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VILLAGE BELLES.

A NOVEL

IN TWO VOLUMES.

VOLUME I.

NEW-YORK:
PUBLISHED BY J. & J. HARPER,

No. 82, CLIFF-STREET.
AND SOLD BY THE PRINCIPAL BOOKSELLERS THROUGHOUT

THE UNITED STATES.

M DCCC XXXIIL

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VIL L A GE BELLES.

CHAPTER I.

BIRTHS, MARRIAGES, AND DEATHS.

The youngest of the two Miss Parkinsons, of Park-Place, amazingly disobliged her family by marrying the Reverend Henry Wellford, vicar of Summerfield, who had nothing on earth but good looks, good qualities, and four hundred and fifty pounds a year to recommend him. Alas! how did her father storm and rage, how did her mother fume and fret, how did aunt Diana congratulate herself that she had settled her thirty thousand pounds on Hannah, her eldest niece, how did the aforesaid Hannah sneer and observe “she had thought how it would end," and how did the good folks of Stoke Barton stare and sigh and shake their heads, and bless heaven that no poor vicar had ever fallen in love with any of their daughters! Catharine Parkinson, who had refused Sir Robert Bosanquet! Henry Wellford, who might have had rich Miss Trotter for asking! So unadvised of both parties-nobody was surprised at old Mr. Parkinson's shutting his doors for ever against the young couple; or wasted much thought on the fate of the fine young man and the beautiful girl after the first excitement of astonishment was over, except Dr. Pennington, the rector of Stoke Barton; and he was second cousin to Henry Wellford, so no wonder!

Miss Hannah, having exhausted her.spleen on the subject of her sister Kate's imprudent match, found herself in her twenty-ninth year on the verge of old-maidism, with

"Nobody coming to marry her,
Nobody coming to woo;'--

not even a poor vicar; and the subject was beginning to give her considerable uneasiness, when her father's heir-at-law, Mr. James Parkinson, who for many years had regularly visited Park-Place in the shooting season, came down for the

VOL. 1.-A.

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