Obrázky stránek

just before two o'clock to-morrow. I had rather five hundred times sec him alone, and then he'll tell me lots more about himself, I'll be bound, Do you think


could get her out, and keep away for an hour or two, Matilda ?

This proposal very considerably embarrassed the fair individual to whom it was addressed. To disoblige Miss O'Donagough, or in any way to check the intimacy from which she hoped to derive advantages so very essential to her own happiness, was not to be thought of. Yet there was something that rather frightened her in the 'notion of leaving her friend Patty so entirely to her own discretion as she now proposed; and without answering very explicitly, she only pressed the arm that rested on hers with the caressing fondness so usual between them, and muttered something about its ever being, she was sure, her greatest delight to please her dear Patty in all things.

“That won't do, Matilda," cried Patty, suddenly standing stock. still, and very nearly overturning a butcher's-tray, intended to swing innoxiously round her as she passed. 6. That sort of answer is not worth a pin. I really have a monstrous deal that I want to say to my own dear Jack Steady, and there is more still that I want to have him say to me, and I feel most positively sure that he will he quite glum if there is any body by but me to hear him. I'm sure, Matilda, I shall always be rewdy to do as I'd be done by, and I promise faithfully, upon my word and honour, that if you will but go out to-morrow at iwo o'clock, and take your sister Louisa along with you, I will contrive to let you have a tite-à-tête in our drawing-room with Foxcroft, for just as long as you like, as soon as ever papa has got bis nice new house, you know. For papa says he is quite sure that Foxcroft will contrive to get leave of absence on account of his health, or for some excuse or other. He is quite sure of it. So you see, Matilda, that if you will do what I tell you, there is no need that I should be long in your debt."

The argument thus urged went straight to the heart of Miss Matilda. Well, my dear," she replied, “ I will see what I can do_but Louisa, of course, is her own mistress, and if she does not choose to take a walk just at that time, you know I can't make her."

“But I know that you can,” replied Patty, sharply; "as if I had not seen you come over her hundreds and hundreds of times ! And when she has set off with saying, “I don't think I can do that, Matilda,' haven't I heard her end at last by, · Well, to be sure, I dare say you know what is best, my dear!'"

This being said in Patty's best style of mimicry, it produced the accustomed meed of admiration from her friend, testified as usual by an assurance that she never did, no, never in her life, hear such a mimic! But ere this oft-recurring expression was well spoken, Patty suddenly stood still, and having a tight hold of Miss Matilda's arın, caused her to stand still also.

“What is the matter, my dear ?" demanded the elder lady.

“Matter!" ejaculated the younger one. “I certainly shall go distracted, that's all I certainly shall, Matilda, if you don't turn back this very instant, and scud along with me to my own bedroom as fast as your legs can carry you."

* What for, my dear? Shan't we be very tired, Patty ?" demanded Matilda, in a languid voice.


2 K

“ Tired? What signifies being tired, I should like to know, compared to my not having one single bit of any ribbon for my neck, or my waist, or my wrists, but that ugly dark blue that papa bought at Brighton? They make such a fuss, both of 'em, about my not spendmg too much money in ribbons, that I am obliged to be as stingy as a miser over my best, and that's the reason I left all my pink pinned up safe in silver paper in my drawer. I know it couldn't make any great difference with you and your sister whether my skin looked better or worse ;—but Jack! I vow and declare I would not let Jack come and see me in those nasty, hideous, narrow blue bows, if you'd give me a thousand pounds !"

“I do assure you, Patty," replied her friend, “ that you can't look more beautiful in any thing than you do in those identical blue ribbons. I have said so to Louisa scores of times."

“Come along, my dear!" was the only reply which the steadfastminded Miss O'Donagough made to this friendly assurance, and being considerably the stronger of the two, her will proved irresistible, and the two young ladies once more jostled their way along the ever-busy pavement of Piccadilly, and in process of time again reached the O'Donagough lodgings in street.

The ample face of Mrs. O'Donagough was perceptible above the blind of the parlour-window considerably before Patty's impatient knocking had concluded, and she burst forth upon them into the passage with all the eagerness of maternal anxiety, just as her daughter raised one foot to mount the stairs.

“ What in the world is all this for?" demanded Mrs. O'Donagough, laying her hand on the shoulder of Miss Matilda ; for by an active movement forward, Patty had escaped her. “ What are you come back for ?"

“Something that Patty wanted out of her drawers," replied the discreet and faithful confidant.

“Good gracious! what a shame to drag you back all this way! why you might have got home over and over by this time," said Mrs. O'Donagough.

Oh, dear! the distance is no consequence,” replied Matilda ; " and you know there is nothing in the world I would not do to please Patty!"

While this passed, the two ladies continued standing at the bottom of the stairs, for Mrs. O'Donagough did not feel altogether sure that her husband, who was in the act of dining upon beefsteaks and onions in the parlour, would be particularly well pleased by a visit from the refined Miss Matilda Perkins—especially as that young lady had been informed that they were to dine at Richmond at seven o'clock. But Patty's business above stairs, proceeded so slowly, that her vexed mother could no longer avoid asking the weary Matilda to sit down.

“You won't mind finding Donny at luncheon, will you ?" she said, as she at length threw open the parlour-door. “That silly Patty forgot something or other, and she has brought Matilda Perkins all the way back from Brompton to fetch it,” said Mrs. O'Donagough to her husband, as she entered ; “ but you won't mind her seeing you eat your luncheon, you know, though it is five o'clock.”

“ You will be shocked by the sight of so substantial a morning meal, my life.”

my dear Miss Matilda,” said the master of the apartment; “ but the fact is, Lord Robert has kept me so late at the club, consulting about some private business, which has brought him up to town—and you may guess how delighted he was to see an old friend, at a time when the chances are five hundred to one against his finding a single creature in London-he has kept me so devilish late, that I was absolutely obliged to send out for something solid, before we set off for Richmond.”

“What on earth can Patty be about?” exclaimed the hungry Mrs. O'Donagough, impatiently. “There never was such a plague of a girl about her things! What is it, Matilda, that she is come back for?

“I don't quite exactly know,” replied Matilda, blushing, and faltering. “She said she had forgotten something, and wished to come back, and I did not say much about it.”

“Do let the girl alone, my dear," said Mr. O'Donagough. “If our charming friend here, likes to indulge her little whims, I don't see why you should grumble about it."

“How you do spoil that girl!" retorted his lady, resuming with a bounce her place at the table, and suddenly deciding that she would not be such a fool as to let her beefsteaks get cold for any one. “I do believe that let her do what she would you would find out some reason or other to prove that she was right.”

“ She is right now, at any rate,” replied the father, looking up as the young lady entered the room, “ for I never saw her look better in

“What did you come home for, Patty ?" cried Mrs. O'Donagough, suspending her well-charged fork within half an inch of her mouth.

“I wanted a pocket-handkerchief, mamma," replied the young lady.

“ As if Matilda could not have lent you one! I am sure there was something else, so you may as well out with it. What's that


have got in your other hand? Didn't I tell you that I would get the girl of the house to carry your things for you, and what is the use then of dragging through the streets with them yourself ?”

". Use, or not use, mamma, I shall carry this parcel, because I like to do it, and that I suppose is reason enough, isn't it?"

“What's in the parcel, Patty ?" persisted her mother, pettishly. “ You haven't got hold of my lace collar, I hope ?"

“ You take me for a thief, do you? Well, that's civil any how, isn't it, Matilda ?" said Patty, with rather an embarrassed laugh. “But come along, or we shall keep Miss Louisa waiting for her dinner,” she added, endeavouring to back out of the room without further parley.

Come and give me a kiss, Patty?" said her father, seized with an unlucky fit of affection.

Till now the young lady had contrived to keep her parcel, if not quite out of sight, at least out of the reach of her mother, by holding it pertinaciously behind her back; but this unwelcome invitation, rendered the manœuvre of none effect, for as she stooped forward to receive the paternal caress, her mamma snatched at the parcel, obtained it, tore it mercilessly open, and disclosed sundry ells of bright rosecoloured ribbon, a portion of which was daintily tied up in various-sized knots, while the rest floated left and right far and wide, in unrestrained profusion.

" What in the world is all this for ?" exclaimed Mrs. O'Donagough, with marked displeasure on her countenance.

"Don't you know, Patty, all that has been said about these sort of things ? What good is it to talk to you like a reasonable grown-up woman, while you still act like a child ? Did not your father pay four and ninepence, for these very ribbons, expressly on condition that they should be kept up as best, and worn for nothing but showing off when we wanted you to look as well as possible? Can you stand there, and tell me that you don't remember this?”

“ I am not going to tell you any such thing, Mrs. O'Donagough," replied Patty, in her most rebellious accent, and at the same time glancing at her father for support, for whose especial amusement, she had formed her phrase; but it did not answer, for he was growing more hungry and angry every moment, and turning towards her with unex. pected firmness, exclaimed,

“Don't answer your mother like a fool, Miss Patty! What the devil do you want all that finery for?

« Want it, papa? Lor-a-mercy, doesn't every girl always want all the finery she can get? I am sure if she doesn't she's a fool. Come along, Matilda—" was the not unskilful answer of the beauty, while replacing her ribbons in their paper envelope ; but she was disappointed if she fancied that it would satisfy her mamma, for Mrs. O'Donagough turning briskly round to the blushing Matilda, abruptly demanded if they were going to have any company, adding,

" But even if you were, that is no reason why she should gallop back, and ransack the drawers in this way—for these pink ribbons were bought to smarten up a morning dress, just to call on Mrs. Stephenson, you know, or any thing of that sort.”

Notwithstanding her advantages in point of age, it was evident that Miss Matilda Perkins could not compete with her young friend, either in courage, or in presence of mind ; for she hesitated, and looked exceedingly embarrassed as she replied,

“ I am not quite sure, Mrs. O'Donagough, about who we are likely to have call upon us of a morning, but dear Patty always likes to be a little smart, you know, before strangers.”

“ And she'd be the first to scold, if I didn't," subjoined Patty.

Then hastily kissing her father's forehead, as he threw back his head in the act of lifting à porter-pot to his mouth, and nodding “Good bye, mamma,” to her mother, she bolted out of the room and the house, without running the risk of any further conversation, and was followed by her friend, whose usual obsequious civility to Mrs. O'Donagough, was altogether conquered by her dread of being entrapped into the betrayal of Patty's secret.

But though the fair friends succeeded in getting out of the house, and in making their way safely to Belle-Vue-terrace, Brompton, they had not by any means “thoroughly bamboozled” Mrs. O'Donagough, as Patty boldly assured her confidant was the case ; for no sooner bad the angry lady refreshed herself by a draught of her favourite beverage, than she thus addressed her spouse:

" Don't you see, Donny, as plain as that two and two make four, that these two girls have got some trick in their heads? I'll bet what you please, that if you and I make them a call to-morrow morning at a genteel visiting-hour, we shall find some beau or other there; that

Miss Patty is particularly desirous to captivate some of the young lads of the —, perhaps that they used to meet so constantly on the pier at Brighton—not that I should care a straw for that, if it wasn't that they were both so mighty shy about talking of it. That looks like mischief, don't it ?!

“ It is early days, too, to catch Patty out in such a trick as that," replied Mr. O'Donagough. “However, I have no objection to look after her to-morrow morning. But mind, whatever happens, you must leave the whole management of the business to me. Don't let's have any jawing before strangers, for God's sake !"

“That's all fair, my dear; I shan't want to meddle or make, I promise you. But it will do Patty a monstrous deal of good to discover, that with all her cleverness, there are eyes as sharp as her own, though may be not quite so bright."

(To be continued.)




[ocr errors]

A RUINED palace--crumbling, roofless walls,

Poised on the steep brow of a mountain high,
Once fortified-but now each bastion falls,
Each rampart, mouldering, offers to the

This moral: “ Time destroys each work of Man!".

Around are toţtering pillars, columns rent,-
Below, dusk passages that mock the scan

Of daring traveller, on discovery bent.
Here once were princes met, here warrior's flocked

For deadly conflict; here man dwells not now!
Upon its leafy turret, gently rocked

By breezes soft, behold thro' yonder bough
The wood-quest, cooing to its mate! and, high

On yonder peak, a troop of black-faced elves
Monkeys, that seem to chatter to the sky)

· Bask in the rising sun, to warm themselves !
Amidst the reedy grass, a rustling sound

Betrays the “ fretful porcupine,” that glides
From daylight to its dungeon, under ground,

Where, with the Mungoos,* craftily it hides :-
Beneath these yawning walls, involved in gloom,

Winds many an alley: none dare enter there!
The deadly Cobra coils in each dark room,

And fetid vampire-bats infect the air!
What mysteries may not in these caverns lurk !

What bones of murdered captives !-Gold and gems
Hid in hot haste, when danger's certain work,

Menaced the owners of the diadems!
These never may be found,-and legends tell

That scaly dragons guard them from mankind;
Here superstition holds a fitting cell,

Conning wild lessons for the credulous mind!

• Ichneumon.

« PředchozíPokračovat »