atient dexterity at favourable moments, till at last one proud day the little room, with its bookshelves, a cast of Dante, and a strange picture or two, was a beautiful, significant fact--all ready for the possible visitation of the Muse.
In such ways had the mother negotiated the needs of all her children; though the youth of the rest--save the eldest girl, whose music lessons had meant a battle, and whose growing attractiveness for the boys of the district, and one in particular, was presently to mean another--made as yet but small demands. In one question, however, periodically fruitful of argument, even the youngest was becoming interested,--the question of the visits to the household of the various friends and playmates of the children. To these, it must be admitted, James Mesurier was apt to be hardly less of a figure of fear than to his own children; for, apart from the fact that such inroads from without were apt to disturb his few quiet evening hours with rollicking and laughter, he, being ent
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