Poems & Short Stories: 4,435
Forum Members: 67,986
Forum Posts: 1,216,101
And over 2 million unique readers monthly!
George Crawford was in excellent health when the accident occurred, and so when he began to recover, his restoration was rapid. The process, however, was still long enough to compel the cousins to know more of each other than twelve months of ordinary circumstance would have made possible.
George, feeling neither the need, nor, therefore, the joy of the new relationship so much as Alexa, disappointed her by the coolness of his response to her communication of the fact; and as they were both formal, that is, less careful as to the reasonable than as to the conventional, they were not very ready to fall in love. Such people may learn all about each other, and not come near enough for love to be possible between them. Some people approximate at once, and at once decline to love, remaining friends the rest of their lives. Others love at once; and some take a whole married life to come near enough, and at last love. But the reactions of need and ministration can hardly fail to breed tenderness, and disclose the best points of character.
The cousins were both handsome, and--which was of more consequence--each thought the other handsome. They found their religious opinions closely coincident--nor any wonder, for they had gone for years to the same church every Sunday, had been regularly pumped upon from the same reservoir, and had drunk the same arguments concerning things true and untrue.
George found that Alexa had plenty of brains, a cultivated judgment, and some knowledge of literature; that there was no branch of science with which she had not some little acquaintance, in which she did not take some small interest. Her father's teaching was beyond any he could have procured for her, and what he taught she had learned; for she had a love of knowing, a tendency to growth, a capacity for seizing real points, though as yet perceiving next to nothing of their relation to human life and hope. She believed herself a judge of verse, but in truth her knowledge of poetry was limited to its outer forms, of which she had made good studies with her father. She had learned the how before the what, knew the body before the soul--could tell good binding but not bad leather--in a word, knew verse but not poetry.
She understood nothing of music, but George did not miss that; he was more sorry she did not know French--not for the sake of its literature, but because of showing herself an educated woman.
Diligent in business, not fervent in spirit, she was never idle. But there are other ways than idleness of wasting time. Alexa was continually "improving herself," but it was a big phrase for a small matter; she had not learned that to do the will of God is the only way to improve one's self. She would have scorned the narrowness of any one who told her so, not understanding what the will of God means.
She found that her guest and cousin was a man of some position, and wondered that her father should never have mentioned the relationship. The fact was that, in a time of poverty, the school-master had made to George's father the absurd request of a small loan without security, and the banker had behaved as a rich relation and a banker was pretty sure to behave.
George occupied a place of trust in the bank, and, though not yet admitted to a full knowledge of its more important transactions, hoped soon to be made a partner.
When his father came to Potlurg to see him the laird declined to appear, and the banker contented himself thereafter with Alexa's bulletins.
|Art of Worldly Wisdom Daily|
In the 1600s, Balthasar Gracian, a jesuit priest wrote 300 aphorisms on living life called "The Art of Worldly Wisdom." Join our newsletter below and read them all, one at a time.
Shakespeare wrote over 150 sonnets! Join our Sonnet-A-Day Newsletter and read them all, one at a time.