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And, by the way, who can read the cing through it very keenly at Titnext line “ And pyramids are pyramids in vales,"
“ Meaning me, sir, I suppose, without thinking for a moment, with which, 'pon honour, is not the fact a kind of proud sympathy, of certain Eugh! Don't like her. Better woother characters in this history?
men in the market, if one's only money Well ! but let us pass on.
enough to go to market with. Soon after Titmouse had got settled
“ Ha, ha, ha!- Capital! Admi. in his lodgings, Mr Gammon called rably said, my dear Titmouse ! But upon him, in the evening, and took a now, suppose you were to pretend a cup of tea with him. Their conver: passion for her?" sation very naturally turned upon make me marry in earnest-eh? Won't
“ But if I make love in sham, he'll Tag-rag
“ He is a stupid, vulgar brute, I he? Isn't that the law?" own,” said Gammon; “ I never came
“ Indeed, indeed, it is not! Leave near his equal."
that to me! I feel towards you as " Oh, particular–uncommon--de- towards a younger brother and bave vilish!"
ever since I first took up your cause, “ But, ha, ha! the beauty of such
I assure you I would rather lay down things is, that men of superior mind
a thousand pounds than see you marry make such creatures as Tag-rag their
that little wretch; but you see, if you mere puppets and playthings—and al. could only make Mr Tag-raġ think ways get what they want out of them you loved and would marry her, we in spite of themselves."
could turn it to some advantage-we “ Ah-yes--to be sure ! Clever could work it for your advantagefellows! Ha, ha! Do 'em-fools
but all would depend upon your disquite! Nasty fellow Tag-rag:- I cretion. I'm sure you understand the were too much for him, 'pon my soul, me, my dear Titmouse ?” enquired! ha, ha!”
Gammon, looking very significantly ''Twas certainly admirably ma.
at Titmouse, and pouring himself outfit naged, my dear sir |-- But how could another cup of tea. it be otherwise between Mr Titmouse “ Oh! genuine-y-e-e-s," said Titand such a fellow as Tag.rag ?” mouse, hesitatingly; not, however,
« Ah! did him hollow 1-Glad I've having the faintest notion of what was 1 done with him, though."
intended to be conveyed to him by “ No, no, my dear Titmouse_not his plausible companion. He was the if there's a single grain to be got out only person on earth with whom Tit
. of him."
mouse felt completely at home and to « Ah! I don't know, sir; brute
at his ease, as in the presence of a vulgar brute! Give a pound to a big superior, undoubtedly; but then one fellow to lick him."
so kind, and gentle, and interested in “ I am a little surprised, Mr Tit. his welfare ! mouse,” said Gammon, gravely, “that
“I knew, Titmouse, that you would, you have not yet learned how to take a as you always do. Your natural real and effectual revenge on such
acuteness-eh? You do see it all, I ni wretches."
know.” « Only you show me how to be “ He, he, he!-- To be sure! Ah, Mr revenged on him, and I'll learn fast Gammon! 'Pon my life-you're deenough ; 'pon honour, I will !" replied vilish deep! I see it all now!" and he Titmouse, eagerly.-
.-" Could I make winked his eye, and put his finger to him bankrupt?"
the tip of his nose, and gave himself “ My dear sir, the scheme I have
no further trouble about attempting in view will effect even that object, to comprehend the meaning of Gamif we choose ; and also one much more important-and, at the same time, “Now, you see I'll call on old benefit you."
Tag-rag, and set all to rights." “ What is it, sir?” enquired Tit- « Frighten him, eh - In course mouse, quickly,
you'll frighten him hotridly- that's 66 You see the old sinner doats on the way, 'pon honour, to go to work his daughter-and, indeed, so I sus- with Tag-rag ; the old scamp!" pect does some one else," added “ Trust me I'll humble him, and Gammon, with a sly smile, but glan- get a proper apology from him: If I
Teppiche don't," continued Gammon, with edly, and running his fingers through
much energy and feeling —- You his hair. me s never again darken his doors; for I “ Pho! pho! my dear sir!" said na be hope I know what is due to the in. Gammon, leaning back and laughing. the head jured honour of a gentleman who has “ Ha, but it's so, Mr Gammon ; 4, kaput himself into my hands."
'pon my soul, a bite at first sight; "Ah! I should think so !" echoed such things do happen-Eh ? Never ma'-. Titmouse, shaking his head with a read of them ?" dear in very injured and indignant air, and " Ah, ha, ha!-Really this tickles u mar running his fingers through his hair- me more than all! Miss Tag-rag in
" But what will you say to him about love with Mr Tittlebat Titmouse ! che loved my humbugging him in the way I Your goodness of heart, Mr Titmouse did ?_Eh?"
-your delicate and sensitive nature “Oh, I'll pass that off, you'll see! leads you astray.
-I shall tell him 'twas all a trick of “ Why, was it a take-in ? No, fel be yours to try the love of Miss Tag- cuss it ! I should have found it out.
No, by George! she loved me at first "Oh! capital !-capital! 'Pon my sight, and no mistake, and couldn't soul and life, capital!" cried Titmouse,
eat any dinner!” with great glee" Excuse me, Mr “ She was trifling with you, Mr Gammon, but you've got a headpiece Titmouse," said Gammon, gravely ; of your own !-So, I
suppose I shall “ and you must take a proper revenge, have to go to his house—his lodge, as by trifling with her.” he calls it ?—Eugh! how I hate the " Ah, to be sure! tit for tat all the sight of it, to be sure !”
So ! 'twas a take-in ? " What does it signify, my dear How I hate her! An impudent bagsir, for your purposes ?
gage! Lord, when I keep my car“ And I shall have to shake hands riage, won't I make a point of driving with the beast. ?Pon my life, I'd as slowly past Satin Lodge ; for, in lief touch a toad!”
course, I shall drop 'em all when that " But when you reflect all the while comes to pass ?”
how you're doing him, my dear sir- " I should think so ! But believe - doing him so gloriously
me, my dear sir,” said Gammon, rising " There's something in that, to be and preparing to go, “there's a vast sure. But, Gad! I shall feel fit to spit deal to be done before that comes to in his face when I see him.
He col pass !
To-morrow I shall call on lared me! Cuss him! he tore myTag-rag, and arrange your reconcilibest coat all down the back-said Í ation ; and then, probably, he will
was a cussed scamp. My eyes! Is call on you—if not, you will call on in that to be borne by a gentleman ? him--and I leave him in your hands! Only consider, Mr Gammon !_To be Good-night, my dear Titmouse-good
night!" Squeeze your lemon before you - Good-night!” replied Titmouse, throw it away, Titmouse! There's a and in a moment or two was left little juice to be got out of Tag.rag alone, nursing his rage against Tagyet."
rag and his family-particularly-in". You say you'll manage it all, to dignant towards Miss Tag-rag-and
begin with, and all that didn't you, trying hard, every now and then, to 2 * Mr Gammon?
remember what was to be the advan. " Oh, certainly; leave it in my tage resulting from the reconciliation hands. If there's one thing more than on which Gammon had insisted so another that I can pique myself upon, urgently; but having tried in vain, at it is talking over a fool when one's length he gave up the task in despair, any thing to gain from him, Mr Tit- fearing that, however perfect were all mouse."
his other mental faculties, his memory “ Ha, ha, ha!-Yes! you are å
was not so strong as he could wish. hand at that-and Tag-rag will soon
If the reader can recollect it, he will feel it. Shall you have a word or
have an extraordinary memory. two with the gal? 'Pon my soul, I
The next day Mr Gammon wended am a little sorry for her:
The gal his way towards Oxford Street, and and no mistake,” said soon introduced himself once more to Titmouse, cock ing his head conceit- Mr Tag-rag, who was standing lean
really loved me,
ing against one of the counters in his Gammon proceeded to open
eyes shop in a musing position, with a pen to their widest stare of amazement by behind his ear, and his hands in his assuring him tbat Titmouse had been breeches pockets. Ten days had hoaxing him, and that he was really elapsed since he had expelled the little in the dazzling position in which he impostor Titmouse from Satin Lodge, had been first represented by Gammon and during that interval he had neither to Tag-rag; that every week brought seen nor heard any thing whatever him nearer to the full and uncontrolled of him. On now catching the first enjoyment of an estate in Yorkshire, glimpse of Mr Gammon, he started worth £10,000 a-year at the very from his musing posture, not a little lowest ; that it was becoming an object disconcerted, and agitation overspread of great anxiety to them (Mesers his coarse deeply-pitted face with a Quirk, Gammon, and Snap) to keep tallowy hue. What was in the wind ? him out of the hands of money.lend. Mr Gammon coming to him, so long ers, who, as usual in such cases, had after what had occurred ? Mr Gam. already scented out their victim, and mon who, having found out his error, so forth.-Tag-rag turned very white, had discarded Titmouse ? Tag-rag and felt sick at heart in the midst of had a mortal dread of Gammon, who all bis wonder. Oh, and his daughter seemed to him to glide like a danger. had lost the golden prize! and through ous snake into the shop, so quietly, his misconduct! He could have suuk and so deadly! There was something into the cellar! - That he (Gammon) so calm and imperturbable in his de- could not account for the singular con- 413 meanour, so blandly crafty, so omi. duct of Mr Titmouse on the melannously gentle and soft in the tone of choly occasion in question, except by his voice, so penetrating in his eye, referring it to the excellent wines which and he could throw such an infernal he had too freely partaken of at Satin dit smile over his features. Tag-rag Lodge, added (said Gammon, with an might be likened to the ox, suddenly inimitable expression of features that shuddering as he perceives the glisten perfectly fascinated Tag-rag) to a ing folds of the rattlesnake noiselessly " certain tenderer influence" which moving towards, or around him, in the had fairly laid prostrate the faculties long grass. One glimpse of his blasting of the young and enthusiastic Tit ki a beauty of hue.- Horror! all is over. mouse; that there could be no doubt
If the splendid bubble of Titmouse's of his real motive in the conduct fortune had burst in the manner which alluded to, namely, a desire to test the ho had represented, why Gammon sincerity and disinterestedness of a here now? It was with, in truth, a “ certain person's" attachment before very poor show of contempt and de- he let all his fond and passionate feelfiance that, in answer to the blandings go out towards her -[At this salutation of Gammon, Mr Tag.rag point the perspiration burst from led the way down the shop into the every pore in the body of Tag-rag) little room which had been the scene and no one could deplore the unex. of such an extraordinary communica- pected issue of his little experiment tion concerning Titmouse on a for. so much as Titmouse. mer occasion.
Tag-rag really, for a moment, Gammon commenced, in a mild scarcely knew where he was, who was tone, with a very startling represen- with him, nor whether he stood on his tation of the criminal liability which head or his heels, so delightful and Tag-rag had incurred by his wanton entirely unexpected was the issue of outrage upon Mr Titmouse, his own Mr Gammon's visit. As soon as his guest, in violation of all the laws of faculties had somewhat recovered hospitality. Tag-rag furiously alleged themselves from their temporary obthe imposition which had been prac- fuscation, almost breathless, he assured tised on him by Titmouse; but seemed Gammon that no event in the whole quite collapsed when Gammon as. course of his life had occasioned him sured him that that circumstance such poignant regret as his treatment would not afford him the slightest of Titmouse on the occasion in ques. justification. Having satisfied Tag. tion; that he had undoubtedly fola rag that he was entirely at the mercy lowed unwittingly the example of wested b5 of Titmouse, who might subject him Titmouse, and drunk far more to both fine and imprisonment, Mr his usual quantity of wine; besides
which he had undoubtedly noticed, as entertained by Tag-rag. 'Tis certainly are cima
had Mrs T., the state of things be- easy for a man to believe what he E: They tween Mr Titmouse and his daugh. wishes to be true. Was it very impro-,
ter,--talking of whom, by the way, he bable that Tag.rag, loving only one could assure Mr Gammon that they object on earth, (next to money, which had both been ill ever since that un. indeed he really did love with the best fortunate evening, and had never and' holiest energies of his nature,) ceased to condemn his monstrous con- namely, his daughter; and believing duct. As for his daughter, she was her to be possessed of qualities calcugrowing thinner and thinner every lated to excite every one's love-should day, and he thought he must send her believe that she had inspired Titmouse to the country for a short time. with the passion of which he had just
To all this Mr Gammon listened been hearing—a passion that was conwith a calm, delightful, sympathizing suming him, that could not be quenched look, that quite transported Tag-rag, by even the gross and outrageous ?and satisfied him that Mr Gammon but faugh ! that Tag-rag shuddered to implicitly believed every word that think of. He clapped his hat on his vas being said to him. But when he head, and started off to Titmouse's proceeded to assure Tag-rag that this lodgings, and fortunately caught that visit of his had been undertaken at the gentleman just as he was going out to earnest instance of Mr Titmouse him. dinner. If Tag-rag had been a keen self, (who, by the way, had removed observer, he could hardly have failed to lodgings which would do for the to discover aversion towards himself present, so as they were only near to written in every feature and gesture their office, for the purpose of frequent of Titmouse ; and also how difficult communication on matters of business it was to be concealed. But his eagerbetween him and their firm,) who had ness overbore every thing; and took
urged him, Mr Gammon, to tender Titmouse quite by storm. Before aid but the olive-branch, in the devout hope Tag-rag had done with him, he had
that it might be accepted, Tag-rag's obliterated every trace of resentment ed excitement knew scarce any bounds; in his little friend's bosom. Thorough
and he could almost have started into ly as Gammon thought he had prethe shop, and given orders to his shop- pared him for the encounter, armed men to sell every article, for the rest him at all points—'twas of no avail.
of the day, one and a half per cent Tag-rag poured such a monstrous ire is under what they had been selling be- quantity of flummery down the gaping
fore! Mr Gammon wrote down Tit- mouth and insatiate throat of the little mouse's direction, and assured Mr animal, as at length produced its deTag-rag that a call from him would be sired effect. Few can resist flattery, gratefully received by Mr Titmouse. however coarsely administered; but
"There's no accounting for these for Titmouse, he felt the soft fluid ipint things, Mr Tag-rag, is there?” said deliciously insinuating itself into every boord! Mr Gammon, with an arch smile, crevice of his little nature, for which
as he prepared to depart-Tag-rag it seemed, indeed, to have a peculiar squeezing his hands with painful energy affinity ; 'twas a balm, 'twas an opiate
as Gammon bade him adieu, saying he soothing his wounded pride, lubricating I should not be himself for the rest of all his inner man; nay, flooding it, so as
the day, and bowing the aforesaid Mr at length to extinguish entirely the Gammon down the shop with as pro- very small glimmering spark of dis. found an obsequiousness as if he had cernment which nature had lit in him. been the Duke of Wellington or the 66 To be forewarned, is to be forearm. Lord High Chancellor. As soon as ed," says the proverb ; but it was not Gammon had got fairly into the verified in the present instance. Tit. street, and to a safe distance, he burst mouse would have dined at Satin Lodge into little gentle paroxysms of laugh on the very next Sunday, in accord, ter, every now and then, that lasted ance with the pressing invitations of him till he had regained his office in Tag-rag, but that he happened to re
collect having engaged himself to dine The motive so boldly and skilfully that evening with Mr Quirk, at his resuggested by Gammon to Tag-rag, sidence in Camberwell,-ALIBI HOUSE. as the impelling Titmouse to seek a As I have already intimated in a prereconciliation with him, was greedily vious part of this history, that most
respectable old gentleman, Mr Quirk, The gentleman to whom Titmouse with the shrewdness natural to him, alluded was in fact Mr Snap, who and which had been quickened by his had early evinced a great partiality greatexperience, had soon seen through for him, and lost no opportunity of the ill-contrived and worse-concealed contributing to his enjoyment. He designs upon Titmouse of Mr Tag- was a sharp-sighted person, and quickrag; and justly considered that the ly detected many qualities in Titmouse surest method of rendering them abor. kindred to his own. He sincerely tive would be to familiarize Titmouse commiserated Titmouse's situation, with a superior style of things, such than which what could be more lonely as were to be found at Alibi House and desolate? Was he to sit night and a more lovely and attractive object after night, in the lengthening nights for his best affections in Miss Quirk- of autumn and winter, with not a soul Dora Quirk, the lustre of whose charms to speak to, not a book to read, (that and accomplishments should instantly was at least interesting or worth efface the image of that poor, feeble, reading ;) nothing, in short, to occupy file vulgar creature, Miss Tag-rag ; for his attention? “No," said Snap to himsuch old Quirk knew her to be, though self; “ I will do as I would be done by; he had, in fact, never for a moment set I will come and draw him out of his tre eyes upon her. Mr Tag-rag looked dull hole ; I will show him life, I will 3. Tab rather blank at hearing of the grand give him an early insight into the party there was to be at Alibi House, habits and practices of the great world
, de and that Titmouse was to be intro. in which he is so soon to cut a leadó , duced to the only daughter of Mr Quirk, ing figure! I will early familiarize 4 and could not, for the life of him, ab- him with the gayest and most exciting stain from dropping something, vague modes of London life!" The very first and indistinct to be sure, about“entrap- taste of this cup of pleasure, was exping unsuspecting innocence," and quisitely relished by Titmouse ; and S'interested attentions, and other simi. he felt a proportionate gratitude to larexpressions—all of which, however, him whose kind hand had first raised were lost upon Titmouse. Tapping it to his lips. Scenes of which he dite with an auctioneer's hammer on a had heretofore only heard and read block of granite, would make about after which he had often sighed and as much impression upon it as hint, yearned, were now opening daily bea innuendo, or suggestion, upon a block. fore him, limited as were his means ; head. So it was with Titmouse. and he felt perfectly happy. When the He promised to dine at Satin Lodge Snap had finished the day's labours of on the Sunday after, with which poor the office, from which he was generally Mr Tag•rag was obliged to depart released about eight or nine o'clock content; having been unable to get in the evening, he would repair to his Titmouse up to Clapham on either of lodgings, and decorate himself for the the intervening evenings, on which, evening's display ; after which, either he told Mr Tag-rag, he was particu. he would go to Titmouse, or Titmouse larly engaged with an intimate friend come to him, as might have been pre-in fact, one of his solicitors; and viously agreed upon between them; Tag-rag left him, after shaking him and then, by the hand with the utmost cordiality “ The town was all before them, where to and energy. He instantly conceived choose.' a lively hatred of old Mr Quirk and Sometimes they would, arm in arm, his daughter, who seemned taking each with his cigar in his mouth, saun. so unfair an advantage. However, ter for hours together along the leadwhat could be done ? Many times ing streets and thoroughfares, making during his interview, did he anxi- acute observations and deep reflecously turn about in his mind the tions upon the ever-moving and motley expediency of proffering to lend or scenes around them. Most frequently, give Titmouse a five-pound note, of however, they would repair, at balf
. which he had one or two in his pocket price, to the theatres, for Snap had book ; but no-'twas too much for the means of securing almost a constant human nature—he could not bring supply of orders” from the underhimself to it ; and quitted Titmouse lings of the theatres, and also in rem as rich a man as he had entered his spect to the Sunday Flash, with which lodgings.
Messrs Quirk and Gammon were con.