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which seemed to have undergone a gradual enlargement, probably because he always talked through it.

"Samuel Gibbons, Esquire," he ejaculated, as he stared at the superscription. "Bless my heart! I'm no squire. I was born plain Samuel Gibbons, and have been so ever since."

True enough in one sense, thought Philip, as he replied,

"Nay, sir, that might have been the case formerly, but now that your daughter has received such an accession of fortune

"Well, that may make a squire of her, and I don't deny it, but it won't make a squire of me, will it? Only to see how dreams do come to pass. I dreamt that I was sitting at my window, and I saw a jackass come to the house, and he brought me a letter."

"I feel infinitely obliged by the implied compliment," said Philip, bowing to the ground, "but you know, sir, that dreams go by contraries." "To be sure they do, to be sure they do let me see, how should we stand then? Why, in that case I do declare the letter would be brought to the ass-he! he! so it would; how very funny! Any way it makes out my dream. I dreamt of a letter, and here is a letter! Wonderful!" This interjection was repeated two or three times during the perusal of the missive, at the conclusion of which he again wiped and replaced his spectacles, and after scrutinising his visitant from head to foot, exclaimed,

"Sure-ly you don't mean to tell me that you're Augustus Davis, little pale-faced Gus that was, the son of my old friend Gabriel?"

"The same, sir, at your service, and at the service of your fair daughter, if I may be so far honoured."


Why, Gus was very short, and almost as dark as a gipsy, while you are tall, and fair, and florid. To be sure boys do change when they grow up to be men, and a few years will sometimes-"

"My dear sir, don't talk of years; this metamorphosis was not the work of time, but effected in a few days by that frightful illness which brought me to death's door, and completely changed my constitution and appearance."

"You don't say so. I never heard of it. What was it called ?"

Gladly would Philip have supported the professional character he had assumed by pouring forth, according to established usage, a cento of long-winded medical terms; but not having any at command, and relying implicitly on the ignorance of his hearer, he put his law vocabulary in requisition, and replied with much fluency, and a very profound air, "Mine, sir, was a complicated case, first manifesting itself in a severe attack of mandamus, which rapidly turned to a nisi-prius, accompanied by fieri-facias."


Shocking! why, your face is fair enough now. Something of a nettle-rash, I suppose?"

"No, indeed, no-a genuine case of pramunire, though Doctor Addlehead seemed to think that it might have originated in habeas corpus, with a latent tendency to certiorari."

"Poor fellow! how you must have suffered with all these terrible complaints ?"

"Tortures, sir, tortures! One day I gave such a terrific scream that it broke a rummer in the next house, stopped the clock, and set all the bells ringing."



"Only to think, what fun! I should like to have heard it. And what did you take to cure you ?"

"In the first instance the doctor gave me a strong decoction of qui tam, but I cannot say it did me much good. The Banco Regis pills allayed the pain, and enabled me occasionally to get some sleep; but I attribute my cure to my taking large and repeated doses of tales de circumstantibus. After such an illness, and such a course of medicine can you wonder at the change in my appearance?"

"La dear, no! I only wonder that you lived-I'm sure I shouldn't. I couldn't have swallowed half those hard words; they would have stuck in my throat, and choked me. Why do you always give Latin names to your physic ?"

Why, sir, we of the faculty consider it more appropriate that our prescriptions should be written in a dead language.'


"Well now, very like it may-you know best, you know best. talking of medicine, our milkman's little girl has got a nasty tumour on her arm, and he was asking me this morning what he had better apply to it."

"Why, sir, I should say a cataplasm."

"La, dear! you wouldn't surely put a cataplasm on such a very little girl, would you?"

"Well then, she may take a kittenaplasm, if she's so small."

"And so she may, I do declare, and so I'll tell her father. And now I must say a word about myself, for I don't feel quite so well as I ought, and I do verily believe I have got something in my head: isn't it funny?"

"Let me feel your pulse, if you please; every thing depends upon that; it is, in point of fact, the coram nobis of the whole system." Here he drew out his handsome gold watch, followed the hand till it had completed sixty seconds, looked particularly sapient, and resumed. "My good sir, don't be uneasy about your head; depend upon it there's nothing in it; only a case of non compos mentis, nothing that a little medicine will not cure; as to the particular prescription we must reflect a little. What says the Pharmacopeia?""

"La, dear! how can I tell? I don't know Farmer Copeer."

The sham apothecary appeared to be deeply cogitating, and then suddenly cried, for he thought he had said enough to establish his professional knowledge: "Sad thing the death of your brother-in-law, Mr. Ruggles, the miller! a very worthy man."

"Poor Matt.! he was, indeed, and such a boxer! took lessons of big Bob. Well, I hope he's happy, but I can't help thinking that if he should want to square his elbows, it must be far from comfortable to find them pinioned down by the sides of the coffin. La, dear, how funny!" "But you have told me nothing about your father, my old friend Gabriel."


Why, sir, you see by his letter that he's a sad invalid. In point of fact, he suffered so frequently from felo de se, that we began to think nature had come to a decided Nolle Prosequi. However, he was mending when I left home."

"And your relations, the Figginses. dyer?"

How's your uncle Sam, the

"Oh, poor fellow, he was so fond of his business that he went one day and died himself."

"No, sure! What colour?"

"I mean that he became a corpse, and so we thought we had a fair excuse for burying him."

"Funny enough, only to think! Well, I am sorry you've lost poor uncle Sam."

Nay, we've not lost him; we know perfectly well where to find him, only he's dead."

"Well, I call that losing him, but I won't be positive, I may be wrong. And your cousin Tony, what's become of him?"

"Tony went to Spain, where he got on so famously, that he has been made harbour-master and port-admiral at Madrid.”

"Only to think! And little Kit?”

"He went to Venice, and has lately been made master of the horse to the doge. Kit drives his own four-in-hand now, and a famous splash he makes when he gallops them over the Rialto."

"Well, I'm not much surprised at that, for Kit was always fond of horses. And Mrs. John Figgins, whom you used to call fat aunt Fanny?"

"Ŏh, she has done the best of all, for she is now monthly nurse to the queen's maids of honour."

"Blessings on us, here's grand doings! How these Figginsees have got on!"

"Yes, they have," said Philip, beginning to think he had done quite enough for the aggrandisement of his unknown relations, and that it would be safer to change the conversation. "They certainly have, but after all, ambition has its drawbacks, and I question whether any of them are half so happy as you must be in this charming cottage, which is really the prettiest I ever saw, and what a profusion of flowers! I suppose you are a botanist."

"La, dear, no! Susan and I are fond of flowers, but neither of us know their fine names: isn't it funny?"

"We of the profession, on the contrary, are obliged to be great botanists, as we use so many flowers in the preparation of our medicines. Indeed, my father and I grow several of the more useful, and our little garden at Bloomsbury contains some very choice specimens of Delirium tremens, Aurora-borealis, and Georgium Sidus."

"Goodness gracious! What fine flowers they must be to have such grand titles. I should like-Aha! there's a ring at the bell. That must be Susan come home, and I'll go and let her in. La, how funny."

With these words, the little old man left the parlour, nor was Philip sorry to see him depart, for, as the exhilaration produced by the champagne gradually subsided, he began to get tired of hoaxing his feeblewitted companion, and to feel half ashamed of the tomfoolery in which the manifest imbecility of his victim had tempted him to indulge.


If the vacant, inane, yet somewhat self-satisfied aspect of the father might well provoke a merry banterer to make him his butt, the gentle,

intelligent, and modest expression of the daughter were not less calculated to awaken in her favour an involuntary feeling of respect. Not that Susan was handsome, for though she had the fair skin, light hair, blue eyes, and blooming cheeks that characterise our Saxon damsels, her features were not very delicately moulded, her face was partially freckled, her well-rounded arms had assumed the hue of the rose rather than the lily, and her figure, though not deficient in symmetry, was too substantial for elegance. But her countenance was irresistible. Its expression was so amiable, so beaming, so genial, that to see her was to love her and so completely did it sober Philip's recent exuberance, that he already regretted his treatment of her father, who, as he feared, might repeat some of the ridiculous buffoonery to which he had given vent.


She entered the parlour in her shawl and bonnet, bearing on her right arm a large basket, the weight of which had imparted a glow to her features which was still further deepened as her father said-" Susan, dear, who do you think this is? Of all the birds in the air and the fishes in the sea, it's neither more nor less than Mr. Davis, the little Gus, you know, that you used to play with. Isn't it funny?"

Her eyes were cast down for a moment, and then raising them and slowly surveying her visitant with a smile of surprise, she exclaimed,— "Pray forgive me if I seem astonished-I should never have guessedwhy papa, you told me that Mr. Davis was—”

"And so he was, my dear, as swarthy and dumpy a little fellow as you could wish to see ; but la! only to think! he was quite transmogrified by an attack of half a dozen illnesses, with names as long as my arm; Gus -I beg his pardon, Mr. Augustus Davis will be good enough to repeat them. But don't do it if it makes your jaws ache. Dear heart! it would put mine out of joint, that's what it would do."

"Miss Gibbons, I'm sure will excuse my reverting to such a painful subject. We of the faculty are apt to be a little too technical, and I fear that I must have wearied her good father with my Latin nomenclature." "Latin, was it Latin? I'm sure it was all Greek to me. So were the long names you stuck to the flowers. Just like a kite's tail they Oh, Susan, Gus-I mean Mr. Davis, is such a botanist!" "And you, Miss Gibbons, are very fond of flowers, as I see by your window sills and your garden; but you do not trouble your head, I hear, about their botanical names."


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"No, indeed; in the first place I should never recollect them, and if I did it would sound in my ears as if I were making strangers and foreigners of my native play-fellows. I don't care about exotics. The commonest flowers and even wild flowers are my chief favourites: and I dare say you will smile-of course you will as a learned botantist, when I add that in their commonest names I find a certain charm, though I cannot exactly say why. What, for instance, can be so pretty, and what can awake such pleasant thoughts as the words heartsease, forget-me-not, traveller's joy, lords and ladies, three-faces-under-a-hood, wake robin, lady's mantle, rest-harrow, columbine, and eyebright, to say nothing of butter-cups and daisies, and violets and primroses?"

"Ay, Susan," cried the old man, "and bachelor's buttons, and love-inidleness, and jump-up-and-kiss-me. You left them out, did you, you sly little puss! He, he, he, my Susan's so shy, isn't it funny?"

"Several of those you have mentioned have valuable medicinal proper

ties," said Philip, seeing that Susan seemed a little disconcerted at her father's silly remark.

"Very likely, but I don't want to think of nasty physic when I'm looking at sweet and beautiful flowers. What I do value in them is their being such cheerful company, and calling up such pleasant recollections by their names and odours. Why, the very smell of primroses and violets makes me a little girl again and sets me running over the fields and up and down the slopes and dells where I used to gather them; and when I read the mere names of others I can almost fancy that I hear the lark twittering in the sky, and Robin the ploughman whistling as he takes his team to the plough, and can see the sun peeping over the hill, fronting the house in which we used to live before we came to Eccleshall."

"I'm delighted to find that you are of such a romantic turn."

"And I am sorry to disappoint you, but really I am not in the least romantic unless the flowers have made me so; at all events, I never read a romance in my life. Until my poor uncle died I had no time, and since we came here I have been too busy in furnishing and fitting up our cottage."

"And hasn't she done it beautifully? Never was such a notable girl as my Susan! Manages every thing, settles all the accounts, looks after the garden; the queen herself could not make nicer pies and puddings, and between you and me, Gus, she makes shirts, aud darns stockings exactly like an angel. Isn't it funny? La, child, you needn't look so sheepish! it's every word true. Here's blushing, and all about nothing."

"It's carrying that heavy basket, papa, that makes me flush so."

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Why of course it's heavy when we've got friends coming to dinner. Why didn't you get a boy to bring it? I'll take it up to the window-seat yonder, to see how you've marketed, and you and Gus-la! I shall never call him Mr. Davis-can chat together as if I wasn't in the room. know what he comes about, and if you don't there's his father's letter to read. What, blushing again! Ah, slyboots, have I found you out? Well, well, never mind; girls will be girls. Only to think!"

Gladly did Susan, to escape from this idle raillery, betake herself to the perusal of the paper handed to her, while Philip, well aware that success in his bold enterprise could only be accomplished by a coup de main, resolved to lose no time in enacting the character he had assumed. To remove all doubts as to his identity, though none such were entertained either by the father or the daughter, as well as to excuse a precipitation which might otherwise have appeared indelicate, he displayed upon the table the various notes and letters which he had surreptitiously obtained, and urging the absolute necessity of his quick return to London, since his father's health prevented his attendance on their numerous patients, earnestly, yet most deferentially, implored pardon from his auditress, if he waived ceremony, and proceeded at once to the all-important object which had brought him to Eccleshall. In further defence of his apparent precipitation, he reminded her that they were in reality old friends, and that as their respective families and circumstances were well known to each other, there was neither necessity nor time for a lengthened courtship. Having thus broken the ice, he proceeded to pay his addresses in due form, but as all love-making is proverbially dull, except to the parties immediately concerned, we shall only record such portions as derived an interest from the interposed, though unheard, mutterings of the old gen

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