T. H. (Thomas Henry) Lister.

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talk was as pretty as his appearance, and his
acquirements corresponded. He had a correct
taste in bijouterie and dress, took in the Journal

GRAXBr. 85

des Modes, could tell Lyons silk from English
by the feel, and was not to be deceived (it was
said) by paste diamonds at any distance. He
was also well versed in foreign affairs — could
always tell the private history of the new " prima
donna," and knew long before any body else,
from unquestionable authority, (and he would
whisper it mysteriously), that the French go-
vernment would not suffer the expected " pre-
mier danseur"" to come to England.

The short time which precedes an English din-
ner party is universally stigmatised as the dullest
period which is passed in society ; and far be it
from us rashly to endeavour to rescue from dis-
grace what the sentence of the world so univer-
sally condemns. If it is libelled, it must look for
other advocates, for we are bound to declare
that the present party did not rescue it from the
usual imputations. The ladies were talking of
their morning's walk and drive; the gentlemen
recounting the successes of their " battue." Sir
Thomas Jermyn had already fastened upon the


Duke, and was endeavouring to impress upon
his mind the overwhelming weight of business
which was the unavoidable lot of every member
of the lower house, and was enumerating upon
his fingers the committees he had been upon
during the two last sessions, — when, to the relief
of his Grace, the dinner was announced.



" Sir, your reasons at dinner have been sharp and sententious ;
pleasant without scurrility, witty without affectation, audacious without
impudence, and strange without heresy." — Love's Labolb Lost.

Caroline, on being seated, found at her
side a vacant chair, between herself and the
Duchess, which as her eye glanced round the
table, she felt convinced was to be occupied by
Mr. Trebeck. That gentleman, however, did
not soon make his appearance; and she had
taken her soup in tantalizing suspense, and had
begun to form a resolute determination to at-
tend to what was passing on the other side,
when she was roused by Lord Daventry's
'" Trebeck, shall I help you ? — I am afraid it is
cold ;" when she perceived the long expected
person glide into his seat with an apologetic


shrug, and " If you please, but I'll first take
some wine with the Duchess. — Cold, is it ? oh !
never mind;" and half turning to Caroline,
" even cold fish is a luxury to one who comes
in resigned to see nothing but the cheese."

She made no answer, and she believes stared
at him, for he turned away again with a slight
smile, and applied himself to his cold turbot
and salad, between which, and a long story of
the Duchess's, he seemed very equally to divide
his attention.

Caroline had now an opportunity of observ-
ing Mr. Trebeck, as much as w^as justifiable in
her age and sex, and found that he was not
exactly the sort of person she had pre-figured
to herself. She had been rather misled by her
mother's word " dandy," and expected to view
in him an excess of all the peculiarities of that
numerous but decreasing tribe. She saw, there-
fore, with surprise, that he wore a 'dress in no
respect distinguishable from that of ten thou-
sand others ; that he had neither rings nor


chains, that his head was not fixed at any par-
ticular angle, and that the quiet and almost
careless tie of his cravat, plainly shewed that
he had neither studied " Neckclothiana," nor
believed in the axiom that " Starch makes
the man." Then there was nothing supercili-
ous or affected in his manner, which w^s totally
free from all peculiarity. As for his person, it
was neither plain nor handsome, but there was
an air of intelligence and subdued satire, and
an intuitive quickness in his eye, in the short
glance which he bestowed upon her. which
rather restored him to her estimation. But
altogether she was a little disappointed at find-
ing him so much like other people, and could
not conceive why the honour of his visit should
be so strongly felt by Lady Daventry.

These speculations beguiled a time which
otherwise, from her constrained silence, she
would have thought dull; but they were at
length broken by her right hand neighbour,
Mr. William Charlecote, a chubby, plain,


good humoured young man, tightly cravated,
who having answered a question across the
table from Mr. Clifton about the hounds,
turning abruptly to Caroline, asked her if she
ever hunted. She answered in the negative,
with a look of slight surprise at the oddity of
the question. " Oh ! it does not signify," said
he, thinking she was ashamed of the avowal,
*' everybody does not do it; but I thought,
perhaps, you did. It seems to be quite the rage

at present. Ever been in shire ? Do you

know the Ditchleys ? Mrs. John Ditchley is a
famous horsewoman ; hunts four times a week,
and goes fifteen miles to cover ; but I don't
speak of that as any great thing ; however, she
does it ;' a fact, upon my honour. She rides
better than her husband — leads him — actually
leads him."

" Leads her husband ? — I hardly understand
— what — with a rein .'^'"

" Oh ! no — I only meant she goes first, and
makes him follow her."


He then turned away to talk to one of the
Miss Ciiftons, and Caroline had an ample op-
portunity of extending her attention to all the
audible conversation that passed around her,
particularly to that of his Grace of Ilminster,
who was expatiating with enthusiasm upon a
Strasbourg pate, and " a glorious matelotte"'
that he had tasted somewhere. From thence he
digressed to his friend Lord A.'s cook, *' a man
of a thousand" — *' decidedly the first artist of
his day" — his " risolles," his " vol-au-vents''
were superb — did any body ever eat any-
thing better than his " rognons au bechamel,"
his " filets de sole," his " fricandeaux aux
pointes d'asperge ?" And then his soufflets !
his soufflets were unique. '• So light ! so de-
licately flavoured ! of such an exquisite consis-
tency ! the very eider-down of eatables," said
his Grace, growing eloquent in their praise.
" Oh, it was quite like eating air ! — And then,
his epigrammes ! — there is nothing else in


the world like them — they are quite the
cleverest things known."

He then drew a rapid but masterly sketch
of the state of cookery at the present period ;
which, as the style of discourse was rather
novel, was listened to by Caroline with amused
attention,— an attention which, as it appeared,
was not unobserved by her left-hand neigh-
bour Mr. Trebeck, for she was presently roused
from it by his asking her in a low tone if she
had ever met the Duke before.

" I assure you," said he, " that upon that
subject he is well worth attending to. He is
supposed to possess more true science than any
amateur of his day. By the bye, what is the
dish before you ? It looks well, and I see you
are eating some of it. Let me recommend it to
him upon your authority ; I dare not upon my

" Then pray do not use mine."

" Yes, I will, with your permission ; I'll tell


him you thought by what dropt from him in
conversation that it would exactly suit the genius
of his taste. Shall I ? Yes, Duke," (raising liis
voice a little, and speaking across the table.)

" Oh, no ! how can you ?"

"Why not .^— Duke," (with a glance at Caro-
hne) " will you allow me to take wine with

*•• I thought," said she, relieved from her tre-
pidation, and laughing shghtly, " you would
never say any thing so very strange."

" You have too good an opinion of me ; I
blush for my unworthiness. But confess, that
in fact you were rather alarmed at the idea of
being held up to such a critic as the recommen-
der of a bad dish."

" Oh no, I was not thinking of that ; but I
hardly know the Duke ; and it would have
seemed so odd ; and perhaps he might have
thought that I had really told you to say some-
thing of that kind."

" Of course he would ; but you must not


suppose that he would have been at all sui*prised
at it. I'm afraid you are not aware of the full
extent of your privileges, and are not conscious
how many things young ladies can, and may,
and wiU do."

" Indeed I am not — perhaps you will instruct

" Ah, I never do that for any body. I like to
see young ladies instruct themselves. It is better
for them, and much more amusing to me. But,
however, for once I will venture to tell you, that
a very competent knowledge of the duties of
women may, with proper attention, be picked
up in a ball room."

*' Then I hope,'' said she laughing, '' you
will attribute my deficiency to my little experi-
ence of balls. I have only been at two."

" Only two ! and one of them I suppose a
race ball. Then you have not yet experienced
any of the pleasures of a London season ?
Never had the dear delight of seeing and being
seen, in a well of tall people at a rout, or passed


a pleasant hour at a ball upon a staircase ? I
envy you. You have much to enjo3\'*'
'' You do not mean that I really have ? '
'' Yes — really. But let me give you a cau-
tion or two. Never dance with any man with-
out first knowing his character and condition,
on the word of two credible chaperons. At
balls, too, consider what you come for — to
dance of course, and not to converse ; therefore^
never talk yourself, nor encourage it in

" I'm afraid I can only answer for myself.''
" Why, if foolish, well-meaning people ^^ill
choose to be entertaining, I question if you
have the power of frowning them down in a very
forbidding manner : but I would give them no
countenance nevertheless.''

" Your advice seems a little ironical.'"
*• Oh, you may either follow it or reverse it —
that is its chief beauty. It is equally good
taken either way."

After a slight pause, he continued — *• I hope


you do not sing or play, or draw, or do anything
that every body else does."

'' I am obliged to confess that I do a little —
very little — in each.""

" I understand your ' very little ;'' I'm afraid
you are accomplished."

" You need 'have no fear of that. But why
are you an enemy to all accomplishments ?^

'' All accomplishments ? Nay, surely, you
do not think me an enemy to all ? What can
you possibly take me for .?"

*' I do not know," said she laughing slightly.

" Yes, I see you do not know exactly what
to make of me, and are not without your appre-
hensions. I can perceive that, though you try
to conceal them. But never mind, I am a safe
person to sit near — sometimes. I am to-day.
This is one of my lucid intervals. I'm much
better, thanks to my keeper. There he is, on
the other side of the table — the tall man in
black,"" (pointing out Mr. Bennett) " a highly
respectable kind of person. I came with him


here for change of air. How do you think I
look at present f "

Caroline could not answer him for laughing.

" Nay," said he, " it is cruel to laugh on
such a subject. It is very hard that you
should do that, and misrepresent my meaning

''■Well then," said Caroline, resuming a re-
spectable portion of gravity ; " that I may not
be guilty of that again, what accomplishments
do you allow to be tolerable ? "

"Let me see," said he, with a look of con-
sideration ; " you may play a waltz with one
hand, and dance as little as you thiuk conveni-
ent. You may draw caricatures of your inti-
mate friends. You may 7iot sing a note of
Rossini ; nor sketch gateposts and donkeys after
nature. You may sit to a harp ; but you need
not play it. You must not paint miniatures nor
copy Swiss costumes. But you may manufac-
ture any thing — from a cap do^vTi to a pair of
shoes — always remembering that the less useful



your work the better. Can you remember all
this ?"

" I do not know," said she, " it compre-
hends so much ; and I am rather puzzled be-
tween the ' mays' and ' must nots.' However,
it seems, according to your code, that very
little is to be required of me ; for you have not
mentioned anything that I positively must

"Ah, well, I can reduce all to a very
small compass. You must be an archeress in
the summer, and a skater in the winter, and play
well at billiards all the year : and if you do
these extremely well, my admiration will have no

" I believe I must forfeit all claim to your
admiration then, for unfortunately I can do none
of all these."

" Then you must place it to the account of
your other gifts.**'

" Certainly — when it comes."

" Oh it is sure to come, as you well know :


but, nevertheless, I like that incredulous look

He then turned away, thinking probably that
he had paid her the compliment of sufficient
attention, and began a conversation with the
Duchess, which was carried on in such a well
regulated under tone, as to be perfectly inaudi-
ble to any but themselves.

Nothing worth notice ensued. The business
of dining proceeded with dull decorum ; and
Mr. Trebeck, though he seemed to amuse the
Duchess and her daughter, yet as he spoke of
persons of whom Caroline knew nothing, ap-
peared so uninteresting and unintelligible to her,
that she saw with pleasure the circulating nod,
which proposed to the ladies to repair to the

Thither, as it is not our fate to be of the
softer sex, we may not follow them ; nor can we
presume to imagine the style of conversation
which was likely to have taken place. Thus
far only can we venture : if they are willing to
F 2


believe that the sole topics of the absent gentle-
men are not invariably field sports and politics,
we will take upon ourselves, however rashly,
to declare, that the eloquent tongues of the
female coterie are not always exercised upon
dress and scandal.

It was, we believe, rather a dull hour, and
Caroline was not a little pleased when the open-
ing doors admitted a reinforcement to break the
regularity of their languid circle. Music soon
lent its aid. One of the Miss Cliftons began to
play some Swiss waltzes out of a marvellously
small music book, wherein they seemed to have
been written with a crow quill ; and Mr. Tre-
beck attempted and executed with another of the
sisters the difficult task of waltzing a figure of
eight round two chairs.

Singing followed. Miss Clifton was the chief
vocalist ; and after a few solos engaged the
assistance of Mr. Tarleton. She knew he
could sing, she said, for " he looked as if he
could — he was fond of music — he had a sister


that sung — he had just been at Italy — he was
always at the opera — she had heard him hum'^ —
and sundry other unanswerable reasons — all which
at length induced him to confess his powers. With
considerable exercise of neck and eyebrow, and
at very little expense of voice, he murmured out
a low husky '' second,"" perfectly inoffensive, but
not eminently useful. It excited no admiration,
and very little remark. Mr. Bennett indeed,
the new tutor, who was standing near ]\Ir. Tre-
beck at the other end of the room, ventured to
observe to him, that ^* singing piano was Mr.
Tarleton'sybr^^; '" for which piece of wit he was
rewarded with a look that ought to have annihi
lated him— a pun being, in Mr. Trebeck*s esti-
mation, the lowest pitch of mauvais ton.

Carohne contributed a few airs, but felt rather
alarmed, and was glad to stop ; and the occupa-
tions of the party took another turn. The
Duke began to want his whist ; Mr. Trebeck sat
down to piquet with the Duchess ; while Lady
EHzabeth lay on a chaise-longue by them, over-


Jooking her, and talking to him. Caroline soon
found herself included in a pool at Ecarte,
where she was much more engaged in looking
on than playing, and between the acts of which
desultory game she might listen to discussions
from the whist table on the odd trick, which
ought to have been saved, low tantalizing laugh-
ter from the trio at piquet, an indistinct gabble
in (he next apartment, and the click of billiard
balls two rooms off.

That we may not send the reader to sleep
by minutely detailing the tame transactions of
the evening, we will now take that liberty with
the whole of the party, and having supposed
them to have slept, risen, and breakfasted, will
break abruptly into another day.

GRA\BY. 103


n y a des gens qui gagnent a etre extraordinaires ; ils vogucut, ils
einglent dans une mer ou les autres echouent et se brisent ; ils par-
viconent, en blessant toutes les regies de parvenir. — La BRLYEaE.

Caeoliue, upon that dispersion of the gentle-
men which generally ensues soon after break-
fast, began to see a little more of her cousins,
and underwent from them a long examination
upon her Hkings and disUkings, occupations and
accompHshments- The Miss Chftons were
good-humoured girls, not handsome, but of
pleasing manners, and sufficiently clever to keep
up the ball of conversation very agreeably for
an occasional half-hour. They were always au


courant du jour, and knew and saw the first of
every thing — were in the earliest confidence of
many a bride elect, and could frequently tell
that a marriage was " off," long after it had
been announced as " on the tapis," in the morn-
ing papers — always knew something of the new
opera, or the new Scotch novel, before any-
body else did — were the first who made fizgigs,
or acted charades — contrived to have private
views of most exhibitions, and were supposed
to have led the fashionable throng to the
Caledonian chapel, Cross-stieet, Hat ton Garden.
Their employments were like those of most
other girls : they sang, played, drew, rode,
read occasionally, spoiled much muslin, manu-
factured purses, handscreens, and reticules for
a repository, and transcribed a considerable
quantity of music, out of large fair print into
diminutive manuscript.

Miss Clifton was clever and accomplished ;
rather cold, but very conversible ; collected
seals, franks, and anecdotes of the day; and was

GflANBY. 105

a great retailer of the latter. Anne was odd
and entertaining ; was a formidable quizzer, and
no mean caricaturist; liked fun in most shapes;
and next to making people laugh, had rather
they stared at what she said. Maria was the
echo of the other two ; vouched for all Miss
Clifton's anecdotes, and led the laugh at Anne's
repartees. They were plain, and they knew it ;
and cared less about it than young ladies usu-
ally do. Their plainness, however, would have
been less striking, but for that hard, pale, par-
boiled town look, that stamp of fashion, with
which late hours and hot rooms generally en-
dow the female face.

With these young ladies, in the course of the
morning, Caroline had a good deal of that light,
amusing, confidential chat, in which young fe-
male friends so liberally indulge, and drew
from them many a lively expose of the charac-
ters of their guests, and among others of Mr.
Trebeck; with which latter we shall take the
liberty of troubhng the reader in our own words.



Vincent Trebeck was the only son of a gentle-
man of good family, and handsome, though not
large independent fortune, who had followed the
example of a long series of respectable ancestors,
in faithfully fulfilling the few and unobtrusive,
but honourable and useful, duties of an English
country gentleman. But the enterprising sub-
ject of our present narrative was early visited
with higher aspirations, and soon learned to de-
spise the undistinguishing praise of humble
utility. He was sent at an early age to Eton,
where he soon gained that precocious knowledge
of the world which a public school will generally
impart, even to the dullest comprehension, and
where his vivacious talents, well-assured confi-
dence, and ready address, always gave him a
considerable ascendancy over his associates.
From thence, with matured views of the art
of advancement, he repaired to Oxford ; and
never did any one glide with more ease and
rapidity from the blunt unceremonious "hail-
fellow-well-met" manner of the schoolboy, into


the formal nonchalance and measured cordiality
of the manly collegian.

Nobody carried farther that fashionable ex-
clusiveness which prescribes the narrow local
limits of gentility, and denounces all as Vandal
beyond its bounds. He immediately cut an old
school-fellow, because he had entered at a minor
college ; and discontinued visiting another, be-
cause he had asked him to meet two men of

Hall. He was a consummate tuft-hunter, with
an air of the most daring independence, to the
preservation of which he usually sacrificed a
friend a term. He systematically violated the
regulations of the collegiate authorities, and par-
ried their penalties with contemptuous cajolery.
He always ordered his horse at hall time; was
author of more than half the squibs that ap-
peared upon the screen ; and turned a tame

jackdaw into the quadrangle at in a pair

of bands to parody the master.

To the gracefulness of indolence, Trebeck
contrived to add the reputation of being able to


do a great deal, if he would but condescend to
set about it. He wrote one year for the Newdi-
gate prize : it is true he was unsuccessful, but
his copy was considered the second best ; and it
was even whispered among his friends, that he
would have succeeded if he had but taken the
trouble to count his verses.

The opening world now presented an ampler
field for the development of his talents. For-
tunately, at his outset he was taken up as a sort
of pet by some fine people, of whom he had tact
enough to make a convenient stepping-stone in
his fashionable nonage, and not too much grati-
tude to prevent him from neglecting them when
he began to move in a higher sphere, and found
it useful to assert his independence.

There are many roads to notoriety. Trebeck
began with dress ; but he soon rehnquished that,
as unworthy or untenable He scorned to share
his fame with his tailor, and was, moreover,
seriously disgusted at seeing a well-fancied
waistcoat, almost unique, before the expiraticm

ghanby. 109

of its " honey-moon,"" adorning the person of a
natty apprentice. He sickened soon of ginng
names to cloaks, hats, buggies, and pantaloons;
and panted for a liigher pedestal than a coach-
maker's show-room, or a tailor's shop-board.
His coats and carriages were copied by others
almost as soon as they were exhibited by him ;
and as it was liis ambition to be inimitable, he
found it much better to shun these outward pe-
culiarities, and trust alone to the " nameless
grace of polished ease,'' which he really pos-
sessed in a remarkable degree.

He had great powers of entertainment, and
a keen and Hvely turn for satire ; and could talk
down his superiors, whether in rank or talent,
with very imposing confidence. He saw the ad-
vantages of being formidable, and observed with
derision how those whose malignity he pam-
pered ^nth ridicule of others, vainly thought to
purchase, by subsen-iency, exemption for them-
selves. He had sounded the guUibihty of the
world; knew the precise current value of pre-


tension; and soon found himself the acknow-
ledged umpire, the last appeal, of many discon-
tented followers.

He seldom committed himself by praise or
recommendation, but rather left his example and
adoption to work its way. As for censure, he had
both ample and witty store; but here too he
often husbanded his remarks, and where it was
needless or dangerous to define a fault, could
check admiration by an incredulous smile, and
depress pretensions of a season's standing by the
raising of an eyebrow. He had a quick percep-
tion of the foibles of others, and a keen relish
for bantering and exposing them. No keeper
of a menagerie could better show off a monkey,
than he could an " original." He could inge-
niously cause the unconscious subject to place
liis own absurdities in the best point of view,
and would cloak his derision under the blandest

Imitators he loved much ; but to baffle them
— more. He loved to turn upon the luckless


adopters of his last folly, and see them precipi-
tately back out of the scrape into which himself
had led them.

In the art of cutting he shone unrivalled:
he knew the "when," the "where," and the
"how." Without affecting useless short-sight-

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