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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 796 pages of information about Wives and Daughters.

’Ay!  I thought her cousin was very often ill, and needing her nursing, and you were very keen she should be of use.  I am not saying but what it is right in a mother; I’m only putting in a word for Miss Molly.’

‘Thank you, Mrs. Goodenough,’ said Molly, half-angry, half-laughing.  ’When I want to be married, I’ll not trouble mamma.  I’ll look out for myself.’

’Molly is becoming so popular, I hardly know how we shall keep her at home,’ said Mrs. Gibson.  ’I miss her sadly; but, as I said to Mr Gibson, let young people have change, and see a little of the world while they are young.  It has been a great advantage to her being at the Towers while so many clever and distinguished people were there.  I can already see a difference in her tone of conversation:  an elevation in her choice of subjects.  And now she is going to Hamley Hall.  I can assure you I feel quite a proud mother, when I see how she is sought after.  And my other daughter—­my Cynthia—­writing such letters from Paris!’

‘Things is a deal changed since my days, for sure,’ said Mrs Goodenough.  ’So, perhaps, I’m no judge.  When I was married first, him and me went in a postchaise to his father’s house, a matter of twenty mile off at the outside; and sate down to as good a supper amongst his friends and family as you’d wish to see.  And that was my first wedding jaunt.  My second was when I better knowed my worth as a bride, and thought that now or never I must see London.  But I were reckoned a very extravagant sort of a body to go so far, and spend my money, though Harry had left me uncommon well off.  But now young folks go off to Paris, and think nothing of the cost:  and it’s well if wilful waste don’t make woeful want before they die.  But I’m thankful somewhat is being done for Miss Molly’s chances, as I said afore.  It’s not quite what I should have liked to have done for my Bessy though.  But times are changed, as I said just now.’

CHAPTER LIX

MOLLY GIBSON AT HAMLEY HALL

The conversation ended there for the time.  Wedding-cake and wine were brought in, and it was Molly’s duty to serve them out.  But those last words of Mrs. Goodenough’s tingled in her ears, and she tried to interpret them to her own satisfaction in any way but the obvious one.  And that, too, was destined to be confirmed; for directly after Mrs. Goodenough took her leave, Mrs. Gibson desired Molly to carry away the tray to a table close to an open corner window, where the things might be placed in readiness for any future callers; and underneath this open window went the path from the house-door to the road.  Molly heard Mrs. Goodenough saying to her grand-daughter,—­

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