"The younger of the princesses rose from her seat at this remark, and was about to take the hand which the young nobleman extended to her, with an eagerness which arose from a variety of motives, when the admiral intervened between them, observing; "A moment, if you please, my lord; it is not possible for ladies to disembark just now, the sea is too rough; it is probable the wind may abate before sunset, and the landing will not be effected, therefore, until this evening."
"I cannot suppose that these gentlemen intend to expose the lives of their royal highnesses," replied the admiral.
"These envoys have shown how great their courage is," said the admiral. "You may have observed that there was a great number of persons on shore who did not venture to accompany them.
"And who is Admiral Croft?" was Sir Walter's cold suspicious inquiry.
Mr Shepherd hastened to assure him, that Admiral Croft was a very hale, hearty, well-looking man, a little weather-beaten, to be sure, but not much, and quite the gentleman in all his notions and behaviour; not likely to make the smallest difficulty about terms, only wanted a comfortable home, and to get into it as soon as possible; knew he must pay for his convenience; knew what rent a ready-furnished house of that consequence might fetch; should not have been surprised if Sir Walter had asked more; had inquired about the manor; would be glad of the deputation, certainly, but made no great point of it; said he sometimes took out a gun, but never killed; quite the gentleman.
The Admiral had hardly got home, and had just seated himself in his dining-room, when the attack upon him was renewed.
"Pray do not trouble, Admiral. I only looked in with reference to our little chat this morning.
"My dear Admiral!" he exclaimed, "do you--er-- do you generally cut out a new front door whenever you want to go for a walk?"
He momentarily fulfilled all Fanshaw's fable of an old piratical Admiral; though the details seemed afterwards to decompose into accidents.
"That is enough, sir, to bequeath your fortune to the admiral; and therefore that is all.
Let us say, the admiral has made the use of your legacy which you have privately requested him to make of it.
Thomson was a few minutes late for dinner but even the Admiral forgave him.
"There are a good many things which will make strange reading after the war is over," the Admiral said grimly.
She is exactly the woman to do away every prejudice of such a man as the Admiral, for she he would describe, if indeed he has now delicacy of language enough to embody his own ideas.
"That's right; and in London, of course, a house of your own: no longer with the Admiral. My dearest Henry, the advantage to you of getting away from the Admiral before your manners are hurt by the contagion of his, before you have contracted any of his foolish opinions, or learned to sit over your dinner as if it were the best blessing of life!