"No! that is more than I can bear!" broke in Miss Victoria in a stage whisper, "that dreadful Capitol! Why, not one of us would be here without that dreadful Capitol! except, perhaps, myself."
"You would appear very well as Mrs. Washington, Victoria."
"Miss Dare has been so very obliging as to give us her views of General Washington's character this morning," said Dunbeg, "but I have not yet had time to ask Mr. Carrington for his."
"Whatever Miss Dare says is valuable," replied Carrington, "but her strong point is facts."
"Never flatter! Mr. Carrington," drawled Miss Dare; "I do not need it, and it does not become your style. Tell me, Lord Dunbeg, is not Mr. Carrington a little your idea of General Washington restored to us in his prime?"
"After your account of General Washington, Miss Dare, how can I agree with you?"
"After all," said Lord Skye, "I think we must agree that Miss Dare is in the main right about the charms of Mount Vernon. Even Mrs. Lee, on the way up, agreed that the General, who is the only permanent resident here, has the air of being confoundedly bored in his tomb. I don't myself love your dreadful Capitol yonder, but I prefer it to a bucolic life here. And I account in this way for my want of enthusiasm for your great General. He liked no kind of life but this. He seems to have been greater in the character of a home-sick Virginia planter than as General or President. I forgive him his inordinate dulness, for he was not a diplomatist and it was not his business to lie, but he might once in a way have forgotten Mount Vernon."
Dunbeg here burst in with an excited protest; all his words seemed to shove each other aside in their haste to escape first. "All our greatest Englishmen have been home-sick country squires. I am a home-sick country squire myself."