"My good woman," said the warned, "I shall die when my time comes. But I shall not hurry myself, for all the gentlemen in Paradise, nor all the blackguards upon earth."
He spake, and sipped his port with one hand, and waved them superbly back to their village with the other.
But, when they were gone, he pondered.
And the more he pondered, the further he got from the prosaic but singular fact.
In the old oak dining-room, where the above colloquy took place, hung a series of family portraits. One was of a lovely girl with oval face, olive complexion, and large dark tender eyes: and this was the gem of the whole collection; but it conferred little pleasure on the spectator, owing to a trivial circumstance--it was turned with its face to the wall; and all that met the inquiring eye was an inscription on the canvas, not intended to be laudatory.
This beauty, with her back to creation, was Edith Raby, Guy's sister.
During their father's lifetime she was petted and allowed her own way. Hillsborough, odious to her brother, was, naturally, very attractive to her, and she often rode into the town to shop and chat with her friends, and often stayed a day or two in it, especially with a Mrs. Manton, wife of a wealthy manufacturer.
Guy merely sneered at her, her friends, and her tastes, till he suddenly discovered that she had formed an attachment to one of the obnoxious class, Mr. James Little, a great contract builder. He was too shocked at first to vent his anger. He turned pale, and could hardly speak; and the poor girl's bosom began to quake.