[This Victorian Web version of The Angel in the House is based on the Project Gutenberg e-text, which was produced by David Price (e-mail email@example.com), from the 1888 Cassell & Company edition. GPL created the html, added links, and made corrections in the text after comparing it with other editions.]
Dear Mrs. Graham, the fever's past,
And Fred is well. I, in my last,
Forgot to say that, while 'twas on,
A lady, call'd Honoria Vaughan,
One of his Salisbury Cousins, came.
Had I, she ask'd me, heard her name?
'Twas that Honoria, no doubt,
Whom he would sometimes talk about
And speak to, when his nights were bad,
And so I told her that I had.
She look'd so beautiful and kind!
And just the sort of wife my mind
Pictured for Fred, with many tears,
In those sad early married years.
Visiting, yesterday, she said,
The Admiral's Wife, she learn'd that Fred
Was very ill; she begg'd to be,
If possible, of use to me.
What could she do? Last year, his Aunt
Died, leaving her, who had no want,
Her fortune. Half was his, she thought;
But he, she knew, would not be brought
To take his rights at second hand.
Yet something might, she hoped, be plann'd.
What did I think of putting John
To school and college? Mr. Vaughan,
When John was old enough, could give
Preferment to her relative;
And she should be SO pleased.--I said
I felt quite sure that dearest Fred
Would be most thankful. Would we come,
And make ourselves, she ask'd, at home,
Next month, at High-Hurst? Change of air
Both he and I should need, and there
At leisure we could talk, and then
Fix plans, as John was nearly ten.
It seemed so rude to think and doubt,
So I said, Yes. In going out,
She said, 'How strange of Frederick, Dear,'
(I wish he had been there to hear,)
'To send no cards, or tell me what
A nice new Cousin I had got!'
Was not that kind?
When Fred grew strong,
I had, I found, done very wrong.
Anger was in his voice and eye.
With people born and bred so high
As Fred and Mrs. Vaughan and you,
It's hard to guess what's right to do;
And he won't teach me!
Dear Fred wrote,
Directly, such a lovely note,
Which, though it undid all I had done,
Was, both to me and Mrs. Vaughan,
So kind! His words. I can't say why,
Like soldiers' music, made me cry.
Last updated 10 August 2004