From One Generation to Another
Anna Hethbridge was at this time twenty-four years of age, rather pretty, with a vivacity of manner which only seemed frivolous to the more thoughtful of her acquaintances. The idea of her marrying old Squire Agar within six months of the untimely death of her clever lover, Seymour Michael, seemed so preposterous that her hostess, good, sentimental Mrs. Glynde, never dreamt of such a possibility until, in the form of a fact, it was confided to her by Miss Hethbridge, one afternoon soon after her arrival at the rectory.
"Confound it, Maria," exclaimed the Rector testily, when the information was passed on to him later in the evening. "Why could you not have foreseen such an absurd event?"
Poor Mrs. Glynde looked distressed. She was a thin little woman, with an unsteady head, physically and morally speaking; full of kindness of heart, sentimentality, high-flown principles, and other bygone ladylike commodities. Her small, eager face, of a ruddy and weather-worn complexion--as if she had, at some early period of her existence, been left out all night in an east wind--was puckered up with a sense of her own negligence.
She tried hard, poor little woman, to take a deep and Christian int