They say that light fare begets light dreams; my fare at that time was light enough; but I had anything but light dreams, for at that period I had all kind of strange and extravagant dreams, and amongst other things I dreamt that the whole world had taken to dog-fighting; and that I, myself, had taken to dog-fighting, and that in a vast circus I backed an English bulldog against the bloodhound of the Pope of Rome.
My brother—Fits of crying—Mayor-elect—The committee—The Norman arch—A word of Greek—Church and State—At my own expense—If you please.
One morning I arose somewhat later than usual, having been occupied during the greater part of the night with my literary toil. On descending from my chamber into the sitting-room I found a person seated by the fire, whose glance was directed sideways to the table, on which were the usual preparations for my morning’s meal. Forthwith I gave a cry, and sprang forward to embrace the person; for the person by the fire, whose glance was directed to the table, was no one else than my brother.
‘And how are things going on at home?’ said I to my brother, after we had kissed and embraced. ‘How is my mother, and how is the dog?’
‘My mother, thank God, is tolerably well,’ said my brother, ’but very much given to fits of crying. As for the dog, he is not so well; but we will talk more of these matters anon,’ said my brother, again glancing at the breakfast things: ’I am very hungry, as you may suppose, after having travelled all night.’
Thereupon I exerted myself to the best of my ability to perform the duties of hospitality, and I made my brother welcome—I may say more than welcome; and, when the rage of my brother’s hunger was somewhat abated, we recommenced talking about the matters of our little family, and my brother told me much about my mother; he spoke of her fits of crying, but said that of late the said fits of crying had much diminished, and she appeared to be taking comfort; and, if I am not much mistaken, my brother told me that my mother had of late the Prayer-book frequently in her hand, and yet oftener the Bible.