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bore, a shrewd old gentleman, who drank his wine with great regularity, said, “that seemed pretty clear.” Then the Colonel seeing Pen's honest face, regarded it for a while with as much steadiness as became his condition; and said, “I know you, too, young fellow. I remember, you. Baymouth ball, by jingo. Wanted to fight the Frenchman. I remember you; ” and he laughed, and he squared with his fists, and seemed hugely amused in the drunken depths of his mind, as these recollections passed, or, rather, reeled across it. “Mr. Pendennis, you remember Colonel Altamont, at Baymouth ?” Strong said: upon which Pen, bowing rather stiffly, said, “he had the pleasure of remembering that circumstance perfectly.” “What’s his name 7” cried the Colonel. Strong named Mr. Pendennis again. “Pendennis l–Pendennis be hanged!” Altamont roared out to the surprise of every one, and thumping with his fist on the table. “My name is also Pendennis, sir,” said the Major, whose dignity was exceedingly mortified by the evening's events—that he, Major Pendennis, should have been asked to such a party, and that a drunken man should have been introduced to it. “My name is Pendennis, and I will be obliged to you not to curse it too loudly.” The tipsy man turned round to look at him, and as he looked, it appeared as if Colonel Altamont suddenly grew sober. He put his hand across his forehead, and in doing so, displaced somewhat the black wig which he wore; and his eyes stared fiercely at the Major, who, in his turn, like a resolute old warrior as he was, looked at his opponent very keenly and steadily. At the end of the mutual inspection, Alta
mont began to button up his brass-buttoned coat, and rising up from his chair suddenly, and to the company's astonishment, reeled towards the door, and issued from it, followed by Strong: all that the latter heard him utter was—“Captain Beak! Captain Beak, by jingo!” There had not passed above a quarter of an hour from his strange appearance to his equally sudden departure. The two young men and the Baronet's other guest wondered at the scene, and could find no explanation for it. Clavering seemed exceedingly pale and agitated, and turned with looks of almost terror towards Major Pendennis. The latter had been eying his host keenly for a minute or two. “Do you know him 7” asked Sir Francis of the Major. “I am sure I have seen the fellow,” the Major replied, looking as if he, too, was puzzled. “Yes, I have it. He was a deserter from the Horse Artillery, who got into the Nawaub's service. I remember his face quite well.” “Oh,” said Clavering, with a sigh which indicated immense relief of mind, and the Major looked at him with a twinkle of his sharp old eyes. The cab which Strong had desired to be called, drove away with the Chevalier and Colonel Altamont; coffee was brought to the remaining gentlemen, and they went up-stairs to the ladies in the drawing-room, Foker declaring confidentially to Pen that “this was the rummest go he ever saw,” which decision Pen said, laughing, “showed great discrimination on Mr. Foker's part.” Then, according to her promise, Miss Amory made music for the young men. Foker was enraptured with her performance, and kindly joined in the airs which she sang, when he happened to be acquainted with them. Pen affected to talk aside with others of the party, but Blanche brought him quickly to the piano, by singing some of his own words, those which we have given in a previous number, indeed, and which the Sylphide had herself, she said, set to music. I don’t know whether the air was hers, or how much of it was arranged for her by Signor Twankidillo, from whom she took lessons: but good or bad, original or otherwise, it delighted Mr. Pen, who remained by her side, and turned the leaves now for her most assiduously—“Gad! how I wish I could write verses like you, Pen,” Foker sighed afterwards to his companion. “If I could do 'em, wouldn't I, that’s all? But I never was a dab at writing you see, and I’m sorry I was so idle when I was at school.” No mention was made before the ladies of the curious little scene which had been transacted below stairs; although Pen was just on the point of describing it to Miss Amory, when that young lady inquired for Captain Strong, who she wished should join her in a duet. But chancing to look up towards Sir Francis Clavering, Arthur saw a peculiar expression of alarm in the Baronet's ordinarily vacuous face, and discreetly held his tongue. It was rather a dull evening. Welbore went to sleep, as he always did at music and after dinner: nor did Major Pendennis entertain the ladies with copious anecdotes and endless little scandalous stories, as his wont was, but sat silent for the most part, and appeared to be listening to the music, and watching the fair young performer. The hour of departure having arrived, the Major rose, regretting that so delightful an evening should have passed away so quickly, and addressed a particularly fine compliment to Miss Amory, upon her splendid talents as a singer. “Your daughter, Lady Clavering,” he said to that lady, “is a perfect nightingale—a perfect nightingale, begad I have scarcely ever heard anything equal to her, and her pronunciation of every language—begad, of every language — seems to me to be perfect; and the best houses in London must open before a young lady who has such talents, and, allow an old fellow to say, Miss Amory, such a face.” Blanche was as much astonished by these compli. ments as Pen was, to whom his uncle, a little time since, had been speaking in very disparaging terms of the Sylph. The Major and the two young men walked home together, after Mr. Foker had placed his mother in her carriage, and procured a light for an enormous cigar. The young gentleman's company or his tobacco did not appear to be agreeable to Major Pendennis, who eyed him askance several times, and with a look which plainly indicated that he wished Mr. Foker would take his leave; but Foker hung on resolutely to the uncle and nephew, even until they came to the former's door in Bury Street, where the Major wished the lads good night. “And I say, Pen,” he said in a confidential whisper, calling his nephew back, “mind you make a point of calling in Grosvenor Place to-morrow. They’ve been uncommonly civil; mons'ously civil and kind.” Pen promised and wondered, and the Major's door having been closed upon him by Morgan, Foker took Pen's arm, and walked with him for some time silently puffing his cigar. At last, when they had reached Charing Cross on Arthur's way home to the Temple, Harry Foker relieved himself, and broke out with that eulogium upon poetry, and those regrets regarding a misspent youth which have just been mentioned. And all the way along the Strand, and up to the door of Pen's very staircase, in Lamb Court, Temple, young Harry Foker did not cease to speak about singing and Blanche Amory.