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FLORA;

OR,

SELF-DECEPTION.

CHAPTER I.

TOWN AND COUNTRY.

“ WELL, there certainly is a charm in the country!” exclaimed Ada Murray, as, with the assistance of the hand of her companion, she sprang lightly down from a stile on the soft daisy-spangled grass beneath.

“The charm of novelty, I suppose,” replied Flora

“Well, I am afraid that I must plead guilty to knowing very little more of rural life than I have gathered from, “Let me Wander not Urseen. Ever since I came down here, I have been looking out for the shepherds tell

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ing tales 'under the hawthorn,' and the village maidens dancing to the sound of the rebeck; but no livelier piece of gaiety can I hear of than a feast to the school-children in a field ! I suppose that you could not have archery here?” she added, suddenly, as the thought crossed her mind.

“Oh, yes; we have an old bow and some arrows at home, that belonged to my brother.”

"Oh, that's not what I mean,” replied Ada, laughing; “ bows and arrows do not make an archery-meeting, they are a mere excuse for drawing people together. But you don't seem to have any neighbours ?”

“How can you say so?” cried Flora, playfully, pointing to a village on their right, nestling amidst elm-trees, above which the spire of a little church gleamed in the evening

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sun.

“ You will not understand me, you malicious little thing! You don't call visiting old women and sickly children, and questioning a prim class of tidy girls in a school-room, seeing anything of society? Have you no neighbours in your own rank of life within ten miles round ?

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