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children were gone to bed. The darlings! Charlotte must go up and kiss them. Mr. Philip Firmin was out. She did not seem to miss him in the least, nor did she make a single inquiry for him. We had been so good to her—so kind. How should she ever forget our great kindness? She had been so happy—oh! so happy! She had never been so happy before. She would write often and often, and Laura would write constantly—wouldn't she? "Yes, dear child!" says my wife. And now a little more kissing, and it is time to go home to the Tintelleries. What a lovely night! Indeed the moon was blazing in full round in the purple heavens, and the stars were twinkling by myriads.
"Good-by, dear Charlotte; happiness go with yon!" I seize her hand. I feel a paternal desire to kiss her fair, round face. Her sweetness, her happiness, her artless good-humor, and gentleness has endeared her to us all. As for me, I love her with a fatherly affection. "Stay, my dear!" I cry, with a happy gallantry. "I'll go home with you to the Tintelleries."
You should have seen the fair round face then! Such a piteous expression came over it! She looked at my wife; and as for that Mrs. Laura she pulled the tail of my coat.
"What do you mean, my dear?" I ask.
"Don't go out on such a dreadful night. You'll catch cold!" says Laura.
"Cold, my love!" I say. "Why, it's as fine a night as ever—"
"Oh! you—you stoopid!" snys Laura, and begins to laugh. And there goes Miss Charlotte tripping away from us without a word more!
Philip came in about half an hour afterward. And do you know I very strongly suspect that he had been waiting round the corner. Pew things escape me, you see, when I have a mind to be observant. And, certainly, if I had thought of that possibility, and that I might be spoiling sport, I should not have proposed to Miss Charlotte to walk home with her.
At a very early hour on the next morning my wife arose, and spent, in my opinion, a great deal of uuprofitable time, bread, butter, cold beef, mustard and salt, in compiling a heap of sandwiches, which were tied up in a copy of the Pall Mull Gazette. That persistence in making sandwiches, in providing cakes and other refreshments for a journey, is a strange infatuation in women; as if there was not always enough to cat to be had at road inns and railway stations! What a good dinuer we used to have at Montreuil in the old days, before railways were, and when the diligence spent four or six and twenty cheerful hours on its way to Paris! I think the finest dishes are not to be compared to that wellremembered fricandeau of youth, nor do wines of the most dainty vintage surpass the rough, honest, blue ordinaire which was served at the plenteous inn-table. I took our bale of sandwiches down to the office of the Messageries, whence our friends were to start. We saw six of the Baynes family packed into the interior of
the diligence; and the boys climb cheerily into the rotonde. Charlotte's pretty lips and hands wafted kisses to us from her corner. Mrs. General Baynes commanded the column, pushed the little ones into their places in the ark, ordered the general and young ones hither and thither with her parasol, declined to give the grumbling porters any but the smallest gratuity, and talked a shrieking jargon of French and Hindustanee to the people assembled round the carriage. My wife has that command over me that she actually made me demean myself so far as to deliver the sandwich parcel to one of the Baynes boys. I said, "Take this," and the poor wretch held out his hand eagerly, evidently expecting that I was about to tip him with a five-franc piece or some such coin. Fouelte, roclier! The horses squeal. The huge machine jingles over the road, and rattles down the street. Farewell, pretty Charlotte, with your sweet face and sweet voice and kind eyes! But why, pray, is Mr. Philip Firmin not here to say farewell too?
Before the diligence got underway, the Baynes boys had fought and quarreled, and wanted to mount on the imperial or cabriolet of the carriage, where there was only one passenger as yet. But the conductor called the lads off, saying that the remaining place was engaged by a gentleman, whom they were to take up on the road. And who should this turn out to be? Just outside the town a man springs up to the imperial; his light luggage, it appears, was on the coach already, and that luggage belonged to Philip Firmin. Ah, monsieur! and that was the reason, was it, why they were so merry yesterday—the parting day? Because they were not going to part just then. Because, when the time of execution drew near, they had managed to smuggle a little reprieve! Upon my conscience, I never heard of such imprudence in the whole course of my life! Why, it is starvation —certainly misery to one and the other. "I don't like to meddle in other people's affairs," I say to my wife; "but I have no patience with such folly, or with myself for not speaking to General Baynes on the subject. I shall write to the general."
"My dear, the general knows all about it," says Charlotte's, Philip's (in my opinion) most injudicious friend. "We have talked about it, and, like a man of sense, the general makes light of it. 'Young folks will be young folks,' he says; 'and, by George! ma'am, when I married—I should say, when Mrs. B. ordered me to marry her—she had nothing, and I but my captain's pay. People get on, somehow. Better for a young man to marry, and keep out of idleness and mischief; and, I promise you, the chap who marries my girl gets a treasure. I like the boy for the sake of my old friend Phil Ringwood. I don't see that the fellows with the rich wives are much the happier, or that men should wait to marry until they are gouty old rakes.' And, it appears, the general instanced several officers of his own acquaintance; some of whom had married when they were young and poor; some who had married when they were old and sulky; some who had never married at all. And he mentioned his comrade, my own uncle, the late Major Pendennis, whom he called a selfish old creature, and hinted that the major had jilted some lady in early life, whom he would have done much better to marry."
And so Philip is actually gone after his charmer, and is pursuing her summd diIiifentiat The Baynes family has allowed this penniless young law student to make love to their daughter, to accompany them to Paris, to appear as the almost recognized son of the house. "Other people, when they were young, wanted to make imprudent marriages," says my wife (as if that wretched tu quoquc were any answer to my remark!). "This penniless law student might have a good sum of money if he chose to press the Baynes family to pay him what, after all, they owe him." And so poor little Charlotte was to be her father's ransom! To be sure, little Charlotte did not object to offer herself up in payment of her papa's debt! And though I objected as a moral man, and a prudent man, and a father of a family, I could not be very seriously angry. I am secretly of the disposition of the time-honored pire de famille in the comedies, the irascible old gentleman in the crop wig and Georgethe-Second coat, who is always menacing "Tom the young dog" with his cane. When the deed is done, and Miranda (the little sly-boots!) falls before my square-toes and shoe-buckles, and Tom the young dog kneels before mo in his white ducks, and they cry out in a pretty chorus, "Forgive us, grandpapa!" I say, "Well, you rogue, boys will be boys. Take her, sirrah! Be happy with her; and, hark ye! in this pocketbook you will find ten thousand," etc., etc. You all know the story: I can not help liking it, however old it may be. In love, somehow, one is pleased that young people should dare a little. Was not Bessy Eldon famous as an economist, and Lord Eldon celebrated for wisdom and caution? and did not John Scott marry Elizabeth Surtees when they had scarcely two-pence a year between them? "Of course, my dear," I say to the partner of my existence, "now this madcap fellow is utterly ruined, now is the very time he ought to marry. The accepted doctrine is, that a man should spend his own fortune, then his wife's fortune, and then he may begin to get on at the bar. Philip has a hundred pounds, let us say; Charlotte has nothing; so that in about six weeks we may look to hear of Philip being in successful practice—""Successful nonsense!" cries the lady. "Don't go on like a cold-blooded caleulating machine! You don't believe a word of what you say, and a more imprudent person never lived than you yourself were as a young man." This was departing from the question, which women will do. "Nonsense!" again says my romantic being of a partner-of-existence. "Don't tell Me, Sir. They-will be provided for! Are we to be forever taking care of the morrow, and
not trusting that we shall be cared for? You may call your way of thinking prudence. I call it sinful wortdliness, Sir." When my life-partner speaks in a certain strain, I know that remonstrance is useless and argument unavailing, and I generally resort to cowardly subterfuges, and sneak out of the conversation by a pun, a side joke, or some other flippancy. Besides, in this case, though I argue against my wife, my sympathy is on her side. I know Mr. Philip is imprudent and headstrong, but I should like him to succeed and be happy. I own he is a scapegrace, but I wish him well.
So, just as the diligence of Laffitte and Caillard is clearing out of Boulogne town, the conductor causes the carriage to stop, and a young fellow has mounted up on the roof in a twinkling; and the postillion says, "Hi!" to his horses, and away those squealing grays go clattering. And a young lady, happening to look out of one of the windows of the interieur, has perfectly recognized the young gentleman who leaped up to the roof so nimbly; and the two boys who were in the rotonde would have recognized the gentleman, but that they were already eating the sandwiches which my wife had provided. And so the diligence goes on until it reaches that hill where the girls used to come and offer to sell you apples; and some of the passengers descend and walk, and the tall young man on the roof jumps down, and approaches the party in the interior, and a young lady cries out, "La!" and her mamma looks impenetrably grave, and not in the least surprised; and her father gives a wink of one eye, and says, "It's him, is it, by George!" and the two boys coming out of the rotonde, their mouths full of sandwich, cry out, "Hullo! It's Mr. Firmin."
"How do you do, ladies?" he says, blushing as red as an apple, and his heart thumping— but that may be from walking up hill. And he puts a hand toward the carriage-window, and a little hand comes out and lights on his. And Mrs. General Baynes, who is reading a religious work, looks up and says, "Oh! how do you do, Mr. Firmin?" And this is the remarkable dialogue that takes place. It is not very witty; but Philip's tones sends a rapture into one young heart; and when he is absent, and has climbed up to his place in the cabriolet, the kick of his boots on the roof gives the said young heart inexpressible comfort and consolation. Shine stars and moon. Shriek gray horses through the calm night. Snore sweetly, papa and mamma, in your corners, with your pocket-handkerchiefs tied round your old fronts! I suppose, under all the stars of heaven, there is nobody more happy than that child in that carriage—that wakeful girl, in sweet maiden meditation—who has given her heart to the keeping of the champion who is so near her. Has he not been always their champion and preserver? Don't they owe to his generosity every thing in life? One of the little sisters wakes wildly, and cries in the night, and Charlotte takes the child into her arms and soothes her. "Hush, dear! He's there—he's there," she whispers, as she bends over the child. Nothing wrong can happen with him there, she feels. If the robbers were to spring out from yonder dark pines, why. he would jump down, and they would all fly before him! The carriage rolls on through sleeping villages, and as the old team retires all in a halo of smoke, and the fresh horses come clattering up to their pole, Charlotte sees a well-known white face in the gleam of the carriage lanterns. Through the long avenues, the great vehicle rolls on its course. The dawn peers over the poplars: the stars quiver out of sight: the sun is up in the sky, and the heaven is all in a flame. The night is over—the night of nights. In all the round world, whether lighted by stars or sunshine, there were not two people more happy than these had been.
A very short time afterward, at the end of October, our own little sea-side sojourn came to an end. That astounding bill for broken glass, chairs, crockery, was paid. The London steamer takes us all on board on a beautiful, sunny autumn evening, and lands us at the Customhouse Quay in the midst of a deep, dun fog, through which our cabs have to work their way over greasy pavements, and bearing two loads of silent and terrified children. Ah, that return, if but after a fortnight's absence and holiday I Oh, that heap of letters lying in a ghastly pile, and yet so clearly visible in the dim twilight of master's study! We cheerfully breakfast by candle-light for the first two days after my arrival at home, and I have the pleasure of cutting a part of my chin off because it is too dark to shave at nine o'clock in the morning.
My wife can't be so unfeeling as to laugh and be merry because I have met with an accident which temporarily disfigures me? If the dun fog makes her jocular, she has a very queer sense of humor. She has a letter before her, over which she is perfectly radiant. When she is especially pleased I can sec by her face and a particular animation and affectionateness toward the rest of the family. On this present morning her face beams out of the fog-clouds. The room is illuminated by it, and perhaps by the two candles which are placed one on either side of the urn. The fire crackles, and flames, and spits most cheerfully; and the sky without, which is of the hue of brown paper, seems to set off the brightness of the little interior scene.
"A letter from Charlotte, papa!" cries one little girl, with an air of consequence. "And a letter from uncle Philip, papa!" cries another; "and they like Paris so much," continues the little reporter.
"And there, Sir, didn't I tell you?" cries the lady, handing me over a letter.
"Mamma always told you so," echoes the child, with an important nod of the head; "and I shouldn't be surprised if he were to be ecry rich, should you, mamma?" continues this arithmetician.
I would not put Miss Charlotte's letter into print if I could, for do you know that little per
son's grammar was frequently incorrect; there were three or four words spelled wrongly; and the letter was so scored and marked with dashes under every other word, that it is clear to me her education had been neglected; and as I am very fond of her, I do not wish to make fun of her. And I can't print Mr. Philip's letter, for I haven't kept it. Of what use keeping letters? I say, Burn, burn, burn. No heart-pangs. No reproaches. No yesterday. Was it happy, or miserable? To think of it is always melancholy. Go to! I dare say it is the thought of that fog which is making this sentence so dismal. Meanwhile there is Madam Laura's face smiling out of the darkness, as pleased as may be; and no wonder, she is always happy when her friends are so.
Charlotte's letter contained a full account of the settlement of the Baynes family at Madame Smolensk's boarding-house, where they appear to have been really comfortable, and to have lived at a very cheap rate. As for Mr. Philip, he made his way to a crib, to which his artist friends had recommended him, on the Faubourg St. Germain side of the water—the Hotel Poussin, in the street of that name, which lies, you know, between the Mazarin Library and the Muse'e des Beaux Arts. In former days my gentleman had lived in state and bounty in the English hotels and quarter. Now he found himself very handsomely lodged for thirty francs per month, and with five or six pounds, he has repeatedly said since, he could carry through the month very comfortably. I don't say, my young traveler, that you can be so lucky nowadays. Are we not telling a story of twenty years ago? Ay marry. Ere steam-coaches had begun to scream on French rails; and when Louis Philippe was king.
As soon as Mr. Philip Firmin is ruined he must needs fall in love. In order to be near the beloved object, he must needs follow her to Paris, and give up his promised studies for the bar at home; where, to do him justice, I believe the fellow would never have done any good. And he has not been in Paris a fortnight when that fantastic jade Fortune, who had seemed to flyaway from him, gives him a smiling look of recognition, as if to say, "Young gentleman, I have not quite done with you."
The good fortune was not much. Do not suppose that Philip suddenly drew a twenty-thousand pound prize in a lottery. But, being in much want of money, he suddenly found himself enabled to earn some in a way pretty easy to himself.
In the first place, Philip found his friends Mr. and Mrs. Mugford in a bewildered state in the midst of Paris, in which city Mugford would never consent to have a laquais de place, being firmly convinced to the day of his death that he knew the French language quite sufficiently for all purposes of conversation. Philip, who had often visited Paris before, came to the aid of his friends in a two-franc dining-house, which he frequented for economy's sake; and they, because they thought the banquet there provided not only cheap but most magnificent and satisfactory. He interpreted for them, and rescued them from their perplexity, whatever it was. He treated them handsomely to caffy on the bullyvard, as Mugford said on returning home and in recounting the adventure to me. "He can't forget that he has been a swell; and he does do things like a gentleman, that Firmin does. He came back with us to our hotel— Meurice's," said Mr. Mugford, "and who should drive into the yard and step out of his carriage but Lord Ringwood—you know Lord Ringwood; every body knows him. As he gets out of his carriage—1 What! is that you, Philip?' says his lordship, giving the young fellow his hand. 'Come and breakfast with me to-morrow morning.' And away he goes most friendly.-'
How came it to pass that Lord Ringwood, whose iustinct of self-preservation was strong— who, I fear, was rather a selfish nobleman—and who, of late, as we have heard, had given orders to refuse Mr. Philip entrance at his door—should all of a sudden turn round and greet the young man with cordiality? In the first place, Philip had never troubled his lordship's knocker at all; and second, as luck would have it, on this very day of their meeting his lordship had been to dine with that well-known Parisian resident and bon vivant, my Lord Viscount Trim, who had been governor of the Sago Islands when Colonel Baynes was there with his regiment, the gallant 100th. And the general and his old West India governor meeting at chureh, my Lord Trim straightway asked General Baynes to dinner, where Lord Ringwood was present, along with other distinguished company, whom at present we need not particularize. Now it has been said that Philip Ringwood, my lord's brother, and Captain Baynes, in early youth, had been close friends, and that the colonel had died in the captain's arms. Lord Ringwood, who had an excellent memory when he chose to use it, was pleased on this occasion to remember General Baynes and his intimacy with his brother in old days. And of those old times they talked; the general waxing more eloquent, I suppose, than his wont over Lord Trim's excellent wine. And in the course of conversation Philip was named, and the general, warm with drink, poured out a most enthusiastic eulogium on his young friend, and mentioned how noble and self-denying Philip's conduct had been in his own case. And perhaps Lord Ringwood was pleased at hearing these praises of his brother's grandson; and perhaps he thought of old times, when he had a heart, and ho and his brother loved each other. And though he might think Philip Firmin an absurd young blockhead for giving up any claims which he might have on General Baynes, at any rate I have no doubt his lordship thought, "This boy is not likely to come begging money from me!" Hence, when he drove back to his hotel on the very night after this dinner, and in the court-yard saw that Philip Firmin, his brother's grandson, the heart of the old noble
man was smitten with a kindly sentiment, and he bade Philip to come and see him.
I have described some of Philip's oddities, and among these was a very remarkable change in his appearance, which ensued very speedily after his ruin. I know that the greater number of story readers are young, and those who are ever so old remember that their own young days occurred but a very, very short while ago. Don't you remember, most potent, grave, and reverend senior, when you were a junior, and actually rather pleased with new clothes? Does a new coat or a waistcoat cause you any pleasure now? To a well-constituted middle-aged gentleman, I rather trust a smart new suit causes a sensation of uneasiness—not from the tightness of the fit. which may be a reason—but from the gloss and
splendor. When my late kind friend, Mrs. ,
gave me the emerald tabinet waistcoat, with the gold shamrocks, I wore it once to go to Richmond to dine with her; but I buttoned myself so closely in an upper coat that I am sure nobody in the omnibus saw what a painted vest I had on. Gold sprigs and emerald tabinet, what a gorgeous raiment! It has formed for ten years the chief ornament of my wardrobe; and though I have never dared to wear it since, I always think with a secret pleasure of possessing that treasure. Do women, when they are sixty, like handsome and fashionable attire, and a youthful appearance? Look at Lady Jezebel's blushing check, her raven hair, her splendid garments! But this disquisition may be carried to too great a length. I want to note a fact which has occurred not seldom in my experience—that men who have been great dandies will often and suddenly give up their long-accustomed splendor of dress, and walk about, most happy and contented, with the shabbiest of coats and hats. No. The majority of men are not vain about their dress. For instance, within a very few years men used to have pretty feet. See in what a resolute way they have kicked their pretty boots off almost to a man, and wear great, thick, formless, comfortable walking boots, of shape scarcely more graceful than a tub!
When Philip Firmin first came on the town there were dandies still; there were da/izling waistcoats of velvet and brocade, and tall stocks with cataracts of satin; there were pius, studs, neck-chaius, I know not what fantastic splendors of youth. His varnished boots grew upon forests of trees. He had a most resplendent silver-gilt dressing-case presented to him by his father (for which, it is true, the doctor neglected to pay, leaving that duty to his son). "It is a mere ceremony," said the worthy doctor, "a cumbrous thing you may fancy at first; but take it about with you. It looks well on a man's dressing-table at a country house. It poses a man, you understand. I have known women come in and peep at it. A trifle you may say. my boy; but what is the use of flinging any chance in life away?" Now, when misfortune c ame, young Philip flung away all these magnificent follies. He wrapped himself virtute sua; RICHARD
and I am bound to say a more queer-looking fellow than friend Philip seldom walked the pavement of London or Paris. He could not wear the nap off all his coats, or rub his elbows into rags in six months; but, as he would say of himself with much simplicity, "I do think I run to seed more quickly than any fellow I ever knew. All my socks in holes, Mrs. Pendennis; all my shirt-buttons gone, I give you my word. I don't know how the things hold together, and why they don't tumble to pieces. I suspect I must have a bad laundress." Suspect! My children used to laugh and crow as they sewed buttons on to him. As for the Little Sister, she broke into his apartments in his absence, and said that it turned her hair gray to see the state of his poor wardrobe. I believe that Mrs. Brandon put in surreptitious linen into his drawers. He did not know. He wore the shirts in a contented spirit. The glossy boots began to crack and then to burst, and Philip wore them with perfect equanimity. Where were the beautiful lavender and lemon gloves of last year? His great naked hands (with which he gesticulates so grandly) were as brown as an Indian's now. We had liked him heartily in his days of splendor; we loved him now in his threadbare suit.
I can fancy the young man striding into the room where his lordship's guests were assembled. In the presence of great or small, Philip has always been entirely unconcerned, and he is one of the half-dozen men I have seen in my life upon whom rank made no impression. It appears that, on occasion of this breakfast, there were one or two dandies present who were aghast at Philip's freedom of behavior. He engaged in conversation with a famous French statesman; contradicted him with much energy in his own language; and when the statesman asked whether monsieur was membre du Parlement? Philip burst into one of his roars of laughter, which almost breaks the glasses on a table, and said, "Je suisjournaliste, monsieur, a vos ordres!" Young Timbury of the embassy was aghast at Philip's insolence; and Dr. Botts, his lordship's traveling physician, looked at him with a terrified face. A bottle of claret was brought, which almost all the gentlemen present began to swallow, until Philip, tasting his glass, called out, "Faugh. It's corked!" "So it is, and very badly corked," growls my lord, with one of his usual oaths. "Why didn't some of you fellows speak? Do you like corked wine?" There were gallant fellows round that table who would have drunk corked black dose, had his lordship professed to like senna. The old host was tickled and amused. "Your mother was a quiet soul, and your father used to bow like a dancing-master. You ain't much like him. I dine at home most days. Leave word in the morning with my people, and come when you like, Philip," he growled. A part of this news Philip narrated to us in his letter, and other part was given verbally by Mr. and Mrs. Mugford on their return to London. "I tell you, Sir," says Mugford, "he has been taken by the hand by some of the tipVol. XXHL—No. 136.—M M
PORSON. 537top people, and I have booked him at three guineas a week for a letter to the Pall Mall Gazette." And this was the cause of my wife's exultation and triumphant "Didn't I tell you?" Philip's foot was on the ladder; and who so capable of mounting to the top? When happiness and a fond and lovely girl were waiting for him there, would ho lose heart, spare exertion, or be afraid to climb? He had no truer well-wisher than myself, and no friend who liked him better, though, I dare say, many admired him much more than I did. But these were women for the most part; and women become so absurdly unjust and partial to persons whom they love, when these latter are in misfortune, that I am surprised Mr. Philip did not quite lose his head in his poverty, with such fond flatterers and syeophants round him. Would you grudge him the consolation to be had from these sweet uses of adversity? Many a heart would be hardened but for the memory of past griefs; when eyes, now averted, perhaps, were full of sympathy, and hands, now cold, were eager to soothe and succor.
PORSON, Sir, is the first Greek scholar in England: we all yield to him. Burney is the third. Who the second is, I leave you to guess."—Such was the oracular response of old Sam Parr, the sage of Hatton, so famous in his day for ponderous learning, tobacco-smoking, Whiggery, and shaggy eyebrows. Porson's claim to the chief place in this classical triad is conceded by all. Of Burney, however, and his "metrical conundrums," as Butler, of Shrewsbury, used to style them, and whom Lachmann, in his work on choral measures, called, not very politely, "Summum litteratas Britaunias dedecus," we must be allowed to entertain very serious doubts. As to the second niche in this temple of fame, which old "Dr. Bellenden" (so Porson nicknamed him) evidently reserved for himself, there is no great danger of its ever being filled by any bust of his. Posterity will judge him by his own Pindaric motto, and " the days that are left to come will prove," in his case at least, "the wisest witnesses."
And so Porson has at last found a regular biographer.* More fortunate in this respect than Bentley, he has had to wait only fifty-three years, while the latter remained unhonored by any regular and conuected occount of his labors for very nearly a century. Our cousins across the water, with their splendidly-endowed universities, and all the other appliances of scholarship, appear to us rather slow in writing the biographies of some of their eminent linguists, and, even when these are at length written, we somehow or other think that their authors might have shown a little more ability. Monk's "Life of Bentley," for instance, is certainly rather prosy;