`Oh - I was talking to myself! The phantoms all about here, in the college archways, and windows. They used to look friendly in the old days, particularly Addison, and Gibbon, and Johnson, and Dr. Browne, and Bishop Ken'

`Come along do! Phantoms! There's neither living nor dead hereabouts except a damn policeman! I never saw the streets emptier.'

`Fancy! The Poet of Liberty used to walk here, and the great Dissector of Melancholy there!'

`I don't want to hear about 'em! They bore me.'

`Walter Raleigh is beckoning to me from that lane - Wycliffe - Harvey - Hooker - Arnold - and a whole crowd of Tractarian Shades'

`I don't want to know their names, I tell you! What do I care about folk dead and gone? Upon my soul you are more sober when you've been drinking than when you have not!'

`I must rest a moment,' he said; and as he paused, holding to the railings, he measured with his eye the height of a college front. `This is old Rubric. And that Sarcophagus; and Up that lane Crozier and Tudor: and all down there is Cardinal with its long front, and its windows with lifted eyebrows, representing the polite surprise of the university at the efforts of such as I.'

`Come along, and I'll treat you!'

`Very well. It will help me home, for I feel the chilly fog from the meadows of Cardinal as if death-claws were grabbing me through and through. As Antigone said, I am neither a dweller among men nor ghosts. But, Arabella, when I am dead, you'll see my spirit flitting up and down here among these!'

`Pooh! You mayn't die after all. You are tough enough yet, old man.'

It was night at Marygreen, and the rain of the afternoon showed no sign of abatement. About the time at which Jude and Arabella were walking the streets of Christminster homeward, the Widow Edlin crossed the green, and opened the back door of the schoolmaster's dwelling, which she often did now before bedtime, to assist Sue in putting things away.

Sue was muddling helplessly in the kitchen, for she was not a good housewife, though she tried to be, and grew impatient of domestic details.

`Lord love 'ee, what do ye do that yourself for, when I've come o' purpose! You knew I should come.'

`Oh - I don't know - I forgot! No, I didn't forget. I did it to discipline myself. I have scrubbed the stairs since eight o'clock. I must practise myself in my household duties. I've shamefully neglected them!'

`Why should ye? He'll get a better school, perhaps be a parson, in time, and you'll keep two servants. 'Tis a pity to spoil them pretty hands.'

`Don't talk of my pretty hands, Mrs. Edlin. This pretty body of mine has been the ruin of me already!'

`Pshoo - you've got no body to speak of! You put me more in mind of a sperrit. But there seems something wrong to-night, my dear. Husband cross?'

`No. He never is. He's gone to bed early.'

`Then what is it?'

  By PanEris using Melati.

Previous chapter/page Back Home Email this Search Discuss Bookmark Next chapter/page
Copyright: All texts on Bibliomania are © Bibliomania.com Ltd, and may not be reproduced in any form without our written permission. See our FAQ for more details.