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The Gold that Glitters The Mistakes of Jenny Lavender   By: (1836-1893)

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The Gold that Glitters The Mistakes of Jenny Lavender

By Emily Sarah Holt The action in this little book comes just at the point in British History where Charles the First had been executed, and his son and heir was on the run. The famous incident where Colonel Lane hides the young King up in an oak tree was recently past.

Young Jenny is a sixteen year old living on a farm, but she has reached the age where so many teenagers have disagreements with their parents, and she decides to find a way to leave home. So she takes a job as a lady's maid in Colonel Lane's household, which of course is a bit of a snub to her as she is treated in the servants' hierarchy as so low she is not even allowed to speak at meals. Eventually she finds that she is learning to handle these conventions, and is even quite enjoying her work. But one day the Lane family decide they must leave Britain, and go to France, so Jenny is to get her notice. The book is not long, and there is not room in it for many developments, but she does eventually go back home, where everyone is very glad to have her back, not least her boy friend. NH





"Jenny, my dear maid, thou wilt never fetch white meal out of a sack of sea coal." Jenny tossed her head. It would have been a nice little brown head, if it had not been quite so fond of tossing itself. But Jenny was just sixteen, and laboured under a delusion which besets young folks of that age namely, that half the brains in the world had got into her head, and very few had been left in her grandmother's.

"I don't know what you mean, Grandmother," said Jenny, as an accompaniment to that toss.

"O Jenny, Jenny! what a shocking thing of you to say, when you knew what your grandmother meant as well as you knew your name was Jane Lavender!"

"I rather think thou dost, my lass," said old Mrs Lavender quietly.

"Well, I suppose you mean to run down Mr Featherstone," said Jenny, pouting. "You're always running him down. And there isn't a bit of use in it not with me. I like him, and I always shall. He's such a gentleman, and always so soft spoken. But I believe you like that clod hopper Tom Fenton, ever so much better. I can't abide him."

"There's a deal more of the feather than the stone about Robin Featherstone, lass. If he be a stone, he's a rolling one. Hasn't he been in three places since he came here?"

"Yes, because they didn't use him right in none of 'em. Wanted him to do things out of his place, and such like. Why, at Hampstead Hall, they set him to chop wood."

"Well, why not?" asked Mrs Lavender, knitting away.

"Because it wasn't his place," answered Jenny, indignantly. "It made his hands all rough, and he's that like a gentleman he couldn't stand it."

"Tom Fenton would have done it, I shouldn't wonder."

"As if it would have mattered to Tom Fenton, with his great red hands! They couldn't be no rougher than they are, if he chopped wood while Christmas. Besides, it's his trade wood chopping is. Mr Featherstone's some'at better nor a carpenter."

"They're honest hands, if they are red, Jenny."

"And he's a cast in his eyes."

"Scarcely. Anyhow, he's none in his heart."

"And his nose turns up!"

"Not as much as thine, Jenny."

"Mine!" cried Jenny, in angry amazement, "Grandmother, what will you say next? My nose is as straight as as the church tower."

"Maybe it is, in general, my lass. But just now thou art turning it up at poor Tom."

"`Poor Tom,' indeed!" said Jenny, in a disgusted tone. "He'd best not come after me, or I'll `poor Tom' him. I want none of him, I can tell you."

"Well, Jenny, don't lose thy temper over Tom, or Robin either. Thou'rt like the most of maids they'll never heed the experience of old folks... Continue reading book >>

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