An Unsocial Socialist eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 268 pages of information about An Unsocial Socialist.

But he stood awhile in the avenue to laugh at himself and his father-in-law.  Then he took a hansom and was driven to the house of his solicitor, whom he wished to consult on the settlement of his late wife’s affairs.

CHAPTER X

The remains of Henrietta Trefusis were interred in Highgate Cemetery the day before Christmas Eve.  Three noblemen sent their carriages to the funeral, and the friends and clients of Mr. Jansenius, to a large number, attended in person.  The bier was covered with a profusion of costly Bowers.  The undertaker, instructed to spare no expense, provided long-tailed black horses, with black palls on their backs and black plumes upon their foreheads; coachmen decorated with scarves and jack-boots, black hammercloths, cloaks, and gloves, with many hired mourners, who, however, would have been instantly discharged had they presumed to betray emotion, or in any way overstep their function of walking beside the hearse with brass-tipped batons in their hands.

Among the genuine mourners were Mr. Jansenius, who burst into tears at the ceremony of casting earth on the coffin; the boy Arthur, who, preoccupied by the novelty of appearing in a long cloak at the head of a public procession, felt that he was not so sorry as he ought to be when he saw his papa cry; and a cousin who had once asked Henrietta to marry him, and who now, full of tragic reflections, was enjoying his despair intensely.

The rest whispered, whenever they could decently do so, about a strange omission in the arrangements.  The husband of the deceased was absent.  Members of the family and intimate friends were told by Daniel Jansenius that the widower had acted in a blackguard way, and that the Janseniuses did not care two-pence whether he came or stayed at home; that, but for the indecency of the thing, they were just as glad that he was keeping away.  Others, who had no claim to be privately informed, made inquiries of the undertaker’s foreman, who said he understood the gentleman objected to large funerals.  Asked why, he said he supposed it was on the ground of expense.  This being met by a remark that Mr. Trefusis was very wealthy, he added that he had been told so, but believed the money had not come from the lady; that people seldom cared to go to a great expense for a funeral unless they came into something good by the death; and that some parties the more they had the more they grudged.  Before the funeral guests dispersed, the report spread by Mr. Jansenius’s brother had got mixed with the views of the foreman, and had given rise to a story of Trefusis expressing joy at his wife’s death with frightful oaths in her father’s house whilst she lay dead there, and refusing to pay a farthing of her debts or funeral expenses.

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An Unsocial Socialist from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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