Chapter 10


“Leonard and Paul were two friends.”—“Pronounce it Lennard, child,” cried the parson.—“Pray, Mr. Adams,” says Lady Booby, “let your son read without interruption.” Dick then proceeded. “Lennard and Paul were two friends, who, having been educated together at the same school, commenced a friendship which they preserved a long time for each other. It was so deeply fixed in both their minds, that a long absence, during which they had maintained no correspondence, did not eradicate nor lessen it: but it revived in all its force at their first meeting, which was not till after fifteen years’ absence, most of which time Lennard had spent in the East Indi-es.”— “Pronounce it short, Indies,” says Adams.—“Pray, sir, be quiet,” says the lady.—The boy repeated—“in the East Indies, whilst Paul had served his king and country in the army. In which different services they had found such different success, that Lennard was now married, and retired with a fortune of thirty thousand pounds; and Paul was arrived to the degree of a lieutenant of foot; and was not worth a single shilling.

“The regiment in which Paul was stationed happened to be ordered into quarters within a small distance from the estate which Lennard had purchased, and where he was settled. This latter, who was now become a country gentleman, and a justice of peace, came to attend the quarter sessions in the town where his old friend was quartered, soon after his arrival. Some affair in which a soldier was concerned occasioned Paul to attend the justices. Manhood, and time, and the change of climate, had so much altered Lennard, that Paul did not immediately recollect the features of his old acquaintance: but it was otherwise with Lennard. He knew Paul the moment he saw him; nor could he contain himself from quitting the bench, and running hastily to embrace him. Paul stood at first a little surprised; but had soon sufficient information from his friend, whom he no sooner remembered than he returned his embrace with a passion which made many of the spectators laugh, and gave to some few a much higher and more agreeable sensation.

“Not to detain the reader with minute circumstances, Lennard insisted on his friend’s returning with him to his house that evening; which request was complied with, and leave for a month’s absence for Paul obtained of the commanding officer.

“If it was possible for any circumstance to give any addition to the happiness which Paul proposed in this visit, he received that additional pleasure by finding, on his arrival at his friend’s house, that his lady was an old acquaintance which he had formerly contracted at his quarters, and who had always appeared to be of a most agreeable temper; a character she had ever maintained among her intimates, being of that number, every individual of which is called quite the best sort of woman in the world.

“But, good as this lady was, she was still a woman; that is to say, an angel, and not an angel.”—“You must mistake, child,” cries the parson, “for you read nonsense.”—“It is so in the book,” answered the son. Mr. Adams was then silenced by authority, and Dick proceeded—“For though her person was of that kind to which men attribute the name of angel, yet in her mind she was perfectly woman. Of which a great degree of obstinacy gave the most remarkable and perhaps most pernicious instance.

“A day or two passed after Paul’s arrival before any instances of this appeared; but it was impossible to conceal it long. Both she and her husband soon lost all apprehension from their friend’s presence, and fell to their disputes with as much vigour as ever. These were still pursued with the utmost ardour and eagerness, however trifling the causes were whence they first arose. Nay, however incredible it may seem, the little consequence of the matter in debate was frequently given as a reason for the fierceness of the contention, as thus: ‘If you loved me, sure you would never dispute with me such a trifle as this.’ The answer to which is very obvious; for the argument would hold equally on both sides, and was constantly retorted with some addition, as—‘I am sure I have much more reason to say so, who am in the right.’ During all these disputes, Paul always kept strict silence, and preserved an even countenance, without showing the least visible inclination to either party. One day, however, when madam had left the room in a violent fury, Lennard could not refrain from referring his cause to his friend. Was ever anything so

  By PanEris using Melati.

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