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LORD OF THE CREATION.

BY THE

99

AUTHOR OF “ETHE L.”

«

Nay, he wears but the outside likeness of a man. They are of another sort who inherit
those noble and excellent gifts essential to that which the angels recognise as MANHOOD."

Spanish Comedy.

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EDINBURGH: JAMES HO G G.

LONDON: GROOMBRIDGE & SONS.

MDCCCLVII.

249.8.72.

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LORD OF THE CREATION.

Chapter i.

It was not generally supposed by his neighbours and friends, that old Mr Hesketh of Redwood had in his youth loved passionately and hopelessly. Nobody would have suspected it, looking on the grave and rather hard face, listening to the measáred voice, and the dry, somewhat matter-of-fact opinions and observations he was in the habit of enouncing. Yet such was the fact. Doubtless, we pass by a vast number of such covert romances in the crowd of life. It almost follows that the possession of more than usually strong feelings, and deep capacities both for enjoyment and suffer

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ing, should entail that succession of mental and psychological phases which go to make poetry and romance in these days, when poetry and romance have their strongholds in the subjective portion of human affairs.

However, the more shrewd of the social critics in the neighbourhood of Redwood (so Mr Hesketh's manorial property was called) surmised something near the truth, when, one spring, his household acquired an additional inmate, in the person of a well-grown, frank-spoken, bright-faced little girl of nine or ten years

Miss Caroline Maturin was the daughter of an old friend of Mr Hesketh's, it was announced; she was an orphan, and yet wore the black dress assumed at her mother's death. She had hitherto lived almost all her life in France; but her aspect was thoroughly English, and very pleasant. She would be handsome when she grew into a woman, Mr Hesketh more than once said; and the child herself liked to tell that she was very like “poor mamma.” And by and by it became known that this poor mamma had been a very early friend of Mr Hesketh's ;

of age.

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that she had married a poor man for love, and had passed her subsequent life in much poverty and trial. Out of a numerous family, this girl alone survived, and such are the chances and changes of fate!-to be, after all, a sort of heiress. Some distant relative left her parents funded property to the amount of £10,000-an affluence which they only lived to enjoy for a few months. The father died first, and it was during a visit to Englandher first for many years—that the widow, meeting her old friend, entreated him to take on himself the guardianship of her child when she should be left motherless.

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These facts creeping out, the feminine part of the community, at least, found little difficulty in imagining the rest. “Poor Mr Hesketh!" they

“ used to say, sometimes, and take great interest in observing the old man's growing fondness for his charge,-how he liked to walk about the park with her, how his face lighted up into a keener life when she was with him, and what evident delight was afforded him by her soon-aroused and rapidlyincreasing affection for himself.

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