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AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY

BY

EMMA MARSHALL

AUTHOR OF

BENVENUTA,' 'LIFE'S AFTERMATH,'' MRS. MAINWARING'S JOURNAL,'
ETC., ETC.

'The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him.

'Sorrow is hard to bear, and doubt is slow to clear;
Each sufferer says his say-his scheme of the weal and woe;
But God has a few of us, whom He whispers in the ear.
The rest may reason-and welcome.'

ROBERT BROWNING.

SEELEY, JACKSON, AND HALLIDAY, 54, FLEET STREET

LONDON. MDCCCLXXXIII

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INTRODUCTION.

I SUPPOSE there are shades of difference in all lives, which are at first sight so much alike that we fail to discover what there can be in them worth recording, or worth even a passing notice.

But a more careful looking into the individual experience of any man or woman is seldom thrown away or wasted. There are nice distinctions and subtle influences, which lead us to the nethermost springs of the inner self for their source.

The atmosphere which surrounds us, the circumstances of other lives which cross ours-words, looks, thoughts but half expressed-affect us seriously, but affect us differently. It is interesting to watch the varied results, which come to all seeming from the same causes, and to notice how the trivial incident brings about serious consequences, and that, all unconsciously to ourselves, we are working out the changes and losses, the gains and pleasures, the joys and sorrows, which are woven into the web of our mortal lives.

I

Happy are we, when we can feel with all sincerity of heart that Infinite Love rules for us, and that the mysteries which perplex us, and the tangles which baffle us, and the thorns and briars which beset our path, are with the joys and the pleasures, the high hopes and the fruition of hope, all rounding into the perfect Good of the Eternal Father and Saviour of us all.

Mine is the story of ten years of a life which has no great sensational incidents to record and no startling events; but as I write it, I feel that I shall awaken sympathy in the hearts of some whom with my eyes I shall never see, and that the subtle bond of this sympathy may bind me close to those, of whom I may say in the words of a beloved poet,* now passed away from us,

'I never shall behold

With eye of sense your outward form and semblance ;'

but that we are friends by

'The endeavour for the self-same ends,

With the same hopes and fears and aspirations.'

Thus, in the confidence of that friendship, I tell the story of these ten years of my life.

* H. W. Longfellow.

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