Heartsease or Brother's Wife HTML version

Chapter II.13
I am ashamed that women are so simple
To offer war when they should kneel for peace,
Or seek the rule, supremacy, and sway,
When they are bound to serve, love, and obey.--Taming of the Shrew
It was an early season, and Theodora had not been a fortnight at her brother's
before numerous arrivals necessitated a round of visits, to which she submitted
without more than moderate grumbling. The first call was on the Rickworth
ladies; but it was not a propitious moment, for other visitors were in the drawing-
room, and among them Miss Marstone. Emma came to sit by Violet, and was
very anxious to hear whether she had not become intimate with Theresa. Violet
could not give a good account of herself in this respect; their hours did not suit,
and they had only twice met.
'And is she not delightful?'
'She is a very superior person' said Violet, looking down. 'Do you know her
sisters? I liked one of them.'
'We shall have to call on them, but they are mere ordinary girls--no companions
to Theresa. She laments it very much, and has had to make a line for herself. I
must come and tell you about it some morning. It is nonsense to meet in this way
and think of conversation.
Theodora had, in the meantime, had the exclusive attention of Miss Marstone.
'So Emma is constant to the Prae-Raffaelite,' said Theodora, as they drove from
the door. 'What is all this about the Priory?'
'Did Miss Marstone talk about that?' said Violet, aghast.
'She said something about a restoration. What! is it a secret?'
'I suppose she thought you must know it, since I did. I was much surprised by her
beginning about it to me, for when Emma first mentioned it to me, Lady Elizabeth
seemed vexed, and begged me never to hint at it.'
'So Emma wants to make restitution. Well done, little Emma! I did not think it was
in her.'
'It has been her darling scheme for years; but Lady Elizabeth has made her
promise to wait till she is five-and-twenty, and not to consider herself pledged.'
'How like Lady Elizabeth! One respects her like an institution! I hope Emma may
hold out, but she has a firebrand in her counsels. I am glad you are not
'I am sure I don't know what I think of Miss Marstone. I cannot like her; yet I want
to admire her--she is so good.'
'Let her be as good as she pleases; why should she be silly?'
'Oh! she is very clever.'
'When good and clever people are silly, they are the biggest simpletons of all.'
'Then I don't think I quite know what you mean by silliness.'
'Not turning one's sense to the best advantage, I suppose,' said Theodora. 'That
Miss Marstone provokes me. If her principles were not right I should not care; but
when she has sound views, to see her go on talking, with no reserve, only caring