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the stage. Mr. Boanerges, whom, ordi- She was a fluffy woman, with dumpy narily, you have to request not to speak nails. A bolster tied round tightly with quite so loud, comes on to say ten lines a string, would have had as much preof dialogue, and for all one can hear of tension to figure as Mrs. Cavander. Her him, from the front, he might as well be portrait, taken when she was a girl, reperforming the part of a dumb slave in presents as comely and buxom a lass, as a ballet of action, only that he has about any yeoman's daughter need be. as much action as the old-fashioned flat She worshipped her husband, and the wooden doll, with hardly chiselled object of her idolatry thought her a fool features and a black beard, whose arms for her superstition. If she talked of and legs are moved by one string. his faults to her confidential friends, it
The best memories fail : the over- was only to palliate them, and excuse zealous Prompter gives the word twenty him. If she came to her intimates with times when the unfortunate actor has a tale of her being hardly treated, or only paused for dramatic effect; or he neglected, she would tell the fact as has lost the place in the prompt book, a fable, whereof the moral was, that or is giving directions about the lights, James was not to blame, and that she just at a critical moment, when the was treated according to her deserts. whole dramatis personae have come At first her friends pitied her, but before to a dead lock. These things will long lost patience with her. She comhappen even in the very best regulated plained, and would hear of no remedy. Private Theatricals, and so, I suppose, She had expended all the spirit she had those at Ringhurst were no exception ever possessed, when she had insisted to the rule. I thought them perfection. upon marrying in obedience to the dic
Alice looked lovely as a marquise, and tates of her own heart. So she had her Cavander attended her in the green- money, and went her way. Her father room, on the pretence of holding her washed his hands of the affair. She book, and hearing her her part up to the was entitled to a certain sum at her last minute.
own disposal ; but not one penny more There was a lady looked into this would the old man give her. She ingreen-room, and, fearing lest she might vested her property in James Cavander, be on forbidden ground, withdrew, but, and Mr. Griffiths, a well-to-do country as if acting upon a second thought, solicitor, did not approve the speculalooked in again to say
tion. Betsy, however, was obstinate. "James -I beg your pardon, Miss Fluffy people when obstinate are hopeAlice-how charming you look-I only less. You can't break pillows. Glass want to speak to James a moment." offers formidable resistance, and retali
“Oh, come in, Mrs. Cavander,” said ates cruelly. A pillow yields with the Miss Alice, graciously.
feeblest opposition. You do not hurt Mrs. Cavander had arrived that even yourself, or it, by offering violence. ing. I did not remember having heard After a contention in which your pomany mention of her before this. At first mellings are active and the pillow pomit occurred to me that it might be Mr. melled is passive, both remain as before Cavander's mother; but her appearance -the pommeller having the worst of it. at once dispelled this notion. Cavander So Betsy Griffiths insisted placidly on himself seemed to be a little annoyed being Mrs. Cavander, and ran away I could not recognize, at that time, that with him : or rather to him, for he did Mrs. Cavander resembled the stage- not go out of his way to fetch her. coach, which was very useful in its What was the use, if she was determined? day, but has been superseded by steam. Evidently none; only a waste of time When James Cavander, years ago, was and money. on the look-out for a lift along the road Mrs. Cavander was now as obstinate of life, this heavy vehicle had picked as ever. Not that she was not pliable him up, and had helped him on his way. as fresh putty in her husband's hand,
for whom she would have done any thing; but this was the effect of her obstinacy, and her obstinacy was the effect of her infatuation. She persisted in loving him obstinately, with a dumb animal kind of attachment, which is not reasonable affection.
Mrs. Van Clym was a friend of hers. My aunt congratulated herself on having brought Mrs. Cavander over to her own particular way of thinking in religious matters. This Mrs. Clym called “conversion." She was wrong about Mrs. Cavander, who would agree with any friend, on any religious question, as long as she herself could obtain a listener and a temporary confidant for her own sorrows. At Ringhurst she was mildly charmed with Alice's talk about Gothic churches, altars, vestments, and her sort of enthusiastical mysticism. Alice, in her turn, thought her a convert to High Churchism, and began to see an additional reason for her husband becoming a believer.
Mrs. Cavander with a Wesleyan would have been, negatively, a Wesleyan, with a Catholic a Catholic, with an Irvingite an Irvingite; in fact, ail things to all women, only let them in turn listen to her tale of woe.
“Bah!” said Mrs. Clym, after some experience of her, “she has as much real religion as a pudding."
The truth was Mrs. Cavander had no vacancy in her little mind for such matters. The object of her worship was James Cavander. The cause of her sorrow was James Cavander. She was devil's advocate against him, and then she refused to admit her own testimony, and, finally, canonized him.
“I do hope, Miss Alice," said Mrs. Cavander in the course of conversation this evening, “that you will keep your promise of coming up and staying with
consent, for which this amiable wife promised to ask at once. Then, on her husband's arm and satisfied with having done her duty, and at all events pleased him, Mrs. Cavander returned to the drawing-room, where the audience were impatiently awaiting the rise of the curtain.
The performance of the juniors went off with great satisfaction to theniselves, and we were allowed to come to supper in our costumes. Fatima was considerably taller than her Bluebeard ; but this difference exhibited, in the strongest colours, the mysterious moral ascendancy which Baron Abomelique had gained over his unhappy spouse, and I waved my wooden scimitar over the kneeling Fatima's devoted head (who begged me to content myself with cutting off her locks) with a bloodthirsty air. There was something soothing to my wounded feelings (for since Cavander had appeared I had had scarcely a word from Alice) in having her at my mercy, even in a play, for a few minutes. If Garrick in a rage was six feet high, I, in this scene, was conscious of at least seven years, and eighteen inches, having been added to my life, and my stature.
As for Alice, she was the centre of attraction. After the performance, every. one crowded about her, and compliments were showered on her from all sides.
Cavander simply congratulated her, and left her to be worshipped.
H e knew that the morrow was for him. Our party staying in the house had been swelled by our theatrical friends, who were to leave on the day after the performance, and by the Cavanders, who were to stop on for some little time. The Cavanders were Mr. James, his wife, and sister. The last was a brown-haired, mild-faced girl, many years younger than her brother, whom she only faintly resembled in her eyes. She had not been long away from school, so Austin told me, and, but for her brother's success in the City, Miss Cavander would have had to turn her education to some account, perhaps as a governess. Indeed, I have since heard that, for various reasons, which
James Cavander smiled.
“Then,” he said, “we shall be able to continue our arguments. You must come and stay with my wife, as a missionary."
Alice would be delighted, she replied, only Mrs.Cavander must obtain Mamma's
I should not have understood then, but Holyshade was then my destination, do now (as also will those who peruse and Austin, whose health was delicate, this record of our family), Mrs. Van was to be accompanied by a private Clym had, at one time, entertained the tutor to the south of France. idea of engaging James Carander's sister We cried bitterly at parting, and proas governess for my cousins. Cavander mised to write frequently himself had heard of the offer, and had Carter's had changed. Mr. Venn not forgotten it. It was, of course, de- had gone, some of the elder boys had clined, with such expressions of good left, and so had some of the younger ones. will and esteem, as ordinary civility, and This roll-call after an absence is rethe relative positions of the parties, peated throughout life; and when the required.
next long vacation is over, whose place Miss Cavander played the piano at the desk will be vacant? Through with great skill, but without much whose name shall the black line be feeling. There was just that difference passed ? What expectant junior shall between her style and Alice's. Alice occupy the position that was so lately played partly from ear, partly from ours? There were plenty of empty notes, never for show, always from places now at Old Carter's, and I liking. Miss Cavander performed as looked forward with pleasure to the if she were invariably playing some end of my time at this ill-managed thing that no one else could attempt, school, where I had learnt little, except which, faultless in execution, should the stories of most of the Waverley create about as much sympathy in the Novels from my dear Austin Comberhearers, as a schoolboy's Greek declama- wood. tion on a speech-day. Her finger-tips My attention was now given to what turned upwards, and her nails always I was told I should have to do at Holyseemed as if they had just come from shade. The two Biffords had preceded under the scissors. She dressed neatly, me by more than a year, but they were and appeared homely, which, interpreted far more advanced than I when they by society, means more or less stupid ; left. Carter's, however, did not profess though Miss Cavander was only apa to prepare for Holyshade especially, so, thetic, until she thought her own as it subsequently turned out, what I had interests involved, and then, somehow managed to pick up was of very little or another, she managed to have her use to me, when I came to take my place own way, without getting off her chair, in one of the upper forms of the great or allowing her ordinary occupations to public school. be for one instant interrupted. To sum My father had made all the necessary her up once and for all, Miss Cavander arrangements, and I was to board at the was an Influence, all the more powerful Rev. Mr. Keddy's. Thenceforth my because unsuspected. Once admitted father considered me a man. He gave into a family she seemed to mingle with me a watch, and allowed me, as by the atmosphere, and impalpably to per right, to dine at late dinner with him vade the entire household. And this de- and his friends. scription will be found to hold good when Now commenced my education in earMiss Cavander shall be encountered nest. In my father's idea to be a Holyonce more, later on in this story. As she shadian was to be privileged. It was, to had nowhere else to go, she lived at her his thinking, who knew as little abou brother's, where she was a check upon Holyshade as he did of Oxford or Mrs. Cavander, and of considerable Cambridge, a sort of degree conferred assistance, for domestic purposes, to Mr. upon a boy, giving him a certain kind James.
of status in society, which could be The time at last came for separation. generally described as “making a man Austin was not returning to Old Carter's. of him.” It was a sort of esquireship I was going there for one quarter more. leading to knighthood. No. 166.- VOL. XXVIII.
The bachelor parties were frequent before they should come in to dress for but my father spent two nights a week dinner. My time for return I thereregularly at the Cavanders. Cavander fore fixed for half-past four. I turned and he were inseparable ; but though I up my collars to represent stick-ups, saw more of this gentleman, I did not and tied my sailor's knot in a large bow, dislike him less, nor, as I have reason and feeling that, somehow or other, I to believe, did he me.
was trying to make a man of myself, experiencing at the same time a half
conviction that I was probably making CHAPTER XVIII.
an ass of myself, I determined to brave
the world's opinion as far as the top of I ADOPT A FASHION--ASSISTING IN MAKING
Oxford Street and back; and so, with A MAN-SELF-IMPORTANCE-THE VER
no particular object in view, except that NEY GIRLS TO ST. WINIFRID'S-A
of seeing how I liked, and how other VISIT OF CEREMONY - MR. SWINGLE AND THE CRUMPETS—THE ACCIDENT
people might like, my new clothes, I WARD-I COME ACROSS SOME OLD AC
I crossed the Park, and came out at QUAINTANCES IN A STRANGE WAY-I
the Bayswater end of Oxford Street SEE ONE FOR THE LAST TIME.
At this moment I saw two young I now began to disdain jackets. I ladies most elegantly dressed. knew that many years must elapse before A Colvin is, as I have before hinted, my plumage would develop into a tail. a sort of lightning conductor, where the Being possessed of liberty to roam glances of fair women are concerned. London at will, and money to spend at “It was," as the song says, “ever thus pleasure, I used often to saunter up from childhood's years.” The two Oxford Street and admire the garmentsyoung demoiselles who had attracted in a ready-made clothes shop, where I my attention turned out to be Miss had seen a pea-jacket, on which I had set Carlotta Lucille and Julie Lucrezia, who my heart. It appeared to me to be a scarcely recognized me in my nondescript compromise. It was not a tail, nor was costume. I blushed considerably ou it a short jacket. So in the process of meeting them, and devoutly wished my. making a man of myself I bought this self back in my own proper dress; that garment for seven-and-sixpence, and is, at first, as they seemed to speak to walked home in triumph with it under me with some slight coldness and reserve, my arm. I was a trifle nervous of as though perhaps they considered me in meeting any member of my family. the light of a Boy Detective, in disguise, The next day I waited until my father for the purpose of taking juvenile dehad gone into the City, to put it on; linquents. I do not know whether and in order that I might run no chance detectives are thus educated from childof his seeing me in the course of the day, hood, but I should say not. Yet if the I cunningly inquired of him at what office be an important one to the safety hour he considered his return probable. of the community, surely a Training ColTo this he answered that Mr. Cavander lege for Detectives might be capable of was going to dine with him at home valuable development. Julie informed earlier than usual, in fact at half-past me that they were just returning from a five o'clock, as they were going to see visit to their aunt, my Nurse Davis, at some new play, to which, if I chose, I the hospital, which, if I felt inclined to might accompany them: only, if so, call, I should find not very far off, and I must be back, and ready dressed at thereupon they gave me full and parthe same time as the dinner. With ticular directions. They were glad this offer I at once closed, and made up enough to be quit of me; at least Carlotta my mind to forestall their arrival by Lucille, who was magnificent, certainly half an hour, so as to get out of my was, as she did not care to be seen walknew jacket, and into my ordinary one, ing about with such an absurd bundlo of clothes as I must have seemed. Car- either on account of the name being lotta was still with Madame Glissande, strange to him, or because there were and, as a matter of business (for Madame so many Missuses at St. Winifrid's taught all the best people in town), was as to make the selection of one parattired in the height of fashion.
ticular Missus a considerable effort of I determined to go and show myself memory, or because my pea-jacket and to Nurse Davis, who, I felt sure, would stick-up collars did not inspire a man in be as proud of me as I was of myself. his position with much confidence as to Besides, I should be able to tell her my ulterior objects in asking for a reabout my having to go to Holyshade at spectable matron on that establishment. the end of the holidays. So I said good- Whatever might have been the reason bye to Carlotta and Julie. I should of his hesitation, he considered for a few have liked Julie to have come with me, seconds, and then asked cautiouslybut as that could not be, I strutted off “What do you want her for ?" alone to St. Winifrid's Central Hospital, “I want to see her,” I replied, innowhich I found without much difficulty. cently, resenting such unwarrantable
There were a number of steps up to curiosity on his part. the front entrance, and it seemed to me H e touched a bell, and then whislike going into a show. I remember pered into what seemed to me to be a experiencing a feeling approaching awe thing like an elephant's trunk sticking on first visiting the Polytechnic Insti- out of the wall. tution, where, I know, I for a long time The elephant's trunk snorted someconsidered the lecturers as representing thing by way of reply, whereupon the the highest scientific attainments of the beadle, turning to me, said English nation. I, perhaps, had my “What name ?" doubts as to the exact chair, in this “My name?” I asked. learned body, which should be occupied “Yes," answered the beadle sternly, by the Professor of Dissolving Views, frowning as though he had all long suswhose voice sounded awfully from no- pected me of some attempt at introwhere particular in the surrounding ducing myself into the hospital under gloom; but from the first moment of an alias. my witnessing a startling experiment “ Master Colvin," I replied. with a glass jar, some hydrogen, and “Master what ?” he asked, still frownsome oxygen, out of which (I mean the ing. He was evidently of opinion that, experiment, not the jar) the Professor in my next answer, I should manage to issued cool, calm, and triumphant, I contradict myself, and so expose some placed the Chemical Lecturer on the high- deeply laid plan for robbing the donationest pedestal, and mentally elected him box, which his sagacity had been in time to the Mastership of the Polytechnic. to prevent.
I fancy that what brought the Poly- “Colvin,” I repeated, and I am sure technic to my mind, at St. Winifrid's he was disappointed. Hospital, was a kind of beadle, in a The beadle told this as a secret to th chocolate-coloured overcoat, with a gold elephant's trunk, and in return the band round his hat, who was on duty, elephant's trunk conveyed the informabehind a glass window at the entrance. tion that Mrs. Davis would be “ with me
“What do you want?” he asked, directly; would I step in and sit down ?" opening a small pane and looking out I had scarcely time to avail myself of suddenly, probably under the impres this polite invitation, and to ingratiate sion that I was an accident of some myself with the gradually-thawing sort, rashly taking care of myself until I official, before Nurse Davis, in a grey could obtain surgical aid.
dress, with the neatest possible cap, “Does Mrs. Davis live here?” I in wristbands, and collars, entered by a quired mildly.
side door, took both my hands, and gave “Mrs. Davis,” he repeated, dubiously, me a kiss.