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The Yale literary magazine (v. 38)

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Pages: 278

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:8/5/2009 - General Books LLC

By: Yale University

Excerpt from book: RUTH MAYHEW. OH yes, there was a little Quaker girl once, but she died." died.' There was nothing remarkable in the words or dramatic in the manner of their utterance, but they told the life story of the simplest and grandest old man I ever knew. It was in the back parlor of a quiet residence in a southern city some years ago: we young folks had been unusually merry even for us, and had needed chiding several times for our boisterous mirth. One of those unseen spirits of jollity had taken possession of us, and we laughed, we knew not why. In the midst of it all one of my rosy-cheeked cousins burst out, " Were you ever in love, Uncle Sam ?" I shall never forget how my uncle looked that night, lying on the sofa under the mellow light of the chandelier, with that softened happy look which he always wore when surrounded by young faces. He was the last of his generation: on the street his name alone was left of that race of conservative business men who ruled our markets twenty-five years ago. His brothers and sisters were dead, and many of their children also. He had never married, but had walked the path of life alone. Success in business had afforded him means to carry out his many schemes of unobtrusive benevolence, but had left him all the freshness and mirth of childhood. His answer to this question, on which he had before been silent, sobered us for the moment, more by its unexpectedness than by its import: but to our farther questioning he returned evasive answers. Next day we drove to the park, and then around the cemetery. In the family lot, unornamented, as was his wish, he pointed out the resting-place of each one of his kindred, the companions of his childhood, and the associates of his mature years, till he came to his younger and best loved brother. ...  

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