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bining, overcame me at length, and I slept-how long I know not; but when I awoke, certain changes about showed me that some length of time had elapsed; a gay wood fire was burning on the hearth; an ample breakfast covered the table; and the broad sheet of the Times newspaper was negligently reposing in the deep hollow of an armchair. Before I had well thought how to apologise for the cool insouciance of my intrusion, the door opened, and a tall, well-built man entered ; his shooting-jacket and gaiters were evidence of his English origin, while a bushy moustache and most ample "Henri quatre" nearly concealed features that still were not quite unknown to me; he stopped, looked steadily at me, placed a hand on either shoulder, and calling out, "Harry-Harry Lorrequer, by all that's glorious!" rushed from the room in a transport of laugh
If my escape from the gallows depended upon my guessing my friend, I should have submitted to the last penalty of the law: never was I so completely nonplussed. Confound him, what does he mean by running away in that fashion. It would serve him right were I to decamp by one of the windows before he comes back; but, hark! some one is approaching.
"I tell you I cannot be mistaken," said the man's voice from without.
Oh, impossible!" said a lady-like accent that seemed not heard by me for the first time.
"Judge for yourself-though certainly the last time you saw him may confuse your memory a little."
"What the devil does he mean by that," said I, as the door opened, and a very beautiful young woman came forward, who, after a moment's hesitation, called out
"True, indeed, it is Mr. Lorrequer, but he seems to have forgotten me.'
The eyes, the lips, the tone of the voice, were all familiar. What! can it be possible? Her companion, who had now entered, stood behind her, holding his sides with ill-suppressed mirth; and at length called out
parted, when the yellow plush" By Jove it is," said I, as I sprang forward, and seizing my fair friend in my arms, saluted upon both cheeks my quondam flame, Miss Kamworth, now the wife of my old friend Jack Waller, of whom I have made due mention in an early chapter of these Confessions.
Were I given a muster-roll of my acquaintance to say which of them might inhabit this deserted mansion, Jack Waller would certainly have been the last I should have selected--the gay, lively, dashing, high-spirited Jack, fond of society, dress, equipage, living greatly in the world, known to and liked by every body, of universal repu tation. Did you want a cavalier to see your wife through a crush at the opera, a second in a duel, a rider for your kicking horse in a stiff steeple-chase, a bow-oar for your boat at a rowing match, Jack was your man. Such, then, was my surprise at finding him here, that although there were many things I longed to inquire about, my first question was
"And how came you here?" "Life has its vicissitudes," replied Jack, laughing; many stranger things have come to pass than my reformation. But, first of all, let us think of breakfast; you shall have ample satisfaction for all your curiosity afterwards."
"Not now, I fear; I am hurrying on to Munich."
"Oh! I perceive; but you are aware that- -your friends are not there." "The Callonbys not at Munich!" said I, with a start.
"No; they have been at Saltzburgh, in the Tyrol, for some weeks; but don't fret yourself, they are expected to-morrow in time for the court masquerade; so that until then at least you are my guest."
Overjoyed at this information, I turned my attention towards madame, whom I found much improved; the embonpoint of womanhood had still farther increased the charms of one who had always been handsome; I could not help acknowledging that my friend Jack was warrantable in any scheme for securing such a prize.
CHAP. XLVIII.-JACK WALLER'S STORY.
THE day passed quickly over with my newly-found friends, whose curiosity to learn my adventures since we parted,
anticipated me in my wish to learn theirs. After an early dinner, however, with a fresh log upon the hearth,
Yes, by Jove, Harry; I believe I behaved but shabbily to you in that affair; but the Love and War,' you know; and besides we had a distinct agreement drawn up between us.”
"All true; and after all you are perhaps less to blame than my own miserable fortune that lies in wait to entrap and disappoint me at every turn in life. Tell me, what do you know of the Callonbys ?"
Nothing personally; we have met them at dinner; a visit passed subsequently between us, et voila tout; they have been scenery hunting, picture hunting, and all that sort of thing since their arrival, and rarely much in Munich ; but how do you stand there? -to be, or not to be-eh ?"
"That is the very question of all others I would fain solve; and yet am in most complete ignorance of all about it; but the time approaches which must decide all. I have neither temper nor patience for further contemplation of it; so here goes; success to the enterprise."
"Or," said Jack, tossing off his glass at the moment, "or, as they would say in Ireland, 'your health and inclinations, if they be virtuous.'
"And now, Jack, tell me something of your own fortunes since the day you passed me in the post-chaise and four."
"The story is soon told. You remember that when I carried off Mary, I had no intention of leaving England whatever : my object was, after making her my wife, to open negociations with the old colonel, and after the approved routine of penitential letters, imploring forgiveness, and setting forth happiness only wanting his sanction to make it heaven itself, to have thrown ourselves at his feet, selon les regles,' sobbed, blubbered, blew our noses, and dressed for dinner, very comfortable inmates of that particularly snug residence, 'Hydrabad Cottage.' Now, Mary, who behaved with great courage for a couple of days, after that got lowspirited and depressed; the desertion of her father, as she called it, weighed upon her mind, and all my endeavours to rally and comfort her were fruitless and unavailing. Each day, however, I expected to hear something of, or
from the colonel, that would put an end to this feeling of suspense; but no -three weeks rolled on, and although I took care that he knew of our address, we never received any communication. You are aware that when I married, I knew Mary had, or was to have, a large fortune; and that I myself had not more than enough in the world to pay the common expenses of our wedding tour. My calculation was thisthe reconciliation will possibly, what with delays of post, distance, and deliberation, take a month-say, five weeks-now, at forty pounds per week, that makes exactly two hundred pounds-such being the precise limit of my exchequer, when, blessed with a wife, a man, and a maid, three imperials, a cap-case, and a poodle, I arrived at The Royal Hotel,' in Edinburgh. Had I been Lord Francis Egerton, with his hundred thousand a-year, looking for a new 'distraction' at any price; or, still more-were I a London shopkeeper, spending a Sunday in Boulogne-sur-Mer, and trying to find out something expensive, as he had only one day to stay, I could not have more industriously sought out opportunities for extravagance, and each day contrived to find out some two or three acquaintances to bring home to dinner. And, as I affected to have been married for a long time, Mary felt less genee among strangers, and we got on famously. Still the silence of the colonel weighed upon her mind, and although she partook of none of my anxieties from that source, being perfectly ignorant of the state of my finances, she dwelt so constantly upon this subject, that I at length yielded to her repeated solicitations, and permitted her to write to her father. Her letter was a most proper one; combining a dutiful regret for leaving her home, with the hope that her choice had been such as to excuse her rashness, or, at least, palliate ber fault. It went to say, that her father's acknowledgment of her was all she needed or cared for, to complete her happiness, and asking for his permission to seek it in person. This was the substance of the letter, which, upon the whole, satisfied me, and I waited anxiously for the reply. At the end of five days the answer arrived. It was thus :
"DEAR MARY,-You have chosen your own path in life, and having done so, I have neither the right nor inclination to interfere with your decision; I shall neither receive you nor the
Well, Jack, I must only love you the more, since papa will not share any of my affection."
I wish he would his purse though,' muttered I, as I pressed her in my arms, and strove to seem perfectly happy.
"I shall not prolong my story by dwelling upon the agitation this letter cost me; however, I had yet a hun dred pounds left, and an aunt in Harley-street, with whom I had always been a favourite. This thought, the only rallying one I possessed, saved me for the time; and as fretting was never my forte, I never let Mary perceive that any thing had gone wrong, and managed so well in this respect, that my good spirits raised her's, and we set out for London one fine sun
shiny morning, as happy a looking couple as ever travelled the north
"When we arrived at the Clarendon,' my first care was to get into a cab, and drive to Harley-street. I rung the bell; and not waiting to ask if my aunt was at home, I dashed up stairs to the drawing-room; in I bolted, and instead of the precise old Lady Lilford, sitting at her embroidery, with her fat poodle beside her, beheld a strapping-looking fellow, with a black moustache, making fierce love to a young lady on the sofa beside him.
Why, how is this-I really there must be some mistake here.' In my heart I knew that such doings in my good aunt's dwelling were impossible. "I should suspect there is, sir, drawled out he of the moustache, as he took a very cool survey of me, through his glass.
"Is Lady Lilford at home, may I
ask,' said I, in a very apologetic tone of voice.
"I havn't the honour of her ladyship's acquaintance,' replied he in a lisp, evidently enjoying my perplexity, which was every moment becoming more evident.
Lady Lilford is at Paris, sir,' said the young lady, who now spoke for the first time. Papa has taken the house for the season, and that may perhaps account for your mistake.'
"What I muttered by way of apology for my intrusion, I know not; but I stammered-the young lady blushed--the beau chuckled, and turned to the window, and when I found my self in the street, I scarcely knew whether to laugh at my blunder, or curse my disappointment.
The next morning I called upon her address in Paris, sauntered to the aunt's lawyer, and having obtained 'Junior Club,' to write her a letter the morning papers, I could not help before post-hour. As I scanned over smiling at the flaming paragraph which daughter and heiress of the Millionaire, announced my marriage to the only Colonel Kamworth. Not well knowwith my worthy relative, I folded the ing how to open the correspondence dressed it to Lady Lilford, Hotel de paper containing the news, and adBristol, Paris.'
"When I arrived at the Clarendon,' I found my wife and her maid surrounded by cases and band-boxes: laces, satins and velvets were displayed on all sides, while an emissary from 'Storr and Mortimer' was arranging a grand review of jewellery on a side table, one half of which would have ruined the Rajah of Mysore to purchase. My advice was immediately called into requisition; and pressed into service, I had nothing left for it, but to canvass, criticise, and praise, between times, which I did, with a good grace, considering that I anticipated the Fleet' for every flounce of Valenciennes lace; and could not help associating a rich diamond aigrette, climate of New South Wales-the with hard labour for life, and the utter abstraction I was in, led to some awkward contre-temps; and as my wife's enthusiasm for her purchases increased, so did my reverie gain ground.
"Is it not beautiful, Jack?-bow
Not half so hard as carding wool, or pounding oyster shells.'
"How absurd you are. Well, I'll take this, it will look so well in
Botany Bay,' said I, with a sigh that set all the party laughing, which at last roused me, and enabled me to join in the joke.
"As at length one half of the room became filled with millinery, and the other glittered with jewels and bijouterie, my wife grew weary with her exertions, and we found ourselves alone.
"When I told her that my aunt had taken up her residence in Paris, it immediately occurred to her, how pleasant it would be to go there too; and although I concurred in the opinion for very different reasons, it was at length decided we should do so; and the only difficulty now existed as to the means for though the daily papers teem with four ways to go from London to Paris,' they all resolved themselves into one, and that one, unfortunately to me, the most difficult and impracticable-by money.
"There was, however, one last resource open-the sale of my commission. I will not dwell upon what it cost me to resolve upon this; the determination was a painful one, but it was soon come to, and before five o'clock that day, Cox and Greenwood had got their instructions to sell out for me, and had advanced a thousand pounds of the purchase. Our bill settled the waiters bowing to the ground-(it is your ruined man that is always most liberal)-the post-horses harnessed, and impatient for the road, I took my place beside my wife, while my valet held a parasol over the soubrette in the rumble, all in the approved fashion of those who have an unlimited credit with Coutts and Drummond; the whips cracked, the leaders capered, and with a patronizing bow to the proprietor of the Clarendon,' away we rattled to Dover.
"After the usual routine of seasickness, fatigue, and poisonous cook ery, we reached Paris on the fifth day, and put up at the Hotel de Londres,' Place Vendome.
"To have an adequate idea of the state of my feelings as I trod the splendid apartments of this princely hotel, surrounded by every luxury that wealth can procure, or taste suggest, you must imagine the condition of a man who is regaled with a sumptuous banquet on the eve of his execution. The inevitable termination to all my present splendour, was never for a moment absent from my thoughts, and the secrecy with which I was obliged to conceal my feelings, formed one of the greatest sources of my misery. The coup, when it does come, will be sad enough, and poor Mary may as well have the comfort of the deception as long as it lasts, without suffering as I do. Such was the reasoning by which I met every resolve to break to her the real state of our finances, and such the frame of mind in which I spent my days at Paris-the only really unhappy ones I can ever charge my memory with.
"We had scarcely got settled in the hotel, when my aunt, who inhabited the opposite side of the 'Place,' came over to see us, and wish us joy. She. had seen the paragraph in the Post, and like all other people, with plenty of money, fully approved a match like mine.
"She was delighted with Mary, and despite the natural reserve of the old maiden lady, became actually cordial, and invited us to dine with her that. day, and every succeeding one we might feel disposed to do so. far so well, thought I, as I offered her my arm to see her home; but if she knew of what value even this small attention is to us, am I quite so sure she would offer it?-however, no time is to be lost; I cannot live in this state of hourly agitation; I must make some one the confidante of my sorrows, and none so fit as she who can relieve as well as advise upon them. Although such was my determination, yet somehow I could not pluck up courage for the effort. My aunt's congratulations upon my good luck, made me shrink from the avowal; and while she ran on upon the beauty and grace of my wife, topics I fully concurred in, I also chimed in with her satisfaction at the prudential and proper motives which led to the match. Twenty times I was on the eve of interrupting her, and saying, But, madam, I am a beggar-my wife has not a shilling -I have absolutely nothing her
father disowns as-my commission is sold, and in three weeks the Hotel de Londres' and the Palace Royale' will be some hundred pounds the richer, and I without the fare of a cab, to drive me to the Seine to drown myself.'
"Such were my thoughts; but whenever I endeavoured to speak them, some confounded fulness in my throat nearly choked me; my temples throbbed, my hands trembled, and whether it was shame, or the sickness of despair, I cannot say; but the words would not come, and all that I could get out was some flattery of my wife's beauty, or some vapid eulogy upon my own cleverness in securing such a prize. To give you, in one brief sentence, an idea of my state, Harry-know then, that though loving Mary with all my heart and soul, as I felt she deserved to be loved, fifty times a day I would have given my life itself that you had been the successful man, on the morning I carried her off, and that Jack Waller was once more a bachelor, to see the only woman he ever loved, the wife of another.
"But this is growing tedious, Harry; I must get over the ground faster. Two months passed over at Paris, during which we continued to live at the Londres,' giving dinners, soirees, dejeuners, with the prettiest equipage in the Champs Elyseés,' we were quite the node; my wife, which is rare enough for an Englishwoman, knew how to dress herself. Our evening parties were the most recherché things going, and if I were capable of partaking of any pleasure in the eclat, I had my share, having won all the pigeon-matches in the Bois de Boulegard, and beat Lord Henry Seymour himself in a steeple chase. The continual round of occupation in which pleasure involves a man, is certainly its greatest attraction -reflection is impossible-the present is too full to admit any of the past, and very little of the future; and even I, with all my terrors awaiting me, began to feel a half indifference to the result in the manifold cares of my then existence. To this state of fatalism, for such it was becoming, had I arrived, when the vision was dispelled in a moment, by a visit from my aunt, who came to say, that some business requiring her immediate presence in London, she was to set out that evening, but hoped to find us in Paris on her return. I was
thunderstruck at the news, for, although as yet I had obtained no manner of assistance from the old lady, yet I felt that her very presence was a kind of security to us, and that in every sudden emergency, she was there to apply to. My money was nearly expended; the second and last instalment of my commission was all that remained, and much of even that I owed to trades-people. I now resolved to speak out-the worst must be known, thought I, in a few daysand now or never be it. So saying, I drew my aunt's arm within my own, and telling her that I wished a few minutes' conversation alone, led her to one of the less frequented walks in the Tuilleries gardens. When we had got sufficiently far to be removed from all listeners, I began then-'my dearest aunt, what I have suffered in concealing from you so long, the subject of my present confession, will plead as my excuse in not making you sooner my confidante.' When I had got thus far, the agitation of my aunt was such, that I could not venture to say more for a minute or two. At length she said, in a kind of hurried whisper, 'go on;' and although then I would have given all I possessed in the world to have continued, I could not speak a word.
"Dear John, what is it-any thing about Mary-for heaven's sake speak.' Yes, dearest aunt, it is about Mary, and entirely about Mary.'
Ah, dear me, I feared it long since; but then, John, consider she is very handsome-very much admiredand
"That makes it all the heavier, my dear aunt; the prouder her present position, the more severely will she feel the reverse.'
Oh, but surely, John, must exaggerate the danger.'
Nothing of the kind-I have not words to tell you.'
"Oh dear, oh dear; don't say so,' said the old lady blushing, for though I have often remarked a kind of gay, flirting manner she has with men, I am sure she means nothing by itshe is so young, and so
"I stopped, stepped forward, and looking straight in my aunt's face, broke out into a fit of laughter, that she, mistaking for hysterical from its violence, nearly fainted upon the spot.
"As soon as I could sufficiently recover gravity to explain to my aunt her mistake, I endeavoured to do so; but