And he is a thorough farmer’s friend, as they all say,’ earnestly exclaimed Norris, with warmth breaking through the civil formal manner.
‘True,’ said Lord Ormersfield, gratified; ’he is very much attached to the place, and all connected with it.’
‘I’m sure they’re the same to him,’ replied the farmer. ’As an instance, my Lord, you’ll excuse it—do you see that boy driving in the cows? You would not look for much from him. Well, the morning the doctor from London came down, that boy came to his work, crying so that I thought he was ill. ‘No, master,’ said he, ’but what’ll ever become of us when we’ve lost my young Lord?’ And he burst out again, fit to break his heart. I told him I was sorry enough myself, but to go to his work, for crying would do no good. ’I can’t help it, master,’ says he, ’when I looks at the pigs. Didn’t he find ’em all in the park, and me nutting—and helped me his own self to drive ’em out before Mr. Warren see ’em, and lifted the little pigs over the gap as tender as if they were Christians?’
‘Yes, that’s the way with them all,’ interposed Mrs. Norris: ’he has the good word of high and low.’
Lord Ormersfield smiled: he smiled better than he used to do, and took leave.
‘Fitzjocelyn will be a popular man,’ he said.
Mary could not help being diverted at this moral deduced from the pig-story. ‘Every one is fond of him,’ was all she said.
‘Talent and popularity,’ continued the Earl. ’He will have great influence. The free, prepossessing manner is a great advantage, where it is so natural and devoid of effort.’
‘It comes of his loving every one,’ said Mary, almost indignantly.
‘It is a decided advantage,’ continued the Earl, complacently. ’I have no doubt but that he has every endowment requisite for success. You and your mother have done much in developing his character, my dear; and I see every reason to hope that the same influence continued will produce the most beneficial results.’
Mary thought this a magnificent compliment, even considering that no one but her mamma had succeeded in teaching Louis to read when a little boy, or in making him persevere in anything now: but then, when Lord Ormersfield did pay a compliment, it was always in the style of Louis XIV.
THE FAMILY COMPACT.
Who, nurst with tender care,
And to domestic bounds confined,
Was still a wild Jack-hare
‘Mary,’ said Mrs. Frost.
Mrs. Ponsonby was sitting by the open window of the library, inhaling the pleasant scents of July. Raising her eyes, she saw her aunt gazing at her with a look somewhat perplexed, but brim full of mischievous frolic. However, the question was only—’Where is that boy?’
‘He is gone down with Mary to his cottage-building.’