Mary accompanied her in. Grizzy was all impatience to display her treasures; and as she hastily unfolded them, began to relate her achievements. Lady Maclaughlan heard her in silence, and a deep groan was all that she uttered; but Grizzy was too well accustomed to be groaned at, to be at all appalled, and went on, “But all that’s nothing to the shirt-buttons, made of Mrs. Fox’s own linen, and only five shillings the twelve dozen; and considering what tricks are played with shirt-buttons now—I assure you people require to be on their guard with shirt-buttons now.”
“Pray, my dear, did you ever read the ‘Vicar of Wakefield?’”
“The ‘Vicar of Wakefield?’ I—I think always I must have read it:—at any rate, I’m certain I’ve heard of it.”
“Moses and his green spectacles was as one of the acts of Solomon compared to you and your shirtbuttons. Pray, which of you is it that wears shirts?”
“I declare that’s very true—I wonder I did not think of that sooner—to be sure, none us wear shirts since my poor brother died.”
“And what’s become of her brooch?” turning to Mary, who for the first time observed the departure of Nicky’s crown jewel.
“Oh, as to the brooch,” cried Grizzy, “I’m certain you’ll all think that well bestowed, and certainly it has been the saving of it.” Upon which she commenced a most entangled narrative, from which the truth was at length extracted.
“Well,” said Lady Maclaughlan, “there are two things God grant I may never become,—an, amateur in charity, and a collector of curiosities. No Christian can be either—both are pickpockets. I wouldn’t keep company with my own mother were she either one or other—humph!”
Mary was grieved at the loss of the brooch; but Grizzy seemed more than ever satisfied with the exchange, as Sir Sampson had taken a fancy for the thread-papers, and it would amuse him for the rest of the day to be told every two minutes what they were intended for. Mary therefore left her quite happy, and returned to Beech Park.
“He either fears his fate too much,
Or his deserts are small,
Who dares not put it to the touch,
To gain or lose it all.”
Marquis of Montrose.
TIME rolled on, but no event occurred in Grizzy’s life worthy of being commemorated. Lady Juliana began to recover from the shock of her arrival, and at length was even prevailed upon to pay her a visit, and actually spent five minutes in the same room with her. All her Ladyship’s plans seemed now on the point of being accomplished. Mr. Downe Wright was now Lord Glenallan, with an additional fifteen thousand per annum, and by wiser heads than hers would have been thought an unexceptionable match for any young woman. Leaving his mother to settle his affairs in Scotland, to which she was much more au fait than himself, he hastened to Beech Park to claim Mary’s promised hand.