« 上一頁繼續 »
say to him, because she can better her fortune by taking somebody else.
CAPTAIN FITZCHROME, And next to him again is the beautiful, the accomplished, the witty, the fascinating, the tormenting, Lady Clarinda, who traduces herself to the said Captain by assertions which it would drive him crazy to believe.
Time will show, sir. And now we have gone the round of the table.
But I must say, though I know you had always a turn for sketching characters, you surprise me by your observation, and especially by your attention to opinions.
LADY CLARINDA. Well, I will tell you a secret: I am writing a novel
Yes, a novel. And I shall get a little finery by it: trinkets and fal-lals, which I cannot get from papa. You must know I had been reading several fashionable novels, the fashionable this, and the fashionable that; and I thought to myself, why I can do better than any of these myself. So I wrote a chapter or two, and sent them as a specimen to Mr. Puffall, the bookseller, telling him they were to be a part of the fashionable something or other, and he offered me, I will not say how much, to finish it in three volumes, and let him pay all the newspapers for recommending it as the work of a lady of quality, who had made very free with the characters of her acquaintance.
CAPTAIN FITZCHROME. .
Surely you have not done so ?
LADY CLARINDA. Oh, no! I leave that to Mr. Eavesdrop. But Mr. Puffall made it a condition that I should let him say so.
A strange recommendation.
LADY CLARINDA. Oh, nothing else will do. And it seems you may give yourself any character you like, and the newspapers will print it as if it came from themselves. I have commended you to three of our friends here, as an economist, a transcendentalist, and a classical scholar; and if you wish to be renowned through the world for these, or any other accomplishments, the newspapers will con
firm you in their possession for half-a-guinea a piece.
CAPTAIN FITZCHROME. Truly, the praise of such gentry must be a feather in any one's cap.
LADY CLARINDA. So you will see, some morning, that my novel is "the most popular production of the day.” This is Mr. Puffall's favorite phrase. He makes the newspapers say it of every thing he publishes. But “the day," you know, is a very convenient phrase; it allows of three hundred and sixty-five "most popular productions” in a year. And in leapyear one more.
But when they came to shape the model,
Meanwhile, the last course, and the dessert, past by. When the ladies had withdrawn, young Crotchet addressed the company.
MR. CROTCHET, JUN. There is one point in which philosophers of all classes seem to be agreed ; that they only want money to regenerate the world.
MR. MAC QUEDY. No doubt of it. Nothing is so easy as to lay down the outlines of perfect society.