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CHAPTER I. CHRISTIE. CHRISTIE. "AUNT BETSEY, there's going to be a new Declaration ofIndependence." "Bless and save us, what do you mean, child?" And the startled old lady precipitated a pie into the oven with destructive haste. "I mean that, being of age, I'm going to take care of myself, and not be a burden any longer. Uncle wishes me out of the way; thinks I ought to go, and, sooner or later, will tell me so. I don't intend to wait for... more...

CHAPTER I A MYSTERIOUS DOG The elm-tree avenue was all overgrown, the great gate was never unlocked, and the old house had been shut up for several years. Yet voices were heard about the place, the lilacs nodded over the high wall as if they said, "We could tell fine secrets if we chose," and the mullein outside the gate made haste to reach the keyhole, that it might peep in and see what was going on. If it had suddenly grown up like a magic... more...

There is a room upstairs in the old house at Fruitlands in Harvard, Massachusetts, where the visitors pause and look about them with a softening glance and often with visible emotion, as though they felt a sudden nearness to something infinitely intimate and personal. They have come to see the place where Bronson Alcott and the group of transcendentalists cut themselves off from the world in the spring of 1843 and tried to found a New Eden where... more...

I. A CHRISTMAS DREAM, AND HOW IT CAME TRUE. "I'm so tired of Christmas I wish there never would be another one!" exclaimed a discontented-looking little girl, as she sat idly watching her mother arrange a pile of gifts two days before they were to be given. "Why, Effie, what a dreadful thing to say! You are as bad as old Scrooge; and I'm afraid something will happen to you, as it did to him, if you don't care for dear Christmas," answered... more...

THE CANDY COUNTRY “I shall take mamma’s red sun umbrella, it is so warm, and none of the children at school will have one like it,” said Lily, one day, as she went through the hall. “The wind is very high; I’m afraid you’ll be blown away if you carry that big thing,” called Nurse from the window, as the red umbrella went bobbing down the garden walk with a small girl under it. “I wish it would;... more...


Chapter I DRAMATIS PERSONAE "How goes it, Frank? Down first, as usual." "The early bird gets the worm, Major." "Deuced ungallant speech, considering that the lovely Octavia is the worm," and with a significant laugh the major assumed an Englishman's favorite attitude before the fire. His companion shot a quick glance at him, and an expression of anxiety passed over his face as he replied, with a well-feigned air of indifference, "You are... more...

OFF. 'On the first day of February we three will sail from Boston for Messina, in the little fruit-ship "Wasp." We shall probably be a month going, unless we cross in a gale as I did, splitting sails every night, and standing on our heads most of the way,' said Amanda, folding up her maps with an air of calm decision. 'Hurrah! what fun!' cried Matilda, waving a half-finished dressing-case over her head. But Lavinia, with one sepulchral groan,... more...

Chapter 1 COMING HOME Three young men stood together on a wharf one bright October day awaiting the arrival of an ocean steamer with an impatience which found a vent in lively skirmishes with a small lad, who pervaded the premises like a will-o'-the-wisp and afforded much amusement to the other groups assembled there. "They are the Campbells, waiting for their cousin, who has been abroad several years with her uncle, the doctor," whispered one... more...

Chapter I To and fro, like a wild creature in its cage, paced that handsome woman, with bent head, locked hands, and restless steps. Some mental storm, swift and sudden as a tempest of the tropics, had swept over her and left its marks behind. As if in anger at the beauty now proved powerless, all ornaments had been flung away, yet still it shone undimmed, and filled her with a passionate regret. A jewel glittered at her feet, leaving the lace... more...

WHAT air you thinkin' of, Phil? "My wife, Dick." "So was I! Aint it odd how fellers fall to thinkin' of thar little women, when they get a quiet spell like this?" "Fortunate for us that we do get it, and have such gentle bosom guests to keep us brave and honest through the trials and temptations of a life like ours." October moonlight shone clearly on the solitary tree, draped with gray moss, scarred by lightning and warped by wind, looking... more...