out of the gate talking to himself. "Dear, dear little thing,"
he said, — "darling little Fanny! You are worth them all.
I wish to heaven Shandon was back. I 'd go home to my
mother. I mustn't see her. I won't. I won't, so help
As he was talking thus, and running, the passers by turning
to look at him, he ran against a little old man, and perceived
it was Mr. Bows.
"Your very umble servant. Sir," said Mr. Bows, ma-
king a sarcastic bow, and lifting his old hat from his fore-
"I wish you a good day," Arthur answered sulkily.
"Don't let me detain you, or give you the trouble to follow
me again. I am in a hurry, Sir. Good evening."
Bows thought Pen had some reason for hurrying to his
rooms. "Where are they?" exclaimed the old gentleman.
" You know whom I mean. They 're not in your rooms.
Sir, are they? They told Bolton they were going to church
at the Temple; they weren't there. They are in your
chambers: they mustn't stay in your chambers, Mr. Pen-
"Damn it, Sir!" cried out Pendennis , fiercely. "Come
and see if they are in my chambers: here's the court and
the door — come In and see." And Bows, taking off his
hat and bowing first, followed the young man.
They were not in Pen's chambers, as we know. But
when the gardens were closed, the two women, who had had
but a melancholy evening's amusement, walked away sadly
with the children, and they entered into Lamb Court, and
stood under the lamp-post which cheerfully ornaments the
centre of that quadrangle, and looked up to the third floor
of the house where Pendennis's chambers were, and where
they saw a light presently kindled. Then this couple of fools
went away, the children dragging wearily after them, and
returned to Mr. Bolton, who was immersed in rum-and- water
at his lodge in Shepherd's Inn.
Mr. Bows looked round the blank room which the young
man occupied, and which had received but very few orna-
ments or additions since the last time we saw them. War-
rington's old bookcase and battered library, Pen's writing-
table with its litter of papers, presented an aspect cheerless
enough. "Will you like to look in the bed-rooms, Mr. Bows,
and see if my victims are there?" he said bitterly; "or whe-
ther I have made away with the little girls, and hid them In the
"Your word is sufficient, Mr. Pendennis," the other said
in his sad tone. "You say they are not here, and I know they
are not. And I hope they never have been here, and never
"Upon my word, Sir, you are very good, to choose my
acquaintances for me," Arthur said, in a haughty tone; "and
to suppose that anybody would be the worse for my society.
I remember you, and owe you kindness from old times, Mr.
Bows ; or I should speak more angrily than I do, about a very
intolerable sort of persecution to which you seem inclined to
subject me. You followed me out of your Inn yesterday, as
if you wanted to watch that I shouldn't steal something."
Here Pen stammered and turned red, directly he had said the
words; he felt he had given the other an opening, which
Bows instantly took.
"I do think you came to steal something, as you say the
words, Sir," Bows said. "Do you mean to say that you came
to pay a visit to poor old Bows, the fiddler; or to Mrs. Bolton,
at the Porter's Lodge? O fie! Such a fine gentleman as
Arthur Pendennis, Esquire, doesn't condescend to walk up
to my garret, or to sit in a laundress's kitchen, but for rea-
sons of his own. And my belief is that you came to steal
a pretty girl's heart away, and to ruin it, and to spurn it
afterwards, Mr. Arthur Pendennis. That's what the world
makes of you young dandles, you gentlemen of fashion, you
high and mighty aristocrats that trample upon the people.
It's sport to you, but what is it to the poor, think you; the
toys of your pleasures, whom you play with and whom you
fling into the streets when you are tired ? I know your order,
Sir. I know your selfishness, and your arrogance, and your
pride. What does it matter to my lord, that the poor niAn's
daughter is made miserable, and her family brought to shame ?
You must have your pleasures, and the people of course must
pay for them. What are we made for, but for that? It 's
the way with you all — the way with you all, Sir."
Bows was speaking beside the question, and Pen had his
advantage here, which he was not sorry to take — not sorry to
t Pendennis. III. 5
put oflf the debate from the point upon which his adversary
had first engaged it. Arthur broke out with a sort of laugh,
for which he asked Bows's pardon. "Yes, I am an aristo-
crat," he said, "in a palace up three pair of stairs, with a
carpet nearly as handsome as yours, Mr. Bows. My life is
passed in grinding the people, is it? — in ruining virgins and
robbing the poor? My good Sir, this is very well in a comedy,
where Job Thornberry slaps his breast, and asks my Lord
how dare he trample on an honest man and poke out an
Englishman's fireside; but in real life, Mr. Bows, to a man
who has to work for his bread as much as you do — how can
you talk about aristocrats tyrannising over the people? Have
I ever done you a wrong? or assumed airs of superiority over
you? Did you not have an early regard for me — in days
when we were both of us romantic young fellows, Mr. Bows?
Come, don't be angry with me now, and let us be as good
friends as we were before."
"Those days were very diflTerent," Mr. Bows answered;
"and Mr. Arthur Pendennis was an honest, impetuous young
fellow then ; rather selfish and conceited, perhaps, but honest.
And I liked you then, because you were ready to ruin yourself
for a woman."
"And now, Sir?" Arthur asked.
"And now times are changed, and you want a woman to
ruin herself for you," Bows answered. "I know this child,
Sir. I 've always said this lot was hanging over her. She has
heated her little brain with novels , until her whole thoughts
are about love and lovers, and she scarcely sees that she
treads on a kitchen floor. I have taught the little thing. She
is full of many talents and winning ways, I grant you. I am
fond of the girl, Sir. I 'm a lonely old man ; I lead a life that
I don't like, among boon companions, who make me melan-
choly. I have but this child that I care for. Have pity upon
me, and don't take her away from me, Mr. Pendennis — don't
take her away."
The old man's voice broke as he spoke. Its accents
touched Pen, much more than the menacing or sarcastic tone
which Bows had commenced by adopting.
"Indeed," said he, kindly, "you do me a wrong if you
fancy I intend one to poor little Fanny. I never saw her till
Friday night. It was the merest chance that our friend Cos-
tigan threw her into my way. I have no intentions regarding
her — that is — "
" That is, you know very well that she is a foolish girl, and
her mother a foolish woman, — that is, you meet her in the
Temple Gardens, and of course, without previous concert, —
that is, that when I found her yesterday, reading the book
you've wrote, she scorned me," Bows said. "What ami
good for but to be laughed at? a deformed old fellow like me ;
an old fiddler, that wears a thread-bare coat, and gets his
bread by playing tunes at an alehouse? You are a fine gentle-
man, you are. You wear scent in your handkerchief, and a
ring on your finger. You go to dine with great people. Who
ever gives a crust to old Bows? And yet I might have been
as good a man as the best of you. I might have been a man
of genius , if I had had the chance ; ay, and have lived with
the master-spirits of the land. But everything has failed with
me. I'd ambition once, and wrote plays, poems, music —
nobody would give me a hearing. I never loved a woman,
but she laughed at me ; and here I am in my old age alone —
alone! Don't take this girl from me, Mr. Pendennis , I say
again. Leave her with me a little longer. She was like a
child to me till yesterday. Why did you step in, and make
her mock my deformity and old age? "
" 1 am guiltless of that , at least,'* Arthur said, with some-
thing of a sigh. " Upon my word of honour, I wish I had
never seen the girl. My calling Is not seduction, Mr. Bows.
I did not Imagine that I had made an impression on poor
Fanny, until — until to-night. And then, Sir, I was sorry, and
was flying from my temptation, as you came upon me. And,"
he added, with a glow upon his cheek, which, in the gathering
darkness, his companion could not see, and with an audible
tremor in his voice , "I do not mind telling you, Sir, that on
this Sabbath evening, as the church bells were ringing, I
thought of my own home, and of women angelically pure and
good, who dwell there ; and I was running hither, as I met you,
that I might avoid the danger which beset me, and ask strength
of God Almighty to do my duty."
After these words from Arthur a silence ensued, and when
the conversation was resumed by his guest, the latter spoke in
a tone which was much more gentle and friendly. And on
taking farewell of Pen , Bows asked leave to shake hands with
him, and with a very warm and affectionate greeting on both
sides, apologised to Arthur for having mistaken him, and paid
him some compliments which caused the young man to squeeze
his old friend's hand heartily again. And as they parted at
Pen's door, Arthur said he had given a promise, and he hoped
and trusted that Mr. Bows might rely on It?
"Amen to that prayer," said Mr. Bows, and went slowly
down the stair.
The happy village again.
Early in this history, we have had occasion to speak of the
little town of Clavering, near which Pen's paternal home of
Fairoaks stood, and of some of the people who inhabited the
place; and as the society there was by no means amusing or
pleasant, our reports concerning it were not carried to any
very great length. Mr. Samuel Huxter, the gentleman whose
acquaintance we lately made atVauxhall, was one of the choice
spirits of the little town, when he visited it during his vacations,
and enlivened the tables of his friends there, by the wit of
Bartholomew's and the gossip of the fashionable London cir-
cles which he frequented.
Mr. Hobnell,the young gentleman whomPen had thrashed,
in consequence of the quarrel in the Fotheringay affair, was,
whilst a pupil at the Grammar School at Clavering, made very
welcome at the tea-table of Mrs. Huxter, Samuel's mother, and
was free of the Surgery, where he knew the way to the tama-
rind-pots, and could scent his pocket-handkerchief with rose-
water. And it was at this period of his life that he formed an
attachment for Miss Sophy Huxter, whom, on his father's de-
mise, he married, and took home to his house of the Warren,
at a few miles from Clavering.
The family had possessed and cultivated an estate there for
many years, as yeomen and farmers. Mr. Hobnell's father
pulled down the old farm-house; built a flaring new white-
washed mansion, with capacious stables; and a piano in the
drawing-room; kept a pack of harriers; and assumed the title
of Squire Hobnell. When he died, and his son reigned in his
stead, the family might be fairly considered to be established
as county gentry. And Sam Huxter, at London, did no great
great wrong in boasting about his brother-in-law's place, his
hounds, horses, and hospitality, to his admiring comrades, at
Bartholomew's. Every year, at a time commonly when Mrs.
Hobnell could not leave the increasing duties of her nursery,
Hobnell came up to London for a lark, had rooms at the Tavi-
stock, and indulged In the pleasures of the town together.
Ascott, the theatres, Vauxhall, and the convivial taverns in the
joyous neighbourhood of Covent Garden, were visited by the
vivacious squire , in company with his learned brother. When
he was in London, as he said, he liked to do as London does,
and to "go it a bit," and when he returned to the west, he took
a new bonnet and shawl to Mrs. Hobnell, and relinquished, for
country sports and occupations during the next eleven months,
the elegant amusements of London life.
Sam Huxter kept up a correspondence with his relative,
and supplied him with choice news of the metropolis, in return
for the baskets of hares, partridges , and clouted cream which
the squire and his good-natured wife forwarded to Sam. A
youth more brilliant and distinguished they did not know. He
was the life and soul of their house, when he made his ap-
pearance in his native place. His songs , jokes , and fun kept
the Warren in a roar. He had saved their eldest darling's life,
by taking a fish-bone out of her throat : in fine, he was the de-
light of their circle.
As ill-luck would have it. Pen again fell in with Mr. Huxter,
only three days after the rencontre at Vauxhall. Faithful to
his vow, he had not been to see little Fanny. He was trying to
drive her from his mind by occupation, or other mental excite-
ment. He laboured, though not to much profit, incessantly in
his rooms; and, in his capacity of critic for the "Pall-Mall Ga-
zette," made woful and savage onslaught on a poem and a ro-
mance which came before him for judgment. These authors
slain, he went do dine alone at the lonely club of the Polyan-
thus, where the vast solitudes frightened him, and made him
only the more moody. He had been to more theatres for
relaxation. The whole house was roaring with laughter and
applause, and he saw only an ignoble farce that made him sad.
It would have damped the spirits of the buffoon on the stage
to have seen Pen's dismal face. He hardly knew what was
happening; the scene and the drama passed before him like a
dream or a fever. Then he thought he would go to the Back-
Kitchen , his old haunt with Warrington — he was not a bit
sleepy yet. The day before he had walked twenty miles in
search after rest, over Hampstead Common and Hendon lanes,
and had got no sleep at night. He would go to the Back-
Kitchen. It was a sort of comfort to him to think he should
see Bows. Bows was there, very calm, presiding at the old
piano. Some tremendous comic songs were sung, which made
the room crack with laughter. How strange they seemed to
Pen! He could only see Bows. In an extinct volcano, such
as he boasted that his breast was, it was wonderful how he
should feel such a flame ! Two days' indulgence had kindled
it; two days' abstinence had set it burning in fury. So, musing
upon this, and drinking down one glass after another, as ill-
luck would have it, Arthur's eyes lighted upon Mr. Huxter,
who had been to the theatre, like himself, and, with two or
three comrades, now entered the room. Huxter whispered to
his companions, greatly to Pen's annoyance. Arthur felt that
the other was talking about him. Huxter then worked through
the room, followed by his friends, and came and took a place
opposite to Pen, nodding familiarly to him, and holding him
out a dirty hand to shake.
Pen shook hands with his fellow townsman. He thought
he had been needlessly savage to him on the last night when
they had met. As for Huxter, perfectly at good humour with
himself and the world, It never entered his mind that he could
be disagreeable to any body; and the little dispute, or "chaff,'*
as he styled it, of Vauxhall, was a trifle which he did not in the
The disciple of Galen having called for "four stouts," with
which he and his party refreshed themselves, began to think
what would be the most amusing topic of conversation with
Pen, and hit upon that precise one which was most painful to
our young gentleman.
"Jolly night at Vauxhall — wasn't it?" he said, and winked
in a very knowing way.
"I 'm glad you liked it," poor Pen said, groaning in
"I was dev'tish cut — uncommon — been dining with s6me
chaps at Greenwich. That was a pretty bit of muslin hanging
on your arm — who was she?" asked the fascinating student.
The question was too much for Arthur. "Have I asked
you any questions about yourself, Mr. Huxter? " he said.
"I didn't mean any offence — beg pardon — hang it, you
cut up quite savage," said Pen's astonished interlocutor.
"Do you remember what took place between us the other
night?" Pen asked, with gathering wrath. "You forget?
Very probably. You were tipsy, as you observed just now,
and very rude. "
"Hang it, Sir, I asked your pardon," Huxter said, looking
"You did certainly, and it was granted with all my heart, 1
am sure. But if you recollect I begged that you would have
the goodness to omit me from the list of your acquaintance for
the future ; and when we met in public, that you would not take
the trouble to recognise me. Will you please to remember
this hereafter ; and as the song is beginning, permit me to leave
you to the unrestrained enjoyment of the music."
He took his hat, and making a bow to the amazed Mr. Hux-
ter, left the table, as Huxter's comrades, after a pause of won-
der, set up such a roar of laughter at Huxter, as called for the
Intervention of the president of the room; who bawled out,
"Silence, gentlemen; do have silence for the Body Snatcher ! "
which popular song began as Pen left the Back-Kitchen. He
flattered himself that he had commanded his temper perfectly.
He rather wished that Huxter had been pugnacious. He would
have liked to fight him or somebody. He went home. The
day's work, the dinner, the play, the whisky and water, the
quarrel, — nothing soothed him. He slept no better than on
the previous night.
A few days afterwards, Mr. Sam. Huxter wrote home a let-
ter to Mr. Hobnell in the country, of which Mr. Arthur Pen-
dennis formed the principal subject. Sam described Arthur's
pursuits in London, and his confounded insolence of be-
haviour to his old friends from home. He said he was an
abandoned criminal, a regular Don Juan, a fellow who , when
he did come into the country, ought to be kept out o^ honest
people's houses. He had seen him at Vauxhall, dancing with
an innocent girl in the lower ranks of life, of whom he was
making a victim. He had found out from an Irish gentleman
(formerly in the army) , who frequented a club of which he,
Huxter, was member, who the girl was, on whom this conceited
humbug was practising his infernal arts ; and he thought he
should warn her father, &c., &c., — the letter then touched on
general news, conveyed the writer's thanks for the last parcel
and the rabbits, and hinted his extreme readiness for further
About once a year, as we have stated , there was occasion
for a christening at the Warren, and it happened that this
ceremony took place a day after Hobnell had received the
letter of his brother-in-law in town. The infant (a darling
little girl) was christened Myra-Lucretia, after its two god-
mothers, MissPortman andMrs. Pybus of Clavering, and as
of course Hobnell had communicated Sam's letter to his wife,
Mrs. Hobnell imparted its horrid contents to her two gossips.
A pretty story it was , and prettily it was told throughout Cla-
vering in the course of that day.
Myra did not — she was too much shocked to do so — speak
on the matter to her mamma, but Mrs. Pybus had no such
feelings of reserve. She talked over the matter not only with
Mrs. Portman , but with Mr. and the Honourable Mrs. Simcoe,
with Mrs. Glanders, her daughters being to that end ordered
out of the room, with Madame Fribsby, and, in a word, with the
whole of the Clavering society. Madame Fribsby looking fur-
tively up at her picture of the dragoon, and inwards into her
own wounded memory, said that men would be men, and as
long as they were men would be deceivers ; and she pensively
quoted some lines from Marmion , requesting to know where
deceiving lovers should rest? Mrs. Pybus had no words of
hatred, horror, contempt, strong enough for a villain who could
be capable of conduct so base. This was what came of early
indulgence, and insolence, and extravagance, and aristocratic
airs (it is certain that Pen had refused to drink tea with Mrs.
Pybus), and attending the corrupt and horrid parties in the
dreadful modern Babylon ! Mrs. Portman was afraid that she
must acknowledge that the mother's fatal partiality had
spoiled this boy, that his literary successes had turned his
head, and his horrid passions had made him forget the prin-
ciples which Doctor Portman had instilled into him in early
life. Glanders, the atrocious Captain of Dragoons, when in-
formed of the occurrence by Mrs. Glanders, whistled and made
jocular allusions to it at dinner time ; on which Mrs. Glanders
called him a brute, and ordered the girls again out of the room,
as the horrid Captain burst out laughing. Mr. Simcoe was
calm under the intelligence ; but rather pleased than other-
wise ; it only served to confirm the opinion which he had
always had of that wretched young man : not that he knew
anything about him — not that he had read one line of his
dangerous and poisonous works; Heaven forbid that he
should: but what could be expected from such a youth, and
such frightful, such lamentable, such deplorable want of
seriousness? Pen formed the subject for a second sermon at
the Clavering chapel of ease: where the dangers of London,
and the crime of reading or writing novels , were pointed out
on a Sunday evening,' to a large and warm congregation.
They did not wait to hear whether he was guilty or not. They
took his wickedness for granted : and with these admirable
moralists, it was who should fling the stone at poor Pen.
The next day Mrs. Pendennis, alone and almost fainting with
emotion and fatigue, walked or rather ran to Dr. Portman's
house, to consult the goodDoctor. She had had an anonymous
letter; — some Christian had thought it his or her duty to stab
the good soul who had never done mortal a wrong — an anony-
mous letter with references to Scripture, pointing out the
doom of such sinners, and a detailed account of Pen's crime.
She was in a state of terror and excitement pitiable to witness.
Two or three hours of this pain had aged her already. In her
first moment of agitation she had dropped the letter, and
Laura had read it. Laura blushed when she read it; her
whole frame trembled, but it was with anger. "The cowards,"
she said. — "It isn't true. — No, mother, it isn't true."
"It is true, and you 've done it, Laura," cried out Helen
fiercely. "Why did you refuse him when he asked you?
Why did you break my heart and refuse him? It is you who
led him into crime. It is you who flung him into the arms of
this — this woman. — Don't speak to me. — Don't answer me.
I will never forgive you, never. Martha , bring me my bonnet
and shawl. 1 '11 go out. I won't have you come with me.
Go away. Leave me, cruel girl; why have you brought this
shame on me?" And bidding her daughter and her servants
keep away from her, she ran down the road to Clavering.
Doctor Portman, glancing over the letter, thought he knew
the hand- writing, and, of course, was already acquainted with
the charge made against poor Pen. Against his own con-
science, perhaps, (for the worthy Doctor, like most of us, had
a considerable natural aptitude for receiving any report unfa-
vourable to his neighbours) , he strove to console Helen ; he
pointed out that the slander came from an anonymous quarter,
and therefore must be the work of a rascal ; that the charge
might not be true — was not true, most likely — at least, that
Pen must be heard before he was condemned; that the son of
such a mother was not likely to commit such a crime, &c. &c.
Helen at once saw through his feint of objection and
denial. "You think he has done it," she said — "you know
you think he has done it. Oh, why did I ever leave him.
Doctor Portman, or suffer him away from me? But he can't
be dishonest — pray God, not dishonest — you don't think
that, do you? Remember his conduct about that other —
person — how madly he was attached to her. He was an
honest boy then — he is now. And I thank God — yes , I fall
down on my knees and thank God he paid Laura. You said
he was good — you did yourself. And now — if this woman
loves him — and you know they must — if he has taken her
from her home, or she tempted him, which is most likely —
why still, she must be his wife and my daughter. And he
must leave the dreadful world and come back to me — to his
mother. Doctor Portman. Let us go away and bring him
back — yes — bring him back — and there shall be joy for the
— the sinner that repenteth. Let us go now, directly, dear
friend — this very — "