have been Christians and Muslims in India forcenturies!
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West Lynne was a town of some importance, particularly in its own eyes, though being neither a manufacturing one nor a cathedral one, nor even the chief town of the county, it was somewhat primitive in its manners and customs. Passing out at the town, toward the east, you came upon several detached gentleman's houses, in the vicinity of which stood the church of St. Jude, which was more aristocratic, in the matter of its congregation, than the other churches of West Lynne. For about a mile these houses were scattered, the church being situated at their commencement, close to that busy part of the place, and about a mile further on you came upon the beautiful estate which was called East Lynne.
Between the gentlemen's houses mentioned and East Lynne, the mile of road was very solitary, being much overshadowed with trees. One house alone stood there, and that was about three-quarters of a mile before you came to East Lynne. It was on the left hand side, a square, ugly, red brick house with a weathercock on the top, standing some little distance from the road. A flat lawn extended before it, and close to the palings, which divided it from the road, was a grove of trees, some yards in depth. The lawn was divided by a narrow middle gravel path, to which you gained access from the portico of the house. You entered upon a large flagged hall with a reception room on either hand, and the staircase, a wide one, facing you; by the side of the staircase you passed on to the servants' apartments and offices. That place was called the Grove, and was the property and residence of Richard Hare, Esq., commonly called Mr. Justice Hare.
The room to the left hand, as you went in, was the general sitting- room; the other was very much kept boxed up in lavender and brown Holland, to be opened on state occasions. Justice and Mrs. Hare had three children, a son and two daughters. Annie was the elder of the girls, and had married young; Barbara, the younger was now nineteen, and Richard the eldest--but we shall come to him hereafter.
In this sitting-room, on a chilly evening, early in May, a few days subsequent to that which had witnessed the visit of Mr. Carlyle to the Earl of Mount Severn, sat Mrs. Hare, a pale, delicate woman, buried in shawls and cushions: but the day had been warm. At the window sat a pretty girl, very fair, with blue eyes, light hair, a bright complexion, and small aquiline features. She was listlessly turning over the leaves of a book.
"Barbara, I am sure it must be tea-time now."
"The time seems to move slowly with you, mamma. It is scarcely a quarter of an hour since I told you it was but ten minutes past six."
"I am so thirsty!" announced the poor invalid. "Do go and look at the clock again, Barbara."
Barbara Hare rose with a gesture of impatience, not suppressed, opened the door, and glanced at the large clock in the hall. "It wants nine and twenty minutes to seven, mamma. I wish you would put your watch on of a day; four times you have sent me to look at that clock since dinner."