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deal with a submissive child. But Jemmy's obedience emanated from the softness of his head; Dora's from the softness of her heart; and it is a bad look-out when the strength of the parent consists in the weakness of the child.

'On peut être plus fin qu'un autre, mais pas que tous les autres,' says a shrewd Frenchman. With all Sir Felix Colvile's worldly wisdom,—all his care in secluding poor Olinthus, as though he brought with him from his parsonage the infection of the small-pox, and all his advice to his family-lawyer to be as close as wax in the discussion of his affairs, -the real obstacle to the much-desired alliance between Dora and James Lumley Rodenton never occurred to his mind! By getting Lord John Devereux appointed to a ship, he might have relieved the Hall of Eblis in St. James's Street from an unprofitable customer, and the wealthy squireling from the real stumbling-block in his matrimonial path. But, as I said before, my Blue Chamber lies in too stilted an elevation to admit of my whispering advice into the ears of my neighbours.

Were I nearer on a level with them, there are others besides the cunning old General and the improvident young sailor, whom I should like to admonish! There is a flashy young fellow who occupies a suite of state apartments at the Grand Hotel next door but one to Sir Felix Colvile's, who stands as low in my estimation as he seems to stand high in his own. The single spot of earth where he has a right to stand high --the counting-house of the city firm in which he is senior partner,—is the only one wherein he never deigns to make his appearance. Perhaps because the Lane in which it is situated is too narrow to admit his drag, and that to reach any distant point of the metropolis otherwise than four-in-hand, is out of the question. His father, honest man, used to make his way to his house of business, first with a cotton umbrella under his arm, and lastly in a buggy; a profitable modesty of conveyance, which caused the house itself to make its way in the world till the acting partner had bequeathed half a million to his family!

Half a million!-If a young fellow, inheriting half a million, in addition to good health and spirits, be not a happy man, the deuce is in it,— or in him! To be sure, the half-million is the thing likeliest on earth to teach him to get rid of his health and spirits, unless the health and spirits teach him to get rid of his half-million; for those three things have a most remarkable incompatibility for dwelling together in unity.

Mr. St. Chads has got rid of a considerable portion of all three ;— thereby reducing himself to mediocrity, and obtaining nothing in return save the delight of being called Leo' by those whom the newspapers call the leading fashionables;' whereas, had he stuck to the city, he might still have been called only Leonard, like his father before

him.

When I admit that a portion of the said half-million has disappeared in the shape of loans, and another portion in the shape of losses, I shall perhaps be thought ungenerous in protesting that St. Chads, whether Leonard or Leo, is incapable of a generous action. He has lent money, indeed, - but to whom? to his poor relations ?-to his humble friends? - to needy tradesmen ?-to struggling artists? By no manner of means! To his proud friends to out-at-elbow lords, and fashionable foreigners! He has thrown out sops, in the shape of thousand-pound notes, to the Cerberus of fashion. He has purchased

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his entrées into the forbidden precincts of ton, at the cost of ten thousand guineas an inch! His losses are not, like those of his firm, in unprofitable speculations in hides and tallow, but at hazard or roulette; and his first step on quitting Oxford was into an exclusive club, where he was only borne with on due attestation that he had been pigeoned in less reputable quarters to the amount of eighty thousand pounds! Upon the faith of that pigeoning he first came to be called LEO'leo by name, and leo by nature: for he was the lion of that sporting season, the green-horn at Epsom,-the Johnny Raw of Ascot,-the sufferer at Doncaster and Newmarket! By the following spring he had every right to be called Leo, my boy!' by all the best fellows about town.

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How fond they all were of him! How they used to come and breakfast on his woodcock pies,-taste his liqueurs at luncheon-time,and dine with him either in his showy apartment or at the Clarendon ! He supplied himself with Havannahs on a scale almost as gigantic as the speculations of his hide and tallow concern, exclusively for their benefit, and Pontet's books can attest the cwt. after cwt. of carotte and macouba, of which dandies having coronets on their cabs, were friendly enough to lighten his canisters. He had a box at the Olympic and a box at the Opera, in which (so obliging were his friends in making use of his tickets,) there was seldom room for him to show his nose, unless on benefit nights; and though Leo would have seen one of St. Chads' country cousins at Greenock before he had the goodnature to oblige him with a lift into any place of public resort, he seemed to have it earnestly at heart that all the junior branches of the aristocracy should be duly accommodated with advantageous places for seeing the ballet.

"

I never was gratified with a view of Leo's banker's book. I am only the Hermit of the Blue Chamber. I write myself neither honourable, nor attaché to some foreign embassy; and am, consequently, without pretensions to the notice of a millionary lord-hunter. But I know from sufficient authority that the chief items of the same, with the exception of such startling entries as Jan. 8, to Self, £24,000,'-(for St. Chads is too vulgar a fellow not to delight in paying his hotel bill,-from the Boniface who rides a bit of blood worth three hundred guineas, to the smallest waiter of the establishment, who rides nothing but a clothes' horse, his tailor, trowserer, jeweller, stationer, shirt-milliner, clearstarcher, &c., &c., &c., from hand to hand, for the personal enjoyment of their gratitude and congés,)-the chief items, I say, consist of To BEARER, two hundred guineas,'-To BEARER, five hundred guineas,' TO BEARER, one thousand pounds,' and so forth. When this was first related to me, the innocence of my soul suggested that the said BEARERS might be treasurers of public charities, or secretaries of national institutions. But the head of my informant was sarcastically shaken, as with a significant smile he informed me that-by an appropriate Orientalism,-these BEARERS were all TIGERS; the two hundred guinea tiger wearing a noble crest on his button,-tiger £500, the coronet of a Marquis;-and that concerning the thousand pound tiger, the less said, the better!-These neat little sums were, in short, so many baits with which Leo had been setting his lord-trap.

Toadies, as a genus, are an object of very general contempt. The world, that wholesale dealer, has no leisure on its hands to make distinctions between toady and toady. Now there are toadies who, un

VOL. VII.

28

skilled by education to become governesses or tutors, and unfitted by birth to sink into butlers or ladies' maids, are converted per force of starvation into hangers-on upon great or wealthy personages afflicted with a weakness for having their ears tickled. Such toadies are objects of compassion rather than scorn. They cannot dig, to beg they are ashamed;' and the ostentatious of this world have hitherto omitted to set aside a portion of their superabundance (duly advertising the same in the morning-papers,) for the maintenance of the self-respect of the shabby genteel.

But the Toady Gratuitous,-the Toady Wanton,-the Toady who toadies in the abjectness of his soul,-the Toady, who with his golden spurred heel tramples on the Humble while performing Ko-Too to the Proud, is a dirtier fellow than we care to mention in these pages.

Others beside myself entertain the same opinion. The Marquises and Honourables, whose friendship costs the presumptuous St. Chads pretty nearly the same annual sum as his hunting kennel costs the Duke of Crawley, indulge freely in grimaces and gestures concerning their dear Leo whenever his back is turned; of which, had I not craved interpretation of a lamplighter in my neighbourhood, with whom I keep up a running acquaintance, the meaning might have been still hieroglyphical in my sight. I now perfectly comprehend their purport to be, Hides and tallow, thou art a very sorry creature!' -Sarves him right,' as the Cornish jury returned it,-'sarves him perfectly right.' Whatever may be the measure of their ingratitude, he is only punished as he deserves."

It is a great gratification to my feelings that I have never once detected my favourite, Lord John, at Leo's levee. They are acquainted; not to the point of slang salutations or insolent pantomime. But I am convinced that it is the cool tone in which my young neighbour exclaims, How are you, St. Chads?' as Leo passes him on the box of his drag, which reduces the parvenu to the painful necessity of replying, Good morning, Lord John,' instead of How do, Jack? as he would be entitled did the tiger of Dora Colvile's idol 'bear' to Lombard Street those missives signed Leonard St. Chads' (private account), which unite him in the holy bonds of toadyism with the raffish portion of the aristocracy. Yet Leo would gladly purchase an entrée to Belmont Castle by the loan, in such cases infallibly a gift, of ten thousand pounds. By condescending to the shabbiness of certain of his titled brethren, Lord John might consequently disencumber himself of his embarrassments, and become free to re-enter his profession,—encumber himself with a ship,—almost with a wife! But I know him!The lad is incapable of such degradation!-Dora is right! Lord John Devereux will go on saying,- Good morning, Mr. St. Chads,' to the end of the chapter.

Within these few days, however, I have noticed the lord-feeder grow. ing gradually as grumpy as the nondescripts in seedy coats who knock at the door of Lord John. At first, I was amazingly puzzled what could ail him. Stocks were up,-hides and tallow brisk.' What could be the matter with the monied man of fashion?

But this was not all. I discerned in the countenances of the admirably got-up specimens of Human Nature who lounge in at breakfast to the woodcock pies, and mount the roof of the drag in the afternoon, for a party to Lovegrove's, with that capital fellow, Leo,' a scarcely repressed smile of delight,-a twinkling of triumph in the eye-a certain saucy elevation of the head, as they extended their fore

fingers in salutation. What can be the casualty which has caused the corners of Leo's mouth to curve downwards, and those of his satellites to curl upwards, like a crescent moon, reversed in the several cases? Alas! murder will out; that is, Love and murder will out!' Leo has actually presumed upon one of his ukases, 'Pay to BEARER two thousand pounds,' to throw himself at the feet of BEARER's lovely sister, Lady Olivia; and the haughty Lady Olivia has sent him back to the city, like his cheque, with a very unpleasant hint in his ear,— conveying the assurance of her amazement, or rather, her amazement at his assurance. BEARER protests that it was Lady Olivia who whispered the startling circumstance to her intimates; whereas Lady Olivia was too dignifiedly indignant to utter a syllable about the matter. On the contrary, Leo himself, in his first petulant resentment, betrayed his mortification to her brother, and her brother has no padlock for his empty head any more than for his empty strong-box. And thus, all the Crockfordites are looking grave at Leo, to prevent them from laughing too broadly in his face; while Leo pretends to laugh in the faces of all the Crockfordites, to prevent their perceiving his illhumour. The farce is kept up among them with a degree of forced gaiety and clumsy art, worthy the boards of one of the patent theatres.

Now Leo has conceived a plan of singular revenge. Among the younger sons refused by Sir Felix Colvile for his supposed heiress last season, was the BEARER whose necessities and meannesses are the origin of this nefarious imbroglio. At that time, Leo would sooner have walked down St. James's Street arm-in-arm with one of his uncles, than condescend to matrimony with the child of an ancient baronet, general officer, K.C.B. and so forth. As regards their personal qualities, Dora or Olivia were perfectly immaterial in the scale. But his option lay between a Lady Olivia and a Miss Colvile, and he did not hesitate. It was impossible to stand the notion of a mere ' Mrs.' St. Chads. They could not call her Leo,'-she must be a mere common-place respectable Mrs. St. Chads.'

·

But a Miss Colvile, by whom BEARER had been rejected, and for whom Lord John Devereux, (the Lord John who chose to remain Lord Devereux to Mr. Leonard St. Chads,) was supposed to entertain a hopeless attachment, is becoming a person of some consequence,-of sufficient consequence, indeed, to determine him to the humiliation of a courtship.

I doubt, however, whether Leo is likely to fare better with little Dora than with Lady Olivia, or with the General than his daughter. St. Chads seems to have forgotten that the half a million of money which was to render him acceptable in the great world has been gradually melting away in fees to the doorkeepers thereof; and that he has scarcely twelve thousand a-year left in the world. Now twelve thousand a-year, arising out of a Lane in Lothbury, has very little chance, in the estimation of a professor of worldly wisdom, against a rent-roll of thirty thousand, emanating from one of the prettiest estates in the Three Ridings!

But though I have no fear of seeing the modest, gentle Dora transferred to the driving-seat of Leo, I can understand that the shattered nerves of poor Lord John will not be placed more at ease by finding any addition to the pretendants to her hand. He has not the shadow of a chance; he must be aware that he has not the shadow of a chance. But so long as she looks so pretty, when springing upon her bay mare

every day to accompany the General into the Park; and so long as her slight salutations to her old partner are accompanied by glances more in sorrow than in anger, it is but natural he should curse his adverse fortunes, while he admits that all the happiness he is ever likely to enjoy in this world is through the panes of his drawing-room windows! (If I did not scorn to play on words the occasion is propitious.)

Lady Catherine Rodenton, meanwhile, is working herself up into a state of nervous excitement at what she regards as a most vexatious traverse to the projects of her son. Nothing can stand more widely apart from the country-gentleman world, than the section of society which performs its mummeries and morris-dances round such Jacks in the Green as St. Chads. It is perhaps in consequence of this estrangement that mutual jealousy and mutual deference are entertained between them. The country-gentleman interest, whose rents are usually in arrear, and who are consequently sadly in want of ready money to enable them to construct quays, roads, or bridges,-to sink shafts, and erect steam-engines,-build churches for the parish, or wings for their family mansion, 'to enable it to fly away with the estate,-are apt to view with uncommon reverence those who twice in every year, as sure as the sun crosses the equator, receive in the dividend office, in Threadneedle Street, moneys in hard coin of the realm, such as they would mortgage a considerable portion of their farms to carry off in their pockets. Lady Catherine, having vaguely heard the word million connected with a vulgar fellow of the name of Leonard St. Chads, has ever since regarded him as a sort of golden calf, an image resembling that set up by Nebuchadnezzar, for the squirearchy to fall down and worship. She has never heard of either his lendings or his spendings; and probably conceives that the annual savings of the said million have been put out at compound interest, till he has grown as rich as Demidoff or the ex-King of Holland. She believes Leo to be the ass whose stables are stalled with varnished mahogany, and whose boot-jack is of virgin gold; and has little hope that even Rodenton Hall and its old oaks will stand their ground against the charm of riches, enabling a woman to outshine her fair contemporaries no less by the brilliancy of her entertainments and equipages, than by personal attractions. It is perhaps as a sort of counterbalance to the mischief, that her ladyship appeared the other day at the drawing-room in the full blaze of her family diamonds. On the strength of their effulgence, she seemed to rise in her own estimation cubits above the stature of a house of business in a Lane the width of her gravel-walk; which, if it wanted diamonds for the wife of its senior partner, must go and buy them on Ludgate Hill. New diamond and new point-lace are nonexistent in the ideas of a Duchess, and matters of consequent contempt in the estimation of a squire's lady. Lady Catherine, whose necklace formed part of the endowments of the notorious Lady Castlemaine, and whose old point figured on the shoulders of the renowned Lady Yarmouth, soon after the accession of the House of Hanover, would feel as though she were on the tread-mill, if arrayed in ornaments purchased in the year of Railways 5, with money emanating from a counting-house in Crooked Lane! She has too much respect for her future 'aughter-in-law, not to attribute to her what the French call the same tinguished sentiments. Little Dora, however, may chance to be of a erent opinion. I have my conjectures; but I reserve them among the RETS OF MY BLUE CHAMBER.

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