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66. And yet," continued he, advancing quicker along the terrace; as he advanced with his soliloquy, " and yet as happiness must be in the mind, and must therefore exist in proportion to the mind's cultivation, how is it possible? To dig in a garden, weave a net, or rub down a horse, is surely a very common affair, and not calculated to produce: what all of us are courting with such eagerness, and none of us ever attain. He is indeed a benevolent, and kind-hearted creature," proceeded Tremaine, “and that does much ;-but so are many: I cannot tax myself with any deficiency in this respect.”
“I will consult Dr. Evelyn' about him," concluded Tremaine. “He will dogmatize a little, and we shall have a dispute. No matter-the truth may be struck out between us.”
Now it may have occurred to the reader, that whatever good sense may have appeared in Evelyn, any thing but the truth had been infused by him into the mind of Tremaine. Yet that is not exactly
Two rough stones of equal hardness, 'continually in collision, may leave it "doubtful in which the grain and solidity are firmest. Yet it one of them has a few' incrustations or asperities not naturally belonging to it, tén to one, by continual rubbing against the other, they are insensibly softened down, without the real solid block knowing any thing about the matter.
Just so was it with Tremaine. To have yielded his theories to Evelyn, would never have entered his contemplation; but as truth is the fairest flower of history, our duty requires that we should confess; he was at least sometimes in the situation of that illustrious fellow-theorist, who, inculcating the sublime doctrine that pain was no evil, and, seized with the gout in the midst of it, though he would not give up his theory, was forced to allow it an inconvenience. Now, as seclusion to the one philosopher
. was as incontestably an inconvenience as the pangs of the gout to the other, the pride of opinion had insensibly, and just so far yielded in Tremaine, that he thought Evelyn seemed the happier man of the two; and though it was still a problem in his mind, whether his happiness was on account, or in spite of his
way of life, yet he was forced to own that the pursuits and tastes of such a man must at least be very bearable things.
The perpetual droppings, therefore, of Evelyn's maxims, began to be a little like the perpetual droppings of water upon marble; and obstinate as the mind of Tremaine may appear, it could not; any more than the marble, be exposed to these unceasing efforts, without insensibly giving way.
* There must be more in my friend's notions of life, than I am aware of,” said the man of refinement, canvassing the point;—" and yet I think I
have had as many occasions of judging as he. I will certainly probe the matter the first opportunity."
When that first opportunity happened does not appear, but the next meeting upon record will be found in the next chapter.
“ Come, woo me, woo me; for now I am in a holiday humour, and “ like enough to consent.
“ It is all owing to our departing from nature, or being what you call refined,” said the Doctor, .
As this was round a table covered with wine, and fruit, and biscuits, perhaps the reader will imagine, that Tremaine had again condescended to leave his own company and rich repast, for the society and plain but excellent board at Evelyn! Hall; or, perhaps, that the chimnies of Woodington had begun to smoke for others as well as for their solitary master. But it was none of these; for the party were now all assembled under a large mulberrytree in Jack Careless's garden. How they came there the Doctor can best explain. It is certain he
was a bold man; for he proposed to Tremaine one morning to accompany him to Belford on its market day. Tremaine, shuddered, but consented; though whether it was in obedience to the father, or the daughter, who looked uncommonly lovely that day, we have never exactly learned. It is certain that a ride with her through some green lanes
“ Green lanes ! why then, sir, I absolutely give them both up. A sensible woman of my acquaintance, in lecturing her daughters, used often to tell them— if you are doubtful about encouraging a man, never ride or walk with him; but, above all, never in
lane!' Now a thousand reasons might be given for this. The retirement and sweetness of a lane when green—that is, in the very season of love ;-the harmony it sheds over the senses ;-no distractions-no distant prospect-but
all confined to the one pleasing, and perhaps too interesting object; not even the expectation of a passenger to interrupt or recall the yielding sense; -'tis too much !!!....
“Well ! but you forget, Tremaine was nearly twenty years older than the lady." :." True;. but on that very account the lady was more off her guard; she could not. suspect herself so that there is more than even the usual advantage. Though a difference of twenty years is frightful in most places, it never is so little so as
where no pretty fellow, joyous in youth and youth's attractions, can intrude to disturb you. No, no!
, if a man has this terrible disparity, and yet ventures to court a young girl, ever while he lives let him get her into a green lane."
Wise as all these reflections may be, it is certain that Tremaine was as innocent of making them as the lady herself. Yet it is also certain that when, with a frankness which spoke all sorts of natural things from her eyes, with a play of the most ingenuous countenance, as well as in the sweetest voice in the world, she begged him to accompany them, 66 because they would so enjoy the green lanes,” he had nothing more to say. All fear of Belford vanished; and it is a question whether, if it had been even to London itself, he would not have ordered his horses as she desired.
What they said to one another is not known; for as three could not well ride abreast, the Doctor chose to proceed singły, in the manner of an advanced guard; the two grooms slunk far behind, being in effect absorbed, the one in giving, the. other in listening to a description of the superiority of London over country service-in which, from the dazzling account of wages, board wages, fees on buying and selling horses, and gratuities on tradesmen's bills, the latter was left to consider himself as a mighty inferior sort of a person.