Nancy eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 371 pages of information about Nancy.

Day has followed night.  The broiled smell has at length evacuated the school-room, but a good deal of taffy, spilt in the pouring out, still adheres to the carpet, making it nice and sticky.  The wind is still running roughly about over the earth, and the yellow crocuses, in the dark-brown garden-borders, opened to their widest extent, are staring up at the sun.  How can they stare so straight up at him without blinking?  I have been trying to emulate them—­trying to stare, too, up at him, through the pane, as he rides laughing, aloft in the faint far sky; and my presumptuous eyes have rained down tears in consequence.  I am trying now to read; but a hundred thousand things distract me:  the sun shining warm on my shoulder, as I lean against the window; the divine morning clamor of the birds; their invitations to come out that will take no nay; and last, but oh! not, not least, the importunate voices of Barbara and Tou Tou.  Every morning at this hour they have a weary tussle with the verb “aimer,” “to love.”  It is hard that they should have pitched upon so tenderhearted a verb for the battle-field of so grim a struggle: 

  J’aime, I love. 
  Tu aimes, Thou lovest. 
  Il aime, He loves. 
  Nous aimons, We love. 
  Vous aimez, You love. 
  Ils aiment, They love.

This, with endless variations of ingenious and hideous inaccuracies—­ this, interspersed with foolish laughter and bitter tears, is what I have daily been audience to, for the last two months.  The day before yesterday a great stride was taken; the present tense was pronounced vanquished, and Barbara and her pupil passed on in triumph to the imperfect, “j’aimais, I loved, or was loving.”  To-day, in order to be quite on the safe side, a return has been made to “j’aime,” and it has been discovered that it has utterly disappeared from our young sister’s memory.  “J’aimais, I loved, or was loving,” has entirely routed and dispersed his elder brother, “j’aime, I love.”  The old strain is, therefore, desperately resumed: 

  J’aime, I love. 
  Tu aimes, Thou lovest. 
  Il aime, He loves, etc.

It is making me drowsy.  Ten minutes more, and I shall be asleep in the sun, with my head down-dropped on the window-sill.  I get up, and, putting on my out-door garments, stray out into the sun, leaving Barbara—­her pretty forehead puckered with ineffectual wrath, and Tou Tou blurred with grimy tears, to their death-struggle with the restive verb “to love.”  It is the end of March, and when one can hide round a corner from the wind, one has a foretaste of summer, in the sun’s warm strength.  I gaze lovingly at the rich brown earth, so lately freed from the frost’s grasp, through which the blunt green buds are gently forcing themselves.  I look down the flaming crocus throats—­the imperial purple goblets with powdery gold stamens—­and at the modest little pink faces of the hepaticas.  All over our wood there is a faint yet certain purply shade, forerunner of the summer green, and the loud and sweet-voiced birds are abroad.  O Spring!  Spring! with all your searching east winds, with your late, shriveling frosts, with your occasional untimely sleets and snows, you are yet as much better than summer as hope is better than fruition.

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Project Gutenberg
Nancy from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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