BLTC Press Titles

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The Diplomatic Background of the War

Charles Seymour

Novalis Including Hymns to the Night

Novalis, George MacDonald, Thomas Carlyle

Further Adventures of an Irish R. M.

Edith Somerville and Martin Ross

Knowledge of Higher Worlds and its Attainment

Rudolf Steiner

Leyton Hall, and other tales

by Mark Lemon


Orgrave silently enjoyed the scene; and, removing his hat, approached Mr. Oddiman with an expression of respect, and said:

"lam most desirous of standing well in the opinion of one who has such gratifying recollections of my grandfather, the breeches maker, and as some atonement for my cousin's folly, will you allow me to contribute a guinea to the Dorcas club, of which you are doubtless the president."

Oddiman saw the insult intended, and exclaimed, "Do you mean that I'm an old woman, you impertinent puppy?"

"What!" said Orgrave, "don't like being quizzed, old boy? You wince as though I had pricked you with one of my grandfather's needles."

Mowbray endeavoured to pacify the enraged old gentleman, but without effect; and the two cousins at length withdrew, as Mr. Oddiman sat himself upon the fallen tree, and in a few minutes recovered his wonted equanimity.

"What a fool I was," he thought, "to be put out of temper by those profligates — I'll thwart those fellows yet."

He took from his pocket a small silver whistle which he blew, and in a few moments a man whom he called Weazle came from behind a clump of alders where he had been evidently keeping watch.

'"Weazle," said Oddiman, "keep you constantly on the track of those fellows."

"I have done so on Mr. Mowbray all the morning; I've been behind those alders these two hours. Mr. Mowbray is certainly in love with Miss Marian."

"In love!" exclaimed Oddiman. "Weazle, you are a donkey! He knows no more of love than that gate-post. You would believe his fine words, as that poor silly girl will, if I don't open her eyes to the character of that fellow."

"Well, sir," said Weazle, "you will have your own way, but it's my opinion you'll be spoiling a good match if you meddle in the matter."

"Meddle, sir! What do you mean by meddle?" exclaimed Oddiman. "I never do anything, but from the best intentions. Meddle! that's a very unpleasant word, Weazle, and don't use it again, don't!"

"I shall," said Weazle to himself, "for he's always making some mess with his good intentions. I wish he would mind his own business."

Mr. Oddiman was out of humour with himself somewhat, and with his attendant more, and so he paced rapidly down the lane towards the village, followed at a respectful distance by Weazle.


It is unnecessary for the purposes of our story to recount the ■wooing of Mr. and Mrs. Smythe, into whose country house we will now intrude ourselves. Such a misalliance would have been impossible, had not Mrs. Frazer been a woman of vulgar tastes and extravagant habits, and utterly incapable of self-exertion, when the death of her husband, Tom Frazer, a scampish fellow, left her penniless. She made Mr. Smith's acquaintance, or Mr. Smythe, as she chose to spell his name, in a Liverpool coach, and finding him possessed of considerable wealth, and most desirous of sharing it with any personable lady who would have him, Widow Frazer brought herself to swallow all Mr. Smith's deficiencies, and married him clandestinely, having secured to herself a settlement of sufficient amount to insure her against future penury.

The married life of the Smythes was not an enviable one — constant recriminations, constant breezes; and we will drop in upon them whilst one is in full blow.

"I didn't say wixen!" said Mr. Smythe.

"You did, sir!" replied the lady. "You said I was a wizen. The word is bad enough with a v, but vulgarized by a w, it's not to be borne."

"Fiddle-de-dee!" cried Smythe. "I only meant you was werry aggrawating."

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