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Simon Dale   By: (1863-1933)

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T. Nelson & Sons London and Edinburgh Paris: 189, rue Saint Jacques Leipzig: 35 37 Königstrasse

[Illustration: "It is only that a low laugh echoes distantly in my ear."]



I. The Child of Prophecy 3

II. The Way of Youth 18

III. The Music of the World 33

IV. Cydaria revealed 49

V. I am forbidden to forget 65

VI. An Invitation to Court 84

VII. What came of Honesty 103

VIII. Madness, Magic, and Moonshine 122

IX. Of Gems and Pebbles 140

X. Je Viens, Tu Viens, Il Vient 160

XI. The Gentleman from Calais 180

XII. The Deference of His Grace the Duke 201

XIII. The Meed of Curiosity 222

XIV. The King's Cup 244

XV. M. de Perrencourt whispers 263

XVI. M. de Perrencourt wonders 283

XVII. What befell my Last Guinea 303

XVIII. Some Mighty Silly Business 324

XIX. A Night on the Road 345

XX. The Vicar's Proposition 362

XXI. The Strange Conjuncture of Two Gentlemen 378

XXII. The Device of Lord Carford 396

XXIII. A Pleasant Penitence 414

XXIV. A Comedy before the King 434

XXV. The Mind of M. de Fontelles 451

XXVI. I come Home 468




One who was in his day a person of great place and consideration, and has left a name which future generations shall surely repeat so long as the world may last, found no better rule for a man's life than that he should incline his mind to move in Charity, rest in Providence, and turn upon the poles of Truth. This condition, says he, is Heaven upon Earth; and although what touches truth may better befit the philosopher who uttered it than the vulgar and unlearned, for whom perhaps it is a counsel too high and therefore dangerous, what comes before should surely be graven by each of us on the walls of our hearts. For any man who lived in the days that I have seen must have found much need of trust in Providence, and by no whit the less of charity for men. In such trust and charity I have striven to write: in the like I pray you to read.

I, Simon Dale, was born on the seventh day of the seventh month in the year of Our Lord sixteen hundred and forty seven. The date was good in that the Divine Number was thrice found in it, but evil in that it fell on a time of sore trouble both for the nation and for our own house; when men had begun to go about saying that if the King would not keep his promises it was likely that he would keep his head as little; when they who had fought for freedom were suspecting that victory had brought new tyrants; when the Vicar was put out of his cure; and my father, having trusted the King first, the Parliament afterwards, and at last neither the one nor the other, had lost the greater part of his substance, and fallen from wealth to straitened means: such is the common reward of an honest patriotism wedded to an open mind. However, the date, good or bad, was none of my doing, nor indeed, folks whispered, much of my parents' either, seeing that destiny overruled the affair, and Betty Nasroth, the wise woman, announced its imminence more than a year beforehand... Continue reading book >>

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