Watersprings eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 228 pages of information about Watersprings.

“Well,” said Howard, smiling, “I have no theory on the subject.  I never regarded marriage as either impossible or possible.  It seemed to me that one was either caught away in a fiery chariot, or else was left under one’s juniper tree; and I have been very comfortable there.  I thought I had all I wanted; and I feel a little dizzy now at the way in which my cup of life has suddenly been seized and filled with wine to the brim.  One doesn’t find a home and a mother and a wife in a fortnight!”

“I don’t know!” said Mrs. Graves, smiling at him.  “Some of the best marriages I know have been made in haste.  I remember talking to a girl the other day who was engaged to a man within ten days of the time they had met.  I said, ‘Well, you have not wasted time.’  ‘Oh,’ she said, apparently rather hurt, ’I kept Henry waiting a long time.  I had to think it all over.  I wasn’t by any means sure I wanted to marry him.’  I quoted a saying of an old friend of mine who when he was asked why he had proposed to a girl he had only known three days, said, ’I don’t know!  I liked her, and thought I should like to see more of her!’”

“I think I must make out a list of possible candidates,” said Howard, smiling.  “I dare say your Jane would help me.  I could mark them for various qualities; we believe in marks at Cambridge.  But I must have time to get used to all my new gifts.”

“Oh, one doesn’t take long to get used to happiness,” said Mrs. Graves.  “It always seems the most natural thing in the world.  Tennyson was all wrong about sorrow.  Sorrow is always the casual mistress, and not the wife.  One recovers from everything but happiness; that is one’s native air.”

IX

THE VICAR

The Vicarage was a pleasant house, with an air of comfort and moderate wealth about it.  It was part of Frank Sandys’ sense, thought Howard, that he was content to live so simple and retired a life.  He did not often absent himself, even for a holiday.  Howard was shown into the study which Mr. Sandys had improved and enlarged.  It was a big room, with an immense, perfectly plain deal table in the middle, stained a dark brown; and the Vicar showed Howard with high glee how each of the four sides of the table was consecrated to a different avocation.  “My accounts end!” he said, “my sermon side! my correspondence end! my genealogical side!” There were a number of small dodges, desks for holding books, flaps which could be let up and down, slits in the table through which papers could be dropped into drawers, a cord by which the bell could be rung without rising from his place, a cord by which the door could be bolted.  “Not very satisfactory, that last,” said the Vicar, “but I am on the track of an improvement.  The worst of it is,” said the good man, “that I have so little time.  I make extracts from the books I read for my sermons, I cut out telling anecdotes from the papers.  I like to raise questions every

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Watersprings from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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