Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

truly British habit of looking a woman in the face, one deprives her of the pleasure of examining one's own.”

“ Yer a very mistaken young mon, cousin,” said Tibby, reddening with the offended pride of her sex, “ if you think that, were you as noble-looking a crater as Samson himsel, a woman would take half sae much pleasure in looking at ye, as in being looked at hersel ; sae dinna forget that cousin, or ye shall na be weel respectit by the lassies.”

“ Thank you, Miss Tibby; when I wish to please I must come to you for a lesson,” and he glanced alternately at Annie and Augusta, in whose eyes he read that he did not need

one.

“ But how did the hoccident happen ?”

“ I know not exactly, but I heard a shriekI looked out-saw that a lady had been thrown, -in a moment I was by her side, and, lifting her up, I recognised dear Ellen. She had fainted, and I had to wait for some water before she could be recovered ; at all events, I was mad with alarm, for I feared her arm was broken. The sweet girl, when she came to her self, assured me she was not much hurt; but I, remembering her kind, noble temper of old, did not quite believe her. We stopped at the houses of two surgeon's, and neither was at home. I then thought it best to drive here; poor Ellen fainted again with the pain of the motion, and I do believe my torture during that drive will atone for all my sins and all

my follies.”

“I wush it may,” said Tibby;

« but wha frightened the horse ?”

“ My confounded valet; his green veil came untied, and the wind blew it right into the eyes of Ellen's horse — frightened him, of course, and she, quite off her guard, was thrown.”

A green veil! wha ever heard o’a green veil for a valet? I hope ye'll jist send him off, for his impertinence in wearing such a thing.”

“Why, no; it was by my orders.” “ And wha for?” “Miss Tibby, even in a valet I cannot endure freckles, and chaps, and all the horrid etceteras our east winds bring to the complexion, so I ordered him to wear a veil, to protect his—”

“ Aweel, aweel !” groaned Tibby.

“Hush !” exclaimed Mr. Lindsay; "Mr. Grunter is ready.”

Ready for what, sir ?” “ Do you not see he is ready to read aloud ?”

“He was always too ready for that,” in an under-tone).

“ More ready to read than you to hear, I imagine.”

“In my young days, we were a' ready and pleased to hear my father read Robertson's History agen and agen—but a' things are changed now.”

“ But what is to be read?”
“ Rollin's Ancient History.”

“I'm waiting for silence,” said Grunter, sternly, from a reading-chair and desk in which he was raised.

“Rollin's History! Why, you were reading that when I left you.”

"We're jist going through it agen—if ye think it na worth your while to listen, just let Mr. Grunter examine ye, cousin, and if ye know it a', we'll read something else.”

“Do you consent, Julian ?”
“Not I: read on, Mr. Grunter.”

“I may as well begin the work again, out of compliment to Mr. Julian,” said Grunter,

“O dear no !” said Julian; “I shan't take it as a compliment.”

But in vain; Grunter began. Mr. Lindsay set an example of profound attention, and, at every whisper or noise of any kind, Grunter either raised his voice, looked over his spectacles, or paused abruptly.

After an hour and a half of hard reading, Grunter closed the book. Julian then challenged Augusta to a game of chess; Mr. Lindsay looked over; Miss Tibby proceeded to knit a—no matter what-a long strip on which she had been engaged for months; poor Annie took up her Latin grammar, but merely as an excuse for watching the handsome Julian; Mr. Grunter amused himself with a newspaper, and revelled in the best place by a blazing fire, not always unwelcome on any English September evening.

“How can you endure those over-gorged, pursy, asthmatic horrors, sir!" asked Julian. “ There they lie, puffing and wheezing like broken bellows, and fat as prize hogs.-Get off!” he exclaimed, pushing one with his foot, who, finding the rug too hot even for her, had waddled to his feet; but Fatima, unused to such treatment, set up a loud, sharp, incessant bark, and Julian was about to renew his attack, when he found himself caught by the elbow, and, turning sharply round, he perceived that Screech, the cockatoo, had stolen off his perch and climbed up his chair on to the chess-table; he looked up for a moment at Julian with his round, black, beadlike eye, and then dug his beak into his coat.

Sacre diable !exclaimed Julian, beating off the bird, and in doing so knocking down

“How can you be so tormented, sir? why do you keep such pests ?"

the game.

« AnteriorContinuar »