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Clemence The Schoolmistress of Waveland   By:

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CLEMENCE,

THE

Schoolmistress of Waveland,

BY RETTA B. BABCOCK,

AUTHOR OF "GRAHAM LODGE; OR, LAURA CLIFFORD'S LIFE ROMANCE."

Not many friends my life has made; Few have I loved, and few are they Who in my hand their hearts have laid; And these are women. I am gray, But never have I been betrayed.

J. G. HOLLAND.

CLEVELAND, OHIO:

PRINTED BY THE LEADER PRINTING COMPANY, NO. 142 SUPERIOR STREET.

1870.

PREFACE.

The favor with which a generous public received a former volume of the writer's, induced her, after a lapse of nearly two years, to essay another effort of a similar nature.

In the present work, facts were chosen for a basis, as calculated to interest, where the wildest dream of the novelist would pall upon the satiated mind. It has been remarked, in a homely phrase by another, that "what comes from the heart, reaches the heart," and if the present fruits of long and unremitting mental labor, sustained often amid such trial and discouragements, as seldom fall to the lot of mortal to bear, should find sympathy and appreciation with the mass of readers, the aim of the writer will have been fully accomplished.

CLEMENCE,

THE

SCHOOLMISTRESS OF WAVELAND.

CHAPTER I.

"Dearest mother, do not grieve for me, it breaks my heart."

The sweet, sad voice of the speaker quivered with unshed tears, as she knelt before the grief bowed figure on the sofa, and took one of the little, shrunken, tear wet hands in both her own, with the devotion of a lover.

"Have you not often told me of the sin of distrusting the All wise Being, who has cared for us all our lives thus far? Let us put our trust in Him, and He will 'never leave nor forsake us.' Can you not trust Him, precious mother?"

"My child, I could bear it for myself; but you, my all of earth, my heart's dearest treasure, to be exposed to poverty and toil for your daily bread who have been so delicately reared that the winds of heaven have not been permitted to blow too roughly upon you! My poor, fatherless darling, how can you bear it?"

"'God is our father.' We are not friendless, nor alone. 'He who tempereth the wind to the shorn lamb,' will guide and guard me. Let us commit ourselves to His care."

She knelt down, and the sunshine, stealing in at the window that May afternoon, circled her young head like a glory. Faint and tremulous rose the sweet voice in prayer, and little widow Graystone's sobs ceased, and a kind of awe stole over her as she listened. And a sweet peace filled her soul, for "angels came and ministered unto her." Up from the mother's heart went a pleading cry. "God keep my darling from harm!" and as she gazed fondly upon the beautiful face before her, with its exalted look of wrapt devotion, a fierce pain struggled at her heart, for she thought of the time in the not distant future, when her only one would be motherless.

One little year ago she had been the imperious woman of fashion, and Clemence had seemed little more than a child, in spite of the seventeen summers that had smiled upon her young head. Indeed, she had often experienced a feeling akin to contempt at the unworldliness of her daughter, and sighed in secret to see Clemence just as agreeable to Carl Alwyn, the poor but talented artist, as she was to young Reginald Germaine, the heir to half a million.

"Just like your father, my dear," she would say, scornfully, "and nobody knows what I have suffered from his low notions. Just to think of his always insisting upon my inviting those frightful Dinsmore's to my exclusive entertainments, because, years before you were born, Mr. Dinsmore's father did him some service. Why can't he pay them for it, and have an end of it? It is perfectly shocking! The idea of bringing me , a Leveridge of Leveridge, into contact with such vulgar people... Continue reading book >>




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