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The Monctons: A Novel, Volume I   By: (1803-1885)

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First Page:

THE MONCTONS:

A NOVEL.

BY

SUSANNA MOODIE,

AUTHOR OF

"ROUGHING IT IN THE BUSH," "FLORA LINDSAY," "MATRIMONIAL SPECULATIONS," &c.

What dost thou think I'll bend to thee? The free in soul are ever free: Nor force, nor poverty can bind The subtle will the thinking mind.

IN TWO VOLUMES.

VOL. I.

LONDON: RICHARD BENTLEY, NEW BURLINGTON STREET. 1856.

LONDON: Printed by Schulze and Co., 13, Poland Street.

TO JOHN LOVELL, ESQ., OF MONTREAL, WHO WAS ONE OF THE FIRST AND MOST SUCCESSFUL PIONEERS IN ESTABLISHING A NATIONAL LITERATURE IN THE CANADIAN COLONIES, THIS WORK, WHICH OWES ITS EXISTENCE TO HIS GENEROUS CARE, IS RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED, BY HIS GRATEFUL AND OBLIGED FRIEND, SUSANNA MOODIE.

DECEMBER, 1855.

Transcriber's Note: The Table of Contents is not contained in the book but has been created for the convenience of the reader of this etext.

CONTENTS

CHAPTER

I. MY GRANDFATHER AND HIS SONS. II. MY MOTHER'S FUNERAL. III. MY AUNT REBECCA. IV. THE TUTOR. V. A CHANGE IN MY PROSPECTS. VI. THE SORROWS OF DEPENDENCE. VII. GEORGE HARRISON. VIII. UNGRATIFIED CURIOSITY. IX. A PORTRAIT. X. DREAMS. XI. MY FIRST LOVE. XII. I FORFEIT MY INDEPENDENCE. XIII. A VISIT FROM THE GREAT MAN OF THE FAMILY. XIV. LOVE AND HATRED. XV. GEORGE HARRISON AND HIS HISTORY. XVI. GEORGE HARRISON CONTINUES HIS HISTORY. XVII. HARRISON FINDS A FRIEND IN NEED. XVIII. THE MEETING.

THE MONCTONS.

CHAPTER I.

MY GRANDFATHER AND HIS SONS.

There was a time a good old time when men of rank and fortune were not ashamed of their poor relations; affording the protection of their name and influence to the lower shoots of the great family tree, which, springing from the same root, expected to derive support and nourishment from the main stem.

That time is well nigh gone for ever. Kindred love and hospitality have decreased with the increase of modern luxury and exclusiveness, and the sacred ties of consanguinity are now regarded with indifference; or if recognized, it is only with those who move in the same charmed circle, and who make a respectable appearance in the world: then, and then only, are their names pronounced with reverence, and their relationship considered an honor.

It is amusing to watch from a distance, the eagerness with which some people assert their claims to relationship with wealthy and titled families, and the intrigue and manoeuvring it calls forth in these fortunate individuals, in order to disclaim the boasted connexion.

It was my fate for many years to eat the bitter bread of dependence, as one of those despised and insulted domestic annoyances A Poor Relation .

My grandfather, Geoffrey Moncton, whose name I bear, was the youngest son of a wealthy Yorkshire Baronet, whose hopes and affections entirely centered in his first born. What became of the junior scions of the family tree was to him a matter of secondary consideration. My grandfather, however, had to be provided for in a manner becoming the son of a gentleman, and on his leaving college, Sir Robert offered to purchase him a commission in the army.

My grandfather was a lad of peaceable habits, and had a mortal antipathy to fighting. He refused point blank to be a soldier. The Navy offered the same cause for objection, strengthened by a natural aversion to the water, which made him decline going to sea.

What was to be done with the incorrigible youth? Sir Robert flew into a passion called him a coward a disgrace to the name of Moncton.

My grandfather, who was a philosopher in his way, pleaded guilty to the first charge. From his cradle he had carefully avoided scenes of strife and violence, and had been a quiet, industrious boy at school, a sober plodding student at college, minding his own business, and troubling himself very little with the affairs of others. The sight of blood made him sick; he hated the smell of gunpowder, and would make any sacrifice of time and trouble rather than come to blows... Continue reading book >>




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