make one late in the mornings, restless in the day-time, and sleepless at night鈥攁n effect I have remarked as the usual consequence of a quiet 鏉窞娲楁荡鎸夋懇鏈嶅姟 bachelor suffering himself to be deluded into the company of that insidious creature, woman.
鈥淏eautiful she is,
The serpent鈥檚 voice less subtle than her kiss,
The snake but vanquished dust; and she will draw
Another host from heaven, to break heaven鈥檚 law.鈥?
I did not then know of Miss Lushington鈥檚 presidency at the board of control. I had not even pictured to myself the possibility of such a Siren in such a collection of satins, more innocent than Ulysses鈥攚ho, I am convinced, was a finished profligate from the first, and only went to Troy to get away from Penelope鈥擨 did not even mistrust the cup of Circe. Ah! she made a pig of her admirer, that ancient enchantress; and in Miss Lushington鈥檚 鏉窞鎸夋懇鍝噷濂?presence the admirer makes an ass of himself: that is all the difference. But I anticipate.
Soakington is a delightful situation for
hunting; though perhaps for other purposes the extremely wet 鏉窞鍏荤敓浼氶 nature of the soil and dampness of the atmosphere might make it a less desirable locality. The village consists of a few buildings, of which the Haycock with its stables and out-houses forms far the largest part: there are half-a-dozen 鏉窞涓濊寰堝 straggling cottages, a dilapidated barn, always open and always empty; a pair of stocks with no foot-hold, and a pound; the church is three-quarters-of-a-mile off, and it always rains on a Sunday, except when it snows.
But the surrounding district for many miles would 鏉窞瑗挎箹鍖哄缃?gladden a sportsman鈥檚 heart. There are large wild pastures, all overgrown with rushes, and not half-drained, that cannot fail to carry a scent; the arable land is badly cultivated, and badly cared for; boys never combine the scaring of crows and heading of foxes in this favoured region, and when you do see a plough, it is generally lying stranded in an unfinished furrow, deserted by man 鏉窞鎸夋懇 and horse. Large woods, with deep clay ridings, holding no end of foxes, lie at intervening distances from each other, to afford a succession of famous gallops, and a certainty of hounds 鏉窞瓒崇枟搴楀摢涓ソ being left to work for themselves. Ay, and in the month of May, when the primroses are out, and the violets scenting the air, and other hounds have left off for the season, you may still follow up the chase, in these deep dark glades, with an ardour proportioned to 鏉窞妗戞嬁鎸夋懇璁哄潧缃戝潃 the heat of the sun over your head. Large straggling ill-conditioned fences are the obstacles with which the hunter has to contend; and nothing but a good horse, with discretion as well as courage, is likely to see a run in safety; whilst for the latter quality there is no lack of occasion, inasmuch as the Sludge, a deep, wide, and treacherous brook, winds and doubles through the whole country, where it is least expected, and obtrudes itself in the most unwelcome manner, as one of the principal 鏉窞瓒虫荡搴楁壘浼戦棽濂?features, in every run that takes place. I have said enough to show that Soakington 鏉窞鎸夋懇娌瑰帇鍝噷濂?is no bad billet for a man who means to devote himself to the sport; and when I add that the field is usually small in