It is not in truth a chapel at all, but a consecrated chamber in a very small, very lowly cottage, which stands, or one might appropriately, if not with absolute novelty, say which kneels, in the center of a large garden, a garden primeval in rusticity and size, its limits being defined by no lesser boundaries than the four intersecting streets outside, and its culture showing only the careless, shiftless culture of nature.
In his face was great sweetness mingled with great rusticity, and I could not tell whether he was the child of gentlefolk or of peasants. He did not say a word, but walked away to join his aunt, who was waiting for him at the gate of the churchyard.
The Americans never use the word "peasant," because they have no idea of the peculiar class which that term denotes; the ignorance of more remote ages, the simplicity of rural life, and the rusticity of the villager, have not been preserved among them; and they are alike unacquainted with the virtues, the vices, the coarse habits, and the simple graces of an early stage of civilisation.
He remembered now that she was not a large figure, that she was light and slight, of the type dubbed elegant. That was about all he had seen. There was nothing statuesque in her; all was nervous motion. She was mobile, living, yet a painter might not have called her handsome or beautiful. But the much that she was surprised him. She was quite a long way removed from the rusticity that was his.
Here I should like to be pardoned a brief digression. In this they forgot that Marguerite and Gretchen are very different characters indeed. There is much of the tender grace of the unfortunate German maiden in the creation of the French authors, but none of her simple, almost rude, rusticity. As created by, let me say, Mme.
She was not unacquainted with English literature, in which the rusticity and coarseness of the fox-hunting squires formed a piquant subject for the mirth of dramatists and novelists; and if Squire Western had been the type of sportsmen in all countries, she could not have inveighed more vigorously than she did against her husband's addiction to hunting.
But a girl reared amid the commonest surroundings, enduring the straits of poverty, lack of education, no accomplishments, how could she take her place in the front rank of Mount Morris society? And the boys how would they accept this rusticity and probably self conceit? Major Crawford and his wife often fell into tender and mysterious confidences at this hour, that were never shared with others.
Moreover, the countess gradually weaned her from all her boorish habits, and accustomed her to polite manners, which Milly appropriated all the more readily as they were what she had always been used to, whereas her rusticity was a mere disguise and pretense. Wonderful, too, was the scientific progress which Milly brought about in worthy Valentine, her husband.
The sun blazed down, a blistering fragrant heat, and the laden atmosphere of the valley suggested only the rusticity, the simple innocence of a pastoral world. At Kate Seton's homestead a profound quiet reigned.
'I am a Gentleman who for many Years last past have been well known to be truly Splenatick, and that my Spleen arises from having contracted so great a Delicacy, by reading the best Authors, and keeping the most refined Company, that I cannot bear the least Impropriety of Language, or Rusticity of Behaviour.