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"I will see her," said Arthur. "I'1l ask her to marry me, once more. I will . No one shall prevent me."
"What, a woman who spells affection with one f? Nonsense, sir. Be a man, and remember that your mother is a lady. She was never made to associate with that tipsy old swindler or his daughter. Be a man and forget her, as she does you."
"Be a man and comfort your mother, my Arthur," Helen said, going and embracing him: and seeing that the pair were greatly moved, Major Pendennis went out of the room and shut the door upon them, wisely judging that they were best alone.
He had won a complete victory. He actually had brought away Pen's letters in his portmanteau from Chatteris: having complimented Mr. Costigan, when he returned them, by giving him the little promissory note which had disquieted himself and Mr. Garbetts: and for which the Major settled with Mr. Tatham.
Pen rushed wildly off to Chatteris that day, but in vain attempted to see Miss Fotheringay, for whom he left a letter, enclosed to her father. The enclosure was returned by Mr. Costigan, who begged that all correspondence might end; and after one or two further attempts of the lad's, the indignant General desired that their acquaintance might cease. He cut Pen in the street. As Arthur and Foker were pacing the Castle walk, one day, they came upon Emily on her father's arm. She passed without any nod of recognition. Foker felt poor Pen trembling on his arm.
His uncle wanted him to travel, to quit the country for a while, and his mother urged him too: for he was growing very ill, and suffered severely. But he refused, and said point-blank he would not go. He would not obey in this instance: and his mother was too fond, and his uncle too wise to force him. Whenever Miss Fotheringay acted, he rode over to the Chatteris Theatre and saw her. One night there were so few people in the house that the Manager returned the money. Pen came home and went to bed at eight o'clock and had a fever. If this continues, his mother will be going over and fetching the girl, the Major thought in despair. As for Pen, he thought he should die. We are not going to describe his feelings, or give a dreary journal of his despair and passion. Have not other gentlemen been balked in love besides Mr. Pen? Yes, indeed: but few die of the malady.
IN WHICH MIS8 FOTHERINGAY MAKES A NEW
Within a short period of the events above narrated, Mr. Manager Bingley was performing his famous character of Rolla, in "Pizarro," to a house so exceedingly thin, that it would appear as if the part of Rolla was by no means such a favorite with the people of Chatteris as it was with the accomplished actor himself. Scarce anybody was in the theatre. Poor Pen had the boxes almost all to himself, and sat there lonely, with blood-shot eyes, leaning over the ledge, and gazing haggardly towards the scene, when Cora came in. When she was not on the stage he saw nothing. Spaniards and Peruvians, processions and battles, priests and virgins of the sun, went in and out, and had their talk, but Arthur took no note of any one of them; and only saw Cora whom his soul longed after. He said afterwards that he wondered he had not taken a pistol to shoot her, so mad was he with love, and rage, and despair; and had it not been for his mother at home, to whom he did not speak about his luckless condition, but whose silent sympathy and watchfulness greatly comforted the simple half heartbroken fellow, who knows but he might have done something desperate, and have ended his days prematurely in front of Chatteris jail? There he sat then, milerable, and gazing at her. And she took no more notice of him than he did of the rest of the house.
The Fotheringay was uncommonly handsome, in a white raiment and leopard skin, with a sun upon her breast, and fine tawdry bracelets on her beautiful glancing arms. She spouted to admiration the few words of her part, and looked it still better. The eyes, which had overthrown Pen's soul, rolled and gleamed as lustrous as ever; but it was not to him that they were directed that night. He did not know to whom, or remark a couple of gentlemen, in the box next to him. upon whom Miss Fotheringay's glances were perpetually shining.
Nor had Pen noticed the extraordinary change which had taken place on the stage a short time after the entry of these two gentlemen into the theatre. There were so few people in the house, that the first act of the play languished entirely, and there had been some question of returning the money, as upon that other unfortunate night when poor Pen had been driven away. The actors were perfectly careless about their parts, and yawned through the dialogue, and talked loud to each other in the intervals. Even Bingley was listless, and Mrs. B. in Elvira spoke under her breath.
How came it that all of a sudden Mrs. Bingley began to raise her voice and bellow like a bull of Bashan? Whence was it that Bingley, flinging off his apathy, darted about the stage and yelled like Kean? Why did Garbetts and Rowkins and Miss Rouncy try, each of them, the force of their charms or graces, and act and swagger and scowl and spout their very loudest at the two gentlemen in box No. 3?
One was a quiet little man in black, with a gray