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“I will send a mourning-coach up here at a quarter before. The young ladies, I presume, adhere to their original intention of attending the mournful ceremony " “Really,” said I, “I cannot answer that question, for Miss Kate does not admit me to her confidence. I have an opinion on the subject, but I suppose if Cuthbert wishes it, he is to be considered omnipotent.” “It will be an affecting sight,” said Sniggs, looking pathetic—“the two sisters following their brother's body; don't you think so?. It will show that whatever people may say, he was not really neglected.” “Say!” exclaimed I; “what do people say any thing about it !” “Why,” said Sniggs—“no—not much—but folks will talk—and some of the gossips think it hard that the poor boy should have been removed from the care of his immediate relations to ** “Mr. Sniggs,” said I, interrupting the unamiable leech, “he was removed from this house, from which his only two immediate relations were (by Cuthbert's own orders, also, removed) to -yours; a proof of the confidence which was placed in you by my brother and myself—a proof which I really should have thought might have been flattering to you in a particular degree. It is true the poor boy died—here he might have lived—that was not to be foreseen ; in this house cherry-brandy is not left in the unlocked cupboards of sick boys' bed-rooms to be swallowed at pleasure.” I had said—I, who passed my whole life in restraining the animation of Harriet upon all such points, had, as her maid Foxcroft would have said, “ outed with it.” The words were past recall. Sniggs knew my mind—he stood aghast— I saw my advantage, and, with the rapidity of a prize-fighter, followed it up, and before the apothecary could recover his “wind,” added, “And that fact I shall take care to let my poor deluded brother know, in order that he may judge how wisely he has disposed of his confidence.” * * Sniggs turned pale, whether with rage or apprehension I know not; but he was evidently summoning all the energies of his mind to form a reply, when a servant entered the room and told me that Captain Thompson, who was living at Chittagong Lodge, was in the morning-room, and wished to see me—about what, I knew not, never having seen him in my life, except at church, with his two nieces, or sisters, as they Were sometimes called, and a cousin or two, whose complexions seemed to combine the beauties of the lily and the

rose, in a manner little calculated to excite any great admiration of Nature's special bounty, and who were very much looked at in the parish, without being much looked upon. I desired the servant to say I was engaged at the moment, but would wait upon the Captain in a few minutes. This little interruption seemed to cool my Galen, and give him time to consider his reply to my somewhat abrupt insinuation; it had, however, the effect of moderating the ire which, presuming upon Cuthbert’s credulity as to his merits, and ignorance as to his faults, he seemed at first very much inclined to exhibit. “Why, Sir,” said he, “I admit”—and he appeared to be truly affected, and I began to be proportionably sorry for my abruptness—“I—admit that the affair of the cherry-bounce was a misfortune—it was, I also admit, not calculated upon ; but I have the satisfaction, and a very pleasurable feeling it is, to know that the poor boy must have died under the influence of the disease, whether he had drunk the cherry-brandy or not.” “And therefore,” said I, “he would have died here, as surely as he did die at your house !” “ Unquestionably,” said Sniggs; “he had precisely the same medicines, diet, and medical attendance there as he would have had here.” I thought the reasoning of my unconscious friend, as to the certainty of his dissolution, under the circumstances, and under his care, conclusive, not to speak of the satisfaction which he appeared to derive from the conviction. “Then,” said I, “that being the case, why talk of the idle gossipings of the people here, which, if they have any effect at all, must tell to your disadvantage, and not mine !” “I do not talk of them,” said Smiggs, evidently disconcerted, “as a matter of my own opinion—only—I know that Mr. Cuthbert feels—” 64 He does not feel, Mr. Sniggs,” said I; “he is a mere automaton in the hands of other people. Cuthbert advised the boy’s removal—fled from him himself—carried off the boy's sisters—and, with all this show of devotion to his memory, does not think of coming here, because Mrs. Brandyball thinks it likely to conduce more to the success of her designs upon him to be left alone with him at Bath; for which reasons—and others which I will not mention—the poor girls are sent here to parade themselves in what I, and every body else, must consider a most unseemly and unbeWOL. II. 6

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coming position. Now, there's my opinion, and you have it, and are quite at liberty to communicate it to my brother.” “Why,” said Sniggs, rather startled by the unexpected earnestness of my manner, “I—really—to say truth—I do not know whether you have had any communication on the oint, but I believe the attendance of the young ladies sprang rom the genuine feelings of Miss Kitty herself.” “Genuine nonsense !” said I; “I want to know nothing about the matter. I shall be ready, when the carriage comes to take me to your house and thence to the funeral; but as I feel bound by no ties of relationship to the poor boy who is one, and by very slender ties of connexion, I should do a vioence to my candour, and the sense of what is due to myself, if I were to affect a depth of grief—which, if Miss Falwasser's sincerity were equally to be questioned, I doubt she does not in the least understand. My brother, as I have already said, has confided to you and your lady all these arrangements, and I am quite ready to obey your orders, delighted to be relieved from a responsibility which, at all times, is critical and embarrassing, and which, upon this occasion, would assuredly induce me to set my face most decidedly against a proceeding as unusual as it seems preposterous; however, I have, as you know, a gentleman waiting, and must take my leave. I shall be ready when the coach comes, and of course, if the young ladies continue in the mind—and Mrs. Sniggs does not object —they will be my companions. And so good morning.” Saying which, I bowed myself out of the room, and went down stairs to receive my new and unexpected visiter, leaving Mr. Sniggs in a state to which I certainly, in the beginning of our conversation, had not the remotest idea of .# him. Upon entering the morning-room, I found Captain Thompson pacing the apartment, looking somewhat pale and agitated, bearing in his hand a moderately sized horsewhip; with which he seemed to be practising some ungentle manoeuvre, relative to the back and shoulders of some imaginary antagonist.—I hesitated, and said— “Captain Thompson, I believe.” “Exactly so, Sir,” said my guest; “I ought to apologise for coming here while your windows are shut, and there's a family corpse unburied, Sir, but a man cannot bear more than he can—that I suppose you will admit?” The assertion seemed incontrovertible—so I bowed assent. “Well, Sir,” said the Captain, “I am a plain man.” Another truism to which } tacitly agreed. “And mean no harm.”

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That, I thought to myself, is by no means so clear—still I bowed. “But as you are, I dare say, aware I have been for some months tenant of that beautiful mansion which your uncle, Mr. Nubley, thinks proper to call Chittagong Lodge—” “ Not my uncle, Sir,” said I. “Mr. Nubley's connexion with me arises simply from his having been a partner of an elder brother of mine in India.” “Oh,” said Thompson, “he is not a relation of yours?” “Not in the most distant degree,” said I. “Why then,” said Thompson, “that alters the case, and I may ask you a question without giving any personal offence, or casting any personal stigma upon the hereditary qualities of the family " “You may ask what question you please,” said I. “Well, then, Sir,” said Thompson, shouldering the whip, “is that old gentleman mad!” “I never heard such a thing even suggested,” said I. “Then, Sir, how do you account for his conduct?” said Thompson, giving his whip a sort of horizontal shake. “What do you think he did this morning?—I came here, Sir,” added the Captain, “with great pain at such a moment as this—but a soldier is jealous of his honour, and I could not rest. After walking round and round the fences and palings of the place with his lady for the last two or three days, this morning, in he stalks into the house, and although I received him with all the urbanity of which I am master; and although my nieces Evelina, and Rosetta, and my cousin Madelina, did every thing they possibly could do to make Mrs. Nubley's reception in her own house agreeable, he began in the most extraordina manner to abuse me and my relations, mixing all this, . the greatest possible civility. “‘Captain Thompson,’ said he, “I am glad to see you—the grounds look very pretty—infernal swindler pays no rent— anxious about the place—paper in drawing-room all smeared —vulgar dog—look at the carpet—if it is quite convenient to: give me possession at Lady-day, instead of Midsummer, should feel obliged, as I have been disappointed in a house— that's fudge—any thing to get the fellow away'—but, Sir, this was a trifle. I presented him to the young ladies—and after complimenting Evelina on her beautiful complexion, for which she is really celebrated, he said, staring her full in the face, “The roses are rouge, and the lilies pearl-powder-tolder-a-lol.' I bore even this with patience, but when my cousin Madelina, as fine a young woman as ever stepped, and as good o

too, playfully opened the door of the second drawing-room to show him how careful we had been of the furniture, he said, ‘Thank ye, Miss, thank ye;’ and, staring her full in the face, added, “no better than she should be I take it.' Now really, Sir, I only ask what course can I pursue under these circumstances? I saw none open, but coming here directly, believing, moreover, that he was a relation of yours—as he is not, I feel that I ought to apologise, still farther, for my intrusion, and say no more, except to ask again whether he is or is not insane, as upon the answer I receive, the conduct which I shall observe towards him must mainly depend.” “Not he, Sir,” said I. “I believe him to be perfectly in his senses: he is very odd I admit, and has a propensity to talk to himself, which, to a stranger, renders his conversation very perplexing.” “Why, Sir,” said Captain Thompson, giving the horsewhip a slight flourish, “if his talking were merely talking to himself, nobody else could reasonably be offended, because a man may amuse himself as much as he pleases; and I have no doubt if Mr. Nubley did so, he would find plenty of persons to agree with him ; but when he stares one in the face, and says the things that he said of me and my relations, why, really,– I—"—and here again the horsewhip waggled a good deal. “It is,” said I, “purely constitutional—a habit of thinking aloud, which has grown in old age upon a naturally absent man, and while he is conversing in the ordinary worldly course of conversation, he becomes abstracted, and the truth comes out most unintentionally.” “The truth comes out, does it, Sir!” said Captain Thompson, looking at me with a most ferocious expression of countenance; the horsewhip suddenly rising to something more than an angle of forty-five, “the truth comes out, does it —eh 4” o the ingenuousness of the mind developes itself.” Sald 1. “Oh,” said Thompson, considerably excited, “the ingenuousness of the mind developes itself, does it?—what, then, Sir, it was in the sincerity of his heart that Mr. Nubley called me an infernal swindler, and a vulgar dog—that he said Evelina's complexion was made up of rouge and pearl-powder, and informed Madeline that she was no better than she should be— that is ingenuousness, is it, Sir 4–and that is your mode of justifying your uncle's conduct?” “Sir,” said I, “Mr. Nubley is not my uncle. I have before

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