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

1855.

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CONSTANCE HERBERT.

CHAPTER I.

At the end of about half a mile they arrived before a large, white, double-gabled house, covered all over with roses, and standing in a luxuriant, old-fashioned garden, with a broad gravel walk from the hallporch, and a large, smooth grass-ploton either side, which came close under the lattice windows. A row of fine elm-trees screened the house from the road. The sun had set, and a clear transparent twilight gave a tranquil, mysterious aspect to the place, for not a leaf was stirring in the soft warm air.

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The house door stood open. It was in a deep embrasure, and a passage, paved with bright red tiles, went directly through the house to a door opposite, which, being also open, gave a glimpse of a large farm-yard. Their host flung open the door of a large, low-roofed, old-fashioned sitting - room, where a bright wood fire was burning on the hearth ; and, ushering them in, said, " You are welcome to Meriden Farm, ladies, and I am Edward Harrop, the farmer, at

your service!"

“ Did you ever live at Coventry ? and did you ever go to Monsieur D'Egville's dancing school?” said Miss Wilmot, with animation. "To be sure I did.

But who, may

I inquire, are you who ask me?”

“And you used to be the best dancer in the school, and you were the model held up to all the rest in the minuet and the gavotte ; and one evening, at the half-yearly exhibition, before all the parents and friends, the string of your dancing - pumps came untied, and you stumbled and fell in the pas grave ?

“I remember it well, though I do not look now as though I had ever learned to dance. Ah, I remember those days well,” said he, with a sigh; “but who, then, are you, who know me so well ?”

“Do you recollect Sarah Wilmot, who was made your partner because she was the right height; whilst you wished to dance with Amelia Webster, a pretty little girl, with long, yellow, curling hair?"

“ And you are Sarah Wilmot ? and you knew her? If I were glad to see you before, I am twice as glad now. You knew her, and can recollect what she was like in those days ?” He spoke with emotion, and quite lost the

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