Standing with his hand on the back of a chair near the casement-window of the large, low apartment, in close conversation with two other gentlemen, was the speaker of these remarkable words, which embraced the whole genius and policy of the South as it then existed, and which were delivered in those clear and perfectly modulated tones that bespeak the practised orator and the man of dominant energies.
Cathy entered by the casement-window of the drawing-room, and glided noiselessly up to where I awaited her. She put the door gently too, slipped off her snowy shoes, untied her hat, and was proceeding, unconscious of my espionage, to lay aside her mantle, when I suddenly rose and revealed myself. The surprise petrified her an instant: she uttered an inarticulate exclamation, and stood fixed.
"Good morning, Honourable One. The water for the great wife is hot and heavy." She dropped her buckets, the water splashing over in runnels and puddles at her feet, and stooped to smell the lilies. "It is an auspicious day." From the casement-window in the right balcony a voice called: "Thou dunce! Here I am waiting already half the day. Quicker! quicker!"
All the visitors are quite gone now, and it's that quiet at nights! Sometimes when it's been raining I think I can hear the Dungeon Ghyll stream, though it's more than a mile away. Fenwick put up the letter. He had a sudden vision of Phoebe in her white night-dress, opening the casement-window of the little cottage on a starry night, and listening to the sounds of distant water.
She was no longer a girl; she was a woman of five and twenty; and what should a woman know of romance? Ah, there had been a time when all the world was romance, romance; when the night breeze had whispered it under her casement-window, when the lattice-climbing roses had breathed it, when the moon and the stars had spelled it. Romance!
Ah Fe did not hasten his movements, but, patiently shouldering his basket, closed the door carefully behind him again, and stepped forth into the thick encompassing fog that now shrouded earth and sky. From her high casement-window, Mrs. Tretherick watched Ah Fe's figure until it disappeared in the gray cloud.
"Dear me!" exclaimed Priscilla, trying not to look too pleased, and just then a casement-window above their heads was thrown open, a white-capped head was thrust out, and an excited voice called out, "Ma'am! Ma'am!" "Well, what?" said Mrs Vallance, looking up alarmed. "It's all come off, mum the brown colour has and she's got a skin as white as a lily."
He was a sensible, hard-headed man of the world; having a very fair proportion of conscience as consciences go; indeed, perhaps more than many people; for he had some ideas of duty extending to the circle beyond his own family; and did not, as some would have done, decline acting altogether, but speedily summoned the creditors, examined into the accounts, sold up the farming-stock, and discharged all the debts; paid about £80 into the Skelton bank for a week, while he inquired for a situation or apprenticeship of some kind for poor heart-broken Ruth; heard of Mrs Mason's; arranged all with her in two short conversations; drove over for Ruth in his gig; waited while she and the old servant packed up her clothes; and grew very impatient while she ran, with her eyes streaming with tears, round the garden, tearing off in a passion of love whole boughs of favourite China and damask roses, late flowering against the casement-window of what had been her mother's room.