"Stay, Jo! What now?"
"It's time for me to go to that there berryin ground, sir," he returns with a wild look.
"Lie down, and tell me. What burying ground, Jo?"
"Where they laid him as wos wery good to me, wery good to me indeed, he wos. It's time fur me to go down to that there berryin ground, sir, and ask to be put along with him. I wants to go there and be berried. He used fur to say to me, 'I am as poor as you to- day, Jo,' he ses. I wants to tell him that I am as poor as him now and have come there to be laid along with him."
"By and by, Jo. By and by."
"Ah! P'raps they wouldn't do it if I wos to go myself. But will you promise to have me took there, sir, and laid along with him?"
"I will, indeed."
"Thankee, sir. Thankee, sir. They'll have to get the key of the gate afore they can take me in, for it's allus locked. And there's a step there, as I used for to clean with my broom. It's turned wery dark, sir. Is there any light a-comin?"
"It is coming fast, Jo."
Fast. The cart is shaken all to pieces, and the rugged road is very near its end.
"Jo, my poor fellow!"
"I hear you, sir, in the dark, but I'm a-gropin--a-gropin--let me catch hold of your hand."
"Jo, can you say what I say?"
"I'll say anythink as you say, sir, for I knows it's good."
"Our Father! Yes, that's wery good, sir."
"Which art in heaven."
"Art in heaven--is the light a-comin, sir?"
"It is close at hand. Hallowed by thy name!"
The light is come upon the dark benighted way. Dead!
Dead, your Majesty. Dead, my lords and gentlemen. Dead, right reverends and wrong reverends of every order. Dead, men and women, born with heavenly compassion in your hearts. And dying thus around us every day.
The place in Lincolnshire has shut its many eyes again, and the house in town is awake. In Lincolnshire the Dedlocks of the past doze in their picture-frames, and the low wind murmurs through the long drawing-room as if they were breathing pretty regularly. In town the Dedlocks of the present rattle in their fire-eyed carriages through the darkness of the night, and the Dedlock Mercuries, with ashes (or hair-powder) on their heads, symptomatic of their great humility, loll away the drowsy mornings in the little windows of the hall. The fashionable world--tremendous orb, nearly five miles round--is in full swing, and the solar system works respectfully at its appointed distances.
Where the throng is thickest, where the lights are brightest, where all the senses are ministered to with the greatest delicacy and refinement, Lady Dedlock is. From the shining heights she has scaled and taken, she is never absent. Though the belief she of old reposed in herself as one able to reserve whatsoever she would under her mantle of pride is beaten down, though she has no assurance that what she is to those around her she will remain another day, it is not in her nature when envious eyes are looking on to yield or to droop. They say of her that she has lately grown more handsome and more haughty. The debilitated cousin says of her that she's beauty nough--tsetup shopofwomen--but rather larming kind--remindingmanfact--inconvenient woman--who WILL getoutofbedandbawthstahlishment--Shakespeare.
Mr. Tulkinghorn says nothing, looks nothing. Now, as heretofore, he is to be found in doorways of rooms, with his limp white cravat loosely twisted into its old-fashioned tie, receiving patronage from the peerage and making no sign. Of all men he is still the last who might be supposed to have any influence upon my Lady. Of all women she is still the last who might be supposed to have any dread of him.
One thing has been much on her mind since their late interview in his turret-room at Chesney Wold. She is now decided, and prepared to throw it off.
It is morning in the great world, afternoon according to the little sun. The Mercuries, exhausted by looking out of window, are reposing in the hall and hang their heavy heads, the gorgeous creatures, like overblown sunflowers.