Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

of his unaltered attitude. “Well, you saw the Earl this morning ?"

“I did, my Lord.”

“ And you imparted to him the tottle of the whole,' as · Joey' says ?”

“Yes, my Lord.”

“What sort of a little figure did it make when it was cast up ?”

“One thousand seven hundred and forty-six pounds fifteen shillings, my Lord,” replied the steward, after having consulted a small memorandum book.

“And what sum or sums, do you know, did his Lordship find to my credit at Ransom's, when he kindly toddled off there yesterday to inquire ?"

“Something between seven and eight pounds, my Lord,” answered Mr. Longman, a broad grin intruding upon the habitual gravity of his countenance.

“ Well, that's better, at all events, than if it were the other way. That respectable surplus being made available, to what would it reduce the general liability ?”

“Something under seventeen hundred and forty pounds, my Lord.”

--HUILE.

“Well, and what did my father say upon the matter when you made it clear to him ?"

“Why, my Lord, his Lordship certainly appeared very much put out."

“But he told you to settle the difference ?"

“Not at all, my Lord; he said that was entirely out of his power.”

“Did he, by Jove ! and seriously?” “Most seriously, my Lord.”

"Well, then I suppose that I must lounge over to Paris for the winter-months. When do you think he will come in, Longman?” continued the all-unmoved stripling.

“His Lordship told me to be in the way at about two o'clock, my Lord, and it is close upon that now.”

“You don't mean to say so. Then open the window, will you ? for this old chimney smokes so confoundedly, that one might almost think that somebody had been forgetting himself here with a cigar.”

This sanitary precaution was not taken a whit too soon, for, within a very few minutes, a sharp knock at the hall door proelaimed the return of the expected grandee, who forthwith entered the study.

[graphic]

We should here state, for the information of those among our readers who may not have the pleasure of his personal acquaintance, that the Earl of Tewkesbury is a man somewhat under fifty, tall, erect in his bearing, and whose striking. and ruddy countenance seems to proclaim both the dignity of his descent, and the somewhat irascible frankness of his amiable but rather hasty disposition. The Viscount is, of course, cast in a slighter mould, but is also considered, both by himself and by still more competent judges, as by no means deficient in good looks.

“Well, Sir !" exclaimed the new-comer to his son on beholding him, “I am glad to find you down, at all events. If you have quite finished your breakfast, perhaps we might have these things taken away before it is dark.” .

"By all means," was the reply; "I have only been waiting to see if you would not like a cup of tea after your morning's walk.”

“I! nonsense,” responded the Earl, as he rang the bell to order the contemplated removal.

During this operation, he remained perfectly silent, examining, with knitted brows, sundry papers which he had produced from his pocket,

lewcom

ra

CELILE.

and which, to all appearance, were not destined to add much to its contents, saving their own bulk. Nor even did he seem inclined to be more expansive when John, with the tray, had finally retired, leaving him alone with his son.

“ It is a fine morning, I should think,” said the latter, after a few minutes.

“It has been a particularly pleasant one for me, at all events. Now, I will tell you what it is, Master St. Edmunds: I have had quite enough and to spare of your extravagance and folly, and I am determined to be a party to them myself no longer. Every single year, I believe, since you left Eton, as regularly as summer and winter return, have I had to pay your debts for you ; the last time, I told you positively that I would do so no more, and you will find me as good as my word. Why, in the name of Heaven, can't you live upon fifteen hundred pounds a year, man, and almost everything provided for you besides ?”

“Not a single horse, you know, nor so much as room for one since you were advised to let the stables," interposed the imperturbable Viscount.

[graphic]

“And what has that to do with it, pray ? In your grandfather's time, I never had more than a thousand, and I never dreamed of calling on him to pay a debt for me.”

“But, you must remember, that was in the days of the post-obits, which have not anything like the same circulation now, besides that I have the greatest abhorrence for the practice. Say what any one will, it always looks, more or less, as if one was speculating upon the old governor's existence,” continued St. Edmunds, rising up, and passing his arm round the neck of the parent he thus designated; “ though he hates me, I am much too fond of him to do that. Come, what's all this row about, after all ? I owe about fifteen hundred pounds."

“More than one thousand seven hundred.”

“Well, say one thousand eight hundred pounds. I have to meet this, besides a small balance at Ransom's, my next half-year's allowance, and upwards of one thousand pounds due to me on my Ascot book, which I may expect any day now.”

“ Very well, I am happy to hear it; so you don't want me ?” : “Not absolutely, of course; but, as by some

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »