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deavoured only to describe such characters as are to be met with in the common intercourse of every-day life.

I am well aware that the object I have mentioned is not a poor one.

The book of human nature being at the same time the most interesting and the most difficult of studies, the attempt to describe it even in its simplest forms is ambitious. It is not, therefore, because the object is a low one that I would ask indulgence, but rather indulgence for the ambition that attempted anything so high, and forgiveness for having come so far short of it.

ISABEL DENISON.

'Tis an old tale, and often told.

Marmion.

VOL. I.

B

3

THE

DISCIPLINE OF LIFE.

ISABEL DENISON.

CHAPTER I.

Then gently scan your brother man,

Still gentler sister woman ;
Though they may gang a kennin wrang,

To step aside is human.

Then, at the balance, let's be mute,

We never can adjust it;
What's done we partly may compute,
But know not what's resisted.

BURNS.

In the close back room of a small ornamented cottage, on the outskirts of the village of Ellerton, in the arms of an old nurse, lay

an infant of a few hours old. It seemed about to resign its short life; to close for ever the eyes which had only just opened on the world. Two girls—one of about seventeen, the other twenty-three years of age stood beside the nurse, anxiously watching the feeble struggles of the child.

“Must it die, nurse ?” at last asked the elder one. “Poor Amy !"

“ I'm afeard it must, Miss Shepherd. I've seen many babies very weak like, just at the first, but never one so bad as this.”

“I will go and tell Amy, then wish to give it one look while it is still alive.”

Miss Shepherd walked slowly into the next room, and softly undrew the curtains of the bed. Amy !" she murmured.

The invalid opened her large blue eyes, and turned her pale face on her sister.

“ Amy, dear Amy, I'm afraid your poor child is very ill. Nurse thinks it cannot live long. I thought it best to come and tell you.”

“ It is well,” whispered the young mother;

she may

C

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