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My Little Lady   By:

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Eleanor Frances Poynter is the author of My little lady (1871 novel), Ersilia (1876 novel), Among the hills (1881 novel), Madame de Presnel (1885 novel), The wooing of Catherine and other tales (1886), The failure of Elisabeth (1890 novel), An exquisite fool (1892 novel), Michael Ferrier (1902 novel); and translator of Wilhelmine von Hillern's The vulture maiden (Die Geier Wally) (1876) and Agnès Mary Duclaux (later Mrs James Darmesteter)'s Froissart (1895).

Two of her novels were translated in French: My little lady as Madeleine Linders (1873); and Among the hills as Hetty (1883).

The Saturday Review vol. XXX p. 794 comments My little lady as follows: "There are certain female characters in novels which remind one of nothing so much as of a head of Greuze, fresh, simple, yet of the cunningly simple type, 'innocent arch,' and intensely natural.... 'My Little Lady' is a character of this Greuze like kind.... The whole book is charming; quietly told, quietly thought, without glare or flutter, and interesting in both character and story,... and, if slight of kind, thoroughly good of its kind."

COLLECTION

OF

BRITISH AUTHORS

TAUCHNITZ EDITION.

VOL. 1148.

MY LITTLE LADY.

IN TWO VOLUMES.

VOL. I.

Thy sinless progress, through a world By sorrow darken'd and by care disturbed, Apt likeness bears to hers through gather'd clouds Moving untouch'd in silver purity.

WORDSWORTH.

MY LITTLE LADY.

COPYRIGHT EDITION .

IN TWO VOLUMES.

VOL. I.

LEIPZIG

BERNHARD TAUCHNITZ

1871.

The Right of Translation is reserved .

To

J.C.I.

PART I.

MY LITTLE LADY.

CHAPTER I.

In the Garden.

There are certain days in the lives of each one of us, which come in their due course without special warning, to which we look forward with no anticipations of peculiar joy or sorrow, from which beforehand we neither demand nor expect more than the ordinary portion of good and evil, and which yet through some occurrence unconsidered perhaps at the moment, but gaining in significance with years and connecting events are destined to live apart in our memories to the end of our existence. Such a day in Horace Graham's life was a certain hot Sunday in August, that he spent at the big hotel at Chaudfontaine.

Every traveller along the great high road leading from Brussels to Cologne knows Chaudfontaine, the little village distant about six miles from Liége, with its church, its big hotel, and its scattered cottages, partly forges, partly restaurants, which shine white against a dark green background of wooded hills, and gleam reflected in the clear tranquil stream by which they stand. On every side the hills seem to fold over and enclose the quiet green valley; the stream winds and turns, the long poplar bordered road follows its course; amongst the hills are more valleys, more streams, woods, forests, sheltered nooks, tall grey limestone rocks, spaces of cornfields, and bright meadows. Everyone admires the charming scenery as the train speeds across it, through one tunnel after another; but there are few amongst our countrymen who care to give it more than a passing glance of admiration, or to tarry in the quiet little village even for an hour, in their great annual rush to Spa, or the Rhine, or Switzerland. As a rule one seldom meets Englishmen at Chaudfontaine, and it was quite by chance that Horace Graham found himself there. An accident to a goods train had caused a detention of several hours all along the line, as he was travelling to Brussels, and it was by the advice of a Belgian fellow passenger that he had stopped at Chaudfontaine, instead of going on to Liége, as he had at first proposed doing, on hearing from the guard that it was the furthest point that could be reached that night.

Behind the hotel lies a sunshiny shady garden, with benches and tables set under the trees near the house, and beyond, an unkempt lawn, a sort of wilderness of grass and shrubs and trees, with clumps of dark and light foliage against the more uniform green of the surrounding hills, and it was still cool and pleasant when Graham wandered into it after breakfast on that Sunday morning, whilst all in front of the hotel was already basking in the hot sunshine... Continue reading book >>




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