did. He told me to talk to you about it.""Did he?" She
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"Barbara, I am sure it must be tea-time now."
"The time seems to move slowly with you, mamma. It is scarcely a quarter of an hour since I told you it was but ten minutes past six."
"I am so thirsty!" announced the poor invalid. "Do go and look at the clock again, Barbara."
Barbara Hare rose with a gesture of impatience, not suppressed, opened the door, and glanced at the large clock in the hall. "It wants nine and twenty minutes to seven, mamma. I wish you would put your watch on of a day; four times you have sent me to look at that clock since dinner."
"I am so thirsty!" repeated Mrs. Hare, with a sort of sob. "If seven o'clock would but strike! I am dying for my tea."
It may occur to the reader, that a lady in her own house, "dying for her tea," might surely order it brought in, although the customary hour had not struck. Not so Mrs. Hare. Since her husband had first brought her home to that house, four and twenty-years ago, she had never dared to express a will in it; scarcely, on her own responsibility, to give an order. Justice Hare was stern, imperative, obstinate, and self-conceited; she, timid, gentle and submissive. She had loved him with all her heart, and her life had been one long yielding of her will to his; in fact, she had no will; his was all in all. Far was she from feeling the servitude a yoke: some natures do not: and to do Mr. Hare justice, his powerful will that /must/ bear down all before it, was in fault: not his kindness: he never meant to be unkind to his wife. Of his three children, Barbara alone had inherited his will.
"Barbara," began Mrs. Hare again, when she thought another quarter of an hour at least must have elapsed.
"Ring, and tell them to be getting it in readiness so that when seven strikes there may be no delay."