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“ Why,” said Nubley, “ it means that you were rich, you are now found out to be poor; fair-weather birds all fly away in the storm.”
Yes, Mr. Nubley,” said Mrs. Brandy ball, entering the room with all the impassioned dignity of a tragedy queen; “ but no birds are to be caught with chaff, at least if they have any instinct, or are not very
Cuthbert's astonishment at the appearance and aspect of his intended, was something perfectly indescribable.
“Yes, Sir," continued the lady, addressing her astounded victim, “you-you, Sir, have induced me, under false pretences, to give up my school, to throw myself out of a good livelihood, and now you turn out to be a bankrupt. How can you justify yourself?”
“My dear Mrs. B.," said Cuthbert, “ I was, up to this morning, as innocent of the fact-eh, dear!-eh, dear!-as yourself, and
“ Innocent!” said the lady, with a sneer worthy of a comic actress of the first water, yes, innocent enough, Heaven knows; but you must have known what was going to happen to you."
“ Not I,” said Cuthbert: “ I trusted to friends, and have been deceived." “ More fool you !” almost screamed the gorgon.
" But what am I to do? how am I to be satisfied ?"
“ Your kind affection for me ” said Cuthbert.
" Affection for what?” cried the sweet instructress of young females : “affection for you! What upon earth could make anybody care about a shrivelled piece of parchment in calico pantaloons like you, except“ What!” said Cuthbert. « What do I hear?”
Why I tell you what you hear,” continued the virago; induced me to break up my establishment—my seminary-my Montpelier. I have sent away my young ladies; I have relied upon you, and see what has happened !”
“ Surely,” said Cuthbert, raising himself somewhat energetically on his elbow,“ surely this must bemeb?-this-is-eh, what?”
“ What?” cried the lady, “ why I tell you what-it is this : you have suffered yourself to be fooled out of your property, and I have suffered myself to be fooled out of my business : my girls are gone, and I gave up a fine connexion to become your wife.”
“ And,” said Cuthbert, still clinging to the hope that she really did love him, "for himself alone,'—" and I am still ready to fulfil the engagement."
Tom Noddy-thought Nubley. " Are you?” said the lady. “ Thank you for nothing. I am not likely to throw myself away upon an old bankrupt.”
“Oh! Mrs. Bravdyball,” said Kitty, in a tone which delighted Nubley, who entertained a sanguine expectation that the exposure of the roundabout governess's real character would work well in bringing the truant heart of the elder Falwasser back to its natural, or, at least, its most congenial home.
“Oh!” cried the infuriated woman, “ I don't know what you mean by oh! Miss. My belief is that you care about as much for your 'Pappy,' as you call him, as I do. You loved him for what you thought you could get, and I—but no matter, I must be paid, and that directly-I
say, directly, Sir," looking at Nubley, “ for all that is due for the board and education of the girls.”
To attempt a description of Cuthbert's countenance, or the agitation of his frame, while the great lady in the little parlour was fulminating all these her denunciations, would be impossible; he turned deadly pale, his limbs quivered, and he sank back like a corpse against the back the sofa.
Kitty rushed out of the room, and, in less than a minute, returned with Hutton and some water. Nubley rose from his seat, and lifted poor Cuthbert up.
“ It's all very fine, fainting,” said Mrs. Brandyball, “but tricks upon travellers won't do. I have been imposed upon, ruined, destroyed—”
“Hold your tongue, Ma'am," said Nubley.
“ I shall do no such thing, Sir," screamed his female antagonist. " This is
my house, and I shall do as I please in it.” “I am very glad, Ma’am,” said Nubley, “ to find that it is your house, because, in that case, my poor friend here is not responsible for any portion of either rent or furniture."
" I don't mean, that, Sir,” exclaimed the lady, while Hutton was endeavouring to restore poor Cuthbert to a sense of his situation. “He is responsible.” “ Ah !” said Nubley,
so you say, Ma'am.” “ Say!” screamed she, “ I not only say, but know. Who is to pay the bills which have been just brought in, besides others that I expect? - Who is to pay the upholsterer's bill—the jeweller's bill-the-"
“You, Ma'am,” said Nubley :—“that's a settler-eh! don't you see?-if-and see what a virtue there is in an if-if you, out of pure love and affection for my respected bit of parchment in calico pantaloons, had married him, he, poor dear body, would have been in for it: but, no, there is no responsibility, Ma’am; he admits eighteen shillings and sixpence for a toothpick, for which, in his name, I will pay; but as for the rest, that's your own affair, and you may go and whistle for it, old lady.”
« Old what, Sir?” said Mrs. Brandyball.
you will show me any authority from Cuthbert to you to use his name and obtain credit at these shops, then I will not deny his liability; but, if not
“Mr. Gurney,” said the lady to my recovering brother, “ do you not recollect the jeweller's bill?- did you not get credit there-eh?”
“Yes,” said Cuthbert—" eh!-dear, yes- I own that eighteen shillings-eh, dear !-and sixpence-for a toothpick; but
A what!” cried the lady. “Do you mean to say “ I mean to say, Ma’am,” said Nubley, “ that my friend here is not answerable for any extravagant bills of yours.”
“ Then, Sir," said the lady, walking up to Nubley, in a kind of Amazonian march,“ who is to pay them?”
“ You, Ma'am, if you please," answered Nubley, by no means intimidated with her manner of approach; “ Mr. Gurney shall pay you every
farthing due to you for the education of the girls, and whatever you choose to charge for board and lodging, but —
“ Board and lodging, you vulgar monster !” cried the lady; “ do I keep a boarding-house-a lodging-house ?”
“Yes," said Nubley, “ both—and something worse, for all I knowonly don't be saucy. Now, I'll tell you-you thought you had duped and deluded this poor dear friend of mine-a piece of parchment in calico, eh!-into marrying you; and if it hadn't pleased Providence to ruin him beforehand, you'd have had him now; when he gets out of his fainting fit he'll find exactly the sort of wife he would have had, and appreciate your affection for him and his children.”
& Affection !" said the lady; “ who talks about affection ? Children! -I am sure I shall be too glad to get rid of Miss Kitty—when I am paid my bill; but what am I to do about the others ?”
Tol der ol lol! thought Nubley ; who cares ? “ Cuthbert, my friend, how d'ye feel?”
“Dying,” said Cuthbert; “I could not have fancied-eh!--anything so hard-hearted—so cruel !"
" What d'ye mean by cruel, Sir?” said Mrs. Brandyball. is the deceiver ?—what did you tell me?—what did you offer me ?settlements-money-jewels !”
“ Show us the writings, Mistress,” said Nubley. “He hasn't been fool-that is, I mean good-natured-enough to put pen to paper beyond a cheque or so, eh ?-10, no, old lady.”
“ Old !” screamed the governess.
“ Chickabiddy, if you like," said Nubley. “All I mean to say is, that if you will make out your bill, Ma’am-whatever it is, Ma’am-I'll pay that, and take
my friend away, Ma'am. As to the bills which you have thought proper to run up upon the chance of marrying himthose, Ma'am, you'll pay yourself. Hutton--"
“ Yes, Sir," said Hutton.
“ What does it all mean?” said Cuthbert. “ Dear Mrs. Brandyball – I thought I knew your heart—I am sure—eh, dear !- this is a mistake -eh!-you will not give me up ?-eh, dear !-misfortune is-eh !"
"Give you up!" exclaimed the lady; " Sippetts-give up what?" Parchment in calico, thought Nubley. “ That's it,” said she, “ give up
“ And Kate,” said Cuthbert, throwing a pair of eyes grown into gooseberries pathetically at the girl, “ Kate, eh?”
“ The sooner we part the better,” said Mrs. Brandyball; “ I know quite enough of her—and I don't think I am likely, after all the trouble I have had with her, to keep her for nothing. You had better bundle her back to Bengal.”
“ Brute!” said Kitty, and rushed out of the room.
Il's all right, thought Nubley. “And now, Ma’am, if you will just tot up your account for the schooling and that, I'll arrange the whole matter. I don't think it would be pleasant for my friend to stay here any longer; and his circumstances will not allow him, as you know, to support his present mode of living."
“ I never make out accounts," said the lady,“ especially for persons situated as I have been relatively with this poor old man. I only want to know if you will pay the tradesmen's bills which I have incurred in expectation of the union of your friend with myself.”
“ Not one penny, Ma'am,” said Nubley. “ What! not the jeweller's ?"
“No-not a farthing, Ma'am,” said Nubley," heyond the eighteen shillings and sixpence for the tooth-pick, which he admits.”
“ Tooth-pick!” said the lady, with a sneer, evidently intended to convey an expression of contempt derogatory to poor Cuthbert's “ ivory."
“ A greater scamp I never heard of !” said Mrs. Brandy ball ; I'll hunt him-pursue him—I'll have the money."
“ No you won't,” said Nubley: "you are luckily found out, Ma'am; and if my friend is ruined to a certain extent, he is saved from a much worse ruin which was in store for him."
At this moment Kate returned, having been evidently crying. She was dressed for a start-bonnet, shawl, &c. “Oh, Miss Pert, you are come,” said Mrs. Brandyball;
“ much good you'll come to, my dear (with a sneer). And where are you going to ? --to the linen-draper's 'prentice, or the dancing-master?”
“ I'm going,” said Kate, bursting into a flood of tears, “ with my poor, dear father-in-law, wherever he goes." “ Affectionate love!” said Mrs. Brandyball; “ going with Pappy ?”
“Yes, Ma'am,” said Kate, “ to the world's end with him ; and if it hadn't been for what I learned under your roof, I never should have deserved the insults you have cast upon me.”
“ Fine girl!” said Mrs. Brandyball; "a very fit daughter for a bankrupt impostor.
“ Ma'am,” said Nubley,“ we are rather pressed for time—will you make out your bill, and we
“ There's no bill,” said Cuthbert, recovering from his trance, and seeming really to awaken to a " sense of his condition "_"Mrs. B. has had five hundred pounds last week.”
“Oh!” said Nubley; "tol der lol lol !—five hundred pounds !- that's a settler!—we want no bills. Hutton-pack up-pack upmake haste, we are going.”
“ Yes,” said the lady,“ but the bills I have incurred“ I tell you again you must pay them,” said Nubley.
“ No, no,” said Cuthbert, " let me do what is right-I would rather -eh, dear !"
“Rather," said Nubley, “ you are a bankrupt-you can do nothingno!-old parchment in calico !—I'll take you out of this, and whenever you find it inconvenient to settle those accounts of the jeweller, upholsterer, and other similar sort of people
“Yes, Sir,” said Mrs. Brandyball, attentively, and with a degree of mingled interest and civility.
-Recollect, Ma’am, the old proverb about the slip between the cup and the lip-but don't trouble Mr. Gurney ; you have got the goods -you will have to pay for them. And so now, Hutton, how do we
get on ?"
“The carriage is at the door," said Hutton, to whom, in point of Nov.-vol. LIV. NO. CCXV.
fact, Nubley, upon his first arrival, had given instructions to get horses ready—the appropriate appearance of which startled poor Cuthbert, and made Kitty as happy as possible.
“ So,” said the lady, “ you are going—are you?”
Nobody answered, but all proceeded in their different modes of preparing for a departure.
There are several ways in which rage, disappointment, vengeance, jealousy, despair, &c. &c. &c. may be exhibited. The great heart of the combustible Brandyball was not to be trifled with; with her it must be all or nothing ; either the explosion would be something that nobody could withstand, or all the elements of confusion must be hidden under a bushel. She saw that she had overreached herself : a few days more would have united her to Cuthbert, and, bankrupt or not, all her expensive bills, run up, not upon his personal responsibility, but
upon the contingency of his marriage, would have fallen upon him, and by so much the more have decreased the dividend on his estate; but this was not destined to be—she was quite lawyer enough to know that. The failure of her great object beat her down, and the very recollection of the fawning flattering devotion she had paid to the poor invalid, whom she, in the plenitude of her rage, had now denounced, drove her to the conclusion that her best course would be to treat the parting trio with what she considered contempt; and therefore, when the carriage was announced packed and ready, she struck her forehead with her hand, and ran out of the library upstairs into her own room, where she threw herself
upon her bed, much to the peril of the legs and feet of the bedstead, and burst into tears; not, however, quitting the “ presence of her evanescent guests without ejaculating something which, as no lady ought ever to enunciate it, so no lady should be exposed to the pain of finding it recorded.
All this, and other proceedings of minor importance, hut which in their details satisfied me that Nubley had acted in the most correct and even liberal manner toward the dependents of the household, and, indeed, had behaved, as I had dreamed of him, most angelically (and never, never-so long as I live—will I take a prejudice to any man when I first see him), I learved from himself, dear old fellow! And who can describe--I am sure I cannot-not the delight only, but the surprisethe joy, I may truly say-when, upon the evening of that day which I had resolved should be the last of suspense, we were roused from a somewhat heavy evening's cause after our tea by the usual dog barking, bell-ringing, gravel-grinding noise which unquestionably announced an arrival. It could be nobody but Nubley. I sprang from my chair; Mrs. Nubley cried “ Lauk !” and Harriet begged me not to flurry myself. However it was a burst of feeling, and nothing could stop me.
I rushed into the hall, and, oh! how-in what words, by what means—can I express the blessedness of my feelings, the extent of my happiness, when I saw my beloved brother Cuthbert, ruined as he was- beggared by his own improvidence-but dearer to me than ever-lifted almost from the carriage into the house. The frailty of its tenure to me at that moment was nothing ; I caught him to my heart and burst into tears : I did, and I am not ashamed to write iť down. My position was altered—I felt proud and happy-it was now for me to show how I would succour and support my nearest relation upon earth. It was all a mystery what