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was an awful blow to the venerable earl; the circumstance was never alluded to in the family; he shunned Foker, whenever he came to see them in London or
in the country, and could hardly be brought to gasp out a "How d'ye do?" to the young blasphemer. But he would not break his sister Agnes's heart, by banishing Harry from the family together; nor, indeed, could he afford to break with Mr. Foker, senior, between whom and his lordship there had been many private transactions, producing an exchange of bank cheques from Mr. Foker, and autographs from the earl himself with the letters IO U written over his illustrious signature.
Besides the four daughters of Lord Gravesend whose various qualities have been enumerated in the former paragraph, his lordship was blessed with a fifth girl, the Lady Ann Milton, who, from her earliest years and nursery had been destined to a peculiar position in life. It was ordained between her parents and her aunt, that when Mr. Henry Foker attained a proper age, Lady Ann should become his wife. The idea had been familiar to her mind when she yet wore pinafores, and when Harry, the dirtiest of little boys, used to come back with black eyes from school to Drummington, or to his father's house of Logwood, where Lady Ann lived much with her aunt. Both of the young people coincided with the arrangement proposed by the elders, without any protests or difficulty. It no more entered Lady Ann's mind to question the order of her father, than it would have entered Esther's to dispute the commands of Ahasuerus. The heir-apparent of the house of Foker was also obedient, for when the old gentleman said, "Hariy, your uncle and I hav agreed that when you're of a proper age, you'll marry Lady Ann. She won't have any money, but she's good blood, and a good one to look at, and I shall make you comfortable. If you refuse, you'll have your mother's jointure, and two hundred a year during my life"-Harry, who knew that his sire, though a man of few words, was yet implicitly to be trusted, acquiesced at once in the parental decree, and said, "Well, sir, if Ann's agreeable,
I say ditto. She's not a bad-looking girl,"
"And she has the best blood in England, sir. Your mother's blood, your own blood, sir," said the Brewer. There's nothing like it, sir."
"Well, sir, as you like it," Harry replied. "When you want me, please ring the bell. Only there's no hurry, and hope you'll give us a long day. I should like to have my fling out before I marry.'
"Fling away, Harry," answered the benevolent father. "Nobody prevents you, do they?" And so very little more was said upon this subject, and Mr. Harry pursued those amusements in life which suited him best; and hung up a little picture of his cousin in his sitting room, amidst the French prints, the favourite actresses and dancers, the racing and coaching works of art, which suited his taste and formed his gallery. It was an insignificant little picture, representing a simple round face with ringlets; and it made, as it must be confessed, a very poor figure by the side of Mademoiselle Petitot, dancing over a rainbow, or Mademoiselle Redowa, grinning in red boots and a lancer's cap.
Being engaged and disposed of, Lady Ann Milton did not go out so much in the world as her sisters: and often stayed at home in London at the family house in Gaunt Square, when her mamma with the other ladies went abroad. They talked and they danced with one man after another, and the men came and went, and the stories about them were various. But there was only this one story about Ann: she was engaged to Harry Foker: she never was to think about anybody else. It was not a very amusing story.
Well, the instant Foker awoke on the day after Lady Clavering's dinner, there was Blanche's image glaring upon him with its clear grey eyes, and winning smile. There was her tune ringing in his ears, "Yet round about the spot, ofttimes I hover, ofttimes I hover," which poor Foker began piteously to hum, as he sat up in his bed under the crimson silken coverlet. Opposite him was a French print, of a Turkish lady and her Greek lover, surprised by a venerable Ottoman, the lady's husband; on
the other wall, was a French print of a gentleman and lady, riding and kissing each other at the full gallop; all round the chaste bed-room were more French prints, either portraits of gauzy nymphs of the Opera or lovely illustrations of the novels; or mayhap, an English chefd'œuvre or two, in which Miss Pinckney of T. R. E. O. would be represented in tight pantaloons in her favourite page part or Miss Rougemont as Venus; their value enhanced by the signature of these ladies, Maria Pinckney, or Frederica Rougemont, inscribed underneath the prints in an exquisite facsimile. Such were the pictures in which honest Harry delighted. He was no worse than many of his neighbours; he was an idle jovial kindly fast man about town; and if his rooms were rather profusely decorated with works of French art, so that simple Lady Agnes, his mamma, on entering the apartments where her darling sate enveloped in fragrant clouds of Latakia, was often bewildered by the novelties which she beheld there, why, it must be remembered, that he was richer than most young men, and could better afford to gratify his taste.
A letter from Miss Pinckney written in a very degage style of spelling and hand-writing, scrawling freely over the filagree paper, and commencing by calling Mr. Harry, her dear Hokey pokeyfokey, lay on his bed-table by his side, amidst keys, sovereigns, cigar-cases, and a bit of verbena, which Miss Amory had given him, and reminding him of the arrival of the day when he was "to stand that dinner at the Elefant and Castle, at Richmond, which he had promised;" a card for a private box at Miss Rougemont's approaching benefit, a bundle of tickets for "Ben Budgeon's night, the North Lancashire Pippin, at Martin Faunce's, the Three-cornered Hat, in St. Martin's Lane; where Conkey Sam, Dick the Nailor, the Deadman, (the Worcestershire Nobber,) would put on the gloves, and the lovers of the good old British sport were invited to attend"
these and sundry other memoirs of Mr. Foker's pursuits and pleasures lay on the table by his side when he woke. Ah! how faint all these pleasures
seemed now. What did he care for Conkey Sam or the Worcestershire Nobber? What for the French prints ogling him from all sides of the room; those regular stunning slap-up out-andouters? And Pinckney spelling bad, and calling him Hokey-fokey, confound her impudence? The idea of being engaged to a dinner at the Elephant and Castle at Richmond, with that old woman (who was seven-and-thirty years old, if she was a day,) filled his mind with dreary disgust now, instead of that pleasure which he had only yesterday expected to find from the entertainment.
When his fond mamma beheld her boy that morning, she remarked on the pallor of his cheek, and the general gloom of his aspect. "Why do you go on playing billiards at that wicked Spratt's," Lady Agnes asked. "My dearest child, those billiards will kill you, I'm sure they will."
"It isn't the billiards," Harry said, gloomily.
"Then it's the dreadful Back Kitchen,' ," said the Lady Agnes. "I've often thought, d'you know, Harry, of writing to the landlady, and begging that she would have the kindness to put only very little wine in the negus which you take, and see that you have your shawl on before you go into your Brougham."
'Do, Ma'am. Mrs. Cutts is a most kind motherly woman," Harry said. "But it isn't the Back Kitchen, neither," he added, with a ghastly sigh.
As Lady Agnes never denied her son anything, and feil into all his ways with the fondest acquiescence, she was rewarded by a perfect confidence on young Harry's part, who never thought to disguise from her a knowledge of the haunts which he frequented: and on the contrary, brought her home choice anecdotes from the clubs and billiardrooms, which the simple lady relished, if she did not understand. My son goes to Spratt's," she would say to her confidential friends. "All the young men go to Spratt's after their balls. is de rigueur, my dear; and they play billiards as they used to play macao and hazard in Mr. Fox's time. Yes, my dear father often told me that they sate up always until nine o'clock the next
morning with Mr. Fox at Brooke's, whom remember at Drummington, when I was a little girl, in a buff waistcoat and black satin small-clothes. My brother Erith never played as a young man, nor sate up late-he had no health for it; but my boy must do as everybody does, you know. Yes, and then he often goes to a place called the Back Kitchen, frequented by all the wits and authors, you know, whom one does not see in society, but whom it is a great privilege and pleasure for Harry to meet, and there he hears the questions of the day discussed; and my dear father often said that it was our duty to encourage literature, and he had hoped to see the late Dr. Johnson at Drummington, only Dr. Johnson died. Yes, and Mr. Sheridan came over, and drank wine, a great deal of wine,-everybody drank a great deal of wine in those days,-and papa's wine-merchant's bill was ten times as much as Erith's is, who gets it as he wants it from Fortnum and Mason's, and doesn't keep any stock at all."
"That was an uncommon good dinner we had yesterday, ma'am," the artful Harry broke out. "Their clear soup's better than ours. Moufflet will put too much taragon into everything. The supreme de volaille was very good-uncommon-and the sweets were better than Moufflet's sweets. Did you taste the plombiere, ma'am, and the maraschino jelly? Stunningly good that maraschino jelly?"
Lady Agnes expressed her agreement in these as in almost all other sentiments of her son, who continued the artful conversation, saying,
"Very handsome house that of the Claverings. Furniture, I should say, got up regardless of expense. Magnificent display of plate, ma'am.” The lady assented to all these propositions.
Very nice people the Claverings." "Hem!" said lady Agnes.
"I know what you mean. Lady C. ain't distangy exactly, but she is very good-natured."
"O very," mamma said, who was herself one of the most good-natured of
"And Sir Francis, he don't talk much before ladies; but after dinner he comes
"I thought her rather forward, and didn't listen to her singing. She only sang at you and Mr. Pendennis, it seemed to me. But I will ask her if you wish, Harry," and so Miss Amory's name was written on the card with her mother's.
This piece of diplomacy being triumphantly executed, Harry embraced his fond parent with the utmost affection, and retired to his own apartments, where he stretched himself on his ottoman, and lay brooding silently, sighing for the day which was to bring the fair Miss Amory under his paternal roof, and devising a hundred wild schemes for meeting her.
On his return from making the grand tour, Mr. Foker, junior, had brought with him a polyglot valet, who took the place of Stoopid, and condescended to wait at dinner, attired in shirt fronts of worked muslin, with many gold studs and chains. This man, who was of no particular country, and spoke all languages indifferently ill, made himself useful to Mr. Harry in a variety of ways, read all the artless youth's correspondence, knew his favorite haunts and the
addresses of his acquaintance, and officiated at the private dinners which the young gentleman gave. As Harry lay upon his sofa after his interview with his mamma, robed in a wonderful dressinggown, and puffing his pipe in gloomy silence, Anatole, too, must have remarked that something affected his master's spirits; though he did not betray any ill-bred sympathy with Harry's agitation of mind. When Harry began to dress himself in his out-of-door morning costume: he was very hard indeed to please, and particularly severe and snappish about his toilette: he tried, and cursed pantaloons of many different stripes, checks, and colors: all the boots were villainously varnished; the shirts too "loud" in pattern. He scented his linen and person with peculiar richness this day and what must have been the valet's astonishment, when, after some blushing and hesitation on Harry's part, the young gentleman asked, I say, Anatole, when I engaged you, didn't you-hem-didn't you say that you could dress-hem-dress hair?"
The valet said, "Yes, he could." "Cherchy alors une paire de tongs et-curly moi un pew," Mr. Foker said, in an easy manner; and the valet, wondering whether his master was in love or was going masquerading, went in search of the articles,-first from the old butler who waited upon Mr. Foker, senior, on whose bald pate the tongs would have scarcely found a hundred hairs to seize, and finally of the lady who had the charge of the meek auburn fronts of the Lady Agnes. And the tongs being got, Monsieur Anatole twisted his young master's locks until he had made Harry's head as curly as a negro's; after which the youth dressed himself with the utmost care and splendour, and proceeded to sally out.
"At what dime sall I order de drag, sir, to be to Miss Pingney's door, sir? the attendant whispered, as his master was going forth.
"Confound her!-Put the dinner off -I can't go !" said Foker. "No, hang it--I must go. Poyntz and Rougemont, and ever so many more are coming. The drag at Pelham Corner, at six o'clock, Anatole."
The drag was not one of Mr. Foker's own equipages, but was hired from a livery stable for festive purposes; Foker, however, put his own carriage into requisition that morning, and for what purpose does the kind reader suppose? Why to drive down to Lamb Court, Temple, taking Grosvenor Place by the way (which lies in the exact direction of the Temple from Grosvenor Street, as everybody knows), where he just had the pleasure of peeping upwards at Miss Amory's pink window curtains, having achieved which satisfactory feat, he drove off to Pen's chambers. Why did he want to see his dear friend Pen so much? Why did he yearn and long after him: and did it seem necessary to Foker's very existence that he should see Pen that morning, having parted with him in perfect health on the night previous? Pen had lived two years in London, and Foker had not paid half-a-dozen visits to his chambers. What sent him thither now in such a hurry?
What! If any young ladies read this page, I have only to inform them that when the same mishap befals them, which now had for more than twelve hours befallen Harry Foker, people will grow interesting to them for whom they did not care sixpence on the day before; as on the other hand persons of whom they fancied themselves fond will be found insipid and disagreeable. Then your dearest Eliza or Maria of the other day, to whom you wrote letters and sent locks of hair yards long, will on a sudden be as indifferent to you as your stupidest relation; whilst, on the contrary, about his relations you will begin to feel such a warm interest! such a loving desire to ingratiate yourself his mamma! such a liking for that dear kind old man, his father! If He is in the habit of visiting at any house, what advances you will make in order to visit them too. If He has a married sister, you will like to spend long mornings with her. You will fatigue your servant by sending notes to her, for which there will be the most pressing occasion, twice or thrice in a day. You will cry if your mamma objects to your going too often to see His family. The only one of them you will dislike, is perhaps his younger brother,
who is at home for the holidays, and who will persist in staying in the room when you come to see your dear new-found friend, his darling second sister. Something like this will happen to you, young ladies, or, at any rate, let us hope it may. Yes, you must go through the hot fits and the cold fits of that pretty fever. Your mothers, if they would acknowledge it, have passed through it before you were born, your dear papa being the object of the passion of course,-who could it be but he? And as you suffer it, so will your brothers, in their way,-and after their kind. More selfish than you: more eager and headstrong than you: they will rush on their destiny when the doomed charmer makes her appearance. Or if they don't, and you don't, Heaven help you! As the gambler said of his dice, to love and win is the best thing, to love and lose is the next best. Now, then, if you ask why Harry Foker, Esq., was in such a hurry to see Arthur Pendennis, and felt such a sudden value and esteem for him, there is no difficulty in saying it was because Pen had become really valuable in Mr. Foker's eyes because if Pen was not the rose, he had yet been near that fragrant flower of love. Was not he in the habit of going to her house in London? Did he not live near her in the country?-know all about the enchantress? What, I wonder, would Lady Ann Milton, Mr. Foker's cousin and pretendue, have said, if her ladyship had known all that was going on in the bosom of that funny little gentleman?
Alas! when Foker reached Lamb Court, leaving his carriage for the admiration of the little clerks who were lounging in the arch-way that leads thence into Flag Court which leads into Upper Temple Lane, Warrington was in the chambers but Pen was absent. Pen was gone to the printing-office to see his proofs. "Would Foker have a pipe, and should the laundress go to the Cock and get him some beer?"-Warrington asked, remarking with a pleased surprise the splendid toilet of this scented and shiny-booted young aristocrat: but Foker had not the slightest wish for beer or tobacco: he had very important business: he rushed away to
the "Pall-Mall Gazette" office, still bent upon finding Pen. Pen had quitted that place. Foker wanted him that they might go together to call upon Lady Clavering. Foker went away disconsolate, and whiled away an hour or two vaguely at clubs; and when it was time to pay a visit, he thought it would be but decent and polite to drive to Grosvenor Place and leave a card upon Lady Clavering. He had not the courage to ask to see her when the door was opened, he only delivered two cards, with Mr. Henry Foker engraved upon them, to Jeames, in a speechless agony. Jeames received the tickets, bowing his powdered head. The varnished doors closed upon him. The beloved object was as far as ever from him, though so near. He thought he heard the tones of a piano and of a syren singing, coming from the drawing-room and sweeping over the balcony-shrubbery of geraniums. He would have liked to stop and listen, but it might not be. "Drive to Tattersall's," he said to the groom, in a voice smothered with emotion,-" And bring my pony round," he added, as the man drove rapidly away.
As good luck would have it, that splendid barouche of Lady Claverings's, which has been inadequately described in a former chapter, drove up to her ladyship's door just as Foker mounted the pony which was in waiting for him. He bestrode the fiery animal, and dodged about the arch of the Green Park, keeping the carriage well in view, until he saw Lady Clavering enter, and with her -whose could be that angel form, but the enchantress's, clad in a sort of gossamer, with a pink bonnet and a lightblue parasol,-but Miss Amory?
The carriage took its fair owners to Madame Rigodon's cap and lace shop, to Mrs. Wolsey's Berlin Worsted shop,who knows to what other resorts of female commerce? Then it went and took ices at Hunter's, for Lady Clavering was somewhat florid in her tastes and amusements, and not only liked to go abroad in the most showy carriage in London, but that the public should see her in it too. And so, in a white bonnet with a yellow feather, she ate a large pink ice in the sunshine before Hun