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be mistaken, but it appears to us that your right is clear, and has been clear these ten or twelve years, to the immediate enjoyment of a very fine estate in the north of England, worth some £9000 or £10,000 a year, at the least!" "You dont say so!"
"We do, indeed; and are very proud and happy indeed to be the honoured instruments of establishing your rights, my dear sir," said Mr Gammon.
"Then all the money that's been spent this ten or twelve years is my money, is it?"
"If we are right, it is undoubtedly as you say," answered Mr Quirk. "There'll be a jolly reckoning for some one, then, shortly-eh? My eyes!"
"Ah, my dear Mr Titmouse," cried Mr Gammon, with subdued ecstasy, as before his mind's eye rose visions of interminable proceedings at law and in equity-hundreds upon hundreds of portly, red tape-tied cases,' " briefs,' and 'motion papers,' with Quirk, Gammon, and Snap, at the bottom of each of them, and constantly under the eye of the court and the bar, and before the public, (the same kind of thoughts must have passed through Snap's mind, for he rubbed his hands in silence with an excited air.)
My dear Mr Titmouse, you have a most just regard for your own interests; there will be a reckoning, and a very terrible one, erelong, for somebody-but we've time enough for all that! Only let us have the unspeakable happiness of seeing you once fairly in possession of your estates, and our office shall know no rest till you have got all you are entitled toevery farthing even!"
"Oh, never fear our letting them rest!" said Mr Quirk, judiciously accommodating himself to the taste and apprehension of his excited auditor_ "Those that must give up the goose, must give up the giblets also-ha, ha, ha!" Messrs Gammon and Snap echoed the laugh, and enjoyed the joke of the head of the firm.
“Ha, ha, ha!" laughed Mr Titmouse, immensely excited by the conjoint influence of the brandy and the news of the night; "capital! capital! hurrah! Such goings on there will be! You're all of the right sort, I sce! Law for ever! Let me shake hands with you all, gents! Come, if you please, all together! all friends to-night!" And he grasped each of
the three readily-proffered right hands of Messrs Quirk, Gammon, and Snap, with an energy that was likely to make all the high contracting parties to that quadruple alliance remember its ratification!
"And is it all a ready-money affair, gents or rent, and all that kind of thing?"
"Why, almost entirely the latter," answered Quirk, 66 except the accumulations."
"Then I'm a great landlord, am I?" "Indeed, my dear Mr Titmouse, you are- -(that is, unless we have made a blunder such as our house is not often in the habit of making)— and have two very fine houses in different parts of the country."
"Capital! delightful! I'll live in both of them-such goings on! Aud is it quite up to the mark of L.10,000 a-year?"
"We really entertain no doubt." "And such as I can spend all of it, every year?"
"Certainly no doubt of it-not the least. The rents are paid with most exemplary-at least," added Mr Gammon, with a captivating, an irresistible smile, and taking him affectionately by the hand-" at least they will be, as soon as we have them fairly in our management."
"Oh, you're to get it all in for me, are you?" he enquired briskly. The three partners bowed, with the most deprecatingly disinterested air in the world, intimating that, for his sake, they were ready to take upon themselves even that troublesome responsibility!
Capital! couldn't be better! couldn't be better! Ah, ha, hayou've catched the goose, and must bring me its eggs. Ah, ha, ha! a touch in your line, old gents!"
"Ha, ha, ha! excellent! ah, ha, ha!" laughed the three partners at the wit of their new client. Mr Titmouse joined them, and snapped his fingers in the air.
"Lord I've just thought of Dowlas, Tag-rag and Company's-I seem as if I hadn't seen or heard of them for Lord knows how long!-but there they are !-fancy old Tag-rag making me a beggar on the 10th of next month-ha, ha, ha!-sha'n't see that d. -d hob any more.
"There!" whispered Mr Gammon, apprehensively, in the ear of Mr Quirk; "didn't I tell you that that
would be it? We've been monstrously foolish and premature."
"It won't do to go back to thateugh!—eh? will it?—you know what I mean! Fancy Tittlebat Titmouse standing behind
The partners looked rather blank. "We could venture to suggest, Mr Titmouse," said Mr Gammon, seriously," the absolute necessity there is for every thing on your part and our parts to go on as quietly as before, for a little time to come; to be sure and safe, my dear sir, we must be secret."
"Oh, I see gents! I see; mum -mum's the word, for the present! But, I must say, if there is any one whom I want to hear of it, sooner than another, its"
"Dowdy, Rag-bag, and Co., I suppose! ha, ha, ha!" interrupted Mr Gammon, his partners echoing his laugh.
"Ha, ha, ha! Cuss the cats-that's it-ha, ha, ha!" echoed Mr Titmouse; who, getting up out of his chair, could not resist capering to and fro in something of the attitude of a stagedancer, whistling and humming by turns, and indulging in various other wild antics.
"And now, gents, to do a bit of business-when am I to begin scattering the shiners, eh?" he enquired, interrupting an earnest low-toned conversation between the partners.
"Oh, of course, some delay is unavoidable. All we have done, as yet, is to discover that, as far as we are advised, and can judge, you are the right owner; but very extensive operations must be immediately commenced, before you can be put in possession. There are some who won't be persuaded to drop L.10,000 a-year out of their hands for the mere asking."
"The devil there are! Who are they that want to keep me any longer out of what's my own?-what's justly mine? Eh? I want to know! Haven't they kept me out long enough?-d--n'em! Put 'em in prison directly-don't spare 'em-rascals!"
"They'll probably, erelong, find their way in that direction-for, however, he's to make up, poor devil, the mesne profits"
"Mean profits?-is that all you call them, gents? It's rogue's money -villain's profits! So don't spare
'em-he's robbed the fatherless, which I am, and an orphan! Keep me out of what's mine, indeed! D--d if he shall, though!"
"My dear Mr Titmouse," said Gammon gravely, "we are getting on too fast-dreadfully too fast. It I will never do: matters of such immense importance as these cannot be hurried on, or talked of, in this way."
"I like that, sir!-I do, d--e!" "You will really, if you go on in this wild way, Mr Titmouse, make us regret the trouble we have taken in the affair, and especially the promptness with which we have communicated to you the extent of your good fortune.'
"Beg pardon, I'm sure, gents, but mean no offence; am monstrous obliged to you for what you've done for me-but, by Jove, it's taken me rather a-back, I own, to hear that I'm to be kept so long out of it all. Why can't you offer him, whoever he is that has my property, a handsome sum to go out at once? Gents, I'll own to you I'm most uncommon low-never so low in my life-d-d low! Done up, and can't get what's justly mine! What am I to do in the mean while? Consider that, gents."
"You are rather excited just now, Mr Titmouse," said Mr Quirk, seriously; suppose we now break up, and resume our conversation to-morrow, when we are all in better and calmer trim ?"
"No, sir, thanking you all the same; but I think we'd better go on with it now," replied Titmouse, impetuously. "Do you think I can stoop to go back to that nasty, beastly, shop, and stand behind the counter?'
"Our decided opinion, Mr Titmouse," said Mr Quirk, emphatically -his other partners getting very grave in their looks-" that is, if our opinion is worth offering".
"That remains to be seen," said Titmouse, with a pettish shake of the head.
"Well, such as it is, we offer it you; and it is, that for many reasons you continue, for a little while longer, in your present situation."
“ What! own Tag-rag for my master and I worth £10,000 a-year?" My dear sir, you've not got it
"Do you think you'd have told me what you have, if you weren't sure?
No, no! you've gone too far! I shall burst, I shall! Me to go on as before! they use me worse and worse every day. Gents, you'll excuse me -I hope you will; but business is business, gents-it is; and if you won't do mine, I must look out for them that will-pon my soul, I must, and"-If Mr Titmouse could have seen, or, having seen, appreciated, the looks which the three partners interchanged, on hearing this absurd, ungrateful, and insolent speech of his— the expression that flitted across their shrewd faces; that was, intense contempt for him, hardly overmastered and concealed by a vivid perception of their own interest, which was, of course, to manage, to sooth, to conciliate him!
How the reptile propensities of his mean nature had thriven beneath the sudden sunshine of unexpected prosperity! See already his selfishness, truculence, rapacity, in full play!
"So, gents," said he, after a long and keen expostulation with them on the same subject, "I'm to go to-mor= row morning to Dowlas and Co.'s, and go on with the cursed life I led there to-day, all as if nothing had happened!"
"In your present humour, Mr =Titmouse, it would be in vain to discuss the matter," said Mr Quirk. "Again I tell you that the course we have recommended is, in our opinion, the proper one; excuse me if I add, what can you do but adopt our ad. vice?"
"Why, hang me, if I won't employ somebody else that's flat! So, goodnight, gents; you'll find that Tittlebat Titmouse isn't to be trifled with!" So saying, Mr Titmouse clapped his hat on his head, bounced out of the room, and, no attempt being made to stop him, he was in the street in a twinkling.
"Did you ever see such a little beast!" exclaimed Mr Gammon with an air of disgust.
Beggar on horseback!" exclaimed Snap.
"It won't do, however," said Mr Quirk, with as chagrined an air as his "for him to go at large in partners, his present frame of mind-he may ruin the thing altogether."
"As good as £500 a-year out of the way of the office," said Snap.
"Egad, that at least," said Mr Gammon, seizing his hat," I'll after him, NO. CCLXXXVIII. VOL. XLVI,
and bring him back at all hazards; and we must really try and do something for him in the meanwhile, to keep him quiet till the thing's brought a little into train." So out went after Titmouse, Mr Gammon, from whose lips dropped persuasion sweeter than honey; and I should not be surprised if he were to be able to bring back that stubborn piece of conceited stupidity.
As soon as Mr Titmouse heard the street door shut after him with a kind of bang, he snapped his fingers once or twice, by way of letting off a little of the inflammable air that was in him, and muttered, "Pretty chaps those, upon my word! I'll expose them all! I'll apply to the Lord Mayor-they're a pack of swindlers, they are! This is the way they treat me, who've got a title to £10,000 a-year! To be sure"
-He stood still for a moment, and another moment, and dismay came quickly over him; for it suddenly occurred to him what hold had he got on Messrs Quirk, Gammon, and Snap ?—what could he do?-what HAD he done?
Ah-the golden vision of the last few hours was fading away momentarily, like a dream! Each second of his deep and rapid reflection, rendered more impetuous his desire and determination to return and make his peace with Messrs Quirk, Gammon, and Snap. By submission for the present, he could get the whip-hand of them hereafter! He was in the act of turning round towards the office, when Mr Gammon softly laid his hand upon the shoulder of his repentant client.
"Mr Titmouse; my dear sir, what is the matter with you? How could we so misunderstand each other?"
Titmouse's small cunning was on the qui vive, and he saw and followed up his advantage. "I am going," said he, in a resolute tone, "to speak to some one else, in the morning.'
"That, of course, signifies nothing to any one but yourself. You will take any steps, my dear sir, that occur you, and act as you may be advised." "Monstrous kind of you to come and give me such good advice!" exclaimed Titmouse, with a sneer.
"Oh, don't mention it!" said Gammon, coolly; "I came out of pure good nature, to assure you that our office, notwithstanding what has passed, entertains not the slightest personal ill feeling towards you, in thus throw.
ing off their hands a very long, and dreadfully harassing affair."
"Hem!" exclaimed Titmouse, once or twice.
"So good-night, Mr Titmousegood-night! God bless you!" Mr Gammon, in the act of returning to his door, extended his hand to Mr Tittlebat, who he instantly perceived was melting rapidly.
"Why, sir-if I thought you all meant the correct thing-hem! I say, the correct thing by me-I shouldn't so much mind a little disappointment for the time; but you must own, Mr Gammon, it is very hard being kept out of one's own so long."
"True, very true, Mr Titmouse. Very hard it is, indeed, to bear, and we all felt deeply for you, and would have set every thing in train
"Yes, my dear Mr Titmouse, we would have done it, and brought you through every difficulty—over every obstacle."
"Why-you don't-hardly-quite -mean to say you've given it all up? What, already!" exclaimed Titmouse, in evident alarm.
Gammon had triumphed over Titmouse! whom, nothing loth, he brought back, in two minutes' time, into the room which Titmouse had just before so rudely quitted. Mr Quirk and Mr Snap had their parts yet to perform. They were in the act of locking up desks and drawers, evidently on the move; and received Mr Titmouse with an air of cold surprise. "Mr Titmouse again!" exclaimed Mr Quirk, taking his gloves out of his hat. "Back again!— -an unexpected honour." "Leave any thing behind?" enquired Mr Snap-" don't see any thing."
"Oh no, sir! No sir! This gentleman, Mr Gammon, and I, have made it all up, gents! I'm not vexed any more-not the least."
" Vexed, Mr Titmouse!" echoed Mr Quirk, with an air sternly ironical. "We are under great obligations to you for your forbearance!"
"Oh, come, gents !" said Titmouse, more and more disturbed, "I was too warm, I dare say, and-and-I ask your pardon, all of you, gents! I won't say another word, if you'll but buckle to business again-quite exactly in your own way-because you
"It's growing very late," said Mr Quirk, coldly, and looking at his watch; 66 however, after what you have said, probably at some future time, when we've leisure to look into the thing
Poor Titmouse was ready to drop on his knees, in mingled agony and fright.
"May I be allowed to say," interposed the bland voice of Mr Gammon, addressing himself to Mr Quirk, "that Mr Titmouse a few minutes ago assured me, outside there, that if you could only be persuaded to let our house take up his case again-
"I did I did indeed, gents! so help me -!" interrupted Mr Titmouse, eagerly backing with an oath the ready lie of Mr Gammon.
Mr Quirk drew his hand across his chin, musingly, and stood silently for a few moments, evidently irresolute.
"Well," said he at length, but in a very cool way, "since that is so, probably we may be induced to resume our heavy labours in your be half; and if you will favour us with a call to-morrow night, at the same hour, we may have, by that time, made up our minds as to the course we shall think fit to adopt."
"Lord, sir, I'll be here as the clock strikes, and as meek as a mouse; and pray, have it all your own way for the future, gents-do!"
"Good-night, sir-good-night!" exclaimed the partners, motioning to wards the door.
Good-night, gents!" said Titmouse, bowing very low, and feeling himself at the same time being bowed out! As he passed out of the room, he cast a lingering look in their three frigid faces, as if they were angels sternly shutting him out from Paradise. What misery was his, as he walked slowly homeward, with much the same feelings (now that the fumes of the brandy had evaporated, and the reaction of excitement was coming on, aggravated by a recollection of the desperate check he had received) as a sick and troubled man, who, suddenly roused out of a delicious dream, drops into wretched reality, as it were out of a fairy-land, which with all its dear innumerable delights is melting overhead into thin air-disappearing for ever.
[To be Continued.]
WE resume with pleasure our remarks on these volumes. Every thing connected with Ireland has a powerful interest in our minds. Its history, that of a singularly intelligent, brave, and high-minded race of men, misled by national fantasies, deluded by political artifices, and misruled by virulent faction, perhaps more than any other people of the globe, strongly demands the attention, not less of the philosopher than the patriot. To point out their true friends to such a people, to direct their fine talents and their glowing energies into the path of public prosperity, would be among the noblest services of statesmanship; and though Ireland, papist and partisan, must only rivet her own chains by the fires of her own impure altars, we do not despair of the time when she shall be what nature intended her to be-a bulwark to the great empire of pure religion and public virtue.
Among the chief values of these volumes, we have already alluded to their sketches of remarkable men. It is one of the important peculiarities of a free country, that all public necessities immediately raise up a generation of vigorous minds. Public necessity will not create genius, but it turns the general powers of the people into its own direction. Genius is the especial gift of heaven, an intellectual miracle, and therefore rare; but the average ability to which we allude, may be called the child of circumstances, and is as much a matter of succession as the seasons, in which the winds of March are called on to dry the soil after the rains of winter, the sun of summer to warm the bosom of the earth after this drying, and the winter's frost to give the ground at once rest, and new principles of fertility after the exhaustion of the year. But the intellectual process can be relied on only in free countries, for there alone man is enabled to shape himself to the changing shapes of the time. Despotism is a dungeon in which the external influences of things go for nothing; its world is its walls, and its only dwell
ers the captive and the turnkey. But the free country is the open field, where every aspect of heaven and earth has its influence, and where every man has his individual enjoyment, or is compelled to exert his independent vigour.
The condition of the great continental governments, during the last hundred years, is strongly illustrative of this truth. Spain, Austria, Prussia, and Russia, have produced no addition and no change in the forms of individual character. They required soldiers, and they had them; but all the vigour of the national talents was circumscribed within the cabinet, and the king and his ministers were the only names in the kingdom. Among the minor powers of Germany which were partially free, literature gave distinction to some individuals. In France, towards the end of the eighteenth century, the growing license of the people, and the rapid feebleness of the government, the only freedom which France seems ever likely to enjoy, gave a larger and more fatal scope to individual character; until what ought to have been only an illumination, burst into a blaze, and France, like the habitual drinker of ardent spirits, perished of spontaneous combustion.
The case of Ireland was nearly in point. It would be absurd to speak of her as enslaved, for all the efforts of the British Government for centuries had been exerted to give her the faculty of freedom; but Popery, the wars which it produced, and the public exhaustion produced by those wars, had worn out all the natural exeitements of public character. For three hundred years Ireland had scarcely produced a name, except of some barbarous chieftain, rendered conspicuous only by crimes, and ascending into historic remembrance only by treading on the neck of his country. But, from the period when the Parliament began to resume its functions, the people to grow opulent with the increasing opulence of England, and the sanguinary feuds of Popery to give way to a general conviction of
Memoir of the Life and Times of the Right Honourable Henry Grattan. Son, Henry Grattan, M.P. 3 vols. 1839.