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BY

MRS. S.C. HALL.

those first affections,
Those shadowy recollections,
Which, be they what they may,
Are yet the fountain light of all our day.”

WORDSWORTH,

IN THREE VOLUME S.

VOL. III.

LONDON:
HURST AND BLACKETT, PUBLISHERS,
SUCCESSORS TO HENRY COLBURN,
13, GREAT MARLBOROUGH STREET.

1857.
The right of Translation is reserved.

249. n. 558.

[graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small][subsumed]

CHARLES BEVAN AND SOX, PRINTERS, CHAPEL STREET, GROSVENOR SQUARR.

A WOMAN'S STORY.

CHAPTER I.

Theirs is the task to succour the distress'd,

To feed the hungry, to console the sad,
To

pour the balm upon the wounded breast,
And find dear Pity, even for the bad.”

CHARLES MACKAY.

I DESIRED that Helen should go early to Mrs. Joseph Greene's; and the early,' at that time, was seven—the late, "nine ;' it would have been considered equivalent to an affront to delay a visit until nine, without an expressed excuse. And then tea and coffee were accompanied by solid toast, and bread

VOL. III.

B

and butter, delicately rolled, as well as cakes, all ready in the first reception room,

where

you were expected to sit down and partake of the fare, not merely to taste it. My object in going early was to hear the company announced, and to see them enter; but she laughed, and refused, saying if she did, she should miss what the actors call their reception,' and she wished me to know what a sensation "my little Helen' could create.

She looked charming, and was dressed with such simplicity, and good taste,' that she really did not appear eighteen. Her dress was white lace, over white satin ; a beautiful bouquet of heaths and wild roses compressed its folds on her bosom, and her dark hair, parted in the centre of her low, but orb-like forehead, was arranged according to what I must call, the very ugly fashion of the times, in two large bows on the top of the head; a small bouquet of wild roses fell a little on the left side. Necklace and ear-rings of white twisted beads, which it was courtesy to consider pearl, completed her toilette ; and the cassolette depended from a ring on her pretty finger.

I like to think of Mrs. Joseph Greene ; she is worth remembering. It is so pleasant to recal the good and the graceful, the wise and the witty ; not that Mrs. Joseph Greene was witty ; had she been so, she would have failed to be so high a favourite with wits, who, of all people, the most thoroughly covet monopoly. Our hostess for the evening, though she filled the room with distinguished guests, did not seek to sweep into a circle all the notorious people she had ever heard of, and invite stupid people to look at them. She admired what was good and clever, and naturally noble; she appreciated the creative faculty, whether developed in a statue, a painting or a poem. And she had an intense pleasure in ministering to the enjoyment of those she respected and admired. The fashionable world attended her parties, because she was by birth and education one of themselves; and all agreed, " that.

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