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 Jerry tend to less powerful results than the 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
'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
'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.'
"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 further that one can say about it,' said
"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.
"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 sufficient to
remark that the artist's offices are not a hundred miles from
Pall Mall. Nor need we expressly name the bootmaker 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 ascending not far,
we come to his coat. It is needless to say that 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 exquisitely small proportions of the
collar; look at the grace of the long sleeves, the length of
back, the propriety, the innate respectability, the perfect
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 get 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
him self when the 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. Little can be said of his head, except 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
"We will only further remark that he always carried with him a
wonderful representation of himself, like 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 mouth and chin; and is it, or is it not, an attempt at a pair
of whiskers? It certainly has a moustache.
"Such were Mr. Macassar Jones and his umbrella. 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 perhaps say with more propriety,
the pervading genius of the room in which he sat.
"But, 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 grey 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 remain
unseen and unheard of. His landlady thought that he was in debt,
and his friends whispered abroad that he had caught scarlatina.
But at the end of the seven days he came forth, pale indeed, but
with his countenance lighted up by ecstatic fire, and as he
started for his office, he carefully folded and put into his
pocket the elegantly written poem on which he had been so
'I'm so glad we are to have more poetry,' said Katie. 'Is it
'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 who 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 last two were those which Macassar was
wont to sing to himself, as he wandered lonely under the elms of
"'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 l'imperatrice_,
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 criticize, but Mrs.
Woodward repressed them sternly, and went on with
"'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
"The senior clerk shook his grey locks sadly! sadly he shook his
thin grey locks, for he grieved at the sight which he saw. 'Twas
sad to see the energies of this young man thus sapped in his
early youth by the all-absorbing strength of a hopeless passion.
Crinoline was now, as it were, a household word at the Episcopal
Audit Board. The senior clerk believed her to be cruel, and as he
knew for what object these two hours of idleness were requested,
he shook his thin grey 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
"'To-day shall be the last; to-day shall end it all,' said
Macassar, with a look of wretched desperation.
"'What - what would Sir Gregory say?' said the senior clerk.
"Macassar Jones sighed deeply. Nature had not made the senior
clerk a cruel man; but yet this allusion _was_ cruel. The
young Macassar had drunk 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 Gamaliel; 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!'
"'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 grey 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 indeed was a plight at which that
old senior clerk might well shake his thin grey 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."
'O 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 somebody else's son,' said Linda.
'He's 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. "In his
early years Macassar Jones had had a maiden aunt. This lady died - "
'Oh, mamma, if you read it in that way I shall certainly cry,'
'Well, my dear, if your heart is so susceptible you had better
indulge it.' "This lady died and left behind her - - "
'What?' said Linda.
'A diamond ring?' said Katie.
'A sealed manuscript, which was found in a secret drawer?'
'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 interrupted 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. This lady
died and left behind her a will, in which, with many expressions
of the warmest affection and fullest confidence, she left L3,000
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 somewhere,' said Linda.
'Oh!' said Katie.
'Will you hold your tongue, miss?' said Mrs. Woodward.
"Left L3,000 in the three per cents to her nephew. But she left
it on these conditions, that he should be married before he was
twenty-five, and that he should have a child lawfully born in the
bonds of wedlock before he was twenty-six. And then the will went
on to state that the interest of the money should accumulate till
Macassar had attained the latter age; and that in the event of
his having failed to comply with the conditions and stipulations
above named, the whole money, principal and interest, should be
set aside, and by no means given up to the said Macassar, but
applied to the uses, purposes, and convenience of that excellent
charitable institution, denominated the Princess Charlotte's
"Now the nature of this will had been told in confidence by
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 odds
were daily rising against Macassar, and as he heard the bets
offered and taken at the surrounding desks, his heart quailed
"And the lovely Crinoline, she also had heard of this eccentric
will; she and her mother. L3,000 with interest arising for some
half score of years would make a settlement by no means
despicable in Tavistock Square, and would enable Macassar to
maintain a house over which even Crinoline need not be ashamed to
preside. But what if the legacy should be lost! She also knew to
a day what was the age of her swain; she knew how close upon her
was that day, which, if she passed it unwedded, would see her
resolved to be deaf for ever to the vows of Macassar. Still, if
she managed well, there might be time - at any rate for the
"But, alas! Macassar made no vows; none at least which the most
attentive ear could consider to be audible. Crinoline's ear was
attentive, but hitherto in vain. He would come there daily to
Tavistock Square; daily would that true and valiant page lay open
the path to his mistress's feet; daily would Macassar sit there
for a while and sigh. But the envious hour would pass away, while
the wished-for word was still unsaid; and he would hurry back,
and complete with figures, too often erroneous, the audit of some
"'You must help him, my dear,' said Crinoline's mamma.
"'But he says nothing, mamma,' said Crinoline in tears.
"'You must encourage him to speak, my dear.'
"'I do encourage him; but by that time it is always three
o'clock, and then he has to go away.'
"'You should be quicker, my dear. You should encourage him more
at once. Now try to-day; if you can't do anything to-day I really
must get your papa to interfere.'
"Crinoline had ever been an obedient child, and now, as ever, she
determined to obey. But it was a hard task for her. In three
months he would be twenty-five - in fifteen months twenty-six.
She, however, would do her best; and then, if her efforts were
unavailing, she could only trust to Providence and her papa.
"With sad and anxious heart did Macassar that day take up his new
silk hat, take up also his darling umbrella, and descend the
sombre steps of the Episcopal Audit Office. 'Seven to one on the
Lying-in,' were the last words which reached his ears as the door
of his room closed behind him. His was a dreadful position. What
if that sweet girl, that angel whom he so worshipped, what if
she, melted by his tale of sorrow - that is, if he could prevail
on himself to tell it - should take pity, and consent to be
hurried prematurely to the altar of Hymen; and then if, after
all, the legacy should be forfeited! Poverty for himself he could
endure; at least he thought so; but poverty for her! could he
bear that? What if he should live to see her deprived of that
green headdress, robbed of those copious draperies, reduced to
English shoes, compelled to desert that shrine in Hanover Square,
and all through him! His brain reeled round, his head swam, his
temples throbbed, his knees knocked against each other, his blood
stagnated, his heart collapsed, a cold clammy perspiration
covered him from head to foot; he could hardly reach the
courtyard, and there obtain the support of a pillar. Dreadful
thoughts filled his mind; the Thames, the friendly Thames, was
running close to him; should he not put a speedy end to all his
misery? Those horrid words, that 'seven to one on the Lying-in,'
still rang in his ears; were the chances really seven to one
against his getting his legacy? 'Oh!' said he, 'my aunt, my aunt,
my aunt, my aunt, my aunt!'
"But at last he roused the spirit of the man within him. 'Faint
heart never won fair lady,' seemed to be whispered to him from
every stone in Somerset House. The cool air blowing through the
passages revived him, and he walked forth through the wide
portals, resolving that he would return a happy, thriving lover,
or that he would return no more - that night. What would he care
for Sir Gregory, what for the thin locks of the senior clerk, if
Crinoline should reject him?
"It was his custom, as he walked towards Tavistock Square, to
stop at a friendly pastry-cook's in Covent Garden, and revive his
spirits for the coming interview with Banbury tarts and cherry-
brandy. In the moments of his misery something about the pastry-
cook's girl, something that reminded him of Crinoline, it was
probably her nose, had tempted him to confide to her his love. He
had told her everything; the kind young creature pitied him, and
as she ministered to his wants, was wont to ask sweetly as to his
"'And how was the lovely Lady Crinoline yesterday?' asked she. He
had entrusted to her a copy of his poem.
"'More beauteous than ever,' he said, but somewhat indistinctly,
for his mouth was clogged with the Banbury tart.
"'And good-natured, I hope. Indeed, I don't know how she can
resist,' said the girl; 'I'm sure you'll make it all right to-
day, for I see you've got your winning way with you.'
"Winning way, with seven to one against him! Macassar sighed, and
spilt some of his cherry-brandy over his shirt front. The kind-
hearted girl came and wiped it for him. 'I think I'll have
another glass,' said he, with a deep voice. He did take another
glass - and also ate another tart.
"'He'll pop to-day as sure as eggs, now he's taken them two
glasses of popping powder,' said the girl, as he went out of the
shop. 'Well, it's astonishing to me what the men find to be
"And so Macassar hastened towards Tavistock Square, all too
quickly; for, as he made his way across Great Russell Street, he
found that he was very hot. He leant against the rail, and,
taking off his hat and gloves, began to cool himself, and wipe
away the dust with his pocket-handkerchief. 'I wouldn't have
minded the expense of a cab,' said he to himself, 'only the
chances are so much against me: seven to one!'
"But he had no time to lose. He had had but two precious hours at
his disposal, and thirty minutes were already gone. He hurried on
to Tavistock Square, and soon found that well-known door open
"'The Lady Crinoline sits upstairs alone,' said the page, 'and is
a-thinking of you.' Then he added in a whisper, 'Do you go at her
straight, Mr. Macassar; slip-slap, and no mistake.'
"All honour to the true and brave!
"As Macassar walked across the drawing-room, Crinoline failed to
perceive his presence, although his boots did creak rather
loudly. Such at least must be presumed to have been the case, for
she made no immediate sign of having noticed him. She was sitting
at the open window, with her lute in hand, gazing into the
vacancy of the square below; and as Macassar walked across the
room, a deep sigh escaped from her bosom. The page closed the
door, and at the same moment Crinoline touched her lute, or
rather pulled it at the top and bottom, and threw one wild witch
note to the wind. As she did so, a line of a song escaped from
her lips with a low, melancholy, but still rapturous cadence -
'His heart is at his office, his heart is _always_ there.'
"'Oh, Mr. Macassar, is that you?' she exclaimed. She struggled to
rise, but, finding herself unequal to the effort, she sank back
again on a chair, dropped her lute on a soft footstool, and then
buried her face in her hands. It was dreadful for Macassar to
witness such agony.
"'Is anything the matter?' said he.
"'The matter!' said she. 'Ah! ah!'
"'I hope you are not sick?' said he.
"'Sick!' said she. 'Well, I fear I am very sick.'
"'What is it?' said he. 'Perhaps only bilious,' he suggested.
"'Oh! oh! oh!' said she.
"'I see I'm in the way; and I think I had better go,' and so he
prepared to depart. 'No! no! no!' said she, jumping up from her
chair. 'Oh! Mr. Macassar, don't be so cruel. Do you wish to see
me sink on the carpet before your feet?'
"Macassar denied the existence of any such wish; and said that he
humbly begged her pardon if he gave any offence.
"'Offence!' said she, smiling sweetly on him; sweetly, but yet
sadly. 'Offence! no - no offence. Indeed, I don't know how you
could - but never mind - I am such a silly thing. One's feelings
will sometimes get the better of one; don't you often find it
"'O yes! quite so,' said Macassar. 'I think it's the heat.'
"'He's a downright noodle,' said Crinoline's mamma to her sister-
in-law, who lived with them. The two were standing behind a chink
in the door, which separated the drawing-room from a chamber
"'Won't you sit down, Mr. Macassar?' Macassar sat down. 'Mamma
will be so sorry to miss you again. She's calling somewhere in
Grosvenor Square, I believe. She wanted me to go with her; but I
could not bring myself to go with her to-day. It's useless for
the body to go out, when the heart still remains at home. Don't
you find it so?'
"'Oh, quite so,' said Macassar. The cherry-brandy had already
evaporated before the blaze of all that beauty, and he was
bethinking himself how he might best take himself off. Let the
hospital have the filthy lucre! He would let the money go, and
would show the world that he loved for the sake of love alone! He
looked at his watch, and found that it was already past two.
"Crinoline, when she saw that watch, knew that something must be
done at once. She appreciated more fully than her lover did
the value of this world's goods; and much as she doubtless
sympathized with the wants of the hospital in question, she felt
that charity should begin at home. So she fairly burst out into a
flood of tears.
"Macassar was quite beside himself. He had seen her weep before,
but never with such frightful violence. She rushed up from her
chair, and passing so close to him as nearly to upset him by the
waft of her petticoats, threw herself on to an ottoman, and
hiding her face on the stump in the middle of it, sobbed and
screeched, till Macassar feared that the buttons behind her dress
would crack and fly off.
"'Oh! oh! oh!' sobbed Crinoline.
"'It must be the heat,' said Macassar, knocking down a flower-pot
in his attempt to open the window a little wider. 'O dear, what
have I done?' said he. 'I think I'd better go.'
"'Never mind the flower-pot,' said Crinoline, looking up through
her tears. 'Oh! oh! oh! oh! me. Oh! my heart.'
"Macassar looked at his watch. He had only forty-five minutes
left for everything. The expense of a cab would, to be sure, be
nothing if he were successful; but then, what chance was there of
"'Can I do anything for you in the Strand?' said he. 'I must be
at my office at three.'
"'In the Strand!' she screeched. 'What could he do for me in the
Strand? Heartless - heartless - heartless! Well, go - go - go to your
office, Mr. Macassar; your heart is there, I know. It is always
there. Go - don't let me stand between you and your duties -
between you and Sir Gregory. Oh! how I hate that man! Go! why
should I wish to prevent you? Of course I have no such wish. To