North and South (Chapter 1, page 1 of 13)


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Chapter 1

'Wooed and married and a'.

' 'Edith!' said Margaret, gently, 'Edith!'

But, as Margaret half suspected, Edith had fallen asleep. She lay
curled up on the sofa in the back drawing-room in Harley Street,
looking very lovely in her white muslin and blue ribbons. If
Titania had ever been dressed in white muslin and blue ribbons,
and had fallen asleep on a crimson damask sofa in a back
drawing-room, Edith might have been taken for her. Margaret was
struck afresh by her cousin's beauty. They had grown up together
from childhood, and all along Edith had been remarked upon by
every one, except Margaret, for her prettiness; but Margaret had
never thought about it until the last few days, when the prospect
of soon losing her companion seemed to give force to every sweet
quality and charm which Edith possessed.

They had been talking
about wedding dresses, and wedding ceremonies; and Captain
Lennox, and what he had told Edith about her future life at
Corfu, where his regiment was stationed; and the difficulty of
keeping a piano in good tune (a difficulty which Edith seemed to
consider as one of the most formidable that could befall her in
her married life), and what gowns she should want in the visits
to Scotland, which would immediately succeed her marriage; but
the whispered tone had latterly become more drowsy; and Margaret,
after a pause of a few minutes, found, as she fancied, that in
spite of the buzz in the next room, Edith had rolled herself up
into a soft ball of muslin and ribbon, and silken curls, and gone
off into a peaceful little after-dinner nap.

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