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The Heart's Country   By: (1874-1966)

The Heart's Country by Mary Heaton Vorse

First Page:

THE HEART'S COUNTRY

BY MARY HEATON VORSE

WITH ILLUSTRATIONS BY ALICE BARBER STEPHENS

[Illustration]

BOSTON AND NEW YORK HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY The Riverside Press Cambridge 1914

COPYRIGHT, 1913, BY THE CROWELL PUBLISHING COMPANY COPYRIGHT, 1914, BY MARY HEATON O'BRIEN

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Published April 1914

[Illustration: YOU MUST COME! (p. 151)]

By Mary Heaton Vorse

THE HEART'S COUNTRY. Illustrated. THE VERY LITTLE PERSON. Illustrated. THE BREAKING IN OF A YACHTSMAN'S WIFE. Illustrated.

HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY Boston and New York

CONTENTS

CHAPTER PAGE Prologue 1 I 5 II 17 III 24 IV 30 V 36 VI 43 VII 50 VIII 58 IX 68 X 85 XI 97 XII 112 XIII 119 XIV 128 XV 146 XVI 153 XVII 168 XVIII 187 XIX 195 XX 203 XXI 221 XXII 230 XXIII 248 XXIV 253 XXV 261 XXVI 276 XXVII 282

ILLUSTRATIONS

"You must come!" (page 151) Frontispiece

"I Hate your Society, anyway! I never did want to be an Old Maid!" 40

"She is very lovely" 108

She towered above Ellen, an Avenging Fate 176

From drawings by Alice Barber Stephens.

THE HEART'S COUNTRY

PROLOGUE

The actors in this drama are dead, or else life has turned them into such different beings that their transformation is hardly less than that of death itself. Their thoughts are scattered to the winds, or live, oddly changed, in the bodies of their children the girl who brought me the journals and packages of letters smiled up at me with the flashing smile of Ellen.

This girl, with a gesture of the hand, opened for me the gates of the past, and when she was gone I walked through them with beating heart, back over the steep path of years. This little package of long forgotten papers which she had given me, and of whose contents she was ignorant, were a strange legacy, for it was my own youth that I found in them and the youth of Ellen.

As I went over the scrawled journals and through the packages of letters, the land of memory blossomed for me and the tears that came to my eyes thawed the ice of many years. Ellen herself had forgotten her youth; she may not have remembered that in the bottom of an old trunk she had left for me things which she could not bear to destroy for there they found them after her death with a letter addressed to me. As I read on, it was as though I had before me the broken pieces of her heart, and as I looked, my own childhood and even my girlhood lived again.

I had often looked for my girlhood and had never found it. Those years when women are in the making that land of glamour are the hardest thing of all for grown up people to understand. Nothing stays fixed there, all the emotions are at their point of effervescence and their charm is their evanescence. The very power of early youth is in the violence of its changes; it is the era of chaos in the souls of people; when they are in the making; when the crust is only forming, and the fire may break forth at any moment; and when what seems most secure and fixed trembles under the feet and disappears in some new made gulf of the emotions... Continue reading book >>




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