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[42] outcry in a large family when a maiden aunt ventures to be married as if she had taken a vow of celibacy in early life.

No! the maiden aunts of this rough world are not anxious and aimless; they are the salt of the earth, and, like the salt described in the little boy's composition, they are something that makes the world taste badly when there is nothing of them in it. They are never too numerous; indeed, they are never quite numerous enough. The bounteous Irish woman in “Rudder Grange” thinks that it must be very lonesome in a house with only one baby; and that household must also be lonesome that does not have within a six-mile radius at least three or four maiden aunts. But it must be confessed that this propinquity is sometimes rather hard upon the aunts.

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