We managed very well without them, however. With a single set of quadrilles, and several country dances, we carried it on to a pretty late hour; and at length, having called upon our musician to strike up a waltz, I was just about to whirl Eliza round in that delightful dance, accompanied by Lawrence and Jane Wilson, and Fergus and Rose, when Mr Millward interposed with,--

`No, no, I don't allow that! Come, it's time to be going now.'

`Oh, no, papal' pleaded Eliza.

`High time, my girl--high time!--Moderation in all things, remember! That's the plan--"let your moderation be known unto all men"!'5

But in revenge, I followed Eliza into the dimly-lighted passage, where under pretence of helping her on with her shawl, I fear I must plead guilty to snatching a kiss behind her father's back, while he was enveloping his throat and chin in the folds of a mighty comforter. But alas! in turning round, there was my mother close beside me. The consequence was, that no sooner were the guests departed, than I was doomed to a very serious remonstrance, which unpleasantly checked the galloping course of my spirits, and made a disagreeable close to the evening.

`My dear Gilbert,' said she, `I wish you wouldn't do so! You know how deeply I have your advantage at heart, how I love you and prize you above everything else in the world, and how much I long to see you well settled in life--and how bitterly it would grieve me to see you married to that girl--or any other in the neighbourhood. What you see in her I don't know. It isn't only the want of money that I think about-- nothing of the kind--but there's neither beauty, nor cleverness, nor goodness, nor anything else that's desirable. If you knew your own value as I do, you wouldn't dream of it. Do wait awhile and see! if you bind yourself to her, you'll repent it all your lifetime when you look round you and see how many better there are. Take my word for it, you will.'

`Well, mother, do be quiet!--I hate to be lectured!--I'm not going to marry yet, I tell you; but--dear me! mayn't I enjoy myself at all?'

`Yes, my dear boy, but not in that way. Indeed you shouldn't do such things. You would be wronging the girl, if she were what she ought to be; but I assure you she is as artful a little hussy as anybody need wish to see; and you'll get entangled in her snares before you know where you are. And if you do marry her Gilbert, you'll break my heart--so there's an end of it.'

`Well, don't cry about it, mother,' said I, for the tears were gushing from her eyes; `there, let that kiss efface the one I gave Eliza; don't abuse her any more, and set your mind at rest; for I'll promise never to--that is, I'll promise to--to think twice before I take any important step you seriously disapprove of.'

So saying, I lighted my candle, and went to bed, considerably quenched in spirit.

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