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Headlong Hall eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 81 pages of information about Headlong Hall.

“I admit,” said Mr Foster, “there are many things that may, and therefore will, be changed for the better.”

“Not on the present system,” said Mr Escot, “in which every change is for the worse.”

“In matters of taste I am sure it is,” said Mr Gall:  “there is, in fact, no such thing as good taste left in the world.”

“Oh, Mr Gall!” said Miss Philomela Poppyseed, “I thought my novel——­”

“My paintings,” said Sir Patrick O’Prism——­

“My ode,” said Mr Mac Laurel——­

“My ballad,” said Mr Nightshade——­

“My plan for Lord Littlebrain’s park,” said Marmaduke Milestone,
Esquire——­

“My essay,” said Mr Treacle——­

“My sonata,” said Mr Chromatic——­

“My claret,” said Squire Headlong——­

“My lectures,” said Mr Cranium——­

“Vanity of vanities,” said the Reverend Doctor Gaster, turning down an empty egg-shell; “all is vanity and vexation of spirit.”

CHAPTER XI The Anniversary

Among the dies alba creta notandos, which the beau monde of the Cambrian mountains was in the habit of remembering with the greatest pleasure, and anticipating with the most lively satisfaction, was the Christmas ball which the ancient family of the Headlongs had been accustomed to give from time immemorial.  Tradition attributed the honour of its foundation to Headlong Ap-Headlong Ap-Breakneck Ap-Headlong Ap-Cataract Ap-Pistyll Ap-Rhaidr[11.1] Ap-Headlong, who lived about the time of the Trojan war.  Certain it is, at least, that a grand chorus was always sung after supper in honour of this illustrious ancestor of the squire.  This ball was, indeed, an aera in the lives of all the beauty and fashion of Caernarvon, Meirionnydd, and Anglesea, and, like the Greek Olympiads and the Roman consulates, served as the main pillar of memory, round which all the events of the year were suspended and entwined.  Thus, in recalling to mind any circumstance imperfectly recollected, the principal point to be ascertained was, whether it had occurred in the year of the first, second, third, or fourth ball of Headlong Ap-Breakneck, or Headlong Ap-Torrent, or Headlong Ap-Hurricane; and, this being satisfactorily established, the remainder followed of course in the natural order of its ancient association.

This eventful anniversary being arrived, every chariot, coach, barouche and barouchette, landau and landaulet, chaise, curricle, buggy, whiskey, and tilbury, of the three counties, was in motion:  not a horse was left idle within five miles of any gentleman’s seat, from the high-mettled hunter to the heath-cropping galloway.  The ferrymen of the Menai were at their stations before daybreak, taking a double allowance of rum and cwrw to strengthen them for the fatigues of the day.  The ivied towers of Caernarvon, the romantic woods of Tan-y-bwlch, the heathy hills of Kernioggau, the sandy shores of Tremadoc, the mountain

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