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Title: Pelham — Volume 01
Author: Lytton, Edward Bulwer Lytton, Baron
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 "Pelham — Volume 01" ***

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PELHAM

By Edward Bulwer Lytton


                              VOLUME I.

                              CHAPTER I.

             Ou peut-on etre mieux qu'au sein de sa famille?
                          --French Song.
                [Where can on be better than in the bosom of
                one's family?]

I am an only child. My father was the younger son of one of our oldest
earls; my mother the dowerless daughter of a Scotch peer. Mr. Pelham was
a moderate whig, and gave sumptuous dinners; Lady Frances was a woman of
taste, and particularly fond of diamonds and old china.

Vulgar people know nothing of the necessaries required in good society,
and the credit they give is as short as their pedigree. Six years after
my birth, there was an execution in our house. My mother was just setting
off on a visit to the Duchess of D_____; she declared it was impossible
to go without her diamonds. The chief of the bailiffs declared it was
impossible to trust them out of his sight. The matter was compromised--
the bailiff went with my mother to C___, and was introduced as my tutor.
"A man of singular merit," whispered my mother, "but so shy!"
Fortunately, the bailiff was abashed, and by losing his impudence he kept
the secret. At the end of the week, the diamonds went to the jeweller's,
and Lady Frances wore paste.

I think it was about a month afterwards that a sixteenth cousin left my
mother twenty thousand pounds. "It will just pay off our most importunate
creditors, and equip me for Melton," said Mr. Pelham.

"It will just redeem my diamonds, and refurnish the house," said Lady
Frances.

The latter alternative was chosen. My father went down to run his last
horse at Newmarket, and my mother received nine hundred people in a
Turkish tent. Both were equally fortunate, the Greek and the Turk; my
father's horse lost, in consequence of which he pocketed five thousand
pounds; and my mother looked so charming as a Sultana, that Seymour
Conway fell desperately in love with her.

Mr. Conway had just caused two divorces; and of course, all the women in
London were dying for him--judge then of the pride which Lady Frances
felt at his addresses. The end of the season was unusually dull, and my
mother, after having looked over her list of engagements, and ascertained
that she had none remaining worth staying for, agreed to elope with her
new lover.

The carriage was at the end of the square. My mother, for the first time
in her life, got up at six o'clock. Her foot was on the step, and her
hand next to Mr. Conway's heart, when she remembered that her favourite
china monster and her French dog were left behind. She insisted on
returning--re-entered the house, and was coming down stairs with one
under each arm, when she was met by my father and two servants. My
father's valet had discovered the flight (I forget how), and awakened his
master.

When my father was convinced of his loss, he called for his dressing-
gown--searched the garret and the kitchen--looked in the maid's drawers
and the cellaret--and finally declared he was distracted. I have heard
that the servants were quite melted by his grief, and I do not doubt it
in the least, for he was always celebrated for his skill in private
theatricals. He was just retiring to vent his grief in his dressing-room,
when he met my mother. It must altogether have been an awkward rencontre,
and, indeed, for my father, a remarkably unfortunate occurrence; for
Seymour Conway was immensely rich, and the damages would, no doubt, have
been proportionably high. Had they met each other alone, the affair might
easily have been settled, and Lady Frances gone off in tranquillity;--
those d--d servants are always in the way!

I have, however, often thought that it was better for me that the affair
ended thus,--as I know, from many instances, that it is frequently
exceedingly inconvenient to have one's mother divorced.

I have observed that the distinguishing trait of people accustomed to
good society, is a calm, imperturbable quiet, which pervades all their
actions and habits, from the greatest to the least: they eat in quiet,
move in quiet, live in quiet, and lose their wife, or even their money,
in quiet; while low persons cannot take up either a spoon or an affront
without making such an amazing noise about it. To render this observation
good, and to return to the intended elopement, nothing farther was said
upon that event. My father introduced Conway to Brookes's, and invited
him to dinner twice a week for a whole twelvemonth.

Not long after this occurrence, by the death of my grandfather, my uncle
succeeded to the title and estates of the family. He was, as people
justly observed, rather an odd man: built schools for peasants, forgave
poachers, and diminished his farmers' rents; indeed, on account of these
and similar eccentricities, he was thought a fool by some, and a madman
by others. However, he was not quite destitute of natural feeling; for he
paid my father's debts, and established us in the secure enjoyment of our
former splendour. But this piece of generosity, or justice, was done in
the most unhandsome manner; he obtained a promise from my father to
retire from Brookes's, and relinquish the turf; and he prevailed upon my
mother to take an aversion to diamonds, and an indifference to china
monsters.



                              CHAPTER II.


                   Tell arts they have no soundness,
                      But vary by esteeming;
                   Tell schools they want profoundness,
                      And stand too much on seeming.
                   If arts and schools reply,
                   Give arts and schools the lie.
                                 --The Soul's Errand.

At ten years old I went to Eton. I had been educated till that period by
my mother, who, being distantly related to Lord_____, (who had published
"Hints upon the Culinary Art"), imagined she possessed an hereditary
claim to literary distinction. History was her great forte; for she had
read all the historical romances of the day, and history accordingly I
had been carefully taught.

I think at this moment I see my mother before me, reclining on her sofa,
and repeating to me some story about Queen Elizabeth and Lord Essex; then
telling me, in a languid voice, as she sank back with the exertion, of
the blessings of a literary taste, and admonishing me never to read above
half an hour at a time for fear of losing my health.

Well, to Eton I went; and the second day I had been there, I was half
killed for refusing, with all the pride of a Pelham, to wash tea-cups. I
was rescued from the clutches of my tyrant by a boy not much bigger than
myself, but reckoned the best fighter, for his size, in the whole school.
His name was Reginald Glanville: from that period, we became inseparable,
and our friendship lasted all the time he stayed at Eton, which was
within a year of my own departure for Cambridge.

His father was a baronet, of a very ancient and wealthy family; and his
mother was a woman of some talent and more ambition. She made her house
one of the most recherchee in London. Seldom seen at large assemblies,
she was eagerly sought after in the well winnowed soirees of the elect.
Her wealth, great as it was, seemed the least prominent ingredient of her
establishment. There was in it no uncalled for ostentation--no purse-
proud vulgarity--no cringing to great, and no patronizing condescension
to little people; even the Sunday newspapers could not find fault with
her, and the querulous wives of younger brothers could only sneer and be
silent.

"It is an excellent connexion," said my mother, when I told her of my
friendship with Reginald Glanville, "and will be of more use to you than
many of greater apparent consequence. Remember, my dear, that in all the
friends you make at present, you look to the advantage you can derive
from them hereafter; that is what we call knowledge of the world, and it
is to get the knowledge of the world that you are sent to a public
school."

I think, however, to my shame, that notwithstanding my mother's
instructions, very few prudential considerations were mingled with my
friendship for Reginald Glanville. I loved him with a warmth of
attachment, which has since surprised even myself.

He was of a very singular character: he used to wander by the river in
the bright days of summer, when all else were at play, without any
companion but his own thoughts; and these were tinged, even at that early
age, with a deep and impassioned melancholy. He was so reserved in his
manner, that it was looked upon as coldness or pride, and was repaid as
such by a pretty general dislike. Yet to those he loved, no one could be
more open and warm; more watchful to gratify others, more indifferent to
gratification for himself: an utter absence of all selfishness, and an
eager and active benevolence were indeed the distinguishing traits of his
character. I have seen him endure with a careless goodnature the most
provoking affronts from boys much less than himself; but directly I, or
any other of his immediate friends, was injured or aggrieved, his anger
was almost implacable. Although he was of a slight frame, yet early
exercise had brought strength to his muscles, and activity to his limbs;
and his skill in all athletic exercises whenever (which was but rarely)
he deigned to share them, gave alike confidence and success to whatever
enterprise his lion-like courage tempted him to dare.

Such, briefly and imperfectly sketched, was the character of Reginald
Glanville--the one, who of all my early companions differed the most from
myself; yet the one whom I loved the most, and the one whose future
destiny was the most intertwined with my own.

I was in the head class when I left Eton. As I was reckoned an uncommonly
well-educated boy, it may not be ungratifying to the admirers of the
present system of education to pause here for a moment, and recal what I
then knew. I could make twenty Latin verses in half an hour; I could
construe, without an English translation, all the easy Latin authors, and
many of the difficult ones, with it: I could read Greek fluently, and
even translate it though the medium of a Latin version at the bottom of
the page. I was thought exceedingly clever, for I had only been eight
years acquiring all this fund of information, which, as one can never
recal it in the world, you have every right to suppose that I had
entirely forgotten before I was five and twenty. As I was never taught a
syllable of English during this period; as when I once attempted to read
Pope's poems, out of school hours, I was laughed at, and called "a sap;"
as my mother, when I went to school, renounced her own instructions; and
as, whatever school-masters may think to the contrary, one learns nothing
now-a-days by inspiration: so of everything which relates to English
literature, English laws, and English history (with the exception of the
said story of Queen Elizabeth and Lord Essex,) you have the same right to
suppose that I was, at the age of eighteen, when I left Eton, in the
profoundest ignorance.

At this age, I was transplanted to Cambridge, where I bloomed for two
years in the blue and silver of a fellow commoner of Trinity. At the end
of that time (being of royal descent) I became entitled to an honorary
degree. I suppose the term is in contradistinction to an honourable
degree, which is obtained by pale men in spectacles and cotton stockings,
after thirty-six months of intense application.

I do not exactly remember how I spent my time at Cambridge. I had a
piano-forte in my room, and a private billiard-room at a village two
miles off; and between these resources, I managed to improve my mind more
than could reasonably have been expected. To say truth, the whole place
reeked with vulgarity. The men drank beer by the gallon, and eat cheese
by the hundred weight--wore jockey-cut coats, and talked slang--rode for
wagers, and swore when they lost--smoked in your face, and expectorated
on the floor. Their proudest glory was to drive the mail--their mightiest
exploit to box with the coachman--their most delicate amour to leer at
the barmaid.

It will be believed, that I felt little regret in quitting companions of
this description. I went to take leave of our college tutor. "Mr.
Pelham," said he, affectionately squeezing me by the hand, "your conduct
has been most exemplary; you have not walked wantonly over the college
grassplats, nor set your dog at the proctor--nor driven tandems by day,
nor broken lamps by night--nor entered the chapel in order to display
your intoxication--nor the lecture-room, in order to caricature the
professors. This is the general behaviour of young men of family and
fortune; but it has not been your's. Sir, you have been an honour to your
college."

Thus closed my academical career. He who does not allow that it passed
creditably to my teachers, profitably to myself, and beneficially to the
world, is a narrow-minded and illiterate man, who knows nothing of the
advantages of modern education.



                             CHAPTER III.

             Thus does a false ambition rule us,
             Thus pomp delude, and folly fool us.
                          --Shenstone.

             An open house, haunted with great resort.
                          --Bishop Hall's Satires.

I left Cambridge in a very weak state of health; and as nobody had yet
come to London, I accepted the invitation of Sir Lionel Garrett to pay
him a visit at his country seat. Accordingly, one raw winter's day, full
of the hopes of the reviving influence of air and exercise, I found
myself carefully packed up in three great coats, and on the high road to
Garrett Park.

Sir Lionel Garrett was a character very common in England, and, in
describing him, I describe the whole species. He was of an ancient
family, and his ancestors had for centuries resided on their estates in
Norfolk. Sir Lionel, who came to his majority and his fortune at the same
time, went up to London at the age of twenty-one, a raw, uncouth sort of
young man, in a green coat and lank hair. His friends in town were of
that set whose members are above ton, whenever they do not grasp at its
possession, but who, whenever they do, lose at once their aim and their
equilibrium, and fall immeasurably below it. I mean that set which I call
"the respectable," consisting of old peers of an old school; country
gentlemen, who still disdain not to love their wine and to hate the
French; generals who have served in the army; elder brothers who succeed
to something besides a mortgage; and younger brothers who do not mistake
their capital for their income. To this set you may add the whole of the
baronetage--for I have remarked that baronets hang together like bees or
Scotchmen; and if I go to a baronet's house, and speak to some one whom I
have not the happiness to know, I always say "Sir John--."

It was no wonder, then, that to this set belonged Sir Lionel Garrett--no
more the youth in a green coat and lank hair, but pinched in, and curled
out--abounding in horses and whiskers--dancing all night--lounging all
day--the favourite of the old ladies, the Philander of the young.

One unfortunate evening Sir Lionel Garrett was introduced to the
celebrated Duchess of D. From that moment his head was turned. Before
then, he had always imagined that he was somebody--that he was Sir Lionel
Garrett, with a good-looking person and eight thousand a-year; he now
knew that he was nobody unless he went to Lady G.'s and unless he bowed
to Lady S. Disdaining all importance derived from himself, it became
absolutely necessary to his happiness, that all his importance should be
derived solely from his acquaintance with others. He cared not a straw
that he was a man of fortune, of family, of consequence; he must be a man
of ton; or he was an atom, a nonentity, a very worm, and no man. No
lawyer at Gray's Inn, no galley slave at the oar, ever worked so hard at
his task as Sir Lionel Garrett at his. Ton, to a single man, is a thing
attainable enough. Sir Lionel was just gaining the envied distinction,
when he saw, courted, and married Lady Harriett Woodstock.

His new wife was of a modern and not very rich family, and striving like
Sir Lionel for the notoriety of fashion; but of this struggle he was
ignorant. He saw her admitted into good society--he imagined she
commanded it; she was a hanger on--he believed she was a leader. Lady
Harriett was crafty and twenty-four--had no objection to be married, nor
to change the name of Woodstock for Garrett. She kept up the baronet's
mistake till it was too late to repair it.

Marriage did not bring Sir Lionel wisdom. His wife was of the same turn
of mind as himself: they might have been great people in the country--
they preferred being little people in town. They might have chosen
friends among persons of respectability and rank--they preferred being
chosen as acquaintance by persons of ton. Society was their being's end
and aim, and the only thing which brought them pleasure was the pain of
attaining it. Did I not say truly that I would describe individuals of a
common species? Is there one who reads this, who does not recognize that
overflowing class of the English population, whose members would conceive
it an insult to be thought of sufficient rank to be respectable for what
they are?--who take it as an honour that they are made by their
acquaintance?--who renounce the ease of living for themselves, for the
trouble of living for persons who care not a pin for their existence--who
are wretched if they are not dictated to by others--and who toil, groan,
travail, through the whole course of life, in order to forfeit their
independence?

I arrived at Garrett Park just time enough to dress for dinner. As I was
descending the stairs after having performed that ceremony, I heard my
own name pronounced by a very soft, lisping voice, "Henry Pelham! dear,
what a pretty name. Is he handsome?"

"Rather distingue than handsome," was the unsatisfactory reply, couched
in a slow, pompous accent, which I immediately recognized to belong to
Lady Harriett Garrett.

"Can we make something of him?" resumed the first voice.

"Something!" said Lady Harriett, indignantly; "he will be Lord
Glenmorris! and he is son to Lady Frances Pelham."

"Ah," said the lisper, carelessly; "but can he write poetry, and play
proverbes?"

"No, Lady Harriett," said I, advancing; "but permit me, through you, to
assure Lady Nelthorpe that he can admire those who do."

"So you know me then?" said the lisper: "I see we shall be excellent
friends;" and disengaging herself from Lady Harriett, she took my arm,
and began discussing persons and things, poetry and china, French plays
and music, till I found myself beside her at dinner, and most assiduously
endeavouring to silence her by the superior engrossments of a bechamelle
de poisson.

I took the opportunity of the pause, to survey the little circle of which
Lady Harriett was the centre. In the first place, there was Mr. Davison,
a great political economist, a short, dark, corpulent gentleman, with a
quiet, serene, sleepy countenance, which put me exceedingly in mind of my
grandmother's arm-chair; beside him was a quick, sharp little woman, all
sparkle and bustle, glancing a small, grey, prying eye round the table,
with a most restless activity: this, as Lady Nelthorpe afterwards
informed me, was a Miss Trafford, an excellent person for a Christmas in
the country, whom every body was dying to have: she was an admirable
mimic, an admirable actress, and an admirable reciter; made poetry and
shoes, and told fortunes by the cards, which came actually true.

There was also Mr. Wormwood, the noli-me-tangere of literary lions--an
author who sowed his conversation not with flowers but thorns. Nobody
could accuse him of the flattery generally imputed to his species;
through the course of a long and varied life, he had never once been
known to say a civil thing. He was too much disliked not to be recherche;
whatever is once notorious, even for being disagreeable, is sure to be
courted in England. Opposite to him sat the really clever, and affectedly
pedantic Lord Vincent, one of those persons who have been "promising
young men" all their lives; who are found till four o'clock in the
afternoon in a dressing-gown, with a quarto before them; who go down into
the country for six weeks every session, to cram an impromptu reply; and
who always have a work in the press which is never to be published.

Lady Nelthorpe herself I had frequently seen. She had some reputation for
talent, was exceedingly affected, wrote poetry in albums, ridiculed her
husband, who was a fox hunter, and had a great penchant pour les beaux
arts et les beaux hommes.

There were four or five others of the unknown vulgar, younger brothers,
who were good shots and bad matches; elderly ladies, who lived in Baker-
street, and liked long whist; and young ones, who never took wine, and
said "Sir."

I must, however, among this number, except the beautiful Lady Roseville,
the most fascinating woman, perhaps, of the day. She was evidently the
great person there, and, indeed, among all people who paid due deference
to ton, was always sure to be so every where. I have never seen but one
person more beautiful. Her eyes were of the deepest blue; her complexion
of the most delicate carnation; her hair of the richest auburn: nor could
even Mr. Wormwood detect the smallest fault in the rounded yet slender
symmetry of her figure.

Although not above twenty-five, she was in that state in which alone a
woman ceases to be a dependant--widowhood. Lord Roseville, who had been
dead about two years, had not survived their marriage many months; that
period was, however, sufficiently long to allow him to appreciate her
excellence, and to testify his sense of it: the whole of his unentailed
property, which was very large, he bequeathed to her.

She was very fond of the society of literati, though without the pretence
of belonging to their order. But her manners constituted her chief
attraction: while they were utterly different from those of every one
else, you could not, in the least minutiae, discover in what the
difference consisted: this is, in my opinion, the real test of perfect
breeding. While you are enchanted with the effect, it should possess so
little prominency and peculiarity, that you should never be able to guess
the cause.

"Pray," said Lord Vincent to Mr. Wormwood, "have you been to P--this
year?"

"No," was the answer.

"I have, my lord," said Miss Trafford, who never lost an opportunity of
slipping in a word.

"Well, and did they make you sleep, as usual, at the Crown, with the same
eternal excuse, after having brought you fifty miles from town, of small
house--no beds--all engaged--inn close by? Ah, never shall I forget that
inn, with its royal name, and its hard beds--

           "'Uneasy sleeps a head beneath the Crown!'"

"Ha, ha! Excellent!" cried Miss Trafford, who was always the first in at
the death of a pun. "Yes, indeed they did: poor old Lord Belton, with his
rheumatism; and that immense General Grant, with his asthma; together
with three 'single men,' and myself, were safely conveyed to that asylum
for the destitute."

"Ah! Grant, Grant!" said Lord Vincent, eagerly, who saw another
opportunity of whipping in a pun. "He slept there also the same night I
did; and when I saw his unwieldy person waddling out of the door the next
morning, I said to Temple, 'Well, that's the largest Grant I ever saw
from the Crown.'" [Note: It was from Mr. J. Smith that Lord Vincent
purloined this pun.]

"Very good," said Wormwood, gravely. "I declare, Vincent, you are growing
quite witty. Do you remember Jekyl? Poor fellow, what a really good
punster he was--not agreeable though--particularly at dinner--no punsters
are. Mr. Davison, what is that dish next to you?"

Mr. Davison was a great gourmand: "Salmi de perdreaux aux truffes,"
replied the political economist.

"Truffles!" said Wormwood, "have you been eating any?"

"Yes," said Davison, with unusual energy, "and they are the best I have
tasted for a long time."

"Very likely," said Wormwood, with a dejected air. "I am particularly
fond of them, but I dare not touch one--truffles are so very apoplectic--
you, I make no doubt, may eat them in safety."

Wormwood was a tall, meagre man, with a neck a yard long. Davison was, as
I have said, short and fat, and made without any apparent neck at all--
only head and shoulders, like a cod-fish.

Poor Mr. Davison turned perfectly white; he fidgeted about in his chair;
cast a look of the most deadly fear and aversion at the fatal dish he had
been so attentive to before; and, muttering "apoplectic," closed his
lips, and did not open them again all dinner-time.

Mr. Wormwood's object was effected. Two people were silenced and
uncomfortable, and a sort of mist hung over the spirits of the whole
party. The dinner went on and off, like all other dinners; the ladies
retired, and the men drank, and talked indecorums. Mr. Davison left the
room first, in order to look out the word "truffle," in the
Encyclopaedia; and Lord Vincent and I went next, "lest (as my companion
characteristically observed) that d--d Wormwood should, if we stayed a
moment longer, 'send us weeping to our beds.'"



                              CHAPTER IV.

                   Oh! la belle chose que la Poste!
                   --Lettres de Sevigne.

                   Ay--but who is it?
                   --As you Like it.

I had mentioned to my mother my intended visit to Garrett Park, and the
second day after my arrival there came the following letter:--

"My dear Henry,

"I was very glad to hear you were rather better than you had been. I
trust you will take great care of yourself. I think flannel waistcoats
might be advisable; and, by-the-by, they are very good for the
complexion. Apropos of the complexion: I did not like that green coat you
wore when I last saw you--you look best in black--which is a great
compliment, for people must be very distingue in appearance, in order to
do so.

"You know, my dear, that those Garretts are in themselves any thing but
unexceptionable; you will, therefore, take care not to be too intimate;
it is, however, a very good house: all you meet there are worth knowing,
for one thing or the other. Remember, Henry, that the acquaintance (not
the friends) of second or third-rate people are always sure to be good:
they are not independent enough to receive whom they like--their whole
rank is in their guests: you may be also sure that the menage will, in
outward appearance at least, be quite comme il faut, and for the same
reason. Gain as much knowledge de l'art culinaire as you can: it is an
accomplishment absolutely necessary. You may also pick up a little
acquaintance with metaphysics, if you have any opportunity; that sort of
thing is a good deal talked about just at present.

"I hear Lady Roseville is at Garrett Park. You must be particularly
attentive to her; you will probably now have an opportunity de faire
votre cour that may never again happen. In London, she is so much
surrounded by all, that she is quite inaccessible to one; besides, there
you will have so many rivals. Without flattery to you, I take it for
granted, that you are the best looking and most agreeable person at
Garrett Park, and it will, therefore, be a most unpardonable fault if you
do not make Lady Roseville of the same opinion. Nothing, my dear son, is
like a liaison (quite innocent of course) with a woman of celebrity in
the world. In marriage a man lowers a woman to his own rank; in an
affaire du coeur he raises himself to her's. I need not, I am sure, after
what I have said, press this point any further.

"Write to me and inform me of all your proceedings. If you mention the
people who are at Garrett Park, I can tell you the proper line of conduct
to pursue with each.

"I am sure that I need not add that I have nothing but your real good at
heart, and that I am your very affectionate mother,

"Frances Pelham.

"P.S. Never talk much to young men--remember that it is the women who
make a reputation in society."


"Well," said I, when I had read this letter, and adjusted my best curl,
"my mother is very right, and so now for Lady Roseville."

I went down stairs to breakfast. Miss Trafford and Lady Nelthorpe were in
the room talking with great interest, and, on Miss Trafford's part, with
still greater vehemence.

"So handsome," said Lady Nelthorpe, as I approached.

"Are you talking of me?" said I.

"Oh, you vanity of vanities!" was the answer. "No, we were speaking of a
very romantic adventure which has happened to Miss Trafford and myself,
and disputing about the hero of it. Miss Trafford declares he is
frightful; I say that he is beautiful. Now, you know, Mr. Pelham, as to
you--" "There can," interrupted I, "be but one opinion--but the
adventure?"

"Is this!" cried Miss Trafford, in a great fright, lest Lady Nelthorpe
should, by speaking first, have the pleasure of the narration.--"We were
walking, two or three days ago, by the sea-side, picking up shells and
talking about the "Corsair," when a large fierce--" "Man!" interrupted I.

"No, dog, (renewed Miss Trafford) flew suddenly out of a cave, under a
rock, and began growling at dear Lady Nelthorpe and me, in the most
savage manner imaginable. He would certainly have torn us to pieces if a
very tall--" "Not so very tall either," said Lady Nelthorpe.

"Dear, how you interrupt one," said Miss Trafford, pettishly; "well, a
very short man, then, wrapped up in a cloak--" "In a great coat," drawled
Lady Nelthorpe. Miss Trafford went on without noticing the emendation,--
"had not with incredible rapidity sprung down the rock and--" "Called him
off," said Lady Nelthorpe.

"Yes, called him off," pursued Miss Trafford, looking round for the
necessary symptoms of our wonder at this very extraordinary incident.

"What is the most remarkable," said Lady Nelthorpe, "is, that though he
seemed from his dress and appearance to be really a gentleman, he never
stayed to ask if we were alarmed or hurt--scarcely even looked at us--"
("I don't wonder at that!" said Mr. Wormwood, who, with Lord Vincent, had
just entered the room;)--"and vanished among the rocks as suddenly as he
had appeared."

"Oh, you've seen that fellow, have you?" said Lord Vincent: "so have I,
and a devilish queer looking person he is,--

         "'The balls of his broad eyes roll'd in his head,
           And glar'd betwixt a yellow and a red;
           He looked a lion with a gloomy stare,
           And o'er his eyebrows hung his matted hair.'

"Well remembered, and better applied--eh, Mr. Pelham!"

"Really," said I, "I am not able to judge of the application, since I
have not seen the hero."

"Oh! it's admirable," said Miss Trafford, "just the description I should
have given of him in prose. But pray, where, when, and how did you see
him?"

"Your question is religiously mysterious, tria juncta in uno," replied
Vincent; "but I will answer it with the simplicity of a Quaker. The other
evening I was coming home from one of Sir Lionel's preserves, and had
sent the keeper on before in order more undisturbedly to--" "Con
witticisms for dinner," said Wormwood.

"To make out the meaning of Mr. Wormwood's last work," continued Lord
Vincent. "My shortest way lay through that churchyard about a mile hence,
which is such a lion in this ugly part of the country, because it has
three thistles and a tree. Just as I got there, I saw a man suddenly rise
from the earth, where he appeared to have been lying; he stood still for
a moment, and then (evidently not perceiving me) raised his clasped hands
to Heaven, and muttered some words I was not able distinctly to hear. As
I approached nearer to him which I did with no very pleasant sensations,
a large black dog, which, till then, had remained couchant, sprung
towards me with a loud growl,

                   "'Sonat hic de nare canina
                     Litera,'

as Persius has it. I was too terrified to move--

                   "'Obstupui--steteruntque comae--'

and I should most infallibly have been converted into dog's meat, if our
mutual acquaintance had not started from his reverie, called his dog by
the very appropriate name of Terror, and then slouching his hat over his
face, passed rapidly by me, dog and all. I did not recover the fright for
an hour and a quarter. I walked--ye gods, how I did walk--no wonder, by
the by, that I mended my pace, for as Pliny says truly: 'Timor est
emendator asperrimus.'"

Mr. Wormwood had been very impatient during this recital, preparing an
attack upon Lord Vincent, when Mr. Davison entering suddenly, diverted
the assault.

"Good God!" said Wormwood, dropping his roll, "how very ill you look to-
day, Mr. Davison; face flushed--veins swelled--oh, those horrid truffles!
Miss Trafford, I'll trouble you for the salt."



                              CHAPTER V.

                   Be she fairer than the day,
                   Or the flowery meads in May;
                   If she be not so to me,
                   What care I how fair she be?
                   --George Withers.

                   It was a great pity, so it was,
                   That villanous saltpetre should be digged
                   Out of the bowels of the harmless earth,
                   Which many a good tall fellow had destroyed.
                   --First Part of King Henry IV.

Several days passed. I had taken particular pains to ingratiate myself
with Lady Roseville, and so far as common acquaintance went, I had no
reason to be dissatisfied with my success. Any thing else, I soon
discovered, notwithstanding my vanity, (which made no inconsiderable part
in the composition of Henry Pelham) was quite out of the question. Her
mind was wholly of a different mould from my own. She was like a being,
not perhaps of a better, but of another world than myself; we had not one
thought or opinion in common; we looked upon things with a totally
different vision; I was soon convinced that she was of a nature exactly
contrary to what was generally believed--she was any thing but the mere
mechanical woman of the world. She possessed great sensibility, and even
romance of temper, strong passions, and still stronger imagination; but
over all these deeper recesses of her character, the extreme softness and
languor of her manners, threw a veil which no superficial observer could
penetrate. There were times when I could believe that she was inwardly
restless and unhappy; but she was too well versed in the arts of
concealment, to suffer such an appearance to be more than momentary.

I must own that I consoled myself very easily for my want, in this
particular instance, of that usual good fortune which attends me aupres
des dames; the fact was, that I had another object in pursuit. All the
men at Sir Lionel Garrett's were keen sportsmen. Now, shooting is an
amusement I was never particularly partial to. I was first disgusted with
that species of rational recreation at a battue, where, instead of
bagging anything, I was nearly bagged, having been inserted, like wine in
an ice pail, in a wet ditch for three hours, during which time my hat had
been twice shot at for a pheasant, and my leather gaiters once for a
hare; and to crown all, when these several mistakes were discovered, my
intended exterminators, instead of apologizing for having shot at me,
were quite disappointed at having missed.

Seriously, that same shooting is a most barbarous amusement, only fit for
majors in the army, and royal dukes, and that sort of people; the mere
walking is bad enough, but embarrassing one's arms moreover, with a gun,
and one's legs with turnip tops, exposing oneself to the mercy of bad
shots and the atrocity of good, seems to me only a state of painful
fatigue, enlivened by the probability of being killed.

This digression is meant to signify, that I never joined the single men
and double Mantons that went in and off among Sir Lionel Garrett's
preserves. I used, instead, to take long walks by myself, and found, like
virtue, my own reward, in the additional health and strength these
diurnal exertions produced me.

One morning, chance threw into my way une bonne fortune, which I took
care to improve. From that time the family of a farmer Sinclair, (one of
Sir Lionel's tenants) was alarmed by strange and supernatural noises: one
apartment in especial, occupied by a female member of the household, was
allowed, even by the clerk of the parish, a very bold man, and a bit of a
sceptic, to be haunted; the windows of that chamber were wont to open and
shut, thin airy voices confabulate therein, and dark shapes hover
thereout, long after the fair occupant had, with the rest of the family,
retired to repose. But the most unaccountable thing was the fatality
which attended me, and seemed to mark me out, nolens volens, for an
untimely death. I, who had so carefully kept out of the way of gunpowder
as a sportsman, very narrowly escaped being twice shot as a ghost. This
was but a poor reward for a walk more than a mile long, in nights by no
means of cloudless climes and starry skies; accordingly I resolved to
"give up the ghost" in earnest rather than in metaphor, and to pay my
last visit and adieus to the mansion of Farmer Sinclair. The night on
which I executed this resolve was rather memorable in my future history.

The rain had fallen so heavily during the day, as to render the road to
the house almost impassable, and when it was time to leave, I inquired
with very considerable emotion, whether there was not an easier way to
return. The answer was satisfactory, and my last nocturnal visit at
Farmer Sinclair's concluded.



                              CHAPTER VI.

             Why sleeps he not, when others are at rest?
                          --Byron.

According to the explanation I had received, the road I was now to pursue
was somewhat longer, but much better, than that which I generally took.
It was to lead me home through the churchyard of--, the same, by the by,
which Lord Vincent had particularized in his anecdote of the mysterious
stranger. The night was clear, but windy: there were a few light clouds
passing rapidly over the moon, which was at her full, and shone through
the frosty air, with all that cold and transparent brightness so peculiar
to our northern winters. I walked briskly on till I came to the
churchyard; I could not then help pausing (notwithstanding my total
deficiency in all romance) to look for a few moments at the exceeding
beauty of the scene around me. The church itself was extremely old, and
stood alone and grey, in the rude simplicity of the earliest form of
gothic architecture: two large dark yew-trees drooped on each side over
tombs, which from their size and decorations, appeared to be the last
possession of some quondam lords of the soil. To the left, the ground was
skirted by a thick and luxuriant copse of evergreens, in the front of
which stood one tall, naked oak, stern and leafless, a very token of
desolation and decay; there were but few grave stones scattered about,
and these were, for the most part, hidden by the long wild grass which
wreathed and climbed round them. Over all, the blue skies and still moon
shed that solemn light, the effect of which, either on the scene or the
feelings, it is so impossible to describe.

I was just about to renew my walk, when a tall, dark figure, wrapped up,
like myself, in a large French cloak, passed slowly along from the other
side of the church, and paused by the copse I have before mentioned. I
was shrouded at that moment from his sight by one of the yew trees; he
stood still only for a few moments; he then flung himself upon the earth,
and sobbed, audibly even at the spot where I was standing. I was in doubt
whether to wait longer or to proceed; my way lay just by him, and it
might be dangerous to interrupt so substantial an apparition. However, my
curiosity was excited, and my feet were half frozen, two cogent reasons
for proceeding; and, to say truth, I was never very much frightened by
any thing dead or alive.

Accordingly I left my obscurity, and walked slowly onwards. I had not got
above three paces before the figure rose, and stood erect and motionless
before me. His hat had fallen off, and the moon shone full upon his
countenance; it was not the wild expression of intense anguish which
dwelt on those hueless and sunken features; nor their quick change to
ferocity and defiance, as his eyes fell upon me, which made me start back
and feel my heart stand still! Notwithstanding the fearful ravages graven
in that countenance, then so brilliant with the graces of boyhood, I
recognized, at one glance, those still noble and chiselled features. It
was Reginald Glanville who stood before me! I recovered myself instantly;
I threw myself towards him, and called him by his name. He turned
hastily; but I would not suffer him to escape; I put my hand upon his
arm, and drew him towards me. "Glanville!" I exclaimed, "it is I! it is
your old--old friend, Henry Pelham. Good God! have I met you at last, and
in such a scene?"

Glanville shook me from him in an instant, covered his face with his
hands, and sunk down with one wild cry, which went fearfully through that
still place, upon the spot from which he had but just risen. I knelt
beside him; I took his hand; I spoke to him in every endearing term that
I could think of; and roused and excited as my feelings were, by so
strange and sudden a meeting, I felt my tears involuntarily falling over
the hand which I held in my own. Glanville turned; he looked at me for
one moment, as if fully to recognize me: and then throwing himself in my
arms, wept like a child.

It was but for a few minutes that this weakness lasted; he rose suddenly
--the whole expression of his countenance was changed--the tears still
rolled in large drops down his cheeks, but the proud, stern character
which the features had assumed, seemed to deny the feelings which that
feminine weakness had betrayed.

"Pelham," he said, "you have seen me thus; I had hoped that no living eye
would--this is the last time in which I shall indulge this folly. God
bless you--we shall meet again--and this night shall then seem to you
like a dream."

I would have answered, but he turned swiftly, passed in one moment
through the copse, and in the next had utterly disappeared.



                             CHAPTER VII.

             You reach a chilling chamber, where you dread
             Damps.
                          --Crabbe's Borough.

I could not sleep the whole of that night, and the next morning, I set
off early, with the resolution of discovering where Glanville had taken
up his abode; it was evident from his having been so frequently seen,
that it must be in the immediate neighbourhood.

I went first to Farmer Sinclair's; they had often remarked him, but could
give me no other information. I then proceeded towards the coast; there
was a small public house belonging to Sir Lionel close by the sea shore;
never had I seen a more bleak and dreary prospect than that which
stretched for miles around this miserable cabaret. How an innkeeper could
live there is a mystery to me at this day--I should have imagined it a
spot upon which anything but a sea-gull or a Scotchman would have
starved.

"Just the sort of place, however," thought I, "to hear something of
Glanville." I went into the house; I inquired, and heard that a strange
gentleman had been lodging for the last two or three weeks at a cottage
about a mile further up the coast. Thither I bent my steps; and after
having met two crows, and one officer on the preventive service, I
arrived safely at my new destination.

It was a house very little better, in outward appearance, than the
wretched but I had just left, for I observe in all situations, and in all
houses, that "the public" is not too well served. The situation was
equally lonely and desolate; the house, which belonged to an individual,
half fisherman and half smuggler, stood in a sort of bay, between two
tall, rugged, black cliffs. Before the door hung various nets, to dry
beneath the genial warmth of a winter's sun; and a broken boat, with its
keel uppermost, furnished an admirable habitation for a hen and her
family, who appeared to receive en pension, an old clerico-bachelor-
looking raven. I cast a suspicious glance at the last-mentioned
personage, which hopped towards me with a very hostile appearance, and
entered the threshold with a more rapid step, in consequence of sundry
apprehensions of a premeditated assault.

"I understand," said I, to an old, dried, brown female, who looked like a
resuscitated red-herring, "that a gentleman is lodging here."

"No, Sir," was the answer: "he left us this morning."

The reply came upon me like a shower bath; I was both chilled and stunned
by so unexpected a shock. The old woman, on my renewing my inquiries,
took me up stairs, to a small, wretched room, to which the damps
literally clung. In one corner was a flock-bed, still unmade, and
opposite to it, a three-legged stool, a chair, and an antique carved oak
table, a donation perhaps from some squire in the neighbourhood; on this
last were scattered fragments of writing paper, a cracked cup half full
of ink, a pen, and a broken ramrod. As I mechanically took up the latter,
the woman said, in a charming patois, which I shall translate, since I
cannot do justice to the original: "The gentleman, Sir, said he came here
for a few weeks to shoot; he brought a gun, a large dog, and a small
portmanteau. He used to spend all the mornings in the fens, though he
must have been but a poor shot, for he seldom brought home anything; and
we fear, Sir, that he was rather out of his mind, for he used to go out
alone at night, and stay sometimes till morning. However, he was quite
quiet, and behaved to us like a gentleman; so it was no business of ours,
only my husband does think--" "Pray," interrupted I, "why did he leave
you so suddenly?"

"Lord, Sir, I don't know! but he told us for several days past that he
should not stay over the week, and so we were not surprised when he left
us this morning at seven o'clock. Poor gentleman, my heart bled for him
when I saw him look so pale and ill."

And here I did see the good woman's eyes fill with tears: but she wiped
them away, and took advantage of the additional persuasion they gave to
her natural whine to say, "If, Sir, you know of any young gentleman who
likes fen-shooting, and wants a nice, pretty, quiet apartment--" "I will
certainly recommend this," said I.

"You see it at present," rejoined the landlady, "quite in a litter like:
but it is really a sweet place in summer."

"Charming," said I, with a cold shiver, hurrying down the stairs, with a
pain in my ear, and the rheumatism in my shoulder.

"And this," thought I, "was Glanville's residence for nearly a month! I
wonder he did not exhale into a vapour, or moisten into a green damp."

I went home by the churchyard. I paused on the spot where I had last seen
him. A small gravestone rose over the mound of earth on which he had
thrown himself; it was perfectly simple. The date of the year and month
(which showed that many weeks had not elapsed since the death of the
deceased) and the initials G. D. were all that was engraved upon the
stone. Beside this tomb was one of a more pompous description, to the
memory of a Mrs. Douglas, which had with the simple tumulus nothing in
common, unless the initial letter of the surname corresponding with the
latter initial on the neighbouring gravestone, might authorize any
connection between them, not supported by that similitude of style
usually found in the cenotaphs of the same family: the one, indeed, might
have covered the grave of a humble villager--the other, the resting-place
of the lady of the manor.

I found, therefore, no clue for the labyrinth of surmise: and I went
home, more vexed and disappointed with my day's expedition than I liked
to acknowledge to myself.

Lord Vincent met me in the hall. "Delighted to see you," said he, "I have
just been to--, (the nearest town) in order to discover what sort of
savages abide there. Great preparations for a ball--all the tallow
candles in the town are bespoken--and I heard a most uncivilized fiddle,

           "'Twang short and sharp, like the shrill swallow's cry.'"

The one milliner's shop was full of fat squiresses, buying muslin
ammunition, to make the ball go off; and the attics, even at four
o'clock, were thronged with rubicund damsels, who were already, as
Shakspeare says of waves in a storm,

                "'Curling their monstrous heads.'"



                             CHAPTER VIII.

             Jusqu'au revoir le ciel vous tienne tous en joie.
                          --Moliere.

I was now pretty well tried of Garrett Park. Lady Roseville was going to
H--t--d, where I also had an invitation. Lord Vincent meditated an
excursion to Paris. Mr. Davison had already departed. Miss Trafford had
been gone, God knows how long, and I was not at all disposed to be left,
like "the last rose of summer," in single blessedness at Garrett Park.
Vincent, Wormwood, and myself, all agreed to leave on the same day.

The morning of our departure arrived. We sat down to breakfast as usual.
Lord Vincent's carriage was at the door; his groom was walking about his
favourite saddle horse.

"A beautiful mare that is of your's," said I, carelessly looking at it,
and reaching across the table to help myself to the pate de foie gras.

"Mare!" exclaimed the incorrigible punster, delighted with my mistake: "I
thought that you would have been better acquainted with your propria quoe
maribus."

"Humph!" said Wormwood, "when I look at you I am always at least reminded
of the as in praoesenti!"

Lord Vincent drew up and looked unutterable anger. Wormwood went on with
his dry toast, and Lady Roseville, who that morning had, for a wonder,
come down to breakfast, good naturedly took off the bear. Whether or not
his ascetic nature was somewhat mollified by the soft smiles and softer
voice of the beautiful countess, I cannot pretend to say; but he
certainly entered into a conversation with her, not much rougher than
that of a less gifted individual might have been. They talked of
literature, Lord Byron, converzaziones, and Lydia White. [Note: Written
before the death of that lady.]

"Miss White," said Lady Roseville, "has not only the best command of
language herself, but she gives language to other people. Dinner parties,
usually so stupid, are, at her house, quite delightful. I have actually
seen English people look happy, and one or two even almost natural."

"Ah!" said Wormwood, "that is indeed rare. With us every thing is
assumption. We are still exactly like the English suitor to Portia, in
the Merchant of Venice. We take our doublet from one country, our hose
from another, and our behaviour every where. Fashion with us is like the
man in one of Le Sage's novels, who was constantly changing his servants,
and yet had but one suit of livery, which every new comer, whether he was
tall or short, fat or thin, was obliged to wear. We adopt manners,
however incongruous and ill suited to our nature, and thus we always seem
awkward and constrained. But Lydia White's soirees are indeed agreeable.
I remember the last time I dined there we were six in number, and though
we were not blessed with the company of Lord Vincent, the conversation
was without 'let or flaw.' Every one, even S----, said good things."

"Indeed!" cried Lord Vincent; "and pray, Mr. Wormwood, what did you say!"

"Why," answered the poet, glancing with a significant sneer over
Vincent's somewhat inelegant person, "I thought of your lordship's
figure, and said--grace!"

"Hem--hem!--'Gratia malorum tam infida est quam ipsi,' as Pliny says,"
muttered Lord Vincent, getting up hastily, and buttoning his coat.

I took the opportunity of the ensuing pause to approach Lady Roseville,
and whisper my adieus. She was kind and even warm to me in returning
them; and pressed me, with something marvellously like sincerity, to be
sure to come and see her directly she returned to London. I soon
discharged the duties of my remaining farewells, and in less than half an
hour, was more than a mile distant from Garrett Park and its inhabitants.
I can't say that for one, who, like me, is fond of being made a great
deal of, that there is any thing very delightful in those visits into the
country. It may be all well enough for married people, who, from the mere
fact of being married, are always entitled to certain consideration, put-
-par exemple--into a bed-room, a little larger than a dog kennel, and
accommodated with a looking-glass, that does not distort one's features
like a paralytic stroke. But we single men suffer a plurality of evils
and hard-ships, in entrusting ourselves to the casualties of rural
hospitality. We are thrust up into any attic repository--exposed to the
mercy of rats, and the incursions of swallows. Our lavations are
performed in a cracked basin, and we are so far removed from human
assistance, that our very bells sink into silence before they reach half
way down the stairs. But two days before I left Garrett Park, I myself
saw an enormous mouse run away with my almond paste, without any possible
means of resisting the aggression. Oh! the hardships of a single man are
beyond conception; and what is worse, the very misfortune of being single
deprives one of all sympathy. "A single man can do this, and a single man
ought to do that, and a single man may be put here, and a single man may
be sent there," are maxims that I have been in the habit of hearing
constantly inculcated and never disputed during my whole life; and so,
from our fare and treatment being coarse in all matters, they have at
last grown to be all matters in course.



                              CHAPTER IX.

                          Therefore to France.
                                 --Henry IV.

I was rejoiced to find myself again in London. I went to my father's
house in Grosvenor-square. All the family, viz. he and my mother, were
down at H--t--d; and, malgre my aversion to the country, I thought I
might venture as far as Lady S--'s for a couple of days. Accordingly, to
H--t--d I went. That is really a noble house--such a hall--such a
gallery. I found my mother in the drawing-room, admiring the picture of
his late Majesty. She was leaning on the arm of a tall, fair young man.
"Henry," said she, (introducing me to him) "do you remember your old
schoolfellow, Lord George Clinton?"

"Perfectly," said I, (though I remembered nothing about him) and we shook
hands in the most cordial manner imaginable. By the way, there is no
greater bore than being called upon to recollect men, with whom one had
been at school some ten years back. In the first place, if they were not
in one's own set, one most likely scarcely knew them to speak to; and, in
the second place, if they were in one's own set, they are sure to be
entirely opposite to the nature we have since acquired: for I scarcely
ever knew an instance of the companions of one's boyhood being agreeable
to the tastes of one's manhood: a strong proof of the folly of common
people, who send their sons to Eton and Harrow to form connections.

Clinton was on the eve of setting out upon his travels. His intention was
to stay a year at Paris, and he was full of the blissful expectations the
idea of that city had conjured up. We remained together all the evening,
and took a prodigious fancy to one another. Long before I went to bed, he
had perfectly inoculated me with his own ardour for continental
adventures; and, indeed, I had half promised to accompany him. My mother,
when I first told her of my travelling intentions, was in despair, but by
degrees she grew reconciled to the idea.

"Your health will improve by a purer air," said she, "and your
pronunciation of French is, at present, any thing but correct. Take care
of yourself, therefore, my dear son, and pray lose no time in engaging
Coulon as your maitre de danse."

My father gave me his blessing, and a check on his banker. Within three
days I had arranged every thing with Clinton, and on the fourth, I
returned with him to London. From thence we set off to Dover--embarked--
dined, for the first time in our lives, on French ground--were astonished
to find so little difference between the two countries, and still more so
at hearing even the little children talk French so well [Note: See
Addison's Travels for this idea.]--proceeded to Abbeville--there poor
Clinton fell ill: for several days we were delayed in that abominable
town, and then Clinton, by the advice of the doctors, returned to
England. I went back with him as far as Dover, and then, impatient at my
loss of time, took no rest, night or day, till I found myself at Paris.

Young, well-born, tolerably good-looking, and never utterly destitute of
money, nor grudging whatever enjoyment it could produce, I entered Paris
with the ability and the resolution to make the best of those beaux jours
which so rapidly glide from our possession.



                              CHAPTER X.

             Seest thou how gayly my young maister goes?
             --Bishop Hall's Satires.

             Qui vit sans folie, n'est pas si sage qu'il croit.
             --La Rochefoucault.

I lost no time in presenting my letters of introduction, and they were as
quickly acknowledged by invitations to balls and dinners. Paris was full
to excess, and of a better description of English than those who usually
overflow that reservoir of the world. My first engagement was to dine
with Lord and Lady Bennington, who were among the very few English
intimate in the best French houses.

On entering Paris I had resolved to set up "a character;" for I was
always of an ambitious nature, and desirous of being distinguished from
the ordinary herd. After various cogitations as to the particular one I
should assume, I thought nothing appeared more likely to be remarkable
among men, and therefore pleasing to women, than an egregious coxcomb:
accordingly I arranged my hair into ringlets, dressed myself with
singular plainness and simplicity (a low person, by the by, would have
done just the contrary), and putting on an air of exceeding languor, made
my maiden appearance at Lord Bennington's. The party was small, and
equally divided between French and English: the former had been all
emigrants, and the conversation was chiefly in our own tongue.

I was placed, at dinner, next to Miss Paulding, an elderly young lady, of
some notoriety at Paris, very clever, very talkative, and very conceited.
A young, pale, ill-natured looking man, sat on her left hand; this was
Mr. Aberton, one of the attaches.

"Dear me!" said Miss Paulding, "what a pretty chain that is of your's,
Mr. Aberton."

"Yes," said the attache, "I know it must be pretty, for I got it at
Brequet's, with the watch." (How common people always buy their opinions
with their goods, and regulate the height of the former by the mere price
or fashion of the latter.)

"Pray, Mr. Pelham," said Miss Paulding, turning to me, "have you got one
of Brequet's watches yet?"

"Watch!" said I: "do you think I could ever wear a watch? I know nothing
so plebeian. What can any one, but a man of business, who has nine hours
for his counting-house and one for his dinner, ever possibly want to know
the time for? An assignation, you will say: true, but (here I played with
my best ringlet) if a man is worth having, he is surely worth waiting
for!"

Miss Paulding opened her eyes, and Mr. Aberton his mouth. A pretty lively
French woman opposite (Madame D'Anville) laughed, and immediately joined
in our conversation, which, on my part, was, during the whole dinner,
kept up exactly in the same strain.

"What do you think of our streets?" said the old, yet still animated
Madame de G--s. "You will not find them, I fear, so agreeable for walking
as the trottoirs in London."

"Really," I answered, "I have only been once out in your streets, at
least a pied, since my arrival, and then I was nearly perishing for want
of help."

"What do you mean?" said Madame D'Anville.

"Why, I fell into that intersecting stream which you call a kennel, and I
a river. Pray, Mr. Aberton, what do you think I did in that dangerous
dilemma?"

"Why, got out again as fast as you could," said the literal attache."

"No such thing, I was too frightened: I stood still and screamed for
assistance."

Madame D'Anville was delighted, and Miss Paulding astonished. Mr. Aberton
muttered to a fat, foolish Lord Luscombe, "What a damnation puppy,"--and
every one, even to the old Madame de G--s, looked at me six times as
attentively as they had done before.

As for me, I was perfectly satisfied with the effect I had produced, and
I went away the first, in order to give the men an opportunity of abusing
me; for whenever the men abuse, the women, to support alike their
coquetry and the conversation, think themselves called upon to defend.

The next day I rode into the Champs Elysees. I always valued myself
particularly upon my riding, and my horse was both the most fiery and the
most beautiful in Paris. The first person I saw was Madame D'Anville. At
that moment I was reining in my horse, and conscious, as the wind waved
my long curls, that I was looking to the very best advantage, I made my
horse bound towards her carriage, which she immediately stopped, and
speaking in my natural tone of voice, and without the smallest
affectation, I made at once my salutations and my court.

"I am going," said she, "to the Duchesse D--g's this evening--it is her
night--do come."

"I don't know her," said I.

"Tell me your hotel, and I'll send you an invitation before dinner,"
rejoined Madame D'Anville.

"I lodge," said I, "at the Hotel de--, Rue de Rivoli, au second at
present; next year, I suppose, according to the usual gradations in the
life of a garcon, I shall be au troisieme: for here the purse and the
person seem to be playing at see-saw--the latter rises as the former
descends."

We went on conversing for about a quarter of an hour, in which I
endeavoured to make the pretty Frenchwoman believe that all the good
opinion I possessed of myself the day before, I had that morning entirely
transferred to her account.

As I rode home I met Mr. Aberton, with three or four other men; with that
glaring good-breeding, so peculiar to the English, he instantly directed
their eyes towards me in one mingled and concentrated stare. "N'importe,"
thought I, "they must be devilish clever fellows if they can find a
single fault either in my horse or myself."



                              CHAPTER XI.

             Lud! what a group the motley scene discloses,
             False wits, false wives, false virgins, and false spouses.
             --Goldsmith's Epilogue to the Comedy of the Sisters.

Madame D'Anville kept her promise--the invitation was duly sent, and
accordingly at half past ten to the Rue D'Anjou I drove.

The rooms were already full. Lord Bennington was standing by the door,
and close by him, looking exceedingly distrait, was my old friend Lord
Vincent. They both came towards me at the same moment. "Strive not,"
thought I, looking at the stately demeanour of the one, and the humourous
expression of countenance in the other--"strive not, Tragedy nor Comedy,
to engross a Garrick." I spoke first to Lord Bennington, for I knew he
would be the sooner dispatched, and then for the next quarter of an hour
found myself overflowed with all the witticisms poor Lord Vincent had for
days been obliged to retain. I made an engagement to dine with him at
Very's the next day, and then glided off towards Madame D'Anville.

She was surrounded with men, and talking to each with that vivacity
which, in a Frenchwoman, is so graceful, and in an Englishwoman would be
so vulgar. Though her eyes were not directed towards me, she saw me
approach by that instinctive perception which all coquets possess, and
suddenly altering her seat, made way for me beside her. I did not lose so
favourable an opportunity of gaining her good graces, and losing those of
all the male animals around her. I sunk down on the vacant chair, and
contrived, with the most unabashed effrontery, and yet with the most
consummate dexterity, to make every thing that I said pleasing to her,
revolting to some one of her attendants. Wormwood himself could not have
succeeded better. One by on they dropped off, and we were left alone
among the crowd. Then, indeed, I changed the whole tone of my
conversation. Sentiment succeeded to satire, and the pretence of feeling
to that of affectation. In short, I was so resolved to please that I
could scarcely fail to succeed.

In this main object of the evening I was not however solely employed. I
should have been very undeserving of that character for observation which
I flatter myself I peculiarly deserve, if I had not during the three
hours I stayed at Madame D--g's, conned over every person remarkable for
any thing, from rank to a ribbon. The duchesse herself was a fair,
pretty, clever woman, with manners rather English than French. She was
leaning, at the time I paid my respects to her, on the arm of an Italian
count, tolerably well known at Paris. Poor O--i! I hear he is just
married. He did not deserve so heavy a calamity!

Sir Henry Millington was close by her, carefully packed up in his coat
and waistcoat. Certainly that man is the best padder in Europe.

"Come and sit by me, Millington," cried old Lady Oldtown; "I have a good
story to tell you of the Duc de G--e."

Sir Henry, with difficulty, turned round his magnificent head, and
muttered out some unintelligible excuse. The fact was, that poor Sir
Henry was not that evening made to sit down--he had only his standing up
coat on. Lady Oldtown--heaven knows--is easily consoled. She supplied the
place of the dilapidated baronet with a most superbly mustachioed German.

"Who," said I, to Madame D'Anville, "are those pretty girls in white,
talking with such eagerness to Mr. Aberton and Lord Luscombe?"

"What!" said the Frenchwoman, "have you been ten days at Paris and not
been introduced to the Miss Carltons? Let me tell you that your
reputation among your countrymen at Paris depends solely upon their
verdict."

"And upon your favour," added I.

"Ah!" said she, "you must have had your origin in France; you have
something about you presque Parisien."

"Pray," said I, (after having duly acknowledged this compliment, the very
highest that a Frenchwoman can bestow) "what did you really and candidly
think of our countrymen during your residence in England?"

"I will tell you," answered Madame D'Anville; "they are brave, honest,
generous, mais ils sont demi-barbares."



                             CHAPTER XII.

                              Pia mater,
             Plus quam se sapere, et virtutibus esse priorem
             Vult, et ait prope vera.
                          --Horace.

             Vere mihi festus atras
             Eximet curas.
                          --Horace.

The next morning I received a letter from my mother.

"My dear Henry," began my affectionate and incomparable parent--

"My dear Henry,

"You have now fairly entered the world, and though at your age my advice
may be but little followed, my experience cannot altogether be useless. I
shall, therefore, make no apology for a few precepts, which I hope may
tend to make you a wiser and better man.

"I hope, in the first place, that you have left your letter at the
ambassador's, and that you will not fail to go there as often as
possible. Pay your court in particular to Lady--She is a charming person,
universally popular, and one of the very few English people to whom one
may safely be civil. Apropos, of English civility, you have, I hope, by
this time discovered, that you have to assume a very different manner
with French people than with our own countrymen: with us, the least
appearance of feeling or enthusiasm is certain to be ridiculed every
where; but in France, you may venture to seem not quite devoid of all
natural sentiments: indeed, if you affect enthusiasm, they will give you
credit for genius, and they will place all the qualities of the heart to
the account of the head. You know that in England, if you seem desirous
of a person's acquaintance you are sure to lose it; they imagine you have
some design upon their wives or their dinners; but in France you can
never lose by politeness: nobody will call your civility forwardness and
pushing. If the Princess De T--, and the Duchesse de D--, ask you to
their houses (which indeed they will, directly you have left your
letters), go there two or three times a week, if only for a few minutes
in the evening. It is very hard to be acquainted with great French
people, but when you are, it is your own fault if you are not intimate
with them.

"Most English people have a kind of diffidence and scruple at calling in
the evening--this is perfectly misplaced: the French are never ashamed of
themselves, like us, whose persons, families, and houses are never fit to
be seen, unless they are dressed out for a party.

"Don't imagine that the ease of French manners is at all like what we
call ease: you must not lounge on your chair--nor put your feet upon a
stool--nor forget yourself for one single moment when you are talking
with women.

"You have heard a great deal about the gallantries of the French ladies;
but remember that they demand infinitely greater attention than English
women do; and that after a month's incessant devotion, you may lose every
thing by a moment's impolitesse.

"You will not, my dear son, misinterpret these hints. I suppose, of
course, that all your liaisons are platonic.

"Your father is laid up with the gout, and dreadfully ill-tempered and
peevish; however, I keep out of the way as much as possible. I dined
yesterday at Lady Roseville's: she praised you very much, said your
manners were particularly good, and that you had already quite the usage
du monde. Lord Vincent is, I understand, at Paris: though very tiresome
with his learning and Latin, he is exceedingly clever and repandu; be
sure to cultivate his acquaintance.

"If you are ever at a loss as to the individual character of a person you
wish to gain, the general knowledge of human nature will teach you one
infallible specific,--flattery! The quantity and quality may vary
according to the exact niceties of art; but, in any quantity and in any
quality, it is more or less acceptable, and therefore certain to please.
Only never (or at least very rarely) flatter when other people, besides
the one to be flattered, are by; in that case you offend the rest, and
you make even your intended dupe ashamed to be pleased.

"In general, weak minds think only of others, and yet seem only occupied
with themselves; you, on the contrary, must appear wholly engrossed with
those about you, and yet never have a single idea which does not
terminate in yourself: a fool, my dear Henry, flatters himself--a wise
man flatters the fool.

"God bless you, my dear child, take care of your health--don't forget
Coulon; and believe me your most affectionate mother,

"F. P."


By the time I had read this letter and dressed myself for the evening,
Vincent's carriage was at the porte cocher. I hate the affection of
keeping people waiting, and went down so quickly, that I met his
facetious lordship upon the stairs. "Devilish windy," said I, as we were
getting into the carriage.

"Yes," said Vincent; "but the moral Horace reminds us of our remedies as
well as our misfortune--
             "'Jam galeam Pallas, et aegida,
             Currusque parat,'--

that is, 'Providence that prepares the gale, gives us also a great coat
and a carriage.'"

We were not long driving to the Palais Royal. Very's was crowded to
excess--"A very low set!" said Lord Vincent, (who, being half a liberal,
is of course a thorough aristocrat) looking round at the various English
who occupied the apartment.

There was, indeed, a motley congregation; country esquires; extracts from
the Universities; half-pay officers; city clerks in frogged coats and
mustachios; two or three of a better looking description, but in reality
half swindlers half gentlemen. All, in short, fit specimens of that
wandering tribe, which spread over the continent the renown and the
ridicule of good old England. I know not why it is that we should look
and act so very disgracefully abroad; but I never meet in any spot out of
this happy island, a single Englishman, without instinctively blushing
for my native country.

"Garcon, garcon," cried a stout gentleman, who made one of three at the
table next to us. "Donnez-nous une sole frite pour un, et des pommes de
terre pour trois!"

"Humph!" said Lord Vincent; "fine ideas of English taste these garcons
must entertain; men who prefer fried soles and potatoes to the various
delicacies they can command here, might, by the same perversion of taste,
prefer Bloomfield's poems to Byron's. Delicate taste depends solely upon
the physical construction; and a man who has it not in cookery, must want
it in literature. Fried sole and potatoes!! If I had written a volume,
whose merit was in elegance, I would not show it to such a man!--but he
might be an admirable critic upon 'Cobbett's Register,' or 'Every Man his
own Brewer.'"

"Excessively true," said I; "what shall we order?"

"D'abord des huitres d'Ostende," said Vincent; "as to the rest," taking
hold of the carte, "deliberare utilia mora utilissima est."

We were soon engaged in all the pleasures and pains of a dinner.

"Petimus," said Lord Vincent, helping himself to some poulet a
l'Austerlitz, "petimus bene vivere--quod petis, hic est?"

We were not, however, assured of that fact at the termination of dinner.
If half the dishes were well conceived and better executed, the other
half were proportionably bad. Very is, indeed, no longer the prince of
Restaurateurs. The low English who have flocked there, have entirely
ruined the place. What waiter--what cook can possibly respect men who
take no soup, and begin with a roti; who know neither what is good nor
what is bad; who eat rognons at dinner instead of at breakfast, and fall
into raptures over sauce Robert and pieds de cochon; who cannot tell, at
the first taste, whether the beaune is premiere qualite, or the fricassee
made of yesterday's chicken; who suffer in the stomach after champignon,
and die with indigestion of a truffle? O! English people, English people!
why can you not stay and perish of apoplexy and Yorkshire pudding at
home?

By the time we had drank our coffee it was considerably past nine
o'clock, and Vincent had business at the ambassador's before ten; we
therefore parted for the night.

"What do you think of Very's?" said I, as we were at the door.

"Why," replied Vincent, "when I recal the astonishing heat of the place,
which has almost sent me to sleep; the exceeding number of times in which
that becasse had been re-roasted, and the extortionate length of our
bills, I say of Very's, what Hamlet said of the world, 'Weary, stale, and
unprofitable!'"



                             CHAPTER XIII.

      I would fight with broad swords, and sink point on the first blood
      drawn like a gentleman's.--The Chronicles of the Canongate.

I strolled idly along the Palais Royal (which English people, in some
silly proverb, call the capital of Paris, whereas no French man of any
rank, nor French woman of any respectability, are ever seen in its
promenades) till, being somewhat curious to enter some of the smaller
cafes, I went into one of the meanest of them; took up a Journal des
Spectacles, and called for some lemonade. At the next table to me sat two
or three Frenchmen, evidently of inferior rank, and talking very loudly
over L'Angleterre et les Anglois. Their attention was soon fixed upon me.

Have you ever observed that if people are disposed to think ill of you,
nothing so soon determines them to do so as any act of yours, which,
however innocent and inoffensive, differs from their ordinary habits and
customs? No sooner had my lemonade made its appearance, than I perceived
an increased sensation among my neighbours of the next table. In the
first place, lemonade is not much drank, as you may suppose, among the
French in winter; and, in the second, my beverage had an appearance of
ostentation, from being one of the dearest articles I could have called
for. Unhappily, I dropped my newspaper--it fell under the Frenchmen's
table; instead of calling the garcon, I was foolish enough to stoop for
it myself. It was exactly under the feet of one of the Frenchmen; I asked
him with the greatest civility, to move: he made no reply. I could not,
for the life of me, refrain from giving him a slight, very slight push;
the next moment he moved in good earnest; the whole party sprung up as he
set the example. The offended leg gave three terrific stamps upon the
ground, and I was immediately assailed by a whole volley of
unintelligible abuse. At that time I was very little accustomed to French
vehemence, and perfectly unable to reply to the vituperations I received.

Instead of answering them, I therefore deliberated what was best to be
done. If, thought I, I walk away, they will think me a coward, and insult
me in the streets; if I challenge them, I shall have to fight with men
probably no better than shopkeepers; if I strike this most noisy amongst
them, he may be silenced, or he may demand satisfaction: if the former,
well and good; if the latter, why I shall have a better excuse for
fighting him than I should have now.

My resolution was therefore taken. I was never more free from passion in
my life, and it was, therefore, with the utmost calmness and composure
that, in the midst of my antagonist's harangue, I raised my hand and--
quietly knocked him down.

He rose in a moment. "Sortons," said he, in a low tone, "a Frenchman
never forgives a blow!"

At that moment, an Englishman, who had been sitting unnoticed in an
obscure corner of the cafe, came up and took me aside.

"Sir," said he, "don't think of fighting the man; he is a tradesman in
the Rue St. Honore. I myself have seen him behind the counter; remember
that 'a ram may kill a butcher.'"

"Sir," I replied, "I thank you a thousand times for your information.
Fight, however, I must, and I'll give you, like the Irishman, my reasons
afterwards: perhaps you will be my second."

"With pleasure," said the Englishman, (a Frenchman would have said, "with
pain!")

We left the cafe together. My countryman asked them if he should go the
gunsmith's for the pistols.

"Pistols!" said the Frenchman's second: "we will only fight with swords."

"No, no," said my new friend. "'On ne prend le lievre au tabourin.' We are
the challenged, and therefore have the choice of weapons."

Luckily I overheard this dispute, and called to my second--"Swords or
pistols," said I; "it is quite the same to me. I am not bad at either,
only do make haste."

Swords, then, were chosen and soon procured. Frenchmen never grow cool
upon their quarrels: and as it was a fine, clear, starlight night, we
went forthwith to the Bois de Boulogne. We fixed our ground on a spot
tolerably retired, and, I should think, pretty often frequented for the
same purpose. I was exceedingly confident, for I knew myself to have few
equals in the art of fencing; and I had all the advantage of coolness,
which my hero was a great deal too much in earnest to possess. We joined
swords, and in a very few moments I discovered that my opponent's life
was at my disposal.

"C'est bien," thought I; "for once I'll behave handsomely."

The Frenchman made a desperate lunge. I struck his sword from his hand,
caught it instantly, and, presenting it to him again, said,

"I think myself peculiarly fortunate that I may now apologize for the
affront I have put upon you. Will you permit my sincerest apologies to
suffice? A man who can so well resent an injury, can forgive one."

Was there ever a Frenchman not taken by a fine phrase? My hero received
the sword with a low bow--the tears came into his eyes.

"Sir," said he, "you have twice conquered."

We left the spot with the greatest amity and affection, and re-entered,
with a profusion of bows, our several fiacres.

"Let me," I said, when I found myself alone with my second, "let me thank
you most cordially for your assistance; and allow me to cultivate an
acquaintance so singularly begun. I lodge at the Hotel de--, Rue de
Rivoli; my name is Pelham. Your's is--" "Thornton," replied my
countryman. "I will lose no time in profiting by an offer of acquaintance
which does me so much honour."

With these and various other fine speeches, we employed the time till I
was set down at my hotel; and my companion, drawing his cloak round him,
departed on foot, to fulfil (he said, with a mysterious air) a certain
assignation in the Faubourg St. Germain.

I said to Mr. Thornton, that I would give him many reasons for fighting
after I had fought. As I do not remember that I ever did, and as I am
very unwilling that they should be lost, I am now going to bestow them on
the reader. It is true that I fought a tradesman. His rank in life made
such an action perfectly gratuitous on my part, and to many people
perhaps perfectly unpardonable. The following was, however, my view of
the question: In striking him I had placed myself on his level; if I did
so in order to insult him, I had a right also to do it in order to give
him the only atonement in my power: had the insult come solely from him,
I might then, with some justice, have intrenched myself in my superiority
of rank--contempt would have been as optional as revenge: but I had left
myself no alternative in being the aggressor, for if my birth was to
preserve me from redressing an injury, it was also to preserve me from
committing one. I confess, that the thing would have been wholly
different had it been an English, instead of a French, man; and this,
because of the different view of the nature and importance of the
affornt, which the Englishman would take. No English tradesman has an
idea of les lois d'armes--a blow can be returned, or it can be paid for.

But in France, neither a set-to, nor an action for assault, would repay
the generality of any class removed from the poverty of the bas peuple,
for so great and inexcusable an affront. In all countries it is the
feelings of the generality of people, that courtesy, which is the essence
of honour, obliges one to consult. As in England I should, therefore,
have paid, so in France I fought.

If it be said that a French gentleman would not have been equally
condescending to a French tradesman, I answer that the former would never
have perpetrated the only insult for which the latter might think there
could be only one atonement. Besides, even if this objection held good,
there is a difference between the duties of a native and a stranger. In
receiving the advantages of a foreign country, one ought to be doubly
careful not to give offence, and it is therefore doubly incumbent upon us
to redress it when given. To the feelings of the person I had offended,
there was but one redress. Who can blame me if I granted it?



                             CHAPTER XIV.

      Erat homo ingeniosus, acutus, acer, et qui plurimum et salis haberet
      et fellis, nec candoris minus.--Pliny.

I do not know a more difficult character to describe than Lord Vincent's.
Did I imitate certain writers, who think that the whole art of
pourtraying individual character is to seize hold of some prominent
peculiarity, and to introduce this distinguishing trait, in all times and
in all scenes, the difficulty would be removed. I should only have to
present to the reader a man, whose conversation was nothing but alternate
jest and quotation--a due union of Yorick and Partridge. This would,
however, be rendering great injustice to the character I wish to
delineate. There were times when Vincent was earnestly engrossed in
discussion in which a jest rarely escaped him, and quotation was
introduced only as a serious illustration, not as a humorous peculiarity.
He possessed great miscellaneous erudition, and a memory perfectly
surprising for its fidelity and extent. He was a severe critic, and had a
peculiar art of quoting from each author he reviewed, some part that
particularly told against him. Like most men, in the theory of philosophy
he was tolerably rigid; in its practice, more than tolerably loose. By
his tenets you would have considered him a very Cato for stubbornness and
sternness: yet was he a very child in his concession to the whim of the
moment. Fond of meditation and research, he was still fonder of mirth and
amusement; and while he was among the most instructive, he was also the
boonest of companions. When alone with me, or with men whom he imagined
like me, his pedantry (for more or less, he always was pedantic) took
only a jocular tone; with the savan or the bel esprit, it became grave,
searching, and sarcastic. He was rather a contradicter than a favourer of
ordinary opinions: and this, perhaps, led him not unoften into paradox:
yet was there much soundness, even in his most vehement notions, and the
strength of mind which made him think only for himself, was visible in
all the productions it created. I have hitherto only given his
conversation in one of its moods; henceforth I shall be just enough
occasionally to be dull, and to present it sometimes to the reader in a
graver tone.

Buried deep beneath the surface of his character, was a hidden, yet a
restless ambition: but this was perhaps, at present, a secret even to
himself. We know not our own characters till time teaches us self-
knowledge: if we are wise, we may thank ourselves; if we are great, we
must thank fortune.

It was this insight into Vincent's nature which drew us closer together.
I recognized in the man, who as yet was only playing a part, a
resemblance to myself, while he, perhaps, saw at times that I was
somewhat better than the voluptuary, and somewhat wiser than the coxcomb,
which were all that at present it suited me to appear.

In person, Vincent was short, and though not ill--yet ungracefully made--
but his countenance was singularly fine. His eyes were dark, bright and
penetrating, and his forehead (high and thoughtful) corrected the playful
smile of his mouth, which might otherwise have given to his features too
great an expression of levity. He was not positively ill dressed, yet he
paid no attention to any external art, except cleanliness. His usual garb
was a brown coat, much too large for him, a coloured neckcloth, a spotted
waistcoat, grey trowsers, and short gaiters: add to these gloves of most
unsullied doeskin, and a curiously thick cane, and the portrait is
complete.

In manners, he was civil, or rude, familiar, or distant, just as the whim
seized him; never was there any address less common, and less artificial.
What a rare gift, by the by, is that of manners! how difficult to define-
-how much more difficult to impart! Better for a man to possess them,
than wealth, beauty, or talent; they will more than supply all. No
attention is too minute, no labour too exaggerated, which tends to
perfect them. He who enjoys their advantages in the highest degree, viz.,
he who can please, penetrate, persuade, as the object may require,
possesses the subtlest secret of the diplomatist and the statesman, and
wants nothing but opportunity to become "great."



                              CHAPTER XV.

      Le plaisir de la societe entre les amis se cultive par une
      ressemblance de gout sur ce qui regarde les moeurs, et par quelque
      difference d'opinions sur les sciences; par la ou l'on s'affermit
      dans ses sentiments, ou l'on s'exerce et l'on s'instruit par la
      dispute.
                --La Bruyere.

There was a party at Monsieur de V--e's, to which Vincent and myself were
the only Englishmen invited: accordingly as the Hotel de V. was in the
same street as my hotel, we dined together at my rooms, and walked from
thence to the minister's house.

The party was as stiff and formal as such assemblies invariably are, and
we were both delighted when we espied Monsieur d'A--, a man of much
conversational talent, and some celebrity as an ultra writer, forming a
little group in one corner of the room.

We took advantage of our acquaintance with the urbane Frenchman to join
his party; the conversation turned almost entirely on literary subjects.
Allusion being made to Schlegel's History of Literature, and the severity
with which he speaks of Helvetius, and the philosophers of his school, we
began to discuss what harm the free-thinkers in philosophy had effected.

"For my part," said Vincent, "I am not able to divine why we are
supposed, in works where there is much truth, and little falsehood, much
good, and a little evil, to see only the evil and the falsehood, to the
utter exclusion of the truth and the good. All men whose minds are
sufficiently laborious or acute to love the reading of metaphysical
inquiries, will by the same labour and acuteness separate the chaff from
the corn--the false from the true. It is the young, the light, the
superficial, who are easily misled by error, and incapable of discerning
its fallacy; but tell me, if it is the light, the young, the superficial,
who are in the habit of reading the abstruse and subtle speculations of
the philosopher. No, no! believe me that it is the very studies Monsieur
Schlegel recommends, which do harm to morality and virtue; it is the
study of literature itself, the play, the poem, the novel, which all
minds, however frivolous, can enjoy and understand, that constitute the
real foes to religion and moral improvement."

"Ma foi," cried Monsieur de G., (who was a little writer, and a great
reader of romances) "why, you would not deprive us of the politer
literature, you would not bid us shut up our novels, and burn our
theatres."

"Certainly not!" replied Vincent; "and it is in this particular that I
differ from certain modern philosophers of our own country, for whom, for
the most part, I entertain the highest veneration. I would not deprive
life of a single grace, or a single enjoyment, but I would counteract
whatever is pernicious in whatever is elegant; if among my flowers there
is a snake, I would not root up my flowers, I would kill the snake. Thus,
who are they that derive from fiction and literature a prejudicial
effect? We have seen already--the light and superficial;--but who are
they that derive profit from them?--they who enjoy well regulated and
discerning minds. Who pleasure?--all mankind! Would it not therefore be
better, instead of depriving some of profit, and all of pleasure, by
banishing poetry and fiction from our Utopia, to correct the minds which
find evil, where, if they were properly instructed, they would find good?
Whether we agree with Helvetius, that all men are born with an equal
capacity of improvement, or merely go the length with all other
metaphysicians, that education can improve the human mind to an extent
yet incalculable, it must be quite clear, that we can give sound views
instead of fallacies, and make common truths as easy to discern and adopt
as common errors. But if we effect this, which we all allow is so easy,
with our children; if we strengthen their minds, instead of weakening
them, and clear their vision, rather than confuse it, from that moment,
we remove the prejudicial effects of fiction, and just as we have taught
them to use a knife, without cutting their fingers, we teach them to make
use of fiction without perverting it to their prejudice. What philosopher
was ever hurt by reading the novels of Crebillon, or seeing the comedies
of Moliere? You understand me, then, Monsieur de G., I do, it is true,
think that polite literature (as it is termed,) is prejudicial to the
superficial, but for that reason, I would not do away with the
literature, I would do away with the superficial."

"I deny," said M. D'A--, "that this is so easy a task--you cannot make
all men wise."

"No," replied Vincent; "but you can all children, at least to a certain
extent. Since you cannot deny the prodigious effects of education, you
must allow that they will, at least, give common sense; for it they
cannot do this, they can do nothing. Now common sense is all that is
necessary to distinguish what is good and evil, whether it be in life or
in books: but then your education must not be that of public teaching and
private fooling; you must not counteract the effects of common sense by
instilling prejudice, or encouraging weakness; your education may not be
carried to the utmost goal: but as far as it does go you must see that
the road is clear. Now, for instance, with regard to fiction, you must
not first, as is done in all modern education, admit the disease, and
then dose with warm water to expel it; you must not put fiction into your
child's hands, and not give him a single principle to guide his judgment
respecting it, till his mind has got wedded to the poison, and too weak,
by its long use, to digest the antidote. No; first fortify his intellect
by reason, and you may then please his fancy by fiction. Do not excite
his imagination with love and glory, till you can instruct his judgment
as to what love and glory are. Teach him, in short, to reflect, before
you permit him full indulgence to imagine."

Here there was a pause. Monsieur D'A--looked very ill-pleased, and poor
Monsieur de G--thought that somehow or other his romance writing was
called into question. In order to soothe them, I introduced some subject
which permitted a little national flattery; the conversation then turned
insensibly on the character of the French people.

"Never," said Vincent, "has there been a character more often described--
never one less understood. You have been termed superficial. I think, of
all people, that you least deserve the accusation. With regard to the
few, your philosophers, your mathematicians, your men of science, are
consulted by those of other nations, as some of their profoundest
authorities. With regard to the many, the charge is still more unfounded.
Compare your mob, whether of gentlemen or plebeians, to those of Germany,
Italy--even England--and I own, in spite of my national prepossessions,
that the comparison is infinitely in your favour. The country gentlemen,
the lawyer, the petit maitre of England, are proverbially inane and ill-
informed. With you, the classes of society that answer to those
respective grades, have much information in literature, and often not a
little in science. In like manner, your tradesmen, your mechanics, your
servants, are, beyond all measure, of larger, better cultivated, and less
prejudiced minds than those ranks in England. The fact is, that all with
you pretend to be savans, and this is the chief reason why you have been
censured as shallow. We see your fine gentleman, or your petit bourgeois,
give himself the airs of a critic or a philosopher; and because he is
neither a Scaliger nor a Newton, we forget that he is only the bourgeois
or the pelit maitre, and set down all your philosophers and critics with
the censure of superficiality, which this shallow individual of a shallow
order may justly have deserved. We, the English, it is true, do not
expose ourselves thus: our dandies, our tradesmen, do not vent second
rate philosophy on the human mind, nor on les beaux arts: but why is
this? Not because they are better informed than their correspondent
ciphers in France, but because they are much worse; not because they can
say a great deal more on the subject, but because they can say nothing at
all."

"You do us more than justice," said Monsieur D'A--, "in this instance:
are you disposed to do us justice also in another? It is a favourite
propensity of your countrymen to accuse us of heartlessness and want of
feeling. Think you that this accusation is deserved?"

"By no means," replied Vincent. "The same cause that brought on the
erroneous censure we have before mentioned, appears to me also to have
created this; viz. a sort of Palais Royal vanity, common to all your
nation, which induces you to make as much display at the shop window as
possible. You show great cordiality, and even enthusiasm, to strangers;
you turn your back on them--you forget them. 'How heartless!' cry we. Not
at all! The English show no cordiality, no enthusiasm to strangers, it is
true: but they equally turn their backs on them, and equally forget them!
The only respect, therefore, in which they differ from you, is the
previous kindness: now if we are to receive strangers, I can really see
no reason why we are not to be as civil to them as possible; and so far
from imputing the desire to please them to a bad heart, I think it a
thousand times more amiable and benevolent than telling them, a
l'Anglaise, by your morosity and reserve, that you do not care a pin what
becomes of them. If I am only to walk a mile with a man, why should I not
make that mile as pleasant to him as I can; or why, above all, if I
choose to be sulky, and tell him to go and be d--d, am I to swell out my
chest, colour with conscious virtue, and cry, see what a good heart I
have?

"Ah, Monsieur D'A___, since benevolence is inseparable from all morality,
it must be clear that there is a benevolence in little things as well as
in great; and that he who strives to make his fellow creatures happy,
though only for an instant, is a much better man than he who is
indifferent to, or, (what is worse) despises, it. Nor do I, to say truth,
see that kindness to an acquaintance is at all destructive to sincerity
to a friend: on the contrary, I have yet to learn, that you are
(according to the customs of your country) worse friends, worse husbands,
or worse fathers than we are!"

"What!" cried I, "you forget yourself, Vincent. How can the private
virtues be cultivated without a coal fire? Is not domestic affection a
synonymous term with domestic hearth? and where do you find either,
except in honest old England?"

"True," replied Vincent; "and it is certainly impossible for a father and
his family to be as fond of each other on a bright day in the Tuilleries,
or at Versailles, with music and dancing, and fresh air, as they would be
in a back parlour, by a smoky hearth, occupied entirely by le bon pere,
et la bonne mere; while the poor little children sit at the other end of
the table, whispering and shivering, debarred the vent of all natural
spirits, for fear of making a noise; and strangely uniting the idea of
the domestic hearth with that of a hobgoblin, and the association of dear
papa with that of a birch rod."

We all laughed at this reply, and Monsieur D'A____, rising to depart,
said, "Well, well, milord, your countrymen are great generalizers in
philosophy; they reduce human actions to two grand touchstones. All
hilarity, they consider the sign of a shallow mind; and all kindness,
the token of a false heart."



                             CHAPTER XVI.

                           Quis sapiens bono
                   Confidat fragili.
                   --Seneca.

                   Grammatici certant et adhuc sub judice lis est.
                   --Horace.

When I first went to Paris, I took a French master, to perfect me in the
Parisian pronunciation. This "Haberdasher of Pronouns" was a person of
the name of Margot. He was a tall, solemn man, with a face of the most
imperturbable gravity. He would have been inestimable as an undertaker.
His hair was of a pale yellow; you would have thought it had caught a
bilious complaint from his complexion; the latter was, indeed, of so
sombre a saffron, that it looked as if ten livers had been forced into a
jaundice, in order to supply its colour. His forehead was high, bald, and
very narrow. His cheekbones were extremely prominent, and his cheeks so
thin, that they seemed happier than Pyramus and Thisbe, and kissed each
other inside without any separation or division. His face was as sharp
and almost as long as an inverted pyramid, and was garnished on either
side by a miserable half starved whisker, which seemed scarcely able to
maintain itself, amid the general symptoms of atrophy and decay. This
charming countenance was supported by a figure so long, so straight, so
shadowy, that you might have taken it for the monument in a consumption.

But the chief characteristic of the man was the utter and wonderful
gravity I have before spoken of. You could no more have coaxed a smile
out of his countenance, than you could out of the poker, and yet Monsieur
Margot was by no means a melancholy man. He loved his joke, and his wine,
and his dinner, just as much as if he had been of a fatter frame; and it
was a fine specimen of the practical antithesis, to hear a good story, or
a jovial expression, leap friskily out of that long, curved mouth; it was
at once a paradox and a bathos--it was the mouse coming out of its hole
in Ely Cathedral.

I said that this gravity was M. Margot's most especial characteristic. I
forgot:--he had two others equally remarkable; the one was an ardent
admiration for the chivalrous, the other an ardent admiration for
himself. Both of these are traits common enough in a Frenchman, but in
Mons. Margot their excesses rendered them uncommon. He was a most ultra
specimen of le chevalier amoureux--a mixture of Don Quixote and the Duc
de Lauzun. Whenever he spoke of the present tense, even en professeur, he
always gave a sigh to the preterite, and an anecdote of Bayard; whenever
he conjugated a verb, he paused to tell me that the favourite one of his
female pupils was je t'aime.

In short, he had tales of his own good fortune, and of other people's
brave exploits, which, without much exaggeration, were almost as long,
and had perhaps as little substance as himself; but the former was his
favourite topic: to hear him, one would have imagined that his face, in
borrowing the sharpness of the needle, had borrowed also its attraction;
--and then the prettiness of Mons. Margot's modesty!

"It is very extraordinary," said he, "very extraordinary, for I have no
time to give myself up to those affairs; it is not, Monsieur, as if I had
your leisure to employ all the little preliminary arts of creating la
belle passion. Non, Monsieur, I go to church, to the play, to the
Tuilleries, for a brief relaxation--and me voila partout accable with my
good fortune. I am not handsome, Monsieur, at least, not very; it is
true, that I have expression, a certain air noble, (my first cousin,
Monsieur, is the Chevalier de Margot) and above all, de l'a me in my
physiognomy; the women love soul, Monsieur--something intellectual and
spiritual always attracts them; yet my success certainly is singular."

"Bah! Monsieur," replied I: "with dignity, expression, and soul! how
could the heart of any French woman resist you? No, you do yourself
injustice. It was said of Caesar, that he was great without an effort;
much more, then, may Monsieur Margot be happy without an exertion."

"Ah, Monsieur!" rejoined the Frenchman, still looking

           "As weak, as earnest, and as gravely out
           As sober Lanesbro' dancing with the gout."

"Ah, Monsieur, there is a depth and truth in your remarks, worthy of
Montaigne. As it is impossible to account for the caprices of women, so
it is impossible for ourselves to analyze the merit they discover in us;
but, Monsieur, hear me--at the house where I lodge, there is an English
lady en pension. Eh bien, Monsieur, you guess the rest: she has taken a
caprice for me, and this very night she will admit me to her apartment.
She is very handsome,--Ah qu'elle est belle, une jolie petite bouche, une
denture eblouissante, un nez tout afait grec, in fine, quite a bouton de
rose."

I expressed my envy at Monsieur Margot's good fortune, and when he had
sufficiently dilated upon it, he withdrew. Shortly afterwards Vincent
entered--"I have a dinner invitation for both of us to-day," said he;
"you will come?"

"Most certainly," replied I; "but who is the person we are to honour?"

"A Madame Laurent," replied Vincent; "one of those ladies only found at
Paris, who live upon anything rather than their income. She keeps a
tolerable table, haunted with Poles, Russians, Austrians, and idle
Frenchmen, peregrinae gentis amaenum hospitium. As yet, she has not the
happiness to be acquainted with any Englishmen, (though she boards one of
our countrywomen) and (as she is desirous of making her fortune as soon
as possible) she is very anxious of having that honour. She has heard
vast reports of our wealth and wisdom, and flatters herself that we are
so many ambulatory Indies: in good truth, a Frenchwoman thinks she is
never in want of a fortune as long as there is a rich fool in the world.

                "'Stultitiam patiuntur, opes,'

is her hope; and

                "'Ut tu fortunam, sic nos te, Celse, feremus,'

is her motto."

"Madame Laurent!" repeated I, "why, surely that is the name of Mons.
Margot's landlady."

"I hope not," cried Vincent, "for the sake of our dinner; he reflects no
credit on her good cheer--

                "'Who eats fat dinners, should himself be fat.'"

"At all events," said I, "we can try the good lady for once. I am very
anxious to see a countrywoman of ours, probably the very one you speak
of, whom Mons. Margot eulogizes in glowing colours, and who has,
moreover, taken a violent fancy for my solemn preceptor. What think you
of that, Vincent?"

"Nothing extraordinary," replied Vincent; "the lady only exclaims with
the moralist--

           "'Love, virtue, valour, yea, all human charms,
           Are shrunk and centred in that heap of bones.
           Oh! there are wondrous beauties in the grave!'"

I made some punning rejoinder, and we sallied out to earn an appetite in
the Tuilleries for Madame Laurent's dinner.

At the hour of half-past five we repaired to our engagement. Madame
Laurent received us with the most evident satisfaction, and introduced us
forthwith to our countrywoman. She was a pretty, fair, shrewd looking
person, with an eye and lip which, unless it greatly belied her, showed
her much more inclined, as an amante, to be merry and wise, than honest
and true.

Presently Monsieur Margot made his appearance. Though very much surprised
at seeing me, he did not appear the least jealous of my attentions to his
inamorata. Indeed, the good gentleman was far too much pleased with
himself to be susceptible of the suspicions common to less fortunate
lovers. At dinner I sat next to the pretty Englishwoman, whose name was
Green.

"Monsieur Margot," said I, "has often spoken to me of you before I had
the happiness of being personally convinced how true and unexaggerated
were his sentiments."

"Oh!" cried Mrs. Green, with an arch laugh, "you are acquainted with
Monsieur Margot, then?"

"I have that honour," said I. "I receive from him every morning lessons
both in love and languages. He is perfect master of both."

Mrs. Green burst out into one of those peals so peculiarly British.

"Ah, le pauvre Professeur!" cried she. "He is too absurd!"

"He tells me," said I, gravely, "that he is quite accable with his bonnes
fortunes--possibly he flatters himself that even you are not perfectly
inaccessible to his addresses."

"Tell me, Mr. Pelham," said the fair Mrs. Green, "can you pass by this
street about half past twelve to-night?"

"I will make a point of doing so," replied I, not a little surprised by
the remark.

"Do," said she, "and now let us talk of old England."

When we went away I told Vincent of my appointment. "What!" said he,
"eclipse Monsieur Margot! Impossible!"

"You are right," replied I, "nor is it my hope; there is some trick
afloat of which we may as well be spectators."

"De tout mon coeur!" answered Vincent; "let us go till then to the
Duchesse de G----."

I assented, and we drove to the Rue de--.

The Duchesse de G--was a fine relict of the ancien regime--tall and
stately, with her own grey hair crepe, and surmounted by a high cap of
the most dazzling blonde. She had been one of the earliest emigrants, and
had stayed for many months with my mother, whom she professed to rank
amongst her dearest friends. The duchesse possessed to perfection that
singular melange of ostentation and ignorance which was so peculiar to
the ante-revolutionists. She would talk of the last tragedy with the
emphatic tone of a connoisseur, in the same breath that she would ask,
with Marie Antoinette, why the poor people were so clamorous for bread
when they might buy such nice cakes for two-pence a-piece? "To give you
an idea of the Irish," said she one day to an inquisitive marquess, "know
that they prefer potatoes to mutton!"

Her soirees were among the most agreeable at Paris--she united all the
rank and talent to be found in the ultra party, for she professed to be
quite a female Maecenas; and whether it was a mathematician or a romance-
writer, a naturalist or a poet, she held open house for all, and
conversed with each with equal fluency and self-satisfaction.

A new play had just been acted, and the conversation, after a few
preliminary hoverings, settled upon it.

"You see," said the duchesse, "that we have actors, you authors; of what
avail is it that you boast of a Shakspeare, since your Liseton, great as
he is, cannot be compared with our Talma?"

"And yet," said I, preserving my gravity with a pertinacity, which nearly
made Vincent and the rest of our compatriots assembled lose their's
"Madame must allow, that there is a striking resemblance in their
persons, and the sublimity of their acting?"

"Pour ca, j'en conviens," replied this 'critique de l'Ecole des Femmes.'
"Mais cependant Liseton n'a pas la Nature! l'ame! la grandeur de Talma!"

"And will you then allow us no actors of merit?" asked Vincent.

"Mais oui!--dans le genre comique, par exemple, votre buffo Kean met dix
fois plus d'esprit et de drollerie dans ses roles que La Porte."

"The impartial and profound judgment of Madame admits of no further
discussion on this point," said I. "What does she think of the present
state of our dramatic literature?"

"Why," replied Madame, "you have many great poets, but when they write
for the stage they lose themselves entirely; your Valter Scote's play of
Robe Roi is very inferior to his novel of the same name."

"It is a great pity," said I, "that Byron did not turn his Childe Harold
into a tragedy--it has so much energy--action--variety!"

"Very true," said Madame, with a sigh; "but the tragedy is, after all,
only suited to our nation--we alone carry it to perfection."

"Yet," said I, "Goldoni wrote a few fine tragedies."

"Eh bien!" said Madame, "one rose does not constitute a garden!"

And satisfied with this remark, la femme savante turned to a celebrated
traveller to discuss with him the chance of discovering the North Pole.

There were one or two clever Englishmen present; Vincent and I joined
them.

"Have you met the Persian prince yet?" said Sir George Lynton to me; "he
is a man of much talent, and great desire of knowledge. He intends to
publish his observations on Paris, and I suppose we shall have an
admirable supplement to Montesquieu's Lettres Persannes!"

"I wish we had," said Vincent: "there are few better satires on a
civilized country than the observations of visitors less polished; while
on the contrary the civilized traveller, in describing the manners of the
American barbarian, instead of conveying ridicule upon the visited,
points the sarcasm on the visitor; and Tacitus could not have thought of
a finer or nobler satire on the Roman luxuries than that insinuated by
his treatise on the German simplicity."

"What," said Monsieur D'E--(an intelligent ci-devant emigre), "what
political writer is generally esteemed as your best?"

"It is difficult to say," replied Vincent, "since with so many parties we
have many idols; but I think I might venture to name Bolingbroke as among
the most popular. Perhaps, indeed, it would be difficult to select a name
more frequently quoted and discussed than his; and yet his political
works are the least valuable part of his remains; and though they contain
many lofty sentiments, and many beautiful yet scattered truths, they were
written when legislation, most debated, was least understood, and ought
to be admired rather as excellent for the day than estimable in
themselves. The life of Bolingbroke would convey a juster moral than all
his writings: and the author who gives us a full and impartial memoir of
that extraordinary man, will have afforded both to the philosophical and
political literature of England one of its greatest desideratums."

"It seems to me," said Monsieur D'E--, "that your national literature is
peculiarly deficient in biography--am I right in my opinion?"

"Indubitably!" said Vincent; "we have not a single work that can be
considered a model in biography, (excepting, perhaps, Middleton's Life of
Cicero.) This brings on a remark I have often made in distinguishing your
philosophy from ours. It seems to me that you who excel so admirably in
biography, memoirs, comedy, satirical observation on peculiar classes,
and pointed aphorisms, are fonder of considering man in his relation to
society and the active commerce of the world, than in the more abstracted
and metaphysical operations of the mind. Our writers, on the contrary,
love to indulge rather in abstruse speculations on their species--to
regard man in an abstract and isolated point of view, and to see him
think alone in his chamber, while you prefer beholding him act with the
multitude in the world."

"It must be allowed," said Monsieur D'E___t, "that if this be true, our
philosophy is the most useful, though yours may be the most profound."

Vincent did not reply.

"Yet," said Sir George Lynton, "there will be a disadvantage attending
your writings of this description, which, by diminishing their general
applicability, diminish their general utility. Works which treat upon man
in his relation to society, can only be strictly applicable so long as
that relation to society treated upon continues. For instance, the play
which satirizes a particular class, however deep its reflections and
accurate its knowledge upon the subject satirized, must necessarily be
obsolete when the class itself has become so. The political pamphlet,
admirable for one state, may be absurd in another; the novel which
exactly delineates the present age may seem strange and unfamiliar to the
next; and thus works which treat of men relatively, and not man in se,
must often confine their popularity to the age and even the country in
which they were written. While on the other hand, the work which treats
of man himself, which seizes, discovers, analyzes the human mind, as it
is, whether in the ancient or the modern, the savage or the European,
must evidently be applicable, and consequently useful, to all times and
all nations. He who discovers the circulation of the blood, or the origin
of ideas, must be a philosopher to every people who have veins or ideas;
but he who even most successfully delineates the manners of one country,
or the actions of one individual, is only the philosopher of a single
country, or a single age. If, Monsieur D'E--t, you will condescend to
consider this, you will see perhaps that the philosophy which treats of
man in his relations is not so useful, because neither so permanent nor
so invariable, as that which treats of man in himself." [Note: Yet Hume
holds the contrary opinion to this, and considers a good comedy more
durable than a system of philosophy. Hume is right, if by a system of
philosophy is understood--a pile of guesses, false but plausible, set up
by one age to be destroyed by the next. Ingenuity cannot rescue error
from oblivion; but the moment Wisdom has discovered Truth, she has
obtained immortality.]

I was now somewhat weary of this conversation, and though it was not yet
twelve, I seized upon my appointment as an excuse to depart--accordingly
I rose for that purpose. "I suppose," said I to Vincent, "that you will
not leave your discussion."

"Pardon me," said he, "amusement is quite as profitable to a man of sense
as metaphysics. Allons."



                             CHAPTER XVII.

      I was in this terrible situation when the basket stopt.
      --Oriental Tales--History of the Basket.

We took our way to the street in which Madame Laurent resided. Meanwhile
suffer me to get rid of myself, and to introduce you, dear Reader, to my
friend, Monsieur Margot, the whole of whose adventures were subsequently
detailed to me by the garrulous Mrs. Green.

At the hour appointed he knocked at the door of my fair countrywoman, and
was carefully admitted. He was attired in a dressing-gown of sea-green
silk, in which his long, lean, hungry body, looked more like a river pike
than any thing human.

"Madame," said he, with a solemn air, "I return you my best thanks for
the honour you have done me--behold me at your feet!" and so saying the
lean lover gravely knelt down on one knee.

"Rise, Sir," said Mrs. Green, "I confess that you have won my heart; but
that is not all--you have yet to show that you are worthy of the opinion
I have formed of you. It is not, Monsieur Margot, your person that has
won me--no! it is your chivalrous and noble sentiments--prove that these
are genuine, and you may command all from my admiration."

"In what manner shall I prove it, Madame," said Monsieur Margot, rising,
and gracefully drawing his sea-green gown more closely round him.

"By your courage, your devotion, and your gallantry! I ask but one proof-
-you can give it me on the spot. You remember, Monsieur, that in the days
of romance, a lady threw her glove upon the stage on which a lion was
exhibited, and told her lover to pick it up. Monsieur Margot, the trial
to which I shall put you is less severe. Look, (and Mrs. Green threw open
the window)--look, I throw my glove out into the street--descend for it."

"Your commands are my law," said the romantic Margot. "I will go
forthwith," and so saying, he went to the door.

"Hold, Sir!" said the lady, "it is not by that simple manner that you are
to descend--you must go the same way as my glove, out of the window."

"Out of the window, Madame!" said Monsieur Margot, with astonished
solemnity; "that is impossible, because this apartment is three stories
high, and consequently I shall be dashed to pieces."

"By no means," answered the dame; "in that corner of the room there is a
basket, to which (already foreseeing your determination) I have affixed a
rope; by that basket you shall descend. See, Monsieur, what expedients a
provident love can suggest."

"H--e--m!" said, very slowly, Monsieur Margot, by no means liking the
airy voyage imposed upon him; "but the rope may break, or your hand may
suffer it to slip."

"Feel the rope," cried the lady, "to satisfy you as to your first doubt;
and, as to the second, can you--can you imagine that my affections would
not make me twice as careful of your person as of my own. Fie! ungrateful
Monsieur Margot! fie!"

The melancholy chevalier cast a rueful look at the basket. "Madame," said
he, "I own that I am very averse to the plan you propose: suffer me to go
down stairs in the ordinary way; your glove can be as easily picked up
whether your adorer goes out of the door or the window. It is only,
Madame, when ordinary means fail that we should have recourse to the
extraordinary."

"Begone, Sir!" exclaimed Mrs. Green; "begone! I now perceive that your
chivalry was only a pretence. Fool that I was to love you as I have done-
-fool that I was to imagine a hero where I now find a--"

"Pause, Madame, I will obey you--my heart is firm--see that the rope is--"

"Gallant Monsieur Margot!" cried the lady: and going to her dressing-
room, she called her woman to her assistance. The rope was of the most
unquestionable thickness, the basket of the most capacious dimensions.
The former was fastened to a strong hook--and the latter lowered.

"I go, Madame," said Monsieur Margot, feeling the rope; "but it really is
a most dangerous exploit."

"Go, Monsieur! and the God of St. Louis befriend you!"

"Stop!" said Monsieur Margot, "let me fetch my coat: the night is cold,
and my dressing-gown thin."

"Nay, nay, my Chevalier," returned the dame, "I love you in that gown: it
gives you an air of grace and dignity, quite enchanting."

"It will give me my death of cold, Madame," said Monsieur Margot,
earnestly.

"Bah!" said the Englishwoman: "what knight ever feared cold? Besides, you
mistake; the night is warm, and you look so handsome in your gown."

"Do I!" said the vain Monsieur Margot, with an iron expression of
satisfaction; "if that is the case, I will mind it less; but may I return
by the door?"

"Yes," replied the lady; "you see that I do not require too much from
your devotion--enter."

"Behold me!" said the French master, inserting his body into the basket,
which immediately began to descend.

The hour and the police of course made the street empty; the lady's
handkerchief waved in token of encouragement and triumph. When the basket
was within five yards of the ground, Mrs. Green cried to her lover, who
had hitherto been elevating his serious countenance towards her, in
sober, yet gallant sadness--"Look, look, Monsieur--straight before you."

The lover turned round, as rapidly as his habits would allow him, and at
that instant the window was shut, the light extinguished, and the basket
arrested. There stood Monsieur Margot, upright in the basket, and there
stopped the basket, motionless in the air.

What were the exact reflections of Monsieur Margot, in that position, I
cannot pretend to determine, because he never favoured me with them; but
about an hour afterwards, Vincent and I (who had been delayed on the
road), strolling up the street, according to our appointment, perceived,
by the dim lamps, some opaque body leaning against the wall of Madame
Laurent's house, at about the distance of fifteen feet from the ground.

We hastened our steps towards it; a measured and serious voice, which I
well knew, accosted us--"For God's sake, gentlemen, procure me
assistance; I am the victim of a perfidious woman, and expect every
moment to be precipitated to the earth."

"Good Heavens!" said I, "surely it is Monsieur Margot, whom I hear. What
are you doing there?"

"Shivering with cold," answered Monsieur Margot, in a tone tremulously
slow.

"But what are you in? for I can see nothing but a dark substance."

"I am in a basket," replied Monsieur Margot, "and I should be very much
obliged to you to let me out of it."

"Well--indeed," said Vincent, (for I was too much engaged in laughing to
give a ready reply,) "your Chateau-Margot has but a cool cellar. But
there are some things in the world easier said than done. How are we to
remove you to a more desirable place?"

"Ah," returned Monsieur Margot, "how indeed! There is to be sure a ladder
in the porter's lodge long enough to deliver me; but then, think of the
gibes and jeers of the porter--it will get wind--I shall be ridiculed,
gentlemen--I shall be ridiculed--and what is worse, I shall lose my
pupils."

"My good friend," said I, "you had better lose your pupils than your
life; and the day-light will soon come, and then, instead of being
ridiculed by the porter, you will be ridiculed by the whole street!"

Monsieur Margot groaned. "Go, then, my friend," said he, "procure the
ladder! Oh, those she devils!--what could make me such a fool!"

Whilst Monsieur Margot was venting his spleen in a scarcely articulate
mutter, we repaired to the lodge, knocked up the porter, communicated the
accident, and procured the ladder. However, an observant eye had been
kept upon our proceedings, and the window above was re-opened, though so
silently that I only perceived the action. The porter, a jolly, bluff,
hearty-looking fellow, stood grinning below with a lantern, while we set
the ladder (which only just reached the basket) against the wall.

The chevalier looked wistfully forth, and then, by the light of the
lantern, we had a fair view of his ridiculous figure--his teeth chattered
woefully, and the united cold without and anxiety within, threw a double
sadness and solemnity upon his withered countenance; the night was very
windy, and every instant a rapid current seized the unhappy sea-green
vesture, whirled it in the air, and threw it, as if in scorn, over the
very face of the miserable professor. The constant recurrence of this
sportive irreverence of the gales--the high sides of the basket, and the
trembling agitation of the inmate, never too agile, rendered it a work of
some time for Monsieur Margot to transfer himself from the basket to the
ladder; at length, he had fairly got out one thin, shivering leg.

"Thank God!" said the pious professor--when at that instant the
thanksgiving was checked, and, to Monsieur Margot's inexpressible
astonishment and dismay, the basket rose five feet from the ladder,
leaving its tenant with one leg dangling out, like a flag from a balloon.

The ascent was too rapid to allow Monsieur Margot even time for an
exclamation, and it was not till he had had sufficient leisure in his
present elevation to perceive all its consequences, that he found words
to say, with the most earnest tone of thoughtful lamentation, "One could
not have foreseen this!--it is really extremely distressing--would to God
that I could get my leg in, or my body out!"

While we were yet too convulsed with laughter to make any comment upon
the unlooked-for ascent of the luminous Monsieur Margot, the basket
descended with such force as to dash the lantern out of the hand of the
porter, and to bring the professor so precipitously to the ground, that
all the bones in his skin rattled audibly!

"My God!" said he, "I am done for!--be witness how inhumanly I have been
murdered."

We pulled him out of the basket, and carried him between us into the
porter's lodge; but the woes of Monsieur Margot were not yet at their
termination. The room was crowded. There was Madame Laurent,--there was
the German count, whom the professor was teaching French;--there was the
French viscount, whom he was teaching German;--there were all his fellow-
lodgers--the ladies whom he had boasted of--the men he had boasted to--
Don Juan, in the infernal regions, could not have met with a more
unwelcome set of old acquaintance than Monsieur Margot had the happiness
of opening his bewildered eyes upon in the porter's lodge.

"What!" cried they all, "Monsieur Margot, is that you who have been
frightening us so? We thought the house was attacked; the Russian general
is at this very moment loading his pistols; lucky for you that you did
not choose to stay longer in that situation. Pray, Monsieur, what could
induce you to exhibit yourself so, in your dressing-gown too, and the
night so cold? Ar'n't you ashamed of yourself?"

All this, and infinitely more, was levelled against the miserable
professor, who stood shivering with cold and fright; and turning his eyes
first upon one, and then on another, as the exclamations circulated round
the room,

"I do assure you," at length he began.

"No, no," cried one, "it is of no use explaining now!"

"Mais, Messieurs," querulously recommenced the unhappy Margot.

"Hold your tongue," exclaimed Madame Laurent, "you have been disgracing
my house."

"Mais, Madame, ecoutez-moi--" "No, no," cried the German, "we saw you--we
saw you."

"Mais, Monsieur Le Comte--" "Fie, fie!" cried the Frenchman.

"Mais, Monsisur Le Vicomte--" At this every mouth was opened, and the
patience of Monsieur Margot being by this time exhausted, he flew into a
violent rage; his tormentors pretended an equal indignation, and at
length he fought his way out of the room, as fast as his shattered bones
would allow him, followed by the whole body, screaming, and shouting, and
scolding, and laughing after him.

The next morning passed without my usual lesson from Monsieur Margot;
that was natural enough: but when the next day, and the next, rolled on,
and brought neither Monsieur Margot nor his excuse, I began to be uneasy
for the poor man. Accordingly I sent to Madame Laurent's to inquire after
him: judge of my surprise at hearing that he had, early the day after his
adventure, left his lodgings with his small possession of books and
clothes, leaving only a note to Madame Laurent, enclosing the amount of
his debt to her, and that none had since seen or heard of him.

From that day to this I have never once beheld him. The poor professor
lost even the little money due to him for his lessons--so true is it,
that in a man of Monsieur Margot's temper, even interest is a subordinate
passion to vanity.



                            CHAPTER XVIII.

                   It is good to be merry and wise,
                      It's good to be honest and true;
                   It is good to be off with the old love
                      Before you be on with the new.
                                       --Song.


One morning, when I was riding to the Bois de Boulogne (the celebrated
place of assignation), in order to meet Madame d'Anville, I saw a lady on
horseback, in the most imminent danger of being thrown. Her horse had
taken fright at an English tandem, or its driver, and was plunging
violently; the lady was evidently much frightened, and lost her presence
of mind more and more every moment. A man who was with her, and who could
scarcely manage his own horse, appeared to be exceedingly desirous, but
perfectly unable, to assist her; and a great number of people were
looking on, doing nothing, and saying "Good God, how dangerous!"

I have always had a great horror of being a hero in scenes, and a still
greater antipathy to "females in distress." However, so great is the
effect of sympathy upon the most hardened of us, that I stopped for a few
moments, first to look on, and secondly to assist. Just when a moment's
delay might have been dangerous, I threw myself off my horse, seized
her's with one hand, by the rein which she no longer had the strength to
hold, and assisted her with the other to dismount. When all the peril was
over, Monsieur, her companion, managed also to find his legs; and I did
not, I confess, wonder at his previous delay, when I discovered that the
lady in danger had been his wife. He gave me a profusion of thanks, and
she made them more than complimentary by the glance which accompanied
them. Their carriage was in attendance at a short distance behind. The
husband went for it--I remained with the lady.

"Mr. Pelham," she said, "I have heard much of you from my friend Madame
D'Anville, and have long been anxious for your acquaintance. I did not
think I should commence it with so great an obligation."

Flattered by being already known by name, and a subject of previous
interest, you may be sure that I tried every method to improve the
opportunity I had gained; and when I handed my new acquaintance into her
carriage, my pressure of her hand was somewhat more than slightly
returned.

"Shall you be at the English ambassador's to-night?" said the lady, as
they were about to shut the door of the carriage.

"Certainly, if you are to be there," was my answer.

"We shall meet then," said Madame, and her look said more.

I rode into the Bois; and giving my horse to my servant, as I came near
Passy, where I was to meet Madame D'Anville, I proceeded thither on foot.
I was just in sight of the spot, and indeed of my inamorata, when two men
passed, talking very earnestly; they did not remark me, but what
individual could ever escape my notice? The one was Thornton; the other--
who could he be? Where had I seen that pale, but more than beautiful
countenance before? I looked again. I was satisfied that I was mistaken
in my first thought; the hair was of a completely different colour. "No,
no," said I, "it is not he: yet how like."

I was distrait and absent during the whole time I was with Madame
D'Anville. The face of Thornton's companion haunted me like a dream; and,
to say the truth, there were also moments when the recollection of my new
engagement for the evening made me tired with that which I was enjoying
the troublesome honour of keeping.

Madame D'Anville was not slow in perceiving the coldness of my behaviour.
Though a Frenchwoman, she was rather grieved than resentful.

"You are growing tired of me, my friend," she said: "and when I consider
your youth and temptations, I cannot be surprised at it--yet, I own, that
this thought gives me much greater pain than I could have supposed."

"Bah! ma belle amie," cried I, "you deceive yourself--I adore you--I
shall always adore you; but it's getting very late."

Madame D'Anville sighed, and we parted. "She is not half so pretty or
agreeable as she was," thought I, as I mounted my horse, and remembered
my appointment at the ambassador's.

I took unusual pains with my appearance that evening, and drove to the
ambassador's hotel in the Rue Faubourg St. Honore, full half an hour
earlier than I had ever done before. I had been some time in the rooms
without discovering my heroine of the morning. The Duchess of H--n passed
by.

"What a wonderfully beautiful woman," said Mr. Howard de Howard (the
spectral secretary of the embassy) to Mr. Aberton.

"Ay," answered Aberton, "but to my taste, the Duchesse de Perpignan is
quite equal to her--do you know her?"

"No--yes!" said Mr. Howard de Howard; "that is, not exactly--not well;"
an Englishman never owns that he does not know a duchess.

"Hem!" said Mr. Aberton, thrusting his large hand through his lank light
hair. "Hem--could one do anything, do you think, in that quarter?"

"I should think one might, with a tolerable person!" answered the
spectral secretary, looking down at a pair of most shadowy supporters.

"Pray," said Aberton, "what do you think of Miss--? they say she is an
heiress."

"Think of her!" said the secretary, who was as poor as he was thin, "why,
I have thought of her!"

"They say, that fool Pelham makes up to her." (Little did Mr. Aberton
imagine, when he made this remark, that I was close behind him.)

"I should not imagine that was true," said the secretary; "he is so
occupied with Madame D'Anville."

"Pooh!" said Aberton, dictatorially, "she never had any thing to say to
him."

"Why are you so sure?" said Mr. Howard de Howard.

"Why? because he never showed any notes from her, or ever even said he
had a liaison with her himself!"

"Ah! that is quite enough!" said the secretary. "But, is not that the
Duchesse de Perpignan?"

Mr. Aberton turned, and so did I--our eyes met--his fell--well they
might, after his courteous epithet to my name; however, I had far too
good an opinion of myself to care one straw about his; besides, at that
moment, I was wholly lost in my surprise and pleasure, in finding that
this Duchesse de Perpignan was no other than my acquaintance of the
morning. She caught my gaze and smiled as she bowed. "Now," thought I, as
I approached her, "let us see if we cannot eclipse Mr. Aberton."

All love-making is just the same, and, therefore, I shall spare the
reader my conversation that evening. When he recollects that it was Henry
Pelham who was the gallant, I am persuaded that he will be pretty certain
as to the success.





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