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Gypsy Breynton   By: (1844-1911)

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GYPSY BREYNTON

By ELIZABETH STUART PHELPS

New York Dodd, Mead and Company

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1866, by GRAVES & YOUNG, in the Clerk's Office for the District Court of Massachusetts

Copyright, 1894, by Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward.

PREFACE.

Having been asked to write a preface to the new edition of the Gypsy books, I am not a little perplexed. I was hardly more than a girl myself, when I recorded the history of this young person; and I find it hard, at this distance, to photograph her as she looks, or ought to look to day. She does not sit still long enough to be "taken." I see a lively girl in pretty short dresses and very long stockings, quite a Tom boy, if I remember rightly. She paddles a raft, she climbs a tree, she skates and tramps and coasts, she is usually very muddy, and a little torn. There is apt to be a pin in her gathers; but there is sure to be a laugh in her eyes. Wherever there is mischief, there is Gypsy. Yet, wherever there is fun, and health, and hope, and happiness, and I think, wherever there is truthfulness and generosity, there is Gypsy, too.

And now, the publishers tell me that Gypsy is thirty years old, and that girls who were not so much as born when I knew the little lady, are her readers and her friends to day.

Thirty years old? Indeed, it is more than that! For is it not thirty years since the publication of her memoirs? And was she, at that time, possibly sixteen? Forty six years? Incredible! How in the world did Gypsy "grow up?" For that was before toboggans and telephones, before bicycles and electric cars, before bangs and puffed sleeves, before girls studied Greek, and golf capes came in. Did she go to college? For the Annex, and Smith, and Wellesley were not. Did she have a career? Or take a husband? Did she edit a Quarterly Review, or sing a baby to sleep? Did she write poetry, or make pies? Did she practice medicine, or matrimony? Who knows? Not even the author of her being.

Only one thing I do know: Gypsy never grew up to be "timid," or silly, or mean, or lazy; but a sensible woman, true and strong; asking little help of other people, but giving much; an honor to her brave and loving sex, and a safe comrade to the girls who kept step with her into middle life; and I trust that I may bespeak from their daughters and their scholars a kindly welcome to an old story, told again.

Elizabeth Stuart Phelps.

Newton Centre, Mass., April, 1895.

CONTENTS

CHAPTER I WHICH INTRODUCES HER 7 CHAPTER II A SPASM OF ORDER 21 CHAPTER III MISS MELVILLE'S VISITOR 42 CHAPTER IV GYPSY HAS A DREAM 69 CHAPTER V WHAT SHE SAW 89 CHAPTER VI UP IN THE APPLE TREE 105 CHAPTER VII JUST LIKE GYPSY 126 CHAPTER VIII PEACE MAYTHORNE 146 CHAPTER IX CAMPING OUT 167 CHAPTER X THE END OF THE WEEK 202 CHAPTER XI GYPSY'S OPINION OF BOSTON 213 CHAPTER XII NO PLACE LIKE HOME 242

GYPSY BREYNTON

CHAPTER I

WHICH INTRODUCES HER

"Gypsy Breynton. Hon. Gypsy Breynton, Esq., M. A., D. D., LL. D., &c., &c. Gypsy Breynton, R. R."

Tom was very proud of his handwriting. It was black and business like, round and rolling and readable, and drowned in a deluge of hair line flourishes, with little black curves in the middle of them. It had been acquired in the book keeping class of Yorkbury high school, and had taken a prize at the end of the summer term. And therefore did Tom lean back in his chair, and survey, with intense satisfaction, the great sheet of sermon paper which was covered with his scrawlings.

Tom was a handsome fellow, if he did look very well pleased with himself at that particular moment. His curly hair was black and bright, and brushed off from a full forehead, and what with that faint, dark line of moustache just visible above his lips, and that irresistible twinkle to his great merry eyes, it was no wonder Gypsy was proud of him, as indeed she certainly was, nor did she hesitate to tell him so twenty times a day... Continue reading book >>




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