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THE CHIMNEY CORNER., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 95, 4 May 1880
THE CHIMNEY CORNER.
COURTING UNDER DIFEICTLTIES.
’Twas a beautiful day in July.
The golden sun was shining brightly, and the little English sparrows hopped merrily from limb to limb, and tried their very best to tell the pedestrians how happy they were. Among the many handsome ladies and gentlemen who were promenading one of Brooklyn’s most fashionable streets on this fine summer day, was one gentleman, who immediately attracted attention. He was a tall, handsome young man, attired in accordance with fashion’s strict and capricious demand. This gentleman was Mr. George Sinclair, cashier of the ——bank. He stopped, finally, before a large, handsome mansion in C Street, and rapidly ascended the marble steps. His summons was immediately answered by a gaily dressed colored servant, who conducted him to the parlor, and announced to the beautiful young that Mr. lady sitting at the open window Sinclair had arrived.
Let us digress a moment, and describe the fresh glowing beauty of Alice Summerville, the only child of the rich banker, Ezra Sommerville. She was about twenty years of age, and possessed a superb figure. Her blooming face glowed with animation and health, and the blushing roses of her cheek formed a pleasing contrast to the lily whiteness of her neck and brow. Her great blue eyes shone with far more brightness than stars; her long, waving hair rippled far below the shapely waist, and shone like threads of purest gold ; her white even teeth and delicately chiselled lips outvied pearls and rubies. Fairer than the fairest'her beautiful face outvied the houri of the poet’s dream. George had been waiting on Alice for a long time, and rumour hinted that they were engaged ; but, as usual, rumoiir was mistaken. George loved Miss Sommerville with his whole heart, but, like many others, he found difficulty in saying so. On this beautiful summer afternoon he resolved to declare his love and know his fate. So, after a few commonplace remarks, he took the lady’s little hand in his own, and said, “Miss Sommerville — Alice—l love you! I have loved you since I first beheld your face. I have often desired to tell you so, but have been too diffident. Now hear my vow; I swear that I love you better than ” “ Oysters ! oysters !” shouted a fish pedlar, as he rattled by in his rickety vehicle. George was very much put out by this sudden interruption, and Alice dropped her head upon his shoulder to conceal the smiles whch rippled over her face and beamed from her laughing eyes. But our hero was determined, and continued. “ I love you better than my very existence ! You are the idol of my soul ! When I look upon your pearly cheek I think of——” “ Coals ! coals ! ” roared a stout Irishman, with aa immense kettle on his head, as he ambled past the house. George bit his lip, but bravely continued. “ I think of the pure glistening snow.
Your dear voice never fails to touch a
responsive chord in my heart, and when you are singing that beautiful ballad, commencing ” “ Umbrellas to mend ? ” inquired a a lame man, as he gazed up at his open window.
George ground his teeth together and resumed.
“When you are singing ‘Ever of thee I’m fondly dreaming,’ it seems as if an angel voice was whispering love to my soul. Oh, darling, say that my love is reciprocated ? Your slightest wish shall be my law. I will dress you in ” “Rags ! rags ! ” insinuated a red-headed boy, as he pushed his waggon by the house. This last interruption was too much for the gravity of the lady, and she laughed
heartily. George wiped the moisure from his brow, and in an undertone invoked dire maledictions upon the head of the offending junkman. But he was determined to have it over at all hazards, so he went on.
“I meant to say, dear Alice, before that infer —I beg your pardon, I mean that brawling ragman interrupted me, that I would dress you like a qeen. Don’t refuse me ? Say that you will be my wife. ” Alice who really loved the handsome young man, looked into his eyes, and as she smoothed his raven hair, said, “ George, if I were sure that you really meant what you have been telling me, I should be tempted to give my consent. ” “ Oh Alice,” cried the ardent wooer, in a reproachful tone, “can you doubt my love ? I swear by “Wood ! wood ! ” suggested a cross-ej'ed colored man in a cream-colored coat, as he paused in front of the mansior. “ I swear by all my hopes that I have only spoken that which my heart and soul prompted me to. Do you believe me Alice?”
“Yes, George,” she Jtnurmured, “ I do believe you.” “ Oh, thank you ! thank you ” cried the now delighted lover. “ And now, darling, that you have consented, let us talk about the blissful future. I will buy a cottage, and you can have a little garden, and spend your time in cultivating deliciously perfumed ” “ Onions ! onions ! ” hinted a thin female with an old shawl over her head as she shuffled down the street.
“ Oh confound the pedlars ! ” pettishly exclaimed George. “It seems as if the entire fraternity had resolved to perambulate this street to-day. I meant to say that you could tend the flowers while I was absent. I have quite a sum of money, and I intend going into business for myself. I think I shall try ” “ Matches and shoe-laces ! ” suggested a small boy with a remarkably big voice. This comical interuption was too much for human nature, and George arose and paced the floor excitedly, while Alice nearly strangled herself in attempting to suppress her emotion. “Alice” said George with a woebegone expression, “for Heaven’s sake take me into the hall, in the kitchen, cellar—anywhere but this room ! The hawkers will drive me mad if I remain here much longer, ”
Alice consented, and led tlie way to the back parlor. While they were going, George remarked, “ I could not tell you half my plans in that room, Alice. My mind is confused, and my language seems to be all ”
“ Dust—dust I ” declared a shrill voice from without.
George struck his forehead savagely and said something, but fortunately the slamming of the door rendered it unintelligible to Alice. Once removed from the cause of his trouble, George soon regained his good humor; and succeeded so well with his wooing that when, about two hours after, he took his departure, he did so as the prospective husband of‘the handsome heiress, Alice Somerville.
Not long after this, George and Alice were married. George’s description of his love was not in the least overdrawn, as his only thought was to make the life of his young wife happy.
Our hero’s aversion to street criers has never been removed, and he always regards them with an unsympathetic Seoul. And now, when Alice wishes to tease him a little, she merely remarks something about “ matches and shoelaces.”
THE CHIMNEY CORNER., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 95, 4 May 1880
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