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A SEPTEMBER NIGHT.

A NOVEL

BY THE AUTHOR OF

* TWO OLD MEN'S TALES," "EMILIA WYNDHAM,"

“ANGELA," &c.

!

“ The self-remembering soul sweetly recovers

Her kindred with the stars; nor basely hovers
Below —but meditates th' immortal way
Home to the source of light, and intellectual day.”

CRASHAW.

.

IN THREE VOLUMES.

VOL. II.

LONDON:

HENRY COLBURN, GREAT MARLBOROUGH STREET.

1849.

LONDON : GEORGE BARCLAY, Castle Street, Leicester Square.

955 M366

v.2

MORDAUNT HALL,

CHAPTER I.

" The chamber where the good man meets his death Is privileged.

YOUNG.

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I was about to tell you of the first evil influence which his peculiar position shed upon the infant Gideon's life-his severance from his wet nurse and foster-mother.

Now you are ready to say that such a severance must have been inevitable, and was invariably the case when the children of the wealthy were fostered in cottages, and that, therefore,

VOL. II.

B

824

this evil, at least, cannot be charged upon the sin of his father.

But I think the cases will not bear a parallel. Though unquestionably this habit of fostering, and the consequent painful disruption at that early age, of a child's strongest affections, must have produced both misery and evil, yet there was the mother at home, waiting to receive the child with that sort of sympathetic tenderness which unites the mother with her infant in bonds so mysterious and so strong; and there was, in all probability, a family of brothers and sisters to welcome the little stranger into their bosom. I have heard a description of this return home to a father's wealthy house by one nursed for two years

in a cottage, and of the elder sisters carrying the poor, little, heart-broken child about, and trying everything in their power to divert and comfort it.

The natural affections thus excited soon heal the wound that has been inflicted; but how different was the case for this poor little boy!

He was between two and three years old, when

one morning Mrs. Mordaunt entered Calantha's room before she had risen, saying,

“My dear child, don't hurry yourself; but the result of the frightful accident which happened to poor Penny the other day is no longer doubtful. I wished to tell you of it myself.”

Poor Penny had fallen, about a week before this, from, or rather with, his high garden ladder, and had broken his thigh in a terrible

manner.

Calantha raised herself from her pillow with some difficulty, saying,

“Dear mamma! you don't say so! Poor, poor fellow !”

“ The surgeon has just left me; he thinks very badly of the case. The poor man is in a very alarming state, they have never been able to reduce the fever: in short, Mr. Barnet seems to think the poor man will die.”

“ God forbid !” cried Calantha; “ what is to become of all those little ones! But I trust he may recover yet.”

“ We must do what we can for them all; but

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