Page:Carroll - Notes by an Oxford Chiel.djvu/147

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THE BLANK CHEQUE.

'Five o'clock tea' is a phrase that our 'rude forefathers,' even of the last generation, would scarcely have understood, so completely is it a thing of to-day: and yet, so rapid is the March of Mind, it has already risen into a national institution, and rivals, in its universal application to all ranks and ages, and as a specific for 'all the ills that flesh is heir to,' the glorious Magna Charta.

Thus it came to pass that, one chilly day in March, which only made the shelter indoors seem by contrast the more delicious, I found myself in the cosy little parlour of my old friend, kind hospitable Mrs. Nivers. Her broad good-humoured face wreathed itself into a sunny smile as I entered, and we were soon embarked on that wayward smooth-flowing current of chat