Lavengro; the Scholar, the Gypsy, the Priest eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 669 pages of information about Lavengro; the Scholar, the Gypsy, the Priest.

‘Do you hope, sir,’ said I, ’by that ceremony with the finger to preserve yourself from the evil chance?’

The stranger started; then, after looking at me for some time in silence, he said, ‘Is it possible that you—?’

‘Ay, ay,’ said I, helping myself to some more of the round; ’I have touched myself in my younger days, both for the evil chance and the good.  Can’t say, though, that I ever trusted much in the ceremony.’

The stranger made no reply, but appeared to be in deep thought; nothing farther passed between us until I had concluded the dinner, when I said to him, ’I shall now be most happy, sir, to have the pleasure of your conversation over a pint of wine.’

The stranger rose; ‘No, my young friend,’ said he, smiling, ’that would scarce be fair.  It is my turn now—­pray do me the favour to go home with me, and accept what hospitality my poor roof can offer; to tell you the truth, I wish to have some particular discourse with you which would hardly be possible in this place.  As for wine, I can give you some much better than you can get here:  the landlord is an excellent fellow, but he is an innkeeper after all.  I am going out for a moment, and will send him in, so that you may settle your account; I trust you will not refuse me, I only live about two miles from here.’

I looked in the face of the stranger—­it was a fine intelligent face, with a cast of melancholy in it.  ‘Sir,’ said I, ’I would go with you though you lived four miles instead of two.’

‘Who is that gentleman?’ said I to the landlord, after I had settled his bill; ‘I am going home with him.’

‘I wish I were going too,’ said the fat landlord, laying his hand upon his stomach.  ’Young gentleman, I shall be a loser by his honour’s taking you away; but, after all, the truth is the truth—­there are few gentlemen in these parts like his honour, either for learning or welcoming his friends.  Young gentleman, I congratulate you.’

CHAPTER LXIV

New acquaintance—­Old French style—­The portrait—­Taciturnity—­The evergreen tree—­The dark hour—­The flash—­Ancestors—­A fortunate man—­A posthumous child—­Antagonist ideas—­The hawks—­Flaws—­The pony—­Irresistible impulse—­Favourable crisis—­The topmost branch—­Twenty feet—­Heartily ashamed.

I found the stranger awaiting me at the door of the inn.  ’Like yourself, I am fond of walking,’ said he, ’and when any little business calls me to this place I generally come on foot.’

We were soon out of the town, and in a very beautiful country.  After proceeding some distance on the high-road, we turned off, and were presently in one of those mazes of lanes for which England is famous; the stranger at first seemed inclined to be taciturn; a few observations, however, which I made appeared to rouse him, and he soon exhibited not only considerable powers of conversation, but stores of information which

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Lavengro; the Scholar, the Gypsy, the Priest from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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