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** We are at school: through this strange life of ours,

We pass, like children through their teaching-time;
Training in lowly trust our highest powers,

Learning by common things truths most sublime."

15

IN THREE VOLUMES,

VOL. II.

LONDON:
HURST AND BLACKETT, PUBLISHERS,
13, GREAT MARLBOROUGH STREET.

1871.

T'he right of Translation is reserved.

HARVARD
UNIVERSITY

!!BRARY
MAR 5 1941

LONDON: PRINTED BY MACDONALD AND TUGWELL,

BLENHEIM HOUSE.

JAMES GORDON'S WIFE.

CHAPTER I.

Silence, beautiful voice!

Still! I will hear you no more.

ALFRED TENNYSON.

MR.

R. GORDON, my lady."

Lady Louisa rose from the depths of an ancient sofa.

“How do you do, Mr. Gordon ? I am glad to see you.

In fact, you are just the person whom I wished to see. Pray sit down.”

“I ventured to call—” said James, “I was passing through Lorton ; and I thought that I might as well bring a letter which

VOL. II.

B

came by this morning's post, for

my

cousinfor Miss Wynn."

“How excessively kind!" said Lady Louisa: “Gabrielle will be so much obliged to you. .

I will take charge of the letter; she is out, just now, with my children and Mr. Godfrey. They are not likely to return at present: can you spare me a few moments ? it would be such an excellent opportunity to discuss one all-important subject. You must not think me interfering If you are her guardian, I am his aunt, you see.”

· May I ask to whom you are alluding ?” said James, stiffly. His manner alarmed Lady Louisa. Forgive me, Mr. Gordon. Bear with

I know I am tiresome. I am usually tiresome :. to myself and to every one else. Will you allow me to trouble you for that fan ?"

James handed her the fan, which lay on

me.

a small table at his elbow. Then he sat still, and waited: externally very nonchalant, very calm, very cold-inwardly all commotion, each moment an agony

of

suspense. Lady Louisa fanned herself for a considerable time, with every symptom of exhaustion. She then removed a refractory stopper from a scent-bottle; and inhaled strong odours. Finally, she replaced the stopper, smoothed the flaxen ringlets, folded her fat. white hands in her lap, over an embroidered pocket-handkerchief, and brought her eyes

James's face. “Mr. Gordon,” she said, in a solemn tone: “You appear to be unacquainted with a circumstance, which-holding, as you do, the responsible position of Gabrielle's guardian—I think it my duty to lay before you. Young girls are by nature reticent and shrinking; Gabrielle is peculiarly so. Any way, we could scarcely expect her to

upon

to bear

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