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Father Confessor listened for a moment; and then, with something resembling an oath, walked away to the entry of the gardens, where his Excellency's gilt coach, with three footmen, was waiting to carry him back to London. me' a chair, Joseph,” said his Reverence, who infinitely preferred a seat gratis in the coach. “That fool," muttered he, “will not move for this hour.” The reverend gentleman knew that; when the Count was on the subject of the physician's wife, his discourses were intolerably long; and took upon himself, therefore, to disappear, along with the rest of the Count's party; who procured other conveyances, and returned to their homes.
After this quiet shadow had passed before the Count's box, many groups of persons passed and repassed; and among them was no other than Mrs. Polly Briggs, to whom we have been already introduced. Mrs. Polly was in company with one or two other ladies, and leaning on the arm of a gentleman with large shoulders and calves, a fierce cock to his hat, and a shabby genteel air. His name was Mr. Moffat, and his present occupation was that of door-keeper at a gamblinghouse in Covent Garden; where, though he saw many thousands pass daily under his eyes, his own salary amounted to no more than four-and-sixpence weekly,-a sum quite insufficient to maintain him in the rank which he held.
Mr. Moffat, had, however, received some funds--amounting, indeed, to a matter of twelve guineas—within the last month, and was treating Mrs. Briggs very generously to the concert. It may be as well to say that every one of the twelve guineas had come out of Mrs. Polly's own pocket: who, in return, had received them from Mr. Billings. And as the reader may remember that, on the day of Tommy's first interview with his father, he had previously paid a visit to Mrs. Briggs, having under his arm a pair of breeches, which Mrs. Briggs coveted-he should now be informed that she desired these breeches, not for pincushions, but for Mr. Moffat, who had long been in want of a pair.
Having thus episodically narrated Mr. Moffat's history, let us state that he, his lady, and their friends, passed before the Count's arbour, joining in a melodious chorus to a song which one of the society, an actor of Betterton's, was singing :
" 'Tis my will, when I'm dead, that no tear shall be shed,
No 'Hic jacet ’be graved on my stone ;
My brave boys !
My brave boys” was given with vast emphasis by the party ; Mr. Moffat growling it in a rich bass, and Mrs. Briggs in a soaring treble. As to the notes, when quavering up to the skies, they excited various emotions among the people in the gardens. “Silence them blackguards !" shouted a barber, who was taking a pint of small beer along with his lady. “Stop that there infernal screeching !” said a couple of ladies, who were sipping ratafia in company with two pretty fellows.
“Dang it, it's Polly !” said Mr. Tom Billings, bolting out of the box, and rushing towards the sweet-voiced Mrs. Briggs. When he reached her, which he did quickly, and made his arrival known by tipping Mrs. Briggs slightly on the waist, and suddenly bouncing down before her and her friend, both of the latter drew back somewhat startled.
"Law, Mr. Billings !” says Mrs. Polly, rather coolly, "is it you? Who thought of seeing you here ?."
“Who's this here young feller ?” says towering Mr. Moffat, with his bass voice.
"It's Mr. Billings, cousin, a friend of mine," said Mrs. Polly, beseechingly.
“Oh, cousin, if it's a friend of yours, he should know better how to conduct himself, that's all. Har you a dancing-master, young feller, that you cut them there capers before gentlemen ?” growled Mr. Moffat; who hated Mr. Billings, for the excellent reason that he lived upon him.
Dancing-master be hanged. !” said Mr. Billings, with becoming spirit : “ if you call me dancing-master, I'll pull your nose.”
“What !” roared Mr. Moffat : “pull my nose? My nose ! I'll tell you what, my lad, if you durst move me, I'll cut your throat, curse me!”
“Oh, Moffy-cousin, I mean---'tis a shame to treat the poor boy so. Go away, Tommy; do go away; my cousin's
in liquor," whimpered Madam Briggs, who really thought that the great door-keeper would put his threat into execution.
“Tommy !” said Mr. Moffat, frowning horribly; "Tommy to me too? Dog, get out of my ssss- sight was the word which Mr. Moffat intended to utter ; but he was interrupted ; for, to the astonishment of his friends and himself, Mr. Billings did actually make a spring at the monster's nose, and caught it so firmly that the latter could not finish his sentence. :
The operation was performed with amazing celerity; and, having concluded it, Mr. Billings sprung back, and whisked from out its sheath that new silver-hilted sword which his mamma had given him. “Now," said he, with a fierce kind of calmness, "now for the throat-cutting, cousin : I'm your man!”
How the brawl might have ended, no one can say, had the two gentlemen actually crossed swords; but Mrs. Polly, with a wonderful presence of mind, restored peace by exclaiming,
Hush, hush! the beaks, the beaks !” Upon which, with one common instinct, the whole party made a rush for the garden gates, and disappeared into the fields. Mrs. Briggs knew her company : there was something in the very name of a constable which sent them all a-flying.
After running a reasonable time, Mr. Billings stopped. But the great Moffat was nowhere to be seen, and Polly Briggs had likewise vanished. Then Tom bethought him that he would go back to his mother ; but, arriving at the gate of the gardens, was refused admittance, as he had not a shilling in his pocket. “I've left,” says Tommy, giving himself the airs of a gentleman, “some friends in the gardens. I'm with his Excellency the Bavarian henvy."
“Then you had better go away with him," said the gate people.
“But I tell you I left him there, in the grand circle, with a lady; and, what's more, in the dark walk, I have left a silverhilted sword.”
“Oh, my lord, I'll go and tell him, then,” cried one of the porters, “if you will wait.”
Mr. Billings seated himself on a post near the gate, and there consented to remain until the return of his messenger. The latter went straight to the dark walk, and found the sword, sure enough. But; instead of returning it to its
owner, this discourteous knight broke the trenchant blade at the hilt; and flinging the steel away, pocketed the baser silver metal, and lurked off by the private door consecrated to the waiters and fiddlers.
In the meantime, Mr. Billings waited and waited. And what was the conversation of his worthy parents inside the garden? I cannot say ; but one of the waiters declared that he had served the great foreign count with two bowls of rack-punch, and some biscuits, in No. 3: that in the box with him were first a young gentleman, who went away, and a lady, splendidly dressed and masked: that when the lady and his lordship were alone, she edged away to the further end of the table, and they had much talk : that at last, when his Grace had pressed her very much, she took off her mask and said, "Don't you know me now, Max?” that he cried out, “My own Catherine, thou art more beautiful than ever !” and wanted to kneel down and vow eternal love to her ; but she begged him not to do so in a place where all the world would see: that then his Highness paid, and they left the gardens, the lady putting on her mask again.
When they issued from the gardens, "Ho! Joseph La Rose, my coach !” shouted his Excellency, in rather a husky voice; and the men who had been waiting came up with the carriage. A young gentleman, who was dozing on one of the posts at the entry, woke up suddenly at the blaze of the torches and the noise of the footmen. The Count gave his arm to the lady in the mask, who slipped in ; and he was whispering La Rose, when the lad who had been sleeping hit his Excellency on the shoulder, and said, “I say, Count, you can give me a cast home too,” and jumped into the coach.
When Catherine saw her son, she threw herself into his arms, and kissed him with a burst of hysterical tears ; of which Mr. Billings was at a loss to understand the meaning. The Count joined them, looking not a little disconcerted; and the pair were landed at their own door, where stood Mr. Hayes in his nightcap, ready to receive them, and astounded at the splendour of the equipage in which his wife returned to him
OF SOME DOMESTIC QUARRELS, AND THE CONSEQUENCE
An ingenious magazine-writer, who lived in the time of Mr. Brock and the Duke of Marlborough, compared the latter gentleman's conduct in battle, when he
In peaceful thought the field of death surveyed,
And taught the doubtful battle where to rageMr. Joseph Addison, I say, compared the Duke of Marlborough to an angel, who is sent by Divine command to chastise a guilty people
And pleased his Master's orders to perform,
Rides on the whirlwind, and directs the storm. The four first
novel lines touch off the disposition and genius to a tittle. He had a love for such scenes of strife ; in the midst of them his spirit rose calm and supreme, soaring (like an angel or not, but anyway the compliment is a very pretty one) on the battle-clouds majestic, and causing to ebb or to flow the mighty tide of war.
But as this famous simile might apply with equal propriety to a bad angel as to a good one, it may in like manner be employed to illustrate small quarrels as well as great--a little family squabble, in which two or three people are engaged, as well as a vast național dispute, argued on each side by the roaring throats of five hundred angry cannon. means, in fact, that the Duke of Marlborough had an immense genius for mischief.
Our friend Brock, or Wood (whose actions we love to illustrate by the very handsomest similes), possessed this genius in common with his Grace; and was never so happy, or seen to so much advantage, as when he was employed in setting people by the ears. His spirits, usually dull, then rose into the utmost gaiety and good-humour. When the doubtful battle flagged, he by his art would instantly restore