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The Seven Little Sisters Who Live on the Round Ball That Floats in the Air   By: (1833-1887)

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First Page:

THE SEVEN LITTLE SISTERS WHO LIVE ON THE ROUND BALL THAT FLOATS IN THE AIR

BY

JANE ANDREWS

WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY LOUISA PARSONS HOPKINS FORMERLY SUPERVISOR IN BOSTON PUBLIC SCHOOLS

FOR

MY THREE LITTLE FRIENDS

Marnie, Bell, and Geordie

I HAVE WRITTEN THESE STORIES

CONTENTS.

MEMORIAL OF MISS JANE ANDREWS THE BALL ITSELF THE LITTLE BROWN BABY AGOONACK, THE ESQUIMAU SISTER HOW AGOONACK LIVES THROUGH THE LONG SUMMER GEMILA, THE CHILD OF THE DESERT THE LITTLE MOUNTAIN MAIDEN THE STORY OF PEN SE THE LITTLE DARK GIRL LOUISE, THE CHILD OF THE BEAUTIFUL RIVER RHINE LOUISE, THE CHILD OF THE WESTERN FOREST THE SEVEN LITTLE SISTERS

MEMORIAL OF MISS JANE ANDREWS. [Born Dec. 1, 1833. Died July 15, 1887.]

BY LOUISA PARSONS HOPKINS.

Perhaps the readers and lovers of this little book will be glad of a few pages, by way of introduction, which shall show them somewhat of Miss Andrews herself, and of her way of writing and teaching, as an old friend and schoolmate may try to tell it; and, to begin with, a glimpse of the happy day when she called a few of her friends together to listen to the stories contained in this volume, before they were offered to a publisher.

Picture to yourselves a group of young ladies in one of the loveliest of old fashioned parlors, looking out on a broad, elm shaded street in the old town of Newburyport. The room is long and large, with wide mahogany seats in the four deep windows, ancient mahogany chairs, and great bookcases across one side of the room, with dark pier tables and centre table, and large mirror, all of ancestral New England solidity and rich simplicity; some saintly portraits on the wall, a modern easel in the corner accounting for fine bits of coloring on canvas, crayon drawings about the room, and a gorgeous firescreen of autumn tints; nasturtium vines in bloom glorifying the south window, and German ivy decorating the north corner; choice books here and there, not to look at only, but to be assimilated; with an air of quiet refinement and the very essence of cultured homeness pervading all; this is the meagre outline of a room, which, having once sat within, you would wish never to see changed, in which many pure and noble men and women have loved to commune with the lives which have been so blent with all its suggestions that it almost seems a part of their organic being.

But it was twenty five years ago [This memorial was written in 1887.] that this circle of congenial and expectant young people were drawn together in the room to listen to the first reading of the MSS. of "The Seven Little Sisters." I will not name them all; but one whose youthful fame and genius were the pride of all, Harriet Prescott (now Mrs. Spofford), was Jane's friend and neighbor for years, and heard most of her books in MSS. They were all friends, and in a very sympathetic and eager attitude of mind, you may well believe; for in the midst, by the centre table, sits Jane, who has called them together; and knowing that she has really written a book, each one feels almost that she herself has written it in some unconscious way, because each feels identified with Jane's work, and is ready to be as proud of it, and as sure of it, as all the world is now of the success of Miss Jane Andrews's writings for the boys and girls in these little stories of geography and history which bear her name.

I can see Jane sitting there, as I wish you could, with her MSS. on the table at her side. She is very sweet and good and noble looking, with soft, heavy braids of light brown hair carefully arranged on her fine, shapely head; her forehead is full and broad; her eyes large, dark blue, and pleasantly commanding, but with very gentle and dreamy phases interrupting their placid decision of expression; her features are classic and firm in outline, with pronounced resolution in the close of the full lips, or of hearty merriment in the open laugh, illuminated by a dazzle of well set teeth; her complexion fresh and pure, and the whole aspect of her face kind, courageous, and inspiring, as well as thoughtful and impressive... Continue reading book >>




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