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satin--such as I feel sure heroines must generally wear-- but of a dark greenish cotton
Oh yes! She was very pretty. Captain Donnithorne thought so. Prettier than anybody
about Hayslope--prettier than any of the ladies she had ever seen visiting at the Chase--
indeed it seemed fine ladies were rather old and ugly--and prettier than Miss Bacon, the
miller's daughter, who was called the beauty of Treddleston. And Hetty looked at herself
to-night with quite a different sensation from what she had ever felt before; there was an
invisible spectator whose eye rested on her like morning on the flowers. His soft voice
was saying over and over again those pretty things she had heard in the wood; his arm
was round her, and the delicate rose-scent of his hair was with her still. The vainest
woman is never thoroughly conscious of her own beauty till she is loved by the man who
sets her own passion vibrating in return.
But Hetty seemed to have made up her mind that something was wanting, for she got up
and reached an old black lace scarf out of the linen-press, and a pair of large ear-rings out
of the sacred drawer from which she had taken her candles. It was an old old scarf, full of
rents, but it would make a becoming border round her shoulders, and set off the
whiteness of her upper arm. And she would take out the little ear-rings she had in her
ears--oh, how her aunt had scolded her for having her ears bored!--and put in those large
ones. They were but coloured glass and gilding, but if you didn't know what they were
made of, they looked just as well as what the ladies wore. And so she sat down again,
with the large ear-rings in her ears, and the black lace scarf adjusted round her shoulders.
She looked down at her arms: no arms could be prettier down to a little way below the
elbow--they were white and plump, and dimpled to match her cheeks; but towards the
wrist, she thought with vexation that they were coarsened by butter- making and other
work that ladies never did.
Captain Donnithorne couldn't like her to go on doing work: he would like to see her in
nice clothes, and thin shoes, and white stockings, perhaps with silk clocks to them; for he
must love her very much--no one else had ever put his arm round her and kissed her in
that way. He would want to marry her and make a lady of her; she could hardly dare to
shape the thought--yet how else could it be? Marry her quite secretly, as Mr. James, the
doctor's assistant, married the doctor's niece, and nobody ever found it out for a long
while after, and then it was of no use to be angry. The doctor had told her aunt all about it
in Hetty's hearing. She didn't know how it would be, but it was quite plain the old Squire
could never be told anything about it, for Hetty was ready to faint with awe and fright if
she came across him at the Chase. He might have been earth-born, for what she knew. It
had never entered her mind that he had been young like other men; he had always been
the old Squire at whom everybody was frightened. Oh, it was impossible to think how it
would be! But Captain Donnithorne would know; he was a great gentleman, and could
have his way in everything, and could buy everything he liked. And nothing could be as it
had been again: perhaps some day she should be a grand lady, and ride in her coach, and
dress for dinner in a brocaded silk, with feathers in her hair, and her dress sweeping the
ground, like Miss Lydia and Lady Dacey, when she saw them going into the dining-room
one evening as she peeped through the little round window in the lobby; only she should