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CHAPTER III.

For the man

Who in this spirit communes with the forms
Of Nature, who with understanding heart
Doth know and love such objects as excite
No morbid passions, no disquietude,

No vengeance, and no hatred, needs must feel
The joy of that pure principle of love
So deeply, that, unsatisfied with aught
Less pure and exquisite, he cannot choose
But seek for objects of congenial love
In fellow-natures and a kindred joy.

WORDSWORTH.

OWING to the healthy and invigorating qualities of the air at Brookshaw Lodge, the tranquillity of his life, the delight of returning to his usual studies and pursuits indoors, and the still keener enjoyment derived from his friendly visits to his tenants and humble neighbours; Gale Middleton so rapidly recovered strength, that in a very few days he dismissed the servants who had accompanied him, and sent back the carriage in which he had travelled from London. His moderate income, after deducting his extensive charities, was not only inadequate to any permanent increase of his establishment, but he really felt his sense of manly independence lessened, both in his own person and in theirs, when obsequious menials were perpetually fidgeting about him to discharge those little offices which he held it more dignified as well as more decorous to perform himself.

Honest old Robin, and Madge, his wife, were still more delighted than their master at the dismissal of the strangers. "Dear heart!" cried the former, rubbing his hands,

"how glad I be that them Lonnoners be gone! They were'nt like servants, were 'em Madge? nothing adequate and identical about 'em; I hate such ignorant and idiomatical creatures."

"Ay, and a pretty joke for them to talk of taste," cried Madge," when they had the imperence to tell me I didn't know how to dress hash mutton, and asked me to make it into a curry, and then laughed at me, because I said I never heard of people currying any thing except a horse."

"Zooks! Madge, but I wouldn't let 'em domicile over me in that way, the jesuitical, succulent animals! Never stir if either on 'em knew a bulb root from a young potato, nor the names of the commonest plants and flowers in the garden. One on 'em called sparrow-grass, ass-sparrowgrass-like an ass as he was; and cowcumbers the t'other called coo-cumbers, as if they were pigeons or doves. What can ye expect from vulgar ignoramuses that can't expostulate the names of things by their proper dominations?"

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Well, they be gone now, Robin, thank Heaven! and it don't become us, for the best on us is but poor mistakable beings, to be proud of our superior knowledges.”

"I warn't proud, Madge, but a man, if never so humble, has a right to be identical and adequate, that is, supposing he don't push it to a superficial degree.'

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Had it depended upon Mr. Norberry, who cared for nobody but himself, and hated going from home, though he was never happy in his own house, the family would not soon have returned Middleton's visit; but Chritty, whose benevolent disposition made her scrupulous in observing all the forms of neighbourly politeness, and who felt, moreover, a deep interest in the health of the invalid, pressed so urgently the necessity of going over to the Lodge without delay, that her father assented with his usual ungracious— Eugh! always worrying me to be gadding somewhere or other, though you know I hate tramping about; but nobody cares for my comfort."

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Nay, my dear sir, I was particularly requested by Mr. Hoskins to get you out of the house as much as possible, since he thought you would be benefited by a more frequent change of air and scene."

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'Eugh! all alike, those apothecaries; finds his boluses won't cure me, so sends me out to gulp the wind. Ar'n't a cameleon. Same air, I suppose, on one side the common as t'other. Ar'n't a fool-humbug!"

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"But if you derive no benefit from it yourself, I am sure that a little drive will do good to dear Aunt Patty."

"Will it? Poor thing! poor thing! let's go by all means. I've no objection; wouldn't signify if I had; nobody cares for me. Go directly, if you like-I hate to be worried: why make such a fuss about things?"

Notwithstanding her protestations to the contrary, Lucy cherished a lurking confidence in the gipsy's prophecy, and, thinking it not unlikely that if she went over to Brookshaw Lodge, she might encounter a certain gentleman in black, some years older than herself, she learned the tidings of the projected visit with great glee, and ran skipping to her room to put on her bonnet; while Chritty, who had previously procured a conveyance for the occasion, went to assist her aunt in preparing herself, and to see that she was provided with a warm shawl. Having stated that Chritty procured the conveyance, our strict regard for veracity obliges us to confess its nature. Gentle reader!-no, we need not propitiate the gentle :-genteel and fastidious reader, if by any such we are perused, we beseech thee to discard for once thy worship of appearances, and not to be immeasurably horrified when we whisper in thine ear that the carriage in question was a taxed cart, freshly painted of a dark green, and drawn by a respectable little horse; but, nevertheless, a bona fide taxed cart, belonging to Master Saxby, the miller, a near and very friendly neighbour, who was always delighted to accommodate the "charming young ladies," as he called Chritty and Lucy, with the loan of his vehicle.

"Eugh!" grunted Mr. Norberry, as he took his seat and the reins, with his sister beside him, and his two daughters on the bench behind; "going to be a wet day, I see-soaked to the skin-catch our deaths of cold-always the case when I go out."

"Indeed, papa, it is only a passing cloud," cried Chritty; "see, it is gone already, and here is the bright and pleasant sun again! It will be a beautiful morning."

"Oh, very! we shall be half-roasted, I see, and smothered with dust. Never any fine weather in this country."

Lucy was in high and happy excitement during the drive to Brookshaw; but, though her exhilaration partly proceeded from the hope of meeting Mr. Hargrave, it might rather be termed a sensation than a sentiment. She rattled and VOL. II.

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laughed from the spontaneous irrepressible exuberance of animal spirits; her heart, like a bird in its summer nest, sang for very glee; nor did this ebullient joyousness receive a check until, on perceiving some horse-women at a little distance, she exclaimed, with a look of chagrin, "Good gracious, Chritty! here are the Miss Talfords on horseback, with a livery servant behind them, and they will see us riding in this vulgar taxed cart! Was ever any thing so provoking!"

"For shame, Lucy!" was the reply; "how can you be so silly? They know that we are poor, and if they are proud enough to think worse of us for riding in a vehicle adapted to our circumstances, we had better drop their acquaintance and pass them as we would any other strangers. If they do not cherish any such feeling, and you are still hurt at meeting them, the pride must be yours, not theirs."

"But a taxed cart is so shockingly vulgar."

"Ridiculous! may it not be still more vulgar, dear Lucy, to imagine that there can be no gentility without riches, equipage, and fashionable appearance? I know not a greater vulgarity in the character of the English than their contemptible fear of being thought vulgar."

"Well, Chritty, you may be very right in point of argument, but it is not every body who possesses your good sense, and one does not like to be thought ungenteel, however, erroneously."

In accordance with this feeling, Lucy dropped her glove as their friends passed, and by stooping to recover it, contrived not to be seen by them. Chritty nodded and spoke to them familiarly, and received, in return, a smiling recognition.

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Eugh!" exclaimed Mr. Norberry, "I think those girls might have stopped to ask us how we were; but I'm down in the world now: nobody shows any respect to me."

"They checked their horses, sir; but, as you did not draw up, they rode on."

"Draw up! ar'n't going to humble myself before them; knew their father when he was only a clerk in the city: stupid fellow, but-born with a silver spoon in his mouth: nobody so unlucky as I am:-eugh!”

On their arrival at the Lodge, Middleton recognised the visitants from the window, ran out to meet them, and, greeting them with a cordial welcome and a radiant countenance, ushered them into the parlour, whispering to Lucy,

as they advanced, that she would find a gentleman in it whom she might not be altogether displeased to meet, though he was some years older than herself, and attired in black. She blushed beforehand at this announcement, and still more deeply, when, with a mock ceremoniousness, he presented her to Mr. Hargrave; but her confusion was only momentary, and, as she fell into conversation with "the gentleman in black," her sparkling eyes, vivacious gaiety, and the frequent laugh that disclosed her brilliant teeth, seemed to intimate that the gipsy's prophecy might be fulfilled without putting any very painful restraint upon her inclinations. While the party were engaged in pleasant chat, Madge, who had complete management of all the household affairs, and who piqued herself upon keeping up old country customs, entered the room with cake and wine on a waiter, which she handed to each of the guests with a profound courtesy. Mr. Norberry, who liked these old-fashioned tokens of hospitality, helped himself to a bumper and a liberal slice of cake, exclaiming, as he tasted the former, “Ha! good Madeira-some of old Jemmy Gale's London particular that he sent twice out to India-swear to it any wherefound it here when you took possession, didn't ye? Eugh! bad cake too many seeds-not half so good as what Chritty makes."

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Nobody does any thing so well as Miss Norberry,” cried Middleton.

"You refute yourself," said Chritty, "for you completely eclipse me in paying compliments. I rather pique myself upon my cakes and puddings, but I am a very bad hand at flattery.'

After the conversation had continued some time, the master of the mansion, who, like all country gentlemen was fond of showing his improvements, proposed a stroll round his grounds, a suggestion that met a glad assent from all but Mr. Norberry, whose indolent habits had given him a special abhorrence of being dragged over grounds and gravel walks. 66 Eugh!" he once exclaimed, in answer to an invitation of this nature, "give your arm to a rolling stone, if you want a companion. That will do good to your walks, I shan't; that won't get tired, 1 shall."

Urging that the promenade, moderate as was its extent, would be too much for his sister, he said he would accompany her into the village, and wait by the water-side, till the others rejoined them; in conformity with which arrangement Middleton offered his arm to Chritty, Lucy took that

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