Anne briefly explained, and Jane broke out—
“Then you will be my friend, and we will tell each other all our secrets. You are a Protestant too. You will be mine, and not Bridgeman’s or Dunord’s—I hate them.”
In point of fact Anne did not feel much attracted by the proffer of friendship, and she certainly did not intend to tell Jane Humphreys all her secrets, nor to vow enmity to the other colleagues, but she gravely answered that she trusted they would be friends and help to maintain one another’s faith. She was relieved that Miss Bridgeman here came in to take her first turn of rest till she was to be called up at one o’clock.
As Jane Humphreys had predicted, Mrs. Royer and Anne alone were left in charge of the nursling while every one went to morning Mass. Then followed breakfast and the levee of his Royal Highness, lasting as on the previous day till dinner-time; and the afternoon was as before, except that the day was fine enough for the child to be carried out with all his attendants behind him to take the air in the private gardens.
If this was to be the whole course of life at the palace, Anne began to feel that she had made a great mistake. She was by no means attracted by her companions, though Miss Bridgeman decided that she must know persons of condition, and made overtures of friendship, to be sealed by calling one another Oriana and Portia. She did not approve of such common names as Princess Anne and Lady Churchill used—Mrs. Morley and Mrs. Freeman! They must have something better than what was used by the Cockpit folks, and she was sure that her dear Portia would soon be of the only true faith.
CHAPTER XVII: MACHINATIONS
“Baby born to woe.”
F. T. PALGRAVE.
When Anne Woodford began to wake from the constant thought of the grief and horror she had left at Portchester, and to feel more alive to her surroundings and less as if they were a kind of dream, in which she only mechanically took her part, one thing impressed itself on her gradually, and that was disappointment. If the previous shock had not blunted all her hopes and aspirations, perhaps she would have felt it sooner and more keenly; but she could not help realising that she had put herself into an inferior position whence there did not seem to be the promotion she had once anticipated. Her companion rockers were of an inferior grade to herself. Jane Humphreys was a harmless but silly girl, not much wiser, though less spoilt, than poor little Madam, and full of Cockney vulgarities. Education was unfashionable just then, and though Hester Bridgeman was bettor born and bred, being the daughter of an attorney in the city, she was not much better instructed, and had no pursuits except that of her own advantage. Pauline Dunord was by far the best of the three, but she seemed to live a life apart, taking very little