'Tis indeed agreeable to ride my lovely Jezzie-girl again, and to have so many come up to me and exclaim about how very well I look – and tho’ they do not say anything, there are a deal of glances go to quite how admirable my riding-habit fits, as well as ever did.
But when I return to R- House, I mind that 'tis some while since I have been on horseback: but Docket has been entire beforehand of me in the matter and has bespoke a bath of fine hot water that I may soak in, most exceeding pleasant.
Because 'tis Liberty Hall and I am entire one of the family, I do not dress too exceptional fine for family dinner, and wear my string of pretty corals rather than my more splendid jewels.
Before we dine, while we are sat in the family room, Patty comes and says that Miss Flora is in desire for her sleepy wombatt, and 'tis entire delightfull to me to go to my precious child and snuggle and kiss until she falls asleep.
At dinner Josh sits down at my side and begins grumble about dancing-class, 'tis an entire bore and he does not see why 'tis at all necessary –
Meg snorts and says, sure, does he wish to be one of those hobbledehoys that goes trample his partner’s feet and bang into other couples, there is no necessity to go to dancing-class –
Do you, goes on Bess, desire to dance only with wombatts - was you not endeavouring waltz with the creature t’other day? – I daresay you might need no classes, but do you ever come to some occasion when you might be expect’d to dance with young ladies, 'tis quite entire necessary.
I laugh a little and say, were these the young ladies that sigh’d and groan’d when 'twas put forward that they should go to dancing class?
Josh says, there are a deal of girls, that go titter -
Vulgar creatures, says Bess, do you point 'em out to me and I will go give 'em a set-down.
Josiah says that he hopes that she will confine herself to a verbal set-down and not resort to that puglilistick art that has been notic’d she goes practice in the conservatory.
Bess says that she cannot see why girls may not learn the puglilistick art.
Why, says I, I confide 'tis because gentlemen would be extreme abasht did they have one of the fairer sex draw their cork for 'em.
O, 'tis entire delightfull to be among 'em all again, and I look around 'em very happy.
And then later, when I am in my fine reserv’d chamber, come my very dearest darlings and we are all a little tearfull together, for has been too long since we were together in triangle and 'tis a very happy thing to be remet at last.
And our dearest, says Eliza, does not need to go tell us how she contriv’d dispose of that monster, we are entire appriz’d, and sure I would have done the like myself.
Josiah says that he confides that the reason why ladies are not taught the pugilistick art is because they would go be most exceeding ferocious.
Why, was’t a fellow the like of that, 'twould be only natural, says Eliza. She takes my hand and kisses it and Josiah does the like with the other.
But I hope never to have to do the like again, says I.
And then we cease talking and are about other matters.
Oh, that I might be with my darlings always, but alas, ‘twould be somewhat that Society would look at most askance.
The next morn come the children for a chocolate-party levée, 'tis quite the charmingest thing, and they go complain on me for being away, and say why do I not stay for a good long visit, and the mongoose comes investigate me, and my precious child goes snuggle with me in wakefull wombatt fashion.
And she stays with me while I dress, altho’ Bess says 'tis time for her to go to the schoolroom – sure, she adds, I am glad I shall not have to go out as a governess.
Docket and Sophy look upon my sweet Flora very doating.
My beloved wild girl Eliza is already busy at her desk when I go to the family room, holding my lovely child’s hand. She looks at us very fond, and goes ring for one to bring me some breakfast.
My jewel is mind’d to help me consume this, so that I am not oblig’d to eat all that has been sent up. Mittens also comes over with a view to aiding me in this task.
And I am just drinking the last of my coffee, that is somewhat I do not share with Flora, when Meg comes say, sure 'tis time Flora came to the schoolroom, and takes her away, and on her heels comes a footman to say that Hector has come and desires see Lady B-.
O, says I, looking towards Eliza, sure he may come up.
When he goes away, I say in some concern that I hope 'tis no ill news.
Eliza laughs and says, she is like to think that 'tis entirely to say that all is in order for your return, and I daresay that you could have gone straight home for they were entire in readyness.
Indeed, when comes Hector, that is looking exceeding well, and not in the least as if the house caught on fire or was assail’d by burglars, and his burden is entirely that the house is ever ready for my return.
Why, says I, then you may send Ajax with my carriage as soon as maybe and I will return to my own roof; but, Hector, pray tell me at once how all is within the household, and how Euphemia does.
Hector grins mightyly and says that Euphemia does excellent well, tho’ will complain 'tis a lively child that goes kick considerable. But she will sit down and direct Celeste –
I am pleas’d to hear it, says I, for I mind on what a task we found it to make Seraphine do the like before Julius’ birth. But all is well with all the household?
Entirely, he says, and there is now another undermaid, Polly, from among their connexion, goes get into the good practices of the household. Nell comes on exceedingly. And, he goes on, mayhap 'tis not his place to communicate this intelligence, but Titus and Tibby are mind’d to wed, but that Tibby would not go to church without Her Ladyship and Docket are there to witness the ceremony and attend the breakfast.
O, says I, then they may go to church as soon as maybe, and – mayhap Her Grace has some thoughts upon the business, for she is most extreme attacht to Tibby, but sure do they wish to have the breakfast in my reception-room, indeed I should be exceeding delight’d.
Hector nods and says, he is in some supposition that they would desire have it there, that has fond memories.
(I am amuz’d at this, for I recall when Tibby would go about snubbing Titus for his presumption, when he was but the boot-boy and most unpolisht, and she was learning upon being a fine lady’s maid under Docket.)
Well, says I, let it be so, and mayhap one might ask Seraphine to lend a hand in the preparations, for otherwise I daresay Euphemia will be quite done up.
He says that that is a prudent thought, and they are entire us’d to one another in a kitchen. (I daresay he minds that 'tis proverbial that two cooks in the same kitchen will go brangle.) But, he says, while he is here he was in purpose to convey a little instruction in the pugilistick art to the little boys, by our leave?
That would be exceeding kind, says Eliza, for they greatly relish it. And I will just go summon 'em from nursery and schoolroom, and as 'tis fine the morn, may undertake the business on the terrace.
After she has gone I look at Hector and say, is’t true that all is entire well?
He nods, and says, quite entire well. He lately saw Mr Johnson at their club, and he would be desirous of a word at some time with Your Ladyship, but I confide that was it any heavy matter or a need for caution, as it might be watchers about the place, he would have convey’d it to me even did he not tell the whole. No, I am like to suppose that he wishes assure Your Ladyship that all’s well.
Why, says I, I am pleas’d to hear it, for he is one that has a deal of sources of intelligence about Town.
A very good fellow, says Hector, that is one that sure does not give praise lightly.
Returns Eliza, that says the boys are all run down to the terrace and making those preliminary movements that he adviz’d ‘em.
Hector takes his leave to be about this task.
So, Docket and Sophy have my trunks packt ready for departure, and I take a somewhat tearfull leave of my darlings and their family – but, sure, am I assur’d there are no watchers my dearest loves may come visit discreet for triangular matters.
And I arrive at my pretty house, that is not so little as us’d to be, but still shines and sparkles from good tending, and I go in at my own front door, and Hector bows, and takes my hat and gloves and cloak, and shows me into my pretty parlour.
And o, 'tis still my own pretty parlour: I do not see blood streaming down the walls, or a phantasmick figure of Mr R- O-. There is still my pretty desk that Josiah had made for me, and Sir Z- R-'s painting of me in my Hindoo rubies, and the portrait of General Y-'s dear bibi and the little statue of the lady that rides upon a tiger, and my cabinet of china, and a new china cabinet for pieces that were not offer’d to open negotiations for my favours, and there are books upon the shelves. And there are the chairs, and the sopha where I rompt some several times with Biffle, and upon which Josiah and I inadvertent begot darling Flora. Feels quite entire exorciz’d of any lingering ill miasma.
Then comes Euphemia with tea and some particular fine cakes, and I look at her, that manifests Hector’s full tilth and husbandry, and say, sure you should not be carrying that, put it down at once, twixt laughter and tears.