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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 214 pages of information about Clemence.
and lowering her voice to a tone of deep, intense passion,) I glory in my revenge.  I’m the rich Mrs. Crane, to-day, and you are old and poor, and faded, and I don’t mind telling you, now that this is an hour that I’ve longed to see.  You have always been preferred before me, and as I’ve had to take up with the refuse, it was no more than natural, I suppose, (with a sneering laugh,) that I should wait, and long, and hunger, for the love that you took only as your right.  So I waited, and to-day I triumph in the thought that Deane Phelps’ petted wife is a dependent upon my bounty, a menial in the house where I reign supreme, and which knows no law but my will.  I have forgotten how to love, but each day (and I have conned the lesson well) I learn better how to hate.”

There was a rustling of stiff silk, a door slammed angrily, and the slender figure left alone with her trouble, bowed itself like a reed before the storm, and that wail of heart-broken humanity that has resounded through long ages, and is yet only a faint echo of that night so long ago, rose to the pallid lips, “my punishment is greater than I can bear,” nevertheless, “not as I will, but as Thou wilt.”

CHAPTER II.

Alicia Linden walked slowly homeward, musing thoughtfully:  “This is a strange world,” she soliloquized.  “Let philosophers air their utopian theories about its containing the elements of universal happiness.  I know that human nature, as it is now constituted, is too selfish and mean to arrive at a state of absolute perfection.  Truly, ’men are a little breed.’  ’But, in the future, when that which is whispered in secret shall be proclaimed upon the housetops,’ all our griefs and wrongs shall be recompensed.  Oh, weary women, syllabling brokenly His precious promises, patient, untiring watcher, whose tired feet have grown weary of the ‘burden and heat of the day,’ wait ‘God’s time!’ Listen to the words that have come down through the dim and forgotten centuries—­a message of ‘peace and glad tidings.’  ’In my Father’s house there are many mansions.  I go to prepare a place for you.’  Teach us the lesson of patience, oh Father above!  ’Tis a wearisome struggle.  This is a sin-fallen world, and want and misery abound upon every hand.  Is it true, as another has declared—­’Every sin is an edict of Divinity; every pain is a precept of destiny; wisdom is as full in what man calls good and evil, as God is full in infinitude?’”

Well, God sees, and over all is the loving care of “our Father who art in Heaven.”

And sometimes, when human sympathy is denied us—­when the eyes, that should only beam with pity and affection, turn coldly away, Nature, bountiful mother, stretches out her arms lovingly, and wooes us to her with an irresistible, but nameless charm.  She cradles the tired head upon her bosom, presses cool kisses upon weary, drooping eyelids, and broods over the slumberer with loving vigils.  Under her tender ministrations our dreams are blessed visions of the “green pastures and the still waters,” and the “shining ones” waiting “beyond the river.”

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