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her occupation began to interest, to warm, and to fascinate her ; she found one thing grow out of another without much trouble to herself, and by the time Dinah had laid the cloth for the simple four o'clock dinner, and the boiled mutton and turnips were on the table, Lucy had finished her task.
Plain as was their fare, boiled mutton, a few vegetables, and a sago pudding, all was excellent of its kind—and Lucy had worked so hard, that she was positively hungry. Mrs. Blair too had made great progress with the comforter, and after dinner, as it was a splendid autumnal day, Mrs. Blair and Lucy resolved to refresh and strengthen themselves by a walk between dinner and tea.
They made their way through the now deserted streets, and arrived at Hyde Park.
The grass was still beautifully green and soft, the trees had not quite shed their leaves, and a soft breeze stirred the blue ripples of the Serpentine.
Lovely as was the scene, it was deserted by all except citizens, invalids, and nursery maids, with those instruments of torture to poor little helpless infants --- perambulators — in which they were tied and left with the sun in their eyes and the wind blowing in their faces, while their nurses flirted with their sweethearts in the shade.
With the exquisite sense of enjoyment of the beauties of nature which belongs to the poetic temperament, Lucy threw back her double gossamer veil, and folt her eyes, hot and tired with writing, and her brow, wearied with thought, revive as the west breeze played in the golden ripples of her auburn hair, while the sun lighted up its rich masses.
Lucy was so intent on the beautiful evolutions of some graceful snow-white swans, that she was not aware of the approach of two over-dressed, under-bred Regent Street
swells," until Strutt and Stair accosted her. Their manner was divested of all the deference
they had been wont to pay to the reigning belle of Hastings.
They did not uncover their weak heads of closely-cropped faxen hair, nor did they even raise their glossy new hats. They nodded familiarly; there was an attempt at sarcasm in their impertinent smiles. Lucy drew herself up-poor Mrs. Blair tried to conciliate by extreme politeness ; but it would not do. Not only they had seen Lucy and her mother go off in a third-class carriage, but they had been at Bonvivant House, and had heard that this "admired of all beholders,” this “ cynosure of neighbouring eyes,” was after all only a Daily Governess.
“I say, Miss Blair,” cried Strutt, “have you a few morning or evening hours disen
“Yes,” chimed in Stair, “that's what I want to know. Are you open to an engagement, Miss Blair, eh? What do you teach, eh?
“What I am sure you could never learn, said Lucy, exasperated beyond measure.
What's that, eh, Miss Blair?”
“Good manners, Sir,” said Lucy, with a haughty bow, passing on, and leaving the astounded clerks, in their own slang,
dished, cut up, and done brown.”
Lucy and her mother walked on in silence for some time, and then Mrs. Blair said :
“You see, my dear, to what insults the being a Daily Governess exposes you! Do try and put up with any little eccentricities in Mr. Grinlay Snarl, and have done with an occupation that lays you open to so much insult and annoyance.”
Lucy was silent—she thought with a shudder of the insults and annoyances to which she was exposed in both careers, that of an authoress and a daily governess.
For how could she disguise to herself the fact that Mr. Grinlay Snarl became more and more meddling, ill-bred, and dictatorial every time she saw him, and that a something of the look and manner of an encouraged lover was beginning to add to the embarrassment and disgust Lucy felt in his presence. However; she could not bear to destroy her mother's new hopes, and so she was silent, and after two or three turns up and down the promenade, they left the park.
As they were passing out at the gates opposite the Duke of Wellington's equestrian statue, they stopped for a moment at the crossing, while a very elegant phaeton, with four horses and out-riders, passed rapidly by.
In the gentleman, who drove four-in-hand, Lucy at a glance recognised Sir Hamilton Treherne, and by his side, elegantly dressed and looking very blooming, smiling, and handsome, was her quondam pupil, Augusta Hamilton Treherne.
Augusta, though three years younger than Lucy, was now so much larger, and had features so much more marked, that she looked older than her former