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not always, even so much. You say truly that you flatter yourself, but you see I cannot condescend to flatter you."
So saying, Augusta walked to the window, and sate down with smiling satisfaction.
Sparkleton started from his chair; in so doing he unluckily trod on the broad-extended paw of Fatima's eldest daughter: upon this Fatima and her daughter flew at the offender, with a mingled bark and yell, Augusta and Mrs. Lindsay rushed to his rescue, Fatima had fixed her sharp fangs in the calf of his leg. Sparkleton bore it like a hero, for the calf was sham; Mrs. Lindsay in real terror tore off the dog. Alas! alas ! the calf was displaced.
Atthis moment, Dashington was announced; visions of a new caricature flashed before poor Sparkleton's eyes — his leg ! he had always been famous for his leg — he had felt certain, upon the strength of it, to walk into the good graces of, at the worst, a rich tradesman's widow, or a city heiress, and now Dashington would not leave him a leg to stand upon; he
had better run any risk than let the satirist an. Domce sist Tat Sparkleton paraded London
steaires, sich be had just bought, ani gis be daily seen exercising his new
- Let me retreat for a minute by that door," be said, “ I fear tbe found will bleed, allow De a fex rinates alone."
He ked scarely made good his escape, when Dashington entered. Dashington looked very pale, hurried and humble; his delay had not proceeded from coxcombry, he had evaded a whole levee of dans, and had had another writ served upon him while furtively entering a street cab. He had driven to a notorious usurer's, and had attempted to borrow a small sum on his prospect of marrying the niece of the rich Mr. Lindsay; unluckily it was the same usurer who had lent Sparkleton a sum on the same pretext. However, Dashington explained that Mr. Lindsay had two nieces, each of whom was sure of fifty thousand pounds.
“ If she has but fifteen thousand, if you
bring me a written engagement, signed by herself, a letter acknowledging you as her intended, or any little tangible document, my dear friend, I shall rejoice to serve you; the Lindsays are a charming connexion. I should like to have the name in my books; your friend, young Lindsay, he's an extravagant young fellow, I should think; why don't you bring him here; if he wants a few thousands, as your friend, I shall be proud to accommodate him.”
“You are more kindly disposed towards my friend than towards me, I see !"
“ Not at all ; with equal security, I'd give you the preference.”
“Well, lend me fifty pounds on my bond.”
“I haven't fifty pence in the house, upon my honour. Never knew money so scarce; there's none in the market. I should have to borrow it myself of Scrape, and you know what an old fox he is for security. However, if the girl—I beg your pardon—if the young lady is engaged to you, you can easily get her written promise, and then I shall be most
proud to oblige you — I mean, to get Scrape to oblige you, my dear sir, even if when your affairs are examined into, the lady wishes to be off, there'd be grounds for a very neat little action for breach of promise, very neat, indeed, dear sir. Captain Bullyton in just such a case, got his three thousand damages, and very handsomely paid off all old scores with us, on the day he received it.”
“But I am not Captain Bullyton," said Dashington, haughtily. “I beg you will never allude to such a scoundrel in my presence.”
“I beg pardon, but you know he is a military man, too, and has behaved most handsomely to us. I know you gentlemen of the guards look down upon him, but I say he has set a good example to all jilted lovers. Twist and Turn, his solicitors, brought him off with flying colours. He's pocketed his three thousand; I wish you, the lady, or as good a compensation. I've a very great regard for you, Captain Dashington—when will you dine with me ? If you hear young Lindsay say he wants a few thousands, remember, on his security, I
can borrow it of Scrape for him. Good day, my dear sir.”
It was after this interview that Dashington drove to the Lindsays; Augusta and her mother were exchanging a smile as he entered at the idea of the rencontre that must take place in the conservatory between Sir Peter and Sparkleton, and there was nothing encouraging, in the somewhat sarcastic manner in which Augusta received the repeated excuses of her lover on his tardy appearance. At any other time he would have paid her back scorn for scorn, and sarcasm for sarcasm, but his last writ was still in his glove, and the usurer's iron smile before his eyes. He had had a letter that morning from his brother, who had twice paid his debts, refusing him any further assistance, and two friends to whom he had applied had declined lending him a few pounds.
Poor Dashington, the pallor of his cheeks and the earnest agitation of his manner struck Augusta and her mother, and were attributed, of course, to passion, not poverty. So fine, so elegant, and so habitually supercilious a man