xt7w9g5gbx3h https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7w9g5gbx3h/data/mets.xml Sherley, Douglass, 1857-1917. 1893  books b92-260-31825580 English Printed by J.P. Morton, : Louisville, Ky. : Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Few short sketches  / by Douglass Sherley. text Few short sketches  / by Douglass Sherley. 1893 2002 true xt7w9g5gbx3h section xt7w9g5gbx3h 

A Few

By E




Printed by

John P. Morton &




U. S.A.






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  There had been a brilliant reception at the
house of Mrs. Adrian Colburn in honor of her
guest-a most attractive young woman-from
the East. The hours were brief, from five to
seven. I had gone late and left early, but while
there had made an engagement with Miss Cad-
dington for the large ball to be given that night
by the Boltons.
  Miss Caddington was a debutante. She had
been educated abroad, but had not lost either
love of country or naturalness of manner. Dur-
ing the short but fiercely gay season from Octo-
ber to Christmas she had made many friends,
and found that two or three lovers were hard
to handle with much credit to herself or any
real happiness to them.
  She was not painfully conscientious, nor was
she an intentional trifler; therefore she was good
at that social game of lead on and hold off.
  " Call at nine," she said, "and I will be ready."
  But she was not ready at nine. The room
where I waited was most inviting. There were
several low couches laden with slumber-robes


and soft, downy pillows, all at sweet enmity with
insomnia. The ornaments were few but pleas-
ing to the eye. Art and her hand-maiden, Good
Taste, had decorated the walls. But there was
a table, best of all, covered with good books, and
before it, drawn in place, an easy-chair. An
exquisite china lamp, with yellow shade, shed
all the light that was needed. Everywhere there
were feminine signs-touches that were delight-
ful and unmistakable.
  From somewhere there came a rich oriental
odor. It intoxicated me with its subtle perfume.
I picked up "After-Dinner Stories" (Balzac), then
a translation from Alfred de Musset, an old
novel by Wilkie Collins, "The Guilty River;"
but still that mysterious perfume pervaded my
senses and unfitted me for the otherwise tempt-
ing feast spread before me. I looked at the
clock; it was nine thirty. I turned again to the
table, and carelessly reached out for a pair of
dainty, pale tan-colored gloves. Then I seized
them eagerly and brushed them against my face;
I had found the odor. The gloves were per-
fumed. They had been worn for the first time
to the reception, and had been thrown there into
a plate of costly percelain, to await her lady-
ship's pleasure and do further and final service
at the ball. They bore the imprint of her dainty
fingers, and they were hardly cold from the
touch and the warmth of her pretty white


hands. They seemed, as they rested there, like
something human; and if they had reached out
toward me, or even spoken a word of explana-
tion regarding their highly perfumed selves, I
should indeed have been delighted, but neither
surprised nor dismayed.
  But while the gloves did not speak, did not
move, something else made mute appeal. Tossed
into that same beautiful plate, hidden at first by
the gloves, was a bunch, a very small bunch of
Russian violets. Evidently they had been worn
to the reception, and while I was wondering if
she would wear them to the ball I heard a light
step, the rustle of silken skirts, and I knew that
my wait was ended.
  She looked resplendent in evening dress, and
swept toward me with the grace, the charm,
the ease of a woman of many seasons instead of
one hardly half finished.
  " Here are your gloves," I said. She quickly
drew them on and made them fast with almost a
single movement.
  "And your Russian violets," I added. She
looked at them hesitatingly, but slightly shrug-
ged her shoulders, that were bare and gleamed
in the half glow of lamp and fire like moonlight
on silvered meadow, and, turning, looked up at
me and said:
  " I am ready at last; pray pardon my long


  While we were driving to the ball I asked her
about the perfumed gloves with an odor like
sandal-wood or like ottar of roses.  She said
they had been sent her from Paris, but they
were in all the shops, were pleasant, but not
rare. She said nothing about the violets, nor
did I mention them again. Yielding to an im-
pulse, I had before we left the house thrust
them into my waistcoat pocket when she had
turned to take up the flowing silk of her train.
  All the evening I could catch the odor of
those Russian violets that had been lightly
worn, indifferently cast aside, and smothered by
those artificial creatures, the perfumed gloves,
for they were jealous of the natural fragrance
and would have killed it if they could.
  All the evening I found myself nervously
looking about for Russian violets, but there
were none to be seen. Miss Bolton wore violets,
but not the deep, dark, wide and sad-eyed violet
known as the Russian.
  We had a curious talk, driving home, about
the responsibility of human action-hardly the
kind of conversation for " after the ball." Miss
Caddington astonished me by saying that she
considered it useless to strive against the cur-
rent of that which is called " Destiny;" that it
was better to vield gracefully than to awk-
wardly, unsuccessfully struggle against the tide.
I was deeply interested, and asked her what she


meant, what association of ideas had produced
the speech.
  " For instance," she said, "if a man who fan-
cies himself in love with me deliberately dic-
tates a certain course of action which I do not
care to follow, and grows angry with me, and
finally breaks with me altogether, I certainly
do not in any way feel responsible for any of
his subsequent movements. Am I right"
  In parting with her, and in ainswer to her
question, I made, as we so often make in reply
to real questions, a foolish answer:
  " I will tell you on New Year's night."

  I drove to the club. I was aglow with my
enjoyment of the evening, and wanted to talk
it over with some congenial fellow. I found
John Hardisty, a man that I had known for
many years, and who always seemed to enjoy
my rambling accounts-even of a ball
  Hardisty was a quiet man, keenly observant
of people, but himself free almost entirely from
observation. In the financial world he held a
clerical but valuable position; in the social
world, being a gentleman and a club man, he
was invited everywhere; and, being very punic-
tilious about his calls and social obligations, he
was always invited again. People in recount-
ing those who had been at balls, dinners, and
the like, always named the guests, then added,
                      , pound;,


" And Hardisty, I believe." No one was ever
very sure.  He had no intimate friends and
no enemies-he was not noticed enough to in-
spire dislike. But he was a man of positive
opinion, which he generally kept to himself.
He had settled convictions, which he never
used to unsettle others. I had known him in
his old home, Virginia; so perhaps he felt more
friendly toward me and talked more freely with
  He was a man of a fine sentiment and a sensi-
tive nature. He ought to have been a poet in-
stead of a clerical expert. He was intensely
fond of flowers, but never wore them. He used
to say that it was heresy for a man to wear a
flower, and sacrilege for a woman to let them
die on her breast.
  When I told him about those Russian violets
he seemed interested, but, when I finished, as-
tonished and grieved me by yawning in my face
and calmly stating that he considered the story
trivial, far-fetched, and, in short, stupid.
  " There is," he said, " only one thing for us
to do-have a drink and go to bed-for the club
closes in ten minutes." He ordered a small
bottle of wine, something I had never seen him
drink, and talked in a light, nonsensical strain,
for him a most unusual thing. In telling the
story I had drawn out the little bunch of
Russian violets and placed them on the table.


They were very much wilted, but the odor
seemed stronger and sweeter than ever. When
we parted for the night I forgot the violets. The
next day, the twenty-ninth of December, I did
not see John Hardisty, although he was at his
office and in the club that night, and insisted on
paying his account for December and his dues
to April first. December thirtieth he was at his
office, where he remained until nearly midnight.
He went to his room, which was near the club,
and was found by his servant, early the next
morning, the last of the old year, dead. He
was lying on the bed, dressed and at full length.
His right hand clenched a pistol with one empty
barrel; gently closed in his left hand they found
a little bunch of faded violets-that was all.
  Not a line, not a scrap of paper to tell the
story. His private letters had been burned-
their ashes were heaped upon the hearth. There
were no written instructions of any kind. There
were no mementoes, no keepsakes. Yes, there
was a little Bible on the candle-stand at the head
of his bed, but it was closed. On the fly-leaf,
written in the trembling hand of an old woman,
was his name, the word " mother," and the date
of a New Year time in old Virginia when he was
a boy.
  There was money, more than enough to cause
quarrel and heart-burnings among a few distant
relatives in another State, but there was abso-


lutely no record of why he had with his own
hand torn aside the veil which hangs between
life and death.
  When the others were not there I slipped into
his room and reverently unclosed his fingers
and read the story written there-written over
and above those Russian violets which she had
worn-for they were the same. There they re-
  On the lid of his casket we placed a single
wreath of Russian violets. But all the strength
and all the sweetness came from those dim vio-
lets faded, but not dead, shut within the icy cold
of his lifeless palm.

  Miss Caddington and many of those who had
known him went to the New Year reception the
next night and chattered and danced and danced
and chattered. They spoke lightly of the dead
man; how much he was worth; the cut of his
dress suit; the quiet simplicity of his funeral;
the refusal of one minister to read the office for
the dead, and the charity of another-the one
who did.
  And then-they forgot him.
  That New Year's night I sat in my study and
thought of the woman who had worn those
Russian violets, and asked me if she were right
in her ideas about responsibility for human


  Nowadays I frequently see her-she is always
charming; sometimes brilliant. Once I said to
  " I have an answer for your question about
  " About responsibility " she said, inquiringly;
then quickly added: "Oh, yes; that nonsense
we talked coming home from the Bolton ball.
Never mind your answer. I am sure it is a good
one, and perhaps clever, but it is hardly worth
while going back so far and for so little. Do
you think so Are you going to the Athletic
Club german next week No I am sorry, for,
as you are one of the few men who do not dance,
I always miss a chat with you."
  Miss Caddington   goes everywhere.   Her
gowns are exquisite and her flowers are always
beautiful and rare, because out of season. But
neither in season nor out of season does she ever
wear a bunch-no matter how small-of those
Russian violets.

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  They hung their heads in a florist's window.
The people of the town did not buy them, for
they wanted roses-yellow, white or crimson.
But I, a lover, passing that way, did covet them
for a woman that I knew, and straightway
bought them.
  As I placed those poppies in a box, on a bed
of green moss, I heard them chuckle together,
with some surprise and much glee. " What a
kind fool he is," said the first poppy, " to buy me,
and take me away from those disagreeable roses,
and other hateful blossoms in that damp, musty
  " I heard," said the second poppy, " one sweet
lily of the valley whisper to the others of its
simple kind that we would die where we were
unnoticed, undesired by any one-how little it
knew! "
  " How cool and green this bed of moss," cried
the third poppy; " it is a most excellent place to
die upon. I am willing, I am happy."
" Nay," said the fourth poppy, " you may die
on her breast if you will. She may take you up
and put you into a jar of clear water. She may


watch you slowly open your sleepy dark eye.
She may lean over you; then let your passionate
breath but touch her on the white brow, and she
may tenderly thrust you into her whiter bosom,
and quickly yield herself, and you, to an all-
powerful forgetfulness. She may twine me into
her dark hair, and I will calm the throb of her
blue-veined temples, and bring upon her a sleep
and a forgetting."
  The fifth poppy trembled with joyful expecta-
tion, but said not a word.

  Toward the close of the next day I went to
her, the woman that I knew, to whom I had sent
the poppies.
  I trod the stairway softly, oh, so softly, that
led to her door. Shadows from out of the un-
lighted hall danced about me, and the sounds of
music-harp music-pleased me with a strain of
remembered chords.
  She rose to greet me with provoking but dele-
cious languor. She gave me the tips of her rosy
fingers. Her lips moved as if in speech, but no
words reached me; she barely smiled. In a price-
less vase near the open window they held their
heads in high disdain-those four red poppies
who had gleefully chuckled and chatted together
on the yesterday; but the fifth and silent poppy
drooped upon her breast. I turned to go; she
did not stay me; I stole to the door. " Take us


away with you," cried those four garrulous pop-
pies; "we are willing to die, and at once if need
be, but not here in her hateful presence. Take
us away." But the poppy on her breast only
drooped and drooped the more and said not a
  I opened the door. The shadows had fled-
the hall was a blaze of light. The music had
ceased-only the noise of street below broke the
silence. " If thus you let me go, I will not return
again," I said.
  The woman did not speak, neither did she stir.
But the poppy on her breast with drooping head
uplifted softly cried, " Go, quickly go, and-for-
get! "

  I went down the broad stairway between a row
of bright lights-a dazzling mockery-I wvent out
into the night. I passed by a certain garden
where red poppies grew. I leaned over the low
wall. I buried my hot face among them. I
crushed them in my hands and stained my tem-
ples with their quivering blooms. But all to no
purpose; they did not, could not bring forgetful-
ness. I am thinking always of that woman, of
those four red poppies, and of that one red poppy
which drooped on her breast that night and said
to me, " Go, quickly go, and-forget."

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                                 Hat Mark.
                            Shaving Papers.
                      Embroidered Slippers.
                         Onyx Cuff Buttons.
                         Inkstand from Italy.
               Her Picture-in Silver Frame.
           Scarf-pin with Pearl and Diamonds.

  It was Christmas eve, several years ago. We
had dined together at the Cafe de la Paix, near
the Grand Opera-house, Paris. The dinner was
good, the wine excellent; but George Addison
was best of all.
  I have never known why he should have told
me that night of his " Cure for Heart-break."
  Was it the grouse
  Was it the Burgundy
  Was it some strange influence
  George Addison is the man who first came to
the front in the literary world as the careful and
successful editor of that now valuable book,
" The Poets and Poetry of the South." A fresh


edition-about the eleventh-is promised for the
New Year.
  But he fairly leaped into fame, and its unusual
companion, large wealth, when he gave ungrudg-
ingly to his anxious and generous public that
curious little hand-book, " The Perfected Letter
  Young ladies who live in the country buy it
clandestinely, and eagerly read it privately,
secretly, in their own quiet bed-chambers during
the silent watches of the night. When occasion
demands they boldly make extracts therefrom,
which they awkwardly project into their labored
notes and epistles of much length and less grace.
  Even women of fashion have been known to
buy it-and use it, not wisely, but freely.
  There are men, too, who consult its pages rev-
erently, frequently, and oftentimes, I must add,
with most disastrous results. It is, as is well
known, a valuable but dangerous manual.
  Therefore the name of George Addison is a
household word, although he is mentioned as the
editor of " Poets and Poetry of the South," and
never as the author of " The Perfected Letter
Writer"-a book which is seldom discussed. But
nothing, until now, has been known of his " New
Cure for Heart-break." If he had lived a few
years longer, and could have found time from the
more heavy duties of his busy life, he doubtless
would have turned to some use the practical


workings of his wonderful cure. But Death,
with that old fondness for a shining mark, has
seen fit to remove him from this, the scene of
his earthly labors (See rural sheet obituary
  In the early career of George Addison, when
he was obscure and desperately poor, he met
her-that inevitable she-Florence Barlowe.
  She had three irresistible charms. She was
very young; she was very pretty-and, most
charming of all, she was very silly. Time
could steal away-and doubtless did-the youth.
Time could ravage-and surely must have-her
beauty. But nothing could-and nothing did-
mar the uninterrupted splendor of her foolish-
ness. She was born a fool, lived a fool, and un-
doubtedly must have died-if dead-the death of
a glorious and triumphant fool.
  George Addison was from the first attentive.
But he was shy in those days, and knew not how,
in words, to frame the love that filled his heart
and rose like a lump in his throat whenever he
saw her pretty face and heard her soft voice.
She was a fool, it is true, but she was like so
many fools of her kind, full of a subtle craft
which acts like the tempting bait on the hook
that catches the unwary fish.
  So she made him a present-it was of her own
handiwork Each Christmas tide she repeated
the process; each year enriching the hook with


a more tempting offer. It took her seven years
to graduate in presents from a hat mark to a
scarf-pin of little diamonds and a big rare pearl;
but somehow there was a hitch and a halt within
the heart of George Addison.
  He never said the word. He just loved her,
and waited. She grew desperate. She startled
him by instituting a quarrel, which was not very
much of a quarrel, for it takes two, I have
always understood, to make one-in all senses
of the word. He did not quite understand, and
told her so. She wept in his presence, and for-
bade him the house. She made her father
threaten his life, which was now almost a bur-
den. He still did not understand; so he did-
from her standpoint the worst thing possible-
nothing. While she was impatiently waiting at
home for a reconciliation and a proposal-which
never came-he was dumbfounded with grief, and
employed his time, tearfully of course, selecting
all of her favorite poems-for she was fond of a
certain kind of poetry. Then it was that the
idea of " Poets and Poetry of the Sonth" came
upon him. The popularity of the book was
assured in advance, because he selected only
those poems that he thought would please Flor-
ence Barlowe-and her taste was average-so is
the taste, I am told, of the general public.
  About a year after their rupture his compila-
tion volume appeared, and was an instantaneous


success. The approach of Christmas made him
painfully realize their estrangement. Finally he
awakened to a full knowledge of the situation.
A slow anger started up within him and grad-
ually swept over him like a tidal wave.
  It was Christmas eve.
  He lighted his lamp-his quarters were still
poor and very cheerless. He unlocked a drawer
which contained his few treasures, and there
they were-the seven gifts entire from the fair
hand of pretty Florence Barlowe. There was
also a little packet of letters, notes, and invita-
tions from the same hand.
  " She never really cared for me," he said, as
he tenderly drew them out from their place one
by one. " I want a love-cure," he added. " I
must have one, for I must be done with this, and
  Now, gentle reader, do not censure him, this
George Addison, lover, for he straightway sent
them back to her No, not that-but this: He
deliberately-although it gave him a pang -
arranged to dispose of them all as Christmas
gifts to his friends and relatives. It was after
this fashion: The hat-mark, G. A., done in vio-
lent yellow, on a glaring bit of blue satin, was
hard to dispose of; but he finally thought of a
little nephew-the incarnation of a small devil-
so he wrote a note to the mother, inclosing the
hat-mark, with this explanation: " G. A., you


must readily see, stands for 'Good Always.'
What could be more appropriate for your darling
child "
  The shaving papers, like Joseph's coat of many
colors, he sent to Uncle Hezekiah, an old family
servant, who delighted in them, even until the
hour of his happy death, unused, for who ever
heard of using beautiful shaving papers!
  The embroidered slippers, which had made
up a trifle small, were mailed with much glee to
a distant relative in Texas on a cattle ranch,
where slippers were unnecessary-but Addison
did not consider himself responsible for that-
for he had discovered from personal experience
that the less sensible the gift the more often it
is given.
  The onyx cuff buttons were well worn, and
had rendered excellent service, although they
were not good to look upon. Yet, Jennings, the
chiropodist, had taken a fancy to them long
ago, so he concluded to let him have them on
the one condition that they must not be worn
to the house of the Hon. Junius Barlowe, where
it was his custom to go on the third Sunday of
every month, and never to the Addison house,
which he visited on the second Thursday of each
  The inkstand from Italy was large in promise,
but poor in fulfillment-the place for ink was
infinitesimally small. George tried to use it


once when he had three important thoughts to
transmit. He wrote out two of them, but the
third thought had to go dry. There was a much
decayed gentleman of the old school who lived
across the street from the Addisons. It had
been the custom of George Addison's grand-
father, and father also, to always send this indi-
vidual some useful gift on Christmas Day; there-
fore the inkstand from Italy was sent over the
next morning. It failed to give what might be
termed complete satisfaction, but the old neigh-
bor had not been satisfied for a small matter of
fifty years. Therefore George held himself, and
he was perfectly right, blameless.
  It was easy enough to slip the picture of a
pretty Dancer, who, in that long ago day, was
all the rage among the young men about town
-into the silver frame, heart-shape, but what
could he do with her picture It was much
prior to the time of the cigarette craze and cig-
arette pictures-so he could not send it to one
of those at that time uncreated establishments,
to be copied and sent broadcast. He was some-
thing of an artist. He cleverly tinted the thing
another color-made her eyes blue instead of
brown, and changed her golden sunlit wealth of
hair into a darker, if not richer shade. It was a
full-length picture. Her trim figure was shown
to advantage. Her slender white hands were
clasped above her bosom, and there was a look


of heavenly resignation on her serenely beauti-
ful brow. He cruelly sent it to the editor of
" Godey's Ladies' Magazine," and it was blaz-
oned forth as a fashion plate, much enlarged
and with many frills, in the following February
number of that then valuable and highly fash-
ionable periodical. In return he received their
check for five dollars, drawn upon a National
Bank of Philadelphia, and with a note stating
that while the customary price was two dollars
and fifty cents they felt constrained to send him
a sum commensurate with the merits of the
fancy picture which he had kindly forwarded
them, and that they would be pleased to hear
from him again, which they never did-nor
their check either; for, while he was too poor to
have kept it, yet he was too proud to cash it.
I am told that it hangs in a Boston museum,
framed with a rare collection of postage stamps
-one of his many gifts to that edifying insti-
tution while yet alive.
  Her final gift, the scarf-pin, with the big pearl
and little diamonds, met with some mysterious
disposition.  In telling me the story in the
French cafe, he hesitated, spoke vaguely, and
finally refused to state just what he had done
with the pin. He may have dropped the pearl,
like Cleopatra, in a goblet of ruby wine and
drained the contents with the dissolved jewel
for dredges and for luck, and he may have


given the pretty little diamonds to news boys or
small negroes wandering haphazard about the
highways of his town. Anyhow, this much is
sure, it was given away-that much he made
  When he fell upon the letters with an idea of
burning them-which I believe is more general
than the returning of them-he fortunately be-
thought himself of publishing them - just as
they were. And lo! then was born his " Per-
fected Letter Writer," which enabled him to
leave a bequest of many thousand dollars to
Harvard College, where he was educated, and
also a certain sum of money to be discreetly
distributed each year among the deserving and
bashful young men of Boston, between the ages
of eighteen and twenty-three, to be used by
them in making Christmas gifts to worthy
young women of their choice.
  As might have been expected, that clause of
his will was successfully contested, on account
of its vagueness, by his brother and sister, who
morally, if not legally, cheated the " Bashful
Young Men of Boston" out of a unique and
much deserved, much needed inheritance. This
cure for heart-break must be a severe but effect-
ual one. When I met George Addison in Paris,
then an old man, he was as rosy as a ripe apple,
and just as mellow. He was gracious, kindly,
and had learned well the difficult art of growing


old with grace, and without noise. He dated
his success, his happiness too, from the moment
he made the resolution to trample on his feel-
ings and rid himself in that novel method of
every tangible vestige of that past, which he
got rid of by gift,_ not burial. Therefore, he had
no ghostly visitors-no useless regrets.
  Florence Barlowe, with malice toward all and
charity to none, devoted her outward self to
good works of the conventional kind. She had
several offers, but she never married, and she
never forgave George Addison for his failure to
speak for that which he might have had for the
asking. Pride, not love, was the ruler of her
heart-if she had one.
  To those who have this Christmas tide the
heart-ache, and the heart-break of love gone
another way, let them try this new cure, and
remember the happy, successful life, and the
ripe old age, full of years and honor, of dear old
George Addison, who wrote " The Poets and
Poetry of the South " and " Perfected Letter



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  Overlooking a big smoky city which lies be-
low, and a wide and winding river which runs
beyond, there is a large building on the top of a
hill which is dedicated to education. But it was
built for the comfort and the pleasure of a cer-
tain rich man and his family.
  Shortly after its occupation the owner died,
leaving a large fortune, a young widow and three
  During the long period of mourning, which
was strictly observed but only partially felt by
the widow, there came to live in the big house an
attractive man of about five and thirty, who had
been both friend and partner of the merchant
prince. He had been given entire charge of the
large estate, and he gave to it and the family most
of his time. His habits were excellent, but his
tastes were convivial, and his little bachelor din-
ners the desire of his acquaintances and the
delight of his friends. His apartments were en-
tirely separate from the family, but he spent most
of his unengaged evenings in their quiet little
circle. The children called him uncle, the mother
called him Basil, and the people who knew them


looked upon him as one related, and spoke no
gossip concerning them.
  But one fine day that little fellow-always
young-who is said to have wings and a quiver
full of arrows, came into the house. He kissed
the mother, a woman of forty and with attrac-
tions more than passing pleasant; he touched the
heart of the eldest daughter, Rose, eighteen years
of age, and he took the bandage off of his own
eyes and put it over the head of Basil, who
straightway thought he loved the daughter, who
was a woman of no beauty, little intelligence and
less amiability. Being blind with the bandage of
the boy Love, he could not see that the mother
had centered her full blown affections upon him.
Therefore it came to pass that the mother and
daughter were rivals. He, being a man, did not
understand; they, being women, did. When he
asked for the hand of her daughter he could
not comprehend not only why she should make
denial, but why she stormed, wept bitter tears,
filled his startled ears with unreasonable re-
proaches, and upbraided him as an ingrate and
a man without feeling.
  Her opposition made him believe in his love
for Rose, but shortly the beauty and the charm
of Grace, the second daughter, about sixteen,
dissipated that belief, although he had pledged
himself with word and ring to Rose.
  Grace, mortified by the rivalry between her


mother and sister, and conscious of a growing
passion for the man who had, unintentionally,
crept into the lives of three women in one
household bound by the closest ties of blood,
fled the place, and went down the broad river to
a little town, where she found quiet and friendly
shelter in the home of a relative. It was a
curious place, very old, and in the heart of ever-
greens. There was a young girl, Lydia, who
was much older, had loved, and knew that price-
less art of bringing comfort to those who were
loving either wisely or too well. Letters, books,
and gifts came from Basil bearing one burden -
his love for Grace. The mother, more jealous
of Rose than of Grace, consented to his mar-
riage with either, and fell into a state of despond-
ency which made quick and mysterious inroads
upon her hitherto excellent hitalth.
  When Grace. being called home by the alarm-
ing state of her mother's health, parted with
Lydia, she said:
  " My duty is clear; I can not be the rival of
my mother and Rose. I love him, but I must
give him up." And so she did, although the
engagement between Rose and Basil was broken
and never renewed.
  Rumor said cruel things about Basil: that he
had wasted their beautiful estate and enriched
himself out of their many possessions. Any-
how, they left their mansion on the hill-top, and


it was sold to an institution of learning, and the
grounds were divided and subdivided into lots.
The mother never recovered. After an illness
of several years she died suddenly at some win-
ter resort, with the old name of Basil on her lips
that formed the word and then were forever
still. Rose and Grace could look upon those
familiar features and behold the trace of beauty
which time and disease had tenderly spared.
But Mary, the third daughter, blind from her
birth, could only feel the face of her beloved
and kiss the lips that could no longer speak her
name. Blind! and without a