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Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1854, by
HARPER & BROTHERS,
In the Clerk's Office for the Southern District of New York.
It was on a cold autumn evening, late in the year 18, that a quiet passer-by of a house in street, attracted by the group within, paused for a moment to glance at the picture presented through the window; then drawing his cloak closer about him, with a keener relish for his own fireside, passed on.
Unlike that home-bent traveler, we, reader, with “the wind that for no creature careth,” will cross the threshold and take a peep within—for “thereby hangs our tale.” It was a quiet parlor, and had a home look about it, a look, too, which told of better days—a substantial and yet a worn look.' The floor was covered with a carpet which might have cost some hundreds—now a little worn and faded ; the furniture was of carved and solid mahogany, after the fashion of our grandmothers; the prim chairs being of themselves a commentary on good behavior ; while the many ornaments about the room and the elaborately-carved picture frames told that Time was treading on the relics of other days. The curtains were but half drawn, and the fire which blazed brightly on the hearth, gave to view a group of five persons. One, the youngest of the group, was a fair-haired and browneyed girl, of some nineteen summers, with a bright complex