Mrs. Bradshaw murmured faintly at her husband when his back was turned; but if his voice was heard, or his foot-steps sounded in the distance, she was mute, and hurried her children into the attitude or action most pleasing to their father. Jemima, it is true, rebelled against this manner of proceeding, which savoured to her a little of deceit; but even she had not, as yet, overcome her awe of her father sufficiently to act independently of him, and according to her own sense of right--or rather, I should say, according to her own warm, passionate impulses. Before him the wilfulness which made her dark eyes blaze out at times was hushed and still; he had no idea of her self-tormenting, no notion of the almost southern jealousy which seemed to belong to her brunette complexion. Jemima was not pretty; the flatness and shortness of her face made her almost plain; yet most people looked twice at her expressive countenance, at the eyes which flamed or melted at every trifle, at the rich colour which came at every expressed emotion into her usually sallow face, at the faultless teeth which made her smile like a sunbeam. But then, again, when she thought she was not kindly treated, when a suspicion crossed her mind, or when she was angry with herself, her lips were tight-pressed together, her colour was wan and almost livid, and a stormy gloom clouded her eyes as with a film. But before her father her words were few, and he did not notice looks or tones.
Her brother Richard had been equally silent before his father in boyhood and early youth; but since he had gone to be a clerk in a London house, preparatory to assuming his place as junior partner in Mr. Bradshaw's business, he spoke more on his occasional visits at home. And very proper and highly moral was his conversation; set sentences of goodness, which were like the flowers that children stick in the ground, and that have not sprung upwards from roots--deep down in the hidden life and experience of the heart. He was as severe a judge as his father of other people's conduct, but you felt that Mr. Bradshaw was sincere in his condemnation of all outward error and vice, and that he would try himself by the same laws as he tried others; somehow, Richard's words were frequently heard with a lurking distrust, and many shook their heads over the pattern son; but then it was those whose sons had gone astray, and been condemned, in no private or tender manner, by Mr. Bradshaw, so it might be revenge in them. Still, Jemima felt that all was not right; her heart sympathised in the rebellion against his father's commands, which her brother had confessed to her in an unusual moment of confidence, but her uneasy conscience condemned the deceit which he had practised.
The brother and sister were sitting alone over a blazing Christmas fire, and Jemima held an old newspaper in her hand to shield her face from the hot light. They were talking of family events, when, during a pause, Jemima's eye caught the name of a great actor, who had lately given prominence and life to a character in one of Shakespeare's plays. The criticism in the paper was fine, and warmed Jemima's heart. double delight strap on
"How I should like to see a play!" exclaimed she.
"Should you?" said her brother listlessly.
"Yes, to be sure! Just hear this!" and she began to read a fine passage of criticism. double sided strapon
"Those newspaper people can make an article out of anything," said he, yawning. "I've seen the man myself, and it was all very well, but nothing to make such a fuss about."
"You! you seen----! Have you seen a play, Richard? Oh, why did you never tell me before? Tell me all about it! Why did you never name seeing ---- in your letters?"