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LONDON:
. HURST AND BLACKETT, PUBLISHERS,
• SUCCESSORS TO HENRY COLBURN,
13, GREAT MARLBOROUGH STREET.

1855.

249. G.138.

SERCOMBE AND JACK, PRINTERS,

100 ST. MARTIN'S LANE.

THE SECRET MARRIAGE.

CHAPTER I.

“ Hasten to the goal of fame, between the posts of duty, And win a blessing from the world, that men may love

thy name.”

PPER.

What's in a name? said our great English dramatist. What's in a name ? says the antiquated beauty of high degree, who bestows the hand which has been fairer upon the twig of a cotton branch.

But after all, a Jopp, a Bugg, a Craig, may be as rich, drive as fine horses and as luxurious carriages, as the representatives of

VOL. I.

the ancient aristocracy, who, dying in the cause of royalty, had only a name to bequeath to their descendants.

Still, there is something gratifying to our great enemy, pride, when in the chancel of the village church we behold the monuments covered with the dust of ages, on which are engraved the imperishable names of a Percy, a Howard, a Russell, a Walpole. Our hearts would be indeed cold, even as the marble we gaze upon, if the recollection of their virtues and their gallant deeds did not inspire us with some degree of enthusiasm.

But after all, what's in a name? The cotton lord, in the midst of his workmen, who are guiding and controlling the movements of a hundred looms, may, in as high a degree, though in a different cause, exercise the ennobling and immortalising virtues distinguishing the owner of the antique towers which now rise high above the smoke or steam of manufacture.

Still, there must be somewhat in a name. We do not read of the Higginses or the Muggses, the Wiggetts or the Pottses, as

the chosen heroes or heroines of romance; though, were they as such familiar to the ear, all might be as “harmony not understood.”

It may also be asked, “What is in place ?" To some, the home of their youth is but as the last year's nest to the full-fledged songster of the spring—to others, it is as the adamant which, the fable relates, drew every piece of iron out of the timbers of the approaching vessel. Some cling to locality with instinctive fondness, while others find homes on every shore, and are bound to them but by a rope of sand.

Every advantage is at least somewhat counterbalanced; every light has its shadow. Those who own the greater number of ties are, by each separate one, the less strongly bound,—others are encircled by one strong cord alone. When they break that, it is at once, and for ever!

Travellers, or those who make their homes in foreign lands, endeavour to represent, by pen or pencil, to their absent friends, the scenes amongst which their lives are passed. We visit with interest, and narrowly inspect,

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