Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

gone."

" He runneth on four wheels in his unseemly ways,” continued the Quaker, “and taketh delight in swearing, strong drink, and vain raiment."

“ And Sarah Marsh ?” interrupted her Ladyship.

“ The harlot hath departed from her dwelling, and no one knoweth whither she is

While her Ladyship was thus engaged, observing persons riding up the avenue, she dismissed Obadiah, and proceeded to one of the morning-rooms, where Charlotte and her governess were at their daily occupations.

The group on horseback was no other than the Dunstanvilles, advancing at a brisk rate towards the house ; while Carlo, a favourite spaniel, jumped and barked at Ramrod's nose, as the playful animal snorted, pranced, and threw up his head, to the great delight of his

young rider.

Morland had, for the last twelve months, been destined for the Navy, and his education

directed to the minor branches of mathematics

neces

and nautical astronomy, which were sary in that profession, and the day of his departure being fixed, Mr. Dunstanville took that opportunity of calling with his boys on his neighbours.

They alighted at the mansion, and were presently ushered into a very handsome room, where Lady Lovel was seated on a sofa, with a table before her, interspersed with books, letters, &c. while her daughter and governess were engaged with drawing utensils near the window.

The meeting of the party was as courteous, friendly, and agreeable, as the every things and nothings of salutation could be supposed to make it: and when they were seated, Lady Lovel had not finished telling Mr. Dunstanville that it was an age since she had either seen or heard of him ; indeed, that he had been a perfect hermit, but a bad neighbour; and that she hoped this visit augured better for her.

[ocr errors]

“I have brought Morland to pay his respects to your Ladyship previous to his departure,” said Mr. Dunstanville.

“ He leaves to-morrow, to join the ship his uncle commands." “ Oh! Captain

his mother's brother, I presume,” said Lady Lovel. “I remember him in town; a very agreeable man. I am sorry to hear you are to lose the society of one of your sons so soon, and presume the other will shortly go to Eton; but pray, Mr. Dunstanville, do us the favour to dine here to-day. Lord and Lady Seemington are here, whom you remember, and two or three other friends ; indeed, you must stay.”

Mr. Dunstan ville assented to the proposal ; and after having given the necessary orders to his servant, returned to the conversation with Lady Lovel.

“ I have just been much amused with my housemaid," said her Ladyship,

“ who, by the way, was several years in your service, Mr. Dunstanville.”

ול

“ What is her name ?" asked Mr. Dunstanville.

“Oh! Sally Biddikin,” said the boys, laughing.

“ A very excellent servant, I assure you, Lady Lovel; she left me only on account of her father's illness. My boys ought to be grateful to her for all the care and nursing she so long and willingly bestowed

upon

them." “She has," continued Lady Lovel, “a particular habit of designating people of title by the first letter of their names, which she occasionally pronounces most ludicrously. She asked me this morning “if my Lord and Lady S. or Ass (as she said) would choose a fire in their bed-room?"

The party laughed, and Lady Lovel proceeded.

Apropos, Mr. D.: do you remember what a curious description Mrs. Dunstanville's brother gave of Lord Seemington's maiden speech in Parliament-that is, before his Lordship came to the title ?"

« Not in the least !" answered Mr. Dunstanville.

"s Not in the least !" ejaculated the voluble lady, "_not of his small face peeping out between an immense pair of whiskers, like an owl in an ivy-bush; hoo_hooing such particularly pretty parables as not only astonished the house, but some of his constituents who were in the gallery; but, alas ! they were propor. tionally disappointed afterwards to find there was nothing in him."

" I had forgotten it entirely," replied Mr. Dunstan ville.

“ I have been told that latterly they coughed whenever he rose,” continued Lady Lovel; "and that now he is in the Upper House, the Lords, though they are more mannerly, are not less inattentive; but, I assure you, Lord Seemington is the best-natured man in the world, and cares nothing for all this."

A bell presently summoned the party to dress for dinner; and they soon separated

[blocks in formation]
« AnteriorContinuar »