Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

you will say, perhaps, I deserved it, but I think the deuce prompts me with teasing questions on some occasions.

'She is as superior to you, my love, in personal appearance, as in prudence and affection for her friends.'

'Lord, papa, do you think that superiority a recommendation ?—Well, sir, but I see you are going to take all this too seriously—Whatever the young lady may be, I am sure, being recommended by you, she shall have no reason to complain of my want of attention.—(After a pause)—Has she any attendant? because you know I must provide for her proper accommodation, if she is without one.'

* N—no—no—not properly an attendant—the chaplain who lived with her father is a very good sort of man, and I believe I shall make room for him in the house.'

'Chaplain, papa? Lord bless us!'

1 Yes, Miss, chaplain; is there any thing very new in that word? had we not a chaplain at the Residence, when we were in India?'

'Yes, papa, but you were a commandant then.'

• 'So I will be now, Miss Mannering,—in my own family at least.'

'Certainly, sir,—but will he read the church of England service?'

"The apparent simplicity with which I asked this question got the better of his gravity. 'Come, Julia,' he said, ' you are a sad girl, but I gain nothing by scolding you—of these two strangers, the young lady is one whom you cannot fail, I think, to love—the person whom, for want of a better term, I called chaplain, is a very worthy and somewhat ridiculous personage, who will never find out you laugh at him, if you don't laugh very loud indeed.'

1 Dear papa, I am delighted with that part of his character—but pray, is the house we are going to as pleasantly situated as this?'

'Not perhaps as much to your taste—there is no lake under the windows, and you will be under the necessity of having all your music within doors.'

"This last coup de main ended the keen encounter of our wits, for you may believe, Matilda, it quelled all my courage to reply.

"Yet my spirits, as perhaps will appear too manifest from this dialogue, have risen insensibly, and, as it were, in spite of myself. Brown alive, and free, and in England !—embarrassment and anxiety I can and must endure. We leave this in two days for our new residence. I shall not fail to let you know what I think of these Scotch inmates, whom I have but too much reason to believe my father means to quarter in his house as a brace of honourable spies—a sort of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, one in a cassock, the other in tartan petticoats. What a contrast to the society I would willingly have secured to myself! I shall write instantly on my arriving at our new place of abode, and acquaint my dearest Matilda with the farther fates of—her Julia Mannering."

CHAPTER XIX.

Which sloping hills around enclose,
Where many a beech and blown oak grows,
Beneath whose dark and branching bowers,
Its tides a far-famed river pours.
By nature's beauties taught to please,
Sweet Tusculane of rural ease !—

Warton.

Woodbourne, the habitation which Mannering, by Mr Mac-Morlan's mediation, had hired for a season, was a large comfortable mansion, snugly situated beneath a hill covered with wood, which shrouded the house upon the north and east; the front looked upon a little lawn bordered by a grove of old trees—beyond were some arable fields, extending' down to the river, which was seen from

« ПредишнаНапред »