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来源: 南方日报网络版     时间: 2020-01-22 12:45:12
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 Of course, neither party discussed these impressions with the other. Carice, feeling the uselessness of the task, had long since ceased to defend Bergan; her parents, believing that his silence was operating more powerfully against him than any arguments of theirs could do, had ceased to attack him. Nor will it seem any paradox to say that, while they were unspeakably glad of his omission to write, it was, on the whole, his worst fault, in their eyes. They resented the slight to their daughter none the less, because it hastened the end which they ardently desired. To have sought her love was bad enough, but to have flung it aside so quickly, as a thing of no value, was a thousand times worse. Godfrey Bergan gnashed his teeth, whenever he thought of it, with an indignation for which he had no words. 

 

Mr. Bergan frowned; Carice turned away her face, that her gladness might not be seen shining in her eyes. This, then, was the reason why Bergan had not written to Oakstead. At first, there had been engrossing anxiety and fear; then, finding that he should soon be able to come and plead his cause in person, he had not thought it wise to commit it to the colder advocacy of a letter. There were many advantages in a face-to-face discussion; especially where, as he doubtless suspected, prejudice was to be met and overcome! And he could not honorably write to her, until he had written to her father.I do write for the "gentle reader" who enjoys religion in novels, as elsewhere. Be thus much said for his liking, even from the art side. There are two classes of novels—the descriptive and the analytical; one pictures real life, the other passions and motives. Religion has its rightful place in both, because it is an important part of real life, and controls both passions and motives. Finally (for the subject is much too wide for a preface), the modern novel being so potent a power,—for evil on the one hand, for social and civil reform on the other,—it is fair to suppose that it may do good service for religion.

"You will take such pleasure in meeting her again!" she said to Astra, when she came in, a few moments after the visitors had gone. "She is just the friend that you need."St. Paul's Church, Berganton, was a small, plain structure of brick and stone, rather prettily situated on the bank of the aforesaid creek, which flowed through the midst of the town. Its sole claim to exterior beauty must have rested on the thick vines which covered its walls, framed its windows, and climbed to the roof of its low, square tower; doing their best to atone for its many architectural deficiencies, its failure to present to the eye a certain material "beauty of holiness," in harmony with the spiritual loveliness of the unseen temple, of which it was the faint type.Apparently, she was young; certainly, she was small, and somewhat slender. Without being absolutely pretty, her face was exceedingly interesting, by reason of its mobility and vivacity of expression;—albeit, its changes were not always to be easily understood, nor its language at once interpreted. Her eyes were of the darkest gray, with a clear and penetrative glance, that seemed to go straight to the depths of whatever object they sought. Her manner, though perfectly feminine, had an air of strength and energy, in marked contrast with the languid grace which is the more frequent product of Southern soil. She was very simply dressed,—in some soft, gray material, the one beauty of which was its ability to fall in artistic folds about her figure;—nevertheless, there was a certain pleasant peculiarity, a kind of sober picturesqueness, about her attire, that lifted it more surely out of the region of the common-place than any richness of texture, or newness of fashion, could have done. Moreover, it satisfied the eye with a sense of fitness; it was plainly the legitimate outgrowth of the wearer's character. Not that it bid defiance to fashion, but it did not conform to it to the extent of a complete sacrifice of individuality.Under these circumstances, no wonder that Astra grew pale and thin, that alternately she worked as in a fever, or stood idle as in a dream, that her old, cheery alacrity gave place to sombre restlessness, and her glow of happy spirits to pale depression, that, in short, she speedily became so unlike herself as greatly to alarm Mrs. Lyte, who finally appealed to Doctor Remy. He was only too glad to prescribe immediate change of air and scene.Within the heart of great Apollo: he


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