had been bowled out, each several member of the whist

club seemed inclined to act as a long stop ; a departure

from their established rule which could only be justified

by the expectation of postchaise travellers at t( The Rabbits."

They were longer than ever they were before in

discussing their second tumblers, and several, encouraged

by the example of the president himself, went even so far

as to call for a glass beyond their ordinary stint j the third

tumbler despatched, they were slower than ever had been

known in the appropriation of their peculiar great-coats

and hats, and far more careful than common in the adjustment

of capes, collars, and silk handkerchiefs. Armed at

last at all points against weather, they were even then a

thousand times more particular than they had ever been in

their inquiries as to the state of the night ; and sundry

deputations made a brief excursion into the open air, for

the ostensible purpose of verifying the meteorological re-

ports which they had received. In short, they temporised

as adroitly as diplomatists of a higher grade, for the attainment

of an unavowed object. Fortune, however, which

had denied them a game at long whist, afforded them, by

way of amends, a protracted game of patience ; for whether

Joe had understated the distance, or had met with

unforeseen obstacles, it was a full hour before his wheels

rattled up to Jonas's rabbit hutch. In the mean time

Mrs. Hanway had made the most precautionary preparations

for the reception of guests who she understood had

come from a hot climate into a cold one. Accordingly, as

soon as the young gentleman alighted, he was caught up

in a warm blanket and carried kicking up stairs by the

sturdy Jonas : the next comer, before he left the steps of

the chaise, had a conservative handkerchief clapped up to

his face by the considerate Mrs. Hanway; and as she

thought proper to get him out of the damp air of the passage

as quickly as possible, the gazers who lined the door

of the club-room in expectation of seeing the stranger,

caught only a momentary glimpse of a travelling cap, a

bandana, and a blue cloak followed by a treacle-posset

and a warming pan.


Well," said the manufacturer of tombstones, as the

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