So soon as Vanslyperken had delivered his despatches to Ramsay, he proceeded to the widow Vandersloosh, when, as usual, he was received with every apparent mark of cordial welcome, was again installed on the little sofa, and again drank the beer of the widow’s own brewing, and was permitted to take her fat hand. Babette inquired after the corporal, and, when rallied by the lieutenant, appeared to blush, and turned her head away. The widow also assisted in the play, and declared that it should be a match, and that Babette and herself should be married on the same day. As the evening drew nigh, Vanslyperken took his leave, and went on board, giving permission to the corporal to go on shore, and very soon the corporal was installed in his place.
This is a sad world of treachery and deceit.
In which the agency of a red-herring is again introduced into our wonderful history.
We are somewhat inclined to moralise. We did not intend to write this day. On the contrary, we had arranged for a party of pleasure and relaxation, in which the heels, and every other portion of the body upwards, except the brain, were to be employed, and that was to have a respite. The morning was fair, and we promised ourselves amusement, but we were deceived, and we returned to our task, as the rain poured down in torrents, washing the dirty face of mother earth. Yes, deceived; and here we cannot help observing, that this history of ours is a very true picture of human life—for what a complication of treachery does it not involve!
Smallbones is deceiving his master, Mr Vanslyperken—the corporal is deceiving Mr Vanslyperken—the widow is deceiving Mr Vanslyperken, so is Babette, and the whole crew of the Yungfrau. Ramsay is deceiving his host and his mistress. All the Jacobites, in a mass, are plotting against and deceiving the government, and as for Mr Vanslyperken; as it will soon appear, he is deceiving everybody, and will ultimately deceive himself. The only honest party in the whole history is the one most hated, as generally is the case in this world—I mean Snarleyyow. There is no deceit about him, and therefore, par excellence, he is fairly entitled to be the hero of, and to give his name to, the work. The next most honest party in the book is Wilhelmina; all the other women, except little Lilly, are cheats and impostors—and Lilly is too young; our readers may, therefore, be pleased to consider Snarleyyow and Wilhelmina as the hero and the heroine of the tale, and then it will leave one curious feature in it, the principals will not only not be united, but the tale will wind up without their ever seeing each other. Allons en avant.
But of all the treachery practised by all the parties, it certainly appears to us that the treachery of the widow was the most odious and diabolical. She was like a bloated spider, slowly entwining those threads for her victim which were to entrap him to his destruction, for she had vowed that she never would again be led to the hymeneal altar until Mr Vanslyperken was hanged. Perhaps, the widow Vandersloosh was in a hurry to be married, at least, by her activity, it would so appear—but let us not anticipate.