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TYLNEY HALL. 121

that he had felt compelled himself to join occasionally in

such orgies.

The Baronet's face glowed with pride during the recital,

and the Squire's one eye glistened with absolute delight :

but Ringwood, for the first time in his life, heard with

pain and disgust, an acknowledgement of his superior skill,

ardour, and success, in all the various branches of field

sports.

Neither did the younger brother listen with much

pleasure to the next topic which the Creole thought proper

to introduce ; although he studiously quoted the very high

eulogiums which had been pronounced on Raby's acquirements,

in languages and classical literature. The extreme

contrast between the reputation of the two brothers, thus

artfully placed in juxtaposition^ suggested an inference too

obvious to escape the mind of the Baronet ; who conse-

quently shrank from any allusion or inquiry as to scholarship

being sorrowfully persuaded that his favourite son

and heir had made neither step nor stride towards any de-

grees except the geographical.

The unfortunate victim, whose feelings were really to

be pitied, actually writhed in soul under the infliction. As

he dearly loved his father, he could not witness the gloom

which overcast his fine jovial countenance without an ex-

quisite pang of self-reproach ; and bitterly he execrated

the folly that had given his cousin the opportunity of such

a triumph.

"The hell-feound !" he said to "

himself, he might as

well have put the letter into my father's hands before all

present ; but, cunning as he is in running on his foil, and

doubling, he shall find I can pick it out."

In the meantime his feelings were somewhat soothed

by receiving, under the table, the secret pressure of a kindly

hand, which he knew to be Raby's, who took this method

of showing that he appreciated and sympathised with his

situation. It was the act of a friend in need, and Ringwood

acknowledged its value at that moment by a grip so

strenuous, that the blood rushed up into Raby's- cheeks,

who with difficulty suppressed an exclamation. The two

brothers had indeed, in some degree, forgotten their own

differences, and were united more than formerly as mutual

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