She gave him such potent reasons, and showed him so plainly his refusal would infuriate his uncle, and make her miserable, that he had no choice. He packed up his dress suit, and drove to Raby Hall, with a heavy heart and bitter reluctance.
It was the great anniversary. On that day Sir Richard Raby had lost for the Stuarts all the head he possessed. His faithful descendent seized the present opportunity to celebrate the event with more pomp than ever. A month before the fatal day he came in from Hillsborough with sixty yards of violet-colored velvet, the richest that could be got from Lyons; he put this down on a table, and told his sister that was for her and Jael to wear on the coming anniversary. "Don't tell me there's not enough," said he; "for I inquired how much it would take to carpet two small rooms, and bought it; now what will carpet two little libraries will clothe two large ladies; and you are neither of you shrimps."
While he was thus doing the cynical, nobody heeded him; quick and skillful fingers were undoing the parcel, and the ladies' cheeks flushed and their eyes glistened, and their fingers felt the stuff inside and out: in which occupation Raby left them, saying, "Full dress, mind! We Rabys are not beheaded every day."
Mrs. Little undertook to cut both dresses, and Jael was to help sew them.
But, when they came to be tried on, Jael was dismayed. "Why, I shall be half naked," said she. "Oh, Mrs. Little, I couldn't: I should sink with shame."
Mrs. Little pooh-poohed that, and an amusing dialogue followed between these two women, both of them equally modest, but one hardened, and perhaps a little blinded, by custom.
Neither could convince the other, but Mrs. Little overpowered Jael by saying, "I shall wear mine low, and you will mortally offend my brother if you don't."
Then Jael succumbed, but looked forward to the day with a simple terror one would hardly have expected from the general strength of her character.
moving westward. Then, one day, he announced that half
sympathy, which knew no taint of affectation or mean design,
last wrote. For myself, I have not altogether been myself
art in particular. He made himself familiar with the history
a short time we were surrounded by a large group of the
his mind and taste by knowledge in general, as well as