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and riches, renown and pleasure, who came, wearyhearted, out of it . and said that all was vanity and vexation of spirit . Many a teacher of those whom we reverence, and who steps out of his carriage up to his carved cathedral place, shakes his lawn ruffles over the velvet cushion, and cries out that the whole struggle is an accursed one, and the works of the world are evil. Many a conscience-stricken mystic flies from it altogether, and shuts himself out from it within convent walls (real or spiritual), whence he can only look up to the sky, and contemplate the heaven out of which there is no rest, and no good.
"But the earth, where our feet are, is the work of the same Power as the immeasurable blue yonder, in which the future lies into which we would peer. Who ordered toil as the condition of life, ordered weariness, ordered sickness, ordered poverty, failure, success — to this man a foremost place, to the other a nameless struggle with the crowd — to that a shameful fall, or paralyzed limb, or sudden accident
— to each some work upon the ground he stands on, until he is laid beneath it." While they were talking, the dawn came shining through the wiudows of the room, and Pen threw them open to receive the fresh morning air. "Look, George," said he; "look and see the sun rise: he sees the laborer on his way a-field; the work-girl plying her poor needle; the lawyer at his desk, perhaps; the beauty smiling asleep upon her pillow of down; or the jaded reveller reeling to bed; or the fevered patient tossing on it; or the doctor watching by it, over the throes of the mother for the child that is to be born into the world;
— to be born and to take his part in the suffering and struggling, the tears and laughter, the crime, remorse, love, folly, sorrow, rest."
Miss Amory's Partners.
The noble Henry Foker, of whom we have lost sight for a few pages, has been in the meanwhile occupied, as we might suppose a man of his constancy would be, in the pursuit and indulgence of his allabsorbing passion of love.
He longed after her, and cursed the fate which separated him from her. When Lord Gravesend's family retired to the country (his lordship leaving his proxy with the venerable Lord Bagwig), Harry still remained lingering on in London, certainly not much to the sorrow of Lady Ann, to whom he was affianced, and who did not in the least miss him. Wherever Miss Amory went, this infatuated young fellow continued to follow her; and being aware that his engagement to his cousin was known in the world, he was forced to make a mystery of his passion, and confine it to his own breast, so that it was so pent in there and pressed down, that it is a wonder he did not explode some day with the stormy secret, and perish collapsed after the outburst.
There had been a grand entertainment at Gaunt House on one beautiful evening in June, and the next day's journals contained almost two columns of the names of the most closely printed nobility and gentry who had been honored with invitations to the ball. Among the guests were Sir Francis and Lady Clavering and Miss Amory, for whom the indefatigable Major Pendennis had procured an invitation, and our two young friends Arthur and Harry. Each exerted himself, and danced a great deal with Miss Blanche. As for the worthy Major, he assumed the charge of Lady Clavering, and took care to introduce her to that department of the mansion where her ladyship specially distinguished herself, namely, the refreshment-room, where, amongst pictures of Titian and Giorgione, and regal portraits of Vandyke and Reynolds, and enormous salvers of gold and silver, and pyramids of large flowers, and constellations of wax candles — in a manner perfectly regardless of expense, in a word — a supper was going on all night. Of how many creams, jellies, salads, peaches, white soups, grapes, pat^s, galantines, cups of tea, champagne, and so forth, Lady Clavering partook, it does not become us to say. How much the Major suffered as he followed the honest woman about, calling to the solemn male attendants and lovely servant-maids, and administering to Lady Clavering's various wants with admirable patience, nobody knows: — he never confessed. He never allowed his agony to appear on his countenance in the least; but with a constant kindness brought plate after plate to the Begum.
Mr. Wagg counted up all the dishes of which Lady Clavering partook as long as he could count (but as he partook very freely himself of champagne during the evening, his powers of calculation were not to be trusted at the close of the entertainment), and he recommended Mr. Honeyman, Lady Steyne's medical man, to look carefully after the Begum, and to call and get news of her ladyship the next day.
Sir Francis Clavering made his appearance, and skulked for a while about the magnificent rooms; but the company and the splendor which he met there were not to the Baronet's taste, and after tossing off a tumbler of wine or two at the buffet, he quitted Gaunt House for the neighborhood of Jermyn Street, where his friends Loder, Punter, little Moss Abrams, and Captain Skewball were assembled at the familiar green table. In the rattle of the box, and of their agreeable conversation, Sir Francis's spirits rose to their accustomed point of feeble hilarity.
Mr. Pynsent, who had asked Miss Amory to dance, came up on one occasion to claim her hand, but scowls of recognition having already passed between him and Mr. Arthur Pendennis in the dancing-room, Arthur suddenly rose up and claimed Miss Amory as his partner for the present dance, on which Mr. Pynsent, biting his lips and scowling yet more savagely, withdrew with a profound bow, saying that he gave up his claim. There are some men who are always falling in one's way in life. Pynsent and Pen had this view of each other; and regarded each other accordingly.
"What a confounded conceited provincial fool that is!" thought the one. "Because he has written a twopenny novel, his absurd head is turned, and a kicking would take his conceit out of him."
"What an impertinent idiot that man is!" remarked the other to his partner. "His soul is in Downing Street; his neckcloth is foolscap; his hair is sand; his legs are rulers; his vitals are tape and sealing-wax; he was a prig in his cradle; and never laughed since he was born, except three times at the same joke of his chief. I have the same liking for that man, Miss Amory, that I have for cold boiled veal." Upon which Blanche of course remarked that Mr. Pendennis was wicked, mechant, perfectly abomVol. x.—20
inable, and wondered what he would say when her back was turned.
"Say ! — Say that you have the most beautiful figure and the slimmest waist in the world, Blanche — Miss Amory I mean. I beg your pardon. Another turn; this music would make an alderman dance."
"And you have left off tumbling when you waltz now?" Blanche asked, archly looking up at her partner's face.
"One falls and one gets up again in life, Blanche; you know I used to call you so in old times, and it is the prettiest name in the world: besides, I have practised since then."
"And with a great number of partners, I 'm afraid," Blanche said, with a little sham sigh, and a shrug of the shoulders. And so in truth Mr. Fen had practised a good deal in this life; and had undoubtedly arrived at being able to dance better.
If Pendennis was impertinent in his talk, Foker, on the other hand, so bland and communicative on most occasions, was entirely mum and melancholy when he danced with Miss Amory. To clasp her slender waist was a rapture, to whirl round the room with her was a delirium; but to speak to her, what could he say that was worthy of her? What pearl of conversation could he bring that was fit for the acceptance of such a Queen of love and wit as Blanche? It was she who made the talk when she was in the company of this love-stricken partner. It was she who asked him how that dear little pony was, and looked at him and thanked him with such a tender kindness and regret, and refused the dear little pony with such a delicate sigh when he offered it. "I have nobody to ride with in London," she said. "Mamma is timid, and her figure is not pretty on horseback. Sir Francis never