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My father is dead and gone," answered Telemachus, "and even if some rumour reaches me I put no more faith in it now.
It all began with my hearing a strange rumour from Thedora--namely, that an unworthy suitor had been to visit you, and had insulted you with an improper proposal.
She made no display of her grief in her dress, unless the slight testimonials of a few bright ribbands on the virgin white of her robe could be called such, and the rumour that was at first propagated of their being engaged to each other was discredited, because the traces of sorrow were not particularly visible in the attire of Miss Henley.
On the other hand, I must plead, for I have an affectionate partiality towards the rector's memory, that he was not vindictive--and some philanthropists have been so; that he was not intolerant--and there is a rumour that some zealous theologians have not been altogether free from that blemish; that although he would probably have declined to give his body to be burned in any public cause, and was far from bestowing all his goods to feed the poor, he had that charity which has sometimes been lacking to very illustrious virtue--he was tender to other men's failings, and unwilling to impute evil.
Let him come, and let him laugh at the contrast between rumour and fact.
There is a rumour afloat, that the people wish to elect an--in point of fact, an --you understand that I mean an--"
They swarmed like bees that sally from some hollow cave and flit in countless throng among the spring flowers, bunched in knots and clusters; even so did the mighty multitude pour from ships and tents to the assembly, and range themselves upon the wide-watered shore, while among them ran Wildfire Rumour, messenger of Jove, urging them ever to the fore.
A most scandalous, ill-natured rumour has just reached me, and I write, dear Fanny, to warn you against giving the least credit to it, should it spread into the country.
Some such rumour, I believe, reached me once long ago.
Wherefore the remnant took measures (with the half-butt as an engine of public opinion) till the rumour went abroad that young men who used the Tail Twisters as a crutch to the Staff Corps had many and varied trials to endure.
At the end of that time--and none knew who had started it--a rumour went through the Jungle that there was better food and water to be found in such and such a valley.
I have not seen him, But Rumour speaks of him as of a prodigy Pre-eminent in arts and arms, and wealth, And high descent.