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CHAPTER I We are not aware that the infancy of Vivian Grey was distinguished by any extraordinary incident. The solicitude of the most affectionate of mothers, and the care of the most attentive of nurses, did their best to injure an excellent constitution. But Vivian was an only child, and these exertions were therefore excusable. For the first five years of his life, with his curly locks and his fancy dress, he was the pride of his own and the... more...

CHAPTER I. Some ten years before the revolt of our American colonies, there was situate in one of our midland counties, on the borders of an extensive forest, an ancient hall that belonged to the Herberts, but which, though ever well preserved, had not until that period been visited by any member of the family, since the exile of the Stuarts. It was an edifice of considerable size, built of grey stone, much covered with ivy, and placed upon the... more...

CHAPTER I. Fortune's Favourite GEORGE AUGUSTUS FREDERICK, DUKE OF ST. JAMES, completed his twenty-first year, an event which created almost as great a sensation among the aristocracy of England as the Norman Conquest. A minority of twenty years had converted a family always amongst the wealthiest of Great Britain into one of the richest in Europe. The Duke of St. James possessed estates in the north and in the west of England, besides a whole... more...

CHAPTER 1 There is an island in the Indian Ocean, so unfortunate as not yet to have been visited either by Discovery Ships or Missionary Societies. It is a place where all those things are constantly found which men most desire to see, and with the sight of which they are seldom favoured. It abounds in flowers, and fruit, and sunshine. Lofty mountains, covered with green and mighty forests, except where the red rocks catch the fierce beams of... more...

CHAPTER 1 The sun had set behind the mountains, and the rich plain of Athens was suffused with the violet glow of a Grecian eye. A light breeze rose; the olive-groves awoke from their noonday trance, and rustled with returning animation, and the pennons of the Turkish squadron, that lay at anchor in the harbour of Piræus, twinkled in the lively air. From one gate of the city the women came forth in procession to the fountain; from another,... more...


PART I. A Sublime Elopement IT WAS clearly a runaway match—never indeed was such a sublime elopement. The four horses were coal-black, with blood-red manes and tails; and they were shod with rubies. They were harnessed to a basaltic car by a single rein of flame. Waving his double-pronged trident in the air, the god struck the blue breast of Cyane, and the waters instantly parted. In rushed the wild chariot, the pale and insensible... more...

CHAPTER I. A Matter of Importance IN THAT part of the celebrated parish of St. George which is bounded on one side by Piccadilly and on the other by Curzon Street, is a district of a peculiar character. 'Tis cluster of small streets of little houses, frequently intersected by mews, which here are numerous, and sometimes gradually, rather than abruptly, terminating in a ramification of those mysterious regions. Sometimes a group of courts... more...

Book 1 Chapter 1 "I'll take the odds against Caravan." "In poneys?" "Done." And Lord Milford, a young noble, entered in his book the bet which he had just made with Mr Latour, a grey headed member of the Jockey Club. It was the eve of the Derby of 1837. In a vast and golden saloon, that in its decorations would have become, and in its splendour would not have disgraced, Versailles in the days of the grand monarch, were assembled many whose... more...

CHAPTER I. Charolois and Branchimont ALTHOUGH the deepest shades of twilight had descended upon the broad bosom of the valley, and the river might almost be recognised only by its rushing sound, the walls and battlements of the castle of Charolois, situate on one of the loftiest heights, still blazed in the reflected radiance of the setting sun, and cast, as it were, a glance of triumph at the opposing castle of Branchimont, that rose on the... more...

CHAPTER XXI. One's life changes in a moment. Half a month ago, Lothair, without an acquaintance, was meditating his return to Oxford. Now he seemed to know everybody who was anybody. His table was overflowing with invitations to all the fine houses in town. First came the routs and the balls; then, when he had been presented to the husbands, came the dinners. His kind friends the Duchess and Lady St. Jerome were the fairies who had worked this... more...