However, she promised her husband to do her best. She received from him a list of people to be invited, and, merely stipulating that she shouldn’t be required to ask any one except the parson of the parish under a week, undertook to make the place as bearable as possible to so fastidious and distinguished a person as her own son.
Her first confidante was, of course, Griffiths; and, with her assistance, the wool and the worsted, and the knitting-needles, the unfinished vallances and interminable yards of fringe, were put up and rolled out of the way; and it was then agreed that a council should be held, to which her ladyship proposed to invite Lady Selina and Fanny. Griffiths, however, advanced an opinion that the latter was at present too lack-a-daisical to be of any use in such a matter, and strengthened her argument by asserting that Miss Wyndham had of late been quite mumchance . Lady Cashel was at first rather inclined to insist on her niece being called to the council, but Griffiths’s eloquence was too strong, and her judgment too undoubted; so Fanny was left undisturbed, and Lady Selina alone summoned to join the aged female senators of Grey Abbey.
[FOOTNOTE 44: mumchance—silent and idle]
“Selina,” said her ladyship, as soon as her daughter was seated on the sofa opposite to her mother’s easy chair, while Griffiths, having shut the door, had, according to custom, sat herself down on her own soft-bottomed chair, on the further side of the little table that always stood at the countess’s right hand. “Selina, what do you think your father tells me?”
Lady Selina couldn’t think, and declined guessing; for, as she remarked, guessing was a loss of time, and she never guessed right.
“Adolphus is coming home on Tuesday.”