The Maid of Maiden Lane eBook

Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 239 pages of information about The Maid of Maiden Lane.

Now it is a fact that in extreme dejection something good to eat, and something nice to wear, will often restore the inner man to his normal complacency; and when Hyde’s valet had seen to his master’s refreshment in every possible way, Hyde was at least reconciled to the idea of living a little longer.  The mud-stained garments had disappeared, and as he walked up and down the luxurious room, brightened by the blazing oak logs, he caught reflections of his handsome person in the mirror, and he began to be comforted.  For it is not in normal youth to disdain the smaller joys of life; and Hyde was thinking as his servant dressed him in satin and velvet, that at least there was Annie.  Annie was always glad to see him, and he had a great respect for Annie’s opinions.  Indeed during the past few weeks they had been brought into daily companionship, they had become very good friends.  So then the absence of the Earl and the preoccupation of his mother was not beyond comfort, if Annie was able to receive him.  In spite of his grief for Cornelia’s removal from New York, he was not insensible to the pleasure of Annie’s approval.  He liked to show himself to her when he knew he could appear to advantage; and there was nothing more in this desire, than that healthy wish for approbation that is natural to self-respecting youth.

He heard her singing as he approached the drawing-room, and he opened the door noiselessly and went in.  If she was conscious of his entrance she made no sign of it, and Hyde did not seem to expect it.  He glanced at her as he might have glanced at a priest by the altar, and went softly to the fireside and sat down.  At this moment she had a solemn, saintly beauty; her small pale face was luminous with spiritual joy, her eyes glowing with rapture, and her hands moving among the ivory keys of the piano made enchanting melody to her inspired longing

 Jerusalem the golden,
 With milk and honey blest,
 Beneath thy contemplation
 Sink heart and voice oppressed. 
 O one, O only mansion,
 O paradise of joy! 
 Where tears are ever banished
 And smiles have no alloy. 
 O sweet and blessed country! 
 Shall I ever see thy face? 
 O sweet and blessed country! 
 Shall I ever win thy grace?

and as these eager impassioned words rose heavenward, it seemed to Hyde that her innocent, longing soul was half-way out of her frail little body.  He did not in any way disturb her.  She ceased when the hymn was finished and sat still a few moments, realizing, as far as she could, the glory which doth not yet appear.  As her eyes dropped, the light faded from her face; she smiled at Hyde, a smile that seemed to light all the space between them.  Then he stood up and she came towards him.  No wonder that strangers spoke of her as a child; she had the size and face and figure of a child, and her look of extreme youth was much accentuated by the simple black gown she wore, and by her carriage, for she leaned slightly forward as she walked, her feet appearing to take no hold upon the floor; a movement springing interiorly from the soul eagerness which dominated her.  Hyde placed her in a chair before the fire, and then drew his own chair to her side.

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