Endymion, by Benjamin Disraeli

Chapter 101

Endymion was with his sister.

“How dear of you to come to me,” she said, “when you cannot have a moment to yourself.”

“Well, you know,” he replied, “it is not like forming a government. That is an affair. I have reason to think all my colleagues will remain with me. I shall summon them for this afternoon, and if we agree, affairs will go on as before. I should like to get down to Gaydene to-night.”

“To-night!” said the queen musingly. “We have only one day left, and I wanted you to do something for me.”

“It shall be done, if possible; I need not say that.”

“It is not difficult to do, if we have time — if we have tomorrow morning, and early. But if you go to Gaydene you will hardly return to-night, and I shall lose my chance — and yet it is to me a business most precious.”

“It shall be managed; tell me then.”

“I learnt that Hill Street is not occupied at this moment. I want to visit the old house with you, before I leave England, probably for ever. I have only got the early morn tomorrow, but with a veil and your brougham, I think we might depart unobserved, before the crowd begins to assemble. Do you think you could be here at nine o’clock?”

So it was settled, and being hurried, he departed.

And next morning he was at the palace before nine o’clock; and the queen, veiled, entered his brougham. There were already some loiterers, but the brother and sister passed through the gates unobserved.

They reached Hill Street. The queen visited all the principal rooms, and made many remarks appropriate to many memories. “But,” she said, “it was not to see these rooms I came, though I was glad to do so, and the corridor on the second story whence I called out to you when you returned, and for ever, from Eton, and told you there was bad news. What I came for was to see our old nursery, where we lived so long together, and so fondly! Here it is; here we are. All I have desired, all I have dreamed, have come to pass. Darling, beloved of my soul, by all our sorrows, by all our joys, in this scene of our childhood and bygone days, let me give you my last embrace.”

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