ページの画像
PDF
ePub

tied, like a Scottish chieftain's, under the arm. Her arms were bare, except that long black kid gloves were drawn up them; and all this elegance was wrapped in a little scanty, short, grey satin cloak, trimmed with swansdown: by the side of these extra oddities, Miss Tibby, with her black bonnet pitched, à la vieille mode, almost on her nose, her grey tabinet, and antique mantilla, looked a modern, every-day person.

Mrs. Lindsay (the ever affable) rose cordially to welcome her dear Miss Tibby's friends; Mr. Lindsay greeted them with real hospitality; Augusta hung back to conceal her irrepressible laughter, and even Ellen could not prevent a smile.

But Augusta's laughter suddenly ceased, and Ellen's smile became more unconquerable, when Miss Tibby said

“ Cousin Lindsay, I've often wished to introduce my vary dear friends, the Miss Douglases o’ Douglas Glen; they've na been long in toun, and, never having been at the opera,

VOL. 1.

VO

and being mickle curious to hear the new singer, I've taken the liberty of offering them a place in our opera-box. I've had no scruple, as I hear you've engaged the adjoining box too, to accommodate a large party. I'm sure it's little eno' I avail mysel o' the privilege o' going there at a', or of taking a friend."

Mr. Lindsay, who delighted in the ridiculous, expressed the greatest pleasure at this unexpected announcement. Mrs. Lindsay thought of the exclusive petit souper, and could scarcely echo his words; and Augusta, unable to repress tears of mortification and anger, hastened from the room, Ellen alone came gracefully and contially forth to do the honours, and to make the strange beings feel at home_but that they already did. With the blood of a long succession of old Highland chiefs in their reins, they were a proud and warlike pair, and considered that, in accepting Tibbris in ritation, ther were far more bonoaring than honoured

" Ire taen an early dinner wi my friends cousin,” said Tibby, “so I sall just leave it to you to amuse them, while I mak my ain toilet; and bid Annie prepare an early cup o' tea, for we'll na like to lose the overture.”

"It's weel to have one's pennyworth for one's penny,” said the elder lady, taking out of a very old-fashioned work-bag a roll of scarlet lambswool, and proceeding to net; “and whoever pays the penny, it's a purty penny, I doot, and weel to mak the most of it. Will you excuse my taking out my wee bit wurk, and making mysel at hame, in my auld schoolfellow's hame,” she said, unrolling a huge comforter and brandishing an immense netting-needle and mash, and fastening the loop to a long foot in a pointed blue kid shoe with a high heel. “I never lose a moment, if I can help it; time lost canna be recalled. Babie, I hope you brought your work-bag; yer too wastefu' with your time, lassie.” " I'in just going with Miss Tibby to her

dressing-room; my hair's got a wee bit out o order,” said the junior damsel. “I'd be the better of settling mysel a little.” And she took Tibby's arm and left the room.

“If you've ony thing particular to do, miss,” said Grizzy, proudly, to Ellen, whose politeness induced her to stay and atone for Augusta's absence and Mrs. Lindsay's silent dismay, “ dinna let me impede ye; I ken weel eno' that on a gala-night like this, young lassies have a warld o'gimcracks to settle; so leave me, my dear, when you like ; I'm na without resources in mysel, and never less alane than when alane. I'm a true Douglas for that."

Here Mrs. Lindsay, awed by the pride and assumption of the condescending old spinster, came forth and tried to faire l'aimable ; but Miss Douglas knew from Miss Tibby that she was just naebody at a'; an upstart, who had had a purty face; and that was na very remarkable now. She had unbent a little to Ellen Lindsay, but she could not unbend to a woman who had been a “ Gubbs.”

[graphic]

After a little while, Ellen, Mr. Lindsay, and her mother, were obliged to retire to make their toilet, and left Miss Grizzy to the society of Screech, whom she resembled in feature, and the spaniels, who, being thorough-bred Blenheims, she considered of a very superior race to a ci-devant Gubbs.

They found Augusta pacing her room in impatient dismay.-To be seen at the opera with those old quizzes ! What would the Honourable Mr. Sparkleton think! how Captain Dashington would sneer! how Riskwell would stare !

“What does that matter ?” said Ellen, kindly. “ Dear Augusta, don't make your eyes red with those silly tears, and you will look lovely enough to atone for a box full of quizzes.”

“ If it had been any other night, I would have staid away!”

“ Nay, that would have offended cousin, Tibby.” “ How dared she bring those horrors ?” “Dared! she has as much right as we

« 前へ次へ »