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I Mil. LAKKlN8.'




Setting tfjc erap at the ©ffirets.


Setting tfjc erap at the From the takingly-tilled and facetiouJ Work, Whom to Marry, and How to gtt Married. NEXT morning at b eakfast, mamma did nothing but talk about the otticers, telling me how glad she was we were going to be introduced to them. They were generally tingle men, with in- dependencies as handsome ai their uniforms; and there w»g DO kcowing whether Gee's affection mightn't turn out to be disgust- ingly Platonic after all; and we, perhaps, fiod that he bad only been trifling with the best feelings of my uatare, and loving me as a sister," in the very prime of my life. So she hoped and trusted Id put upon that beautiful pink bonnet that I looked so well jn, for we couldn't tell what might happenâblind mortals 88 we were. The breakfast things couldn't have been taken away above five minutes, when the waiter brought up a note, saying a man was waning below for an answer. It was from Mr. Gee, written in his usual eccentric and would-be witty style. aDd ran just as follows â "My dear Mrs. DeRoos,âI have secured Lollop, and he says he's sure Doonuffiu will come if the laiiies won't mind him smoking his weed after dinner. So, lul-lol lul-lul-lul-la-Ii-e-tee, your'* truly, "A.G.GEt. P.S. By the bye, consarning them donkeysâhow many will you require ? llhlnk the ladies ought to havaone piece. Please send word back by the maD, as I'm waiting at the barracks to know. Oh eriky, don't I love my muther" We could neither of us understand the po«tcript to the note, for Mr. Gee having always spoken of the oificvrs as a pack of donkeys, tnarama would have it that it referred to ihe number of officers we wanted to make up the party; while I saod I felt convinced that it merely related to the donkeys he had ptopo&ed to engage for us to ride upon. However, mamma said it would be better to speak to the man on the subject, as such a mistake would be very awkward, and she wouldn't for the world give any olfence in that quarter. But so thoroughly convinced was she that she was in the right, and I, as usual, in the wrong, that she would twist everything the man said, to her own view of the case, and kept fancying that all the donkey man told her about the Ion *-eared things, related to Mr. Gee's friends at the barracks. When the man came into tfce room, mammaâdetermined to put the question plainly to him, and so find out whether Mr.Gee, when he spoke of donkeys, intended to refer to the officers-laid wilh" smile, "Do you know, my good maD, whether the Hon. Mr. Gee, in the letter you brought from him, in speaking of don- keysâhe he he !âmeans them for the oilkerg or not ?" Oh, yes, marm," replied the donkey keeper, I knows bow ha do, cos Cap'n LolJnpwalJ with himâCap'n Lollop, you know, warmâas were had up for a tarring the hiniidesof all the ladies' bathing gowndsâand they was a talking on a party to the Devil's Dyke, and saying as how it 'ud be capital fun." There, you see, Charlotte, I tr«j right, only you tvill be ao positive, my love," she said, turning to me and a nice mis- take I should have made if 1 had followed your advice." Then turning to the man, she continued, Will you telllhe Hon. Mr. Ciee that I think half a dozen will be lufficient-that will be just one to snell rady." Werry good, marm," the man answered and you may de- pend upon their all being quiet and fit for ladies." Yes, 1 hope Mr. Gee wiil attend to that," replied mamma, sharply; "furl should be sorry if anything occurred to upset the party." Oh, yer needn't be Sieard on any party being upset with the ones you'll have. inarm," answered the man Mr. Gee knows 'em well, aud will answer for none on 'em being at all wicious. IndeeJ, there Mere never but one in our whole troop as couldn't be trusted out with a lady, and he were a black 'uo, wi' a white nose." A bluck one, with a while nOle!" exclaimed mnmma; O dear me, how singula; lie used to play the cymbals, then, I suppose V No, marm, not exactly that," the man answered though he were uncommonly clever, to be sure-âdo almost anything but tawk. Lnderstund everythiog that was suid to him, marm, like aChrisiian." Ab, I see, replied mamma, "of foreign extraction, and undersiood the language, but could not speak it!" Why, marm," laughed out the donkey keeper, I suppose that were about it." And WHS he really soch a bad character Yes, marm," replied the maD;" he worn't to be tiusted out without some one to look arter him. You see, he was inclined ro -by, and them there sort in always the most dangerous to the lad;es, nurm." Yes, very true, my good man," answeied matnma your shy oces are always such sly ones, that one ia never safe with the creatures." No more yer are, rearm," continued the man but yer nesda't have no fears ollhem tis Mi. Gee has settled upon. Now, there's Sir Taiton vkfs wirttle just the werry thing for youâ he's a grey 'un, but Lot at all 9haky a[;oullll., kneel, I ulhures yer; and Mr. Gee, who knows him well, iald he were tbe only one aa would take IIOU." indeed, 1 am much obliged to Mr. Gee," replied mamma, with biting sarcasm, "for choosing tbe grey Sir Talton Sykes for me." Well, marm," the man added, scratching his head, if yer objects to him, there's Handsome Jack as yer can have; only yer see, Mr. Gee were afeard on his being a lee-eetle too fast for one of your time of life. And the worst on it it, he will get at bis tricks occasionally, and that might frighten ye marm; though if yer jest give: him a lap upou the head with yer paiasol, he'* as quiet as a lamb arter 11. Otherwise he's a beautiful sweet tem- per, aod so uncommon partial to carrots, that, bless you, he'll follow my eldest daughter about anywhere." Your daughter haa auburn hair, then, I auppoaet" asked mamma. Well, it is a leetle inclined that way, marm," replied the man, with a look of wonder, as it he was asking himself what on earth that had got to do with tne business ? However, marm, to keep to the pint," he continued, as yer don t^seeia to fancy either Sir Tatton Sykes or Handsome Jack, there s one amongst the lot as Mr. Gee said he should like to be there, as I'm sura you'd be werry pleased with. He's not a werry good one to look at; but r.c's so quiet and gentle, that even .f you were to dig yer shawl pia into his back, I don't think it 'ud wake any difference to him much," Dear me exclaimed mamma; well, he must be a don- key, indeed." Yes, inarm," answered the man, he s a werry extraordi- nary donkey, 1 can assure yer. He's called The Philosopher, marm, and has one of the laggedest coats you ever seed. The strangest tiling !g> too, that yer can't use hi;o to shoes, no how for do what you will, he's always flinging 'em off, and goin about without ere a one." Lord bless me!" exclaimed mamma horrified; "I should hope that Mr. Gee would never think of bringing a creature like that." 6 Y\ ell, I told ye, marm, as he worn't a werry good 'un for to look at," said the man in explanation '« only I thought the gen- tleness on his natur 'ud please yer. Bless ye though he's been peited and persecuted by 811 the hoys in the'town, yet I never know'J him to kick one 00 'em. His hne of later* too, il werry wonderful biled or unbiltd, bless yer, it's all the same to him, so long as they're taters. As for beer, too, 1 gi-es yer my word, marm. I\e seed him get asd/unk on it as any ChristianâI have, indeed." Pretty Philosopher, truly cried mamma, very indignantly. However, I'm glad you've given me this warning; and you'll be good enough to tell Mr. Gee that I wouldn't have such a mere annual to be at our pic uio on any account," J. Wait iiiua, marm, J suppose yer wuat have one iu his pIle" í and if I might make so bold 1 should recommend the genera), for he's prodigious hansome, and has a fine Roman nose of bis own, with the thinnest legs you ever set eyes on." "There, never mind about his legs, replied mamma. "But do you really think Mr Gee could persuade the General to come ? I should so like him to be there." Oh, yes, marm, I've no doubt he could be persuaded for to come, if so be at he was took round by the road, aud kept away from the water for you see, marm, it was only t'other day, when he was out on the beach along wiih Lady Limpet, as lives on the Steyne, when all on a sudden, hang me, if he doesn't bolt off, nod cany her ladyship tight into the middle of the sea, and there he stood with the water up to his shoulders, and the poer lady clinging to his neck, end screaming away for heip, so that two 00 us was obliged to go in and pull him out by force." What a very extraordinary propensity, to be sure!" cried mamma, considerably alarmed. Yes, marm," continued the man but it's the only draw back he's got, unless, indeed, it be that he's blind of one eye." Ah lost in the field, I dare say," added mamma. Ab! gallant creature I've no donbt he'd sooner die than run." Well, 1 really do believe he would sooner die than run, any day, marm," replied the donkey man. Yes, it is easy to see the General is something out of the common, exclaimed mamma. Out of the common I believe you, marm," said the man. He's been regularly bred and born to it, like one of the right sort. So I'll tell Mr. Gee as how you'd like to have him. Now marm, if you'd excuse the liberty, there's young Ducrow-would you like to have him as well ? He goes out to most of the picnics here. aud is a general favourite with the ladies." Young Ducrow 1" asked mamma. Why, how old is he, my man- Rising four, marm," he answered. Only four years old exclaimed mamma. u What ia the man talking about? No, I don't want any such little things at my paity." He's wonderful clever, indeed, marm," continued the man* H Mr. Gee always takes him out, wherever he goes. You can't tell how he'll amuse you. He fires off a pistol, and he sets at table with a napkin round his acek, and will pick your pocket of anything, marm." Bless me, I wouldn't have a creature with any such propen- sities near me, for the world." You'd much tetter have him,marm. He does it all in play, and what's more, he's the littlest thing of his age you ever seed and he's not above five hands, I can assure yer." "Not above five hands?" returned mamma. "Why, how many hands would you have him ? Once for all, my good man, such juvenile monstrosities may please Mr. Gee, but they are not at a)) to my taste. So you can go back to the barracks, and tell Mr. Gee all that has transpired only pray lake care, and mention that I would rather the General came, than all the officers PUI together." The man touched his hair, and left, laughing at what he thought mamma meant for a sarcastic joke. No sooner had he taken his departure, than mamma began congratulating herself upon her good fortune, and said it would make the party so distingue to have one of the General's raok among the company; adding, that if the whole affair went off as she expected, she certainly would go to the expense of a pa- ragraph among the fashionable intelligence of the local papers, with a list of the distinguished guests present. Thcn suddenly she exclaimed, that she would give the world if she could find out what the dear General liked. Perhaps a raised pie might be too heavv for him. However, a military gentleman was generally partial to lobster salad, and if there was one thiog she prided herself upon more than another, it was her lobster salad. Only let the fish be all fiesh and firm, aod--however much people might laugh at herâupon her lobster salad shed stand before the first cook in England. In this way, she went on all dinner time, and even up to tea, talking of nothing but the Generalânow wondering whe- ther the loss of his eye disfigured him much, or if he wore a shade or gieen spectacles to hide it, till at last the waiter put an end 10 her rhapsodies, by bringing in the cards of Mr. Gee and Captaip Lollop, who he said were tu the coffee room. Telling the-waiter to show the gentlemen up, mamma thrust the work she had been engaged upon under the sofa, and begged of me 10 run and smooth my hair, white she stepped into her room, and changed her cap. As we were going upstairs, she told me she supposed Mr. Gee had called about the donkeys he was to see after lor us to riJe upon. But it seemed as if all the fates were conspiring against us, for in reality he bad only comHo speak aboul the officers, aod tb6 lonStquence was twat mamma insulted the whole regiment, mistaking the one for the other. When she can.e dowo, Mr. Gee introduced her to the Cap- tainâwho was in his uniform-aod I could see from the change that immediately took place in her manner, and the mincing way in which she talked, that she was endeavouring to make her- self as amiable as possible, and impresa Ihe Captain wilb the idea that she was no ordinary personage. "Indeed, Mr. Gee," she said, after the introductions were over, 1 have to tender you my very, very best thanks for afford- ing me the pleasure of the Captain's acquaintance. 'Tis very, very keyiod of you, for both my daughter and myself have long been anxious to number him among our friends." Lollop answered nothing, but smiled graciously, and curled the ends of his moustachios, till they looked like the tip cf a camel's hair paint brush while Mr. Gee assured mamma, that she would find Lollop "a perfect brick,"âand to tell the truth, from the colour of his coat, he did look something like one. So you intend honouring our little fele champetre on Tues- day," mamma said again, addressing the Captain. You must not, however, expect grallde clwse. It will be a mere cold colla- tion on the grass, and perhaps a dance." "You ao-are very good aw," answered tha Capta n, again twiddling his moustache. "I purpose aw affording myseifthe pleasure aw aw of being there aw." You are very keyind," replied mamma. I believe we are also to be hon ured by two or three of your friends we have not as yet had the pleasure of bting introduced to. I am sure, Mr. Gee, I do not know how we should have managed without your assistance. Really, the ladies ought to be greatly indebted to you for tbe pains you have taken on their behalf." Not at all," answered Adolphus. I was glad to hear from the man I sent up to you this morning, that vou were jolly well pleased with tbe selection I had made. They are a rum lot, but they are the tidiest I could stumble over." I am sure," returned mamma, that no one could have done better. I was quite disarmed at your being able to secure Ihe General for me." "WoH I've done almost as well the other way," he replied, Indeed," said Mamma, with a smile, fancying he was now I going to tell ber about the donkeys. "You mean those stupid crealures you plOpOse for 'he young ladies. Wen, perhaps they will complete the party. How many have you tngaged ? Oh I have got four of the fattest of the tot loi you. Don't you think I have, Lollop ?" Yes aw," answered the captain. "I aw think they are aw; and decidedly the best looking." I'm very glad of that," returned Mamma for really some of those 1 have seen standing at the bottom of the Steyne had such a disreputable and dirty appearance, that I really should feel ashamed to be seen out with them. Upon my word, I do believe the poor creatures are half starved. But perhaps you know the ones I allude to, Captain lollop-I mean those that generally stand at the end of the Marine Parade. You must know them for I can assure you the boys annoy neatly every lady that goes by." L Lollop, thinking that Mamma alluded to some ofthejumor officers of his regiment, stared again, and at last stammered j out, â¢â¢ I really, Madame aw aw don't know those you refer to but aw-" Well, that is a good un," interrupted Gee when you know as well as I do, that I've seen you yourself out with some poor devils that I'm sure no one wold have taken for gen- tlemen." ( "Theontal mean," said Mamma, still clinging to the don. i keys. are generally taken foi children-though indeed, I have known some of them to be taken for young ladies. Now, it was only the other day that Miss Kate l ollemache, who certainly is [ not a proud girl, got one to take her over to Rotten Dean, and she said the poor creature was such a mUerable object, that she « blushed when any one went by. And would you believe it she told me his coat was so full of dust, that she was sure it never was brushed from one year's end to another. And you would fancy, that when they get as much as 7s. 6d. a day, they mioht be, at least, decently d essed for the money." g I could see that Lollop was getting more and more angry at the idea of any gentleman being spoken of in such terms. You may depend upon it, that's Ned Byng," said Gee- for he's very seedy, and has only 7s. 61. a day, I know and 1 it's always been a wonder to me how the fellows could allow him to remain in the mess." "That's just what Mrs. Tollemache said, lean assure you, Captain Lollop but they're all such a dreadful set of donkeys, that one isn't a bit better then the other," continued Mamma, who was so anxious to make friends with the officers, that she would direct all her conversation to the captain, though, from his forced smile, I began to see that Mamma was making some dreadful mistake and though I oudged her underneath the ta- ( ble, still she would go on, saying, that many ladies of her ac- quaintance had entirely given them up and that if it wasn t for the nursery-maids, they wouldn't have a soul after them. Gee busst out laughing at this, and cried out, Bravo, Rouse aod Mamma, encouraged by this appiohation, enly went on tcn times worse, notwithstanding I endeavoured to turn the conver- sation, by asking Captain Lollop whether he thought the fine weather would continue 1 < "But," proceeded Mamma, "1 hope my fceyind Mr. Gee, f hIlS managed better for us. Now do see that at least they are ( clean, there's a good creature, and that their shots and straps me all right for I am sure Captain Lollop will agree with me that they are not generally so, and that indeed, they more frequently look as if they had just come out of the stable." I am sorry to say I do not understand jou, Madam," an- swered the captain, with great hauteur. "Well, Mrs. de Roos," saill Gee, who, I could see, was I a raid of his friend's losing his temper at what he thought Mamma intended for a }oke, I think the best way will be for them to come round here for you and flll to go on together. O.'i dear me, no!" exclaimed Mamma, with a smile and a shake of the head, I woundn't be seen in the public streets with the things for all you could give me in the country, where there is no one to notice, of course, it il quite another affair but bless you, if I was to show mysell in the town with them, I should be afraid of being pointed out for weeks after- wards. But tell me, i\1r Gee, 1 hope you have chosen nice ones for us V Why Madam," said the captain, with sarcasm, you are so difficult to please; but Lord Clozehorse is coming and perhaps you may not think him quiet so disteputable as the rest." Lord Cioiehorse exclaimed Mamma j why, what an extraordinary name to give the donkey." "Well Madam," said the captain rising with dignity, "if such be your opinion of Lord Cioiehorse, perhaps they had better all stop awav." Oh, do not say so," cried Mamma you should have more regfaard for the ladies, for at any rale they will afford us a hearty laugh." Gee. who all the while had been blowing his nose most violently to smother and hide his laughter, now buist out, and leant his head on the corner of the mantel-place, and kept lifting his leg up and down, as if some convulsion had seized him. Captain Lollop rose up-scarlet in the face with rageâand saying, Madam, I will bear with your insults no longer," bounced out of the room. Mamma, clasping her hands, said, Oh, whatever have I done ? But Mr.Gee could only giggfeout, Oh dear, my poor sides! If youlhnen I been mistaking her Majesty's Sappies and Minors for a pack of donkeys." 1 do verily believe that she would have torn her false front if she hadn't been afraid of its coming off in the presence of Mr.Geeâwhen she found that Lord Clozehorse was a peer of the realm, instead of a donkey on the Marine Parade, and that the General," for whom she had expressly intended to prepare her delicious lobster salad, was a long eared animal who would have preferred a thistle, and have looked upon her delicious lobster sauce as only so much green-meat spoilt.