Men's Wives HTML version

Chapter 7
In Which Morgiana Advances Towards Fame And Honour, And In Which Several
Great Literary Characters Make Their Appearance.
"We must begin, my dear madam," said Sir George Thrum, "by unlearning all that
Mr. Baroski (of whom I do not wish to speak with the slightest disrespect) has
taught you!"
Morgiana knew that every professor says as much, and submitted to undergo the
study requisite for Sir George's system with perfect good grace. Au fond, as I
was given to understand, the methods of the two artists were pretty similar; but
as there was rivalry between them, and continual desertion of scholars from one
school to another, it was fair for each to take all the credit he could get in the
success of any pupil. If a pupil failed, for instance, Thrum would say Baroski had
spoiled her irretrievably; while the German would regret "Dat dat yong voman,
who had a good organ, should have trown away her dime wid dat old Drum."
When one of these deserters succeeded, "Yes, yes," would either professor cry,
"I formed her; she owes her fortune to me." Both of them thus, in future days,
claimed the education of the famous Ravenswing; and even Sir George Thrum,
though he wished to ecraser the Ligonier, pretended that her present success
was his work because once she had been brought by her mother, Mrs. Larkins,
to sing for Sir George's approval.
When the two professors met it was with the most delighted cordiality on the part
of both. "Mein lieber Herr," Thrum would say (with some malice), "your sonata in
x flat is divine." "Chevalier," Baroski would reply, "dat andante movement in w is
worthy of Beethoven. I gif you my sacred honour," and so forth. In fact, they
loved each other as gentlemen in their profession always do.
The two famous professors conduct their academies on very opposite principles.
Baroski writes ballet music; Thrum, on the contrary, says "he cannot but deplore
the dangerous fascinations of the dance," and writes more for Exeter Hall and
Birmingham. While Baroski drives a cab in the Park with a very suspicious
Mademoiselle Leocadie, or Amenaide, by his side, you may see Thrum walking
to evening church with his lady, and hymns are sung there of his own
composition. He belongs to the "Athenaeum Club," he goes to the Levee once a
year, he does everything that a respectable man should; and if, by the means of
this respectability, he manages to make his little trade far more profitable than it
otherwise would be, are we to quarrel with him for it?
Sir George, in fact, had every reason to be respectable. He had been a choir-boy
at Windsor, had played to the old King's violoncello, had been intimate with him,
and had received knighthood at the hand of his revered sovereign. He had a
snuff-box which His Majesty gave him, and portraits of him and the young princes
all over the house. He had also a foreign order (no other, indeed, than the
Elephant and Castle of Kalbsbraten-Pumpernickel), conferred upon him by the
Grand Duke when here with the allied sovereigns in 1814. With this ribbon round