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THE

WIFE'S TRIAL S.

A NOVEL

“ Nor custom, nor example, nor vast numbers
Of such as do offend, make less the sin.
For each particular crime a strict account
Will be exacted."

MASSINGER,

IN THREE VOLUMES.

VOL. III.

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

1855.

: 246, X, 374.

THE WIFE'S TRIALS.

CHAPTER I.

- What crime to me unknown,
Steep'd me in ink ? my parents', or my own ?"

Pope.

“MR. TURNER wishes to be introduced to you, Stacey,” said Reginald the same evening, “but you must waive ceremony, and accompany me to town some morning — when can you do so ?”

“To-morrow, if this will not seem too eager to avail myself of his invitation.”

" Not at all, -promptness, in this case, is a compliment. ”

And the next day Stacey was made known to the old gentleman.

VOL. II.

"A friend of mine," said Mr. Turner, " a celebrated scientific man, though rather an oddity-I say this merely to prepare you for some of his notions—has papers and letters, relating and once belonging to a man who formerly made a little noise in the world. Mr. Moore thinks the time has arrived for giving selections of these to the public ; but being, in some sense, no more fit for the task himself than I should be to command a fleet ; and, happily, being as well aware of his deficiency, he has consulted me on the subject. Now, I should like you to meet him--for I think you would suit his purpose, and I also think his purpose would suit you. Though he is a man of rare talent, the fame which follows the profession of, what is termed, elegant literature, would be readily relinquished to you—and as to any arrangement that may be requisite, you may depend upon his liberality and honourable character.”

“I wonder,” remarked Stacey, slightly nettled, to think that he was permitted to scramble for the crumbs of notoriety and fame, merely because another scorned them“I wonder, with this lofty disdain of light literature, he should condescend in any way to contribute to it.”

“That,” replied Mr. Turner, dryly, “is his

concern, not ours-and, perhaps, I have not well expressed my meaning. In this case, he con tributes the materials, which originally were not his--and the money to ensure their being well arranged, which is. In this undertaking, which must lay bare the deformities and weaknesses of genius, his purpose is to make one, who, during his life, exercised an injurious influence, and who had no idea of honesty or morality, repair, if possible, after his death, the evil ; and by pointing a moral, warn from the rocks on which he himself split. However, as I really have not time now to enter into particulars, and discuss them with you, dine with me the day after to-morrow, and meet Mr. Moore'; you will afterwards be able to see each other, and make your final arrangements-here is my card, half-past six punctually."

Stacey, who had inwardly fumed and fretted at the business-like manner of Mr. Turner, who, during their interview, seemed wholly unconscious that he was addressing the man whose verses, just published, were at that very moment being talked of by young lords, and by ladies, both young and old, and which had brought the author something very substantial in the form of a cheque, from his well-pleased publisher, hardly knew how at once to descend

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