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Evelyn, asked me two days ago to give consent, and I said I would think of it; for I really am sorry ever to refuse what he thinks right; he preaches too good sermons for that."
“ Thank you, thank you,” said the doctor, “ for I perceive that you have now thought better of it, and will gratify Mr. Tremaine as a good neighbour ought to do.”
" That is the short and the long of it,” replied Ryecroft; “ so now you must taste my ale, and I'll get it in a trice.”
At this he, with tolerable alertness, moved into the house, and returned with a foaming pitcher; of which the two friends, not able to resist him, having taken each a glass, they took leave of him by shaking hands—a ceremony which he offered, and which Tremaine could not refuse.
“ You see he is not so bad as you thought,” said the doctor, after they had ridden a little way.
“ I find I am more obliged to you than to him," replied his companion coldly. " That you should have influence over him, I can conceive; but I must own the price you pay for it does not make me envy
Evelyn, perceiving what he meant, assured him that, coarse as he seemed, there was an honesty, and even a kindness about Ryecroft, that might do honour to a much higher polish; that the poor had
not a better friend, and that in the several relations of neighbour, father, and husband, (where not opposed) no one had more worth. “ Why then should I not cultivate (if a few minutes in the week can be called cultivating) the good-will of such a man, merely because he is unpolished ? Even in an interested point of view you see it benefits. The proofs of his being a good neighbour have been not a few; and if you knew the power of a bad one over one's comfort (for which I need only send you into the next village, where the parson, the squire, and farmer, seem to live only to plague one another), you would find that, as we cannot get rid of humanity, the best way is, by bearing with it, to make it sit as lightly as possible.”
AN EVENING AT HOME.- ARGUMENTS.
“ Why should a man, whose bloud is warm within,
TREMAINE passed a melancholy evening, which he, as usual, would not allow to be melancholy. He had refused his friend's pressing invitation to dine at Evelyn Hall, without being able to assign any reason for it even to himself, except that he was an invalid, and loved his home. When there, however, he sought in vain for the objects of that “ love," of which he talked. His ride, and the collision of mind into which he had entered, gave him, for a moment, an elasticity to which he had long been a stranger; but it was only for a moment.
His dinner-hour was still eight, and he really felt exhausted ; and yet he still continued in the mistake, fatal to his health, of not relaxing the rule of a fashionable town life.
It was five when he got home, and there were three heavy hours to be waded through. He had no employment, and, what was worse, could make
He took up a pamphlet indeed, but finding that he was thinking of the conversations and scenes of the morning, in which he did not like to own to himself how much his friend had the advantage of him, he gaped, and laid it down. He then wandered into the gardens, and beheld the sun approaching the west in all his splendour. There he found a delightful concert of birds, and shrubs and flowers were all pushing into notice, in the most pleasing array of opening buds. But he beheld them as a mere picture, as if their colours had been the work of man.
Here, however, for want of being able to settle himself to any other employment, he loitered away the intermediate hours till dinner; after which,
“ Stretch'd on the rack of a too-easy chair,”
he indulged, until bedtime, in sundry wise reflections (for such he thought them, though he felt them to be neither pleasant nor profitable) on the manner in which he had hitherto passed his time in
Yorkshire. At all events, he determined to pass the next day differently; and for this purpose ordered his steward to be in attendance, that he might at once wind up the business which had brought him from Belmont.
The next day, however, before his steward could gain admittance, brought his two friends early to see him, and the sound of their horses' feet surprised him before he had well done breakfast.
Tremaine's morning mirror had shewn him the face of a man who had past a restless night; and if the contrast between his own and the awakened countenance of Evelyn struck him forcibly, much more was he impressed with the rosy animation, the buoyant, yet modest manner, the laughing, yet sensible eyes of Georgina.
“ This is very, good of you,” said he, setting chairs. “ I fear we interrupt you,” said Evelyn,
66 for I saw my old friend Jenkins, with a bag full of papers, and a pile of parchments, waiting for you as we came in.”
“ And do you think I am not glad to have such a business broken in upon, by such an interruption ?” replied he, bowing to Georgina.
“ More gallant than prudent, perhaps," rejoined his neighbour. “ And if we put off business, even if it can be done another time, business may put