Some ladies are equally obliging in this respect. They can stoop to almost any subject that they think will procure them husbands. Music! -- if a man is fond of music, they will sing themselves into his good graces in no time. Painting! -- oh, they adore painting -- though in general they don’t profess to be great hands at it themselves. Balls, boating, archery, racing -- all these they can take a lively interest in; or, if occasion requires, can go on the serious tack and hunt a parson with penny subscriptions for a clothing- club or soup-kitchen.

Fox-hunting! -- we do not know that fox-hunting is so safe a speculation for young ladies as any of the foregoing. There are many pros and cons in the matter of the chase. A man may think -- especially in these hard times, with ‘wheat below forty,’ as Mr Springwheat would say -- that it will be as much as he can do to mount himself. Again, he may not think a lady looks any better for running down with perspiration, and being daubed with mud. Above all, if he belongs to the worshipful company of Craners, he may not like for his wife to be seen beating him across country.

Still, there are many ways that young ladies may insinuate themselves into the good graces of sportsmen without following them into the hunting field. Talking about their horses, above all admiring them -- taking an interest in their sport -- seeing that they have nice papers of sandwiches to take out with them -- or recommending them to be bled when they come home with dirty faces after falls.

Miss Amelia Jawleyford, who was most elegantly attired in a sea-green silk dress with large imitation pearl buttons, claiming the usual privilege of seniority of birth, very soon led the charge against Lord Scamperdale.

‘Oh, what a lovely horse that is you were riding,’ observed she, as his lordship kept stooping with both his little red fists close into the bars of the grate.

‘Isn’t it!’ exclaimed he, rubbing his hands heartily together. ‘Isn’t it!’ repeated he; adding, ‘That’s what I call a clipper.’

‘Why do you call it so?’ asked she.

‘Oh, I don’t mean that clipper is its name,’ replied he; ‘indeed, we call her Cherry Bounce in the stable -- but she’s what they call a clipper -- a good ’un to go, you know,’ continued he, staring at the fair speaker through his great, formidable spectacles.

We believe there is nothing frightens a woman so much as staring at her through spectacles. A barrister in barnacles is a far more formidable cross-examiner than one without. But, to his lordship’s hack.

‘Will he eat bread out of your hand?’ asked Amelia; adding, ‘I should so like a horse that would eat bread out of my hand.’

‘Oh, yes; or cheese either,’ replied his lordship, who was a bit of a wag, and as likely to try a horse with one as the other.

‘Oh, how delightful! what a charming horse!’ exclaimed Amelia, turning her fine eyes up to the ceiling.

‘Are you fond of horses?’ asked his lordship, smacking one hand against the other, making a noise like the report of a pistol.

‘Oh, so fond!’ exclaimed Amelia, with a start; for she hadn’t got through her favourite, and, as she thought, most attractive attitude.

‘Well, now, that’s nice,’ said his lordship, giving his other hand a similar bang; adding, ‘I like a woman that’s fond of horses.’

  By PanEris using Melati.

Previous chapter/page Back Home Email this Search Discuss Bookmark Next chapter/page
Copyright: All texts on Bibliomania are © Ltd, and may not be reproduced in any form without our written permission. See our FAQ for more details.