« ZurückWeiter »
biting his nails.
“That Wenham is as dull a quack as ever quacked : and you see the carriage in which he drove to dinner. Faith, it'll be a long time before Mrs. Shandon will take a drive in her own chariot. God help her, poor thing!" And Pen went away from his chief, after their little dispute and colloquy, pointing his own moral to the Captain's tale, and thinking to himself, “Behold this man, stored with genius, wit, learning, and a hundred good natural gifts : see how he has wrecked them, by paltering with his honesty, and forgetting to respect himself. Wilt thou remember thyself, O Pen? thou art conceited enough! Wilt thou sell thy honour for a bottle? No, by heaven's grace, we will be honest, whatever befalls, and our mouths shall only speak the truth when they open.”
A punishment, or, at least, a trial, was in store for Mr. Pen. In the very next Number of the Pall Mall Gazette, Warrington read out, with roars of laughter, an article which by no means amused Arthur Pendennis, who was himself at work with a criticism for the next week's Number of the same journal; and in which the "Spring Annual" was ferociously maltreated by some unknown writer. The person of all most cruelly mauled was Pen himself. His verses had not appeared with his own name in the "Spring Annual,” but under an assumed signature. As he had refused to review the book, Shandon had handed it over to Mr. Bludyer, with directions to that author to dispose of it. And he had done so effectually. Mr. Bludyer, who was a man of very considerable talent, and of a race which, I believe, is quite extinct in the press of our time, had a certain notoriety in his profession, and reputation for savage humour. He smashed and trampled down the poor spring flowers with no more mercy than a bull would have on a parterre; and having cut up the volume to his heart's content, went and sold it at a bookstall, and purchased a pint of brandy with the proceeds of the volume.