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it. Now his spirits were up; he had travelled with good luck to the east, and he resolved to set out forthwith for the west, and inspect his recent inheritance. It was a considerable distance in those days, anterior to the revolutions of locomotives. The weather was fine, and he enjoyed the travel. The ease of mind which the renewal of Sommerton's acquaintance had wrought, was oil to his bones; he now eat well, drank well, slept well, and in fact appeared to have, at one deleting sweep, wiped off half-a-dozen years from the score-table of Father Time!
In the county of Merioneth, on a gentle acclivity, at the south-western side of Cader Idris, commanding a noble prospect of the chain of mountains which divides Montgomeryshire into two parts, and with a lovely view of the Bay of Cardigan, stood a lonely and romantic dwelling, known by the name of Griffstaye. The lands by which it was surrounded were wild and unproductive. There were, however, some cultivated patches, which careful husbandry had rendered tolerably fertile, but with these exceptions the little territory lay in a state of nature. The rearing of sheep and cattle were more sought after than the growth of corn.
The house resembled that of a respectable English yeoman of the better class, and gave unquestionable evidence of having for more than two centuries crowned its parent hill. The site had been happily selected, and the cluster of dark pine-trees which shielded it from the wintry storms, were aged and hoar. A high quadrangular wall hemmed in a garden at the southern front, and through it a babbling ripplet of crystal water flowed from a mountain spring, and gave a murmuring music through the livelong day. The occupant, at the period of which we speak, devoted little time to garden cultivation. There were some overgrown perennial plants, which, from their unrestrained luxuriance, gave little evidence of solicitude on the part of the inmates of Griffstaye. Scarcely any flowers were to be noticed, save a border of daisies, a few tufts of the polyanthus, and two or three huge bushes of rose-trees. Turnips, potatoes, and cabbages had supplanted the place of flowers, evincing the utilitarian fact -that substantial edibles were preferable to beauty and elegance. The interior of the dwelling presented no pretensions beyond those comforts which the hardier yeoman deems sufficient. Primitive simplicity, scrupulous cleanliness, and a frugal economy, pervaded within that unassuming home. The tenant was an industrious, straightforward man, whose main hopes through life had been to rear, by honest labour, a numerous family. He had done that, and more. His sons were settled, his daughters married, and he was the happy possessor of a sufficient surplus to support in comfort his partner and himself in their inexpensive mode of existence without continuing on the farm.
Godfrey was received with that cordial hospitality which is ever met with amongst the inhabitants of mountainous districts. The best viands were laid on the board, and a clean and comfortable bedroom was at his service. He remained for several days, inspected his property, heard his tenant's suggestions, relative to certain repairs and improvements; and the more he saw of this rustic dweller, the more he respected him, and envied his content. The captain inspected his flocks and herds; confessed the land was mediocral, and again and again expressed his surprise how an income derived from such narrowed resources could bring up a family of eleven children.
Moreton, as the reader will remember, had finished his education. Since the visit to Canterbury, he had determined to spend the remainder of his time at home, as pleasantly as possible, as this in all probability might, for a long period, be his last summer at Elleringay Manor.
His dogs, his gun, his angling rod, were his constant companions. Whole days would he pass in roving through the adjacent parts of the country, and at evening return with the goodly produce of his exploits. In whatever sport he engaged, he aimed at excellence; whether clearing a five-barred gate on Jumper, bringing to his feet the flying game, or in hooking the speckled trout, his earnestness of purpose was the same.
This short interval between the heedless hours of youth and the sterner concerns of manhood, glided over with marvellous rapidity. The beautiful scenery, the meandering stream, the dark dread woods, the many remembered haunts of childhood days, were things on which he loved to dwell; and when the overshadowing thoughts of bidding them a long adieu stole over his sensitive soul, he felt sad and subdued. But on the other hand, there were some counterbalancing considerations of good in the future—the honours, the glories of a soldier's life were things of high promise. He was, ere long, to explore ground to him untrodden, and which, from the very fact of its being untrodden, promised pleasures, intense in their anticipation. The world was before himthat world with all its allurements and darker shadowings; where things seem fair, yet turn out foul; where friends profess, and frequently betray; where disappointments gather, like the thunder clouds at summer noon.
The commission arrived; young De Bohun was destined for Sommerton's own regiment,