The Simple Adventures of a Memsahib
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Title: The Simple Adventures of a Memsahib
Author: Sara Jeannette Duncan
Release Date: February 6, 2018 [eBook #56513]
Character set encoding: UTF-8
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A SOCIAL DEPARTURE: How Orthodociaand I Went Round the World by Ourselves.With 111 Illustrations by F. H. Townsend.12mo. Paper, 75 cents; cloth, $1.75.
“Widely read and praised on both sides of the Atlantic andPacific, with scores of illustrations which fit the text exactlyand show the mind of artist and writer in unison.”—New YorkEvening Post.
“It is to be doubted whether another book can be found sothoroughly amusing from beginning to end.”—Boston DailyAdvertiser.
“For sparkling wit, irresistibly contagious fun, keen observation,absolutely poetic appreciation of natural beauty, and vividdescriptiveness, it has no recent rival.”—Mrs. P. T. Barnum’sLetter to the New York Tribune.
“A brighter, merrier, more entirely charming book would be,indeed, difficult to find.”—St. Louis Republic.
AN AMERICAN GIRL IN LONDON.With 80 Illustrations by F. H. Townsend. 12mo.Paper, 75 cents; cloth, $1.50.
“One of the most naïve and entertaining books of the season.”—NewYork Observer.
“The raciness and breeziness which made ‘A Social Departure,’by the same author, last season, the best-read and most-talked-ofbook of travel for many a year, permeate the newbook, and appear between the lines of every page.”—BrooklynStandard-Union.
“So sprightly a book as this, on life in London as observedby an American, has never before been written.”—PhiladelphiaBulletin.
THEY CAME IN LITTLE STRAGGLING STRINGS AND BANDS. P 43.
THE SIMPLE ADVENTURES OF A MEMSAHIB
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
|They came in little straggling strings and bands||Frontispiece|
|Cups of tea||3|
|Young Browne’s tennis||5|
|Her new field of labour||15|
|Uncertain whether she ought to bow||57|
|“It’s just the place for centipedes”||63|
|“A very worthy and hard-working sort”||79|
|“What is this?” said Mrs. Browne||87|
|An accident disclosed them||96|
|Mr. Sayter gave Mrs. Browne his arm||138|
|The ladies went most securely||159|
|Mr. Jonas Batcham, M. P.||175|
|Three others much like himself||187|
|A sudden indisposition||191|
|Miss Josephine Lovitt||225|
|Mr. Week slept on a bench||243|
|He stood upon one leg||252|
|He asked nothing of the Brownes||282|
|“Liver complications—we all come to it”||297|
|She has fallen into a way of crossing her knees in a low chair||309|
HELEN FRANCES BROWNE was formerly a MissPeachey. Not one of the Devonshire Peacheys—theyare quite a different family. This Miss Peachey’s father was aclergyman, who folded his flock and his family in the town ofCanbury in Wilts, very nice people and well thought of, withnice, well-thought-of connections, but nothing particularly aristocraticamongst them, like the Devonshire Peacheys, and no beer.
The former Miss Peachey is now a memsahib of Lower Bengal.As you probably know, one is not born a memsahib; thedignity is arrived at later, through circumstances, processes, andsometimes through foresight on the part of one’s mamma. It isnot so easy to obtain as it used to be. Formerly it was a merequestion of facilities for transportation, and the whole matterwas arranged, obviously and without criticism, by the operationof the law of supply. The necessary six months’ tossing fortunein a sailing ship made young ladies who were willing to undertakeit scarce and valuable, we hear. We are even given to understandthat the unclaimed remnant, the few standing over tobe more deliberately acquired, after the ball given on board forthe facilitation of these matters the night succeeding the ship’sarrival in port, were held to have fallen short of what they reasonablymight have expected. But that was fifty years ago.To-day Lower Bengal, in the cold weather, is gay with potentialmemsahibs of all degrees of attraction, in raiment fresh fromOxford Street, in high spirits, in excellent form for tennis, dancing,riding, and full of a charmed appreciation of the “picturesqueness”of India.
GOT MIDDLE-AGED LADIES OF WILTSHIRE CUPS OF TEA.
They come from the East and from the West, and from schoolin Germany. They come to make the acquaintance of theirAnglo-Indian fathers and mothers, to teach the Bible and plainsewing in the Zenanas, to stay with a married sister, to keephouse for a brother who is in the Department of Police. In thehot weather a proportion migrate northward, to Darjeeling, orSimla, in the Hills, but there are enough in our midst all theyear round to produce a certain coy hesitancy and dalliance on thepart of pretending bachelors, augmented by the consideration ofall that might be done in England in three months’ “Privilege”leave. Young Browne was an example of this. There was nodoubt that young Browne was tremendously attracted by MissPellington—Pellington, Scott & Co., rice and coolies chiefly, avery old firm—down from the Hills for her second cold weather,and only beginning to be faintly spoilt, when it so happenedthat his furlough fell due. He had fully intended to “do Switzerlandthis time,” but Canbury, with tennis every Wednesdayafternoon at the Rectory, and Helen Peachey playing there inblue and white striped flannel, pink cheeks and a sailor hat,was so much more interesting than he had expected it to be,that Switzerland was gradually relegated five years into thefuture. After tennis there was always tea in the drawing-room,and Helen, in the pretty flush of her exertions, poured it out.Just at first, young Browne did not quite know which he appreciated most,Helen who poured it out, or the neat little maidin cap and apron who brought it in—it was so long since he hadseen tea brought in by anything feminine in cap and apron; butafter a bit the little maid sank to her proper status of consideration,and Helen was left supreme. And Helen Peachey’s tennis,for grace and muscularity, was certainly a thing to see, youngBrowne thought. She played in tournaments while he stood byin immaculate whites with an idle racquet, and got middle-agedladies of Wiltshire cups of tea; but she was not puffed up aboutthis, and often condescended to be his partner on the Rectorylawn against the two younger Misses Peachey. It made thebest sett that way, for young Browne’s tennis fluctuated fromindifferent bad to indifferent worse, and the younger MissesPeachey were vigorous creatures, and gave Helen all she coulddo to win with her handicap.
Mr. Browne—we must really get into the way of giving himhis title—was not naturally