This historic book may have numerous typos, missing text, images, or index. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. 1856. Not illustrated. Excerpt: ... CASTE. CHAPTER FIRST. "Mitiden with the dark-blue eyes, In whose orbs a shadow lies, Like the night of summer skies. "Standing, with reluctant feet, Where the brook aud river meet, Womanhood and childhood fleet." The cold wind of early March was sweeping ragged clouds across the sky; but the cheerless aspect of the evening was little heeded by the guests who thronged Mr. Conant's brilliantly lighted mansion, to witness the marriage of his daughter Julie, a young and beautiful girl, the pet and pride of the village. In the seclusion of her own chamber the bride was receiving from her attendant bridemaids the finishing touches which made her toilet complete. Having carefully adjusted the folds of the bridal veil, one of them stepped back, and, surveying her work with admiration, said gayly,-- "There, now, Julie, you look like a little beauty, and I shall expect special thanks for my artistic skill. Isn't she perfect, Mrs. Conant?" she added, addressing that lady, who was placing a delicate spray of myrtle flowers among her daughter's silken curls. The mother's eyes grew dim with a sudden gush of feeling, and before she could command herself to answer, the door opened and two ladies entered. "Helen insisted I should come and see .Julie, before she went down to be admired and kissed by every body; and so I am here," said one of them, glancing towards her companion, a tall, queenly-looking girl, who added, "Yes, indeed, I told Mrs. Avenel she could not half appreciate you in the bustle and crowd down stairs, and as I wanted one more look for myself, I brought her with me." "We are very glad to see Mrs. Avenel," replied Julie and her mother, speaking together; and then, after the criticisms on her dress were finished, the former added with a sort of timid ear...
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