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every-day beings on whom Fashion prostitutes
but in season; for, although the streets may be crowded, every body knows they are nobody: but when the period arrived when it was the mode for London to be full, the fashionable community were amused at the advertisement of the estates of George Dunstanville, Esq. for sale.
His inimitable friends became vulgar on the occasion, and in common language exclaimed, “ Poor fellow! who would have thought it !" “ Their parties were large and frequent, but really nothing extravagant. Their establishment, to be sure, was on a good scale, but how could a respectable establishment dissipate the immense fortune his father left him? He was
not known at Brooks's or White's, nor did he sport much on the turf.”—“ Are ye going to the levee to-morrow ?-devilish good horse I bought at Tattersall's yesterday. How did you like the Opera last night ?- This party-is hot and heavy, dull and full as a Methodist-meeting; nobody here, let 's try another :” and with such conversations did his very faithful soi-disant friends blend their transient pity at the mention of his misfortunes; while the gay gossamer things, that were wont to flutter about in petticoats in Mrs. Dunstan ville's saloons, were heartstricken, and danced in deep despair at the death of their delightful friend.
Mr. Dunstan ville was a gentleman and a scholar. In the early part of his life he had served a short time in the Dragoons, till tired of the monotony of mess, dress, and drill-of hearsays respecting horses and heiresses, balls and buffoonery, he sold his commission, and a month afterwards fell desperately in love, committed matrimony, and, at his wife's solicitation, became again a member of fashionable society.
The death of Mrs. Dunstanville made a serious impression on the mind of her husband, who, having by accident soiled his fingers with the “greasy pullies and dirty ropes that move the machine of society,” felt little reluctance át quitting scenes with which he was satiated, and the following year saw him quietly in possession of the residue of his property, a small estate of something less than a thousand a-year. It was situated in one of England's peaceful vales, rich in beauty through the bounty of nature and the care of art. A majestic river, flowing between fresh and flowery banks, graced the scene ; while streamlets, gurgling down their pebbly beds, separated the undulated woodlands which decked the little transverse valleys on the borders of the main stream.
At the foot of the chief of these stood a modest church, screened by a few sheltering elms, near to which were the old vicarage and
several neatly thatched cottages, whose walls were covered with roses, jesmine, and woodbine.
A hundred yards below, the wide and wandering river precipitated itself over a bed of rugged and broken rocks, filling the whole valley with its liquid and Æolian murmurs; while the jackdaw and starling, occasionally dislodged by the village urchins from the ivy-mantled turrets of an old castle near to the fall, flit through the spray sent up by the flood.
Not far from the ruins of the castle was a modern-built house, surrounded by the little property that was now left to the once prodigal Dunstanville. Here, for the future, he determined to reside, and educate his two sons, George and Morland.
In this age of wisdom, when every body knows every thing, it may appear somewhat presumptuous, in an amphibious kind of personage, to enter on a subject which half the old maids, bachelors, and childless beings of Christendom have quill-beaten for the last century,education ! education ! education! But to be brief, and speak most royally, know, gentle reader, that little as can be said which is new on such a subject, yet being inclined to think a sketch essential to our present purpose, the only apology we offer is, the warning of the contents of the following dull, rudimental chapter.