The Adventures of Ferdinand Count Fathom HTML version

Chapter 24
He Overlooks The Advances Of His Friends, And Smarts Severely For His
Steeled with this cautious maxim, he guarded himself from their united
endeavours, in sundry subsequent attacks, by which his first conjecture was
confirmed, and still came off conqueror, by virtue of his unparalleled finesse and
discretion; till at length they seemed to despair of making him their prey, and the
count began to drop some hints, importing a desire of seeing him more closely
united to the views and interest of their triumvirate. But Ferdinand, who was
altogether selfish, and quite solitary in his prospects, discouraged all those
advances, being resolved to trade upon his own bottom only, and to avoid all
such connexions with any person or society whatever; much more, with a set of
raw adventurers whose talents he despised. With these sentiments, he still
maintained the dignity and reserve of his first appearance among them, and
rather enhanced than diminished that idea of importance which he had inspired
at the beginning; because, besides his other qualifications, they gave him credit
for the address with which he kept himself superior to their united designs.
While he thus enjoyed his pre-eminence, together with the fruits of his success at
play, which he managed so discreetly as never to incur the reputation of an
adventurer, he one day chanced to be at the ordinary, when the company was
surprised by the entrance of such a figure as had never appeared before in that
place. This was no other than a person habited in the exact uniform of an English
jockey. His leathern cap, cut bob, fustian frock, flannel waistcoat, buff breeches,
hunting-boots and whip, were sufficient of themselves to furnish out a
phenomenon for the admiration of all Paris. But these peculiarities were rendered
still more conspicuous by the behaviour of the man who owned them. When he
crossed the threshold of the outward door, he produced such a sound from the
smack of his whip, as equalled the explosion of an ordinary cohorn; and then
broke forth into the halloo of a foxhunter, which he uttered with all its variations,
in a strain of vociferation that seemed to astonish and confound the whole
assembly, to whom he introduced himself and his spaniel, by exclaiming, in a
tone something less melodious than the cry of mackerel or live cod, "By your
leave, gentlevolks, I hope there's no offence, in an honest plain Englishman's
coming with money in his pocket, to taste a bit of your Vrench frigasee and
This declaration was made in such a wild, fantastical manner, that the greatest
part of the company mistook him for some savage monster or maniac, and
consulted their safety by starting up from table, and drawing their swords. The
Englishman, seeing such a martial apparatus produced against him, recoiled two
or three steps, saying, "Waunds! a believe the people are all bewitched. What, do
they take me for a beast of prey? is there nobody here that knows Sir Stentor
Stile, or can speak to me in my own lingo?" He had no sooner pronounced these
words, than the baronet, with marks of infinite surprise, ran towards him, crying,
"Good Heaven! Sir Stentor, who expected to meet with you in Paris?" Upon
which, the other eyeing him very earnestly, "Odds heartlikins!" cried he, "my