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: Part the First. THE VILLA AT HAMPSTEAD. I. ON a summer's morning, between thirty and forty years ago, two girls were crying bitterly in the cabin of an East Indian passenger ship, bound outward, from Gravesend to Bombay. They were both of the same ageâeighteen. They had both, from childhood upward, been close and dear friends at the same school. They were now parting for the first timeâand parting, it might be, for life. The name of one was Blanche. The name of the other was Anne. Both were the children of poor parents, both had been pupil-teachers at the school; and both were destined to earn their own bread. Personally speaking, and socially speaking, these were the only points of resemblance between them.