Immagini della pagina
PDF
ePub

let.”

[ocr errors]

si figure.'

less it were to bring him a wife, or a followed the proposal with quick riband of Maria Theresa. Yet, se- action. vepty years are no great recommen- The adjutant had neither denial to dation to think of the one, and, as to offer, nor defence to make, in which

the riband, no one gets things of that case the best thing to do is to say 12 kind, unless he acts as valet to some nothing. He was accordingly as dumb El of the maids of honour, and is reward. as one of the metal horses. But his bir ed for keeping the secrets of their toi- countenance showed signs of rising

choler. The laugher changed his “Well, then, I was commissioned,” tone. x said the adjutant, “ to purchase for his “ Well, well, let that pass,” said

excellency, from the magazin of Man the captain : “ the lady has as fine a dame Vaurien, marchande des modes pair of eyes as any that ever set a

of the Imperial household, a fancy man's bosom on fire ; and no blame 3. dress in which the general is to can attach to your thinking so; but

have no hostility to the general on her “ Capital !” laughed Walstein; “I account. All the little surmises which m* hope you chose something peculiarly made the gossip of the garrison, have 1 brilliant. The gay septuagenaire merits turned out like other garrison gossip; Est a better fate than to be thrust into the the whole was moonshine. It hap

wig and gown of your Venetian sena- pens that she is the general's niece; tors, or the scarlet breeches and

some count, or margrave, or emperor, Kevenhuller hat of an original prince for any thing that I can tell, had of the holy Roman empire. Nothing been offered to her as a husband. She is worthy of him but an amorous thought proper to decline the honour.

Grand Turk or an Arcadian shepherd. Her lordly relatives thought that she cond But what did you bring, after all?" was a rebel to the glories of her pedi

• The choice might have puzzled a gree, and insisted on the match. She Terms wiser man-milliner than I ever ex- refused still more steadily. They ni pect to be," was the adjutant's reply. threatened to get an imperial order to

6 But all trouble was saved me by the send her to a convent, until she should Lady Cobentzel, who, after turning have the sense to be happy in their over all the costumes of the Vienna own way. I know none of the details balls for the last winter, settled the further than that she instantly took point in her own way.”.

wing from the family cage. Not one of “In the name of all the Graces, their High Mightinesses could find out what was it ?" asked the captain. where, for their souls. In the mean “Was it Crusader or Cossack, Turk time, Von Sharlheim was appointed to or Troubadour ? So it was the lady's the command of Erlach. His niece doing. Well, so is every thing among had fled to his seat on the borders of us. Have you the heart to owe her the Tyrol, where, as she could now an immortal grudge for your journey? remain no longer, she followed him to She is certainly a remarkably hand. the fortress, and there her beauty, some creature, does what she pleases gaiety, and wit, have done as much with the general, and is fairly the mischief as Helen did within the walls commandant of the garrison." of Troy."

Yes," said the adjutant, filling a Not a word of the dialogue escaped bumper of Rhenish with a contempla the keen ears of Sebastiani. He would

tive air, and tossing it off with a sigh have listened, if it had continued for Site profound enough to startle the echoes the twenty-four hours. He could not of the old room.

“She is a handsome help indulging himself with the fond creature! But if ever general was conception, that her sudden abhorrence broke by a court-martial for being of marriage was in some degree confooled by a pair of eyes, Von Sharl nected with his memory. But then heim's chance would be but little came the cloud that is so seldom far before the Aulic Council.'

off from the sunshine of the heart. “ Jealous, by Jove !” exclaimed He was then too humble for her rank; Walstein, « What! has she melted but what was he now?-a fugitive, and you? I should have thought as soon from a prison ; extinguished as a sol. of her melting the metal horses on the dier, lost to society, and now flying Linsingen arch at Ratisbon. Come, from the face of man. It was with a here's a bumper to her victory!” He double pang that he felt how fully his

[ocr errors]

IX

[ocr errors]

hero

[ocr errors]

reserves.

story must now be known by Carolina; next order for you, adjutant; my preand with what disdain she must re- sent business is to hunt down that vert to his recollection. But the dia clever rogue Sebastiani, if that be his logue again caught his ear. The name, or only one of his fifty names. table bad been reinforced with a This chefde-brigade, Vancour, or couple of bottles, and even the frigid Vantour, or some such bird of passage tongue of the adjutant was warmed or prey" into unusual fluency. Woman, war, 65 Why !” exclaimed the Adjutant, and wine, the three grand topics of “ he cannot be more than five-and. soldiership, began to run their course twenty, and is he a chef already? through his brain.

They rise famously fast among these “ As to Vienna," said he, tossing Republicans, it must be confessed ; off a bumper, “there are not three and here am I garrison adjutant at heads in the Aulic Council that are twice the age.'

Indignation had worth the powder in their curls ; they made the adjutant let a secret loose, plan campaigns over their toilets in which was among his most cautious the morning, and fight battles over their coffee cups at night. An army Walstein cast on the startled disof Savoyards and their monkeys might coverer a glance of his keen eye. make somewhat more noise perhaps; “ The truth is, adjutant,” said he, but they would certainly not do less " that no one living would suspect you execution."

of being a month older than this cox“ But the Archduke!" interposed comb, chef as be is. But you are the captain ; “ he is good for some- sure to have your revenge. The fair thing. Kray has the good Hungarian Carolina Cobentzel is as certain to jilt blood in him; and Matensleben is a him as nature has made him an Adonis first-rate officer of grenadiers." in his own eyes, and an ape in ours.

“ Yes, all tolerable in their way. I strongly suspect that her even suffers But this let me tell you as my parti. ing his attentions, has a deeper object cular friend, that if preferment were than the vanity of a pretty woman, not so slow in our service, and I had and that she has been making some worn the aiguillette at the head of a arrangement with him for the escape handsome column of 30,000 men six of that showy and very mysterious months ago, we should not now have gentleman, Sebastiani, into France. a Frenchman on this side of the The fact is, that if the surmises of the Rhine." The adjutant then began to governor, to which I may add those describe his manœuvres, according to of the garrison, be right, that very the prescribed fashion of spilling a plausible personage has completely glass of wine on the table, and demo. mystified every man of us. The story lishing battalions with a wet finger. of the night attack remains still to be But this species of campaigning was

Whether his giving the evidently too familiar to the captain alarm was bonesty, remains to be to keep him a patient spectator of the proved; the strong probability being, triumph ; and rescuing another glass, that he gave it only when he saw diswhich was on the point of representing covery at hand, and that it was much the course of the Rhine with a pitched more intended to warn those without battle on its banks, he rose and re- than those within. His escape in the sumed his cloak and sabre.

mêlée, his being totally unheard of " I must be gone,” said he, “ if I am ever since, and the extraordinary fato be in Manheim to-morrow. I can- vour which the Frenchman enjoys not say that I like my mission there ; with the governor's niece, all help us I should willingly have exchanged it to the conclusion that we have all been for your mission to Madame Vaurien, very dexterously duped, and all deand her magazin for turning old serve very much to be laughed at." generals into young shepherds.

Carlo was on the point of bursting “ I suppose to make a purchase of from his retreat, and flinging defiance ringlets and rouge for the Frenchmen? in the face of his accuser. But another Those fellows never know where they word stopped him. are. Take them prisoners to day, “ Do you think," said the loveand they will prepare to fit up their stricken adjutant, in a tone of melanjail for a ball-room to-morrow. choly, which made the captain bury

“ No, that I presume is to be the his laughter in his handkerchief,

cleared up.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

gade."

ener.

[ocr errors]

2

“ do you think, from what you have The clock of a neighbouring village observed in my absence, that the sullenly pealed midnight. The adjuaffair between this puppy and the Lady tant started up, was astonished at his Cobentzel will come to any thing ?” having lingered so late, and ordered

« To a quarrel, undoubtedly, the his carriage and bandboxes to the moment you return,” said Walstein. door. Walstein assisted to pack the “ He could have no chance until you heartbroken hero among his piles of were gone. The lady may have had finery, and contrived, during the opetaste enough to promenade, waltz, and ration, to make a pencil sketch of him so forth, with him while you were for the amusement of the garrison on out of sight; but the moment you pre- his return, All was now ready. sent yourself before her again, all “ Farewell, adjutant,” said he; “ if is over with Monsieur le Chef-de-bri- you are shot for being too late, re

member not to lay your death at my Then she has permitted his at- door. It is the first confidence that I tentions ? " said the adjutant, with a have had those ten years, and such a jealous brow, while a pang shot confession was essential to my underthrough the heart of the concealed list going the detestable supper of these

But both were to be further places; and now fly. I give you fair tortured ; for Walstein's amusement at warning that unless you go over the the idea of the iron adjutant's being ground at a gallop you will be too late the slave of the tender passion, was too for the governor.

The ball takes k keen to be easily given up,

place immediately, and another mo“ Why, of course,” said he, “ every ment's delay will deprive the world of woman permits every attention that the delight of seeing the oldest pershe can get, whether in barrack or former of Amadis de Gaul in Ĝerball-room; and all Frenchmen are many." popular with the sex, from being as The adjutant ordered the gallop,

much like themselves as possible,-as and the carriage flew off among the in light as a feather, and as fond as a pines.' Walstein mounted his horse,

pigeon, for the time, and as hard as and gave him the spur on the road to flint, and as easily fitted to all hands Manheim. Carlo emerged from his as a silk glove, when the time is over. retreat ; torn by conflicting emotions, I have been in Paris in my day, and sometimes indignant with himself for know them a little. When young, the having condescended to hear so much, Frenchman has the sentiments of a sometimes stung with anxiety to have girl of seventeen ; when old, he has heard more. The night was magni

the wisdom of a dowager of seventy. ficent, the moon in her pomp; all was B! He is thus female all his life, notwith. calm, forest and sky. "The contrast

standing pantaloons and mustachios. between the glorious tranquillity of And as like produces like in every nature, and the feverish disturbance

quarter of the globe, the Frenchman, of the single and obscure individual nog from the cradle to the grave, is always who walked among those scenes of of danglers the most successful." beauty and majesty, now and then “ Confound the whole generation !" struck

him with something like shame, exclaimed the angry admirer. “ He for suffering

any thing human to agiwill run off with her before she knows tate him. But philosophy is a poor what she is about. I must have a shot consoler after all. His honour stainat his brains.”

ed, his hopes blasted, his life an actual • Impossible, my

dear sir!" was the object of pursuit, and above all, his reply ; « nature has forbid that ca. disgrace in the eyes of the Lady Cotastrophe just five-and-twenty years. bentzel, came like gusts to shake the But if you wish to disarm him of his quietness of his mind. He felt in that spells, you have only to lame him, night thoughts keen, rapid, and scorchand the waltz is lost to him and love ing, that shot across his mind like for ever; or knock out one of his streams of lightning. front teeth, and it will be a perfect security that he smiles ng more."

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

(Thus nobly rendered by Dryden, whose version I here give, in consequence of applications made to Messrs Blackwood, from several lady.readers of their Nagazine, for a translation of the Latin motto.]

z. " Fortune, that with malicious joy,

Does man, her slave, oppress,
Proud of her office to destroy,

Is seldom pleased to bless:
Still various, and inconstant still,
But, with an inclination to be ill,
Promotes, degrades, delights in strife,
And makes a lottery of life.
I can enjoy her while she's kind;
-But when she dances in the wind,
And shakes her wings, and will not stay,

I puff the prostitute away :
The little or the much she gave, is quietly resign'd.

Content with poverty, my soul I arm,
AND VIRTUE, THOUGH IN RAGS, WILL KEEP ME WARM.”]

[ocr errors]

was

Would you have believed it ? Not- they might fail to tame him) to withstanding all that had happened let him loose upon society, to amuse between Titmouse and Tag-rag, they and astonish it by his antics ?- That positively got reconciled to one an

the question occupying the other-a

triumphant result of the astute thoughts of Mr Gammon while his policy of Mr Gammon.

As soon as calm, clear, grey eye was fixed upon he had heard Titmouse's infuriated Titmouse, apparently very attentive account of his ignominious expulsion to what he was saying. Tittlebat had from Satin Lodge, he burst into a fit first told the story of his wrongs to of hearty but gentle laughter, which Snap, who instantly, rubbing his at length subsided into an inward hands, suggested an indictment at the chuckle that lasted the rest of the day; Clerkenwell sessions-an idea which and which was occasioned, first, by infinitely delighted Titmouse, but was gratification at the impression which somewhat sternly “pooh-pooh-poohhis own sagacity had evidently pro- ed!” by Mr Gammon as soon as he duced upon the powerful mind of heard of it-Snap thereat shrugging Titmouse ; secondly, by an exquisite his shoulders with a disconcerted air, appreciation of the mingled meanness but a bitter sneer upon his sharp, and stupidity of Tag.rag. I don't hard face. Like many men of little mean it to be understood, that Tit. but active minds, early drilled to parmouse had given Mr Gammon such a ticular callings, Snap was equal to the terse and clear account of the matter mechanical conduct of business the as I imagine myself to have given to mere working of the machinery—but, my reader; but still he told quite as the phrase is, could never see enough to put Mr Gammon in full an inch beyond his nose. Every possession of the true state of the petty conjuncture of circumstances Good: but then-instantly re

that admitted of litigation, at once flected Gammon-what are we now to suggested its expediency, without redo with Titmouse ?-where was that ference to other considerations, or troublesome little ape to be caged, connexion with, or subordination to, till it suited the purposes of his pro- any general purpose or plan of action. prietors (as Messrs Quirk, Gammon, A creature of small impulses, he had and Snap might surely be called, for no idea of foregoing a momentary adthey had caught him, as, however, vantage to secure an ulterior object

case.

any of

!

which, in fact, he could not keep for rag becomes Mrs Titmouse," thought a moment before his thoughts, so as Gammon, “ I am not the man I take to have any influence on his move. myself for." ments. What a different man, now, A few days after Titmouse's expul. was Gammon !

sion from Satin Lodge, without his havTo speak after the manner of phy. ing ever gone near Tag-rag's premises siologists, several of my characters in Oxford Street, or, in short, seen or Titmouse, Tag-rag, (with his amiable heard any thing about him, or any one wife and daughter,) Huckaback, Snap, connected with him, he removed to and old Quirk himself-may be looked small but very respectable lodgings in on as reptiles of a low order in the the neighbourhood of Hatton Garden, scale of being, whose simple structures provided for him by Mr Quirk. Mrs almost one dash of the knife would Squallop was quite affected while she suffice to lay thoroughly open. Gam- took leave of Titmouse, who gave her mon, however, I look upon as of a son sixpence to take his two boxes down much higher order ; possessing a far stairs to the coach drawn up oppomore complicated structure, adapted site to the entrance of Closet Court. to the discharge of superior functions ; I've always felt like a mother and who, consequently, requir eth a towards you, sir, in my

humble

way, more careful dissection. But let it said Mrs Squallop in a very respectnot be supposed that I have yet done ful manner, and curtsying profoundly. with

my
characters.

“A-I've not got any small silver Gammon saw that Tag-rag, under by me, my good woman,” said Titproper management, might be made mouse, with a fine air, as he drew on very useful. He was a moneyed man ;

his white kid glove. a selfish man; and, after his sort, an « Lord, Mr Titmouse!” said the ambitious man. He had an only child, woman, almost bursting into tears,

a daughter, and if Titmouse and he " I wasn't asking for money, neither i could only be by any means once more for me nor mine-only one can't help,

brought together, and a firm friend- as it were, feeling at parting with an E ship cemented between them, Gam- old lodger."

mon saw several very profitable uses “ Ah-ya-as--and all that! Well, to which such an intimacy might be my good woman, good day, goodturned, in the happening of any of day: several contingencies which he con.

őr Good-by, sir-God bless you; templated as possible. In the event, and you're going to be a rich manfor instance, of larger outlays of excuse me, sir." -And she seized his money being required than suited the hand and shook it. convenience of the firm-could not

or You're a-devilish_impudentTag-rag be easily brought to accommo- woman-'pon my soul!" exclaimed date his future son-in-law of £10,000 Titmouse, his features filled with ac year? Suppose, for instance, that amazement at the presumption of after all, their case shculd break down,

which she had been guilty; and he and all their pains, exertions, and ex

strode down the stairs with an air of penditure be utterly thrown away. offended dignity. Now, if Tag-rag could be quietly

6 Well I never ! That for you, brought

, some fine day, to the point you little brute,” said Mrs Squalof either making some actual advance,

lop, snapping her fingers as soon as or entering into security for Titmouse,

she had heard his last step on the -ah! that would do that would do, stairs" Kind or cruel, it's all one to said both Quirk and Gammon. But you; you're a nasty jackanapes, only then Titmouse was a very unsafe in

fit to stand in a tailor's window strument-an incalculable fool, and to show his clothes—and I'll be sworn might commit himself too far.”

you'll come to no good in the end ! " You forget, Gammon,

said Let you be rich as you may, you'll Quirk, “ I don't fear this girl of Tag

always be the fool you always were !" rag's because only let Titmouse see

Had the good woman been familiar hem,” he suddenly paused and with the Night Thoughts of Young,

she might have expressed herself -I see," replied Gam- somewhat tersely in a line of his mon quietly, and the thing passed off. Pigmies are pigmies still, though perch'd

Quirk or Miss Tag- on Alps,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

looked a little confused.

To be sure

"If either Mis

[ocr errors]
« IndietroContinua »