« ПредишнаНапред »
cumstances, a foreign britscka, con- friendlier dimness of the tea-room. taining a beautiful woman of a reputa- Collinet was beginning the second set tion better understood than expressed of quadrilles, and among the fairest of in the conclave above stairs, flew round the surpassingly beautiful women who the corner of St. James'-street, and were moving to his heavenly music, very nearly drove into the open mouth was Lady Imogen Ravelgold, the of the junior partner's cabriolet. lovelier to-night for the first heavy
" I will bet you a Ukraine colt sadness that had ever dimmed the against this fine bay of yours," said the roses in her cheek. Her lady mother Russian secretary of legation, advanc- divided her thoughts between what this ing from the group of dandies to Trem- could mean, and whether Mr. Tremlet let, " that miladi, yonder, with all the would come to the ball ; and when, best blood of England in her own and presently after, in the dos-a-dos, she her daughters' red faces, gets no tickets forgot to look at her daughter, on seeing this morning.”
that gentleman enter, she lost a very “ I'll take a bet upon the lady who good opportunity for a guess at the has nearly extinguished me, if you cause of Lady Imogen's paleness. like," answered Tremlet, gazing with To the pure and true eye that apadmiration at the calm, delicate, child- preciates the divinity of the form after like looking creature, who sat before which woman is made, it would have him in the britscka.
been a glorious feast to have seen the “ No !" said the secretary, “ for perfection of shape, colour, motion, Almack's is a republic of beauty, and and countenance shown that night on she'll be voted in without either blood the bright floor of Almack's. For the or virtue. Par exemple, Lady Ravel. young and beautiful girls whose envied gold's voucher is good here, though she destiny is to commence their woman's does study tableaux in Lothbury—eh history in this exclusive hall, there Tremlet?!
exist aids to beauty known to no other Totally unaware of the unlucky dis- class or nation. Perpetual vigilance covery by the fireworks at Lady Rose- over every limb from the cradle up ; berry's fête, Tremlet coloured and was physical education of a perfection, disinclined to take the insinuation as an cipline, and judgment pursued only at affront; but a laugh from the dandies great expense and under great respondrew off his companion's attention, sibility ; moral education of the highest and he observed the dowager's foot- kind, habitual consciousness of rank, man standing at her coach window, exclusive contact with elegance and with his empty hands held up in most luxury, and a freedom of intellectual expressive negation, while the three culture, which breathes a soul through young ladies within sat aghast, in all the face before passion has touched it the agonies of disappointed hopes. with a line or a shade—these are some The lumbering carriage got into motion of the circumstances which make -its ineffective blazonry paled by the Almack's the cynosure of the world mortified blush of its occupants—and, for adorable and radiant beauty! as the junior partner drove away,
There were three ladies who had philosophising on the arbitrary opin- come to Almack's with a definite object ions and unprovoked insults of polite that night, each of whom was destined society, the britscka shot by, showing to be surprised and foiled: Lady Ravelhim, as he leaned forward, a lovely gold, who feared she had been abrupt woman who bent on him the most with the inexperienced banker, but dangerous eyes in London, and an trusted to find him softened by a day Almack's ticket lying on the unoc- or two's reflection ; Mrs. St. Leger, cupied cushion beside her.
the lady of the britscka, who had
ordered supper for two on her arrival The white relievo upon the pale blue at home from her morning's drive, wall of Almack's, showed every crack and intended to have the company of in its stucco flowers, and the faded the handsome creature she had nearly chaperons who had defects of a similar run over in King street ; and Lady description to conceal, took warning Imogen Ravelgold, as will appear in of the walls, and retreated to the the sequel.
“ for by
Tremlet stood in the entrance from she represented Tremlet as having the tea-room a moment, gathering taken advantage of her obligations courage to walk alone into such a to him to push a dishonourable suit. dazzling scene, and then, having caught The scene disclosed by the sudden a glimpse of the glossy line of Lady blaze of the fire-works being this Im sen's head at the farthest end of simply explained, Lady Imogen at the room, he was advancing towards once determined to give up Tremlet's her, when was addressed by a lady who acquaintance altogether ; a resolution learned against one of the slender which his open flirtation with a woman columns of the orchestra. After a of Mrs. St. Leger's character served sweetly-phrased apology for liaving to confirm. She had, however, one nearly knocked out his brains that errand with him, prompted by her morning with her horses' fore feet, filial feelings and favoured by an acciMrs. St. Leger took his arm, and dental circumstance which will appear. walking deliberately two or three times “ Do you believe in animal magnetup and down the room, took possession, ism?" asked Mrs. St. Leger, at last, of a banquette on the highest the fixedness of Lady Ravelgold's eyes range, so far from any other person, in this quarter, something is going to that it would have been a marked happen to one of us.” rudeness to have left her alone. Trem. The next moment the Russian let took his seat by her with this in- secretary approached and took his stinctive feeling, trusting that some seat by Mrs. St. Leger, and with one of her acquaintances would soon diplomatic address contrived to conapproach, and give him a fair excuse vey to Tremlet's ear that Lady Ravel. to leave her ; but he soon became gold wished to speak with him. The amused with her piquant style of con- banker rose, but the quick wit of his versation, and, not aware of being companion comprehended the man. observed, fell into the attitude of a pleased and earnest listener.
“Ah! I see how itis," she said, “but Lady Ravelgold's feelings during stay—you'll sup with me to-night? this petit entretien, were of a very Promise me-parole d'honne r!!" positive description. She had an in- “Parole!'' answered Tremlet, makstinctive knowledge, and consequently ing his way out between the seats, a jealous dislike, of Mrs. St. Leger's half pleased and half embarrassed. character; and, still under the delu- “Asforyou, Monsieur le Secretaire,” sion that the young banker's liberality said Mrs. St. Leger, “you have forwas prompted by a secret passion for feited my favour, and may sup elseherself, she saw her credit in the city where. How dare you conspire against and her hold upon the affections of me?". Tremlet, (for whom she had really con- While the Russian was making his ceived a violent affection,) melting peace, Tremlet crossed over to Lady Raaway in every smile of the dangerous velgold ; but, astonished at the change woman who engrossed him. As she in Imogen, he soon broke in abruptly looked around for a friend, to whose upon her mother's conversation, to ear she might communicate some of the ask her to dance. She accepted his suffocating poison in her own heart, hand for a quadrille ; but as they Lady Imogen returned to her from a walked down the room in search of a gallopade ; and, like a second dagger vis-à-vis, she complained of heat, and into the heart of the pure-minded girl, asked timidly if he would take ber to went this second proof of her lover'scor- the tea-room. rupt principle and conduct. Unwilling “Mr. Tremlet,” she said, fixing her to believe even her own eyes on the night eyes upon the cup of tea which he had of Lady Roseberry's fête, she had sum- given her, and which she found some moned resolution on the road home difficulty in holding, “I have come to ask an explanation of her mother. here to-night to communicate to you Embarrassed by the abrupt question, some important information, to ask a Lady Ravelgold felt obliged to make favour, and to break off an acquainta partial confidence of the state of her ance which has lasted too long." pecuniary affairs; and to clear herself, Lady Imogen stopped, for the blood
had fled from her lips, and she was to nerve her resolution anew, Lady compelled to ask his arm for a support. Imogen Ravelgold shook the tears She drew herself up to her fullest from her eyes, bowed coldly to Tremheight the next moment, looked at let, and passed out into the dressingTremlet, who stood in speechless astonishment, and with a strong effort, “ If you please, sir," said a servant, commenced again in a low, firm tone- approaching the amazed banker,
“ I have been acquainted with you “Mrs. St. Leger waits for you in her some time, sir, and have never inquired carriage." nor knew more than your name, up to “ Will you come home and sup this day. I suffered myself to be with us?” said Lady Ravelgold at the pleased too blindly_"
same instant, joining him in the tea“ Dear Lady Imogen !"
room. “ Stay a moment, sir! I will pro- “ I shall be only too happy, Lady ceed directly to my business. I re- Ravelgold.” ceived this morning a letter from the The bold coachman of Mrs. St. senior partner of a mercantile house Leger continued to “ stop the way,” in the city, with which you are con- spite of policeman and infuriated footnected. It is written on the supposin men, for some fifteen minutes. At the tion that I have some interest in you, end of that time Mr. Tremlet appeared, and informs me that you are not, as handing down Lady Ravelgold and her you yourself suppose, the son of the daughter, who walked to their chariot, gentleman who writes the letter." which was a few steps behind ; and 6. Madam!"
very much to Mrs. St. Leger's aston“ That gentleman, sir, as you know, ishment, the handsome banker sprang never was married. He informs me past her horses' heads a minute after, that in the course of many financial jumped into his cabriolet, which stood visits to St. Petersburgh, he formed on the opposite side of the street, and a friendship with Count Manteuffel, drove after the vanishing chariot as if then minister of finance to the em- his life depended on overtakingit. Still peror, whose tragical end, in conse- Mrs. St. Leger's carriage "stopped quence of his extensive defalcations, the way.” But, in a few minutes is well known. In brief, sir, you were after, the same footman who had sumhis child, and were taken by this moned Tremlet in vain, returned with English banker, and carefully educated the Russian secretary, doomed in as his own, in happy ignorance, as he blessed unconsciousness to play the imagined, of your father's misfortunes pis aller at her tête-à-tête supper in and mournful death."
Spring Gardens. •Tremlet leaned against the wall,
(To be continued) unable to reply to this astounding intelligence, and Lady Imogen wenton.
" Your title and estates have been restored to you at the request of your ORSON DABBS, THE HITTITE. kind benefactor, and you are now the heir to a princely fortune, and a count It has been said, and truly, that it of the Russian empire. Here is the takes all sorts of people to make a letter, sir, which is of no value to me world. He who complains of the Mr. Tremlet one word more, lights and shades of character, which
are eternally flitting before him, and Lady Imogen gasped for breath. of the diversity of opposing interests
“ In return, sir, for much interest which at times cross his path, has but given you heretofore—in return, sir, an illiberal, contracted view of the for this information "
subject : and though the Emperor “ Speak, dear Lady Imogen!” Charles the Fifth, in his retirement at Spare my mother!"
Estremadura, had some reason for “ Mrs. St. Leger's carriage stops being a little annoyed when he could the way
!" shouted a servant at that not cause two or three score of watches moment, at the top of the stairs ; and to go together, yet he was wrong in as if there were a spell in the sound sighing over his previous ineffectual
efforts to make men think alike. It continued he with that impressive iterais, to speak figuratively, the clashing tion which at once gives time to collect which constitutes the music. The and marshal one's thoughts, and lets harmony of the whole movement is the listener know that something of produced by the fusion into each other moment is coming; “ if they won't be of an infinite variety of petty discords: convinced-easily and genteelly conas a glass of punch depends for its ex- vinced—you must knock it into 'em cellence upon the skilful commingling short hand; if they can't compreof opposing flavours, and antagonising hend, neither by due course of mail, materials. Were the passengers in a nor yet by express, you must make wherry to be found of one mind they 'em understand by telegraph. That's would probably all sit upon the same the way I learnt ciphering at school, side, and thence, naturally, pay a visit and manners and genteel behaviour at to the Davy Jones of the river ; and home. All I know was walloped into if all the men of a nation thought alike, me. I took larnin' through the skin, it is perfectly evident that the ship of and sometimes they made a good many state must lose her trim. The system holes to get it in." of checks and balances pervades both And,” timidly interjected a humthe moral and physical world, and ble admirer of this great man, hazardwithout it, affairs would soon hasten ing a joke with an insinuating smile ; to their end. It is, therefore, clear " and I s'pose you're so wise now, that we must have all sorts of people because the hide growed over it, and some to prevent stagnation, and others the larnin' couldn't get out, like Ingey to act as ballast to an excess of anima- ink in a sailor's arm." tion. The steam engines of humanity “ Jeames,” replied Orson Dabbs, must have their breaks and their safety relaxing into a grim smile, like that of valves, and the dead weights of society the griffin face of a knocker, and shakrequire the whip and the spur. ing his “ bunch of fives” sportively, as
Orson Dabbs certainly is entitled one snaps an unloaded gun-Napoleon to a place among the stimulants of the tweaked the ears of his courtiers-why world, and it is probable that in ex- should not Dabbs shake his fist at his ercising his impulse, he produces satellites ?—" Jeames, if you don't beneficial effects. But it would puzzle bequit poking fun at me, I'll break a philosopher to designate the welcome your mouth, Jeames, as sure as you results which follow from his turbulent sit there. But, to talk sensible, wal. movements, or to show, either by loping is the only way—it's a panacea synthesis or analysis, wherein he is a for differences of opinion.—You'll find good. At all events, Orson Dabbs it in history books, that one nation has the reputation of being a trouble- teaches another that didn't know some fellow in the circle upon which before by walloping it; that's the he inflicts himself; and judging from method of civilising savages the all the evidence elicited upon the Romans put the whole world to rights subject, there is little reason to doubt that way, and what's right on the big the fact. He is dogmatical, and to a figger, must be right on the small scale. certain extent fond of arguments, but In short, there's nothing like wallopwhen a few sharp words will not make ing for taking the conceit out of fellows converts, he abandons those windy that think they know more than their weapons with contempt, and has re- betters. Put it to 'em strong and make course to more forcible persuaders—a 'em see out of their eyes.” pair of fists, each of which looks like a Orson Dabbs acts up to these golden shoulder of mutton.
maxims. Seeing that, from disputes “ If people are so obstinate that between dogs up to quarrels between they won't, or so stupid that they nations, fighting is the grand umpire can't understand you,''observed Dabbs, and regulator, he resolves all power in one of his confidential moments- into that of the fist-treating bribery, for Orson Dabbs will sometimes un- reason, and persuasion, as the means bend, and suffer those abstruse maxims only of those unfortunate individuals which govern his conduct to escape- to whom nature has denied the stronger “If either for one reason or the other," attributes of humanity. Nay, he even
turns up his nose at betting, as a means ward, as if the demon of wrath had of discovering truth. Instead of turned archer, and was using it for a stumping an antagonist by launching bow to draw an arrow to its head. out his cash, Dabbs shakes a por. His mouth had sat in opposition to its tentous fist under his nose, and the nasal promontory, and savagely curved affair is settled—the recusant must downward, like a half-moon battery. either knock under or be knocked Dabbs was decidedly out of sorts: perdown, which, according to our hero, haps beery as well as wolfy-in short, is all the same in Dutch. In this in that unenviable state in which a way, when politics ran high, he used man feels disposed to divide himself, to decide who was to be elected to any and go to buffets—to kick himself with specified office, and he has often boasted his own foot—to beat himself with his that he once, in less than five minutes, own fist, and to throw his own dinner too, scared a man into giving the Dabbs out of the window. candidate a large majority, when the The company were assembled around stranger did not at first believe that the fire, to discuss liquor and literature, the said candidate would be elected at men and things. Dabbs looked not all.
at them, but, slinging Tommy Timid's Some people believe that the fist is bull terrier, Oseola, out of the armthe poorest of all arguments, and that chair in the corner, by the small stump it therefore should be the last. Here of a tail which fashion and the they are completely at issue with hatchet had left the animal, he sat Dabbs, and it is well that they do not himself moodily down, with a force fall in his way, or he would soon show that made the timbers creak. The them the difference. With him it is conversation was turning upon the what action was to the ancient orator, late brilliant display of the “. the first, the middle, and the last. borealis” which the more philosophical Being himself, in a great measure, first of the party supposed to arise from the proof, he is very successful in the good north pole's having become red hot work of proselytism, and has quite a for want of grease; while they all joined reputation as a straight forward rea. in deriding the popular fallacy that soner and a forcible dialectician. it was caused by the high price of
Misfortunes, however,will sometimes flour. happen to the most successful. The “ Humph !” said Dabbs, with a loftiest nose may be brought to the grunt, any fool might know that it's grindstone, and the most scornful dog a sign of war." may be obliged to lunch upon dirty “ War!” ejaculated the party; “oh, pudding. Who can control his fate? your granny !”. One night Mr. Dabbs came home from “ Yes, war!" roared Dabbs, kicking his loafing' places—for he . loafs' of the bull terrier, Oseola, in the ribs, an evening, like the generality of and striking the table a tremendous people; that being the most popular blow with his fist, as with clenched and one of the cheapest amusements teeth and out-poked ead, he repeated, extant-and from the way he blurted “ War, War, War !" open the door of the Goose and Grid- Now the Goose and Gridiron frairon, where he resides, and from the ternity set up for knowing geniuses, more unequivocal manner in which he and will not publicly acknowledge faith slammed it after him, no doubt existed in the doctrines on meteorology broach. in the minds of his fellow-boarders, ed by their grandmothers, whatever that the well of his good spirits had they may think in private. been “riled ;' or in more familiar So they quietly remarked, confiding phrase, that he was “spotty on the in their numbers against the Orson back." His hat was pitched forward, Dabbs' method of conversation, that with a blood-thirsty, piratical rakish- the "aurora was not a sign of
but ness, and almost covered his eyes, an evidence of friction, and no grease which gleamed like ignited charcoal on the axle of the world.” under a jeweller's blow-pipe. His “ That's a lie !" shouted Dabbs : cheeks were flushed with an angry my story's the true one, for I read spot, and his nose-always a quarrel. it in an almanac ; and to prove it true, some pug-curled more fiercely up- I'll lick any body here that don't