It used to be a relaxed, serene day within the first week of August, a few thirty years in the past, whilst, seated in a wide garden-chair within the pleasure-grounds of Woodborough Park, appealing women have been having fun with the pleasant coloration of a great outdated cedar, through whose thick and wide-spreading branches the hot rays of the meridian sunlight have been excluded. It was once midday; no longer a leaf of shrub or tree, through which this sylvan retreat used to be surrounded, fluttered ; now not a breeze stirred adequate to agitate the stately poplars, which raised their tall, spiral heads from
VOL. I. B
the margin of a small lake, mendacity at a quick distance past the backyard, and on whose gentle, silvery floor no longer a zephyr performed, with its silken wing—not even a fish rose to reason a temporary circling ripple at the glassy bosom of its glittering waters. Above, round, underneath all of them nature appeared lulled to sleep, shop that at durations the hoarse cooing of the Cushat dove, echoing during the beech grove above the lake, broke in upon the stillness which reigned around.
Before those reasonable daughters of Eve, who, of approximately an analogous age, had scarcely reached their 17th birthday, lay reclining at the well saved garden, aiding himself carelessly on one arm, his good-looking face became in the direction of them, — the shape of a formative years, who had simply attained his twenty-first year.
"Well, Edmund," stated Agnes Gerard, " so that you are come domestic for the vacations ultimately; we concept you probably did now not intend to honour us in any respect together with your presence this autumn."
"Vacation you must have acknowledged, Agnes; that's the right time period, as utilized by Oxford males; i'm now not a boy," with a contemptuous solid of his higher lip.
" Then what are you, pray ?" requested Agnes, not able to suppress fun at his ill-concealed annoyance ; '* are you a liohhle-de-hoy^ neither guy nor boy ? eh,—Edmund ?" and one other and louder chortle burst forth from the lips of the playful lady; on which Edmund, bobbing up, stated, " I shall now not stay right here one other second, woman Agnes Gerard, to be therefore insulted ;" and, with a haughty examine his reasonable tormentor, which excited extra merriment, and a nonetheless haughtier mien, he became suddenly away right into a stroll which led in the direction of the house.
" Keally, Edith," stated Agnes, " it truly is too absurd in that foolish boy giving himself those airs. I shall now not undergo such pettishness."
"I imagine you provoked it, Agnes," was once the answer; " for nobody loves to be laughed at, and we must never disregard Edmund's kind,
generous disposition, ever so able to do whatever lie thinks will find the money for us pleasure."
"Papa spoils him, Edith, via too nice indulgence. nobody can do whatever correct yet Edmund, in his opinion; and now you'll count I will be lectured for hurting Mr. Edmund's emotions, only simply because he chooses to be in a nasty humour. He used to be to have taken us a force within the pony carriage this afternoon ; yet now, I finish, we should have John instead."
"Oh, no, i feel not," Edith stated; " Edmund won't fail to remember his promise; and that i shall inform him you probably did no longer intend heavily to offend him."
" you are able to do as you please, Edith ; yet I shall make no concession to this petulant boy, who should ask our pardon for leaving us in such an impertinent demeanour; and, as I see the gardener coming this manner, I shall wish him to inform John to prepare to accompany us on horseback, instead of grasp Edmund using us; so come, Edith, and allow us to organize for our excursion."
Whilst the 2 women are hence occupied
in making their rest room, we'll take this chance of touching on whatever extra in their households and themselves, with a brief account of Edmund also.
Agnes Gerard was once the single surviving baby of the Earl of Woodborough—the baby of his outdated age, as he had married overdue in life—her mom having died while she was once simply years outdated ; and it truly is nearly pointless so as to add that, having been as a result vastly indulged by way of her father from infancy as much as the current time, she had now obtained