The Ayrshire Legatees (Chapter 8, page 1 of 20)

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Chapter 8

As the spring advanced, the beauty of the country around Garnock was
gradually unfolded; the blossom was unclosed, while the church was
embraced within the foliage of more umbrageous boughs. The schoolboys
from the adjacent villages were, on the Saturday afternoons, frequently
seen angling along the banks of the Lugton, which ran clearer beneath the
churchyard wall, and the hedge of the minister's glebe; and the evenings
were so much lengthened, that the occasional visitors at the manse could
prolong their walk after tea. These, however, were less numerous than
when the family were at home; but still Mr. Snodgrass, when the weather
was fine, had no reason to deplore the loneliness of his bachelor's

It happened that, one fair and sunny afternoon, Miss Mally Glencairn and
Miss Isabella Tod came to the manse. Mrs. Glibbans and her daughter
Becky were the same day paying their first ceremonious visit, as the
matron called it, to Mr. and Mrs. Craig, with whom the whole party were
invited to take tea; and, for lack of more amusing chit-chat, the
Reverend young gentleman read to them the last letter which he had
received from Mr. Andrew Pringle. It was conjured naturally enough out
of his pocket, by an observation of Miss Mally's "Nothing surprises me,"
said that amiable maiden lady, "so much as the health and good-humour of
the commonality. It is a joyous refutation of the opinion, that the
comfort and happiness of this life depends on the wealth of worldly

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