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CHAP. XXIX.

A VISCOUNT.

“ If all the year were playing holidays,
" To sport would be as tedious as to work.”

SHAXSPEARE.

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LORD ST. CLAIR was a viscount of considerable estate, and by the mother's side related to Evelyn. He was well enough disposed, but spoilt in the bringing up; to which the early loss of his father and a too indulgent mother had much contributed. He had been a traveller, a politician, a speaker, and a violent party-man; and on coming to his estate, he too had built him a house, and had been very happy. But, the house finished, he had fled back to London; which had exhausted its pleasures upon him; so that from mere satiety he felt miserable. He was not indeed one of those who philosophized on the general miseries of the world; from which he had not the least thought of retiring. But he was not the lowest in the rank of listlessness: and though he had neither Tremaine's attainments, nor his fastidiousness, yet he was fully as great a burthen to himself; with this especial difference, that he was very willing to cast that burthen upon any one who would receive it.

He had sufficient sense to have a great respect for Evelyn, and susceptibility enough left to be struck with his daughter,--to whom indeed the neighbourhood had sometimes assigned him, as they would any one else whose estates had bordered so closely upon her father's.

As Tremaine knew him in the world, and was also his neighbour in the country, he could not exactly obey his first impulse, which was to take his leave; and the Viscount, yawning out a compliment, said he did not know he was in Yorkshire.

Evelyn (who was not sorry at an opportunity to play off one ennuyé against the other, with the hope of benefiting both) observed, that it was no wonder, for Mr, Tremaine was so great a cluse that he scarcely condescended to visit his neighbours.

“ You forget I have been ill,” said Tremaine, not much liking the topics to which this might lead.

“ That is the very reason,” pursued the Viscount, “that you should visit every body. For my part, well or ill, I think to be by one's-self is the greatest bore in nature; and I therefore make a point of seer

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ing all the world. Had I known you were here, I should certainly have beat up your quarters.”

“ I am exceedingly obliged to you,” said Tremaine.

“ Not much,” replied St. Clair, “ for I assure you I am so intolerably dull at home, that I'm glad to bestow myself on any body.”

Tremaine bowed his thanks again.

“ I believe," continued Lord St. Clair, “ I must take my mother's advice after all, and marry; if any lady will have pity upon me,” added he, looking at Miss Evelyn.

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said the Doctor laughing.

Upon my soul I believe you've hit it,” observed St. Clair, “ for I am so plaguy easy from morning till night, that I absolutely don't know what to do with myself; if I could but be a little uneasy, there's no knowing how I might feel after it.”

“ The ladies are at least obliged to you," said Georgina.

“ Have you no books, no studies ?” asked Tremaine.

“ For books, thousands; but I'm glutted with them, and have resolved to leave them to wiser people, such as my good friend here, who is always so kind as to tell me all I want to know.”

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“ Why don't you go to London ?” asked Tremaine.

“My good sir, why don't you ?”

Tremaine reddened at the equality in their situations which this seemed to imply.

“ To tell you the truth,” continued the Viscount, “ I have been there these four months, but grew so sick of suppers, and fètes, and heroes, and my eyes were so dazzled with dancing and diamonds, feathers and emperors, that I thought a little solitude might be a good thing."

“ And did you not find it so ?” asked Evelyn, with affected gravity.

“ Why not exactly,” answered St. Clair; “ particularly as every thing was going on wrong at Mount St. Clair. I am ruined by my plantations, by which I had intended to make a fortune. By the way,” continued he, looking out, “ how do the cedars you

“ planted two years ago come on ?”

“ Look !" said the Doctor, throwing up the sash,

they flourish now as I could wish; yet they have cost me much pains; and these two, the very best, as well as best placed among them, actually lost their leaders in the winter."

The Viscount, half excited, bent through the window to look at them, and observing they had acquired others, asked the meaning of a sort of bandage, which the top of each exhibited.

This was nothing but a very simple contrivance of a soft bit of wood, fashioned like a cradle, and bound with bass to the stem of the old leaders, so as gently to elevate a new shoot into the same perpendicular line. It had perfectly succeeded, and the new leader had already pushed at least a foot.

St. Clair, who had been fond of planting, actually went out to examine it, and returning, observed,

“ I am surely very unfortunate; I have more hands than you, and

my soil is at least as good; but though I'm known to be fond of this tree, and spare no expense in its cultivation, I have not one about the house equal to those of your's, notwithstanding their accident.

6 Because you don't take the pains to attend to them with your own hands.”

Why, no,” said St. Clair, “ for a man of any fashion to be cutting sticks like a carpenter, of whom sixpence might have purchased the trouble, would be neither profitable nor honourable."

“ I beg your pardon,” replied the Doctor, persevering, “ it might be both.”

“ As to the latter, if you had invented the thing, (a mode of preserving a tree to posterity) I question if that would not have been honourable; and for the profit, you might have preserved your trees, which

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