Edith 1 ! '
Margaret 0 , gently , '
Edith 1 ! '
But , as
Margaret 0 half suspected ,
Edith 1 had fallen asleep .
She 1 lay curled up on the sofa in
the back drawing-room 2 in
Harley Street 3 , looking very lovely in
her 1 white muslin and blue ribbons .
Titania 4 had ever been dressed in white muslin and blue ribbons , and had fallen asleep on a crimson damask sofa in
a back drawing-room 2 ,
Edith 1 might have been taken for
her 4 .
Margaret 0 was struck afresh by 's beauty .
They 5 had grown up together from childhood , and all along
Edith 1 had been remarked upon by
every one 6 , except
Margaret 0 , for
her 1 prettiness ; but
Margaret 0 had never thought about it until the last few days , when the prospect of soon losing seemed to give force to every sweet quality and charm which
Edith 1 possessed .
They 5 had been talking about wedding dresses , and wedding ceremonies ; and
Captain Lennox 7 , and what
he 7 had told
Edith 1 about
her 1 future life at
Corfu 8 , where
his 7 regiment was stationed ; and the difficulty of keeping a piano in good tune ( a difficulty which
Edith 1 seemed to consider as one of the most formidable that could befall
her 1 in
her 1 married life ) , and what gowns
she 1 should want in the visits to
Scotland 9 , which would immediately succeed
her 1 marriage ; but the whispered tone had latterly become more drowsy ; and
Margaret 0 , after a pause of a few minutes , found , as
she 0 fancied , that in spite of the buzz in
the next room 10 ,
Edith 1 had rolled
herself 1 up into a soft ball of muslin and ribbon , and silken curls , and gone off into a peaceful little after-dinner nap .
Margaret 0 had been on the point of telling of some of the plans and visions which
she 0 entertained as to
her 0 future life in the country parsonage , where and
mother 12 lived ; and where
her 0 bright holidays had always been passed , though for the last ten years had been considered as .
But in default of
a listener 14 ,
she 0 had to brood over the change in
her 0 life silently as heretofore .
It was a happy brooding , although tinged with regret at being separated for an indefinite time from and
dear cousin 1 .
she 0 thought of the delight of filling the important post of
, pieces of the conversation out of
only daughter in
Helstone parsonage 17 16
the next room 10 came upon
her 0 ears .
was talking to
the five or six ladies who had been dining
whose husbands 19
were still in
the dining-room 20 18
They 18 were the
familiar acquaintances of
the house 21 62
Mrs. Shaw 15
friends 52 54
she 15 happened to dine with
them 18 more frequently than with
any other people 22 , and because if
she 15 or
Edith 1 wanted anything from
them 18 , or
they 18 from
her 15 ,
they 18 did not scruple to make a call at
before luncheon .
each other 18
's houses 23
These ladies 18 and were invited , in
their 24 capacity of
friends 25 , to eat a farewell dinner in honour of
Edith 1 's approaching marriage .
Edith 1 had rather objected to this arrangement , for
Captain Lennox 7 was expected to arrive by
a late train 26 this very evening ; but , although
she 1 was
a spoiled child 57 ,
she 1 was too careless and idle to have a very strong will of
her 1 own , and gave way when
she 1 found that had absolutely ordered those extra delicacies of the season which are always supposed to be efficacious against immoderate grief at farewell dinners .
She 1 contented
herself 1 by leaning back in
her 1 chair , merely playing with the food on
her 1 plate , and looking grave and absent ; while all around
her 1 were enjoying the mots of
Mr. Grey 27 ,
the gentleman who always took the bottom of the table at
Mrs. Shaw 15
's dinner parties , and asked
some music in
the drawing-room 2 58
Mr. Grey 27 was particularly agreeable over this farewell dinner , and
the gentlemen 19 staid
down stairs 28 longer than usual .
It was very well
they 19 did -- to judge from the fragments of conversation which
Margaret 0 overheard . '
I 15 suffered too much
myself 15 ; not that
I 15 was not extremely happy with
the poor dear General 29 , but still disparity of age is a drawback ; one that
I 15 was resolved
Edith 1 should not have to encounter .
Of course , without any maternal partiality ,
I 15 foresaw that
the dear child 1 was likely to marry early ; indeed ,
I 15 had often said that
I 15 was sure
she 1 would be married before
she 1 was nineteen .
I 15 had quite a prophetic feeling when
Captain Lennox 7 ' -- and here the voice dropped into a whisper , but
Margaret 0 could easily supply the blank .
The course of true love in
Edith 1 's case had run remarkably smooth .
Mrs. Shaw 15 had given way to the presentiment , as
she 15 expressed it ; and had rather urged on the marriage , although it was below the expectations which many of
Edith 1 's acquaintances had formed for
her 1 ,
a young and pretty heiress 59 .
Mrs. Shaw 15 said that should marry for love , -- and sighed emphatically , as if love had not been
her 15 motive for marrying
the General 29 .
Mrs. Shaw 15 enjoyed the romance of the present engagement rather more than .
Not but that
Edith 1 was very thoroughly and properly in love ; still
she 1 would certainly have preferred
, to all the picturesqueness of the life which
a good house in
Belgravia 31 30
Captain Lennox 7 described at
Corfu 8 .
The very parts which made
Margaret 0 glow as
she 0 listened ,
Edith 1 pretended to shiver and shudder at ; partly for the pleasure
she 1 had in being coaxed out of
her 1 dislike by , and partly because anything of a gipsy or make-shift life was really distasteful to
her 1 .
any one 22 come with
a fine house 32 , and
a fine estate 33 , and a fine title to boot ,
Edith 1 would still have clung to
Captain Lennox 7 while the temptation lasted ; when it was over , it is possible
she 1 might have had little qualms of ill-concealed regret that
Captain Lennox 7 could not have united in everything that was desirable .
she 1 was but ; who , after deliberately marrying
General Shaw 29 with no warmer feeling than respect for
his 29 character and establishment , was constantly , though quietly , bemoaning
her 15 hard lot in being united to
could not love 29
I 15 have spared no expense in
her 1 trousseau , ' were the next words
Margaret 0 heard .
She 1 has all the beautiful Indian shawls and scarfs
the General 29 gave to
me 15 , but which
I 15 shall never wear again . '
She 1 is
a lucky girl 56 , ' replied another voice , which
Margaret 0 knew to be that of
Mrs. Gibson 34 ,
a lady who was taking a double interest in the conversation 60 , from the fact of having been married within the last few weeks .
Helen 35 had set
her 35 heart upon an Indian shawl , but really when
I 34 found what an extravagant price was asked ,
I 34 was obliged to refuse
her 35 .
She 35 will be quite envious when
she 35 hears of
Edith 1 having Indian shawls .
What kind are they ?
Delhi 37 ?
with the lovely little borders ? '
Margaret 0 heard 's voice again , but this time it was as if
she 15 had raised
herself 15 up from
her 15 half-recumbent position , and were looking into
the more dimly lighted back drawing-room 2 .
Edith 1 !
Edith 1 ! '
she 15 ; and then
she 15 sank as if wearied by the exertion .
Margaret 0 stepped forward .
Edith 1 is asleep ,
Aunt Shaw 15 .
Is it anything
I 0 can do ? '
All the ladies 18 said '
Poor child 1 ! '
on receiving this distressing intelligence about
Edith 1 ; and the minute lap-dog in
Mrs. Shaw 15 's arms began to bark , as if excited by the burst of pity .
' Hush , Tiny !
you naughty little girl !
you will waken
your mistress 1 .
It was only to ask
Edith 1 if
she 1 would tell
Newton 38 to bring down
her 1 shawls : perhaps
you 0 would go ,
Margaret 0 dear ? '
Margaret 0 went up into
the old nursery at the very top of the house , where
was busy getting up some laces which were required for the wedding 39
Newton 38 went ( not without a muttered grumbling ) to undo the shawls , which had already been exhibited four or five times that day ,
Margaret 0 looked round upon
the nursery 39 ;
the first room in
that house 21
had become familiar nine years ago , when
was brought , all untamed from
the forest 40
, to share
the home 21
, the play , and the lessons of 39
She 0 remembered the dark , dim look of , presided over by
an austere and ceremonious nurse , who was terribly particular about clean hands and torn frocks 38 .
She 0 recollected the first tea up
there 39 -- separate from and
aunt 15 , who were dining somewhere down below an infinite depth of
stairs 42 ; for unless
she 0 were up in the sky (
the child 0 thought ) ,
they 43 must be deep down in the bowels of
the earth 44 .
home 17 -- before
she 0 came to live in
Harley Street 3 -- had been ; and , as
they 47 kept early hours in
the country parsonage 17 ,
Margaret 0 had always had
her 0 meals with and
mother 12 .
the tall stately girl of eighteen 0 remember the tears shed with such wild passion of grief by
the little girl of nine 0 , as
she 0 hid
her 0 face under the bed-clothes , in that first night ; and how
she 0 was bidden not to cry by
the nurse 38 , because it would disturb
Miss Edith 1 ; and how
she 0 had cried as bitterly , but more quietly , till
newly-seen , grand , pretty aunt 15 had come softly
upstairs 48 with
Mr. Hale 11 to show
little sleeping daughter 0
the little Margaret 0 had hushed
her 0 sobs , and tried to lie quiet as if asleep , for fear of making unhappy by
her 0 grief , which
she 0 dared not express before , and which
she 0 rather thought it was wrong to feel at all after the long hoping , and planning , and contriving
they 49 had gone through at
home 17 , before
her 0 wardrobe could be arranged so as to suit
her 0 grander circumstances , and before
papa 11 could leave to come up to
London 41 , even for a few days .
she 0 had got to love
the old nursery 39 , though
it 39 was but
a dismantled place 61 ; and
she 0 looked all round , with a kind of cat-like regret , at the idea of leaving
it 39 for ever in three days .
Newton 38 ! '
she 0 , '
I 0 think
we 51 shall all be sorry to leave
this dear old room 39 . '