“Oh no, don’t wish any difference in those high spirits!”
“She makes it a cheerful house, dear child; and even Allen has brightened lately.”
“And, Jock? He looks hard-worked, but brisk as ever.”
“He does work very hard in all ways; but he thoroughly enjoys his work, and is as much my sunshine as Babie. There are golden opinions of him in the Medical School; indeed there are of both my Johns.”
“They are quite the foremost of the young men of their year, and carry off most of the distinctions, besides being leaders in influence. So Dr. Medlicott told us,” said Mrs. Evelyn; “and yet he said it was delightful to see how they avoided direct rivalry, or else were perfectly friendly over it.”
“Yes, they avoid, when it is possible, going in for the same things, and indeed I think Jock has more turn for the scientific side of the study, and the Friar for the practical. There is room for them both!”
“And what a contrast they are! What a very handsome fellow John has grown! So tall, and broad, and strong, with that fine colour, and dark eyes as beautiful as his sister’s!”
“More beautiful, I should say,” returned Caroline; “there is so much more intellect in them-raising them out of the regular Kencroft comeliness. True, the great charm of the stalwart Friar, as we call him, is-what his father has in some degree-that quiet composed way that gives one a sense of protection. I think his patients will feel entire trust in his hands. They say at the hospital the poor people always are happy when they see one of the Mr. Brownlows coming, whether it be the big or the little one.”
“Not so very little, except by comparison; and I am glad Jock keeps his soldierly bearing.”
“He is a Volunteer, you know, and very valuable there.”
“But he has not an ounce of superfluous flesh. He puts me in mind of a perfectly polished, finished instrument!”
“That is just what used to be said of his father. Colonel Brownlow says he is the most like my poor young father of all the children.”
“He is the most like you.”
“But he puts me most of all in mind of my husband, in all his ways, and manner; and our old friends tell me that he sets about things exactly like his father, as if it were by imitation. I like to know it is so.”
CHAPTER XXXVI. OF NO CONSEQUENCE.
Fell not, but dangled in mid air,
For from a fissure in the stone
Which lined its sides, a bush had grown,
To this he clung with all his might.
Lord Fordham made it his most especial and urgent desire that his brother’s wedding, which was to take place before Lent, should be at his home instead of at the lady’s. Otherwise he could not be present, for Kenminster had a character for bleakness, and he was never allowed to travel in an English winter. Besides, he had set his heart on giving one grand festal day to his tenantry, who had never had a day of rejoicing since his great-uncle came of age, forty years ago.