counsel all the time! Well, to be sure, it wasn’t much of a school—only ten young ladies at the best o’ times; so perhaps he never heard of it.”

“I’ve been wondering what they’ll give him to dinner,” said Miss Browning. “It is an unlucky time for visitors; no game to be had, and lamb so late this year, and chicken hardly to be had for love or money.”

“He’ll have to put up with calf’s head, that he will,” said Mrs. Goodenough solemnly. “If I’d ha’ got my usual health, I’d copy out a recipe of my grandmother’s for a rolled calf’s head, and send it to Mrs. Gibson—the doctor has been very kind to me all through this illness—I wish my daughter in Combermere would send me some autumn chickens—I’d pass ’em on to the doctor, that I would; but she’s been a-killing of ’em all, and a-sending of them to me, and the last she sent she wrote me word was the last.”

“I wonder if they’ll give a party for him!” suggested Miss Phœbe. “I should like to see a Queen’s counsel for once in my life. I have seen javelin-men, but that’s the greatest thing in the legal line I ever came across.”

“They’ll ask Mr. Ashton, of course,” said Miss Browning. “The three black graces, Law, Physic, and Divinity, as the song calls them. Whenever there’s a second course, there’s always the clergyman of the parish invited in any family of gentility.”

“I wonder if he’s married!” said Mrs. Goodenough. Miss Phœbe had been feeling the same wonder, but had not thought it maidenly to express it, even to her sister, who was the source of knowledge, having met Mrs. Gibson in the street on her way to Mrs. Goodenough’s.

“Yes, he’s married, and must have several children, for Mrs. Gibson said that Cynthia Kirkpatrick had paid them a visit in London, to have lessons with her cousins. And she said that his wife was a most accomplished woman, and of good family, though she brought him no fortune.”

“It’s a very creditable connection, I’m sure; it’s only a wonder to me as how we’ve heard so little talk of it before,” said Mrs. Goodenough. “At the first look of the thing, I shouldn’t ha’ thought Mrs. Gibson was one to hide away her fine relations under a bushel; indeed, for that matter we’re all of us fond o’ turning the best breadth o’ the gown to the front. I remember, speaking o’ breadths, how I’ve undone my skirts, many a time and oft, to put a stain or a grease spot next to poor Mr. Goodenough. He’d a soft kind of heart, when first we was married; and he said, says he, ‘Patty, link thy right arm into my left one, then thou’lt be nearer to my heart;’ and so we kept up the habit, when, poor man, he’d a deal more to think on than romancing on which side his heart lay; so, as I said, I always put my damaged breadths on the right hand, and, when we walked arm in arm, as we always did, no one was never the wiser.”

“I should not be surprised, if he invited Cynthia to pay him another visit in London,” said Miss Browning. “If he did it when he was poor, he’s twenty times more likely to do it now he’s a Queen’s counsel.”

“Ay, work it by the rule o’ three, and she stands a good chance. I only hope it won’t turn her head; going up visiting in London at her age. Why, I was fifty before ever I went!”

“But she has been in France; she’s quite a travelled young lady,” said Miss Phœbe.

Mrs. Goodenough shook her head for a whole minute, before she gave vent to her opinion.

“It’s a risk,” said she, “a great risk. I don’t like saying so to the doctor, but I shouldn’t like having my daughter, if I was him, so cheek-by-jowl with a girl as was brought up in the country where Robespierre and Bonyparte was born.”

“But Bonaparte was a Corsican,” said Miss Browning, who was much farther advanced both in knowledge and in liberality of opinions than Mrs. Goodenough. “And there’s a great opportunity for cultivation of the mind afforded by intercourse with foreign countries. I always admire Cynthia’s grace of manner, never

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