« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
enjoyments of life. It is a fact too broadly acknowledged, that with them there are, perhaps, more hidden anguish, more silent repining, and more inconstancy than in any other grade. An eminent senator recently said, it was his opinion that there was more virtue amongst mechanics than peers! For my own part, I had rather see Moreton a happy than rich man; I had rather behold him contented in mediocrity than miserabl in splendour. Never, I beseech you, exert an undue influence over him. It is your duty to kindly advise, to patiently admonish, and offer such parental advice as a father's love would suggest. Were you to deceive him, his confidence would be for ever lost. You may be politic, not cunning; you might persuade, you could not compel him."
Well, well, my dear, what you have said is all very fine, and I dare
say true; but
you know, as well as I do, an unfortunate marriage would be a positive calamity to the family. It is fine talking-very, indeed!"
With these words he rose from his chair, and petulantly left the room.
“Farewell ! Horace, whom I hated so."
"At length escaped
A FEW days subsequently, Simon, the groom, was to be seen harnessing the greyfaced old coach-horse--which had long been familiarly known by the military name of Corporal—to the jingling phaeton, which long had formed the equipage of the Elleringay Manor House, Soon that antiquated vehicle was slowly rolling along the narrow and shady lanes which conducted to the CrossRoads’ Inn, where they joined the more spacious and better-constructed turnpikeroad. That house of entertainment was an unpretending place, and had for ages been known by the sign of De Bohun Arms. It was one of the post-and-pan buildings, as they are termed, formed of huge piles of timber driven into the ground, and the interspaces filled up with lath and plaster. The woodwork was painted brown, the stucco whitewashed, which gave it a look of cleanliness and order, while the thickly-thatched covering and the small latticed windows imparted an air of humble and homely comfort.
Situated in a solitary but romantic position, several miles apart from the towns between which it stood midway,it had gladdened the heart of many a weary wayfarer, who had in summer's heat been refreshed beneath its cooling shades, in winter's storm been cheered by its blazing hearth. The landlord, in his younger days had been butler, and his wife a maid-servant, at Elleringay, during the life of the present Godfrey's father. When the former had on occasions quaffed a
cup of his own-brewed October, he loved to become loquacious, and give histories—long, tedious histories relative to the elder Godfrey : how that revered personage could if required take three bottles of port unaffected, which in those times was a most gentlemanly accomplishment; how he could sit the night through with a chosen few, and look fresh as a daisy on the following morning; and that it was his punctual habit to drink a goblet of rum-punch before breakfast. The host would then descant on other capabilities of the old squire : how many head of game he had once bagged on the first of September; what fearful leaps he had taken on his favourite Whitefoot. Then he would go on about the former hospitalities of the hall; tell to wondering ears of having himself actually waited on lords ! His wife would then chime in with many anecdotes touching the family; and, if patiently listened to, would become as prosy as her husband, on a topic of which many had become tired of hearing. Whatever was strange, its analogue was or had been at Elleringay; whatever was of human greatness recorded, some one of the departed De Bohuns had formed a counterpart. All this, however, showed in simple minds the proofs of attachment and respect which reflected credit on those by whom such feelings were entertained.
The Tally-ho coach changed horses at the De Bohun Arms, by which and where Master Moreton was, by previous appointment, to meet their own conveyance. Simon and the Corporal had set off rather too early, for fear of not being in time to receive their charge; they were half-an-hour too soon. The Corporal stood very quietly on the green; but not so Simon, who sauntered about, cracked his whip, and entered into various topics of conversation with the landlord. The faithful domestic had walked just as far as the turn where he could have a view of a long, straight piece in the road—returned, went back, and returned the third time. “Drat the stage ! 'tis a long while, this mornin,' addressing himself to the fat, red-faced, jolly man, who, as he loitered about with a leisurely and complacent air, felt fully conscious