The heart of una sackville

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TheProjectGutenbergEBookofTheHeartofUnaSackville,by Mrs GeorgedeHorneVaizey ThiseBookisfortheuseofanyoneanywhereatnocostandwith almostnorestrictionswhatsoever Youmaycopyit,giveitawayor re-useitunderthetermsoftheProjectGutenbergLicenseincluded withthiseBookoronlineatwww.gutenberg.org Title:TheHeartofUnaSackville Author:Mrs GeorgedeHorneVaizey Illustrator:PeterTarrant ReleaseDate:April18,2007[EBook#21129] Language:English ***STARTOFTHISPROJECTGUTENBERGEBOOKTHEHEARTOFUNASACKVILLE*** ProducedbyNickHodsonofLondon,England Mrs GeorgedeHorneVaizey "TheHeartofUnaSackville" ChapterOne May13th,1895 LenaStreathamgavemethisdiary Ican’tthinkwhatpossessedher,for shehasbeensimplyhatefultomesometimesthislastterm Perhapsit wasremorse,becauseit’sawfullyhandsome,withjustthesortofbackI like—softRussialeather,withmyinitialsinthecorner,andaclaspwitha dearlittlekey,sothatyoucanleaveitaboutwithoutotherpeopleseeing what is inside I always intended to keep a diary when I left school and thingsbegantohappen,andIsupposeImusthavesaidsosomeday;I generally blurt out what is in my mind, and Lena heard and remembered She’snotabadgirl,exceptforhertemper,butI’venoticed thehastyonesaregenerallythemostgenerous Therearehundredsand hundredsofleavesinit,andIexpectitwillbeyearsbeforeit’sfinished I’m not going to write things every day—that’s silly! I’ll just keep it for times when I want to talk, and Lorna is not near to confide in It’s quite excitingtothinkallthatwillbewrittenintheseemptypages!Whatfunit would be if I could read them now and see what is going to happen! AbouthalfwaythroughIshallbeengaged,andinthelastpageofallI’ll scribble a few words in my wedding-dress before I go on to church, for that will be the end of Una Sackville, and there will be nothing more to writeafterthat It’sverynicetobemarried,ofcourse,butstodgy—there’s nomoreexcitement Therehasbeenplentyofexcitementto-day,atanyrate Ialwaysthought it would be lovely when the time came for leaving school, and having nothingtodobutenjoyoneself,butI’vecriedsimplybucketfuls,andmy headacheslikefury Allthegirlsweresofearfullynice I’dnoideathey likedmesomuch IreneMaybegancryingatbreakfast-time,andoneor anotherofthemhasbeenatitthewholedaylong Maddiemademewalk with her in the crocodile, and said, “Croyez bien, ma chérie, que votre Maddie ne vous oubliera jamais.” It’s all very well, but she’s been a perfect pig to me many times over about the irregular verbs! She gave meherphotographinagiltframe—nothalfbad;youwouldthinkshewas quitenice-looking Thekiddiesjoinedtogetherandgavemeapurse—awfullydecentofthe poorlittlesouls—andI’vegotsimplydozensofbooksandornamentsand little picture things for my room We had cake for tea, but half the girls wouldn’ttouchit Florencesaiditwassickeningtogorgewhenyourheart wasbreaking Sheisgoingtoaskhermothertoletherleavenextterm, for she says she simply cannot stand our bedroom after I’m gone She andLornadon’tgetonabit,andIwasalwayshavingtokeepthepeace I promised faithfully I would write sheets upon sheets to them every single week, because my leaving at half term makes it harder for them thaniftheyweregoinghometoo “Weshallbesoflatanddullwithoutyou,Circle!”Myrasaid Shecallsme “Circle” because I’m fat—not awfully, you know, but just a little bit, and she’ssothinherself “IthinkI’llturnoveranewleafandgoinforwork I don’tseemtohaveanyheartforgettingintoscrapesbymyself!” “Well,wehavekeptthemgoing,haven’twe!”Isaid “Doyouremember,” and then we talked over the hairbreadth escapes we had had, and groanedtothinkthatthegoodtimeswerepassed “I will say this for Una,” said Florence, “however stupid she may be at lessons,Inevermetagirlwhowasclevereratscentingajoke!” When Florence says a thing, she means it, so it was an awful compliment,andIwasjusttryingtolookhumblewhenMarycameinto sayMissMartinwantedmeinthedrawing-room Ididfeelbad,becauseI knew it would be our last real talk, and she looked simply sweet in her new blue dress and her Sunday afternoon expression She can look as fierce as anything and snap your head off if you vex her, but she’s a darlingallthesame,andIadoreher She’sbeenperfectlysweettome these three years, and we have had lovely talks sometimes—serious talks,Imean—whenIwasgoingtobeconfirmed,andwhenfatherwas ill,andwhenI’vebeenhomesick She’ssogood,butnotabitgoody,and shemakesyoulongtobegoodtoo She’sjusttherightpersontohavea girls’school,forsheunderstandshowgirlsfeel,andthatitisn’tnaturalfor themtobesolemn,unlessofcoursetheyareprigs,andtheydon’tcount Isatdownbesideherandwetalkedforanhour IwishIcouldremember allthethingsshesaid,andputthemdownheretobemyrulesforlife,but it’ssodifficulttoremember Shesaidmygaietyandlightnessofhearthadbeenagreathelptothem all,andlikesunshineintheschool Ofcourse,ithadledmeintoscrapes attimes,buttheyhadbeeninnocentandkindly,andsoshehadnotbeen harduponme ButnowIwasgrownupandgoingoutintothebattleof life,andeverythingwasdifferent “Youknow,dear,thegiftswhichGodgivesusareourequipmentsforthat fight,andIfeelsureyourbright,happydispositionhasbeengiventoyou tohelpyouinsomespecialneedsoflife.” I didn’t quite like her saying that! It made me feel creepy, as if horrid things were going to happen, and I should need my spirit to help me through I want to be happy and have a good time I never can understandhowpeoplecanbeartroubles,andillnesses,andbeingpoor, andallthoseawfulthings Ishoulddieatonceiftheyhappenedtome ShewentontosaythatImustmakeupmymindfromthefirstnottolive formyself;thatitwasoftenaverytryingtimewhenagirlfirstleftschool andfoundlittleornothingtooccupyherenergiesathome,butthatthere weresomanysadandlonelypeopleintheworldthatnooneneedever feel any lack of a purpose in life, and she advised me not to look at charityfromageneralstandpoint,buttonarrowitdowntillitcamewithin myowngrasp “Don’tthinkvaguelyofthepoorallovertheworld;thinkofonepersonat yourowngate,andbrightenthatlife Ionceheardaverygoodmansay that the only way he could reconcile himself to the seeming injustice between the lots of the poor and the rich was by believing that each of thelatterwasdeputedbyGodtolookafterhispoorerbrother,andwas responsible for his welfare Find someone whom you can take to your heartasyourpoorsisterinGod’sgreatfamily,andhelpherineveryway youcan Itwillkeepyoufromgrowingselfishandworldly Inyourparents’ positionyouwill,ofcourse,goagreatdealintosocietyandbeadmired and made much of, as a bright, pretty girl It is only natural that you shouldenjoytheexperience,butdon’tletitturnyourhead Trytokeep yourfrank,unaffectedmanners,andbehonestinwordsandactions Be especiallycarefulnottobeledawaybygreedofpowerandadmiration It isthebestthingthatcanhappentoanywomantowintheloveofagood, trueman,butitiscrueltowreckhishappinesstogratifyafoolishvanity I hope that none of my girls may be so forgetful of all that is true and womanly.” Shelookedawfullysolemn Iwonderifsheflirtedwhenshewasyoung, and he was furious and went away and left her! We always wondered whyshedidn’tmarry There’saphotographofamanonherwriting-table, and Florence said she is sure that was him, for he is in such a lovely frame,andsheputsthebestflowersbesidehimlikeashrine Florenceisawfullycleveratmakinguptales Sheusedtotellusthemin bed,(likethatcreaturewiththenameintheArabianNights) Weusedto say: “Nowthen,Florence,goon—tellusFraulein’slove-story!”andshewould clear her throat, and cough, and say—“It was a glorious summer afternooninthelittlevillageofEisenach,andthesunshinepeeringdown throughtheleavesturnedtogoldthetressesofyoungElsaBehrendas shesatknittingunderthetrees.” Itwasjustlikeabook,andsotruetoo,forFrauleinisalwaysknitting!The RomancedeMademoisellewasawfullyexciting Therewasaduelinit, andonemanwaskilledandtheotherhadtorunaway,soshegotneither ofthem,anditwasthatthatsouredhertemper Ireallymustgotobed—Lornakeepscallingandcalling—andFlorenceis crying still—I can hear her sniffing beneath the clothes We shall be perfect wrecks in the morning, and mother won’t like it if I go home a fright Heigho!theverylastnightinthisdearoldroom!Ihatethelastof anything—even nasty things—and except when we’ve quarrelled we’ve hadjollytimes It’sawfultothinkIshallneverbeaschool-girlanymore!I don’tbelieveIshallsleepawinkallnight Ifeelwretched PS—Fancycallingmepretty!I’msopleased Ishalllooknicerstillinmy newhomeclothes ChapterTwo Bed-time;myownroom May14th Itisdifferentfromschool!Myroomissimplysweet,allnewlydoneupas a surprise for me on my return White paint and blue walls, and little bookcasesinthecorners,andcomfychairsandcushions,andawritingtable,andsuchlovelyartisticcurtains—dragonsmakingfacesatfleur-delys on a dull blue background I’m awfully well off, and they are all so goodtome,Ioughttobethehappiestgirlintheworld,butIfeelsortof acheyandstrange,andalittlebitlonely,thoughIwouldn’tsaysoforthe world Imissthegirls It was awful this morning—positively awful I should think there was a floodafterIleft—allthegirlshowledso,andIwasstickingmyheadoutof thecarriagewindowallthejourneytogetmyfacecoolbeforeIarrived Father met me at the station, and we spanked up together in the dogcart That was scrumptious I love rushing through the air behind a horselikeFirefly,andfatherissuchanoldlove,andalwaysunderstands howyoufeel Heisveryquietandshy,andwhenanyoneelseistherehe hardlyspeaksaword,butwechatterlikeanythingwhenwearetogether Ihaveakindofideathathelikesmebest,thoughSpencerandVereare the show members of the family Spencer is the heir, and is almost alwaysawaybecauseheisasoldier,andVereisawayalottoo,because she hates the country, and likes visiting about and having a good time She’s awfully pretty, but—No! I won’t say it I hereby solemnly vow and declarethatIshallneversaynastythingsofanyoneinthisbook,only,of course,iftheydonastythings,Ishallhavetotell,oritwon’tbetrue She isn’t much with father, anyway, and he likes to be made a fuss of, because he’s so quiet himself Isn’t it funny how people are like that! You’dthinkthey’dlikeyoutobeprimandquiettoo,buttheydon’tabit, andthemoreyouplaguethemthebetterthey’repleased “Back again, my girl, are you? A finished young lady, eh?” said father, flickinghiswhip “Verygladofit,Icantellyou I’mgettingold,andneedsomeonetolook aftermeabit.”Helookedmeupanddown,withasortofanxiouslook, as if he wanted to see if I were changed “We had good times together when you were a youngster and used to trot round with me every morningtoseethedogsandthehorses,butIsupposeyouwon’tcarefor that sort of thing now It will be all dresses and running about from one excitement to another You won’t care for tramping about in thick boots withtheoldfather!” Ilaughed,andpinchedhiminhisarm “Don’tfish!YouknowverywellI’ll likeitbetterthananythingelse Ofcourse,Ishalllikeprettydressestoo, and as much fun as I can get, but I don’t think I shall ever grow up properly, father—enough to walk instead of run, and smile sweetly insteadofshriekingwithlaughteraswedoatschool Itwillbeadelightful wayoflettingoffsteamtogooffwithyouforsomelongcountryrambles, andhavesomeofourniceoldtalks.” Heturnedandstaredatmequitehard,andforalongtime Hehassuch alotofwrinklesroundhiseyes,andtheylooksotired Inevernoticedit before Helookedsortofsad,andasifhewantedsomething Iwonderif hehasbeenlonelywhileIwasaway Poorolddad!I’llbeaperfectangel to him I’ll never neglect him for my own amusement like Resolution numberone!Sentencecan’tbefinished “Howoldareyou,child?”fathersaidatlast,turningawaywithasighand flickingFireflygentlywiththewhip,andIsatupstraightandsaidproudly — “Nearly nineteen I begged to stay on another half year, you know, because of the exam, but I failed again in that hateful arithmetic: I’m a perfectdunceoverfigures,father;Ihopeyoudon’tmind Icansingvery well;myvoicewasbetterthananyoftheothergirls,andthatwillgiveyou morepleasurethanifIcoulddoallthesumsintheworld Theytriedto teach me algebra, too Such a joke; I once got an equation right The teachernearlyhadafit Itwasthemostawfulfluke.” “Idon’tseemtocaremuchaboutyourarithmeticalprowess,”fathersaid, smiling “Ishallnotaskyoutohelpmewithmyaccounts,butitwillbea pleasuretohearyousing,especiallyifyouwillindulgemewithaballad nowandthenwhichIcanreallyenjoy YouareolderthanIthought;but keepasyoungasyoucan,child Idon’twanttolosemylittleplayfellow yetawhile I’vemissedherverybadlytheselastyears.” Ilikedtohearthat Itwassadforhim,ofcourse,butIsimplylovepeople to love me and feel bad when I’m gone I was far and away the most popular girl at school, but it wasn’t all chance as they seemed to think I’m sure I worked hard enough for the position If a girl didn’t like me I wassofearfullynicetoherthatshewassimplyforcedtocomeround I saidsomethinglikethattoLornaonce,andshewasquiteshocked,and called it self-seeking and greed for admiration, and all sorts of horrid names I don’t see it at all; I call it a most amiable weakness It makes youpleasantandkindevenifyoufeelhorrid,andthatmustbenice Ifelt allbubblingoverwithgoodresolutionswhenfathersaidthat,andbegged himtoletmebenotonlyhisplaymatebuthishelperalso,andtotellme atoncewhatIcoulddo He smiled again in that sad sort of way grown-up people have, which seemstosaythattheyknowsuchalotmorethanyou,andaresorryfor yourignorance “Nothingdefinite,darling,”hesaid;“aninfinitevarietyofthingsindefinite! Love me, and remember me sometimes among the new distractions— that’saboutthebestyoucando;”andIlaughed,andpinchedhimagain “Yousillyolddear!AsifIcouldeverforget!”andjustatthatmomentwe droveuptotheporch Ifithadbeenanothergirl’smother,shewouldhavebeenwaitingatthe door to receive me I’ve been home with friends, so I know; but my motherisdifferent Idon’tthinkIshouldlikeitifshedidcome!Itdoesn’t fitintomyideaofher,someway Motherislikeaqueen—everyonewaits uponher,andgoesuptoherpresencelikeathrone-room Ipeepedinto themirrorinthehallasIpassed,andtuckedbacksomeendsofhair,and straightenedmytie,andthenthedooropened,andthereshestood—the darling!—holdingoutherarmstowelcomeme,withhereyesallsoftand tender,astheyusedtobewhenshecametosay“goodnight.”Motheris notdemonstrativeasarule,soyousimplyloveitwhensheis Shelooks quiteyoung,andshewasthebeautyofthecountywhenshewasagirl, and I never did see in all my life anybody so immaculately perfect in appearance! Her dresses fit as if she had been melted into them; her skirtsstandout,andgocrinklinginandoutintofoldsjustexactlylikethe fashion-plates; her hair looks as if it had been done a minute before—I seeing.” He took an envelope from his coat pocket, unfolded the sheet of paper whichitcontained,andhelditbeforeme Iwassoshakyandtrembling thatIdon’tthinkIcouldhavehelditmyself ItwasdatedDecember23rd, andonthefirstpageRachelspokeoftheproposedjourneyinalmostthe samewordswhichshehadusedinherlettertome,writtenonthesame date Thencamethesurprise “You will wonder, dear Will, if I am altogether forgetting you and your claimsinthemakingoftheseplans;indeed,Inevercanbeindifferentto anythingwhichconcernsyourhappiness,butIhavesomethingtosayto youto-nightwhichcannotlongerbedelayed Iamgoingtoaskyoutoset mefreefromourengagement IhavecometotheconclusionthatIhave been mistaken in many things, and that it would not be a right thing for metobecomeyourwife Pleasedon’timaginethatIamdisappointedin you,orhaveanysinstolaytoyourcharge Iamthankfultosaythatmy affection and esteem are greater now than on the day when we were engaged,andIshouldbedeeplygrievedifIthoughttherecouldeverbe anything approaching a quarrel between us I want to be good, true friends, dear Will, but only friends—not lovers I see now that I should neverhaveallowedanythingelse,butyoumustbegenerous,dear,and forgiveme,asyouhavealreadyforgivensomanyfailings “Don’t try to dissuade me You know I am not given to rash decisions, andIhavethoughtovernothingelsethanthisstepforsomeweekspast IknowIamright,andinthefutureyouwillseeittoo,howeverstrangelyit strikesyounow Itwouldperhapsbebetterifyoudidnotcomeheretomorrowasarranged—” TherestoftheletterIknewalready,soIdidnottroubletolookatit,but turned back and read the last paragraphs for the second time, “I have beenmistakeninmanythings!”“Myaffectionisgreaterthanontheday when we were engaged.” “I have thought over nothing else for some weekspast.”Thosethreesentencesseemedtostandoutfromtherest, andtoprintthemselvesonmybrain IlookedanxiouslyinWill’sface,and saw in it joy, agitation, a wonderful tenderness, but no shadow of the suspicion which was tearing at my own heart How blind men are sometimes,especiallywhentheydon’tcaretosee! “She has never loved me!” he declared “She had, as she says, an affection for me as she might have had for a friend, a brother—an affectionsuchasIhadforher,butshedoesnotknow—weneitherofus knewthemeaningof—love!” Ilookedatthecarpet,andthererosebeforemeavisionofRachel’sface when Will appeared unexpectedly on the scene; when she heard the tones of his voice in the distance; when she watched him out of sight afterhehadsaid“Good-bye.”Inhisactualpresenceshewasquietand precise,butatthesemomentshereyeswouldshinewithadeepglowof happiness, her lips would tremble, and her cheeks turn suddenly from whitetopink Notlovehim—RachelnotloveWill!Why,sheadoredhim! He was more to her than anything and everybody in the world put together Shemightbeabletodeceivehim,butnothingcouldmakeme believethatshehadbrokenofftheengagementforherownhappiness Shewasthinkingofsomeoneelse,notherself Whowasit?Ah,thatwas thequestion Hermother,orWill,Willandperhaps—me!Wasitpossible thatshehadbeenconsciousofwhathadhappenedontheafternoonof the motor accident, and that, in consideration of our feelings, she had keptherowncounseluntilasufficienttimehadelapsedtoenableherto endherengagementinanaturalmanner?AnyonewhoknewRachelasI dowouldrealiseinaflashthatitwasjustexactlywhatshewoulddoin thecircumstances Then,ifthiswereindeedthecase,thenervousshock whichprostratedherforsolongwasnotphysical,butmental Oh,poor Rachel!Yetyoucouldsmileatme,andbesweetandgentleinthefirst momentsofyouragony!ItwasallIcoulddotokeepbackthetearsasI thoughtofwhatshemusthaveenduredduringtheselastthreemonths; but through all my agitation one determination remained unshaken: I must not let Will see my suspicions; Rachel’s secret must be loyally guarded Hewastalkingincessantly—aquick,excitedstreamofwords I camebackfrommydreamstopickupahalf-finishedsentence— “Too good to be true She has filled so large a place in my life I have such a strong admiration for her that it would have been a real pain to have parted coldly But to keep her as my friend, to know that her affectionisunchanged,andyettobefreetoseekmyownhappinessis such a marvellous unravelling of the skein that I can hardly realise my good fortune I came back last night, and could hardly wait until this morningtotellyoumynews Una,youunderstand!Iasknothingofyou to-day, it is not the time to speak of ourselves I shall go back to my uncle,andstaywithhimforthenextfewmonths Heisveryfrail,andmy placeseemstobewithhimatpresent,butinthespring,ifIcomebackin thespring,willyouseemethen?Willyouletmetellyou—” Imovedawayfromhimhurriedly “No,no—don’tsayit!Saynothingto-day,butjust‘Good-bye.’Idon’twant to think of the future—it’s too soon You said we must not think of ourselves.” “I did You are quite right, but sometimes it is difficult to be consistent Youarenotangrywithmeforcomingto-day?” He held out his hand as he spoke, and—I was inconsistent, too! I laid mine in it, and we stood with clasped fingers, quite still and silent for a long, long time, but I think we said many things to each other, all the same ThenWillwentaway—myWill!—andIcameupstairstomyroom,andsat downallalone No,thatisnottrue—Icanneverfedalonenowaslongas Ilive! ChapterTwentySix January20th MrsGreavesandRachelcamehomeaftertheNewYearandsettowork at once to break up the old home All the furniture is to be sold by auction,andthehouseistobesoldtoo,orletuponaverylonglease I wanted to see Rachel, but dreaded seeing her, at the same time, so at lastIsentaletteraskingwhenImightcome,andshewrotebackadear littleaffectionatenotefixingtheverynextafternoon WhenIarrivedshe tookmeupstairstothesitting-roomwhereIusedtospendmydayswhen my ankle was bad, and fussed over me in just the same old way She looked—different!Justassweet,justascalm,but—oh,Ican’tdescribeit, asifsomethinghadgonewhichhadbeenthemainspringofitall IshouldneverhavedaredtomentionWill,butshebeganalmostatonce to speak of the broken engagement, quite calmly and quietly, repeating that it was the best thing for both, and that she should be perfectly contentifsheweresatisfiedaboutWill’sfuture “Nothing will give me greater pleasure than to hear that Will is happily married and settled down He has been too long alone, and would so thoroughly appreciate a home of his own I have done him a great injustice by condemning him to so many lonely years, but our engagement need be no hindrance now It was known to very few people, and,”—she smiled a little sadly—“even those who did know refused to take it seriously They saw at once what I was so slow in discovering—that we were unsuited to each other We were thrown together at a time when he was depressed and lonely, otherwise the engagementcouldneverhavehappened Itwasagreatmistake,butitis over now, and he must not suffer from its consequences I am going away,butIshallwaittohearofhishappiness,andIhopeitmaycome soon.” Oureyesmet Ilookedathersteadily,andthecolourroseinhercheeks andspreaduptotherootsofherhair Sheshrankbackinherchairand putupherhandsasiftowardmeoff,butIjustsankonmykneesbefore themandheldthemtightlyinmine “Oh, Rachel!” I cried “I know, I know! You can’t deceive me, dear You have done this for our sakes, not your own Oh, I hoped you had been too much engrossed to notice what happened that day When you said nothing about it, I was so relieved and thankful, for truly, Rachel, it was only an impulse Nothing of the sort had ever happened before—not a wordoralooktowhichyoucouldhaveobjected Youbelievethat,don’t you,dear?Sayyoubelieveit.” Herfingerstightenedroundmine “Indeed,indeed,Ido!Youhavebeenallthatistrueandloyal,andsohas Will There is no one to blame but myself I knew from the first that he wasattractedtoyou,andthatyousuitedhimbetterthanIcouldeverdo; but I shut my eyes—I did not want to see Don’t be sorry for what happened; it is a great blessing for us all that I was not allowed to deceivemyselfanylonger Yousayitwasonlyanimpulse Ah,Una,but the impulse which made him turn to you and forget me is too clear a warning to be neglected It showed how his heart lay better than any deliberateaction.” I could not deny it I did not want to deny it, deeply as I felt for her suffering Ilaidmyheadinherlap,sothatsheshouldnotseemyface, andbeggedhertoforgiveme “Ifeelsuchawretchtotakemyhappinessattheexpenseofyours You areanangel,Rachel,tobesosweetandforgiving Ishouldbeafuryof rageandjealousyifIwereinyourplace,butyougiveitallupwithouta murmur.” Shesmiledatthat—suchasadlittlesmile “Ihavenothingtogive Itwasyoursallthetime WhenIfoundthatout,I couldnotbemeanenoughtoholdanemptyclaim Inevermeantyouto know my real reason, but since you have found it out for yourself, you mustpromisemenottoletitinterferewithWill’shappiness Don’tletme feelthathehastosufferanymorebecauseofme Neverlethimsuspect thetruth Hehassuchatenderheartthatitwouldtroublehimsorelyifhe knew that I had discovered his secret, and I don’t want any shadow on ourfriendship Promiseme,Una,thatyouwillneverlethimknow.” “Ipromise,Rachel Ihadmadeupmymindaboutthatlongago.” IdidnottellherthatinmakingmydecisionIhadconsideredherfeelings, nothis Ihadimaginedthatforherpride’ssakeshewouldnotwishhimto know her real reasons for breaking off the engagement But Rachel herselfhadnothoughtofherpride;heranxietywassimplyandwhollyfor Will’scomfort I looked up at her in a passion of admiration, and in that moment a question which had tormented me for weeks past seemed to find its solution “Rachel,” I cried, “I know now why this has happened! I have been wonderinghowanyonesogoodandunselfishasyoucouldbeallowedto havesuchatroubleasthis,andhowitcouldbeforthebestthatyouare passedoverforacreaturelikeme,butIcanunderstandnow Youaretoo valuabletobeshutupinjustonehome;somanypeopleneedyou—you can help so wonderfully all round that you are kept free for the general good Theworldneedsyou Youbelongtotheworld.” Herfacelitupwithhappiness “Oh,Una,whatalovelythought!Ishallrememberthat,anditwillbesuch acomfort Kissme,dear Iamsogladthatitisyou Iamsothankfulthat WillhaschosensomeonewhomIcanlove.” We talked a good deal more, and she said a lot of lovely things that I shall remember all my life It was as though she were giving over the chargeofWillintomyhands,andtheyaresuchhastyincapablehands thattheyneedalltheguidingtheycanget Shetold,meallabouthimas she had known him all these years—his good qualities, which I was to encourage; his weaknesses, which I was to discourage; his faults, (ah! Willdear,theywerenothingcomparedtomine),whichIwastohelphim to fight She looked upon it all so seriously, that marriage seemed to becomeaterribleaswellasabeautifulthing CanitreallybetruethatI havesuchwonderfulpowertoinfluenceWillforgoodorevil?Oh,Imust begood,Imust,Imust,forhiswelfareisfiftythousandtimesdearerto methanmyown! AfterthisIwasconstantlyattheGrange,andworkedlikeacharwoman helpingtopack,andgettingreadyforthesale IthinkIwasreallyofuse, for Rachel has not much taste, and I re-arranged things so that they lookedeversomuchmoreattractive,andsobroughtbiggerprices We hadveryhappytimestogether,andwerequitemerry,sometimessitting downtoteaonthetopofboxes,withourdressespinnedupandcovered withaprons,butweneverspokeofWillagain Thatwasfinished Thelast two nights they were in England Mrs Greaves and Rachel spent in our home,andIdrovedownandsawthemoffatthestation Iknewwhowas goingtomeetthemattheotherend,buteventhenwedidnotmention him Rachel just clung tightly to me, and whispered “Remember!” and thatsaideverything Thenthetrainpuffedslowlyoutofthestation,andI caughtoneglimpseofherwhite,whitefacethroughthewindow Oh!ifI live to be a hundred I shall never, never forget her, and I shall love her more than anyone else except my very own people, but I don’t think I shalleverseeRachelagaininthisworld! June25th Vere’sweddingeve Mypoorneglecteddiarymustcomeoutofhidingto heartherecordofatimesowonderfultoherandtome Ihavehadvery littleleisureforthinkingofmyownaffairssinceRachelleft,forawedding meansatremendousamountofworkandmanagement,whenitinvolves invitingrelationsfromallpartsoftheworld,buyingasmanyclothesasif you were never expected to see a shop again, and choosing and furnishing a brand-new house Neither mother nor Vere are strong enough to much running about, so all the active preparations fell to me, and I had to go up to town to scold dressmakers and hurry up decorators, and threaten cabinet makers, and tell plumbers and ironmongers that they ought to be ashamed of themselves, and match patterns,andchoosetrimmings,andchangethingsthatwouldn’tdo,until Veresaid,laughingly,thattheweddingseemedfarmoreminethanhers ItkeptmesobusythatIhadnotimetodreamuntilIwenttobedatnights and then I used to be awake for hours, thinking of Rachel away at the other side of the world, happy in her mother’s restored health, and, to judge from the tone of her letters, thoroughly enjoying the complete change of scene after the very quiet life she had led these last years; thinking of Lorna, my dear old faithful Lorna, as good a friend to me as ever,inspiteofallthetroubleIcausedher Itisayearagonowsincethat wretchedaffair,andWallaceseemsalmosthisoldselfagain,shesays, so I hope he will soon have forgotten all about me I feel hot and cold wheneverIthinkaboutit Itiswickedtoplayatbeinginlove!SupposeI hadacceptedWallaceoutofpique,asIthoughtofdoingforafewmad moments;supposeIhadbeengoingtomarryhimto-morrow—howawful, how perfectly awful I should feel now! How different from Vere, whose facelookssosweetandsatisfiedthatitdoesonegoodtolookather Ihavebeenslavingalldaylongarrangingflowersandpresents,andafter teamotherjustinsistedthatIshouldcomeuptomyroomtorestforan hour,sohereIam,sittingontheverysamechaironwhichIsatinthose far-awaypre-historicageswhenIbeganthisdiary,asillybitofagirljust homefromschool Iamnotsoveryancientnowasyearsgo,butIhave comethroughsomebigexperiences,andto-dayespeciallyIfeelfullofall sorts of wonderful thoughts and resolutions, because to-morrow—to- morrow,Williscoming,andweshallmeetagain! I think Vere guesses, I am almost sure that she does, for she and Jim made such a point of his coming to the wedding, and she gave me his noteofacceptancewithsuchasympatheticlittlesmile Oh,howanxious I had been until that letter arrived, and now that it is all settled I can hardlyrestuntilto-morrow Rest!HowcanIrest?Hearriveslateto-night, so we shall meet first of all in church I shall feel as if, like Vere, I am going to meet my bridegroom It will seem like a double wedding—hers andmine TheWeddingDay Ithasallpassedoffperfectly,withoutasinglehitchordrawback Tobegin with, the weather was ideal, just a typical warm June day, with the sky onedeep,uncloudedblue AsIlookedoutofmywindowthismorningthe lawns looked like stretches of green velvet, bordered with pink and cream,foritistobearosewedding,andthedatewasfixedtohavethem at their best The house is full of visitors, and everybody seemed overflowingwithsympathyandkindness Itmustbehorridtobemarriedinaplacewhereyouarenotknown,orin abigtownwherealotofstrangerscollecttostareatyou,asifyouwere part of a show This dear little place is, to a man, almost as much interestedandexcitedasweareourselves;thevillagersareallfriends, for either we have known them since they were babies, or they have knownussincewewerebabies,whichcomestothesamething Theold almshousewomenhadateayesterday,andsatinthegalleryinchurch, and the Sunday-school children had a tea to-day, and lined the church pathandscatteredroses TheMother’sMeetingwasinthegallery,too, and the Band of Hope somewhere else, and the Girls’ Friendly by the door Thewholeplacewasenfête, with penny flags hanging out of the cottagewindows,andstreamerstiedacrosstheHighStreet Itallfeltso nice,andkind,andhomey There were eight bridesmaids, and we really did look nice, in white chiffon dresses, shepherdess hats wreathed with roses, and long white staveswreathedwiththesame AsforVere,shewasavisionofloveliness,allpinkandwhiteandgold Wewalkedtogetherdownstairsintothehall,wherefatherwaswaitingto receiveus Poorfather!thetearscameintohiseyesashetookherhand, and looked down at her It must be hard to bring up a child, and go throughalltheanxietyandcareandworry,andthen,justwhensheisold enoughtobearealcompanion,tohavetogiveherup,andseehergo awaywitha“perfectstranger,”asSpencersays Lastnight,whenIwasgoingtobed,fatherheldmeinhisarms,andsaid: “Thankheaven,Ishallhaveyouleft,Babs!ItwillbealongtimebeforeI canspareyoutoanotherman.” And I hugged him, and said nothing, for I knew Ah! well, they did it themselvesonceonatime,sotheycan’tbesurprised! Thechurchwascrowdedwithpeople,andeverybodyturnedtostareat usaswecamein,butIsawonlyoneface—Will’sface—withthelightI most loved shining in his eyes I stood at Vere’s side, and heard her repeat her vows in sweet, firm tones, which never faltered, but Jim’s voice trembled as he made that touching promise of faithfulness “in sicknessandinhealth,”andIsawhishandtightenoverhers Itwaslikeadream—theswellingburstsofmusic,thefacesoftheclergy; behindall,thegreatstainedwindow,withtheChristlookingdown Then theweddingmarchpealedout,wetookourplacesinthecarriages,and drovehomeoncemore Vereandherhusbandstoodbeneathoneofthearchesofthepergola,to receivethecongratulationsoftheirfriends,apicturecouple,ashappyas theywerehandsome Theskywaslikeadomeofblue,thescentofroses wasintheair,andWillcametomeetmeacrossthegreen,greengrass “Una!”hecried “Atlast!”andclaspedmyhandinhis Oh, I am terribly happy! I should like everyone in the world to be as happyasIamto-day! TheEnd |Chapter1||Chapter2||Chapter3||Chapter4||Chapter5||Chapter6||Chapter7|| Chapter8||Chapter9||Chapter10||Chapter11||Chapter12||Chapter13||Chapter 14||Chapter15||Chapter16||Chapter17||Chapter18||Chapter19||Chapter20|| Chapter21||Chapter22||Chapter23||Chapter24||Chapter25||Chapter26| EndoftheProjectGutenbergEBookofTheHeartofUnaSackville,by Mrs GeorgedeHorneVaizey ***ENDOFTHISPROJECTGUTENBERGEBOOKTHEHEARTOFUNASACKVILLE*** *****Thisfileshouldbenamed21129-h.htmor21129-h.zip***** Thisandallassociatedfilesofvariousformatswillbefoundin: http://www.gutenberg.org/2/1/1/2/21129/ ProducedbyNickHodsonofLondon,England Updatededitionswillreplacethepreviousone theoldeditions willberenamed Creatingtheworksfrompublicdomainprinteditionsmeansthatno oneownsaUnitedStatescopyrightintheseworks,sotheFoundation (andyou!)cancopyanddistributeitintheUnitedStateswithout permissionandwithoutpayingcopyrightroyalties Specialrules, setforthintheGeneralTermsofUsepartofthislicense,applyto 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Language:English ***START OF THISPROJECTGUTENBERGEBOOK THE HEART OF UNA SACKVILLE *** ProducedbyNickHodson of London,England Mrs GeorgedeHorneVaizey "The Heart of Una Sackville" ChapterOne.. .The ProjectGutenbergEBook of The Heart of Una Sackville, by Mrs GeorgedeHorneVaizey ThiseBookisfor the use of anyoneanywhereatnocostandwith... will be the end of Una Sackville, and there will be nothing more to writeafterthat It’sverynicetobemarried, of course,butstodgy—there’s nomoreexcitement Therehasbeenplenty of excitementto-day,atanyrate
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