Persians, who seem also to have been wonderful fellows to ride, had a pleasing system of deliberation, which has somewhat fallen into disuse in our modern Parliaments. According to the old historians, it was their 鏉窞妗戞嬁榫欏嚖 practice to discuss all graver matters of policy when in a state of inebriety, giving their debate the advantage of being resumed and repeated next morning; also, should they inadvertently convene a meeting when sober, to reverse the process, and ascertain whether on getting drunk over it they arrived at the same result. The system was not without its merits, no doubt, one of the most prominent of which seems to have been that it entailed a double allowance of liquor. Mr. Sawyer was sufficiently a Persian to reconsider his decision of the previous night, 鏉窞澶滅敓娲讳氦鍙媞q缇?when he woke next morning with a trifling head-ache, and a tongue more like that of a reindeer, as preserved by Fortnum and Mason, than the organ of speech and deglutition peculiar to the human subject.
He was a hard fellow enough; but no man can smoke cigars and drink hot-stopping 鏉窞妗戞嬁淇℃伅澶у叏 the last thing at night, and get up in the morning without remembering that he has done so.
A plunge into his cold bath, however, a cup of warm tea, with a rasher of bacon frizzling from the fire, and well peppered, soon restored the brightness to our friend鈥檚 eye and the colour to his cheek. When he lit his cigar on his own well-cleaned door-step, and turned his face to the balmy breath of 鈥渏ocund day,鈥?under a soft November sky, dappled, and mellowed, and tinged here and there with gold by the winter sun, he felt, as he expressed it, 鈥渇it as a fiddle, 鏉窞澶滄鎷?and hotter upon Market Harborough than ever.鈥?
He was a man of few words though, when he meant business, and only pausing for a moment at the Stable, and feeling the grey鈥檚 legs, which somehow always did fill after a day鈥檚 hunting, he took no living mortal into his confidence, not even the taciturn Isaac (of whom more hereafter); but started for a five-mile walk, to inspect the stables of a certain horse-coping worthy, with whom he had long been too well acquainted, and who generally had a good bit of stuff somewhere about the premises, provided only you could 鏉窞鎸夋懇琛?get hold of the right one.
Mr. Sawyer was not a man to order a horse out of the stable in the hunting season for any but the legitimate purpose of the chase. 鈥淲alking,鈥?he said, 鈥渒ept him in wind;鈥?and off he started down a narrow lane that in summer was thick with 鏉窞瓒虫荡缃?blackberries and blooming with dog roses, and over a stile and across a fallow, and through a wood, at an honest five-mile-an-hour, heel-and-toe; every turn in the path reminding him, as he stepped along, of some feat of horsemanship or skilful shot, or other pleasing association connected with his country home. And this is one of the greatest advantages of hunting from home. After all, notwithstanding her irresistible attractions, we cannot follow Diana every day of our lives, and surely it is wiser and pleasanter to take her as we want her amongst our own woods and 鏉窞浣忓spa鍏荤敓浼氭墍
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