Crotchet Castle HTML version

Mr. Chainmail felt curious to know from whom these letters might be; and he
again threw out two or three fishing questions, to which, as before, he obtained
no answer.
The only living biped they met in their walk was the unfortunate Harry Ap-
Heather, with whom they fell in by the stepping-stones, who, seeing the girl of his
heart hanging on another man's arm, and, concluding at once that they were
"keeping company," fixed on her a mingled look of surprise, reproach, and
tribulation; and, unable to control his feelings under the sudden shock, burst into
a flood of tears, and blubbered till the rocks re-echoed.
They left him mingling his tears with the stream, and his lamentations with its
murmurs. Mr. Chainmail inquired who that strange creature might be, and what
was the matter with him. The young lady answered, that he was a very worthy
young man, to whom she had been the innocent cause of much unhappiness.
"I pity him sincerely," said Mr. Chainmail and, nevertheless, he could scarcely
restrain his laughter at the exceedingly original figure which the unfortunate rustic
lover had presented by the stepping-stones.
The children ran out to meet their dear Miss Susan, jumped all round her, and
asked what was become of her hat. Ap-Llymry came out in great haste, and
invited Mr. Chainmail to walk in and dine: Mr. Chainmail did not wait to be asked
twice. In a few minutes the whole party, Miss Susan and Mr. Chainmail, Mr. and
Mrs. Ap-Llymry, and progeny, were seated over a clean homespun table cloth,
ornamented with fowls and bacon, a pyramid of potatoes, another of cabbage,
which Ap-Llymry said "was poiled with the pacon, and as coot as marrow," a
bowl of milk for the children, and an immense brown jug of foaming ale, with
which Ap-Llymry seemed to delight in filling the horn of his new guest.
Shall we describe the spacious apartment, which was at once kitchen, hall, and
dining-room,--the large dark rafters, the pendent bacon and onions, the strong
old oaken furniture, the bright and trimly-arranged utensils? Shall we describe the
cut of Ap-Llymry's coat, the colour and tie of his neckcloth, the number of buttons
at his knees,--the structure of Mrs. Ap-Llymry's cap, having lappets over the ears,
which were united under the chin, setting forth especially whether the bond of
union were a pin or a ribbon? We shall leave this tempting field of interesting
expatiation to those whose brains are high-pressure steam-engines for spinning
prose by the furlong, to be trumpeted in paid-for paragraphs in the quack's corner
of newspapers: modern literature having attained the honourable distinction of
sharing, with blacking and Macassar oil, the space which used to be
monopolised by razor-strops and the lottery; whereby that very enlightened
community, the reading public, is tricked into the perusal of much exemplary
nonsense; though the few who see through the trickery have no reason to
complain, since as "good wine needs no bush," so, ex vi oppositi, these bushes
of venal panegyric point out very clearly that the things they celebrate are not
worth reading.
The party dined very comfortably in a corner most remote from the fire: and Mr.
Chainmail very soon found his head swimming with two or three horns of ale, of a
potency to which even he was unaccustomed. After dinner Ap-Llymry made him