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The chief object of the following tale is to make known the true nature of the Order of the “ Good Shepherd,” and the working of the Magdalen Asylum under the care of the Religious. The ground-work of the story is a fact which has come under the writer's own observation. This does not of course mean that the whole is to be understood as an exact narrative of events, but merely that the foundation of the story is a fact ; and moreover, that in no instance is the writer conscious of having exaggerated in the scenes and conversations here recorded. To give a true idea, and not to write a romantic story,
has been the aim of the writer throughout. At the same time, especial care has been taken to mention nothing which could in any wise affect the character or feelings of any individual now living. If it be alleged that the example chosen is a singular instance of God's mercy, the writer has only to say that, however extraordinary in some of its circumstances, the main features of the conversion are common enough in the Asylums of the “Good Shepherd.”
It should be added, that the tale is written by one of the Religious of the “Order of our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd.”
June 21st, 1848.
CHAPTER THE FIRST.
“She once was a lady of honour and wealth,
And her motion shook perfume from every fold.
That call'd her to live for the suffering race;
Vide “The Sister of Charity."
“ AN you show me the way to the Con
vent, friend ?” said a tall military looking man, of middle age, in the village of Hammersmith, during the spring of 184—, to a passing workman. “ Opposite to where you stand, sir,” replied the artisan, touching his hat, and the gentleman crossed the road and rang the bell of a large red brick house, over