It was with no slight mortification that Mrs. Lennox saw Mary depart without having made the desired impression on the heart of her son; or, what was still more to be feared, of his having secured himself a place in her favour. But again and again she made Mary repeat her promise of returning soon, and spending some days with her. “And then,” thought she, “things will all come right. When they live together, and see each other constantly, they cannot possibly avoid loving each other, and all will be as it should be. God grant I may live to see it!”
And hope softened the pang of disappointment.
“Qui vous a pu plonger
dans cette humeur chagrine,
A-t-on par quelque edit reforme la cuisine?”
MARY’S inexperienced mind expected to find, on her return to Beech Park, some vestige of the pleasures of the preceding night—some shadows, at least, of gaiety, to show what happiness she had sacrificed what delight her friends had enjoyed; but for the first time she beheld the hideous aspect of departed pleasure. Drooping evergreens, dying lamps, dim transparencies, and faded flowers, met her view as she crossed the hall; while the public rooms were covered with dust from the chalked floors, and wax from the droppings of the candles. Everything, in short, looked tawdry and forlorn. Nothing was in its place—nothing looked as it used to do—and she stood amazed at the disagreeable metamorphose an things had undergone.
Hearing some one approach, she turned and beheld Dr. Redgill enter.
“So—it’s only you, Miss Mary!” exclaimed he in a tone of chagrin. “I was in hopes it was some of the women-servants. ’Pon my soul, it’s disgraceful to think that in this house there is not a woman stirring yet! I have sent five messages by my man to let Mrs. Brown know that I have been waiting for my breakfast these two hours; but this confounded ball has turned everything upside down! You are come to a pretty scene,” continued he, looking round with a mixture of fury and contempt,—“a very pretty scene! ’Pon my honour, I blush to see myself standing here! Just look at these rags!” kicking a festoon of artificial roses that had fallen to the ground. “Can anything be more despicable?—and to think that rational creatures in possession of their senses should take pleasure in the sight of such trumpery! ’Pon my soul, I—I—declare it confounds me! I really used to think Lady Emily (for this is all her doing) had some sense—but such a display of folly as this!”
“Pshaw!” said Mary, “it is not fair in us to stand here analysing the dregs of gaiety after the essence is gone. I daresay this was a very brilliant scene last night.”
“Brilliant scene, indeed!” repeated the Doctor in a most; wrathful accent: “I really am amazed—I—yes—brilliant enough—if you mean that there was a glare of light enough to blind the devil. I thought my eyes would have been put out the short time I stayed; indeed, I don’t think this one has recovered it yet,” advancing a fierce blood-shot eye almost close to Mary’s. “Don’t you think it looks a leettle inflamed, Miss Mary?”