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A POLITICIAN'S DAUGHTER.

CHAPTER I.

TARRATINE.

The day was Sunday, the time high noon, the month October, and the place a town which is neither “twelve miles from a lemon," nor at the “Hub” itself. The journals of the “Hub” had even been known to speak of Tarratine as. provincial, although its citizens laid the flattering unction to their souls that they were not too provincial to read those same journals daily.

The throng which on this Sunday passed to and fro upon the streets, out of churches, and into comfortable, well-established, often handsome houses, seemed a prosperous, self-contented crowd, with less nervousness, more repose, than that which strikes the observer viewing a like throng in New York or even Boston. As in those larger cities, men gathered in knots on the street-corners to discuss, perhaps, the growing infidelity of the age, the heterodoxy of the new clergy, or, more often, the rise and fall of the markets, or the prospects for the coming elections.

Young men and maidens sought each other by mutual consent and tacit understanding, and two by two walked under the beautiful New England elms which arched the broad street with waving shade. Did they too talk of the growing infidelity of the age, or only the fidelity of their own hearts ? Who knows? Young men and maidens have walked so and talked so through all generations since John Alden and Priscilla, and the New England elms guard fast their secrets, as the trees of the forest in the fairy tale the treasure of the king, except that no Judas tree has ever betrayed the meaning of the slackened steps or the upward glances. It is a very old story, hardly different in Tarratine from that which one reads on the “Avenue," Sunday noon in New York, or Beacon Street in Boston.

As a whole, then, Tarratine, with its twenty thousand men and women, seemed but a microcosm of the larger world outside. It showed no consciousness of being outside the great world, ex

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cept in that superiority of owning broader lands and breathing in more room. It felt eminently respectable, contented, and prosperous. It was not ambitious nor purse-proud. And all this could be read in the faces of the men and women who passed to and fro under the elms that Sunday afternoon. These faces were not the hard-featured, anxious, nervous faces one sees so often in the suburbs of great cities, even in those well-kept dormitories of the metropolis, but they were the independent, original, intelligent faces of men who had been successful and are realizing the value of leisure; of women whose lives are not warped by rigid economies, nor wasted in heartless, purposeless frivolity-women with pure, beautiful homes, kept sweet by contentment and affection.

But Tarratine, with its smiling lawns sweeping down from its high-set houses to the broad streets ---with its waving elms, its blue river, and high hills --with all its emblems of peace, had its petty factions, its well-concealed ambitions, its social scale with its coal-heavers at the bottom and its millionaire at the top, its small men and its great men, its greatest man above the rest, set high by public favor and political prestige.

It was this great man's daughter who passed

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through the shady street and drew the attention of more than one, eliciting voluble comment from one old man who had worn his blue coat and brass buttons over the town chronicles for nearly fifty years, well deserving the title of bard and historian. Nothing delighted the old man more than to find a listener for his reminiscences, as on this occasion, when he wound the thread of some life backward to its origin.

“ Yes, I knew her father, when he was about her age. She is like him. Holds her head high, and swings her body easy on its axis. It's thirty years, every bit, since Harcourt came here fresh from college, Harvard too, to try his learning on the academy-lyceum they called it then. No mean apprentice was he! A practiced hand he wielded on the graceless country cubs, for Tarratine wasn't so big as it is now. There was nothing he didn't know. Latin, Greek, mathematics, for the boys who had ambition toward college; French, Italian, literature, for the girls who liked a smáttering even then.

More than half of the girls were as old as the school-master himself, so it wasn't much wonder that some of them lost their hearts instead of finding their heads. Now Harcourt wasn't a prig, and he wasn't a flirt, and it was very natu

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