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Hanover Square ; at least she Vv^as in the habit of
getting one dress there every other season, and
this was quite sufficient among her friends to give
her a reputation for dealing in the proper quarter.
Once she had got a bonnet direct from Paris,
which gave her ample opportunity of expressing a
frequent opinion not favourable to the fabricators
of a British article. She always took care that
her shoes had v/ithin them the na.me of a French
cordonnier ; and her gloves were made to order
in the Rue Du Bac, though usually bought and
paid for in Tottenham Court Road.'

" What a false creature," said Linda.

" False ! " said Charley ; " and how is a girl to
get along if she be not false ? '^¥llat girl could
live for a moment before the world if she were
to tell the whole truth about the get-up of her
wardrobe ? The patchings and make-believes,
the chipped ribbons and turned silks, the little
tills here, and the little l^ills there ? how else is



CRINOLINE AND MACASSAR. 113

an allowance of 20/. a year to be made com-
patible with an appearance of nnlimited income ?
how^ else are young men to be tanglit to tliink
that in an affair of dress money is a matter of no
moment w^hat soever ? "

" Oh, Charley, Charley, don't be slanderous,"
said Mrs. Woodward.

" I only repeat w^hat the editor says to me — I
know nothing about it myself. Only w^e are re-
quested ' to hold the mirror up to nature,' and to
art too, I believe. We are to set these things
right, you know."

" We, who are we ? " said Katie.

" Why, the Daily Dehglit," said Charley.

" But I hope there's nothing false in patching
and turning," said Mrs. Woodivard : "for if
there be, I'm the falsest woman alive.

* To gar the auld claes look amaist as weels the new ' —

is, I thought, one of the most legitimate objects
of a woman's diligence."

" It aU depends on the spirit of the stitches,"
said Charley the censor.

" Well, I must say I don't like mending up old
clothes a bit better than Charley does," said
Katie ; " but pray go on, mama" — So Mrs. Wood-
ward continued to read.

' On the day of Macassar's visit in Tavistock
Square, Crinoline was di'essed in a most elegant
morning costume. It was a very light barege



114 THE THREE CLERKS.

ULTislin, extremely full ; and which, as she had as-
sured her friend, Miss Manasseh, of Keppel Street,
had been sent home from the establishment in
Hanover Square only the day before. I am
aware that Miss Manasseh instantly projected an
ill-natured report, that she had seen the identical
dress in a milliner's room up two pairs back in
Store Street ; but then Miss Manasseh was known
to be envious; and had moreover seen twelve
seasons out in those localities, whereas the fair
Crinoline, young thing, had graced Tavistock
Square only for two years ; and her mother was
ready to swear that she had never passed the
nursery door till she came there. The ground
of the dress was a light pea-green, and the pat-
tern was ivy wreaths entwined with pansies and
tulips — each flounce showed a separate wreath —
and there were nine flounces, the highest of which
fairy circles was about three inches below the
smallest waist that ever was tightly girded in
steel and whalebone.

'Macassar had once declared, in a moment of
ecstatic energy, that a small waist was the
chiefest grace in woman. How often had the
Lady Crinoline's maid, when in the extreme
agony of her labour, put a malediction on his
name on account of this speech !

' It is unnecessary to speak of the drapery of
the arms which showed the elaborate lace of the
sleeve beneath, and sometimes also the pearly



CRINOLINE AND MACASSAR. 115

whiteness of that rounded arm. This was a
sight which would sometimes almost drive Ma-
cassar to distraction. At such moments as that
the hopes of the patriotic poet for the good of
the Civil Service were not strictly fulfilled in the
heart of Macassar Jones. Oh, if the Lady
Crinoline could but have known !

' It is unnecessary also to describe the strange
and hidden mechanism of that mysterious petti-
coat which gave such fall dimensions, such
ample sweeping proportions to the tout ensemble
of the lady's appearance. It is unnecessary,
and would perhaps be improper, and as far as
I am concerned, is certainly impossible.'

Here Charley blushed, as Mrs. Woodward
looked at him from over the top of the paper.

' Let it suffice to say that she could envelope a
sofa without the slightest efibrt, throw her drape-
ries a yard and a half from her on either side
without any appearance of stretching, completely
fill a carriage ; or, which was more frequently
her fate, entangle herself all but inextricably in
a cab.

' A word, however, must be said of those little
feet that peeped out now and again so beautifully
from beneath the artistic constructions above
aUuded to — of the feet, or perhaps rather of the
shoes. But yet, what can be said of them
successfully ? That French name so correctly
spelt, so elaborately accented, so beautifully



116 THE THREE CLERKS.

finished in gold letters, which from their form,
however, one would say that the cordonnier must
have imported from England, was only visible to
those favoured knights who were occasionally per-
mitted to carry the shoes home in their pockets.

* But a word must be said of the hair dressed a
Vimperatrice, redolent of the sweetest patchouli,
disclosing all the glories of that ingenuous, but
perhaps too open brow. A word must be said ;
but, alas ! how inefficacious to do justice to the
ingenuity so wonderfully displayed ! The hair
of the Lady Crinoline was perhaps more lovely
than abundant ; to produce that glorious effect,
that effect which has now symbolized among
English lasses the head-dress a Vimperatrice as
the one idea of feminine beauty, every hair was
called on to give its separate aid. As is the
ease with so many of us who are anxious to put
our best foot foremost, everything was abstracted
from the rear in order to create a show in the
front. Then, to complete the garniture of the
head, to make all perfect, to leave no point of
escape for the susceptible admirer of modern
beauty, some dorsal appendage was necessary o'
mornings as well as in the more fully bedizened
period of evening society.

* Everything about the sweet Crinoline was
wont to be green. It is the sweetest and most
innocent of colours ; but, alas ! a colour dangerous
for the heart's ease of youthful beauty. Hanging



CRINOLINE AND MACASSAR. 117

from the back of lier liead were to be seen moss
and fennel, and various grasses — rye grass and
timotby, trefoil and cinque-foil, vetches and
clover, and here and there a young fern. A story
was told, but doubtless false, as it was traced to
the mouth of Miss Manasseh, that once while
Crinoline was reclining in a paddock at Eich-
mond, having escaped with the young Macassar
from the heat of a neighbouring drawing-room,
a cow had attempted to feed from her head/

" Oh, Charley, a cow !" said Katie.

" Well, but you see I don t give it as true,"
said Charley.

" Then you ought to leave it out," said Katie.
" It makes the cow out to be such a fool."

" I didn't think of that," said Charley ; " but
I can't alter it now, I'm afraid ; for I've only
just the proper number of lines."

''I shall never get it done, if Katie won't
hold her tongue," said Mrs. Woodward.

' But perhaps it was, when at the sea-side in
September, at Broadstairs, Heme Bay, or Dover,
Crinoline and her mama invigorated themselves
with the sea breezes of the ocean, — perhaps it
was there that she was enabled to assume that
covering for her head in which her soul most
dehghted. It was a Tom and Jerry hat turned
up at the sides, with a short but knowing feather,
velvet trimmings, and a steel buckle blinking
brightly in the noon- day sun. Had Macassar



118 THE THREE CLERKS.

seen lier in this he would have yielded himself

her captive at once, quarter or no quarter. It
was the most marked, and perhaps the most
attractive peculiarity of the Lady Crinoline's
face, that the end of her nose was a little turned
up. This charm, in unison with the upturned
edges of her cruel-hearted hat, were found by
many men to be invincible.

'We all know how dreadful is the spectacle
of a Saracen's head, as it appears or did appear,
painted on a huge board at the top of Snow Hill.
From that we are left to surmise with what tre-
mendous audacity of countenance, with what
terror- striking preparations of the outward man,
an Eastern army is led to battle. Can any men
so fearfully bold in appearance ever turn their
backs and fly ? They look as though they could
destroy by the glance of their ferocious eyes.
Wlio could withstand the hirsute horrors of those
fiery faces ?

' There is just such audacity, a courage of a
similar description, perhaps we may say an equal
invincibility, in the charms of those Tom and
Jerry hats when duly put on, over a face of the
proper description — over such a face as that of
the Lady Crinoline. They give to the wearer an
appearance of a concentration of pluck. But as
the Eastern array does quail before the quiet
valour of Europe, so, we may perhaps say,
does the open, quick audacity of the Tom and



CRINOLINE AND MACASSAR. 119

Jerry tend to less powerful results tlian tlie
modest enduring patience of the bonnet/



" So ends the second chapter — ^bravo, Charley,"
said Mrs. Woodward. "In the name of the
British female public, I beg to thank you for
your exertions."

" The editor said I was to write down turned-
up hats," said Charley. "I rather like them
myself."

" I hope my new slouch is not an audacious
Saracen's head," said Linda.

"Or mine," said Katie. "But you may say
what you like about them now; for mine is
drowned."

" Come, girls, there are four more chapters, I
see. Let me finish it, and then we can discuss it
afterwards."

CHAPTER III.

'Having thus described the Lady Crinoline '

" You haven't described her at all," said Linda;
" you haven't got beyond her clothes yet."

" There is nothing beyond them," said Charley.

"You haven't even described her face," said
Katie ; " you have only said that she had a
turned-up nose."

"There is nothing farther that one can say
about it," said Charley.



120 THE THREE CLERKS.

' Having thus described the Lady Crinoline/
continued Mrs. Woodward, 'it now becomes our
duty as impartial historians, to give some account
of Mr. Macassar Jones.'

"Historians?" said uncle Bat. "Does the
Daily Delight profess to deal in history?"

"The editor says that by an elegant fiction,
all modern story writers presume their stories to
be true. They always call them histories."

" Oh !" said Captain Cuttwater.

' We are not prepared to give the exact name
of the artist by whom Mr. Macassar Jones was
turned out to the world so perfectly-dressed a
man. Were we to do so, the signal service done
to one establishment by such an advertisement
would draw down on us the anger of the trade
at large, and the tailors of London would be in
league against the Daily Delight. It is sufiicient
to remark that the artist's offices are not a hun-
dred miles from Pall Mall. Nor need we
expressly name the boot-maker, to whom is
confided the task of making those feet " small
by degrees and beautifully less." The process,
we understand, has been painful, but the effect is
no doubt remunerative.

' In three especial walks of dress has Macassar
Jones been more than ordinarily careful to create
a sensation ; and we believe we may assert that
he has been successful in all. We have already
alluded to his feet. Ascending from them, and



CRIXOLINE AND MACASSAR. 121

ascending not far, we come to liis coat. It is
needless to say tliat it is a frock ; needless to say
that it is a long frock — long as those usually
worn by younger infants, and apparently made
so for the same purpose. But look at the ex-
quisitely small proportions of the collar ; look at
the grace of the long sleeves^ the length of hack,
the propriety, the innate respectability, the per-
fect decorum — we had almost said the high moral
worth — of the whole. Who would not willingly
sacrifice any individual existence, that he might
become the exponent of such a coat ? Macassar
Jones was proud to do so.

'But he had bestowed perhaps the greatest
amount of personal attention on his collar. It
was a matter more within his own grasp than
those great and important articles to which
attention has been already drawn : but one,
nevertheless, on which he was able to expend
the whole amount of his energy and genius.
Some people may think that an all-rounder is
an all-rounder, and that if one is careful to o-et
an all-rounder one has done all that is necessary.
But so thought not Macassar Jones. Some men
wear collars of two plies of linen, some men of
three ; but Macassar Jones wore collars of four
plies. Some men, some sensual, self-indulgent
men appear to think that the collar should be
made for the neck; but Macassar Jones knew
better. He, who never spared himself when the

VOL. II. G



122 THE THREE CLERKS.

cause was good, he knew that the neck had been
made for the collar — it was at any rate^evident
that such was the case with his own. And such
a collar has this advantage, that it teaches a
man to look straight forward in the world, to
face adversity when it meets him, and forces him
to abstain entirely from the Orphean danger,
peculiarly to be dreaded in the streets of London,
of looking back after any Eurydice that may be
in pursuit. Little can be said of his head, ex-
cept that it was small, narrow, and genteel ; but
his hat might be spoken of, and perhaps with
advantage. Of the loose but studied tie of his
inch-wide cravat, a paragraph might be made;
but we would fain not be tedious.

' We will only further remark that he always
carried with him a wonderful representation of
himself, hke to him to a miracle, only smaller in
its dimensions, like as a duodecimo is to a folio
— a babe, as it were, of his own begetting — a
little alter ego in which he took much delight.
It was his umbrella. Look at the delicate finish
of its lower extremity ; look at the long, narrow,
and well-made coat in which it is enveloped from
its neck downwards, without speck, or blemish,
or wrinkle ; look at the little wooden head, nicely
polished, with the effigy of a human face on one
side of it — little eyes it has, and a sort of nose ;
look closer at it, and you will perceive a mouth,
not expressive indeed, but still it is there — a



CRINOLINE AND MACASSAR. 1

month and chin ; and is it, or is it not, an
attempt *at a pair of whiskers? It certainly has
a monstache.

' Snch were Mr. Macassar Jones and his nm-
brella — '

" That's some enemy of yonrs at the Internal
Navigation, I suppose," said Linda.

"No, indeed," said Charley. "We've no
flowers of that delicate description there. There
are no long coats among the navvies ; and I
donbt if there be an umbrella in the office, except
the old cotton one which Mr. Snape has had for
the last fifteen years."

" Then who is Mr. Macassar Jones ? " said
Linda.

" Oh ! there are a dozen of them in the next
shop to onrs ; it's the Episcopal Andit Office.
They always look down on ns, and won't speak
to any of our fellows ; so now I'm down on
them."

' Such were Mr. Macassar Jones and his um-
brella. He was an excellent clerk, and did great
credit to the important office to which he was
attached — ^namely, that of the Episcopal Audit
Board. He was much beloved by the other
gentlemen, who were closely connected with
him in that establishment ; and may be said,
for the first year or two of his service, to have
been, not exactly the life and soul, but we may

G 2



124 THE THREE CLERKS.

perhaps say with more propriety, the pervading
genius of the room in which he sat.

' Bnt, alas ! at length a cloud came over his
brow. At first it was but a changing shadow ;
but it settled into a dark veil of sorrow which
obscured all his virtues, and made the worthy
senior of his room shake his thin gray locks once
and again. He shook them more in sorrow than
in anger ; for he knew that Macassar was in love,
and he remembered the days of his youth. Yes ;
Macassar was in love. He had seen the lovely
Crinoline. To see was to admire ; to admire was
to love; to love^— that is, to love her, to love
Crinoline, the exalted, the sought-after, the one
so much in demand, as he had once expressed
himself to one of his bosom friends — to love her
was to despair. He did despair ; and despairing
sighed, and sighing was idle.

* But he was not all idle. The genius of the
man had that within it which did not permit
itself to evaporate in mere sighs. Sighs, with
the high-minded, force themselves into the guise
of poetry, and so it had been with him. He got
leave of absence for a week, and shut himself up
alone in his lodgings ; for a week in his lodgings,
during the long evenings of winter did he re-
main unseen and unheard of. His landlady
thought that he was in debt, and his friends
whispered abroad that he had caught scarlatina.



CRINOLINE AND MACASSAR. 125

But at tlie end of the seven days lie came forth,
pale indeed, but with his countenance lighted up
by ecstatic fire, and as he started for his of&ce,
he carefully folded and put into his pocket the
elegantly written poem on which he had been so
intently engaged/

" That's flat, Charley," said Norman.

" Well, I'm going to give you the verses now,
and they're not flat, at any rate," said Charley.

"I'm so glad we are to have more poetry,"
said Katie. " Is it another song ? "

" You'll see," said Mrs. Woodward.

' Macassar had many bosom friends at his office,
to all of whom, one by one, he had confided the
tale of his love. For a while he doubted to
which of them he should confide the secret of
his inspiration ; but genius will not hide its
head under a bushel ; and thus, before long, did
Macassar's song become the common property of
the Episcopal Audit Board. Even the Bishops
sang it, so Macassar was assured by one of his
brother clerks v/ho was made of a coarser clay
than his colleague — even the Bishops sang it
when they met, in council together, on their own
peculiar bench.

' It would be useless to give the whole of it
here ; for it contained ten verses. The two last
were those which Macassar was wont to sing to
himself, as he wandered lonely under the elms of
Kensington gardens.



126 THE THREE CLERKS.

"Oh, how she walks

And how she talks —
And sings like a bird serene ;

But of this be sure,

While the world shall endure,
The loveliest lady that'll ever be seen,
Will still be the Lady Crinoline,
The lovely Lady Crinoline.

" With her hair done all a Vimperatrice,

Sweetly done with the best of grease,
She looks like a Goddess or Queen, —

And so I declare,

And solemnly swear.
That the loveliest lady that ever was seen,
Is still the Lady Crinoline,
The lovely Lady Crinoline.'"

" And so ends the third chapter/' said Mrs.
Woodward.

Both Katie and Linda were beginning to
criticise, but Mrs. Woodward repressed them
sternly, and went on with

CHAPTER IV.

' It was a lovely day towards the end of May
that Macassar Jones, presenting himself before
the desk of the senior clerk at one o'clock, begged
for permission to be absent for two hours. The
request was preferred with meek and hesitating
voice, and with downcast eyes.

' The senior clerk shook his gray locks sadly ;
sadly he shook his thin gray locks, for he grieved
at the sight which he saw. 'Twas sad to see the



CRINOLINE AND MACASSAR. 127

energies of this young man tlius sapped in his
early youth by the all-absorbing strength of a
hopeless passion. Crinoline was now, as it were,
a household Avord at the Episcopal Audit Board.
The senior clerk believed her to be cruel, and as
he knew for what object these two hours of idle-
ness were requested, he shook his thin gray locks
in sorrow.

' " I'll be back at three, sir, punctual," said
Macassar.

' " But, Mr. Jones, you are absent nearly every
day for the same period."

' " To-day shall be the last ; to-day shall end it
all," said Macassar, with a look of wretched des-
peration.

' " What — what would Sir Grregory say?" said
the senior clerk.

' Macassar Jones sighed deeply. JS'ature had
not made the senior clerk a cruel man ; but yet
this allusion was cruel. The young Macassar
had drank deeply of the waters that welled from
the fountain of Sir Gregory's philosophy. He
had been proud to sit humbly at the feet of such
a Gramaliel ; and now it rent his young heart to
be thus twitted with the displeasure of the great
master whom he so loved and so admired.

' " Well, go, Mr. Jones," said the senior clerk,
" go, but as you go, resolve that to-morrow you
will remain at your desk. Now go, and may
prosperity attend you ! "



m.



128 THE THREE CLERKS.

' " All shall be decided to-day," said Macassar,
and as he spoke an unusual spark gleamed in his
eye. He went, and as he went the senior clerk
shook his thin gray hairs. He was a bachelor,
and he distrusted the charms of the sex.

' Macassar, returning to his desk, took up his
hat and his umbrella, and went forth. His in-
deed was a plight at which that old senior clerk
might well shake his thin gray hairs in sorrow,
for Macassar was the victim of mysterious
circumstances, which, from his youth upwards,
had marked him -out for a fate of no ordinary
nature. The tale must now be told.'

" Oh dear ! " said Linda ; "is it something
horrid ? "

" I hope it is," said Katie ; " perhaps he's
already married to some old hag or witch."

" You don't say who his father and mother
are ; but I suppose he'll turn out to be some-
body else's son," said Linda.

" He is a very nice young man for a small
tea party, at any rate," said uncle Bat.

' The tale must now be told,' continued Mrs.
Woodward. ' Li his early years Macassar Jones
had had a maiden aunt. This lady died — '

" Oh, mama, if you read it in that way I shall
certainly cry," said Katie.

" Well, my dear, if your heart is so susceptible
you had better indulge it." 'This lady died and
left behind her — '



CRINOLINE AND MACASSAR. 129

" What ? " said Linda.

" A diamond ring ? " said Katie.

" A sealed manuscript, which was found in a
secret di'awer," suggested Linda.

" Perhaps a baby," said uncle Bat.

*And left behind her a will — '

" Did she leave anything else ? " asked
Norman.

"Ladies and gentlemen, if I am to be in-
terrupted in this way, I really must resign my
task," said Mrs. Woodward ; "we shall never
get to bed."

" I won't say another word," said Katie.

' In his early years Macassar had had a
maiden aunt. Tliis lady died and left behind
her a will, in which, with many expressions of
the warmest affection and fullest confidence,
she left 3000/. in the three per cents '

" What are the three per cents ? " said Katie.

" The three per cents is a way in which people
get some of their money to spend regularly,
when they have got a large sum locked up some-
where," said Linda.

" Oh ! " said Katie.

"Will you hold your tongue, Miss," said
Mrs. Woodward. 'Left 3000/. in the three per
cents, to her nephew. But she left it on these con-
ditions, that he should be married before he was
twenty-five, and that he should have a child law-
fully born in the bonds of wedlock before he was

G 3



130 THE THREE CLERKS.

twenty-six. And then the will went on to
state that the interest of the money shonld
accumnlate till Macassar had attained the latter
age ; and that in the event of his having failed
to comply with the conditions and stipulations
ahove named, the whole money, principal and
interest, should he set aside, and hy no means
given up to the said Macassar, hut applied to
the uses, purposes, and convenience of that ex-
cellent charitable institution, denominated the
Princess Charlotte's Lying-in Hospital.

' ISTow the nature of this will had been told in
confidence bv Macassar to some of his brother
clerks, and was consequently well known at the
Episcopal Audit Board. It had given rise there
to a spirit of speculation against which the
senior clerk had protested in vain. Bets were
made, some in favour of Macassar, and some in
that of the hospital; but of late the odds
were going much against our hero. It was
well known that in three short months he
would attain that disastrous age, which, if it
found him a bachelor, would find him also
denuded of his legacy. And then how short
a margin remained for the second event ! The


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