Page:Wanda vol 1 ouida.djvu/11

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WANDA.

 

PROEM.


Doch—alles was dazu mich trieb,
Gott! war so gut! ach, war so lieb!—Goethe.

TOWARDS the close of a summer's day in Russia a travelling carriage was compelled to pause before a little village whilst a smith rudely mended its broken wheel. The hamlet was composed of a few very poor dwellings grouped around a large low horse-shoe shaped building, which was the manorial mansion of the absent proprietor. It was gloomy, and dropping to decay; its many windows were barred and shuttered; the grass grew in its courts, and flowering