Women often make light of ruin. Give them but the beloved objects, and poverty is a trifling sorrow to bear. As for Philip, he, as we have said, is gayer than he has been for years past. The doctor’s flight occasions not a little club talk: but, now he is gone, many people see quite well that they were aware of his insolvency, and always knew it must end so. The case is told, is canvassed, is exaggerated as such cases will be.

I daresay it forms a week’s talk. But people know that poor Philip is his father’s largest creditor, and eye the young man with no unfriendly looks when he comes to his club after his mishap, — with burning cheeks, and a tingling sense of shame, imagining that all the world will point at and avoid him as the guilty fugitive’s son.No: the world takes very little heed of his misfortune. One or two old acquaintances are kinder to him than before. A few say his ruin, and his obligation to work, will do him good. Only a very, very few avoid him, andas he passes them by. Amongst these cold countenances, you, of course, will recognize the faces of the whole Twysden family.

Three statues, with marble eyes, could not look more stony-calm than aunt Twysden and her two daughters, as they pass in the stately barouche. The gentlemen turn red when they see Philip. It is rather late times for uncle Twysden to begin blushing, to be sure. “Hang the fellow! he will, of course, be coming for money. Dawkins, I am not at home, mind, when young Mr. Firmin calls.” So says Lord Ringwood, regarding Philip fallen among thieves. Ah, thanks to heaven, travellers find Samaritans as well as Levites on life’s hard way! Philip told us with much humour of a rencontre which he had had with his cousin, Ringwood Twysden, in a public place.

Twysden was enjoying himself with some young clerks of his office; but as Philip advanced upon him, assuming his fiercest scowl and most hectoring manner, the other lost heart, and fled. And no wonder. “Do you suppose,” says Twysden, “I will willingly sit in the same room with that cad, after the manner in which he has treated my family! No, sir!” And so the tall door in Beaunash Street is to open for Philip Firmin no more.The tall door in Beaunash Street flies open readily enough for another gentleman. A splendid cab-horse reins up before it every day. A pair of varnished boots leap out of the cab, and spring up the broad stairs, where somebody is waiting with a smile of genteel welcome — the same smile — on the same sofa — the same mamma at her table writing her letters.

And beautiful bouquets from Covent Garden decorate the room. And after half an hour mamma goes out to speak to the housekeeper, vous comprenez. And there is nothing particularly new under the sun. It will shine to-morrow upon pretty much the same flowers, sports, pastimes, which it illuminated yesterday. And when your love-making days are over, miss, and you are married, and advantageously established, shall not your little sisters, now in the nursery, trot down and play their little games?