Alice, or the Mysteries — Book 01
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Alice, or the Mysteries — Book 01

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Project Gutenberg EBook, Alice, or The Mysteries, by Lytton, Book I #203 in our series by Edward Bulwer LyttonCopyright laws are changing all over the world. Be sure to check the copyright laws for your country before downloadingor redistributing this or any other Project Gutenberg eBook.This header should be the first thing seen when viewing this Project Gutenberg file. Please do not remove it. Do notchange or edit the header without written permission.Please read the "legal small print," and other information about the eBook and Project Gutenberg at the bottom of thisfile. Included is important information about your specific rights and restrictions in how the file may be used. You can alsofind out about how to make a donation to Project Gutenberg, and how to get involved.**Welcome To The World of Free Plain Vanilla Electronic Texts****EBooks Readable By Both Humans and By Computers, Since 1971*******These EBooks Were Prepared By Thousands of Volunteers*****Title: Alice, or The Mysteries, Book IAuthor: Edward Bulwer LyttonRelease Date: January 2006 [EBook #9763] [Yes, we are more than one year ahead of schedule] [This file was firstposted on October 15, 2003]Edition: 10Language: English*** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK, ALICE, BY LYTTON, BOOK I ***Produced by Dagny, dagnypg@yahoo.com and David Widger, widger@cecomet.netALICE;OR,THE MYSTERIESBYEDWARD BULWER LYTTON (LORD LYTTON)BOOK I. "Thee, hid the bowering vales amidst, I call." ...

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Project GutenebgrE oBko ,lAci oe,Thr Mye erst,sei yb ttyL ,no I #Bookin o203 reeirus E wd syblwBud artoyt LergirypoCn swal thiggna llra ehcnae world. over th ot cehc eB erusripyt ghthk coe  rocy uof roalsw dowforey beuntrsider rognidaoln oisthg inutibtr tceetuGrebnBe ganr oty r heojPrhsuodlb  eht eifook.This header weiv nehsiht gniintht rs wenseg li.egrf sa eP elject Proenbe Gutanch ogeDo. ot nvometi en odr tot writter withouehh aeed rdetit le "he tadree aselP.noissimrep ninfoher d ot" anni,t lrpmslaag lteGut ecatg ernbtob eht t fo motion rmatt thabouoo k eBerPjona dornftima aonutbouoy ps rficer cihisfile. Include dsii pmroattni su eb yam elif esoaln cau Yo. edtsir der snagithw thn hons ictioorP tcejoitaot n, rgd anut Gbeena obtuh ifdno tuke a donow to ma.dev gtow hoolnv ietHAC.  IERPTone,air  usu whoa trW oh,uf t ohacee plt thrp's
BY EDWARD BULWER LYTTON (LORD LYTTON)
BOOK I.  "Thee, hid the bowering vales amidst, I call."  —EURIPIDES:Hel.I. 1116.
Produced by Dagny, dagnypg@yahoo.com and David Widger, widger@cecomet.net
ALICE; OR, THEMYSTERIES
Title: Alice, or The Mysteries, Book I Author: Edward Bulwer Lytton Release Date: January 2006 [EBook #9763] [Yes, we are more than one year ahead of schedule] [This file was first posted on October 15, 2003]
**Welcome To The World of Free Plain Vanilla Electronic Texts** **EBooks Readable By Both Humans and By Computers, Since 1971** *****These EBooks Were Prepared By Thousands of Volunteers*****
*** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK, ALICE, BY LYTTON, BOOK I ***
Edition: 10 Language: English
 Of Blanch, the lady of the matchless grace?—LAMB. IT was towards the evening of a day in early April that two ladies were seated by the open windows of a cottage in Devonshire. The lawn before them was gay with evergreens, relieved by the first few flowers and fresh turf of the reviving spring; and at a distance, through an opening amongst the trees, the sea, blue and tranquil, bounded the view, and contrasted the more confined and home-like features of the scene. It was a spot remote, sequestered, shut out from the business and pleasures of the world; as such it suited the tastes and character of the owner. That owner was the younger of the ladies seated by the window. You would scarcely have guessed, from her appearance, that she was more than seven or eight and twenty, though she exceeded by four or five years that critical boundary in the life of beauty. Her form was slight and delicate in its proportions, nor was her countenance the less lovely because, from its gentleness and repose (not unmixed with a certain sadness) the coarse and the gay might have thought it wanting in expression. For there is a stillness in the aspect of those who have felt deeply, which deceives the common eye,—as rivers are often alike tranquil and profound, in proportion as they are remote from the springs which agitated and swelled the commencement of their course, and by which their waters are still, though invisibly, supplied. The elder lady, the guest of her companion, was past seventy; her gray hair was drawn back from the forehead, and gathered under a stiff cap of quaker-like simplicity; while her dress, rich but plain, and of no very modern fashion, served to increase the venerable appearance of one who seemed not ashamed of years. "My dear Mrs. Leslie," said the lady of the house, after a thoughtful pause in the conversation that had been carried on for the last hour, "it is very true; perhaps I was to blame in coming to this place; I ought not to have been so selfish." "No, my dear friend," returned Mrs. Leslie, gently; "selfish is a word that can never be applied to you; you acted as became you,—agreeably to your own instinctive sense of what is best when at your age,—independent in fortune and rank, and still so lovely,—you resigned all that would have attracted others, and devoted yourself, in retirement, to a life of quiet and unknown benevolence. You are in your sphere in this village,—humble though it be,—consoling, relieving, healing the wretched, the destitute, the infirm; and teaching your Evelyn insensibly to imitate your modest and Christian virtues." The good old lady spoke warmly, and with tears in her eyes; her companion placed her hand in Mrs. Leslie's. "You cannot make me vain," said she, with a sweet and melancholy smile. "I remember what I was when you first gave shelter to the poor, desolate wanderer and her fatherless child; and I, who was then so poor and destitute, what should I be, if I was deaf to the poverty and sorrows of others,—others, too, who are better than I am. But now Evelyn, as you say, is growing up; the time approaches when she must decide on accepting or rejecting Lord Vargrave. And yet in this village how can she compare him with others; how can she form a choice? What you say is very true; and yet I did not think of it sufficiently. What shall I do? I am only anxious, dear girl, to act so as may be best for her own happiness." "Of that I am sure," returned Mrs. Leslie; "and yet I know not how to advise. On one hand, so much is due to the wishes of your late husband, in every point of view, that if Lord Vargrave be worthy of Evelyn's esteem and affection, it would be most desirable that she should prefer him to all others. But if he be what I hear he is considered in the world,—an artful, scheming, almost heartless man, of ambitious and hard pursuits,—I tremble to think how completely the happiness of Evelyn's whole life may be thrown away. She certainly is not in love with him, and yet I fear she is one whose nature is but too susceptible of affection. She ought now to see others,—to know her own mind, and not to be hurried, blindfold and inexperienced, into a step that decides existence. This is a duty we owe to her,—nay, even to the late Lord Vargrave, anxious as he was for the marriage. His aim was surely her happiness, and he would not have insisted upon means that time and circumstances might show to be contrary to the end he had in view." "You are right," replied Lady Vargrave. "When my poor husband lay on his bed of death, just before he summoned his nephew to receive his last blessing, he said to me, 'Providence can counteract all our schemes. If ever it should be for Evelyn's real happiness that my wish for her marriage with Lumley Ferrers should not be fulfilled, to you I must leave the right to decide on what I cannot foresee. All I ask is that no obstacle shall be thrown in the way of my wish; and that the child shall be trained up to consider Lumley as her future husband.' Among his papers was a letter addressed to me to the same effect; and, indeed, in other respects that letter left more to my judgment than I had any right to expect. Oh, I am often unhappy to think that he did not marry one who would have deserved his affection! and—but regret is useless now." "I wish you could really feel so," said Mrs. Leslie; "for regret of another kind still seems to haunt you; and I do not think you have yet forgotten your early sorrows." "Ah, how can I?" said Lady Vargrave, with a quivering lip. At that instant, a light shadow darkened the sunny lawn in front of the casements, and a sweet, gay young voice was heard singing at a little distance; a moment more, and a beautiful girl, in the first bloom of youth, bounded lightly along the grass, and halted opposite the friends. It was a remarkable contrast,—the repose and quiet of the two persons we have described, the age and gray hairs of one, the resigned and melancholy gentleness written on the features of the other—with the springing step and laughing eyes and radiant bloom of the new comer! As she stood with the setting sun glowing full upon her rich fair hair, her happy countenance and elastic form, it was a vision almost too bright for this weary earth,—a thing of light and bliss, that the joyous Greek might have placed among the forms of Heaven, and worshipped as an Aurora or a Hebe. "Oh, how can you stay indoors this beautiful evening? Come, dearest Mrs. Leslie; come, Mother, dear Mother, you know
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