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Castles in the Air. “O pale, pale face, so sweet and meek, Oriana!” Tennyson. “Is the linen all put away, Clarice?” “Ay, Dame.” “And the rosemary not forgotten?” “I have laid it in the linen, Dame.” “And thy day’s task of spinning is done?” “All done, Dame.” “Good. Then fetch thy sewing and come hither, and I will tell thee somewhat touching the lady whom thou art to... more...

CHAPTER I. "The morning had shot her bright streamers on high,O'er Canada, opening all pale to the sky; Still dazzling and white was the robe that she wore,Except where the ocean wave lash'd on the shore." Jacobite Song. THERE lies between the Rice Lake and the Ontario, a deep and fertile valley, surrounded by lofty wood-crowned hills, the heights of which were clothed chiefly with... more...

Chapter 1. The date is between twenty and thirty years ago. The place is an English sea-port. The time is night. And the business of the moment is—dancing. The Mayor and Corporation of the town are giving a grand ball, in celebration of the departure of an Arctic expedition from their port. The ships of the expedition are two in number—the Wanderer and the Sea-mew. They are to sail (in search of... more...

I They both styled themselves "Madame," but only the younger of the old ladies had been married. Madame Valière was still a demoiselle, but as she drew towards sixty it had seemed more convenable to possess a mature label. Certainly Madame Dépine had no visible matrimonial advantages over her fellow-lodger at the Hôtel des Tourterelles, though in the symmetrical cemetery of Montparnasse... more...

CHAPTER I. THE DEATH-BED OF JOHN VERNON.—HIS DYING WORDS.—DESCRIPTION OF HIS DAUGHTER, THE HEROINE.—THE OATH. "Is the night calm, Constance?" "Beautiful! the moon is up." "Open the shutters wider, there. It is a beautiful night. How beautiful! Come hither, my child." The rich moonlight that now shone through the windows streamed on little that it could invest with poetical... more...

THE LAST GALLEY "Mutato nomine, de te, Britannia, fabula narratur." It was a spring morning, one hundred and forty-six years before the coming of Christ. The North African Coast, with its broad hem of golden sand, its green belt of feathery palm trees, and its background of barren, red-scarped hills, shimmered like a dream country in the opal light. Save for a narrow edge of snow-white surf,... more...

THE PART HORATIO PLAYED The bailiff's business was quickly settled. I heard the heavy doors close at our backs, and drew a deep draught of the air God has made for all His creatures alike. Both the captain and I turned to the windows to wave a farewell to the sad ones we were leaving behind, who gathered about the bars for a last view of us, for strange as it may seem, the mere sight of happiness... more...

CHAPTER I. "Well, Monsieur Guillaume, what is the news this evening?" "None that I know of, Monsieur Justin, except that Mademoiselle Rose is to be married to-morrow." "Much obliged, my respectable old friend, for so interesting and unexpected a reply to my question. Considering that I am the valet of Monsieur Danville, who plays the distinguished part of bridegroom in the little... more...

THE LAST CARD Mr. Brinsmade and the Doctor were the first to leave the little room where Silas Whipple had lived and worked and died, Mr. Brinsmade bent upon one of those errands which claimed him at all times. He took Shadrach with him. Virginia sat on, a vague fear haunting her,—a fear for her father's safety. Where was Clarence? What had he seen? Was the place watched? These questions, at... more...

THE KING OF BEAVER Success was the word most used by the King of Beaver. Though he stood before his people as a prophet assuming to speak revelations, executive power breathed from him. He was a tall, golden-tinted man with a head like a dome, hair curling over his ears, and soft beard and mustache which did not conceal a mouth cut thin and straight. He had student hands, long and well kept. It was not... more...