The Whole Family: a Novel by Twelve Authors

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Produced by Dianne Bean THE WHOLE FAMILY, A NOVEL BY TWELVE AUTHORS By William Dean Howells, Mary E. Wilkins Freeman, Mary Heaton Vorse, Mary Stewart Cutting, Elizabeth Jordan, John Kendrick Bangs, Henry James, Elizabeth Stuart Phelps, Edith Wyatt, Mary Raymond Shipman Andrews, Alice Brown, Henry Van Dyke CONTENTS I. The Father by William Dean Howells II. The Old-Maid Aunt by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman III. The Grandmother by Mary Heaton Vorse IV. The Daughter-in-Law by Mary Stewart Cutting V. The School-Girl by Elizabeth Jordan VI. The Son-in-Law by John Kendrick Bangs VII. The Married Son by Henry James VIII. The Married Daughter by Elizabeth Stuart Phelps IX. The Mother by Edith Wyatt X. The School-Boy by Mary Raymond Shipman Andrews XI. Peggy by Alice Brown XII. The Friend of the Family by Henry Van Dyke THE WHOLE FAMILY I. THE FATHER, by William Dean Howells As soon as we heard the pleasant news--I suppose the news of an engagement ought always to be called pleasant--it was decided that I ought to speak first about it, and speak to the father. We had not been a great while in the neighborhood, and it would look less like a bid for the familiar acquaintance of people living on a larger scale than ourselves, and less of an opening for our own intimacy if they turned out to be not quite so desirable in other ways as they were in the worldly way. For the ladies of the respective families first to offer and receive congratulations would be very much more committing on both sides; at the same time, to avoid the appearance of stiffness, some one ought to speak, and speak promptly. The news had not come to us directly from our neighbors, but authoritatively from a friend of theirs, who was also a friend of ours, and we could not very well hold back. So, in the cool of the early evening, when I had quite finished rasping my lawn with the new mower, I left it at the end of the swath, which had brought me near the fence, and said across it, “Good-evening!” My neighbor turned from making his man pour a pail of water on the earth round a freshly planted tree, and said, “Oh, good-evening! How d'ye do? Glad to see you!” and offered his hand over the low coping so cordially that I felt warranted in holding it a moment. “I hope it's in order for me to say how very much my wife and I are interested in the news we've heard about one of your daughters? May I offer our best wishes for her happiness?” “Oh, thank you,” my neighbor said. “You're very good indeed. Yes, it's rather exciting--for us. I guess that's all for to-night, Al,” he said, in dismissal of his man, before turning to lay his arms comfortably on the fence top. Then he laughed, before he added, to me, “And rather surprising, too.” “Those things are always rather surprising, aren't they?” I suggested.

William Dean Howells, Henry James, Elizabeth Garver Jordan, Henry Van Dyke, Mary Eleanor Wilkins Freeman, John Kendrick Bangs, Mary Raymond Shipman Andrews, Alice Brown, Mary Stewart Cutting, Elizabeth Stuart Phelps, Mary Heaton Vorse and Edith Wyatt

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    "The Whole Family: a Novel by Twelve Authors Books." Literature.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 19 Jun 2024. <https://www.literature.com/book/the_whole_family%3A_a_novel_by_twelve_authors_5066>.

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