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Rachel Gray by Julia Kavanagh

Julia Kavanagh (1824-1877), Rachel Gray (1855), 1856 Tauchnitz edition

Produced by Daniel FROMONT

COLLECTION OF BRITISH AUTHORS.

VOL. CCCXLIV.

RACHEL GRAY BY JULIA KAVANAGH.

IN ONE VOLUME.

RACHEL GRAY.

A TALE

FOUNDED ON FACT.

BY JULIA KAVANAGH,

AUTHOR or "NATHALIE," "DAISY BURNS," "GRACE LEE."

_COPYRIGHT EDITION_.

LEIPZIG

BERNHARD TAUCHNITZ

1856

PREFACE.

This tale, as the title-page implies, is founded on fact. Its truth is its chief merit, and the Author claims no other share in it, than that of telling it to the best of her power.

I do not mean to aver that every word is a positive and literal truth, that every incident occurred exactly as I have related it, and in no other fashion, but this I mean to say: that I have invented nothing in the character of Rachel Gray, and that the sorrows of Richard Jones are not imaginary sorrows.

My purpose in giving this story to the world is twofold. I have found that my first, and in many respects, most imperfect work "Madeleine," is nevertheless that which has won the greatest share of interest and sympathy; a result which I may, I think, safely attribute to its truth, and which has induced me to believe that on similar grounds, a similar distinction might be awarded to a heroine very different indeed from "Madeleine," but whose silent virtues have perhaps as strong a claim to admiration and respect.

I had also another purpose, and though I mention it last, it was that which mainly contributed to make me intrude on public attention; I wished to show the intellectual, the educated, the fortunate, that minds which they are apt to slight as narrow, that lives which they pity as moving in the straight and gloomy paths of mediocrity, are often blessed and graced beyond the usual lot, with those lovely aspirations towards better deeds and immortal things, without which life is indeed a thing of little worth; cold and dull as a sunless day.

JULIA KAVANAGH.

LONDON: DECEMBER 1855.

RACHEL GRAY.

CHAPTER I.

In one of the many little suburbs which cling to the outskirts of London, there is a silent and grass-grown street, of aspect both quiet and quaint. The houses are crazy, old, and brown, of every height and every size; many are untenanted. Some years ago one was internally destroyed by fire. It was not thought worth rebuilding. There it still stands, gaunt and grim, looking for all the world, with its broken or dust-stained windows, like a town deserted after a sacking.


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