March 4, 2016

Only connect: Lucy and Mrs. Walker and ...



      Lucy came running full tilt downstairs, having just nipped in  to the drawing room to smooth a cover, to straighten a chair, to pause a moment and feel whoever came in must think how clean, how bright, how beautifully cared for, when they saw the beautiful silver, the brass fire-irons, the new chair-covers, and the curtains of yellow chintz:  she appraised each; heard a roar of voices; people already coming up from dinner; she must fly!
     The Prime Minister was coming, Agnes said; so she had heard them say in the dining-room, coming in with a tray of glasses. Did it matter, did it matter in the least, one Prime Minister more, or less?  It made no difference at this hour of the night to Mrs. Walker among the plates, saucepans, colanders, frying-pans, chicken in aspic, ice-cream freezers, pared crusts of bread, lemons, soup tureens, and pudding basins, which, however, hard as they washed up in the scullery seemed to be all on top of her, on the kitchen table, on chairs, while the fire blazed and roared, the electric lights glared, and still supper had to be laid. All she felt was, one Prime Minister more or less made not a scrap of difference to Mrs. Walker.
      The ladies were going upstairs already, said Lucy;  the ladies were going up, one by  one, Mrs. Dalloway walking last and almost always sending back some message to the kitchen, 'My love to Mrs. Walker,' that was it one night. Next morning they would ho over the dishes — the soup, the salmon;  the salmon, Mrs. Walker knew, as usual underdone, for she always got nervous about the pudding and left it to Jenny; so it happened, the salmon was always underdone. But some lady with with fair hair and silver ornaments had said, Lucy said, about the entree, was it really made at home? But it was the salmon that bothered Mrs, Walker, as she spun the plates round and round, and pulled in dampers and pulled out dampers ...
from Mrs. Dalloway, by Virginia Woolf

Possibly impossible for me to read this without hearing their voices {do you see what I mean?}, but nice, on this farewell weekend. :)




1 comment:

JoAnn said...

It will be hard to say goodbye to Downton :(