Annals of a Quiet Neighbourhood eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 468 pages of information about Annals of a Quiet Neighbourhood.

“Are you not afraid of her locking you up some day or other?”

“Not a bit of it.  Grannie won’t touch me.  And you shouldn’t tempt me to run away from her like auntie.  I won’t.  Grannie is a naughty old lady, and I don’t believe anybody loves her but me—­not Sarah, I’m certain.  Therefore I can’t leave her, and I won’t leave her, Mr Walton, whatever you may say about her.”

“Indeed, I don’t want you to leave her, Judy.”

And Judy did not leave her as long as she lived.  And the old lady’s love to that child was at least one redeeming point in her fierce character.  No one can tell how mucn good it may have done her before she died—­though but a few years passed before her soul was required of her.  Before that time came, however, a quarrel took place between her and Sarah, which quarrel I incline to regard as a hopeful sign.  And to this day Judy has never heard how her old grannie treated her mother.  When she learns it now from these pages I think she will be glad that she did not know it before her death.

The old lady would see neither doctor nor parson; nor would she hear of sending for her daughter.  The only sign of softening that she gave was that once she folded her granddaughter in her arms and wept long and bitterly.  Perhaps the thought of her dying child came back upon her, along with the reflection that the only friend she had was the child of that marriage which she had persecuted to dissolution.

CHAPTER XXXIV.

Tom’s story.

My reader will perceive that this part of my story is drawing to a close.  It embraces but a brief period of my life, and I have plenty more behind not altogether unworthy of record.  But the portions of any man’s life most generally interesting are those in which, while the outward history is most stirring, it derives its chief significance from accompanying conflict within.  It is not the rapid change of events, or the unusual concourse of circumstances that alone can interest the thoughtful mind; while, on the other hand, internal change and tumult can be ill set forth to the reader, save they be accompanied and in part, at least, occasioned by outward events capable of embodying and elucidating the things that are of themselves unseen.  For man’s life ought to be a whole; and not to mention the spiritual necessities of our nature—­to leave the fact alone that a man is a mere thing of shreds and patches until his heart is united, as the Psalmist says, to fear the name of God—­to leave these considerations aside, I say, no man’s life is fit for representation as a work of art save in proportion as there has been a significant relation between his outer and inner life, a visible outcome of some sort of harmony between them.  Therefore I chose the portion in which I had suffered most, and in which the outward occurrences of my own life had been most interesting, for the

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Annals of a Quiet Neighbourhood from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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