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manner that they had never estimated before; and the very gloom that this sensation cast upon them, made each the less capable of supplying her place to those around. Sir Charles Melville declared that the room looked quite solitary without her, and when at dinner he saw a knife and fork laid in the place where she used to sit, he turned, half grieved, half angry, to the butler, exclaiming—“Do not the people know that lady Mary is gone? I am sure they might have found out that by the dullness of the house, Take away that knife and fork.” Caroline's smiles were gone for the day; and though Charles was the only person who did not, or would not appear altered, yet, after tea, when the party had been accustomed to spend the evening with either vocal or instrumental music, his taste seemed suddenly to have got more critical than usual, for nothing that Caroline could sing or play would please him entirely, * ----- C 4 and
and he was always referring to the manner in which Mary used to sing a particular song, or execute some difficult passage. “Well, Charles,” said Caroline, “you never used to praise Mary so much before her face. It is true, we never know how to esteem a person till we have lost them. Take care that it is not your case some day.” “You mistake me, Caroline,” replied her brother; “I always said, and I always thought, that Mary sang most exquisitely; but I have nothing to do with the schemes which other people choose to form, and I wish you would not speak to me on the subject.” The next day was more dull than the former; and the third, sir Charles having invited a large party to dinner, chiefly composed of their country neighbours, whom Charles pronounced to be semi-barbarous, the drawing-room was pretty full, when Mr. Melville descended from his room. Dinner was not ready, and the heavy ten minutes seemed still more heavy to Charles, who felt himself obliged, in common politeness, to devote his attention to his father's guests, with most of whom he had not one subject in common. At length the sound of a carriage drawing up announced the arrival of somebody more, and drawing near his sister, he whispered to her—“Caroline, I must certainly run away, for if that is a fresh reinforcement of Goths, our small body will be quite overpowered; you know what a coward I am.” “Nay, nay, for Heaven's sake stay, Charles!” replied Caroline, in the same under tone, “for I do not know what to say to them; this old gentlemen has been talking to me of pointers for the last half. hour.” After a moment or two of suspense, the footman threw open the door, announcing —“Mr. Malden.” “Oh, with my tutors” thought Charles, and prepared to see, in the person whom C 5 Mr.
Mr. Malden came to introduce, something tall, formal, and pedantic, with a coat five or six fashions behind, ungainly limbs, and - hands that he did not know what to do with— . . . . . . “So stiff, so starch, some statue, you would swear, Stalked from its pedestal to take the air.” The moment Mr. Malden's name was given, sir Charles Melville started up with his usual quickness, blew his nose heartily to compose his nerves, marched across the room, and took his new guest by the hand, who immediately introduced a gentleman that was with him by the name of Wilmot. ” . . . ; • * , The young stranger advanced. He was a man of very striking appearance—tall, graceful, elegant; he had that perfect ease, that calm, undisturbed quiet of demeanour, that nothing but good society can give. He was perfectly himself, though sir Charles seemed not quite so much so; for whether it was that he did not expect to see that sort of man or not, can bardly be be told; but he first made a dead stop, then shook the stranger by the hand, and asked him how he had been this long time. Then seeing him look somewhat surprised, he begged his pardon, and finding himself awkward.and confused, he called his son to his aid, and introduced him to both the
gentlemen very ceremoniously. Mr. Wilmot bowed, and gazed upon his future pupil, with that kind of easy smile that instantly made pride, vanity, and all the army of self-love, take arms in Charles's bosom, to repel that quiet kind of usurpation of authority which he thought it expressed; and had Charles found him in the least deficient in any point, his spirit of resistance once roused, would never have given way in the least. But it happened otherwise, for every hour, shewed him the superiority of his new companion; and he soon became glad, to secure the friendship of one with whom he could not contend. Yet Mr. Wilmot made no display of his talents; he was grave, spoke C 6 seldom,