Page images
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

trees you have lost, and your good-humour at the same time.”

“ True,” said St. Clair, yawning,“ if such a trifle, so much in every one's power, can put one in good-humour !”

6 You would at least,” pursued Evelyn, not have found, as you told us just now, that to be by one's-self was the greatest bore in nature. In truth, as Mr. Tremaine and I often agree, we are all of us made for labour of some sort or other, and if we cannot meet it, we must make it.”

“ Tremaine say he would make labour ?” cried St. Clair, staring.

Tremaine bowed to the Doctor, but not in acquiescence. It was a bow not to be made out by every body, and certainly not by the young Peer; yet it said almost as much as Lord Burleigh's shake of the head, if rightly understood; for it told Evelyn he was in his power, as he did not choose to take the trouble to contradict him.

“ To make labour is the last thing I should wish to do," continued the Viscount, “even for an hour.”

Perhaps so,” replied Evelyn, “ but give me leave to ask how that hour would have been otherwisè employed ?"

Probably in riding,” said St. Clair, “or, if in bad weather, at billiards."

Very good," said Evelyn, “ riding is a fine. exercise, especially if in a fine air, and in the early morning.”

“ Early morning !” exclaimed St. Clair, “ at least our friend here is not with


in that.” “ Oh! but he is,” pursued Evelyn; and Georgina laughing, Tremaine gave visible signs of uneasiness, if not of impatience.

“ Then as to billiards," continued Evelyn, “it is a pleasant relaxation after the mind has been particularly bent with study."

“ I believe,” said St. Clair, you're quizzing me, for I own to you I'm tired both of the one and the other. I've seen all the rides in the neighbourhood till I'm sick of them ; and as to billiards, unless with a new player, I've played so much, that they have no longer any charm."

“ Confess then," replied Evelyn, “ that to have employed yourself in protecting your trees, would have proved as agreeable an occupation as any

of those that actually did employ you."

“ All that, my dear sir, is very true," said the Viscount, looking at his watch, “but as I find the country has still less interest in it than London, it is a still greater bore, you know; so I shall return to the dull delights of the Park and St. James's Street, the day after to-morrow."

“And back again next month,” said Evelyn, as

[ocr errors]

he attended him to the hall, “ vous ennuyer à la campagne.

“ I am charmingly off for neighbours," continued the Doctor, re-entering the library; one of my nearest comes two hundred miles, to a house he built himself, and stays a week, and my nearest of all, when he does chance to reside at the seat of his ancestors, shuts himself up as if he was one of the old family pictures.”

“ You scold us pretty well for it, however,” said Tremaine; “not a stroke to my lord there, but I felt in every bone of my own skin.”

“ I'm glad what was so well meant, was so well taken," replied Evelyn; “ but how do you like the Viscount ?"

“ It is ridiculous to think what a reputation he

once had.

“ Respect him, however,” said Evelyn, “ for he is one of the quizzers, one of the redoubtable corps of St. James's Street, whom all his Majesty's plain subjects are afraid of.”

"I wonder why ?” said Georgina.
“ Ask Mr. Tremaine,” replied the Doctor.

* Evelyn probably had in his mind the conclusion of the Scrupule of Marmontel: “ allons nous, Marlame?"

Nous ennuyer à la campagne.



“ I would I were as sure of a good dinner.”


TREMAINE's reply (if he had one) to the question propounded at the close of our last chapter, was spared, by the appearance of a man crossing the lawn, in a single-breasted coat, and long gaiters. He came from the stables, and was followed by all Evelyn's dogs, who seemed eager for his notice, and all of whom he did notice by their names.

“ Hilloa ho !” cried Evelyn, putting his head out of window, while Tremaine was astonished both at his hilarity and familiarity with the stranger; whom however he rightly judged to be Careless, and who was about to return a sort of view halloo, when he was stopped by Georgina. She had hastily gone out to meet him, and putting her arm within hiš, carried him immediately off into a walk at a short distance, where they seemed in earnest conversation.

Something like jealousy actually struck Tremaine, on seeing this; and he could not help exclaiming, in a tone between surprise, envy, and disapprobation, “ This Will Wimble is a happy man, Dr. Evelyn!”

“ Why yes,” observed the Doctor, “ if being just the best-natured creature in the world can make a man happy, he is so."

“ I mean," said Tremaine, broodingly, “ in the favour he seems to enjoy, and the influence he seems to be allowed in this family. It is not only the dogs that court him, and the master that loves him, but the master's daughter,”

- Loves him too,” finished the Doctor; “ and well she may, for I much question if he has not been a sixty-miles ride to serve her, in a point on which her heart was much set.”

Tremaine looked more than surprised : heart !” exclaimed he.

“ Yes,” answered the Doctor, “ and he is now, I perceive, giving an account of his commission.”

66 Is it fair to ask wbat commission ?" said Tremaine, with a strange sort of anxiety.

" Why neither more nor less than this,” replied Evelyn : “ an old widow, whom she loves very much, sent us word two days ago, that her only son had been pressed at Hull, though no seafaring man, and that she was fearful he might enter, which

6 her

« PreviousContinue »