Page by Page Books
Read Books Online, for Free
A Lady of Quality Frances Hodgson Burnett

Which treats of the obsequies of my Lord of Dunstanwolde, of his lady's widowhood, and of her return to town

Page 3 of 5

Table Of Contents: A Lady of Quality

Previous Page

Next Page

Previous Chapter

Next Chapter

More Books

More by this Author

During her stay at her father's house she did much to make it a more suitable abode for her, ordering down from London furnishings and workmen to set her own apartments and Anne's in order. But she would not occupy the rooms she had lived in heretofore. For some reason it seemed to be her whim to have begun to have an enmity for them. The first day she entered them with Anne she stopped upon the threshold.

"I will not stay here," she said. "I never loved the rooms--and now I hate them. It seems to me it was another woman who lived in them- -in another world. 'Tis so long ago that 'tis ghostly. Make ready the old red chambers for me," to her woman; "I will live there. They have been long closed, and are worm-eaten and mouldy perchance; but a great fire will warm them. And I will have furnishings from London to make them fit for habitation."

The next day it seemed for a brief space as if she would have changed even from the red chambers.

"I did not know," she said, turning with a sudden movement from a side window, "that one might see the old rose garden from here. I would not have taken the room had I guessed it. It is too dreary a wilderness, with its tangle of briars and its broken sun-dial."

"You cannot see the dial from here," said Anne, coming towards her with a strange paleness and haste. "One cannot see WITHIN the garden from any window, surely."

"Nay," said Clorinda; "'tis not near enough, and the hedges are too high; but one knows 'tis there, and 'tis tiresome."

Tired of reading? Add this page to your Bookmarks or Favorites and finish it later.

"Let us draw the curtains and not look, and forget it," said poor Anne. And she drew the draperies with a trembling hand; and ever after while they dwelt in the room they stayed so.

My lady wore her mourning for more than a year, and in her sombre trailing weeds was a wonder to behold. She lived in her father's house, and saw no company, but sat or walked and drove with her sister Anne, and visited the poor. The perfect stateliness of her decorum was more talked about than any levity would have been; those who were wont to gossip expecting that having made her fine match and been so soon rid of her lord, she would begin to show her strange wild breeding again, and indulge in fantastical whims. That she should wear her mourning with unflinching dignity and withdraw from the world as strictly as if she had been a lady of royal blood mourning her prince, was the unexpected thing, and so was talked of everywhere.

At the end of the eighteenth month she sent one day for Anne, who, coming at her bidding, found her standing in her chamber surrounded by black robes and draperies piled upon the bed, and chairs, and floor, their sombreness darkening the room like a cloud; but she stood in their midst in a trailing garment of pure white, and in her bosom was a bright red rose tied with a knot of scarlet ribband, whose ends fell floating. Her woman was upon her knees before a coffer in which she was laying the weeds as she folded them.

Page 3 of 5 Previous Page   Next Page
Who's On Your Reading List?
Read Classic Books Online for Free at
Page by Page Books.TM
A Lady of Quality
Frances Hodgson Burnett

Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2004