« ZurückWeiter »
to play at questions and commands. cane, and walking into the street. Aye: This game in fact soon began. but how? This was a question he " Thunder and lightning !" said Mr. could not answer. Wandering, there Tempest discovering what it was, fore, up and down the streets until it “ is this to be endured ?"
had become quite dark, he returned If the inere possibility of such an at length to the point from which he issue had alarmed him, how much had set out, and found that one more sensible was his affliction when nuisance at least-viz. the kissing, he saw as a matter of fact laid had ceased ; and had given place to visibly before his bodily eyes that a concert. For Ida's musical talents every fool and coscomb availed him- and fine voice were well known; and self of the privilege of the game to she was generally called the little give to Ida-his own destined bride Catalani. She was now singing; and -kisses * without let .or hindrance; a crowd of persons bad collected un“ whilst I,” said he, “1-John Teme der the window to hear her, who pest-have never yet been blessed seemed by their looks to curse every with one.”
passer-by for the disturbance he But if the sight of such liberties made. Mr. Tempest crept on tiptaken with his blooming Ida placed toe to join the crowd of listeners, him on the brink of desperation, and was enraptured by the sweet much more desperate did he become tones of Ida's voice. After the conwhen that sight was shut out by that clusion of the air, and when the “consummate villain” (as he chose usual hubbub of enchanting ! dito style him) the footman, who at vine !' &c. had rung out its peal, the this moment took it into his head or by-standers outside began to talk of was ordered to let down the cure the masquerade. In the crowd were tains. Behind the curtains,-ah! ye some of those who had been invited : Gods, what scenes might not pass ! and one amongst them was flattering
“ This must be put a stop to," himself that nobody would recognize said Mr. Tempest taking his hat and him before he should unmask.
The Death's-head Masque. Thus much information Mr. Tem- cloak, in which an imperceptible pest drew from this casual conversa- opening was made for the eyes : the tion that he found it would not be real head thus became a pair of required of the masquers to announce shoulders; and upon this was placed their names to any person on their a false head which, when lifted up, arrival. Lpon this hint he grounded exposed a white skull with eyeless a plan for taking a part in the sockets and grinning with a set of masqued ball. By good luck he was brilliantly white teeth at the curious already provided with a black do- spectator. mino against the winter masque- Having settled his scheme, Mr. rades, at the public rooms: this do- Tempest withdrew to his own lodgmino was so contrived that the head ings in order to make preparations of the wearer was hidden under the for its execution.
It's only I. The company at Mr. Goodchild's the penurious disposition of Mr. consisted of two divisions : No. 1, Goodchild, had on this occasion the. embracing the elder or more fashion- hearty approbation of Mr. Tempest: able persons and those who were about eleven o'clock therefore, when nearly connected with the family, a great part of the guests in the sehad been invited to tea, supper, and cond division had already arrived, a masqued ball: No. 2, the younger he ordered a sedan-chair to be and less distinguished persons, had fetched; and then, causing himself to been invited to the ball only. This be carried up and down through searrangement, which proceeded from veral streets, that nobody might discover from what house the gigantic saloon, she was pressed on all sides domino had issued, he repaired to the to tell what she knew of the myste house of Mr. Goodchild.
* The reader must remember that the scene is laid in Germany. This and other instances of grossiérete have been purposely retained in illustration of German manners,
She! good heavens! His extraordinary stature excited how should she know any thing of so much the more astonishment a- him? “What had he said then? mongst the party-coloured mob of That too she could as little answer. masquers, because he kept himself He spoke, she said, in such a low wholly aloof from all the rest and hollow and unintelligible tone that paced up and down with haughty she was quite alarmed and heard strides. His demeanour and air had nothing of what he uttered. in it something terrific to every body The company now betrayed more except to Ida, to whom he had whis- and more anxiety in reference to the pered as he passed her alone in an unknown masque; so that Ida had ante-room_" Don't be alarmed: its no chance for answering his billet or only 1:” at the same time giving granting the request which it conher a billet, in which he requested a tained. Mr. Tempest now began to few moments' conversation with her regret much that he had not selected at any time in the course of the an ordinary masque in which he evening
might have conversed at his ease Some persons however had ob- without being so remarkably pointed served him speaking to Ida: and out to the public attention. therefore, on her return to the great
Suspicions. The murmurs about the tall do- abroad against the poor advocate. mino grew louder and louder, and For at that time there was a giant gathered more and more about him. in the town who was exhibiting himHe began to hear doubts plainly ex- self for money : and Mr. Goodchild pressed-whether he was actually in- began to surmise that this man, vited. The master of the house pro- either with a view to the increasing tested that, so far from having any his knowledge of men and manners, such giant amongst his acquaintance, or for his recreation after the tædium he had never seen such a giant ex- of standing to be gazed at through a cept in show-booths. This mention whole day's length, had possibly of booths gave a very unfortunate smuggled himself as a contraband direction to the suspicions already article into his masqued ball.
Difficulties incrcasc. The worthy host set to work very veral, one after the other, commudeliberately to count his guests: and nicate your names to me by whisper. it turned out that there was actually ing them into my ear. just one masque more than there Well did Mr. Tempest perceive should be. Upon this he stepped what were the existing circumstances, into the middle of the company, and and what the reasons thereto moving, spoke as follows: Most respectable which had led to this measure; and and respected masques ! Under ex- very gladly he would have withisting circumstances, and for certain drawn himself from this vexatious weighty causes me thereto moving examination by marching off: but it (this phrase Mr. Goodchild had bor. did not escape him that a couple of rowed from his lawyer). I have to sentinels were already posted at the request that you will all and se- door.
Panic. - More than one half of the guests eager to gratify them by pressing had already communicated their before others that at length, when names to Mr. Goodchild, and stood all the rest had gone through their waiting in the utmost impatience for probation honourably, he remained the examination of the giant. But the last man; and thus was ipsa the giant, on his part, was so little facto condemned as the supernumerary man-before his trial com- For the third time, while his teeth menced.
chattered, he saidYour name, if The company was now divided you please." into two great classes—those who “ I have none," said Mr. Tempest, had a marriage garment, and the in so hollow a voice, that the heart unfortunate giant who had none. So of the worthy merchant sunk down much was clear: but, to make fur- in a moment to his knee-buckles, and ther discoveries, the host now stepped an ice-wind of panic began to blow up to hinı hastily-and
id, “ Your pretty
hly through the whole name, if you please.”
company. The masque stood as mute, as tall, “Your face then, if you please, and as immoveable as the gable end sir,” stammered out Mr. Goodchild. of a house." « Your name,'
Very slowly and unwillingly the peated Mr. Goodchild: “ I'll trouble masque, being thus importunately you for your name.' No answer besieged, proceeded to comply : but coming, a cold shivering seized upon scarcely had he unmasqued and exMr. Goodchild. In fact, at this mo- posed the death's head, when every ment a story came across him from soul ran out of the room with an his childish years—that, when Dr. outcry of horror. Faustus was played, it had some- The masque sprang after them, times happened that amongst the bounding like a grey-hound, and his stage devils there was suddenly ob- grinning skull nodding as he moved : served to be one too many; and the this he did under pretence of pursupernumerary one was found to be suing them, but in fact to take adno spurious devil, but a true-sound vantage of the general panic for and legitimate devil.
making his exit.
The parting Kiss. "Miss Goodchild in the Arms of Death. In an ante-room, now totally de- kiss as well as other persons, and serted, Death was met by Ida, who further that he would go and fetch said to him,-"Ah! for God's sake, it himself from the midst of the make your escape. Oh! if you did masquerade, though not expecting to but know what anxiety I have suf- have been detected as the extra pasfered on account of your strange senger or nip.* And surely, when conceit.” Here she paused; and a whole company had tasted the spite of her anxiety she could not ambrosia of her lips, Miss Goodforbear smiling at the thought of the child would not be so unkind as to sudden coup-de-théâtre by which Mr. dismiss him alone without that hapTempest had turned the tables upon piness. every soul that had previously been No: Miss Goodchild was not so enjoying his panic: in the twinkling unkind: and Death was just in the of an eye he had inflicted a far act of applying his lips to the rosy deeper panic upon them; and she mouth of Ida, when old Goodchild had herself been passed by the whole came peeping in at the door to see herd of fugitives tall and short, if the coast were clear of the dread corpulent and lanky, halt and lame, ful masque; and behind him was a young and old—all spinning away train of guests—all stepping gently with equal energy before the face of and on tip-toe from an adjoining the supernumerary guest.
'corridor. Death in return told Ida how he Every soul was petrified with ashad been an eye-witness to the game 'tonishment, on seeing the young of questions and commands, and to warm-breathing Ida on such close and the letting down of the curtains. apparently friendly terms with the This spectacle (he acknowledged) black gigantic Death, whose skull was had so tortured him, that he could grinning just right above the youthstand it no longer; and he had sworn ful pair and surmounting them like within himself that he would have a a crest. At this sight, all became
• In England, passengers who are taken up on stage coaches by the collusion of the guard and coachman, without the knowledge of the proprietors, are called nips.
plain : and the courage of the compa- who had so lately chased and ejected ny, which had so recently sunk below the whole body of the invited ones, the freezing point, suddenly rose at was in turn chased and ejected by once above boiling heat. Mr. Good- them. child levelled a blow at the Death's The festivities had been too viohead which had caused him so much lently interrupted to be now repain and agitation; and Mr. Tem- sumed: the guests took leave; and pest, seeing that no better course the weeping Ida was banished to a remained, made off for the front close confinement in her own room. door: and thus the uninvited masque,
CHAPTER XX. Here ends our episode. It was on china-works to sit down. Mr. Whelp, the very morning after this frucas on his part no less astonished than that Mr. Whelp waited upon Mr. irritated at such treatment, inquired Goodchild to report to him the uni- of the footman what was the matter versal opinion of the world upon the with his master ; and the footman, bust of the late stamp-distributor his who was going away and was reckless brother; and upon that opinion to of consequences, repeated the whole ground an appeal to his justice. history of the preceding night with
A worse season for his visit he fits of laughter; and added that could not possibly have chosen. Mr. the sport was not yet over; for that Goodchild stormed and said_" The this moming a brisk correspondence case had been tried and disposed of; had commenced between his master and he must insist on being troubled and Mr. Tempest—which, by the with no further explanations." And effect produced on the manners of so far did his anger make him forget both, seemed by no means of the the common courtesies of life, that gentlest nature. he never asked the proprietor of the
The King of Hayti. This account was particularly agree- When Mr. Tempest heard this able to Mr. Whelp. Concluding, that plan stated—in spite of his own disunder the present circumstances Mr. turbance of mind at the adventures Tempest would naturally be an excel- of the last night, he could not forlent counsellor against Mr. Goodchild, bear laughing heartily at the conhe hastened over to his apartments ; ceit: for he well knew what was the and said that, his last effort to bring real scheme which lurked under this the merchant over the way to any pretended exportation to St. Doreasonable temper of mind having mingo. Some little time back Mr. utterly failed, he had now another Goodchild had addressed to the Gerscheme. But first of all he wished man people, through the General to have the professional opinion of Advertiser, this question :--- How Mr. Tempest-whether he should or whence it came about that in so lay himself open to an action if he many newspapers of late days mentook the following course to reim- tion had been made of a kingdom of burse himself the expenses of the Hayti, when it was notorious to three dozen of busts. He had been every body that the island in question told by some Englishman, whose was properly called St. Domingo?" name he could not at this moment He therefore exhorted all editors of call to mind, that the bust of the political journals to return to more stamp-master was a most striking correct principles. On the same oelikeness of Christophe the black casion he had allowed himself many king of Hayti: now this being the very disrespectful expressions against case, what he proposed to do was to " a certain black fellow who pre wash over the late stamp-distributor tended to be king of Hayti;" so that with a black varnish, and to export it might readily be judged that it one dozen and a half of the distri- would not be a matter of indifference butor on speculation to St. Do- to him if his late brother the stamp, mingo, keeping the rest for home master were sold under the name of consumption.
king of Hayti.
• The barrister's opinion was-that, reverted in full property to the as the heir of the hespeaker had so china-works. However he advised lemnly deposed to the non-resem- Mr. Whelp to blacken only one of blance of the busts, and had on this them for the present, to place it in ground found means to liberate him- the same window where one had self from all obligation to take them stood before, and then to await the or to pay for them, those busts had issue.
CHAPTER XXII A week after this, the bust of the great passion, and wrote a note to stamp-distributor with the hair and the borough-reeve with a pressing face blackened was placed in the request that he would favour him window; and below it was written with his company to supper that in gilt letters" His most excellent evening to taste some genuine Majesty, the King of Hayti.” bottled London porter.
This maneuvre operated with the This visit however did not lead very best effect. The passers-by all to those happy results which Mr. remembered to have seen the very Goodchild had anticipated. True it same face a short time ago as the was that he showed his discretion face of a white man: and they all in not beginning to speak of the remembered to whom the face be- busts until the bottled porter had longed. The laughing therefore produced its legitimate effects upon never ceased from morning to night the spirits of the borough-reeve: before the window of the china- the worshipful man was in a consiworks.
derable state of elevation; but for Now Mr. Goodchild received very all that he would not predict any faearly intelligence of what was going vourable issue to the action against on, possibly through some persons Mr. Whelp which his host was mespecially commissioned by Mr.
Whelp ditating. He shrugged his shoulders, to trouble him with the news: and and said that, on the former occasion, straightway he trotted off to the china- when Mr. Goodchild had urged the works; not, to be sure, with any view bench to pronounce for the non-reof joining the laughers, but on the semblance of the busts, they had contrary to attack Mr. Whelp, and gone farther in order to gratify him to demand the destruction of the than they could altogether answer to bust. However all his remon- their consciences: but really to come strances were to no purpose ; and now and call upon the same bench the more anger he betrayed, so much to pronounce for the resemblance of the more did it encourage his anta- the same identical busts was altogonist.
gether inadmissible. Mr. Goodchild hurried home in a
Mr. Goodchild was on the brink of His two principles of vitality, avarice despair the whole night through: and ambition, had struggled together and, when he rose in the morning throughout the night: but, on the and put his head out of the window sight of his brother the stamp-masto inhale a little fresh air, what ter, thus posthumously varnished should be the very first thing that with lamp-black, and occupying so met him but a poisonous and mephitic conspicuous a station in the library blast from the window of his oppo- of his mortal enemy, ambition had site neighbour which in like manner gained a complete victory. He stood wide open.
For his sharp hought up therefore the whole sight easily detected that the young thirty-five busts; and, understanding barrister his enemy, instead of the that the only black copy was in the gypsum bust of Ulpian which had possession of Mr. Tempest, he begged hitherto presided over his library, that upon some pretext or other Mr. had mounted the black china bust of Whelp would get it back into liis the king of Hayti.
hands, - promising to pay all exWithout a moment's delay Mr. penses out of his own purse. Goodchild jumped into his clothes Mr. Whelp shook his head: but and hastened down to Mr. Whelp. promised to try what he could do ;