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As May had passed, so also passed the greater part of June; and the long vacation being near at hand, a letter came from Mrs. Bonville, informing Mr. Dalben that Edgar had set his heart upon spending his vacation with him, an becoming acquainted with that most delightful young man, viz. Mr. Henry Milner; adding, with her usual flippancy, “ I have been calculating Mr. Milner's age, and I think that he must now be about sixteen, or on the verge of it; it must, therefore, be no longer Master Henry, but Mr. Milner. I shall apprise my Edgar of this, and beg him to treat him with all the respect due to his advanced age.” Mr. Dalben uttered a sort of
groan as he folded up the letter, adding, “ Well, so as the young man comes alone, it may
any rate, we must
endeavour to serve the poor boy; perhaps we may be of some use to him, if we make it our object, with the Divine blessing, so to be.”
Two days after the arrival of this letter, whilst Mr. Dalben and Henry were one morning engaged with their studies, the two younger Mr. Hargraves called. Although they had only asked for Edgar Bonville, they were ushered into the study, where, finding themselves in the presence of Mr. Dalben, they made a very short visit, leaving behind them the sweet assurance of another call as soon as Mr. Bonville should have made his appearance.
Mr. Dalben's politeness was put to a somewhat severe test on the occasion; and as soon as they were gone, he broke out more vehemently than was customary with him:-“ I had hoped,” he said, “to have done young Bonville some service; but if these persons are to be continually haunting my house whilst he is here, there is little hope. Edgar is to take his degree during the next term, and every moment is now precious to him; but how will it be possible for him to study, if he is to be thus interrupted ? However, Henry Milner, in order to set this matter at rest, for once and for ever, remember that
make engagements in which I cannot be a party."
“ I thank you, uncle," replied Henry, " for
laying this command upon me; it is so comfortable sometimes to be commanded."
Mr. Dalben smiled, for his irritable feelings were evaporated, and asked an explanation of Henry's remark. • Why, uncle,” replied Henry,
66 when one is afraid of being tempted to do what is wrong, to have a person in authority to say, 'I command you to keep out of the way of that temptation, or not to go to that place,' is so vastly pleasant! I cannot bear being managed by a soft person.
“ I am sure, Henry, you would not like a hard manager,” replied Mr. Dalben; “but there is much reason in your remark. A ruler, who, in material points, wants firmness, by no means conduces to the happiness of his subjects."
About three o'clock on the following day, a chaise and pair, well laden with baggage, drove to the door, and from thence issued a young man, dressed in the extreme of the fashion, Henry, who was sitting in his projecting window in the roof when this young gentleman stepped out of the carriage, thought of the nobleman whom he had met at Worcester, and also recollected the Clent Green cognomen of this same nobleman. It must be remembered, that birds are as well known by the colours of
their plumage, as by such of their qualifications as are less observable by the eye. Henry, however, hastened down to receive the visitor, whom he could not doubt was Mr. Bonville, and was met by him in the hall with an urbanity and graciousness of manners which at once banished from his mind every unkind feeling which might have harboured there in those times when he had been accustomed to associate Edgar Bonville in his mind with Wellings, Roger, and the young Hargraves; and as he followed him into the study, and witnessed his meeting with Mr. Dalben, he was more and more inclined to like him.
Edgar Bonville was more than commonly handsome, though, perhaps, his features were of rather too delicate and feminine a cast, and hardly indicated great strength of constitution. His eyes were of a dark and liquid blue, his brow open, his nose and mouth finely turned, and his hair so well set, that it could scarcely be tortured into an ungraceful form; and although his figure was disguised by the affectation of the most knowing attire, yet it was particularly elegant, though not robust. His manners, too, were remarkably pleasing; and though not possessing the dignity of Marten’s, yet wanting that supercilious air which the latter knew so well how to assume in society where he did not think it worth his while to make himself agreeable ; but there was nothing of this in Edgar Bonville. His manner, on the contrary, seemed to be particularly warm, and he did not appear to despise the good opinion of the very lowest person with whom he might happen to enter into contact;—a sort of feeling, which he presently made evident by the manner in which he dismissed the postilion at the hall door, and recommended his sundry packages to the care of Mr. Dalben's servants.
Henry, having shown him to the room which Marten had occupied, returned to the study, and looked earnestly in his uncle's face, as if he desired to read therein bis opinion respecting their visitor.
“ A pleasing young man, Henry," said Mr. Dalben; “ very pleasing. There is much of the suaviter in modo there, but I fear that the fortiter in re may be deficient; yet, on the whole, I am better pleased with him by far than I could have hoped. Poor fellow ! I hope, Henry, that we may be able to benefit him.”
Why do you say, poor fellow! uncle ?" asked Henry. “ Do you mean any thing particular?"
“ We shall see, Henry,” replied Mr. Dalben;