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dreadfully when it fell into the pit)—she seized the flowers and pressed them to her swelling heart—&c. &c.—in a word—we refer the reader to page 49. Twinkling in her breast poor old Pen saw a locket which he had bought of Mr. Nathan in High Street with the last shilling he was worth, and a sovereign borrowed from Smirke.
"Black-Eyed Susan" followed, at which sweet story our gentle-hearted friends were exceedingly charmed and affected: and in which Susan, with a russet gown and a pink ribbon in her cap, looked to the full as lovely as Ophelia. Bingley was great in William. Goll, as the Admiral, looked like the figure-head of a seventy-four; and Garbetts, as Captain Boldweather, a miscreant who forms a plan for carrying off Black-Eyed Susan, and waving an immense cocked hat, says, "Come what may, he will be the ruin of her"—all these performed their parts with their accustomed talent; and it was with a sincere regret that all our friends saw the curtain drop down and end that pretty and tender story.
If Pen had been alone with his mother in the carriage as they went home, he would have told her all that night; but he sate on the box in the moonshine smoking a cigar by the side of Smirke, who warmed himself with a comforter. Mr. Foker's tandem and lamps whirled by the sober old Clavering posters, as they were a couple of miles on their road home, and Mr. Spavin saluted Mrs. Pendennis's carriage with some considerable variations of Rule Britannia on the key-bugle.
It happened two days after the above gaieties that the Dean of Chatteris entertained a few select clerical friends at dinner at his Deanery House. That they drank uncommonly good port wine, and abused the Bishop over their dessert, are very likely matters: but with such we have nothing at present to do. Our friend Doctor Portman, of Clavering, was one of the Dean's guests, and being a gallant man, and seeing, from his place at the mahogany, the Dean's lady walking up and down the grass, with her children sporting around her, and her pink parasol over her lovely head—the Doctor stept out of the French windows of the dining-room into the lawn, which skirts that apartment, and left the other white neckcloths to gird at my Lord Bishop. Then the Doctor went up and offered Mrs. Dean his arm, and they sauntered over the ancient velvet lawn, which had been mowed and rolled for immemorial Deans, in that easy, quiet, comfortable manner, in which people of middle age and good temper walk after a good dinner, in a calm golden summer evening, when the sun has but just sunk behind the enormous cathedral towers, and the sickle-shaped moon is growing every instant brighter in the heavens.
Now at the end of the Dean's garden, there is, as we have stated, Mrs. Creed's house, and the windows of the first-floor room were open to admit the pleasant summer air. A young lady of six-and-twenty, whose eyes were perfectly wide open, and a luckless boy of eighteen, blind with love and infatuation, were in that chamber together; in which persons, as we have before seen them in the same place, the reader will have no difficulty in recognising Mr. Arthur Pendennis and Miss Costigan.
The poor boy had taken the plunge. Trembling with passionate emotion, his heart beating and throbbing fiercely, tears rushing forth in spite of him, his voice almost choking with feeling, poor Pen had said those words which he could withhold no more, and flung himself and his whole store of love, and admiration, and ardour, at the feet of this mature beauty. Is he the first who has done so? Have none before or after him staked all their treasure of life, as a savage does his land and possessions against a draught of the fair-skins' fire-water, or a couple of bauble eyes?
"Does your mother know of this, Arthur :2" said Miss Fotheringay, slowly. He seized her hand madly and kissed it a thousand times. She did not withdraw it. "Does the old lady know it?" Miss Costigan thought to herself; "well, perhaps she may," and then she remembered what a handsome diamond cross Mrs. Pendennis had on the night of the play, and thought, "sure 'twill go in the family."
"Calm yourself, dear Arthur," she said, in her low rich voice, and smiled sweetly and gravely upon him. Then with her disengaged hand, she put the hair lightly off his throbbing forehead. He was in such a rapture and whirl of happiness that he could hardly speak. At last he gasped out, "My