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Str Geo. And brought me with you to share your transgression, and spare your modesty ?
Del. Even so.
Sir Geo. Ah ! she's a sweet creature that! You could not have chosen better. But why not make proposals to the father at once, and so save yourself all farther trouble ?
Del. Because I wish first to make myself acceptable to the daughter. What can Allingham be about! Ah! here's the servant.
[Enter the Servant, who gives a note to Mr DeLaval and leaves the room.
Sir Geo. A note! Only a note! What's the matter? You look as if some great calamity had befallen
you. Del. Disappointed again! She's gone. Allingham writes me word that she and old Mrs Delmont exchanged their times of sitting, and she—my she-the only she of the world—has been gone these two hours. Was ever mortal so unlucky?
Sir Geo. Never fret, man! you'll be more fortunate another time.
Del. I tell you, Ludlow, I never shall meet her. This is just what happened to me at Almack's, at the Opera, at the British Gallery, at a dozen parties. I no sooner go into a room at one door than she leaves it by another. There's a spell upon me.
We never shall meet. Sir Geo. Pshaw! Pshaw !
Del. There's a spell on me, I tell you ! never was man so unfortunate ! Too late again!
SCENE THE SECOND.
Sir Georoe Ludlow, and Mr DeLaval, reading a letter. Sir George. What can there be in that letter to excite such transports ? You lovers are strange people. Yesterday, a little bit of written paper plunged you into the deepest affliction ; to-day, another scrap throws you into ecstasies. Is that note from Allingham ?
Sir Gev. Another appointment of course ; but how that can so entrance you ; and what it is that you are pressing to your heart at that rate
Del. Read. Sir Geo. (reading.) “ Dear Delaval-Lady Delancy and Lady Elizabeth will be with me to-morrow at twelve, for the last sitting. Come at two, and I'll contrive, if I can, to leave you with them. At all events, you will have the satisfaction of seeing your goddess and her portrait. Ever yours. W. Allingham.” Well?
Del. Read on; read on. Sir Geo. (reading.) “ P.S.-Lady Delancy, thinking that I had not succeeded in catching the very peculiar hue of the hair, has sent the enclosed as a pattern.” Ho! ho! one of the auburn ringlets ! Now I understand.
Del. Look at it, Ludlow ; is it not beautiful? Auburn indeed! the true, the only auburn! Bright and dark as the rind of the horse chesnut, but with a flickering light, that seems to turn each particular hair into a thread of gold. Look! look!
Sir Geo. I see.
Del. How completely this long wavy ringlet identifies her loveliness ! If I had never seen Elizabeth, I could have sworn that she to whom this lock belonged must be beautiful ; must have the rich yet delicate complexion, coloured like the flowers of the balsam ; the dark grey eye; the ruby lip; the bright smile ; the look of life and youth; the round yet slender figure- What are you laughing at, Ludlow?
Sir Geo. I laugh, my good friend, because I can't help it. We all know that Lady Elizabeth is a charming girl ; but as to the beauty which you have been
pleased to conjure up as the necessary appendage to one shining turlDon't be angry though, Delaval ; I'll be as true and as serviceable to you as a sadder friend; for I'll go with you to-inorrow, and hold the Countess in chat, whilst you talk to her fair daughter. She's a nice person herself is Lady Delancy: I used to stand very well with her before she went abroad, and may be useful now.
Del. Thank ye ! thank ye!
Sir Geo. And now I'll leave you, to meditate on the “ loveliness of lovelocks.” Good bye t'ye. “And beauty draws us by a single hair.” Good morrow!
SCENE THE THIRD.
An Artist's Gallery.
Lady Delancy, LADY ELIZABETH, Sre George Ludlow, and DeLaval.
Lady Del. Considering it then merely as an effort of art, you like the picture, gentlemen ?
Sir Geo. I, madam, think it a masterpiece. Mr Delaval complains that it is less fair than the fair original. To me it seems that the artist has accomplished all that painting can do for beauty, by seizing and immortalizing one lovely moment.
Lady Eliz. It's a pretty piece of flattery, certainly.
Lady Del. Yes; the likeness is flattering, that must be confessed, and perhaps not the less precious to a fond mother for that qualification. But what pleases me most in the picture, and would please me were all partiality out of the question, is the poetical feeling that it displays and embodies. No one would ever guess that figure to be a portrait. Standing as she does in that oldfashioned terrace-garden, with her hair hanging down her neck in those simple natural ringlets, and that rich antique costume, I can scarcely myself fancy that it is meant for my Elizabeth, so much more does it resemble one of the creations of Shakspeare or of Beaumont and Fletcher, than a young lady of the present day.-Don't you think so, Sir George ? Beatrice, for instance ; for there is a little air of sauciness mixed with innocent gaiety in the expression-Beatrice, just before Hero unfolds her plot.
Del. Oh happy, thrice happy the Benedict !
Lady Del. Or the pretty coquette, Anne Page-turning away from Master Slender.
Lady Eliz. No, no, mamma-not Anne Page. We have no Master Slenders now-a-days. Have we, Mr Delaval ?
Del. I could almost enact the part with such a lady-love, provided she would promise that there should be no Master Fenton in the play.
Sir Geo. To me, madam, the figure rather conveys the idea of Emily in the garden-Fletcher's Emily, when the very sight of her beauty from their prison-window stirred up such feud between The Two Noble Kinsmen.
Del. (To Lady Eliz.) No wonder that Palamon and Arcite loved the prison that blessed them with such sights.
Sir Geo. You see, too, that she has a rose in her hand, Lady Delancy, and you remember the exquisite lines by which, in that matchless scene, she de. scribes the flower ?
Lady Del. Can you repeat them ?
«i Of all flowers,
Lady Del. Beautiful lines ! I did not know that you were so poetical, Sir George. You must give us the pleasure of seeing you oftener in Berkeley Square.-Come, Elizabeth.-Mr Delaval, Lord Delancy will be happy to renew his Parisian acquaintance with you, if you will favour us by a call. Come, my dear. Sir Geo. Allow me to attend your ladyship.
[Exeunt Lady Delancy and Sir George. Lady Eliz. What could put Anne Page into Mamma's head ? and what could make
you think of enacting Master Slender ? Del. Benedict, Fenton, Palamon, Arcite, even Master Slender,—anything to have the privilege of calling myself your servant.
Lady Eliz. But we poor damsels have no servants now-a-days.
COLONEL O'SHAUGHNESSY. I was two-and-twenty years of age midwives, were my dislike. Pills, pobefore I made up my mind as to what tions, and pectorals, might be very business I should follow for life. My well in their way, but to me, the very father wished me to pursue his calling thought of them was abomination. of a lawyer, but I hated law. My My father's patience was at an end. mother proposed bringing me up to “ Tom,” said he, “ you are now a the church : this I disliked also. It man, and it is high time you should was then suggested, but with no bet- think of doing something for yourself. ter success, that I should study phy- Suppose you follow my profession ?" sic. Law was too sedentary for my I begged to be excused. disposition. I could not think of it Suppose you become a parson ?", without bringing to mind musty pa
“ Never. Parsons are fat, stupid, pers, equivocations, and endless chi- and gormandizing.". canery. I had imbibed the common “ Or a physician ?" and absurd notion that all lawyers “Worse than all.” My father could were rogues. I remembered the sharp, contain himself no longer. His plump meagre, sallow figures who haunted face, for he was very choleric, was our legal courts at Dublin, and if I fushed to a deep crimson. “ Tom, I saw a man unusually crafty, or expert shall give you but two days to consie at overreaching his neighbour, I set der of it. You have befooled your him straightway down as a lawyer. mother and me long enough. What It was strange that I should possess the devil, sir ! do you mean to do nosuch notions, for my father was one thing for yourself in this life? Before of the honestest men in existence, and I was a year older than you, I was one of the fattest.
married, and in the receipt of two The church. This was something hundred a-year. If you are not prebetter, but it would not do. Parsons pared to give me a decisive answer by were associated in my mind with fat the day after to-morrow, Wy heavens, paunches, and unmeaning indolence. I will — He did not finish the The life of a parish priest, confined to sentence; so much the worse. It was one spot of the earth, and having no his anger which prevented him, and associates but country bumpkins and I knew that something serious was in old maids, was intolerable. I knew the wind. several clergymen, and they were fat, I did not sleep well that night. pious, beavy-headed fellows. Thé How could I? Things were come to a parson of our parish, moreover, was a bearing. I knew my father's temper blockhead—at least, so I, in my wise too well to think that he would wait dom, thought proper to consider him. any longer. By one means and anoThis knocked on the head all hopes of thér I had procrastinated and put off turning my attention to the church. for more than a twelveinonth, and a
Physic. I loathed the idea. Sur- greater delay it was impossible to exgeons, physicians, apothecaries, men pect. Next day I was unusually dull,
and so were my father and mother. boy bigger than myself. He swore it I saw that I had offended them, but was what he had done when of that in what manner to recover their good age. To him I communicated the graces, without doing injustice to my awkward situation in which I was own inclinations, I was at a loss to placed, and begged his advice. conceive. Lawyer-parson-doctor, “ So they propose,” said he, “ to floated alternately like motes through make a parson
of you, boy ? No, blood mny brain. I must be one of the three; and wounds, that will never do. We so my worthy parents had determi- have got plenty of them in the army. ned. Never, in the course of my As for a doctor, every regiment has a life, did I make so many wry faces: brace of them: there is no need for the more I considered the matter, the you to add to the number. A lawyer more intolerable did it seem.
do they talk of making you?"_here How things might have ended, it is my uncle squinted horribly, and graspdifficult to say, when my mother's ed the handle of his sword_" I tell eldest brother, Colonel O'Shaugh. you, Tom, if you become a lawyer, nessy, arrived at our house. He had you are no nephew of mine. Thunder just reached England, from India, and lightning, did I not once lose a with his regiment, after an absence of hundred pounds by a rascally attorten years. Perhaps the whole army ney! I tell you, Toin, there is no such could not furnish such an admirable commission in the service as that of illustration of the ludicrous, both in a lawyer. No, boy; they are going person and manner. In stature he to spoil your fine genius. You must rose to six feet two inches, and was, enter the army. That is the only without exception, the thinnest man, place for a lad of spirit." I caught, to be in good health, I ever saw. His without a moment's delay, at this suglegs were like spindle-shanks, and his gestion, and expressed my willingness long lank arms dangled from his to follow his advice. In truth I had shoulders, as if stuck there artificial. always a penchant towards a military ly, instead of being natural members. life, and was glad to adopt any scheme His nose and chin were both inordi which promised to rid me of the de. nately peaked: his mouth was large, testable professions for which I was and his cheeks hollow, and marked destined by my parents. But would with strong lines. In addition to this, they accede to my wish? I expressed he squinted oudly with both eyes. my doubts to my uncle: he squinted His complexion was of a brownish at me a look of anger, as much as to yellow. The fore and lateral parts of say, “So you question my influence his head were quite bald, but the hair, with your father and mother?” In a which still clung behind, was gather trice he was closetted with the former, ed into a queue, which descended about and laid the proposal before hiin-no a foot down his back. This strange more anticipating a refusal, than to be caricature of the human form was disobeyed by his own corporal on padressed in a long military coat, with rade. He did not know the old lawa golden epaulette on each shoulder. yer, who point-blank objected to the On his head he wore a cocked-hat, scheme. I know not how my uncle surmounted by a white feather a cou looked on this occasion ; I have no ple of feet high. His lower limbs doubt it was very grim. High words, were cased in immense Hessian boots, it is certain, ensued between them. reaching above the knee, and tight The Colonel's notions of military disbuckskin smallclothes-while a sword, cipline were too strict to enable him sheathed in a steel case, and hilted to digest any opposition to his wishes. with silver and shagreen, dangled at I was in the next room trembling for his side. Such was the exterior of the result, and I heard him bestow Colonel O'Shaughnessy.
the appellations of ass--blockheadI had always been a favourite with ninny, very profusely upon my father, this military relative. I was called who retorted, by threatening him with after him, and, during my boyhood, an action at law for an assault. Therehe showed me many marks of kind- after the door opened, then was dashness. I remember the very day on ed fiercely to by some one who passed which he left us twelve years before out. It was my uncle. I heard his I was then ten-he filled my pockets sword rattling, and his heavy Hessians with pence, because I had beaten a trampling loudly as he descended the
stair. He betook himself straightway good-humour, and not, as is too often to my mother, with whom he had an the case, from malice or spleen. My interview of half an hour. Whether pay did not permit me to indulge in his eloquence prevailed more with her wine at the mess-dinners; but he than with her husband, is unknown. placed me alongside of himself, and Certain it is, that he left the house in filled my glass from his own bottle. high dudgeon. I saw his tall gaunt The only fault which he had was that form, surmounted by his gigantic fea- of shooting with the long bow. Day ther, pass out at the front door. His after day he regaled us with stories of servant carried his travelling - bag, his exploits in India, and elsewhere. boot-jack, and portmanteau behind him The mess-table was kept in a roar of -and he sojourned to the nearest inn, laughter with his extravagancies. His there, as he said, to take up his quar- face, always a perfect fiddle, was at ters during the remainder of his stay these times irresistibly comie in its exin the city.
pression. The squint of his eyes in. In a short time a military gentleman creased—his nose and chin approachwaited upon my father, with a chale ed each other like nut-crackers—and lenge from the colonel. The worthy his long mouth was drawn up into a lawyer got alarmed, --so did my mo- grim smile of delight. He told the ther,--so did I. I was even more than same story dozens of times over, and ałarmed; I was irritated against my every time it was different. The huuncle, whom, notwithstanding all his mour, however, never evaporated ; it well-intended kindness, I could not was always rich and racy; and, when but deeply censure for such an outrage he bad concluded any of his extraer. on my own flesh and blood. No dan dinary recitals, the whole mess rubbed ger, however, ensued. My father could their hands, and “Excellent !-Devilfight any man with a law-paper, but ish good, Colonel !” resounded from he had a mortal aversion to powder one end of the table to the other. My and shot. The consequence was, that uncle was one of the very few bounhe made a humble apology to his bro cers whom I have ever known to be, ther-in-law-promised to let me have at bottom, brave men. my own way-and begged of the Colo It was an odd sight to see the Colonel to return to his house. The whole nel on horseback. His horse was somebusiness was settled within an hour. thing like himself, tall and lean ; but My uncle came back to dinner, and this attenuation was not, as his master shook hands with his relation, con alleged, the result of bad feeding. He gratulating me at the same time upon was thoroughly provendered, only he my approaching change of life. I have did not take flesh kindly on, according reason to believe that a reconciliation to the fashion of well-fed horses in would not have ensued so easily, but general. Be this as it may, he was of for the circumstance of the colonel ha. the Rozinante breed ; and his rider, ving upwards of eight thousand pounds making allowance for difference of acin the stocks. My father knew this; coutrement, would have made no bad and, like a true philosopher, thought representative of the Knight of Ja it a pity that he or his wife should Mancha. Wherever he was quartered run any risk of losing his future prose he became speedily an object of attracpects in the same for the sake of a tion. Mounted on his tall, meagre quarrel. He therefore wisely pocket- charger, he rode like a military.phaned the affront, and sacrificed his own tom—a shadow of war—and was everyfeelings to a sense of personal interest. where known as the Squinting Colonel.
I got a commission in my uncle's The children would bawl it after him regiment. I found that he was both as he rode along; and he would throw laughed at, and loved and respected, down halfpence, for the purpose of seeby his brother officers. It may be ing them scrambling for the treasure. wondered how such opposite feelings Nothing in my uncle's character could exist with regard to one man; equalled the dexterity with which he but so it was. They all liked him for accounted for defects. He squinted, his good nature; they laughed at him because bis eyes were struck by a coup for his oddities; and esteemed him for du soleil. He was thin, because the fat his courage and integrity. By the of his body had evaporated from hard men he was called the Squinting Co. exercise under the burning sun of Inlonel ; but this was done from sheer dia. He lost his hair in a brain-fever,