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A NOVEL.

BY

THE AUTHOR OF “RHODA," &c.

*** Take if you can, ye careless and supine,
Counsel and caution from a voice like mine,
Truths that the theorist could never reach,
And observation taught me,

I teach."

Cowper.

IN THREE VOLUMES.

VOL. I.

LONDON:

PRINTEI) FOR HENRY COLBURN AND CO.

LEIAN

2 OCT 1961

LONDON :

PRINTED BY J. NICHOLS AND SON, PARLIAMENT-STREET.

IS A B E L L A.

CHAP. I.

“Oh! these deliberate fools !"

SHAKESPEARE.

Example draws where Precept fails;
And Sermons are less read then Tales.''

It is advisable, therefore, that Tales should supply the place of Sermons ; but it is not therefore necessary that they should resemble them.

These little Volumes do not, then, contain

illustration of myste

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ries, which, if they could be illustrated, would be no longer myste. ries. Nor do they pretend to argue the plea of Faith versus Works nor Works versus Faith. No! we leave such high and inscrutable matters to those who prefer the means to the end. We deal in simple facts; and present you with the veritable, and, as we trust, the delightful

HISTORY

OF

ISABELLA HASTINGS.

Isabella was the eldest daughter of Lady Jane Hastings, a widow, whose purposed web of life had been broken to pieces by the unexpected accident of her husband dying before his father. By this untimely, and, as Lady Jane always called it, unnatural event, the title and fortunes which had determined her choice in a companion for

life, had eluded her hopes, and had rested with a younger brother of her husband's. The several sons which had blessed the first period of the marriage had all died in their infancy; and several years having elapsed between the death of the last, and the quick succession in which she had presented Mr. Hastings with the three daughters who survived him, Lady Jane found herself, on his death, in the wane of life, without having made one ascending step from the rank in which she was born, with a limited income, and three girls, who, if they were to be countesses, baronnesses, or even splendidly - established

commoners, could only hope to be so by the favours bestowed upon them by Nature, or from the reputation imposed upon them by education. In the minute features of the loveliest babe ever born, it is beyond the skill of the

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