The Daisy Chain or Aspirations HTML version

Chapter I.29
Heart affluence in household talk,
From social fountains never dry.--TENNYSON.
"What a bore!"
"What's the matter now?"
"Here has this old fellow asked me to dinner again!"
"A fine pass we are come to!" cried Dr. May, half amused, half irate. "I should
like to know what I should have said at your age if the head-master had
asked me to dinner."
"Papa is not so very fond of dining at Dr. Hoxton's," said Ethel. "A whipper-
snapper schoolboy, who might be thankful to dine anywhere!" continued Dr.
May, while the girls burst out laughing, and Norman looked injured.
"It is very ungrateful of Norman," said Flora; "I cannot see what he finds to
complain of."
"You would know," said Norman, "if, instead of playing those perpetual tunes
of yours, you had to sit it out in that perfumy drawing-room, without anything
to listen to worth hearing. If I have looked over that court album once, I have
a dozen times, and there is not another book in the place."
"I am glad there is not," said Flora. "I am quite ashamed to see you for ever
turning over those old pictures. You cannot guess how stupid you look. I
wonder Mrs. Hoxton likes to have you," she added, patting his shoulders
between jest and earnest.
"I wish she would not, then. It is only to escort you."
"Nonsense, Norman, you know better," cried Ethel. "You know it is for your
own sake, and to make up for their injustice, that he invites you, or Flora
"Hush, Ethel! he gives himself quite airs enough already," said the doctor.
"Papa!" said Ethel, in vexation, though he gave her a pinch to show it was all
in good humour, while he went on, "I am glad to hear they do leave him to
himself in a corner. A very good thing too! Where else should a great gawky
schoolboy be?"