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postponing his promised lecture upon the enormities of Zetland.
But Mrs Barbara was busily engaged in noting and registering the waste incurred in such an entertainment as she had probably never before looked upon, and in admiring the host's indifference to, and the guests' absolute negligence of those rules of civility, in which her youth had been brought up. The feasters desired to be helped from a dish which was unbroken, and might have figured at supper, with as much freedom as if it had undergone the ravages of half-a-dozen guests, and no one seemed to care-the landlord himself least of all-whether those dishes only were consumed, whicb, from their nature, are incapable of reappearance, or whether the assault was extended to the substantial rounds of beef, pasties, and so forth, which, by the rules of good housewifery, were destined to stand two attacks, and which therefore, according to Mrs Barbara's ideas of politeness, ought not to have been annihilated by the guests upon the first onset, but spared, like Outis in the cave of Poly
phemus, to be devoured the last. Lost in the meditations to which these breaches of convivial discipline gave rise, and in the contemplation of an ideal larder of cold meat which she could have saved out of the wreck of roast; boiled, and baked, sufficient to have supplied her cupboard for at least a twelvemonth, Mrs Barbara cared very little whether or not her brother supported in its extent the character which he had calculated upon assuming.
Mordaunt Mertoun also was conversant with far other thoughts than those which regarded the proposed reformer of Zetland enormities. His seat was betwixt two blithe maidens of Thule, who, not taking scorn that he had upon other occasions given preference to the daughters of the Udaller, were glad of the chance which assigned to them the attentions of so distinguished a gallant, who, as being their squire at the feast, might in all probability become their partner in the subsequent dance. But, whilst rendering to his fair neighbours all the usual attentions which society required, Mordaunt kept up a covert, but accurate and
close observation, upon his estranged friends, Minna and Brenda. The Udaller himself had a share of his attention; but in him he could remark nothing, except the usual tone of hearty and somewhat boisterous hospitality with which he was accustomed to animate the banquet upon all such occasions of general festivity. But in the differing mien of the two maidens there was much me painful remark.
Captain Cleveland sate betwixt the sisters, was sedulous in his attentions to both, and Mordaunt was so placed, that he could observe all, and hear a great deal, of what passed between them. But Cleveland's peculiar regard seemed devoted to the elder sister. Of this the younger was perhaps conscious, for more than once her eye glanced towards Mordaunt, and, as he thought, with something in it which resembled regret for the interruption of their intercourse, and a sad remembrance of former and more friendly times; while Minna was exclusively engrossed by the attentions of her neighbour; and that it should be so, filled Mordaunt with surprise and resentment.
Minna, the serious, the prudent, the reserved, whose countenance and manners indicated so much elevation of character-Minna, the lover of solitude, and of those paths of knowledge in which men walk best without company--the enemy of light mirth, the friend of musing melancholy, and the frequenter of fountainheads and patbless glens-she whose character seemed, in short, the very reverse of that which might be captivated by the bold, coarse, and daring gallantry of such a man as this Captain Cleveland, gave, nevertheless, her eye and ear to him, as he sate beside her at table, with an interest and a graciousness of attention, wbich, to Mordaunt, who well knew how to judge of her feelings by her manner, intimated a degree of the highest favour. He observed this, and his heart rose against the favourite by whom he had been thus superseded, as well as against Minna's indiscreet departure from her own character.
“ What is there about the man,” he said within himself,“ more than the bold and daring assumption of importance which is derived from success in petty enterprizes, and the exercise of petty despotism over a ship’s crew! - his very language is more professional than is used by the superior officers of the British navy; and the wit which has excited so many smiles, seems to me such as Minna would not formerly have endured for an instant. Even Brenda seems less taken with his gallantry than Minna, whom it should have suited so little."
Mordaunt was doubly mistaken in these his angry speculations. In the first place, with an eye which was, in some respects, that of a rival, , he criticised far too severely the manners and behaviour of Captain Cleveland. They were unpolished, certainly ; which was of the less consequence in a country inhabited by so plain and simple a race as the ancient Zetlanders. On the other hand, there was an open, naval frankness in Cleveland's manners
much natural shrewdness -- some appropriate humour an undoubting confidence in himself- and that enterprizing hardihood of disposition, which, without any other recommendable quality, very often leads to success with the fair sex.
But Mordaunt was farther mistaken, in supposing that Cleveland was likely to be disagreeable to