desk , which was ready to receive the final accounts of Mr.
That individual now made his appearance , and brought his
books. " As I wish to speak to you in privick, peraps you will
ave the kindness to request Frosch to step down stairs," he
said, on entering.
"Bring a couple of cabs, Frosch, if you please — and wait
down stairs until T ring for you ," said the Major. Morgan saw
Frosch down stairs , watched him go along the street upon his
errand, and produced his books and accounts, which were
simple and very easily settled.
"And now, Sir," said he, having pocketted the cheque,
which his ex-employer gave him, and signed his name to his
book with a flourish, "and now that accounts is closed between
us. Sir," he said, "I porpose to speak to you as one man to
another (Morgan liked the sound of his own voice; and, as an
individual, indulged in public speaking whenever he could get
an opportunity, at the Club, or the housekeeper's room), and
I must tell you , that I 'm in possussion of certing infamationJ'
"And may I inquire of what nature, pray?" asked the
"It *s valuble information, Major Pendennis, as you
know very well. I know of a marriage as is no marriage — of
a honourable Baronet as is no more married than I am ; and
which his wife is married to somebody else, as you know too.
Pendennis at once understood all. "Hal this accounts
for your behaviour. You have been listening at the door, Sir,
I suppose ," said the Major, looking very haughty ; " I forgot
to look at the key-hole when I went to that public-house, or I
might have suspected what sort of a person was behind it."
"I may have my schemes as you may have yours, I sup-
pose," answered Morgan. "I may get my information, and
I may act on that information , and I may find that informa-
tion valuble as anybody else may. A poor servant may have
a bit of luck as well as a gentleman, mayn't he? Don't you be
putting on your aughty looks. Sir, and comin' the aristocrat
over me. That 's all gammon with me. I 'm an Englishman,
lam, and as good as you."
" To what the devil does this tend, Sir? and how does the
secret which you have surprised concern me , 1 should like to
know ? " asked Major Pendennis , with great majesty.
"How does it concern me, indeed? how grand we are!
How does it concern my nephew, I wonder? How does it
concern my nephew's seat in Parlyment: and to suborna-
tion of bigamy? How does it concern that? What, are you
to be the only man to have a secret, and to trade on it?
Why shouldn't I go halves , Major Pendennis ? I 've found it
out too. Look here 1 I ain't goin' to be unreasonable with you.
Make it worth my while, and I '11 keep the thing close. Let
Mr. Arthur take his seat , and his rich wife , if you like ; I don't
want to marry her. But I will have my share , as sure as my
name 's James Morgan. And if I don't — "
"And if you don't, Sir — what?" Pendennis asked.
"If I don't, I split, and tell all. I smash Clavering, and
have him and his wife up for bigamy — so help me , I will 1 I
smash young Hopeful's marriage , and I show up you and him
as makin' use of this secret, in order to squeeze a seat in Par-
lyment out of Sir Francis, and a fortune out of his wife."
"Mr. Pendennis knows no more of this business than the
babe unborn. Sir," cried the Major, aghast. "No more than
Lady Clavering, than Miss Amory does."
"Tell that to the marines. Major," replied the valet;
" that cock won't fight with me."
"Do you doubt my word, you villain? "
"No bad language. I don't care one twopenceVp'ny
whether your word 's true or not. I tell you, I intend this to
be a nice little annuity to me, Major: for I have every one of
you; and I ain't such a fool as to let you go. I should say that
you might make it five hundred a year to me among you, easy.
Pay me down the first quarter now, and I'm as mum as a
mouse. Just give me a note for one twenty-five. There 's
your cheque-book on your desk."
"And there 's this too, you villain," cried the old gentle-
man. In the desk to which the valet pointed was a little
double-barrelled pistol, which had belonged to Pendennis's
old patron, the Indian commander-in-chief, and which had
accompanied him in many a campaign. " One more word, you
scoundrel, and I '11 shoot you, like a mad dog. Stop — by
Jove, I '11 do it now. You '11 assault me, will you? You '11
strike at an old man, will you, you lying coward? Kneel down
and say your prayers , Sir, for by the Lord you shall die."
The Major's face glared with rage at his adversary, who
looked terrified before him for a moment, and at the next,
with a shriek of "Murder," sprang towards the open window,
under which a policeman happened to be on his beat.
"Murder I Police!" bellowed Mr. Morgan.
To his surprise. Major Pendennis wheeled away the table
and walked to the other window, which was also open. He
beckoned the policeman. "Come up here, policeman," he
said, and then went and placed himself against the door.
"You miserable sneak," he said to Morgan; "the pistol
hasn't been loaded these fifteen years, as you have known very
well: if you had not been such a coward. That policeman is
coming, and I will have him up, and have your trunks
searched: I have reason to believe that you are a thief, Sir.
I know you are. I '11 swear to the things."
"You gave 'em to me — you gave 'em to me!" cried
The Major laughed. "We '11 see," he said; and the guilty
valet remembered some fine lawn-fronted shirts — a certain
gold-headed cane — an opera-glass, which he had forgotten
to bring down , and of which he had assumed the use along
with certain articles of his master's clothes, which the old
dandy neither wore nor asked for.
PolicemanX entered; followed by the scared Mrs. Brixham
and her maid- of- all-work, who had been at the door and found
some difficulty in closing it against the street amateurs, who
wished to see the row. The Major began instantly to speak.
"I have had occasion to discharge this drunken scoundrel,"
he said. "Both last night and this morning he insulted and
assaulted me. I am an old man and took up a pistol. You see it
is not loaded, and this coward cried out before he was hurt.
I am glad you are come. I was charging him with taking my
property, and desired to examine his trunks and his room."
"The velvet cloak you ain't worn these three years, nor the
weskits , and I thought I might take the shirts , and I — I take
myhoath I intended to put back the hop era-glass," roared
Morgan , writhing with rage and terror.
" The man acknowledges that he is a thief," the Major
said, calmly, "He has been in my service for years, and I
have treated him with every kindness and confidence. We
will go up stairs and examine his trunks."
In those trunks Mr. Morgan had things which he would fain
keep from public eyes. Mr. Morgan, the bill discounter, gave
goods as well as money to his customers. He provided young
spendthrifts with snuff-boxes and pins and jewels and pictures
and cigars, and of a very doubtful quality those cigars and
jewels and pictures were. Their display at a police-office,
the discovery of his occult profession, and the exposure of the
Major's property, which he had appropriated, indeed, rather
than stolen, — would not have added to the reputation of Mr.
Morgan. He looked a piteous image of terror and dis-
"He '11 smash me, will he?" thought the Major. "I'll
crush him now, and finish with him."
But he paused. He looked at poor Mrs. Brixham's scared
face; and he thought for a moment to himself that the man
brought to bay and in prison might make disclosures which
had best be kept secret, and that it was best not to deal too
fiercely with a desperate man."
"Stop," he said, "policeman. I'll speak with this man
"Do you give Mr. Morgan in charge?" said the policeman,
"I have brought no charge as yet," the Major said, with a
significant look at his man.
"Thank you, Sir," whispered Morgan , very low.
"Go outside the door, and wait there , policeman, if you
please. — Now, Morgan, you have played one game with me,
and you have not had the best of it, my good man. No, begad,
you 've not had the best of it, though you had the best hand;
and you 've got to pay, too, now, you scoundrel."
"Yes, Sir," said the man.
"I've only found out, within the last week, the game
which you have been driving, you villain. Young De Boots,
of the Blues, recognised you as the man who came to barracks,
and did business one-third in money, one-third in Eau-de-
Cologne, and one-third in French prints, you confounded
demure old sinner! I didn't miss anything, or care a straw
what you 'd taken, you booby; but J took the shot, and it hit
— hit the bull's-eye, begad. Dammy, Sir, I 'm an old cam-
"What do you want with me. Sir? "
"I '11 tell you. Your bills, I suppose, you keep about you
in that dem'd great leather pocket-book, don't you? You'll
burn Mrs. Brixham's bill? "
"Sir, I ain't a-goin' to part with my property," growled
"You lent her sixty pounds five years ago. She and that
poor devil of an insurance clerk, her son, have paid you fifty
pounds a year ever since; and you have got a bill of sale of her
furniture, and her note of hand for a hundred and fifty pounds.
She told me so last night. By Jove, Sir, j'ou Ve bled that
poor woman enough."
"I won't give it up,'* said Morgan; "If I do I "m — "
"Policeman!" cried the Major.
"You shall have the bill," said Morgan. "You 're not
going to take money of me, and you a gentleman? "
"I shall want you directly," said the Major to X, who
here entered, and who again withdrew.
"No, my good Sir," the old gentleman continued; "I
have not any desire to have farther pecuniary transactions
with you; but we will draw out a little paper, which you will
have the kindness to sign. No, stop! — you shall write it:
you have improved immensely in writing of late , and have
now a very good hand. You shall sit down and write, if you
please — there, at that table — so — let me see — we may as
well have the date. Write *Bury Street, St. James's, Oc-
tober ^1, 18—.'"
And Morgan wrote as he was instructed, and as the pitiless
old Major continued: —
"I, James Morgan, having come in extreme poverty into
the service of Arthus Pendennis, Esquire, of Bury Street,
St. James's, a Major in her Majesty's service, acknowledge
that I received liberal wages and board wages from my em-
ployer, during fifteen years. — You can't object to that, I am
sure," said the Major.
"During fifteen years," wrote Morgan.
"In which time, by my own care and prudence," the dic-
tator resumed, "I have managed to amass sufficient money to
purchase the house in which my master resides, and, besides,
to effect other savings. Amongst other persons from whom I
have had money, I may mention my present tenant, Mrs.
Brixham, who, in consideration of sixty pounds advanced by
me five years since, has paid back to me the sum of two hun-
dred and fifty pounds sterling, besides giving me a note of
hand for one hundred and twenty pounds, which I restore to
her at the desire of my late master , Major Arthur Pen dennis,
and therewith free her furniture , of which I had a bill of sale.
— Have you written?"
"I think if this pistol was loaded, I'd blow your brains
out," Gaid Morgan.
"No, you wouldn't. You have too great a respect for
your valuable life, my good man," the Major answered. "Let
us go on and begin a new sentence.
"And having, in return for my master's kindness, stolen
his property from him, which I acknowledge to be now up-
stairs in my trunks ; and having uttered falsehoods regarding
his and other honourable families, I do hereby, in conside-
ration of his clemency to me, express my regret for uttering
these falsehoods, and for stealing his property; and declare
that I am not worthy of belief, and that I hope — yes, begad
— that I hope to amend for the future. Signed, James
"I'md — diflsignit," said Morgan.
"My good man, it will happen to you, whether you sign or
no, begad," said the old fellow, chuckling at his own wit.
" There, I shall not use this, you understand, unless — unless
I am compelled to do so. Mrs. Brixham, and our friend the
policeman, will witness it, I dare say, without reading it : and
I will give the old lady back her note of hand, and say, which
you will confirm, that she and you are quits. I see there
is Frosch come back with the cab for my trunks ; I shall go to
an hotel. — You may come in now, policeman ; Mr. Morgan
and I have arranged our little dispute. If Mrs. Brixham will
sign this paper, and you, policeman, will do so, I shall be
very much obliged to you both. Mrs. Brixham, you and
your worthy landlord, Mr. Morgan, are quits. I wish you
joy of him. Let Frosch come and pack the rest of the
Frosch, aided by the Slavey, under the calm superinten-
dence of Mr. Morgan, carried Major Pendennis's boxes to the
cabs in waiting; and Mrs. Brixham, when her persecutor was
not by, came and asked a Heaven's blessing upon the Major,her
preserver, and the best and quietest and kindest of lodgers.
And having given her a finger to shake, which the humble
lady received with a curtsey, and over which she was ready
to make a speech full of tears, the Major cut short that vale-
dictory oration, and walked out of the house to the hotel in
Jermyn Street, which was not many steps from Morgan's
That individual, looking forth from the parlour- window,
discharged anything but blessings at his parting guest; but the
stout old boy could aflford not to be frightened at Mr. Morgan,
and flung him a look of great contempt and humour as he
strutted away with his cane.
Major Pendennis had not quitted his house of Bury Street
many hours, and Mr. Morgan was enjoying his otium in a
dignified manner, surveying the evening fog, and smoking
a cigar, on the doorsteps , when Arthur Pendennis, Esq., the
hero of this history, made his appearance at the well-known
"My uncle out, 1 suppose, Morgan?'* he said to the
functionary ; knowing full well that to smoke was treason, in
the presence of the Major.
"Major Pendennis is hout, Sir," said Morgan, with gra-
vity, bowing, but not touching the elegant cap which he wore.
"Major Pendennis have left this ouse to-day. Sir, and I have
no longer the honour of being in his service. Sir.*'
" Indeed, and where is he ? "
"I believe he ave taken tempory lodgings at Cox*s otel, in
Jummin Street," said Mr. Morgan; and added, after a
pause, " Are you in town for some time, pray. Sir? Are you
in Chambers ? I should like to have the honour of waiting on
you there : and would be thankful if you would favour me with
a quarter of an hour."
"Do you want my uncle to take you back?" asked Arthur,
insolent and good-natured.
"I want no such thing; I *d see him — " the man glared at
him for a minute, but he stopped. "No, Sir, thank you," he
said in a softer voice; "It 's only with you that I wish to speak,
on some business which concerns you; and perhaps you
would favour me by walking into my house."
"K it is but for a minute or two, I will listen to you,
Morgan," said Arthur; and thought to himself, 'I suppose
the fellow wants me to patronise him;' and he entered
the house. A card was already in the front windows , pro-
claiming that apartments were to be let, and having intro-
duced Mr. Pendennis into the dining-room , and offered him a
chair, Mr. Morgan took one himself, and proceeded to convey
some information to him, with which the reader has already
In which Pendennis counts his eggs.
Our friend had arrived In London on that day only, though
but for a brief visit, and having left some fellow-travellers at
an hotel to which he had convoyed them from the West, he
hastened to the Chambers in Lamb Court, which were basking
in as much sun as chose to visit that dreary but not altogether
comfortless building. Freedom stands in lieu of sunshine In
Chambers; and Templars grumble, but take their ease in
their Inn. Pen's domestic announced to him that Warrington
was in Chambers too, and, of course, Arthur ran up to his
friend's room straightway, and found it, as of old, perfumed
with the pipe, and George once more at work at his news-
papers and reviews. The pair greeted each other with the
rough cordiality which young Englishmen use one to another :
and which carries a great deal of warmth and kindness under
its rude exterior. Warrington smiled and took his pipe out of
his mouth, and said, "Well, young one!" Pen advanced
and held out his hand, and said, "How are you, old boy?"
And so this greeting passed between two friends who had not
seen each other for months. Alphonse and Frederic would
have rushed into each other's arms and shrieked Ce bon ccBur!
ce cher Alphonse! over each other's shoulders. Max and
Wilhelm would have bestowed half a dozen kisses, scented
with Havannah, upon each other's mustachios. "Well, young
one!" "How are you, old boy?" is what two Britons say:
after saving each other's lives, possibly, the day before. To-
morrow they will leave off shaking hands , and only wag their
heads at one another as they come to breakfast. Each has for
the other the very warmest confidence and regard: each would
share his purse with the other: and hearing him attacked
would break out in the loudest and most enthusiastic praise of
his friend; but they part with a mere Good-bye, they meet
with a mere How-d'you-do ; and they don't write to each other
in the interval. Curious modesty, strange stoical decorum
of English friendship ! "Yes, we are not demonstrative like
those confounded foreigners," says Hardman; who not only
shows no friendship , but never felt any all his life long.
"Been in Switzerland?" says Pen. "Yes," says War-
rington. " Couldn't find a bit of tobacco fit to smoke till we
came to Strasburg, where I got some caporal." The man's
mind is full , very likely, of the great sights which he has seen,
of the great emotions with which the vast works of nature have
inspired it. But his enthusiasm is too coy to show itself, even
to his closest friend , and he veils it with a cloud of tobacco.
He will speak more fully of confidential evenings, however,
and write ardently and frankly about that which he is shy of
saying. The thoughts and experience of his travel will come
forth in his writings; as the learning, which he never displays
in talk, enriches his style with pregnant allusion and brilliant
illustration, colours his generous eloquence, and points
The elder gives a rapid account of the places which he has
visited in his tour. He has seen Switzerland, North Italy,
and the Tyrol — he has come home by Vienna, and Dresden,
and the Rhine. He speaks about these places in a shy sulky
voice, asif he had rather not mention them at all, and as if the
sight of them had rendered him very unhappy. The outline
of the elder man's tour thus gloomily sketched out, the young
one begins to speak. He has been in the country — very much
bored — canvassing — uncommonly slow — he is here for a
day or two , and going on to — to the neighbourhood of Tun-
bridge Wells , to some friends — that will be uncommonly
slow, too. How hard it is to make an Englishman acknow-
ledge that he is happy I
"And the seat in Parliament, Pen? Have you made it all
right?" asks Warrington.
"All right, — as soon as Parliament meets and a new writ
can be issued, Clavering retires, and I step into his shoes,"
"And under which king does Bezonian speak or die?"
asked Warrington. "Do we come out as Liberal Conservative,
or as Government man, or on our own hook? "
"Hem! There are no politics now; every man's politics,
at least, are pretty much the same. I have not got acres
enough to make me a Protectionist; nor could I be one, I
think, if I had all the land in the county. I shall go pretty
much with Government, and in advance of them upon some
social questions which I have been getting up during the va-
cation: — don't grin, you old Cynic, I have been getting up
the Blue Books, and intend to come out rather strong on the
Sanitary and Colonisation questions,"
"We reserve to ourselves the liberty of voting against Go-
vernment, though we are generally friendly. We are, how-
ever, friends of the people avant tout. We give lectures at
the Clavering Institute, and shake hands with the intelligent
mechanics. We think the franchise ought to be very consi-
derably enlarged ; at the same time we are free to accept office
some day, when the House has listened to a few crack
speeches from us, and the Administration perceives our
"lamnot Moses," said Pen, with, as usual, somewhatof
melancholy in his voice. "I have no laws from Heaven to
bring down to the people from the mountain. I don't belong
to the mountain at all, or set up to be a leader and reformer
of mankind. My faith is not strong enough for that ; nor my
vanity, nor my hypocrisy, great enough. I will tell no lies,
George , that I promise you ; and do no more than coincide in
those which are necessary and pass current, and can't be got
in without recalling the whole circulation. Give a man at
least the advantage of his sceptical turn. If I find a good
thing to say in the House, I will say it; a good measure, I
will support it; a fair place, I will take it, and be glad of my
luck. But I would no more flatter a great man than a mob;
and now you know as much about my politics as I do. What
call have I to be a Whig? Whiggism is not a divine institu-
tion. Why not vote with the Liberal Conservatives? They
have done for the nation what the Whigs would never have
Pendennis. Ill 23
done without them. Who converted both? — the Radicals
and the country outside. I think the Morning Post is often
right, and Ptmch is often wrong. I don't profess a call, but
take advantage of a chance. Parlons d' autre chose.''''
"The next thing at your heart, after ambition, is love, 1
suppose?" Warrington said. "How have our young loves
prospered? Are we going to change our condition, and give
up our chambers? Are you going to divorce me, Arthur,
and take unto yourself a wife? "
" I suppose so. She is very good-natured and lively. She
sings, and she don't mind smoking. She '11 have a fair fortune
— I don't know how much — but my uncle augurs everything
from the Begum's generosity, and says that she will come
down very handsomely. And I think Blanche is dev'lish fond
of me," said Arthur, with a sigh.
"That means that we accept her caresses and her
"Haven't we said before that life was a transaction?"
Pendennis said. "I don't pretend to break my heart about
her. I have told her pretty fairly what my feelings are — and
■ — and have engaged myself to her. And since I saw her last,
and for the last two months especially, whilst I have been in
the country, I think she has been growing fonder and fonder
of me; and her letters to me, and especially to Laura, seem
to show it. Mine have been simple enough — no raptures nor
vows, you understand — but looking upon the thing as an
affaire faite; and not desirous to hasten or defer the com-
"And Laura? how is she? " Warrington asked frankly.
"Laura, George," said Pen, looking his friend hard in
the face — "by Heaven, Laura is the best, and noblest, and
dearest girl the sun ever shone upon." His own voice fell as
he spoke : it seemed as if he could hardly utter the words : he
stretched out his hand to his comrade, who took it and nodded
"Have you only found oat that now, young un?" War-
rington said after a pause.
"Who has not learned things too late, George?" cried
Arthur, in his impetuous way, gathering words and emotion
as he went on. " Whose life is not a disappointment? Who
carries his heart entire to the grave without a mutilation? I
never knew anybody who was happy quite: or who has not
had to ransom himself out of the hands of Fate with the pay-
ment of some dearest treasure or other. Lucky if we are left
alone afterwards, when we have paid our fine, and if the ty-
rant visits us no more. Suppose I have found out that I have
lost the greatest prize in the world, now that it can't be mine
— that for years I had an angel under my tent, and let her go ?
— am I the only one — ah, dear old boy, am I the only one?
And do you think my lot is easier to bear because I own that I