Page:The Bostonians (London & New York, Macmillan & Co., 1886).djvu/227

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XXIII.
217
THE BOSTONIANS.

'Worth living for—you! But for us?' suggested Miss Birdseye.

'It's worth any woman's while to be admired as I admire you. Miss Tarrant, of whom we were speaking, affected me, as you say, in this way—that I think more highly still, if possible, of the sex which produced such a delightful young lady.'

'Well, we think everything of her here,' said Miss Birdseye. 'It seems as if it were a real gift.'

'Does she speak often—is there any chance of my hearing her now?'

'She raises her voice a good deal in the places round like Framingham and Billerica. It seems as if she were gathering strength, just to break over Boston like a wave. In fact she did break, last summer. She is a growing power since her great success at the convention.'

'Ah! her success at the convention was very great?' Ransom inquired, putting discretion into his voice.

Miss Birdseye hesitated a moment, in order to measure her response by the bounds of righteousness. 'Well,' she said, with the tenderness of a long retrospect, 'I have seen nothing like it since I last listened to Eliza P. Moseley.'

'What a pity she isn't speaking somewhere to-night!' Ransom exclaimed.

'Oh, to-night she's out in Cambridge. Olive Chancellor mentioned that.'

'Is she making a speech there?'

'No; she's visiting her home.'

'I thought her home was in Charles Street?'

'Well, no; that's her residence—her principal one—since she became so united to your cousin. Isn't Miss Chancellor your cousin?'

'We don't insist on the relationship,' said Ransom, smiling. 'Are they very much united, the two young ladies?'

'You would say so if you were to see Miss Chancellor when Verena rises to eloquence. It's as if the chords were strung across her own heart; she seems to vibrate, to echo with every word. It's a very close and very beautiful tie, and we think everything of it here. They will work together for a great good!'