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    Mrs. Oliphant

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    I remember well my first meeting with Mrs Oliphant a dozen years ago, how she "ordered" me to Windsor where she was then living (I like to think that it was an order, and obeyed as such by her very loyal subject), and that I was as proud to go, and as nervous, as those... Read More
    Her Life and Death
    TO COUSIN ANNIE (MRS. HARRY COGHILL) THIS BOOK IS INSCRIBED IN LOVE OF OUR COMMON HEROINE AND IN REMEMBRANCE OF LONG AND FAITHFUL AFFECTION AND FRIENDSHIP It is no small effort for the mind, even of the most well-informed, how much more of those whose exact knowledge is not great (which is the case with... Read More
    “We are to see each other no more.” These words were breathed rather than spoken in the dim recess of a window, hidden behind ample curtains, the deep recess in which the window was set leaving room enough for two figures standing close together. Without was a misty night, whitened rather than lighted by a... Read More
    A Story of the Seen and the Unseen
    She was very old, and therefore it was very hard for her to make up her mind to die. I am aware that this is not at all the general view, but that it is believed, as old age must be near death, that it prepares the soul for that inevitable event. It is not... Read More
    It was the most exciting event which had ever occurred in the family, and everything was affected by it. Imagine to yourselves such a young family, all in the very heyday of life, parents and children alike. It is true that Mrs. Kingsward was something of an invalid, but nobody believed that her illness was... Read More
    The Seven Thorns was rather an imposing place for a little country inn. It was a long house, not very high, yet containing some good-sized bedrooms on the upper storey, and rooms below calculated for the entertainment of a much greater company than ever appeared now upon the deserted highroad. It had been an old... Read More
    John Tatham, barrister-at-law, received one summer morning as he sat at breakfast the following letter. It was written in what was once known distinctively as a lady's hand, in pointed characters, very fine and delicate, and was to this effect:— Mr. Tatham was a well-built and vigorous man of five-and-thirty, with health, good behaviour, and... Read More
    My Faithful Johnny
    They were both my neighbours, of course: but to apportion one’s heart’s love in equal shares according to the claims of justice is a very different matter. I saw as much of one sister as the other. And Martha was an excellent girl, quite honest and friendly and good; but as for Ellen, there never... Read More
    Theodore Warrender was still at Oxford when his father died. He was a youth who had come up from his school with the highest hopes of what he was to do at the university. It had indeed been laid out for him by an admiring tutor with anticipations which were almost certainties: "If you will... Read More
    The Methvens occupied a little house in the outskirts of a little town where there was not very much going on of any description, and still less which they could take any share in, being, as they were, poor and unable to make any effective response to the civilities shown to them. The family consisted... Read More
    There stands in one of the northern counties of Scotland, in the midst of a wild and wooded landscape, with the background of a fine range of hills, and in the vicinity of a noble trout-stream, a great palace, uninhabited and unfinished. It is of the French-Scottish style of architecture, but more French than Scotch—a... Read More
    Sir Thomas Randolph had lived a somewhat stormy life during the earliest half of his career. He had gone through what the French called a jeunesse orageuse; nothing very bad had ever been laid to his charge; but he had been adventurous, unsettled, a roamer about the world even after the period at which youthful... Read More
    The mansion-house of Dalrulzian stands on the lower slope of a hill, which is crowned with a plantation of Scotch firs. The rugged outline of this wood, and the close-tufted mass of the tree-tops, stand out against the pale East, and protect the house below and the "policy," as the surrounding grounds are called in... Read More
    The Banking House of the Vernons was known through all the Home Counties as only second to the Bank of England in stability and strength. That is to say, the people who knew about such matters, the business people, the professional classes, and those who considered themselves to be acquainted with the world, allowed that... Read More
    Stories of the Seen and the Unseen
    She had been talking of dying only the evening before, with a friend, and had described her own sensations after a long illness when she had been at the point of death. "I suppose," she said, "that I was as nearly gone as any one ever was to come back again. There was no pain... Read More
    I, Martin Dupin (de la Clairière), had the honour of holding the office of Maire in the town of Semur, in the Haute Bourgogne, at the time when the following events occurred. It will be perceived, therefore, that no one could have more complete knowledge of the facts—at once from my official position, and from... Read More
    A Last Chronicle of Carlingford
    Miss Phœbe Tozer, the only daughter of the chief deacon and leading member of the Dissenting connection in Carlingford, married, shortly after his appointment to the charge of Salem Chapel, in that town, the Reverend Mr. Beecham, one of the most rising young men in the denomination. The marriage was in many ways satisfactory to... Read More
    THE parish of Brentburn lies in the very heart of the leafy county of Berks. It is curiously situated on the borders of the forest, which is rich as Arden on one side, and on the edge of a moorland country abounding in pines and heather on the other; so that in the course of... Read More
    It was an old manor-house, not a deserted convent, as you might suppose by the name. The conventual buildings from which no doubt the place had taken its name, had dropped away, bit by bit, leaving nothing but one wall of the chapel, now closely veiled and mantled with ivy, behind the orchard, about a... Read More
    A Novel
    Mr and Mrs Robert Drummond lived in a pretty house in the Kensington district; a house, the very external aspect of which informed the passer-by who they were, or at least what the husband was. The house was embowered in its little garden; and in spring, with its lilacs and laburnums, looked like a great... Read More
    Katherine Courtenay was an only child, and a great heiress; and both her parents had died before she was able to form any clear idea of them. She was brought up in total ignorance of the natural life of childhood—that world hemmed in by the dear faces of father and mother, brother and sister, which... Read More
    MY name is Mary Peveril. My father was the incumbent of a proprietary chapel in that populous region which lies between Holborn and the New Road—a space within which there is a great deal of wealth and comfort, and a great deal of penury and pain, but neither grandeur nor abject misery. I like those... Read More
    “What are the joy bells a-ringing for, Simon?” said an old woman, coming briskly out to the door of one of the pretty cottages in the pretty village of Arden, on a pleasant morning of early summer, when all the leaves were young, and the first freshness of the year was over the world. “There’s... Read More
    MAJOR OCHTERLONY had been very fidgety after the coming in of the mail. He was very often so, as all his friends were aware, and nobody so much as Mary, his wife, who was herself, on ordinary occasions, of an admirable composure. But the arrival of the mail, which is so welcome an event at... Read More
    Miss Marjoribanks lost her mother when she was only fifteen, and when, to add to the misfortune, she was absent at school, and could not have it in her power to soothe her dear mamma's last moments, as she herself said. Words are sometimes very poor exponents of such an event: but it happens now... Read More
    Carlingford is, as is well known, essentially a quiet place. There is no trade in the town, properly so called. To be sure, there are two or three small counting-houses at the other end of George Street, in that ambitious pile called Gresham Chambers; but the owners of these places of business live, as a... Read More
    Chronicles of Carlingford
    Young Dr Rider lived in the new quarter of Carlingford: had he aimed at a reputation in society, he could not possibly have done a more foolish thing; but such was not his leading motive. The young man, being but young, aimed at a practice. He was not particular in the mean time as to... Read More
    I know no reason why I should begin my story of the fortunes of the Harleys by a description of my own son. Perhaps it is just because there is no reason whatever that I feel so much disposed to do it—also because the appearance of that son is the only difference that has come... Read More
    TOWARDS the west end of Grove Street, in Carlingford, on the shabby side of the street, stood a red brick building, presenting a pinched gable terminated by a curious little belfry, not intended for any bell, and looking not unlike a handle to lift up the edifice by to the public observation. This was Salem... Read More
    A Story in Two Voices
    I THOUGHT I heard a slight rustle, as if Sarah had taken off her spectacles, but I was really so interested in the matter which I was then discussing with Mr. Cresswell, our solicitor, that I did not look round, as I certainly should have done in any other circumstances; but imagine my utter amazement... Read More
    THIS book was overshadowed and interrupted by the heaviest grief. The author says so, not to deprecate criticism, but to crave the tender forbearance of her unknown friends. IN a gloomy room, looking out through one narrow window upon a moor, two young people together, and yet alone, consumed the dreary hours of a February... Read More
    A Scottish Story
    The house of Norlaw stands upon the slope of a low hill, under shelter of the three mystic Eildons, and not very far from that little ancient town which, in the language of the author of “Waverley,” is called Kennaquhair. A low, peaceable, fertile slope, bearing trees to its top-most height, and corn on its... Read More
    An Autobiography
    I WAS going home from the village, and it was an autumn evening, just after sunset, when every crop was cut and housed in our level country, and when the fields of stubble and browned grass had nothing on them, except here and there, a tree. They say our bare flats, in Cambridgeshire, are neither... Read More
    or, Self Sacrifice
    “BUT may not Mrs. Catherine’s visitor belong to another family? The name is not uncommon.” “You will permit me to correct you, Miss Ross. The name is by no means a common one; and there was some very distant connexion, I remember, between the Aytouns and Mrs. Catherine. I have little doubt that this girl... Read More