The History of Pendennis, Volume 2 / His Fortunes and Misfortunes, His Friends and His Greatest Enemy

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THE HISTORY OF PENDENNIS.

HIS FORTUNES AND MISFORTUNES, HIS FRIENDS AND HIS GREATEST ENEMY.

BY WILLIAM MAKEPEACE THACKERAY.

WITH ILLUSTRATIONS ON WOOD BY THE AUTHOR,

IN TWO VOLUMES.
VOLUME II.

1858

CHAPTER

1.—RELATES TO MR. HARRY FOKER’s AFFAIRS

2.—CARRIES THE READER BOTH TO RICHMOND AND GREENWICH
3.—CONTAINS A NOVEL INCIDENT
4.—ALSATIA
5.—IN WHICH THE COLONEL NARRATES SOME OF HIS ADVENTURES
6.—A CHAPTER OF CONVERSATIONS
7.—MISS AMORY’S PARTNERS
8.—MONSEIGNEUR S’AMUSE
9.—A VISIT OF POLITENESS
10.—IN SHEPHERD’S INN
11.—IN OR NEAR THE TEMPLE GARDEN
12.—THE HAPPY VILLAGE AGAIN
13.—WHICH HAD VERY NEARLY BEEN THE LAST OF THE STORY
14.—A CRITICAL CHAPTER
15.—CONVALESCENCE
16.—FANNY’S OCCUPATION’S GONE
17.—IN WHICH FANNY ENGAGES A NEW MEDICAL MAN
18.—FOREIGN GROUND
19.—”FAIROAKS TO LET”
20.—OLD FRIENDS
21.—EXPLANATIONS
22.—CONVERSATIONS
23.—THE WAY OF THE WORLD
24.—WHICH ACCOUNTS PERHAPS FOR CHAPTER XXIII
25.—PHILLIS AND CORYDON
26.—TEMPTATIONS
27.—IN WHICH PEN BEGINS HIS CANVASS
28.—IN WHICH PEN BEGINS TO DOUBT ABOUT HIS ELECTION
29.—IN WHICH THE MAJOR IS BIDDEN TO STAND AND DELIVER
30.—IN WHICH THE MAJOR NEITHER YIELDS HIS MONEY NOR HIS LIFE
31.—IN WHICH PENDENNIS COUNTS HIS EGGS
32.—FIAT JUSTITIA
33.—IN WHICH THE DECKS BEGIN TO CLEAR
34.—MR. AND MRS. SAM HUXTER
35.—SHOWS HOW ARTHUR HAD BETTER HAVE TAKEN A RETURN-TICKET
36.—A CHAPTER OF MATCH-MAKING
37.—EXEUNT OMNES PENDENNIS.

CHAPTER I.

RELATES TO MR. HARRY FOKER’S AFFAIRS.

Since that fatal but delightful night in Grosvenor place, Mr. Harry
Foker’s heart had been in such a state of agitation as you would
hardly have thought so great a philosopher could endure. When we
remember what good advice he had given to Pen in former days, how an
early wisdom and knowledge of the world had manifested itself in the
gifted youth; how a constant course of self-indulgence, such as
becomes a gentleman of his means and expectations, ought by right to
have increased his cynicism, and made him, with every succeeding day
of his life, care less and less for every individual in the world,
with the single exception of Mr. Harry Foker, one may wonder that he
should fall into the mishap to which most of us are subject once or
twice in our lives, and disquiet his great mind about a woman. But
Foker, though early wise, was still a man. He could no more escape the
common lot than Achilles, or Ajax, or Lord Nelson, or Adam our first
father, and now, his time being come, young Harry became a victim to
Love, the All-conqueror.

When he went to the Back Kitchen that night after quitting Arthur
Pendennis at his staircase-door in Lamb-court, the gin-twist and
deviled turkey had no charms for him, the jokes of his companions
fell flatly on his ear; and when Mr. Hodgen, the singer of “The Body
Snatcher,” had a new chant even more dreadful and humorous than that
famous composition, Foker, although he appeared his friend, and said
“Bravo Hodgen,” as common politeness, and his position as one of the
chiefs of the Back Kitchen bound him to do, yet never distinctly heard
one word of the song, which under its title of “The Cat in the
Cupboard,” Hodgen has since rendered so famous. Late and very tired,
he slipped into his private apartments at home and sought the downy
pillow, but his slumbers were disturbed by the fever of his soul, and
the very instant that he woke from his agitated sleep, the image of
Miss Amory presented itself to him, and said, “Here I am, I am your
princess and beauty, you have discovered me, and shall care for
nothing else hereafter.”

Heavens, how stale and distasteful his former pursuits and friendships
appeared to him! He had not been, up to the present time, much
accustomed to the society of females of his own rank in life. When he
spoke of such, he called them “modest women.” That virtue which, let
us hope they possessed, had not hitherto compensated to Mr. Foker for
the absence of more lively qualities which most of his own relatives
did not enjoy, and which he found in Mesdemoiselles, the ladies of the
theater. His mother, though good and tender, did not amuse her boy;
his cousins, the daughters of his maternal uncle, the respectable Earl
of Rosherville, wearied him beyond measure. One was blue, and a
geologist; one was a horsewoman, and smoked cigars; one was
exceedingly Low Church, and had the most heterodox views on religious
matters; at least, so the other said, who was herself of the very
Highest Church faction, and made the cupboard in her room into an
oratory, and fasted on every Friday in the year. Their paternal house
of Drummington, Foker could very seldom be got to visit. He swore he
had rather go to the tread-mill than stay there. He was not much
beloved by the inhabitants. Lord Erith, Lord Rosherville’s heir,
considered his cousin a low person, of deplorably vulgar habits and
manners; while Foker, and with equal reason, voted Erith a prig and a
dullard, the nightcap of the House of Commons, the Speaker’s
opprobrium, the dreariest of philanthropic spouters. Nor could George
Robert, Earl of Gravesend and Rosherville, ever forget that on one
evening when he condescended to play at billiards with his nephew,
that young gentleman poked his lordship in the side with his cue, and
said, “Well, old cock, I’ve seen many a bad stroke in my life, but I
never saw such a bad one as that there.” He played the game out with
angelic sweetness of temper, for Harry was his guest as well as his
nephew; but he was nearly having a fit in the night; and he kept to
his own rooms until young Harry quitted Drummington on his return to
Oxbridge, where the interesting youth was finishing his education at
the time when the occurrence took place. It was an awful blow to the
venerable earl; the circumstance was never alluded to in the family:
he shunned Foker whenever he came to see them in London or in the
country, and could hardly be brought to gasp out a “How d’ye do?” to
the young blasphemer. But he would not break his sister Agnes’s
heart, by banishing Harry from the family altogether; nor, indeed,
could he afford to break with Mr. Foker, senior, between whom and his
lordship there had been many private transactions, producing an
exchange of bank checks from Mr. Foker, and autographs from the earl
himself, with the letters I O U written over his illustrious
signature.

[Illustration]

Besides the four daughters of Lord Gravesend whose various qualities
have been enumerated in the former paragraph, his lordship was blessed
with a fifth girl, the Lady Ann Milton, who, from her earliest years
and nursery, had been destined to a peculiar position in life. It was
ordained between her parents and her aunt, that when Mr. Harry Foker
attained a proper age, Lady Ann should become his wife. The idea had
been familiar to her mind when she yet wore pinafores, and when
Harry, the dirtiest of little boys, used to come back with black eyes
from school to Drummington, or to his father’s house of Logwood, where
Lady Ann lived much with her aunt. Both of the young people coincided
with the arrangement proposed by the elders, without any protests or
difficulty. It no more entered Lady Ann’s mind to question the order
of her father, than it would have entered Esther’s to dispute the
commands of Ahasuerus. The heir-apparent of the house of Foker was
also obedient, for when the old gentleman said, “Harry, your uncle and
I have agreed that when you’re of a proper age, you’ll marry Lady Ann.
She won’t have any money, but she’s good blood, and a good one to look
at, and I shall make you comfortable. If you refuse, you’ll have your
mother’s jointure, and two hundred a year during my life:” Harry, who
knew that his sire, though a man of few words, was yet implicitly to
be trusted, acquiesced at once in the parental decree, and said,
“Well, sir, if Ann’s agreeable, I say ditto. She’s not a
bad-looking girl.”

“And she has the best blood in England, sir. Your mother’s blood, your
own blood, sir,” said the brewer. “There’s nothing like it, sir.”

“Well, sir, as you like it,” Harry replied. “When you want me, please
ring the bell. Only there’s no hurry, and I hope you’ll give us a long
day. I should like to have my fling out before I marry.”

“Fling away, Harry,” answered the benevolent father. “Nobody prevents
you, do they?” And so very little more was said upon this subject, and
Mr. Harry pursued those amusements in life which suited him best; and
hung up a little picture of his cousin in his sitting-room, amidst the
French prints, the favorite actresses and dancers, the racing and
coaching works of art, which suited his taste and formed his gallery.
It was an insignificant little picture, representing a simple round
face with ringlets; and it made, as it must be confessed, a very poor
figure by the side of Mademoiselle Petitot, dancing over a rainbow, or
Mademoiselle Redowa, grinning in red boots and a lancer’s cap.

Being engaged and disposed of, Lady Ann Milton did not go out so much
in the world as her sisters; and often stayed at home in London at the
parental house in Gaunt-square, when her mamma with the other ladies
went abroad. They talked and they danced with one man after another,
and the men came and went, and the stories about them were various.
But there was only this one story about Ann: she was engaged to Harry
Foker: she never was to think about any body else. It was not a very
amusing story.

Well, the instant Foker awoke on the day after Lady Clavering’s
dinner, there was Blanche’s image glaring upon him with its clear gray
eyes, and winning smile. There was her tune ringing in his ears, “Yet
round about the spot, ofttimes I hover, ofttimes I hover,” which poor
Foker began piteously to hum, as he sat up in his bed under the
crimson silken coverlet. Opposite him was a French print, of a Turkish
lady and her Greek lover, surprised by a venerable Ottoman, the
lady’s husband; on the other wall, was a French print of a gentleman
and lady, riding and kissing each other at the full gallop; all round
the chaste bed-room were more French prints, either portraits of gauzy
nymphs of the Opera or lovely illustrations of the novels; or mayhap,
an English chef-d’oeuvre or two, in which Miss Calverley of T. R. E. O.
would be represented in tight pantaloons in her favorite page part; or
Miss Rougemont as Venus; their value enhanced by the signatures of
these ladies, Maria Calverley, or Frederica Rougemont, inscribed
underneath the prints in an exquisite fac-simile. Such were the
pictures in which honest Harry delighted. He was no worse than many of
his neighbors; he was an idle, jovial, kindly fast man about town; and
if his rooms were rather profusely decorated with works of French art,
so that simple Lady Agnes, his mamma, on entering the apartments where
her darling sate enveloped in fragrant clouds of Latakia, was often
bewildered by the novelties which she beheld there, why, it must be
remembered, that he was richer than most young men, and could better
afford to gratify his taste.

A letter from Miss Calverley written in a very dégagé style of
spelling and hand-writing, scrawling freely over the filigree paper,
and commencing by calling Mr. Harry, her dear Hokey-pokey-fokey, lay
on his bed table by his side, amid keys, sovereigns, cigar-cases, and
a bit of verbena, which Miss Amory had given him, and reminding him of
the arrival of the day when he was “to stand that dinner at the
Elefant and Castle, at Richmond, which he had promised;” a card for a
private box at Miss Rougemont’s approaching benefit, a bundle of
tickets for “Ben Budgeon’s night, the North Lancashire Pippin, at
Martin Faunce’s, the Three-corned Hat in St. Martin’s Lane; where
Conkey Sam, Dick the Nailor, and Deadman (the Worcestershire Nobber),
would put on the gloves, and the lovers of the good old British sport
were invited to attend”—these and sundry other memoirs of Mr. Foker’s
pursuits and pleasures lay on the table by his side when he woke.

Ah! how faint all these pleasures seemed now. What did he care for
Conkey Sam or the Worcestershire Nobber? What for the French prints
ogling him from all sides of the room; those regular stunning slap-up
out-and-outers? And Calverley spelling bad, and calling him
Hokey-fokey, confound her impudence! The idea of being engaged to a
dinner at the Elephant and Castle at Richmond, with that old woman
(who was seven and thirty years old, if she was a day), filled his
mind with dreary disgust now, instead of that pleasure which he had
only yesterday expected to find from the entertainment.

When his fond mamma beheld her boy that morning, she remarked on the
pallor of his cheek, and the general gloom of his aspect. “Why do you
go on playing billiards at that wicked Spratt’s?” Lady Agnes asked.
“My dearest child, those billiards will kill you, I’m sure they will.”

“It isn’t the billiards,” Harry said, gloomily. “Then it’s the
dreadful Back Kitchen,” said the Lady Agnes. “I’ve often thought,
d’you know, Harry, of writing to the landlady, and begging that she
would have the kindness to put only very little wine in the negus
which you take, and see that you have your shawl on before you get
into your brougham.”

“Do, ma’am. Mrs. Cutts is a most kind, motherly woman,” Harry said.
“But it isn’t the Back Kitchen, neither,” he added with a
ghastly sigh.

As Lady Agnes never denied her son any thing, and fell into all his
ways with the fondest acquiescence, she was rewarded by a perfect
confidence on young Harry’s part, who never thought to disguise from
her a knowledge of the haunts which he frequented; and, on the
contrary, brought her home choice anecdotes from the clubs and
billiard-rooms, which the simple lady relished, if she did not
understand. “My son goes to Spratt’s,” she would say to her
confidential friends. “All the young men go to Spratt’s after their
balls. It is de rigeur, my dear; and they play billiards as they
used to play macao and hazard in Mr. Fox’s time. Yes, my dear father
often told me that they sate up always until nine o’clock the next
morning with Mr. Fox at Brooks’s, whom I remember at Drummington, when
I was a little girl, in a buff waistcoat and black satin small
clothes. My brother Erith never played as a young man, nor sate up
late—he had no health for it; but my boy must do as every body does,
you know. Yes, and then he often goes to a place called the Back
Kitchen, frequented by all the wits and authors, you know, whom one
does not see in society, but whom it is a great privilege and pleasure
for Harry to meet, and there he hears the questions of the day
discussed; and my dear father often said that it was our duty to
encourage literature, and he had hoped to see the late Dr. Johnson at
Drummington, only Dr. Johnson died. Yes, and Mr. Sheridan came over
and drank a great deal of wine—every body drank a great deal of wine
in those days—and papa’s wine-merchant’s bill was ten times as much
as Erith’s is, who gets it as he wants it from Fortnum and Mason’s,
and doesn’t keep any stock at all.”

“That was an uncommon good dinner we had yesterday, ma’am,” the artful
Harry broke out. “Their clear soup’s better than ours. Moufflet will
put too much taragon into every thing. The suprème de volaille was
very good—uncommon, and the sweets were better than Moufflet’s
sweets. Did you taste the plombière, ma’am and the maraschino jelly?
Stunningly good that maraschino jelly!”

Lady Agnes expressed her agreement in these, as in almost all other
sentiments of her son, who continued the artful conversation, saying,

“Very handsome house that of the Claverings. Furniture, I should say,
got up regardless of expense. Magnificent display of plate, ma’am.”
The lady assented to all these propositions.

“Very nice people the Claverings.”

“Hem!” said Lady Agnes.

“I know what you mean. Lady C. ain’t distangy exactly, but she is very
good-natured.” “O very,” mamma said, who was herself one of the
most good-natured of women.

“And Sir Francis, he don’t talk much before ladies: but after dinner
he comes out uncommon strong, ma’am—a highly agreeable well-informed
man. When will you ask them to dinner? Look out for an early day,
ma’am;” and looking into Lady Agnes’s pocket-book, he chose a day only
a fortnight hence (an age that fortnight seemed to the young
gentleman), when the Claverings were to be invited to Grosvenor-street.

The obedient Lady Agnes wrote the required invitation. She was
accustomed to do so without consulting her husband, who had his own
society and habits, and who left his wife to see her own friends
alone. Harry looked at the card; but there was an omission in the
invitation which did not please him.

“You have not asked Miss Whatdyecallem—Miss Emery, Lady Clavering’s
daughter.”

“O, that little creature!” Lady Agnes cried. “No, I think not, Harry.”

“We must ask Miss Amory,” Foker said. “I—I want to ask Pendennis; and

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