Слике страница
PDF
ePub

After a short interval, being left to refection, I began to recollect that I had done wrong in taking a draught from a stranger, and so prudently resolved upon following the purchaser, and having back my horse. But this was now too late: I therefore made directly homewards,' resolving to get the draught changed into money at my friend's as fast as possible. I found my honest neighbour smoaking his pipe at his own door, and informing him that I had a small bill upon him, he read it twice over. - You can read the name, • I suppose,' cried I, - Ephraim Jenkin6 son.' Yes,' returned he, the name is

written plain enough, and I know the ' gentleman too, the greatest rascal under • the canopy of heaven. of heaven. This is the

very • fame rogue who fold us the spectacles.

Was he not a venerable looking man, • with grey hair, and no flaps to his • pocket-holes ? And did he not talk ' a long string of learning about Greek, • and cosmogony, and the world ? To this I replied with a groan. Aye,'

[ocr errors]

G 3

con

continued he, he has but that one piece • of learning in the world, and he always • talks it away whenever he finds a scholar

in company: but I know the rogue, and < will catch him yet.'

Though I was already sufficiently mortified, my greatest struggle was to come, in facing my wife and daughters. No truant was ever more afraid of returning to school, there to behold the master's visage, than I was of going home. I was determined, however, to anticipate their fury, by first falling into a passion myself.

1

But, alas, upon entering, I found the family no way disposed for battle. My wife and girls were all in tears, Mr. Thornhill having been there that day to inform them, that their journey to town was entirely over. The two ladies having heard reports of us from some malicious person about us, were that day set out for London. He could neither discover the tendency, nor the author of these, but whatever

they

they might be, or whoever might have broached them, he continued to assure our family of his friendship and protection. I found, therefore, that they bore my

dir appointment with great resignation, as it was eclipsed in the greatness of their own. But what perplexed us most was to think who could be so bafe as to asperse the character of a family so harmless as ours, too humble to excite envy, and too inoffensive to create disgust,

[blocks in formation]

CHAP. XV.

THI

All Mr. Burchell's villainy at once detected. The folly of being over-wise. HAT evening and part of the fol

lowing day was employed in fruitless attempts to discover our enemies : scarce a. family in the neighbourhood but incurred our suspicions, and each of us had reasons for our opinion best known to ourselves. As we were in this perplexity, one of our little boys, who had been playing abroad, brought in a letter-case, which he found on the green. It was quickly known to belong to Mr. Burchell, with whom it had been seen, and upon examination, contained some hints upon different subjects; but what particularly engaged our attention, was a fealed note, fuperfcribed, the copy of a letter to be sent to the ladies at Thornhill-castle. It instantly occurred that

« ПретходнаНастави »