In Which We Meet an Old Acquaintance
Such polite behaviour as that of Lord Tapeworm did not fail to have the most favourable effect upon Mr. Sedley’s mind, and the very next morning, at breakfast, he pronounced his opinion that Pumpernickel was the pleasantest little place of any which he had visited on their tour. Jos’s motives and artifices were not very difficult of comprehension, and Dobbin laughed in his sleeve, like a hypocrite as he was, when he found, by the knowing air of the civilian and the offhand manner in which the latter talked about Tapeworm Castle and the other members of the family, that Jos had been up already in the morning, consulting his travelling Peerage. Yes, he had seen the Right Honourable the Earl of Bagwig, his lordship’s father; he was sure he had, he had met him at—at the Levee—didn’t Dob remember? and when the Diplomatist called on the party, faithful to his promise, Jos received him with such a salute and honours as were seldom accorded to the little Envoy. He winked at Kirsch on his Excellency’s arrival, and that emissary, instructed before-hand, went out and superintended an entertainment of cold meats, jellies, and other delicacies, brought in upon trays, and of which Mr. Jos absolutely insisted that his noble guest should partake.
Tapeworm, so long as he could have an opportunity of admiring the bright eyes of Mrs. Osborne (whose freshness of complexion bore daylight remarkably well) was not ill pleased to accept any invitation to stay in Mr. Sedley’s lodgings; he put one or two dexterous questions to him about India and the dancing-girls there; asked Amelia about that beautiful boy who had been with her; and complimented the astonished little woman upon the prodigious sensation which she had made in the house; and tried to fascinate Dobbin by talking of the late war and the exploits of the Pumpernickel contingent under the command of the Hereditary Prince, now Duke of Pumpernickel.