BLTC Press Titles

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Novalis Including Hymns to the Night

Novalis, George MacDonald, Thomas Carlyle

Paradoxes of the Highest Science

Eliphas Levi

The Art of Worldly Wisdom

Baltasar Gracian

The Diplomatic Background of the War

Charles Seymour


by Constance Fenimore Woolson


given out at every service, and Anne's rich voice sang, with earnest fervor, words like these:

"His liberal favors he extends,
To gome he gives, to others lends;
Yet when his charity impairs,
He saves by prudence in affairs,"

while her father followed them with harmony fit for an gels. Douglas taught his daughter music in the best sense of the phrase; she read notes accurately, and knew nothing of inferior composers, the only change from the higher courts of melody being some of the old French chansons of the voyageurs, which still lingered on the island, echoes of the past. She could not touch the ivory keys with any skill, her hands were too much busied with other work; but she practiced her singing lessons as she went about the house—music which would have seemed to the world of New York as old-fashioned as Chaucer.

The fire of logs blazed on the hearth, the father sat looking at his daughter, who was sewing swiftly, her thoughts fixed upon her work. The clock struck eleven.

"It is late, Anne."

"Yes, father, but I must finish. I have so little time during the day."

"My good child," said Douglas, slowly and fondly.

Anne looked up; his eyes were dim with tears.

"I have done nothing for you, dear," he said, as she dropped her work and knelt by his side. "I have kept you selfishly with me here, and made you a slave to those children."

"My own brothers and my own little sister, father."

"Do you feel so., Anne? Then may God bless you for it! But I should not have kept you here."

"This is our home, papa."

"A poor one."

"Is it? It never seemed so to me."

"That is because you have known nothing better."

"But I like it,papa, just as it is. I have always been happy here."

"Really happy, Anne?"

The girl paused, and reflected a moment. "Yes," she said, looking into the depths of the fire, with a smile, "I am happy all the time. I am never anything but happy."

William Douglas looked at her. The fire-light shone on her face; she turned her clear eyes toward him.

"Then you do not mind the children? They are not a burdensome weight upon you?"

'' Never, papa; how can you suppose it? I love them dearly, next to you."

'' And will you stand by them, Anne? Note my words: I do not urge it, I simply ask."

"Of course I will stand by them, papa. I give a promise of my own accord. I will never forsake them as long as I can do anything for them, as long as I live. But why do you speak of it? Have I ever neglected them or been unkind to them ?" said the girl, troubled, and very near tears.

'' No, dear; you love them better than they or I deserve. I was thinking of the future, and of a time when"—he had intended to say, "when I am no longer with you," but the depth of love and trust in her eyes made him hesitate, and finish his sentence differently—"a time when they may give you trouble," he said.

"They are good boys—that is, they mean no harm, papa. When they are older they will study more."

"Will they?"

"Certainly," said Anne, with confidence. "I did. And as for Tita, you yourself must see, papa, what a remarkable child she is."

Douglas shaded his face with his hand. The uneasy sense of trouble which always stirred within him when he thought of his second daughter was rising to the surface now like a veiled, formless shape. . '' The sins of the fathers," he thought, and sighed heavily.

Anne threw her arms round his neck, and begged him to look at her. '' Papa, speak to me, please. What is it that troubles you so?"

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