his friend, Lady Clavering, in good humour; with twinges
of rheumatism in the back and knees ; with weary feet burning
in his varnished boots, — so tired, oh, so tired and longing
for bed! If a man, struggling with hardship and bravely
overcoming it, is an object of admiration for the gods, that
Power in whose chapels the old Major was a faithful wor-
shipper must have looked upwards approvingly upon the con-
stancy of Pendennis's martyrdom. There are sufferers in that
cause as in the other: the negroes in the service of Mumbo
Jumbo tattoo and drill themselves with burning skewers with
great fortitude; and we read that the priests in the service
of Baal gashed themselves and bled freely. You who can
smash the idols, do so with a good courage; but do not be
too fierce with the idolators, — they worship the best thing
The Pendennises, the elder and the younger, waited with
Lady Clavering and her daughter until her ladyship's carriage
was announced, when the elder's martyrdom may be said to
have come to an end, for the good-natured Begum insisted
upon leaving him at his door in Bury Street; so he took the
back seat of the carriage, after a feeble bow or two, and
speech of thanks, polite to the last, and resolute in doing his
duty. The Begum waved her dumpy little hand by way of
farewell to Arthur and Foker, and Blanche smiled languidly
out upon the young men, thinking whether she looked very
wan and green under her rose-coloured hood, and whether
it was the mirrors at Gaunt House, or the fatigue and fever
of her own eyes, which made her fancy herself so pale.
Arthur, perhaps, saw quite well how yellow Blanche
looked, but did not attribute that peculiarity of her com-
plexion to the effect of the looking-glasses, or to any error in
his sight or her own. Our young man of the world could use
his eyes very keenly, and could see Blanche's face pretty
much as nature had made it. But for poor Foker it had a
radiance which dazzled and blinded him: he could see no
more faults in it than in the sun , which was now flaring over
Amongst other wicked London habits which Pen had
acquired, the moralist will remark that he had got to keep
very bad hours ; and often was going to bed at the time when
sober country people were thinking of leaving it. Men get
used to one hour as to another. Editors of newspapers,
Covent-Garden market people, night cabmen and coffee-
sellers, chimney-sweeps, and gentlemen and ladies of fashion
who frequent balls, are often quite lively at three or four
o'clock of a morning, when ordinary mortals are snoring.
We have shown in the last chapter how Pen was in a brisk con-
dition of mind at this period, inclined to smoke his cigar at
ease, and to speak freely.
Foker and Pen walked away from Gaunt House, then
indulging in both the above amusements: or rather Pen
talked, and Foker looked as if he wanted to say something.
Pen was sarcastic and dandyfied when he had been in the
company of great folks; he could not help imitating some
of their airs and tones, and having a most lively imagination,
mistook himself for a pef'son of importance very easily. He
rattled away, and attacked this person and that; sneered at
Lady John Turnbull's bad French, which her ladyship will
introduce into all conversations in spite of the sneers of every-
body ; at Mrs. Slack Roper's extraordinary costume and sham
jewels; at the old dandies and the young ones; — at whom
didn't he sneer and laugh?
"You fire at everybody, Pen — you 're grown awful, that
you are," Foker said. "Now , you 've pulled about Blondel's
yellow wig, and Colchicum's black one, why don't you have
a shy at a brown one, hay? you know whose I mean. It got
into Lady Clavering's carriage."
"Under my uncle's hat? My uncle is a martyr, Foker,
my boy. My uncle has been doing excruciating duties all
night. He likes to go to bed rather early. He has a dreadful
head-ache if he sits up and touches supper. He always has the
gout if he walks or stands much at a ball. He has been sitting
up , and standing up , and supping. He has gone home to the
gout and the head-ache, and for my sake. Shall I make fun
of the old boy ? no , not for Venice ! "
"How do you mean that he has been doing it for your
sake?" Foker asked, looking rather alarmed.
"Boy! canst thou keep a secret if I impart it to thee? " Pen
cried out, in high spirits. "Art thou of good counsel? Wilt
thou swear? Wilt thou be mum, or wilt thou peach? Wilt
thou be silent and hear, or wilt thou speak and die? " And as
he spoke, flinging himself into an absurd theatrical attitude,
the men in the cab-stand in Piccadilly wondered and grinned
at the antics of the two young swells.
"What the doose are you driving at? " Foker asked, look-
ing very much agitated.
Pen, however, did not remark this agitation much, but
continued in the same bantering and excited vein. "Henry,
friend of my youth," he said, "and witness of my early follies,
though dull at thy books , yet thou art not altogether deprived
of sense, — nay, blush not, Henrico, thou hast a good por-
tion of that, and of courage and kindness too, at the service
of thy friends. Were I in a strait of poverty, I would come
to my Foker's purse. Were I in grief, I would discharge my
grief upon his sympathising bosom — "
" Gammon , Pen — go on ," Foker said.
"I would, Henrico, upon thy studs, and upon thy cam-
bric worked by the hands of beauty, to adorn the breast of
valour 1 Know then, friend of my boyhood's days, that Ar-
thur Pendennis , of the Upper Temple, student-at-law, feels
that he is growing lonely, and old Care is furrowing his tem-
ples , and Baldness is busy with his crown. Shall we stop and
have a drop of coffee at this stall, it looks very hot and nice?
Look how that cabman is blowing at his saucer. No, you
won't? Aristocrat I I resume my tale. I am getting on in life.
I have got devilish little money. I want some. I am thinking
of getting some , and settling in life. I 'm thinking of settling.
I 'm thinking of marrying, old boy. I 'm thinking of be-
coming a moral man; a steady port and sherry character: with
a good reputation in my quartier, and a moderate establish-
ment of two maids and a man — with an occasional Brougham
to drive out Mrs. Pendennis , and a house near the Parks for
the accommodation of the children. Hal what sayest thou?
Answer thy friend, thou worthy child of beer. Speak, I ad-
jure thee by all thy vats."
"But you ain't got any money, Pen," said the other , still
"I ain't? No, but she ave. I tell thee there is gold in
store for me — not what yoti call money, nursed in the lap of
luxury, and cradled on grains , and drinking in wealth from
a thousand mash-tubs. What do you know about money?
What is poverty to you, is splendour to the hardy son of the
humble apothecary. You can't live without an establishment,
and your houses in town and country. A snug little house
somewhere off Belgravia, a Brougham for my wife , a decent
cook, and a fair bottle of wine for my friends at home some-
times; these simple necessaries suffice forme, my Foker."
And here Pendennis began to look more serious. Without
bantering further, Pen continued, "I 've rather serious
thoughts of settling and marrying. No man can get on in the
world without some money at his back. You must have a cer-
tain stake to begin with, before you can go in and play the
great game. Who knows that I 'm not going to try, old fel-
low? Worse men than I have won at it. And as I have not
got enough capital from my fathers , I must get some by my
wife — that 's aR,"
They were walking down Grosvenor Street, as they talked,
or rather as Pen talked, in the selfish fulness of his heart; and
Mr. Pen must have been too much occupied with his own
affairs to remark the concern and agitation of his neighbour,
for he continued — "We are no longer children , you know,
you and I, Harry. Bah! the time of our romance has passed
away. We don't marry for passion , but for prudence and for
establishment. What do you take your cousin for? Because
she is a nice girl, and an Earl's daughter, and the old folks
wish it , and that sort of thing."
"And you, Pendennis," asked Foker, "you ain't very
fond of the girl — you 're going to marry? "
Pen shrugged his shoulders. '■'•Comme pa," said he; "I
like her well enough. She 's pretty enough; she 's clever
enough. I think she '11 do very well. And she has got money
enough— that 's the great point. Psha! you know who she
is , don't you ? I thought you were sweet on her yourself one
night when we dined with her mamma. It 's little Amory."
"I — I thought so," Foker said; "and has she accepted
"Not quite," Arthur replied, with a confident smile, which
seemed to say, I have but to ask, and she comes to me that
"Oh, not quite," said Foker; and he broke out with such
a dreadful laugh, that Pen, for the first time, turned his
thoughts from himself towards his companion, and was struck
by the other's ghastly pale face.
"My dear fellow, Fol what 's the matter? You 're ill,"
Pen said , in a tone of real concern.
"You think it was the champagne at Gaunt House , don't
you ? It ain't that. Come in ; let me talk to you for a minute.
I '11 tell you what it is. D — it, let me tell somebody," Foker
They were at Mr. Foker's door by this time, and, opening
it, Harry walked with his friend into his apartments, which
were situated in the back part of the house, and behind the
family dining-room, where the elder Foker received his
guests, surrounded by pictures of himself, his wife, his infant
son on a donkey, and the late Earl of Gravesend in his robes
as a Peer. Foker and Pen passed by this chamber, now closed
with death-like shutters, and entered into the young man's
own quarters. Dusky streams of sunbeams were playing into
that room, and lighting up poor Harry's gallery of dancing
girls and opera nymphs with flickering illuminations.
"Look here! I can't help telling you. Pen," he said.
"Ever since the night we dined there, I 'm so fond of that girl,
that I think I shall die if I don't get her. I feel as if I should
go mad sometimes. I can't stand it. Pen. I couldn't bear to
hear yoii talking about her, just now, about marrying her
only because she 's money. Ah, Pen ! that ain't the question
in marrying. I 'd bet anything it ain't. Talking about money
and such a girl as that, it 's — it 's — what- d'ye- callem — you
know what I mean — I ain't good at talking — sacrilege, then.
If she 'd have me, I 'd take and sweep a crossing, that I
"PoorFoI I don't think that would tempt her," Pen said,
eyeing his friend with a great deal of real good-nature and
pity. " She is not a girl for love and a cottage."
"She ought to be a duchess, Iknow that very well, and I
know she wouldn't take me unless I could make her a great
place in the world — for I ain't good for anything myself
much — I ain't clever and that sort of thing," Foker said
sadly. "If I had all the diamonds that all the duchesses and
marchionesses had on to-night, wouldn't I put 'em in her lap?
But what 's the use of talking? I 'm booked for another race.
It 's that kills me, Pen. I can't get out of it; though I die,
I can't get out of it. And though my cousin 's a nice girl, and
I like her very well , and that , yet I hadn't seen this one when
our Governors settled that matter between us. And when you
talked, just now, about her doing very well, and about her
having money enough for both of you, I thought to myself it
isn't money or mere liking a girl, that ought to be enough to
make a fellow marry. He may marry, and find he likes some-
body else better. All the money in the world won't make you
happy then. Look at me ; I 've plenty of money, or shall have,
out of the mash-tubs, as you call 'em. My Governor thought
he 'd made it all right for me in settling my marriage with my
cousin. I tell you it won't do ; and when Lady Ann has got
her husband, it won't be happy for either of us, and she '11
have the most miserable beggar in town."
"Poor old fellow ! " Pen said, with rather a cheap magna-
nimity, " I wish I could help you. I had no idea of this , and
that you were so wild about the girl. Do you think she would
have you without your money ? No. Do you think your father
would agree to break off your engagement with your cousin?
You know him very well, and that he would cast you off rather
than do so."
The unhappy Foker only groaned a reply, flinging himself
prostrate on a sofa, face forwards, his head in his hands.
"As for my affair," Pen went on — "my dear fellow, if I
had thought matters were so critical with you, at least I would
not have pained you by choosing you as my confidant. And
my business is not serious , at least not as yet. I have not
spoken a word about it to Miss Amory. Very likely she would
not have me if I asked her. Only I have had a great deal of
talk about it with my uncle, who says that the match might be
an eligible one for me. I 'm ambitious and I 'm poor. And
it appears Lady Clavering will give her a good deal of money,
and Sir Francis might be got to — never mind the rest. No-
thing is settled, Harry. They are going out of town directly.
I promise you I won't ask her before she goes. There "s no
hurry: there 's time for everybody. But, suppose you got
her, Foker. Remember what you said about marriages just
now, and the misery of a man who doesn't care for his wife;
and what sort of a wife would you have who didn't care for her
"But she would care for me," said Foker, from his sofa —
"that is, I think she would. Last night only, as we were
dancing, she said — "
"What did she say?" Pen cried, starting up in great
wrath. But he saw his own meaning more clearly than Foker,
and broke off with a laugh — "Well, never mind what she
said, Harry. Miss Amory is a clever girl, and says numbers
of civil things — to you — to me , perhaps — and who the
deuce knows to whom besides? Nothing 's settled, old boy.
Pendennis. III. 2
At least, my heart won't break if I don't get her. Win her
if you can, and I wish you joy of her. Good bye! Don't
think about what I said to you. I was excited, and con-
foundedly thirsty in those hot rooms, and didn't, I suppose,
put enough Seltzer water into the champagne. Good night!
I '11 keep your counsel too. *Mum' is the word between us;
and 'let there be a fair fight, and let the best man win,' as
Peter Crawley says."
So saying, Mr. Arthur Pendennis, giving a very queer
and rather dangerous look at his companion, shook him by
the hand, with something of that sort of cordiality which
befitted his just repeated simile of the boxing-match, and
which Mr. Bendigo displays when he shakes hands with Mr.
Caunt before they fight each other for the champion's belt and
two hundred pounds a-side. Foker returned his friend's sa-
lute with an imploring look, and a piteous squeeze of the hand,
sank back on his cushions again, and Pen, putting on his hat,
strode forth into the air, and almost over the body of the
matutinal housemaid, who was rubbing the steps at the door.
"And so he wants her too? does he?" thought Pen as he
marched along — and noted within himself with a fatal keen-
ness of perception and almost an infernal mischief, that the
very pains and tortures which that honest heart of Foker's
was suffering gave a zest and an impetus to his own pursuit of
Blanche: if pursuit that might be called which had been no
pursuit as yet, but mere sport and idle dallying. "She said-
something to him, did she? perhaps she gave him the fellow
flower to this;" and he took out of his coat and twiddled in
his thumb and finger a poor little shrivelled crumpled bud that
had faded and blackened with the heat and flare of the night.—
"I wonder to how many more she has given her artless tokens
of affection — the little flirt" — and he flung his into the gut-
ter, where the water may have refreshed it, and where any
amateur of rosebuds may have picked it up. And then be-
thinking him that the day was quite bright , and that the pass-
ers-by might be staring at his beard and white neckcloth, our
modest young gentleman took a cab and drove to the Temple.
Ah ! is this the boy that prayed at his mother's knee but a
few years since, and for whom very likely at this hour of
morning she is praying? Is this jaded and selfish worldling
the lad who , a short while back , was ready to fling away his
worldly all, his hope, his ambition, his chance of life, for
his love? This is the man you are proud of, old Pendennis.
You boast of having formed him : and of having reasoned him
out of his absurd romance and folly — and groaning in your
bed over your pains and rheumatisms , satisfy yourself still by
thinking, that, at last, that lad will do something to better
himself in life, and that the Pendennises will take a good
place in the world. And is he the only one, who in his pro-
gress through this dark life goes wilfully or fatally astray,
whilst the natural truth and love which should illumine him
grow dim in the poisoned air, and suffice to light him no more?
When Pen was gone away, poor Harry Foker got up from
the sofa, and taking out from his waistcoat — the splendidly
buttoned, the gorgeously embroidered, the work of his
mamma — a little white rosebud, he drew from his dressing-
case, also the maternal present, a pair of scissors, with which
he nipped carefully the stalk of the flower, and placing it in a
glass of water opposite his bed, he sought refuge there from
care and bitter remembrances.
It is to be presumed that Miss Blanche Amory had more
than one rose in her bouquet, and why should not the kind
young creature give out of her superfluity, and make as many
partners as possible happy?
The exertions of that last night at Gaunt House had
proved almost too much for Major Pendennis; and as soon as
he could move his weary old body with safety, he transported
himself groaning to Buxton, and sought relief in the healing
waters of that place. Parliament broke up. Sir Francis
Clavering and family left town, and the affairs which we have
just mentioned to the reader were not advanced, in the brief
interval of a few days or weeks which have occurred between
this and the last chapter. The town was, however, emptied
The season was now come to a conclusion: Pen's neigh-
bours, the lawyers, were gone upon circuit: and his more
fashionable friends had taken their passports for the continent,
or had fled for health or excitement to the Scotch moors.
Scarce a man was to be seen in the bow-windows of the Clubs,
or on the solitary Pall-Mall pavement. The red jackets had
disappeared from before the Palace-gate: the tradesmen of
St. James's were abroad taking their pleasure: the tailors had
grown moustachios and were gone up the Rhine: the boot-
makers were at Ems or Baden , blushing when they met their
customers at those places of recreation, or punting beside their
creditors at the gambling tables : the clergymen of St. James's
only preached to half a congregation, in which there was not a
single sinner of distinction: the band in Kensington Gardens
had shut up their instruments of brass and trumpets of silver :
only two or three old flies and chaises crawled by the banks of
the Serpentine, and Clarence Bulbul, who was retained in town
by his arduous duties as a Treasury clerk, when he took his
afternoon ride in Rotten Row, compared its loneliness to the
vastnessof the Arabian desert, and himself to a Bedouin wend-
ing his way through that dusty solitude. Warrington stowed
away a quantity of Cavendish tobacco in his carpet bag, and
betook himself, as his custom was, in the vacation to his
brother's house in Norfolk. Pen was left alone in chambers
for a while, for this man of fashion could not quit the metro-
polis when he chose always : and was at present detained by
the affairs of his newspaper, the Pail-Mall Gazette, of which he
acted as the editor and charge d'affaires during the temporary
absence of the chief, Captain Shandon, who was with his family
at the salutary watering-place of Boulogne sur Mer.
Although, as we have seen, Mr. Pen had pronounced him-
self for years past to be a man perfectly blase and wearied of
life , yet the truth is that he was an exceedingly healthy young
feUow; still, with a fine appetite, which he satisfied with the
greatest relish and satisfaction at least once a-day ; and a con-
stant desire for society, which showed him to be anything but
misanthropical. If he could not get a good dinner he sate
down to a bad one with perfect contentment ; if he could not
procure the company of witty or great or beautiful persons , he
put up with any society that came to hand ; and was perfectly
satisfied in a tavern-parlour or on board a Greenwich steam-
boat, or in a jaunt to Hamp stead with Mr. Finucane, his col-
league at the Pall-Mall Gazette; or in a visit to the summer
theatres across the river; or to the Royal Gardens of Vauxhall,
where he was on terms of friendship with the great Simpson,
and where he shook the principal comic singer or the lovely
equestrian of the arena by the hand. And while he could
watch the grimaces or the graces of these with a satiric humour
that was not deprived of sympathy, he could look on with an
eye of kindness at the lookers on too ; at the roystering youth
bent upon enjoyment, and here taking it: at the honest
parents, with their delighted children laughing and clapping
their hands at the show: at the poor outcasts, whose laugh-
ter was less innocent though perhaps louder, and who brought
their shame and their youth here, to dance and be merry till
the dawn at least; and to get bread and drown care. Of this
sympathy with all conditions of men Arthur often boasted : he
was pleased to possess it: and said that he hoped thus to the
last he should retain it. As another man has an ardour for art
or music, or natural science, Mr. Pen said that anthropology
was his favourite pursuit; and had his eyes always eagerly
open to its infinite varieties and beauties : contemplating with
an unfailing delight all specimens of it in all places to which he
resorted, whether it was the coquetting of a wrinkled dowager
in a ball-room, or a high-bred young beauty blushing in her
prime there ; whether it was a hulking guardsman coaxing a
servant-girl in the Park — or innocent little Tommy that was
feeding the ducks whilst the nurse listened. And indeed a
man whose heart is pretty clean, can indulge in this pursuit
with an enjoyment that never ceases, and is only perhaps the
more keen because it is secret and has a touch of sadness in it:
because he is of his mood and humour lonely, and apart
although not alone.
Yes, Pen used to brag and talk in his impetuous way to
Warrington. "I was in love so fiercely in my youth, that I
have burned out that flame for ever, I think, and if ever I
marry, it will be a marriage of reason that I will make , with a
well-bred, good-tempered, good-looking person who has a
little money, and so forth , that will cushion our carriage in its
course through life. As for romance, it is all done; I have
spent that out, and am old before my time — I 'm proud
"§tuff!" growled the other, "you fancied you were get-
ting bald the other day, and bragged about it as you do about
everything. But you began to use the bear's-grease pot
directly the hairdresser told you; and are scented like a
barber ever since."
"You are Diogenes, " the other answered, "and you want
every man to live in a tub like yourself. Violets smell better
than stale tobacco, you grizly old cynic." But Mr. Pen was
blushing whilst he made this reply to his unromantical friend,
and indeed cared a great deal more about himself still than
such a philosopher perhaps should have done. Indeed, con-
sidering that he was careless about the world, Mr. Pen or-
namented his person with no small pains in order to make him-
self agreeable to it, and for a weary pilgrim as he was , wore
very tight boots and bright varnish.
It was in this dull season of the year then , of a shining
Friday night in Autumn, that Mr. Pendennis, having com-
pleted at his newspaper office a brilliant leading article —
such as Captain Shandon himself might have written, had the
Captain been in good humour, and inclined to work, which he
never would do except under compulsion — that Mr. Arthur