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cleaned daily. Parenthetically, let us ask why so many men, with coarse red wrists and big hands, persist in the white kid glove and wristband system? Baroski's gloves alone must cost him a little fortune; only he says with a leer, when asked the question, "Get along vid you; don't you know dere is a gloveress that lets me have dem very sheap?" He rides in the Park; has splendid lodgings in Dover Street; and is a member of the "Regent Club," where he is a great source of amusement to the members, to whom he tells astonishing stories of his successes with the ladies, and for whom he has always play and opera tickets in store. His eye glistens and his little heart beats when a lord speaks to him; and he has been known to spend large sums of money in giving treats to young sprigs of fashion at Richmond and elsewhere. "In my bolyticks," he says, "I am consarevatiff to de bag-bone." In fine, he is a puppy, and withal a man of considerable genius in his profession.
This gentleman then undertook to complete the musical education. of Mrs. Walker. He expressed himself at once "enshanted vid her gababilities," found that the extent of her voice was "brodigious," and guaranteed that she should become a first-rate singer. The pupil was apt, the master was exceedingly skilful; and, accordingly, Mrs. Walker's progress was very remarkable: although, for her part, honest Mrs. Crump, who used to attend her daughter's lessons, would grumble not a little at the new system, and the endless exercises which she, Morgiana, was made to go through. It was very different in her time, she said. Incledon knew no music, and who could sing so well now? Give her a good English ballad; it was a thousand times sweeter than your "Figaros" and "Semiramides."
In spite of these objections, however, and with amazing perseverance and cheerfulness, Mrs. Walker pursued the method of study pointed out to her by her master. As soon as her husband went to the City in the morning her operations began; if he remained away at dinner, her labours still continued: nor is it necessary for me to particularise her course of study, nor, indeed, possible; for, between. ourselves, none of the male Fitz-Boodles ever could sing a note, and the jargon of scales and solfeggios is quite unknown to me. But as
no man can have seen persons addicted to music without remarking the prodigious energies they display in the pursuit, as there is no father of daughters, however ignorant, but is aware of the pianorattling and voice-exercising which goes on in his house from morning till night, so let all fancy, without further inquiry, how the heroine of our story was at this stage of her existence occupied.
Walker was delighted with her progress, and did everything but pay Baroski, her instructor. We know why he didn't pay. It was his nature not to pay bills, except on extreme compulsion; but why did not Baroski employ that extreme compulsion? Because, if he had received his money, he would have lost his pupil, and because he loved his pupil more than money. Rather than lose her, he would have given her a guinea as well as her cachet. He would sometimes disappoint a great personage, but he never missed his attendance on her; and the truth must out, that he was in love with her, as Woolsey and Eglantine had been before.
"By the immortel Chofe !" he would say, "dat letell ding sents me mad vid her big ice! But only vait avile in six veeks I can bring any voman in England on her knees to me; and you shall see vat I vill do vid my Morgiana." He attended her for six weeks punctually, and yet Morgiana was never brought down on her knees; he exhausted his best stock of "gomblimends," and she never seemed disposed to receive them with anything but laughter. And, as a matter of course, he only grew more infatuated with the lovely creature who was so provokingly good-humoured and so laughingly cruel.
Benjamin Baroski was one of the chief ornaments of the musical profession in London; he charged a guinea for a lesson of threequarters of an hour abroad, and he had, furthermore, a school at his own residence, where pupils assembled in considerable numbers, and of that curious mixed kind which those may see who frequent these places of instruction. There were very innocent young ladies with their mammas, who would hurry them off trembling to the farther corner of the room when certain doubtful professional characters made their appearance. There was Miss Grigg, who sang at the "Foundling," and Mr. Johnson, who sang at the "Eagle Tavern,"
and Madame Fioravanti (a very doubtful character), who sang nowhere, but was always coming out at the Italian Opera. There was Lumley Limpiter (Lord Tweedledale's son), one of the most accomplished tenors in town, and who, we have heard, sings with the professionals at a hundred concerts; and with him, too, was Captain Guzzard of the Guards, with his tremendous bass voice, which all the world declared to be as fine as Porto's, and who shared the applause of Baroski's school with Mr. Bulger, the dentist of Sackville Street, who neglected his ivory and gold plates for his voice, as every unfortunate individual will do who is bitten by the music mania. Then among the ladies there were a half-score of dubious pale governesses and professionals with turned frocks and lank damp bandeaux of hair under shabby little bonnets; luckless creatures these, who were parting with their poor little store of half-guineas to be enabled to say they were pupils of Signor Baroski, and so get pupils of their own among the British youths, or employment in the choruses of the theatres.
The prima donna of the little company was Amelia Larkins, Baroski's own articled pupil, on whose future reputation the eminent master staked his own, whose profits he was to share, and whom he had farmed, to this end, from her father, a most respectable sheriff's officer's assistant, and now, by his daughter's exertions, a considerable capitalist. Amelia is blonde and blue-eyed, her complexion is as bright as snow, her ringlets of the colour of straw, her figure — but why describe her figure? Has not all the world seen her at the Theatres Royal and in America under the name of Miss Ligonier?
Until Mrs. Walker arrived, Miss Larkins was the undisputed princess of the Baroski company-the Semiramide, the Rosina, the Tamina, the Donna Anna. Baroski vaunted her everywhere as the great rising genius of the day, bade Catalani look to her laurels, and questioned whether Miss Stephens could sing a ballad like his pupil. Mrs. Howard Walker arrived, and created, on the first occasion, no small sensation. She improved, and the little society became speedily divided into Walkerites and Larkinsians; and between these two ladies (as, indeed, between Guzzard and Bulger before men
tioned, between Miss Brunck and Miss Horsman, the two contraltos, and between the chorus-singers, after their kind) a great rivalry arose. Larkins was certainly the better singer; but could her straw-coloured curls and dumpy high-shouldered figure bear any comparison with the jetty ringlets and stately form of Morgiana? Did not Mrs. Walker, too, come to the music-lesson in her carriage, and with a black velvet gown and Cashmere shawl, while poor Larkins meekly stepped from Bell Yard, Temple Bar, in an old print gown and clogs, which she left in the hall? "Larkins sing!" said Mrs. Crump, sarcastically; "I'm sure she ought; her mouth's big enough to sing a duet." Poor Larkins had no one to make epigrams in her behoof; her mother was at home tending the younger ones, her father abroad following the duties of his profession; she had but one protector, as she thought, and that one was Baroski. Mrs. Crump did not fail to tell Lumley Limpiter of her own former triumphs, and to sing him "Tink-a-tink," which we have previously heard, and to state how in former days she had been called the Ravenswing. And Lumley, on this hint, made a poem, in which he compared Morgiana's hair to the plumage of the Raven's wing, and Larkinissa's to that of the canary; by which two names the ladies began soon to be known in the school.
Ere long, the flight of the Ravenswing became evidently stronger, whereas that of the canary was seen evidently to droop. When Morgiana sang, all the room would cry "bravo;" when Amelia performed, scarce a hand was raised for applause of her, except Morgiana's own, and that the Larkinses thought was lifted in odious triumph, rather than in sympathy, for Miss L. was of an envious turn, and little understood the generosity of her rival.
At last, one day, the crowning victory of the Ravenswing came. In the trio of Baroski's own opera of "Eliogabalo," "Rosy lips and rosy wine," Miss Larkins, who was evidently unwell, was taking the part of the English captive, which she had sung in public concerts before royal dukes, and with considerable applause, and, from some reason, performed it so ill, that Baroski, slapping down the music on the piano in a fury, cried, "Mrs. Howard Walker, as Miss Larkins cannot sing to day, will you favour us by taking the part of Boadicetta?"
Mrs. Walker got up smilingly to obey-the triumph was too great to be withstood; and, as she advanced to the piano, Miss Larkins looked wildly at her, and stood silent for awhile, and, at last, shrieked out, 66 Benjamin!" in a tone of extreme agony, and dropped fainting down on the ground. Benjamin looked extremely red, it must be confessed, at being thus called by what we shall denominate his Christian name, and Limpiter looked round at Guzzard, and Miss Brunck nudged Miss Horsman, and the lesson concluded rather abruptly that day; for Miss Larkins was carried off to the next room, laid on a couch, and sprinkled with water.
Good-natured Morgiana insisted that her mother should take Miss Larkins to Bell Yard in her carriage, and went herself home on foot ; but I don't know that this piece of kindness prevented Larkins from hating her. I should doubt if it did.
Hearing so much of his wife's skill as a singer, the astute Captain Walker determined to take advantage of it for the purpose of increasing his "connection." He had Lumley Limpiter at his house before long, which was, indeed, no great matter, for honest Lum would go anywhere for a good dinner, and an opportunity to show off his voice afterwards, and Lumley was begged to bring any more clerks in the Treasury of his acquaintance; Captain Guzzard was invited, and any officers of the Guards whom he might choose to bring; Bulger received occasional cards :-in a word, and after a short time, Mrs. Howard Walker's musical parties began to be considerably suivies. Her husband had the satisfaction to see his rooms filled by many great personages; and once or twice in return (indeed, whenever she was wanted, or when people could not afford to hire the first singers) she was asked to parties elsewhere, and treated with that killing civility which our English aristocracy knows how to bestow on artists. Clever and wise aristocracy! It is sweet to mark your ways, and study your commerce with inferior
I was just going to commence a tirade regarding the aristocracy here, and to rage against that cool assumption of superiority which distinguishes their lordships' commerce with artists of all sorts: that