This historic book may have numerous typos, missing text, images, or index. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. 1855. Not illustrated. Excerpt: ... some hidden anxiety within her heart of hearts, not to he alluded to--while avoiding all that really interested her, she, in a tone of the strictest confidence and the deepest mystery, consulted Lady Edith which picture in the gallery was thought the finest painting, and whether Lady Anne's new song suited her soprano voice. There had evidently arisen a small dark closet in the mind of Beatrice now, that Lady Edith was not to enter; and most anxiously did that kindest of friends await the time when her motherly anxiety should be relieved by a clear explanation of the mystery which had suddenly stood up like a wall between them-- but it came not. In most country houses, the hostess good-humoredly assumes to herself the patronage of arranging at breakfast a programme for the amusements of the day--who shall go in her chariot after luncheon to the old ruined abbey in one direction, who shall climb up the wet slippery path in a distant glen to admire the celebrated cascade, and who shall undertake a day's shopping in the neighboring country town with herself. Lady Eaglescairn had a polite but peremptory habit of thus settling every visitor's plans for the day, and always began with overturning whatever project any one else had formed for himself. With a benevolent tyranny, which called itself a friendly interest ;n the diversion of her guests, every one must be amused in her way, and in that only. There was no escape! The guests most difficult to please were always those to whom her chief interest was directed) for there is in all houses a premium on discontent, so that those who are known to be fastidious become objects of assiduous attention, but those who are known to be easily satisfied are left to their good-humored insignificance. Lady Eaglescairn, dr...
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