The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim


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The Project Gutenberg eBook, The Enchanted April, by Elizabeth von Arnim

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at

Title: The Enchanted April

Author: Elizabeth von Arnim

Release Date: July 29, 2005 [eBook #16389]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


E-text prepared by Manette Rothermel




It began in a Woman's Club in London on a February afternoon--an
uncomfortable club, and a miserable afternoon--when Mrs. Wilkins, who
had come down from Hampstead to shop and had lunched at her club, took
up The Times from the table in the smoking-room, and running her
listless eye down the Agony Column saw this:

To Those Who Appreciate Wistaria and Sunshine. Small mediaeval Italian
Castle on the shores of the Mediterranean to be Let furnished for the
month of April. Necessary servants remain. Z, Box 1000, The Times.

That was its conception; yet, as in the case of many another, the
conceiver was unaware of it at the moment.

So entirely unaware was Mrs. Wilkins that her April for that year
had then and there been settled for her that she dropped the newspaper
with a gesture that was both irritated and resigned, and went over to
the window and stared drearily out at the dripping street.

Not for her were mediaeval castles, even those that are specially
described as small. Not for her the shores in April of the
Mediterranean, and the wisteria and sunshine. Such delights were only
for the rich. Yet the advertisement had been addressed to persons who
appreciate these things, so that it had been, anyhow addressed too to
her, for she certainly appreciated them; more than anybody knew; more
than she had ever told. But she was poor. In the whole world she
possessed of her very own only ninety pounds, saved from year to year,
put by carefully pound by pound, out of her dress allowance. She had
scraped this sum together at the suggestion of her husband as a shield
and refuge against a rainy day. Her dress allowance, given her by her

husband, urging her to save, called modest and becoming, and her
acquaintance to each other, when they spoke of her at all, which was
seldom for she was very negligible, called a perfect sight.

Mr. Wilkins, a solicitor, encouraged thrift, except that branch
of it which got into his food. He did not call that thrift, he called
it bad housekeeping. But for the thrift which, like moth, penetrated
into Mrs. Wilkins's clothes and spoilt them, he had much praise. "You
never know," he said, "when there will be a rainy day, and you may be
very glad to find you have a nest-egg. Indeed we both may."

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Books | Photos | Paul Mutton | Mon 1st Jun 2020, 20:41