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long dead; and I have the pleasure of the personal acquaintance of a very distinguished officer, whose lady having died in one of our colonies, and expressed a wish to be buried in England, was accordingly deposited in a cask of rum for the purpose of being transported home, but who remained in the cellar of the said distinguished officer even after his second marriage, the detention being occasioned by his expectation that the duty on the spirit imported into England, in which the dear departed was preserved, would in a few years be either lowered or taken off altogether;—strange as this may seem, it is true \
Revenons a nos moutons.—" What," said I,— "cannot the Rector succeed better than I in dissuading you from this sacrifice, Kitty?"
"No, Uncle, no,"—sobbed she,—" let me go
1 There is another instance on record of a similar delay in the interment of a lady, for which a reason relative to some sort of life insurance is given, which cannot, we presume, be correct; because, as we think, it could not be legal. The case to which we refer is that of Mrs. Hook, the wife of Major Hook, of Ham; which was stated in all the newspapers of the period at which the death of the Major occurred. Ed.
—pray let me go." Harriet, who remained up —bless her !—exhibited certain symptoms of disgust; and Jane, who it appeared had agreed to give up the point if Kate would do the same, clung to the knee of my wife as she sat on the foot-stool beside her.
"Oh," continued Kitty, "everything reminds me of him—I could not rest—oh!"
This touch of the sentimental was particularly odious to me—knowing the genuine bent of her mind.
"I have been this very day," continued she, still sobbing, "to look at the copper where the odious cannon knocked his dear little nose— poor boy!"
This was too much for Wells, who, after uttering—" Umph!" jumped up from his chair and walked to the fire.
"I see," said the Rector, endeavouring to stifle a laugh at this last display, " I have no chance of succeeding—so you must go."
"Ah!" said Kate, "now I am happy—I never was at a funeral." Harriet gave me a look: the mixture of the sororial feeling with that of curiosity was food for an additional reflection upon Kate's character.
"I would not be absent for the world." This was given pathetically, and somewhat soliloquisingly.
"I find," said I, addressing myself to Wells, "we shall not have the music, after all." "What!" cried Kate. "Why?" said Wells.
"Mr. Kittington has told me," said I, "that he is unavoidably obliged to go to Winchester to-morrow early in the morning, and cannot be back till Saturday."
"Mr. Kittington going to Winchester!" said Kate.
I should like some eminent painter to have seen the expression of my wife's countenance when Kate asked that question.
"Yes," said I, "on business."
"How do you know, Uncle?" said Kate.
"Why," said I, "as you had told him I
should feel obliged by his performance"
Here Kate's white neck and bosom became rather reddish.
"He thought it necessary to let me
know why he could not do as I wished."
"You wished?" said Wells.
"Yes," said I; "as I wished, and as Kate told him I wished."
"Oh!" said Wells, "I did not understand."
Kate did, and gave me a look of gratitude for saving her from the exposure, which somewhat astounded me, and perfectly electrified my poor Harriet.
"However," I continued, "as it is, that part of the ceremony must be dispensed with, and perhaps all for the best—I think, except upon important occasions, I mean occasions which interest other people besides those immediately connected with the deceased, all superfluous ceremonies are best avoided."
"Perhaps you are right, dear Uncle," said Kate, in a tone which sufficiently expressed her sense of my kindness in sparing her, "perhaps we had better not go."
"What!" said Harriet, who could not resist the gratification of giving her one hit; "you think a funeral without music must be exceedingly dull?"
'' No, Aunt," said Kate; "but—I"
"I know," said I, in order to put an end to what I feared would not otherwise end agreeably; "Kitty sees the good sense of the Rector's arguments."
"Yes, that's it, Uncle," said Kate, and brightening up from all the humidity of tears into a sunshine of eyes directed specially at Harriet, "and I shan't go. Jane may do as she likes."
"I never wished to go, dear," said Jane.
"Don't dear me, Miss Jane," replied Kate, every vestige of grief having disappeared from her countenance, which was now animated with anger. "You may do as you like; but I do think Mr. Kittington's conduct, considering how much he has been noticed here,