ther than an expression of the fabric of her



  • ce that added interest to{7} it was the fact that this was the last Sunday on which he would officiate at St Thomas’s, Bracebridge, and he had already been the recipient of a silver tea

  • -set, deeply chased with scrolls and vegetables, subscribed for by his parishioners and bought at Mr Keeling’s stores, and a framed address in primary colours. He had been appointed to

  • a canonry of the Cathedral that stood in the centre of the cup-shaped hollow on the sides of which Bracebridge so picturesquely clustered, and his successor, a youngish man, with a short



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, pale beard, now curiously coloured with the light that c

ame through a stained glass window opposite, had read the lessons and the litany. Mr Silverdale, indeed, in spite of the special interest of Dr Inglis’s discourse, was engrossing a good deal of Alice Keeling’s attention, and her imag

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ination was very busy. He had spent an assiduous week in c

alling on his parishioners, but she had not been at home when he paid his visit to her mother, who had formed no ideas about him, and Alice was now looking forward with a good deal of excitement to to-night, when he wa


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s going to take supper with them, after evening service, a

s her mother had expressed it in her note, or after evensong, as he had expressed it in his answer. His conduct and appearance during the service had aroused her interest, for he wore a richly coloured stole and a very short surplice, had bowed{8} in the dire

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ction of the east window as he walked up the chancel, and

had made a very deep obeisance somewhere in the middle of the Creed, when everybody else stood upright. Somehow there was a different atmosphere about him from that which surrounded the grim and austere Dr Inglis, something in the pale face and in a rapt express


Feugiatrutrum rhoncus semper

  • ion which she easily read into his eyes, that made her mentally call him pries

    t-like rather than clergyman-like. Like most young women in whom the destiny of old-maid i

    s unrolling itself, Alice had a strong p

  • otentiality for furtive romance, and while the pains of hell were being enunci

    ated to her inattentive ears, her short-sighted eyes were fixed on Mr Silverdale, and she

    began to think of Lord Tennyson’s poem

  • of Galahad who was unmarried too.... She was so far lost in this that the rust

    le of the uprising congregation at the end of the sermon, reached her belatedly, and she r

    ose in a considerable hurry, filling up



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the gap in this tall barrier of Keelings

a disintegration ra

. She and her mother were not less than five feet ten in


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