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Bows accompanied charmingly on the piano, was sung but to a few admirers, who might choose to remain after the tremendous resurrectionist chant. The room was commonly emptied after that, or only left in possession of a very few and persevering votaries of pleasure.
Whilst Pen and his friend were sitting here together one night, or rather morning, two habitués of the house entered almost together. “ Mr. Hoolan and Mr. Doolan,” whispered Warrington to Pen, saluting these gentlemen, and in the latter Pen recognised his friend of the Alacrity coach, who could not dine with Pen on the day on which the latter had invited him, being compelled by his professional duties to decline dinner-engagements on Fridays, he had stated, with his compliments to Mr. Pendennis.
Doolan’s paper, the Dawn, was lying on the table much bestained by porter, and cheek-by-jowl with Hoolan’s paper, which we shall call the Day; the Dawn was Liberal—the Day was ultra-Conservative. Many of our journals are oi‘ficered by Irish gentlemen, and their gallant brigade does the penning among us, as their ancestors used to transact the fighting in Europe ; and engage under many a flag, to be good friends when the battle is over.
“ Kidneys, John, and a glass of stout,” says Hoolan. “How are you, Morgan ? how’s Mrs. Doolan ? ”
“ Doing pretty well, thank ye, Mick, my boy—faith she’s accustomed to it,” said Doolan. “ How’s the lady that owns ye ? Maybe I’ll step down Sunday, and have a glass of punch, Kilburn way.”
“ Don’t bring Patsey with you, Morgan, for our Georgy’s got the measles,” said the friendly Mick, and they straightway fell to talk about matters connected with their trade—about the foreign mails—about who was correspondent at Paris, and who wrote from Madrid—about the expense the Morning Journal was at in sending couriers, about the circulation of the Evening Star, and so forth.
Warrington, laughing, took the Dawn, which was lying before him, and pointed to one of the leading articles in that journal, which commenced thus—
“ As rogues of note in former days who had some wicked
work to perform,—an enemy to put out of the way, a quantity of false coin to be passed, or a lie to be told or a murder to be done,—employed a professional perjurer or assassin to do the work, which they were themselves too notorious or too cowardly to execute,—our notorious contemporary, the Day, engages smashers out of doors to utter forgeries against individuals, and calls in auxiliary cut-throats to murder the reputation of those who ofiend him. A black-vizarded rufi’ian (whom we will unmask), who signs the forged name of Trefoil, is at. present one of the chief bravoes and bullies in our contemporary’s establishment. He is the eunuch who brings the bowstring, and strangles at the order of the Day. We can convict this cowardly slave, and propose to do so. The charge which he has brought against Lord Bangbanagher, because he is a Liberal Irish peer, and against the Board of Poor Law Guardians of the Bangbanagher Union, is,” &c.
“How did they like the article at your place, Mick? ” asked Morgan; “ when the Captain puts his hand to it he’s a tremendous hand at a smasher. He wrote the article in two hours—in—whew—you know where, while the boy was waiting.”
“ Our governor thinks the public don’t mind a straw about these newspaper rows, and has told the Docther to stop answering,” said the other. “Them two talked it out together in my room. The Docther would have liked a turn, for he says it’s such easy writing, and requires no reading up of a subject : but the governor put a stopper on him.”
“ The taste for eloquence is going out, Mick,” said Morgan.
“ ’Deed then it is, Morgan,” said Mick. “ That was fine writing when the Docther wrote in the Phaymlx, and he and Condy Rooney blazed away at each other day after day.”
“And with powder and shot, too, as well as paper,” said Morgan. “Faith, the Docther was out twice, and Condy‘ Rooney winged his man.”
“ They are talking about Doctor Boyne and Captain Shandon,” Warrington said, “ who are the two Irish controversialists of the Dawn and the Day, Dr. Boyne being the Protestant champion, and Captain Shandon the Liberal orator
They are the best friends in the world, I believe, in spite of their newspaper controversies; and though they cry out against the English for abusing their country, by Jove they abuse it themselves more in a single article than we should take the pains to do in a dozen volumes. How are you, Doolan?”
“Your servant, Mr. Warrington—Mr. Pendennis, I am delighted to have the honour of seeing ye again. The night’s journey on the top of the Alacrity was one of the most agreeable I ever enjoyed in my life, and it was your liveliness and
urbanity that made the trip so charming. I have often
‘thought over that happy night, sir, and talked over it to Mrs. Doolan. I have seen your elegant young friend, Mr. Foker, too, here, sir, not unfrequently. He is an occasional frequenter xof this hostelry, and a right good one it is. Mr. Pendennis, when I saw you I was on the Tom and Jerry weekly paper; I have now the honour to be sub-editor of the Dawn, one of the best written papers of the empire ”—and he bowed very slightly to Mr. Warrington. His speech was unctuous and measured, his courtesy oriental, his tone, when talking with ‘the two Englishmen, quite different to that with which he spoke to his comrade.
“ Why the devil will the fellow compliment so ? ” growled ‘Warrington, with a sneer which he hardly took the pains to suppress. “Psha—who comes here ?—all Parnassus is abroad to-night: here’s Archer. We shall have some fun. Well, Archer, House up ? ”
“ Haven’t been there. I have been,” said Archer, with an air of mystery, “ where I was wanted. Get me some supper,
‘ John—something substantial. I hate your grandees who give
you nothing to eat. If it had been at Apsley House, it would have been quite different. The Duke knows what I like, and says to the Groom of the Chambers, ‘Martin, you will have
some cold beef, not too much done, and a pint bottle of pale"
ale, and some brown sherry, ready in my study as usual; Archer is coming here this evening.’ The Duke doesn’t eat supper himself, but he likes to see a man enjoy a hearty meal, and he knows that I dine early. A man can’t live upon air, be hanged to him.”
“Let me introduce you to my friend, Mr. Pendennis,” Warrington said, with great gravity. “Pen, this is Mr. Archer, whom you have heard me talk about. You must know Pen’s uncle, the Major, Archer, you who know everybody ? ”
“Dined with him the day before yesterday at Gaunt House,” Archer said. “We were four—the French Ambassador, Steyne, and we two commoners.”
“Why, my uncle is in Scot—” Pen was going to break. out, but Warrington pressed his foot under the table as a signal for him to be quiet.
“ It was about the same business that I have been to thepalace to-night,” Archer went on simply, “and where I’ve been kept four hours, in an anteroom, with nothing but yesterday’s Times, which I knew by heart, as I wrote three of the leading articles myself; and though the Lord Chamberlain came in four times, and once holding the royal teacup and saucer in his hand, he did not so much as say to me, ‘ Archer, will you have a cup of tea ? ’ ”
“Indeed! what is in the wind now?” asked Warrington —and turning to Pen, added, “You know, I suppose, that when there is anything wrong at Court they always send for Archer ? ”
“ There is something wrong,” said Mr. Archer, “and as the story will be all over the town in a day or two, I don’t mind telling it. At the last Chantilly races, where I rode Brian Boru for my old friend the Duke de St. Cloud—the old King said to me, ‘Archer, I’m uneasy about St. Cloud. I have arranged his marriage with the Princess Marie Cunégonde; the peace of Europe depends upon it—for Russia will
declare war if the marriage does not take place, and the‘
young fool is so mad about Madame Massena, Marshal Massena’s wife, that he actually refuses to be a party to the marriage.’ Well, sir, I spoke to St. Cloud, and having got him into pretty good humour by winning the race, and a good bit of money into the bargain, he said to me, ‘Archer, tell the Governor I’ll think of i .’ ”
“How do you say Governor in French ? ” asked Pen, who piqued himself on knowing that language.
“ Oh, we speak in English—I taught him when we were boys, and I saved his life at Twickenham, when he fell out of a punt,” Archer said. “ I shall never forget the Queen’s looks as I brought him out of the water. She gave me this diamond ring, and always calls me Charles to this day.”
“ Madame Massena must be rather an old woman, Archer,” Warrington said. i
“ Dev’lish old—old enough to be his grandmother; I told him so,” Archer answered at once. “ But those attachments for old women are the deuce and all. That’s what the King feels: that’s what shocks the poor Queen so much. They went away from Paris last Tuesday night, and are living at this present moment at Jaunay’s hotel.”
“ Has there been a private marriage, Archer ? ” asked Warrington.
“Whether there has or not I don’t know,” Mr. Archer replied; “ all I know is that I was kept waiting four hours at the palace; that I never saw a man in such a state of agitation as the King of Belgium when he came out to speak to .me, and that I’m devilish hungry—and here comes some supper.”
“He has been pretty well to-night,” said Warrington, as the pair went home together: “but I have known him in much greater force, and keeping a whole room in a state of wonder. Put aside his archery practice, that man is both able and honest—a good man of business, an excellent friend, admirable to his family as husband, father, and son.”
“What is it makes him pull the long bow in that wonderful manner ? ”
“An amiable insanity,” answered Warrington. “He never did anybody harm by his talk, or said evil of anybody. He is a stout politician, too, and would never write a word or do an act against his party, as many of us do.”
“ Of us! Who are we ? ” asked Pen. “ Of what profession is Mr. Archer ? ”
“ Of the Corporation of the Goosequill—of the Press, my boy,” said Warrington; “ of the fourth estate.”
“ Are you, too, of the craft then ? ” Pendennis said.
“We will talk about that another time,” answered the