Have set our arms aflame!
It was a perfect godsend to the people of Helmingham, this news; and coming so soon, too--a few months' interval was comparatively nothing in the village--after the excitement caused by young Tom's death. They had never had the remotest idea that Mr. Creswell would ever take to himself a second wife; they had long since given up the idea of speculating upon Marian Ashurst's marriage prospects; and the announcement was almost too much for them to comprehend. Generally, the feeling was one of satisfaction, for the old schoolmaster and Mrs. Ashurst had both been popular in the village, and there had been much commiseration, expressed with more warmth and honesty than good taste, when it was murmured that the widow and Marian would have to give up housekeeping--an overwhelming degradation in the Helmingham mind--and go into lodgings. A little alloy might have existed in the fact that no new element would be brought into their society, no stranger making her first appearance as the "squire's lady," to be stared at on her first Sunday in church, and discussed and talked over after her first round of visits. But this disappointment was made up to Mrs. Croke and Mrs. Whicher, and others of their set, by the triumph and vindication of their own perspicuity and appreciation of character. They appealed to each other, and to a sympathising audience round a tea-table specially spread, directly authentic confirmation of the news of the intended marriage was received, whether they had not always said that, "That girl's heart was set on money!" That it would take some one "wi' pounds an' pounds" to win her, and they had proved right, and she were now going to be made mistress of Woolgreaves, eh? Money enough there, as Mrs. Whicher told Mrs. M'Shaw, to satisfy even her longing for riches. "But it's not all goold that glitters," said the thrifty housewife; "and it's not all sunshine even then. There's givin' up liberty, and suchlike, to who? It 'minds me of the story of a man as cam' to market wi' a cart-load o' cheeses and grindstones. The cheeses was that beautiful that every one wanted they, but no one bought the grindstones; so seein' this, the man, who were from where your husband comes from, Mrs. M'Shaw, the north, he said he wouldn't sell ere a cheese unless they bought a grindstone at the same time; and so he cleared off the lot. I'm thinkin' that wi' Marian Ashurst the money's the cheese, but she can't take that wi'out the old man, the grindstone." Scarcely anything was said about the singularity of the circumstance that a pretty girl like Marian had not had any lovers. Mrs. Croke remarked that once she thought there would be "something between" Marian and "that young Joyce," but she was promptly put down; Mrs. Whicher observing scornfully that a girl with Marian's notions of money wasn't likely to have "taken up wi' an usher;" and Mrs. Baker, little Sam's mother, clearing it would have been an awful thing, if true, as she was given to understand that young Joyce had "leff for a soldier," and the last thing heard of him was that he had actually 'listed.
"worried through" together, come out none the worse for ups and downs and disagreements, having the same outlook on life, and with youth and tastes in common. He wondered if she repented her marriage, if he bored her, if perchance she really preferred the company, say, of young Greaves, to his own? The thought tortured him. He felt he could not go away and leave her. He would only be miserable, unable to enjoy himself, thinking of her all the time, picturing her riding, driving, laughing with that idiotic boy, while the station smiled and whispered, amused, yet commiserating the absent husband.
influence on posterity, of works written three hundred or even one hundred years ago.
“Her name?” inquired Abronychus.
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