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Dynevor Terrace: or, the clue of life — Volume 1   By: (1823-1901)

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First Page:

DYNEVOR TERRACE:

OR

THE CLUE OF LIFE.

BY

CHARLOTTE M. YONGE.

THE AUTHOR OF 'THE HEIR OF REDCLYFFE'

CONTENTS

I. CHARLOTTE. II. AN OLD SCHOOLMISTRESS. III. LOUIS LE DEBONNAIRE. IV. THISTLE DOWN. V. THE TWO MINISTERS. VI. FAREWELLS. VII. GOSSAMER. VIII. A TRUANT DISPOSITION. IX. THE FAMILY COMPACT. X. THE BETTER PART OF VALOUR. XI. A HALTING PROPOSAL. XII. CHILDE ROLAND. XIII. FROSTY, BUT KINDLY. XIV. NEW INHABITANTS. XV. MOTLEY THE ONLY WEAR. XVI. THE FRUIT OF THE CHRISTMAS TREE XVII. THE RIVALS. XVIII. REST FOR THE WEARY. XIX. MOONSHINE. XX. THE FANTASTIC VISCOUNT. XXI. THE HERO OF THE BARRICADES. XXII. BURGOMASTERS AND GREAT ONE EYERS.

VOLUME I

Who wisdom's sacred prize would win, Must with the fear of God begin; Immortal praise and heavenly skill Have they who know and do His will. New Version.

CHAPTER I.

CHARLOTTE.

Farewell rewards and fairies, Good housewives now may say, For now foul sluts in dairies May fare as well as they. BP. CORBET.

An ancient leafless stump of a horse chesnut stood in the middle of a dusty field, bordered on the south side by a row of houses of some pretension. Against this stump, a pretty delicate fair girl of seventeen, whose short lilac sleeves revealed slender white arms, and her tight, plain cap tresses of flaxen hair that many a beauty might have envied, was banging a cocoa nut mat, chanting by way of accompaniment in a sort of cadence

'I have found out a gift for my fur, I have found where the wood pigeons breed; But let me the plunder forbear, She will say '

'Hollo, I'll give you a shilling for 'em!' was the unlooked for conclusion, causing her to start aside with a slight scream, as there stood beside her a stout, black eyed, round faced lad, his ruddy cheeks and loutish air showing more rusticity than agreed with his keen, saucy expression, and mechanic's dress.

'So that's what you call beating a mat,' said he, catching it from her hands, and mimicking the tender clasp of her little fingers. 'D'ye think it's alive, that you use it so gingerly? Look here! Give it him well!' as he made it resound against the tree, and emit a whirlwind of dust. 'Lay it into him with some jolly good song fit to fetch a stroke home with! Why, I heard my young Lord say, when Shakspeare was a butcher, he used to make speeches at the calves, as if they was for a sacrifice, or ever he could lift a knife to 'em.'

'Shakspeare! He as wrote Romeo and Juliet, and all that! He a butcher! Why, he was a poet!' cried the girl, indignantly.

'If you know better than Lord Fitzjocelyn, you may!' said the boy.

'I couldn't have thought it!' sighed the maiden.

'It's the best of it!' cried the lad, eagerly. 'Why, Charlotte, don't ye see, he rose hisself. Anybody may rise hisself as has a mind to it!'

'Yes, I've read that in books said Charlotte. 'You can, men can, Tom, if you would but educate yourself like Edmund! in the Old English Baron . But then, you know whose son you are. There can't be no catastrophe '

'I don't want none,' said Tom. 'We are all equal by birth, so the orator proves without a doubt, and we'll show it one of these days. A rare lady I'll make of you yet, Charlotte Arnold.'

'O hush, Tom, I can never be a lady and I can't stand dawdling here nor you neither. 'Tisn't right to want to be out of our station, though I do wish I lived in an old castle, where the maidens worked tapestry, and heard minstrels, never had no stairs to scour. Come, give me my mats, and thank you kindly!'

'I'll take 'em in,' said Tom, shouldering them. ''Tis breakfast hour, so I thought I'd just run up and ax you when my young Lord goes up to Oxford.

'He is gone,' said Charlotte; 'he was here yesterday to take leave of missus. Mr. James goes later '

'Gone!' cried Tom. 'If he didn't say he'd come and see me at Mr... Continue reading book >>




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