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Evelyn's beef, which I perceive," added he (snuffing the air rather eagerly) “ is putting upon the table.”
A servant announcing it, a contest arose which should give his arm to Georgina, and Careless, observing that though he knew it was not his place
before Tremaine, yet when a lady was concerned he could never yield, Tremaine instantly drew back, not without a glance from the lady as she went out of the room.
Evelyn, who observed it, and loved a quotation (as the reader perhaps by this time has discovered), exclaimed, as he hurried Tremaine into the diningroom,
" While a kind glance at her pursuer flies ;
“ How much at variance are her feet and eyes!” Tremaine seemed not ill pleased at the application, and drawing a chair, this small party of friends were soon seated at their repast.
“ I fear,” said Evelyn, as he was doing the honours, “ I shall be like other half-wise people, who pursue half measures, and fail in their objects. Here we are, dining at past five.”
56 Nearer six,” cried Careless with some eagerness, contemplating his plate, that was just filled.
“ And yet,” continued Evelyn, “I am too soon for Mr. Tremaine, by two or three hours at least; I know I am too late for my friend here, and certainly for myself; and thus I have pleased nobody."
Tremaine expressed his regret that the hour should be altered for him; observing with politeness," he was sure he could dine at five as well as at eight.”
“ So am I too," said the Doctor, significantly, " if you would but try; and at best it is but a little agreeable violence.”
“ Eight !"--exclaimed Careless with surprise ; " that beats all I ever heard. I thought we were getting wrong even in Yorkshire, when we got beyond four. But this comes of leaving the good old country, and training after outlandish customs."
“ For once your patriotism is mistaken,” said Tremaine, "for on the Continent I believe to have got up to three is quite extraordinary, and they generally keep constant to two, if not to one."
“ So much the worse for England,” remarked Careless gravely, “and I almost wonder how we can have beaten the French as we have; I never thought they could be so much more natural than
“ I dare say,” said Evelyn, consolingly, “ Lord Wellington's army all dined at one.” “ That alters the case,” replied Careless.
May I ask, in all humility," said Tremaine, who did not like his hours, any more than any thing else, to be criticized, “what time the good old county would allow us to dine ?”
“ If you had not told me of these Monseers' example," answered Careless, who abhorred France so sincerely as to hate them more than even waiting for his dinner, “I should say one, or at most two. Our fathers, who were better than us, always did so. And let me tell
when one has been after the dogs, or busy all day, a good sirloin (putting in his plate) is better at two or three o'clock, than all the kickshaws in the world, though you waited till nine for them.'
“ A palpable hit,” observed the Doctor, laughing
Georgina, too, smiled; and though she had too much natural good breeding to apologize for her dinner, she could not help saying something about a wish for a French cook, for Mr. Tremaine's sake, ,
“ And why so ?” asked her father.
66. Why indeed ?” echoed Careless, “ I'm sure you are not true Yorkshire, to wish for
6 Mr. Tremaine, answered Georgina, accustomed himself to particular things, which I am afraid he cannot do without.”
6 The lady is my best friend I am glad lo perceive," said Tremaine: “ for, as to my two old schoolfellows here, I begin to believe they are in a plot, and have invited me to dinner, merely to
laugh at me.”
“ Like the fox and the stork in the fable,"?, observed Careless, as if he had made another hit. :-“I will have my revenge, however, like the stork;" continued Tremaine, good humouredly : 66 for when Mr. Careless does me the honour to dine with me at Woodington, he shall have nothing but kickshaws."
" That's not the way I have been used to be treated at Woodington,” rejoined Careless; “nor did I ever see there, what I never thought I should have lived to see at Lord Bellenden's, as I did t'other day." This he uttered with a loud and long-drawn sigh.
Pray what ?”' asked Tremaine. 66 A round of beef sent to the side-board," added Careless.
« Monstrous !" remarked the Doctor.
“ It will lose his brother the county,” said Careless, seriously.
Tremaine stared, and remarked “ that the county must be little worth having, if it depended upon that."
“ Why, what should it depend upon ?" replied Careless.
“ I should have thought,” remarked Tremaine, drawing up,
upon integrity of character, sound principles of patriotism, and extensive connections." “ Why true,” answered Careless; but principles
are best seen, I always think, in manners and customs; and if a person departs from the customs of his ancestors, how do I know that he has not lost their principles too ?”
He said this with the air of a man confident in the strength of his position, so that it could not be answered. Indeed, to own the truth, it was not new; for he had made the same observation once or twice before, with considerable success, at the Hound-and-Horn club, a respectable and neighbourly meeting, which was held once a month at the little market-town of Belford, and which was sedulously attended by Careless, the vicar, and surgeon of the place, not to mention one or two squires of much larger fortune, and sometimes (perhaps once in each half-year) by Evelyn himself.
The dinner removed, a serious difficulty arose ; for the good host vowed he had no claret in his cellar, and he knew Tremaine could not, or would not drink port.
Tremaine observed on being pushed upon it, that it was not his taste, but his constitution that felt the want of it.
“ Suppose we try but this once," said the Doctor; “ it is only diminishing the quantity in proportion to the strength, and my port is excellent."
“The best in the county," quoth Careless, holding it to the light, with the air of a connoisseur.
Tremaine was obliged to comply; when Careless