Austin Friars, Volume 1

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1870
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Page 170 - ... produced a bundle of those miscellaneous papers without which no City man seems able to exist. Putting on his spectacles, he looked over these papers carefully, and at last extricated from the envelope of another letter a sheet ornamented •with a deep black border, on which were traced these lines : " DEAR SIR, — I am very sorry to inform you of the death of my beloved wife, your sister, which occurred this morning at half-past three. She suffered much; and as my limited means prevented my...
Page 242 - Austin, instructed as has been said, comprehended the unspoken sentence, and answered it accordingly. ' My pet,' he said, drawing her nearer, and stroking her hair as though she were a dove, and he trying to smooth her ruffled feathers—' my pet, Yorke was right. I know it, though this was all which passed between us on the subject. I said, " You have been asked to marry ?" and she replied, " That is not a question you have a right to ask, and it is assuredly one I have no right to answer." Then...
Page 75 - ... declare ; and Luke had grown up with a thorough conviction of his own goodness — which consciousness was in itself an insult to the bulk of humanity — till he met with a woman who, judged according to his standard, was as far from good as anyone can be ; and then he began faintly to understand that there were more things in heaven and earth than had ever been dreamed of in his philosophy. If I say that from the day he first beheld her, a diviner light seemed to gleam through the darkness...
Page 242 - ... reflections) as she sat, after saying ' Poor papa !' with the clasp of her fingers on Austin's hand loosened a little. Yorke had taught him in theyears a good deal of the obscure science of sentiment, as it affects women's minds and manners; and he consequently understood that the loosening clasp meant this : ' A woman belonging to your family has vexed my father, and I am hurt through him.' Mary did not put this into words —could not have done so—but Austin, instructed as has been said,...
Page 250 - Friars' affianced wife. She did not know what to say to or how to greet her; she turned sick and faint as she looked into the fresh young face, which changed a little and clouded over at the singular reception Yorke vouchsafed. " You have meant very kindly," the woman said, repeating her previous remark in a different form ; " but I thought — that is, I believed — Will you not be seated ?' she went on hurriedly. And then when Mary in wonder took possession of the proffered chair, Yorke walked...
Page 229 - ... might as well have looked into the eyes of a picture as at those which had once beamed back on him such glances of tenderness and love. " Good-bye, Yorke !" he said at length. " Good-bye, Austin ; God bless you !" " And you !" he answered, a little huskily ; then the door closed, and Austin Friars was gone. She stood where he had left her till she heard the hall-door slam, and his tread echoing down the Yard ; then she walked across the room, and, leaning her head against| the cold marble, remained...
Page 240 - Then why did you say, if I desired a stepmother?' Mary inquired. ' Because I was a simpleton,' he replied ; ' however, I was talking folly, and speaking rather of what I once thought than of what I now know.' ' What do you know ?' the girl persisted. ' That Mr. Monteith has asked Yorke to marry him, and that she — declined.' ' Did she tell you so ?' was Mary's next question. ' I made her tell me,' he answered. ' Poor papa !' Each man and each woman for his and her own, you perceive, my reader ;...
Page 243 - Has that idea been worrying you, sweet?" he said. 'Are you jealous of my dear Yorke ? You had better go and see her, love, and you will then find out in five minutes just how I like her and she likes me. I never loved anyone in my life, Mary, as I love you ; though Yorke has been friend, sister, comrade — shall I say ? —all in one ; and though I have pitied her — as — no one, darling, shall ever need to pity you.
Page 220 - You have expressed .my exact meaning, epigrammatically, as usual," he replied. For a moment they looked at each other in silence — she leaning slightly back in her chair, with hands clasped loosely together in her lap ; he leaning against the chimneypiece, regarding her with an expression which was half-bitter, halftender. He hated her manner of taking it ; he hated the way she put it ; but he loved her, and he felt if she would only unclasp those dear...
Page 272 - if I were the wife of a prince, it could make no diiference to me now ; it could not undo the past or mend the future, or make me what I was in the old days before I ever saw you, or thought I should ever receive such kindness from anyone. I know well enough what you mean, of course. You want me, spite of all, to be your wife. You think your name, your position, your wealth, would form barriers strong enough to prevent people saying much evil of me — at all events you are content to try the experiment...

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