O, 'tis most exceeding delightfull to rise the morn with my darlings and go breakfast together.
I look at my belov’ds and sigh a little wistfull that we may not do so every morn.
Our lovelyest of C-s seems a little sad, remarks Josiah. I hope 'tis no deep trouble she goes conceal from us.
O, poo, says I, I am not the only one here conceals secrets . But, my loves, 'tis only that 'tis so very agreeable to be together.
They sigh, and concede that 'tis so.
Tho’ says Eliza a little tart, seems that whatever one does or does not do, there will some malicious tongue about Town goes make gossip and scandal.
My love, says Josiah, was’t not quite the same at home with that spitefull cattish set?
Indeed 'twas, and I hope they do not go trouble Lavinia D- as they did me.
There is, says I, one small matter that I might open to you, that is that Gretchen P-'s infant, tho’ seems healthy enough, is a very fretfull child, I wonder is’t some matter that my darling’s maternal experience might come about to remedy.
Eliza looks considering and says, mayhap some matter of wind. But sure I should not like to go call unsolicit’d like some busybody.
Why, says I, I confide I have a contrivance for that – My darlings both laugh and look at me very fond – Was she not quite the greatest friends with Miss N- as was? Sure 'twould be quite usual did Mrs L- as now is went call upon her in her new station, and mayhap might also desire open the matter of German lessons and that if she no longer goes out about the matter herself, may have connexions she might recommend. And might get into conversation about little Wolfgang, and how reassuring she finds the thought does she have increase, will ever have Mrs F-'s wise counsel to hand over any little troubles –
Eliza by now is quite helpless in the giggles and Josiah looks most exceeding amuz’d. O, cries Eliza at length, gasping, 'tis indeed a fine contrivance, and she will go put Mrs L- to the task as soon as they have return’d to R- House.
'Tis also a consideration, says I, that Frau P- should know that she has friends.
Josiah nods and says, dares say has not heard the all of the matter, but is like to think that somewhat may come to Herr P- that will leave the family in need of friends.
Am like to think so, says I. Wretch’d disagreeable fellow. I would go see might Major S- lend me one of his venomous darlings, but that I think did a snake bite Herr P-, might be the serpent that dy’d. O, I go on, and that minds me that Julia P- was in great longing to see Josh’s mongoose, was us’d to have a deal of the creatures about her home in Bombay.
Josiah concedes that Josh is ever delight’d to show off the inhabitants of his menagerie to admirers. But, he says, pulling out his watch, 'tis very high time we were on our way.
We all sigh but 'tis indeed high time they were.
Sure there is almost an embarrassing rencontre, for scarce have my darlings left than Hector comes to say Lady W- is at the door, am I at home to her?
Why, indeed, says I, show her in, and go desire coffee of Euphemia.
Comes in Susannah in a most unwont’d fluster. I beg her to sit down and calm herself.
My dear! she cries. Do you know aught to the matter? Mrs D- K- has levant’d - taken her congé without leaving cards – tho, she says in calmer tones, did leave us a very civil note thanking us for all our kindness, that she hopes some day to repay. But do you have any notion what’s ado?
Comes Celeste with coffee and shortbreads and I busy myself about pouring out. Once we have cups in hand I say, Seem’d to me that, altho’ at first she felt some inclination to him, was showing somewhat irkt at Lord K-‘s obsequious attentiveness.
Indeed, says Susannah growing thoughtfull, show’d signs of becoming a most possessive husband. And sure he is somewhat of a tiresome fellow, ever fussing about his food and whether he is sat in a draught. But in her position –
La, says I, was it not give out that Mr van H- was a-painting of her?
Susannah takes a sip of coffee and frowns a little. Sure he certainly admir’d her looks, but I had thought 'twas because she fitt’d some conception he had for a painting. Also I have heard that he left a wife behind in, I think 'twas, Delft. But one might go ask him, for even has she not elop’d with him, may have said somewhat of her plans whilst sitting to him.
Did she take her trunks?
Had packt up her traps and left nothing behind, but there was little enough. She sighs. Would have hop’d that she could have told us what was the ado, and where she was going. Well, perchance she will write and let us know how she does. She adds with another sigh that the crocodile is in quite the greatest of takings in the matter. But, she goes on with a smile, I daresay the distress will affect her so adverse that she will have to go take the waters somewhere.
She takes a shortbread and nibbles upon it. Was another matter I wisht mention to you – that fellow Mr L- solicit’d me that I might write politickal notes for his newspaper. Sure I never thought of such a thing – and yet –
Why, my dear, is not your acuity in politickal matters, and in sounding out the inwardness of parliamentary business, very much valu’d in our circle? And sure must be of considerable wider interest.
She blushes a little, but looks exceeding gratify’d. Well, she says, I will go consider upon it, for indeed he publishes a most excellent paper, and his views are very sound.
After a little discourse of more general matters, and her praise for my soirée, she departs.
I go to my desk, where a deal of correspondence awaits me, but I have been at it a very a little while when comes Hector desiring my attention. Ajax, he says, has had Mr Jupp come call upon him in something of a taking, and thinks 'twould be entire desirable did he speak to Your Ladyship. But the fellow shows extreme shy and would not come into the house tho’ desir’d to do so, so perchance Your Ladyship might condescend to go speak to him in the stables?
La, says I, I am not proud, tho’ I see you consider it ill-befitting my station, and does he feel uncomfortable about coming indoors, 'tis the highest civility to make him feel at ease, so does that mean convoking with him in the stables, I will be about it. And indeed, mayhap Euphemia can provide me an apple or two for Jezebel.
So I go to the kitchen and find Euphemia sitting down grumbling somewhat to Celeste that, did the fellow not wish to take his dirty boots into Her Ladyship’s fine parlour, might have been contriv’d that she could speak to him in their sitting-room. I desire her not to rise, and ask for apples for my Jezzie-girl.
I go out into the stables, and see Ajax seat’d on the mounting block conversing with Mr Jupp, that I see stands considerable straight and sure must have little need of the stick he carries by now. I go over to my lovely Jezzie and give her an apple and we display affection to one another according to our kind, and then I turn around and say, How now, Mr Jupp, I am pleas’d to see you looking so well. And sure you need not think I have any resentment should you wish to avail yourself of Ajax’s wisdom in matters of horseflesh.
Mr Jupp bobs his head and shifts a little from foot to foot and says, Mr W-, that was the owner of the stables, came by yestere’en to say that the sale has been made and that Your Ladyship has gone buy the stable?
La, says I, have not yet lookt thro’ all my letters the morn, I daresay there is one from Mr Q- upon that very matter. I am glad to hear that he was able contrive the business.
I see that Mr Jupp continues be troubl’d.
And, of course, I continue, I should keep matters on as they are now, but that I should be exceeding glad of any intelligence you might provide me as to improvements that might be made, both in the running of the stable and in the lodgings above.
I observe Ajax endeavouring keep a straight face at Mr Jupp’s expression, and I confide that has been about endeavouring convince Mr Jupp that I will not be quite immediate about throwing 'em all into the street.
Sure, says I, I know little enough about running a livery stable, but has seem’d to me that in the years you have been head groom there, has ever been most well-conduct’d, and indeed, I would leave the business entire in your own hands.
Mr Jupp is silent for some several moments and then says, Your Ladyship, 'tis an extreme handsome thing you do. For indeed, 'twould have come hard to leave, and perchance break up the family.
After a pause he goes on, and do you talk of improvement, there are some little things I would have wisht do, but could not get Mr W- to approve. And as to the lodgings, mayhap Mrs Jupp would be able to speak better to that.
Why, says I, perchance we might talk woman to woman on the matter at some time. And, says I to Ajax, does Mr Jupp not wish to go into the kitchen, you might go see can Euphemia provide a mug of ale for him.
After Ajax has gone Mr Jupp expresses what a benefit 'tis to have him so near at hand, with his skills at horse-doctoring, and also that he is able warn those silly lads concerning the cheats and tricks that go about at race-courses, and he dares say has sav’d 'em losses.
'Tis indeed well, says I.