I am sure, my dear lord, I need not say more. We shall be delighted to see you at your earliest convenience. We wish that you could have come to us before your friend left, but I regret to learn from him that his parochial duties preclude the possibility of his staying with us beyond Thursday.
I shall anxiously wait for your
reply. In the meantime I beg to
assure you, with the joint kind remembrances of all our party, that
Most faithfully yours,
Mr Armstrong descended to the drawing-room, before dinner, looking most respectable, with a stiff white tie and the new suit expressly prepared for the occasion. He was introduced to Lady Cashel and Lady Selina as a valued friend of Lord Ballindine, and was received, by the former at least, in a most flattering manner. Lady Selina had hardly reconciled herself to the return of Lord Ballindine. It was from no envy at her cousin’s happiness; she was really too high-minded, and too falsely proud, also, to envy anyone. But it was the harsh conviction of her mind, that no duties should be disregarded, and that all duties were disagreeable: she was always opposed to the doing of anything which appeared to be the especial wish of the person consulting her; because it would be agreeable, she judged that it would be wrong. She was most sincerely anxious for her poor dependents, but she tormented them most cruelly. When Biddy Finn wished to marry, Lady Selina told her it was her duty to put a restraint on her inclinations; and ultimately prevented her, though there was no objection on earth to Tony Mara; and when the widow Cullen wanted to open a little shop for soap and candles, having eight pounds ten shillings left to stock it, after the wake and funeral were over, Lady Selina told the widow it was her duty to restrain her inclination, and she did so; and the eight pounds ten shillings drifted away in quarters of tea, and most probably, half noggins of whiskey.