This page has been validated.



is a description of a meeting with the lady that is very true to life, as is also the account of the downstairs arrangement of the manor house.

In later years "Lady" Darke became infirm. She neglected everything, and no one dared do anything in the house without her orders. Until she came downstairs in the morning there could be no breakfast, as she kept the keys. The house was infested with cats and dogs, and her servants did not dare to get rid of any of them, or to drive them out of the rooms. The large room over the kitchen she alone entered. The door was padlocked, and the key of the padlock she kept attached to her garter. Thence the key had to be taken after her death to obtain admission. It was found to contain a confused mass of sundry articles to the depth of three feet above the floor, the accumulation of many years. Bureaus were there with guineas and banknotes in the drawers, and quantities of old silver plate, bearing the arms and crests of men of title who had been about the Court of the Prince Regent; and the whole was veiled in cobwebs that hung from the ceiling so long and so dense as to hide the further extremity of the chamber.

"Lady" Darke retained her imperious disposition to the end; it was in vain that it was suggested to her that she should have an attendant to be always with her. She often sat up the whole night by her fire, and her servants dared not retire to bed till their mistress had given the signal that they were to depart.

Of relations she had none; at least none who