Father and Son: a study of two temperaments eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 281 pages of information about Father and Son.

Yet I had an appreciator.  One afternoon, as I was busy on my geographical operations, a good-looking middle-aged lady, with a soft pink cheek and a sparkling hazel eye, paused and asked me if my name was not what it was.  I had seen her before; a stranger to our parts, with a voice without a trace in it of the Devonshire drawl.  I knew, dimly, that she came sometimes to the meeting, that she was lodging at Upton with some friends of ours who accepted paying guests in an old house that was simply a basket of roses.  She was Miss Brightwen, and I now conversed with her for the first time.

Her interest in my harbours and islands was marked; she did not smile; she asked questions about my peninsulas which were intelligent and pertinent.  I was even persuaded at last to leave my creations and to walk with her towards the village.  I was pleased with her voice, her refinements, her dress, which was more delicate, and her manners, which were more easy, than what I was accustomed to, We had some very pleasant conversation, and when we parted I had the satisfaction of feeling that our intercourse had been both agreeable to me and instructive to her.  I told her that I should be glad to tell her more on a future occasion; she thanked me very gravely, and then she laughed a little.  I confess I did not see that there was anything to laugh at.  We parted on warm terms of mutual esteem, but I little thought that this sympathetic Quakerish lady was to become my mother.


I SLEPT in a little bed in a corner of the room, and my Father in the ancestral four-poster nearer to the door.  Very early one bright September morning at the close of my eleventh year, my Father called me over to him.  I climbed up, and was snugly wrapped in the coverlid; and then we held a momentous conversation.  It began abruptly by his asking me whether I should like to have a new mamma.  I was never a sentimentalist, and I therefore answered, cannily, that that would depend on who she was.  He parried this, and announced that, anyway, a new mamma was coming; I was sure to like her.  Still in a noncommittal mood, I asked:  ‘Will she go with me to the back of the lime-kiln?’ This question caused my Father a great bewilderment.  I had to explain that the ambition of my life was to go up behind the lime-kiln on the top of the hill that hung over Barton, a spot which was forbidden ground, being locally held one of extreme danger.  ’Oh!  I daresay she will,’ my Father then said, ’but you must guess who she is.’  I guessed one or two of the less comely of the female ‘saints’, and, this embarrassing my Father,—­since the second I mentioned was a married woman who kept a sweet-shop in the village,—­he cut my inquiries short by saying, ’It is Miss Brightwen.’

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Father and Son: a study of two temperaments from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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