Eliza and I dissuade Agnes S- from most immediate going visit Lady D-, for we confide that at present she lyes in exhaust’d sleep and that 'tis most needfull to her to do so. No, say we, she will be about recovering and 'twould be a deal better to go tomorrow, especial is Lord D- laid up with an attack of the megrim.
(I collect also that Lady P- is one that finds relish in talking of obstetrickal horrors both in cows and the human animal, and am not entire certain that she will mind on Agnes S-'s state and not talk of such matters while she is there.)
Miss S- is showing somewhat reluctant to hearken to our wisdom in this matter, when comes calling most extreme civil Mr H-, that wishes assure her that her sister is entire well but most exceeding tir’d, for you know, my dear, do you not, that 'tis quite justly known as labour? For I confide there are few tasks that make such demands upon the corporeal frame as bearing a child.
Miss S-, somewhat tearfull, thanks him very much for this kindness – 'tis indeed exceeding thoughtfull, especial in one that has, we daresay, been up all night himself attending upon the accouchement.
He adds, a fine large boy, that cries lustyly, an excellent sign.
Eliza walks with him to the door, having offer’d coffee that he has declin’d.
Sure, says I, for all his blunt ways, Mr H- is quite one of the kindest of men.
O, indeed, says Agnes S-, that then goes weep somewhat upon my shoulder.
My dear, says I, you have had a deal of turmoil these last few days, but I am like to suppose that what would do you a deal of good would be to undertake a little healthfull exercise by going riding with the children when His Lordship takes 'em to the Park.
She looks up and says, o, 'twould be very agreeable, does it not offer to look heartless.
I am ever confus’d, says I, that there are those that think because another suffers or is in some bad case, 'twill aid at all to go make themselves suffer quite needless. A little recreation is entire sanitive in your case, why, I am somewhat astonisht that Mr H- did not go advize it, must be because he is so tir’d himself.
After the riding-party go out, I go sit with my darling in the family room and she says that Mr H- convey’d to her some matter about the case that he was not sure was suitable to tell Miss S-: viz: that 'twas indeed a large infant and he was oblig’d to resort to forceps at the end –
Well, says I, at least he did not proceed to the Caesarean operation -
- that will leave certain signs on the child that should dissipate. And he confides that Lady D- took the business badly – for she is so very young – and he hopes that she will mind that 'twould be entire deleterious to go telling her sister the details of the ordeal.
I sigh. I wonder, says I, whether we might prevail upon her to stay a little longer, while her sister lyes in.
'Twould be an excellent thing – provid’d, says Eliza with a little grimace, that she does not go night-walking again – but she may consider that we tempt her with parties of pleasure away from her duty.
Why, says I, His Lordship’s tiffin-party – a drawing-room meeting for the benefit of the T-s’ work in New South Wales – 'tis hardly wild dissipation.
But, says my darling, she takes such a deal of enjoyment about everything – helping Josh in feeding his menagerie and keeping it clean, doing chymickal experiments with the girls and Miss N-, playing with the nursery-set. Sure she is a very agreeable guest.
She is an excellent young woman, says I.
Would that one might find her a husband of matching excellence, says my best wild girl, because does she not marry I fear she will be condemn’d to the life of a maiden aunt in her sister’s household.
That is a very good thought, I reply, for altho’ she could quite afford to live alone, or at least with some suitable companion, I think she would be reluctant to leave her sister for any other reason than that for which one forsakes all others. And I confide that Lord D- is entire happy that she lives with 'em –
I am like to think, says Eliza looking thoughtfull, that she must give a deal of assistance in household matters.
Most like! But the trouble is to find one that likes her for herself and not for her fortune or her family connexions. And one that she would believe was in all sincerity in his protestations, for she has a deal of suspicions about fellows that make suit to her, and one cannot consider it misguid’d.
There is a little tap upon the door and comes in Miss N-, that has had the day off so that she might attend Fraulein H-'s wedding.
We ask her how all went off, and she says, entire satisfactory, they are now man and wife, and Frau H- put up a very fine breakfast – very much, she adds, in a Germanick style or so she would confide – but they do not make any wedding journey, because she has classes to give, and he is to undertake correspondence for Mr K-'s enterprizes. She looks a little sadden’d by this.
'Twas all, she adds, a very quiet occasion.
I daresay she thinks a little mournfull of the still distant prospect of her own marriage to Mr L-.
I remark that sure 'twould be a deal more agreeable did one marry a husband that by his own merits and efforts had got himself into such a position that he might take one on some fine wedding trip. Does not need to be some Grand Tour - Martha S- will ever remark on how agreeable they found theirs to Weymouth.
Why, says Eliza, we had no wedding journey: or rather, we took a delay’d excursion to Scarborough after Harry was born. But at the time we wed 'twould have been exceeding imprudent for Mr F- to leave the works. (She most discreet says nothing of her own condition at the time, that would not have been favourable to travel.)
Miss N- says it must be a very fine thing to see the castles of the Rhine or the palaces of Venice, but 'tis surely who one sees ‘em with that matters.
Entirely so! says Eliza.
Miss N- then says she purposes go and write up a few pieces for the paper, and Mr L- has had some thought that the little things she writes might be put up in a book.
An excellent thing, says I, sure there are those that do not aspire to be Miss Herschel and discover new comets, but would appreciate some little guide to what one may see in the night sky at particular seasons.
Miss N- smiles very pretty and takes her leave.
Eliza sighs and says, sure 'tis most exceeding selfish of her, but Miss N- answers so well that she cannot help hoping that Mr L- finds he may not go marry her for some years yet.
I laugh and say the world must be peopl’d!
Eliza laughs. The most Shakspearean of C-s will find somewhat in the Bard to any occasion!
We look at one another with exceeding affection.
Then comes a footman to say that the younger Mr K- has call’d, are we at home to him?
Indeed, says Eliza, show him in, and I will ring for tea.
Enters Sebastian K- and makes us a leg. Says he has some papers to leave about the pickle factory. could have left those with the footman, but came in to see whether Miss S- would like to join Vi and her other chicks at the theatre this e’en.
Why, says Eliza, she has gone ride in the Park with the children at present, but I confide she would be delight’d. Indeed answers exceeding well, for we are bidden, and so is Lady B-, to a dinner-party at the O- B-'s, and did not like to leave her alone here when she must still be fretting somewhat over her sister.
He asks have we had any news from P- House, and we recount to him the state of affairs.
He then says, he is most exceeding gratefull that we have put them in the way of acquiring a further German correspondence clerk, for indeed there is a deal more work in that line than they could expect Fraulein H- to manage. Have reacht an agreement with the fellow – sure he does not have the most gracious manner, but displays considerable apprehension, so mayhap there might be advancement for him in due course.
Is he not, he goes on with a slight frown, some connexion of Jacob S-?
No, says I, 'tis the U-s, that are associates of Mr S-'s father, the tenants of my little place in Surrey, that are some connexion. But I am like to think, I continue, that unlike the U-s, he does not adhere to ancestral ways, indeed, I would suppose him somewhat of a freethinker.
Sebastian K- then says, sure, he heard that the fellow went to church with Fraulein H- to be wed the day.
(I observe that he looks somewhat gratify’d by the thought, and I daresay has been in some concern that he might find the fair Fraulein in a stepmother’s place.)
Eliza says, indeed, they have just heard all about it from Miss N-, that stood bridesmaid.
'Tis somewhat sudden, he comments, but I daresay Vi will be about giving 'em some present, for she is very fond of the Fraulein. Do you know whether she will still be going about giving lessons &C, or will she be devoting herself to keeping house?
As they continue reside with her mother, says I, that is consider’d an entire paragon of the domestick arts, I confide she will still be about her accustom’d round, tho’ may come a time –
(That I daresay will be sooner rather than later.)
Of course, says Sebastian K-.
My dear naughty Eliza smiles and says the world must be peopl’d!