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Satirical anfc tumorous.
A VISIT ON BUSINESS.
1 He Abberlys were at dinner when their guests arrived, the guests themselves having dined early, to please the old gentleman, at some distance from the metropolis. The meal was speedily finished, and the dessert put down, and Arden, who, as the reader may imagine, was most anxious to hear tidings of his misguided nephew, commenced a series of inquiries upon the interesting subject, when Mrs. Abberly interrupted the conversation, by asking her husband " just to ring the bell."
This request having been complied with, a servant appeared, to whom his mistress whispered, " Tell Dawes to bring the children:" the man disappeared,and the lady, turning to Louisa, with one of those sweet smiles which ladies about to praise themselves are in the habit of putting on, said, " We are very old fashioned folks, Miss
VOL. III. B
Neville. Mr. A. and myself make it a rule to have all the children round us every day after dinner—some people don't like it, but I hope and trust we shall never be so fashionable as that comes to."
Miss Neville was about to rejoin something very laudatory, touching infantine attraction and maternal affection, when a considerable uproar and squalling was heard in the hall, and the parlour door flying open, Dawes made her appearance, attended by seven fine healthy creatures, varying in their height from four feet two to two feet four, and in their ages from ten to three years. Chairs were ranged round the table for the young fry, who were extremely orderly and well behaved for a short time, and in the first instance taken to the colonel to be praised: the old gentleman, who was not particularly fond of nestlings at any time, but whose whole heart and soul were at the present moment occupied in the affairs of his prodigal nephew, kissed one and patted the other, and " blessed the little heart" of this one, and " pretty deared" that one, until the ceremony of inspection and approbation having been fully gone through, the whole party was turned over to Louisa, to undergo a second similar operation; after this, they were placed upon the chairs assigned to them, Dawes retired, and the conversation was resumed.
"And pray now," said the colonel, " what is your real opinion, Mr. Abberly, of the state of poor George's pecuniary affairs?"
"Sir," said Abberly, " I really think, if you wish me to speak candidly Maria, my dear, look at Georgina,—she is spilling all the sugar over the table."
"Georgina," said Mrs. Abberly, emphatically, "keep still, child; Sophy, help your sister to some sugar."
"I really believe," continued Mr. Abberly,
"that Mr. George Arden Sophy, put down
that knife,—Maria, that child will cut her finger off, how can you let her do so—I wonder at you —upon my word, Sophy, I am quite ashamed of you."
"Sophy, you naughty girl," cried her mamma, "put down that knife directly, or I'll send you up stairs."
"I was only cutting the cake, ma," said Sophy.
"Don't do it again, then, and sit still," exclaimed the mother, and turning to Louisa, added in an undertone, " Pretty dears, it is so difficult to keep them quiet at that age."
"Well, sir," again said the colonel, " but let me beg you to tell me seriously what you advise then to be done in the first instance."
"Why, there is but one course," answered the lawyer, who was a man of first rate talent; "you know, sir, there are different modes of treating different cases, but in this instance the course, I
think, is clear and evident Tom, you naughty
child, you'll be down; get off the back of Colonel Arden's chair directly."
"What a funny pigtail," exclaimed somebody, in reference to a minute article of that sort worn by the colonel. Sophy laughed, and slapped her brother's shoulder.