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LONDON:

SAVILL AND EDWARDS, PRINTERS, CHANDOS STREKT,

COVENT GARDEN.

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At first thou gav'st me milk and sweetnesses,

I had my wish and way.
My days were strew'd with flowers and happiness -
There was no month but May.

GEORGE HERBERT.

TT was late in the evening of one of the last 1 days of May, when, after a brief cessation, carriages began again to roll through Grosvenorsquare, that Blanche Mowbray repaired to her room to deck her hair with its wreath of bright geranium, and to arrange the folds of her ball-dress. The ready fingers of her sister Dorothy effected these final decorations, and when they were completed, she fell back a few paces, and held up her candle, so as to observe the effect.

The most laborious detector of family likeness could scarcely have traced a resemblance between the two sisters. Blanche was fair and full formed, with a clear, though not a brilliant, complexion, and large, sleepy blue eyes; in all her movements there was a certain indolent grace, and her quiet, self-possessed manner gave her the air of being as

less face, Sht have relies and the

much above her real age as her sister appeared below it. Dorothy's slight and girlish figure was set off by no advantages of dress ; she wore a high and close-fitting dress, and the long, dark hair, which might have relieved the outline of her colourless face, was drawn off her temples, and loosely gathered into a knot behind, after a fashion which might possibly be convenient, but certainly was not becoming.

You really look very nice,' said Dorothy, “partly owing to your intrinsic merits, and partly to my judicious aid. If I had suffered you to ring for Smith, she would have looped up your skirt like a window-curtain, and set on your wreath with the angular precision of her own character.'

• You are sure that the wreath is properly secured ? said Blanche, anxiously.

Quite sure ; do not allow any misgivings to scare away your best topics. Here are your gloves, and so let us go down stairs, for papa must be waiting for his second cup of tea.'

"I wish you were going with me,' Blanche said, on the staircase. "I should enjoy it so much more.

"No, you would not, Blanche. I should ruffle your placidity by some outrageous proceeding, and Aunt Emma would go distracted in her fear of my misleading our dear cousins. I should not take things quietly, as you do, if I went into society; for I should never be satisfied, unless I were at the head of all things; and as that is a perilous pleasure, it is as well to let it alone altogether.'

* And so that is your real reason,' said Blanche.

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