A Group of Noble Dames

A Group of Noble Dames

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A Group of Noble Dames by Thomas Hardy

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1896

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A Group of Noble Dames

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Part I--Before Dinner The First Countess of Wessex Barbara of the House of Grebe The Marchioness of Stonehenge Lady MottisfontPart II--After Dinner The Lady Icenway Squire Petrick's Lady Anna, Lady Baxby The Lady Penelope The Duchess Of Hamptonshire The Honourable Laura

Book Excerpt

her in all their painfulness, one sentence in masculine tones, those of her father, being repeated many times.

'I tell 'ee there shall be no such betrothal! I tell 'ee there sha'n't! A child like her!'

She knew the subject of dispute to be herself. A cool feminine voice, her mother's, replied:

'Have done with you, and be wise. He is willing to wait a good five or six years before the marriage takes place, and there's not a man in the county to compare with him.'

'It shall not be! He is over thirty. It is wickedness.'

'He is just thirty, and the best and finest man alive--a perfect match for her.'

'He is poor!'

'But his father and elder brothers are made much of at Court--none so constantly at the palace as they; and with her fortune, who knows? He may be able to get a barony.'

'I believe you are in love with en yourself!'

'How can you insult me so, Thomas! And is it not monstrous for you to talk of my wickedness when you have a like scheme in you

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