« ZurückWeiter »
said, as if she had been told to wait till I arrived, "Here is my master, Sir." >
They say that "they who live in glass houses should not throw stones." There are two or three other things which people so circumstanced should not do; not that I mean to infer that lecturing upon "gereenums" is one of them. Foxcroft however waggled her pretty little fantailed figure out of the room, and left Mr. Kittington and myself tite-d,-t$te.
"I beg your pardon, Sir," said Kittington; "but I really am ashamed to trouble you—
I "Here he faltered, and looked silly
again; "but I"
"Pray don't mention it," said I: "I think I can almost guess—"
"Indeed, Sir," said the dancing-master, " I assure you I would not have intruded upon you, but"
I heard by anticipation the well-known sequel —" I have a very large amount to make up next week."
"But the circumstances are very peculiar." Here he paused again.
"Pray don't apologise," said I, encouragingly; "my brother, Mr. Cuthbert Gurney, is so thoughtless and indolent, that these things are frequently occurring."
"Are you aware, Sir," said Kittington, "of the"
"Oh, I know, of course," replied I; "there is no necessity for any delicacy between us, Mr. Kittington; my brother naturally expected to hear from you after your great attention to Kate and the others; but have you got it about you?"
"Yes, Sir," said Kittington, " I have brought it with me. Indeed, I had no other object in calling here; but I could not have imagined that you were aware of the existence of anything of the kind."
"Why, I guessed as much," said I; "but it is of no sort of consequence."
"Indeed! Sir," said Kittington.
"There can be no objection, I am sure," said I. "I will undertake to settle it without any reference to my brother, who, as I have already said, is too indolent to take much trouble about anything."
"That is very surprising, Sir!" said Kittington; "I think you must be mistaken."
"No, no," said I, smiling, "the same thing has happened often before."
Kittington here appeared somewhat astounded, and wishing to relieve him from an embarrassment which seemed to me to be more particular than the occasion required, I begged him to hand me the "document," as I facetiously called his "bill," not liking the word, either as applied to myself or to anybody in the shape of a gentleman to whom I had to pay money.
"How far I should be justified in doing so, Sir," said Kittington, "I really do not know— my position is a very delicate one—and — really I am so overcome by the difficulty in which I am placed, or rather, in which I have placed myself, that I am scarcely able to proceed."
"I never saw," said I, "so much delicacy on such a point. What scruples can you have in accepting what you must feel yourself justly to have acquired, and most richly to deserve? I am sure the way my niece Kitty has spoken to us of your attention and kindness fully justifies you in preferring your claims; so let us to business."
"My dear Sir," said Kittington, "the manner in which you meet this subject is to me most surprising, and confounds me more than all the rest. I merely attended Miss Falwasser and her sister, professionally—and—I—had no conception—she so extremely young—and—the fact is —I—really—I thought I was doing my duty in mentioning the fact—because I had no idea that you were aware—in truth I—difference of rank and position—and—besides, Sir, putting aside anything else, I—it is imperative I should mention that I am actually engaged to be married."
"Well, my dear Sir," said I, "I am very glad to hear it, and sincerely wish you joy; but I tell you again, there needs no such explanation. What your marrying has to do with a trifle like this, a matter, no doubt, of everyday occurrence with gentlemen of your profession-"
"My dear Sir," said Kittington, turning alternately pale and red, "indeed, indeed, it is no such thing: such matters do now and then happen; and waltzing, I confess between ourselves, is rather—a little conducive—but I assure you, I do not consider this by any means a trifling affair"
"Why," said I, getting rather out of patience with the mock-modesty of my companion, "what does it amount to, after all?"
"Why, Sir," said Kittington, "although when I took the liberty of sending in my name, my intention was, as in duty bound, that is, according to my own feelings, to have shown you the note: but as it is, it involves a compromise— and—"
"Oh," said I, "I want no compromise."
"No, Sir," said Kittington; "but I mean Miss Katharine Falwasser may"
"She!" exclaimed I; "no, no, she wants no compromise, you may rely upon it; you have