And, again and again, I am glad to see you, Watt! And, once again, I am glad to see you, Watt! says Mrs Rouncewell. You are a fine young fellow. You are like your poor uncle George. Ah! Mrs Rouncewells hands unquiet, as usual, on this reference.
They say I am like my father, grandmother.
Like him, also, my dear, but most like your poor uncle George! And your dear father. Mrs Rouncewell folds her hands again. He is well?
Thriving, grandmother, in every way.
I am thankful! Mrs Rouncewell is fond of her son, but has a plaintive feeling towards him much as if he were a very honourable soldier, who had gone over to the enemy.
He is quite happy? says she.
I am thankful! So, he has brought you up to follow in his ways, and has sent you into foreign countries and the like? Well, he knows best. There may be a world beyond Chesney Wold that I dont understand. Though I am not young, either. And I have seen a quantity of good company too!
Grandmother, says the young man, changing the subject, what a very pretty girl that was, I found with you just now. You called her Rosa?
Yes, child. She is daughter of a widow in the village. Maids are so hard to teach, now-a-days, that I have put her about me young. Shes an apt scholar, and will do well. She shows the house already, very pretty. She lives with me, at my table here.
I hope I have not driven her away?
She supposes we have family affairs to speak about, I dare say. She is very modest. It is a fine quality in a young woman. And scarcer, says Mrs Rouncewell, expanding her stomacher to its utmost limits, than it formerly was!
The young man inclines his head, in acknowledgment of the precepts of experience. Mrs Rouncewell listens.
Wheels! says she. They have long been audible to the younger ears of her companion. What wheels on such a day as this, for gracious sake?
After a short interval, a tap at the door. Come in! A dark-eyed, dark-haired, shy, village beauty comes in so fresh in her rosy and yet delicate bloom, that the drops of rain, which have beaten on her hair, look like the dew upon a flower fresh-gathered.
What company is this, Rosa? says Mrs Rouncewell.
Its two young men in a gig, maam, who want to see the house yes, and if you please, I told them so! in quick reply to a gesture of dissent from the housekeeper. I went to the hall door, and told them it was the wrong day, and the wrong hour; but the young man who was driving took off his hat in the wet, and begged me to bring this card to you.
Read it, my dear Watt, says the housekeeper.
Rosa is so shy as she gives it to him, that they drop it between them, and almost knock their foreheads together as they pick it up. Rosa is shyer than before.
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