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Tales from Many Sources / Vol. V By Various Characters: 31084

Updated: 2017-12-01 00:03


When a dull place like Glyndewi does undertake to be gay, it seldom does things by halves. Ordinary doses of excitement fail to meet the urgency of the case. It was the fashion, it appeared, for all the country families of any pretensions to ton, and not a few of the idlers from the neighbouring watering-places, to be at Glyndewi for the race-week. And as far as the programme of amusements went, certainly the committee (consisting of the resident surgeon, the non-resident proprietor of the "hotel," &c., and a retired major in the H.E.I.C.'s service, called by his familiars by the endearing name of "Tiger Jones") had made a spirited attempt to meet the demand. A public breakfast, and a regatta, and a ball-a "Full Dress and Fancy Ball," the advertisement said, on the 20th; a Horse-Race and an Ordinary on the 21st; a Cricket Match, if possible, and any extra fun which the Visitors' own genius might strike out on the following days.

The little bay of Glyndewi was not a bad place for a boat-race on a small scale. The "terrace" commanded the whole of it; there were plenty of herring-boats, about equally matched in sailing deficiencies, ready and willing to "run"-i. e. creep-for the prizes; and an honourable member of the Yacht Club, who for some years past, for reasons which it was said his creditors could explain, had found it more convenient to keep his season at B-- than at Cowes, always paid the stewards the compliment of carrying off the "Ladies' Challenge Cup."

The two or three years' experience which the Glyndewi people had lately gained of the nature and habits of "the Oxonians," made them an article in great demand on these occasions. Mammas and daughters agreed in looking upon us as undeniable partners in the ball-room, while the sporting men booked us as safe for getting up a creditable four-oar, with a strong probability of finding a light-weight willing to risk his neck and reputation at a hurdle-race. Certain it is, that from the time the races began to be seriously talked about, we began to feel ourselves invested with additional importance. "Tiger Jones" (who occupied a snug little box about a mile out of Glyndewi, where he lived upon cheroots and brandy-and-water) called, was exceedingly polite, apologised for not inviting us to dinner-a thing he declared impossible in his quarters-hoped we would call some day and take a lunch with him, spoke with rapture of the capital crew which "the gentlemen who were studying here last summer" had made up, and which ran away from all competitors, and expressed a fervent hope that we should do likewise.

The sporting surgeon (of course he had called upon us long ago) redoubled his attentions, begged that if any of us were cricketers we would endeavour to aid him in getting up a "Glyndewi eleven" against the "Strangers," and fixed himself upon me as an invaluable acquisition, when he found I had actually once played in a match against Marylebone. (I did not tell him that the total score of my innings was "one.") Would I, then, at once take the drilling of as many recruits as he could get together? And would Mr Willingham and Mr Gordon, who "used to play at school," get up their practice again? (It wanted about a fortnight to the races.) The result of this, and sundry other interviews, was, that Branling at length found a vent for the vis inerti? in putting us all, with the exception of Mr Sydney Dawson, whom he declared to be so stiff in the back that he had no hope of him, into training for a four-oar; and the surgeon and myself set off in his gig for B--, to purchase materials for cricket.

It is true that our respected tutor did look more than usually grave, and shook his head with a meaning almost as voluminous as Lord Burleigh's, when informed of our new line of study. Rowing he declared to be a most absurd expenditure of time and strength; he never could see the fun of men breaking blood-vessels, and getting plucked for their degree, for the honour of "the Trinity Boat." But the cricket touched him on the raw. He was an old Etonian, and had in his time been a good player; and was now as active as any stout gentleman of seven-and-thirty, who had been twelve years a steady admirer of bursary dinners and common-room port. So, after some decent scruples on his part, and some well-timed compliments touching his physical abilities on ours (he was much vainer of the muscle of his arm than of his high reputation as a scholar), we succeeded in drawing from him a sort of promise, that if we were so foolish as to get up a match, he would try whether he had forgot all about bowling.

For the next fortnight, therefore, we had occupation enough cut out for us. Branling was unmerciful in his practice on the river; and considering that two of us had never pulled an oar but in the slowest of "Torpids," we improved surprisingly under his tuition. The cricket, too, was quite a new era in our existence. Dawson (we told him that the "Sydney" must be kept for Sundays) was a perfect fund of amusement in his zealous practice. He knew as much about the matter as a cow might, and was rather less active. But if perseverance could have made a cricketer, he would have turned out a first-rate one. Not content with two or three hours of it every fine evening, when we all sallied down to the marsh, followed by every idler in Glyndewi, he used to disappear occasionally in the mornings, and for some days puzzled us as to where and how he disposed of himself. We had engaged, in our corporate capacity, the services of a most original retainer, who cleaned boots, fetched the beer, ate the cold mutton, and made himself otherwise useful when required. He was amphibious in his habits, having been a herring-fisher the best part of his life; but being a martyr to the rheumatism, which occasionally screwed him up into indescribable forms, had betaken himself to earning a precarious subsistence as he could on shore. It was not often that we required his services between breakfast and luncheon, but one morning, after having despatched Gwenny in all directions to hunt for Bill Thomas in vain, we at at last elicited from her that "maybe she was gone with Mr Dawson." Then it came out, to our infinite amusement, that Dawson was in the habit, occasionally, of impressing our factotum Bill to carry bat, stumps, and ball down to the marsh, and there commencing private practice on his own account.

Mr Sydney Dawson and Bill Thomas-the sublime and the ridiculous-amalgamating at cricket, was far too good a joke to lose; so we got Hanmer to cut his lecture short, and come down with us to the scene of action. From the cover of a sand-bank, we had a view of all that was going on in the plain below. There was our friend at the wicket, with his coat off, and the grey spectacles on, in an attitude which it must have taken him some study to accomplish, and Bill, with the ball in his hand, vociferating "Plaiy." A ragged urchin behind the wicket, attempting to bag the balls as Dawson missed them in what had once been a hat, and Sholto looking on with an air of mystification, completed the picture.

"That's too slow," said Sydney, as Bill, after some awful contortions, at length delivered himself of what he called a cast. "Diawl!" said Bill, sotto voce, as he again got possession of the ball. "That's too high," was the complaint, as, with an extraordinary kind of jerk, it flew some yards over the batsman's head, and took what remained of the crown out of the little lazzaroni's hat behind. "Diawl!" quoth Bill again, apologetically. "She got too much way on her that time." Bill was generally pretty wide of his mark, and great appeared to be the satisfaction of all parties when Dawson contrived to make a hit, and Sholto and the boy set off after the ball, while the striker leaned with elegant nonchalance upon his bat, and Bill mopped his face, and gave vent to a complimentary variety of "Diawl." It was really a pity to interrupt the performance; but we did at last. Bill looked rather ashamed of his share in the business when he saw "Mishtar," as he called Hanmer; but Dawson's self-complacency and good-humour carried him through everything. "By Jove," said Willingham to him, "no wonder you improve in your style of play; Bill has no bad notion of bowling, has he?" "Why, no; he does very well for practice; and he is to have half-a-crown if he gets me out." "Bowl at his legs, Bill," said Willingham aside, "he's out, you know, if you hit them." "Nay," said Bill, with a desponding shake of the head, "she squat 'n hard on the knee now just, and made 'n proper savage, but I wasn't get nothing for that."

Positively we did more in the way of reading after the boating and the cricket began, than while we continued in a state of vagrant idleness, without a fixed amusement of any kind. In the first place, it was necessary to conciliate Hanmer by some show of industry in the morning, in order to keep him in good humour for the cricket in the evening; for he was decidedly the main hope of our having anything like a decent eleven. Secondly, the Phillipses took to dining early at home, and coming to practice with us in the evening, instead of dropping down the river every breezy morning, and either idling in our rooms, or beguiling us out mackerel-fishing or flapper-shooting in their boat. And thirdly, it became absolutely necessary that we should do something, if class lists and examiners had any real existence, and were not mere bugbears invented by "alma mater" to instil a wholesome terror into her unruly progeny. Really, when one compared our actual progress with the Augean labour which was to be gone through, it required a large amount of faith to believe that we were all "going up for honours in October."

We spent a very pleasant morning at Llyn-eiros, the den of "Tiger Jones." He obtained this somewhat appalling sobriquet from a habit of spinning yarns, more marvellous than his unwarlike neighbours were accustomed to, of the dangers encountered in his Indian sports; and one in particular, of an extraordinary combat between his "chokedar" and a tiger-whether the gist of the story lay in the tiger's eating the chokedar, or the chokedar eating the tiger, I am not sure-I rather think the latter. However, in Wales one is always glad to have some distinguishing appellation to prefix to the name of Jones. If a man's godfathers and godmothers have the forethought to christen him "Mountstewart Jones," or "Fitzhardinge Jones" (I knew such instances of cognominal anticlimax), then it was all very well-no mistake about the individuality of such fortunate people. But "Tom Joneses" and "Bob Joneses" were no individuals at all. They were classes, and large classes; and had to be again distinguished into "Little Bob Joneses" and "Long Bob Joneses." Or if there happened to be nothing sufficiently characteristic in the personal appearance of the rival Joneses, then was he fortunate who had no less complimentary additions to his style and title than what might be derived from the name of his location, or the nature of his engagements. These honours were often hereditary-nay, sometimes descended in the female line. We hear occasionally, in England, of "Mrs Doctor Smith," and "Mrs Major Brown;" and absurd as it is, one does comprehend by intuition that it was the gentleman and not the lady who was the ten-year man at Cambridge, or the commandant of the Boggleton yeomanry; but few besides a Welshman would have learned, without a smile, that "Mrs Jones the officer" was the relict of the late tide-waiter at Glyndewi, or that the quiet, modest little daughter of the town-clerk of B-- was known to her intimates as "Miss Jones the lawyer." Luckily our friend the Tiger was a bachelor; it would have been alarming to a nervous stranger at the Glyndewi ball, upon inquiring the name of the young lady with red hair and cat's eyes, to have been introduced incontinently to "Miss Jones the tiger."

The Tiger himself was a well-disposed animal; somewhat given to solitary prowling, like his namesakes in a state of nature, but of most untigerlike and facetious humour. He generally marched into Glyndewi after an early breakfast, and from that time until he returned to his "mutton" at five, might be seen majestically stalking up and down the extreme edge of the terrace, looking at the fishing-boats, and shaking-not his tail, for, as all stout gentlemen seemed to think it their duty to do by the sea-side, he wore a round jacket. From the time that we began our new pursuits, he took to us amazingly-called us his "dear lads"-offered bets to any amount that we should beat the B-- Cutter Club, and protested that he never saw finer bowling at Lord's than Hanmer's.

Branling was in delight. He had found a man who would smoke with him all day (report said, indeed, that the Tiger regularly went to sleep with a cheroot in his mouth), and he had the superintending of "the boat," which was his thought from morning to night. A light gig, that had once belonged to the custom-house, was polished and painted under his special directions (often did we sigh for one of King's worst "fours!") and the fishermen marvelled at such precocious nautical talent.

None of these, however-great events as they were in our hitherto monotonous sojourn-were the "crowning mercy" of the Glyndewi regatta. Hitherto the sunshine of bright eyes, and the breath of balmy lips, had been almost as much unknown to us as if we had been still within the monastic walls of Oxford. We had dined in a body at our friend the surgeon's: he was a bachelor. We had been invited by twos and threes at a time to a Welsh squire's in the neighbourhood, who had two maiden sisters, and a fat, good-humoured wife. Captain Phillips had given us a spread more than once at Craig-y-gerron, and, of course, some of us (I was not so fortunate) had handed in the Misses Phillips to dinner; but the greater part of the time from six till eleven (at which hour Hanmer always ordered out our "trap") was too pleasantly occupied in discussing the captain's port and claret, and laughing at his jokes, to induce us to give much time or attention to the ladies in the drawing-room. If some of my fair readers exclaim against this stoic (or rather epicurean) indifference, it may gratify their injured vanity to know, that in the sequel some of us paid for it.

The Phillipses came down in full force the day before the regatta; they were engaged to lunch with us, and, as it was the first time that the ladies of the party had honoured us with a visit, we spared no pains to make our entertainment somewhat more recherché than was our wont. It was then that I first discovered that Clara Phillips was beautiful. I am not going to describe her now; I never could have described her. All I knew, and all I remember, was, that for a long time afterwards I formed my standard of what a woman ought to be, by unconscious comparison with what she was. What colour her eyes were, was a question among us at the time. Willingham swore they were grey; Dawson insisted that they were hazel; Branling, to whom they referred the point, was inclined to think there was "something green" in them. But that they were eyes of no common expression, all of us were agreed. I think at least half the party were more than half in love with her when that race-week was over. In one sense it was not her fault if we were; for a girl more thoroughly free from every species of coquetry, and with less of that pit

iful ambition of making conquests, which is the curse of half the sex, it was impossible to meet with. But she was to blame for it too, in another way; for to know her, and not love her, would have been a reproach to any man. Lively and good-humoured, with an unaffected buoyancy of spirits, interesting herself in all that passed around her, and unconscious of the interest she herself excited, no wonder that she seemed to us like an angel sent to cheer us in our house of bondage. Of her own family she was deservedly the darling; even Dick Phillips, whom three successive tutors had given up in despair, became the most docile of pupils under his sister Clara. Accustomed early to join her brothers in all out-door sports, she was an excellent horsewoman, a fearless sailor, and an untiring explorer of mountains and waterfalls, without losing her naturally feminine character, or becoming in any degree a hoiden or a romp. She sang the sweet national airs of Wales with a voice whose richness of tone was only second to its power of expression. She did everything with the air of one who, while delighting others, is conscious only of delighting herself; and never seeking admiration, received it as gracefully as it was ungrudgingly bestowed.

If there is one form of taking exercise which I really hate, it is what people call dancing. I am passionately fond of music; but why people should conceive it necessary to shuffle about in all varieties of awkwardness, in order to enjoy it to their satisfaction, has been, is, and probably will ever be, beyond my comprehension. It is all very well for young ladies on the look-out for husbands to affect a fondness for dancing: in the first place, some women dance gracefully, and even elegantly, and show themselves off undoubtedly to advantage (if any exhibition on a woman's part be an advantage); then it gives an excuse for whispering, and squeezing of hands, and stealing flowers, and a thousand nameless skirmishings preparatory to what they are endeavouring to bring about-an engagement; but for a man to be fond of shuffling and twirling himself out of the dignity of step which nature gave him-picking his way through a quadrille, like a goose upon hot bricks, or gyrating like a bad tee-totum in what English fashionables are pleased to term a "valse," I never see a man thus occupied, without a fervent desire to kick him. "What a Goth!" I hear a fair reader of eighteen, prettily ejaculate-"thank Heaven, that all men have not such barbarous ideas! Why, I would go fifty miles to a good ball!" Be not alarmed, my dear young lady; give me but a moment to thank Providence, in my turn, that you are neither my sister nor my daughter, and I will promise you that you shall never be my wife.

On the Saturday night, then, I made Gordon and Willingham both very cross, and caught Sydney Dawson's eye looking over his spectacles with supreme contempt, when I declared my decided intention of staying at home the night of the ball. Even the Reverend Robert Hanmer, who was going himself, was annoyed when Gordon told him of what he called my wilfulness, having a notion that it was decidedly disrespectful in any of us, either to go when he did not, or to decline going when he did.

On the Tuesday morning, I sent to B-- for white kids. Gordon looked astonished, Hanmer was glad that I had "taken his advice," and Willingham laughed outright; he had overheard Clara Phillips ask me to dance with her. Men are like green gooseberries-very green ones; women do make fools of them, and a comparatively small proportion of sugar, in the shape of flattery, is sufficient.

Two days before the regatta, there marched into Mrs Jenkins's open doorway, a bewildered-looking gentleman, shaking off the dust from his feet in testimony of having had a long walk, and inquiring for Hanmer. Gwenny, with her natural grace, trotted up-stairs before him, put her head in at the "drawing-room" door (she seemed always conscious that the less one saw of her person the better), and having announced briefly, but emphatically, "a gentlemans," retreated. Hanmer had puzzled himself and me by an attempt to explain a passage which Aristotle, of course, would have put in plainer language if he had known what he meant himself-but modern philosophers are kind enough to help him out occasionally-when the entrance of the gentleman in dust cut the Gordian knot, and saved the Stagyrite from the disgrace of having a pretty bit of esoteric abstruseness translated into common sense.

(What a blessing would it be for Dr --, and Professor --, if they might be allowed to mystify their readers in Greek! though, to do them justice, they have turned the Queen's English to good account for that purpose, and have produced passages which first-class men, at an Athenian university, might possibly construe, but which the whole board of sophists might be defied to explain.)

The deus ex machina-the gentleman on, or rather off the tramp-who arrived thus opportunely, was no less a person than the Reverend George Plympton, Fellow of Oriel, &c. &c. &c. He was an intimate friend of our worthy tutor's; if the friendship between Oxford dons can be called intimacy. They compared the merits of their respective college cooks three or four times a term, and contended for the superior vintage of the common-room port. They played whist together; walked arm-in-arm round Christ Church meadow; and knew the names of all the old incumbents in each other's college-list, and the value of the respective livings. Mr Plympton and a friend had been making a walking tour of North Wales; that is, they walked about five miles, stared at a mountain, or a fall, or an old castle, as per guide-book, and then coached it to the next point, when the said book set down that "the Black Dog was an excellent inn," or that "travellers would find every accommodation at Mrs Price's of the Wynnstay Arms." Knowing that Hanmer was to be found at Glyndewi, Mr Plympton left his friend at B--, where the salmon was unexceptionable, and had completed the most arduous day's walk in his journal, nearly thirteen miles, in a state of dust and heat far from agreeable to a stoutish gentleman of forty, who usually looked as spruce as if he came out of a band-box. Hanmer and he seemed really glad to see each other. On those "oxless" shores, where, as Byron says, "beef was rare," though

"Goat's flesh there was, no doubt, and kid, and mutton,"

the tender reminiscences of far-off Gaude days and Bursary dinners, that must have arisen in the hearts of each, were enough to make their meeting almost an affecting one. Hanmer must have blushed, I think, though far from his wont, when he asked Mr Plympton if he could feed with us at four upon-hashed mutton! (We consumed nearly a sheep per week, and exhausted our stock of culinary ideas, as well as our landlady's patience, in trying to vary the forms in which it was to appear; not having taken the precaution, as some Cambridge men did at B-- one vacation, to bespeak a French cook at a rather higher salary than the mathematical tutor's.)[A] Probably, however, Mr Plympton's unusual walk made him more anxious about the quantity than the quality of his diet, for he not only attacked the mutton like an Etonian, but announced his intention of staying with us over the ball, if a bed was to be had, and sending to B-- for his decorations. He was introduced in due form to the Phillipses the next day, and in the number and elegance of his bows, almost eclipsed Mr Sydney Dawson, whom Clara never ceased to recommend to her brothers as an example of politeness.

Bright dawned the morning of the 20th of August, the first of the "three glorious days" of Glyndewi. As people came to these races really for amusement, the breakfast was fixed for the very unfashionable hour of ten, in order not to interfere with the main business of the day-the regatta. Before half-past, the tables at the Mynysnewydd Arms were filled with what the --shire Herald termed "a galaxy of beauty and fashion." But every one seemed well aware that there were far more substantial attractions present, meant to fill not the tables only, but the guests. The breakfast was by no means a matter of form. People had evidently come with more serious intentions than merely to display new bonnets, and trifle with grapes and peaches. Sea-air gives a whet to even a lady's appetite, and if the performances that morning were any criterion of the effects of that of Glyndewi, the new Poor Law Commissioners, in forming their scale of allowances, must really have reported it a "special case." The fair Cambrians, in short, played very respectable knives and forks-made no bones-or rather nothing but bones-of the chickens, and ate kippered salmon like Catholics. You caught a bright eye gazing in your direction with evident interest-"Would you have the kindness to cut that pasty before you for a lady?" You almost overheard a tender whisper from the gentleman opposite to the pretty girl beside him. She blushes and gently remonstrates. Again his lip almost touches her cheek in earnest persuasion-yes! she is consenting-to another little slice of ham! As for the jolly Welsh squires themselves, and their strapping heirs-apparent (you remember that six-foot-four man surely, number six of the Jesus boat)-now that the ladies have really done, and the waiters have brought in the relays of brandered chickens and fresh-caught salmon, which mine host, who has had some experience of his customers, has most liberally provided-they set to work in earnest. They have been only politely trifling hitherto with the wing of a fowl or so, to keep the ladies company. But now, as old Captain Phillips, at the head of the table, cuts a slice and a joke alternately, and the Tiger at the bottom begins to let out his carnivorous propensities, one gets to have an idea what breakfast means. "Let me advise you, my dear Mr Dawson-as a friend-you'll excuse an old stager-if you have no particular wish to starve yourself-you've had nothing yet but two cups of tea-to help yourself, and let your neighbours do the same. You may keep on cutting Vauxhall shavings for those three young Lloyds till Michaelmas; pass the ham down to them, and hand me those devilled kidneys."

"Tea? no; thank you; I took a cup yesterday, and haven't been myself since. Waiter! don't you see this tankard's empty?"

"Consume you, Dick Phillips! I left two birds in that pie five minutes back, and you've cleared it out!"

"Diawl, John Jones, I was a fool to look into a tankard after you!"

Everything has an end, and so the breakfast had at last; and we followed the ladies to the terrace to watch the sailing for the ladies' challenge cup. By the help of a glass we could see three yachts, with about half a mile between each, endeavouring to get round a small boat with a man and a flag in it, which, as the wind was about the worst they could have had for the purpose, seemed no easy matter. There was no great interest in straining one's eyes after them, so I found out the Phillipses, and having told Dawson, who was escorting Clara, that Hanmer was looking for him to make out the list of "the eleven," I was very sorry indeed when the sound of a gun announced that the Hon. H. Chouser's Firefly had won the cup, and that the other two yachts might be expected in the course of half an hour. Nobody waited for them, of course. The herring-boats, after a considerable deal of what I concluded from the emphasis to be swearing in Welsh, in which, however, Captain Phillips, who was umpire, seemed to have decidedly the advantage in variety of terms and power of voice, were pronounced "ready," and started by gun-fire accordingly. A rare start they made of it. The great ambition of every man among them seemed to be to prevent the boats next in the line from starting at all. It was a general fouling-match, and the jabbering was terrific. At last, the two outside boats, having the advantage of a clear berth on one side, got away, and made a pretty race of it, followed by such of the rest as could by degrees extricate themselves from the mêlée.

But now was to come our turn. Laden with all manner of good wishes, we hoisted a bit of dark-blue silk for the honour of Oxford, and spurted under the terrace to our starting-place. The only boat entered against us was the Dolphin, containing three stout gentlemen and a thin one, members of the B-- Cutter Club, who evidently looked upon pulling as no joke. Branling gave us a steady stroke, and Cotton of Baliol steered us admirably; the rest did as well as they could. The old boys had a very pretty boat-ours was a tub-but we beat them. They gave us a stern-chase for the first hundred yards, for I cut a crab at starting; but we had plenty of pluck, and came in winners by a length. Of course we were the favourites-the "Dolphins" were all but one married-and hearty were the congratulations with which we were greeted on landing. Clara Phillips's eyes had a most dangerous light in them, as she shook hands with our noble captain, who was in a terrible hurry, however, to get away, and hunting everywhere for "that d--d Dawson," who had promised to have Bill Thomas in readiness with "the lush." So I was compelled to stay with her and give an account of the race, which she perfectly understood, and be soundly scolded by the prettiest lips in the world for my awkwardness, which she declared she never could have forgiven if it had lost the race.

"You will come to the ball, then, Mr Hawthorne?"

"Am I not to dance with you?"

"Yes, if you behave well, and don't tease Mr Sydney Dawson: he is a great favourite of mine, and took great care of me this morning at breakfast."

"Well, then, for your sake, Miss Phillips, I will be particularly civil to him; but I assure you, Dawson is like the fox that took a pride in being hunted; he considers our persecution of him as the strongest evidence of his own superiority; and if you seriously undertake to patronise him, he will become positively unbearable."

The regatta over, we retired to make a hurried dinner, and to dress for the ball. This, with some of our party, was a serious business. Willingham and Dawson were going in fancy dresses. The former was an admirable personification of Dick Turpin, standing upwards of six feet, and broadly built; and becoming his picturesque costume as if it were his everyday suit, he strutted before Mrs Jenkins's best glass, which Hanmer charitably gave up for his accommodation, with a pardonable vanity. Dawson had got a lancer's uniform from his London tailor; but how to get into it was a puzzle; it was delightful to see his attempts to unravel the gorgeous mysteries which were occupying every available spot in his dingy bedroom. The shako was the main stumbling-block. Being unfortunately rather small, it was no easy matter to keep it on his head at all; and how to dispose of the cap-lines was beyond our united wisdom. "Go without it, man," said Branling: "people don't want hats in a ball-room. You can never dance with that thing on your head."

"Oh, but the head-dress is always worn at a fancy-ball, you know, and I can take it off if I like to dance."

At last the idea struck us of employing the five or six yards of gold cord that had so puzzled us, in securing shako and plume in a perpendicular position. This at length accomplished, by dint of keeping himself scrupulously upright, Mr Sydney Dawson majestically walked down stairs.

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