The History of Pendennis: His Fortunes and Misfortunes, His Friends and His Greatest Enemy

By William Makepeace Thackeray | Go to book overview

CHAPTER LXIX. .
IN WHICH THE MAJOR NEITHER YIELDS HIS MONEY NOR HIS LIFE

EARLY next morning Pendennis's shutters were opened by Morgan, who appeared as usual, with a face perfectly grave and respectful, bearing with him the old gentleman's clothes, cans of water, and elaborate toilette requisites.

"It's you, is it?" said the old fellow from his bed. "I shan't take you back again, you understand."

"I 'ave not the least wish to be took back agin, Major Pendennis," Mr. Morgan said, with grave dignity, "nor to serve you nor hany man. But as I wish you to be comf'table as long as you stay in my house, I came up to do what's ne'ssary." And once more, and for the last time, Mr. James Morgan laid out the silver dressing-case, and strapped the shining razor.

These offices concluded, he addressed himself to the Major with an indescribable solemnity, and said: "Thinkin' that you would most likely be in want of a respectable pusson, until you suited yourself, I spoke to a young man last night, who is 'ere."

"Indeed," said the warrior in the tent-bed.

"He 'ave lived in the fust fam'lies, and I can wouch for his repectability."

"You are monstrous polite," grinned the old Major. And the truth is, that after the occurrences of the previous evening, Morgan had gone out to his own Club at the "Wheel of Fortune," and there finding Frosch, a courier and valet just returned from a foreign tour with young Lord Cubley, and for the present disposable, had represented to Mr. Frosch, that he, Morgan, had had "a devil of a blow-hup with his own Gov'nor, and was going to retire from the business haltogether, and that if Frosch wanted a tempo'ry job, he might prob'bly have it by applying in Bury Street."

"You are very polite," said the Major, "and your recommendation, I am sure, will have every weight."

Morgan blushed; he felt his master was "a-chaffin' of him." "The man have awaited on you before, sir," he said with great dignity. " Lord De la Pole, sir, gave him to his nephew young Lord Cubley, and he have been with him on his forign tour, and not wishing to go to Fitzurse Castle, which Frosch's chest is delicate, and he cannot bear the cold in Scotland, he is free to serve you or not, as you choose."

"I repeat, sir, that you are exceedingly polite," said the Major. "Come in, Frosch -- you will do very well -- Mr. Morgan, will you have the great kindness to"------

"I shall show him what is ne'ssary, sir, and what is custom'ry for you to wish to 'ave done. Will you please to take breakfast 'ere or at the Club, Major Pendennis?"

"With your kind permission, I will breakfast here, and afterwards we will make our little arrangements."

"If you please, sir."

"Will you now oblige me by leaving the room?"

Morgan withdrew: the excessive politeness of his ex-employer made him almost as angry as the Major's bitterest words. And whilst the old gentleman is making his mysterious toilette, we will also modestly retire.

After breakfast Major Pendennis and his new aide-de-camp occupied themselves in preparing for their departure. The establishment of the old bachelor was not very complicated. He encumbered himself with no useless wardrobe. A Bible (his mother's), a road-book, Pen's novel (calf elegant), and the Duke of Wellington's

-456-

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