268 TYLNEY HALL. womanly dress was doffed, and, instead of the Queen of the Gipsies, he beheld Twigg, junior, leering at him with a pantomimical grimace, and in an attitude borrowed from the Grimaldi of that period. ft The old fable, by Jove !" muttered the Baronet, as he stopped short ; 'only the ass has put on a tigress's skin instead of a lion's." The cub replied only by a harlequin roll of the head ; but it was an imprudent feat to be performed by one whose brain was already whirling of its own accord ; for, like certain precocious bibbers, who contrive to fuddle them- selves before the dinner- cloth is removed, he had managed to be overtaken before others had set out ; the natural con- sequence of this extra spinning was a sudden giddiness, and after a desperate stagger, he added his bulk to the general mass of articles which, in commercial language, had experienced a considerable fall. The wrath of Twigg was at its climax. All his terror had turned to rage, and he seemed ready for any extravagance ; indeed, he was only withheld by main force from inflicting on the culprit a paternal pummelling. Nothing, however, could prevent his railing ; and he actually raved at the offender, vowing to starve him, to make a beggar of him, to kick him out of the firm, and to cut him off with a shilling and a bad shilling too, if he coined one for He made him over, bones, blood, and limbs, the purpose. to the gallows, to the grave, to the devil. " " ! Pooh, pooh, pooh interposed the oracular Deputy " wine is wine, and a frolic is a frolic. Youth is Dobbs ; youth, and we were all young once." " " " ! Young ejaculated Twigg, I wish he had never been a day old ! I wish he'd been still-born ! I don't know what he's had, but I wish it had choked him!" fe " blood's Pooh, pooh, pooh !" repeated the Deputy ; blood, a son is a son, and a father is a father." " I know " all that," retorted Twigg but don't ; go to excuse him ; pray don't, for it's unexcusable. Only put yourself in my place. Here I am, with every thing re- spectable about me, a man of property : and where's my son and heir, that's to come into it when I'm gone ?
TYLNEY HALL. Why going to bed, confound him, intoxicated intoxicated by three o'clock." " " ! Pooh, pooh, pooh said the Deputy. " I shouldn't mind," continued Twigg, " if he made a beast of himself like a gentleman. I've seen the genteelest people get tipsy towards tea-time. But here he is, unsober before dinner no ; manners, no breeding, no nothing. any body Is drunk but him ? No says you, not a soul ; common politeness would dictate, the visitors first." and In this strain the indignant Ex-Sheriff was eloquently proceeding, when, suddenly, a drop of rain, as big as a bullet, fell splashing on the bald head of the Deputy ; and then came a flash of lightning so vivid, and a clap of thun- der so astounding, that in his confusion the host himself led a retreat into the house, followed by the company en masse, the gardener and Pompey, loaded with the helpless carcass of Twigg, junior, bringing up the rear. The cub was immediately consigned to his chamber, with a fervent parental wish that he might be bed-ridden for a month to come; but the mother, who had recovered from her swoon, fell into a fit of tenderness, and apologised that her poor son, being so close confined to business, was apt, when he had a day's pleasure, to overdo himself. " It will be a frightful storm," she added, as a fiery izzard seemed written on the distant sky, " but, thank goodness, here we all are, with a good roof over our heads." " Not all ; yonder are some that want the whipper-in," whispered Sir Mark to the Justice, at the same time directing his attention to the window : and the Magistrate's brow darkened to match the Baronet's, as Grace was seen lean- ing on Raby's arm, and Miss Twigg actually clinging to Ringwood, in their progress towards the house. The two fathers exchanged a gloomy and significant glance, nor did their features brighten when, at the make-shift banquet which followed, the same couples chose to sit together, evidently enjoying the casual dearth of glass and china that compelled Grace and Raby to take wine from the same tumbler, and Flora and her votary to partake of fruit with only one dessert plate between them. The countenance of Mrs. Twigg, on the contrary, beamed with joy and triumph at witnessing the hopeful flirtation of Matilda with the