Olive: A Novel

Olive: A Novel

by Dinah Maria Mulock Craik




"Puir wee lassie, ye hae a waesome welcome to a waesome warld!"
Such was the first greeting ever received by my heroine, Olive Rothesay. However, she would be then entitled neither a heroine nor even "Olive Rothesay," being a small nameless concretion of humanity, in colour and consistency strongly resembling the "red earth," whence was taken the father of all nations. No foreshadowing of the coming life brightened her purple, pinched-up, withered face, which, as in all new-born children, bore such a ridiculous likeness to extreme old age. No tone of the all-expressive human voice thrilled through the unconscious wail that was her first utterance, and in her wide-open meaningless eyes had never dawned the beautiful human soul. There she lay, as you and I, reader, with all our compeers, lay once-a helpless lump of breathing flesh, faintly stirred by animal life, and scarce at all by that inner life which we call spirit. And, if we thus look back, half in compassion, half in humiliation, at our infantile likeness-may it not be that in the world to come some who in this world bore an outward image poor, mean, and degraded, will cast a glance of equal pity on their well-remembered olden selves, now transfigured into beautiful immortality?
I seem to be wandering from my Olive Rothesay; but time will show the contrary. Poor little spirit! newly come to earth, who knows whether that "waesome welcome" may not be a prophecy? The old nurse seemed almost to dread this, even while she uttered it, for with superstition from which not an "auld wife" in Scotland is altogether free, she changed the dolorous croon into a "Gude guide us!" and, pressing the babe to her aged breast, bestowed a hearty blessing upon her nursling of the second generation-the child of him who was at once her master and her foster-son.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781491046579
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 07/19/2013
Pages: 124
Product dimensions: 8.50(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.26(d)

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