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The Last of the Barons — Volume 10 by Baron Edward Bulwer Lytton Lytton
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BOOK X.

THE RETURN OF THE KING-MAKER.




CHAPTER I.

THE MAID'S HOPE, THE COURTIER'S LOVE, AND THE SAGE'S COMFORT.

Fair are thy fields, O England; fair the rural farm and the orchards
in which the blossoms have ripened into laughing fruits; and fairer
than all, O England, the faces of thy soft-eyed daughters!

From the field where Sibyll and her father had wandered amidst the
dead, the dismal witnesses of war had vanished; and over the green
pastures roved the gentle flocks. And the farm to which Hastings had
led the wanderers looked upon that peaceful field through its leafy
screen; and there father and daughter had found a home.

It was a lovely summer evening; and Sibyll put aside the broidery
frame, at which, for the last hour, she had not worked, and gliding to
the lattice, looked wistfully along the winding lane. The room was in
the upper story, and was decorated with a care which the exterior of
the house little promised, and which almost approached to elegance.
The fresh green rushes that strewed the floor were intermingled with
dried wild thyme and other fragrant herbs. The bare walls were hung
with serge of a bright and cheerful blue; a rich carpet de cuir
covered the oak table, on which lay musical instruments, curiously