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THE DAME'S DEPARTURE.   MERRY life had Dame Desley and her four children led in their rural home. The sound of their cheerful voices, the patter of their little feet, the laugh, the shout, and the song, had been heard from morning till night. I will not stop to tell of all the daisy-chains and cowslip-balls made by the children under the big elm-tree that grew on their mother's lawn; or how they gathered ripe blackberries in autumn; or in... more...

CHAPTER I.THE FAMILY OF RATS. My very earliest recollection is of running about in a shed adjoining a large warehouse, somewhere in the neighbourhood of Poplar, and close to the River Thames, which thereabouts is certainly no silver stream. A merry life we led of it in that shed, my seven brothers and I! It was a sort of palace of rubbish, a mansion of odds and ends, where rats might frolic and gambol, and play at hide-and-seek, to their... more...

CHAPTER I. FAITHFUL TO THE DEATH. The sun was setting gloriously over the hills which encompass Jerusalem, pouring its streams of golden light on the valleys clothed with the vine, pomegranate, and olive, sparkling on the brook Kedron, casting a rich glow on flat-roofed dwellings, parapets, and walls, and throwing into bold relief from the crimson sky the pinnacles of the Temple, which, at the period of which I write, crowned the height of... more...