Page by Page Books
Read Books Online, for Free
A Lady of Quality Frances Hodgson Burnett

An heir is born

Page 3 of 7

Table Of Contents: A Lady of Quality

Previous Page

Next Page

Previous Chapter

Next Chapter

More Books

More by this Author

Till the last hour of the poor creature who lay before her when she heard this thing, her Grace of Osmonde saw that she was tended, took her from her filthy hovel, putting her in a decent house and going to her day by day, until she received her last breath, holding her hand while the poor wench lay staring up at her beauteous face and her great deep eyes, whose lustrousness held such power to sustain, protect, and comfort.

"Be not afraid, poor soul," she said, "be not afraid. I will stay near thee. Soon all will end in sleep, and if thou wakest, sure there will be Christ who died, and wipes all tears away. Hear me say it to thee for a prayer," and she bent low and said it soft and clear into the deadening ear, "He wipes all tears away--He wipes all tears away."

Tired of reading? Add this page to your Bookmarks or Favorites and finish it later.

The great strength she had used in the old days to conquer and subdue, to win her will and to defend her way, seemed now a power but to protect the suffering and uphold the weak, and this she did, not alone in hovels but in the brilliant court and world of fashion, for there she found suffering and weakness also, all the more bitter and sorrowful since it dared not cry aloud. The grandeur of her beauty, the elevation of her rank, the splendour of her wealth would have made her a protector of great strength, but that which upheld all those who turned to her was that which dwelt within the high soul of her, the courage and power of love for all things human which bore upon itself, as if upon an eagle's outspread wings, the woes dragging themselves broken and halting upon earth. The starving beggar in the kennel felt it, and, not knowing wherefore, drew a longer, deeper breath, as if of purer, more exalted air; the poor poet in his garret was fed by it, and having stood near or spoken to her, went back to his lair with lightening eyes and soul warmed to believe that the words his Muse might speak the world might stay to hear.

From the hour she stayed the last moments of John Oxon's victim she set herself a work to do. None knew it but herself at first, and later Anne, for 'twas done privately. From the hag who had told her of the poor girl's hanging upon Tyburn Tree, she learned things by close questioning, which to the old woman's dull wit seemed but the curiousness of a great lady, and from others who stood too deep in awe of her to think of her as a mere human being, she gathered clues which led her far in the tracing of the evils following one wicked, heartless life. Where she could hear of man, woman, or child on whom John Oxon's sins had fallen, or who had suffered wrong by him, there she went to help, to give light, to give comfort and encouragement. Strangely, as it seemed to them, and as if done by the hand of Heaven, the poor tradesmen he had robbed were paid their dues, youth he had led into evil ways was checked mysteriously and set in better paths; women he had dragged downward were given aid and chance of peace or happiness; children he had cast upon the world, unfathered, and with no prospect but the education of the gutter, and a life of crime, were cared for by a powerful unseen hand. The pretty country girl saved by his death, protected by her Grace, and living innocently at Dunstanwolde, memory being merciful to youth, forgot him, gained back her young roses, and learned to smile and hope as though he had been but a name.

Page 3 of 7 Previous Page   Next Page
Who's On Your Reading List?
Read Classic Books Online for Free at
Page by Page Books.TM
A Lady of Quality
Frances Hodgson Burnett

Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2004