Page:What will he do with it.djvu/409

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��rell, who had arrived before him, listening to a very handsome young lady, with an attention quite as earnest as that which had gratified the superior mind of the well-educated Honoria. A very handsome young lady certainly, but not with a superior mind, nor supposed hitherto to have found young gentlemen " insipid." Doubtless she would henceforth do so. A few minutes after, Barrel 1 was listening again — this time to another young lady, generally called "fast." If his attentions to her were not marked, hers to him were. She rattled on to him volubly, laughed, pretty hoyden, at her own sallies, and seemed at last so to fascinate him by her gay spirits, that he sat down by her side ; and the playful smile on his lips — lips that had learned to be so gravely firm — showed that he could enter still into the mirth of childhood ; for surely to the time-worn man the fast young lady must have seemed but a giddy child. Lio- nel was amused. Could this be the austere recluse whom he had left in the shades of Fawley .^ Guy Darrell, at his years, with his dignified repute, the object of so many nods, and becks, and wreathed smiles — could he descend to be that most frivo- lous of characters, a male coquette ? Was he in earnest — was his vanity duped ? Looking again, Lionel saw in his kinsman's face a sudden return of the sad despondent expression which had moved his own young pity in the solitudes of Fawley. But in a moment the man roused himself — the sad expression was gone. Had the girl's merry laugh again chased it away ? But Lionel's attention was now drawn from Darrell himself to the observations murmured round him, of which Darrell was the theme.

" Yes, he is bent on marrying again ! I have it from Alban Morley — immense fortune — and so young-looking, any girl might fall in love with such eyes and forehead ; besides, what a jointure he could settle ! ... Do look at that girl. Flora Vy- vyan, trying to make a fool of him. She can't appreciate that kind of man, and she would not be caught by his money — does not want it. ... I wonder she is not afraid of him. He is certainly quizzing her. . . . The men think her pretty — I don't. . . . They say he is to return to Parliament, and have a place in the Cabinet. . . . No! he has no children living — very natural he should marry again. ... A nephew ' — you are quite mistaken. Young Haughton is no nephew — a very distant connection — could not expect to be the heir. ... It was given out, though, at Paris. The Duchess thought so, and so did Lady Jane. They'll not be so civil to young Haugh- ton now. , . . Hush — "

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