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the occupants of Mr. Strong's chambers in Shepherd's Inn. The man was good," by a lucky hap, with whom Colonel Altamont made his bet; and on the settling day of the Derby-as Captain Clinker, who was appointed to settle Sir Francis Clavering's book for him (for Lady Clavering, by the advice of Major Pendennis, would not allow the Baronet to liquidate his own money transactions), paid over the notes to the Baronet's many creditors-Colonel Altamont had the satisfaction of receiving the odds of thirty to one in fifties, which he had taken against the winning horse of the day.
Each and all of these worthies came round the Colonel with their various blandishments: but he had courage enough to resist them, and to button up his notes in the pocket of his coat, and go home to Strong, and " sport the outer door of the chambers. Honest Strong had given his fellow-lodger good advice about all his acquaintances; and though, when pressed, he did not mind frankly taking twenty pounds himself out of the Colonel's winnings, Strong was a great deal too upright to let others cheat him.
Numbers of the Colonel's friends were present on the occasion to congratulate him on his luck-all Altamont's own set, and the gents who met in the private parlour of the convivial Wheeler, my host of the Harlequin's Head, came to witness their comrade's good fortune, and would have liked, with a generous sympathy for success to share in it.
Now was the time," Tom Driver had suggested to the Colonel, "to have up the specie ship that was sunk in the Gulf of Mexico, with the three hundred and eighty thousand dollars on board, beside bars and doubloons." Tredyddlums were very low-to be brought for an old song-never was such an opportunity for buying shares," Mr. Keightley insinuated: and Jack Holt pressed forward his tobacco-smuggling scheme, the audacity of which pleased the Colonel more than any other of the speculations proposed to him. Then of the Harlequin's Head boys: there was Jack Rackstraw, who knew of a pair of horses which the Colonel must buy; Tom Fleet, whose satirical paper, "The Swell," wanted but two hundred pounds of capital to be worth a thousand a-year to any man-"with such a power and influence, Colonel, you rogue, and the entree of all the green-rooms in London," Tom urged; whilst little Moss Abrams entreated the Colonel not to listen to these absurd fellows with their humbugging speculations, but to invest his money in some good bills which Moss could get for him, and which would return him fifty per cent. as safe as the Bank of England.
He was not a bad fellow when in good fortune, this Altamont. He ordered a smart livery for Grady, and made poor old Costigan shed tears of quickly dried gratitute by giving him a five-pound note after a snug dinner at the Back Kitchen, and he bought a green shawl for Mrs. Bolton, and a yellow one for Fanny: the most brilliant "sacrifices" of a Regent Street haberdasher's window. And a short time after this, upon her birth-day, which happened in the month of June, Miss Amory received from "a friend a parcel containing an enormous brassinlaid writing-desk, in, which there was a set of amethysts, the most hideous eyes ever looked upon,-a musical snuffLox, and two keepsakes of the year before last, and accompanied with a couple of gown-pieces of the most astounding colours, the receipt of which goods made the Sylphide laugh and wonder immoderately. Now it is a fact that Colonel Altamont had made a purchase of cigars and French silks from some duffers in Fleet Street about this period; and he was found by Strong in the open Auction-Room in Cheapside, having invested some money in two desks, several Fairs of richly-plated candlesticks, a Ginner epergne remained at chambers, and figured at the banquet there, which the Colonel gave pretty freely. seemed beautiful in his eyes, until Jack Holt said it looked as if it had been taken "in a bill." And Jack Holt certainly knew.
The dinners were pretty frequent at chambers, and Sir Francis Clavering condescended to partake of them constantly. His own house was shut up: the successor of Mirobolant, who had
sent in his bills so prematurely, was dismissed by the indignant Lady Clavering: the luxuriance of the establishment was greatly pruned and reduced. One of the large footmen was cashiered, upon which the other gave warning, not liking to serve without his mate, or in a family where only one footman was kep'. General and severe economical reforms were practiced by the Begum in her whole household, in consequence of the extravagance of which her graceless hus band had been guilty. The Major, as her ladyship's friend; Strong, on the part of poor Clavering; her ladyship's lawyer, and the honest Begum herself, executed these reforms with promptitude and severity. After paying the Baronet's debts, the settlement of which occasioned considerable public scandal, and caused the Baronet to sink even lower in the world's estimation than he had been before, Lady Clavering quitted London for Tunbridge Wells in high dudgeon, refusing to see her reprobate husband, whom nobody pitied. Clavering remained in Londen patiently, by no means anxious to meet his wife's just indignation, and sneaked in and out of the House of Commons, whence he and Captain Raff and Mr. Marker would go to have a game at billiards and a cigar : or showed in the sporting public-houses; or he might be seen lurking about Lin coln's Inn and his lawyers', where the principals kept him for hours waiting, and the clerks winked for each other as he sate in their office. No wonder that he relished the dinners at Shepherd's Inn, and was perfectly resigned there : resigned? he was so happy no where else; he was wretched amongst his equals, who scorned him-but here he was the chief guest at the table, where they continually addressed him with "Yes, Sir Francis," and "No, Sir Francis," where he told his wretched jokes, and where he quavered his dreary little French song, after Strong had sung his jovial chorus, and honest Costigan had piped his Irish ditties. Such a jolly menage as Strong's with Grady's Irish stew, and the Chevalier's brew of punch after dinner, would have been welcome to many a better man than Clavering, the solitude of whose great house at
home frightened him, where he was attended only by the old woman who kept the house, and his valet, who sneered at him.
"Yes, dammit," said he, to his friends in Shepherd's Inn. "That fellow of mine, I must turn him away, only I owe him two years' wages, curse him, and can't ask my lady. He brings me my tea cold of a morning, with a dem'd leaden tea-spoon, and he says my lady's sent all the plate to the banker's, because it ain't safe.-Now, ain't it hard that she won't trust me with a single tea - spoon; ain't it ungentlemanlike, Altamont? You know my lady's of low birth-that is-I beg your pardon-hem -that is, it's most cruel of her not to show more confidence in me. And the very servants begin to laugh-the dam scoundrels! I'll break every bone in their great hulking bodies, curse 'em, I will. They don't answer my bell: and
and my man was at Vauxhall last night, with one of my dress shirts and my velvet waistcoat on, I know it was mine the confounded impudent blackguard!—and he went on dancing before my eyes, confound him! I'm sure he'll live to be hanged-he deserves to be hanged-all those infernal rascals of valets!"
He was very kind to Altamont now! he listened to the Colonel's loud stories when Altamont described how-when he was working his way home once from New Zealand, where he had been on a whaling expedition-he and his comrades had been obliged to shirk on board at night, to escape from their wives, by Jove and how the poor devils put out in their canoes when they saw the ship under sail, and paddled madly after her: how he had been lost in the bush once for three months in New South Wales, when he was there once on a trading speculation: how he had seen Boney at Saint Helena, and been presented to him with the rest of the officers of the Indiaman of which he was a mate-to all these tales (and over his cups Altamont told many of them; and, it must be owned, lied and bragged a great deal) Sir Francis now listened with great attention; making a point of drinking wine with Altamont at din
ner, and of treating him with every distinction.
"Leave him alone, I know what he's a-coming to," Altamont said, laughing, to Strong, who remonstrated with him, "and leave me alone; I know what I'm a-telling very well. I was officer on board an Indiaman, so I was; I traded to New South Wales, so I did, in a ship of my own, and lost her. I became officer to the Nawaub, so I did; only me and royal master have had a difference, Strong-that's it. Who's the better or the worse for what I tell? or knows anything about me? The other chap is dead-shot in the bush, and his body reckonised at Sydney. If I thought anybody would split, do you think I wouldn't ring his neck? I've done as good before now, Strong-I told you how I did for the overseer before I took leave-but in fair fight, I mean-in fair fight; or, rayther he had the best of it. He had his gun and bay'net, and I had only an axe. Fifty of 'em saw it-aye, and cheered me when I did it—and I'd do it again, him, wouldn't I? I ain't afraid of anybody; and I'd have the life of the man who split upon me. That's my maxim, and pass me the liquor-You wouldn't turn on a man. know you. You're an honest feller, and will stand by a feller, and have looked death in the face like a man. But as for that lily-livered sneak-that poor lyin' swindlin' cringin' cur of a Claveringwho stands in my shoes-stands in my shoes, hang him! I'll make him pull my boots off and clean 'em, I will. Ha, ha!" Here he burst out into a wild laugh, at which Strong got up and put away the brandy-bottle. The other still laughed good-humouredly. "You're right, old boy," he said; "you always keep your head cool, you do-and when I begin to talk too much-I say, when I begin to pitch, I authorise you, and order you, and command you, to put away the rum-bottle."
the world in general for being heartless and unkind to him: he abused his wife for being ungenerous to him: he abused Strong for being ungrateful-hundreds of pounds had he given Ned Strongbeen his friend for life and kept him out of gaol, by Jove, and now Ned was taking her ladyship's side against him, and abetting her in her infernal unkind treatment of him. "They've entered into a conspiracy to keep me penniless, Altamont,' the Baronet said: "they don't give me as much pocket-money as Frank has at school."
The event for which, with cynical enjoyment, Altamont had been on the look-out, came very speedily. One day, Strong being absent upon an errand from his principal, Sir Francis made his appearance in the chambers, and found the envoy of the Nawaub alone. He abused
"Why don't you go down to Richmond and borrow of him, Clavering?" Altamont broke out with a savage laugh. "He wouldn't see his poor old beggar of a father without pocket-money, would he?"
"I tell you, I've been obliged to humiliate myself cruelly," Clavering said. "Look here, sir-look here, at these pawn tickets! Fancy a Member of Parliament, and an old English Baronet, by Gad! obliged to put a drawing-room clock and a Buhl inkstand up the spout; and a gold duck's head paper-holder, that I dare say cost my wife five pounds, for which they'd only give me fifteen-and-six! Oh, it's a humiliating thing, sir, poverty to a man of my habits; and it's made me shed tears, sir,-tears; and that d-d valet of mine-curse him, I wish he was hanged!-has had the confounded impudence to threaten to tell my lady: as if the things in my own house weren't my own, to sell or to keep, or to fling out of window if I chose-by Gad! the confounded scoundrel."
"Cry a little don't mind cryin' before me-it'll relieve you, Clavering," the other said. 66 Why, I say, old feller, what a happy feller I once thought you, and what a miserable son of a gun you really are!"
"It's a shame that they treat me so, ain't it?" Clavering went on,-for, though ordinarily silent and apathetic, about his own griefs the Baronet could whine for an hour at a time. Andand, by Gad, sir, I haven't got the money to pay the very cab that's waiting for me at the door; and the porteress, that Mrs. Bolton, lent me three shillin s,
"Yes, I would, so help me, and pay it on the day," screamed Clavering.
I'll make it payable at my banker's: I'll do anything you like."
"Well, I was only chaffing you. I'll give you twenty pound."
"You said a pony," interposed Clavering; my dear fellow, you said a pony, and I'll be eternally obliged to you: and I'll not take it as a gift-only as a loan, and pay you back in six months. I take my oath I will."
"Well-well-there's the money, Sir Francis Clavering. I ain't a bad fellow. When I've money in my pocket, dammy I spend it like a man. Here's five-andtwenty for you. Don't be losing it at the hells now. Don't be making a fool of yourself. Go down to Clavering Park, and it'll keep you ever so long. You needn't 'ave butchers' meat: there's pigs, I dare say, on the premises: and you can shoot rabbits for dinner, you know, every day till the game comes in. Besides, the neighbours will ask you about to dinner, you know, sometimes for you are a Baronet, though you have outrun the constable. And you've got this comfort, that I'm off your shoulders for a good bit to come
p'raps this two years-if I don't play; and I don't intend to touch the confounded black and red : and by that time my lady, as you call her-Jimmy, I used to say-will have come round again; and you'll be ready for me, you know, and come down handsomely to yours truly."
At this juncture of their conversation Strong returned, nor did the Baronet care much about prolonging the talk, having got the money: and he made his way from Shepherd's Inn, and went home and bullied his servant in a manner so unusually brisk and insolent, that the man concluded his master must have pawned some more of the house furniture, or, at any rate, have come into possession of some ready money.
"And yet I've looked over the house, Morgan, and I don't think he has took any more of the things," Sir Francis's valet said to Major Pendennis's man, as they met at their club soon after. 'My lady locked up a'most all the bejewtary afore she went away, and he couldn't take away the picters and looking-glasses in a cab: and he wouldn't spout the fenders and fire-irons-he ain't so bad as that. But he's got money somehow. He's so dam'd imperent when he have. A few nights ago I sor him at Vauxhall, where I was a polkin with Lady Hemly Babewood's gals—a werry pleasant room that is, and an uncommon good lot in it, hall except the 'ousekeeper, and she's methodisticle-I was a polkin-you're too old a cove to polk, Mr. Morganand 'ere's your 'ealth-and I 'appened to 'ave on some of Clavering's abber dashery, and he sor it too: and he didn't dare so much as speak a word."
"How about the house in St. John's Wood?" Mr. Morgan asked.
"Execution in it.-Sold up hevery thing: ponies, and pianna, and brougham, and all. Mrs. Montague Rivers hoff to Boulogne,-non est inwentus, Mr. Morgan. It's my belief she put the execution in herself: and was tired of him."
"Play much?" asked Morgan. "Not since the smash, When your Governor, and the lawyers, and my lady and him had that tremenduous scene:
he went down on his knees, my lady told Mrs. Bonner, as told me,-and swoar as he never more would touch a card or a dice, or put his name to a bit of paper; and my lady was a goin' to give him the notes down to pay his liabilities after the race only your Governor said, (which he wrote it on a piece of paper, and passed it across the table to the lawyer and my lady,) that some one else had better book up for him, for he'd have kep' some of the money. He's a sly old cove, your Gov'nor."
The expression of "old cove," thus flippantly applied by the younger gentleman to himself and his master, displeased Mr. Morgan exceedingly. On the first occasion, when Mr. Lightfoot used the obnoxious expression, his comrade's anger was only indicated by a silent frown; but on the second offence, Morgan, who was smoking his cigar elegantly, and holding it on the tip of his penknife, withdrew the cigar from his lips, and took his young friend to task.
"Don't call Major Pendennis an old cove, if you'll 'ave the goodness, Lightfoot, and don't call me an old cove, nether. Such words ain't used in society: and we have lived in the fust society, both at 'ome and foring. We've been intimate with the fust statesmen of Europe. When we go abroad we dine with Prince Metternitch and Louy Philup reg'lar. We go here to the best houses, the tip tops, tell you. We ride with Lord John and the noble Whycount at the edd of Foring Affairs. We dine with the Hearl of Burgrave, and are consulted by the Marquis of Steyne in every think. We ought to know a thing or two, Mr. Lightfoot. You're a young man, I'm an old cove, as you say. We've both seen the world, and we both know that it ain't money, nor bein' a Baronet, nor 'avin a town and country 'ouse, nor a paltry five or six thousand a-year."
"It's ten, Mr. Morgan," cried Mr. Lightfoot, with great animation.
It may have been, sir," Morgan said, with calm severity; "it may have been, Mr. Lightfoot, but it ain't six now, nor five, sir. It's been doosedly dipped and cut into, sir, by the confounded extravygance of your master,
with his helbow shakin', and his bill discountin', and his cottage in the Regency Park, and his many wickednesses. He's a bad un, Mr. Lightfoot, a bad lot, sir, and that you know. And it ain't money, sir-not such money as that, at any rate, come from a Calcuttar attorney, and I dussay wrung out of the pore starving blacks-that will give a pusson position in society, as you know very well. We've no money, but we go everywhere; there's not a housekeeper's room, sir, in this town of any consiquince, where James Morgan ain't welcome. And it was me who got you into this Club, Lightfoot, as you very well know, though I am an old cove, and they would have blackballed you without me as sure as your name is Frederic."
"I know they would, Mr. Morgan," said the other with much humility.
"Well, then, don't call me an old cove, sir. It ain't gentlemanlike, Frederic Lightfoot, which I knew you when you was a cab-boy, and when your father was in trouble, and got you the place you have now when the Frenchman went away. And if you think, sir, that because you're making up to Mrs. Bonner, who may have saved her two thousand pound-and I daresay she has in five-and-twenty years as she have lived confidential maid to Lady Claveringyet, sir, you must remember who put you into that service, and who knows what you were before, sir, and it don't become you, Frederic Lightfoot, to call me an old cove."
"I beg your pardon, Mr. Morgan-I can't do more than make an apologywill you have a glass, sir, and let me drink your 'ealth."
"You know I don't take sperrits, Lightfoot," replied Morgan, appeased. "And so you and Mrs. Bonner is going to put up together, are you?"
She's old, but two thousand pound's a good bit, you see, Mr. Morgan. And we'll get the Clavering Arms' for a very little; and that'll be no bad thing when the railroad runs through Clavering. And when we are there, I hope you'll come and see us, Mr. Morgan."
"It's a stoopid place, and no society," said Mr. Morgan. "I know it well. In Mrs. Pendennis's time we used to go