Abbildungen der Seite

to partake of the feelings of fathers towards their sons, with regard to the young ladies. Many a poor creature has been embargoed into the nursery or the governess's room for at least four years after she ought to have been out, because she unfortunately happened to be born when her mamma was not more than seventeen, who at three-and-thirty did not like to have a beautiful repetition of herself at that age, constantly associated with her, to induce comparison.

By Jove, Sniggs has arrived, and the second bell is ringing—so away with my papers, and

"To dinner with what appetite we may."


Butler tells us that—

"All love, at first, like generous wine,
Ferments and frets until 'tis fine;
But when 'tis settled on the lee,
And from th' impurer matter free,
Becomes the richer, still the older,
And proves the pleasanter the colder."

A humorous description of the effects of this pleasant frigidity is given by the facetious, yet almost now forgotten, George Alexander Steevens, who says, "Courtship is a fine bowlinggreen turf, all galloping round and sweethearting—a sunshine holiday in summer time; but when once through the turnpike of matrimony, the weather becomes wintry, and some husbands are seized with a cold fit, to which the faculty give the name of Indifference. Courtship is matrimony's running footman, but is too often carried away by the two great preservatives of matrimonial friendship—delicacy and gratitude. There is also another very serious disorder with which ladies are sometimes seized during the honeymoon, and which the College of Physicians call Sullenness. This malady arises from some incautious word which has been addressed to the patient, who is then leaning on her elbow on the breakfast-table, her cheek resting upon the palm of her hand, her eyes fixed earnestly upon the fire, and her feet beating tat-too time. The husband, meanwhile, is biting his lips, pulling down his ruffles, stamping about the room, and looking at his lady like Old Nick. At last he abruptly says,'' Well, Ma'am, what's the matter with you?' The lady mildly replies, 'Nothing.' 'What is it you do mean?' 'Nothing.' 'What would you have me do?' Nothing.' * What have I done, Madam?' 'Oh, nothing.' And this quarrel arose at breakfast:

the lady very innocently observed she thought the tea was made with Thames water; the husband, in mere contradiction, insisted upon it that the tea-kettle was filled out of the New River."

This, and the domestic felicity of Sir Charles and Lady Racket, "three weeks after marriage," brought to my recollection the scene I had witnessed between Mr. and Mrs. Daly at their lodgings in London, and made me congratulate myself upon the escape I had made from the superficial attractions of Miss Emma Haines. Thence my thoughts glanced to the expatriated husband and the separated wife in that case; and I began to wonder what had happened to my once worshipped idol, and how she was "making it out" with her mother and the major.

Nothing at all comparable with this was happening to me. Harriet was still all gentleness and playfulness. Her wishes seemed to be bounded by the desire of pleasing me; and her kindness transferred, on my account, not only to my brother, but to the children of his late wife, and even beyond those to others who had no tie or claim whatever upon us, except as apparently contributing to his comfort, was unqualified as it was unaffected. This is charming; but still

Here are the three Falwassers—two misses and one master. What then ?—they are endeared and attached—they scarcely know why— to my brother Cuthbert, who is their father-inlaw. Kitty Falwasser, a fine girl of fourteen or fifteen, rubs his temples with Eau-de-Cologne. "Jenny," as he calls her, fetches his snuff-box, cuts the leaves of his books, puts the additional lump of sugar in his tea when Harriet does not make it sweet enough, and even goes the length occasionally of drinking it for him. Tom Falwasser is a pyrotechnist; his whole holidays are passed in making squibs and crackers; and he comes in, after dinner, as his father-in-law desires, smelling of gunpowder like a devil.

I remember, in some former notes of mine, I explained the innocence of this same word, as used colloquially to designate a certain wooden implement, in the use and exercise of which I greatly rejoiced before my union with Harry,—

« ZurückWeiter »