A Forgotten Hero

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CHAPTER ONE.CASTLES IN THE AIR. "O pale, pale face, so sweet and meek, Oriana!" Tennyson."Is the linen all put away, Clarice?""Ay, Dame.""And the rosemary not forgotten?""I have laid it in the linen, Dame.""And thy day's task of spinning is done?""All done, Dame.""Good. Then fetch thy sewing and come hither, and I will tell theesomewhat touching the lady whom thou art to serve.""I humbly thank your Honour." And dropping a low courtesy, the girlleft the room, and returned in a minute with her work."Thou mayest sit down, Clarice."Clarice, with another courtesy and a murmur of thanks, took her seat inthe recess of the window, where her mother was already sitting. Forthese two were mother and daughter; a middle-aged, comfortable-lookingmother, with a mixture of firmness and good-nature in her face; and adaughter of some sixteen years, rather pale and slender, but active andintelligent in her appearance. Clarice's dark hair was smoothly brushedand turned up in a curl all round her head, being cut sufficiently shortfor that purpose. Her dress was long and loose, made in what we callthe Princess style, with a long train, which she tucked under one armwhen she walked. The upper sleeve was of a narrow bell shape, but underit came down tight ones to the wrist, fastened by a row of large roundbuttons quite up to the elbow. A large apron--which Clarice called abarm-cloth--protected the dress from stain. A fillet of ribbon wasbound round her head, but she had no ornaments of any kind. Her motherwore a similar costume, excepting that in her case the fillet round thehead was exchanged for a wimple, which was a close hood, covering headand neck, and leaving no part exposed but the face. It was a very
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