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[日期:2014-04-23] 来源:  作者: [字体: ]

     Vanity Fair
      by William Makepeace Thackeray
    As the manager of the Performance sits before the curtain
    on the boards and looks into the Fair, a feeling of profound
    melancholy comes over him in his survey of the bustling place.
    There is a great quantity of eating and drinking, making love
    and jilting, laughing and the contrary, smoking, cheating,
    fighting, dancing and fiddling; there are bullies pushing about,
    bucks ogling the women, knaves picking pockets, policemen
    on the look-out, quacks (OTHER quacks, plague take them!)
    bawling in front of their booths, and yokels looking up at
    the tinselled dancers and poor old rouged tumblers, while the
    light-fingered folk are operating upon their pockets behind.
    Yes, this is VANITY FAIR; not a moral place certainly; nor a
    merry one, though very noisy.  Look at the faces of the actors
    and buffoons when they come off from their business; and
    Tom Fool washing the paint off his cheeks before he sits down
    to dinner with his wife and the little Jack Puddings behind
    the canvas.  The curtain will be up presently, and he will be
    turning over head and heels, and crying, "How are you?"
    A man with a reflective turn of mind, walking through an
    exhibition of this sort, will not be oppressed, I take it, by his
    own or other people's hilarity.  An episode of humour or kindness
    touches and amuses him here and there--a pretty child
    looking at a gingerbread stall; a pretty girl blushing whilst her
    lover talks to her and chooses her fairing; poor Tom Fool,
    yonder behind the waggon, mumbling his bone with the honest
    family which lives by his tumbling; but the general impression
    is one more melancholy than mirthful.  When you come home
    you sit down in a sober, contemplative, not uncharitable frame
    of mind, and apply yourself to your books or your business.
    I have no other moral than this to tag to the present story
    of "Vanity Fair." Some people consider Fairs immoral altogether,
    and eschew such, with their servants and families: very
    likely they are right.  But persons who think otherwise, and are
    of a lazy, or a benevolent, or a sarcastic mood, may perhaps
    like to step in for half an hour, and look at the performances.
    There are scenes of all sorts; some dreadful combats, some
    grand and lofty horse-riding, some scenes of high life, and
    some of very middling indeed; some love-making for the
    sentimental, and some light comic business; the whole
    accompanied by appropriate scenery and brilliantly illuminated
    with the Author's own candles.
    What more has the Manager of the Performance to say?--
    To acknowledge the kindness with which it has been received
    in all the principal towns of England through which the Show
    has passed, and where it has been most favourably noticed by
    the respected conductors of the public Press, and by the Nobility
    and Gentry.  He is proud to think that his Puppets have given
    satisfaction to the very best company in this empire.  The
    famous little Becky Puppet has been pronounced to be uncommonly
    flexible in the joints, and lively on the wire; the Amelia
    Doll, though it has had a smaller circle of admirers, has yet
    been carved and dressed with the greatest care by the artist; the
    Dobbin Figure, though apparently clumsy, yet dances in a very
    amusing and natural manner; the Little Boys' Dance has been
    liked by some; and please to remark the richly dressed figure
    of the Wicked Nobleman, on which no expense has been
    spared, and which Old Nick will fetch away at the end of this
    singular performance.
    And with this, and a profound bow to his patrons, the
    Manager retires, and the curtain rises.
    LONDON, June 28, 1848
    Chapter 1
    Chiswick Mall
    While the present century was in its teens, and on one
    sunshiny morning in June, there drove up to the great
    iron gate of Miss Pinkerton's academy for young ladies,
    on Chiswick Mall, a large family coach, with two fat
    horses in blazing harness, driven by a fat coachman in
    a three-cornered hat and wig, at the rate of four miles
    an hour.  A black servant, who reposed on the box beside
    the fat coachman, uncurled his bandy legs as soon as
    the equipage drew up opposite Miss Pinkerton's shining
    brass plate, and as he pulled the bell at least a score of
    young heads were seen peering out of the narrow windows
    of the stately old brick house.  Nay, the acute observer might
    have recognized the little red nose of good-natured Miss
    Jemima Pinkerton herself, rising over some geranium pots
    in the window of that lady's own drawing-room.
    "It is Mrs. Sedley's coach, sister," said Miss Jemima.
    "Sambo, the black servant, has just rung the bell; and
    the coachman has a new red waistcoat."
    "Have you completed all the necessary preparations
    incident to Miss Sedley's departure, Miss Jemima?" asked
    Miss Pinkerton herself, that majestic lady; the Semiramis
    of Hammersmith, the friend of Doctor Johnson, the
    correspondent of Mrs. Chapone herself.
    "The girls were up at four this morning, packing her
    trunks, sister," replied Miss Jemima; "we have made her
    a bow-pot."
    "Say a bouquet, sister Jemima, 'tis more genteel."
    "Well, a booky as big almost as a haystack; I have put
    up two bottles of the gillyflower water for Mrs. Sedley,
    and the receipt for making it, in Amelia's box."
    "And I trust, Miss Jemima, you have made a copy of
    Miss Sedley's account.  This is it, is it? Very good--ninety-
    three pounds, four shillings.  Be kind enough to address it
    to John Sedley, Esquire, and to seal this billet which I
    have written to his lady."
    In Miss Jemima's eyes an autograph letter of her sister,
    Miss Pinkerton, was an object of as deep veneration as
    would have been a letter from a sovereign.  Only when
    her pupils quitted the establishment, or when they were
    about to be married, and once, when poor Miss Birch
    died of the scarlet fever, was Miss Pinkerton known to
    write personally to the parents of her pupils; and it was
    Jemima's opinion that if anything could console Mrs.
    Birch for her daughter's loss, it would be that pious and
    eloquent composition in which Miss Pinkerton announced
    the event.
    In the present instance Miss Pinkerton's "billet" was
    to the following effect:--
    The Mall, Chiswick, June 15, 18
    MADAM,--After her six years' residence at the Mall, I
    have the honour and happiness of presenting Miss Amelia
    Sedley to her parents, as a young lady not unworthy
    to occupy a fitting position in their polished and refined
    circle.  Those virtues which characterize the young English
    gentlewoman, those accomplishments which become
    her birth and station, will not be found wanting in the
    amiable Miss Sedley, whose INDUSTRY and OBEDIENCE
    have endeared her to her instructors, and whose delightful
    sweetness of temper has charmed her AGED and her
    YOUTHFUL companions.
    In music, in dancing, in orthography, in every variety
    of embroidery and needlework, she will be found to
    have realized her friends' fondest wishes.  In geography
    there is still much to be desired; and a careful and
    undeviating use of the backboard, for four hours daily
    during the next three years, is recommended as necessary
    to the acquirement of that dignified DEPORTMENT AND
    CARRIAGE, so requisite for every young lady of fashion.
    In the principles of religion and morality, Miss Sedley
    will be found worthy of an establishment which has
    been honoured by the presence of THE GREAT LEXICOGRAPHER,
    and the patronage of the admirable Mrs. Chapone.  In leaving
    the Mall, Miss Amelia carries with her the hearts of her
    companions, and the affectionate regards of her mistress,
    who has the honour to subscribe herself,
    Your most obliged humble servant,
    P.S.--Miss Sharp accompanies Miss Sedley.  It is particularly
    requested that Miss Sharp's stay in Russell Square may not
    exceed ten days.  The family of distinction with whom she is
    engaged, desire to avail themselves of her services as soon
    as possible.
    This letter completed, Miss Pinkerton proceeded to
    write her own name, and Miss Sedley's, in the fly-leaf of
    a Johnson's Dictionary--the interesting work which she
    invariably presented to her scholars, on their departure
    from the Mall.  On the cover was inserted a copy of "Lines
    addressed to a young lady on quitting Miss Pinkerton's
    school, at the Mall; by the late revered Doctor Samuel
    Johnson." In fact, the Lexicographer's name was always
    on the lips of this majestic woman, and a visit he had
    paid to her was the cause of her reputation and her fortune.
    Being commanded by her elder sister to get "the Dictionary"
    from the cupboard, Miss Jemima had extracted two copies
    of the book from the receptacle in question.  When Miss
    Pinkerton had finished the inscription in the first, Jemima,
    with rather a dubious and timid air, handed her the second.
    "For whom is this, Miss Jemima?" said Miss Pinkerton,
    with awful coldness.
    "For Becky Sharp," answered Jemima, trembling very
    much, and blushing over her withered face and neck, as
    she turned her back on her sister.  "For Becky Sharp:
    she's going too."
      "MISS JEMIMA!" exclaimed Miss Pinkerton, in the
    largest capitals.  "Are you in your senses? Replace the
    Dixonary in the closet, and never venture to take such
    a liberty in future."
    "Well, sister, it's only two-and-ninepence, and poor
    Becky will be miserable if she don't get one."
    "Send Miss Sedley instantly to me," said Miss Pinkerton.
    And so venturing not to say another word, poor
    Jemima trotted off, exceedingly flurried and nervous.
    Miss Sedley's papa was a merchant in London, and a
    man of some wealth; whereas Miss Sharp was an articled
    pupil, for whom Miss Pinkerton had done, as she thought,
    quite enough, without conferring upon her at parting the
    high honour of the Dixonary.
    Although schoolmistresses' letters are to be trusted no
    more nor less than churchyard epitaphs; yet, as it sometimes
    happens that a person departs this life who is really
    deserving of all the praises the stone cutter carves over
    his bones; who IS a good Christian, a good parent, child,
    wife, or husband; who actually DOES leave a disconsolate
    family to mourn his loss; so in academies of the male
    and female sex it occurs every now and then that the
    pupil is fully worthy of the praises bestowed by the
    disinterested instructor.  Now, Miss Amelia Sedley was a
    young lady of this singular species; and deserved not only
    all that Miss Pinkerton said in her praise, but had many
    charming qualities which that pompous old Minerva of a
    woman could not see, from the differences of rank and
    age between her pupil and herself.
    For she could not only sing like a lark, or a Mrs.
    Billington, and dance like Hillisberg or Parisot; and
    embroider beautifully; and spell as well as a Dixonary
    itself; but she had such a kindly, smiling, tender, gentle,
    generous heart of her own, as won the love of everybody
    who came near her, from Minerva herself down to the poor
    girl in the scullery, and the one-eyed tart-woman's
    daughter, who was permitted to vend her wares once a
    week to the young ladies in the Mall.  She had twelve intimate
    and bosom friends out of the twenty-four young ladies.
    Even envious Miss Briggs never spoke ill of her; high
    and mighty Miss Saltire (Lord Dexter's granddaughter)
    allowed that her figure was genteel; and as for Miss
    Swartz, the rich woolly-haired mulatto from St. Kitt's, on
    the day Amelia went away, she was in such a passion of
    tears that they were obliged to send for Dr. Floss, and half
    tipsify her with salvolatile.  Miss Pinkerton's attachment
    was, as may be supposed from the high position and
    eminent virtues of that lady, calm and dignified; but Miss
    Jemima had already whimpered several times at the idea
    of Amelia's departure; and, but for fear of her sister,
    would have gone off in downright hysterics, like the
    heiress (who paid double) of St. Kitt's.  Such luxury of
    grief, however, is only allowed to parlour-boarders.
    Honest Jemima had all the bills, and the washing, and the
    mending, and the puddings, and the plate and crockery,
    and the servants to superintend.  But why speak about
    her?  It is probable that we shall not hear of her again
    from this moment to the end of time, and that when the
    great filigree iron gates are once closed on her, she and
    her awful sister will never issue therefrom into this little
    world of history.
    But as we are to see a great deal of Amelia, there is
    no harm in saying, at the outset of our acquaintance, that
    she was a dear little creature; and a great mercy it is,
    both in life and in novels, which (and the latter especially)
    abound in villains of the most sombre sort, that
    we are to have for a constant companion so guileless
    and good-natured a person.  As she is not a heroine, there
    is no need to describe her person; indeed I am afraid
    that her nose was rather short than otherwise, and her
    cheeks a great deal too round and red for a heroine; but
    her face blushed with rosy health, and her lips with the
    freshest of smiles, and she had a pair of eyes which
    sparkled with the brightest and honestest good-humour,
    except indeed when they filled with tears, and that was
    a great deal too often; for the silly thing would cry over
    a dead canary-bird; or over a mouse, that the cat haply
    had seized upon; or over the end of a novel, were it ever
    so stupid; and as for saying an unkind word to her, were
    any persons hard-hearted enough to do so--why, so much
    the worse for them.  Even Miss Pinkerton, that austere
    and godlike woman, ceased scolding her after the first
    time, and though she no more comprehended sensibility
    than she did Algebra, gave all masters and teachers
    particular orders to treat Miss Sedley with the utmost
    gentleness, as harsh treatment was injurious to her.
    So that when the day of departure came, between her
    two customs of laughing and crying, Miss Sedley was
    greatly puzzled how to act.  She was glad to go home,
    and yet most woefully sad at leaving school.  For three
    days before, little Laura Martin, the orphan, followed her
    about like a little dog.  She had to make and receive at
    least fourteen presents--to make fourteen solemn promises
    of writing every week:  "Send my letters under cover
    to my grandpapa, the Earl of Dexter," said Miss Saltire
    (who, by the way, was rather shabby).  "Never mind the
    postage, but write every day, you dear darling," said the
    impetuous and woolly-headed, but generous and
    affectionate Miss Swartz; and the orphan little Laura Martin
    (who was just in round-hand), took her friend's hand
    and said, looking up in her face wistfully, "Amelia, when
    I write to you I shall call you Mamma." All which details,
    I have no doubt, JONES, who reads this book at his
    Club, will pronounce to be excessively foolish, trivial,
    twaddling, and ultra-sentimental.  Yes; I can see Jones
    at this minute (rather flushed with his joint of mutton
    and half pint of wine), taking out his pencil and scoring
    under the words "foolish, twaddling," &c., and adding to
    them his own remark of "QUITE TRUE." Well, he is a lofty
    man of genius, and admires the great and heroic in life
    and novels; and so had better take warning and go elsewhere.
    Well, then.  The flowers, and the presents, and the
    trunks, and bonnet-boxes of Miss Sedley having been
    arranged by Mr. Sambo in the carriage, together with a
    very small and weather-beaten old cow's-skin trunk with
    Miss Sharp's card neatly nailed upon it, which was
    delivered by Sambo with a grin, and packed by the
    coachman with a corresponding sneer--the hour for parting
    came; and the grief of that moment was considerably
    lessened by the admirable discourse which Miss Pinkerton
    addressed to her pupil.  Not that the parting speech caused
    Amelia to philosophise, or that it armed her in any
    way with a calmness, the result of argument; but it was
    intolerably dull, pompous, and tedious; and having the
    fear of her schoolmistress greatly before her eyes, Miss
    Sedley did not venture, in her presence, to give way to
    any ebullitions of private grief.  A seed-cake and a bottle
    of wine were produced in the drawing-room, as on the
    solemn occasions of the visits of parents, and these
    refreshments being partaken of, Miss Sedley was at
    liberty to depart.
    "You'll go in and say good-by to Miss Pinkerton,
    Becky!" said Miss Jemima to a young lady of whom
    nobody took any notice, and who was coming downstairs
    with her own bandbox.
    "I suppose I must," said Miss Sharp calmly, and much
    to the wonder of Miss Jemima; and the latter having
    knocked at the door, and receiving permission to come
    in, Miss Sharp advanced in a very unconcerned manner,
    and said in French, and with a perfect accent, "Mademoiselle,
    je viens vous faire mes adieux."
    Miss Pinkerton did not understand French; she only
    directed those who did: but biting her lips and throwing
    up her venerable and Roman-nosed head (on the top of
    which figured a large and solemn turban), she said, "Miss
    Sharp, I wish you a good morning." As the Hammersmith
    Semiramis spoke, she waved one hand, both by way of
    adieu, and to give Miss Sharp an opportunity of shaking
    one of the fingers of the hand which was left out for
    that purpose.
    Miss Sharp only folded her own hands with a very
    frigid smile and bow, and quite declined to accept the
    proffered honour; on which Semiramis tossed up her
    turban more indignantly than ever.  In fact, it was a little
    battle between the young lady and the old one, and the
    latter was worsted.  "Heaven bless you, my child," said
    she, embracing Amelia, and scowling the while over the
    girl's shoulder at Miss Sharp.  "Come away, Becky," said
    Miss Jemima, pulling the young woman away in great
    alarm, and the drawing-room door closed upon them for
    Then came the struggle and parting below.  Words
    refuse to tell it.  All the servants were there in the hall--
    all the dear friend--all the young ladies--the dancing-
    master who had just arrived; and there was such a
    scuffling, and hugging, and kissing, and crying, with the
    hysterical YOOPS of Miss Swartz, the parlour-boarder,
    from her room, as no pen can depict, and as the tender
    heart would fain pass over.  The embracing was over; they
    parted--that is, Miss Sedley parted from her friends.  Miss
    Sharp had demurely entered the carriage some minutes
    before.  Nobody cried for leaving HER.
    Sambo of the bandy legs slammed the carriage door
    on his young weeping mistress.  He sprang up behind the
    carriage.  "Stop!" cried Miss Jemima, rushing to the gate
    with a parcel.
    "It's some sandwiches, my dear," said she to Amelia.
    "You may be hungry, you know; and Becky, Becky
    Sharp, here's a book for you that my sister--that is, I
    --Johnson's Dixonary, you know; you mustn't leave us
    without that.  Good-by.  Drive on, coachman.  God bless
    And the kind creature retreated into the garden,
    overcome with emotion.
    But, lo! and just as the coach drove off, Miss Sharp put
    her pale face out of the window and actually flung the
    book back into the garden.
    This almost caused Jemima to faint with terror.  "Well,
    I never"--said she--"what an audacious"--Emotion
    prevented her from completing either sentence.  The
    carriage rolled away; the great gates were closed; the bell
    rang for the dancing lesson.  The world is before the two
    young ladies; and so, farewell to Chiswick Mall.
    In Which Miss Sharp and Miss Sedley
    Prepare to Open the Campaign
    When Miss Sharp had performed the heroical act
    mentioned in the last chapter, and had seen the Dixonary,
    flying over the pavement of the little garden, fall at length
    at the feet of the astonished Miss Jemima, the young
    lady's countenance, which had before worn an almost
    livid look of hatred, assumed a smile that perhaps was
    scarcely more agreeable, and she sank back in the
    carriage in an easy frame of mind, saying--"So much for
    the Dixonary; and, thank God, I'm out of Chiswick."
    Miss Sedley was almost as flurried at the act of defiance
    as Miss Jemima had been; for, consider, it was but one
    minute that she had left school, and the impressions of
    six years are not got over in that space of time.  Nay,
    with some persons those awes and terrors of youth last
    for ever and ever.  I know, for instance, an old gentleman
    of sixty-eight, who said to me one morning at breakfast,
    with a very agitated countenance, "I dreamed last
    night that I was flogged by Dr. Raine." Fancy had carried
    him back five-and-fifty years in the course of that
    evening.  Dr. Raine and his rod were just as awful to him
    in his heart, then, at sixty-eight, as they had been at
    thirteen.  If the Doctor, with a large birch, had appeared
    bodily to him, even at the age of threescore and eight,
    and had said in awful voice, "Boy, take down your
    pant--"? Well, well, Miss Sedley was exceedingly
    alarmed at this act of insubordination.
    "How could you do so, Rebecca?" at last she said,
    after a pause.
    "Why, do you think Miss Pinkerton will come out and
    order me back to the black-hole?" said Rebecca, laughing.
    "No: but--"
    "I hate the whole house," continued Miss Sharp in a
    fury.  "I hope I may never set eyes on it again.  I wish it
    were in the bottom of the Thames, I do; and if Miss
    Pinkerton were there, I wouldn't pick her out, that I
    wouldn't.  O how I should like to see her floating in the
    water yonder, turban and all, with her train streaming
    after her, and her nose like the beak of a wherry."
    "Hush!" cried Miss Sedley.
    "Why, will the black footman tell tales?" cried Miss
    Rebecca, laughing.  "He may go back and tell Miss
    Pinkerton that I hate her with all my soul; and I wish he
    would; and I wish I had a means of proving it, too.  For
    two years I have only had insults and outrage from her.
    I have been treated worse than any servant in the kitchen.
    I have never had a friend or a kind word, except from
    you.  I have been made to tend the little girls in the lower
    schoolroom, and to talk French to the Misses, until I
    grew sick of my mother tongue.  But that talking French
    to Miss Pinkerton was capital fun, wasn't it? She doesn't
    know a word of French, and was too proud to confess
    it.  I believe it was that which made her part with me;
    and so thank Heaven for French.  Vive la France! Vive
    l'Empereur! Vive Bonaparte!"
    "O Rebecca, Rebecca, for shame!" cried Miss Sedley;
    for this was the greatest blasphemy Rebecca had as yet
    uttered; and in those days, in England, to say, "Long live
    Bonaparte!" was as much as to say, "Long live Lucifer!"
    "How can you--how dare you have such wicked,
    revengeful thoughts?"
    "Revenge may be wicked, but it's natural," answered
    Miss Rebecca.  "I'm no angel." And, to say the truth, she
    certainly was not.
    For it may be remarked in the course of this little
    conversation (which took place as the coach rolled along
    lazily by the river side) that though Miss Rebecca Sharp
    has twice had occasion to thank Heaven, it has been, in
    the first place, for ridding her of some person whom she
    hated, and secondly, for enabling her to bring her
    enemies to some sort of perplexity or confusion; neither
    of which are very amiable motives for religious gratitude,
    or such as would be put forward by persons of a kind
    and placable disposition.  Miss Rebecca was not, then, in
    the least kind or placable.  All the world used her ill, said
    this young misanthropist, and we may be pretty certain
    that persons whom all the world treats ill, deserve
    entirely the treatment they get.  The world is a looking-
    glass, and gives back to every man the reflection of his
    own face.  Frown at it, and it will in turn look sourly
    upon you; laugh at it and with it, and it is a jolly kind
    companion; and so let all young persons take their choice.
    This is certain, that if the world neglected Miss Sharp,
    she never was known to have done a good action in
    behalf of anybody; nor can it be expected that twenty-
    four young ladies should all be as amiable as the heroine
    of this work, Miss Sedley (whom we have selected for
    the very reason that she was the best-natured of all,
    otherwise what on earth was to have prevented us from
    putting up Miss Swartz, or Miss Crump, or Miss Hopkins,
    as heroine in her place!) it could not be expected that
    every one should be of the humble and gentle temper
    of Miss Amelia Sedley; should take every opportunity to
    vanquish Rebecca's hard-heartedness and ill-humour; and,
    by a thousand kind words and offices, overcome, for once
    at least, her hostility to her kind.
    Miss Sharp's father was an artist, and in that quality
    had given lessons of drawing at Miss Pinkerton's school.
    He was a clever man; a pleasant companion; a careless
    student; with a great propensity for running into debt,
    and a partiality for the tavern.  When he was drunk, he
    used to beat his wife and daughter; and the next morning,
    with a headache, he would rail at the world for its neglect
    of his genius, and abuse, with a good deal of cleverness,
    and sometimes with perfect reason, the fools, his brother
    painters.  As it was with the utmost difficulty that he
    could keep himself, and as he owed money for a mile
    round Soho, where he lived, he thought to better his
    circumstances by marrying a young woman of the French
    nation, who was by profession an opera-girl.  The humble
    calling of her female parent Miss Sharp never alluded to,
    but used to state subsequently that the Entrechats were
    a noble family of Gascony, and took great pride in her
    descent from them.  And curious it is that as she advanced
    in life this young lady's ancestors increased in rank and
    Rebecca's mother had had some education somewhere,
    and her daughter spoke French with purity and a Parisian
    accent.  It was in those days rather a rare accomplishment,
    and led to her engagement with the orthodox Miss
    Pinkerton.  For her mother being dead, her father, finding
    himself not likely to recover, after his third attack of
    delirium tremens, wrote a manly and pathetic letter to
    Miss Pinkerton, recommending the orphan child to her
    protection, and so descended to the grave, after two
    bailiffs had quarrelled over his corpse.  Rebecca was
    seventeen when she came to Chiswick, and was bound
    over as an articled pupil; her duties being to talk French,
    as we have seen; and her privileges to live cost free, and,
    with a few guineas a year, to gather scraps of knowledge
    from the professors who attended the school.
    She was small and slight in person; pale, sandy-haired,
    and with eyes habitually cast down: when they looked up
    they were very large, odd, and attractive; so attractive
    that the Reverend Mr. Crisp, fresh from Oxford, and
    curate to the Vicar of Chiswick, the Reverend Mr.
    Flowerdew, fell in love with Miss Sharp; being shot dead
    by a glance of her eyes which was fired all the way across
    Chiswick Church from the school-pew to the reading-
    desk.  This infatuated young man used sometimes to take
    tea with Miss Pinkerton, to whom he had been presented
    by his mamma, and actually proposed something like
    marriage in an intercepted note, which the one-eyed
    apple-woman was charged to deliver.  Mrs. Crisp was
    summoned from Buxton, and abruptly carried off her darling
    boy; but the idea, even, of such an eagle in the Chiswick
    dovecot caused a great flutter in the breast of Miss
    Pinkerton, who would have sent away Miss Sharp but that
    she was bound to her under a forfeit, and who never
    could thoroughly believe the young lady's protestations
    that she had never exchanged a single word with Mr.
    Crisp, except under her own eyes on the two occasions
    when she had met him at tea.
    By the side of many tall and bouncing young ladies in
    the establishment, Rebecca Sharp looked like a child.  But
    she had the dismal precocity of poverty.  Many a dun had
    she talked to, and turned away from her father's door;
    many a tradesman had she coaxed and wheedled into
    good-humour, and into the granting of one meal more.
    She sate commonly with her father, who was very proud
    of her wit, and heard the talk of many of his wild
    companions--often but ill-suited for a girl to hear.  But she
    never had been a girl, she said; she had been a woman
    since she was eight years old.  Oh, why did Miss Pinkerton
    let such a dangerous bird into her cage?
    The fact is, the old lady believed Rebecca to be the
    meekest creature in the world, so admirably, on the
    occasions when her father brought her to Chiswick, used
    Rebecca to perform the part of the ingenue; and only a
    year before the arrangement by which Rebecca had been
    admitted into her house, and when Rebecca was sixteen
    years old, Miss Pinkerton majestically, and with a little
    speech, made her a present of a doll--which was, by
    the way, the confiscated property of Miss Swindle,
    discovered surreptitiously nursing it in school-hours.  How
    the father and daughter laughed as they trudged home
    together after the evening party (it was on the occasion of
    the speeches, when all the professors were invited) and
    how Miss Pinkerton would have raged had she seen the
    caricature of herself which the little mimic, Rebecca,
    managed to make out of her doll.  Becky used to go
    through dialogues with it; it formed the delight of
    Newman Street, Gerrard Street, and the Artists' quarter:
    and the young painters, when they came to take their gin-
    and-water with their lazy, dissolute, clever, jovial senior,
    used regularly to ask Rebecca if Miss Pinkerton was at
    home: she was as well known to them, poor soul! as
    Mr. Lawrence or President West.  Once Rebecca had the
    honour to pass a few days at Chiswick; after which she
    brought back Jemima, and erected another doll as Miss
    Jemmy: for though that honest creature had made and
    given her jelly and cake enough for three children, and
    a seven-shilling piece at parting, the girl's sense of
    ridicule was far stronger than her gratitude, and she
    sacrificed Miss Jemmy quite as pitilessly as her sister.
    The catastrophe came, and she was brought to the
    Mall as to her home.  The rigid formality of the place
    suffocated her: the prayers and the meals, the lessons
    and the walks, which were arranged with a conventual
    regularity, oppressed her almost beyond endurance; and
    she looked back to the freedom and the beggary of the
    old studio in Soho with so much regret, that everybody,
    herself included, fancied she was consumed with grief
    for her father.  She had a little room in the garret, where
    the maids heard her walking and sobbing at night; but it
    was with rage, and not with grief.  She had not been much
    of a dissembler, until now her loneliness taught her to
    feign.  She had never mingled in the society of women:
    her father, reprobate as he was, was a man of talent; his
    conversation was a thousand times more agreeable to her
    than the talk of such of her own sex as she now encountered.
    The pompous vanity of the old schoolmistress, the foolish
    good-humour of her sister, the silly chat and scandal of the
    elder girls, and the frigid correctness of the governesses
    equally annoyed her; and she had no soft
    maternal heart, this unlucky girl, otherwise the prattle
    and talk of the younger children, with whose care she
    was chiefly intrusted, might have soothed and interested
    her; but she lived among them two years, and not one
    was sorry that she went away.  The gentle tender-
    hearted Amelia Sedley was the only person to whom she
    could attach herself in the least; and who could help
    attaching herself to Amelia?
    The happiness the superior advantages of the young
    women round about her, gave Rebecca inexpressible
    pangs of envy.  "What airs that girl gives herself, because
    she is an Earl's grand-daughter," she said of one.  "How
    they cringe and bow to that Creole, because of her
    hundred thousand pounds!  I am a thousand times cleverer
    and more charming than that creature, for all her wealth.
    I am as well bred as the Earl's grand-daughter, for all her
    fine pedigree; and yet every one passes me by here.  And
    yet, when I was at my father's, did not the men give up
    their gayest balls and parties in order to pass the evening
    with me?" She determined at any rate to get free from
    the prison in which she found herself, and now began to
    act for herself, and for the first time to make connected
    plans for the future.
    She took advantage, therefore, of the means of study
    the place offered her; and as she was already a musician
    and a good linguist, she speedily went through the little
    course of study which was considered necessary for ladies
    in those days.  Her music she practised incessantly, and
    one day, when the girls were out, and she had remained
    at home, she was overheard to play a piece so well that
    Minerva thought, wisely, she could spare herself the
    expense of a master for the juniors, and intimated to Miss
    Sharp that she was to instruct them in music for the
    The girl refused; and for the first time, and to the
    astonishment of the majestic mistress of the school.  "I
    am here to speak French with the children," Rebecca
    said abruptly, "not to teach them music, and save money
    for you.  Give me money, and I will teach them."
    Minerva was obliged to yield, and, of course, disliked
    her from that day.  "For five-and-thirty years," she said,
    and with great justice, "I never have seen the individual
    who has dared in my own house to question my
    authority.  I have nourished a viper in my bosom."
    "A viper--a fiddlestick," said Miss Sharp to the old
    lady, almost fainting with astonishment.  "You took me
    because I was useful.  There is no question of gratitude
    between us.  I hate this place, and want to leave it.  I
    will do nothing here but what I am obliged to do."
    It was in vain that the old lady asked her if she was
    aware she was speaking to Miss Pinkerton?  Rebecca
    laughed in her face, with a horrid sarcastic demoniacal
    laughter, that almost sent the schoolmistress into fits.
    "Give me a sum of money," said the girl, "and get rid
    of me--or, if you like better, get me a good place as
    governess in a nobleman's family--you can do so if you
    please."  And in their further disputes she always returned
    to this point, "Get me a situation--we hate each other,
    and I am ready to go."
    Worthy Miss Pinkerton, although she had a Roman
    nose and a turban, and was as tall as a grenadier, and
    had been up to this time an irresistible princess, had no
    will or strength like that of her little apprentice, and in
    vain did battle against her, and tried to overawe her.
    Attempting once to scold her in public, Rebecca hit upon
    the before-mentioned plan of answering her in French,
    which quite routed the old woman.  In order to maintain
    authority in her school, it became necessary to remove
    this rebel, this monster, this serpent, this firebrand; and
    hearing about this time that Sir Pitt Crawley's family
    was in want of a governess, she actually recommended
    Miss Sharp for the situation, firebrand and serpent as
    she was.  "I cannot, certainly," she said, "find fault with
    Miss Sharp's conduct, except to myself; and must allow
    that her talents and accomplishments are of a high order.
    As far as the head goes, at least, she does credit to the
    educational system pursued at my establishment.''
    And so the schoolmistress reconciled the recommendation
    to her conscience, and the indentures were cancelled,
    and the apprentice was free.  The battle here described
    in a few lines, of course, lasted for some months.  And
    as Miss Sedley, being now in her seventeenth year, was
    about to leave school, and had a friendship for Miss
    Sharp ("'tis the only point in Amelia's behaviour," said
    Minerva, "which has not been satisfactory to her
    mistress"), Miss Sharp was invited by her friend to
    pass a week with her at home, before she entered
    upon her duties as governess in a private family.
    Thus the world began for these two young ladies.  For
    Amelia it was quite a new, fresh, brilliant world, with
    all the bloom upon it.  It was not quite a new one for
    Rebecca--(indeed, if the truth must be told with respect
    to the Crisp affair, the tart-woman hinted to somebody,
    who took an affidavit of the fact to somebody else, that
    there was a great deal more than was made public
    regarding Mr. Crisp and Miss Sharp, and that his letter
    was in answer to another letter).  But who can tell you
    the real truth of the matter? At all events, if Rebecca
    was not beginning the world, she was beginning it over
    By the time the young ladies reached Kensington turnpike,
    Amelia had not forgotten her companions, but had
    dried her tears, and had blushed very much and been
    delighted at a young officer of the Life Guards, who spied
    her as he was riding by, and said, "A dem fine gal,
    egad!" and before the carriage arrived in Russell Square,
    a great deal of conversation had taken place about the
    Drawing-room, and whether or not young ladies wore
    powder as well as hoops when presented, and whether
    she was to have that honour: to the Lord Mayor's ball
    she knew she was to go.  And when at length home was
    reached, Miss Amelia Sedley skipped out on Sambo's
    arm, as happy and as handsome a girl as any in the whole
    big city of London.  Both he and coachman agreed on
    this point, and so did her father and mother, and so did
    every one of the servants in the house, as they stood
    bobbing, and curtseying, and smiling, in the hall to
    welcome their young mistress.
    You may be sure that she showed Rebecca over every
    room of the house, and everything in every one of her
    drawers; and her books, and her piano, and her dresses,
    and all her necklaces, brooches, laces, and gimcracks.
    She insisted upon Rebecca accepting the white cornelian
    and the turquoise rings, and a sweet sprigged muslin,
    which was too small for her now, though it would fit
    her friend to a nicety; and she determined in her heart
    to ask her mother's permission to present her white
    Cashmere shawl to her friend.  Could she not spare it? and
    had not her brother Joseph just brought her two from
    When Rebecca saw the two magnificent Cashmere
    shawls which Joseph Sedley had brought home to his
    sister, she said, with perfect truth, "that it must be
    delightful to have a brother," and easily got the pity of the
    tender-hearted Amelia for being alone in the world, an
    orphan without friends or kindred.
    "Not alone," said Amelia; "you know, Rebecca, I shall
    always be your friend, and love you as a sister--indeed
    I will."
    "Ah, but to have parents, as you have--kind, rich,
    affectionate parents, who give you everything you-ask
    for; and their love, which is more precious than all!
    My poor papa could give me nothing, and I had but two
    frocks in all the world! And then, to have a brother, a
    dear brother! Oh, how you must love him!"
    Amelia laughed.
    "What! don't you love him? you, who say you love
    everybody?"                          ~;
    "Yes, of course, I do--only--"
    "Only what?"
    "Only Joseph doesn't seem to care much whether I
    love him or not.  He gave me two fingers to shake when
    he arrived after ten years' absence!  He is very kind and
    good, but he scarcely ever speaks to me; I think he
    loves his pipe a great deal better than his"--but here
    Amelia checked herself, for why should she speak ill of
    her brother? "He was very kind to me as a child," she
    added; "I was but five years old when he went away."
    "Isn't he very rich?" said Rebecca.  "They say all Indian
    nabobs are enormously rich."
    "I believe he has a very large income."
    "And is your sister-in-law a nice pretty woman?"
    "La! Joseph is not married," said Amelia, laughing
    Perhaps she had mentioned the fact already to Rebecca,
    but that young lady did not appear to have remembered
    it; indeed, vowed and protested that she expected to see
    a number of Amelia's nephews and nieces.  She was quite
    disappointed that Mr. Sedley was not married; she was
    sure Amelia had said he was, and she doted so on little
    "I think you must have had enough of them at
    Chiswick," said Amelia, rather wondering at the sudden
    tenderness on her friend's part; and indeed in later days
    Miss Sharp would never have committed herself so far
    as to advance opinions, the untruth of which would have
    been so easily detected.  But we must remember that she
    is but nineteen as yet, unused to the art of deceiving,
    poor innocent creature! and making her own experience
    in her own person.  The meaning of the above series of
    queries, as translated in the heart of this ingenious young
    woman, was simply this: "If Mr. Joseph Sedley is rich
    and unmarried, why should I not marry him? I have
    only a fortnight, to be sure, but there is no harm in
    trying." And she determined within herself to make this
    laudable attempt.  She redoubled her caresses to Amelia;
    she kissed the white cornelian necklace as she put it
    on; and vowed she would never, never part with it.  When
    the dinner-bell rang she went downstairs with her arm
    round her friend's waist, as is the habit of young ladies.
    She was so agitated at the drawing-room door, that she
    could hardly find courage to enter.  "Feel my heart, how
    it beats, dear!" said she to her friend.
    "No, it doesn't," said Amelia.  "Come in, don't be
    frightened.  Papa won't do you any harm."
    Rebecca Is in Presence of the Enemy
    A VERY stout, puffy man, in buckskins and Hessian
    boots, with several immense neckcloths that rose almost
    to his nose, with a red striped waistcoat and an apple
    green coat with steel buttons almost as large as crown
    pieces (it was the morning costume of a dandy or blood
    of those days) was reading the paper by the fire when
    the two girls entered, and bounced off his arm-chair,
    and blushed excessively, and hid his entire face almost
    in his neckcloths at this apparition.
    "It's only your sister, Joseph," said Amelia, laughing
    and shaking the two fingers which he held out.  "I've
    come home FOR GOOD, you know; and this is my friend,
    Miss Sharp, whom you have heard me mention."
    "No, never, upon my word," said the head under the
    neckcloth, shaking very much--"that is, yes--what
    abominably cold weather, Miss"--and herewith he fell
    to poking the fire with all his might, although it was in the
    middle of June.
    "He's very handsome," whispered Rebecca to Amelia,
    rather loud.
    "Do you think so?" said the latter.  "I'll tell him."
    "Darling! not for worlds," said Miss Sharp, starting
    back as timid as a fawn.  She had previously made a
    respectful virgin-like curtsey to the gentleman, and her
    modest eyes gazed so perseveringly on the carpet that it
    was a wonder how she should have found an opportunity
    to see him.
    "Thank you for the beautiful shawls, brother," said
    Amelia to the fire poker.  "Are they not beautiful, Rebecca?"
    "O heavenly!" said Miss Sharp, and her eyes went
    from the carpet straight to the chandelier.
    Joseph still continued a huge clattering at the poker
    and tongs, puffing and blowing the while, and turning
    as red as his yellow face would allow him.  "I can't
    make you such handsome presents, Joseph," continued
    his sister, "but while I was at school, I have embroidered
    for you a very beautiful pair of braces."
    "Good Gad! Amelia," cried the brother, in serious
    alarm, "what do you mean?" and plunging with all his
    might at the bell-rope, that article of furniture came
    away in his hand, and increased the honest fellow's
    confusion.  "For heaven's sake see if my buggy's at the
    door.  I CAN'T wait.  I must go.  D-- that groom of mine.
    I must go."
    At this minute the father of the family walked in,
    rattling his seals like a true British merchant.  "What's
    the matter, Emmy?" says he.
    "Joseph wants me to see if his--his buggy is at the
    door.  What is a buggy, Papa?"
    "It is a one-horse palanquin," said the old gentleman,
    who was a wag in his way.
    Joseph at this burst out into a wild fit of laughter;
    in which, encountering the eye of Miss Sharp, he stopped
    all of a sudden, as if he had been shot.
    "This young lady is your friend? Miss Sharp, I am
    very happy to see you.  Have you and Emmy been
    quarrelling already with Joseph, that he wants to be off?"
    "I promised Bonamy of our service, sir," said Joseph,
    "to dine with him."
    "O fie! didn't you tell your mother you would dine
    "But in this dress it's impossible."
    "Look at him, isn't he handsome enough to dine
    anywhere, Miss Sharp?"
    On which, of course, Miss Sharp looked at her friend,
    and they both set off in a fit of laughter, highly
    agreeable to the old gentleman.
    "Did you ever see a pair of buckskins like those at
    Miss Pinkerton's?" continued he, following up his
    "Gracious heavens! Father," cried Joseph.
    "There now, I have hurt his feelings.  Mrs. Sedley,
    my dear, I have hurt your son's feelings.  I have alluded
    to his buckskins.  Ask Miss Sharp if I haven't? Come,
    Joseph, be friends with Miss Sharp, and let us all go to
    "There's a pillau, Joseph, just as you like it, and Papa
    has brought home the best turbot in Billingsgate."
    "Come, come, sir, walk downstairs with Miss Sharp,
    and I will follow with these two young women," said
    the father, and he took an arm of wife and daughter
    and walked merrily off.
    If Miss Rebecca Sharp had determined in her heart
    upon making the conquest of this big beau, I don't
    think, ladies, we have any right to blame her; for though
    the task of husband-hunting is generally, and with
    becoming modesty, entrusted by young persons to their
    mammas, recollect that Miss Sharp had no kind parent
    to arrange these delicate matters for her, and that if
    she did not get a husband for herself, there was no one
    else in the wide world who would take the trouble off
    her hands.  What causes young people to "come out,"
    but the noble ambition of matrimony? What sends them
    trooping to watering-places? What keeps them dancing
    till five o'clock in the morning through a whole mortal
    season? What causes them to labour at pianoforte sonatas,
    and to learn four songs from a fashionable master at a
    guinea a lesson, and to play the harp if they have
    handsome arms and neat elbows, and to wear Lincoln
    Green toxophilite hats and feathers, but that they may bring
    down some "desirable" young man with those killing bows
    and arrows of theirs? What causes respectable parents
    to take up their carpets, set their houses topsy-turvy, and
    spend a fifth of their year's income in ball suppers and
    iced champagne? Is it sheer love of their species, and
    an unadulterated wish to see young people happy and
    dancing? Psha! they want to marry their daughters; and,
    as honest Mrs. Sedley has, in the depths of her kind
    heart, already arranged a score of little schemes for the
    settlement of her Amelia, so also had our beloved but
    unprotected Rebecca determined to do her very best to
    secure the husband, who was even more necessary for
    her than for her friend.  She had a vivid imagination; she
    had, besides, read the Arabian Nights and Guthrie's
    Geography; and it is a fact that while she was dressing for
    dinner, and after she had asked Amelia whether her
    brother was very rich, she had built for herself a most
    magnificent castle in the air, of which she was mistress,
    with a husband somewhere in the background (she had
    not seen him as yet, and his figure would not therefore
    be very distinct); she had arrayed herself in an infinity
    of shawls, turbans, and diamond necklaces, and had
    mounted upon an elephant to the sound of the march in
    Bluebeard, in order to pay a visit of ceremony to the
    Grand Mogul.  Charming Alnaschar visions! it is the
    happy privilege of youth to construct you, and many
    a fanciful young creature besides Rebecca Sharp has
    indulged in these delightful day-dreams ere now!
    Joseph Sedley was twelve years older than his sister
    Amelia.  He was in the East India Company's Civil
    Service, and his name appeared, at the period of which
    we write, in the Bengal division of the East India Register,
    as collector of Boggley Wollah, an honourable and
    lucrative post, as everybody knows: in order to know
    to what higher posts Joseph rose in the service, the
    reader is referred to the same periodical.
    Boggley Wollah is situated in a fine, lonely, marshy,
    jungly district, famous for snipe-shooting, and where
    not unfrequently you may flush a tiger.  Ramgunge, where
    there is a magistrate, is only forty miles off, and there
    is a cavalry station about thirty miles farther; so Joseph
    wrote home to his parents, when he took possession of
    his collectorship.  He had lived for about eight years of
    his life, quite alone, at this charming place, scarcely
    seeing a Christian face except twice a year, when the
    detachment arrived to carry off the revenues which he
    had collected, to Calcutta.
    Luckily, at this time he caught a liver complaint, for
    the cure of which he returned to Europe, and which
    was the source of great comfort and amusement to him
    in his native country.  He did not live with his family
    while in London, but had lodgings of his own, like
    a gay young bachelor.  Before he went to India he was
    too young to partake of the delightful pleasures of a
    man about town, and plunged into them on his return
    with considerable assiduity.  He drove his horses in the
    Park; he dined at the fashionable taverns (for the
    Oriental Club was not as yet invented); he frequented
    the theatres, as the mode was in those days, or made
    his appearance at the opera, laboriously attired in tights
    and a cocked hat.
    On returning to India, and ever after, he used to talk
    of the pleasure of this period of his existence with great
    enthusiasm, and give you to understand that he and
    Brummel were the leading bucks of the day.  But he was
    as lonely here as in his jungle at Boggley Wollah.  He
    scarcely knew a single soul in the metropolis: and were
    it not for his doctor, and the society of his blue-pill,
    and his liver complaint, he must have died of loneliness.
    He was lazy, peevish, and a bon-vivan; the appearance
    of a lady frightened him beyond measure; hence it was
    but seldom that he joined the paternal circle in Russell
    Square, where there was plenty of gaiety, and where the
    jokes of his good-natured old father frightened his
    amour-propre.  His bulk caused Joseph much anxious
    thought and alarm; now and then he would make a
    desperate attempt to get rid of his superabundant fat;
    but his indolence and love of good living speedily got
    the better of these endeavours at reform, and he found
    himself again at his three meals a day.  He never was
    well dressed; but he took the hugest pains to adorn his
    big person, and passed many hours daily in that occupation.
    His valet made a fortune out of his wardrobe: his
    toilet-table was covered with as many pomatums and
    essences as ever were employed by an old beauty: he had
    tried, in order to give himself a waist, every girth, stay,
    and waistband then invented.  Like most fat men, he
    would have his clothes made too tight, and took care
    they should be of the most brilliant colours and youthful
    cut.  When dressed at length, in the afternoon, he would
    issue forth to take a drive with nobody in the Park;
    and then would come back in order to dress again and
    go and dine with nobody at the Piazza Coffee-House.
    He was as vain as a girl; and perhaps his extreme
    shyness was one of the results of his extreme vanity.  If
    Miss Rebecca can get the better of him, and at her first
    entrance into life, she is a young person of no ordinary
    The first move showed considerable skill.  When she
    called Sedley a very handsome man, she knew that
    Amelia would tell her mother, who would probably tell
    Joseph, or who, at any rate, would be pleased by the
    compliment paid to her son.  All mothers are.  If you
    had told Sycorax that her son Caliban was as handsome
    as Apollo, she would have been pleased, witch as she
    was.  Perhaps, too, Joseph Sedley would overhear the
    compliment--Rebecca spoke loud enough--and he did
    hear, and (thinking in his heart that he was a very fine
    man) the praise thrilled through every fibre of his big
    body, and made it tingle with pleasure.  Then, however,
    came a recoil.  "Is the girl making fun of me?" he thought,
    and straightway he bounced towards the bell, and was
    for retreating, as we have seen, when his father's jokes
    and his mother's entreaties caused him to pause and
    stay where he was.  He conducted the young lady down
    to dinner in a dubious and agitated frame of mind.
    "Does she really think I am handsome?" thought he,
    "or is she only making game of me?" We have talked
    of Joseph Sedley being as vain as a girl.  Heaven help
    us! the girls have only to turn the tables, and say
    of one of their own sex, "She is as vain as a man,"
    and they will have perfect reason.  The bearded creatures
    are quite as eager for praise, quite as finikin over their
    toilettes, quite as proud of their personal advantages,
    quite as conscious of their powers of fascination, as
    any coquette in the world.
    Downstairs, then, they went, Joseph very red and
    blushing, Rebecca very modest, and holding her green
    eyes downwards.  She was dressed in white, with bare
    shoulders as white as snow--the picture of youth,
    unprotected innocence, and humble virgin simplicity.
    "I must be very quiet," thought Rebecca, "and very much
    interested about India."
    Now we have heard how Mrs. Sedley had prepared a
    fine curry for her son, just as he liked it, and in the
    course of dinner a portion of this dish was offered to
    Rebecca.  "What is it?" said she, turning an appealing
    look to Mr. Joseph.
    "Capital," said he.  His mouth was full of it: his face
    quite red with the delightful exercise of gobbling.
    "Mother, it's as good as my own curries in India."
    "Oh, I must try some, if it is an Indian dish," said
    Miss Rebecca.  "I am sure everything must be good that
    comes from there."
    "Give Miss Sharp some curry, my dear," said Mr.
    Sedley, laughing.
    Rebecca had never tasted the dish before.
    "Do you find it as good as everything else from India?"
    said Mr. Sedley.
    "Oh, excellent!" said Rebecca, who was suffering
    tortures with the cayenne pepper.
    "Try a chili with it, Miss Sharp," said Joseph, really
    "A chili," said Rebecca, gasping.  "Oh yes!"  She thought
    a chili was something cool, as its name imported,
    and was served with some.  "How fresh and green they
    look," she said, and put one into her mouth.  It was
    hotter than the curry; flesh and blood could bear it no
    longer.  She laid down her fork.  "Water, for Heaven's
    sake, water!" she cried.  Mr. Sedley burst out laughing
    (he was a coarse man, from the Stock Exchange, where
    they love all sorts of practical jokes).  "They are real
    Indian, I assure you," said he.  "Sambo, give Miss Sharp
    some water."
    The paternal laugh was echoed by Joseph, who thought
    the joke capital.  The ladies only smiled a little.  They
    thought poor Rebecca suffered too much.  She would have
    liked to choke old Sedley, but she swallowed her
    mortification as well as she had the abominable curry
    before it, and as soon as she could speak, said, with a comical,
    good-humoured air, "I ought to have remembered the
    pepper which the Princess of Persia puts in the cream-
    tarts in the Arabian Nights.  Do you put cayenne into
    your cream-tarts in India, sir?"
    Old Sedley began to laugh, and thought Rebecca
    was a good-humoured girl.  Joseph simply said, "Cream-
    tarts, Miss? Our cream is very bad in Bengal.  We
    generally use goats' milk; and, 'gad, do you know, I've got
    to prefer it!"
    "You won't like EVERYTHING from India now, Miss
    Sharp," said the old gentleman; but when the ladies had
    retired after dinner, the wily old fellow said to his son,
    "Have a care, Joe; that girl is setting her cap at you."
    "Pooh! nonsense!" said Joe, highly flattered.  "I recollect,
    sir, there was a girl at Dumdum, a daughter of
    Cutler of the Artillery, and afterwards married to Lance,
    the surgeon, who made a dead set at me in the year
    '4--at me and Mulligatawney, whom I mentioned to you
    before dinner--a devilish good fellow Mulligatawney--
    he's a magistrate at Budgebudge, and sure to be in
    council in five years.  Well, sir, the Artillery gave a ball,
    and Quintin, of the King's 14th, said to me, 'Sedley,' said
    he, 'I bet you thirteen to ten that Sophy Cutler hooks
    either you or Mulligatawney before the rains.' 'Done,'
    says I; and egad, sir--this claret's very good.  Adamson's
    or Carbonell's?"
    A slight snore was the only reply: the honest stockbroker
    was asleep, and so the rest of Joseph's story was lost
    for that day.  But he was always exceedingly
    communicative in a man's party, and has told this
    delightful tale many scores of times to his apothecary,
    Dr. Gollop, when he came to inquire about the liver and
    the blue-pill.
    Being an invalid, Joseph Sedley contented himself with
    a bottle of claret besides his Madeira at dinner, and
    he managed a couple of plates full of strawberries and
    cream, and twenty-four little rout cakes that were lying
    neglected in a plate near him, and certainly (for
    novelists have the privilege of knowing everything)
    he thought a great deal about the girl upstairs.  "A nice,
    gay, merry young creature," thought he to himself.  "How
    she looked at me when I picked up her handkerchief at
    dinner!  She dropped it twice.  Who's that singing in the
    drawing-room? 'Gad! shall I go up and see?"
    But his modesty came rushing upon him with
    uncontrollable force.  His father was asleep: his hat
    was in the hall: there was a hackney-coach standing
    hard by in Southampton Row.  "I'll go and see the Forty
    Thieves," said he, "and Miss Decamp's dance"; and he
    slipped away gently on the pointed toes of his boots, and
    disappeared, without waking his worthy parent.
    "There goes Joseph," said Amelia, who was looking
    from the open windows of the drawing-room, while
    Rebecca was singing at the piano.
    "Miss Sharp has frightened him away," said Mrs.
    Sedley.  "Poor Joe, why WILL he be so shy?"
    The Green Silk Purse
    Poor Joe's panic lasted for two or three days; during
    which he did not visit the house, nor during that period
    did Miss Rebecca ever mention his name.  She was all
    respectful gratitude to Mrs. Sedley; delighted beyond
    measure at the Bazaars; and in a whirl of wonder at the
    theatre, whither the good-natured lady took her.  One
    day, Amelia had a headache, and could not go upon some
    party of pleasure to which the two young people were
    invited: nothing could induce her friend to go without her.
    "What! you who have shown the poor orphan what
    happiness and love are for the first time in her life--quit
    YOU?  Never!"  and the green eyes looked up to Heaven
    and filled with tears; and Mrs. Sedley could not but own
    that her daughter's friend had a charming kind heart
    of her own.
    As for Mr. Sedley's jokes, Rebecca laughed at them
    with a cordiality and perseverance which not a little
    pleased and softened that good-natured gentleman.  Nor
    was it with the chiefs of the family alone that Miss
    Sharp found favour.  She interested Mrs. Blenkinsop by
    evincing the deepest sympathy in the raspberry-jam
    preserving, which operation was then going on in the
    Housekeeper's room; she persisted in calling Sambo "Sir,"
    and "Mr. Sambo," to the delight of that attendant; and she
    apologised to the lady's maid for giving her trouble in
    venturing to ring the bell, with such sweetness and
    humility, that the Servants' Hall was almost as charmed
    with her as the Drawing Room.
    Once, in looking over some drawings which Amelia
    had sent from school, Rebecca suddenly came upon one
    which caused her to burst into tears and leave the room.
    It was on the day when Joe Sedley made his second
    Amelia hastened after her friend to know the cause
    of this display of feeling, and the good-natured girl came
    back without her companion, rather affected too.  "You
    know, her father was our drawing-master, Mamma, at
    Chiswick, and used to do all the best parts of our drawings."
    "My love! I'm sure I always heard Miss Pinkerton say
    that he did not touch them--he only mounted them."
    "It was called mounting, Mamma.  Rebecca remembers
    the drawing, and her father working at it, and the
    thought of it came upon her rather suddenly--and so,
    you know, she--"
    "The poor child is all heart," said Mrs. Sedley.
    "I wish she could stay with us another week," said
    "She's devilish like Miss Cutler that I used to meet
    at Dumdum, only fairer.  She's married now to Lance,
    the Artillery Surgeon.  Do you know, Ma'am, that once
    Quintin, of the 14th, bet me--"
    "0 Joseph, we know that story," said Amelia, laughing.
    Never mind about telling that; but persuade Mamma
    to write to Sir Something Crawley for leave of absence
    for poor dear Rebecca: here she comes, her eyes red
    with weeping."
    "I'm better, now," said the girl, with the sweetest smile
    possible, taking good-natured Mrs. Sedley's extended hand
    and kissing it respectfully.  "How kind you all are to me!
    All," she added, with a laugh, "except you, Mr. Joseph."
    "Me!" said Joseph, meditating an instant departure
    "Gracious Heavens! Good Gad! Miss Sharp!'
    "Yes; how could you be so cruel as to make me eat
    that horrid pepper-dish at dinner, the first day I ever
    saw you? You are not so good to me as dear Amelia."
    "He doesn't know you so well," cried Amelia.
    "I defy anybody not to be good to you, my dear,"
    said her mother.
    "The curry was capital; indeed it was," said Joe, quite
    gravely.  "Perhaps there was NOT enough citron juice in
    it--no, there was NOT."
    "And the chilis?"
    "By Jove, how they made you cry out!" said Joe,
    caught by the ridicule of the circumstance, and
    exploding in a fit of laughter which ended quite
    suddenly, as usual.
    "I shall take care how I let YOU choose for me
    another time," said Rebecca, as they went down
    again to dinner.  "I didn't think men were fond of
    putting poor harmless girls to pain."
    "By Gad, Miss Rebecca, I wouldn't hurt you for the
    "No," said she, "I KNOW you wouldn't"; and then she
    gave him ever so gentle a pressure with her little hand,
    and drew it back quite frightened, and looked first for
    one instant in his face, and then down at the carpet-
    rods; and I am not prepared to say that Joe's heart did
    not thump at this little involuntary, timid, gentle motion
    of regard on the part of the simple girl.
    It was an advance, and as such, perhaps, some ladies
    of indisputable correctness and gentility will condemn the
    action as immodest; but, you see, poor dear Rebecca
    had all this work to do for herself.  If a person is too
    poor to keep a servant, though ever so elegant, he must
    sweep his own rooms: if a dear girl has no dear Mamma
    to settle matters with the young man, she must do it
    for herself.  And oh, what a mercy it is that these women
    do not exercise their powers oftener! We can't resist
    them, if they do.  Let them show ever so little inclination,
    and men go down on their knees at once: old or ugly,
    it is all the same.  And this I set down as a positive
    truth.  A woman with fair opportunities, and without an
    absolute hump, may marry WHOM SHE LIKES.  Only let us
    be thankful that the darlings are like the beasts of the
    field, and don't know their own power.  They would
    overcome us entirely if they did.
    "Egad!" thought Joseph, entering the dining-room, "I
    exactly begin to feel as I did at Dumdum with Miss
    Cutler." Many sweet little appeals, half tender, half
    jocular, did Miss Sharp make to him about the dishes
    at dinner; for by this time she was on a footing of
    considerable familiarity with the family, and as for the
    girls, they loved each other like sisters.  Young unmarried
    girls always do, if they are in a house together for ten
    As if bent upon advancing Rebecca's plans in every
    way--what must Amelia do, but remind her brother of
    a promise made last Easter holidays--"When I was a
    girl at school," said she, laughing--a promise that he,
    Joseph, would take her to Vauxhall.  "Now," she said,
    "that Rebecca is with us, will be the very time."
    "O, delightful!" said Rebecca, going to clap her hands;
    but she recollected herself, and paused, like a modest
    creature, as she was.
    "To-night is not the night," said Joe.
    "Well, to-morrow."
    "To-morrow your Papa and I dine out," said Mrs.
    "You don't suppose that I'm going, Mrs. Sed?" said
    her husband, "and that a woman of your years and size
    is to catch cold, in such an abominable damp place?"
    'The children must have someone with them," cried
    Mrs. Sedley.
    "Let Joe go," said-his father, laughing.  "He's big
    enough." At which speech even Mr. Sambo at the
    sideboard burst out laughing, and poor fat Joe felt
    inclined to become a parricide almost.
    "Undo his stays!" continued the pitiless old gentleman.
    "Fling some water in his face, Miss Sharp, or carry him
    upstairs: the dear creature's fainting.  Poor victim! carry
    him up; he's as light as a feather!"
    "If I stand this, sir, I'm d--!" roared Joseph.
    "Order Mr. Jos's elephant, Sambo!" cried the father.
    "Send to Exeter 'Change, Sambo"; but seeing Jos ready
    almost to cry with vexation, the old joker stopped his
    laughter, and said, holding out his hand to his son, "It's
    all fair on the Stock Exchange, Jos--and, Sambo, never
    mind the elephant, but give me and Mr. Jos a glass of
    Champagne.  Boney himself hasn't got such in his cellar,
    my boy!"
    A goblet of Champagne restored Joseph's equanimity,
    and before the bottle was emptied, of which as an invalid
    he took two-thirds, he had agreed to take the young
    ladies to Vauxhall.
    "The girls must have a gentleman apiece," said the old
    gentleman.  "Jos will be sure to leave Emmy in the crowd,
    he will be so taken up with Miss Sharp here.  Send to 96,
    and ask George Osborne if he'll come."
    At this, I don't know in the least for what reason,
    Mrs. Sedley looked at her husband and laughed.  Mr.
    Sedley's eyes twinkled in a manner indescribably
    roguish, and he looked at Amelia; and Amelia, hanging
    down her head, blushed as only young ladies of seventeen
    know how to blush, and as Miss Rebecca Sharp never
    blushed in her life--at least not since she was eight
    years old, and when she was caught stealing jam out of
    a cupboard by her godmother.  "Amelia had better write
    a note," said her father; "and let George Osborne see
    what a beautiful handwriting we have brought back from
    Miss Pinkerton's.  Do you remember when you wrote to
    him to come on Twelfth-night, Emmy, and spelt twelfth
    without the f?"
    "That was years ago," said Amelia.
    "It seems like yesterday, don't it, John?" said Mrs.
    Sedley to her husband; and that night in a conversation
    which took place in a front room in the second floor,
    in a sort of tent, hung round with chintz of a rich and
    fantastic India pattern, and double with calico of a
    tender rose-colour; in the interior of which species of
    marquee was a featherbed, on which were two pillows,
    on which were two round red faces, one in a laced
    nightcap, and one in a simple cotton one, ending in a tassel
    --in A CURTAIN LECTURE, I say, Mrs. Sedley took her
    husband to task for his cruel conduct to poor Joe.
    "It was quite wicked of you, Mr. Sedley," said she,
    "to torment the poor boy so."
    "My dear," said the cotton-tassel in defence of his
    conduct, "Jos is a great deal vainer than you ever were
    in your life, and that's saying a good deal.  Though, some
    thirty years ago, in the year seventeen hundred and
    eighty--what was it?--perhaps you had a right to be
    vain--I don't say no.  But I've no patience with Jos and
    his dandified modesty.  It is out-Josephing Joseph, my dear,
    and all the while the boy is only thinking of himself,
    and what a fine fellow he is.  I doubt, Ma'am, we shall
    have some trouble with him yet.  Here is Emmy's little
    friend making love to him as hard as she can; that's
    quite clear; and if she does not catch him some other
    will.  That man is destined to be a prey to woman, as
    I am to go on 'Change every day.  It's a mercy he did
    not bring us over a black daughter-in-law, my dear.  But,
    mark my words, the first woman who fishes for him,
    hooks him."
    "She shall go off to-morrow, the little artful creature,"
    said Mrs. Sedley, with great energy.
    "Why not she as well as another, Mrs. Sedley? The
    girl's a white face at any rate.  I don't care who marries
    him.  Let Joe please himself."
    And presently the voices of the two speakers were
    hushed, or were replaced by the gentle but unromantic
    music of the nose; and save when the church bells
    tolled the hour and the watchman called it, all was
    silent at the house of John Sedley, Esquire, of Russell
    Square, and the Stock Exchange.
    When morning came, the good-natured Mrs. Sedley no
    longer thought of executing her threats with regard to
    Miss Sharp; for though nothing is more keen, nor more
    common, nor more justifiable, than maternal jealousy,
    yet she could not bring herself to suppose that the little,
    humble, grateful, gentle governess would dare to look
    up to such a magnificent personage as the Collector of
    Boggley Wollah.  The petition, too, for an extension of
    the young lady's leave of absence had already been
    despatched, and it would be difficult to find a pretext for
    abruptly dismissing her.
    And as if all things conspired in favour of the gentle
    Rebecca, the very elements (although she was not
    inclined at first to acknowledge their action in her behalf)
    interposed to aid her.  For on the evening appointed for
    the Vauxhall party, George Osborne having come to
    dinner, and the elders of the house having departed,
    according to invitation, to dine with Alderman Balls at
    Highbury Barn, there came on such a thunder-storm as only
    happens on Vauxhall nights, and as obliged the young
    people, perforce, to remain at home.  Mr. Osborne did
    not seem in the least disappointed at this occurrence.
    He and Joseph Sedley drank a fitting quantity of
    port-wine, tete-a-tete, in the dining-room, during the
    drinking of which Sedley told a number of his best Indian
    stories; for he was extremely talkative in man's society;
    and afterwards Miss Amelia Sedley did the honours of
    the drawing-room; and these four young persons passed
    such a comfortable evening together, that they declared
    they were rather glad of the thunder-storm than
    otherwise, which had caused them to put off their
    visit to Vauxhall.
    Osborne was Sedley's godson, and had been one of the
    family any time these three-and-twenty years.  At six
    weeks old, he had received from John Sedley a present
    of a silver cup; at six months old, a coral with gold
    whistle and bells; from his youth upwards he was
    "tipped" regularly by the old gentleman at Christmas:
    and on going back to school, he remembered perfectly
    well being thrashed by Joseph Sedley, when the latter
    was a big, swaggering hobbadyhoy, and George an
    impudent urchin of ten years old.  In a word, George was
    as familiar with the family as such daily acts of
    kindness and intercourse could make him.
    "Do you remember, Sedley, what a fury you were in,
    when I cut off the tassels of your Hessian boots, and
    how Miss--hem!--how Amelia rescued me from a
    beating, by falling down on her knees and crying out to
    her brother Jos, not to beat little George?"
    Jos remembered this remarkable circumstance
    perfectly well, but vowed that he had totally
    forgotten it.
    "Well, do you remember coming down in a gig to Dr.
    Swishtail's to see me, before you went to India, and
    giving me half a guinea and a pat on the head? I always
    had an idea that you were at least seven feet high, and
    was quite astonished at your return from India to find
    you no taller than myself."
    "How good of Mr. Sedley to go to your school and
    give you the money!" exclaimed Rebecca, in accents of
    extreme delight.
    "Yes, and after I had cut the tassels of his boots too.
    Boys never forget those tips at school, nor the givers."
    "I delight in Hessian boots," said Rebecca.  Jos Sedley,
    who admired his own legs prodigiously, and always
    wore this ornamental chaussure, was extremely pleased
    at this remark, though he drew his legs under his chair
    as it was made.
    "Miss Sharp!" said George Osborne, "you who are
    so clever an artist, you must make a grand historical
    picture of the scene of the boots.  Sedley shall be
    represented in buckskins, and holding one of the
    injured boots in one hand; by the other he shall have
    hold of my shirt-frill.  Amelia shall be kneeling near him,
    with her little hands up; and the picture shall have a
    grand allegorical title, as the frontispieces have in the
    Medulla and the spelling-book."
    "I shan't have time to do it here," said Rebecca.  'I'll
    do it when--when I'm gone." And she dropped her voice,
    and looked so sad and piteous, that everybody felt how
    cruel her lot was, and how sorry they would be to
    part with her.
    "O that you could stay longer, dear Rebecca," said
    "Why?" answered the other, still more sadly.  "That
    I may be only the more unhap--unwilling to lose you?"
    And she turned away her head.  Amelia began to give
    way to that natural infirmity of tears which, we have
    said, was one of the defects of this silly little thing.  George
    Osborne looked at the two young women with a touched
    curiosity; and Joseph Sedley heaved something very like
    a sigh out of his big chest, as he cast his eyes down
    towards his favourite Hessian boots.
    "Let us have some music, Miss Sedley--Amelia," said
    George, who felt at that moment an extraordinary,
    almost irresistible impulse to seize the above-mentioned
    young woman in his arms, and to kiss her in the face of
    the company; and she looked at him for a moment, and
    if I should say that they fell in love with each other at
    that single instant of time, I should perhaps be telling
    an untruth, for the fact is that these two young people
    had been bred up by their parents for this very purpose,
    and their banns had, as it were, been read in their
    respective families any time these ten years.  They went
    off to the piano, which was situated, as pianos usually
    are, in the back drawing-room; and as it was rather dark,
    Miss Amelia, in the most unaffected way in the world,
    put her hand into Mr. Osborne's, who, of course, could
    see the way among the chairs and ottomans a great deal
    better than she could.  But this arrangement left Mr.
    Joseph Sedley tete-a-tete with Rebecca, at the
    drawing-room table, where the latter was occupied
    in knitting a green silk purse.
    "There is no need to ask family secrets," said Miss
    Sharp.  "Those two have told theirs."
    "As soon as he gets his company," said Joseph, "I
    believe the affair is settled.  George Osborne is a capital
    "And your sister the dearest creature in the world,"
    said Rebecca.  "Happy the man who wins her!" With
    this, Miss Sharp gave a great sigh.
    When two unmarried persons get together, and talk
    upon such delicate subjects as the present, a great deal
    of confidence and intimacy is presently established
    between them.  There is no need of giving a special report
    of the conversation which now took place between Mr.
    Sedley and the young lady; for the conversation, as may
    be judged from the foregoing specimen, was not especially
    witty or eloquent; it seldom is in private societies, or
    anywhere except in very high-flown and ingenious novels.
    As there was music in the next room, the talk was
    carried on, of course, in a low and becoming tone, though,
    for the matter of that, the couple in the next apartment
    would not have been disturbed had the talking been ever
    so loud, so occupied were they with their own pursuits.
    Almost for the first time in his life, Mr. Sedley found
    himself talking, without the least timidity or hesitation,
    to a person of the other sex.  Miss Rebecca asked him a
    great number of questions about India, which gave him
    an opportunity of narrating many interesting anecdotes
    about that country and himself.  He described the balls
    at Government House, and the manner in which they
    kept themselves cool in the hot weather, with punkahs,
    tatties, and other contrivances; and he was very witty
    regarding the number of Scotchmen whom Lord Minto,
    the Governor-General, patronised; and then he described
    a tiger-hunt; and the manner in which the mahout of his
    elephant had been pulled off his seat by one of the
    infuriated animals.  How delighted Miss Rebecca was at
    the Government balls, and how she laughed at the stories
    of the Scotch aides-de-camp, and called Mr. Sedley a
    sad wicked satirical creature; and how frightened she was
    Joseph Sedley tete-a-tete with Rebecca, at the
    drawing-room table, where the latter was occupied
    in knitting a green silk purse.
    "There is no need to ask family secrets," said Miss
    Sharp.  "Those two have told theirs."
    "As soon as he gets his company," said Joseph, "I
    believe the affair is settled.  George Osborne is a capital
    "And your sister the dearest creature in the world,"
    said Rebecca.  "Happy the man who wins her!" With
    this, Miss Sharp gave a great sigh.
    When two unmarried persons get together, and talk
    upon such delicate subjects as the present, a great deal
    of confidence and intimacy is presently established
    between them.  There is no need of giving a special report
    of the conversation which now took place between Mr.
    Sedley and the young lady; for the conversation, as may
    be judged from the foregoing specimen, was not especially
    witty or eloquent; it seldom is in private societies, or
    anywhere except in very high-flown and ingenious novels.
    As there was music in the next room, the talk was
    carried on, of course, in a low and becoming tone, though,
    for the matter of that, the couple in the next apartment
    would not have been disturbed had the talking been ever
    so loud, so occupied were they with their own pursuits.
    Almost for the first time in his life, Mr. Sedley found
    himself talking, without the least timidity or hesitation,
    to a person of the other sex.  Miss Rebecca asked him a
    great number of questions about India, which gave him
    an opportunity of narrating many interesting anecdotes
    about that country and himself.  He described the balls
    at Government House, and the manner in which they
    kept themselves cool in the hot weather, with punkahs,
    tatties, and other contrivances; and he was very witty
    regarding the number of Scotchmen whom Lord Minto,
    the Governor-General, patronised; and then he described
    a tiger-hunt; and the manner in which the mahout of his
    elephant had been pulled off his seat by one of the
    infuriated animals.  How delighted Miss Rebecca was at
    the Government balls, and how she laughed at the stories
    of the Scotch aides-de-camp, and called Mr. Sedley a
    sad wicked satirical creature; and how frightened she was
    at the story of the elephant! "For your mother's sake,
    dear Mr. Sedley," she said, "for the sake of all your
    friends, promise NEVER to go on one of those horrid
    "Pooh, pooh, Miss Sharp," said he, pulling up his shirt-
    collars; "the danger makes the sport only the pleasanter."
    He had never been but once at a tiger-hunt, when the
    accident in question occurred, and when he was half
    killed--not by the tiger, but by the fright.  And as he
    talked on, he grew quite bold, and actually had the
    audacity to ask Miss Rebecca for whom she was
    knitting the green silk purse? He was quite surprised
    and delighted at his own graceful familiar manner.
    "For any one who wants a purse," replied Miss
    Rebecca, looking at him in the most gentle winning way.
    Sedley was going to make one of the most eloquent
    speeches possible, and had begun--"O Miss Sharp,
    how--" when some song which was performed in the
    other room came to an end, and caused him to hear
    his own voice so distinctly that he stopped, blushed, and
    blew his nose in great agitation.
    "Did you ever hear anything like your brother's
    eloquence?" whispered Mr. Osborne to Amelia.  "Why,
    your friend has worked miracles."
    "The more the better," said Miss Amelia; who, like
    almost all women who are worth a pin, was a match-
    maker in her heart, and would have been delighted that
    Joseph should carry back a wife to India.  She had, too,
    in the course of this few days' constant intercourse,
    warmed into a most tender friendship for Rebecca, and
    discovered a million of virtues and amiable qualities in
    her which she had not perceived when they were at
    Chiswick together.  For the affection of young ladies is
    of as rapid growth as Jack's bean-stalk, and reaches up
    to the sky in a night.  It is no blame to them that after
    marriage this Sehnsucht nach der Liebe subsides.  It is
    what sentimentalists, who deal in very big words, call a
    yearning after the Ideal, and simply means that women
    are commonly not satisfied until they have husbands
    and children on whom they may centre affections, which
    are spent elsewhere, as it were, in small change.
    Having expended her little store of songs, or having
    stayed long enough in the back drawing-room, it now
    appeared proper to Miss Amelia to ask her friend to
    sing.  "You would not have listened to me," she said to
    Mr. Osborne (though she knew she was telling a fib),
    "had you heard Rebecca first."
    "I give Miss Sharp warning, though," said Osborne,
    "that, right or wrong, I consider Miss Amelia Sedley
    the first singer in the world."
    "You shall hear," said Amelia; and Joseph Sedley was
    actually polite enough to carry the candles to the piano.
    Osborne hinted that he should like quite as well to sit
    in the dark; but Miss Sedley, laughing, declined to bear
    him company any farther, and the two accordingly
    followed Mr. Joseph.  Rebecca sang far better than her
    friend (though of course Osborne was free to keep his
    opinion), and exerted herself to the utmost, and,
    indeed, to the wonder of Amelia, who had never known
    her perform so well.  She sang a French song, which
    Joseph did not understand in the least, and which George
    confessed he did not understand, and then a number of
    those simple ballads which were the fashion forty years
    ago, and in which British tars, our King, poor Susan,
    blue-eyed Mary, and the like, were the principal themes.
    They are not, it is said, very brilliant, in a musical point
    of view, but contain numberless good-natured, simple
    appeals to the affections, which people understood better
    than the milk-and-water lagrime, sospiri, and felicita
    of the eternal Donizettian music with which we are
    favoured now-a-days.
    Conversation of a sentimental sort, befitting the
    subject, was carried on between the songs, to which
    Sambo, after he had brought the tea, the delighted cook,
    and even Mrs. Blenkinsop, the housekeeper, condescended
    to listen on the landing-place.
    Among these ditties was one, the last of the concert,
    and to the following effect:
    Ah! bleak and barren was the moor,
    Ah! loud and piercing was the storm,
    The cottage roof was shelter'd sure,
    The cottage hearth was bright and warm--
    An orphan boy the lattice pass'd,
    And, as he mark'd its cheerful glow,
    Felt doubly keen the midnight blast,
    And doubly cold the fallen snow.
    They mark'd him as he onward prest,
    With fainting heart and weary limb;
    Kind voices bade him turn and rest,
    And gentle faces welcomed him.
    The dawn is up--the guest is gone,
    The cottage hearth is blazing still;
    Heaven pity all poor wanderers lone!
    Hark to the wind upon the hill!
    It was the sentiment of the before-mentioned words,
    "When I'm gone," over again.  As she came to the last
    words, Miss Sharp's "deep-toned voice faltered."
    Everybody felt the allusion to her departure, and to her
    hapless orphan state.  Joseph Sedley, who was fond of music,
    and soft-hearted, was in a state of ravishment during the
    performance of the song, and profoundly touched at its
    conclusion.  If he had had the courage; if George and Miss
    Sedley had remained, according to the former's proposal,
    in the farther room, Joseph Sedley's bachelorhood would
    have been at an end, and this work would never have
    been written.  But at the close of the ditty, Rebecca quitted
    the piano, and giving her hand to Amelia, walked away
    into the front drawing-room twilight; and, at this
    moment, Mr. Sambo made his appearance with a tray,
    containing sandwiches, jellies, and some glittering glasses
    and decanters, on which Joseph Sedley's attention was
    immediately fixed.  When the parents of the house of Sedley
    returned from their dinner-party, they found the young
    people so busy in talking, that they had not heard the
    arrival of the carriage, and Mr. Joseph was in the act of
    saying, "My dear Miss Sharp, one little teaspoonful of
    jelly to recruit you after your immense--your--your
    delightful exertions."
    "Bravo, Jos!" said Mr. Sedley; on hearing the bantering
    of which well-known voice, Jos instantly relapsed
    into an alarmed silence, and quickly took his departure.
    He did not lie awake all night thinking whether or not he
    was in love with Miss Sharp; the passion of love never
    interfered with the appetite or the slumber of Mr. Joseph
    Sedley; but he thought to himself how delightful it would
    be to hear such songs as those after Cutcherry--what a
    distinguee girl she was--how she could speak French
    better than the Governor-General's lady herself--and
    what a sensation she would make at the Calcutta balls.
    "It's evident the poor devil's in love with me," thought
    he.  "She is just as rich as most of the girls who come
    out to India.  I might go farther, and fare worse, egad!"
    And in these meditations he fell asleep.
    How Miss Sharp lay awake, thinking, will he come or
    not to-morrow? need not be told here.  To-morrow came,
    and, as sure as fate, Mr. Joseph Sedley made his
    appearance before luncheon.  He had never been known
    before to confer such an honour on Russell Square.  George
    Osborne was somehow there already (sadly "putting out"
    Amelia, who was writing to her twelve dearest friends at
    Chiswick Mall), and Rebecca was employed upon her
    yesterday's work.  As Joe's buggy drove up, and while, after
    his usual thundering knock and pompous bustle at the
    door, the ex-Collector of Boggley Wollah laboured up
    stairs to the drawing-room, knowing glances were
    telegraphed between Osborne and Miss Sedley, and the pair,
    smiling archly, looked at Rebecca, who actually blushed
    as she bent her fair ringlets over her knitting.  How her
    heart beat as Joseph appeared--Joseph, puffing from the
    staircase in shining creaking boots--Joseph, in a new
    waistcoat, red with heat and nervousness, and blushing
    behind his wadded neckcloth.  It was a nervous moment
    for all; and as for Amelia, I think she was more frightened
    than even the people most concerned.
    Sambo, who flung open the door and announced Mr.
    Joseph, followed grinning, in the Collector's rear, and
    bearing two handsome nosegays of flowers, which the
    monster had actually had the gallantry to purchase in
    Covent Garden Market that morning--they were not as
    big as the haystacks which ladies carry about with them
    now-a-days, in cones of filigree paper; but the young
    women were delighted with the gift, as Joseph presented
    one to each, with an exceedingly solemn bow.
    "Bravo, Jos!" cried Osborne.
    "Thank you, dear Joseph," said Amelia, quite ready to
    kiss her brother, if he were so minded.  (And I think for
    a kiss from such a dear creature as Amelia, I would
    purchase all Mr. Lee's conservatories out of hand.)
    "O heavenly, heavenly flowers!" exclaimed Miss Sharp,
    and smelt them delicately, and held them to her bosom,
    and cast up her eyes to the ceiling, in an ecstasy of
    admiration.  Perhaps she just looked first into the bouquet,
    to see whether there was a billet-doux hidden among the
    flowers; but there was no letter.
    "Do they talk the language of flowers at Boggley
    Wollah, Sedley?" asked Osborne, laughing.
    "Pooh, nonsense!" replied the sentimental youth.
    "Bought 'em at Nathan's; very glad you like 'em; and eh,
    Amelia, my dear, I bought a pine-apple at the same
    time, which I gave to Sambo.  Let's have it for tiffin;
    very cool and nice this hot weather." Rebecca said she
    had never tasted a pine, and longed beyond everything
    to taste one.
    So the conversation went on.  I don't know on what
    pretext Osborne left the room, or why, presently, Amelia
    went away, perhaps to superintend the slicing of the
    pine-apple; but Jos was left alone with Rebecca, who had
    resumed her work, and the green silk and the shining
    needles were quivering rapidly under her white slender
    "What a beautiful, BYOO-OOTIFUL song that was you sang
    last night, dear Miss Sharp," said the Collector.  "It made
    me cry almost; 'pon my honour it did."
    "Because you have a kind heart, Mr. Joseph; all the
    Sedleys have, I think."
    "It kept me awake last night, and I was trying to hum
    it this morning, in bed; I was, upon my honour.  Gollop,
    my doctor, came in at eleven (for I'm a sad invalid, you
    know, and see Gollop every day), and, 'gad! there I
    was, singing away like--a robin."
    "O you droll creature! Do let me hear you sing it."
    "Me? No, you, Miss Sharp; my dear Miss Sharp, do
    sing it.
    "Not now, Mr. Sedley," said Rebecca, with a sigh.  "My
    spirits are not equal to it; besides, I must finish the
    purse.  Will you help me, Mr. Sedley?" And before he had
    time to ask how, Mr. Joseph Sedley, of the East India
    Company's service, was actually seated tete-a-tete with
    a young lady, looking at her with a most killing expression;
    his arms stretched out before her in an imploring attitude,
    and his hands bound in a web of green silk, which she
    was unwinding.
    In this romantic position Osborne and Amelia found
    the interesting pair, when they entered to announce that
    tiffin was ready.  The skein of silk was just wound round
    the card; but Mr. Jos had never spoken.
    "I am sure he will to-night, dear," Amelia said, as she
    pressed Rebecca's hand; and Sedley, too, had communed
    with his soul, and said to himself, " 'Gad, I'll pop the
    question at Vauxhall."
    Dobbin of Ours
    Cuff's fight with Dobbin, and the unexpected issue of
    that contest, will long be remembered by every man who
    was educated at Dr. Swishtail's famous school.  The latter
    Youth (who used to be called Heigh-ho Dobbin, Gee-ho
    Dobbin, and by many other names indicative of puerile
    contempt) was the quietest, the clumsiest, and, as it
    seemed, the dullest of all Dr. Swishtail's young gentlemen.
    His parent was a grocer in the city: and it was bruited
    abroad that he was admitted into Dr. Swishtail's academy
    upon what are called "mutual principles"--that is to
    say, the expenses of his board and schooling were
    defrayed by his father in goods, not money; and he
    stood there--most at the bottom of the school--in his
    scraggy corduroys and jacket, through the seams of
    which his great big bones were bursting--as the
    representative of so many pounds of tea, candles,
    sugar, mottled-soap, plums (of which a very mild
    proportion was supplied for the puddings of the
    establishment), and other commodities.  A dreadful
    day it was for young Dobbin when one of the
    youngsters of the school, having run into the town upon
    a poaching excursion for hardbake and polonies, espied
    the cart of Dobbin & Rudge, Grocers and Oilmen, Thames
    Street, London, at the Doctor's door, discharging a cargo
    of the wares in which the firm dealt.
    Young Dobbin had no peace after that.  The jokes were
    frightful, and merciless against him.  "Hullo, Dobbin," one
    wag would say, "here's good news in the paper.  Sugars
    is ris', my boy." Another would set a sum--"If a pound
    of mutton-candles cost sevenpence-halfpenny, how much
    must Dobbin cost?" and a roar would follow from all the
    circle of young knaves, usher and all, who rightly
    considered that the selling of goods by retail is a shameful
    and infamous practice, meriting the contempt and scorn
    of all real gentlemen.
    "Your father's only a merchant, Osborne," Dobbin said
    in private to the little boy who had brought down the
    storm upon him.  At which the latter replied haughtily,
    "My father's a gentleman, and keeps his carriage"; and
    Mr. William Dobbin retreated to a remote outhouse in
    the playground, where he passed a half-holiday in the
    bitterest sadness and woe.  Who amongst us is there that
    does not recollect similar hours of bitter, bitter childish
    grief? Who feels injustice; who shrinks before a slight;
    who has a sense of wrong so acute, and so glowing a
    gratitude for kindness, as a generous boy? and how many
    of those gentle souls do you degrade, estrange, torture,
    for the sake of a little loose arithmetic, and miserable
    Now, William Dobbin, from an incapacity to acquire
    the rudiments of the above language, as they are
    propounded in that wonderful book the Eton Latin Grammar,
    was compelled to remain among the very last of Doctor
    Swishtail's scholars, and was "taken down" continually by
    little fellows with pink faces and pinafores when he
    marched up with the lower form, a giant amongst them,
    with his downcast, stupefied look, his dog's-eared primer,
    and his tight corduroys.  High and low, all made fun of
    him.  They sewed up those corduroys, tight as they were.
    They cut his bed-strings.  They upset buckets and benches,
    so that he might break his shins over them, which he
    never failed to do.  They sent him parcels, which, when
    opened, were found to contain the paternal soap and
    candles.  There was no little fellow but had his jeer and
    joke at Dobbin; and he bore everything quite patiently,
    and was entirely dumb and miserable.
    Cuff, on the contrary, was the great chief and dandy of
    the Swishtail Seminary.  He smuggled wine in.  He fought
    the town-boys.  Ponies used to come for him to ride home
    on Saturdays.  He had his top-boots in his room, in which
    he used to hunt in the holidays.  He had a gold repeater:
    and took snuff like the Doctor.  He had been to the Opera,
    and knew the merits of the principal actors, preferring
    Mr. Kean to Mr. Kemble.  He could knock you off forty
    Latin verses in an hour.  He could make French poetry.
    What else didn't he know, or couldn't he do? They said
    even the Doctor himself was afraid of him.
    Cuff, the unquestioned king of the school, ruled over
    his subjects, and bullied them, with splendid superiority.
    This one blacked his shoes: that toasted his bread, others
    would fag out, and give him balls at cricket during whole
    summer afternoons.  "Figs" was the fellow whom he
    despised most, and with whom, though always abusing him,
    and sneering at him, he scarcely ever condescended to
    hold personal communication.
    One day in private, the two young gentlemen had had
    a difference.  Figs, alone in the schoolroom, was
    blundering over a home letter; when Cuff, entering,
    bade him go upon some message, of which tarts were
    probably the subject.
    "I can't," says Dobbin; "I want to finish my letter."
    "You CAN'T?" says Mr. Cuff, laying hold of that
    document (in which many words were scratched out,
    many were mis-spelt, on which had been spent I don't
    know how much thought, and labour, and tears; for the
    poor fellow was writing to his mother, who was fond of
    him, although she was a grocer's wife, and lived in a back
    parlour in Thames Street).  "You CAN'T?" says Mr. Cuff:
    "I should like to know why, pray? Can't you write to old
    Mother Figs to-morrow?"
    "Don't call names," Dobbin said, getting off the bench
    very nervous.
    "Well, sir, will you go?" crowed the cock of the school.
    "Put down the letter," Dobbin replied; "no gentleman
    readth letterth."
    "Well, NOW will you go?" says the other.
    "No, I won't.  Don't strike, or I'll THMASH you," roars
    out Dobbin, springing to a leaden inkstand, and looking
    so wicked, that Mr. Cuff paused, turned down his coat
    sleeves again, put his hands into his pockets, and walked
    away with a sneer.  But he never meddled.personally with
    the grocer's boy after that; though we must do him the
    justice to say he always spoke of Mr. Dobbin with con-
    tempt behind his back.
    Some time after this interview, it happened that Mr.
    Cuff, on a sunshiny afternoon, was in the neighbourhood
    of poor William Dobbin, who was lying under a tree in
    the playground, spelling over a favourite copy of the
    Arabian Nights which he had apart from the rest of the
    school, who were pursuing their various sports--quite
    lonely, and almost happy.  If people would but leave
    children to themselves; if teachers would cease to bully
    them; if parents would not insist upon directing their
    thoughts, and dominating their feelings--those feelings
    and thoughts which are a mystery to all (for how much
    do you and I know of each other, of our children, of our
    fathers, of our neighbour, and how far more beautiful and
    sacred are the thoughts of the poor lad or girl whom you
    govern likely to be, than those of the dull and world-
    corrupted person who rules him?)--if, I say, parents and
    masters would leave their children alone a little more,
    small harm would accrue, although a less quantity of
    as in praesenti might be acquired.
    Well, William Dobbin had for once forgotten the world,
    and was away with Sindbad the Sailor in the Valley of
    Diamonds, or with Prince Ahmed and the Fairy Peribanou
    in that delightful cavern where the Prince found her, and
    whither we should all like to make a tour; when shrill
    cries, as of a little fellow weeping, woke up his pleasant
    reverie; and looking up, he saw Cuff before him,
    belabouring a little boy.
    It was the lad who had peached upon him about the
    grocer's cart; but he bore little malice, not at least
    towards the young and small.  "How dare you, sir, break
    the bottle?" says Cuff to the little urchin, swinging a
    yellow cricket-stump over him.
    The boy had been instructed to get over the playground
    wall (at a selected spot where the broken glass had been
    removed from the top, and niches made convenient in
    the brick); to run a quarter of a mile; to purchase a pint
    of rum-shrub on credit; to brave all the Doctor's outlying
    spies, and to clamber back into the playground again;
    during the performance of which feat, his foot had slipt,
    and the bottle was broken, and the shrub had been spilt,
    and his pantaloons had been damaged, and he appeared
    before his employer a perfectly guilty and trembling,
    though harmless, wretch.
    "How dare you, sir, break it?" says Cuff; "you blundering
    little thief.  You drank the shrub, and now you pretend
    to have broken the bottle.  Hold out your hand, sir."
    Down came the stump with a great heavy thump on
    the child's hand.  A moan followed.  Dobbin looked up.
    The Fairy Peribanou had fled into the inmost cavern
    with Prince Ahmed: the Roc had whisked away Sindbad
    the Sailor out of the Valley of Diamonds out of sight, far
    into the clouds: and there was everyday life before
    honest William; and a big boy beating a little one
    without cause.
    "Hold out your other hand, sir," roars Cuff to his little
    schoolfellow, whose face was distorted with pain.
    Dobbin quivered, and gathered himself up in his narrow old
    "Take that, you little devil!" cried Mr. Cuff, and down
    came the wicket again on the child's hand.--Don't be
    horrified, ladies, every boy at a public school has done it.
    Your children will so do and be done by, in all
    probability.  Down came the wicket again; and Dobbin
    started up.
    I can't tell what his motive was.  Torture in a public
    school is as much licensed as the knout in Russia.  It
    would be ungentlemanlike (in a manner) to resist it.
    Perhaps Dobbin's foolish soul revolted against that exercise
    of tyranny; or perhaps he had a hankering feeling of
    revenge in his mind, and longed to measure himself
    against that splendid bully and tyrant, who had all the
    glory, pride, pomp, circumstance, banners flying, drums
    beating, guards saluting, in the place.  Whatever may have
    been his incentive, however, up he sprang, and screamed
    out, "Hold off, Cuff; don't bully that child any more; or
    "Or you'll what?" Cuff asked in amazement at this
    interruption.  "Hold out your hand, you little beast."
    "I'll give you the worst thrashing you ever had in your
    life," Dobbin said, in reply to the first part of Cuff's
    sentence; and little Osborne, gasping and in tears, looked
    up with wonder and incredulity at seeing this amazing
    champion put up suddenly to defend him: while Cuff's
    astonishment was scarcely less.  Fancy our late monarch
    George III when he heard of the revolt of the North
    American colonies: fancy brazen Goliath when little
    David stepped forward and claimed a meeting; and you
    have the feelings of Mr. Reginald Cuff when this
    rencontre was proposed to him.
    "After school," says he, of course; after a pause and a
    look, as much as to say, "Make your will, and
    communicate your last wishes to your friends
    between this time and that."
    "As you please," Dobbin said.  "You must be my bottle
    holder, Osborne."
    "Well, if you like," little Osborne replied; for you see
    his papa kept a carriage, and he was rather ashamed of
    his champion.
    Yes, when the hour of battle came, he was almost
    ashamed to say, "Go it, Figs"; and not a single other boy
    in the place uttered that cry for the first two or three
    rounds of this famous combat; at the commencement of
    which the scientific Cuff, with a contemptuous smile on
    his face, and as light and as gay as if he was at a ball,
    planted his blows upon his adversary, and floored that
    unlucky champion three times running.  At each fall there
    was a cheer; and everybody was anxious to have the
    honour of offering the conqueror a knee.
    "What a licking I shall get when it's over," young
    Osborne thought, picking up his man.  "You'd best give in,"
    he said to Dobbin; "it's only a thrashing, Figs, and you
    know I'm used to it." But Figs, all whose limbs were in a
    quiver, and whose nostrils were breathing rage, put his
    little bottle-holder aside, and went in for a fourth time.
    As he did not in the least know how to parry the blows
    that were aimed at himself, and Cuff had begun the
    attack on the three preceding occasions, without ever
    allowing his enemy to strike, Figs now determined that he
    would commence the engagement by a charge on his own
    part; and accordingly, being a left-handed man, brought
    that arm into action, and hit out a couple of times with
    all his might--once at Mr. Cuff's left eye, and once on his
    beautiful Roman nose.
    Cuff went down this time, to the astonishment of the
    assembly.  "Well hit, by Jove," says little Osborne, with
    the air of a connoisseur, clapping his man on the back.
    "Give it him with the left, Figs my boy."
    Figs's left made terrific play during all the rest of the
    combat.  Cuff went down every time.  At the sixth round,
    there were almost as many fellows shouting out, "Go it,
    Figs," as there were youths exclaiming, "Go it, Cuff." At
    the twelfth round the latter champion was all abroad, as
    the saying is, and had lost all presence of mind and power
    of attack or defence.  Figs, on the contrary, was as calm
    as a quaker.  His face being quite pale, his eyes shining
    open, and a great cut on his underlip bleeding profusely,
    gave this young fellow a fierce and ghastly air, which
    perhaps struck terror into many spectators.  Nevertheless,
    his intrepid adversary prepared to close for the
    thirteenth time.
    If I had the pen of a Napier, or a Bell's Life, I should
    like to describe this combat properly.  It was the last
    charge of the Guard--(that is, it would have been, only
    Waterloo had not yet taken place)--it was Ney's column
    breasting the hill of La Haye Sainte, bristling with ten
    thousand bayonets, and crowned with twenty eagles--it
    was the shout of the beef-eating British, as leaping down
    the hill they rushed to hug the enemy in the savage arms
    of battle--in other words, Cuff coming up full of pluck,
    but quite reeling and groggy, the Fig-merchant put in his
    left as usual on his adversary's nose, and sent him down
    for the last time.
    "I think that will do for him," Figs said, as his opponent
    dropped as neatly on the green as I have seen Jack
    Spot's ball plump into the pocket at billiards; and the
    fact is, when time was called, Mr. Reginald Cuff was not
    able, or did not choose, to stand up again.
    And now all the boys set up such a shout for Figs as
    would have made you think he had been their darling
    champion through the whole battle; and as absolutely
    brought Dr. Swishtail out of his study, curious to know
    the cause of the uproar.  He threatened to flog Figs
    violently, of course; but Cuff, who had come to himself
    by this time, and was washing his wounds, stood up and
    said, "It's my fault, sir--not Figs'--not Dobbin's.  I was
    bullying a little boy; and he served me right." By which
    magnanimous speech he not only saved his conqueror a
    whipping, but got back all his ascendancy over the boys
    which his defeat had nearly cost him.
    Young Osborne wrote home to his parents an account
    of the transaction.
    Sugarcane House, Richmond, March, 18--
    DEAR MAMA,--I hope you are quite well.  I should be
    much obliged to you to send me a cake and five shillings.
    There has been a fight here between Cuff & Dobbin.
    Cuff, you know, was the Cock of the School.  They
    fought thirteen rounds, and Dobbin Licked.  So Cuff is
    now Only Second Cock.  The fight was about me.  Cuff
    was licking me for breaking a bottle of milk, and Figs
    wouldn't stand it.  We call him Figs because his father is
    a Grocer--Figs & Rudge, Thames St., City--I think as
    he fought for me you ought to buy your Tea & Sugar
    at his father's.  Cuff goes home every Saturday, but can't
    this, because he has 2 Black Eyes.  He has a white Pony
    to come and fetch him, and a groom in livery on a bay
    mare.  I wish my Papa would let me have a Pony, and I
    Your dutiful Son,
      P.S.--Give my love to little Emmy.  I am cutting her
    out a Coach in cardboard.  Please not a seed-cake, but a
    In consequence of Dobbin's victory, his character rose
    prodigiously in the estimation of all his schoolfellows, and
    the name of Figs, which had been a byword of reproach,
    became as respectable and popular a nickname as any
    other in use in the school.  "After all, it's not his fault
    that his father's a grocer," George Osborne said, who,
    though a little chap, had a very high popularity among
    the Swishtail youth; and his opinion was received with
    great applause.  It was voted low to sneer at Dobbin
    about this accident of birth.  "Old Figs" grew to be a
    name of kindness and endearment; and the sneak of an
    usher jeered at him no longer.
    And Dobbin's spirit rose with his altered circumstances.
    He made wonderful advances in scholastic learning.  The
    superb Cuff himself, at whose condescension Dobbin
    could only blush and wonder, helped him on with his
    Latin verses; "coached" him in play-hours: carried him
    triumphantly out of the little-boy class into the middle-
    sized form; and even there got a fair place for him.  It
    was discovered, that although dull at classical learning,
    at mathematics he was uncommonly quick.  To the
    contentment of all he passed third in algebra, and got a
    French prize-book at the public Midsummer examination.
    You should have seen his mother's face when Telemaque
    (that delicious romance) was presented to him by
    the Doctor in the face of the whole school and the parents
    and company, with an inscription to Gulielmo Dobbin.  All
    the boys clapped hands in token of applause and
    sympathy.  His blushes, his stumbles, his awkwardness, and
    the number of feet which he crushed as he went back to
    his place, who shall describe or calculate? Old Dobbin, his
    father, who now respected him for the first time, gave
    him two guineas publicly; most of which he spent in a
    general tuck-out for the school: and he came back in a
    tail-coat after the holidays.
    Dobbin was much too modest a young fellow to
    suppose that this happy change in all his circumstances
    arose from his own generous and manly disposition: he
    chose, from some perverseness, to attribute his good
    fortune to the sole agency and benevolence of little George
    Osborne, to whom henceforth he vowed such a love and
    affection as is only felt by children--such an affection, as
    we read in the charming fairy-book, uncouth Orson had
    for splendid young Valentine his conqueror.  He flung
    himself down at little Osborne's feet, and loved him.
    Even before they were acquainted, he had admired
    Osborne in secret.  Now he was his valet, his dog, his man
    Friday.  He believed Osborne to be the possessor of
    every perfection, to be the handsomest, the bravest, the
    most active, the cleverest, the most generous of created
    boys.  He shared his money with him: bought him
    uncountable presents of knives, pencil-cases, gold seals,
    toffee, Little Warblers, and romantic books, with large
    coloured pictures of knights and robbers, in many of which
    latter you might read inscriptions to George Sedley
    Osborne, Esquire, from his attached friend William Dobbin
    --the which tokens of homage George received very
    graciously, as became his superior merit.
    So that Lieutenant Osborne, when coming to Russell
    Square on the day of the Vauxhall party, said to the
    ladies, "Mrs. Sedley, Ma'am, I hope you have room; I've
    asked Dobbin of ours to come and dine here, and go with
    us to Vauxhall.  He's almost as modest as Jos."
    "Modesty! pooh," said the stout gentleman, casting a
    vainqueur look at Miss Sharp.
    "He is--but you are incomparably more graceful,
    Sedley," Osborne added, laughing.  "I met him at the
    Bedford, when I went to look for you; and I told him that
    Miss Amelia was come home, and that we were all bent
    on going out for a night's pleasuring; and that Mrs. Sedley
    had forgiven his breaking the punch-bowl at the child's
    party.  Don't you remember the catastrophe, Ma'am, seven
    years ago?"
    "Over Mrs. Flamingo's crimson silk gown," said good-
    natured Mrs. Sedley.  "What a gawky it was! And his
    sisters are not much more graceful.  Lady Dobbin was at
    Highbury last night with three of them.  Such figures! my
    "The Alderman's very rich, isn't he?" Osborne said
    archly.  "Don't you think one of the daughters would be a
    good spec for me, Ma'am?"
    "You foolish creature! Who would take you, I should
    like to know, with your yellow face?"
    "Mine a yellow face? Stop till you see Dobbin.  Why, he
    had the yellow fever three times; twice at Nassau, and
    once at St. Kitts."
    "Well, well; yours is quite yellow enough for us.  Isn't
    it, Emmy?" Mrs. Sedley said: at which speech Miss
    Amelia only made a smile and a blush; and looking at Mr.
    George Osborne's pale interesting countenance, and those
    beautiful black, curling, shining whiskers, which the young
    gentleman himself regarded with no ordinary
    complacency, she thought in her little heart that in
    His Majesty's army, or in the wide world, there never
    was such a face or such a hero.  "I don't care about Captain
    Dobbin's complexion," she said, "or about his awkwardness.
    I shall always like him, I know," her little reason being,
    that he was the friend and champion of George.
    "There's not a finer fellow in the service," Osborne
    said, "nor a better officer, though he is not an Adonis,
    certainly." And he looked towards the glass himself with
    much naivete; and in so doing, caught Miss Sharp's eye
    fixed keenly upon him, at which he blushed a little, and
    Rebecca thought in her heart, "Ah, mon beau Monsieur!
    I think I have YOUR gauge"--the little artful minx!
    That evening, when Amelia came tripping into the
    drawing-room in a white muslin frock, prepared for
    conquest at Vauxhall, singing like a lark, and as fresh as a
    rose--a very tall ungainly gentleman, with large hands
    and feet, and large ears, set off by a closely cropped head
    of black hair, and in the hideous military frogged coat
    and cocked hat of those times, advanced to meet her, and
    made her one of the clumsiest bows that was ever
    performed by a mortal.
    This was no other than Captain William Dobbin, of
    His Majesty's Regiment of Foot, returned from
    yellow fever, in the West Indies, to which the fortune
    of the service had ordered his regiment, whilst so many
    of his gallant comrades were reaping glory in the Peninsula.
    He had arrived with a knock so very timid and quiet
    that it was inaudible to the ladies upstairs: otherwise, you
    may be sure Miss Amelia would never have been so bold
    as to come singing into the room.  As it was, the sweet
    fresh little voice went right into the Captain's heart, and
    nestled there.  When she held out her hand for him to
    shake, before he enveloped it in his own, he paused, and
    thought--"Well, is it possible--are you the little maid I
    remember in the pink frock, such a short time ago--the
    night I upset the punch-bowl, just after I was gazetted?
    Are you the little girl that George Osborne said should
    marry him?  What a blooming young creature you seem,
    and what a prize the rogue has got!" All this he thought,
    before he took Amelia's hand into his own, and as he let
    his cocked hat fall.
    His history since he left school, until the very moment
    when we have the pleasure of meeting him again, although
    not fully narrated, has yet, I think, been indicated
    sufficiently for an ingenious reader by the conversation
    in the last page.  Dobbin, the despised grocer, was Alderman
    Dobbin--Alderman Dobbin was Colonel of the City Light
    Horse, then burning with military ardour to resist the
    French Invasion.  Colonel Dobbin's corps, in which old
    Mr. Osborne himself was but an indifferent corporal, had
    been reviewed by the Sovereign and the Duke of York;
    and the colonel and alderman had been knighted.  His
    son had entered the army: and young Osborne followed
    presently in the same regiment.  They had served in the
    West Indies and in Canada.  Their regiment had just come
    home, and the attachment of Dobbin to George Osborne
    was as warm and generous now as it had been when the
    two were schoolboys.
    So these worthy people sat down to dinner presently.
    They talked about war and glory, and Boney and Lord
    Wellington, and the last Gazette.  In those famous days
    every gazette had a victory in it, and the two gallant young
    men longed to see their own names in the glorious list,
    and cursed their unlucky fate to belong to a regiment
    which had been away from the chances of honour.  Miss
    Sharp kindled with this exciting talk, but Miss Sedley
    trembled and grew quite faint as she heard it.  Mr. Jos
    told several of his tiger-hunting stories, finished the one
    about Miss Cutler and Lance the surgeon; helped
    Rebecca to everything on the table, and himself gobbled
    and drank a great deal.
    He sprang to open the door for the ladies, when they
    retired, with the most killing grace--and coming back to
    the table, filled himself bumper after bumper of claret,
    which he swallowed with nervous rapidity.
    "He's priming himself," Osborne whispered to Dobbin,
    and at length the hour and the carriage arrived
    for Vauxhall.
    I know that the tune I am piping is a very mild
    one (although there are some terrific chapters
    coming presently), and must beg the good-natured
    reader to remember that we are only discoursing
    at present about a stockbroker's family in Russell
    Square, who are taking walks, or luncheon, or dinner,
    or talking and making love as people do in common life,
    and without a single passionate and wonderful
    incident to mark the progress of their loves.  The
    argument stands thus--Osborne, in love with Amelia,
    has asked an old friend to dinner and to Vauxhall--Jos
    Sedley is in love with Rebecca.  Will he marry her?
    That is the great subject now in hand.
    We might have treated this subject in the genteel, or in
    the romantic, or in the facetious manner.  Suppose we had
    laid the scene in Grosvenor Square, with the very same
    adventures--would not some people have listened?
    Suppose we had shown how Lord Joseph Sedley fell in love,
    and the Marquis of Osborne became attached to Lady
    Amelia, with the full consent of the Duke, her noble
    father: or instead of the supremely genteel, suppose we
    had resorted to the entirely low, and described what was
    going on in Mr. Sedley's kitchen--how black Sambo was
    in love with the cook (as indeed he was), and how he
    fought a battle with the coachman in her behalf; how the
    knife-boy was caught stealing a cold shoulder of mutton,
    and Miss Sedley's new femme de chambre refused to go
    to bed without a wax candle; such incidents might be
    made to provoke much delightful laughter, and be
    supposed to represent scenes of "life." Or if, on the contrary,
    we had taken a fancy for the terrible, and made the lover
    of the new femme de chambre a professional burglar, who
    bursts into the house with his band, slaughters black
    Sambo at the feet of his master, and carries off Amelia in
    her night-dress, not to be let loose again till the third
    volume, we should easily have constructed a tale of
    thrilling interest, through the fiery chapters of which the
    reader should hurry, panting.  But my readers must hope
    for no such romance, only a homely story, and must be
    content with a chapter about Vauxhall, which is so short
    that it scarce deserves to be called a chapter at all.  And
    yet it is a chapter, and a very important one too.  Are not
    there little chapters in everybody's life, that seem to be
    nothing, and yet affect all the rest of the history?
    Let us then step into the coach with the Russell Square
    party, and be off to the Gardens.  There is barely room
    between Jos and Miss Sharp, who are on the front seat.  Mr.
    Osborne sitting bodkin opposite, between Captain Dobbin
    and Amelia.
    Every soul in the coach agreed that on that night Jos
    would propose to make Rebecca Sharp Mrs. Sedley.  The
    parents at home had acquiesced in the arrangement,
    though, between ourselves, old Mr. Sedley had a feeling
    very much akin to contempt for his son.  He said he was
    vain, selfish, lazy, and effeminate.  He could not endure his
    airs as a man of fashion, and laughed heartily at his
    pompous braggadocio stories.  "I shall leave the fellow half
    my property," he said; "and he will have, besides, plenty
    of his own; but as I am perfectly sure that if you, and I,
    and his sister were to die to-morrow, he would say 'Good
    Gad!' and eat his dinner just as well as usual, I am not
    going to make myself anxious about him.  Let him marry
    whom he likes.  It's no affair of mine."
    Amelia, on the other hand, as became a young woman
    of her prudence and temperament, was quite enthusiastic
    for the match.  Once or twice Jos had been on the point
    of saying something very important to her, to which she
    was most willing to lend an ear, but the fat fellow could
    not be brought to unbosom himself of his great secret,
    and very much to his sister's disappointment he only rid
    himself of a large sigh and turned away.
    This mystery served to keep Amelia's gentle bosom in a
    perpetual flutter of excitement.  If she did not speak with
    Rebecca on the tender subject, she compensated herself
    with long and intimate conversations with Mrs. Blenkinsop,
    the housekeeper, who dropped some hints to the
    lady's-maid, who may have cursorily mentioned the matter
    to the cook, who carried the news, I have no doubt, to all
    the tradesmen, so that Mr. Jos's marriage was now talked
    of by a very considerable number of persons in the
    Russell Square world.
    It was, of course, Mrs. Sedley's opinion that her son
    would demean himself by a marriage with an artist's
    daughter.  "But, lor', Ma'am," ejaculated Mrs. Blenkinsop,
    "we was only grocers when we married Mr. S., who
    was a stock-broker's clerk, and we hadn't five hundred
    pounds among us, and we're rich enough now." And
    Amelia was entirely of this opinion, to which, gradually,
    the good-natured Mrs. Sedley was brought.
    Mr. Sedley was neutral.  "Let Jos marry whom he likes,"
    he said; "it's no affair of mine.  This girl has no fortune;
    no more had Mrs. Sedley.  She seems good-humoured and
    clever, and will keep him in order, perhaps.  Better she,
    my dear, than a black Mrs. Sedley, and a dozen of
    mahogany grandchildren."
    So that everything seemed to smile upon Rebecca's
    fortunes.  She took Jos's arm, as a matter of course, on going
    to dinner; she had sate by him on the box of his open
    carriage (a most tremendous "buck" he was, as he sat
    there, serene, in state, driving his greys), and though
    nobody said a word on the subject of the marriage,
    everybody seemed to understand it.  All she wanted was
    the proposal, and ah! how Rebecca now felt the want of a
    mother!--a dear, tender mother, who would have managed
    the business in ten minutes, and, in the course of a little
    delicate confidential conversation, would have extracted
    the interesting avowal from the bashful lips of the young
    Such was the state of affairs as the carriage crossed
    Westminster bridge.
    The party was landed at the Royal Gardens in due time.
    As the majestic Jos stepped out of the creaking vehicle
    the crowd gave a cheer for the fat gentleman, who blushed
    and looked very big and mighty, as he walked away with
    Rebecca under his arm.  George, of course, took charge of
    Amelia.  She looked as happy as a rose-tree in sunshine.
    "I say, Dobbin," says George, "just look to the shawls
    and things, there's a good fellow." And so while he paired
    off with Miss Sedley, and Jos squeezed through the gate
    into the gardens with Rebecca at his side, honest Dobbin
    contented himself by giving an arm to the shawls, and by
    paying at the door for the whole party.
    He walked very modestly behind them.  He was not
    willing to spoil sport.  About Rebecca and Jos he did not
    care a fig.  But he thought Amelia worthy even of the
    brilliant George Osborne, and as he saw that good-looking
    couple threading the walks to the girl's delight and
    wonder, he watched her artless happiness with a sort of
    fatherly pleasure.  Perhaps he felt that he would have liked
    to have something on his own arm besides a shawl (the
    people laughed at seeing the gawky young officer carrying
    this female burthen); but William Dobbin was very little
    addicted to selfish calculation at all; and so long as his
    friend was enjoying himself, how should he be discontented?
    And the truth is, that of all the delights of the
    Gardens; of the hundred thousand extra lamps, which
    were always lighted; the fiddlers in cocked hats, who
    played ravishing melodies under the gilded cockle-shell in
    the midst of the gardens; the singers, both of comic and
    sentimental ballads, who charmed the ears there; the
    country dances, formed by bouncing cockneys and
    cockneyesses, and executed amidst jumping, thumping and
    laughter; the signal which announced that Madame Saqui
    was about to mount skyward on a slack-rope ascending
    to the stars; the hermit that always sat in the illuminated
    hermitage; the dark walks, so favourable to the interviews
    of young lovers; the pots of stout handed about by the
    people in the shabby old liveries; and the twinkling boxes,
    in which the happy feasters made-believe to eat slices of
    almost invisible ham--of all these things, and of the
    gentle Simpson, that kind smiling idiot, who, I daresay,
    presided even then over the place--Captain William Dobbin
    did not take the slightest notice.
    He carried about Amelia's white cashmere shawl, and
    having attended under the gilt cockle-shell, while Mrs.
    Salmon performed the Battle of Borodino (a savage
    cantata against the Corsican upstart, who had lately met
    with his Russian reverses)--Mr. Dobbin tried to hum it
    as he walked away, and found he was humming--the tune
    which Amelia Sedley sang on the stairs, as she came
    down to dinner.
    He burst out laughing at himself; for the truth is, he
    could sing no better than an owl.
    It is to be understood, as a matter of course, that our
    young people, being in parties of two and two, made the
    most solemn promises to keep together during the evening,
    and separated in ten minutes afterwards.  Parties at
    Vauxhall always did separate, but 'twas only to meet
    again at supper-time, when they could talk of their mutual
    adventures in the interval.
    What were the adventures of Mr. Osborne and Miss
    Amelia? That is a secret.  But be sure of this--they were
    perfectly happy, and correct in their behaviour; and as
    they had been in the habit of being together any time these
    fifteen years, their tete-a-tete offered no particular
    But when Miss Rebecca Sharp and her stout companion
    lost themselves in a solitary walk, in which there were not
    above five score more of couples similarly straying, they
    both felt that the situation was extremely tender and
    critical, and now or never was the moment Miss Sharp
    thought, to provoke that declaration which was trembling
    on the timid lips of Mr. Sedley.  They had previously been
    to the panorama of Moscow, where a rude fellow, treading
    on Miss Sharp's foot, caused her to fall back with a little
    shriek into the arms of Mr. Sedley, and this little incident
    increased the tenderness and confidence of that gentleman
    to such a degree, that he told her several of his favourite
    Indian stories over again for, at least, the sixth time.
    "How I should like to see India!" said Rebecca.
    "SHOULD you?" said Joseph, with a most killing tenderness;
    and was no doubt about to follow up this artful
    interrogatory by a question still more tender (for he puffed
    and panted a great deal, and Rebecca's hand, which was
    placed near his heart, could count the feverish pulsations
    of that organ), when, oh, provoking! the bell rang for the
    fireworks, and, a great scuffling and running taking place,
    these interesting lovers were obliged to follow in the
    stream of people.
    Captain Dobbin had some thoughts of joining the party
    at supper: as, in truth, he found the Vauxhall
    amusements not particularly lively--but he paraded
    twice before the box where the now united couples were
    met, and nobody took any notice of him.  Covers were laid for
    four.  The mated pairs were prattling away quite happily,
    and Dobbin knew he was as clean forgotten as if he had
    never existed in this world.
    "I should only be de trop," said the Captain, looking at
    them rather wistfully.  "I'd best go and talk to the hermit,"
    --and so he strolled off out of the hum of men, and noise,
    and clatter of the banquet, into the dark walk, at the end
    of which lived that well-known pasteboard Solitary.  It
    wasn't very good fun for Dobbin--and, indeed, to be
    alone at Vauxhall, I have found, from my own experience,
    to be one of the most dismal sports ever entered into by a
    The two couples were perfectly happy then in their
    box: where the most delightful and intimate conversation
    took place.  Jos was in his glory, ordering about the waiters
    with great majesty.  He made the salad; and uncorked
    the Champagne; and carved the chickens; and ate and
    drank the greater part of the refreshments on the tables.
    Finally, he insisted upon having a bowl of rack punch;
    everybody had rack punch at Vauxhall.  "Waiter, rack
    That bowl of rack punch was the cause of all this
    history.  And why not a bowl of rack punch as well as any
    other cause? Was not a bowl of prussic acid the cause of
    Fair Rosamond's retiring from the world? Was not a bowl
    of wine the cause of the demise of Alexander the Great,
    or, at least, does not Dr. Lempriere say so?--so did this
    bowl of rack punch influence the fates of all the principal
    characters in this "Novel without a Hero," which we are
    now relating.  It influenced their life, although most of
    them did not taste a drop of it.
    The young ladies did not drink it; Osborne did not
    like it; and the consequence was that Jos, that fat
    gourmand, drank up the whole contents of the bowl;
    and the consequence of his drinking up the whole contents
    of the bowl was a liveliness which at first was astonishing,
    and then became almost painful; for he talked and laughed so
    loud as to bring scores of listeners round the box, much
    to the confusion of the innocent party within it; and,
    volunteering to sing a song (which he did in that maudlin
    high key peculiar to gentlemen in an inebriated state), he
    almost drew away the audience who were gathered round
    the musicians in the gilt scollop-shell, and received from
    his hearers a great deal of applause.
    "Brayvo, Fat un!" said one; "Angcore, Daniel Lambert!"
    said another; "What a figure for the tight-rope!"
    exclaimed another wag, to the inexpressible alarm of
    the ladies, and the great anger of Mr. Osborne.
    "For Heaven's sake, Jos, let us get up and go," cried
    that gentleman, and the young women rose.
    "Stop, my dearest diddle-diddle-darling," shouted Jos,
    now as bold as a lion, and clasping Miss Rebecca round
    the waist.  Rebecca started, but she could not get away her
    hand.  The laughter outside redoubled.  Jos continued to
    drink, to make love, and to sing; and, winking and waving
    his glass gracefully to his audience, challenged all or any
    to come in and take a share of his punch.
    Mr. Osborne was just on the point of knocking down a
    gentleman in top-boots, who proposed to take advantage
    of this invitation, and a commotion seemed to be
    inevitable, when by the greatest good luck a gentleman
    of the name of Dobbin, who had been walking about the
    gardens, stepped up to the box.  "Be off, you fools!" said
    this gentleman--shouldering off a great number of the crowd,
    who vanished presently before his cocked hat and fierce
    appearance--and he entered the box in a most agitated state.
    "Good Heavens! Dobbin, where have you been?" 0sborne
    said, seizing the white cashmere shawl from his
    friend's arm, and huddling up Amelia in it.--"Make
    yourself useful, and take charge of Jos here, whilst I
    take the ladies to the carriage."
    Jos was for rising to interfere--but a single push from
    Osborne's finger sent him puffing back into his seat again,
    and the lieutenant was enabled to remove the ladies in
    safety.  Jos kissed his hand to them as they retreated, and
    hiccupped out "Bless you! Bless you!" Then, seizing
    Captain Dobbin's hand, and weeping in the most pitiful way,
    he confided to that gentleman the secret of his loves.  He
    adored that girl who had just gone out; he had broken
    her heart, he knew he had, by his conduct; he would marry
    her next morning at St. George's, Hanover Square; he'd
    knock up the Archbishop of Canterbury at Lambeth: he
    would, by Jove! and have him in readiness; and, acting on
    this hint, Captain Dobbin shrewdly induced him to leave
    the gardens and hasten to Lambeth Palace, and, when once
    out of the gates, easily conveyed Mr. Jos Sedley into a
    hackney-coach, which deposited him safely at his lodgings.
    George Osborne conducted the girls home in safety:
    and when the door was closed upon them, and as he
    walked across Russell Square, laughed so as to astonish
    the watchman.  Amelia looked very ruefully at her friend,
    as they went up stairs, and kissed her, and went to bed
    without any more talking.
    "He must propose to-morrow," thought Rebecca.  "He
    called me his soul's darling, four times; he squeezed my
    hand in Amelia's presence.  He must propose to-morrow."
    And so thought Amelia, too.  And I dare say she thought
    of the dress she was to wear as bridesmaid, and of the
    presents which she should make to her nice little sister-in-
    law, and of a subsequent ceremony in which she herself
    might play a principal part, &c., and &c., and &c., and &c.
    Oh, ignorant young creatures! How little do you know
    the effect of rack punch! What is the rack in the punch,
    at night, to the rack in the head of a morning? To this
    truth I can vouch as a man; there is no headache in the
    world like that caused by Vauxhall punch.  Through the
    lapse of twenty years, I can remember the consequence
    of two glasses! two wine-glasses! but two, upon the
    honour of a gentleman; and Joseph Sedley, who had a
    liver complaint, had swallowed at least a quart of the
    abominable mixture.
    That next morning, which Rebecca thought was to
    dawn upon her fortune, found Sedley groaning in agonies
    which the pen refuses to describe.  Soda-water was not
    invented yet.  Small beer--will it be believed!--was the
    only drink with which unhappy gentlemen soothed the
    fever of their previous night's potation.  With this mild
    beverage before him, George Osborne found the ex-
    Collector of Boggley Wollah groaning on the sofa at
    his lodgings.  Dobbin was already in the room, good-
    naturedly tending his patient of the night before.  The two
    officers, looking at the prostrate Bacchanalian, and
    askance at each other, exchanged the most frightful
    sympathetic grins.  Even Sedley's valet, the most solemn
    and correct of gentlemen, with the muteness and gravity of
    an undertaker, could hardly keep his countenance in
    order, as he looked at his unfortunate master.
    "Mr. Sedley was uncommon wild last night, sir," he
    whispered in confidence to Osborne, as the latter mounted
    the stair.  "He wanted to fight the 'ackney-coachman, sir.
    The Capting was obliged to bring him upstairs in his
    harms like a babby." A momentary smile flickered over
    Mr. Brush's features as he spoke; instantly, however, they
    relapsed into their usual unfathomable calm, as he flung
    open the drawing-room door, and announced "Mr.
    "How are you, Sedley?" that young wag began, after
    surveying his victim.  "No bones broke? There's a
    hackney-coachman downstairs with a black eye, and a
    tied-up head, vowing he'll have the law of you."
    "What do you mean--law?" Sedley faintly asked.
    "For thrashing him last night--didn't he, Dobbin? You
    hit out, sir, like Molyneux.  The watchman says he never
    saw a fellow go down so straight.  Ask Dobbin."
    "You DID have a round with the coachman," Captain
    Dobbin said, "and showed plenty of fight too."
    "And that fellow with the white coat at Vauxhall! How
    Jos drove at him! How the women screamed! By Jove,
    sir, it did my heart good to see you.  I thought you civilians
    had no pluck; but I'll never get in your way when you
    are in your cups, Jos."
    "I believe I'm very terrible, when I'm roused,"
    ejaculated Jos from the sofa, and made a grimace so
    dreary and ludicrous, that the Captain's politeness could
    restrain him no longer, and he and Osborne fired off a
    ringing volley of laughter.
    Osborne pursued his advantage pitilessly.  He thought
    Jos a milksop.  He had been revolving in his mind the
    marriage question pending between Jos and Rebecca, and
    was not over well pleased that a member of a family into
    which he, George Osborne, of the --th, was going
    to marry, should make a mesalliance with a little nobody
    --a little upstart governess.  "You hit, you poor old
    fellow!" said Osborne.  "You terrible! Why, man, you
    couldn't stand--you made everybody laugh in the
    Gardens, though you were crying yourself.  You were
    maudlin, Jos.  Don't you remember singing a song?"
    "A what?" Jos asked.
    "A sentimental song, and calling Rosa, Rebecca, what's
    her name, Amelia's little friend--your dearest diddle-
    diddle-darling?" And this ruthless young fellow, seizing
    hold of Dobbin's hand, acted over the scene, to the horror
    of the original performer, and in spite of Dobbin's good-
    natured entreaties to him to have mercy.
    "Why should I spare him?" Osborne said to his friend's
    remonstrances, when they quitted the invalid, leaving him
    under the hands of Doctor Gollop.  "What the deuce right
    has he to give himself his patronizing airs, and make fools
    of us at Vauxhall? Who's this little schoolgirl that is
    ogling and making love to him? Hang it, the family's
    low enough already, without HER.  A governess is all very
    well, but I'd rather have a lady for my sister-in-law.  I'm
    a liberal man; but I've proper pride, and know my own
    station: let her know hers.  And I'll take down that great
    hectoring Nabob, and prevent him from being made a
    greater fool than he is.  That's why I told him to look out,
    lest she brought an action against him."
    "I suppose you know best," Dobbin said, though rather
    dubiously.  "You always were a Tory, and your family's
    one of the oldest in England.  But --"
    "Come and see the girls, and make love to Miss Sharp
    yourself," the lieutenant here interrupted his friend; but
    Captain Dobbin declined to join Osborne in his daily visit
    to the young ladies in Russell Square.
    As George walked down Southampton Row, from
    Holborn, he laughed as he saw, at the Sedley Mansion,
    in two different stories two heads on the look-out.
    The fact is, Miss Amelia, in the drawing-room balcony,
    was looking very eagerly towards the opposite side of the
    Square, where Mr. Osborne dwelt, on the watch for the
    lieutenant himself; and Miss Sharp, from her little bed-
    room on the second floor, was in observation until Mr.
    Joseph's great form should heave in sight.
    "Sister Anne is on the watch-tower," said he to Amelia,
    "but there's nobody coming"; and laughing and enjoying
    the joke hugely, he described in the most ludicrous terms
    to Miss Sedley, the dismal condition of her brother.
    "I think it's very cruel of you to laugh, George," she
    said, looking particularly unhappy; but George only
    laughed the more at her piteous and discomfited mien,
    persisted in thinking the joke a most diverting one, and
    when Miss Sharp came downstairs, bantered her with a
    great deal of liveliness upon the effect of her charms on
    the fat civilian.
    "O Miss Sharp! if you could but see him this morning,"
    he said--"moaning in his flowered dressing-gown--
    writhing on his sofa; if you could but have seen him
    lolling out his tongue to Gollop the apothecary."
    "See whom?" said Miss Sharp.
    "Whom? O whom?  Captain Dobbin, of course, to whom
    we were all so attentive, by the way, last night."
    "We were very unkind to him," Emmy said, blushing
    very much.  "I--I quite forgot him."
    "Of course you did," cried Osborne, still on the laugh.
    "One can't be ALWAYS thinking about Dobbin, you know,
    Amelia.  Can one, Miss Sharp?"
    "Except when he overset the glass of wine at dinner,"
    Miss Sharp said, with a haughty air and a toss of the
    head, "I never gave the existence of Captain Dobbin one
    single moment's consideration."
    "Very good, Miss Sharp, I'll tell him," Osborne said;
    and as he spoke Miss Sharp began to have a feeling of
    distrust and hatred towards this young officer, which he
    was quite unconscious of having inspired.  "He is to make
    fun of me, is he?" thought Rebecca.  "Has he been
    laughing about me to Joseph?  Has he frightened him?
    Perhaps he won't come."--A film passed over her eyes,
    and her heart beat quite quick.
    "You're always joking," said she, smiling as innocently
    as she could.  "Joke away, Mr. George; there's nobody
    to defend ME." And George Osborne, as she walked away
    --and Amelia looked reprovingly at him--felt some little
    manly compunction for having inflicted any unnecessary
    unkindness upon this helpless creature.  "My dearest
    Amelia," said he, "you are too good--too kind.  You
    don't know the world.  I do.  And your little friend Miss
    Sharp must learn her station."
    "Don't you think Jos will--"
    "Upon my word, my dear, I don't know.  He may, or
    may not.  I'm not his master.  I only know he is a very
    foolish vain fellow, and put my dear little girl into a very
    painful and awkward position last night.  My dearest
    diddle-diddle-darling!" He was off laughing again, and he
    did it so drolly that Emmy laughed too.
    All that day Jos never came.  But Amelia had no fear
    about this; for the little schemer had actually sent away
    the page, Mr. Sambo's aide-de-camp, to Mr. Joseph's
    lodgings, to ask for some book he had promised, and how
    he was; and the reply through Jos's man, Mr. Brush, was,
    that his master was ill in bed, and had just had the doctor
    with him.  He must come to-morrow, she thought, but she
    never had the courage to speak a word on the subject
    to Rebecca; nor did that young woman herself allude
    to it in any way during the whole evening after the night
    at Vauxhall.
    The next day, however, as the two young ladies sate on
    the sofa, pretending to work, or to write letters, or to
    read novels, Sambo came into the room with his usual
    engaging grin, with a packet under his arm, and a note
    on a tray.  "Note from Mr. Jos, Miss," says Sambo.
    How Amelia trembled as she opened it!
    So it ran:
    Dear Amelia,--I send you the "Orphan of the Forest."
    I was too ill to come yesterday.  I leave town to-day
    for Cheltenham.  Pray excuse me, if you can, to the
    amiable Miss Sharp, for my conduct at Vauxhall, and
    entreat her to pardon and forget every word I may have
    uttered when excited by that fatal supper.  As soon as
    I have recovered, for my health is very much shaken, I
    shall go to Scotland for some months, and am
    Truly yours,
    Jos Sedley
    It was the death-warrant.  All was over.  Amelia did
    not dare to look at Rebecca's pale face and burning eyes,
    but she dropt the letter into her friend's lap; and got up,
    and went upstairs to her room, and cried her little heart
    Blenkinsop, the housekeeper, there sought her presently
    with consolation, on whose shoulder Amelia wept
    confidentially, and relieved herself a good deal.  "Don't take
    on, Miss.  I didn't like to tell you.  But none of us in the
    house have liked her except at fust.  I sor her with my
    own eyes reading your Ma's letters.  Pinner says she's
    always about your trinket-box and drawers, and
    everybody's drawers, and she's sure she's put your white
    ribbing into her box."
    "I gave it her, I gave it her," Amelia said.
    But this did not alter Mrs. Blenkinsop's opinion of Miss
    Sharp.  "I don't trust them governesses, Pinner," she
    remarked to the maid.  "They give themselves the hairs and
    hupstarts of ladies, and their wages is no better than
    you nor me."
    It now became clear to every soul in the house, except
    poor Amelia, that Rebecca should take her departure,
    and high and low (always with the one exception) agreed
    that that event should take place as speedily as possible.
    Our good child ransacked all her drawers, cupboards,
    reticules, and gimcrack boxes--passed in review all her
    gowns, fichus, tags, bobbins, laces, silk stockings, and
    fallals--selecting this thing and that and the other, to
    make a little heap for Rebecca.  And going to her Papa,
    that generous British merchant, who had promised to
    give her as many guineas as she was years old--she
    begged the old gentleman to give the money to dear
    Rebecca, who must want it, while she lacked for nothing.
    She even made George Osborne contribute, and
    nothing loth (for he was as free-handed a young fellow
    as any in the army), he went to Bond Street, and bought
    the best hat and spenser that money could buy.
    "That's George's present to you, Rebecca, dear," said
    Amelia, quite proud of the bandbox conveying these
    gifts.  "What a taste he has! There's nobody like him."
    "Nobody," Rebecca answered.  "How thankful I am to
    him!" She was thinking in her heart, "It was George
    Osborne who prevented my marriage."--And she loved
    George Osborne accordingly.
    She made her preparations for departure with great
    equanimity; and accepted all the kind little Amelia's
    presents, after just the proper degree of hesitation and
    reluctance.  She vowed eternal gratitude to Mrs. Sedley,
    of course; but did not intrude herself upon that good
    lady too much, who was embarrassed, and evidently
    wishing to avoid her.  She kissed Mr. Sedley's hand, when
    he presented her with the purse; and asked permission to
    consider him for the future as her kind, kind friend and
    protector.  Her behaviour was so affecting that he was
    going to write her a cheque for twenty pounds more;
    but he restrained his feelings: the carriage was in waiting
    to take him to dinner, so he tripped away with a "God
    bless you, my dear, always come here when you come to
    town, you know.--Drive to the Mansion House, James."
    Finally came the parting with Miss Amelia, over which
    picture I intend to throw a veil.  But after a scene in
    which one person was in earnest and the other a perfect
    performer--after the tenderest caresses, the most pathetic
    tears, the smelling-bottle, and some of the very best
    feelings of the heart, had been called into requisition--
    Rebecca and Amelia parted, the former vowing to love
    her friend for ever and ever and ever.
    Crawley of Queen's Crawley
    Among the most respected of the names beginning in C
    which the Court-Guide contained, in the year 18--, was
    that of Crawley, Sir Pitt, Baronet, Great Gaunt Street,
    and Queen's Crawley, Hants.  This honourable name had
    figured constantly also in the Parliamentary list for many
    years, in conjunction with that of a number of other
    worthy gentlemen who sat in turns for the borough.
    It is related, with regard to the borough of Queen's
    Crawley, that Queen Elizabeth in one of her progresses,
    stopping at Crawley to breakfast, was so delighted with
    some remarkably fine Hampshire beer which was then
    presented to her by the Crawley of the day (a handsome
    gentleman with a trim beard and a good leg), that she
    forthwith erected Crawley into a borough to send two
    members to Parliament; and the place, from the day of
    that illustrious visit, took the name of Queen's Crawley,
    which it holds up to the present moment.  And though, by
    the lapse of time, and those mutations which age produces
    in empires, cities, and boroughs, Queen's Crawley was no
    longer so populous a place as it had been in Queen Bess's
    time--nay, was come down to that condition of borough
    which used to be denominated rotten--yet, as Sir Pitt
    Crawley would say with perfect justice in his elegant
    way, "Rotten! be hanged--it produces me a good fifteen
    hundred a year."
    Sir Pitt Crawley (named after the great Commoner)
    was the son of Walpole Crawley, first Baronet, of the
    Tape and Sealing-Wax Office in the reign of George II.,
    when he was impeached for peculation, as were a great
    number of other honest gentlemen of those days; and
    Walpole Crawley was, as need scarcely be said, son of
    John Churchill Crawley, named after the celebrated
    military commander of the reign of Queen Anne.  The family
    tree (which hangs up at Queen's Crawley) furthermore
    mentions Charles Stuart, afterwards called Barebones
    Crawley, son of the Crawley of James the First's time;
    and finally, Queen Elizabeth's Crawley, who is represented
    as the foreground of the picture in his forked beard and
    armour.  Out of his waistcoat, as usual, grows a tree, on
    the main branches of which the above illustrious names
    are inscribed.  Close by the name of Sir Pitt Crawley,
    Baronet (the subject of the present memoir), are written
    that of his brother, the Reverend Bute Crawley (the great
    Commoner was in disgrace when the reverend gentleman
    was born), rector of Crawley-cum-Snailby, and of various
    other male and female members of the Crawley family.
    Sir Pitt was first married to Grizzel, sixth daughter of
    Mungo Binkie, Lord Binkie, and cousin, in consequence,
    of Mr. Dundas.  She brought him two sons: Pitt, named
    not so much after his father as after the heaven-born
    minister; and Rawdon Crawley, from the Prince of
    Wales's friend, whom his Majesty George IV forgot so
    completely.  Many years after her ladyship's demise, Sir
    Pitt led to the altar Rosa, daughter of Mr. G. Dawson,
    of Mudbury, by whom he had two daughters, for whose
    benefit Miss Rebecca Sharp was now engaged as
    governess.  It will be seen that the young lady was come into a
    family of very genteel connexions, and was about to move
    in a much more distinguished circle than that humble one
    which she had just quitted in Russell Square.
    She had received her orders to join her pupils, in a
    note which was written upon an old envelope, and which
    contained the following words:
    Sir Pitt Crawley begs Miss Sharp and baggidge may be
    hear on Tuesday, as I leaf for Queen's Crawley to-morrow
    morning ERLY.
    Great Gaunt Street.
    Rebecca had never seen a Baronet, as far as she knew,
    and as soon as she had taken leave of Amelia, and
    counted the guineas which good-natured Mr. Sedley had
    put into a purse for her, and as soon as she had done
    wiping her eyes with her handkerchief (which operation
    she concluded the very moment the carriage had turned
    the corner of the street), she began to depict in her own
    mind what a Baronet must be.  "I wonder, does he wear
    a star?" thought she, "or is it only lords that wear stars?
    But he will be very handsomely dressed in a court suit,
    with ruffles, and his hair a little powdered, like Mr.
    Wroughton at Covent Garden.  I suppose he will be
    awfully proud, and that I shall be treated most
    contemptuously.  Still I must bear my hard lot as well
    as I can--at least, I shall be amongst GENTLEFOLKS, and
    not with vulgar city people": and she fell to thinking of
    her Russell Square friends with that very same philosophical
    bitterness with which, in a certain apologue, the fox is
    represented as speaking of the grapes.
    Having passed through Gaunt Square into Great Gaunt
    Street, the carriage at length stopped at a tall gloomy
    house between two other tall gloomy houses, each with a
    hatchment over the middle drawing-room window; as is
    the custom of houses in Great Gaunt Street, in which
    gloomy locality death seems to reign perpetual.  The
    shutters of the first-floor windows of Sir Pitt's mansion
    were closed--those of the dining-room were partially open,
    and the blinds neatly covered up in old newspapers.
    John, the groom, who had driven the carriage alone,
    did not care to descend to ring the bell; and so prayed a
    passing milk-boy to perform that office for him.  When the
    bell was rung, a head appeared between the interstices of
    the dining-room shutters, and the door was opened by a
    man in drab breeches and gaiters, with a dirty old coat,
    a foul old neckcloth lashed round his bristly neck, a
    shining bald head, a leering red face, a pair of twinkling grey
    eyes, and a mouth perpetually on the grin
    "This Sir Pitt Crawley's?" says John, from the box.
    "Ees," says the man at the door, with a nod.
    "Hand down these 'ere trunks then," said John.
    "Hand 'n down yourself," said the porter.
    "Don't you see I can't leave my hosses? Come, bear a
    hand, my fine feller, and Miss will give you some beer,"
    said John, with a horse-laugh, for he was no longer
    respectful to Miss Sharp, as her connexion with the family
    was broken off, and as she had given nothing to the
    servants on coming away.
    The bald-headed man, taking his hands out of his
    breeches pockets, advanced on this summons, and
    throwing Miss Sharp's trunk over his shoulder, carried it into
    the house.
    "Take this basket and shawl, if you please, and open
    the door," said Miss Sharp, and descended from the
    carriage in much indignation.  "I shall write to Mr. Sedley
    and inform him of your conduct," said she to the groom.
    "Don't," replied that functionary.  "I hope you've forgot
    nothink? Miss 'Melia's gownds--have you got them--as
    the lady's maid was to have 'ad? I hope they'll fit you.
    Shut the door, Jim, you'll get no good out of 'ER,"
    continued John, pointing with his thumb towards Miss Sharp:
    "a bad lot, I tell you, a bad lot," and so saying, Mr.
    Sedley's groom drove away.  The truth is, he was attached
    to the lady's maid in question, and indignant that she
    should have been robbed of her perquisites.
    On entering the dining-room, by the orders of the
    individual in gaiters, Rebecca found that apartment not
    more cheerful than such rooms usually are, when genteel
    families are out of town.  The faithful chambers seem, as
    it were, to mourn the absence of their masters.  The turkey
    carpet has rolled itself up, and retired sulkily under the
    sideboard: the pictures have hidden their faces behind old
    sheets of brown paper: the ceiling lamp is muffled up in a
    dismal sack of brown holland: the window-curtains have
    disappeared under all sorts of shabby envelopes: the
    marble bust of Sir Walpole Crawley is looking from its
    black corner at the bare boards and the oiled fire-irons,
    and the empty card-racks over the mantelpiece: the
    cellaret has lurked away behind the carpet: the chairs are
    turned up heads and tails along the walls: and in the
    dark corner opposite the statue, is an old-fashioned
    crabbed knife-box, locked and sitting on a dumb waiter.
    Two kitchen chairs, and a round table, and an
    attenuated old poker and tongs were, however, gathered
    round the fire-place, as was a saucepan over a feeble
    sputtering fire.  There was a bit of cheese and bread, and
    a tin candlestick on the table, and a little black porter
    in a pint-pot.
    "Had your dinner, I suppose? It is not too warm for
    you? Like a drop of beer?"
    "Where is Sir Pitt Crawley?" said Miss Sharp
    "He, he! I'm Sir Pitt Crawley.  Reklect you owe me a
    pint for bringing down your luggage.  He, he! Ask
    Tinker if I aynt.  Mrs. Tinker, Miss Sharp; Miss
    Governess, Mrs. Charwoman.  Ho, ho!"
    The lady addressed as Mrs. Tinker at this moment
    made her appearance with a pipe and a paper of tobacco,
    for which she had been despatched a minute before
    Miss Sharp's arrival; and she handed the articles over to
    Sir Pitt, who had taken his seat by the fire.
    "Where's the farden?" said he.  "I gave you three
    halfpence.  Where's the change, old Tinker?"
    "There!" replied Mrs. Tinker, flinging down the coin;
    it's only baronets as cares about farthings."
    "A farthing a day is seven shillings a year," answered
    the M.P.; "seven shillings a year is the interest of seven
    guineas.  Take care of your farthings, old Tinker, and your
    guineas will come quite nat'ral."
    "You may be sure it's Sir Pitt Crawley, young woman,"
    said Mrs. Tinker, surlily; "because he looks to his
    farthings.  You'll know him better afore long."
    "And like me none the worse, Miss Sharp," said the
    old gentleman, with an air almost of politeness.  "I must
    be just before I'm generous."
    "He never gave away a farthing in his life," growled
    "Never, and never will: it's against my principle.  Go
    and get another chair from the kitchen, Tinker, if you
    want to sit down; and then we'll have a bit of supper."
    Presently the baronet plunged a fork into the saucepan
    on the fire, and withdrew from the pot a piece of tripe
    and an onion, which he divided into pretty equal
    portions, and of which he partook with Mrs. Tinker.  "You
    see, Miss Sharp, when I'm not here Tinker's on board
    wages: when I'm in town she dines with the family.
    Haw! haw! I'm glad Miss Sharp's not hungry, ain't you,
    Tink?" And they fell to upon their frugal supper.
    After supper Sir Pitt Crawley began to smoke his
    pipe; and when it became quite dark, he lighted the
    rushlight in the tin candlestick, and producing from an
    interminable pocket a huge mass of papers, began reading
    them, and putting them in order.
    "I'm here on law business, my dear, and that's how it
    happens that I shall have the pleasure of such a pretty
    travelling companion to-morrow."
    "He's always at law business," said Mrs. Tinker,
    taking up the pot of porter.
    "Drink and drink about," said the Baronet.  "Yes; my
    dear, Tinker is quite right: I've lost and won more
    lawsuits than any man in England.  Look here at Crawley,
    Bart. v. Snaffle.  I'll throw him over, or my name's not
    Pitt Crawley.  Podder and another versus Crawley, Bart.
    Overseers of Snaily parish against Crawley, Bart.  They
    can't prove it's common: I'll defy 'em; the land's mine.
    It no more belongs to the parish than it does to you or
    Tinker here.  I'll beat 'em, if it cost me a thousand guineas.
    Look over the papers; you may if you like, my dear.
    Do you write a good hand? I'll make you useful when
    we're at Queen's Crawley, depend on it, Miss Sharp.
    Now the dowager's dead I want some one."
    "She was as bad as he," said Tinker.  "She took the
    law of every one of her tradesmen; and turned away
    forty-eight footmen in four year."
    "She was close--very close," said the Baronet, simply;
    "but she was a valyble woman to me, and saved me a
    steward."--And in this confidential strain, and much to
    the amusement of the new-comer, the conversation
    continued for a considerable time.  Whatever Sir Pitt
    Crawley's qualities might be, good or bad, he did not make
    the least disguise of them.  He talked of himself incessantly,
    sometimes in the coarsest and vulgarest Hampshire accent;
    sometimes adopting the tone of a man of the world.  And so,
    with injunctions to Miss Sharp to be ready at five in the
    morning, he bade her good night.  "You'll sleep with Tinker
    to-night," he said; "it's a big bed, and there's room for two.
    Lady Crawley died in it.  Good night."
    Sir Pitt went off after this benediction, and the solemn
    Tinker, rushlight in hand, led the way up the great
    bleak stone stairs, past the great dreary drawing-room
    doors, with the handles muffled up in paper, into the
    great front bedroom, where Lady Crawley had slept her
    last.  The bed and chamber were so funereal and gloomy,
    you might have fancied, not only that Lady Crawley died
    in the room, but that her ghost inhabited it.  Rebecca
    sprang about the apartment, however, with the greatest
    liveliness, and had peeped into the huge wardrobes, and
    the closets, and the cupboards, and tried the drawers
    which were locked, and examined the dreary pictures
    and toilette appointments, while the old charwoman
    was saying her prayers.  "I shouldn't like to sleep in this
    yeer bed without a good conscience, Miss," said the old
    woman.  "There's room for us and a half-dozen of ghosts
    in it," says Rebecca.  "Tell me all about Lady Crawley
    and Sir Pitt Crawley, and everybody, my DEAR Mrs.
    But old Tinker was not to be pumped by this little
    cross-questioner; and signifying to her that bed was a
    place for sleeping, not conversation, set up in her corner
    of the bed such a snore as only the nose of innocence
    can produce.  Rebecca lay awake for a long, long time,
    thinking of the morrow, and of the new world into which
    she was going, and of her chances of success there.  The
    rushlight flickered in the basin.  The mantelpiece cast up
    a great black shadow, over half of a mouldy old sampler,
    which her defunct ladyship had worked, no doubt, and
    over two little family pictures of young lads, one in a
    college gown, and the other in a red jacket like a soldier.
    When she went to sleep, Rebecca chose that one to
    dream about.
    At four o'clock, on such a roseate summer's morning
    as even made Great Gaunt Street look cheerful, the
    faithful Tinker, having wakened her bedfellow, and bid her
    prepare for departure, unbarred and unbolted the great
    hall door (the clanging and clapping whereof startled
    the sleeping echoes in the street), and taking her way
    into Oxford Street, summoned a coach from a stand
    there.  It is needless to particularize the number of the
    vehicle, or to state that the driver was stationed thus
    early in the neighbourhood of Swallow Street, in hopes
    that some young buck, reeling homeward from the tavern,
    might need the aid of his vehicle, and pay him with
    the generosity of intoxication.
    It is likewise needless to say that the driver, if he had
    any such hopes as those.above stated, was grossly
    disappointed; and that the worthy Baronet whom he drove
    to the City did not give him one single penny more than
    his fare.  It was in vain that Jehu appealed and stormed;
    that he flung down Miss Sharp's bandboxes in the gutter
    at the 'Necks, and swore he would take the law of his
    "You'd better not," said one of the ostlers; "it's Sir
    Pitt Crawley."
    "So it is, Joe," cried the Baronet, approvingly; "and
    I'd like to see the man can do me."
    "So should oi," said Joe, grinning sulkily, and
    mounting the Baronet's baggage on the roof of the coach.
    "Keep the box for me, Leader," exclaims the Member
    of Parliament to the coachman; who replied, "Yes,
    Sir Pitt," with a touch of his hat, and rage in his soul
    (for he had promised the box to a young gentleman
    from Cambridge, who would have given a crown to a
    certainty), and Miss Sharp was accommodated with a
    back seat inside the carriage, which might be said to be
    carrying her into the wide world.
    How the young man from Cambridge sulkily put his
    five great-coats in front; but was reconciled when little
    Miss Sharp was made to quit the carriage, and mount
    up beside him--when he covered her up in one of his
    Benjamins, and became perfectly good-humoured--how
    the asthmatic gentleman, the prim lady, who declared
    upon her sacred honour she had never travelled in a
    public carriage before (there is always such a lady in a
    coach--Alas! was; for the coaches, where are they?),
    and the fat widow with the brandy-bottle, took their
    places inside--how the porter asked them all for money,
    and got sixpence from the gentleman and five greasy
    halfpence from the fat widow--and how the carriage
    at length drove away--now threading the dark lanes of
    Aldersgate, anon clattering by the Blue Cupola of St.
    Paul's, jingling rapidly by the strangers' entry of Fleet-
    Market, which, with Exeter 'Change, has now departed
    to the world of shadows--how they passed the White
    Bear in Piccadilly, and saw the dew rising up from the
    market-gardens of Knightsbridge--how Turnhamgreen,
    Brentwood, Bagshot, were passed--need not be told here.
    But the writer of these pages, who has pursued in former
    days, and in the same bright weather, the same remarkable
    journey, cannot but think of it with a sweet and
    tender regret.  Where is the road now, and its merry
    incidents of life? Is there no Chelsea or Greenwich for
    the old honest pimple-nosed coachmen?  I wonder where
    are they, those good fellows? Is old Weller alive or dead?
    and the waiters, yea, and the inns at which they waited,
    and the cold rounds of beef inside, and the stunted ostler,
    with his blue nose and clinking pail, where is he, and
    where is his generation?  To those great geniuses now in
    petticoats, who shall write novels for the beloved reader's
    children, these men and things will be as much legend
    and history as Nineveh, or Coeur de Lion, or Jack
    Sheppard.  For them stage-coaches will have become romances
    --a team of four bays as fabulous as Bucephalus or Black
    Bess.  Ah, how their coats shone, as the stable-men pulled
    their clothes off, and away they went--ah, how their
    tails shook, as with smoking sides at the stage's end
    they demurely walked away into the inn-yard.  Alas!  we
    shall never hear the horn sing at midnight, or see the
    pike-gates fly open any more.  Whither, however, is the
    light four-inside Trafalgar coach carrying us? Let us be
    set down at Queen's Crawley without further divagation,
    and see how Miss Rebecca Sharp speeds there.
    Miss Rebecca Sharp to Miss Amelia Sedley,
    Russell Square, London.
    (Free.--Pitt Crawley.)
    With what mingled joy and sorrow do I take up the
    pen to write to my dearest friend!  Oh, what a change
    between to-day and yesterday! Now I am friendless and
    alone; yesterday I was at home, in the sweet company
    of a sister, whom I shall ever, ever cherish!
    I will not tell you in what tears and sadness I passed
    the fatal night in which I separated from you.  YOU went
    on Tuesday to joy and happiness, with your mother and
    YOUR DEVOTED YOUNG SOLDIER by your side; and I thought
    of you all night, dancing at the Perkins's, the prettiest,
    I am sure, of all the young ladies at the Ball.  I was
    brought by the groom in the old carriage to Sir Pitt
    Crawley's town house, where, after John the groom had
    behaved most rudely and insolently to me (alas! 'twas
    safe to insult poverty and misfortune!), I was given over
    to Sir P.'s care, and made to pass the night in an old
    gloomy bed, and by the side of a horrid gloomy old
    charwoman, who keeps the house.  I did not sleep one
    single wink the whole night.
    Sir Pitt is not what we silly girls, when we used to
    read Cecilia at Chiswick, imagined a baronet must have
    been.  Anything, indeed, less like Lord Orville cannot be
    imagined.  Fancy an old, stumpy, short, vulgar, and very
    dirty man, in old clothes and shabby old gaiters, who
    smokes a horrid pipe, and cooks his own horrid supper
    in a saucepan.  He speaks with a country accent, and
    swore a great deal at the old charwoman, at the hackney
    coachman who drove us to the inn where the coach went
    from, and on which I made the journey OUTSIDE FOR THE
    I was awakened at daybreak by the charwoman, and
    having arrived at the inn, was at first placed inside the
    coach.  But, when we got to a place called Leakington,
    where the rain began to fall very heavily--will you
    believe it?--I was forced to come outside; for Sir Pitt is a
    proprietor of the coach, and as a passenger came at
    Mudbury, who wanted an inside place, I was obliged to
    go outside in the rain, where, however, a young
    gentleman from Cambridge College sheltered me very
    kindly in one of his several great coats.
    This gentleman and the guard seemed to know Sir
    Pitt very well, and laughed at him a great deal.  They
    both agreed in calling him an old screw; which means a
    very stingy, avaricious person.  He never gives any money
    to anybody, they said (and this meanness I hate); and
    the young gentleman made me remark that we drove
    very slow for the last two stages on the road, because
    Sir Pitt was on the box, and because he is proprietor
    of the horses for this part of the journey.  "But won't I
    flog 'em on to Squashmore, when I take the ribbons?"
    said the young Cantab.  "And sarve 'em right, Master
    Jack," said the guard.  When I comprehended the
    meaning of this phrase, and that Master Jack intended to
    drive the rest of the way, and revenge himself on Sir
    Pitt's horses, of course I laughed too.
    A carriage and four splendid horses, covered with
    armorial bearings, however, awaited us at Mudbury,
    four miles from Queen's Crawley, and we made our
    entrance to the baronet's park in state.  There is a fine
    avenue of a mile long leading to the house, and the woman
    at the lodge-gate (over the pillars of which are a serpent
    and a dove, the supporters of the Crawley arms), made
    us a number of curtsies as she flung open the old iron
    carved doors, which are something like those at odious
    "There's an avenue," said Sir Pitt, "a mile long.
    There's six thousand pound of timber in them there
    trees.  Do you call that nothing?" He pronounced avenue
    --EVENUE, and nothing--NOTHINK, so droll; and he had
    a Mr. Hodson, his hind from Mudbury, into the carriage
    with him, and they talked about distraining, and selling
    up, and draining and subsoiling, and a great deal about
    tenants and farming--much more than I could
    understand.  Sam Miles had been caught poaching, and Peter
    Bailey had gone to the workhouse at last.  "Serve him
    right," said Sir Pitt; "him and his family has been
    cheating me on that farm these hundred and fifty years."
    Some old tenant, I suppose, who could not pay his rent.
    Sir Pitt might have said "he and his family," to be sure;
    but rich baronets do not need to be careful about
    grammar, as poor governesses must be.
    As we passed, I remarked a beautiful church-spire
    rising above some old elms in the park; and before them,
    in the midst of a lawn, and some outhouses, an old red
    house with tall chimneys covered with ivy, and the
    windows shining in the sun.  "Is that your church, sir?"
    I said.
    "Yes, hang it," (said Sir Pitt, only he used, dear, A MUCH
    WICKEDER WORD); "how's Buty, Hodson? Buty's my
    brother Bute, my dear--my brother the parson.  Buty and
    the Beast I call him, ha, ha!"
    Hodson laughed too, and then looking more grave
    and nodding his head, said, "I'm afraid he's better, Sir
    Pitt.  He was out on his pony yesterday, looking at our
    "Looking after his tithes, hang'un (only he used the
    same wicked word).  Will brandy and water never kill
    him? He's as tough as old whatdyecallum--old
    Mr. Hodson laughed again.  "The young men is home
    from college.  They've whopped John Scroggins till he's
    well nigh dead."
    "Whop my second keeper!" roared out Sir Pitt.
    "He was on the parson's ground, sir," replied Mr.
    Hodson; and Sir Pitt in a fury swore that if he ever caught
    'em poaching on his ground, he'd transport 'em, by the
    lord he would.  However, he said, "I've sold the
    presentation of the living, Hodson; none of that breed
    shall get it, I war'nt"; and Mr. Hodson said he was quite right:
    and I have no doubt from this that the two brothers are
    at variance--as brothers often are, and sisters too.  Don't
    you remember the two Miss Scratchleys at Chiswick,
    how they used always to fight and quarrel--and Mary
    Box, how she was always thumping Louisa?
    Presently, seeing two little boys gathering sticks in the
    wood, Mr. Hodson jumped out of the carriage, at Sir
    Pitt's order, and rushed upon them with his whip.  "Pitch
    into 'em, Hodson," roared the baronet; "flog their little
    souls out, and bring 'em up to the house, the vagabonds;
    I'll commit 'em as sure as my name's Pitt." And presently
    we heard Mr. Hodson's whip cracking on the
    shoulders of the poor little blubbering wretches, and
    Sir Pitt, seeing that the malefactors were in custody,
    drove on to the hall.
    All the servants were ready to meet us, and
    . . .
    Here, my dear, I was interrupted last night by a
    dreadful thumping at my door: and who do you think it
    was? Sir Pitt Crawley in his night-cap and dressing-
    gown, such a figure! As I shrank away from such a
    visitor, he came forward and seized my candle.  "No
    candles after eleven o'clock, Miss Becky," said he.  "Go to
    bed in the dark, you pretty little hussy" (that is what
    he called me), "and unless you wish me to come for the
    candle every night, mind and be in bed at eleven." And
    with this, he and Mr. Horrocks the butler went off
    laughing.  You may be sure I shall not encourage any more
    of their visits.  They let loose two immense bloodhounds
    at night, which all last night were yelling and howling
    at the moon.  "I call the dog Gorer," said Sir Pitt; "he's
    killed a man that dog has, and is master of a bull, and
    the mother I used to call Flora; but now I calls her
    Aroarer, for she's too old to bite.  Haw, haw!"
    Before the house of Queen's Crawley, which is an
    odious old-fashioned red brick mansion, with tall
    chimneys and gables of the style of Queen Bess, there is a
    terrace flanked by the family dove and serpent, and on
    which the great hall-door opens.  And oh, my dear, the
    great hall I am sure is as big and as glum as the great
    hall in the dear castle of Udolpho.  It has a large
    fireplace, in which we might put half Miss Pinkerton's
    school, and the grate is big enough to roast an ox at the
    very least.  Round the room hang I don't know how
    many generations of Crawleys, some with beards and
    ruffs, some with huge wigs and toes turned out, some
    dressed in long straight stays and gowns that look as
    stiff as towers, and some with long ringlets, and oh, my
    dear! scarcely any stays at all.  At one end of the hall is
    the great staircase all in black oak, as dismal as may be,
    and on either side are tall doors with stags' heads.over
    them, leading to the billiard-room and the library, and
    the great yellow saloon and the morning-rooms.  I think
    there are at least twenty bedrooms on the first floor; one
    of them has the bed in which Queen Elizabeth slept;
    and I have been taken by my new pupils through all
    these fine apartments this morning.  They are not
    rendered less gloomy, I promise you, by having the shutters
    always shut; and there is scarce one of the apartments,
    but when the light was let into it, I expected to
    see a ghost in the room.  We have a schoolroom on the
    second floor, with my bedroom leading into it on one
    side, and that of the young ladies on the other.  Then
    there are Mr. Pitt's apartments--Mr. Crawley, he is
    called--the eldest son, and Mr. Rawdon Crawley's rooms
    --he is an officer like SOMEBODY, and away with his
    regiment.  There is no want of room I assure you.  You
    might lodge all the people in Russell Square in the
    house, I think, and have space to spare.
    Half an hour after our arrival, the great dinner-bell
    was rung, and I came down with my two pupils (they
    are very thin insignificant little chits of ten and eight
    years old).  I came down in your dear muslin gown
    (about which that odious Mrs. Pinner was so rude,
    because you gave it me); for I am to be treated as one of
    the family, except on company days, when the young
    ladies and I are to dine upstairs.
    Well, the great dinner-bell rang, and we all assembled
    in the little drawing-room where my Lady Crawley
    sits.  She is the second Lady Crawley, and mother of the
    young ladies.  She was an ironmonger's daughter, and
    her marriage was thought a great match.  She looks as
    if she had been handsome once, and her eyes are always
    weeping for the loss of her beauty.  She is pale and
    meagre and high-shouldered, and has not a word to say
    for herself, evidently.  Her stepson Mr. Crawley, was
    likewise in the room.  He was in full dress, as pompous
    as an undertaker.  He is pale, thin, ugly, silent; he has
    thin legs, no chest, hay-coloured whiskers, and straw-
    coloured hair.  He is the very picture of his sainted
    mother over the mantelpiece--Griselda of the noble
    house of Binkie.
    "This is the new governess, Mr. Crawley," said Lady
    Crawley, coming forward and taking my hand.  "Miss
    "0!" said Mr. Crawley, and pushed his head once
    forward and began again to read a great pamphlet
    with which he was busy.
    "I hope you will be kind to my girls," said Lady
    Crawley, with her pink eyes always full of tears.
    "Law, Ma, of course she will," said the eldest: and I
    saw at a glance that I need not be afraid of THAT woman.
    "My lady is served," says the butler in black, in an
    immense white shirt-frill, that looked as if it had been
    one of the Queen Elizabeth's ruffs depicted in the hall;
    and so, taking Mr. Crawley's arm, she led the way to the
    dining-room, whither I followed with my little pupils in
    each hand.
    Sir Pitt was already in the room with a silver jug.  He
    had just been to the cellar, and was in full dress too;
    that is, he had taken his gaiters off, and showed his little
    dumpy legs in black worsted stockings.  The sideboard
    was covered with glistening old plate--old cups, both
    gold and silver; old salvers and cruet-stands, like
    Rundell and Bridge's shop.  Everything on the table was in
    silver too, and two footmen, with red hair and canary-
    coloured liveries, stood on either side of the sideboard.
    Mr. Crawley said a long grace, and Sir Pitt said amen,
    and the great silver dish-covers were removed.
    "What have we for dinner, Betsy?' said the Baronet.
    "Mutton broth, I believe, Sir Pitt," answered Lady
    "Mouton aux navets," added the butler gravely
    (pronounce, if you please, moutongonavvy); "and the
    soup is potage de mouton a l'Ecossaise.  The side-dishes
    contain pommes de terre au naturel, and choufleur a l'eau."
    "Mutton's mutton," said the Baronet, "and a devilish
    good thing.  What SHIP was it, Horrocks, and when did
    you kill?"
    "One of the black-faced Scotch, Sir Pitt: we killed on Thursday.
    "Who took any?"
    "Steel, of Mudbury, took the saddle and two legs, Sir
    Pitt; but he says the last was too young and confounded
    woolly, Sir Pitt."
    "Will you take some potage, Miss ah--Miss Blunt?
    said Mr. Crawley.
    "Capital Scotch broth, my dear," said Sir Pitt, "though
    they call it by a French name."
    "I believe it is the custom, sir, in decent society," said
    Mr. Crawley, haughtily, "to call the dish as I have called
    it"; and it was served to us on silver soup plates by the
    footmen in the canary coats, with the mouton aux
    navets.  Then "ale and water" were brought, and served
    to us young ladies in wine-glasses.  I am not a judge of
    ale, but I can say with a clear conscience I prefer water.
    While we were enjoying our repast, Sir Pitt took
    occasion to ask what had become of the shoulders of
    the mutton.
    "I believe they were eaten in the servants' hall," said
    my lady, humbly.
    "They was, my lady," said Horrocks, "and precious
    little else we get there neither."
    Sir Pitt burst into a horse-laugh, and continued his
    conversation with Mr. Horrocks.  "That there little black
    pig of the Kent sow's breed must be uncommon fat
    "It's not quite busting, Sir Pitt," said the butler with
    the gravest air, at which Sir Pitt, and with him the young
    ladies, this time, began to laugh violently.
    "Miss Crawley, Miss Rose Crawley," said Mr. Crawley,
    "your laughter strikes me as being exceedingly out
    of place."
    "Never mind, my lord," said the Baronet, "we'll try
    the porker on Saturday.  Kill un on Saturday morning,
    John Horrocks.  Miss Sharp adores pork, don't you, Miss
    And I think this is all the conversation that I remember
    at dinner.  When the repast was concluded a jug of
    hot water was placed before Sir Pitt, with a case-bottle
    containing, I believe, rum.  Mr. Horrocks served myself
    and my pupils with three little glasses of wine, and a
    bumper was poured out for my lady.  When we retired,
    she took from her work-drawer an enormous interminable
    piece of knitting; the young ladies began to play at
    cribbage with a dirty pack of cards.  We had but one
    candle lighted, but it was in a magnificent old silver
    candlestick, and after a very few questions from my lady,
    I had my choice of amusement between a volume of
    sermons, and a pamphlet on the corn-laws, which Mr.
    Crawley had been reading before dinner.
    So we sat for an hour until steps were heard.
    "Put away the cards, girls," cried my lady, in a great
    tremor; "put down Mr. Crawley's books, Miss Sharp";
    and these orders had been scarcely obeyed, when Mr.
    Crawley entered the room.
    "We will resume yesterday's discourse, young ladies,"
    said he, "and you shall each read a page by turns; so
    that Miss a--Miss Short may have an opportunity of
    hearing you"; and the poor girls began to spell a long
    dismal sermon delivered at Bethesda Chapel, Liverpool,
    on behalf of the mission for the Chickasaw Indians.
    Was it not a charming evening?
    At ten the servants were told to call Sir Pitt and the
    household to prayers.  Sir Pitt came in first, very much
    flushed, and rather unsteady in his gait; and after him
    the butler, the canaries, Mr. Crawley's man, three other
    men, smelling very much of the stable, and four women,
    one of whom, I remarked, was very much overdressed,
    and who flung me a look of great scorn as she plumped
    down on her knees.
    After Mr. Crawley had done haranguing and
    expounding, we received our candles, and then we
    went to bed; and then I was disturbed in my writing, as
    I have described to my dearest sweetest Amelia.
    Good night.  A thousand, thousand, thousand kisses!
    Saturday.--This morning, at five, I heard the
    shrieking of the little black pig.  Rose and Violet introduced
    me to it yesterday; and to the stables, and to the kennel,
    and to the gardener, who was picking fruit to send to
    market, and from whom they begged hard a bunch of
    hot-house grapes; but he said that Sir Pitt had numbered
    every "Man Jack" of them, and it would be as much as
    his place was worth to give any away.  The darling girls
    caught a colt in a paddock, and asked me if I would
    ride, and began to ride themselves, when the groom,
    coming with horrid oaths, drove them away.
    Lady Crawley is always knitting the worsted.  Sir Pitt
    is always tipsy, every night; and, I believe, sits with
    Horrocks, the butler.  Mr. Crawley always reads sermons
    in the evening, and in the morning is locked up in his
    study, or else rides to Mudbury, on county business,
    or to Squashmore, where he preaches, on Wednesdays
    and Fridays, to the tenants there.
    A hundred thousand grateful loves to your dear papa
    and mamma.  Is your poor brother recovered of his rack-
    punch? Oh, dear! Oh, dear! How men should beware of
    wicked punch!
    Ever and ever thine own
    Everything considered, I think it is quite as well for
    our dear Amelia Sedley, in Russell Square, that Miss
    Sharp and she are parted.  Rebecca is a droll funny
    creature, to be sure; and those descriptions of the poor lady
    weeping for the loss of her beauty, and the gentleman
    "with hay-coloured whiskers and straw-coloured hair,"
    are very smart, doubtless, and show a great knowledge
    of the world.  That she might, when on her knees, have
    been thinking of something better than Miss Horrocks's
    ribbons, has possibly struck both of us.  But my kind
    reader will please to remember that this history has
    "Vanity Fair" for a title, and that Vanity Fair is a
    very vain, wicked, foolish place, full of all sorts of
    humbugs and falsenesses and pretensions.  And while the
    moralist, who is holding forth on the cover ( an accurate
    portrait of your humble servant), professes to wear
    neither gown nor bands, but only the very same long-
    eared livery in which his congregation is arrayed: yet,
    look you, one is bound to speak the truth as far as one
    knows it, whether one mounts a cap and bells or a shovel
    hat; and a deal of disagreeable matter must come out
    in the course of such an undertaking.
    I have heard a brother of the story-telling trade, at
    Naples, preaching to a pack of good-for-nothing honest
    lazy fellows by the sea-shore, work himself up into such a
    rage and passion with some of the villains whose wicked
    deeds he was describing and inventing, that the audience
    could not resist it; and they and the poet together would
    burst out into a roar of oaths and execrations against
    the fictitious monster of the tale, so that the hat went
    round, and the bajocchi tumbled into it, in the midst of
    a perfect storm of sympathy.
    At the little Paris theatres, on the other hand, you will
    not only hear the people yelling out "Ah gredin! Ah
    monstre:" and cursing the tyrant of the play from the
    boxes; but the actors themselves positively refuse to play
    the wicked parts, such as those of infames Anglais,
    brutal Cossacks, and what not, and prefer to appear
    at a smaller salary, in their real characters as loyal
    Frenchmen.  I set the two stories one against the other,
    so that you may see that it is not from mere mercenary
    motives that the present performer is desirous to show
    up and trounce his villains; but because he has a sincere
    hatred of them, which he cannot keep down, and which
    must find a vent in suitable abuse and bad language.
    I warn my "kyind friends," then, that I am going to
    tell a story of harrowing villainy and complicated--but,
    as I trust, intensely interesting--crime.  My rascals are
    no milk-and-water rascals, I promise you.  When we come
    to the proper places we won't spare fine language--No,
    no! But when we are going over the quiet country we
    must perforce be calm.  A tempest in a slop-basin is
    absurd.  We will reserve that sort of thing for the mighty
    ocean and the lonely midnight.  The present Chapter is
    very mild.  Others--But we will not anticipate THOSE.
    And, as we bring our characters forward, I will ask
    leave, as a man and a brother, not only to introduce
    them, but occasionally to step down from the platform,
    and talk about them: if they are good and kindly, to
    love them and shake them by the hand: if they are silly,
    to laugh at them confidentially in the reader's sleeve:
    if they are wicked and heartless, to abuse them in the
    strongest terms which politeness admits of.
    Otherwise you might fancy it was I who was sneering
    at the practice of devotion, which Miss Sharp finds so
    ridiculous; that it was I who laughed good-humouredly
    at the reeling old Silenus of a baronet--whereas the
    laughter comes from one who has no reverence except
    for prosperity, and no eye for anything beyond success.
    Such people there are living and flourishing in the world
    --Faithless, Hopeless, Charityless: let us have at them,
    dear friends, with might and main.  Some there are, and
    very successful too, mere quacks and fools: and it was
    to combat and expose such as those, no doubt, that
    Laughter was made.
    Family Portraits
    Sir Pitt Crawley was a philosopher with a taste for what is
    called low life.  His first marriage with the daughter of
    the noble Binkie had been made under the auspices of
    his parents; and as he often told Lady Crawley in her
    lifetime she was such a confounded quarrelsome high-bred
    jade that when she died he was hanged if he would ever take
    another of her sort, at her ladyship's demise he kept his
    promise, and selected for a second wife Miss Rose Dawson,
    daughter of Mr. John Thomas Dawson, ironmonger, of Mudbury.
    What a happy woman was Rose to be my Lady Crawley!
    Let us set down the items of her happiness.  In the
    first place, she gave up Peter Butt, a young man who
    kept company with her, and in consequence of his
    disappointment in love, took to smuggling, poaching, and a
    thousand other bad courses.  Then she quarrelled, as in
    duty bound, with all the friends and intimates of her youth,
    who, of course, could not be received by my Lady at
    Queen's Crawley--nor did she find in her new rank and
    abode any persons who were willing to welcome her.
    Who ever did? Sir Huddleston Fuddleston had three
    daughters who all hoped to be Lady Crawley.  Sir Giles
    Wapshot's family were insulted that one of the Wapshot
    girls had not the preference in the marriage, and the
    remaining baronets of the county were indignant at their
    comrade's misalliance.  Never mind the commoners, whom
    we will leave to grumble anonymously.
    Sir Pitt did not care, as he said, a brass farden for
    any one of them.  He had his pretty Rose, and what
    more need a man require than to please himself? So he
    used to get drunk every night: to beat his pretty Rose
    sometimes: to leave her in Hampshire when he went to
    London for the parliamentary session, without a single
    friend in the wide world.  Even Mrs. Bute Crawley, the
    Rector's wife, refused to visit her, as she said she would
    never give the pas to a tradesman's daughter.
    As the only endowments with which Nature had gifted
    Lady Crawley were those of pink cheeks and a white
    skin, and as she had no sort of character, nor talents,
    nor opinions, nor occupations, nor amusements, nor that
    vigour of soul and ferocity of temper which often falls
    to the lot of entirely foolish women, her hold upon Sir
    Pitt's affections was not very great.  Her roses faded out
    of her cheeks, and the pretty freshness left her figure
    after the birth of a couple of children, and she became
    a mere machine in her husband's house of no more use
    than the late Lady Crawley's grand piano.  Being a light-
    complexioned woman, she wore light clothes, as most
    blondes will, and appeared, in preference, in draggled sea-
    green, or slatternly sky-blue.  She worked that worsted
    day and night, or other pieces like it.  She had
    counterpanes in the course of a few years to all the beds in
    Crawley.  She had a small flower-garden, for which she
    had rather an affection; but beyond this no other like
    or disliking.  When her husband was rude to her she was
    apathetic: whenever he struck her she cried.  She had not
    character enough to take to drinking, and moaned about,
    slipshod and in curl-papers all day.  0 Vanity Fair--
    Vanity Fair! This might have been, but for you, a cheery
    lass--Peter Butt and Rose a happy man and wife, in a
    snug farm, with a hearty family; and an honest portion
    of pleasures, cares, hopes and struggles--but a title and
    a coach and four are toys more precious than happiness
    in Vanity Fair: and if Harry the Eighth or Bluebeard
    were alive now, and wanted a tenth wife, do you suppose
    he could not get the prettiest girl that shall be presented
    this season?
    The languid dulness of their mamma did not, as it
    may be supposed, awaken much affection in her little
    daughters, but they were very happy in the servants' hall
    and in the stables; and the Scotch gardener having
    luckily a good wife and some good children, they got a
    little wholesome society and instruction in his lodge,
    which was the only education bestowed upon them until
    Miss Sharp came.
    Her engagement was owing to the remonstrances of
    Mr. Pitt Crawley, the only friend or protector Lady
    Crawley ever had, and the only person, besides her
    children, for whom she entertained a little feeble
    attachment.  Mr. Pitt took after the noble Binkies, from
    whom he was descended, and was a very polite and proper
    gentleman.  When he grew to man's estate, and came
    back from Christchurch, he began to reform the
    slackened discipline of the hall, in spite of his father, who
    stood in awe of him.  He was a man of such rigid
    refinement, that he would have starved rather than have
    dined without a white neckcloth.  Once, when just from
    college, and when Horrocks the butler brought him a
    letter without placing it previously on a tray, he gave
    that domestic a look, and administered to him a speech
    so cutting, that Horrocks ever after trembled before him;
    the whole household bowed to him: Lady Crawley's curl-
    papers came off earlier when he was at home: Sir Pitt's
    muddy gaiters disappeared; and if that incorrigible old
    man still adhered to other old habits, he never fuddled
    himself with rum-and-water in his son's presence, and
    only talked to his servants in a very reserved and polite
    manner; and those persons remarked that Sir Pitt never
    swore at Lady Crawley while his son was in the room.
    It was he who taught the butler to say, "My lady is
    served," and who insisted on handing her ladyship in to
    dinner.  He seldom spoke to her, but when he did it was
    with the most powerful respect; and he never let her
    quit the apartment without rising in the most stately
    manner to open the door, and making an elegant bow
    at her egress.
    At Eton he was called Miss Crawley; and there, I
    am sorry to say, his younger brother Rawdon used to
    lick him violently.  But though his parts were not
    brilliant, he made up for his lack of talent by meritorious
    industry, and was never known, during eight years at
    school, to be subject to that punishment which it is
    generally thought none but a cherub can escape.
    At college his career was of course highly creditable.
    And here he prepared himself for public life, into which
    he was to be introduced by the patronage of his
    grandfather, Lord Binkie, by studying the ancient and modern
    orators with great assiduity, and by speaking unceasingly
    at the debating societies.  But though he had a fine flux
    of words, and delivered his little voice with great
    pomposity and pleasure to himself, and never advanced
    any sentiment or opinion which was not perfectly trite and
    stale, and supported by a Latin quotation; yet he failed
    somehow, in spite of a mediocrity which ought to have
    insured any man a success.  He did not even get the
    prize poem, which all his friends said he was sure of.
    After leaving college he became Private Secretary to
    Lord Binkie, and was then appointed Attache to the
    Legation at Pumpernickel, which post he filled with
    perfect honour, and brought home despatches, consisting of
    Strasburg pie, to the Foreign Minister of the day.  After
    remaining ten years Attache (several years after the
    lamented Lord Binkie's demise), and finding the
    advancement slow, he at length gave up the diplomatic
    service in some disgust, and began to turn country gentleman.
    He wrote a pamphlet on Malt on returning to England
    (for he was an ambitious man, and always liked
    to be before the public), and took a strong part in the
    Negro Emancipation question.  Then he became a friend
    of Mr. Wilberforce's, whose politics he admired, and had
    that famous correspondence with the Reverend Silas
    Hornblower, on the Ashantee Mission.  He was in
    London, if not for the Parliament session, at least in May,
    for the religious meetings.  In the country he was a
    magistrate, and an active visitor and speaker among those
    destitute of religious instruction.  He was said to be
    paying his addresses to Lady Jane Sheepshanks, Lord
    Southdown's third daughter, and whose sister, Lady Emily,
    wrote those sweet tracts, "The Sailor's True Binnacle,"
    and "The Applewoman of Finchley Common."
    Miss Sharp's accounts of his employment at Queen's
    Crawley were not caricatures.  He subjected the servants
    there to the devotional exercises before mentioned, in
    which (and so much the better) he brought his father
    to join.  He patronised an Independent meeting-house in
    Crawley parish, much to the indignation of his uncle the
    Rector, and to the consequent delight of Sir Pitt, who
    was induced to go himself once or twice, which occasioned
    some violent sermons at Crawley parish church, directed
    point-blank at the Baronet's old Gothic pew there.  Honest
    Sir Pitt, however, did not feel the force of these
    discourses, as he always took his nap during sermon-time.
    Mr. Crawley was very earnest, for the good of the
    nation and of the Christian world, that the old gentleman
    should yield him up his place in Parliament; but this the
    elder constantly refused to do.  Both were of course too
    prudent to give up the fifteen hundred a year which was
    brought in by the second seat (at this period filled by
    Mr. Quadroon, with carte blanche on the Slave question);
    indeed the family estate was much embarrassed, and the
    income drawn from the borough was of great use to the
    house of Queen's Crawley.
    It had never recovered the heavy fine imposed upon
    Walpole Crawley, first baronet, for peculation in the Tape
    and Sealing Wax Office.  Sir Walpole was a jolly fellow,
    eager to seize and to spend money (alieni appetens, sui
    profusus, as Mr. Crawley would remark with a sigh),
    and in his day beloved by all the county for the
    constant drunkenness and hospitality which was maintained
    at Queen's Crawley.  The cellars were filled with burgundy
    then, the kennels with hounds, and the stables with
    gallant hunters; now, such horses as Queen's Crawley
    possessed went to plough, or ran in the Trafalgar Coach;
    and it was with a team of these very horses, on an off-
    day, that Miss Sharp was brought to the Hall; for boor
    as he was, Sir Pitt was a stickler for his dignity while
    at home, and seldom drove out but with four horses,
    and though he dined off boiled mutton, had always three
    footmen to serve it.
    If mere parsimony could have made a man rich, Sir
    Pitt Crawley might have become very wealthy--if he
    had been an attorney in a country town, with no capital
    but his brains, it is very possible that he would have
    turned them to good account, and might have achieved
    for himself a very considerable influence and competency.
    But he was unluckily endowed with a good name
    and a large though encumbered estate, both of which
    went rather to injure than to advance him.  He had a
    taste for law, which cost him many thousands yearly;
    and being a great deal too clever to be robbed, as he
    said, by any single agent, allowed his affairs to be
    mismanaged by a dozen, whom he all equally mistrusted.
    He was such a sharp landlord, that he could hardly find
    any but bankrupt tenants; and such a close farmer, as
    to grudge almost the seed to the ground, whereupon
    revengeful Nature grudged him the crops which she
    granted to more liberal husbandmen.  He speculated in
    every possible way; he worked mines; bought canal-shares;
    horsed coaches; took government contracts, and was
    the busiest man and magistrate of his county.  As he
    would not pay honest agents at his granite quarry, he
    had the satisfaction of finding that four overseers ran
    away, and took fortunes with them to America.  For want
    of proper precautions, his coal-mines filled with water:
    the government flung his contract of damaged beef upon
    his hands: and for his coach-horses, every mail proprietor
    in the kingdom knew that he lost more horses than any
    man in the country, from underfeeding and buying cheap.
    In disposition he was sociable, and far from being proud;
    nay, he rather preferred the society of a farmer or a
    horse-dealer to that of a gentleman, like my lord, his
    son: he was fond of drink, of swearing, of joking with
    the farmers' daughters: he was never known to give away
    a shilling or to do a good action, but was of a pleasant,
    sly, laughing mood, and would cut his joke and drink
    his glass with a tenant and sell him up the next day;
    or have his laugh with the poacher he was transporting
    with equal good humour.  His politeness for the fair sex
    has already been hinted at by Miss Rebecca Sharp--in
    a word, the whole baronetage, peerage, commonage of
    England, did not contain a more cunning, mean, selfish,
    foolish, disreputable old man.  That blood-red hand of
    Sir Pitt Crawley's would be in anybody's pocket except
    his own; and it is with grief and pain, that, as admirers
    of the British aristocracy, we find ourselves obliged to
    admit the existence of so many ill qualities in a person
    whose name is in Debrett.
    One great cause why Mr. Crawley had such a hold
    over the affections of his father, resulted from money
    arrangements.  The Baronet owed his son a sum of money
    out of the jointure of his mother, which he did not find
    it convenient to pay; indeed he had an almost invincible
    repugnance to paying anybody, and could only be brought
    by force to discharge his debts.  Miss Sharp calculated
    (for she became, as we shall hear speedily, inducted
    into most of the secrets of the family) that the mere
    payment of his creditors cost the honourable Baronet
    several hundreds yearly; but this was a delight he could
    not forego; he had a savage pleasure in making the poor
    wretches wait, and in shifting from court to court and
    from term to term the period of satisfaction.  What's the
    good of being in Parliament, he said, if you must pay your
    debts? Hence, indeed, his position as a senator was not
    a little useful to him.
    Vanity Fair--Vanity Fair!  Here was a man, who could
    not spell, and did not care to read--who had the habits
    and the cunning of a boor: whose aim in life was
    pettifogging: who never had a taste, or emotion, or
    enjoyment, but what was sordid and foul; and yet he had
    rank, and honours, and power, somehow: and was a
    dignitary of the land, and a pillar of the state.  He was
    high sheriff, and rode in a golden coach.  Great ministers
    and statesmen courted him; and in Vanity Fair he had a
    higher place than the most brilliant genius or spotless
    Sir Pitt had an unmarried half-sister who inherited her
    mother's large fortune, and though the Baronet proposed
    to borrow this money of her on mortgage, Miss Crawley
    declined the offer, and preferred the security of the funds.
    She had signified, however, her intention of leaving her
    inheritance between Sir Pitt's second son and the family
    at the Rectory, and had once or twice paid the debts of
    Rawdon Crawley in his career at college and in the army.
    Miss Crawley was, in consequence, an object of great
    respect when she came to Queen's Crawley, for she had
    a balance at her banker's which would have made her
    beloved anywhere.
    What a dignity it gives an old lady, that balance at
    the banker's!  How tenderly we look at her faults if she
    is a relative (and may every reader have a score of such),
    what a kind good-natured old creature we find her!  How
    the junior partner of Hobbs and Dobbs leads her smiling
    to the carriage with the lozenge upon it, and the fat
    wheezy coachman! How, when she comes to pay us a
    visit, we generally find an opportunity to let our friends
    know her station in the world!  We say (and with perfect
    truth) I wish I had Miss MacWhirter's signature to a
    cheque for five thousand pounds.  She wouldn't miss it,
    says your wife.  She is my aunt, say you, in an easy
    careless way, when your friend asks if Miss MacWhirter is
    any relative.  Your wife is perpetually sending her little
    testimonies of affection, your little girls work endless
    worsted baskets, cushions, and footstools for her.  What a
    good fire there is in her room when she comes to pay
    you a visit, although your wife laces her stays without
    one!  The house during her stay assumes a festive, neat,
    warm, jovial, snug appearance not visible at other
    seasons.  You yourself, dear sir, forget to go to sleep after
    dinner, and find yourself all of a sudden (though you
    invariably lose) very fond of a rubber.  What good
    dinners you have--game every day, Malmsey-Madeira, and
    no end of fish from London.  Even the servants in the
    kitchen share in the general prosperity; and, somehow,
    during the stay of Miss MacWhirter's fat coachman, the
    beer is grown much stronger, and the consumption of tea
    and sugar in the nursery (where her maid takes her
    meals) is not regarded in the least.  Is it so, or is it not
    so?  I appeal to the middle classes.  Ah, gracious powers!
    I wish you would send me an old aunt--a maiden aunt
    --an aunt with a lozenge on her carriage, and a front
    of light coffee-coloured hair--how my children should
    work workbags for her, and my Julia and I would make
    her comfortable! Sweet--sweet vision! Foolish--foolish
    Miss Sharp Begins to Make Friends
    And now, being received as a member of the amiable
    family whose portraits we have sketched in the foregoing
    pages, it became naturally Rebecca's duty to make
    herself, as she said, agreeable to her benefactors, and to
    gain their confidence to the utmost of her power.  Who
    can but admire this quality of gratitude in an unprotected
    orphan; and, if there entered some degree of selfishness
    into her calculations, who can say but that her
    prudence was perfectly justifiable?  "I am alone in the
    world," said the friendless girl.  "I have nothing to look
    for but what my own labour can bring me; and while
    that little pink-faced chit Amelia, with not half my sense,
    has ten thousand pounds and an establishment secure,
    poor Rebecca (and my figure is far better than hers)
    has only herself and her own wits to trust to.  Well, let
    us see if my wits cannot provide me with an honourable
    maintenance, and if some day or the other I cannot show
    Miss Amelia my real superiority over her.  Not that I
    dislike poor Amelia: who can dislike such a harmless,
    good-natured creature?--only it will be a fine day when
    I can take my place above her in the world, as why,
    indeed, should I not?"  Thus it was that our little
    romantic friend formed visions of the future for herself--
    nor must we be scandalised that, in all her castles in
    the air, a husband was the principal inhabitant.  Of
    what else have young ladies to think, but husbands? Of
    what else do their dear mammas think?  "I must be my
    own mamma," said Rebecca; not without a tingling
    consciousness of defeat, as she thought over her little
    misadventure with Jos Sedley.
    So she wisely determined to render her position with
    the Queen's Crawley family comfortable and secure, and
    to this end resolved to make friends of every one around
    her who could at all interfere with her comfort.
    As my Lady Crawley was not one of these personages,
    and a woman, moreover, so indolent and void of
    character as not to be of the least consequence in her own
    house, Rebecca soon found that it was not at all necessary
    to cultivate her good will--indeed, impossible to gain it.  She
    used to talk to her pupils about their "poor mamma"; and,
    though she treated that lady with every demonstration
    of cool respect, it was to the rest of the family that she
    wisely directed the chief part of her attentions.
    With the young people, whose applause she thoroughly
    gained, her method was pretty simple.  She did not
    pester their young brains with too much learning, but,
    on the contrary, let them have their own way in
    regard to educating themselves; for what instruction is more
    effectual than self-instruction? The eldest was rather fond
    of books, and as there was in the old library at Queen's
    Crawley a considerable provision of works of light
    literature of the last century, both in the French and English
    languages (they had been purchased by the Secretary
    of the Tape and Sealing Wax Office at the period of his
    disgrace), and as nobody ever troubled the book-shelves
    but herself, Rebecca was enabled agreeably, and, as
    it were, in playing, to impart a great deal of instruction
    to Miss Rose Crawley.
    She and Miss Rose thus read together many delightful
    French and English works, among which may be
    mentioned those of the learned Dr. Smollett, of the ingenious
    Mr. Henry Fielding, of the graceful and fantastic
    Monsieur Crebillon the younger, whom our immortal poet
    Gray so much admired, and of the universal Monsieur de
    Voltaire.  Once, when Mr. Crawley asked what the young
    people were reading, the governess replied "Smollett."
    "Oh, Smollett," said Mr. Crawley, quite satisfied.  "His
    history is more dull, but by no means so dangerous as
    that of Mr. Hume.  It is history you are reading?" "Yes,"
    said Miss Rose; without, however, adding that it was the
    history of Mr. Humphrey Clinker.  On another occasion
    he was rather scandalised at finding his sister with a
    book of French plays; but as the governess remarked
    that it was for the purpose of acquiring the French idiom
    in conversation, he was fain to be content.  Mr. Crawley,
    as a diplomatist, was exceedingly proud of his own skill
    in speaking the French language (for he was of the world
    still), and not a little pleased with the compliments which
    the governess continually paid him upon his proficiency.
    Miss Violet's tastes were, on the contrary, more rude
    and boisterous than those of her sister.  She knew the
    sequestered spots where the hens laid their eggs.  She
    could climb a tree to rob the nests of the feathered
    songsters of their speckled spoils.  And her pleasure was to
    ride the young colts, and to scour the plains like Camilla.
    She was the favourite of her father and of the stablemen.
    She was the darling, and withal the terror of the
    cook; for she discovered the haunts of the jam-pots, and
    would attack them when they were within her reach.
    She and her sister were engaged in constant battles.  Any
    of which peccadilloes, if Miss Sharp discovered, she did
    not tell them to Lady Crawley; who would have told
    them to the father, or worse, to Mr. Crawley; but
    promised not to tell if Miss Violet would be a good girl
    and love her governess.
    With Mr. Crawley Miss Sharp was respectful and
    obedient.  She used to consult him on passages of French
    which she could not understand, though her mother was
    a Frenchwoman, and which he would construe to her
    satisfaction: and, besides giving her his aid in profane
    literature, he was kind enough to select for her books
    of a more serious tendency, and address to her much of
    his conversation.  She admired, beyond measure, his
    speech at the Quashimaboo-Aid Society; took an
    interest in his pamphlet on malt: was often affected, even
    to tears, by his discourses of an evening, and would
    say--"Oh, thank you, sir," with a sigh, and a look up
    to heaven, that made him occasionally condescend to
    shake hands with her.  "Blood is everything, after all,"
    would that aristocratic religionist say.  "How Miss Sharp
    is awakened by my words, when not one of the people
    here is touched.  I am too fine for them--too delicate.
    I must familiarise my style--but she understands it.  Her
    mother was a Montmorency."
    Indeed it was from this famous family, as it appears,
    that Miss Sharp, by the mother's side, was descended.
    Of course she did not say that her mother had been on
    the stage; it would have shocked Mr. Crawley's religious
    scruples.  How many noble emigres had this horrid
    revolution plunged in poverty!  She had several stories
    about her ancestors ere she had been many months in
    the house; some of which Mr. Crawley happened to find
    in D'Hozier's dictionary, which was in the library, and
    which strengthened his belief in their truth, and in the
    high-breeding of Rebecca.  Are we to suppose from this
    curiosity and prying into dictionaries, could our heroine
    suppose that Mr. Crawley was interested in her?--no,
    only in a friendly way.  Have we not stated that he was
    attached to Lady Jane Sheepshanks?
    He took Rebecca to task once or twice about the
    propriety of playing at backgammon with Sir Pitt, saying
    that it was a godless amusement, and that she would be
    much better engaged in reading "Thrump's Legacy," or
    "The Blind Washerwoman of Moorfields," or any work
    of a more serious nature; but Miss Sharp said her dear
    mother used often to play the same game with the old
    Count de Trictrac and the venerable Abbe du Cornet,
    and so found an excuse for this and other worldly
    But it was not only by playing at backgammon with
    the Baronet, that the little governess rendered herself
    agreeable to her employer.  She found many different
    ways of being useful to him.  She read over, with
    indefatigable patience, all those law papers, with which,
    before she came to Queen's Crawley, he had promised
    to entertain her.  She volunteered to copy many of his
    letters, and adroitly altered the spelling of them so as
    to suit the usages of the present day.  She became
    interested in everything appertaining to the estate, to the
    farm, the park, the garden, and the stables; and so delightful
    a companion was she, that the Baronet would seldom
    take his after-breakfast walk without her (and the
    children of course), when she would give her advice as to
    the trees which were to be lopped in the shrubberies, the
    garden-beds to be dug, the crops which were to be cut,
    the horses which were to go to cart or plough.  Before
    she had been a year at Queen's Crawley she had quite
    won the Baronet's confidence; and the conversation at the
    dinner-table, which before used to be held between him
    and Mr. Horrocks the butler, was now almost exclusively
    between Sir Pitt and Miss Sharp.  She was almost
    mistress of the house when Mr. Crawley was absent, but
    conducted herself in her new and exalted situation with
    such circumspection and modesty as not to offend the
    authorities of the kitchen and stable, among whom her
    behaviour was always exceedingly modest and affable.  She
    was quite a different person from the haughty, shy,
    dissatisfied little girl whom we have known previously, and
    this change of temper proved great prudence, a sincere
    desire of amendment, or at any rate great moral courage
    on her part.  Whether it was the heart which dictated this
    new system of complaisance and humility adopted by our
    Rebecca, is to be proved by her after-history.  A system
    of hypocrisy, which lasts through whole years, is one
    seldom satisfactorily practised by a person of one-and-
    twenty; however, our readers will recollect, that, though
    young in years, our heroine was old in life and experience,
    and we have written to no purpose if they have not
    discovered that she was a very clever woman.
    The elder and younger son of the house of Crawley
    were, like the gentleman and lady in the weather-box,
    never at home together--they hated each other cordially:
    indeed, Rawdon Crawley, the dragoon, had a great
    contempt for the establishment altogether, and seldom came
    thither except when his aunt paid her annual visit.
    The great good quality of this old lady has been
    mentioned.  She possessed seventy thousand pounds, and
    had almost adopted Rawdon.  She disliked her elder nephew
    exceedingly, and despised him as a milksop.  In return
    he did not hesitate to state that her soul was irretrievably
    lost, and was of opinion that his brother's chance
    in the next world was not a whit better.  "She is a
    godless woman of the world," would Mr. Crawley say; "she
    lives with atheists and Frenchmen.  My mind shudders
    when I think of her awful, awful situation, and that,
    near as she is to the grave, she should be so given up
    to vanity, licentiousness, profaneness, and folly." In fact,
    the old lady declined altogether to hear his hour's lecture
    of an evening; and when she came to Queen's Crawley
    alone, he was obliged to pretermit his usual devotional
    "Shut up your sarmons, Pitt, when Miss Crawley
    comes down," said his father; "she has written to say
    that she won't stand the preachifying."
    "O, sir! consider the servants."
    "The servants be hanged," said Sir Pitt; and his son
    thought even worse would happen were they deprived of
    the benefit of his instruction.
    "Why, hang it, Pitt!" said the father to his remonstrance.
    "You wouldn't be such a flat as to let three thousand a
    year go out of the family?"
    "What is money compared to our souls, sir?" continued
    Mr. Crawley.
    "You mean that the old lady won't leave the money
    to you?"--and who knows but it was Mr. Crawley's
    Old Miss Crawley was certainly one of the reprobate.
    She had a snug little house in Park Lane, and, as she ate
    and drank a great deal too much during the season in
    London, she went to Harrowgate or Cheltenham for
    the summer.  She was the most hospitable and jovial of
    old vestals, and had been a beauty in her day, she said.
    (All old women were beauties once, we very well know.)
    She was a bel esprit, and a dreadful Radical for those
    days.  She had been in France (where St. Just, they say,
    inspired her with an unfortunate passion), and loved,
    ever after, French novels, French cookery, and French
    wines.  She read Voltaire, and had Rousseau by heart;
    talked very lightly about divorce, and most energetically
    of the rights of women.  She had pictures of Mr. Fox
    in every room in the house: when that statesman was
    in opposition, I am not sure that she had not flung a
    main with him; and when he came into office, she took
    great credit for bringing over to him Sir Pitt and his
    colleague for Queen's Crawley, although Sir Pitt would
    have come over himself, without any trouble on the honest
    lady's part.  It is needless to say that Sir Pitt was brought
    to change his views after the death of the great Whig
    This worthy old lady took a fancy to Rawdon Crawley
    when a boy, sent him to Cambridge (in opposition to
    his brother at Oxford), and, when the young man was
    requested by the authorities of the first-named University
    to quit after a residence of two years, she bought him
    his commission in the Life Guards Green.
    A perfect and celebrated "blood," or dandy about town,
    was this young officer.  Boxing, rat-hunting, the fives court,
    and four-in-hand driving were then the fashion of our
    British aristocracy; and he was an adept in all these
    noble sciences.  And though he belonged to the
    household troops, who, as it was their duty to rally round the
    Prince Regent, had not shown their valour in foreign
    service yet, Rawdon Crawley had already (apropos of
    play, of which he was immoderately fond) fought three
    bloody duels, in which he gave ample proofs of his
    contempt for death.
    "And for what follows after death," would Mr.
    Crawley observe, throwing his gooseberry-coloured eyes
    up to the ceiling.  He was always thinking of his brother's
    soul, or of the souls of those who differed with him in
    opinion: it is a sort of comfort which many of the
    serious give themselves.
    Silly, romantic Miss Crawley, far from being horrified
    at the courage of her favourite, always used to pay his
    debts after his duels; and would not listen to a word
    that was whispered against his morality.  "He will sow
    his wild oats," she would say, "and is worth far more
    than that puling hypocrite of a brother of his."
    Arcadian Simplicity
    Besides these honest folks at the Hall (whose simplicity
    and sweet rural purity surely show the advantage of a
    country life over a town one), we must introduce the
    reader to their relatives and neighbours at the Rectory,
    Bute Crawley and his wife.
    The Reverend Bute Crawley was a tall, stately, jolly,
    shovel-hatted man, far more popular in his county than
    the Baronet his brother.  At college he pulled stroke-oar
    in the Christchurch boat, and had thrashed all the best
    bruisers of the "town." He carried his taste for boxing
    and athletic exercises into private life; there was not a
    fight within twenty miles at which he was not present,
    nor a race, nor a coursing match, nor a regatta, nor a
    ball, nor an election, nor a visitation dinner, nor indeed
    a good dinner in the whole county, but he found means
    to attend it.  You might see his bay mare and gig-lamps
    a score of miles away from his Rectory House, whenever
    there was any dinner-party at Fuddleston, or at Roxby,
    or at Wapshot Hall, or at the great lords of the county,
    with all of whom he was intimate.  He had a fine voice;
    sang "A southerly wind and a cloudy sky"; and gave
    the "whoop" in chorus with general applause.  He rode
    to hounds in a pepper-and-salt frock, and was one of the
    best fishermen in the county.
    Mrs. Crawley, the rector's wife, was a smart little body,
    who wrote this worthy divine's sermons.  Being of a
    domestic turn, and keeping the house a great deal with her
    daughters, she ruled absolutely within the Rectory, wisely
    giving her husband full liberty without.  He was welcome
    to come and go, and dine abroad as many days as his
    fancy dictated, for Mrs. Crawley was a saving woman and
    knew the price of port wine.  Ever since Mrs. Bute carried
    off the young Rector of Queen's Crawley (she was of a
    good family, daughter of the late Lieut.-Colonel
    Hector McTavish, and she and her mother played for
    Bute and won him at Harrowgate), she had been a prudent
    and thrifty wife to him.  In spite of her care, however, he
    was always in debt.  It took him at least ten years to pay
    off his college bills contracted during his father's lifetime.
    In the year 179-, when he was just clear of these
    incumbrances, he gave the odds of 100 to 1 (in twenties)
    against Kangaroo, who won the Derby.  The Rector was
    obliged to take up the money at a ruinous interest, and
    had been struggling ever since.  His sister helped him with
    a hundred now and then, but of course his great hope was
    in her death--when "hang it" (as he would say), "Matilda
    must leave me half her money."
    So that the Baronet and his brother had every reason
    which two brothers possibly can have for being by the
    ears.  Sir Pitt had had the better of Bute in innumerable
    family transactions.  Young Pitt not only did not hunt, but
    set up a meeting house under his uncle's very nose.
    Rawdon, it was known, was to come in for the bulk of Miss
    Crawley's property.  These money transactions--these
    speculations in life and death--these silent battles for
    reversionary spoil--make brothers very loving towards
    each other in Vanity Fair.  I, for my part, have known a
    five-pound note to interpose and knock up a half century's
    attachment between two brethren; and can't but admire,
    as I think what a fine and durable thing Love is among
    worldly people.
    It cannot be supposed that the arrival of such a
    personage as Rebecca at Queen's Crawley, and her gradual
    establishment in the good graces of all people there, could
    be unremarked by Mrs. Bute Crawley.  Mrs. Bute, who
    knew how many days the sirloin of beef lasted at the Hall;
    how much linen was got ready at the great wash; how
    many peaches were on the south wall; how many doses
    her ladyship took when she was ill--for such points are
    matters of intense interest to certain persons in the
    country--Mrs. Bute, I say, could not pass over the Hall
    governess without making every inquiry respecting her
    history and character.  There was always the best understanding
    between the servants at the Rectory and the Hall.
    There was always a good glass of ale in the kitchen of the
    former place for the Hall people, whose ordinary drink
    was very small--and, indeed, the Rector's lady knew
    exactly how much malt went to every barrel of Hall beer--
    ties of relationship existed between the Hall and Rectory
    domestics, as between their masters; and through these
    channels each family was perfectly well acquainted with
    the doings of the other.  That, by the way, may be set
    down as a general remark.  When you and your brother
    are friends, his doings are indifferent to you.  When you
    have quarrelled, all his outgoings and incomings you
    know, as if you were his spy.
    Very soon then after her arrival, Rebecca began to take
    a regular place in Mrs. Crawley's bulletin from the Hall.
    It was to this effect: "The black porker's killed--weighed
    x stone--salted the sides--pig's pudding and leg of pork
    for dinner.  Mr. Cramp from Mudbury, over with Sir Pitt
    about putting John Blackmore in gaol--Mr. Pitt at
    meeting (with all the names of the people who attended)--
    my lady as usual--the young ladies with the governess."
    Then the report would come--the new governess be a
    rare manager--Sir Pitt be very sweet on her--Mr.
    Crawley too--He be reading tracts to her--"What an
    abandoned wretch!" said little, eager, active, black-faced Mrs.
    Bute Crawley.
    Finally, the reports were that the governess had "come
    round" everybody, wrote Sir Pitt's letters, did his business,
    managed his accounts--had the upper hand of the whole
    house, my lady, Mr. Crawley, the girls and all--at which
    Mrs. Crawley declared she was an artful hussy, and had
    some dreadful designs in view.  Thus the doings at the
    Hall were the great food for conversation at the Rectory,
    and Mrs. Bute's bright eyes spied out everything that took
    place in the enemy's camp--everything and a great deal
    Mrs. Bute Crawley to Miss Pinkerton,
    The Mall, Chiswick.
    Rectory, Queen's Crawley, December--.
    My Dear Madam,--Although it is so many years since
    I profited by your delightful and invaluable instructions,
    yet I have ever retained the FONDEST and most reverential
    regard for Miss Pinkerton, and DEAR Chiswick.  I hope
    your health is GOOD.  The world and the cause of
    education cannot afford to lose Miss Pinkerton for MANY MANY
    YEARS.  When my friend, Lady Fuddleston, mentioned that
    her dear girls required an instructress (I am too poor to
    engage a governess for mine, but was I not educated at
    Chiswick?)--"Who," I exclaimed, "can we consult but
    the excellent, the incomparable Miss Pinkerton?" In a
    word, have you, dear madam, any ladies on your list,
    whose services might be made available to my kind
    friend and neighbour? I assure you she will take no
    governess BUT OF YOUR CHOOSING.
    My dear husband is pleased to say that he likes
    SCHOOL.  How I wish I could present him and my beloved
    girls to the friend of my youth, and the ADMIRED of the
    great lexicographer of our country! If you ever travel into
    Hampshire, Mr. Crawley begs me to say, he hopes you will
    adorn our RURAL RECTORY with your presence.  'Tis the
    humble but happy home of
    Your affectionate
    Martha Crawley
    P.S.  Mr. Crawley's brother, the baronet, with whom
    we are not, alas! upon those terms of UNITY in which it
    BECOMES BRETHREN TO DWELL, has a governess for his
    little girls, who, I am told, had the good fortune to be
    educated at Chiswick.  I hear various reports of her;
    and as I have the tenderest interest in my dearest little
    nieces, whom I wish, in spite of family differences, to
    see among my own children--and as I long to be
    attentive to ANY PUPIL OF YOURS--do, my dear Miss
    Pinkerton, tell me the history of this young lady, whom,
    for YOUR SAKE, I am most anxious to befriend.--M. C.
    Miss Pinkerton to Mrs. Bute Crawley.
    Johnson House, Chiswick, Dec. 18--.
    Dear Madam,--I have the honour to acknowledge
    your polite communication, to which I promptly reply.
    'Tis most gratifying to one in my most arduous position
    to find that my maternal cares have elicited a responsive
    affection; and to recognize in the amiable Mrs. Bute
    Crawley my excellent pupil of former years, the sprightly
    and accomplished Miss Martha MacTavish.  I am happy
    to have under my charge now the daughters of many of
    those who were your contemporaries at my establishment
    --what pleasure it would give me if your own
    beloved young ladies had need of my instructive
    Presenting my respectful compliments to Lady
    Fuddleston, I have the honour (epistolarily) to introduce
    to her ladyship my two friends, Miss Tuffin and Miss Hawky.
    Either of these young ladies is PERFECTLY QUALIFIED to
    instruct in Greek, Latin, and the rudiments of Hebrew;
    in mathematics and history; in Spanish, French, Italian,
    and geography; in music, vocal and instrumental; in
    dancing, without the aid of a master; and in the
    elements of natural sciences.  In the use of the globes both
    are proficients.  In addition to these Miss Tuffin, who is
    daughter of the late Reverend Thomas Tuffin (Fellow
    of Corpus College, Cambridge), can instruct in the
    Syriac language, and the elements of Constitutional law.
    But as she is only eighteen years of age, and of
    exceedingly pleasing personal appearance, perhaps this
    young lady may be objectionable in Sir Huddleston
    Fuddleston's family.
    Miss Letitia Hawky, on the other hand, is not
    personally well-favoured.  She is-twenty-nine; her face
    is much pitted with the small-pox.  She has a halt in her
    gait, red hair, and a trifling obliquity of vision.  Both
    ladies are endowed with EVERY MORAL AND RELIGIOUS
    VIRTUE.  Their terms, of course, are such as their
    accomplishments merit.  With my most grateful respects
    to the Reverend Bute Crawley, I have the honour to be,
    Dear Madam,
    Your most faithful and obedient servant,
    Barbara Pinkerton.
    P.S.  The Miss Sharp, whom you mention as
    governess to Sir Pitt Crawley, Bart., M.P., was a pupil
    of mine, and I have nothing to say in her disfavour.
    Though her appearance is disagreeable, we cannot
    control the operations of nature: and though her parents
    were disreputable (her father being a painter, several
    times bankrupt, and her mother, as I have since learned,
    with horror, a dancer at the Opera); yet her talents are
    considerable, and I cannot regret that I received her
    OUT OF CHARITY.  My dread is, lest the principles of the
    mother--who was represented to me as a French
    Countess, forced to emigrate in the late revolutionary horrors;
    but who, as I have since found, was a person of the
    very lowest order and morals--should at any time prove
    to be HEREDITARY in the unhappy young woman whom I
    took as AN OUTCAST.  But her principles have hitherto
    been correct (I believe), and I am sure nothing will
    occur to injure them in the elegant and refined circle
    of the eminent Sir Pitt Crawley.
    Miss Rebecca Sharp to Miss Amelia Sedley.
    I have not written to my beloved Amelia for these
    many weeks past, for what news was there to tell of the
    sayings and doings at Humdrum Hall, as I have
    christened it; and what do you care whether the turnip crop
    is good or bad; whether the fat pig weighed thirteen
    stone or fourteen; and whether the beasts thrive well
    upon mangelwurzel? Every day since I last wrote has
    been like its neighbour.  Before breakfast, a walk with
    Sir Pitt and his spud; after breakfast studies (such as
    they are) in the schoolroom; after schoolroom, reading
    and writing about lawyers, leases, coal-mines, canals,
    with Sir Pitt (whose secretary I am become); after
    dinner, Mr. Crawley's discourses on the baronet's
    backgammon; during both of which amusements my lady
    looks on with equal placidity.  She has become rather
    more interesting by being ailing of late, which has
    brought a new visitor to the Hall, in the person of a
    young doctor.  Well, my dear, young women need never
    despair.  The young doctor gave a certain friend of yours
    to understand that, if she chose to be Mrs. Glauber, she
    was welcome to ornament the surgery! I told his
    impudence that the gilt pestle and mortar was quite
    ornament enough; as if I was born, indeed, to be a country
    surgeon's wife! Mr. Glauber went home seriously
    indisposed at his rebuff, took a cooling draught, and is now
    quite cured.  Sir Pitt applauded my resolution highly;
    he would be sorry to lose his little secretary, I think;
    and I believe the old wretch likes me as much as it is in
    his nature to like any one.  Marry, indeed! and with a
    country apothecary, after--No, no, one cannot so
    soon forget old associations, about which I will talk no
    more.  Let us return to Humdrum Hall.
    For some time past it is Humdrum Hall no longer.
    My dear, Miss Crawley has arrived with her fat horses,
    fat servants, fat spaniel--the great rich Miss Crawley,
    with seventy thousand pounds in the five per cents.,
    whom, or I had better say WHICH, her two brothers
    adore.  She looks very apoplectic, the dear soul; no
    wonder her brothers are anxious about her.  You should see
    them struggling to settle her cushions, or to hand her
    coffee! "When I come into the country," she says (for
    she has a great deal of humour), "I leave my toady,
    Miss Briggs, at home.  My brothers are my toadies here,
    my dear, and a pretty pair they are!"
    When she comes into the country our hall is thrown
    open, and for a month, at least, you would fancy old
    Sir Walpole was come to life again.  We have dinner-
    parties, and drive out in the coach-and-four the
    footmen put on their newest canary-coloured liveries; we
    drink claret and champagne as if we were accustomed
    to it every day.  We have wax candles in the schoolroom,
    and fires to warm ourselves with.  Lady Crawley is made
    to put on the brightest pea-green in her wardrobe, and
    my pupils leave off their thick shoes and tight old
    tartan pelisses, and wear silk stockings and muslin frocks,
    as fashionable baronets' daughters should.  Rose came in
    yesterday in a sad plight--the Wiltshire sow (an
    enormous pet of hers) ran her down, and destroyed a most
    lovely flowered lilac silk dress by dancing over it--had
    this happened a week ago, Sir Pitt would have sworn
    frightfully, have boxed the poor wretch's ears, and put
    her upon bread and water for a month.  All he said was,
    "I'll serve you out, Miss, when your aunt's gone," and
    laughed off the accident as quite trivial.  Let us hope his
    wrath will have passed away before Miss Crawley's
    departure.  I hope so, for Miss Rose's sake, I am sure.
    What a charming reconciler and peacemaker money is!
    Another admirable effect of Miss Crawley and her
    seventy thousand pounds is to be seen in the conduct
    of the two brothers Crawley.  I mean the baronet and
    the rector, not OUR brothers--but the former, who hate
    each other all the year round, become quite loving at
    Christmas.  I wrote to you last year how the abominable
    horse-racing rector was in the habit of preaching clumsy
    sermons at us at church, and how Sir Pitt snored in
    answer.  When Miss Crawley arrives there is no such thing
    as quarrelling heard of--the Hall visits the Rectory, and
    vice versa--the parson and the Baronet talk about the
    pigs and the poachers, and the county business, in the
    most affable manner, and without quarrelling in their
    cups, I believe--indeed Miss Crawley won't hear of their
    quarrelling, and vows that she will leave her money to
    the Shropshire Crawleys if they offend her.  If they were
    clever people, those Shropshire Crawleys, they might
    have it all, I think; but the Shropshire Crawley is a
    clergyman like his Hampshire cousin, and mortally offended
    Miss Crawley (who had fled thither in a fit of rage
    against her impracticable brethren) by some strait-laced
    notions of morality.  He would have prayers in the house,
    I believe.
    Our sermon books are shut up when Miss Crawley
    arrives, and Mr. Pitt, whom she abominates, finds it
    convenient to go to town.  On the other hand, the young
    dandy--"blood," I believe, is the term--Captain Crawley
    makes his appearance, and I suppose you will like to
    know what sort of a person he is.
    Well, he is a very large young dandy.  He is six feet
    high, and speaks with a great voice; and swears a great
    deal; and orders about the servants, who all adore him
    nevertheless; for he is very generous of his money, and
    the domestics will do anything for him.  Last week the
    keepers almost killed a bailiff and his man who came
    down from London to arrest the Captain, and who were
    found lurking about the Park wall--they beat them,
    ducked them, and were going to shoot them for
    poachers, but the baronet interfered.
    The Captain has a hearty contempt for his father, I
    can see, and calls him an old PUT, an old SNOB, an old
    CHAW-BACON, and numberless other pretty names.  He has
    a DREADFUL REPUTATION among the ladies.  He brings his
    hunters home with him, lives with the Squires of the
    county, asks whom he pleases to dinner, and Sir Pitt
    dares not say no, for fear of offending Miss Crawley,
    and missing his legacy when she dies of her apoplexy.
    Shall I tell you a compliment the Captain paid me?  I
    must, it is so pretty.  One evening we actually had a
    dance; there was Sir Huddleston Fuddleston and his
    family, Sir Giles Wapshot and his young ladies, and I
    don't know how many more.  Well, I heard him say--
    "By Jove, she's a neat little filly!" meaning your humble
    servant; and he did me the honour to dance two country-
    dances with me.  He gets on pretty gaily with the young
    Squires, with whom he drinks, bets, rides, and talks
    about hunting and shooting; but he says the country
    girls are BORES; indeed, I don't think he is far wrong.
    You should see the contempt with which they look down
    on poor me! When they dance I sit and play the piano
    very demurely; but the other night, coming in rather
    flushed from the dining-room, and seeing me employed
    in this way, he swore out loud that I was the best dancer
    in the room, and took a great oath that he would have
    the fiddlers from Mudbury.
    "I'll go and play a country-dance," said Mrs. Bute
    Crawley, very readily (she is a little, black-faced old
    woman in a turban, rather crooked, and with very
    twinkling eyes); and after the Captain and your poor little
    Rebecca had performed a dance together, do you know
    she actually did me the honour to compliment me upon
    my steps! Such a thing was never heard of before; the
    proud Mrs. Bute Crawley, first cousin to the Earl of
    Tiptoff, who won't condescend to visit Lady Crawley,
    except when her sister is in the country.  Poor Lady
    Crawley! during most part of these gaieties, she is
    upstairs taking pills.
    Mrs. Bute has all of a sudden taken a great fancy to
    me.  "My dear Miss Sharp," she says, "why not bring
    over your girls to the Rectory?--their cousins will be so
    happy to see them." I know what she means.  Signor
    Clementi did not teach us the piano for nothing; at
    which price Mrs. Bute hopes to get a professor for her
    children.  I can see through her schemes, as though she
    told them to me; but I shall go, as I am determined to
    make myself agreeable--is it not a poor governess's
    duty, who has not a friend or protector in the world?
    The Rector's wife paid me a score of compliments about
    the progress my pupils made, and thought, no doubt, to
    touch my heart--poor, simple, country soul!--as if I
    cared a fig about my pupils!
    Your India muslin and your pink silk, dearest Amelia,
    are said to become me very well.  They are a good deal
    worn now; but, you know, we poor girls can't afford des
    fraiches toilettes.  Happy, happy you! who have but to
    drive to St. James's Street, and a dear mother who will
    give you any thing you ask.  Farewell, dearest girl,
    Your affectionate
    P.S.--I wish you could have seen the faces of the
    Miss Blackbrooks (Admiral Blackbrook's daughters, my
    dear), fine young ladies, with dresses from London,
    when Captain Rawdon selected poor me for a partner!
    When Mrs. Bute Crawley (whose artifices our ingenious
    Rebecca had so soon discovered) had procured from
    Miss Sharp the promise of a visit, she induced the all-
    powerful Miss Crawley to make the necessary application
    to Sir Pitt, and the good-natured old lady, who loved to
    be gay herself, and to see every one gay and happy round
    about her, was quite charmed, and ready to establish a
    reconciliation and intimacy between her two brothers.
    It was therefore agreed that the young people of both
    families should visit each other frequently for the future,
    and the friendship of course lasted as long as the jovial
    old mediatrix was there to keep the peace.
    "Why did you ask that scoundrel, Rawdon Crawley, to
    dine?" said the Rector to his lady, as they were walking
    home through the park.  "I don't want the fellow.  He looks
    down upon us country people as so many blackamoors.
    He's never content unless he gets my yellow-sealed wine,
    which costs me ten shillings a bottle, hang him! Besides,
    he's such an infernal character--he's a gambler--he's a
    drunkard--he's a profligate in every way.  He shot a man
    in a duel--he's over head and ears in debt, and he's
    robbed me and mine of the best part of Miss Crawley's
    fortune.  Waxy says she has him"--here the Rector shook
    his fist at the moon, with something very like an oath,
    and added, in a melancholious tone, "--, down in her will
    for fifty thousand; and there won't be above thirty to
    "I think she's going," said the Rector's wife.  "She was
    very red in the face when we left dinner.  I was obliged
    to unlace her."
    "She drank seven glasses of champagne," said the
    reverend gentleman, in a low voice; "and filthy champagne
    it is, too, that my brother poisons us with--but you
    women never know what's what."
    "We know nothing," said Mrs. Bute Crawley.
    "She drank cherry-brandy after dinner," continued his
    Reverence, "and took curacao with her coffee.  I
    wouldn't take a glass for a five-pound note: it kills me
    with heartburn.  She can't stand it, Mrs. Crawley--she
    must go--flesh and blood won't bear it! and I lay five to
    two, Matilda drops in a year."
    Indulging in these solemn speculations, and thinking
    about his debts, and his son Jim at College, and Frank at
    Woolwich, and the four girls, who were no beauties, poor
    things, and would not have a penny but what they got from
    the aunt's expected legacy, the Rector and his lady walked
    on for a while.
    "Pitt can't be such an infernal villain as to sell the
    reversion of the living.  And that Methodist milksop of an
    eldest son looks to Parliament," continued Mr. Crawley,
    after a pause.
    "Sir Pitt Crawley will do anything," said the Rector's
    wife.  "We must get Miss Crawley to make him promise it
    to James."
    "Pitt will promise anything," replied the brother.  "He
    promised he'd pay my college bills, when my father died;
    he promised he'd build the new wing to the Rectory;
    he promised he'd let me have Jibb's field and the Six-
    acre Meadow--and much he executed his promises! And
    it's to this man's son--this scoundrel, gambler, swindler,
    murderer of a Rawdon Crawley, that Matilda leaves the
    bulk of her money.  I say it's un-Christian.  By Jove, it is.
    The infamous dog has got every vice except hypocrisy,
    and that belongs to his brother."
    "Hush, my dearest love! we're in Sir Pitt's grounds,"
    interposed his wife.
    "I say he has got every vice, Mrs. Crawley.  Don't
    Ma'am, bully me.  Didn't he shoot Captain Marker? Didn't
    he rob young Lord Dovedale at the Cocoa-Tree? Didn't
    he cross the fight between Bill Soames and the Cheshire
    Trump, by which I lost forty pound? You know he did;
    and as for the women, why, you heard that before me, in
    my own magistrate's room "
    "For heaven's sake, Mr. Crawley," said the lady, "spare
    me the details."
    "And you ask this villain into your house!" continued
    the exasperated Rector.  "You, the mother of a young
    family--the wife of a clergyman of the Church of
    England.  By Jove!"
    "Bute Crawley, you are a fool," said the Rector's wife
    "Well, Ma'am, fool or not--and I don't say, Martha,
    I'm so clever as you are, I never did.  But I won't meet
    Rawdon Crawley, that's flat.  I'll go over to Huddleston,
    that I will, and see his black greyhound, Mrs. Crawley;
    and I'll run Lancelot against him for fifty.  By Jove, I will;
    or against any dog in England.  But I won't meet that
    beast Rawdon Crawley."
    "Mr. Crawley, you are intoxicated, as usual," replied
    his wife.  And the next morning, when the Rector woke,
    and called for small beer, she put him in mind of his
    promise to visit Sir Huddleston Fuddleston on Saturday,
    and as he knew he should have a wet night, it was agreed
    that he might gallop back again in time for church on
    Sunday morning.  Thus it will be seen that the parishioners
    of Crawley were equally happy in their Squire and in their
    Miss Crawley had not long been established at the Hall
    before Rebecca's fascinations had won the heart of that
    good-natured London rake, as they had of the country
    innocents whom we have been describing.  Taking her
    accustomed drive, one day, she thought fit to order that
    "that little governess" should accompany her to Mudbury.
    Before they had returned Rebecca had made a conquest
    of her; having made her laugh four times, and amused her
    during the whole of the little journey.
    "Not let Miss Sharp dine at table!" said she to Sir Pitt,
    who had arranged a dinner of ceremony, and asked all the
    neighbouring baronets.  "My dear creature, do you
    suppose I can talk about the nursery with Lady Fuddleston, or
    discuss justices' business with that goose, old Sir Giles
    Wapshot? I insist upon Miss Sharp appearing.  Let Lady
    Crawley remain upstairs, if there is no room.  But little
    Miss Sharp! Why, she's the only person fit to talk to in
    the county!"
    Of course, after such a peremptory order as this, Miss
    Sharp, the governess, received commands to dine with the
    illustrious company below stairs.  And when Sir Huddleston
    had, with great pomp and ceremony, handed Miss
    Crawley in to dinner, and was preparing to take his
    place by her side, the old lady cried out, in a shrill
    voice, "Becky Sharp!  Miss Sharp!  Come you and sit by
    me and amuse me; and let Sir Huddleston sit by Lady
    When the parties were over, and the carriages had
    rolled away, the insatiable Miss Crawley would say,
    "Come to my dressing room, Becky, and let us abuse the
    company"--which, between them, this pair of friends did
    perfectly.  Old Sir Huddleston wheezed a great deal at
    dinner; Sir Giles Wapshot had a particularly noisy manner
    of imbibing his soup, and her ladyship a wink of the left
    eye; all of which Becky caricatured to admiration; as well
    as the particulars of the night's conversation; the politics;
    the war; the quarter-sessions; the famous run with the
    H.H., and those heavy and dreary themes, about which
    country gentlemen converse.  As for the Misses Wapshot's
    toilettes and Lady Fuddleston's famous yellow hat, Miss
    Sharp tore them to tatters, to the infinite amusement
    of her audience.
    "My dear, you are a perfect trouvaille," Miss Crawley
    would say.  "I wish you could come to me in London,
    but I couldn't make a butt of you as I do of poor Briggs
    no, no, you little sly creature; you are too clever--Isn't
    she, Firkin?"
    Mrs. Firkin (who was dressing the very small
    remnant of hair which remained on Miss Crawley's pate),
    flung up her head and said, "I think Miss is very clever,"
    with the most killing sarcastic air.  In fact, Mrs. Firkin
    had that natural jealousy which is one of the main
    principles of every honest woman.
    After rebuffing Sir Huddleston Fuddleston, Miss
    Crawley ordered that Rawdon Crawley should lead her in
    to dinner every day, and that Becky should follow with her
    cushion--or else she would have Becky's arm and
    Rawdon with the pillow.  "We must sit together," she said.
    "We're the only three Christians in the county, my love"
    --in which case, it must be confessed, that religion was
    at a very low ebb in the county of Hants.
    Besides being such a fine religionist, Miss Crawley
    was, as we have said, an Ultra-liberal in opinions, and
    always took occasion to express these in the most candid
    "What is birth, my dear!" she would say to Rebecca--
    "Look at my brother Pitt; look at the Huddlestons, who
    have been here since Henry II; look at poor Bute at the
    parsonage--is any one of them equal to you in intelligence
    or breeding? Equal to you--they are not even equal to
    poor dear Briggs, my companion, or Bowls, my butler.
    You, my love, are a little paragon--positively a little
    jewel--You have more brains than half the shire--if
    merit had its reward you ought to be a Duchess--no,
    there ought to be no duchesses at all--but you ought to
    have no superior, and I consider you, my love, as my
    equal in every respect; and--will you put some coals on
    the fire, my dear; and will you pick this dress of mine, and
    alter it, you who can do it so well?" So this old philanthropist
    used to make her equal run of her errands, execute her
    millinery, and read her to sleep with French novels,
    every night.
    At this time, as some old readers may recollect, the
    genteel world had been thrown into a considerable state
    of excitement by two events, which, as the papers say,
    might give employment to the gentlemen of the long robe.
    Ensign Shafton had run away with Lady Barbara Fitzurse,
    the Earl of Bruin's daughter and heiress; and poor Vere
    Vane, a gentleman who, up to forty, had maintained a
    most respectable character and reared a numerous family,
    suddenly and outrageously left his home, for the sake of
    Mrs. Rougemont, the actress, who was sixty-five years
    of age.
    "That was the most beautiful part of dear Lord
    Nelson's character," Miss Crawley said.  "He went to the
    deuce for a woman.  There must be good in a man who will
    do that.  I adore all impudent matches.--What I like
    best, is for a nobleman to marry a miller's daughter, as
    Lord Flowerdale did--it makes all the women so angry
    --I wish some great man would run away with you, my
    dear; I'm sure you're pretty enough."
    "Two post-boys!--Oh, it would be delightful!" Rebecca
    "And what I like next best, is for a poor fellow to run
    away with a rich girl.  I have set my heart on Rawdon
    running away with some one."
    "A rich some one, or a poor some one?"
    "Why, you goose! Rawdon has not a shilling but what I
    give him.  He is crible de dettes--he must repair his
    fortunes, and succeed in the world."
    "Is he very clever?" Rebecca asked.
    "Clever, my love?--not an idea in the world beyond his
    horses, and his regiment, and his hunting, and his play;
    but he must succeed--he's so delightfully wicked.  Don't
    you know he has hit a man, and shot an injured father
    through the hat only? He's adored in his regiment; and all
    the young men at Wattier's and the Cocoa-Tree swear by
    When Miss Rebecca Sharp wrote to her beloved friend
    the account of the little ball at Queen's Crawley, and the
    manner in which, for the first time, Captain Crawley had
    distinguished her, she did not, strange to relate, give an
    altogether accurate account of the transaction.  The Captain
    had distinguished her a great number of times before.  The
    Captain had met her in a half-score of walks.  The Captain
    had lighted upon her in a half-hundred of corridors and
    passages.  The Captain had hung over her piano twenty
    times of an evening (my Lady was now upstairs, being ill,
    and nobody heeded her) as Miss Sharp sang.  The Captain had
    written her notes (the best that the great blundering
    dragoon could devise and spell; but dulness gets on
    as well as any other quality with women).  But when he
    put the first of the notes into the leaves of the song she
    was singing, the little governess, rising and looking him
    steadily in the face, took up the triangular missive daintily,
    and waved it about as if it were a cocked hat, and she,
    advancing to the enemy, popped the note into the fire, and
    made him a very low curtsey, and went back to her
    place, and began to sing away again more merrily than
    "What's that?" said Miss Crawley, interrupted in her
    after-dinner doze by the stoppage of the music.
    "It's a false note," Miss Sharp said with a laugh; and
    Rawdon Crawley fumed with rage and mortification.
    Seeing the evident partiality of Miss Crawley for the
    new governess, how good it was of Mrs. Bute Crawley not
    to be jealous, and to welcome the young lady to the
    Rectory, and not only her, but Rawdon Crawley, her
    husband's rival in the Old Maid's five per cents! They
    became very fond of each other's society, Mrs. Crawley
    and her nephew.  He gave up hunting; he declined
    entertainments at Fuddleston: he would not dine with the
    mess of the depot at Mudbury: his great pleasure was to stroll
    over to Crawley parsonage--whither Miss Crawley came
    too; and as their mamma was ill, why not the children
    with Miss Sharp? So the children (little dears!) came with
    Miss Sharp; and of an evening some of the party would
    walk back together.  Not Miss Crawley--she preferred her
    carriage--but the walk over the Rectory fields, and in at
    the little park wicket, and through the dark plantation,
    and up the checkered avenue to Queen's Crawley, was
    charming in the moonlight to two such lovers of the
    picturesque as the Captain and Miss Rebecca.
    "O those stars, those stars!" Miss Rebecca would say,
    turning her twinkling green eyes up towards them.  "I
    feel myself almost a spirit when I gaze upon them."
    "O--ah--Gad--yes, so do I exactly, Miss Sharp," the
    other enthusiast replied.  "You don't mind my cigar, do
    you, Miss Sharp?"  Miss Sharp loved the smell of a cigar
    out of doors beyond everything in the world--and she just
    tasted one too, in the prettiest way possible, and gave a
    little puff, and a little scream, and a little giggle, and
    restored the delicacy to the Captain, who twirled his
    moustache, and straightway puffed it into a blaze that
    glowed quite red in the dark plantation, and swore--"Jove
    --aw--Gad--aw--it's the finest segaw I ever smoked in
    the world aw," for his intellect and conversation were
    alike brilliant and becoming to a heavy young dragoon.
    Old Sir Pitt, who was taking his pipe and beer, and
    talking to John Horrocks about a "ship" that was to be killed,
    espied the pair so occupied from his study-window, and
    with dreadful oaths swore that if it wasn't for Miss
    Crawley, he'd take Rawdon and bundle un out of doors, like a
    rogue as he was.
    "He be a bad'n, sure enough," Mr. Horrocks remarked;
    "and his man Flethers is wuss, and have made such a row
    in the housekeeper's room about the dinners and hale, as
    no lord would make--but I think Miss Sharp's a match
    for'n, Sir Pitt," he added, after a pause.
    And so, in truth, she was--for father and son too.
    Quite a Sentimental Chapter
    We must now take leave of Arcadia, and those amiable
    people practising the rural virtues there, and travel back
    to London, to inquire what has become of Miss Amelia
    "We don't care a fig for her," writes some unknown
    correspondent with a pretty little handwriting and a pink seal
    to her note.  "She is fade and insipid," and adds some more
    kind remarks in this strain, which I should never have
    repeated at all, but that they are in truth prodigiously
    complimentary to the young lady whom they concern.
    Has the beloved reader, in his experience of society,
    never heard similar remarks by good-natured female
    friends; who always wonder what you CAN see in Miss
    Smith that is so fascinating; or what COULD induce Major
    Jones to propose for that silly insignificant simpering Miss
    Thompson, who has nothing but her wax-doll face to
    recommend her? What is there in a pair of pink cheeks
    and blue eyes forsooth? these dear Moralists ask, and hint
    wisely that the gifts of genius, the accomplishments of the
    mind, the mastery of Mangnall's Questions, and a ladylike
    knowledge of botany and geology, the knack of making
    poetry, the power of rattling sonatas in the Herz-manner,
    and so forth, are far more valuable endowments for a
    female, than those fugitive charms which a few years will
    inevitably tarnish.  It is quite edifying to hear women
    speculate upon the worthlessness and the duration of
    But though virtue is a much finer thing, and those
    hapless creatures who suffer under the misfortune of good
    looks ought to be continually put in mind of the fate
    which awaits them; and though, very likely, the heroic
    female character which ladies admire is a more glorious
    and beautiful object than the kind, fresh, smiling, artless,
    tender little domestic goddess, whom men are inclined
    to worship--yet the latter and inferior sort of women
    must have this consolation--that the men do admire them
    after all; and that, in spite of all our kind friends' warnings
    and protests, we go on in our desperate error and
    folly, and shall to the end of the chapter.  Indeed, for my
    own part, though I have been repeatedly told by persons
    for whom I have the greatest respect, that Miss Brown is
    an insignificant chit, and Mrs. White has nothing but her
    petit minois chiffonne, and Mrs. Black has not a word to
    say for herself; yet I know that I have had the most
    delightful conversations with Mrs. Black (of course, my
    dear Madam, they are inviolable): I see all the men in a
    cluster round Mrs. White's chair: all the young fellows
    battling to dance with Miss Brown; and so I am tempted
    to think that to be despised by her sex is a very great
    compliment to a woman.
    The young ladies in Amelia's society did this for her
    very satisfactorily.  For instance, there was scarcely any
    point upon which the Misses Osborne, George's sisters,
    and the Mesdemoiselles Dobbin agreed so well as in their
    estimate of her very trifling merits: and their wonder that
    their brothers could find any charms in her.  "We are kind
    to her," the Misses Osborne said, a pair of fine black-
    browed young ladies who had had the best of governesses,
    masters, and milliners; and they treated her with
    such extreme kindness and condescension, and patronised
    her so insufferably, that the poor little thing was in fact
    perfectly dumb in their presence, and to all outward
    appearance as stupid as they thought her.  She made efforts
    to like them, as in duty bound, and as sisters of her
    future husband.  She passed "long mornings" with them
    --the most dreary and serious of forenoons.  She drove
    out solemnly in their great family coach with them, and
    Miss Wirt their governess, that raw-boned Vestal.  They
    took her to the ancient concerts by way of a treat, and
    to the oratorio, and to St. Paul's to see the charity
    children, where in such terror was she of her friends, she
    almost did not dare be affected by the hymn the children
    sang.  Their house was comfortable; their papa's table
    rich and handsome; their society solemn and genteel;
    their self-respect prodigious; they had the best pew at
    the Foundling: all their habits were pompous and orderly,
    and all their amusements intolerably dull and decorous.
    After every one of her visits (and oh how glad she was
    when they were over!) Miss Osborne and Miss Maria
    Osborne, and Miss Wirt, the vestal governess, asked each
    other with increased wonder, "What could George find in
    that creature?"
    How is this? some carping reader exclaims.  How is it
    that Amelia, who had such a number of friends at
    school, and was so beloved there, comes out into the
    world and is spurned by her discriminating sex? My dear
    sir, there were no men at Miss Pinkerton's establishment
    except the old dancing-master; and you would not have
    had the girls fall out about HIM? When George, their
    handsome brother, ran off directly after breakfast, and
    dined from home half-a-dozen times a week, no wonder
    the neglected sisters felt a little vexation.  When young
    Bullock (of the firm of Hulker, Bullock & Co., Bankers,
    Lombard Street), who had been making up to Miss Maria
    the last two seasons, actually asked Amelia to dance the
    cotillon, could you expect that the former young lady
    should be pleased? And yet she said she was, like an
    artless forgiving creature.  "I'm so delighted you like dear
    Amelia," she said quite eagerly to Mr. Bullock after the
    dance.  "She's engaged to my brother George; there's not
    much in her, but she's the best-natured and most
    unaffected young creature: at home we're all so fond of her."
    Dear girl! who can calculate the depth of affection
    expressed in that enthusiastic SO?
    Miss Wirt and these two affectionate young women so
    earnestly and frequently impressed upon George
    Osborne's mind the enormity of the sacrifice he was making,
    and his romantic generosity in throwing himself away
    upon Amelia, that I'm not sure but that he really thought
    he was one of the most deserving characters in the British
    army, and gave himself up to be loved with a good deal
    of easy resignation.
    Somehow, although he left home every morning, as was
    stated, and dined abroad six days in the week, when his
    sisters believed the infatuated youth to be at Miss Sedley's
    apron-strings: he was NOT always with Amelia, whilst the
    world supposed him at her feet.  Certain it is that on more
    occasions than one, when Captain Dobbin called to look
    for his friend, Miss Osborne (who was very attentive to
    the Captain, and anxious to hear his military stories, and
    to know about the health of his dear Mamma), would
    laughingly point to the opposite side of the square, and
    say, "Oh, you must go to the Sedleys' to ask for George;
    WE never see him from morning till night." At which kind
    of speech the Captain would laugh in rather an absurd
    constrained manner, and turn off the conversation, like
    a consummate man of the world, to some topic of general
    interest, such as the Opera, the Prince's last ball at
    Carlton House, or the weather--that blessing to society.
    "What an innocent it is, that pet of yours," Miss Maria
    would then say to Miss Jane, upon the Captain's
    departure.  "Did you see how he blushed at the mention of
    poor George on duty?"
    "It's a pity Frederick Bullock hadn't some of his
    modesty, Maria," replies the elder sister, with a toss of he
    "Modesty!  Awkwardness you mean, Jane.  I don't want
    Frederick to trample a hole in my muslin frock, as
    Captain Dobbin did in yours at Mrs. Perkins'."
    "In YOUR frock, he, he!  How could he? Wasn't he
    dancing with Amelia?"
    The fact is, when Captain Dobbin blushed so, and
    looked so awkward, he remembered a circumstance of
    which he did not think it was necessary to inform the
    young ladies, viz., that he had been calling at Mr. Sedley's
    house already, on the pretence of seeing George, of
    course, and George wasn't there, only poor little Amelia,
    with rather a sad wistful face, seated near the drawing-
    room window, who, after some very trifling stupid talk,
    ventured to ask, was there any truth in the report that
    the regiment was soon to be ordered abroad; and had
    Captain Dobbin seen Mr. Osborne that day?
    The regiment was not ordered abroad as yet; and
    Captain Dobbin had not seen George.  "He was with his
    sister, most likely," the Captain said.  "Should he go and
    fetch the truant?"  So she gave him her hand kindly and
    gratefully: and he crossed the square; and she waited
    and waited, but George never came.
    Poor little tender heart! and so it goes on hoping and
    beating, and longing and trusting.  You see it is not much
    of a life to describe.  There is not much of what you call
    incident in it.  Only one feeling all day--when will he
    come? only one thought to sleep and wake upon.  I
    believe George was playing billiards with Captain Cannon
    in Swallow Street at the time when Amelia was asking
    Captain Dobbin about him; for George was a jolly
    sociable fellow, and excellent in all games of skill.
    Once, after three days of absence, Miss Amelia put on
    her bonnet, and actually invaded the Osborne house.
    "What! leave our brother to come to us?" said the young
    ladies.  "Have you had a quarrel, Amelia? Do tell us!"
    No, indeed, there had been no quarrel.  "Who could
    quarrel with him?" says she, with her eyes filled with tears.
    She only came over to--to see her dear friends; they had
    not met for so long.  And this day she was so perfectly
    stupid and awkward, that the Misses Osborne and their
    governess, who stared after her as she went sadly away,
    wondered more than ever what George could see in poor
    little Amelia.
    Of course they did.  How was she to bare that timid
    little heart for the inspection of those young ladies with
    their bold black eyes? It was best that it should shrink
    and hide itself.  I know the Misses Osborne were excellent
    critics of a Cashmere shawl, or a pink satin slip; and
    when Miss Turner had hers dyed purple, and made into
    a spencer; and when Miss Pickford had her ermine
    tippet twisted into a muff and trimmings, I warrant you the
    changes did not escape the two intelligent young women
    before mentioned.  But there are things, look you, of a
    finer texture than fur or satin, and all Solomon's glories,
    and all the wardrobe of the Queen of Sheba--things
    whereof the beauty escapes the eyes of many
    connoisseurs.  And there are sweet modest little souls on
    which you light, fragrant and blooming tenderly in quiet shady
    places; and there are garden-ornaments, as big as brass
    warming-pans, that are fit to stare the sun itself out of
    countenance.  Miss Sedley was not of the sunflower sort;
    and I say it is out of the rules of all proportion to draw
    a violet of the size of a double dahlia.
    No, indeed; the life of a good young girl who is in the
    paternal nest as yet, can't have many of those thrilling
    incidents to which the heroine of romance commonly lays
    claim.  Snares or shot may take off the old birds foraging
    without--hawks may be abroad, from which they escape
    or by whom they suffer; but the young ones in the nest
    have a pretty comfortable unromantic sort of existence
    in the down and the straw, till it comes to their turn,
    too, to get on the wing.  While Becky Sharp was on her
    own wing in the country, hopping on all sorts of twigs,
    and amid a multiplicity of traps, and pecking up her food
    quite harmless and successful, Amelia lay snug in her
    home of Russell Square; if she went into the world, it
    was under the guidance of the elders; nor did it seem
    that any evil could befall her or that opulent cheery
    comfortable home in which she was affectionately sheltered.
    Mamma had her morning duties, and her daily drive,
    and the delightful round of visits and shopping which
    forms the amusement, or the profession as you may call
    it, of the rich London lady.  Papa conducted his
    mysterious operations in the City--a stirring place in those
    days, when war was raging all over Europe, and empires
    were being staked; when the "Courier" newspaper had
    tens of thousands of subscribers; when one day brought
    you a battle of Vittoria, another a burning of Moscow, or
    a newsman's horn blowing down Russell Square about
    dinner-time, announced such a fact as--"Battle of
    Leipsic--six hundred thousand men engaged--total
    defeat of the French--two hundred thousand killed." Old
    Sedley once or twice came home with a very grave face;
    and no wonder, when such news as this was agitating all
    the hearts and all the Stocks of Europe.
    Meanwhile matters went on in Russell Square, Bloomsbury,
    just as if matters in Europe were not in the least
    disorganised.  The retreat from Leipsic made no
    difference in the number of meals Mr. Sambo took in the
    servants' hall; the allies poured into France, and the
    dinner-belI rang at five o'clock just as usual.  I don't think
    poor Amelia cared anything about Brienne and Montmirail,
    or was fairly interested in the war until the abdication
    of the Emperor; when she clapped her hands and said
    prayers--oh, how grateful! and flung herself into George
    Osborne's arms with all her soul, to the astonishment of
    everybody who witnessed that ebullition of sentiment.
    The fact is, peace was declared, Europe was going to be
    at rest; the Corsican was overthrown, and Lieutenant
    Osborne's regiment would not be ordered on service.  That
    was the way in which Miss Amelia reasoned.  The fate of
    Europe was Lieutenant George Osborne to her.  His
    dangers being over, she sang Te Deum.  He was her Europe:
    her emperor: her allied monarchs and august prince
    regent.  He was her sun and moon; and I believe she
    thought the grand illumination and ball at the Mansion
    House, given to the sovereigns, were especially in honour
    of George Osborne.
    We have talked of shift, self, and poverty, as those
    dismal instructors under whom poor Miss Becky Sharp
    got her education.  Now, love was Miss Amelia Sedley's
    last tutoress, and it was amazing what progress our young
    lady made under that popular teacher.  In the course of
    fifteen or eighteen months' daily and constant attention to
    this eminent finishing governess, what a deal of secrets
    Amelia learned, which Miss Wirt and the black-eyed
    young ladies over the way, which old Miss Pinkerton of
    Chiswick herself, had no cognizance of!  As, indeed, how
    should any of those prim and reputable virgins?  With
    Misses P. and W. the tender passion is out of the
    question: I would not dare to breathe such an idea regarding
    them.  Miss Maria Osborne, it is true, was "attached" to
    Mr. Frederick Augustus Bullock, of the firm of Hulker,
    Bullock & Bullock; but hers was a most respectable
    attachment, and she would have taken Bullock Senior just
    the same, her mind being fixed--as that of a well-bred
    young woman should be--upon a house in Park Lane,
    a country house at Wimbledon, a handsome chariot, and
    two prodigious tall horses and footmen, and a fourth of
    the annual profits of the eminent firm of Hulker &
    Bullock, all of which advantages were represented in the
    person of Frederick Augustus.  Had orange blossoms been
    invented then (those touching emblems of female purity
    imported by us from France, where people's daughters
    are universally sold in marriage), Miss Maria, I say,
    would have assumed the spotless wreath, and stepped into
    the travelling carriage by the side of gouty, old, bald-
    headed, bottle-nosed Bullock Senior; and devoted her
    beautiful existence to his happiness with perfect modesty
    --only the old gentleman was married already; so she
    bestowed her young affections on the junior partner.
    Sweet, blooming, orange flowers!  The other day I saw
    Miss Trotter (that was), arrayed in them, trip into the
    travelling carriage at St. George's, Hanover Square, and
    Lord Methuselah hobbled in after.  With what an engaging
    modesty she pulled down the blinds of the chariot--the
    dear innocent!  There were half the carriages of Vanity
    Fair at the wedding.
    This was not the sort of love that finished Amelia's
    education; and in the course of a year turned a good young
    girl into a good young woman--to be a good wife
    presently, when the happy time should come.  This young
    person (perhaps it was very imprudent in her parents to
    encourage her, and abet her in such idolatry and silly
    romantic ideas) loved, with all her heart, the young
    officer in His Majesty's service with whom we have made a
    brief acquaintance.  She thought about him the very first
    moment on waking; and his was the very last name
    mentioned m her prayers.  She never had seen a man so
    beautiful or so clever: such a figure on horseback: such
    a dancer: such a hero in general.  Talk of the Prince's
    bow! what was it to George's? She had seen Mr.
    Brummell, whom everybody praised so.  Compare such a person
    as that to her George! Not amongst all the beaux at the
    Opera (and there were beaux in those days with actual
    opera hats) was there any one to equal him.  He was only
    good enough to be a fairy prince; and oh, what
    magnanimity to stoop to such a humble Cinderella!  Miss
    Pinkerton would have tried to check this blind devotion
    very likely, had she been Amelia's confidante; but not
    with much success, depend upon it.  It is in the nature and
    instinct of some women.  Some are made to scheme, and
    some to love; and I wish any respected bachelor that
    reads this may take the sort that best likes him.
    While under this overpowering impression, Miss Amelia
    neglected her twelve dear friends at Chiswick most
    cruelly, as such selfish people commonly will do.  She had
    but this subject, of course, to think about; and Miss
    Saltire was too cold for a confidante, and she couldn't
    bring her mind to tell Miss Swartz, the woolly-haired
    young heiress from St. Kitt's.  She had little Laura Martin
    home for the holidays; and my belief is, she made a
    confidante of her, and promised that Laura should come
    and live with her when she was married, and gave Laura
    a great deal of information regarding the passion of
    love, which must have been singularly useful and novel
    to that little person.  Alas, alas!  I fear poor Emmy had
    not a well-regulated mind.
    What were her parents doing, not to keep this little
    heart from beating so fast?  Old Sedley did not seem much
    to notice matters.  He was graver of late, and his City
    affairs absorbed him.  Mrs. Sedley was of so easy and
    uninquisitive a nature that she wasn't even jealous.  Mr.
    Jos was away, being besieged by an Irish widow at
    Cheltenham.  Amelia had the house to herself--ah! too
    much to herself sometimes--not that she ever doubted;
    for, to be sure, George must be at the Horse Guards;
    and he can't always get leave from Chatham; and he must
    see his friends and sisters, and mingle in society when
    in town (he, such an ornament to every society!); and
    when he is with the regiment, he is too tired to write long
    letters.  I know where she kept that packet she had--and
    can steal in and out of her chamber like Iachimo--like
    Iachimo?  No--that is a bad part.  I will only act
    Moonshine, and peep harmless into the bed where faith and
    beauty and innocence lie dreaming.
    But if Osborne's were short and soldierlike letters, it
    must be confessed, that were Miss Sedley's letters to Mr.
    Osborne to be published, we should have to extend this
    novel to such a multiplicity of volumes as not the most
    sentimental reader could support; that she not only filled
    sheets of large paper, but crossed them with the most
    astonishing perverseness; that she wrote whole pages out
    of poetry-books without the least pity; that she
    underlined words and passages with quite a frantic emphasis;
    and, in fine, gave the usual tokens of her condition.  She
    wasn't a heroine.  Her letters were full of repetition.  She
    wrote rather doubtful grammar sometimes, and in her
    verses took all sorts of liberties with the metre.  But oh,
    mesdames, if you are not allowed to touch the heart
    sometimes in spite of syntax, and are not to be loved
    until you all know the difference between trimeter and
    tetrameter, may all Poetry go to the deuce, and every
    schoolmaster perish miserably!
    Sentimental and Otherwise
    I fear the gentleman to whom Miss Amelia's letters were
    addressed was rather an obdurate critic.  Such a number
    of notes followed Lieutenant Osborne about the country,
    that he became almost ashamed of the jokes of his
    mess-room companions regarding them, and ordered his
    servant never to deliver them except at his private apartment.
    He was seen lighting his cigar with one, to the horror of
    Captain Dobbin, who, it is my belief, would have given
    a bank-note for the document.
    For some time George strove to keep the liaison a
    secret.  There was a woman in the case, that he admitted.
    "And not the first either," said Ensign Spooney to Ensign
    Stubble.  "That Osborne's a devil of a fellow.  There was a
    judge's daughter at Demerara went almost mad about
    him; then there was that beautiful quadroon girl, Miss
    Pye, at St. Vincent's, you know; and since he's been
    home, they say he's a regular Don Giovanni, by Jove."
    Stubble and Spooney thought that to be a "regular
    Don Giovanni, by Jove" was one of the finest qualities a
    man could possess, and Osborne's reputation was
    prodigious amongst the young men of the regiment.  He
    was famous in field-sports, famous at a song, famous on
    parade; free with his money, which was bountifully
    supplied by his father.  His coats were better made than
    any man's in the regiment, and he had more of them.  He
    was adored by the men.  He could drink more than any
    officer of the whole mess, including old Heavytop, the
    colonel.  He could spar better than Knuckles, the private
    (who would have been a corporal but for his drunkenness,
    and who had been in the prize-ring); and was the best
    batter and bowler, out and out, of the regimental club.
    He rode his own horse, Greased Lightning, and won the
    Garrison cup at Quebec races.  There were other people
    besides Amelia who worshipped him.  Stubble and
    Spooney thought him a sort of Apollo; Dobbin took him
    to be an Admirable Crichton; and Mrs. Major O'Dowd
    acknowledged he was an elegant young fellow, and put
    her in mind of Fitzjurld Fogarty, Lord Castlefogarty's
    second son.
    Well, Stubble and Spooney and the rest indulged in
    most romantic conjectures regarding this female
    correspondent of Osborne's--opining that it was a Duchess in
    London who was in love with him--or that it was a
    General's daughter, who was engaged to somebody else,
    and madly attached to him--or that it was a Member of
    Parliament's lady, who proposed four horses and an
    elopement--or that it was some other victim of a passion
    delightfully exciting, romantic, and disgraceful to all
    parties, on none of which conjectures would Osborne throw
    the least light, leaving his young admirers and friends to
    invent and arrange their whole history.
    And the real state of the case would never have been
    known at all in the regiment but for Captain Dobbin's
    indiscretion.  The Captain was eating his breakfast one
    day in the mess-room, while Cackle, the assistant-surgeon,
    and the two above-named worthies were speculating upon
    Osborne's intrigue--Stubble holding out that the lady
    was a Duchess about Queen Charlotte's court, and Cackle
    vowing she was an opera-singer of the worst reputation.
    At this idea Dobbin became so moved, that though his
    mouth was full of eggs and bread-and-butter at the time,
    and though he ought not to have spoken at all, yet he
    couldn't help blurting out, "Cackle, you're a stupid fool.
    You're always talking nonsense and scandal.  Osborne is
    not going to run off with a Duchess or ruin a milliner.
    Miss Sedley is one of the most charming young women
    that ever lived.  He's been engaged to her ever so long;
    and the man who calls her names had better not do so
    in my hearing." With which, turning exceedingly red,
    Dobbin ceased speaking, and almost choked himself with
    a cup of tea.  The story was over the regiment in half-an-
    hour; and that very evening Mrs. Major O'Dowd wrote
    off to her sister Glorvina at O'Dowdstown not to hurry
    from Dublin--young Osborne being prematurely engaged
    She complimented the Lieutenant in an appropriate
    speech over a glass of whisky-toddy that evening, and he
    went home perfectly furious to quarrel with Dobbin (who
    had declined Mrs. Major O'Dowd's party, and sat in his
    own room playing the flute, and, I believe, writing poetry
    in a very melancholy manner)--to quarrel with Dobbin
    for betraying his secret.
    "Who the deuce asked you to talk about my affairs?"
    Osborne shouted indignantly.  "Why the devil is all the
    regiment to know that I am going to be married? Why is
    that tattling old harridan, Peggy O'Dowd, to make free
    with my name at her d--d supper-table, and advertise
    my engagement over the three kingdoms? After all, what
    right have you to say I am engaged, or to meddle in my
    business at all, Dobbin?"
    "It seems to me," Captain Dobbin began.
    "Seems be hanged, Dobbin," his junior interrupted
    him.  "I am under obligations to you, I know it, a d--d
    deal too well too; but I won't be always sermonised by
    you because you're five years my senior.  I'm hanged if
    I'll stand your airs of superiority and infernal pity and
    patronage.  Pity and patronage! I should like to know in
    what I'm your inferior?"
    "Are you engaged?" Captain Dobbin interposed.
    "What the devil's that to you or any one here if I am?"
    "Are you ashamed of it?" Dobbin resumed.
    "What right have you to ask me that question, sir? I
    should like to know," George said.
    "Good God, you don't mean to say you want to break
    off?" asked Dobbin, starting up.
    "In other words, you ask me if I'm a man of honour,"
    said Osborne, fiercely; "is that what you mean? You've
    adopted such a tone regarding me lately that I'm --
    if I'll bear it any more."
    "What have I done? I've told you you were neglecting
    a sweet girl, George.  I've told you that when you go to
    town you ought to go to her, and not to the gambling-
    houses about St. James's."
    "You want your money back, I suppose," said George,
    with a sneer.
    "Of course I do--I always did, didn't I?" says Dobbin.
    "You speak like a generous fellow."
    "No, hang it, William, I beg your pardon"--here
    George interposed in a fit of remorse; "you have been my
    friend in a hundred ways, Heaven knows.  You've got me
    out of a score of scrapes.  When Crawley of the Guards
    won that sum of money of me I should have been done
    but for you: I know I should.  But you shouldn't deal so
    hardly with me; you shouldn't be always catechising me.
    I am very fond of Amelia; I adore her, and that sort of
    thing.  Don't look angry.  She's faultless; I know she is.
    But you see there's no fun in winning a thing unless you
    play for it.  Hang it: the regiment's just back from the
    West Indies, I must have a little fling, and then when I'm
    married I'll reform; I will upon my honour, now.  And--I
    say--Dob--don't be angry with me, and I'll give you a
    hundred next month, when I know my father will stand
    something handsome; and I'll ask Heavytop for leave,
    and I'll go to town, and see Amelia to-morrow--there
    now, will that satisfy you?"
    "It is impossible to be long angry with you, George,"
    said the good-natured Captain; "and as for the money,
    old boy, you know if I wanted it you'd share your last
    shilling with me."
    "That I would, by Jove, Dobbin," George said, with
    the greatest generosity, though by the way he never had
    any money to spare.
    "Only I wish you had sown those wild oats of yours,
    George.  If you could have seen poor little Miss Emmy's
    face when she asked me about you the other day, you
    would have pitched those billiard-balls to the deuce.  Go
    and comfort her, you rascal.  Go and write her a long
    letter.  Do something to make her happy; a very little will."
    "I believe she's d--d fond of me," the Lieutenant said,
    with a self-satisfied air; and went off to finish the evening
    with some jolly fellows in the mess-room.
    Amelia meanwhile, in Russell Square, was looking at
    the moon, which was shining upon that peaceful spot, as
    well as upon the square of the Chatham barracks, where
    Lieutenant Osborne was quartered, and thinking to
    herself how her hero was employed.  Perhaps he is visiting
    the sentries, thought she; perhaps he is bivouacking;
    perhaps he is attending the couch of a wounded comrade, or
    studying the art of war up in his own desolate chamber.
    And her kind thoughts sped away as if they were angels
    and had wings, and flying down the river to Chatham
    and Rochester, strove to peep into the barracks where
    George was. . . . All things considered, I think it was
    as well the gates were shut, and the sentry allowed no
    one to pass; so that the poor little white-robed angel
    could not hear the songs those young fellows were
    roaring over the whisky-punch.
    The day after the little conversation at Chatham
    barracks, young Osborne, to show that he would be as good
    as his word, prepared to go to town, thereby incurring
    Captain Dobbin's applause.  "I should have liked to make her
    a little present," Osborne said to his friend in confidence,
    "only I am quite out of cash until my father tips up." But
    Dobbin would not allow this good nature and generosity
    to be balked, and so accommodated Mr. Osborne with a
    few pound notes, which the latter took after a little faint
    And I dare say he would have bought something very
    handsome for Amelia; only, getting off the coach in Fleet
    Street, he was attracted by a handsome shirt-pin in a
    jeweller's window, which he could not resist; and having
    paid for that, had very little money to spare for indulging
    in any further exercise of kindness.  Never mind: you may
    be sure it was not his presents Amelia wanted.  When he
    came to Russell Square, her face lighted up as if he had
    been sunshine.  The little cares, fears, tears, timid
    misgivings, sleepless fancies of I don't know how many days
    and nights, were forgotten, under one moment's influence
    of that familiar, irresistible smile.  He beamed on her
    from the drawing-room door--magnificent, with
    ambrosial whiskers, like a god.  Sambo, whose face as he
    announced Captain Osbin (having conferred a brevet rank
    on that young officer) blazed with a sympathetic grin, saw
    the little girl start, and flush, and jump up from her
    watching-place in the window; and Sambo retreated: and
    as soon as the door was shut, she went fluttering to
    Lieutenant George Osborne's heart as if it was the only natural
    home for her to nestle in.  Oh, thou poor panting little
    soul!  The very finest tree in the whole forest, with the
    straightest stem, and the strongest arms, and the
    thickest foliage, wherein you choose to build and coo, may
    be marked, for what you know, and may be down with a
    crash ere long.  What an old, old simile that is, between
    man and timber!
    In the meanwhile, George kissed her very kindly on
    her forehead and glistening eyes, and was very gracious
    and good; and she thought his diamond shirt-pin (which
    she had not known him to wear before) the prettiest
    ornament ever seen.
    The observant reader, who has marked our young
    Lieutenant's previous behaviour, and has preserved our
    report of the brief conversation which he has just had
    with Captain Dobbin, has possibly come to certain
    conclusions regarding the character of Mr. Osborne.  Some
    cynical Frenchman has said that there are two parties to
    a love-transaction: the one who loves and the other who
    condescends to be so treated.  Perhaps the love is
    occasionally on the man's side; perhaps on the lady's.
    Perhaps some infatuated swain has ere this mistaken
    insensibility for modesty, dulness for maiden reserve, mere
    vacuity for sweet bashfulness, and a goose, in a word,
    for a swan.  Perhaps some beloved female subscriber has
    arrayed an ass in the splendour and glory of her
    imagination; admired his dulness as manly simplicity;
    worshipped his selfishness as manly superiority; treated his
    stupidity as majestic gravity, and used him as the
    brilliant fairy Titania did a certain weaver at Athens.  I think
    I have seen such comedies of errors going on in the
    world.  But this is certain, that Amelia believed her lover
    to be one of the most gallant and brilliant men in the
    empire: and it is possible Lieutenant Osborne thought
    so too.
    He was a little wild: how many young men are; and
    don't girls like a rake better than a milksop?  He hadn't
    sown his wild oats as yet, but he would soon: and quit
    the army now that peace was proclaimed; the Corsican
    monster locked up at Elba; promotion by consequence
    over; and no chance left for the display of his undoubted
    military talents and valour: and his allowance, with
    Amelia's settlement, would enable them to take a snug
    place in the country somewhere, in a good sporting
    neighbourhood; and he would hunt a little, and farm a
    little; and they would be very happy.  As for remaining
    in the army as a married man, that was impossible.
    Fancy Mrs. George Osborne in lodgings in a county
    town; or, worse still, in the East or West Indies, with a
    society of officers, and patronized by Mrs. Major O'Dowd!
    Amelia died with laughing at Osborne's stories about
    Mrs. Major O'Dowd.  He loved her much too fondly to
    subject her to that horrid woman and her vulgarities,
    and the rough treatment of a soldier's wife.  He didn't
    care for himself--not he; but his dear little girl should
    take the place in society to which, as his wife, she was
    entitled: and to these proposals you may be sure she
    acceded, as she would to any other from the same author.
    Holding this kind of conversation, and building
    numberless castles in the air (which Amelia adorned with all
    sorts of flower-gardens, rustic walks, country churches,
    Sunday schools, and the like; while George had his
    mind's eye directed to the stables, the kennel, and the
    cellar), this young pair passed away a couple of hours
    very pleasantly; and as the Lieutenant had only that
    single day in town, and a great deal of most important
    business to transact, it was proposed that Miss Emmy should
    dine with her future sisters-in-law.  This invitation was
    accepted joyfully.  He conducted her to his sisters; where
    he left her talking and prattling in a way that astonished
    those ladies, who thought that George might make
    something of her; and he then went off to transact
    his business.
    In a word, he went out and ate ices at a pastry-cook's
    shop in Charing Cross; tried a new coat in Pall Mall;
    dropped in at the Old Slaughters', and called for Captain
    Cannon; played eleven games at billiards with the
    Captain, of which he won eight, and returned to Russell
    Square half an hour late for dinner, but in very good
    It was not so with old Mr. Osborne.  When that
    gentleman came from the City, and was welcomed in the
    drawing-room by his daughters and the elegant Miss
    Wirt, they saw at once by his face--which was puffy,
    solemn, and yellow at the best of times--and by the
    scowl and twitching of his black eyebrows, that the heart
    within his large white waistcoat was disturbed and
    uneasy.  When Amelia stepped forward to salute him, which
    she always did with great trembling and timidity, he gave
    a surly grunt of recognition, and dropped the little hand
    out of his great hirsute paw without any attempt to hold
    it there.  He looked round gloomily at his eldest daughter;
    who, comprehending the meaning of his look, which
    asked unmistakably, "Why the devil is she here?" said
    at once:
    "George is in town, Papa; and has gone to the Horse
    Guards, and will be back to dinner."
    "O he is, is he? I won't have the dinner kept waiting
    for him, Jane"; with which this worthy man lapsed into
    his particular chair, and then the utter silence in his
    genteel, well-furnished drawing-room was only
    interrupted by the alarmed ticking of the great French clock.
    When that chronometer, which was surmounted by a
    cheerful brass group of the sacrifice of Iphigenia, tolled
    five in a heavy cathedral tone, Mr. Osborne pulled the
    bell at his right hand-violently, and the butler rushed up.
    "Dinner!" roared Mr. Osborne.
    "Mr. George isn't come in, sir," interposed the man.
    "Damn Mr. George, sir.  Am I master of the house?
    DINNER!~ Mr. Osborne scowled.  Amelia trembled.  A
    telegraphic communication of eyes passed between the other
    three ladies.  The obedient bell in the lower regions began
    ringing the announcement of the meal.  The tolling over,
    the head of the family thrust his hands into the great
    tail-pockets of his great blue coat with brass buttons, and
    without waiting for a further announcement strode
    downstairs alone, scowling over his shoulder at the four
    "What's the matter now, my dear?" asked one of the
    other, as they rose and tripped gingerly behind the sire.
    "I suppose the funds are falling," whispered Miss Wirt;
    and so, trembling and in silence, this hushed female
    company followed their dark leader.  They took their places
    in silence.  He growled out a blessing, which sounded as
    gruffly as a curse.  The great silver dish-covers were
    removed.  Amelia trembled in her place, for she was next
    to the awful Osborne, and alone on her side of the table
    --the gap being occasioned by the absence of George.
    "Soup?" says Mr. Osborne, clutching the ladle, fixing
    his eyes on her, in a sepulchral tone; and having helped
    her and the rest, did not speak for a while.
    "Take Miss Sedley's plate away," at last he said.  "She
    can't eat the soup--no more can I.  It's beastly.  Take away
    the soup, Hicks, and to-morrow turn the cook out of
    the house, Jane."
    Having concluded his observations upon the soup, Mr.
    Osborne made a few curt remarks respecting the fish,
    also of a savage and satirical tendency, and cursed
    Billingsgate with an emphasis quite worthy of the place.
    Then he lapsed into silence, and swallowed sundry
    glasses of wine, looking more and more terrible, till a
    brisk knock at the door told of George's arrival when
    everybody began to rally.
    "He could not come before.  General Daguilet had kept
    him waiting at the Horse Guards.  Never mind soup or
    fish.  Give him anything--he didn't care what.  Capital
    mutton--capital everything." His good humour contrasted
    with his father's severity; and he rattled on unceasingly
    during dinner, to the delight of all--of one especially,
    who need not be mentioned.
    As soon as the young ladies had discussed the orange
    and the glass of wine which formed the ordinary
    conclusion of the dismal banquets at Mr. Osborne's house,
    the signal to make sail for the drawing-room was given,
    and they all arose and departed.  Amelia hoped George
    would soon join them there.  She began playing some of
    his favourite waltzes (then newly imported) at the great
    carved-legged, leather-cased grand piano in the drawing-
    room overhead.  This little artifice did not bring him.  He
    was deaf to the waltzes; they grew fainter and fainter;
    the discomfited performer left the huge instrument
    presently; and though her three friends performed some of
    the loudest and most brilliant new pieces of their
    repertoire, she did not hear a single note, but sate thinking,
    and boding evil.  Old Osborne's scowl, terrific always, had
    never before looked so deadly to her.  His eyes followed
    her out of the room, as if she had been guilty of something.
    When they brought her coffee, she started as
    though it were a cup of poison which Mr. Hicks, the
    butler, wished to propose to her.  What mystery was
    there lurking? Oh, those women!  They nurse and cuddle
    their presentiments, and make darlings of their ugliest
    thoughts, as they do of their deformed children.
    The gloom on the paternal countenance had also
    impressed George Osborne with anxiety.  With such
    eyebrows, and a look so decidedly bilious, how was he to
    extract that money from the governor, of which George
    was consumedly in want? He began praising his father's
    wine.  That was generally a successful means of cajoling
    the old gentleman.
    "We never got such Madeira in the West Indies, sir, as
    yours.  Colonel Heavytop took off three bottles of that you
    sent me down, under his belt the other day."
    "Did he?" said the old gentleman.  "It stands me in
    eight shillings a bottle."
    "Will you take six guineas a dozen for it, sir?" said
    George, with a laugh.  "There's one of the greatest men in
    the kingdom wants some."
    "Does he?" growled the senior.  "Wish he may get it."
    "When General Daguilet was at Chatham, sir, Heavytop
    gave him a breakfast, and asked me for some of the
    wine.  The General liked it just as well--wanted a pipe
    for the Commander-in-Chief.  He's his Royal Highness's
    right-hand man."
    "It is devilish fine wine," said the Eyebrows, and they
    looked more good-humoured; and George was going to
    take advantage of this complacency, and bring the
    supply question on the mahogany, when the father, relapsing
    into solemnity, though rather cordial in manner, bade
    him ring the bell for claret.  "And we'll see if that's as
    good as the Madeira, George, to which his Royal
    Highness is welcome, I'm sure.  And as we are drinking it,
    I'll talk to you about a matter of importance."
    Amelia heard the claret bell ringing as she sat
    nervously upstairs.  She thought, somehow, it was a
    mysterious and presentimental bell.  Of the presentiments
    which some people are always having, some surely
    must come right.
    "What I want to know, George," the old gentleman
    said, after slowly smacking his first bumper--"what I
    want to know is, how you and--ah--that little thing
    upstairs, are carrying on?"
    "I think, sir, it is not hard to see," George said, with a
    self-satisfied grin.  "Pretty clear, sir.--What capital wine!"
    "What d'you mean, pretty clear, sir?"
    "Why, hang it, sir, don't push me too hard.  I'm a
    modest man.  I--ah--I don't set up to be a lady-killer;
    but I do own that she's as devilish fond of me as she
    can be.  Anybody can see that with half an eye."
    "And you yourself?"
    "Why, sir, didn't you order me to marry her, and ain't
    I a good boy? Haven't our Papas settled it ever so long?"
    "A pretty boy, indeed.  Haven't I heard of your doings,
    sir, with Lord Tarquin, Captain Crawley of the Guards,
    ~the Honourable Mr. Deuceace and that set.  Have a care
    sir, have a care."
    The old gentleman pronounced these aristocratic
    names with the greatest gusto.  Whenever he met a great
    man he grovelled before him, and my-lorded him as only
    a free-born Briton can do.  He came home and looked
    out his history in the Peerage: he introduced his name
    into his daily conversation; he bragged about his
    Lordship to his daughters.  He fell down prostrate and basked
    in him as a Neapolitan beggar does in the sun.  George
    was alarmed when he heard the names.  He feared his
    father might have been informed of certain transactions
    at play.  But the old moralist eased him by saying
    "Well, well, young men will be young men.  And the
    comfort to me is, George, that living in the best society
    in England, as I hope you do; as I think you do; as my
    means will allow you to do--"
    "Thank you, sir," says George, making his point at
    once.  "One can't live with these great folks for nothing;
    and my purse, sir, look at it"; and he held up a little
    token which had been netted by Amelia, and contained
    the very last of Dobbin's pound notes.
    "You shan't want, sir.  The British merchant's son
    shan't want, sir.  My guineas are as good as theirs,
    George, my boy; and I don't grudge 'em.  Call on Mr.
    Chopper as you go through the City to-morrow; he'll
    have something for you.  I don't grudge money when I
    know you're in good society, because I know that good
    society can never go wrong.  There's no pride in me.  I
    was a humbly born man--but you have had advantages.
    Make a good use of 'em.  Mix with the young nobility.
    There's many of 'em who can't spend a dollar to your
    guinea, my boy.  And as for the pink bonnets (here from
    under the heavy eyebrows there came a knowing and not
    very pleasing leer)--why boys will be boys.  Only there's
    one thing I order you to avoid, which, if you do not, I'll
    cut you off with a shilling, by Jove; and that's gambling,
    "Oh, of course, sir," said George.
    "But to return to the other business about Amelia:
    why shouldn't you marry higher than a stockbroker's
    daughter, George--that's what I want to know?"
    "It's a family business, sir,".says George, cracking
    filberts.  "You and Mr. Sedley made the match a hundred
    years ago."
    "I don't deny it; but people's positions alter, sir.  I don't
    deny that Sedley made my fortune, or rather put me in
    the way of acquiring, by my own talents and genius, that
    proud position, which, I may say, I occupy in the tallow
    trade and the City of London.  I've shown my gratitude
    to Sedley; and he's tried it of late, sir, as my cheque-book
    can show.  George!  I tell you in confidence I don't
    like the looks of Mr. Sedley's affairs.  My chief clerk,
    Mr. Chopper, does not like the looks of 'em, and he's an
    old file, and knows 'Change as well as any man in
    London.  Hulker & Bullock are looking shy at him.  He's been
    dabbling on his own account I fear.  They say the Jeune
    Amelie was his, which was taken by the Yankee
    privateer Molasses.  And that's flat--unless I see Amelia's ten
    thousand down you don't marry her.  I'll have no lame
    duck's daughter in my family.  Pass the wine, sir--or
    ring for coffee."
    With which Mr. Osborne spread out the evening
    paper, and George knew from this signal that the
    colloquy was ended, and that his papa was about to
    take a nap.
    He hurried upstairs to Amelia in the highest spirits.
    What was it that made him more attentive to her on that
    night than he had been for a long time--more eager to
    amuse her, more tender, more brilliant in talk?  Was it
    that his generous heart warmed to her at the prospect of
    misfortune; or that the idea of losing the dear little prize
    made him value it more?
    She lived upon the recollections of that happy evening
    for many days afterwards, remembering his words; his
    looks; the song he sang; his attitude, as he leant over her
    or looked at her from a distance.  As it seemed to her,
    no night ever passed so quickly at Mr. Osborne's house
    before; and for once this young person was almost
    provoked to be angry by the premature arrival of Mr.
    Sambo with her shawl.
    George came and took a tender leave of her the next
    morning; and then hurried off to the City, where he
    visited Mr. Chopper, his father's head man, and received
    from that gentleman a document which he exchanged at
    Hulker & Bullock's for a whole pocketful of money.  As
    George entered the house, old John Sedley was passing
    out of the banker's parlour, looking very dismal.  But his
    godson was much too elated to mark the worthy
    stockbroker's depression, or the dreary eyes which the kind
    old gentleman cast upon him.  Young Bullock did not
    come grinning out of the parlour with him as had been
    his wont in former years.
    And as the swinging doors of Hulker, Bullock & Co.
    closed upon Mr. Sedley, Mr. Quill, the cashier (whose
    benevolent occupation it is to hand out crisp bank-notes
    from a drawer and dispense sovereigns out of a copper
    shovel), winked at Mr. Driver, the clerk at the desk on
    his right.  Mr. Driver winked again.
    "No go," Mr. D. whispered.
    "Not at no price," Mr. Q. said.  "Mr. George Osborne,
    sir, how will you take it?" George crammed eagerly a
    quantity of notes into his pockets, and paid Dobbin fifty
    pounds that very evening at mess.
    That very evening Amelia wrote him the tenderest of
    long letters.  Her heart was overflowing with tenderness,
    but it still foreboded evil.  What was the cause of Mr.
    Osborne's dark looks? she asked.  Had any difference
    arisen between him and her papa? Her poor papa
    returned so melancholy from the City, that all were
    alarmed about him at home--in fine, there were four
    pages of loves and fears and hopes and forebodings.
    "Poor little Emmy--dear little Emmy.  How fond she
    is of me," George said, as he perused the missive--"and
    Gad, what a headache that mixed punch has given me!"
    Poor little Emmy, indeed.
    Miss Crawley at Home
    About this time there drove up to an exceedingly snug
    and well-appointed house in Park Lane, a travelling chariot
    with a lozenge on the panels, a discontented female in a
    green veil and crimped curls on the rumble, and a large
    and confidential man on the box.  It was the equipage of
    our friend Miss Crawley, returning from Hants.  The
    carriage windows were shut; the fat spaniel, whose head and
    tongue ordinarily lolled out of one of them, reposed on the
    lap of the discontented female.  When the vehicle stopped,
    a large round bundle of shawls was taken out of the
    carriage by the aid of various domestics and a young
    lady who accompanied the heap of cloaks.  That bundle
    contained Miss Crawley, who was conveyed upstairs
    forthwith, and put into a bed and chamber warmed properly
    as for the reception of an invalid.  Messengers went off
    for her physician and medical man.  They came,
    consulted, prescribed, vanished.  The young companion of
    Miss Crawley, at the conclusion of their interview, came
    in to receive their instructions, and administered those
    antiphlogistic medicines which the eminent men ordered.
    Captain Crawley of the Life Guards rode up from
    Knightsbridge Barracks the next day; his black charger
    pawed the straw before his invalid aunt's door.  He was
    most affectionate in his inquiries regarding that amiable
    relative.  There seemed to be much source of apprehension.
    He found Miss Crawley's maid (the discontented
    female) unusually sulky and despondent; he found Miss
    Briggs, her dame de compagnie, in tears alone in the
    drawing-room.  She had hastened home, hearing of her
    beloved friend's illness.  She wished to fly to her couch,
    that couch which she, Briggs, had so often smoothed in
    the hour of sickness.  She was denied admission to Miss
    Crawley's apartment.  A stranger was administering her
    medicines--a stranger from the country--an odious Miss
    . . .--tears choked the utterance of the dame de
    compagnie, and she buried her crushed affections and her
    poor old red nose in her pocket handkerchief.
    Rawdon Crawley sent up his name by the sulky femme
    de chambre, and Miss Crawley's new companion, coming
    tripping down from the sick-room, put a little hand into
    his as he stepped forward eagerly to meet her, gave a
    glance of great scorn at the bewildered Briggs, and
    beckoning the young Guardsman out of the back drawing-
    room, led him downstairs into that now desolate dining-
    parlour, where so many a good dinner had been
    Here these two talked for ten minutes, discussing, no
    doubt, the symptoms of the old invalid above stairs; at
    the end of which period the parlour bell was rung briskly,
    and answered on that instant by Mr. Bowls, Miss
    Crawley's large confidential butler (who, indeed, happened to
    be at the keyhole during the most part of the interview);
    and the Captain coming out, curling his mustachios,
    mounted the black charger pawing among the straw, to
    the admiration of the little blackguard boys collected in
    the street.  He looked in at the dining-room window,
    managing his horse, which curvetted and capered beautifully
    --for one instant the young person might be seen at the
    window, when her figure vanished, and, doubtless, she
    went upstairs again to resume the affecting duties of
    Who could this young woman be, I wonder?  That
    evening a little dinner for two persons was laid in the dining-
    room--when Mrs. Firkin, the lady's maid, pushed into her
    mistress's apartment, and bustled about there during
    the vacancy occasioned by the departure of the new
    nurse--and the latter and Miss Briggs sat down to the
    neat little meal.
    Briggs was so much choked by emotion that she could
    hardly take a morsel of meat.  The young person carved a
    fowl with the utmost delicacy, and asked so distinctly for
    egg-sauce, that poor Briggs, before whom that delicious
    condiment was placed, started, made a great clattering
    with the ladle, and once more fell back in the most
    gushing hysterical state.
    "Had you not better give Miss Briggs a glass of wine?"
    said the person to Mr. Bowls, the large confidential man.
    He did so.  Briggs seized it mechanically, gasped it down
    convulsively, moaned a little, and began to play with the
    chicken on her plate.
    "I think we shall be able to help each other," said
    the person with great suavity: "and shall have no need
    of Mr. Bowls's kind services.  Mr. Bowls, if you please,
    we will ring when we want you." He went downstairs,
    where, by the way, he vented the most horrid curses
    upon the unoffending footman, his subordinate.
    "It is a pity you take on so, Miss Briggs," the young
    lady said, with a cool, slightly sarcastic, air.
    "My dearest friend is so ill, and wo--o--on't see
    me," gurgled out Briggs in an agony of renewed grief.
    "She's not very ill any more.  Console yourself, dear
    Miss Briggs.  She has only overeaten herself--that is all.
    She is greatly better.  She will soon be quite restored again.
    She is weak from being cupped and from medical
    treatment, but she will rally immediately.  Pray console
    yourself, and take a little more wine."
    "But why, why won't she see me again?" Miss Briggs
    bleated out.  "Oh, Matilda, Matilda, after three-and-
    twenty years' tenderness! is this the return to your poor,
    poor Arabella?"
    "Don't cry too much, poor Arabella," the other said
    (with ever so little of a grin); "she only won't see you,
    because she says you don't nurse her as well as I do.
    It's no pleasure to me to sit up all night.  I wish you
    might do it instead."
    "Have I not tended that dear couch for years?"
    Arabella said, "and now--"
    "Now she prefers somebody else.  Well, sick people
    have these fancies, and must be humoured.  When she's
    well I shall go."
    "Never, never," Arabella exclaimed, madly inhaling her
    "Never be well or never go, Miss Briggs?" the other
    said, with the same provoking good-nature.  "Pooh--she
    will be well in a fortnight, when I shall go back to my
    little pupils at Queen's Crawley, and to their mother,
    who is a great deal more sick than our friend.  You need
    not be jealous about me, my dear Miss Briggs.  I am a
    poor little girl without any friends, or any harm in me.
    I don't want to supplant you in Miss Crawley's good
    graces.  She will forget me a week after I am gone: and
    her affection for you has been the work of years.  Give
    me a little wine if you please, my dear Miss Briggs,
    and let us be friends.  I'm sure I want friends."
    The placable and soft-hearted Briggs speechlessly
    pushed out her hand at this appeal; but she felt the
    desertion most keenly for all that, and bitterly, bitterly
    moaned the fickleness of her Matilda.  At the end of half
    an hour, the meal over, Miss Rebecca Sharp (for such,
    astonishing to state, is the name of her who has been
    described ingeniously as "the person" hitherto), went
    upstairs again to her patient's rooms, from which, with
    the most engaging politeness, she eliminated poor Firkin.
    "Thank you, Mrs. Firkin, that will quite do; how nicely
    you make it! I will ring when anything is wanted." "Thank
    you"; and Firkin came downstairs in a tempest of
    jealousy, only the more dangerous because she was forced
    to confine it in her own bosom.
    Could it be the tempest which, as she passed the
    landing of the first floor, blew open the drawing-room door?
    No; it was stealthily opened by the hand of Briggs.
    Briggs had been on the watch. Briggs too well heard the
    creaking Firkin descend the stairs, and the clink of the
    spoon and gruel-basin the neglected female carried.
    "Well, Firkin?" says she, as the other entered the
    apartment. "Well, Jane?"
    "Wuss and wuss, Miss B.," Firkin said, wagging her
    "Is she not better then?"
    "She never spoke but once, and I asked her if she felt
    a little more easy, and she told me to hold my stupid
    tongue. Oh, Miss B., I never thought to have seen this
    day!"  And the water-works again began to play.
    "What sort of a person is this Miss Sharp, Firkin? I
    little thought, while enjoying my Christmas revels in the
    elegant home of my firm friends, the Reverend Lionel
    Delamere and his amiable lady, to find a stranger had
    taken my place in the affections of my dearest, my still
    dearest Matilda!"  Miss Briggs, it will be seen by her
    language, was of a literary and sentimental turn, and had
    once published a volume of poems--"Trills of the
    Nightingale"--by subscription.
    "Miss B., they are all infatyated about that young
    woman," Firkin replied. "Sir Pitt wouldn't have let her
    go, but he daredn't refuse Miss Crawley anything. Mrs.
    Bute at the Rectory jist as bad--never happy out of her
    sight. The Capting quite wild about her. Mr. Crawley
    mortial jealous. Since Miss C. was took ill, she won't
    have nobody near her but Miss Sharp, I can't tell for
    where nor for why; and I think somethink has bewidged
    Rebecca passed that night in constant watching upon
    Miss Crawley; the next night the old lady slept so
    comfortably, that Rebecca had time for several hours'
    comfortable repose herself on the sofa, at the foot of her
    patroness's bed; very soon, Miss Crawley was so well
    that she sat up and laughed heartily at a perfect
    imitation of Miss Briggs and her grief, which Rebecca
    described to her. Briggs' weeping snuffle, and her manner
    of using the handkerchief, were so completely rendered
    that Miss Crawley became quite cheerful, to the
    admiration of the doctors when they visited her, who usually
    found this worthy woman of the world, when the least
    sickness attacked her, under the most abject depression
    and terror of death.
    Captain Crawley came every day, and received bulletins
    from Miss Rebecca respecting his aunt's health.
    This improved so rapidly, that poor Briggs was allowed
    to see her patroness; and persons with tender hearts
    may imagine the smothered emotions of that sentimental
    female, and the affecting nature of the interview.
    Miss Crawley liked to have Briggs in a good deal
    soon.  Rebecca used to mimic her to her face with the
    most admirable gravity, thereby rendering the imitation
    doubly piquant to her worthy patroness.
    The causes which had led to the deplorable illness of
    Miss Crawley, and her departure from her brother's
    house in the country, were of such an unromantic nature
    that they are hardly fit to be explained in this genteel
    and sentimental novel.  For how is it possible to hint of a
    delicate female, living in good society, that she ate and
    drank too much, and that a hot supper of lobsters
    profusely enjoyed at the Rectory was the reason of an
    indisposition which Miss Crawley herself persisted was
    solely attributable to the dampness of the weather?  The
    attack was so sharp that Matilda--as his Reverence
    expressed it--was very nearly "off the hooks"; all the
    family were in a fever of expectation regarding the will,
    and Rawdon Crawley was making sure of at least forty
    thousand pounds before the commencement of the
    London season.  Mr. Crawley sent over a choice parcel of
    tracts, to prepare her for the change from Vanity Fair
    and Park Lane for another world; but a good doctor
    from Southampton being called in in time, vanquished
    the lobster which was so nearly fatal to her, and gave
    her sufficient strength to enable her to return to London.
    The Baronet did not disguise his exceeding mortification
    at the turn which affairs took.
    While everybody was attending on Miss Crawley, and
    messengers every hour from the Rectory were carrying
    news of her health to the affectionate folks there, there
    was a lady in another part of the house, being exceedingly
    ill, of whom no one took any notice at all; and this was
    the lady of Crawley herself.  The good doctor shook his
    head after seeing her; to which visit Sir Pitt consented,
    as it could be paid without a fee; and she was left fading
    away in her lonely chamber, with no more heed paid to
    her than to a weed in the park.
    The young ladies, too, lost much of the inestimable
    benefit of their governess's instruction, So affectionate a
    nurse was Miss Sharp, that Miss Crawley would take
    her medicines from no other hand.  Firkin had been
    deposed long before her mistress's departure from the
    country.  That faithful attendant found a gloomy consolation
    on returning to London, in seeing Miss Briggs suffer
    the same pangs of jealousy and undergo the same
    faithless treatment to which she herself had been subject.
    Captain Rawdon got an extension of leave on his
    aunt's illness, and remained dutifully at home.  He was
    always in her antechamber.  (She lay sick in the state
    bedroom, into which you entered by the little blue
    saloon.) His father was always meeting him there; or if he
    came down the corridor ever so quietly, his father's
    door was sure to open, and the hyena face of the old
    gentleman to glare out.  What was it set one to watch
    the other so?  A generous rivalry, no doubt, as to which
    should be most attentive to the dear sufferer in the state
    bedroom.  Rebecca used to come out and comfort both
    of them; or one or the other of them rather.  Both of
    these worthy gentlemen were most anxious to have news
    of the invalid from her little confidential messenger.
    At dinner--to which meal she descended for half an
    hour--she kept the peace between them: after which she
    disappeared for the night; when Rawdon would ride over
    to the depot of the 150th at Mudbury, leaving his papa
    to the society of Mr. Horrocks and his rum and water.
    She passed as weary a fortnight as ever mortal spent in
    Miss Crawley's sick-room; but her little nerves seemed
    to be of iron, as she was quite unshaken by the duty and
    the tedium of the sick-chamber.
    She never told until long afterwards how painful that
    duty was; how peevish a patient was the jovial old lady;
    how angry; how sleepless; in what horrors of death;
    during what long nights she lay moaning, and in almost
    delirious agonies respecting that future world which she
    quite ignored when she was in good health.--Picture to
    yourself, oh fair young reader, a worldly, selfish,
    graceless, thankless, religionless old woman, writhing in pain
    and fear, and without her wig.  Picture her to yourself,
    and ere you be old, learn to love and pray!
    Sharp watched this graceless bedside with indomitable
    patience.  Nothing escaped her; and, like a prudent steward,
    she found a use for everything.  She told many a
    good story about Miss Crawley's illness in after days--
    stories which made the lady blush through her artificial
    carnations.  During the illness she was never out of
    temper; always alert; she slept light, having a perfectly clear
    conscience; and could take that refreshment at almost
    any minute's warning.  And so you saw very few traces of
    fatigue in her appearance.  Her face might be a trifle
    paler, and the circles round her eyes a little blacker than
    usual; but whenever she came out from the sick-room
    she was always smiling, fresh, and neat, and looked as
    trim in her little dressing-gown and cap, as in her
    smartest evening suit.
    The Captain thought so, and raved about her in
    uncouth convulsions.  The barbed shaft of love had
    penetrated his dull hide.  Six weeks--appropinquity--
    opportunity--had victimised him completely.  He made a
    confidante of his aunt at the Rectory, of all persons in the
    world.  She rallied him about it; she had perceived his
    folly; she warned him; she finished by owning that little
    Sharp was the most clever, droll, odd, good-natured,
    simple, kindly creature in England.  Rawdon must not
    trifle with her affections, though--dear Miss Crawley
    would never pardon him for that; for she, too, was quite
    overcome by the little governess, and loved Sharp like a
    daughter.  Rawdon must go away--go back to his
    regiment and naughty London, and not play with a poor
    artless girl's feelings.
    Many and many a time this good-natured lady,
    compassionating the forlorn life-guardsman's condition,
    gave him an opportunity of seeing Miss Sharp at the Rectory,
    and of walking home with her, as we have seen.  When
    men of a certain sort, ladies, are in love, though they
    see the hook and the string, and the whole apparatus
    with which they are to be taken, they gorge the bait
    nevertheless--they must come to it--they must swallow
    it--and are presently struck and landed gasping.  Rawdon
    saw there was a manifest intention on Mrs. Bute's part
    to captivate him with Rebecca.  He was not very wise;
    but he was a man about town, and had seen several
    seasons.  A light dawned upon his dusky soul, as he thought,
    through a speech of Mrs. Bute's.
    "Mark my words, Rawdon," she said.  "You will have
    Miss Sharp one day for your relation."
    "What relation--my cousin, hey, Mrs. Bute? James
    sweet on her, hey?" inquired the waggish officer.
    "More than that," Mrs. Bute said, with a flash from
    her black eyes.
    "Not Pitt?  He sha'n't have her.  The sneak a'n't
    worthy of her.  He's booked to Lady Jane Sheepshanks."
    "You men perceive nothing.  You silly, blind creature
    --if anything happens to Lady Crawley, Miss Sharp will
    be your mother-in-law; and that's what will happen."
    Rawdon Crawley, Esquire, gave vent to a prodigious
    whistle, in token of astonishment at this announcement.
    He couldn't deny it.  His father's evident liking for Miss
    Sharp had not escaped him.  He knew the old gentleman's
    character well; and a more unscrupulous old--whyou--
    he did not conclude the sentence, but walked home,
    curling his mustachios, and convinced he had found a
    clue to Mrs. Bute's mystery.
    "By Jove, it's too bad," thought Rawdon, "too bad, by
    Jove! I do believe the woman wants the poor girl to be
    ruined, in order that she shouldn't come into the family
    as Lady Crawley."
    When he saw Rebecca alone, he rallied her about his
    father's attachment in his graceful way.  She flung up her
    head scornfully, looked him full in the face, and said,
    "Well, suppose he is fond of me.  I know he is, and
    others too.  You don't think I am afraid of him, Captain
    Crawley?  You don't suppose I can't defend my own
    honour," said the little woman, looking as stately as a
    "Oh, ah, why--give you fair warning--look out, you
    know--that's all," said the mustachio-twiddler.
    "You hint at something not honourable, then?" said
    she, flashing out.
    "O Gad--really--Miss Rebecca," the heavy dragoon
    "Do you suppose I have no feeling of self-respect,
    because I am poor and friendless, and because rich people
    have none?  Do you think, because I am a governess, I
    have not as much sense, and feeling, and good breeding
    as you gentlefolks in Hampshire? I'm a Montmorency.
    Do you suppose a Montmorency is not as good as a
    When Miss Sharp was agitated, and alluded to her
    maternal relatives, she spoke with ever so slight a
    foreign accent, which gave a great charm to her clear
    ringing voice.  "No," she continued, kindling as she spoke to
    the Captain; "I can endure poverty, but not shame--
    neglect, but not insult; and insult from--from you."
    Her feelings gave way, and she burst into tears.
    "Hang it, Miss Sharp--Rebecca--by Jove--upon my
    soul, I wouldn't for a thousand pounds.  Stop, Rebecca!"
    She was gone.  She drove out with Miss Crawley that
    day.  It was before the latter's illness.  At dinner she was
    unusually brilliant and lively; but she would take no
    notice of the hints, or the nods, or the clumsy expostulations
    of the humiliated, infatuated guardsman.  Skirmishes
    of this sort passed perpetually during the little campaign
    --tedious to relate, and similar in result.  The Crawley
    heavy cavalry was maddened by defeat, and routed
    every day.                       
    If the Baronet of Queen's Crawley had not had the
    fear of losing his sister's legacy before his eyes, he never
    would have permitted his dear girls to lose the educational
    blessings which their invaluable governess was conferring
    upon them.  The old house at home seemed a desert
    without her, so useful and pleasant had Rebecca
    made herself there.  Sir Pitt's letters were not copied and
    corrected; his books not made up; his household
    business and manifold schemes neglected, now that his little
    secretary was away.  And it was easy to see how necessary
    such an amanuensis was to him, by the tenor and
    spelling of the numerous letters which he sent to her,
    entreating her and commanding her to return.  Almost every
    day brought a frank from the Baronet, enclosing the
    most urgent prayers to Becky for her return, or conveying
    pathetic statements to Miss Crawley, regarding the
    neglected state of his daughters' education; of which
    documents Miss Crawley took very little heed.
    Miss Briggs was not formally dismissed, but her place
    as companion was a sinecure and a derision; and her
    company was the fat spaniel in the drawing-room, or
    occasionally the discontented Firkin in the housekeeper's
    closet.  Nor though the old lady would by no means
    hear of Rebecca's departure, was the latter regularly
    installed in office in Park Lane.  Like many wealthy people,
    it was Miss Crawley's habit to accept as much service as
    she could get from her inferiors; and good-naturedly to
    take leave of them when she no longer found them
    useful.  Gratitude among certain rich folks is scarcely natural
    or to be thought of.  They take needy people's services
    as their due.  Nor have you, O poor parasite and humble
    hanger-on, much reason to complain!  Your friendship
    for Dives is about as sincere as the return which it usually
    gets.  It is money you love, and not the man; and were
    Croesus and his footman to change places you know,
    you poor rogue, who would have the benefit of your
    And I am not sure that, in spite of Rebecca's simplicity
    and activity, and gentleness and untiring good
    humour, the shrewd old London lady, upon whom these
    treasures of friendship were lavished, had not a lurking
    suspicion all the while of her affectionate nurse and friend.
    It must have often crossed Miss Crawley's mind that
    nobody does anything for nothing.  If she measured her own
    feeling towards the world, she must have been pretty
    well able to gauge those of the world towards herself;
    and perhaps she reflected that it is the ordinary lot of
    people to have no friends if they themselves care for
    Well, meanwhile Becky was the greatest comfort and
    convenience to her, and she gave her a couple of new
    gowns, and an old necklace and shawl, and showed her
    friendship by abusing all her intimate acquaintances to
    her new confidante (than which there can't be a more
    touching proof of regard), and meditated vaguely some
    great future benefit--to marry her perhaps to Clump,
    the apothecary, or to settle her in some advantageous
    way of life; or at any rate, to send her back to Queen's
    Crawley when she had done with her, and the full
    London season had begun.
    When Miss Crawley was convalescent and descended
    to the drawing-room, Becky sang to her, and otherwise
    amused her; when she was well enough to drive out,
    Becky accompanied her.  And amongst the drives which
    they took, whither, of all places in the world, did Miss
    Crawley's admirable good-nature and friendship actually
    induce her to penetrate, but to Russell Square,
    Bloomsbury, and the house of John Sedley, Esquire.
    Ere that event, many notes had passed, as may be
    imagined, between the two dear friends.  During the
    months of Rebecca's stay in Hampshire, the eternal
    friendship had (must it be owned?) suffered considerable
    diminution, and grown so decrepit and feeble with old
    age as to threaten demise altogether.  The fact is, both
    girls had their own real affairs to think of: Rebecca her
    advance with her employers--Amelia her own absorbing
    topic.  When the two girls met, and flew into each other's
    arms with that impetuosity which distinguishes the
    behaviour of young ladies towards each other, Rebecca
    performed her part of the embrace with the most perfect
    briskness and energy.  Poor little Amelia blushed as she
    kissed her friend, and thought she had been guilty of
    something very like coldness towards her.
    Their first interview was but a very short one.  Amelia
    was just ready to go out for a walk.  Miss Crawley was
    waiting in her carriage below, her people wondering at
    the locality in which they found themselves, and gazing
    upon honest Sambo, the black footman of Bloomsbury,
    as one of the queer natives of the place.  But when Amelia
    came down with her kind smiling looks (Rebecca must
    introduce her to her friend, Miss Crawley was longing
    to see her, and was too ill to leave her carriage)--when,
    I say, Amelia came down, the Park Lane shoulder-knot
    aristocracy wondered more and more that such a thing
    could come out of Bloomsbury; and Miss Crawley was
    fairly captivated by the sweet blushing face of the young
    lady who came forward so timidly and so gracefully to
    pay her respects to the protector of her friend.
    "What a complexion, my dear! What a sweet voice!"
    Miss Crawley said, as they drove away westward after
    the little interview.  "My dear Sharp, your young friend
    is charming.  Send for her to Park Lane, do you hear?"
    Miss Crawley had a good taste.  She liked natural
    manners--a little timidity only set them off.  She liked pretty
    faces near her; as she liked pretty pictures and nice
    china.  She talked of Amelia with rapture half a dozen
    times that day.  She mentioned her to Rawdon Crawley,
    who came dutifully to partake of his aunt's chicken.
    Of course, on this Rebecca instantly stated that Amelia
    was engaged to be married--to a Lieutenant Osborne--
    a very old flame.
    "Is he a man in a line-regiment?" Captain Crawley
    asked, remembering after an effort, as became a
    guardsman, the number of the regiment, the --th.
    Rebecca thought that was the regiment.  "The
    Captain's name," she said, "was Captain Dobbin."
    "A lanky gawky fellow," said Crawley, "tumbles over
    everybody.  I know him; and Osborne's a goodish-looking
    fellow, with large black whiskers?"
    "Enormous," Miss Rebecca Sharp said, "and
    enormously proud of them, I assure you."
    Captain Rawdon Crawley burst into a horse-laugh by
    way of reply; and being pressed by the ladies to explain,
    did so when the explosion of hilarity was over.  "He
    fancies he can play at billiards," said he.  "I won two
    hundred of him at the Cocoa-Tree.  HE play, the young
    flat!  He'd have played for anything that day, but his friend
    Captain Dobbin carried him off, hang him!"
    "Rawdon, Rawdon, don't be so wicked," Miss Crawley
    remarked, highly pleased.
    "Why, ma'am, of all the young fellows I've seen out
    of the line, I think this fellow's the greenest.  Tarquin and
    Deuceace get what money they like out of him.  He'd go
    to the deuce to be seen with a lord.  He pays their
    dinners at Greenwich, and they invite the company."
    "And very pretty company too, I dare say."
    "Quite right, Miss Sharp.  Right, as usual, Miss Sharp.
    Uncommon pretty company--haw, haw!" and the
    Captain laughed more and more, thinking he had made a
    good joke.
    "Rawdon, don't be naughty!" his aunt exclaimed.
    "Well, his father's a City man--immensely rich, they
    say.  Hang those City fellows, they must bleed; and I've
    not done with him yet, I can tell you.  Haw, haw!"
    "Fie, Captain Crawley; I shall warn Amelia.  A
    gambling husband!"
    "Horrid, ain't he, hey?" the Captain said with great
    solemnity; and then added, a sudden thought having
    struck him: "Gad, I say, ma'am, we'll have him here."
    "Is he a presentable sort of a person?" the aunt
    "Presentable?--oh, very well.  You wouldn't see any
    difference," Captain Crawley answered.  "Do let's have
    him, when you begin to see a few people; and his
    whatdyecallem--his inamorato--eh, Miss Sharp; that's what
    you call it--comes.  Gad, I'll write him a note, and have
    him; and I'll try if he can play piquet as well as billiards.
    Where does he live, Miss Sharp?"
    Miss Sharp told Crawley the Lieutenant's town address;
    and a few days after this conversation, Lieutenant
    Osborne received a letter, in Captain Rawdon's
    schoolboy hand, and enclosing a note of invitation from
    Miss Crawley.
    Rebecca despatched also an invitation to her darling
    Amelia, who, you may be sure, was ready enough to
    accept it when she heard that George was to be of the
    party.  It was arranged that Amelia was to spend the
    morning with the ladies of Park Lane, where all were
    very kind to her.  Rebecca patronised her with calm
    superiority: she was so much the cleverer of the two, and
    her friend so gentle and unassuming, that she always
    yielded when anybody chose to command, and so took
    Rebecca's orders with perfect meekness and good humour.
    Miss Crawley's graciousness was also remarkable.  She
    continued her raptures about little Amelia, talked about
    her before her face as if she were a doll, or a servant,
    or a picture, and admired her with the most benevolent
    wonder possible.  I admire that admiration which the
    genteel world sometimes extends to the commonalty.
    There is no more agreeable object in life than to see
    Mayfair folks condescending.  Miss Crawley's prodigious
    benevolence rather fatigued poor little Amelia, and I am
    not sure that of the three ladies in Park Lane she did
    not find honest Miss Briggs the most agreeable.  She
    sympathised with Briggs as with all neglected or gentle
    people: she wasn't what you call a woman of spirit.
    George came to dinner--a repast en garcon with
    Captain Crawley.
    The great family coach of the Osbornes transported
    him to Park Lane from Russell Square; where the young
    ladies, who were not themselves invited, and professed
    the greatest indifference at that slight, nevertheless looked
    at Sir Pitt Crawley's name in the baronetage; and learned
    everything which that work had to teach about the
    Crawley family and their pedigree, and the Binkies, their
    relatives, &c., &c.  Rawdon Crawley received George Osborne
    with great frankness and graciousness: praised his play at
    billiards: asked him when he would have his revenge:
    was interested about Osborne's regiment: and would have
    proposed piquet to him that very evening, but Miss
    Crawley absolutely forbade any gambling in her house;
    so that the young Lieutenant's purse was not lightened
    by his gallant patron, for that day at least.  However, they
    made an engagement for the next, somewhere: to look
    at a horse that Crawley had to sell, and to try him in the
    Park; and to dine together, and to pass the evening with
    some jolly fellows.  "That is, if you're not on duty to that
    pretty Miss Sedley," Crawley said, with a knowing wink.
    "Monstrous nice girl, 'pon my honour, though, Osborne,"
    he was good enough to add.  "Lots of tin, I suppose, eh?"
    Osborne wasn't on duty; he would join Crawley with
    pleasure: and the latter, when they met the next day,
    praised his new friend's horsemanship--as he might with
    perfect honesty--and introduced him to three or four
    young men of the first fashion, whose acquaintance
    immensely elated the simple young officer.
    "How's little Miss Sharp, by-the-bye?" Osborne inquired
    of his friend over their wine, with a dandified air.
    "Good-natured little girl that.  Does she suit you well at
    Queen's Crawley? Miss Sedley liked her a good deal last
    Captain Crawley looked savagely at the Lieutenant out
    of his little blue eyes, and watched him when he went up
    to resume his acquaintance with the fair governess.  Her
    conduct must have relieved Crawley if there was any
    jealousy in the bosom of that life-guardsman.
    When the young men went upstairs, and after
    Osborne's introduction to Miss Crawley, he walked up to
    Rebecca with a patronising, easy swagger.  He was going
    to be kind to her and protect her.  He would even shake
    hands with her, as a friend of Amelia's; and saying, "Ah,
    Miss Sharp! how-dy-doo?" held out his left hand towards
    her, expecting that she would be quite confounded at
    the honour.
    Miss Sharp put out her right forefinger, and gave him
    a little nod, so cool and killing, that Rawdon Crawley,
    watching the operations from the other room, could
    hardly restrain his laughter as he saw the Lieutenant's
    entire discomfiture; the start he gave, the pause, and the
    perfect clumsiness with which he at length condescended
    to take the finger which was offered for his embrace.
    "She'd beat the devil, by Jove!" the Captain said, in a
    rapture; and the Lieutenant, by way of beginning the
    conversation, agreeably asked Rebecca how she liked her
    new place.
    "My place?" said Miss Sharp, coolly, "how kind of you
    to remind me of it!  It's a tolerably good place: the wages
    are pretty good--not so good as Miss Wirt's, I believe,
    with your sisters in Russell Square.  How are those young
    ladies?--not that I ought to ask."
    "Why not?" Mr. Osborne said, amazed.
    "Why, they never condescended to speak to me, or to
    ask me into their house, whilst I was staying with Amelia;
    but we poor governesses, you know, are used to slights of
    this sort."
    "My dear Miss Sharp!" Osborne ejaculated.
    "At least in some families," Rebecca continued.  "You
    can't think what a difference there is though.  We are not
    so wealthy in Hampshire as you lucky folks of the City.
    But then I am in a gentleman's family--good old
    English stock.  I suppose you know Sir Pitt's father refused a
    peerage.  And you see how I am treated.  I am pretty
    comfortable.  Indeed it is rather a good place.  But how
    very good of you to inquire!"
    Osborne was quite savage.  The little governess
    patronised him and persiffled him until this young
    British Lion felt quite uneasy; nor could he muster sufficient
    presence of mind to find a pretext for backing out
    of this most delectable conversation.
    "I thought you liked the City families pretty well," he
    said, haughtily.
    "Last year you mean, when I was fresh from that
    horrid vulgar school?  Of course I did.  Doesn't every girl like
    to come home for the holidays?  And how was I to know
    any better?  But oh, Mr. Osborne, what a difference
    eighteen months' experience makes! eighteen months spent,
    pardon me for saying so, with gentlemen.  As for dear
    Amelia, she, I grant you, is a pearl, and would be charming
    anywhere.  There now, I see you are beginning to be
    in a good humour; but oh these queer odd City people!
    And Mr. Jos--how is that wonderful Mr. Joseph?"
    "It seems to me you didn't dislike that wonderful Mr.
    Joseph last year," Osborne said kindly.
    "How severe of you!  Well, entre nous, I didn't break
    my heart about him; yet if he had asked me to do what
    you mean by your looks (and very expressive and kind
    they are, too), I wouldn't have said no."
    Mr. Osborne gave a look as much as to say, "Indeed,
    how very obliging!"
    "What an honour to have had you for a brother-in-law,
    you are thinking? To be sister-in-law to George
    Osborne, Esquire, son of John Osborne, Esquire, son of--
    what was your grandpapa, Mr. Osborne?  Well, don't be
    angry.  You can't help your pedigree, and I quite agree
    with you that I would have married Mr. Joe Sedley; for
    could a poor penniless girl do better?  Now you know
    the whole secret.  I'm frank and open; considering all
    things, it was very kind of you to allude to the
    circumstance--very kind and polite.  Amelia dear, Mr.
    Osborne and I were talking about your poor brother Joseph.
    How is he?"
    Thus was George utterly routed.  Not that Rebecca was
    in the right; but she had managed most successfully to
    put him in the wrong.  And he now shamefully fled,
    feeling, if he stayed another minute, that he would have
    been made to look foolish in the presence of Amelia.
    Though Rebecca had had the better of him, George was
    above the meanness of talebearing or revenge upon a
    lady--only he could not help cleverly confiding to
    Captain Crawley, next day, some notions of his regarding
    Miss Rebecca--that she was a sharp one, a dangerous
    one, a desperate flirt, &c.; in all of which opinions
    Crawley agreed laughingly, and with every one of which Miss
    Rebecca was made acquainted before twenty-four hours
    were over.  They added to her original regard for Mr.
    Osborne.  Her woman's instinct had told her that it was
    George who had interrupted the success of her first
    love-passage, and she esteemed him accordingly.
    "I only just warn you," he said to Rawdon Crawley,
    with a knowing look--he had bought the horse, and lost
    some score of guineas after dinner, "I just warn you--I
    know women, and counsel you to be on the look-out."
    "Thank you, my boy," said Crawley, with a look of
    peculiar gratitude.  "You're wide awake, I see." And
    George went off, thinking Crawley was quite right.
    He told Amelia of what he had done, and how he had
    counselled Rawdon Crawley--a devilish good,
    straightforward fellow--to be on his guard against that
    little sly, scheming Rebecca.
    "Against whom?" Amelia cried.
    "Your friend the governess.--Don't look so astonished."
    "O George, what have you done?" Amelia said.  For her
    woman's eyes, which Love had made sharp-sighted, had
    in one instant discovered a secret which was invisible to
    Miss Crawley, to poor virgin Briggs, and above all,
    to the stupid peepers of that young whiskered prig,
    Lieutenant Osborne.
    For as Rebecca was shawling her in an upper apartment,
    where these two friends had an opportunity for a
    little of that secret talking and conspiring which form
    the delight of female life, Amelia, coming up to Rebecca,
    and taking her two little hands in hers, said, "Rebecca,
    I see it all."
    Rebecca kissed her.
    And regarding this delightful secret, not one syllable
    more was said by either of the young women.  But it was
    destined to come out before long.
    Some short period after the above events, and Miss
    Rebecca Sharp still remaining at her patroness's house
    in Park Lane, one more hatchment might have been seen
    in Great Gaunt Street, figuring amongst the many which
    usually ornament that dismal quarter.  It was over Sir
    Pitt Crawley's house; but it did not indicate the worthy
    baronet's demise.  It was a feminine hatchment, and
    indeed a few years back had served as a funeral compliment
    to Sir Pitt's old mother, the late dowager Lady Crawley.
    Its period of service over, the hatchment had come
    down from the front of the house, and lived in retirement
    somewhere in the back premises of Sir Pitt's mansion.
    It reappeared now for poor Rose Dawson.  Sir Pitt
    was a widower again.  The arms quartered on the shield
    along with his own were not, to be sure, poor Rose's.
    She had no arms.  But the cherubs painted on the
    scutcheon answered as well for her as for Sir Pitt's
    mother, and Resurgam was written under the coat,
    flanked by the Crawley Dove and Serpent.  Arms and
    Hatchments, Resurgam.--Here is an opportunity for
    Mr. Crawley had tended that otherwise friendless
    bedside.  She went out of the world strengthened by such
    words and comfort as he could give her.  For many years
    his was the only kindness she ever knew; the only
    friendship that solaced in any way that feeble, lonely soul.
    Her heart was dead long before her body.  She had sold
    it to become Sir Pitt Crawley's wife.  Mothers and
    daughters are making the same bargain every day in
    Vanity Fair.
    When the demise took place, her husband was in
    London attending to some of his innumerable schemes,
    and busy with his endless lawyers.  He had found time,
    nevertheless, to call often in Park Lane, and to despatch
    many notes to Rebecca, entreating her, enjoining her,
    commanding her to return to her young pupils in the
    country, who were now utterly without companionship
    during their mother's illness.  But Miss Crawley would
    not hear of her departure; for though there was no lady
    of fashion in London who would desert her friends more
    complacently as soon as she was tired of their society,
    and though few tired of them sooner, yet as long as her
    engoument lasted her attachment was prodigious, and
    she clung still with the greatest energy to Rebecca.
    The news of Lady Crawley's death provoked no more
    grief or comment than might have been expected in Miss
    Crawley's family circle.  "I suppose I must put off my
    party for the 3rd," Miss Crawley said; and added, after a
    pause, "I hope my brother will have the decency not to
    marry again." "What a confounded rage Pitt will be in if
    he does," Rawdon remarked, with his usual regard for his
    elder brother.  Rebecca said nothing.  She seemed by far the
    gravest and most impressed of the family.  She left the
    room before Rawdon went away that day; but they met
    by chance below, as he was going away after taking leave,
    and had a parley together.
    On the morrow, as Rebecca was gazing from the window,
    she startled Miss Crawley, who was placidly occupied
    with a French novel, by crying out in an alarmed
    tone, "Here's Sir Pitt, Ma'am!" and the Baronet's knock
    followed this announcement.
    "My dear, I can't see him.  I won't see him.  Tell Bowls
    not at home, or go downstairs and say I'm too ill to
    receive any one.  My nerves really won't bear my brother
    at this moment," cried out Miss Crawley, and resumed
    the novel.
    "She's too ill to see you, sir," Rebecca said, tripping
    down to Sir Pitt, who was preparing to ascend.
    "So much the better," Sir Pitt answered.  "I want to
    see YOU, Miss Becky.  Come along a me into the parlour,"
    and they entered that apartment together.
    "I wawnt you back at Queen's Crawley, Miss," the
    baronet said, fixing his eyes upon her, and taking off his
    black gloves and his hat with its great crape hat-band.
    His eyes had such a strange look, and fixed upon her so
    steadfastly, that Rebecca Sharp began almost to tremble.
    "I hope to come soon," she said in a low voice, "as
    soon as Miss Crawley is better--and return to--to the
    dear children."
    "You've said so these three months, Becky," replied
    Sir Pitt, "and still you go hanging on to my sister, who'll
    fling you off like an old shoe, when she's wore you out.
    I tell you I want you.  I'm going back to the Vuneral.
    Will you come back?  Yes or no?"
    "I daren't--I don't think--it would be right--to be
    alone--with you, sir," Becky said, seemingly in great
    "I say agin, I want you," Sir Pitt said, thumping the
    table.  "I can't git on without you.  I didn't see what it was
    till you went away.  The house all goes wrong.  It's not
    the same place.  All my accounts has got muddled agin.
    You MUST come back.  Do come back.  Dear Becky, do
    "Come--as what, sir?" Rebecca gasped out.
    "Come as Lady Crawley, if you like," the Baronet
    said, grasping his crape hat.  "There! will that zatusfy you?
    Come back and be my wife.  Your vit vor't.  Birth be
    hanged.  You're as good a lady as ever I see.  You've got
    more brains in your little vinger than any baronet's wife
    in the county.  Will you come? Yes or no?"
    "Oh, Sir Pitt!" Rebecca said, very much moved.
    "Say yes, Becky," Sir Pitt continued.  "I'm an old man,
    but a good'n.  I'm good for twenty years.  I'll make you
    happy, zee if I don't.  You shall do what you like; spend
    what you like; and 'ave it all your own way.  I'll make
    you a zettlement.  I'll do everything reglar.  Look year!"
    and the old man fell down on his knees and leered at
    her like a satyr.
    Rebecca started back a picture of consternation.  In
    the course of this history we have never seen her lose her
    presence of mind; but she did now, and wept some of the
    most genuine tears that ever fell from her eyes.
    "Oh, Sir Pitt!" she said.  "Oh, sir--I--I'm married
    In Which Rebecca's Husband Appears
    for a Short Time
    Every reader of a sentimental turn (and we desire
    no other) must have been pleased with the
    tableau with which the last act of our little
    drama concluded; for what can be prettier than
    an image of Love on his knees before Beauty?
    But when Love heard that awful confession from
    Beauty that she was married already, he
    bounced up from his attitude of humility on the carpet,
    uttering exclamations which caused poor little Beauty to
    be more frightened than she was when she made her
    avowal.  "Married; you're joking," the Baronet cried, after
    the first explosion of rage and wonder.  "You're
    making vun of me, Becky.  Who'd ever go to marry you
    without a shilling to your vortune?"
    "Married! married!" Rebecca said, in an agony of tears
    --her voice choking with emotion, her handkerchief up
    to her ready eyes, fainting against the mantelpiece a
    figure of woe fit to melt the most obdurate heart.  "0
    Sir Pitt, dear Sir Pitt, do not think me ungrateful for all
    your goodness to me.  It is only your generosity that has
    extorted my secret."
    "Generosity be hanged!" Sir Pitt roared out.  "Who is
    it tu, then, you're married? Where was it?"
    "Let me come back with you to the country, sir!  Let
    me watch over you as faithfully as ever!  Don't, don't
    separate me from dear Queen's Crawley!"
    "The feller has left you, has he?" the Baronet said,
    beginning, as he fancied, to comprehend.  "Well, Becky--
    come back if you like.  You can't eat your cake and have
    it.  Any ways I made you a vair offer.  Coom back as
    governess--you shall have it all your own way." She
    held out one hand.  She cried fit to break her heart; her
    ringlets fell over her face, and over the marble
    mantelpiece where she laid it.
    "So the rascal ran off, eh?"  Sir Pitt said, with a hideous
    attempt at consolation.  "Never mind, Becky, I'LL take
    care of 'ee."
    "Oh, sir! it would be the pride of my life to go back
    to Queen's Crawley, and take care of the children, and
    of you as formerly, when you said you were pleased with
    the services of your little Rebecca.  When I think of what
    you have just offered me, my heart fills with gratitude
    indeed it does.  I can't be your wife, sir; let me--let me be
    your daughter."
    Saying which, Rebecca went down on HER knees in a
    most tragical way, and, taking Sir Pitt's horny black
    hand between her own two (which were very pretty and
    white, and as soft as satin), looked up in his face with an
    expression of exquisite pathos and confidence, when--
    when the door opened, and Miss Crawley sailed in.
    Mrs. Firkin and Miss Briggs, who happened by chance
    to be at the parlour door soon after the Baronet and
    Rebecca entered the apartment, had also seen accidentally,
    through the keyhole, the old gentleman prostrate
    before the governess, and had heard the generous proposal
    which he made her.  It was scarcely out of his mouth
    when Mrs. Firkin and Miss Briggs had streamed up the
    stairs, had rushed into the drawing-room where Miss
    Crawley was reading the French novel, and had given
    that old lady the astounding intelligence that Sir Pitt
    was on his knees, proposing to Miss Sharp.  And if you
    calculate the time for the above dialogue to take place
    --the time for Briggs and Firkin to fly to the drawing-
    room--the time for Miss Crawley to be astonished, and
    to drop her volume of Pigault le Brun--and the time for
    her to come downstairs--you will see how exactly
    accurate this history is, and how Miss Crawley must have
    appeared at the very instant when Rebecca had assumed
    the attitude of humility.
    "It is the lady on the ground, and not the gentleman,"
    Miss Crawley said, with a look and voice of great scorn.
    "They told me that YOU were on your knees, Sir Pitt: do
    kneel once more, and let me see this pretty couple!"
    "I have thanked Sir Pitt Crawley, Ma'am," Rebecca
    said, rising, "and have told him that--that I never can
    become Lady Crawley."
    "Refused him!"  Miss Crawley said, more bewildered
    than ever.  Briggs and Firkin at the door opened the eyes
    of astonishment and the lips of wonder.
    "Yes--refused," Rebecca continued, with a sad,
    tearful voice.
    "And am I to credit my ears that you absolutely
    proposed to her, Sir Pitt?" the old lady asked.
    "Ees," said the Baronet, "I did."
    "And she refused you as she says?"
    "Ees," Sir Pitt said, his features on a broad grin.
    "It does not seem to break your heart at any rate,"
    Miss Crawley remarked.
    "Nawt a bit," answered Sir Pitt, with a coolness and
    good-humour which set Miss Crawley almost mad with
    bewilderment.  That an old gentleman of station should
    fall on his knees to a penniless governess, and burst out
    laughing because she refused to marry him--that a
    penniless governess should refuse a Baronet with four
    thousand a year--these were mysteries which Miss Crawley
    could never comprehend.  It surpassed any complications
    of intrigue in her favourite Pigault le Brun.
    "I'm glad you think it good sport, brother," she
    continued, groping wildly through this amazement.
    "Vamous," said Sir Pitt.  "Who'd ha' thought it! what a
    sly little devil! what a little fox it waws!" he muttered
    to himself, chuckling with pleasure.
    "Who'd have thought what?" cries Miss Crawley,
    stamping with her foot.  "Pray, Miss Sharp, are you
    waiting for the Prince Regent's divorce, that you don't think
    our family good enough for you?"
    "My attitude," Rebecca said, "when you came in,
    ma'am, did not look as if I despised such an honour as
    this good--this noble man has deigned to offer me.  Do
    you think I have no heart?  Have you all loved me, and
    been so kind to the poor orphan--deserted--girl, and
    am I to feel nothing?  O my friends!  O my benefactors!
    may not my love, my life, my duty, try to repay the
    confidence you have shown me?  Do you grudge me even
    gratitude, Miss Crawley?  It is too much--my heart is
    too full"; and she sank down in a chair so pathetically,
    that most of the audience present were perfectly melted
    with her sadness.
    "Whether you marry me or not, you're a good little
    girl, Becky, and I'm your vriend, mind," said Sir Pitt, and
    putting on his crape-bound hat, he walked away--greatly
    to Rebecca's relief; for it was evident that her secret
    was unrevealed to Miss Crawley, and she had the
    advantage of a brief reprieve.
    Putting her handkerchief to her eyes, and nodding
    away honest Briggs, who would have followed her
    upstairs, she went up to her apartment; while Briggs and
    Miss Crawley, in a high state of excitement, remained
    to discuss the strange event, and Firkin, not less moved,
    dived down into the kitchen regions, and talked of it
    with all the male and female company there.  And so
    impressed was Mrs. Firkin with the news, that she thought
    proper to write off by that very night's post, "with her
    humble duty to Mrs. Bute Crawley and the family at the
    Rectory, and Sir Pitt has been and proposed for to marry
    Miss Sharp, wherein she has refused him, to the wonder
    of all."
    The two ladies in the dining-room (where worthy
    Miss Briggs was delighted to be admitted once more to
    confidential conversation with her patroness) wondered
    to their hearts' content at Sir Pitt's offer, and Rebecca's
    refusal; Briggs very acutely suggesting that there must
    have been some obstacle in the shape of a previous
    attachment, otherwise no young woman in her senses would
    ever have refused so advantageous a proposal.
    "You would have accepted it yourself, wouldn't you,
    Briggs?" Miss Crawley said, kindly.
    "Would it not be a privilege to be Miss Crawley's
    sister?" Briggs replied, with meek evasion.
    "Well, Becky would have made a good Lady Crawley,
    after all," Miss Crawley remarked (who was mollified by
    the girl's refusal, and very liberal and generous now there
    was no call for her sacrifices).  "She has brains in plenty
    (much more wit in her little finger than you have, my
    poor dear Briggs, in all your head).  Her manners are
    excellent, now I have formed her.  She is a Montmorency,
    Briggs, and blood is something, though I despise it for
    my part; and she would have held her own amongst those
    pompous stupid Hampshire people much better than that
    unfortunate ironmonger's daughter."
    Briggs coincided as usual, and the "previous attachment"
    was then discussed in conjectures.  "You poor
    friendless creatures are always having some foolish
    tendre," Miss Crawley said.  "You yourself, you know,
    were in love with a writing-master (don't cry, Briggs--
    you're always crying, and it won't bring him to life again),
    and I suppose this unfortunate Becky has been silly
    and sentimental too--some apothecary, or house-steward,
    or painter, or young curate, or something of that sort."
    "Poor thing! poor thing!" says Briggs (who was thinking
    of twenty-four years back, and that hectic young
    writing-master whose lock of yellow hair, and whose
    letters, beautiful in their illegibility, she cherished in
    her old desk upstairs).  "Poor thing, poor thing!" says
    Briggs.  Once more she was a fresh-cheeked lass of eighteen;
    she was at evening church, and the hectic writing-master
    and she were quavering out of the same psalm-book.
    "After such conduct on Rebecca's part," Miss Crawley
    said enthusiastically, "our family should do something.
    Find out who is the objet, Briggs.  I'll set him up in a
    shop; or order my portrait of him, you know; or speak
    to my cousin, the Bishop and I'll doter Becky, and
    we'll have a wedding, Briggs, and you shall make the
    breakfast, and be a bridesmaid."
    Briggs declared that it would be delightful, and vowed
    that her dear Miss Crawley was always kind and generous,
    and went up to Rebecca's bedroom to console her
    and prattle about the offer, and the refusal, and the
    cause thereof; and to hint at the generous intentions of
    Miss Crawley, and to find out who was the gentleman
    that had the mastery of Miss Sharp's heart.
    Rebecca was very kind, very affectionate and affected
    --responded to Briggs's offer of tenderness with grateful
    fervour--owned there was a secret attachment--a
    delicious mystery--what a pity Miss Briggs had not
    remained half a minute longer at the keyhole!  Rebecca
    might, perhaps, have told more: but five minutes after
    Miss Briggs's arrival in Rebecca's apartment, Miss Crawley
    actually made her appearance there--an unheard-of
    honour--her impatience had overcome her; she could not
    wait for the tardy operations of her ambassadress: so
    she came in person, and ordered Briggs out of the room.
    And expressing her approval of Rebecca's conduct, she
    asked particulars of the interview, and the previous
    transactions which had brought about the astonishing
    offer of Sir Pitt.
    Rebecca said she had long had some notion of the
    partiality with which Sir Pitt honoured her (for he was
    in the habit of making his feelings known in a very frank
    and unreserved manner) but, not to mention private
    reasons with which she would not for the present trouble
    Miss Crawley, Sir Pitt's age, station, and habits were
    such as to render a marriage quite impossible; and
    could a woman with any feeling of self-respect and any
    decency listen to proposals at such a moment, when
    the funeral of the lover's deceased wife had not actually
    taken place?
    "Nonsense, my dear, you would never have refused
    him had there not been some one else in the case," Miss
    Crawley said, coming to her point at once.  "Tell me the
    private reasons; what are the private reasons?  There is
    some one; who is it that has touched your heart?"
    Rebecca cast down her eyes, and owned there was.
    "You have guessed right, dear lady," she said, with a
    sweet simple faltering voice.  "You wonder at one so
    poor and friendless having an attachment, don't you?
    I have never heard that poverty was any safeguard
    against it.  I wish it were."
    "My poor dear child," cried Miss Crawley, who was
    always quite ready to be sentimental, "is our passion
    unrequited, then?  Are we pining in secret? Tell me all,
    and let me console you."
    "I wish you could, dear Madam," Rebecca said in the
    same tearful tone.  "Indeed, indeed, I need it." And she
    laid her head upon Miss Crawley's shoulder and wept
    there so naturally that the old lady, surprised into
    sympathy, embraced her with an almost maternal
    kindness, uttered many soothing protests of regard and
    affection for her, vowed that she loved her as a daughter,
    and would do everything in her power to serve her.  "And
    now who is it, my dear?  Is it that pretty Miss Sedley's
    brother?  You said something about an affair with him.
    I'll ask him here, my dear.  And you shall have him:
    indeed you shall."
    "Don't ask me now," Rebecca said.  "You shall know
    all soon.  Indeed you shall.  Dear kind Miss Crawley--
    dear friend, may I say so?"
    "That you may, my child," the old lady replied, kissing
    "I can't tell you now," sobbed out Rebecca, "I am
    very miserable.  But O! love me always--promise you will
    love me always." And in the midst of mutual tears--for
    the emotions of the younger woman had awakened the
    sympathies of the elder--this promise was solemnly given
    by Miss Crawley, who left her little protege, blessing
    and admiring her as a dear, artless, tender-hearted,
    affectionate, incomprehensible creature.
    And now she was left alone to think over the sudden
    and wonderful events of the day, and of what had been
    and what might have been.  What think you were the
    private feelings of Miss, no (begging her pardon) of
    Mrs. Rebecca?  If, a few pages back, the present writer
    claimed the privilege of peeping into Miss Amelia
    Sedley's bedroom, and understanding with the omniscience
    of the novelist all the gentle pains and passions which
    were tossing upon that innocent pillow, why should he
    not declare himself to be Rebecca's confidante too,
    master of her secrets, and seal-keeper of that young
    woman's conscience?
    Well, then, in the first place, Rebecca gave way to
    some very sincere and touching regrets that a piece of
    marvellous good fortune should have been so near her,
    and she actually obliged to decline it.  In this natural
    emotion every properly regulated mind will certainly
    share.  What good mother is there that would not
    commiserate a penniless spinster, who might have been
    my lady, and have shared four thousand a year?  What
    well-bred young person is there in all Vanity Fair, who
    will not feel for a hard-working, ingenious, meritorious
    girl, who gets such an honourable, advantageous, provoking
    offer, just at the very moment when it is out of her
    power to accept it?  I am sure our friend Becky's
    disappointment deserves and will command every
    I remember one night being in the Fair myself, at an
    evening party.  I observed old Miss Toady there also
    present, single out for her special attentions and flattery
    little Mrs. Briefless, the barrister's wife, who is of a
    good family certainly, but, as we all know, is as poor
    as poor can be.
    What, I asked in my own mind, can cause this
    obsequiousness on the part of Miss Toady; has Briefless
    got a county court, or has his wife had a fortune left her?
    Miss Toady explained presently, with that simplicity
    which distinguishes all her conduct.  "You know," she
    said, "Mrs.Briefless is granddaughter of Sir John Redhand,
    who is so ill at Cheltenham that he can't last six
    months.  Mrs.  Briefless's papa succeeds; so you see she
    will be a baronet's daughter." And Toady asked Briefless
    and his wife to dinner the very next week.
    If the mere chance of becoming a baronet's daughter
    can procure a lady such homage in the world, surely,
    surely we may respect the agonies of a young woman
    who has lost the opportunity of becoming a baronet's
    wife.  Who would have dreamed of Lady Crawley dying
    so soon?  She was one of those sickly women that
    might have lasted these ten years--Rebecca thought to
    herself, in all the woes of repentance--and I might have
    been my lady!  I might have led that old man whither I
    would.  I might have thanked Mrs. Bute for her
    patronage, and Mr. Pitt for his insufferable condescension.  I
    would have had the town-house newly furnished and
    decorated.  I would have had the handsomest carriage in
    London, and a box at the opera; and I would have
    been presented next season.  All this might have been;
    and now--now all was doubt and mystery.
    But Rebecca was a young lady of too much resolution
    and energy of character to permit herself much useless
    and unseemly sorrow for the irrevocable past; so, having
    devoted only the proper portion of regret to it, she wisely
    turned her whole attention towards the future, which
    was now vastly more important to her.  And she
    surveyed her position, and its hopes, doubts, and chances.
    In the first place, she was MARRIED--that was a great
    fact.  Sir Pitt knew it.  She was not so much surprised into
    the avowal, as induced to make it by a sudden calculation.
    It must have come some day: and why not now
    as at a later period? He who would have married her
    himself must at least be silent with regard to her marriage.
    How Miss Crawley would bear the news--was the great
    question.  Misgivings Rebecca had; but she remembered
    all Miss Crawley had said; the old lady's avowed
    contempt for birth; her daring liberal opinions; her
    general romantic propensities; her almost doting attachment
    to her nephew, and her repeatedly expressed fondness for
    Rebecca herself.  She is so fond of him, Rebecca thought,
    that she will forgive him anything: she is so used to me
    that I don't think she could be comfortable without
    me: when the eclaircissement comes there will be a
    scene, and hysterics, and a great quarrel, and then a
    great reconciliation.  At all events, what use was there
    in delaying? the die was thrown, and now or to-morrow
    the issue must be the same.  And so, resolved that Miss
    Crawley should have the news, the young person
    debated in her mind as to the best means of conveying it
    to her; and whether she should face the storm that must
    come, or fly and avoid it until its first fury was blown
    over.  In this state of meditation she wrote the following
    Dearest Friend,
    The great crisis which we have debated
    about so often is COME.  Half of my secret is known, and
    I have thought and thought, until I am quite sure that
    now is the time to reveal THE WHOLE OF THE MYSTERY.  Sir
    Pitt came to me this morning, and made--what do you
    think?--A DECLARATION IN FORM.  Think of that!  Poor
    little me.  I might have been Lady Crawley.  How pleased
    Mrs. Bute would have been: and ma tante if I had taken
    precedence of her! I might have been somebody's
    mamma, instead of--O, I tremble, I tremble, when I
    think how soon we must tell all!
    Sir Pitt knows I am married, and not knowing to
    whom, is not very much displeased as yet.  Ma tante is
    ACTUALLY ANGRY that I should have refused him.  But she
    is all kindness and graciousness.  She condescends to say
    I would have made him a good wife; and vows that
    she will be a mother to your little Rebecca.  She will be
    shaken when she first hears the news.  But need we fear
    anything beyond a momentary anger?  I think not: I AM
    SURE not.  She dotes upon you so (you naughty, good-for-
    nothing man), that she would pardon you ANYTHING:
    and, indeed, I believe, the next place in her heart is
    mine: and that she would be miserable without me.
    Dearest! something TELLS ME we shall conquer.  You shall
    leave that odious regiment: quit gaming, racing, and BE
    A GOOD BOY; and we shall all live in Park Lane, and ma
    tante shall leave us all her money.
    I shall try and walk to-morrow at 3 in the usual place.
    If Miss B. accompanies me, you must come to dinner,
    and bring an answer, and put it in the third volume of
    Porteus's Sermons.  But, at all events, come to your own
    To Miss Eliza Styles,
    At Mr. Barnet's, Saddler, Knightsbridge.
    And I trust there is no reader of this little story who
    has not discernment enough to perceive that the Miss
    Eliza Styles (an old schoolfellow, Rebecca said, with
    whom she had resumed an active correspondence of late,
    and who used to fetch these letters from the saddler's),
    wore brass spurs, and large curling mustachios, and was
    indeed no other than Captain Rawdon Crawley.
    The Letter on the Pincushion
    How they were married is not of the slightest
    consequence to anybody.  What is to hinder a Captain who
    is a major, and a young lady who is of age, from purchasing
    a licence, and uniting themselves at any church in this
    town?  Who needs to be told, that if a woman has a will
    she will assuredly find a way?--My belief is that one
    day, when Miss Sharp had gone to pass the forenoon
    with her dear friend Miss Amelia Sedley in Russell
    Square, a lady very like her might have been seen
    entering a church in the City, in company with a gentleman
    with dyed mustachios, who, after a quarter of an hour's
    interval, escorted her back to the hackney-coach in
    waiting, and that this was a quiet bridal party.
    And who on earth, after the daily experience we have,
    can question the probability of a gentleman marrying
    anybody? How many of the wise and learned have
    married their cooks?  Did not Lord Eldon himself, the
    most prudent of men, make a runaway match? Were not
    Achilles and Ajax both in love with their servant maids?
    And are we to expect a heavy dragoon with strong
    desires and small brains, who had never controlled a
    passion in his life, to become prudent all of a sudden,
    and to refuse to pay any price for an indulgence to
    which he had a mind?  If people only made prudent
    marriages, what a stop to population there would be!
    It seems to me, for my part, that Mr. Rawdon's marriage
    was one of the honestest actions which we shall have to
    record in any portion of that gentleman's biography which
    has to do with the present history.  No one will say it is
    unmanly to be captivated by a woman, or, being
    captivated, to marry her; and the admiration, the delight, the
    passion, the wonder, the unbounded confidence, and frantic
    adoration with which, by degrees, this big warrior got
    to regard the little Rebecca, were feelings which the ladies
    at least will pronounce were not altogether discreditable
    to him.  When she sang, every note thrilled in his dull
    soul, and tingled through his huge frame.  When she spoke,
    he brought all the force of his brains to listen and wonder.
    If she was jocular, he used to revolve her jokes in his
    mind, and explode over them half an hour afterwards in
    the street, to the surprise of the groom in the tilbury by
    his side, or the comrade riding with him in Rotten Row.
    Her words were oracles to him, her smallest actions
    marked by an infallible grace and wisdom.  "How she
    sings,--how she paints," thought he.  "How she rode that
    kicking mare at Queen's Crawley!"  And he would say to
    her in confidential moments, "By Jove, Beck, you're fit
    to be Commander-in-Chief, or Archbishop of Canterbury,
    by Jove."  Is his case a rare one? and don't we see every
    day in the world many an honest Hercules at the
    apron-strings of Omphale, and great whiskered Samsons
    prostrate in Delilah's lap?
    When, then, Becky told him that the great crisis was
    near, and the time for action had arrived, Rawdon
    expressed himself as ready to act under her orders, as he
    would be to charge with his troop at the command of his
    colonel.  There was no need for him to put his letter into
    the third volume of Porteus.  Rebecca easily found a
    means to get rid of Briggs, her companion, and met her
    faithful friend in "the usual place" on the next day.  She
    had thought over matters at night, and communicated to
    Rawdon the result of her determinations.  He agreed, of
    course, to everything; was quite sure that it was all
    right: that what she proposed was best; that Miss Crawley
    would infallibly relent, or "come round," as he said, after
    a time.  Had Rebecca's resolutions been entirely different,
    he would have followed them as implicitly.  "You have
    head enough for both of us, Beck," said he.  "You're sure
    to get us out of the scrape.  I never saw your equal, and
    I've met with some clippers in my time too." And with
    this simple confession of faith, the love-stricken dragoon
    left her to execute his part of the project which she had
    formed for the pair.
    It consisted simply in the hiring of quiet lodgings at
    Brompton, or in the neighbourhood of the barracks, for
    Captain and Mrs. Crawley.  For Rebecca had determined,
    and very prudently, we think, to fly.  Rawdon was
    only too happy at her resolve; he had been entreating
    her to take this measure any time for weeks past.  He
    pranced off to engage the lodgings with all the impetuosity
    of love.  He agreed to pay two guineas a week so readily,
    that the landlady regretted she had asked him so little.
    He ordered in a piano, and half a nursery-house full of
    flowers: and a heap of good things.  As for shawls, kid
    gloves, silk stockings, gold French watches, bracelets and
    perfumery, he sent them in with the profusion of blind
    love and unbounded credit.  And having relieved his mind
    by this outpouring of generosity, he went and dined
    nervously at the club, waiting until the great moment of his
    life should come.
      The occurrences of the previous day; the admirable
    conduct of Rebecca in refusing an offer so advantageous
    to her, the secret unhappiness preying upon her, the
    sweetness and silence with which she bore her affliction,
    made Miss Crawley much more tender than usual.  An
    event of this nature, a marriage, or a refusal, or a
    proposal, thrills through a whole household of women, and
    sets all their hysterical sympathies at work.  As an
    observer of human nature, I regularly frequent St. George's,
    Hanover Square, during the genteel marriage season; and
    though I have never seen the bridegroom's male friends
    give way to tears, or the beadles and officiating clergy
    any way affected, yet it is not at all uncommon to see
    women who are not in the least concerned in the
    operations going on--old ladies who are long past marrying,
    stout middle-aged females with plenty of sons and daughters,
    let alone pretty young creatures in pink bonnets, who
    are on their promotion, and may naturally take an
    interest in the ceremony--I say it is quite common to see
    the women present piping, sobbing, sniffling; hiding their
    little faces in their little useless pocket-handkerchiefs;
    and heaving, old and young, with emotion.  When my
    friend, the fashionable John Pimlico, married the lovely
    Lady Belgravia Green Parker, the excitement was so
    general that even the little snuffy old pew-opener who let me
    into the seat was in tears.  And wherefore? I inquired of
    my own soul: she was not going to be married.
    Miss Crawley and Briggs in a word, after the affair of
    Sir Pitt, indulged in the utmost luxury of sentiment, and
    Rebecca became an object of the most tender interest to
    them.  In her absence Miss Crawley solaced herself with
    the most sentimental of the novels in her library.  Little
    Sharp, with her secret griefs, was the heroine of the day.
    That night Rebecca sang more sweetly and talked more
    pleasantly than she had ever been heard to do in Park
    Lane.  She twined herself round the heart of Miss Crawley.
    She spoke lightly and laughingly of Sir Pitt's proposal,
    ridiculed it as the foolish fancy of an old man; and her
    eyes filled with tears, and Briggs's heart with unutterable
    pangs of defeat, as she said she desired no other lot than
    to remain for ever with her dear benefactress.  "My dear
    little creature," the old lady said, "I don't intend to let
    you stir for years, that you may depend upon it.  As for
    going back to that odious brother of mine after what
    has passed, it is out of the question.  Here you stay with me
    and Briggs.  Briggs wants to go to see her relations very
    often.  Briggs, you may go when you like.  But as for you,
    my dear, you must stay and take care of the old woman."
    If Rawdon Crawley had been then and there present,
    instead of being at the club nervously drinking claret, the
    pair might have gone down on their knees before the old
    spinster, avowed all, and been forgiven in a twinkling.
    But that good chance was denied to the young couple,
    doubtless in order that this story might be written, in
    which numbers of their wonderful adventures are narrated
    --adventures which could never have occurred to them
    if they had been housed and sheltered under the
    comfortable uninteresting forgiveness of Miss Crawley.
    Under Mrs. Firkin's orders, in the Park Lane establishment,
    was a young woman from Hampshire, whose business it was,
    among other duties, to knock at Miss Sharp's door with
    that jug of hot water which Firkin would rather have
    perished than have presented to the intruder.  This
    girl, bred on the family estate, had a brother in Captain
    Crawley's troop, and if the truth were known, I daresay
    it would come out that she was aware of certain arrangements,
    which have a great deal to do with this history.
    At any rate she purchased a yellow shawl, a pair of green
    boots, and a light blue hat with a red feather with three
    guineas which Rebecca gave her, and as little Sharp was
    by no means too liberal with her money, no doubt it
    was for services rendered that Betty Martin was so bribed.
    On the second day after Sir Pitt Crawley's offer to
    Miss Sharp, the sun rose as usual, and at the usual hour
    Betty Martin, the upstairs maid, knocked at the door of
    the governess's bedchamber.
    No answer was returned, and she knocked again.  Silence
    was still uninterrupted; and Betty, with the hot water,
    opened the door and entered the chamber.
    The little white dimity bed was as smooth and trim as
    on the day previous, when Betty's own hands had helped
    to make it.  Two little trunks were corded in one end of
    the room; and on the table before the window--on the
    pincushion the great fat pincushion lined with pink
    inside, and twilled like a lady's nightcap--lay a letter.  It
    had been reposing there probably all night.
    Betty advanced towards it on tiptoe, as if she were
    afraid to awake it--looked at it, and round the room,
    with an air of great wonder and satisfaction; took up the
    letter, and grinned intensely as she turned it round and
    over, and finally carried it into Miss Briggs's room
    How could Betty tell that the letter was for Miss Briggs,
    I should like to know?  All the schooling Betty had had
    was at Mrs. Bute Crawley's Sunday school, and she could
    no more read writing than Hebrew.
    "La, Miss Briggs," the girl exclaimed, "O, Miss,
    something must have happened--there's nobody in Miss
    Sharp's room; the bed ain't been slep in, and she've run
    away, and left this letter for you, Miss."
    "WHAT!" cries Briggs, dropping her comb, the thin wisp
    of faded hair falling over her shoulders; "an elopement!
    Miss Sharp a fugitive!  What, what is this?" and she eagerly
    broke the neat seal, and, as they say, "devoured the
    contents" of the letter addressed to her.
    Dear Miss Briggs [the refugee wrote], the kindest
    heart in the world, as yours is, will pity and sympathise
    with me and excuse me.  With tears, and prayers, and
    blessings, I leave the home where the poor orphan has
    ever met with kindness and affection.  Claims even
    superior to those of my benefactress call me hence.  I go to
    my duty--to my HUSBAND.  Yes, I am married.  My
    husband COMMANDS me to seek the HUMBLE HOME which
    we call ours.  Dearest Miss Briggs, break the news as your
    delicate sympathy will know how to do it--to my dear,
    my beloved friend and benefactress.  Tell her, ere I went,
    I shed tears on her dear pillow--that pillow that I have
    so often soothed in sickness--that I long AGAIN to watch
    --Oh, with what joy shall I return to dear Park Lane!
    How I tremble for the answer which is to SEAL MY FATE!
    When Sir Pitt deigned to offer me his hand, an honour
    of which my beloved Miss Crawley said I was DESERVING
    (my blessings go with her for judging the poor orphan
    worthy to be HER SISTER!) I told Sir Pitt that I was already
    A WIFE.  Even he forgave me.  But my courage failed me,
    when I should have told him all--that I could not be
    his wife, for I WAS HIS DAUGHTER!  I am wedded to the best
    and most generous of men--Miss Crawley's Rawdon is
    MY Rawdon.  At his COMMAND I open my lips, and
    follow him to our humble home, as I would THROUGH THE
    WORLD.  O, my excellent and kind friend, intercede with
    my Rawdon's beloved aunt for him and the poor girl to
    whom all HIS NOBLE RACE have shown such UNPARALLELED
    AFFECTION.  Ask Miss Crawley to receive HER CHILDREN.  I
    can say no more, but blessings, blessings on all in the
    dear house I leave, prays
    Your affectionate and GRATEFUL
    Rebecca Crawley.
    Just as Briggs had finished reading this affecting and
    interesting document, which reinstated her in her position
    as first confidante of Miss Crawley, Mrs. Firkin entered
    the room.  "Here's Mrs. Bute Crawley just arrived by
    the mail from Hampshire, and wants some tea; will you
    come down and make breakfast, Miss?"
    And to the surprise of Firkin, clasping her dressing-gown
    around her, the wisp of hair floating dishevelled
    behind her, the little curl-papers still sticking in bunches
    round her forehead, Briggs sailed down to Mrs. Bute with
    the letter in her hand containing the wonderful news.
    "Oh, Mrs. Firkin," gasped Betty, "sech a business.  Miss
    Sharp have a gone and run away with the Capting, and
    they're off to Gretney Green!"  We would devote a chapter
    to describe the emotions of Mrs. Firkin, did not the
    passions of her mistresses occupy our genteeler muse.
    When Mrs. Bute Crawley, numbed with midnight travelling,
    and warming herself at the newly crackling parlour
    fire, heard from Miss Briggs the intelligence of the
    clandestine marriage, she declared it was quite providential
    that she should have arrived at such a time to assist poor
    dear Miss Crawley in supporting the shock--that Rebecca
    was an artful little hussy of whom she had always
    had her suspicions; and that as for Rawdon Crawley, she
    never could account for his aunt's infatuation regarding
    him, and had long considered him a profligate, lost,
    and abandoned being.  And this awful conduct, Mrs. Bute
    said, will have at least this good effect, it will open poor
    dear Miss Crawley's eyes to the real character of this
    wicked man.  Then Mrs. Bute had a comfortable hot toast
    and tea; and as there was a vacant room in the house
    now, there was no need for her to remain at the Gloster
    Coffee House where the Portsmouth mail had set her
    down, and whence she ordered Mr. Bowls's aide-de-camp
    the footman to bring away her trunks.
    Miss Crawley, be it known, did not leave her room until
    near noon--taking chocolate in bed in the morning, while
    Becky Sharp read the Morning Post to her, or otherwise
    amusing herself or dawdling.  The conspirators below
    agreed that they would spare the dear lady's feelings
    until she appeared in her drawing-room: meanwhile it was
    announced to her that Mrs. Bute Crawley had come up
    from Hampshire by the mail, was staying at the Gloster,
    sent her love to Miss Crawley, and asked for breakfast
    with Miss Briggs.  The arrival of Mrs. Bute, which would
    not have caused any extreme delight at another period,
    was hailed with pleasure now; Miss Crawley being pleased
    at the notion of a gossip with her sister-in-law regarding
    the late Lady Crawley, the funeral arrangements pending,
    and Sir Pitt's abrupt proposal to Rebecca.
    It was not until the old lady was fairly ensconced in
    her usual arm-chair in the drawing-room, and the
    preliminary embraces and inquiries had taken place between
    the ladies, that the conspirators thought it advisable to
    submit her to the operation.  Who has not admired the
    artifices and delicate approaches with which women
    "prepare" their friends for bad news?  Miss Crawley's two
    friends made such an apparatus of mystery before they
    broke the intelligence to her, that they worked her up to
    the necessary degree of doubt and alarm.
    "And she refused Sir Pitt, my dear, dear Miss Crawley,
    prepare yourself for it," Mrs. Bute said, "because--
    because she couldn't help herself."
    "Of course there was a reason," Miss Crawley answered.
    "She liked somebody else.  I told Briggs so yesterday."
    "LIKES somebody else!" Briggs gasped.  "O my dear
    friend, she is married already."
    "Married already," Mrs. Bute chimed in; and both sate
    with clasped hands looking from each other at their
    "Send her to me, the instant she comes in.  The little
    sly wretch: how dared she not tell me?" cried out Miss
    "She won't come in soon.  Prepare yourself, dear friend
    --she's gone out for a long time--she's--she's gone
    "Gracious goodness, and who's to make my chocolate?
    Send for her and have her back; I desire that she come
    back," the old lady said.
    "She decamped last night, Ma'am," cried Mrs. Bute.
    "She left a letter for me," Briggs exclaimed.  "She's
    married to--"
    "Prepare her, for heaven's sake.  Don't torture her, my
    dear Miss Briggs."
    "She's married to whom?" cries the spinster in a
    nervous fury.
    "To--to a relation of--"
    "She refused Sir Pitt," cried the victim.  "Speak at once.
    Don't drive me mad."
    "O Ma'am--prepare her, Miss Briggs--she's married
    to Rawdon Crawley."
    "Rawdon married Rebecca--governess--nobod--
    Get out of my house, you fool, you idiot--you stupid old
    Briggs how dare you? You're in the plot--you made
    him marry, thinking that I'd leave my money from him--
    you did, Martha," the poor old lady screamed in hysteric
    "I, Ma'am, ask a member of this family to marry a
    drawing-master's daughter?"
    "Her mother was a Montmorency," cried out the old
    lady, pulling at the bell with all her might.
    "Her mother was an opera girl, and she has been on
    the stage or worse herself," said Mrs. Bute.
    Miss Crawley gave a final scream, and fell back in a
    faint.  They were forced to take her back to the room
    which she had just quitted.  One fit of hysterics succeeded
    another.  The doctor was sent for--the apothecary arrived.
    Mrs. Bute took up the post of nurse by her bedside.  "Her
    relations ought to be round about her," that amiable
    woman said.
    She had scarcely been carried up to her room, when a
    new person arrived to whom it was also necessary to break
    the news.  This was Sir Pitt.  "Where's Becky?" he said,
    coming in.  "Where's her traps? She's coming with me to
    Queen's Crawley."
    "Have you not heard the astonishing intelligence
    regarding her surreptitious union?" Briggs asked.
    "What's that to me?" Sir Pitt asked.  "I know she's
    married.  That makes no odds.  Tell her to come down at
    once, and not keep me."
    "Are you not aware, sir," Miss Briggs asked, "that she
    has left our roof, to the dismay of Miss Crawley, who is
    nearly killed by the intelligence of Captain Rawdon's union
    with her?"
    When Sir Pitt Crawley heard that Rebecca was married
    to his son, he broke out into a fury of language, which it
    would do no good to repeat in this place, as indeed it
    sent poor Briggs shuddering out of the room; and with her
    we will shut the door upon the figure of the frenzied old
    man, wild with hatred and insane with baffled desire.
    One day after he went to Queen's Crawley, he burst
    like a madman into the room she had used when there
    --dashed open her boxes with his foot, and flung about
    her papers, clothes, and other relics.  Miss Horrocks, the
    butler's daughter, took some of them.  The children
    dressed themselves and acted plays in the others.  It was
    but a few days after the poor mother had gone to her
    lonely burying-place; and was laid, unwept and
    disregarded, in a vault full of strangers.
    "Suppose the old lady doesn't come to," Rawdon said to
    his little wife, as they sate together in the snug little
    Brompton lodgings.  She had been trying the new piano
    all the morning.  The new gloves fitted her to a nicety; the
    new shawls became her wonderfully; the new rings
    glittered on her little hands, and the new watch ticked at her
    waist; "suppose she don't come round, eh, Becky?"
    "I'LL make your fortune," she said; and Delilah patted
    Samson's cheek.
    "You can do anything," he said, kissing the little hand.
    "By Jove you can; and we'll drive down to the Star and
    Garter, and dine, by Jove."
    How Captain Dobbin Bought a Piano
    If there is any exhibition in all Vanity Fair which Satire
    and Sentiment can visit arm in arm together; where you
    light on the strangest contrasts laughable and tearful:
    where you may be gentle and pathetic, or savage and
    cynical with perfect propriety: it is at one of those public
    assemblies, a crowd of which are advertised every day in
    the last page of the Times newspaper, and over which
    the late Mr. George Robins used to preside with so much
    dignity.  There are very few London people, as I fancy,
    who have not attended at these meetings, and all with a
    taste for moralizing must have thought, with a sensation
    and interest not a little startling and queer, of the day
    when their turn shall come too, and Mr. Hammerdown
    will sell by the orders of Diogenes' assignees, or will be
    instructed by the executors, to offer to public competition,
    the library, furniture, plate, wardrobe, and choice cellar
    of wines of Epicurus deceased.
    Even with the most selfish disposition, the Vanity Fairian,
    as he witnesses this sordid part of the obsequies of a
    departed friend, can't but feel some sympathies and regret.
    My Lord Dives's remains are in the family vault: the
    statuaries are cutting an inscription veraciously
    commemorating his virtues, and the sorrows of his heir,
    who is disposing of his goods.  What guest at Dives's table
    can pass the familiar house without a sigh? .--the familiar
    house of which the lights used to shine so cheerfully at
    seven o'clock, of which the hall-doors opened so readily,
    of which the obsequious servants, as you passed up the
    comfortable stair, sounded your name from landing to
    landing, until it reached the apartment where jolly old
    Dives welcomed his friends!  What a number of them he
    had; and what a noble way of entertaining them.  How
    witty people used to be here who were morose when they
    got out of the door; and how courteous and friendly men
    who slandered and hated each other everywhere else!  He
    was pompous, but with such a cook what would one not
    swallow? he was rather dull, perhaps, but would not
    such wine make any conversation pleasant?  We must get
    some of his Burgundy at any price, the mourners cry at
    his club.  "I got this box at old Dives's sale," Pincher says,
    handing it round, "one of Louis XV's mistresses--pretty
    thing, is it not?--sweet miniature," and they talk of the
    way in which young Dives is dissipating his fortune.
    How changed the house is, though!  The front is patched
    over with bills, setting forth the particulars of the furniture
    in staring capitals.  They have hung a shred of carpet out
    of an upstairs window--a half dozen of porters are lounging
    on the dirty steps--the hall swarms with dingy guests
    of oriental countenance, who thrust printed cards into
    your hand, and offer to bid.  Old women and amateurs
    have invaded the upper apartments, pinching the bed-
    curtains, poking into the feathers, shampooing the
    mattresses, and clapping the wardrobe drawers to and fro.
    Enterprising young housekeepers are measuring the
    looking-glasses and hangings to see if they will suit the new
    menage (Snob will brag for years that he has purchased
    this or that at Dives's sale), and Mr. Hammerdown is
    sitting on the great mahogany dining-tables, in the dining-
    room below, waving the ivory hammer, and employing all
    the artifices of eloquence, enthusiasm, entreaty, reason,
    despair; shouting to his people; satirizing Mr. Davids for
    his sluggishness; inspiriting Mr. Moss into action;
    imploring, commanding, bellowing, until down comes the
    hammer like fate, and we pass to the next lot.  O Dives,
    who would ever have thought, as we sat round the broad
    table sparkling with plate and spotless linen, to have seen
    such a dish at the head of it as that roaring auctioneer?
    It was rather late in the sale.  The excellent drawing-
    room furniture by the best makers; the rare and famous
    wines selected, regardless of cost, and with the well-known
    taste of the purchaser; the rich and complete set of family
    plate had been sold on the previous days.  Certain of the
    best wines (which all had a great character among
    amateurs in the neighbourhood) had been purchased for his
    master, who knew them very well, by the butler of our
    friend John Osborne, Esquire, of Russell Square.  A small
    portion of the most useful articles of the plate had been
    bought by some young stockbrokers from the City.  And
    now the public being invited to the purchase of minor
    objects, it happened that the orator on the table was
    expatiating on the merits of a picture, which he sought
    to recommend to his audience: it was by no means so
    select or numerous a company as had attended the
    previous days of the auction.
    "No. 369," roared Mr. Hammerdown.  "Portrait of a
    gentleman on an elephant.  Who'll bid for the gentleman
    on the elephant?  Lift up the picture, Blowman, and let
    the company examine this lot." A long, pale, military-
    looking gentleman, seated demurely at the mahogany
    table, could not help grinning as this valuable lot was
    shown by Mr. Blowman.  "Turn the elephant to the
    Captain, Blowman.  What shall we say, sir, for the elephant?"
    but the Captain, blushing in a very hurried and discomfited
    manner, turned away his head.
    "Shall we say twenty guineas for this work of art?--
    fifteen, five, name your own price.  The gentleman
    without the elephant is worth five pound."
    "I wonder it ain't come down with him," said a
    professional wag, "he's anyhow a precious big one"; at
    which (for the elephant-rider was represented as of a very
    stout figure) there was a general giggle in the room.
    "Don't be trying to deprecate the value of the lot, Mr.
    Moss," Mr. Hammerdown said; "let the company
    examine it as a work of art--the attitude of the gallant
    animal quite according to natur'; the gentleman in a
    nankeen jacket, his gun in his hand, is going to the
    chase; in the distance a banyhann tree and a pagody,
    most likely resemblances of some interesting spot in our
    famous Eastern possessions.  How much for this lot?
    Come, gentlemen, don't keep me here all day."
    Some one bid five shillings, at which the military
    gentleman looked towards the quarter from which this
    splendid offer had come, and there saw another officer
    with a young lady on his arm, who both appeared to be
    highly amused with the scene, and to whom, finally, this
    lot was knocked down for half a guinea.  He at the
    table looked more surprised and discomposed than ever
    when he spied this pair, and his head sank into his
    military collar, and he turned his back upon them, so as
    to avoid them altogether.
    Of all the other articles which Mr. Hammerdown had
    the honour to offer for public competition that day it is
    not our purpose to make mention, save of one only, a
    little square piano, which came down from the upper
    regions of the house (the state grand piano having
    been disposed of previously); this the young lady tried
    with a rapid and skilful hand (making the officer blush
    and start again), and for it, when its turn came, her
    agent began to bid.
    But there was an opposition here.  The Hebrew aide-de-
    camp in the service of the officer at the table bid against
    the Hebrew gentleman employed by the elephant
    purchasers, and a brisk battle ensued over this little piano,
    the combatants being greatly encouraged by Mr.
    At last, when the competition had been prolonged for
    some time, the elephant captain and lady desisted from
    the race; and the hammer coming down, the auctioneer
    said:--"Mr. Lewis, twenty-five," and Mr. Lewis's chief
    thus became the proprietor of the little square piano.
    Having effected the purchase, he sate up as if he was
    greatly relieved, and the unsuccessful competitors
    catching a glimpse of him at this moment, the lady
    said to her friend,
    "Why, Rawdon, it's Captain Dobbin."
    I suppose Becky was discontented with the new piano
    her husband had hired for her, or perhaps the
    proprietors of that instrument had fetched it away,
    declining farther credit, or perhaps she had a particular
    attachment for the one which she had just tried to purchase,
    recollecting it in old days, when she used to play upon
    it, in the little sitting-room of our dear Amelia Sedley.
    The sale was at the old house in Russell Square, where
    we passed some evenings together at the beginning of
    this story.  Good old John Sedley was a ruined man.  His
    name had been proclaimed as a defaulter on the Stock
    Exchange, and his bankruptcy and commercial extermination
    had followed.  Mr. Osborne's butler came to buy some of the
    famous port wine to transfer to the cellars over the way.
    As for one dozen well-manufactured silver spoons and
    forks at per oz., and one dozen dessert ditto ditto,
    there were three young stockbrokers (Messrs. Dale,
    Spiggot, and Dale, of Threadneedle Street, indeed),
    who, having had dealings with the old man, and
    kindnesses from him in days when he was kind to
    everybody with whom he dealt, sent this little spar out
    of the wreck with their love to good Mrs. Sedley; and with
    respect to the piano, as it had been Amelia's, and as she
    might miss it and want one now, and as Captain William
    Dobbin could no more play upon it than he could dance
    on the tight rope, it is probable that he did not purchase
    the instrument for his own use.
    In a word, it arrived that evening at a wonderful small
    cottage in a street leading from the Fulham Road--one
    of those streets which have the finest romantic names--
    (this was called St. Adelaide Villas, Anna-Maria Road
    West), where the houses look like baby-houses; where
    the people, looking out of the first-floor windows, must
    infallibly, as you think, sit with their feet in the parlours;
    where the shrubs in the little gardens in front bloom with
    a perennial display of little children's pinafores, little red
    socks, caps, &c. (polyandria polygynia); whence you
    hear the sound of jingling spinets and women singing;
    where little porter pots hang on the railings sunning
    themselves; whither of evenings you see City clerks
    padding wearily: here it was that Mr. Clapp, the clerk of
    Mr. Sedley, had his domicile, and in this asylum the good
    old gentleman hid his head with his wife and daughter
    when the crash came.
    Jos Sedley had acted as a man of his disposition
    would, when the announcement of the family misfortune
    reached him.  He did not come to London, but he wrote
    to his mother to draw upon his agents for whatever
    money was wanted, so that his kind broken-spirited old
    parents had no present poverty to fear.  This done, Jos
    went on at the boarding-house at Cheltenham pretty
    much as before.  He drove his curricle; he drank his
    claret; he played his rubber; he told his Indian stories,
    and the Irish widow consoled and flattered him as usual.
    His present of money, needful as it was, made little
    impression on his parents; and I have heard Amelia say
    that the first day on which she saw her father lift up his
    head after the failure was on the receipt of the packet
    of forks and spoons with the young stockbrokers' love,
    over which he burst out crying like a child, being greatly
    more affected than even his wife, to whom the present
    was addressed.  Edward Dale, the junior of the house,
    who purchased the spoons for the firm, was, in fact, very
    sweet upon Amelia, and offered for her in spite of all.
    He married Miss Louisa Cutts (daughter of Higham and
    Cutts, the eminent cornfactors) with a handsome fortune
    in 1820; and is now living in splendour, and with a
    numerous family, at his elegant villa, Muswell Hill.  But
    we must not let the recollections of this good fellow
    cause us to diverge from the principal history.
    I hope the reader has much too good an opinion of
    Captain and Mrs. Crawley to suppose that they ever
    would have dreamed of paying a visit to so remote a
    district as Bloomsbury, if they thought the family whom
    they proposed to honour with a visit were not merely
    out of fashion, but out of money, and could be
    serviceable to them in no possible manner.  Rebecca was
    entirely surprised at the sight of the comfortable old house
    where she had met with no small kindness, ransacked by
    brokers and bargainers, and its quiet family treasures
    given up to public desecration and plunder.  A month
    after her flight, she had bethought her of Amelia, and
    Rawdon, with a horse-laugh, had expressed a perfect
    willingness to see young George Osborne again.  "He's a
    very agreeable acquaintance, Beck," the wag added.  "I'd
    like to sell him another horse, Beck.  I'd like to play a
    few more games at billiards with him.  He'd be what I
    call useful just now, Mrs. C.--ha, ha!" by which sort of
    speech it is not to be supposed that Rawdon Crawley had
    a deliberate desire to cheat Mr. Osborne at play, but only
    wished to take that fair advantage of him which almost
    every sporting gentleman in Vanity Fair considers to be
    his due from his neighbour.
    The old aunt was long in "coming-to." A month had
    elapsed.  Rawdon was denied the door by Mr. Bowls; his
    servants could not get a lodgment in the house at Park
    Lane; his letters were sent back unopened.  Miss Crawley
    never stirred out--she was unwell--and Mrs. Bute
    remained still and never left her.  Crawley and his wife both
    of them augured evil from the continued presence of
    Mrs. Bute.
    "Gad, I begin to perceive now why she was always
    bringing us together at Queen's Crawley," Rawdon said.
    "What an artful little woman!" ejaculated Rebecca.
    "Well, I don't regret it, if you don't," the Captain
    cried, still in an amorous rapture with his wife, who
    rewarded him with a kiss by way of reply, and was
    indeed not a little gratified by the generous confidence
    of her husband.
    "If he had but a little more brains," she thought to
    herself, "I might make something of him"; but she never
    let him perceive the opinion she had of him; listened
    with indefatigable complacency to his stories of the
    stable and the mess; laughed at all his jokes; felt the
    greatest interest in Jack Spatterdash, whose cab-horse
    had come down, and Bob Martingale, who had been
    taken up in a gambling-house, and Tom Cinqbars, who
    was going to ride the steeplechase.  When he came home
    she was alert and happy: when he went out she pressed
    him to go: when he stayed at home, she played and
    sang for him, made him good drinks, superintended his
    dinner, warmed his slippers, and steeped his soul in
    comfort.  The best of women (I have heard my grandmother
    say) are hypocrites.  We don't know how much
    they hide from us: how watchful they are when they
    seem most artless and confidential: how often those frank
    smiles which they wear so easily, are traps to cajole or
    elude or disarm--I don't mean in your mere coquettes,
    but your domestic models, and paragons of female virtue.
    Who has not seen a woman hide the dulness of a stupid
    husband, or coax the fury of a savage one?  We accept
    this amiable slavishness, and praise a woman for it: we
    call this pretty treachery truth.  A good housewife is of
    necessity a humbug; and Cornelia's husband was
    hoodwinked, as Potiphar was--only in a different way.
    By these attentions, that veteran rake, Rawdon Crawley,
    found himself converted into a very happy and submissive
    married man.  His former haunts knew him not.
    They asked about him once or twice at his clubs, but did
    not miss him much: in those booths of Vanity Fair people
    seldom do miss each other.  His secluded wife ever smiling
    and cheerful, his little comfortable lodgings, snug
    meals, and homely evenings, had all the charms of novelty
    and secrecy.  The marriage was not yet declared to the
    world, or published in the Morning Post.  All his creditors
    would have come rushing on him in a body, had they
    known that he was united to a woman without fortune.
    "My relations won't cry fie upon me," Becky said, with
    rather a bitter laugh; and she was quite contented to wait
    until the old aunt should be reconciled, before she claimed
    her place in society.  So she lived at Brompton, and
    meanwhile saw no one, or only those few of her husband's
    male companions who were admitted into her little
    dining-room.  These were all charmed with her.  The little
    dinners, the laughing and chatting, the music afterwards,
    delighted all who participated in these enjoyments.  Major
    Martingale never thought about asking to
    see the marriage licence, Captain Cinqbars was perfectly
    enchanted with her skill in making punch.  And young
    Lieutenant Spatterdash (who was fond of piquet, and
    whom Crawley would often invite) was evidently and
    quickly smitten by Mrs. Crawley; but her own
    circumspection and modesty never forsook her for a
    moment, and Crawley's reputation as a fire-eating and
    jealous warrior was a further and complete defence to
    his little wife.
    There are gentlemen of very good blood and fashion
    in this city, who never have entered a lady's drawing-
    room; so that though Rawdon Crawley's marriage might
    be talked about in his county, where, of course, Mrs.
    Bute had spread the news, in London it was doubted, or
    not heeded, or not talked about at all.  He lived comfortably
    on credit.  He had a large capital of debts, which
    laid out judiciously, will carry a man along for many
    years, and on which certain men about town contrive
    to live a hundred times better than even men with ready
    money can do.  Indeed who is there that walks London
    streets, but can point out a half-dozen of men riding
    by him splendidly, while he is on foot, courted by fashion,
    bowed into their carriages by tradesmen, denying
    themselves nothing, and living on who knows what?  We
    see Jack Thriftless prancing in the park, or darting in his
    brougham down Pall Mall: we eat his dinners served on
    his miraculous plate.  "How did this begin," we say, "or
    where will it end?" "My dear fellow," I heard Jack once
    say, "I owe money in every capital in Europe."  The end
    must come some day, but in the meantime Jack thrives
    as much as ever; people are glad enough to shake him by
    the hand, ignore the little dark stories that are whispered
    every now and then against him, and pronounce him a
    good-natured, jovial, reckless fellow.
    Truth obliges us to confess that Rebecca had married a
    gentleman of this order.  Everything was plentiful in his
    house but ready money, of which their menage pretty
    early felt the want; and reading the Gazette one day,
    and coming upon the announcement of "Lieutenant G.
    Osborne to be Captain by purchase, vice Smith, who
    exchanges," Rawdon uttered that sentiment regarding
    Amelia's lover, which ended in the visit to Russell Square.
    When Rawdon and his wife wished to communicate
    with Captain Dobbin at the sale, and to know particulars
    of the catastrophe which had befallen Rebecca's
    old acquaintances, the Captain had vanished; and such
    information as they got was from a stray porter or broker
    at the auction.
    "Look at them with their hooked beaks," Becky said,
    getting into the buggy, her picture under her arm, in
    great glee.  "They're like vultures after a battle."
    "Don't know.  Never was in action, my dear.  Ask
    Martingale; he was in Spain, aide-de-camp to General
    "He was a very kind old man, Mr. Sedley," Rebecca
    said; "I'm really sorry he's gone wrong."
    "O stockbrokers--bankrupts--used to it, you know,"
    Rawdon replied, cutting a fly off the horse's ear.
    "I wish we could have afforded some of the plate,
    Rawdon," the wife continued sentimentally.  "Five-and-
    twenty guineas was monstrously dear for that little piano.
    We chose it at Broadwood's for Amelia, when she came
    from school.  It only cost five-and-thirty then."
    "What-d'-ye-call'em--'Osborne,' will cry off now, I
    suppose, since the family is smashed.  How cut up your
    pretty little friend will be; hey, Becky?"
    "I daresay she'll recover it," Becky said with a smile
    --and they drove on and talked about something else.
    Who Played on the Piano Captain Dobbin Bought
    Our surprised story now finds itself for a moment
    among very famous events and personages, and
    hanging on to the skirts of history.  When the eagles
    of Napoleon Bonaparte, the Corsican upstart, were
    flying from Provence, where they had perched after a brief
    sojourn in Elba, and from steeple to steeple until they
    reached the towers of Notre Dame, I wonder whether the
    Imperial birds had any eye for a little corner of the parish
    of Bloomsbury, London, which you might have thought so quiet,
    that even the whirring and flapping of those mighty wings
    would pass unobserved there?
    "Napoleon has landed at Cannes."  Such news might
    create a panic at Vienna, and cause Russia to drop his
    cards, and take Prussia into a corner, and Talleyrand
    and Metternich to wag their heads together, while Prince
    Hardenberg, and even the present Marquis of Londonderry,
    were puzzled; but how was this intelligence to affect a young
    lady in Russell Square, before whose door the watchman
    sang the hours when she was asleep: who, if she
    strolled in the square, was guarded there by the
    railings and the beadle:  who, if she walked ever so short
    a distance to buy a ribbon in Southampton Row, was
    followed by Black Sambo with an enormous cane:  who
    was always cared for, dressed, put to bed, and watched
    over by ever so many guardian angels, with and without
    wages?  Bon Dieu, I say, is it not hard that the fateful
    rush of the great Imperial struggle can't take place without
    affecting a poor little harmless girl of eighteen, who
    is occupied in billing and cooing, or working muslin
    collars in Russell Square?  You too, kindly, homely flower!
    --is the great roaring war tempest coming to sweep you
    down, here, although cowering under the shelter of
    Holborn?  Yes; Napoleon is flinging his last stake, and poor
    little Emmy Sedley's happiness forms, somehow, part of it.
    In the first place, her father's fortune was swept down
    with that fatal news.  All his speculations had of late gone
    wrong with the luckless old gentleman.  Ventures had
    failed; merchants had broken; funds had risen when he
    calculated they would fall.  What need to particularize?
    If success is rare and slow, everybody knows how quick
    and easy ruin is.  Old Sedley had kept his own sad counsel.
    Everything seemed to go on as usual in the quiet,
    opulent house; the good-natured mistress pursuing, quite
    unsuspiciously, her bustling idleness, and daily easy
    avocations; the daughter absorbed still in one selfish, tender
    thought, and quite regardless of all the world besides,
    when that final crash came, under which the worthy
    family fell.
    One night Mrs. Sedley was writing cards for a party;
    the Osbornes had given one, and she must not be
    behindhand; John Sedley, who had come home very late from
    the City, sate silent at the chimney side, while his wife
    was prattling to him; Emmy had gone up to her room
    ailing and low-spirited.  "She's not happy," the mother
    went on.  "George Osborne neglects her.  I've no patience
    with the airs of those people.  The girls have not been in
    the house these three weeks; and George has been twice
    in town without coming.  Edward Dale saw him at the
    Opera.  Edward would marry her I'm sure: and there's
    Captain Dobbin who, I think, would--only I hate all
    army men.  Such a dandy as George has become.  With
    his military airs, indeed!  We must show some folks that
    we're as good as they.  Only give Edward Dale any
    encouragement, and you'll see.  We must have a party, Mr.
    S.  Why don't you speak, John?  Shall I say Tuesday fortnight?
    Why don't you answer? Good God, John, what has happened?"
    John Sedley sprang up out of his chair to meet his
    wife, who ran to him.  He seized her in his arms, and
    said with a hasty voice, "We're ruined, Mary.  We've
    got the world to begin over again, dear.  It's best that you
    should know all, and at once."  As he spoke, he trembled
    in every limb, and almost fell.  He thought the news would
    have overpowered his wife--his wife, to whom he had
    never said a hard word.  But it was he that was the most
    moved, sudden as the shock was to her.  When he sank
    back into his seat, it was the wife that took the office of
    consoler.  She took his trembling hand, and kissed it, and
    put it round her neck: she called him her John--her dear
    John--her old man--her kind old man; she poured out a
    hundred words of incoherent love and tenderness; her
    faithful voice and simple caresses wrought this sad heart
    up to an inexpressible delight and anguish, and cheered
    and solaced his over-burdened soul.
    Only once in the course of the long night as they sate
    together, and poor Sedley opened his pent-up soul, and
    told the story of his losses and embarrassments--the
    treason of some of his oldest friends, the manly kindness
    of some, from whom he never could have expected it--in
    a general confession--only once did the faithful wife give
    way to emotion.
    "My God, my God, it will break Emmy's heart," she
    The father had forgotten the poor girl.  She was lying,
    awake and unhappy, overhead.  In the midst of friends,
    home, and kind parents, she was alone.  To how many
    people can any one tell all?  Who will be open where there
    is no sympathy, or has call to speak to those who never
    can understand?  Our gentle Amelia was thus solitary.  She
    had no confidante, so to speak, ever since she had anything
    to confide.  She could not tell the old mother her
    doubts and cares; the would-be sisters seemed every day
    more strange to her.  And she had misgivings and fears
    which she dared not acknowledge to herself, though she
    was always secretly brooding over them.
    Her heart tried to persist in asserting that George
    Osborne was worthy and faithful to her, though she knew
    otherwise.  How many a thing had she said, and got no
    echo from him.  How many suspicions of selfishness and
    indifference had she to encounter and obstinately
    overcome.  To whom could the poor little martyr tell these
    daily struggles and tortures?  Her hero himself only half
    understood her.  She did not dare to own that the man she
    loved was her inferior; or to feel that she had given her
    heart away too soon.  Given once, the pure bashful
    maiden was too modest, too tender, too trustful, too
    weak, too much woman to recall it.  We are Turks with
    the affections of our women; and have made them
    subscribe to our doctrine too.  We let their bodies go abroad
    liberally enough, with smiles and ringlets and pink
    bonnets to disguise them instead of veils and yakmaks.  But
    their souls must be seen by only one man, and they obey
    not unwillingly, and consent to remain at home as our
    slaves--ministering to us and doing drudgery for us.
    So imprisoned and tortured was this gentle little heart,
    when in the month of March, Anno Domini 1815,
    Napoleon landed at Cannes, and Louis XVIII fled, and all
    Europe was in alarm, and the funds fell, and old John
    Sedley was ruined.
    We are not going to follow the worthy old stockbroker
    through those last pangs and agonies of ruin through
    which he passed before his commercial demise befell.
    They declared him at the Stock Exchange; he was
    absent from his house of business: his bills were protested:
    his act of bankruptcy formal.  The house and furniture of
    Russell Square were seized and sold up, and he and his
    family were thrust away, as we have seen, to hide their
    heads where they might.
    John Sedley had not the heart to review the domestic
    establishment who have appeared now and anon in our
    pages and of whom he was now forced by poverty to
    take leave.  The wages of those worthy people were
    discharged with that punctuality which men frequently show
    who only owe in great sums--they were sorry to leave
    good places--but they did not break their hearts at parting
    from their adored master and mistress.  Amelia's maid
    was profuse in condolences, but went off quite resigned
    to better herself in a genteeler quarter of the town.  Black
    Sambo, with the infatuation of his profession, determined
    on setting up a public-house.  Honest old Mrs. Blenkinsop
    indeed, who had seen the birth of Jos and Amelia, and
    the wooing of John Sedley and his wife, was for staying
    by them without wages, having amassed a considerable
    sum in their service: and she accompanied the fallen
    people into their new and humble place of refuge, where
    she tended them and grumbled against them for a while.
    Of all Sedley's opponents in his debates with his creditors
    which now ensued, and harassed the feelings of the
    humiliated old gentleman so severely, that in six weeks he
    oldened more than he had done for fifteen years before--
    the most determined and obstinate seemed to be John
    Osborne, his old friend and neighbour--John Osborne,
    whom he had set up in life--who was under a hundred
    obligations to him--and whose son was to marry Sedley's
    daughter.  Any one of these circumstances would account
    for the bitterness of Osborne's opposition.
    When one man has been under very remarkable
    obligations to another, with whom he subsequently quarrels,
    a common sense of decency, as it were, makes of the
    former a much severer enemy than a mere stranger
    would be.  To account for your own hard-heartedness and
    ingratitude in such a case, you are bound to prove the
    other party's crime.  It is not that you are selfish, brutal,
    and angry at the failure of a speculation--no, no--it is
    that your partner has led you into it by the basest treachery
    and with the most sinister motives.  From a mere
    sense of consistency, a persecutor is bound to show that
    the fallen man is a villain--otherwise he, the persecutor,
    is a wretch himself.
    And as a general rule, which may make all creditors
    who are inclined to be severe pretty comfortable in their
    minds, no men embarrassed are altogether honest, very
    likely.  They conceal something; they exaggerate chances
    of good luck; hide away the real state of affairs; say that
    things are flourishing when they are hopeless, keep a
    smiling face (a dreary smile it is) upon the verge of
    bankruptcy--are ready to lay hold of any pretext for
    delay or of any money, so as to stave off the inevitable
    ruin a few days longer.  "Down with such dishonesty,"
    says the creditor in triumph, and reviles his sinking
    enemy.  "You fool, why do you catch at a straw?" calm
    good sense says to the man that is drowning.  "You villain,
    why do you shrink from plunging into the irretrievable
    Gazette?" says prosperity to the poor devil battling in
    that black gulf.  Who has not remarked the readiness with
    which the closest of friends and honestest of men suspect
    and accuse each other of cheating when they fall out
    on money matters? Everybody does it.  Everybody is right,
    I suppose, and the world is a rogue.
    Then Osborne had the intolerable sense of former
    benefits to goad and irritate him: these are always a
    cause of hostility aggravated.  Finally, he had to break off
    the match between Sedley's daughter and his son; and
    as it had gone very far indeed, and as the poor girl's
    happiness and perhaps character were compromised, it was
    necessary to show the strongest reasons for the rupture,
    and for John Osborne to prove John Sedley to be a very
    bad character indeed.
    At the meetings of creditors, then, he comported himself
    with a savageness and scorn towards Sedley, which
    almost succeeded in breaking the heart of that ruined
    bankrupt man.  On George's intercourse with Amelia he
    put an instant veto--menacing the youth with maledictions
    if he broke his commands, and vilipending the
    poor innocent girl as the basest and most artful of vixens.
    One of the great conditions of anger and hatred is, that
    you must tell and believe lies against the hated object, in
    order, as we said, to be consistent.
    When the great crash came--the announcement of
    ruin, and the departure from Russell Square, and the
    declaration that all was over between her and George--all
    over between her and love, her and happiness, her and
    faith in the world--a brutal letter from John Osborne
    told her in a few curt lines that her father's conduct had
    been of such a nature that all engagements between the
    families were at an end--when the final award came, it
    did not shock her so much as her parents, as her mother
    rather expected (for John Sedley himself was entirely
    prostrate in the ruins of his own affairs and shattered
    honour).  Amelia took the news very palely and calmly.
    It was only the confirmation of the dark presages which
    had long gone before.  It was the mere reading of the
    sentence--of the crime she had long ago been guilty--the
    crime of loving wrongly, too violently, against reason.
    She told no more of her thoughts now than she had
    before.  She seemed scarcely more unhappy now when
    convinced all hope was over, than before when she felt but
    dared not confess that it was gone.  So she changed from
    the large house to the small one without any mark or
    difference; remained in her little room for the most part;
    pined silently; and died away day by day.  I do not mean
    to say that all females are so.  My dear Miss Bullock, I
    do not think your heart would break in this way.  You are
    a strong-minded young woman with proper principles.
    I do not venture to say that mine would; it has suffered,
    and, it must be confessed, survived.  But there are some
    souls thus gently constituted, thus frail, and delicate, and
    Whenever old John Sedley thought of the affair
    between George and Amelia, or alluded to it, it was with
    bitterness almost as great as Mr. Osborne himself had
    shown.  He cursed Osborne and his family as heartless,
    wicked, and ungrateful.  No power on earth, he swore,
    would induce him to marry his daughter to the son of
    such a villain, and he ordered Emmy to banish George
    from her mind, and to return all the presents and letters
    which she had ever had from him.
    She promised acquiescence, and tried to obey.  She put
    up the two or three trinkets: and, as for the letters, she
    drew them out of the place.where she kept them; and
    read them over--as if she did not know them by heart
    already: but she could not part with them.  That effort
    was too much for her; she placed them back in her
    bosom again--as you have seen a woman nurse a child
    that is dead.  Young Amelia felt that she would die or lose
    her senses outright, if torn away from this last consolation.
    How she used to blush and lighten up when those
    letters came!  How she used to trip away with a beating
    heart, so that she might read unseen!  If they were cold,
    yet how perversely this fond little soul interpreted them
    into warmth.  If they were short or selfish, what excuses
    she found for the writer!
    It was over these few worthless papers that she brooded
    and brooded.  She lived in her past life--every letter
    seemed to recall some circumstance of it.  How well she
    remembered them all!  His looks and tones, his dress,
    what he said and how--these relics and remembrances
    of dead affection were all that were left her in the world.
    And the business of her life, was--to watch the corpse
    of Love.
    To death she looked with inexpressible longing.  Then,
    she thought, I shall always be able to follow him.  I am not
    praising her conduct or setting her up as a model for
    Miss Bullock to imitate.  Miss B. knows how to regulate
    her feelings better than this poor little creature.  Miss B.
    would never have committed herself as that imprudent
    Amelia had done; pledged her love irretrievably;
    confessed her heart away, and got back nothing--only a
    brittle promise which was snapt and worthless in a
    moment.  A long engagement is a partnership which one
    party is free to keep or to break, but which involves all
    the capital of the other.
    Be cautious then, young ladies; be wary how you
    engage.  Be shy of loving frankly; never tell all you feel, or
    (a better way still), feel very little.  See the consequences
    of being prematurely honest and confiding, and mistrust
    yourselves and everybody.  Get yourselves married as they
    do in France, where the lawyers are the bridesmaids and
    confidantes.  At any rate, never have any feelings which
    may make you uncomfortable, or make any promises
    which you cannot at any required moment command and
    withdraw.  That is the way to get on, and be respected,
    and have a virtuous character in Vanity Fair.
    If Amelia could have heard the comments regarding
    her which were made in the circle from which her father's
    ruin had just driven her, she would have seen what her
    own crimes were, and how entirely her character was
    jeopardised.  Such criminal imprudence Mrs. Smith never
    knew of; such horrid familiarities Mrs. Brown had
    always condemned, and the end might be a warning to HER
    daughters.  "Captain Osborne, of course, could not marry
    a bankrupt's daughter," the Misses Dobbin said.  "It was
    quite enough to have been swindled by the father.  As for
    that little Amelia, her folly had really passed all--"
    "All what?" Captain Dobbin roared out.  "Haven't they
    been engaged ever since they were children?  Wasn't it
    as good as a marriage?  Dare any soul on earth breathe a
    word against the sweetest, the purest, the tenderest, the
    most angelical of young women?"
    "La, William, don't be so highty-tighty with US.  We're
    not men.  We can't fight you," Miss Jane said.  "We've said
    nothing against Miss Sedley: but that her conduct
    throughout was MOST IMPRUDENT, not to call it by any
    worse name; and that her parents are people who
    certainly merit their misfortunes."
    "Hadn't you better, now that Miss Sedley is free,
    propose for her yourself, William?" Miss Ann asked
    sarcastically.  "It would be a most eligible family
    connection.  He!  he!"
    "I marry her!" Dobbin said, blushing very much, and
    talking quick.  "If you are so ready, young ladies, to chop
    and change, do you suppose that she is?  Laugh and sneer
    at that angel.  She can't hear it; and she's miserable and
    unfortunate, and deserves to be laughed at.  Go on
    joking, Ann.  You're the wit of the family, and the others
    like to hear it."
    "I must tell you again we're not in a barrack, William,"
    Miss Ann remarked.
    "In a barrack, by Jove--I wish anybody in a barrack
    would say what you do," cried out this uproused British
    lion.  "I should like to hear a man breathe a word against
    her, by Jupiter.  But men don't talk in this way, Ann: it's
    only women, who get together and hiss, and shriek, and
    cackle.  There, get away--don't begin to cry.  I only said
    you were a couple of geese," Will Dobbin said, perceiving
    Miss Ann's pink eyes were beginning to moisten as
    usual.  "Well, you're not geese, you're swans--anything
    you like, only do, do leave Miss Sedley alone."
    Anything like William's infatuation about that silly little
    flirting, ogling thing was never known, the mamma
    and sisters agreed together in thinking: and they trembled
    lest, her engagement being off with Osborne, she should
    take up immediately her other admirer and Captain.
    In which forebodings these worthy young women no
    doubt judged according to the best of their experience; or
    rather (for as yet they had had no opportunities of
    marrying or of jilting) according to their own notions of
    right and wrong.
    "It is a mercy, Mamma, that the regiment is ordered
    abroad," the girls said.  "THIS danger, at any rate, is
    spared our brother."
    Such, indeed, was the fact; and so it is that the French
    Emperor comes in to perform a part in this domestic
    comedy of Vanity Fair which we are now playing, and
    which would never have been enacted without the
    intervention of this august mute personage.  It was he
    that ruined the Bourbons and Mr. John Sedley.  It was
    he whose arrival in his capital called up all France in
    arms to defend him there; and all Europe to oust him.
    While the French nation and army were swearing fidelity
    round the eagles in the Champ de Mars, four mighty
    European hosts were getting in motion for the great
    chasse a l'aigle; and one of these was a British army, of
    which two heroes of ours, Captain Dobbin and Captain
    Osborne, formed a portion.
    The news of Napoleon's escape and landing was
    received by the gallant --th with a fiery delight and
    enthusiasm, which everybody can understand who knows
    that famous corps.  From the colonel to the smallest
    drummer in the regiment, all were filled with hope and
    ambition and patriotic fury; and thanked the French Emperor
    as for a personal kindness in coming to disturb the peace
    of Europe.  Now was the time the --th had so long
    panted for, to show their comrades in arms that they
    could fight as well as the Peninsular veterans, and that
    all the pluck and valour of the --th had not been killed
    by the West Indies and the yellow fever.  Stubble and
    Spooney looked to get their companies without purchase.
    Before the end of the campaign (which she resolved
    to share), Mrs. Major O'Dowd hoped to write
    herself Mrs. Colonel O'Dowd, C.B.  Our two friends
    (Dobbin and Osborne) were quite as much excited as the
    rest: and each in his way--Mr. Dobbin very quietly, Mr.
    Osborne very loudly and energetically--was bent upon
    doing his duty, and gaining his share of honour and
    The agitation thrilling through the country and army
    in consequence of this news was so great, that private
    matters were little heeded: and hence probably George
    Osborne, just gazetted to his company, busy with preparations
    for the march, which must come inevitably, and
    panting for further promotion--was not so much affected
    by other incidents which would have interested him at a
    more quiet period.  He was not, it must be confessed,
    very much cast down by good old Mr. Sedley's catastrophe.
    He tried his new uniform, which became him
    very handsomely, on the day when the first meeting of
    the creditors of the unfortunate gentleman took place.
    His father told him of the wicked, rascally, shameful
    conduct of the bankrupt, reminded him of what he had
    said about Amelia, and that their connection was broken
    off for ever; and gave him that evening a good sum of
    money to pay for the new clothes and epaulets in which
    he looked so well.  Money was always useful to this free-
    handed young fellow, and he took it without many words.
    The bills were up in the Sedley house, where he had
    passed so many, many happy hours.  He could see
    them as he walked from home that night (to the Old
    Slaughters', where he put up when in town) shining white
    in the moon.  That comfortable home was shut, then, upon
    Amelia and her parents: where had they taken refuge?
    The thought of their ruin affected him not a little.  He
    was very melancholy that night in the coffee-room at
    the Slaughters'; and drank a good deal, as his comrades
    remarked there.
    Dobbin came in presently, cautioned him about the
    drink, which he only took, he said, because he was
    deuced low; but when his friend began to put to him
    clumsy inquiries, and asked him for news in a significant
    manner, Osborne declined entering into conversation with
    him, avowing, however, that he was devilish disturbed
    and unhappy.
    Three days afterwards, Dobbin found Osborne in his
    room at the barracks--his head on the table, a number
    of papers about, the young Captain evidently in a state
    of great despondency.  "She--she's sent me back some
    things I gave her--some damned trinkets.  Look here!"
    There was a little packet directed in the well-known hand
    to Captain George Osborne, and some things lying about
    --a ring, a silver knife he had bought, as a boy, for her
    at a fair; a gold chain, and a locket with hair in it.  "It's
    all over," said he, with a groan of sickening remorse.
    "Look, Will, you may read it if you like."
    There was a little letter of a few lines, to which he
    pointed, which said:
    My papa has ordered me to return to you these
    presents, which you made in happier days to me; and I
    am to write to you for the last time.  I think, I know you
    feel as much as I do the blow which has come upon us.
    It is I that absolve you from an engagement which is
    impossible in our present misery.  I am sure you had no
    share in it, or in the cruel suspicions of Mr. Osborne,
    which are the hardest of all our griefs to bear.  Farewell.
    Farewell.  I pray God to strengthen me to bear this and
    other calamities, and to bless you always.    A.
    I shall often play upon the piano--your piano.  It was
    like you to send it.
    Dobbin was very soft-hearted.  The sight of women
    and children in pain always used to melt him.  The idea
    of Amelia broken-hearted and lonely tore that good-
    natured soul with anguish.  And he broke out into an
    emotion, which anybody who likes may consider unmanly.
    He swore that Amelia was an angel, to which Osborne
    said aye with all his heart.  He, too, had been reviewing
    the history of their lives--and had seen her from her
    childhood to her present age, so sweet, so innocent,
    so charmingly simple, and artlessly fond and tender.
    What a pang it was to lose all that: to have had it and
    not prized it!  A thousand homely scenes and recollections
    crowded on him--in which he always saw her good
    and beautiful.  And for himself, he blushed with remorse
    and shame, as the remembrance of his own selfishness
    and indifference contrasted with that perfect purity.  For
    a while, glory, war, everything was forgotten, and the
    pair of friends talked about her only.
    "Where are they?" Osborne asked, after a long talk,
    and a long pause--and, in truth, with no little shame at
    thinking that he had taken no steps to follow her.  "Where
    are they? There's no address to the note."
    Dobbin knew.  He had not merely sent the piano; but
    had written a note to Mrs. Sedley, and asked permission
    to come and see her--and he had seen her, and Amelia
    too, yesterday, before he came down to Chatham; and,
    what is more, he had brought that farewell letter and
    packet which had so moved them.
    The good-natured fellow had found Mrs. Sedley only
    too willing to receive him, and greatly agitated by the
    arrival of the piano, which, as she conjectured, MUST have
    come from George, and was a signal of amity on his
    part.  Captain Dobbin did not correct this error of the
    worthy lady, but listened to all her story of complaints
    and misfortunes with great sympathy--condoled with
    her losses and privations, and agreed in reprehending the
    cruel conduct of Mr. Osborne towards his first benefactor.
    When she had eased her overflowing bosom somewhat,
    and poured forth many of her sorrows, he had the
    courage to ask actually to see Amelia, who was above in
    her room as usual, and whom her mother led trembling
    Her appearance was so ghastly, and her look of despair
    so pathetic, that honest William Dobbin was frightened
    as he beheld it; and read the most fatal forebodings in
    that pale fixed face.  After sitting in his company a minute
    or two, she put the packet into his hand, and said,
    "Take this to Captain Osborne, if you please, and--and I
    hope he's quite well--and it was very kind of you to
    come and see us--and we like our new house very much.
    And I--I think I'll go upstairs, Mamma, for I'm not very
    strong." And with this, and a curtsey and a smile, the
    poor child went her way.  The mother, as she led her up,
    cast back looks of anguish towards Dobbin.  The good
    fellow wanted no such appeal.  He loved her himself too
    fondly for that.  Inexpressible grief, and pity, and terror
    pursued him, and he came away as if he was a criminal
    after seeing her.
    When Osborne heard that his friend had found her,
    he made hot and anxious inquiries regarding the poor
    child.  How was she?  How did she look?  What did she
    say?  His comrade took his hand, and looked him in the
    "George, she's dying," William Dobbin said--and could
    speak no more.
    There was a buxom Irish servant-girl, who performed
    all the duties of the little house where the Sedley family
    had found refuge: and this girl had in vain, on many
    previous days, striven to give Amelia aid or consolation.
    Emmy was much too sad to answer, or even to be aware
    of the attempts the other was making in her favour.
    Four hours after the talk between Dobbin and Osborne,
    this servant-maid came into Amelia's room, where she
    sate as usual, brooding silently over her letters--her
    little treasures.  The girl, smiling, and looking arch and
    happy, made many trials to attract poor Emmy's
    attention, who, however, took no heed of her.
    "Miss Emmy," said the girl.
    "I'm coming," Emmy said, not looking round.
    "There's a message," the maid went on.  "There's
    something--somebody--sure, here's a new letter for you--
    don't be reading them old ones any more." And she gave
    her a letter, which Emmy took, and read.
    "I must see you," the letter said.  "Dearest Emmy--
    dearest love--dearest wife, come to me."
    George and her mother were outside, waiting until she
    had read the letter.
    Miss Crawley at Nurse
    We have seen how Mrs. Firkin, the lady's maid, as soon
    as any event of importance to the Crawley family came
    to her knowledge, felt bound to communicate it to Mrs.
    Bute Crawley, at the Rectory; and have before
    mentioned how particularly kind and attentive that good-
    natured lady was to Miss Crawley's confidential servant.
    She had been a gracious friend to Miss Briggs, the
    companion, also; and had secured the latter's good-will by a
    number of those attentions and promises, which cost so
    little in the making, and are yet so valuable and agreeable to
    the recipient.  Indeed every good economist and
    manager of a household must know how cheap and yet
    how amiable these professions are, and what a flavour
    they give to the most homely dish in life.  Who was the
    blundering idiot who said that "fine words butter no
    parsnips"?  Half the parsnips of society are served and
    rendered palatable with no other sauce.  As the immortal
    Alexis Soyer can make more delicious soup for a half-
    penny than an ignorant cook can concoct with pounds of
    vegetables and meat, so a skilful artist will make a few
    simple and pleasing phrases go farther than ever so much
    substantial benefit-stock in the hands of a mere bungler.
    Nay, we know that substantial benefits often sicken some
    stomachs; whereas, most will digest any amount of fine
    words, and be always eager for more of the same food.
    Mrs. Bute had told Briggs and Firkin so often of the
    depth of her affection for them; and what she would do,
    if she had Miss Crawley's fortune, for friends so excellent
    and attached, that the ladies in question had the deepest
    regard for her; and felt as much gratitude and
    confidence as if Mrs. Bute had loaded them with the most
    expensive favours.
    Rawdon Crawley, on the other hand, like a selfish
    heavy dragoon as he was, never took the least trouble to
    conciliate his aunt's aides-de-camp, showed his contempt
    for the pair with entire frankness--made Firkin pull off
    his boots on one occasion--sent her out in the rain on
    ignominious messages--and if he gave her a guinea, flung
    it to her as if it were a box on the ear.  As his aunt, too,
    made a butt of Briggs, the Captain followed the
    example, and levelled his jokes at her--jokes about as
    delicate as a kick from his charger.  Whereas, Mrs. Bute
    consulted her in matters of taste or difficulty, admired
    her poetry, and by a thousand acts of kindness and
    politeness, showed her appreciation of Briggs; and if she
    made Firkin a twopenny-halfpenny present, accompanied
    it with so many compliments, that the twopence-half-
    penny was transmuted into gold in the heart of the grateful
    waiting-maid, who, besides, was looking forwards
    quite contentedly to some prodigious benefit which must
    happen to her on the day when Mrs. Bute came into her
    The different conduct of these two people is pointed
    out respectfully to the attention of persons commencing
    the world.  Praise everybody, I say to such: never be
    squeamish, but speak out your compliment both point-
    blank in a man's face, and behind his back, when
    you know there is a reasonable chance of his hearing it
    again.  Never lose a chance of saying a kind word.  As
    Collingwood never saw a vacant place in his estate but
    he took an acorn out of his pocket and popped it in;
    so deal with your compliments through life.  An acorn
    costs nothing; but it may sprout into a prodigious bit of
    In a word, during Rawdon Crawley's prosperity, he was
    only obeyed with sulky acquiescence; when his disgrace
    came, there was nobody to help or pity him.  Whereas,
    when Mrs. Bute took the command at Miss Crawley's
    house, the garrison there were charmed to act under
    such a leader, expecting all sorts of promotion from her
    promises, her generosity, and her kind words.
    That he would consider himself beaten, after one defeat,
    and make no attempt to regain the position he had
    lost, Mrs. Bute Crawley never allowed herself to suppose.
    She knew Rebecca to be too clever and spirited and
    desperate a woman to submit without a struggle; and felt
    that she must prepare for that combat, and be incessantly
    watchful against assault; or mine, or surprise.
    In the first place, though she held the town, was she
    sure of the principal inhabitant?  Would Miss Crawley
    herself hold out; and had she not a secret longing to
    welcome back the ousted adversary?  The old lady liked
    Rawdon, and Rebecca, who amused her.  Mrs. Bute could
    not disguise from herself the fact that none of her party
    could so contribute to the pleasures of the town-bred
    lady.  "My girls' singing, after that little odious governess's,
    I know is unbearable," the candid Rector's wife
    owned to herself.  "She always used to go to sleep when
    Martha and Louisa played their duets.  Jim's stiff
    college manners and poor dear Bute's talk about his dogs
    and horses always annoyed her.  If I took her to the
    Rectory, she would grow angry with us all, and fly, I
    know she would; and might fall into that horrid
    Rawdon's clutches again, and be the victim of that little
    viper of a Sharp.  Meanwhile, it is clear to me that she is
    exceedingly unwell, and cannot move for some weeks, at
    any rate; during which we must think of some plan to
    protect her from the arts of those unprincipled people."
    In the very best-of moments, if anybody told Miss
    Crawley that she was, or looked ill, the trembling old
    lady sent off for her doctor; and I daresay she was very
    unwell after the sudden family event, which might serve
    to shake stronger nerves than hers.  At least, Mrs. Bute
    thought it was her duty to inform the physician, and the
    apothecary, and the dame-de-compagnie, and the domestics,
    that Miss Crawley was in a most critical state, and
    that they were to act accordingly.  She had the street laid
    knee-deep with straw; and the knocker put by with Mr.
    Bowls's plate.  She insisted that the Doctor should call
    twice a day; and deluged her patient with draughts every
    two hours.  When anybody entered the room, she uttered
    a shshshsh so sibilant and ominous, that it frightened the
    poor old lady in her bed, from which she could
    not look without seeing Mrs. Bute's beady eyes eagerly
    fixed on her, as the latter sate steadfast in the arm-chair
    by the bedside.  They seemed to lighten in the dark (for
    she kept the curtains closed) as she moved about the
    room on velvet paws like a cat.  There Miss Crawley lay
    for days--ever so many days--Mr. Bute reading books
    of devotion to her: for nights, long nights, during which
    she had to hear the watchman sing, the night-light sputter;
    visited at midnight, the last thing, by the stealthy apothecary;
    and then left to look at Mrs. Bute's twinkling eyes,
    or the flicks of yellow that the rushlight threw on the
    dreary darkened ceiling.  Hygeia herself would have
    fallen sick under such a regimen; and how much more
    this poor old nervous victim?  It has been said that when
    she was in health and good spirits, this venerable
    inhabitant of Vanity Fair had as free notions about religion
    and morals as Monsieur de Voltaire himself could desire,
    but when illness overtook her, it was aggravated by
    the most dreadful terrors of death, and an utter cowardice
    took possession of the prostrate old sinner.
    Sick-bed homilies and pious reflections are, to be sure,
    out of place in mere story-books, and we are not going
    (after the fashion of some novelists of the present day)
    to cajole the.public into a sermon, when it is only a
    comedy that the reader pays his money to witness.  But,
    without preaching, the truth may surely be borne in mind,
    that the bustle, and triumph, and laughter, and gaiety
    which Vanity Fair exhibits in public, do not always pursue
    the performer into private life, and that the most
    dreary depression of spirits and dismal repentances
    sometimes overcome him.  Recollection of the best ordained
    banquets will scarcely cheer sick epicures.  Reminiscences
    of the most becoming dresses and brilliant ball triumphs
    will go very little way to console faded beauties.  Perhaps
    statesmen, at a particular period of existence, are
    not much gratified at thinking over the most triumphant
    divisions; and the success or the pleasure of yesterday
    becomes of very small account when a certain
    (albeit uncertain) morrow is in view, about which all of
    us must some day or other be speculating.  O brother
    wearers of motley!  Are there not moments when one
    grows sick of grinning and tumbling, and the jingling of
    cap and bells?  This, dear friends and companions, is my
    amiable object--to walk with you through the Fair, to
    examine the shops and the shows there; and that we
    should all come home after the flare, and the noise, and
    the gaiety, and be perfectly miserable in private.
    "If that poor man of mine had a head on his shoulders,"
    Mrs. Bute Crawley thought to herself, "how useful he
    might be, under present circumstances, to this unhappy
    old lady!  He might make her repent of her shocking
    free-thinking ways; he might urge her to do her duty,
    and cast off that odious reprobate who has disgraced
    himself and his family; and he might induce her to do
    justice to my dear girls and the two boys, who require
    and deserve, I am sure, every assistance which their
    relatives can give them."
    And, as the hatred of vice is always a progress towards
    virtue, Mrs. Bute Crawley endeavoured to instil
    her sister-in-law a proper abhorrence for all Rawdon
    Crawley's manifold sins: of which his uncle's wife brought
    forward such a catalogue as indeed would have served
    to condemn a whole regiment of young officers.  If a man
    has committed wrong in life, I don't know any moralist
    more anxious to point his errors out to the world than
    his own relations; so Mrs. Bute showed a perfect family
    interest and knowledge of Rawdon's history.  She had all
    the particulars of that ugly quarrel with Captain Marker,
    in which Rawdon, wrong from the beginning, ended in
    shooting the Captain.  She knew how the unhappy Lord
    Dovedale, whose mamma had taken a house at Oxford,
    so that he might be educated there, and who had never
    touched a card in his life till he came to London, was
    perverted by Rawdon at the Cocoa-Tree, made helplessly
    tipsy by this abominable seducer and perverter of youth,
    and fleeced of four thousand pounds.  She described with
    the most vivid minuteness the agonies of the country
    families whom he had ruined--the sons whom he had
    plunged into dishonour and poverty--the daughters
    whom he had inveigled into perdition.  She knew the poor
    tradesmen who were bankrupt by his extravagance--the
    mean shifts and rogueries with which he had ministered
    to it--the astounding falsehoods by which he had imposed
    upon the most generous of aunts, and the ingratitude and
    ridicule by which he had repaid her sacrifices.  She
    imparted these stories gradually to Miss Crawley; gave her
    the whole benefit of them; felt it to be her bounden duty
    as a Christian woman and mother of a family to do so;
    had not the smallest remorse or compunction for the
    victim whom her tongue was immolating; nay, very likely
    thought her act was quite meritorious, and plumed
    herself upon her resolute manner of performing it.  Yes,
    if a man's character is to be abused, say what you will,
    there's nobody like a relation to do the business.  And one
    is bound to own, regarding this unfortunate wretch of a
    Rawdon Crawley, that the mere truth was enough to
    condemn him, and that all inventions of scandal were quite
    superfluous pains on his friends' parts.
    Rebecca, too, being now a relative, came in for the
    fullest share of Mrs. Bute's kind inquiries.  This indefatigable
    pursuer of truth (having given strict orders that the
    door was to be denied to all emissaries or letters
    from Rawdon), took Miss Crawley's carriage, and drove
    to her old friend Miss Pinkerton, at Minerva House,
    Chiswick Mall, to whom she announced the dreadful
    intelligence of Captain Rawdon's seduction by Miss Sharp,
    and from whom she got sundry strange particulars
    regarding the ex-governess's birth and early history.  The
    friend of the Lexicographer had plenty of information
    to give.  Miss Jemima was made to fetch the drawing-
    master's receipts and letters.  This one was from a
    spunging-house: that entreated an advance: another was
    full of gratitude for Rebecca's reception by the ladies of
    Chiswick: and the last document from the unlucky artist's
    pen was that in which, from his dying bed, he recommended
    his orphan child to Miss Pinkerton's protection.  There
    were juvenile letters and petitions from Rebecca, too, in
    the collection, imploring aid for her father or declaring
    her own gratitude.  Perhaps in Vanity Fair there are no
    better satires than letters.  Take a bundle of your dear
    friend's of ten years back--your dear friend whom you
    hate now.  Look at a file of your sister's! how you clung
    to each other till you quarrelled about the twenty-pound
    legacy!  Get down the round-hand scrawls of your son
    who has half broken your heart with selfish undutifulness
    since; or a parcel of your own, breathing endless
    ardour and love eternal, which were sent back by your
    mistress when she married the Nabob--your mistress for
    whom you now care no more than for Queen Elizabeth.
    Vows, love, promises, confidences, gratitude, how queerly
    they read after a while!  There ought to be a law in
    Vanity Fair ordering the destruction of every written
    document (except receipted tradesmen's bills) after a
    certain brief and proper interval.  Those quacks and
    misanthropes who advertise indelible Japan ink should be
    made to perish along with their wicked discoveries.  The
    best ink for Vanity Fair use would be one that faded
    utterly in a couple of days, and left the paper clean and
    blank, so that you might write on it to somebody else.
    From Miss Pinkerton's the indefatigable Mrs. Bute
    followed the track of Sharp and his daughter back to the
    lodgings in Greek Street, which the defunct painter had
    occupied; and where portraits of the landlady in white
    satin, and of the husband in brass buttons, done by Sharp
    in lieu of a quarter's rent, still decorated the parlour
    walls.  Mrs. Stokes was a communicative person, and
    quickly told all she knew about Mr. Sharp; how dissolute
    and poor he was; how good-natured and amusing; how he
    was always hunted by bailiffs and duns; how, to the
    landlady's horror, though she never could abide the woman,
    he did not marry his wife till a short time before her
    death; and what a queer little wild vixen his daughter
    was; how she kept them all laughing with her fun and
    mimicry; how she used to fetch the gin from the public-house,
    and was known in all the studios in the quarter--in brief,
    Mrs. Bute got such a full account of her new niece's
    parentage, education, and behaviour as would
    scarcely have pleased Rebecca, had the latter known that
    such inquiries were being made concerning her.
    Of all these industrious researches Miss Crawley had
    the full benefit.  Mrs. Rawdon Crawley was the daughter
    of an opera-girl.  She had danced herself.  She had been a
    model to the painters.  She was brought up as became
    her mother's daughter.  She drank gin with her father,
    &c. &c. It was a lost woman who was married to a lost
    man; and the moral to be inferred from Mrs. Bute's
    tale was, that the knavery of the pair was irremediable,
    and that no properly conducted person should ever notice
    them again.
    These were the materials which prudent Mrs. Bute
    gathered together in Park Lane, the provisions and
    ammunition as it were with which she fortified the house
    against the siege which she knew that Rawdon and his
    wife would lay to Miss Crawley.
    But if a fault may be found with her arrangements, it
    is this, that she was too eager: she managed rather too
    well; undoubtedly she made Miss Crawley more ill than
    was necessary; and though the old invalid succumbed
    to her authority, it was so harassing and severe, that the
    victim would be inclined to escape at the very first chance
    which fell in her way.  Managing women, the ornaments
    of their sex--women who order everything for everybody,
    and know so much better than any person concerned
    what is good for their neighbours, don't sometimes
    speculate upon the possibility of a domestic revolt, or
    upon other extreme consequences resulting from their
    overstrained authority.
    Thus, for instance, Mrs. Bute, with the best intentions
    no doubt in the world, and wearing herself to death as
    she did by foregoing sleep, dinner, fresh air, for the sake
    of her invalid sister-in-law, carried her conviction of the
    old lady's illness so far that she almost managed her
    into her coffin.  She pointed out her sacrifices and their
    results one day to the constant apothecary, Mr. Clump.
    "I am sure, my dear Mr. Clump," she said, "no efforts
    of mine have been wanting to restore our dear invalid,
    whom the ingratitude of her nephew has laid on the bed
    of sickness.  I never shrink from personal discomfort: I
    never refuse to sacrifice myself."
    "Your devotion, it must be confessed, is admirable,"
    Mr. Clump says, with a low bow; "but--"
    "I have scarcely closed my eyes since my arrival: I
    give up sleep, health, every comfort, to my sense of duty.
    When my poor James was in the smallpox, did I allow any
    hireling to nurse him?  No."
    "You did what became an excellent mother, my dear
    Madam--the best of mothers; but--~'
    "As the mother of a family and the wife of an English
    clergyman, I humbly trust that my principles are good,"
    Mrs. Bute said, with a happy solemnity of conviction;
    "and, as long as Nature supports me, never, never, Mr.
    Clump, will I desert the post of duty.  Others may bring
    that grey head with sorrow to the bed of sickness (here
    Mrs. Bute, waving her hand, pointed to one of old Miss
    Crawley's coffee-coloured fronts, which was perched on
    a stand in the dressing-room), but I will never quit it.
    Ah, Mr. Clump!  I fear, I know, that the couch needs
    spiritual as well as medical consolation."
    "What I was going to observe, my dear Madam,"--
    here the resolute Clump once more interposed with a
    bland air--"what I was going to observe when you gave
    utterance to sentiments which do you so much honour,
    was that I think you alarm yourself needlessly about our
    kind friend, and sacrifice your own health too prodigally
    in her favour."
    "I would lay down my life for my duty, or for any
    member of my husband's family," Mrs. Bute interposed.
    "Yes, Madam, if need were; but we don't want Mrs
    Bute Crawley to be a martyr," Clump said gallantly.  "Dr
    Squills and myself have both considered Miss Crawley's
    case with every anxiety and care, as you may suppose.  We
    see her low-spirited and nervous; family events have
    agitated her."
    "Her nephew will come to perdition," Mrs. Crawley
    "Have agitated her: and you arrived like a guardian
    angel, my dear Madam, a positive guardian angel, I
    assure you, to soothe her under the pressure of calamity.
    But Dr. Squills and I were thinking that our amiable
    friend is not in such a state as renders confinement to her
    bed necessary.  She is depressed, but this confinement
    perhaps adds to her depression.  She should have change,
    fresh air, gaiety; the most delightful remedies in the
    pharmacopoeia," Mr. Clump said, grinning and showing
    his handsome teeth.  "Persuade her to rise, dear Madam;
    drag her from her couch and her low spirits; insist upon
    her taking little drives.  They will restore the roses too to
    your cheeks, if I may so speak to Mrs. Bute Crawley."
    "The sight of her horrid nephew casually in the Park,
    where I am told the wretch drives with the brazen partner
    of his crimes," Mrs. Bute said (letting the cat of selfishness
    out of the bag of secrecy), "would cause her such
    a shock, that we should have to bring her back to bed
    again.  She must not go out, Mr. Clump.  She shall not go
    out as long as I remain to watch over her; And as for my
    health, what matters it?  I give it cheerfully, sir.  I sacrifice
    it at the altar of my duty."
    "Upon my word, Madam," Mr. Clump now said bluntly,
    "I won't answer for her life if she remains locked up
    in that dark room.  She is so nervous that we may lose
    her any day; and if you wish Captain Crawley to be her
    heir, I warn you frankly, Madam, that you are doing
    your very best to serve him."
    "Gracious mercy! is her life in danger?" Mrs. Bute
    cried.  "Why, why, Mr. Clump, did you not inform me
    The night before, Mr. Clump and Dr. Squills had had a
    consultation (over a bottle of wine at the house of Sir
    Lapin Warren, whose lady was about to present him
    with a thirteenth blessing), regarding Miss Crawley and
    her case.
    "What a little harpy that woman from Hampshire is,
    Clump," Squills remarked, "that has seized upon old
    Tilly Crawley.  Devilish good Madeira."
    "What a fool Rawdon Crawley has been," Clump replied,
    "to go and marry a governess!  There was something
    about the girl, too."
    "Green eyes, fair skin, pretty figure, famous frontal
    development," Squills remarked.  "There is something
    about her; and Crawley was a fool, Squills."
    "A d-- fool--always was," the apothecary replied.
    "Of course the old girl will fling him over," said the
    physician, and after a pause added, "She'll cut up well, I
    "Cut up," says Clump with a grin; "I wouldn't have her
    cut up for two hundred a year."
    "That Hampshire woman will kill her in two months,
    Clump, my boy, if she stops about her," Dr. Squills said.
    "Old woman; full feeder; nervous subject; palpitation of
    the heart; pressure on the brain; apoplexy; off she goes.
    Get her up, Clump; get her out: or I wouldn't give many
    weeks' purchase for your two hundred a year." And it was
    acting upon this hint that the worthy apothecary spoke
    with so much candour to Mrs. Bute Crawley.
    Having the old lady under her hand: in bed: with nobody
    near, Mrs. Bute had made more than one assault
    upon her, to induce her to alter her will.  But Miss Crawley's
    usual terrors regarding death increased greatly when
    such dismal propositions were made to her, and Mrs.
    Bute saw that she must get her patient into cheerful spirits
    and health before she could hope to attain the pious object
    which she had in view.  Whither to take her was the
    next puzzle.  The only place where she is not likely to
    meet those odious Rawdons is at church, and that won't
    amuse her, Mrs. Bute justly felt.  "We must go and visit
    our beautiful suburbs of London," she then thought.  "I
    hear they are the most picturesque in the world"; and so
    she had a sudden interest for Hampstead, and Hornsey,
    and found that Dulwich had great charms for her, and
    getting her victim into her carriage, drove her to those
    rustic spots, beguiling the little journeys with conversations
    about Rawdon and his wife, and telling every story
    to the old lady which could add to her indignation against
    this pair of reprobates.
    Perhaps Mrs. Bute pulled the string unnecessarily tight.
    For though she worked up Miss Crawley to a proper dislike
    of her disobedient nephew, the invalid had a great
    hatred and secret terror of her victimizer, and panted
    to escape from her.  After a brief space, she rebelled
    against Highgate and Hornsey utterly.  She would go into
    the Park.  Mrs. Bute knew they would meet the abominable
    Rawdon there, and she was right.  One day in the
    ring, Rawdon's stanhope came in sight; Rebecca was
    seated by him.  In the enemy's equipage Miss Crawley
    occupied her usual place, with Mrs. Bute on her left, the
    poodle and Miss Briggs on the back seat.  It was a nervous
    moment, and Rebecca's heart beat quick as she recognized the
    carriage; and as the two vehicles crossed each
    other in a line, she clasped her hands, and looked towards
    the spinster with a face of agonized attachment and devotion.
    Rawdon himself trembled, and his face grew purple
    behind his dyed mustachios.  Only old Briggs was moved
    in the other carriage, and cast her great eyes nervously
    towards her old friends.  Miss Crawley's bonnet was resolutely
    turned towards the Serpentine.  Mrs. Bute happened to
    be in ecstasies with the poodle, and was calling him a little
    darling, and a sweet little zoggy, and a pretty pet.  The
    carriages moved on, each in his line.
    "Done, by Jove," Rawdon said to his wife.
    "Try once more, Rawdon," Rebecca answered.  "Could
    not you lock your wheels into theirs, dearest?"
    Rawdon had not the heart for that manoeuvre.  When
    the carriages met again, he stood up in his stanhope; he
    raised his hand ready to doff his hat; he looked with all
    his eyes.  But this time Miss Crawley's face was not turned
    away; she and Mrs. Bute looked him full in the face,
    and cut their nephew pitilessly.  He sank back in his seat
    with an oath, and striking out of the ring, dashed away
    desperately homewards.
    It was a gallant and decided triumph for Mrs. Bute.
    But she felt the danger of many such meetings, as she
    saw the evident nervousness of Miss Crawley; and she
    determined that it was most necessary for her dear
    friend's health, that they should leave town for a while,
    and recommended Brighton very strongly.
    In Which Captain Dobbin Acts as the Messenger of Hymen
    Without knowing how, Captain William Dobbin found
    himself the great promoter, arranger, and manager of the
    match between George Osborne and Amelia.  But for him
    it never would have taken place:  he could not but
    confess as much to himself, and smiled rather bitterly as he
    thought that he of all men in the world should be the
    person upon whom the care of this marriage had fallen.
    But though indeed the conducting of this negotiation was
    about as painful a task as could be set to him, yet when
    he had a duty to perform, Captain Dobbin was accustomed
    to go through it without many words or much
    hesitation:  and, having made up his mind completely,
    that if Miss Sedley was balked of her husband she would
    die of the disappointment, he was determined to use all
    his best endeavours to keep her alive.
    I forbear to enter into minute particulars of the interview
    between George and Amelia, when the former was
    brought back to the feet (or should we venture to say the
    arms?) of his young mistress by the intervention of his
    friend honest William.  A much harder heart than
    George's would have melted at the sight of that sweet
    face so sadly ravaged by grief and despair, and at the
    simple tender accents in which she told her little broken-
    hearted story: but as she did not faint when her mother,
    trembling, brought Osborne to her; and as she only gave
    relief to her overcharged grief, by laying her head on
    her lover's shoulder and there weeping for a while the
    most tender, copious, and refreshing tears--old Mrs.
    Sedley, too greatly relieved, thought it was best to leave
    the young persons to themselves; and so quitted Emmy
    crying over George's hand, and kissing it humbly, as if he
    were her supreme chief and master, and as if she were
    quite a guilty and unworthy person needing every favour
    and grace from him.
    This prostration and sweet unrepining obedience
    exquisitely touched and flattered George Osborne.  He saw a
    slave before him in that simple yielding faithful creature,
    and his soul within him thrilled secretly somehow
    at the knowledge of his power.  He would be generous-
    minded, Sultan as he was, and raise up this kneeling
    Esther and make a queen of her:  besides, her sadness
    and beauty touched him as much as her submission, and
    so he cheered her, and raised her up and forgave her, so
    to speak.  All her hopes and feelings, which were dying
    and withering, this her sun having been removed from
    her, bloomed again and at once, its light being restored.
    You would scarcely have recognised the beaming little
    face upon Amelia's pillow that night as the one that was
    laid there the night before, so wan, so lifeless, so
    careless of all round about.  The honest Irish maid-servant,
    delighted with the change, asked leave to kiss the face
    that had grown all of a sudden so rosy.  Amelia put her
    arms round the girl's neck and kissed her with all her
    heart, like a child.  She was little more.  She had that night
    a sweet refreshing sleep, like one--and what a spring of
    inexpressible happiness as she woke in the morning sunshine!
    "He will be here again to-day," Amelia thought.  "He is
    the greatest and best of men."  And the fact is, that
    George thought he was one of the generousest creatures
    alive: and that he was making a tremendous sacrifice in
    marrying this young creature.
    While she and Osborne were having their delightful
    tete-a-tete above stairs, old Mrs. Sedley and Captain
    Dobbin were conversing below upon the state of the
    affairs, and the chances and future arrangements of the
    young people.  Mrs. Sedley having brought the two lovers
    together and left them embracing each other with all their
    might, like a true woman, was of opinion that no power
    on earth would induce Mr. Sedley to consent to the match
    between his daughter and the son of a man who had so
    shamefully, wickedly, and monstrously treated him.  And
    she told a long story about happier days and their earlier
    splendours, when Osborne lived in a very humble way in
    the New Road, and his wife was too glad to receive some
    of Jos's little baby things, with which Mrs. Sedley
    accommodated her at the birth of one of Osborne's own
    children.  The fiendish ingratitude of that man, she was
    sure, had broken Mr. S.'s heart: and as for a marriage,
    he would never, never, never, never consent.
    "They must run away together, Ma'am," Dobbin said,
    laughing, "and follow the example of Captain Rawdon
    Crawley, and Miss Emmy's friend the little governess."
    Was it possible? Well she never!  Mrs. Sedley was all
    excitement about this news.  She wished that Blenkinsop were
    here to hear it:  Blenkinsop always mistrusted that Miss
    Sharp.--What an escape Jos had had! and she described
    the already well-known love-passages between Rebecca and
    the Collector of Boggley Wollah.
    It was not, however, Mr. Sedley's wrath which Dobbin
    feared, so much as that of the other parent concerned,
    and he owned that he had a very considerable doubt
    and anxiety respecting the behaviour of the black-browed
    old tyrant of a Russia merchant in Russell Square.  He
    has forbidden the match peremptorily, Dobbin thought.
    He knew what a savage determined man Osborne was, and
    how he stuck by his word.  The only chance George has
    of reconcilement," argued his friend, "is by distinguishing
    himself in the coming campaign.  If he dies they both go
    together.  If he fails in distinction--what then?  He has
    some money from his mother, I have heard enough to
    purchase his majority--or he must sell out and go and
    dig in Canada, or rough it in a cottage in the country."
    With such a partner Dobbin thought he would not mind
    Siberia--and, strange to say, this absurd and utterly
    imprudent young fellow never for a moment considered that
    the want of means to keep a nice carriage and horses,
    and of an income which should enable its possessors to
    entertain their friends genteelly, ought to operate as bars
    to the union of George and Miss Sedley.
    It was these weighty considerations which made him
    think too that the marriage should take place as quickly
    as possible.  Was he anxious himself, I wonder, to have it
    over.?--as people, when death has occurred, like to press
    forward the funeral, or when a parting is resolved upon,
    hasten it.  It is certain that Mr. Dobbin, having taken the
    matter in hand, was most extraordinarily eager in the
    conduct of it.  He urged on George the necessity of immediate
    action:  he showed the chances of reconciliation with
    his father, which a favourable mention of his name in the
    Gazette must bring about.  If need were he would go himself
    and brave both the fathers in the business.  At all
    events, he besought George to go through with it before
    the orders came, which everybody expected, for the
    departure of the regiment from England on foreign service.
    Bent upon these hymeneal projects, and with the applause
    and consent of Mrs. Sedley, who did not care to
    break the matter personally to her husband, Mr. Dobbin
    went to seek John Sedley at his house of call in the City,
    the Tapioca Coffee-house, where, since his own offices
    were shut up, and fate had overtaken him, the poor
    broken-down old gentleman used to betake himself daily,
    and write letters and receive them, and tie them up into
    mysterious bundles, several of which he carried in the
    flaps of his coat.  I don't know anything more dismal than
    that business and bustle and mystery of a ruined man:  those
    letters from the wealthy which he shows you:  those worn
    greasy documents promising support and offering
    condolence which he places wistfully before you, and on
    which he builds his hopes of restoration and future fortune.
    My beloved reader has no doubt in the course of
    his experience been waylaid by many such a luckless
    companion.  He takes you into the corner; he has his bundle
    of papers out of his gaping coat pocket; and the tape off,
    and the string in his mouth, and the favourite letters
    selected and laid before you; and who does not know the
    sad eager half-crazy look which he fixes on you with his
    hopeless eyes?
    Changed into a man of this sort, Dobbin found the
    once florid, jovial, and prosperous John Sedley.  His
    coat, that used to be so glossy and trim, was white at the
    seams, and the buttons showed the copper.  His face had
    fallen in, and was unshorn; his frill and neckcloth hung
    limp under his bagging waistcoat.  When he used to treat
    the boys in old days at a coffee-house, he would shout
    and laugh louder than anybody there, and have all the
    waiters skipping round him; it was quite painful to see
    how humble and civil he was to John of the Tapioca, a
    blear-eyed old attendant in dingy stockings and cracked
    pumps, whose business it was to serve glasses of wafers,
    and bumpers of ink in pewter, and slices of paper to the
    frequenters of this dreary house of entertainment, where
    nothing else seemed to be consumed.  As for William
    Dobbin, whom he had tipped repeatedly in his youth, and
    who had been the old gentleman's butt on a thousand
    occasions, old Sedley gave his hand to him in a very
    hesitating humble manner now, and called him "Sir." A
    feeling of shame and remorse took possession of William
    Dobbin as the broken old man so received and addressed
    him, as if he himself had been somehow guilty of the
    misfortunes which had brought Sedley so low.
    "I am very glad to see you, Captain Dobbin, sir," says
    he, after a skulking look or two at his visitor (whose lanky
    figure and military appearance caused some excitement
    likewise to twinkle in the blear eyes of the waiter in the
    cracked dancing pumps, and awakened the old lady in
    black, who dozed among the mouldy old coffee-cups in the
    bar).  "How is the worthy alderman, and my lady, your
    excellent mother, sir?"  He looked round at the waiter as
    he said, "My lady," as much as to say, "Hark ye, John, I
    have friends still, and persons of rank and reputation,
    too."  "Are you come to do anything in my way, sir?  My
    young friends Dale and Spiggot do all my business for me
    now, until my new offices are ready; for I'm only here
    temporarily, you know, Captain.  What can we do for you.
    sir?  Will you like to take anything?"
    Dobbin, with a great deal of hesitation and stuttering,
    protested that he was not in the least hungry or thirsty;
    that he had no business to transact; that he only came
    to ask if Mr. Sedley was well, and to shake hands with
    an old friend; and, he added, with a desperate perversion
    of truth, "My mother is very well--that is, she's been very
    unwell, and is only waiting for the first fine day to go out
    and call upon Mrs. Sedley.  How is Mrs. Sedley, sir?  I
    hope she's quite well."  And here he paused, reflecting on
    his own consummate hypocrisy; for the day was as fine,
    and the sunshine as bright as it ever is in Coffin Court,
    where the Tapioca Coffee-house is situated: and Mr.
    Dobbin remembered that he had seen Mrs. Sedley himself
    only an hour before, having driven Osborne down to Fulham
    in his gig, and left him there tete-a-tete with Miss Amelia.
    "My wife will be very happy to see her ladyship,"
    Sedley replied, pulling out his papers.  "I've a very kind
    letter here from your father, sir, and beg my respectful
    compliments to him.  Lady D. will find us in rather a
    smaller house than we were accustomed to receive our
    friends in; but it's snug, and the change of air does good
    to my daughter, who was suffering in town rather--you
    remember little Emmy, sir?--yes, suffering a good deal."
    The old gentleman's eyes were wandering as he spoke, and
    he was thinking of something else, as he sate thrumming
    on his papers and fumbling at the worn red tape.
    "You're a military man," he went on; "I ask you, Bill
    Dobbin, could any man ever have speculated upon the
    return of that Corsican scoundrel from Elba?  When the
    allied sovereigns were here last year, and we gave 'em
    that dinner in the City, sir, and we saw the Temple of
    Concord, and the fireworks, and the Chinese bridge in
    St. James's Park, could any sensible man suppose that
    peace wasn't really concluded, after we'd actually sung Te
    Deum for it, sir?  I ask you, William, could I suppose that
    the Emperor of Austria was a damned traitor--a traitor,
    and nothing more?  I don't mince words--a double-faced
    infernal traitor and schemer, who meant to have his son-
    in-law back all along.  And I say that the escape of Boney
    from Elba was a damned imposition and plot, sir, in
    which half the powers of Europe were concerned, to
    bring the funds down, and to ruin this country.  That's
    why I'm here, William.  That's why my name's in the
    Gazette.  Why, sir?--because I trusted the Emperor of
    Russia and the Prince Regent.  Look here.  Look at my
    papers.  Look what the funds were on the 1st of March
    --what the French fives were when I bought for the
    count.  And what they're at now.  There was collusion, sir,
    or that villain never would have escaped.  Where was the
    English Commissioner who allowed him to get away?  He
    ought to be shot, sir--brought to a court-martial, and
    shot, by Jove."
    "We're going to hunt Boney out, sir," Dobbin said,
    rather alarmed at the fury of the old man, the veins of
    whose forehead began to swell, and who sate drumming
    his papers with his clenched fist.  "We are going to hunt
    him out, sir--the Duke's in Belgium already, and we
    expect marching orders every day."
    "Give him no quarter.  Bring back the villain's head, sir.
    Shoot the coward down, sir," Sedley roared.  "I'd enlist
    myself, by--; but I'm a broken old man--ruined by
    that damned scoundrel--and by a parcel of swindling
    thieves in this country whom I made, sir, and who are
    rolling in their carriages now," he added, with a break in
    his voice.
    Dobbin was not a little affected by the sight of this once
    kind old friend, crazed almost with misfortune and raving
    with senile anger.  Pity the fallen gentleman: you to whom
    money and fair repute are the chiefest good; and so,
    surely, are they in Vanity Fair.
    "Yes," he continued, "there are some vipers that you
    warm, and they sting you afterwards.  There are some
    beggars that you put on horseback, and they're the first
    to ride you down.  You know whom I mean, William
    Dobbin, my boy.  I mean a purse-proud villain in Russell
    Square, whom I knew without a shilling, and whom I
    pray and hope to see a beggar as he was when I
    befriended him."
    "I have heard something of this, sir, from my friend
    George," Dobbin said, anxious to come to his point.  "The
    quarrel between you and his father has cut him up a great
    deal, sir.  Indeed, I'm the bearer of a message from him."
    "O, THAT'S your errand, is it?" cried the old man,
    jumping up.  "What! perhaps he condoles with me, does he?
    Very kind of him, the stiff-backed prig, with his dandified
    airs and West End swagger.  He's hankering about my
    house, is he still?  If my son had the courage of a man,
    he'd shoot him.  He's as big a villain as his father.  I won't
    have his name mentioned in my house.  I curse the day
    that ever I let him into it; and I'd rather see my daughter
    dead at my feet than married to him."
    "His father's harshness is not George's fault, sir.  Your
    daughter's love for him is as much your doing as his.  Who
    are you, that you are to play with two young people's
    affections and break their hearts at your will?"
    "Recollect it's not his father that breaks the match off,"
    old Sedley cried out.  "It's I that forbid it.  That family and
    mine are separated for ever.  I'm fallen low, but not so
    low as that: no, no.  And so you may tell the whole race--
    son, and father and sisters, and all."
    "It's my belief, sir, that you have not the power or the
    right to separate those two," Dobbin answered in a low
    voice; "and that if you don't give your daughter your
    consent it will be her duty to marry without it.  There's no
    reason she should die or live miserably because you
    are wrong-headed.  To my thinking, she's just as much
    married as if the banns had been read in all the churches in
    London.  And what better answer can there be to Osborne's
    charges against you, as charges there are, than
    that his son claims to enter your family and marry your
    A light of something like satisfaction seemed to break
    over old Sedley as this point was put to him: but he still
    persisted that with his consent the marriage between
    Amelia and George should never take place.
    "We must do it without," Dobbin said, smiling, and told
    Mr. Sedley, as he had told Mrs. Sedley in the day, before,
    the story of Rebecca's elopement with Captain Crawley.  It
    evidently amused the old gentleman.  "You're terrible
    fellows, you Captains," said he, tying up his papers; and his
    face wore something like a smile upon it, to the astonishment
    of the blear-eyed waiter who now entered, and had
    never seen such an expression upon Sedley's countenance
    since he had used the dismal coffee-house.
    The idea of hitting his enemy Osborne such a blow
    soothed, perhaps, the old gentleman: and, their colloquy
    presently ending, he and Dobbin parted pretty good friends.
    "My sisters say she has diamonds as big as pigeons'
    eggs," George said, laughing.  "How they must set off her
    complexion!  A perfect illumination it must be when her
    jewels are on her neck.  Her jet-black hair is as curly as
    Sambo's.  I dare say she wore a nose ring when she went
    to court; and with a plume of feathers in her top-knot
    she would look a perfect Belle Sauvage."
    George, in conversation with Amelia, was rallying the
    appearance of a young lady of whom his father and sisters
    had lately made the acquaintance, and who was an object
    of vast respect to the Russell Square family.  She was reported
    to have I don't know how many plantations in the
    West Indies; a deal of money in the funds; and three
    stars to her name in the East India stockholders' list.  She
    had a mansion in Surrey, and a house in Portland Place.
    The name of the rich West India heiress had been mentioned
    with applause in the Morning Post.  Mrs. Haggistoun,
    Colonel Haggistoun's widow, her relative, "chaperoned"
    her, and kept her house.  She was just from school, where
    she had completed her education, and George and his
    sisters had met her at an evening party at old Hulker's
    house, Devonshire Place (Hulker, Bullock, and Co. were
    long the correspondents of her house in the West Indies),
    and the girls had made the most cordial advances to her,
    which the heiress had received with great good humour.
    An orphan in her position--with her money--so interesting!
    the Misses Osborne said.  They were full of their new
    friend when they returned from the Hulker ball to Miss
    Wirt, their companion; they had made arrangements for
    continually meeting, and had the carriage and drove to see
    her the very next day.  Mrs. Haggistoun, Colonel Haggistoun's
    widow, a relation of Lord Binkie, and always talking
    of him, struck the dear unsophisticated girls as rather
    haughty, and too much inclined to talk about her great
    relations: but Rhoda was everything they could wish--
    the frankest, kindest, most agreeable creature--wanting a
    little polish, but so good-natured.  The girls Christian-
    named each other at once.
    "You should have seen her dress for court, Emmy,"
    Osborne cried, laughing.  "She came to my sisters to show
    it off, before she was presented in state by my Lady
    Binkie, the Haggistoun's kinswoman.  She's related to every
    one, that Haggistoun.  Her diamonds blazed out like
    Vauxhall on the night we were there.  (Do you remember
    Vauxhall, Emmy, and Jos singing to his dearest diddle
    diddle darling?)  Diamonds and mahogany, my dear!
    think what an advantageous contrast--and the white
    feathers in her hair--I mean in her wool.  She had
    earrings like chandeliers; you might have lighted 'em
    up, by Jove--and a yellow satin train that streeled after
    her like the tail of a cornet."
    "How old is she?" asked Emmy, to whom George was
    rattling away regarding this dark paragon, on the morning
    of their reunion--rattling away as no other man in the
    world surely could.
    "Why the Black Princess, though she has only just left
    school, must be two or three and twenty.  And you should
    see the hand she writes!  Mrs. Colonel Haggistoun usually
    writes her letters, but in a moment of confidence, she put
    pen to paper for my sisters; she spelt satin satting, and
    Saint James's, Saint Jams."
    "Why, surely it must be Miss Swartz, the parlour
    boarder," Emmy said, remembering that good-natured
    young mulatto girl, who had been so hysterically affected
    when Amelia left Miss Pinkerton's academy
    "The very name," George said.  "Her father was a German
    Jew--a slave-owner they say--connected with the
    Cannibal Islands in some way or other.  He died last year,
    and Miss Pinkerton has finished her education.  She can
    play two pieces on the piano; she knows three songs;
    she can write when Mrs. Haggistoun is by to spell for her;
    and Jane and Maria already have got to love her as a
    "I wish they would have loved me," said Emmy, wistfully.
    "They were always very cold to me."
    "My dear child, they would have loved you if you had
    had two hundred thousand pounds," George replied.  "That
    is the way in which they have been brought up.  Ours is
    a ready-money society.  We live among bankers and City
    big-wigs, and be hanged to them, and every man, as he
    talks to you, is jingling his guineas in his pocket.  There is
    that jackass Fred Bullock is going to marry Maria--
    there's Goldmore, the East India Director, there's Dipley,
    in the tallow trade--OUR trade," George said, with an
    uneasy laugh and a blush.  "Curse the whole pack of money-
    grubbing vulgarians!  I fall asleep at their great heavy
    dinners.  I feel ashamed in my father's great stupid
    parties.  I've been accustomed to live with gentlemen, and
    men of the world and fashion, Emmy, not with a parcel
    of turtle-fed tradesmen.  Dear little woman, you are the only
    person of our set who ever looked, or thought, or spoke
    like a lady: and you do it because you're an angel and
    can't help it.  Don't remonstrate.  You are the only lady.
    Didn't Miss Crawley remark it, who has lived in the
    best company in Europe?  And as for Crawley, of the Life
    Guards, hang it, he's a fine fellow: and I like him for
    marrying the girl he had chosen."
    Amelia admired Mr. Crawley very much, too, for this;
    and trusted Rebecca would be happy with him, and hoped
    (with a laugh) Jos would be consoled.  And so the pair
    went on prattling, as in quite early days.  Amelia's
    confidence being perfectly restored to her, though she
    expressed a great deal of pretty jealousy about Miss Swartz,
    and professed to be dreadfully frightened--like a hypocrite
    as she was--lest George should forget her for the
    heiress and her money and her estates in Saint Kitt's.  But
    the fact is, she was a great deal too happy to have fears
    or doubts or misgivings of any sort: and having George
    at her side again, was not afraid of any heiress or beauty,
    or indeed of any sort of danger.
    When Captain Dobbin came back in the afternoon to
    these people--which he did with a great deal of sympathy
    for them--it did his heart good to see how Amelia had
    grown young again--how she laughed, and chirped, and
    sang familiar old songs at the piano, which were only
    interrupted by the bell from without proclaiming Mr.
    Sedley's return from the City, before whom George received a
    signal to retreat.
    Beyond the first smile of recognition--and even that was
    an hypocrisy, for she thought his arrival rather provoking
    --Miss Sedley did not once notice Dobbin during his
    visit.  But he was content, so that he saw her happy; and
    thankful to have been the means of making her so.
    A Quarrel About an Heiress
    Love may be felt for any young lady endowed with such
    qualities as Miss Swartz possessed; and a great dream of
    ambition entered into old Mr. Osborne's soul, which she
    was to realize.  He encouraged, with the utmost enthusiasm
    and friendliness, his daughters' amiable attachment to the
    young heiress, and protested that it gave him the sincerest
    pleasure as a father to see the love of his girls so well disposed.
    "You won't find," he would say to Miss Rhoda, "that
    splendour and rank to which you are accustomed at the
    West End, my dear Miss, at our humble mansion in Russell
    Square.  My daughters are plain, disinterested girls, but
    their hearts are in the right place, and they've conceived
    an attachment for you which does them honour--I say,
    which does them honour.  I'm a plain, simple, humble
    British merchant--an honest one, as my respected friends
    Hulker and Bullock will vouch, who were the correspondents
    of your late lamented father.  You'll find us a
    united, simple, happy, and I think I may say respected,
    family--a plain table, a plain people, but a warm welcome,
    my dear Miss Rhoda--Rhoda, let me say, for my
    heart warms to you, it does really.  I'm a frank man, and
    I like you.  A glass of Champagne!  Hicks, Champagne to
    Miss Swartz."
    There is little doubt that old Osborne believed all he
    said, and that the girls were quite earnest in their
    protestations of affection for Miss Swartz.  People in Vanity
    Fair fasten on to rich folks quite naturally.  If the simplest
    people are disposed to look not a little kindly on
    great Prosperity (for I defy any member of the British
    public to say that the notion of Wealth has not something
    awful and pleasing to him; and you, if you are told that
    the man next you at dinner has got half a million, not to
    look at him with a certain interest)--if the simple look
    benevolently on money, how much more do your old
    worldlings regard it!  Their affections rush out to meet and
    welcome money.  Their kind sentiments awaken spontaneously
    towards the interesting possessors of it.  I know
    some respectable people who don't consider themselves
    at liberty to indulge in friendship for any individual who
    has not a certain competency, or place in society.  They
    give a loose to their feelings on proper occasions.  And
    the proof is, that the major part of the Osborne family,
    who had not, in fifteen years, been able to get up a
    hearty regard for Amelia Sedley, became as fond of Miss
    Swartz in the course of a single evening as the most
    romantic advocate of friendship at first sight could desire.
    What a match for George she'd be (the sisters and
    Miss Wirt agreed), and how much better than that
    insignificant little Amelia!  Such a dashing young fellow as
    he is, with his good looks, rank, and accomplishments,
    would be the very husband for her.  Visions of balls in
    Portland Place, presentations at Court, and introductions
    to half the peerage, filled the minds of the young ladies;
    who talked of nothing but George and his grand
    acquaintances to their beloved new friend.
    Old Osborne thought she would be a great match, too,
    for his son.  He should leave the army; he should go into
    Parliament; he should cut a figure in the fashion and in
    the state.  His blood boiled with honest British exultation,
    as he saw the name of Osborne ennobled in the person
    of his son, and thought that he might be the progenitor of
    a glorious line of baronets.  He worked in the City and on
    'Change, until he knew everything relating to the fortune
    of the heiress, how her money was placed, and where her
    estates lay.  Young Fred Bullock, one of his chief informants,
    would have liked to make a bid for her himself
    (it was so the young banker expressed it), only he was
    booked to Maria Osborne.  But not being able to secure
    her as a wife, the disinterested Fred quite approved of her
    as a sister-in-law.  "Let George cut in directly and win
    her," was his advice.  "Strike while the iron's hot, you
    know--while she's fresh to the town: in a few weeks
    some d-- fellow from the West End will come in with a
    title and a rotten rent-roll and cut all us City men out, as
    Lord Fitzrufus did last year with Miss Grogram, who was
    actually engaged to Podder, of Podder & Brown's.  The
    sooner it is done the better, Mr. Osborne; them's my
    sentiments," the wag said; though, when Osborne had left
    the bank parlour, Mr. Bullock remembered Amelia, and
    what a pretty girl she was, and how attached to George
    Osborne; and he gave up at least ten seconds of his
    valuable time to regretting the misfortune which had
    befallen that unlucky young woman.
    While thus George Osborne's good feelings, and his
    good friend and genius, Dobbin, were carrying back the
    truant to Amelia's feet, George's parent and sisters were
    arranging this splendid match for him, which they never
    dreamed he would resist.
    When the elder Osborne gave what he called "a hint,"
    there was no possibility for the most obtuse to mistake
    his meaning.  He called kicking a footman downstairs a
    hint to the latter to leave his service.  With his usual
    frankness and delicacy he told Mrs. Haggistoun that he
    would give her a cheque for five thousand pounds on the
    day his son was married to her ward; and called that
    proposal a hint, and considered it a very dexterous piece
    of diplomacy.  He gave George finally such another hint
    regarding the heiress; and ordered him to marry her out
    of hand, as he would have ordered his butler to draw a
    cork, or his clerk to write a letter.
    This imperative hint disturbed George a good deal.  He
    was in the very first enthusiasm and delight of his second
    courtship of Amelia, which was inexpressibly sweet
    to him.  The contrast of her manners and appearance with
    those of the heiress, made the idea of a union with the
    latter appear doubly ludicrous and odious.  Carriages and
    opera-boxes, thought he; fancy being seen in them by the
    side of such a mahogany charmer as that!  Add to all
    that the junior Osborne was quite as obstinate as the
    senior: when he wanted a thing, quite as firm in his
    resolution to get it; and quite as violent when angered,
    as his father in his most stern moments.
    On the first day when his father formally gave him the
    hint that he was to place his affections at Miss Swartz's
    feet, George temporised with the old gentleman.  "You
    should have thought of the matter sooner, sir," he said.
    "It can't be done now, when we're expecting every day
    to go on foreign service.  Wait till my return, if I do
    return"; and then he represented, that the time when the
    regiment was daily expecting to quit England, was
    exceedingly ill-chosen: that the few days or weeks during
    which they were still to remain at home, must be
    devoted to business and not to love-making: time enough
    for that when he came home with his majority; "for, I
    promise you," said he, with a satisfied air, "that one
    way or other you shall read the name of George Osborne
    in the Gazette."
    The father's reply to this was founded upon the
    information which he had got in the City: that the West
    End chaps would infallibly catch hold of the heiress if
    any delay took place: that if he didn't marry Miss S., he
    might at least have an engagement in writing, to come
    into effect when he returned to England; and that a man
    who could get ten thousand a year by staying at home,
    was a fool to risk his life abroad.
    "So that you would have me shown up as a coward, sir,
    and our name dishonoured for the sake of Miss Swartz's
    money," George interposed.
    This remark staggered the old gentleman; but as he
    had to reply to it, and as his mind was nevertheless
    made up, he said, "You will dine here to-morrow, sir,
    and every day Miss Swartz comes, you will be here to
    pay your respects to her.  If you want for money, call
    upon Mr. Chopper." Thus a new obstacle was in George's
    way, to interfere with his plans regarding Amelia; and
    about which he and Dobbin had more than one confidential
    consultation.  His friend's opinion respecting the
    line of conduct which he ought to pursue, we know
    already.  And as for Osborne, when he was once bent on a
    thing, a fresh obstacle or two only rendered him the
    more resolute.
    The dark object of the conspiracy into which the chiefs
    of the Osborne family had entered, was quite ignorant of
    all their plans regarding her (which, strange to say, her
    friend and chaperon did not divulge), and, taking all the
    young ladies' flattery for genuine sentiment, and being,
    as we have before had occasion to show, of a very
    warm and impetuous nature, responded to their affection
    with quite a tropical ardour.  And if the truth may be told,
    I dare say that she too had some selfish attraction in the
    Russell Square house; and in a word, thought George
    Osborne a very nice young man.  His whiskers had made
    an impression upon her, on the very first night she
    beheld them at the ball at Messrs. Hulkers; and, as we
    know, she was not the first woman who had been
    charmed by them.  George had an air at once swaggering
    and melancholy, languid and fierce.  He looked like a
    man who had passions, secrets, and private harrowing
    griefs and adventures.  His voice was rich and deep.  He
    would say it was a warm evening, or ask his partner to
    take an ice, with a tone as sad and confidential as if he
    were breaking her mother's death to her, or preluding a
    declaration of love.  He trampled over all the young bucks
    of his father's circle, and was the hero among those
    third-rate men.  Some few sneered at him and hated him.
    Some, like Dobbin, fanatically admired him.  And his whiskers
    had begun to do their work, and to curl themselves
    round the affections of Miss Swartz.
    Whenever there was a chance of meeting him in Russell
    Square, that simple and good-natured young woman
    was quite in a flurry to see her dear Misses Osborne.  She
    went to great expenses in new gowns, and bracelets, and
    bonnets, and in prodigious feathers.  She adorned her
    person with her utmost skill to please the Conqueror,
    and exhibited all her simple accomplishments to win his
    favour.  The girls would ask her, with the greatest
    gravity, for a little music, and she would sing her three
    songs and play her two little pieces as often as ever
    they asked, and with an always increasing pleasure to
    herself.  During these delectable entertainments, Miss
    Wirt and the chaperon sate by, and conned over the
    peerage, and talked about the nobility.
    The day after George had his hint from his father, and
    a short time before the hour of dinner, he was lolling
    upon a sofa in the drawing-room in a very becoming
    and perfectly natural attitude of melancholy.  He had
    been, at his father's request, to Mr. Chopper in the City
    (the old-gentleman, though he gave great sums to his
    son, would never specify any fixed allowance for him,
    and rewarded him only as he was in the humour).  He
    had then been to pass three hours with Amelia, his
    dear little Amelia, at Fulham; and he came home to
    find his sisters spread in starched muslin in the drawing-
    room, the dowagers cackling in the background, and
    honest Swartz in her favourite amber-coloured satin, with
    turquoise bracelets, countless rings, flowers, feathers, and
    all sorts of tags and gimcracks, about as elegantly
    decorated as a she chimney-sweep on May-day.
    The girls, after vain attempts to engage him in conversation,
    talked about fashions and the last drawing-room
    until he was perfectly sick of their chatter.  He
    contrasted their behaviour with little Emmy's--their
    shrill voices with her tender ringing tones; their attitudes
    and their elbows and their starch, with her humble soft
    movements and modest graces.  Poor Swartz was seated
    in a place where Emmy had been accustomed to sit.
    Her bejewelled hands lay sprawling in her amber satin
    lap.  Her tags and ear-rings twinkled, and her big eyes
    rolled about.  She was doing nothing with perfect contentment,
    and thinking herself charming.  Anything so becoming
    as the satin the sisters had never seen.
    "Dammy," George said to a confidential friend, "she
    looked like a China doll, which has nothing to do all day
    but to grin and wag its head.  By Jove, Will, it was all I
    I could do to prevent myself from throwing the sofa-
    cushion at her." He restrained that exhibition of
    sentiment, however.
    The sisters began to play the Battle of Prague.  "Stop
    that d-- thing," George howled out in a fury from the
    sofa.  "It makes me mad.  You play us something, Miss
    Swartz, do.  Sing something, anything but the Battle of
    "Shall I sing 'Blue Eyed Mary' or the air from the
    Cabinet?" Miss Swartz asked.
    "That sweet thing from the Cabinet," the sisters said.
    "We've had that," replied the misanthrope on the sofa
    "I can sing 'Fluvy du Tajy,' " Swartz said, in a meek
    voice, "if I had the words." It was the last of the worthy
    young woman's collection.
    "O, 'Fleuve du Tage,' " Miss Maria cried; "we have the
    song," and went off to fetch the book in which it was.
    Now it happened that this song, then in the height of
    the fashion, had been given to the young ladies by a young
    friend of theirs, whose name was on the title, and Miss
    Swartz, having concluded the ditty with George's applause
    (for he remembered that it was a favourite of Amelia's),
    was hoping for an encore perhaps, and fiddling with the
    leaves of the music, when her eye fell upon the title, and
    she saw "Amelia Sedley" written in the comer.
    "Lor!" cried Miss Swartz, spinning swiftly round on
    the music-stool, "is it my Amelia?  Amelia that was at
    Miss P.'s at Hammersmith?  I know it is.  It's her.  and--
    Tell me about her--where is she?"
    "Don't mention her," Miss Maria Osborne said
    hastily.  "Her family has disgraced itself.  Her father
    cheated Papa, and as for her, she is never to be mentioned
    HERE." This was Miss Maria's return for George's
    rudeness about the Battle of Prague.
    "Are you a friend of Amelia's?" George said, bouncing
    up.  "God bless you for it, Miss Swartz.  Don't believe
    what,the girls say.  SHE'S not to blame at any rate.
    She's the best--"
    "You know you're not to speak about her, George,"
    cried Jane.  "Papa forbids it."
    "Who's to prevent me?" George cried out.  "I will speak
    of her.  I say she's the best, the kindest, the gentlest, the
    sweetest girl in England; and that, bankrupt or no, my
    sisters are not fit to hold candles to her.  If you like her,
    go and see her, Miss Swartz; she wants friends now; and
    I say, God bless everybody who befriends her.  Anybody
    who speaks kindly of her is my friend; anybody who
    speaks against her is my enemy.  Thank you, Miss Swartz";
    and he went up and wrung her hand.
    "George! George!" one of the sisters cried imploringly.
    "I say," George said fiercely, "I thank everybody who
    loves Amelia Sed--" He stopped.  Old Osborne was in
    the room with a face livid with rage, and eyes like hot
    Though George had stopped in his sentence, yet, his
    blood being up, he was not to be cowed by all the
    generations of Osborne; rallying instantly, he replied to
    the bullying look of his father, with another so indicative
    of resolution and defiance that the elder man quailed in
    his turn, and looked away.  He felt that the tussle was
    coming.  "Mrs. Haggistoun, let me take you down to dinner,"
    he said.  "Give your arm to Miss Swartz, George,"
    and they marched.
    "Miss Swartz, I love Amelia, and we've been engaged
    almost all our lives," Osborne said to his partner; and
    during all the dinner, George rattled on with a volubility
    which surprised himself, and made his father doubly
    nervous for the fight which was to take place as soon as
    the ladies were gone.
    The difference between the pair was, that while the
    father was violent and a bully, the son had thrice the
    nerve and courage of the parent, and could not merely
    make an attack, but resist it; and finding that the moment
    was now come when the contest between him and
    his father was to be decided, he took his dinner with
    perfect coolness and appetite before the engagement
    began.  Old Osborne, on the contrary, was nervous, and
    drank much.  He floundered in his conversation with the
    ladies, his neighbours: George's coolness only rendering
    him more angry.  It made him half mad to see the calm
    way in which George, flapping his napkin, and with a
    swaggering bow, opened the door for the ladies to leave
    the room; and filling himself a glass of wine, smacked it,
    and looked his father full in the face, as if to say,
    "Gentlemen of the Guard, fire first." The old man also took a
    supply of ammunition, but his decanter clinked against
    the glass as he tried to fill it.
    After giving a great heave, and with a purple choking
    face, he then began.  "How dare you, sir, mention that
    person's name before Miss Swartz to-day, in my drawing-
    room? I ask you, sir, how dare you do it?"
    "Stop, sir," says George, "don't say dare, sir.  Dare
    isn't a word to be used to a Captain in the British Army."
    "I shall say what I like to my son, sir.  I can cut him off
    with a shilling if I like.  I can make him a beggar if I like.
    I WILL say what I like," the elder said.
    "I'm a gentleman though I AM your son, sir," George
    answered haughtily.  "Any communications which you
    have to make to me, or any orders which you may
    please to give, I beg may be couched in that kind of
    language which I am accustomed to hear."
    Whenever the lad assumed his haughty manner, it
    always created either great awe or great irritation in the
    parent.  Old Osborne stood in secret terror of his son as a
    better gentleman than himself; and perhaps my readers
    may have remarked in their experience of this Vanity Fair
    of ours, that there is no character which a low-minded
    man so much mistrusts as that of a gentleman.
    "My father didn't give me the education you have had,
    nor the advantages you have had, nor the money you
    have had.  If I had kept the company SOME FOLKS have
    had through MY MEANS, perhaps my son wouldn't have
    any reason to brag, sir, of his SUPERIORITY and WEST END
    AIRS (these words were uttered in the elder Osborne's
    most sarcastic tones).  But it wasn't considered the part
    of a gentleman, in MY time, for a man to insult his father.
    If I'd done any such thing, mine would have kicked me
    downstairs, sir."
    "I never insulted you, sir.  I said I begged you to
    remember your son was a gentleman as well as yourself.
    I know very well that you give me plenty of money,"
    said George (fingering a bundle of notes which he had
    got in the morning from Mr. Chopper).  "You tell it me
    often enough, sir.  There's no fear of my forgetting it."
    "I wish you'd remember other things as well, sir," the
    sire answered.  "I wish you'd remember that in this house
    --so long as you choose to HONOUR it with your COMPANY,
    Captain--I'm the master, and that name, and that
    that--that you--that I say--"
    "That what, sir?" George asked, with scarcely a sneer,
    filling another glass of claret.
    "--!" burst out his father with a screaming oath--
    "that the name of those Sedleys never be mentioned
    here, sir--not one of the whole damned lot of 'em, sir."
    "It wasn't I, sir, that introduced Miss Sedley's name.  It
    was my sisters who spoke ill of her to Miss Swartz; and
    by Jove I'll defend her wherever I go.  Nobody shall
    speak lightly of that name in my presence.  Our family
    has done her quite enough injury already, I think, and
    may leave off reviling her now she's down.  I'll shoot any
    man but you who says a word against her."
    "Go on, sir, go on," the old gentleman said, his eyes
    starting out of his head.
    "Go on about what, sir? about the way in which we've
    treated that angel of a girl?  Who told me to love her?  It
    was your doing.  I might have chosen elsewhere, and
    looked higher, perhaps, than your society: but I obeyed
    you.  And now that her heart's mine you give me orders
    to fling it away, and punish her, kill her perhaps--for
    the faults of other people.  It's a shame, by Heavens,"
    said George, working himself up into passion and
    enthusiasm as he proceeded, "to play at fast and loose with
    a young girl's affections--and with such an angel as that
    --one so superior to the people amongst whom she lived,
    that she might have excited envy, only she was so good
    and gentle, that it's a wonder anybody dared to hate her.
    If I desert her, sir, do you suppose she forgets me?"
    "I ain't going to have any of this dam sentimental nonsense
    and humbug here, sir," the father cried out.  "There
    shall be no beggar-marriages in my family.  If you choose
    to fling away eight thousand a year, which you may have
    for the asking, you may do it: but by Jove you take your
    pack and walk out of this house, sir.  Will you do as I tell
    you, once for all, sir, or will you not?"
    "Marry that mulatto woman?" George said, pulling up
    his shirt-collars.  "I don't like the colour, sir.  Ask the
    black that sweeps opposite Fleet Market, sir.  I'm not
    going to marry a Hottentot Venus."
    Mr. Osborne pulled frantically at the cord by which he
    was accustomed to summon the butler when he wanted
    wine--and almost black in the face, ordered that functionary
    to call a coach for Captain Osborne.
    "I've done it," said George, coming into the Slaughters'
    an hour afterwards, looking very pale.
    "What, my boy?" says Dobbin.
    George told what had passed between his father and
    "I'll marry her to-morrow," he said with an oath.  "I
    love her more every day, Dobbin."
    A Marriage and Part of a Honeymoon
    Enemies the most obstinate and courageous can't hold
    out against starvation; so the elder Osborne felt himself
    pretty easy about his adversary in the encounter we have
    just described; and as soon as George's supplies fell
    short, confidently expected his unconditional submission.
    It was unlucky, to be sure, that the lad should have secured
    a stock of provisions on the very day when the first
    encounter took place; but this relief was only temporary,
    old Osborne thought, and would but delay George's
    surrender.  No communication passed between father and
    son for some days.  The former was sulky at this silence,
    but not disquieted; for, as he said, he knew where he
    could put the screw upon George, and only waited the
    result of that operation.  He told the sisters the upshot of
    the dispute between them, but ordered them to take no
    notice of the matter, and welcome George on his return
    as if nothing had happened.  His cover was laid as usual
    every day, and perhaps the old gentleman rather anxiously
    expected him; but he never came.  Some one inquired
    at the Slaughters' regarding him, where it was said
    that he and his friend Captain Dobbin had left town.
    One gusty, raw day at the end of April--the rain whipping
    the pavement of that ancient street where the old
    Slaughters' Coffee-house was once situated--George Osborne
    came into the coffee-room, looking very haggard
    and pale; although dressed rather smartly in a blue coat
    and brass buttons, and a neat buff waistcoat of the fashion
    of those days.  Here was his friend Captain Dobbin,
    in blue and brass too, having abandoned the military
    frock and French-grey trousers, which were the usual
    coverings of his lanky person.
    Dobbin had been in the coffee-room for an hour or
    more.  He had tried all the papers, but could not read
    them.  He had looked at the clock many scores of times;
    and at the street, where the rain was pattering down,
    and the people as they clinked by in pattens, left long
    reflections on the shining stone: he tattooed at the table:
    he bit his nails most completely, and nearly to the quick
    (he was accustomed to ornament his great big hands in
    this way): he balanced the tea-spoon dexterously on the
    milk jug: upset it, &c., &c.; and in fact showed those
    signs of disquietude, and practised those desperate
    attempts at amusement, which men are accustomed to
    employ when very anxious, and expectant, and perturbed
    in mind.
    Some of his comrades, gentlemen who used the room,
    joked him about the splendour of his costume and his
    agitation of manner.  One asked him if he was going to be
    married?  Dobbin laughed, and said he would send his
    acquaintance (Major Wagstaff of the Engineers) a piece of
    cake when that event took place.  At length Captain Osborne
    made his appearance, very smartly dressed, but
    very pale and agitated as we have said.  He wiped his
    pale face with a large yellow bandanna pocket-handkerchief
    that was prodigiously scented.  He shook hands with
    Dobbin, looked at the clock, and told John, the waiter,
    to bring him some curacao.  Of this cordial he swallowed
    off a couple of glasses with nervous eagerness.
    His friend asked with some interest about his health.
    "Couldn't get a wink of sleep till daylight, Dob," said
    he.  "Infernal headache and fever.  Got up at nine, and
    went down to the Hummums for a bath.  I say, Dob, I feel
    just as I did on the morning I went out with Rocket at
    "So do I," William responded.  "I was a deuced deal
    more nervous than you were that morning.  You made a
    famous breakfast, I remember.  Eat something now."
    "You're a good old fellow, Will.  I'll drink your health,
    old boy, and farewell to--"
    "No, no; two glasses are enough," Dobbin interrupted
    him.  "Here, take away the liqueurs, John.  Have some
    cayenne-pepper with your fowl.  Make haste though, for it
    is time we were there."
    It was about half an hour from twelve when this
    brief meeting and colloquy took place between the two
    captains.  A coach, into which Captain Osborne's servant
    put his master's desk and dressing-case, had been in
    waiting for some time; and into this the two gentlemen
    hurried under an umbrella, and the valet mounted on the
    box, cursing the rain and the dampness of the coachman
    who was steaming beside him.  "We shall find a better
    trap than this at the church-door," says he; "that's a
    comfort." And the carriage drove on, taking the road
    down Piccadilly, where Apsley House and St. George's
    Hospital wore red jackets still; where there were oil-
    lamps; where Achilles was not yet born; nor the Pimlico
    arch raised; nor the hideous equestrian monster which
    pervades it and the neighbourhood; and so they drove
    down by Brompton to a certain chapel near the Fulham
    Road there.
    A chariot was in waiting with four horses; likewise a
    coach of the kind called glass coaches.  Only a very few
    idlers were collected on account of the dismal rain.
    "Hang it!" said George, "I said only a pair."
    "My master would have four," said Mr. Joseph Sedley's
    servant, who was in waiting; and he and Mr. Osborne's
    man agreed as they followed George and William into
    the church, that it was a "reg'lar shabby turn
    hout; and with scarce so much as a breakfast or a
    wedding faviour."
    "Here you are," said our old friend, Jos Sedley, coming
    forward.  "You're five minutes late, George, my boy.
    What a day, eh? Demmy, it's like the commencement of
    the rainy season in Bengal.  But you'll find my carriage
    is watertight.  Come along, my mother and Emmy are in the
    Jos Sedley was splendid.  He was fatter than ever.  His
    shirt collars were higher; his face was redder; his shirt-
    frill flaunted gorgeously out of his variegated waistcoat.
    Varnished boots were not invented as yet; but the Hessians
    on his beautiful legs shone so, that they must have been
    the identical pair in which the gentleman in the old picture
    used to shave himself; and on his light green coat
    there bloomed a fine wedding favour, like a great white
    spreading magnolia.
    In a word, George had thrown the great cast.  He was
    going to be married.  Hence his pallor and nervousness--
    his sleepless night and agitation in the morning.  I have
    heard people who have gone through the same thing
    own to the same emotion.  After three or four ceremonies,
    you get accustomed to it, no doubt; but the first
    dip, everybody allows, is awful.
    The bride was dressed in a brown silk pelisse (as
    Captain Dobbin has since informed me), and wore a straw
    bonnet with a pink ribbon; over the bonnet she had a
    veil of white Chantilly lace, a gift from Mr. Joseph Sedley,
    her brother.  Captain Dobbin himself had asked leave
    to present her with a gold chain and watch, which she
    sported on this occasion; and her mother gave her her
    diamond brooch--almost the only trinket which was left
    to the old lady.  As the service went on, Mrs. Sedley sat
    and whimpered a great deal in a pew, consoled by the
    Irish maid-servant and Mrs. Clapp from the lodgings.
    Old Sedley would not be present.  Jos acted for his father,
    giving away the bride, whilst Captain Dobbin stepped up
    as groomsman to his friend George.
    There was nobody in the church besides the officiating
    persons and the small marriage party and their attendants.
    The two valets sat aloof superciliously.  The rain
    came rattling down on the windows.  In the intervals of
    the service you heard it, and the sobbing of old Mrs.
    Sedley in the pew.  The parson's tones echoed sadly
    through the empty walls.  Osborne's "I will" was sounded
    in very deep bass.  Emmy's response came fluttering up
    to her lips from her heart, but was scarcely heard by
    anybody except Captain Dobbin.
    When the service was completed, Jos Sedley came
    forward and kissed his sister, the bride, for the first time
    for many months--George's look of gloom had gone, and
    he seemed quite proud and radiant.  "It's your turn,
    William," says he, putting his hand fondly upon Dobbin's
    shoulder; and Dobbin went up and touched Amelia on
    the cheek.
    Then they went into the vestry and signed the register.
    "God bless you, Old Dobbin," George said, grasping him
    by the hand, with something very like moisture glistening
    in his eyes.  William replied only by nodding his head.
    His heart was too full to say much.
    "Write directly, and come down as soon as you can,
    you know," Osborne said.  After Mrs. Sedley had taken an
    hysterical adieu of her daughter, the pair went off to the
    carriage.  "Get out of the way, you little devils," George
    cried to a small crowd of damp urchins, that were hanging
    about the chapel-door.  The rain drove into the bride
    and bridegroom's faces as they passed to the chariot.
    The postilions' favours draggled on their dripping jackets.
    The few children made a dismal cheer, as the carriage,
    splashing mud, drove away.
    William Dobbin stood in the church-porch, looking at it,
    a queer figure.  The small crew of spectators jeered him.
    He was not thinking about them or their laughter.
    "Come home and have some tiffin, Dobbin," a voice
    cried behind him; as a pudgy hand was laid on his shoulder,
    and the honest fellow's reverie was interrupted.  But
    the Captain had no heart to go a-feasting with Jos Sedley.
    He put the weeping old lady and her attendants into the
    carriage along with Jos, and left them without any farther
    words passing.  This carriage, too, drove away, and the
    urchins gave another sarcastical cheer.
    "Here, you little beggars," Dobbin said, giving some
    sixpences amongst them, and then went off by himself
    through the rain.  It was all over.  They were married, and
    happy, he prayed God.  Never since he was a boy had he
    felt so miserable and so lonely.  He longed with a heart-
    sick yearning for the first few days to be over, that he
    might see her again.
    Some ten days after the above ceremony, three young
    men of our acquaintance were enjoying that beautiful
    prospect of bow windows on the one side and blue sea
    on the other, which Brighton affords to the traveller.
    Sometimes it is towards the ocean--smiling with countless
    dimples, speckled with white sails, with a hundred
    bathing-machines kissing the skirt of his blue garment--
    that the Londoner looks enraptured: sometimes, on the
    contrary, a lover of human nature rather than of prospects
    of any kind, it is towards the bow windows that
    he turns, and that swarm of human life which they
    exhibit.  From one issue the notes of a piano, which a young
    lady in ringlets practises six hours daily, to the delight
    of the fellow-lodgers: at another, lovely Polly, the nurse-
    maid, may be seen dandling Master Omnium in her arms:
    whilst Jacob, his papa, is beheld eating prawns, and
    devouring the Times for breakfast, at the window below.
    Yonder are the Misses Leery, who are looking out for the
    young officers of the Heavies, who are pretty sure to be
    pacing the cliff; or again it is a City man, with a nautical
    turn, and a telescope, the size of a six-pounder, who has
    his instrument pointed seawards, so as to command every
    pleasure-boat, herring-boat, or bathing-machine that
    comes to, or quits, the shore, &c., &c.  But have we any
    leisure for a description of Brighton?--for Brighton, a
    clean Naples with genteel lazzaroni--for Brighton, that
    always looks brisk, gay, and gaudy, like a harlequin's
    jacket--for Brighton, which used to be seven hours
    distant from London at the time of our story; which is now
    only a hundred minutes off; and which may approach
    who knows how much nearer, unless Joinville comes and
    untimely bombards it?
    "What a monstrous fine girl that is in the lodgings
    over the milliner's," one of these three promenaders
    remarked to the other; "Gad, Crawley, did you see what a
    wink she gave me as I passed?"
    "Don't break her heart, Jos, you rascal," said another.
    "Don't trifle with her affections, you Don Juan!"
    "Get away," said Jos Sedley, quite pleased, and leering up
    at the maid-servant in question with a most killing
    ogle.  Jos was even more splendid at Brighton than he had
    been at his sister's marriage.  He had brilliant under-waistcoats,
    any one of which would have set up a moderate buck.
    He sported a military frock-coat, ornamented with
    frogs, knobs, black buttons, and meandering embroidery.
    He had affected a military appearance and habits of late;
    and he walked with his two friends, who were of that
    profession, clinking his boot-spurs, swaggering prodigiously,
    and shooting death-glances at all the servant girls
    who were worthy to be slain.
    "What shall we do, boys, till the ladies return?" the
    buck asked.  The ladies were out to Rottingdean in his
    carriage on a drive.
    "Let's have a game at billiards," one of his friends
    said--the tall one, with lacquered mustachios.
    "No, dammy; no, Captain," Jos replied, rather
    alarmed.  "No billiards to-day, Crawley, my boy;
    yesterday was enough."
    "You play very well," said Crawley, laughing.  "Don't
    he, Osborne? How well he made that-five stroke, eh?"
    "Famous," Osborne said.  "Jos is a devil of a fellow
    at billiards, and at everything else, too.  I wish there were
    any tiger-hunting about here! we might go and kill a few
    before dinner.  (There goes a fine girl! what an ankle, eh,
    Jos?) Tell us that story about the tiger-hunt, and the
    way you did for him in the jungle--it's a wonderful story
    that, Crawley." Here George Osborne gave a yawn.  "It's
    rather slow work," said he, "down here; what shall we
    "Shall we go and look at some horses that Snaffler's
    just brought from Lewes fair?" Crawley said.
    "Suppose we go and have some jellies at Dutton's,"
    and the rogue Jos, willing to kill two birds with one
    stone.  "Devilish fine gal at Dutton's."
    "Suppose we go and see the Lightning come in, it's
    just about time?" George said.  This advice prevailing
    over the stables and the jelly, they turned towards the
    coach-office to witness the Lightning's arrival.
    As they passed, they met the carriage--Jos Sedley's
    open carriage, with its magnificent armorial bearings--
    that splendid conveyance in which he used to drive, about
    at Cheltonham, majestic and solitary, with his arms
    folded, and his hat cocked; or, more happy, with ladies
    by his side.
    Two were in the carriage now: one a little person, with
    light hair, and dressed in the height of the fashion; the
    other in a brown silk pelisse, and a straw bonnet with
    pink ribbons, with a rosy, round, happy face, that did
    you good to behold.  She checked the carriage as it
    neared the three gentlemen, after which exercise of
    authority she looked rather nervous, and then began to
    blush most absurdly.  "We have had a delightful drive,
    George," she said, "and--and we're so glad to come back;
    and, Joseph, don't let him be late."
    "Don't be leading our husbands into mischief, Mr.
    Sedley, you wicked, wicked man you," Rebecca said,
    shaking at Jos a pretty little finger covered with the
    neatest French kid glove.  "No billiards, no smoking, no
    "My dear Mrs. Crawley--Ah now! upon my honour!"
    was all Jos could ejaculate by way of reply; but he managed
    to fall into a tolerable attitude, with his head lying
    on his shoulder, grinning upwards at his victim, with one
    hand at his back, which he supported on his cane, and
    the other hand (the one with the diamond ring) fumbling
    in his shirt-frill and among his under-waistcoats.  As the
    carriage drove off he kissed the diamond hand to the fair
    ladies within.  He wished all Cheltenham, all Chowringhee,
    all Calcutta, could see him in that position, waving his
    hand to such a beauty, and in company with such a
    famous buck as Rawdon Crawley of the Guards.
    Our young bride and bridegroom had chosen Brighton
    as the place where they would pass the first few days after
    their marriage; and having engaged apartments at the
    Ship Inn, enjoyed themselves there in great comfort and
    quietude, until Jos presently joined them.  Nor was he
    the only companion they found there.  As they were
    coming into the hotel from a sea-side walk one afternoon,
    on whom should they light but Rebecca and her
    husband.  The recognition was immediate.  Rebecca flew
    into the arms of her dearest friend.  Crawley and Osborne
    shook hands together cordially enough: and Becky, in
    the course of a very few hours, found means to make the
    latter forget that little unpleasant passage of words which
    had happened between them.  "Do you remember the last
    time we met at Miss Crawley's, when I was so rude to
    you, dear Captain Osborne? I thought you seemed careless
    about dear Amelia.  It was that made me angry: and
    so pert: and so unkind: and so ungrateful.  Do forgive
    me!" Rebecca said, and she held out her hand with so
    frank and winning a grace, that Osborne could not but
    take it.  By humbly and frankly acknowledging yourself to
    be in the wrong, there is no knowing, my son, what good
    you may do.  I knew once a gentleman and very worthy
    practitioner in Vanity Fair, who used to do little wrongs
    to his neighbours on purpose, and in order to apologise
    for them in an open and manly way afterwards--and
    what ensued?  My friend Crocky Doyle was liked everywhere,
    and deemed to be rather impetuous--but the honestest
    fellow.  Becky's humility passed for sincerity with
    George Osborne.
    These two young couples had plenty of tales to relate
    to each other.  The marriages of either were discussed;
    and their prospects in life canvassed with the greatest
    frankness and interest on both sides.  George's marriage
    was to be made known to his father by his friend
    Captain Dobbin; and young Osborne trembled rather for the
    result of that communication.  Miss Crawley, on whom
    all Rawdon's hopes depended, still held out.  Unable to
    make an entry into her house in Park Lane, her
    affectionate nephew and niece had followed her to
    Brighton, where they had emissaries continually planted
    at her door.
    "I wish you could see some of Rawdon's friends who
    are always about our door," Rebecca said, laughing.  "Did
    you ever see a dun, my dear; or a bailiff and his man?
    Two of the abominable wretches watched all last week
    at the greengrocer's opposite, and we could not get away
    until Sunday.  If Aunty does not relent, what shall we
    Rawdon, with roars of laughter, related a dozen amusing
    anecdotes of his duns, and Rebecca's adroit treatment
    of them.  He vowed with a great oath that there was
    no woman in Europe who could talk a creditor over as
    she could.  Almost immediately after their marriage, her
    practice had begun, and her husband found the immense
    value of such a wife.  They had credit in plenty, but they
    had bills also in abundance, and laboured under a scarcity
    of ready money.  Did these debt-difficulties affect Rawdon's
    good spirits?  No.  Everybody in Vanity Fair must
    have remarked how well those live who are comfortably
    and thoroughly in debt: how they deny themselves nothing;
    how jolly and easy they are in their minds.  Rawdon
    and his wife had the very best apartments at the inn at
    Brighton; the landlord, as he brought in the first dish,
    bowed before them as to his greatest customers: and
    Rawdon abused the dinners and wine with an audacity
    which no grandee in the land could surpass.  Long custom,
    a manly appearance, faultless boots and clothes,
    and a happy fierceness of manner, will often help a man
    as much as a great balance at the banker's.
    The two wedding parties met constantly in each other's
    apartments.  After two or three nights the gentlemen of an
    evening had a little piquet, as their wives sate and chatted
    apart.  This pastime, and the arrival of Jos Sedley, who
    made his appearance in his grand open carriage, and who
    played a few games at billiards with Captain Crawley,
    replenished Rawdon's purse somewhat, and gave him the
    benefit of that ready money for which the greatest spirits
    are sometimes at a stand-still.
    So the three gentlemen walked down to see the Lightning
    coach come in.  Punctual to the minute, the coach
    crowded inside and out, the guard blowing his accustomed
    tune on the horn--the Lightning came tearing
    down the street, and pulled up at the coach-office.
    "Hullo! there's old Dobbin," George cried, quite delighted
    to see his old friend perched on the roof; and
    whose promised visit to Brighton had been delayed until
    now.  "How are you, old fellow?  Glad you're come down.
    Emmy'll be delighted to see you," Osborne said, shaking
    his comrade warmly by the hand as soon as his descent
    from the vehicle was effected--and then he added, in a
    lower and agitated voice, "What's the news?  Have you
    been in Russell Square?  What does the governor say?
    Tell me everything."
    Dobbin looked very pale and grave.  "I've seen your
    father," said he.  "How's Amelia--Mrs. George?  I'll tell
    you all the news presently: but I've brought the great
    news of all: and that is--"
    "Out with it, old fellow," George said.
    "We're ordered to Belgium.  All the army goes--guards
    and all.  Heavytop's got the gout, and is mad at not being
    able to move.  O'Dowd goes in command, and we embark
    from Chatham next week." This news of war could
    not but come with a shock upon our lovers, and caused
    all these gentlemen to look very serious.
    Captain Dobbin Proceeds on His Canvass
    What is the secret mesmerism which friendship
    possesses, and under the operation of which a person
    ordinarily sluggish, or cold, or timid, becomes wise,
    active, and resolute, in another's behalf?  As Alexis,
    after a few passes from Dr. Elliotson, despises pain,
    reads with the back of his head, sees miles off,
    looks into next week, and performs other wonders,
    of which, in his own private normal condition, he is
    quite incapable; so you see, in the affairs of the world
    and under the magnetism of friendships, the modest
    man becomes bold, the shy confident, the lazy active, or
    the impetuous prudent and peaceful.  What is it, on the
    other hand, that makes the lawyer eschew his own cause,
    and call in his learned brother as an adviser?  And what causes
    the doctor, when ailing, to send for his rival, and not sit
    down and examine his own tongue in the chimney Bass,
    or write his own prescription at his study-table?  I throw
    out these queries for intelligent readers to answer, who
    know, at once, how credulous we are, and how sceptical,
    how soft and how obstinate, how firm for others and how
    diffident about ourselves:  meanwhile, it is certain that
    our friend William Dobbin, who was personally of so
    complying a disposition that if his parents had pressed
    him much, it is probable he would have stepped down
    into the kitchen and married the cook, and who, to further
    his own interests, would have found the most insuperable
    difficulty in walking across the street, found himself as
    busy and eager in the conduct of George Osborne's
    affairs, as the most selfish tactician could be in the pursuit
    of his own.
    Whilst our friend George and his young wife were
    enjoying the first blushing days of the honeymoon at
    Brighton, honest William was left as George's plenipotentiary
    in London, to transact all the business part of the marriage.
    His duty it was to call upon old Sedley and his
    wife, and to keep the former in good humour:  to draw Jos
    and his brother-in-law nearer together, so that Jos's position
    and dignity, as collector of Boggley Wollah, might
    compensate for his father's loss of station, and tend to
    reconcile old Osborne to the alliance:  and finally, to
    communicate it to the latter in such a way as should least
    irritate the old gentleman.
    Now, before he faced the head of the Osborne house
    with the news which it was his duty to tell, Dobbin bethought
    him that it would be politic to make friends of the
    rest of the family, and, if possible, have the ladies on his
    side. They can't be angry in their hearts, thought he.  No
    woman ever was really angry at a romantic marriage.  A
    little crying out, and they must come round to their
    brother; when the three of us will lay siege to old Mr.
    Osborne.  So this Machiavellian captain of infantry cast
    about him for some happy means or stratagem by which
    he could gently and gradually bring the Misses Osborne
    to a knowledge of their brother's secret.
    By a little inquiry regarding his mother's engagements,
    he was pretty soon able to find out by whom of her ladyship's
    friends parties were given at that season; where
    he would be likely to meet Osborne's sisters; and, though
    he had that abhorrence of routs and evening parties
    which many sensible men, alas! entertain, he soon found
    one where the Misses Osborne were to be present.
    Making his appearance at the ball, where he danced a couple
    of sets with both of them, and was prodigiously polite, he
    actually had the courage to ask Miss Osborne for a few
    minutes' conversation at an early hour the next day, when
    he had, he said, to communicate to her news of the
    very greatest interest.
    What was it that made her start back, and gaze upon
    him for a moment, and then on the ground at her feet,
    and make as if she would faint on his arm, had he not by
    opportunely treading on her toes, brought the young lady
    back to self-control?  Why was she so violently agitated
    at Dobbin's request?  This can never be known.  But when
    he came the next day, Maria was not in the drawing-room
    with her sister, and Miss Wirt went off for the purpose
    of fetching the latter, and the Captain and Miss Osborne
    were left together.  They were both so silent that the ticktock
    of the Sacrifice of Iphigenia clock on the mantelpiece
    became quite rudely audible.
    "What a nice party it was last night," Miss Osborne at
    length began, encouragingly; "and--and how you're
    improved in your dancing, Captain Dobbin.  Surely somebody
    has taught you," she added, with amiable archness.
    "You should see me dance a reel with Mrs. Major
    O'Dowd of ours; and a jig--did you ever see a jig?  But
    I think anybody could dance with you, Miss Osborne,
    who dance so well."
    "Is the Major's lady young and beautiful, Captain?" the
    fair questioner continued.  "Ah, what a terrible thing it
    must be to be a soldier's wife!  I wonder they have any
    spirits to dance, and in these dreadful times of war, too!
    O Captain Dobbin, I tremble sometimes when I think of
    our dearest George, and the dangers of the poor soldier.
    Are there many married officers of the --th, Captain
    "Upon my word, she's playing her hand rather too
    openly," Miss Wirt thought; but this observation is merely
    parenthetic, and was not heard through the crevice of
    the door at which the governess uttered it.
    "One of our young men is just married," Dobbin said,
    now coming to the point.  "It was a very old attachment,
    and the young couple are as poor as church mice."
    "O, how delightful! O, how romantic!" Miss Osborne
    cried, as the Captain said "old attachment" and "poor."
    Her sympathy encouraged him.
    "The finest young fellow in the regiment," he continued.
    "Not a braver or handsomer officer in the army; and
    such a charming wife!  How you would like her!  how
    you will like her when you know her, Miss Osborne."  The
    young lady thought the actual moment had arrived, and
    that Dobbin's nervousness which now came on and was
    visible in many twitchings of his face, in his manner of
    beating the ground with his great feet, in the rapid
    buttoning and unbuttoning of his frock-coat, &c.--Miss
    Osborne, I say, thought that when he had given himself a
    little air, he would unbosom himself entirely, and
    prepared eagerly to listen.  And the clock, in the altar on
    which Iphigenia was situated, beginning, after a preparatory
    convulsion, to toll twelve, the mere tolling seemed
    as if it would last until one--so prolonged was the knell
    to the anxious spinster.
    "But it's not about marriage that I came to speak--
    that is that marriage--that is--no, I mean--my dear
    Miss Osborne, it's about our dear friend George,"
    Dobbin said.
    "About George?" she said in a tone so discomfited
    that Maria and Miss Wirt laughed at the other side of
    the door, and even that abandoned wretch of a Dobbin
    felt inclined to smile himself; for he was not altogether
    unconscious of the state of affairs:  George having often
    bantered him gracefully and said, "Hang it, Will, why
    don't you take old Jane?  She'll have you if you ask her.
    I'll bet you five to two she will."
    "Yes, about George, then," he continued.  "There has
    been a difference between him and Mr. Osborne.  And I
    regard him so much--for you know we have been like
    brothers--that I hope and pray the quarrel may be
    settled.  We must go abroad, Miss Osborne.  We may be
    ordered off at a day's warning.  Who knows what may
    happen in the campaign?  Don't be agitated, dear Miss
    Osborne; and those two at least should part friends."
    "There has been no quarrel, Captain Dobbin, except
    a little usual scene with Papa," the lady said.  "We are
    expecting George back daily.  What Papa wanted was only
    for his good.  He has but to come back, and I'm sure all
    will be well; and dear Rhoda, who went away from here
    in sad sad anger, I know will forgive him.  Woman forgives
    but too readily, Captain."
    "Such an angel as YOU I am sure would," Mr. Dobbin
    said, with atrocious astuteness.  "And no man can pardon
    himself for giving a woman pain.  What would you feel,
    if a man were faithless to you?"
    "I should perish--I should throw myself out of window--
    I should take poison--I should pine and die.  I
    know I should," Miss cried, who had nevertheless gone
    through one or two affairs of the heart without any idea
    of suicide.
    "And there are others," Dobbin continued, "as true
    and as kind-hearted as yourself.  I'm not speaking about
    the West Indian heiress, Miss Osborne, but about a poor
    girl whom George once loved, and who was bred from
    her childhood to think of nobody but him.  I've seen her
    in her poverty uncomplaining, broken-hearted, without a
    fault.  It is of Miss Sedley I speak.  Dear Miss Osborne,
    can your generous heart quarrel with your brother for
    being faithful to her?  Could his own conscience ever
    forgive him if he deserted her?  Be her friend--she always
    loved you--and--and I am come here charged by George
    to tell you that he holds his engagement to her as the
    most sacred duty he has; and to entreat you, at least,
    to be on his side."
    When any strong emotion took possession of Mr. Dobbin,
    and after the first word or two of hesitation, he could
    speak with perfect fluency, and it was evident that his
    eloquence on this occasion made some impression upon
    the lady whom he addressed.
    "Well," said she, "this is--most surprising--most painful--
    most extraordinary--what will Papa say?--that
    George should fling away such a superb establishment as
    was offered to him but at any rate he has found a very
    brave champion in you, Captain Dobbin.  It is of no use,
    however," she continued, after a pause; "I feel for poor
    Miss Sedley, most certainly--most sincerely, you know.
    We never thought the match a good one, though we were
    always very kind to her here--very.  But Papa will never
    consent, I am sure.  And a well brought up young woman,
    you know--with a well-regulated mind, must--George
    must give her up, dear Captain Dobbin, indeed he must."
    "Ought a man to give up the woman he loved, just
    when misfortune befell her?" Dobbin said, holding out
    his hand.  "Dear Miss Osborne, is this the counsel I hear
    from you?  My dear young lady! you must befriend her.
    He can't give her up.  He must not give her up.  Would a
    man, think you, give YOU up if you were poor?"
    This adroit question touched the heart of Miss Jane
    Osborne not a little.  "I don't know whether we poor girls
    ought to believe what you men say, Captain," she said.
    "There is that in woman's tenderness which induces her
    to believe too easily.  I'm afraid you are cruel, cruel
    deceivers,"--and Dobbin certainly thought he felt a
    pressure of the hand which Miss Osborne had extended
    to him.
    He dropped it in some alarm.  "Deceivers!" said he.
    "No, dear Miss Osborne, all men are not; your brother
    is not; George has loved Amelia Sedley ever since they
    were children; no wealth would make him marry any but
    her.  Ought he to forsake her?  Would you counsel him to
    do so?"
    What could Miss Jane say to such a question, and with
    her own peculiar views?  She could not answer it, so she
    parried it by saying, "Well, if you are not a deceiver, at
    least you are very romantic"; and Captain William let
    this observation pass without challenge.
    At length when, by the help of farther polite speeches,
    he deemed that Miss Osborne was sufficiently prepared to
    receive the whole news, he poured it into her ear.
    "George could not give up Amelia--George was married
    to her"--and then he related the circumstances of the
    marriage as we know them already:  how the poor girl
    would have died had not her lover kept his faith:  how
    Old Sedley had refused all consent to the match, and a
    licence had been got: and Jos Sedley had come from
    Cheltenham to give away the bride: how they had gone
    to Brighton in Jos's chariot-and-four to pass the honeymoon:
    and how George counted on his dear kind sisters to
    befriend him with their father, as women--so true
    and tender as they were--assuredly would do.  And so,
    asking permission (readily granted) to see her again, and
    rightly conjecturing that the news he had brought would
    be told in the next five minutes to the other ladies,
    Captain Dobbin made his bow and took his leave.
    He was scarcely out of the house, when Miss Maria
    and Miss Wirt rushed in to Miss Osborne, and the
    whole wonderful secret was imparted to them by that
    lady.  To do them justice, neither of the sisters was very
    much displeased.  There is something about a runaway
    match with which few ladies can be seriously angry, and
    Amelia rather rose in their estimation, from the spirit
    which she had displayed in consenting to the union.  As
    they debated the story, and prattled about it, and wondered
    what Papa would do and say, came a loud knock,
    as of an avenging thunder-clap, at the door, which made
    these conspirators start.  It must be Papa, they thought.
    But it was not he.  It was only Mr. Frederick Bullock,
    who had come from the City according to appointment,
    to conduct the ladies to a flower-show.
    This gentleman, as may be imagined, was not kept
    long in ignorance of the secret.  But his face, when he
    heard it, showed an amazement which was very different
    to that look of sentimental wonder which the countenances
    of the sisters wore.  Mr. Bullock was a man of the world,
    and a junior partner of a wealthy firm.  He knew what
    money was, and the value of it: and a delightful throb
    of expectation lighted up his little eyes, and caused him
    to smile on his Maria, as he thought that by this piece
    of folly of Mr. George's she might be worth thirty
    thousand pounds more than he had ever hoped to
    get with her.
    "Gad!  Jane," said he, surveying even the elder sister
    with some interest, "Eels will be sorry he cried off.  You
    may be a fifty thousand pounder yet."
    The sisters had never thought of the money question
    up to that moment, but Fred Bullock bantered them
    with graceful gaiety about it during their forenoon's
    excursion; and they had risen not a little in their own
    esteem by the time when, the morning amusement over,
    they drove back to dinner.  And do not let my respected
    reader exclaim against this selfishness as unnatural.  It
    was but this present morning, as he rode on the omnibus
    from Richmond; while it changed horses, this present
    chronicler, being on the roof, marked three little children
    playing in a puddle below, very dirty, and friendly, and
    happy.  To these three presently came another little one.
    "POLLY," says she, "YOUR SISTER'S GOT A PENNY."  At which
    the children got up from the puddle instantly, and ran
    off to pay their court to Peggy.  And as the omnibus drove
    off I saw Peggy with the infantine procession at her
    tail, marching with great dignity towards the stall of a
    neighbouring lollipop-woman.
    In Which Mr. Osborne Takes Down the Family Bible
    So having prepared the sisters, Dobbin hastened away
    to the City to perform the rest and more difficult part
    of the task which he had undertaken.  The idea of facing
    old Osborne rendered him not a little nervous, and more
    than once he thought of leaving the young ladies to
    communicate the secret, which, as he was aware, they could
    not long retain.  But he had promised to report to George
    upon the manner in which the elder Osborne bore the
    intelligence; so going into the City to the paternal
    counting-house in Thames Street, he despatched thence
    a note to Mr. Osborne begging for a half-hour's conversation
    relative to the affairs of his son George.  Dobbin's messenger
    returned from Mr. Osborne's house of business, with the
    compliments of the latter, who would be very happy to see the
    Captain immediately, and away accordingly Dobbin went
    to confront him.
    The Captain, with a half-guilty secret to confess, and
    with the prospect of a painful and stormy interview
    before him, entered Mr. Osborne's offices with a most
    dismal countenance and abashed gait, and, passing through
    the outer room where Mr. Chopper presided, was greeted
    by that functionary from his desk with a waggish air
    which farther discomfited him.  Mr. Chopper winked and
    nodded and pointed his pen towards his patron's door,
    and said, "You'll find the governor all right," with the
    most provoking good humour.
    Osborne rose too, and shook him heartily by the hand,
    and said, "How do, my dear boy?" with a cordiality that
    made poor George's ambassador feel doubly guilty.  His
    hand lay as if dead in the old gentleman's grasp.  He felt
    that he, Dobbin, was more or less the cause of all that
    had happened.  It was he had brought back George to
    Amelia: it was he had applauded, encouraged, transacted
    almost the marriage which he was come to reveal to
    George's father:  and the latter was receiving him with
    smiles of welcome; patting him on the shoulder, and calling
    him "Dobbin, my dear boy." The envoy had indeed
    good reason to hang his head.
    Osborne fully believed that Dobbin had come to
    announce his son's surrender.  Mr. Chopper and his
    principal were talking over the matter between George and
    his father, at the very moment when Dobbin's messenger
    arrived.  Both agreed that George was sending in his
    submission.  Both had been expecting it for some days--and
    "Lord! Chopper, what a marriage we'll have!" Mr.
    Osborne said to his clerk, snapping his big fingers, and
    jingling all the guineas and shillings in his great pockets
    as he eyed his subordinate with a look of triumph.
    With similar operations conducted in both pockets,
    and a knowing jolly air, Osborne from his chair regarded
    Dobbin seated blank and silent opposite to him.  "What
    a bumpkin he is for a Captain in the army," old Osborne
    thought.  "I wonder George hasn't taught him better
    At last Dobbin summoned courage to begin.  "Sir," said
    he, "I've brought you some very grave news.  I have been
    at the Horse Guards this morning, and there's no doubt
    that our regiment will be ordered abroad, and on its
    way to Belgium before the week is over.  And you know,
    sir, that we shan't be home again before a tussle which
    may be fatal to many of us."
      Osborne looked grave.  "My s-- , the regiment will
    do its duty, sir, I daresay," he said.
    "The French are very strong, sir," Dobbin went on.
    "The Russians and Austrians will be a long time before
    they can bring their troops down.  We shall have the first
    of the fight, sir; and depend on it Boney will take care
    that it shall be a hard one."
    "What are you driving at, Dobbin?" his interlocutor
    said, uneasy and with a scowl.  "I suppose no Briton's
    afraid of any d-- Frenchman, hey?"
    "I only mean, that before we go, and considering the
    great and certain risk that hangs over every one of us--
    if there are any differences between you and George--it
    would be as well, sir, that--that you should shake hands:
    wouldn't it?  Should anything happen to him, I think you
    would never forgive yourself if you hadn't parted in
    As he said this, poor William Dobbin blushed crimson,
    and felt and owned that he himself was a traitor.  But
    for him, perhaps, this severance need never have taken
    place.  Why had not George's marriage been delayed?
    What call was there to press it on so eagerly?  He felt that
    George would have parted from Amelia at any rate without
    a mortal pang.  Amelia, too, MIGHT have recovered the
    shock of losing him.  It was his counsel had brought
    about this marriage, and all that was to ensue from it.
    And why was it?  Because he loved her so much that he
    could not bear to see her unhappy:  or because his own
    sufferings of suspense were so unendurable that he was
    glad to crush them at once--as we hasten a funeral
    after a death, or, when a separation from those we love
    is imminent, cannot rest until the parting be over.
    "You are a good fellow, William," said Mr. Osborne in
    a softened voice; "and me and George shouldn't part in
    anger, that is true.  Look here.  I've done for him as
    much as any father ever did.  He's had three times as
    much money from me, as I warrant your father ever
    gave you.  But I don't brag about that.  How I've toiled
    for him, and worked and employed my talents and energy,
    I won't say.  Ask Chopper.  Ask himself.  Ask the City of
    London.  Well, I propose to him such a marriage as any
    nobleman in the land might be proud of--the only thing
    in life I ever asked him--and he refuses me.  Am I wrong?
    Is the quarrel of MY making?  What do I seek but his
    good, for which I've been toiling like a convict ever since
    he was born?  Nobody can say there's anything selfish in
    me.  Let him come back.  I say, here's my hand.  I say,
    forget and forgive.  As for marrying now, it's out of the
    question.  Let him and Miss S. make it up, and make out the
    marriage afterwards, when he comes back a Colonel;
    for he shall be a Colonel, by G-- he shall, if money
    can do it.  I'm glad you've brought him round.  I know it's
    you, Dobbin.  You've took him out of many a scrape
    before.  Let him come.  I shan't be hard.  Come along, and
    dine in Russell Square to-day: both of you.  The old shop,
    the old hour.  You'll find a neck of venison, and no
    questions asked."
    This praise and confidence smote Dobbin's heart very
    keenly.  Every moment the colloquy continued in this
    tone, he felt more and more guilty.  "Sir," said he, "I
    fear you deceive yourself.  I am sure you do.  George is
    much too high-minded a man ever to marry for money.  A
    threat on your part that you would disinherit him in
    case of disobedience would only be followed by resistance
    on his."
    "Why, hang it, man, you don't call offering him eight
    or ten thousand a year threatening him?'' Mr. Osborne
    said, with still provoking good humour.  "'Gad, if Miss
    S. will have me, I'm her man.  I ain't particular about a
    shade or so of tawny." And the old gentleman gave his
    knowing grin and coarse laugh.
    "You forget, sir, previous engagements into which
    Captain Osborne had entered," the ambassador said, gravely.
    "What engagements? What the devil do you mean?
    You don't mean," Mr. Osborne continued, gathering
    wrath and astonishment as the thought now first came
    upon him; "you don't mean that he's such a d-- fool
    as to be still hankering after that swindling old bankrupt's
    daughter?  You've not come here for to make me
    suppose that he wants to marry HER?  Marry HER, that IS
    a good one.  My son and heir marry a beggar's girl out of
    a gutter.  D-- him, if he does, let him buy a broom
    and sweep a crossing.  She was always dangling and ogling
    after him, I recollect now; and I've no doubt she was
    put on by her old sharper of a father."
    "Mr. Sedley was your very good friend, sir," Dobbin
    interposed, almost pleased at finding himself growing
    angry.  "Time was you called him better names than
    rogue and swindler.  The match was of your making.
    George had no right to play fast and loose--"
    "Fast and loose!" howled out old Osborne.  "Fast and
    loose!  Why, hang me, those are the very words my
    gentleman used himself when he gave himself airs, last
    Thursday was a fortnight, and talked about the British army
    to his father who made him.  What, it's you who have
    been a setting of him up--is it? and my service to you,
    CAPTAIN.  It's you who want to introduce beggars into my
    family.  Thank you for nothing, Captain.  Marry HER indeed
    --he, he! why should he?  I warrant you she'd go to him
    fast enough without."
    "Sir," said Dobbin, starting up in undisguised anger;
    "no man shall abuse that lady in my hearing, and you
    least of all."
    "O, you're a-going to call me out, are you?  Stop, let me
    ring the bell for pistols for two.  Mr. George sent you
    here to insult his father, did he?" Osborne said, pulling
    at the bell-cord.
    "Mr. Osborne," said Dobbin, with a faltering voice,
    "it's you who are insulting the best creature in the world.
    You had best spare her, sir, for she's your son's wife."
    And with this, feeling that he could say no more, Dobbin
    went away, Osborne sinking back in his chair, and
    looking wildly after him.  A clerk came in, obedient to the
    bell; and the Captain was scarcely out of the court where
    Mr. Osborne's offices were, when Mr. Chopper the chief
    clerk came rushing hatless after him.
    "For God's sake, what is it?" Mr. Chopper said, catching
    the Captain by the skirt.  "The governor's in a fit.
    What has Mr. George been doing?"
    "He married Miss Sedley five days ago," Dobbin replied.
    "I was his groomsman, Mr. Chopper, and you must
    stand his friend."
    The old clerk shook his head.  "If that's your news,
    Captain, it's bad.  The governor will never forgive him."
    Dobbin begged Chopper to report progress to him at
    the hotel where he was stopping, and walked off moodily
    westwards, greatly perturbed as to the past and the
    When the Russell Square family came to dinner that
    evening, they found the father of the house seated in his
    usual place, but with that air of gloom on his face, which,
    whenever it appeared there, kept the whole circle silent.
    The ladies, and Mr. Bullock who dined with them, felt
    that the news had been communicated to Mr. Osborne.
    His dark looks affected Mr. Bullock so far as to render
    him still and quiet: but he was unusually bland and
    attentive to Miss Maria, by whom he sat, and to her sister
    presiding at the head of the table.
    Miss Wirt, by consequence, was alone on her side of
    the board, a gap being left between her and Miss Jane
    Osborne.  Now this was George's place when he dined at
    home; and his cover, as we said, was laid for him in
    expectation of that truant's return.  Nothing occurred
    during dinner-time except smiling Mr. Frederick's flagging
    confidential whispers, and the clinking of plate and china,
    to interrupt the silence of the repast.  The servants went
    about stealthily doing their duty.  Mutes at funerals could
    not look more glum than the domestics of Mr. Osborne
    The neck of venison of which he had invited Dobbin to
    partake, was carved by him in perfect silence; but his
    own share went away almost untasted, though he drank
    much, and the butler assiduously filled his glass.
    At last, just at the end of the dinner, his eyes, which
    had been staring at everybody in turn, fixed themselves
    for a while upon the plate laid for George.  He pointed
    to it presently with his left hand.  His daughters looked at
    him and did not comprehend, or choose to comprehend,
    the signal; nor did the servants at first understand it.
    "Take that plate away," at last he said, getting up with
    an oath--and with this pushing his chair back, he walked
    into his own room.
    Behind Mr. Osborne's dining-room was the usual
    apartment which went in his house by the name of the
    study; and was sacred to the master of the house.  Hither
    Mr. Osborne would retire of a Sunday forenoon when
    not minded to go to church; and here pass the morning
    in his crimson leather chair, reading the paper.  A couple
    of glazed book-cases were here, containing standard
    works in stout gilt bindings.  The "Annual Register," the
    "Gentleman's Magazine," "Blair's Sermons," and "Hume
    and Smollett." From year's end to year's end he never
    took one of these volumes from the shelf; but there was
    no member of the family that would dare for his life to
    touch one of the books, except upon those rare Sunday
    evenings when there was no dinner-party, and when the
    great scarlet Bible and Prayer-book were taken out from
    the corner where they stood beside his copy of the Peerage,
    and the servants being rung up to the dining parlour,
    Osborne read the evening service to his family in a
    loud grating pompous voice.  No member of the household,
    child, or domestic, ever entered that room without
    a certain terror.  Here he checked the housekeeper's accounts,
    and overhauled the butler's cellar-book.  Hence he
    could command, across the clean gravel court-yard, the
    back entrance of the stables with which one of his bells
    communicated, and into this yard the coachman issued
    from his premises as into a dock, and Osborne swore at
    him from the study window.  Four times a year Miss
    Wirt entered this apartment to get her salary; and his
    daughters to receive their quarterly allowance.  George
    as a boy had been horsewhipped in this room many
    times; his mother sitting sick on the stair listening to the
    cuts of the whip.  The boy was scarcely ever known to
    cry under the punishment; the poor woman used to
    fondle and kiss him secretly, and give him money to
    soothe him when he came out.
    There was a picture of the family over the mantelpiece,
    removed thither from the front room after Mrs. Osborne's
    death--George was on a pony, the elder sister
    holding him up a bunch of flowers; the younger led by
    her mother's hand; all with red cheeks and large red
    mouths, simpering on each other in the approved family-
    portrait manner.  The mother lay underground now, long
    since forgotten--the sisters and brother had a hundred
    different interests of their own, and, familiar still, were
    utterly estranged from each other.  Some few score of
    years afterwards, when all the parties represented are
    grown old, what bitter satire there is in those flaunting
    childish family-portraits, with their farce of sentiment and
    smiling lies, and innocence so self-conscious and self-
    satisfied.  Osborne's own state portrait, with that of his
    great silver inkstand and arm-chair, had taken the place
    of honour in the dining-room, vacated by the family-
    To this study old Osborne retired then, greatly to the
    relief of the small party whom he left.  When the
    servants had withdrawn, they began to talk for a while
    volubly but very low; then they went upstairs quietly,
    Mr. Bullock accompanying them stealthily on his creaking
    shoes.  He had no heart to sit alone drinking wine,
    and so close to the terrible old gentleman in the study
    hard at hand.
    An hour at least after dark, the butler, not having
    received any summons, ventured to tap at his door and
    take him in wax candles and tea.  The master of the
    house sate in his chair, pretending to read the paper,
    and when the servant, placing the lights and refreshment
    on the table by him, retired, Mr. Osborne got up and
    locked the door after him.  This time there was no mistaking
    the matter; all the household knew that some great
    catastrophe was going to happen which was likely direly
    to affect Master George.
    In the large shining mahogany escritoire Mr. Osborne
    had a drawer especially devoted to his son's affairs and
    papers.  Here he kept all the documents relating to him
    ever since he had been a boy: here were his prize copy-
    books and drawing-books, all bearing George's hand,
    and that of the master:  here were his first letters in large
    round-hand sending his love to papa and mamma, and
    conveying his petitions for a cake.  His dear godpapa
    Sedley was more than once mentioned in them.  Curses
    quivered on old Osborne's livid lips, and horrid hatred
    and disappointment writhed in his heart, as looking
    through some of these papers he came on that name.
    They were all marked and docketed, and tied with red tape.
    It was--From Georgy, requesting 5s., April 23, 18--;
    answered, April 25"--or "Georgy about a pony, October
    13"--and so forth. In another packet were "Dr. S.'s accounts"
    --"G.'s tailor's bills and outfits, drafts on me by
    G. Osborne, jun.," &c.--his letters from the West Indies
    --his agent's letters, and the newspapers containing his
    commissions: here was a whip he had when a boy, and in
    a paper a locket containing his hair, which his mother
    used to wear.
    Turning one over after another, and musing over these
    memorials, the unhappy man passed many hours.  His
    dearest vanities, ambitious hopes, had all been here.  What
    pride he had in his boy!  He was the handsomest child
    ever seen.  Everybody said he was like a nobleman's
    son.  A royal princess had remarked him, and kissed
    him, and asked his name in Kew Gardens.  What City
    man could show such another?  Could a prince have been
    better cared for?  Anything that money could buy had
    been his son's.  He used to go down on speech-days with
    four horses and new liveries, and scatter new shillings
    among the boys at the school where George was:  when
    he went with George to the depot of his regiment, before
    the boy embarked for Canada, he gave the officers
    such a dinner as the Duke of York might have sat down
    to.  Had he ever refused a bill when George drew one?
    There they were--paid without a word.  Many a general
    in the army couldn't ride the horses he had!  He had the
    child before his eyes, on a hundred different days when
    he remembered George after dinner, when he used
    to come in as bold as a lord and drink off his glass by
    his father's side, at the head of the table--on the pony
    at Brighton, when he cleared the hedge and kept up with
    the huntsman--on the day when he was presented to
    the Prince Regent at the levee, when all Saint James's
    couldn't produce a finer young fellow.  And this, this was
    the end of all!--to marry a bankrupt and fly in the face
    of duty and fortune!  What humiliation and fury:  what
    pangs of sickening rage, balked ambition and love; what
    wounds of outraged vanity, tenderness even, had this
    old worldling now to suffer under!
    Having examined these papers, and pondered over this
    one and the other, in that bitterest of all helpless woe,
    with which miserable men think of happy past times--
    George's father took the whole of the documents out of
    the drawer in which he had kept them so long, and locked
    them into a writing-box, which he tied, and sealed with
    his seal.  Then he opened the book-case, and took down
    the great red Bible we have spoken of a pompous
    book, seldom looked at, and shining all over with gold.
    There was a frontispiece to the volume, representing
    Abraham sacrificing Isaac.  Here, according to custom,
    Osborne had recorded on the fly-leaf, and in his large
    clerk-like hand, the dates of his marriage and his wife's
    death, and the births and Christian names of his children.
    Jane came first, then George Sedley Osborne, then Maria
    Frances, and the days of the christening of each.  Taking
    a pen, he carefully obliterated George's names from
    the page; and when the leaf was quite dry, restored the
    volume to the place from which he had moved it.  Then
    he took a document out of another drawer, where his
    own private papers were kept; and having read it, crumpled
    it up and lighted it at one of the candles, and saw it
    burn entirely away in the grate.  It was his will; which
    being burned, he sate down and wrote off a letter, and
    rang for his servant, whom he charged to deliver it in the
    morning.  It was morning already: as he went up to bed,
    the whole house was alight with the sunshine; and the
    birds were singing among the fresh green leaves in
    Russell Square.
    Anxious to keep all Mr. Osborne's family and dependants
    in good humour, and to make as many friends as
    possible for George in his hour of adversity, William Dobbin,
    who knew the effect which good dinners and good
    wines have upon the soul of man, wrote off immediately
    on his return to his inn the most hospitable of invitations
    to Thomas Chopper, Esquire, begging that gentleman to
    dine with him at the Slaughters' next day.  The note
    reached Mr. Chopper before he left the City, and the
    instant reply was, that "Mr. Chopper presents his
    respectful compliments, and will have the honour and
    pleasure of waiting on Captain D."  The invitation and the
    rough draft of the answer were shown to Mrs. Chopper
    and her daughters on his return to Somers' Town that
    evening, and they talked about military gents and West
    End men with great exultation as the family sate and
    partook of tea.  When the girls had gone to rest, Mr. and
    Mrs. C. discoursed upon the strange events which were
    occurring in the governor's family.  Never had the clerk
    seen his principal so moved.  When he went in to Mr.
    Osborne, after Captain Dobbin's departure, Mr. Chopper
    found his chief black in the face, and all but in a fit:
    some dreadful quarrel, he was certain, had occurred
    between Mr. O. and the young Captain.  Chopper had been
    instructed to make out an account of all sums paid to
    Captain Osborne within the last three years.  "And a
    precious lot of money he has had too," the chief clerk said,
    and respected his old and young master the more, for
    the liberal way in which the guineas had been flung about.
    The dispute was something about Miss Sedley.  Mrs.
    Chopper vowed and declared she pitied that poor young
    lady to lose such a handsome young fellow as the Capting.
    As the daughter of an unlucky speculator, who had paid a
    very shabby dividend, Mr. Chopper had no great regard
    for Miss Sedley.  He respected the house of Osborne
    before all others in the City of London: and his hope and
    wish was that Captain George should marry a nobleman's
    daughter.  The clerk slept a great deal sounder than
    his principal that night; and, cuddling his children after
    breakfast (of which he partook with a very hearty
    appetite, though his modest cup of life was only
    sweetened with brown sugar), he set off in his best Sunday
    suit and frilled shirt for business, promising his admiring
    wife not to punish Captain D.'s port too severely that
    Mr. Osborne's countenance, when he arrived in the
    City at his usual time, struck those dependants who were
    accustomed, for good reasons, to watch its expression,
    as peculiarly ghastly and worn.  At twelve o'clock Mr.
    Higgs (of the firm of Higgs & Blatherwick, solicitors,
    Bedford Row) called by appointment, and was ushered
    into the governor's private room, and closeted there for
    more than an hour.  At about one Mr. Chopper
    received a note brought by Captain Dobbin's man, and
    containing an inclosure for Mr. Osborne, which the clerk
    went in and delivered.  A short time afterwards Mr.
    Chopper and Mr. Birch, the next clerk, were summoned, and
    requested to witness a paper.  "I've been making a new
    will," Mr. Osborne said, to which these gentlemen
    appended their names accordingly.  No conversation
    passed.  Mr. Higgs looked exceedingly grave as he came
    into the outer rooms, and very hard in Mr. Chopper's
    face; but there were not any explanations.  It was
    remarked that Mr. Osborne was particularly quiet and
    gentle all day, to the surprise of those who had augured ill
    from his darkling demeanour.  He called no man names
    that day, and was not heard to swear once.  He left business
    early; and before going away, summoned his chief
    clerk once more, and having given him general instructions,
    asked him, after some seeming hesitation and reluctance
    to speak, if he knew whether Captain Dobbin was in town?
    Chopper said he believed he was.  Indeed both of them
    knew the fact perfectly.
    Osborne took a letter directed to that officer, and
    giving it to the clerk, requested the latter to deliver it
    into Dobbin's own hands immediately.
    "And now, Chopper," says he, taking his hat, and with
    a strange look, "my mind will be easy."  Exactly as the
    clock struck two (there was no doubt an appointment
    between the pair) Mr. Frederick Bullock called, and he
    and Mr. Osborne walked away together.
    The Colonel of the --th regiment, in which Messieurs
    Dobbin and Osborne had companies, was an old General
    who had made his first campaign under Wolfe at Quebec,
    and was long since quite too old and feeble for command;
    but he took some interest in the regiment of which
    he was the nominal head, and made certain of his young
    officers welcome at his table, a kind of hospitality
    which I believe is not now common amongst his
    brethren.  Captain Dobbin was an especial favourite
    of this old General.  Dobbin was versed in the literature
    of his profession, and could talk about the great Frederick,
    and the Empress Queen, and their wars, almost as well
    as the General himself, who was indifferent to the triumphs
    of the present day, and whose heart was with the
    tacticians of fifty years back.  This officer sent a summons
    to Dobbin to come and breakfast with him, on the
    morning when Mr. Osborne altered his will and Mr. Chopper
    put on his best shirt frill, and then informed his young
    favourite, a couple of days in advance, of that which they
    were all expecting--a marching order to go to Belgium.
    The order for the regiment to hold itself in readiness
    would leave the Horse Guards in a day or two; and as
    transports were in plenty, they would get their route
    before the week was over.  Recruits had come in during
    the stay of the regiment at Chatham; and the old General
    hoped that the regiment which had helped to beat
    Montcalm in Canada, and to rout Mr. Washington on
    Long Island, would prove itself worthy of its historical
    reputation on the oft-trodden battle-grounds of the Low
    Countries.  "And so, my good friend, if you have any
    affaire la, said the old General, taking a pinch of snuff
    with his trembling white old hand, and then pointing to
    the spot of his robe de chambre under which his heart
    was still feebly beating, "if you have any Phillis to console,
    or to bid farewell to papa and mamma, or any will
    to make, I recommend you to set about your business
    without delay." With which the General gave his young
    friend a finger to shake, and a good-natured nod of his
    powdered and pigtailed head; and the door being closed
    upon Dobbin, sate down to pen a poulet (he was
    exceedingly vain of his French) to Mademoiselle
    Amenaide of His Majesty's Theatre.
    This news made Dobbin grave, and he thought of our
    friends at Brighton, and then he was ashamed of himself
    that Amelia was always the first thing in his thoughts
    (always before anybody--before father and mother,
    sisters and duty--always at waking and sleeping indeed,
    and all day long); and returning to his hotel, he sent off a
    brief note to Mr. Osborne acquainting him with the
    information which he had received, and which might tend
    farther, he hoped, to bring about a reconciliation with
    This note, despatched by the same messenger who had
    carried the invitation to Chopper on the previous day,
    alarmed the worthy clerk not a little.  It was inclosed to
    him, and as he opened the letter he trembled lest the
    dinner should be put off on which he was calculating.  His
    mind was inexpressibly relieved when he found that the
    envelope was only a reminder for himself.  ("I shall
    expect you at half-past five," Captain Dobbin wrote.) He was
    very much interested about his employer's family; but,
    que voulez-vous? a grand dinner was of more concern to
    him than the affairs of any other mortal.
    Dobbin was quite justified in repeating the General's
    information to any officers of the regiment whom he
    should see in the course of his peregrinations; accordingly
    he imparted it to Ensign Stubble, whom he met at the
    agent's, and who--such was his military ardour--went
    off instantly to purchase a new sword at the
    accoutrement-maker's.  Here this young fellow, who,
    though only seventeen years of age, and about sixty-five
    inches high, with a constitution naturally rickety and
    much impaired by premature brandy and water, had an
    undoubted courage and a lion's heart, poised, tried, bent,
    and balanced a weapon such as he thought would do execution
    amongst Frenchmen.  Shouting "Ha, ha!" and stamping his little
    feet with tremendous energy, he delivered the point twice
    or thrice at Captain Dobbin, who parried the thrust
    laughingly with his bamboo walking-stick.
    Mr. Stubble, as may be supposed from his size and
    slenderness, was of the Light Bobs.  Ensign Spooney, on
    the contrary, was a tall youth, and belonged to (Captain
    Dobbin's) the Grenadier Company, and he tried on a new
    bearskin cap, under which he looked savage beyond his
    years.  Then these two lads went off to the Slaughters', and
    having ordered a famous dinner, sate down and wrote off
    letters to the kind anxious parents at home--letters full of
    love and heartiness, and pluck and bad spelling.  Ah! there
    were many anxious hearts beating through England at
    that time; and mothers' prayers and tears flowing in many
    Seeing young Stubble engaged in composition at one of
    the coffee-room tables at the Slaughters', and the tears
    trickling down his nose on to the paper (for the youngster
    was thinking of his mamma, and that he might never see
    her again), Dobbin, who was going to write off a letter to
    George Osborne, relented, and locked up his desk.  "Why
    should I?" said he.  "Let her have this night happy.  I'll go
    and see my parents early in the morning, and go down to
    Brighton myself to-morrow."
    So he went up and laid his big hand on young Stubble's
    shoulder, and backed up that young champion, and told
    him if he would leave off brandy and water he would
    be a good soldier, as he always was a gentlemanly good-
    hearted fellow.  Young Stubble's eyes brightened up at this,
    for Dobbin was greatly respected in the regiment, as the
    best officer and the cleverest man in it.
    "Thank you, Dobbin," he said, rubbing his eyes with
    his knuckles, "I was just--just telling her I would.  And,
    O Sir, she's so dam kind to me." The water pumps were
    at work again, and I am not sure that the soft-hearted
    Captain's eyes did not also twinkle.
    The two ensigns, the Captain, and Mr. Chopper, dined
    together in the same box.  Chopper brought the letter from
    Mr. Osborne, in which the latter briefly presented his
    compliments to Captain Dobbin, and requested him to
    forward the inclosed to Captain George Osborne.  Chopper
    knew nothing further; he described Mr. Osborne's appearance,
    it is true, and his interview with his lawyer, wondered
    how the governor had sworn at nobody, and--especially
    as the wine circled round--abounded in speculations
    and conjectures.  But these grew more vague with
    every glass, and at length became perfectly unintelligible.
    At a late hour Captain Dobbin put his guest into a hackney
    coach, in a hiccupping state, and swearing that he would
    be the kick--the kick--Captain's friend for ever and ever.
    When Captain Dobbin took leave of Miss Osborne we
    have said that he asked leave to come and pay her
    another visit, and the spinster expected him for some hours
    the next day, when, perhaps, had he come, and had he
    asked her that question which she was prepared to answer,
    she would have declared herself as her brother's
    friend, and a reconciliation might have been effected
    between George and his angry father.  But though she waited
    at home the Captain never came.  He had his own affairs
    to pursue; his own parents to visit and console; and at an
    early hour of the day to take his place on the Lightning
    coach, and go down to his friends at Brighton.  In the
    course of the day Miss Osborne heard her father give
    orders that that meddling scoundrel, Captain Dobbin,
    should never be admitted within his doors again, and any
    hopes in which she may have indulged privately were thus
    abruptly brought to an end.  Mr. Frederick Bullock came,
    and was particularly affectionate to Maria, and attentive
    to the broken-spirited old gentleman.  For though he said
    his mind would be easy, the means which he had taken to
    secure quiet did not seem to have succeeded as yet, and
    the events of the past two days had visibly shattered him.
    In Which All the Principal Personages Think Fit
    to Leave Brighton
    Conducted to the ladies, at the Ship Inn, Dobbin assumed
    a jovial and rattling manner, which proved that this
    young officer was becoming a more consummate hypocrite
    every day of his life.  He was trying to hide his own
    private feelings, first upon seeing Mrs. George Osborne
    in her new condition, and secondly to mask the
    apprehensions he entertained as to the effect which
    the dismal news brought down by him would certainly
    have upon her.
    "It is my opinion, George," he said, "that the French
    Emperor will be upon us, horse and foot, before three
    weeks are over, and will give the Duke such a dance as
    shall make the Peninsula appear mere child's play.  But
    you need not say that to Mrs. Osborne, you know.  There
    mayn't be any fighting on our side after all, and our
    business in Belgium may turn out to be a mere military
    occupation.  Many persons think so; and Brussels is full
    of fine people and ladies of fashion." So it was agreed to
    represent the duty of the British army in Belgium in this
    harmless light to Amelia.
    This plot being arranged, the hypocritical Dobbin saluted
    Mrs. George Osborne quite gaily, tried to pay her
    one or two compliments relative to her new position as a
    bride (which compliments, it must be confessed, were
    exceedingly clumsy and hung fire woefully), and then fell
    to talking about Brighton, and the sea-air, and the gaieties
    of the place, and the beauties of the road and the merits
    of the Lightning coach and horses--all in a manner
    quite incomprehensible to Amelia, and very amusing to
    Rebecca, who was watching the Captain, as indeed she
    watched every one near whom she came.
    Little Amelia, it must be owned, had rather a mean
    opinion of her husband's friend, Captain Dobbin.  He lisped
    --he was very plain and homely-looking: and exceedingly
    awkward and ungainly.  She liked him for his attachment
    to her husband (to be sure there was very little merit in
    that), and she thought George was most generous and
    kind in extending his friendship to his brother officer.
    George had mimicked Dobbin's lisp and queer manners
    many times to her, though to do him justice, he always
    spoke most highly of his friend's good qualities.  In her
    little day of triumph, and not knowing him intimately as
    yet, she made light of honest William--and he knew her
    opinions of him quite well, and acquiesced in them very
    humbly.  A time came when she knew him better, and
    changed her notions regarding him; but that was distant as
    As for Rebecca, Captain Dobbin had not been two hours
    in the ladies' company before she understood his secret
    perfectly.  She did not like him, and feared him privately;
    nor was he very much prepossessed in her favour.  He
    was so honest, that her arts and cajoleries did not affect
    him, and he shrank from her with instinctive repulsion.
    And, as she was by no means so far superior to her sex as
    to be above jealousy, she disliked him the more for his
    adoration of Amelia.  Nevertheless, she was very respectful
    and cordial in her manner towards him.  A friend to
    the Osbornes! a friend to her dearest benefactors!  She
    vowed she should always love him sincerely: she remembered
    him quite well on the Vauxhall night, as she told
    Amelia archly, and she made a little fun of him when the
    two ladies went to dress for dinner.  Rawdon Crawley paid
    scarcely any attention to Dobbin, looking upon him as a
    good-natured nincompoop and under-bred City man.  Jos
    patronised him with much dignity.
    When George and Dobbin were alone in the latter's
    room, to which George had followed him, Dobbin took
    from his desk the letter which he had been charged by
    Mr. Osborne to deliver to his son.  "It's not in my father's
    handwriting," said George, looking rather alarmed; nor
    was it: the letter was from Mr. Osborne's lawyer, and to
    the following effect:
    Bedford Row, May 7, 1815.
    I am commissioned by Mr. Osborne to inform you,
    that he abides by the determination which he before
    expressed to you, and that in consequence of the marriage
    which you have been pleased to contract, he ceases to
    consider you henceforth as a member of his family.
    This determination is final and irrevocable.
    Although the monies expended upon you in your
    minority, and the bills which you have drawn upon
    him so unsparingly of late years, far exceed in amount
    the sum to which you are entitled in your own right
    (being the third part of the fortune of your mother,
    the late Mrs. Osborne and which reverted to you at her
    decease, and to Miss Jane Osborne and Miss Maria
    Frances Osborne); yet I am instructed by Mr. Osborne
    to say, that he waives all claim upon your estate, and
    that the sum of 2,0001., 4 per cent. annuities, at the
    value of the day (being your one-third share of the sum
    of 6,0001.), shall be paid over to yourself or your agents
    upon your receipt for the same, by
    Your obedient Servt.,
    S. HIGGS.
    P.S.--Mr. Osborne desires me to say, once for all,
    that he declines to receive any messages, letters, or
    communications from you on this or any other subject.
    "A pretty way you have managed the affair," said
    George, looking savagely at William Dobbin.  "Look there,
    Dobbin," and he flung over to the latter his parent's letter.
    "A beggar, by Jove, and all in consequence of my d--d
    sentimentality.  Why couldn't we have waited?  A ball might
    have done for me in the course of the war, and may still,
    and how will Emmy be bettered by being left a beggar's
    widow?  It was all your doing.  You were never easy until
    you had got me married and ruined.  What the deuce am
    I to do with two thousand pounds?  Such a sum won't
    last two years.  I've lost a hundred and forty to Crawley at
    cards and billiards since I've been down here.  A pretty
    manager of a man's matters YOU are, forsooth."
    "There's no denying that the position is a hard one,"
    Dobbin replied, after reading over the letter with a blank
    countenance; "and as you say, it is partly of my making.
    There are some men who wouldn't mind changing with
    you," he added, with a bitter smile.  "How many captains
    in the regiment have two thousand pounds to the fore,
    think you?  You must live on your pay till your father
    relents, and if you die, you leave your wife a hundred a
    "Do you suppose a man of my habits call live on his
    pay and a hundred a year?" George cried out in great
    anger.  "You must be a fool to talk so, Dobbin.  How the
    deuce am I to keep up my position in the world upon
    such a pitiful pittance?  I can't change my habits.  I must
    have my comforts.  I wasn't brought up on porridge, like
    MacWhirter, or on potatoes, like old O'Dowd.  Do you
    expect my wife to take in soldiers' washing, or ride after
    the regiment in a baggage waggon?"
    "Well, well," said Dobbin, still good-naturedly, "we'll
    get her a better conveyance.  But try and remember that
    you are only a dethroned prince now, George, my boy;
    and be quiet whilst the tempest lasts.  It won't be for
    long.  Let your name be mentioned in the Gazette, and
    I'll engage the old father relents towards you:"
    "Mentioned in the Gazette!" George answered.  "And in
    what part of it?  Among the killed and wounded returns,
    and at the top of the list, very likely."
    "Psha!  It will be time enough to cry out when we are
    hurt," Dobbin said.  "And if anything happens, you know,
    George, I have got a little, and I am not a marrying
    man, and I shall not forget my godson in my will," he
    added, with a smile.  Whereupon the dispute ended--as
    many scores of  such conversations between Osborne
    and his friend had concluded previously--by the former
    declaring there was no possibility of being angry with
    Dobbin long, and forgiving him very generously after
    abusing him without cause.
    "I say, Becky," cried Rawdon Crawley out of his
    dressing-room, to his lady, who was attiring herself for
    dinner in her own chamber.
    "What?" said Becky's shrill voice.  She was looking
    over her shoulder in the glass.  She had put on the neatest
    and freshest white frock imaginable, and with bare
    shoulders and a little necklace, and a light blue sash, she
    looked the image of youthful innocence and girlish
    "I say, what'll Mrs. O. do, when 0. goes out with the
    regiment?" Crawley said coming into the room, performing
    a duet on his head with two huge hair-brushes, and
    looking out from under his hair with admiration on his
    pretty little wife.
    "I suppose she'll cry her eyes out," Becky answered.
    "She has been whimpering half a dozen times, at the
    very notion of it, already to me."
    "YOU don't care, I suppose?" Rawdon said, half angry
    at his wife's want of feeling.
    "You wretch! don't you know that I intend to go with
    you," Becky replied.  "Besides, you're different.  You go
    as General Tufto's aide-de-camp.  We don't belong to the
    line," Mrs. Crawley said, throwing up her head with an
    air that so enchanted her husband that he stooped down
    and kissed it.
    "Rawdon dear--don't you think--you'd better get that
    --money from Cupid, before he goes?" Becky continued,
    fixing on a killing bow.  She called George Osborne,
    Cupid.  She had flattered him about his good looks a
    score of times already.  She watched over him kindly at
    ecarte of a night when he would drop in to Rawdon's
    quarters for a half-hour before bed-time.
    She had often called him a horrid dissipated wretch,
    and threatened to tell Emmy of his wicked ways and
    naughty extravagant habits.  She brought his cigar and
    lighted it for him; she knew the effect of that manoeuvre,
    having practised it in former days upon Rawdon Crawley.
    He thought her gay, brisk, arch, distinguee, delightful.
    In their little drives and dinners, Becky, of course,
    quite outshone poor Emmy, who remained very mute
    and timid while Mrs. Crawley and her husband rattled
    away together, and Captain Crawley (and Jos after he
    joined the young married people) gobbled in silence.
    Emmy's mind somehow misgave her about her friend.
    Rebecca's wit, spirits, and accomplishments troubled her
    with a rueful disquiet.  They were only a week married,
    and here was George already suffering ennui, and eager
    for others' society!  She trembled for the future.  How
    shall I be a companion for him, she thought--so clever
    and so brilliant, and I such a humble foolish creature?
    How noble it was of him to marry me--to give up everything
    and stoop down to me!  I ought to have refused
    him, only I had not the heart.  I ought to have stopped at
    home and taken care of poor Papa.  And her neglect of
    her parents (and indeed there was some foundation for
    this charge which the poor child's uneasy conscience
    brought against her) was now remembered for the first
    time, and caused her to blush with humiliation.  Oh!
    thought she, I have been very wicked and selfish--selfish
    in forgetting them in their sorrows--selfish in forcing
    George to marry me.  I know I'm not worthy of him--I
    know he would have been happy without me--and yet--
    I tried, I tried to give him up.
    It is hard when, before seven days of marriage are
    over, such thoughts and confessions as these force
    themselves on a little bride's mind.  But so it was, and the
    night before Dobbin came to join these young people--
    on a fine brilliant moonlight night of May--so warm
    and balmy that the windows were flung open to the balcony,
    from which George and Mrs. Crawley were gazing upon
    the calm ocean spread shining before them,
    while Rawdon and Jos were engaged at backgammon
    within--Amelia couched in a great chair quite neglected, and
    watching both these parties, felt a despair and remorse
    such as were bitter companions for that tender lonely
    soul.  Scarce a week was past, and it was come to this!
    The future, had she regarded it, offered a dismal prospect;
    but Emmy was too shy, so to speak, to look to that,
    and embark alone on that wide sea, and unfit to navigate
    it without a guide and protector.  I know Miss Smith has
    a mean opinion of her.  But how many, my dear Madam,
    are endowed with your prodigious strength of mind?
    "Gad, what a fine night, and how bright the moon is!"
    George said, with a puff of his cigar, which went soaring
    up skywards.
    "How delicious they smell in the open air!  I adore
    them.  Who'd think the moon was two hundred and thirty-
    six thousand eight hundred and forty-seven miles off?"
    Becky added, gazing at that orb with a smile.  "Isn't it
    clever of me to remember that?  Pooh!  we learned it all
    at Miss Pinkerton's!  How calm the sea is, and how clear
    everything.  I declare I can almost see the coast of
    France!" and her bright green eyes streamed out, and
    shot into the night as if they could see through it.
    "Do you know what I intend to do one morning?" she
    said; "I find I can swim beautifully, and some day, when
    my Aunt Crawley's companion--old Briggs, you know
    --you remember her--that hook-nosed woman, with the
    long wisps of hair--when Briggs goes out to bathe, I
    intend to dive under her awning, and insist on a
    reconciliation in the water.  Isn't that a stratagem?"
    George burst out laughing at the idea of this aquatic
    meeting.  "What's the row there, you two?" Rawdon
    shouted out, rattling the box.  Amelia was making a fool
    of herself in an absurd hysterical manner, and retired
    to her own room to whimper in private.
    Our history is destined in this chapter to go backwards
    and forwards in a very irresolute manner seemingly, and
    having conducted our story to to-morrow presently, we
    shall immediately again have occasion to step back to
    yesterday, so that the whole of the tale may get a hearing.
    As you behold at her Majesty's drawing-room, the
    ambassadors' and high dignitaries' carriages whisk off
    from a private door, while Captain Jones's ladies are waiting
    for their fly: as you see in the Secretary of the Treasury's
    antechamber, a half-dozen of petitioners waiting
    patiently for their audience, and called out one by one,
    when suddenly an Irish member or some eminent personage
    enters the apartment, and instantly walks into Mr.
    Under-Secretary over the heads of all the people present:
    so in the conduct of a tale, the romancer is obliged to
    exercise this most partial sort of justice.  Although all the
    little incidents must be heard, yet they must be put off
    when the great events make their appearance; and surely
    such a circumstance as that which brought Dobbin to
    Brighton, viz., the ordering out of the Guards and the line
    to Belgium, and the mustering of the allied armies in that
    country under the command of his Grace the Duke of
    Wellington--such a dignified circumstance as that, I say,
    was entitled to the pas over all minor occurrences whereof
    this history is composed mainly, and hence a little
    trifling disarrangement and disorder was excusable and
    becoming.  We have only now advanced in time so far
    beyond Chapter XXII as to have got our various characters
    up into their dressing-rooms before the dinner,
    which took place as usual on the day of Dobbin's arrival.
    George was too humane or too much occupied with the
    tie of his neckcloth to convey at once all the news to
    Amelia which his comrade had brought with him from
    London.  He came into her room, however, holding the
    attorney's letter in his hand, and with so solemn and
    important an air that his wife, always ingeniously on
    the watch for calamity, thought the worst was about to
    befall, and running up to her husband, besought her
    dearest George to tell her everything--he was ordered
    abroad; there would be a battle next week--she knew
    there would.
    Dearest George parried the question about foreign
    service, and with a melancholy shake of the head said,
    "No, Emmy; it isn't that:  it's not myself I care about:
    it's you.  I have had bad news from my father.  He refuses
    any communication with me; he has flung us off; and
    leaves us to poverty.  I can rough it well enough; but
    you, my dear, how will you bear it? read here." And he
    handed her over the letter.
    Amelia, with a look of tender alarm in her eyes,
    listened to her noble hero as he uttered the above generous
    sentiments, and sitting down on the bed, read the letter
    which George gave her with such a pompous martyr-like
    air.  Her face cleared up as she read the document, however.
    The idea of sharing poverty and privation in company
    with the beloved object is, as we have before said,
    far from being disagreeable to a warm-hearted woman.
    The notion was actually pleasant to little Amelia.  Then,
    as usual, she was ashamed of herself for feeling happy at
    such an indecorous moment, and checked her pleasure,
    saying demurely, "O, George, how your poor heart must
    bleed at the idea of being separated from your papa!"
    "It does," said George, with an agonised countenance.
    "But he can't be angry with you long," she continued.
    "Nobody could, I'm sure.  He must forgive you, my
    dearest, kindest husband.  O, I shall never forgive myself
    if he does not."
    "What vexes me, my poor Emmy, is not my misfortune,
    but yours," George said.  "I don't care for a little
    poverty; and I think, without vanity, I've talents enough
    to make my own way."
    "That you have," interposed his wife, who thought that
    war should cease, and her husband should be made a
    general instantly.
    "Yes, I shall make my way as well as another," Osborne
    went on; "but you, my dear girl, how can I bear
    your being deprived of the comforts and station in
    society which my wife had a right to expect?  My dearest
    girl in barracks; the wife of a soldier in a marching
    regiment; subject to all sorts of annoyance and privation!
    It makes me miserable."
    Emmy, quite at ease, as this was her husband's only
    cause of disquiet, took his hand, and with a radiant face
    and smile began to warble that stanza from the favourite
    song of "Wapping Old Stairs," in which the heroine, after
    rebuking her Tom for inattention, promises "his trousers
    to mend, and his grog too to make," if he will be constant
    and kind, and not forsake her.  "Besides," she said,
    after a pause, during which she looked as pretty and
    happy as any young woman need, "isn't two thousand
    pounds an immense deal of money, George?"
    George laughed at her naivete; and finally they went
    down to dinner, Amelia clinging to George's arm, still
    warbling the tune of "Wapping Old Stairs," and more
    pleased and light of mind than she had been for some
    days past.
    Thus the repast, which at length came off, instead of
    being dismal, was an exceedingly brisk and merry one.
    The excitement of the campaign counteracted in George's
    mind the depression occasioned by the disinheriting letter.
    Dobbin still kept up his character of rattle.  He amused
    the company with accounts of the army in Belgium;
    where nothing but fetes and gaiety and fashion were
    going on.  Then, having a particular end in view, this
    dexterous captain proceeded to describe Mrs. Major
    O'Dowd packing her own and her Major's wardrobe, and
    how his best epaulets had been stowed into a tea canister,
    whilst her own famous yellow turban, with the bird of
    paradise wrapped in brown paper, was locked up in the
    Major's tin cocked-hat case, and wondered what effect
    it would have at the French king's court at Ghent, or the
    great military balls at Brussels.
    "Ghent! Brussels!" cried out Amelia with a sudden
    shock and start.  "Is the regiment ordered away, George
    --is it ordered away?" A look of terror came over the
    sweet smiling face, and she clung to George as by an
    "Don't be afraid, dear," he said good-naturedly; "it
    is but a twelve hours' passage.  It won't hurt you.  You
    shall go, too, Emmy."
    "I intend to go," said Becky.  "I'm on the staff.  General
    Tufto is a great flirt of mine.  Isn't he, Rawdon?"
    Rawdon laughed out with his usual roar.  William
    Dobbin flushed up quite red.  "She can't go," he said; "think
    of the--of the danger," he was going to add; but had
    not all his conversation during dinner-time tended to
    prove there was none?  He became very confused and
    "I must and will go," Amelia cried with the greatest
    spirit; and George, applauding her resolution, patted her
    under the chin, and asked all the persons present if
    they ever saw such a termagant of a wife, and agreed
    that the lady should bear him company.  "We'll have
    Mrs. O'Dowd to chaperon you," he said.  What cared she
    so long as her husband was near her?  Thus somehow
    the bitterness of a parting was juggled away.  Though war
    and danger were in store, war and danger might not
    befall for months to come.  There was a respite at any rate,
    which made the timid little Amelia almost as happy as
    a full reprieve would have done, and which even Dobbin
    owned in his heart was very welcome.  For, to be permitted
    to see her was now the greatest privilege and hope
    of his life, and he thought with himself secretly how he
    would watch and protect her.  I wouldn't have let her go
    if I had been married to her, he thought.  But George was
    the master, and his friend did not think fit to remonstrate.
    Putting her arm round her friend's waist, Rebecca at
    length carried Amelia off from the dinner-table where so
    much business of importance had been discussed, and
    left the gentlemen in a highly exhilarated state, drinking
    and talking very gaily.
    In the course of the evening Rawdon got a little family-
    note from his wife, which, although he crumpled it up
    and burnt it instantly in the candle, we had the good
    luck to read over Rebecca's shoulder.  "Great news," she
    wrote.  "Mrs. Bute is gone.  Get the money from Cupid tonight,
    as he'll be off to-morrow most likely.  Mind this.
    --R." So when the little company was about adjourning
    to coffee in the women's apartment, Rawdon touched
    Osborne on the elbow, and said gracefully, "I say, Osborne,
    my boy, if quite convenient, I'll trouble you for
    that 'ere small trifle." It was not quite convenient, but
    nevertheless George gave him a considerable present
    instalment in bank-notes from his pocket-book, and a bill
    on his agents at a week's date, for the remaining sum.
    This matter arranged, George, and Jos, and Dobbin,
    held a council of war over their cigars, and agreed that a
    general move should be made for London in Jos's open
    carriage the next day.  Jos, I think, would have preferred
    staying until Rawdon Crawley quitted Brighton, but Dobbin
    and George overruled him, and he agreed to carry
    the party to town, and ordered four horses, as became his
    dignity.  With these they set off in state, after breakfast,
    the next day.  Amelia had risen very early in the morning,
    and packed her little trunks with the greatest alacrity,
    while Osborne lay in bed deploring that she had not a
    maid to help her.  She was only too glad, however, to
    perform this office for herself.  A dim uneasy sentiment
    about Rebecca filled her mind already; and although they
    kissed each other most tenderly at parting, yet we know
    what jealousy is; and Mrs. Amelia possessed that among
    other virtues of her sex.
    Besides these characters who are coming and going
    away, we must remember that there were some other old
    friends of ours at Brighton; Miss Crawley, namely, and
    the suite in attendance upon her.  Now, although Rebecca
    and her husband were but at a few stones' throw of the
    lodgings which the invalid Miss Crawley occupied, the
    old lady's door remained as pitilessly closed to them as it
    had been heretofore in London.  As long as she remained
    by the side of her sister-in-law, Mrs. Bute Crawley took
    care that her beloved Matilda should not be agitated by a
    meeting with her nephew.  When the spinster took her
    drive, the faithful Mrs. Bute sate beside her in the carriage.
    When Miss Crawley took the air in a chair, Mrs.
    Bute marched on one side of the vehicle, whilst honest
    Briggs occupied the other wing.  And if they met Rawdon
    and his wife by chance--although the former constantly
    and obsequiously took off his hat, the Miss-Crawley party
    passed him by with such a frigid and killing indifference,
    that Rawdon began to despair.
    "We might as well be in London as here," Captain
    Rawdon often said, with a downcast air.
    "A comfortable inn in Brighton is better than a
    spunging-house in Chancery Lane," his wife answered, who was
    of a more cheerful temperament.  "Think of those two
    aides-de-camp of Mr. Moses, the sheriff's-officer, who
    watched our lodging for a week.  Our friends here are
    very stupid, but Mr. Jos and Captain Cupid are better
    companions than Mr. Moses's men, Rawdon, my love."
    "I wonder the writs haven't followed me down here,"
    Rawdon continued, still desponding.
    "When they do, we'll find means to give them the slip,"
    said dauntless little Becky, and further pointed out to her
    husband the great comfort and advantage of meeting
    Jos and Osborne, whose acquaintance had brought to
    Rawdon Crawley a most timely little supply of ready
    "It will hardly be enough to pay the inn bill," grumbled
    the Guardsman.
    "Why need we pay it?" said the lady, who had an answer
    for everything.
    Through Rawdon's valet, who still kept up a trifling
    acquaintance with the male inhabitants of Miss Crawley's
    servants' hall, and was instructed to treat the coachman
    to drink whenever they met, old Miss Crawley's movements
    were pretty well known by our young couple; and
    Rebecca luckily bethought herself of being unwell, and of
    calling in the same apothecary who was in attendance
    upon the spinster, so that their information was on the
    whole tolerably complete.  Nor was Miss Briggs, although
    forced to adopt a hostile attitude, secretly inimical to
    Rawdon and his wife.  She was naturally of a kindly and
    forgiving disposition.  Now that the cause of jealousy was
    removed, her dislike for Rebecca disappeared also, and
    she remembered the latter's invariable good words
    and good humour.  And, indeed, she and Mrs.
    Firkin, the lady's-maid, and the whole of Miss Crawley's
    household, groaned under the tyranny of the
    triumphant Mrs. Bute.
    As often will be the case, that good but imperious
    woman pushed her advantages too far, and her successes
    quite unmercifully.  She had in the course of a few weeks
    brought the invalid to such a state of helpless docility,
    that the poor soul yielded herself entirely to her sister's
    orders, and did not even dare to complain of her slavery
    to Briggs or Firkin.  Mrs. Bute measured out the glasses
    of wine which Miss Crawley was daily allowed to take,
    with irresistible accuracy, greatly to the annoyance of
    Firkin and the butler, who found themselves deprived of
    control over even the sherry-bottle.  She apportioned the
    sweetbreads, jellies, chickens; their quantity and order.
    Night and noon and morning she brought the abominable
    drinks ordained by the Doctor, and made her patient
    swallow them with so affecting an obedience that Firkin
    said "my poor Missus du take her physic like a lamb." She
    prescribed the drive in the carriage or the ride in the
    chair, and, in a word, ground down the old lady in her
    convalescence in such a way as only belongs to your
    proper-managing, motherly moral woman.  If ever the
    patient faintly resisted, and pleaded for a little bit more
    dinner or a little drop less medicine, the nurse threatened
    her with instantaneous death, when Miss Crawley
    instantly gave in.  "She's no spirit left in her," Firkin
    remarked to Briggs; "she ain't ave called me a fool these
    three weeks." Finally, Mrs. Bute had made up her mind
    to dismiss the aforesaid honest lady's-maid, Mr. Bowls
    the large confidential man, and Briggs herself, and to
    send for her daughters from the Rectory, previous to
    removing the dear invalid bodily to Queen's Crawley, when
    an odious accident happened which called her away from
    duties so pleasing.  The Reverend Bute Crawley, her
    husband, riding home one night, fell with his horse and
    broke his collar-bone.  Fever and inflammatory symptoms
    set in, and Mrs. Bute was forced to leave Sussex for
    Hampshire.  As soon as ever Bute was restored, she
    promised to return to her dearest friend, and departed,
    leaving the strongest injunctions with the household
    regarding their behaviour to their mistress; and as soon as
    she got into the Southampton coach, there was such a
    jubilee and sense of relief in all Miss Crawley's house,
    as the company of persons assembled there had not
    experienced for many a week before.  That very day Miss
    Crawley left off her afternoon dose of medicine:  that
    afternoon Bowls opened an independent bottle of sherry
    for himself and Mrs. Firkin:  that night Miss Crawley
    and Miss Briggs indulged in a game of piquet instead
    of one of Porteus's sermons.  It was as in the old nursery-
    story, when the stick forgot to beat the dog, and the
    whole course of events underwent a peaceful and happy
    At a very early hour in the morning, twice or thrice a
    week, Miss Briggs used to betake herself to a bathing-
    machine, and disport in the water in a flannel gown and
    an oilskin cap.  Rebecca, as we have seen, was aware of
    this circumstance, and though she did not attempt to
    storm Briggs as she had threatened, and actually dive
    into that lady's presence and surprise her under the
    sacredness of the awning, Mrs. Rawdon determined to
    attack Briggs as she came away from her bath, refreshed
    and invigorated by her dip, and likely to be in good
    So getting up very early the next morning, Becky
    brought the telescope in their sitting-room, which faced
    the sea, to bear upon the bathing-machines on the beach;
    saw Briggs arrive, enter her box; and put out to sea;
    and was on the shore just as the nymph of whom she
    came in quest stepped out of the little caravan on to the
    shingles.  It was a pretty picture:  the beach; the bathing-
    women's faces; the long line of rocks and building were
    blushing and bright in the sunshine.  Rebecca wore a kind,
    tender smile on her face, and was holding out her pretty
    white hand as Briggs emerged from the box.  What could
    Briggs do but accept the salutation?
    "Miss Sh--Mrs. Crawley," she said.
    Mrs. Crawley seized her hand, pressed it to her heart,
    and with a sudden impulse, flinging her arms round
    Briggs, kissed her affectionately.  "Dear, dear friend!" she
    said, with a touch of such natural feeling, that Miss
    Briggs of course at once began to melt, and even the
    bathing-woman was mollified.
    Rebecca found no difficulty in engaging Briggs in a long,
    intimate, and delightful conversation.  Everything that had
    passed since the morning of Becky's sudden departure
    from Miss Crawley's house in Park Lane up to the present
    day, and Mrs. Bute's happy retreat, was discussed and
    described by Briggs.  All Miss Crawley's symptoms, and
    the particulars of her illness and medical treatment, were
    narrated by the confidante with that fulness and
    accuracy which women delight in.  About their complaints
    and their doctors do ladies ever tire of talking to each
    other?  Briggs did not on this occasion; nor did Rebecca
    weary of listening.  She was thankful, truly thankful, that
    the dear kind Briggs, that the faithful, the invaluable
    Firkin, had been permitted to remain with their benefactress
    through her illness.  Heaven bless her! though she,
    Rebecca, had seemed to act undutifully towards Miss
    Crawley; yet was not her fault a natural and excusable one?
    Could she help giving her hand to the man who had won
    her heart?  Briggs, the sentimental, could only turn up
    her eyes to heaven at this appeal, and heave a
    sympathetic sigh, and think that she, too, had given
    away her affections long years ago, and own that Rebecca
    was no very great criminal.
    "Can I ever forget her who so befriended the friendless
    orphan?  No, though she has cast me off," the latter
    said, "I shall never cease to love her, and I would devote
    my life to her service.  As my own benefactress, as my
    beloved Rawdon's adored relative, I love and admire Miss
    Crawley, dear Miss Briggs, beyond any woman in the
    world, and next to her I love all those who are faithful
    to her.  I would never have treated Miss Crawley's
    faithful friends as that odious designing Mrs. Bute has
    done.  Rawdon, who was all heart," Rebecca continued,
    "although his outward manners might seem rough and
    careless, had said a hundred times, with tears in his eyes,
    that he blessed Heaven for sending his dearest Aunty two
    such admirable nurses as her attached Firkin and her
    admirable Miss Briggs.  Should the machinations of the
    horrible Mrs. Bute end, as she too much feared they would,
    in banishing everybody that Miss Crawley loved from her
    side, and leaving that poor lady a victim to those harpies
    at the Rectory, Rebecca besought her (Miss Briggs) to
    remember that her own home, humble as it was, was
    always open to receive Briggs.  Dear friend," she
    exclaimed, in a transport of enthusiasm, "some hearts
    can never forget benefits; all women are not Bute
    Crawleys!  Though why should I complain of her," Rebecca
    added; "though I have been her tool and the victim to her
    arts, do I not owe my dearest Rawdon to her?"  And
    Rebecca unfolded to Briggs all Mrs. Bute's conduct at
    Queen's Crawley, which, though unintelligible to her then,
    was clearly enough explained by the events now--now
    that the attachment had sprung up which Mrs. Bute had
    encouraged by a thousand artifices--now that two
    innocent people had fallen into the snares which she had
    laid for them, and loved and married and been ruined
    through her schemes.
    It was all very true.  Briggs saw the stratagems as
    clearly as possible.  Mrs. Bute had made the match
    between Rawdon and Rebecca.  Yet, though the latter was a
    perfectly innocent victim, Miss Briggs could not disguise
    from her friend her fear that Miss Crawley's affections
    were hopelessly estranged from Rebecca, and that the old
    lady would never forgive her nephew for making so
    imprudent a marriage.
    On this point Rebecca had her own opinion, and
    still kept up a good heart.  If Miss Crawley did not
    forgive them at present, she might at least relent on a
    future day.  Even now, there was only that puling, sickly
    Pitt Crawley between Rawdon and a baronetcy; and should
    anything happen to the former, all would be well.  At all
    events, to have Mrs. Bute's designs exposed, and herself
    well abused, was a satisfaction, and might be advantageous
    to Rawdon's interest; and Rebecca, after an hour's
    chat with her recovered friend, left her with the most
    tender demonstrations of regard, and quite assured that
    the conversation they had had together would be
    reported to Miss Crawley before many hours were over.
    This interview ended, it became full time for Rebecca
    to return to her inn, where all the party of the previous
    day were assembled at a farewell breakfast.  Rebecca took
    such a tender leave of Amelia as became two women who
    loved each other as sisters; and having used her handkerchief
    plentifully, and hung on her friend's neck as if they
    were parting for ever, and waved the handkerchief
    (which was quite dry, by the way) out of window, as the
    carriage drove off, she came back to the breakfast table,
    and ate some prawns with a good deal of appetite,
    considering her emotion; and while she was munching these
    delicacies, explained to Rawdon what had occurred in her
    morning walk between herself and Briggs.  Her hopes
    were very high:  she made her husband share them.  She
    generally succeeded in making her husband share all her
    opinions, whether melancholy or cheerful.
    "You will now, if you please, my dear, sit down at the
    writing-table and pen me a pretty little letter to Miss
    Crawley, in which you'll say that you are a good boy,
    and that sort of thing."  So Rawdon sate down, and wrote
    off, "Brighton, Thursday," and "My dear Aunt," with
    great rapidity: but there the gallant officer's imagination
    failed him.  He mumbled the end of his pen, and looked
    up in his wife's face.  She could not help laughing at his
    rueful countenance, and marching up and down the room
    with her hands behind her, the little woman began to
    dictate a letter, which he took down.
    "Before quitting the country and commencing a campaign,
    which very possibly may be fatal."
    "What?" said Rawdon, rather surprised, but took the
    humour of the phrase, and presently wrote it down with
    a grin.
    "Which very possibly may be fatal, I have come
    "Why not say come here, Becky?  Come here's grammar,"
    the dragoon interposed.
    "I have come hither," Rebecca insisted, with a stamp
    of her foot, "to say farewell to my dearest and earliest
    friend.  I beseech you before I go, not perhaps to
    return, once more to let me press the hand from which
    I have received nothing but kindnesses all my life."
    "Kindnesses all my life," echoed Rawdon, scratching
    down the words, and quite amazed at his own facility of
    "I ask nothing from you but that we should part not in
    anger.  I have the pride of my family on some points,
    though not on all.  I married a painter's daughter, and am
    not ashamed of the union."
    "No, run me through the body if I am!" Rawdon ejaculated.
    "You old booby," Rebecca said, pinching his ear and
    looking over to see that he made no mistakes in spelling
    --"beseech is not spelt with an a, and earliest is."  So he
    altered these words, bowing to the superior knowledge of
    his little Missis.
    "I thought that you were aware of the progress of my
    attachment," Rebecca continued:  "I knew that Mrs. Bute
    Crawley confirmed and encouraged it.  But I make no
    reproaches.  I married a poor woman, and am content to
    abide by what I have done.  Leave your property, dear
    Aunt, as you will.  I shall never complain of the way in
    which you dispose of it.  I would have you believe that I
    love you for yourself, and not for money's sake.  I want to
    be reconciled to you ere I leave England.  Let me, let
    me see you before I go.  A few weeks or months hence it
    may be too late, and I cannot bear the notion of quitting
    the country without a kind word of farewell from you."
    "She won't recognise my style in that," said Becky.  "I
    made the sentences short and brisk on purpose." And
    this authentic missive was despatched under cover to Miss
    Old Miss Crawley laughed when Briggs, with great
    mystery, handed her over this candid and simple
    statement.  "We may read it now Mrs. Bute is away,"
    she said.  "Read it to me, Briggs."
    When Briggs had read the epistle out, her patroness
    laughed more.  "Don't you see, you goose," she said to
    Briggs, who professed to be much touched by the honest
    affection which pervaded the composition, "don't you
    see that Rawdon never wrote a word of it.  He never
    wrote to me without asking for money in his life, and all
    his letters are full of bad spelling, and dashes, and bad
    grammar.  It is that little serpent of a governess who rules
    him." They are all alike, Miss Crawley thought in her
    heart.  They all want me dead, and are hankering for my
    "I don't mind seeing Rawdon," she added, after a
    pause, and in a tone of perfect indifference.  "I had just
    as soon shake hands with him as not.  Provided there is
    no scene, why shouldn't we meet?  I don't mind.  But
    human patience has its limits; and mind, my dear, I
    respectfully decline to receive Mrs. Rawdon--I can't
    support that quite"--and Miss Briggs was fain to be content
    with this half-message of conciliation; and thought that
    the best method of bringing the old lady and her nephew
    together, was to warn Rawdon to be in waiting on the
    Cliff, when Miss Crawley went out for her air in her
    There they met.  I don't know whether Miss Crawley
    had any private feeling of regard or emotion upon seeing
    her old favourite; but she held out a couple of fingers
    to him with as smiling and good-humoured an air, as if
    they had met only the day before.  And as for Rawdon,
    he turned as red as scarlet, and wrung off Briggs's hand,
    so great was his rapture and his confusion at the meeting.
    Perhaps it was interest that moved him:  or perhaps
    affection:  perhaps he was touched by the change which
    the illness of the last weeks had wrought in his aunt.
    "The old girl has always acted like a trump to me," he
    said to his wife, as he narrated the interview, "and I felt,
    you know, rather queer, and that sort of thing.  I walked
    by the side of the what-dy'e-call-'em, you know, and to
    her own door, where Bowls came to help her in.  And I
    wanted to go in very much, only--"
    "YOU DIDN'T GO IN, Rawdon!" screamed his wife.
    "No, my dear; I'm hanged if I wasn't afraid when it
    came to the point."
    "You fool! you ought to have gone in, and never come
    out again," Rebecca said.
    "Don't call me names," said the big Guardsman, sulkily.
    "Perhaps I WAS a fool, Becky, but you shouldn't say
    so"; and he gave his wife a look, such as his countenance
    could wear when angered, and such as was not pleasant
    to face.
    "Well, dearest, to-morrow you must be on the look-out,
    and go and see her, mind, whether she asks you or no,"
    Rebecca said, trying to soothe her angry yoke-mate.  On
    which he replied, that he would do exactly as he liked,
    and would just thank her to keep a civil tongue in her
    head--and the wounded husband went away, and passed
    the forenoon at the billiard-room, sulky, silent, and
    But before the night was over he was compelled to
    give in, and own, as usual, to his wife's superior prudence
    and foresight, by the most melancholy confirmation of the
    presentiments which she had regarding the consequences
    of the mistake which he had made.  Miss Crawley must
    have had some emotion upon seeing him and shaking
    hands with him after so long a rupture.  She mused upon
    the meeting a considerable time.  "Rawdon is getting very
    fat and old, Briggs," she said to her companion.  "His
    nose has become red, and he is exceedingly coarse in
    appearance.  His marriage to that woman has hopelessly
    vulgarised him.  Mrs. Bute always said they drank together;
    and I have no doubt they do.  Yes:  he smelt of gin
    abominably.  I remarked it.  Didn't you?"
    In vain Briggs interposed that Mrs. Bute spoke ill of
    everybody: and, as far as a person in her humble position
    could judge, was an--
    "An artful designing woman?  Yes, so she is, and she
    does speak ill of every one--but I am certain that woman
    has made Rawdon drink.  All those low people do--"
    "He was very much affected at seeing you, ma'am," the
    companion said; "and I am sure, when you remember that
    he is going to the field of danger--"
    "How much money has he promised you, Briggs?" the
    old spinster cried out, working herself into a nervous
    rage--"there now, of course you begin to cry.  I hate
    scenes.  Why am I always to be worried?  Go and cry up in
    your own room, and send Firkin to me-- no, stop, sit
    down and blow your nose, and leave off crying, and write
    a letter to Captain Crawley." Poor Briggs went and
    placed herself obediently at the writing-book.  Its leaves
    were blotted all over with relics of the firm, strong, rapid
    handwriting of the spinster's late amanuensis, Mrs. Bute
    "Begin 'My dear sir,' or 'Dear sir,' that will be better,
    and say you are desired by Miss Crawley--no, by Miss
    Crawley's medical man, by Mr. Creamer, to state that
    my health is such that all strong emotions would be
    dangerous in my present delicate condition--and that I must
    decline any family discussions or interviews whatever.
    And thank him for coming to Brighton, and so forth, and
    beg him not to stay any longer on my account.  And, Miss
    Briggs, you may add that I wish him a bon voyage, and
    that if he will take the trouble to call upon my lawyer's
    in Gray's Inn Square, he will find there a communication
    for him.  Yes, that will do; and that will make him leave
    Brighton." The benevolent Briggs penned this sentence
    with the utmost satisfaction.
    "To seize upon me the very day after Mrs. Bute was
    gone," the old lady prattled on; "it was too indecent.
    Briggs, my dear, write to Mrs. Crawley, and say SHE
    needn't come back.  No--she needn't--and she shan't--
    and I won't be a slave in my own house--and I won't be
    starved and choked with poison.  They all want to kill me
    --all--all"--and with this the lonely old woman burst
    into a scream of hysterical tears.
    The last scene of her dismal Vanity Fair comedy was
    fast approaching; the tawdry lamps were going out one
    by one; and the dark curtain was almost ready to
    That final paragraph, which referred Rawdon to Miss
    Crawley's solicitor in London, and which Briggs had
    written so good-naturedly, consoled the dragoon and his
    wife somewhat, after their first blank disappointment, on
    reading the spinster's refusal of a reconciliation.  And it
    effected the purpose for which the old lady had caused it
    to be written, by making Rawdon very eager to get to
    Out of Jos's losings and George Osborne's bank-notes,
    he paid his bill at the inn, the landlord whereof does not
    probably know to this day how doubtfully his account
    once stood.  For, as a general sends his baggage to the
    rear before an action, Rebecca had wisely packed up all
    their chief valuables and sent them off under care of
    George's servant, who went in charge of the trunks on
    the coach back to London.  Rawdon and his wife
    returned by the same conveyance next day.
    "I should have liked to see the old girl before we went,"
    Rawdon said.  "She looks so cut up and altered that I'm
    sure she can't last long.  I wonder what sort of a cheque
    I shall have at Waxy's.  Two hundred--it can't be less
    than two hundred--hey, Becky?"
    In consequence of the repeated visits of the aides-de-
    camp of the Sheriff of Middlesex, Rawdon and his wife
    did not go back to their lodgings at Brompton, but put
    up at an inn.  Early the next morning, Rebecca had an
    opportunity of seeing them as she skirted that suburb
    on her road to old Mrs. Sedley's house at Fulham, whither
    she went to look for her dear Amelia and her Brighton
    friends.  They were all off to Chatham, thence to Harwich,
    to take shipping for Belgium with the regiment--
    kind old Mrs. Sedley very much depressed and tearful,
    solitary.  Returning from this visit, Rebecca found her
    husband, who had been off to Gray's Inn, and learnt his
    fate.  He came back furious.
    "By Jove, Becky," says he, "she's only given me twenty
    Though it told against themselves, the joke was too
    good, and Becky burst out laughing at Rawdon's
    Between London and Chatham
    On quitting Brighton, our friend George, as became a
    person of rank and fashion travelling in a barouche with
    four horses, drove in state to a fine hotel in Cavendish
    Square, where a suite of splendid rooms, and a table
    magnificently furnished with plate and surrounded by a
    half-dozen of black and silent waiters, was ready to
    receive the young gentleman and his bride.  George did the
    honours of the place with a princely air to Jos and
    Dobbin; and Amelia, for the first time, and with exceeding
    shyness and timidity, presided at what George called her
    own table.
    George pooh-poohed the wine and bullied the waiters
    royally, and Jos gobbled the turtle with immense satisfaction.
    Dobbin helped him to it; for the lady of the house,
    before whom the tureen was placed, was so ignorant of
    the contents, that she was going to help Mr. Sedley without
    bestowing upon him either calipash or calipee.
    The splendour of the entertainment, and the apartments
    in which it was given, alarmed Mr. Dobbin, who
    remonstrated after dinner, when Jos was asleep in the great
    chair.  But in vain he cried out against the enormity of
    turtle and champagne that was fit for an archbishop.
    "I've always been accustomed to travel like a gentleman,"
    George said, "and, damme, my wife shall travel like a
    lady.  As long as there's a shot in the locker, she shall
    want for nothing," said the generous fellow, quite pleased
    with himself for his magnificence of spirit.  Nor did
    Dobbin try and convince him that Amelia's happiness was not
    centred in turtle-soup.
    A while after dinner, Amelia timidly expressed a wish
    to go and see her mamma, at Fulham: which permission
    George granted her with some grumbling.  And she tripped
    away to her enormous bedroom, in the centre of which
    stood the enormous funereal bed, "that the Emperor
    Halixander's sister slep in when the allied sufferings was
    here," and put on her little bonnet and shawl with the
    utmost eagerness and pleasure.  George was still drinking
    claret when she returned to the dining-room, and made
    no signs of moving.  "Ar'n't you coming with me, dearest?"
    she asked him.  No; the "dearest" had "business"
    that night.  His man should get her a coach and go with
    her.  And the coach being at the door of the hotel, Amelia
    made George a little disappointed curtsey after looking
    vainly into his face once or twice, and went sadly down
    the great staircase, Captain Dobbin after, who handed her
    into the vehicle, and saw it drive away to its destination.
    The very valet was ashamed of mentioning the address to
    the hackney-coachman before the hotel waiters, and
    promised to instruct him when they got further on.
    Dobbin walked home to his old quarters and the
    Slaughters', thinking very likely that it would be delightful
    to be in that hackney-coach, along with Mrs. Osborne.
    George was evidently of quite a different taste; for when
    he had taken wine enough, he went off to half-price at
    the play, to see Mr. Kean perform in Shylock.  Captain
    Osborne was a great lover of the drama, and had himself
    performed high-comedy characters with great distinction
    in several garrison theatrical entertainments.  Jos slept on
    until long after dark, when he woke up with a start at
    the motions of his servant, who was removing and
    emptying the decanters on the table; and the hackney-coach
    stand was again put into requisition for a carriage to
    convey this stout hero to his lodgings and bed.
    Mrs. Sedley, you may be sure, clasped her daughter to
    her heart with all maternal eagerness and affection,
    running out of the door as the carriage drew up before the
    little garden-gate, to welcome the weeping, trembling,
    young bride.  Old Mr. Clapp, who was in his shirt-sleeves,
    trimming the garden-plot, shrank back alarmed.  The Irish
    servant-lass rushed up from the kitchen and smiled a
    "God bless you."  Amelia could hardly walk along the
    flags and up the steps into the parlour.
    How the floodgates were opened, and mother and
    daughter wept, when they were together embracing each
    other in this sanctuary, may readily be imagined by every
    reader who possesses the least sentimental turn.  When
    don't ladies weep?  At what occasion of joy, sorrow, or
    other business of life, and, after such an event as a
    marriage, mother and daughter were surely at liberty to give
    way to a sensibility which is as tender as it is refreshing.
    About a question of marriage I have seen women
    who hate each other kiss and cry together quite fondly.
    How much more do they feel when they love!  Good mothers
    are married over again at their daughters' weddings:
    and as for subsequent events, who does not know how
    ultra-maternal grandmothers are?--in fact a woman, until
    she is a grandmother, does not often really know what to
    be a mother is.  Let us respect Amelia and her mamma
    whispering and whimpering and laughing and crying in
    the parlour and the twilight.  Old Mr. Sedley did.  HE had
    not divined who was in the carriage when it drove up.  He
    had not flown out to meet his daughter, though he kissed
    her very warmly when she entered the room (where he
    was occupied, as usual, with his papers and tapes and
    statements of accounts), and after sitting with the mother
    and daughter for a short time, he very wisely left the
    little apartment in their possession.
    George's valet was looking on in a very supercilious
    manner at Mr. Clapp in his shirt-sleeves, watering his
    rose-bushes.  He took off his hat, however, with much
    condescension to Mr. Sedley, who asked news about
    his son-in-law, and about Jos's carriage, and whether his
    horses had been down to Brighton, and about that
    infernal traitor Bonaparty, and the war; until the Irish
    maid-servant came with a plate and a bottle of wine,
    from which the old gentleman insisted upon helping the
    valet.  He gave him a half-guinea too, which the servant
    pocketed with a mixture of wonder and contempt.  "To
    the health of your master and mistress, Trotter," Mr.
    Sedley said, "and here's something to drink your health
    when you get home, Trotter."
    There were but nine days past since Amelia had left
    that little cottage and home--and yet how far off the
    time seemed since she had bidden it farewell.  What a
    gulf lay between her and that past life.  She could look
    back to it from her present standing-place, and contemplate,
    almost as another being, the young unmarried girl
    absorbed in her love, having no eyes but for one special
    object, receiving parental affection if not ungratefully,
    at least indifferently, and as if it were her due--her
    whole heart and thoughts bent on the accomplishment of
    one desire.  The review of those days, so lately gone yet
    so far away, touched her with shame; and the aspect of
    the kind parents filled her with tender remorse.  Was the
    prize gained--the heaven of life--and the winner still
    doubtful and unsatisfied?  As his hero and heroine pass
    the matrimonial barrier, the novelist generally drops the
    curtain, as if the drama were over then:  the doubts and
    struggles of life ended:  as if, once landed in the marriage
    country, all were green and pleasant there:  and wife
    and husband had nothing to do but to link each other's
    arms together, and wander gently downwards towards
    old age in happy and perfect fruition.  But our little
    Amelia was just on the bank of her new country, and was
    already looking anxiously back towards the sad friendly
    figures waving farewell to her across the stream, from the
    other distant shore.
    In honour of the young bride's arrival, her mother
    thought it necessary to prepare I don't know what festive
    entertainment, and after the first ebullition of talk, took
    leave of Mrs. George Osborne for a while, and dived
    down to the lower regions of the house to a sort of
    kitchen-parlour (occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Clapp, and
    in the evening, when her dishes were washed and her
    curl-papers removed, by Miss Flannigan, the Irish servant),
    there to take measures for the preparing of a magnificent
    ornamented tea.  All people have their ways of
    expressing kindness, and it seemed to Mrs. Sedley that a
    muffin and a quantity of orange marmalade spread out
    in a little cut-glass saucer would be peculiarly agreeable
    refreshments to Amelia in her most interesting situation.
    While these delicacies were being transacted below,
    Amelia, leaving the drawing-room, walked upstairs and
    found herself, she scarce knew how, in the little room
    which she had occupied before her marriage, and in that
    very chair in which she had passed so many bitter hours.
    She sank back in its arms as if it were an old friend;
    and fell to thinking over the past week, and the life
    beyond it.  Already to be looking sadly and vaguely back:
    always to be pining for something which, when obtained,
    brought doubt and sadness rather than pleasure; here
    was the lot of our poor little creature and harmless lost
    wanderer in the great struggling crowds of Vanity Fair.
    Here she sate, and recalled to herself fondly that image
    of George to which she had knelt before marriage.  Did
    she own to herself how different the real man was from
    that superb young hero whom she had worshipped?  It
    requires many, many years--and a man must be very bad
    indeed--before a woman's pride and vanity will let her
    own to such a confession.  Then Rebecca's twinkling
    green eyes and baleful smile lighted upon her, and filled
    her with dismay.  And so she sate for awhile indulging
    in her usual mood of selfish brooding, in that very
    listless melancholy attitude in which the honest maid-servant
    had found her, on the day when she brought up the
    letter in which George renewed his offer of marriage.
    She looked at the little white bed, which had been hers
    a few days before, and thought she would like to sleep
    in it that night, and wake, as formerly, with her mother
    smiling over her in the morning:  Then she thought with
    terror of the great funereal damask pavilion in the vast
    and dingy state bedroom, which was awaiting her at the
    grand hotel in Cavendish Square.  Dear little white bed!
    how many a long night had she wept on its pillow!
    How she had despaired and hoped to die there; and now
    were not all her wishes accomplished, and the lover of
    whom she had despaired her own for ever?  Kind mother!
    how patiently and tenderly she had watched round that
    bed!  She went and knelt down by the bedside; and there
    this wounded and timorous, but gentle and loving soul,
    sought for consolation, where as yet, it must be owned,
    our little girl had but seldom looked for it.  Love had
    been her faith hitherto; and the sad, bleeding disappointed
    heart began to feel the want of another consoler.
    Have we a right to repeat or to overhear her prayers?
    These, brother, are secrets, and out of the domain of
    Vanity Fair, in which our story lies.
    But this may be said, that when the tea was finally
    announced, our young lady came downstairs a great deal
    more cheerful; that she did not despond, or deplore her
    fate, or think about George's coldness, or Rebecca's eyes,
    as she had been wont to do of late.  She went downstairs,
    and kissed her father and mother, and talked to
    the old gentleman, and made him more merry than he
    had been for many a day.  She sate down at the piano
    which Dobbin had bought for her, and sang over all her
    father's favourite old songs.  She pronounced the tea to
    be excellent, and praised the exquisite taste in which
    the marmalade was arranged in the saucers.  And in
    determining to make everybody else happy, she found
    herself so; and was sound asleep in the great funereal
    pavilion, and only woke up with a smile when George
    arrived from the theatre.
    For the next day, George had more important "business"
    to transact than that which took him to see Mr.
    Kean in Shylock.  Immediately on his arrival in London
    he had written off to his father's solicitors, signifying his
    royal pleasure that an interview should take place between
    them on the morrow.  His hotel bill, losses at
    billiards and cards to Captain Crawley had almost drained
    the young man's purse, which wanted replenishing before
    he set out on his travels, and he had no resource but
    to infringe upon the two thousand pounds which the
    attorneys were commissioned to pay over to him.  He
    had a perfect belief in his own mind that his father
    would relent before very long.  How could any parent
    be obdurate for a length of time against such a
    paragon as he was?  If his mere past and personal merits did
    not succeed in mollifying his father, George determined
    that he would distinguish himself so prodigiously in the
    ensuing campaign that the old gentleman must give in to
    him.  And if not?  Bah! the world was before him.  His
    luck might change at cards, and there was a deal of
    spending in two thousand pounds.
    So he sent off Amelia once more in a carriage to her
    mamma, with strict orders and carte blanche to the two
    ladies to purchase everything requisite for a lady of Mrs.
    George Osborne's fashion, who was going on a foreign
    tour.  They had but one day to complete the outfit, and
    it may be imagined that their business therefore occupied
    them pretty fully.  In a carriage once more, bustling
    about from milliner to linen-draper, escorted back to the
    carriage by obsequious shopmen or polite owners, Mrs.
    Sedley was herself again almost, and sincerely happy for
    the first time since their misfortunes.  Nor was Mrs.
    Amelia at all above the pleasure of shopping, and
    bargaining, and seeing and buying pretty things.  (Would
    any man, the most philosophic, give twopence for a
    woman who was?)  She gave herself a little treat,
    obedient to her husband's orders, and purchased a
    quantity of lady's gear, showing a great deal of taste and
    elegant discernment, as all the shopfolks said.
    And about the war that was ensuing, Mrs. Osborne
    was not much alarmed; Bonaparty was to be crushed
    almost without a struggle.  Margate packets were sailing
    every day, filled with men of fashion and ladies of note,
    on their way to Brussels and Ghent.  People were going
    not so much to a war as to a fashionable tour.  The
    newspapers laughed the wretched upstart and swindler to
    scorn.  Such a Corsican wretch as that withstand the
    armies of Europe and the genius of the immortal
    Wellington!  Amelia held him in utter contempt; for it needs
    not to be said that this soft and gentle creature took her
    opinions from those people who surrounded her, such
    fidelity being much too humble-minded to think for itself.
    Well, in a word, she and her mother performed a
    great day's shopping, and she acquitted herself with
    considerable liveliness and credit on this her first
    appearance in the genteel world of London.
    George meanwhile, with his hat on one side, his elbows
    squared, and his swaggering martial air, made for
    Bedford Row, and stalked into the attorney's offices as if
    he was lord of every pale-faced clerk who was scribbling
    there.  He ordered somebody to inform Mr. Higgs that
    Captain Osborne was waiting, in a fierce and patronizing
    way, as if the pekin of an attorney, who had thrice his
    brains, fifty times his money, and a thousand times his
    experience, was a wretched underling who should
    instantly leave all his business in life to attend on the
    Captain's pleasure.  He did not see the sneer of contempt
    which passed all round the room, from the first
    clerk to the articled gents, from the articled gents to the
    ragged writers and white-faced runners, in clothes too
    tight for them, as he sate there tapping his boot with his
    cane, and thinking what a parcel of miserable poor devils
    these were.  The miserable poor devils knew all about his
    affairs.  They talked about them over their pints of beer
    at their public-house clubs to other clerks of a night.
    Ye gods, what do not attorneys and attorneys' clerks
    know in London!  Nothing is hidden from their
    inquisition, and their families mutely rule our city.
    Perhaps George expected, when he entered Mr. Higgs's
    apartment, to find that gentleman commissioned to give
    him some message of compromise or conciliation from
    his father; perhaps his haughty and cold demeanour
    was adopted as a sign of his spirit and resolution:  but if
    so, his fierceness was met by a chilling coolness and
    indifference on the attorney's part, that rendered
    swaggering absurd.  He pretended to be writing at a paper,
    when the Captain entered.  "Pray, sit down, sir," said he,
    "and I will attend to your little affair in a moment.  Mr.
    Poe, get the release papers, if you please"; and then he
    fell to writing again.
    Poe having produced those papers, his chief calculated
    the amount of two thousand pounds stock at the rate of
    the day; and asked Captain Osborne whether he would
    take the sum in a cheque upon the bankers, or whether
    he should direct the latter to purchase stock to that
    amount.  "One of the late Mrs. Osborne's trustees is out
    of town," he said indifferently, "but my client wishes to
    meet your wishes, and have done with the business as
    quick as possible."
    "Give me a cheque, sir," said the Captain very surlily.
    "Damn the shillings and halfpence, sir," he added, as the
    lawyer was making out the amount of the draft; and,
    flattering himself that by this stroke of magnanimity he
    had put the old quiz to the blush, he stalked out of
    the office with the paper in his pocket.
    "That chap will be in gaol in two years," Mr. Higgs said
    to Mr. Poe.
    "Won't O. come round, sir, don't you think?"
    "Won't the monument come round," Mr. Higgs replied.
    "He's going it pretty fast," said the clerk.  "He's only
    married a week, and I saw him and some other military
    chaps handing Mrs. Highflyer to her carriage after the
    play." And then another case was called, and Mr. George
    Osborne thenceforth dismissed from these worthy
    gentlemen's memory.
    The draft was upon our friends Hulker and Bullock of
    Lombard Street, to whose house, still thinking he was
    doing business, George bent his way, and from whom he
    received his money.  Frederick Bullock, Esq., whose
    yellow face was over a ledger, at which sate a demure clerk,
    happened to be in the banking-room when George entered.
    His yellow face turned to a more deadly colour
    when he saw the Captain, and he slunk back guiltily into
    the inmost parlour.  George was too busy gloating over
    the money (for he had never had such a sum before), to
    mark the countenance or flight of the cadaverous suitor
    of his sister.
    Fred Bullock told old Osborne of his son's appearance
    and conduct.  "He came in as bold as brass," said
    Frederick.  "He has drawn out every shilling.  How long
    will a few hundred pounds last such a chap as that?"
    Osborne swore with a great oath that he little cared when or
    how soon he spent it.  Fred dined every day in Russell
    Square now.  But altogether, George was highly pleased
    with his day's business.  All his own baggage and outfit
    was put into a state of speedy preparation, and he paid
    Amelia's purchases with cheques on his agents, and with
    the splendour of a lord.
    In Which Amelia Joins Her Regiment
    When Jos's fine carriage drove up to the inn door at
    Chatham, the first face which Amelia recognized was the
    friendly countenance of Captain Dobbin, who had been
    pacing the street for an hour past in expectation of his
    friends' arrival.  The Captain, with shells on his frockcoat,
    and a crimson sash and sabre, presented a military
    appearance, which made Jos quite proud to be able to
    claim such an acquaintance, and the stout civilian hailed
    him with a cordiality very different from the reception
    which Jos vouchsafed to his friend in Brighton and Bond
    Along with the Captain was Ensign Stubble; who, as
    the barouche neared the inn, burst out with an exclamation
    of "By Jove! what a pretty girl"; highly applauding
    Osborne's choice.  Indeed, Amelia dressed in her wedding-
    pelisse and pink ribbons, with a flush in her face,
    occasioned by rapid travel through the open air, looked so
    fresh and pretty, as fully to justify the Ensign's compliment.
    Dobbin liked him for making it.  As he stepped forward
    to help the lady out of the carriage, Stubble saw
    what a pretty little hand she gave him, and what a sweet
    pretty little foot came tripping down the step.  He blushed
    profusely, and made the very best bow of which he was
    capable; to which Amelia, seeing the number of the the
    regiment embroidered on the Ensign's cap, replied with a
    blushing smile, and a curtsey on her part; which finished
    the young Ensign on the spot.  Dobbin took most kindly to
    Mr. Stubble from that day, and encouraged him to talk
    about Amelia in their private walks, and at each other's
    quarters.  It became the fashion, indeed, among all the
    honest young fellows of the --th to adore and admire
    Mrs. Osborne.  Her simple artless behaviour, and
    modest kindness of demeanour, won all their unsophisticated
    hearts; all which simplicity and sweetness are quite
    impossible to describe in print.  But who has not beheld
    these among women, and recognised the presence of all
    sorts of qualities in them, even though they say no more
    to you than that they are engaged to dance the next
    quadrille, or that it is very hot weather?  George, always the
    champion of his regiment, rose immensely in the opinion
    of the youth of the corps, by his gallantry in marrying this
    portionless young creature, and by his choice of such a
    pretty kind partner.
    In the sitting-room which was awaiting the travellers,
    Amelia, to her surprise, found a letter addressed to Mrs.
    Captain Osborne.  It was a triangular billet, on pink paper,
    and sealed with a dove and an olive branch, and a
    profusion of light blue sealing wax, and it was written in
    a very large, though undecided female hand.
    "It's Peggy O'Dowd's fist," said George, laughing.  "I
    know it by the kisses on the seal." And in fact, it was a
    note from Mrs. Major O'Dowd, requesting the pleasure
    of Mrs. Osborne's company that very evening to a small
    friendly party.  "You must go," George said.  "You will
    make acquaintance with the regiment there.  O'Dowd goes
    in command of the regiment, and Peggy goes in command
    But they had not been for many minutes in the enjoyment
    of Mrs. O'Dowd's letter, when the door was flung
    open, and a stout jolly lady, in a riding-habit, followed by
    a couple of officers of Ours, entered the room.
    "Sure, I couldn't stop till tay-time.  Present me, Garge,
    my dear fellow, to your lady.  Madam, I'm deloighted to
    see ye; and to present to you me husband, Meejor
    O'Dowd"; and with this, the jolly lady in the riding-habit
    grasped Amelia's hand very warmly, and the latter knew
    at once that the lady was before her whom her husband
    had so often laughed at.  "You've often heard of me from
    that husband of yours," said the lady, with great vivacity.
    "You've often heard of her," echoed her husband, the
    Amelia answered, smiling, "that she had."
    "And small good he's told you of me," Mrs. O'Dowd
    replied; adding that "George was a wicked divvle."
    "That I'll go bail for," said the Major, trying to look
    knowing, at which George laughed; and Mrs. O'Dowd,
    with a tap of her whip, told the Major to be quiet; and
    then requested to be presented in form to Mrs. Captain
    "This, my dear," said George with great gravity, "is my
    very good, kind, and excellent friend, Auralia Margaretta,
    otherwise called Peggy."
    "Faith, you're right," interposed the Major.
    "Otherwise called Peggy, lady of Major Michael
    O'Dowd, of our regiment, and daughter of Fitzjurld
    Ber'sford de Burgo Malony of Glenmalony, County Kildare."
    "And Muryan Squeer, Doblin," said the lady with calm
    "And Muryan Square, sure enough," the Major
    "'Twas there ye coorted me, Meejor dear," the lady
    said; and the Major assented to this as to every other
    proposition which was made generally in company.
    Major O'Dowd, who had served his sovereign in every
    quarter of the world, and had paid for every step in his
    profession by some more than equivalent act of daring
    and gallantry, was the most modest, silent, sheep-faced
    and meek of little men, and as obedient to his wife as if
    he had been her tay-boy.  At the mess-table he sat silently,
    and drank a great deal.  When full of liquor, he
    reeled silently home.  When he spoke, it was to agree with
    everybody on every conceivable point; and he passed
    through life in perfect ease and good-humour.  The
    hottest suns of India never heated his temper; and the
    Walcheren ague never shook it.  He walked up to a battery
    with just as much indifference as to a dinner-table; had
    dined on horse-flesh and turtle with equal relish and
    appetite; and had an old mother, Mrs. O'Dowd of
    O'Dowdstown indeed, whom he had never disobeyed
    but when he ran away and enlisted, and when he persisted
    in marrying that odious Peggy Malony.
    Peggy was one of five sisters, and eleven children of the
    noble house of Glenmalony; but her husband, though her
    own cousin, was of the mother's side, and so had not the
    inestimable advantage of being allied to the Malonys,
    whom she believed to be the most famous family in the
    world.  Having tried nine seasons at Dublin and two at
    Bath and Cheltenham, and not finding a partner for life,
    Miss Malony ordered her cousin Mick to marry her when
    she was about thirty-three years of age; and the honest
    fellow obeying, carried her off to the West Indies, to
    preside over the ladies of the --th regiment, into which he
    had just exchanged.
    Before Mrs. O'Dowd was half an hour in Amelia's (or
    indeed in anybody else's) company, this amiable lady told
    all her birth and pedigree to her new friend.  "My dear,"
    said she, good-naturedly, "it was my intention that Garge
    should be a brother of my own, and my sister Glorvina
    would have suited him entirely.  But as bygones are
    bygones, and he was engaged to yourself, why, I'm
    determined to take you as a sister instead, and to look upon
    you as such, and to love you as one of the family.  Faith,
    you've got such a nice good-natured face and way widg
    you, that I'm sure we'll agree; and that you'll be an
    addition to our family anyway."
    "'Deed and she will," said O'Dowd, with an approving
    air, and Amelia felt herself not a little amused and
    grateful to be thus suddenly introduced to so large a
    party of relations.
    "We're all good fellows here," the Major's lady continued.
    "There's not a regiment in the service where you'll
    find a more united society nor a more agreeable mess-
    room.  There's no quarrelling, bickering, slandthering, nor
    small talk amongst us.  We all love each other."
    "Especially Mrs. Magenis," said George, laughing.
    "Mrs. Captain Magenis and me has made up, though
    her treatment of me would bring me gray hairs with
    sorrow to the grave."
    "And you with such a beautiful front of black, Peggy,
    my dear," the Major cried.
    "Hould your tongue, Mick, you booby.  Them husbands
    are always in the way, Mrs. Osborne, my dear; and as
    for my Mick, I often tell him he should never open his
    mouth but to give the word of command, or to put meat
    and drink into it.  I'll tell you about the regiment, and
    warn you when we're alone.  Introduce me to your brother
    now; sure he's a mighty fine man, and reminds me of me
    cousin, Dan Malony (Malony of Ballymalony, my dear,
    you know who mar'ied Ophalia Scully, of Oystherstown,
    own cousin to Lord Poldoody).  Mr. Sedley, sir, I'm
    deloighted to be made known te ye.  I suppose you'll dine
    at the mess to-day.  (Mind that divvle of a docther, Mick,
    and whatever ye du, keep yourself sober for me party
    this evening.)"
    "It's the 150th gives us a farewell dinner, my love,"
    interposed the Major, "but we'll easy get a card for Mr.
    "Run Simple (Ensign Simple, of Ours, my dear Amelia.
    I forgot to introjuice him to ye).  Run in a hurry, with
    Mrs. Major O'Dowd's compliments to Colonel Tavish,
    and Captain Osborne has brought his brothernlaw down,
    and will bring him to the 150th mess at five o'clock sharp
    --when you and I, my dear, will take a snack here, if you
    like."  Before Mrs. O'Dowd's speech was concluded, the
    young Ensign was trotting downstairs on his commission.
    "Obedience is the soul of the army.  We will go to our
    duty while Mrs. O'Dowd will stay and enlighten you,
    Emmy," Captain Osborne said; and the two gentlemen,
    taking each a wing of the Major, walked out with that
    officer, grinning at each other over his head.
    And, now having her new friend to herself, the impetuous
    Mrs: O'Dowd proceeded to pour out such a
    quantity of information as no poor little woman's memory
    could ever tax itself to bear.  She told Amelia a thousand
    particulars relative to the very numerous family of which
    the amazed young lady found herself a member.  "Mrs.
    Heavytop, the Colonel's wife, died in Jamaica of the
    yellow faver and a broken heart comboined, for the horrud
    old Colonel, with a head as bald as a cannon-ball, was
    making sheep's eyes at a half-caste girl there.  Mrs.
    Magenis, though without education, was a good woman,
    but she had the divvle's tongue, and would cheat her own
    mother at whist.  Mrs. Captain Kirk must turn up her
    lobster eyes forsooth at the idea of an honest round game
    (wherein me fawther, as pious a man as ever went to
    church, me uncle Dane Malony, and our cousin the
    Bishop, took a hand at loo, or whist, every night of their
    lives).  Nayther of 'em's goin' with the regiment this time,"
    Mrs. O'Dowd added.  "Fanny Magenis stops with her
    mother, who sells small coal and potatoes, most likely,
    in Islington-town, hard by London, though she's always
    bragging of her father's ships, and pointing them out to us
    as they go up the river:  and Mrs. Kirk and her children
    will stop here in Bethesda Place, to be nigh to her favourite
    preacher, Dr. Ramshorn.  Mrs. Bunny's in an interesting
    situation--faith, and she always is, then--and has
    given the Lieutenant seven already.  And Ensign Posky's
    wife, who joined two months before you, my dear, has
    quarl'd with Tom Posky a score of times, till you can
    hear'm all over the bar'ck (they say they're come to
    broken pleets, and Tom never accounted for his black oi),
    and she'll go back to her mother, who keeps a ladies'
    siminary at Richmond--bad luck to her for running away
    from it!  Where did ye get your finishing, my dear?  I had
    moin, and no expince spared, at Madame Flanahan's, at
    Ilyssus Grove, Booterstown, near Dublin, wid a Marchioness
    to teach us the true Parisian pronunciation, and a retired
    Mejor-General of the French service to put us
    through the exercise."
    Of this incongruous family our astonished Amelia found
    herself all of a sudden a member:  with Mrs. O'Dowd as
    an elder sister.  She was presented to her other female
    relations at tea-time, on whom, as she was quiet, good-
    natured, and not too handsome, she made rather an
    agreeable impression until the arrival of the gentlemen from
    the mess of the 150th, who all admired her so, that her
    sisters began, of course, to find fault with her.
    "I hope Osborne has sown his wild oats," said Mrs.
    Magenis to Mrs. Bunny.  "If a reformed rake makes a
    good husband, sure it's she will have the fine chance with
    Garge," Mrs. O'Dowd remarked to Posky, who had lost
    her position as bride in the regiment, and was quite angry
    with the usurper.  And as for Mrs. Kirk:  that disciple of
    Dr. Ramshorn put one or two leading professional
    questions to Amelia, to see whether she was awakened,
    whether she was a professing Christian and so forth, and
    finding from the simplicity of Mrs. Osborne's replies that
    she was yet in utter darkness, put into her hands three
    little penny books with pictures, viz., the "Howling
    Wilderness," the "Washerwoman of Wandsworth Common,"
    and the "British Soldier's best Bayonet," which, bent upon
    awakening her before she slept, Mrs. Kirk begged Amelia
    to read that night ere she went to bed.
    But all the men, like good fellows as they were, rallied
    round their comrade's pretty wife, and paid her their
    court with soldierly gallantry.  She had a little triumph,
    which flushed her spirits and made her eyes sparkle.
    George was proud of her popularity, and pleased with the
    manner (which was very gay and graceful, though naive
    and a little timid) with which she received the gentlemen's
    attentions, and answered their compliments.  And
    he in his uniform--how much handsomer he was than
    any man in the room!  She felt that he was affectionately
    watching her, and glowed with pleasure at his kindness.  "I
    will make all his friends welcome," she resolved in her
    heart.  "I will love all as I love him.  I will always try and
    be gay and good-humoured and make his home happy."
    The regiment indeed adopted her with acclamation.
    The Captains approved, the Lieutenants applauded, the
    Ensigns admired.  Old Cutler, the Doctor, made one or
    two jokes, which, being professional, need not be repeated;
    and Cackle, the Assistant M.D. of Edinburgh, condescended
    to examine her upon leeterature, and tried her
    with his three best French quotations.  Young Stubble went
    about from man to man whispering, "Jove, isn't she a
    pretty gal?" and never took his eyes off her except when
    the negus came in.
    As for Captain Dobbin, he never so much as spoke to
    her during the whole evening.  But he and Captain Porter
    of the l50th took home Jos to the hotel, who was in a
    very maudlin state, and had told his tiger-hunt story with
    great effect, both at the mess-table and at the soiree, to
    Mrs. O'Dowd in her turban and bird of paradise.  Having
    put the Collector into the hands of his servant, Dobbin
    loitered about, smoking his cigar before the inn door.
    George had meanwhile very carefully shawled his wife,
    and brought her away from Mrs. O'Dowd's after a general
    handshaking from the young officers, who accompanied
    her to the fly, and cheered that vehicle as it drove off.  So
    Amelia gave Dobbin her little hand as she got out of the
    carriage, and rebuked him smilingly for not having taken
    any notice of her all night.
    The Captain continued that deleterious amusement of
    smoking, long after the inn and the street were gone to
    bed.  He watched the lights vanish from George's sitting-
    room windows, and shine out in the bedroom close at
    hand.  It was almost morning when he returned to his own
    quarters.  He could hear the cheering from the ships in
    the river, where the transports were already taking in
    their cargoes preparatory to dropping down the Thames.
    In Which Amelia Invades the Low Countries
    The regiment with its officers was to be transported in
    ships provided by His Majesty's government for the
    occasion:  and in two days after the festive assembly at Mrs.
    O'Dowd's apartments, in the midst of cheering from all
    the East India ships in the river, and the military on shore,
    the band playing "God Save the King," the officers waving
    their hats, and the crews hurrahing gallantly, the transports
    went down the river and proceeded under convoy to
    Ostend.  Meanwhile the gallant Jos had agreed to escort
    his sister and the Major's wife, the bulk of whose goods
    and chattels, including the famous bird of paradise and
    turban, were with the regimental baggage: so that our
    two heroines drove pretty much unencumbered to
    Ramsgate, where there were plenty of packets plying, in
    one of which they had a speedy passage to Ostend.
    That period of Jos's life which now ensued was so full
    of incident, that it served him for conversation for
    many years after, and even the tiger-hunt story was put
    aside for more stirring narratives which he had to tell
    about the great campaign of Waterloo.  As soon as he
    had agreed to escort his sister abroad, it was remarked
    that he ceased shaving his upper lip.  At Chatham he
    followed the parades and drills with great assiduity.  He
    listened with the utmost attention to the conversation of
    his brother officers (as he called them in after days
    sometimes), and learned as many military names as he could.
    In these studies the excellent Mrs. O'Dowd was of great
    assistance to him; and on the day finally when they
    embarked on board the Lovely Rose, which was to carry
    them to their destination, he made his appearance in a
    braided frock-coat and duck trousers, with a foraging
    cap ornamented with a smart gold band.  Having his
    carriage with him, and informing everybody on board
    confidentially that he was going to join the Duke of
    Wellington's army, folks mistook him for a great personage, a
    commissary-general, or a government courier at the very
    He suffered hugely on the voyage, during which the
    ladies were likewise prostrate; but Amelia was brought to
    life again as the packet made Ostend, by the sight of
    the transports conveying her regiment, which entered the
    harbour almost at the same time with the Lovely Rose.
    Jos went in a collapsed state to an inn, while Captain
    Dobbin escorted the ladies, and then busied himself in
    freeing Jos's carriage and luggage from the ship and the
    custom-house, for Mr. Jos was at present without a
    servant, Osborne's man and his own pampered menial
    having conspired together at Chatham, and refused point-
    blank to cross the water.  This revolt, which came very
    suddenly, and on the last day, so alarmed Mr. Sedley,
    junior, that he was on the point of giving up the expedition,
    but Captain Dobbin (who made himself immensely
    officious in the business, Jos said), rated him and
    laughed at him soundly:  the mustachios were grown in
    advance, and Jos finally was persuaded to embark.  In
    place of the well-bred and well-fed London domestics,
    who could only speak English, Dobbin procured for Jos's
    party a swarthy little Belgian servant who could speak
    no language at all; but who, by his bustling behaviour,
    and by invariably addressing Mr. Sedley as "My lord,"
    speedily acquired that gentleman's favour.  Times are
    altered at Ostend now; of the Britons who go thither,
    very few look like lords, or act like those members of
    our hereditary aristocracy.  They seem for the most part
    shabby in attire, dingy of linen, lovers of billiards and
    brandy, and cigars and greasy ordinaries.
    But it may be said as a rule, that every Englishman
    in the Duke of Wellington's army paid his way.  The
    remembrance of such a fact surely becomes a nation of
    shopkeepers.  It was a blessing for a commerce-loving
    country to be overrun by such an army of customers:
    and to have such creditable warriors to feed.  And the
    country which they came to protect is not military.  For
    a long period of history they have let other people fight
    there.  When the present writer went to survey with eagle
    glance the field of Waterloo, we asked the conductor of
    the diligence, a portly warlike-looking veteran, whether
    he had been at the battle.  "Pas si bete"--such an
    answer and sentiment as no Frenchman would own to--
    was his reply.  But, on the other hand, the postilion
    who drove us was a Viscount, a son of some bankrupt
    Imperial General, who accepted a pennyworth of beer
    on the road.  The moral is surely a good one.
    This flat, flourishing, easy country never could have
    looked more rich and prosperous than in that opening
    summer of 1815, when its green fields and quiet cities
    were enlivened by multiplied red-coats: when its wide
    chaussees swarmed with brilliant English equipages:
    when its great canal-boats, gliding by rich pastures and
    pleasant quaint old villages, by old chateaux lying
    amongst old trees, were all crowded with well-to-do English
    travellers: when the soldier who drank at the village
    inn, not only drank, but paid his score; and Donald,
    the Highlander, billeted in the Flemish farm-house,
    rocked the baby's cradle, while Jean and Jeannette were
    out getting in the hay.  As our painters are bent on military
    subjects just now, I throw out this as a good subject
    for the pencil, to illustrate the principle of an honest
    English war.  All looked as brilliant and harmless as a
    Hyde Park review.  Meanwhile, Napoleon screened behind
    his curtain of frontier-fortresses, was preparing for
    the outbreak which was to drive all these orderly people
    into fury and blood; and lay so many of them low.
    Everybody had such a perfect feeling of confidence
    in the leader (for the resolute faith which the Duke of
    Wellington had inspired in the whole English nation was
    as intense as that more frantic enthusiasm with which
    at one time the French regarded Napoleon), the country
    seemed in so perfect a state of orderly defence, and the
    help at hand in case of need so near and overwhelming,
    that alarm was unknown, and our travellers, among
    whom two were naturally of a very timid sort, were,
    like all the other multiplied English tourists, entirely at
    ease.  The famous regiment, with so many of whose
    officers we have made acquaintance, was drafted in canal
    boats to Bruges and Ghent, thence to march to Brussels.
    Jos accompanied the ladies in the public boats; the which
    all old travellers in Flanders must remember for the
    luxury and accommodation they afforded.  So prodigiously
    good was the eating and drinking on board these
    sluggish but most comfortable vessels, that there are legends
    extant of an English traveller, who, coming to Belgium
    for a week, and travelling in one of these boats, was so
    delighted with the fare there that he went backwards
    and forwards from Ghent to Bruges perpetually until the
    railroads were invented, when he drowned himself on the
    last trip of the passage-boat.  Jos's death was not to be
    of this sort, but his comfort was exceeding, and Mrs.
    O'Dowd insisted that he only wanted her sister Glorvina
    to make his happiness complete.  He sate on the roof
    of the cabin all day drinking Flemish beer, shouting for
    Isidor, his servant, and talking gallantly to the ladies.
    His courage was prodigious.  "Boney attack us!" he
    cried.  "My dear creature, my poor Emmy, don't be
    frightened.  There's no danger.  The allies will be in Paris
    in two months, I tell you; when I'll take you to dine
    in the Palais Royal, by Jove!  There are three hundred
    thousand Rooshians, I tell you, now entering France by
    Mayence and the Rhine--three hundred thousand under
    Wittgenstein and Barclay de Tolly, my poor love.  You
    don't know military affairs, my dear.  I do, and I tell
    you there's no infantry in France can stand against
    Rooshian infantry, and no general of Boney's that's fit
    to hold a candle to Wittgenstein.  Then there are the
    Austrians, they are five hundred thousand if a man, and
    they are within ten marches of the frontier by this time,
    under Schwartzenberg and Prince Charles.  Then there are
    the Prooshians under the gallant Prince Marshal.  Show
    me a cavalry chief like him now that Murat is gone.
    Hey, Mrs. O'Dowd?  Do you think our little girl here
    need be afraid?  Is there any cause for fear, Isidor?  Hey,
    sir?  Get some more beer."
    Mrs. O'Dowd said that her "Glorvina was not afraid
    of any man alive, let alone a Frenchman," and tossed
    off a glass of beer with a wink which expressed her
    liking for the beverage.
    Having frequently been in presence of the enemy, or,
    in other words, faced the ladies at Cheltenham and Bath,
    our friend, the Collector, had lost a great deal of his
    pristine timidity, and was now, especially when fortified
    with liquor, as talkative as might be.  He was rather a
    favourite with the regiment, treating the young officers
    with sumptuosity, and amusing them by his military airs.
    And as there is one well-known regiment of the army
    which travels with a goat heading the column, whilst
    another is led by a deer, George said with respect to his
    brother-in-law, that his regiment marched with an
    Since Amelia's introduction to the regiment, George
    began to be rather ashamed of some of the company to
    which he had been forced to present her; and determined,
    as he told Dobbin (with what satisfaction to the latter
    it need not be said), to exchange into some better regiment
    soon, and to get his wife away from those damned
    vulgar women.  But this vulgarity of being ashamed of
    one's society is much more common among men than
    women (except very great ladies of fashion, who, to be
    sure, indulge in it); and Mrs. Amelia, a natural and
    unaffected person, had none of that artificial shamefacedness
    which her husband mistook for delicacy on his own
    part.  Thus Mrs. O'Dowd had a cock's plume in her hat,
    and a very large "repayther" on her stomach, which she
    used to ring on all occasions, narrating how it had been
    presented to her by her fawther, as she stipt into the
    car'ge after her mar'ge; and these ornaments, with other
    outward peculiarities of the Major's wife, gave excruciating
    agonies to Captain Osborne, when his wife and the
    Major's came in contact; whereas Amelia was only
    amused by the honest lady's eccentricities, and not in
    the least ashamed of her company.
    As they made that well-known journey, which almost
    every Englishman of middle rank has travelled since,
    there might have been more instructive, but few more
    entertaining, companions than Mrs. Major O'Dowd.  "Talk
    about kenal boats; my dear!  Ye should see the kenal
    boats between Dublin and Ballinasloe.  It's there the rapid
    travelling is; and the beautiful cattle.  Sure me fawther
    got a goold medal (and his Excellency himself eat a slice
    of it, and said never was finer mate in his loif) for a
    four-year-old heifer, the like of which ye never saw in
    this country any day." And Jos owned with a sigh, "that
    for good streaky beef, really mingled with fat and lean,
    there was no country like England."
    "Except Ireland, where all your best mate comes from,"
    said the Major's lady; proceeding, as is not unusual with
    patriots of her nation, to make comparisons greatly in
    favour of her own country.  The idea of comparing the
    market at Bruges with those of Dublin, although she had
    suggested it herself, caused immense scorn and derision
    on her part.  "I'll thank ye tell me what they mean by
    that old gazabo on the top of the market-place," said
    she, in a burst of ridicule fit to have brought the old
    tower down.  The place was full of English soldiery as
    they passed.  English bugles woke them in the morning;
    at nightfall they went to bed to the note of the British
    fife and drum:  all the country and Europe was in arms,
    and the greatest event of history pending:  and honest
    Peggy O'Dowd, whom it concerned as well as another,
    went on prattling about Ballinafad, and the horses in the
    stables at Glenmalony, and the clar't drunk there; and
    Jos Sedley interposed about curry and rice at Dumdum;
    and Amelia thought about her husband, and how best
    she should show her love for him; as if these were
    the great topics of the world.
    Those who like to lay down the History-book, and to
    speculate upon what MIGHT have happened in the world,
    but for the fatal occurrence of what actually did take
    place (a most puzzling, amusing, ingenious, and profitable
    kind of meditation), have no doubt often thought to
    themselves what a specially bad time Napoleon took to
    come back from Elba, and to let loose his eagle from
    Gulf San Juan to Notre Dame.  The historians on our
    side tell us that the armies of the allied powers were
    all providentially on a war-footing, and ready to bear
    down at a moment's notice upon the Elban Emperor.
    The august jobbers assembled at Vienna, and carving
    out the kingdoms of Europe according to their wisdom,
    had such causes of quarrel among themselves as might
    have set the armies which had overcome Napoleon to
    fight against each other, but for the return of the object
    of unanimous hatred and fear.  This monarch had an army
    in full force because he had jobbed to himself Poland,
    and was determined to keep it:  another had robbed half
    Saxony, and was bent upon maintaining his acquisition:
    Italy was the object of a third's solicitude.  Each was
    protesting against the rapacity of the other; and could the
    Corsican but have waited in prison until all these parties
    were by the ears, he might have returned and reigned
    unmolested.  But what would have become of our story
    and all our friends, then?  If all the drops in it were dried
    up, what would become of the sea?
    In the meanwhile the business of life and living, and
    the pursuits of pleasure, especially, went on as if no end
    were to be expected to them, and no enemy in front.
    When our travellers arrived at Brussels, in which their
    regiment was quartered, a great piece of good fortune,
    as all said, they found themselves in one of the gayest
    and most brilliant little capitals in Europe, and where
    all the Vanity Fair booths were laid out with the most
    tempting liveliness and splendour.  Gambling was here in
    profusion, and dancing in plenty:  feasting was there to
    fill with delight that great gourmand of a Jos:  there
    was a theatre where a miraculous Catalani was delighting
    all hearers:  beautiful rides, all enlivened with martial
    splendour; a rare old city, with strange costumes and
    wonderful architecture, to delight the eyes of little Amelia,
    who had never before seen a foreign country, and fill
    her with charming surprises: so that now and for a few
    weeks' space in a fine handsome lodging, whereof the
    expenses were borne by Jos and Osborne, who was flush
    of money and full of kind attentions to his wife--for
    about a fortnight, I say, during which her honeymoon
    ended, Mrs. Amelia was as pleased and happy as any
    little bride out of England.
    Every day during this happy time there was novelty
    and amusement for all parties.  There was a church to
    see, or a picture-gallery--there was a ride, or an opera.
    The bands of the regiments were making music at all
    hours.  The greatest folks of England walked in the Park
    --there was a perpetual military festival.  George, taking
    out his wife to a new jaunt or junket every night, was
    quite pleased with himself as usual, and swore he was
    becoming quite a domestic character.  And a jaunt or
    a junket with HIM!  Was it not enough to set this little
    heart beating with joy?  Her letters home to her mother
    were filled with delight and gratitude at this season.  Her
    husband bade her buy laces, millinery, jewels, and
    gimcracks of all sorts.  Oh, he was the kindest, best, and
    most generous of men!
    The sight of the very great company of lords and ladies
    and fashionable persons who thronged the town, and
    appeared in every public place, filled George's truly British
    soul with intense delight.  They flung off that happy
    frigidity and insolence of demeanour which occasionally
    characterises the great at home, and appearing in
    numberless public places, condescended to mingle with the
    rest of the company whom they met there.  One night
    at a party given by the general of the division to which
    George's regiment belonged, he had the honour of dancing
    with Lady Blanche Thistlewood, Lord Bareacres'
    daughter; he bustled for ices and refreshments for the
    two noble ladies; he pushed and squeezed for Lady
    Bareacres' carriage; he bragged about the Countess when
    he got home, in a way which his own father could not
    have surpassed.  He called upon the ladies the next day;
    he rode by their side in the Park; he asked their party
    to a great dinner at a restaurateur's, and was quite
    wild with exultation when they agreed to come.  Old
    Bareacres, who had not much pride and a large appetite,
    would go for a dinner anywhere.
    "I.hope there will be no women besides our own
    party," Lady Bareacres said, after reflecting upon the
    invitation which had been made, and accepted with too
    much precipitancy.
    "Gracious Heaven, Mamma--you don't suppose the
    man would bring his wife," shrieked Lady Blanche, who
    had been languishing in George's arms in the newly
    imported waltz for hours the night before.  "The men are
    bearable, but their women--"
    "Wife, just married, dev'lish pretty woman, I hear,"
    the old Earl said.
    "Well, my dear Blanche," said the mother, "I suppose,
    as Papa wants to go, we must go; but we needn't know
    them in England, you know." And so, determined to cut
    their new acquaintance in Bond Street, these great folks
    went to eat his dinner at Brussels, and condescending to
    make him pay for their pleasure, showed their dignity
    by making his wife uncomfortable, and carefully excluding
    her from the conversation.  This is a species of dignity
    in which the high-bred British female reigns supreme.  To
    watch the behaviour of a fine lady to other and humbler
    women, is a very good sport for a philosophical frequenter
    of Vanity Fair.
    This festival, on which honest George spent a great
    deal of money, was the very dismallest of all the
    entertainments which Amelia had in her honeymoon.  She
    wrote the most piteous accounts of the feast home to
    her mamma:  how the Countess of Bareacres would not
    answer when spoken to; how Lady Blanche stared at her
    with her eye-glass; and what a rage Captain Dobbin was
    in at their behaviour; and how my lord, as they came
    away from the feast, asked to see the bill, and pronounced
    it a d-- bad dinner, and d-- dear.  But though Amelia
    told all these stories, and wrote home regarding
    her guests' rudeness, and her own discomfiture,
    old Mrs. Sedley was mightily pleased nevertheless,
    and talked about Emmy's friend, the Countess of
    Bareacres, with such assiduity that the news how his son
    was entertaining peers and peeresses actually came to
    Osborne's ears in the City.
    Those who know the present Lieutenant-General Sir
    George Tufto, K.C.B., and have seen him, as they may
    on most days in the season, padded and in stays, strutting
    down Pall Mall with a rickety swagger on his high-heeled
    lacquered boots, leering under the bonnets of passers-
    by, or riding a showy chestnut, and ogling broughams in
    the Parks--those who know the present Sir George Tufto
    would hardly recognise the daring Peninsular and Waterloo
    officer.  He has thick curling brown hair and black
    eyebrows now, and his whiskers are of the deepest
    purple.  He was light-haired and bald in 1815, and stouter
    in the person and in the limbs, which especially have
    shrunk very much of late.  When he was about seventy
    years of age (he is now nearly eighty), his hair, which
    was very scarce and quite white, suddenly grew thick,
    and brown, and curly, and his whiskers and eyebrows
    took their present colour.  Ill-natured people say that
    his chest is all wool, and that his hair, because it never
    grows, is a wig.  Tom Tufto, with whose father he quarrelled
    ever so many years ago, declares that Mademoiselle
    de Jaisey, of the French theatre, pulled his
    grandpapa's hair off in the green-room; but Tom is
    notoriously spiteful and jealous; and the General's wig has
    nothing to do with our story.
    One day, as some of our friends of the --th were
    sauntering in the flower-market of Brussels, having been
    to see the Hotel de Ville, which Mrs. Major O'Dowd
    declared was not near so large or handsome as her
    fawther's mansion of Glenmalony, an officer of rank, with
    an orderly behind him, rode up to the market, and
    descending from his horse, came amongst the flowers, and
    selected the very finest bouquet which money could buy.
    The beautiful bundle being tied up in a paper, the officer
    remounted, giving the nosegay into the charge of his
    military groom, who carried it with a grin, following his
    chief, who rode away in great state and self-satisfaction.
    "You should see the flowers at Glenmalony," Mrs.
    O'Dowd was remarking.  "Me fawther has three Scotch
    garners with nine helpers.  We have an acre of hot-houses,
    and pines as common as pays in the sayson.  Our greeps
    weighs six pounds every bunch of 'em, and upon me
    honour and conscience I think our magnolias is as big
    as taykettles."
    Dobbin, who never used to "draw out" Mrs. O'Dowd
    as that wicked Osborne delighted in doing (much to
    Amelia's terror, who implored him to spare her), fell
    back in the crowd, crowing and sputtering until he
    reached a safe distance, when he exploded amongst the
    astonished market-people with shrieks of yelling laughter.
    "Hwhat's that gawky guggling about?" said Mrs.
    O'Dowd.  "Is it his nose bleedn?  He always used to say
    'twas his nose bleedn, till he must have pomped all the
    blood out of 'um.  An't the magnolias at Glenmalony
    as big as taykettles, O'Dowd?"
    "'Deed then they are, and bigger, Peggy," the Major
    said.  When the conversation was interrupted in the
    manner stated by the arrival of the officer who purchased
    the bouquet.
    "Devlish fine horse--who is it?" George asked.
    "You should see me brother Molloy Malony's horse,
    Molasses, that won the cop at the Curragh," the Major's
    wife was exclaiming, and was continuing the family
    history, when her husband interrupted her by saying--
    "It's General Tufto, who commands the ---- cavalry
    division"; adding quietly, "he and I were both shot in
    the same leg at Talavera."
    "Where you got your step," said George with a laugh.
    "General Tufto! Then, my dear, the Crawleys are come."
    Amelia's heart fell--she knew not why.  The sun did
    not seem to shine so bright.  The tall old roofs and
    gables looked less picturesque all of a sudden, though
    it was a brilliant sunset, and one of the brightest and
    most beautiful days at the end of May.
    Mr. Jos had hired a pair of horses for his open carriage,
    with which cattle, and the smart London vehicle, he made
    a very tolerable figure in the drives about Brussels.
    George purchased a horse for his private riding, and
    he and Captain Dobbin would often accompany the
    carriage in which Jos and his sister took daily excursions
    of pleasure.  They went out that day in the park for their
    accustomed diversion, and there, sure enough, George's
    remark with regard to the arrival of Rawdon Crawley and
    his wife proved to be correct.  In the midst of a little
    troop of horsemen, consisting of some of the very greatest
    persons in Brussels, Rebecca was seen in the prettiest
    and tightest of riding-habits, mounted on a beautiful
    little Arab, which she rode to perfection (having acquired
    the art at Queen's Crawley, where the Baronet, Mr.
    Pitt, and Rawdon himself had given her many lessons),
    and by the side of the gallant General Tufto.
    "Sure it's the Juke himself," cried Mrs. Major O'Dowd
    to Jos, who began to blush violently; "and that's Lord
    Uxbridge on the bay.  How elegant he looks!  Me brother,
    Molloy Malony, is as like him as two pays."
    Rebecca did not make for the carriage; but as soon
    as she perceived her old acquaintance Amelia seated in
    it, acknowledged her presence by a gracious nod and
    smile, and by kissing and shaking her fingers playfully
    in the direction of the vehicle.  Then she resumed her
    conversation with General Tufto, who asked "who the
    fat officer was in the gold-laced cap?" on which Becky
    replied, "that he was an officer in the East Indian service."
    But Rawdon Crawley rode out of the ranks of his
    company, and came up and shook hands heartily with
    Amelia, and said to Jos, "Well, old boy, how are you?"
    and stared in Mrs. O'Dowd's face and at.the black cock's
    feathers until she began to think she had made a
    conquest of him.
    George, who had been delayed behind, rode up almost
    immediately with Dobbin, and they touched their caps to
    the august personages, among whom Osborne at once
    perceived Mrs. Crawley.  He was delighted to see Rawdon
    leaning over his carriage familiarly and talking to Amelia,
    and met the aide-de-camp's cordial greeting with more
    than corresponding warmth.  The nods between Rawdon
    and Dobbin were of the very faintest specimens of
    Crawley told George where they were stopping with
    General Tufto at the Hotel du Parc, and George made
    his friend promise to come speedily to Osborne's own
    residence.  "Sorry I hadn't seen you three days ago,"
    George said.  "Had a dinner at the Restaurateur's--rather a
    nice thing.  Lord Bareacres, and the Countess, and Lady
    Blanche, were good enough to dine with us--wish we'd
    had you." Having thus let his friend know his claims to be
    a man of fashion, Osborne parted from Rawdon, who
    followed the august squadron down an alley into which
    they cantered, while George and Dobbin resumed their
    places, one on each side of Amelia's carriage.
    "How well the Juke looked," Mrs. O'Dowd remarked.
    "The Wellesleys and Malonys are related; but, of course,
    poor I would never dream of introjuicing myself unless
    his Grace thought proper to remember our family-tie."
    "He's a great soldier," Jos said, much more at ease
    now the great man was gone.  "Was there ever a battle
    won like Salamanca?  Hey, Dobbin?  But where was it he
    learnt his art?  In India, my boy!  The jungle's the school
    for a general, mark me that.  I knew him myself, too,
    Mrs. O'Dowd:  we both of us danced the same evening
    with Miss Cutler, daughter of Cutler of the Artillery, and
    a devilish fine girl, at Dumdum."
    The apparition of the great personages held them
    all in talk during the drive; and at dinner; and until the
    hour came when they were all to go to the Opera.
    It was almost like Old England.  The house was filled
    with familiar British faces, and those toilettes for which
    the British female has long been celebrated.  Mrs.
    O'Dowd's was not the least splendid amongst these, and
    she had a curl on her forehead, and a set of Irish diamonds
    and Cairngorms, which outshone all the decorations
    in the house, in her notion.  Her presence used to
    excruciate Osborne; but go she would upon all parties of
    pleasure on which she heard her young friends were bent.
    It never entered into her thought but that they must be
    charmed with her company.
    "She's been useful to you, my dear," George said to
    his wife, whom he could leave alone with less scruple
    when she had this society.  "But what a comfort it is that
    Rebecca's come:  you will have her for a friend, and we
    may get rid now of this damn'd Irishwoman."  To this
    Amelia did not answer, yes or no:  and how do we know
    what her thoughts were?
    The coup d'oeil of the Brussels opera-house did not
    strike Mrs. O'Dowd as being so fine as the theatre in
    Fishamble Street, Dublin, nor was French music at all
    equal, in her opinion, to the melodies of her native country.
    She favoured her friends with these and other opinions
    in a very loud tone of voice, and tossed about a
    great clattering fan she sported, with the most splendid
    "Who is that wonderful woman with Amelia, Rawdon,
    love?" said a lady in an opposite box (who, almost always
    civil to her husband in private, was more fond than
    ever of him in company).
    "Don't you see that creature with a yellow thing in
    her turban, and a red satin gown, and a great watch?"
    "Near the pretty little woman in white?" asked a
    middle-aged gentleman seated by the querist's side, with
    orders in his button, and several under-waistcoats, and
    a great, choky, white stock.
    "That pretty woman in white is Amelia, General:  you
    are remarking all the pretty women, you naughty man."
    "Only one, begad, in the world!" said the General, delighted,
    and the lady gave him a tap with a large bouquet
    which she had.
    "Bedad it's him," said Mrs. O'Dowd; "and that's the
    very bokay he bought in the Marshy aux Flures!" and
    when Rebecca, having caught her friend's eye, performed
    the little hand-kissing operation once more, Mrs. Major
    O'D., taking the compliment to herself, returned the salute
    with a gracious smile, which sent that unfortunate
    Dobbin shrieking out of the box again.
    At the end of the act, George was out of the box in a
    moment, and he was even going to pay his respects to
    Rebecca in her loge.  He met Crawley in the lobby, however,
    where they exchanged a few sentences upon the
    occurrences of the last fortnight.
    "You found my cheque all right at the agent's?
    George said, with a knowing air.
    "All right, my boy," Rawdon answered.  "Happy to give
    you your revenge.  Governor come round?"
    "Not yet," said George, "but he will; and you know I've
    some private fortune through my mother.  Has Aunty
    "Sent me twenty pound, damned old screw.  When shall
    we have a meet?  The General dines out on Tuesday.
    Can't you come Tuesday?  I say, make Sedley cut off his
    moustache.  What the devil does a civilian mean with a
    moustache and those infernal frogs to his coat!  By-bye.
    Try and come on Tuesday"; and Rawdon was going-off
    with two brilliant young gentlemen of fashion, who were,
    like himself, on the staff of a general officer.
    George was only half pleased to be asked to dinner on
    that particular day when the General was not to dine.  "I
    will go in and pay my respects to your wife," said he; at
    which Rawdon said, "Hm, as you please," looking very
    glum, and at which the two young officers exchanged
    knowing glances.  George parted from them and strutted
    down the lobby to the General's box, the number of which
    he had carefully counted.
    "Entrez," said a clear little voice, and our friend found
    himself in Rebecca's presence; who jumped up, clapped
    her hands together, and held out both of them to George,
    so charmed was she to see him.  The General, with the
    orders in his button, stared at the newcomer with a sulky
    scowl, as much as to say, who the devil are you?
    "My dear Captain George!" cried little Rebecca in an
    ecstasy.  "How good of you to come.  The General and I
    were moping together tete-a-tete.  General, this is my
    Captain George of whom you heard me talk."
    "Indeed," said the General, with a very small bow; "of
    what regiment is Captain George?"
    George mentioned the --th:  how he wished he could
    have said it was a crack cavalry corps.
    "Come home lately from the West Indies, I believe.
    Not seen much service in the late war.  Quartered here,
    Captain George?"--the General went on with killing
    "Not Captain George, you stupid man; Captain Osborne,"
    Rebecca said.  The General all the while was looking
    savagely from one to the other.
    "Captain Osborne, indeed! Any relation to the L--
    "We bear the same arms," George said, as indeed was
    the fact; Mr. Osborne having consulted with a herald in
    Long Acre, and picked the L-- arms out of the peerage,
    when he set up his carriage fifteen years before.  The
    General made no reply to this announcement; but took
    up his opera-glass--the double-barrelled lorgnon was not
    invented in those days--and pretended to examine the
    house; but Rebecca saw that his disengaged eye was
    working round in her direction, and shooting out
    bloodshot glances at her and George.
    She redoubled in cordiality.  "How is dearest Amelia?
    But I needn't ask: how pretty she looks!  And who is that
    nice good-natured looking creature with her--a flame of
    yours?  O, you wicked men!  And there is Mr. Sedley
    eating ice, I declare: how he seems to enjoy it!  General, why
    have we not had any ices?"
    "Shall I go and fetch you some?" said the General,
    bursting with wrath.
    "Let ME go, I entreat you," George said.
    "No, I will go to Amelia's box.  Dear, sweet girl!  Give
    me your arm, Captain George"; and so saying, and with a
    nod to the General, she tripped into the lobby.  She gave
    George the queerest, knowingest look, when they were
    together, a look which might have been interpreted,
    "Don't you see the state of affairs, and what a fool I'm
    making of him?"  But he did not perceive it.  He was
    thinking of his own plans, and lost in pompous admiration
    of his own irresistible powers of pleasing.
    The curses to which the General gave a low utterance,
    as soon as Rebecca and her conqueror had quitted him,
    were so deep, that I am sure no compositor would
    venture to print them were they written down.  They came
    from the General's heart; and a wonderful thing it is to
    think that the human heart is capable of generating such
    produce, and can throw out, as occasion demands, such
    a supply of lust and fury, rage and hatred.
    Amelia's gentle eyes, too, had been fixed anxiously on
    the pair, whose conduct had so chafed the jealous General;
    but when Rebecca entered her box, she flew to her
    friend with an affectionate rapture which showed itself, in
    spite of the publicity of the place; for she embraced her
    dearest friend in the presence of the whole house, at least
    in full view of the General's glass, now brought to bear
    upon the Osborne party.  Mrs. Rawdon saluted Jos, too,
    with the kindliest greeting: she admired Mrs. O'Dowd's
    large Cairngorm brooch and superb Irish diamonds, and
    wouldn't believe that they were not from Golconda direct.
    She bustled, she chattered, she turned and twisted,
    and smiled upon one, and smirked on another, all in full
    view of the jealous opera-glass opposite.  And when the
    time for the ballet came (in which there was no dancer
    that went through her grimaces or performed her comedy
    of action better), she skipped back to her own box, leaning
    on Captain Dobbin's arm this time.  No, she would
    not have George's: he must stay and talk to his dearest,
    best, little Amelia.
    "What a humbug that woman is!" honest old Dobbin
    mumbled to George, when he came back from Rebecca's
    box, whither he had conducted her in perfect silence, and
    with a countenance as glum as an undertaker's.  "She
    writhes and twists about like a snake.  All the time she
    was here, didn't you see, George, how she was acting at
    the General over the way?"
    "Humbug--acting!  Hang it, she's the nicest little
    woman in England," George replied, showing his white
    teeth, and giving his ambrosial whiskers a twirl.  "You
    ain't a man of the world, Dobbin.  Dammy, look at her
    now, she's talked over Tufto in no time.  Look how he's
    laughing!  Gad, what a shoulder she has!  Emmy, why
    didn't you have a bouquet?  Everybody has a bouquet."
    "Faith, then, why didn't you BOY one?" Mrs. O'Dowd
    said; and both Amelia and William Dobbin thanked her
    for this timely observation.  But beyond this neither of
    the ladies rallied.  Amelia was overpowered by the flash
    and the dazzle and the fashionable talk of her worldly rival.
    Even the O'Dowd was silent and subdued after Becky's
    brilliant apparition, and scarcely said a word more about
    Glenmalony all the evening.
    "When do you intend to give up play, George, as you
    have promised me, any time these hundred years?" Dobbin
    said to his friend a few days after the night at the
    Opera.  "When do you intend to give up sermonising?"
    was the other's reply.  "What the deuce, man, are you
    alarmed about?  We play low; I won last night.  You
    don't suppose Crawley cheats?  With fair play it comes
    to pretty much the same thing at the year's end."
    "But I don't think he could pay if he lost," Dobbin
    said; and his advice met with the success which advice
    usually commands.  Osborne and Crawley were repeatedly
    together now.  General Tufto dined abroad almost constantly.
    George was always welcome in the apartments
    (very close indeed to those of the General) which the
    aide-de-camp and his wife occupied in the hotel.
    Amelia's manners were such when she and George visited
    Crawley and his wife at these quarters, that they had
    very nearly come to their first quarrel; that is, George
    scolded his wife violently for her evident unwillingness to
    go, and the high and mighty manner in which she comported
    herself towards Mrs. Crawley, her old friend; and
    Amelia did not say one single word in reply; but with her
    husband's eye upon her, and Rebecca scanning her as she
    felt, was, if possible, more bashful and awkward on the
    second visit which she paid to Mrs. Rawdon, than on her
    first call.
    Rebecca was doubly affectionate, of course, and would
    not take notice, in the least, of her friend's coolness.  "I
    think Emmy has become prouder since her father's name
    was in the--since Mr. Sedley's MISFORTUNES," Rebecca
    said, softening the phrase charitably for George's ear.
    "Upon my word, I thought when we were at Brighton
    she was doing me the honour to be jealous of me; and
    now I suppose she is scandalised because Rawdon, and I,
    and the General live together.  Why, my dear creature,
    how could we, with our means, live at all, but for a friend
    to share expenses?  And do you suppose that Rawdon is
    not big enough to take care of my honour?  But I'm very
    much obliged to Emmy, very," Mrs. Rawdon said.
    "Pooh, jealousy!" answered George, "all women are
    "And all men too.  Weren't you jealous of General
    Tufto, and the General of you, on the night of the Opera?
    Why, he was ready to eat me for going with you to visit
    that foolish little wife of yours; as if I care a pin for
    either of you," Crawley's wife said, with a pert toss of
    her head.  "Will you dine here?  The dragon dines with the
    Commander-in-Chief.  Great news is stirring.  They say
    the French have crossed the frontier.  We shall have a
    quiet dinner."
    George accepted the invitation, although his wife was a
    little ailing.  They were now not quite six weeks married.
    Another woman was laughing or sneering at her expense,
    and he not angry.  He was not even angry with himself,
    this good-natured fellow.  It is a shame, he owned to himself;
    but hang it, if a pretty woman WILL throw herself in
    your way, why, what can a fellow do, you know?  I AM
    rather free about women, he had often said, smiling and
    nodding knowingly to Stubble and Spooney, and other
    comrades of the mess-table; and they rather respected
    him than otherwise for this prowess.  Next to conquering
    in war, conquering in love has been a source of pride,
    time out of mind, amongst men in Vanity Fair, or how
    should schoolboys brag of their amours, or Don Juan be
    So Mr. Osborne, having a firm conviction in his own
    mind that he was a woman-killer and destined to conquer,
    did not run counter to his fate, but yielded himself
    up to it quite complacently.  And as Emmy did not say
    much or plague him with her jealousy, but merely became
    unhappy and pined over it miserably in secret, he chose
    to fancy that she was not suspicious of what all his
    acquaintance were perfectly aware--namely, that he was
    carrying on a desperate flirtation with Mrs. Crawley.  He
    rode with her whenever she was free.  He pretended
    regimental business to Amelia (by which falsehood she was
    not in the least deceived), and consigning his wife to
    solitude or her brother's society, passed his evenings in
    the Crawleys' company; losing money to the husband and
    flattering himself that the wife was dying of love for him.
    It is very likely that this worthy couple never absolutely
    conspired and agreed together in so many words:  the one
    to cajole the young gentleman, whilst the other won his
    money at cards: but they understood each other perfectly
    well, and Rawdon let Osborne come and go with entire
    good humour.
    George was so occupied with his new acquaintances
    that he and William Dobbin were by no means so much
    together as formerly.  George avoided him in public and
    in the regiment, and, as we see, did not like those
    sermons which his senior was disposed to inflict upon him.
    If some parts of his conduct made Captain Dobbin
    exceedingly grave and cool; of what use was it to tell George
    that, though his whiskers were large, and his own
    opinion of his knowingness great, he was as green as a
    schoolboy? that Rawdon was making a victim of him as he had
    done of many before, and as soon as he had used him
    would fling him off with scorn?  He would not listen:  and
    so, as Dobbin, upon those days when he visited the
    0sborne house, seldom had the advantage of meeting his
    old friend, much painful and unavailing talk between
    them was spared.  Our friend George was in the full career
    of the pleasures of Vanity Fair.
    There never was, since the days of Darius, such a brilliant
    train of camp-followers as hung round the Duke of
    Wellington's army in the Low Countries, in 1815; and
    led it dancing and feasting, as it were, up to the very
    brink of battle.  A certain ball which a noble Duchess
    gave at Brussels on the 15th of June in the above-named
    year is historical.  All Brussels had been in a state of
    excitement about it, and I have heard from ladies who
    were in that town at the period, that the talk and interest
    of persons of their own sex regarding the ball was much
    greater even than in respect of the enemy in their front.
    The struggles, intrigues, and prayers to get tickets were
    such as only English ladies will employ, in order to gain
    admission to the society of the great of their own nation.
    Jos and Mrs. O'Dowd, who were panting to be asked,
    strove in vain to procure tickets; but others of our friends
    were more lucky.  For instance, through the interest of
    my Lord Bareacres, and as a set-off for the dinner at the
    restaurateur's, George got a card for Captain and Mrs.
    Osborne; which circumstance greatly elated him.  Dobbin,
    who was a friend of the General commanding the division
    in which their regiment was, came laughing one
    day to Mrs. Osborne, and displayed a similar invitation,
    which made Jos envious, and George wonder how the
    deuce he should be getting into society.  Mr. and Mrs.
    Rawdon, finally, were of course invited; as became the
    friends of a General commanding a cavalry brigade.
    On the appointed night, George, having commanded
    new dresses and ornaments of all sorts for Amelia, drove
    to the famous ball, where his wife did not know a single
    soul.  After looking about for Lady Bareacres, who cut
    him, thinking the card was quite enough--and after
    placing Amelia on a bench, he left her to her own
    cogitations there, thinking, on his own part, that he had
    behaved very handsomely in getting her new clothes, and
    bringing her to the ball, where she was free to amuse
    herself as she liked.  Her thoughts were not of the
    pleasantest, and nobody except honest Dobbin came to
    disturb them.
    Whilst her appearance was an utter failure (as her
    husband felt with a sort of rage), Mrs. Rawdon Crawley's
    debut was, on the contrary, very brilliant.  She arrived
    very late.  Her face was radiant; her dress perfection.  In
    the midst of the great persons assembled, and the eye-
    glasses directed to her, Rebecca seemed to be as cool
    and collected as when she used to marshal Miss Pinkerton's
    little girls to church.  Numbers of the men she knew
    already, and the dandies thronged round her.  As for the
    ladies, it was whispered among them that Rawdon had
    run away with her from out of a convent, and that she
    was a relation of the Montmorency family.  She spoke
    French so perfectly that there might be some truth in
    this report, and it was agreed that her manners were
    fine, and her air distingue.  Fifty would-be partners
    thronged round her at once, and pressed to have the
    honour to dance with her.  But she said she was engaged,
    and only going to dance very little; and made her way at
    once to the place where Emmy sate quite unnoticed, and
    dismally unhappy.  And so, to finish the poor child at
    once, Mrs. Rawdon ran and greeted affectionately her
    dearest Amelia, and began forthwith to patronise her.
    She found fault with her friend's dress, and her
    hairdresser, and wondered how she could be so chaussee,
    and vowed that she must send her corsetiere the next
    morning.  She vowed that it was a delightful ball; that
    there was everybody that every one knew, and only a
    VERY few nobodies in the whole room.  It is a fact, that
    in a fortnight, and after three dinners in general society,
    this young woman had got up the genteel jargon so well,
    that a native could not speak it better; and it was only
    from her French being so good, that you could know she
    was not a born woman of fashion.
    George, who had left Emmy on her bench on entering
    the ball-room, very soon found his way back when
    Rebecca was by her dear friend's side.  Becky was just
    lecturing Mrs. Osborne upon the follies which her
    husband was committing.  "For God's sake, stop him from
    gambling, my dear," she said, "or he will ruin himself.
    He and Rawdon are playing at cards every night, and you
    know he is very poor, and Rawdon will win every shilling
    from him if he does not take care.  Why don't you prevent
    him, you little careless creature?  Why don't you
    come to us of an evening, instead of moping at home
    with that Captain Dobbin?  I dare say he is tres aimable;
    but how could one love a man with feet of such size?
    Your husband's feet are darlings--Here he comes.  Where
    have you been, wretch?  Here is Emmy crying her eyes
    out for you.  Are you coming to fetch me for the quadrille?"
    And she left her bouquet and shawl by Amelia's
    side, and tripped off with George to dance.  Women only
    know how to wound so.  There is a poison on the tips of
    their little shafts, which stings a thousand times more
    than a man's blunter weapon.  Our poor Emmy, who had
    never hated, never sneered all her life, was powerless in
    the hands of her remorseless little enemy.
    George danced with Rebecca twice or thrice--how many
    times Amelia scarcely knew.  She sat quite unnoticed in
    her corner, except when Rawdon came up with some
    words of clumsy conversation:  and later in the evening,
    when Captain Dobbin made so bold as to bring her
    refreshments and sit beside her.  He did not like to ask her
    why she was so sad; but as a pretext for the tears which
    were filling in her eyes, she told him that Mrs. Crawley
    had alarmed her by telling her that George would go on
    "It is curious, when a man is bent upon play, by what
    clumsy rogues he will allow himself to be cheated,"
    Dobbin said; and Emmy said, "Indeed." She was thinking of
    something else.  It was not the loss of the money that
    grieved her.
    At last George came back for Rebecca's shawl and
    flowers.  She was going away.  She did not even
    condescend to come back and say good-bye to Amelia.  The
    poor girl let her husband come and go without saying a
    word, and her head fell on her breast.  Dobbin had been
    called away, and was whispering deep in conversation
    with the General of the division, his friend, and had not
    seen this last parting.  George went away then with the
    bouquet; but when he gave it to the owner, there lay a
    note, coiled like a snake among the flowers.  Rebecca's
    eye caught it at once.  She had been used to deal with
    notes in early life.  She put out her hand and took the
    nosegay.  He saw by her eyes as they met, that she was
    aware what she should find there.  Her husband hurried her
    away, still too intent upon his own thoughts, seemingly,
    to take note of any marks of recognition which might
    pass between his friend and his wife.  These were,
    however, but trifling.  Rebecca gave George her hand with one
    of her usual quick knowing glances, and made a curtsey
    and walked away.  George bowed over the hand, said
    nothing in reply to a remark of Crawley's, did not hear it
    even, his brain was so throbbing with triumph and
    excitement, and allowed them to go away without a word.
    His wife saw the one part at least of the bouquet-scene.
    It was quite natural that George should come at Rebecca's
    request to get her her scarf and flowers:  it was no
    more than he had done twenty times before in the course
    of the last few days; but now it was too much for her.
    "William," she said, suddenly clinging to Dobbin, who was
    near her, "you've always been very kind to me--I'm--
    I'm not well.  Take me home."  She did not know she called
    him by his Christian name, as George was accustomed to
    do.  He went away with her quickly.  Her lodgings were
    hard by; and they threaded through the crowd without,
    where everything seemed to be more astir than even in the
    ball-room within.
    George had been angry twice or thrice at finding his
    wife up on his return from the parties which he
    frequented:  so she went straight to bed now; but although
    she did not sleep, and although the din and clatter, and
    the galloping of horsemen were incessant, she never heard
    any of these noises, having quite other disturbances to
    keep her awake.
    Osborne meanwhile, wild with elation, went off to a
    play-table, and began to bet frantically.  He won repeatedly.
    "Everything succeeds with me to-night," he said.
    But his luck at play even did not cure him of his restlessness,
    and he started up after awhile, pocketing his winnings,
    and went to a buffet, where he drank off many
    bumpers of wine.
    Here, as he was rattling away to the people around,
    laughing loudly and wild with spirits, Dobbin found him.
    He had been to the card-tables to look there for his
    friend.  Dobbin looked as pale and grave as his comrade
    was flushed and jovial.
    ''Hullo, Dob!  Come and drink, old Dob!  The Duke's
    wine is famous.  Give me some more, you sir"; and he
    held out a trembling glass for the liquor.
    "Come out, George," said Dobbin, still gravely; "don't
    "Drink!  there's nothing like it.  Drink yourself, and
    light up your lantern jaws, old boy.  Here's to you."
    Dobbin went up and whispered something to him, at
    which George, giving a start and a wild hurray, tossed off
    his glass, clapped it on the table, and walked away
    speedily on his friend's arm.  "The enemy has passed the
    Sambre," William said, "and our left is already engaged.
    Come away.  We are to march in three hours."
    Away went George, his nerves quivering with excitement
    at the news so long looked for, so sudden when it
    came.  What were love and intrigue now?  He thought
    about a thousand things but these in his rapid walk to his
    quarters--his past life and future chances--the fate which
    might be before him--the wife, the child perhaps, from
    whom unseen he might be about to part.  Oh, how he
    wished that night's work undone!  and that with a clear
    conscience at least he might say farewell to the tender
    and guileless being by whose love he had set such little
    He thought over his brief married life.  In those few
    weeks he had frightfully dissipated his little capital.  How
    wild and reckless he had been!  Should any mischance
    befall him:  what was then left for her?  How unworthy he
    was of her.  Why had he married her?  He was not fit for
    marriage.  Why had he disobeyed his father, who had been
    always so generous to him?  Hope, remorse, ambition,
    tenderness, and selfish regret filled his heart.  He sate
    down and wrote to his father, remembering what he had
    said once before, when he was engaged to fight a duel.
    Dawn faintly streaked the sky as he closed this farewell
    letter.  He sealed it, and kissed the superscription.  He
    thought how he had deserted that generous father, and of
    the thousand kindnesses which the stern old man had
    done him.
    He had looked into Amelia's bedroom when he entered;
    she lay quiet, and her eyes seemed closed, and he
    was glad that she was asleep.  On arriving at his quarters
    from the ball, he had found his regimental servant already
    making preparations for his departure:  the man
    had understood his signal to be still, and these arrangements
    were very quickly and silently made.  Should he go
    in and wake Amelia, he thought, or leave a note for her
    brother to break the news of departure to her?  He went
    in to look at her once again.
    She had been awake when he first entered her room,
    but had kept her eyes closed, so that even her wakefulness
    should not seem to reproach him.  But when he had
    returned, so soon after herself, too, this timid little heart
    had felt more at ease, and turning towards him as he
    stept softly out of the room, she had fallen into a light
    sleep.  George came in and looked at her again, entering
    still more softly.  By the pale night-lamp he could see her
    sweet, pale face--the purple eyelids were fringed and
    closed, and one round arm, smooth and white, lay outside
    of the coverlet.  Good God!  how pure she was; how
    gentle, how tender, and how friendless!  and he, how
    selfish, brutal, and black with crime!  Heart-stained, and
    shame-stricken, he stood at the bed's foot, and looked at
    the sleeping girl.  How dared he--who was he, to pray for
    one so spotless!  God bless her!  God bless her!  He came to
    the bedside, and looked at the hand, the little soft hand,
    lying asleep; and he bent over the pillow noiselessly
    towards the gentle pale face.
    Two fair arms closed tenderly round his neck as he
    stooped down.  "I am awake, George," the poor child said,
    with a sob fit to break the little heart that nestled so
    closely by his own.  She was awake, poor soul, and to
    railings and the beadle: who, if she walked ever so short
    a distance to buy a ribbon in Southampton Row, was
    followed by Black Sambo with an enormous cane: who
    was always cared for, dressed, put to bed, and watched
    over by ever so many guardian angels, with and without
    wages?  Bon Dieu, I say, is it not hard that the fateful
    rush of the great Imperial struggle can't take place without
    affecting a poor little harmless girl of eighteen, who
    is occupied in billing and cooing, or working muslin
    collars in Russell Square?  You too, kindly, homely flower!
    --is the great roaring war tempest coming to sweep you
    down, here, although cowering under the shelter of
    Holborn?  Yes; Napoleon is flinging his last stake, and poor
    little Emmy Sedley's happiness forms, somehow, part of it.
    In the first place, her father's fortune was swept down
    with that fatal news.  All his speculations had of late gone
    wrong with the luckless old gentleman.  Ventures had
    failed; merchants had broken; funds had risen when he
    calculated they would fall.  What need to particularize?
    If success is rare and slow, everybody knows how quick
    and easy ruin is.  Old Sedley had kept his own sad counsel.
    Everything seemed to go on as usual in the quiet,
    opulent house; the good-natured mistress pursuing, quite
    unsuspiciously, her bustling idleness, and daily easy
    avocations; the daughter absorbed still in one selfish, tender
    thought, and quite regardless of all the world besides,
    when that final crash came, under which the worthy
    family fell.
    One night Mrs. Sedley was writing cards for a party;
    the Osbornes had given one, and she must not be
    behindhand; John Sedley, who had come home very late from
    the City, sate silent at the chimney side, while his wife
    was prattling to him; Emmy had gone up to her room
    ailing and low-spirited.  "She's not happy," the mother
    went on.  "George Osborne neglects her.  I've no patience
    with the airs of those people.  The girls have not been in
    the house these three weeks; and George has been twice
    in town without coming.  Edward Dale saw him at the
    Opera.  Edward would marry her I'm sure: and there's
    Captain Dobbin who, I think, would--only I hate all
    army men.  Such a dandy as George has become.  With
    his military airs, indeed!  We must show some folks that
    we're as good as they.  Only give Edward Dale any
    encouragement, and you'll see.  We must have a party, Mr.
    S.  Why don't you speak, John?  Shall I say Tuesday fortnight?
    Why don't you answer? Good God, John, what has happened?"
    John Sedley sprang up out of his chair to meet his
    wife, who ran to him.  He seized her in his arms, and
    said with a hasty voice, "We're ruined, Mary.  We've
    got the world to begin over again, dear.  It's best that you
    should know all, and at once."  As he spoke, he trembled
    in every limb, and almost fell.  He thought the news would
    have overpowered his wife--his wife, to whom he had
    never said a hard word.  But it was he that was the most
    moved, sudden as the shock was to her.  When he sank
    back into his seat, it was the wife that took the office of
    consoler.  She took his trembling hand, and kissed it, and
    put it round her neck: she called him her John--her dear
    John--her old man--her kind old man; she poured out a
    hundred words of incoherent love and tenderness; her
    faithful voice and simple caresses wrought this sad heart
    up to an inexpressible delight and anguish, and cheered
    and solaced his over-burdened soul.
    Only once in the course of the long night as they sate
    together, and poor Sedley opened his pent-up soul, and
    told the story of his losses and embarrassments--the
    treason of some of his oldest friends, the manly kindness
    of some, from whom he never could have expected it--in
    a general confession--only once did the faithful wife give
    way to emotion.
    "My God, my God, it will break Emmy's heart," she
    The father had forgotten the poor girl.  She was lying,
    awake and unhappy, overhead.  In the midst of friends,
    home, and kind parents, she was alone.  To how many
    people can any one tell all?  Who will be open where there
    is no sympathy, or has call to speak to those who never
    can understand?  Our gentle Amelia was thus solitary.  She
    had no confidante, so to speak, ever since she had anything
    to confide.  She could not tell the old mother her
    doubts and cares; the would-be sisters seemed every day
    more strange to her.  And she had misgivings and fears
    which she dared not acknowledge to herself, though she
    was always secretly brooding over them.
    Her heart tried to persist in asserting that George
    Osborne was worthy and faithful to her, though she knew
    otherwise.  How many a thing had she said, and got no
    echo from him.  How many suspicions of selfishness and
    indifference had she to encounter and obstinately
    overcome.  To whom could the poor little martyr tell these
    daily struggles and tortures?  Her hero himself only half
    understood her.  She did not dare to own that the man she
    loved was her inferior; or to feel that she had given her
    heart away too soon.  Given once, the pure bashful
    maiden was too modest, too tender, too trustful, too
    weak, too much woman to recall it.  We are Turks with
    the affections of our women; and have made them
    subscribe to our doctrine too.  We let their bodies go abroad
    liberally enough, with smiles and ringlets and pink
    bonnets to disguise them instead of veils and yakmaks.  But
    their souls must be seen by only one man, and they obey
    not unwillingly, and consent to remain at home as our
    slaves--ministering to us and doing drudgery for us.
    So imprisoned and tortured was this gentle little heart,
    when in the month of March, Anno Domini 1815,
    Napoleon landed at Cannes, and Louis XVIII fled, and all
    Europe was in alarm, and the funds fell, and old John
    Sedley was ruined.
    We are not going to follow the worthy old stockbroker
    through those last pangs and agonies of ruin through
    which he passed before his commercial demise befell.
    They declared him at the Stock Exchange; he was
    absent from his house of business: his bills were protested:
    his act of bankruptcy formal.  The house and furniture of
    Russell Square were seized and sold up, and he and his
    family were thrust away, as we have seen, to hide their
    heads where they might.
    John Sedley had not the heart to review the domestic
    establishment who have appeared now and anon in our
    pages and of whom he was now forced by poverty to
    take leave.  The wages of those worthy people were
    discharged with that punctuality which men frequently show
    who only owe in great sums--they were sorry to leave
    good places--but they did not break their hearts at parting
    from their adored master and mistress.  Amelia's maid
    was profuse in condolences, but went off quite resigned
    to better herself in a genteeler quarter of the town.  Black
    Sambo, with the infatuation of his profession, determined
    on setting up a public-house.  Honest old Mrs. Blenkinsop
    indeed, who had seen the birth of Jos and Amelia, and
    the wooing of John Sedley and his wife, was for staying
    by them without wages, having amassed a considerable
    sum in their service: and she accompanied the fallen
    people into their new and humble place of refuge, where
    she tended them and grumbled against them for a while.
    Of all Sedley's opponents in his debates with his creditors
    which now ensued, and harassed the feelings of the
    humiliated old gentleman so severely, that in six weeks he
    oldened more than he had done for fifteen years before--
    the most determined and obstinate seemed to be John
    Osborne, his old friend and neighbour--John Osborne,
    whom he had set up in life--who was under a hundred
    obligations to him--and whose son was to marry Sedley's
    daughter.  Any one of these circumstances would account
    for the bitterness of Osborne's opposition.
    When one man has been under very remarkable
    obligations to another, with whom he subsequently quarrels,
    a common sense of decency, as it were, makes of the
    former a much severer enemy than a mere stranger
    would be.  To account for your own hard-heartedness and
    ingratitude in such a case, you are bound to prove the
    other party's crime.  It is not that you are selfish, brutal,
    and angry at the failure of a speculation--no, no--it is
    that your partner has led you into it by the basest treachery
    and with the most sinister motives.  From a mere
    sense of consistency, a persecutor is bound to show that
    the fallen man is a villain--otherwise he, the persecutor,
    is a wretch himself.
    And as a general rule, which may make all creditors
    who are inclined to be severe pretty comfortable in their
    minds, no men embarrassed are altogether honest, very
    likely.  They conceal something; they exaggerate chances
    of good luck; hide away the real state of affairs; say that
    things are flourishing when they are hopeless, keep a
    smiling face (a dreary smile it is) upon the verge of
    bankruptcy--are ready to lay hold of any pretext for
    delay or of any money, so as to stave off the inevitable
    ruin a few days longer.  "Down with such dishonesty,"
    says the creditor in triumph, and reviles his sinking
    enemy.  "You fool, why do you catch at a straw?" calm
    good sense says to the man that is drowning.  "You villain,
    why do you shrink from plunging into the irretrievable
    Gazette?" says prosperity to the poor devil battling in
    that black gulf.  Who has not remarked the readiness with
    which the closest of friends and honestest of men suspect
    and accuse each other of cheating when they fall out
    on money matters? Everybody does it.  Everybody is right,
    I suppose, and the world is a rogue.
    Then Osborne had the intolerable sense of former
    benefits to goad and irritate him: these are always a
    cause of hostility aggravated.  Finally, he had to break off
    the match between Sedley's daughter and his son; and
    as it had gone very far indeed, and as the poor girl's
    happiness and perhaps character were compromised, it was
    necessary to show the strongest reasons for the rupture,
    and for John Osborne to prove John Sedley to be a very
    bad character indeed.
    At the meetings of creditors, then, he comported himself
    with a savageness and scorn towards Sedley, which
    almost succeeded in breaking the heart of that ruined
    bankrupt man.  On George's intercourse with Amelia he
    put an instant veto--menacing the youth with maledictions
    if he broke his commands, and vilipending the
    poor innocent girl as the basest and most artful of vixens.
    One of the great conditions of anger and hatred is, that
    you must tell and believe lies against the hated object, in
    order, as we said, to be consistent.
    When the great crash came--the announcement of
    ruin, and the departure from Russell Square, and the
    declaration that all was over between her and George--all
    over between her and love, her and happiness, her and
    faith in the world--a brutal letter from John Osborne
    told her in a few curt lines that her father's conduct had
    been of such a nature that all engagements between the
    families were at an end--when the final award came, it
    did not shock her so much as her parents, as her mother
    rather expected (for John Sedley himself was entirely
    prostrate in the ruins of his own affairs and shattered
    honour).  Amelia took the news very palely and calmly.
    It was only the confirmation of the dark presages which
    had long gone before.  It was the mere reading of the
    sentence--of the crime she had long ago been guilty--the
    crime of loving wrongly, too violently, against reason.
    She told no more of her thoughts now than she had
    before.  She seemed scarcely more unhappy now when
    convinced all hope was over, than before when she felt but
    dared not confess that it was gone.  So she changed from
    the large house to the small one without any mark or
    difference; remained in her little room for the most part;
    pined silently; and died away day by day.  I do not mean
    to say that all females are so.  My dear Miss Bullock, I
    do not think your heart would break in this way.  You are
    a strong-minded young woman with proper principles.
    I do not venture to say that mine would; it has suffered,
    and, it must be confessed, survived.  But there are some
    souls thus gently constituted, thus frail, and delicate, and
    Whenever old John Sedley thought of the affair
    between George and Amelia, or alluded to it, it was with
    bitterness almost as great as Mr. Osborne himself had
    shown.  He cursed Osborne and his family as heartless,
    wicked, and ungrateful.  No power on earth, he swore,
    would induce him to marry his daughter to the son of
    such a villain, and he ordered Emmy to banish George
    from her mind, and to return all the presents and letters
    which she had ever had from him.
    She promised acquiescence, and tried to obey.  She put
    up the two or three trinkets: and, as for the letters, she
    drew them out of the place.where she kept them; and
    read them over--as if she did not know them by heart
    already: but she could not part with them.  That effort
    was too much for her; she placed them back in her
    bosom again--as you have seen a woman nurse a child
    that is dead.  Young Amelia felt that she would die or lose
    her senses outright, if torn away from this last consolation.
    How she used to blush and lighten up when those
    letters came!  How she used to trip away with a beating
    heart, so that she might read unseen!  If they were cold,
    yet how perversely this fond little soul interpreted them
    into warmth.  If they were short or selfish, what excuses
    she found for the writer!
    It was over these few worthless papers that she brooded
    and brooded.  She lived in her past life--every letter
    seemed to recall some circumstance of it.  How well she
    remembered them all!  His looks and tones, his dress,
    what he said and how--these relics and remembrances
    of dead affection were all that were left her in the world.
    And the business of her life, was--to watch the corpse
    of Love.
    To death she looked with inexpressible longing.  Then,
    she thought, I shall always be able to follow him.  I am not
    praising her conduct or setting her up as a model for
    Miss Bullock to imitate.  Miss B. knows how to regulate
    her feelings better than this poor little creature.  Miss B.
    would never have committed herself as that imprudent
    Amelia had done; pledged her love irretrievably;
    confessed her heart away, and got back nothing--only a
    brittle promise which was snapt and worthless in a
    moment.  A long engagement is a partnership which one
    party is free to keep or to break, but which involves all
    the capital of the other.
    Be cautious then, young ladies; be wary how you
    engage.  Be shy of loving frankly; never tell all you feel, or
    (a better way still), feel very little.  See the consequences
    of being prematurely honest and confiding, and mistrust
    yourselves and everybody.  Get yourselves married as they
    do in France, where the lawyers are the bridesmaids and
    confidantes.  At any rate, never have any feelings which
    may make you uncomfortable, or make any promises
    which you cannot at any required moment command and
    withdraw.  That is the way to get on, and be respected,
    and have a virtuous character in Vanity Fair.
    If Amelia could have heard the comments regarding
    her which were made in the circle from which her father's
    ruin had just driven her, she would have seen what her
    own crimes were, and how entirely her character was
    jeopardised.  Such criminal imprudence Mrs. Smith never
    knew of; such horrid familiarities Mrs. Brown had
    always condemned, and the end might be a warning to HER
    daughters.  "Captain Osborne, of course, could not marry
    a bankrupt's daughter," the Misses Dobbin said.  "It was
    quite enough to have been swindled by the father.  As for
    that little Amelia, her folly had really passed all--"
    "All what?" Captain Dobbin roared out.  "Haven't they
    been engaged ever since they were children?  Wasn't it
    as good as a marriage?  Dare any soul on earth breathe a
    word against the sweetest, the purest, the tenderest, the
    most angelical of young women?"
    "La, William, don't be so highty-tighty with US.  We're
    not men.  We can't fight you," Miss Jane said.  "We've said
    nothing against Miss Sedley: but that her conduct
    throughout was MOST IMPRUDENT, not to call it by any
    worse name; and that her parents are people who
    certainly merit their misfortunes."
    "Hadn't you better, now that Miss Sedley is free,
    propose for her yourself, William?" Miss Ann asked
    sarcastically.  "It would be a most eligible family
    connection.  He!  he!"
    "I marry her!" Dobbin said, blushing very much, and
    talking quick.  "If you are so ready, young ladies, to chop
    and change, do you suppose that she is?  Laugh and sneer
    at that angel.  She can't hear it; and she's miserable and
    unfortunate, and deserves to be laughed at.  Go on
    joking, Ann.  You're the wit of the family, and the others
    like to hear it."
    "I must tell you again we're not in a barrack, William,"
    Miss Ann remarked.
    "In a barrack, by Jove--I wish anybody in a barrack
    would say what you do," cried out this uproused British
    lion.  "I should like to hear a man breathe a word against
    her, by Jupiter.  But men don't talk in this way, Ann: it's
    only women, who get together and hiss, and shriek, and
    cackle.  There, get away--don't begin to cry.  I only said
    you were a couple of geese," Will Dobbin said, perceiving
    Miss Ann's pink eyes were beginning to moisten as
    usual.  "Well, you're not geese, you're swans--anything
    you like, only do, do leave Miss Sedley alone."
    Anything like William's infatuation about that silly little
    flirting, ogling thing was never known, the mamma
    and sisters agreed together in thinking: and they trembled
    lest, her engagement being off with Osborne, she should
    take up immediately her other admirer and Captain.
    In which forebodings these worthy young women no
    doubt judged according to the best of their experience; or
    rather (for as yet they had had no opportunities of
    marrying or of jilting) according to their own notions of
    right and wrong.
    "It is a mercy, Mamma, that the regiment is ordered
    abroad," the girls said.  "THIS danger, at any rate, is
    spared our brother."
    Such, indeed, was the fact; and so it is that the French
    Emperor comes in to perform a part in this domestic
    comedy of Vanity Fair which we are now playing, and
    which would never have been enacted without the
    intervention of this august mute personage.  It was he
    that ruined the Bourbons and Mr. John Sedley.  It was
    he whose arrival in his capital called up all France in
    arms to defend him there; and all Europe to oust him.
    While the French nation and army were swearing fidelity
    round the eagles in the Champ de Mars, four mighty
    European hosts were getting in motion for the great
    chasse a l'aigle; and one of these was a British army, of
    which two heroes of ours, Captain Dobbin and Captain
    Osborne, formed a portion.
    The news of Napoleon's escape and landing was
    received by the gallant --th with a fiery delight and
    enthusiasm, which everybody can understand who knows
    that famous corps.  From the colonel to the smallest
    drummer in the regiment, all were filled with hope and
    ambition and patriotic fury; and thanked the French Emperor
    as for a personal kindness in coming to disturb the peace
    of Europe.  Now was the time the --th had so long
    panted for, to show their comrades in arms that they
    could fight as well as the Peninsular veterans, and that
    all the pluck and valour of the --th had not been killed
    by the West Indies and the yellow fever.  Stubble and
    Spooney looked to get their companies without purchase.
    Before the end of the campaign (which she resolved
    to share), Mrs. Major O'Dowd hoped to write
    herself Mrs. Colonel O'Dowd, C.B.  Our two friends
    (Dobbin and Osborne) were quite as much excited as the
    rest: and each in his way--Mr. Dobbin very quietly, Mr.
    Osborne very loudly and energetically--was bent upon
    doing his duty, and gaining his share of honour and
    The agitation thrilling through the country and army
    in consequence of this news was so great, that private
    matters were little heeded: and hence probably George
    Osborne, just gazetted to his company, busy with preparations
    for the march, which must come inevitably, and
    panting for further promotion--was not so much affected
    by other incidents which would have interested him at a
    more quiet period.  He was not, it must be confessed,
    very much cast down by good old Mr. Sedley's catastrophe.
    He tried his new uniform, which became him
    very handsomely, on the day when the first meeting of
    the creditors of the unfortunate gentleman took place.
    His father told him of the wicked, rascally, shameful
    conduct of the bankrupt, reminded him of what he had
    said about Amelia, and that their connection was broken
    off for ever; and gave him that evening a good sum of
    money to pay for the new clothes and epaulets in which
    he looked so well.  Money was always useful to this free-
    handed young fellow, and he took it without many words.
    The bills were up in the Sedley house, where he had
    passed so many, many happy hours.  He could see
    them as he walked from home that night (to the Old
    Slaughters', where he put up when in town) shining white
    in the moon.  That comfortable home was shut, then, upon
    Amelia and her parents: where had they taken refuge?
    The thought of their ruin affected him not a little.  He
    was very melancholy that night in the coffee-room at
    the Slaughters'; and drank a good deal, as his comrades
    remarked there.
    Dobbin came in presently, cautioned him about the
    drink, which he only took, he said, because he was
    deuced low; but when his friend began to put to him
    clumsy inquiries, and asked him for news in a significant
    manner, Osborne declined entering into conversation with
    him, avowing, however, that he was devilish disturbed
    and unhappy.
    Three days afterwards, Dobbin found Osborne in his
    room at the barracks--his head on the table, a number
    of papers about, the young Captain evidently in a state
    of great despondency.  "She--she's sent me back some
    things I gave her--some damned trinkets.  Look here!"
    There was a little packet directed in the well-known hand
    to Captain George Osborne, and some things lying about
    --a ring, a silver knife he had bought, as a boy, for her
    at a fair; a gold chain, and a locket with hair in it.  "It's
    all over," said he, with a groan of sickening remorse.
    "Look, Will, you may read it if you like."
    There was a little letter of a few lines, to which he
    pointed, which said:
    My papa has ordered me to return to you these
    presents, which you made in happier days to me; and I
    am to write to you for the last time.  I think, I know you
    feel as much as I do the blow which has come upon us.
    It is I that absolve you from an engagement which is
    impossible in our present misery.  I am sure you had no
    share in it, or in the cruel suspicions of Mr. Osborne,
    which are the hardest of all our griefs to bear.  Farewell.
    Farewell.  I pray God to strengthen me to bear this and
    other calamities, and to bless you always.    A.
    I shall often play upon the piano--your piano.  It was
    like you to send it.
    Dobbin was very soft-hearted.  The sight of women
    and children in pain always used to melt him.  The idea
    of Amelia broken-hearted and lonely tore that good-
    natured soul with anguish.  And he broke out into an
    emotion, which anybody who likes may consider unmanly.
    He swore that Amelia was an angel, to which Osborne
    said aye with all his heart.  He, too, had been reviewing
    the history of their lives--and had seen her from her
    childhood to her present age, so sweet, so innocent,
    so charmingly simple, and artlessly fond and tender.
    What a pang it was to lose all that: to have had it and
    not prized it!  A thousand homely scenes and recollections
    crowded on him--in which he always saw her good
    and beautiful.  And for himself, he blushed with remorse
    and shame, as the remembrance of his own selfishness
    and indifference contrasted with that perfect purity.  For
    a while, glory, war, everything was forgotten, and the
    pair of friends talked about her only.
    "Where are they?" Osborne asked, after a long talk,
    and a long pause--and, in truth, with no little shame at
    thinking that he had taken no steps to follow her.  "Where
    are they? There's no address to the note."
    Dobbin knew.  He had not merely sent the piano; but
    had written a note to Mrs. Sedley, and asked permission
    to come and see her--and he had seen her, and Amelia
    too, yesterday, before he came down to Chatham; and,
    what is more, he had brought that farewell letter and
    packet which had so moved them.
    The good-natured fellow had found Mrs. Sedley only
    too willing to receive him, and greatly agitated by the
    arrival of the piano, which, as she conjectured, MUST have
    come from George, and was a signal of amity on his
    part.  Captain Dobbin did not correct this error of the
    worthy lady, but listened to all her story of complaints
    and misfortunes with great sympathy--condoled with
    her losses and privations, and agreed in reprehending the
    cruel conduct of Mr. Osborne towards his first benefactor.
    When she had eased her overflowing bosom somewhat,
    and poured forth many of her sorrows, he had the
    courage to ask actually to see Amelia, who was above in
    her room as usual, and whom her mother led trembling
    Her appearance was so ghastly, and her look of despair
    so pathetic, that honest William Dobbin was frightened
    as he beheld it; and read the most fatal forebodings in
    that pale fixed face.  After sitting in his company a minute
    or two, she put the packet into his hand, and said,
    "Take this to Captain Osborne, if you please, and--and I
    hope he's quite well--and it was very kind of you to
    come and see us--and we like our new house very much.
    And I--I think I'll go upstairs, Mamma, for I'm not very
    strong." And with this, and a curtsey and a smile, the
    poor child went her way.  The mother, as she led her up,
    cast back looks of anguish towards Dobbin.  The good
    fellow wanted no such appeal.  He loved her himself too
    fondly for that.  Inexpressible grief, and pity, and terror
    pursued him, and he came away as if he was a criminal
    after seeing her.
    When Osborne heard that his friend had found her,
    he made hot and anxious inquiries regarding the poor
    child.  How was she?  How did she look?  What did she
    say?  His comrade took his hand, and looked him in the
    "George, she's dying," William Dobbin said--and could
    speak no more.
    There was a buxom Irish servant-girl, who performed
    all the duties of the little house where the Sedley family
    had found refuge: and this girl had in vain, on many
    previous days, striven to give Amelia aid or consolation.
    Emmy was much too sad to answer, or even to be aware
    of the attempts the other was making in her favour.
    Four hours after the talk between Dobbin and Osborne,
    this servant-maid came into Amelia's room, where she
    sate as usual, brooding silently over her letters--her
    little treasures.  The girl, smiling, and looking arch and
    happy, made many trials to attract poor Emmy's
    attention, who, however, took no heed of her.
    "Miss Emmy," said the girl.
    "I'm coming," Emmy said, not looking round.
    "There's a message," the maid went on.  "There's
    something--somebody--sure, here's a new letter for you--
    don't be reading them old ones any more." And she gave
    her a letter, which Emmy took, and read.
    "I must see you," the letter said.  "Dearest Emmy--
    dearest love--dearest wife, come to me."
    George and her mother were outside, waiting until she
    had read the letter.
    "The Girl I Left Behind Me"
    We do not claim to rank among the military novelists.
    Our place is with the non-combatants.  When the decks
    are cleared for action we go below and wait meekly.  We
    should only be in the way of the manoeuvres that the
    gallant fellows are performing overhead.  We shall go no
    farther with the --th than to the city gate:  and leaving
    Major O'Dowd to his duty, come back to the Major's
    wife, and the ladies and the baggage.
    Now the Major and his lady, who had not been invited
    to the ball at which in our last chapter other of our
    friends figured, had much more time to take their
    wholesome natural rest in bed, than was accorded to people
    who wished to enjoy pleasure as well as to do duty.  "It's
    my belief, Peggy, my dear," said he, as he placidly pulled
    his nightcap over his ears, "that there will be such a ball
    danced in a day or two as some of 'em has never heard
    the chune of"; and he was much more happy to retire to
    rest after partaking of a quiet tumbler, than to figure at
    any other sort of amusement.  Peggy, for her part, would
    have liked to have shown her turban and bird of
    paradise at the ball, but for the information which her
    husband had given her, and which made her very grave.
    "I'd like ye wake me about half an hour before the assembly
    beats," the Major said to his lady.  "Call me at half-
    past one, Peggy dear, and see me things is ready.  May be
    I'll not come back to breakfast, Mrs. O'D."  With which
    words, which signified his opinion that the regiment would
    march the next morning, the Major ceased talking, and
    fell asleep.
    Mrs. O'Dowd, the good housewife, arrayed in curl
    papers and a camisole, felt that her duty was to act, and
    not to sleep, at this juncture.  "Time enough for that," she
    said, "when Mick's gone"; and so she packed his travelling
    valise ready for the march, brushed his cloak, his cap, and
    other warlike habiliments, set them out in order for him;
    and stowed away in the cloak pockets a light package of
    portable refreshments, and a wicker-covered flask or
    pocket-pistol, containing near a pint of a remarkably
    sound Cognac brandy, of which she and the Major approved
    very much; and as soon as the hands of the
    "repayther" pointed to half-past one, and its interior
    arrangements (it had a tone quite equal to a cathaydral, its
    fair owner considered) knelled forth that fatal hour, Mrs.
    O'Dowd woke up her Major, and had as comfortable a
    cup of coffee prepared for him as any made that morning
    in Brussels.  And who is there will deny that this worthy
    lady's preparations betokened affection as much as the
    fits of tears and hysterics by which more sensitive females
    exhibited their love, and that their partaking of this coffee,
    which they drank together while the bugles were sounding
    the turn-out and the drums beating in the various quarters
    of the town, was not more useful and to the purpose than
    the outpouring of any mere sentiment could be?  The
    consequence was, that the Major appeared on parade quite
    trim, fresh, and alert, his well-shaved rosy countenance,
    as he sate on horseback, giving cheerfulness and confidence
    to the whole corps.  All the officers saluted her
    when the regiment marched by the balcony on which this
    brave woman stood, and waved them a cheer as they
    passed; and I daresay it was not from want of courage,
    but from a sense of female delicacy and propriety, that
    she refrained from leading the gallant --th personally
    into action.
    On Sundays, and at periods of a solemn nature, Mrs.
    O'Dowd used to read with great gravity out of a large
    volume of her uncle the Dean's sermons.  It had been of
    great comfort to her on board the transport as they were
    coming home, and were very nearly wrecked, on their
    return from the West Indies.  After the regiment's
    departure she betook herself to this volume for meditation;
    perhaps she did not understand much of what she was
    reading, and her thoughts were elsewhere:  but the sleep
    project, with poor Mick's nightcap there on the pillow,
    was quite a vain one.  So it is in the world.  Jack or Donald
    marches away to glory with his knapsack on his shoulder,
    stepping out briskly to the tune of "The Girl I Left Behind
    Me." It is she who remains and suffers--and has the
    leisure to think, and brood, and remember.
    Knowing how useless regrets are, and how the indulgence
    of sentiment only serves to make people more miserable,
    Mrs. Rebecca wisely determined to give way to no
    vain feelings of sorrow, and bore the parting from her
    husband with quite a Spartan equanimity.  Indeed Captain
    Rawdon himself was much more affected at the leave-
    taking than the resolute little woman to whom he bade
    farewell.  She had mastered this rude coarse nature;
    and he loved and worshipped her with all his faculties of
    regard and admiration.  In all his life he had never been so
    happy, as, during the past few months, his wife had made
    him.  All former delights of turf, mess, hunting-field, and
    gambling-table; all previous loves and courtships of
    milliners, opera-dancers, and the like easy triumphs of the
    clumsy military Adonis, were quite insipid when
    compared to the lawful matrimonial pleasures which of late he
    had enjoyed.  She had known perpetually how to divert
    him; and he had found his house and her society a
    thousand times more pleasant than any place or company
    which he had ever frequented from his childhood until
    now.  And he cursed his past follies and extravagances,
    and bemoaned his vast outlying debts above all, which
    must remain for ever as obstacles to prevent his wife's
    advancement in the world.  He had often groaned over
    these in midnight conversations with Rebecca, although as
    a bachelor they had never given him any disquiet.  He
    himself was struck with this phenomenon.  "Hang it,"
    he would say (or perhaps use a still stronger expression
    out of his simple vocabulary), "before I was married I
    didn't care what bills I put my name to, and so long as
    Moses would wait or Levy would renew for three months,
    I kept on never minding.  But since I'm married, except
    renewing, of course, I give you my honour I've not
    touched a bit of stamped paper."
    Rebecca always knew how to conjure away these
    moods of melancholy.  "Why, my stupid love," she would
    say, "we have not done with your aunt yet.  If she fails us,
    isn't there what you call the Gazette?  or, stop, when your
    uncle Bute's life drops, I have another scheme.  The living
    has always belonged to the younger brother, and why
    shouldn't you sell out and go into the Church?"  The idea
    of this conversion set Rawdon into roars of laughter:
    you might have heard the explosion through the hotel at
    midnight, and the haw-haws of the great dragoon's voice.
    General Tufto heard him from his quarters on the first
    floor above them; and Rebecca acted the scene with great
    spirit, and preached Rawdon's first sermon, to the
    immense delight of the General at breakfast.
    But these were mere by-gone days and talk.  When the
    final news arrived that the campaign was opened, and the
    troops were to march, Rawdon's gravity became such
    that Becky rallied him about it in a manner which rather
    hurt the feelings of the Guardsman.  "You don't suppose
    I'm afraid, Becky, I should think," he said, with a tremor
    in his voice.  "But I'm a pretty good mark for a shot, and
    you see if it brings me down, why I leave one and
    perhaps two behind me whom I should wish to provide for,
    as I brought 'em into the scrape.  It is no laughing matter
    that, Mrs. C., anyways."
    Rebecca by a hundred caresses and kind words tried
    to soothe the feelings of the wounded lover.  It was only
    when her vivacity and sense of humour got the better of
    this sprightly creature (as they would do under most
    circumstances of life indeed) that she would break out
    with her satire, but she could soon put on a demure face.
    "Dearest love," she said, "do you suppose I feel nothing?"
    and hastily dashing something from her eyes, she
    looked up in her husband's face with a smile.
    "Look here," said he.  "If I drop, let us see what there
    is for you.  I have had a pretty good run of luck here, and
    here's two hundred and thirty pounds.  I have got ten
    Napoleons in my pocket.  That is as much as I shall want;
    for the General pays everything like a prince; and if I'm
    hit, why you know I cost nothing.  Don't cry, little woman;
    I may live to vex you yet.  Well, I shan't take either of my
    horses, but shall ride the General's grey charger:  it's
    cheaper, and I told him mine was lame.  If I'm done, those
    two ought to fetch you something.  Grigg offered ninety
    for the mare yesterday, before this confounded news
    came, and like a fool I wouldn't let her go under the two
    o's.  Bullfinch will fetch his price any day, only you'd
    better sell him in this country, because the dealers have so
    many bills of mine, and so I'd rather he shouldn't go
    back to England.  Your little mare the General gave you
    will fetch something, and there's no d--d livery stable
    bills here as there are in London," Rawdon added, with a
    laugh.  "There's that dressing-case cost me two hundred
    --that is, I owe two for it; and the gold tops and bottles
    must be worth thirty or forty.  Please to put THAT up the
    spout, ma'am, with my pins, and rings, and watch and
    chain, and things.  They cost a precious lot of money.  Miss
    Crawley, I know, paid a hundred down for the chain and
    ticker.  Gold tops and bottles, indeed!  dammy, I'm sorry
    I didn't take more now.  Edwards pressed on me a silver-
    gilt boot-jack, and I might have had a dressing-case fitted
    up with a silver warming-pan, and a service of plate.  But
    we must make the best of what we've got, Becky, you
    And so, making his last dispositions, Captain Crawley,
    who had seldom thought about anything but himself, until
    the last few months of his life, when Love had obtained
    the mastery over the dragoon, went through the various
    items of his little catalogue of effects, striving to see how
    they might be turned into money for his wife's benefit, in
    case any accident should befall him.  He pleased himself
    by noting down with a pencil, in his big schoolboy
    handwriting, the various items of his portable property which
    might be sold for his widow's advantage as, for example,
    "My double-barril by Manton, say 40 guineas; my driving
    cloak, lined with sable fur, 50 pounds; my duelling pistols in
    rosewood case (same which I shot Captain Marker),
    20 pounds; my regulation saddle-holsters and housings; my
    Laurie ditto," and so forth, over all of which articles he
    made Rebecca the mistress.
    Faithful to his plan of economy, the Captain dressed
    himself in his oldest and shabbiest uniform and epaulets,
    leaving the newest behind, under his wife's (or it might
    be his widow's) guardianship.  And this famous dandy of
    Windsor and Hyde Park went off on his campaign with a
    kit as modest as that of a sergeant, and with something
    like a prayer on his lips for the woman he was leaving.
    He took her up from the ground, and held her in his
    arms for a minute, tight pressed against his strong-beating
    heart.  His face was purple and his eyes dim, as he put her
    down and left her.  He rode by his General's side, and
    smoked his cigar in silence as they hastened after the
    troops of the General's brigade, which preceded them;
    and it was not until they were some miles on their way
    that he left off twirling his moustache and broke silence.
    And Rebecca, as we have said, wisely determined not to
    give way to unavailing sentimentality on her husband's
    departure.  She waved him an adieu from the window, and
    stood there for a moment looking out after he was gone.
    The cathedral towers and the full gables of the quaint old
    houses were just beginning to blush in the sunrise.  There
    had been no rest for her that night.  She was still in her
    pretty ball-dress, her fair hair hanging somewhat out of
    curl on her neck, and the circles round her eyes dark with
    watching.  "What a fright I seem," she said, examining
    herself in the glass, "and how pale this pink makes one
    look!"  So she divested herself of this pink raiment; in
    doing which a note fell out from her corsage, which she
    picked up with a smile, and locked into her dressing-box.
    And then she put her bouquet of the ball into a glass of
    water, and went to bed, and slept very comfortably.
    The town was quite quiet when she woke up at ten
    o'clock, and partook of coffee, very requisite and
    comforting after the exhaustion and grief of the morning's
    This meal over, she resumed honest Rawdon's calculations
    of the night previous, and surveyed her position.
    Should the worst befall, all things considered, she was
    pretty well to do.  There were her own trinkets and trousseau,
    in addition to those which her husband had left behind.
    Rawdon's generosity, when they were first married,
    has already been described and lauded.  Besides these,
    and the little mare, the General, her slave and worshipper,
    had made her many very handsome presents, in the shape
    of cashmere shawls bought at the auction of a bankrupt
    French general's lady, and numerous tributes from the
    jewellers' shops, all of which betokened her admirer's
    taste and wealth.  As for "tickers," as poor Rawdon called
    watches, her apartments were alive with their clicking.
    For, happening to mention one night that hers, which
    Rawdon had given to her, was of English workmanship,
    and went ill, on the very next morning there came to her
    a little bijou marked Leroy, with a chain and cover
    charmingly set with turquoises, and another signed Brequet,
    which was covered with pearls, and yet scarcely bigger
    than a half-crown.  General Tufto had bought one, and
    Captain Osborne had gallantly presented the other.  Mrs.
    Osborne had no watch, though, to do George justice, she
    might have had one for the asking, and the Honourable
    Mrs. Tufto in England had an old instrument of her
    mother's that might have served for the plate-warming
    pan which Rawdon talked about.  If Messrs. Howell and
    James were to publish a list of the purchasers of all the
    trinkets which they sell, how surprised would some
    families be: and if all these ornaments went to gentlemen's
    lawful wives and daughters, what a profusion of jewellery
    there would be exhibited in the genteelest homes of
    Vanity Fair!
    Every calculation made of these valuables Mrs. Rebecca
    found, not without a pungent feeling of triumph and self-
    satisfaction, that should circumstances occur, she might
    reckon on six or seven hundred pounds at the very least,
    to begin the world with; and she passed the morning
    disposing, ordering, looking out, and locking up her
    properties in the most agreeable manner.  Among the notes
    in Rawdon's pocket-book was a draft for twenty pounds
    on Osborne's banker.  This made her think about Mrs.
    Osborne.  "I will go and get the draft cashed," she said,
    "and pay a visit afterwards to poor little Emmy." If this
    is a novel without a hero, at least let us lay claim to a
    heroine.  No man in the British army which has marched
    away, not the great Duke himself, could be more cool or
    collected in the presence of doubts and difficulties, than
    the indomitable little aide-de-camp's wife.
    And there was another of our acquaintances who was
    also to be left behind, a non-combatant, and whose emotions
    and behaviour we have therefore a right to know.
    This was our friend the ex-collector of Boggley Wollah,
    whose rest was broken, like other people's, by the sounding
    of the bugles in the early morning.  Being a great
    sleeper, and fond of his bed, it is possible he would have
    snoozed on until his usual hour of rising in the forenoon,
    in spite of all the drums, bugles, and bagpipes in the
    British army, but for an interruption, which did not come
    from George Osborne, who shared Jos's quarters with
    him, and was as usual occupied too much with his own
    affairs or with grief at parting with his wife, to think of
    taking leave of his slumbering brother-in-law--it was not
    George, we say, who interposed between Jos Sedley and
    sleep, but Captain Dobbin, who came and roused him up,
    insisting on shaking hands with him before his departure.
    "Very kind of you," said Jos, yawning, and wishing
    the Captain at the deuce.
    "I--I didn't like to go off without saying good-bye, you
    know," Dobbin said in a very incoherent manner; "because
    you know some of us mayn't come back again, and
    I like to see you all well, and--and that sort of thing, you
    "What do you mean?" Jos asked, rubbing his eyes.  The
    Captain did not in the least hear him or look at the stout
    gentleman in the nightcap, about whom he professed to
    have such a tender interest.  The hypocrite was looking
    and listening with all his might in the direction of George's
    apartments, striding about the room, upsetting the chairs,
    beating the tattoo, biting his nails, and showing other
    signs of great inward emotion.
    Jos had always had rather a mean opinion of the
    Captain, and now began to think his courage was somewhat
    equivocal.  "What is it I can do for you, Dobbin?" he said,
    in a sarcastic tone.
    "I tell you what you can do," the Captain replied, coming
    up to the bed; "we march in a quarter of an hour,
    Sedley, and neither George nor I may ever come back.
    Mind you, you are not to stir from this town until you
    ascertain how things go.  You are to stay here and watch
    over your sister, and comfort her, and see that no harm
    comes to her.  If anything happens to George, remember
    she has no one but you in the world to look to.  If it goes
    wrong with the army, you'll see her safe back to England;
    and you will promise me on your word that you will
    never desert her.  I know you won't:  as far as money goes,
    you were always free enough with that.  Do you want any?
    I mean, have you enough gold to take you back to
    England in case of a misfortune?"
    "Sir," said Jos, majestically, "when I want money, I
    know where to ask for it.  And as for my sister, you
    needn't tell me how I ought to behave to her."
    "You speak like a man of spirit, Jos," the other answered
    good-naturedly, "and I am glad that George can
    leave her in such good hands.  So I may give him your
    word of honour, may I, that in case of extremity you
    will stand by her?"
    "Of course, of course," answered Mr. Jos, whose
    generosity in money matters Dobbin estimated quite
    "And you'll see her safe out of Brussels in the event of
    a defeat?"
    "A defeat! D-- it, sir, it's impossible.  Don't try and
    frighten ME," the hero cried from his bed; and Dobbin's
    mind was thus perfectly set at ease now that Jos had
    spoken out so resolutely respecting his conduct to his
    sister.  "At least," thought the Captain, "there will be a
    retreat secured for her in case the worst should ensue."
    If Captain Dobbin expected to get any personal comfort
    and satisfaction from having one more view of Amelia
    before the regiment marched away, his selfishness was
    punished just as such odious egotism deserved to be.  The
    door of Jos's bedroom opened into the sitting-room which
    was common to the family party, and opposite this door
    was that of Amelia's chamber.  The bugles had wakened
    everybody:  there was no use in concealment now.  George's
    servant was packing in this room:  Osborne coming in
    and out of the contiguous bedroom, flinging to the man
    such articles as he thought fit to carry on the campaign.
    And presently Dobbin had the opportunity which his
    heart coveted, and he got sight of Amelia's face once
    more.  But what a face it was!  So white, so wild and
    despair-stricken, that the remembrance of it haunted him
    afterwards like a crime, and the sight smote him with
    inexpressible pangs of longing and pity.
    She was wrapped in a white morning dress, her hair
    falling on her shoulders, and her large eyes fixed and
    without light.  By way of helping on the preparations for
    the departure, and showing that she too could be useful
    at a moment so critical, this poor soul had taken up a
    sash of George's from the drawers whereon it lay, and
    followed him to and fro with the sash in her hand, looking
    on mutely as his packing proceeded.  She came out and
    stood, leaning at the wall, holding this sash against her
    bosom, f