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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 fêtes, 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 then 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.
“ 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, yould be neither profitable nor honourable.”
“ I beg your pardon,” replied the Doctor, pérsevering," 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
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.
6 To make labour is the last thing I should wish to do," continued the Viscount, “even for an hour.”
Perhaps so,” replied Evelyn, 66 but give me leave to ask how that hour would have been otherwise 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 you 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.” 66 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
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.
• Evelyn probably had in his mind the conclusion of the Scrupule of Marmontel: “ Où allons nous, Madame ?"
“ Nous ennuyer à la campagne.”