“Is it any one I know ?”

“Is it any one I know ?”

The following paragraphs with reference to the title have been taken from Eben Holden:

A year had gone, nearly, since Jed Feary had cautioned me about falling in love. I had kept enough of my heart about me “to do business with,” but I had continued to feel an uncomfortable absence in the region of it. Young men at Hillsborough—many of whom, I felt sure, had a smarter look than I—had bid stubbornly for her favor. I wondered, often, it did not turn her head—this tribute of rustic admiration. But she seemed to be all unconscious
of its cause and went about her work with small conceit of herself. Many a time they had tried to take her from my arm at the church door—a good-natured phase of youthful rivalry there in those days—but she had always said, laughingly, ” No, thank you,” and clung all the closer to me.


Now Jed Feary had no knowledge of the worry it gave me, or of the peril it suggested. I knew that, if I felt free to tell him all, he would give me other counsel. I was now seventeen and she a bit older, and had I not heard of many young men and women who had been engaged—aye, even married—at that age? Well, as it happened, a day before she left us, to go to her work in Ogdensburg, where she was to live with her uncle, I made an end of delay. I considered carefully what a man ought to say, in the circumstances, and I thought I had near an accurate notion. We were in the garden— together—the playground of our childhood.


“Hope, I have a secret to tell you,” I said.
“A secret,” she exclaimed eagerly. “I love secrets.”
“A great secret,” I repeated, as I felt my face burning.
“Why—it must be something awful!” 
”Not very,” I stammered. Having missed my cue from the beginning, I was now utterly confused.
“William!” she exclaimed, “what is the matter of you.”
“I—I am in love,” said I, very awkwardly.
“Is that all?” she answered, a trace of humor in her tone. “I thought it was bad news.”
I stooped to pick a rose and handed it to her.
“Well,” she remarked soberly, but smiling a little, as she lifted the rose to her lips, “is it anyone I know.”
I felt it was going badly with me, but caught a sudden inspiration.
“You have never seen her,” I said.
If she had suspected the truth I had turned the tables on her, and now she was guessing. A quick change came into her face, and, for a moment, it gave me confidence.
“Is she pretty?” she asked very seriously as she dropped the flower and looked down crushing it beneath her foot.
“She is very beautiful—it is you I love, Hope.” (1.)

1.  Eben Holden: Chapter XX: pp. 215-17

“Is it any one I know ?”

Image Dimensions12.2 x 7.5 cm

Support Dimensions20.0 x 13.9 cm