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Heart A Social Novel   By: (1810-1889)

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A Social Novel.



Author of Proverbial Philosophy.

Hartford: Published by Silas Andrus & Son. 1851.




"Is he rich, ma'am? is he rich? ey? what what? is he rich?"

Sir Thomas was a rapid little man, and quite an epicure in the use of that luscious monosyllable.

"Is he rich, Lady Dillaway? ey? what?"

"Really, Thomas, you never give me time to answer," replied the quintescence of quietude, her ladyship; "and then it is perpetually the same question, and "

"Well, ma'am, can there be a more important question asked? I repeat it, is he rich? ey? what?

"You know, Sir Thomas, we never are agreed about the meaning of that word; but I should say, very."

As Lady Dillaway always spoke quite softly in a whisper, she had failed to enlighten the knight; but he seemed, notwithstanding, to have caught her intention instinctively; for he added, in his impetuous, imperious way,

"No nonsense now, about talents and virtues, and all such trash; but quick, ma'am, quick is the man rich?"

"In talents, as you mention the word, certainly, very rich; a more clever or accomplished "

"Cut it short, ma'am cut it short, I say I'll have no adventurers, who live by their wits, making up to my daughter pedantic puppies, good for ushers, nothing else. What do they mean by knowing so much? ey? what?"

"And then, Sir Thomas, if you will only let me speak, a man of purer morals, finer feelings, higher Christian "

"Bah! well enough for curates: go on, ma'am go on, and make haste to the point of all points is he rich?"

"You know I never will make haste, Thomas, for I never can have patience, and you shall hear; I am little in the habit of judging people entirely by their purses, not even a son in law, provided there is a sufficiency on the one side or the other for "

"Quick, mum quick rich rich? will the woman drive me mad?" and Sir Thomas Dillaway, Knight, rattled loose cash in both pockets more vindictively than ever. But the spouse, nothing hurried, still crept on in her sotto voce adantino style,

"Mr. Clements owes nothing, has something, and above and beside all his good heart, good mind, good fame, good looks, good family, possesses a contented "

"Pish! contented, bah!" our hasty knight's nose actually curled upwards in utter scorn as he added, "Now, that's enough quite enough. I'll bet a plum the man's poor. Contented indeed! did you ever know a rich man yet who was contented ey? mum ey? or a poor one that wasn't ey? what? I've no patience with those contented fellows: it's my belief they steal away the happiness of monied men. If this Mr. Clements was rich rich, one wouldn't mind so much about talents, virtues, and contentment work house blessings; but the man's poor, I know it poo o or!"

Sir Thomas had a method quite his own of pronouncing those contradictory monosyllables, rich and poor: the former he gave out with an unctuous, fish saucy gusto, and the word seemed to linger on his palate as a delicious morsel in the progress of delightful deglutition; but when he uttered the word poor, it was with that "mewling and puking" miserable face, appropriated from time immemorial to the gulping of a black draught.

"No, Lady Dillaway, right about's the next word I shall say to that smooth looking pauper, Mr. Henry Clements to think of his impudence, making up to my daughter, indeed! a poo o o r man, too."

"I did not tell you he was poor, Sir Thomas: you have run away with that idea on your own account: the young man has enough for the present, owes nothing for the past, and reasonable expectations for the

"Future, I suppose, ey? what? I hate futures, all the lot of 'em: cash down, ready money, bird in the hand, that's my ticket, mum: expectations, indeed! Well, go on go on; I'm as patient as a as a mule, you see; go on, will you; I may as well hear it all out, Lady Dillaway."

"Well, Sir Thomas, since you think so little of the future, I will not insist on expectations; though I really can only excuse your methods of judging by the fancy that you are far too prudent in fearing for the future: however, if you will not admit this, let me take you on your own ground, the present; perhaps Mr... Continue reading book >>

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