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loading him with parcels, “will you have the goodness to see these put into my carriage? I'll take care of your hat and gloves,” added O'Mooney in a low voice. Queasy surrendered his hat and gloves instantly, unknowing wherefore; then squeezed forward with his load through the crowd, crying—“Waiter! hostler ! pray, somebody put these into sir John Bull's chaise.”
Sir John Bull, equipped with Queasy's hat, marched deliberately through the defile, bowing with the air of at least an English county member to this side and to that, as way was made for him to his carriage. No one suspected that the hat did not belong to him; no one, indeed, thought of the hat, for all eyes were fixed upon
Seated in the carriage, he threw money to the waiter, hostler, and boots, and drew up the glass, bidding the postilions drive on. By this cool self-possession our hero effected his retreat with successful generalship, leaving his new Dublin beaver behind him, without regret, as bona waviata. Queasy, before whose eyes things passed continually without his seeing them, thanked sir John for the care he had taken of his hat, drew on his gloves, and calculated aloud how long they should be going to the next stage.
At the first town they passed through, O'Mooney bought a new hat, and Queasy deplored the unaccountable mistake by which sir John's hat had been forgotten. No further mistakes happened upon the journey. The travellers rattled and neither stinted nor stayed' till they arrived at Blackheath, at miss Sharperson's. Sir
John sat Queasy down without having given him the least hint of his designs upon the lady ; but as he helped him out with the Sèvre china, he looked through the large opening double doors of the hall, and slightly said—“Upon my word, this seems to be a handsome house: it would be worth looking at, if the family were not at home.”
“I am morally sure, sir John,” said the soft Queasy, “that miss Sharperson would be happy to let you see the house to-night, and this minute, if she knew you were at the door, and who you were, and all your civility about me and the china.—Do, pray,
walk in.” “ Not for the world : a gentleman could not do such a thing without an invitation from the lady of the house herself.”
“Oh, if that's all, I'll step up myself to the young lady; I'm certain she'll be proud —"
“Mr. Queasy, by no means ; I would not have the lady disturbed for the world at this unseasonable hour.-It is too late-quite too late.”
“ Not at all, begging pardon, sir John," said Queasy, taking out his watch: "only just tea-time by me.—Not at all unseasonable for any body; besides, the message is of my own head :-all, you know, if not well taken
Up the great staircase he made bold to go on his mission, as he thought, in defiance of sir John's better judgment. He returned in a few minutes with a face of self-complacent exultation, and miss Sharperson's compliments, and begs sir John Bull will
'walk and rest himself with a dish of tea, and has her thanks to him for the china.
Now Queasy, who had the highest possible opinion of sir John Bull and of miss Sharperson, whom he thought the two people of the greatest consequence and affability, had formed the notion that they were made for each other, and that it must be a match if they could but meet. The meeting he had now happily contrived and effected ; and he had done his part for his friend sir John, with miss Sharperson, by as many exaggerations as he could utter in five minutes, concerning his perdigious politeness and courage, his fine person and carriage, his ancient family, and vast connections and importance wherever he appeared on the road, at inns, and over all England. He had previously, during the journey, done his part for his friend miss Sharperson with sir John, by stating that “she had a large fortune left her by her mother, and was to have twice as much from her grandmother; that she had thousands
thousands in the funds, and an estate of two thousand a year, called Rascally, in Scotland, besides plate and jewels without end.”
Thus prepared, how could this lady and gentleman meet without falling desperately in love with each other!
Though a servant in handsome livery appeared ready to show sir John up the great staircase, Mr. Queasy acted as a gentleman usher, or rather as showman. He nodded to sir John as they passed across a long gallery and through an ante-chamber,
He had seen every
threw open the doors of various apartments as he went along, crying—“Peep in! peep in! peep in here ! peep in there !—Is not this spacious ? Is not this elegant? Is not that grand! Did I say too much?” continued he, rubbing his hands with delight. “ Did you ever see so magnificent and such highlypolished steel grates out of Lon’on ?”
Sir John, conscious that the servant's eyes were upon him, smiled at this question, “looked superior down;" and thongh with reluctant complaisance he leaned his body to this side or to that, as Queasy pulled or swayed, yet he appeared totally regardless of the man's vulgar reflections. thing as he passed, and was surprised at all he saw ; but he evinced not the slightest symptom of astonishment. He was now ushered into a spacious, welllighted apartment: he entered with the easy, unembarrassed air of a man who was perfectly accustomed to such a home. His quick coup-d'æil took in the whole at a single glance. Two magnificent candelabras stood on Egyptian tables at the farther end of the room, and the lights were reflected on all sides from mirrors of no common size. Nothing seemed worthy to attract our hero's attention but the lady of the house, whom he approached with an air of distinguished respect. She was reclining on a Turkish sofa, her companion seated beside her, tuning a harp Miss Sharperson half rose to receive sir John: he paid his compliments with an easy, yet respectful air.
He was thanked for his civilities to
the person who had been commissioned to bring the box of Sèvre china from Deal.
Vastly sorry it should have been so troublesome,” miss Sharperson said, in a voice fashionably unintelligible, and with a most becoming yet intimidating nonchalance of manner. Intimidating it might have been to any man but our hero; he, who had the happy talent of catching, wherever he went, the reigning manner of the place, replied to the lady in equal strains; and she, in her turn, seemed to look upon him more as her equal. Tea and coffee were served. Nothings were talked of quite easily by sir John. He practised the art “ not to admire,” so as to give a justly high opinion of his taste, consequence, and knowledge of the world. Miss Sharperson, though her nonchalance was much diminished, continued to maintain a certain dignified reserve; whilst her companion, miss Felicia Flat, condescended to ask sir John, who had doubtless seen every fine house in England and on the continent, his opinion with respect to the furniture and finishing of the room, the placing of the Egyptian tables and the candelabras.
No mortal could have guessed by sir John Bull's air, when he heard this question, that he had never seen a candelabra before in his life. much, and yet seemingly so little upon his guard, he dealt so dexterously in generals, and evaded particulars so delicately, that he went through this dangerous conversation triumphantly. Careful not