Page:Gaskell - North and South, vol. I, 1855.djvu/241

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CHAPTER XIX.

ANGEL VISITS.

"As angels in some brighter dreams Call to the soul when man doth sleep, So some strange thoughts transcend our wonted themes, And into glory peep." Henry Vaughan.

Mrs. Hale was curiously amused and interested by the idea of the Thornton dinner party. She kept wondering about the details, with something of the simplicity of a little child, who wants to have all its anticipated pleasures described beforehand. But the monotonous life led by invalids often makes them like children, inasmuch as they have neither of them any sense of proportion in events, and seem each to believe that the walls and cm*tains which shut in their world, and shut out everything else, must of necessity be larger than anything hidden beyond. Besides, Mrs. Hale had had her vanities as a girl ; had perhaps unduly felt their mortifica- tion when she became a poor clergyman's wife ; — they had been smothered and kept down ; but they were not extinct ; and she liked to think of seeing Margaret dressed for a party, and discussed what she should wear, with an unsettled anxiety that q2