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and black satin small-clothes. My brother Erith never played as a young man, nor sate up late—he had no health for it; but my boy must do as everybody does, you know. Yes, and then he often goes to a place called the Back Kitchen, frequented by all the wits and authors, you know, whom one does not see in society, but whom it is a great privilege and pleasure for Harry to meet, and there he hears the questions of the day discussed; and my dear father often said that it was our duty to encourage literature, and he had hoped to see the late Dr. Johnson at Drummington, only Dr. Johnson died. Yes, and Mr. Sheridan came over, and drank a great deal of wine—everybody drank a great deal of wine in those days— and papa's wine-merchant's bill was ten times as much as Erith's is, who gets it as he wants it from Fortnum and Mason's, and doesn't keep any stock at all."
"That was an uncommon good dinner we had yesterday, ma'am," the artful Harry broke out. "Their clear soup's better than ours—Moufflet will put too much tarragon into everything. The supreme de volaiUe was very good—uncommon, and the sweets were better than Moufflet's sweets. Did you taste the plambiere, ma'am, and the maraschino jelly? Stunningly good that maraschino jelly!"
Lady Agnes expressed her agreement in these, as in almost all other sentiments of her son, who continued the artful conversation, saying,
"Very handsome house that of the Claverings. Furniture, I should say, got up regardless of expense. Magnificent display of plate, ma'am." The lady assented to all these propositions.
"Very nice people the Claverings."
"Hm !" said Lady Agnes.
"I know what you mean. Lady C. ain't distangy exactly, but she is very good-natured."
"Oh, very!" mamma said, who was herself one of the most good-natured of women.
"And Sir Francis, he don't talk much before ladies; but after dinner he comes out uncommon strong, ma'am—a highly agreeable, well-informed man. When will you ask them to dinner? Look out for an early day, ma'am;" and looking into Lady Agnes's pocket-book, he chose a day only a fortnight hence (an age that fortnight seemed to the young gentleman), when the Claverings were to be invited to Grosvenor Street.
The obedient Lady Agnes wrote the required invitation. She was accustomed to do so without consulting her husband, who had his own society and habits, and who left his wife to see her own friends alone. Harry looked at the card: but there was an omission in the invitation which did not please him.
"You have not asked Miss Whatdyecallum—Miss Emery, Lady Clavering's daughter."
"Oh, that little creature!" Lady Agnes cried. "No, I think not, Harry."
"We must ask Miss Amory," Foker said, "I—I want to ask Pendennis; and—and he's very sweet upon her. Don't you think she sings very well, ma'am?"
"I thought her rather forward, and didn't listen to her singing. She only sang at you and Mr. Pendennis, it seemed to me. But I will ask her if you wish, Harry," and so Miss Amory's name was written on the card with her mother's.
This piece of diplomacy being triumphantly executed, Harry embraced his fond parent with the utmost affection, and retired to his own apartments, where he stretched himself on his ottoman, and lay brooding silently, sighing for the day which was to bring the fair Miss Amory under his paternal roof, and devising a hundred wild schemes for meeting her.
On his return from making the grand tour, Mr. Foker junior had brought with him a polyglot valet, who took the place of Stoopid, and condescended to wait at dinner, attired in shirt-fronts of worked muslin, with many gold studs and chains. This man, who was of no particular country, and spoke all languages indifferently ill, made himself useful to Mr. Harry in a variety of ways,—-read all the artless youth's correspondence, knew his favourite haunts, and the addresses of his acquaintance, and officiated at the private dinners which the young gentleman gave. As Harry lay upon his sofa after his interview with his mamma, robed in a wonderful dressing-gown, and puffing his pipe in gloomy silence, Anatole, too, must have remarked that something affected his master's spirits; though he did not betray any ill-bred sympathy with Harry's agitation of mind. When Harry began to dress himself in his out-of-door morning costume, he was very hard indeed to please, and particularly severe and snappish about his toilet: he tried, and cursed, pantaloons of many different stripes, checks, and colours: all the boots were villanously varnished; the shirts too " loud " in pattern. He scented his linen and person with peculiar richness this day; and what must have been the valet's astonishment, when, after some blushing and hesitation on Harry's part, the young gentleman asked, "I say, Anatole, when I engaged you, didn't you—hem —didn't you say that you could dress—hem—dress hair?" The valet said, "Yes, he could."
"Cherchy alors une paire de tongs,—et—curly moi un pew," Mr. Foker said, in an easy manner; and the valet, wondering whether his master was in love or was going masquerading, went in search of the articles,—first from the old butler who waited upon Mr. Foker senior, on whose bald pate the tongs would have scarcely found a hundred hairs to seize, and finally of the lady who had-the charge of the meek auburn fronts of the Lady Agnes. And the tongs being got, Monsieur Anatole twisted his young master's locks until he had made Harry's head as curly as a negro's; after which the youth dressed himself with the utmost care and splendour, and proceeded to sally out.
"At what dime sall I order de drag, sir, to be to Miss Pingney's door, sir?" the attendant whispered as his master was going forth.
"Confound her !—Put the dinner off—I can't go!" said Foker. "No, hang it—I must go. Poyntz and Eougemont, and ever so many more, are coming. The drag at Pelham Corner at six o'clock, Anatole."
The drag was not one of Mr. Foker's own equipages, but was hired from a livery stable for festive purposes; Foker, however, put his own carriage into requisition that morning, and for what purpose does the kind reader suppose? Why, to drive down to Lamb Court, Temple, taking Grosvenor Place by the way (which lies in the exact direction of the Temple from Grosvenor Street, as everybody knows), where he just had the pleasure of peeping upwards at Miss Amory's pink window curtains; having achieved which satisfactory feat, he drove off to Pen's chambers. Why did he want to see his dear friend Pen so much? Why did he yearn and long after him? and did it seem necessary to Foker's very existence that he should see Pen that morning, having parted with him in perfect health on the night previous? Pen had lived two years in London, and Foker had not paid half-adozen visits to his chambers. What sent him thither now in such a hurry?
What ?—If any young ladies read this page, I have only to inform them that when the same mishap befalls them, which now had for more than twelve hours befallen Harry Foker, people will grow interesting to them for whom they did not care sixpence on the day before; as on the other hand persons of whom they fancied themselves fond will be found to have become insipid and disagreeable. Then your dearest Eliza or Maria of the other day, to whom you wrote letters and sent locks of hair yards long, will on a sudden be as indifferent to you as your stupidest relation; whilst, on the contrary, about his relations you will begin to feel such a warm interest! such a loving desire to ingratiate yourself with his mamma! such a liking for that dear kind old man his father! If He is in the habit of visiting at any house, what advances you will make in order to visit there too! If He has a married sister, you will like to spend long mornings' with her. You will fatigue your servant by sending notes to her, for which there will be the most pressing occasion, twice or thrice in a day. You will cry if your mamma objects to your going too often to see His family. The only one of them you will dislike, is perhaps his younger brother, who is at home for the holidays, and who will persist in staying in the room when you come to see your dear new-found friend, his darling second sister. Something like this will happen to you, young ladies, or, at any rate, let us hope it may. Yes, you must go through the hot fits and the cold fits of that pretty fever. Your mothers, if they would acknowledge it, have passed through it before you were born, your dear papa being the object of the passion of course,—who could it be but he? And as you suffer it, so will your brothers, in their way, —and after their kind. More selfish than you: more eager and headstrong than you: they will rush on their destiny when the doomed charmer makes her appearance. Or, if they don't, and you don't, Heaven help you! As the gambler said of his dice, to love and win is the best thing, to love and lose is the next best. Now, then, if you ask why Henry Foker, Esquire, was in such a hurry to see Arthur Pendennis, and felt such a sudden value and esteem for him, there is no difficulty in saying it was because Pen had become really valuable in Mr. Foker's eyes: because if Pen was not the rose, he had yet been near that fragrant flower of love. Was not he in the habit of going to her house in London? Did he not live near her in the country?—know all about the enchantress? What, I wonder, would Lady Ann Milton, Mr. Foker's cousin and pretendue, have said, if her Ladyship had known all that was going on in the bosom of that funny little gentleman?
Alas! when Foker reached Lamb Court, leaving his carriage for the admiration of the little clerks who were lounging in the archway that leads thence into Flag Court, which leads into Upper Temple Lane, Warrington was in the chambers, but Pen was absent. Pen was gone to the printing-office to see his proofs. "Would Foker have a pipe, and should the laundress go to the Cock and get him some beer ?"—Warrington asked, remarking with a pleased surprise the splendid toilet of this scented and shiny-booted young aristocrat; but Foker had not the slightest wish for beer or tobacco: he had very important business: he rushed away to the Pall Mall Gazette office, still bent upon finding Pen. Pen had quitted that place. Foker wanted him that they might go together to call upon Lady Clavering. Foker went away disconsolate, and whiled away an hour or two vaguely at clubs: and when it was time to pay a visit, he thought it would be but decent and polite to drive to Grosvenor Place and leave a card upon Lady Clavering. He had not the courage to ask to see her