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reason for having Kitty, but-" She stopped. "It would be much easier," she continued, "to have somebody whom Josephine and Emily and Jane did n't know at all. I wish I could get Sally Thompson here from Washington."
"It's all right to wish," said Braybrook, "but we 've got to get a godmother. The bishop is waiting."
"It's all right for you to say we 've got to get somebody," said Mrs. Braybrook, "but whom can we get?"
"Well," said Braybrook, "if you want somebody outside of our own crowd, it is easy to choose, because there is only one such here."
For the moment Miss Cushing's heart stopped beating. It was like the age-long moment of a nightmare.
"It was awfully civil of her to come down with the bishop," she heard Braybrook continue, "just because she was an old friend of my mother's; and if we explained the thing she would probably help us out"
"It was very sweet of her," said Mrs. Braybrook; "but she has never known us, and she might think it was indelicate."
"I don't think so," said Braybrook. “We did n't think it was indelicate of her to come down without an invitation, did we?"
"Oh, don't!" exclaimed Miss Cushing. "Please don't!"
"But," said Mr. Colfax, "my sister would be angry with me if I did n't.” "Oh," said Miss Cushing, "I feel very much better. In fact, I feel quite well."
Mr. Colfax looked at her with polite doubt, but she made a gesture of protest. 'Then," said he, "shall we go in?"
Miss Cushing did not answer him, because the leather doors opened into the vestibule and Mr. and Mrs. Braybrook came through them.
"I say," said Braybrook, "we 've been hunting everywhere for you two."
Miss Cushing folded her hands and waited in silence.
"I was just coming in," said Mr. Colfax, and he threw away his cigarette.
WHEN Miss Cushing arrived at the Braybrooks' house after the ceremony, Mr. Colfax handed her out of the cart.
"I think we are a pretty fine team at a christening," he observed.
Miss Cushing smiled in a dazed sort of way and nodded her head. She looked toward the bishop, who was standing in the doorway. The bishop caught her look, but pretended not to, and disappeared into the house. He did not feel that he had anything to say at that moment which would
"No," said Mrs. Braybrook; "we took be helpful. it as a compliment."
"She would take it as a compliment, too," Braybrook replied. "Anyway," he continued, "it's like being asked to be a groomsman or pall-bearer; one can't refuse."
Miss Cushing heard no more, because she had fled to the church door. In the doorway stood Mr. Colfax, exhaling a last puff from his cigarette.
"Where are you going?" he inquired. "Is anything the matter?"
Nothing," said Miss Cushing; "I thought it would be cooler outside."
"I think you are mistaken," said Mr. Colfax; "it's much cooler in the church. I have n't been in yet, but I know. It's awfully hot in the street. Are you feeling ill ?"
"Well," said Miss Cushing, vaguely, "you see, I don't feel exactly ill." She paused.
"I'm sorry," said Mr. Colfax, sympathetically. "I'd better tell Mrs. Braybrook."
Miss Cushing went into the house, too, in a mechanical way. Her ideas and feelings were so confused that she had no ideas. left and her feelings were rapidly reaching the point of outburst. In fact, she did not know whether to laugh or cry, and she was ready to do either. Inside everybody was gathering in the big library, and she could see the servants bringing trays on which were champagne-glasses. Mr. Colfax followed her and found a chair for her, and presently she was surrounded by a group of men. Besides Mr. Colfax were Mr. Carteret, Mr. Varick, and other members of the hunt. The bishop and Braybrook, who were passing, stopped and joined the circle.
"There is the greater responsibility upon Miss Cushing," Mr. Carteret was saying, "because so little can be expected from the infant's godfather."
Miss Cushing did not have to reply, because everybody laughed, even Mr. Colfax. "Then you ought to come down soon," Mr. Colfax said to Miss Cushing, "and
once," said Miss Cushing.
"She is a Mrs. Hennessey," said Braybrook; "I think Patrick is her husband's name."
begin your work. It might amuse you to come down next Monday. We run a drag. Have you ever seen a drag?"
Miss Cushing stiffened up in her chair. The opportunity for her to declare herself and satisfy her conscience had come.
"Mr. Colfax," she said solemnly, "do you believe it right to pursue a harmless little animal with fierce hounds?"
A heavy silence hung over the room. "Animal?" said Mr. Colfax. "Yes," said Miss Cushing; "I said animal."
"But it's a drag," said Mr. Colfax, sounded behind her. aghast.
"You intimate that a drag is not an animal. Please explain," said Miss Cushing.
Then Mr. Colfax explained. The men shut their mouths tightly, and each looked straight ahead of him at some selected point on the opposite wall.
In the silence that followed after Mr. Colfax had finished, the people in the room heard Miss Cushing murmur to herself, "Well, well, well!"
She said nothing else.
After a pause the bishop began to speak. "Miss Cushing," he said, "is very tenderhearted, and when she reads in the newspapers of drag-hunting, and notes the list of those who are 'in at the death,' her heart is full of pity and sympathy for what she had quite naturally supposed to be an animate quarry. Moreover, she is an officer of a very admirable society for the prevention of cruelty to dumb creatures, and it is her duty to interfere whenever she may chance to observe it. Hence this misapprehension."
"Hennessey!" exclaimed Miss Cushing. "Yes," Braybrook replied.
At this moment the circle of men parted to admit Mrs. Braybrook.
"I don't want her punished," said Braybrook, "but I want her prevented from doing it again. Can your society do that? You see, she sometimes drinks too much."
"I shall have our agent sent down at
"Give me her
"You must n't monopolize all the men," she said, with a smile, to Miss Cushing. "Besides-" She stopped and half turned as the rattle of glasses on the metal tray
"I say," said Willie Colfax, I think you people ought to drink the health of the godparents."
"I think," said the bishop, "that it would be eminently proper to toast the godmother, particularly as the circumstances, I might say, are somewhat unusual."
"They prove," observed Braybrook, quite reverently, “that the Lord will provide, don't they?”
"They do," said the bishop. Then they drank Miss Cushing's health.
"And now," said Miss Cushing, beaming, "I propose a toast to my godson. I neglected to bring his porringer with me, but I shall attend to that later." And they drank that toast, too.
A servant approached the bishop and spoke a few words in a whisper.
'Henrietta," said the bishop, "it seems that we must rush for our train. The carriage has been waiting some time."
They hurried out in a confusion of handshakings and got into the trap.
Braybrook made a low exclamation. "Miss Cushing," he said, "I'm awfully glad to find this out."
Miss Cushing looked at him inquiringly. "Why?" she said.
Because I have a case for you," he replied. "You see, our laundress at the kennels poured a kettle of hot water over one of the hounds." "Atrocious!" exclaimed Miss Cushing. covered a case.” "Give me her name!"
"Good-by, everybody!" cried Miss Cushing, and everybody answered "Goodby," and waved their hands, except Mr. Colfax, who stood on the veranda with a bottle of champagne, and called after them: "Come back! You 've forgotten to drink to the godfather!"
When the trap turned into the highway, the bishop looked thoughtfully at Miss Cushing. "Well," he said, "you have dis
Miss Cushing shot him a quiet glance, and gazed off over the pasture-lands, on which stretched the long afternoon shadows of the elms.
The bishop saw that she was smiling, and made no reply. He, too, looked off over the meadows.
MRS. HUGHES OF UFFINGTON, FRIEND OF SIR WALTER SCOTT,
WRITTEN TO MARY ANNE WATTS HUGHES, WIFE OF DR. HUGHES, CANON OF ST. PAUL'S, AND GRANDMOTHER OF THOMAS
HUGHES, AUTHOR OF THE "TOM BROWN" BOOKS
EDITED BY HORACE G. HUTCHINSON
With notes by Mrs. Hughes and an introductory sketch of her by her surviving grandson, W. H. Hughes
RECOLLECTIONS OF MRS. HUGHES
To the Editor of The Century.
DEAR SIR: You are about, as I understand, to publish some letters from Sir Walter Scott to my grandmother Hughes, and wish me to tell you something about her, and the friendship between the "Wizard of the North," as he was called in those days by his English admirers, and herself and family.
First as to my grandmother. Her maiden name was Mary Anne Watts. She was born
about 1770 at Uffington, a little village two miles north of King Alfred's White Horse Hill, in the "royal county of Berks," the only child of the last of a line of clergymen who had, for several generations, succeeded one another in the cure of souls at that little place.
One of these parsons, whose ministry fell in the time of George II, must have been well known as a preacher in his day, for he was appointed one of the chaplains whose duty it
was, from time to time, to preach in the Chapel ishioners) without regard to our wishes and Royal. He was not, however, called upon for a second sermon in that capacity; for (the king attending the service in doubtful company) he took the seventh commandment as the subject of his first discourse, and as his text, "Thou art the man."
With such forebears, it is perhaps natural that Mary Anne Watts was markedly independent and fearless; also that, not being able to hold the family living in her own right, she should manage to attain to it through the Rev. Thomas Hughes, D.D., whom she married when she was still quite young, and he verging on middle age. She had no difficulty, it may be supposed, in inducing the clergyman who had now become vicar of her paternal parish to exchange that living for the much more valuable one which her husband held, in virtue of his canonry in St. Paul's Cathedral, the reward for his earnest endeavors to bring up the younger sons of George III as Christian gentlemen. And so a great part of every year was spent at the Uffington parsonage by the canon and his wife, she continuing the benevolent despotism begun by her there in the days of her father. There also their only son John was born, grew up, settled, and brought up part of his family; continuing to live there till the death of the canon, and quite unconsciously affording to his second son, Thomas, the model of the Squire in "Tom Brown's School Days."
My sister, Jane Elizabeth, afterward Mrs. Nassau John Senior, was the only granddaughter, and inherited not only the lovely voice of the subject of this memoir, but a persistence which enabled her, under our dear friend Manuel Garcia, to submit to two years' severe training, and thereby become a finished artist. The grandmother brought tears to the eyes of Sir Walter Scott and her other friends by her rendering of the old English and Scotch ballads; the granddaughter not only did this for an equally distinguished private circle, but was sought by Jenny Lind to sing "classical music" with her in public. The same inherited persistence, brought to bear on the Liberal government of her day, led to her appointment as inspector of, and her reports on, workhouse schools, and to her suggestions as to boarding out, which are well known, on both sides of the Atlantic and elsewhere, to those interested in the care and education of poor children.
Six of us were born at Uffington, in a house near the vicarage occupied by my father. We all had the utmost respect for our grandmother, in return for her numberless gifts to us and her untiring interest in our welfare, but not so much love as might have been hers had she not been so determined to run us (in common with the rest of the par
For instance, she took from my brother Tom, when he was a small boy, without his consent, a guinea given him by one of her friends, and therewith bought for him "a duodecimo copy of Milton's poetry, in ruddy binding and gilt-edged," and on its first page wrote "Thomas Hughes, from," declaring that he would "value the book when" he "grew up" as a memorial, "whereas, had " he "kept the money," he would "only have wasted it on marbles and tops and toffee"! Perhaps; but, referring to this experience, he writes, in a little book of "Early Memories" for his children: "I owe to my grandmother a dislike to Milton's poetry, which I doubt if I have ever quite got over."
I may mention in passing that on my own life this unfortunate masterfulness had a greater influence than merely causing "a dislike to Milton's poetry." My three elder brothers had been destined to the learned professions in my grandmother's mind, and went accordingly to Oxford; my fourth had been destined to one of the two higher branches of the army, which (the artillery) he entered in due time. When I came into the world she decided that I ought to be brought up to the navy, and got her friend Sir Thomas Hastings, admiral of the port at Portsmouth, to be, with my uncle William, one of my godfathers. I was called after my uncle till I was seven years old or so, and liked the name very much. Then the dear old lady, in order to remind her friend the admiral of his coming duties toward his godson, insisted on it that I should thenceforward be called Hastings. I got to know the reason of this; and, though I was not allowed to protest against the change of name, I made up my mind at once that nothing earthly should induce me to take to the sea as a profession, a decision which those concerned had to put up with as best they might: and so Sir Thomas, when he found that he had not to be sponsor for me as a midshipman, gave me, after the Royal George had been blown up, a genuine chunk of that ill-fated vessel, which was made into snuff-boxes and paper-cutters, with a description on inlaid silver, and given away, in my name, to various relatives and friends.
A more auspicious godfatherhood was that of Sir Walter Scott for my soldier brother, who was born in December, 1826. This, however, I believe to have been only indirectly due to my grandmother, for Sir Walter had already, in 1823, in his famous preface to "Quentin Durward," shown his friendship for my father by a deadhead advertisement of his "Itinerary of Provence and the Rhone." I have found also two letters of his to my father, the first of
find in the notes to Marmion some lines of a hundred years old, addressed to my great grandfather by his kinsman Walter of Harden, beginning
"With flaxen beard and amber hair."
The tone of them, though not remarkably poetical, has something in it so amical and cordial that I believe it is owing to these lines that I have always thought anything good should be kept for Christmas day, and endeavoured to draw a cheerful party round the blazing log to sing carols and tell tales. I wish we had Hassein's tapestry to bring your kind mother and the excellent doctor, and we stretch and draw (for who can tug like a souter of Selkirk) till we made room for you, and you might take Mrs. Hughes and Baby Watt upon your knee. Upon my word, when steam carriages go at the rate of 30 miles per hour nothing can be feared-except an overturn! Betwixt London and Edinburgh will be [nothing] and we will go to John à Groat's house with less premeditation than our ancestors went [to] Eelpie island. Then will aldermen eat turbot fresh as taken, a dainty they never dreamed off [sic], and have slices of highland venison Abyssinian fashion off the living buck.
Leaving these applications of modern discoveries to the operation of time, let me thank you for the drawing of Wayland Smith's cromlech which will do me yeoman's service. There was a mechanical objection to employing the engraving, with the stereotype, but I have done away with that objection. Pray did not one Lambourne of those parts commit a very cruel murder some time since and would there be any harm in putting it into the notes of Kenilworth? If so perhaps you would give me the date. In our country I should hesitate about this, for fear of getting a dirk in my wame for tacking awa' the guid name of an honest family, but you are not I think so touchy in Berkshire.
I beg you will make my best respects acceptable to Mrs. Hughes and the infant Don Gualtero and believe me
Your truly obliged
Walter Scott. 1 "Baby Watt" and "Don Gualtero " are, of course, my brother Walter Scott. I do not know in which of the editions of "Kenilworth " my father's drawing of Wayland Smith's cromlech appears. The legend of Wayland Smith's "cave," as we used to call it, was given to Sir Walter by my grandmother, to whom, you will perhaps say, it is high time to return.
The country-parish part of her year, of which I have spoken, must have contrasted strangely with that spent as wife of a pillar of the church, whose brother canons were Sydney Smith and Barham (the author of the "Ingoldsby Legends"), at Amen Corner, under the shadow of St. Paul's Cathedral. Here, during the canonical part of the year, with such a good foundation as her husband and his colleagues, she came as near holding a “salon" as was possible in the smoky surroundings of St. Paul's
1 Both of these letters show signs of the high pressure under which Sir Walter lived during his later years; for there is scarcely any punctuation, few i's are dotted or t's crossed, and there are four words necessary to sense (which I have ventured to suggest in brackets) omitted.-W. H. H.