When she said this a quick change flitted over Janet's face. She bit her lips, and, after a very brief pause, said in a voice of would-be indifference:The door was opened, and a neatly dressed servant of the name of Marshall entered, bearing a dinner tray.
"Faix, then, it does, honey. I'm all agog to see this lovely queen. Why has she been absent so long? Doesn't Mrs. Freeman require any lessons of the sweet creature? Oh, then, it's I that would like to be in her shoes, if that's the case.""Janet," said Mrs. Freeman, "come here for a [Pg 47]moment. I want you to use your young eyes. Do you see any carriage coming down the hill?""Janet," said Mrs. Freeman, "come here for a [Pg 47]moment. I want you to use your young eyes. Do you see any carriage coming down the hill?"
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"Don't do that, Bridget," said Miss Patience; "you are disturbing me."
"Yes; you have got to earn it first, however," replied Miss Collingwood, slipping back the pale green panel with a dexterous movement.Janet bent her fair face again over the open page; a faint flush had risen in each of her cheeks.
"So it is, Bridget. But you will permit me, an old woman compared to you, to point out a fact—the self-denying people are the happy ones, the selfish are the miserable. Take your own way now in your youth, sip each pleasure as it comes, turn from the disagreeables, trample on those who happen to be in your way, as you did on that rosebud just now, and you will lay up misery for yourself in the future. You will be a very wretched woman when you reach my age.""Change my dress! Now I really don't understand you. Am I to come down in my dressing-gown?"
"What does Janet mean?" Bridget would whisper to her nearest companion. "Is she saying something awfully clever? I'm sorry that I'm stupid—I don't quite catch her meaning."