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Old 04-29-2013, 05:53 AM   #1
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Woolson, Constance Fenimore: The Old Stone House. v1. 29 Apr 2013

Constance Fenimore Woolson (March 5, 1840 – January 24, 1894) was an American novelist, poet, and short story writer. She was a grandniece of James Fenimore Cooper, and is best known for fictions about the Great Lakes region, the American South, and American expatriates in Europe.

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Aunt Faith sat alone on the piazza, and sad thoughts crowded into her heart. It was her birthday,—the first day of June,—and she could look back over more than half a century, with that mournful retrospect which birthdays are apt to bring. Aunt Faith had seen trouble, and had met affliction face to face. When she was still a bride, her husband died suddenly and left her lonely forever; then, one by one, her brothers and sisters had been taken, and she was made sole guardian of their orphan children,—a flock of tender little lambs,—to be nourished and protected from the cold and the rain, the snare and the pitfalls, the tempter and the ravening wolf ever prowling around the fold. Hugh and Sibyl, Tom and Grace, and, last of all, wild little Bessie from the southern hill-country,—this was her charge. Hugh and Sibyl Warrington were the children of an elder brother; Tom and Grace Morris the children of a sister, and Bessie Darrell the only child of Aunt Faith's youngest sister, who had been the pet of all her family. For ten long years Aunt Faith had watched over this little band of orphans, and her heart and hands had been full of care. Children will be children, and the best mother has her hours of trouble over her wayward darlings; how much more an aunt, who, without the delicate maternal instinct as a guide, feels the responsibility to be doubly heavy!
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