'I am told so,' without honouring me with much of his notice. "'I should think so, from the attention Mr. Hazlewood and Lucy are bestowing on it.'
"He raised his head hastily, and held his pencil suspended for an instant. Apparently he saw nothing that excited his suspicions, for he was resuming the folds of a Mahratta's turban in tranquility, when I interrupted him with--'How old is Miss Bertram, sir?'
'How should I know, Miss? about your own age, I suppose.'
"'Older, I should think, sir. You are always telling me how much more decorously she goes through all the honours of the tea-table--Lord, papa, what if you should give her a right to preside once and for ever!'
'Julia, my, dear,' returned papa 'you are either a fool outright, or you are more disposed to make mischief than I have yet believed you.'
"'Oh, my dear. sir! put your best construction upon it--I would not be thought. a. fool for all the world. '
'Then why do you talk like one?' said my father.
'Lord, sir, I am sure there is nothing so foolish in what I said just now--everybody knows you are a very handsome man' (a smile was just visible), 'that is, for your time of life' (the dawn was over-cast), 'which is far from being advanced, and I am sure I don't know why you should not please yourself, if you have a mind. I am sensible I am but a thoughtless girl, and if a graver companion could render you more happy--'