THE TWO BRIDES.
BY THE AUTHOR OF
"THE IMPROVVISATRICE," "FRANCESCA CARRARA,"
"TRAITS AND TRIALS OF EARLY LIFE,"
"Yet knowing something—dimly though it be;
And, therefore, still more awful—of that strange
And most tumultuous thing, the heart of man.
It chanceth oft that, mix'd with nature's smiles,
My soul beholds a solemn quietness
That almost looks like grief, as if on earth
There were no perfect joy, and happiness—
Still trembled on the brink of misery."—Wilson.
IN THREE VOLUMES.
HENRY COLBURN, PUBLISHER,
GREAT MARLBOROUGH STREET.
THE LADY EMMELINE STUART WORTLEY.
I VENTURE TO INSCRIBE THESE VOLUMES WITH YOUR NAME. IT IS, I OWN, A SELFISH PLEASURE, FOR IT ALLOWS ME TO EXPRESS THE ADMIRATION AND GRATITUDE OF
YOUR LADYSHIP'S OFTEN OBLIGED
L. E. L.
There is one portion of a Work which, more than all others, marks the difference between the reader and the writer. It is the first read, and the last written; the one which the reader dismisses the most hastily, and the writer lingers upon longest. The Preface is the seal of separation between yourself and a Work that must have been the chief object of many days. The excitement of composition is over, and you begin to doubt and to despond. I cannot understand a writer growing indifferent from custom or success. Every new Work must be the record of much change in the mind which produces it, and there is always the anxiety to know how such change will be received. It is impossible, also, for the feeling of your own moral responsibility not to increase. At first you write eagerly, composition is rather a passion than a power; but, as you go on, you cannot but find that, to write a book, is a far more serious charge than it at first appeared. Faults have been pointed out, and you are desirous of avoiding their recurrence ; praise has been bestowed, and you cannot but wish to shew that it has not been given in vain.
Encouragement is the deepest and dearest debt that a writer can incur. Moreover, you have learnt that opinions are not to be lightly put forth, when there is even a chance of such opinions being material wherewith others will form their own. I never saw any one reading a volume of mine without almost a sensation of fear. I write every day more earnestly, and more seriously. To shew the necessity of a strong and guiding principle; to put in the strongest light, that no vanity, no pleasure, can ever supply the place of affection; to soften and to elevate,—has been the object of the following pages. I know too well that I cannot work out my own ideal, but I deeply feel that it is the beautiful and the true.
The greater part of these volumes has been written when in very wretched health;—may I urge it as a plea for the continuance of that kindly indulgence which has so often excited both my hope and my gratitude?