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Was It Right to Forgive? A Domestic Romance   By: (1831-1919)

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Original spellings, including froward and Parry, were preserved as printed in the original.

Text in italics is enclosed by underscores ( italics ).


A Domestic Romance



Chicago Monarch Book Company Publishers

Copyright 1899, By Herbert S. Stone & Co


Peter Van Hoosen was a result of Dutch Calvinism, and Dutch industry and thrift; also, of a belief in the Day of Judgment. The first motives were inherited tendencies, carefully educated; the last one, a conscious principle, going down to the depths of his nature and sharply dividing whatever was just and right from whatever was false and wrong. People whose religion was merely religiosity thought he took himself too seriously; but if they had a house to build, they wanted this man who worked in the great Task master's eye to lay its foundation and raise its walls. So that, as a builder in stone, Peter Van Hoosen had a wide local celebrity.

He was a strong, loose limbed man, with a swarthy face and straight black hair, a man of sturdy beliefs and strong prepossessions, yet not devoid of those good manners which spring naturally from a good heart. Among his fellows he was grave and silent, and his entire personality had something of the coldness and strength of the stony material with which he worked. In his home there was a difference; there his black eyes glowed with affection, and even when a young man, his wife and his little children could lead him. As he grew older, and years and experience sweetened his nature, he became large hearted and large minded enough to feel that beyond certain limits there was a possibly lawful freedom.

These hours of expansion were usually those spent with his daughter Adriana. He had two other daughters, and three sons, each of whom had done virtuously in their own way; but in Peter's estimation, Adriana excelled them all. She was the child after his own heart. In her presence, he felt it good to be hopeful and kind. She led him to talk of everything that was interesting humanity; she asked his opinion on all subjects. She constantly told him how wise he was! how clear sighted! how far seeing! She believed he ought to have been at the head of great affairs, and sometimes Peter could not help a little vague regret over the blindness of destiny. In short, Adriana always brought to the front the very best Peter Van Hoosen; she made him enjoy himself; she made him think nobly of himself; and is there any more satisfactory frame of mind? After an hour in Adriana's company, Peter was always inclined to say:

"Well, well, Yanna! In the Great Day of sifting and sorting, I know that I shall be justified. My well limed mortar, my walls plumb and strong, my day's work of faithful service full rendered, will be accepted of my Master. And you too think so, Yanna."

"I am sure of it, father. It is not the kind of work we do; it is the way in which the work is done. I will risk my word, that you took as much pains with John Finane's little dairy as with Mr. MacArthur's fine mansion."

"I did, Yanna. There is not a poor stone in either," and when he said the words, Adriana looked straight at him, with eyes full of admiration.

It must be explained, however, that if Adriana Van Hoosen was a remarkable girl for her position, she had had remarkable advantages. Her birth was fortunate in its time. She did not come to her parents until their struggle with poverty was long over; and before she was ten years old, four of her brothers and sisters had married and made homes for themselves. George and Theodore had gone to Florida, to plant pineapples, and were making the venture pay them. Her sister Augusta was the wife of John Van Nostrand, a man growing rich in New York, by the way of groceries and politics... Continue reading book >>

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