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February 24 , 2010

Histoire de ma Vie


Tick tack, tick tack, tick tack—for ever goes the large hall clock, until my heart (imitative thing!) plays at pendulum with it! Seventeen long years that clock has been the monitor of Time in this old house. It commenced its career the day I came into this world, and, faithful to its trust, not for one hour can I remember its pausing. They say it ceased its vigilance one day; I do not remember it, but Aunt Dorcas once told me—only once, for she cried so bitterly that I never liked asking more about it. It was the one in which I became an orphan! My poor mother died, and they stopped it because its ticking reminded them of the day of my birth, when she bade them open her door to let her hear the friend whose career commenced with my life—the friend who was to lead me to be good and happy, warning me of every passing hour! Poor, dear mamma! I wish I had known her—oh, how I wish that now!—for though my aunts and uncle Juvenal are very kind and loving, yet 'tis not like a mother's love, I feel that—I feel so much yearning for that unknown thing; it must be so beautiful, but one step below divinity in its hallowing power; and I, wicked girl, have been chiding the old hall clock, which she had a fanciful thought to make my twin! Here the girl (for such was the speaker) paused awhile in her soliloquy; after a few moments, she continued:—"But 'tis wearisome to sit for days and days, with only the same routine of events which you have known for years; even the variety of the past six months offers no amusement. The lawyer, the parson, and the squire—the squire, the lawyer, and the parson—with my aunts Dorcas, Sylvia, and uncle Juvenal, each one chanting the praises of his or her pet. I daresay it is very wrong of me to think all this; but I don't love them less, my dear aunts, my kind uncle. Oh! especially him and aunt Dorcas; but I cannot like—rather I should say love—the squire and the young clergyman, even for their sakes. I didn't want to think of love yet; but they have set me thinking, and now I am always dreaming of the sort of man I should like. If there be heroes in the world I should like to find one—such a one as I could love, tall, handsome, dark, dark! Yes, dark raven hair, and Spanish eyes, pale and thoughtful, especially"——Here the soliloquy was disturbed by a shrill voice beneath the window, calling upwards from the garden, "Minnie, Minnie, child!" "That's aunt Sylvia," said the soliloquist quietly. "I will not answer, for if I do, I know she will want to go for a ramble somewhere, and we shall assuredly meet the lawyer." The voice below continued its summons, but in the distance; the caller evidently was seeking through the garden
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