33. CHAPTER THIRTY-THREE
Not having much money, or knowing what he'd like, I got
several little things, and put them about the room, where he
would find them unexpectedly. They were useful, pretty, or
funny, a new standish on his table, a little vase for his
flower, he always has one, or a bit of green in a glass, to
keep him fresh, he says, and a holder for his blower, so
that he needn't burn up what Amy calls `mouchoirs'. I made
it like those Beth invented, a big butterfly with a fat body,
and black and yellow wings, worsted feelers, and bead eyes.
It took his fancy immensely, and he put it on his mantlepiece
as an article of virtue, so it was rather a failure after all.
Poor as he is, he didn't forget a servant or a child in the
house, and not a soul here, from the French laundrywoman to
Miss Norton forgot him. I was so glad of that.
They got up a masquerade, and had a gay time New Year's
Eve. I didn't mean to go down, having no dress. But at the
last minute, Mrs. Kirke remembered some old brocades, and Miss
Norton lent me lace and feathers. So I dressed up as Mrs.
Malaprop, and sailed in with a mask on. No one knew me, for I
disguised my voice, and no one dreamed of the silent, haughty
Miss March (for they think I am very stiff and cool, most of
them, and so I am to whippersnappers) could dance and dress,
and burst out into a `nice derangement of epitaphs, like an
allegory on the banks of the Nile'. I enjoyed it very much,
and when we unmasked it was fun to see them stare at me. I
heard one of the young men tell another that he knew I'd been
an actress, in fact, he thought he remembered seeing me at
one of the minor theaters. Meg will relish that joke. Mr.
Bhaer was Nick Bottom, and Tina was Titania, a perfect little
fairy in his arms. To see them dance was `quite a landscape',
to use a Teddyism.
I had a very happy New Year, after all, and when I thought
it over in my room, I felt as if I was getting on a little in
spite of my many failures, for I'm cheerful all the time now,
work with a will, and take more interest in other people than
I used to, which is satisfactory. Bless you all! Ever your