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into a smile, and indicated the complacent hue of his reflections. He cogitated upon the proposal, reviewed the project in every possible aspect; and the more deliberate and continuous his meditations, the more convinced he became of the desirableness of the alliance. He did not, however, look only to the light side of the matter, he saw also the shadow, and could not dispel his doubt as to the accomplishment of the scheme. He was aware of the wayward disposition of his son; he knew too well that he was not the one to be coerced into any line of action; he muttered, “ Confound that foolish attachment to the penniless girl at the cottage ! but he must and shall have the solicitor's daughter ! -Large fortune--very!" He gave a convulsive tug at the bell-rope, and without further ado, put on his slippers and ascended to his dormitory, concluding as he went that this was a grand idea, and certainly not such a mésalliance as the other would have been.
6 Of limbs enormous
-unwieldy man.” 66 CASTLE OF INDOLENCE.”
- Madam,' quoth he, 'may this bit be my poison, A prettier dinner I never set eyes on!”
On the following morning the father and son had their first interview. The former made certain excuses for not having called on the previous day, at which the latter appeared very little concerned. They shook hands with at least the outward semblance of pleasure, whatever might be the hidden feelings of each. When Godfrey fixed his glance upon him, and looked inquiringly, the hope of his house was different in his aspect and manners. Moreton was pale and anxious; there was a lack of his wonted sprightliness; his spirits were manifestly forced; a tinge of sadness sat in his eye.
De Bohun saw the alterations with pain; but he neither evinced surprise nor sympathy. He felt, however, how keen a blow had by himself been covertly dealt, at one whom he after all loved, and from whom so much was to be hoped. Like the eradiction of a malady, the means might be severe, but the result beneficial—for a permanent good. Thus did a specious reasoning confer a sort of consolation.
“I hope, my boy, you are not engaged for to-morrow. I have an invitation for you to accompany me out to dinner-to-to my solicitor's—to Mr. Clincher's. If
will accommodate me I shall be glad ; Clincher has conferred on me some services, and I should not like to despise his hospitalities.”
“No engagement. I will go with you, sir, of course.
“This person, as you are aware, Moreton,
is my chief solicitor ; he advanced for your outfit, and has on other occasions supplied me with money. I preferred employing him in preference to a neighbouring practitioner, as it would not have been altogether pleasant to have one's affairs discussed by half the gossips in our district. He will feel the compliment in your acceptance of the invitation; besides, it is policy to keep in good odour with those who have power over you, and when a little patronage costs nothing. People have given Gideon Clincher a bad name, I believe worse than he deserves. It is the fashion, and always has been, from the times of the ancient false scribes until now, to think an honest lawyer an anomaly. It is true he has a sharp look-out for his own interest; and pray who has not? He has been a lucky fellow, however, and accumulated a large fortune; and it is astounding that any one immured in those eyrie chambers in Lincoln's Inn Fields could have amassed so much !"
“His heirs, I doubt not, will appreciate his habits of industry; and as to amassing,
a conscience not too tightly laced is a great ally in such endeavours,” returned Moreton, in half contemptuous tone.
“Heirs_heirs !" returned Godfrey, “he has only one child-young lady_nice amiable girl-have a splendid fortune !"
De Bohun would fain have pursued this to him agreeable conversation, had not Moreton given an abrupt turn to the discourse, and by his manner manifested little interest in the heiress. Godfrey ventured not on the continuance of the topic; Moreton knit his brows, and it was dangerous for the father to recur to the matrimonial and matchmaking, as "remembrance fresh makes weakened sorrow strong." A string had been touched which vibrated through the young soldier's bosom. It had been wiser in Godfrey had he not expatiated on Miss Clincher's dowry; it was a plan more likely to frustrate than further his project. To remind Moreton of this subject, was to tear open a wound which had been so deep, and to open fresh rills from the “fruitful river of his eye.” The sad recollection of the past hurried him