“Would you have any objection to write down to Snigsworthy Park, and ask this favor of Lord Snigsworth? Of course if it were granted I should know that I owed it solely to you; while at the same time you would put it to Lord Snigsworth entirely upon public grounds. Would you have any objection?”

Says Twemlow, with his hand to his forehead, “You have exacted a promise from me.”

“I have, my dear Twemlow.”

“And you expect me to keep it honorably.”

“I do, my dear Twemlow.”

On the whole, then; — observe me,” urges Twemlow with great nicety, as if, in the case of its having been off the whole, he would have done it directly — “on the whole, I must beg you to excuse me from addressing any communication to Lord Snigsworth.”

“Bless you, bless you!” says Veneering; horribly disappointed, but grasping him by both hands again, in a particularly fervent manner.

It is not to be wondered at that poor Twemlow should decline to inflict a letter on his noble cousin (who has gout in the temper), inasmuch as his noble cousin, who allows him a small annuity on which he lives, takes it out of him, as the phrase goes, in extreme severity; putting him, when he visits at Snigsworthy Park, under a kind of martial law; ordaining that he shall hang his hat on a particular peg, sit on a particular chair, talk on particular subjects to particular people, and perform particular exercises: such as sounding the praises of the Family Varnish (not to say Pictures), and abstaining from the choicest of the Family Wines unless expressly invited to partake.

“One thing, however, I can do for you,” says Twemlow; “and that is, work for you.”

Veneering blesses him again.

“I’ll go,” says Twemlow, in a rising hurry of spirits, “to the club; — let us see now; what o’clock is it?”

“Twenty minutes to eleven.”

“I’ll be,” says Twemlow, “at the club by ten minutes to twelve, and I’ll never leave it all day.”

Veneering feels that his friends are rallying round him, and says, “Thank you, thank you. I knew I could rely upon you. I said to Anastatia before leaving home just now to come to you — of course the first friend I have seen on a subject so momentous to me, my dear Twemlow — I said to Anastatia, ‘We must work.’ ”

“You were right, you were right,” replies Twemlow. “Tell me. Is she working?”

“She is,” says Veneering.

“Good!” cries Twemlow, polite little gentleman that he is. “A woman’s tact is invaluable. To have the dear sex with us, is to have everything with us.”

“But you have not imparted to me,” remarks Veneering, “what you think of my entering the House of Commons?”

“I think,” rejoins Twemlow, feelingly, “that it is the best club in London.”

Veneering again blesses him, plunges down stairs, rushes into his Hansom, and directs the driver to be up and at the British Public, and to charge into the City.

  By PanEris using Melati.

Previous chapter/page Back Home Email this Search Discuss Bookmark Next chapter/page
Copyright: All texts on Bibliomania are © Bibliomania.com Ltd, and may not be reproduced in any form without our written permission. See our FAQ for more details.