carry
back a scorpion or a snake in your pocket. Then the company came in for
its share of comment. So many people crept in that nobody knew, nobody
acknowledged, and apparently nobody had invited. You always, they
said, found that all your objectionable acquaintances dated from these
parties. Lastly, they were excursions which no weather suited, no toilet
became! If it were hot, the sufferings of sun-scorching and mosquitoes
were insufferable. If it proved bad and rainy, they were in the sad
situation of that very moment! As to dress, who could fix upon a costume
to be becoming in the morning, graceful in the afternoon, and fresh and
radiant at night? In a word, Kitty, they said so much, and so forcibly,
that nothing but great constraint upon my feelings saved me from asking,
"Why, in Heaven's name, could they have consented to come upon
an excursion every detail of which was a sorrow, and every step a
suffering?"

No other theme, however, divided attention with this calamitous one;
and as we toiled languidly up the mountain-side, you can fancy with what
pleasant feelings the way was beguiled.

At last we reached the castle; but fresh disappointment here awaited us.
Although parties were admitted to see the Schloss and the grounds, they
could not obtain leave to dine anywhere within the precincts. We begged
hard for a room in the porter's lodge, the laundry, the stable, even
the hayloft! but all without success. We at length capitulated for a
moss-house, where the rain came filtering down through a network of
foliage and birds'-nests; but even this was refused. What was to be
done? The army was now little short of mutiny; a violent debate was
carried on from carriage windows; and strong partisans of particular
opinions went slopping about, with tucked-up trousers and huge
umbrellas, trying to enforce their own views! Some were for an equitable
distribution of the eatables on the spot,--"Food Commissaries," as the
Germans expressed it, being chosen, to allot the victuals to each coach;
some were for a forcible entry into the castle, and an occupation by
dint of arms; others voted for a return to Baden; and lastly, a small
section, which gradually grew in power and persuasiveness, suggested
that, by descending the opposite side of the mountain, we should reach a
little inn in the Moorg Thal, much frequented by fishermen, and where we
were sure to find shelter at least, if not something more. The "Anglers'
Rest" was now adopted as our goal; and thither we started, with some
slight tinge of renewed hope and pleasure.

Our journey _down_ was nearly as slow as that _up_ the mountain; for
the steep descent required the greatest caution, with heavily laden
and jaded horses. It was, therefore, already dark when we reached
the "Anglers' Rest." All that I could see of this "hostel," from the
rain-streaked glasses of the carriage, was a small one-storied house,
built over the stream of a small but rapid river. Mountains, half
wrapped in mists, and seeming to smoke with the steam of hot rain,
environed the spot on all sides, which probably, in fine weather, would
have been picturesque and even pretty.

"We are destined to be unlucky to-day, Princess," said a young French
marquis, approaching, our carriage. "This miserable 'guinguette,' it
seems, is full of people, who are by no means disposed to yield the
place to us."

"Who are they,--what are they?" asked she, in haughty astonishment at
their contumacy.

"They are, I believe, some young tradesfolk, on what is called in
Germany the 'Wander-Jahre,'--that travelling probation that municipal
law dictates to native handicraft."

"But, surely, when they hear who we are--"

"Graf Adelberger has been eloquently explaining that to them the last
ten minutes, and the Baron von Badenschwill has told them of his
eighteen quarterings; but though they have consented to drink his
health, they will not abdicate the territory."

Here was a pretty proof of what the years '48 and '49 had done for the
Continent of Europe, and maybe Blum, Kossuth, Mazzini, and Co., didn't
come in for their share! To think of creatures--shoemakers, who could
assure us they were, might be tailors--daring to proclaim that they
preferred their own ease and comfort to that of carriages full of
unknown but titled individuals!

"It's impossible!" "Incredible!" "Fabulous!" "Infamous!" "Monstrous!"
were expressions screamed from carriage to carriage, while telegraphic
signs of horror and amazement were exchanged from window to window. "Did
they know who we were?" "Do they know who _I_ am?" were the questions
incessantly pouring forth. Alas! they had heard it all. There was not a
claim we could prefer to greatness that they had not before them, and,
alas! they remained inexorable!

Deputations of various nations went in, and came back baffled and
unsuccessful. The "Burschen," as they were called, were at that very
moment impatiently waiting for their own supper, and seemed to verify
the adage of the ill result of arguing with hungry men. Milder and more
practicable counsels now began to prevail amongst us, and some even of
the most conservative hinted at compromise and accommodation. What if we
were to share with some of the vast abundance that we had with us? What
if we tried bribery? The "Food Commissaries" assured us that even after
the most liberal allowance for our wants we could feed a moderately
sized village.

The proposal was therefore framed, and two Germans of high rank
persuaded--sorely against their prejudices and inclination--to convey it
to "Das Volk,"--the populace. It seemed as though the memorable years I
have referred to had taught some curious lessons in popular force; for
the demands of the masses indicated strength and power. They stipulated,
first, that they should hold the kitchen; secondly, that the meats
assigned them should be set before them uncut; and lastly, that none of
our servants were to be quartered on the table. Here was the "Monarchy
of the Middle Classes" proudly enunciated; and, I assure you, many
excellent things were said by all of us,--not only upon the past and the
present, but on "what we were coming to!"

If I weary you with this detail, Kitty, it is that you may sympathize
with me in the fatigue the long discussion inflicted. We were fully
three-quarters of an hour at the door ere the treaty was concluded. Then
came the descent from the carriages, the unpacking of the eatables, the
unrolling of the life-mummies that were to consume them, which, wrapped
up as they were in soaked drapery, was a long process. I shall not delay
you with an account of the distribution of the proggery, but content
myself with stating that the two deputies accredited by the "Trades'"
union to receive their share, acknowledged that we behaved not only
well, but with munificence; since not only did we bestow upon them the
grosser material of a meal, but many of the higher refinements of a
great entertainment; in particular, a large game pasty, representing a
feudal fortress, with a flag waving over it, on which the enthusiastic
cook had inscribed the words, "Hoch Lebe die Dodd," or "the Dodd
forever." It was a vulgar dish, Kitty, and by my own special diplomacy
was it consigned to the second table.

At length we were seated at table, but only for new disappointment.
Milo, in telling off the band, had made the irreparable blunder of
leaving all the flute, clarionet, and horn players behind; and there
we were, with kettle-drums, trombones, and ophocleides enough to have
stunned a garrison. They could beat a "générale," it is true, but there
ended their orchestral powers. This stupid mistake, however, gave room
for laughter, and, in spite of our annoyance, we laughed at it long and
heartily.

I am spared the painful task of recording the catastrophe of our story,
by a message from Mr. Cavendish, to say that the courier is starting.
Indeed, his carriage is now at the door, and I must say, Kitty, that
the handsomest men in our diplomacy are the Mercuries. They dress
so becomingly too,--something between a hussar and Lord Byron; their
pelisses of rich furs, their slashed frocks, and Polish caps harmonizing
beautifully with their mingled air of intrepidity and gentleness.

Mr. Dudley Vignerton, who takes this, is remarkably
good-looking,--something of George Canning, with a dash of Count
d'Orsay. I wish, however, he would let me finish these few lines
in peace, for he keeps on complimenting me about my hair, and my
handwriting, and I don't know what besides. He offers also to bring me
shoes from Paris, for really Germany is too bad!

He is a strange man, Kitty, and I regret not to see more of him;
he looks at once so bland and so determined. He tells me that the
adventurous nature of the life he leads makes a man at once daring and
enduring,--about equal parts lamb and lion. Don't you wish to see him?
Yours, in great haste,

M. A. D.



LETTER XXXII. JAMES DODD TO ROBERT DOOLAN, ESQ., TRINITY COLLEGE,
DUBLIN.

"The Fox," Lichtenthal.

My dear Bob,--I promised to give you the earliest intelligence of the
governor's return; and this is to inform you that the agreeable incident
in question occurred on Wednesday last, accompanied, however, by
circumstances which I must call "atténuantes," that is to say,
considerably impairing the felicitous character of the event We--that
is, the Dodd M'Carthy portion of the family, for so we had already
constituted ourselves--had organized a most stunning picnic; one of
those entertainments which are the great facts of the season, just as
certain battles are the grand incidents of a campaign: we had secured
everything that Baden contained of company and _cuisine_, and we did not
leave a turkey, a truffle, nor a titled individual in the whole village.

La Mère Dodd had, in fact, resolved on one of those great _coups de
tête_, which, in the social as in the political world, are needed to
terminate a difficult position, and, as the journalists say in France,
"legitimize the situation." How I love a phrase that permits one to
escape the pettiness of a personal detail by some grand and sweeping
generality!

The picnic is to the fashionable world what a general election is in
that of politics. It is a brief orgie, in which each condescends to
acquaintanceship, or even intimacy, without in the slightest degree
pledging himself to future consequences. You, as it were, pass out of
the conventional limit of ordinary life, and take a "day rule" for
indiscretions. The natural consequence is that people will come to you
in this way that no efforts could seduce into your house; and the great
lady, who would scorn your attentions on a Turkey carpet, will suffer
you to carve her chicken, and fill her champagne glass, when seated on
the grass. "Oh! I don't know him. I saw him somewhere,--on a steamer, or
at a picnic, perhaps." This spoken, with a stare of ineffable unconcern,
is the extent of the recognition accorded to you after. At first, when
you call to mind the way you struggled to get her sherry, how you fought
for the lobster, and descended to actual meanness for the mustard,
you are disposed to fancy yourself the most injured, and her the most
ingrate of mankind; but you soon learn to perceive that this is the law
of these cases, and that you are not worse treated than your fellows.

I leave you to conjecture why we deemed a picnic an essential stroke of
policy. I assure you it was a question well and maturely discussed
in our cabinet We knew it to be a measure from which there was no
retreating when once entered upon; we also knew that the governor's
return would utterly render such a course impossible. It was now or
never with us. Would that it had been never! But to proceed. Everything,
even from the start, promised badly; the day broke in torrents of rain;
it was like one of those days of Irish picnic at the "Dargle," where a
drowned family squat under a hedge to eat soaked sandwiches. We set
out, in bad humor, determined to "take our pleasure excursion" under
difficulties; a proceeding about as sensible as that of a man who,
having sprained his ankle on his way to a ball, still insists upon
waltzing. At Eberstein, where we had purposed to dine, they would not
admit us. It is a royal residence, and although usually there was no
permission necessary for parties wishing to pass the day there, an order
from the court had closed the castle against all picnicaries,--a
fact not made more palatable to us by the information that it was the
misconduct of some interesting individuals of the family of the Simkins,
the Popkins, or the Perkins, which had provoked the edict in question.
And here I must say, Bob,--and I say it in deep sorrow,--that we are
either grossly calumniated abroad, or else very grievous faults attach
to us, since every scratched picture, every noseless statue, every
chipped relic, and every flawed marble is sure of being assigned to the
work of English fingers. I repeat, I have no means of knowing if the
accusation be wrongful or not; at all events, I conclude it to be
greatly exaggerated beyond truth. If scratching and mutilating, "the
chalking and maiming acts" against works of art, be popular practices of
travellers generally, it follows that, as we English supply a very large
majority of the earth's vagabonds, a vast number of these offences must
fall to our share; but I sincerely hope we do not deserve our wholesale
reputation, nor possess any exclusive patent for barbarism. I argue the
point as the priest used to do at home about Catholics and Protestants,
when he triumphantly asked, "Why white-faced sheep eat more than
black-faced:" and having puzzled us all, answered, "Because there are
more of them!" And that's the reason the English commit more breaches of
decorum than their neighbors. Rely upon it, Bob, the simple illustration
is very widely applicable; and whenever you hear of our derelictions
abroad, please to remember it.

As we could not gain admittance to Eberstein, it became a grand subject
of debate what to do. The prudent said, "Go back." Is it not strange,
Bob? but there is an almost stereotyped uniformity in wise counsellors,
and that whenever a difficulty arises in life, they all cry out, "Go
back!" I conclude that this is the whole secret of the Tory party, and
that all the reputation they have acquired of "safe," "prudent," and
so forth, has no other basis than this simple maxim. Upon the present
occasion, "the Progresistas" carried the day,--we went on!

A little wayside inn--the resort of a few summer visitors--was to be our
destination; but when we arrived there, it was to find the house crammed
with a most motley rabble,--a set of those wandering artisans which,
from some singular notion of her own upon the virtues of vagabondism,
Germany sends forth broadcast over her whole land; the law requiring
that each tradesman should travel for a year, or, in some states, two
years, before he can obtain permission from the municipality of his own
town to reside at home. Now, as these individuals are rarely or never
persons of independent fortune, but rather of scanty and precarious
means, the "Wander-Jahre," as the year of travel is called, is usually
a series of events vibrating between roguery and begging, and at all
events little conducive to those habits of orderly, patient industry
which, in England at least, are deemed the highest qualities of a
laboring man.

Wherever you travel in Germany you are certain to find droves of these
people on the road, their heavy knapsacks covered with an undressed
calf-skin, and usually decorated at either extremity by a Wellington
boot, "pendant," but not "proper," their long pipes and longer beards,
their well-tuned voices,--for they always sing,--and, lastly, their
unblushing appeals to your charity, proclaim them to be "Lehre-Junge,"
or apprentices. But you must not fall into the absurd mistake of one
of our well-known English writers on Germany, who has called them
travelling students, and thereupon moralized long and learnedly on
the poverty of life and the cheapness of education in that country.
Occasionally, it is true, a student of the very humblest class will
associate himself with the "youths;" but even he will be the exception,
and the university to which he belongs one of the very lowest in rank.
I should ask your forgiveness for this long and wide digression, my dear
Bob, were it not that I know that whenever I speak of matters which are
new and unfamiliar to you, I am at least as interesting as by any purely
personal history. You would like to hear a thousand traits of foreign
life and manners, far better than I am capable of communicating them.

Our inn, as I have said, was full of these "gents," and no persuasion
of ours, no threats, nor any flatteries, could induce them to vacate the
territory in our favor. In fact, they presumed to reason upon the case,
on the absurd presumption that rain would wet and wind chill them, and
positively resisted all our assurances to the contrary.

We ended by a compromise; they gave us the parlor, and retired to the
kitchen, we purchasing the concession by sundry articles of consumption,
such as fowls, ham, preserves, and a pasty, to be by them devoured as
their own proper and peculiar prog. The selection, which was made by a
special commission named by both sides, was rather an amusing process,
though probably prolonged a little beyond the limits of ordinary
patience. At length the treaty was concluded, the price paid, the
territory evacuated, and we sat down ourselves to table, I will not
say in the very happiest of humors, for throughout the whole of the
negotiation our pride and self-esteem were at each moment receiving the
very rudest buffets, princes, dukes, counts, and barons as we were! It
was a sore lesson we were acquiring; and as a great man of our party
remarked, "The canaille had apparently been taught little or nothing
by the last two years,"--a fact not so difficult to entertain when one
remembers that those whose education is conducted by grape and musketry
are seldom left to evidence the advantages of the system, and the
survivors are the "naughty boys who have learned nothing."

Our first disappointment was rather a laughable one, though certes in
itself a bore. In the hurry of leaving Baden, a selection of the town
band of musicians was made, as we had not carriage-room for the whole;
but by ill-luck it was the rejected we had taken, and there we were
with drums, cymbals, trombones, and an ophocleide, but not a flute,
flageolet, or a French horn! You may fancy the attempt to perform the
overture to "William Tell" with such appliances. Crash after crash it
went, drowned in our own uproarious laughter, or louder cries of horror
and disgust. We had scarcely rallied, some from the amusement, others
from the annoyance produced by this event, when a tremendous uproar
outside the door attracted our attention. It sounded like an attempt
being made to establish a forcible entry into our apartment, and
vigorous resistance offered. So it proved, by the account of certain
wounded and disabled who fell back to tell us of the affray. "The
Trades" were in reality in open insurrection, and marching upon us,
"headed," as the trombone said, "by a stout, elderly man of savage
appearance." To organize a resistance would have been impossible, with
countesses fainting on every side, duchesses in hysterics. The men of
our party, too, avowed that without an armory of guns, pistols, and
cutlasses they were powerless. As to smashing up a chair, or seizing
a table-leg, they had no idea of it; so that I saw myself the only
combatant in a room full of people, who, by way of fitting me for my
task, threw themselves around my neck and on my back in a fashion far
more flattering than favorable.

By great exertions I wrested myself free from my "backers," and,
bounding over the table with a formidable old tongs in my hand, I
reached the door just as it gave way to the assaulting party, and came
flat down off the hinges, discovering the forlorn hope of the enemy
led on by--oh, shame and disgrace ineffable!--no other than my father
himself! There he was, Bob, without his coat, with a large saucepan
in one hand for a shield, and a kitchen cleaver in the other. He
vociferously cheered on his followers to the breach. I own to you
that, what with his patched and poor attire, his long beard, and his
moustaches, I scarcely knew him. His voice, however, there was no
mistaking; and, at the first word he uttered, I grounded my arms in
surrender.

It turned out that some infernal device in pastry had communicated to
him the intelligence that it was Mrs. D. was the entertainer of the
gorgeous company, the crumbs from whose sumptuous table he and his
friends were then consuming. Maddened with the indignity of _his_
position, and outraged at _her_ extravagance, he tossed off two tumblers
of sherry to give him courage, and cried out to his partisans "to
charge!" I have often heard that no description can convey even the
faintest notion of the horrors of a town taken by assault. I now
believed it. For the same good reason, you will not expect of me to
portray what I own to be beyond my pictorial powers. I can, it is true,
give you the ingredients, as Lord Macartney did those of a plum-pudding
to the Chinese cook, but you must yourself know how to mingle and
combine them. Take thirty ladies of various ages, from sixteen to sixty,
and of all nations of Europe, with gents to match; throw them into
strong convulsions of fright, horror, fun, or laughter, amidst smashed
crockery, broken glass, upset viands, and drinkables; beat them up with
some ten or twelve travellers of unwashed appearance, neither civil of
speech nor ceremonious in conduct; dash the mixture with Dodd père in
a state of frenzied passion, to which he gave short and _per saltum_
utterance in such phrases as "Spitzbuben!" "Coquins!" "Canaille!"
"Scoundrels!" "Gueux!" "Blackguards!" &c,--a vocabulary that, even
without a labored context, seemed sufficiently intelligible. The company
took Lady Macbeth's hint; they did n't stand upon the order of their
going, "they went at once." I do not believe that a party ever separated
with greater despatch and less useless ceremony. A few of the "greatly
overcome" were, indeed, led out between friends, "unconscious;" but the
mass fled with a laudable precipitancy, leaving the field to my father
and the rest of the Dodd family,--a group, I beg to say, that nothing
but a painter could properly render. That it may one day be thought
worthy of a fresco, let me record it.

Foreground, and principal figure, Dodd père, seated Marius-like
amidst the ruins, cravat in one hand, turban of a spoiled countess
inadvertently grasped in the other; countenance strongly marked with
intense perplexity, a kind of universal doubt of everything; prevailing
impression of the figure, power, but power weakened by incredulity.

[Illustration: 436]

Middle distance, Mary Anne Dodd, dishevelled and weeping, gracefully
draped, and the attitude well chosen.

Extreme distance, Dodd mère, seated on the floor, with a student's cap
stuck on over her own toque, evidently horror-struck and unconscious, as
seen by the wild stare of her eyes, and the half-open lips. Dodd
fils, dimly detected in the shadow of left foreground, mixing
brandy-and-water.

There's the tableau; the smaller details are, a universal smashery,
with occasional vestiges of that part of the creation consigned to
hairdressers, tailors, and milliners, of which the ground displays
various curious specimens, in scalps, fronts, ringlets, and tufts,
scraps of lace, tuckers, and trinkets, with skirts of coats, cravats,
and a false calf! Had these been all that the company left behind them,
Bob, it might have been bearable; but, alas! they had bequeathed to
us other relics,--their contempt, their very lowest contempt. Even my
father's French was intelligible enough to show what he claimed,
and what we could not deny him, to be. You can fancy, therefore, the
impression they must have conceived of us!

One of the worst features of this unlucky occurrence was that
it happened at Baden. Baden is, so to say, one of those great
banking-houses at which a note is sure to be presented at some period or
other of its circulation, and here we were now,--declared a "forgery,"
pronounced "not negotiable."

These were the bitter thoughts which each of us had now to revolve in
secret, tormenting our several ingenuities to find a remedy for the
evil. The governor was apparently the first of us to rally, for
he turned round at last to the table, cleared a small spot for his
operations at a corner, helped himself to some of a game pie, and began
to eat like one who had not relished such delicacies for some time back.

"May I give you a glass of champagne, sir?" said I, seeing that he was
"going in" with an air of determination.

"With all my heart," responded he; "but I think you might as well open
a fresh bottle." I did so, Bob, and followed it by another, of which I
partook also.

"There are some excellent fellows out there in the kitchen," said
the governor. "There is a little lame tailor from Anspach, and an
ivory-turner from the town of Lindau, both as agreeable companions as
ever I journeyed with. Take them out that pie, James, and let the waiter
fetch them half a dozen bottles of this red wine. Pay Jacob--he 's the
tailor--four florins that I borrowed from him; and beg of Herman, a
little Jewish rogue, with an Astracan cap, to keep my tobacco-bag, out
of remembrance of me. Tell the assembled company that I 'll see them all
by and by, for at present I have some family affairs to look after. Be
civil and courteous with them, James, they all have been so to me; and
if you 'll sit down at the table for half an hour, and converse with
them, take my word for it, boy, you 'll not rise to go away without
being both wiser and humbler."

I set about my mission with a willing heart. I was glad to do anything
which should give the governor even a momentary satisfaction; and I
was well pleased, also, to mark the calm, dispassionate tone of his
language.

The "Lehr-Jungen" received me with a most respectful courtesy, in which,
however, there was not the very slightest taint of subserviency
or meanness. They showed me that they really felt kindly, and even
affectionately, towards my father, who had been their companion for
the last nine days on foot. They enjoyed in a high degree the dry humor
which he possesses, and they relished his remarks on the country, and
the people, through which they travelled, savoring as they did of a
caustic shrewdness perfectly new to them. In fact, I soon saw that his
frank temperament, enriched by that native quaintness every Irishman
has his share of, had made him a prime favorite with them, and they were
equally disposed to be flattered by his acquaintanceship as attached to
himself. I sat with them till past midnight. Indeed, when I heard that
our family had ordered bedrooms and retired for the night, I was not
sorry to dissipate my cares, even in much humbler society than I had
left home to foregather with.

It is not necessary I should make any confession to you of my unlettered
ignorance, nor own how deplorably deficient I am in every branch of
knowledge or acquirement. I was a stupid schoolboy, and an idle one,
and the result is not very difficult to imagine; and yet, with all these
disadvantages, I have a lazy man's craving for information, if I only
could obtain it easily. I 'd like to be cured, if the doctor would only
make the physic palatable. Now, will you believe me, Bob, when I say
that these poor travelling tradesfolk, patched and threadbare as they
were, talked upon subjects of a very high character, and discussed them,
too, with a shrewdness and propriety perfectly astonishing? I had been
living in Germany for some six or eight months, and yet now, for the
first time, did I hear mention made of the popular literature of the
day,--who were the writers most in vogue, and what modifications public
taste was undergoing, and how the mystical and the imaginative were
giving way before a practical common-sense and commonplace spirit
more adapted to the exigencies of our age. This, I must observe, they
entirely ascribed to the influence of England, which they described as
being paramount on the Continent since the peace. Not alone that the
vast hordes of our nation flooded every land of Europe, but that our
mechanical arts, our inventions, and our literature pervaded every nook
and crevice of the Continent.

As the tailor said, "It is not alone that we conform to your notions in
dress, and endeavor to make our coats loose and square-skirted, to look
English, but there is an Anglomania in all things, even where we will
not confess it. Our novelists, too, have followed the fashion, and
instead of those dreamy conceptions, where the possible and impossible
were always in conflict, we have now domestic stories, ay, even before
we have domesticity itself."

I do not quote my friend Jacob for anything remarkable in the sentiment
itself, though I believe it to be just and true; but to show the general
tone of a conversation maintained for hours by a set of poor artisans,
not one of whom would not be well contented could he earn a shilling a
day.

Perhaps you will ask me, if, in their several trades, these fellows were
the equals of our own? In all probability they were not. The likelihood
is, they were greatly inferior, as in every detail of the useful and the
practical Germany is far behind us; but it is strange to speculate on
what such a people may or might become, if their institutions should
ever conform to the development of their natural intelligence. This,
again, is the tailor's remark,--and I could "cabbage" from him for hours
together.

I thought a hundred times of _you_, Bob. How _you_ would have enjoyed
this strange fraternity. What amusement--not to say something better
and higher--you would have abstracted from them. What traits of native
humor,--what studies of character! As for _me_, much, by far the greater
part, was lost upon me for want of previous knowledge of the subjects
they discussed. Of the kingdoms whose politics they canvassed I scarcely
knew the names; of the books, I had not even heard the titles! I have no
doubt many of their opinions were incorrect; much of what they uttered
might have been illogical or inaccurate; but making a wide allowance for
this, I was struck by the general acuteness of their remarks, and the
tone of moderation and forbearance that characterized all they said.

This brief intercourse has at least taught me one thing,--which is not
to look down with any depreciating pity on the troops of these wayfarers
we pass on the road, still less to ridicule their absurd appearance, or
make a jest of their varied costume. I now know that amidst those motley
figures are men of shrewd intelligence and cultivated minds, content to
follow the very humblest callings, and quite satisfied if their share of
this world's good things never rises higher than black bread and a cup
of sour wine. I should like greatly to see something more of the gypsy
life they lead, and if ever the opportunity offer, shall certainly not
suffer it to escape me.

We left the inn of the Moorg Thal at daybreak, my mother and Mary Anne
in one carriage, the governor and myself in a little open calèche. He
spoke little, and seemed deep in thought all the way. From an occasional
expression he dropped, I dreaded to surmise that he had resolved on
returning to Ireland. One remark which he made of more than ordinary
bitterness was: "If we go on as we are doing, we shall at length close
every town of Europe against us. We left Brussels in shame, and now we
quit Baden in disgrace: the sooner this ends the better."

We did not proceed the whole way to Baden, but stopped about a mile from
it, at a village called Lichtenthal, where we found a comfortable inn,
with moderate charges. From this I was despatched to our hotel, after
nightfall, to arrange our affairs, settle our bill, fetch away our
baggage, and make all necessary arrangements for departure.

I am free to own that I entered on my mission with no common sense of
shame. I knew, of course, how our story had by this time become the
table-talk of Baden, and how, from the prince to the courier, "the
Dodds" were the only topic. Such notoriety as this is no boon, and I
confess, Bob, that I believe I could have submitted my hand to the knife
with less shrinking of the spirit than I raised it to pull the door-bell
of the Hôtel de Russie.

When a man has to encounter an anticipated humiliation, he usually puts
on an extra amount of offensive armor. I suppose mine, on this occasion,
must have been of unquestionable strength. None seemed willing to put
it to the proof. The host was humble,--the waiters cringing,--the very
porter fawned on me! The secretary--at your flash hotels abroad they
always have a secretary, usually a Pole, who has an immense estate under
sequestration somewhere,--this dread functionary, who, in presenting
you the bill, ever gives you to understand that he is quite prepared to
afford you personal satisfaction for any item in the score,--even he,
I say, was bland, courteous, and gentle. I little knew at the moment to
what circumstance I owed all this unexpected politeness, and that this
silky courtesy was a very different testimony from what I suspected;
it being neither more nor less than the joyful astonishment of the
household at seeing one of us again, and an amazement, rising to
enthusiastic delight, at the bare possibility of our paying our bill!
Already in their estimation the "Dodd family" had been pronounced
swindlers, and various speculations were abroad as to the value of the
several trunks, imperials, and valises we had left behind us.

My mother, in her abject misery,--you may imagine the amount of it from
the circumstance,--had given me her bank-book, with full liberty to
deal with the balance in her favor. In fact, such was her dread of
encountering one of her former acquaintances, that I verily believe she
would have agreed to an exile to Siberia rather than pass one more week
at Baden. Our bill was a swingeing one. With all the external show of
politeness, I plainly saw that they treated us just as Napoleon used to
treat a conquered nation whose imputed misconduct had outlawed it! For
_us_ there was no appeal; _we_ could not threaten the indignation of
powerful friends,--the terrors of fashionable exposure,--not even the
hackneyed expedient of a letter in the "Times"! Alas! we had ceased to
be "reasonable and sufficient bail" for any statement.

Such charges never were seen before, I 'd swear. Dinners and suppers
figured as unimportant matters. It was the "extraordinaires" that ruined
us; for your hotel-keeper is obliged, for very shame's sake, to observe
a semblance of decorum in his demands for recognized items. It is in
the indefinable that he revels; just as your geographer indulges every
caprice of his imagination when laying down the limits of land and water
at the Pole!

It would not amuse, nor could it instruct you, were I to give the
details of this iniquitous demand. I shall therefore spare you all,
save the grand fact of the total, wherein something less than six weeks'
living of four people, with as many servants, amounts to a fraction
under three hundred pounds sterling! Meanwhile, the price of rooms,
breakfasts, beds, &c, were all reasonable enough. It was "Éclairage,"
"Service," "Réceptions, Mardi," "Mercredi," and "Jeudi." These were the
heavy artillery, to which all the rest was a light-dropping fire. This
bill-settling is indeed an awful process; for when you rally from the
first horror-stricken feelings that the sum total calls up, and are
blandly asked by the smirking secretary, "To what is it that Monsieur
objects?" you are totally powerless and prostrated. Your natural impulse
would be to say, "To the whole of it,--to that infamous row of figures
at the bottom!"

In all probability, you never made an hotel bill in your life. The
wretches know this, and they feel the full force of your unhappy
situation. Just fancy a surgeon saying, "What particular part of the
operation do you dislike, sir? It can't be the first incision; I made
it in Cooper's method,--one sweep of the knife. You surely have no
complaint about the arteries,--I took them up in eighteen seconds by a
stop-watch." "What do I care for all this?" you answer. "I know nothing
about science, but I am fully open to the impression of pain." Nothing,
however, kills me like the fellow saying, "If Monsieur thinks the
lemonade too dear, we'll take off half a franc." Two-and-sixpence
deducted from a bill of three hundred pounds!

I went through all this, and more. I went through special appeal cases,
from twenty subordinates, on peculiar infractions of broken heads,
smashed crockery, and damaged furniture, which each assured me in turn
"would be charged against _him_" if Monsieur had not the honorable
"consideration"--that's the formula--to pay it. I satisfied some, I
compromised with others; I resisted none. No, Bob. There was no "locus
standi," as you would call it, for opposition. None of the Dodds could
come into court, and claim to be heard as witnesses.

This agreeable function concluded, I drove off to the Police Commissary
about our passport. The "authorities" had finished the duties of the
day. The bureau was closed. I asked where the "authorities" lived, and
was told the street and the number. I went there, but the "authorities"
were at their _café_. They liked "their dominos and their beer;" and why
should they not have their weaknesses?

I hastened to the café; not one of those brilliantly decorated and
lighted establishments where foreigners of all nations foregather, but
a dim-looking, musty, sanded-floored, smoke-dried den, filled with a
company to suit. There was that mysterious half-light, and that low
whispering sound which seemed to form a fit atmosphere for spies and
eavesdroppers, of which I need scarcely tell you government officials
are composed.

By the guidance of the waiter, I reached the table where the Herr von
Schureke was seated at his dominos. He was a beetle-browed, scowling,
ill-conditioned-looking gent of about fifty, who had a trick of coughing
a hard dry cough between every word he uttered.

"Ah," said he, after. I explained the object of my visit, "you want
your passport. You wish to leave Baden, and you come here, to give your
orders to the Polizey Beamten as if you were the Grand-Duke!"

I deprecated this intention in my politest German; but he went on.

"Es geht nicht"--literally, "It 's no go "--"my worthy friend. We are
not the officials of England. We are Badenere. We are the functionaries
of an independent sovereign. You can't bully us here with your
line-of-battle ships, your frigates, and bomb-boats."

"No. Gott bewahr!" echoed the company; "that will do elsewhere,--but
Baden is free!"

The enthusiasm, the sentiment evoked brought all the guests from the
several tables to swarm around us.

I assured the meeting that Cobden and Co. were not more pacifically
minded than I was; that as to anything like threat, menace, or insolence
towards the Grand-Duchy, it never came within thousands of miles of
my thoughts; that I came to make the civilest of requests, in the very
humblest of manner; and if by ill-luck the distinguished functionary I
had the honor to address should not deem either the time opportune, or
the place suitable--

"You'll make it an affair for your House of Commons," broke he in.

"Or your 'Ti-mes' newspaper!" cried another, converting the title of the
Thunderer into a strange dissyllable.

"Or your Secretary of State will tell us that you are a 'Civis
Romanue,'" wheezed out a small man, that I heard was Archivist of
something, somewhere.

"Britannia rule de waves, but do not rule de Grand-Duchy," muttered a
fourth, in English, to show that he was thoroughly imbued, not alone
with our language, but the spirit of our Constitution.

"Really, gentlemen," said I, "I am quite at a loss for any reason for
this audible outburst of nationality. I dis-claim the very remotest
idea of offending Baden, or anything belonging to it. I entertain
no intention of converting my case into a question of international
dispute. I simply wait my passport, and free permission to leave the
Grand-Duchy and all belonging to it."

This declaration was unanimously pronounced insolent, offensive, and
insulting; and a vast number of unpleasant remarks poured down upon
England and Englishmen, which, I need not tell you, are not worth
repetition. The end of all was that I lost temper too,--the wonder is
how I kept it so long,--and ventured to hint that people of my country
had sometimes the practice of righting themselves, when wronged, instead
of tormenting their Government or pestering the "Times" newspaper; and
that if they had any curiosity as to the _how_, I should be most happy
to favor any one with the information that would follow me into the
street.

There was a perfect Babel of angry vociferation as I said this; the
meaning of which I might guess, though the words were unintelligible;
and as I issued forth into the street, expressions of angry indignation
and insult were actually showered upon me. I reached Lichtenthal late
at night; the governor was in bed, and I hastened to "report myself"
to him. This done, I sat down to give you this full narration of
our doings; and only regret that I must conclude without telling you
anything of our future plans, of which I know actually nothing. I should
have spared you the uninteresting scene with the authorities, if you had
not asked me, in your last, "Whether the respect felt towards England by
every foreign nation did not invest the travelling Englishman with many
privileges and immunities unknown to others?" I have heard that such was
once the case. I believe, indeed, there was a time that any absurdity
or excess of John Bull would have been set down as mere eccentricity,--a
dash of that folly ascribable to our insular tastes and habits; but this
is all changed now! Partly from our own conduct, in part from real and
sometimes merely imputed acts of our rulers, and partly from the tone of
our Press, which no foreigner can ever be brought to understand aright,
we have got to be thought a set of spendthrift, wealthy, reckless
misers, lavish and economical by tarns, socially proud and exclusive,
but politically red republican and levelling,--tyrants in our
families, and democrats in the world; in fact, a sort of living mass of
contradictory qualities, not rendered more endurable by coarse tastes
and rude manners! This, at least, Morris told me, and he is a shrewd
observer, like many of those sleepy-eyed, quiet "coves" one meets with.
Not that he reads individuals like Tiverton! No: George is unequalled
in ready dissection of a man's motives, and will detect a dodge before
another begins to suspect it. I wish he were back; I feel frequently
so helpless without his counsel and advice. The turf is, surely, a
wonderful school for sharpening a man's faculties, and it gives you the
habit of connecting words with motives, and asking yourself, "What
does So-and-so mean by that?" "What is he up to now?" that at last you
decipher character, let its lines be written in the very faintest ink!

Our post leaves at daybreak, so that I shall just have time for this.
When I write next, I 'll answer--that is, if I can--all your questions
about myself, what I mean to do, and when to begin it.

Not, indeed, that they are themes I like to touch upon, for somehow all
the quiet pursuits of life look wonderfully slow and tiresome affairs in
comparison with the panoramic effects of travel. The perpetual change
of scene, actors, and incidents supplies in itself that amount of
excitement which, under other circumstances, calls for so much exertion
and effort. There is another thing, also, which has always given me
great discouragement. It is that the humbler walks of life require not
only an amount of labor, but of actual ability, that are never called
for in higher positions. Think of the work a fellow does as a doctor
or a lawyer; and think of the brains, too, he has to bring to these
careers, and then picture to yourself a man in a Government situation,
some snug colonial governorship, or something at home,--say, he's
Secretary-at-War, or has something in the household. He writes his name
at the foot of an occasional report or a despatch, and he puts on his
blue ribbon, or his grand cross, as it may be, on birthdays. There's the
whole of it! As Tiverton says, "One needs more blood and bone nowadays
for the hack stakes than the Derby;" he means, of course, in allusion to
real life, and not to the turf! Don't fancy that I take it in ill part
any remarks you make upon my idleness, nor its probable consequences.
We are old friends, Bob; but even were we not, I accept them as sin-cere
evidence of true interest and regard, though I may not profit by them
as I ought. The Dodds are an impracticable race, and in nothing more
so than by fully appreciating all their faults, and yet never making an
effort for their eradication.

Some people are civil enough to say how very Irish this is; but I think
it is only so in half, inasmuch as our perceptions are sharp enough to
show us even in ourselves those blemishes which your blear-eyed Saxon
would never have discovered anywhere. Do you agree with me? Whether
or not, my dear Bob, continue to esteem and believe me ever your
affectionate friend,

James Dodd.

Though I am totally innocent as to our future, it is better not to write
till you hear again from me, for of course we shall leave this at once;
but where for? that's the question.



LETTER XXXIII. KENNY JAMES DODD TO MR. PURCELL, OF THE GRANGE, BRUFF

My dear Tom,--I am not in a humor for letter-writing, nor, indeed, for
anything else that I know of. I am sick, sore, and sorry,--sick of the
world, sore in my feet, and sorry of heart that I ever consented to come
out upon this touring expedition, every step and mile of which is marked
by its own misery and misfortune. I got back--I won't say home, for it
would be an abuse of the word--on Wednesday last I travelled all the way
on foot, with something less than one-and-fourpence English for my daily
expenses, and arrived to find my wife entertaining, at a picnic, all
Baden and its vicinity, with pheasants and champagne enough to feast
the London Corporation, and an amount of cost and outlay that would have
made Dodsborough brilliant during a whole Assizes.

I broke up the meeting, perhaps less ceremoniously than a Cabinet
Council is dissolved at Osborne House, where the Ministers, after
luncheon, embark--as the "Court Journal" tells--on board the "Fairy," to
meet the express train for London: valuable facts, that we never weary
of reading! I routed them without even reading the Riot Act, and saw
myself "master of the situation;" and a very pretty situation it was.

Now, Tom, when the best of two evils at a man's choice is to expose his
family as vulgar pretenders and adventurers,--to show them up to
the fine world of their fashionable acquaintances as a humbug and a
sham,--let me tell you that the other side of the medal cannot have been
very attractive. This was precisely the case here. "It is not pleasant,"
said I to myself, "to bring all the scandal and slander of professional
bad tongues upon an unfortunate family, but ruin is worse still!" There
was the whole sum and substance of my calculation,--"Ruin is worse
still!" The picnic cost above a hundred pounds; the hotel expenses at
Baden amounted to three hundred more; there are bills to be paid at
nearly every shop in the town; and here we are, economizing, as usual,
at a large hotel, at, to say the least, the rate of some five or six
pounds per day. That I am able to sit down and write these items in a
clear and legible hand, I take to be as fine an example of courage as
ever was given to the world. Talk of men in a fire--an earthquake--a
shipwreck--or even the "last collision on the South-Eastern"--I give the
palm to the man who can be calm in the midst of duns, and be _collected_
when his debts cannot be. To be credited when you can no longer pay,--to
drink champagne when you have n't small change for small beer, is enough
to shake the boldest nerves; it is exactly like dancing on a tight rope,
from which you know in your heart you must ultimately come down with a
crash. When one reads of any sudden calamity having befallen a man who
has incurred voluntary peril, the natural question at once rises, "What
did he want to do? What was he trying for?" Now, suppose this question
to be addressed to the Dodd family, and that any one should ask, "What
did we want to do?" I am sadly afraid, Tom, that we should be puzzled
for the answer. I have no doubt that my wife would sustain a long and
harassing cross-examination before the truth would come out I am well
aware of all the specious illusions she would evoke, and what sagacious
notions she would scatter about education, accomplishments, modern
languages, and maybe--mother-like--great matches for the girls, but the
truth would out, at last,--we came abroad to be something--whatever it
might be--that we could n't be at home; we changed our theatre, that we
might take a new line of parts. We wanted, in short, to be in a world
that we never were in before, and we have had our wish. I am not going
to rail at fashionable life and high society. I am sure that, to those
brought up in their ways, they are both pleasant and agreeable; but they
never were our ways, and we were too old when we began to learn
them. The grand world, to people like us, is like going up Mont
Blanc,--fatigue, peril, expense, injury to health, and ruin to pocket,
just to have the barren satisfaction of saying,

"I was up there last August--I was at the top in June." "What did you
get for your pains, Kenny Dodd? What did you see for all the trouble
you had? Are you wiser?" "No." "Are you happier?" "No." "Are you better
informed?" "No." "Are you pleasanter company for your old friends?"
"No." "Are you richer?" "Upon my conscience, I am not! All I know is,
that we were there, and that we came down again." Ay, Tom, there 's
the moral of the whole story,--we came _down_ again! Had we limited our
ambition, when we came abroad, to things reasonably attainable,--had we
been satisfied to know and to associate with people like ourselves,--had
we sought out the advantages which certainly the Continent possesses
in certain matters of taste and accomplishment, we might have got
something, at least, for our money, and not paid too dearly for it But,
no; the great object with us seemed always to be, swimming for our lives
in the great ocean of fashion. And, let me tell you a secret, Tom; this
grovelling desire to be amongst a set that we have no pretension to, is
essentially and entirely English. No foreigner, so far as I have seen,
has the vulgar vice of what is called "tuft-hunting." When I see my
countrymen abroad, I am forcibly reminded of what I once witnessed at a
show of wild beasts. It was a big cage full of monkeys, that were eating
their dinner at a long trough, but none of them would taste what was
before himself, but was always eating out of his neighbor's dish. It
gave them the oddest look in the world; but it is exactly what you
see on the Continent; and I 'll tell you what fosters this taste more
strongly than all. Our titled classes at home are a close borough, that
men like you and myself never trespass upon. We see a lord as we see a
prize bull at a cattle show, once and away in our lives; but here the
aristocracy is plentiful,--barons, counts, and even princes abound, and
can be obtained at the "shortest notice, and sent to any part of the
town." Think of the fascination of this; fancy the delight of a family
like the Dodds, surrounded with dukes and marquises! One of the very
first things that strikes a man on coming abroad is the abundance of
that kind of fruit that we only see at home in our hot-houses. Every
ragged urchin is munching a peach or a melon, and picking the big
grapes off a bunch that he speedily flings away. The astonishment of the
Englishman is great, and he naturally thinks it all paradise. But wait
a bit. He soon discovers that the melon has no more flavor than a
mangel-wurzel, and that the apricot tastes like a turnip radish. If
they are plenty, they are totally deficient in every excellence of
their kind; and it is just the same with the aristocracy. The climate
is favorable to them, and the same sun and soil rears princes and ripens
pineapples; but they 're not like our own, Tom,--not a bit of it. Like
the fruit, they are poor, sapless, tasteless productions, and the very
utmost they do for you is to give you a downright indifference to the
real article. I know how it reads in the newspapers, in a letter dated
from some far-away land, on a Christmas-day,--"As I write, my window is
open; the garden is one sea of blossoms, and the perfume of the rose
and the jasmine fills the room." Just the same is the effect of those
wonderful paragraphs of distinguished and illustrious guests at Mrs.
Somebody's _soirée_. They are the common products of the soil, and they
do not rise to the rank of luxuries with even the poor! Don't mistake
me; I am not depreciating what is called high society, no more than I
would condemn a particular climate. All that I would infer is, simply,
that it does not suit my constitution. It's a very common remark, how
much more easily women conform to the habits and customs of a class
above their own than men, and, so far as I have seen, the observation is
a just one; but, let me tell you, Tom, the price they pay for this same
plastic quality is more than the value of the article, for they lose all
self-guidance and judgment by the change. Your quietly disposed,
domestic ones turn out gadders, your thrifty housekeepers grow lavish
and wasteful, your safe and cautious talkers become evil speakers and
slanderers. It is not that these are the characteristics of the new sect
they have adopted, but that, like all converts, they always begin their
imitation with the vices of the faith they conform to, and by way of
laying a good foundation, they start from the bottom!

If I say these things in bitterness, it is because I feel them in
sincerity. Poor old Giles Langrishe used to say that all the expenses
of contested elections, all the bribery and treating, all the cost of a
Parliamentary life, would never have embarrassed him, if it was n't
for his wife going to London. "It wasn't only what she spent," said he,
"while there; but Molly brought Piccadilly back with her to the county
Clare! She turned up her nose at all our old neighbors, because they
did n't know the Prussian ambassador, or Chevalier Somebody from the
Brazils. The only man that could fit her in shoes lived in Bond Street;
and as to getting her hair dressed, except by a French scoundrel that
made wigs for the aristocracy, it was clearly impossible." And I 'll
tell you another thing, Tom, our wives get a kind of smattering of
political knowledge by this trip to town, that makes them unbearable.
They hear no other talk all the morning than the cant of the House and
the slang of the Lobby. It's a dodge of Sir James, or a sly trick
of Lord John, that forms the gossip at breakfast; and all the little
rogueries of political life, all the tactics of party, are discussed
before them, and when they take to that line of talk they become
perfectly odious.

Haven't they their own topics? Isn't dancing, dress, the drama, enough
for them, I ask?--without even speaking of divorce cases,--that they
won't leave bills, motions, and debates to their husbands? Whenever
I see Mrs. Roney, of Bally Roney, or Mrs. Miles MacDermot, of Castle
Brack, in the "Morning Post," among the illustrious company at Lady
Wheedleham's party, I say to myself, "I wish your neighbors joy of you
when you go home again, that's all!"

And yet all this would have been better for me than this coming abroad!
I might have been member for Bruff for half the cost of this unlucky
expedition! And this was economy, forsooth! Do you know how much we
spent, hard cash, since March last? I am fairly ashamed to tell you,
Tom; and though money lies mighty close to my heart, I don't regret the
loss as much as I do that of many a good trait that we brought away with
us, and have contrived to lose on the road. All this running about the
world, this eternal change of place and people, imparts such an "Old
Soldierism," if I may make the word, to a family, that they lose all
that quiet charm of domesticity that forms the fascination of a home.

Fathers and mothers are worldly, as a matter of course. It comes upon
them just like chronic rheumatism, or baldness, or any other infirmity
of time and years, but it's hateful to see young people calculating and
speculating; planning for this, and plotting for that. You ask, perhaps,
"What has this to do with foreign travel?" and I say, "Everything." Your
young lady that has polka'd at Paris, galloped up the Rhine, waltzed
at Vienna, and bolero'd at Madrid, has about as much resemblance to
an English or Irish girl brought up at home as the show-off horse of
a circus has to a thoroughbred hunter. It's all training and
teaching,--very graceful, perhaps, and pretty to look at,--but only fit
for display, and worth nothing without lamps, sawdust, and spectators.
Now, these things are not native to us, partly from climate, partly from
old habit, prejudice, and natural inclination. We like to have a home.
Our fireside has a kind of religious estimation in our eyes, associated
as it is with that family grouping that includes everything from two
years and a half to eighty,--from the pleasant prattle of infancy to the
harmless murmurings of grandpapa. The foreigner--I don't care of what
nation, they are all alike--has no idea of this. His own house to him is
only one remove above a prison. He has little light, and less fire;
neither comfort nor companionship! For him, life means society, plenty
of well-dressed people, handsome _salons_, wax-lights, movement, bustle,
and confusion, the din of five hundred tongues that only wag for
scandal, and the sparkle of eyes that are only brilliant for wickedness.

These foreigners are really wonderful people, so frivolous about all
that is grave or serious, so sober-minded in every folly and absurdity,
we never rightly understand them, and that is one reason why all our
imitation of them is so ludicrous.

Have you ever seen a fellow in a circus, Tom, whose feat was to jump
from a horse's back through some half-dosen hoops a little bigger than
his body? He has kept this performance for his finish, for it is his
_chef d'oeuvre_ and he wants to "sink in full glory resplendent."
Somehow or other, though, he can't summon up pluck for the effort. Now
the horse goes wrong leg, now it's the fault of the fellows that hold
the hoops, now the pace is not fast enough; in fact, nothing goes right
with him, and there he spins round and round, wishing with all his heart
it was done and over. I 'm pretty much in the same plight this moment,
Tom, at least as regards hesitation and indecision; for while I have
been rambling on about foreign life and manners, my mind was full of a
very different theme; but from downright shame have I kept off it, for
I 'm tired of recording all our miseries and misfortunes. Here goes,
however, for the spring,--I can't defer it any longer.

Since I came back, I have n't exchanged ten words with Mrs. D. It is an
armed truce between us, and each stands ready, and only waiting for
the attack. If, however, I consign to oblivion all remembrance of _her_
extravagance, the chance is that she is to keep blind to my infidelity!
In a word, the picnic and Mrs. G. are to be buried together. Of course
the terms of our convention prevented my learning much of the family
doings in my absence. Even had I moved for any papers or correspondence
on the subject, I should have been met by a flat refusal; and, in fact,
I was left, the way poor Curran used to say of himself, to pick up my
facts from the opposite counsel's statement. I was not long destined to
the bliss of ignorance. Such a hurricane of bills and accounts I never
withstood before. James, however, by what arts of flattery I know not,
succeeded in getting bold of his mother's bank-book, and went out, a
few evenings ago, and paid everything; and, that we might escape at once
from this den of iniquity, went immediately to the Prefecture for our
passport. The Commissary was at his _café_, whither James followed him,
and, somehow or other, an angry discussion got up between them, and they
separated, after exchanging something that was not the compliments of
the season.

I 'm so used to rows and shindies that I went fast asleep while he was
telling me of it; but the following morning I was to have a jog to my
memory that I did n't expect,--no less than two gendarmes, with their
carbines on their arms, having arrived to escort me to the "Bureau of
the Police." I dressed accordingly, and set out alone; for although
James might have been useful in many ways, I was too much afraid of
his rashness and hot temper to take him. We arrived before the door
was open, and spent twenty minutes in the street, surrounded by a mixed
assemblage, who commented upon me and my supposed crime with great
freedom and impartiality.

After another long wait in a dirty ante-room, I was ushered into a large
chamber, where the great functionary was seated at a table covered with
papers, and at a smaller one, close by, sat what I perceived to be his
clerk, or private secretary. Of course I imagined it was for something
that James had said the previous evening that I was thus arraigned,
and though I thought it was like reading the passage in the Decalogue
backwards, to make the father suffer for the children, I resolved to be
patient and submissive throughout.

"Your name?" said the Commissary, bluntly, but never offering me a seat,
nor even noticing my "Good-morning."

"Dodd," said I, as shortly.

"Christian name?"

"Kenny James."

"Where born?"

"At Bruff, in Ireland."

"How old?"

"Upwards of fifty,--not certain for a year, more or less."

"Religion?"

"Catholic."

"Married or single?"

"Married."

"With children,--how many?"

"Three,--a boy and two girls."

"Do you follow any trade or profession?"

"No."

"Living upon private means?"

"Yes."

These, and a vast number of similar queries--they filled five sheets of
long post--followed, touching where we came from, how we had travelled,
our object in the journey, and twenty things of the like kind, till I
began to feel that the examination in itself was not a small penalty
for a light transgression. At last, after a close scrutiny into all
my family matters, my money resources, and my habits, he entered upon
another chapter, which I own I thought was pushing the matter rather
far, by saying, "Apparently, Herr Dodd, you are one of those who think
that the monarchies of Europe are obsolete systems of government, ill
suited to the spirit and requirements of the age. Is it not so?"

If I had only a moment's time for reflection, I should have said, "What
is it to you how I think on these subjects? I don't belong to your
country, and will render no account of my private sentiments to you;"
but, unfortunately, a discussion on politics is always "nuts" to me,--I
can't resist it,--and in I went, with that kind of specious generality
that lays down a broad and wide foundation for any edifice you like
afterwards to rear.

"Kings," said I, "are pretty much like other men,--good, bad, or
indifferent, and, like other men, they are not bettered by being left
to the sway of their own unbridled passions and tempers. Wherever,
therefore, there is no constitution to bind them, the chances are that
they make ducks and drakes of their subjects."

I must tell you, Tom, that we conducted our interview in English, which
the Commissary spoke fluently.

"The divine right of kings, then, you utterly overlook?"

"I deny it,--I laugh it to scorn," said I. "Look at the fellows we see
on thrones,--one is a creature fit for Bedlam; another ought to be in
Norfolk Island. If they possessed any of this divine right you talk
of, should we have seen them scuttling away as they did the other day,
because there was a row in their capitals?"

"That will do,--quite enough," said he, stopping me short. "Your
sentiments are sufficiently clear and explicit. You are a worthy
disciple of your friend Gauss."

"I never heard of him till now," said I.

"Nor of Isaac Henkenstrom?--nor Reichard Blitzler?--nor Johann von
Darg?"

"Not one of them."

"This you swear?"

"This I swear," said I, firmly; but the words were not well out, when
the door was opened at a signal made by the Commissary, and an old man,
with a very white beard and in shabby black, was led forward.

"Do you know the Herr Professor now?" asked the Commissary of me.

"No," said I, stoutly,--"never saw him before."

"Bring in the others," said he; and, to my astonishment, came forward
three of the young fellows I had travelled with on foot from Saxony, but
whose names I had not heard, or, if I heard, had forgotten.

"Are these men known to you?" asked the Prefect, with a sneer.

"Yes," said I; "we travelled in company for some days."

"Ah! you acknowledge them at last?" said he, "although you swore you had
never seen them."

"Are you so stupid," said I, "as not to distinguish between a man's
knowledge of an individual and his remembrance of a name?"

"You yourself might be a puzzle in that respect," replied he, not
heeding my taunt. "You assumed one appellation at Bonn, another at Ems,
and your family are living under a third here."

"I deny it!" cried I, indignantly.

"Here 's the proof," said he. "Is this your wife's hand-writing? 'Mrs.
Dodd M'Carthy requests the favor of having two gendarmes stationed
at the hotel on each Wednesday evening, to keep order in the line of
carriages at her receptions.' Is that authentic?"

What a shell exploded beneath me, as I saw that I was tracked by the
spies of the police from town to village up the Rhine, and half across
Germany! The three youths with whom I was confronted were already
condemned to prison. One had a tobacco bag, with a picture of Blum on
it; the other was detected with a case-knife, whose blade exceeded
the regulation length by half an inch; and the third was heard to say,
"Germany forever," as he tossed off a tumbler of beer; and I was the
associate and trusted comrade of this combined Socialism and Democracy.
It came out that amongst our fraternity of the road there had been a
paid spy of the police, who kept a regular journal of all our wayside
conversation; and from the singularity of an Englishman's presence
in such a party, it was inferred that his object was to spread those
infamous doctrines by which it is now well known England sustains her
position in Europe.

The absurdity I could laugh at, but there were some things in the matter
not to be treated lightly. With my name at Ems they had no possible
concern. Ems was in Nassau, not Baden. What could have persuaded my wife
to call herself Dodd M'Carthy? We were always Dodd; we never had any
other name. I could n't explain this, nor even give it a coloring; but
I grew angry, Tom, vexed and irritated by the pestering impertinence of
this pumping scoundrel. I said a vast number of things which had
been better unsaid. I gave a great deal of good advice, too, about
legislation generally, that I might have known would not have been
accepted; and, in fact, I was what would be called generally indiscreet;
the more, since all my remarks were committed to paper as fast as I made
them, the whole being courteously submitted to me for signature, as if I
had been purposely making a confession of my political belief.

"Give me my passport," cried I, at last, "and let me quit your little
rascally territory of spies and sharpers. I promise you sacredly I 'll
never put foot in it again."

"Not so fast, my worthy friend," said he. "We must first know under
which of your aliases you are to travel; meanwhile, we shall take the
liberty of committing you to prison as Herr Dodd!"

"To prison!--for what crime?" cried I, nearly choking with passion.

"You 'll hear it all time enough," was the only response, as, ringing
his bell, he summoned the gendarmes, who, advancing one to either side
of me, led me away like a common malefactor.

The prison is a kind of Bridewell, over a livery-stable, and only meant
as a "station" before being forwarded to the larger establishment at
Carlsruhe. I suppose, had they wished it, they could not have accorded
me any place of separate confinement; for there was but scanty space,
and many occupants. As it was, my lot was to be put in the same cell
with two fellows just apprehended for a murder, and who obligingly
entered into a full narrative of their crime, believing that _my_
revelations would be equally interesting. I lost no time in writing a
note to James, and another to our English Chargé d'Affaires, a young
attaché, I believe, of the Legation at Stuttgard.

James and the sucking diplomatist were both out, so that I had no answer
from either till evening. During this interval I had much meditation
over the state of politics in Germany, and the probable future of that
country, of which I shall take another occasion to tell you.

At six o'clock came the following, enclosed in a very large envelope,
and sealed with a very spacious impression of the English Arms:--

"The undersigned Attaché of H. B. M.'s Legation at the Court of
Stuttgard has the honor to acknowledge receipt of Mr. Kenny J. Dodd's
communication of this morning's date, and will lay it under the
consideration of H. B. M.'s Principal Secretary of State for Foreign
Affairs."

This was pleasant, forsooth! And was I to remain in jail till the
despatch had reached London, a deliberation formed on it, and an answer
returned? I was boiling over with rage at this thought, when James
entered. He had just been with our illustrious Chargé d'Affaires, who
received him with that diplomatic reserve so peculiar amongst the
small fry of the Foreign Office. At the same time James saw a lurking
satisfaction in his manner at the thought of having got up a case of
international dispute, which might have his name mentioned in the House,
and possibly a despatch with his signature printed in a Blue Book. He
was dying for an opportunity of distinguishing himself, as Baden offered
nothing to his ambition; and all his fear was, that the authorities
might liberate me too soon. James perceived all this,--for the lad
is not wanting in shrewdness, and his Continental life, if it has
not bettered his morals, has certainly sharpened his wit; but all his
arguments were unavailing, and all his reasonings useless. The
despatch was already begun, and it was too good a grievance to let slip
unprofitably.

James next called on a friend of his, a certain Mr. Milo Blake O'Dwyer,
who is the correspondent of a great London paper called the "Sledge
Hammer of Freedom;" but instead of advice and guidance, the worthy
news-gatherer was taking down all the particulars for a grand letter
to his journal; and he, too, it was plain to see, wished that
some outrageous treatment of me by the authorities would make his
communication the great event of that day's post in London. "I wish they
'd put him in irons,--in heavy irons," said he. "Are you sure that his
cell is not eight feet below the surface of the earth? Be particular,
I beg of you, about the depth. You saw how Gladstone destroyed that
elegant case of Poerio, all for want of a little accuracy in his
measurements; for, I must observe to you, in all our 'correspondence,'
names, dates, and distances require to be true as the Bible. Facts admit
of varnishing. They can be always stretched a little this way or that.
Now, for instance, we 'll call the conduct of the authorities in this
case brutal, cowardly, and disgraceful. We 'll appeal to the universally
acknowledged right of Englishmen to do everything everywhere, and we
'll wind up with a grand peroration about Despotism and the glorious
privileges of the British Constitution."

The fellow chuckled over my case with unfeigned satisfaction. He would
n't listen to the real, plain facts of the matter at all. They were
poor, meagre, and insignificant in themselves, till they had acquired
the touch of genius to illustrate them; and though I was a gem, as
he owned, yet, like the Koh-i-noor, I was nothing without cutting. He
appears, besides, to think that he has a kind of vested interest in me,
now that my case is to figure in his newspaper, and he contradicts my
own statements flatly wherever they don't suit him.

I have just despatched James to assure him that I don't care a rush
about the sympathy of the whole British public; that I have no taste
for martyrdom; and that, as to expending any hopes in redress from our
Foreign Office, I'd as soon make an investment in Poyais Scrip, or Irish
Canal Debentures. I trust that he will be induced to leave me alone, and
neither make me matter for the Press nor a speech in Parliament.

These reporters, or correspondents, or whatever they call them, are, in
my mind, the greatest disturbers of the peace of Europe. The moment they
assert anything, they set about looking for proofs of it; and they
don't know how to praise themselves enough, whenever they are driven to
confess that they were in the wrong; and then, if you mind, Tom, it is
not to the public they excuse themselves,--not a bit of it; it's the
King of Naples, or the Emperor of Russia, or the Bey of Tiflis, that
"they sincerely hope will not be offended by statements made after
mature reflection and painful consideration of the topic." They throw
out sly hints of all the Royal attentions that have been bestowed upon
them, and the intimate habits they have enjoyed of confidence with the
Queen of this, and the Crown Prince of that Vulgar rapscallions! they
have never seen more of Royalty than what a church or an opera admits;
and though Majesty now and then may feel the sting, take my word for it,
he never notices the mosquito.

If you, then, see me in print,--and be on the look-out,--just write a
letter in my name from Dodsborough, to say that I am well and hearty on
my paternal acres, and know nothing of politics, police, or reporters,
and would rather the Government would reduce the county cess than
prosecute every Grand-Duke in Europe.

I will write again to-morrow. Yours ever,

K. I. Dodd.



LETTER XXXIV. KENNY JAMES DODD TO THOMAS PURCELL, ESQ., OF THE GRANGE, BRUFF

"The Fox."

My dear Tom,--However Morris managed it I know not, but an order came
for my liberation that same evening, with the assurance that my passport
was to be made out for wherever I pleased to name, and the Prefect was
to express to me his regrets and apologies for an inadvertence which he
deeply deplored.

It seemed that, but for diplomacy, I'd not have been detained half
an hour; but our worthy representative of Great Britain had asked for
copies of all the charges against me so formally, had requested
the names, ages, and station in life of the several witnesses so
circumstantially, and had, in fact, imparted such a mock importance to
a police impertinence, that the Grand-Ducal authorities began to suspect
that they had caught a first-rate revolutionist, with a whole trunkful
of Kossuth and Mazzini correspondence. This comes of setting school-boys
to write despatches! The greedy appetite for notoriety--to be up
and doing--to be before the world in some public capacity--of these
juveniles, brings England into more trouble, and Englishmen into more
embarrassment, than you could believe. If they 'd be satisfied with
recording Royal dinnerparties and Court scandal,--who got the Order of
the Guinea-pig, and who is to receive the "Tortoise," they could n't do
much harm; but the moment they get hold of an international grievance,
and quote Puffendorf, we have no peace on the Continent for six months
after.

"You wish to leave Baden," said Morris; "where will you go?"

"I have not the slightest notion," said I. "I'm waiting for letters from
Ireland,"--yours, my dear Tom, the chief of them,--"and therefore it
must be somewhere in the vicinity."

"Go over to Rastadt, then," said he, "and amuse yourself with the
fortifications: they are now in course of construction, and when
completed will be some of the strongest in Europe. I 'll give you a
letter to the Commandant, who will show all that can interest you, and
explain everything that you may wish to know." Rastadt is only twenty
miles away; it is, however, in all that regards intercourse with Baden,
fully two hundred distant. It is cheap, rarely visited by strangers, has
no "fashionables," and, in fact, just the kind of model-prison residence
that I was wishing for to discipline the family, and get them once more
"in hand."

Thither, therefore, we remove to-morrow morning, if nothing unforeseen
should occur in the interim. Morris, as you may observe, behaved most
kindly in this affair; and, indeed, showed a strong interest in James,
from certain remarks the boy himself has let drop; but he seems cold,
Tom,--one of those excellent fellows that are always doing the right
thing for its own sake, and not for yours. I don't want to disparage
principle, no more than I do a great balance at Coutts's, or anything
else that I don't possess myself; but I mean to say that, somehow or
other, one likes to feel that it is to yourself, as an individual,--to
your own proper identity,--a service is rendered, and not to a mere
fraction of that great biped race that wear cloth clothes and eat cooked
victuals.

That's the way with the English, however, all over the globe, and I
have often felt more grateful to an Irishman for helping me on with my
surtout than I have to John Bull for a real downright piece of service.
I suppose the fault is more mine than his; but the fact is true, and so
I give it to you. I suppose, besides, that an impartial observer of both
of as would say that we make too much of every favor, and the Englishman
too little; we exact all the obligation of a debt for it, they treat the
whole thing lightly, as if the service rendered, and those to whom it
was done, were not worthy of further consideration. However we strike
the balance between us, Tom,--in our favor or against us,--I own to you
I like our own way best; and though nothing could be truly more kind and
considerate than Morris, it was quite a relief to me when he gave me his
cold shake-hands, and said "Good-bye!"

And so it will ever be, so long as human actions are swayed by human
emotions. The man who recognizes your feelings, who regards you with
some touch of sympathy, is more your friend than the benevolent machine
who bestows upon you his mechanical philanthropy.


"The Golden Ox," Rastadt. We left Lichtenthal like a thief in the night;
and here we are now in the "Golden Ox" at Rastadt, which, I own to
you, seems a most comfortable house. James and I--for we are now
_two_ parties domestically, Mrs. D. and Mary Anne living very much to
themselves, and Cary still on a visit with Morris's mother--had a most
excellent breakfast of fresh trout, a roast partridge, a venison steak
with capers--a capital dish--and chocolate, with abundance of good white
wine of the place, and on calling for the bill, out of curiosity, I see
we are charged something under a florin for two of us,--about tenpence
each. Tom, this will do. You may therefore look upon me as a citizen
of Rastadt for the next month to come. I have kept my letter by me
hitherto, to give you a bulletin of this place before closing it, and I
have still some time at my disposal before the post leaves.

I'm not sure, though, I'd exactly recommend this town to a patient
laboring under nervous headaches, or to a university man reading for
honors. Indeed, up to this--I suppose I 'll get used to it later on--the
din has so addled me that I have often to stand two minutes reflecting
over what I had to say, and then own that I have forgotten it. We
are--that is, the "Ox" is--in the quietest spot in the town, and yet
close under my bedroom there are, from early morning till dusk, twelve
drummers at practice, with a head drummer to teach them. In the green,
before the door, two companies of recruits are at drill. The foot
artillery limbers and unlimbers all day in the "Platz" close by, and
what should be our garden is a riding-school for the cadets. These
several educational establishments have their peculiar tumult, which
accompany me through my sleep; and for all the requirements of quiet
and reflection, I might as well have taken up my abode in a kettle-drum.
Liège was a Trappist monastery in comparison! As it is, the routine
tramp of feet has made me conform to the step, and I march "quick" or
"orderly," exactly as the fellows are doing it outside. I swallow my
soup to the sound of a trumpet, and take off my clothes to the roll of
the drum. James is in ecstasy with it all; I never saw him enjoy himself
so much. He is out looking at them the entire day, and I 'm greatly
mistaken but Mary Anne passes a large portion of her time at the green
"jalousie" that opens over the riding-school.

I am always asking myself--that is, whenever I can summon composure even
for so much--what do the Germans want with all these soldiers? Surely
they 're not going to invade France, nor Russia; and yet their armies
are maintained in a strength that might imply it! As to any occasion for
them at home in their own land, it's downright balderdash to talk of it!
Do you know, Tom, that whenever I think of Germany and her rulers, I am
strongly reminded of poor old Dr. Drake, that lived at Dronestown, and
the flea-bitten mare he used to drive in his gig. She was forty if she
was an hour; she was quiet and docile from the day she was foaled: all
the whipping in the world couldn't shake her into five miles an
hour, and yet the doctor had her surrounded with every precaution
and appliance that would have suited a regular runaway. There were
safety-reins, and kicking-straps, and double traces without end,--and
all to restrain a poor old beast that only wanted to be let alone, and
drag out her tiresome existence in the jog-trot she was used to! "Ah,
you don't know as well as I do," Drake would say; "she's a devil at
heart, and if she did n't feel it was useless to resist, she 'd smash
everything behind her. She looks quiet enough, but _that_ does n't
impose upon me." These were the kind of reflections he indulged in, and
I suppose they are about the same in use in the Cabinets of Austria,
Prussia, and Bavaria. I was often malicious enough for a half wish that
Drake should have a spicy devil in the shafts, just for once, to show
him a trick or two; and in the same spirit, Tom, I cannot help saying
that I 'd like to see John Bull "put to" in this fashion! Would n't he
kick up,--would n't he soon knock the whole concern to atoms! Ah, Tom,
it's all alike, believe me; and whether you have to drive a nag or a
nation, take my word for it, the kicking-straps are only efficacious
when the beast has n't a kick in him! At all events, such are not the
popular notions here; and on they go, building fortresses, strengthening
garrisons, and reinforcing army corps, till at last the military will be
more numerous than the nation, and every prisoner will have two jailers
to restrain him. "Who is to pay?" becomes the question; but indeed
that is the very question that puzzles me now. Who pays for all this
at present? Is it possible that a people will suffer itself to be taxed
that it may be bullied? I 'm unable to continue this theme, for there go
the drums again,--there are forty of them at it now! What's in the wind
I can't guess. Oh, here's the explanation. It is the Herr Commandant--be
sure you accent the last syllable--is come to pay me a visit, and the
guard has turned out to drum him upstairs!


Four o'clock.

He is gone at last,--I thought he never would,--and I have
only time to say that he has appointed to-morrow after breakfast, to
show me the fortress, and as I am too late for the post, I 'll be able
to add a line or two before this leaves me. Mary Anne has come to say
that her mother's head is distracted, and that she cannot endure the
uproar of the place. My reply is, "Mine is exactly in the same way; but
I cannot go any further,--I 've no money."

Mrs. D. "thinks she'll go mad!" If she means it in earnest, this is as
cheap a place to do it in as any I know. We are only to pay two pounds a
week each, and I suppose whether we preserve our senses or not makes no
difference in the expense! This would sound very unfeelingly, Tom, but
that you are well aware of Mrs. D. 's system, and that she gives notice
of a motion without any intention of going to a debate, much less of
pressing for a "division." Mary Anne is very urgent that I should see
her mother, but I am not quite equal to it yet Maybe after visiting
the fortress to-morrow I'll be in a more martial mood; and now here's
dinner, and a most savory odor preludes it.


Tuesday.

This must go as it is, Tom,--I 'm dead beat! That old veteran
would n't let me off a casemate nor a bomb-proof, and I have walked
twenty miles this blessed morning! Nor is that all; but I have
handled shot, lifted cannon-balls, adjusted mortars, and peeped out of
embrasures, till my back is half broken with straining and fatigue. Just
to judge from what I 'm suffering, a siege must be a dreadful thing!
He says be showed me everything; and, upon my conscience, I can well
believe it! There was a great deal of it, too, that I saw in the dark,
for there was no end of galleries without a single loophole, and many of
the passages seemed only four feet high; for, though a short man, I had
to stoop. I ought to have a great deal to say about this place, if
I could remember it, or if I could be sure it would interest you. It
appears that Rastadt is built upon an entirely new principle, quite
distinct from any hitherto in use. It must be attacked _en ricochet_,
and not directly; a hint, I suppose, they stole from our common law,
where they fire into _you_, by pretending to assail John Doe or Richard
Roe. The Commandant sneered at the old system, but I 'd rather trust
myself in Gibraltar, notwithstanding all he said. It stands to reason,
Tom, that if you are up in a window you have a great advantage over a
fellow down in the street. Now, all these modern fortresses are what is
called "_à fleur d'eau_" quite level, and not raised in the least over
the attacking force. Put me up high, say I; if on a parapet, so much the
better; and besides, Tom, nothing gives a man such coolness as to know
that he is all as one as out of danger! Of course, I did n't make this
remark to the Commandant, because in talking with military people it is
good tact always to assume that being shot at is rather pleasant than
otherwise; and so I have observed that they themselves generally make
use of some jocular phrase or other to express being killed and wounded;
"he was knocked over," "he got an ugly poke," being the more popular
mode of recording what finished a man's existence, or made the remainder
of it miserable.

Soldiering has always struck me as an insupportable line of life. I have
no objection in the world to fight the man who has injured _me_, nor to
give satisfaction where I have been the offender; but to go patiently
to work to learn how to destroy somebody I never saw and never heard of,
_does_ seem absurd and unchristianlike altogether. You say, "He is the
enemy of my country, and, consequently, mine." Let me see that; let me
be sure of it. If he invades us, I know that he is an enemy; but if he
is only occupied about his own affairs,--if he is simply hunting out a
nest of old squatters that he is tired of,--if he is merely changing the
sign of his house, and instead of the "Lily" prefers to live under the
"Cock," or maybe the "Drone-bee," what have I to say to that? So long as
he stays at home, and only "gets drunk on the premises," I have no right
to meddle with him. It's all very well to say that nobody likes to have
a disorderly house in his neighborhood. Very true; but you ought n't
to go in and murder the residents to keep them quiet. There 's the mail
gone by, and I have forgotten to send this off. It's a wonderful thing
how living in Germany makes a man long-winded and tiresome. It must be
the air, at least with me, or the cookery, for I am perfectly innocent
of the language. The "mysterious gutturals," as Macaulay calls them,
will ever be mysteries to _me!_ At all events, to prevent further
indiscretions, I 'll close this and seal it now. And so, with my sincere
regards, believe me, dear Tom, ever yours,

Kenny I. Dodd.

Address me, "Golden Ox,"--I mean at the sign of,--Rastadt, for you 're
sure of finding me here for the next four weeks at least.



LETTER XXXV. MARY ANNE DODD TO MISS DOOLAN, OF BALLYDOOLAN

"The Golden Ox," Rastadt.

My dearest kitty,--I have only time for a few and very hurried lines,
written with trembling fingers and a heart audible in its palpitations!
Yes, dearest, an eventful moment has arrived,--the dread instant has
come, on which my whole future destiny must depend. It was last night,
just as I was making papa's tea, that a servant arrived on horseback at
the inn with a letter addressed to the Right Honorable and Reverend the
Lord Dodd de Dodsborough. This, of course, could only mean papa, and so
he opened and read it, for it was in English, dearest, or at least in
imitation of that language.

I refrain from quoting the precise expressions, lest in circumstances so
serious a smile of passing levity should cross those dear features, now
all tension with anxiety for your own Mary Anne. The letter was from
Adolf von Wolfenschafer, making me an offer of his hand, title, and
fortune! I swooned away when I heard it, and only recovered to hear papa
still spelling out the strange phraseology of the letter.

I wish he had not written in English, Kitty. It is provoking that an
event so naturally serious in itself should be alloyed with the dross of
grammatical absurdities; besides that, really, our tongue does not lend
itself to those delicate and half-vanishing allusions to future bliss so
germane to such a proposal. Papa, and James, too, I must say, evinced
a want of regard to my feelings, and an absence of that fine sympathy
which I should have looked for at a moment like this. They actually
screamed with laughter, Kitty, at little lapses of orthography, when the
subject might reasonably have imposed far different emotions.

"Why, it's a proposal of marriage!" exclaimed papa, "and I thought it a
summons from the police."

"Egad, so it is!" cried James. "It's an offer to you, Mary Anne. 'The
Baron Adolf von Wolfenschàfer, Frei-herr von Schweinbraten and Ritter of
the Order of the Cock of Tubingen, maketh hereby, and not the less,
that with future-coming-time-to-be-proved-and-experienced affection,
the profound humility of an offer of himself, with all his
to-be-named-and-enumerated belongings, both in effects and majorats, to
the lovely and very beautiful Miss, the first daughter of the Venerable
and very Honorable the Lord Dodd de Dodsborough.'"

[Illustration: 470]

"Pray stop, James," said I; "this is scarcely a fitting matter for
coarse jesting, nor is my heart to be made the theme for indelicate
banter."

"The letter is a gem," said he, and went on: "'The so-named
A. von W., overflowing with a mild but in-heaven-soaring and
never-to-earth-descending love, expecteth, in all the pendulating
anxieties of a never-at-any-moment-to-be-distrusted devotion--'"

"Papa, I really beg and request that I may not be trifled with in this
unfeeling manner. The Baron's intentions are sufficiently clear and
explicit, nor are we now engaged in the work of correcting his English
epistolary style."

This I said haughtily, Kitty; and Mister James at last thought proper to
recover some respect for my feelings.

"Why, I never suspected you could take the thing seriously, dear Mary
Anne," said he. "If I only thought--"

"And pray, why not, James? I'm sure the Baron's ancient birth--his rank,
his fortune--his position, in fact--"

"Of all of which we know nothing," broke in papa.

"But of which you may know everything," said I; "for here, at the
postscript, is an invitation to us all to pass some weeks at the
Schloss, in the Black Forest, his ancestral seat."

"Or, as he styles it," broke in James, impertinently, "'the very
old castle, where for numerous centuries his high-blooded and
on-lofty-eminence-standing ancestors did sit,' and where now
'his with-years-bestricken but not-the-less-on-that-account-sharp
with-intelligence-begifted parent father doth reside.'"

"Read that again, James," said papa.

"Pray allow me, sir," said I, taking the letter. "The invitation is
a most hospitable request that we should go and pass some time at his
chateau, and name the earliest day our convenience will permit for the
visit."

"He spoke of capital shooting there!" cried James. "He told me that the
Auer-Hahu, a kind of black-cock, abounds in that country."

"And I remember, too, that he mentioned some wonderful Steinberger,--a
cabinet wine, full two hundred years in wood!" chimed in papa.

I wished, dearest Kitty, that they could have entertained the
subject-matter of the letter without these "contingent remainders," and
not mix up my future fate with either wine or wild fowl; but they really
were so carried away by the pleasures so peculiarly adapted to their own
feelings that they at once said, and in a breath too, "Write him word
'Yes,' by all means!"

"Do you mean for his offer of marriage, papa?" asked I, with struggling
indignation.

"By George, I had forgotten all about that," said he. "We must
deliberate a bit. Your mother, too, will expect to be consulted. Take
the letter upstairs to her; or, better still, just say that I want to
speak to her myself."

As papa and mamma had not met nor spoken together since his return, I
willingly embraced this opportunity of restoring them to intercourse
with each other.

"Don't go away, Mary Anne," said James, as I was about to seek my own
room, for I dreaded being left alone, and exposed to his unfeeling
banter; "I want to speak to you." This he said with a tone of kindness
and interest which at once decided me to remain. He wore a look of
seriousness, Kitty, that I have seldom, if ever, seen in his features,
and spoke in a tone that, to my ears, was new from him.

"Let me be your friend, Mary Anne," said he, "and the better to be so,
let me talk to you in all frankness and sincerity. If I say one single
word that can hurt your feelings, put it down to the true account,--that
I 'd rather do even such than suffer you to take the most eventful step
in all your life without weighing every consequence of it Answer me,
then, two or three questions that I shall ask you, but as truly and
unreservedly as though you were at confession."

I sat down beside him, and with my hand in his.

"Now, first of all, Mary Anne," said he, "do you love this Baron von
Wolfenschafer?"

Who ever could answer such a question in one word, Kitty? How seldom
does it occur in life that all the circumstances of any man's position
respond to the ambitious imaginings of a girl's heart! He may be
handsome, and yet poor; he may be rich, and yet low-born; intellectual,
and yet his great gifts may be alloyed with infirmities of temper;
he may be coldly natured, secret, self-contained, uncommunicative,--a
hundred things that one does not like,--and yet, with all these
drawbacks, what the world calls an "excellent match."

I believe very few people marry the person they wish to marry. I fancy
that such instances are the rarest things imaginable. It is a question
of compensation throughout,--you accept this, notwithstanding that;
you put up with _that_, for the sake of this! Of course, dearest, I am
rejecting here all belief in the "greatest happiness principle" as a
stupid fallacy, that only imposes upon elderly gentlemen when they marry
their housekeeper. I speak of the considerations which weigh with a
young girl who has moved in society, who knows its requirements, and can
estimate all that contributes to what is called a "position."

This little digression of mine will give you to understand what was
passing in my mind as James sat waiting for my reply.

"So, then," said he, at last, "the question is not so easily answered
as I suspected; and we will now pass to another one. Are your affections
already engaged elsewhere?"

What could I say, Kitty, but "No! decidedly not." The embarrassment,
however, so natural to an inquiry like this, made me blush and seem
confused; and James, perceiving it, said,--

"Poor fellow, it will be a sad blow to _him_, for I know he loved you."

I tried to look astonished, angry, unconscious,--anything, in fact,
which should convey displeasure and surprise together; but with that
want of tact so essentially fraternal, he went on,--

"It was almost the last thing he said to me at parting, 'Don't let her
forget me!'"

"May I venture to inquire," said I, haughtily, "of whom you are
speaking?"

Simple and inoffensive as the words were, Kitty, they threw him into an
ungovernable passion; he stamped, and stormed, and swore fearfully. He
called me "a heartless coquette," "an unfeeling flirt," and a variety of
epithets equally mellifluous as well merited.

I drew my embroidery-frame before me quite calmly under this torrent of
abuse, and worked away at my pattern of the "Faithful Shepherd," singing
to myself all the time.

"Are you really as devoid of feeling as this, Mary Anne?" asked he.

"My dear brother," said I, "don't you wish excessively for a commission
in a regiment of Hussars or Lancers? Well, as your great merits have
not been recognized at the Horse Guards, would you feel justified in
refusing an appointment to the Rifle Brigade?"

"What has all this to say to what we are discussing?" cried he, angrily.

"Just everything," replied I; "but as you cannot make the application,
you must excuse _me_ if I decline the task also."

"And so you mean to be a baroness?" said he, rudely.

I courtesied profoundly to him, and he flung out of the room with a bang
that nearly brought the door down. In a moment after, mamma was in my
arms, overcome with tenderness and emotion.

"I have carried the day, my dearest child," said she. "We are to accept
the invitation, at all events, and we set out to-morrow."

I have no time for more, Kitty, for all our preparations for departure
have yet to be made. What fate awaits me I know not, nor can I even
fancy what may be the future of your ever attached and devoted friend,

Mary Anne Dodd.



LETTER XXXVI. MRS. DODD TO MRS. MARY GALLAGHER, DODSBOROUGH.

SCHLOSS, WOLFENFELS

My dear Molly,--It is only since we came to the elegant place, the hard
name of which I have written at the top of this letter, that my
feelings have subsided into the calm seriousness adapted to epistolary
correspondence. From the day that K. I. returned, my life has been like
the parallax of a fever! The man was never possessed of any refined or
exalted sentiments; but the woman, this Mrs. G. H.--I could n't write
the name in full if you were to give me twenty pounds for it--made him
far worse with self-conceit and vanity. If you knew the way my time is
passed, "taking it out of him," Molly, showing him how ridiculous he is,
and why everybody is laughing at him, you 'd pity me. As to gratitude,
my dear, he hasn't a notion of it; and he feels no more thankful to
me for what I 've gone through than if I was indulging him in all his
nefarious propensities. It is a weary task; and the only wonder is how I
'm able to go on with it.

"Have n't you done yet, Mrs. D.?" said he, the other morning. "Don't you
think that you might grant me a little peace now?"

"I wish to the saints I had," said I; "it's bringing me to the grave,
it is; but I have a duty to perform, and as long as my tongue can wag, I
'll do it! When I 'm gone, K. I.," said I,--"when I 'm gone, you 'll not
have to say, 'It was her fault,--it was all her doing. Jemima never said
this; she never told me that.'" I vow and declare to you here, Molly,
that there is n't a thing a woman could say to a man, that I haven't
said to him; and as I remarked yesterday, "If I have n't taken the
self-conceit out of you now, it is because it's grained in your
nature,"--I believe, indeed, I said, "in your filthy nature."

When we left Baden, we came to a place called Rastadt, a great
fortification that they 're making, as they tell me, to defend the
Rhine; but, between ourselves, it's as far from the river as our house
at Dodsborough is from Kelly's mills. There we stopped three weeks,--I
believe in the confident hope of K. I. that I could n't survive the
uproarious tumult. They were drilling or training horses, or firing
guns, or flogging recruits under our windows, from sunrise to sunset;
and although at first the novelty was, amusing, you grew, at last, so
tormented and teased with the noise that your very brain ached from it.

"I wonder," said I, one night, "that you never thought of taking
furnished apartments in Barrack Street! It ought to be to your taste."

"It's not unlikely, ma'am, that I may end my days in that neighborhood,"
said he, tartly, "for I believe it's very convenient to the sheriff's
prison."

"I was alluding to your military tastes," said I. "One might suppose you
were meant for a great general."

"I might have claim to the character, ma'am," said he, "if being always
under fire signified anything,--always exposed to attack."

"Oh, but," said I, "you forget she has retired her forces,"--I meant
Mrs. G., Molly; "she took pity on your poor unprotected situation!"

"Look now, Mrs. D.," said he, with a blow of his fist on the table, "if
there 's another word--one syllable more on this matter, may I never
sign my name K. I. again, if I don't walk you back, every one of you, to
Dodsborough! It was an evil hour that saw us leave it, but it would be a
joyous one that brings us back again."

When, he grows so brutal as that, Molly, I never utter a word. 'T is n't
to-day nor yesterday that I learned to be a martyr; so that all I did
was to wait a minute or two, and then go off in strong hysterics! and,
indeed, I don't know anything that provokes him more.

I give you this as a slight sample of the way we lived, with occasional
diversions on the subject of expense, the extravagance of James, his
idleness, and so forth; pleasant topics, and amusing for a family
circle. Indeed, Molly, I'm ashamed to own that my natural spirit was
beginning to break down under it. I felt that all the blood of the
M'Carthys was weak to resist such inhuman cruelty; and whether it was
the climate, or what, I don't know, but crying did n't give me the same
relief it used. I suppose the fact is that one exhausts the natural
resources of one's constitution; but I think I 'm not so old but that a
good hearty cry ought to be a comfort to me.

This is how affairs was, when, about a week ago, came a servant on
horseback, with a letter for K. I. I was sitting up at my window, with
the blinds down, when I saw the man get off and enter the inn, and the
first thought that struck me was that it was Mrs. G. herself sent him.
"I 've caught you," says I to myself; and throwing on my dressing-gown,
I slipped downstairs. It was K. I. and James were together talking, so
I just waited a second at the door to listen. "If I had a voice in the
family,"--it was K. I. said this,--"if I had a voice in the family,"
said he, "I 'd refuse. These kind of things always turn out ill,--people
calculate so much upon affection; but the truth is, marrying for love
is like buying a pair of Russia-duck trousers to wear through the year.
They 'll do beautifully in summer, and even an odd day in the autumn;
but in the cold and rainy reason they 'll be downright ridiculous."

"Still," said James, "the offer sounds like a great one."

"All glitter, maybe. I distrust them all, James. At any rate, say
nothing about it to your mother till I think it over a bit."

"And why not say anything to his mother?" says I, bouncing into the
room. "Am I nobody in the family?"

"Bedad you are!" said K. I., with a heavy sigh.

"Haven't I an opinion of my own, eh?"

"That you have!" said he.

"And don't I stand to it, too!--eh, Kenny James?"

"Your worst enemy couldn't deny it!" said he, shaking his head.

"Then what's all this about?" said I, snatching the letter out of his
hands. But though I tried with my double eyeglass, Molly, it was no
use, for the writing was in a German hand, not to say anything of the
language.

"Well, ma'am," said K. I., with a grin, "I hope the contents are
pleasing to you?" And before I could fly out at him, James broke in:
"It's a proposal for Mary Anne, mother. The young Baron that we met at
Bonn makes her an offer of his hand and fortune, and invites us all to
his castle in the Black Forest as a preliminary step."

"Isn't that to your taste, Mrs. D.?" said K. I., with another grin.
"High connection--nobility--great family,--eh?"

"I don't think," said I, "that, considering the step I took myself in
life, anybody can reproach me with prejudices of that kind." The step I
took! Molly, I said the words with a sneer that made him purple.

"What's his fortune, James?" said I.

"Heaven knows! but he must have a stunning income. This Castle of
Wolfenfels is in all the print-shops of the town. It's a thing as large
as Windsor, and surrounded by miles of forest."

"My poor child," said I, "I always knew where you 'd be at last; and
it's only two nights ago I had a dream of taking grease out of my yellow
satin. I thought I was rubbing and scrubbing at it with all my might."

"And what did that portend, ma'am?" said K. I., with his usual sneer.

"Can't you guess?" said I. "Might n't it mean an effort to get rid
of the stain of a low connection?" Was n't that a home-thrust, Molly?
Faith, he felt it so!

"Mrs. D.," said he, gravely, and as if after profound thought, "this
is a question of our child's happiness for life-long, and if we are
to discuss it at all, let it be without any admixture of attack or
recrimination."

"Who began it?" said I.

"You did, my dear," said he.

"I did n't," said I; "and I 'm not 'your dear.' Oh, you needn't sigh
that way; your case isn't half so bad as you think it, but, like all
men, you fancy yourself cruelly treated whenever the slightest bar is
placed to your bad passions. You argue as if wickedness was good for
your constitution."

"Have you done?" said he.

"Not yet," said I, taking a chair in front of him.

"When you have, then," said he, "call me, for I 'll go out and sit
on the stairs." But I put my back to the door, Molly, so that he had
nothing for it but to resume his seat. "Let us move the order of the
day, Mrs. D.," said he,--"this business of Mary Anne. My opinion of it
is told in few words. These mixed marriages seldom succeed. Even with
long previous intimacy, suitable fortune, and equality of station,
there is that in a difference of nationality that opens a hundred
discrepancies in taste, feeling--"

"Bother!" said I, "we have just as much when we come from the same
stock."

"Sometimes," said he, sighing.

"Here's what he says, mother," said James, and read out the letter,
which I am bound to say, Molly, was a curiosity in its way; for though
it had such a strange look, it turned out to be in English, or at least
what the Baron thought was such. Happily there was no mistaking the
meaning; and as I said to K. I., "At least there 's one thing in the
Baron's favor,--there's neither deceit nor subterfuge about him. He
makes his proposal like a man!" And let me tell you, Molly, we live in
an age when even that same is a virtue; for really, with the liberties
that's allowed, and the way girls goes on, there 's no saying what
intentions men have at all!

Some mothers make a point of never seeing anything; but that may be
carried too far, particularly abroad, my dear. Others are for always
being dragons, but that is sure to scare off the men; and as I say,
what's the use of birdlime if you 're always shouting and screaming!

My notion is, Molly, that a moderate degree of what the French call
"surveillance" is the right thing,--a manner that seems to say, "I 'm
looking at you: I'm not against innocent enjoyments, and so forth, but
I won't stand any nonsense, nor falling in love." Many 's the time the
right man is scared away by a new flirtation, that meant nothing. "She's
too gay for _me_--she has a look in her eye, or a toss of the head, or
a--Heaven knows--I don't like."

"Does she care for him?" said K. I. "Does Mary Anne care for
him?--that's the question."

"Of course she does," said I. "If a girl's affections are not engaged in
some other quarter, she always cares for the man that proposes for her.
Is n't he a good match?"

"He as much as says so himself."

"And a Baron?"

"Yes."

"And has an elegant place, with a park of miles round it?"

"So he says."

"Well, then, I 'm sure I see nothing to prevent her being attached to
him."

"At all events, let us speak to her," said he, and sent James upstairs
to fetch her down.

Short as the time was that he was away, it was enough for K. I. to get
into one of his passions, just because I gave him the friendly caution
that he ought to be delicate and guarded in the way he mentioned the
matter to Mary Anne.

"Is n't she my daughter?" said he, with a stamp of his foot; and just
for that, Molly, I would n't give him the satisfaction to say she is.

"I ask you," cried he again, "isn't she my daughter?"

Not a syllable would I answer him.

"Well, maybe she is n't," said he; "but my authority over her is all the
same."

"Oh, you can be as cruel and tyrannical as you please," said I.

"Look now, Mrs. D.--" said he; but, fortunately, Molly, just at that
moment James and his sister came in, and he stopped suddenly.

"Oh, dearest papa," cried Mary Anne, falling at his feet, and hiding her
face in her hands, "how can I leave you, and dear, dear mamma?"

"That's what we are going to talk over, my dear," said he, quite dryly,
and taking a pinch of snuff.

"Your father is never overpowered by his commotions, my love," said I.

"To forsake my happy home!" sobbed Mary Anne, as if her heart was
breaking. "Oh, what an agony to think of!"

"To be sure it is," said K. I., in the same hard, husky voice; "but it's
what we see done every day. Ask your mother--"

"Don't ask me to justify it," said I. "_My_ experiences go all the other
way."

"At any rate you ventured on the experiment," said he, with a grin.
Then, turning to Mary Anne, he went on: "I see that James has informed
you on this affair, and it only remains for me now to ask you what your
sentiments are.

"Oh, my poor heart!" said she, pressing her hand to her side, "how can I
divide its allegiance?"

"Don't try that, at all events," said he, "for though I never thought
him a suitable match for you, my dear, if you really do feel an
attachment to Peter Belton--"

"Of course I do not, papa."

"Of course she does not--never did--never could," said I.

"So much the better," said he; "and now for this Baron von--I never can
remember his name--do you think you could be happy with him? Or do
you know enough of his temper, tastes, and disposition to answer that
question?"

"I 'm sure he is a most amiable person; he is exceedingly clever and
accomplished--"

"I don't care a brass bodkin for all that," broke in K. I. "A man may be
as wise as the bench of bishops, and be a bad husband."

"Let _me_ talk to Mary Anne," said I. It's only a female heart, Molly,
understands these cases; for men discuss them as if they were matters of
reason! And with that I marched her off with me to my own room.

I need n't tell you all I said, nor what she replied to me; but this
much I will say, a more sensible girl I never saw. She took in the whole
of our situation at once. She perceived that there was no saying how
long K. I. might be induced to remain abroad; it might be, perhaps,
to-morrow, or next day, that he'd decide to go back to Ireland. What a
position we 'd be in, then! "I don't doubt," says she, "but if time were
allowed me, I could do better than this. With the knowledge I have now
of life, I feel very confident; but if we are to be marched off before
the campaign begins, mamma, how are we to win our laurels?" Them's her
words, Molly, and they express her meaning beautifully.

We agreed at last that the best thing was to accept the invitation to
the castle, and when we saw the place, and the way of living, we could
then decide on the offer of marriage.

If I could only repeat to you the remarks Mary Anne made about this, you
'd see what a girl she was, and what a wonderful degree of intelligence
she possesses. Even on the point that K. I. himself raised a doubt,--the
difference of nationality and language,--she summed up the whole
question in a few words. Her observation was, that this very
circumstance was rather an advantage than otherwise, "as offering a
barrier against the over-intimacy and over-familiarity that is the bane
of married life."

"The fact is, mamma," said she, "people do not conform to each other.
They make a show of doing so, and they become hypocrites,--great
or little ones, as their talents decide for them,--but their real
characters remain at bottom unchanged. Now, married to a foreigner,
a woman need not even affect to assume his tastes and habits. She may
always follow her own, and set them down, whatever they be, to the score
of her peculiar nationality."

She is really, Molly, an astonishing girl, and in all that regards life
and knowledge of mankind, I never met her equal. As to Caroline, she
never could have made such a remark. The advantages of the Continent are
clean thrown away on her; she knows no more of the world than the day we
left Dodsborough. Indeed, I sometimes half regret that we did n't leave
her behind with the Doolans; for I observe that whenever foreign travel
fails in inculcating new refinement and genteel notions, it is sure to
strengthen all old prejudices, and suggest a most absurd attachment to
one's own country; and when that happens to be Ireland, Molly, I need
scarcely say how injurious the tendency is! It's very dreadful, my
dear, but it's equally true, whenever anything is out of fashion, in bad
taste, vulgar, or common, you 're sure to hear it called Irish, though,
maybe, it never crossed the Channel; and out of self-defence one is
obliged to adopt the custom.

On one point Mary Anne and myself were both agreed. It is next to
impossible for any one but a banker's daughter, or in the ballet, to get
a husband in the peerage at home. The nobility, with us, are either very
cunning or very foolish. As to the gentry class, they never think of
them at all. The consequence is, that a girl who wishes for a title must
take a foreigner. Now, Molly, German nobility is mightily like German
silver,--it has only a look of the real article; but if you can't afford
the right thing, it is better than the vulgar metal!

Mary Anne has declared, over and over again, that nothing would induce
her to be Mrs. Anybody. As she says, "Your whole life is passed in
a struggle, if not heralded by a designation, even though it only be
'Madame.'" And sure nobody knows this better than I do. Has n't the
odious name weighed me down for years past?

"Take him, then, my dear child," said I,--"take him, then, and may you
have luck in your choice! It will be a consolation to me, in all my
troubles and trials, to know that one of my girls at least sustains the
honor of her mother's family. You 'll be a baroness, at all events."

She pressed my hand affectionately, Molly, but said nothing. I saw
that the poor dear child was n't doing it all without some sacrifice or
other; but I was too prudent to ask questions. There 's nothing, in my
opinion, does such mischief as the system of probing and poking into
wounds of the affections; it's the sure way to keep them open, and
prevent their healing; so that I kept on, never minding, and only talked
of "the Baron."

"It will kill the Davises," said she, at last; "they'll die of spite
when they hear it."

"That they will," said I; "and they'll deny it to all the neighbors,
till it's copied into the country papers out of the 'Morning Post' What
will become of all their sneering remarks about going abroad now, I
wonder! Faith, my dear, you might live long enough at Bruff without
seeing a baron."

"I think Mr. Peter, too, will at last perceive the outrageous absurdity
of his pretensions," said she. "The Castle of Wolfenfels is not exactly
like the village dispensary."

In a word, my dear Molly, we considered the question in all its
bearings, and agreed that though we had rather he was a viscount, with
a fine estate at home, yet that the thing was still too good to refuse.
"It's a fine position," said Mary Anne, "and I'll see if I can't improve
it." We agreed, as Caroline was so happy where she was,--on a visit with
this Mrs. Morris,--that we 'd leave her there a little longer; for,
as Mary Anne remarked, "She's so natural and so frank and so very
confiding, she'll just tell everything about us, and spoil all!" And
it is true, Molly. That girl has no more notion of the difficulties it
costs us to be what we are, and where we are, than if she was n't one of
the family. She's a regular Dodd, and no more need be said.

The next day, you may be sure, was n't an idle one. We had to pack all
our things, to get a new livery made for Paddy Byrne, and to hire a
travelling-carriage, so that we might make our appearance in a style
becoming us. Betty, too, had to be drilled how she was to behave in a
great house full of servants, and taught not to expose us by any of her
outlandish ways. Mary Anne had her up to eat before her, and teach her
various politenesses; but the saints alone can tell how the lesson will
prosper.

We started from Rastadt in great style,--six posters, and a riding
courier in front, to order relays on the road. Even the sight of it,
Molly, and the tramp of the horses, and the jingle of the bells on the
harness, all did me good, for I 'm of a susceptible nature; and what
between my sensations at the moment, and the thought of all before us, I
cried heartily for the first two stages.

"If it overcomes you so much," said K. I., "don't you think you'd better
turn back?"

Did you ever hear brutality like that speech, Molly? I ask you, in all
your experience of life, did you ever know of any man that could make
himself so odious? You may be sure I did n't cry much after that! I made
it so comfortable to him that he was glad to exchange places with Betty,
and get into the rumble for the remainder of the journey.

Betty herself, too, was in one of her blessed tempers, all because Mary
Anne would n't let her stick all the old artificial flowers, that were
thrown away, over her bonnet. As Mary Anne said to her, "she only wanted
wax-candles to be like a Christmas-tree." The consequence was that she
cried and howled all the way, till we dined; after that she slept and
snored awfully. To mend matters, Paddy got very drunk, and had to be
tied on the box, and drew a crowd round us, at every place we changed
horses, by his yells. In other respects the journey was agreeable.

We supped at a place called Offenburg; and, indeed, I thought we 'd
never get away from it, for K. I. found out that the landlord could
speak English, and was, besides, a great farmer; and, in spite of
Mary Anne and myself, he had the man in to supper, and there they sat,
smoking, and drinking, and prosing about clover and green crops
and flax, and such things, till past midnight. However, it did one
thing,--it made K. I. good-humored for the rest of the way; for the
truth is, Molly, the nature of the man is unchanged, and, I believe,
unchangeable. Do what we will, take him where we may, give him all the
advantages of high life and genteel society, but his heart will still
cling to yearling heifers and ewes; and he'd rather be at Ballinasloe
than a ball at Buckingham Palace.

We ought to have been at Freyburg in time to sleep, but we did n't get
there till breakfast hour. I 'm mighty particular about all the names of
these places, Molly, for it will amuse you to trace our journey on the
celestial globe in the schoolroom, and then you'll perceive how we are
going "round the world" in earnest.

After breakfast we went to see the cathedral of the town. It is really
a fine sight; and the carving that's thrown away in dark, out-of-the-way
places, would make two other churches. The most beautiful thing of all,
however, is an image of the Virgin, sheltering under her cloak more than
a dozen cardinals and bishops. She is looking down at the creatures--for
they are all made small in comparison--with an angelical smile, as much
as to say, "Keep quiet, and nobody will see you." I suppose she wants
to get them into heaven "unknownst;" or, as James rather irreverently
expressed it, "going to do it by a dodge." To judge by their faces, they
are not quite at their ease; they seem to think that their case isn't
too good, and that it will go hard with them if they 're found out! And
I suppose, my dear Molly, that's the way with the best of us. Sure, with
all our plotting and scheming for the good of our children, after lives
of every kind of device, ain't we often masses of corruption?--isn't our
very best thoughts, sometimes, wicked enough? Them was exactly my own
meditations, as I sat alone in a dark corner of the church, musing and
reflecting, and only brought to myself as I heard K. I. fighting with
one of the "beagles"--I think they call them--about a bad groschen in
change!

"I'm never in a heavenly frame of mind, K. I." said I to him, "that you
don't bring me back to earthly feelings with your meanness."

"If you told me you were going to heaven, Mrs. D.," said he, "I would
n't have brought you out of it for worlds!"

It did n't need the grin that he gave, to show me what the meaning of
this speech was. The old wretch said as much as that he wished me dead
and buried; so I just gave him a look, and passed out of the church with
contempt. Oh, Molly, Molly, whatever may be your spire in life, never
descend from it for a husband!

You 'll laugh when I tell you that we left this place by the Valley of
Hell. That's the name of it; and so far as gloom and darkness goes,
not a bad name either. It is a deep, narrow glen, with only room for a
narrow road at the bottom of it, and over your head the rocks seem ready
to tumble down and crush you to atoms. Instead, too, of getting through
it as fast as we could, K. I. used to stop the carriage, and get out
to "examine the position," as he called it; for it seems that a great
French general once made a wonderful retreat through this same pass
years ago. K. I. and James had bought a map, and this they used to
spread out on the ground; and sometimes they got into disputing about
the name of this place or that, so that the Valley of Hell had its share
of torments for me and Mary Anne before we got out of it.

At a little lake called the "Titi See"--be sure you look for it on the
globe, and you'll know it by a small island in it with willow-trees--we
found that the Baron had sent horses to meet us, and eight miles more
brought us to the place of our destiny. I own to you, Molly, that I
could have cried with sheer disappointment, when I found we were in
the demesne without knowing it. I was always looking out for a grand
entrance,--maybe an archway between two towers, like Nockslobber Castle,
or an elegant cut-stone building, with a lodge at each side, like Dolly
Mount; but there we were, Molly, driving through deep clay roads, with
great fields of maize at each side of us, and neither a gate nor a
hedge,--not a bit of paling to be seen anywhere. There were trees
enough, but they were ugly pines and firs, or beech, with all the lower
branches lopped away for firewood. We had two miles or more of this
interesting landscape, and then we came out upon a great wide space
planted with mangel and beetroot, and all cut up with little drains, or
canals of running water; and in the middle of this, like a great, big,
black, dirty jail, stood the Castle of Wolfenfels. I give you my first
impressions honestly, Molly, because, on nearer acquaintance, I have
lived to see them changed.

I must say our reception drove all other thoughts away. The old Baron
was confined to his room with the gout, and could n't come down to meet
us; but the discharge of cannon, the sounds of music, and the joyful
shouts of the people--of whom there were some hundreds assembled--was
really imposing.

The young Baron, too, looked far more awake and alive than he used to do
at Bonn; and he was dressed in a kind of uniform that rather became
him. He was overjoyed at our arrival, and kissed K. I. and James on both
cheeks, and made them look very much ashamed before all the people.

"Never was my poor castle so much honored," said he, "since the King
of--somewhere I forget--came to pass the night here with my ancestor,
Conrad von Wolfenschafer; and that was in the sixth century."

"Begad, it's easy to see you have had no encumbered estates court," said
K. I., "or you would n't be here to tell us that."

"My ancestor did not hold from the King," said he. "He was not what you
call a vessel!"

K. I. laughed, and only said, "Faith, there's many of us mighty weak
vessels, and very leaky besides."

After that he conducted us through two lines of his menials.

[Illustration: 488]

"I do detest to have so many 'detainers'"--he meant retainers. "I hope
you are less annoyed in this respect."

"You don't dislike them more than I do," said K. I.; "the very name
makes me shudder."

"How your fader and I agree!" said he to Mary Anne. "We are one family
already."

And we all laughed heartily as we went to our rooms. Every country has
its own ways and habits, but I must say, Molly, that the furniture of
these castles is very mean. There were two children's beds for K. I. and
myself,--at least they did not look longer than the beds in the nursery
at home,--with what K. I. called a swansdown poultice for coverlid; no
curtains of any kind, and the pillows as big as a small mattress. Four
oak chairs, and a looking-glass the size of your face, and a chest of
drawers that would n't open, and that K. I. had to make serviceable
by lifting off the marble slab on the top,--this was all our room
contained. There were old swords and pikes hung up in abundance, and a
tree of the family history, framed and glazed, over the chimney,--but
these had little to do towards making the place comfortable.

"He's a good farmer, anyhow," said K. I., looking out of the window. "I
did n't see such turnips since I left England."

"I suppose he has a good steward," said I, for I began to fear that K.
I. would make some blunder, and speak to the Baron about crops, and so
forth.

"Them drills are as neat as ever I seen," said he, half to himself.

"Look now, K. I.," said I to him, gravely, "make your own remarks on
whatever you like, but remember where we are, and that it's exactly the
same as if we were on a visit to the Duke of Leinster at home. If you
must ask questions about farming, always say, 'How does your steward do
this?' 'What does he think of that?' Keep in mind that the aristocracy
does n't dirty its fingers abroad as it does in England, with
agricultural pursuits, and that they have neither prizes for cows nor
cottagers!"

"Mrs. D.," said he, turning on me like a tiger, "are you going to teach
me polite breeding and genteel manners?"

"I wish to the saints I could," said I, "if the lesson was only good for
a week."

"Look now," said he, "if I detect the slightest appearance of any
drilling or training of me,--if I ever find out that you want to impose
me on the world for anything but what I am,--may I never do any good if
I don't disgrace you all by my behavior!"

"Can you be worse?" said I.

"I can," said he; "a devilish deal worse."

And with that he went out of the room with a bang that nearly tore the
door off its hinges, and never came back till late in the evening.

We apologized for his not appearing at dinner by saying that he
felt fatigued, and requested that he might be permitted to sleep on
undisturbed; and as, happily, he did go to bed when he returned, the
excuse succeeded.

So that you see, Molly, even in the midst of splendor and greatness,
that man's temper, and the mean ways he has, keeps me in perpetual hot
water. I know, besides, that when he is downright angry, he never cares
for consequences, nor counts the damage of anything. He 'd just go down
and tell the Baron that we had n't a sixpence we could call our own;
that Dodsborough was mortgaged for three times its value; and that,
maybe, to-morrow or next day we 'd be sold out in the Cumbered Court.
He 'd expose me and Mary Anne without the slightest compunctuation, and
there 's not a family secret he would n't publish in the servants' hall!

Don't I remember well, when the 55th was quartered at Bruff, he used
to boast at the mess that he could n't give his daughters a farthing
of fortune, when any man with proper feelings, and a respect for his
position, would have made it seem that the girls had a snug thing quite
at their own disposal. Isn't the world ready enough, Molly, to detect
one's little failings and shortcomings, without our going about to put
them in the "Hue and Cry"? But that was always the way with K. I. He
used to say, "It's no disgrace to us if we can't do this;" "It's no
shame if we 're not rich enough for that" But I say, it is both a shame
and a disgrace if _it 's found out_, Molly. That's the whole of it!

I used to think that coming abroad might have taught him
something,--that he 'd see the way other people lived, and similate
himself to their manners and customs. Not a bit of it. He grows worse
every day. He's more of a Dodd now than the hour he left home. The
consequence is that the whole responsibility of supporting the credit of
the family is thrown upon me and Mary Anne. I don't mean to say that we
are unequal to the task, but surely the whole burden need n't be laid
upon our shoulders. That we are on the spot from which I write these
lines is all my own doing. When we first met the young Baron at Bonn, K.
I. tried to prejudice us against him; he used to ridicule him to James
and the girls, and went so far as to say that he was sure he was a low
fellow!

What an elegant blunder we 'd have made if we 'd took his advice! It's
all very fine saying he does n't "look like this "--or he has n't an
"air of that;" sure nobody can be taken by his appearance abroad. The
scrubbiest old snuffy creatures that go shambling about with shoes too
big for them, airing their pocket-handkerchiefs in the sun, are dukes or
marquises, and the elegantly dressed men in light blue frocks, all frogs
and velvet, are just bagmen or watering-place doctors. It takes time,
and great powers of discriminality, Molly, to divide the sheep from the
goats; but I have got to that point at last, and I 'm proud to say that
he must be a really shrewd hand that imposes upon your humble servant.

Long as this letter is, I 'd have made it longer if I had time, for
though we 're only a short time here, I have made many remarks to myself
about the ways and manners of foreign country life. The post, however,
only goes out once a week, and I don't wish to lose the occasion of
giving you the first intelligence of where we are, what we are doing,
and what's--with the Virgin's help--before us!

Up to this, it has been all hospitalities and the honors of the house,
and I suppose, until the old Baron is up and able to see us, we 'll hear
no more about the marriage. At all events, you may mention the matter in
confidence to Father John and Mrs. Clancey; and if you like to tell the
Davises, and Tom Kelly, and Margaret, I 'm sure it will be safe with
them. You can state that the Baron is one of the first families in
Europe, and the richest. His great-grandfather, or mother, I forget
which, was half-sister to the Empress of Poland, and he is related,
in some way or other, to either the Grand Turk, or the Grand-Duke of
Moravia,--but either will do to speak of.

All the cellars under the castle are, they say, filled with gold, in
the rough, as it came out of his mines, and as he lives in what might be
called an unostensible manner, his yearly savings is immense. I suppose
while the old man lives the young couple will have to conform to his
notions, and only keep a moderate establishment; but when the Lord takes
him, I don't know Mary Anne if she 'll not make the money fly. That I
may be spared to witness that blessed day, and see my darling child in
the enjoyment of every happiness, and all the pleasures of wealth, is
the constant prayer of your faithful friend,

Jemima Dodd.

P. S. If Mary Anne has finished her sketch of the castle, I'll send it
with this. She 'd have done it yesterday, but, unfortunately, she had
n't a bit of red she wanted for a fisherman's small-clothes,--for it
seems they always wear red in a picture,--and had to send down to the
town, eleven miles, for it.

Address me still here when you write, and let it be soon.



LETTER XXXVII. KENNY JAMES DODD TO THOMAS PURCELL, ESQ., OF THE GRANGE,
BRUFF.

The Castle of Wolfenfels.

My dear Tom,--I 'm glad old Molly has shown you Mrs. D.'s epistle,
which, independent of its other claims, saves me all the trouble of
explaining where we are, and how we came there. We arrived on Wednesday
last, and since that have been living in a very quiet, humdrum kind of
monotonous life, which, were it in Ireland, we should call, honestly,
tiresome; but as the scene is Germany and the Black Forest, I suppose
should be chronicled as highly romantic and interesting. To be plain,
Tom, we inhabit a big house--they call it a castle--in the midst of a
large expanse of maize and turnips, backed by a dense wood of pines. We
eat and drink in a very plain sort of over-abundant and greasy
fashion. We sleep in a thing like the drawer of a cabinet, with a large
pincushion on our stomachs for covering. We smoke a home-grown weed,
that has some of the bad properties of tobacco; and we ponder--at least
I do--of how long it would take of an existence like this to make a man
wish himself a member of the vegetable creation. Don't fancy that I'm
growing exorbitant in my demands for pleasure and amusement, nor believe
that I have forgotten the humdrum uniformity of my life at home. I
remember it all, and well. I can recall the lazy hours passed in the
sunshine of our few summer days; I can bring back to mind the wearisome
watching of the rain as it poured down for a spell of two months
together, when we asked each other every morning, "What's to become
of the wheat? How are we to get in the turf, if this lasts?" The
newspapers, too, only alternated their narratives of outrage with flood,
and spoke of bridges, mills, and mail-coaches being carried away in
all directions. I mention these to show you that, though "far from the
land," not a trait of it is n't green in my memory. But still, Tom,
there was, so to say, a tone and a keeping in the picture which
is wanting here. Our home dulness impressed itself as a matter of
necessity, not choice. We looked out of our window at a fine red-brick
mansion, two miles away,--where we 've drunk many a bottle of claret,
and in younger days danced the "White Cockade" till morning,--and we see
it a police-station, or mayhap a union. A starved dog dashes past the
door with a hen in his mouth; we recognize him as the last remnant of
poor Fetherstone's foxhounds, now broken up and gone. The smoke does n't
rise from the midst of the little copses of beech and alder, along the
river side; no, the cabins are all roofless, and their once inhabitants
are now in Australia, or toiling to enrich the commonwealth of America.

There is a stir and a movement going forward, it is true; but, unlike
that which betokens the march of prosperity and gain, it only implies
transition. Ay, Tom, all is changing around us. The gentry are going,
the middle classes are going, and the peasant is going,--some of their
free will, more from hard necessity. I know that the general opinion is
favorable to all this,--in England, at least The cry is ever, "Ireland
is improving,--Ireland will be better." But my notion is that by Ireland
we should understand not alone the soil, the rocks, and the rivers, but
the people,--the heart and soul and life-blood that made the island the
generous, warm-hearted, social spot we once knew it. Take away these,
and I no longer recognize it as my country. What matters it to me if the
Scotchman or the Norfolk farmer is to prosper where we only could exist?
My sympathies are not with _him_. You might as well try and console me
for the death of my child by showing me how comfortably some other man's
boy could sleep in his bed. I want to see Ireland prosper with Irishmen;
and I wish it, because I know in my heart the thing is possible and
practicable.

I 'm old enough--and, indeed, so are you--to remember when the English
used to be satisfied to laugh at our blunders and our bulls, and
ridicule our eccentricities; but the spirit of the times is changed,
and now they 've taken to rail at us, and abuse us, as if we were the
greatest villains in Europe. They assume the very tone the Yankee adopts
to the Red Man, and frankly say, "You must be extirpated!" Hence the
general flight that you now witness. Men naturally say, "Why cling to
a land that is no longer secure to us? Why link our destinies to a soil
that may be denied to us to-morrow?" And the English will be sorry for
this yet. Take my word for it, Tom, they 'll rue it! Paddy, by reason of
his poverty and his taste for adventure, and a touch of romance in his
nature, was always ready to enlist. He did n't know what might not turn
out of it. He knew that Wellington was an Irishman, and, faith, he had
only to read very little to learn that most of the best men came from
the same country. Luck might, then, stand to him, and, at all events, it
was n't a bad change from four-pence a day, stone-breaking!

Now, John Bull took another view of it. _He_ was better off at home.
He had n't a spark of adventure about him. His only notion of worldly
advancement led through money. You 'll not catch him becoming a soldier.
Every year will make him less and less disposed to the life. Cheapen
food and luxuries, reduce tariffs and the cost of foreign produce,
and the laborer will think twice before he 'll give up home and its
comforts, to be, as the song says,--

     "Proud as a goat,
     With a fine scarlet coat,
     And a long cap and feather."

Turn over these things in your mind, Tom, and see if England has not
made a great mistake in eradicating the very class she might have
reckoned upon in any warlike emergency. Take my word for it, it is a
fine thing to have at your disposal a hundred thousand fellows who can
esteem a shilling a day a high premium, and who are not too well off in
the world to be afraid of leaving it! How did I come here at all? What
has led me into this digression? I protest to you solemnly, Tom, I don't
know. I can only say that my hand trembles, and my head throbs with
indignation, as I think over this insolent cant that tells us that
Ireland has no chance of prosperity save in ceasing to be Irish. It is
worse than a lie,--it is a mean, cowardly slander!

I must leave off this till my brain is calmer: besides, whether it is
the light wines I 'm drinking, or my anger has brought it on, but I 've
just got a terrible twinge of gout in my right foot.


Tuesday Evening.

I have passed a miserable twenty-four hours. They 've all the incentives
to gout in this country, and yet they don't appear to have the commonest
remedies against it. I sent Belton's recipe to be made up at the
apothecaries', and they had never as much as heard of one of the
ingredients! They told me to regulate my diet, and be careful to avoid
acids,--and this, while I was bellowing like a bull with pain. It was
like replying to my request for a shirt, by saying that they were going
to sow flax in August It 's their confounded cookery, and the vinegar we
wash it down with, has given me this!

The old housekeeper at last took compassion on my sufferings, and made
me up a kind of broth of herbs that nearly finished me. She assured
me that they all grew wild in the fields, and were freely eaten by the
cattle. I can only say it's well that Nebuchadnezzar was n't put out to
graze here! Sea-sickness was a mild nausea compared to it I 'm better
now; but so low and so depressed, and with such loss of energy, that in
a discussion with Mrs. D. about Mary Anne's "trousseau," as they call
it, I gave in to everything!

Since this attack seized me, events have made a great progress; indeed,
a suspiciously minded person would n't scruple to say that a mild poison
had been administered to me to forward the course of negotiations; and
in my heart and soul I believe that another bowl of the same broth would
make me consent to my daughter's union with the Bey of Tunis! The poor
old Dean of Lurra used to say of the Baths of Kreutznach, "I 've lost
enough flesh in three weeks to make a curate!"--and, indeed, when I look
at myself in the glass, I turn involuntarily around to see where's the
rest of me!

Meanwhile, as I said, all has been arranged and settled, and the
marriage is fixed for an early day in the coming week. I suppose it's
all for the best I take it that the match is a very great one; but I own
to you frankly, Tom, I 'd have fewer misgivings if the dear child was
going to be the wife of some respectable man of her own country, though
he had neither a castle to live in nor a title to bestow.

Foreigners are essentially and totally different from us in everything;
and marrying one of them is, to my thinking, the very next thing to
being united to some strange outlandish beast, as one reads of in fairy
tales. I suppose that my prejudice is a very mean and narrow-minded one;
but I can't get rid of it. It looks churlish and cold-hearted in me that
I cannot show the same joy on the occasion that the others display; but,
with all my efforts, and the very best will, I can't do it, Tom. The
bridegroom, too, is not to my taste: he is one of those moping, dreamy,
moonstruck fellows, that pass their lives in an imaginary sphere of
thought and action; and, to _my_ thinking, these people are distasteful
to the world at large, and insufferable to their wives.

I think I see that Mary Anne already anticipates he will prove a
stubborn subject. Her mother, however, gives her courage and support.
She gently insinuates, too, that worse cases have been treated
successfully. Lord help us, it's a strange world!

As to the material features of the affair,--I mean as regards means and
fortune,--he appears to have more than enough, yet not so much as to
prevent his giving a very palpable hint to me about what I intended
to give my daughter. He made the overture with a most laudable candor,
though, I own, with no excess of delicacy. James, however, had in a
manner prepared me for it, and mentioned that I was indebted for this
gratification, as I am for a variety of others, to Mrs. D. It seems
that, by way of giving a very imposing notion of our possessions, she
had cut the county map out of O'Kelly's old Gazetteer, and passed it
off for the survey of our estate. Of course I could n't disavow the
statement, and have been reduced to the pleasant alternative of settling
on my daughter about five baronies and twenty townlands of Tipperary,
with no inconsiderable share of villages and hamlets. Some old leases,
an insurance policy, and a writ against myself have served me for
title-deeds; and though the young Baron pores over them for hours with
a dictionary, thanks to the figurative language of the law, they have
defied detection!

The father is still too ill to receive me, but each day I am promised an
interview with him. Of what benefit to either of us it is to prove, may
be guessed from the fact that we cannot speak to each other. You will
perceive from all this, Tom, that I am by no means enamored of our
approaching greatness; and it is but fair to state that James is
even less so. He calls the Baron a "snob;" and probably, in all the
fashionable vocabulary of an enlightened age, a more depreciatory
epithet could not be discovered. What a sham and a humbug is all the
parade we make of our parental affection, and what a gross cheat, too,
do we practise upon ourselves by it! We train up a girl from infancy
with every care and devotedness,--we surround her with all the luxuries
our means can compass, and every affection of our hearts,--and we give
her away, for "better and for worse," to the first fellow that offers
with what seems a reasonable chance of being able to support her!

Many of us would n't take a butler with the scanty knowledge we accept a
son-in-law. His moral qualities, his disposition, the habits he has been
reared in,--what do we know of them? Less than nothing! And yet, while
we ask about these, and twenty more, of the man to whom we are about to
confide the key of our cellar, we intrust the happiness of our child
to an unknown individual, the only ascertained fact about whom--if even
that be so--is his income!

As I should like to tell you every step I take in this affair, I'll not
send off my letter till I can give you the latest information. Meanwhile
let me impress upon you that it is now three months since I received
a shilling from Ireland. James has just informed me that there is not
fifty pounds left of the McCarthy legacy, of which his mother only gave
him permission to draw for three hundred. The debate upon this, when
it comes, will be strong. What I intend is that immediately after Mary
Anne's marriage we should return to Ireland; but of course I reserve the
declaration for a fitting opportunity, since I well know how it will be
received. Cary would never marry a foreigner, nor would anything induce
me to consent to her doing so. James is only frittering away his best
years here in idleness and dissipation; and if I can get nothing for him
from the Government, he must emigrate to Australia or New Zealand. As
for Mrs. D., the sooner she gets home to Dodsborough the better for her
health, her means, and her morals!

I am afraid to say a word about Ireland and Irish affairs, for as sure
as I do I stick fast there; still I must say that I think you 're wrong
for abusing those members that have accepted office from Government. Put
it to yourself, my dear Tom; if anybody offered you fifty pounds for the
old gray mare you drive into market of a Saturday, would you set about
explaining that she was blind of an eye, and a roarer, with a splint
before, and a spavin behind? Would n't you rather expatiate upon her
blood and breeding, her endurance of fatigue, and her fine trotting
action? I don't know you if you would n't! Well, it's just the same with
these fellows. Briefless lawyers and distressed gentlemen as they are,
why should they say to the Ministry, "You're giving too much for us; we
can neither speak for you nor write for you; we have neither influence
at home, nor power abroad; we are a noisy, riotous, disorderly set of
devils, always quarrelling amongst ourselves, and never agreeing, except
when there 's a bit of robbery or roguery to be done; don't think of
buying _us_; it is a clear waste of public money; we 'd only disgrace
and not benefit you"? If anybody is to be blamed, it is the Ministers
that bought them, Tom.

As to all your disputed questions of education, tenant-right, and
taxation, take my word for it you have no chance of settling them
amicably; and for this reason: a great number of excellent men, on both
sides, have pledged themselves so strongly to particular opinions that
they cannot decently recant, and yet they begin to see many points in
a different view, and would, were the matter to come fresh before them,
treat it in another fashion. If you really wish to see Ireland better,
try and get people to let her alone for some fifteen or twenty years.
She is nearly ruined by doctoring. Just wait a bit, and see if the
natural goodness of constitution won't do more for her than all your
nostrums.

James has just interrupted me, to say that he has shot "the partridge,"
for it seems there was only one in the country. That's the fruits of
revolution. Before the year '48, this part of Germany abounded in game
of every sort--partridges, hares, and quails, in immense abundance,
besides plenty of deer on the hills, and that excellent bird the
"Auer-Hahn," which is like the black-cock we have at home. When the
troubles came, the peasants shot everything; and now the whole breed
of game is extinct. They tell me it is the same throughout Bohemia and
Hungary,--the two best sporting countries in all Europe. Foreigners were
never oppressed with game-laws as we are; there was a far wider liberty
enjoyed by them in this respect, and, in consequence, the privileges
were less abused; so that really the wholesale destruction is much to
be regretted. But is it not exactly what always follows in every case of
popular domination? The masses love excess, and are never satisfied with
anything short of it. I don't pretend to say that the Germans had not
good and valid reasons for being dissatisfied with their Governments.
I believe, in my heart, it would be difficult to imagine a more stupid
piece of ingenuous blundering than a German Administration; and this is
the less excusable when one thinks of the people over whom they rule.

The excesses of that same year of '48 will be the stock-in-trade for
these grinding Governments for many a day to come. It is like a "barring
out" to a cruel schoolmaster; the excuse for any violence he may wish to
indulge in. At the same time I say this, I tell you frankly that none
of the foreigners I have yet seen are fit for the system of a
representative Government. From whatever causes I know not, but they are
less patient, less given to calm investigation, than the English. Their
perceptions are as quick--perhaps quicker--but they will not weigh the
consequences of conflicting interests, and, above all, they will not put
any restrictions upon their own liberty for the benefit of the community
at large. Their origin, climate, traditions, and so forth, of course
influence them greatly; but I have a notion, Tom, that our domesticity
has a very considerable share in the formation of that temperate and
obedient spirit so observable amongst us. I think I see the sly dimple
that 's deepening in the corner of your mouth as you murmur to yourself,
"Kenny James is thinking of his Mrs. D. He's pondering over the natural
results of home discipline." But that is not what I mean, at least it
is not the whole of it. My theory is that a family is the best
training-school for the virtues that prosper in a well-ordered State,
and that the little incidents of home life have a wonderful bearing
upon, and similarity to, the great events that stir mankind.

I was going to become very abstruse and incomprehensible, I've no doubt,
on this theme, but Mrs. D. just dropped in with a small catalogue of
some three hundred and twenty-one articles Mary Anne requires for her
wedding.

I ventured to hint that her mother entered the connubial state with
a more modest preparation; and hereupon arose one of those lively
discussions now so frequent between us, in which, amidst other desultory
and miscellaneous remarks, she drew a graphic contrast between marrying
a man of rank and title, and "making a low connection that has forever
served to alienate the affection of one's family."

Will you tell me what peculiarity there is in the atmosphere, or the
food, or the electric influences abroad, that have made a woman that was
at least occasionally reasonable at home a most unmanageable fury on the
Continent? I don't want to deny that we had our little differences at
Dodsborough, but they were "tiffs,"---mere skirmishes,--but here they
are downright pitched battles, Tom. She will have it so, too. She won't
exchange a few shots and retire, but she comes up in line, with her
heavy artillery, and seems resolved to have a day of it! If this blessed
tour brought me no other pleasures than these, I 'd have reason to thank
it! You, of course, are quite ready to assert that the fault is as
much mine as hers,--that I provoke contradiction,--that I even invite
conflict! There you are perfectly in the wrong! I do, I acknowledge,
intrench myself in a strong position, and only fire an occasional shot
at any tempting exposure of the enemy; but she comes on by storm and
escalade, and, sparing neither age nor sex, never stops till she's in
the very heart of the citadel. That I come out maimed, crippled, and
disabled from such encounters, is not to be wondered at.

Amongst the other signs of progress of our enlightened age, a very
remarkable one is the habit, now become a law, for everybody with any
pretensions to the rank of a gentleman, to live in the same style, or,
at least, with as close an imitation as he can of it, as persons of
large fortune. Men like myself were formerly satisfied with giving their
friends a little sherry and port at dinner, continued afterwards, till
some considerate friend begged, "as a favor," for a glass of punch. Now
we start with Madeira after the soup, if you have n't had oysters and
chablis before, hock with your first _entrée_, and champagne afterwards,
graduating into Chambertin with "the roast," and Pacquarete with the
dessert, claret, at double the price it costs in Ireland, closing the
entertainment. Why, a duke cannot do more than Kenny Dodd at this rate!
To be sure the cookery will be more refined, and the wines in higher
condition. Moët will be iced to its due point, and Chateau Margaux will
be served in a carefully aired decanter; but the cost, the outlay, will
be fully as much in one case as the other. Have we--that is to say,
humble men like myself--gained by this in an intellectual or social
point of view? Not a bit of it! We have lost all that easy cordiality
that was native to us in our former condition, and we have not become as
coldly polite and elegantly tiresome as the grand folk.

The same system obtains in other matters. _My_ daughter must be dressed
on her wedding-day like Lady Olivia or Lady Jemima, who has a father a
marquis, and fifty thousand pounds settled on her for pin-money.

The globe has to become tributary to the marriage of Mary Anne! Cashmere
sends a shawl; Lyons, silk; and Genoa, velvet; furs from Hudson's Bay,
and feathers from Mexico; Valenciennes and Brussels contribute lace;
Paris reserving for her peculiar snare the architectural skill that
is to combine these costly materials, and construct out of them that
artistic being they call a "bride." Taking a wife with nothing "but the
clothes on her back" used to be the expression of a most disinterested
marriage. Now it might mean anything between Swan and Edgar's and Howell
and James's, or, to state it differently, between moderate embarrassment
and irretrievable ruin!

If you ask me how I am to pay for all this, or when, I tell you honestly
and fairly, I don't know. As well as I can make out the last accounts
you sent me, we 're getting deeper into debt every day; but as figures
always distract and puzzle me, I'd rather you'd put the case into
something like a statement in words, just saying when we may expect a
remittance, and how much it will be. I find that I shall lose the mail
if I don't cease at once; but I 'll send you a few lines by to-morrow's
post, as I have something important to say, but can't remember it now.

Yours, ever sincerely,

Kenny James Dodd.



LETTER XXXVIII. KENNY JAMES DODD TO THOMAS PURCELL, ESQ., OF THE GRANGE, BRUFF.

My dear Tom,--The post hadn't left this five minutes yesterday, when I
remembered what I wanted to say to you. Wednesday, the 26th, is fixed
for the happy occasion; and if nothing should intervene, you may insert
the following paragraph in the "Tipperary Press," under the accustomed
heading of "Marriage in High Life": "The Baron Adolf Heinrich
Conrad Hapsburg von Wolfenschafer, Lord of the Manors of Hohendeken,
Kalbsbratenhausen, and Schweinkraut, to Mary Anne, eldest daughter of
Kenny James Dodd, Esq., of Dodsborough, in this county." Faith, Tom, I
was near saying "universally regretted by a large circle of afflicted
survivors," for I was just wishing myself dead and buried! But you must
put it in the usual formula of "beautiful and accomplished," and take
care it is not applied to the bridegroom, for, upon my conscience, his
claim to the first epithet couldn't be settled by even a Parliamentary
title! My heart is heavy about it all, and I wish it was over!

If anything exemplifies the vanity of human wishes, it is our efforts to
marry our daughters, and our regrets when the plans succeed. Tom goes
to India, and Billy to sea, and there is scarcely a gap in the family
circle. "The boys" were seldom at home,--they were shooting in Scotland,
or hunting in England, or fishing in Norway. They never, so to say, made
part of the effective garrison of the house; they came and went with
that rackety good-humor that even in quiet families is pleasurable; but
your girls are household gods: lose _them_, even one of them, and the
altar is despoiled. The thousand little unobtrusive duties, noiseless
cares, that make home better a hundred-fold than anywhere else, be
it ever so rich and splendid, the unasked solicitude, the watchful
attention that provides for your little daily wants and habits, are all
_their_ province. And just fancy, then, what scheming and intriguing we
practise to get rid of them! You 'll say that this shows we are above
the selfishness of only considering our own enjoyment, and that we
sacrifice all for their happiness. There you mistake; our sole aim is
a rich man,--our one notion of a good marriage is that the husband be
wealthy. It's not a man like myself, who has sometimes paid fifty, ay,
sixty per cent for money, that can afford to sneer at and despise it;
but this I will say, that the mere possession of it will not suffice for
happiness. I know fellows with fifteen thousand a year that have not
the heart to spend five hundred. I know others that, with as much, are
always over head and ears in debt, raising cash everywhere and anyhow!
What kind of life must a girl lead that marries either of these? And
yet would you or I think of refusing such a match for a daughter? Let me
tell you, Tom, that for people of small fortune, the nunneries were fine
things! What signifies serge and simple diet to the wearisome drudgery
of a governess! If I was a woman, I think I'd rather sit in my quiet
cell, working an embroidered suit of body clothes for Father O'Leary,
than I'd be snubbed by the family of some vulgar citizen, tortured by
the brats, and insulted by the servants.

I don't suppose that it signifies a straw one way or other, but I
feel some compunctions of conscience at the way I have been assigning
imaginary estates, mines, woods, and collieries to Mary Anne for the
last three days. I know it's mere greed makes the Baron so eager on the
subject, since he is enormously wealthy. James and I rode twelve miles,
this morning, through a forest that belongs to the castle, and the
arable land stretches more than that distance in another direction; but
who knows how he 'll behave when he discovers she has nothing! To
be sure, we can always ascribe our ruin to political causes, and, in
verification, exhibit ourselves as poor as need be; but still I don't
like it And this is one of the blessed results of a false position,--one
step in a wrong direction very frequently necessitates a long journey.
Yesterday I protested to my affluence; to-day I vouched for the nobility
of my family. Heaven only can tell what I won't swear to to-morrow! And
again I am interrupted by Mrs. D., who has just come to inform me that
though the bride's finery can all be had at Paris,--whither the
happy couple are to repair for the honeymoon,--there are certain
indispensables must be obtained at once from Baden; and she begs that
I will privately write a few lines to Morris, who will, of course,
undertake the commission. It is not without shame that I enclose a list
of purchases to make, which, to a man who knew what we were in Ireland,
will appear preposterous; but the false position we have attained to is
surrounded with interminable mortifications of the same kind.

Ah, Tom! I remember the time when, if a bride changed her smart white
silk and muslin that she wore at the altar for a good brown or blue
satin pelisse to travel in, we thought her a miracle of fashion and
finery; but now the millinery of a wedding is the principal thing. There
is a stereotyped formula, out of which there is no hope of conjugal
happiness; and the bride that begins life without Brussels lace enters
upon her career with gloomy omens! Now, a scarf of this alone costs
thirty guineas; you may, if you like, go as high as a hundred and fifty.
Why can't people wait for the ruin that is so sure to overtake them,
without forestalling it in this way? Twenty pounds for clothes, and a
trip to Castle Connel or Kilkee for the honeymoon, would have satisfied
every wish of Alary Anne's heart in Ireland; and if she drove away in a
post-chaise with four horses for the first stage, she 'd have been the
envy of all the marriageable girls for miles round.

But now I have had to ask Morris to buy a travelling-carriage, because
Mrs. D., in one of those expansions of splendor that occasionally attack
her, said to the Baron, "Oh, take one of our carriages, we have left
several of them at Baden." The excellent woman cannot be brought to
perceive that romance of this kind is a most expensive amusement. I have
drawn a bill on you for four hundred at three months, to meet these, and
sent it to Morris to "get done." I hope he 'll succeed, and I hope you
'll pay it when it comes due; so that come what will, Tom, my intentions
are honorable!

If Mrs. D. and myself had been upon better terms, we might have
discussed this marriage question more fully and confidentially, but
there are now so many cabinet difficulties that we rarely hold a
council, and when we do, we are sure to disagree. This is another
blessed result of our continentalizing. Home had its duties, and with
them came that spirit of concord and agreement so essential to family
happiness; but in this vagabond kind of existence, where every-thing is
feigned, unreal, and unnatural, all concert and confidence is completely
lost.

Now I have told you frankly and fairly everything about us, and don't
take advantage of my candor by giving advice, for there is nothing
in this world I have so little taste for. There's no man above the
condition of an idiot that is n't thoroughly aware of his failings and
shortcomings, but all that knowledge does n't bring him an inch nearer
the cure of them. Do you think I 'm not fully alive to everything
you could say of my wasteful habits, my improvidence, indolence,
irritability, and so forth? I know them all better than you do,--ay, and
I feel them acutely, too, for I know them to be incurable! Reformation,
indeed! Do you know when a man gives up dancing, Tom? When he's too
stiff in the knees for it. There's the whole philosophy of life. When
we grow wiser, as they are pleased to call it, it is always in spite of
ourselves!

I find that by enclosing this to Morris, he can forward it to you by the
bag of the Legation. Once more let me remind you of our want of cash,
and believe me, very faithfully your friend,

Kenny I. Dodd.

P. S. Address me "Freyburg, to be forwarded to the Schloss, Wolfenfels."



LETTER XXXIX. BETTY COBB TO MRS. SHUSAN O'SHEA, PRIEST'S HOUSE, BRUFF.

Dear Mrs. Shusan,--I was meaning to write to you for the last week, but
could n't by reason of the conflagration I was in, for sure any poor
girl might feel it, seeing that I was far away among furriners, and had
nobody to advise, barrin' the evil counsels of my wicked heart. We cam
here two weeks gone, on a visit to the father of the young man that 's
going to marry "Mary Anne." It's a great big ould place, like the jail
at Limerick, only darker, with little windows, and a flite of stairs out
of every corner in it. And the furnishing is n't a bit newer. It's a bit
of rag here and a rag there, an ould cabbinet, a hard sofa, and maybe
four wooden chairs that would take a ladder to get into! Eatin' and
drinkin' likewise the same. Biled beef--biled first for the broth,
and sarved afterwards with cow-comers, sliced and steeped in oil--the
Heavens preserve us! Then a dish of roast vale, with rasberry jam and
musheroons, for they tries the human stomich with every ingradiant
they can think of! But the great favorite of all is a salad made out of
potatoes, biled bard, sliced and pickled the same way as the cow-comers!
A bowl of that, Mrs. Shusan, after a long dinner, makes you feel as full
as a tick, and if the house was afire I could n't run! To be sure, when
the meal is over everybody sits down to coffee, and does n't distress
themselves about anything for a matter of two hours. And, indeed, I must
make the remark that "manials" isn't as badly treated anywhere in the
whole 'versal globe as in Ireland, and if it was n't that I hear the
people is runnin' away o' themselves, I 'd write a letter to the papers
about it! 'T is exactly like pigs you are, no better; potatoes and
butter-milk all the year round! deny it if you can. Could you offer a
pig less wages than four pound a year?

I must say, too, Shusan, that eatin' one's fill molly-fies ther nature,
and subdues ther hasty dispositions in a wonderful way; I know it
myself; and that after a strong supper now I can bear more from the
mistress than I used at home, only giving a sigh now and then out of the
fulness of my heart. But it's not them things I wanted to tell you, but
of the state of my infections. Don't be angry with me, Mrs. Shusan. I
don't forget the iligant lessons you gave me long ago, about thrusting
the men; I know well how thrue every word you said is. They 're
base, and wicked, and deceatful! Flatterin' us when we 're young and
beautiful, and gibin' and jeerin' when we 're ould as yourself! But
what's the use of fiting agin the will of Providence? Sure, if he
intended us to have better husbands it's not them craytures he'd have
left us to! My sentiments is these, Shusy: 'Tis a way of chastezin'
us is marriage! The throubles and tumults we have with a man are our
crosses, and it's only cowardly to avoid them. Meet your feat, say I,
whatever it be,--whether it be a man or the measles, don't be afraid!

I 'm shure and sartain it's nothing but fear makes young girls go and be
nuns; they're afraid, and no wonder, of the wickedness of the world; but
somehow, Shusan, like everything else in this life, one gets used to it.
I know it well, there 's many a thing I see now, without minding, that
long ago I dared not look at. "Live and learn," they say, and there's
nothing so thrue! And talking of that, you 'd be shocked to see how Mary
Anne goes on wid the young Baron. She, that would scarce let poor Doctor
Belton spake to her alone. We meet them walk in' in the lonesomest
places together; and Taddy and I never goes into the far part of the
wood without seeing them! And that's not all of it, my dear, but she
must get the mistress to give me a lecture about going off myself with a
man.

"Does n't your daughter do it, ma'am?" says I. "Is all the wickedness of
this world," says I, "to be kept for one's betters?"

"Do you call marriage wickedness?" says she.

"Sometimes it is, ma'am," says I, with a look she understood well.

"You 're a huzzy," says she; "and I 'll give you warnin' next Saturday."

"I'll take it now," says I, "ma'am, for I'm going to better myself."

If ye saw her face, Shusy, as I said this! She knows in her heart that
she could n't get on at all without me. Not a word of a furrin lingo
can she say; and I 'm obleeged to traduce her meanin' to all the other
sarvants! And, indeed, that's the way I become such an iligant linguist;
and it's no differ to me now between talkin' French and Jarman,--I make
them just the same!

I was n't in my room when Mary Anne was after me.

"Ain't you a fool, Betty?" says she, puttin' a hand on my shoulder.

"Maybe I am, miss," says I; "but there 's others fools as well as me!"

"But I mean," says she, "isn't it silly to fall out with mamma,--that
was always so good, and so kind, and so fond of you?"

I saw at once, Shusy, how the wind was, and so I just went on folding up
my collars and settling my things without a word.

"I 'm sure," says she, "you could n't leave her in a faraway country
like this!"

"The dearest friends must part, miss," says I.

"Not to speak of your own desolate and deserted condition," says she.

"There's them that won't lave me dissolute and disconsoled, miss,"
says I. And with that, Shusy, I told her that Taddy Hetzler had made me
honorable proposals.

"But you 'd not think of Taddy," says she. "He 's only a herd," says
she.

"We must take what we can get, miss," says I, "and be thanklul in this
life."

And she blushed red up to the eyes, Shusy; for she knew well what I
meant by _that!_

"But a nice girl, and a purty girl like you, Betty," says she,
"_slendering_" me, "is n't it throwing yourself away? Sure, ye have only
to wait a little to make an iligant match here on the Continent. Don't
be precipitouous," says she, "but see the effect you'll make with that
beautiful pink gownd;" and here, Shusan, she gave me all as one as a
bran new silk of the mistress's, with five flounces, and lace trim-mins
down the front! It's what they call glassy silk, and shines like it!

"I 'm sorry, miss," says I, "that as I took the mistress's warnin', I'm
obleeged to refuse you."

"Nonsense, Betty," says she; "I'll arrange all that."

"But my feelins, miss,--my feelins."

"Well, I'll even engage to smoothe these," says she, laughing.

And so, Shusy, I had to laugh too; for my nature is always to be easy
and complyiant; and when anybody means well to me, they can do what they
plaze with me. It's a weak part in my character, but I can't help it
"I'm not able to be selfish, Miss Mary Anne," says I.

"No, Betty, _that_ you are not," says she, patting my cheek.

But for all that, Shusy, I 'm not going to give up Taddy till I know
why,--tho' I did n't say so to her. So I just put up the pink gownd in
my drawer, and went up and told the mistress I'd stay; but begged she
wouldn't try my nerves that way another time, for my constitution would
n't bear repated shocks. I saw she was burstin' to say something, but
dar'n't, Shusy, and she tore a lace cuff to tatters while I was talk
in'. Well, well, there's no deny in' it, anyhow; manials has many
troubles, but they can give a great deal of annoyance and misery if they
set about it right You 'd like to hear about Taddy, and I 'll be candid
and own that he is n't what would be called handsome in Ireland, though
here he is reckoned a fine-looking man. He is six foot four and a half,
without shoes, a little bent in the shoulders, has long red hair, and
sore eyes; that cums from the snow, for he's out in all weathers--after
the pigs. You 're surprised at that, and well you may; for instead of
keeping the craytures in a house as we do, and giving them all the filth
we can find to eat, they turns them out wild into the woods, to eat
beech-nuts, and acorns, and chestnuts; and the beasts grow so wicked
that it's not safe for a stranger to go near them; and even the man that
guides them they call a "swine-fearer."(1) Taddy is one of these; and
when he 's dressed in a goat-skin coat and cap, leather gaiters buttoned
on his legs, and reachin' to the hips, and a long pole, with an iron
hook and a hatchet at the end of it, and a naked knife, two feet long,
at his side, you 'd think the pigs would be more likely to be afraid of
_him!_ Indeed, the first time I saw him come into the kitchen, with a
great hairy dog they call a fang-hound at his heels, I schreeched out
with frite, for I thought them--God forgive me!--the ugliest pare I ever
set eyes on. To be sure, the green shade he wore over his eyes, and
the beard that grew down to his breast, did n't improve him; but I 've
trimmed him up since that; and it's only a slight squint, and two teeth
that sticks out at the side of his mouth, that I can't remedy at all!

Paddy Byrne spends his time mock in' him, and makin' pictures of him
on the servants' hall with a bit of charcoal. It well becomes a dirty
little spalpeen like him to make fun of a man four times his size. His
notion of manly beauty is four foot eight, short legs, long breeches
and gaiters, with a waistcoat over the hips, and a Jim Crow! A monkey is
graceful compared to it!

Taddy is not much given to talkin', but he has told me that he has been
on the estate, "with the pigs," he calls it, since he was eight years
old; and as he said, another time, that "he was nine-and-twenty years a
herd," you can put the two together, and it makes him out thirty-three
or thirty-four years of age. He never had any father or mother, which
is a great advantage, and, as he remarks, "it's the same to him if there
came another Flood and drowned all the world to-morrow!"

Our plans is to live here till we can go and take a bit of land for
ourselves; and as Taddy has saved something, and has very good idais
about his own advantage, I trust, with the blessin' of the Virgin, that
we 'll do very well.

     1  Perhaps the accomplished Betty has been led into this
     pardonable mistake from the sound of the German epithet
     "Schwein-führer."--Editor of "Dodd Correspondence."

This that I tell you now, Shusan, is all in confidence, because to the
neighbors, and to Sam Healey, you can say that I am going to be married
to a rich farmer that has more pigs--and that's thrue--than ye 'd see in
Ballinasloe Fair.

What distresses me most of all is, I can't make out what religion he 's
of, if he has any at all! I try him very hard about penance and 'tarnal
punishments, but all he says is, "When we 're married I 'll know all
about that."

As the mistress writ all about Mary Anne's marriage to Mrs. Galagher,
at the house, I don't say anything about it; but he's an ugly crayture,
Shusan dear, and there's a hangdog, treach'rous look about him I wonder
any young girl could like. The servants, too, knows more of him than
they lets on, but, by rayson of their furrin language, there's no
coming at it.

Between ourselves, she doesn't take to the marriage at all, for I seen
her twice cryin' in her room over some ould letters; but she bundled
them up whin she seen me, and tried to laugh.

"I wonder, Betty," says she, "will I ever see Dodsbor-ough again!"

"Who knows, miss?" said I; "but it would be a pity if you did n't, and
so many there that's fond of you!"

"I don't believe it," says she, sharp. "I don't believe there's one
cares a bit about me!"

"Baithershin!" says I, mocking.

"Who does?" says she; "can ye tell me even one?"

"Sure there 's Miss Davis," says I, "and the Kellys, and there's Miss
Kitty Doolan, and ould Molly, not to spake of Dr. Bel--"

"There, do not speak of him," says she, getting red; "the very names of
the people make me shudder. I hope I 'll never see one of them."

Now, Shusan dear, I told you all that it's in my mind, and hope you 'll
write to me the same. If you could send me the gray cloak with the blue
linin', and the bayver bonnet I wore last winter two years, they 'd
be useful to me here, and you could tell the neighbors that it was new
clothes you were sendin' me for my weddin'. Be sure ye tell me how Sam
Healey bears it. Tell him from me, with my regards, that I hope he won't
take to drink, and desthroy his constitution.

You can write to me still as before, to your attached and true friend,

Betty Cobb.



LETTER XL. KENNY I. DODD TO THOMAS PURCELL, ESQ., OF THE GRANGE, BRUFF.

Constance, Switzerland.

My dear Tom,--Before passion gets the better of me, and I forget all
about it, let me acknowledge the welcome arrival of your post bill
for one hundred, but for which, Heaven knows in what additional
embarrassment I might now be in. You will see, by the address, that I
am in Switzerland. How we came here I 'll try and explain, if Providence
grants me patience for the effort; this being the third time I have
addressed myself to the task unsuccessfully.

I need not refer to the situation in which my last letter to you left
us. You may remember that I told you of the various preparations
that were then in progress for a certain auspicious event, whose
accomplishment was fixed for the ensuing week. Amongst others, I wrote
to Morris for some articles of dress and finery to be procured at
Baden, and for, if possible, a comfortable travelling-carriage, with a
sufficiency of boxes and imperials.

Of course in doing so it was necessary, or at least it was fitting, that
I should make mention of the cause for these extraordinary preparations,
and I did so by a very brief allusion to the coming event, and to the
rank of my future son-in-law, the youthful Baron and heir of Wolfenfels.
I am not aware of having said much more than this, for my letter was so
crammed with commissions, and catalogues of purchases, that there was
little space disposable for more intelligence. I wrote on a Monday,
and on the following Wednesday evening I was taking a stroll with James
through the park, chatting over the approaching event in our family,
when a mounted postboy galloped up with a letter, which being marked
"Most pressing and immediate," the postmaster had very properly
forwarded to me with all expedition. It was in Morris's hand, and very
brief. I give it to you verbatim:--

     "My dear Sir,--For Heaven's sake do not advance another step
     in this affair. You have been grossly imposed upon. As soon
     as I can procure horses I will join you, and expose the most
     scandalous trick that has ever come to the knowledge of
     yours truly,

     "E. Morris.

     "Post-House, Tite See.   2 o'clock p.m.   Wednesday."


You may imagine--I cannot attempt to describe--the feelings with which
James and I read and re-read these lines. I suppose we had passed the
letter back and forwards to each other fully a dozen times, ere either
of us could summon composure to speak.

"Do you understand it, James?" said I.

"No," said he. "Do _you?_"

"Not unless the scoundrel is married already," said I.

"That was exactly what had occurred to me," replied he. "'Most
scandalous trick,' are the words; and they can only mean that."

"Morris is such a safe fellow,--so invariably sure of whatever he says."

"Precisely the way I take it," cried James. "He is far too cautious to
make a grave charge without ample evidence to sustain it! We may rely
upon it that he knows what he is about."

"But bigamy is a crime in Germany. They send a fellow to the galleys for
it," said I. "Is it likely that he 'd put himself in such peril?"

"Who knows!" said James, "if he thought he was going to get an English
girl of high family, and with a pot of money!"

Shall I own to you, Tom, that remark of James's nearly stunned
me,--carelessly and casually as it fell from _him_, it almost
overwhelmed me, and I asked myself, Why should he think she was of high
family? Why should he suppose she had a large fortune? Who was it
that propagated these delusions? and if there really was a "scandalous
trick," as Morris said, could I affirm that all the roguery was on one
side? Could I come into court with clean hands, and say, "Mrs. Dodd
has not been cheating, neither has Kenny James "? Where are these broad
acres of arable and pasture,--these verdant forests and swelling lawns,
that I have been bestowing with such boundless munificence? How shall we
prove these fourteen quarterings that we have been quoting incessantly
for the past three weeks? "No matter for _that_," thought I, at length.
"If the fellow has got another wife, I 'll break every bone in his
skin!" I must have pondered this sentiment aloud, for James echoed it
even more forcibly, adding, by way of sequel, "And kick him from this to
Rotterdam!"

I mention this in detail to show that we both jumped at once to the same
conclusion, and, having done so, never disputed the correctness of our
guess. We now proceeded to discuss our line of action,--James advising
that he should be "brought to book" at once; I overruling the counsel by
showing that we could do nothing whatever till Morris arrived.

"But to-morrow is fixed for the wedding!" exclaimed James.

"I know it," said I, "and Morris will be here to-night. At all events,
the marriage shall not take place till he comes."

"I 'd charge him with it on the spot," cried James. "I 'd tell him,
in plain terms, the information had come to me from an authority of
unimpeachable veracity, and to refute it if he could."

"Refute what?" said I. "Don't you see, boy, that we really are not in
possession of any single fact,--we have not even an allegation?"

I assure you, Tom, that I had to make him read the note over again, word
by word, before he was convinced of the case.

As we walked back to the castle, we talked over the affair, and turned
it in every possible shape, both of us agreeing that we could not, with
any safety, intrust our intelligence to the womankind.

"We 'll watch him," said James; "we 'll keep an eye on him, and wait for
Morris."

I own to you my feelings distressed me to that degree I could scarcely
enter the house, and as to appearing at supper it was clean out of the
question. How could I bring myself to accept the shelter of a man's
roof against whom I harbored the very worst suspicions! Could I be
Judas enough to sit down at table with one against whom I was hatching
exposure and shame! It was bad enough to think that my wife and daughter
were there. As for James, he took his place at the board with such
an expression in his features that I verily believe Banquo looked a
pleasanter guest at Macbeth's banquet. I betook myself to the terrace,
and walked there till midnight, watching with eye and ear towards the
road that led from Freyburg.

"Night or Blücher!" said the Duke, on the memorable field at Waterloo;
but there was the blessing of an alternative in _his_ case. _Mine_ had
none. It was Morris or nothing with _me_, And now I began anathematizing
to myself those crusty, secret, cautious natures that are always
satisfied when they cry "Stop!" without taking the trouble to say
wherefore. What may be a precipice to one man, thought I, is only a step
to another! How does _he_ know that _his_ notions of roguery would tally
with _mine?_ There 's many a thing they call a cheat in England we
might think a practical joke in Ireland. The national prejudices are
constantly in opposition; look, for instance, at the opposite view they
take of the "Income tax"! Morris, besides, is a strait-laced fellow
that would be shocked at a trifle. Maybe it's some tomfoolery about his
ancestors, some flaw in the 'scutcheon of Conrad, or Leopold, that
lived in the year nine. Egad! I wonder what the Dodds were doing in that
century? Or perhaps it is his politics he's hinting at, for I believe
the Baron is a bit of a Radical! For that matter, so am I,--at least,
occasionally, and when the Whigs are in power; for, as I observed to you
once, Tom, "always be a shade more liberal than the Government." It
was years and years before I came to see the good policy of that simple
rule, but, believe me, it 's well worth remembering. Be a Whig to the
Tories; be a Radical to the Whigs; and when Cobden and that batch come
in, as they are sure to do sooner or later, there will be yet some lower
depth to descend to and cry, "Take me out!"

I was remarking that Morris is quite capable of being shocked at the
Baron's politics, and fancying that I am giving my daughter to one of
those Organization of Labor and Rights of Man humbugs that are always
getting up rows and running away from them. Now, Tom, I hold these
fellows mighty cheap. A patriot without pluck is like a steam-engine
wanting a boiler. Why, it 's the very essence and vitality of the
whole; but still I am not sure that, as the world goes, I 'd be right
in refusing him my daughter because he put his faith in Kossuth, and
thought the Austrian Empire an unclean thing!

I tell you these ruminations and reasonings of mine that you may
perceive how I turned the matter over with myself in a candid spirit,
and was led away neither by prejudice nor passion. From ten o'clock till
eleven--from eleven till midnight--I walked the terrace up and down,
like the Ghost in "Hamlet,"--I hope I'm right in my quotation,--but
neither sight nor sound indicated Morris's arrival! "What if he should
not come!" thought I. "How can I frame a pretext for putting off the
wedding?" There was no opening for delay that I could think of. I had
signed no end of deeds and parchments; I had written my name to "acts"
of every possible shape and description. The solemnity of the church and
my paternal blessing were alone wanting to complete the fifth act of the
drama. I racked my brain to invent a plausible, or even an intelligible
cause for postponement. Had I been a condemned felon, I could not have
tortured my imagination more intensely to find a pretext for a reprieve.
But one issue of escape presented itself. I could be dangerously ill,--a
sudden attack; at my age a man can always have gout in the stomach! My
daughter, of course, could not be married if I was at death's door; and
as, happily, there was no doctor in the neighborhood, the feint
attack ran no risk of being converted into a serious action. Since the
memorable experiment of my mock illness at Ems, I own I had no fancy for
the performance, nor could I divest my mind of the belief that all these
things are, in a measure, a tempting of Providence. But what else could
I do? There was not, so far as I could see, another road open to me.

I was just, therefore, turning back into the house, to take to my bed
in a dangerous condition, when I heard the clattering of whips, in that
crack-crack fashion your German postilion always announces an arrival.
I at once hastened down to the door, and arrived at the same moment
that four posters, hot and smoking, drew up a travelling-barouche to the
spot. Morris sprang out at once, and, seizing my hand, with what for him
expressed great warmth, said,--

"Not too late, I hope and trust?"

"No," said I; "thanks to your note, I was fully warned."

By this time a stranger had also descended from the carriage, and stood
beside us.

"First of all, let me introduce my friend, Count Adelberg, who, I
rejoice to say, speaks English as well as ourselves."

We bowed, and shook hands.

"By the greatest good luck in the world," continued Morris, "the
Count happened to be with me when your letter arrived, and, seeing the
post-mark, observed, 'I see you have got a correspondent in my part of
the world,--who can he be?' Anxious to obtain information from him, I
immediately mentioned the circumstances to which your note referred,
when he stopped me suddenly, exclaiming, 'Is this possible,--can you
really assure me that this is so?'"

But, my dear Purcell, I cannot go over a scene which nearly overcame
me at the time, and now, in recollection, is scarcely endurable. The
torture and humiliation of that moment I hope never to go through again.
In three words, let me tell my tale. Count Adelberg was the owner and
lord of Wolfsberg, the Wolfenschafers being his stewards. This pretended
Baron was a young swindling rascal, who had gone to Bonn less for
education than to seek his fortune. The popular notion in Germany, that
every English girl is an heiress of immense wealth, had suggested to
him the idea of passing himself off for a noble of ancient family and
possessions, and thus securing the hand of some rich girl ambitious of a
foreign rank and title. He had considerable difficulties to encounter in
the prosecution of his scheme, but he surmounted or evaded them all. He
absented himself from Baden, for instance, where recognition would have
been inevitable, under the pretext of his political opinions; and he,
with equal tact, avoided the exposure of his father's vulgarity, by
keeping the worthy individual confined to bed. Of the servants and
retainers of the castle, the shrewd ones were his accomplices, the less
intelligent his dupes. In a word, Tom, an artful plot was well laid
and carried out, to impose upon people whose own short-sightedness and
vulgar pretensions made them ready victims for even a less ingenious
artifice.

I was very nigh crazy as I heard this explanation. They had to hold me
twice or thrice by main force to prevent my rushing into the house and
wreaking a personal vengeance on the scoundrel. Morris reasoned and
argued with me for above an hour. The Count, too, showed that our whole
aim should be to prevent the affair getting rumored abroad, and to
suppress all notoriety of the transaction. He alluded with consummate
delicacy to our want of knowledge of Germany and its people as an
explanation of our blunder, and condoled with me on the outrage to our
feelings with all the tact of a well-bred gentleman. Any slight pricks
of conscience I had felt before, from our own share in the deception,
were totally merged in my sense of insulted honor, and I utterly
forgot everything about the imaginary townlands and villages I had so
generously laid apart for Mary Anne's dowry.

The next question was, what to do? The Count, with great politeness and
hospitality, entreated that we should remain, at least for some days,
at the castle. He insisted that no other course could so effectually
suppress any gossip the affair might give rise to. He supported this
view, besides, by many arguments, equally ingenious as polite. But
Morris agreed perfectly with me, that the best thing was to get away
at once; that, in fact, it would be utterly impossible for us to pass
another day under that roof.

The next step was to break the matter to Mrs. D. I suppose, Tom, that
even to as old a friend as yourself I ought not to make the confession;
but I can't help it,--it will out, in spite of me; and I frankly admit
it would have amply compensated to me for all the insult, outrage,
and humiliation I experienced, if I were permitted just to lay a plain
statement of the case before Mrs. D., and compliment her upon the
talents she exercises for the advancement of her children, and the proud
successes they have achieved. In my heart and soul I believe that, in
the disposition I then felt myself, and with as good a cause to handle,
I could very nearly have driven her stark mad with rage, shame, and
disappointment. Morris, however, declared positively against this. He
took upon himself the whole duty of the explanation, and even made me
give a solemn pledge not in any way to interfere in the matter. He went
further, and compelled me to forego my plans of vengeance against the
young rascal who had so grossly outraged us.

I have not patience to repeat the arguments he employed. They, however,
just came to this: that the paramount question was to hush up the whole
affair, and escape at once from the scene in which it occurred. I don't
think I 'll ever forgive myself for my compliance on this head! I have
an accommodating conscience with respect to many debts; but to know and
feel that I owe a fellow a horse-whipping, and to experience in my heart
the conviction that I don't intend to pay it, lowers me in my own esteem
to a degree I have no power to express. I explained this to Morris.
I showed him that in yielding to his views I was storing up a secret
source of misery for many a solitary reflection. I even proposed to be
satisfied with ten minutes' thrashing of him in secret; none to be the
wiser but our two selves! He would not hear of it And now, Tom, I own to
you that if the story gets abroad in the world, this is the part of
it that will most acutely afflict me. I really can't tell you why
I permitted him to over-persuade me, and make me do an act at
once contrary to my country, my nature, and my instincts. The only
explanation I can give is this: it is the air of the Continent. Bring
an English bull-dog abroad, feed him with raw beef as you would at home,
treat him exactly the same--but he loses his courage, and would n't
face a terrier. I 'm convinced it's the same with a man; and you 'll
see fellows put up with slights and offences here that in their own land
they 'd travel a hundred miles to resent. One comfort I have, however,
and it is this,--I have never been well since I yielded this point
My appetite is gone; I can't sleep without starting up, and I have a
fluttering about my heart that distresses me greatly; and although
these are more or less disagreeable, they show me that, under fair
circumstances, K. I. could be himself again; and that though the
Continent has breached, it has not utterly destroyed, his natural good
constitution.

To be brief, our plan of procedure was this: I was to remain with the
Count in his apartment, while Morris went on his mission to Mrs. D.
The explanation being made, we were to take the Count's carriage to
Constance, where we could remain for a week or so, until we had decided
which way to turn our steps; and gave also time to Caroline, who was
still with Morris's mother, to join us.

I told M. that I did n't like to go far, that my remittances might
possibly miss me, and so on; and the poor fellow at once said, that if
a couple of hundred pounds could be of the slightest convenience to me,
they were heartily at my service. Of course, Tom, I said no, that I was
not in the least in want of money. It was the first time in my life I
refused a loan; but I could n't take it. I could have found it easier
to rob a church at that moment! He flushed deeply when I declined the
offer, and stammered out something about his deep regret if he could
have offended me; and, indeed, I had some trouble to prove that I was
n't a bit annoyed or provoked.

Although all the conversation I have alluded to took place outside the
castle, we were not well inside the door when we perceived that Count
Adelberg's arrival had already been made known to the household. Troops
of servants hastened to receive him, amongst whom, however, neither the
steward nor his son were to be found.

"Send Wolfenschfer to the library," said he to a footman, as we went
along, and then conducted me to a small and favorite chamber of which he
always kept the key himself. He made me promise not to quit this till he
returned, and then left me to my own not over-gratifying reflections in
perfect solitude as they were; Morris having departed on his embassy.

I was speculating on the various emotions each of us was likely to
experience at the discovery of this catastrophe, when Morris entered the
room, with an amount of agitation in his manner I had never witnessed
before.

"Well," said I, "you've told her,--how does she bear it?"

"I confess," said he, stammeringly, "Mrs. Dodd does not appear to
place too much reliance upon my mere word,--I mean, not that kind of
confidence which could be called implicit."

"Why, you showed her that we have been infamously deceived, grossly
insulted?"

"I endeavored to do so," said he, still hesitating. "I tried in the most
delicate manner to explain by what vile artifices you had been tricked;
and that, on my detection of the scheme, I had hastened over from Baden,
fortunately in sufficient time to prevent the accomplishment of this
nefarious plot. She scarcely would hear me out, however; for, without
paying any regard to the proofs I was giving of my statement, she flew
into a passion about my habit of obtruding myself into family affairs,
and the impertinent interference which I had practised more than once
in matters which did not concern me. In a word, she utterly disbelieved
every word I said, attributed my interested feelings to very unworthy
motives, and made a few personal remarks of a nature the reverse of
complimentary."

"Was my daughter present?" asked I.

"Miss Dodd had gone to her room a short time previously, but Mrs. Dodd
sent for her as I was leaving the chamber."

I could not any longer master my impatience, but, without waiting for
more, rushed upstairs and into my wife's room. A glance assured me
that the work of persuasion was already accomplished; for she was lying
half-fainting in a large chair, while Mary Anne and Betty were bathing
her temples and using the usual restoratives for suspended animation.

I had abundant time to observe Mary Anne during these proceedings,
and, to my excessive wonderment do I own it, the girl was as calm, as
self-possessed, and as collected as ever I saw her. I defy the very
shrewdest to say that they could detect one trait of anxiety or
discomposure about her; so that, though I saw Mrs. D. had yielded to the
convictions of truth, I really could not say whether or not Mary Anne
had yet heard of the story. I thought, however, I 'd explore the way
by an artificial path, and said: "If she's well enough to be carried
downstairs, Mary Anne, we ought to do it. The great matter is to quit
this place at once."

"Of course, papa," said she, without the slightest touch of emotion.

"After what has occurred," said I, "every moment I remain is a fresh
insult."

"Quite so," said she, composedly.

Ah, Tom, these women are out and out beyond us! Neither physiologists
nor novel-writers know a bit about them. The stock themes with these
fellows are their tender susceptibility, gentleness, and so forth. Take
my word for it, it is in strength of character, in downright power of
endurance, that they excel us. They possess a quality of submission
that rises to actual heroism, and they can summon an amount of energy
to resist an insult to their pride of which we men have no conception
whatever.

Instead of any attempt to condole with Mary Anne, or to comfort her,
the best I could do was to try to imitate the dignified calm of her
composure.

"Don't you think," said I to her, "that we could be off by daybreak?"

"Easily," said she. "Augustine is packing up, and when mamma is a little
better I 'll assist her."

"_She_ knows it all?" said I, with a gesture towards my wife.

"Everything!"

"And believes it at last?"

A nod was the reply.

Egad, Tom, this coolness completely took me aback. I could do nothing
but stare at the girl with amazement, and ask myself, "Does she really
know what has happened?"

In utter indifference to my scrutiny, she continued her attentions to
her mother, whispering orders from time to time to Betty Cobb.

"Hadn't you better give some directions about your trunks, papa?" said
she to me.

And thus recalled to myself, I hastened to follow the advice. Faddy, as
is customary with him at any great emergency, was drunk, and, with
the usual consequence, engaged in active conflict with the rest of the
servants' hall. As for James, I sought for him everywhere in vain,
but at last learned that he was seen to saddle and bridle a horse for
himself about half an hour before, which done, he mounted and rode off
at speed towards the forest, which direction, it appeared, the young
Baron! had taken some time before. I should have felt uncommonly uneasy
for the result had they not assured me that there was not the very
slightest chance of his overtaking the fugitive.

Morris told me, too, that the old steward had been turned out of doors
already, so that we had at least the satisfaction of a very heavy
vengeance. The Count never ceased to show us every attention in his
power; and, so far as politeness and good manners could atone to us,
everything was done that could be imagined. With Morris's aid I got my
things together, and before daybreak the carriage stood fully loaded at
the door. There was, it is true, "an awful sacrifice" exacted by this
hurried packing; and the frail finery of the trousseau found but scanty
tenderness, as it was bundled up into valises and even carpet-bags!
However, I was determined to march, even at the loss of all my baggage,
if necessary!

While these active operations went forward, Mrs. D. "improved the
occasion" by some sharp attacks of hysterics, which providentially ended
in a loss of voice at last; and thus a happy calm was permitted us, in
which to take a slight breakfast before starting.

If I call it slight, Tom, it was not with reference to the preparations,
which were really on the most sumptuous scale, and all laid out in the
large dinner-room with great taste. The Count had told Morris that if
his presence might not be thought intrusive, he would feel it a great
honor to be permitted to pay his respects to the ladies; and when I
mentioned this to Mary Anne, to my no small astonishment she replied,
"Oh, with pleasure! I really think we owe it to him for all his
attentions." Ay! Tom, and what is more, down came my wife, who had
passed the night in screaming and sobbing, looking all smiles and
blandnesses, leaning on Mary Anne, who, by the way, had dressed herself
in the most becoming fashion, and seemed quite bent on a conquest. Oh,
these woman, these women!--read them if you can, Tom Purcell! for, upon
my conscience, they are far above the humble intelligence of your friend
K. I.

I don't think you 'd believe me if I was to give you an account of that
same breakfast. If ever there was an incident calculated to overwhelm
with shame and confusion, it was precisely that which had just occurred
to us. It was not possible to conceive a situation more painful than we
were placed in; and with all that, I vow and declare that, except Morris
and myself, none seemed to feel it. Mrs. D. ate and drank, and bowed and
smiled and gesticulated, and ogled the Count to her heart's content;
and Mary Anne chatted and laughed with him in all the ease of intimate
acquaintanceship; and as he evidently was struck by her beauty, she
appeared to accept the homage of his admiration as a very satisfactory
compliment. As for me, I tried to behave with the same good breeding as
the others, but it was no use!--every mouthful I ate almost choked me;
every time I attempted to be jocose, I broke down, with a lamentable
failure. Rage, shame, and indignation were all at work within me; and
even the ease and indifference displayed by the womenkind increased
my sense of humiliation. It might very probably have been far less
well-mannered and genteel; but I tell you frankly, I 'd have been better
pleased with them both if they had cried heartily, and made no secret of
their suffering. I half suspect Morris was of the same mind too; for
he could not keep his eyes off them, and evidently in profound
astonishment. But for him, indeed, I don't know how I should have got
through that morning, for Mrs. D. and her daughter were far too intent
upon fresh conquests to waste a thought on recent defeats, and it was
evident that Count Adelberg was received by them both with all the
credit due to the "real article." This threw me completely on Morris for
all counsel and guidance; and I must say he behaved admirably, making
all the arrangements for our departure with a ready promptitude that
showed old habits of discipline.

In the Count's _calèche_ there was no room for servants; but our own was
to follow with them and the baggage, and also bring up James,--all of
which details M. was to look after, as well as the care of forwarding to
me any letters that might arrive after I was gone.

It was nigh eight o'clock before we started, though breakfast was over a
little after six; and, indeed, when all was ready, horses harnessed, and
postilions in the saddle, the Count insisted on the "ladies" ascending
the great watch-tower of the castle to see the sun rise. He assured
them people came from all parts of the world for that view, which was
considered one of the finest in Europe; and in proof of his assertion
pointed to a long string of inscriptions on marble tablets in the wall.
Here it was the Kur Furst of this; and there the Landgravine of that.
Dukes, archdukes, and field-marshals figured in the catalogue, and
amidst the illustrious of foreign lands a distinguished place was
occupied by Milor Stubbs, who made the ascent on a day in the
year recorded. That Mrs. Dodd and Mary Anne are destined to a like
immortality, I have no doubt whatever.

At last we got into the carriage, but not until the Count had saluted
me on both cheeks, and embraced me tenderly in stage fashion; he kissed
Mrs. D.'s hand, and Mary Anne's also, with such a touching devotion
that, for the first time during that memorable morning, they both wiped
their eyes. The sight of Morris, however, seemed to recall them to the
sober realities of life; they shook hands with him, and away we went
at that tearing gallop which, though very little more than six miles an
hour, has all the apparent speed and the real peril of a special train.

"Where's my fur cloak? Is my muff put in? I don't see the gray shawl.
Mary Anne, what has become of the rug? I 'm certain half our things are
left behind. How could it be otherwise, seeing the absurd haste in which
we came away!" These are a few specimens of Mrs. D.'s lucubrations,
given _per saltum_ as we bumped through the deep ruts of the road, and
will explain, as well as a chapter on the subject, the train in which
her thoughts were proceeding.

Ay, Tom! for all the disgrace and ignominy of that miserable night and
morning, she had no other sentiment of sorrow than for the absurd haste
in which we came away. I had firmly determined not to recur to this
unpleasant affair, and to let it sleep amongst the archives of similar
disagreeable reminiscences, but this provocation was really too strong
for me! Were they women?--were they human beings, and could reason this
way?--were the questions that struggled for an answer within me! I tried
to repress the temptation, but I could not, and so I resolved, if I
could do no more, at least to discipline my emotions, and hold them
within certain limits. I waited till we were out of the grounds,--I
delayed till we were some miles on the high-road,--and then, with a
voice subdued to a mere whisper, and in a manner that vouched for the
most complete subjection, said,--

"Mrs. Dodd, may I be permitted to inquire--and I premise that the object
of my question is neither any personal nor a mere vulgar curiosity, but
simply to investigate what might be termed a physiological fact, namely,
whether females really feel less than the males of the human species?"

My dear Tom, the calm tone of my exordium availed me nothing. To no
end was it that I propounded the purely scientific basis of my
investigation. She flew at me at once like a tigress. The abstract
question that I had submitted for discussion she flung indignantly
to the winds, and boldly asked me if I thought "to escape that way."
"Escape "--that way! I was thunderstruck, stupefied, dumfoundered!
Did the woman want to infer--could she by any diabolical ingenuity or
perverseness imply--that I was possibly to blame for our late
calamity? You 'll not credit it; nobody could, but it is the truth,
notwithstanding. _That_ was exactly the charge she now preferred against
me. If I bad taken proper steps to investigate the "Baron's" real
pretensions,--if _I_ had made due and fitting inquiries about him,--if
_I_ had been commonly intelligent, and displayed the most ordinary
knowledge of the world,--in fact, if, instead of being a bull-headed,
blundering old Irish country gentleman, I had been a cross between a
foreign prefect and a London detective, the chances were that we had
been spared the mortification of exhibiting ourselves as endeavoring
to dupe people who were already successfully engaged in duping us! This
wasn't all, Tom, but she boldly propounded the startling declaration
that she and Mary Anne both had suspected the Baron to be an imposition
and a cheat! and although his low manners and vulgar tone imposed upon
_me_, they had always regarded him as shockingly underbred! It was
_I_, however, who had rushed into the whole misadventure,--it was _I_
concocted the entire scheme,--_I_ planned the visit,--_I_ made up the
match. My stupid cupidity, my blundering anxiety for a grand alliance,
were the causes of all the evil! The mock munificence of my settlements
was hurled at me as proof positive of the eagerness of my duplicity,
and I was overwhelmed with a mass of accusations which I verily believe
would have obtained a verdict against me at the hands of any honest and
impartial jury of my countrymen.

I have more than once had to acknowledge, that when perfectly assured
in my own conscience of my innocence, Mrs. D. has contrived to shake my
doubts about myself, and at last succeeded in making me believe that I
might have been culpable without knowing it. I suppose in these cases I
may have been morally innocent and legally guilty, but I 'll not puzzle
my head by any subtlety of explanation; enough if I own that a less
enviable predicament no man need covet!

I sat under this new allegation sad, silent, and abashed; and although
Mary Anne said but little, yet her occasional "You must admit, papa,"
"You will surely acknowledge," or "You cannot possibly forget," chimed
in, and swelled the full chorus of accusation against me. If I said
nothing, I thought the more. My reflections took this shape: Here is
another blessed fruit of our coming abroad. Such an incident never
could have befallen us at home. Why, then, should we continue to live on
exposed to similar casualties?

Why reside in a land where we cannot distinguish the man of rank from
his scullion, and where all the forms that constitute good breeding and,
maybe, good grammar, are quite beyond our appreciation? Every dilettante
scribbler for the magazines who sketches his rambles in Spain or
Switzerland, grows jocose over some eccentricity or absurdity of his
countrymen. Their blunders in language, dress, or demeanor are duly
chronicled and relied upon as subjects for a droll chapter; but let
me tell you, Tom, that the difficulties of foreign residence are very
considerable indeed, and, except to the man who issues from England with
a certain well-proved and admitted station, social or political, the
society into which he may be thrown is a downright lottery. The first
error he commits, and it is almost inevitable, is to mistake the common
forms of hat-lifting and bowing for acquaintanceship. "Bull" thinks that
the gentleman desires to know him, and obligingly condescends to
accept his overtures. The foreigner, somewhat amused to see the veriest
commonplace of politeness received as evidence of acquaintance, profits
by the admission, chats, and comes to tea. Now, Tom, whether it be cheap
soup, cheap clothing, cheap travelling, or cheap friendship, I have a
strong prejudice against them all. My notion is that the real article is
not to be had without some cost and trouble.

These were some of my ruminations as we rattled along; and although the
road was interesting, and the day a fine bracing autumnal one, my
mind was not attuned to pleasure or enjoyment We stopped to bait at
Donaueschingen, for we were obliged, by some accident or other, to take
the same horses on, and found a most comfortable little inn at the sign
of the "Sharpshooter." After dinner we took a stroll in the garden of
the palace of the mediatized Prince of Furstenberg; for, of course,
there is a palace and a mediatized prince wherever there is a town of
three thousand inhabitants throughout Germany. By the way, Napoleon
treated these people pretty much like our own Encumbered Estates Court
at home. He sold them out without any ceremony, and got rid of
the feudal privileges and the seignorial rights with a bang of the
auctioneer's hammer. Of course, as with us, there was often a great
deal of individual hardship, but these little principalities were large
evils, and half the disturbances of Europe grew out of their corrupt
administration.

There is, I often fancy, a natural instinctive kind of corruption
incidental to the dominion of a small state. They are too small and
too insignificant to attract any attention from the world without,
and within their own narrow limits there is no such thing as a public
opinion. The ruler, consequently, is free to follow the caprices of
his folly, his cruelty, or his wastefulness. He has neither to dread
a parliament nor a newspaper. If he send his small contingent--a
commander-in-chief and a drummer of great experience--to the great army
of the Confederation he belongs to, he may tax his subjects, or hang
them, to his heart's content! Now, I cannot imagine a worse state
of things than this, nor any more likely to foster that spirit of
discontent which every hour is adding to the feeling of the Continent.

While I am following this theme, I am forgetting what was uppermost a
few minutes back in my mind. In the garden of the same palace, which
belongs to a certain fount Furstenberg, there is a singularly beautiful
little spring; it bubbles up amidst flowers and grass, and overruns
the greensward in many a limpid streamlet. There is something in the
unadorned simplicity of this tiny well, rippling through the yellow
daffodils and "starry river buds," wonderfully pleasing; but what
an interest fills the mind as we hear that this is the source of the
Danube! "The mighty river that sweeps along through the rocky gorges of
Upper Austria, washes the foundations of the Imperial Vienna, and flows
on, ever swelling and widening and deepening, to the Black Sea,--that
giant stream, so romantic in its associations with the touching tale
of our own Richard,--so picturesque in its windings, so teeming with
interest to the poet, the painter, the merchant, and the politician,
there it is, a little crystal rivulet, whose destiny might well seem
limited to the flowery borders, and blossoming beds around it." This
isn't mine, Tom, though it's exactly what I would have said if the words
occurred to me, but I copy it out of the Visitors' Book, where strangers
write their names, and, so to say, leave their cards upon the infant
Danube.

Truisms are only tiresome to the hearer; they are a delightful
recreation to the man that tells them, so that I am sorely tempted to
mention some of those that suggested themselves to my mind as I stood
beside that little spring,--all the analogies that at once arose to my
fancy, between human life and the course of a mighty river, between the
turnings and twinings and aberrations of childhood, the headlong current
of youth, the mature force of manhood, and the trackless issue, at last,
into the great ocean of eternity! One lesson we may assuredly gather
from the contemplation: not to predicate from small beginnings against
the likelihood of a glorious future!

I left the place regretfully; the tranquil quietude of my two hours'
ramble through the garden restored me to a serene and peaceful frame
of mind. The little village itself, the tidy, unpretending inn, clean,
comfortable, and a model of cheapness, were all to my fancy, and I could
very well have liked to linger on there for a week or so. After all,
what a commentary is it upon all pursuits of pleasure and amusement,
to think that we really find our greatest happiness in those little,
out-of-the-way, isolated spots, remote from all the attractions and
blandishments of the gay world! I don't mean to say that Mrs. D. quite
concurred with me, for she grew very impatient at my delay, and wondered
excessively "what peculiar attraction the garden of the palace might
have possessed, to make me forget myself." But it's not so easy a thing
to do as she thinks! Forgetting oneself, Tom, implies so many other
oblivions. It means forgetting one's tenants that have been over-rented,
one's banker overdrawn, one's horses overworked, one's house out of
repair, one's estate out at elbows; forgetting the duns that torment,
the creditors that torture you,--the latitats, the writs, the mortgages,
the bonds,--all the inflictions, in fact, consequent to parchment,
signed, sealed, and delivered over to your persecuting angel! Oh dear,
oh dear! what a thirsty swig would I take of Lethe if I could! and how
happy would I be to start fresh in life without any one of the
"liabilities," as they call them, that attach to Kenny Dodd!

I remember, when I was a schoolboy, no day of the week had such terrors
for me as Saturday, because we were obliged to answer a repetition of
the whole week's work. That carrying up of the past was a load that
always destroyed me! My notion was to let bygones be bygones, and it
was downright cruelty to take me over the old ground of my former
calamities. The same prejudice has tracked me through life. I can face a
new misfortune as well as my neighbors; what kills me is going back
over the old ones. Let me tell you, too, that there is a great deal of
balderdash talked in the world about experience,--that with experience
you 'll do this, that, and t' other better. Don't believe a word of
it. You might as well tell me that having the typhus will teach a man
patience the next time he catches a fever! Take my word for it, be as
fresh as you can against the ills of life,--know as little of them as
you can,--think as little of them! Keep your constitution--whether it be
moral or physical--as intact as you are able, and rely on it you 'll not
fare the worse when it comes to the trial!

It was a fine evening, with a thin rim of a new moon in the sky, when
we got ready to leave Donaueschingen. The bill for dinner came to about
five shillings for three of us, wine included, and no charge for rooms,
so that when I gave as much more to the servants, the enthusiasm of
the household knew no bounds. The housemaid, indeed, in an excess of
enthusiasm, would kiss my hand, and got rebuked by my wife as a "forward
hussy, that ought to be well looked after." From this incident, however,
our attention was soon diverted by the arrival of our second carriage,
but without James! A note from Morris explained that he did not like to
detain the servants, lest it should prove inconvenient to us, and that
he would take care James should join us at Constance,--probably early
on the next day. This note was handed to me by the post-boy,--a
circumstance speedily accounted for, as I got out and saw that the whole
company, consisting of Betty, Augustine, the courier, Paddy Byrne, and a
fifth, unknown, were all very drunk and unable to speak, closely wedged
in the britschka! Of course it was no time to ask for any explanations,
and we came on to this place, which we reached by midnight.

As I have given you a somewhat full narrative of what befell us, I may
as well, ere I conclude, add some words of explanation of the state of
our amiable followers. Betty Cobb, it appears, was seized with connubial
symptoms while we were at the castle, and, yielding to the soft
impeachment, and not being deterred by any discovery of false rank or
pretensions, actually bestowed her hand on a distinguished swineherd
that pertained to the place. The wedding took place after we left,
the convivial festivities being continued all along the road till they
overtook us. Had the unlucky girl married a New Zealand chief, or a
Kaffir, her choice could not have fallen upon a more thoroughly savage
specimen of the human race. The fellow is a Black Forest Caliban of the
worst description. The question is now what to do with him, for Mrs. D.
will not consent to part with Betty, nor will Betty separate from her
liege lord; so that amongst my other blessings I may number that of
carrying about the world a scoundrel that would disgrace a string of
galley-slaves! Just imagine, Tom, in the rumble of a travelling-carriage
a fellow six foot and a half high, dressed in a cowhide, with an ox
gond in his hand, and a long naked knife in his girdle, speaking no
intelligible tongue, nor capable of any function save the herding of
wild animals,--the most uncultivated specimen of brute nature I ever
heard, saw, or even read of! Fancy, I say, the pleasure of "lugging"
this creature over the Continent of Europe, feeding, housing, and
clothing him, his sole claim being that he is the husband of that
precious bargain, Betty Cobb!

Why, he 'd bring shame on a beast caravan! The best of it is, too, he
holds to his "caste" like a Hindoo, and refuses all other
occupation save the charge of swine. He would not aid to unload the
carriage,--would not lift a trunk, nor carry a carpet-bag; and when
admonished by Paddy for his laziness, showed two inches of a broad knife
up his sleeve with a grin meant to imply that he knew how to resist any
assault on his dignity! That the scoundrel has no respect for law,
is clear enough; so that my hope is he will commit some terrible
infraction, and that we may be able to send him to the galleys for the
rest of his days. How I 'm to keep him and Paddy apart is more than yet
appears to me. I suppose, in the end, one of them will kill the other.

[Illustration: 536]

From what I see here, the expense of keeping this beast--at an hotel at
least--will be equal to the cost of three ordinary servants; for he has
no regular meal-times, but has food cooked for him "promiscuously," and
eats--if I 'm to credit the landlord--either a kid or a lamb _per diem_,
A bear would n't be half the expense, and a far more companionable beast
besides. It is but fair to say that Betty seems to adore him; she crams
the monster all day with stolen victuals, and appears to have no other
care in life than in watching after him.

What induces Mrs. D. to feel this sudden attachment to Betty herself,
I can't imagine. Up to this she railed at her unceasingly, and deplored
the day and the hour she took her from home. But now, when this alliance
really makes her insupportable, she won't hear of parting with her, and
submits to a degree of tyranny from this woman that is utterly
inexplicable. It's another of those feminine anomalies, Tom, that
neither you nor I, nor maybe anybody else, will ever be able to
reconcile.

You will probably wonder how, at a moment like this, smarting as I am
under the combined effects of insult and disappointment, I can turn my
attention to a matter of this trifling nature; but I confess to you that
the admission of this uncivilized element into the circle of my family
inspires me with feelings of disgust, not unmixed with terror; for what
he may do in any access of fury the infernal gods alone can say. So long
as we are here, in this remote and little-visited town, the notice he
attracts is confined to a troop of street loungers who follow him; but
I have yet to learn how we are ever to make our appearance in a regular
city in his company.

Now to another matter, Tom, and the most essential of all. What are we
to do for money? for, whether we go on or go back, we must have it. I
have n't the heart to go over the accounts; nor would it put sixpence
more in my pockets, if I was like Babbage's calculating-machine! Screw
up the tenants, and make them pay the arrears. Healey owes us at least
two hundred pounds. Try if he can't pay half. See, besides, if you
cannot find a tenant for the place, even for a year. This Exhibition in
Dublin will fill the country with strangers; and a good advertisement
of Dodsborough, with an account of the "shooting and fishing, capital
society, and two packs of hounds in the neighborhood," might take the
notice of some aspiring Cockney. From what I see in the papers, Ireland
is going to be the fashion this summer. I suppose that she is starved
down to the pitch to be "thin and genteel," and that's the reason of it.

Tell me what you think of this great display of "industrial products,"
as they call it. Are we as wonderful as the Irish papers say, or are we
really as backward as the "Times" pronounces us? My own notion is that
the whole thing proceeds on a misconception of the country and
its capabilities. These Exhibitions are essentially dependent
on manufacturing skill for their excellence. Now, we are not a
manufacturing people. We are agriculturists, and so are the Yankees; and
consequently the utmost we can do is to show off the clever inventions
and cunning products of our neighbors. Writing, as I do, confidentially
to yourself, I will own, too, that I am not one of those sanguine
admirers of these raree-shows, nor do I see in them the seeds of all
that progress that others prophesy. Looking at a wonderful mechanical
invention will no more teach me to imitate it, than going to Batty's
Circus will enable me to jump through a hoop, or ride on my head!
Amusement, pleasure, interest, there is in one as much as the other;
but as for any educational advantage, Tom, I don't believe in it. To the
scientific man these things are all familiar,--to the peasant they are
all miraculous; and though the Electric Telegraph be really a wonderful
thing, after one sees the miracles of the Church it ceases to surprise
you! At all events, give me some account of the place and the people in
your next, and write soon.

I have kept this a day back, hoping to announce James's arrival here,
but up to this there is no tidings of him. Yours, ever faithfully,

Kenny James Dodd.

P. S. I find now that this town is not in Switzerland, but in Baden,
for the police have been here to know "who we are?" and "why we have
come?"--two questions that would take longer to answer than they
suspect. How absurd these little bits of national prejudice sound, when
the symbol of nationality is only a blue post or a white one, and no
geographical limit announces a new country. Droll enough, too, they are
most importunate in their inquiries after James; as if the appearance
of his name in the passport requires that he should be forthcoming when
asked for. Ah, Tom! if the fellows that knocked old Europe about in
'48 had resolutely set their faces against these stumbling-blocks
to civilization--passports, police spies, town dues, and gate
imposts,--they 'd have won the sympathy of millions, who do not care a
rush about Universal Suffrage and the Liberty of the Press,--and, what
is more, the concessions could never have been revoked nor recalled!

To myself, individually, the system presents few annoyances; for I sit
serene behind my ignorance of all continental languages, and say to
myself, "Touch me if you dare." Maybe they half suspect the substance
of my meditations, for they show the greatest deference towards my
condition of passive resistance. The Brigadier has just bowed himself
out of the room, with what sounded like a hearty curse, but what Mary
Anne assures me was a sincere protestation of his sentiment of "high
consideration and esteem." And now to dinner.



LETTER XLI. MARY ANNE DODD TO MISS DOOLAN, OF BALLYDOOLAN

Constance on the Lake.

Dearest Kitty,--With what rapture do I once more throw myself into the
arms of your affection! How devotedly do I seek the sanctuary of my
dearest Kitty's heart! It is all over, my sweet friend,--all over! I
see you start,--your cheek is bloodless, and your lips tremble,--but
reassure yourself, Kitty, and hear me. If there be anything against
which I am weak and powerless,--if there be aught in life to oppose
which I have neither strength nor energy,--it is the reproach of one I
love! Already do I stand accused before you, even now have you arraigned
me, and my condemnation is trembling on your lips. Avow it,--own it,
dear girl. Your heart, at least, has said the words of my sentence: "All
over! so then Mary Anne has jilted him,--changed her mind in the last
hour,--trifled with his affections, and made a sport of his feelings."
Yes, such is the charge against me; and, trembling as I stand before
you, I syllable the word "Guilty." "Guilty, but with extenuating
circumstances." Be calm then, be patient; and, above all, be merciful,
while I plead before you.

I deny nothing, I evade nothing. I cannot even pretend that my altered
feelings originated in any long process of reason or reflection. I will
not affect to say that I struggled against conflicting doubts, and only
yielded when powerless to resist them. No, dearest, I am above every
such shallow artifice; and I own that it was on the very morning your
letter arrived--at the moment when my hot tears were falling over the
characters traced by your hand--as, enraptured, I kissed the lines that
breathed your love--then there suddenly broke upon me a light illumining
the dark horizon around me. Space became peopled with forms and images,
voices and warnings floated around and above me, and as I read your
words--"If, then, your whole heart be his"--I trembled, Kitty, my eyes
grew dim, my bosom heaved in agony, and, in my heart-wrung misery, I
cried aloud, "Oh, save me from this perfidy,--save me from myself!"

Save that the letter which my fingers grasped convulsively was the
offspring of friendship and not of love betrayed, the scene was
precisely like that which closes the second act of the "Lucia di
Lammermoor." Mamma, the Baron, James, even to the priest, all were
there; and, like Lucia, dressed in my bridal robe, the orange-flowers
in my hair, and such a love of a Brussels veil fastened mantilla-wise to
the back of the head, I stood pale, trembling, and conscience-stricken!
the awful words of your question ringing in my ears, like the voice of
an angel come to call me to judgment, "'If your whole heart be his!' But
it is not," cried I, aloud,--"it is not, it never can be!" I know not in
what wild rhapsody my emotions found utterance. I have no memory of that
gushing cataract in which overwrought feelings found their channel.
I spoke in that rapt enthusiasm in which, as we are told, the ancient
priestesses delivered their dream-revealings, for I, too, was as one
inspired, as agony alone can inspire. Of myself I know nothing, but I
have since heard that the scene was harrowing to a degree that no words
can convey. The Baron, mounted on his fastest courser, fled into the
woods; James, spirited on by some imagined sense of injury, thirsting
for a vengeance on he knew not what or whom, pursued him; mamma was
seized with frantic screaming; and even papa himself, whose lethargic
humor stands him like an armor of proof,--even he swore and imprecated
in a manner that called forth a most impressive rebuke from the
chaplain.

[Illustration: 541]

The scene changes,--we are away! The castle and its deep woods grow
dim behind us; the wild mountains of the Schwartz Wald rise before and
around us. The dark pines wave their stately tops, the wood-pigeon cries
his plaintive note; rocky glen and rugged precipice, foaming waterfalls
and wooded slopes, pass swiftly by, and on we hasten,--on and on; but,
with all our speed, dark, brood-ing care can still outstrip us, and
sorrow follows faster than the wind.

We arrived at Constance by midnight, when I soon betook me to bed, and
cried myself to sleep. Sweet--sweet tears were they, flowing like the
crystal drops from the margin of an overcharged fountain; for such was
the heart of your afflicted Mary Anne.

It is not by any casuistry about the injustice I should have done, had
I bestowed a moiety where I had promised a whole heart. It is not by any
pretence that I felt this to be an unworthy artifice, that I now appeal
to your merciful consideration. It is simply as one suddenly awakened
to the terrible conviction that she cannot be loved as she is capable
of loving; or, in other words, that she despairs of ever inspiring that
passion which alone could requite her for the agony of love. Oh, Kitty,
it is an agony, and such a one as no torture of human wickedness ever
equalled. May you never feel it in that intensity of suffering which is
alike its ecstasy and its woe!

Do not reproach me, Kitty; my heart has already done so,
bitterly,--terribly! Again and again have I asked myself, "Who and what
are you, that dare to reject rank, wealth, station, glorious lineage,
and a noble name? If these and the most devoted love cannot move
you, what are the ambitions that rise before you?" Over and over do
I interrogate myself thus, and yet the only reply is, a heart-heaved
sigh,--the spirit-wrung voice of inward suffering! You, dearest, who
know your friend, will not accuse her of exaggerated or overwrought
vanity. None so well as you are aware that these are not my
characteristic failings.

An excess of humility may depreciate me, even to the lowliest condition
of humble fortune; and if happiness be but there, I will not deem the
choice a mean one! You will judge of the sincerity of my words, when I
tell you that I have just been unpacking all my things, and putting them
away in drawers and wardrobes; and oh, Kitty, if you could but see them!
Papa was really splendid, and allowed me to order everything I could
fancy. Of course his generosity fettered rather than stimulated my
extravagance, so that I merely took the absolute _nécessaire_. Of these
I may mention two cashmeres and three Brussels scarfs, one a perfect
love; twelve morning, eighteen evening dresses, of which one for
the altar is covered with Valenciennes, looped up with pearls and
brilliants*, the corsage ornamented down the front with a bouquet of
the same stones, arranged to represent lilies of the valley, with
dewdrops,--a pretty device, and quite simple, to suit the occasion.
The presentation robe is actually magnificent, and only needs a diamond
_parure_ to be queenly. How I dote, too, on these dear little bonnets!
I never weary of trying them on; they sit so coquettishly on the back of
the bead, and make one look sly and modest, and gentle and saucy, all
at once! In this walk of art the French are incomparably above us. Dress
with them observes all the harmony of color and the keeping of a great
picture. No lilac bonnets and blue shawls,--no scarlets and pinks
alternately killing and marring each other,--none of that false heraldry
of costume by which your Englishwoman displays her vulgar wealth and
ill-assorted finery. All is graceful, well toned, and harmonious. Your
_mise_ is, so to say, the declaration of your sentiments, just as the
signal of a man-of-war proclaims her intention; and how ingenious to
think that your stately cashmere suggests homage, your ermined mantle
watchful devotion, your muslin peignoir confidence and intimate
intercourse.

Now, your "English" must _look_ all these to be intelligible, and
constantly converts herself into a great staring, ogling, leering
machine, very shocking to contemplate.

I need scarcely remark to you, dearest, that the step I have just taken
has made my position in the family like that of the young lady who
refused Louis Napoleon before Europe. Our situations, if you come to
consider them, are wonderfully alike; and there are extraordinary points
of resemblance between the gentlemen, to which I cannot at present more
fully allude. The ungenerous observations and slighting allusions to
which I am exposed would actually wring your heart. Even James remarked
that the whole affair reminded him of Joe Hudson, who, after accepting
an Indian appointment, refused to sail when he had obtained the outfit.
"Mary Anne only wanted the kit," was the vulgar impertinence by which
he closed this piece of flattery; and this was in allusion to the
_trousseau!_ Men are so shallow, so meanly minded, Kitty, and, above
all, so ungenerous in the measure of our motives. They really think that
we value dress for itself, and not as a means to an end,--that end being
their own subjection! Mamma, I must say, is truly kind; she regrets,
naturally enough you will think, the loss of a great alliance. She had
pictured to herself the quartering of the M'Carthys with the house of
W------, and ranged in imagination over various remote but ambitious
contingencies; but, with true maternal affection, she has effaced all
these memories from her heart, only to think of me and of my emotions. I
have also been able to supply her with a consolation, no less great than
unexpected, in this wise: papa, from one cause or other, had been of
late seriously meditating a return to Ireland; I shame to say, Kitty,
that he never valued, never understood the Continent; its habits, its
ways, and its wines, all disagreed with him; financial reasons, too,
influenced him; for somehow, up to this, we have been forced to overlook
the claims of economy, and only regard those which refer to the station
we are to maintain in society. Now, from all these causes, he had
brought himself to think the only safety lay in a speedy retreat! Mamma
had ascertained this beyond a doubt by some passages in Mr. Purcell's
letters to papa; how obtained I know not. From these she gathered that
at any moment he was capable of abandoning the campaign, and embarking
the whole army! The misery such a course would entail upon us I have no
need to enlarge upon; nor could I, if I tried, find words to depict the
condition of suffering that would be ours if again domesticated in that
dreadful island. Forgive me, dearest, if I wound one susceptibility of
your tender heart,--I would not ruffle even a rose-leaf of your gentle
nature; but I cannot refrain from saying that Ireland is very dreadful!
Philosophers affect to tell us, Kitty, that from the chemical properties
of meteoric stones we can predicate the nature of the planets from which
they have fallen, and the most ingenious theories as to the structure,
size, and conformation of their bodies are built upon such slender
materials. Now, would it be too wide a stretch of ingenuity to apply
this theory to home affairs, and argue, from the specimen one sees of
the dear country, what must be the land that has reared them? And oh,
Kitty, if so, what a sentence we should be condemned to pass!

But to the consolation of which I spoke, and which in this diversion I
was nigh forgetting. Papa, as I mentioned, was bent on going home;
and now these costly preparations of wedding finery offer the means of
opposing him, for of what use could they possibly be at Dodsborough,
Kitty? To what end that enormous outlay, if brought back to the regions
of Bruff? Here is an expensive armament,--all the _matériel_ of a
campaign provided; who would counsel the consigning it to rust and
decay? who would advise giving over to moths what might be made the
adornment of some brilliant capital? Whether we consider the question
morally, financially, or strategically, we arrive at the same
conclusion. Such a display as this, if exhibited at home, would
revolutionize the whole neighborhood, disgust them with home-grown gowns
and bonnets, and lead to irrepressible extravagance, debt, and ruin. So
far for moral considerations. Financially, the cost is incurred, and it
only remains to make the outlay profitable; this, it is needless to say,
cannot be done at Dodsborough. And now for the strategy, the tactical
part, Kitty. We all know that whenever a marriage is broken off, scandal
seizes the occasion for any reports she likes to circulate, and the
good-natured world always agrees in condemning "the lady." If her
character or conduct be unimpeachable, then they make searches as to
her temper. She was a termagant that ruled her whole family, scolded her
sisters, bullied her brothers, and was the terror of everyone. If this
indictment cannot be sustained, they find a flaw in her fortune; her
twenty thousand was "only ten;" ten, Irish currency; perhaps on an Irish
mortgage of an Irish property, mayhap charged with Heaven knows what of
annuities to Irish relations! Now, Kitty, it is essential to avoid every
one of these evil imputations, and I have supplied mamma with so good
a brief in the cause, so carefully drawn up, and so well argued, that
I don't think papa will let the case go to a jury, or, in other words,
that he will give in his submission at once. I have much more to tell
you, and will write again to-morrow.

Ever yours in affection,

Mary Anne Dodd.



LETTER XLII. MARY ANNE DODD TO MISS DOOLAN, OF BALLYDOOLAN

Lake of Constance

My dearest Kittt,--True to my pledge, I sit down to continue the
revelations, the first volume of which is already before you; and as I
left off in a chapter of _désagréables_, let me finish the theme ere I
proceed to pleasanter paths and greener pastures.

Betty Cobb has gone and taken to herself a husband; and such a husband
as really I did not fancy could be found nearer us than the Waterkloof,
if that be the correct spelling of the pleasant locality in Kaffirland
where some of the something--Fifth or Eighth--are always getting
surprised and cut to pieces. The creature is a swineherd,--one of those
dreadful semi-savages that Germany rears out of respect to its ancient
traditions about wood demons and kobolds. So terrific an object I never
beheld, and his "get up," as James would call it, equals his natural
advantages.

You may remember the wretches who are thrusting the page into the
furnace in Retsch's illustrations of Schiller's poem, "Der Gang auf
den Eisenhammer,"--one of these is a flattering likeness of him. Betty,
however, whose taste in manly beauty is not formed on the Antinous
model, believes him to be perfection. At all events, no promise of
double wages, presents, or other seductions could warp her allegiance
from this seductive object; and as mamma suddenly discovered that she
was quite indispensable to her, the consequence is that we have to
accept the company and companionship of the graceful "Taddy," who is now
part of our legation as a swineherd unattached. You must know, Kitty,
that these worthy people, who are brought up from infancy to regard
pigs as the most important part of the creation, are impressed with
a profound contempt for the human species; that all their habits are
imbued with swinish tastes, modes, and prejudices,--that they love to
live in woods, sleep on the ground, and grunt their sentiments, when
they have any. Whether these be the characteristics of conjugalism, or
the features which, as the book says, "make home happy," time and Betty
alone can tell. I must say that fear and disgust are, for the present,
the impressions his appearance suggests to me; but Betty is clearly of a
different mind.

Meanwhile, as regards ourselves, he is really a most embarrassing
element of the state. He is totally unacquainted with all laws, divine
and human, and only sufficiently gifted with speech to convey his
commonest wishes; and, from what I can learn, Caspar Hauser was a man
of the world in comparison to him. Papa is, of course, frantic at the
thought of his pertaining to us,--but what is to be done? Betty has
declared that she will follow him to Jericho; by which she means to some
fabulous land of unreal geography; and mamma will not part with Betty.
To-morrow, or next day, I expect to hear that Taddy protests he can't
live without his pigs, and that a legion of swine become part of our
travelling equipment. Already has his presence on our staff called for
the attention of the authorities, who are, very naturally, curious to
know what we mean by such a functionary. Papa, on his side, thinks it
part of an Englishman's birthright to resist, oppose, and torment the
police; and, of course, will give no information whatever as to why he
is here, but avows his determination to retain him in his service just
on that account.

These complications--to give them a mild name--have so absorbed me that
I have forgotten to tell you about our present place of sojourn. The
Lake of Constance sounds pretty, dearest. It seems to address itself
at once to our sense of the beautiful, and our moral attachment to the
true. As we approached it, I looked eagerly from the carriage, at each
turning of the mountain road, for some glimpses of the scenery; but
night fell suddenly, and closed all in darkness. Early on the following
morning I arose, and taking Augustine with my sketch-book, hurried down
to the border of the lake; for our most quaint and ancient "hostelry"
stands in the very centre of the town, and fully fifteen minutes' walk
from the water. We reached it suddenly, on turning the angle of a narrow
lane, and came out upon a small stone pier projecting into the water,
and this was the lake,--the Lake of Constance! Only think, Kitty, of
a great wide expanse of bleak water, with low shores; no glaciers,
no Alps, no sublimity! I could have cried with disappointment The
custom-house people--very nice-looking men, with a becoming uniform of
green and gold--assured me that at the upper end of the lake I should
see the mountains of the Vorarlberg, and also the range of the Swiss
Alps, and have abundant material for my pencil. Meanwhile they made an
old boatman sit while I sketched him; he was mending his net, and with
his long blue nightcap, and scarf of the same color, his snow-white
beard, and fine Rembrandt color, he really made a charming study. The
chief officer of the customs--a remarkably handsome man, with the very
blackest moustaches--was in downright enthusiasm at the success of my
little sketch; and really, as it was utterly valueless, I could not
resist Augustine's entreaty to tear it out of my book and give it to
him.

[Illustration: 1a024]

You can't think, Kitty' with what a graceful mixture of gratitude and
dignity he accepted my worthless present. He might, so far as breeding
went, have been a captain of hussars. He accompanied us all the way back
to the hotel, having previously placed his boat and his boat's crew at
my disposal during our stay here. Ah, Kitty, what a charm there is in
the amiable tone of foreigners! How striking the contrast between their
cultivated politeness and the rude barbarism of our own people! Fancy
for a moment what is our home notion of a custom-house official!--a
shabby genteel individual, with a week's beard and a brandy-and-water
eye, that pokes into your trunk after French gloves, and searches
your brother's pocket for cheroots. Imagine _him_ beside one of these
magnificently dressed and really splendid-looking men, with all the air
of an aide-de-camp to the Queen! How naturally we are led to estimate
the style in which people live by the dress and appointment of their
household; and should we not pass a similar judgment on states, and
argue, from the appropriate costume of the functionaries, to their own
completeness and perfection of system?

I said nothing to mamma of our newly made acquaintance; for as I entered
the inn I learned that James and another gentleman had just arrived, but
so tired and fatigued that they both had given orders that they should
not be disturbed on any account. You may be sure, Kitty, I was intensely
curious to know who the stranger was; but all my inquiries were only so
many additional provocatives to my eagerness, without any satisfaction!
I learned, indeed, that he was young, handsome, tall, and spoke French
and German fluently; so much so, indeed, that the waiter hesitated
whether to call him English or not! James and his fellow-traveller had
arrived by the diligence from Schaffhausen, so that there was really
nothing by which we could catch a clew to his friend; and I was left to
my patience and my conjectures till breakfast time.

I own to you, Kitty, the trial was too much for my nerves, overstrung as
they have been by late events. I fancied a thousand things. I imagined
incidents, events, casualties, of which, even to you, dearest, I cannot
give the interpretation. Unable, at last, to resist the working of a
curiosity that had risen to a torture, I took the resolution to awake
James, and ask who was his friend. I traversed the corridor with
stealthy footsteps, and sought out the number of his room. It was 43,
the waiter said, and the last on the gallery; and so I found it. I
turned the handle noiselessly, and entered. The window-curtains were
closely drawn, and all was in deep shadow. In one corner of the chamber
stood the bed, from which the deep respirations of the sleeper issued;
and, poor fellow, it must have been more than common fatigue and
weariness that could have caused such sounds. As with cat-like stillness
I stole across the chamber, my eyes, growing accustomed to the dim
half-light, began to discover objects on each side of me. For instance,
I perceived a splendid dressing-gown of amber-colored silk, lined with
pale blue, and gorgeously embroidered; a cap of the same colors, with
a silver tassel of a foot in length, lay beside it Slippers of costly
embroidery in silver thread, and a most magnificent meerschaum, with a
mounting of gold and rubies, was on the table, beside a pair of
pistols, whose carved stocks were inlaid with a tracery of the finest
workmanship. These I knew to be James's, for I had seen them with him;
and there were various other articles equally splendid and costly,
all new to me,--such as card-cases, tablets, cigar-holders, and a most
gorgeous dressing-case of gold and Bohemian glass, from which, really, I
could scarcely tear myself away. I was well aware that James had set no
limit to his personal extravagance; but these, and the display of rings,
pins, buttons, shirt-studs, chains, and trinkets of all kinds, perfectly
astounded me. And here let me remark, Kitty, that the young men of
the present day far exceed us in all that pertains to this taste
for ornamental jewelry. As my eyes ranged over these attractive and
beautiful objects, I was particularly struck with an opal brooch,
representing a parrot in the midst of palm-leaves. It was a most
beautiful piece of enamel work, studded with gems of every brilliant
hue.

It was, as you may imagine, far too pretty for a man's wear, and I
resolved to profit by the occasion, to appropriate, or, as the Americans
say, to "annex" it to my own possessions. I had just fastened it in the
front of my dress, when the handle of the door turned, and--oh, Kitty!
conceive my agony as I heard James's voice speaking from without! It
was, therefore, not _his_ chamber where I was standing, nor could the
sleeper be _he!_ Escape and concealment were my first thought, and I
sprang behind a screen at the very moment the door opened. Should I live
a hundred years, I shall never cease to remember the intense misery of
that moment. You need only picture my situation to your own mind, to see
how distressing it must have been. The certainty of being discovered if
I made the slightest noise saved me from fainting, but I almost fancied
that the loud beating of my heart might have betrayed me.

James came in without any peculiar deference for the sleeper's nerves,
and, upsetting a chair or two, stumbled across the room towards the bed,
on which he seated himself, calling out "George--Tiverton--old fellow!
don't you mean to get up at all to-day?"

[Illustration: a028]

Oh, Kitty! fancy my trembling tenor as I heard that I was in the chamber
of Lord George Tiverton. The very utmost I could do was to refrain from
a scream; nor do I now know how I succeeded in repressing it.

It was not till after repeated efforts that James succeeded in awaking
his friend, who at length, with a long-drawn sigh, exclaimed, "By Jove,
Jemmy! I'm glad you routed me up. I 've had a horrid dream. Only think,
I imagined that I was still in the House of Lords listening to that
confounded case! I fancied that Scratchley was addressing their
Lordships in reply, and pledging himself to show that gross neglect, and
even cruelty, could be proved against me. The old scoundrel's harsh
voice is still ringing in my ears, and I hear him tearing me to very
tatters!"

"Was there anything of that sort?" said James, as he struck a light to
his cigar and began smoking.

"Why, I must say, he was _not_ complimentary. These fellows, you are
aware, have a vocabulary of their own, and when setting up a defence
for a pretty woman, married at seventeen, they pitch into one's little
frailties at a very cruel rate. Not exactly that the narrative is very
detrimental to a man's future prospects; what really damages you is
what they call cruelty, and your wife's maid--particularly if she be a
Frenchwoman--can always prove this."

"Indeed!" exclaimed James, in some astonishment.

"To be sure she can. Why, everything that thwarts her mistress in
anything--good, bad, or indifferent--is cruelty in the French sense.
You are rather given to fast acquaintances; you bring home with you to
supper, some three or four times a week, detachments of that respectable
company one meets at Tattersall's Yard, or in the Turf Club; chicken
hazard and the _coulisses_ of the opera are amongst your weaknesses;
you have a taste for sport, and would rather take the odds against the
favorite than lay out your spare cash at Howell and James's. That 's
cruelty! When regularly done up in town, you make a bolt for Boulogne,
or rush down to your shooting-box in the Highlands. That 's more
cruelty, and neglect besides! Terribly pressed for money, you try to
bully your wife's uncle, one of the trustees to her settlement, and
threaten to kick him downstairs. Gross cruelty! Harder up again, you
pledge her diamonds. Shocking cruelty! Cleared out and sold up,
you suggest the propriety of her sending away the French maid, and
travelling up to Paris alone. That's monstrous cruelty! And, in fact,
all together establish a clear justification for anything that may
befall you. Besides this, Jemmy, if you marry a girl of good family, she
is sure to have either a father, an uncle, or a brother, or perhaps some
three or four cousins in the Lords; now, whatever comes off, they oppose
your bill, and as their Lordships only want to hear your story, to
listen to the piquant narrative of domestic differences and conjugal
jarrings, nobody cares a straw whether you succeed or not. Give me a
light, Jim."

They both continued to puff their cigars for some time in silence,
during which my sufferings rose to absolute torture; for, in addition to
the shocking circumstances of my own situation, was now the fact of my
having overheard a most private conversation.

"So they threw out your bill?" asked James, after a pause.

"Deferred judgment!" replied the other, puffing, "which comes to pretty
nigh the same thing. Asked for further evidence, explanations, what not!
Cursed cigars! don't draw at all."

"They 're Bollard's best Havannahs."

"Well, perhaps I've been unlucky in my choice; if so, it's not the first
time, Jem;" and he laughed heartily at the notion. "I say, take care and
don't say anything about this affair of mine."

"But it will be in all the papers. The 'Times' will give it to-morrow or
next day."

"Not a bit of it,--had a private hearing, old fellow. Too many good
names compromised to have the thing made town talk,--you understand."

"Ah, that's it!" said James.

"Yes, It 's one of the few privileges remaining to what Lord Grey calls
'our order,' except, perhaps, the judgments of the London magistrates.
To do _them_ justice, the fellows do know what a lord is, and 'they
act accordingly.' There, it's out at last,"--and he threw away his
cigar,--"and I suppose I may as well think of getting up. Just draw that
curtain, Jem, and open the shutter."

Oh, Kitty dearest, can you form to yourself any idea of my situation!
James had already risen from the bedside, and was groping his way to the
window. Another moment, and the flood of light would pour into the room
and inevitably discover me. My agitation almost choked me; it was like
a sense of drowning, and at the same time accompanied by the terrible
thought that I must not dare to cry for succor. James was busy with the
button of the window-fastening,--another instant and it would be too
late,--and with the energy of utter despair I sprang from behind the
screen, and then, pushing it with all my force, upset it over the
toilet-table, the whole tumbling against James with a horrid crash, and
laying him prostrate beneath the ruins. I dashed from the room with
the speed of lightning; I know not how I flew along the gallery, up the
stairs, and gained my own chamber, but, as I turned the key inside, all
consciousness left me, and I fell fainting on the floor. The noise of
many footsteps on the corridor outside, and the sound of voices, aroused
me. The fragments I could collect showed me that all were discussing the
late catastrophe, and none able to explain it. Oh, Kitty, what a gush
of delight rushed through me to hear that I had escaped unseen, unknown,
unsuspected!

The general voice attributed the accident to James's awkwardness, and I
could perceive that he had not escaped without some bruises.

It was a long time, too, ere I could turn my thoughts from my late peril
to think of the strange revelation I had been witness to; nor was it
without a certain shock to my feelings that I learned Lord George was
married. His attentions to me were certainly particular, Kitty. No girl,
with any knowledge of life, makes any mistake on the subject, because,
if she entertains a doubt, she knows how at once to resolve it, by tests
as unerring as those a chemist employs to discover arsenic.

Now, I had submitted him to one or two of these at times, and they
all showed him to be "infallibly affected." With what a sense of
disappointment, then, was I to hear that he was already married, the
only alleviation being that he was seeking to dissolve the tie! Poor
fellow! how completely did this unhappy circumstance explain many
expressions whose meaning had hitherto puzzled me! How I saw through
clouds and mists that once obscured the atmosphere of my hopes! And
how readily did I forgive him for vacillation and uncertainty, which,
before, had often distressed and displeased me. Until free, it was, of
course, impossible that he could avow his sentiments undisguisedly,
and now I recognized the noble character of the struggle that he had
maintained with himself. Oh, Kitty, it is not only that "the course of
true love never did run smooth," but it really could not be true love
if it did so. The sluggish stream of common affection flows lazily
along between the muddy banks and sedgy sides of ordinary life, but the
boiling torrent of passionate love requires the rocks of difficulty
to dam its course and impart that character of foamy impetuosity that
sweeps away every obstacle and dashes onward to its goal regardless of
danger! I 'm sure I feel quite convinced that such is the nature of Lord
G.'s passion; and that now these stupid "Lords" have rejected his plea
for a divorce, if he be not rescued by the hand of devoted affection, he
may rash madly into every excess, and dissipate the great talents with
which he is so remarkably gifted.

Be candid now, my darling Kitty, and confess frankly that you are
greatly shocked at these doctrines, and your dear little Irish prudery
blushes crimson at the bare thought of feeling even an interest in a
man already married, and horrified at the notion of his hypothetical
attentions. Yes, I see it all; your sweetly dimpled mouth is pursed up
with conscious propriety, and you are arranging your features into
all the sternness of judicial severity; but hear me for one moment in
defence, if not in justification. All these things seem very dreadful to
you in the solitudes of Tipperary, simply because of their infrequency.
The man who has separated from his wife, or the woman divorced from
her husband, are great criminals to your home-bred notions, and by
your social code they are sentenced at once to a life of solitude and
isolation; but in the real world, my dear Kitty, on the great stage
of life, this severity would be downright absurdity; the category so
mercilessly condemned by you is exactly that which contains the
true salt of society; these are the very people that everybody calls
charming, fascinating, delightful! All the elastic, buoyant natures,
the joyous spirits, the invariable good tempers, the generous hearts one
meets with, are amongst them. Why such happily gifted creatures should
not have made their homes a paradise, is a problem none can solve. It
is like the squaring of the circle,--the cause of Irish misery,--or
anything else you can think of equally inscrutable; but the fact is as I
tell you; and if you will just run your eye over any list of fashionable
company, and select such as I speak of, believe me you will have
extracted all the plums from the pudding. As for Lord George himself, a
more delightful creature does not exist; and one has only to know him
to be convinced that the woman who could not be happy with him must be a
demon. Of the generous character he possesses, and at the same time the
consummate tact of his manner, an instance grew out of the little event
I have just related. In my confusion and embarrassment after escaping
from the room, I totally forgot the brooch which I had placed in my
dress, and actually came down to breakfast with it still there. Guess
my shame and horror, Kitty, when James called out, across the table, "I
say, Mary Anne, what a smart pin you 've got there,--one of the neatest
things I have seen." I grew scarlet, then pale, and felt as if I was
going to faint; when Lord George cried out, "It is, really, very tasty.
I had one myself something like it, but the stones were emeralds, not
rubies; and I think Miss Dodd's is prettier."

The man who could rescue one at such a conjuncture, Kitty, is worthy
of all confidence, and so I told him by a glance. Meanwhile he gave the
conversation another turn by proposing a fishing excursion on the lake,
and immediately after breakfast we all sallied forth to the water.

Notwithstanding his agreeability,--and he never displayed it to greater
advantage,--I was silent and abstracted during the entire day. The
embarrassment of my position was almost unendurable; and it was only
as he took my arm, to conduct me back to the hotel, that I regained
anything like courage.

"Why are you so serious?" said he. "Mind, I don't want a confession;
only, that I have a secret for _your_ ear, whenever you will trust _me_
with one of yours."

I made him no answer, Kitty, but walked along in silence, and with my
veil down.

I write all these things to my dearest friend with less reserve than I
could recall them to my own memory in solitude. I tell her everything;
and she is the true partner of my joys, my sorrows, my hopes, and my
terrors. Yet must I leave much to her imagination to picture forth the
state of my affections, and the troubled sea of my heart's emotions.
And, oh! dearest, kindest, tenderest of all friends, do not mistake, do
not misconstrue the feelings of your ever attached and devoted

Mary Anne.

I wanted to tell you something of our future destination, and I have
detained this for that purpose, but still everything is uncertain and
undecided. Papa received a large packet, like law papers and leases,
from Mr. Purcell yesterday, and has been occupied in perusing them ever
since. We are in terror lest he should decide on going back; and every
time he enters the room we are trembling in dread of the announcement.
Mamma has had an hysterical attack in preparation for the moment, for
the last twenty-four hours, and even if "no cause be shown," I fancy she
will not throw away so much good agony for nothing, but take it out for
what Sir Boyle Roach fought his duel, "miscellaneous reasons."

Cary is still staying with the Morrises. How she endures it I can't
conceive; a half-pay lover and a half-pay _ménage_ are two things that,
to _me_ at least, would be insupportable. The girl is really totally
destitute of all proper pride, and makes the silly mistake of supposing
that a spirit of independence is the best form of self-esteem. I suppose
it will end by the "Captain's" proposing for her; but up to this, I
believe, it is all friendship, regard, and so on.

END OF VOL. I.





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