“Yes,—at the full o’ the moon, you know.”
“Why really—I don’t know, my Porges,—unless she guessed it.”
“I specks she did,—she’s awful’ clever at guessing things! But, do you know—”
“I’m thinking I don’t just like the way she smiled at Mr. Cassilis, I never saw her look at him like that before,—as if she were awful’ glad to see him, you know; so I don’t think I’d wait till the full o’ the moon, if I were you. I think you’d better marry her—this afternoon.”
“That,” said Bellew, clapping him on the shoulder, “is a very admirable idea,—I’ll mention it to her on the first available opportunity, my Porges.”
But the opportunity did not come that day, nor the next, nor the next after that, for it seemed that with the approach of the “Hop-picking” Anthea had no thought, or time, for anything else.
Wherefore Bellew smoked many pipes, and, as the days wore on, possessed his soul in patience, which is a most excellent precept to follow—in all things but love.
Which relates a most extraordinary conversation
In the days which now ensued, while Anthea was busied out of doors and Miss Priscilla was busied indoors, and Small Porges was diligently occupied with his lessons,—at such times, Bellew would take his pipe and go to sit and smoke in company with the Cavalier in the great picture above the carved chimney-piece.
A right jovial companion, at all times, was this Cavalier, an optimist he, from the curling feather in his broad-brimmed beaver hat, to the spurs at his heels. Handsome, gay, and debonair was he, with lips up-curving to a smile beneath his moustachio, and a quizzical light in his grey eyes, very like that in Bellew’s own. Moreover he wore the knowing, waggish air of one well versed in all the ways of the world, and mankind in general, and, (what is infinitely more),—of the Sex Feminine, in particular. Experienced was he, beyond all doubt, in their pretty tricks, and foibles, since he had ever been a diligent student of Feminine Capriciousness when the “Merry Monarch” ruled the land.
Hence, it became customary for Bellew to sit with him, and smoke, and take counsel of this “preux chevalier” upon the unfortunate turn of affairs. Whereof ensued many remarkable conversations of which the following, was one:
BELLEW: No sir,—emphatically I do not agree with you. To be sure, you may have had more experience than I, in such affairs,—but then, it was such a very long time ago.
THE CAVALIER: (Interrupting, or seeming to)!!!
BELLEW: Again, I beg to differ from you, women are not the same to-day as they ever were. Judging by what I have read of the ladies of your day, and King Charles’s court at Whitehall,—I should say—not. At least, if they are, they act differently, and consequently must be—er—wooed differently. The methods employed in your day would be wholly inadequate and quite out of place, in this.