As Richard still continued to say that he was fixed in his choice after repeated periods for consideration had been recommended by Mr. Jarndyce and had expired, and he still continued to assure Ada and me in the same final manner that it was "all right," it became advisable to take Mr. Kenge into council. Mr. Kenge, therefore, came down to dinner one day, and leaned back in his chair, and turned his eye-glasses over and over, and spoke in a sonorous voice, and did exactly what I remembered to have seen him do when I was a little girl.
"Ah!" said Mr. Kenge. "Yes. Well! A very good profession, Mr. Jarndyce, a very good profession."
"The course of study and preparation requires to be diligently pursued," observed my guardian with a glance at Richard.
"Oh, no doubt," said Mr. Kenge. "Diligently."
"But that being the case, more or less, with all pursuits that are worth much," said Mr. Jarndyce, "it is not a special consideration which another choice would be likely to escape."
"Truly," said Mr. Kenge. "And Mr. Richard Carstone, who has so meritoriously acquitted himself in the--shall I say the classic shades?--in which his youth had been passed, will, no doubt, apply the habits, if not the principles and practice, of versification in that tongue in which a poet was said (unless I mistake) to be born, not made, to the more eminently practical field of action on which he enters."
"You may rely upon it," said Richard in his off-hand manner, "that I shall go at it and do my best."
"Very well, Mr. Jarndyce!" said Mr. Kenge, gently nodding his head. "Really, when we are assured by Mr. Richard that he means to go at it and to do his best," nodding feelingly and smoothly over those expressions, "I would submit to you that we have only to inquire into the best mode of carrying out the object of his ambition. Now, with reference to placing Mr. Richard with some sufficiently eminent practitioner. Is there any one in view at present?"
"No one, Rick, I think?" said my guardian.
"No one, sir," said Richard.
"Quite so!" observed Mr. Kenge. "As to situation, now. Is there any particular feeling on that head?"
"N--no," said Richard.
"Quite so!" observed Mr. Kenge again.
"I should like a little variety," said Richard; "I mean a good range of experience."
"Very requisite, no doubt," returned Mr. Kenge. "I think this may be easily arranged, Mr. Jarndyce? We have only, in the first place, to discover a sufficiently eligible practitioner; and as soon as we make our want--and shall I add, our ability to pay a premium?-- known, our only difficulty will be in the selection of one from a large number. We have only, in the second place, to observe those little formalities which are rendered necessary by our time of life and our being under the guardianship of the court. We shall soon be--shall I say, in Mr. Richard's own light-hearted manner, 'going at it'--to our heart's content. It is a coincidence," said Mr. Kenge with a tinge of melancholy in his smile, "one of those coincidences which may or may not require an explanation beyond our present limited faculties, that I have a cousin in the medical profession. He might be deemed eligible by you and might be disposed to respond to this proposal. I can answer for him as little as for you, but he MIGHT!"
As this was an opening in the prospect, it was arranged that Mr. Kenge should see his cousin. And as Mr. Jarndyce had before proposed to take us to London for a few weeks, it was settled next day that we should make our visit at once and combine Richard's business with it.
Mr. Boythorn leaving us within a week, we took up our abode at a cheerful lodging near Oxford Street over an upholsterer's shop. London was a great wonder to us, and we were out for hours and hours at a time, seeing the sights, which appeared to be less capable of exhaustion than we were. We made the round of the principal theatres, too, with great delight, and saw all the plays that were worth seeing. I mention this because it was at the theatre that I began to be made uncomfortable again by Mr.