The Palace Beautiful eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 369 pages of information about The Palace Beautiful.

“Don’t go to sleep, Daisy,” called out Jasmine presently.  “I’m coming over in a minute to consult you.”

Nothing could possibly be more gratifying to Daisy than to know that Jasmine wished to ask her advice.  She accordingly roused herself, ceased to think of the Prince, and said, in a very bright little voice—­

“I’ll help you the best I can, Jasmine.”

“It’s just this,” said Jasmine, dashing down her pen on the top of her manuscript, and causing thereby a great blot—­“it’s just this, Daisy; I’ve got to do something, and you have got to help me.”

“Oh, I’m sure if I can,” said little Daisy, still in that slightly patronizing voice, for the little maid’s head was almost turned by being thus appealed to.  “Is it to sew on buttons for you, Jasmine? for though I don’t like sewing on buttons, I’ll do it, or even—­even—­I’ll darn your stockings, dear Jasmine.”

Jasmine laughed.

“It’s nothing of that kind, Eyebright; it’s something much, much more important.  You know, Daisy, what we came up to London for—­why, of course you know why we left all our dear friends, and are living in about the very dullest part of London—­of course you know?”

“Was it?” said Daisy, looking dubious; “was it—­I never could quite make out—­because Primrose did not like Mrs. Ellsworthy?”

“Oh, you silly, silly little thing!  What a dreadful thing to get into your head, Daisy-flower!  I did think you knew why we came to town, and gave everything up, and made ourselves so miserable.”

“We did make ourselves miserable,” sighed Daisy, “and I had to take Mr. Dove for my friend.  I like to have him for my friend, though.  What was the reason, please, Jasmine?”

“We came to London for the glorious privilege of being independent,” chanted Jasmine, in a majestic voice.  “Daisy, I’m going to be it.  I’m going to fling my shackles to the winds.  I’m going to soar.”

“It sounds lovely,” said Daisy.  “You always were a poet, Jasmine, and I suppose poets do talk like that; but how are you going to be independent, Jasmine?”

“I’m going to earn money, little woman.  Miss Egerton has kept me in shackles.  I’ve worn them patiently, but now I burst the bonds.  Daisy, I have formed a little theory.  I believe girls are sent into the world with a strong bias in a particular direction.  You see, it always did seem to be meant that dear Primrose was to be a companion, or secretary, of some sort; for Mrs. Ellsworthy wanted her to be Mr. Ellsworthy’s secretary, and to write his letters for him.  She would not be that, even though it was her bent, and now she’s got to accept something far worse; for it really must be dreadful to be ’continual reader’ to poor old Mrs. Mortlock.  Now, Daisy, what I say is this—­there’s no use in wasting time or money looking after things which don’t suit us.  Primrose was meant to be a secretary or continual reader, and so she has to be one; and I have always been meant to belong to the rather higher order of novelist or poet, and there’s no use in my being damped any longer by Miss Egerton.  I don’t mean to be conceited, but I know that I have got the flutterings of a poet’s wings in my soul, and soar I must.”

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The Palace Beautiful from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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