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Fated to Be Free eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 460 pages of information about Fated to Be Free.

     I saw her somewhat towzled hair
       Reflected in the brook—­
     I might have seen her often there,
       Only—­I didn’t look.

     G.C.

* * * * *

     SONG OF THE BASEMENT STORY.

     Her mean abode was but a cell;
      ’Twas lonely, chill, and drear. 
     Her work was all her wealth, but well
       She wrought with hope and cheer.

     She, envious not of great or gay,
       Slept, with unbolted doors;
     Then woke, and as we Yankees say,
       “Flew round” and did her chores.

     All day she worked; no lover lent
       His aid; and yet with glee
     At dusk she sought her home, content,
       That beauteous Bumble Bee.

     A cell it was, nor more nor less. 
       But O! all’s one to me
     Whether you write it with an S,
       Dear girl, or with a C.

     April 1st.

     N.B.  The motto for this ought to be, “For she was a water-rat.”

CHAPTER XXVIII.

MELCOMBE.

     “In the pleasant orchard closes
       ‘God bless all our gains,’ say we,
     But, ‘May God bless all our losses,’
       Better suits with our degree”

     E.B.  BROWNING.

The shade of twilight was but just fleeting, a faint glow waxed over the eastern hills, and the great orchard of pear-trees that pressed up to one end of Melcombe House showed white as an army of shrouded ghosts in the dim solemnities of dawn.  The house was closely shut up, and no one met Valentine, as, tired after a night journey, he dismissed a hired fly at the inn, and came up slowly to those grand old silent trees.

Without sunshine, white in nature is always most solemn.  Here stillness was added; not a bird was yet awake, not a leaf stirred.  A faint bluish haze appeared to confuse the outlines of the trees, but as he lingered looking at them and at the house which he had now fully decided to take for his home, Mr. Melcombe saw this haze dissolve itself and retreat; there was light enough to make the paleness whiter, and to show the distinct brown trunk of each pear-tree, with the cushions of green moss at its roots.  Formless whiteness and visible dusk had divided themselves into light and shade, then came a shaft of sunshine, the boughs laden with dewy blossom sparkled like snow, and in one instant the oppression of their solemnity was over, and they appeared to smile upon his approach to his home.

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