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THE

BY

MISS LAMONT,

AUTHOR OF

“THE FORTUNES OF WOMAN."

“ And do you think them shames, which are nought else,

But the protractive trlals of great Jove,
To find persistive constancy in man?
The firmness of which metal is not found
In fortune's love;
But in the wind and tempest of her frown,
Distinction winnows the light away,
And what hath mass, or matter by itself
Lies, rich in virtue and unminded."

SHAKSPEARE.

IN THREE VOLUMES.

VOL. II.

LONDON:
HURST AND BLACKETT, PUBLISHERS,

SUCCESSORS TO HENRY COLBURN,
13, GREAT MARLBOROUGH STREET.

1854.

249.w.124

LONDON :

A. AND W. HALL, STEAM PRINTERS, CAMDEN TOWN. •

Τ Η Ε

VILLAGE MILLIONAIRE,

CHAPTER I.

A woman that bears all down with her brain."

Cymbeline.

“ Within the bond of marriage, tell me,
Is it excepted I should know no secrets
That appertain to you? Am I yourself
But as it were, in sort, or limitation?

Julius Cæsar.

JOHN Hardy was not alone in his new house, though she whom he loved was so distant—though his only relative had so long left him to himself. Nor would he

VOL. II.

B

have been alone had his old housekeeper, to whom he could speak as a friend, chosen also to go. That man only is alone who, looking into his own heart finds it give him back but himself. It may be, himself as he was, through remorse—or as he is, through vanity—or as he would be, through ambition—but being only himself, he is alone. John Hardy never saw himself in his own heart; and therefore, never alone, he sank to rest like one under the protecting wings of angels, his companions.

Lord Woreham and Lady Charlotte, on separating for the night, after the nobler character of the two bad spoken with open heart, retired to their pillows—not to be alone. Each heart beheld the image of the other in it—and joined with it the image of the little boy-so that they had secret companionship. Might it not be hoped that under the influence of the feelings which then held sway, a change would take place in the character of the not very brilliant, and very ill-educated, lord of our village ? Might not his heart expand into the capability of holding at all times as now, something more than himself in the adornments bestowed on him by Miss Hester Downes? Yes—let us trust that the wifeless brother and the unwed sister will continue to feel not alone—and that the yawns before or after dinner will be fewer.

But who are the lonely? For whom is there no hope in their loneliness? For those whom the laws of God and man declare to be not only soul of each other's heart, but bone of the bone, flesh of the flesh, one of the other. As face answers to face in a glass, so should the heart of the husband, the man vowed no more to be alone, give back the image of the wife—and the wife give back only his. For them, when this is no longer possible, to be alone is the doom of life, whether life be passed in the crowd or in the desert.

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