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“Oh! Mrs. Harcourt, you have such a way of putting things. You know circumstances alter cases, and nobody likes to stop at the bottom of the basket when there's a chance of getting out of it altogether. And so I let him remain in doubt a little while, and then yielded to the gentle pressure. Not but what I'd meant to say yes all along, after I found what he had come for; but just you know it makes a thing seem more valuable when you don't get it all at once. I'm sure I never wanted that tortoise-shell cat of mine half so much as when Sir Everard's housekeeper made such a fuss about keeping it for the servant's hall, and the same principle goes through life, you know.”
6 And if we may venture to peep into the future, Miss Gabbatis, pray when is the great event to take place?”.
“ In two months, Mrs. Harcourt; not a day later. I always said I disliked long engagements. The thinner the apple's pared the better; and then you know it isn't convenient to have people coming and going about the house, and me an unprotected female too; but deary me, yonder's Miss Maud coming up the garden from her class, it must be nearly five o'clock; going about doing good she's been—always going about doing good; I declare she makes me feel quite ashamed of myself. But you know, Mrs. Harcourt, I always say some people are born into the world angels ready made, and want nothing but a pair of wings to take them straight away into heaven. Always living in preparation, you see ; it's such a delightful state of mind. Miss Maud really has her affections so sweetly staid upon heavenly things, it's quite a privilege to have anything to do with her, and as soon as I've got this wedding comfortably over, I mean to take pattern and cultivate the same sort of thing myself.”
“And really now, Mrs. Harcourt," and Miss Gabbatis leaned back in the rocking chair and looked down the sunlit autumn garden, where the crimson leaves were drifting to and fro, and the grey haze of early evening falling, “really when I come to think about all these things, how very providentially everything has been laid
out for us, how nicely and quietly we are getting sent along in the right way you and Mr. Harcourt here so comfortable together, and such a pleasant home, and dear Miss Mabel up yonder so delightfully settled with a husband, and on such a safe track for heaven ;-and when I think about my own comforts too, a nice, cosy married life provided for me without any care or contrivance on my part, as I may say, so perfectly unlooked for, you know, and yet the very thing I had been wanting so long ; --- and when I see dear Miss Maud so calm and peaceful, in such a prepared state, as I may say, for a home up above, and so wonderfully sustained considering all that she's passed through—and poor dear Mr. Roden too, although he was taken so very suddenly, and gave us all such a terrible shock, yet you know so very safely landed, in sure and certain hope, as our dear clergyman says, of a joyful resurrection — when I think about all this, my dear Mrs. Harcourt, I am quite overcome, I am indeed, and I don't know what to say, I really don't; there don't seem to be any words turn up to express one's feelings."
“ Except these," said Maud, who had come quietly in, and was standing within the window in that autumn sunlight, “except these —
66He hath done all things well.'”
YEARS have passed away. Maud and Miss Nunly are watching daylight out in the dining-room of Braeton Lodge.
It is early in September. The first crimson streaks of autumn, and the green beauty of summer time, meet and mingle on the Lingold Wood. One by one, few and far between, the yellow leaves fall into the lake and flutter away amid copse and fern to the little Mar brook. A soft, warm haze lies gently on the distant trees, and creeps over the Downshire hills, and spreads like a transparent veil across the purple moorlands with their rifts and craggy torrent-beds. Over Glinton Manor too, with its quaint old-fashioned English garden, where the yellow sunflowers look up broad and bright, and the old cypress