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quality, it's the change that's the thing. There's cases, sir, in which I'd send patients, ay, from Montpelier to the neighbourhood of Fleet-ditch. The fact is, sir, there can't be at times a better change than from the best to the worst. The lungs, sir, get tired heartily sick of good air if it's always the same; just as the stomach would get tired of the very best mutton, had it nothing but mutton every day."
Snipeton was silent ; pondering a refutation of this false philosophy. Still he tugged at his brain for a happy rejoinder. He felt -he was certain of it-that it would come when the apothecary bad gone away, but unhappily he wanted it for present use. He felt himself like a rich nian with all his cash locked up. Now wit, like money, bears an extra value when rung down immediately it is wanted ; men pay severely who want credit. Thus, though Snipe.. ton knew he had somewhere in that very strong box his skull, a whole bank of arguments, yet because he could not at the moment draw one, Crossbone-the way of the world-believed there were absolutely no effects. Spipeton, however, got over a difficulty as thousands before him and thousands yet unborn will jump an obstacle ;-he asked his opponent to take another glass of wine. If Bacchus often lead men into quagmires deep as his vats, let us yet do him this justice, he sometimes leads them out.
“I believe you said something about horse exercise, Crossbone ? Now with a horse—you don't drink”-a hospitable slander this on the apothecary"with a horse there's change of air at will, eh?''
“ To be sure there is. And then there's Highgate and Finchley, and-well, that might do, perhaps," said Crossbone,
“And in the evenings "_and Snipeton brightened at the prospect—" we could ride together.”
“Death, sir, certain death"-and Crossbone gave one of his happiest shudders. “The night air is poison-absolute poison. No, the time would be from-let me see—from eleven to three."
« Impossible ; quite impossible. Can't leave business-certain ruin,” cried Snipeton.
“Certain death, then," said Crossbone, and he slowly, solemnly drained his glass. “Certain death,” he repeated.
“Don't say that, Crossbone," cried Snipeton, softened. “Mrs. Wilton---perhaps the rides, and then"
“ As for Mrs. Wilton, I trust you are under no particular obligation to that person ? "
“ Obligation,” cried Snipeton ; as though the thought implied an insult. “Why do you ask ?” . “ Nothing but for your wife's health. The fact is, Mrs. Wilton always seems melancholy, heavy ; with something on her mind. Now, my dear sir, it is a truth in moral philosophy not sufficiently well known and attended to, that dumps are catching." And Crossbone looked the proud discoverer of the subtlety.
“ Indeed are they? Perhaps they may be. Well, there's a wench coming up from Kent—somewhere near Dovesnest. I've been coaxed to consent to it. She may make a sort of merrier companion."
"She may,” said Crossbone; “but what you want is an honest, sharp fellow--for honesty without sharpness in this world is like a sword without edge or point ; very well for show, but of no real use to the owner.”
“Go on,” cried Snipeton, bowing to the apothecary's apothegm.
“Now, I have the very man who'll suit you. The miracle of a groom. Honest as a dog, and sharp as a porcupine." , “Humph !” cried Snipeton, marvelling at the human wonder.
“ Your servant, Mr. Crossbone”-said Dorothy Vale, opening the door" has called as you desired.”
“ Tell him to come in,” cried Crossbone : who then said to Snipeton " At least you can see the fellow.”
CHAPTER XXVIII. It may be remembered that Snipeton and St. Giles had met before. And certainly St. Giles had not forgotten the event : his somewhat anxious look declared his recollection of the scene at Dovesnest, in which he played the part of rogue and vagabond according to the statute ; but as Snipeton had no corresponding interest in the circumstance, he had wholly forgotten the person of the outcast in the candidate for service. But in truth, St. Giles was not the same man. At Dovesnest he was in rags : fear and want had sharpened his face, withering, debasing him. And now, he breathed new courage with every hour's freedom.He was comfortably, trimly clad; and his pocket-too oft the barometer of the soul-was not quite at zero. Hence, in few moments, he looked with placid respect at Snipeton, who stared all about his face, as a picture-dealer stares at an alleged old master; with a look that in its cunning, would even seem to hope a counterfeit. Was St. Giles really the honest fellow that he appeared ; was there in truth the original mark of the original artist upon him; or was he a fraudful imitation, especially made to gull a trusting gentleman ?_Was there really no flaw in that honest seeming face? And Snipeton as he looked half-wished that all menor all servants at least-were fashioned like earthen vessels ; that, properly filliped, they should perforce reveal a damnifying fracture. Certainly, such sort of human pottery, expressly made for families, would be an exceeding comfort to all housekeepers. Snipeton thought this ; to his own disappointment thought it : for there being no such test of moral soundness, he could only choose the domestic, two-legged vessel before him by it slooks. Alas! why was there no instant means of trying the music of its ring?
"That will do ; you can wait,” said Crossbone to St. Giles, who thereupon left the room.
“And what can you say for this fellow? Do you know all about him-who begot him where he comes from ?” asked Snipeton.
Crossbone was a man of quick parts : so quick, that few knew better than he, the proper time for a complete lie. We say a complete lie ; not a careless, fragmentary flam, with no genius in it; but a well-built, architectural lie, buttressed about by circumstance. Therefore, no sooner was the question put to him than, without let or hesitation, he poured forth the following narrative. Wonderful man! falsehood flowed from him like a fountain. '
“ The young man who has just quitted us is of humble but honest origin. His parents were villagers, and rented a little garden ground whereon they raised much of their lowly but healthy fare. Far, far indeed was the profligacy of London from that abode of rustic innocence. His playmatesI mean the young man's—were the lambkins that he watched, for at an early age he was sent out to tend sheep : his books the flowers at his feet, the clouds above his head. Not but what he reads remarkably well for his condition, and writes a good stout, servant's hand. He was seven years old—no, I'm wrong, eight, eight years—when he lost his father, who, good creature, fell a victim to his humanity: A sad matter that. He was killed by a windmill.",,; . 16 I thought you said 'twas his humanity,” observed Snipeton.
“And a windmill," averred Crossbone. “A neighbour's child was gathering buttercups and daisies, and had strayed beneath the mill's revolving sails. The young man's father obeying the impulse of his benevolent heart, rushed forward to save the little innocent. His humanity, not measuring distance, carried him too near the sails ; he was struck to the earth with a compound frad ture of the skull, and died.”
“ This you know?” muttered Snipeton, looking with a wary eye.
“'Twas when I was an apprentice. The man being poor, and the case desperate, 'twas given up to me to do my best with it. I learned a great deal from that case, and from that moment felt a natural interest in the orphan. And he has been worthy of it. You 'd hardly believe the things I could tell you of that young man, You can't think how he loves his mother."
“No great credit in that,meh?” said Snipeton.
“ Why, no ; not exactly credit ; but you must own it's graceful - very graceful. He makes her take nearly all his wäges. Hardly saves enough for shirts and pocket-handkerchiefs. Now, this strikes me as being very filial, Mr. Snipeton?”
“And you think he'd make a good groom, eh ?" asked the cautious husband.
" Bless you! he knows more about horses than they know themselves. But all he knows is nothing to his honesty. I've trusted him with untold gold, and he has never laid his finger upon it."
“ How do you know, if you never counted it?" asked Snipeton.
“ That is”-said Crossbone, a little pulled up—"that is, you know what I mean. And—the thought 's been working in me, though I've talked of other matters—I do think that a horse with the quick and frequent change of air a horse can give, may do everything for Mrs. Snipeton ; for, as I've said before--she's young, very young; and youth takes much killing. And therefore, you 'll make yourself easy ; come, you 'll promise me that ?"
“I will,” said Snipeton, a little softened. “You've given me new heart. Come, another glass.'
“Not another drop. Pen and ink, if you please. I must write
a little prescription for a little nothing for your good lady ; not that she wants medicine,” said Crossbone.
“ Then why poison her with it?” asked Snipeton with some energy.
,“ She wouldn't be satisfied without it. Therefore, just a little coloured negative ; nothing more.” Pen and ink were ordered, brought; and Crossbone strove to write as innocently as his art allowed him, “There must be an apothecary at Hampstead, and I'll send the man with it;" and Crossbone folded the prescription, and rose.
“ And when shall we see you again ?" asked Snipeton. "
“Why, in two or three days. But I have done all the good I can at present. You'll try the horse ?''- ,
“I'll think of him.-Tell me, does he know anybody in London?”
“ Any calf you like, brought to Smithfield, knows more of the ways--more of the people of town. He's a regular bit of country turf. Green and fresh. Else do you think I'd recommend him?” Asked Crossbone very earnestly..
“I almost think I mean I'm pretty sure that is, I will try him,” said Snipeton.
“ Then between ourselves, I've recommended you a treasure. And-stop ; I was about to go, forgetting the most important thing. You heard me say that dumps were catching? I hope you've thought of that. Now, that Mrs. Wilton—the housekeeper-she'd ruin any young woman. Bless you ! She's hypochondria in petticoats.”
“Humph! I don't know ; I prefer a serious woman for her calling. Perhaps a little over melancholy to be sure, nevertheless”
“ Well, I'll say no more. After all, she may only seem melancholy to us. There may be a great deal of fun in her, for all we know. Some people remind us of mourning coaches at a funeral : the outside's dull and solemn enough; and so, folks never think of the jokes that 's flying inside of 'em. As a professional man I know this, Mr. Snipeton; and therefore I hate your very grave-looking people. If they really are what they look, they ’re bad ; if they arn’t, they're worse. And in a word—I might say more if I chose, but I won't-in a word, I don't think that Mrs. Snipeton NO. XVII.-TOL. III,