Penelope's Progress

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: Ill When we awoke next morning the sun had forgotten itself and was shining in at Mrs. M'Col- lop's back windows. We should have arisen at once to burn sacrifices and offer oblations, but we had seen the sun frequently in America, and had no idea (poor fools !) that it was anything to be grateful for, so we accepted it, almost without comment, as one of the perennial providences of life. When I speak of Edinburgh sunshine I do not mean, of course, any such burning, whole-souled, ardent warmth of beam as one finds in countries where they make a specialty of climate. It is, generally speaking, a half-hearted, uncertain ray, as pale and as transitory as a martyr's smile ; but its faintest gleam, or its most puerile attempt to gleam, is admired and recorded by its well- disciplined constituency. Not only that, but at the first timid blink of the sun the true Scotsman remarks smilingly, " I think now we shall be having settled weather ! " It is a pathetic optimism, beautiful but quite groundless, and leads one to believe in the story that when Father Noah refused to take Sandy into the ark, he sat down philosophically outside, saying, with aglance at the clouds, " Awed ! the day's jist aboot the ord'nar', an' I wouldna won'er if we saw the sun afore nicht!" But what loyal son of Edina cares for these transatlantic gibes, and where is the dweller within her royal gates who fails to succumb to the sombre beauty of that old gray town of the North ? " Gray ! why, it is gray, or gray and gold, or gray and gold and blue, or gray and gold and blue and green, or gray and gold and blue and green and purple, according as the heaven pleases and you choose your ground ! But take it when it is most sombrely gray, where is another such gray city ?" So says one of her lovers, and so th...
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