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AGNES VALMAR.

CHAPTER I.

“Do you know, Lady Valmar is in town, Neville ? Shall we go and call on her ?”

“ In town so early-not March yet! What brings her here so soon ?”

“ Don't know; but I saw her travelling carriage drive

up

in Grosvenor-square four or five days ago ; and I have been longing to call, ever since; only I had not courage to go so soon, and alone."

“ Well, it is the first time I ever knew

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you to want impudence, Stanley. What has come over you ?”

“Oh! Lady Valmar is very different from other people."

“ Different! I think so. Different in having nearly half a million a year, I believe. That is a difference of some importance, I grant you. Where on earth did the mysterious, departed Nabob who left it her, drop from? I wish he had showered some of his spare lacks upon

me."

“ Then you would have lacked more than you

do already. But, nonsense apart, Lady Valmar is different from the herd, in

more ways than that."

66 Yes! The herd have not a title either;

and hers, though as new as her wealth, would be an acceptable accompaniment to it, I do not doubt, if you could win her,especially to your most high and puissant, but very poor great relations.”

If I could win her! Ah! if I could indeed! If I could, I should be the happiest man alive.”

“I think so !"

« Yes! but I do not mean on account

of her fortune, which is all you are thinking of. That would be very pleasant too, doubtless; but he who wins Lady Valmar, if she had not a penny, and were once

more as obscure as she is now known and

highly considered, will be a fortunate man. I mean it seriously."

“ And, seriously, I agree with you. So let us go and see her, as you were proposing just now.

“ With all my heart.--Come."

It was one afternoon late in February,

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