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On the day succeeding that really ?” with all due fervour and which witnessed the little ebulli- impressiveness, her unmoved countion above narrated, Elizabeth was tenance betrayed that she exclaimed busy with her hyacinths, when the by rote. barouche from the Priory swept up “May we consider that fixed the modest drive, and her aunt in then, my dear?” February furs and velvet bonnet “Oh, certainly, aunt Adelaide, alighted.
-very happy. John“My dear, I came early-I know “ You will ask John? Quite you will excuse it; how sweet, how right, so right. Always consult delicious this room is ! All from your husband's wishes. And you the hyacinths? Yes? Your uncle will let us know? But you will and I hope that you and John--so accept nothing else for that evenfull of the sun too_charming, quite ing?" charming! We must have some “I beg your pardon. I am sure people you know, my dear, to meet – I know I may answer for John; you; and perhaps Thursday week he is always glad to go to the —take care, my love, the new car- Priory, so would certainly wish pet! watering-pot drippings may me to say 'yes' at once.
I was have paint on them. Oh, there are only going to say he is out this drops on the velvet table, too! morning.' Your handkerchief? Ah, yes, quite
to miss him,
you dry-no harm done. But, my dear, were the person I chiefly came to will that day suit you? No other see. And you really say 'Yes'? engagement ?'
That is charming ! then I can send “We have no engagements at all, Thomas round at once. So thoughtthank you."
ful of you, my love, if you are quite “ Not yet ? no ? really?”
sure John will not mind—for of Elizabeth brought one of her course it does make a difference to glasses into the ray of sunlight. know. One ought to try to get to
The young couple had not been gether the right people to meet each settled in their new home above a other. But how can one if you are fortnight: it was natural to suppose unable to fix the day?" reasoned that their evenings might be still the lady, wisely. at liberty.
“Yes, certainly, you may depend Nor did Lady Adelaide feel the upon us.” smallest degree of astonishment. “Oh, and Miss Chorley, that It was she who ought to introduce charming beautiful friend of yours, her niece. It was at their house of course we include her; or must I, Elizabeth must make her first ap- ought I not to write a separate inpearance, and she had been only vitation? Undoubtedly I ought. waiting for Sir Walter to recover You think not? really ?" from his last attack of the gout to “She left us this morning, thank issue her cards. She calculated you.” that by the day fixed on he would “Dear! this morning! Is it be well enough to receive his guests; possible ? " and though Elizabeth had been Now Anne had arrived on a duly waited upon by the principal week's visit, the week had expired, neighbouring families, it was only and she had departed—what more now that she might begin to expect could be said ? Anne had herself the inevitable invitations. Thus, informed Lady Adelaide of the although she cried “Not yet? no? duration of her stay; and Elizabeth,
alive to everything, remembered to see them. I assure you he did, having heard the same “Is it pos- Came all the way to Kensington. sible ?” on the subject a few days So accomplished ! So clever !" before.
Or, her niece could catch, “A “ Then I need not write ? " sweet place the Cottage, is it not? Plainly not.
And she has made it so pretty, so * But we should have been so fresh and bright. Nice new furniglad, so pleased to have seen her, ture, birds, flowers,-quite a genius and of course a special invitation, for arranging flowers, -and all the -and, my dear Elizabeth, your little elegant knick-knacks put white satin, you won't mind, will about. Shows such taste in everyyou, just this once? Sir Walter thing." does like to be old-fashioned, you Or, “ Are you a worker, my dear? know, and a bride out of white You must get my niece to show you satin
her embroidery—that new kind of “Would be a queen without a work, you know, in wools. All done crown? Very well, aunt Adelaide, from nature, assure you, every white satin it shall be ; wreath and stitch in it. What can the name be? veil too, I suppose ?”
Elizabeth, my love, what is the “My dear! But you are only in name of that beautiful wool-work jest. Orange-blossom, you know, you do, all from nature? Miss de is quite inadmissible except upon Bury is longing to see it.” the day-quite. Your maid must Elizabeth could not forgive her. take it off the dress even. You “I am helpless whatever she know that-yes? And, my love, chooses to say, John. I cannot your music ; you will bring your contradict, because it is bad manmusic and your drawings—some of ners. I cannot help hearing; and those foreign sketches you took if I attempt to turn it aside, Lady last autumn, so bright and pretty; Adelaide is sure to make herself and-and
only the more ridiculous; and me “Pray, nothing more this time. too, that is the worst of it. People My music I will bring, but the will suppose that I am enjoying it! sketches are on such a very small That new kind of wool-work! Why, scale, surely there will be some every creature does it, and Miss de one among the guests more fitted Bury worked some a year and a half to exhibit than I?"
“My dear, how can you say so ! “What is it?" Every one admires them exceeding- “Oh, crewels. You know the ly—50 spirited, so clever !" thing, though you don't know the
Elizabeth started, the obnoxious name. That Honeysuckle I did for epithet settled the question; noth- the little black chair, that was it. ing should induce her to be shown And then about our flowers, she off to her aunt's guests.
is really very kind, you know, in Bat, when the time came, Lady bringing them, and then she is quite Adelaide was not to be foiled. amazed because I put them into The portfolio, to be sure, was not at water. How people will laugh at hand, but it existed; and she could still whisper in audible asides, “No, they won't. They know “Sketches, too, charmingly-charm- her too well !” ingly. Hall absolutely amazed. “Why does she fix upon me? Lord Guelder, quite the best ama- You are her relation, yet she never teur last season, came on purpose annoys you in the same way.”
“You are mistaken. I heard her but unfortunately, as it raised her exalting my knowledge of horses to spirits, and stirred up her gentle Mr Foster, at the other end of the sluggish nature, it served also more dinner-table."
prominently to display its defects. “Your knowledge of horses !" “My dear, do tell me about your
“And advising him to apply to servants. Are they comforts to me for the next hunters he wanted.” you? I don't mean in the way
“ To Mr Foster! The Master of of understanding their duties, and Foxhounds !"
keeping things properly,—that, we “ Even so."
can all see, is satisfactory; but are “John! Poor John!"
they comforts? So much depends “Ay, poor John! I don't think upon that in a household ; indeed any of your experiences will beat it does. So I told John when we that, my little Elizabeth.”
set about engaging them. We did No, indeed. But how did you our best, to be sure ; but it is such bear it? Did you not suffocate ?" a lottery. Old, attached servants
“Oh dear, no! I took a mouth- are the only ones of any value." ful of sherry, and bore up very “ Very true, aunt Adelaide," well.”
gravely. "But is it not dreadful ?”
“And you really are pretty well John shrugged his shoulders. off? You will excuse my asking,
"It is her way, Lizzie; everybody I know, my dear; for it was such has some peculiarity."
a responsibility. And so little ex“A peculiarity need not be offen- perience as you have had, it would sive.”
have been cruel to have inflicted Very true. Do not be offended bad servants upon you."
“They promise very well, thank “John, I shall take a lesson from you. I know,"continued Elizabeth, you. You are the best John, the with a twinge of conscience, “that most patient John, the most wonder- you took a great deal of trouble.” ful John that ever was made. If “No trouble in the world, my I had heard that said to Mr Foster, love. I would gladly be of any use. I should have jumped up, and And as to the house—a new house, screamed. Oh! you know what I you know, quite untested; no mean. Of course you never set up smoky chimneys ? Bells ringing for being a judge, and to a man who properly? That's well; Sir Walter does! What do you suppose he and I were talking about the chimthought ?”
neys last night. I told him John Elizabeth was so taken up with would be sure to let him know; for her husband's wrongs that she of course it would be Sir Walter's almost forgot her own.
place to put them in order. So So matters went on.
mind you tell us; no reserves, my Lady Adelaide, having no chil- dear. dren of her own, took a maternal “ And then your calls ?” prointerest in her nephew and all who ceeded Lady Adelaide, starting belonged to him.
afresh. “ You keep a book ? you At least four days in the week are returning them all in order ?” the bay horses trotted through the “ Not a book. Indeed I can Cottage gate, and the kind soul, full get on without that. of smiles and presents, sailed into “Ah, you are so thoughtful, so the drawing-room. The excitenient clever. But indeed a book is a did her all the good in the world; great help, an absolute necessity.
When I was a bride, I could never ant that they should be attached have got on at all without my visit- to youing-book."
is Lizzie !" “You lived in London, aunt Elizabeth hung her head. Adelaide ?"
The next day she had a cold. “ Yes, my dear, for many years. Down came Lady Adelaide kinder Sir Walter was in the Guards, you than ever. Black-currant teaknow. We had an immense circle lozenges—the best were the pâtésof acquaintances."
de guimauves, quite invaluable, had “And we," said Elizabeth, "have cured Sir Walter repeatedly—and half-a-dozen."
jelly, a little currant jelly, so sooth“ Half-a-dozen! More than that, ing and refreshing,—were all by surely. Certainly, we manage to do turns prescribed. The jelly should without a book, somehow, at the be sent down from the Priory at Priory. I did not think of that. once, and the lozenges she would I only recollected my own experi- order on her way back through the ence when I was first married." village. Oh, it was a mere nothing,
By-and-by it was, “ Your trades- a mile or two round — the drive people are attentive? Send proper would do her good. Was Elizajoints? Never have loins of mut- beth's throat blistered? Had she ton, my dear,—the most wasteful a beadache? Feverish ? dish there is. And as for ribs of Yes, all three; and she would heef, my housekeeper tells me that have given the world to be let alone there is no under-cut in them. besides. Positively, no under-cut. Little John came to the rescue. hints of that kind are invaluable to “She is not to talk, and this receive. I never order ribs of beef room is too warm for you, aunt now."
Adelaide ; come and take a turn This passed. Elizabeth neither round the garden.” knowing nor caring anything about “ And is poor dear Elizabeth to the merits of under-cuts, was still be left by herself ?” ruminating mischievously on the
Hard-hearted John droll idea of establishing a visiting- kept his visitor out of doors during book wherein to detail in order the the whole of her stay, and saw names of the residents in a small her safely off in the barouche ere and remarkably quiet neighbour- he returned to his wife's room for hood, when her monitress departed. the remainder of the day.
“We are to keep a book, John, “My lady's compliments, ma'am, of all our engagements, and I am to to know how you is, this morning?” enter in it my visitors as they call, Before nine o'clock, Elizabeth's in succession. First of all came abigail brought this message, as she Mr and Mrs Foster, then the Rector arranged her mistress's tea-tray by and Mrs Reeves, Lord Burchell, the bedside. and Mrs and Miss Page-Gore. I am Elizabeth was no better. afraid it will be Mr and Mrs Foster, “My lady's compliments, ma'am, Mr and Mrs Reeves, Lord Burchell, to know how you is, this afterand Mrs and Miss Page-Gore over and over again, unless I am to insert Lady Adelaide herself here and A groom rode over in the eventhere, by way of variety. And, ing. His master and mistress were John, be sure you only engage old going to Brighton on the following and valued servants, it is so import day, but would put off their de
parture if Mrs Tresham were no they might like him to look in. better.
Could Mrs Tresham let him have a By no means. Mr Tresham peep? would not hear of such a thing. John held the candle, and there The doctor had just left, and there it was, the dreaded white bar all was nothing to be in the least down one side of the throat. alarmed about.
“ That will do,” said Dr Birch, Accordingly a dainty note was carelessly. “We must get that left at the Cottage on the following throat put right somehow, Mrs day, when the carriage returned Tresham, and you must have some from the station.
sleep. It is too sore? Ah! yes,
sore throats are very uncomfortable “My dear, do take care of your- things. There are a great many self. I feel quite cruel, quite wicked, of them going about just now. running off in this way. But Sir won't trouble you longer at present. Walter thinks we must; and dear Suppose I go down-stairs to write John, too, so like himself, to insist the prescription." upon it. _A few lines, a post-card, Then he gave John a look, and sent to B-Square will let us they left the room together. know how you are. Pray, my dear Why, this is brandy!” cried Elizabeth, do not think of writing Elizabeth. “Ah ! how it burns !" yourself. John or your maid will, “Yes, dear, it is thought good I know, kindly take the trouble. for you.' -In haste, your affectionate
“ John! what is the matter with " AUNT ADELAIDE. " P.S.-So much to do.
“ The matter ! “ P.S.—Have you tried a Porous “Yes, you look so strange. I Plaster on the chest ?"
can't take any more, indeed I can't.
Don't ask me. Only let me lie still. Sick as she was, Elizabeth laughed Oh, I don't want gruel; I—hate aloud.
gruel.” The last sentences broken, “ John, your aunt is perfect. and uttered with difficulty. She is unique. Where did you get “Don't go-away, John.” such an aunt? Pray, John, get me “Only for a few minutes, dear. a Porous Plaster to put on my I am going to sit up with you tochest, because my throat is sore. night." And John, go at once to the post- A slip of the tongue this, but it office and get a post-card, or, better passed unheeded. still, send a telegram. Oh dear ! “How long Dr Birch has stayI am very naughty and very wretch- ed !" said she, presently. ed. Even my ears seem to ache, He was silent. and my head, eyes, everything. “ Is he only gone now !” When will the doctor come ?.”
Now at that moment the good The doctor gave very little com- doctor was comfortably ensconced fort when he did come.
in John's own easy-chair by the It was a sore throat, a very sore fireside in the library, with a pair throat. It hurt her very much of John's own slippers on his feet: when she swallowed? Humph! He had expected this in the mornCould she gargle? He prescribed ing, and made his arrangements aca gargle and went away. But at cordingly.
But at cordingly. Mrs Tresham was dannight he came again. He happened gerously ill. to be passing, and thought perhaps The fever did not increase rapidly;