Men's Wives HTML version

Chapter 4
In Which The Heroine Has A Number More Lovers, And Cuts A Very Dashing
Figure In The World.
Two years have elapsed since the festival at Richmond, which, begun so
peaceably, ended in such general uproar. Morgiana never could be brought to
pardon Woolsey's red hair, nor to help laughing at Eglantine's disasters, nor
could the two gentlemen be reconciled to one another. Woolsey, indeed, sent a
challenge to the perfumer to meet him with pistols, which the latter declined,
saying, justly, that tradesmen had no business with such weapons; on this the
tailor proposed to meet him with coats off, and have it out like men, in the
presence of their friends of the "Kidney Club". The perfumer said he would be
party to no such vulgar transaction; on which, Woolsey, exasperated, made an
oath that he would tweak the perfumer's nose so surely as he ever entered the
club-room; and thus ONE member of the "Kidneys" was compelled to vacate his
Woolsey himself attended every meeting regularly, but he did not evince that
gaiety and good-humour which render men's company agreeable in clubs. On
arriving, he would order the boy to "tell him when that scoundrel Eglantine came;"
and, hanging up his hat on a peg, would scowl round the room, and tuck up his
sleeves very high, and stretch, and shake his fingers and wrists, as if getting
them ready for that pull of the nose which he intended to bestow upon his rival.
So prepared, he would sit down and smoke his pipe quite silently, glaring at all,
and jumping up, and hitching up his coat-sleeves, when anyone entered the
The "Kidneys" did not like this behaviour. Clinker ceased to come. Bustard, the
poulterer, ceased to come. As for Snaffle, he also disappeared, for Woolsey
wished to make him answerable for the misbehaviour of Eglantine, and proposed
to him the duel which the latter had declined. So Snaffle went. Presently they all
went, except the tailor and Tressle, who lived down the street, and these two
would sit and pug their tobacco, one on each side of Crump, the landlord, as
silent as Indian chiefs in a wigwam. There grew to be more and more room for
poor old Crump in his chair and in his clothes; the "Kidneys" were gone, and why
should he remain? One Saturday he did not come down to preside at the club (as
he still fondly called it), and the Saturday following Tressle had made a coffin for
him; and Woolsey, with the undertaker by his side, followed to the grave the
father of the "Kidneys."
Mrs. Crump was now alone in the world. "How alone?" says some innocent and
respected reader. Ah! my dear sir, do you know so little of human nature as not
to be aware that, one week after the Richmond affair, Morgiana married Captain
Walker? That did she privately, of course; and, after the ceremony, came tripping
back to her parents, as young people do in plays, and said, "Forgive me, dear Pa
and Ma, I'm married, and here is my husband the Captain!" Papa and mamma