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The Tale of Chloe by George Meredith
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THE TALE OF CHLOE
AN EPISODE IN THE HISTORY OF BEAU BEAMISH

By George Meredith



'Fair Chloe, we toasted of old,
As the Queen of our festival meeting;
Now Chloe is lifeless and cold;
You must go to the grave for her greeting.
Her beauty and talents were framed
To enkindle the proudest to win her;
Then let not the mem'ry be blamed
Of the purest that e'er was a sinner!'

Captain Chanter's Collection.


CHAPTER I

A proper tenderness for the Peerage will continue to pass current the
illustrious gentleman who was inflamed by Cupid's darts to espouse the
milkmaid, or dairymaid, under his ballad title of Duke of Dewlap: nor was
it the smallest of the services rendered him by Beau Beamish, that he
clapped the name upon her rustic Grace, the young duchess, the very first
day of her arrival at the Wells. This happy inspiration of a wit never
failing at a pinch has rescued one of our princeliest houses from the
assaults of the vulgar, who are ever too rejoiced to bespatter and
disfigure a brilliant coat-of-arms; insomuch that the ballad, to which we