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now not rich enough to give them fortunes, they must provide for
themselves. They had lived very little at home for a long while,
and were only come now to stay a few weeks on account of their
father’s death; but they did so like Marsh End and Morton, and all
these moors and hills about. They had been in London, and many
other grand towns; but they always said there was no place like
home; and then they were so agreeable with each other-never fell
out nor ‘threaped.’ She did not know where there was such a
family for being united.

Having finished my task of gooseberry picking, I asked where the
two ladies and their brother were now.

‘Gone over to Morton for a walk; but they would be back in half an
hour to tea.’ They returned within the time Hannah had allotted
them: they entered by the kitchen door. Mr. St. John, when he saw
me, merely bowed and passed through; the two ladies stopped:
Mary, in a few words, kindly and calmly expressed the pleasure
she felt in seeing me well enough to be able to come down; Diana
took my hand: she shook her head at me.

‘You should have waited for my leave to descend,’ she said. ‘You
still look very pale-and so thin! Poor child!- poor girl!’ Diana had a
voice toned, to my ear, like the cooing of a dove. She possessed
eyes whose gaze I delighted to encounter. Her whole face seemed
to me full of charm. Mary’s countenance was equally intelligent-
her features equally pretty; but her expression was more reserved,
and her manners, though gentle, more distant. Diana looked and
spoke with a certain authority: she had a will, evidently. It was my
nature to feel pleasure in yielding to an authority supported like
hers, and to bend, where my conscience and self-respect permitted,
to an active will.

‘And what business have you here?’ she continued. ‘It is not your
place. Mary and I sit in the kitchen sometimes, because at home we
like to be free, even to license-but you are a visitor, and must go
into the parlour.’ ‘I am very well here.’ ‘Not at all, with Hannah
bustling about and covering you with flour.’ ‘Besides, the fire is too
hot for you,’ interposed Mary.

‘To be sure,’ added her sister. ‘Come, you must be obedient.’ And
still holding my hand she made me rise, and led me into the inner

‘Sit there,’ she said, placing me on the sofa, ‘while we take our
things off and get the tea ready; it is another privilege we exercise
in our little moorland hometo prepare our own meals when we are
so inclined, or when Hannah is baking, brewing, washing, or
ironing.’ She closed the door, leaving me solus with Mr. St. John,
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