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“But it's all nonsense, miss, when you're standing there. There isn't no such person as Syne, when you're there. I don't believe there is any such person. But,” she added with a sigh, “when you're gone away—I don't know. But I think he's upstairs in the nursery now," she said, putting her hand to her big forehead. “ No, no, there's no such person.”
And Mattie tried to laugh outright, but failed in the attempt, and the tears rose in her eyes.
“You've got a headache, dear,” said Lucy.
“Well, no," answered Mattie. “I cannot say that I have just a headache, you know. But it does buzz a little. I hope Mr. Kitely wont be long now.”
“I don't like leaving you, Mattie ; but I must go to my grandmother,” said Lucy, with reluctance.
“ Never mind me, miss. I'm used to it. I used to be afraid of Lord Syne, for he watched me, ready to pounce out upon me with all his men at his back, and he laughed so loud to see
But I know better now. I never run from him now. I always frown at him, and take my own time, and do as I like: I don't want him to see that I'm afraid, you know. And I do think I have taught him a lesson. Besides, if he's very troublesome, you know, miss, I can run to Mr. Spelt. But I never talk to him about Syne, because when I do he always looks so mournful. Perhaps he thinks it is wicked. He is so good himself, he has no idea how wicked a body can be.”
Lucy thought it best to hurry away, that she might return the sooner; for she could not bear the child to be left alone in such a mood. And she was sure that the best thing for her would be to spend the day with her cheery old grandmother. But as she was leaving the shop, Mr. Kitely came in, his large, bold, sharp face fresh as a north wind without a touch of east in it. Lucy preferred her request about Mattie, and he granted it cordially.
“I'm afraid, Mr. Kitely,” said Lucy, “the darling is not well. She has such strange fancies.”
“Oh, I don't know," returned the bookseller, with mingled concern at the suggestion and refusal to entertain it. “She's always been a curious child. Her mother was like that, you see, and she takes after her. Perhaps she does want a little more change. I don't think she's been out of this street now all her life. But she'll shake it off as she gets older, I have no doubt."
So saying, he turned into his shop, and Lucy went home. In half an hour she went back for Mattie, and leaving the two together, of whom the child, in all her words and ways, seemed the older, set out for the West End, where Mrs. Morgenstern was anxiously hoping for her appearance, seeing she depended much upon her assistance in the treat she was giving to certain poor people of her acquaintance. By any person but Mattie, Mrs. Morgenstern would have been supposed to be literally fulfilling the will of our Lord in asking only those who could not return her invitation.
The Jewess and her Neighbours.
RS. MORGENSTERN looked splendid
as she moved about amongst the hothouse plants, arranging them in the hall, on the stairs, and in the drawing-rooms. She judged, and judged rightly, that one ought to be more anxious to show honour to poor neighbours by putting on her best attire, than to ordinary guests of her own rank. Therefore, although it was the morning, she had put on a dress of green silk, trimmed with brown silk and rows of garnet buttons, which set off her dark complexion and her rich black hair, plainly braided down her face, and loosely gathered behind. She was half a head taller than Lucy, who was by no means short. The two formed a beautiful contrast. Lucy was dark-haired and dark-eyed as well as
Mrs. Morgenstern, but had a smaller face and features, regular to a rare degree. Her high close-fitting dress of black silk, with a plain linen collar and cuffs, left her loveliness all to itself. Lucy was neither strikingly beautiful nor markably intellectual : when one came to understand what it was that attracted him so much, he found that it was the wonderful harmony in her. As Wordsworth prophesied for his Lucy that “ beauty born of murmuring sound should pass into her face," so it seemed as if the harmonies which flowed from her father's fingers had moulded her form and face, her motions and thoughts, after their own fashion, even to a harmony which soothed before one knew that he was receiving it, and when he had discovered its source made him ready to quote the words of Sir Philip Sydney :
Just accord all music makes;
I have often wondered how it was that Lucy