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THE LADY ISABEL.
In an easy-chair of the spacious and handsome library of his town-
house, sat William, Earl of Mount Severn. His hair was gray, the
smoothness of his expansive brow was defaced by premature wrinkles,
and his once attractive face bore the pale, unmistakable look of
dissipation. One of his feet was cased in folds of linen, as it rested
on the soft velvet ottoman, speaking of gout as plainly as any foot
ever spoke yet. It would seem--to look at the man as he sat there--
that he had grown old before his time. And so he had. His years were
barely nine and forty, yet in all save years, he was an aged man.
A noted character had been the Earl of Mount Severn. Not that he had
been a renowned politician, or a great general, or an eminent
statesman, or even an active member in the Upper House; not for any of
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