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NOTHING.

BY THE HON. GRANTLEY FITZHARDINGE BERKELEY, M.P.

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“What are you going to do to-morrow?” said Sir Hugh Wansford to me, on a Saturday night at the opera.

Nothing;" I replied, with my usual indolence and indecision of manner. Nothing, unless it be to visit the Zoological Gardens, and stare the monkeys out of countenance."

- Thou art the man I want," continued my intorrogator, “ thou canst be of infinite service to me, while at the same time thou wilt have an opportunity of making thine own fortune. Listen then: Louisa and I are going down to Cranford Bridge to-morrow, to dine-walk about-andand-ruralize; her friend,—such a friend, five thousand a-.year now in her own right, lots of expectations, and loads of good looks,-is to accompany us. Now, you know, my dear fellow, that three people in the country, on a fine summer's afternoon, are far too many to be agreeable to each other; they make thunder come, spoil flowers, and strangle nightingales. In short, nature wo’nt hear of them; so, you must take Miss Manydubs off our hands."

“ Miss what?" I exclaimed.

“ Prithee peace, and do not interrupt thy best friend; tête-à-téte the whole evening shalt thou be, a vacant seat in the carriage is at thy disposal. We start at two, to dine punctually at four, at the White Hart, where, water souché, chicken, green peas, asparagus, cherry tarts, strawberries, cream, and other heroic food, are to be ready. Speak, then, my dear fellow, that I may know thee-wilt thou come or not?”

“ Miss Manydubs,” said I, musing, “there's not much poetry in her name, but I don't care if I do accompany thee, good looks—five thousand a-year, (rubbing my hands,) say no more, Hugh, I'm the very man to serve you and myself too, so at the given hour will I be at the appointed place."

“ In Piccadilly, then, fail not.”
The Ballêt being over, we separated for the night.

It is here necessary that I should say something of my disposition. Indolent in action, but active in mind, my hand and heart seldom keep pace together. If I resolve upon a particular plan, I sit and mentally enjoy its completion, ere I have taken one step to put it in practice; consequently mine has been, in a great measure, a visionary and useless existence. The goal of success ever before my eyes, but the energy required to reach it, seldom, if ever, forthcoming. On the present occasion, I had a previous engagement to leave town on the Monday; the hours were therefore few, in which to besiege and capture a fortress so well supplied. This previous engagement I had time to postpone, yet I thought I would not do so, as after all, my introduction to the fortune might not lead to any serious result: finally, therefore, my determination was fixed, to make love, and in case of failure, to sleep as usual, and leave London, all in eight-and-forty hours.

For the first half hour after I had retired to bed, I dreamed with my eyes open, of a successful love-suit of six hours, of marriage, of smiling wives, mansions, horses, hounds, and game. Then, a change came o'er the spirit

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of my dream,” and for the rest of the night, with my eyes shut, my soul was troubled with an image of a frowning wife, fourteen large and little boys and girls, fighting horses, running game cocks, limping hounds, lasting annuitants, long bills, ill health, drugs, dudgeon, debts, and deaths, without end. Nevertheless, when my servant called me in the morning, I sang for joy, that the horrors I had dreamed of were nothing but delusion, and for this Sunday, at least, I determined to be a hero; or, in other words, my toilet was made with the grace of one whose eyes are on himself, and who is mentally resolved on captivating the heart of woman.

As usual, I sat revolving conquest in my brain, till the very last moment, when, having bestowed the utmost care and attention on my dress and tempted apoplexy through

gorgon folds of my cravat, I sallied forth ; but, had not proceeded far, when, crack went one of my braces, with a sound resembling a harp string in a similar predicament, and with a lopsided sensation, and an oath, I was forced to return for reparation of damage.

The delay consequent upon this accident made me late: and I strode in the direction of Piccadilly with all the haste in my power, cursing every Sunday buck who crossed my path, and pushing through rows of tradesfolks that had shaken off the week's dust to bask in a sabbath's sun, like newly awakened flies in summer.

To me, though I am invariably late, the idea of being so is disagreeable. When ladies are in the case, the horror of this apprehension is increased ; and as mine is what may truly be called an active and magnifying mind, the

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the fact of my being a few moments behind my time was soon fostered into an age of tardiness. However, at length, I arrived in sight of the appointed place, out of breath, and deprived of that placid grace, and coolness of skin so desirable in lovers: the perturbation of my mind being still more increased from my having perceived, for nearly the full length of Piccadilly, that the carriage was waiting in the street. The very servants seemed to think me late, and though not personally known to them, each looked as if he was aware of my errand; for the fellow on the steps of the portal, having glanced at me, though still at some yards distance, fell back and opened the door, as if inviting me to enter.

I gave my name, my first liveried acquaintance gave it to another, and he sent it up stairs at the head of the butler, with so many mysterious alterations of his own, that, when I entered the drawing-room, Sir Hugh and the ladies were staring at the door, prepared to bow the mistaking stranger down again.

My appearance set all doubt at rest; and, having been introduced to my heroine, whose face and figure were as pleasant as her fortune was said to be, we descended to the carriage, and in an hour and twenty minutes came in sight of our destination.

The post-boys drove close up to the door with a sort of dash, to make the wheels rattle a sufficient snmmons. A parrot in the passage screamed; door, door—was shouted by the inmates, each of them well knowing that the others

ready possessed of the call there was upon their attention, and hurrying to the right spot; and the yard

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bell having been also rung,-inkeeper, waiter, ostler, chambermaid, dog, boots, and sundries came tumbling over each other, to assist in our introduction to the inn.

We were not shown into the main building, but into a detached house, joined to the former by a slight portico, or covered passage; in the neat little parlour of which were preparations for dinner. Having given an order to be apprized when the repast was ready, we strolled into the garden, invited by the velvet-looking turf of the bowling green ; and annoyed the gardener by culling flowers, for that longest of all periods, the last ten minutes previous to the announcement of dinner.

The waiter now appeared, waving in the summer wind a white cloth, one end of which was wrapped round his thumb; and, ere his voice reached us, the prophetic eye of appetite bespoke a herald from the kitchen.

Dinner, if you please, sir.” We repaired to the room, and were on the point of demanding, only in heroic phrase, “Where the deuce it was?” when, at that moment, the door flew open with a swing of proud importance, and mine host entered, bearing aloft the water souché. The mistress followed flirting with an eel, the waiter being in reserve at the head of young potatoes, melted butter, and fish sauces.

Enough of this, the repast was excellent, all hot but the wine, the linen like snow, and the waiter said, “ Yes, if you please, sir,” to every thing, whether it was wrong or not. With me every thing went well; topics of conversation chanced to be mooted with which I was intimately acquainted: all listened, and my eloquence seemed to please. Miss Manydubs twice recurred during dinner to the rose I

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