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and some cold boiled beef, which I relished much—it was almost as good as hump, but you can't judge of the difference, because humps when they come home are never satisfactory-a mutton cutlet, not nice—an apple tart, with cream; pint of Madeira and one glass of brandy: the man and the maid refreshing also, for it must have been cold outside, although company makes comfort any where. Well, then, on we went, and Kate was in better spirits, and talked more, and seemed as if she thought I was not quite so great a brute as she had taken me for, and told me that she thought Pappy was very fond of dear B. B., which was her facetious abbreviation of Mrs. Brandyball's name; and so all went on very well, and it grew dark, and as I did not know how to find my way to Montpelier, when we got to Midford I begged her to tell me what directions were to be given to the post-boy; and within a mile of Bath—and, as it turned out, within half a mile of Montpelier—he received his instructions, and with very little haggling and boggling we were driven to the gate. “‘Dear Montpelier 'exclaimed Kitty, as the bell was rung by the servant—The dogs began to bark—' dear Popsy " cried Kitty—‘dear Towzer –dear Nep !—I know your voices.” And when the gate was opened, “Dear bow-window !—dear Pappy!' all in ecstasies, which did not startle me, because I remember when my poor wife used to talk in the same way; so I did not say a word, but I thought to myself, “stupid chit! ridiculous creature '' and much more, which in course I never uttered; but still I thought Kitty snapped me up as she got out of the carriage, and ran through the hall to the room, where she knew she could find Cuthbert installed, inasmuch as a door-way has been made through the wall of Montpelier House into the adjoining cottage which he inhabits. “And then there was a screaming and a sort of crowing, and a kind of rapture, and a general noise o; the reception, which no doubt made my post-boy fancy that I had arrived at my home, and his duty was done. I therefore told 'my man to desire him to wait and take me into Bath, and proceeded by slower steps towards the presence of my friend Cuthbert. “I observed that the welcome greetings of Miss Kitty suddenly subsided into silence as I approached, and when, without further invitation than was offered by open doors, and a light upon a table in an ante-room, I adopted the natural fashion of following my nose, and found myself in the presence of my old friend and partner, I did not think the expression of his countenance was such as to make me imagine my visit a particularly welcome one; nor could I doubt, by that which characterised the not over delicate features of Mrs. Brandyball, that that respectable lady most devoutly wished me in a climate considerably hotter than Calcutta, from

‘Whose burn no traveller returns.”

Forgive my being jocose, but I feel so happy that I was not provoked to express my detestation of her character and conduct to her face, that now I have f to my home—as I call my inn—and am set down to write, I cannot help being in some sort facetious. “Well—when I went in—there was Cuthbert almost buried in a huge arm-chair—his legs upon an ottoman-sort of thing before him—Mrs. Brandyball's seat, which she had quitted upon our approach, being close to his left shoulder. On the table before him was a small round board, stuck full of ivory pegs, all ready for playing the game of fox and goose—two or three books—some needles used for knitting, or netting, or knotting, or what not—a parcel of something that looked to me very like weekly bills—and a glass of sangaree or some other mixture which he seemed to have scarcely tasted—and these, with an inkstand, and some writing-paper, under which lay a cheque-book, furnished out the board at which, as it seemed, under due surveillance, he was permitted to preside. “When I advanced, Kitty had quitted his neck, which she had embraced with a fervour ill suited to his personal powers, however acceptable it might have been to his mental perceptions, and transferred her acknowledgment to her dear B. B., who appeared profusely lavish in her welcome home to the darling of her heart; of course, Jane was the next subject of inquiry, and as Kitty seemed at a loss to account for her absence, I felt it right to put that matter at rest as speedily as possible, by explaining her wish to stay with you and Harriet; at the termination of which explanation I saw Kitty and . Mrs. Brandyball exchange looks; that of the latter lady bein particularly distinguished by the unusual exhibition in ...; society, of a ‘wink:' of course I did not let them know that I had seen this interchange of signals, and Mrs. Brandyball put. me quite at my ease, by observing that “where the inherent disposition of the mind unequivocally conduces to the encouragement of sympathetic affection, it would be absolutely inhuman to interpose any restrictive regulations which might even remotely tend to deteriorate from the genuineness of the

inclination, or by compulsory measures endeavour to control the beautiful single-mindedness of juvenile prepossessions.' I thought to myself, this is all fudge —in course I did not say so—but I didn't like the woman a bit the more for all her flummery. \ “Cuthbert did not seem much to care about Jane's staying behind ; whether he was soothed by this superficial speech of the lady, or whether Kate's acknowledged disregard for her, had lowered her in his esteem, I don't pretend to say; all I know is, that after Kate had run to her room to “take off her things, she returned to Cuthbert, and again throwing her arm round his neck, did nothing but kiss him and say, “Poor Pappy : dear Pappy!" - “‘I have got,' said he, as if recollecting something not at all apropos to the visit, “a letter here from Mr. Sniggs—eh?— and he tells me—Mrs. Brandyball—what does he tell me?— about my poor Tom's funeral. It is a sad business.” “‘My dear Cuthbert,” said l, “the surprise of seeing me—’ “‘Mr. Gurney was not in the least surprised, Sir," said Mrs. Brandyball, looking blue with excitement. “Mr. Sniggs had kindly taught us to have the pleasure of expecting you this evening." “The way in which Mrs. Brandyball emphasised the word pleasure gave a better idea of her feeling than any thing else. “Ah, by-the-by,' said your brother, “where is Sniggs— eh 4—you told me why he did not come, but somehow or another I have forgotten it.” “‘Why," said the lady, not in the gentlest tone, of course ou know the reason; Mr. Nubley ordered him not to come, i. he thought fit to come himself; and as he was coming, Kitty was to come with him.” “Ah, I see,' said Cuthbert. “Well, and you were at the poor boy's funeral '' • “‘No, Mr. Gurney,' interrupted Mrs. Brandyball; “Mr. Sniggs told you in his letter that nobody was present but your brother, and his own 'prentice.” “ Assistant, dear,” said Kitty, who had had the advantage of making the pale-faced lad's acquaintance during her two visits at Sniggs's house. - - “Ah, well, it's a sad business,’ said Cuthbert:—‘and you are come to stay with us?” - “. . A very short time,’ said I. “I have some matters of business to talk over with you; but they'll keep till to-morrow.—You don't ask after Gilbert, and his wife and child.’

“‘I don't think,' said Cuthbert, ‘to tell you the truth, that either Gilbert or his wife care one cowrie for me. Why didn't he come here when poor Tom died, or before he died, and tell me all about it! instead of that, the child, poked out of the house to a strange place, was left to perish neglected.” “All this I knew to be a lesson taught him by rote, and I felt half inclined to say so; but I kept my thoughts to myself, although Mrs. Brandyball seemed to know what was passing in my mind, for she said directly, “Nobody here would take the liberty of putting words into Mr. Gurney's mouth ; so I said to her, “I didn't say there was ; upon which the charming Kitty burst out laughing, and she and her amiable preceptress withdrew to the other end of the room. “‘Well,” said I, in an under tone to Cuthbert, “I hope you find yourself tolerably well ?” “‘Better than ever I expected to be again,” said Cuthbert; “this good, kind creature sacrifices every thing for me—has sent away all the children, except two, to keep the place quiet, and devotes herself to me—she does every thing for me; and now dear Kitty is come back—eh!—and—how's your wife?' “‘She is quite well,” said I; and I thought in my own mind, what a fool you suffer yourself to be made ; but I kept that to myself, and Cuthbert said, ‘’Gad, Nubley, you are at your old tricks again,’ which I suppose referred to something that the infernal Mrs. Brandyball had been telling him about me and Mrs. N. ; however, I found my welcome at Montpelier but an equivocal one, and saw that very little delicacy was adopted to disguise the anxiety of the whole clique for my departure, in order to give them the opportunity of talking over all that had happened at Blissfold; but as my purpose was fixed, and I determined to have an hour or two with Cuthbert all to myself, I thought the best thing I could do would be to relieve them of my presence this evening, and start fresh with him in the morning: so skilfully blinding myself to all the nods and winks of the halfweeping, half-giggling young Miss, and the encouraging tappings and pattings which she received from the mistress of the house, I told Cuthbert that I could not stay then, for I was keeping the post-horses, but would call between one' and two to-morrow, to which Cuthbert answered by inquiring of Mrs. Brandyball, if he had any engagement for the next day at that time. “‘None,' replied the lady, “till three, when you know you are to give Mr. Dawbeny a sitting.’ “‘Ha!' said Cuthbert, fumbling about for his pocket-hand. kerchief, which Kitty bounded from the distant sofa to pick

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up for him; ‘that's it—so—I am—all to please her,’ added he, pointing with his thumb over his shoulder at the Gorgon who stood close behind him. “‘Isn't Mr. Dawbeny that handsome man, Pappy, with the black whiskers " said Kitty. “‘Yes, dear,’ said Mrs. Brandyball, giving her a sort of corrective frown—not corrective so much as cautionary—not a frown of anger, but a frown which seemed to say, “mind what you talk about while that old fogey is here.' I knew what she meant, but I said nothing—yet I think they saw what was passing in my mind, for the lady turned what I call dead civil in a minute, and asked me, for the first time, if I would not take something before I went : “I very politely answered, “no I thank you,” because, as I say, civility costs nothing—but in my own mind, I felt myself saying—I would see you at old Nick first—but mum—so I smiled and looked courteous—and Cuthbert said—“I assure you, Nubley, Mrs. B. is in earnest, pray have something.’ “I persisted in my negative, and so having settled my appointment for to-morrow, I made my bow to the ladies, and shook hands with Cuthbert; but la, deary me ! how thin and shrivelled his poor hand has grown —and so Kitty said she was much obliged to me for the journey, and gave me a kiss. La Gilbert, that girl kisses every thing—well, and I didn't like it—so I said “thank you, dear,’ and felt myself shudder as if I could have said “ugh;’ and she ran away and laughed, and said, “Well, Sir, the next I give you you shall thank me for ; why she said that I do not know. “Well, out I came and got into the carriage, and there I found Cuthbert's man Hutton, talking to my man Watson— they had known each other before, and so I got in, and nobod but a maid-servant to light me out, and she calling “Hutton, Hutton;' and then I told the postboy to drive me here ! and here, as I have told you, I am ; and I wish that was all I had to tell you “I got myself snuggled down by a good fire, and I ordered myself a glass of hot punch, for I felt a little chilly, and I was mortally vexed—and I furthermore ordered myself some supper—for you see what I had eaten I had eaten early—and then I told Watson to bring me my morning-gown, although it was evening, and my slippers, and what not, to make me comfortable—and when he brought them, he asked me if I had heard about Mr. Cuthbert and Mrs. B., and so I said no, because I had not.—

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