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politeness which, if it condescend to receive artists at all, takes care to have them altogether, so that there can be no mistake about their rank-that august patronage of art which rewards it with a silly flourish of knighthood, to be sure, but takes care to exclude it from any contact with its betters in society,-I was, I say, just going to commence a tirade against the aristocracy for excluding artists from their company, and to be extremely satirical upon them, for instance, for not receiving my friend Morgiana, when it suddenly came into my head to ask, was Mrs. Walker fit to move in the best society?— to which query it must humbly be replied that she was not. Her education was not such as to make her quite the equal of Baker Street. She was a kind, honest, and clever creature; but, it must be confessed, not refined. Wherever she went she had, if not the finest, at any rate the most showy gown in the room; her ornaments were the biggest: her hats, toques, berets, marabouts, and other fallals, always the most conspicuous. She drops "h's" here and there. have seen her eat pease with a knife (and Walker, scowling on the opposite side of the table, striving in vain to catch her eye); and I shall never forget Lady Smigmag's horror when she asked for porter at dinner at Richmond, and began to drink it out of the pewter pot. It was a fine sight. She lifted up the tankard with one of the finest arms, covered with the biggest bracelets ever seen; and had a bird of paradise on her head, that curled round the pewter disk of the pot as she raised it, like a halo. These peculiarities she had, and has still. She is best away from the genteel world, that is the fact. When she says that "The weather is so 'ot that it is quite debiliating;" when she laughs, when she hits her neighbour at dinner on the side of the waistcoat (as she will if he should say anything that amuses her), she does what is perfectly natural and unaffected on her part, but what is not customarily done among polite persons, who can sneer at her odd manners and her vanity, but don't know the kindness, honesty, and simplicity which distinguish her. This point being admitted, it follows, of course, that the tirade against the aristocracy would, in the present instance, be out of place-so it shall be reserved for some other occasion.

The Ravenswing was a person admirably disposed by nature to be happy. She had a disposition so kindly that any small attention would satisfy it; was pleased when alone; was delighted in a crowd; was charmed with a joke, however old; was always ready to laugh, to sing, to dance, or to be merry; was so tender-hearted that the smallest ballad would make her cry, and hence was supposed, by many persons, to be extremely affected, and by almost all, to be a downright coquette. Several competitors for her favour presented themselves besides Baroski. Young dandies used to canter round her phaeton in the park, and might be seen haunting her doors in the mornings. The fashionable artist of the day made a drawing of her, which was engraved and sold in the shops; a copy of it was printed in a song, "Black-eyed Maiden of Araby," the words by Desmond Mulligan, Esq., the music composed and dedicated to MRS. HOWARD WALKER, by her most faithful and obliged servant, Benjamin Baroski; and at night her Opera-box was full. Her Opera-box? Yes, the heiress of the "Bootjack" actually had an Opera-box, and some of the most fashionable manhood of London attended it.

Now, in fact, was the time of her greatest prosperity; and her husband gathering these fashionable characters about him, extended his "agency" considerably, and began to thank his stars that he had married a woman who was as good as a fortune to him.

In extending his agency, however, Mr. Walker increased his expenses proportionably, and multiplied his debts accordingly. More furniture and more plate, more wines and more dinner-parties, became necessary; the little pony-phaeton was exchanged for a brougham of evenings; and we may fancy our old friend Mr. Eglantine's rage and disgust, as he looked up from the pit of the Opera, to see Mrs. Walker surrounded by what he called "the swell young nobs" about London, bowing to my lord, and laughing with his grace, and led to her carriage by Sir John.

The Ravenswing's position at this period was rather an exceptional one. She was an honest woman, visited by that peculiar class of our aristocracy who chiefly associate with ladies who are not

honest. She laughed with all, but she encouraged none. Old Crump was constantly at her side now when she appeared in public, the most watchful of mammas, always awake at the Opera, though she seemed to be always asleep; but no dandy debauchee could deceive her vigilance, and for this reason, Walker, who disliked her, (as every man naturally will, must, and should dislike his mother-in-law,) was contented to suffer her in his house to act as a chaperon to Morgiana.

None of the young dandies ever got admission of mornings to the little mansion in the Edgeware Road; the blinds were always down; and though you might hear Morgiana's voice half across the Park as she was practising, yet the youthful hall-porter in the sugarloaf buttons was instructed to deny her, and always declared that his mistress was gone out, with the most admirable assurance.

After some two years of her life of splendour, there were, to be sure, a good number of morning visitors, who came with single knocks, and asked for Captain Walker; but these were no more admitted than the dandies aforesaid, and were referred, generally, to the Captain's office, whither they went or not at their convenience. The only man who obtained admission into the house was Baroski, whose cab transported him thrice a week to the neighbourhood of Connaught Square, and who obtained ready entrance in his professional capacity.

But even then, and much to the wicked little music-master's disappointment, the dragon Crump was always at the piano with her endless worsted work, or else reading her unfailing Sunday Times; and Baroski could only employ "de langvitch of de ice," as he called it, with his fair pupil, who used to mimic his manner of rolling his eyes about afterwards, and perform "Baroski in love," for the amusement of her husband and her mamma. The former had his reasons for overlooking the attentions of the little music-master; and as for the latter, had she not been on the stage, and had not many hundreds of persons, in jest or earnest, made love to her? What else can a pretty woman expect, who is much before the public? And so the worthy mother counselled her daughter to bear these

attentions with good humour, rather than to make them a subject of perpetual alarm and quarrel.

Baroski, then, was allowed to go on being in love, and was never in the least disturbed in his passion; and if he was not successful, at least the little wretch could have the pleasure of hinting that he was, and looking particularly roguish when the Ravenswing was named, and assuring his friends at the club, that "upon his vort dere vas no trut in dat rebort."

At last one day it happened that Mrs. Crump did not arrive in time for her daughter's lesson (perhaps it rained, and the omnibus was full—a smaller circumstance than that has changed a whole life ere now)-Mrs. Crump did not arrive, and Baroski did, and Morgiana, seeing no great harm, sat down to her lesson as usual, and in the midst of it down went the music-master on his knees, and made a declaration in the most eloquent terms he could muster.

"Don't be a fool, Baroski!" said the lady-(I can't help it if her language was not more choice, and if she did not rise with cold dignity, exclaiming, "Unhand me, sir!")-" don't be a fool!" said Mrs. Walker, "but get up and let's finish the lesson."

"You hard-hearted adorable little greature, vil you not listen to me ?"


No, I vill not listen to you, Benjamin!" concluded the lady; "get up and take a chair, and don't go on in that ridiklous way, don't!"

But Baroski, having a speech by heart, determined to deliver himself of it in that posture, and begged Morgiana not to turn avay her divine hice, and to listen to de voice of his despair, and so forth; he seized the lady's hand, and was going to press it to his lips, when she said, with more spirit, perhaps, than grace,—

"Leave go my hand, sir; I'll box your ears if you don't!"

But Baroski wouldn't release her hand, and was proceeding to imprint a kiss upon it, and Mrs. Crump, who had taken the omnibus at a quarter past twelve instead of that at twelve, had just opened the drawing-room door and was walking in, when Morgiana, turning as red as a peony, and unable to disengage her left hand which the

musician held, raised up her right hand, and, with all her might and main, gave her lover such a tremendous slap in the face as caused him abruptly to release the hand which he held, and would have laid him prostrate on the carpet but for Mrs. Crump, who rushed forward and prevented him from falling by administering right and left a whole shower of slaps, such as he had never endured since the day he was at school.

"What imperence!" said that worthy lady; "you'll lay hands on my daughter will you? (one, two). You'll insult a woman in distress, will you, you little coward? (one, two). Take that, and mind your

manners, you filthy monster!"

Baroski bounced up in a fury. "By Chofe, you shall hear of dis!" shouted he; "you shall pay me dis!"

"As many more as you please, little Benjamin," cried the widow. "Augustus" (to the page), "was that the Captain's knock ?" At this Baroski made for his hat. "Augustus, show this imperence to the door, and if he tries to come in again, call a policeman: do you hear?"

The music-master vanished very rapidly, and the two ladies, instead of being frightened or falling into hysterics as their betters would have done, laughed at the odious monster's discomfiture, as they called him. "Such a man as that set himself up against my Howard!" said Morgiana, with becoming pride; but it was agreed between them that Howard should know nothing of what had occurred, for fear of quarrels, or lest he should be annoyed. So when he came home not a word was said; and only that his wife met him with more warmth than usual, you could not have guessed that anything extraordinary had occurred. It is not my fault that my heroine's sensibilities were not more keen, that she had not the least occasion for sal-volatile or symptom of a fainting fit; but so it was, and Mr. Howard Walker knew nothing of the quarrel between his wife and her instructor, until

Until he was arrested next day at the suit of Benjamin Baroski for two hundred and twenty guineas, and, in default of payment, was conducted by Mr. Tobias Larkins to his principal's lock-up house in Chancery Lane.

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