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sport, had he not been thus interrupted, does not appear; but this is certain, that he had wished himself at home more than twenty times during that morning.
When the party were called from the rickyard, Henry Milner, who was the last to understand the call, had also been the last to arrive at the house; and, entering in by the brick passages before mentioned, he took a wrong turn, and found himself at the entrance of a butler's pantry, where he saw before him Benjamin Hargrave, in close conversation with the foot-boy. The backs of these friends (for they seemed on the strictest terms of intimacy) were towards Henry as he came to a stand in the door-way-for it was natural for him, when he found himself where he had not expected to be, to come to a stand; and it was also impossible for him, thus situated, not to hear two or three sentences of a conversation which was passing between them-sentences, however, which he
paid so little attention to at the time, that he probably might never have recollected them, had not circumstances arisen which caused him to call them to mind.
“Now, mind, Joe—be sure you mind,” said the young squire—"don't froth it."
“Ees, ees, sir, I minds," returned the footman, in that tone of voice which indicates a strong, yet repressed inclination to laughter ; “haalf and haalf, did you say, sir ?”
• Pooh, pooh,” replied the other, “two thirds: any how—he'll never find it.” But Henry heard no more, for, to use a sporting phrase, he had recovered the right scent again, in which he was assisted by a servant maid, who passed before him with a savoury dish ; and following this lead, he presently found himself in the dining-parlour, some moments before the two heroes of the pantry made their appearance.
Mrs. Hargrave caused Henry to set by her during dinner, and bestowed upon him her very particular attention ; and the two young ladies were not behind in their civilities. He was to have the very best at table; and Mrs. Bonville repeated much which Dr. Matthews had said of him in his letter. Henry blushed, and blushed, and wished that the dinner was over, at the same time feeling a sort of inward satisfaction at being thus singled out as the object of so much attention.
At length the cricket-match was spoken of, and Mrs. Hargrave was telling him what and whom he would see in the field, when he ventured to say that it would not be in his power to go, as it was some miles from the Ferns, and Mr. Dalben would be alarmed if he were out late—appealing to Mrs. Bonville to support his arguments.
“ You shall be put on a very quiet pony, Master Milner,” said Mrs. Hargrave, “as you are not accustomed to ride; and as Mr. Dalben's house is quite as near the cricket-ground as this is, my eldest son shall ride back with you to Mr. Dalben's, and I will take care that Mrs. Bonville is taken safely home; so that you need not be under the least alarm respecting her."
In this way was Henry, for an instant, quite overpowered and overpersuaded, yet he was not easy; for although there is no manner of harm in the game of cricket, yet he perfectly knew that his uncle did not wish him to be introduced into such society as he should meet with there, or, indeed, into any society which might lead him from home, at a time of life when every day was of importance to him. However, he knew that Mr Dalben was not harsh, and that when he should have told him all, he would be satisfied that it would have been very difficult for him to have resisted the solicitations of so many persons older than himself. Whilst thinking of these things, he called for some small beer, and some liquor being brought in a silver cup, he swallowed it without taking his breath, being very thirsty.
He thought that the last drop tasted bitter, but thought no more of it till a few minutes afterwards, when he felt an odd sensation in his head, and the pictures on the wall began to look somewhat awry; he rubbed his eyes, and shook his head once or twice, as if to ascertain whether it stood straight on his shoulders; at the same time wondering what could be the matter with him. “What ails Benjamin ?" exclaimed Miss
see, mamma, how he looks, as if he would tilt over his chair. And Samuel, too," she added, “ he will choke by and bye ;—what can ail them ?”
“ What is the jest?” said the elder brother, gravely; “let us have none of your practical jokes here, young gentleman, I beg; we have enough of those in the stable ; rein up, rein up,