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Marcella by Mrs. Humphry Ward
page 2 of 905 (00%)
About the opening of the flower,
Who is it that could live an hour?"


"The mists--and the sun--and the first streaks of yellow in the

And with a long breath of delight Marcella Boyce threw herself on her
knees by the window she had just opened, and, propping her face upon her
hands, devoured the scene, before her with that passionate intensity of
pleasure which had been her gift and heritage through life.

She looked out upon a broad and level lawn, smoothed by the care of
centuries, flanked on either side by groups of old trees--some Scotch
firs, some beeches, a cedar or two--groups where the slow selective hand
of time had been at work for generations, developing here the delightful
roundness of quiet mass and shade, and there the bold caprice of bare
fir trunks and ragged branches, standing black against the sky. Beyond
the lawn stretched a green descent indefinitely long, carrying the eye
indeed almost to the limit of the view, and becoming from the lawn
onwards a wide irregular avenue, bordered by beeches of a splendid
maturity, ending at last in a far distant gap where a gate--and a gate
of some importance--clearly should have been, yet was not. The size of
the trees, the wide uplands of the falling valley to the left of the
avenue, now rich in the tints of harvest, the autumn sun pouring
steadily through the vanishing mists, the green breadth of the vast
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