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   Chapter 13 ADAM.

A Heart-Song of To-day By Annie Gregg Savigny Characters: 2836

Updated: 2017-12-06 00:02

Our friends being safely in the rail coach en route for the city of cities, a word of Roland Douglas; he is eldest son of the Rector of Haughton (whose acquaintance we made in earlier days on the lawn at Haughton, in chat with Col. Haughton and Trevalyon); his father is a Scotchman, who had accepted an English living at the request of his English wife. Roland, heir to a fine property from a Scotch uncle, had, since leaving Cambridge, been left to his own devices, they all frequently spending their holidays at his place, Atholdale, Dunkeld; but his home was with them, he telling them "he was too gregarious a fellow to live alone," that if the ghosts at Atholdale would be agreeable and change their hours of liveliness from midnight to midday, "he might manage to live there." And the rectory was glad to have the life of its circle in its midst.

The three Douglas children, with Vaura Vernon, had been playmates, and the days spent at Haughton Hall were among their most pleasant reminiscences. Bright, merry Roland, with courtly Guy Travers, were favourites of Vaura, each vieing with the other to win her favour, fighting her battles with biped and quadruped, both boys coming to love her with the whole strength of manhood, only to eat their hearts out alone, as others, now in her womanhood, were doing, while Vaura would tell herself, not without a heart-ache, that, "it grieved her to say them nay, bu

t she cared for them only in the dance, only in the sunshine; that in the quieter walks of life, she would long for a spirit more in kinship with her quieter, her higher nature."

Vaura had spent so much of her life with her uncle and godmother, that the men they loved to have about them had probably spoilt her taste for the very young men of to-day. Both she and her godmother, had many friendships among men, believing the interchange of thought to be mutually improving. Indeed, in most cases they trusted their faithfulness, their sincerity, more than that of their own sex. And, alas! with good reason, men having a larger share of that greatest of gifts, charity! their knowledge of human nature making them rarely censorious, their education giving them larger, broader views; how many women, alas, are essentially censorious, uncharitable and narrow-minded. Yes, nature has been lavish in gifts to Adam, as opposed to Eve.

Roland Douglas had not as yet told his love to Vaura, a great dread mastering him lest he had not won her love, for her merry banter and kind sisterly manner led him to fear her heart, that he coveted beyond all that earth could give, was not for him, but he told himself he must speak, and that soon, for longer suspense was more than he could endure; he hoped that her sympathetic nature might tell in his favour, and that in pitying his great loneliness, she would come to him.

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