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pence halfpenny to help him, put him pretty much at his ease as times mended; all his landed property consisting of Chittagong, where his attempts at farming had been crowned with successes only to be equalled in their results by his experiment of letting the property to the Thompson family. But, after having very tranquilly and philosophically perused the details of the Calcutta crash, the good, kind-hearted old man suddenly felt alarm lest Cuthbert might, either by the plausible persuasion of the partners, or, which seemed even more probable, by his own helplessness and consequent apparent carelessness in the management of his affairs, have permitted his realised capital to remain in their charge, not altogether unmindful that twelve per cent., which the enterprising speculators were in the habit of giving for large deposits, was, in point of fact, a better return for capital, at least nominally, than three. The moment the idea struck him, out he went, and, as if invigorated by the warmth of his feelings, walked off to Montpelier to question his old freind and former partner upon this most interesting and vital topic. Arrived there, after some little delay, he was admitted to an audience with Cuthbert, but under a heavy fire of frowns from the Brandyball. This sort of shotted salute—after the fashion of olden times, when powder without ball was considered no compliment—Nubley bore with immovable fortitude, although he was not exactly prepared to understand why the increased weight of displeasure was fulminated against him, till he discovered in the sequel that, at the moment of his arrival, a barber from Bath was in attendance upon Cuthbert for the purpose, in the first place, of denuding his head of the few locks which time had turned to grey and left, and of fitting on it in their place a gay, light, curly wig, ample in its ringlets, and juvenile in its tint, in which he was to appear as bridegroom at the approaching ceremony. It was pretty clear to me from what Nubley wrote in his letter that he must unconsciously have talked to Mrs. Brandyball about Samson and Delilah, but whatever might have been the nature or character of his “oozings out,” no doubt could remain of his having set the lady in an unquenchable flame of rage by his unexpected intrusion at what, when she was fine, she called her seminary. Cuthbert himself was considerably annoyed to be detected by his old partner as he was, or nearly was, in the fitting on of a matrimonial head-dress, knowing as he did the opinion

which the said old partner entertained of the new partnership into which he was about to enter, or at least of the person about to be admitted into the firm, was certainly not altogether agreeable. “You had better leave the room for the present,” said the lady to the perruquier; “the gentleman will not stay long, and you can come in again and finish by-and-by.” “Why, as to the matter of that,” said Nubley, “I am not quite so sure that my visit to-day will be so short, for I have a great deal to say to my friend on business.” “Oh, Nubley,” said Cuthbert, “don’t talk of business—eh —no—I have quitted business, and done with every thing connected with it.” “You have, indeed " said Nubley; “and finely you have done . However, you must listen.—I wish that old Jezebel would go and leave us.” “Mr. Nubley,” said Mrs. Brandyball, “the inadvertency of your manner, and the unconscious communication of your private ideas, sufficiently assure me of your opinion of me, and of your anxiety to prejudice Mr. Cuthbert against me: but it is too late; the die is cast, and therefore you will forgive me for merely insinuating that, however much your efforts may contribute to irritate Mr. Cuthbert's gentle temper and disorder his tranquillity, they will produce no change in his determination.” “May be not, Ma'am,” said Nubley; “but that won't stop my tongue, nor hurry my departure.” “My dear friend,” said Cuthbert, evidently disappointed in

an attempt at scratching his head (a favourite delassement of .

his) by the intervention of the newly-adapted Brutus, of the presence of which he was perfectly unconscious; “do not speak harshly or unkindly to a lady for whom I have so high a regard, and who has made so many sacrifices for my comfort, who has given up so much for my sake, and who has been to me the kind and affectionate—eh, dear me !—affectionate dispenser of attentions and cares which my dearest relations, and those—eh, dear me !—those who ought to have bestowed upon me—Oh, dear, dear!—pray do not make me talk.”

“Dear Mr. Gurney, do not excite yourself,” said Mrs. Brandyball, “Kitty, dear, where is the eau de Cologne — Kitty—’

§. called but no Kitty answered, for it turned out that during the stay of the perruquier, she had availed herself of

his services in cutting and curling her hair into the likeness of something which she had seen in one of the prints of a “Magasin de Modes,” which one of her dear friends, Miss Margaret Dry rubber, had brought to school. “Eau de Cologne, Ma'am,” said Nubley; “that won't do: I am come here to bring our old friend to a sense of the state of his affairs.” “I really do not understand what you mean by our old friend,” said Mrs. Brandyball. “Mr. Cuthbert Gurney is an old friend of yours probably, but as I have not had the honour of his acquaintance for any very great length of time, it is more gratifying to me to feel conscious of the place I hold in his estimation.” “I don't want, Ma'am,” said Nubley, “to lower you in his estimation: I am not going to talk about you. It is of his own affairs I am about to speak. I wonder if she will go now.” “Oh 1” said Cuthbert, again fidgeting at his wig, “ don't mind about my affairs now, Nubley—nothing can press—after my marriage—eh dear, eh dear!—” “Will be too late,” said Nubley, with increasing energy. “Why surely, Gurney, you can't expect much comfort in the match you are about to make, if you are not to have the power of listening to a friend who wishes to make a communication. I tell you it is important—we must be alone. I dare say that if old Sysigambis does go away, she'll clap her ear to the keyhole o listen—eh, don't you see {" The moment this “oozing out” had inspired old Sysigambis with the notion that she might perhaps advantageously overhear the dialogue in the mode unconsciously recommended to her notice by my poor non-retentive friend and advocate, she caught at the idea ; and, from the earnestness of Nubley's manner, and his desire to be left alone with Cuthbert, imagining that what he had to say, which he was so unwilling to say while she was present, might be something which would be very important for her to hear, while she was supposed to be absent, she threw over her countenance that expression of amiability which was seldom used, except when the anxious parents of her few pupils came to visit their darlings; and which, while it conveyed to the solicitous visiters the most gratifying evidence of her own amiability, also led them to understand that all their nasty, little, cross, ill-conditioned, rude, riotous, and reckless darlings, were the most amiable, industrious, and amiable creatures that ever drew reath.

With one of these looks—which, to use Nubley's own words, “might have made one suppose that butter would not melt in her mouth,”—Mrs. Brandyball said, in a simper just playful enough to show three very white teeth (Bath made) between her ruby lips, - “You don't imagine, Mr. Nubley, that any apprehension of a disunion between myself and our excellent friend could induce me to remain present at any period when a friend of your standing wished to make a confidential communication. Indeed, you mistake me; I am aware that upon occasions when an union of this sort is considered—and I admit not unnaturally—as an intrusion into a family, feelings are engendered, for which, in this particular case, there is no ground. I trust we shall know each other better before long, and in the meantime I retire; dear Cuthbert, is there any thing you would like in the way of refreshment " “Eh dear, no,” said Cuthbert. Dear devil –thought Nubley. “Well,” said the lady, “I do not grow much in your favour, I am afraid; however I must go and look after dear Kate and the hair-cutter, and when I may come back ring the bell and let me know.” Saying which she swam out of the room in a gay and lively manner, waggling and wriggling herself clear of the doorposts, in a most graceful, and, to say truth, dexterous manner. “Well,” said Cuthbert, “what is the meaning of all this, my dear friend ?—I—really—eh—never—interfered—oh dear, dear, my head " “That's the wig,” said Nubley; “what a goose you must be to clap your old cocoa-nut into a bird's nest; why it don't become you; if you are, like Etna, all fire within and snow at top—why don't you show your snow 3 however, what I am come to talk about has nothing to do with your marriage— because the dear woman who has just left us would, I am sure, be satisfied with love in a cottage—it must be a big one —eh—don't you see 1–but—you must make up your mind to something.” “Eh—dear, dear, dear,”—said Cuthbert, “I have made up my mind to every thing.” “Yes,” said Nubley, “but now—Gurney—supposing, instead of turning all you got with me, and after me, in Calcutta, into good safe old English stock—you had left all your gains in the hands of a great staring flaring house in Calcutta —to live upon remittances at their nice high rates of interest; hey—if you had done that old boy—what would you have said WOL. II. 17

when you heard that the great staring flaring house had smashed 4” “How d'ye mean smashed 1” said Cuthbert. Hit him there, thought Nubley.—“Why smashed,” said the old gentleman—“don’t you know the word 3–suppose, now, for instance, that most splendid firm in all the universe, Messrs. Chipps, Rice, Hiccory, and Co., celebrated all over the universe from Chowringee to Vipary—eh—don't you see? —my old boy—startle him now, eh (–was to fail—when a man who loves twelve per cent. better than three chooses to leave his tot and tottle in their hands—eh 4” “Fail—eh—what fail?”—said Cuthbert, pushing up his ; wig ;—“what should make Chipps, Rice, and Hiccory il 1" “What!” said Nubley, “why, not being able to fulfil their engagements—don't you see " “It's an impossibility,” said Cuthbert, raising himself upon his elbow, “it could not happen—Chipps, Rice, and Hiccory fail?—no.” “But, Cuthbert,” said Nubley, “there's nothing impossible to Providence, as they tell us, but gunpowder ashes; suppose they have failed—and suppose I have got an account of their failure in my pocket.” “Then,” said Cuthbert, with a deep sigh, and something like an effort to be agitated, “I am a beggar !” . “So you are, and I knew it,” said Nubley: “you never would listen to my advice—no—there you were like a baby without leading strings; gad—I believe if at any time of your life you had slipped down into a nullah four inches deep, and }. head had been but three inches under water, you would ave laid on your back and let yourself be drowned rather than make the slightest exertion:—I wonder how he feels now “But,” said Cuthbert, looking somewhat anxious, “are you sure 4–eh—dear—or is it that you have come to tell me this in order to break off this marriage, which neither you nor Gilbert ever approved of.” “Break off,” said I, “why should your break down break off the marriage? I am sure, and I am quite sure you are sure, that this Mrs. Brandyball loves you for yourself alone; why else has she made all the sacrifices you talk of why send away her pupils, why give up all her pursuits? It will be her pride and happiness to exert herself again for your advantage—and Kitty, dear thing, may assist her in it; don't you see?—I hope the old body is outside listening.” “This comes upon me as a great and sudden surprise,” said

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