There was, therefore, at first little conversation, save criticism on the performances before them, and that chiefly panegyrical; each dish was delicious, each wine exquisite; and yet, even in these occasional remarks, Ferdinand was pleased with the lively fancy of his neighbour, affording an elegant contrast to the somewhat gross unction with which Lord Castlefyshe, whose very soul seemed wrapped up in his occupation, occasionally expressed himself.

But Mr. Bland-ford was good-tempered, and was now easy and experienced, and there was a vague tradition that he was immensely rich, a rumour which Mr. Blandford always contradicted in a manner which skilfully confirmed its truth. 'Does Mirabel dine with you, Sharpe? enquired Lord Castlefyshe of his host, who nodded assent. 'You won't wait for him, I hope? said his lordship.

Bond Sharpe glided along, dropping oracular sentences, without condescending to stop to speak to those whom he addressed. Charley Doricourt and Mr. Blandford walked away together, towards a further apartment. Lord Castlefyshe and Lord Catchimwhocan were soon busied with écarté. 'Well, Faneville, good general, how do you do? said Count Mirabel.

The Count received their congratulations, for this morning he had won his pigeon match. 'Only think of that old fool, Castlefyshe, betting on Poppington, said the Count. 'I want to see him, old idiot! Who knows where Charley is? 'I do, Mirabel, said Lord Catchimwhocan. 'He has gone to Richmond with Blandford and the two little Furzlers. 'That good Blandford!

Tis the most regular epistle I ever read; I expected it. 'Tis an excellent fellow, that Mr. Temple; I will certainly dine with him, and send an excuse to that old Castlefyshe. A family party, all right; and he asks me, that is proper. I should not wonder if it ended by my being your trustee, or your executor, or your first child's godfather. Ah, that good Temple is a sensible man.

'By-the-bye, Blandford, you shirked last night. 'I promised to look in at the poor duke's before he went off, said Mr. Blandford. 'Oh! he has gone, has he? said Lord Castlefyshe. 'Does he take his cook with him? But here the servant ushered in Count Alcibiades de Mirabel, Charles Doricourt, and Mr. Bevil. 'Excellent Sharpe, how do you do? exclaimed the Count.

Bond Sharpe's he was welcomed by his host in a magnificent suite of saloons, and introduced to two of the guests who had previously arrived. The first was a stout man, past middle age, whose epicurean countenance twinkled with humour. This was Lord Castlefyshe, an Irish peer of great celebrity in the world of luxury and play, keen at a bet, still keener at a dinner.

'You were a stranger among us yesterday, said Count Mirabel; 'I think you were rather diverted. I saw you did justice to that excellent Bond Sharpe. That shows that you have a mind above prejudice. Do you know he was by far the best man at the table except ourselves? Ferdinand smiled. 'It is true, he has a heart and a brain. Old Castlefyshe has neither.

One declared that women were governed by their feelings; another maintained that they had no heart; a third propounded that it was all imagination; a fourth that it was all vanity. Lord Castlefyshe muttered something about their passions; and Charley Doricourt declared that they had no passions whatever.

Bevil whispered his approbation to Lord Catchimwhocan. 'The fact is, said Charles Doricourt, 'it is only boys and old men who are plagued by women. They take advantage of either state of childhood. Eh! Castlefyshe? 'In that respect, then, somewhat resembling you, Charley, replied his lordship, who did not admire the appeal.