Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

- The young lady curtsied acquiescence, and took her new friend's hand. Mannering now turned his eye upon the Dominie, who had made bows since his entrance into the room, sprawling out his leg, and bending his back like an automaton, which continues to repeat the same movement until the motion is stopped by the artist: "My good friend, Mr Sampson,"—said Mannering, introducing him to his daughter, and darting at the same time a reproving glance at the damsel, notwithstanding he had himself some disposition to join her too obvious inclination to risibility J "This gentleman, Julia, is to put my books in order when they arrive, and I expect to derive great advantage from his extensive learning."

** I am sure we are obliged to the gentleman, papa, and, to borrow a ministerial mode of giving thanks, I shall never forget the extraordinary countenance he has been pleased to shew us. But, Miss Bertram," continued she hastily, for her father's brows began to darken, "we have travelled a good way,—will you permit me to retire before dinner?"

This intimation dispersed all the company, save the Dominie, who, having no idea of dressing but when he was to rise, or of undressing but when he meant to go to bed, remained by himself, chewing the cud of mathematical demonstration, until the company again assembled in the drawing-room, and from thence adjourned to the dining-parlour.

When the day was concluded, Mannering took an opportunity to hold a minute's conversation with his <Jaugbterr-£n private.

"How do you like your guests, Julia?"

"O, Miss Bertram of all things—but this is a most original parson—why, dear sir, no human being will be able to look at him without laughing.*''

"While he is under my roof, Julia, every one must learn to do so." -isjob.*..:'>

. M Lord, papa, the very footmen could not keep their gravity!"

"Then let them strip off my livery, and laugh at their leisure. Mr Sampson is a man whom I esteem for his simplicity and benevolence of character."

"O I am convinced of his generosity too," said this lively lady, "he cannot lift a spoonful of soup to his mouth without bestowing a share on every thing round."

"Julia, you are incorrigible;—but remember I expect your mirth on this subject shall be under such restraint, that it shall neither offend this worthy man's feelings, nor those of Miss Bertram, who may be more apt to feel upon his account than he on his own. And so, good night, my dear, and remember, that though Mr Sampson has not sacrificed to the graces, there are many things in this world more truly deserving of ridicule than either awkwardness of manners or simplicity of character."—

In a day or two Mr and Mrs Mac-MorIan left Woodbourne, after taking an affectionate- farewell' of theW ldte guest, The household were *ww setttetf ill their new quarters. 'TbeyouWg ladies followed their studies and amusements together. Colonel Mannering was agreeably surprised to find that Miss Bertram was well skilled in French and Italian, thanks* 4ft the assiduity of Dominie Sampson, whose labour had silently possessed him of most modern as well as ancient languages. Of music she knew little or nothing, but her new friend undertook to give her lessons; in exchange for which, she learned from Lucy the habit of walking, and the art riding, and the courage necessary to defy the season. Mannering was careftd substitute foir lihefr' amusemeae^kii the evening such books as might convey some solid instruction with entertainment, and, as hfe Wad aloud with great skill and taste, the winter nights passed pleasantly awajjK:n;;i'"' «»8 f ill-

Sdciety was qttickTy<form%d- where there

were so many inducements. Most of the families of the neighbourhood visited Colonel Mannering, and he was soon able to select from among them such as best suited his taste and habits, Charles Hazlewood htjld a distinguished place in his favour, and was a frequent visitor, not without the consent and approbation of his parents; for there was no knowing, they thought, what assiduous attention might produce, and the beautiful Miss Mannering, with an Indian .fortune, was, a pjize worth looking after. Dazzled with such a prospect,, they, never considered the risk which had once been some object of their apprehension, that his boyish and inconsi.«terate,fa.ncy might,fQ^^n attaqh,ment; to the pennyless Lucy Bert-Kara^who had nothing on eafgi £9 r^onamepd, her, hu^a pretty, face, goodMtOfnalmost amiable disposition, Mannerjng, was more prudent. He considered himself acting as Miss Bertram's guardian, and, while h,e thd *ofc;thiak^tjftc^beftt, flpo&.^.^t^e.

« ПредишнаНапред »