’And they are proud people—all of them—and rich; and they live with high persons in the world.’
’I didn’t care though they lived with the royal family, and had the Prince of Wales for their bosom friend. It only shows how much better he is than they are.’
’But think of what my family is—how we are situated. When my father was simply poor I did not care about it, because he has been born and bred a gentleman. But now he is disgraced. Yes, Lily, he is. I am bound to say so, at any rate to myself, when I am thinking of Major Grantly; and I will not carry that disgrace into a family which would feel it so keenly as they would do.’ Lily, however, went on with her arguments, and was still arguing when they turned the corner of the lane, and came upon Lily’s uncle and the major himself.
SHOWING WHAT MAJOR GRANTLY DID AFTER HIS WALK
In going down from the church to the Small House Lily Dale had all the conversation to herself. During some portion of the way the path was only broad enough for two persons, and here Major Grantly walked by Lily’s side, while Grace followed them. Then they found their way into the house, and Lily made her little speech to her mother about catching the major. ‘Yes, my dear, I have seen Major Grantly before,’ said Mrs Dale. ’I suppose he has met you on the road. But I did not expect that any of you would have returned so soon.’ Some little explanation followed as to the squire, and as to Major Grantly’s walk, and after that the great thing was to leave the two lovers alone. ’You will dine here, of course, Major Grantly,’ Mrs Dale said. But this he declined. He had learned, he said, that there was a night-train up to London, and he thought that he would return to town by that. He had intended, when he left London to get back there as soon as possible. Then Mrs Dale, having hesitated for two or three seconds, got up and left the room, and Lily followed. ’It seems very odd and abrupt,’ said Mrs Dale to her daughter, ’but I suppose it is best.’ ’Of course, it is best, mamma. Do as one would be done by—that’s the only rule. It will be much better for her that she should have it over.’
Grace was seated on a sofa, and Major Grantly got up from his chair, and came and stood opposite to her. ‘Grace,’ he said, ’I hope you are not angry with me for coming down to see you here.’
‘No, I am not angry,’ she said.
’I have thought a great deal about it, and your friend, Miss Prettyman, knew that I was coming. She quite approves of my coming.’
‘She has written to me, but did not tell me of it,’ said Grace, not knowing what other answer to make.
’No—she could not have done that. She had no authority. I only mention her name because it will have weight with you, and because I have not done that which, under the circumstances, perhaps, I should have been bound to do. I have not seen your father.’