Novels by Eminent Hands, by William Makepeace Thackeray

Crinoline.

by Je-mes Pl-sh, Esq.

I.

I’m not at libbaty to divulj the reel names of the 2 Eroes of the igstrawny Tail which I am abowt to relait to those unlightnd paytrons of letarature and true connyshures of merrit — the great Brittish public — But I pledj my varacity that this singlar story of rewmantic love, absobbing pashn, and likewise of GENTEEL LIFE, is, in the main fax, TREW. The suckmstanzas I elude to, ocurd in the rain of our presnt Gratious Madjisty and her beluvd and roil Concert Prince Halbert.

Welthen. Some time in the seazen of 18 — (mor I dar not rewheel) there arrived in this metropulus, per seknd class of the London and Dover Railway, an ellygant young foring gentleman, whom I shall danomminate Munseer Jools De Chacabac.

Having read through “The Vicker of Wackfield” in the same oridganal English tung in which this very harticle I write is wrote too, and halways been remarkyble, both at collidge and in the estamminy, for his aytred and orror of perfidgus Halbion, Munseer Jools was considered by the prapriretors of the newspaper in which he wrote, at Parris, the very man to come to this country, igsamin its manners and customs, cast an i upon the politticle and finalshle stat of the Hempire, and igspose the mackynations of the infyamous Palmerston, and the ebomminable Sir Pill — both enemies of France; as is every other Britten of that great, gloarus, libberal, and peasable country. In one word, Jools de Chacabac was a penny-a-liner.

“I will go see with my own I’s,” he said, “that infimus hiland of which the innabitants are shopkeepers, gorged with roast beef and treason. I will go and see the murderers of the Hirish, the pisoners of the Chynese, the villians who put the Hemperor to death in Saintyleany, the artful dodges who wish to smother Europe with their cotton, and can’t sleep or rest heasy for henvy and hatred of the great inwinsable French nation. I will igsammin, face to face, these hotty insularies; I will pennytrate into the secrets of their Jessywhittickle cabinet, and beard Palmerston in his denn.” When he jumpt on shor at Foaxton (after having been tremenguously sick in the fourcabbing), he exclaimed, “Enfin je te tiens, Ile maudite! je te crache a la figure, vieille Angleterre! Je te foule a mes pieds an nom du monde outrage,” and so proseaded to inwade the metropulus.

As he wisht to micks with the very chicest sosiaty, and git the best of infamation about this country, Munseer Jools of coarse went and lodgd in Lester Square — Lester Squarr, as he calls it — which, as he was infommed in the printed suckular presented to him by a very greasy but polite comishner at the Custumus Stares, was in the scenter of the town, contiggus to the Ouses of Parlyment, the prinsple theayters, the parx, St. Jams Pallice, and the Corts of Lor. “I can surwhey them all at one cut of the eye,” Jools thought; “the Sovring, the infamus Ministers plotting the destruction of my immortial country; the business and pleasure of these pusprond Londoners and aristoxy; I can look round and see all.” So he took a three-pair back in a French hotel, the “Hotel de l’Ail,” kep by Monsieur Gigotot, Cranbourne Street, Lester Squarr, London.

In this otell there’s a billiard-room on the first floor, and a tabble-doat at eighteenpence peredd at 5 o’clock; and the landlord, who kem into Jools’s room smoaking a segar, told the young gent that the house was friquented by all the Brittish nobillaty, who reglar took their dinners there. “They can’t ebide their own quiseen,” he said. “You’ll see what a dinner we’ll serve you today.” Jools wrote off to his paper —

“The members of the haughty and luxurious English aristocracy, like all the rest of the world, are obliged to fly to France for the indulgence of their luxuries. The nobles of England, quitting their homes, their wives, miladies and mistriss, so fair but so cold, dine universally at the tavern. That from which I write is frequented by Peel and Palmerston. I fremis to think that I may meet them at the board today.”

Singlar to say, Peel and Palmerston didn’t dine at the “Hotel de l’Ail” on that evening. “It’s quite igstronnary they don’t come,” said Munseer de l’Ail.

“Peraps they’re ingaged at some boxing-match or some combaw de cock,” Munseer Jools sejested; and the landlord egreed that was very likely.

Instedd of English there was, however, plenty of foring sociaty, of every nation under the sun. Most of the noblemen were great hamatures of hale and porter. The tablecloth was marked over with brown suckles, made by the pewter-pots on that and the previous days.

“It is the usage here,” wrote Jools to his newspaper, “among the Anglais of the fashonne to absorb immense quantities of ale and porter during their meals. These stupefying, but cheap, and not unpalatable liquors are served in shining pewter vessels. A mug of foaming hafanaf (so a certain sort of beer is called) was placed by the side of most of the convives. I was disappointed of seeing Sir Peel: he was engaged to a combat of cocks which occurs at Windsor.”

Not one word of English was spoke during this dinner, excep when the gentlemen said “Garsong de l’afanaf,” but Jool was very much pleased to meet the eleet of the foringers in town, and ask their opinion about the reel state of thinx. Was it likely that the bishops were to be turned out of the Chambre des Communes? Was it true that Lor Palmerston had boxed with Lor Broghamm in the House of Lords, until they were sepparayted by the Lor Maire? Who was the Lor Maire? Wasn’t he Premier Minister? and wasn’t the Archeveque de Cantorbery a Quaker? He got answers to these questions from the various gents round about during the dinner — which, he remarked, was very much like a French dinner, only dirtier. And he wrote off all the infamation he got to his newspaper.

“The Lord Maire, Lord Lansdowne, is Premier Ministre. His Grace has his dwelling in the City. The Archbishop of Cantabery is not turned Quaker, as some people stated. Quakers may not marry, nor sit in the Chamber of Peers. The minor bishops have seats in the House of Commons, where they are attacked by the bitter pleasantries of Lord Brougham. A boxer is in the house; he taught Palmerston the science of the pugilate, who conferred upon him the seat,” &c. &c.

His writing hover, Jools came down and ad a gaym at pool with two Poles, a Bulgian, and 2 of his own countrymen. This being done amidst more hafanaf, without which nothink is done in England, and as there was no French play that night, he & the two French gents walked round and round Lester Squarr smoking segaws in the faces of other French gents who were smoaking 2. And they talked about the granjer of France and the perfidgusness of England, and looked at the aluminated pictur of Madame Wharton as Haryadney till bedtime. But befor he slep, he finished his letter you may be sure, and called it his “Fust Imprestiuns of Anglyterre.”

“Mind and wake me early,” he said to Boots, the ony Brittish subject in the “Hotel de l’Ail,” and who therefore didn’t understand him. “I wish to be at Smithfield at 6 hours to see THE MEN SELL THEIR WIVES.” And the young roag fell asleep, thinking what sort of a one he’d buy.

This was the way Jools passed his days, and got infamation about Hengland and the Henglish — walking round and round Lester Squarr all day, and every day with the same company, occasionally dewussified by an Oprer Chorus-singer or a Jew or two, and every afternoon in the Quadrant admiring the genteal sosiaty there. Munseer Jools was not over well funnisht with pocket-money, and so his pleasure was of the gratis sort cheafly.

Well, one day as he and a friend was taking their turn among the aristoxy under the Quadrant — they were struck all of a heap by seeing — But, stop! who WAS Jools’s friend? Here you have pictures of both — but the Istory of Jools’s friend must be kep for another innings.

II.

Not fur from that knowble and cheerflie Squear which Munseer Jools de Chacabac had selacted for his eboad in London — not fur, I say, from Lester Squarr, is a rainje of bildings called Pipping’s Buildings, leading to Blue Lion Court, leading to St. Martin’s Lane. You know Pipping’s Buildings by its greatest ornament, an am and beefouce (where Jools has often stood admiring the degstaraty of the carver a-cuttin the varous jints), and by the little fishmungur’s, where you remark the mouldy lobsters, the fly-blown picklesammon, the playbills, and the gingybear bottles in the window — above all, by the “Constantinople” Divan, kep by the Misses Mordeky, and well known to every lover of “a prime sigaw and an exlent cup of reel Moky Coffy for 6d.”

The Constantinople Divann is greatly used by the foring gents of Lester Squar. I never ad the good fortn to pass down Pipping’s Buildings without seeing a haf a duzen of ’em on the threshole of the extablishment, giving the street an oppertunity of testing the odar of the Misses Mordeky’s prime Avannas. Two or three mor may be visable inside, settn on the counter or the chestis, indulging in their fav’rit whead, the rich and spisy Pickwhick, the ripe Manilly, or the flagrant and arheumatic Qby.

“These Divanns are, as is very well known, the knightly resott of the young Henglish nobillaty. It is ear a young Pier, after an arjus day at the House of Commons, solazes himself with a glas of gin-and-water (the national beveridge), with cheerful conversation on the ewents of the day, or with an armless gaym of baggytell in the back-parlor.”

So wrote at least our friend Jools to his newspaper, the Horriflam; and of this back-parlor and baggytell-bord, of this counter, of this “Constantinople” Divan, he became almost as reglar a frequenter as the plaster of Parish Turk who sits smoking a hookey between the two blue coffee-cups in the winder.

I have oftin, smokin my own shroot in silents in a corner of the Diwann, listened to Jools and his friends inwaying aginst Hingland, and boastin of their own immortial country. How they did go on about Wellintun, and what an arty contamp they ad for him! — how they used to prove that France was the Light, the Scenter-pint, the Igsample and hadmiration of the whole world! And though I scarcely take a French paper now-a-days (I lived in early days as groom in a French famly three years, and therefore knows the languidg), though, I say, you can’t take up Jools’s paper, the Orriflam, without readin that a minister has committed bribery and perjury, or that a littery man has committed perjury and murder, or that a Duke has stabbed his wife in fifty places, or some story equally horrible; yet for all that it’s admiral to see how the French gents will swagger — how they will be the scenters of civilization — how they will be the Igsamples of Europ, and nothink shall prevent ’em — knowing they will have it, I say I listen, smokin my pip in silence. But to our tail.

Reglar every evening there came to the “Constantanople” a young gent etired in the igth of fashn; and indead presenting by the cleanlyness of his appearants and linning (which was generally a pink or blew shurt, with a cricketer or a dansuse pattern) rather a contrast to the dinjy and whistkcard sosaity of the Diwann. As for wiskars, this young mann had none beyond a little yallow tought to his chin, which you woodn notas, only he was always pulling at it. His statue was diminnative, but his coschume supubb, for he had the tippiest Jane boots, the ivoryheadest canes, the most gawjus scarlick Jonville ties, and the most Scotch-plaidest trowseys, of any customer of that establishment. He was univusaly called Milord.

“Que est ce jeune seigneur? Who is this young hurl who comes knightly to the ‘Constantanople,’ who is so proddigl of his gold (for indeed the young gent would frequinly propoase gininwater to the company), and who drinks so much gin?” asked Munseer Chacabac of a friend from the “Hotel de l’Ail.”

“His name is Lord Yardham,” answered that friend. “He never comes here but at night — and why?”

“Y?” igsclaimed Jools, istonisht.

“Why? because he is engaygd all day — and do you know where he is engaygd all day?”

“Where?” asked Jools.

“At the Foring Office — NOW do you begin to understand?”— Jools trembled.

He speaks of his uncle, the head of that office. —“Who IS the head of that offis? — Palmerston.”

“The nephew of Palmerston!” said Jools, almost in a fit.

“Lor Yardham pretends not to speak French,” the other went on. “He pretends he can only say wee and commong porty voo. Shallow humbug! — I have marked him during our conversations. — When we have spoken of the glory of France among the nations, I have seen his eye kindle, and his perfidious lip curl with rage. When they have discussed before him, the Imprudents! the affairs of Europe, and Raggybritchovich has shown us the next Circassian Campaign, or Sapousne has laid hare the plan of the Calabrian patriots for the next insurrection, I have marked this stranger — this Lor Yardham. He smokes, ’tis to conceal his countenance; he drinks gin, ’tis to hide his face in the goblet. And be sure, he carries every word of our conversation to the perfidious Palmerston, his uncle.”

“I will beard him in his den,” thought Jools. “I will meet him corps-a-corps — the tyrant of Europe shall suffer through his nephew, and I will shoot him as dead as Dujarrier.”

When Lor Yardham came to the “Constantanople” that night, Jools i’d him savidgely from edd to foot, while Lord Yardham replied the same. It wasn’t much for either to do — neyther being more than 4 foot ten hi — Jools was a grannydear in his company of the Nashnal Gard, and was as brayv as a lion.

“Ah, l’Angleterre, l’Angleterre, tu nous dois une revanche,” said Jools, crossing his arms and grinding his teeth at Lord Yardham.

“Wee,” said Lord Yardham; “wee.”

“Delenda est Carthago!” howled out Jools.

“Oh, wee,” said the Erl of Yardham, and at the same moment his glas of ginawater coming in, he took a drink, saying, “A voternsanty, Munseer:” and then he offered it like a man of fashn to Jools.

A light broak on Jools’s mind as he igsepted the refreshmint. “Sapoase,” he said, “instedd of slaughtering this nephew of the infamous Palmerston, I extract his secrets from him; suppose I pump him — suppose I unveil his schemes and send them to my paper? La France may hear the name of Jools de Chacabac, and the star of honor may glitter on my bosom.”

So axepting Lord Yardham’s cortasy, he returned it by ordering another glass of gin at his own expence, and they both drank it on the counter, where Jools talked of the affaers of Europ all night. To everything he said, the Earl of Yardham answered, “Wee, wee;” except at the end of the evening, when he squeeged his & and said, “Bong swore.”

“There’s nothing like goin amongst ’em to equire the reel pronounciation,” his lordship said, as he let himself into his lodgings with his latch-key. “That was a very eloquent young gent at the ‘Constantinople,’ and I’ll patronize him.”

“Ah, perfide, je te demasquerai!” Jools remarked to himself as he went to bed in his “Hotel de l’Ail.” And they met the next night, and from that heavning the young men were continyually together.

Well, one day, as they were walking in the Quadrant, Jools talking, and Lord Yardham saying, “Wee, wee,” they were struck all of a heap by seeing —

But my paper is igshosted, and I must dixcribe what they sor in the nex number.

III.

The Castle of the Island of Fogo.

The travler who pesews his dalitefle coarse through the fair rellum of Franse (as a great romantic landskippist and neamsack of mind would say) never chaumed his i’s within a site more lovely, or vu’d a pallis more magniffiznt than that which was the buthplace of the Eroing of this Trew Tale. Phansy a country through whose werdant planes the selvery Garonne wines, like — like a benevvolent sarpent. In its plasid busum antient cassles, picturask willidges, and waving woods are reflected. Purple hills, crownd with inteak ruings; rivvilets babbling through gentle greenwoods; wight farm ouses, hevvy with hoverhanging vines, and from which the appy and peaseful okupier can cast his glans over goolden waving cornfealds, and M. Herald meddows in which the lazy cattle are graysinn; while the sheppard, tending his snoughy flox, wiles away the leisure mominx on his loot — these hoffer but a phaint pictur of the rurial felissaty in the midst of widge Crinoline and Hesteria de Viddlers were bawn.

Their Par, the Marcus de Viddlers, Shavilear of the Legend of Honor and of the Lion of Bulgum, the Golden Flease, Grand Cross of the Eflant and Castle, and of the Catinbagpipes of Hostria, Grand Chamberleng of the Crownd, and Major-Genaril of Hoss-Mareens, &c. &c. &c. — is the twenty-foth or fith Marquis that has bawn the Tittle; is disended lenyally from King Pipping, and has almost as antient a paddygree as any which the Ollywell Street frends of the Member of Buckinumsheer can supply.

His Marchyniss, the lovely & ecomplisht Emily de St. Cornichon, quitted this mortial spear very soon after she had presented her lord with the two little dawling Cherrybins above dixcribed, in whomb, after the loss of that angle his wife, the disconslit widderer found his only jy on huth. In all his emusemints they ecumpanied him; their edjacation was his sole bisniss; he atcheaved it with the assistnce of the ugliest and most lernid masters, and the most hidjus and egsimplary governices which money could procure. R, how must his peturnle art have bet, as these Budds, which he had nurrisht, bust into buty, and twined in blooming flagrance round his pirentle Busm!

The villidges all round his hancestral Alls blessed the Marcus and his lovely hoffsprig. Not one villidge in their naybrood but was edawned by their elygint benifisns, and where the inhabitnts wern’t rendered appy. It was a pattern pheasantry. All the old men in the districk were wertuous & tockative, ad red stockins and i-eeled drab shoes, and beautiful snowy air. All the old women had peaked ats, and crooked cains, and chince gowns tucked into the pockits of their quiltid petticoats; they sat in pictarask porches, pretendin to spinn, while the lads and lassis of the villidges danst under the hellums. O, tis a noble sight to whitniss that of an appy pheasantry! Not one of those rustic wassals of the Ouse of Widdlers, but ad his air curled and his shirt-sheaves tied up with pink ribbing as he led to the macy dance some appy country gal, with a black velvit boddice and a redd or yaller petticoat, a hormylu cross on her neck, and a silver harrow in her air!

When the Marcus & ther young ladies came to the villidge it would have done the i’s of the flanthropist good to see how all reseaved ’em! The little children scattered calico flowers on their path, the snowy-aired old men with red faces and rinkles took off their brown paper ats to slewt the noble Marcus. Young and old led them to a woodn bank painted to look like a bower of roses, and when they were sett down danst ballys before them. O ’twas a noble site to see the Marcus too, smilin ellygint with fethers in his edd and all his stars on, and the young Marchynisses with their ploomes, and trains, and little coronicks!

They lived in tremenjus splendor at home in their pyturnle alls, and had no end of pallises, willers, and town and country resadences; but their fayvorit resadence was called the Castle of the Island of Fogo.

Add I the penn of the hawther of a Codlingsby himself, I coodnt dixcribe the gawjusness of their aboad. They add twenty-four footmen in livery, besides a boy in codroys for the knives & shoes. They had nine meels aday — Shampayne and pineapples were served to each of the young ladies in bed before they got up. Was it Prawns, Sherry-cobblers, lobster-salids, or maids of honor, they had but to ring the bell and call for what they chose. They had two new dresses every day — one to ride out in the open carriage, and another to appear in the gardens of the Castle of the Island of Fogo, which were illuminated every night like Voxhall. The young noblemen of France were there ready to dance with them, and festif suppers concludid the jawyus night.

Thus they lived in ellygant ratirement until Missfortune bust upon this happy fammaly. Etached to his Princes and abommanating the ojus Lewyphlip, the Marcus was conspiring for the benefick of the helder branch of the Borebones — and what was the consquince? — One night a fleat presented itself round the Castle of the Island of Fogo — and skewering only a couple of chests of jewils, the Marcus and the two young ladies in disgyise, fled from that island of bliss. And whither fled they? — To England! — England the ome of the brave, the refuge of the world, where the pore slave never setts his foot but he is free!

Such was the ramantic tail which was told to 2 friends of ours by the Marcus de Viddlers himself, whose daughters, walking with their page from Ungerford Market (where they had been to purchis a paper of srimps for the umble supper of their noble father), Yardham and his equaintnce, Munseer Jools, had remarked and admired.

But how had those two young Erows become equainted with the noble Marcus? — That is a mistry we must elucydate in a futur vollam.

http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/t/thackeray/william_makepeace/novels/chapter6.html

Last updated Tuesday, March 4, 2014 at 19:07