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The Adventures of a Widow A Novel   By: (1847-1923)

The Adventures of a Widow A Novel by Edgar Fawcett

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E text prepared by Suzanne Shell, Mary Meehan, and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team ( from page images generously made available by Internet Archive (

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A Novel



Author of "A Gentleman of Leisure," "A Hopeless Case," "An Ambitious Woman," "Tinkling Cymbals," etc.

Boston James R. Osgood and Company 1884

Copyright, 1883 and 1884, By Edgar Fawcett.

All Rights Reserved.



It is not long ago that the last conservative resident of Bond Street, proud of his ancient possessorship and no doubt loving the big brick structure with arched doorway and dormer windows in which he first saw the light, felt himself relentlessly swept from that interesting quarter by the stout besom of commerce. Interesting the street really is for all to whom old things appeal with any charm. It is characteristic of our brilliant New York, however, that few antiquarian feet tread her pavements, and that she is too busy with her bustling and thrifty present to reflect that she has ever reached it through a noteworthy past. Some day it will perhaps be recorded of her that among all cities she has been the least preservative of tradition and memorial. The hoary antiquity of her transatlantic sisters would seem to have made her unduly conscious of her own youth. She has so long looked over seas for all her history and romance, that now, when she can safely boast two solid centuries of age, the habit yet firmly clings, and she cares as little for the annals of her fine and stately growth as though, like Troy, she had risen, roof and spire, to the strains of magic melody.

It might be of profit, and surely it would be of pleasure, were she to care more for the echoes of those harsh and sometimes tragic sounds that have actually blent their serious music with her rise. As it is, she is rich in neglected memories; she has tombs that dumbly reproach her ignoring eye; she has nooks and purlieus that teem with reminiscence and are silent testimonials of her indifference. Her Battery and her Bowling Green, each bathed in the tender glamour of Colonial association, lie frowned upon by the grim scorn of recent warehouses and jeered at by the sarcastic shriek of the neighboring steam tug. She can easily guide you to the modern clamors of her Stock Exchange; but if you asked her to show you the graves of Stuyvesant and Montgomery she might find the task a hard one, though thousands of her citizens daily pass and re pass these hallowed spots. Boston, with its gentle ancestral pride, might well teach her a lesson in retrospective self esteem. Her own harbor, like that of Boston, has had its "tea party," and yet one whose anniversary now remains a shadow. On Golden Hill, in her own streets, the first battle of our Revolution was fought, the first blood in the cause of our freedom was spilled; yet while Boston stanchly commemorates its later "massacre," what tribute of oratory, essay or song has that other momentous contest received? This metropolitan disdain of local souvenir can ill excuse itself on the plea of intolerance toward provincialism; for if the great cities of Europe are not ashamed to admit themselves once barbaric, Hudson in fray or traffic with the swarthy Manhattans, or old Van Twiller scowling at the anathemas of Bogardus, holds at least a pictorial value and significance.

Bond Street has always been but a brief strip of thoroughfare, running at right angles between the Bowery and Broadway. Scarcely more than thirty years ago it possessed the quietude and dignity of a patrician domain; it was beloved of our Knickerbocker social element; it was the tranquil stronghold of caste and exclusiveness... Continue reading book >>

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