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yet, like all mad-cap youngsters, he was a universal favourite among the women. The most interesting couple in the dance was the young officer. and a ward of the Squire's, a beautiful blushing girl of seventeen. ' From several shy glances which I had noticed in the course of the evening, I suspected there was a little kindness growing up between them; and, indeed, the young soldier was just the hero to captivate a romantic girl. He was tall, slender, and handsome, and, like most young British officers of late years, had picked up various small accomplishments on the continent-he could talk French and Italian— draw landscapes—sing very tolerably-dance divinely; but, above all, he had been wounded at Waterloo :-what girl of seventeen, well read in poetry and romance, could resist such a mirror of chivalry and perfection!
The moment the dance was over, he caught up a guitar, and lolling against the old marble fireplace, in an attitude which I am half inclined to suspect was studied, began the little French air of the Troubadour. The Squire, however, exclaimed against having any thing on Christmas eve but good old English; upon which the young minstrel, casting up his eye for a moment, as if in an effort of memory, struck into another strain, and with a charming air of gallantry, gave Herrick's “ Night-Piece to Julia;”
Her eyes the glow-worm lend thee,
And the elves also,
Whose little eyes glow
But on, on thy way,
Not making a stay,
The stars of the night
Will lend thee their light,
Then, Julia, let me woo thee,
And when I shall meet
Thy silvery feet,
My soul I'll pour into thee. VOL. II.
whether the fairies might not be at their revels about the hearth.
My chamber was in the old part of the mansion, the ponderous furniture of which might have been fabricated in the days of the giants. The room was pannelled, with cornices of heavy carved work, in which flowers and grotesque faces were strangely intermingled; and a row of black-looking portraits stared mournfully at me from the walls. The bed was of rich though faded damask, with a lofty tester, and stood in a niche opposite a bow window. I had scarcely got into bed when a strain of music seemed to break forth in the air just below the window. I listened, and found it proceeded from a band, which I concluded to be the waits from some neighouring village. They went round the house, ng under the windows. I drew aside the
to hear them more distinctly. The
The song might or might not have been intended in compliment to the fair Julia, for so I found his partner was called; she, however, was certainly unconscious of any such application, for she never looked at the singer, but kept her eyes cast upon the floor. Her face was suffused, it is true, with a beautiful blush, and there was a gentle heaving of the bosom, but all that was doubtless caused by the exercise of the dance; indeed, so great was her indifference, that she was amusing herself with plucking to pieces a choice bouquet of hothouse flowers, and by the time the song was concluded the nosegay lay in ruins on the floor.
The party now broke up for the night with the kind-hearted old custom of shaking hands. As I passed through the hall, on my way to my chamber, the dying embers of the yule clog still sent forth a dusky glow, and had it not been the season when“ no spirit dares stir abroad,” I should have been half tempted to steal from my room at midnight, and peep