The Daisy Chain or Aspirations HTML version

Chapter II.13
Shall I sit alone in my chamber,
And set the chairs by the wall,
While you sit with lords and princes,
Yet have not a thought at all?
Shall I sit alone in my chamber,
And duly the table lay,
Whilst you stand up in the diet,
And have not a word to say?--Old Danish Ballad.
"Oh, Norman, are you come already?" exclaimed Margaret, as her brother
opened the door, bringing in with him the crisp breath of December.
"Yes, I came away directly after collections. How are you, Margaret?"
"Pretty brave, thank you;" but the brother and sister both read on each
other's features that the additional three months of suspense had told. There
were traces of toil and study on Norman's brow; the sunken look about his
eyes, and the dejected outline of his cheek, Margaret knew betokened
discouragement; and though her mild serenity was not changed, she was
almost transparently thin and pale. They had long ago left off asking whether
there were tidings, and seldom was the subject adverted to, though the
whole family seemed to be living beneath a dark shadow.
"How is Flora?" he next asked.
"Going on beautifully, except that papa thinks she does too much in every
way. She declares that she shall bring the baby to show me in another week,
but I don't think it will be allowed."
"And the little lady prospers?"
"Capitally, though I get rather contradictory reports of her. First, papa
declared her something surpassing--exactly like Flora, and so I suppose she
is; but Ethel and Meta will say nothing for her beauty, and Blanche calls her a
fright. But papa is her devoted admirer--he does so enjoy having a sort of
property again in a baby!"
"And George Rivers?" said Norman, smiling.
"Poor George! he is very proud of her in his own way. He has just been here
with a note from Flora, and actually talked! Between her and the election, he
is wonderfully brilliant."
"The election? Has Mr. Esdaile resigned?"