"Better not try to brew beer there now, or it would turn out sour,

boy; don't you think so?"

"It looks like it, miss."

"Not that anybody means to try," she added, "for that's all done

with, and the place will stand as idle as it is, till it falls. As

to strong beer, there's enough of it in the cellars already, to

drown the Manor House."

"Is that the name of this house, miss?"

"One of its names, boy."

"It has more than one, then, miss?"

"One more. Its other name was Satis; which is Greek, or Latin, or

Hebrew, or all three - or all one to me - for enough."

"Enough House," said I; "that's a curious name, miss."

"Yes," she replied; "but it meant more than it said. It meant, when

it was given, that whoever had this house, could want nothing else.

They must have been easily satisfied in those days, I should think.

But don't loiter, boy."

Though she called me "boy" so often, and with a carelessness that

was far from complimentary, she was of about my own age. She seemed

much older than I, of course, being a girl, and beautiful and

self-possessed; and she was as scornful of me as if she had been

one-and-twenty, and a queen.

We went into the house by a side door - the great front entrance

had two chains across it outside - and the first thing I noticed

was, that the passages were all dark, and that she had left a

candle burning there. She took it up, and we went through more

passages and up a staircase, and still it was all dark, and only

the candle lighted us.

At last we came to the door of a room, and she said, "Go in."

I answered, more in shyness than politeness, "After you, miss."

To this, she returned: "Don't be ridiculous, boy; I am not going

in." And scornfully walked away, and - what was worse - took the

candle with her.

This was very uncomfortable, and I was half afraid. However, the

only thing to be done being to knock at the door, I knocked, and

was told from within to enter. I entered, therefore, and found

myself in a pretty large room, well lighted with wax candles. No

glimpse of daylight was to be seen in it. It was a dressing-room,

as I supposed from the furniture, though much of it was of forms

and uses then quite unknown to me. But prominent in it was a draped

table with a gilded looking-glass, and that I made out at first

sight to be a fine lady's dressing-table.

Whether I should have made out this object so soon, if there had

been no fine lady sitting at it, I cannot say. In an arm-chair,

with an elbow resting on the table and her head leaning on that

hand, sat the strangest lady I have ever seen, or shall ever see.

She was dressed in rich materials - satins, and lace, and silks -

all of white. Her shoes were white. And she had a long white veil

dependent from her hair, and she had bridal flowers in her hair,

but her hair was white. Some bright jewels sparkled on her neck and

on her hands, and some other jewels lay sparkling on the table.

Dresses, less splendid than the dress she wore, and half-packed

trunks, were scattered about. She had not quite finished dressing,

for she had but one shoe on - the other was on the table near her

hand - her veil was but half arranged, her watch and chain were not

put on, and some lace for her bosom lay with those trinkets, and

with her handkerchief, and gloves, and some flowers, and a

prayer-book, all confusedly heaped about the looking-glass.

It was not in the first few moments that I saw all these things,

though I saw more of them in the first moments than might be

supposed. But, I saw that everything within my view which ought to

be white, had been white long ago, and had lost its lustre, and was

faded and yellow. I saw that the bride within the bridal dress had

withered like the dress, and like the flowers, and had no

brightness left but the brightness of her sunken eyes. I saw that

the dress had been put upon the rounded figure of a young woman,

and that the figure upon which it now hung loose, had shrunk to

skin and bone.

Charles Dickens
Classic Literature Library
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