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town till a later period of the season. None of the party were au fait at the minutiæ of a continental journey, except Mr. Wilmot, who, though he did not go out with them to give personal directions, furnished them with such information on every subject, as rendered the whole perfectly easy: Every member of the family became more and more interested in him; and it was with regret that they heard him, after having done every thing in his power to facilitate their plans, propose to spend the month, that must necessarily intervene before their departure, in visiting some friends in a distant part of the country. Sir Charles Melville however could make no objection, and he accordingly fixed the day for his departure.
The evening before, it was arranged that on his return they should proceed to Calais, the shortest passage being desirable at that season of the year; and then, as the ordi . nary road to Paris is very devoid of interest, it was settled that they should go by
Dunkirk to Lisle and Mons, and thence to the metropolis of France." You will of course see lord Burton there, Charles," said sir Charles Melville to his son, " and from his long residence, he will no doubt be able to give you a great deal of infore mation."
“I will call on my cousin of course," re. plied Charles ;:“ I have a great curiosity to see him. : You, knowing Mr. Malden so well, have in all probability seen lord Bur: ton I should suppose, Mr. Wilmot, have
$ I have been frequently in company with him," replied the other ; « indeed I bave spent a great deal of time in Paris myself, and know every part of it.”
“ You know you are speaking of my cousin, and therefore would not speak any ill of him if you thought it,” rejoined Charles; “ but I should like candidly to hear your opinion of him.”
$ Well, candidly then," replied Mr. Wilmot, " I think him a very ordinary
character, nothing particular about him at all,"except that he is very grave and de pressed from particular circumstances, that you no doubt are aware of; that is all that has struck me."
16-But is he not a man of very great talent and information?" demanded Charles.
Perhaps more information than talent," replied the other, " at least in my opinion; I have not had the best opportunity of judging of him.”
“ I have been told,” continued Charles, " that his feelings of benevolence, generosity, and honour, were only equalled by his talent, information, and judgment.”
« May I ask," said Mr, Wilmot, “ from whom you received this character of him? for in any point where our opinion must rest upon the judgment of another, we ought first to ascertain how far their mind is restrained by the want of opportunity to investigate, or fettered by previous prejudices.” " I had it,” replied Charles, “ from a
source of course favourable to Frederic; lady Mary Burton was my informant.”
“Oh, the excusable exaggeration of a sister !” said Mr. Wilmot: “ you cannot judge from such authority as that; after all, your own observation will be the most satisfactory; so keep your mind open till you see him yourself that will be time enough to judge. At present I will take leave of you for a little, as I suppose you will not be up before my departure tomorrow.”
The next morning, at a very early hour, Mr. Wilmot set off on his journey, leaving behind him a greater blank in the family of sir Charles Melville, than any of them had supposed could have arisen from the absence of a man they had not known a fortnight. This was felt peculiarly by Mr. Melville, who having finished all the preparations for his journey, experienced all the dullness of London, at that season of the year when none are to be found in town but such as accident or necessity forces to become its inhabitants.
You, Decius, too, from common frailties free,
The Stage-Coach. A LITTLE beyond Wincanton, the Exeter coach was driving rapidly past a carriage which had broken down in the road, when one of the servants who was engaged in removing the luggage from the damaged vehicle, stopped the stage, and putting two portmanteaus on the top, desired that they might be left at the inn at Exeter. The arrangement was soon made, and the coach drove on: but it was not destined to far before it received a second interruption, which proceeded from