Page:Court Royal.djvu/350

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was sold to our workmen and parishioners. Edward let them have it at sixpence. He was so kind—so over-kind. He was easily imposed upon. He did not sufficiently consider himself.’ Presently, after another suffusion of tears, ‘You must eat. There is ground rice in a shape, and strawberry jam. I know you are unhappy. You loved Edward. So did I; but we are human, and must care for our bodies. Eat, eat, Ronald. Finish that bottle; you shall have another uncorked in a minute. That insufferable curate of ours has mounted the blue ribbon. The last word I heard him murmur was “Ichabod;” that means “The glory is departed.” I am alluding to Edward, not the curate. I thought he wanted to leave me a message. His lips moved, though his eyes were closed, so I leaned over him and said, “Yes, Edward, dear, what is it?” Then he sighed heavily, and pressed my hand, and opened his eyes, and said, “Ichabod!” I believe after that he had not a conscious moment. Never mind, Ronald, the gravy has not gone through.’ This referred to a spill of the juice from the chops on the tablecloth. The General’s hand had trembled as he helped himself to the gravy. ‘I think you had better not see him to-night. He looks so sweet and peaceful, as if he were twenty years younger. Dear, dear fellow! What shall I do without him? You had better lie down; do go to bed for a few hours. You shall not be disturbed; you have had a long and harassing journey, and you, Ronald, at your time of life, cannot bear these strains like the young. Now, of course, nothing can be done. If he had lived till your arrival it would have been different. Your beds are aired, have no fear; and there are fires in your rooms.’

Lord Ronald and the Marquess remained till after the funeral. The funeral was conducted with some state; Lord Edward was an Archdeacon, Canon of the Cathedral of Glastonbury, and last, but not least, son of a Duke. All the principal clergy and gentry of the neighbourhood attended, and the parishioners showed and wept, the women especially. Would the next rector let them have his mutton at sixpence?

The Hon. Cadogan Square, brother of Lady Elizabeth, was there. The Squares were a great legal family, the head of which had been created a peer.

When the Archdeacon’s will was read, it was found that he left all his personalty to his wife, five hundred pounds to the Cathedral of Glastonbury, five hundred to the widows and