A Backward Glance
Book format: An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.
Publisher: Date:8/4/2009 - General Books LLC
By: Annie E. Ridley
Excerpt from book: CHAPTER II. Marriage. " He is the half-part of a blessed man, Left to be finished by such as she, And she a fair divided excellence, Whose fulness of perfection lies in him." Shakespeare. " Home is the place of peace. . . . And, wherever a true wife comes, this home is always round her : home is wherever she is." Ruskin. Allusion has been made in passing to the Old Hall, at the Hylton entrance to West Boldon. How old it may be no one knows exactly, but it must be at least as old as the days of Queen Anne. At the beginning of last century it had fallen from its first estate, but up to or beyond the half-century it remained picturesque. The panelled walls, painted in faint old- world tints, with the carved oak staircase, still suggested the times of hoop and powder, of ruffle and peruke, when stately dame and gallant squire paced up and down the low wide steps. But for many a year this staircase had echoed to the noisy tread of wild schoolboys, taking half a dozen steps at a bound, since the low rent of the Old Hall had attracted my grandfather, Mr. Pybus, the head of a widely known "boarding-school for young gentlemen" at Barnard Castle. Low rents became a considerationafter a great bank failure, in which with many others he was unfortunately involved in a widespread ruin, not yet quite forgotten. His school had been singularly successful, but, as at that time banks were unlimited, their failure meant utter ruin in not merely the loss of past savings, but in the confiscation of all future earnings to meet the calls for which every shareholder was liable. Some arrangement must have been made by which a bare livelihood was retained, but all beyond this had to go: and for the rest of his life, and for a great part of that of the son who succeeded him in the sc...