“Not cough-tincture!” repeated the horror-struck doctress, as for the first time she examined the label; “Oh! I declare, neither it is—it’s my own stomach lotion. Bless me, what will be done?” and she wrung her hands in despair. “Oh, Murdoch,” flying to the Philistine, as he entered with the real cough-tincture, “I’ve given Sir Sampson a dose of my own stomach lotion by mistake, and I am terrified for the consequences!”
“Oo, but hur need na be feared, hur will no be a hair the war o’t; for hurs wad na tak’ the feesick that the leddie ordered hur yestreen.”
“Well, I declare things are wisely ordered,” observed Miss Grizzy; “in that case it may do dear Sir Sampson a great deal of good.”
Just as this pleasing idea was suggested, Douglas and his father entered, and the ceremony of presenting her nephew to her friend was performed by Miss Grizzy in her most conciliating manner.
“Dear Lady Maclaughlan, this is our nephew Henry, who, I know, has the highest veneration for Sir Sampson and you. Henry, I assure you, Lady Maclaughlan takes the greatest interest in everything that concerns Lady Juliana and you.”
“Humph!” rejoined her ladyship, as she surveyed him from head to foot. “So your wife fell in love with you, it seems; well, the more fool she; I never knew any good come of love marriages.”
Douglas coloured, while he affected to laugh at this extraordinary address, and withdrawing himself from her scrutiny, resumed his station by the side of his Juliana.
“Now, girls, I must go to my toilet; which of you am I to have for my handmaid?”
“Oh, we’ll all go,” eagerly exclaimed the three nymphs; “our dear niece will excuse us for a little; young people are never at a loss to amuse one another.”
“Venus and the Graces, by Jove!” exclaimed Sir Sampson, bowing with an air of gallantry; “and now I must go and adonise a little myself.”
The company then separated to perform the important offices of the toilet.
Wanton’d as in her prime, and played at will
Her virgin fancies.”
THE gentlemen were already assembled round the drawing-room fire, impatiently waiting the hour of dinner, when Lady Maclaughlan and her three friends entered. The masculine habiliments of the morning had been exchanged for a more feminine costume. She was now arrayed in a pompadour satin negligee, and petticoat trimmed with Brussels lace. A high starched handkerchief formed a complete breast work, on which, amid a large bouquet of truly artificial roses, reposed a miniature of Sir Sampson, a la militaire. A small fly cap of antique lace was scarcely perceptible on the summit of a stupendous frizzled toupee, hemmed in on each side by large curls. The muff and stick had been relinquished for a large fan, something resembling an Indian screen, which she waved to and fro in one hand, while a vast brocaded workbag was suspended from the other.