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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesMemoirs Of Mr. Charles J. Yellowplush - MR. DEUCEACE AT PARIS - Chapter IV. "HITTING THE NALE ON THE HEDD."
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Memoirs Of Mr. Charles J. Yellowplush - MR. DEUCEACE AT PARIS - Chapter IV. 'HITTING THE NALE ON THE HEDD.' Post by :thavelick Category :Long Stories Author :William Makepeace Thackeray Date :April 2012 Read :1377

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Memoirs Of Mr. Charles J. Yellowplush - MR. DEUCEACE AT PARIS - Chapter IV. "HITTING THE NALE ON THE HEDD."

The nex morning, down came me and master to Lady Griffinses,--I amusing myself with the gals in the antyroom, he paying his devours to the ladies in the salong. Miss was thrumming on her gitter; my lady was before a great box of papers, busy with accounts, bankers' books, lawyers' letters, and what not. Law bless us! it's a kind of bisniss I should like well enuff; especially when my hannual account was seven or eight thousand on the right side, like my lady's. My lady in this house kep all these matters to herself. Miss was a vast deal too sentrimentle to mind business.

Miss Matilda's eyes sparkled as master came in; she pinted gracefully to a place on the sofy beside her, which Deuceace took. My lady only looked up for a moment, smiled very kindly, and down went her head among the papers agen, as busy as a B.

"Lady Griffin has had letters from London," says Miss, "from nasty lawyers and people. Come here and sit by me, you naughty man you!"

And down sat master. "Willingly," says he, "my dear Miss Griffin; why, I declare, it is quits a tete-a-tete."

"Well," says Miss (after the prillimnary flumries, in coarse), "we met a friend of yours at the embassy, Mr. Deuceace."

"My father, doubtless; he is a great friend of the ambassador, and surprised me myself by a visit the night before last."

"What a dear delightful old man! how he loves you, Mr. Deuceace!"

"Oh, amazingly!" says master, throwing his i's to heaven.

"He spoke of nothing but you, and such praises of you!"

Master breathed more freely. "He is very good, my dear father; but blind, as all fathers are, he is so partial and attached to me."

"He spoke of you being his favorite child, and regretted that you were not his eldest son. 'I can but leave him the small portion of a younger brother,' he said; 'but never mind, he has talents, a noble name, and an independence of his own.'"

"An independence? yes, oh yes; I am quite independent of my father."

"Two thousand pounds a year left you by your godmother; the very same you told us you know."

"Neither more nor less," says master, bobbing his head; a sufficiency, my dear Miss Griffin,--to a man of my moderate habits an ample provision."

"By-the-by," cries out Lady Griffin, interrupting the conversation, "you who are talking about money matters there, I wish you would come to the aid of poor ME! Come, naughty boy, and help me out with this long long sum."

DIDN'T HE GO--that's all! My i, how his i's shone, as he skipt across the room, and seated himself by my lady!

"Look!" said she, "my agents write me over that they have received a remittance of 7,200 rupees, at 2s. 9d. a rupee. Do tell me what the sum is, in pounds and shillings;" which master did with great gravity.

"Nine hundred and ninety pounds. Good; I daresay you are right. I'm sure I can't go through the fatigue to see. And now comes another question. Whose money is this, mine or Matilda's? You see it is the interest of a sum in India, which we have not had occasion to touch; and, according to the terms of poor Sir George's will, I really don't know how to dispose of the money except to spend it. Matilda, what shall we do with it?"

"La, ma'am, I wish you would arrange the business yourself."

"Well, then, Algernon, YOU tell me;" and she laid her hand on his and looked him most pathetickly in the face.

"Why," says he, "I don't know how Sir George left his money; you must let me see his will, first."

"Oh, willingly."

Master's chair seemed suddenly to have got springs in the cushns; he was obliged to HOLD HIMSELF DOWN.

"Look here, I have only a copy, taken by my hand from Sir George's own manuscript. Soldiers, you know, do not employ lawyers much, and this was written on the night before going into action." And she read, "'I, George Griffin,' &c. &c.--you know how these things begin--'being now of sane mind'--um, um, um,--'leave to my friends, Thomas Abraham Hicks, a colonel in the H. E. I. Company's Service, and to John Monro Mackirkincroft (of the house of Huffle, Mackirkincroft, and Dobbs, at Calcutta), the whole of my property, to be realized as speedily as they may (consistently with the interests of the property), in trust for my wife, Leonora Emilia Griffin (born L. E. Kicksey), and my only legitimate child, Matilda Griffin. The interest resulting from such property to be paid to them, share and share alike; the principal to remain untouched, in the names of the said T. A. Hicks and J. M. Mackirkincroft, until the death of my wife, Leonora Emilia Griffin, when it shall be paid to my daughter, Matilda Griffin, her heirs, executors, or assigns.'"

"There," said my lady, "we won't read any more; all the rest is stuff. But now you know the whole business, tell us what is to be done with the money?"

"Why, the money, unquestionably, should be divided between you."

"Tant mieux, say I; I really thought it had been all Matilda's."

. . . . . .

There was a paws for a minit or two after the will had been read. Master left the desk at which he had been seated with her ladyship, paced up and down the room for a while, and then came round to the place where Miss Matilda was seated. At last he said, in a low, trembling voice,--

"I am almost sorry, my dear Lady Griffin, that you have read that will to me; for an attachment such as mine must seem, I fear, mercenary, when the object of it is so greatly favored by worldly fortune. Miss Griffin--Matilda! I know I may say the word; your dear eyes grant me the permission. I need not tell you, or you, dear mother-in-law, how long, how fondly, I have adored you. My tender, my beautiful Matilda, I will not affect to say I have not read your heart ere this, and that I have not known the preference with which you have honored me. SPEAK IT, dear girl! from your own sweet lips: in the presence of an affectionate parent, utter the sentence which is to seal my happiness for life. Matilda, dearest Matilda! say, oh say, that you love me!"

Miss M. shivered, turned pail, rowled her eyes about, and fell on master's neck, whispering hodibly, "I DO!"

My lady looked at the pair for a moment with her teeth grinding, her i's glaring, her busm throbbing, and her face chock white; for all the world like Madam Pasty, in the oppra of "Mydear" (when she's goin to mudder her childring, you recklect); and out she flounced from the room, without a word, knocking down poar me, who happened to be very near the dor, and leaving my master along with his crook-back mistress.

I've repotted the speech he made to her pretty well. The fact is, I got it in a ruff copy; only on the copy it's wrote, "Lady Griffin, Leonora!" instead of "Miss Griffin, Matilda," as in the abuff, and so on.

Master had hit the right nail on the head this time, he thought: but his adventors an't over yet.

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Well, master had hit the right nail on the head this time: thanx to luck--the crooked one, to be sure, but then it had the GOOLD NOBB, which was the part Deuceace most valued, as well he should; being a connyshure as to the relletiff valyou of pretious metals, and much preferring virging goold like this to poor old battered iron like my Lady Griffin.And so, in spite of his father (at which old noblemin Mr. Deuceace now snapt his fingers), in spite of his detts (which, to do him Justas, had never stood much in his way), and in spite
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Master rose the nex morning with a dismal countinants--he seamed to think that his pa's visit boded him no good. I heard him muttering at his brexfast, and fumbling among his hundred pound notes; once he had laid a parsle of them aside (I knew what he meant), to send 'em to his father. "But no," says he at last, clutching them all up together again, and throwing them into his escritaw, "what harm can he do me? If he is a knave, I know another who's full as sharp. Let's see if we cannot beat him at his own weapons."
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