The Castle Inn eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 323 pages of information about The Castle Inn.
gentleman indeed, set him down to an excellent supper in its best room, and promised a post-chaise-and-four for the following morning—­all with much bowing and scraping, and much mention of my lord to whose house he would post.  For in those days, if a fine gentleman was a very fine gentleman, a peer was also a peer.  Quite recently they had ventured to hang one; but with apologies, a landau-and-six, and a silken halter.

Sir George would not have had the least pretension to be the glass of fashion and the mould of form, which St. James’s Street considered him, if he had failed to give a large share of his thoughts while he supped to the beautiful woman he had quitted.  He knew very well what steps Lord March or Tom Hervey would take, were either in his place; and though he had no greater taste for an irregular life than became a man in his station who was neither a Methodist nor Lord Dartmouth, he allowed his thoughts to dwell, perhaps longer than was prudent, on the girl’s perfections, and on what might have been were his heart a little harder, or the not over-rigid rule which he observed a trifle less stringent.  The father was dead.  The girl was poor:  probably her ideal of a gallant was a College beau, in second-hand lace and stained linen, drunk on ale in the forenoon.  Was it likely that the fortress would hold out long, or that the maiden’s heart would prove to be more obdurate than Danaee’s?

Soane, considering these things and his self-denial, grew irritable over his Chambertin.  He pictured Lord March’s friend, the Rena, and found this girl immeasurably before her.  He painted the sensation she would make and the fashion he could give her, and vowed that she was a Gunning with sense and wit added; to sum up all, he blamed himself for a saint and a Scipio.  Then, late as it was, he sent for the landlord, and to get rid of his thoughts, or in pursuance of them, inquired of that worthy if Mr. Thomasson was in residence at Pembroke.

‘Yes, Sir George, he is,’ the landlord answered; and asked if he should send for his reverence.

‘No,’ Soane commanded.  ’If there is a chair to be had, I will go to him.’

‘There is one below, at your honour’s service.  And the men are waiting.’

So Sir George, with the landlord, lighting him and his man attending with his cloak, descended the stairs in state, entered the sedan, and was carried off to Pembroke.

CHAPTER III

TUTOR AND PUPILS—­OLD STYLE

Doctor Samuel Johnson, of Johnson’s Court, Fleet Street, had at this time some name in the world; but not to the pitch that persons entering Pembroke College hastened to pay reverence to the second floor over the gateway, which he had vacated thirty years earlier—­as persons do now.  Their gaze, as a rule, rose no higher than the first-floor oriel, where the shapely white shoulder of a Parian statue, enhanced by a background

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The Castle Inn from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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