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a very elegant young man of large fortune, (the man and his fortune were both in the moon) but when you approached me, I totally forgot his existence, and now I see him coming to reproach me,-I tremble for the consequences, -I would not for worlds embroil you in a freecaw (fracas) on my account !
Sir Herbert Sedley could scarce repressa smile at the extreme absurdity of Miss Matilda Williams, but as no infuriated youth approached to call him to account for his monopoly, her fears were soon appeased, and the dance ended. Sedley then hoped that his task was over, but to his cost, he found that his fair partner was of a different way of thinking. She remained tacked to bis arm, and even refused taking any refreshment, being unwilling to release her victim; she was so much accustomed to see her partners take advantage of the first moment of recovered liberty to make their escape, that, although she found Sedley less refractory in his bonds than most of his predecessors, she dared not make the experiment.
As poor Sedley was paraded about the rooms, he felt strongly inclined to ask the fair Matilda if she had ever read “Mazeppa," but his halfformed resolution was frustrated by Mrs. Williams, who came up to ask her daughter some question. The kind mother at length concluded by saying,
“Do you feel tired love ?”
“Not in the slightest degree,” replied her daughter, “when the mind is deeply engaged in intellectual communion, the frame feels not the ills of life.”
Just at these words a gallant son of Mars, who had come over to the ball from an adjacent garrison, to exhibit his uniform and his ferocious moustaches to the admiring belles of happened to come swaggering along, trying to look unconscious of the enormous sensation be created. Most unhappily, in passing the fair Matilda Williams, one of his spurs got entangled in the light drapery of her muslin dress, and an alarming rent was the consequence.
Matilda's sentimentality quite vanished at this his heart as the carriage rattled through the paved streets, and the town's-people took off their hats respectfully to the young heir of the ancient house of Sedley.
There was the clear river, blue and winding, as it had been then ; there were the pleasureboats he had so often aided in rowing, when his buoyant spirits nerved his arm and rendered him invulnerable to fatigue; there was the stable-yard, bustling and noisy, as it had been of yore, when he used to gallop his spirited little pony into it, and pull him up with a suddenness which nearly threw him on his haunches.
Sedley noted all these things, and felt the contrast. He was come back to his native place an altered being; and, instead of imparting beauty to every scene and object from the sunshine of his own feelings, he came to seek comfort and peace from their silent loveliness.
Sedley continued his journey, and reached home before sunset.
The next day was. Sunday, and he went to
church, exciting a sensation of which he was wholly unconscious. Many were the plans already formed against his peace of mind. One very romantic young lady of thirty-five, who never wore any bonnet but one of a cottage shape, and always appeared in white muslin, and outrageously long ringlets of an evening, had made quite sure of captivating poor Sedley. She calculated on meeting him very soon at some dinner-party in the neighbourhood; and having heard that he was a man of refined taste, she had prepared a little conversation for the occasion, wherein she had intended to tell him that Byron's enchanting lines on the Venus had inspired her with an unquenchable desire to visit Italy; but that, unhappily for her, she saw no chance of being taken there by her Papa. She also intended informing him that nature must have designed her for a poetess, so thoroughly did her whole soul love the beauties of the sublime Byron and the divine Moore. She had also selected two or three Italian songs, with which she intended com