and Miss Edgeworth's better than Howells's, or any of the modern realistic writers, with their elevators, and paint-pots, and every-day people," said Alice, who wasted little time on light literature.
"I'm glad to hear you say so, for I have an old-fashioned fancy that I'd rather read about people as they were, for that is history, or as they might and should be, for that helps us in our own efforts; not as they are, for that we know, and are all sufficiently commonplace ourselves, to be the better for a nobler and wider view of life and men than any we are apt to get, so busy are we earning daily bread, or running after fortune, honor, or some other bubble. But I must n't lecture, or I shall bore you, and forget that I am your hostess, whose duty it is to amuse."
As Mrs. Warburton paused, Carrie, anxious to change the subject, said, with her eyes on a curious jewel which the old lady wore, "I also like true stories, and you promised to tell us about that lovely pin some day. This is just the time for it,—please do."
"With pleasure, for the little romance is quite apropos to our present chat. It is a very simple tale, and rather sad, but it had a great influence on my life, and this brooch is very dear to me."
As Mrs. Warburton sat silent a moment, the girls all looked with interest at the quaint pin which clasped the soft folds of muslin over the black silk dress which was as becoming to the still handsome woman as the cap on her white hair and the winter roses in her cheeks. The ornament was in the shape of a pansy; its purple leaves were of amethyst, the yellow of topaz,