Mr Waffles

AMONG A HOST of most meritorious young men -- (any of whom would get up behind a bill for five hundred pounds without looking to see that it wasn’t a thousand) -- among a host of most meritorious young men who made their appearance at Laverick Wells towards the close of Mr Slocdolager’s reign, was Mr Waffles; a most enterprising youth, just on the verge of arriving of age, and into the possession of a very considerable amount of charming ready money.

Were it not that a ‘proud aristocracy,’ as Sir Robert Peel called them, have shown that they can get over any little deficiency of birth if there is sufficiency of cash, we should have thought it necessary to make the best of Mr Waffles’ pedigree, but the tide of opinion evidently setting the other way, we shall just give it as we had it, and let the proud aristocracy reject him if they like. Mr Waffles’ father, then, was either a great grazier or a great brazier -- which, we are unable to say, ‘for a small drop of ink having fallen,’ not ‘like dew,’ but like a black beetle, on the first letter of the word in our correspondent’s communication, it may do for either -- but in one of which trades he made a ‘mint of money,’ and latish on in life married a lady who hitherto had filled the honourable office of dairy-maid in his house; she was a fine handsome woman, and a year or two after the birth of this their only child, he departed this life, nearer eighty than seventy, leaving an ‘inconsolable,’ &c., who unfortunately contracted matrimony with a master pork-butcher, before she got the fine flattering white monument up, causing young Waffles to be claimed for dry-nursing by that expert matron the High Court of Chancery; who, of course, had him properly educated -- where, it is immaterial to relate, as we shall step on till we find him at college.

Our friend, having proved rather too vivacious for the Oxford Dons, had been recommended to try the effects of the Laverick Wells, or any other waters he liked, and had arrived with a couple of hunters and a hack, much to the satisfaction of the neighbouring master of hounds and his huntsman; for Waffles had ridden over and maimed more hounds to his own share, during the two seasons he had been at Oxford, than that gentleman had been in the habit of appropriating to the use of the whole university. Corresponding with that gentleman’s delight at getting rid of him was Mr Slocdolager’s dismay at his appearance, for fully satisfied that Oxford was the seat of fox-hunting as well as of all the other arts and sciences, Mr Waffles undertook to enlighten him and his huntsman on the mysteries of their calling, and ‘Old Sloc,’ as he was called, being a very silent man, while Mr Waffles was a very noisy one, Sloc was nearly talked deaf by him.

Mr Waffles was just in the heyday of hot, rash, youthful indiscretion and extravagance. He had not the slightest idea of the value of money, and looked at the fortune he was so closely approaching as perfectly inexhaustible. His rooms, the most spacious and splendid at that most spacious and splendid hotel, the Imperial, were filled with a profusion of the most useless but costly articles. Jewellery without end, pictures innumerable, pictures that represented all sorts of imaginary sums of money, just as they represented all sorts of imaginary scenes, but whose real worth or genuineness would never be tested till the owner wanted to ‘convert them.’

Mr Waffles was a ‘pretty man.’ Tall, slim, and slight, with long curly light hair, pink and white complexion, visionary whiskers, and a tendency to moustache that could best be seen sideways. He had light blue eyes; while his features generally were good, but expressive of little beyond great good-humour. In dress, he was both smart and various; indeed, we feel a difficulty in fixing him in any particular costume, so frequent and opposite were his changes. He had coats of every cut and colour. Sometimes he was the racing man with a bright-button’d Newmarket brown cut-away, and white-cord trousers, with drab cloth-boots: anon, he would be the officer, and shine forth in a fancy forage cap, cocked jauntily over a profusion of well-waxed curls, a richly-braided surtout, with military over-alls strapped down over highly- varnished boots, whose hypocritical heels would sport a pair of large rowelled, long-necked, ringing, brass spurs. Sometimes he was a Jack tar, with a little glazed hat, a once-round tye, a checked shirt, a blue jacket, roomy trousers, and broad-stringed pumps; and, before the admiring ladies had well digested him in that dress, he would be seen cantering away on a long-tailed white barb, in a pea-green duck- hunter, with cream-coloured leather and rose-tinted tops. He was

  By PanEris using Melati.

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