Temple went to sea. The wonder is that I did not go with him: we were both in agreement that adventures were the only things worth living for, and we despised English fellows who had seen no place but England. I could not bear the long separation from my father that was my reason for not insisting on the squire’s consent to my becoming a midshipman. After passing a brilliant examination, Temple had the good fortune to join Captain Bulsted’s ship, and there my honest-hearted friend dismally composed his letter of confession, letting me know that he had been untrue to friendship, and had proposed to Janet Ilchester, and interchanged vows with her. He begged my forgiveness, but he did love her so!—he hoped I would not mind. I sent him a reproachful answer; I never cared for him more warmly than when I saw the letter shoot the slope of the postoffice mouth. Aunt Dorothy undertook to communicate assurances of my undying affection for him. As for Janet—Temple’s letter, in which he spoke of her avowed preference for Oriental presents, and declared his intention of accumulating them on his voyages, was a harpoon in her side. By means of it I worried and terrified her until she was glad to have it all out before the squire. What did he do? He said that Margery, her mother, was niggardly; a girl wanted presents, and I did not act up to my duty; I ought to buy Turkey and Tunis to please her, if she had a mind for them.
The further she was flattered the faster she cried; she had the face of an old setter with these hideous tears. The squire promised her fifty pounds per annum in quarterly payments, that she might buy what presents she liked, and so tie herself to constancy. He said aside to me, as if he had a knowledge of the sex—’Young ladies must have lots of knickknacks, or their eyes ‘ll be caught right and left, remember that.’ I should have been delighted to see her caught. She talked of love in a ludicrous second-hand way, sending me into fits of disgusted laughter. On other occasions her lips were not hypocritical, and her figure anything but awkward. She was a bold, plump girl, fond of male society. Heriot enraptured her. I believed at the time she would have appointed a year to marry him in, had he put the question. But too many women were in love with Heriot. He and I met Kiomi on the road to the race-course on the Southdowns; the prettiest racecourse in England, shut against gipsies. A bare-footed swarthy girl ran beside our carriage and tossed us flowers. He and a friend of his, young Lord Destrier, son of the Marquis of Edbury, who knew my father well, talked and laughed with her, and thought her so very handsome that I likewise began to stare, and I suddenly called ‘Kiomi!’ She bounded back into the hedge. This was our second meeting. It would have been a pleasant one had not Heriot and Destrier pretended all sorts of things about our previous acquaintance. Neither of us, they said, had made a bad choice, but