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A Cathedral Courtship by Kate Douglas Smith Wiggin

A CATHEDRAL COURTSHIP

BY KATE DOUGLAS WIGGIN

WITH FIVE ILLUSTRATIONS BY CLIFFORD CARLETON

LONDON: GAY AND BIRD 5 CHANDOS STREET STRAND 1893

_All rights reserved_

First Edition June 1893. Second Edition July 1893. Third Edition September 1893. Fourth Edition November 1893. Fifth Edition October 1894.

TO MY BOSTON FRIEND SALEMINA NO ANGLOMANIAC, BUT A TRUE BRITON

SHE

WINCHESTER, _May_ 28, 1891 The Royal Garden Inn.

We are doing the English cathedral towns, aunt Celia and I. Aunt Celia has an intense desire to improve my mind. Papa told her, when we were leaving Cedarhurst, that he wouldn't for the world have it too much improved, and aunt Celia remarked that, so far as she could judge, there was no immediate danger; with which exchange of hostilities they parted.

We are traveling under the yoke of an iron itinerary, warranted neither to bend nor break. It was made out by a young High Church curate in New York, and if it had been blessed by all the bishops and popes it could not be more sacred to aunt Celia. She is awfully High Church, and I believe she thinks this tour of the cathedrals will give me a taste for ritual and bring me into the true fold. I have been hearing dear old Dr. Kyle a great deal lately, and aunt Celia says that he is the most dangerous Unitarian she knows, because he has leanings towards Christianity.

Long ago, in her youth, she was engaged to a young architect. He, with his triangles and T-squares and things, succeeded in making an imaginary scale-drawing of her heart (up to that time a virgin forest, an unmapped territory), which enabled him to enter in and set up a pedestal there, on which he has remained ever since. He has been only a memory for many years, to be sure, for he died at the age of twenty-six, before he had had time to build anything but a livery stable and a country hotel. This is fortunate, on the whole, because aunt Celia thinks he was destined to establish American architecture on a higher plane,--rid it of its base, time-serving, imitative instincts, and waft it to a height where, in the course of centuries, we should have been revered and followed by all the nations of the earth. I went to see the livery stable, after one of these Miriam-like flights of prophecy on the might-have-been. It isn't fair to judge a man's promise by one performance, and that one a livery stable, so I shall say nothing.


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