Mrs. Howett packed her off right away. She left the very

That day her hospitable board was spread over a trap. Blessed with an oracle irrelevantly fluent, and dumb to the point, she had asked him to dinner with maternal address. He could not be on his guard eternally; sooner or later, through inadvertence, or in a moment of convivial recklessness, or in a parenthesis of some grand Generality, he would cure her child: or, perhaps, at his rate of talking, would wear out all his idle themes, down to the very "well-being of mankind;" and them Julia's mysterious indisposition would come on the blank tapis. With these secret hopes she presided at the feast, all grace and gentle amity. Julia, too, sat down with a little design, but a very different one, viz., of being chilly company; for she disliked this new acquaintance, and hated the science of medicine.

Mrs. Howett packed her off right away. She left the very

The unconscious Object chatted away with both, and cut their replies very short, and did strange things: sent away Julia's chicken, regardless of her scorn, and prescribed mutton; called for champagne and made her drink it and pout; and thus excited Mrs. Dodd's hopes that he was attending to the case by degrees.

Mrs. Howett packed her off right away. She left the very

But after dinner, Julia, to escape medicine universal and particular, turned to her mother, and dilated on treachery of her literary guide, the _Criticaster._ "It said 'Odds and Ends' was a good novel to read by the seaside. So I thought then oh! how different it must be from most books, if you can sit by the glorious sea and even look at it. So I sent for it directly, and, would you believe, it was an ignoble thing; all flirtations and curates. The sea indeed! A pond would be fitter to read it by; and one with a good many geese on."

Mrs. Howett packed her off right away. She left the very

"Was ever such simplicity!" said Mrs. Dodd. "Why, my dear, that phrase about the sea does not _mean_ anything. I shall have you believing that Mr. So-and-So, a novelist, can _'wither fashionable folly,'_ and that _'a painful incident'_ to one shopkeeper has _'thrown a gloom'_ over a whole market-town, and so on. Now-a-days every third phrase is of this character; a starling's note. Once, it appears, there was an age of gold, and then came one of iron, and then of brass. All these are gone, and the age of 'jargon' has succeeded."

She sighed, and Sampson generalised; he plunged from the seaside novel into the sea of fiction. He rechristened that joyous art Feckshin, and lashed its living professors. "You devour their three volumes greedily," said he, "but after your meal you feel as empty as a drum; there is no leading idea in 'um; now there always is--in Moliere; and _he_ comprehended the midicine of his age. But what fundamental truth d'our novelists iver convey? All they can do is pile incidents. Their customers dictate th' article: unideaed melodrams for unideaed girls. The writers and their feckshins belong to one species, and that's 'the non-vertebrated animals;' and their midicine is Bosh; why, they bleed still for falls and fevers; and niver mention vital chronometry. Then they don't look straight at Nature, but see with their ears, and repeat one another twelve deep. Now, listen me! there are the cracters for an 'ideaed feckshin' in Barkington, and I'd write it, too, only I haven't time."

At this, Julia, forgetting her resolution, broke out, "Romantic characters in Barkington? Who? who?"

"Who _should_ they be, but my pashints? Ay, ye may lauch, Miss Julee, but wait till ye see them." He was then seized with a fit of candour, and admitted that some, even of his pashints, were colourless; indeed, not to mince the matter, six or seven of that sacred band were nullity in person. "I can compare the beggars to nothing," said he, "but the globules of the Do-Nothings; dee----d insipid, and nothing in 'em. But the others make up. Man alive, I've got 'a rosy-cheeked miser,' and an 'ill-used attorney,' and an 'honest Screw'--he is a gardener, with a head like a cart-horse."

"Mamma! mamma! that is Mr. Maxley," cried Julia, clapping her hands, and thawing in her own despite.

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