Le 20 novembre 2015, 05:46 dans Humeurs • 0
In the autumn my lady went to the seaside in Cornwall, taking Mary as her maid, and escorted by her son. “Will you do for me what I want while I am away? I do not care to be troubled with Picker,” she had said; and Mary replied, as in duty bound, that she would. It is inconvenient to treat a maid as a lady, especially in a strange place, and Mary found that during this sojourn Lady Chavasse did not attempt it. To all intents and purposes Mary was the maid now; she did not sit with her lady, she took her meals apart; she was, in fact, regarded as the lady’s-maid by all, and nothing else. Lady Chavasse even took to calling her “Layne.” This, the sudden dethroning of her social status, was the third mistake; and this one, as the first, was my lady’s. Sir Geoffry had been led to regard her as a companion; now he saw her but as a servant. But, servant or no servant, you cannot put love out of the heart, once .
At the month’s end they returned home: and there Mary found that she was to retain this lower station: never again would she be exalted as she had been. Lady Chavasse had tired of the new toy, and just carelessly allowed her to find her own level. Except that Miss Layne sat in the garden-parlour, and her meals were served there, she was not very much distinguished from Hester Picker and the other servants; indeed, Picker sometimes sat in the parlour too, when they had lace, or what not, to mend for my lady. Geoffry in his heart was grieved at the changed treatment of Miss Layne; he thought it wrong and unjust; and to make up for the mistake, was with her a great deal himself.
Things were in this position when Lady Chavasse was summoned to Bath: her sister, Lady Derreston, was taken ill. Sir Geoffry escorted her thither. Picker was taken, not Miss Layne. In the countess’s small household, Mary, in her anomalous position — for she could not be altogether put with the servants — would have been an inconvenience; and my lady bade her make herself happy at the Grange, and left her a lot of fine needlework to get through.
Leaving his mother in Bath, Sir Geoffry went to London, stayed a week or so, and then came back to the Grange. Another week or two, and he returned to Bath to bring his mother home. And so the winter set in, and wore on. And now all that has to be told to the paper’s end is taken from diaries, Duffham’s and others. But for convenience’ sake, I put it as though the words were my own, instead of copying them literally.