Queen Hildegarde eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 185 pages of information about Queen Hildegarde.
cheeks burned as she remembered the long seances in her room, she on the sofa, and Madge in the arm-chair, with the box of Huyler’s or Maillard’s best always between them!  Had they ever talked of anything “worth the while,” as mamma would say?  She remembered mamma’s coming in upon them once or twice, with her sweet, grave face.  She remembered, too, a certain uneasy feeling she had had for a moment—­only for a moment—­when the door closed behind her mother.  But Madge had laughed, and said, “Isn’t your mother perfectly sweet?  She doesn’t mind a bit, does she?” and she had answered, “Oh, no!” and had forgotten it in the account of Helen McIvor’s new bonnet.) “And then Miss Mildred said, ’I had meant to take her into the country with me this summer, and try to show the child what life really means, and let her learn to know her brothers and sisters in the different walks of this life, and how they live, and what they do.  I want her to see for herself what a tiny bit of the world, and what a silly, useless, gilded bit, is the little set of fashionable girls whom she has chosen for her friends.  But this sudden call to California has disarranged all my plans.  I cannot take her with me there, for the child is not well, and country air and quiet are necessary for her bodily health.  And so, Nurse Lucy,’ she says, ’I want you to take my child, and do by her as you did by me!’

“‘Oh!  Miss Mildred,’ I said, ’do you think she can be happy or contented here?  I’ll do my best; I’m sure you know that!  But if she’s as you say, she is a very different child to what you were, Miss Mildred dear.’

“‘She will not be happy at first,’ says Miss Mildred.  ’But she has a really noble nature, Nurse Lucy, and I am very sure that it will triumph over the follies and faults which are on the outside.’

“And then she kissed me, the dear! and came up and helped me set the little room to rights, and kissed the pillows, sweet lady, and cried over them a bit.  Ah me! ’tis hard parting from our children, even for a little while, that it is.”

Dame Hartley paused and sighed.  Then she said:  “And so, here the child is, for good or for ill, and we must do our very best by her, Jacob, you as well as I. What ailed you to-night, to tease her so at supper?  I thought shame of you, my man.”

“Well, Marm Lucy,” said the farmer, “I don’t hardly know what ailed me.  But I tell ye what, ’twas either laugh or cry for me, and I thought laughin’ was better nor t’other.  To see that gal a-settin’ there, with her pretty head tossed up, and her fine, mincin’ ways, as if ’twas an honor to the vittles to put them in her mouth; and to think of my maid—­” He stopped abruptly, and rising from the bench, began to pace up and down the garden-path.  His wife joined him after a moment, and the two walked slowly to and fro together, talking in low tones, while the soft summer darkness gathered closer and closer, and the pleasant night-sounds woke, cricket and katydid and the distant whippoorwill filling the air with a cheerful murmur.

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Queen Hildegarde from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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