“You are going to sing to z’ moon through z’ nose. Yez. For how long?”
“These ladies have asked me to stay with them.
They make me so happy.
When I leave them—then!”
“And zen?” quoth Mr. Pericles.
“Then, while my money lasts, I shall stay in the country.”
“How much money?”
“How much money have I?” Emilia frankly and accurately summed up the condition of her treasury. “Four pounds and nineteen shillings.”
“Hom! it is spent, and you go to your father again?”
“To ze old Belloni?”
“No!” cried Mr. Pericles, upon Emilia’s melancholy utterance. He bent to her ear and rapidly spoke, in an undertone, what seemed to be a vivid sketch of a new course of fortune for her. Emilia gave one joyful outcry; and now Wilfrid retreated, questioning within himself whether he should have remained so long. But, as he argued, if he was convinced that the rascally Greek fellow meant mischief to her, was he not bound to employ every stratagem to be her safeguard? The influence of Mr. Pericles already exercised over her was immense and mysterious. Within ten minutes she was singing triumphantly indoors. Wilfrid could hear that her voice was firm and assured. She was singing the song of the woods. He found to his surprise that his heart dropped under some burden, as if he had no longer force to sustain it.
By-and-by some of the members of the company issued forth. Carriages were heard on the gravel, and young men in couples, preparing to light the ensign of happy release from the ladies (or of indemnification for their absence, if you please), strolled about the grounds.
“Did you see that little passage between Laura Tinley and Bella Pole?” said one, and forthwith mimicked them: “Laura commencing:-’We must have her over to us.’ ’I fear we have pre-engaged her.’—’Oh, but you, dear, will do us the favour to come, too?’ ’I fear, dear, our immediate engagements will preclude the possibility.’—’Surely, dear Miss Pole, we may hope that you have not abandoned us?’—’That, my dear Miss Tinley, is out of the question.’—’May we not name a day?’—’If it depends upon us, frankly, we cannot bid you do so.’”
The other joined him in laughter, adding: “‘Frankly’ ’s capital! What absurd creatures women are! How the deuce did you manage to remember it all?”
“My sister was at my elbow. She repeated it, word for word.”
“Pon my honour, women are wonderful creatures!”
The two young men continued their remarks, with a sense of perfect consistency.
Lady Gosstre, as she was being conducted to her carriage, had pronounced aloud that Emilia was decidedly worth hearing.
“She’s better worth knowing,” said Tracy Runningbrook. “I see you are all bent on spoiling her. If you were to sit and talk with her, you would perceive that she’s meant for more than to make a machine of her throat. What a throat it is! She has the most comical notion of things. I fancy I’m looking at the budding of my own brain. She’s a born artist, but I’m afraid everybody’s conspiring to ruin her.”