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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesMemoirs Of Mr. Charles J. Yellowplush - MR. DEUCEACE AT PARIS - Chapter VI. THE JEWEL
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Memoirs Of Mr. Charles J. Yellowplush - MR. DEUCEACE AT PARIS - Chapter VI. THE JEWEL Post by :MrPIPS Category :Long Stories Author :William Makepeace Thackeray Date :April 2012 Read :3435

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Memoirs Of Mr. Charles J. Yellowplush - MR. DEUCEACE AT PARIS - Chapter VI. THE JEWEL

The Shevalier de l'Orge, the young Frenchmin whom I wrote of in my last, who had been rather shy of his visits while master was coming it so very strong, now came back to his old place by the side of Lady Griffin: there was no love now, though, betwigst him and master, although the shevallier had got his lady back agin; Deuceace being compleatly devoted to his crookid Veanus.

The shevalier was a little, pale, moddist, insinifishnt creature; and I shoodn't have thought, from his appearants, would have the heart to do harm to a fli, much less to stand befor such a tremendious tiger and fire-eater as my master. But I see putty well, after a week, from his manner of going on--of speakin at master, and lookin at him, and olding his lips tight when Deuceace came into the room, and glaring at him with his i's, that he hated the Honrabble Algernon Percy.

Shall I tell you why? Because my Lady Griffin hated him: hated him wuss than pison, or the devvle, or even wuss than her daughter-in- law. Praps you phansy that the letter you have juss red was honest; praps you amadgin that the sean of the reading of the will came on by mere chans, and in the reglar cors of suckmstansies: it was all a GAME, I tell you--a reglar trap; and that extrodnar clever young man, my master, as neatly put his foot into it, as ever a pocher did in fesnt preserve.

The shevalier had his q from Lady Griffin. When Deuceace went off the feald, back came De l'Orge to her feet, not a witt less tender than befor. Por fellow, por fellow! he really loved this woman. He might as well have foln in love with a bore-constructor! He was so blinded and beat by the power wich she had got over him, that if she told him black was white he'd beleave it, or if she ordered him to commit murder, he'd do it: she wanted something very like it, I can tell you.

I've already said how, in the fust part of their acquaintance, master used to laff at De l'Orge's bad Inglish, and funny ways. The little creature had a thowsnd of these; and being small, and a Frenchman, master, in cors, looked on him with that good-humored kind of contemp which a good Brittn ot always to show. He rayther treated him like an intelligent munky than a man, and ordered him about as if he'd bean my lady's footman.

All this munseer took in very good part, until after the quarl betwigst master and Lady Griffin; when that lady took care to turn the tables. Whenever master and miss were not present (as I've heard the servants say), she used to laff at shevalliay for his obeajance and sivillatty to master. For her part, she wondered how a man of his birth could act a servnt: how any man could submit to such contemsheous behavior from another; and then she told him how Deuceace was always snearing at him behind his back; how, in fact, he ought to hate him corjaly, and how it was suttaly time to show his sperrit.

Well, the poar little man beleaved all this from his hart, and was angry or pleased, gentle or quarlsum, igsactly as my lady liked. There got to be frequint rows betwigst him and master; sharp words flung at each other across the dinner-table; dispewts about handing ladies their smeling-botls, or seeing them to their carridge; or going in and out of a roam fust, or any such nonsince.

"For hevn's sake," I heerd my lady, in the midl of one of these tiffs, say, pail, and the tears trembling in her i's, "do, do be calm, Mr. Deuceace. Monsieur de l'Orge, I beseech you to forgive him. You are, both of you, so esteemed, lov'd, by members of this family, that for its peace as well as your own, you should forbear to quarrel."

It was on the way to the Sally Mangy that this brangling had begun, and it ended jest as they were seating themselves. I shall never forgit poar little De l'Orge's eyes, when my lady said "both of you." He stair'd at my lady for a momint, turned pail, red, look'd wild, and then, going round to master, shook his hand as if he would have wrung it off. Mr. Deuceace only bow'd and grin'd, and turned away quite stately; Miss heaved a loud O from her busm, and looked up in his face with an igspreshn jest as if she could have eat him up with love; and the little shevalliay sate down to his soop-plate, and wus so happy, that I'm blest if he wasn't crying! He thought the widdow had made her declyration, and would have him; and so thought Deuceace, who look'd at her for some time mighty bitter and contempshus, and then fell a-talking with Miss.

Now, though master didn't choose to marry Lady Griffin, as he might have done, he yet thought fit to be very angry at the notion of her marrying anybody else; and so, consquintly, was in a fewry at this confision which she had made regarding her parshaleaty for the French shevaleer.

And this I've perseaved in the cors of my expearants through life, that when you vex him, a roag's no longer a roag: you find him out at onst when he's in a passion, for he shows, as it ware, his cloven foot the very instnt you tread on it. At least, this is what YOUNG roags do; it requires very cool blood and long practis to get over this pint, and not to show your pashn when you feel it and snarl when you are angry. Old Crabs wouldn't do it; being like another noblemin, of whom I heard the Duke of Wellington say, while waiting behind his graci's chair, that if you were kicking him from behind, no one standing before him would know it, from the bewtifle smiling igspreshn of his face. Young master hadn't got so far in the thief's grammer, and, when he was angry, show'd it. And it's also to be remarked (a very profownd observatin for a footmin, but we have i's though we DO wear plush britchis), it's to be remarked, I say, that one of these chaps is much sooner maid angry than another, because honest men yield to other people, roags never do; honest men love other people, roags only themselves; and the slightest thing which comes in the way of thir beloved objects sets them fewrious. Master hadn't led a life of gambling, swindling, and every kind of debotch to be good-tempered at the end of it, I prommis you.

He was in a pashun, and when he WAS in a pashn, a more insalent, insuffrable, overbearing broot didn't live.

This was the very pint to which my lady wished to bring him; for I must tell you, that though she had been trying all her might to set master and the shevalliay by the years, she had suxeaded only so far as to make them hate each profowndly: but somehow or other, the 2 cox wouldn't FIGHT.

I doan't think Deuceace ever suspected any game on the part of her ladyship, for she carried it on so admirally, that the quarls which daily took place betwigst him and the Frenchman never seemed to come from her; on the contry, she acted as the reglar pease-maker between them, as I've just shown in the tiff which took place at the door of the Sally Mangy. Besides, the 2 young men, though reddy enough to snarl, were natrally unwilling to come to bloes. I'll tell you why: being friends, and idle, they spent their mornins as young fashnabbles genrally do, at billiads, fensing, riding, pistle-shooting, or some such improoving study. In billiads, master beat the Frenchman hollow (and had won a pretious sight of money from him: but that's neither here nor there, or, as the French say, ontry noo); at pistle-shooting, master could knock down eight immidges out of ten, and De l'Orge seven; and in fensing, the Frenchman could pink the Honorable Algernon down evry one of his weskit buttns. They'd each of them been out more than onst, for every Frenchman will fight, and master had been obleag'd to do so in the cors of his bisniss; and knowing each other's curridg, as well as the fact that either could put a hundrid bolls running into a hat at 30 yards, they wairnt very willing to try such exparrymence upon their own hats with their own heads in them. So you see they kep quiet, and only grould at each other.

But to-day Deuceace was in one of his thundering black humers; and when in this way he wouldn't stop for man or devvle. I said that he walked away from the shevalliay, who had given him his hand in his sudden bust of joyfle good-humor; and who, I do bleave, would have hugd a she-bear, so very happy was he. Master walked away from him pale and hotty, and, taking his seat at table, no moor mindid the brandishments of Miss Griffin, but only replied to them with a pshaw, or a dam at one of us servnts, or abuse of the soop, or the wine; cussing and swearing like a trooper, and not like a well-bred son of a noble British peer.

"Will your ladyship," says he, slivering off the wing of a pully ally bashymall, "allow me to help you?"

"I thank you! no; but I will trouble Monsieur de l'Orge." And towards that gnlmn she turned, with a most tender and fasnating smile.

"Your ladyship has taken a very sudden admiration for Mr. de l'Orge's carving. You used to like mine once."

"You are very skilful; but to-day, if you will allow me, I will partake of something a little simpler."

The Frenchman helped; and, being so happy, in cors, spilt the gravy. A great blob of brown sos spurted on to master's chick, and myandrewed down his shert-collar and virging-white weskit.

"Confound you!" says he, "M. de l'Orge, you have done this on purpose." And down went his knife and fork, over went his tumbler of wine, a deal of it into poar Miss Griffinses lap, who looked fritened and ready to cry.

My lady bust into a fit of laffin, peel upon peel, as if it was the best joak in the world. De l'Orge giggled and grin'd too. "Pardong," says he; "meal pardong, mong share munseer."* And he looked as if he would have done it again for a penny.

* In the long dialogues, we have generally ventured to change the peculiar spelling of our friend Mr. Yellowplush.

The little Frenchman was quite in extasis; he found himself all of a suddn at the very top of the trea; and the laff for onst turned against his rivle: he actialy had the ordassaty to propose to my lady in English to take a glass of wine.

"Veal you," says he, in his jargin, "take a glas of Madere viz me, mi ladi?" And he looked round, as if he'd igsackly hit the English manner and pronunciation.

"With the greatest pleasure," says Lady G., most graciously nodding at him, and gazing at him as she drank up the wine. She'd refused master before, and THIS didn't increase his good-humer.

Well, they went on, master snarling, snapping, and swearing, making himself, I must confess, as much of a blaggard as any I ever see; and my lady employing her time betwigst him and the shevalliay, doing every think to irritate master, and flatter the Frenchmn. Desert came: and by this time, Miss was stock-still with fright, the chevaleer half tipsy with pleasure and gratafied vannaty, my lady puffickly raygent with smiles and master bloo with rage.

"Mr. Deuceace," says my lady, in a most winning voice, after a little chaffing (in which she only worked him up moar and moar), "may I trouble you for a few of those grapes? they look delicious."

For answer, master seas'd hold of the grayp dish, and sent it sliding down the table to De l'Orge; upsetting, in his way, fruit- plates, glasses, dickanters, and heaven knows what.

"Monsieur de l'Orge," says he, shouting out at the top of his voice, "have the goodness to help Lady Griffin. She wanted MY grapes long ago, and has found out they are sour!"

. . . . . .

There was a dead paws of a moment or so.

. . . . . .

"Ah!" says my lady, "vous osez m'insulter, devant mes gens, dans ma propre maison--c'est par trop fort, monsieur." And up she got, and flung out of the room. Miss followed her, screeching out, "Mamma-- for God's sake--Lady Griffin!" and here the door slammed on the pair.

Her ladyship did very well to speak French. DE L'ORGE WOULD NOT HAVE UNDERSTOOD HER ELSE; as it was he heard quite enough; and as the door clikt too, in the presents of me, and Messeers Mortimer and Fitzclarence, the family footmen, he walks round to my master, and hits him a slap on the face, and says, "prends ca, menteur et lache!" which means, "Take that, you liar and coward!"--rayther strong igspreshns for one genlmn to use to another.

Master staggered back and looked bewildered; and then he gave a kind of a scream, and then he made a run at the Frenchman, and then me and Mortimer flung ourselves upon him, whilst Fitzclarence embraced the shevalliay.

"A demain!" says he, clinching his little fist, and walking away, not very sorry to git off.

When he was fairly down stares, we let go of master: who swallowed a goblit of water, and then pawsing a little and pullout his pus, he presented to Messeers Mortimer and Fitzclarence a luydor each. "I will give you five more to-morrow," says he, "if you will promise to keep this secrit."

And then he walked in to the ladies. "If you knew," says he, going up to Lady Griffin, and speaking very slow (in cors we were all at the keyhole), "the pain I have endured in the last minute, in consequence of the rudeness and insolence of which I have been guilty to your ladyship, you would think my own remorse was punishment sufficient, and would grant me pardon."

My lady bowed, and said she didn't wish for explanations. Mr. Deuceace was her daughter's guest, and not hers; but she certainly would never demean herself by sitting again at table with him. And so saying out she boltid again.

"Oh! Algernon! Algernon!" says Miss, in teers, "what is this dreadful mystery--these fearful shocking quarrels? Tell me, has anything happened? Where, where is the chevalier?"

Master smiled and said, "Be under no alarm, my sweetest Matilda. De l'Orge did not understand a word of the dispute; he was too much in love for that. He is but gone away for half an hour, I believe; and will return to coffee."

I knew what master's game was, for if miss had got a hinkling of the quarrel betwigst him and the Frenchman, we should have had her screeming at the "Hotel Mirabeu," and the juice and all to pay. He only stopt for a few minnits and cumfitted her, and then drove off to his friend, Captain Bullseye, of the Rifles; with whom, I spose, he talked over this unplesnt bisniss. We fownd, at our hotel, a note from De l'Orge, saying where his secknd was to be seen.

Two mornings after there was a parrowgraf in Gallynanny's Messinger, which I hear beg leaf to transcribe:--

"FEARFUL DUEL.--Yesterday morning, at six o'clock, a meeting took place, in the Bois de Boulogne, between the Hon. A. P. D--ce-ce, a younger son of the Earl of Cr-bs, and the Chevalier de l'O---. The chevalier was attended by Major de M---, of the Royal Guard, and the Hon. Mr. D--- by Captain B-lls-ye, of the British Rifle Corps. As far as we have been able to learn the particulars of this deplorable affair, the dispute originated in the house of a lovely lady (one of the most brilliant ornaments of our embassy), and the duel took place on the morning ensuing.

"The chevalier (the challenged party, and the most accomplished amateur swordsman in Paris) waived his right of choosing the weapons, and the combat took place with pistols.

"The combatants were placed at forty paces, with directions to advance to a barrier which separated them only eight paces. Each was furnished with two pistols. Monsieur de l'O--- fired almost immediately, and the ball took effect in the left wrist of his antagonist, who dropped the pistol which he held in that hand. He fired, however, directly with his right, and the chevalier fell to the ground, we fear mortally wounded. A ball has entered above his hip-joint, and there is very little hope that he can recover.

"We have heard that the cause of this desperate duel was a blow which the chevalier ventured to give to the Hon. Mr. D. If so, there is some reason for the unusual and determined manner in which the duel was fought.

"Mr. Deu--a-e returned to his hotel; whither his excellent father, the Right Hon. Earl of Cr-bs, immediately hastened on hearing of the sad news, and is now bestowing on his son the most affectionate parental attention. The news only reached his lordship yesterday at noon, while at breakfast with his Excellency Lord Bobtail, our ambassador. The noble earl fainted on receiving the intelligence; but in spite of the shock to his own nerves and health, persisted in passing last night by the couch of his son."

And so he did. "This is a sad business, Charles," says my lord to me, after seeing his son, and settling himself down in our salong. "Have you any segars in the house? And hark ye, send me up a bottle of wine and some luncheon. I can certainly not leave the neighborhood of my dear boy."

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The shevalliay did not die, for the ball came out of its own accord, in the midst of a violent fever and inflamayshn which was brot on by the wound. He was kept in bed for 6 weeks though, and did not recover for a long time after.As for master, his lot, I'm sorry to say, was wuss than that of his advisary. Inflammation came on too; and, to make an ugly story short, they were obliged to take off his hand at the rist.He bore it, in cors, like a Trojin, and in a month he too was well, and
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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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