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The Maid Of Maiden Lane

by Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr

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1900. The novel begins: Never, in all its history, was the product and opulent city of New York more glad and gay than in the bright spring days of 1791. It had put out of sight every trace of British rule and occupancy, all its homes had been restored and refurnished, and its sacred places reconsecrated and adorned. Like a young giant ready to run a race it stood on tiptoe, eager for adventure and discovery-sending ships to the ends of the world, and round the world, on messages of commerce and friendship, and encouraging with applause and rewards that wonderful spirit of scientific invention, which was the Epic of the youthful nation. The skies of Italy were not bluer than the skies above it; the sunshine of Arcadia not brighter or more genial. It was a city of beautiful, and even splendid, homes; and all the length and breadth of its streets were shaded by trees, in whose green shadows dwelt and walked some of the greatest men of the century.

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Thus his passionate grief and anger tortured him until midnight. Then he had a high fever and a distracting headache, and, the physical torment being the most insistent and distressing, he gave way before it. With such agonizing tears as spring from despairing wounded love he threw himself upon his bed, and his craving, suffering heart at length found rest in sleep from the terrible egotism of its sorrow.



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