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ger,-in so singular an employment. But her anger was necessarily confined to looks; she dared not vent it.
“ Ah, madam," said Tom, “ do not let us disturb you !--It really is quite pleasant to see such a habit of cleanliness.-Your animals, my dear Miss Jones, are quite pictures !”.
Tom had touched the right note.
“ Are they not lovely dears !” replied Tabitha. “ Sit down, sir; sit down, Fitzroy. Fitzroy, my dear, would you mind fetching a stool out of the shop for that other gentleman ?”
“We cannot stay long,” said I; “ aunt Dorothy and my grandmother, where are they?"
“ Gone to the upholsterer's," replied Tabitha, with pride; “ gode to make arrangements for our party. By-the-bye, Mr. Briton, I am glad you are come, for I have a note of invitation that I did not know where to send to you. Here it is." And wiping her hands on her“ morning gown,” she delivered an elegant note into Tom's hand.
“ Have you seen my father ?” inquired I.
“ No;" said Tabitha, “ he hasn't been since you were here last : I'm afeard the dear creatures annoyed him a little.” Here my aunt looked very vicious, as much as to add, I hope they did. “Orlando! you're wet, don't touch the gentleman !”
Orlando, however, did not, or would not, hear : dripping wet, and covered as he was with white lather, he sprang upon the lap of Mr. Snibs, passed one soapy arm affectionately round his neck, and, with the other hand, proceeded to imitate on his victim the late operations of his mistress : taking a quantity of the lather that covered himself, he proceeded to rub it into the face of Mr. Snibs most vigorously, grinning all the while (impudent monkey as he was), conscious of mischief. The unfortunate Snibs sputtered and struggled, and sputtered yet more, when, opening his mouth to protest, a fresh handful of lather obtained entrance. Tom Briton and I, unable to command ourselves, laughed outright; it seemed that we were never to enter that house without some one falling a victim to the family propensities. My aunt, enraged, caught her favourite by the tail; slippery with soap, it eluded her grasp : at length, however, Mr. Snibs contrived to extricate himself, and rushed immediately from the house; people in the street thought him a madman, foaming at the mouth, and took care to get out of his way; the hotel, fortunately, was close at hand, and there he tore upstairs, knocked down the waiter, flung himself into his bedroom, where the chambermaid was making the bed, threw her into fits, and washed himself.
I and Tom Briton hastily took leave, and following our afflicted friend, assisted in comforting and cleaning him : soon after we were ready to start once more, in continuance of our morning calls.
“Stay!" said Tom; “ let us look, Fitzroy, at your aunt's note of invitation." He took it from his pocket : it was the following, enclosed in a laced envelope, strongly scented with musk, written on yellow paper with a white laced border :
“ Hond Sir,-The Misses tabitha and Dorothea jones presents their compts to m". Briton and shall Be happy to see his presense
on thursday ev'nin, the of — anno dummony 18 . To comence at aight o clok Precisly at an evenin dress soary Party at which his company is Requested
Your obed'. servants
dorothea Ditto. “ The misses t. and d. j. will be happy to see any frens of yours that you may like to bring here."
“An elegant invitation,” said Tom," and truly it gives promise of a delightful party! Now let us call on Walter Pump, and learn how his affairs are progressing."
Following our merry leader, we shortly arrived at Pump Dairy, and ascended to the room of the literary character.
“ Fortune, I thank thee !" cried Walter Pump; “Sweet mistress, thanks be thine! Even as my work was completed, hast thou sent three human beings on whom I may try its influence! Be seated, gentlemen,"
" It is unfortunate," said Tom,“ very unfortunate, that the pressing nature of our business will prevent us from enjoying the pleasure, nay, the honour, of hearing your composition,-but '
* The opening chapter I have this moment completed,” interrupted Walter; “ I have just contracted with one of the first publishers,- one of the first publishers, sir-for a tale of high life. I have only a week to do it in, and, really- "
“ How long is it to be ?" asked I.
** Three volumes, of course. I must work hard ! I have hired a man to dispense the lacteal beverage"-here he sighed.
" Did you call on Miss Jones?”' asked Tom.
“I did! I did ! the reception I met with is best depicted in a sonnet composed on the occasion. I know it by heart :
"When Cynthia — “ Did you read her your composition, Mr. Pump ?"
“ Vile wretch !-a tasteless girl! She would not hear it! In vain, in vain I urged :- Away !' she cried-Go, go! no longer shalt thou be the favoured conveyer of sweet milk to the tenants of this house ! Another man shall serve me!' Alas! alas! alas ! another man-thus is Pump, even Pump, cast off for—another man! A beautiful burst of feeling, that!" added be, “ I'll put it in the Flippant Flagstone.''
“ The what?" cried Tom, astonished. " The Flippant Flagstone !' that's the name of my novel.” “What on earth do you mean ?" “Your question delights me, Sir. I find that I have made a hit! You are aware that what they call the alliteration is essential ?"
"I know it is usual," amended Tom.
“That done, a strange name alone remains to make the work sell ; a name that makes every one read the book before he can find out what it means ;-people read the book solely to find out what the name means,"
“And when they finish it,” said I, “ they find out, I suppose, that it means nothing ?”
“It means, sir," replied Pump, “it means,—the name of the novel."
“ Flippant Flagstone,-for example,-does a flagstone figure in your novel ? and do you find it • flippant ?'”
“I conclude the work,” replied Walter Pump, “ with FLIPPANT FLAGSTONE in small caps.,-bring it in at the end of a sentence:—that makes it right.”
“ Mysterious still !” said Tom.
“ Better so," said the literary man; “I will tell you a secret,-but it must go no farther.- A friend of mine, a little while since, made a great stir in the world, I'll tell you how he did it. He wrote a play; put into it everything he could think of, -angels, devils, dogs, horses, witches, and a man that talked so deeply no one could understand him ;-he gave out to the world, that in this play, he had developed a philosophical system of the most profound kind; and here and there, in his play, he put speeches and so on, that looked like philosophical stages. Well ! no one could make head or tail of it ;-every one's head was puzzled ;-it was translated, sir, into foreign languages, over and over again ! so often, that people laughed at the idea of translating it any more ;- every review admired its deepness, and made a pretty theory of its own, as to its meaning; every word was weighed and scraped, to see what it was made of;-my friend koew they would find no meaning, for he had taken good care to put none in it. He laughed in his sleeve. A good spec. that, sir, wasn't it? That's what I want to do with The Flippant Flagstone.' Gentlemen, these are secrets of the prison-house : you will not betray them, I hope. Now let me read this chapter to you?"
“ You say Miss Tabitha has turned you off ?" said Tom, suddenly.
“ A-hem!" Walter Pump erected his shirt collar; "a strong phrase that !- as I say in my poem on Antibilious Pills."
“I understand," interrupted Tom Briton ; " you would like still to win her ?"
“ Like, dost thou say?-Alas, how weak are words! - Dote!love !- delight !-enjoy !
O who can bid the raptured heart
Its burning thought in words ! as I say in my poem of The Dead Take-in,'-an imitation of • Paradise Lost!'"
The quotation coming this time without its usual preliminary notice, took us fairly by surprise.
“ If then you would win her,” said Tom, “ be earnest. Give her no peace! Call, write, speak, drown her with poetry; and, if all this fails, as a last resource go mad !”
Walter Pump rose from the table, and grasped Tom's hand.
“ Noble adviser! Thanks! I will comply. If all else fail,-ay, if all fail,—-madness itself shall stare with open eyes, to see how mad I'll be. Noble-hearted friend, how shall I reward thee ? Ay, you must hear this chapter !" Hereupon Mr. Pump caught up a large sheet of coarse brown paper, and I noticed, for the first time, that his scrawls were now all executed upon material of the same quality.
“Surely, Mr. Pump," said Tom Briton, “ you must find it very inconvenient to write your compositions on such stuff as this.”
“Genius is negligent,” replied the literary character ; “ I find every literary man hias a peculiarity ;—some can write only in their best clothes,—that is expensive ;-others cannot compose in slippers ;some can put their thoughts alone on gilt edged satin paper,-I on whitey brown. These, sir, are the little peculiarities that distinguish men of genius. I will now read you
“We must really take leave," said Tom; “ this gentleman," — pointing to Mr. Snibs, “ would be delighted "
“ I say, though---” began poor Snibs, in a tone of expostulation.
“For myself and my friend," continued Tom, deaf to interruption, "we have urgent business; this gentleman is at leisure, and would be proud to hear you. You will meet us at the hotel, Mr. Snibs, by four o'clock."
Thus speaking, Tom Briton made a hasty bow and disappeared, while I followed, leaving Mr. Snibs to enjoy the opening of “The Flippant Flagstone,”—a task which I heard commenced before we reached the bottom of the stairs.
“ Now," said Tom, “ let us go in search of the legatee.” My father— but stay!-of what am I thinking ?-Bob Pike, Esq is now a man of importance in the world : let him have, therefore, a chapter to himself.
(To be continued.)
Cairo, August 16, 1841.
Unchanged, nay more, unchanging though ye stand,