with Mr. Arthur?
Morgan said there was somebody a nussing of Mr.
The Major then asked, had his nephew taken any advice?
Morgan said he had asked that question, and had been told
that Mr. Pendennis had had no doctor.
Morgan's master was sincerly vexed at hearing of Arthur's
calamity. He would have gone to him, but what good could
it do Arthur that he the Major should catch a fever? His
own ailments rendered it absolutely impossible that he should
attend to anybody but himself. But the young man must
have advice â the best advice; and Morgan was straightway
dispatched with a note from Major Pendennis to his friend
Doctor Goodenough, who by good luck happened to be in
London and at home, and who quitted his dinner instantly,
and whose carriage was in half an hour in Upper Temple Lane,
near Pen's chambers.
The Major had asked the kind hearted physician to bring
him news of his nephew at the Club where he himself was
dining, and in the course of the night the Doctor made his
appearance. The affair was very serious: the patient was in
a high fever: he had had Pen bled instantly: and would see
'him the first thing in the morning. The Major went discon-
solate to bed with this unfortunate news. When Goodenough
came to see him according to his promise the next day, the
Doctor had to listen for a quarter of an hour to an account of
the Major's own maladies, before the latter had leisure to hear
He had had a very bad night â his â his nurse said : at
one hour he had been delirious. It might end badly : his mo-
ther had better be sent for immediately. The Major wrote
the letter to Mrs. Pendennis with the greatest alacrity, and at
the same time with the most polite precautions. As for going
himself to the lad, in his state it was Impossible. "Could I be
of any use to him , my dear Doctor? " he asked.
The Doctor, with a peculiar laugh, said, No: he didn't
think the Major could be of any use : that his own precious
health required the most delicate treatment , and that he had
best go into the country and stay: that he himself would take
care to see the patient twice a day, and do all in his power
The Major declared upon his honour, that if he could be
of any use he would rush to Pen's chambers. As it was , Mor-
gan should go and see that everything was right. The Doctor
must write to him by every post to Stillbrook: it was but forty
miles distant from London, and if anything happened he
would come up at any sacrifice.
Major Pendennis transacted his benevolence by deputy
and by post. "What else could he do," as he said? "Gad,
you know, in these cases, it 's best not disturbing a fellow.
If a poor fellow goes to the bad, why, Gad, you know he 's
disposed of. But In order to get well (and in this, my dear
Doctor, I 'm sure that you will agree with me) , the best way
is to keep him quiet â perfectly quiet."
Thus it was the old gentleman tried to satisfy his con-
science : and he went his way that day to Stillbrook by railway
(for railways have sprung up In the course of this narrative,
though they have not quite penetrated into Pen's country yet),
and made his appearance In his usual trim order and curly
wig, at the dinner-table of the Marquis of Steyne. But we
must do the Major the justice to say, that he was very unhappy
and gloomy In demeanour. Wagg and Wenham rallied him
about his low spirits; asked whether he was crossed In love?
and otherwise diverted themselves at his expense. He lost his
money at whist after dinner, and actually trumped his part-
ner's highest spade. And the thoughts of the suffering boy,
of whom he was proud, and whom he loved after his manner,
kept the old fellow awake half through the night, and made
him feverish and uneasy.
On the morrow he received a note in a hand- writing which
he did not know: it was that of Mr. Bows, indeed, saying that
Mr. Arthur Pendennis had had a tolerable night ; and that as
Dr. Goodenough had stated that the Major desired to be in-
formed of his nephew's health, he, R. B., had sent him the
news per rail.
The next day he was going out shooting, about noon, with
some of the gentlemen staying at Lord Steyne's house ; and
the company, waiting for the carriages, were assembled on
the terrace in front of the house , when a fly drove up from the
neighbouring station, and a grey-headed, rather shabby old
gentleman, jumped out, and asked for Major Pendennis? It
was Mr. Bows. He took the Major aside and spoke to him;
most of the gentlemen round about saw that something serious
had happened, from the alarmed look of the Major's face.
Wagg said, "It 's a bailiff come down to nab the Major; "
but nobody laughed at the pleasantry.
"Hullo! What 's the matter, Pendennis?" cried Lord
Steyne, with his strident voice; â "anything wrong?"
"It 's â it 's â my boy that 's dead^'' said the Major, and
burst into a sob â the old man was quite overcome.
"Not dead, my Lord; but very ill when I left London,"
Mr. Bows said, in a low voice.
A britzka came up at this moment as the three men were
speaking. The Peer looked at his watch. "You 've twenty
minutes to catch the mail-train. Jump in, Pendennis; and
drive like h â , Sir, do you hear?"
The carriage drove off swiftly with Pendennis and his com-
panions, and let us trust that the oath will be pardoned to the
Marquis of Steyne.
The Major drove rapidly from the station to the Temple,
and found a travelling carriage already before him, and block-
ing up the narrow Temple Lane. Two ladies got out of it,
and were asking their way of the porters ; the Major looked
by chance at the panel of the carriage, and saw the worn-out
crest of the Eagle looking at the Sun, and the motto, "nee
tenui pennS,," painted beneath. It was his brother's old car-
riage, built many, many years ago. It was Helen and Laura
that were asking their way to poor Pen's room.
He ran up to them; hastily clasped his sister's arm and
kissed her hand; and the three entered into Lamb Court, and
mounted the long gloomy stair.
They knocked very gently at the door, on which Arthur's
name was written, and it was opened by Fanny Bolton.
A critical chapter.
As Fanny saw the two ladies and the anxious countenance
of the elder who regarded her with a look of inscrutable alarm
and terror, the poor girl at once knew that Pen's mother was
before her; there was a resemblance between the widow's hag-
gard eyes and Arthur's as he tossed in his bed in fever. Fanny
looked wistfully at Mrs. Pendennis and at Laura afterwards;
there was no more expression in the latter's face than if it had
been a mass of stone. Hard-heartedness and gloom dwelt on
the figures of both the new comers ; neither showed any the
faintest gleam of mercy or sympathy for Fanny. She looked
desperately from them to the Major behind them. Old Pen-
dennis dropped his eyelids looking up ever so stealthily from
under them at Arthur's poor little nurse.
ÂĞI â I wrote to you yesterday, If you please, Ma'am,"
Fanny said, trembling in every limb as she spoke ; and as pale
as Laura, whose sad menacing face looked over Mrs. Penden-
"Did you, Madam?" Mrs. Pendennis said. "I suppose
I may now relieve you from nursing my son. I am his mother,
"Yes, Ma'am. 1 â this is the way to his â O, wait a
minute," cried out Fanny. "I must prepare you for
his â "
The widow, whose face had been hopelessly cruel and
ruthless , here started back with a gasp and a little cry, which
she speedily stilled.
"He 's been so since yesterday," Fanny said, trembling
very much, and with chattering teeth.
A horrid shriek of laughter came out of Pen's room,
whereof the door was open; and, after several shouts, the
poor wretch began to sing a college drinking song, and then
to hurray and to shout as if he was in the midst of a wine party,
and to thump with his fist against the wainscot. He was quite
"He does not know me. Ma'am," Fanny said.
"Indeed. Perhaps he will know his mother; let me pass,
if you please, and go in to him." And the widow hastily
pushed by little Fanny, and through the dark passage which
led into Pen's sitting room. Laura sailed by Fanny, too,
without a word ; and Major Pendennis followed them, Fanny
sat down on a bench in the passage, and cried, and prayed as
well as she could. She would have died for him; and they
hated her. They had not a word of thanks or kindness for
her, the fine ladies. She sate there in the passage, she did
not know how long. They never came out to speak to her.
She sate there until Doctor Goodenough came to pay his
second visit that day; he found the poor little thing at the
"What, nurse? How *s your patient?*' asked the good-
natured Doctor. "Has he had any rest? "
"Go and ask them. They 're inside," Fanny answered.
"Who? his mother?"
Fanny nodded her head and didn't speak.
*' You must go to bed yourself, my poor little maid," said
the Doctor. " You will be ill , too, if you don't."
"O, mayn't I come and see him: mayn't I come and see
him ! I â I love him so ," the little girl said ; and as she spoke
she fell down on her knees and clasped hold of the Doctor's
hand in such an agony that to see her melted the kind physi-
cian's heart, and caused a mist to come over his spectacles.
"Pooh, pooh! Nonsense! Nurse, has he taken his draught?
Has he had any rest? Of course you must come and see him.
So must I."
"They '11 let me sit here, won't they. Sir? I '11 never
make no noise. I only ask to stop here," Fanny said. On
which the Doctor called her a stupid little thing; put her down
upon the bench where Pen's printer's devil used to sit so many
hours ; tapped her pale cheek with his finger, and bustled into
the further room.
Mrs. Pendennis was ensconced pale and solemn in a great
chair by Pen's bed-side. Her watch was on the bed-table by
Pen's medicines. Her bonnet and cloaks were laid in the
window. She had her Bible in her lap, without which she
never travelled. Her first movement, after seeing her son,
had been to take Fanny's shawl and bonnet which were on his
drawers, and bring them out and drop them down upon his
study-table. She had closed the door upon Major Pendennis,
and Laura too ; and taken possession of her son.
She had had a great doubt and terror lest Arthur should
not know her ; but that pang was spared to her in part at least.
Pen knew his mother quite well, and familiarly smiled and
nodded at her. When she came in, he instantly fancied that
they were at home at Fairoaks ; and began to talk and chatter
and laugh in a rambling wild way. Laura could hear him out-
side. His laughter shot shafts of poison into her heart. It
was true then. He had been guilty â and with that creature !
â an intrigue with a servant maid ; and she had loved him â
and he was dying most likely â raving and unrepentant. The
Major now and then hummed out a word of remark or conso-
lation , which Laura scarce heard. A dismal sitting it was for
all parties; and when Goodenough appeared, he came like an
angel into the room.
It is not only for the sick man, it is for the sick man's
friends that the Doctor comes. His presence is often as good
for them as for the patient, and they long for him yet more
eagerly. How we have all watched after him ! what an emotion
the thrill of his carriage- wheels in the street , and at length at
the door, has made us feel I how we hang upon his words , and
what a comfort we get from a smile or two , if he can vouchsafe
that sunshine to lighten our darkness ! Who hasn't seen the
mother praying into his face , to know if there is hope for the
sick infant that cannot speak, and that lies yonder, its
little frame battling with fever? Ah, how she looks into his
eyes I What thanks if there is light there ; what grief and pain
if he casts them down, and dares not say "hope!" Or it is
the house-father who is stricken. The terrified wife looks on,
while the Physician feels his patient's wrist, smothering her
agonies, as the children have been called upon to stay their
plays and their talk. Over the patient in the fever, the wife
expectant, the children unconscious, the Doctor stands as if
he were Fate , the dispenser of life and death : he must let the
patient off this time : the woman prays so for his respite ! One
can fancy how awful the responsibility must be to a con-
scientious man: how cruel the feeling that he has given the
wrong remedy, or that it might have been possible to do bet-
ter : how harassing the sympathy with survivors , if the case is
unfortunate â how immense the delight of victory I
Having passed through a hasty ceremony of introduction to
the new comers, of whose arrival he had been made aware by
the heart-broken little nurse in waiting without, the Doctor
proceeded to examine the patient, about whose condition of
high fever there could be no mistake, and on whom he thought
it necessary to exercise the strongest antiphlogistic remedies
in his power. He consoled the unfortunate mother as best he
might; and giving her the most comfortable assurances on
which he could venture, that there was no reason to despair
yet, that everything might still be hoped from his youth, the
strength of his constitution , and so forth ; and having done his
utmost to allay the horrors of the alarmed matron , he took the
elder Pendennis aside into the vacant room, (Warrington's
bed-room), for the purpose of holding a little consultation.
The case was very critical. The fever , if not stopped,
might and would carry off the young fellow: he must be bled
forthwith: the mother must be informed of this necessity.
Why was that other young lady brought with her? She was
out of place in a sick room.
"And there was another woman still, be hanged to it! " the
Major said, "the â the little person who opened the door."
His sister-in-law had brought the poor little devil's bonnet
and shawl out, and flung them upon the study-table. Did
Goodenough know anything about the â the little person?
"I just caught a glimpse of her as we passed in," the Major
said, "and begad she was uncommonly nice-looking." The
Doctor looked queer : the Doctor smiled â in the very gravest
moments, with life and death pending, such strange contrasts
Pendennis. III. Âğ
and occasions of humour will arise, and such smiles will pass,
to satirize the gloom, as it were, and to make it more gloomy I
"I have it," at last he said, re-entering the study; and he
wrote a couple of notes hastily at the table there, and sealed
one of them. Then, taking up poor Fanny's shawl and bonnet,
and the notes, he went out in the passage to that poor little
messenger, and said, "Quick, nurse; you must carry this to
the surgeon, and bid him come instantly; and then go to my
house, and ask for my servant, Harbottle, and tell him to get
this prescription prepared ; and wait until I â until it is ready.
It may take a little time in preparation."
So poor Fanny trudged away with her two notes, and found
the apothecary, who lived in the Strand hard by, and who came
straightway, his lancet in his pocket, to operate on his patient;
and then Fanny made for the Doctor's house, in Hanover
The Doctor was at home again before the prescription was
made up, which took Harbottle, his servant, such a long time
in compounding; and, during the remainder of Arthur's ill-
ness, poor Fanny never made her appearance in the quality of
nurse at his chambers any more. But for that day and the
next, a little figure might be seen lurking about Pen's stair-
case, â a sad, sad little face looked at and interrogated the
apothecary, and the apothecary's boy, and the laundress, and
the kind physician himself, as they passed out of the chambers
of the sick man. And on the third day, the kind Doctor's
chariot stopped at Shepherd's Inn, and the good, and honest,
and benevolent man went into the Porter's Lodge, and tended
a little patient he had there, for whom the best remedy he
found was on the day when he was enabled to tell Fanny Bol-
ton that the crisis was over, and that there was at length every
hope for Arthur Pendennis.
J. Costigan, Esquire, late of her Majesty's service, saw the
Doctor's carriage, and criticised Its horses and appointments.
*' Green liveries, bedad! " the General said, "and as foin a pair
of high-stepping bee horses as ever a gentleman need sit be-
holnd, let alone a docthor. There 's no ind to the proide and
ar'gance of them docthors, now-a-days â not but that is a
good one, and a scoientific cyarkter, and a roight good fellow,
bedad; and he 's brought the poor little girl well troo her faver.
Bows, me boy;" and so pleased was Mr. Costigan with the
Doctor's behaviour and skill, that, whenever he met Dr.
Goodenough's carriage in future, he made a point of saluting
it and the physician inside , in as courteous and magnificent a
manner, as if Dr. Goodenough had been the Lord Liftenant
himself, and Captain Costigan had been in his glory in Phaynix
The widow's gratitude to the physician knew no bounds â
or scarcely any bounds, at least. The kind gentleman laughed
at the idea of taking a fee from a literary man, or the widow of
a brother practitioner; and she determined when she got back
to Fairoaks that she would send Goodenough the silver-gilt
vase, the jewel of the house, and the glory of the late John
Pendennis, preserved in green baize, and presented to him at
Bath, by the Lady Elizabeth Firebrace, on the recovery of her
son, the late Sir Anthony Firebrace, from the scarlet fever.
Hippocrates, Hygeia, King Bladud, and a wreath of serpents
surmount the cup to this day; which was executed in their
finest manner, by Messrs. Abednego, of Milsom Street ; and
the inscription was by Mr. Birch, tutor to the young baronet.
This priceless gem of art the widow determined to devote to
Goodenough, the preserver of her son; and there was scarcely
any other favour which her gratitude would not have conferred
upon him, except one, which he desired most, and which was
that she should think a little charitably and kindly of poor
Fanny, of whose artless, sad story, he had got something during
his interviews with her, and of whom he was induced to think
very kindly, â not being disposed, indeed, to give much cre-
dit to Pen for his conduct in the affair, or not knowing what
that conduct had been. He knew, enough, however, to be
aware that the poor infatuated little girl was without stain as
yet; that while she had been in Pen's room it was to see the last
of him, as she thought, and that Arthur was scarcely aware of
her presence; and that she suffered under the deepest and
most pitiful grief, at the idea of losing him, dead or living.
But on the one or two occasions whenGoodenough alluded
to Fanny, the widow's countenance, always soft and gentle,
assumed an expression so cruel and inexorable, that the Doc-
tor saw it was in vain to ask her for justice or pity, and he
broke off all entreaties, and ceased making any further allu-
sions regarding his little client. There is a complaint which
neither poppy, nor mandragora, nor all the drowsy syrups of
the East could allay, in the men in his time, as we are informed
by a popular poet of the days of Elizabeth; and which, when
exhibited in women, no medical discoveries or practice subse-
quent â neither homoeopathy, nor hydropathy, nor mes-
merism, nor Dr. Simpson, nor Dr. Locock can cure, and that is
â we won't call it jealousy, but rather gently denominate ri-
valry and emulation in ladies.
Some of those mischievous and prosaic people who carp
and calculate at every detail of the romancer, and want to
know, for instance, how, when the characters 'in the Critic'
are at a dead lock with their daggers at each other's throats,
they are to be got out of that murderous complication of cir-
cumstances, may be induced to ask how it was possible in a set
of chambers in the Temple, consisting of three rooms, two
cupboards, a passage, and a coal-box, Arthur a sick gentleman,
Helen his mother, Laura her adopted daughter, Martha their
country attendant, Mrs. Wheezer a nurse from St. Bartholo-
mew's Hospital, Mrs. Flanagan an Irish laundress, Major Pen-
dennis a retired military officer, Morgan his valet, Pidgeon Mr.
Arthur Pendennis's boy, and others could be accommodated
â the answer is given at once, that almost everybody in the
Temple was out of town, and that there was scarcely a single
occupant of Pen's house in Lamb Court except those who were
occupied round the sick bed of the sick gentleman, about
whose fever we have not given a lengthy account, neither shall
we enlarge very much upon the more cheerful theme of his re-
Everybody we have said was out of town, and of course
such a fashionable pian as young Mr. Sibwright, who occupied
chambers on the second floor in Pen's staircase, could not be
supposed to remain in London. Mrs. Flanagan, Mr. Pen-
dennis's laundress, was acquainted with Mrs. Rouncy who did
for Mr. Sibwright, and that gentleman's bed-room was got
ready for Miss Bell, or Mrs. Pendennis, when the latter should
be inclined to leave her son's sick room, to try and seek for a
little rest for herself.
If that young buck and flower of Baker Street, Percy
Sibwright, could have known who was the occupant of his bed-
room, how proud he would have been of that apartment: â
what poems he would have written about Laura I (several of
his things have appeared in the annuals, and in manuscript
in the nobollty's albums) â he was a Camford man and very
nearly got the English Prize Poem, it was said â Sibwright,
however, was absent and his bed given up to Miss Bell. It
was the prettiest little brass bed in the world, with chintz
curtains lined with pink â he had a mignonette box in his bed-
room window, and the mere sight of his little exhibition of
shiny boots, arranged in trim rows over his wardrobe, was a
gratification to the beholder. He had a museum of scent,
pomatum, and bears' grease pots, quite curious to examine.
too; and a choice selection of portraits of females almost
always in sadness and generally In disguise or dishabille,
glittered round the neat walls of his elegant little bower of
repose. Medora with dishevelled hair was consoling herself
over her banjo for the absence of her Conrad â the Princesse
Fleur de Marie (of Rudolstein and the Mysteres de Paris) was
sadly ogling out of the bars of her convent cage, in which,
poor prisoned bird, she was moulting away, â Dorothea of
Don Quixote was washing her eternal feet: â in fine, it was
such an elegant gallery as became a gallant lover of the sex.
And in Sib Wright's sitting-room, while there was quite an in-
fantine law library clad in skins of fresh new born calf, there
was a tolerably large collection of classical books which he
could not read , and of English and French works of poetry
and fiction which he read a great deal too much. His invita-
tion cards of the past season still decorated his looking-glass:
and scarce anything told of the lawyer but the wig-box beside
the Venus upon the middle shelf of the book-case, on which
the name of P. Sibwright, Esquire, was gilded.
With Sibwright in chambers was Mr. Bangham. Mr.
Bangham was a sporting man married to a rich widow. Mr.
Bangham had no practice â˘ â did not come to chambers thrice
in a term: went a circuit for those mysterious reasons which
make men go circuit, â and his room served as a great con-
venience to Sibwright when that young gentleman gave his
little dinners. It must be confessed that these two gentlemen
have nothing to do with our history, will never appear in
it again probably, but we cannot help glancing through their
doors as they happen to be open to us, and as we pass to Pen's
rooms; as in the pursuit of our own business in life through
the Strand, at the Club, nay at church itself, we cannot help
peeping at the shops on the way, or at our neighbour's dinner,
or at the faces under the bonnets in the next pew.
Very many years after the circumstances about which we
are at present occupied, Laura, with a blush and a laugh
showing much humour, owned to having read a French novel
once much in vogue, and when her husband asked her,
wondering where on earth she could have got such a volume,
she owned that it was in the Temple , when she lived in Mr.
Percy Sibwright's chambers.
"And, also, I never confessed," she said, "on that same
occasion, what I must now own to : that I opened the japanned