North and South (Chapter 6, page 1 of 8)


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Chapter 6

'Unwatch'd the garden bough shall sway,
The tender blossom flutter down,
Unloved that beech will gather brown,
The maple burn itself away; Unloved, the sun-flower, shining fair,
Ray round with flames her disk of seed,
And many a rose-carnation feed
With summer spice the humming air;

Till from the garden and the wild
A fresh association blow,
And year by year the landscape grow
Familiar to the stranger's child; As year by year the labourer tills
His wonted glebe, or lops the glades;
And year by year our memory fades
From all the circle of the hills.'

TENNYSON.

The last day came; the house was full of packing-cases, which
were being carted off at the front door, to the nearest railway
station. Even the pretty lawn at the side of the house was made
unsightly and untidy by the straw that had been wafted upon it
through the open door and windows. The rooms had a strange
echoing sound in them,--and the light came harshly and strongly
in through the uncurtained windows,--seeming already unfamiliar
and strange.

Mrs. Hale's dressing-room was left untouched to the
last; and there she and Dixon were packing up clothes, and
interrupting each other every now and then to exclaim at, and
turn over with fond regard, some forgotten treasure, in the shape
of some relic of the children while they were yet little. They
did not make much progress with their work. Down-stairs, Margaret
stood calm and collected, ready to counsel or advise the men who
had been called in to help the cook and Charlotte. These two
last, crying between whiles, wondered how the young lady could
keep up so this last day, and settled it between them that she
was not likely to care much for Helstone, having been so long in
London.

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