as a relief that Harry was no longer near her, although her mother's heart ached for the Harry he had seemed to her before his rebellion. She fancied that she would enjoy him as of old if the litter of inconvenient persons and facts lying between them could but be cleared away; with a voluntary blindness not uncommon in parents, refusing to recognize that these superficial differences were only the outward expression of a fundamental alienation within. At all events, it was futile to speculate about the matter, since the width of the continent and her son's intense distaste for letter-writing separated them. She had come, therefore, to turn all her attention and proud affection on her youngest child.
It seemed to her sometimes that Lydia had been granted her by a merciful Providence in order that she might make that "fresh start all over again" which is the never-realized ideal of erring humanity. Marietta had been a young lady fourteen years before, and fourteen years meant much--meant everything to p