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The History of Pendennis
by William Makepeace Thackeray
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Warrington did not know what his comrade's means were. An only child, with a mother at her country house, and an old dandy of an uncle who dined with a great man every day, Pen might have a large bank at his command for anything that the other knew. He had gold chains and a dressing-case fit for a lord. His habits were those of an aristocrat,—not that he was expensive upon any particular point, for he dined and laughed over the pint of porter and the plate of beef from the cook's shop with perfect content and good appetite,—but he could not adopt the penny-wise precautions of life. He could not give twopence to a waiter; he could not refrain from taking a cab if he had a mind to do so, or if it rained, and as surely as he took the cab he overpaid the driver. He had a scorn for cleaned gloves and minor economies. Had he been bred to ten thousand a year he could scarcely have been more free-handed; and for a beggar, with a sad story, or a couple of pretty piteous-faced children, he never could resist putting his hand into his pocket. It was a sumptuous nature, perhaps, that could not be brought to regard money; a natural generosity and kindness; and possibly a petty vanity that was pleased with praise, even with the praise of waiters and cabmen. I doubt whether the wisest of us know what our own motives are, and whether some of the actions of which we are the very proudest will not surprise us when we trace them, as we shall one day, to their source.

Warrington then did not know, and Pen had not thought proper to confide to his friend, his pecuniary history. That Pen had been wild and wickedly extravagant at college, the other was aware; everybody at college was extravagant and wild; but how great the son's expenses had been, and how small the mother's means, were points which had not been as yet submitted to Mr. Warrington's examination.

At last the story came out, while Pen was grimly surveying the change for the last five-pound note, as it lay upon the tray from the public-house by Mr. Warrington's pot of ale.

"It is the last rose of summer," said Pen; "its blooming companions have gone long ago; and behold the last one of the garland has shed its leaves;" and he told Warrington the whole story which we know of his mother's means, of his own follies, of Laura's generosity; during which time Warrington smoked his pipe and listened intent.

"Impecuniosity will do you good," Pen's friend said, knocking out the ashes at the end of the narration; "I don't know anything more wholesome for a man—for an honest man, mind you—for another, the medicine loses its effect—than a state of tick. It is an alterative and a tonic; it keeps your moral man in a perpetual state of excitement: as a man who is riding at a fence, or has his opponent's single-stick before him, is forced to look his obstacle steadily in the face, and braces himself to repulse or overcome it; a little necessity brings out your pluck if you have any, and nerves you to grapple with fortune. You will discover what a number of things you can do without when you have no money to buy them. You won't want new gloves and varnished boots, eau de Cologne and cabs to ride in. You have been bred up as a molly-coddle, Pen, and spoilt by the women. A single man who has health and brains, and can't find a livelihood in the world, doesn't deserve to stay there. Let him pay his last halfpenny and jump over Waterloo Bridge. Let him steal a leg of mutton and be transported and get out of the country—he is not fit to live in it. Dixi; I have spoken. Give us another pull at the pale ale.

"You have certainly spoken; but how is one to live?" said Pen. "There is beef and bread in plenty in England, but you must pay for it with work or money. And who will take my work? and what work can I do?"

Warrington burst out laughing. "Suppose we advertise in the Times," he said, "for an usher's place at a classical and commercial academy—A gentleman, B.A. of St. Boniface College, and who was plucked for his degree—"

"Confound you," cried Pen.

"—Wishes to give lessons in classics and mathematics, and the rudiments of the French language; he can cut hair, attend to the younger pupils, and play a second on the piano with the daughters of the principal. Address A. P., Lamb Court, Temple."

"Go on," said Pen, growling.

"Men take to all sorts of professions. Why, there is your friend Bloundell-Bloundell is a professional blackleg, and travels the Continent, where he picks up young gentlemen of fashion and fleeces them. There is Bob O'Toole, with whom I was at school, who drives the Ballynafad mail now, and carries honest Jack Finucane's own correspondence to that city. I know a man, sir, a doctor's son, like—well, don't be angry, I meant nothing offensive—a doctor's son, I say, who was walking the hospitals here, and quarrelled with his governor on questions of finance, and what did he do when he came to his last five-pound note? he let his mustachios grow, went into a provincial town, where he announced himself as Professor Spineto, chiropodist to the Emperor of All the Russians, and by a happy operation on the editor of the country newspaper, established himself in practice, and lived reputably for three years. He has been reconciled to his family, and has succeeded to his father's gallypots."

"Hang gallypots," cried Pen. "I can't drive a coach, cut corns, or cheat at cards. There's nothing else you propose."

"Yes; there's our own correspondent," Warrington said. "Every man has his secrets, look you. Before you told me the story of your money-matters, I had no idea but that you were a gentleman of fortune, for, with your confounded airs and appearance, anybody would suppose you to be so. From what you tell me about your mother's income, it is clear that you must not lay any more hands on it. You can't go on spunging upon the women. You must pay off that trump of a girl. Laura is her name?—here is your health, Laura!—and carry a hod rather than ask for a shilling from home."

"But how earn one?" asked Pen.

"How do I live, think you?" said the other. "On my younger brother's allowance, Pendennis? I have secrets of my own, my boy;" and here Warrington's countenance fell. "I made away with that allowance five years ago: if I had made away with myself a little time before, it would have been better. I have played off my own bat, ever since. I don't want much money. When my purse is out, I go to work and fill it, and then lie idle like a serpent or an Indian, until I have digested the mass. Look, I begin to feel empty," Warrington said, and showed Pen a long lean purse, with but a few sovereigns at one end of it.

"But how do you fill it?" said Pen.

"I write," said Warrington. "I don't tell the world that I do so," he added, with a blush. "I do not choose that questions should be asked: or, perhaps, I am an ass, and don't wish it to be said that George Warrington writes for bread. But I write in the Law Reviews: look here, these articles are mine." And he turned over some sheets. "I write in a newspaper now and then, of which a friend of mine is editor." And Warrington, going with Pendennis to the club one day, called for a file of the Dawn, and pointed with his finger silently to one or two articles, which Pen read with delight. He had no difficulty in recognising the style afterwards—the strong thoughts and curt periods, the sense, the satire, and the scholarship.

"I am not up to this," said Pen, with a genuine admiration of his friend's powers. "I know very little about politics or history, Warrington; and have but a smattering of letters. I can't fly upon such a wing as yours."

"But you can on your own, my boy, which is lighter, and soars higher, perhaps," the other said, good-naturedly. "Those little scraps and verses which I have seen of yours show me, what is rare in these days, a natural gift, sir. You needn't blush, you conceited young jackanapes. You have thought so yourself any time these ten years. You have got the sacred flame—a little of the real poetical fire, sir, I think; and all our oil-lamps are nothing compared to that, though ever so well trimmed. You are a poet, Pen, my boy," and so speaking, Warrington stretched out his broad hand, and clapped Pen on the shoulder.

Arthur was so delighted that the tears came into his eyes. "How kind you are to me, Warrington!" he said.

"I like you, old boy," said the other. "I was dev'lish lonely in chambers, and wanted somebody, and the sight of your honest face somehow pleased me. I liked the way you laughed at Lowton—that poor good little snob. And, in fine, the reason why I cannot tell—but so it is, young 'un. I'm alone in the world, sir; and I wanted some one to keep me company;" and a glance of extreme kindness and melancholy passed out of Warrington's dark eyes.

Pen was too much pleased with his own thoughts to perceive the sadness of the friend who was complimenting him. "Thank you, Warrington," he said, "thank you for your friendship to me, and—and what you say about me. I have often thought I was a poet. I will be one—I think I am one, as you say so, though the world mayn't. Is it—is it the Ariadne in Naxos which you liked (I was only eighteen when I wrote it), or the Prize Poem?"

Warrington burst into a roar of laughter. "Why, young goose," he yelled out—"of all the miserable weak rubbish I ever tried, Ariadne in Naxos is the most mawkish and disgusting. The Prize Poem is so pompous and feeble, that I'm positively surprised, sir, it didn't get the medal. You don't suppose that you are a serious poet, do you, and are going to cut out Milton and Aeschylus? Are you setting up to be a Pindar, you absurd little tom-tit, and fancy you have the strength and pinion which the Theban eagle bear, sailing with supreme dominion through the azure fields of air? No, my boy, I think you can write a magazine article, and turn a pretty copy of verses; that's what I think of you."

"By Jove!" said Pen, bouncing up and stamping his foot, "I'll show you that I am a better man than you think for."

Warrington only laughed the more, and blew twenty-four puffs rapidly out of his pipe by way of reply to Pen.

An opportunity for showing his skill presented itself before very long. That eminent publisher, Mr. Bacon (formerly Bacon and Bungay) of Paternoster Row, besides being the proprietor of the legal Review, in which Mr. Warrington wrote, and of other periodicals of note and gravity, used to present to the world every year a beautiful gilt volume called the Spring Annual, edited by the Lady Violet Lebas, and numbering amongst its contributors not only the most eminent, but the most fashionable, poets of our time. Young Lord Dodo's poems first appeared in this miscellany—the Honourable Percy Popjoy, whose chivalrous ballads have obtained him such a reputation—Bedwin Sands's Eastern Ghazuls, and many more of the works of our young nobles, were fast given to the world in the Spring Annual, which has since shared the fate of other vernal blossoms, and perished out of the world. The book was daintily illustrated with pictures of reigning beauties, or other prints of a tender and voluptuous character; and, as these plates were prepared long beforehand, requiring much time in engraving, it was the eminent poets who had to write to the plates, and not the painters who illustrated the poems.

One day, just when this volume was on the eve of publication, it chanced that Mr. Warrington called in Paternoster Row to talk with Mr. Hack, Mr. Bacon's reader and general manager of publications—for Mr. Bacon, not having the least taste in poetry or in literature of any kind, wisely employed the services of a professional gentleman. Warrington, then, going into Mr. Hack's room on business of his own, found that gentleman with a bundle of proof plates and sheets of the Spring Annual before him, and glanced at some of them.

Percy Popjoy had written some verses to illustrate one of the pictures, which was called The Church Porch. A Spanish damsel was hastening to church with a large prayer-book; a youth in a cloak was hidden in a niche watching this young woman. The picture was pretty: but the great genius of Percy Popjoy had deserted him, for he had made the most execrable verses which ever were perpetrated by a young nobleman.

Warrington burst out laughing as he read the poem: and Mr. Hack laughed too but with rather a rueful face.—"It won't do," he said, "the public won't stand it. Bungay's people are going to bring out a very good book, and have set up Miss Bunyan against Lady Violet. We have most titles to be sure—but the verses are too bad. Lady Violet herself owns it; she's busy with her own poem; what's to be done? We can't lose the plate. The governor gave sixty pounds for it."

"I know a fellow who would do some verses, I think," said Warrington. "Let me take the plate home in my pocket: and send to my chambers in the morning for the verses. You'll pay well, of course."

"Of course," said Mr. Hack; and Warrington, having despatched his own business, went home to Mr. Pen, plate in hand.

"Now, boy, here's a chance for you. Turn me off a copy of verses to this."

"What's this? A Church Porch—A lady entering it, and a youth out of a wine-shop window ogling her.—What the deuce am I to do with it?"

"Try," said Warrington. "Earn your livelihood for once, you who long so to do it."

"Well, I will try," said Pen.

"And I'll go out to dinner," said Warrington, and left Mr. Pen in a brown study.

When Warrington came home that night, at a very late hour, the verses were done. "There they are," said Pen. "I've screwed 'em out at last. I think they'll do."

"I think, they will," said Warrington, after reading them; they ran as follows:—

The Church Porch

Although I enter not, Yet round about the spot Sometimes I hover, And at the sacred gate, With longing eyes I wait, Expectant of her.

The Minster bell tolls out Above the city's rout And noise and humming They've stopp'd the chiming bell, I hear the organ's swell She's coming, she's coming!

My lady comes at last, Timid and stepping fast, And hastening hither, With modest eyes downcast. She comes—she's here—she's past. May Heaven go with her!

Kneel undisturb'd, fair saint, Pour out your praise or plaint Meekly and duly. I will not enter there, To sully your pure prayer With thoughts unruly.

But suffer me to pace Round the forbidden place, Lingering a minute, Like outcast spirits, who wait And see through Heaven's gate Angels within it.

"Have you got any more, young fellow?" asked Warrington. "We must make them give you a couple of guineas a page; and if the verses are liked, why, you'll get an entree into Bacon's magazines, and may turn a decent penny."

Pen examined his portfolio and found another ballad which he thought might figure with advantage in the Spring Annual, and consigning these two precious documents to Warrington, the pair walked from the Temple to the famous haunt of the Muses and their masters, Paternoster Row. Bacon's shop was an ancient low-browed building, with a few of the books published by the firm displayed in the windows, under a bust of my Lord of Verulam, and the name of Mr. Bacon in brass on the private door. Exactly opposite to Bacon's house was that of Mr. Bungay, which was newly painted and elaborately decorated in the style of the seventeenth century, so that you might have fancied stately Mr. Evelyn passing over the threshold, or curious Mr. Pepys examining the books in the window. Warrington went into the shop of Mr. Bacon, but Pen stayed without. It was agreed that his ambassador should act for him entirely; and the young fellow paced up and down the street in a very nervous condition, until he should learn the result of the negotiation. Many a poor devil before him has trodden those flags, with similar cares and anxieties at his heels, his bread and his fame dependent upon the sentence of his magnanimous patrons of the Row. Pen looked at all the wonders of all the shops, and the strange variety of literature which they exhibit. In this were displayed black-letter volumes and books in the clear pale types of Aldus and Elzevir: in the next, you might see the Penny Horrific Register; the Halfpenny Annals of Crime and History of the most celebrated murderers of all countries, The Raff's Magazine, The Larky Swell, and other publications of the penny press; whilst at the next window, portraits of ill-favoured individuals, with fac-similes of the venerated signatures of the Reverend Grimes Wapshot, the Reverend Elias Howle, and the works written and the sermons preached by them, showed the British Dissenter where he could find mental pabulum. Hard by would be a little casement hung with emblems, with medals and rosaries with little paltry prints of saints gilt and painted, and books of controversial theology, by which the faithful of the Roman opinion might learn a short way to deal with Protestants, at a penny apiece, or ninepence the dozen for distribution; whilst in the very next window you might see 'Come out of Rome,' a sermon preached at the opening of the Shepherd's Bush College, by John Thomas Lord Bishop of Ealing. Scarce an opinion but has its expositor and its place of exhibition in this peaceful old Paternoster Row, under the toll of the bells of Saint Paul.

Pen looked in at all the windows and shops, as a gentleman who is going to have an interview with the dentist examines the books on the waiting-room table. He remembered them afterwards. It seemed to him that Warrington would never come out; and indeed the latter was engaged for some time in pleading his friend's cause.

Pen's natural conceit would have swollen immensely if he could but have heard the report which Warrington gave of him. It happened that Mr. Bacon himself had occasion to descend to Mr. Hack's room whilst Warrington was talking there, and Warrington, knowing Bacon's weaknesses, acted upon them with great adroitness in his friend's behalf. In the first place, he put on his hat to speak to Bacon, and addressed him from the table on which he seated himself. Bacon liked to be treated with rudeness by a gentleman, and used to pass it on to his inferiors as boys pass the mark. "What! not know Mr. Pendennis, Mr. Bacon?" Warrington said. "You can't live much in the world, or you would know him. A man of property in the West, of one of the most ancient families in England, related to half the nobility in the empire—he's cousin to Lord Pontypool—he was one of the most distinguished men at Oxbridge; he dines at Gaunt House every week."

"Law bless me, you don't say so, sir. Well—really—Law bless me now," said Mr. Bacon.

"I have just been showing Mr. Hack some of his verses, which he sat up last night, at my request, to write; and Hack talks about giving him a copy of the book—the what-d'-you-call-'em."

"Law bless me now, does he? The what-d'-you-call-'em. Indeed!"

"'The Spring Annual' is its name,—as payment for those verses. You don't suppose that such a man as Mr. Arthur Pendennis gives up a dinner at Gaunt House for nothing? You know as well as anybody, that the men of fashion want to be paid."

"That they do, Mr. Warrington, sir," said the publisher.

"I tell you he's a star; he'll make a name, sir. He's a new man, sir."

"They've said that of so many of those young swells, Mr. Warrington," the publisher interposed, with a sigh. "There was Lord Viscount Dodo, now; I gave his Lordship a good bit of money for his poems, and only sold eighty copies. Mr. Popjoy's Hadgincourt, sir, fell dead."

"Well, then, I'll take my man over to Bungay," Warrington said, and rose from the table. This threat was too much for Mr. Bacon, who was instantly ready to accede to any reasonable proposal of Mr. Warrington's, and finally asked his manager what those proposals were? When he heard that the negotiation only related as yet to a couple of ballads, which Mr. Warrington offered for the Spring Annual, Mr. Bacon said, "Law bless you, give him a check directly;" and with this paper Warrington went out to his friend, and placed it, grinning, in Pen's hands. Pen was as elated as if somebody had left him a fortune. He offered Warrington a dinner at Richmond instantly. "What should he go and buy for Laura and his mother? He must buy something for them."

"They'll like the book better than anything else," said Warrington, "with the young one's name to the verses, printed among the swells."

"Thank God! thank God!" cried Arthur, "I needn't be a charge upon the old mother. I can pay off Laura now. I can get my own living. I can make my own way."

"I can marry the grand vizier's daughter: I can purchase a house in Belgrave Square; I can build a fine castle in the air!" said Warrington, pleased with the other's exultation. "Well, you may get bread and cheese, Pen: and I own it tastes well, the bread which you earn yourself."

They had a magnum of claret at dinner at the club that day, at Pen's charges. It was long since he had indulged in such a luxury, but Warrington would not baulk him: and they drank together to the health of the Spring Annual.

It never rains but it pours, according to the proverb; so very speedily another chance occurred, by which Mr. Pen was to be helped in his scheme of making a livelihood. Warrington one day threw him a letter across the table, which was brought by a printer's boy, "from Captain Shandon, sir"—the little emissary said: and then went and fell asleep on his accustomed bench in the passage. He paid many a subsequent visit there, and brought many a message to Pen.

F. P. Tuesday Morning.

"MY DEAR SIR,—Bungay will be here to-day, about the Pall Mall Gazette. You would be the very man to help us with a genuine West-end article,—you understand—dashing, trenchant, and d—— aristocratic. Lady Hipshaw will write; but she's not much you know, and we've two lords; but the less they do the better. We must have you. We'll give you your own terms, and we'll make a hit with the Gazette.

"Shall B. come and see you, or can you look in upon me here?—Ever yours,

"C. S."

"Some more opposition," Warrington said, when Pen had read the note. "Bungay and Bacon are at daggers drawn; each married the sister of the other, and they were for some time the closest friends and partners. Hack says it was Mrs. Bungay who caused all the mischief between the two; whereas Shandon, who reads for Bungay a good deal, says Mrs. Bacon did the business; but I don't know which is right, Peachum or Lockit. But since they have separated, it is a furious war between the two publishers; and no sooner does one bring out a book of travels, or poems, a magazine or periodical, quarterly, or monthly, or weekly, or annual, but the rival is in the field with something similar. I have heard poor Shandon tell with great glee how he made Bungay give a grand dinner at Blackwall to all his writers, by saying that Bacon had invited his corps to an entertainment at Greenwich. When Bungay engaged your celebrated friend Mr. Wagg to edit the 'Londoner,' Bacon straightway rushed off and secured Mr. Grindle to give his name to the 'Westminster Magazine.' When Bacon brought out his comic Irish novel of 'Barney Brallaghan,' off went Bungay to Dublin, and produced his rollicking Hibernian story of 'Looney MacTwolter.' When Doctor Hicks brought out his 'Wanderings in Mesopotamia' under Bacon's auspices, Bungay produced Professor Sandiman's 'Researches in Zahara;' and Bungay is publishing his 'Pall Mall Gazette' as a counterpoise to Bacon's 'Whitehall Review.' Let us go and hear about the 'Gazette.' There may be a place for you in it, Pen, my boy. We will go and see Shandon. We are sure to find him at home."

"Where does he live?" asked Pen.

"In the Fleet Prison," Warrington said. "And very much at home he is there, too. He is the king of the place."

Pen had never seen this scene of London life, and walked with no small interest in at the grim gate of that dismal edifice. They went through the anteroom, where the officers and janitors of the place were seated, and passing in at the wicket, entered the prison. The noise and the crowd, the life and the shouting, the shabby bustle of the place, struck and excited Pen. People moved about ceaselessly and restless, like caged animals in a menagerie. Men were playing at fives. Others pacing and tramping: this one in colloquy with his lawyer in dingy black—that one walking sadly, with his wife by his side, and a child on his arm. Some were arrayed in tattered dressing-gowns, and had a look of rakish fashion. Everybody seemed to be busy, humming, and on the move. Pen felt as if he choked in the place, and as if the door being locked upon him they never would let him out.

They went through a court up a stone staircase, and through passages full of people, and noise, and cross lights, and black doors clapping and banging;—Pen feeling as one does in a feverish morning dream. At last the same little runner who had brought Shandon's note, and had followed them down Fleet Street munching apples, and who showed the way to the two gentlemen through the prison, said, "This is the Captain's door," and Mr. Shandon's voice from within bade them enter.

The room, though bare, was not uncheerful. The sun was shining in at the window—near which sate a lady at work, who had been gay and beautiful once, but in whose faded face kindness and tenderness still beamed. Through all his errors and reckless mishaps and misfortunes, this faithful creature adored her husband, and thought him the best and cleverest, as indeed he was one of the kindest of men. Nothing ever seemed to disturb the sweetness of his temper; not debts: not duns: not misery: not the bottle, not his wife's unhappy position, or his children's ruined chances. He was perfectly fond of wife and children after his fashion: he always had the kindest words and smiles for them, and ruined them with the utmost sweetness of temper. He never could refuse himself or any man any enjoyment which his money could purchase; he would share his last guinea with Jack and Tom, and we may be sure he had a score of such retainers. He would sign his name at the back of any man's bill, and never pay any debt of his own. He would write on any side, and attack himself or another man with equal indifference. He was one of the wittiest, the most amiable, and the most incorrigible of Irishmen. Nobody could help liking Charley Shandon who saw him once, and those whom he ruined could scarcely be angry with him.

When Pen and Warrington arrived, the Captain (he had been in an Irish militia regiment once, and the title remained with him) was sitting on his bed in a torn dressing-gown, with a desk on his knees, at which he was scribbling as fast as his rapid pen could write. Slip after slip of paper fell off the desk wet on to the ground. A picture of his children was hung up over his bed, and the youngest of them was pattering about the room.

Opposite the Captain sate Mr. Bungay, a portly man of stolid countenance, with whom the little child had been trying a conversation.

"Papa's a very clever man," said she; "mamma says so."

"Oh, very," said Mr. Bungay.

"And you're a very rich man, Mr. Bundy," cried the child, who could hardly speak plain.

"Mary!" said Mamma, from her work.

"Oh, never mind," Bungay roared out with a great laugh; "no harm in saying I'm rich—he, he—I am pretty well off, my little dear."

"If you're rich, why don't you take papa out of piz'n?" asked the child.

Mamma at this began to wipe her eyes with the work on which she was employed. (The poor lady had hung curtains up in the room, had brought the children's picture and placed it there, and had made one or two attempts to ornament it.) Mamma began to cry; Mr. Bungay turned red, and looked fiercely out of his bloodshot little eyes; Shandon's pen went on, and Pen and Warrington arrived with their knock.

Captain Shandon looked up from his work. "How do you do, Mr. Warrington," he said. "I'll speak to you in a minute. Please sit down, gentlemen, if you can find places," and away went the pen again.

Warrington pulled forward an old portmanteau—the only available seat—and sate down on it, with a bow to Mrs. Shandon and a nod to Bungay: the child came and looked at Pen solemnly and in a couple of minutes the swift scribbling ceased; and Shandon, turning the desk over on the bed, stooped and picked up the papers.

"I think this will do," said he. "It's the prospectus for the Pall Mall Gazette."

"And here's the money for it," Mr. Bungay said, laying down a five-pound note. "I'm as good as my word, I am. When I say I'll pay, I pay."

"Faith that's more than some of us can say," said Shandon, and he eagerly clapped the note into his pocket.



CHAPTER XXXIII. Which is passed in the Neighbourhood of Ludgate Hill

Our imprisoned Captain announced, in smart and emphatic language in his prospectus, that the time had come at last when it was necessary for the gentlemen of England to band together in defence of their common rights and their glorious order, menaced on all sides by foreign revolutions, by intestine radicalism, by the artful calumnies of mill-owners and cotton-lords, and the stupid hostility of the masses whom they gulled and led. "The ancient monarchy was insulted," the Captain said, "by a ferocious republican rabble. The Church was deserted by envious dissent, and undermined by stealthy infidelity. The good institutions, which had made our country glorious, and the name of English Gentleman the proudest in the world, were left without defence, and exposed to assault and contumely from men to whom no sanctuary was sacred, for they believed in nothing holy; no history venerable, for they were too ignorant to have heard of the past; and no law was binding which they were strong enough to break, when their leaders gave the signal for plunder. It was because the kings of France mistrusted their gentlemen," Mr. Shandon remarked, "that the monarchy of Saint Louis went down: it was because the people of England still believed in their gentlemen, that this country encountered and overcame the greatest enemy a nation ever met: it was because we were headed by gentlemen, that the Eagles retreated before us from the Donro to the Garonne: it was a gentleman who broke the line at Trafalgar, and swept the plain of Waterloo."

Bungay nodded his head in a knowing manner, and winked his eyes when the Captain came to the Waterloo passage: and Warrington burst out laughing.

"You see how our venerable friend Bungay is affected," Shandon said, slily looking up from his papers—"that's your true sort of test. I have used the Duke of Wellington and the battle of Waterloo a hundred times, and I never knew the Duke to fail."

The Captain then went on to confess, with much candour, that up to the present time the gentlemen of England, confident of their right, and careless of those who questioned it, had left the political interest of their order as they did the management of their estates, or the settlement of their legal affairs, to persons affected to each peculiar service, and had permitted their interests to be represented in the press by professional proctors and advocates. That time Shandon professed to consider was now gone by: the gentlemen of England must be their own champions: the declared enemies of their order were brave, strong, numerous, and uncompromising. They must meet their foes in the field: they must not be belied and misrepresented by hireling advocates: they must not have Grub Street publishing Gazettes from Whitehall; "that's a dig at Bacon's people, Mr. Bungay," said Shandon, turning round to the publisher. Bungay clapped his stick on the floor. "Hang him, pitch into him, Capting," he said with exultation: and turning to Warrington, wagged his dull head more vehemently than ever, and said, "For a slashing article, sir, there's nobody like the Capting—no-obody like him."

The prospectus-writer went on to say that some gentlemen, whose names were, for obvious reasons, not brought before the public (at which Mr. Warrington began to laugh again), had determined to bring forward a journal, of which the principles were so-and-so. "These men are proud of their order, and anxious to uphold it," cried out Captain Shandon, flourishing his paper with a grin. "They are loyal to their Sovereign, by faithful conviction and ancestral allegiance; they love their Church, where they would have their children worship, and for which their forefathers bled; they love their country, and would keep it what the gentlemen of England—yes, the gentlemen of England (we'll have that in large caps, Bungay, my boy) have made it—the greatest and freest in the world: and as the names of some of them are appended to the deed which secured our liberties at Runnymede—"

"What's that?" asked Mr. Bungay.

"An ancestor of mine sealed it with his sword-hilt," Pen said, with great gravity.

"It's the Habeas Corpus, Mr. Bungay," Warrington said, on which the publisher answered, "All right, I dare say," and yawned, though he said, "Go on, Capting."

"—at Runnymede; they are ready to defend that freedom to-day with sword and pen, and now, as then, to rally round the old laws and liberties of England."

"Bravo!" cried Warrington. The little child stood wondering; the lady was working silently, and looking with fond admiration. "Come here, little Mary," said Warrington, and patted the child's fair curls with his large hand. But she shrank back from his rough caress, and preferred to go and take refuge at Pen's knee, and play with his fine watch-chain: and Pen was very much pleased that she came to him; for he was very soft-hearted and simple, though he concealed his gentleness under a shy and pompous demeanour. So she clambered up on his lap, whilst her father continued to read his programme.

"You were laughing," the Captain said to Warrington, "about 'the obvious reasons' which I mentioned. Now, I'll show ye what they are, ye unbelieving heathen. 'We have said,'" he went on, "'that we cannot give the names of the parties engaged in this undertaking, and that there were obvious reasons for that concealment. We number influential friends in both Houses of the Senate, and have secured allies in every diplomatic circle in Europe. Our sources of intelligence are such as cannot, by any possibility, be made public—and, indeed, such as no other London or European journal could, by any chance, acquire. But this we are free to say, that the very earliest information connected with the movement of English and Continental politics will be found only in the columns of the Pall Mall Gazette, The Statesman and the Capitalist, the Country Gentleman and the Divine, will be amongst our readers, because our writers are amongst them. We address ourselves to the higher circles of society: we care not to disown it—the Pall Mall Gazette is written by gentlemen for gentlemen; its conductors speak to the classes in which they live and were born. The field-preacher has his journal, the radical free-thinker has his journal: why should the Gentlemen of England be unrepresented in the Press?'"

Mr. Shandon then went on with much modesty to descant upon the literary and fashionable departments of the Pall Mall Gazette, which were to be conducted by gentlemen of acknowledged reputation; men famous at the Universities (at which Mr Pendennis could scarcely help laughing and blushing), known at the Clubs, and of the Society which they described. He pointed out delicately to advertisers that there would be no such medium as the Pall Mall Gazette for giving publicity to their sales; and he eloquently called upon the nobility of England, the baronetage of England, the revered clergy of England, the bar of England, the matrons, the daughters, the homes and hearths of England, to rally round the good old cause; and Bungay at the conclusion of the reading woke up from a second snooze in which he had indulged himself, and again said it was all right.

The reading of the prospectus concluded, the gentlemen present entered into some details regarding the political and literary management of the paper, and Mr. Bungay sate by listening and nodding his head, as if he understood what was the subject of their conversation, and approved of their opinions. Bungay's opinions, in truth, were pretty simple. He thought the Captain could write the best smashing article in England. He wanted the opposition house of Bacon smashed, and it was his opinion that the Captain could do that business. If the Captain had written a letter of Junius on a sheet of paper, or copied a part of the Church Catechism, Mr. Bungay would have been perfectly contented, and have considered that the article was a smashing article. And he pocketed the papers with the greatest satisfaction: and he not only paid for the MS., as we have seen, but he called little Mary to him, and gave her a penny as he went away.

The reading of the manuscript over, the party engaged in general conversation, Shandon leading with a jaunty fashionable air in compliment to the two guests who sate with him and, and who, by their appearance and manner, he presumed to be persons of the beau monde. He knew very little indeed of the great world, but he had seen it, and made the most of what he had seen. He spoke of the characters of the day, and great personages of the fashion, with easy familiarity and jocular allusions, as if it had been his habit to live amongst them. He told anecdotes of their private life, and of conversations he had had, and entertainments at which he had been present, and at which such and such a thing occurred. Pen was amused to hear the shabby prisoner in a tattered dressing-gown talking glibly about the great of the land. Mrs. Shandon was always delighted when her husband told these tales, and believed in them fondly every one. She did not want to mingle in the fashionable world herself, she was not clever enough; but the great Society was the very place for her Charles: he shone in it: he was respected in it. Indeed, Shandon had once been asked to dinner by the Earl of X; his wife treasured the invitation-card in her workbox at that very day.

Mr. Bungay presently had enough of this talk and got up to take leave, whereupon Warrington and Pen rose to depart with the publisher, though the latter would have liked to stay to make a further acquaintance with this family, who interested him and touched him. He said something about hoping for permission to repeat his visit, upon which Shandon, with a rueful grin, said he was always to be found at home, and should be delighted to see Mr. Pennington.

"I'll see you to my park-gate, gentlemen," said Captain Shandon, seizing his hat, in spite of a deprecatory look and a faint cry of "Charles" from Mrs. Shandon. And the Captain, in shabby slippers, shuffled out before his guests, leading the way through the dismal passages of the prison. His hand was already fiddling with his waistcoat pocket, where Bungay's five-pound note was, as he took leave of the three gentlemen at the wicket; one of them, Mr. Arthur Pendennis, being greatly relieved when he was out of the horrid place, and again freely treading the flags of Farringdon Street.

Mrs. Shandon sadly went on with her work at the window looking into the court. She saw Shandon with a couple of men at his heels run rapidly in the direction of the prison tavern. She had hoped to have had him to dinner herself that day: there was a piece of meat, and some salad in a basin, on the ledge outside of the window of their room which she had expected that she and little Mary were to share with the child's father. But there was no chance of that now. He would be in that tavern until the hours for closing it; then he would go and play at cards or drink in some other man's room and come back silent, with glazed eyes, reeling a little on his walk, that his wife might nurse him. Oh, what varieties of pain do we not make our women suffer!

So Mrs. Shandon went to the cupboard, and, in lieu of a dinner, made herself some tea. And in those varieties of pain of which we spoke anon, what a part of confidante has that poor tea-pot played ever since the kindly plant was introduced among us! What myriads of women have cried over it, to be sure! What sick-beds it has smoked by! What fevered lips have received refreshment from out of it! Nature meant very gently by women when she made that tea-plant; and with a little thought what a series of pictures and groups the fancy may conjure up and assemble round the tea-pot and cup! Melissa and Sacharissa are talking love-secrets over it. Poor Polly has it and her lover's letters upon the table; his letters who was her lover yesterday, and when it was with pleasure, not despair, she wept over them. Mary tripping noiselessly comes into her mother's bedroom, bearing a cup of the consoler to the widow who will take no other food, Ruth is busy concocting it for her husband, who is coming home from the harvest-field—one could fill a page with hints for such pictures;—finally, Mrs. Shandon and little Mary sit down and drink their tea together, while the Captain goes out and takes his pleasure. She cares for nothing else but that, when her husband is away.

A gentleman with whom we are already slightly acquainted, Mr. Jack Finucane, a townsman of Captain Shandon's, found the Captain's wife and little Mary (for whom Jack always brought a sweetmeat in his pocket) over this meal. Jack thought Shandon the greatest of created geniuses, had had one or two helps from the good-natured prodigal, who had always a kind word, and sometimes a guinea for any friend in need; and never missed a day in seeing his patron. He was ready to run Shandon's errands and transact his money-business with publishers and newspaper editors, duns, creditors, holders of Shandon's acceptances, gentlemen disposed to speculate in those securities, and to transact the thousand little affairs of an embarrassed Irish gentleman. I never knew an embarrassed Irish gentleman yet, but he had an aide-de-camp of his own nation, likewise in circumstances of pecuniary discomfort. That aide-de-camp has subordinates of his own, who again may have other insolvent dependents—all through his life our Captain marched at the head of a ragged staff, who shared in the rough fortunes of their chieftain.

"He won't have that five-pound note very long, I bet a guinea," Mr. Bungay said of the Captain, as he and his two companions walked away from the prison; and the publisher judged rightly, for when Mrs. Shandon came to empty her husband's pockets, she found but a couple of shillings, and a few halfpence out of the morning's remittance. Shandon had given a pound to one follower; had sent a leg of mutton and potatoes and beer to an acquaintance in the poor side of the prison; had paid an outstanding bill at the tavern where he had changed his five-pound note; had had a dinner with two friends there, to whom he lost sundry half-crowns at cards afterwards; so that the night left him as poor as the morning had found him.

The publisher and the two gentlemen had had some talk together after quitting Shandon, and Warrington reiterated to Bungay what he had said to his rival, Bacon, viz., that Pen was a high fellow, of great genius, and what was more, well with the great world, and related to "no end" of the peerage. Bungay replied that he should be happy to have dealings with Mr. Pendennis, and hoped to have the pleasure of seeing both gents to cut mutton with him before long, and so, with mutual politeness and protestations, they parted.

"It is hard to see such a man as Shandon," Pen said, musing, and talking that night over the sight which he had witnessed, "of accomplishments so multifarious, and of such an undoubted talent and humour, an inmate of a gaol for half his time, and a bookseller's hanger-on when out of prison."

"I am a bookseller's hanger-on—you are going to try your paces as a hack," Warrington said with a laugh. "We are all hacks upon some road or other. I would rather be myself, than Paley our neighbour in chambers: who has as much enjoyment of his life as a mole. A deuced deal of undeserved compassion has been thrown away upon what you call your bookseller's drudge."

"Much solitary pipes and ale make a cynic of you," said Pen "You are a Diogenes by a beer-barrel, Warrington. No man shall tell me that a man of genius, as Shandon is, ought to be driven by such a vulgar slave-driver, as yonder Mr. Bungay, whom we have just left, who fattens on the profits of the other's brains, and enriches himself out of his journeyman's labour. It makes me indignant to see a gentleman the serf of such a creature as that, of a man who can't speak the language that he lives by, who is not fit to black Shandon's boots."

"So you have begun already to gird at the publishers, and to take your side amongst our order. Bravo, Pen, my be boy!" Warrington answered, laughing still. "What have you got to say against Bungay's relations with Shandon? Was it the publisher, think you, who sent the author to prison? Is it Bungay who is tippling away the five-pound note which we saw just now, or Shandon?"

"Misfortune drives a man into bad company," Pen said. "It is easy to cry 'Fie!' against a poor fellow who has no society but such as he finds in a prison; and no resource except forgetfulness and the bottle. We must deal kindly with the eccentricities of genius, and remember that the very ardour and enthusiasm of temperament which makes the author delightful often leads the man astray."

"A fiddlestick about men of genius!" Warrington cried out, who was a very severe moralist upon some points, though possibly a very had practitioner. "I deny that there are so many geniuses as people who whimper about the fate of men of letters assert there are. There are thousands of clever fellows in the world who could, if they would, turn verses, write articles, read books, and deliver a judgment upon them; the talk of professional critics and writers is not a whit more brilliant, or profound, or amusing, than that of any other society of educated people. If a lawyer, or a soldier, or a parson, outruns his income, and does not pay his bills, he must go to gaol; and an author must go, too. If an author fuddles himself, I don't know why he should be let off a headache the next morning,—if he orders a coat from the tailor's, why he shouldn't pay for it."

"I would give him more money to buy coats," said Pen, smiling. "I suppose I should like to belong to a well-dressed profession. I protest against that wretch of a middle-man whom I see between Genius and his great landlord, the Public, and who stops more than half of the labourer's earnings and fame."

"I am a prose labourer," Warrington said; "you, my boy, are a poet in a small way, and so, I suppose, consider you are authorised to be flighty. What is it you want? Do you want a body of capitalists that shall be forced to purchase the works of all authors, who may present themselves, manuscript in hand? Everybody who writes his epic, every driveller who can or can't spell, and produces his novel or his tragedy,—are they all to come and find a bag of sovereigns in exchange for their worthless reams of paper? Who is to settle what is good or bad, saleable or otherwise? Will you give the buyer leave, in fine, to purchase or not? Why, sir, when Johnson sate behind the screen at Saint John's Gate, and took his dinner apart, because he was too shabby and poor to join the literary bigwigs who were regaling themselves, round Mr. Cave's best table-cloth, the tradesman was doing him no wrong. You couldn't force the publisher to recognise the man of genius in the young man who presented himself before him, ragged, gaunt, and hungry. Rags are not a proof of genius; whereas capital is absolute, as times go, and is perforce the bargain-master. It has a right to deal with the literary inventor as with any other;—if I produce a novelty in the book trade, I must do the best I can with it; but I can no more force Mr. Murray to purchase my book of travels or sermons, than I can compel Mr. Tattersall to give me a hundred guineas for my horse. I may have my own ideas of the value of my Pegasus, and think him the most wonderful of animals; but the dealer has a right to his opinion, too, and may want a lady's horse, or a cob for a heavy timid rider, or a sound hack for the road, and my beast won't suit him."

"You deal in metaphors, Warrington," Pen said; "but you rightly say that you are very prosaic. Poor Shandon! There is something about the kindness of that man, and the gentleness of that sweet creature of a wife, which touches me profoundly. I like him, I am afraid, better than a better man."

"And so do I," Warrington said. "Let us give him the benefit of our sympathy, and the pity that is due to his weakness: though I fear that sort of kindness would be resented as contempt by a more high-minded man. You see he takes his consolation along with his misfortune, and one generates the other or balances ii, as the way of the world. He is a prisoner, but he is not unhappy."

"His genius sings within his prison bars," Pen said.

"Yes," Warrington said, bitterly; "Shandon accommodates himself to a cage pretty well. He ought to be wretched, but he has Jack and Tom to drink with, and that consoles him: he might have a high place, but, as he can't, why, he can drink with Tom and Jack;—he might be providing for his wife and children, but Thomas and John have got a bottle of brandy which they want him to taste;—he might pay poor Snip, the tailor, the twenty pounds which the poor devil wants for his landlord, but John and Thomas lay their hands upon his purse;—and so he drinks whilst his tradesman goes to gaol and his family to ruin. Let us pity the misfortunes of genius, and conspire against the publishing tyrants who oppress men of letters."

"What! are you going to have another glass of brandy-and-water?" Pen said, with a humorous look. It was at the Black Kitchen that the above philosophical conversation took place between the two young men.

Warrington began to laugh as usual. "Video meliora proboque—I mean, bring it me hot, with sugar, John," he said to waiter.

"I would have some more, too, only I don't want it," said Pen. "It does not seem to me, Warrington, that we are much better than our neighbours." And Warrington's last glass having been despatched, the pair returned to their chambers.

They found a couple of notes in the letter-box, on their return, which had been sent by their acquaintance of the morning, Mr. Bungay. That hospitable gentleman presented his compliments to each of the gentlemen, and requested their pleasure of company at dinner on an early day, to meet a few literary friends.

"We shall have a grand spread, Warrington. We shall meet all Bungay's corps."

"All except poor Shandon," said Pen, nodding a good-night to his friend, and he went into his own little room. The events and acquaintances of the day had excited him a good deal, and he lay for some time awake thinking over them, as Warrington's vigorous and regular snore from the neighbouring apartment pronounced that that gentleman was engaged in deep slumber.

Is it true, thought Pendennis, lying on his bed and gazing at a bright moon without, that lighted up a corner of his dressing-table, and the frame of a little sketch of Fairoaks drawn by Laura, and hung over his drawers—is it true that I am going to earn my bread at last, and with my pen? that I shall impoverish the dear mother no longer; and that I may gain a name and reputation in the world, perhaps? These are welcome if they come, thought the young visionary, laughing and blushing to himself, though alone and in the night, as he thought how dearly he would relish honour and fame if they could be his. If fortune favours me, I laud her; if she frowns, I resign her. I pray Heaven I may be honest if I fail, or if I succeed. I pray Heaven I may tell the truth as far as I know it: that I mayn't swerve from it through flattery, or interest, or personal enmity, or party prejudice. Dearest old mother, what a pride will you have, if I can do anything worthy of our name I and you, Laura, you won't scorn me as the worthless idler and spendthrift, when you see that I—when I have achieved a—psha! what an Alnaschar I am because I have made five pounds by my poems, and am engaged to write half a dozen articles for a newspaper. He went on with these musings, more happy and hopeful, and in a humbler frame of mind, than he had felt to be for many a day. He thought over the errors and idleness, the passions, extravagances, disappointments, of his wayward youth: he got up from the bed: threw open the window, and looked out into the night: and then, by some impulse, which we hope was a good one, he went up and kissed the picture of Fairoaks, and flinging himself down on his knees by the bed, remained for some time in that posture of hope and submission. When he rose, it was with streaming eyes. He had found himself repeating, mechanically, some little words which he had been accustomed to repeat as a child at his mother's side, after the saying of which she would softly take him to his bed and close the curtains round him, hushing him with a benediction.

The next day, Mr. Pidgeon, their attendant, brought in a large brown-paper parcel, directed to G. Warrington, Esq., with Mr. Trotter's compliments, and a note which Warrington read.

"Pen, you beggar!" roared Warrington to Pen, who was in his own room.

"Hullo!" sung out Pen.

"Come here, you're wanted," cried the other, and Pen came out.

"What is it?" said he.

"Catch!" cried Warrington, and flung the parcel at Pen's head, who would have been knocked down had he not caught it.

"It's books for review for the Pall Mall Gazette: pitch into 'em," Warrington said. As for Pen, he never had been so delighted in his life: his hand trembled as he cut the string of the packet, and beheld within a smart set of new neat calico-bound books—travels, and novels, and poems.

"Sport the oak, Pidgeon," said he. "I'm not at home to anybody to-day." And he flung into his easy-chair, and hardly gave himself time to drink his tea, so eager was he to begin to read and to review.



CHAPTER XXXIV. In which the History still hovers about Fleet Street

Captain Shandon, urged on by his wife, who seldom meddled in business matters, had stipulated that John Finucane, Esquire, of the Upper Temple, should be appointed sub-editor of forthcoming Pall Mall Gazette, and this post was accordingly conferred upon Mr. Finucane by the spirited proprietor of the Journal. Indeed he deserved any kindness at the hands of Shandon, so fondly attached was he, as we have said, to the Captain and his family, and so eager to do him a service. It was in Finucane's chambers that Shandon in former days used to hide when danger was near and bailiffs abroad: until at length his hiding-place was known, and the sheriff's officers came as regularly to wait for the Captain on Finucane's staircase as at his own door. It was to Finucane's chambers that poor Mrs. Shandon came often and often to explain her troubles and griefs, and devise means of rescue for her adored Captain. Many a meal did Finucane furnish for her and the child there. It was an honour to his little rooms to be visited by such a lady; and as she went down the staircase with her veil over her face, Fin would lean over the balustrade looking after her, to see that no Temple Lovelace assailed her upon the road, perhaps hoping that some rogue might be induced to waylay her, so that he, Fin, might have the pleasure of rushing to her rescue, and breaking the rascal's bones. It was a sincere pleasure to Mrs. Shandon when the arrangements were made by which her kind honest champion was appointed her husband's aide-de-camp in the newspaper.

He would have sate with Mrs. Shandon as late as the prison hours permitted, and had indeed many a time witnessed the putting to bed of little Mary, who occupied a crib in the room; and to whose evening prayers that God might bless papa, Finucane, although of the Romish faith himself, had said Amen with a great deal of sympathy—but he had an appointment with Mr. Bungay regarding the affairs of the paper which they were to discuss over a quiet dinner. So he went away at six o'clock from Mrs. Shandon, but made his accustomed appearance at the Fleet Prison next morning, having arrayed himself in his best clothes and ornaments, which, though cheap as to cost, were very brilliant as to colour and appearance, and having in his pocket four pounds two shillings, being the amount of his week's salary at the Daily Journal, minus two shillings expended by him in the purchase of a pair of gloves on his way to the prison.

He had cut his mutton with Mr. Bungay, as the latter gentleman phrased it, and Mr. Trotter, Bungay's reader and literary man of business, at Dick's Coffee-house on the previous day, and entered at large into his views respecting the conduct of the Pall Mall Gazette. In a masterly manner he had pointed out what should be the sub-editorial arrangements of the paper: what should be the type for the various articles: who should report the markets; who the turf and ring; who the Church intelligence; and who the fashionable chit-chat. He was acquainted with gentlemen engaged in cultivating these various departments of knowledge, and in communicating them afterwards to the public—in fine, Jack Finucane was, as Shandon had said of him, and as he proudly owned himself to be, one of the best sub-editors of a paper in London. He knew the weekly earnings of every man connected with the Press, and was up to a thousand dodges, or ingenious economic contrivances, by which money could be saved to spirited capitalists, who were going to set up a paper. He at once dazzled and mystified Mr. Bungay, who was slow of comprehension, by the rapidity of the calculations which he exhibited on paper, as they sate in the box. And Bungay afterwards owned to his subordinate Mr. Trotter, that that Irishman seemed a clever fellow.

And now having succeeded in making this impression upon Mr. Bungay, the faithful fellow worked round to the point which he had very near at heart, viz., the liberation from prison of his admired friend and chief, Captain Shandon. He knew to a shilling the amount of the detainers which were against the Captain at the porter's lodge of the Fleet; and, indeed, professed to know all his debts, though this was impossible, for no man in England, certainly not the Captain himself, was acquainted with them. He pointed out what Shandon's engagements already were; and how much better he would work if removed from confinement (though this Mr. Bungay denied, for, "when the Captain's locked up," he said, "we are sure to find him at home; whereas, when he's free, you can never catch hold of him"); finally, he so worked on Mr. Bungay's feelings, by describing Mrs. Shandon pining away in the prison, and the child sickening there, that the publisher was induced to promise that, if Mrs. Shandon would come to him in the morning, he would see what could be done. And the colloquy ending at this time with the second round of brandy-and-water, although Finucane, who had four guineas in his pocket, would have discharged the tavern reckoning with delight, Bungay said, "No, sir,—this is my affair, sir, if you please. James, take the bill, and eighteenpence for yourself," and he handed over the necessary funds to the waiter. Thus it was that Finucane, who went to bed at the Temple after the dinner at Dick's, found himself actually with his week's salary intact upon Saturday morning.

He gave Mrs. Shandon a wink so knowing and joyful, that that kind creature knew some good news was in store for her, and hastened to get her bonnet and shawl, when Fin asked if he might have the honour of taking her a walk, and giving her a little fresh air. And little Mary jumped for joy at the idea of this holiday, for Finucane never neglected to give her a toy, or to take her to a show, and brought newspaper orders in his pocket for all sorts of London diversions to amuse the child. Indeed, he loved them with all his heart, and would cheerfully have dashed out his rambling brains to do them, or his adored Captain, a service.

"May I go, Charley? or shall I stay with you, for you're poorly, dear, this morning? He's got a headache, Mr. Finucane. He suffers from headaches, and I persuaded him to stay in bed," Mrs. Shandon said.

"Go along with you, and Polly. Jack, take care of 'em. Hand me over the Burton's Anatomy, and leave me to my abominable devices," Shandon said, with perfect good-humour. He was writing, and not uncommonly took his Greek and Latin quotations (of which he knew the use as a public writer) from that wonderful repertory of learning.

So Fin gave his arm to Mrs. Shandon, and Mary went skipping down the passages of the prison, and through the gate into the free air. From Fleet Street to Paternoster Row is not very far. As the three reached Mr. Bungay's shop, Mrs. Bungay was also entering at the private door, holding in her hand a paper parcel and a manuscript volume bound in red, and, indeed, containing an account of her transactions with the butcher in the neighbouring market. Mrs. Bungay was in a gorgeous shot-silk dress, which flamed with red and purple; she wore a yellow shawl, and had red flowers inside her bonnet, and a brilliant light blue parasol.

Mrs. Shandon was in an old black watered silk; her bonnet had never seen very brilliant days of prosperity any more than its owner, but she could not help looking like a lady whatever her attire was. The two women curtsied to each other, each according to her fashion.

"I hope you're pretty well, mum?" said Mrs. Bungay.

"It's a very fine day," said Mrs. Shandon.

"Won't you step in, mum?" said Mrs. Bungay, looking so hard at the child as almost to frighten her.

"I—I came about business with Mr. Bungay—I—I hope he's pretty well?" said timid Mrs. Shandon.

"If you go to see him in the counting-house, couldn't you, couldn't you leave your little gurl with me?" said Mrs. Bungay, in a deep voice, and with a tragic look, as she held out one finger towards the child.

"I want to stay with mamma," cried little Mary, burying her face in her mother's dress.

"Go with this lady, Mary, my dear," said the mother.

"I'll show you some pretty pictures," said Mrs. Bungay, with the voice of an ogress, "and some nice things besides; look here,"—and opening her brown-paper parcel, Mrs. Bungay displayed some choice sweet buscuits, such as her Bungay loved after his wine. Little Mary followed after this attraction, the whole party entering at the private entrance, from which a side door led into Mr. Bungay's commercial apartments. Here, however, as the child was about to part from her mother, her courage again failed her, and again she ran to the maternal petticoat; upon which the kind and gentle Mrs. Shandon, seeing the look of disappointment in Mrs. Bungay's face, good-naturedly said, "If you will let me, I will come up too, and sit for a few minutes," and so the three females ascended the stairs together. A second biscuit charmed little Mary into perfect confidence, and in a minute or two she prattled away without the least restraint.

Faithful Finucane meanwhile found Mr. Bungay in a severer mood than he had been on the night previous, when two-thirds of a bottle of port, and two large glasses of brandy-and-water, had warmed his soul into enthusiasm, and made him generous in his promises towards Captain Shandon. His impetuous wife had rebuked him on his return home. She had ordered that he should give no relief to the Captain; he was a good-for-nothing fellow, whom no money would help; she disapproved of the plan of the Pall Mall Gazette, and expected that Bungay would only lose his money in it as they were losing over the way (she always called her brother's establishment "over the way") by the Whitehall Journal. Let Shandon stop in prison and do his work; it was the best place for him. In vain Finucane pleaded and promised and implored, for his friend Bungay had had an hour's lecture in the morning and was inexorable.

But what honest Jack failed to do below-stairs in the counting-house, the pretty faces and manners of the mother and child were effecting in the drawing-room, where they were melting the fierce but really soft Mrs. Bungay. There was an artless sweetness in Mrs. Shandon's voice, and a winning frankness of manner, which made most people fond of her, and pity her: and taking courage by the rugged kindness with which her hostess received her, the Captain's lady told her story, and described her husband's goodness and virtues, and her child's failing health (she was obliged to part with two of them, she said, and send them to school, for she could not have them in that horrid place)—that Mrs. Bungay, though as grim as Lady Macbeth, melted under the influence of the simple tale, and said she would go down and speak to Bungay. Now in this household to speak was to command, with Mrs. Bungay; and with Bungay, to hear was to obey.

It was just when poor Finucane was in despair about his negotiation, that the majestic Mrs. Bungay descended upon her spouse, politely requested Mr. Finucane to step up to his friends in her drawing-room, while she held a few minutes' conversation with Mr. B., and when the pair were alone the publisher's better half informed him of her intentions towards the Captain's lady.

"What's in the wind now, my dear?" Maecenas asked, surprised at his wife's altered tone. "You wouldn't hear of my doing anything for the Captain this morning: I wonder what has been a changing of you.

"The Capting is an Irishman," Mrs. Bungay replied; "and those Irish I have always said I couldn't abide. But his wife is a lady, as any one can see; and a good woman, and a clergyman's daughter, and a West of England woman, B., which I am myself, by my mother's side—and, O Marmaduke! didn't you remark the little gurl?"

"Yes, Mrs. B., I saw the little girl."

"And didn't you see how like she was to our angel, Bessy, Mr. B.?"—and Mrs. Bungay's thoughts flew back to a period eighteen years back, when Bacon and Bungay had just set up in business as small booksellers in a country town, and when she had had a child, named Bessy, something like the little Mary who had moved her compassion.

"Well, well, my dear," Mr. Bungay said, seeing the little eyes of his wife begin to twinkle and grow red; "the Captain ain't in for much. There's only a hundred and thirty pound against him. Half the money will take him out of the Fleet, Finucane says, and we'll pay him half salaries till he has made the account square. When the little 'un said, 'Why don't you take Par out of prizn?' I did feel it, Flora, upon my honour I did, now." And the upshot of this conversation was, that Mr. and Mrs. Bungay both ascended to the drawing-room, and Mr. Bungay made a heavy and clumsy speech, in which he announced to Mrs. Shandon, that, hearing sixty-five pounds would set her husband free, he was ready to advance that sum of money, deducting it from the Captain's salary, and that he would give it to her on condition that she would personally settle with the creditors regarding her husband's liberation.

I think this was the happiest day that Mrs. Shandon and Mr. Finucane had had for a long time. "Bedad, Bungay, you're a trump!" roared out Fin, in an overpowering brogue and emotion. "Give us your fist, old boy: and won't we send the Pall Mall Gazette up to ten thousand a week, that's all!" and he jumped about the room, and tossed up little Mary, with a hundred frantic antics.

"If I could drive you anywhere in my carriage, Mrs. Shandon—I'm sure it's quite at your service," Mrs. Bungay said, looking out at a one-horsed vehicle which had just driven up, and in which this lady took the air considerably—and the two ladies, with little Mary between them (whose tiny hand Maecenas's wife kept fixed in her great grasp), with the delighted Mr. Finucane on the back seat, drove away from Paternoster Row, as the owner of the vehicle threw triumphant glances at the opposite windows at Bacon's.

"It won't do the Captain any good," thought Bungay, going back to his desk and accounts, "but Mrs. B. becomes reglar upset when she thinks about her misfortune. The child would have been of age yesterday, if she'd lived. Flora told me so:" and he wondered how women did remember things.

We are happy to say that Mrs. Shandon sped with very good success upon her errand. She who had had to mollify creditors when she had no money at all, and only tears and entreaties wherewith to soothe them, found no difficulty in making them relent by means of a bribe of ten shillings in the pound; and the next Sunday was the last, for some time at least, which the Captain spent in prison.



CHAPTER XXXV. Dinner in the Row

Upon the appointed day our two friends made their appearance at Mr. Bungay's door in Paternoster Row; not the public entrance through which booksellers' boys issued with their sacks full of Bungay's volumes, and around which timid aspirants lingered with their virgin manuscripts ready for sale to Sultan Bungay, but at the private door of the house, whence the splendid Mrs. Bungay would come forth to step into her chaise and take her drive, settling herself on the cushions, and casting looks of defiance at Mrs. Bacon's opposite windows—at Mrs. Bacon, who was as yet a chaiseless woman.

On such occasions, when very much wroth at her sister-in-law's splendour Mrs. Bacon would fling up the sash of her drawing-room window, and look out with her four children at the chaise, as much as to say, "Look at these four darlings. Flora Bungay! this is why I can't drive in my carriage; you would give a coach-and-four to have the same reason." And it was with these arrows out of her quiver that Emma Bacon shot Flora Bungay as she sate in her chariot envious and childless.

As Pen and Warrington came to Bungay's door, a carriage and a cab drove up to Bacon's. Old Dr. Slocum descended heavily from the first; the Doctor's equipage was as ponderous as his style, but both had a fine sonorous effect upon the publishers in the Row. A couple of dazzling white waistcoats stepped out of the cab.

Warrington laughed. "You see Bacon has his dinner-party too. That is Dr. Slocum, author of 'Memoirs of the Poisoners.' You would hardly have recognised our friend Hoolan in that gallant white waistcoat. Doolan is one of Bungay's men, and faith, here he comes." Indeed, Messrs. Hoolan and Doolan had come from the Strand in the same cab, tossing up by the way which should pay the shilling; and Mr. D. stepped from the other side of the way, arrayed in black, with a large pair of white gloves which were spread out on his hands, and which the owner could not help regarding with pleasure.

The house porter in an evening coat, and gentlemen with gloves as large as Doolan's, but of the famous Berlin web, were on the passage of Mr. Bungay's house to receive the guests' hats and coats, and bawl their names up the stair. Some of the latter had arrived when the three new visitors made their appearance; but there was only Mrs. Bungay in red satin and a turban to represent her own charming sex. She made curtsies to each new-comer as he entered the drawing-room, but her mind was evidently pre-occupied by extraneous thoughts. The fact is, Mrs. Bacon's dinner-party was disturbing her, and as soon as she had received each individual of her own company, Flora Bungay flew back to the embrasure of the window, whence she could rake the carriages of Emma Bacon's friends as they came rattling up the Row. The sight of Dr. Slocum's large carriage, with the gaunt job-horses, crushed Flora: none but hack cabs had driven up to her own door on that day.

They were all literary gentlemen, though unknown as yet to Pen. There was Mr. Bole, the real editor of the magazine, of which Mr. Wagg was the nominal chief; Mr. Trotter, who, from having broken out on the world as a poet of a tragic and suicidial cast, had now subsided into one of Mr. Bungay's back shops as reader for that gentleman; and Captain Sumph, an ex-beau reader about town, and related in some indistinct manner to Literature and the Peerage. He was said to have written a book once, to have been a friend of Lord Byron, to be related to Lord Sumphington; in fact, anecdotes of Byron formed his staple, and he seldom spoke but with the name of that poet or some of his contemporaries in his mouth, as thus: "I remember poor Shelley, at school being sent up for good for a copy of verses, every line of which I wrote, by Jove;" or, "I recollect, when I was at Missolonghi with Byron, offering to bet gamba," and so forth. This gentleman, Pen remarked, was listened to with great attention by Mrs. Bungay; his anecdotes of the aristocracy, of which he was a middle-aged member, delighted the publisher's lady; and he was almost a greater man than the great Mr. Wagg himself in her eyes. Had he but come in his own carriage, Mrs. Bungay would have made her Bungay purchase any given volume from his pen.

Mr. Bungay went about to his guests as they arrived, and did the honours of his house with much cordiality. "How are you, sir? Fine day, sir. Glad to see you year, sir. Flora, my love, let me ave the honour of introducing Mr. Warrington to you. Mr. Warrington, Mrs. Bungay; Mr. Pendennis, Mrs. Bungay. Hope you've brought good appetites with you, gentlemen. You, Doolan, I know ave, for you've always ad a deuce of a twist."

"Lor, Bungay!" said Mrs. Bungay.

"Faith, a man must be hard to please, Bungay, who can't eat a good dinner in this house," Doolan said, and he winked and stroked his lean chops with his large gloves; and made appeals of friendship to Mrs. Bungay, which that honest woman refused with scorn from the timid man. "She couldn't abide that Doolan," she said in confidence to her friends. Indeed, all his flatteries failed to win her.

As they talked, Mrs. Bungay surveying mankind from her window, a magnificent vision of an enormous grey cab-horse appeared, and neared rapidly. A pair of white reins, held by small white gloves, were visible behind it; a face pale, but richly decorated with a chin-tuft, the head of an exiguous groom bobbing over the cab-head—these bright things were revealed to the delighted Mrs. Bungay. "The Honourable Percy Popjoy's quite punctual, I declare," she said, and sailed to the door to be in waiting at the nobleman's arrival.

"It's Percy Popjoy," said Pen, looking out of window, and seeing an individual, in extremely lacquered boots, descend from the swinging cab: and, in fact, it was that young nobleman Lord Falconet's eldest son, as we all very well know, who was come to dine with the publisher—his publisher of the Row.

"He was my fag at Eton," Warrington said. "I ought to have licked him a little more." He and Pen had had some bouts at the Oxbridge Union debates, in which Pen had had very much the better of Percy: who presently appeared, with his hat under his arm, and a look of indescribable good-humour and fatuity in his round dimpled face: upon which Nature had burst out with a chin-tuft, but, exhausted with the effort, had left the rest of the countenance bare of hair.

The temporary groom of the chambers bawled out, "The Honourable Percy Popjoy," much to that gentleman's discomposure at hearing his titles announced.

"What did the man want to take away my hat for, Bungay?" he asked of the publisher. "Can't do without my hat—want it to make my bow to Mrs. Bungay. How well you look. Mrs. Bungay, to-day. Haven't seen your carriage in the Park: why haven't you been there? I missed you; indeed, I did."

"I'm afraid you're a sad quiz," said Mrs. Bungay.

"Quiz! Never made a joke in my—hullo! who's here? How d'ye do, Pendennis? How d'ye do, Warrington? These are old friends of mine, Mrs. Bungay. I say, how the doose did you come here?" he asked of the two young men, turnip his lacquered heels upon Mrs. Bungay, who respected her husband's two young guests, now that she found they were intimate with a lord's son.

"What! do they know him?" she asked rapidly of Mr. B.

"High fellers, I tell you—the young one related to all the nobility," said the publisher; and both ran forward, smiling and bowing, to greet almost as great personages as the young lord—no less characters, indeed, than the great Mr. Wenham and the great Mr. Wagg, who were now announced.

Mr. Wenham entered, wearing the usual demure look and stealthy smile with which he commonly surveyed the tips of his neat little shining boots, and which he but seldom brought to bear upon the person who addressed him. Wagg's white waistcoat spread out, on the contrary, with profuse brilliancy; his burly, red face shone resplendent over it, lighted up with the thoughts of good jokes and a good dinner. He liked to make his entree into a drawing-room with a laugh, and, when he went away at night, to leave a joke exploding behind him. No personal calamities or distresses (of which that humourist had his share in common with the unjocular part of mankind) could altogether keep his humour down. Whatever his griefs might be, the thought of a dinner rallied his great soul; and when he saw a lord, he saluted him with a pun.

Wenham went up, then, with a smug smile and whisper, to Mrs. Bungay, and looked at her from under his eyes, and showed her the tips of his shoes. Wagg said she looked charming, and pushed on straight at the young nobleman, whom he called Pop, and to whom he instantly related a funny story, seasoned with what the French call gros sel. He was delighted to see Pen, too, and shook hands with him, and slapped him on the back cordially; for he was full of spirits and good-humour. And he talked in a loud voice about their last place and occasion of meeting at Baymouth; and asked how their friends of Clavering Park were, and whether Sir Francis was not coming to London for the season; and whether Pen had been to see Lady Rockminster, who had arrived—fine old lady, Lady Rockminster! These remarks Wagg made not for Pen's ear so much as for the edification of the company, whom he was glad to inform that he paid visits to gentlemen's country seats, and was on intimate terms with the nobility.

Wenham also shook hands with our young friend—all of which scenes Mrs. Bungay remarked with respectful pleasure, and communicated her ideas to Bungay, afterwards, regarding the importance of Mr. Pendennis—ideas by which Pen profited much more than he was aware.

Pen, who had read, and rather admired some of her works (and expected to find in Miss Bunion a person somewhat resembling her own description of herself in the 'Passion-Flower,' in which she stated that her youth resembled—

"A violet, shrinking meanly When blows the March wind keenly; A timid fawn, on wild-wood lawn, Where oak-boughs rustle greenly,—"

and that her maturer beauty was something very different, certainly, to the artless loveliness of her prime, but still exceedingly captivating and striking), beheld, rather to his surprise and amusement, a large and bony woman in a crumpled satin dress, who came creaking into the room with a step as heavy as a grenadier's. Wagg instantly noted the straw which she brought in at the rumpled skirt of her dress, and would have stooped to pick it up: but Miss Bunion disarmed all criticism by observing this ornament herself, and, putting her own large foot upon it, so as to separate it from her robe, she stooped and picked up the straw, saying to Mrs. Bungay, that she was very sorry to be a little late, but that the omnibus was very slow, and what a comfort it was to get a ride all the way from Brompton for sixpence. Nobody laughed at the poetess's speech, it was uttered so simply. Indeed, the worthy woman had not the least notion of being ashamed of an action incidental upon her poverty.

"Is that 'Passion-Flowers?'" Pen said to Wenham, by whom he was standing. "Why, her picture in the volume represents her as a very well-looking young woman."

"You know passion-flowers, like all others, will run to seed," Wenham said; "Miss Bunion's portrait was probably painted some years ago."

"Well, I like her for not being ashamed of her poverty."

"So do I," said Mr. Wenham, who would have starved rather than have come to dinner in an omnibus, "but I don't think that she need flourish the straw about, do you, Mr. Pendennis? My dear Miss Bunion, how do you do? I was in a great lady's drawing-room this morning, and everybody was charmed with your new volume. Those lines on the christening of Lady Fanny Fantail brought tears into the Duchess's eyes. I said that I thought I should have the pleasure of meeting you to-day, and she begged me to thank you, and say how greatly she was pleased."

This history, told in a bland smiling manner, of a Duchess whom Wenham had met that very morning, too, quite put poor Wagg's dowager and baronet out of court, and placed Wenham beyond Wagg as a man of fashion. Wenham kept this inestimable advantage, and having the conversation to himself, ran on with a number of anecdotes regarding the aristocracy. He tried to bring Mr. Popjoy into the conversation by making appeals to him, and saying, "I was telling your father this morning," or, "I think you were present at W. house the other night when the Duke said so-and-so," but Mr. Popjoy would not gratify him by joining in the talk, preferring to fall back into the window recess with Mrs. Bungay, and watch the cabs that drove up to the opposite door. At least, if he would not talk, the hostess hoped that those odious Bacons would see how she had secured the noble Percy Popjoy for her party.

And now the bell of Saint Paul's tolled half an hour later than that for which Mr. Bungay had invited his party, and it was complete with the exception of two guests, who at last made their appearance, and in whom Pen was pleased to recognise Captain and Mrs. Shandon.

When these two had made their greetings to the master and mistress of the house, and exchanged nods of more or less recognition with most of the people present, Pen and Warrington went up, and shook hands very warmly with Mrs. Shandon, who, perhaps, was affected to meet them, and think where it was she had seen them but a few days before. Shandon was brushed up, and looked pretty smart, in a red velvet waistcoat, and a frill, into which his wife had stuck her best brooch. In spite of Mrs. Bungay's kindness, perhaps in consequence of it, Mrs. Shandon felt great terror and timidity in approaching her: indeed, she was more awful than ever in her red satin and bird of paradise, and it was not until she had asked in her great voice about the dear little gurl, that the latter was somewhat encouraged, and ventured to speak.

"Nice-looking woman," Popjoy whispered to Warrington. "Do introduce me to Captain Shandon, Warrington. I'm told he's a tremendous clever fellow; and, dammy, I adore intellect, by Jove I do!" This was the truth: Heaven had not endowed young Mr. Popjoy with much intellect of his own, but had given him a generous faculty for admiring, if not for appreciating, the intellect of others. "And introduce me to Miss Bunion. I'm told she's very clever too. She's rum to look at, certainly, but that don't matter. Dammy, I consider myself a literary man, and I wish to know all the clever fellows." So Mr. Popjoy and Mr. Shandon had the pleasure of becoming acquainted with one another; and now the doors of the adjoining dining-room being flung open, the party entered and took their seats at table. Pen found himself next to Bunion on one side, and to Mr. Wagg—the truth is, Wagg fled alarmed from the vacant place by the poetess, and Pen was compelled to take it.

The gifted being did not talk much during dinner, but Pen remarked that she ate with a vast appetite, and never refused any of the supplies of wine which were offered to her by the butler. Indeed, Miss Bunion having considered Mr. Pendennis for a minute, who gave himself rather grand airs, and who was attired in an extremely fashionable style, with his very best chains, shirt studs, and cambric fronts, he was set down, and not without reason, as a prig by the poetess; who thought it was much better to attend to her dinner than to take any notice of him. She told him as much in after days with her usual candour. "I took you for one of the little Mayfair dandies," she said to Pen. "You looked as solemn as a little undertaker; and as I disliked, beyond measure, the odious creature who was on the other side of me, I thought it was best to eat my dinner and hold my tongue."

"And you did both very well, my dear Miss Bunion," Pen said with a laugh.

"Well, so I do, but I intend to talk to you the next time a great deal: for you are neither so solemn, nor so stupid, nor so pert as you look."

"Ah, Miss Bunion, how I pine for that 'next time' to come," Pen said with an air of comical gallantry:—But we must return to the day, and the dinner at Paternoster Row.

The repast was of the richest description—"What I call of the florid Gothic style," Wagg whispered to Penn, who sate beside the humourist, in his side-wing voice. The men in creaking shoes and Berlin gloves were numerous and solemn, carrying on rapid conversations behind the guests, as they moved to and fro with the dishes. Doolan called out, "Waither," to one of them, and blushed when he thought of his blunder. Mrs. Bungay's footboy was lost amidst those large and black-coated attendants.

"Look at that very bow-windowed man," Wagg said. "He's an undertaker in Amen Corner, and attends funerals and dinners. Cold meat and hot, don't you perceive? He's the sham butler here, and I observe, my dear Mr. Pendennis, as you will through life, that wherever there is a sham butler at a London dinner there is sham wine—this sherry is filthy. Bungay, my boy, where did you get this delicious brown sherry?"

"I'm glad you like it, Mr. Wagg; glass with you," said the publisher. "It's some I got from Alderman Benning's store, and gave a good figure for it, I can tell you. Mr. Pendennis, will you join us? Your 'ealth, gentlemen."

"The old rogue, where does he expect to go to? It came from the public-house," Wagg said. "It requires two men to carry off that sherry, 'tis so uncommonly strong. I wish I had a bottle of old Steyne's wine here, Pendennis: your uncle and I have had many a one. He sends it about to people where he is in the habit of dining. I remember at poor Rawdon Crawley's, Sir Pitt Crawley's brother—he was Governor of Coventry Island—Steyne's chef always came in the morning, and the butler arrived wit the champagne from Gaunt House, in the ice-pails ready."

"How good this is!" said Popjoy, good-naturedly. "You must have a cordon bleu in your kitchen."

"O yes," Mrs. Bungay said, thinking he spoke of a jack-chain very likely.

"I mean a French chef," said the polite guest.

"O yes, your lordship," again said the lady.

"Does your artist say he's a Frenchman, Mrs. B.?" called out Wagg.

"Well, I'm sure I don't know," answered the publisher's lady.

"Because, if he does, he's a quizzin yer," cried Mr. Wagg; but nobody saw the pun, which disconcerted somewhat the bashful punster. "The dinner is from Griggs, in St. Paul's Churchyard; so is Bacon's," he whispered Pen. "Bungay writes to give half-a-crown a head more than Bacon, so does Bacon. They would poison each other's ices if they could get near them; and as for the made-dishes—they are poison. This—hum—ha—this Brimborion a la Sevigne is delicious, Mrs. B.," he said, helping himself to a dish which the undertaker handed to him.

"Well, I'm glad you like it," Mrs. Bungay answered, blushing and not knowing whether the name of the dish was actually that which Wagg gave to it, but dimly conscious that that individual was quizzing her. Accordingly she hated Mr. Wagg with female ardour; and would have deposed him from his command over Mr. Bungay's periodical, but that his name was great in the trade, and his reputation in the land considerable.

By the displacement of persons, Warrington had found himself on the right hand of Mrs. Shandon, who sate in plain black silk and faded ornaments by the side of the florid publisher. The sad smile of the lady moved his rough heart to pity. Nobody seemed to interest himself about her: she sate looking at her husband, who himself seemed rather abashed in the presence of some of the company. Wenham and Wagg both knew him and his circumstances. He had worked with the latter, and was immeasurably his superior in wit, genius, and acquirement; but Wagg's star was brilliant in the world, and poor Shandon was unknown there. He could not speak before the noisy talk of the coarser and more successful man; but drank his wine in silence, and as much of it as the people would give him. He was under surveillance. Bungay had warned the undertaker not to fill the Captain's glass too often or too full. It was a melancholy precaution that, and the more melancholy that it was necessary. Mrs. Shandon, too, cast alarmed glances across the table to see that her husband did not exceed.

Abashed by the failure of his first pun, for he was impudent and easily disconcerted, Wagg kept his conversation pretty much to Pen during the rest of dinner, and of course chiefly spoke about their neighbours. "This is one of Bungay's grand field-days," he said. "We are all Bungavians here.—Did you read Popjoy's novel? It was an old magazine story written by poor Buzzard years ago, and forgotten here until Mr. Trotter (that is Trotter with the large shirt collar) fished it out and bethought him that it was applicable to the late elopement; so Bob wrote a few chapters a propos—Popjoy permitted the use of his name, and I dare say supplied a page here and there—and 'Desperation, or the Fugitive Duchess' made its appearance. The great fun is to examine Popjoy about his own work, of which he doesn't know a word.—I say, Popjoy, what a capital passage that is in Volume Three,—where the Cardinal in disguise, after being converted by the Bishop of London, proposes marriage to the Duchess's daughter."

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