But Uncle Richard was not nervous when they were tete-a-tete. He got slowly up from his chair, and let his dressing-gown slip off his shoulders; and the two brothers now stood opposite each other, in very different deshabille. The young Consul was in his night-shirt, and a pair of flannel drawers tied at the knees with broad tape. His thin legs were thrust into long grey stockings, which Miss Cordsen alone knew how to knit. Richard had a pair of Turkish slippers, thread stockings, which fitted closely to his well-formed leg, and a shirt of fine material stiffly starched, in which he always slept. There were none of his brother’s failings which the Consul disliked more than this.
“I tell you what, Christian Frederick,” said Uncle Richard, as he laid his hand on his brother’s shoulder, “I don’t say that young people will do the world a great deal of good by making a noise, but I am quite certain that none of us have done it much good by holding our tongue.”
“What do you mean? Nonsense, Richard!” said the Consul, contemptuously, as he turned back into his room.
They both got into bed and put out their lights.
“Good night, Christian Frederick.”
“Good night,” answered the Consul, rather drily; but just as Uncle Richard was on the point of falling asleep, he heard his brother say—
“Dick, Dick! are you asleep?”
“No, not quite,” answered the other, sitting up in bed.
“Well, then, perhaps there was something in what you said just now. Good night.”
“Good night,” said the attache, lying down with a smile on his face. A few minutes after the two old gentlemen were snoring peacefully in unison.
Gustaf Torpander was still consumed by his silent passion. Every penny he could save he devoted either to heightening his personal attractions or to treating Marianne’s brother; for hitherto he had never had the courage to offer her any presents personally. The circuitous course he was thus driven to follow in his courtship, was not altogether agreeable to the Swede, and the drinking bouts at Begmand’s cottage, in which he was obliged to take part in order to get a glimpse of his sweetheart, he found particularly distasteful.
At first Marianne was greatly annoyed by the attentions of the journeyman printer. From her earliest childhood, the knowledge of her exceptional beauty had made her careful to be on her guard against any advances from the other sex; but since her misfortune, she had come to regard every attention as a kind of persecution. But her shyness was generally received with an incredulous smile or a coarse joke. What shocked her most was, that men seemed no longer to believe that she really meant to shun them in earnest, and she was therefore quite nervous if any of them approached her. When, however, she saw that Torpander