William Makepeace

Thackeray

Vanity Fair

A Novel without a Hero

Jahrmarkt der Eitelkeit

Ein Roman ohne Held

Übersetzt von Christoph Friedrich Grieb
Synchronisation und Ergänzungen © Doppeltext 2012

TITELBLATT

BEFORE THE CURTAIN

CHAPTER I. CHISWICK MALL

CHAPTER II. IN WHICH MISS SHARP AND MISS SEDLEY PREPARE TO OPEN THE CAMPAIGN

CHAPTER III. REBECCA IS IN PRESENCE OF THE ENEMY

CHAPTER IV. THE GREEN SILK PURSE

CHAPTER V. DOBBIN OF OURS

CHAPTER VI. VAUXHALL

CHAPTER VII. CRAWLEY OF QUEEN’S CRAWLEY

CHAPTER VIII. PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL

CHAPTER IX. FAMILY PORTRAITS

CHAPTER X. MISS SHARP BEGINS TO MAKE FRIENDS

CHAPTER XI. ARCADIAN SIMPLICITY

CHAPTER XII. QUITE A SENTIMENTAL CHAPTER

CHAPTER XIII. SENTIMENTAL AND OTHERWISE

CHAPTER XIV. MISS CRAWLEY AT HOME

CHAPTER XV. IN WHICH REBECCA’S HUSBAND APPEARS FOR A SHORT TIME

CHAPTER XVI. THE LETTER ON THE PINCUSHION

CHAPTER XVII. HOW CAPTAIN DOBBIN BOUGHT A PIANO

CHAPTER XVIII. WHO PLAYED ON THE PIANO CAPTAIN DOBBIN BOUGHT

CHAPTER XIX. MISS CRAWLEY AT NURSE

CHAPTER XX. IN WHICH CAPTAIN DOBBIN ACTS AS THE MESSENGER OF HYMEN

CHAPTER XXI. A QUARREL ABOUT AN HEIRESS

CHAPTER XXII. A MARRIAGE AND PART OF A HONEYMOON

CHAPTER XXIII. CAPTAIN DOBBIN PROCEEDS ON HIS CANVASS

CHAPTER XXIV. IN WHICH MR. OSBORNE TAKES DOWN THE FAMILY BIBLE

CHAPTER XXV. IN WHICH ALL THE PRINCIPAL PERSONAGES THINK FIT TO LEAVE BRIGHTON

CHAPTER XXVI. BETWEEN LONDON AND CHATHAM

CHAPTER XXVII. IN WHICH AMELIA JOINS HER REGIMENT

CHAPTER XXVIII. IN WHICH AMELIA INVADES THE LOW COUNTRIES

CHAPTER XXIX. BRUSSELS

CHAPTER XXX. “THE GIRL I LEFT BEHIND ME”

CHAPTER XXXI. IN WHICH JOS SEDLEY TAKES CARE OF HIS SISTER

CHAPTER XXXII. IN WHICH JOS TAKES FLIGHT, AND THE WAR IS BROUGHT TO A CLOSE

CHAPTER XXXIII. IN WHICH MISS CRAWLEY’S RELATIONS ARE VERY ANXIOUS ABOUT HER

CHAPTER XXXIV. JAMES CRAWLEY’S PIPE IS PUT OUT

CHAPTER XXXV. WIDOW AND MOTHER

CHAPTER XXXVI. HOW TO LIVE WELL ON NOTHING A YEAR

CHAPTER XXXVII. THE SUBJECT CONTINUED

CHAPTER XXXVIII. A FAMILY IN A VERY SMALL WAY

CHAPTER XXXIX. A CYNICAL CHAPTER

CHAPTER XL. IN WHICH BECKY IS RECOGNIZED BY THE FAMILY

CHAPTER XLI. IN WHICH BECKY REVISITS THE HALLS OF HER ANCESTORS

CHAPTER XLII. WHICH TREATS OF THE OSBORNE FAMILY

CHAPTER XLIII. IN WHICH THE READER HAS TO DOUBLE THE CAPE

CHAPTER XLIV. A ROUND-ABOUT CHAPTER BETWEEN LONDON AND HAMPSHIRE

CHAPTER XLV. BETWEEN HAMPSHIRE AND LONDON

CHAPTER XLVI. STRUGGLES AND TRIALS

CHAPTER XLVII. GAUNT HOUSE

CHAPTER XLVIII. IN WHICH THE READER IS INTRODUCED TO THE VERY BEST OF COMPANY

CHAPTER XLIX. IN WHICH WE ENJOY THREE COURSES AND A DESSERT

CHAPTER L. CONTAINS A VULGAR INCIDENT

CHAPTER LI. IN WHICH A CHARADE IS ACTED WHICH MAY OR MAY NOT PUZZLE THE READER

CHAPTER LII. IN WHICH LORD STEYNE SHOWS HIMSELF IN A MOST AMIABLE LIGHT

CHAPTER LIII. A RESCUE AND A CATASTROPHE

CHAPTER LIV. SUNDAY AFTER THE BATTLE

CHAPTER LV. IN WHICH THE SAME SUBJECT IS PURSUED

CHAPTER LVI. GEORGY IS MADE A GENTLEMAN

CHAPTER LVII. EOTHEN

CHAPTER LVIII. OUR FRIEND THE MAJOR

CHAPTER LIX. THE OLD PIANO

CHAPTER LX. RETURNS TO THE GENTEEL WORLD

CHAPTER LXI. IN WHICH TWO LIGHTS ARE PUT OUT

CHAPTER LXII. AM RHEIN

CHAPTER LXIII. IN WHICH WE MEET AN OLD ACQUAINTANCE

CHAPTER LXIV. A VAGABOND CHAPTER

CHAPTER LXV. FULL OF BUSINESS AND PLEASURE

CHAPTER LXVI. AMANTIUM IRAE

CHAPTER LXVII. WHICH CONTAINS BIRTHS, MARRIAGES, AND DEATHS

IMPRESSUM

BEFORE THE CURTAIN

As the man­ager of the Per­form­ance sits be­fore the cur­tain on the boards and looks into the Fair,
a feel­ing of pro­found mel­an­choly comes over him in his sur­vey of the bust­ling place.
There is a great quant­ity of eat­ing and drink­ing, mak­ing love and jilt­ing, laugh­ing and the con­trary, smoking, cheat­ing, fight­ing, dan­cing and fid­dling;
there are bul­lies push­ing about, bucks ogling the wo­men, knaves pick­ing pock­ets,
po­lice­men on the look-out, quacks (oth­er quacks, plague take them!)
bawl­ing in front of their booths, and yokels look­ing up at the tin­selled dan­cers and poor
old rouged tum­blers, while the light-fingered folk are op­er­at­ing upon their pock­ets be­hind.
Yes, this is Van­ity Fair; not a mor­al place cer­tainly; nor a merry one, though very noisy.
Look at the faces of the act­ors and buf­foons when they come off from their busi­ness;
and Tom Fool wash­ing the paint off his cheeks be­fore he sits down to din­ner with his wife and the little Jack Pud­dings be­hind the can­vas.
The cur­tain will be up presently, and he will be turn­ing over head and heels, and cry­ing, “How are you?”
A man with a re­flect­ive turn of mind, walk­ing through an ex­hib­i­tion of this sort, will not be op­pressed, I take it, by his own or oth­er people’s hil­ar­ity.
An epis­ode of hu­mour or kind­ness touches and amuses him here and there — a pretty child look­ing at a ginger­bread stall;
a pretty girl blush­ing whilst her lov­er talks to her and chooses her fair­ing;
poor Tom Fool, yon­der be­hind the wag­gon, mum­bling his bone with the hon­est fam­ily which lives by his tum­bling;
but the gen­er­al im­pres­sion is one more mel­an­choly than mirth­ful.
When you come home you sit down in a sober, con­tem­plat­ive, not un­char­it­able frame of mind, and ap­ply your­self to your books or your busi­ness.
I have no oth­er mor­al than this to tag to the present story of “Van­ity Fair.”
Some people con­sider Fairs im­mor­al al­to­geth­er, and es­chew such, with their ser­vants and fam­il­ies: very likely they are right.
But per­sons who think oth­er­wise, and are of a lazy, or a be­ne­vol­ent, or a sar­cast­ic mood,
may per­haps like to step in for half an hour, and look at the per­form­ances.
There are scenes of all sorts; some dread­ful com­bats, some grand and lofty horse-rid­ing,
some scenes of high life, and some of very mid­dling in­deed;
some love-mak­ing for the sen­ti­ment­al, and some light com­ic busi­ness;
the whole ac­com­pan­ied by ap­pro­pri­ate scenery and bril­liantly il­lu­min­ated with the Au­thor’s own candles.
What more has the Man­ager of the Per­form­ance to say?
— To ac­know­ledge the kind­ness with which it has been re­ceived in all the prin­cip­al towns of Eng­land through which the Show has passed,
and where it has been most fa­vour­ably no­ticed by the re­spec­ted con­duct­ors of the pub­lic Press, and by the No­bil­ity and Gentry.
He is proud to think that his Pup­pets have giv­en sat­is­fac­tion to the very best com­pany in this em­pire.
The fam­ous little Becky Pup­pet has been pro­nounced to be un­com­monly flex­ible in the joints, and lively on the wire;
the Amelia Doll, though it has had a smal­ler circle of ad­mirers, has yet been carved and dressed with the greatest care by the artist;
the Dob­bin Fig­ure, though ap­par­ently clumsy, yet dances in a very amus­ing and nat­ur­al man­ner; the Little Boys’ Dance has been liked by some;
and please to re­mark the richly dressed fig­ure of the Wicked No­ble­man,
on which no ex­pense has been spared, and which Old Nick will fetch away at the end of this sin­gu­lar per­form­ance.
And with this, and a pro­found bow to his pat­rons, the Man­ager re­tires, and the cur­tain rises.
Lon­don, June 28, 1848

CHAPTER I. CHISWICK MALL

While the present cen­tury was in its teens, and on one sun­shiny morn­ing in June, there drove up to the great iron gate
of Miss Pinker­ton’s academy for young ladies, on Chiswick Mall, a large fam­ily coach, with two fat horses in blaz­ing har­ness,
driv­en by a fat coach­man in a three-cornered hat and wig, at the rate of four miles an hour.
A black ser­vant, who re­posed on the box be­side the fat coach­man,
un­curled his bandy legs as soon as the equipage drew up op­pos­ite Miss Pinker­ton’s shin­ing brass plate,
and as he pulled the bell at least a score of young heads were seen peer­ing out of the nar­row win­dows of the stately old brick house.
Nay, the acute ob­serv­er might have re­cog­nized the little red nose of good-natured Miss Je­mima Pinker­ton her­self,
rising over some gerani­um pots in the win­dow of that lady’s own draw­ing-room.
“It is Mrs. Sed­ley’s coach, sis­ter,” said Miss Je­mima.
“Sambo, the black ser­vant, has just rung the bell; and the coach­man has a new red waist­coat.”
“Have you com­pleted all the ne­ces­sary pre­par­a­tions in­cid­ent to Miss Sed­ley’s de­par­ture, Miss Je­mima?”
asked Miss Pinker­ton her­self, that majest­ic lady; the Semira­mis of Ham­mer­smith,
the friend of Doc­tor John­son, the cor­res­pond­ent of Mrs. Chapone her­self.
“The girls were up at four this morn­ing, pack­ing her trunks, sis­ter,” replied Miss Je­mima; “we have made her a bow-pot.”
“Say a bou­quet, sis­ter Je­mima, ’tis more gen­teel.”
“Well, a booky as big al­most as a hay­stack;
I have put up two bottles of the gilly­flower wa­ter for Mrs. Sed­ley, and the re­ceipt for mak­ing it, in Amelia’s box.”
“And I trust, Miss Je­mima, you have made a copy of Miss Sed­ley’s ac­count.
This is it, is it? Very good — ninety-three pounds, four shil­lings.
Be kind enough to ad­dress it to John Sed­ley, Es­quire, and to seal this bil­let which I have writ­ten to his lady.”
In Miss Je­mima’s eyes an auto­graph let­ter of her sis­ter, Miss Pinker­ton,
was an ob­ject of as deep ven­er­a­tion as would have been a let­ter from a sov­er­eign.
Only when her pu­pils quit­ted the es­tab­lish­ment, or when they were about to be mar­ried,
and once, when poor Miss Birch died of the scar­let fever, was Miss Pinker­ton known to write per­son­ally to the par­ents of her pu­pils;
and it was Je­mima’s opin­ion that if any­thing could con­sole Mrs. Birch for her daugh­ter’s loss,
it would be that pi­ous and elo­quent com­pos­i­tion in which Miss Pinker­ton an­nounced the event.
In the present in­stance Miss Pinker­ton’s “bil­let” was to the fol­low­ing ef­fect: —
The Mall, Chiswick, June 15, 18—
Madam,— After her six years’ res­id­ence at the Mall, I have the hon­our and hap­pi­ness of present­ing Miss Amelia Sed­ley to her par­ents,
as a young lady not un­worthy to oc­cupy a fit­ting po­s­i­tion in their pol­ished and re­fined circle.
Those vir­tues which char­ac­ter­ize the young Eng­lish gen­tle­wo­man, those ac­com­plish­ments which be­come her birth and sta­tion,
will not be found want­ing in the ami­able Miss Sed­ley, whose in­dustry and obed­i­ence have en­deared her to her in­struct­ors,
and whose de­light­ful sweet­ness of tem­per has charmed her aged and her youth­ful com­pan­ions.
In mu­sic, in dan­cing, in or­tho­graphy, in every vari­ety of em­broid­ery and nee­dle­work, she will be found to have real­ized her friends’ fond­est wishes.
In geo­graphy there is still much to be de­sired;
and a care­ful and un­devi­at­ing use of the back­board, for four hours daily dur­ing the next three years,
is re­com­men­ded as ne­ces­sary to the ac­quire­ment of that dig­ni­fied de­port­ment and car­riage, so re­quis­ite for every young lady of fash­ion.
In the prin­ciples of re­li­gion and mor­al­ity, Miss Sed­ley will be found worthy of an es­tab­lish­ment
which has been hon­oured by the pres­ence of the great lex­ico­graph­er, and the pat­ron­age of the ad­mir­able Mrs. Chapone.
In leav­ing the Mall, Miss Amelia car­ries with her the hearts of her com­pan­ions,
and the af­fec­tion­ate re­gards of her mis­tress, who has the hon­our to sub­scribe her­self,
Madam, Your most ob­liged humble ser­vant, Bar­bara Pinker­ton
P.S. — Miss Sharp ac­com­pan­ies Miss Sed­ley. It is par­tic­u­larly re­ques­ted that Miss Sharp’s stay in Rus­sell Square may not ex­ceed ten days.
The fam­ily of dis­tinc­tion with whom she is en­gaged, de­sire to avail them­selves of her ser­vices as soon as pos­sible.
This let­ter com­pleted, Miss Pinker­ton pro­ceeded to write her own name, and Miss Sed­ley’s, in the fly-leaf of a John­son’s Dic­tion­ary
— the in­ter­est­ing work which she in­vari­ably presen­ted to her schol­ars, on their de­par­ture from the Mall.
On the cov­er was in­ser­ted a copy of “Lines ad­dressed to a young lady on quit­ting Miss Pinker­ton’s school, at the Mall; by the late revered Doc­tor Samuel John­son.”
In fact, the Lex­ico­graph­er’s name was al­ways on the lips of this majest­ic wo­man,
and a vis­it he had paid to her was the cause of her repu­ta­tion and her for­tune.
Be­ing com­manded by her eld­er sis­ter to get “the Dic­tion­ary”
from the cup­board, Miss Je­mima had ex­trac­ted two cop­ies of the book from the re­cept­acle in ques­tion.
When Miss Pinker­ton had fin­ished the in­scrip­tion in the first, Je­mima, with rather a du­bi­ous and tim­id air, handed her the second.
“For whom is this, Miss Je­mima?” said Miss Pinker­ton, with aw­ful cold­ness.
“For Becky Sharp,” answered Je­mima, trem­bling very much, and blush­ing over her withered face and neck,
as she turned her back on her sis­ter. “For Becky Sharp: she’s go­ing too.”
“MISS JE­MIMA!” ex­claimed Miss Pinker­ton, in the largest cap­it­als.
“Are you in your senses? Re­place the Dix­on­ary in the closet, and nev­er ven­ture to take such a liberty in fu­ture.”
“Well, sis­ter, it’s only two-and-nine­pence, and poor Becky will be miser­able if she don’t get one.”
“Send Miss Sed­ley in­stantly to me,” said Miss Pinker­ton.
And so ven­tur­ing not to say an­oth­er word, poor Je­mima trot­ted off, ex­ceed­ingly flur­ried and nervous.
Miss Sed­ley’s papa was a mer­chant in Lon­don, and a man of some wealth; where­as Miss Sharp was an art­icled pu­pil,
for whom Miss Pinker­ton had done, as she thought, quite enough, without con­fer­ring upon her at part­ing the high hon­our of the Dix­on­ary.
Al­though school­mis­tresses’ let­ters are to be trus­ted no more nor less than church­yard epi­taphs;
yet, as it some­times hap­pens that a per­son de­parts this life who is really de­serving of all the praises the stone cut­ter carves over his bones;
who is a good Chris­ti­an, a good par­ent, child, wife, or hus­band; who ac­tu­ally does leave a dis­con­sol­ate fam­ily to mourn his loss;
so in academies of the male and fe­male sex it oc­curs every now and then
that the pu­pil is fully worthy of the praises be­stowed by the dis­in­ter­ested in­struct­or.
Now, Miss Amelia Sed­ley was a young lady of this sin­gu­lar spe­cies;
and de­served not only all that Miss Pinker­ton said in her praise, but had many charm­ing qual­it­ies
which that pom­pous old Min­erva of a wo­man could not see, from the dif­fer­ences of rank and age between her pu­pil and her­self.
For she could not only sing like a lark, or a Mrs. Bil­ling­ton, and dance like Hil­lis­berg or Par­isot;
and em­broid­er beau­ti­fully; and spell as well as a Dix­on­ary it­self;
but she had such a kindly, smil­ing, tender, gentle, gen­er­ous heart of her own, as won the love of every­body who came near her,
from Min­erva her­self down to the poor girl in the scull­ery, and the one-eyed tart-wo­man’s daugh­ter,
who was per­mit­ted to vend her wares once a week to the young ladies in the Mall.
She had twelve in­tim­ate and bos­om friends out of the twenty-four young ladies. Even en­vi­ous Miss Briggs nev­er spoke ill of her;
high and mighty Miss Saltire (Lord Dex­ter’s grand­daugh­ter) al­lowed that her fig­ure was gen­teel;
and as for Miss Swartz, the rich woolly-haired mu­latto from St. Kitt’s, on the day Amelia went away,
she was in such a pas­sion of tears that they were ob­liged to send for Dr. Floss, and half tip­si­fy her with sal­volat­ile.
Miss Pinker­ton’s at­tach­ment was, as may be sup­posed from the high po­s­i­tion and em­in­ent vir­tues of that lady, calm and dig­ni­fied;
but Miss Je­mima had already whimpered sev­er­al times at the idea of Amelia’s de­par­ture; and, but for fear of her sis­ter,
would have gone off in down­right hys­ter­ics, like the heir­ess (who paid double) of St. Kitt’s.
Such lux­ury of grief, however, is only al­lowed to par­lour-boarders.
Hon­est Je­mima had all the bills, and the wash­ing, and the mend­ing,
and the pud­dings, and the plate and crock­ery, and the ser­vants to su­per­in­tend.
But why speak about her? It is prob­able that we shall not hear of her again from this mo­ment to the end of time,
and that when the great fili­gree iron gates are once closed on her,
she and her aw­ful sis­ter will nev­er is­sue there­from into this little world of his­tory.
But as we are to see a great deal of Amelia, there is no harm in say­ing, at the out­set of our ac­quaint­ance,
that she was a dear little creature; and a great mercy it is, both in life and in nov­els, which (and the lat­ter es­pe­cially)
abound in vil­lains of the most sombre sort, that we are to have for a con­stant com­pan­ion so guile­less and good-natured a per­son.
As she is not a heroine, there is no need to de­scribe her per­son;
in­deed I am afraid that her nose was rather short than oth­er­wise, and her cheeks a great deal too round and red for a heroine;
but her face blushed with rosy health, and her lips with the freshest of smiles, and she had a pair of eyes
which sparkled with the bright­est and hon­est­est good-hu­mour, ex­cept in­deed when they filled with tears,
and that was a great deal too of­ten; for the silly thing would cry over a dead ca­nary-bird;
or over a mouse, that the cat haply had seized upon; or over the end of a nov­el, were it ever so stu­pid;
and as for say­ing an un­kind word to her, were any per­sons hard-hearted enough to do so — why, so much the worse for them.
Even Miss Pinker­ton, that aus­tere and god­like wo­man, ceased scold­ing her after the first time,
and though she no more com­pre­hen­ded sens­ib­il­ity than she did Al­gebra, gave all mas­ters and teach­ers par­tic­u­lar or­ders
to treat Miss Sed­ley with the ut­most gen­tle­ness, as harsh treat­ment was in­jur­i­ous to her.
So that when the day of de­par­ture came, between her two cus­toms of laugh­ing and cry­ing, Miss Sed­ley was greatly puzzled how to act.
She was glad to go home, and yet most woe­fully sad at leav­ing school.
For three days be­fore, little Laura Mar­tin, the orphan, fol­lowed her about like a little dog.
She had to make and re­ceive at least four­teen presents — to make four­teen sol­emn prom­ises of writ­ing every week:
“Send my let­ters un­der cov­er to my grand­papa, the Earl of Dex­ter,” said Miss Saltire (who, by the way, was rather shabby).
“Nev­er mind the post­age, but write every day, you dear darling,”
said the im­petu­ous and woolly-headed, but gen­er­ous and af­fec­tion­ate Miss Swartz;
and the orphan little Laura Mar­tin (who was just in round-hand), took her friend’s hand and said,
look­ing up in her face wist­fully, “Amelia, when I write to you I shall call you Mamma.”
All which de­tails, I have no doubt, Jones, who reads this book at his Club,
will pro­nounce to be ex­cess­ively fool­ish, trivi­al, twad­dling, and ul­tra-sen­ti­ment­al.
Yes; I can see Jones at this minute (rather flushed with his joint of mut­ton and half pint of wine),
tak­ing out his pen­cil and scor­ing un­der the words “fool­ish, twad­dling,” &c., and adding to them his own re­mark of “quite True.”
Well, he is a lofty man of geni­us, and ad­mires the great and hero­ic in life and nov­els;
and so had bet­ter take warn­ing and go else­where.
Well, then. The flowers, and the presents, and the trunks, and bon­net-boxes of Miss Sed­ley hav­ing been ar­ranged by Mr. Sambo in the car­riage,
to­geth­er with a very small and weath­er-beaten old cow’s-skin trunk with Miss Sharp’s card neatly nailed upon it, which was de­livered by Sambo with a grin,
and packed by the coach­man with a cor­res­pond­ing sneer — the hour for part­ing came;
and the grief of that mo­ment was con­sid­er­ably lessened by the ad­mir­able dis­course which Miss Pinker­ton ad­dressed to her pu­pil.
Not that the part­ing speech caused Amelia to philo­soph­ise, or that it armed her in any way with a calmness, the res­ult of ar­gu­ment;
but it was in­tol­er­ably dull, pom­pous, and te­di­ous;
and hav­ing the fear of her school­mis­tress greatly be­fore her eyes,
Miss Sed­ley did not ven­ture, in her pres­ence, to give way to any ebulli­tions of private grief.
A seed-cake and a bottle of wine were pro­duced in the draw­ing-room, as on the sol­emn oc­ca­sions of the vis­its of par­ents,
and these re­fresh­ments be­ing par­taken of, Miss Sed­ley was at liberty to de­part.
“You’ll go in and say good-by to Miss Pinker­ton, Becky!” said Miss Je­mima to a young lady
of whom nobody took any no­tice, and who was com­ing down­stairs with her own band­box.
“I sup­pose I must,” said Miss Sharp calmly, and much to the won­der of Miss Je­mima;
and the lat­ter hav­ing knocked at the door, and re­ceiv­ing per­mis­sion to come in,
Miss Sharp ad­vanced in a very un­con­cerned man­ner, and said in French, and with a per­fect ac­cent, “Ma­demois­elle, je vi­ens vous faire mes adieux.”
Miss Pinker­ton did not un­der­stand French; she only dir­ec­ted those who did:
but bit­ing her lips and throw­ing up her ven­er­able and Ro­man-nosed head (on the top of which figured a large and sol­emn turban), she said,
“Miss Sharp, I wish you a good morn­ing.”
As the Ham­mer­smith Semira­mis spoke, she waved one hand, both by way of adieu,
and to give Miss Sharp an op­por­tun­ity of shak­ing one of the fin­gers of the hand which was left out for that pur­pose.
Miss Sharp only fol­ded her own hands with a very fri­gid smile and bow, and quite de­clined to ac­cept the proffered hon­our;
on which Semira­mis tossed up her turban more in­dig­nantly than ever.
In fact, it was a little battle between the young lady and the old one, and the lat­ter was worsted.
“Heav­en bless you, my child,” said she, em­bra­cing Amelia, and scowl­ing the while over the girl’s shoulder at Miss Sharp.
“Come away, Becky,” said Miss Je­mima, pulling the young wo­man away in great alarm,
and the draw­ing-room door closed upon them for ever.
Then came the struggle and part­ing be­low. Words re­fuse to tell it.
All the ser­vants were there in the hall — all the dear friend
— all the young ladies — the dan­cing-mas­ter who had just ar­rived;
and there was such a scuff­ling, and hug­ging, and kiss­ing, and cry­ing,
with the hys­ter­ic­al yoops of Miss Swartz, the par­lour-boarder, from her room,
as no pen can de­pict, and as the tender heart would fain pass over.
The em­bra­cing was over; they par­ted — that is, Miss Sed­ley par­ted from her friends.
Miss Sharp had de­murely entered the car­riage some minutes be­fore. Nobody cried for leav­ing her.
Sambo of the bandy legs slammed the car­riage door on his young weep­ing mis­tress. He sprang up be­hind the car­riage.
“Stop!” cried Miss Je­mima, rush­ing to the gate with a par­cel.
“It’s some sand­wiches, my dear,” said she to Amelia.
“You may be hungry, you know; and Becky, Becky Sharp, here’s a book for you
that my sis­ter — that is, I — John­son’s Dix­on­ary, you know; you mustn’t leave us without that.
Good-by. Drive on, coach­man. God bless you!”
And the kind creature re­treated into the garden, over­come with emo­tion.
But, lo! and just as the coach drove off, Miss Sharp put her pale face out of the win­dow
and ac­tu­ally flung the book back into the garden.
This al­most caused Je­mima to faint with ter­ror. “Well, I nev­er” — said she — “what an au­da­cious”
— Emo­tion pre­ven­ted her from com­plet­ing either sen­tence.
The car­riage rolled away; the great gates were closed; the bell rang for the dan­cing les­son.
The world is be­fore the two young ladies; and so, farewell to Chiswick Mall.

William Makepeace Thackeray
Vanity Fair / Jahrmarkt der Eitelkeit
Zweisprachige Ausgabe
Übersetzt von Christoph Friedrich Grieb

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