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"If Lady Rockminster asks you herself, will you listen to her?" Pynsent cried, eagerly.
"No," Laura said. "I beg you never to speak of this any more, I must go away if you do." — And with this she left him.
Pynsent never asked for Lady Rockminster's intercession: he knew how vain it was to look for that: and he never spoke again on that subject to Laura or to any person.
When at length the famous novel appeared, it not only met with applause from more impartial critics than Mrs. Pendennis, but, luckily for Pen, it suited the taste of the public, and obtained a quick and considerable popularity. Before two months were over, Pen had the satisfaction and surprise of seeing the second edition of "Walter Lorraine" advertised in the newspapers^ and enjoyed the pleasure of reading and sending home the critiques of various literary journals and reviewers upon his book. Their censure did not much affect him; for the good-natured young man was disposed to accept with considerable humility the dispraise of others. Nor did their praise elate him overmuch: for, like most honest persons, he had his own opinion about his own performance, and when a critic praised him in the wrong place, he was hurt rather than pleased by the compliment. But if a review of his work was very laudatory, it was a great pleasure to him to send it home to his mother at Fairoaks, and to think of the joy which it would give there. There are some natures, and perhaps, as we have said, Pendennis's was one, which are improved and softened by prosperity and kindness, as there are men of other dispositions, who become arrogant and graceless under good fortune. Happy he who can endure one or the other with modesty and good-humor! Lucky he who has been educated to bear his fate, whatsoever it may be, by an early example of uprightness, and a childish training in honor! there is a ceaseless din and life in these courts, ont of 'which you pass into the tranquil, old-fashioned quadrangle of Shepherd's Inn. In a mangy little grassplat in the centre rises up the statue of Shepherd, defended by iron-railings from the assaults of boys. The Hall of the Inn, on which the founder's arms are painted, occupies one side of the square, the tall and ancient chambers are carried round other two sides, and over the central archway, which leads into Oldcastle Street, and so into the great London thoroughfare.
Bred rip, like a bailiff or a shabby attorney, about the purlieus of the Inns of Court, Shepherd's Inn is always to be found in the close neighborhood of Lincoln's Inn Fields, and the Temple. Somewhere behind the black gables and smutty chimney-stacks of Wych Street, Holywell Street, Chancery Lane, the quadrangle lies, hidden from the outer world; and it is approached by curious passages and ambiguous smoky alleys, on which the sun has forgotten to shine. Slopsellers, brandy-ball and hard-bake venders, purveyors of theatrical prints for youth, dealers in dingy furniture, and bedding suggestive of anything but sleep, line the narrow walls and dark casements with their wares. The doors are many-belled: and crowds of dirty children form endless groups about the steps: or around the shellfish dealers' trays in these courts; whereof the damp pavements resound with pattens, and are drabbled with a never-failing mud. Ballad-singers come and chant here, in deadly guttural tones, satirical songs against the Whig administration, against the bishops and dignified clergy, against the German relatives of an august royal family: Punch sets up his theatre, sure of an audience, and occasionally of a halfpenny from the swarming occupants of the houses: women scream after their children for loitering in the gutter, or, worse still, against the husband who comes reeling from the gin-shop; —■
The Inn may have been occupied by lawyers once: but the laity have long since been admitted into its precincts, and I do not know that any of the principal legal firms have their chambers here. The offices of the Polwheedle and Tredyddlum Copper Mines occupy one set of the ground-floor chambers; the Registry of Patent Inventions and Union of Genius and Capital Company, another; — the only gentleman whose name figures here, and in the "Law List," is Mr. Campion, who wears mustachios, and who comes in his cab twice or thrice in a week; and whose West End offices are in Curzon Street, May Fair, where Mrs. Campion entertains the nobility and gentry /to whom her husband lends money. There, and on his glazed cards, he is Mr. Somerset Campion; here he is Campion & Co.; and the same tuft which ornaments his chin sprouts from the under lip of the rest of the firm. It is splendid to see his cab-horse harness blazing with heraldic bearings, as the vehicle stops at the door leading to his chambers. The horse flings froth off his nostrils as he chafes and tosses under the shining bit. The reins and the breeches of the groom are glittering white, — the lustre of that equipage makes a sunshine in that shady place.
Our old friend, Captain Costigan, has examined Campion's cab and horse many an afternoon, as he trailed about the court in his carpet slippers and dressing-gown, with his 'old hat cocked over his eye. He suns himself there after his breakfast when^he day is suitable; and goes and pays a visit to the porter's lodge, where he pats the heads of the children, aud talks to Mrs. Bolton about the thayatres and me daughther Leedy Mirabel. Mrs. Bolton was herself in the profession once, and danced at the Wells in early days as the thirteenth of Mr. Serle's forty pupils.
Costigan lives in the third floor at No. 4, in the rooms which were Mr. Podmore's, and whose name is still on the door — (somebody else's name, by the way, is on almost all the doors in Shepherd's Inn). When Charley Podmore (the pleasing tenor singer, T. R. D. L., and at the Back-Kitchen Concert Rooms) married, and went to live at Lambeth, he ceded his chambers to Mr. Bows and Captain Costigan, who occupy them in common now, and you may often hear the tones of Mr. Bows's piano of fine days when the windows are open, and when he is practising for amusement, or for the instruction of a theatrical pupil, of whom he has one or two. Fanny Bolton is one, the portress's daughter, who has heard tell of her mother's theatrical glories, which she longs to emulate. She has a good voice and a pretty face and figure for the stage; and she prepares the rooms and makes the beds and breakfasts for Messrs. Costigan and Bows, in return for which the latter instructs her in music and singing. But for his unfortunate propensity to liquor (and in that excess she supposes that all men of fashion indulge), she thinks the Captain the finest gentleman in the world, and believes