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From Content:There is nothing, sir, too little for so little a creature as man. It is by studying little things that we attain the great art of having as little misery and as much happiness as possible.-Dr. Johnson.Everyone in Rutherford knewMoreFrom Content:There is nothing, sir, too little for so little a creature as man. It is by studying little things that we attain the great art of having as little misery and as much happiness as possible.-Dr. Johnson.Everyone in Rutherford knew that Mrs. Ross was ruled by her eldest daughter- it was an acknowledged fact, obvious not only to a keen-witted person like Mrs. Charrington, the head-masters wife, but even to the minor intelligence of Johnnie Deans, the youngest boy at Woodcote. It was not that Mrs. Ross was a feeble-minded woman- in her own way she was sensible, clear-sighted, with plenty of common-sense- but she was a little disposed to lean on a stronger nature, and even when Geraldine was in the schoolroom, her energy and youthful vigour began to assert themselves, her opinions insensibly influenced her mothers, until at last they swayed her entirely.If this were the case when Geraldine was a mere girl, it was certainly not altered when the crowning glories of matronhood were added to her other perfections. Six months ago Geraldine Ross had left her fathers house to become the wife of Mr. Harcourt, of Hillside- and in becoming the mistress of one of the coveted Hill houses, Geraldine had not yet consented to lay down the sceptre of her home rule.Mrs. Ross had acquiesced cheerfully in this arrangement. She had lost her right hand in losing Geraldine- and during the brief honeymoon both she and her younger daughter Audrey felt as though the home machinery were somewhat out of gear. No arrangement could be effected without a good deal of wondering on Mrs. Rosss part as to what Geraldine might think of it, and without a lengthy letter being written on the subject.It was a relief, at least to her mothers mind, when young Mrs. Harcourt returned, and without a word took up the reins again. No one disputed her claims. Now and then there would be a lazy protest from Audrey-a concealed sarcasm that fell blunted beneath the calm amiability of the elder sister. Geraldine was always perfectly good-tempered- the sense of propriety that guided all her actions never permitted her to grow hot in argument- and when a person is always in the right, as young Mrs. Harcourt believed herself to be, the small irritations of daily life fall very harmlessly. It is possible for a man to be so cased in armour that even a pin-prick of annoyance will not find ingress. It is true the armour may be a little stifling and somewhat inconvenient for work-a-day use, but it is a grand thing to be saved from pricks.Mrs. Harcourt was presiding at the little tea-table in the Woodcote drawing-room- there were only two other persons in the room. It was quite an understood thing that the young mistress of Hillside should walk over to Woodcote two or three afternoons in the week, to give her mother the benefit of her society, and also to discuss any little matter that might have arisen during her brief absence.