Under the Mendips
Under the Mendips
Life at Fair Acres Manor, an old English homestead nestling under the shelter of the Mendip Hills, is beautifully sketched in the opening chapters. "Joyce," the pretty heroine, just budding into womanhood, her weak and extravagant brother " Melville," just home from Oxford, the little lame boy "Piers," Mrs. Falconer, the English mother, and the dogs "Nip" and "Pip," all unite to form a charming picture of rustice peace and happiness. The aged Hannah More is a conspicuous character in the tale, and the closing scenes are taken from the Bristol riots of the autumn of 1831. A healthy story for young girls, teaching an excellent lesson.
her the latent buoyancy of his nature asserted itself above all the privations which the accident had brought upon him, or whether both of these causes were at work within him, certain it is that Piers was the most cheerful and most uncomplaining member of the squire's household, and never allowed any one to pity him, or to treat him as an object of compassion. Joyce was right when she said that no one was happier than Piers. Every bird and insect had a charm for him, and were his friends and companions. Books of natural history were rare; but Bewick's Birds sufficed for Piers' needs. The "Natural History of Selborne" and old Isaak Walton's "Angler" were also amongst the boy's scanty library, and keen perception and acute observation supplied the place of extraneous help; and Piers was content.
The cloud soon cleared from Joyce's face as a well-known whistle was heard from the copse, and Joyce answered it with a clear note of welcome:
Then the quick, even thud of crutches,
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