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The Monctons: A Novel, Volume I
written by "Moodie, Susanna, 1803-1885"
...drank, or suggested by idle curiosity? or were my answers intended to answer some sinister purpose? God knows! He is a strange, inexplicable man, whose words and actions the most profound lawyer could scarcely fathom. I think he endeavoured to make me intoxicated in the hope of extracting some information regarding poor George. If so, he has missed his mark." I drew from my bosom the portraits he had given me, perhaps, as a bait to win my confidence; but I was thankful to him for the inestimable gift, whatever the motives were which led to its bestowal. The first case contained the miniature of my father. The gay, careless, happy countenance, full of spirit and intelligence, seemed to smile upon his unfortunate son. I raised my eyes to the mirror—the same features met my glance: but ah, how different the expression of the two faces. Mine was saddened and paled by early care, and close confinement to a dark unhealthy office; at twenty, I was but a faded likeness of my father. I sighed as I pressed the portrait to my heart. In the marked difference between us I read distinctly the history of two lives. But how shall I describe my feelings whilst gazing on the picture of my mother? The fast falling tears for a long while hid the fondly remembered features from my sight; but they still floated before the eyes of my soul in all their original loveliness. Yes, there was the sweet calm face, the large soft confiding blue eyes, the small rosy mouth with its gentle winning smile, and the modest truthful expression of the combined features which gave such a charm to the whole. Oh, my mother! my dear lost, angel mother! how that picture recalled the far-off happy days of childhood, when I sat upon your knees, and saw my own joyous face reflected in those dove-like eyes! when, ending some nursery rhyme with a kiss, you bowed your velvet cheek upon my clustering curls, and bade God bless and keep your darling boy! Would that I could b...

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