Charlie, unable on these occasions to reply to her remarks without precipitating a conflict for which he did not feel prepared, sought to revenge himself upon the veteran Tom; and such was the state of his feelings, that he bribed Kinch, with a large lump of sugar and the leg of a turkey, to bring up his mother’s Jerry, a fierce young cat, and they had the satisfaction of shutting him up in the wood-house with the belligerent Tom, who suffered a signal defeat at Jerry’s claws, and was obliged to beat a hasty retreat through the window, with a seriously damaged eye, and with the fur torn off his back in numberless places. After this Charlie had the pleasure of hearing aunt Rachel frequently bewail the condition of her favourite, whose deplorable state she was inclined to ascribe to his influence, though she was unable to bring it home to him in such a manner as to insure his conviction.
Mrs. Thomas has her Troubles.
Mrs. Thomas was affected, as silly women sometimes are, with an intense desire to be at the head of the ton. For this object she gave grand dinners and large evening parties, to which were invited all who, being two or three removes from the class whose members occupy the cobbler’s bench or the huckster’s stall, felt themselves at liberty to look down upon the rest of the world from the pinnacle on which they imagined themselves placed. At these social gatherings the conversation never turned upon pedigree, and if any of the guests chanced by accident to allude to their ancestors, they spoke of them as members of the family, who, at an early period of their lives, were engaged in mercantile pursuits.
At such dinners Mrs. Thomas would sit for hours, mumbling dishes that disagreed with her; smiling at conversations carried on in villanous French, of which language she did not understand a word; and admiring the manners of addle-headed young men (who got tipsy at her evening parties), because they had been to Europe, and were therefore considered quite men of the world. These parties and dinners she could not be induced to forego, although the late hours and fatigue consequent thereon would place her on the sick-list for several days afterwards. As soon, however, as she recovered sufficiently to resume her place at the table, she would console herself with a dinner of boiled mutton and roasted turnips, as a slight compensation for the unwholesome French dishes she had compelled herself to swallow on the occasions before mentioned. Amongst the other modern fashions she had adopted, was that of setting apart one morning of the week for the reception of visitors; and she had mortally offended several of her oldest friends by obstinately refusing to admit them at any other time. Two or three difficulties had occurred with Robberts, in consequence of this new arrangement, as he could not be brought to see the propriety of saying to visitors