IN all her previsions of the event she had [FE] [MS] seen herself surviving as the same Harriett Frean with the addition of an overwhelm- ing grief. She was horrified at this image of herself persisting beside her mother's place empty in space and time. But she was not there. Through her absorption in her mother, some large, essential part of herself had gone. It had not been so when her father died; what he had absorbed was given back to her, transferred to her mother. All her memories of her mother were joined to the memory of this now irrecoverable self. She tried to reinstate herself through grief; she sheltered behind her bereavement, [FE] affecting a more profound seclusion, abhor- ring strangers; she was more than ever the reserved, fastidious daughter of Hilton Frean. She had always thought of herself as different from Connie and Sarah, living with a superior, intellectual life. She turned to the books she had read with her mother, Dante, Browning, Carlyle, and Ruskin, the biographies of Great Men, trying to retrace the footsteps of her lost [MS] self, to revive the forgotten thrill. But it was no use. One day she found herself reading the Dedication of The Ring and the Book over and over again, without taking in its meaning, without any remembrance of its poignant secret. '"And all a wonder and a wild desire"--Mamma loved that.' She thought she loved it too; but what she loved was the dark green book she had [FE] seen in her mother's long, white hands, and the sound of her mother's voice reading. She had followed her mother's mind with strained attention and anxiety, smiling when she smiled, but with no delight and no admiration of her own. If only she could have remembered. It was only through memory that she could reinstate herself. She had a horror of the empty house. Her friends advised her to leave it, but she had a horror of removal, of change. She loved the rooms that had held her mother, the chair she had sat on, the white, fluted cup she had drunk from in her illness. She clung to the image of her mother; and always beside it, shadowy and pathetic, she discerned the image of her lost self. When the horror of emptiness came [FE] over her, she dressed herself in her black, with delicate care and precision, and [MS] visited her friends. Even in moments of no intention she would find herself knock- ing at Lizzie's door or Sarah's or Connie Pennefather's. If they were not in she would call again and again, till she found them. She would sit for hours, talking, spinning out the time. She began to look forward to these visits. Wonderful. The sweet peas she had planted had come up. Hitherto Harriett had looked on the house and garden as parts of the space that contained her without belonging to her. She had had no sense of possession. This morning she was arrested by the thought that the plot she had planted [FE] was hers. The house and garden were hers. She began to take an interest in them. She found that by a system of punctual movements she could give to her existence the reasonable appearance of an aim. Next spring, a year after her mother's death, she felt the vague stirring of her individual soul. She was free to choose her own vicar; she left her mother's Dr. Braithwaite who was broad and twice [MS] married, and went to Canon Wrench, who was unmarried and high. There was something stimulating in the short, happy service, the rich music, the incense, and the processions. She made new covers for the drawing-room, in cretonne, a gay pattern of pomegranate and blue-green leaves. And as she had always had the cutlets broiled plain because her mother liked them [FE] that way, now she had them breaded. And Mrs Hancock wanted to know why Harriett had forsaken her dear mother's church; and when Connie Pennefather saw the covers she told Harriett she was lucky to be able to afford new cretonne. It was more than she could; she seemed to think Harriett had no business to afford it. As for the breaded cutlets, Hannah opened her eyes and said, 'That was how the mistress always had them, ma'am, when you was away.' One day she took the blue egg out of the drawing-room and stuck it on the chimney- piece in the spare room. When she remembered how she used to love it she felt that she had done something cruel and iniquitous, but necessary to the soul. She was taking out novels from the [FE] circulating library now. Not, she ex- [MS] plained, for her serious reading. Her serious reading, her Dante, her Browning, her Great Man, lay always on the table ready to her hand (beside a copy of The Social Order and the Remains of Hilton Frean), while secretly and half-ashamed she played with some frivolous tale. She was satisfied with anything that ended happily and had nothing in it that was un- pleasant, or difficult, demanding thought. She exalted her preferences into high canons. A novel ought to conform to her requirements. A novelist (she thought of him with some asperity) had no right to be obscure, or depressing, or to add needless unpleasantness to the unpleasantness that had to be. The Great Men didn't do it. She spoke of George Eliot and Dickens [FE] and Mr Thackeray. Lizzie Pierce had a provoking way of smiling at Harriett, as if she found her ridiculous. And Harriett had no patience with Lizzie's affectation in wanting to be modern, her vanity in trying to be young, her middle-aged raptures over the work-- often unpleasan--of writers too young to be worth serious consideration. They had long arguments in which Harriett, beaten, retired behind The Social Order and the [MS] Remains. 'It's silly,' Lizzie said,' not to be able to look at a new thing because it's new. That's the way you grow old.' ' It's sillier,' Harriett said, ' to be always running after new things because you think that's the way to look young. I've no wish to appear younger than I [FE] am.' 'I've no wish to appear suffering from senile decay.' 'There is a standard.' Harriett lifted her obstinate and arrogant chin.' You forget that I'm Hilton Frean's daughter.' 'I'm William Pierce's, but that hasn't prevented my being myself.' Lizzie's mind had grown keener in her sharp middle-age. As it played about her, Harriett cowered; it was like being exposed, naked, to a cutting wind. Her mind ran back to her father and mother, longing, like a child, for their shelter and support, for the blessed assurance of herself. At her worst she could still think with pleasure of the beauty of the act which had given Robin to Priscilla.