T. H. (Thomas Henry) Lister.

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Thus foiled in various quarters, Granby re-
paired, as a last resource, to his aunt, Mrs. Dor-
mer, whom, though he had already called upon,
he had not yet seen. Mrs. Dormer was the elder
and only sister of his mother, and, like her (for
they were co-heiresses), inherited a considerable
fortune, which she was induced to bestow, at an
early age, upon Mr. Dormer, the younger son
of a nobleman. But her husband had been
dead some years ; and she was now a wealthy
widow, in a handsome town house, with nume-
rous acquaintance, and the entree of the best

It would be difficult to find a more pleas-
ing example than Mrs. Dormer, of that much
libelled class of elderly ladies of the world,
who are presumed to be happy only at the
ca»4 table ; to grow in bitterness as they


advance in years, and to haunt, like restless
ghosts, those busy circles which they no longer
either enliven or adorn. Such there may
be ; but of these she was not one. She was the
frequenter of society, but not its slave. She had
great natural benevolence of disposition; a
friendly vivacity of manners, which endeared
her to the young, and a steady good sense,
which commanded the respect of her contempo-
raries ; and many, who did not agree with her
on particular points, were willing to allow that
there was a good deal of reason in Mrs. Dor-
mer s prejudices. She was, perhaps, a little
bUnd to the faults of her friends ; a defect of
which the world could not cure her ; but she
was very kind to their virtues. She was fond of
young people, and had an unimpaired gaiety
about her, which seemed to expand in the con-
tact with them ; and she was anxious to promote,
for their sake, even those amusements for which
she had lost all taste herself. She was — buf,
after all, she will be best described by negati^s.
u 2

244* GRANBY.

She was not a match-maker, or mischief-maker ;
nor did she plume herself upon her charity, in
implicitly believing only just half of what the
world says. She was no retailer of scandalous
" on ditsy She did not combat wrinkles with
rouge ; nor did she labour to render years less
respected, by a miserable affectation of girlish
fashions. She did not stickle for the inviolable
exclusiveness of certain sets ; nor was she afraid
of being known to visit a friend in an unfashion-
able quarter of the town. She was no worshipper
of mere rank. She did not patronize oddities ;
nor sanction those who delight in braving the
rules of common decency. She did not evince
her sense of propriety, by shaking hands with
the recent defendant in a Crim. Con. cause ; nor
exhale her devotion in Sunday routs.

At any rate she was an excellent person for
our hero to apply to ; for independent of her
knowing the Jermyns, she was, in general, ex-
cellently acquainted with her neighbours' move-
ments, — being an extensive correspondent, a

GEAJiBY. 245

great giver and receiver of visits, and one into
whose obliging ear many loved to pour their tale
of joy or woe. For once, however, she failed
in giving the desired inteUigence ; and after a
good deal of lively conversation about people
for whom Henry cared comparatively little, and
provision on her part for his future amuse-
ment, in the shape of cards for balls to be
given by two of her friends, Lady Drayton
and Mrs. Henley, — Henry Granby took his

246 GftANBY.


Oh ! pardon that in crowds awhile

I waste one thought I owe to thee.
And, self-condemned, appear to smile.

Unfaithful to thy memory !
Nor deem that memoiy less dear.

That then I seem not to repine ;
I would not fools should overhear

One sigh that should be wholly thine.


A CARD had been offered to Granby, the
day before, for a ball that night at Mrs. Clot-
worthy's, and having despatched his other en-
gagements, about the " witching hour of night,''
he repaired to that lady's well thronged man-
sion. He had heard that all the world were to
be there ; and it really seemed as if for once
all the world had kept their word. The street
was blocked up with a treble line of carriages.


extending above and below the house for a con-
siderable distance. Frequent was the slashing
of whips, and the wrangling of rival coach-
men, while the strong harsh voices of the police
officers were occasionally audible through the
din, enforcing regulations. Ladies thinly and
elegantly dressed, weary of the tedious process
of gaining the door by regular approaches,
were now and then seen tripping hastily along
the flags, and eliding fearfully through the
mob of idle spectators which lined the entrance
upon this occasion.

But what a feeble foretaste was this of
the crowd within — wliich gradually encreased
in density and consequence, from the liveried
throng in the entrance hall, which barely
afforded a lane for two, to the concentrated
haut ton of the inner saloon, where standing
room for one was not easily obtainable.

Granby got out at the first check to the
advance of his vehicle, and soon made his way
into the house ; and his progress to the scene


of action was then rapid and uninterrupted,
until within a few steps of the lowest landing
place. From thence upwards, the staircase
was completely full; his progress seemed
almost at an end ; and the gaining a step in
five minutes, appeared to be the rate of the
most successful. But the difficulties though
great, were not insupportable, and Granby
with some patience, and the advantages of a
slender form, got in due time to the envied
summit, and added his quota to the many
bows which Mrs. Clotworthy was there sta-
tioned to receive.

Tbe^ poor woman seemed half dead with
fatigue already, and we cannot venture to say
whether the prospect of five hours more of this
high wrought enjoyment tended much to brace
her to the task. It was a brilliant sight, and
an interesting one, if it could have been
viewed from some fair vantage ground, with
ample space, in coolness and in quiet. Rank,
beauty, and splendour were richly blended.


The gay attire ; the glittering jewels ; the more
resplendent features they adorned, and too fre-
quently the rouged cheek of the sexagenarian ;
the vigilant chaperon ; the fair but languid
form which she conducted ; well curled heads,
well propped with starch ; well whiskered
Guards-men ; and here and there fat good-hu-
moured elderly gentlemen, with stars upon their
coats ; — all these united in one close medley —
a curious piece of living mosaic. Most of them
came to see and to be seen ; some of the most
youthful professedly to dance ; yet how could
they ? at any rate they tried — they stood as
if they could, with their vis-a-vis facing them,
and sidled across and back again, and made
one step, or two if there was room, to the
right or left, and joined hands, and set per-
haps, and turned their partners, or dispensed
with it if necessary — and so on to the end of
" La Finale;" — and then comes a waltz for
the few who choose it — and then another
M 3


squeezy quadrille — and so on— and on, till the
weary many " leave ample room and verge
enough" for the persevering few to figure in
with greater freedom.

But then they talk ; oh ! ay ! true, we must
not forget the charms of conversation. And
what passes between nine-tenths of them ? Re-
marks on the heat of the room ; the state of
the crowd; the impossibility of dancing, and
the propriety nevertheless of attempting it;
that on last Wednesday was a bad Almack's,
and on Thursday a worse Opera; that the
new ballet is supposed to be good ; mutual
enquiries how they like Pasta, or Catalani,
or whoever the syren of the day may be ;
whether they have been at Lady A.'s, and
whether they are going to Mrs. B's ; whether
they think Miss Such-a-one handsome; and
what is the name of the gentleman talking to
her; whether Rossini's music makes the best
quadrilles, and whether Colinet's band are the


best to play them. There are many who pay
in better coin ; but the small change is much of
this description.

As for Granby, he amused himself \\ith
walking about, and picking out his various
acquaintance. He soon found a friend upon
a similar cruize, whom he had not seen in
town before, and whom he had great pleasure
in recognizing; a Mr. Courtenay, whom he had
intimately known at College, and in whose
company he had travelled abroad. He was
about Granby's age, and was a young man
of lively talents and agreeable manners. He
was the grandson and heir of an elderly peer,
and his expectations were good. He had lived
a great deal in to^vn. and in the world ; knew
perfectly well, at least by sight and reputation,
all the prominent characters in high and gay
life, was tolerably versed in secret history, and
was a pretty keen guide to the leading foibles
of all aspiring figurants.

" You are no acquaintance, I presume, of

252 GRAN BY.

Mrs. Clotworthy's," said he to Granby, after
they had come from their own affairs to the sub-
ject of the ball.

" No," said Granby, " I certainly am not —
though you might, I should think, have pre-
sumed the contrary, from finding me here.**

'" Quite the reverse, I assure you,"' said Cour-
tenay. " Mrs. Clotworthy has not ten friends
in the house."

'' Not ten friends ! — How do you mean .^*"

" Why she gave the ball under that con-
dition. Besides, after all, it is not her ball."

" Not her ball !^'

" Lord bless you, no — it has as many patron-
esses as the Caledonian. There is Lady A.,
and Lady T., and the Duchess of H., and Mrs.
W., and many others that I could name. Mrs.
Clotworthy only keeps the mill, and these ladies
send the grist to it. She makes her's a reception-
house for their acquaintance — in return for
which, she is taken up, and introduced by
them ; bears the honours of the fete ; sends her


list, vriih a request to be pnfFed, to the Morning
Post ; gets the eclat of supposed intimacy with
people who perhaps never spoke to her ; and
then, you know, from henceforth, she has them
all on her visiting hst, and they, perhaps, will
have her on their 's ; but that is as it may be,"

" I did not know that Mrs. Clotworthy's was a
ball of this description."

" Oh, a most flagrant specimen, I assure you.
There are many ways of getting on, and this is
not a very uncommon one, and is pretty well
understood by your nouveaux ricJies. It is not
a very exalted way of getting into fashion, but
people must creep before they can climb."

" True," said Granby ; " they gain acquaint-
ance, and a sort of name ; — in short, they are
heard of. That is enough in the outset ; and of
the secret sneers of their new visitors they hear
about as much as Mrs. C. does of our conversa-

" About as much ; — but ' parlons bas,"* — she
is drawing near. Poor little soul," said he.


looking compassionately at her, she creeps
about without any body to speak to. Granby,"
he added, after a short pause, " take care of
your heart, if you have got such a thing about
you, for here comes Mrs. General Brankstone,
with deep designs for the good of posterity upon
every one that is disengaged."

" She aims at higher marks than I ; I'm
safe, you may depend upon it."

" Don't be too sure ; you know you cannot
be included in what she calls ' that detrimental
class, the Scorpions.** "

" What do you mean ?"

" Why younger brothers — I thought you
had been acquainted with the slang."*'

" No, quite a novice. But where is the
lady r

" There, just opposite, sweeping across like
a comet, with a long tail of ugly daughters."

" Oh, I see her — she is talking now to Count
Kalydor, alias Mr. Burrell Westby," said Gran-
by, looking towards a handsome young man.


dressed rather in the extreme, the chief fault
of whose appearance was too much cfFeminacy
and prettiness of air.

" Oh, hang him,'^ said Courtenay, " he is a
walking essence bottle. His bill at Smith's was
quite a curiosity; — twenty pounds more than
mine at Stultze's. That's the man (you must
have heard) who sleeps with his whiskers en pa-

" I have heard it, but did not believe it."

" Oh, it is a fact. It transpired through his
valet. By the bye — apropos of whiskers — did
you ever see such a figure as our college friend
Allerby has made of himself.-^ There he is, fresh
tipped and tufted, with his new pair of musta-
chios. Upon my honour, I hardly knew him.
He was fond of tufts^ if you remember, at Ox-

"Who is that .^" said Granby, shortly after-
wards, directing the attention of his companion
to a young man, whose dress exhibited a stu-


dious selection of the chief peculiarities of the
existing mode.

" Don't you know who that is ?"" said Cour-
tenay. '' You really surprise me. ' Not to
know him argues yourself unknown.' That is
Mr. Jones Briggs."'

'* Jones Briggs !'' said Granby, smiling ;
*' and how came two such high-sounding names
to fall to the lot of the same individual ?""

" Why, his original name was Jones ; but
upon succeeding to a large property, he as-
sumed, in gratitude to the donor, the name and
arms of Briggs.""

" The arms ! what can they be ?"

" God knows ! — two puncheons proper, or
three herrings gules, perhaps."

" Then the original Briggs made his fortune
by trade, I suppose.?"

" Exactly so."

" And the heir is a gentleman of fashion .''"

" Um — fashion ? — I hardly know what lo say

CFvANBY. 257

to that. A good many people will tell you he
is. The fact is, he lives well, dresses well,
drives— no, not well, but the best horses in
town ; is understood to have the best of every
thing about him, and goes to the outside of
all proper expence. Of course he derives his
distinction through the medium of his trades-
people;— a spurious kind of fashion, but it
goes down with some people. In fact, fashion
is not so aristocratic as many imagine; it
may be bought, like most other things. We,
who had great grandfathers, ought to wish
it were otherwise."

At this moment a lady came up, who, after a
short conversation with Courtenay, put a card
into his hand, and passed on. " That is Lady
Maxtoke,*" said he, — " a very valuable person
in her way. She is a sort of Fete Jackal), or
Ball-giver's Provider; — the most useful body
imaginable — a very convenient caterer, both for
those who want to fill their rooms, and for those
who wish to go and fill them. You see," (show-


ing the card), " she wants me to assist in break-
ing down some friend's staircase. Before my
time she was a great giver of parties herself;
but she ran out a little, and consequently is
now on the reduced list ; so there is an end of
her own fetes. And now she is a kind of dry
nurse to young ball-givers ; she helps to make
out the cards for them, and perhaps carries off
a third in her reticule to dispose of; undertakes
to send to Colinet and speak to Gunter about
the supper ; decides the question of ' chalk or no
chalk.' And then you may often see her stand-
ing by her pupils in the doorway. I noticed her
at Mrs. Davenant's the other night, helping her
to receive people — teaching her young ideas to
courtesy — whispering ' who's who,' as they
came up.*"

" And pray, does she ever engage in any
party-giving ori her o^vn account ?"

" On her own account ? — Why, really that is
such an equivocal question, that I don't know
exactly how to answer it. But 111 tell you

GllAXBY. 259

what she does, that you may answer it for your-
self. She opens her house once or twice every
season, for some singer's benefit, if not for her
own ; she then expects you to take a ticket ;
and this, I can do her the justice to say, is the
only tax she lays upon you.""

A short pause now ensued, which was first
broken by Courtenay suddenly exclaiming,
" Ha ! here is royalty !"

" Where ?"' said Granby.

" Straight before you-'-the Crown Prince of
Oonalaska — Stare at him well, if you would not
be singular.'^

Granby saw before him, in the crowd, a
short squab, copper-coloured man, with straight
black hair, high cheeks, small pig-like eyes,
and an uncouth carriage, who stared about
him, as if ill at ease, with a pitiable vacancy
of countenance.

" Look — there is a lion hunter, if there ever
was one — old Mrs. Biddulph. She has fastened
upon his Highness already. Do observe her, and


him too —ha ! ha ! I will bet you a sovereign
she has him at her rout on Friday. She never
misses any thing that will raise a stare. Did you
ever hear of Spencer Saltash going to her party
dressed up and disguised in a wig and specta-
cles, and introduced as Dr. Gall? Saltash
played his part admirably, but Mrs. Biddulph
found him out. However, instead of exposing
him at once, as ninety-nine persons out of a
hundred would ha\e done, she very admirably
kept up the deception, for the sake of hoaxing
the rest of the company — Lady Harriet Dun-
can was one of them. She quite adored the
doctor for his jargon.*"

" Oh ! what our Florence friend. Lady Har-
riet? she's a person I very much wish to meet.
I was excessively amused with her. We had
some good scenes, if you remember. Besides I
want to revive my Italian recollections."
*' I have been talking to her already.'"*
*' When do you mean ? what here ? to-


" Here — to-night — nay, she is not far from
you at this moment. By all that is lucky, there
she is — her own little eccentric self — talking, too,
to Mrs. Biddulph — charming pair ! With their
leave I shall make a third. Come along,"" said
he, taking hold of Granby's arm ; " we have
stood in this corner long enough. Who are
you staring at .'' Well, if you mean to grow to
the dado, I don't — so fare you well ;" and away
he went, to speak to Lady Harriet, — leaving
Granby apparently unconscious of his retreat.

The attention of Granby was at that moment
totally absorbed, in watching the motions of two
persons, who were retiring at some little distance
into another room. He could not identify the
elder lady, nor did he, indeed, give her much
of his attention, but chiefly directed it to her
youthful companion : and with some reason ; for
he thought, as he looked at her, that the neck
and head could belong only to Caroline Jer-


But they went forward in an undeviating
straight line, now lost, and now re-appearing in
the same provoking uniformity of direction, till
a closing group of tall people hid them entirely
from his view. His first impulse was to follow
them. They were going towards the staircase ;
probably to their carriage; in a few minutes
they would have left the house ; and he should
sleep another night in ignorance — an ignorance
which the prompt exertion of a few minutes
might remove. But after all the circumstances
that had passed, a marked pursuit, a forced
rencontre, when they perhaps were endeavour-
ing to avoid him, was a mode of meeting repug-
nant to his feelings of pride and delicacy. But
then, these might not be the Jermyns, and he
wished not so much to accost them^ as to satisfy
his doubts.

All this passed across his mind much faster
than he could have uttered it ; so that he did
not lose much time in mental debate His


last resolution, like his first, was to follow ;
and accordingly follow them he did. But this
was not an easy task. He had lost sight of
them, and they were more than a room's length
in advance ; and a room's length in a crowded
party, is a distance not very speedily traversed.
A side door, (the only short cut), was then in
an impassable state of blockade ; acquaintance
whom he had not met before, sprung up pro-
vokingly in his path ; and these obstacles, if the
parties pursued were bent on departure, ren-
dered his chance of overtaking them almost
hopeless. In short, like " panting Time," he
" toiled after them in vain." That head and
neck, were no where visible, and he was forced
to conclude that its fair owner had left the

As a last sad chance of aiTiving at the desired
intelligence, he asked the groom of the chambers,
who was at the bottom of the stairs, whether
I^ady Jermyn's carriage had been announced ;


but the gentleiran could not " charge his me-
mory,'" and would not take the trouble to

Thus foiled, and bethinking himself that it
was not prudent to be very pointed in his in-
quiries, he immediately left the party, and re-
turned disconsolately home. It was useless to
him now to know whether the Jermyns had
really been at Mrs. Clot worthy's ; but his
curiosity was not extinct, and he reflected
with much pleasure that one chance still re-
mained — the list of the company in the Morn-
ing Post. And in this he was not disap-
pointed ; for on the second morning he read
at breakfast the following article. " Mrs. Clot-
worthy's First Grand Ball. — On Monday night,
this new bright star in the hemisphere of fashion,

opened her unique residence in Street,

toupwards of five hundred distinguished leaders
of the '• liaut to?i.' The admiring crowd began
to arrive about eleven o'clock, and the carriages


continued to set down until three in the morning.
A splendid suite of rooms was thrown open, of-
which the blue drawing-room and the new saloon-
were appropriated to dancing. The matchless
beauty of the latter room excited the most lively
admiration. The style of its decorations is per-
fectly unrivalled, the whole having been executed
under the direction of Messrs. Simkins, of the
Strand. The recesses were filled with the choicest
exotics; and a sumptuous banquet was set out
in the suite of apartments on the ground floor,
where the tables groaned vmder every delicacy
in and out of season. Dancing commenced
about half-past eleven- — consisting of quadrilles
and waltzes alternately ; and was kept up with
imwearied spirit by the fashionable votaries of
Terpsichore, till a late hour. The exotic
plants were furnished by Messrs. Jenkins ; Gun-
ter prepared the supper ; and the band was led
by Colinet, in his highest style. Among the
company we noticed Princes Jablanowsky, ^lit-
chimikilikofF, &c. kc. &c."

VOL. 1. N


The reader will perhaps dispense with the hst,
and let it suffice to say, that it extended in goodly
array from Dukes, Duchesses, and so on, down-
wards in regular gradation, to Messieurs, Mis-
tresses, and Misses ; and that it contained two
names which Granby noticed with even more
satisfaction than he did his own ; those of Lady
and Miss Jermyn.

It was very p ovoking to have missed so fair
an opportunity of getting through the embar-
rassments of a first meeting ; but at any rate it
w^as satisfactory that the point of uncertainty was
now removed.



Nothing more ag^avates ill success, tLan the near approach to good.
These kind of hair-breadth missings of happiness look like the insults of
fortune, who may be considered as then playing tricks with us, and wan-
tonly diverting herself at our expense. — Fielding.

Graxby went that morning to call upon Mrs.
Dormer. There was a lively good sense and play-
ful good humour about this lady, which rendered
her society always agreeable to him ; and there
were few, if any, of his young acquaintance, with
whom he could pass an hour more pleasantly
than in the company of his elderly aunt. After
tattling of many other people, she fortunately
proceeded to mention the Jermyns ; a name
which Henry longed to hear, but which, for rea-
N 2


sons which we can easily understand, he scrupu-
lously abstained from introducing.

It would perhaps have been fortunate for him
had he been more open in his communications to
Mrs. Dormer — had he told her the origin of the
misunderstanding which existed between himself
and the Jermyns, and the peculiar and ambigu-
ous state of feeling under which they were again
to meet. As reconciliation was undoubtedly an
object which above all others he desired, he could
not have put the affair into a better train for that
purpose, than by submitting it to one who, like
Mrs. Dormer, would have been a kind and
active mediator, and was intimately acquainted
with both parties. But Granby had in his
composition a degree of reserve, a shrinking
delicacy, which, though generally allied to
many estimable qualities, is often productive
of difficulties, which a more open disclosure
might have prevented. In the present in-
stance he encouraged himself in this propensity,

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