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THE

NEXT-DOOR NEIGHBOURS;

BY

THE AUTHOR OF

"TEMPTATION, OR A WIFE'S PERILS;”

“BELGRAVIA;" &c.

“Poverty, with largeness of heart, or a full purse, with a sordid spirit.”

PROVERBIAL PHILOSOPHY.

IN THREE VOLUMES.

VOL. III.

LONDON:
HURST AND BLACKETT, PUBLISHERS,
SUCCESSORS TO HENRY COLBURN,
13, GREAT MARLBOROUGH STREET.

1855.

249.4.450.

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PRINTED BY CHARLES BEVAN AND SON, STREET'S EUILDINGS, CHAPEL STREET, GROSVENOR SQUARE.

THE NEXT-DOOR NEIGHBOURS.

CHAPTER I.

Stand on thy guard against the smiles of Fate.'

YOUNG'S NIGHT THOUGHTS.

For high place, calumny and care, For state, comfortless splendour, eating out the heart of home.'

PROVERBIAL PHILOSOPHY.

•The rich man languisheth with sloth, and findeth

pleasure in nothing ; He locketh up care with his gold, and feareth the

fickleness of fortune ; There is a limit to enjoyment, though the sources of wealth be boundless.

PROVERBIAL PHILOSOPHY.

an absolute gentleman.'

HAMLET.

TIME has rolled on, and brought various changes to the actors in our little drama.

VOL. III.

B

Marie has been nearly three years a wife, and during that time her friends in England have never once beheld her; for she and her husband have lived entirely abroad. They have travelled much, and visited remote lands, where women seldom penetrate ; and her letters have been few, and, sometimes, very far between ; but now she believes that they will shortly turn their steps towards home, and joyfully she announces this hope to Edith, charmed at the thought of once more beholding her dearly beloved friend. Visions of pleasant days which they shall spend together, seem to have animated her pen as she traced those lines, and rise with a vivid distinctness before the glistening eyes of that friend as she reads them now. And, with a sigh of excited feeling, Edith lays the letter aside, and gazes abstractedly through the open window, into

the square.

From the place where she half sits—half reclines in her luxurious drawing-room, she can just catch, round the corner of a small by-street, a glimpse of the dear little nutshell of a house where Lord Henry and she formerly lived—their first home—the scene of so many pleasures, and of some anxieties also. And,

as she gazes on it, something like a tear trembles on the dark fringe of her silken eyelashes. Perhaps Marie's letter may have awakened some remembrance connected with that home, for she takes it out again, and, spreading the thin sheet on her knees, ponders deeply over it. As she sits there, lost in thought, let us examine her-our beautiful Edith.

She is altered ; but not assuredly in having become less beautiful; on the contrary, the years that have passed, have but added lustre to her loveliness, and there is something more regal in the pose of her head, more commanding in the expression of her dark flashing eyes. She looks like one accustomed to exact, and to obtain obedience. Her form, too, has expanded into fuller and more perfect proportions, and, from her graceful head, the long dark tresses hang, heavier and more luxuriant than ever; only on the fair forehead, that used to be so smooth, there lingers . it be? something of an incipient wrinkle-like the ripple on the surface of calm waters, betokening somewhat of commotion beneath. These years have left some trace on the pure marble brow—these years of youth, and love, and gold! Can it be that the latter has

can

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