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Stray Pearls
Charlotte M. Yonge

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STRAY PEARLS 

MEMOIRS OF MARGARET DE RIBAUMONT 

VISCOUNTESS OF BELLAISE 

PREFACE 

No one can be more aware than the author that the construction of
this tale is defective.  The state of French society, and the strange
scenes of the Fronde, beguiled me into a tale which has become rather
a family record than a novel. 

Formerly the Muse of the historical romance was an independent and
arbitrary personage, who could compress time, resuscitate the dead,
give mighty deeds to imaginary heroes, exchange substitutes for
popular martyrs on the scaffold, and make the most stubborn facts
subservient to her purpose.  Indeed, her most favoured son boldly
asserted her right to bend time and place to her purpose, and to make

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