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“Send them up to the Great House,” said Bernard.

"Hopkins would not allow it," said Lily. "He calls that a mixing of things. Hopkins doesn't like mixings."

And then when the game was over, they sauntered about, out of the small garden into the larger one, and through the shrubberies, and out upon the fields, where they found the still lingering remnants of the haymaking. And Lily took a rake, and raked for two minutes; and Mr. Crosbie, making an attempt to pitch the hay into the cart, had to pay half-a-crown for his footing to the haymakers; and Bell sat quiet under a tree, mindful of her complexion; whereupon Mr. Crosbie, finding the hay-pitching not much to his taste, threw himself under the same tree also, quite after the manner of Apollo, as Lily said to her mother late in the evening. Then Bernard covered Lily with hay, which was a great feat in a jocose way for him; and Lily in returning the compliment, almost smothered Mr. Crosbie,

by accident. "Oh, Lily,” said Bell.

"I'm sure I beg your pardon, Mr. Crosbie. It was Bernard's fault. Bernard, I never will come into a hayfield with you again.” And so they all became very intimate; while Bell sat quietly under the tree, listening to a word or two now and then as Mr. Crosbie chose to speak to them. There is a kind of enjoyment to be had in society, in which very few words are necessary.

Bell was less vivacious than her sister Lily; and when, an hour after this, she was dressing herself for dinner, she acknowledged that she had passed a pleasant afternoon, though Mr. Crosbie had not said very much.


The Widow Dale of Allington.

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As Mrs. Dale of the Small House, was not a Dale by birth, there can be no necessity for insisting on the fact that none of the Dale peculiarities should be sought for in her character. These peculiarities were not, perhaps, very conspicuous in her daughters, who had taken more in that respect from their mother than from their father; but a close observer might recognise the girls as Dales. They were constant, perhaps obstinate, occasionally a little uncharitable in their judgment, and prone to think that there was a great deal in being a Dale, though not prone to say much about it. But they had also a better pride than this, which had come to them as their mother's heritage. Mrs. Dale was certainly a proud woman,

pot that there was anything appertaining to herself in which she took a pride. In birth she had been much lower than her husband, seeing that her grandfather had been almost nobody. Her fortune had been considerable for her rank in life, and on its proceeds she now mainly depended; but it had not been sufficient to give any of the pride of wealth. And she had been a beauty; according to my taste was still very lovely; but certainly at this time of life, she, a widow of fifteen years' standing, with two grown-up daughters, took no pride in her beauty. Nor had she any conscious pride in the fact that she was a lady. That she was a lady, inwards and outwards, from the crown of her head to the sole of her feet, in head, in heart, and in mind, & lady by education and a lady by nature, a lady also by birth in spite of that deficiency respecting her grandfather, I hereby state as a fact --- meo periculo. And the squire, though he had no special love for her, had recognized this and in all respects treated her as

his equal.

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But her position was one which required that she should either be very proud or else very humble. She was poor, and yet her daughters moved in a position which belongs, as a rule, to the daughters of rich men only. This they did as nieces of the childless squire of Allington, and as his nieces she felt that they were entitled to accept his countenance and kindness, without loss of self-respect either to her or to them. She would have ill done her duty as a mother to them had she allowed any pride of her own to come between them and such advantage in the world as their uncle might be able to give them. On their behalf she had accepted the loan of the house in which she lived, and the use of many of the appurtenances belonging to her brother-in-law; but on her own account she had accepted nothing. Her marriage with Philip Dale had been disliked by his brother the squire, and the squire, while Philip was still living, had continued to show that his feelings in this respect were not to be over

They never had been overcome; and now, though the brother-in-law and sister-in-law had been close neighbours for years, living as one may say almost in the same family, they had never become friends. There had not been a word of quarrel between them. They met constantly. The squire had unconsciously come to entertain a profound respect for his brother's widow. The widow had acknowledged to herself the



was this

truth of the affection shown by the uncle to her daughters. But yet they had never come together as friends. Of her own money matters Mrs. Dale had never spoken a word to the squire. Of his intention respecting the girls the squire had never spoken a word to the mother. And in this way they had lived and were living at Allington.

The life which Mrs. Dale led was not altogether an easy life, was not devoid of much painful effort on her part The theory of her life one may say

that she should bury herself in order that her daughters might live well above ground. And in order to carry out this theory, it was necessary that she should abstain from all complaint or show of uneasiness before her girls. Their life above ground would not be well if they understood that their mother in this underground life of hers, was enduring any sacrifice on their behalf. It was needful that they should think that the picking of peas in a sun bonnet, or long readings by her own fire-side, and solitary hours spent in thinking, were specially to her mind. “Mamma does'nt like going out.” "I don't think mamma is happy anywhere out of her own drawingroom." I do not say that the girls were taught to say such words, and in the early days of their going out into the world used so to speak of their mother. But a time came to them before long, to one first and then to the other, in which they knew that it was not 80, and knew also all that their mother had suffered for their sakes.

And in truth Mrs. Dale could have been as young in heart as they were. She, too, could have played croquet, and have coquetted with a haymaker's 'rake,

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and have delighted in her pony, ay, and have listened to little nothings from this and that Apollo, had she thought that things had been conformable thereto. Women at forty do not become ancient misanthropes, or stern Rhadamanthine moralists, indifferent to the world's pleasures – no, not even though they be widows. There are those who think that such should be the phase of their minds. I profess that I do not so think. I would have women, and men also, young as long as they can be young

It is not that a woman should call herself in years younger than her father's Family Bible will have her to be. Let her who is forty call herself forty; but if she can be young in spirit at forty, let her show that she is so.

I think that Mrs. Dale was wrong. She would have joined that party on the croquet ground, instead of remaining among the peasticks in her sun bonnet, had she done as I would have counselled her. Not a word was spoken among the four that she did not hear. Those pea-sticks were only removed from the lawn by a low wall and a few shrubs. She listened, not as one suspecting, but simply as one loving. The voices of her girls were very dear to her, and the silver ringing tones of Lily's tongue were as sweet to her ears as the music of the gods. She heard all that about Lady Hartletop, and shuddered at Lily's bold sarcasm. And she heard Lily say that mamma would stay at home and eat the peas, and said to herself sadly that that was now her lot in life.

“Dear darling girl, and so it should be!"

It was thus her thoughts ran. And then, when her ear had traced them, as they passed across the little bridge into the other grounds, she returned across

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