A Cathedral Courtship HTML version
"Ye-es," I said hesitatingly, though I was palpitating with joy, "I fancy we should like
gooseberry tart (here a bright idea entered my mind) and perhaps in case my aunt doesn't
care for the gooseberry tart, you might bring a lemon squash, please."
Now I had never met a lemon squash personally, but I had often heard of it, and wished
to show my familiarity with British culinary art.
"One lemon squash, miss?"
"Oh, as to that, it doesn't matter," I said haughtily; "bring a sufficient number for two
* * *
Aunt Celia came home in the highest feather. She had twice been taken for an
Englishwoman. She said she thought that lemon squash was a drink; I thought it was a
pie; but we shall find out at dinner, for, as I said, I ordered a sufficient number for two
At four o'clock we attended even-song at the cathedral. I shall not say what I felt when
the white-surpliced boy choir entered, winding down those vaulted aisles, or when I
heard for the first time that intoned service, with all its "witchcraft of harmonic sound." I
sat quite by myself in a high carved-oak seat, and the hour was passed in a trance of
serene delight. I do not have many opinions, it is true, but papa says I am always strong
on sentiments; nevertheless, I shall not attempt to tell even what I feel in these new and
beautiful experiences, for it has been better told a thousand times.
There were a great many people at service, and a large number of Americans among
them, I should think, though we saw no familiar faces. There was one particularly nice
young man, who looked like a Bostonian. He sat opposite me. He didn't stare,--he was
too well bred; but when I looked the other way, he looked at me. Of course I could feel
his eyes,--anybody can, at least any girl can; but I attended to every word of the service,
and was as good as an angel. When the procession had filed out and the last strain of the
great organ had rumbled into silence, we went on a tour through the cathedral, a
heterogeneous band, headed by a conscientious old verger who did his best to enlighten
us, and succeeded in virtually spoiling my pleasure.
After we had finished (think of "finishing" a cathedral in an hour or two!), aunt Celia and
I, with one or two others, wandered through the beautiful close, looking at the exterior
from every possible point, and coming at last to a certain ruined arch which is very
famous. It did not strike me as being remarkable. I could make any number of them with
a pattern, without the least effort. But at any rate, when told by the verger to gaze upon
the beauties of this wonderful relic and tremble, we were obliged to gaze also upon the
beauties of the aforesaid nice young man, who was sketching it. As we turned to go