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see out is happy, excepting me, and the poor | a tip-top groom-that chap's wages, I'll an-
“SiR TITTLEBAT TITMOUSE, BARONET.
ing, whizzing, sputtering in the agonies of over his face, carefully avoiding his eyeboiling over; as if the intolerable heat of brows, and the hair at the top, sides, and the fire had driven desperate the poor crea- bottom of his face, which he then wiped ture placed upon it, who instinctively tried with a dry corner of the towel; and no furthus to extinguish the cause of its anguish. ther did Mr. Tittlebat Titmouse think it Having taken it off and placed it upon the necessary to carry his ablutions. Had he hob, and placed on the fire a tiny fragment been able to “ see himself as others saw of fresh coal, he began to make preparations him,” in respect of those neglected regions for shaving, by pouring some of the hot which lay somewhere behind and beneath water into an old tea-cup, which was pre- his ears, he might not possibly have thought sently to serve for the purpose of breakfast, it superfluous to irritate them with a little Then he spread out a bit of crumpled whity- soap and water; but, after all, he knew brown paper, that had folded up a couple best; it might have given him cold; and of cigars which he had bought over-night besides, his hair was very thick and long for the Sunday's special enjoyment and behind, and might, perhaps, conceal any which, if he had supposed they had come thing that was unsightly. Then Mr. Titfrom any place beyond the four seas, I ima- mouse drew from underneath the bed a gine him to have been slightly mistaken. bottle of Warren's “incomparable blackHe placed this bit of paper on the little ing," and a couple of brushes, with great mantel piece; drew his solitary, well-worn labour and skill polishing his boots up to a razor several times across the palm of his wonderful point of brilliancy. Having left hand; dipped his brush, worn within washed his hands, and replaced his blackthe third of an inch to the stump, into the ing implements under the bed, he devoted a hot water; presently passed it over as much few moments to boiling about three teaof his face as he intended to shave; then spoonfuls of coffee, (as it was styled on the rubbed on the damp surface a bit of yellow paper from which he took, and in which he soap-and in less than five minutes Mr. had bought it whereas it was, in fact, Titmouse was a shaved man. But mark-chicory.) Then he drew forth from his don't suppose that he had performed an ex- trunk a calico shirt, with linen wristbands tensive operation. One would have thought and collars, which had been worn only him anxious to get rid of as much as possi- twice since its last washing-i. e. on the ble of his abominable sandy-coloured hair- preceding two Sundays—and put it on, quite the contrary:
taking great care not to rumple a very Every hair of his spreading whiskers was showy front, containing three little rows of sacred from the touch of steel ; and a bushy frills; in the middle of one of which he crop of hair stretched underneath his chin, stuck three “ studs," connected together coming curled out on each side of it, above with two little gilt chains, looking exceedhis stock, like two little horns or tusks. ingly stylish–especially coupled with a An imperial-i. e. a dirt-coloured tuft of span-new satin stock which he next buckhair, permitted to grow perpendicularly led round his neck. Having put on his down the upper lip of puppies—and a pair bright boots, (without, I am sorry to say, of promising mustachios, poor Mr. Titmouse any stockings, he carefully insinuated his had been compelled to sacrifice some time legs into a pair of white trousers, for the before, to the tyrannical whimsies of his first time since their last washing; and vulgar employers, Messrs. Dowlas and what with his short straps and high braces, Tagrag, who imagined them not to be ex- they were so tight that you would have actly suitable appendages for counter-jump- feared their bursting, if he should have sat ers. So that it will be seen that the space hastily. I am almost afraid that I shall hardly shaved over on this occasion was somewhat be believed, but it is a fact, that the next thing circumscribed. This operation over, he that he did was to attach a pair of spurs to took out of his trunk an old dirty-looking his boots :—but, to be sure, it was not impomatum pot. A little of its contents, ex- possible that he might intend to ride during tracted on the tips of his two fore-fingers, the day. Then he put on a queer kind of he stroked carefully into his eyebrows; under waistcoat, which, in fact, was only a then spreading some on the palms of his roll-collar of rather faded pea-green silk, hands, he rubbed it vigorously into his and designed to set off a very fine flowered stubborn hair and whiskers for some quarter damson-coloured silk waistcoat; over which of an hour; and then combed and brushed he drew a massive mosaic gold chain, (to his hair into half a dozen different disposi- purchase which, he had sold a serviceable tions—so fastidious in that matter was Mr. silver watch,) which had been carefully Titmouse. Then he dipped the end of a wrapped up in cotton wool; from which towel into a little water, and twisting it soft depository, also, he drew his RING, round his right fore-finger, passed it gently | (those must have been sharp eyes that could tell, at a distance, and in a hurry, | nicely on each side beneath his hat, which that it was not diamond,) which he placed he then placed upon his head, with an eleon the stumpy little finger of his red and gant inclination towards the left side. He thick right hand—and contemplated its was really not bad-looking, in spite of his sparkle with exquisite satisfaction. sandy-coloured hair. His forehead, to be
Having proceeded thus far with his toilet, sure, was contracted, and his eyes of a very he sat down to his breakfast, spreading the light colour, and a trifle too protuberant ; shirt he had taken off upon his lap, to pre- but his mouth was rather well-formed, and serve his white trowsers from spot or stain- being seldom closed, exhibited very beautihis thoughts alternating between his late ful teeth; and his nose was of that descripwaking vision and his purposes for the day. tion which generally passes for a Roman He had no butter, having used the last on His countenance wore generally a the preceding morning; so he was fain to smile, and was expressive of—self-satisfacput up with dry bread-and very dry and tion; and surely any expression is better teeth-trying it was, poor fellow-but his eye than none at all. As for the slightest trace lit on his ring! Having swallowed two of intellect in it, I should be misleading the cups of his quasi-coffee, (eugh! such stuff!) reader if I were to say any thing of the sort. he resumed his toilet, by drawing out of He was about five feet five inches in height, his other trunk his blue surtout, with em- and rather strongly set, with a little tendenbossed silk buttons and velvet collar, and cy to round shoulders :—but his limbs were an outside pocket in the left breast. Having pliant and his motions nimble. smoothed down a few creases, he put it on: Here you have, then, Mr. Tittlebat Tit-then, before him the little vulgar fraction mouse to the life-certainly no more than of a glass, he stood twitching about the an average sample of his kind; but as he is collar, and sleeves, and front, so as to make to go through a considerable variety of situthem sit well; concluding with a careful ation and circumstance, I thought you would elongation of the wristbands of his shirt, so like to have him as distinctly before your as to show their whiteness gracefully be- mind's eye as it was in my power to present yond the cuff of his coat-sleeve-and he him. Well-he put his hat on, as I have succeeded in producing a sort of white said: buttoned the lowest two buttons of boundary line between the blue of his coat- his surtout, and stuck his white pocketsleeve and the red of his hand. At that handkerchief into the outside pocket in useful member he could not help looking front, as already mentioned, disposing it so with a sigh, as he had often done before- as to let a little of it appear above the edge for it was not a handsome hand. It of the pocket, with a sort of careful carelesswas broad and red, and the fingers were ness—a graceful contrast to the blue; drew thick and stumpy, with very coarse deep on his gloves; took his cane in his hand; wrinkles at every joint. His nails also drained the last sad remnant in his coffeewere flat and shapeless; and he used cup; and, the sun shining in the full splento be continually gnawing them till he dour of a July noon, and promising a glorihad succeeded in getting them down to ous day, forth sallied this poor fellow, an the quick—and they were a signt to set Oxford Street Adonis, going forth conquera Christian's teeth on edge. Then he ex- ing and to conquer! Petty finery without, tracted from the first mentioned trunk a a pinched and stinted stomach within; a white pocket-handkerchief-an exemplary case of Back versus Belly, (as the lawyers one, that had gone through four Sundays' would say,) the plaintiff winning in a canshow, (not use, be it understood,) and yet ter! Forth sallied, I say, Mr. Titmouse, was capable of exhibition again. A pair of down the narrow, creaking, close staircase, sky-coloured kid gloves next made their which he had not quitted before he heard appearance; which, however, showed such exclaimed from an opposite window, “My barefaced marks of former service as ren-eyes, an't that a swell!” He felt how true dered indispensable a ten minutes' rubbing the observation was, and that at that mowith bread crumbs. His Sunday hat, care- ment he was somewhat out of his element; fully covered with silver-paper, was next so he hurried on, and soon reached the great gently removed from its well-worn box- broad street, apostrophized by the celebrated ah, how lightly and delicately did he pass Opium-eater, with bitter feeling, as—“Oxhis smoothing hand round its glossy sur- ford Street !—stony-hearted step-mother!face! Lastly, he took down a thin black Thou that listenest to the sighs of orphans, cane, with a gilt head, and full brown tas- and drinkest the tears of children.” Here, sel, from a peg behind the door—and his though his spirits were not just then very toilet was complete. Laying down his cane buoyant, the poor dandy breathed more freefor a moment, he passed his hands again ly than when he was passing through the through his hair, arranging it so as to fall nasty crowded court (Closet Court) which he had just quitted. He passed and met make his appearance in Hyde Park," to see hundreds who, like himself, seemed released the fashions,” which was his favourite Sunfor a precious day's interval from intense day occupation. toil and miserable confinement during the His condition was, indeed, forlorn in the week; but there were not many of them extreme. To say nothing of his prospects who had any pretensions to vie with him in in life—what was his present condition ? elegance of appearance—and that was a A shopman, with £35 a year, out of which luxury!. Who could do justice to the air he had to find his clothing, washing, lodgwith which he strutted along? He felt as ing, and all other incidental expenses—his happy, poor soul, in his little ostentation, as board being found him by his employers. his Corinthian rival in tip-top turnout, after He was five weeks in arrear to his landlady twice as long, and as anxious, and fifty -a corpulent old termagant, whom nothing times as expensive, preparations for effec- could have induced him to risk offending, tive public display! Nay, my poor swell was but his overmastering love of finery; for I greatly the superior of such an one as I have grieve to say, that this deficiency had been alluded to. Titmouse did, to a great de- occasioned by his purchase of the ring he gree, bedizen his back at the expense of his then wore with so much pride. How he belly; whereas, the Corinthian exquisite, had contrived to pacify her-lie upon lie as too often taking advantage of station and he must have had recourse toI know not. influence, recklessly both satiates his appe- He was in debt, too, to his poor washerwotite within, and decorates his person with man in six or seven shillings for nearly a out, at the expense of innumerable heart- quarter's washing; and owed five times aching creditors. I do not mean, however, that amount to a little old tailor, who, with to claim any real merit for Titmouse on this huge spectacles on his nose, turned up to score, because I am not sure how he would him, out of a little cupboard which he ocact if he were to become possessed of his cupied in Closet Court, and which Titmagnificent rival's means and opportunities mouse had to pass whenever he went to or for the perpetration of gentlemanly frauds from his lodgings, a lean, sallow, wrinkled on a magnificent scale. But we shall, per- face, imploring him to “settle his small achaps, see by and by. He walked along count.” All the cash in hand which he had with leisurely step; for haste and perspira- to meet contingencies between that day and tion were vulgar, and he had the day before quarter-day, which was six weeks off, was him.
about twenty-six shillings, of which he had Observe the careless glance of self-satis- taken one for the present day's expenses ! faction with which he occasionally regarded Revolving these somewhat disheartening his bright boots, with their martial appen- matters in his mind, he passed easily and dage, giving out a faint tingling sound as leisurely along the whole length of Oxford he heavily trod the broad flags; his spotless Street. No one could have judged from his trowsers, his tight surtout, and the tip of dressy appearance, the constant smirk on white handkerchief peeping accidentally his face, and his confident air, how very out in front! A pleasant sight it was to miserable that poor dandy was; but threebehold him in a chance rencontre with some fourths of his misery were occasioned by one genteel enough to be recognized as he the impossibility he felt of his ever being stood, resting on his left leg; his left arm able to indulge in his propensities for finery stuck upon his hip; his right leg easily and display. Nothing better had he to ocbent outwards; his right hand lightly hold cupy his few thoughts. He had had only a ing his ebon cane, with the gilt-head of plain mercantile education, as it is called, which he occasionally tapped his teeth; and i. e. reading, writing, and arithmetic: behis eyes, half-closed, scrutinizing the face yond a very moderate acquaintance with and figure of each “ pretty gal" as she pass- these he knew nothing whatever; not haved! This was indeed happiness, as far as ing read more than a few novels, and plays, his forlorn condition could admit of his en- and sporting newspapers. Deplorable, howjoying it. He had no particular object in ever, as were his circumstancesview. A tiff over-night with two of his
" Hope springs eternal in the human breast." shopmates had broken off a party which they had agreed the Sunday preceding in And probably, in common with most who forming, to go to Greenwich on the ensuing are miserable from straitened circumstances, Sunday; and this little circumstance a little he often conceived, and secretly relied upon, soured his temper, depressed as were his the possibility of an unexpected change for spirits before. He resolved to-day to walk the better; he had heard and read of extrastraight on, and dine somewhere a little way ordinary cases of luck. Why might he not out of town, by way of passing the time till be one of the Lucky? A rich girl might four o'clock, at which hour he intended to fall in love with him—that was, poor fellow'
in his consideration, the least unlikely way ous was the throng of carriages and horseof luck's advent; or some one might leave men, that Titmouse did not find it the easiest him money ; or he might win a prize in the matter in the world to shoot across the footlottery ;-all these, and other accidental path in the minor circle. That, however, modes of getting enriched, frequently occur- he safely accomplished, encountering no red to the well-regulated mind of Mr. Tit- more serious mischance than the subdued tlebat Titmouse; but he never once thought “D-m your eyes !” of a groom, between of determined, unwearying industry and whom and his master Mr. Titmouse had perseverance in the way of his business presumed to intervene. What a crowd of conducing to such a result.
elegant women, many of them young and Is his case a solitary one ?-Dear reader, beautiful, (who but such, to be sure, would you may be unlike poor Tittlebat Titmouse become, or be allowed to become, pedestriin every respect except one!
ans in the Park ?) he encountered as he slowOn he walked towards Bayswater; and ly sauntered on, all of them obsequiously finding he was yet early, and considering attended by brilliant beaux! Lords and that the farther he went from town the bet- ladies were here manifestly as plentiful as ter prospect there was of his being able, plebeians in Oxford Street. What an enwith a little sacrifice of appearances, to get chanted ground !-How delicious this soft a dinner consistent with the means he car- crush and flutter of aristocracy! Poor Titried about with him, viz. one shilling, mouse felt his utter insignificance. Many he pursued his way a mile or two beyond a sigh of dissatisfaction and envy escaped Bayswater, and sure enough, came at length him; yet he stepped along with a tolerably upon a nice little public house on the road assured air, looking every body he met side, called the Squaretoes Arms. Very straight in the face, and occasionally twirltired, and quite smothered with dust, he ing about his little cane with an air which first sat down in a small back room to rest seemed to say—“Whatever opinion you himself; and took the opportunity to call may form of me, I have a very good opinion for a clothes-brush and shoe-brush, to re-of myself.” Indeed, was he not as much a lieve his clothes and boots from the heavy man—an Englishman-as the best of them? dust upon them. Having thus attended to What was the real difference between his outward man, as far as circumstances Count Do-'em-all and Mr. Tittlebat Titwould permit, he bethought himself of his mouse? Only that the Count had dark inner man, whose cravings he satisfied with whiskers, and owed more money than Mr. a pretty substantial mutton pie and a pint Titmouse's creditors could be persuaded to of porter. This fare, together with a penny allow him to owe! Would to heavento the little girl who waited on him, cost thought Titmouse—that any one tailor would him tenpence; and having somewhat re- patronize him, as half-a-dozen had patrofreshed himself, he began to think of return- nized the Count! If pretty ladies of quality ing to town. Having lit one of his two ci- did not disdain a walking advertisement of gars, he sallied forth, puffing along with an three or four first-rate tailors, like the Count, air of quiet enjoyment. Dinner, however why should they turn up their noses at an ashumble, seldom fails, especially when ac- sistant in an extensive wholesale and retail companied by a fair draught of good porter, establishment in Oxford Street, conversant in some considerable degree to tranquillize with the qualities and prices of the most the animal spirits; and that soothing effect beautiful articles of female attire ? Leanbegan soon to be experienced by Mr. Tit- ing against the railing in a studied attitude, mouse. The sedative cause he erroneously and eyeing wistfully each gay and fashion, attributed to the cigar he was smoking; able equipage, with its often lovely, and whereas in fact the only tobacco he had sometimes haughty enclosure, as it rolled imbibed was from the porter. But, how-slowly past him, Mr. Titmouse became ever that might be, he certainly returned to- more and more convinced that the only real wards town in a far calmer and even more distinction between mankind was that effectcheerful humour than that in which he had ed by money. Want of money alone had quitted it an hour or two before.
placed him in his present abject position. As he approached Cumberland Gate, it Abject indeed! By the great folk, who wanted about a quarter to five; and the Park were passing him on all sides, he felt, wellmight be said to be at its acme of fashion, dressed as he believed himself to be, that he as far as that could be indicated by a was no more noticed than if he had been a sluggish stream of carriages, three and four pismire, a blue-bottle fly, or a black beetle! abreast-coroneted panels in abundance-Ile looked, and sighed—sighed, and looknoble and well-known equestrians of both ed—looked, and sighed again, in a kind of sexes, in troops—and some thousand pedes- agony of vain longing. While his only trians of the same description. So continu- 1 day in the week for breathing fresh air, and