SEVERITY OF WINTER. 349
the same time with two silent pupils, yet that it was an intense mental effort, and not long to be sustained.
But what was my woman s mind, which is not able to manage more than one subject at a time, busying itself about on this occasion ? While the observed of all ob servers was uttering those few words, he threw his pen at some distance from him on the table. Could I pos sibly become the owner of that cast-off stylus ? Could I carry it home, to America? Would not my antiquarian friends, who are so rabidly eager for his signature, go distracted with joy over the pen that inscribed it ?
I drew insensibly nearer to the spot where it lay. It was a miserably worn-out pen. He will surely take a better one. Can I not beg it of the clerk ? Can I not even lay my own hand upon it ? A cupidity, heretofore unknown, came over me. Might I not thus imagine how some of Mrs. Fry s poor convict girls felt, when they gloated over their mistresses laces, or other con traband articles ?
But in a shorter time than it has taken to arrest these flying thoughts, yes, in the twinkling of an eye, he seized that coveted old goose-quill, and drove it faster than ever. It is all over. My Lord Brougham s pen will never travel with me to the United States. I felt a twinge of disappointment, more however for my autograph-hunting friends, than for myself. Methought, he did not look amiable, as he sate forcing that pen over the paper. Whereupon I invidiously remembered the circumstance of his once bringing out a new coach in London, with simply the letter B on its pannels, and