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many an incipient flame has been entirely quenched by the simple discovery of the lady's having corns on her toes! Disenchantment again! How many a heart-sick lover has been cured in a country walk by seeing the awkwardness and want of elegance with which the adored one has got over a stile! Disenchantment the third ! But it is endless to enumerate instances ;-a look, a laugh, a remark, a gesture, a pimple, a freckle, may do the business. We allude, of course, only to the lighter and more superficial preferences which we are led sometimes to conceive, even at first sight, for one person over another.
Poor Louis Boivin had loved with no common devotedness,-his“ désenchantement” was destined to be proportionably bitter. From the moment at which he made the fatal discovery which we have recorded in the last chapter, his health visibly declined with increasing rapidity. The defeat of his political schemes, the slaughter of some of his friends, and the imprisonment and impending trial of others, all these things contributed, indeed, their share to his disquiet, but were weak in the effect which they produced upon him in comparison with the shock which his heart had received. He became absent, and abstracted-a deep melancholy and dejection seemed to weigh him down to the earth. a
Lord Fletcher, with his customary amiability, did all in his power to enliven him, and to make him bear up against the severe trial; but he did it with delicacy; for he felt that he himself, although unconsciously, had been the cause, as his rival, of all his present unhappiness. He knew that when a man once discovers, like Marmontel's Alcibiades, that he has never been truly loved, death is sweeter to him afterwards than life, and convinced as he was that his friend could not survive, he interested himself in endeavouring to smooth and lighten for him as much as possible his journey to the grave. To divert his mind and keep up his drooping spirits he led him, much against his inclination, to mix in circles of society where he would not under other circumstances, perhaps, have found so easy an admission.
A party at Mrs. Mac-Rubber's supplied one of these opportunities of amusement, of which Lord Fletcher was glad to avail himself on his friend's account. As the heat of the weather had now driven almost all the English from Paris, the society was scraped together from all the odds and ends which happened to remain in the metropolis.
Here figured in all his glory Mr. Earthstopper Brush Fivebars, who was pronounced, upon some occasion, by George Grainger to resemble nothing but a lump of animated mangel-wurzel garnished with gilt spurs. It has been said by Helvetius, that if men had only horses' hoofs instead of hands, a man would have no more ideas than a horse. Mr: Earthstopper Brush Fivebars, having lived more than half his life upon horseback and the remainder in the stable, could not be expected to have a much more extended range of imagination. Being asked on the occasion of a recent steeple-chase, whether he was going to the "course au clocher," he had taken “ clocher” for the name of the village where the race was to come off, and, mounting his horse, he had ridden round to all the barrières, inquiring of people if they could tell him the road to Clocher.
By the side of Mr. Fivebars stood his promising young friend and imitator, Bob Tracy, who, having now completed his university education, had come over to Paris for one fortnight in the middle of summer, as if on purpose to be able to say that he had had the benefit of foreign travel, before subsiding into holy orders in a country parish for the rest of his life. He had brought in his pocket the last new caricature of the day, which, being classical in its allusion, had particularly tickled his fancy. It represented Louis Philippe as Philip of Macedon, and the Duc d'Orleans, as Alexander; around the king's head were displayed on a banner the names of Jemappes and Valmy, while Alexander was weeping that his father Philip would leave him no more worlds to conquer.
Next came the celebrated beauty, Madame La Motte, to whom a French wit was making love in
“ Ah! que la vie me pèse!” said the Frenchman; “que je voudrais bien mourir !
“ Comment mourir?” inquired the lady. “Comme l'alouette,” replied the Frenchman, sur la motte."
There was a young Spaniard present, who was so exceedingly active a person that he could not remain still in his seat for two minutes together. He was always getting up to exhibit some absurd piece of agility or other. He could imitate excellently well a dog running after his tail; showed how an English sailor could run up a rope-ladder on board ship; and concluded his performances by a regular imitation of a Spanish bull-fight, in which he took by turns the part of the bull, the matadore, and the ladies who bestowed on them their applause.
Miss Barbara Scraggs was also present on this occasion, having been sent over the water by her prudent and honourable mamma, to get her out of the way of the Kilkenny cat. Miss Barbara, to amuse her mind during the long uncertainty of her protracted love affair, had taken up, while in London, the study of the slang dictionary. She could now talk Whitechapel with as great ease and fluency as Mr. Fivebars or Bob Tracy himself. She defended her favourite pursuit with great ingenuity and great enthusiasm, observing that other young ladies learnt German, Italian, and Spanish, and she really did not see why she should not learn Whitechapel, if it pleased her, instead ; and she accordingly kept on
; talking rather clever and very broad nonsense with Bob Tracy in a corner.
Tracy knew Fitz-Waterton, having lately met him at the University during his stay there; and this excuse was made available, as it is too often by fickle and fair young ladies, for a downright flirtation with the common friend. Under the pretence of talking over Fitz-Waterton, Tracy and Barbara