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forward as her lot in life. That she was the wife of Sir Harry Carew added to her social importance, but it did not seem to alter in any other way her anticipated position—for alas ! she had not a wedded heart.

At first Sir Harry accompanied her wherever she went, was assiduous in his attendance in the Park or Row, and escorted her to every ball, scarcely leaving her side during the evening. But gradually he remitted his jealous vigilance; he was tired of constant attendance on his wife, or else he had interests of his own apart from hers; at any rate he began to form separate habits, and allowed her to go into society alone—more because he could not well cancel all her engagements, and prevent her from making new ones, than from any real sanction of such a proceeding.

For the first time in her life Zara had the means of gratifying a taste in dress

was

name.

naturally both elegant and costly; and to be " the best dressed woman in the room”

a distinction which she frequently added to the others which crowned her

Sir Harry “liked to see women well got up," and never believed that a thing was worth having unless it was very expensive; so in this respect at least Zara had nothing to complain of in her matrimonial bargain. When her husband accompanied her to balls, he placed many and various restrictions on her dancing ; and was sure to lay an embargo on so many men in the room, that to accede to the requests of those with whom she might dance, became more a means of offending the others than of gratifying her own wishes; and she found the simplest plan was not to dance at all. The first time she was at a ball without Sir Harry, she attempted to keep up the same regime, but was persuaded into making two or

three exceptions, which ended in sweeping her scruples away. After that she followed her own inclinations, and danced the whole evening; and solely to secure one place on her engagement-card, was considered by many men to be well worth the trouble of going to some ball, which they would otherwise have avoided as a bore. Her beauty was raved about, discussed, and criticised—but never doubted or denied for indeed it was undeniable ; and no rivalry of other charms, or force of contrast even, seemed to pale or diminish its splendour. Lady Carew was the star of the present season; the fact was an acknowledged and undisputed one; and that Sir Harry was a lucky dog, and quite unworthy of the prize which he had been so crafty as to secure before any one else could have a chance to try for it, was an only natural conclusion. But Lady Carew herself, after an evening spent in driving

all the mothers of marriageable fair ones to despair, by her involuntary but magnetic monopoly of most of the noble and aristocratic “ eligibles” present, would drive home with a slightly contemptuous curl on her beautiful lips, as she wondered if any single one out of her constant train of devoted attachés would have considered her worthy of the offer of his hand, and honour of his name, if she had made her appearance as the penniless Miss Lennox. For Zara was acquiring an amount of worldly wisdom which did her great credit, considering the shortness of her experience.

CHAPTER XV.

ONCE AGAIN.

“There is no compensation for the woman who feels that the chief relation of her life has been no more than a mistake. She has lost her crown.”

“Who is that pretty brown-eyed girl on the chesnut? I saw her at Lady Grace's ball last night-in mourning, I think.”

“That is Miss Tracy. She is in mourning for her cousin, Lord Albemarle, who died in Egypt six weeks ago. She was taken into society by his parents, Lord and Lady S. John, last season; but they are in deep grief, of course, now, and have not come up this year. Miss Tracy is with her father and mother now, I suppose; but they are regular country people, and don't show much, and I don't know

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