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Success and How He Won It   By: (1838-1918)

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2. The diphthong oe is represented by [oe].








LONDON RICHARD BENTLEY & SON, NEW BURLINGTON ST. Publishers in Ordinary to Her Majesty the Queen 1892

All rights reserved.



It was growing late in the afternoon, yet the principal church of the capital was still densely filled. From the numbers present, the beautiful floral decorations of the altar, and the long line of handsome equipages waiting without, it was evident that the ceremony about to be celebrated had awakened interest and sympathy far and wide.

As usual on such occasions, when the sacredness of the place forbids any distinct utterance of curiosity, or other feeling, the spectators found vent for the restlessness of expectation by whispering, and the gathering together of heads in little groups, and by an eager attention to all that was going on in the neighbourhood of the vestry. A general exclamation of satisfaction was heard when its doors opened, and, as the first tones of the organ pealed forth, the wedding party appeared.

A numerous and brilliant company thronged round the bridal pair at the altar. Rich uniforms, heavy velvet and satin dresses, airy fabrics of lace, flowers and diamonds waved and rustled confusedly in a truly dazzling splendour. The aristocracy of birth, and the aristocracy of finance, represented each by its most distinguished members, had met, as it seemed, to enhance the prestige of the marriage ceremony.

To the right of the bride, first among the guests, stood a tall and stately officer, whose uniform and various orders bore witness to a long military career. His bearing was simple and dignified, suited to the solemnity of the occasion, and yet it seemed as though, behind the set gravity of the features, there lurked a something at variance with so joyful an event. His look was singularly gloomy as it rested on the young couple, and, when he turned from them and glanced through the crowded church, an expression of suppressed pain, or anger, passed over the proud face, and the firmly closed lips trembled slightly.

Opposite him, and next to the bridegroom, stood a gentleman in plain clothes, also advanced in years, and also, as it appeared, closely related to the young people; but neither his lavish display of brilliants in watch, rings and pin, nor the extreme self importance of his bearing, could procure for him a shade of that distinction which his opposite neighbour possessed in so eminent a degree. His whole appearance was decidedly ordinary, not to say vulgar, and even the unconcealed triumph now illumining his countenance could set no other impress on it.

The triumph was, indeed, great with which he gazed on the bridal pair, and he looked down the aisle on the closely packed rows of chairs and on all the bright assembly, with the satisfaction of one, who, after long striving, sees and welcomes the fulfilment of his aims and hopes; clearly, no shadow troubled his gladness at the event now to be solemnised.

But of all present, these two men alone appeared to take a deep interest in what was passing; least of all were the principal actors moved. The most unsympathising of the guests, the greatest stranger, could hardly have shown a more complete indifference to the solemn act about to be performed than these two, who, in a few minutes, would be for ever united... Continue reading book >>

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