On Sunday Captain Levison arrived at East Lynne.
MRS. HARE’S DREAM.
The next day rose bright, warm, and cloudless, and the morning sun streamed into the bedroom of Mrs. Hare. Mr. and Mrs. Hare were of the old-fashioned class who knew nothing about dressing-rooms, their bedrooms were very large, and they never used a dressing-room in their lives, or found the want of one. The justice rubbed his face to a shining brilliancy, settled on his morning wig and his dressing-gown, and then turned to the bed.
“What will you have for breakfast?”
“Thank you, Richard, I do not think that I can eat any thing. I shall be glad of my tea; I am very thirsty.”
“All nonsense,” responded the justice, alluding to the intimation of not eating. “Have a poached egg.”
Mrs. Hare smiled at him, and gently shook her head. “You are very kind, Richard, but I could not eat it this morning. Barbara may send up the smallest bit of dry toast. Would you please throw the window open before you go down; I should like to feel the air.”
“You will get the air too near from this window,” replied Mr. Justice Hare, opening the further one. Had his wife requested that the further one to be opened, he would have opened the other; his own will and opinions were ever paramount. Then he descended.
A minute or two, and up ran Barbara, looking bright and fair as the morning, her pink muslin dress, with its ribbons and its open white lace sleeves, as pretty as she was. She leaned over to kiss her mother.
“Mamma, are you ill? And you have been so well lately; you went to bed so well last night. Papa says—”
“Barbara, dear,” interrupted Mrs. Hare, glancing round the room with dread, and speaking in a deep whisper, “I have had one of those dreadful dreams again.”
“Oh, mamma, how can you!” exclaimed Barbara, starting up in vexation. “How can you suffer a foolish dream to overcome you as to make you ill? You have good sense in other matters, but, in this, you seem to put all sense away from you.”
“Child, will you tell me how I am to help it?” returned Mrs. Hare, taking Barbara’s hand and drawing her to her again. “I do not give myself the dreams; I cannot prevent their making me sick, prostrate, feverish. How can I help these things, I ask?”
At this moment the bedroom door was flung open, and the face of the justice, especially stern and cross then was pushed in. So startled was Mrs. Hare, that she shook till she shook the pillow, and Barbara sprang away from the bed. Surely he had not distinguished their topic of conversation!
“Are you coming to make the breakfast to-day, or not Barbara? Do you expect me to make it?”
“She is coming this instant, Richard,” said Mrs. Hare, her voice more faint than usual. And the justice turned and stamped down again.