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Mount Royal: A Novel. Volume 3 of 3

Language - English
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Description: - "Captain Hamleigh hung about the house, not seeming to know very well what to do with himself, so your mother and I took pity upon him, and tried to amuse him, which effort resulted in his amusing us, for he was ever so much cleverer than we were. He was so kind and sympathetic. We had just founded a Dorcas Society, and we were muddling hopelessly in an endeavour to make good sensible rules, so that we should do nothing to lessen the independent feeling of our people—and he came to our rescue, and took the whole thing in hand, and seemed to understand it all as thoroughly as if he had been establishing Dorcas Societies all his life. My father said it was because the Captain had been sixth wrangler, and that it was the higher mathematics which made him so clever at making rules. But Clara and I said it was his kind heart that made him so quick at understanding how to help the poor without humiliating them." "It was very nice of him," said Christabel, who had heard the story a hundred times before, but who was never weary of it, and had a special reason for being interested this afternoon. "And so he stayed a long time at my grandfather's, and you fell in love with him?" "I began by being sorry for him," replied Mrs. Tregonell. "He told us all about his young wife—how happy they had been—how their one year of wedded life seemed to him like a lovely dream. They had only been engaged three months; he had known her less than a year and a half altogether; had come home from India; had seen her at a friend's house, fallen in love with her, married her, and lost her within those eighteen months. 'Everything smiled upon us,' he said. 'I ought to have remembered Polycrates and his ring.'" "He must have been rather a doleful person," said Christabel, who had all the exacting ideas of early youth in relation to love and lovers. "A widower of that kind ought to perform suttee, and make an end of the business, rather than go about the world prosing to nice girls. I wonder more and more that you could have cared for him." And then, seeing her aunt's eyes shining with unshed tears, the girl laid her sunny head upon the matronly shoulder, and murmured tenderly, "Forgive me for teasing you, dear, I am only pretending. I love to hear about Captain Hamleigh; and I am not very much surprised that you ended by loving him—or that he soon forgot his brief dream of bliss with the other young lady, and fell desperately in love with you."
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