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58 TYLNEY HALL.

he had u the best seat on a horse, and the lightest hand, in

the whole country: and he looked on the next hunter's

plate as good as booked to him." The pedagogue lamented

to say, he had " the worst head for the classics and mathe-

matics he ever knew, and indeed he should not be very

much surprised if he got plucked at college." Even the

partial parent confessed at times, that Ringwood deserved

" to be well horsed for learning so little/' at the same time

taking liberal care to horse him well, on thorough-bred

ones, because he hunted so much. This censure, however,

never escaped Sir Mark but when he was a little splenetic,

under a fit of the gout. Indeed, on one occasion, when

the sporting vicar, Dr. Cobb, thought proper to sound the

depths of the young 'squire's Latin, as they waited the find

together by the cover side, the Baronet took it in some

dudgeon, though he said nothing, till in running Ringwood

cleared a stiff fence, which no one else would take,

whereupon Sir Mark pulled his horse alongside the hack

of the Doctor, shouting out, with all the ecstasy of a fox-

hunter, te There parson ; damme, could Cicero do that ! !"

The Creole, also, or St. Kitts, as he was familiarly nicknamed

by Sir Mark, from the place of his birth, continued

likewise to grow in favour with his uncle, through the skill

he displayed in hunting, fowling, and fishing ; but with a

deep chagrin, amounting at times to bitterness, the Baronet

observed the decided aversion of Raby to all such pursuits.

At the age of sixteen he could neither clear a hurdle,

bring down his bird, nor throw a fly for a trout ; in short

he was awfully backward in his sporting. Thanks to the

reducing system of Dr. Bellamy, who always found in

" the lowest depth, a lower still," he had undergone in his

boyhood a long and languishing illness, which had rendered

him incapable of bodily exertion : being thus thrown

on his own resources for amusement, he had taken eagerly

to reading, and an extensive old family library supplied

this appetite with plenty as well as variety of food. His

especial favourites, however, were the old English dramatists

and poets, whose most golden passages he got by

heart, or rather by soul. Absorbed in such studies, in

which neither his father nor his brother could sympathise,

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