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seldom, and quietly; but whatever he did say was sure to monopolize all attention, and force its way directly to conviction.
Charles had lately only been accustomed to mix with the fashionable society of London, where he found himself equal to any in elegance, and superior to most, both in information and accomplishments, or with the neighbouring country gentlemen, who could not enter into any .competition with him, and consequently he had over-appreciated bis own abilities; but Mr. Wilmot was so far above either, that he felt all his confidence in his own acquirements leaving him very fast.
Sir Charles Melville was as much struck and delighted with their new acquaintance as his son had been, and all arrangements between them were speedily concluded: To Mr. Malden he expressed himself highly obliged for the pleasure he had procured him, and begged that he would make a short stay with them at Broomhill, before they went to London to make
the necessary preparations for their tour. Mr. Malden readily accepted the invitation, and Caroline Melville seemed 'to think the society of the young clergyman a great addition to their party, to the great amusement of Charles, who declared he had never seen his sister enter into a regular flirtation with any one before.
Mr. Malden, though several years older than his companion, was of a much more lively disposition, entering into all the amusements of those around with cheerfulness and alacrity, while Mr. Wilmot avoided society as much as he could, and spent the best part of the day in his own apartment; but yet there was a charm in his conversation that made all seek for it, and a superiority in his deportment that made the very proudest yield him respect and attention.
Mr. Malden did not leave the party at sir Charles Melville's till the day before they set out for London; and on his departure received a pressing invitation to
renew his visit on the first occasion, that he conveniently could.
On the next day, very early in the morning, the whole party, including Mr. Wilmot, commenced their journey in one of the worst days that that time of year can produce. Sir Charles Melville, who was peculiar in many things, carried the hastiness of all his movements into travelling as well as every thing else, and whatever was the length of his journey, he proceeded night and day, being seized of a holy horror at sleeping within the walls of an inn, which greatly discomposed all parts of his family but himself.
Caroline as usual did not fail to remonstrate on the present occasion, but in vain. This was a point on which the baronet was immoveable, and consequently on they went
When morning dawned the next day, they found themselves passing the lions at the gates of Sion House, and shortly after arrived at famed Hyde-Park-corner,
which presented itself to their view with all the decorations of a London fog, of that bright yellow description that makes the place look like a great city in the jaundice.
Certainly the most melancholy time to enter London is at seven o'clock on a morning of misty November, before the streets are filled with their busy and peculiar multitude, or are adorned with the gay shop windows, wherein the people, like the eastern nations on rejoicings, have displayed “ their richest stuffs and finest carpets." But at that time, which is only fit for yawning and lighting fires, nothing is to be seen but the bare, sloppy pavement, occasionally trod by some labourer trudging to his unceasing toil, and the dirty window-shutters tightly fastened to the well-smoked brick walls, except where some housemaid washes the stone before the door, or some more early shopkeeper slowly pulls out the fastenings, and lets the dull light into the reluctant gloom of
his shop. At the same time a thousand names strike your eye, painted in large letters over the windows, which you never think of observing in the more busy time of day. London then looks truly horrible--the very abode of uncheerfulness.
Such was the morning and the time that greeted the arrival of sir Charles Melville's family to the largest and dullest metropolis in the universe; and the rain, which continued to fall through the fog during the whole day, prevented them from attending to any thing further than the mere settling themselves in their town-house, which looked dreary from the weather and strange from absence.
The next day, however, they proceeded to make the arrangements necessary for their tour. Holditch was set to work to fit up one of his strong travelling carriages in a still stronger manner; but this it was found would take a month or six weeks to do; and sir Charles began to regret that he had not delayed coming to