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Vain efforts at Imitation.
he admired him above all men he had ever seen; he longed to launch out and be like him, but habit had become second nature, and nature herself had formed him a very different being from his dear Duke. He was ambitious, however, to imitate hiin, but could not; and whenever he endeavoured to pluck up a spirit to act in any degree like him, he always felt his old puny habits, of trembling nerves and delicacy of appetite, return worse, and more confirmed than ever. At one time of his life he was in danger of becoming a martyr to his silly imitation; for he drank brandy in a morning with the Duke, and reduced his nerves to a more alarming state of weakness, and his legs to a smaller dimension, than before.
The Duke was afraid he should lose his dear, usefulfriend, and consulted some confidential doctors to put him under a regimen, which, by strictly observing, Lord Orton is yet permitted, a little
longer, to do honour to the name of his wealthy ancestors.
- Well, my dear Duchess,” said the Duke of Westbury, throwing himself on the vacant seat beside her, “ you appear as lovely as ever; the country agrces with you; you and Lady Charlotte are as blooming as two roses !”
6. That flower seems a favourite simile with your Grace,” said Lady Charlotte, as sbe viewed his poppy-coloured face. 6Tell me,” said the Duchess, “ as you have just left town, is any body there? I had rather stay in Portman-square all the summer long, and not one living creature of fashion but myself in London, than be imprisoned here.”
:“ O, yes, really,” said the Duke, “I
agree with you, Duchess ; coustraint is · a horrid bore : and I can assure you,
there really are some decent people yet left in London.”
“ Pray,” said the Duchess, “ though it is a strange enquiry to ask after an husband, but have you seen any thing of the Duke of Pyrmont ?" “ Only parted from him the night before last,” replied the Duke of Westbury ; “ we were all together supping at his Cousin Tom's, and we were as happy as wine, love, and mirth, could make us.”
.“ His cousin Tom's!” echoed the Duchess ; “why, Pyrmont has neither uncle nor aunt; what cousin can he have ?"
“Oh! I will tell you, my dear lady Duchess,” said the Duke, first laughing immoderately. “ Cousin Tom is the name a good-natured convenient fellow goes by, who keeps a house of accommodation in one of the Squares of the me
His Friends and Customers.
tropolis. I know you are not of a jealous disposition, or I would not tell you that your dear Duke is one of the firmest supporters of Cousin Tom's house (that is the slang name he goes by.) Many of the married nobility keep up the credit, and support the expences, of the house, myself for one."
Lady Charlotte unaffectedly blushed: . the Duchess had too much high fashion about her, and freedom of modern manners, to be easily abashed. She said, " Really the sobriquets and equivoques of men of fashion, which you are pleased to denominate slang, are so copious, that they require an explanatory dictionary ; and a woman, who is in the smallest degree precise, must never open her lips to ask the sense of what she does not iminediately comprehend."
This the Duchess uttered with the most unassumed indifference; she could
listen to a recital of the Duke of Pyrmont's intrigues, though he was her husband, with the utmost sang froid ; and the knowledge and conviction of his repeated infidelities, had never given her one momentary pang *.
“ I think,” said the Marquis of Waltham, “ the pure and immaculate Sir Edward Moreton, never went to Cousin Tom's.”-“ No,” said his Grace, “I would bet my ducal coronet against young Cirlin, my wife's pug dog, that he woald not go there for all the uni. verse could offer.”
* It is that degradation of manners, which cannot be too much lamented, and certainly will, in the end, overthrow society, and reduce us to universal barbarism ; it is that deplorable indifference of husbands and wives for their mutual faults, which is, as here depicted, some of the greatest evils of our times. It has called upon a neighbouring nation the vena geance of Heaven ; let us be aware of its effects. '