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Some fretful tempers wince at every touch
ASHBOURNE, don't walk about the room so fast,” said lady Rosvellyn te her son, as he paced hastily up and down the large library where she was sitting by the fire; “stopping every mo
ment to speak, and turning round like a weathercock, so constantly, you make such a current of air in the room, I shall catch cold. Ah, surely you have been reading Dante so long, you wish we should both share the pains of purgatory along with Paulo and Francesca. Sit down, if you value
comfort.” Very well, mother, I will go out of the house and walk."
“ Worse, my dear child; the snow will soak through your boots I shall have you
laid up with an ulcerated sore throat; and, delicate as you are, your constitution will be ruined, and you will die in a decline."
Really, as you are so fearful,” reć joined the obedient son, out walking, but play a game at battledore"
“ Don't finish the sentence!" screamed her ladyship. “ Shuttlecock! horrid !-it makes me tremble like an aspen leaf to hear it mentioned even; my al
“ I will not go
ready-weak nerves would be absolutely unstrung by the knock, knock, knock ing again of that abominable pastime.”
Lord Ashbourne siniled good-humouredly, and, with an unruffled brow and serene aspect, took down a volume of lord Clarendon's Rebellion, seated himself by the library-table, drew a reading-desk near him, and had just turned over two pages of the book, when his mother's voice was again heard, exclaiming, in accents of alarm and agitation-"Ashbourne, the inflammation in your eyes! Gracious Heaven! my only son will be blind before he is thirty, poring over those eternal books for ever; leaning on the table too! your chest, Howard, believe me, will get as narrow as a
Chicken's, madam," interrupted lord Ashbourne, starting up impatiently ; “but really, if you were not so chickenhearted, it would be as well for your own comfort and my repose.”
“ There! there!-so passionate! my life, which is hanging by a single thread, will be broken by your violence; at all events, my spirits will be so dreadfully agitated, I shall be obliged to dine in my own room to-morrow, if you continue to speak so rudely; and then my daughter Caroline will be grieved, and her gunpowder. Hotspur of a husband affronted.”
"Oh, mother, mother, mother!” cried lord Ashbourne,“ do not, let me entreat, let me implore you, work up your feelings to such a state of unheard-of nervousness. Well, I will leave you to solitude and silence, the best opiates to calm the mind, when under the pressure of real or imaginary evil'; and, as you certainly dislike society, and detest walking, talking, reading, or any other amusement under heaven, except scolding, I myself will depart, and go out riding, to try to gallop away the demons of spleen and ill-nature, who at present
seem inclined to be my constant and only companions. Much do I fear, however, that they will also Montes en croupe et gallopes avec moi.”
So saying he left the room, without waiting to hear the prohibition he per'ceived lady Rosvellyn only waited time to give utterance to.
Riding, riding, riding !" cried the peevish countess, exalting her shrill voice to its utmost pitch of wonder and alarm, and then sinking it into a most deplorable whine;
my son will be thrown off his restive horse-of course the snow will make him fall asleep-he will be killed on the spot, and there will be an end to the little happiness I enjoy in this miserable world, as well as to that headstrong boy's life. Here am I left alone, with no one to pity my sufferings.”
“ Sufferings, my dear aunt!” said a voice from behind,“ who talks of sufferings? Oh! could I find a pang to