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These little refreshments are by way of lunch; for the steward and housekeeper intend to dine in London-put the cost under the head of “expenses,” to “my lady's account” and further, Miss Tidd has resolved to invest some pound or two in real “ Valenciennes lace” and a new gown, and let the cost work itself out of some of the items which figure in her weekly bills. She is conscious of being wise in her own generation.
When, for the twentieth time, she has made sure that “the key, which locks up the keys,” is safe, and the fat old cook will be not likely to get a little extra jam-or Beech, the thirty years' butler, a little arrow
would like to have the sherry uncorked and tasted—but he is conscious of Miss Tidd's icy humor, and refrains.
Just at this juncture, they meet a little village child, going with a pitcher towards the hall. She drops a courtesy of great humility, but is not suffered to pass on.
“What are you going up to the house for ?”
“Please, ma'am, dairymaid said there'd be plenty this morning.”
“ I say there is none. I'm Mrs. Tidd, the housekeeper, and must surely know best. Go back, I say, and my lady shall hear of your
the pair leave the hal by a door in one of the child needs no second dismissal–she
as he goes.
the ivied gables, and pursue their way along glides back from their path, as a worm from the mile-long avenue of magnificent old ches- the foot that would crush it. nut trees to the village; whence they are to
“ That's Dodd the thatcher's girl,” says take a coach to St. Alban's, and thence, by mulberry nose," and it's just like the imperrailway, to London.
ence on 'em. Ever since the father got a fall Any hearts but theirs would be alive to from Jones's barn they think one has nothing the enchanting beauty of the morning - to do but to keep open house for 'em.” to the rustic loveliness of the scene around “ Just so,” replies Tidd,
replies Tidd, “but I ain't -to the sequestered stillness of old paths going to let Martha carry favor with the and glades which steal out here and there. buttermilk. It'll help to get them two porkBut they are dead, and blind, and deaf, to all ers into flesh, and so turn a penny by 'em.” they see and hear, and proceed onward moodily, The steward nods a complaisant assent. talking of “my lady" and her affairs, and of At this bend of the avenue they meet a woodthe “folly of an old woman like her taking a man going to his work. He touches his young girl as a companion.'
forelock with great apparent humility--then “ I'm sure, Tippins, says Miss Tidd, | plods onward. But by-and-by he turns, looks “that though I ain't edicated, I read quite after them, and shakes his head. Then he well enough for her. To be sure, I some- strikes into a woodland path, and whistles times put a h in when I shouldn't, and leave
He is guiltless of gathering corone out when I oughtn't, and didn't spell well, rupt riches, and so can feel delight in the as she said—but I got on well enough for all freshness of the morning, clodhopper though that; threaded her needles for her endless he be. humdrum worsted work, and did just every- At the lodge, just within the park gates, thing she wished, whimsical and tiresome as the steward stops to grumble at an old man she is. But, howsumever, she shall be soon working in the little garden, and from thence, wearied of a companion, or my name ain't proceeding to the adjacent village, the pair Matilda Tidd.”
make their way to the “Chauncy Arms,” “ That 'll be the only way,” rejoins Tip- the landlord giving them a kindly welcome ; pins, as he brushes his mulberry nose saga- he being entirely innocent of “the tackle ciously, or you don't know what may come already referred to. The coach arrives-
She's a perverse old woman when Miss Tidd gets within ; Mr. Tippins mounts she takes it in her head, as we've reason to the box-and, as it passes through the village, know, better than most folks.” Then, after great is the gossip concerning the steward a pause, Ay, it is monstrous vexatious, and housekeeper's mission. It is known that just as the bit in the funds is getting up to they will bring home, this evening, “my lady's sich a nice figure, and our tackle for the companion,” and some, sighing, say“ Poor Chauncy Arms' almost nigh took.
thing,” and others shake their head. you must manage her, my dear; you're an An hour's ride by picturesque old woods, uncommon sagacious woman, and much don't worthy of leafy Hertfordshire, brings them to stand amiss to you when you likes.” Here St. Alban's. By noon, Tidd and Tippins are Mr. Tippins feels particularly thirsty, and in town; and a short while after at the
office of Mrs. who supplies the world " Don't, please, - cry,” she says, with
governesses and companions,” | Susan. I may not be selected, and then just as the greengrocer supplies potatoes or your tears will have been purposeless.' She cabbages. Expecting to be treated with the says this in a very low and sweet ce, and, deference due to my “ lady's steward” and unconsciously, turns her face towards those “ lady's housekeeper,” Tidd and Tippins are who watch her as she speaks. It is not, vastly disgusted at being ushered into no strictly speaking, a beautiful face—but it is more dignified a place than a dirty waiting- full of intelligence and human goodness; and room, already tenanted by some score shabby- there is a freshness and extreme youth in the genteel people of either sex, combined with a small rounded figure. Instinctively Miss Tidd small sprinkling of elaborately attired plushes. hates the girl-she has a sort of presentiButterflies amidst lugubrious moths! Pre- ment that this will be " my lady's compasently the housekeeper is informed that Lady nion”--the one with whom she shall wage Chauey's business is at that time under con- war, or live in amity. When the girl has sideration—that a selection of eligible can- followed the attendant, Miss Tidd condedidates having been already made, and their re- scends to accost thick-shouldered, weeping ferences inquired after, Miss Atkinson, Lady Susan; but that good soul's grief is too real Chauncy's friend, is closeted with Mrs. to reply other than by monosyllables ; but in relation to the final decision—this to be Miss Tidd elicits sufficient to understand that effected as soon as one or two lagging candi- the young girl is one of the selected candates arrive. Such being the state of affairs, didates—that she is the orphan daughter of there is nothing for the pair but patience; a lately deceased Dissenting clergyman, and this necessary virtue of human life being, that her name is Janet Gordon. in their case, by no means augmented by Eagerly Miss Tidd now watches to see Tidd's non-summons to the consultation and what candidates pass on their way out-and, selection, and by Tippins's non-ability to verily, all repass, except the one last come. slightly refresh himself on the well-roasted She is then herself summoned to the awful fowl and delicate sherry.
presence of Mrs.
my lady's" To amuse themselves, they observe every- friend, Miss Atkinson. thing and everybody with true flunkey super- After a few preliminary inquiries as to ciliousness. They observe the line of car- Lady Chauncy's state of health, and the riages before the windows, and arrive at the prospect of Sir Walter Chauncy, her nephew, knowledge that their mistress's friend does visiting the manor previous to his re-embarknot keep one, but “only jobs a private cab;" ation for India, Miss Atkinson briefly informs next they watch all comers and goers, and the housekeeper that the young lady present, have convictions of their own concerning the Miss Janet Gordon, is the companion selected same. They notice the various “companions for Lady Chauncy. as they pass or repass, and wonder if the “I hope, ma'am,” says Tidd with affected selection is yet made. They intuitively like humility, “ that the young person is clever in or dislike the faces as they pass by; for some, worsted work, andthey think, would be venal instruments in their “I have attended to the qualifications rehands as regards “my lady;” others too quired by my friend Lady Chauncy,” interlofty for even their mere preliminaries to- rupts the gentlewoman, "and they are fully wards baseness.
possessed by Miss Gordon. Your sole duty Half-an-hour may have gone by, when flun- is now to attend her to Chauncy Manor.” keyism is discredited by the arrival of a Thus rebuffed, Miss Tidd doggedly retires, humble cab, from which alight a young girl mentally resolving, however, to have due comattired in deep mourning, and a middle-aged pensation not only from the companion,' woman clad likewise. The latter bears the but when Miss Atkinson shall again herself appearance of a maid of all-work, and, as she visit Chauncy Manor. And Tidd has confollows the young girl into the house, she is soling visions of darned sheets, scentless soap, seen to be crying bitterly. They come into a scanty supply of towels, and other désagré the room together, and the young girl's first ments best known to housekeepers. Again care is to lead her humble companion to a descending, the housekeeper awaits Miss seat, and then herself prepares to follow the Gordon, who presently comes down. attending servant. But the woman sobs on, “ Mr. Tippins, the steward, and I can't be burying her face in her coarse shawl, and the attending you all day," she says—thus making young girl steps back again.
her first address to the companion.” “We
have important business to transact—and our girl, as she cleaves to her humble friend. time's precious.”
“You shall hear from me very often. So “I should be sorry to inconvenience you, keep up your heart.
I and Archie love you says the sweet voice which had consoled dearly, you know. Let me know if you're clumsy Susan. Indeed, I should like a happy in the room you've taken, and how you rather longer time for preparation ; for- get on with the work you have been promised.
“Oh!” interrupts Tidd; “ we can't be You and Archie shall both come and see me. waiting other people's conveniences. If you Be sure and take care of that beloved porcome at all, you must come to-day--for my trait, and his books; and if I have a room lady expects you. So be at the station by- that I can put them in, you shall send them.” Tidd stays here, and appeals to mulberry Tidd must have her say here. It is her
vocation to pour wormwood into every honeyed “Six o'clock,” says Tirpins, “or rather—" cup. “My lady allows no followers, and, as Here the keeper of manorial accounts draws your room will be small, lumber will not be Tidd aside, and whispers, “One might just permitted.” call for her, and see her place ; it may turn No answer is given, though the incredibly up in the tackle,
wanton insult sinks deep; and deeper falls Tidd thinks this a bright idea ; so she says Janet's tears as she follows flunkeyism to the they will call for the young person—and then cab. asks her address.
It is driven to Botolph Lane, in the City. “ It will be out of your way, I fear, for I Here, in one of the most princely of the City live at Street, Hackney. But if you firms, Janet has an only brother, a boy of wish it, please let it be so.
could thirteen. She alights, and goes up into one come by five o'clock, I should be glad, as I of the now almost deserted offices, unfollowed need to go round by the City, to bid my by Tidd and Tippins, and here she says her young brother good bye ; he is in a merchant's farewell. counting-house, and cannot leave so early.” “Be steady and truthful, Archie,” she says,
A dry assent is given, and Janet and Susan " and the Messrs. will be kind friends, I depart. Tippins and Tidd then repair to a
Above all, don't forget the least neighboring coffee-house to lunch off the thing papa taught you." fowl and sherry—to order a luxurious dinner The boy promises, and talks about Chauncy -at a certain West End hotel, where they Manor, and going to see her there. She does are intimate with the head waiter and to not like to tell him what incubuses Tidd and transact the shopping, whose price is to be Tippins seem to be, though she thinks it best eked out of soap and sundries.
to say, that it appears that he will not be By five they reach Hackney, and find the allowed to visit her. little old-fashioned street the address has “But they can't help my coming to the given. There are yet glimpses about it of village and just stealing into the park,” says what Hackney was in old days—remnants of the boy ; "and I will see you, Janet, if only fields are to be seen-gardens lie behind- at a distance.” and in the distance Hackney Marshes look Miss Gordon is now going—but the door emerald in the sun. At a small respectable- of a private office opens, and the head clerk, looking house—that by the litter round, and a gentlemanly old man, beckons her in. To by the empty rooms, seems as though a sale her inquiries, he says that her brother is had been effected within a day or two-they steady and truthful, has been noticed by the find Miss Gordon. Susan comes to the door, heads of the firm, and will be promoted from with eyes more swollen than in the morning, time to time, if he continue in the same and leads them into a room with but scanty course." furniture in it, a small box or two, a chest This is good news, and going down the full of books, and a fine oil painting of a staircase again she is met by the housekeeper, man. It is that of Janet's father, you can see, who promises every motherly care and duty by the likeness to her and by the clerical dress. to the orphan boy. The man has borne a Scotch name, but it is Thus, with her heart set at peace, she benot a Scotch face; or, at least, one that owes gins her journey to Chauncy Manor. its best portion to the English type. By the It is nearly ten o'clock by the time she tea-things, Janet and Susan have just had tea, arrives there. If any despondency were left and the former is ready dressed to go.
in her soul, it must be chased away by the “Good bye, dear Susy,” says the young divine-inspiring glory of the night — by the
THREE JUXES AT CHACXCY MANOR.
Wed, and lia bmkg ; and if I have a town
the point them in, you shall won them."
A has been here. It is het hand ensolest dearly, you know. let me know if you or
Het on with the work you have been pret. ons to transact--and our girl, as she cases to be trgoving from inconvenience you," keep up your heart. I am Amhy kom vera
bapps in the room you've takıt, and line ya "You shall bear from 1 to furth
office of Mrs. who supplies the world “Don't, please, cry,”
and companions,' Susan. I may not be just as the greengrocer supplies potatoes or your tears will have beer cabbages. Expecting to be treated with the says this in a very lo: deference due to my
lady's steward” and unconsciously, turn “ lady's housekeeper," Tidd and Tippins are who watch her vastly disgusted at being ushered into no strictly speakin more dignified a place than a dirty waiting- full of intellic room, already tenanted by some score shabby- there is a f genteel people of either sex, combined with a small sprinkling of elaborately attired plushes. hates Butterflies amidst lugubrious moths! Pre- ment sently the housekeeper is informed that Lady nic Chauncy's business is at that time under consideration—that a selection of eligible candidates having been already made, and their references inquired after, Miss Atkinson, Lar' Chauncy's friend, is closeted with Mrs. in relation to the final decision—this effected as soon as one or two laggin dates arrive. Such being the state there is nothing for the pair b. this necessary virtue of hums in their case, by no means Tidd's non-summons to the selection, and by Tippi slightly refresh himself
pun in the contest. fowl and delicate sher
vegins without loss of time. Lady To amuse themsi
Chauncy having received Janet so kindly, thing and everybr
well. You Tidd, to make the counter-balance, orders in ciliousness. To
attend the village the driest scraps of meat from the kitchen, riages before
says she is too tired herself to eat, and, when knowledge
I have already said so. I this supper is over, bids the young girl go to not keep
bed with the air of a slavedriver. Janet finds next ti
the room-little more than a closet—as such have crve kern reared to care for the spirit and · religion rather than particular
it has hitherto been used--with a sloping roof, - well.; here you will be a church- and small window, looking dismally forth on
to the leads of a gable. A stump bedstead, a
dark counterpane, a cracked looking-glass, a " Your ladyship must judge. I have been much accustomed during the long illness of minute chest of drawers of remote age, and
one chair, constitute the decorations of this
dog-hole ; for such it really is, compared to She is obeyed, and the old butler appears. any other sleeping-chamber in Chauncy Hall. “ As the chaplain is from home, you or Tip- Yet, with all her extreme quietude of character,
can read prayers in the servants' hall. and her youth, Janet is quick of perception Miss Gordon reads to me to-night.”
and judgment, and reads things aright—the The books are brought, and Janet reads act is Tidd's, and not one arising from “my prayers in a low, sweetly modulated voice. lady's" orders; and she prays that night for For months previously they have been drawled strength to endure. out by Tidd, in the vicious nasal twang of a She is up betimes in the morning; for, parish school boy, and have fallen unfruitfully though Tidd has had the ability to shut out on the ears that heard them; to-night, the the sight of the grand old woods and glistenpeace, the charity, the forgiveness asked for, ing pools which lie around, it has not been seem couched in other words, and have a sig- hers to shut out the sweet air of the summer nificance they never had before.
morning, or the cawing of the young rooks When she has risen, Janet awaits her lady in the rookery near: she goes down stairs, and ship’s commands.
so forth by a little postern-door on to one of As you
read well, I shall expect you to the fine old terraces. Early as it is, most of
Do you read well ?"
Ring the bell.”
THREE NTZS 17 CHIUVY MANOR
rvants and laborers are about; the her manner softening as she speaks ; "it is a
hay-making in the park comes upon great accomplishment in one so young, and
goes down the grassy slopes that attend mine.”
to be but little fre- lady said and did, elicit so little in way of
and duplicity. it pleases her ex- Lady Chauncy's morning meal is, as we 'ves to bring her have said, served with much formality and er leisure per- state. Enough is set forth to feast twenty
her, formed and two footmen and the butler attend it. et old place, Learning from the latter my lady's habits, nders down and—finding that, most punctual in all her
old trees, proceedings, Lady Chauncy likes to find the 'eep and
smallest item of her breakfast ready-Janet waving carves and chops a modicum of meat, dresses are at an egg, denudes the bread and butter of
un- crust, and slices it into slips ; and then, there
cowslips being a minute or so to spare ere the clock
—some magnificent roses amongst the rest- at my breakfast-table; and in my sitting-room
For twenty years, Lady landlord and others his opinion, “ that better Chauncy has been wasting her days over this days are coming to the old place.”
fabrication of a carpet, which is now to be Precisely as the belfry clock strikes eight, handed over for the larger part of each mornJanet enters Lady Chauncy's room, adjacent ing to Janet, who will have to form bud and to her bed-chamber. The old gentlewoman's flower under her mistress's supervision. But, demi toilette is complete; but her manner is previously to beginning, letters have to be even more frigid and haughty than the night read and written. The old butler at this juncbefore. Without appearing to heed it, Janet ture bringing in the letter-bag, Lady Chauncy inquires after her health, and then reads takes her seat in a high-backed chair behind prayers better than even on the previous night, the frame, and, with a small table before her, for her timidity is less.
covered with work and papers, awaits Janet's “I like your reading vastly,” says Lady duty of reading the letters. Chauncy, when prayers are at an end—and • Look first for a letter from my nephew,