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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 the previous evening everything had been packed and arranged, a hasty breakfast in the kitchen, whilst her mistress washed, and then the little tray prepared and taken up, was hardly done, when the coach drove up, and Mary Tennyson, Mimosa, and Marion on the box, went off, through Waltham and Edmonton, to London. The morning was clear and fine, but cold from the sharp east wind; and glad was I to have three fellow-travellers on the top to keep me warmer. Still I was dreadfully cold, or how much I would have enjoyed the beautiful country on the approach to London by this side! Ten miles we travelled from Waltham, yet not a single break in the line of villages which form the environs of the capital. How unlike Paris! I was much struck by it, and wonder what foreigners must think of the difference in extent between London and all others throughout the world. I could not help considering, too, of the strange power which this body has over its captive soul,—that when I was surrounded by objects of the deepest interest, and scenes which I felt in my inmost heart, as in hurrying through the crowded streets, I marked the contrasting groups of idle misery and busy wealth; the magnificent monuments of art, the stately buildings of a metropolis, side by side with the homes of woe and sin and sickness, the almshouse, the hospital, the penitentiary; here rolled a carriage full of joyous smiles, there crouched the sullen child of starvation muttering deep curses; from the balcony of a crescent bent the graceful form of youth and beauty; from the window of a dark, high house, the fever hospital, I saw three pallid and emaciated faces pressed in dreary listlessness against the glass so gaunt so wretched! so hopeless! I felt all this, but it was a dumb, irritated feeling, seemingly excited as much from my own sense of suffering, and awakened by the keen March wind, as
"We stopped at last at the Four Swans, Bishopsgate Street; and from thence in a coach to 12 Mornington Crescent. Here my darling Mimosa was received very kindly; but oh! they might well weep over the wasted form and feeble steps. She was laid on a sofa, and had breakfast. I went to the close, dirty, beastly kitchen, where two dirty things were flying about in all directions. They took no notice of me, so I slipped out, and found my way to the post-office, where I deposited the letters; and on my return, finding the lady whose room Mimosa was to have waiting for a coach and none to go for her, I volunteered and went, a good long way, with such a painful foot that I was obliged to buy a pair of easy shoes on the road. Then I had to mount the boxes and unpack-three pairs of stairs up! I had to carry all alone the heavy box; and then I settled the room, lit the fire, and ran down to get mistress her lunch. I poached her an egg, but she could not eat it. After this and sundry runnings about, dinner-time came. I was to wait at table, and my heart beat so fast as I went in, that I could not hear anything else for a few minutes. Mimosa asked for bread, and that was given almost unconsciously; for on entering the room I saw Alfred Tennyson at last! and Frederick, Horatio, Emily, Mary, and the mother. Was it a delusion that I, Louisa Lanesborough, stood there behind them, changing their plates, helping them, and they so little dreaming of my identity with the servant Marion ? Was I asleep when the dirty maid-ofall-work thrust a handful of dirty forks into my hand, and bid me cut and wash 'em quick and bring 'em up? I did run down and do all this and up again, many a time, ere the dinner was over; and though I did it all very well, my hand shook so the first time I took Alfred Tennyson's plate that I thought it must be seen. And why was it? I'm sure I don't know, except that the ro
mance of the whole affair rushed over
all this with the most perfect goodhumor, never ruffled. So she and her friend agreed that the time, which would have been dreadful lonesome alone, had passed better together; and Sibby told how one of her brothers was always saying, 'Well, Tit, when will you come home? I hate going home when you ain't there! 'Tain't like home, somehow.' And when she went to see them, says he, 'Have you had any supper, Tit?' 'Yes,' says she. Well, never mind, you must eat a bit of pork chop and drink a glass of ale. It does my heart good to see you here again, Tit. I wish you'd stop home with us and leave service.'
We were long in talking and getting tobed, when I fell sound asleep; but she, I fear, tossed about all night in pain. I woke very early, scarcely daybreak, and lit the fire, got quickly to bed again, and slept till eight.
"Well, dinner over, I was to get mine; but fagged and excited as I was, I could not eat the broken meat that was left for me. I longed for a cup of tea, which I could not get; and then I made my mistress's bed, and sat up-stairs over her fire, so aching and weary that I knew not what to do, yet I dared not go to sleep for fear of not hearing them ring. This really was a dreadful evening, having water and coals and all sorts of things to bring up so often four pairs of steep stairs. At last I went down into the kitchen, and laying my head on my knees, I heard the kitchen talk. Elizabeth, 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 lodginghouse proprietor, are friends, I perceive; and by the dialogue I overheard whilst one was quilling net for a cap and the other scouring saucepans, they have two absent lovers, absent since a fortnight or month; upon which occasion 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. My to prepare in the morning, and Fred-soul is clinging closer and closer to her; erick Tennyson's room to arrange, fire to light, etc., etc.; then the drawingroom, and Mrs. Tennyson's bed to make; breakfast to give to Mrs. Tennyson and the girls and Horatio, then up-stairs to Frederick and Septimus; then to market, and dinner for Mrs. Moore at two; luncheon in the drawing-room; dinner there at four, always meat and an apple pudding for Alfred; dinner above for Frederick and Septimus at six, meat and pudding; tea in the parlor at eight; fires to attend to, door to answer, everything to clean, and all the bells to answer; and then to sit up for the family even till one, two, and three in the morning, yet to rise and work as usual the next day;
how shall I bear to part with her?
"Ah! he thought he said this to a servant, a hireling; and there was little ménagement in the declaration. Those words! Yet I knew it ! I knew it quite as well; nay, I know more, that he cannot save her! And yet I hope and smile, and seem to grasp at every change of symptom, in spite of the
evident decrease of strength and increase of suffering!
She can do everything, I verily believe
man?" he questioned. She stammered an evasive reply, and left the room. "Sunday 23d 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 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 Lauesborough says in her letter about corkscrew from Alfred and drew the your going in six weeks; you won't, will you? Don't let her come and fetch you! I shall hate to see her.' I, too, standing by her side! It seems so strange, so like a dream, that I begin to doubt my own identity. To the Tennysons, to Curie, to all at Beech Hill and Mornington Crescent, I am Marion. In the same houses and in one little room with bolted door I am -myself. Here I am writing as Louisa Lanesborough, and waiting to be called to wait at table as a servant. . . . Mimosa came early to bed, her head ached After all, am I not more with her than any one else? If Mary did but guess! But no, they shall never know it."
This was the period, it will be remembered, when Alfred Tennyson was toiling over his manuscripts in his London lodging,” as one of his biographers has it, and joining his friends at the Anonymous Club for discussions or dinners, or dining at the now historic Cock, and sitting over his port and pipe far into the night, while poor, overworked Elizabeth or Sibby sat nodding over the kitchen fire awaiting his return, "up to two and three o'clock in the morning," as Marion has told us. I find no mention of Mornington Crescent among his biographical notices, 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! 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
"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 sington. I lit the fire at six, and got so on to Bulstrode Street, where I hasup 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 in the black merino and blanket-shawl; packed up my comb and brush, and cap tour de tête with white ribbons, and frill, in the basket, and went off for a coach up to Camden Town. Well, mistress was settled in it, and we desired the man to drive slowly and stop at Manchester Square, which was no sooner done than I dropped the dark wig and Marion's cap, resumed my own costume, with Mimosa's veil, and was quite ready when the coach stopped. I got out cleverly without the driver seeing my face, and crossed the square, leaving dear Mimosa to go on to 6 Bulstrode Street to her aunt's. Turning into Duke Street on the left-hand side, I saw a 'sixpenny hairdresser,' and went in, desiring to have my hair cut; for I found it now impossible to part my hair after its being so long mixed, and as it fell, a cutting could do no harm. This gave me an opportunity of arranging myself quite à la L. L.,' and the excitement giving me quite an unusual color, I was not afraid of seeing dear L. M. C. [Louisa MacCulloch]."
She then procceded to Kensington, and the afternoon was spent with her friend very happily until
"Six o'clock came. I dare not stay later; so with many kind, loving words of true affection, and a lingering walk up the Square with darling Louisa, we parted, and I got into an omnibus which took me into Piccadilly. Here I descended, and for a minute or two walked slowly up, considering how I should change myself again into Marion. At last a thought came. I went into a hotel, and desired to be shown a room. This was done, and in a few minutes my wig and cap were put on, but my veil and frill left, which partial change (as I blew the light out) was unperceived by the attendant, and I
you're Mrs. Neville's servant. Please to walk in ;' and I was ushered below into the housekeeper's room, and received by Mrs. Hayne very kindly. I asked after 'missus,' who was pretty well, she said, and in her turn asked question after question as fast as possible: Had I had my tea? Did I like oysters ? being the first; and followed up by settling of cups and saucers and plate of oysters, to which we sat down tête-à-tête; she telling stories of Master Charles, and Miss Margaret, and Miss Mary, and lamenting over my poor mistress being so weak and ill; then putting all my ingenuity to the test with her cross-examination about Guernsey and people I didn't know; about the ways of master's house, prices of meat, etc., etc. There she sat at one side of the little round table, a tall and portly dame, in full-trimmed cap and dark gown, pouring out the tea and offering oysters, with a gracious condescension of the dignity of favorite attendant and superintending housekeeper, to me, the simple maiden of a sick mistress, with a close-drawn cap of Puritan shape, and black merino dress, black shawl, and little holiday silk apron, answering with quiet voice and lowly manner, as became the visitor in that situation. Good old Mrs. Hayne! A knock and a ring disturbed us by announcing the arrival of the carriage, and I was shown up to my mistress in the drawing-room, where sat Miss Langton, Hayne in nobility, a 'ladye of the past age' in a kind and courtly way, sitting opposite to her niece on the sofa, full dressed in lace and ribbons, and with that peculiar style of habiliment and manner which stamps her as one of the lingerers of the past, in a new and different world of fashion. A fine face and stout, upright figure belied her age-in good truth they spoke well for the oysters
and ale! and my eye glanced 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 had not seen easy-chair on the opposite side. Hayne showed the flowers to her, and my dear mistress liked them, as I thought she would, and was glad to see her face as bright as it was, for I knew the fatigue was great, and she felt able to stay even longer; so I went down again for half an hour, and then went up to dress and assist her to her carriage, the door of which closed with a kind farewell from Hayne, and we drove off glad, very glad, and congratulating each other on that day's work being over. But she was very tired.
her, he had not had any guide but my own details and perhaps exaggerated fears; now he had seen and tried, and the case was clear. Then there were visions of hope in change of air, an exertion of skill, and the pleasure of seeing dear friends; now there was a shadow of fear on the hope, and more anxiety, for the faint step was fainter, and drooping head still heavier, the flush on the cheek brighter, and the branded characters more legible, though we were in England and with skilled men. 'The bitterness of death! When is it?" "
A second physician, the well-known Dr. Locock, was consulted, and he confirmed Curie's verdict that lung disease had begun. The only hope of prolonging life lay in a warm climate-Italy; and again the question arose Louisa accompanying her thither step which the girl seems, naturally enough, to have been reluctant to take.
Meanwhile there was a touching little scene ere their departure from London.
"Tuesday, April 2.-Baptist Noel came to administer the sacrament to dear Mimosa. . . . She lay on the sofa, with flushed and tearful countenance, her friends Mary, Cecilia, and Mrs. Tennyson at her side; Marion at her feet.
"Wednesday. - Dear Mimosa tired and dispirited. Curie was to come, and she went down in her white dress, looking ill and weak. He was late, too, and at the first double knock I ran hastily, breathlessly up. It was Alfred Tennyson. Ah! how I hated the sight of him! And then Frederick, and then Septimus, gave me the same run and disappointment. At last Curie did arrive, and I showed him into Frederick's room. Mimosa went up, and I watched and waited for his coming down. I had to go in once he had my letter before him, making notes; how odd it appeared! — and when he came down, as I waited for the expected words, he spoke them: 'Votre maîtresse est poitrinaire bien décidément, mais ce n'est qu'à la première 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 went home with a little medicine, but a full heart; only time enough to dress and get off for the coach to Beech Hill; Alfred, Mary, my mistress, and "Poitrinaire bien décidément. What I inside Alfred murmuring poetry, made me shrink, and my spirit fail at talking husk-ily, and abusing Mrs. Hethese words, which I not only knew 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 last
"Mais-je ne sais pas. J'espère - je n'en ai pas la certitude. Je ne désespère pas, mais il faut lui relever les esprits, voyez-vous.'