Janice Meredith eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 705 pages of information about Janice Meredith.

The first check to Janice’s full enjoyment of the novel and delightful world into which she had plunged so eagerly came early in March.  “I have ill news for thee, my child,” Mr. Meredith apprised her, as he entered the room where she was sitting.  “I just parted from Mr. Loring, the Commissary of Prisoners, and he asked if Philemon Hennion were not a friend of ours, and then told me that the deputy-commissary at Morristown writ him last week that the lad had died of the putrid fever.”

“I am very sorry,” the girl said, with a genuine regret in her voice.  “He—­I wish—­I can’t but feel that ’t is something for which I am to blame.”

“Nay, don’t lay reproach on yeself, Jan,” advised the father, little recking of what was in his daughter’s mind.  “If we go to blaming ourselves for the results of well-considered conduct, there is no end to sorrow.  But I fear me his death will bring us a fresh difficulty.  We’ll say nothing of the news to Lord Clowes, and trust that he hear not of it; for once known, he’ll probably begin teasing us to let him wed ye.”

“Dadda!” cried Janice, “you never would—­would give him encouragement?  Oh, no, you—­you love me too much.”

“Ye know I love ye, Jan, and that whatever I do, I try to do my best for ye.  But—­”

“Then don’t give him any hope.  Oh, dadda, if you knew how I—­”

“He ’s not the man I’d pick for ye, Jan, that I grant.  Clowes is—­”

“He beguiled me shamefully—­and he broke his parole—­ and he takes mean advantage whene’er he can—­and he crawls half the time and bullies the rest—­and when he’s polite he makes me shudder or grow cold—­and when he’s—­”

“Now, don’t fly into a flounce or a ferment till ye’ve listened to what I have to say, child.  ’T is—­”

“Oh, dadda, no!  Don’t—­”

“Hark to me, Janice, and then ye shall have all the speech ye wish.  By this time, lass, ye are old enough to know that life is not made up of doing what one wishes, but doing what one can or must.  The future for us is far blacker than I have chosen to paint to ye.  Many of the British officers themselves now concede that the subduing of the rebels will be a matter of years, and that ere it is accomplished, the English people may tire of it; and though I’ll ne’er believe that our good king will abandon to the rule and vengeance of the Whigs those who have remained loyal to him, yet the outlook for the moment is darkened by the probability that France will come to the assistance of the rebels.  The Pennsylvania Assembly has before it an act of attainder and forfeiture which will drive from the colony all those who have held by the king, and take from them their lands; and as soon as the Jersey Assembly meets, it will no doubt do the same, and vote us into exile and poverty.  Even if my having taken no active part should save me from this fate, the future is scarce bettered, for ’t will take years for the country to recover from this war, and rents will remain unpaid.  Nor is this the depth of our difficulties.  Already I am a debtor to the tune of nigh four hundred pounds to Lord Clowes—­”

Project Gutenberg
Janice Meredith from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook