Page:The King's Men (1884).djvu/20

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At this time he was forty-six years of age. He had been a widower for over twenty years. At twenty-five he had married the beautiful girl he loved, and within the year his wife died, leaving the lonely man a little daughter whose eyes renewed his grief and love.

This was the tall girl who flung her arms round the neck of the dismissed minister when he entered his home at Nottingham.

"No one else, papa!" she cried, as she buried her face against his heart, sobbing with joy. "Do not speak to any one else till I am done with you."

The rest, the love, the peace of home were very sweet Richard Lincoln renewed, or tried to renew, his interest in the work of his younger days. His daughter loved to go with him through the town, proud of the famous man who was hers, heedful of any curious or respectful glance of the people on the street.

He gave himself up to the new life. He began to wonder at and enjoy the beauty, accomplishments and unceasing amiability of his daughter.

Mary Lincoln was a rare type of womanhood. She had inherited her mother's grace and lithe beauty of form, and from her father she took a strong and self-sustained nature. But there was added a quality that was hers alone—a strange, silent power of enthusiasm—a fervor that did not cry out for ideals, but filled all her blood with a deep music of devotion. A man with such a nature had been a poet or the founder of a creed. But the ideal of a man is an idea, while the ideal of a woman is a man. Time alone can bring the touchstone to such a heart.

It was not strange that under such home influences public affairs should sink into a secondary place in Rich-