The Nest of the Sparrowhawk

The Nest of the Sparrowhawk

by Baroness Emmuska Orczy

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Overview

Master Hymn-of-Praise Busy folded his hands before him ere he spoke:
"Nay! but I tell thee, woman, that the Lord hath no love for such frivolities! and alack! but 'tis a sign of the times that an English Squire should favor such evil ways."
"Evil ways? The Lord love you, Master Hymn-of-Praise, and pray do you call half an hour at the skittle alley 'evil ways'?"
"Aye, evil it is to indulge our sinful bodies in such recreation as doth not tend to the glorification of the Lord and the sanctification of our immortal souls."
He who sermonized thus unctuously and with eyes fixed with stern disapproval on the buxom wench before him, was a man who had passed the meridian of life not altogether-it may be surmised-without having indulged in some recreations which had not always the sanctification of his own immortal soul for their primary object. The bulk of his figure testified that he was not averse to good cheer, and there was a certain hidden twinkle underlying the severe expression of his eyes as they rested on the pretty face and round figure of Mistress Charity that did not necessarily tend to the glorification of the Lord.
Apparently, however, the admonitions of Master Hymn-of-Praise made but a scanty impression on the young girl's mind, for she regarded him with a mixture of amusement and contempt as she shrugged her plump shoulders and said with sudden irrelevance:
"Have you had your dinner yet, Master Busy?"
"'Tis sinful to address a single Christian person as if he or she were several," retorted the man sharply. "But I'll tell thee in confidence, mistress, that I have not partaken of a single drop more comforting than cold water the whole of to-day. Mistress de Chavasse mixed the sack-posset with her own hands this morning, and locked it in the cellar, of which she hath rigorously held the key. Ten minutes ago when she placed the bowl on this table, she called my attention to the fact that the delectable beverage came to within three inches of the brim. Meseems I shall have to seek for a less suspicious, more Christian-spirited household, whereon to bestow in the near future my faithful services."
Hardly had Master Hymn-of-Praise finished speaking when he turned very sharply round and looked with renewed sternness-wholly untempered by a twinkle this time-in the direction whence he thought a suppressed giggle had just come to his ears. But what he saw must surely have completely reassured him; there was no suggestion of unseemly ribaldry about the young lad who had been busy laying out the table with spoons and mugs, and was at this moment vigorously-somewhat ostentatiously, perhaps-polishing a carved oak chair, bending to his task in a manner which fully accounted for the high color in his cheeks.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781412168816
Publisher: eBooksLib
Publication date: 04/21/2010
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 355 KB

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