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Wood thought he would watch him. There was a closet between the two rooms: Wood bored a hole in the panel, and peeped through. Hayes had a brace of pistols, and four or five little bags, before him on the table. One of these 'he opened, and placed, one by one, five-and-twenty guineas into it. Such a sum had been due that day--Catherine-spoke of it only in the morning; for the debtor's name had by chance been mentioned in the conversation. Hayes commonly kept but a few guineas in the house. For what was he amassing all these? The next day, Wood asked for change for a twenty-pound bill. Hayes said he had but 'three guineas. And when asked by Catherine where the money was that was païd the day before, said that it was at the banker's. “The man is going to fly,” said Wood; "that is sure: if he does, I know him--he will leave his wife without a shilling."
He watched him for several days regularly : two or three more bags were added to the former number. i! "They are pretty things, guineas,”: thought Wood, “and tell no tales, like bank-bills. And he thought over the days when he and Macshane used to ride abroad in search of them.
I don't know what thoughts entered into Mr. Wood's brain ; but the next day, after seeing young Billings, to whom he actually made a present of a guinea, that young man, in conversing with his mother, said, "Do you know, mother, that if you were free, and married the Count, I should be a lord? It's the German law, Mr. Wood says : and you know he was in them countries with Marlborough.”
“ Ay, that he would," said Mr. Wood, “in Germany : but Germany isn't England; and it's no use talking of such
“Hush, child,” said Mrs. Hayes, quite eagerly; "how can I marry the Count?' Besides, a’n’t I married, and isn't he too great à lord for me?"
“Too great a lord ?-not a whit, mother. If it wasn't for Hayes, I might be a lord: now. He gave me five guineas only last week ; but curse the skinflint who never will part with a shilling."
" It's not so bad as his striking your mother, Tom. I had my stick up, and was ready to fell him t'other night,” added Mr. Wood. And herewith he smiled, and looked steadily in Mrs. Catherine's face. She dared not look again ; but she felt that the old man knew a secret that she had been trying to hide from herself. Fool! he knew it; and Hayes knew it dimly: and never, never, since that day of the gala
, had it left her, sleeping or waking. When Hayes, in his fear, had proposed to sleep away from her, she had started with joy; she had been afraid that she might talk in her sleep, and so let slip her horrible confession.
Old Wood knew all her history since the period of the Marylebone fête. He had wormed it out of her, day by day; he had counselled her how to act; warned her not to yield; to procure, at least, a certain provision for her son, and a handsome settlement for herself, if she determined on quitting her husband. The old man looked on the business in a proper philosophical light, told her bluntly, that he saw she was bent upon going off with the Count, and bade her take precautions ; else she might be left as she had been before.
Catherine denied all these charges; but she saw the Count daily, notwithstanding, and took all the measures which Wood had recommended to her. They were very prudent ones. Galgenstein grew hourly more in love: never had he felt such a flame; not in the best days of his youth ;, not for the fairest princess, countess, or actress, from Vienna to Paris.
At length—it was the night after he had seen Hayes counting his money-bags-old Wood spoke to Mrs. Hayes very seriously. “That husband of yours, Cat," said he, “meditates some treason; ay, and fancies we are about such, He listens nightly at your door and at mine : he is going to leave you, be sure on't; and if he leaves you, he leaves you to starve.” “I can be rich elsewhere,” said Mrs. Cat. What, with Max ?"
Ay, with Max: and why not?” said Mrs. Hayes. “Why not, fool! Do you recollect Birmingham? Do you think that Galgenstein, who is so tender now because he hasn't won you, will be faithful because he has ? Psha, woman, men are not made so! Don't go to him until you are sure: if you were a widow now, he would marry you : but never leave yourself at his mercy: if you were to leave your husband to go to him, he would desert you in a fortnight !”
She might have been a Countess ! she knew she might, but
for this cursed barrier between her and her fortune. Wood knew what she was thinking of, and smiled grimly.
“Besides,” he continued, “remember Tom. As sure as you leave Hayes without some security from Max, the boy's ruined: he who might be a' lord, if his mother had butPsha! never mind : that boy will go on the road, as sure as my name's Wood. He's a Turpin cock in his eye, my dear, -a regular Tyburn look. He knows too many of that sort already; and is too fond of a bottle and a girl to resist and be honest when it comes to the pinch.”
“It's all true," says Mrs. Hayes. "Tom's a high mettlesome fellow, and would no more mind a ride on Hounslow Heath than he does a walk now in the Mall."
Do you want him hanged, my dear?” said Wood. Ah, Doctor!” “It is a pity, and that's sure," concluded Mr. Wood, knocking the ashes out of his pipe, and closing this interesting conversation—"It is a pity that that old skinflint should be in the way of both your fortunes; and he about to fling you
Mrs. Catherine retired musing, as Mr. Billings had previously done; a sweet smile of contentment lighted up the venerable features of Doctor Wood, and he walked abroad into the streets as happy a fellow as any in London.
TREATS OF LOVE, ANI
And to begin this chapter, we cannot do better than quote a part of a letter from M. l'Abbé O'Flaherty to Madame la Comtesse de Xat Paris :
“MADAM,--The little Arouet de Voltaire, who hath come "hither to take a turn in England,' as I see by the post of this morning, hath brought me a charming pacquet from your ladyship's hands, which ought to render a reasonable man happy ; but, alas ! makes your slave miserable. I think of dear Paris (and something more dear than all Paris, of which,
Madam, I may not venture to speak further)-I think of dear Paris, and find myself in this dismal Vitehall, where, when the fog clears up, I can catch a glimpse of muddy Thames, and of that fatal palace which the kings of England have been obliged to exchange for your noble castle of Saint Germains, that stands so stately by silver Seine. Truly, no bad bargain. For my part, I would give my grand ambassadorial saloons, hangings, gildings, feasts, valets, ambassadors and all, for a bicoque in sight of the Thuilleries' towers, or my little cell in the Irlandois.
* My last sheets have given you a pretty notion of our ambassador's public doings; now for a pretty piece of private scandal respecting that great man. Figure to yourself, Madam, his Excellency is in love; actually in love, talking day and night about a certain fair one whom he hath picked out of a gutter ; who is well nigh forty years old; who was his mistress when he was in England a captain of dragoons, some sixty, seventy, or a hundred years since, who hath had a son by bim, moreover, a sprightly lad, apprentice to a tailor of eminence that has the honour of making his Excellency's breeches
16. Since one fatal night when he met this fair creature at a certain place of publique resort, called Marylebone Gardens, our Cyrus hath been an altered creature.!. Love hath mastered this brainless ambassador, and his antics afford me food for perpetual mirth.
He sits now opposite to me at a table inditing a letter to his Catherine, and copying it from-what
Cyrus 'I swear, madam, that my happiness would be to offer you this hand, as I have my heart long ago, and I beg you to bear in mind this declaration.' I have just dictated to him the above tender words; for our envoy, Í need not tell you, is not strong at writing or thinking.
“The fair Catherine, I must tell you, is no less than a carpenter's wife, a well-to-do bourgeois, living at the Tyburn, or Gallows Road. She found out her ancient lover very soon after our arrival, and hath a marvellous hankering to be a Count's lady. A pretty little creature is this Madam Catherine. Billets, breakfasts, pretty walks, presents of silks and satins, pass daily between the pair; but, strange to say, the lady is as virtuous as Diana, and hath resisted all my Count's
cajoleries hitherto. The poor fellow told me, with tears in his eyes, that he believed he should have carried her by storm on the very first night of their meeting, but that her son stepped into the way; and he or somebody else hath been in the way ever since. Madam will never appear alone. I believe it is this wondrous chastity of the lady that has' elicited this wondrous constancy of the gentleman. She is holding out for a settlement; who knows if not for a marriage? Her husband, she says, is ailing; her lover is fool enough, and she herself conducts her negotiations, as I must honestly own, with a pretty notion of diplomacy."
This is the only part of the reverend gentleman's letter that directly affects this history. The rest contains some scandal concerning greater personages about the court, a great share of abuse of the Elector of Hanover, and a pretty description of a boxing-match at Mr. Figg's amphitheatre in Oxford Road, where John Wells, of Edmund Bury (as by the papers may be seen), master of the noble science of self-defence, did engage with Edward Sutton, of Gravesend, master of the said science; and the issue of the combat.
“N.B."--adds the Father, in a postscript-"Monsieur Figue gives a hat to be cudgelled for before the Master mount; and the whole of this fashionable information hath been given me by Monseigneur's son, Monsieur Billings, garçon-tailleur, Chevalier de Galgenstein."
Mr. Billings was, in fact, a frequent visitor at the Ambassador's house ; to whose presence he, by a general order, was always admitted. As for the connection between Mrs. Catherine and her former admirer; the Abbé's history of it is perfectly. correct ; nor can it be said that this wretched woman, whose tale now begins to wear a darker hue, was; in anything but soul, faithless to her husband. But she hated him, longed to leave him, and loved another : the end was coming quickly, and every one of our unknowing actors and actresses were to be implicated, more or less, in the catastrophe. :It will be seen that Mrs. Cat had followed pretty closely the injunctions of Mr. Wood in regard to her dealings with