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Brideshead Revisited 252 ‘It is. I was wondering when I should meet someone I know.’

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导读: BridesheadRevisited252‘Itis.IwaswonderingwhenIshouldmeetsomeoneIknow.’‘MrsHawkinsisupinheroldroom.Iwasjusttakinghersometea.’‘I’lltakeitforyou,Isaid,andpassedthrough...
Brideshead Revisited 252 ‘It is. I was wondering when I should meet someone I know.’

 Brideshead Revisited 252

 It is. I was wondering when I should meet someone I know.’

Mrs Hawkins is up in her old room. I was just taking her some tea.’ ‘I’ll take it for you, I said, and passed through the baize doors, up the uncarpeted stairs, to the nursery.

Nanny Hawkins did not recognize me until I spoke, and my arrival threw her into some confusion; it was not until I had been sitting some time by her fireside that she recovered her old calm. She, who had changed so little in all the years I knew her, had lately become greatly aged. The changes of the last years had come too late in her life to be accepted and understood; her sight was failing, she told me, and she could see only the coarsest needlework. Her speech, sharpened by years of gentle conversation, had reverted now to the soft, peasant tones of its origin.

...only myself here and the two girls and poor Father Membling who was blown up, not a roof to his head nor a stick of furniture till Julia took him in with the kind heart she’s got, and his nerves something shocking...Lady Brideshead, too, marchmain it is now, who I ought by rights to call her Ladyship now, but it doesn’t come natural, it was the same with her. First, when Julia and Cordelia left to the war, she came here with the two boys and then the military turned them out, so they went to London, nor they hadn’t been in their house not a month, and Bridey away with the yeomanry the same as his poor Lordship, when they were blown up too, everything gone, all the furniture she brought here and kept in the coach-house. Then she had another house outside London, and the military took that, too, and there she is now, when I last heard, in a hotel at the seaside, which isn’t the same as your own home, is it? It doesn’t seem right.  ‘...Did you listen to Mr Mottram last night? Very nasty he was about Hitler. I said to the girl Effie who does for me: “If Hitler was listening, and if he understands english, which I doubt, he must feel very small.” Who would have thought of Mr Mottram doing so well? And so many of his friends, too, that used to stay here? I said to Mr Wilcox, who comes to see me regular on the bus from Melstead twice a month, which is very good of him and I appreciate it, I said: “We were entertaining angels unawares,” because Mr Wilcox never liked Mr Mottram’s friends, which I never saw, but used to hear about from all of you, nor Julia didn’t like them, but they’ve done very well, haven’t they?’

At last I asked her: ‘Have you heard from Julia?’

From Cordelia, only last week, and they’re together still as they have been all the time, and Julia sent me love at the bottom of the page. They’re both very well, though they couldn’t say where, but Father Membling said, reading between the lines, it was Palestine, which is where Bridey’s yeomanry is, so that’s very nice for them all. Cordelia said they were looking forward to coming home after the war, which I am sure we all are, though whether I live to see it, is another story.’

I stayed with her for half an hour, and left promising to return often. When I reached the hall I found no sign of work and Hooper looking guilty.  ‘They had to go off to draw the bed-straw. I didn’t know till Sergeant Block told me. I don’t know whether they’re coming back.’