That night was a peaceful one.
shining crystal, which Out of her womb a thousand rayons threw.
Bellay: translated by Spenser.
The next day, Lady Emily was very nearly as well as she had proposed being. She did not, however, make her appearance below. Mr. Arnold, hearing at luncheon that she was out of bed, immediately sent up his compliments, with the request that he might be permitted to see her on his return from the neighbouring village, where he had some business. To this Lady Emily gladly consented.
He sat with her a long time, talking about various things; for the presence of the girl, reminding him of his young wife, brought out the best of the man, lying yet alive under the incrustation of self-importance, and its inevitable stupidity. At length, subject of further conversation failing,
“I wonder what we can do to amuse you, Lady Emily,” said he.
“Thank you, Mr. Arnold; I am not at all dull. With my kind friend, Mrs. Elton, and —”
She would have said Margaret, but became instinctively aware that the mention of her would make Mr. Arnold open his eyes, for he did not even know her name; and that he would stare yet wider when he learned that the valued companion referred to was Mrs. Elton’s maid.
Mr. Arnold left the room, and presently returned with his arms filled with all the drawing-room books he could find, with grand bindings outside, and equally grand plates inside. These he heaped on the table beside Lady Emily, who tried to look interested, but scarcely succeeded to Mr. Arnold’s satisfaction, for he presently said:
“You don’t seem to care much about these, dear Lady Emily. I daresay you have looked at them all already, in this dull house of ours.”
This was a wonderful admission from Mr. Arnold. He pondered — then exclaimed, as if he had just made a grand discovery:
“I have it! I know something that will interest you.”
“Do not trouble yourself, pray, Mr. Arnold,” said Lady Emily. But he was already half way to the door.
He went to his own room, and his own strong closet therein.
Returning towards the invalid’s quarters with an ebony box of considerable size, he found it rather heavy, and meeting Euphra by the way, requested her to take one of the silver handles, and help him to carry it to Lady Emily’s room. She started when she saw it, but merely said:
“With pleasure, uncle.”
“Now, Lady Emily,” said he, as, setting down the box, he took out a curious antique enamelled key, “we shall be able to amuse you for a little while.”