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“I have always heard,” said Fanny, with great solemnity, looking up from the table where she was writing, " that crime carries its own punishment along with it; but that would be proving it with a vengeance !"
" Ha! ha! ha!" laughed Mr. Herbert Grimstone, as he dragged himself out of the room; for the joke being only against his mother, he enjoyed it as much as any one.
After that amiable and exemplary lady had been made acquainted with the purport of her son's visit, long and varying was the consultation that took place as to what dress and attitude she should sit for her picture in. .
“I think, my dear mamma," ventured Herbert at last, " you never look so well as when you are writing; your eyelids are so remarkably handsome; there, so," continued he, taking up a pen, and accidentally, on purpose, pushing over a banker's book that was lying on the table, on which he began to write pantomimically.
His dear mamma took the pen, and in good earnest wrote him a draught for a thousand pounds. “There, my dear," said she, pushing it over to him, “I know young men have many expenses, and this may be of use to you; but do not mention it to your brother, as his wife might hear it; and I was saying the other day that I thought she could do very well without carriage horses when she got down to Grimstone; so, you understand, it is as well not."
“My dear mamma,” said Herbert, gallantly kissing his revered parent's hand, “I always consider everything you say to me as sacred, and I believe you have never found me betray your confidence, so you may take the ghost's word for a thousand pounds; but,” added he, smiling, “I assure you, when I began designing the pose of your picture, I had no idea I was such a good draughtsman!"
Her ladyship’s brain being invariably pun-proof, she merely replied,
“Ah, my dear, you always was vaustly clever at drawing.”
* Yes, my dear mamma, I certainly have drawn a great deal in my time, but it is a propensity I should wish you to check, at least as far as etchings go."
“ Tut, tut, my dear, it is a delightful talent, and it does you great credit to get through so much."
“I do not know; one's resources get exhausted at last, and, for my part, I would rather have a carte blanche' than the finest drawings in the world.”
“With your talents, my dear Herbert, to be so modest, does great credit to your head and hort!”
“ Talent, my dear mamma, as Snobguess the American author was explaining to me to-day, is invariably derived from the mother, so I may have some pretensions to it."
“Very just observation, my dear, for your father was a perfect fool.”,
“Poor man, so I should think," thought Herbert; but he did not say it, for his mother had from infancy instilled into him that the truth ought not to be spoken at all times.
After a few more maternal and filial compliments, it was decided that her ladyship should go to Madame Girardot's to choose a headdress for her picture. Herbert did not much relish the idea of being boxed up in a close carriage with his dear mamma, and terminating the day with a five o'clock dinner; but still, a thousand pounds are not to be got for nothing; and as Parliament had opened with a very stormy session, in which the magnates had followed Locke's educational advice of “laying on the blows, with reasoning between," he would have a good excuse for getting away soon after dinner.
“My dear,” said the dowager, “ you must come with me to Madame Girardot's, for I am not much in the habit of going to these here sort of milliners, as Frump generally makes all my caps and bonnets; but you see so many French ladies, that you will be able to choose me something degaugée and pretty.”
“My dear mamma, I know no one who has such good taste in dress as yourself; but I shall be happy to accompany you."
Accordingly, to Madame Girardot's they drove; and the dowager having paused on the stairs to remark "how vaustly impertinent it was of such people to have mahogany doors and window frames," proceeded to the showroom, where Lady Sudbury and Lady Stepastray were trying on things, the former a Ceres velvet toque, the latter a sort of zephyr cap, on every web of which fifteen was stamped. Madame Girardot, who had been arranging the folds of the Ceres toque, and assuring Lady Sudbury that she looked " charmante," while Madlle. Mélanie, her coadjutor, was agreeing with
Lady Stepastray that she looked “jolie à ravir dans le petit bonnet de nymphe,” now paused, and replacing her hands in her apron pockets, and peering round the dowager as though she had been scrutinizing the iomate of a den in the Zoological Gardens, never even condescended to ask her what she wanted. Lady Sudbury, though perfectly acquainted with her by sight, that is, as the mad old Lady de Clifford, who had quarrelled with the whole county, now raised her “lorgnette," and investigated her more minutely than madame could possibly do with the naked eye. Meanwhile Lady Stepastray advanced towards Herbert, with
“ The gliding, undulating motion
Which steps, but treads not ;" and having received his assurances that she was looking more beautiful than ever, she cast an inquiring glance towards his mother. Now, like all persons who from oddity, temper, conduct, or any other cause, knew nobody, the dowager was exceedingly tenacious about her son not introducing her to every one they knew; and Lady Stepastray being just the person he could venture to introduce her to, he began, in a voice nearly as dulcet as her own,
“My dear Lady Stepastray, as I understand you and my mother are both to appear in Snobguess's forthcoming work, will you allow me to make you personally known to each other ?"
“I shall be most happy, my dear Mr. Grimstone."
“ My dear mamma," whispered Herbert, “ Lady Stepastray is so anxious to be introduced to you; may I introduce her? I think you've read her books, The Old Road to Ruin,' and 'The Chamberlain's Daughter.""
“Oh, dear, yes, to be sure, and vaustly interesting they were.”
“Well, then, I may introduce her to you?”
“ I'm charmed to make your acquaintance, Lady de Clifford,” mewed Lady Stepastray; "for I'm such an admirer of your son's talents.”
“ I'm sure, with regard to talent, nobody has greater pretensions than your ladyship,” grinned the dowager.
“No, no, my dear Lady de Clifford, you are very good to say so; but I am cramped. My natural bent is theology and metaphysics; but novels, you see, are the only things that go down now; so I'm obliged to write them malgré moi,'"
“And I'm sure no novels can go down (?) fauster than your ladyship's; but I'm detaining you from your purchases,” bobbed the dowager, as she moved away to the other end of the room, where, disencumbering herself of Frump's amateur bonnet, she desired, Madame Girardot to produce some of her newest and most “recherché” headdresses ; but whether it was that her ladyship's French sounded to madame's Parisian ears like Hebrew, and that, consequently, she read it backward, I know not; but certain it is that she excavated some of the very dowdiest and dingiest of her last year's hats and toques; and having strongly recommended the ugliest of the batch, for which she modestly asked treble its original price, she was listlessly proceeding to wrap it up in silver paper, when Lady Sudbury walked up to her, and said, in a languid and impertinent voice, sufficiently loud for the dowager to hear,
“Qui est cette personnage ?!"
Girardot, without raising her eyes from the parcel she was arranging, flung one glance round the corner at Lady de Clifford, as she replied, with a contemptuous curl of her upper lip,
“ Ca? ça ? n'as pas de nom !"
“Devilish good, thought Herbert, in his own mind; but fearing his mother might not be of the same opinion, he looked at his watch, and said,
“My dear mamma, I fear we shall not have time for Chalon's to day, for it is half past four now; we dine at five, and I must be down at the house by seven."
“Oh, very well, my dear; the best way will be for us to go straight home." And bobbing across the room to Lady Stepastray, she took her son's arm, who, pressing her hand as he helped her into the carriage, told her " That he admired her taste exceedingly in the hat she had selected, as nothing could be more becoming."
On arriving in Bruton-street, he inquired if his groom was there; and being answered in the affirmative, he ordered his cabriolet to be at the door punctually at seven. Nothing of any moment occurred at dinner, except that the venison was too high; at which her
ladyship expressed her indignation, by turning sharply round to Croaker, and saying,
“ This here venison is perfectly uneatable; the servants may have it!”
“They lived together for a long time in the greatest unity, al. though they had married for love.”-Fairy Tale of the Princess Lumineuse.
“ The perception of a woman is quick as lightning. Her penetra. tion is intuition, almost instinct. By a glance she will draw a deep and just conclusion; ask her how she formed it, and she cannot an. swer the question. A philosopher deduces inferences, and his in. ferences shall be right; but he gets to the head of the staircase, if I may so say, by slow degrees, mounting step by step. She arrives at the top of the staircase as well as he; but whether she flew there is more than she knows herself. While she trusts her instinct, she is scarcely ever deceived; but she is generally lost when she begins to reason."-SHERLOCK.
"Ich habe genossen das irdische glück,
" YESTERDAY, by special license, at the residence of her father, in Berkeley Square, Fanny, youngest daughter of John Pierrepoint Neville, Esq., of Bishop's Court, Yorkshire, to Henry, eldest son of Henry Saville, Esq., of Latimers, Herefordshire. Immediately after the ceremony, the happy pair left town for Lati. mers. There were present on the occasion the Duke and Duchess of Darlington, the Marquis and Mar. chioness of Sudbury, Lady Florence Lindley, the Earl and Countess of Shuffleton, Viscount and Viscountess de Clifford, Viscountess Dowager de Clifford, Mr. and Mrs. Seymour, the Honourable Herbert Grimstone, and the Honourable George Pierrepoint. The dejeuné was in Gunter's best style, and the trousseau of the lovely bride was furnished by the joint efforts of Mesdames Minettes and Victorine, of Paris.”
Such was the paragraph that greeted Cheveley's eyes upon entering the breakfast-room at Cheveley the morning after Savillo's marriage, from attending which,