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OR,

THE RUINED PEER.

BY MARIA PRISCILLA SMITH.

“Social labour is the daily and obligatory toil of every man who partici.
pates in the dangers and benefits of society. The general good of humanity
as the object of life, moral reason as guide, conscience as judge.”—
LAMARTINE.

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LONDON:
Printed by Schulze and Co., 13, Poland Street.

CASTLE-DELORAINE;

OR

THE RUINED PEER.

CHAPTER I.

A PERIOD of three months has intervened since last we stood on the picturesque cliffs of the island with Ellen and her lover. In the gratification of his first and only passion, and the prolonged absence of his father, Harry Thornton had almost forgotten that an obstacle had ever existed to the enjoyment of his present felicity. With the facility of a sanguine mind, he had lost sight also of the more prosaic realities of his situation, and abandoned himself without reserve to his former habits of profusion-habits checked

VOL. II.

B

for a time by his father's avowal of impending ruin, but into which his present situation irresistibly tempted him to relapse. Trained from the very years of childhood in expensive habits, he lost no time in surrounding Ellen with all the luxuries of fashionable life. Their residence had been at first taken ready furnished, but scarcely a week passed before London upholsterers were summoned to fit it up in a new and better style, while choice pictures and articles of vertû gave it that air of refinement which, to those habituated to it, is almost a necessary of life. A magician might have waved his wand over the place, so speedy and complete was its transformation, and scarcely a day passed without Captain Thornton making some fresh addition to the abode of his beautiful wife. Yet this, after all, was a half-selfish mode of testifying his love, for these costly environments were far more necessary to him, than they were to the woman whom he surrounded with them.

It is a glorious summer morning when we re-visit the spot which we will call for the sake of distinction, St. Mary's Cliff, and exercise our privilege of invisibly noting the passing events at our hero's abode. There is a certain listlessness on the handsome features of Harry Thornton, as

he strolls along the beach, with his attention divided between his own thoughts and watching the movements of his Newfoundland dog swimming in the waves of the tide at his feet. Can it be the shade of the Venetian jalousie, or is there a paler tint of the rose on Ellen's cheek than we have seen before ? She leans over a writingdesk on which some loose sheets are lying-are they letters or a diary? Ah, the latter: shall we transcribe it?

“ St. Mary's Cliff, June 20th. It is a fortnight to-day since the evening we arrived here; how rapidly has the time flown in this beautiful solitude ! Yet, though the interval has been brief, it has not been without its changes, for a complete metamorphosis has taken place throughout the villa.

Harry protested he could not endure the idea of my passing even a few months in a dwelling not specially fitted-up for my abode, and insisted on giving the necessary orders for its renovation. He declared it to be the happiest hour in his life when we explored the grounds and found an excellent site for a conservatory, where I have now a splendid collection of plants; and can gather my geraniums within sight and sound of the blue waves of the Channel. Yes; nothing

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