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THE

MONEY-LENDER.

BY

MRS. GORE

AUTHORESS OF “MOTHERS AND DAUGHTERS,"

“ THE MAN OF FORTUNE," ETC.

IN THREE VOLUMES.

VOL. I.

LONDON:
HENRY COLBURN, PUBLISHER,

GREAT MARLBOROUGH STREET.

PREFACE.

The following story should be entitled a Romance, rather than a Novel. A Romance does not necessarily infer preternatural agency, as the “ Romance of the Forest” and the “ Bravo of Venice” (two of the most popular in our language) suffice to prove. A Romance is more properly a fiction, describing improbable, but not impossible, events, founded on fact, and appealing to the imagination, rather than to the reason, of the reader.

Amid the prevailing taste for investing fiction with a tone of reality, and creating an interest in the homeliest events of everyday occurrence, there may be some hazard in an attempt to render “romantic” the incidents in the life of a “ Money-lender.” The universal praise bestowed by the critics of the day on those passages of the history of “ Abednego” which have already appeared in a popular Magazine, entitles me to believe that the undertaking has not been altogether unsuccessful.

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THE MONEY-LENDER.

CHAPTER I.

Antonio and old Shylock, both stand forth!

SHAKSPEARE.

EVERY social epoch has its distinctive vices, even as epidemics prevail at different seasons and in sundry localities. As surely as the canals of Batavia, the jungles of Sierra-Leone, or the Campagna of Rome, generate malaria and disease, is the infancy of a nation, “ere human statutes purge the general weal,” distorted by the convulsions of bloodshed and rapine ; while, in the national corruption succeeding the over

VOL. I.

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