The Children

The Children

Edith Wharton

Language: English

Pages: 272

ISBN: 1534957812

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


A bestseller when it was first published, The Children is a comic, bittersweet novel about the misadventures of a bachelor and a band of precocious children. The seven Wheater children, stepbrothers and stepsisters grown weary of being shuttled from parent to parent are eager for their parents' latest reconciliation to last. A chance meeting between the children and the solitary 46-year old Martin Boyne leads to a series of unforgettable encounters.

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and curtains. No one could arrange a room half so well; and she had arranged herself and her life just as skilfully. The material she had had to deal with was poor enough; in every way unworthy of her; but, as her clever hands could twist a scarf into a divan-cover, and ruffle a bit of paper into a lamp-shade, so she had managed, out of mediocre means, a mediocre husband, an ugly New York house, and a dull New York set, to make something distinguished, personal, almost exciting—so that, in her

just like that at Harvard. The only difference was that he and his cigar had both grown bigger. And he seemed to have as little difficulty in identifying Boyne. “Hullo!” he shouted, so that the hall rocked with his greeting, and the extremely slim young lady in a Quaker gray frock and endless pearls to whom he was talking turned her head toward the newcomer with a little pout of disdain. The pout lingered as her eyes rested on Boyne, but he perceived that it was not personally addressed to him.

argument. It seemed to come out of some other plane of experience, to be thrust at him from depths of pain and disillusionment that he had not yet begun to sound. “You see,” she pressed on, snatching at her opportunity, “if we could only get to Grandma Mervin’s, I believe she’d keep us. At any rate, she’d try to make mother see that we mustn’t be separated. I know she would, because in her letters to mother she always calls us ‘those poor children.’ She’s awfully old-fashioned, Grandma

of them; and I am sure you will feel, as I do, that it would be unthinkable to separate dear little Blanca from the brother she adores. What I propose, then, is that you should ask Mr. and Mrs. Wheater to give up the twins—regarding us in any capacity you like, either as their friends, or as their legal guardians, if that is better—till they come of age. I will gladly take a share in looking after them, and I believe that between us we can turn them into happy useful members of society. If you

to post? If you didn’t want that, what did you want?” “I wanted—somehow—to get them all out of this hell.” “I believe you exaggerate. It’s not going to be a hell if their mother keeps them, as Mr. Dobree thinks she’ll be able to. You say yourself that she’s fond of them.” “Yes; intermittently.” “And, after all, if the step-children are taken back by their own parents, that’s only natural. You say the new Princess Buondelmonte seems well-meaning, and kind in her way; and as for Zinnie—I

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