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A Love Story.


“ My thoughts, like swallows, skim the main,

And bear my spirit back again
Over the earth, and through the air,
A wild bird and a wanderer.”





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« It was a vast and venerable pile."

" Oh, may'st thou ever be as now thou art,

Nor unbeseem the promise of thy spring."

THE mansion in which dwelt the Delmés was one of wide and extensive range. Its centre slightly receded, leaving a wing on either side. Fluted ledges, extending the whole length of the building, protruded above each story. These were supported by quaint heads of satyr, martyr, or laughing triton. The upper ledge, which concealed the roof from casual observers, was of considerably greater projection. Placed above it, at intervals, were balls

of marble, which, once of pure white, had now caught the time-worn hue of the edifice itself. At each corner of the front and wings, the balls were surmounted by the family device—the eagle with extended wing. One claw closed over the stone, and the bird rode it proudly an' it had been the globe. The portico, of a pointed Gothic, would have seemed heavy, had it not been lightened by glass doors, the vivid colours of which were not of modern date. These admitted to a capacious hall, where, reposing on the wide-spreading antlers of some pristine tenant of the park, gleamed many a piece of armour that in days of yore had not been worn ingloriously.

The Delmé family was an old Norman one, on whose antiquity a peerage could have conferred no new lustre. At the period when the aristocracy of Great Britain lent themselves to their own diminution of importance, by the prevalent system of rejecting the poorer class of tenantry, in many instances the most attached, -the consequence was foreseen by the then proprietor of Delmé Park, who, spurning the advice of some interested few

around him, continued to foster those whose ancestors had served his. The Delmés were thus enabled to retain—and they deserved it—that fair homage which rank and property should ever command. As a family they were popular, and as individuals universally beloved.

At the period we speak of, the Delmé family consisted but of three members: the baronet, Sir Henry Delmé; his brother George, some ten years his junior, a lieutenant in a light infantry regiment at Malta ; and one sister, Emily. Emily Delmé was the youngest child; her mother dying shortly after her birth. The father, Sir Reginald Delmé, a man of strong feelings and social habits, never recovered this blow. Henry Delmé was barely fifteen when he was called to the baronetcy and to the possession of the Delmé estates. It was foun that Sir Reginald had been more generous than the world had given him credit for, and that his estates were much encumbered. The trustees were disposed to rest contented with paying off the strictly legal claims during Sir Henry's minority. This the young heir would not accede to. He

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