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Marguerite Verne Or, Scenes from Canadian Life   By: (1846?-1891)

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This eBook was produced by Andrea Ball, Juliet Sutherland, Charles Franks and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team.








"Every one for his own. The night is starry and cold, my friend, And the New Year blithe and bold, my friend Comes up to take his own." Tennyson .

New Year's Eve in the fair city of St. John, that queenly little city which sits upon her rocky throne overlooking the broad expanse of bay at her feet.

Reader, we do not wish to weary you with the known, but love for our own dear New Brunswick is surely sufficient apology.

It is one of the feelings of human nature to be possessed with a desire to worship the great and titled, to become enamoured with those appendages, which are the symbols of social distinction. Let us consider how we, as a people, are privileged. Is there any grander title this side of Heaven than found in these words, "I am a British subject," and next "I am a New Brunswicker"? You who have travelled have often felt your hearts rebound when listening to the eulogiums passed upon our country and its gifted sons through the medium of the pulpit, the platform and the press. "He is a New Brunswick boy." Ah, those words are sufficient to inspire us with thoughts ennobling, grand and elevating. There are to be found growlers in every clime, and it is only such that will desert their fatherland and seek refuge under foreign skies. We have liberty, right, education, refinement and culture in our midst; we have a good government, noble reforms, and all advantages to make us good and happy. Then let us cherish every right and institution which makes our beloved New Brunswick the pride of its loyal people. It is such feeling which prompts this work, and if the different scenes throughout the province which we will endeavor to portray, the usages of society, custom, &c., and the few characters introduced from real life, meet your approbation, our highest expectation will be realized.

Now back to our fair city.

On this New Year's Eve the moon was holding high carnival. Wrapped in a costume of silvery radiance, she was displaying her charms to the busy throng beneath with all the coquetry she could summon, to her aid, darting quick glances at youths and maidens, and by covert smiles bringing even the middle aged man of business to her feet. The air is also influenced by her wooing, and is inclined to be less severe than some hours earlier. Floods of light are radiating King Square, giving even to its leafless trees a charm of softness and effect. Pedestrians are going to and fro, while several halt in the vicinity of the fountain to smoke their pipes and discuss the news of the day. Presently a quick step is heard approaching, and a trim little figure greets us, wrapped in a fur lined cloak, which, despite its ungainliness, cannot conceal the grace of the wearer. As the maiden casts a passing glance we are impressed by the sweet purity of her face a face that will stamp its image upon more than one heart, and leave memories that cannot be forgotten.

Such was Marguerite Verne as we now attempt to introduce her in the fond hope that others will see her as we do.

"Marguerite," exclaimed the child who had overtaken her as she reached the pavement in front of the Royal Hotel, "Marguerite I am tired running, I thought I never would get up to you. Golly, how you do streak along!"

"Charlie Verne, you naughty boy," returned the girl as she confronted her pet brother, his childish face aglow with the late exercise, "I thought you were going to keep house with Winnie?'

"So I was," said the boy, eyeing his sister closely to watch the effect of his speech, "but the Listers have arrived and I had to run and tell you."

At this announcement Marguerite Verne could scarce repress a hearty laugh and her large, deep violet eyes sparkled, and from their changing expressions exhibited such variety of shade that one would scarce venture to say which was the original one... Continue reading book >>

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