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320 TYLNEY HALL.

chair for her to swoon in ; hut, contrary to his expectations,

she showed no tendency to insensibility : probably, because

she had already fainted so much at the flashes and claps of the

storm that she was out of fits. After a minute of consider-

ation, she turned hastily round and rushed out of the room,

and a sound followed like the rumble of a parish engine de-

scending the church steps, except that the noise went up the

stairs instead of coming down then came a loud scream

from overhead, with a bustle of feet, answered by the vio-

lent continuous ringing of a bell in the lower story, and a

prolonged clatter of many persons rushing up from below.

Following the direction of the human current, the father

hurried upwards to his daughter's apartment, where he

found her in strong fits, with the mother slapping one hand,

and her milliner crooking the little finger of the other.

It is or was the custom of the modern Romans to parade

their dead relations through the streets ; and Dr. Trusler

mentions seeing a portly defunct thus carried in state, in

his holy day suit, with one hand holding a bouncing nose-

gay, and the other stuck gracefully in his side. As pale as

death, and tricked out according to the last new fashion

from Paris, which she had been trying on preparatory to

the fete at the Hall, Miss Twigg might have been taken

for a body undergoing its adornment for a similar cere-

monial. A pink satin hat, as if in studious contrast to her

complexion, made her look " very dead indeed," while a

silk dress, of a pattern not at that time old-fashioned, on a

white ground, displayed large bunches of roses, lilies, and

some nondescript blossoms, looking as if the hand of re-

gret had strewed her with flowers. But she soon literally

kicked down this comparison, by her fit assuming that con-

vulsive character vulgarly distinguished as kicking hysterics;

and leaving the little finger, the milliner was fain to snatch

off the becoming hat, and to prevent two remarkably active

feet from entangling themselves in the surrounding flounces.

" Screech, my love, it will relieve you," said the anxious

mother, raising her daughter as she spoke into a favourable

position for the exertion of her voice ; and accordingly

Matilda gave a scream that convinced the whole household,

if not the whole neighbourhood, that she was alive ; at the

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