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hundred times have I forbid your coming stamp on it, and becomes repulsive instead here in the morning ?” muttered the hall- of attractive. conscious drunkard in broken Italian.
Such an occasion was the present! Im“ You told me on the contrary last night possible to be more regularly and perfectly to come to breakfast, and that you would beautiful than Kenneth Ross: he might give me a good breakfast," whimpered the have been painted as an ideal Apollo. girl, who had been seated at the table pick- Impossible to have thrown more intense ing chicken-bones.
grace of attitude into any action than was “ You told me you would like to practise shown in that pallid girl's vulgar and unthat barcarole, and besides, Signore, to seemly farewell. But the effect of all tiis night is my benefit!” rapidly protested the grace and beauty, - under the circumelder of the three; "and I wanted, there- stances, on the sole spectator was as if fore, to see your Excellency.” Then they he had been struck down by some demoniac both spoke together, with loud, shrill, vehe- spell. ment chattering; till the nimble dancer As the door closed on that departing who had awakened Sir Douglas by flinging group Sir Douglas sank back in his chair, orange blossoms, and who had hitherto sat and covered his face with his hands. Kendangling her feet from the arm of the great neth also seated himself with a staggering chair, as a mere looker-on, interfered, and gait, and, leaning both arms across the struck up the hand Kenneth had extended breakfast-table, addressed Sir Douglas; towards them in angry gesticulation, with clipping his husky words, and alternately the words, “ Va! tu sei ubriaco come un attempting to stand, and dropping back porco
- “You're as drunk as a hog.” into his seat. Kenneth seized her by the arm.
“ You think, I suppose, that these people " Who says I am drunk? Who dares to ain't - ain't r’spectable? They are r’spec. say I'm drunk ? ” shouted he; "you shall be table ! Wife of leader of orchestra, punished — you shall be imprisoned.” great friend of mine, and leader of orches
“ Lascia !” exclaimed the girl, releasing tra. You couldn't lead orchestra, for all her arm from his grasp, and looking him you give yourself such connoisseur airs contemptuously in the face —"e dormi!” about music. Quite r’spectable. Could you “ Bestia !” added she in a tone of disgust, lead orchestra, pow? Come, I say, could as she shook her arm free, and attempted you, uncle? and he laughed an idiotic to pass him.
laugh. There was a moment when Sir Douglas "O Kenneth, go to bed, and end this actually expected Kenneth would return scene.” her insult with a blow. He made a step No, I won't go to bed. You think I'm forwards — Kenneth's arm dropped heavily drunk. I'm not drunk. D— it, do you by his side, but he continued to look at the think you're to come the schoolmaster for girl with a dull glare of anger.
ever over me, as if I were ten years old ? I “ Go!” said he. “Get out, all of you!” ain't drunk. I know all about it. I know
“ What a polite Signore !” said the that — that today's Tuesday, and we're dancer, with a forced laugh; "ah! there is we're going to se accounts. There is no one like an Englishman for fine man- that drunk? And we're going — going to ners.”
Amalfi - going to pick up old ladies who “ Go!” shouted the drunkard, with an can't ride, - can't eh ? Going to — Amalfi. infuriated stamp of his foot; still leaning All right; let's go to - to Amalfi ; only don't on the lock of the door with his left hand. say I'm drunk; and don't set old mother “At your pleasure !” bowed the girl, Skifton saying I'm drunk;
nor Germockingly; and she followed her frightened Ger”. companions out on the staircase. As she
Sir Douglas sprang to his feet. “ Wretchpassed she turned her pale pretty head, as ed boy !” exclaimed he, “don't dare to utthe head of the Cenci is turned in the fa- ter her name.' mous picture, and snapped her fingers at Then recovering himself, he repeated him with a gesture of derision and defiance sadly, “ O Kenneth, go to your room; go common among the lower orders of the to bed; I'll not irritate you by any obserNeapolitans, and which those who study vations; if you're not drunk, at least you books of chiromancy can find and practise are not well
. We can't talk business while if they please.
you are in this state. We will put off busiThere are occasions in life in which what ness till to-morrow. I will return for you we think beauty seems to wear the devil's later. It is very early still ; you will get
some hours of sleep. Give me your hand. self of his coat and waistcoat, drew over his There, go to your room. Good-bye for the head one of those wonderfully embroidered present. Go and rest.”
Parisian shirts, which he coolly informed The cigar-smoking valet bowed Sir Doug. the company had cost him seven hundred las out, muttering, with obsequeous smiles, francs ; * observed with a scoffing laugh, as that he would give “remedies;” that his he took his stand by the gaming-table, young excellency had unfortuna “met that his present costume closely resembled some friends” late last night, and that the that of an English gentleman about to en“ friends” often persuaded his young excel- gage in a boxing-match (a sport in which lency to excesses he would not otherwise foreigners believe we continually indulge), think of; winding up (in the inevitable and then threw the dice. In a few minutes style of Italian flattery) that he was sure bis adversaries, who had thought the scene the young excellency, in reality, would have infinitely diverting, looked rather grave: greatly preferred being with his beloved they had had their throws, and lost. and illustrious uncle, to all other society, in He had won back the greater portion of Naples, or elsewhere.
the sums they had hoped to divide amongst The story of Kenneth's evening would in- them. deed have amazed that sober uncle ! Going
He lifted the embroidered dandy garment towards his lodgings in a very discontented from the table, tossed it over his arm, made frame of mind, he had met with and joined a salute full of gay irony to the company, a group of those so-called 6
friends, re- retired to re-invest himself with the usual turning from the theatre of San Carlo. The amount of clothing, and was heard, a few rest of the night was spent by all in gam- minutes later, hunming an air from the bling, drinking, and dissipation. When opera of the evening, as he passed down the day-dawn was near, he had again lost sums Tolédo on his way to his hotel. that for him were enormous. The two men Kenneth had departed with him; having who were the largest winners were all for drunk almost too deeply to stand or walk, departing with their gains. Kenneth ob- and with a dim sense, even then, of shame jected: he claimed his revanche, and ap- and annoyance, increased, as we have seen, pealed to the others. A hot dispute ensued, to more intense irritation by the scene some of those present being for dispersing, which awaited him in his apartments. and some thinking Kenneth's proposal no Shrouded now in luxurious curtains, his more than reasonable. A young Portuguese head feeling as though blistered with fire, nobleman, wbose reputation for riches had and with just enough sense remaining for made him the centre of a certain circle of sullen consciousness of pain, - cursing his wild young men, then took the side of the folly, his valet, and the remedies by which loser. He insisted on remaining and shar- the latter proposed to put him in a condiing the fate of the revanche with Kenneth. tion to re-appear creditably in the course They staked and lost, staked and won, sta- of the afternoon, – Kenneth remained for ked and lost again. At length one of their blank hours "resting ” in his disordered boon companions addressed the Portuguese apartment; while Sir Douglas, once more in a bantering tone, “ Come, Marquis, you stepping out into the morning light, directare out of luck; try once more, any stake ed his steps to the quarter of Šta-Lucia, you please, - and that shall end it.” The and to the verandas of the Villa Mandorlo. young man looked round, set his teeth with “ There,” thought he, as he looked at the a strange smile, and said, “Well! I'll win pleasant sunshine falling on the white it all back with a yard or two of cambric. walls, “there, at least, dwells such an image Mr. Ross, will you go halves in my luck? of peace, purity, and quiet affection, as Two throws of the dice; that won't greatly might mend any man's broken trust in the delay us."
goodness of human nature.” Yes; Kenneth would go halves in the stakes. What was it to be ?
This anecdote is a facta The young Marquis rapidly divested him
IN LODGINGS AT KNIGHTSBRIDGE.
IN THREE PARTS.
years have elapsed since then, and the trous
seau, through the exertions of the laundress Mrs. Devlin was an Irishwoman, and a and the flux of time, has disappeared; but I widow. In the first of these capacities she am still a steady customer of the tidy shop was attractive; in the second, she was re- at Knightsbridge, where Mrs. Devlin presigned. I cannot say of my own certain sides in her own right, and over a forewoknowledge that she regarded the decease man whom I remember a blooming, idle, of Devlin as “no loss; ” but there was a busy clever girl, and carries on a business much sprightliness about the little woman, a increased and expedited by the lately-incheerful self-reliant content in her face, in vented sewing-machine. It is a long way her manner, in her movements, and a tone from Bedford Row to Knightsbridge, and I of satisfaction with the arrangements of do not very often see Mrs. Devlin; but the world in general, and those which affect- whenever I go to her shop, we mak ed her own lot in particular, which led me regular gossipping occasion of it, and all to form such a conclusion. I had known other customers are handed over to the Mrs. Devlin prior to her widowhood; but subordinates. It fell out one day, while I had never seen the late Mark, who had the International Exhibition was open, that been an out-pensioner of his wife's from the my nurse came to me with the melancholy time at which she became forewoman of intelligence that Master James was destitute Mrs. Jackson's ready-made-linen and stay of pinafores – .“ which there ain't no keepwarehouse at Knightsbridge, and had died ing of him in sich, ma'am, I do assure you," before she had succeeded to the business. said nurse hurriedly, lest I should contound Mrs. Jackson was Honor Devlin's aunt; her with remonstrances and dates of purand I have occasionally thought that had chase; "what with a hinking of 'em when her niece been still in the enjoyment of con- his par will let him into his study, and jugal bliss, Mrs. Jackson (who was a spins- never takes no notice of him, which he ter, and Mrs. by brevet only) would not have comes out a hawful sight most mornings, and made her unconditionally her sole heir. As what with a-tearing of 'em with his saw and it was, the old lady had done a very wise cutting of 'em with his chisel — and them thing, and Honor Devlin carried on the there tool-chests is the mischeevousest toys business with probity, activity, and success. as ever was brought into a nus’ry – the I and mine ħad been customers of Mrs. poor child ain't fit to be seen." Jackson's for many years; and when I I happened to want some little patterns united my, destinies with my dear James just then, and I told nurse that I would call Pennifold, and thereby incurred the lasting at Mrs. Devlin's and select them, and also reprobation of my aunt, Lady Moore, and the newest form of pinafores for James, on my uncle, General Croxholm- for James my return from the Exhibition. As I was was only a junior partner in a solicitor's speaking, a letter was handed to me. It firm of no great distinction, and our house was from James's aunt, Mrs. Carter; a very was situated in that unfashionable and un- nice but peculiar old lady, who lived in interesting locality, Bedford Row - I had Somersetshire, and maintained a discreet also recourse to Mrs. Devlin for the articles distance between herself and her relations. in her line for my modest trousseau. Some Not that she was unkind; on the contrary,
ber accurate recollection of birthdays was out him, and there must be no children or something wonderful, and hercongratulations cats in the house.". invariably took the shape of large hampers, It was six o'clock on a brilliant June day liberally filled, carefully packed, and punc- when I found myself seated in Mrs. Devlin's tually carriage paid. She never came on a shop, and looking over a variety of small visit to us, and when we had our autumn and, to the uninitiated, mysterious articles, holiday she never invited us to spend it - all my needs in which the brisk little with her; but said very candidly she was an woman understood as well as I did. I had oddity, and could neither sacrifice her own made my selection, and was exchanging odd ways nor ask any one else to put up some friendly words with her previous to with them.
leaving, when my eye fell on the address of “I am coming up to see the Exhibition,” a parcel on the counter, “Mrs. Cringle, wrote the old lady; " though the building is Elm House, Taunton, Somersets.” It rehideous, and the interior arrangement, judg- called Mrs. Carter's letter, and the task of ing by the pictures of it, detestable. The lodging-hunting: Mrs. Derlin was the very telescope-and-the-pickle trophy ought to person to assist me. My difficulty exkeep me away, and would do so but that I plained to her, she assumed the look of am too old to go to Rome to see the Cleo- consideration from which good counsel repatra and the Sibyl, and you have got sulted. them there, and I want to see them and the “ Two sitting-rooms, ma'am, and a large tinted Venus before I die. There is a pic- bedroom a glimpse of the Park, no chil. ture or two also I want to look at; and one dren, no cats?" I nodded assent.
« Well, can keep out of the middle of the big Barn ma'am, I dont know all in a minute like. I if one likes, I suppose, as I certainly shall suppose it would not do for the lady to be like. Now, my dear Margaret, you and over a shop ?” James will at once think of inviting me to “ Well, no; I think not,” I said, “unless your house; I beg you will not lose time, I cannot do better. But what lodgings do and retard the real service you will do me, you know of over a shop? I might see by making an invitation I will not accept them, at all events.” I shall see you and James very often, I hope, She turned her frank
Irish eyes while I remain in town; but I will not stay upon me, saying with a smile, “Why, then, as a guest in your house or in that of
any I was just thinking of my own, na’am. The other person. What you can do for me is lady that's in them is going away on Thursthis: to look for lodgings for me within an day. She gave me leave to put a bill up ; easy and reasonable distance of the Ex- but I would not, for she is delicate and in hibition Barn, and where, if possible, I may trouble, and would have been disturbed by get sight of the Park or Kensington Gar- people; and there is no fear but that they dens. I want quiet tidy rooms for myself will be let quick enough when she is gone." and old Joan, who has forgotten her grum- It occurred to me very strongly as Mrs. bling and her rheumatism in the prospect of Devlin was speaking, that the very best arseeing London. I fancy she and I are rangement I could make for Mrs. Carter's brisker and more energetic than you are ; comfort would be to take these rooms. I for I find it is the mode nowadays for had not seen them; but I felt assured they young people to affect the lassitude and in must be clean, comfortable, and well-orderdifference which in my time old people ed, merely because they belonged to Mrs. would have been ashamed of. But I don't Devlin. The back-windows looked to the want to reform the world, — only to enjoy Park, and the front to Wilton Place; so a glimpse of it; so take the lodgings from there was plenty of air. The brisk little Monday next. Tell the people to expect Irishwoman had no chillren, and I did not me at 6 P. M., and to have something for suspect her of a partiality to cats. The dinner; don't be there to meet me, but shop certainly did constitute an objection, come at 12 on Tuesday. Take the lodgings but one not sufficiently strong to counteras soon as possible, and send me the ad- balance the advantages the arrangement dress at once.
Yours affectionately, offered. I could easily make the old lady
one; and that all things considered, she “P.S. I shall bring Corporal Trim; if I could not do better. I proposed to Mrs. left him here, he would have too much Delvin that she should show me the rooms; meat and no exercise. I will pay extra and passing through a side-door opening for him if required; but I will not go with- from the shop, I found myself at the foot of
a narrow flight of stairs covered with bright airy, and evidently unoccupied bedroom, I green and white carpet. Through the said, window on the landing, I saw trees in the “ The young lady only occupies the drawPark, and caught glimpses of the carriages ing-rooms, then ? and the equestrians. Another short flight * Only them, ma'am,” replied Mrs. Devbrought us to the door of the drawing-room, lin,“ since her pa died in this very room a at which Mrs. Devlin knocked, was bidden month ago.” to enter by a low voice, and she did so. I It was a very nice room, – just the thing heard her ask permission to show the rooms for Mrs. Carter, - though it occurred to me to a lady, and an assenting answer given. it would be as well to say nothing to her of Then she returned to the door, and asked the death of her predecessor, knowing that me to walk in. I entered a square tolera- old people, and occasionally young people bly-sized room, plainly hut comfortably fur- too, have their own peculiar notions on such nished, and scrupulously clean. A glance subjects, and prefer to ignore death as a poround it was sufficient to show me it would lite fiction in any intimate relationship. suit Mrs. Carter, who was indifferent to * Had she and her father been long with luxury, but inexorable on the score of clean- you ?” I asked. liness. The windows were open, but the “ Just three months. Captain Dallas blinds were down, and in the softened light was his name, and he was not long home I saw the occupant of the apartment, who from India, I know; for Miss Winifred told was standing by a chair ; and as she bent me he had taken her from school in the her head in graceful salutation to me, my Regent's Park when he came back, and impression was that I had never seen so that is not more than a year ago. They beautiful a face, and I have never changed were going to France, only for the poor that opinion; and when, the same evening, Captain's illness — something in the head, I would have described her to James, I felt caused by an old wound, as far as I can unmy description was utterly futile and com- derstand and they stayed here to be near monplace. When I said she was tall and his doctor, who saw him every day, but slight; that her head was small, and had could do notbing for him. He was very a peculiar alertness in its pose and move- gentle and quiet, to be sure; and Miss ment; that her skin was of a rich drosky Winifred is a brave young lady.” tinge, the true line of the European bru- “ It must have been very sad for her,” I nette; and that her eyes were like brown said; "but I suppose her friends came to velvet in colour, but as full of light as of her. Yet it seems strange she should have softness; that her hair was lustrously black remained here so long." and silken; that her brows were broad and I felt ashamed of my inquisitiveness; and low, and indicative of intellect and will, – yet it was rather interest, awakened by that I had told him all I could, and yet I felt beautiful face, than mere curiosity. that all was just nothing. She was dressed Mrs. Devlin seemed pleased rather than in the deepest and plainest mourning, and shocked, as she replied in her own brisk totally without ornament, except that on way, “ La, ma'am! I know nothing about her left hand she wore a heavy seal-ring, her friends. No one ever came here, exmore fitted to a man's than to her delicate cept the doctor, the lawyer, and the clergyhand. Books, papers, and manuscript- man. She had no help or comfort, but music lay upon the tables, a cottage-piano such as I could give her, poor thing; and stood open, and on the keys lay a handker- that was not much." chief, a scrap of paper, and a pencil, and I thought otherwise, and said so; but the close to the half-open folding.door stood a cheerful little woman put aside my praise, large French travelling-trunk closed, with and chatting about otherthings, we descendthe straps thrown loosely upon it. The im- ed into the shop: press of refinement was upon
Mrs. Devlin hailed one of the myriad lady and all her surroundings. In her man- cabs which pervaded Knightsbridge at that ner, when receiving my apology for dis- time, put me and my parcels into it, auditurbing her, there was sweet well-bred sim- bly instructed me as to the correct amount plicity, but no embarrassment or self-con- of the fare to Bedford Row, for the admosciousness. She stepped forward to open nition of the cabman, and I drove away, the folding-doors that I might see the room having given directions that the rooms beyond. I assured her it was unnecessary, should be prepared for Mrs. Carter by the and withdrew. When Mrs. Devlin and I following Monday. had climbed the next flight of stairs, and I found myself in a large, well-ordered, Mrs. Carter graciously approved of all