I have stated in the preface to the first Edition of this work, and in the Zoology of the Voyage of the Beagle, that it was in consequence of a wish expressed by Captain Fitz
Roy, of having some scientific person on board, accompanied by an offer from him of giving up part of his own accommodations, that I volunteered my services, which received, through the kindness of the hydrographer, Captain Beaufort, the sanction of the Lords of the Admiralty.
The poor little creature ran into my room quite forgetful of her usual dignity, and crying from her very heart of hearts, "My dear Fitz Jarndyce!" fell upon my neck and kissed me twenty times.
"Dear me!" said she, putting her hand into her reticule, "I have nothing here but documents, my dear Fitz Jarndyce; I must borrow a pocket handkerchief."
"With pleasure, my dear Fitz Jarndyce," she was careful to explain.
Highly indiscreet of me to mention it; but my dear Miss Fitz Jarndyce, I am afraid I am at times (between ourselves, you wouldn't think it) a little--rambling you know," said Miss Flite, touching her forehead.
And what does she tell our young friend but that there has been a lady with a veil inquiring at her cottage after my dear Fitz Jarndyce's health and taking a handkerchief away with her as a little keepsake merely because it was my amiable Fitz Jarndyce's!
"Very wearing to be always in expectation of what never comes, my dear Fitz Jarndyce!
"Not what everybody has been talking of, my beloved Fitz Jarndyce!"
"Why not, Fitz Jarndyce?" she asked rather sharply.