Kingcroft without even the pressure of a rescue-party.
Where Angels Fear to Tread by E.M. Forster: | baikilgobbchatli.ga: Books
She cried a great deal on her return to Sawston, and said she was very sorry. Herriton took the opportunity of speaking more seriously about the duties of widowhood and motherhood than she had ever done before. But somehow things never went easily after. Lilia would not settle down in her place among Sawston matrons. She was a bad housekeeper, always in the throes of some domestic crisis, which Mrs.
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Herriton, who kept her servants for years, had to step across and adjust. She let Irma stop away from school for insufficient reasons, and she allowed her to wear rings. She learnt to bicycle, for the purpose of waking the place up, and coasted down the High Street one Sunday evening, falling off at the turn by the church. If she had not been a relative, it would have been entertaining.
But even Philip, who in theory loved outraging English conventions, rose to the occasion, and gave her a talking which she remembered to her dying day. It was just then, too, that they discovered that she still allowed Mr. Kingcroft to write to her "as a gentleman friend," and to send presents to Irma. Philip thought of Italy, and the situation was saved. Caroline, charming, sober, Caroline Abbott, who lived two turnings away, was seeking a companion for a year's travel. Lilia gave up her house, sold half her furniture, left the other half and Irma with Mrs.
Herriton, and had now departed, amid universal approval, for a change of scene. She wrote to them frequently during the winter--more frequently than she wrote to her mother. Her letters were always prosperous. Florence she found perfectly sweet, Naples a dream, but very whiffy. In Rome one had simply to sit still and feel. Philip, however, declared that she was improving. He was particularly gratified when in the early spring she began to visit the smaller towns that he had recommended.
Looking out of a Gothic window every morning, it seems impossible that the middle ages have passed away. Just then Irma came in from school, and she read her mother's letter to her, carefully correcting any grammatical errors, for she was a loyal supporter of parental authority--Irma listened politely, but soon changed the subject to hockey, in which her whole being was absorbed. They were to vote for colours that afternoon--yellow and white or yellow and green.
What did her grandmother think? Of course Mrs. Herriton had an opinion, which she sedately expounded, in spite of Harriet, who said that colours were unnecessary for children, and of Philip, who said that they were ugly. She was getting proud of Irma, who had certainly greatly improved, and could no longer be called that most appalling of things--a vulgar child. She was anxious to form her before her mother returned. So she had no objection to the leisurely movements of the travellers, and even suggested that they should overstay their year if it suited them.
I shouldn't have done as much myself.
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They must be really keen, for the hotel's none too comfortable. And there is no church there, I suppose. The Back Kitchen was his nickname for St.
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James's, a small depressing edifice much patronized by his sister. She always resented any slight on it, and Mrs.
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Herriton had to intervene. Listen to Lilia's letter. It is not only so quaint, but one sees the Italians unspoiled in all their simplicity and charm here. The frescoes are wonderful. Caroline, who grows sweeter every day, is very busy sketching.
She was curiously virulent about Italy, which she had never visited, her only experience of the Continent being an occasional six weeks in the Protestant parts of Switzerland. His mother laughed, and told him not to be naughty; and the appearance of Irma, just off to school, prevented further discussion. Not only in Tracts is a child a peacemaker. I'll give you the pleasure of my company.
Where Angels Fear to Tread
They started together. Irma was gratified; but conversation flagged, for Philip had not the art of talking to the young. Herriton sat a little longer at the breakfast table, re-reading Lilia's letter. Then she helped the cook to clear, ordered dinner, and started the housemaid turning out the drawing-room, Tuesday being its day. The weather was lovely, and she thought she would do a little gardening, as it was quite early. She called Harriet, who had recovered from the insult to St. James's, and together they went to the kitchen garden and began to sow some early vegetables. Herriton, who had the gift of making work a treat.
She and her elderly daughter always got on very well, though they had not a great deal in common. Harriet's education had been almost too successful. As Philip once said, she had "bolted all the cardinal virtues and couldn't digest them. Harriet, if she had been allowed, would have driven Lilia to an open rupture, and, what was worse, she would have done the same to Philip two years before, when he returned full of passion for Italy, and ridiculing Sawston and its ways.
People won't like it. We have our reputation. A house divided against itself cannot stand. Herriton replied in the memorable words, "Let Philip say what he likes, and he will let us do what we like. They sowed the duller vegetables first, and a pleasant feeling of righteous fatigue stole over them as they addressed themselves to the peas. Harriet stretched a string to guide the row straight, and Mrs.
Herriton scratched a furrow with a pointed stick. At the end of it she looked at her watch. I'll sow the peas, but you shall cover them up--and mind the birds don't see 'em! Herriton was very careful to let those peas trickle evenly from her hand, and at the end of the row she was conscious that she had never sown better.
They were expensive too.