three sons and a mother

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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: CHAPTER III THE WIDE, WIDE WORLD IT is time to give my readers a hint as to the period through which they are to follow the establishment of the illustrious family, over whose members they have the advantage of knowing the history of the time. Such an advantage is unfair and if they are to understand James and his kinsfolk they must forget it and remember only that Queen Victoria had lately ascended the throne, that ships had recently crossed the Atlantic under steam and that, though Napoleon Bonaparte was long since dead, yet he was in the imaginations of all men the most lively figure, the arrivist who had arrived, but, being only a Frenchman, he had had to depart. Had he been an Englishman, a la bonne heure! It was annoying to have a chit of a girl on the throne, but Englishmen could always smile at Fate and show themselves gentlemen. As for the Scots, being romantic, and, thanks to John Knox, educated, they could beat the English at their own game, because they could regard it as a means and not as an end. They were charged with destiny, the service of the clan, and a shining name was of more worth to them than riches, though these were necessary for security's sake, a guarantee that their light would not be hid. It was almost a tradition in the Keith family, for instance, that the English were soft and slow, a blind race,tripping their way along, and needing a dog to guide them. James Lawrie's head was full of this tradition on his long, uncomfortable journey by sea and land. He was very sick on the water and very cold on the land, for it was early spring and dirty weather and he took his first railway journey over the thirty miles from the coast to Thrigsby without marvelling at it. The smell of the engine on the Glasgow packet-boat had given him a fierce hatred of mac...
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