Euphra pondered a little. She would have liked very much to see him, for she was anxious to know of his success. The love she had felt for him was a very small obstacle to their meeting now; for her thoughts had been occupied with affairs, before the interest of which the poor love she had then been capable of, had melted away and vanished — vanished, that is, in all that was restrictive and engrossing in its character. But now that she knew the relation that had existed between Margaret and him, she shrunk from doing anything that might seem to Margaret to give Euphra an opportunity of regaining his preference. Not that she had herself the smallest hope, even had she had the smallest desire of doing so; but she would not even suggest the idea of being Margaret’s rival. At length she answered:
“No, thank you, Margaret. As soon as he has anything to report, he will write to Arnstead, and Mrs. Horton will forward me the letter. No — it is quite unnecessary.”
Euphra’s health was improving a little, though still she was far from strong.
Faust. If heaven was made for man, ’twas
made for me.
Good Angel. Faustus, repent; yet heaven will pity thee.
Bad Angel. Thou art a spirit, God cannot pity thee.
Faust. Be I a devil, yet God may pity me.
Bad Angel. Too late.
Good Angel. Never too late if Faustus will repent.
Bad Angel. If thou repent, devils will tear thee in pieces.
Old Man. I see an angel hover o’er thy
And with a vial full of precious grace,
Offers to pour the same into thy soul.
Marlowe. — Doctor Faustus.
Mr. Appleditch had had some business-misfortunes, not of a heavy nature, but sufficient to cast a gloom over the house in Dervish Town, and especially over the face of his spouse, who had set her heart on a new carpet for her drawing-room, and feared she ought not to procure it now. It is wonderful how conscientious some people are towards their balance at the banker’s. How the drawing-room, however, could come to want a new carpet is something mysterious, except there is a peculiar power of decay inherent in things deprived of use. These influences operating, however, she began to think that the two scions of grocery were not drawing nine shillings’ worth a week of the sap of divinity. This she hinted to Mr. Appleditch. It was resolved to give Hugh warning.
As it would involve some awkwardness to state reasons, Mrs. Appleditch resolved to quarrel with him, as the easiest way of prefacing his discharge. It was the way she took with her maids-of-all-work; for it was grand in itself, and always left her with a comfortable feeling of injured dignity.
As a preliminary course, she began to treat him with still less politeness than before. Hugh was so careless of her behaviour, that this made no impression upon him. But he came to understand it all afterwards, from putting together the remarks of the children, and the partial communications of Mr. Appleditch to Miss Talbot, which that good lady innocently imparted to her lodger.