« 上一頁繼續 »
bestow upon me, I shall be happy to receive; but not now, no Monsieur, I rely too confidently on your affection to make any sordid stipulation."
“ Excellent creature !” exclaimed De Jourdain,“ you shall not be disappointed; you shall not find that your confidence is reposed in an ungenerous man.”
“There is only one circumstance," added Agatha," which I consider it proper to communicate. That poor child
A child !” exclaimed the startled De Jourdain. “ My dear niece Adelaide.”
" Oh!” said the lover, with a long breath, as if suddenly relieved from an ominous weight.
“ She is so entirely dependent on me, who am her lawful guardian,” continued Agatha, " that I must be allowed still to keep the dear creature with me until I can find a settlement for her in some judicious match."
“ I will not thwart your affectionate solicitude on the child's behalf,” said De Jourdain, and smiling, he added, " I think she will not long be a care to either of us; I think my friend De Ferval is not only deeply smitten with her, but is in respect of birth and connexions every way an eligible match."
“ He is certainly an elegant youth,” said Agatha; “and if he has your consent, mine shall not be withheld, depend on it.”
This was a great relief to the prudent De Jourdain, who had a great objection to feed more mouths than was necessary; and he soon proceeded to make arrangements with De Ferval for the consummation of his own and the lover's suit.
The next morning the two couples were united; and after the ceremony De Ferval and his bride, accompanied by the faithful Antoine, the bibulous Gaspard, and two maids, bade adieu to De Jourdain and his spouse, and departed for Lyons.
Durand was too happy indeed to escape the explosion of the ludicrous dénouement which he anticipated when the cautious De Jourdain should be enlightened as to the actual extent of his wife's property.
Antoine and Gaspard were both delighted at the success of their plot; and Adelaide, who was also let into the secret, heartily rejoiced at the good fortune of her aunt.
“ I know her well,” said she," she is a shrewd woman, very fond of having her own way; and there is no one more capable of managing M. de Jourdain, or assisting in the circulation of his wealth. He is well and deservedly matched.”
THE SWISS COTTAGE.
“Ye gastric graces of Pall Mall, Fish, soup, and paté, fare ye well,
Give me some cot Helvetian,
An uncrown'd Dioclesian.”
Arachne seem'd to rule 'em,
At Ivy Cottage, Fulham ! • 'Tis well!" I cried. “At Wit's control Here Temperance will pass the bowl,
And Health rise up the winner. Full well I know the classic spotSwiss is the scenery, Swiss the cot,
And Swiss, no doubt, the dinner.
At most a brace of rabbits;
To suit my Hindoo habits. “Six three-legg'd stools, of antique shapes ; Ripe figs ; a plate of purple grapes,
As sweet as honeysuckles ;
Red hose, and silver buckles.”
The outside stair been skipping, With three long plaits of braided hair, 'Twould seem the ipse locus where
Macready pierced the pippin.
Chintz chairs with sofa paddings; Bright stoves, at war with humid damps ; Pianos; rosewood tables ; lamps,
As brilliant as Aladdin's.
Was placed my right and left on;
Lucullus or Lord Sefton. The party, ʼmid the sound of corks, (Although the bread was white; the forks
Were silver, not metallic,)
The feast was Anglo-Gallic.
He could judge little of the deep meaning of a very deep face, who, standing on Wednesday last in the lobby of Madame Tussaud's Rooms, Baker-street, Portman-square, saw nought remarkable in the visage of Mr. Gabriel Marmoset, as he slowly approached the serious money-taker. With a brooding air, he placed his left hand in his pocket, and in a low sepulchral voice, demanded—“ How much ?”
“Nothing, Sir," said the money-taker ; " as one of us, you know, you are on the free list.”
“Bless me !” exclaimed Mr. Gabriel Marmoset; “ and so I am. I had forgotten. My poor head !” This simple incident to the thousands who delight in the personal acquaintance of Mr. Gabriel Marmoset, will prove beyond anything how deep that gentleman was sunk in meditation. He passed into the Rooms, and with vacant eye, surveyed the wax images about him. It was eight o'clock in the evening, and the Rooms, according to the promise of Madame Tussaud, were "brilliantly illuminated." Almost unconscious of the presence of a throng of visitors, Mr. Gabriel Marmoset paced the floor, from time to time, pausing before the effigy of some desperado, where, in the quotation tastefully adopted by Madame Tussaud, might be seeu his
“ Eyes, nose, lip,
The very mould and frame of hand, nail, and finger!” “ Humph !" communed Mr. Marmoset with himself, looking very covetously on the image of Dennis Collins; "humph! he's not copyright. Something must be done by Christmas. A gradual fallingoff of three sixpences per night-humph !”- Then Mr. Gabriel Marmoset seated himself, and thought down “hours to minutes," and thinking, fell asleep.
It deserves to be generally known, that with a proper regard to the health and morals of her visitors, Madame Tussaud closes her doors at ten o'clock. That hour was arrived, and the manager, unseen, unthought of, bad been locked up still in deepest Blumber, dreaming of mountains of half-price sixpenceg-dreaming that all the leaves of Vallambrosa" were insufficient to the demand for nightly checks.
“ Collins is not copyright-Hume's not copyright-none of 'em are copyright,” murmured Marmoset in his sleep; “I can have 'em done, and show 'em at threepence.” As the manager spoke thus in his slumber, the clock struck-twelve !
What was the astonishment of Mr. Gabriel Marmoset to find himself in the presence of living men and women! Yea, surrounded by the breathing, moving figures he had before looked upon as insensible matter! Field-marshal von Blucher stepped with heavy tread to Frederick William of Prussia-Francis of Austria kissed his fingers to the smiling Mary Queen of Scots—Napoleon, touching his hat, offered his box to Fieschi—the “infant son of Madame Tussaud, which,” as she informs us, she had “the honour to model ” expressly for the Duchess of York, called hastily for his “Mammy”-Daniel O'Connell exclaimed
Hereditary bondsmen! know ye not
Who would be free, themselves must strike the blow ?" General Washington whistled “Yankee Doodle,” and Joseph Hume commenced upon his fingers a sum of compound fractions. Every body suddenly did or said something. The whole company appeared as if they had been relieved from the irksome duty of remaining silent in one position all day, and were resolved to enjoy io its full extent their midnight holiday. Ca ira was sung from the “Chamber of Horrors," Dennis Collins inveighing against all outlandish gibberish, and calling lustily for “ the college hornpipe.” We have neither space nor leisure to particularize the conduct of every individual. All, however, seemed bent on enjoyment—on the dolce farniente ; and none more so than all the cabinet ministers, past and present.
At first, Mr. Gabriel Marmoset was abashed at the high company amongst whom he found himself. He had never seen so many kings, save those he had paid on a Saturday: and though a morbid modesty was not the disease of the manager, he nevertheless required some minutes to raise his self-assurance. He was happily relieved by the observing condescension of Lord John Russell.
Lord John. What! as I think, Mr.
Marmoset. Marmoset, your Lordship, of the Royal Sanguinary Theatre. If your Lordship will do me the honour to recollect, I was distinguished by an interview with your Lordship on three great public questions—the Savoyards, white mice, and barrel-organs.
Lord John. I remember: you complained that they injured the interests of the legitimate drama.
Marmoset (sighing). Ha! your Lordship; there's no standing against foreign artists and foreign music. The legitimate drama
Lord John. By the way, Mr. Marmoset, will you do me a great favour?
Marmoset. Is it to get up Don Carlos ? I am very sorry, but my leading tragedian is at present in Horsemonger-lane, and
Lord John. No-no; the favour I solicit is
Marmoset. To dramatize the Reform Bill? It will be long for a play ; but if yourself or any of your friends can manage to reduce it to a farce, I
Lord John. No-no; the favour I ask of the kindness and intelligence of Mr. Marmoset, is this. Will he oblige me by defining what is generally understood by his profession to be a legitimate drama?
Marmoset (drawing himself up). My Lord, that is a point on which I have spent more consideration than any man alive! Though I say it, my Lord, there is no manager, from a peculiarity of circumstances, so capable of affording you the required information. I have ransacked the whole globe for attraction; I may say it, I have gone as it were into Noah's ark for actors—I have executed, what meaner men would die blushing to think of—and the result of my experience, after much thinking, is this ; that that drama is to all intents and purposes the most legitimate--you understand me, my Lord—the most legitimate,
Lord John. Very good.
Marmoset. That brings the most money! I have said it. That brings the most money, my
Lord. Joseph Hume (aside to Dennis Collins). A very sensible man this. Who is he? Dennis Collins (aside, in a confidential voice). Hush! that's Mar
olling myset of the Sanguinary Theatre.
Joseph Hume. Are you sure?
Dennis Collins. Cock! 'cause he come to me in Reading gaol, and offered to buy my wooden leg for what he called a nistorical local drammy.
Joseph Hume. And didn't you sell it ?
Dennis Collins. What do you take me for, Mr. Hume ? 'cause I was in trouble, and going over the water myself, was that any reason I should disgrace my leg by sending it afore me ?
Lord John. And pray, Mr. Marmoset—(at this moment several illustrious and infamous persons come up)—but allow me to introduce to your patronage, Mr. Marmoset of the Sanguinary Theatre. What brings him here, I was about to ask. Candour, I can tell you, is his great characteristica simple good creature, as full of truth as his own playbills.
Marmoset. Oh! my Lord.—The truth then is, I came here to-for among friends, business is not what it used to be-I came to look out for attraction—I came to see my way: and to any man or men who can bring me one hundred and fifty pounds per night, I have not the slightest hesitation in offering five-and-forty shillings as a weekly salary.
Lord Byron. Ha! ha! Grey, do you want an engagement? (his Lordship shakes his head.)
Napoleon. Well-man! Always had a liking for the stage; would have made Racine a prince had he lived in my time-(grimly smiling). What do you offer me?
Marmoset. Really, General —
Marmoset. I beg your pardon; but in the last piece you were always called General, and
Napoleon. Last piece! eh—what?
Dennis Collins. I seed you myself in the sixpenny gallery ; and more than that-hissed you like a true-born Englishman.
Marmoset. Quite true ; we've had you at all ages.