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of real servitude, and one to be remem- | from real sensibility ; for the body was bered surely in the strange calendar of heavy on my spirit, and I could not 1839 ! • Marion' rose early to prepare think. for her journey to London ; and as on 6 We stopped at last at the Four the previous evening everything had Swans, Bishopsgate Street ; and from been packed and arranged, a hasty thence in a coach to 12 Mornington breakfast in the kitchen, whilst her Crescent. Here my darling Mimosa mistress washed, and then the little was received very kindly ; but oh ! tray prepared and taken up, was hardly they might well weep over the wasted done, when the coach drove up, and form and feeble steps. She was laid Mary Tennyson, Mimosa, and Marion on a sofa, and had breakfast. I went on the box, went off, through Waltham to the close, dirty, beastly kitchen, and Edmonton, to London. The morn- where two dirty things were flying ing was clear and fine, but cold from about in all directions. They took no the sharp east wind; and glad was I to notice of me, so I slipped out, and have three fellow-travellers on the top found my way to the post-office, where to keep me warmer. Still I was dread- I deposited the letters; and on my fully cold, or how much I would have return, finding the lady whose room enjoyed the beautiful country on the Mimosa was to have waiting for a approach to London by this side! Ten coach and none to go for her, I volunmiles we travelled from Waltham, yet teered and went, a good long way, with not a single break in the line of vil- such a painful foot that I was obliged lages which form the environs of the to buy a pair of easy shoes on the road. capital.
How unlike Paris ! I was Then I had to mount the boxes and much struck by it, and wonder what unpack three pairs of stairs up! I foreigners must think of the difference had to carry all alone the heavy box; in extent between London and all and then I settled the room, lit the others throughout the world. I could fire, and ran down to get mistress her not help considering, too, of the strange lunch. I poached her an egg, but she power which this body has over its could not eat it. After this and suncaptive soul, - that when I was sur- dry runnings about, dinner-time came. rounded by objects of the deepest in- I was to wait at table, and my heart terest, and scenes which I felt in my beat so fast as I went in, that I could inmost heart, as in hurrying through not hear anything else for a few minthe crowded streets, I marked the con- utes. Mimosa asked for bread, and trasting groups of idle misery and busy that was given almost unconsciously ; wealth ; the magnificent monuments of for on entering the room I saw Alfred art, the stately buildings of a metrop- Tennyson at last ! and Frederick, Hoolis, side by side with the homes of ratio, Emily, Mary, and the mother. woe and sin and sickness, the alms- Was it a delusion — that I, Louisa house, the hospital, the penitentiary ; Lanesborough, stood there behind here rolled a carriage full of joyous them, changing their plates, helping smiles, there crouched the sullen child them, and they so little dreaming of of starvation muttering deep curses ; my identity with the servant Marion ? from the balcony of a crescent bent the Was I asleep when the dirty maid-ofgraceful form of youth and beauty; all-work thrust a handful of dirty forks from the window of a dark, high house, into my hand, and bid me cut and wash the fever hospital, I saw three pallid 'em quick and bring 'em up ? I did and emaciated faces pressed in dreary run down and do all this and up again, listlessness against the
glass so many a time, ero the dinner was over ; gauntl so wretched I so hopeless! I and though I did it all very well, my felt all this, but it was a dumb, irritated hand shook so the first time I took Alfeeling, seemingly excited as much fred Tennyson's plate that I thought it from my own sense of suffering, and must be seen. And why was it? I'm awakened by the keen March wind, as sure don't know, except that the ro
mance of the whole affair rushed over all this with the most perfect good.
humor, never ruffled. So she and her "Well, dinner over, I was to get friend agreed that the time, which mine ; but fagged and excited as I would have been dreadful lonesome" was, I could not eat the broken meat alone, had passed better together; and that was left for me. I longed for a Sibby told how one of her brothers was cup of tea, which I could not get; and always saying, "Well, Tit, when will then I made my mistress's bed, and sat you come home? I hate going home up-stairs over her fire, so aching and when you ain't there ! 'Tain't like weary that I knew not what to do, yet home, somehow.' And when she went I dared not go to sleep for fear of not to see them, says he, 'Have you had hearing them ring. This really was a any supper, Tit?' Yes,' says she. dreadful evening, having water and 'Well, never mind, you must eat a bit coals and all sorts of things to bring up of pork chop and drink a glass of ale. so often four pairs of steep stairs. At It does my heart good to see you here last I went down into the kitchen, and again, Tit. I wish you'd stop home laying my head on my knees, I heard with us and leave service.' the kitchen talk. Elizabetlı, the great, “I did not listen much longer, for the stout, flaunting maid-of-all-work, and bell rang for me, and mistress came up. Sibby, who is a short, pale, fat girl to bed, dear thing! so tired and ill. belonging to Mrs. Moore, the lodging. We were long in talking and getting to house proprietor, are friends, I per- bed, when I fell sound asleep; but she, ceive ; and by the dialogue I overheard I fear, tossed about all night in pain. whilst one was quilling net for a cap I woke very early, scarcely daybreak, and the other scouring saucepans, they and lit the fire, got quickly to bed again, have two absent lovers, absent since a and slept till eight. fortnight or month ; upon which occa- “ Saturday.
Dressed Mimosa in sion Sibby, in utter disgust at the white — she looked so beautiful! with thoughts of home when he was gone, a blue cap, her blue scarf, and her had offered herself as assistant to poor silver-grey shawl like a thing of old Mrs. Moore, who had lately broken dreams, shadowy and ethereal, and yet her leg and arm, and to help her friend like a flower of mortality, sickening and Elizabeth, whose quantity of work sur- fading away. . . In spite of all that passes all I ever conceived it possible Dr. Curie has said, I am longing for his for one head and one pair of hands to coming, to dispel the foreboding cloud, accomplish. First, she has her kitchen and tell me that she will recover. to prepare in the morning, and Fred- soul is clinging closer and closer to her; erick Tennyson's room to arrange, fire how shall I bear to part with her ? to light, etc., etc. ; then the drawing-Curie has come! I sit on the stairs room, and Mrs. Tennyson's bed to with throbbing heart ! make ; breakfast to give to Mrs. Ten- and I ran after him; asked eagerly nyson and the girls and Horatio, then what he thought of her ? And the up-stairs to Frederick and Septimus ; heavy words fell like iron on my heart :: then to market, and dinner for Mrs. Elle est poitrinaire - oui, sans doute ; Moore at two; luncheon in the draw- mais mercredi je vous dirai si on peut ing-room ; dinner there at four, always espérer de la sauver. C'est peut-être meat and an apple pudding for Alfred ; trop tard !! dinner above for Frederick and Septi- “Ah! he thought he said this to a mus at six, meat and pudding ; tea in servant, a hireling; and there was little the parlor at eight; fires to attend to, ménagement in the declaration. Those door to answer, everything to clean, words ! Yet I knew it! I knew it and all the bells to answer; and then quite as well ; nay, I know more, that to sit up for the family even till one, he cannot save her! And yet I hope two, and three in the morning, yet to and smile, and seem to grasp at every rise and work as usual the next day ;'change of symptom, in spite of the
evident decrease of strength and in- | man ?” he questioned. She stammered crease of suffering! ..
an evasive reply, and left the room. " Sunday 232 March. — I was late this That evening, at dinner or supper, morning, for I did not hear the knock, Alfred, calling for beer, a refractory but I made haste and lit the fire. Mi- cork refused to be drawn, and every mosa got up and dressed, then lay down one tried their hands on it in vain. to rest and read, whilst I got her break- “Where is your Marion ?” said Alfred fast, after which we read together in to Mrs. Neville ; "she could do it ! the Bible. . . . By the time I had done She can do everything, I verily believe her room and dressed, it was time to - from reading German to waiting at wait at table. I got on very well. table. Let her try!" Mrs. Neville Alfred was very civil to Marion upon demurred, knowing how her friend their meeting on the stairs with a tray; would shrink from being thus brought. he speaks little, and they are all silent. en évidence; but Alfred insisted, and To-day Mary Tennyson came up to called “ Marion ! Marion !” till Marion Mimosa's room and said, “I have been came, and amid a laughing chorus of thinking all night of what Louisa apologies and explanations, took the Lavesborough says in her letter about corkscrew from Alfred and drew the your going in six weeks ; you won't, cork ! will you ?
Don't let her come and This was the period, it will be rememfetch you! I shall late to see her.' bered, when Alfred Tennyson was I, too, standing by her side ! It seems toiling over his manuscripts in his so strange, so like a dream, that I begin London lodging," as one of his biograto doubt my own identity. To the phers has it, and joining his friends at Tennysons, to Curie, to all at Beech the Anonymous Club for discussions or Hill and Mornington Crescent, I am dinners, or dining at the now historic Marion. In the same houses and in Cock, and sitting over his port and pipe one little room with bolted door I am far into the night, while poor', over
- myself. Here I am writing as Louisa worked Elizabeth or Sibby sat nodding Lanesborough, and waiting to be called over the kitchen fire awaiting bis reto wait at table as a servant. ... Mi- turn, "up to two and three o'clock in mosa came early to bed, her head ached the morning,” as Marion has told us.
After all, am I not more with her I find no mention of Mornington Cresthan any one else? If Mary did but cent among his biographical notices, But no, they shall never know which scarcely, indeed, give adequate
idea of the bright, appreciative home Here I recall one of “L. L.'s” un circle in which he lived there; and, written reminiscences, – how she was still more strangely, I have searched in one day passing the open door of Al- vain through the best-informed biogfred's room as he lay in bed reading raphies recently published for so much and smoking at some late hour of the as the very name of Beech Hill ! One morning, and catching sight of the trim cannot help regretting that "L. L.'s" "maid Marion as she passed, called preoccupation over her friend's health to her to enter. Marion, I want a has so far crowded out more detailed book from the book-shelf down-stairs. reminiscences of the Tennyson family. Will you get it for me?"
He at- But to continue my extracts from tempted to describe it, but it was a “ L. L.'s” journal. Her immunity German work — " so you cannot read from detection now emboldened her to the title," quoth he. “I know it !” venture on a further flight. She had said demure Marion unwittingly, for- several friends in London – notably getting for a moment her assumed one who, with Mrs. Neville, shared her character; and she tripped lightly tenderest affections ; and she could down-stairs and brought it back at scarcely find herself within reach of
Alfred stared at her in astonish- this friend without yearning for a sight ment. Why, do you understand Ger- of her. So
guess ! it.'
“ Tuesday. – I scarcely could rest | hurried up the Quadrant, Regent with thinking of to-day, and the doubts Street, Oxford Street, Wigmore Street, and perplexities of my visit to Ken- Cavendish Square, Welbeck Street, and sivgton. I lit the fire at six, and got so on to Bulstrode Street, where I basup soon after; had my breakfast, tily took off my frill and veil and fetched mistress's roll from the baker, knocked at the door. “Is this Miss and prepared her tray ; then read, etc., Langton's ?' 'Yes. Oh, I
suppose as usual, and we dressed for the day, I you’re Mrs. Neville's servant. Please in the black merino and blanket-shawl; to walk in ;' and I was ushered below packed up my comb and brush, and cap into the housekeeper's room, and retour de tête with white ribbons, and ceived by Mrs. Hayne very kindly. I frill, in the basket, and went off for a asked after “missus,' who was pretty coach up to Camden Town. Well, well, she said, and in her turn asked mistress was settled in it, and we de- question after question as fast as possired the man to drive slowly and stop sible : Had I had my tea ? Did I like at Manchester Square, which was no oysters ? being the first; and followed sooner done than I dropped the dark up by settling of cups and saucers wig and Marion's cap, resumed my own and plate of oysters, to which we sat costume, with Mimosa's veil, and was down tête-à-tête ; she telling stories of quite ready when the coach stopped. Master Charles, and Miss Margaret, I got out cleverly without the driver and Miss Mary, and lamenting over my seeing my face, and crossed the square, poor mistress being so weak and ill ; leaving dear Mimosa to go on to 6 Bul- then putting all my ingenuity to the strode Street to her aunt's. Turning test with her cross-examination about into Duke Street on the left-hand side, Guernsey and people I didn't know ; I saw a sixpenny hairdresser,' and about the ways of master's house, went in, desiring to have my hair cut; prices of meat, etc., etc. There she for I found it now impossible to part sat at one side of the little round table, my hair after its being so long mixed, a tall and portly dame, in full-trimmed and as it fell, a cutting could do no cap and dark gown, pouring out the tea harm. This gave me an opportunity of and offering oysters, with a gracious arranging myself quite à la ‘L. L.,' condescension of the dignity of favorite and the excitement giving me quite an attendant and superintending houseunusual color, I was not afraid of see-keeper, to me, the simple maiden of a ing dear L. M. C. [Louisa MacCul- sick mistress, with a close-drawn cap loch)."
of Puritan shape, and black merino She then procceded to Kensington, dress, black shawl, and little holiday and the afternoon was spent with her silk apron, answering with quiet voice friend very bappily until
and lowly manner, as became the vis" Six o'clock came. I dare not stay itor in that situation. Good old Mrs. later ; so with many kind, loving words Hayne! A knock and a ring disturbed of true affection, and a lingering walk us by announcing the arrival of the up the Square with darling Louisa, we carriage, and I was shown up to my parted, and I got into an omnibus mistress in the drawing-room, where which took me into Piccadilly. Here sat Miss Langton, Hayne in nobility, a I descended, and for a ininute or two ladye of the past age’in a kind and walked slowly up, considering how I courtly way, sitting opposite to her should change myself again into Mar- niece on the sofa, full dressed in lace ion. At last a thought came. I went and ribbons, and with that peculiar into a hotel, and desired to be shown a style of habiliment and manner which
This was done, and in a few stamps her as one of the lingerers of minutes my wig and cap were put on, the past, in a new and different world but my veil and frill left, which partial of fashion. A fine face and stout, upchange (as I blew the light out) was right figure belied her age — in good unperceived by the attendant, and I truth they spoke well for the oysters
and. ale ! and my eye glauced sadly a tune that in the spoken word we hear enough from the strength of age to the not from the lips of a cold and careless feebleness of youth reclining in the speaker. And besides, he bad not seen easy-chair on the opposite side. Hayne her, he had not bad any guide but my showed the flowers to her, and my dear own details and perhaps exaggerated mistress liked them, as I thought she fears; now he had seen and tried, and would, and was glad to see her face as the case was clear. Then there were bright as it was, for I knew the fatigue visions of hope in change of air, an was great, and she felt able to stay exertion of skill, and the pleasure of even longer; so I went down again for seeing dear friends ; now there was a half an hour, and then went up to shadow of fear on the hope, and more dress and assist her to her carriage, the anxiety, for the faint step was fainter, door of which closed with a kind fare- and drooping head still leavier, the well from Hayne, and we drove off flush on the cheek brighter, and the glad, very glad, and congratulating branded characters more legible, though each other on that day's work being we were in England and with skilled But she was very tired.
The bitterness of death! When “ Wednesday.
Dear Mimosa tired is it?'" and dispirited. Curie was to come, A second physician, the well-known and she went down in her white dress, Dr. Locock, was consulted, and he conlooking ill and weak. He was late, firmed Curie's verdict that lung disease
at the first double knock I had begun. The only hope of prolongran hastily, breathlessly up. It was ing life lay in a warm climate - Italy ; Alfred Tennysop. Ah! how I hated and again the question arose
as to the sight of him! And then Freder- Louisa accompanying her thither - a ick, and then Septimus, gave me the step which the girl seems, naturally same run and disappointment. At last enough, to have been reluctant to take. Curie did arrive, and I showed him Meanwhile there was a touching into Frederick's room. Mimosa went little scene ere their departure from up, and I watched and waited for his London. coming down. I had to go in once – “Tuesday, April 2. -Baptist Noel he bad my letter before him, making came to administer the sacrament to botes s; how odd it appeared ! — and dear Mimosa.. . . She lay on the sofa, when he came down, as I waited for with flushed and tearful countenance, the expected words, he spoke them : her friends Mary, Cecilia, and Mrs. *Votre maîtresse est poitrinaire bien dé- Tennyson at her side ; Marion at her cidément, mais ce n'est qu'à la première feet. ... période.'
“ Wednesday morning. — Went to Cu. “.Et vous pouvez la sauver, n'est ce rie.”? After giving a detailed account pas, monsieur ??
of this interview, she continues : “I ". Mais — je ne sais pas. J'espère went home with a little medicine, but - je n'en ai pas la certitude. Je ne a full heart ; only time enough to dress désespère pas, mais il faut lui relever and get off for the coach to Beech les esprits, voyez-vous.'
Hill; Alfred, Mary, my mistress, and “ Poitrinaire bien décidément. What I inside — Alfred murmuring poetry, made me sbrink, and my spirit fail at talking husk-ily, and abusing Mrs. Hethese words, which I not only knew mans. How I longed to speak! Arbefore, but had every reason to think rived about seven at Beech Hill.” her state more confirmed than at the As the news spread of Mrs. Neville's first stage ? I thought the bitterness precarious state of health, letters of had been passed when I heard it first-inquiry and condolence, harrowing in when that letter, that confirming letter, their tender anxieties, poured in upon came with all its hopelessness; but her; and one of the little band of no! for a written thing we read, and “ Husks” (Anna Maria Mainguy) came the heart of sorrow gives to each word 'down to Beech Hill to bid her a
Jast LIVING AGE. VOL. II. 87