contents were burnt to the ground.

"My Dear Edina,

"I never began a letter like this in all my life: it will have nothing in it but ill news and misery. Whether I am doing wrong in writing to you, I hardly know. My mother would not write. She feels a delicacy in disclosing our calamities to you, after your generous kindness in providing us with a home; and she must be ashamed to tell you about me. The home is lost, Edina, and I am the cause of it.

"I am too wretched to go into details: and, if I did, you might not have patience to read them; so I will tell the story in as few words as I can. We—I, Alice, and the Earles: you may remember them as living in the low, square house, near the church—were going to act a play, 'She Stoops to Conquer.' I sat up last Wednesday night to study my part, dropped asleep, and somehow the candle set light to some stage dresses that were lying

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