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mother, endeavoured to please all parties, and succeeding with difficulty. Well, Mr. Joseph, how goes on the flute ?” said old Jennings. And he grinned maliciously, as though he longed to laugh at him. “ The flute, Mr. Joseph; can you play the Aute?” said Brownrigg.
" A little, Sir,” was the modest reply. “I did not bring it with me, Sir,” said Joseph, looking very harmless. “I wish I had, if I had thought Mr. Jennings would have liked to hear it.”
This modest reply almost subdued old Jennings, who was not naturally an illtempered man. “ I remember, my dear, said he to his wife, “when I used to try at it to please you.
“ It was not the flute, dear,” said Mrs. J. “ it was the flageolet, if you remember.
" True, love, so it was;" and this little good-natured dialogue seemed to put them all right again, when in straggled Miss Fanny from a warm walk, and she seemed to look round for the introduction to the new visitor.
Louisa, looking at Joseph with an air of protection, said, “ you forget, Mr. Joseph, to introduce this gentleman.”
- What! don't you know who it is, love ?” said her father. “ Dear me, no, Papa ; 'tis never the fashion to know any body 'till they are introduced, you know. I should never
It's all very
pretend to be acquainted ;” and before she could finish her speech, her father burst out, “ Pretend, pretend; always some pretension or other. Would you pretend to tell me, that you don't know who that gentleman is. Why is'nt he the rich tobacconist as have left off business, and have come to settle in these parts? Is’nt he that nice girl's uncle, Esther Humphries? Why, how often have you seen him at church! Come, come, girls, do leave off nonsense, pray.
well for fine folks that have got nothing else to do, but for you who have got your living to get 'tis quite out of the way. Never let me hear any more on't.”
Brownrigg had a great deal of tact, a great deal of kind feeling, and he began to pity the poor Jennings's; thought they were silly, harmless girls, and traced a great many of their faults where they were indeed due, to the father and mother. He came upon an errand which he must not forget; namely, to divert the parties present, and to bring Joe back safe to the Brow. So he said, “ Sir, we young people, you know,” looking arch, “ must needs catch the fashion of the times, even though we may not be as wise as our forefathers. “ Ha, ha, ha,” said old Jennings; “ Very
true, Sir; very true ;” and seemed exceedingly to enjoy Mr. Brownrigg's wit. “ You've not long come from London, Sir, I think ?” “ Not very long." And now Joe began to hope he should get a little private conversation with Miss Louisa ; and he was endeavouring to edge his chair a little closer, but Brownrigg turned from the father, and said, You have never, ladies, asked me one word of the fashions, though I was in the Regent's Park Sunday three weeks, and passed the king as close as I am sitting to you at this moment." “ Did you, indeed, Sir?” said Mrs. J., wondering. Yes, ma'am: and I thought his Majesty looked remarkably well, and I was very glad of it.” And here Joe, who never could let an opportunity slip to tell what he had heard, observed, "that people wer’nt so fond of the king now, and that many people that he knew did'nt approve of his goings on. “ Pray, Sir,” said Jennings, “what can the people that you know have to do with the king? I'd have you take care, Mr. Joseph, how you get acquainted with such people.” Brownrigg fidgetted, looked at his watch, and asked the ladies if they had any objection to a walk? “Not the least," was the reply; and up they started to fetch bonnets, &c.
No sooner did they return, than Brown
his arm to Miss Louisa'; and old Jennings, looking out after them, said,
Why, ah, that will do; if the girl can fancy him; and he's foolish enough to take such a doll of a thing, I've no objection.
“ And now, which way shall we walk, ladies?” said Brownrigg.
Miss Fanny and Miss Tiny had always been offended with Joe, for his preference to Louisa; so, that when he offered his arm to them, they declined it, saying,
They thanked him, they had rather not. So Joe grew sulky, angry with Louisa, and walked on without a single observation, till they reached the side of the river; when, arm in arm with his two daughters, Mr. Lascelles met them. Brownrigg did not altogether like his post, particularly as the circumstances of the morning had brought Mr. Lascelles in some degree into the plot, with the exception of the kind part Brownrigg was acting; but he was past the age at which we care much for the opinions of others; so he made Mr. Lascelles a very profound bow, and passed on with his lady. “ And pray Miss Jennings,” said he,“ what do you think of your parson?" Had Miss J. known exactly Mr. B.'s opinion, her's would undoubtedly have been the same. At last she ventured to say, “ She believed he was a particu
larly good kind of man; but he was rather too strict, she must own, for her.”. “Why, Ma'am, I've been of your opinion,” said Mr. Brownrigg, “ sometimes. Indeed, I thought so this morning, when he gave us the exhortation." “The exhortation! Dear me, Sir, what was that; I did not hear a word of it"-" Why we_” Brownrigg began to repent that he had said any thing but he was in for it—" Why, we had an exhortation to the newly-married at the Brow."
Oh, at the Brow, Sir, not in the church.” No, Ma'am, not in the church." “ How long, Sir,” said Miss L., if it is not impertinent, pray how long has Mr. Michael Kemp been engaged to Miss Humphries?” Brownrigg thought it was impertinent; so slightly bending to Miss L., “ Really Madam it is a question I never asked.”
Pray, Sir," said Miss L., finding it difficult to supply conversation, “ What is an exhortation ?" Ma'am, exhortations are of many kinds ; but the exhortation this morning, was to engage us all to lead a religious life, and for the single to get married as fast they could. Was'nt that it Mr. Joseph ? And you see here, Madam, Mr. Joe and I, in obedience to Mr. Li's kind command, only waited till dinner was over, and here we are, you see.” Miss Tiny, who did not