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Rossmoyne   By:

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"Who set this ancient quarrel new abroach? Speak, nephew, were you by when it began?

"Here's much to do with hate, but more with love."







How a Dove cot was fluttered in Rossmoyne.

The old fashioned clock is ticking loudly, ponderously, as though determined to betray the flight of fickle time and impress upon the happy, careless ones that the end of all things is at hand. The roses knock their fragrant buds against the window panes, calling attention to their dainty sweetness. The pigeons coo amorously upon the sills outside, and even thrust their pretty heads into the breakfast room, demanding plaintively their daily crumbs; but no one heeds.

A deadly silence has fallen upon this room at Moyne, albeit life is fully represented here, and two eyes, in which the light of youth is quenched, are looking anxiously into the two other eyes that have also seen the best and the sweetest of their days.

Hopelessly the golden roses scatter their petals. In vain the white and tawny birds entreat backsheesh. To no purpose does the elderly clock count out its numbers. The urn is hissing angrily, the two cups of tea so carefully prepared are growing cold. So are the crisp little hot cakes, so is the

No! by the bye, it isn't! Honey can't. What a chance I was near giving the reviewers!

One bird, growing annoyed at the prolonged quiet, flies from the open window to the back of Miss Penelope's chair, and settles there with an indignant flutter and a suppressed but angry note. This small suggestion of a living world destroyes the spell that for the last few minutes has been connecting the brain with a dead one.

Miss Penelope, raising her head, gives words to her thoughts.

"Poor, poor Katherine!" she says, gently smoothing out the letter that lies upon her knee. "How her happiness was wrecked and what a sad ending there has been to everything! Her children coming home to us, fatherless motherless! Dear child! what a life hers has been! It is quite twenty years ago now, and yet it all seems to me as fresh as yesterday."

"She shouldn't have taken things so easily; she should have asserted herself at the time ," says Miss Priscilla, whose voice is always a note sharper than her sister's.

"It requires a great deal of thought and and a great deal of moral courage to assert one's self when a man has behaved abominably to one, has, in fact, jilted one!" says Miss Penelope, bringing out the awful word with a little shudder and a shake of her gentle head, that sets two pale lavender ribbons on her cap swaying mildly to and fro.

"Why was she so fatally silent about everything, except the one bare fact of his refusal, at the last moment, to marry her, without assigning any cause for his base desertion? Why didn't she open her whole heart to me? I wasn't afraid of the man!" says Miss Priscilla, with such terrible energy and such a warlike front as might well have daunted " the man ," or indeed any man, could he have seen her. "She should have unburdened her poor bruised spirit to me, who if my mother was not hers, and if I was many years her senior had at least a sister's love for her."

"A true love," says Miss Penelope, with another sigh.

"Instead of which," regretfully, "she hid all her sorrows in her own bosom, and no doubt wept and pined for the miscreant in secret."

"Poor soul!" says Miss Penelope, profoundly affected by this dismal picture. Tears born of tenderness spring to her eyes. "Do you remember, Priscilla, how she refused to show his letter, wishing, I suppose, even then to spare him?"

"I forget nothing!" with some acerbity. "Often, when saying my prayers, I have wished I could forget him, but I can't, so I have to go on being uncharitable and in sin, if indeed sin it be to harden one's heart against a bad man... Continue reading book >>

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