The Hand of Ethelberta
27. Mrs. Belmaine's - Cripplegate Church
Neigh's remark that he believed he should see Ethelberta
again the next day referred to a contemplated pilgrimage of
an unusual sort which had been arranged for that day by
Mrs. Belmaine upon the ground of an incidental suggestion
of Ethelberta's. One afternoon in the week previous they had
been chatting over tea at the house of the former lady, Neigh
being present as a casual caller, when the conversation was
directed upon Milton by somebody opening a volume of the
poet's works that lay on a table near.
'Milton! thou shouldst be living at this hour: England hath
need of thee--'
said Mrs. Belmaine with the degree of flippancy which is
considered correct for immortal verse, the Bible, God, etc., in
these days. And Ethelberta replied, lit up by a quick
remembrance, 'It is a good time to talk of Milton; for I have
been much impressed by reading the "Life;" and I have
decided to go and see his tomb. Could we not all go? We
ought to quicken our memories of the great, and of where
they lie, by such a visit occasionally.'
'We ought,' said Mrs. Belmaine.
'And why shouldn't we?' continued Ethelberta, with interest.
'To Westminster Abbey?' said Mr. Belmaine, a common man
of thirty, younger than his wife, who had lately come into the
'No; to where he lies comparatively alone--Cripplegate
'I always thought that Milton was buried in Poet's Corner,'
said Mr. Belmaine.
'So did I,' said Neigh; 'but I have such an indifferent head for
places that my thinking goes for nothing.'
'Well, it would be a pretty thing to do,' said Mrs. Belmaine,
'and instructive to all of us. If Mrs. Petherwin would like to go,