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courtesy would invent some other custom of entertainment.'»
The colonel, after having expressed a wish that the gentlemen would cease their orgies, as it was past midnight, left the room. Godfrey gathered his face into a smile, and the ensign and Moreton laughed aloud at the ridiculous appearance which the topers presented.
“M‘Leech, I must confess, is an honest fellow, De Bohun," observed Sommerton; “but ever since he joined our regiment he has manifested a greater pleasure to dine and wine, and sing and smoke, than physic the unfortunate deyils under his care."
After a thousand good wishes and shakes of the hand, the parties bid to each other good-bye; and in a few moments the squire of Elleringay and his son were wending their way along the forsaken footpaths to the hotel. The former spoke little to the latter; his mind was too much disquieted at the recollection of the scene he had just witnessed. Godfrey abhorred drunkenness. The vice had never entered into the category of his follies. He thought to himself, if Moreton should, by being thus thrown into such unfortunate companionship, contract a sin so debasing, there would be an end to all expectations of his success in life. He reflected on illustrative instances, which he could call to mind, of young men who, but for this failing, would have dignified any calling of such having fallen into contempt; and thus did he ponder till they reached the door of the hotel.
On going to bed, Godfrey did not at once glide into the soft embraces of slumber; his busy brain was excited-hopes and fears, calculations and doubts, conflicted perplexingly—till at length, weary with watching, he dozed off into dreams not less visionary.
My boy, the unwelcome hour is come, When thou, transplanted from thy genial home, Must find a colder soil and bleaker air, And trust for safety to a stranger's care. What character, what turn thou wilt assume, From constant converse with I know not whom; Who then will court thy friendship—with what views, And artless as thou art, whom thou wilt choose; Though much depends on what thy choice shall be, Is all chance medley
GODFREY, on his return home, was in high spirits, good-natured with every one-s0 much so that the inmates of the old mansion were not a little surprised at his jocularity and facetiousness. He could talk of no one, think of no one, save Colonel Sommerton. That very evening the genealogical chart was extracted from the archives of Elleringay Manor, where it had for generations been kept, in dull and dark companionship with embrowned parchments and dusty documents. After divers tracings, and much careful investigation, it became incontestably obvious that one of the De Bohuns had, in the first quarter of the seventeenth century, married a person named Sommerton, then living in the same county, which the Thomas Sommerton in question claimed as his birthplace. Not any doubt existed of the verity of this great fact. The genealogical chart was never wrong, and had, at divers times, been appealed to by great historic authorities.
This point having been satisfactorily settled, the master of Elleringay would again expatiate on the many good qualities of his relative. He recounted the great interest his military services had secured with those in power-told of the high respect he was held in by his brother officers-observed how delighted he was with Moreton-hinted at what he would do for him; and thus went on in a strain of enthusiasm which had long been foreign to his disposition.
Young De Bohun at the first opportunity told first one sister, then another (to each a profound secret), that his father's friend had promised him a commission! The girls were delighted, and the only offset to this great joy was that its communication was interdicted. They pictured to their imagination the gaieties of balls and assemblies, to which their brother would one day take them; and how charming it would be to have a brother dressed in scarlet and gold lace. Mrs. De Bohun was glad at the good fortune; her prescient husband now began to see the end of his troubles; he felt relieved and comforted, financial difficulties were less cared for, hope dawned on the future, and after many a weary day a little cloud was rising from the sea!
About the period now particularly spoken of, a grand-uncle of Mrs. De Bohun's died, and bequeathed to his niece a small property in Wales. Some few months had glided over, and Godfrey had not journeyed to see