Obrázky na stránke
PDF
ePub

but he did not know where he left off, and they never had so few charms.

“ No,” said he, “ I'll none of ye—I'll to the Forest of Ardennes,” taking up a volume of Shakspeare ; “ I'll to the garden, to the woods—to the seat that looks on the most beautiful spot in England !"

He meant a bench which he had lately fixed at the erid of the terrace, commanding the best view of Evelyn. Hallo

As he paced back through the rooms, Mary, and all that Mary, and even that old Vellum had said in the preceding morning, revived in his memory.

“I agree,” said he, “ (for why should I deny it) that Belmont was a melancholy place, and that I was dying there of hyp!-I agree too, how fine it would be, if such a lady were at Woodington! for—Woodington wants a mistress. Alas! I agree too," looking at himself in a pier glass, as he passed it, “ if I was not so old and so solemn !--As to the

age, he went on, still looking at himself, “it is not so very great! I am by no means so old as her father! and as to the solemnity-to be sure she has many notions that must change and they will change," said he, flinging out of doors, and hastening to the end of the terrace.

“I will here," said he, sitting down, “enjoy all those charms of a reverie, such as that which described,"

[ocr errors]

---and he closed his eyes, only to open them now and then upon the chimnies of Evelyn. But alas ! a reverie is not to be purchased, nor controlled, nor commanded ;--neither rank, nor riches, nor shining before men, nor wisdom in one's generation, nor in one's own eyes, nor wisdom of any sort, can bind this wayward sprite, who comes and goes at his pleasure, and Aits before the charmed sense of a poor student, building his château en Espagne, fifty to one more readily than he will to oblige the King of Spain himself.

It is quite certain that Mr. Tremaine, great as he was, and using all “ appliances and means to boot," could not catch the reverie he sighed for, so as to : hold it for a moment. He had risen for the fourth time from the bench he was sitting on, (which he said was a very uneasy bench) before he entirely gave the

matter up

“ I know not why,” said he, “but the plank in the scarlet-bean arbour was pleasanter than this.”

He looked at it again, examined its construction, quarrelled with his carpenter, said he would have a new one, and was actually returning to the house to give orders, when, to his utter astonishment, (though perhaps nothing in the world could be less astonishing) he saw the Doctor and his daughter standing before him. To say he reddened, or looked foolish, or hesitated

when he paid his compliments, would be to shock the good breeding of which he was master;-but as certain it was, that he did not pay those compliments with his usual ease.

“I fear we break in upon your privacy,” said Evelyn.

“ At least most agreeably,” replied he.

“ We presumed,” observed Miss Evelyn, “ upon the permission of Monsieur Dupuis, who, when he went one way to seek you, gave us leave to go another. We asked which way you went; to which we had the satisfactory answer, · He no know himself.””

- From all which we suspected," said Evelyn, looking at his book, “ that you were, as we find you, enacting the part of Master Touchstone in the Forest of Ardennes.”

“ I am much obliged to you for making me a clown, when at least I fancied myself a duke," said Tremaine.

“ The resemblance, pardon me, is perhaps nearer than you are aware of. Nay, don't be

angry,

for it was Georgy there first pointed it out.”

“ Me! Oh 'papa !--sure you-indeed Mr. Tremaine”

66 I have no doubt the resemblance is very just," said Tremaine, with rather more politeness in his manner than Georgina was disposed to like.

66

Sçavoir,” said Evelyn; and he began to read. “ And how like you this shepherd's life, Master “ Touchstone ? Truly shepherd, in respect to itself “ it is a good life ; but in respect that it is a shep“ herd's life, it is naught. In respect that it is soli“ tary, I like it very well; but in respect that it is

private, it is a very vile life. Now in respect it is “ in the fields, it pleaseth me well; but in respect it 66 is not in court, it is tedious.”

“ And all this is fastened upon me by Miss Evelyn! and not Miss Evelyn's father!” observed T'remaine.

Perhaps it lay between us both,” cried the Doctor; “ but you will at least allow that the portrait is a very good portrait.”

Now Tremaine allowed no such thing ; so to turn the conversation, he asked what had brought him the honour of their company so soon.

66 Can all that business which employs you so much, be finished so soon in a morning ?”

“ We are going to Lord Bellenden's,” replied Evelyn, 6 which is fifteen miles; he dines early, to let people get home again, and we want you to go too."

“ I am not invited,” returned Tremaine. “ 'Tis a public day," said Evelyn.

“ And would you have me on that account attend it!--excuse me, my good friend; you little know me

-I consider a public day as little less than an insult! -Who is this Lord Bellenden, that "

“ Lord Bellenden,” said Evelyn, stopping him, “is a very worthy nobleman, of immense fortune, and therefore of influence,-placed by the king at the head of the Riding,-living, but not shutting himself up, upon his estate.”

“I am going to be schooled, I see," cried Tremaine—“ pray spare

me.” “ I will," answered the Doctor, “ provided you will allow there is neither harm nor insult in such a man opening his house to all his neighbours, and telling them he has done so."

“ What, in the newspapers !" cried Tremaine. 66 No.! I am not proud

“ Not in the least,” retorted the Doctor; “ those who ever said so wronged you unmercifully.”

“ I am, however, I hope, above being advertised for as a guest," said his friend. (6 Let us see! “ There will be public days at Bellenden House every Thursday, for the next month.”

“ So says the paragraph, which, being interpreted, means, that my Lord Bellenden being very lonely, and not knowing what to do with himself in his fine house, is very willing to be diverted by any one who will take the trouble to come twenty or thirty miles to divert him."

« PredošláPokračovať »