Chivalry - 450

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Chivalry.


I was coming up in the coach the other day. At a little wayside hotel we had to change into a smaller coach. We were ten passengers, eight men and two women. As I sat in the house the gentlemen came and whispered to me : ‘There is not room for all in ’the new coach, so you had better take your seat quickly.’

We hurried out, and they gave me the best seat, and covered me with rugs, because it was drizzling. Then the last passenger came running up to the coach—an old woman with a wonderful bonnet, and a black shawl pinned with a yellow pin.

‘There is no room,’ they said, ‘you must wait till next week’s coach.’ But she climbed on to the step, and held on at the window with both hands. ‘My son is ill and I must go and see him,’ she said.

‘My good woman’, said one: ‘I am really sorry that your son is ill; but there is absolutely no room for you here.’

‘You had better get down,’. said another, ‘or the wheel will catch you.

I got up to give her my place.

‘Oh, no, no I’ they cried, ‘we will not allow that.’

‘I will kneel’, said the other woman passenger and she crouched down at my feet. So the old woman came in. There were nine of us in that coach, and only one showed kindness—and that was a woman to a woman.

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