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THE

MISTAKE OF A LIFE-TIME

OR, THE

ROBBER OF THE RHINE TALLEY.

A STORY, OF

The Mysteries of the Shore,

AND

THE VICISSITUDES OF THE SEA.

BY WALDO HOWARD, ESQ.

1

BOSTON:
PUBLISHED BY F. GLEASON,
FLAG OF OUR UNION OFFICE, MUSEUM BUILDING, TREMONT STREET.
S. FRENCH, Corner of Nassau and Spruce Streets, New York-A. WINCH, 116 Chestnut Street,
Philadelphia-WM. TAYLOR & Co., North St., Baltimore-JOHNSON & FREEMAN,
115 Main Street, Cincinnati–J. A. ROYS, Woodward Avenue, Detroit-E. K.
WOODWARD, 91 Chestnut Street, St. LouisJOHN CARTER, JR.,

11 Wall Street, Louisville, Ky.

1850.

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Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1850,

BY F. GLEASON,
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of Massachusetts.

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The author of the following story sits down to amuse both himself and his readers by weaving together such scenes and pictures as will form a truthful panorama of the events of a stirring and romantic period. Life will be depicted as his fancy hath reflected it, and the scene drawn and colored after nature herself. It will be his effort to engage the reader's curiosity and interest, and also to charm and delight him by those exhibitions of true feelings which his own heart has not unfrequently realized in itself.

The two extremes of life created by poverty and riches will be depicted, and the extremes of virtue and vileness passed in review before the mind's eye. Loveliness and hideousness will be contrasted, that the former may be more rightly appreciated and the latter more abhorred. The promptings of pride and jealousy, and the teeming wiles of the heart will be recorded, and our story so set down as to interest without outraging sensibility or borrowing from the impossible.

Thus much it seems proper for the author to say, by way of hands-shaking, and now with your kind consideration, to the story itself.

THE AUTHOR.

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THE MISTAKE OF A LIFE-TIME.

CHAPTER I.

THE TAP ROOM OF ST. GILES.

Now let it work : mischief, thou art afoot,

Take then what course thou wilt.

SHAKSPEARE.

The street lamps were burning dimly in George's-in-the-field, and quietly made their St. Giles, London, and the thick haze of night way down one of the narrow and dirty lanes brooded over the eastern portion of the great referred to. They moved like persons who metropolis with more than its wonted density. were fully aware of the vile character of the The vast, overgrown city was slumbering, or neighborhood, and who were on their guard to rather the more respectable portion of it were prevent being surprised, while the stealthiness wrapped in the still mantle of sleep, while the with which they evidently picked their way noise and riotous dissipation that seemed indi-through the riotous district, seemed to indicate genous to this section of the town, came some delicate and peculiar object in view. bursting forth in rude boisterousness and un. There was quite a difference in the size of the defined sounds from the broken windows of the two persons. The larger was dressed in a tottering tenements, and now from some damp coarse top coat and cloth cap, with rough top cellar's mouth, half under ground. The night boots, his figure presenting tokens of remarkapolice frequently passed in their rounds either ble physical strength, from the great breadth end of the dark narrow streets, but they seem- of shoulders and chest, and other signs that ed to give no heed to the turmoil and rioting, might have been seen even in that dim uncer. so long as it was confined within doors, and tain light. As he moved on, his gait discoverdid not burst forth into the open light in the ed that he was lame, which rendered his walk streets. They had become calloused to these somewhat awkward, though his step was quick bachannalian scenes and vulgar habits, by in- and unyielding, notwithstanding this blemish. timacy with the people who inhabit these sec- His companion must have been some years tions of the town, and did not care to interfere his junior, for his figure and bearing evinced

, with them unless their duty and instructions the uncompleted frame of youth, though his compelled them to do so.

form was stout and well filled, and he walked It is here that we must introduce the reader like one who had the resolution and the in the opening of our story.

strength to hold his ground in any emergency. The clock had already struck ten, one sum- As they passed now and then beneath the mer's night, when a couple of figures turned street lamps that were lit along the road at inthe corner from a large thoroughfare on tervals, his face appeared much darker than the

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