"I have a book here that you'll like." She alreadyhad her
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"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."
"Goodness, mamma! You know they do always have it ready. And there's no such hurry, for papa may not be at home." But she rose, and rang the bell with a petulant motion, and when the man answered it, told him to have tea in to its time.
"If you knew dear, how dry my throat is, how parched my mouth, you would have more patience with me."
Barbara closed her book with a listless air, and turned listlessly to the window. She seemed tired, not with fatigue but with what the French express by the word /ennui/. "Here comes papa," she presently said.
"Oh, I am so glad!" cried poor Mrs. Hare. "Perhaps he will not mind having the tea in at once, if I told him how thirsty /I/ am."