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billed and cooed together like a pair of turtle doves: yes—ha ! -that we did !"
And this, I suppose, is the end of some of the billings?” said the Abbé, pointing to Mr. Tom.
Billings ! what do you mean? Yes-oh-ah- a pun, a calembourg. Fi donc, M. l'Abbé.” And then, after the wont of very stupid people, M. de Galgenstein went on to explain to the Abbé his own pun. “Well, but to proceed,” cries he. “We lived together at Birmingham, and I was going to be married to a rich heiress, egad! when what do you think this little Cat does ? She murders me, egad! and makes me manquer the marriage. Twenty thousand, I think it was ; and I wanted the money in those days. Now, wasn't she an abominable monster, that mother of yours, hey, Mr. aWhat's-your-name?”
“She served you right !” said Mr. Billings, with a great oath, starting up out of all patience.
“Fellow!” said his Excellency, quite aghast,“ do you know to whom you speak ?-to a nobleman of seventy-eight descents; a count of the Holy Roman empire; a representative of a sovereign? Ha, egad! Don't stamp, fellow, if you hope for my protection.”
“D-n your protection !” said Mr. Billings, in a fury. “Curse you and your protection too! I'm a free-born Briton,
French Papist ! And any man who insults my mother—ay, or calls me feller, had better look to himself and the two eyes in his head, I can tell him !” And with this Mr. Billings put himself into the most approved attitude of the Cockpit, and invited his father, the reverend gentleman, and M. La Rose the valet, to engage with him in a pugilistic encounter. The two latter, the Abbé especially, seemed dreadfully frightened; but the Count now looked on with much interest; and giving utterance to a feeble kind of chuckle, which lasted for about half a minute, said,
* Paws off, Pompey! You young hang-dog, you—egad, yes, aha, ’pon honour, you're a lad of spirit; some of your father's spunk in you, hey! I know him by that oath. Why, sir, when I was sixteen, I used to swear—to swear, egad, like a Thames waterman, and exactly in this fellow's way! Buss me, my lad; no, kiss
hand. That will do"-and he held
out a very lean yellow hand, peering from a pair of yellow ruffles. It shook very much, and the shaking made all the rings upon it shine only the more.
“Well,” says Mr. Billings, "if you wasn't a-going to abuse me nor mother, I don't care if I shake hands with you. I ain't proud !”
The Abbé laughed with great glee; and that very evening sent off to his court a most ludicrous, spicy description of the whole scene of meeting between this amiable father and child ; in which he said that young Billings was the élève favorite of M. Kitch, Ecuyer, le bourreau de Londres, and which made the Dukes mistress laugh so much that she vowed that the Abbé should have a bishopric on his return; for, with such store of wisdom, look you, my son, was the world governed in those days.
The Count and his offspring meanwhile conversed with some cordiality The former informed the latter of all the diseases to which he was subject, his manner of curing them, his great consideration as chamberlain to the Duke of Bavaria ; how he wore his court suits, and of a particular powder which he had invented for the hair ; how, when he was seventeen, he had run away with a canoness, egad! who was afterwards locked up in a convent, and grew to be sixteen stone in weight ; how he remembered the time when ladies did not wear patches; and how the Duchess of Marlborough boxed his ears when he was so high, because he wanted to kiss her.
All these important anecdotes took some time in the telling, and were accompanied by many profound moral remarks; such as, “I can't abide garlic, nor white-wine, stap me! nor Sauerkraut, though his Highness eats half a bushel per day. I ate it the first time at court; but when they brought it me a second time, I refused—refused, split me and grill me if I didn't. Everybody stared ; his Highness looked as fierce as a Turk; and that infernal Krähwinkel (my dear, I did for him afterwards)—that cursed Krähwinkel, I say, looked as pleased as possible, and whispered to Countess Fritsch, 'Blitzchen Frau Gräfinn,' says he, 'it's all over with Galgenstein.' What did I do? I had the entrée, and demanded it. “Altesse,' says I, falling on one knee, ‘I ate no Kraut at dinner to-day. You remarked it: I saw your Highness remark it.'
6 I did, M. le Comte,' said his Highness, gravely.
“I had almost tears in my eyes ; but it was necessary to come to a resolution, you know. "Sir,' said I, 'I speak with deep grief to your Highness, who are my benefactor, my friend, my father ; but of this I am resolved, I WILL NEVER EAT SAUERKRAUT MORE : it don't agree with me. After being laid up for four weeks by the last dish of Sauerkraut of which I partook, I may say with confidence--it don't agree with me. By impairing my health, it impairs my intellect, and weakens my strength; and both I would keep for your Highness's service.'
“Tut, tut !' said his Highness. Tut; tut, tut !! Those were his very words.
Give me my sword or my pen,' said I. “Give me my sword or my pen, and with these Maximilian de Galgenstein is ready to serve you'; but sure, --sure, a great prince will pity the weak health of a faithful subject, who does not know how to eat Sauerkraut?' His Highness was walking about the room: I was still on my knees, and stretched forward my hand to seize his coat.
“GEHT ZUM TEUFEL, sir !' said he, in a loud voice (it means 'Go to the deuce,' my dear),—'Geht zum Teufel, and eat what you like!' With this he went out of the room abruptly ; leaving in my hand one of his buttons, which I keep to this day. As soon as I was alone, amazed by his great goodness and bounty, I sobbed aloud—cried like a child” (the Count's eyes filled and winked at the very recollection), “and when I went back into the card-room, stepping up to Krähwinkel, 'Count,' says I, who looks foolish now?'-Hey there, La Rose, give me the diamond- Yes, that was the very pun I made, and very good it was thought. • Krähwinkel,' says I, 'who looks foolish now !' and from that day to this I was never at a court-day asked to eat Sauerkraut -never.
“Hey there, La Rose! Bring me that diamond snuff-box in the drawer of my secrétaire”; and the snuff-box was brought. “Look at it, my dear,” said the Count, "for I saw you seemed to doubt. There is the button--the very one that came off his Grace's coat."
Mr. Billings received it, and twisted it about with a stupid air. The story had quite mystified him; for he did not dare yet to think his father was a fool-his respect for the aristocracy prevented him.
When the Count's communications had ceased, which they did as soon as the story of the Sauerkraut was finished, a silence of some minutes ensued. Mr. Billings was trying to comprehend the circumstances above narrated ; his lordship was exhausted ; the chaplain had quitted the room directly the word Sauerkraut was mentioned -- he knew what was coming. His lordship looked for some time at his son, who returned the gaze with his mouth wide open. "“Well,” said the Count>"well, sir? What are you sitting there for? If you have nothing to say, sir, you had better go. I had you here to amuse me--split memand not to sit there staring !”
Mr. Billings rose in a fury.
“Hark ye, my lad,” said the Count, “tell La Rose to give thee five guineas, and, ah-come again some morning. A nice, well-grown young lad,” mused the Count, as Master Tommy walked wondering out of the apartment; "a pretty fellow enough, and intelligent too."
“Well, he is an odd fellow, my father,” thought Mr. Billings, as he walked out, having received the sum offered to him. And he immediately went to call upon his friend Polly Briggs, from whom he had separated in the morning.
What was the result of their interview is not at all necessary to the progress of this history. Having made her, however, acquainted with the particulars of his visit to his father, he went to his mother's, and related to her all that had occurred.
Poor thing, she was very differently interested in the issue of it!
SHOWING HOW GALGENSTEIN AND MRS. CAT RECOGNIZE EACH
OTHER IN MARYLEBONE GARDENS—AND HOW THE COUNT
ABOUT a month after the touching conversation above related, there was given, at Marylebone Gardens, a grand concert and
entertainment, at which the celebrated Madame Aménaïde, a dancer of the theatre at Paris, was to perform, under the patronage of several English and foreign noblemen; among whom was his Excellency the Bavarian Envoy. Madame Aménaïde was, in fact, no other than the maîtresse en titre of the Monsieur de Galgenstein, who had her a great bargain from the Duke de Rohan-Chabot at Paris.
It is not our purpose to make a great and learned display here, otherwise the costumes of the company assembled at this fête might afford scope for at least half-a-dozen pages of fine writing; and we might give, if need were, specimens of the very songs and music sung on the occasion. Does not the Burney collection of music, at the British Museum, afford one an ample store of songs from which to choose ? Are there not the memoirs of Colley Cibber? those of Mrs. Clark, the daughter of Colley? Is there not Congreve, and Farquhar—nay, and at a pinch, the Dramatic Biography, or even the Spectator, from which the observant genius might borrow passages, and construct pretty antiquarian figments ? Leave we these trifles to meaner souls ! Our business is not with the breeches and periwigs, with the hoops and patches, but with the divine hearts of men, and the passions which agitate them. What need, therefore, have we to say that on this evening, after the dancing, the music, and the fireworks, Monsieur de Galgenstein felt the strange and welcome pangs of appetite, and was picking a cold chicken, along with some other friends, in an arbour--a cold chicken, with an accompaniment of a bottle of champagne—when he was led to remark that a very handsome, plump little person, in a gorgeous stiff damask gown and petticoat, was sauntering up and down the walk running opposite his supping-place, and bestowing continual glances towards his Excellency. The lady, whoever she was, was in a mask, such as ladies of high and low fashion wore at public places in those days, and had a male companion. He was a lad of only seventeen, marvellously well dressed-indeed, no other than the Count's own son, Mr. Thomas Billings; who had at length received from his mother the silver-hilted sword, and the wig, which that affectionate parent had promised to him.
In the course of the month which had elapsed since the