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" Not so fast. I know your
capacity for absorbing money. A hundred or a thousand pounds would slip with
equal facility down that pretty swan-like throat. It is not the first time that
I have been your bailleur de fends. Certain conditions, not very hard ones, are
attached to this advance. We, that is monsieur," he was respectful to the dandy
even in his absence," must not be annoyed for six months."
" And you offer a miserable
hundred pounds. C'est peu."
It is all we can give. Business
has not been prosperous. Times are very hard with us ; and this hundred pounds
even can be ill-spared."
"I dare say. Times also are very
hard with me. But tell me, Monsieur l'Ambassadeur, has my precious husband any
funds of his own ?"
" Not a son. He ate up his
patrimony years ago."
" Have you ? I can understand the
Constant shrugged his shoulders.
" What can a poor domestique a gages be worth ?" he replied.
" C'est done de l'argent vole.
You have stolen this hundred pounds then. Keep it. . Je n'en veux pas."
" Hypocrite! Your mouth is
watering for it, and you only wish that it were ten times as much. No, madame,
it is not money stolen ; it is money won."
" By cheating."
As you please. I have it here, in
" Give it me, then. I don't think
my husband has yet devoted himself to forgery. He has not application enough.
You may tell him from me that I shall not trouble him again for six months.
Milord, lui, n'est pas dans la debine."
" What are you going to do with
your milord?" the valet asked, with a darkling look.
" C'est mon affaire. I don't ask
you with what little lingeres you are en bonne fortune. If you must know what I
mean to do with milord, then by Debonnair it is to bleed him for the good of his
constitution. Il a trop de sang, ce moutardl'a."
" He is not of age."
"The usurers are kind to him."
"Do you love him ?"
"Did I ever love any body, Jean
Baptiste Constant ?" asked the woman, with candid contempt.
" I don't think you did. It will
be your lot some clay to love, and to be spurned as you have spurned—never mind
" Connu," replied madame.
" Qui que tu sois to vois ton
maitre, Qui est, qui fut, ou le doit etre."—Who e'er thou art, thy master see,
Who is, or was, or is to be.
"A charming sentiment, more
charmingly expressed, although I never believed in it for one moment. Love is no
master of mine, never was and never will be. But the couplet is exquisite. It is
Voltaire, is it not? A charming writer, Voltaire. It is growing very Iate. I
think you had better give me the money and let me go to bed."
"Here are your wages, Harpy,"
muttered Constant, and he handed her a packet of notes.
" Thank you. C'est pas grand'
chose, mais c'est du numeraire tout de men. I have almost forgiven milord. He
will come tomorrow and be on his knees."
" Good-night, Valerie."
" Hun," quoth the wild animal,
with a look of simulated surprise, but profound disdain. Since when, Monsieur
qui brosse les habits de mon mari ?"
" Good-night, Mrs. Blunt, then."
"The Honorable Lady Blunt you
mean, faquin !" but this last she said in mockery.
" Bah ! that will do for France,
but in England it is absurd."
" Au revoir, done, under any
circumstances. Be sure you give my love to my husband."
" I will give him as much love as
you send him ; and shall not, I should say, waste much breath. Again
" Bonsoir, mon ours."
He had never taken a seat during
the entire interview, but had half stood, half lounged against the console on
which he had placed his hat. He now advanced, bent over her as she sat, swimming
in her jewels and her satin, on a sofa, and putting his face close to hers, said
in French, and I will quote his very words.
" Tu es une creature sans coeur
et sans moeurs, digne d'etre fouettee et fletrie en plein Chatelet."
" So I have no heart, and no
manners, and ought to be whipped, eh? Thank you, my complimentary professor of
moral philosophy. Au revoir et a bientot."
Constant did not care to renew
the colloquy, and without directing another glance toward her left the room. His
face had turned livid, and he was trembling all over. But he had great command
over his emotions, and by the time he reached the salle a manger again his
countenance was as unruffled as ever.
Rataplan had gone to bed.
Constant, however, was an old habitue of the house, and made himself comfortable
with the female night-porter, La Miss Thomas. He was no smoker ; but she brewed
him a silver timbale full of mulled claret, of which he partook in moderation.
And so remained, after a game or two at dominoes with the mahogany-colored
sentinel, until past four in the morning. His conversation was mainly about the
" countess" and her temper ; to which the old woman's general response—she
agreed, however, perfectly in what he said—was "fichtre." Many of the lodgers at
the Hotel Rataplan were very late night-birds indeed ; and it was four in the
morning before Monsieur Constant left Leicester Place. Often, during his vigil,
his eyes sought the smoke - begrimed ceiling, as though they could pierce
through the joists and planking, the laths and plaster, and light once
more upon the beautiful woman
with the bare neck and arms, and the black satin dress.
GAMRIDGE'S Hotel was in Pump
Street, Regent Street. Gamridge's was much frequented by the junior members of
the aristocracy, and by officers bearing his Majesty's commission. Gam-ridge's
was the legitimate and lineal successor of the old Slaughter's Coffee-house in
St. Mar-tin's Lane, of whose ancient waiter and young military frequenters
Thackeray's " Vanity Fair" discourses delightfully. Gamridge's, in 1836, was at
the apogee of its popularity and renown; but a few years afterward—such is the
mutability of human affairs—Gamridge's was destined to be eclipsed by the Rag
Why" Rag" and why " Famish ?" I,
as a poor slouching civilian, am not, I hope, bound to know. The Rag and Famish
seems to me a most palatial edifice, superb in all its exterior appointments. I
have heard that its inner chambers are decorated in the most lavish style of
Oriental splendor ; that its smoking-room vies in gorgeousness with the Court of
the Lions at the Alhambra; that, in its drawing-rooms, the genius of the most
eminent upholsterers in London has run riot. Nobody can be in rags, nobody can
possibly be famished, at the R. and F. The cuisine, I have heard, is exquisite,
the wines and liquors are beyond compare. The lightest-vested and
brightest-buttoned foot-pages in the parish of St. James's gambol and grin
behind the plate-glass doors. The most majestic and the longest-mustached
military bricks puff their cigars on the steps. There are always half a dozen
Hansoms in waiting before the portal. On the Derby Day drags by the score start
from the Rag. The prizes in the race sweeps at the Rag are said to be enormous.
Let me see, what is the pay of a
subaltern in the Line? Some seventy or eighty pounds a year, I believe. What is
the half-pay of a general officer ? Not many hundreds per annum, I am afraid. It
strikes me that the establishment, not only of the Rag, but of the Senior and
Junior United Service Clubs, must have been an inestimable boon to the young
warriors who are ready to fight their country's battles, and to the old braves
who have fought them, and retired to grass, and whose helmets are now hives for
bees. To live like a fighting-cock, and to be housed like a prince ; to have all
the newspapers and periodicals, and a first-rate library : billiard and smoking
rooms, baths and lavatories, lounging and elbow-resting room ; a numerous staff
of silent, civil, and deferential servants in imposing liveries, and as much
stationery as ever you want ; these are joys familiar to the members of the Rag,
and of other cognate mansions. The young fellow on active service can rum up
from Chatham or Aldershot, and have the free range of a Venetian palace till his
leave is out. The battered half-pay has but to provide himself with a bedroom at
half a guinea a week in Jermyn Street, or St. Alban's Place, and, from nine of
the clock on one morning till two or three of the clock on the next, he may live
as luxuriously as a Sultan of Cathay. The annual subscription is moderate. The
table-money is inconsiderable. Beer, bread, and pickles are dispensed
gratuitously. The cigars are foreign. The provisions and wines are supplied at
rates very little exceeding cost price.
Whereas, I can't see what a
civilian wants with a club at all. He has a home, which the soldier and sailor,
as a rule, have not. He has a cook at home. He may refect himself in a decorous
dining-room at home. If he wants books, let him subscribe to the London Library,
or ask Mr. Panizzi for a ticket for the Museum Reading-room. He needs no
smoking-room. Civilians have no right to smoke. He needs no billiard-room.
Civilians should be men of business, and men of business have no right to play
billiards. " Clubs," says Solomon Buck, in one of his wisest apophthegms, "are
weapons of offense, wielded by savages for the purpose of keeping off the white
women." S. B. is right. Clubs, for your dashing, rollicking, harum-scarum
soldiers and sailors, are all very well. The gallant fellows need a little
relaxation after the irksome restraints of barracks or ship-board ; but clubs,
to the unworthy civilian class, are merely the meanest pretexts for selfishness
Having, I flatter myself, in the
preceding paragraph, set myself right with the ladies (whom I am always trying
to conciliate, and always unsuccessfully), I will proceed to the consideration
of Gamridge's. Social clubs of the palatial or-der were rare in 1836. St.
James's had its exclusive political reunions — White's, Brooks's, Boodle's, and
the like ; but none save the elect of the elect could obtain admission to them.
Crockford's was very fashionable, but it was a gaming-house. The Carlton wasn't
built. The Athenaeum and the Reform were arrogant with the flush of the March of
Intellect, and looked down upon the men of the sword. The members of the now
defunct Alfred were quarreling among themselves. The United Service only
admitted officers of high grade. What remained, then, for the young or
middle-aged warriors but Gamridge's.
Gamridge's was not a club ; its
coffee-room was open to all comers ; yet the character of its frequenters was so
strongly marked that an outsider rarely, if ever, ventured to set foot within
the mysterious precincts. A bagman who presumed to enter Gamridge's would have
had a bad time of it. There would have been wailing in Lancashire if a
Manchester man had so far forgotten himself as to intrude, uninvited, on the
Gamridgean exclusiveness. In its distinctive typification, and its invisible but
impassable barriers, Gamridge's resembled one of the old cof
fee-houses of the preceding
century. They, too, were open to all ; yet you seldom found any but merchants at
Garraway's or Jonathan's, soldiers at the Crown in Whitehall, gamesters at Sam's
St. James's Street, country squires at the Star and Garter in Pall Mall,
Jacobites at the Harp at Cornhill, booksellers' hacks at the Devil in Fleet
Street, lawyers at the Cock, and publishers at the Ball in Long Acre.
There had never, in the memory of
the oldest inhabitant of the parish, been a Gamridge. Who he was, if ever he
were at all, there is no knowing. In '36 the landlord—landlady, rather—was Mrs.
Vash : a handsome, portly widow, who wore bishop's sleeves, and a multitude of
ribbons in her cap. She had many daughters, whom she kept scrupulously at
boarding-school to pre-serve them from the perils of Gamridge's ; for, if the
"wild prince" was dead" Poins" was about, wilder than ever. Mrs. Vash was a
woman of the world. A few, a very few, of her oldest customers—old gentlemen who
had been so long and so consistently raking about town that they seemed, on the
principle of extremes meeting, almost steady—were sometimes admitted to the
luxurious privacy of Mrs. Vash's bar-parlor. She was an excellent judge of
port-wine, and, being a generous hostess, would occasionally treat some of her
prime favorites to a bottle with a peculiar tawny seal. In the coffee-room Mrs.
Vash tolerated cigars, and carefully charged ninepence apiece for them. She was
equally careful to charge exorbitant prices for every article consumed. You
might give a dinner nowadays at the Rag for what a breakfast cost at Gamridge's.
The politics of Gamridge's were
High Tory in tone. The true-blue patrician class had lost much power and
influence by Catholic Emancipation and the Reform Bill, and threw themselves for
a change into dissipation. Liberal Conservatives had not yet perked up into
existence. Among the Whigs and Radicals it was held to be the orthodox thing,
just then, to be steady and sober, to bring in moral acts of parliament, to
attend lectures at the Royal Institution. The Tories sneered contemptuously at
education and morality. They were stanch churchmen, but in the "flying buttress"
sense, like Lord Eldon, supporting the sacred edifice from the outside. They
called the London University " Stinkomalee," or the " Gower Street Pig and
Whistle." They held schools where the birch was not in daily use as the vilest
hot-beds of sedition, and were careful to send their children to seminaries
where they knew they would have plenty of flogging in the good old Tory style.
The society at Gamridge's was a permanent protest against the Penny Magazine,
and the steam-engine, and the pursuit of knowledge under difficulties, and the
educational whimseys of your Broughams, Benthams, Faradays, De Morgans, and
compeers. Nothing useful, save eating and drinking, was ever attempted at
Gamridge's; and even those elementary functions were performed in the manner
most calculated to confer the least amount of benefit on the human frame. The
guests breakfasted at three in the afternoon, and dined at midnight. Gas blazed
in the coffee-room at noon, and knocked-up roues went to bed at tea-time. There
were many white-faced waiters who never seemed to go to bed at all, and to like
this perpetual insomnolence. Pale ale was unknown in England then, but the
popping of corks from bottles of mineral-waters was audible all day long. Dice,
only, Mrs. Vash rigidly refused to wink at. " If gentlemen, who were gentlemen,"
she remarked, " wanted to call a main, they must do it in the parish of St.
James's, and not in the parish of St. George's." Mrs. Vash was one of the old
school, and liked to see things done in their proper places.
It was a vicious time, and yet
somewhat of the patriarchal element remained. Plebeian dissipation was confined
to the youngsters. The old gentlemen went to the Deuce, mounted on steady
ambling cobs. A new race of rakes drove them gradually from the coffee-room at
Gam-ridge's, and Mrs. Vash's back-parlor, where they piped disparagement of the
rapscallion age over their port with the tawny seal. Thence, by slow degrees,
they subsided into Pump Street, and to Bath, and Cheltenham, and Fogydom, and
went home to bed, and fell paralytic, and so died.
Mr. Francis Blunt walked into
Gamridge's at about a quarter to one in the morning, with a light, tight-fitting
over-coat buttoned over him, swinging his cane, and looking, on the whole, " as
fresh as paint." The coarseness of the simile may find an excuse in its literal
fidelity. A fresh pair of lemon-colored kid gloves decorated his hands, the many
rings bulging from beneath the soft leather. His whiskers had been
rearranged—perhaps those ornaments and his hair were not strangers to a recent
touch from the curling-irons, for there were hair-dressers in the Quadrant who
kept open till past midnight for the behoof of exquisites such as he—his clothes
had been brushed, his whole exterior spruced and polished up. He had passed a
hard day, but he was ready to begin a night as hard.
There was nothing particular
about the exterior of Gamridge's. It was a George-the-Second mansion of
sad-colored brick with stone dressings, and the lamp before the door was
generally in a state of compound fracture from the exuberant playfulness of
late-returning guests. "Lamp-glass broken, one pound five," was a common item in
Mrs. Vash's long bills. When the late-returning lodgers didn't smash the lamp,
they smashed the fan-light, or the soda-water tumblers, or the coffee-room
panels, or the waiters' heads. They were always breaking something, and every
thing was charged in the bill. You entered Gamridge's by a long, low, oblique
passage, seemingly specially designed for the benefit of gentlemen who came home
late, over-taken with liquor, and swerved in their gait. They could not well
tumble down in their progress along that sporting passage. The coffee-
room was almost devoid of
decoration. Had it been papered the gentlemen would have torn the paper off; had
there been a pier-glass somebody would have smashed it, but as pier-glasses then
cost twenty pounds the item might have been subject to inconvenient dispute in
the bill. So, to be on the safe side, Mrs. Vash provided her guests with a thick
circular mirror in a nubbly frame, which defied even a poker. En revanche, the
gallant youths who frequented the coffee-room had scratched their names on it,
as well as on the window-panes, in a hundred places, with their diamond rings.
There was an immense dumb-waiter.
The tables were of mahogany, brightly polished; wax candlesticks, in silver
sconces, were always used, to the disdainful exclusion of gas—and with one of
those same candlesticks many a tall fellow had been laid low—but the floor was
sanded, and triangular spittoons were dispersed about. It was the oddest
combination of luxury and coarseness, of a club-room and a pot-house.
In this room a dozen of the
greatest dandies in England were assembled. Some had fifty thousand a year, and
some had nothing, and owed thrice fifty thousand pounds ; but, poor or rich, all
were fashionable. It was a congregation of prodigal sons and prodigal fathers,
but fathers and sons were both accustomed to sit in the high places, and to have
room made for them.
ANDREW JACKSON SMITH.
GENERAL ANDREW JACKSON SMITH,
whose portrait we give on page 253, and who has recently come prominently before
the public as commander of the Red River Expedition, was born in Pennsylvania,
and graduated at West Point in 1838, in the same class with
HARDEE, of the rebel army, and Generals BARRY, M'D0WELL, and other officers in
the Federal service. For seven years he was Second Lieutenant in the First
Dragoons, with whom he served during most of that time in the Territories. In
1847 he was made Captain, and served against the
Indians in South Oregon. In
1861 he was appointed Colonel of the Second California Cavalry, and in March,
1862, was made Brigadier-General of Volunteers. In October of that year he was
placed at the head of the First Division of General GRANGER'S army in Kentucky;
but subsequently was attached to
General GRANT'S army, as commander of the Tenth
Division of the Thirteenth Corps. General SMITH led the right .division in the
attack on Vicksburg in December of that year, and afterward commanded the Second
Division of the Thirteenth Corps at the battle and capture of Fort Hindman,
Arkansas Post, in January, 1863. After the return of this part of the army to
the vicinity of Vicksburg, General SMITH was placed in command of the district
of Corinth, from which post he was removed to take charge of the post of
Columbus, Kentucky, in order to keep open the communications along the
Mississippi River with General GRANT'S command, near the rebel strong-hold.
Having cleared that part of Kentucky of guerrillas, General SMITH was, on
January 24, 1864, relieved of his post command, and ordered to lead the Third
Division of the Sixteenth Corps in the Sherman expedition through Central
Mississippi. After the return of the forces under
General SHERMAN to the
Mississippi River, General SMITH was placed in command of the Red River
Expedition, which he has so far led to victory.
HON. OWEN LOVEJOY, whose death
was recorded last week, was born in Albion, Maine, on the 11th of January, 1811.
His father was Rev. Dr. DANIEL LOVEJOY. Until eighteen years of age his time was
spent on a farm. He then fitted for college, and worked his way through Bowdoin
by his own exertions. He studied for the ministry, and in 1837 was in Alton,
Illinois, when his oldest brother, Rev. ELIJAH P. LOVEJOY, fell, as JOHN QUENCY
ADAMS said, "the first American martyr to the freedom of the press and the
freedom of the slave." Over his dead body OWEN, at the age of twenty-six, vowed
a life-long hostility to the system of American slavery. The same year he became
pastor of the Congregational Church at Princeton, Illinois, and held that
relation until 1854, constantly maintaining resolute anti-slavery ground,
leading his church to exclude slaveholders and apologists for slavery from its
communion, and the community at large to protect all fugitive bondsmen seeking
shelter on free soil. As the conflict with slavery deepened, Mr. LOVEJOY was
selected to represent the people in the Legislature, and subsequently, in 1858,
was sent to Congress, where be at once took a commanding position, and became
known, throughout the whole country, as an unconditional and courageous advocate
of Liberty. He was emphatically a man who could not be put down, and even the
enemies of his principles soon learned to respect his character and worth. In
Congress, during the present war, he was one of the pillars of the
Administration, taking such an intense interest in public measures that once,
when unable from sickness to be present, he sent his views in writing to be read
before the House. The Chicago Tribune, summing up the features of Mr. LOVEJOY'S
character, says : " In public as well as in private life Mr. LOVEJOY was a
sincere, upright, thoroughly honest man. It is not believed that any man living
or dead ever accused him of departing from the principles of strict integrity.
" At home, of late years, he has
been a large and successful farmer, with fine improved breeds of cattle and
" In the bosom of his large
family he was the idol of their affections, the most exemplary of husbands, the
most indulgent of fathers. A widow and nine children are left to cherish his
name and his virtues as a rich legacy, and to mourn what seems to them and to
the world his untimely departure." Two brothers and one sister of Mr. LOVEJOY
are still living.