• Table of contents with working links to chapters is included • The book has been corrected for spelling and grammatical errors • All 3 Volumes in one book
Miss Betsy, little as she admired her sister-in-law, and dearly as she loved her sunny garden in summer and her snug chimney-corner in winter, now and then left both to pass a few hours in Silverton; for she loved her brother, despite the weakness of character which appeared to her keen faculties to be something very nearly approaching fatuity; and being as ...
• Table of contents with working links to chapters is included
• The book has been corrected for spelling and grammatical errors
• All 3 Volumes in one book
Miss Betsy, little as she admired her sister-in-law, and dearly as she loved her sunny garden in summer and her snug chimney-corner in winter, now and then left both to pass a few hours in Silverton; for she loved her brother, despite the weakness of character which appeared to her keen faculties to be something very nearly approaching fatuity; and being as well aware as the prettiest young lady in the town could be, that she was herself totally unfit to be married, she looked to his children with the interest with which human beings are apt to consider those who must become the possessors of all they leave behind.
For many years Miss Betsy looked forward with hope for one of two greatly desired events. That most coveted was the death of her sister-in-law; the other, and for many years the most probable, was the birth of a male heir to her brother.
But time wore away, and both were abandoned. Had it been otherwise, had Miss Betsy seen a male Compton ready to unite in his own person all the acquired and inherited honours of his twaddling father, and all the daily increasing hoard that she was herself accumulating, her temper of mind would probably have been very different. As it was, she looked upon the little girls as much more belonging to their mother than to their father; and the steady thriftiness, which, had it been pursued for the sake of a nephew, would have had some mixture of generous devotion in it, now that its result could only benefit nieces, by no means very dearly loved, seemed to threaten the danger of her becoming saving for mere saving's sake.
There was, however, in the heart of Miss Betsy much to render such an incrustation of character difficult; but there was also much to displease her in those who alone could claim her kindness on the plea of kindred; so that the most acute observer might have been at a loss to say what tone her vexed temper might finally take towards them.
Nevertheless, the two young sisters, at the respective ages of fifteen and seventeen, were as forward and handsome girls as ever drew the attention of a country town. They were equally handsome, perhaps, though very unlike. Martha was tall, dark-eyed, fresh-coloured, bold-spirited, and believed in her heart that she was to be called "my lady," and to drive in a coach and four. Sophia, the younger girl, was less tall and less bright-coloured; her hair was light, and her eyes, though their lashes were black, were of the softest grey. Her chief beauty, however, consisted in a complexion of great delicacy, and a mouth and teeth that could hardly be looked at without pleasure, even by cross Miss Betsy herself.
Miss Martha Compton was a young lady endowed with a vast variety of brilliant talents. She could dance every night, and very nearly all night long, though she had only learned for six weeks; she could make pasteboard card-boxes and screens, work satin-stitch, and (like most other clever young ladies bred in a country town abounding with officers) quote the oft profaned lyrics of Tom Moore.
The reputation of her sister for talents rested on a basis much less extended; it would indeed have been a false concord to talk of her talents, for she had but one in the world. Untaught, and unconscious of the power nature had bestowed, she sang with the sweet shrillness of the lark, and had science been set to work upon her for six months, Silverton might have boasted one of the finest native voices in the kingdom.
Mrs. Compton was proud of both her daughters, and however difficult it might be to procure...
Frances Milton Trollope (1779 – 1863) was an English novelist and writer. Her book, Domestic Manners of the Americans (1832) has been the best known, but she also published strong social novels: an anti-slavery novel said to influence the work of the American Harriet Beecher Stowe, the first industrial novel, and two anti-Catholic novels that used a Protestant position to examine self-making.