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There she learned all the superficial trickery which she afterwards employed so much to her advantage; and although a “dead failure" on the stage, picked up just enough of the school and system to become a remarkably good actress off of it ; to which skill might, in no small degree, be attributed the extraordinary influence which she had contrived to establish over the gallant and distinguished Colonel Bruff.
This pertinacious, persevering, and never-relaxing personage had, it seems quite evident, one great object in view—an object of which she never lost sight—the reader may, without much difficulty guess what it was—the attainment, at some future period, of the hand, as she felt conscious she already possessed the heart of the colonel. From this point she never permitted her thoughts to wander, or her eyes to strayihe only obstacle which struck her as insurmountable, was the presence and position of his daughter ;-if she were once married, the necessity for the great inconvenient house in Harley-street would cease. Jane would be established somewhere—where, what cared she? And then the dear colonel would secure his happiness by marrying her, and setting up-or sitting down-in the country, all snug and comfortable, reposing on his laurels, which, to say truth, would have afforded no fullsized bed.
It must be quite evident that this “state of things,” as we have just called it, could not fail naturally and of course to predispose Jane for any change of circumstances which could produce a change of events; and therefore the colonel, who knew the world, as he said, and moreover, as we believe, never had the slightest intention of marrying Mrs. Smylar, felt assured that he could make Jane“ my lady” with her own free will and consent-get rid of his rickety establishment, and compress Mrs. Smylar's abilities as a housekeeper into a smaller sphere of action, and so go on dining at his club, in the full enjoyment of all essential comforts at home, free from the almost perpetual storms which occurred when Jane, as things now stood, happened to be under the paternal roof.
Now, per contra, as the merchants say, what was Sir George Grindle about when he soinnocently and accidentally fell into the conversation with Colonel Bruff-what object had he to be so soon seduced or induced into an acquaintance with the bald-headed soldier-officer ? He knew nothing of him, beyond the intercourse, which seldom takes place casually or accidentally, or even incidentally, in a large community of the extent and character of the re-unions of modern London; but then he had observed him as his neighbour, at his favourite table, squabbling about trifles, doubting the veracity of the waiters--talking loud about impositions in regard" of something which he had ordered, or there being more bone than there ought to be in a cutlet, or something of the sort, which, knowing the world a little, induced him to believe that the grumbler must be rich. He soon found out some of the leading facts of his case; and having himself a son who had run through all his disposable property, and who was anxious to pull up and retrieve during his father's lifetime, by securing a fortune in return for the feather which his title would confer; he naturally thought tha . the one would be desirable in the eye of a swaggerer with cash, whom, as he thought, might be seasonably supplied with the commodity in deand, by a still greater swaggerer without any—and so began, and, so far as we have yet seen, progressed, the acquaintance of Sir George Grindle and Colonel Bruff.
It might perhaps please the reader, and save him some trouble in the way of “ finding out hereafter," if he were now to get a little more insight into the relative positions in society which these worthies actually held, than he has been enabled to gain from the few broken bits of the dialogue in which he found them indulging when he first opened the book. Moreover, something may be expected to be said of the gentle Jane, and how and in what degree the curious contrivances and strange machinations in progress as to her settlement for life affected, and were likely to be received by that really amiable and interesting girl.
What she would have felt or said had she, thirty miles away from the scene of the dialogue, been aware of its leading, sole subject, it is not for us either to imagine or anticipate ; but supposing--which, considering she was turned nineteen, was by no means an impossible or improbable case, she happened to be in love, and had pledged her affections to some fond and favoured lover ; all hat ese excellent performers of the prose duet, of which we have extracted only a little to serve as notes for the reader, could say or do, might, and the chances are would, turn out to be “ mere moonshine ;” inasmuch as if Love gets into the heart, it will get out somewhere; and with one of your quiet, silent, meek-looking girls, like Miss Bruff, the case is hopeless. You might as well wash Mount Etna with Gowland's Lotion, in the hopes of preventing an eruption, as expect to extinguish the steady flame smouldering in such a bosom.
But of Jane hereafter-unconscious as she was when these worthies talked the matter over, so let her for the present remain ; and if any of my readers quarrel with Jane Bruff in the end, why then I must quarrel with my readers.
As regards the paternity, Bruff-Papa Bruff-the colonel was the founder of his own fortune. From a reverential dislike to do that, which a Frenchman of great wit and power once said he was in the habit of doing when he found himself getting too forward in company, too exuberant and too lively, “ dans ce cas là, je pense toujours de mon pauvre père qui est mort,” Bruff never mentioned directly or indirectly his excellent sire-of a grandfather it appears that in the general acceptance of the word, he had a sort of faint cloudy idea in the abstract; but as to the embodying or identification of any such relation, relatively to himself, he was as far from doing it as Adam would have been, if his nonpareil of a wife had pressed him on the subject.
He was, as we have already said, a large, stupid, noisy man, and must in the outset of his career have been a little, stupid, noisy boy; but he was a brave beast, and having entered the army-nobody exactly traced the beginning—he worked his way gallantly, and being, according to James Smith's version, a “fire-man,” was not “afraid of bumps," and so went cutting, and slashing, and storming, and doing all sorts of things, which if he had attained a higher rank earlier in his career, might have decorated and even ennobled him; but some four years after the Wellington-peace of Europe was concluded, a lady plain, but genteel, and very rich withal--fell in with the captain, and moreover fell in love with him—"de gustibus," and all that. She was a
little, delicate creature, and thought that this Bruff-Brevet-major. Bruff—she never could understand the military distinction—would make a very agreeable husband, and so, much to the astonishment of his gallant comrades, their large companion in arms became hers. “*
Their wonder it must be confessed was soon deeply tinged with envy, when they discovered that in his case, the shafts of Cupid were tipped with gold: a metal which so used, has the wonderful quality of immediately healing where it wounds; whence, as we have been informed, the acknowledged assuasive qualities of gold-beater's skin have been derived.
Mrs. Bruff, as the reader has already gathered, died fourteen months after her union with the powerful field-officer, leaving Jane at an age, equally unconscious of a mother's care and a mother's love. Bruff behaved in the best possible manner-was devoted to his child—maintained the establishment in Harley-street, to which the wife had no only taken a liking, but in which she died, and of which by means of her large property he had become possessed ; thus retaining it as the memorial of his lady's taste, and the sanctuary for her daughter's education.
And all this went on; and Bruff, as a widower, did remarkably well, and little Jane grew up; and then, at the persuasion of several of his friends, who represented that during her childhood, so large an establishment, unless he married again, was useless. He placed her under the care of a relation of his late wife, Mrs. Amersham, who, with her husband, having no children of their own, were delighted to receive her and her governess, in the first intance, a nursery Bonne of the Windsor soap and bread-and-butter school, thence ascending to Miss Somebody, who was, in due time, succeeded by Mademoiselle Somebody much finer; during which period Bruff let his house, furnished, for a term of years, and having, by some carelessness of the well-wishers of the club to which he belonged, become a member of it, he became an habitué of the society in which the reader was first introduced to him.
When Jane came out—which she did, all mild and modest like the opening lily-gentle, tender, and unassuming—Mrs. Amersham presented her; and with her sixty thousand pounds she became “the belle of the season.” At that period Bruff resumed the occupation of his residence, and for the last two years it had been placed under the surveillance of Mrs. Smylar.
Sir George Grindle, was of a different caste; their association, therefore, accidental in the first instance, was somewhat remarkable. Sir George, as the reader knows, had heen twice married ; and, as he has already admitted, married first for money, and secondly for love, a sort of inversion of the ordinary course of things, for which one is not generally quite prepared. However it might be--and as it is charitable to suppose it so, let us say that it was—that before he was rich he could not marry whom he loved, and therefore a martyr to circumstances, like many thousands of his fellow-creatures he fulfilled the injunctions of others, rather than acted upon feelings of his own. However, of this first marriage was his son George the fruit.
George was his idol -spoiled as a child-humoured as a boy, and almost obeyed by his father as a man, he had, even before he was of his. age, cost his fond parent nearly thirty thousand pounds. It was this, and perceiving what desperate inroads these juvenile indiscretions were making upon Sir George's property, that induced the maternal uncle of Frank—the balf-brother of George—to hint to that most worthy, excellent, and amiable young mari, that he was not to permit himself to be depressed or borne down by apprehensions for the future, which it must be admitted with his prudential foresight he seriously entertained, not only for himself, but for George, who despised him; inasmuch as he, the aforesaid maternal uncle, would take care that at his death Frank should find even the nominal advantages of the elder brother" barring the title"-not in any degree injurious to him.
Having traced the matter and the motives thus far, we will relieve the reader, and begin afresh in the next chapter.
(To be continued.)
MARTIAL IN LONDON,
The Rail-road Engineer.
BY JAMES SMITH, ESQ.
Though a rail-road, learned Rector,
Passes near your parish spire,
E'er will overwhelm'd expire.
Put not then your hopes in weepers,
Solid work my road secures,
Never will awaken yours.
These lines will be read with a deep interest, as being literally the last ever written by their highly-gifted and deeply-lamented author.
KIND COUSIN TOM; OR, MEN AND MOTIVES.'
BY DOUGLAS JERROLD,
Poor Jack Martin! Nay, we do him grievous wrong—for he was not poor; but rich, imperial, in his simple honesty. He wanted-excellent want !-a sense of poverty. He wore a whole coat—had rarely a fracture in his shoe-slept under a roof of nights, and could sometimes boast of five shillings in his pocket. Hence, Jack-ignorant Jack ! never dreamt of any worldly difference between himself and Tom Martin; his prosperous, and most ambitious cousin. “God bless you ! he didn't see me,” Jack would say to a companion, when having nodded, with a twinkling eye to Tom, the nod was unreturned, Tom quickening his pace, and looking into the sky, to avoid his pauper cousin. “Depend on’t, he never saw me-bless you !-one of the best fellows in the world; always so pleased to see me." And such was Jack's innocent belief: he could not understand that Tom-his old schoolfellow, his blood relation Tom—took any glory to himself from the seven hundred a year, and the very genteel acquaintance acquired by the grace of such an income, to the disadvantage of cousin Jackgood-tempered, merry-hearted, Jack; who, we may observe, defied fortune with seventy-five pounds per annum; terrible odds; the more especially, when increased by the addition of one wife and two children. Jack enjoyed-may we say as much-a small clerkship, and seemed one of the many, whom fortune forgets either for good or evil. Years and years passed, and Jack Martin was only a poor clerk.
Tom Martin was not to be so overlooked. He attacked fortune with a boldness, a laughing confidence, which when successful, is considered the certain evidence of genius: if it fail, it is rashness, ignorance, gross presumption. Jack and Tom started in life from the same point: Jack crept a step or two and then stuck fast: whilst Tom took ogre's strides into the pleasant places of the world. At times they met, or rather passed each other; nothing inducing Jack to suspect that there was the slightest distinction between them—that Tom, except from a growing defect of vision, could have failed to see him. “Poor fellow! he always used to be dim-sighted,” Jack would say ; “but, bless me! how
very fast he walks. Capital fellow, cousin Tom--always very fond It was, in truth, an annoyance to Tom, that his extraordinary position in the world—his increasing reputation in the market, was wholly unacknowledged by his vulgar cousin Jack; who saw cousin Tomand would have seen only cousin Tom, had he been clothed in cloth of gold, and dubbed a knight. There was the same laugh—the same gripe of the hand—when Tom found it impossible to avoid the grasp the same kind salutation as in former years. Tom, when confronted by Jack, seemed humiliated by his very heartiness : his robust welcome awoke a recollection of former annoyance. Jack rose before the prosperous Tom the ghost of departed poverty.
“ What an excellent fellow, is my cousin Tom !” said Jack, warm from one of these meetings, to a brother clerk—a fellow vassal—in the office of Smith and Smith.