The Maid of Maiden Lane eBook

Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 302 pages of information about The Maid of Maiden Lane.

“Willie Nicholls is a good young man, and he is rich also; but of him I saw nothing at all.  Cornelia Moran was there and no flower of Paradise is so sweet, so fair!”

“A very proud girl!  I am glad she said ‘no’ to my Joris.”

“Come, my Lysbet, we will now pray and sleep.  There is so much not to say.”



One afternoon in the late autumn Annie was sitting watching Hyde playing with his dog, a big mastiff of noble birth and character.  The creature sat erect with his head leaning against Hyde, and Hyde’s arm was thrown around his neck as he talked to him of their adventures on the Broad that day.  Annie’s small face, though delicate and fragile looking was full of peace, and her eyes, soft, deep and heavenly, held thoughts that linked her with heaven.

Outside there was in the air that November feeling which chills like the passing breath of death, the deserted garden looked sad and closed-in, and everywhere there was a sense of the languishing end of the year, of the fading and dropping of all living things.  But in the house Annie and Hyde and the dog sat within the circle of warmth and light made by the blazing ash logs, and in that circle there was at least an atmosphere of sweet content.  Suddenly George looked up and his eyes caught those of Annie watching him.  “What have you been reading, Annie?” he asked, as he stooped forward and took a thin volume from her lap.  “Why!” he cried, “’tis Paul and Virginia.  Do you indeed read love stories?”

“Yes.  The mystery of a love affair pleases every one; and I think we shall not tire of love stories till we tire of the mystery of spring, or of primroses and daffodils.  Every one I know takes their tale of love to be quite a new tale.”

“Love has been cruel to me.  It has made a cloud on my life that will help to cover me in my grave.”

“You still love Cornelia?”

“I cannot cure myself of a passion so hopeless.  However, as I see no end to my unhappiness, I try to submit to what I cannot avoid.  What is the use of longing for that which I have no hope to get?”

“My uncle grows anxious for you to marry.  He would be glad to see the succession of Hyde assured.”

“Oh, indeed, I have no mind to take a wife.  I hear every day that some of my acquaintance have married, I hear of none that have done worse.”

“You believe nothing of what you say.  My uncle was much pleased with Sarah Capel.  What did you think of the beauty?”

“Cornelia has made all other women so indifferent to me, that if I cannot marry her, my father may dispose of me as he chooses.”

“Cannot you forget Cornelia?”

“It is impossible.  Every day I resolve to think of her no more, and then I continue thinking; and every day I am more and more in love with her.  Her very name moves me beyond words.”

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The Maid of Maiden Lane from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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