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tuous: he's adawr'd in the regiment: and he rides sixteen stone."
"A perfect champion," said the Major, laughing. "I have no doubt all the ladies admire him."
"He's very well, in spite of his weight, now he's young," said Milly; "but he's no conversation."
"He's best on horseback," Mr. Bows said; on which Milly replied, that the Baronet had ridden third in the steeple-chase on his horse Tareaways, and the Major began to comprehend that the young lady herself was not of a particular genius, and to wonder how she should be so stupid and act so well.
Costigan, with Irish hospitality, of course pressed refreshment upon his guest: and the Major, who was no more hungry than you are after a Lord Mayor's dinner, declared that he should like a biscuit and a glass of wine above all things, as he felt quite faint from long fasting—but he knew that to receive small kindnesses flatters the donors very much, and that people must needs grow well disposed towards you as they give you their hospitality.
"Some of the old Madara, Milly, love," Costigan said, winking to his child—and that lady, turning to her father a glance of intelligence, went out of the room, and down the stair, where she softly summoned her little emissary Master Tommy Creed: and giving him a piece of money, ordered him to go buy a pint of Madara wine at the Grapes, and sixpennyworth of sorted biscuits at the baker's, and to return in a hurry, when he might have two biscuits for himself.
Whilst Tommy Creed was gone on this errand, Miss Costigan sate below with Mrs. Creed, telling her landlady how Mr. Arthur Pendennis's uncle, the Major, was above stairs; a nice, soft-spoken old gentleman; that butter wouldn't melt in his mouth: and how Sir Derby had gone out of the room in a rage of jealousy, and thinking what must be done to pacify both of them.
"She keeps the keys of the cellar, Major," said Mr. Costigan, as the girl left the room.
"Upon my word you have a very beautiful butler," answered Pendennis, gallantly, "and I don't wonder at the young fellows raving about her. When we were of their age, Captain Costigan, I think plainer women would have done our business."
"Faith, and ye may say that, sir—and lucky is the man who gets her. Ask me friend Bob Bows here whether Miss Fotheringay's moind is not even shuparior to her person, and whether she does not possess a cultiveated intellect, a refoined understanding, and an emiable disposition?"
"Oh, of course," said Mr. Bows, rather drily. "Here comes Hebe blushing from the cellar. Don't you think it is time to go to rehearsal, Miss Hebe? You will be fined if you are late"—and he gave the young lady a look, which intimated that they had much better leave the room and the two elders together.
At this order Miss Hebe took up her bonnet and shawl, looking uncommonly pretty, good-humoured, and smiling: and Bows gathered up his roll of papers, and hobbled across the room for his hat and cane.
"Must you go?" said the Major. "Can't you give us a few minutes more, Miss Fotheringay? Before you leave us, permit an old fellow to shake you by the hand, and believe that I am proud to have had the honour of making your acquaintance, and am most sincerely anxious to be your friend."
Miss Fotheringay made a low curtsey at the conclusion of this gallant speech, and the Major followed her retreating steps to the door, where he squeezed her hand with the kindest and most paternal pressure. Bows was puzzled with this exhibition of cordiality: "The lad's relatives can't be really wanting to marry him to her," he thought—and so they departed.
"Now for it," thought Major Pendennis; and as for Mr. Costigan he profited instantaneously by his daughter's absence to drink up the rest of the wine; and tossed off one bumper after another of the Madeira from the Grapes, with an eager shaking hand. The Major came up to the table, and took up his glass and drained it with a jovial smack. If it had been Lord Steyne's particular, and not public-house Cape, he could not have appeared to relish it more.
"Capital Madeira, Captain Costigan," he said. "Where do you get it? I drink the health of that charming creature in a bumper. Faith, Captain, I don't wonder that the men are wild about her. I never saw such eyes in my life, or such a grand manner. I am sure she is as intellectual as she is beautiful; and I have no doubt she's as good as she is clever."
"A good girl, sir,—a good girl, sir," said the delighted father; "and I pledge a toast to her with all my heart. Shall I send to the—to the cellar for another pint? It's handy by. No? Well, indeed sir, ye may say she is a good girl, and the pride and glory of her father — honest old Jack Costigan. The man who gets her will have a jew'l to a wife, sir; and I drink his health, sir, and ye know who I mean, Major."
"I am not surprised at young or old falling in love with her," said the Major, "and frankly must tell you, that though I was very angry with my poor nephew Arthur, when I heard of the boy's passion—now I have seen the lady I can pardon him any extent of it. By George, I should like to enter for the race myself, if I weren't an old fellow and a poor one."
"And no better man, Major, I'm sure," cried Jack enraptured. "Your friendship, sir, delights me. Your admiration for my girl brings tears to me eyes—tears, sir—manlee tears—and when she leaves me humble home for your own more splendid mansion, I hope she'll keep a place for her poor old father, poor old Jack Costigan."—The Captain suited the action to the word, and his blood-shot eyes were suffused with water, as he addressed the Major.
"Your sentiments do you honour," the other said. "But, Captain Costigan, I can't help smiling at one thing you have just said."
"And what's that, sir?" asked Jack, who was at a too heroic and sentimental pitch to descend from it.
"You were speaking about our splendid mansion—my sister's house, I mean."
"I mane the park and mansion of Arthur Pendennis, Esquire, of Fairoaks Park, whom I hope to see a Mimber of Parliament for his native town of Clavering, when he is of ege to take that responsible stetion," cried the Captain with much dignity.
The Major smiled. "Fairoaks Park, my dear sir!" he said. "Do you know our history? We are of excessively ancient family certainly, but I began life with scarce enough money to purchase my commission, and my eldest brother was a country apothecary: who made every shilling he died possessed of out of his pestle and mortar."
"I have consented to waive that objection, sir," said Costigan majestically, "in consideration of the known respectability of your family."
"Curse your impudence," thought the Major; but he only smiled and bowed.
"The Costigans, too, have met with misfortunes; and our house of Castle Costigan is by no manes what it was. I have known very honest men apothecaries, sir, and there's some in Dublin that has had the honour of dining at the Lord Leftenant's teeble."
"You are very kind to give us the benefit of your charity," the Major continued: "but permit me to say that is not the question. You spoke just now of my little nephew as heir of Fairoaks Park, and I don't know what besides."
"Funded property, I've no doubt, Meejor, and something handsome eventually from yourself."
"My good sir, I tell you the boy is the son of a country apothecary," cried out Major Pendennis; "and that when he comes of age he won't have a shilling."
"Pooh, Major, you're laughing at me," said Mr. Costigan; "me young friend, I make no doubt, is heir to two thousand pounds a-year."
"Two thousand fiddlesticks! I beg your pardon, my dear sir; but has the boy been humbugging you ?—it is not his habit. Upon my word and honour, as a gentleman and an executor to my brother's will too, he left little more than five hundred a-year behind him."
"And with aconomy, a handsome sum of money too, sir," the Captain answered. "Faith, I've known a man drink his clar't, and drive his coach-and-four on five hundred a-year and strict aconomy, in Ireland, sir. We'll manage on it, sir—trust Jack Costigan for that."
"My dear Captain Costigan—I give you my word that my brother did not leave a shilling to his son Arthur."
"Are ye joking with me, Meejor Pendennis?" cried Jack Costigan. "Are ye thrifling with the feelings of a father and a gentleman?"
"I am telling you the honest truth," said Major Pendennis. "Every shilling my brother had, he left to his widow: with a partial reversion, it is true, to the boy. But she is a young woman, and may marry if he offends her—or she may outlive him, for she comes of an uncommonly long-lived family. And I ask you, as a gentleman and a man of the world, what allowance can my sister, Mrs. Pendennis, make to her son out of five hundred a-year, which is all her fortune—that shall enable him to maintain himself and your daughter in the rank befitting such an accomplished young lady?" ,
"Am I to understand, sir, that the young gentleman, your nephew, and whom I have fosthered and cherished as the son of me bosom, is an imposther who has been thrifling with the affections of me beloved child?" exclaimed the General, with an outbreak of wrath. "Have a care, sir, how you thrifle with the honour of John Costigan. If I thought any mortal man meant to do so, be heavens I'd have his blood, sir—were he old or young."
"Mr. Costigan!" cried out the Major.
"Mr. Costigan can protect his own and his daughter's honour, and will, sir," said the other. "Look at that chest of dthrawers, it contains heaps of letthers that that viper has addressed to that innocent child. There's promises there, sir, enough to fill a bandbox with; and when I have dragged the scoundthrel before the Courts of Law, and shown up his perjury and his dishonour, I have another remedy in yondther mahogany case, sir, which shall set me right, sir, with any individual—ye mark me words, Major Pendennis—with any individual who has counselled your nephew to insult a soldier and a gentleman. What? Me daughter to be jilted, and me gray hairs dishonoured by an apothecary's son! By the laws of Heaven, sir, I should like to see the man that shall do it."
"I am to understand then that you threaten in the first place to publish the letters of a boy of eighteen to a woman of eight-and-twenty: and afterwards to do me the honour of