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success"-a truth I was destined to balf the streets at the west end of experience most painfully in the the town; in vain did I peer and peep present instance. On applying at into every shop I passed, and scruihe house in Jermyn Street, I was tinise every window with the keenastounded by the information that ness of a familiar of La Santa Her. no ladies, answering the description mandad. Once, indeed, I thought which I gave, resided there at all, I caught a glimpse of a figure similar although two such had certainly ta- in the delicacy of its proportions to ken tea the day before with Mrs that of my charmer, and my heart Morgan, a lodger who occupied the beat high with hope renewed, but, first floor; that they had afterwards alas! only to increase my disappointe gone away in a backney-coach, to ment, when, after I bad sorely the theatre, it was believed, and had bruised my shins, and beat all the returned late in the evening, but breath out of my body, by making a that they had only remained a few cannon between an apple-barrow minutes, when, having partaken of and an old-clothesman, in my hurry the contents of a tray which had been to “head” the fancied angel, my eyes set out in expectation of their arrival, were blasted by the sight of a face they had finally taken their depar- as hideous as age and ugliness could ture in a handsome dark-green cha- make it. Weary and dispirited, I at riot, which came to fetch them away. length gave up my fruitless chase; This, at least, was the account fur- but, ere I returned to my hotel, renished me by the servant girl, whose solved on making one final and despegood offices I secured by a trifling rate effort to recover the scent. With present, and who also informed me, this view I entered a jeweller's shop, that she had never seen the younger whose windows displayed “an elelady of the two before, and the elder gant assortment" of trinkets, and not above twice or three times. having purchased a plain, but handMuch disconcerted at this intelli- some vinaigrette, which I afterwards gence, I could not refrain from curs- replenished at a perfumer's, once ing my own stupidity in allowing more retraced my steps to Jermyn them thus to escape me, though Street. From my new auxiliary, the wiser heads than mine might have mnaid, I soon learned that I had nobeen puzzled to know how to have thing farther to expect in that quarprevented it, as not the slightest sus- ter at present, in the way of intelli. picion of their being merely visitors gence, and therefore boldly deat the house to which I traced them, manded to see Mrs Morgan berself. had ever entered my mind. My only Fortunately, as I then imagined, that course was to promise the girl an lady was at home; so, desiring the additional gratuity, if she could suc- girl to announce me simply as “ a ceed in learning the place of their gentleman on business," I was introabode; which done, I walked, with a duced forth with into the presence of very different step, and in a very an elderly female, furnished with different mood from that in which I one of the most forbidding visages had set out, towards St James's park, that it has ever been my lot to enrevolving in my mind the means counter. Nothing daunted, however, which it would be most advisable for at her“ vinegar aspect," I proceeded me to adopt, in order to obtain the at once to unfold the nature of “my wished-for intelligence. Nor did it business," which was, as my readers fail to present itself to my recollec- will doubtless have anticipated, neition, that a very short time indeed ther more nor less than "to restore to was left me to make the necessary the elder of the two ladies I had the enquiries, unless I should altogether honour of escorting from the playgive up the idea of attending my house, the evening before, a vinai. mother's summons by the day ap- grette, which I had unwittingly pointed in her letter. Twenty-four retained after its use was ren. hours, however, I thought I could dered superfluous by the recovery command, and wonders might be of her daughter from the terror she achieved in half that time by a sin- had experienced, and to express my cere and enterprising lover; but vain fervent hopes that her alarm had were all my efforts to discover my been attended by no unpleasant con. fair incognita; in vain did I traverse sequences."
Whether it was that the old snap. dreary day in the month of March dragon suspected my veracity from saw me once more at Underdown the expression of my tell-tale coun- Hall, as gloomy, uncomfortable, and tenance, I knew not; though I think thoroughly out of temper as any du. it far from improbable, as I never in tiful young gentleman in the world my life could acquire from my cou could possibly be, when thwarted in sin Nicholas that happy nonchalance his pursuits by the untimely interwith which he would utter you balf position of his mamma. The genuine a dozen lies in a breath, without the joy, however, expressed by my dear slightest embarrassment or discom- mother at my arrival, and the corposure of muscle: certain it is, that dial greetings of Sir Oliver, soon my tormenting auditress soon con- alleviated, if they failed to dissipate vinced me that it would be easier to entirely, my chagrin. I say nothing extract a guinea from a miser's purse, of the friendly shake of the hand or a plain answer from a diploma vouchsafed me by the taciturn Captist's portfeuille, tban to obtain from tain, or the simpering congratulations her the information I so eagerly of Miss Pyefinch, who remarked, in panted to obtain. With an excess of the most flattering manner, that good breeding, ludicrously at va. “ Master Stafford” (I was nearly riance with the sourness of her phy. twenty-two, and measured five feet siognomy, she eluded my request to eleven in my stockings ) « had be admitted to see the lady, parried grown surprisingly, and was very my enquiries, thanked me for my much improved altogether since she civility, and, requesting me to give saw him last.” I found the worthy myself no farther trouble about the baronet as stout, as jovial, and as trinket, (which she pledged herself proud of his ancestry as ever; time, to return to the right owner at an indeed, had laid a lenient band on early opportunity,) fairly bowed and him, and, but that his hair had becurtsied me out of the house, gun to assume the tint of the badger without my having been able to ar- rather than that of the raven, little rive at any other certainty than that difference was to be observed in his I had thrown away five pounds ten appearance, from that which he had upon a most unprofitable specula- exhibited at the time I had first been tion, and one which presented not presented to his notice. Not so Mrs the shadow of a return; in short, the Stafford; her health had never been cool, sarcastic demeanour of that ter- good since my father's death, and it rible old woman fully convinced me was with pain I now remarked that that, from the very first, she had she looked much thinner, and was penetrated my motives, seen through evidently much weaker, than when my stratagem, and made my whole I had last quitted her ; but her scheme recoil upon myself. One spirits were still good, much better advantage, however, I had at least indeed than I had long been accus. gained by my attempt; that was the tomed to see them, and her eye securing still farther the assistance gleamed once more, occasionally, of my friendly Abigail, to whom I with a portion of that playful fire made the most magnificent promises, which during the lifetime of her huson the simple condition that she band had marked its scintillations. should transmit the desired intelli. She was evidently much pleased at gence to an address with which I something; but what that something furnished her; and, with notbing be- was which afforded her so much apyond this frail foundation to resi my parent satisfaction, remained a myshopes upon, I at last quitted London, tery not to be solved till the followleaving Nicholas behind me, and ful- ing morning. I therefore repressed ly resolving to extricate myself as my curiosity as I best might, and resoon as possible from any engage- tired to my couch, in the ardent hope ment which my mother might have of being visited in my dreams by enformed for me, that I might return chanting visions of my fair but unto the metropolis, where only I had known enslaver. Sir Oliver had any hope of succeeding in my search forced on me certain rations of cold after the, perhaps unconscious, pos- pork for supper. I fell asleep, and sessor of my runaway heart.
dreamt of the devil and Mrs Mor. The eveniug of a cold, wet, and gan.
doing for him what his affection dic“ The morn, in russet mantle clad, tated, and indeed forced him to saPeep'd o'er the top of " our “high eastern crifice all his early habits and attach
ments for the valuable appointment After a breakfast which appeared to which eventually crowned him with me to be unusually protracted, I re. wealth as well as honour, still he tired with my mother to her dress
ever entertained the kindliest feel. ing-room, there to receive from her ings towards his youngest brother, a communication of those weighty and, as far as lay in his power, aided motives which had induced her to bis promotion, by the exercise of all summon me thus abruptly. I learn the interest he possessed; fully deed that her so doing was the conse termining, at the same time, to apquence of a letter which she had propriate to his use no niggard porlately received from a paternal uncle tion of that daily increasing properof mine, of whom I had hitberto ty which the gradual contraction of heard but little, and seen nothing, his own family circle rendered the General Lord Viscount Manningham, less necessary for his and their exthe elder, and now sole surviving clusive use. Death, as we have albrother of my lamented father. This ready seen, frustrated this project; epistle stated the fact of his lord. and Colonel Stafford expired, comship's arrival in England, after an paratively ignorant of his fraternal absence from his native land of many intentions ; but now that the same years' duration, in the course of cruel spoiler had robbed him also of which time his paternal affections those beloved boys to whom he had had been severely lacerated, by wit. once looked up as destined to trange nessing a fine and dearly-loved fa- mit his name and honours to posteri. mily of promising children yielding, ty, he recurred with greater warmth together with their mother, one by than ever to his original design, and, one, to the fatal effects of a climate as the father was beyond the reach but too uncongenial with a Euro- of bis benevolence, resolved to conpean constitution. Of three boys, fer his benefits on the son. In this and as many girls, one only of the intention he was the more confirmed, latter now remained to him ; and, as that son was now, by the failure trembling lest the same dreadful of his own issue-male, become beir. cause wbich had robbed him in suc presumptive to the title of Mancession of her brothers and sisters, ningham, and the last possessor of should also deprive him of this, now the noble pame of Stafford. become his only, hope, Lord Man. Such was the tenor of his epistle, ningham had relinquished the high which concluded with the expres. and lucrative situation, and the state, sion of an earnest desire to see him little short of regal, which he held in who was destined to inherit his hoone of our richest colonies, to seek nours, and intimated that the chaonce more the sbores of his own racter he had already heard of his country, loaded, indeed, with wealth, nephew, (my mother read me this but all too dearly purcbased by the part of the letter with a swelling loss of his wife and offspring. Great heart,) in reply to the enquiries wbich indeed were the changes which the he bad instituted respecting him, gallant Viscount found had taken made him anxious that the meeting place during his long absence from should take place as soon as possible. England. His two brothers were, The letter, whicb, I need hardly say, both of them, no more; of all his was a very long one, and couched once numerous relatives and con- in the handsomest and most affecnexions my mother and myself were tionate terms, contained also a pressthe solitary survivors, neither of ing invitation to my mother, urging whom he had, of course, ever be her to accompany her son to Gros. held. His attachment to his brothers, venor Square, as his engagements and to Charles especially, had been with Ministers would, for a time, a strong one; and although the con- render it impossible for the ex-Gofined state of his own finances, which vernor himself to visit the Hall; a in the earlier part of his career were hint, too, was conveyed of an emaltogether unequal to the decent sup. bryo plan, the object of which was port of his rank, had prevented his the union of the senior and junior branches of the House of Stafford, by mother. To be thus unceremoniously the marriage of the two last remain. disposed of, without being even coning scions of the family.
sulted on the subject, appeared to Of all the proposals that could me neither consistent with the rehave been submitted, it is doubtful spect I thought my due, nor altoif any one could have been recom. gether reasonable. Miss Stafford mended of a nature more gratifying might, for aught I knew to the conto my mother than the one thus als trary, be all that my mother repre. luded to. Lord Manninghaun's wealth sented her to be, but then againwas now immense, and, being almost she might not—or, if she were, I entirely of his own acquisition, was, might not like ber, or though selfof course, with the exception of the love whispered that was scarcely very small entailed estate which possible-she might not like me. went with the Viscountcy, complete. Nor should I be acting with candour ly at his own disposal. To me, were I to deny that, bad this propoindeed, a barren title would descend, sal been made to me before I quitted but that, without the funds necessary Oxford, it might have been viewed to support its dignity, might rather in a very different light. At present be considered as a misfortune than the charms of the unknown fair one a boon. An arrangement like that certainly tended most materially to proposed would obviate every incon- bias my inclinations, and though I venience. Report spoke bigbly of was not so far gone, either in love or the person and accomplishinents of in romance, as at once to resolve on the 'Honourable Miss Stafford, al- rejecting so fair an offer,-if offer though (from her father's time having that might be called, which at most been hitherto too much occupied was only an insinuation, still the since his return to admit of his form. recollection of the tender, yet moing a suitable establishment) she bad dest glances I had encountered in not yet been introduced into general the pit of Covent Garden Theatre, society, but at the next birthday she undoubtedly contributed to render was to be presented; then, of course, me averse from a proposal, my acher career of fashion would com ceptance of which would, of course, mence, and, beyond all doubt, num. preclude the possibility of any farther berless admirers, among the votaries acquaintance with the object of my of ton, would rapidly present them- search, even should I be fortunate selves in the train of the possessor enough to discover her retreat. Neof so many charms, and the inberi. vertheless, I could not help feeling trix of so many rupees. On every the force of Sir Anthony Absolute's account, therefore, my mother was observation, “it is very unreasonanxious that I should lose no time able to object to a lady you have in securing to myself an interest both never seen;" and the idea at the same with my noble uncle and his fair moment occurring to me that my daughter; and nothing prevented her attendance on Lord Manningham from at once writing to me, and ex- in town would be, perhaps, the most plaining the whole affair, but the efficacious method I could take to idea she entertained that she could make the discovery tbat lay so near better expatiate upon the advantages my heart, I gave my assent to the of such a match in a personal inter- proposal, that I should pay my uncle view, combined with a wish of hear a visit, not only without reluctance, iog from my own lips the pleasing but even with an alacrity, to which assurance, that my most earnest en- an unwillingness to occasion so much deavours should be forth with applied pain to my mother, as I saw the exto the realization of this, her most pression of my real feelings on the fondly cherished hope.
subject would give her, mainly conAlthough naturally of a sanguine tributed. A sort of coxcombical temperament, and fully alive to all feeling that, perhaps, after all, i the advantages which rank and pro- MIGAT like a young lady who, it was perty bestow on their possessor, ten to one, might not like me, contrithere was nevertheless a sometbing buted to decide the matter, and I in all this which did uot present “ gave in my adhesion” with a toitself to my view in quite such glowlerably decent share of apparent ing colours as it did to that of my resignation. My mother, however, VOL. XXXV, NO. CCXXI,
was not so blind as to be insensible post-boys were all charming; and, to myindifference on a subject which but that they were rather slow, the she had fondly flattered herself very horses would have had the bewould have elicited far more vivid nefit of that complacency with which emotions ; still, as I expressed no I was now disposed to regard all disinclination to the measure, remon- nature, animate and inanimate-exstrance was impossible, and she con- cept Mrs Morgan. tented herself with re-stating, in the My mother had provided me with most persuasive language of which an introductory letter to Lord Man. she was mistress, the various and ningham, expressing the satisfaction incalculable advantages attending the she had experienced at finding the connexion. Her endeavours were only surviving brother of her lament. not wholly unsuccessful, and, after ed Charles thus disposed to countea day principally spent in reflection nance and support his widow and on all the pros and cons of the busi- only child, while she deeply regret. ness, I went to repose with a reso- ted that the state of her health was lution of confirming my willingness such as to renderso long a journey imto avail myself immediately of his prudent, not to say impossible, on her Lordship's invitation, trusting to own part. Of me, her son, she spoke Providence and to events as they in the fondest terms maternal affecmight arise, to enable me either to tion could dictate, and conjured him accept or decline the honour intend by the love which, as his letter evin. ed me. This I signified to my mo- ced, he had borne the father, to ther before I retired for the night, in extend that love to the son. She such terms as again caused the beam added her eager coincidence in his of satisfaction and joy to sparkle in half-expressed wish, and her anxious her eye. On the following day I hope that his Lordship would pay again pursued my way towards that her a visit, at Underdown Hall, at great emporium of the wealth of the the earliest opportunity his engage. universe, which, as I firmly believed, ments would afford bim. A civil contained, among its other treasures, postscript from Sir Oliver, backing the paragon of her sex-Remember, the latter request, completed this reader, I was then not twenty-two momentous despatch, which was de
The weather on this occasion was livered into my safe keeping, sealed, still more boisterous and unpleasant in due form, with a fine impression than on the day of my journey into of the Bullwinkle arms, affixed by the country, but I neither marked the Baronet himself, in a circle of its state nor felt its inconvenience. sealing-wax the size of a crownThe road, the prospects, the very piece.
It was late in the afternoon when ing to pieces and devouring the soli. I reached London, but no sooner had tary muffin that accompanied my I deposited my baggage safely in my cup of coffee, with all the vacant deold quarters, than I ran, without liberation of mental as well as coreven changing my dress, or taking poreal lassitude, when a sudden slap any refreshment, to Jermyn Street. on the shoulder induced me to raise My old friend Sally opened the door my eyes, which immediately enas usual, but her countenance at countered an oblique glance from once told me that she had nothing those of my cousin Nicholas. I know to communicate. “Neither of the not whether I have before remarked ladies had called since I was there that my young relative, among bis last," and, of course, she had as yet other accomplishments, possessed had no opportunity of earning the that of squinting in its most perfect stipulated reward; but “ she did not fashion ; looking me, therefore, full despair.” Nor did I, though I could in the face, while an ordinary obsernot help feeling sorely disappointed. ver would have believed one of his
Foiled once more, I returned to eyes directed to the opposite side of the hotel, and, having seated myself the room, and its fellow to the mufin the coffee room, was slowly pull- fineer in my hand, “Charles," quoth