Page:Once a Week, Series 1, Volume II Dec 1859 to June 1860.pdf/451

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438
[May 17, 1860.
ONCE A WEEK.

night” on the balcony, and abandoning her hand with a steady sweet voice and gaze, said: “How generous of you to forgive my friend, dear Evan!” And the ravishing little glimpse of womanly softness in her, set his heart beating; and if he thought at all it was that he would have sacrificed body and soul for her.




WITCHES AND WITCHCRAFT.

alt = A man with a bundle under his arm walks away from a cottage where a woman is sitting, while another woman, holding a baby, attempts to retain him.

Some time ago, I fell gradually ill. “You study too much,” said my senior partner, Dr. G——. “You don’t take enough exercise,” said an intimate friend in a confidential tone, as if he wouldn’t have any one else know his opinion for the world. “I don’t think you’ll ever get better,” said my old maiden aunt. “It’s all smoking,” said my wife. (We’d been married fifteen years.)

Holding, however, a different opinion from any of them, I determined to follow the ancient maxim, “Physician, heal thyself.” Acting upon it, I prescribed change of air, and quiet; and having announced my intention of leaving the aforesaid partner in charge of the practice, asked general advice as to my future destination.

“Go to Margate,” said one. “No, Brighton,” said another. (These were recommended as quiet places.) “If you take my advice,” said a third, (which I instantly decided not to do), “you’ll stay where you are.”

I heard everything everyone had to say, and then consulted my friend, Dr. G——, inwardly resolving that if his advice proved to be in accordance with my inclinations, I should take it, and if it didn’t, I shouldn’t.

“My dear fellow,” said he, “you require quiet.” I agreed with him so far. “You’re knocked up with this blessed town life.” (I put “blessed” for the sake of my lady readers; he used a participle with an entirely opposite meaning.) I nodded again. “You want a few weeks’ quiet rusticating, and I know the very place for you.” I thereupon put myself in his hands, without any reservation. “I know the very spot,” he continued. “It’s a little village, or rather hamlet, in D——shire, where my old nurse lives: she has a cottage to let, I know, and I’ll write about it this very night.”

A few days afterwards I received the following note, in a handwriting more original than legible.

Horned Sur,—[I presume the writer meant honoured]

My dooty to you. Mary Ping wants to tell Mr. W. he can av the ows. My sun will mit you at the stayshun, and tak you there. I’ve got a gurl to waet