Lady Oakstead is going to take me, this afternoon, to see his church, &c., thoroughly; and behold, I learn from him that she is a notable woman for doing good in her parish, never so happy as in trotting to cottages, though her good deeds are always in the background.
Lady Oakstead is an honourable matron, whom I pity for having me in her way; a man unable to be got rid of by the lawful exercises of shooting and riding, and with a father always consulting her about him, and watching every look and movement, till the blood comes throbbing to my temples by the mere attraction of his eyes.
I was hoping to creep up in secret, but they all came out, fell upon me, Lady Oakstead sent me tea, and ordered me to rest; and so handsomely did I obey, that when next I opened my eyes, and saw my father waiting, as I thought, for me to go down to dinner with him, I found he had just come up after the ladies had quitted the dining-room.
In the midst of these, there occurred a vacancy in the representation of a borough chiefly under the influence of Sir Miles Oakstead; and, as it was considered expedient that he should be brought into Parliament, his father repaired with him at once to Oakstead, and involved him in all the business of the election.
Sir Miles Oakstead was absolutely shocked to see the alteration in his appearance, as well as in his spirits; and although both our kind host and hostess are most solicitous on his account, it happens unfortunately that they are at this juncture quite alone, so that he is without companions of his own age. I must not, however, alarm you.
Sometimes a troop of damsels glad Sometimes a curly shepherd lad, Or long-haired page in crimson clad, Goes by to towered Camelot; And sometimes, through the mirror blue, The knights come riding two and two. She hath no loyal knight and true The Lady of Shalott. 'Oakstead, Oct. 14th, 1847.
Still, the subject must be entered on; and when Lord Ormersfield had mentioned the engagement to go to Oakstead, he added, 'All is well, since I have found you here. Let me tell you that I never felt more grateful nor more relieved than by this instance of regard for my wishes.
Only think what Jane Drummond says of her! When the idea of going to see how matters stood had once occurred to the Earl, he could not stay at home: the ankle and the affections preyed on him by turns, and he wrote to Sir Miles Oakstead to fix an earlier day for the promised visit, as well as to his son, to announce his speedy arrival.
Being without a horse on whose neck to lay the reins, I could only coast the hedge, hoping it might lead me back to Oakstead Park, which I had abandoned in my craving for space and dread of being dogged by the Ensign.
Louis asked for the paper, saying his senses would just serve for the advertisements, but presently he made an exclamation of surprise at beholding, in full progress, the measure which had brought Sir Miles Oakstead to Ormersfield, one of peculiar interest to the Earl. His blank look of wonder amused Mrs. Ponsonby, but seemed somewhat to hurt his father.