PENCIL SKETCHES: OR, OUTLINES OF CHARACTER AND MANNERS

PENCIL SKETCHES: OR, OUTLINES OF CHARACTER AND MANNERS

by ELIZA LESLIE
     
 

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• Table of contents with working links to chapters is included
• The book has been corrected for spelling and grammatical errors
• New and improved version

Bromley Cheston, an officer in the United States navy, had just returned from a three years' cruise in the Mediterranean. His ship came into New York; and after he had spent a…  See more details below

Overview

• Table of contents with working links to chapters is included
• The book has been corrected for spelling and grammatical errors
• New and improved version

Bromley Cheston, an officer in the United States navy, had just returned from a three years' cruise in the Mediterranean. His ship came into New York; and after he had spent a week with a sister that was married in Boston, he could not resist his inclination to pay a visit to his maternal aunt, who had resided since her widowhood at one of the small towns on the banks of the Delaware.

The husband of Mrs. Marsden had not lived long enough to make his fortune, and it was his last injunction that she should retire with her daughter to the country, or at least to a country town. He feared that if she remained in Philadelphia she would have too many temptations to exercise her taste for unnecessary expense: and that, in consequence, the very moderate income, which was all he was able to leave her, would soon be found insufficient to supply her with comforts.

We will not venture to say that duty to his aunt Marsden was the young lieutenant's only incentive to this visit: as she had a beautiful daughter about eighteen, for whom, since her earliest childhood, Bromley Cheston had felt something a little more vivid than the usual degree of regard that boys think sufficient for their cousins. His family had formerly lived in Philadelphia, and till he went into the navy Bromley and Albina were in habits of daily intercourse. Afterwards, on returning from sea, he always, as soon as he set his foot on American ground, began to devise means of seeing his pretty cousin, however short the time and however great the distance. And it was in meditation on Albina's beauty and sprightliness that he had often "while sailing on the midnight deep," beguiled the long hours of the watch, and thus rendered more tolerable that dreariest part of a seaman's duty.

On arriving at the village, Lieutenant Cheston immediately established his quarters at the hotel, fearing that to become an inmate of his aunt's house might cause her some inconvenience. Though he had performed the whole journey in a steamboat, he could not refrain from changing his waistcoat, brushing his coat sleeves, brushing his hat, brushing his hair, and altering the tie of his cravat. Though he had "never told his love," it cannot be said that concealment had "preyed on his damask cheek;" the only change in that damask having been effected by the sun and wind of the ocean.

Mrs. Marsden lived in a small modest-looking white house, with a green door and green venetian shutters. In early summer the porch was canopied and perfumed with honeysuckle, and the windows with roses. In front was a flower-garden, redolent of sweetness and beauty; behind was a well-stored potager, and a flourishing little orchard. The windows were amply shaded by the light and graceful foliage of some beautiful locust trees.

"What a lovely spot!" exclaimed Cheston—and innocence—modesty—candour—contentment—peace—simple pleasures—intellectual enjoyments—and various other delightful ideas chased each other rapidly through his mind.

When he knocked at the door, it was opened by a black girl named Drusa, who had been brought up in the family, and whose delight on seeing him was so great that she could scarcely find it in her heart to tell him that "the ladies were both out, or at least partly out." Cheston, however, more than suspected that they were wholly at home, for he saw his aunt peeping over the bannisters, and had a glimpse of his cousin flitting into the back parlour; and besides, the whole domicile was evidently in some great commotion, strongly resembling that horror of all men, a house-cleaning. The carpets had been removed, and the hall was filled with the parlour-chairs: half of them being turned bottom upwards on the others, with looking-glasses and pictures leaning against them; and he knew that, on such occasions, the ladies of a family in middle life are never among the missing.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940013363847
Publisher:
Unforgotten Classics
Publication date:
10/01/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
611 KB

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