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THE STORY BEGUN BY WALTER HARTRIGHT (of Clement's Inn, Teacher of Drawing) This is the story of what a Woman's patience can endure, and what a Man's resolution can achieve. If the machinery of the Law could be depended on to fathom every case of suspicion, and to conduct every process of inquiry, with moderate assistance only from the lubricating influences of oil of gold, the events which fill these pages might have claimed their share of the... more...

CHAPTER I In the first part of ROBINSON CRUSOE, at page one hundred and twenty-nine, you will find it thus written: "Now I saw, though too late, the Folly of beginning a Work before we count the Cost, and before we judge rightly of our own Strength to go through with it." Only yesterday, I opened my ROBINSON CRUSOE at that place. Only this morning (May twenty-first, Eighteen hundred and fifty), came my lady's nephew, Mr. Franklin Blake, and... more...

CHAPTER I. THE GOVERNOR EXPLAINS. At the request of a person who has claims on me that I must not disown, I consent to look back through a long interval of years and to describe events which took place within the walls of an English prison during the earlier period of my appointment as Governor. Viewing my task by the light which later experience casts on it, I think I shall act wisely by exercising some control over the freedom of my pen. I... more...

FIRST SCENE.—The Cottage on the Frontier. PREAMBLE. THE place is France. The time is autumn, in the year eighteen hundred and seventy—the year of the war between France and Germany. The persons are, Captain Arnault, of the French army; Surgeon Surville, of the French ambulance; Surgeon Wetzel, of the German army; Mercy Merrick, attached as nurse to the French ambulance; and Grace Roseberry, a traveling lady on her way to England.... more...

CHAPTER THE FIRST Madame Pratolungo presents Herself You are here invited to read the story of an Event which occurred in an out-of-the-way corner of England, some years since. The persons principally concerned in the Event are:—a blind girl; two (twin) brothers; a skilled surgeon; and a curious foreign woman. I am the curious foreign woman. And I take it on myself—for reasons which will presently appear—to tell the story.... more...


I. PREFACE TO READERS IN GENERAL You are the children of Old Mother England, on both sides of the Atlantic; you form the majority of buyers and borrowers of novels; and you judge of works of fiction by certain inbred preferences, which but slightly influence the other great public of readers on the continent of Europe. The two qualities in fiction which hold the highest rank in your estimation are: Character and Humour. Incident and dramatic... more...

OVER THE WAY I had been living at Tunbridge Wells and nowhere else, going on for ten years, when my medical man—very clever in his profession, and the prettiest player I ever saw in my life of a hand at Long Whist, which was a noble and a princely game before Short was heard of—said to me, one day, as he sat feeling my pulse on the actual sofa which my poor dear sister Jane worked before her spine came on, and laid her on a board for... more...

CHAPTER I. GREENWATER BROAD LOOK back, my memory, through the dim labyrinth of the past, through the mingling joys and sorrows of twenty years. Rise again, my boyhood's days, by the winding green shores of the little lake. Come to me once more, my child-love, in the innocent beauty of your first ten years of life. Let us live again, my angel, as we lived in our first paradise, before sin and sorrow lifted their flaming swords and drove us out... more...

CHAPTER I. OURSELVES. WE were three quiet, lonely old men, and SHE was a lively, handsome young woman, and we were at our wits' end what to do with her. A word about ourselves, first of all—a necessary word, to explain the singular situation of our fair young guest. We are three brothers; and we live in a barbarous, dismal old house called The Glen Tower. Our place of abode stands in a hilly, lonesome district of South Wales. No such... more...

CHAPTER I. THE BRIDE'S MISTAKE. "FOR after this manner in the old time the holy women also who trusted in God adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands; even as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord; whose daughters ye are as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement." Concluding the Marriage Service of the Church of England in those well-known words, my uncle Starkweather shut up his book, and looked at... more...