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except by leaping through one of the loop-boles in the cornice. Mrs. Swazey was soon within striking distance of the culprit; but many pursuers beside her have missed the object of their pursuit, when it has been within their reach, from a too great eagerness to grasp it. Such was the eager haste with which she ran toward our hero, that her foot slipped, and caused her to prostrate herself in a manner not wholly becoming one of her refined manners. But he scorned to take any other advantage of her accident, than what was necessary for his self-preservation ; so regaining the stair-case, he ran down with as much celerity as he had ascended it ; but Bridget, being stationed at the bottom, caught him in her brawny arms, and in spite of his kicking and pinching, held him fast, until Mrs. Swazey came down.
It was not many minutes before that exasperated lady, with the aid of Bridget, had placed our hero across her knees, preparatory to the infliction of a punishment which may justly be called the martyrdom of childhood, and which is as hurtful to the tender flesh as it is mortifying to the feelings of that period of our existence, when suddenly the door opened, and Mr. Tremlett made his appearance, just in time to save our hero from an indignity which, though it may have been inflicted upon the majority of the human species, is, nevertheless, not one of those calamities common to the hero of a romance. Tut! tut! tut!' exclaimed Mr. Tremlett, with an unusual degree of warmth, what 's all this?
Bridget, at the sight of her employer, covered her face with her apron, and fled to the kitchen; and Mrs. Swazey suffered our hero to escape from his unpleasant position, and being too much excited to enter into an explanation, she rushed out of the room without speaking a word, leaving the lad and Mr. Tremlett alone together. The young gentleman was a good deal flustered, and somewhat shamefaced from being seen in such a degraded condition by his kind benefactor; but he soon regained his composure, and again looked up into the face of the merchant with that winning look of confident innocence, which had at first made an impression upon his heart.
• I am afraid you are a very bad boy, Sir,' said the merchant, looking very grave.
I will try not to be,' replied the youngster, while a tear glistened in his
eye. • You must not only try, but you must not be,' said Mr. Tremlett; * I shall not allow any bad boys to live with me.'
* And will you let me live with you, if I'll be good? O, I will be good !' replied the boy.
• Perhaps I may,' said the merchant; “but I certainly shall not, if you are bad. But come, get into the carriage with me; I am going to take you to the Asylum ; and then I will see whether I will let you live with me or not.' Just then Mr. Tremlett's barouche drove up to the door, into which the merchant got, taking our hero with him, although apparently very much against the inclination of that young gentleman, who by no means relished the thought of being taken back to his old quarters.
As soon as the carriage drove off, Mrs. Swazey thanked her stars very devoutly that she had got rid of the little wretch. And Bridget said that she could not help loving him, to save her soul, notwithstanding he was so imperdent; and that she must say that he was the
cunningest dog that ever lived ; and then the house-keeper relented a little, and said she would allow he was the most beautiful-complected child she had ever seen, and that his skin, to be sure, was as soft as velvet, and that he did know enough.
* Law, now,' said Bridget, “I do wish I had cut off a lock of his hair; it would look so beautiful in a locket !'
Then Mrs. Swazey desired to be thankful that she had plenty of ginteel relations, who had as beautiful children as the best of folks.' And then when Bridget ventured to make a reply, she desired her to hold her tongue. And so these two ladies continued to talk for some time longer about our hero, differing in some non-essential points, as ladies will, but both agreeing that they were the luckiest persons alive to have got rid of him so easily; when, to their utter consternation and dismay, Mr. Tremlett returned in his barouche, bringing the subject of their conversation with him, but entirely divested of his rags, and dressed in a new suit of the very latest fashion, which Mr. Tremlett had procured at a boy's clothing emporium in Broadway. For the first time in her life, Mrs. Swazey was struck dumb with amazement; and when Mr. Tremlett told her that he had determined to adopt the boy into his family, and to educate him as his son, her tongue refused to do its usual duty, and all the organs of loquaciousDess, with which she was well endowed by nature, suddenly became powerless. But Mr. Tremlett did not pretend to take notice of her eloquent silence, but told her to prepare a suitable apartment for the young lad, and always to treat him kindly.
One of the very last things that a woman ever thinks of doing, is to acknowledge herself out-generalled by a man, whether he be her lord and master, or her master only; and therefore Mrs. Swazey immediately set her wits to work to devise some plan for ousting our hero from the affections and the premises of her employer. As to his living under the same roof with herself, she was determined that he should not. She saw that Mr. Tremlett had set his heart
the youngster, and she perceived the necessity of immediate action, to prevent his affections from taking deep root ; and thinking that the fond old man would, beyond a question, prefer the off-shoot of some genteel family, to the stray lamb of an eleemosynary institute, she came to the determination of endeavouring to counteract the influence of the boy, by interposing the fascinations of some half dozen of her own nephews before the eyes of the merchant. Women are proverbially quickwitted, and prompt in action; and Mrs. Swazey was an epitome of her sex. When Mr. Tremlett came home to his tea, he was rather more surprised than delighted, to find three middle-aged ladies, and seven young gentlemen, whose ages ranged from five to fifteen, all honoring him with their company to tea.
Children are objects of interest under all circumstances, except when they are in the presence of their mothers; and then, as one of the ladies present on this occasion very justly observed, they behave as bad as they can, on purpose to mortify those who alone care any thing at all about them. But our hero, having no mother to torment, and feeling very sure that nobody present cared a straw about him, shone out like a star of the first magnitude among this constellation of juveniles, who were clustered together for the express purpose of putting him in the condition of a total eclipse? This the partial eyes
of the three ladies prevented them from seeing; in fact, they had looked so long and so steadily upon the dazzling brightness of their own particular stars, that they had become in a great measure blind to all others; and each one felt certain that the choice of the rich merchant would fall on her own cynosure ; for Mrs. Swazey bad explained to them in full the cause of their being summoned together. But Mr. Tremlett, not being influenced by any of those best feelings of our nature which affected the vision of the ladies, could not fail to perceive, at the first glance, the great superiority of our hero over the whole assemblage of prodigies.
As soon as the door opened, and Mr. Tremlett made his appear. ance, there was an immense sensation among the mothers; and each little innocent immediately flew to his own natural protector. The fortunate lady, who happened to be nearest to the door, and who had the first chance at the merchant, was Mrs. Muzzy, a very genteel personage, whose only hope, a young gentleman of nearly four feet in height, stood at her side.
• Augustus, my love,' said Mrs. Muzzy, 'make a bow to the gentleman.
But Augustus put his fore-finger into his mouth, and resolutely refused to move either hand, foot, or head; all three of which it was necessary to do, in order to comply with his mother's request.
• 'Gustus, my darling, did you hear ? said the lady, affectionately. But the young Augustus made no response,
• Come, Gussy, that's a darling, make a bow for the gentleman,' continued his mother. Augustus Muzzy, do as I bid you this moment !- this instant !'
But Augustus Muzzy appeared suddenly to have conceived that a statuesque appearance was best suited to the occasion; bow he would not.
* Poor boy!' said his mother, with a look that belied her affected sympathy; "he's got such a awful cold in his head, that he's 'most a fool to-day'
Never mind, never mind,' said Mr. Tremlett, good-humoredly; the young gentleman will come to himself by and by, I dare say.
He shall make a bow, if I have to skin him alive !' said the excited mother, her face suddenly turning very red. But her threat had not the least perceptible influence upon the immoveable young gentleman ; upon which the lady lost all command of her better feelings, and catching hold of her darling, she dragged him into the next apartment, from which there arose such a terrible sound, that the
company were convinced that the affectionate mother was putting her dreadful menace into execution.
The next lady who got an opportunity to show off, was Mrs. Stimson. She told her youngest to make a bow, and quick as thought the obedient child stepped into the middle of the floor, and rubbing up his little pug nose with the inside of his right hand, and thrusting his right foot behind him, he bent his little body nearly double.
The other lady, Mrs. Smickle, was almost suffocated with envy; the happy mother of the boy smiled with ineffable delight; while Mrs. Swazey herself regarded the triumph as complete.
• Well done, my little fellow !' said Mr. Tremlett ; ‘and now can you tell me your name?'
Marquith de Lafayette Stithmthun,' replied the talented' young gentleman, without the least hesitation.
*And how old are you, Marquis ? asked Mr. Tremlett.
He is not another day !' said the delighted mother; "he was only eight years old the twenty-first day of last April; but I do n't kuow how many people have said they could not believe he was so young.'
• He is a precious darling !' said Mrs. Swazey;' would n't he like to come and live with uncle Tremlett, dear ?'
• No, I do n't want to,' said the youth. • Why not ? said Mr. Tremlett.
• Coth mother thays you are a nathty old bacheldor,' replied the forward child.
This reply had a very sensible effect upon every person in the room, except only the one who uttered it; and he looked around him with the self-complacency of a man who has said, in his own opinion, one of the very best things that could be spoken. Little did the wellsatisfied child know the anguish of his mother, the mortification of his aunt Swazey, the exultation of his aunt Smickle, or the chagrin of Mr. Tremlett, who did not like to receive such a home thrust, even from a gentleman of the dimensions of the young Marquis.
Now was Mrs. Smickle's time. She looked upon her three darlings with the most intense delight that a mother's heart is capable of feeling : she considered their fortunes as made ; for she had not the slightest doubt of Mr. Tremlett's adopting all three. Her ample bosom heaved with emotion, and she could scarce keep the tears from her eyes. But, poor woman! she did not reflect that as she had always given her children the privilege of doing as they pleased, for fear of souring their dispositions, they would be very likely to continue to do so; and that if they did do as she might wish them to, it would be an accident.
• Now my dear,' said Mrs. Smickle to her youngest, 'speak pretty to the gentleman, and ask him how he does.'
I wont !' was the reply. *Do, darling, speak pretty, now,' said the indulgent mother, at the same time giving the young monster a kiss.
'I wont ! I wont ! I wont !' was the only return for this kindness.
*David, dear, you speak to the gentleman,' she said, addressing the next oldest,' and ask him how he does ?' And by way of enforcing compliance, she slipped a sixpence slily into the boy's hand.
• I aint a-going to - only for that!' replied the youth, scorning the smallness of the bribe.
• Do, dear,' said Mrs. Smickle.
• You are always trying to make me do something I do n't want to,' replied the child; and without more ado, he set up a most piteous howl.
• Never mind, do n't cry,' said the anxious mother; and addressing her other darling, who was amusing himself with a back-gammon board under one of the tables, she said : • Lucius, my love, get up and speak to the gentleman.'
• What shall I say ? inquired the youngster. • Ask him how he does, dear; come, that's a sweet,' said his mother, Why do n't you ask him yourself?' inquired the young philosopher. *Was there ever such torments ?' exclaimed the amiable Mrs. Smickle, in a whisper to her sister Swazey.
•I declare, I feel as if I should go off the stage,' replied the housekeeper; for she began to discover that her deep-laid plans were all coming to nought.
Just at this moment, tea was announced, and a scene of great confusion ensued, during which our hero behaved himself with such perfect propriety, that he even won upon the good-will of Mrs. Swazey herself, and Mr. Tremlett was still more favorably inclined toward him than ever before. Such are the pleasing effects of contrast. If Mrs. Swazey had been religiously bent upon advancing the fortunes of our hero, she could not have hit upon a plan for doing it so effectually as by showing him off in contrast with such a troop of pampered young republicans as she had summoned together for a contrary purpose.
The sight of the dainties upon the tea-table dispelled all thoughts of every thing but present enjoyment from the minds of mothers and children, and all grievances were forgotten.
• Boys,' said the indulgent Mrs. Smickle, in a hurried whisper to her offspring, 'kill yourselves eating, for 't is all you will ever get out of this house, darlings.'
As the occurrences of the tea-table had no particular influence upon the fortunes of our hero, we will draw the oblivious veil of noninvention across them; and with the reader's permission, will here close the fifth chapter of this history.