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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesMemoirs Of Mr. Charles J. Yellowplush - MISS SHUM'S HUSBAND - Chapter II
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Memoirs Of Mr. Charles J. Yellowplush - MISS SHUM'S HUSBAND - Chapter II Post by :noniman Category :Long Stories Author :William Makepeace Thackeray Date :April 2012 Read :2484

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Memoirs Of Mr. Charles J. Yellowplush - MISS SHUM'S HUSBAND - Chapter II

But who was this genlmn with a fine name--Mr. Frederic Altamont? or what was he? The most mysterus genlmn that ever I knew. Once I said to him on a wery rainy day, "Sir, shall I bring the gig down to your office?" and he gave me one of his black looks and one of his loudest hoaths, and told me to mind my own bizziness, and attend to my orders. Another day,--it was on the day when Miss Mary slapped Miss Betsy's face,--Miss M., who adoared him, as I have said already, kep on asking him what was his buth, parentidg, and ediccation. "Dear Frederic," says she, "why this mistry about yourself and your hactions? why hide from your little Mary"--they were as tender as this, I can tell you--"your buth and your professin?"

I spose Mr. Frederic looked black, for I was ONLY listening, and he said, in a voice hagitated by emotion, "Mary," said he, "if you love me, ask me this no more: let it be sfishnt for you to know that I am a honest man, and that a secret, what it would be misery for you to larn, must hang over all my actions--that is from ten o'clock till six."

They went on chaffin and talking in this melumcolly and mysterus way, and I didn't lose a word of what they said; for them houses in Pentonwille have only walls made of pasteboard, and you hear rayther better outside the room than in. But, though he kep up his secret, he swore to her his affektion this day pint blank. Nothing should prevent him, he said, from leading her to the halter, from makin her his adoarable wife. After this was a slight silence. "Dearest Frederic," mummered out miss, speakin as if she was chokin, "I am yours--yours for ever." And then silence agen, and one or two smax, as if there was kissin going on. Here I thought it best to give a rattle at the door-lock; for, as I live, there was old Mrs. Shum a-walkin down the stairs!

It appears that one of the younger gals, a-looking out of the bed- rum window, had seen my master come in, and coming down to tea half an hour afterwards, said so in a cussary way. Old Mrs. Shum, who was a dragon of vertyou, cam bustling down the stairs, panting and frowning, as fat and as fierce as a old sow at feedin time.

"Where's the lodger, fellow?" says she to me.

I spoke loud enough to be heard down the street--"If you mean, ma'am, my master, Mr. Frederic Altamont, esquire, he's just stept in, and is puttin on clean shoes in his bedroom."

She said nothink in answer, but flumps past me, and opening the parlor-door, sees master looking very queer, and Miss Mary a- drooping down her head like a pale lily.

"Did you come into my famly," says she, "to corrupt my daughters, and to destroy the hinnocence of that infamous gal? Did you come here, sir, as a seducer, or only as a lodger? Speak, sir, speak!"-- and she folded her arms quite fierce, and looked like Mrs. Siddums in the Tragic Mews.

"I came here, Mrs. Shum," said he, "because I loved your daughter, or I never would have condescended to live in such a beggarly hole. I have treated her in every respect like a genlmn, and she is as innocent now, ma'm, as she was when she was born. If she'll marry me, I am ready; if she'll leave you, she shall have a home where she shall be neither bullyd nor starved: no hangry frumps of sisters, no cross mother-in-law, only an affeckshnat husband, and all the pure pleasures of Hyming."

Mary flung herself into his arms--"Dear, dear Frederic," says she, "I'll never leave you."

"Miss," says Mrs. Shum, "you ain't a Slamcoe nor yet a Buckmaster, thank God. You may marry this person if your pa thinks proper, and he may insult me--brave me--trample on my feelinx in my own house-- and there's no-o-o-obody by to defend me."

I knew what she was going to be at: on came her histarrix agen, and she began screechin and roaring like mad. Down comes of course the eleven gals and old Shum. There was a pretty row. "Look here, sir," says she, "at the conduck of your precious trull of a daughter--alone with this man, kissin and dandlin, and Lawd knows what besides."

"What, he?" cries Miss Betsy--"he in love with Mary. Oh, the wretch, the monster, the deceiver!"--and she falls down too, screeching away as loud as her mamma; for the silly creature fancied still that Altamont had a fondness for her.

"SILENCE THESE WOMEN!" shouts out Altamont, thundering loud. "I love your daughter, Mr. Shum. I will take her without a penny, and can afford to keep her. If you don't give her to me, she'll come of her own will. Is that enough?--may I have her?"

"We'll talk of this matter, sir," says Mr. Shum, looking as high and mighty as an alderman. "Gals, go up stairs with your dear mamma."--And they all trooped up again, and so the skrimmage ended.

You may be sure that old Shum was not very sorry to get a husband for his daughter Mary, for the old creatur loved her better than all the pack which had been brought him or born to him by Mrs. Buckmaster. But, strange to say, when he came to talk of settlements and so forth, not a word would my master answer. He said he made four hundred a year reglar--he wouldn't tell how--but Mary, if she married him, must share all that he had, and ask no questions; only this he would say, as he'd said before, that he was a honest man.

They were married in a few days, and took a very genteel house at Islington; but still my master went away to business, and nobody knew where. Who could he be?

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Memoirs Of Mr. Charles J. Yellowplush - MISS SHUM'S HUSBAND - Chapter III Memoirs Of Mr. Charles J. Yellowplush - MISS SHUM'S HUSBAND - Chapter III

Memoirs Of Mr. Charles J. Yellowplush - MISS SHUM'S HUSBAND - Chapter III
If ever a young kipple in the middlin classes began life with a chance of happiness, it was Mr. and Mrs. Frederic Altamont. There house at Cannon Row, Islington, was as comfortable as house could be. Carpited from top to to; pore's rates small; furnitur elygant; and three deomestix: of which I, in course, was one. My life wasn't so easy as in Mr. A.'s bachelor days; but, what then? The three W's is my maxum: plenty of work, plenty of wittles, and plenty of wages. Altamont kep his gig no longer, but went to the city in an omlibuster.One would

Memoirs Of Mr. Charles J. Yellowplush - MISS SHUM'S HUSBAND - Chapter I Memoirs Of Mr. Charles J. Yellowplush - MISS SHUM'S HUSBAND - Chapter I

Memoirs Of Mr. Charles J. Yellowplush - MISS SHUM'S HUSBAND - Chapter I
I was born in the year one, of the present or Christian hera, and am, in consquints, seven-and-thirty years old. My mamma called me Charles James Harrington Fitzroy Yellowplush, in compliment to several noble families, and to a sellybrated coachmin whom she knew, who wore a yellow livry, and drove the Lord Mayor of London.Why she gev me this genlmn's name is a diffiklty, or rayther the name of a part of his dress; however, it's stuck to me through life, in which I was, as it were, a footman by buth.Praps he was my father--though on this subjict I can't