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appearing like a gentleman in the world
man, it's the fact!" said the other, in a
"Then-say Wednesday, nine o'clock,
"None-honour !"-After a pause-
His companion took a slip of paper out
"Between ourselves, he is rather a sharp hand. Then, I am sorry to say there's a detainer or two I have had a hint of
“Ah, Fitz!" said the former mentioned gentleman to the latter, who blushed scarlet when he perceived who had addressed him-" when did you return to town?" "Last night only."
Enjoyed yourself, I hope ?" "Pretty well-but I suppose you"Sorry for it," interrupted the first speaker in a lower tone, perceiving the vexation of his companion, "but can't help it, you know."
"D-n their souls!" exclaimed the other, with an expression of mingled disgust, vexation, and hatred, and adding, "Wednesday, nine"-drove off a picture of tranquil enjoyment.
I need hardly say that he was a fashionable young spendthrift, and the other a sheriff's officer of the first water-the genteelest beak that ever was known or heard of who had been on the look-out for him several days, and with whom the happy youngster was doomed to spend some considerable time at a cheerful residence in Chancery Lane, bleeding gold at every pore the while; his only chance of avoiding which, was, as he had truly hinted, an honourable attempt on the purses of two -'s! And if he did not suchospitable country cousins, in the meanwhile, at Cceed in that enterprise, so that he must go to cage, he lost the only chance he had for some time of securing an exemption from such annoyance, by entering Parliament to protect the liberties of the people-an eloquent and resolute champion of freedom in trade, religion and every thing else; an abolitionist of every thing, including, especially, negro slavery and imprisonment for debt-two execrable violations of the natural rights of mankind.
"To-morrow at nine. Monstrous sorry for it-'pon my soul, Fitz, you really must look sharp, or the thing won't go on much longer."
Must it be, really?" inquired the other, biting his lips at that moment kissing his hand to a very beautiful girl, who slowly passed him in a coroneted chariot-"must it really be, Joe?" he repeated, turning towards his companion a pale and bitterly chagrined countenance.
But we have, for several minutes, lost sight of the admiring Titmouse.
"Why," thought he, am I thus spited
"Poz, 'pon my life. Cage clean, how-by fortune?"The only thing she's given
His companion shook his head distrustfully.
Upon my word and honour as a gentle
ment; the representative of one of the old- | night,) hurrying up to another crowd at the est families in England ; but who at that further end, he found a man preaching with moment loathed every thing and every body, infinite energy. Mr. Titmouse looked on, including himself, because the minister had and listened for two or three minutes with that day intimated to him that he could not apparent interest; and then, with a coungive him a vacant riband, for which he had tenance in which pity struggled with conapplied, unless he could command two tempt, muttered, loud enough to be heard more votes in the Lower House, and which by all near him, “ poor devil;" and walkat present he saw no earthly means of doing. ed off. He had not proceeded many steps, Yes, the Earl of Cheviotdale and Mr. Tit- before it occurred to him that a friend-one tlebat Titmouse were both miserable men; Robert Huckaback-nuch such another one both had been hardly dealt with by fortune; as himself-lived in one of the narrow, dinboth were greatly to be pitied ; and both gy streets in the neighbourhood. He dequitted the Park, about the same time, with termined to take the chances of his being at a decided misanthropic tendency.
home, and if so, of spending the remainder Mr. Titmouse walked along Piccadilly of the evening with him. Huckaback's with a truly chopfallen and disconsolate quarters were in the same ambitious proxair. He almost felt dissatisfied even with imity to heaven as his own; the only disserhis personal appearance. Dress as he ence being, that they were a trifle cheaper would, no one seemed to care a curse for and larger. He answered the door himself, him; and, to his momentarily jaundiced having only the moment before returned eye, he seemed equipped in only second- from his Sunday's excursion-i. e. the handed and shabby finery—and then he Jack Straw's Castle Tea Gardens, at Highwas really such a poor devil. Do not let bury, where, in company with several of his the reader suppose that this was an unusual friends, he had “spent a jolly afternoon." mood with Titmouse. No such thing. He ordered in a glass of negus from the adLike the Irishman who “ married a wife to joining public house, after some discussion, make him un-aisy; ,” and also not unlike which ended in an agreement that he should the moth that will haunt the brightness that stand treat that night, and Titmouse on the is her destruction; so poor Titmouse, Sun- ensuing one. As soon as the negus arrived, day after Sunday dressed himself out as accompanied by two captains' biscuits, elaborately as he had done on the present which looked so hard and hopeless that occasion, and then always betook himself they would have made the nerves thrill to the scene he had just again witnessed, within the teeth that attempted to masticate and which once again had excited only them, the candle was lit-Huckaback handthose feelings of envy, bitterness, and de- ed a cigar to his friend; both began to puff spair, which I have been describing, and away, and chatter pleasantly concerning the which, on every such occasion, he experi- many events of the day. enced with, if possible, increased intensity. “Any thing stirring in to-day's • Flash ?!”
What to do with himself till it was time inquired Titmouse, as his eye caught sight to return to his cheerless Jodgings he did of a copy of that able and interesting Sunnot exactly know; so he loitered along at a day newspaper, which Huckaback had hired snail's pace. He stood for some time sta- for the evening from the news-shop on the ring at the passengers, their luggage, the ground-floor of his lodgings. coaches they were ascending and alighting “Not knowing, can't say," answered his from, and listening to the strange medley of friend, removing his cigar with his right coachmen's guards' and porters' vocifera- hand, and then, with closed eyes and intions, and passengers' greetings and leave- flated cheeks, he very slowly ejected the takings-always to be observed at the smoke which he had last inhaled, and rose White Horse Cellar. Then he passed and took down the paper from the shelf. along, till a street row, near the Haymarket, " Here's a mark of a beastly porter pot attracted his attention and interested his that's been set upon it, by all that's holy! feelings; for it ended in a regular set-to be. It's been at the public house! Too bad of tween two waternen attached to the adjoin- Mrs. Coggs to send it to me in this state!" ing coach-stand. Here he conceived him- said he, handling it as though its touch were self looking on with an easy air of a swell; contamination. “ Faugh! how it stinks!” and the ordinary penalty (paying for his “ What a horrid beast she must be!" footing) was attempted to be exacted from exclaimed Titmouse, in like manner expel. him; but he had nothing to be picked out ling his mouthful of smoke. “ But, since of any of his pockets except that under his better can't be had, let's hear what news is very nose, and which contained his white in it. De, it's the only paper publishhandkerchief. This over, he struck into Lei- ed, in my opinion, that's worth reading ! cester Square, where, (he was in luck that Any fights a stirring ?"
"Haven't come to them yet," replied Huckaback, fixing his feet on another chair, and drawing the candle closer to the paper. "It says, by the way, that the Duke of Dunderhead is certainly making up to Mrs. Thumps, the rich Nightman's widow;—a precious good hit that, isn't it? You know the Duke's as poor as a rat!"
"Oh! that's no news. It will quite set him up-and no mistake. Seen the Duke ever?"
"Yees! Oh, several times!"-This was a lie, and Tittlebat knew that it was. "Dd good looking, I suppose ?" Why-middling; I should say middling. Know some that needn't fear to compare with him-eh! Tittlebat?"—and Huckaback winked archly at his friend.
"Ah, ha, ha!-a pretty joke! But, come that's a good chap! You can't be reading both of them at once-give us the other sheet, and set the candle fair betwixt us! Come, fair's the word!"
Huckaback, thus appealed to, did as his friend requested; and the two friends read and smoked some minutes in silence.
"Well-I shall spell over the advertisements now," said Titmouse; "there's a pretty lot of them-and I've read every thing else precious little there is, here, besides! So, here goes!-One may hear of a prime situation, you know-and I'm quite sick of Dowlas!"
"What's the matter, Tit?—eh ?" inquired Huckaback, greatly astonished.
For a moment, Titmouse made no answer, but fixed his eyes intently on the paper, which began to rustle in his trembling hands. What occasioned this eloquent outbreak, with its subsequent agitation, was the following advertisement:
By George! Here is a go!" exclaimed Huckaback, almost as much flustered. "We aren't dreaming, Hucky, are we?"
Uncommon !-If this isn't something, then there's nothing in any thing any more!"
"No!-now, do you really think so?" said Titmouse, seeking further confirmation than he had yet derived from his senses of sight and hearing. "I do, by
! What a go it is! Well, my poor old mother used to say, 'depend on it, wonders never will cease; and curse me if she ever said a truer word!"
Titmouse again read over the advertisement; and then relighting his fragment of cigar, puffed earnestly in silence for some moments.
Another interval of silence ensued. Huckaback was deep in the details of a trial for murder; and Titmouse, after having glanced listlessly over the entertaining first sheet of advertisements, was on the point of lay-no, it can't be " ing down his half of the paper, when he suddenly started in his chair, and stam
"Such things never happens to such a poor devil of a chap as me!" exclaimed Huckaback with a sigh.
"What is in the wind, I wonder?" muttered Titmouse.
"Who knows-hem!-who knows. But now really-" he paused, and once more read over the pregnant paragraph. “It can't
"What, Tit? what can't be ?" interrupted Huckaback eagerly.
"Why, I've been thinking-but what do you think, eh?-it can't be a cursed hoax of the chaps in the premises at Dowlas"?"
"Bo! Is there any of 'em flush enough of money, to do the thing? And how should they think it would ever come to be seen by you? Then, besides, there isn't a chap among them that could come up to the composing a piece of composition like that—no, not for a whole year's salary-there isn't, by George!"
"Ah! I don't know," said Titmouse, doubtfully. "But-honour!-do you really now think there's any thing in it?"
"NEXT OF KIN.-Important.-The next of kin, if any such there be, of Gabriel Tittlebat Titmouse, formerly of Whithaven, cordwainer, and who died somewhere about the year 1793, in London, may hear of something of the GREATEST POSSIBLE IMPORTANCE to himself, or herself, or themselves, by immediately communicating with Messrs. Quirk, Gammon, and Snap, solicitors, Saf-ed Titmouse, jumping up, snapping his finfron Hill. No time is to be lost. 9th July, 182-. The third advertisement."
"I do hanged if I don't, Tit!" was the sententious answer.
"Tol de rol, de rol, de rol, de rol,didl'em daddl'em-bough!" almost shout
gers, and dancing about in a wild ecstacy, which lasted for at least a minute.
"Give me your hand, Hucky," said he, almost breathless. "If I am a made mantol de rol, lol de rol, lol de rol, lo!-
you see, Huck!-if I don't give you the handsomest breast-pin you ever saw! No paste! real diamond! hurrah! I will, by jingo!"
Huckaback grasped and squeezed his hand. "We've always been friends, Tithaven't we?" said he affectionately.
"My room won't hold me to-night!" continued Titmouse; "I'm sure it won't. I feel as if I were swelling all over. I'll walk the streets all night. I couldn't sleep a wink, for the life of me. I'll walk about till the shop opens. "Oh, faugh! how nasty! Confound the shop, and Dowlas, Tagrag, (especially Tagrag,) and every thing, and every body in it! Thirty-five pounds a year! See if I won't spend as much in cigars the first month!" Cigars! Is that your go? Now, I should take lessons in boxing, to begin with. It's a deuced high thing, you may depend upon it, and you can't be fit compa---your employers--" ny for swells without it, Tit!"
My employers! Do you think, Hucky, I'm going back to business after this?" "Suppose it all turns out moonshine."
"Whatever you like, whatever you like, Hucky! I'm sorry to say it, but how precious lucky that my father and mother's dead, and that I'm an only child-too-raladdy! too-ra-laddy!" Here he took such a sudden leap, that I am ashamed to say he split his trowsers very awkwardly, and that sobered him for a moment, while they made arrangements for cobbling it up as well as might be, with a needle and thread, which Huckaback always had by him.
Lord, but I won't suppose it! It makes me sick to think of nothing coming of it! Let's go off at once and see what's to be done!"
So Huckaback put the newspaper in his pocket, blew out the candle, and the two started on their important errand. It was well that their means had been too limited to allow of their indulging to a greater extent than a glass of port wine negus (that was the name under which they drank the
"We're rather jumping in the dark a bit, aren't we, Tit?" inquired Huckaback, while his companion was repairing the breach.-"publican's port"-i. e. a decoction of oak "Let's look what it all means-here it is." bark, logwood shavings, and a little brandy) He read it all aloud again" greatest possi- between them; otherwise, excited as were ble importance" what can it mean? "Why the feelings of each of them by the discovethe deuce couldn't they speak out plainly?"ry of the evening, they must in all probability have been guilty of some piece of extravagance in the streets. As it was, they talked very loudly as they went along, and in a tone of conversation pitched a little too high for their present circumstances, however in unison it might be with the expected circumstances of one of them.
"What? in a newspaper? Lord, Hucky! how many Titmouses would start up on all sides, if there isn't some already! I wonder what 'greatest possible importance' can mean now ?"
"Some one's left you an awful lot of money, of course."
now? Ah, here they are-
"Haven't I! Their names is always in this same paper; they are continually getting people off, out of all kinds of scrapes."
"But, my dear fellow-Saffron Hill.Low, that; low, 'pon my soul! Never was near it in my life."
"But they live there to be near the thieves. Lud, the thieves couldn't do without 'em! But what's that to you? You know a very dirty ugly toad has often got a jewel in his belly,' so Shakspeare or some one says. Isn't it enough for you, Tit, if they can make good their advertisement? Let's off, Tit-let's off, I say; for you may not be able to get there to-morrow
"It's too good to be true."
"Or you may have made a smite; you ain't such a bad-looking fellow when you're dressed as you are now." Mr. Titmouse was quite flustered with the mere supposition, and also looked as sheepish as his features could admit of.
“E-e-e-eh, Hucky! how very silly you are!" he simpered.
"Or you may be found out heir to some great property, and all that kind of thing. But when do you intend to go to Messrs. What's-their-name? I say, the sooner the better. Come, you've stitched them well enough, now; they'll hold you till you get home; but I'd take off my straps if I were you. Why shouldn't we go to these gents
In due time they reached the residence of which they were in search. It was a large house, infinitely superior to all its dingy neighbours; and on a bright brass plate, a yard long at least, and a foot wide, stood the awe-inspiring words, "QUIRK, GAM& SNAP, SOLICITORS."
Now, Tit," whispered Huckaback, after they had paused for a second or two"now for it-pluck up a sperrit-ring!"
"I-I-feel all of a sudden uncommon funky-I think that last cigar of yours wasn't-"
"Stuff, Tit-ring away! ring away!— Faint heart never wins!"
"Well, it must be done; so here goes, at any rate!" and with a short nervous jerk
he caused a startling clatter within, which was so distinctly audible without, that both of them instinctively hemmed, as if to drown the noise which was so much greater than they had expected. In a very few moments they heard some one undoing the fastenings of the door, and the gentlemen looked at one another with an expression of mingled expectation and apprehension. A little old woman at length stood before them, with a candle in her hand.
"Who are you?" she exclaimed, crustily. "Is this Messrs.-what is it Huck? Oh! Messrs. Quirk & Co.'s?" inquired Titmouse, tapping the end of his cane against his chin, with a desperate effort to appear at his ease.
"Why, where are your eyes? I should think you might have seen what was wrote on this here plate-it's large enough, one I could have thought, to be read by them as can read? What's business?" your "We want Give us the paper, Hucky"he added, addressing his companion, who produced it in a moment; and Titmouse would have proceeded to possess the old woman of all his little heart, when she cut him short by saying, snappishly-"They aren't none on 'em in; nor never is on Sundays so you'll just call to-morrow, if you wants 'em. What's your names?
"Mr. Tittlebat Titmouse," answered that gentleman, with very particular emphasis on every syllable.
"Mr. Who?" exclaimed the old woman, opening her eyes, and raising her hand to the back of her ear. Mr. Titmouse repeated his name more loudly and distinctly. "Tippetitippety!-what's that?" "No, no!" exclaimed Titmouse peevishly; "I said Mr. Tit-el-bat Titmouse!-Will that suit?" "Tick-a-tick-a-tick! Well, gracious! if ever I heard such a name. Oh! I see you're making a fool of me! Get off, or I'll call a constable in. Get along with you, you couple of puppies! Is this the way"
"I tell you," said Mr. Huckaback, "that this gentleman's name is Mr. Tittlebat Titmouse; and you'd better take care what you're at, old woman, for we've come on business of wital consequence."
complaisant old janitrix shut the door in their faces.
"Huck, I'm afraid there's nothing in it," said Titmouse despondingly, to his friendboth of them remaining rooted to the spot. "Oudacious old toad!" muttered Huckaback, indignantly.
"If there was any thing in it," said Titmouse, with a deep sigh, they must have made a deal of talk about it in the house: and this old thing must have heard my name often enough. It ain't so common a name, is it?"
"I-I own I don't half like the looks of it," replied his friend, putting his newspaper into his pocket again; "but we'll try if we can't write a letter to sound 'em, and so far take the old creature's advice. Here's the public house she told us of. Come, let's see what's to be done?"
Titmouse, greatly depressed, followed his friend; and they soon provided themselves with two glasses of stout, and implements for writing. That they made good use of their time and materials, let the following epistle prove. It was their joint composi tion, and here is an exact copy of it :To MESSRS. Quirk, Gammon, and Snap.
"Your Names being put in an advertisement in this present Sunday Flash, Newspaper of to Day's Date, Mr. T. T. begs to inform your respectable House I feel anxious to speak with them on this truly interesting subject, seeing it mentions the Name of Gabriel Tittlebat Titmouse, which two last names of that Deceased Person my own name is, which I can any Day (as soon as possible) call and prove to you, by telling you the Same, truly. He being Engaged in Business during the week very close for the Present, I hope that if they Have any thing particular to say to Him, they will write to Me without the least Delay, and please address, T. T., at Dowlas and Co.'s, No. 375. Oxford Street, Post-Paid, which will ensure its being duly Taken in by my Employers, and am, Gents, "Your's obediently,
TITTLEBAT TITMOUSE. "P. S.-My Friend, that is with me writing This, (Mr. Robert Huckaback,) can prove who I am if Necessitated to do
"N. B.-Shall have no objection to do the Liberal Thing if any thing suitable Turns up of it. T. T.
"Sunday Evening, 9|7|182-. "Forgot to Say, I am the only Child of my Honoured Parents, who died; before I knew them in Lawful Wedloc, and was 27