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“I should like to belong to it, of all things,” said the Reverend Gregory. « Is it select?"
“ I should not be a member, were it not,” replied Grunter, who was aware it had never been known to reject any one.
“ One ought to have done something to entitle one ... however, I think my influence might secure your admission.”
Gregory Lindsay smiled.— A select club, where Grunter had influence !-He was not new enough to believe that—there was something shrewd in him, after all!
Wearied with a long day's journey, yet sorry it was over, our party alighted at the hotel, Covent Garden. Mr. Lindsay wrote a note to his son, who, however, did not appear that evening. Ellen presided at the tea-table, which she enlivened by a hundred playful remarks on the quaint furniture, the oldfashioned room, and tea-service, the odd waiter, and antediluvian chamber-maid. But all was new. Covent Garden was like ano
ther world to the inhabitants of St. James's Square.
Grunter imitated Dr. Johnson in drinking countless cups of tea. Ellen's arm ached with pouring it out of a very heavy and unmanageable teapot; and Annie was half dead with outting his bread and butter with a knife blunt as himself.
But mirth and good humour prevailed. Ellen was like a perpetual sunbeam; there could be no gloom where Ellen smiled. At length the protracted repast was over, and the pilgrims repaired, with many misgivings, to their respective beds.
0, how much more doth Beauty beauteous seem,
By that sweet ornament that truth doth give;
None of the party could boast of a particularly good night, but all of course forbore to allude to the cause of disturbance each had secretly to complain of. Grunter, alone, who appeared bearing dreadful marks of recent encounters with nameless foes, his eyes nearly closed by the swelling of the lids - Grunter, alone, ventured to declare that, during their stay in town, he must find himself another abode. To this no one particularly objected, and, as he was not inclined to incur any expense, he resolved to ask his friend, Fitzcribb, to receive him for a day or two.
None much liked the neighbourhood Mr. Lindsay had chosen, but all but Grunter had too much tact and delicacy to make any positive complaint. Yet, when after long sleeplessness, caused partly by noises from without, partly by horrors from within, the dawn saw slumber weigh the weary lids of the pilgrims, all were roused by the sudden uproar and excitement of the arrival of the whole vegetable and many
of the animal world in Covent Garden Market. Peace and sleep were then no more; and, after many vain efforts, all rose and proceeded to the breakfast-room. Miss Tibby was silent and mysterious about the night she had passed, and only observed
“ London is vastly inferior to Edinbro,' kinsmon, in the comfort of its hotels. My rest has nae been a'thegither what I could wish; for a' that, I mak nae complaint, it is na my custom, and was na in my younger days. I've met wi' some disturbances which shall be nameless."
Annie was sleepy and silent; the Reverend Gregory but half awake; Mr. Lindsay, all urbane, inquiring about every one ; and Ellen alone entirely taken up with him, his health, his rest, quite careless of her own accommodation, resolute in shaking off all indications of her wretched and sleepless night, cheerfully pointing out all that could interest in the varied groups to be seen from the windows, praising the luxuriant cart-loads of fruit, vegetables, and flowers, and trying to conceal the fact that, instead of the fragrant odours that might have been expected, a very strong and odious smell of cabbage-leaves and old stalks found its way into the room, the bad, being, as in all things, so much the stronger and more intrusive of the two powers struggling for admission.
Mr. Lindsay watched with tender interest Ellen's cheerful and endearing endurance of