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time. The money was taken, the bank was formed, and the European’ opened the following night.
Is one which the ladies will appreciate highly. “Now, my precious,' observed Mrs. Gills, addressing the Countess,' the morning after the speculation had commenced, 'now your sperits is a little bit tranquil, you know, you must begin to look about you as a lady of title ought, and take care you're not imposed upon, or anything of that ; because now you are a Countess, my dear, you must do, of course, as Countesses does, and keep up a proper sperit and dignity.'
'Yes, ma,' mildly replied the Countess. Nor
you mustn't be put off neither, my dear. You must have your own way, as all Countesses has. Insist upon having all you want, and you'll get it.'
• But I have all I want, ma, already.'
Nonsense, child !—truly ridiculous! Oh! don't tell me! You ought to have a separate carridge, and a box at the opperer, and give a splendid series of parties, and all that, and have all the new novels, and harps, and pianers
But you know, ma, I never learned to play.'
• What of that? The whole world needn't know it. When you give a soree, you know, or anything of that, engage them to play, my love, as gets their living by it. Countesses never plays in public. Don't you know, my dear, that that's beneath their dignity? Never try to play, and then nobody'll know you can't. There's no occasion to tell the world what you don't know.
No, ma, no more there isn't.'
'In course. And mind, never suffer them stuck up things of servants to address you as anything but “my lady," or your ladyship.” “Did your ladyship please to ring for me, my lady ?”—“May it please your ladyship, and so on. I'm not sure it don't ought to be a
“your grace ;” but “your ladyship” will do for the present. Be sure and make 'em stick to that; if they don't, ask 'em who they are speaking to with their imperence. Mind that particular. Always keep them gals at a respectable distance: they are sure to take liberties where they can. If you give 'em an inch, they'll take an ell, and you don't ought to do it. Always know what is due your dignity, my precious, and make 'em conduct theirselves in a way as becomes 'em. Look at that low vulgar feller, the porter. The ideor of bringing up the baker's bill in his naked hand, for all the world as if there warnt a piece of plate upon the premises. And then look at that imperent thing, Susan. She's always a-gigling and going on. I see her, although she thinks I don't.
What does she mean, I should like to know? Perhaps she thinks the situation ain't good enough for her. I'd give her a month's warning: she don't know her place. I don't think she's much better than she should be, my dear. Look at her curls! What business has a low common housemaid with all them
there curls! Twelve pounds a-year, my love, won't support that. Besides, she don't treat me with proper respect; and I'd have her to know, that although I am not a Countess myself, I'm the mother of a Countess, and that, too, of as good a Countess as any in the kingdom. What does she mean by laughing, and sneering, and opening her ignorant eyes to other servants, when I'm giving 'em the necessary orders? Does she think I'll put up with her_low-bred ways? The insolence of such dressed up things is exclusive. Either she or me must quit.
Dear ma,' observed the Countess, don't drop yourself down to the level of her.'
* I drop myself down to her level! No, my love; I think I do know myself better than that comes to. Her level! I don't think I'd go quite so low as that, neither !
• Well, never mind, ma; I'll give her warning.'
'In course. And very proper. I shall make a woman of sperit of you yet. But that, my darling, isn't all. You mustn't let the noble Earl take no advantage of your innercence; for Earls is but men, and all men in this regard is alike; they'll all impose where they can; and you don't ought to suffer him to do it. Assume enough, my precious. Begin as you mean to go on. There's nothing like striking the iron while it's hot. It saves a world of trouble, my dear. If you wait till a man gets cool, you'll find him very difficult to bend to your own shape; but if you tell him at first what you mean, you 'stablish your dignity, and when he knows what he has to expect, why, he ain't after that disappointed. You take my advice, my love, and insist upon doing what you please; there's nothing like it. A woman ain't a woman of sperit as dont, and 'specially a Countess. You must go out a-patternizing people, particular them foreigners as sings; and give blankets away to the poor in cold weather : it all tells, my love, to make a noise in the world. And when you go a-shopping, make 'em bring the goods out to the carridge, instead of going in; and when you don't want your carridge, have your footman behind you with a long stick, with a large gold nob at the top. Nothing on earth, my dear, looks so respectable as that ; and the taller the footman, and the longer the stick is, the better. Besides, you haven't been to court yet; nor I haven't seen your name a single once in the papers! And another thing, the Earl hasn't once introduced you to his family!
"Oh! ma! exclaimed the Countess, 'I should tremble like anything, I know, if he was.
"Tremble! Fiddledede! Why should you tremble? You're as good as them any day in the week.'
• Oh dear, ma! I shiver at the very thought. What I should do when I saw 'em I can't think. I am sure I should turn as pale as a I don't know what.'
* Pale, my precious! What do that signifies ? Paint--all Countesses paints—and then nobody'll know whether you turn pale or not.'
"Oh! but I should feel so queer, I know I should.
"Rubbish, my love! What's to make you feel queer? Always look upon people as being beneath you, there's nothing on earth gives such confidence as that. If you look up to them, they'll look down upon you ; that's the way people gets over people, my precious. And then there's another thing: where is your cards ? I
never heard of such a thing as a Countess without cards! We'll go and order 'em this blessed morning, my love, and have your court of arms upon 'em, you know, and all that. Nothing can be done without cards. And then I'll tell you what we'll do while we're about it. Dear me! now, how strange it never struck me before !-it will be the very thing-my love, we'll order a whole lot of invitation cards at the same time. And then we'll get up a party, and invite all the other nobility in town; all the Duchesses, and all the Marquisses, and all the Earls, and all the foreign ambassadors and their suits. Oh! we'll have such a jolly night of it, my precious!'
But will my lord like it ?'
“There's not the least occasion, my love, to let him know anything about it until they all come, and then, oh! won't it be an agreeable surprise! But let's see-who can we get now to manage it all for us? It must be somebody that knows all about it, you know. There's the Captain ; but I don't like that Captain : he's always a-sneering and smirking, and going on so, as if we warn't as good as him, and a precious sight better. I can't a-bear such ways !'
• There's Mr. Thorn, ma ! suggested the Countess. Ah! he's a nice gentleman.
He'd be the one. He knows how to behave hisself. Nobody can conduct theirselves more gentlemanlier than him. He'll manage it for us. I know he will, if I ask him.'
At this moment Stanley was dashing down the street in his cab, with the view of ascertaining the result of the previous night's play but as, on pulling up, he happened to see a person in livery at the door of the European, he laid the whip into Marmion with so much effect, that the animal, darting off in an instant, left Bob, who had got down with all his wonted alacrity, a considerable distance in the rear before he had time to recover his faculties, the whole of which had been thus unceremoniously upset. Feeling, however, that he had not a single moment to lose, and being, moreover, extremely swift of foot, he, by virtue of making a desperate
rush, soon overtook the cab, and remounted.
"Well,' he exclaimed, 'I should on'y just like to know what's o'clock now! There's something in the weather-glass, safe! As true as I'm alive, I don't know what's come to all the masters. It's
belief they're all a-going stark naked mad. Here's a mess-here's a pickle!
- he added, taking a retrospective view of his clothes splashed up to the very eyes!-a full hour and arf's brushing ; it ain't to be done under. Um blessed if it ain't enough to aggrawate a bishop. If he didn't mean to stop there at all, what did he make believe to pull up for?
That was the point; and while Bob was thus occupied in giving expression to his own private feelings upon it, Stanley's rage was unbounded; for as Venerable Joe was the person whom he saw but whom Bob in his desperate haste failed to see—he leaped at once to the conclusion that the General, having heard of the speculation into which he had entered, had planted him there as a spy.
Such was, however, by no means the fact; and, in order to prove that it was not, it will be highly correct to accompany the venerable gentleman, who, after laughing very heartily at Bob's rapid move.
ments, and wondering very naturally what it all meant, was admitted between the outer doors of the European,' when be sent up his name to Mrs. Gills, whom he had had the honour of knowing for a series of years.
Mrs. Gills, on the name being announced, blushed deeply as she repeated it again and again, marvelling who, in the name of all that was gracious, it could be, and bit her lips with due violence as she protested that the singular cognomen of the individual lived not in her memory; still she thought somehow she had heard the name somewhere—but where? Eventually, by a miracle, she recollected that there was a sort of person of that name in the service of General Johnson, a very intimate friend of hers, from whom, she had no doubt on earth, this person had brought some strictly confidential communication. She therefore directed the servant to show the person into the parlour; and, after having explained most lucidly to the Countess how essential to the preservation of dignity it was to repudiate all low connections, descended from the drawing-room with all the severity of aspect and stateliness of deportment at her command.
On entering the room in which the venerable gentleman stood, marvelling greatly at the fact of his being shown into a parlour, Mrs. Gills reared her chin, and bowed with such surpassing grace, that in an instant he felt friendship freezing. He nevertheless approached, and was about to take her hand, which, however, she with a truly icy elegance waved towards a chair, and with an expression of sublimity desired him to be seated.
• Your manners is very cold, Mrs. Gills,' observed the venerable gentleman, who could not but deem all this deeply mysterious. Have I offended you in anythink ?
Oh, dear me, no! replied the lady, tossing her head with a most superb air.
Oh! I thought p'raps I had,' rejoined the venerable gentleman, 'as you seems to be werry much changed. I shouldn't a-called, on'y I 'appened to 'ear that Sophy was married.'
“My daughter, sir, the Countess of Clarendale, is married,' returned Mrs. Gills, with great dignity.
The venerable gentleman looked amazed. Could he believe it? Could he believe that the same individual Sophy, whom Mrs. Gills tried 80 extremely hard to plant upon him, was a Countess ? He was about to take a comprehensive view of the matter, in order to ascertain whether he could really believe it or not; but Mrs. Gills interposed at the moment an observation, which rendered his imaginative faculties subservient to the influence of straight-forward facts.
As circumstances is so much changed,'—this was the memorable observation--and as you must in course be aware that there's now a propriety as is proper to be observed, may I inquire your object in honnering us with this visit ??
*Oh! I on’y merely thought I'd look in to give Sophy-I mean the Countess joy.
Sir,' said the lady, apparently quite shocked at the vulgar idea, “I'd have you understand that my son-in-law, the noble Earl, ain't a mechanic.
*I didn't spose he vos. There's wery few noble Hurls as is. But can't I see the Countess? I should like to see her.'
"Impossible. It ain't because I'm proud, no; but what would the noble Earl say? Why, he'd think it a disgrace to his 'scutcheon.'
'It strikes me forcible,' said the venerable gentleman, who felt rather piqued, that half what you know about 'scutcheons ain't much.'
Well, I'm sure! I'd have you to know I don't tolerate no insolence, and so you needn't come it.'
Oh! werry well, mum. But I must say, as a hold friend, I didn't expect to be treated in this 'ear upish vay.
• You may think yourself honnered that I saw you at all. I know I didn't ought to do it; but I beg, sir, that in future we mayn't be troubled by your calling any more.' i Oh! that you may take
hoath But as I remember there's a little trifle atween us of seventeen and sixpence, p'raps it von't be hinconvenient for you to settle without my summonsing on you to the court of requests ??
What do you mean to insiniwate ? cried the lady,—seventeen and sixpence, or seventeen hundred pound seventeen and sixpence; it's all one to me! I'll discharge the paltry sum, sir, immediate! what do you mean?
Mrs. Gills, being highly indignant, was about to bounce out of the room for her purse, when the folding-doors opened, and the Countess, who had. been listening in the adjoining room, appeared.
* Dear ma!' she exclaimed, ‘here's a purse: but don't be angry with Mr. Joseph. You know he has always been kind to us, ma.' And she extended her hand to the venerable gentleman, who was about to receive it with the utmost respect, when Mrs. Gills promptly interposed her person, exclaiming,
My precious! What would the noble Earl say ?-what would he think were he to see you shaking hands with a person in livery? Fie! my love, fie! I'm putrified to think that you haven't more respect for your dignity.'
Well, ma, I'm sure there's no harm in shaking hands.' * There is harm, my love! Gracious! what would the world say? What would be thought of you in high life? Why, you wouldn't be received in good society! Consider !
"My lady,' said the venerable gentleman, — for though it seems very rum, I am still glad to call you my lady-I vornt at all avare as you'd married a Hurl, or I shoodn't a-come; no, I know my place better; but I s'pose they vos havin' a game vi' me rayther ven they guv me your address, and said they thought I ought to call. Howsever, I'm glad to 'ear of your good fortun, and give you joy, and 'ope you'll alvays be 'appy; but I must say your mother aint treated me vell; cos under the circumstantials, knowin' her so vell as I have done so long, and bein' alvays werry glad to do all I could to serve her ven she vos but a servant like myself, I do think that if heven you'd become the Queen of Hingland, she oughtn't to be so stuck up.'
During the delivery of this eloquent speech, Mrs. Gills, with excessive hauteur, was counting out the seventeen and sixpence, and having done