Support the Monkey! Tell All your Friends and Teachers
Looking fixedly at me, she puts her hand to her forehead, and
moans. Suddenly, she cries, in a terrible voice, 'Rosa, come to
me. He is dead!' Rosa kneeling at her feet, by turns caresses her,
and quarrels with her; now fiercely telling her, 'I loved him
better than you ever did!'- now soothing her to sleep on her
breast, like a sick child. Thus I leave them; thus I always find
them; thus they wear their time away, from year to year.
What ship comes sailing home from India, and what English lady is
this, married to a growling old Scotch Croesus with great flaps of
ears? Can this be Julia Mills?
Indeed it is Julia Mills, peevish and fine, with a black man to
carry cards and letters to her on a golden salver, and a
copper-coloured woman in linen, with a bright handkerchief round
her head, to serve her Tiffin in her dressing-room. But Julia
keeps no diary in these days; never sings Affection's Dirge;
eternally quarrels with the old Scotch Croesus, who is a sort of
yellow bear with a tanned hide. Julia is steeped in money to the
throat, and talks and thinks of nothing else. I liked her better
in the Desert of Sahara.
Or perhaps this IS the Desert of Sahara! For, though Julia has a
stately house, and mighty company, and sumptuous dinners every day,
I see no green growth near her; nothing that can ever come to fruit
or flower. What Julia calls 'society', I see; among it Mr. Jack
Maldon, from his Patent Place, sneering at the hand that gave it
him, and speaking to me of the Doctor as 'so charmingly antique'.
But when society is the name for such hollow gentlemen and ladies,
Julia, and when its breeding is professed indifference to
everything that can advance or can retard mankind, I think we must
have lost ourselves in that same Desert of Sahara, and had better
find the way out.
And lo, the Doctor, always our good friend, labouring at his
Dictionary (somewhere about the letter D), and happy in his home
and wife. Also the Old Soldier, on a considerably reduced footing,
and by no means so influential as in days of yore!
Working at his chambers in the Temple, with a busy aspect, and his
hair (where he is not bald) made more rebellious than ever by the
constant friction of his lawyer's-wig, I come, in a later time,
upon my dear old Traddles. His table is covered with thick piles
of papers; and I say, as I look around me: