Isopel Berners eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 364 pages of information about Isopel Berners.

After waiting a little time I also arose; it was now dark, and I thought I could do no better than betake myself to the dingle; at the entrance of it I found Mr. Petulengro.  “Well brother,” said he, “what kind of conversation have you and Ursula had beneath the hedge?”

“If you wished to hear what we were talking about, you should have come and sat down beside us; you knew where we were.”

“Well, brother, I did much the same, for I went and sat down behind you.”

“Behind the hedge, Jasper?”

“Behind the hedge, brother.”

“And heard all our conversation?”

“Every word, brother; and a rum conversation it was.”

“’Tis an old saying, Jasper, that listeners never hear any good of themselves; perhaps you heard the epithet that Ursula bestowed upon you.”

“If, by epitaph, you mean that she called me a liar, I did, brother, and she was not much wrong, for I certainly do not always stick exactly to truth; you, however, have not much to complain of me.”

“You deceived me about Ursula, giving me to understand she was not married.”

“She was not married when I told you so, brother; that is, not to Sylvester; nor was I aware that she was going to marry him.  I once thought you had a kind of regard for her, and I am sure she had as much for you as a Romany chi can have for a gorgio.  I half expected to have heard you make love to her behind the hedge, but I begin to think you care for nothing in this world but old words and strange stories.  Lor’, to take a young woman under a hedge, and talk to her as you did to Ursula; and yet you got everything out of her that you wanted, with your gammon about old Fulcher and Meridiana.  You are a cunning one, brother.”

“There you are mistaken, Jasper.  I am not cunning.  If people think I am, it is because, being made up of art themselves, simplicity of character is a puzzle to them.  Your women are certainly extraordinary creatures, Jasper.”

“Didn’t I say they were rum animals?  Brother, we Romans shall always stick together as long as they stick fast to us.”

“Do you think they always will, Jasper?”

“Can’t say, brother; nothing lasts for ever.  Romany chies are Romany chies still, though not exactly what they were sixty years ago.  My wife, though a rum one, is not Mrs. Herne, brother.  I think she is rather fond of Frenchmen and French discourse.  I tell you what, brother, if ever gypsyism breaks up, it will be owing to our chies having been bitten by that mad puppy they calls gentility.”

CHAPTER XXVIII.—­THE DINGLE AT NIGHT—­THE TWO SIDES OF THE QUESTION—­ROMAN FEMALES—­FILLING THE KETTLE—­THE DREAM—­THE TALL FIGURE.

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Isopel Berners from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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