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that I came to pay my respects to-day: ” and he performed another bow for her, so courtly and gracious, that if she had been a duchess he could not have made it more handsome. “I had heard of your performances from my nephew, Madam,” the Major said, “who raves about you, as I believe you know pretty well. But Arthur is but a boy, and a wild enthusiastic young fellow, whose opinions one must not take au pied de la lettre; and I confess I was anxious to judge for myself. Permit me to say your performance delighted and astonished me. I have seen our best actresses, and, on my word, I think you surpass them all. You are as majestic as Mrs. Siddons.” “Faith, I always said so,” Costigan said, winking at his daughter: “Major, take a chair.” Milly rose at this hint, took an unripped satin garment off the only vacant seat, and brought the latter to Major Pendennis with one of her finest curtsies. “You are as pathetic as Miss O'Neill,” he continued, bowing and seating himself; “your snatches of song remind me of Mrs. Jordan in her best time, when we were young men, Captain Costigan; and your manner reminded me of Mars. Did you ever see the Mars, Miss Fotheringay ?” “There was two Mahers in Crow Street,” remarked Miss Emily: “Fanny was well enough, but Biddy was no great things.” “Sure, the Major means the god of war, Milly, my dear,” interposed the parent. “It is not that Mars I meant, though Venus, I suppose, may be pardoned for thinking about him; ” the Major replied with a smile directed in full to Sir Derby Oaks, who now re-entered in his shell-jacket, but the lady did not understand the words of which
he made use, nor did the compliment at all pacify Sir Derby, who, probably, did not understand it either, and at any rate received it with great sulkiness and stiffness; scowling uneasily at Miss Fotheringay, with an expression which seemed to ask what the deuce does this man here?
Major Pendennis was not in the least annoyed by the gentleman's ill-humor. On the contrary, it delighted him. “So," thought he, “a rival is in the field ; " and he offered up vows that Sir Derby might be, not only a rival, but a winner too, in this lovematch in which he and Pen were engaged.
“I fear I interrupted your fencing lesson ; but my stay in Chatteris is very short, and I was anxious to make myself known to my old fellow-campaigner Captain Costigan, and to see a lady nearer who had charmed me so much from the stage. I was not the only man épris last night, Miss Fotheringay (if I must call you so, though your own family name is a very ancient and noble one). There was a reverend friend of mine, who went home in raptures with Ophelia ; and I saw Sir Derby Oaks fling a bouquet which no actress ever merited better. I should have brought one myself, had I known what I was going to see. Are not those the very flowers in a glass of water on the mantel-piece yonder ?”
“I am very fond of flowers,” said Miss Fotheringay, with a languishing ogle at Sir Derby Oaks — but the Baronet still scowled sulkily.
“ Sweets to the sweet - is n't that the expression of the play?” Major Pendennis asked, bent upon being good-humored.
" 'Pon my life, I don't know. Very likely it is. I ain't much of a literary man,” answered Sir Derby.
“ Is it possible ? " the Major continued, with an air
of surprise. “You don't inherit your father's love of letters, then, Sir Derby? He was a remarkably fine scholar, and I had the honor of knowing him very well.” “Indeed,” said the other, and gave a sulky wag of his head. “He saved my life,” continued Pendennis. “Did he now 7" cried Miss Fotheringay, rolling her eyes first upon the Major with surprise, then towards Sir Derby with gratitude — but the latter was proof against those glances; and far from appearing to be pleased that the Apothecary, his father, should have saved Major Pendennis's life, the young man actually looked as if he wished the event had turned the other way. “My father, I believe, was a very good doctor,” the young gentleman said by way of reply. “I’m not in that line myself. I wish you good morning, sir. I’ve got an appointment — Cos, by-by — Miss Fotheringay, good morning.” And, in spite of the young lady's imploring looks and appealing smiles, the Dragoon bowed stiffly out of the room, and the clatter of his sabre was heard as he strode down the creaking stair; and the angry tones of his voice as he cursed little Tom Creed, who was disporting in the passage, and whose peg-top Sir Derby kicked away with an oath into the street. The Major did not smile in the least, though he had every reason to be amused. “Monstrous handsome young man that — as fine a looking soldier as ever I saw,” he said to Costigan. “A credit to the army and to human nature in general,” answered Costigan. “A young man of refoined manners, polite affabilitee, and princely fortune. His table is sumptuous: he's adawr'd in the regiment: and he rides sixteen stone.”
“A perfect champion,” said the Major, laughing. “I have no doubt all the ladies admire him.”
“He's very well, in spite of his weight, now he's young," said Milly; “but he's no conversation."
“He's best on horseback,” Mr. Bows said ; on which Milly replied, that the Baronet had ridden third in the steeple-chase on his horse Tareaways, and the Major began to comprehend that the young lady herself was not of a particular genius, and to wonder how she should be so stupid and act so well.
Costigan, with Irish hospitality, of course pressed refreshment upon his guest; and the Major, who was no more hungry than you are after a Lord Mayor's dinner, declared that he should like a biscuit and a glass of wine above all things, as he felt quite faint from long fasting - but he knew that to receive small kindnesses flatters the donors very much, and that people must needs grow well disposed towards you as they give you their hospitality,
“Some of the old Madara, Milly, love,” Costigan said, winking to his child — and that lady, turning to her father a glance of intelligence, went out of the room, and down the stair, where she softly summoned her little emissary Master Tommy Creed : and giving him a piece of money, ordered him to go buy a pint of Madara wine at the Grapes, and sixpennyworth of sorted biscuits at the baker's, and to return in a hurry, when he might have two biscuits for himself.
Whilst Tommy Creed was gone on this errand, Miss Costigan sat below with Mrs. Creed, telling her landlady how Mr. Arthur Pendennis's uncle, the Major, was above stairs ; a nice, soft-spoken old gentleman ; that butter would n't melt in his mouth : and how Sir Derby had gone out of the room in a rage of jealousy, and thinking what must be done to pacify both of them.
“She keeps the keys of the cellar, Major," said Mr. Costigan, as the girl left the room.
“ Upon my word you have a very beautiful butler," answered Pendennis, gallantly, “and I don't wonder at the young fellows raving about her. When we were of their age, Captain Costigan, I think plainer women would have done our business."
“Faith and ye may say that, sir — and lucky is the man who gets her. Ask me friend Bob Bows here whether Miss Fotheringay's moind is not even shuparior to her person, and whether she does not. possess a cultiveated intellect, a refoined understand. ing, and an emiable disposition ?"
“Oh, of course," said Mr. Bows, rather dryly. “Here comes Hebe blushing from the cellar. Don't you think it is time to go to rehearsal, Miss Hebe? You will be fined if you are late” — and he gave the young lady a look, which intimated that they had much better leave the room and the two elders together.
At this order Miss Hebe took up her bonnet and shawl, looking uncommonly pretty, good-humored, and smiling: and Bows gathered up his roll of papers, and hobbled across the room for his hat and cane.
“Must you go ?” said the Major. “Can't you give us a few minutes more, Miss Fotheringay? Before you leave us, permit an old fellow to shake you by the hand, and believe that I am proud to have had the honor of making your acquaintance, and am most sincerely anxious to be your friend."
Miss Fotheringay made a low curtsy at the con. clusion of this gallant speech, and the Major followed her retreating steps to the door, where he squeezed her hand with the kindest and most paternal pressure. Bows was puzzled with this exhibition of