« AnteriorContinuar »
in short, only needed the last feather" to take the form of active malaly; and this was supplied by the arrival, at our IIotel, of the lierman Professor, who has converted the contents of the Transatlanti« poul from innocent clothing into a weapon of Death. l'nluckily our sister was acquainted with this when we were abroad, taking notes the ('athedral, with a view to the formation of a Suspension Society, which shall put a stop to the unhallowed work going on. An otticious waiter, under pretext of the beguilement of solitary leisure, informed Mrs. Pecker that the Great Philosopher wa- in the next room, with his pockets full of the substanie -nay, proudly produce a piece, solicited for her peculiar entertainment. The nail was struck: the chord rent. Terror asserted its sway-lıysteries superrened—wailings of a most distressing order; and several days of fever-not the last, Mr. Pecker says, which will follow the outpourinys of the Viol. l'nlike your Diana, to whom the Martyr's crown were welcome as a garniture, too gentle is she to partake of the unfolding of momentou- mysteries. Openly does she confess her repinings for Tinglebury, and her aversion of in land, which, under Science's severe mask, has produced a scourge so condign-turning the bulrush of the plain into the destroyer of myriads. The task of pacification was long and weary: perplexed loy the efforts of our attendant Sophie, whose appealings to reason, maliciously reiterated, hail all the distastefulness certain to be communicated by her peculiar opinions,
and served merely to exasperate. Eren Ur. lecker's experiments into the real nature and properties of Bundle Colors (which in happier days hail so rivetted her) failed to divert the apprehensive current. The bare mention of an experiment was sure to originate the anxious question : Will it blow up?"_followed by tears, the rojection of food, and a sleepless night.
You will harılly believe, however penetrated by the ingratitude of tho:e holding her fatal opinions, that this was the moment selected by the attendant of our bounty to heap on us the insult of departure from our service! So it was, however. In spite of Sophie's manifest inutility, and the retrograde progress in French made by Mr. l'ecker and myself, it was our intention to admit her attentions so far as Frankfort. Our sister's refusal to comfort lierself, without the
presence of an attendant of resolute wakefulness, was not to be met by any steps on my part. After the fatiguing services of the day, enjoined upon me by the important responsibilities with
which Mr. Pecker had solemnly charged me, the downy pillow became essential. For Cologne, you know, is the head-quarters of
"clearly pointed out,” says Mr. Pecker, in
Nor was the visit of Britannia's Sovereign an apple fortuitously falling to the ground. Connect H. M.'s call (on the arm of H. R. H. the Prince) to the Bishop of Bonn with the irruptions of the Papistical Spirit which have decimated our own Universities ; nor forget, in addition to these portents, the new engine of death elicited by German Science ; and you will judge of the complexity of our field, and the accuracy of observation required by those determined on unmasking the Jesuit, and dispersing his machinery to the winds. With that intention, we are drawing up a cheap resumption of the History of this devoted place; to appear contemporaneously with Mrs. Jameson's Memoirs of St. Ursula and the Wise Virgins. Not a fact will be left unnoticed—the crane hoisted on the building by the Magi ; the eleven thousand massacred by the Roman Prætor, whose ashes strewed the Rhine, during which time a perpetual cloud (as of blood) obscured the face of Nature. **** Long ago, in one of his sportive moments, did Mr. Henry Blackadder foretel that your poor friend would take the initiative among the authoresses of the gentler sex. Had they not left Wailford (you said, lured by our example to a Continental Excursion) I would have begged you to remind him of his prophecy and its impending fulfilment. Who knows but we may meet by the banks of the Rhenish river? My thoughts, believe me, cling to old friends.
Apart from divarication, however, * ** the ill-concealed complaints of Sophie had for some days given us serious uneasiness. Dissimulating, too, she assumed a debility, which she warned us must put an end to nocturnal attendances. Mr. Pecker proposed snuff as an incentive to vigilance; but even the consequences
of that, however slightly explosive, were more than the timorous nerves of his partner could bear. The knot was cut otherwise. Returning home the day before yesterday, after a visit to the Museum, where Bendemann's magic pencil exalts the soul, and the Antique Medusa's head thrills the gaze with perspiring horror, we were aware of an unusual bustle in the hall of the Hotel Royal. Arrivals being always interesting to the Exile, Mr. Pecker and myself loitered on the skirts of this, as usual! Imagine, dearest Mrs. Rustler, my sentiments on perceiving our attendant—in the midst of a miscellaneous company of porters, packages, waiters
(whom the absence of coat-tails here render easily distinctive), and loqunis ole rille (individuals who exhibit the curiosities of foreign vities, and prey on the unwitting forciyner)—with her arms round a male neck : sobbing in the extremest hysterical commotion ! The other party seemed little less overcoinc-both unintelligible, from their intense excitement, and Mr. Pecker's and my unacquaintance with German. In vain did I attempt to arrest the scene by summoning Sophie to quit the individual's embrace for less witrusive duties : 'in vain did Mr. Pecker's stern voice recal her with a grave reproof for the unseenliness of such transports.
• Lrt him alone this one time," saill a reprobate German who stood by, pretending tears (which, no less than the employment of tobacco, is a constant (ierman habit), " he has found his bridey
Too little skill has your friend, dearest Mrs. Rustler, in weaving the romantic thread, and too little interest in the reserves of hardhearted Socinianism, to expatiate on the story at length :-Xor is she without suspicions that our usual transparency has invited the trickery of imposture.“ Too smooth-sounding tales," as the Irish melodist sings,
“ Like delicate bubbles arise and betray
The canker that crumbles on darkly below." And while we feel that there is no stab which the focs of * would not triumphantly aim at us; we are aware that the days of sentiment are no more,
and that Brave Couriers do not remain faithful to nursery governesses, (when in the East especially,) for six years : the objects of their affection the while, owing to the miscarriage of correspondence believing their decease. We are told that in his attendance on Lord and Lady the person around whose neek Sophic was so frantically clinging, has amassed enough, by the aid of a further loan, immediately to commence settled life. But we know that, if money was wanted, the Nibletts would not be backward in coming forward to our discomfiture. Doubtless, too, they suggested the strange insolence which made this hero dropped from the clouds assail Mr. Pecker with injurious epithetical ejaculations, on hearing of our delicacy with regard to Sophie's gratuitous attendance. Sweetly did that excellent man retort by a meck silence. Not one is he to justify himself in the sight of casual persons ;
* but “ The Fiery Furnace,” he has assured me, shall hear of the adventure. Fatigued as our attendant professed herself, she was
able this morning to don the hymeneal chains ! Lady having absolutely degraded herself by sanctioning such indelicate precipitancy with her presence. Mrs. Pecker, mostly so gentle ! declares “that indignation has deprived her of words on the juncture." Her heart's desire is to return to Tinglebury, which remaining unlet, (for in Britain's present ruined condition, can any one expect tenants will spring out of the ashes ?) the plan rises on the horizon. Her true English simplicity untempted by the Rhine, undazzled by the gewgaw splendours of Frankfort's Fair, ought to be more than doubly ever precious to the home circle. “ It is not merely," she says, “the people not understanding her English—but since she has been in Prussia, she has not set foot in a bed so large as her own salting-tub.” Vainly has Mr. Pecker tried to pacify her by recalling Captain S. C. Hall's plan, of diffusing instruction to hotel-keepers, and insuring comforts to travellers, by sewing two beds together!
• Stitch her fingers and Diana's to the bone they might, now Sophie was gone,” was her remark this morning ; “ two could never be joined together without puckering, and that would be as uneasy to lie on as what we had already. So that wonder not if you hear of the Podds' little day of absolute power being over, in the Peckers' return. If they return alone, will your Diana be missed ? To her foreign parts are still a mine unsprung—and other companions already rise in Possibility's horizon! Unequal is she—her shaken heart requiring rest—to cope with sweet Mrs. Pecker's phantom terrors unaided. Her sphere, too, must henceforth be a wider one. And though incapable of a birch canoe among Canadian navigators, like Mrs. Jameson, authoress of “ Conversations with Shakspeare —or of the Amazonian equestrianisms of the Lady who rode from Paris to kiss the Papal foot-she feels that procedure is become a duty with her : nor will the blandishments of fraternity avert her gaze from ulterior roamings in Germany—and Alpine prospects conducting southwards. A day or two, however, will extricate from all doubt,ấtill when I am always your faithful, however mysterious,
LETTER VI.-MRS. NIBLETT TO MRS. DRANGTON,
Frankfort, th, 1846. I HOPE, dear Mrs. Drangton, you received my last, with the specifications of my possessions left at Tinglebury—for Mr. Screw
ler's guidance. Luthi as Vr. Villett and myself are to take extreme measure's, Mr. l'ecker's obstinate silence, and resolution to ovade plory just claim, leave us no alternative. Used as they have been for so many years to consider myself and my
fortune al pro---ion for lite—andl disordered as are his circumstances boy peculations of which a child would be ashamed—we do not wonder ist his tenacity ; however we may regret the course of conduct to which it drives 11s. Mr. Niblett says he has never seen so persevering in case of absorption. You and I know a stronger
To such a height, it seems, has Mrs. P’ecker's nervousness risen under the stimulus of cheap Rhine wines—that some unfor. tunate creature they brought abroad with them, was compelled to sit
all night with her: and their last creditable adventure, I hear, was their utterly denyiny, at Cologne, to pay any wages to the poor girl, when she was rescued from them by her relations. They have gone back to England.--as I presume Mr. Screwley is aware,-- to contest our claims to the last farthing.
You will wonder how we continue so minutely informed of the movements of such worthless persons ; and will be surprised (we were only livertel) at the source whence we derive our particulars. Their friend and partner-Diana-las, as every one might have foreseen, forsaken them : set up on her own account, and followed us hither, with apologies and explanations there was no refusing to receive.
It appears, that just at the moment when her difference with the leckers became desperate, a foolish elderly person from her old neighbourhood turned up: our sister having ingeniously tempted him abroad by a list of cures of inveterate gout, rheumatism, and clim-sightedness, wrought by the Ilomburg waters. No sharpener of the wits, as you know, like a resolute determination to settle ! and it had long been one of my few amusements, during my imprisonment at Tinglebury, to watch the stratagems by which the artless Diana was anxious to impress Mr. Blackadder that he was still marriageable, and she always ready! But that any flattery could drag him from his own fireside, still more, beguile him into quitting a single blesseilness so long and honourably maintained, gives me a new idea, I must say, of the vanity of an old beau : and I pity rather than wonder at the disdain and distress of his sisters, who returned with the l'eckers. Where the deed was done and the knot tied, neither bridegroom nor bride will explain. But we have no doubt the speculation will answer. Mrs. Blackadder has already persuaded her husband that she is