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Greene sternly demanded him to rise, and, after much circumlocution, they elicited from the unfortunate gardener the fact that the two College youths had secretly fee'd him to lend the mare on two or three occasions, no doubt for the very purpose of mystifying the character of the eccentric geologist, and involving him in a dilemma; in which charitable purpose, as we have seen, they had succeeded to their hearts' content.
The lawyer was satisfied, but by no means internally pleased with the justification of his old rival, and retreated completely baffled and confused.
Old Andrews was terribly alarmed, but readily obtained the forgiveness of his worthy master, who was too much delighted at having removed the imputation cast upon his character to harbour any vindictive feelings against his unwise domestic, who had been made the dupe of the two rival "lions."
The whole detail of the affair was soon spread abroad, and the good folks of the village, who really esteemed the "Doctor," now generously took up the cudgels in his favour, resolving to make him every reparation for the unmerited slight and neglect he had suffered. They openly deprecated the "lark" of the young gentlemen, and refused to have any intercourse with them.
The consequence was, they compounded with Farmer Hodges for the damage done to his "crop or crops," and soon afterwards quitted the scene of their "rural sports," laughing heartily at the mystification
into which they had thrown the "Macadamizing old square-toes," through the instrumentality of old Andrews and the Grey Mare.
THE OLD LEDGER, No. II.
ALTHOUGH possessed of an ample fortune, and the seventh son of a seventh son, I must candidly confess I am no conjuror, and that, with the best intentions in
the world, and a craving desire of pleasing everybody, by some strange and unforeseen fatality I am continually "driving my pigs to a wrong market," and have never by any chance been fortunate enough "to hit the right nail upon the head." Any mortal, imbued with a single spoonful less of the milk of human kindness, would have long ere this have been completely soured by such a series of untoward mishaps and disappointments as it has been my lot to experience; but a renewed and apparently inexhaustible hope still urges me on in the pleasant endeavour to gratify the feelings of others. At present, every fairy fabric I have raised appears built upon a foundation of sand, and ends, like the pursuit of a rainbow, in disappointment. I appear diurnally verifying that line of the immortal Pope,
"Man never is, but always to be blest."
Wherein consists the fault I know not; but of this I am perfectly convinced, that it is the error of love, and not the love of error, as Bacon quaintly expresses it.
The other day I invited a select party to a trip to Richmond, and provided boats and provisions for their ** transport and entertainment. I was early at my toilet; for I like punctuality, and never allow people to fret away their good humour in dancing attendance, or beating the devil's tattoo on my drawing-room tables.
Brown, one of the best fellows that ever stepped in shoe-leather, and the most sincere and attached of my numerous acquaintances, was announced.
"Show him up," said I to the servant.
"Excuse me, Jeffs, for intruding on your privacy at this unseasonable hour; but I thought I might probably be of some service to you in making the necessary arrangements for this day's excursion."
"Excuse you, indeed!" cried I, warmly grasping his hand; "this kindness rather deserves my thanks. I hope your rheumatism is better ?”
"So-so," replied he, shrugging up his shoulders. "You know how sensitive I am to damp; and, as the autumn approaches, I have more need of precaution than ever.
"True," answered I; "but I see you have prudently clothed yourself for the occasion."
Yes," said Brown. "I hope our friends will follow my example; for, however promising the day may appear, the evenings, Jeffs, are usually misty at this season of the year. The ladies are too often blamably .careless in attiring themselves for these parties. For my own part, I feel perfectly secure ; but I do fear-"
"Fear what?" exclaimed I, swinging my suspended Wellington-boots by the "tugs."
"That this present pleasure may be purchased by colds, and other troublesome consequences of exposure."
"Do you think so?" said I.
"I do indeed," replied my excellent friend.
"And how shall we avoid this dangerous drawback on our pleasures ?" demanded I.
"Put on your boot," said he.