ePub 版

you see.”

became angry,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]



Emily Christian started from her father's arms, and threw her own round Mary's neck. She knew how terrible would be these tidings to her friend.

“Never mind now, dear Mary,” she replied, striving to wipe away her tears. “ Another time I will tell you." I hope the matter is not so serious as it appeared at the moment. There, I'm cheerful again,

Alas! Mr. Christian was very blind. He could not understand Henry Marsden just now. He regarded as indifference and impenitence the demeanour of a man so deeply and sternly struck with a sense of wrongdoing, that the very approach of a bitter penalty seemed like a relief. And now, instead of divining that there must be some motive for Emily's hastily and ill-assumed cheerfulness, and acting accordingly, he at once

and charged her with unkindness. “I don't see why it should be kept a secret, Emily,” he grumbled. “The affair is very serious. I don't wish, I'm sure, to

“There, dear papa,” interposed Emily, again placing her hand on his shoulder, and looking earnestly in his face, « let it rest. I will tell Mary presently-by-and-by-not just this moment."

Why, what does it matter, my love ?” half petulantly exclaimed Mr. Christian. “It does not concern Miss Thorneley half so much as it does

What is Marsden's villany to her ?” Emily threw her arms round her friend's neck with a low wail. “ Tell her all now,” she murmured.

“Of course, of course, I'm going to. You needn't look so startled, Miss Thorneley. You will be grieved, naturally. Everybody is grieved at finding a person with whom they have been associated turning out-ah, yes I must say—a thorough scoundrel.”

“Come away, Mary, just for a few minutes,” said Emily, renewing her efforts to withdraw her from the room.

“ Did-did you name Henry-Mr.—Marsden ?" falteringly inquired Mary, pale as marble.

“Yes,” replied Mr. Christian-("Nonsense, Emily; I shall be very angry presently. Leave Miss Thorneley alone.”)—“I did ; and to bring back the colour to those pale cheeks, which look as though you thought some very dreadful news must be coming, I will tell you the whole at

Henry Marsden has turned out a swindler and blackleg. Tomorrow he will be in prison“Good gracious ! papa, she's fainting,” exclaimed Emily.

And a month hence,” continued Mr. Christian, not heeding the interruption, “ will be transported—perhaps for life.”

“She has fainted now," said Emily Christian, almost reproachfully. “Help me, father, to carry her to her room.”

Mr. Christian, considerably surprised at the apparently excessive result of his communication, complied mechanically, and Mary was conveyed to her bedroom, and there left alone with Emily.

Consciousness then returning, she poured forth passionate inquiries as to the full extent of the blow which had fallen.

“Your father said to-morrow, Emily—to-morrow he would be-in-in prison for this dreadful matter. So he is free to-day, and to-day something must be done."


[ocr errors]

Emily, do

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

“Alas! my dear friend, what can we do? My father, I know, though not

poor, is not rich, and cannot pay the money, even were he inclined ; and I am afraid, even kind-hearted as he is, he would

Emily, leave me. Go down to your father, gather from him what is really requisite to save Henry, and return to me quickly. O dear


best to aid me.” “I will, I will,” replied the latter. And she descended to the parlour. Mr. Christian was pacing the room in great agitation.

“What is all this, Emily?" he hurriedly inquired. “Why should this news have such great effect on Mary Thorneley ?”

“ Papa," said Emily, “something has been kept secret from you which I feel now had better have been told.”

Eh, Emily-more disclosures—more misfortunes, I will venture to say, by your looks."

“ Mary Thorneley is engaged to-to Henry Marsden,” faltered Emily.

• What !” almost shouted her father, “the unutterable scoundrel ! Where did this take place ?"

“ I believe a short time after they again met each other here. But,

“Oh, Emily, Emily, this is terrible. My old friend Thorneley-what will he say to me?"

“But, papa, hear me one moment. What is the extent of this misfortune ? "Is it known now that Marsden has taken this money?”

“ No; it must be to-morrow. " Its amount is 4501. ?“Yes. More than I can pay, or than he has any chance of paying." “ I will go back to Mary for a moment." “Stay, Emily. Tell her this from me: I am hurt grievously by what I hear. She has wronged and deceived her best friends, and this day of mourning to her has been well deserved.”

He abruptly left the room as he spoke, and Emily returned to Mary. “ It is so," said the former; “nothing will be done against him till to

If we could but find 4501. we could save all the misery; but where can we look ?"

“ Emily, there is one effort I can and will make at once.


dear papa

[ocr errors]


I will see

my uncle."

66 But

“ Alas! Mary, I am afraid he would be very, very angry at your engagement; so that his helping Henry Marsden would be out of the question.” “ Never mind, I will go to him, tell him all, and will try.”

you cannot go now. You are too unwell. Besides,” she added, looking out, “it is quite dusk, and raining fast."

“ Nothing shall deter me-I will go.”

Finding her thus resolute, Emily, without consulting her father, lest he should arbitrarily oppose, directed a conveyance to be fetched. “God bless you, Emily," said Mary, as she hastily entered it.

May Heaven prosper your endeavour !" returned Emily. And they parted.

“ How thankful I am my father did not see her,” said the latter to herself, as she re-entered the parlour. “ He would certainly have prevented her going; alone, at all events.”

66 Where is


father ?" she inquired of a servant. “He has been gone out some minutes, miss,” was the reply ; "and I was to tell you when you came down not to wait dinner, for he would probably dine at Mr. Thorneley's.”

“Mr. Thorneley's !"

“ Yes, he's gone there as fast as a cab can take him. He was to give the man extra for doing the two miles in twenty minutes, which cabby said was wonderful travelling."

Emily sat down in despair.

“My father, in his present mood," she murmured, “ will be an angry opponent, and poor Mary wants support instead of opposition. I am in great mind—I will,” she said, starting up-“I will follow them ; I

may be of some use.

Fetch a cab for me directly.” In a few minutes the cab was brought.

“There was only one on the stand, miss,” said the servant, “and I don't much like the look of the driver. You're not going alone, are



[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

“ Yes; why ,

not ? it is not far," replied Emily. And she hurried into the conveyance. “ Tell him where to go to—make haste.”

“ Russell-square," screamed the servant. No answer. “Russell-square," screeched Susan, again. “Oh, ah, hum,” were the only sounds audible in reply. “I'm afraid he's tipsy, miss,” said Susan, putting her head into the cab.

“Never mind, so long as he's sense enough to get to Russell-square," replied Emily, excitedly. “I will risk everything." “ Did you say-say-eh ?” muttered cabby. “Russell-square,” once more shouted Susan.

“Hum-wery good-quick's the word,” said cabby, starting into activity. And away they went at a good round pace to Shoreditch.

“ This is a queer start,” said Susan, to her fellow-servant, the cook, when she had returned into the kitchen. “What's up now, I wonder ?”

“Never mind what's up with others,” returned the cook ; have only to mind what's up with ourselves, which, just now, Susy, is the parlour dinner.”

“What a sin that it should all be spoilt,” exclaimed Susan. “ That's just what I'm a revolvin' in my mind," answered the cook. " There's such a lot of it, too,” cried Susan. “Quite so; yes—that's it--will you ?" said cook.

Acting in accordance with the secret meaning of this disjointed and mysterious speech, Susan disappeared for a few minutes. When she had returned, the three sat down to a comfortable meal.

“Glad I happened to get back to my beat in time," said the third person, when he was a little refreshed. “ I'd just walked off a cove for stealing a leg of mutton, and uncommon rumbustical he was, to be sure.




THE TIGER-KILLER. It is not often that we have it in our power to introduce our readers to a French novel. They can easily understand the reason why, without any explanation on our part ; but at length we ha stumbled on a real gem, called “Le Tueur de Tigres,” by Paul Féval, the scene of which is laid in England, and throws such a new and unexpected light on ourselves and our institutions, that the readers of the New Monthly must necessarily receive a perfect flood of instruction about a country of which they are so ignorant as their own! All hail, then, to the Frenchman who has undertaken to be your guide, philosopher, and friend! Welcome him to your homes and hearts as the benefactor of the world in general, and of England particularly.

Our readers are, of course, aware that when our young countrymen have spent all their money, they do not imitate the nigger boatman by working for more, but straightway load a pistol to put an end to their miseries. At least such was the case with our hero, M. Christian, and this was the more unpardonable, as the sun was really supposed to be shining on this eventful morning : of course it could not be seen through the covering of fog and smoke with which London is continually coiffé, still something of the sort might be guessed at. It was in an empty house of Golden-square that this tragedy was to come off, where Christian and a young lady, temporarily residing with him, of the name of Mees Jane (we beg our readers' pardon, but a Frenchman must be allowed the liberty—had she been his wife, the story would be quite insipid), were drinking their last bottle of champagne at breakfast. Of three thousand guineas left him by his uncle only two solitary specimens remained, and, woman-like, Jane immediately declares she loves hin better than ever. Eventually Mees proposes to visit her Uncle Saunders, who lives in Pallmall, and is rich as Croesus. Christian consents, for he wants to execute his fell design alone. Unfortunately, he could not go out of the world without writing a letter or so, explanatory of his motives

, and so our author interrupts him by various episodes. First of all his landlord, Tom Borne, à Jerseyman (les Jersiens sont les Bas Normands de l'Angleterre, our author adds in explanation, for geography is not the forte of young France), announces to him that he had better go, for the house was let to a Mylord. The Mylord anon walks in, in the person of Commodore Davison, an ardent follower of Courtenay.' Who he was we will tell you directly. With him was his daughter, a fade beauty of beyond the Straits, and thorough English vignette, whom Christian had seen before on the boat of Richmond, and incontinently fallen in love with, to the intepse disgust of Mees Jane. The Commodore was an “eccentric,” which he proved by imitating the great Courtenay, the lion of the fashionable world - because he could eat fifty dozen of oysters without drinking. But, alas ! the ostreophagist had met with a premature end through a bet he made with Waterford, that he would eat seventyfive dozen -and died in the struggle, having only reached seventy-three. Readers, let us pause and wipe away the involuntary tear due to our great countryman's memory !

The Commodore being disposed of, the pistol is again raised, only to be laid down by the entrance of the bailiffs, who carried off all the furniture not yet converted into champagne. Decidedly it was time for Christian to quit this world of grief, but again he is disturbed by the entrance of his pitiless creditor, Mr. Carter, who desires to make a proposal.

Mr. Courtenay, for whom we recently shed the sympathetic tear, had been the lay figure on which sundry tradesmen, Mr. Carter included, had displayed their wares. By a considerable outlay they had raised him to the height of fashion, and had he lived but one year more, their fortune would have been made. But death plotted against them, and they were in despair, when luckily Mr. Carter bethought himself of Christian to supply the place of the defunct. The terms were speedily agreed on, and Christian's speciality was to be tiger-killing. His rooms were to be hung with skins as trophies ; his portrait lithographed in the Bengalee costume, with a rifle of fantastic shape pointed at a colossal tiger; and a young live specimen was to be put in a cage and kept in his study, which he educated out of charity, after destroying father and mother. Thus, then, Christian Macaulay would be launched on the world, with a monthly salary of 300 guineas ; for, although the hapless Courtenay only received one hundred, as our hero justly observed, there was a vast difference between swallowing a tiger and an oyster.

The pistols were speedily uncapped, and off our hero started on his new career, forgetful of poor Mees Jane, who speedily returned with a huge bag of sovereigns under her arm, to find herself a widow de facto, if not de jure.

We will leave her in a syncope, from which Tom Borne tries to arouse her by sending huge puffs of tobacco-smoke up her nostrils, while we follow our tiger-killer in his glorious career. And here for a bit of quotation from a chapter which our author calls Profils Anglais :

Brighton was in all its splendour : Brighton, that English paradise, where the sky is sometimes blue, where the sea shakes off now and then the heavy fogs to bear to the shore the caresses of its cerulean waves : Brighton, the spot of delight where the flower of fashion expands, the great arena where the tournament of elegancies and Britannic eccentricities takes place: Brighton, the cold and smiling oasis, where the three kingdoms go, yawning the while, to doctor their spleen and kill the hours. The season was magnificent. According to the oldest habitués a more lovely one had never been witnessed. London entire, I mean the noble London, the elite of Almack's, had deserted the banks of the Thames, and it might be asked whether this year the high parliament had renounced the life of the château. Brighton was brilliant, Brighton was thronged; the noble residences in the vicinity, full from the ground-floor to the garret, sent guests to the public-house (auberge), and you would have found on the lists of the furnished houses all the old names of the peerage.

The reason why Brighton was in this abnormal state was the rising on the horizon of fashion of two new planets : a female author of the rarest merit, Lady Desdemona Bridgeton, and a lion of colossal proportions, the famous Christian Macaulay. Lady Desdemona (it will be no breach of confidence to state this is our old friend, Mees Jane) had already made her debut in the best accredited reviews, in addition to the great dramatic victory she had gained at Covent Garden Theatre by her tragedy of “David Rizzio.” This was a very different sort of thing,




« 上一頁繼續 »