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THE

PRIEST'S NIECE;

Or,

THE HEIRSHIP OF BARNULPH.

BY

THE AUTHOR OF " LIONEL DEERHURST.”

“We'll talk of life, though much I fear

The unwelcome tale will wound your ear."---Cotton.

IN THREE VOLUMES. :...

VOL. III."

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

1855.

249.be. 219.

THE PRIEST'S NIECE.

CHAPTER I.

“ PRIESTLEY, look here," cried the archdeacon, pointing to the Morning Post; “Siward Barnulph, you will see, is gazetted into the — Light Dragoons. I am pleased at that, for the foolish boy was uneasy lest he might be in the heavies, as he termed them, all in consequence of some ridiculous witticisms of the Miss Rowleys ; probably it is owing to my serious profession, but I cannot imagine a youth of sense laying any stress on these trifling distinctions; still more strange--losing time

VOL. III.

flirting with such vain girls as the Miss Rowleys--odd enough, is it not, Priestley ?”

With a smile and shake of the head, the chaplain began to peruse the paper.

“I shall be glad,” observed the archdeacon, “when Siward is fairly off: then Mary will continue at home; I miss her much, very much.”

"Then why permit her absence ?” demanded Priestley; "she is most obedient to your will.”

“For that reason I indulge her. Then just now I am so engrossed with my Compendium of the Early Reformers—a work of great research-I miss the child the less, so leave her with Lady Barnulph.”

“ Archdeacon, what think you of my going to the Castle, to learn what they say of Siward's being gazetted ? His departure will be a sad grief.”

“Oh, yes, most certainly, very right; I see how it stands—that will do—just so."

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The chaplain smiled; he guessed that the archdeacon was too much absorbed with his Early Reformers to be very sensible on any subject. He was well accustomed to these fits of absence ; so, without any farther remarks, he proceeded to the Barnulphs.

The breakfast at the Castle was some two hours later than at the archdeaconry, so Dr. Priestley found the party still lounging over the table placed at the window, commanding a view of the front lawn, over which the grooms were showing off the paces of two fine hunters, a present Lady Barnulph had purchased for her son, but would not permit to be seen until he was gazetted; they were, therefore, an agreeable surprise to Siward—and he now stood close to the window, with the Miss Rowleys, who, priding themselves on being jockeys, were criticising the horses. The rest of the party, consisting of Sir Merton and Lady Barnulph, Mr. Rowley, and Mary, were at the table. A

no

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