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Alice, or the Mysteries — Book 05 by Baron Edward Bulwer Lytton Lytton
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BOOK V.

"FOOLS blind to truth; nor know their erring soul
How much the half is better than the whole."
--HESIOD: _Op. et Dies_, 40.



CHAPTER I.

Do as the Heavens have done; forget your evil;
With them, forgive yourself.--_The Winter's Tale_.

. . . The sweet'st companion that e'er man
Bred his hopes out of.--_Ibid._

THE curate of Brook-Green was sitting outside his door. The vicarage
which he inhabited was a straggling, irregular, but picturesque
building,--humble enough to suit the means of the curate, yet large
enough to accommodate the vicar. It had been built in an age when the
_indigentes et pauperes_ for whom universities were founded supplied,
more than they do now, the fountains of the Christian ministry, when
pastor and flock were more on an equality.

From under a rude and arched porch, with an oaken settle on either side
for the poor visitor, the door opened at once upon the old-fashioned
parlour,--a homely but pleasant room, with one wide but low cottage
casement, beneath which stood the dark shining table that supported the
large Bible in its green baize cover; the Concordance, and the last
Sunday's sermon, in its jetty case. There by the fireplace stood the