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"I should like to go very much indeed," said
Sir William Long.

The Sultan Greyfaunt demurred, on the plea
that they would probably be bored. The sultan
would have dearly liked to strangle Tom Tuttleshell
for that ill-timed allusion to his artistic

"Try again, Tom," said Lord Carleton, who
was thinking what her serious ladyship would say
if she even heard of the expediency of visiting
these wild haunts of dissipation being mooted.

"Well, there's Evans's; but it's too early.
There's a new farce at the LyceumPotatoes
and Pool, or the Can and the Cannon Game;
but I know the French piece, and the man who
has done it into English; and both are stupid.
What do you say to a visit to Ranelagh?"

"Ranelagh! why I haven't been there for ten
years!" exclaimed Sir William.

"Ranelagh! Why it's mid-winter, and as
cold as charity," said Lord Carleton.

"Where is Ranelagh?" asked the Sultan
Greyfaunt, with engaging simplicity.

"Southwark Bridge-road, half a mile from
the Asylum for Club-foot; two-shilling cab
fare," rapidly pursued Thomas. "As to its
being winter, that will be just the fun of it.
M‘Variety, the manager, who took the lease
when poor Benjamin Raphael went to the bad,
and who is a fellow of infinite resources, was
the first man to hit on the ingenious notion of
opening Ranelagh in winter. The statues in
the Archipelagean walk are covered up with
straw, it is true, but they're beautifully lighted.
The trees are leafless, but there's no end to the
additional lamps. There's an artificial skating-pond,
and a Galop Infernal on skates, with a
full band, at ten o'clock. The lake's boarded
over, and the Panorama of Seringapatam has
been turned into Moscow at the time of the
French invasion. It will be set on fire punctually
at eleven; and Bandenessi, the great
gymnast, dressed as the Emperor Napoleon,
will cross from the Kremlin to the Church of
St. Ivan on the tight rope, and in the midst of
a shower of fireworks."

"Accomplished Tom, you speak like a book,"
said Lord Carleton.

"Or a play-bill," good-naturedly suggested
Mr. Greyfaunt.

"You're not far wrong there," returned
Thomas, with a dry laugh, " for I help M‘Variety
(who is an old ally of mine) every week to
make out his programmes. Come, my lords and
gentlemen. Shall it be Ranelagh? The price
of admission has been reduced from half-a-crown
to one shilling. There are a concert-room, a
dancing pavilion, an exhibition of waxworks
direct from Paris, and the property of the
celebrated Florentine anatomical artist Signer
Ventimillioni. There are the Wolocrini family
the Bounding Brothers of the Western Prairies;
there is a ballet-theatre; and finally there is a
circus, where Madame Ernestine, the celebrated
equestrian, is to make her first appearance this
very night on her trained charger Constant,
dressé à la haute école, the bills say, although
what that may be I have not the slightest notion.
We shall be just in time to see her."

"Constant! that's an odd name for a horse.
Poor Frank Blunt GriffinBlunt they used to
call him: he came to a sorry end in Paris the
other dayused to have a man called Constant.
Deuced clever fellow he was, too. Dressed hair
and made curaçao punch wonderfully. Robbed
his master, I dare say. No, I think Blunt must
have robbed him. A shocking rip was Frank,
poor fellow."

"There is a man called Constant who keeps
Pomeroy's Hotel, where I stayed when I came
to town," Edgar remarked, in reply to Lord
Carleton. The nobleman had sent away his
brougham, and the baronet his cab, which were
waiting at the club door, by this time; and the
distinguished quartet, ensconced in a humble
four-wheeled cab, were on their way to the
famous gardens of Ranelagh. " I wonder
whether it's the same Constant? These valets
often save money and set up hotels."

"There is a river in Macedon, and there is
a river in Monmouth," observed Sir William
Long, " and I can't see what your Constant or
anybody's Constant has to do with the lady's
horse at Ranelagh. I wonder who this Madame
Ernestine is? These horse-riding women change
their names so often. I know there is one of
them whom I should like to find."


THERE was very little music among the worthies
of South Cove in my childish days. A
few wheezy pianos vegetated here and there,
dusty and untuned, in their pleasant parlours;
but it was very rare, as one passed before the
open windows, to hear even the feeble little
tweedlings of the Downfal of Paris, or the
Garland of Love, which did duty at South Cove
for melody, tapped out gingerly with incoherent
gaps in the time. It was very natural, therefore,
that Godpapa Vance, in right of his many
thick volumes of marble-covered sonatas, and
his peerless violoncello, should have taken his
unquestioned seat in the musical world of South
Cove as the Magnus Apollo of a rather shabby

Now and then, as behoved him, he would give
a quartette party, a select gatheringso select
that generally no one besides the players was
invited, except the two Miss Standiforths,
maiden sisters of the Reverend Julius Standiforth
the second violin, and Madame Huillier
the mother of the tenor player, a worthy little
French master, who had settled down upon the
small teaching there was to be found in South
Cove, upon which he managed sparingly to support
the old lady and himself.

The important part of first violin was always
taken by Mr. Daley, who was, I believe, a fellow
of some college at Cambridge, and was said to
be rich, and of a good Cumberland family. Mr.
Daley had long lived in retirement at the Cove