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nese balls; with numerous mineral specimens neatly labelled, zeolite, mica, volcanic glass, tourmaline, &c. "Multum in parvo," said Mr. Crosbie, with a smirk at his own latinity; "Young Mr. Webberly must be vastly learned,' replied Mr. Lucas, "I should like to talk to him about the plants of the West Indies, and the practice of physic in those parts, for all the planters are obliged to attend to the health of the poor negroes for their own profit, if they don't do it for humanity's sake." Here the good man was electrified by a violent ringing of bells, followed by the sound of a sharp female voice, running through all the notes of the gamut in a scolding tone, of which the visiters could only hear detached sentences, such as, "I insist upon it, you never let them in againhow could you say we were at home? Can I never drive into your silly pate, that we are never at home to a hired postchaise, or to any open carriage, except a curricle and two out-riders, or a landaulet and four?"-" It wasn't me, Miss, it was William; I always attend to your directions, ma'am-I denied you the other day to your own uncle and aunt, because they came in a buggy.' "Uncle, Sir! I have no uncle.-Well, I give orders at the porter's lodge tomorrow-Go and ask Miss Wildenheim to receive them; and if she won't, say we are all out; I tell you once for all, I never will be disturbed at my morning studies till four o'clock, and then not except by people of condition." Soon after this tirade, a light foot crossing the hall prepared the confounded party for the entrance of the Iris of this angry Juno. But when Miss Wildenheim opened the door, her elegantly affable courtesy and benignant smile dispersed the gathering frowns on the visages of the disappointed groupe.
This young lady's politeness proceeded from the workings of a kind heart guided by a clear head: it was a polish which owed its lustre to the intrinsic value of the gem it embellished, not a superficial var
nish spread over a worthless substance, which a slight collision would destroy, rendering the flaws it had for a time concealed but the more conspicuous. With one glance of her dark eye she perceived, that the good people were offended, and while she made the best apology she could for the non-appearance of the Webberly family, her cheek glowed with indignation at their insolent carriage to modest worth: the attentive suavity of her manner was more than usually pleasing to the unassuming but insulted party, and her endeavours to soothe their wounded pride were quickly rewarded with the success they merited. Miss Wildenheim in turn inquired for all the relations of each individual present, whose existence had ever come to her knowledge; and in her search after appropriate. conversation, put in requisition every other subject of chit-chat, her small stock of that current coin furnished her with. But now "the eloquent blood,". which had spoken "in her cheek, and so divinely wrought," no longer tinging it with "vermeil hues," her pallidity struck Mrs. Martin's kind heart with a pang of sorrow. My dear Miss Wildenheim," said she, in a tone that showed the epithet was not a word of course, "I'm afraid your visit to London has not agreed as well with you as ours did with Lucy and me, you don't look so fresh-coloured as you did in the beginning of spring." "Ah! Mrs. Martin," interrupted Mr. Lucas, "that high colour was a hectic symptom, I am not altogether sorry to see it has disappeared; I hope, Miss Wildenheim, you have nearly recovered from the effects of that smart fever you had last winter." With a look of thanks to both inquirers, Mr. Lucas's ci-devant patient replied, "Perfectly, my dear Sir; it must have been a most inveterate disorder, that could have baffled the skill and kind attention-you exerted for my benefit." Mr. Lucas sapiently shook his head, and expressed his doubts as to her perfect recovery. "Believe me, Sir, I feel quite well, my illness was only caused by change of cliVOL. I.
mate." At the word climate, the heretofore placid brow of the fair speaker was clouded by an expression of ill-concealed anguish; for that word had conjured up the remembrance of days of hope and joy-of tenderness, on which the grave had closed for ever! which with all the ardency of youthful feeling, alike poignant in sorrow as in joy, she contrasted, in thought's utmost rapidity, with the dreary present, where each day glided like its predecessor down the stream of time, uncheered by the converse of a kindred mind, unblessed by the smile of affectionate love.
To hide her emotion she rose to ring the bell, apparently for the purpose of ordering a luncheon, which it was the etiquette of the neighbourhood to present to every morning visiter. The greater part of the family were, at that moment, at breakfast, and therefore the summons was not quickly obeyed; but at length a tray was brought in, glittering in all the luxury of china, plate, and glass, and loaded with cold meat, fruit, and a variety of confectionary, at the names or contents of which Mrs. Martin's utmost knowledge of cookery could not enable her to guess. However as she did not consider ignorance in this instance as bliss, she immediately commenced her acquaintance with them; and the whole party, having done ample justice to the repast, prepared to depart; and it was settled that as steps could not easily be procured, the arrangement of the vehicles should be changed, Miss Lucas resigning her place in the postchaise to Mrs. Martin:
Miss Wildenheim had scarcely made her farewell courtesy at the door, when as the carriages drove off, Mrs. Martin exclaimed, "What a sweet young lady Miss Wildenheim is." "Oh!" said Mrs. Crosbie, "those French misses have always honey on their lips." "I wonder how she happens to speak such good English, for her eyes, complexion, and accent are quite foreign," observed her spouse. "And I hope you'll add, her manner too," returned the lady: "I
was quite ashamed of her when she first came to Webberly House, she used to have so many antics with her hands; now she is something like; but though we have improved her, still her countenance has never the exact same look three minutes together; and if you say a civil thing to her, she grows as red as if you had slapped her in the face." "Mr. Temple told me," said Mrs. Martin, "that she grieved more after Mr. Sullivan, when he died last January, than all the rest of the family put together. He told me one day, poor man, that she was the daughter of a German baron." "Ah, Mrs. Martin," interrupted Mr. Crosbie, laughing, "I'm afraid there was a mistake of gender and case there; a Baronness perhaps she might be daughter to, as an action might lie against me for defamation, I won't say by whom." "You are both wrong," said his wife, "for Mrs. Sullivan's maid informed me, (and she knows but every thing) that Miss Wildenheim was Mr. Sullivan's natural daughter by a German Princess (God forgive him,) when he was a general in the Austrian service. I dare say she is a papist, for he was a papist, and they are all papists in foreign parts." "Papist or not," replied Mrs. Martin, "I'm sure she practises the Christian virtue of humility; I wish Miss Webberly would take example by her, and learn to be civil." "I never saw any thing like the airs of the whole family," rejoined Mrs. Crosbie, bursting with passion. "I'll take care to affront them, the very first time they put their noses in Deane." Here Mr. Crosbie took the alarm, for he recollected certain deeds and conveyances, young Webberly had spoken to him about, and therefore said, "Indeed, my dear, we have no right to be offended; it's only the way of the house: didn't you hear the footman tell Miss Webberly he had refused to let in her own uncle, and after all, she didn't object to us, but only to the gig and postchaise." After some bitter observations, followed by silent reflection, Mrs. Crosbie apparently acceded to her husband's argument, and consented
to acquit the Webberlys on the flaw his ingenuity had discovered in the indictment she had made out against them.
In the humble society of Deane even she had inferiors, in whose eyes her consequence was raised by her annual visits at Webberly House; and who never guessed that the rudeness she practised to them, was a mere transfer of that she submitted to receive from the insolent caprice of these satellites of fashion.
From whence does the strange infatuation arise, that makes so many people in all ranks of society suppose, they are honoured by the acquaintance of that immediately above them, when their intercourse is so frequently only an interchange of insult and servility? Do they suppose that when the scale of their consequence is kicked down on one side, it rises proportionally on the other?
The comments of the travellers on the Webberly. family continued for the remainder of the drive; and perhaps had the objects of their animadversions heard their remarks, they might have felt, that the proud privilege of being impertinent scarcely compensated for the severity of the criticism its exertion called forth.
At length the party separated-Mrs. Crosbie to show a new edition of fine airs to the wondering Mrs. Slater-the other ladies to discuss their excursion again and again, over cups which cheer, but not inebriate."