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“Now I don’t feel sure that the young man in question has that something over and above. It is Mr. Matthew Diamond, tutor at the Grammar School in this town.”

“A most excellent young man! And, I’m sure, most devotedly in love with Rhoda.”

“But very poor, and not of much account in the world, as far as I can make out.”

“Oh, don’t say that, Mr. Maxfield! He is proud and shy, and has kept himself aloof from society because he chose to do so. But he would be a welcome guest anywhere in the town or county. Young Mr. Pawkins, of Pudcombe Hall, quite courts him; he is always asking him to go over there.”

Thus much and more Miss Chubb valiantly spoke on behalf of Matthew Diamond in his character of Rhoda’s wooer. And then she expatiated 长沙桑拿洗浴全套价格 on the excellent position he would hold as master of Dorrington School. It was such a “select seminary;” and so many of the first county people sent their boys there. “Dear me,” said Miss Chubb, “it seems to me to be the very position for Rhoda! Not too far from Whitford, and yet not too near—of course she couldn’t keep up all her old acquaintances here, could she?—and altogether so refined, and scholastic, and quiet! And really, Mr. Maxfield, see how everything turns out for the best. I thought at one time that young Errington was very much smitten with Rhoda; but, if she had taken him, you wouldn’t have been so satisfied with her position in life now, would you? With all his talent and connection, see what a poor place he has of it. Mr. Diamond has done best, ten to one.”

This was a master-stroke, and made a great impression 长沙桑拿最好最高端 on old Max. Not that the latter even now was at all dazzled by the prospect of having the head-master of Dorrington School for his son-in-law. But Miss Chubb’s allusion did suffice to show him that the world would consider Diamond to be a triumphantly successful man in comparison with Errington.

“Oh, him!” said Maxfield in a tone of bitter contempt. “No; such as him was not for Miss Maxfield. And I’ll tell you, moreover, that I don’t know but what she’s throwing herself away more or less if she takes this other. She’s a great catch for him; I know the world, and I know that she is a great catch. But I’ve felt latterly one or two warnings that my end is near——”

“Dear me, Mr. Maxfield! Don’t say so! I’m sure you look very hearty!” exclaimed Miss Chubb, much startled by this cool announcement.

“That my end is near,” repeated 2019长沙桑拿论坛 old Max doggedly, “and I wish to set my house in order, and see my daughter provided for, before I go. And she seems to be contented with this young man. Rhoda ain’t just easy to please. It might be a long time, if ever, before she found some one to suit her so well.”

Miss Chubb was a little shocked at this singularly prosaic and unemotional way of treating the subject of love and marriage, as to which she herself preserved the most romantic freshness of ideas. She would have liked the young couple to be like the lovers in a story-book, and the father to bestow his daughter and his blessing with tears of joy. However, she did her best to encourage Mr. Maxfield in giving his consent after his own fashion, and they parted on excellent terms with each other.

“That dry old chip, Jonathan Maxfield, has been to me to-day,” said Dr. Bodkin after dinner to his wife and daughter. “He came to ask me what prospect I thought Diamond had of getting the mastership of Dorrington, explaining to me that Diamond was a suitor for his daughter’s hand. It took me quite by surprise. Had you any inkling of the matter, Minnie?”

“Oh yes, papa.”

“Dear me! Well, women see these things so quickly! H’m! Well, Master Diamond has shown good taste, I must say. That little Rhoda is the prettiest girl I know. And such a sweet, soft, lovable creature! I think she’s too good for him.”

“It is a singular thing, but I have remarked very often that men in general are apt to think pretty girls too good for anybody but themselves!”

The doctor frowned, and then smiled. “Have you so, Saucebox?” he said.

“I don’t know about her being too good for him,” said Mrs. Bodkin, in her quick, low

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tones; “but I suppose he knows very well what he is about. Old Maxfield has feathered his nest very considerably. It will be a very good match for a poor man like Matthew Diamond.”

Mrs. Bodkin had for some time past exhibited symptoms of dislike to Diamond. She never had a good word for him; she even was almost rancorous against him at times, although she seldom allowed the feeling to express itself in words before her daughter. Minnie understood it all very well. “Poor mother!” she thought to herself, “she cannot forgive him. I wish I could persuade her that there is nothing to forgive. How could he help it if I was a fool?” Yet the mother and daughter had never exchanged a word on the subject. And Minnie comforted herself with the conviction that her mother was the only person in the world who guessed her secret. “Mamma has a sixth sense where I am concerned,” said she to herself.

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