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Peregrines progress


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Title:Peregrine'sProgress
Author:JefferyFarnol
PostingDate:June1,2013[EBook#7059]ReleaseDate:December,2004First
Posted:March3,2003
Language:English
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PEREGRINE'SPROGRESS
BYJEFFERYFARNOL


HewhohathImaginationisblessedorcursedwithafearfulmagicwherebyhe
mayscaletheheightsofHeavenorplumbthedeepsofHell


CONTENTS
ANTESCRIPTUM

BOOKI—THESILENTPLACES
IIntroducingMyself
IITellsHowandWhyISetForthUpontheQuestinQuestion
IIIWhereintheReaderShallFindSomeDescriptionofanExtraordinary
Tinker
IVInWhichIMeetaDown-at-HeelsGentleman
VFurtherConcerningtheAforesaidGentleman,OneAnthony
VIDescribesCertainLivelyHappeningsatthe"JollyWaggoner"Inn
VIIWhiteMagic
VIIIIAmLeftForlorn
IXDescribestheWoesofGallopingJerry,aNotoriousHighwayman


XThePhilosophyoftheSame
XIWhichProvesBeyondAllArgumentThatClothesMaketheMan
XIIThePriceofaGoddess
XIIIWhichTellsSomewhatofMyDeplorableSituation
XIVInWhichISatisfyMyselfofMyCowardice
XVProvingThataGoddessIsWhollyFeminine
XVIInWhichIBegintoAppreciatetheVirtuesoftheChasteGoddess
XVIIHowWeSetOutforTonbridge
XVIIIConcerningtheGrammarofaGoddess
XIXHowandWhyIFoughtwithOneGabbingDick,aPeddler
XXOftheTongueofaWomanandtheFeetofaGoddess
XXIInWhichILearnedThatIAmLessofaCowardThanIHadSupposed
XXIIDescribingtheHospitalityofOneJerryJarvis,aTinker
XXIIIDiscussestheVirtuesoftheOnion
XXIVHowIMetOneJessamyTodd,aSnatcherofSouls
XXVTellsofMyAdventuresattheFair
XXVITheEthicsofPrigging
XXVIIJunoVersusDiana
XXVIIIExemplifyingThatClothesDoMaketheMan
XXIXTellsofanOminousMeeting


XXXOfaTrulyMemorableOccasion


XXXIAVereker'sAdvicetoaVereker
XXXIIHowIMadeaSurprisingDiscovery,Which,However,MayNot
SurprisetheReaderintheLeast
XXXIIIOfTwoIncomparableThings.TheVoiceofDianaandJessamy's
"Right"
XXXIVTheNobleArtofOrgan-Playing
XXXVOfaShadowintheSun
XXXVITellsHowIMetAnthonyAgain
XXXVIIADisquisitiononTrueLove
XXXVIIIACrucifixion
XXXIXHowICameHomeAgain
TOTHEREADER

BOOKII—SHADOW
ITheIncidentsofanEarlyMorningWalk
IIIntroducingJasperShrig,aBowStreetRunner
IIIConcerningaBlackPostchaise
IVOfaScarabaeusRingandaGossamerVeil
VStormandTempest
VIIAmHauntedofEvilDreams
VIIConcerningtheSongofaBlackbirdatEvening
VIIITheDeepsofHell


IXConcerningtheOpeningofaDoor
XTellsHowaMysteryWasResolved
XIWhichShowsThatMyUncleJervasWasRight,AfterAll
XIITellsHowIWentUponanExpeditionwithMr.Shrig
TOMYPATIENTANDKINDLYREADER

BOOKIII—DAWN
IConcerningOneTomMartin,anOstler
IIIGotoFindDiana
IIITellsHowIFoundDianaandSoonerThanIDeserved
IVIWaitforaConfession
VInWhichWeMeetOldFriends
VIWhich,asthePatientReaderSees,IstheLast


ANTESCRIPTUM
ThisisthetaleofDiana,theGipsy,theGoddess,theWoman,oneinallandall
inoneandthatonesowonderful,soelusive,soutterlyfemininethatI,beingbut
amanandnogreatstudentintheSex,may,instrivingtosetherbeforeyouin
coldwords,distortthisdearimageoutofallsemblanceandtrueproportion.
HereandnowIwouldbeginthisbookbytellingofDianaasIrememberher,a
youngdryadvividwithlife,treadingtheleafyways,greyeyesa-dream,kissed
bysunandwind,fillingthewoodlandwiththegloryofhersinging,outcarollingthebirds.
Iwouldfainshowhertoyouinherswiftangersandineffabletenderness,inher
loftyprideandsweethumility,passionatewithlifeyetboldlyvirginal,fronting
evilscornfulandundismayed,witheyesglitteringbrightasher"littlechuri"yet
yieldingherselfawillingsacrificeandmeeklyenduringforFriendship'ssake.
Withhershouldthisbookproperlycommence;butbecauseIdoubtmypen
(moreespeciallyatthissoearlystage)IwillbeginnotwithDianabutwithmy
auntJulia,myuncleJervas,myuncleGeorgeandmypainfullyconsciousself,
trustingthat,asthisnarrativeprogresses,myhaltingpenmaygrowmoreassured
andmylackofartbeatonedforbysincerity.Forifanywriterorhistorianwere
sincerethenmosttrulythatamI.
ThereforeIsetforthuponthisrelationhumblyawareofmyfailings,yettrusting
thosewhoreadwillnotfallasleepovermyfirstineffectualchapternorthrowthe


bookasideaftermysecond,butwithkindandtolerantpatiencewillbearwith
meandreadbravelyonuntil,beingmoreatmyease,IventuretotellofDiana's
wonderfulself.
Andwhentheyshallcometothefinalchapterofthishistory(iftheyeverdo)
maytheybemercifulintheirjudgmentoftheirhumbleauthor,thatistosaythis
samepoor,ineffectual,unheroicalpersonwhonowsubscribeshimself
PEREGRINEVEREKER.


BookOne
THESILENTPLACES


CHAPTERI
INTRODUCINGMYSELF

"Nineteento-day,ishe!"saidmyuncleJervas,viewingmelanguidlythroughhis
quizzing-glass."Howconfoundedlytheyearsflit!Nineteen—andonmesoul,
ourpooryouthlooksasifhehadn'tasinglegentlemanlyvicetoblesshimself
with!"
"Notone,Jervas,myboy,"quothmyuncleGeorge,shakinghiscomelyheadat
me."Notone,begad,andthat'sthedooceofit!Itseemshedon'tswear,hedon't
drink,hedon'tgamble,hedon'tmakelove,hedon'teven—"
"Don't,George,"exclaimedmyauntJuliainhersternesttone,herhandsomeface
flushed,herstatelybackveryrigid.
"Don'twhat,Julia?"
"Fillournephew'smindwithyourownbasemasculineideas—Iforbid."
"Butdamme—no,Julia,no—Imean,blessus!What'stobecomeofaman—
what'samantodowhodon't—"
"Cease,George!"
"Buthe'salmostaman,ain'the?"


"Certainlynot;Peregrineis—mynephew—"
"Andours,Julia.Wearehislegalguardiansbesides—"
"Andsethiminmycareuntilhecomesofage!"retortedmyauntdefiantly.
"Andthere,happyyouth,ishismisfortune!"sighedmyuncleJervas.
"Misfortune?"echoedmyauntinwhispersoawfulthatI,forone,nearly
trembled."Misfortune!"sherepeated."Hush!Silence!Notaword!Imustthink
thisover!Misfortune!"
Inthedreadfulpauseensuing,Iglancedhalf-furtivelyfromonetootherofmy
threeguardians;atmyuncleJervas,lounginggracefullyinhischair,anexquisite
workofartfromglossycurlstopolishedHessians;atmyuncleGeorge,standing
broadbacktothemantel,agraceful,stalwartfigureintight-fittingriding-coat,
buckskinsandspurredboots;atmywonderfulaunt,herdarkandstatuesque
beautyasshesat,hernobleformposedlikeanoffendedJuno,dimpledchinon
dimpledfist,darkbrowsbentabovelong-lashedeyes,ruddylipsclose-setand
archedfoottappingsoftlybeneaththefoldsofheramplerobe.
"Hismisfortune!"sherepeatedforthefourthtime,softlyandastoherself."And
everhaveIstriventobetohimthetendermotherheneverknew,tostandin
placeofthefatherheneversaw!"
"I'msureofit,Julia!"saidmyuncleGeorge,fidgetingwithhisstock.
"Hismisfortune!AndIhavewatchedoverhimwithcareunfailing—"
"Er—ofcourse,yes—notadoubtofit,Julia,"saiduncleGeorge,fiddlingwitha
coatbutton.
"Hisupbringinghasbeenthepassionofmylife—"
"I'msureofit,Julia,yoursweetand—er—womanlynature—"
"George,havethegoodnessnottointerrupt!"sighedmyaunt,withalittle
gestureofherhand."Ihavefurthermorekepthimsegregatedfromallthatcould
inanywayvitiateorvulgarise;hehashadtheablesttutorsandbeenmyconstant
companion,andto-day—Iamtold—allthisisbuthismisfortune.Nowand


therefore.SirJervasVereker,prayexplainyourself."
"Brieflyandwithjoy,m'dearJulia,"answeredmyuncleJervas,smilingsleepily
intomyaunt'sfierceblackeyes."Isimplymeanthatyourmeticulouscareofour
nephewhasturnedwhatshouldhavebeenanordinaryandhumanlypromising,
raucousandimpishhobbledehoyintoaveryprecise,somethingsuperior,
charminglyprimandmodest,ladylikeyoungfellow—"
"Ladyli—!"Mystatelyauntcameasneargaspingaswaspossibleinsucha
woman,thenherstatelyformgrewmorerigidlystatuesque,hermouthandchin
tookonthatindomitablelookIknewsowell,andshesweptthespeakerwiththe
blastingfireofherfineblackeyes."SirJervasVereker!"sheexclaimedatlast,
andintonesofsuchchillinghaughtinessthatI,forone,feltverylikeshivering.
Therefellanotherawfulsilence,auntJuliasittingveryupright,handsclenched
onthearmsofherchair,darkbrowsbentagainstmyuncleJervas,whomether
witheringglancewithallhiswontedimpassivity,whilemyuncleGeorge,square
faceslightlyflushed,glancedhalf-furtivelyfromonetotheotherandclicked
nervousheelstogethersothathisspursjingled.
"George!"exclaimedmyauntsuddenly."Inheaven'sname,ceaserattlingyour
spursasifyouwereinyournativestables."
"Certainly,m'dearJulia!"hemumbled,andstoodmotionlessandabashed.
"'Ponmelife,Julia,"sighedmyuncleJervas,"Isweartheyearsbutlendyou
newgraces;timemakesyoubutthehandsomer—"
"Begad,butthat'stheverynakedtruth,Julia!"crieduncleGeorge.
"Yougrowhandsomerthanever."
"Tush!"exclaimedmyaunt,yetherlonglashesdroopedsuddenly.
"Yourhairis—"saiduncleJervas.
"Wonderful!"quothuncleGeorge."Alwayswas,begad!"
"Tchah!"exclaimedmyaunt.
"Yourhairisassilky,"pursuedmyuncleJervas,"asabundantandasblackas—"


"Asnight!"addeduncleGeorge.
"Afiddlestick!"exclaimedmyaunt.
"Araven'swing!"pursuedmyuncleJervas."Timehathnotchangedthewonder
ofit—"
"Phoh!"exclaimedmyaunt.
"Devilawhitehairtobeseen,Julia!"addeduncleGeorge.
"Whileasformyself,Julia,"sighedmyuncleJervas,"myfellowdiscoveredno
fewerthanfourwhitehairsabovemyrightearthismorning,alas!Andlookat
poorGeorge—asinfernallygreyasabadger."
"Ithink,"saidmyaunt,leaningbackinherchair,"Ithinkwewerediscussingmy
nephewPeregrine—"
"Ourmutualward—precisely,Julia."
"Aye,"quothuncleGeorge,"wearelegalguardiansoftheladand—"
"Fie,George!"criedauntJulia."Avulgarword,anunseemlyword!"
"Eh?Word,Julia?Whatword?"
"'Lad'!"exclaimedmyaunt,frowning."Amostobnoxiousword,applicableonly
tobeingswithpitchforksandpersonsinsleevedwaistcoatswhochewstrawsand
attendtohorses.Ladspertainonlytoyourworld!Peregrineneverwas,will,or
couldbesuchathing!"
"GoodGod!"exclaimedmyuncleGeorgefeebly,andgropedforhisshort,crispcurlingwhiskerwithfumblingfingers.
"Peregrineneverwas,will,orcouldbesuchathing!"repeatedmyauntinatone
offinality.
"Thenwhatthedev—"
"George!"


"Ishouldsaythen—pray,Julia,whatthe—hum—ha—ishe?"
"Beingmynephew,heisayounggentleman,ofcourse!"
"Ha!"quothmyuncleGeorge.
"Hum!"sighedmyuncleJervas."Agentlemanisusuallyabettermanforhaving
beenalad!Astoournephew—"
"Pray,Jervas,"saidauntJulia,liftingwhiteimperioushand,"suffermeone
word,atleast;injusticetomyselfIcansitmutenolonger—"
"Mute?"exclaimeduncleGeorge,graspingwhiskeragain."Mute,wereyou,
Julia;oh,begad,whythen—"
"George—silence—Iplead!"saidmyaunt,andfoldingherwhitehands
demurelyonherkneegazeddownatthemwistfullybeneathdroopinglashes.
"Proceed,Julia,"quothmyuncleJervas,"yourvoiceismusictomysoul—"
"Minetoo!"addeduncleGeorge,"minetoo,doocetakemeif'tisn't!"
MYAUNT(hervoicesoftandplaintivelysad).FornineteenhappyyearsIhave
devotedmyselftocaringformynephewPeregrine,bodyandmind.Myevery
thoughthasbeenofhimorforhim,mylovehasbeenhisshieldagainst
discomforts,bodilyailmentsandillsofthemind—
MYUNCLEJERVAS.Andpreciselythere,Julia,lieshishappymisfortune.You
havethoughtforhimsoeffectivelyhehashadsmallscopetothinkforhimself;
caredforhimsosedulouslythatheshallhardlyknowhowtotakecareof
himself;shelteredhimsorigorouslythat,onceremovedfromthesphereofyour
strongpersonality,hewouldbepitifullylostandhelpless.Inshort,heis
sufferingofasurfeitoflove,determinedtendernessandpertinaciouscare—ina
word,Julia,heisover-Juliaized!
MYUNCLEGEORGE(alittlediffidently,andjinglinghisspurs).B'gad,and
thereyehaveit,sweetsoul—d'yesee—
MYAUNT(smitinghimspeechlesswithflashingeye).I—am—notyoursweet
soul.AndasforpoordearPeregrine—


MYUNCLEJERVAS.Thepooryouthisbecomealtogethertoopreternaturally
dignified,tooconfoundedsober,solemnandsedateforthismundanesphere;he
needsmore—
UNCLEGEORGE.Brimstoneandthedevil!
MYAUNT(freezingly).GeorgeVereker!
UNCLEJERVAS.Wholesomeungentleness.
UNCLEGEORGE(hazardingthesuggestion).Anoccasionalblackeye—
bloodynose,d'yesee,Julia,healthybruiseorso—
MYAUNT.Mr.Vereker!
UNCLEGEORGE(gropingforwhisker).WhatImeantosayis,Julia,a—ha—
hum!(Subsides.)
UNCLEJERVAS.Georgeisexactlyright,Julia.Ournephewiswellenoughin
manyways,I'lladmit,butcorporeallyheisnoVereker;hefillstheeyebut
meanly—
MYAUNT(intonesoficygloom).SirJervas—explain!
UNCLEJERVAS.Well,mydearJulia,scanhim,Ibeg;regardhimwithan
observanteye,theeyenotofadotingwomanbutadispassionatecritic—
examinehim!
(HereIsanklowerinmygreatchair.)
MYAUNT.IfPeregrineisnotso—largeasyourrobustselforsoburlyas—
monstrousGeorge,amItoblame?
MYUNCLEJERVAS.Theadjectiverobustasappliedtomyselfis,Ithink,a
triflemisplaced.Isuggesttheword"elegant"instead.
MYAUNT(patientandsighful).Whathaveyoutoremark,George
Vereker?
UNCLEGEORGE(measuringmewithknowingeye).Ishouldsayhewould


stripdevilish—Imean—uncommonlylight—
MYAUNT(inmurmuroushorror).Strip?Anodioussuggestion!Onlyostlers,
pugilists,andsuchasyourself,George,wouldstooptodosuchathing!Oh,
monstrous!
UNCLEGEORGE(pathetically).No,no,Juliam'dear,youmistake;to"strip"is
atermo'the"fancy"—milling,d'yesee—fibbingisaverygentlemanlyart,
assureyou;Iwentthreeroundswiththe"CamberwellChicken"beforeI—
MyAUNT(scornfully).Havedonewithyourchickens,sir—
UNCLEGEORGE(ruefully).B'gad,henearlydidforme—nakedmauleys,
you'llunderstand.In—
MYAUNT(coversears).Horrors!thisribaldry,GeorgeVereker!
UNCLEGEORGE.OLord!(Sinksintochairandgloomysilence.)
MYUNCLEJERVAS(risinggracefully,takingauntJulia'sindignanthandsand
kissingthemgallantly).Georgeisperfectlyright,dearsoul.OurPeregrine
requiresanakedmauley(clenchesAuntJulia'swhitehandintoafist)—
somethinglikethis,onlybiggerandharder—appliedtohistorso—
UNCLEGEORGE.Ofcourse,abovethebelt,you'llunderstand,Julia!Nowthe
CamberwellChicken—
MYUNCLEJERVAS.Applied,Isay,withsufficientforcetoawakehimtothe
stern—shallwesaytheharshrealitiesoflife.
AUNTJULIA.Lifecanberealwithoutsordidbrutality.
UNCLEJERVAS.Notunlessoneisblindanddeaf,orrunsawayandhidesfrom
hisfellowslikeacoward;forbrutality,alas,isaveryhumanattributeand
slumbersmoreorlessineachoneofus,letusdenyithowwewill.
UNCLEGEORGE.Trueenough,Jervas,andasyou'llrememberwhenIfought
the"CamberwellChicken,"myrightoglebeingclosedandclaretflowingpretty
freely,thecrowdafraidoftheirmoney—


MYAUNT(coldlydetermined).Enough!Mynephewshallneverexperience
suchhorrorsorconsortwithsuchbrutishruffians.
UNCLEGEORGE.Thenhe'llneverbeaman,Julia.
MYAUNT.Naturemadehimthat.Iintendhimforapoet.
HeremyuncleGeorgeroseup,satdownandroseagain,strivingforspeech,
whileuncleJervassmiledanddangledhiseyeglass.
MYUNCLEGEORGE(breathingheavily).That'sdoneit,Jervas,that'sonein
thewind.Apoet!Poor,poorlad.
MYAUNT(triumphantly).Hehaswrittensomecharmingsonnets,andanodeto
athrostlethathasbeenmuchadmired.
UNCLEGEORGE(faintly).Ode!B'gad!Throstle!
MYUNCLEJERVAS.Hetrifleswithpaintsandbrushes,too,Ibelieve?
MYAUNT.Charmingly!Hemaydazzletheworldwithanoblepictureyet;who
knows?
MYUNCLEJERVAS.Oh,mydearJulia,whoindeed!Hehasapronounced
aversionformostmanlysports,Ibelieve:horses,forinstance—
MYAUNT.Herideswithmeoccasionally,butasforyourinhumanhuntingand
racing—certainlynot!
UNCLEGEORGE.Andbeforewewerehisage,Ihadbrokenmycollarbone
andyouhadwonthecountysteeplechasefrommebyahead,Jervas.Ha,that
wasarace,lad,neverenjoyedanythingmoreunlessitwaswhenthe
"CamberwellChicken"wentdownandcouldn'tcomeuptotimeandthecrowd

AUNTJULIA.Youwerebothsoterriblywildandreckless!
UNCLEJERVAS.No,mysweetwoman,justordinaryhealthyyounganimals.
AUNTJULIA.Mynephewisayounggentleman.


UNCLEGEORGE.Ha!
UNCLEJERVAS.H'm!Agentlemanshouldknowhowtousehisfists—thereis
SirPeterVibart,forinstance.
UNCLEGEORGE.Andtoshootstraight,Julia.
UNCLEJERVAS.AndcomporthimselfinthesocietyoftheSex.Yetyoukeep
Peregrineassecludedasayoungnun.
MYAUNT.Hepreferssolitude.Lovewillcomelater.
UNCLEJERVAS.Mostunnatural!BeforeIwasPeregrine'sageIhadbeenhead
overearsinandoutoflovewithatleast—
MYAUNT.Reprobate!
UNCLEGEORGE.SohadI,Julia.TherewasMary—orwasitAnn—atleastif
itwasn'tAnnitwasBettyorBessie;anyhow,Iknowshewas—
AUNTJULIA.Rake!
UNCLEJERVAS.Remember,wewereveryyoungandhadneverbeen
privilegedtobeholdtheLadyJuliaConroy—
UNCLEGEORGE.Begad,Julia—andtherey'haveit!
MYAUNT.Wewerediscussingmynephew,Ithink!
MYUNCLEJERVAS.True,Julia,andIwasabouttoremarkthatsinceyou
refusetosendhimuptoOxfordorCambridge,theonlychanceIseeforhimis
toquityourapronstringsandgooutintotheworldtofindhismanhoodifhe
can.
Myauntturneduponthespeaker,handsomeheadupflung,but,ereshecould
speak,thegrandfatherclockinthecornerrangthehourinitsmellowchime.
Thereuponmyauntrosetoherstatelyheightandreachedouttomeherslender,
imperioushand.
"Peregrine,itisteno'clock.Goodnight,dearboy!"saidsheandkissedme.


Thereafter,havingkissedthehandthatclaspedmine,Ibowedtomytwouncles
andwentdutifullytobed.


CHAPTERII
TELLSHOWANDWHYISETFORTHUPONTHEQUESTINQUESTION

"Ladylike!"saidItomyself,leaningforthfrommychamberwindowintoa
fragrantsummernightradiantwithanorbedmoon.ButforonceIwasheedless
oftheetherealbeautyofthescenebeforemeandfeltnoneofthatpoeticrapture
thatwouldotherwiseundoubtedlyhaveinspiredme,sincemyvisionwasturned
inwardsratherthanoutandmycustomaryserenityhatefullydisturbed.
"Ladylike!"
Thus,allunregarding,Ibreathedtheincenseoffloweryperfumesandstared
blindlyuponthemoon'ssplendour,ponderingthishatefulwordinitsapplication
tomyself.Andgradually,havingregardtothemanifestinjusticeandbadtasteof
theterm,consciousoftheaffrontitimplied,Igrewwarmwitharighteous
indignationthatmagnifieditselfintoafuriousangeragainstmytwouncles.
"Damnthem!Damnthemboth!"exclaimedIand,inthatmoment,caughtmy
breath,shocked,amazed,andnotalittleashamedatthisoutburst,anexhibition
soextremelyforeigntomyusuallyplacidnature.
'Toswearisapainfulexhibitionofvulgarity,andpassionuncontrolledlessens
one'sdignityandisasignofweakness.'
Rememberingthis,oneofmywonderfulaunt'sincontrovertiblemaxims,Igrew


abashed(asIsay)byreasonofthismydeplorablelapse.Andyet:
"'Ladylike!'"
Irepeatedtheopprobriousepithetforthethirdtimeandscowledupattheplacid
moon.
Andthis,merelybecauseIhadashrinkinghorrorofallbrutalandsordidthings,
adetestationforanythingsmackingofvulgarityorbadtaste.Tome,thesubtle
beautyoflineorcolour,thesingingmusicofaphrase,wereofmoreaccount
thanthereekofstablesorthewhoopingclamourandexcitementofthehuntingfield,myjoysbeingratherrapturesofthesoulthanthemorematerialpleasures
oftheflesh.
"Andwasit,"Iaskedmyself,"wasitessentialtoexchangebuffetswitha
'CamberwellChicken,'toshootandbeshotat,tospursweatingandunwilling
horsesoverdangerousfences—weresuchthingstrulynecessarytoproveone's
manhood?Assuredlynot!Andyet—'Ladylike!'"
MovedbyasuddenimpulseIturnedfromthelatticetotheelegantluxuriousness
ofmybedchamber,itssoftcarpets,richhangingsandexquisiteharmoniesof
colour;andcomingbeforethechevalmirrorIstoodtoviewandexaminemyself
asIhadneverdonehitherto,surveyingmyreflectionnotwiththeaccustomed
eyesofPeregrineVereker,butratherwiththecoldlyappraisingeyesofa
stranger,andbeheldthis:
Ayouthful,slenderpersonofnogreatstature,clothedingarmentselegantly
unostentatious.
Hisfacegraveandofasaturninecast—butthefeaturesfairlyregular.
Hiscomplexionsallow—butclearandwithoutblemish.
Hishairrathertoolong—butdarkandcrisp-curled.
Hisbrowalittletooprominent—buthighandbroad.
Hiseyesdarkandsoft—butwell-openedanddirect.
Hisnosealittletooshorttopleaseme—butotherwisewell-shaped.


Hismouthtootenderinitscurves—butthelipscloseandfirm.
Hischintoosmoothlyrounded,ataglance—butwhenset,looksdetermined
enough.
Hiswholeaspectnotaltogetherunpleasing,thoughIyearnedmightilytoseehim
afewinchestaller.
ThusthenItookdispassionateregardto,andhereasdispassionatelysetdown,
myouterbeing;astomyinner,thatshallappear,Ihope,asthishistory
progresses.
IwasyetengagedonthismostcriticalexaminationofmypersonwhenIwas
interruptedbythesoundoffootstepsontheflaggedterracebeneathmyopen
windowandthevoicesofmytwounclesastheypassedslowlytoandfro,each
wordoftheirconversationveryplaintohearuponthewarm,stillair.Honour
shouldhavecompelledmetoclosemyearsorthelattice;hadIdoneso,how
differentmightthishistoryhavebeen,howutterlydifferentmycareer.Asitwas,
attractedbythesoundofmyownname,Iturnedfromcontemplationofmy
personand,comingtothewindow,leanedoutagain.
"PoorPeregrine,"saidmyuncleGeorgeforthesecondtime.
"Whythepity,George?Curseandconfoundit,whereforethepity?Ouryouthis
aperfectass,aninfernalyoungfish,apuppy-dog—pah!"
"Aye,but,"quothmyuncleGeorge(andIcoulddistinguishthefaintjingleofhis
spurs),"weroastedhimdevilishlyto-nightbetweenus,Jervas,andneveraword
outo'thelad—"
"Egad,Juliadidthetalkingforhim—"
"Ha,yes—doocetakeme,shedidso!"exclaimeduncleGeorge."Whatan
amazinglymagnificentcreaturesheis—"
"Anddidyemarkouryouth'scoolinsolence,hisdisdainfulairs—thecockofhis
superciliousnose—curstyoungpuppy!"
"MostgloriouseyesinChristendom,"continuedmyuncleGeorge,"always
makemefeelsodooced—er—socursthumble—no,humble'snotquitethe


word;whatIdomeanis—"
"Fatuous,George?"suggestedUncleJervasatrifleimpatiently.
"Unworthy—yes,unworthyander—altogetherdooced,d'yesee—herwholelife
oneofexemplaryself-sacrificeandsoforth,d'yesee,Jervas—"
"Exactly,George!Juliawillnevermarry,weknow,whileshehasthisprecious
youthtopetandpamperandcherish—"
"Insteadofus,Jervas!"
"Us?George,don'tbeafool!Shecouldn'twedusboth,man!"
"Why,no!"sigheduncleGeorge."She'dha'tobecontentwi'oneofus,tobe
sure,andthatonewouldbe—"
"Myself,George!"
"Aye!"quothuncleGeorge,sighingmoregustilythanever."Begad,Ithinkit
would,Jervas."
"Though,markme,George,Ihavesometimesthoughtshehasthepreposterous
lackofjudgmenttopreferyou."
"No—didyouthough!"exclaimedmyuncleGeorge,spursjinglingagain.
"B'gad,anddidyouthough—doocetakeme!"
"Aye,George,Idid,butonlyveryoccasionally.Ofcourse,wereshefreeofthis
incubusPeregrine,freetoliveforherownhappinessinsteadofhis,Ishould
haveherweddedandwifedwhileyouwerethinkingaboutit."
"Aye,"sighedmyuncleGeorge,"youwerealwayssuchaninfernaldasher—"
"Asitis,theboywillgrowintoapriggish,self-satisfieddo-nothing,andsheinto
anadoring,solitaryoldwoman—"
"Julia!Anoldwoman!GoodGod!Hush,Jervas—itsoundsdoocedindecent!"
"Buttrue,George,devilishtrue!Here'sJuliamustgrowintoacrotchetyold
female,myselfintoasolitary,embitteredrecluse,andyouintoalonely,


dodderingoldcurmudgeon—andallforsakeofthisdamnedlad—"
Atthis,stirredbysuddenimpulse,Ithrustmyheadoutofthewindowand
hemmedloudly,whereupontheyhaltedverysuddenlyandstoodstaringupat
me,theirsurprisedlooksplaintoseebyreasonofthebrilliantmoon.
"Pardonme,mydearuncles,"saidI,bowingtothemaswellasImight,"pardon
me,butIventuretothinknot—"
"Now'ponmeeverlastingsoul!"exclaimedmyuncleJervas,fumblingforhis
eyeglass."Whatdoestheladmean?"
"Withyourkindattention,hewillcomedownandexplain,"saidI,and
clamberingthroughthecasement,Idescendedforthwith,handoverhand,by
meansoftheivystemsthatgrewverythickandstronghereabouts.
Reachingtheterrace,Ipausedtobrushthedustfromkneeandelbowwhilemy
uncleJervas,loungingagainstthebalustrade,viewedmelanguidlythroughhis
glass,anduncleGeorgestaredatmeveryroundofeyeandgropedathisclosetrimmedwhisker.
"Sirs,"saidI,glancingfromonetoother,"IregretthatIshouldappeartoyouas
a'fish,'a'puppy'anda'self-satisfieddo-nothing,'butIutterlyrefusetobe
consideredeitheran'incubus'ora'damnedlad'!"
"Oh,thedooce!"ejaculateduncleGeorge.
"Tothewhichend,"Iproceeded,"Iproposetoremovemyselfforawhile—let
ussayforsixmonthsorthereabouts—onacondition."
"Removeyourself,nephew?"repeateduncleJervas,peeringatmealittlemore
narrowly."Praywhere?"
"Anywhere,sir.Ishallfollowthewind,tramptheroads,consortwithalland
sundry,openthebookofLifeandendeavourtolearnofmanbymanhimself."
"Veryfine!"saidmyuncleJervas,—"anddamnedfoolish!"
"Inaword,"Icontinued,"Iproposetofollowyourveryexcellentadvice,Uncle
Jervas,andgooutintotheworldtofindmymanhoodifIcan!Thatwasyour


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