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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 22 pages of information about A Few Short Sketches.

THE NEW CURE FOR HEART-BREAK

TO LITTLE MISS PREVIOUS

III

THE NEW CURE FOR HEART-BREAK

A CHRISTMAS GIFT STORY

  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 ungrudgingly to his anxious and generous public that curious little hand-book, “The Perfected Letter Writer.”

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 reverently, 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 notice).

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 foolishness.  She was born a fool, lived a fool, and undoubtedly must have died—­if dead—­the death of a glorious and triumphant fool.

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