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know whether Mr. Brock had any notion of the plot which was arranged by the three worthies. The landlady began it. “Which punch, madam, will you take?” says she. must have something for the good of the house, now you are in it."
“In coorse," said the Ensign.
Certainly,” said the other three. But the old lady said she was anxious to leave the place; and putting down a crown-piece, requested the hostess to treat the gentlemen in her absence. “Good-bye, Captain,” said the old lady.
“Ajew !” cried the Ensign, “and long life to you, my dear. You got me out of a scrape at the justice's yonder; and, split me! but Insign Macshane will remimber it as long as he lives.”
And now Hayes and the two ladies made for the door ; but the landlady placed herself against it, and Mr. Sicklop said, “No, no, my pretty madams, you ain't a-going off so cheap as that neither; you are not going out for a beggarly twenty guineas, look you,—we must have more.”
Mr. Hayes starting back, and cursing his fate, fairly burst into tears; the two women screamed ; and Mr. Brock looked as if the proposition both amused and had been expected by him: but not so Ensign Macshane.
“Major !” said he, clawing fiercely hold of Brock's arms. “ Ensign,” said Mr. Brock, smiling. “ Arr we, or arr we not, men of honour ?"
Oh, in coorse,” said Brock, laughing, and using Macshane's favourite expression.
“If we arr men of honour, we are bound to stick to our word; and hark ye, you dirty one-eyed scoundrel, if you don't immadiately make way for these leedies, and this lilylivered young jontleman who's crying so, the Meejor here and I will lug out and force you.' And so saying, he drew his great sword and made a pass at Mr. Sicklop ; which that gentleman avoided, and which caused him and his companion to retreat from the door. The landlady still kept her position at it, and with a storm of oaths against the Ensign, and against two Englishmen who ran away from a wild Hirishman, swore she would not budge a foot, and would stand there until her dying day.
Faith, then, needs must,” said the Ensign, and made a lunge at the hostess, which passed so near the wretch's throat, that she screamed, sank on her knees, and at last opened the door.
Down the stairs, then, with great state, Mr. Macshane led the elder lady, the married couple following; and having seen them to the street, took an affectionate farewell of the party, whom he vowed that he would come and see. can walk the eighteen miles aisy, between this and nightfall,” said he.
“ Walk ! ” exclaimed Mr. Hayes. “Why, haven't we got Ball, and shall ride and tie all the way?”
“Madam !” cried Macshane, in a stern voice, “honour before everything. Did you not, in the presence of his worship, vow and declare that you gave me that horse, and now d'ye talk of taking it back again ? Let me tell you, madam, that such paltry thricks ill become a person of your years and respectability, and ought never to be played with Insign Timothy Macshane."
He waved his hat and strutted down the street; and Mrs. Catherine Hayes, along with her bridegroom and mother-inlaw, made the best of their way homeward on foot.
WHICH EMBRACES A PERIOD OF SEVEN YEARS.
The recovery of so considerable a portion of his property from the clutches of Brock was, as may be imagined, no trifling source of joy to that excellent young man, Count Gustavus Adolphus de Galgenstein; and he was often known to say, with much archness, and a proper feeling of gratitude to the Fate which had ordained things so, that the robbery
in reality, one of the best things that could have happened to him : for, in event of Mr. Brock's not stealing the money, his Excellency the Count would have had to pay the whole to the Warwickshire Squire, who had won it from him at play. He was enabled, in the present instance, to plead his notorious poverty as an excuse; and the Warwickshire conqueror got off with nothing, except a very badly written autograph of the Count's, simply acknowledging the debt.
This point his Excellency conceded with the greatest candour; but (as, doubtless, the reader may have remarked in the course of his experience) to owe is not quite the same thing as to pay; and from the day of his winning the money until the day of his death the Warwickshire Squire did never, by any chance, touch a single bob, tizzy, tester, moidore, maravedi, doubloon, tomaun, or rupee, of the sum which Monsieur de Galgenstein had lost to him.
That young nobleman was, as Mr. Brock hinted in the little autobiographical sketch which we gave in a former chapter,' incarcerated for a certain period, and for certain other debts, in the donjons of Shrewsbury, but he released himself from them by that noble and consolatory method of whitewashing which the law has provided for gentlemen in his oppressed condition; and he had not been a week in London, when he fell in with, and overcame, or put to flight, Captain Wood, alias Brock, and immediately seized upon the remainder of his property. After receiving this, the Count, with commendable discretion, disappeared from England altogether for a while; nor are we at all authorized to state that any of his debts to his tradesmen were discharged, any more than his debts of honour, as they are pleasantly called.
Having thus settled with his creditors, the gallant Count had interest enough with some of the great folk to procure for himself a post abroad, and was absent in Holland for some time. It was here that he became acquainted with the lovely Madam Silverkoop, the widow of a deceased gentleman of Leyden ; and although the lady was not at that age at which tender passions are usually inspired-being sixty-and though she could not, like Mademoiselle Ninon de l'Enclos, then at Paris, boast of charms which defied the progress of time,--for Mrs. Silverkoop was as red as a boiled lobster, and as unwieldy as a porpoise; and although her mental attractions did by no means make up for her personal deficiencies,-for she was jealous, violent, vulgar, drunken, and stingy to a miracle : yet her charms had an immediate effect on Monsieur de Galgenstein ; and hence, perhaps, the reader (the rogue ! how well he knows the world !) will be led to conclude that the honest widow was rich.
Such, indeed, she was; and Count Gustavus, despising the difference between his twenty quarterings and her twenty thousand pounds, laid the most desperate siege to her, and finished by causing her to capitulate; as I do believe, after a reasonable degree of pressing, any woman will do to any man : such, at least, has been my experience in the matter.
The Cou then married; and it was cu us to see how he—who, as we have seen in the case of Mrs. Cat, had been as great a tiger and domestic bully as any extant-now, by degrees, fell into a quiet submission towards his enormous Countess; who ordered him up and down as a lady orders her footman, who permitted him speedily not to have a will of his own, and who did not allow him a shilling of her money, without receiving for the same an accurate account.
How was it that he, the abject slave of Madam Silverkoop, had been victorious over Mrs. Cat? The first blow is, I believe, the decisive one in these cases, and the Countess had stricken it a week after their marriage; establishing a supremacy which the Count never afterwards attempted to question.
We have alluded to his Excellency's marriage, as in duty bound, because it will be necessary to account for his appearance hereafter in a more splendid fashion than that under which he has hitherto been known to us; and just comforting the reader by the knowledge that the union, though prosperous in a worldly point of view, was, in reality, extremely unhappy, we must say no more from this time forth of the fat and legitimate Madame de Galgenstein. Our darling is Mrs. Catherine, who had formerly acted in her stead ; and only in so much as the fat Countess did influence in any way the destinies of our heroine, or those wise and virtuous persons who have appeared and are to follow her to her end, shall we in any degree allow her name to figure here: It is an awful thing to get a glimpse, as one sometimes does, when the time is past, of some little, little wheel which works the whole mighty machinery of Fate, and see how our destinies turn on a minute's delay or advance, or on the turning of a street, or on somebody else's turning of a street,
or on somebody else's doing of something else in Downing Street or in Timbuctoo, now or a thousand years ago. Thus, for instance, if Miss Poots, in the year 1695, had never been the lovely inmate of a Spielhaus at Amsterdam, Mr. Van Silverkoop would never have seen her; if the day had not been extraordinarily hot, the worthy merchant would never have gone thither; if he had not been fond of Rhenish wine and sugar,
would have called for any such delicacies ; if he had not called for them, Miss Ottilia Poots would never have brought them, and partaken of them; if he had not been rich, she would certainly have rejected all the advances made to her by Silverkoop; if he had not been so fond of Rhenish and sugar, he never would have died; and Mrs. Silverkoop would have been neither rich nor a widow, nor a wife to Count von Galgenstein. Nay, nor would this history have ever been written; for if Count Galgenstein had not married the rich widow, Mrs. Catherine would never have
Oh, my dear Madam! you thought we were going to tell you. Pooh! nonsense,
-no such thing ! not for two or three and seventy pages or so—when perhaps you may know what Mrs. Catherine never would have done.
The reader will remember, in the second chapter of these Memoirs, the announcement that Mrs. Catherine had given to the world a child, who might bear, if he chose, the arms of Galgenstein, with the further adornment of a bar-sinister. This child had been put out to nurse some time before its mother's elopement from the Count; and as that nobleman was in funds at the time (having had that success at play which we duly chronicled), he paid a sum of no less than twenty guineas, which was to be the yearly reward of the nurse into whose charge the boy was put. The woman grew fond of the brat; and when, after the first year, she had no further news or remittances from father or mother, she determined, for a while at least, to maintain the infant at her own expense : for, when rebuked by her neighbours on this score, she stoutly swore that no parents could ever desert their children, and that some day or other she should not fail to be rewarded for her trouble with this one.
Under this strange mental hallucination poor Goody Billings, who had five children and a husband of her own, continued