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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesMemoirs Of Mr. Charles J. Yellowplush - MR. DEUCEACE AT PARIS - Chapter X. THE HONEY-MOON
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Memoirs Of Mr. Charles J. Yellowplush - MR. DEUCEACE AT PARIS - Chapter X. THE HONEY-MOON Post by :lovacluka Category :Long Stories Author :William Makepeace Thackeray Date :April 2012 Read :1611

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Memoirs Of Mr. Charles J. Yellowplush - MR. DEUCEACE AT PARIS - Chapter X. THE HONEY-MOON

The weak at Fontingblow past quickly away; and at the end of it, our son and daughter-in-law--a pare of nice young tuttle-duvs-- returned to their nest, at the Hotel Mirabew. I suspeck that the COCK turtle-dove was preshos sick of his barging.

When they arriv'd, the fust thing they found on their table was a large parsle wrapt up in silver paper, and a newspaper, and a couple of cards, tied up with a peace of white ribbing. In the parsle was a hansume piece of plum-cake, with a deal of sugar. On the cards was wrote, in Goffick characters,

Earl of Crabs.

And, in very small Italian,

Countess of Crabs.

And in the paper was the following parrowgraff:--

"MARRIAGE IN HIGH LIFE.--Yesterday, at the British embassy, the Right Honorable John Augustus Altamont Plantagenet, Earl of Crabs, to Leonora Emilia, widow of the late Lieutenant-General Sir George Griffin, K. C. B. An elegant dejeune was given to the happy couple by his Excellency Lord Bobtail, who gave away the bride. The elite of the foreign diplomacy, the Prince Talleyrand and Marshal the Duke of Dalmatia on behalf of H. M. the King of France, honored the banquet and the marriage ceremony. Lord and Lady Crabs intend passing a few weeks at Saint Cloud."

The above dockyments, along with my own triffling billy, of which I have also givn a copy, greated Mr. and Mrs. Deuceace on their arrivle from Fontingblo. Not being present, I can't say what Deuceace said; but I can fancy how he LOOKT, and how poor Mrs. Deuceace lookt. They weren't much inclined to rest after the fiteeg of the junny; for, in 1/2 an hour after their arrival at Paris, the hosses were put to the carridge agen, and down they came thundering to our country-house at St. Cloud (pronounst by those absud Frenchmin Sing Kloo), to interrup our chaste loves and delishs marridge injyments.

My lord was sittn in a crimson satan dressing-gown, lolling on a sofa at an open windy, smoaking seagars, as ushle; her ladyship, who, to du her justice, didn mind the smell, occupied another end of the room, and was working, in wusted, a pare of slippers, or an umbrellore case, or a coal-skittle, or some such nonsints. You would have thought to have sean 'em that they had been married a sentry, at least. Well, I bust in upon this conjugal tator-tator, and said, very much alarmed, "My lord, here's your son and daughter-in-law."

"Well," says my lord, quite calm, "and what then?"

"Mr. Deuceace!" says my lady, starting up, and looking fritened.

"Yes, my love, my son; but you need not be alarmed. Pray, Charles, say that Lady Crabs and I will be very happy to see Mr. and Mrs. Deuceace; and that they must excuse us receiving them en famille. Sit still, my blessing--take things coolly. Have you got the box with the papers?"

My lady pointed to a great green box--the same from which she had taken the papers, when Deuceace fust saw them,--and handed over to my lord a fine gold key. I went out, met Deuceace and his wife on the stepps, gave my messinge, and bowed them palitely in.

My lord didn't rise, but smoaked away as usual (praps a little quicker, but I can't say); my lady sat upright, looking handsum and strong. Deuceace walked in, his left arm tied to his breast, his wife and hat on the other. He looked very pale and frightened; his wife, poar thing! had her head berried in her handkerchief, and sobd fit to break her heart.

Miss Kicksey, who was in the room (but I didn't mention her, she was less than nothink in our house), went up to Mrs. Deuceace at onst, and held out her arms--she had a heart, that old Kicksey, and I respect her for it. The poor hunchback flung herself into Miss's arms, with a kind of whooping screech, and kep there for some time, sobbing in quite a historical manner. I saw there was going to be a sean, and so, in cors, left the door ajar.

"Welcome to Saint Cloud, Algy my boy!" says my lord, in a loud, hearty voice. "You thought you would give us the slip, eh, you rogue? But we knew it, my dear fellow: we knew the whole affair-- did we not, my soul?--and you see, kept our secret better than you did yours."

"I must confess, sir," says Deuceace, bowing, "that I had no idea of the happiness which awaited me in the shape of a mother-in-law."

"No, you dog; no, no," says my lord, giggling: "old birds, you know, not to be caught with chaff, like young ones. But here we are, all spliced and happy, at last. Sit down, Algernon; let us smoke a segar, and talk over the perils and adventures of the last month. My love," says my lord, turning to his lady, you have no malice against poor Algernon, I trust? Pray shake HIS HAND." (A grin.)

But my lady rose and said, "I have told Mr. Deuceace, that I never wished to see him, or speak to him, more. I see no reason, now, to change my opinion." And herewith she sailed out of the room, by the door through which Kicksey had carried poor Mrs. Deuceace.

"Well, well," says my lord, as Lady Crabs swept by, "I was in hopes she had forgiven you; but I know the whole story, and I must confess you used her cruelly ill. Two strings to your bow!--that was your game, was it, you rogue?"

"Do you mean, my lord, that you know all that past between me and Lady Grif--Lady Crabs, before our quarrel?"

"Perfectly--you made love to her, and she was almost in love with you; you jilted her for money, she got a man to shoot your hand off in revenge: no more dice-boxes, now, Deuceace; no more sauter la coupe. I can't think how the deuce you will manage to live without them."

"Your lordship is very kind; but I have given up play altogether," says Deuceace, looking mighty black and uneasy.

"Oh, indeed! Benedick has turned a moral man, has he? This is better and better. Are you thinking of going into the church, Deuceace?"

"My lord, may I ask you to be a little more serious?"

"Serious! a quoi bon? I am serious--serious in my surprise that, when you might have had either of these women, you should have preferred that hideous wife of yours."

"May I ask you, in turn, how you came to be so little squeamish about a wife, as to choose a woman who had just been making love to your own son?" says Deuceace, growing fierce.

"How can you ask such a question? I owe forty thousand pounds-- there is an execution at Sizes Hall--every acre I have is in the hands of my creditors; and that's why I married her. Do you think there was any love? Lady Crabs is a dev'lish fine woman, but she's not a fool--she married me for my coronet, and I married her for her money."

"Well, my lord, you need not ask me, I think, why I married the daughter-in-law."

"Yes, but I DO, my dear boy. How the deuce are you to live? Dawkins's five thousand pounds won't last forever; and afterwards?"

"You don't mean, my lord--you don't--I mean, you can't-- D---!" says he, starting up, and losing all patience, "you don't dare to say that Miss Griffin had not a fortune of ten thousand a year?"

My lord was rolling up, and wetting betwigst his lips, another segar; he lookt up, after he had lighted it, and said quietly--

"Certainly, Miss Griffin had a fortune of ten thousand a year."

"Well, sir, and has she not got it now? Has she spent it in a week?"

"SHE HAS NOT GOT A SIX-PENCE NOW: SHE MARRIED WITHOUT HER MOTHER'S CONSENT!"

Deuceace sunk down in a chair; and I never see such a dreadful picture of despair as there was in the face of that retchid man!-- he writhed, and nasht his teeth, he tore open his coat, and wriggled madly the stump of his left hand, until, fairly beat, he threw it over his livid pale face, and sinking backwards, fairly wept alowd.

Bah! it's a dreddfle thing to hear a man crying! his pashn torn up from the very roots of his heart, as it must be before it can git such a vent. My lord, meanwhile, rolled his segar, lighted it, and went on.

"My dear boy, the girl has not a shilling. I wished to have left you alone in peace, with your four thousand pounds: you might have lived decently upon it in Germany, where money is at 5 per cent, where your duns would not find you, and a couple of hundred a year would have kept you and your wife in comfort. But, you see, Lady Crabs would not listen to it. You had injured her; and, after she had tried to kill you and failed, she determined to ruin you, and succeeded. I must own to you that I directed the arresting business, and put her up to buying your protested bills: she got them for a trifle, and as you have paid them, has made a good two thousand pounds by her bargain. It was a painful thing to be sure, for a father to get his son arrested; but que voulez-vous! I did not appear in the transaction: she would have you ruined; and it was absolutely necessary that YOU should marry before I could, so I pleaded your cause with Miss Griffin, and made you the happy man you are. You rogue, you rogue! you thought to match your old father, did you? But, never mind; lunch will be ready soon. In the meantime, have a segar, and drink a glass of Sauterne."

Deuceace, who had been listening to this speech, sprung up wildly.

"I'll not believe it," he said: "it's a lie, an infernal lie! forged by you, you hoary villain, and by the murderess and strumpet you have married. I'll not believe it; show me the will. Matilda! Matilda!" shouted he, screaming hoarsely, and flinging open the door by which she had gone out.

"Keep your temper, my boy. You ARE vexed, and I feel for you: but don't use such bad language: it is quite needless, believe me."

"Matilda!" shouted out Deuceace again; and the poor crooked thing came trembling in, followed by Miss Kicksey.

"Is this true, woman?" says he, clutching hold of her hand.

"What, dear Algernon?" says she.

"What?" screams out Deuceace,--"what? Why that you are a beggar, for marrying without your mother's consent--that you basely lied to me, in order to bring about this match--that you are a swindler, in conspiracy with that old fiend yonder and the she-devil his wife?"

"It is true," sobbed the poor woman, "that I have nothing; but--"

"Nothing but what? Why don't you speak, you drivelling fool?"

"I have nothing!--but you, dearest, have two thousand a year. Is that not enough for us? You love me for myself, don't you, Algernon? You have told me so a thousand times--say so again, dear husband; and do not, do not be so unkind." And here she sank on her knees, and clung to him, and tried to catch his hand, and kiss it.

"How much did you say?" says my lord.

"Two thousand a year, sir; he has told us so a thousand times."

"TWO THOUSAND! Two thou--ho, ho, ho!--haw! haw! haw!" roars my lord. "That is, I vow, the best thing I ever heard in my life. My dear creature, he has not a shilling--not a single maravedi, by all the gods and goddesses." And this exlnt noblemin began laffin louder than ever: a very kind and feeling genlmn he was, as all must confess.

There was a paws: and Mrs. Deuceace didn begin cussing and swearing at her husband as he had done at her: she only said, "O Algernon! is this true?" and got up, and went to a chair and wep in quiet.

My lord opened the great box. "If you or your lawyers would like to examine Sir George's will, it is quite at your service; you will see here the proviso which I mentioned, that gives the entire fortune to Lady Griffin--Lady Crabs that is: and here, my dear boy, you see the danger of hasty conclusions. Her ladyship only showed you the FIRST PAGE OF THE WILL, of course; she wanted to try you. You thought you made a great stroke in at once proposing to Miss Griffin--do not mind it, my love, he really loves you now very sincerely!--when, in fact, you would have done much better to have read the rest of the will. You were completely bitten, my boy-- humbugged, bamboozled--ay, and by your old father, you dog. I told you I would, you know, when you refused to lend me a portion of your Dawkins money. I told you I would; and I DID. I had you the very next day. Let this be a lesson to you, Percy my boy; don't try your luck again against such old hands: look deuced well before you leap: audi alteram partem, my lad, which means, read both sides of the will. I think lunch is ready; but I see you don't smoke. Shall we go in?"

"Stop, my lord," says Mr. Deuceace, very humble: "I shall not share your hospitality--but--but you know my condition; I am penniless-- you know the manner in which my wife has been brought up--"

"The Honorable Mrs. Deuceace, sir, shall always find a home here, as if nothing had occurred to interrupt the friendship between her dear mother and herself."

"And for me, sir," says Deuceace, speaking faint, and very slow; "I hope--I trust--I think, my lord, you will not forget me?"

"Forget you, sir; certainly not."

"And that you will make some provision--?"

"Algernon Deuceace," says my lord, getting up from the sophy, and looking at him with sich a jolly malignity, as I never see, "I declare, before heaven, that I will not give you a penny!"

Hereupon my lord held out his hand to Mrs. Deuceace, and said, "My dear, will you join your mother and me? We shall always, as I said, have a home for you."

"My lord," said the poar thing, dropping a curtsy, "my home is with HIM!"

. . . . . .

About three months after, when the season was beginning at Paris, and the autumn leafs was on the ground, my lord, my lady, me and Mortimer, were taking a stroal in the Boddy Balong, the carridge driving on slowly ahead, and us as happy as possbill, admiring the pleasant woods and the goldn sunset.

My lord was expayshating to my lady upon the exquizit beauty of the sean, and pouring forth a host of butifle and virtuous sentaments sootable to the hour. It was dalitefle to hear him. "Ah!" said he, "black must be the heart, my love, which does not feel the influence of a scene like this; gathering as it were, from those sunlit skies, a portion of their celestial gold, and gaining somewhat of heaven with each pure draught of this delicious air!"

Lady Crabs did not speak, but prest his arm and looked upwards. Mortimer and I, too, felt some of the infliwents of the sean, and lent on our goold sticks in silence. The carriage drew up close to us, and my lord and my lady sauntered slowly tords it.

Jest at the place was a bench, and on the bench sate a poorly drest woman, and by her, leaning against a tree, was a man whom I thought I'd sean befor. He was drest in a shabby blew coat, with white seems and copper buttons; a torn hat was on his head, and great quantaties of matted hair and whiskers disfiggared his countnints. He was not shaved, and as pale as stone.

My lord and lady didn tak the slightest notice of him, but past on to the carridge. Me and Mortimer lickwise took OUR places. As we past, the man had got a grip of the woman's shoulder, who was holding down her head sobbing bitterly.

No sooner were my lord and lady seated, than they both, with igstream dellixy and good natur, burst into a ror of lafter, peal upon peal, whooping and screaching enough to frighten the evening silents.

DEUCEACE turned round. I see his face now--the face of a devvle of hell! Fust, he lookt towards the carridge, and pinted to it with his maimed arm; then he raised the other, AND STRUCK THE WOMAN BY HIS SIDE. She fell, screaming.

Poor thing! Poor thing!

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The end of Mr. Deuceace's history is going to be the end of my corrispondince. I wish the public was as sory to part with me as I am with the public; becaws I fansy reely that we've become frends, and feal for my part a becoming greaf at saying ajew.It's imposbill for me to continyow, however, a-writin, as I have done--violetting the rules of authography, and trampling upon the fust princepills of English grammar. When I began, I knew no better: when I'd carrid on these papers a little further, and grew accustmd to writin, I began to smel out
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Well, the nex day came: at 12 the carridge-and-four was waiting at the ambasdor's doar; and Miss Griffin and the faithfle Kicksey were punctial to the apintment.I don't wish to digscribe the marridge seminary--how the embasy chapling jined the hands of this loving young couple--how one of the embasy footmin was called in to witness the marridge--how Miss wep and fainted as usial--and how Deuceace carried her, fainting, to the brisky, and drove off to Fontingblo they were to pass the fust weak of the honey-moon. They took no servnts, because they wisht, they said, to be privit. And so,
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