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anxious as her mother to put an extinguisher way, in order to point out, in answer to my on this absurd affair, without any further inquiry for “Il Signor O’Kane,” his domiéclat ; so I begged her to leave me the let- cile at the farther or front end of the paster, and let me try what I could do with this sage. Piu in la signor," said she ; and inamorata after breakfast.

then slapping the door in my face, she re“I am delighted to hear you say so; take tired to her own affairs, and left me to mine. it, and let me never hear any more of the My preparations for this interview were odious subject," said my sister. “I was as follows: My visiting-card, as an English afraid I should have to put it into the hands clergyman, which I proposed to lay on the of that hot-headed boy her brother Harry.” table in the first instance, not as my gage de

“Oh, no,” said I “ that would never do. I bataille, but as my announcement that I was think I am a better match for this red-hot" no fighting man," and mine no hostile misIrish lover than Harry could be, for I hope sion. In my hand I held a slight, but tough, to settle it all without reference to the code slip of Roman vine, in the shape of a walkof honor or the logic of the horsewhip, and ing-stick, upon the principle of Parson Adwithout furnishing a treat to the gossips of ams, who always carried a sermon about Rome.”

him, to be prepared for the worst ; Breakfast despatched, I set out for the ad- lastly, in my waistcoat-pocket, the love-letdress given, being but a few streets distant ter received that morning, which I was defrom our own. Roman lodgings answer termined the enamored writer should repretty nearly to Voltaire's idea of the Eng-ceive back, as the end of a folly, and put in lish beer and natives : the bottom dregs, the the fire before my face, as a word retracted, top froth, and the middle excellent. The and “ tanquam non locutum.ground floor is generally cellarage ; the sec- As I stood before the indicated door, I ond story, as further removed from the heard loud tones and stamping demonstrafumum strepitumque Romæ,” is preferable tions within, such as sometimes issue from a to the first floor; the third story still hab- “ School of Defence,” when the students itable, and “good air ;” but all above that are hotly engaged in their practices. In a goes off into the veriest froth and scum of little time I could, however, perceive that the shifty, nasty Roman population. As I the inmate was engaged in soliloquy, that mounted and mounted yet, in search of Mr. / the stamping and noise were but his own O’Kane's piano sexto, I felt myself engaged gesticulations, giving force and emphasis to in probing and proving the gradations of his own eloquence. I knocked sharply at Roman filth and abomination, foul smells, the door, and it was at once opened by a foul sights, and all those unutterable marks tall young man, without coat or waistcoat, which tell of “the Roman at home," on and with a thin crop of red whiskers, standwbich the casual visitor never looks, and is ing out at right angles from a very thin-visseldom conscious that ʼmid the chief relics aged countenance. I knew my man at of “imperial Rome” such things exist and once for one of those raw young Irishmen ferment.

who go out to Rome or elsewhere to seek Arrived at the piano sexto at last, I found a “ vocation for the priesthood," but who it to be what in Mr. O'Kane's vernacular occasionally find instead seducing invitawould at home be called “ the parlor that's tions, which draw them, as their own merry next to the sky.A long corridor ran from poet has it, “the other way—the other front to rear of the large house, doors dotted way.” it all along its length, and from the Babel of “ Mr. O'Kane," said I, making a proffer sounds proceeding from all, it was evident to enter. that behind every door lodged separate The response to this was a sudden piroufamily or establishment.

ette, a precipitous dive behind a check curI tapped par hasard at the first: it was tain, which divided his garret into two comopened by a lavandaja, disturbed in the very partments, beyond which I presently heard mysteries of her craft; her washtub was a vigorous brushing and bustling, as of a seething and frothing just behind her, but completing toilette ; meanwhile, I had made her manner civil and obliging, as she stepped, an unceremonious advance into the outer or with her red arms akimbo, beyond her door- sitting-room division of the domicile, and as

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I stood, card in hand, ready to announce | letter again, it will be to make my way from myself, Mr. O'Kane made his appearance, this room to Mr. Freeborn, the English conspruce and brushed up, obviously in his sul, and through him to claim the protection


yet that best had a shabby gentil- of the police. ity about it, a mixture of pretension and As I made this announcement he evidently poverty, which, with a lackadaisical visage, quailed, and after a few minutes of hesitafully justified Ellen's mistake of the day be- tion, ing which I pretended

look carefore, when she mistook the enamored swain lessly round his chamber, though really and for a genteel beggar.

painfully anxious for his next move, the poor “Mr. O'Kane,” I said, “I think it best man took up his letter, and, after looking at to open this conference by handing you my it with a sheepish air for a few moments, card."

thrust it into the brazier, which stood with He took it in a swaggering manner, but him as a fireplace. evidently seemed to be taken aback, and un- I believe, sir,” he said, “I have been prepared for the announcement it made. very foolish, but rely on me Miss need

“I have come,” I said, " to put an end not fear any further annoyance from me.” to a folly, which cannot go further without “Now,” said I, “that is well done and disagreeable consequences. This is your well spoken, and like the galant’uomo,' one letter."

from your country, might be expected to O sir,” gasped out the poor fellow, "if prove." you knew the devoted feelings which agitate He bowed profoundly at the compliment, and excite me at this moment.” (He was but, as I turned to take my departure, the apparently as cool as a cucumber, and as poor fellow seemed disposed to open a fresh pale as a tallow candle.)

argument upon the sacrifice of feeling which “Nonsense, sir," I said. You write a the resignation of his absurd hopes involved ; letter to my niece this morning, to whom you but when I cut him short by saying, “Such have never spoken in your life- .” (I could things will happen to young men of elevated not bring myself to tell him for what he had sentiments, but the same elevation of sentibeen mistaken in the Pincian Gardens the ment enables them to overcome disappointday before.)

ment“O sir,” he repeated, “if I could but “ Faith, and I believe you are right, sir ! obtain an introduction-my zeal, my devo- I have been a regular ass these three months,” tion, my-"

was his mercurial reply. “ Come, come,” I said, gaining courage as

I repressed the endorsement which rose to the interview went on, “this must have an my lips of “a regular ass indeed,” and subend. Every young man has his dream ; stituted, “I have the honor to wish

you goodyours is a mere dream. Miss

does not day, Mr. O'Kane." desire your acquaintance, nor can you make “I wish you a very good-morning, sir,” hers ; differences in position, in religion—all was the response. forbid it. There is your letter ; now, like a

never saw, nor did we ever hear more sensible fellow, put it with your own hand of this “nate Irishman.” I found my sister into the firem let us have done with this waiting the result of my interview in deep folly."

anxiety, which passed into amusement as I He hung fire at this; he had no wish to told it; and as for the object of this “ burnt have done with his folly-he wanted to ar- proposal,” I doubt if to the hour in which gue.

she may read this article Ellen “Mr. O'Kane,” I said, “this must pass knew what a “catch " she had missed in Mr. away. You have, I presume, other objects O’Kane. I never had the heart to quiz her and pursuits in Rome with which I should on her conquest. be sorry to interfere, but if I take up this



From Chambers's Journal. in Leadenhall Street, by way of occupying THE PRINCIPAL BOARDER. his spare time. The boarders being select, I am not sure that my Aunt Somers were not numerous ; moreover, they had the thought she was serving her country, but I advantage of being, every soul, more or less think she believed herself somehow entitled related to the mistress of the establishment ; to public gratitude, for condescending to re- for Mrs. Captain Browne was a third-cousin move to Barnsbury, and take in boarders, of her father ; and the East India merchant when my uncle the doctor died, after buying counted kindred somewhere at a remote disa West-end practice, and left her a disconso- tance on the maternal side. We all sat at late widow, with two maiden sisters and his the same table, and could have talked through orphan niece. Each of the sisters—their the partitions of our rooms, yet my aunt's names were Miss Charlotte and Sophia Sin-boarding house was a complete hierarchy. gleton—had a few hundreds vested in the The scale ascended inversely to my sumFive Per Cents, on the interest of which they mary. I was its lowest note; appointed lived, and exerted themselves to get off. The to the seat in the draught, lodged in the atniece, little Bessy Somers, should have had tic-room, expected never to be helped twice

few hundreds too; but the late doctor be to anything, nor poke the fire unless speing her guardian, had thought proper to vest cially requested. The Misses Singleton octhem in his West-end practice, with solemn cupied the position immediately above me. vows and promises made to himself that they The second-floor back was sacred to them. should be gathered out of it, and laid up They might be helped the second time to against her wedding-day. Death had given anything that was plenty, and had a limited him no time for the fulfilment of these good license to use the poker in cold weather. intentions, but he laid on his wife a strin- Still higher stood Mrs. Captain Browne. gent obligation, in return for his making her She rejoiced in the second-floor front, made his sole heiress, that she would take care of her demands boldly at dinner, and turned up and provide for Bessy. My respected aunt the coals without fear. But the archbishop, always declared that the legacy consisted of the cardinal, the pope of our establishment, nothing but old furniture and cracked china. in short, the principal boarder, was Mr. She kept fast hold of it, however, and made Simington, the East India merchant. great efforts to roll the annexed responsibil- He was a stout, rosy man, about forty-five, ity off her own shoulders, and on those of good-humored, and well-disposed to make the doctor's relations ; but having tried his himself comfortable and keep friends with brothers, his sisters, his uncles, his aunts, everybody. Mr. Simington was a bachelor, his first and second cousins, without success too; his two married sisters in Pimlico, his (by the way, she and the whole tribe were three brothers in the city, his nieces in Worsworn enemies ever after), Mrs. Somers took cestershire, and his nephews in Kent all the advice of her friends, removed to Barns- agreed—it was said to be the only point of bury with her encumbered estate, leased a agreement among them—that Mr. Siminghouse in Mountford Place, and took under ton never would marry. Mrs. Somers and her boarding wings a select constituency, her maiden sisters declared themselves of the who were to form one family, and enjoy the same opinion, whenever occasion served.. comforts of a happy home.

He was too fond of his comforts, too conThey consisted, first, of myself-one likes firmed in his bachelor ways, ever to change to begin with the person highest in one's es- them. And why should Mr. Simington think teem. I was an apprentice then with a cer- of marrying at all? It was not a pretty face tain city optician;


my father and mother, that would beguile him—he was a great deal honest people, thought my morals and man- too sensible for that; it was not fortune nor ners would be safe in my aunt's house. Sec- family-he had money enough, and did not ondly, there were the Misses Singleton; care for high connections; it was not to have thirdly, the widow of a coast-guard lieuten- a comfortable home--where could he be betant, who called herself Mrs. Captain Browne ; ter cared for, and more studied, than in and fourthly, Mr. Simington, an East India Mountford Place ? Such was the published merchant, who was believed to have made confession of the fair trio. To it Mrs. Caphis fortune long ago, and to keep a business I tain Browne gave her adhesion now and

then ; but, like many manifestoes, its true when Bessy was old enough to be sent to a reading was to be made out by contraries, finishing school. The good lady was to do for, to my certain knowledge, the four ladies wonders for her protégée, when the proper had, every one, private and deeply laid de- period of womanhood arrived; but she consigns on Mr. Simington. He was one of sidered it decidedly sinful to put notions of those gentlemen given to pay attentions—I dress and vanity in children's heads. Bessy think most men between forty and fifty get was never allowed in the drawing-room exinto that line. As a principal boarder, with cept in the capacity of duster; and as she four ladies studying him, the East India got nothing but old dresses shortened, the merchant could scarcely do otherwise ; so orphan niece went out only with messages to he paid attentions to each of the four accord- the greengrocer on week-days, and to evening to her standing in the house, giving the ing church on Sundays with the maid. largest share to my respected aunt, the next My Aunt Somers always allowed that I to Mrs. Captain Browne, and the third to the was a young man of well-regulated mindmaiden sisters, whose claims he balanced and she was right. Whatsoever orthodoxy with such even-handed justice, that both were was established in the territory, house, or equally sure of his heart. It is candor and workshop where I chanced to sojourn, benot spite which compels me to declare there came my confession of faith for the time, was not a pretty face in the quartette. My Whatsoever greatness was set up, to it was youthful judgment may have been biased, I prepared to do homage. I would have for I was the nephew-of-all-work, blamed for worshipped Nebuchadnezzar's golden image, everything that went wrong out of doors, independently of the fiery furnace; and there lectured on my own misdoings as well as was one ready for all recusants in Mountthose of my acquaintances ; and I maintain ford Place. On that prudent principle, I that no man knows what snubbing is, who did my best to think Bessy a child, though has not had an aunt with two maiden sisters it sometimes struck me that going to bed in and a coast-guard lieutenant's widow to hold broad daylight on a summer evening, when command over him in his youth.

there was a little dancing-party in the drawThere was one comfort, however,—I had ing-room, could not be to her taste; and I an inferior in the shape of Bessy, the orphan could not help fancying how well she would niece. Bessy was sixteen ; but it would have look in a long muslin frock and ringlets

; been high treason against my aunt's crown among the young ladies. The same judiand dignity, and brought down lightnings cious inclination to what was ordered and and thunders from the three next in com- expected, made me bow down before Mr. mand, to have called Bessy anything but a Simington, and consider him the greatest child. In fact, she did double duty in our man within my knowing. Was he not my establishment, filling at once the offices of aunt's principal boarder ? Did he not ocdrudge and little girl. Bessy had to help in cupy the best bedroom ? Were not his tastes all her domestic difficulties our one female consulted in spite of market-prices ? Did servant, Sally Stubbs, whom my aunt called not the entire household wait upon his nod, her cook or her housemaid as exigencies re- as the Olympian gods were said to do on quired. She had also to wear short frocks, Jupiter's ? More than all, was he not the take bread and milk for breakfast, and go to aim and object of the four ladies who embed punctually at eight. A small slender ployed, commanded, and snubbed me? Oh, figure, a face that might have served as a the warming of slippers, the peeling of walmodel to the workers in wax, but for the nuts, the mulling of wine, that went on for light of its laughing blue eyes, which no doll that old gentleman in cold winter evenings ! could borrow, and the soft fair hair that Oh, the falling on his neck, when he came would go into wavy ringlets however clipped home from his summer rambles, as though and combed—all helped the illusion, which the East India merchant had been three her seniors did their best to promulgate, by prodigais rolled into one! What well-govalways speaking of Bessy as that poor child. erned youth would not have prostrated himMy aunt was accustomed to lament over the self in spirit before such manifest superioryears

which must pass before she would grow ity; so I bowed hwn to Mr. Simington, up, and the expense her education would be land served him. Yet, notwithstanding my awe and worship, it sometimes occurred to fair hands were matters to be remembered ; me that he went out very regularly on Sun- the adieus and good wishes he got might day evenings, just after Bessy and the maid have served all the travellers that ever set forth to church ; that he must have taken crossed the Tweed; but at length the cerea particular fancy to the greengrocer my mony came to a close, and the cab drove aunt patronized, as I often noticed him lin- away with him and his carpet-bag. gering near the shop; and probably sent in- The optician had given me a fortnight's timations of his good-will by Bessy, for more holiday; it commenced that same morning ; than once I espied him speaking to the child and instead of going to business, as usual, on the stairs, and evidently not intending to I also was packing up and getting ready for be seen.

a small excursion. But nobody took trouble I had heard that great men were often ec- with my travelling-gear. My undarned socks centric, and doubtless these were the eccen- and buttonless shirts had to do duty abroad tricities of Mr. Simington ; but as his pe- as well as at home. I was not an East India culiarities were too sacred to be observed by merchant with my fortune made, and where an optician's apprentice, I made no report was the use of envy and grumbling? A ring on the subject, and nobody else appeared to at the door-bell, loud enough to reach my have taken notes. Thus things went on, I back attic, made me pause and listen. Mr. cannot precisely say how long. The ladies Simington was not more than two hours were every day getting stronger in their pub- gone, yet that was his name which I heard lic convictions of Mr. Simington's perpetual my aunt utter in a kind of a shriek. I had celibacy, and more resolute in carrying on left the ladies talking in the breakfast-parlor, their private sieges. I could have taken ten and there I found them on my rapid descent, to one on my aunt's chance; it was the best gathered round Mrs. Somers, who clutched in everybody's eyes but those of the other convulsively a pair of wedding-cards, while three. The summer was drawing to a close, she questioned the waiter of the Barnsbury and Mr. Simington preparing for a tour in Hotel. Scotland, which he had talked about since " It took place, ma'am about one hour the season began. The day of his depart- ago," said that messenger of fate, making ure on that journey was one of extraordinary great efforts to preserve his gravity.

“ Miss bustle in our establishment. The four had Somers dressed at our house, and I must say been up most of the preceding night packing looked uncommon well in her white silks his carpet-bag, preparing delicacies for his and fine bonnet. My missus went to church refection in steamer and train, and giving with them. It was done by special license, him good advices against catching cold and you see. Mr. Ross, the gentleman as alrheumatism. No wonder he looked jovial ways stops with us, and knowed Mr. Simover the abundant breakfast devoted to his ington from a boy, gave the bride away; service so should any man if half so well and, indeed, ma'am, she got through it taken care of. Mr. Simington was mighty wonderfully. I went to see it myself, havin'

. in jokes and great in compliments that morn- a great likin' for marriages. The’appy pair, ing; the ladies, one and all, declared they as I may say, waited no time after; they're must go somewhere, the house would be so off to Scotland, ma'am, by the Great Northdull till he came back; and I saw Bessy in ern. But Mr. Ross is to do the sendin' out the decentest frock she had—by the by, it of the cards; and says he, tippin' me half a was also the shortest-steal past the window crown, like a gentleman, as he is : “Waiter,' with her basket; she was doubtless bound says he, run with these to Mrs. Somers; for the greengrocer's. Nobody thought of she has the best right to the earliest intelli-, her at the leave-taking, which was extra-im-gence, for Mr. Simington was her principa pressive. Mr. Simington's squeezes of eight boarder.

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