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THE 



LOTTERY OF LIFE. 



VOL. I. 



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THE 



LOTTERY OF LIFE. 



BY 



THE COUNTESS OF BLESSIN6T0N. 



After loog stoniMt and tempnCs ovei Mo w u gy 
ThfeSaBM at iM^th his joyous ftcedoch deare: 
So whas as Foftone all her splght bath showDO, 
Some bUfllul houn at last roust needes appeare* 
Else should aSHetad wtghts oftthnes despecre. 



IN 'FHREE VOLUMES, 
VOL. L 



LONDON: 
HENRY COLBURN, PUBLISHER. 

OBEAT HARLBOBOUOH STREET. 
1642. 



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PHINTKO BY WILLIAM WllvCOCMSVIt. ROLUI MTlLDIJtOS. PBTTKM LANK, 



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CONTENTS. 



VOL. I. 



THE LOTTERY OF LIFE 
VERONICA OF CA8TILLE 



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V 


3 




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. 281 



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THE 

LOTTERY OF LIFE. 



VOL. I. B 

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THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 



CHAPTER L 

Born of humble but honest parents, I was so 
fortunate as to attract the notice of Abraham 
Mortimer, a retir^ banker, who had purchased 
a large estate, on which was the small farm 
occupied by my father, Richard Wallingford. 
Mr. MoYtimer had married late in life, and lost 
the object of his affections, who died soon after 
giving birth to an only son. The child was 
little less than idolized by his doting parent ; 
and, when old enough to have a preceptor, it 
was suggested that a play-fellow, to share his 
lessons, might excite emulation, while a com- 
panion in his exercise would tend to give him 
more pleasure in them. I, then in my twelfth 

B 2 

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4 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

year, was selected to fill this post. I had often 
attracted the notice of Mr. Mortimer as he rode 
hy the door of my father, who was his tenant, 
and who having three other children, and not 
heing in affluent circumstances, was not unwil- 
ling to accept the kind offer of his landlord, to 
undertake the education of his son, and after- 
wards to place him in some reputable profession. 

Percy Mortimer, unlike the generality of only 
sons, was wholly unspoilt hy the indulgence of 
his father. Good-tempered, kind-hearted, and 
generous, he hailed the acquisition of a com- 
panion of his own age with delight, and soon 
became fondly attached to me, who regarded 
" the young master,'* as the child was styled, 
with the warmest affection. 

The emulation excited between us never 
engendered an envious feeling in the breasts of 
either. The commendations lavished on Percy 
by his doting father, were even more gratifying 
to me than to the object of them ; and often would 
Percy interrupt the eulogiums, by reminding 
his parent that I merited them quite as well as 
he did. The only interruptions to the happi- 
ness I enjoyed, originated in the contemptuous 
treatment I not unfrequently experienced from 
the servants of my benefactor. 

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THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 5 

"Many come up !" would Mrs. Tumbull, 
the fat housekeeper, say, often loud enough to 
be heard by me, as she beheld us mount our 
ponies together, " if it isn't queer to see a 
trumpery farmer's son treated for all the world 
like the young squire, and not the least differ- 
ence made between them." 

" Set a beggar on horseback and he'll ride 

to the ," chimed the butler. " Well, I 

hope master won't have no cause to repent his 
generosity, or to remember the old saying about 
pulling a rod to whip himself.'* 

" Some people have the luck of it," resumed 
Mrs. Tumbull. " Now, if master had taken 
your little boy, Mr. Manningtree, I'd have 
thought it quite nafral like, seeing as how 
you've served in the family so long ; and I'm 
sure he's a nice spirited little fellow, and so I 
have thought ever since he broke the gardener's 
windows for forbidding him to touch the fruit, 
and set his dog at the beggars' children." 

" Why, yes, Mrs. Tumbull, I must say as 
how Billy is as sharp a chap as a man can see 
in a ride of twenty miles. Why, he knocked 
out a tooth of widow Browning's son t'other 
day, and has boxed half the boys in the school, 



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O THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

as their black eyes bear witness. Though I say 
it, as shouldn't say it, Billy is as cute a boy as 
any in the parish ; ay, and would be as good- 
looking a boy, too, only for his bandy legs, that 
little cast he has in his eyes, and his hair being 
so red." 

" As for a cast in the Aeyes, Mr. Manning- 
tree," observed Mrs. Tumbull, " there's many 
a one as thinks it a beauty ; and as for red 
hair, does'n't it bring white skin with it?" 

Now, be it known that Mrs. Tumbull squinted, 
and had very red hair, which the butler had 
totally forgotten, when he referred to their being 
detrimental to comeliness. 

" Oh I in a woman^ Mrs. Tumbull, they 
certainly are a beauty, of that there can't be a 
doubt ; for only look at the picturs of Teeshin,* 
I mean of them there pretty creturs, who have 
not so much clothes on as might be wished, 
owing, I suppose, to chintz, muslin, and cotton 
not being so cheap when he painted as these 
articles are now." 

" Fye, Mr. Manningtree! don't mention such 
things. I'm sure I never go into the breakfast 
room, to take orders of a morning, without 

• Titian. 



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THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 7 

being ashamed to meet master's eye, on account 
of that there Wenus, who is loUopping, half 
dressed, and them other plump creturs as is 
bathing in a river." 

" Faith 1 Mrs. TurnbuU, I never look at 'em 
without thinking of you." 

" For shame I for shame I Mr. Manningtree ; 
don't go for to mention such a thing ; what 
would people say if they heard you ? I've been 
a married woman, Mr. Manningtree, a matter 
of twenty-five years, and poor Thomas Turn- 
bull, peace he to his soul, never said no such 
thing in his life." 

" May be he never saw a Teeshin pictur, 
Mrs. Tumhull ? if he had, he could not help 
seeing the likeness." 

" Now, I declare, Mr. Manningtree, you 
make me all no how, indeed you do — for shame I 
But we was a talking about that there young 
chap, Dick Wailingford, I think as how he 
takes on, and gives himself great airs." 

" So do I, Mrs. Tumhull. He's a cunning 
fellow, too ; and I can't ahide cunning people." 

" No, nor I neither, Mr. Manningtree." 

" Why, would you believe it, the day after 
James, the new footman, came, the young master 
was mad because he had not cleaned the shoes 

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8 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

of Master Richard (a$ we are told to call him) ; 
for I had been telling him, the evening before, 
as how he was only the son of a poor trumpery 
farmer, as was taken in out of charity, to divart 
the young squire. Well, when the young chap 
finds his shoes dirty, what does he do but begins 
cleaning 'em with his pocket handkerchief and 
some water, when in comes Mary, housemaid, 
and tells him, it is a shame for him to dirt the 
room after such a fashion, and that it was easy 
to see he was not a gentleman bom, or he wou'd 
not go for to do such a thing as to clean his 
own shoes. Mary, housemaid, spoke so loud, 
that the young master heard her, came into the 
room, ordered her to leave it directly, and then 
sent for me, and said, * If ever any one neg- 
lected to clean the shoes of Master Richard, he 
would tell his papa, and get them discharged.' 
Would you believe it, Mrs. Turnbull, that there 
young hypocrite turns round in a jifiy, and says, 
he hopes Master Percy won't say another word 
about the matter, for that he doesn't mind doing 
every thing for himself, just the same as he'd 
have to do, if he was in his father's house; 
and then the young master goes up to him, and 
puts his arm round his shoulders, quite like a 
brother, and says, * But you sha'n't, my dear 

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THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 9 

Richard ; the servants shall wait on you the 
same as on me, that they shall ; so mind what I 
say, Manningtree, or Pll tell my papa.'" 

" Did I ever? — no, I never heard of such 
doiugs. No good will come of it, Mr. Man- 
ningtree.** 

The good temper, for which I always had 
credit, and the desire of not giving trouhle, 
which I invariahly evinced, were insufficient to 
conciliate the good-will of the servants of my 
patron, and many were the slights and humi- 
liations they endeavoured to inflict on me, but 
which this same good temper of mine, and a 
certain portion of good sense, not often met 
with in people of my age, lightened the sense of. 

Time passed rapidly on, and we had each now 
completed our nineteenth year. Percy was to 
be entered at Christ Church College, as a gen- 
tleman commoner, and I was to be placed as a 
clerk in the banking-house of Mortimer, Alli- 
son and Finsbury, in which my benefactor was 
still a sleeping partner. 

" How I wish you were coming to Oxford 
with me, my dear Richard," said Percy to me, 
a few days before the separation, to which both 
looked forward with so much dread. 

b3 

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10 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

" I too wish it/' answered I, " more, much 
more, than I can tell you; but your father 
wills it otherwise," 

** Greatly as I shall regret our separation, 
Richard, I prefer it to having you entered as a 
sizer at Christ Church ; that I could not bear, 
brought up as we have been like brothers." 

<* I should feel no humiliation in it, dear 
Percy," said I, "for though you have ever 
treated me as an equal, I have not forgotten 
the difference in our stations: the poor farmer's 
son knows that his cannot be the same path as 
that traced for the son of his generous bene- 
factor." 

" That is precisely the only fault I ever have 
had to find with you, Richard. You are ever 
reminding me of a kindness on the part of my 
father, that has been amply repaid by the ad- 
vantages I have derived from the example of 
perseverance and application which you have 
given to his half — nay, more than half-spoilt 
son, who without it, might have been now a 
dunce, and disappointed his too indulgent 
father's expectations." 

Percy Mortimer entered Christ Church a 
few days after the above conversation ; and on 



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THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 11 

the same day, I left the ahode in which I had 
passed so many happy days, and hecame an in- 
mate in the banking-house of Messrs. Mortimer, 
Allison and Finsbury, in Mincing -lane. I 
had never neglected my parents, or sisters and 
brothers, during my residence at Mr. Morti- 
mers. The pocket-money, and gifts so libe- 
rally supplied to me by Percy, were nearly all 
transferred to my family ; and whenever I could 
snatch an hour from my own studies, or the 
recreations of my companion, which I was ex- 
pected to share, it was devoted to the instruc- 
tion of my brothers and sisters. Of these, one 
amply repaid the trouble and pains I had taken 
for her improvement, the 'gentle and pretty 
Margaret, who applied herself with diligence 
to the tasks I assigned her. To her, now in 
her fourteenth year, I transferred the few books 
I coidd call my own, consisting of Goldsmith's 
"Abridged Histories," Milton's "Paradise 
Lost," Thompson's " Seasons," and the " Spec- 
tator," and having taken an affectionate leave 
of my family, I bade adieu to the country. 

Great was the disappointment I experienced 
on my arrival at the dingy house in Mincing- 
lane, where I was henceforth to take up my 
residence. Impressed with a vivid notion of 

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12 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

the grandeur of London, the little I had seen of 
it in my passage through the crowded streets of 
the citj, accorded so little with my pre-conceived 
ideas, that I sank hack into the coach in which 
I haa seated myself and placed my luggage on 
leaving the stage-coach, disheartened and op- 
pressed hy the sense of loneliness peculiar to a 
stranger on the first entrance into a crowded 
capital, in which, among the dense masses of 
people he sees moving about him, he knows not 
a single face, expects not to see a single hand 
held out to welcome him with a kindly pressure, 
or a familiar voice to greet his ear. The dingy 
banking-house in Mincing-lane achieved the 
gloom that was stealing over my feelings ; and, 
as I paid the coachman the sum demanded, 
(being only thrice the amount to which he was 
entitled,) and asked a surly-looking porter who 
stood at the door to assist me in removing my 
luggage into the dwelling, I experienced a sad- 
ness and sense of isolation, to which I had been 
hitherto a stranger. Cold and formal was the 
reception given to me by the partners of the 
bank, to one of whom I presented a letter of 
introduction from Mr. Mortimer. They eyed 
me with scrutinizing glances, then exchanged 
looks, in which little of approval was visible. 

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THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 13 

and the effect of which was not calculated to 
exhilarate the depressed spirits of a stranger 
like myself. 

" As you are probably fatigued by your jour- 
ney, you can retire to the apartment prepared 
for you,** said Mr. Allison, "and to-morrow 
you will enter on your duty. The porter will 
show you your room." 

I felt thankful for permission to retire, and, 
bowing, hastened to avail myself of it ; but my 
gratitude was diminished, when I saw that the 
hour of closing the bank had arrived, as all the 
clerks were withdrawing from their high stools, 
and hurrying away with an activity that denoted 
their satisfaction at being released from their 
daily uninteresting toil. 

** I thought you were the new clerk, when 
you asked me to help you in with your trunk," 
said the porter, when I requested him to show 
me my room. 

" You were never afore in Lunnun, I take it?" 

" Never," answered I. 

** I guessed as much, when I seed you give 
that there coachman three times more than his 
fare. You mustn't do that, for its no use what- 
somever being himposed on, and only gets a man 
laughed at." 

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14 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE, 

"I thank you for your advice," replied I, 
and the civility with which I said so, made John 
Stebbings (who be it known to our readers had 
a passion for giving advice), my friend for life. 

" You will find Mrs. Chatterton, the house- 
keeper, a very good and tidy woman; and, pro- 
vided you keeps good hours, and is regular at 
meals, she will make you very comfortable," said 
John Stebbings, as he conducted me up stairs. 

He opened the door of a very gloomy room, 
in which was a table laid for dinner ; and, seated 
by the fire, a respectable looking elderly woman, 
with considerable remains of beauty, who, with 
spectacles on nose, was busily employed in knit- 
ting a stocking. 

" Here be the new clerk, Mrs. Chatterton," 
said John Stebbings, raising his voice to a very 
loud key. 

"What do you say, Mr. Stebbings?" an- 
swered the old dame, turning round leisurely. 

" This here young gentleman he's the new 
clerk," repeated Stebbings, in the tone of a 
Stentor. 

" Why don't you speak a little louder, Mr. 
Stebbings ? — I never hear a word you say." 

" Speak a little louder indeed ; why, hang me, 
if the old lady don't get deafer and deafer every 

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THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 15 

day," and, approaching close to her ear, he bel- 
lowed rather than spoke, " This here he's the 
new clerk." 

" Then why couldn't you say so at first, Mr. 
Stebbiogs?" 

" As if I didn't. Well, it surely is a great 
misfortune to be deaf. I wouldn't be deaf for 
all the world, — that I wouldn't," said John 
Stebbings. 

" How do you do, young gentleman ?" said 
Mrs. Chatterton, civilly, and with a most bene- 
volent smile: "your bedroom is prepared for 
you, and dinner will be served up in a few 
minutes. This way, if you please. What did 
you say your name was ?" 

" Richard Wallingford, ma'am." 

"What?" 

" Richard Wallingford, ma'am," and I spoke 
louder than I had ever spoken before. 

" Speak a little louder, young man ; it's very 
strange no one will speak loud enough at pre- 
sent to be heard. When I was young, every 
body spoke loud enough." 

" Ay, ay, I warrant me you weren't as deaf 
as a post then, as you are now," said John Steb- 
bings, as he proceeded towards the door, with 
my trunk on his shoulders ; and scarcely had 

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16 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

he uttered the remark, when, coming in con- 
tact with a chair which he had not observed, 
and which had been left out of its place by Mrs. 
Chatterton, who had been winding cotton on 
its back, he stumbled over it, and fell to the 
ground, while the trunk, coming on a pile of 
plates placed before the fire, crashed them in 
pieces. 

" Was there ever such a man?** said Mrs. 
Chatterton, " always breaking and falling over 
every thing I Why can't you wear spectacles, 
John Stebbings? You're as blind as a bat, 
that you are ; but you won't allow it — ^you're so 
obstinate.*' 

" No more blinder than my neighbours,** 
growled John Stebbings, "and not deaf into 
the bargain, as some of us be,*' and he began 
rubbing his leg, which had sustained some in- 
jury by its contact with the chair. 

" Bless me I if he hasn*t broken a dozen of 
plates. What will the^rm say, when they see 
four shillings down again for plates ?*' 

" I've broken my shin, and that's worse nor 
the plates,** muttered Stebbings; "but that 
comes of putting chairs out in the middle of 
the room to throw people down.** 

" Here*s a glass of cordial, it will do you 

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THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 17 

good, Mr. Stebbings/' and the old lady opened 
a cupboard, and poured out a glass of some 
liquid which she handed to Stebbings, who 
nothing loth, drank to her good health, while 
she murmured, " 'Tis a pity he*s so blind, poor 
man ; I wish he would wear spectacles :" and he 
having emptied the glass of its contents, turned 
to me and remarked, that ** there was not a 
better-hearted woman alive than Mrs. Chatter- 
ton, and it was a great pity she was so deaf.'' 



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18 



CHAPTER 11. 

The bed-chamber allotted to me, though small, 
and furnished in the most homely style, was 
clean, an agreeable fact which Mrs. Chatterton 
called on me to remark, as she installed me in it. 
" Here is soap for you, young man, — good 
old brown Windsor soap. The firm allows a 
cake a month to each clerk, which is ample for 
those who are not so stupid as some are, who 
forget it in the wash-hand basin. Such people 
never come to much good ; for how can a man 
take care of great things, who begins by for- 
getting small ? Here is a chest of drawers for 
your clothes, and a boot-jack for your separate 
use. The firm are very liberal in allowing a 
boot-jack to each room. You are the only clerk 
who has a bed-chamber to himself; and, there- 
fore, this boot-jack belongs exclusively to this 

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THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 19 

room. I have had the initials of the firm cut 
on it, M. A. F. ; it prevents mistake. I will 
leave you now, and order dinner to be served ; 
in five minutes more it will be on the table. 
You will just have time to wash your hands, 
and smooth down your hair. Hold the candle, 
Mr. Stebbings, if you please, not so close to my 
cap for fear of fire. I wish you would wear 
spectacles, indeed I do." 

" And 7, and every one else who knows you, 
wish that you would have a speaking-trumpet," 
muttered John Stebbings. '* How droll it is she 
can find out that I can't see so well as I could 
forty years ago, but she can't discover that she 
is as deaf as a post.*' 

The ringing of a bell announced that dinner 
was served before I had completed the arrange- 
ment of my hasty toilette ; but I hurried to the 
room in which I had previously seen the table 
laid, and found that five clerks and Mrs. Chat- 
terton had already taken their seats at it. A 
substantial piece of boiled beef and carrots 
smoked on the board, and a dish of potatoes 
flanked the opposite side. 

" Gentlemen, this is Mr. Richard Walling- 
ford, the new clerk," said Mrs. Chatterton, and 



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20 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

each of the five clerks looked inquiringly at 
the new comer, and nodded to me, but without 
speaking, their mouths being too full for speech. 
Mrs. Chatterton helped me to a substantial slice 
of beef, and added to it a supply of carrots that 
might have satisfied the most voracious appetite. 

*^ Gentlemen, how do you like your fare ?" 
demanded she ; a needless question, as the avidity 
with which the huge slices disappeared from each 
plate save mine, bore ample testimony to the 
approval of the dinner. " I hope, young gentle- 
man, you like your beef? Our butcher is con- 
sidered one of the best in Leadenhall-market, 
and my mode of having it boiled has always 
given the greatest satisfaction." 

" You need not give yourself the trouble to 
scream yourself hoarse by attempting to make the 
old lady hear," said a young man whose dress, 
air and manner indicated a desire of being consi- 
dered a smart, if not a pretty man too, but whom 
nature had wholly unfitted for enacting the part. 

" What does Mr. Bingly say ?" asked Mrs. 
Chatterton, " something civil I am sure." The 
simplicity and goodness indicated by the ques- 
tion set the table in a roar, while the said Mr. 
Bingly, moving his lips as if speaking, looked at 



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THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 21 

Mrs. Chatterton as though he was addressing 
her, a piece of mockery that still more increased 
the laughter of the junior portion of the party. 

** I see you are all laughing ; and I dare say 
something pleasant has been said, but strange 
to say, I have only caught a word here and 
there in all that Mr. Bingly has uttered. I 
wish people would speak a little louder. When 
I was young, every one spoke louder, and I 
never used to miss a word of what was said.'' 

The beef and vegetables having been removed 
by a stout and active maiden who acted in 
the capacity of cook and parlour-maid, a huge 
wedge of Cheshire cheese, flanked by a foaming 
tankard of ale, was placed on the table, and the 
glasses of the party being filled from it, Mrs. 
Chatterton proposed the health of the firm. 

" I have drunk this same toast, young gentle- 
man, for forty years, and make a point that it 
should be drank here every day. And a good 
right we have to drink the health of the firm, for 
there is not a better in the city of London." 

Mr. Bingly now taking his glass in hand, 
looked respectfully at Mrs. Chatterton, and bow- 
ing his head to her, gravely said — " I heartily 
wish, old Mother Chatterbox, that you, and your 
everlasting pieces of beef and dry cheese, only 

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22 THE LOTTKRY OF LIFE. 

fit to bait mouse-traps with, were far away/* 
and he raised the glass of ale to his lips. 

" Thank you, Mr. Bingly, you are always 
polite, I must say," and elevating the glass to 
her mouth, " I wish you the same.'* 

The happiest repartee ever uttered by a wit, 
never produced more laughter than did the 
answer of Mrs. Chatterton, who again ex- 
pressed her desire that people would speak as 
loud as they did when she was young. Of the 
four other clerks seated round the board, two 
were elderly men, of grave and reserved man- 
ners, and two were about the age of Mr. 
Bingly, whose style of dress and behaviour, 
they evidently emulated. They waited to see 
whether he would patronize the new comer, be- 
fore they extended any friendly encouragement 
to me, while the two elderly clerks seemed 
scarcely conscious of my presence. 

" I am for the play,'* said Mr. Bingly, if you 
like to go, Mr. — what did you say your name 
was?" 

" Wallingford," answered I. 

" I'll conduct you." 

*' I am obliged to you, but I prefer remain- 
ing at home." 

"You are right, young man, — yes, quite 

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THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 23 

right,*' observed the two elderly clerks, and 
they looked graciously at me. 

" What I not desire to see Miss Tree, and 
Kean, or Miss Helen Faucit and Macready ? 
Ton my soul I the acting of these great stars 
quite electrifies me. They are fine creatures.** 

*'What do you think of the acting in the 
early scenes, Bingly ?*' asked one of the elderly 
clerks. 

" Think 1 why very fine, monstrous fine to 
be sure, but why do you ask ?" 

^* Because, as you only go at the half-price, 
I thought it likely you may never have seen 
them.** 

A laugh on the part of Bingly*s imitators 
followed this remark. 

" If I were you, I would for once put together 
the sums for two admissions of half-price, and 
see the whole piece, if only just for the novelty 
of the thing.** 

** Ha, ha I not so bad, *poti my soul, not so 
bad I** and Bingly affected to laugh. 

The table being now clearedj I rose to seek 
my bed-room, for the purpose of arranging my 
clothes and books, and having placed them in 
order, and written a letter to my friend Percy 
Mortimer, I returned to the sitting-room, where 

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24 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

I found the two elderly clerks busily engaged 
in a game of chess, Mrs. Chatterton knitting, 
and two of the young men occupied in reading^ 
two well-thumbed and soiled novels, from the 
next circulating library. Mr. Singly had gone 
out. 

" If you wish to converse, Mr. Wallingford," 
said Mrs. Chatterton, " I will have great plea- 
sure in a little sociable chat with you; but I 
must beg of you to speak louder.'' 

A suppressed titter from the young men, 
marked that they were not so deeply interested 
in the novels they were perusing, as not to be 
aware of what was going on in the room. 

" You see Mr. Murdoch and Mr. Burton,'* 
continued Mrs. Chatterton, "playing chess at 
the same table, and on the same board where 
they have played for the last forty years. Night 
after night there they are, never weary. I 
wonder they can go on for so many years with- 
out being tired of it." 

" Well, that's a good'un, however," said one 
of the young men, " when here has she been 
knitting stockings, day after day, and night 
after night, for nearly as long a period as they 
have played chess; yet she wonders they can be 
amused with their game." 

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THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 25 

" It is wonderful how time flies/' resumed 
Mrs. Chatterton, ''and so I often think, when 
I look over and see Mr. Murdoch and Mr. 
Barton seated in the same spot, and engaged 
in the same amusement year after year ; and, 
would you believe it, Mr. Wallingford, it some- 
times seems to me as if it was impossible that 
it could be thirty-five years since I first saw 
them sitting there, every thing appears so exact- 
ly the same, — except that people don't speak so 
loud ? When we always do the same things, 
and at the same hours, it makes the time pass 
quite pleasantly, though I can't get Mr. Bingly 
to think so. Ah, well I he'll come to my opinion 
when he grows older, — that he will. Doing 
the same thing at the same hours, keeps people 
young much longer, I can tell you. Why, I 
declare, except that Mr. Murdoch has lost all 
his hair, and his front teeth, and is grown so 
very corpulent, I don't see much change in him ; 
and, as for Mr. Burton, only that he wears that 
light-coloured wig, instead of having his head 
nearly bald, as it was when I first saw him, and 
his having lost his flesh and got lame, he is just 
the same man he used to be thirty-five years 
ago. I, too, am very little changed. Indeed, 
my friends tell me they don't see the least altera- 

VOL. I. c 

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26 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

tion, which shows what a fine thing it is to be 
always doing the same thing. Up at six in the 
summer, and seven in the winter — off to Lead- 
enhall-market thrice a-week in winter, and 
every day in summer, by eight in the morning ; 
home by nine — break£ast on the table by five 
minutes after. In the kitchen to look about 
dinner at ten — see the rooms are perfectly 
cleaned at half-past ten — scold Kitty. Look 
over the linen at eleven, repair whatever may 
require mending. Read the Morning Post at 
twelve, and at one o'clock sit down comfortably 
to my knitting. At two, Kitty brings me a 
mouthful of cold meat, a slice of bread, and a 
glass of beer; and, at half-past two, I take 
up my knitting again until dinner-time, after 
which the evening passes just the same as you 
see. O I it's a great blessing to have the time 
pass so pleasantly, — isVt it, Mr. Richard? I 
dare say you were very sorry to leave your vil- 
lage, because you knew every face and step 
aroimd the place, and every one knew you? 
Now, the city of London seems to me to be mj/ 
village. I know every shop, and every owner 
of a shop, from Mincing-lane to Leadenhall- 
market — ay, and in the market too, I know 
most of the folk, and they know me : and you 

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THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 27 

could not feel more strange in the streets to- 
morrow, than I should were I to find myself in 
the Tillage where I was horn." 

" He's fairly in for it,'' said one of the young 
clerks to the other. <' I'll be blessed if she aint 
coming to her visit to her native village : you'll 
see she'll tell him the whole story." 

"He'll never be such a spoony as to sit 
listening to it," answered the other. 

" But you heard nearly the half of it." 

"Ay, that was because I was a stranger, 
and not up to the old girl's long yams." 

" You were a stranger, and she took you in," 
whispered the other, loud enough to be heard 
by me, who felt somewhat abashed at finding 
myself considered as a victim to the garrulous 
Mrs. Chatterton, although the evident good- 
nature of the old lady induced me to lend her, 
what it was plain she received as a compliment, 
a patient hearing. Tea being now served by 
the active Kitty, who, with it, brought a supply 
of buttered muffins, that might have satiated 
the appetite of a Dando ; Mrs. Chatterton 
busied herself in pouring out the " beverage 
that cheers, but not inebriates," the steams of 
which sent up a grateful odour. Even the 
chess-players left their game, and Messrs. 

c2 

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28 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

Thomas and Wilson, their well-thumbed novels, 
to partake this evening repast; and when I saw 
the rapidity with which muffin after muffin dis- 
appeared, and cup after cup was replenished, I 
no longer felt surprised at the copious supply 
provided by the indefatigable Kitty. At half- 
past ten o'clock, the party retired to their sepa- 
rate chambers, but not before Mrs. Chatterton 
reminded me, that at five minutes after nine, 
breakfast would be on the table. 



dbyGoogk 



29 



CHAPTER III. 

When I awoke the next morning, I was sur* 
prised to find, on opening my window, that a 
dense yellow fog precluded the possibility of 
seeing any object from it, save a few tall chim- 
nies crowned by lurid-coloured, conical-shaped 
pots, rising from the mis-shapen roofs of the ad* 
jacent houses. Nothing could be more gloomy 
than the prospect of this ** darkness visible,'' 
offering a dreary contrast to the wide-stretch- 
ing domain of Oak Park, with its huge old 
trees, beneath which the deer loved to nestle, 
and the sleek cows and snowy fleeced sheep 
cropped their daily food. The density of the 
atmosphere impeded the freedom of my respira- 
tion, and damped the natural tone of cheerful- 
ness of my mind, but I soon reasoned myself 
into better spirits; and when I entered the 

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30 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

eating-room» receiyed the matinal greetings of 
Mrs. Chatterton, with assumed if not real 
cheerfuhiess. 

" What weather 1 there never was any thing 
like it," said Mr. Murdoch. 

" So you have said every similar day for the 
last thirty-five years, and we have had many 
such days,*' replied Mr. Burton. 

" Would you believe it, I was obliged to pay 
a Unk-boy to light me home last night ?** ob- 
served Mr. Bingly ; " and in the theatre, the 
fog was so thick that one could not see across 
the house.*' 

<' You are finding fault with the butter again, 
Mr. Bingly," said Mrs. Chatterton ; "but if s 
no use, there is no better to be had at present, 
I can tell you." 

« Not I," answered Mr. Bingly, " I'm tired 
of finding fault. I really believe the old woman's 
nose is as blunt to the sense of smelling as her 
ears are to that of hearing ; for if she coiUd 
smell, we should not have such stuff as this," 
pointing to the pat of butter to which he had 
helped himself. 

Messrs. Thomas and Wilson were too busily 
occupied in discussing the toast, and washing 
it down with large cups of tea, to join in the 

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THE LOTTEKY OF LIFE, SI 

remarks, rather than conversation, of the other 
clerks. 

At length, the morning meal heing concluded, 
and Mr. Murdoch having looked at his huge 
silver watch (which res^nhled a turnip in form 
and size), he announced that the moment was 
arrived for entering the office, to which he led the 
way. The apartment was of considerable dimen- 
sions, and nlang it was ranged a long line of 
counters, with desks, before which stood high 
stools, waiting their daily occupants. Mr. Mur- 
doch pointed out the one designed for me, and 
I seated myself before a huge ledger open on 
the desk, while that grave functionary explained 
to me the duties I was expected to discharge. 
Lamps were lighted through the apartment, 
but even with the aid supplied by them, it was 
still gloomy and dingy, the lurid flame casting 
its dull light over the countenances of the clerks 
seated, at the desks, and on those who kept 
continually making their entries and exits, as 
well as on the heaps of golden coin, which the 
cashier was serving out with a sort of shovel, 
to meet the demands of the several busy-looking 
men, who presented checks to him. Every 
one appeared intent on business ; even Bingly 
seemed to forget the pleasures of half-price 

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32 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

attendance at the theatre ; Thomas and Wilson 
looked as if they never had devoted an evening 
to a novel; and Murdoch and Burton forgot 
the fascination of chess, while, with spectacles 
on nose, they looked o^er unwieldy books, and 
made entries in them. 

At ten o'clock the partners, or theyfrm, as 
Mrs. Chatterton loved to designate them, took 
their station in an inner room, each seated 
before a desk, and deeply interested in the 
perusal of the morning papers. Into this sanc- 
tum only the privileged customers of the house 
were admitted ; and a tolerably accurate guess 
of the state of his banking-book might be made, 
from the coldness or cordiality with which each 
visitor was greeted, as well as by the politeness, 
or hrusqueriet of the individual himself. 

Though a novice, I was soon enabled to form 
a conclusion that the civilest, best dressed, 
and most gentlemanlike-looking men, were not 
those who received the most attention from the 
Messrs. Allison and Finsbury ; and that these 
gentlemen, in turn, were treated with much less 
politeness by certain plainly dressed, stem-look- 
ing men, chiefly of the ages of from fifty to sixty, 
who walked unceremoniously into the sanctum, 
excluded the view of the fire firom the partners. 



dbyGoogk 



THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. S3 

by standiDg with their backs turned to it — 
and kept their hats on, according to English 
practice. 

The creaking of the eyer-opening door, the 
hum of voices, the frequent coughs, and still more 
frequent half-suppressed yawns and sneezes, the 
rattling of money, and the sounds of a multi- 
plicity of pens scratching the paper they were in- 
diting, never ceased for a moment ; while, from 
a distance, came the mingled noises peculiar to 
the eastern portion of the modem Babylon ; all 
of which produced a sensation of dulness and 
drowsiness on my spirits, that I felt it difficult 
to repel. 

At five o'clock came the accustomed reprieve, 
and gladly did I welcome it, though the society 
assembled in Mrs. Chatterton's room offered 
little to interest or amuse me. The dinner 
table presented precisely the same aspect as on 
the previous day, the only difference being, that 
a voluminous leg of boiled mutton usurped the 
place previously assigned to the beef. 

Dinner being concluded, I sought the privacy 
of my chamber, for the purpose of writing to 
my benefactor, Mr. Mortimer, and also to my 
father. So great and sudden had been the 
change in my mode of life within the last forty- 

c3 

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34f THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

eight hours, that I felt as if weeks, nay months, 
had elapsed since I had left the country. All 
was new and strange to me, while the habits 
of those among whom I found myself thrown, 
seemed to be as little changed by my presence, 
as if a new piece of furniture, instead of a 
new companion, had been introduced into the 
chamber. 

There was something dispiriting in the con- 
sciousness of this indi£Perence, — a consciousness 
experienced more or less by every individual on 
first entering a circle of strangers, but more 
especially a circle in which the politeness and 
good-breeding peculiar to polished society is 
not known, and the absence of which leaves the 
natural egotism of men more openly exposed. 
I gave a sigh to the recollection of my late 
happy home, and remembered, with a lively sense 
of gratitude, the cordial kindness ever extended 
towards me by Percy Mortimer. A summons 
to tea interrupted the pensive reverie in which, 
after having sealed my letters, I indulged. 

The large, well ventilated, and comfortable 
apartment, surrounded with well filled book- 
cases, in which my friend Percy, his preceptor 
and myself, were wont to pursue our studies, 
was brought before my mind's eye. The plea- 
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THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 35 

sant conversation that followed our readings, 
and the observations that illustrated them, re- 
curred yividlj to my memory, and when the 
knock at my door recalled me to the actual 
present, the contrast it presented saddened me. 

The evening meal being despatched, and the 
inmates of Mrs. Chatterton's apartment having 
resumed their usual occupations, I felt as wholly 
alone as if I were the sole occupant. But I 
was not long suffered to remain in the state of ab- 
straction into which I had fallen ; for, with the 
good-nature peculiar to women, and which even 
in the humble class to which Mrs. Chatterton 
appertained, is seldom lost sight of, that good 
person, looking up from her interminable knit- 
ting, beckoned me to draw nearer to her side. 

" You seem mopish like, Mr. Richard,** 
said she. '' And no wonder. Ah I I can feel 
for you, that I can, at finding yourself among 
total strangers. Every one experiences this at 
first, but some how or other, one gets used to 
it at last ; and then (though you will hardly 
believe this at present) one gets so accustomed 
to the place and people with whom one Uves, 
that when one goes back to where one spent 
one's youthful days, it seems more strange than 
the place one left." 

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36 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

•* He's in for it, TU be blessed if he a'int!" 
said Wilson to Thomas, in a voice audible to 
every individual in the room, except the deaf 
Mrs. Chatterton. 

" Yes, I give him joy of the long story,** 
answered Thomas, and both tittered as they 
resumed their well-thumbed novels. 

" Well, Mr. Richard, I wasn't always as you 
see me now," said Mrs. Chatterton, clearing her 
throat in a manner that indicated a preparation 
for a long story. " No, Mr. Richard ; I was as 
brisk and lively a girl as you'd see in a day's 
walk, and in our village of Buttermuth— did you 
ever hear of Buttermuth, in Hertfordshire ?" 

A nod of dissent on my part supplied the 
place of words. 

" Well, — I'm sure I wonder it is not more 
generally known, — folk used to say that there 
was not many girls like Lucy Mildred. My 
name was Lucy Mildred before I married, for 
I was called after my grand-aunt, as good a 
woman as could be found in all Hertfordshire. 
I always loved Buttermuth, and every tree and 
hedge in it, as if they were living creature^. 
Ay, Mr. Richard ! and I loved the people too, 
even old cross Dame Parsons, as she used to be 
called, who never allowed a single creature to 

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THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 37 

come within reach of her, without giving him, 
or her, advice. Often and often used she to 
stop me to tell me what to do, and what to leave 
undone ; and sure enough it was very tiresome, 
especially when I was in a hurry ; and most of 
the young folk used to run away from her, and 
tell her to keep her lectures for the long days, 
but I never did so, but used to wait patiently and 
thank her, though I thought that she must have 
nothing to amuse her, or she would not pass all 
her time in giving advice, moreover when so 
few would listen, and still fewer would follow it. 
There couldn't be a merrier girl than I was, 
when just as I turned nineteen, my mother got 
a letter from a sister she had in London, saying 
that her husband having died, and she having 
no children, and being well to do in the world 
like, she wished to have one of her nieces sent 
up to keep her company. Betsy, my eldest 
sister, had been some time married, so she could 
not go, and Sarah was engaged to be married in 
a few months, so father and mother thought it 
best to send me^ though the notion of parting 
with me, made them very sad. From the 
moment I heard I was to go, I became fonder 
of my father, mother, and sisters, than ever I 
had been before, though, God knows, I always' 

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38 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

loved them dearly ; and as for the place, I locked 
on every tree and flower with regret, for I 
thought I'd be fer away when the leaves were 
falling, and that I couldnH be there to rejoice 
when they came out fresh and beautiful again in 
the spring. The very birds seemed like friends ; 
and many a tear I shed when I bade good-bye 
to those I had known since I was bom, but 
above all, to my parents and sisters. When I 
took leave of Dame Parsons, she blessed me. 
* You were always a good girl, Lucy Mildred,* 
said she, ' and were never in a hurry, like all 
the other foolish girls in the village, who never 
will wait to hear a word of advice. Take this 
guinea, and with it my counsel never to do any 
thing in haste ''' 

" The old un has attended to the counsel,*' 
said Wilson. 

" * Always listen to your elders, and never 
think you don't want advice.' 

<' I'd have filled the coach had I put into 
it all the presents that were made me by 
the neighbours — cakes, oranges, apples, pin- 
cushions, purses, and ribbons, — but I'm antici- 
pating my departure. 

" When I awoke the morning I was to leave 
home, — I had cried myself to sleep the night be- 

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THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 89 

fore, — and heard the cock crowing, and thought 
that I should no more he awakened hy the 
sound, I hegan to weep afresh; and when I 
looked on Sarah, who was asleep hy my side, 
and saw the tears were still on her eye-lashes, 
I felt as if my heart would hreak. And the 
bright daylight was shining through the white 
dimity curtams, and the dew was sparkling on 
the honeysuckle and roses that grew against 
the casement, and the old walnut-tree chest of 
drawers, that I had so often rubbed, looked as 
polished as Mr. Bingly's boots — oh I I felt a love 
even to the poor old furniture, every article 
of which, even now though fifty-six years are 
passed since then, appeared to me as dear 
fiiends, from whom it was pain to part. The 
sobs I could not restrain, awoke Sarah. For a 
moment she looked surprised ; but then came 
the recollection that we were to part, and she 
fell on my shoulder and wept. 

" • How I should Uke, dear sister,' said she, 
' to see the chamber in which you are to sleep 
in your new home — the bed, the pattern of the 
paper, the curtains, and even the tables, chairs, 
and chest of drawers — for then I could fancy 
every thing about and around you. You will 
know at t^ertain hours that I am in our old 

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40 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

room, thinking of you, looking at all the objects 
familiar to our eyes since we were little chil- 
dren, all of which will remind me of you, and 
this is some comfort ; but until you write me 
every particular about your room, I sha'n't know 
how to picture you to myself in your new 
abode,* and poor Sarah's tears broke out afresh. 

* But there is one way, dear sister,' said she, 

* by which we can be together, in spirit at least, 
and that is by kneeling down, night and mom* 
ing, at the same hour to pray, as we have been 
used to do from our infancy. Promise me that 
you will never forget to do this, for it will be 
my greatest consolation when you are far away.' 

*^ I promised, and we knelt down that moment 
and prayed; and, though the tears streamed 
down our cheeks, we felt consoled. Prayers 
are blessed things, Mr. Richard, for young and 
old. They often comforted me in my youth ; 
and now, when age has laid its heavy hand on 
me, they lighten my spirits." 

" What a spoony the fellow must be," whis- 
pered Wilson to Thomas, " to listen to old 
Mother Chatterton's twaddle." 

" Ay, ay, but he'll soon be too wise for that," 
answered Thomas. 

"Yes, Mr. Richard," resumed the old wo- 

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THE LOTTERY QF LIFE. 41 

man, "prayers are indeed blessed things, for 
they lead oar minds to the absent, to the dead; 
and those we have mourned for do not seem 
quite lost : it is while we are prating for them 
that we have the liveliest hope of meeting them 
again." 



dbyGoogk 



42 



CHAPTER IV. 

" But to go back to my story," resumed Mrs, 
Chatterton, the next evening. — " At last the 
stage-coach stopped at the Black Bear, which 
was but a short distance from our cottage, and 
the horn sounded to tell us we must part, and 
we all arose, and embraced each other over 
and over again, and my mother and sisters ac- 
companied me to the coach-office. How many 
times did my poor mother tell the coachman and 
the guard to take care of me ; though sister 
Betsy expressed her wonder at such fears, and 
declared that she would be very glad to under- 
take a journey of twice the length, and by her- 
self ; for what could happen in a good stage- 
coach, and with a steady driver ? Betsy was 
always a very di£Perent person from Sarah, and 
not half so much liked by the family ; neither 

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THE LOTTERY OF LIFE, 43 

did she show much affection to any of us, heing 
wholly taken up with her husband, and a slave 
to her love of good eating. 

*' How anxiously my dear mother looked at 
the three passengers who were already seated 
in the coach, and expressed her hopes that they 
would be kind to her poor child. Many of the 
neighbours came to see me off, and each brought 
some little token of regard. My mother and 
sisters clasped me in their arms by turns, until 
the guard hurried me into the coach, and in a 
minute more it rattled off, while I stretched 
forth my head from the window, and saw the 
dear ones I had left, standing on the same spot, 
weeping bitterly. Is it not strange, Mr. Rich- 
ard, that I can remember that moment as well 
as if it happened an hour ago, though many 
things that only occurred a few years back have 
escaped my recollection ? — Is it not strange ? 

" * Don't take on so, young woman,' said an 
old man with a sour face, and wearing spec- 
tacles, who was seated opposite to me ; ' ifs no 
use whatsoever to cry, for it will be all the 
same in a hundred years hence.' 

" * Let her have her cry out, it will do her 
good,' remarked an elderly woman at my side ; 
' it's only the youthful that can shed tears so 

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44 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

freely ; and a time will come, when this poor 
young thing may wish to be able to cry as she 
does now/ 

" * For my part, I can't see the good of cry- 
ing/ observed a young man who had a pale hce 
and weak eyes ; ' if people leave old friends, they 
must hope to find new ones; and, to my think- 
ing, new friends are much the pleasantest/ 

" • You'll not think so when you have lived 
longer in the world,' answered the old woman. 

" * There you happen to be wrong,* said the 
young man flippantly, * for I have lived more 
in the world, though not half so long, as you 
have.' 

" * It's to be hoped you have profited by it,' 
replied the old woman. 

'^ ^It will be all the same in a hundred years 
hence,' rejoined the old man. 

'' * It will not be all the same, and a man of 
your years should not put such heathenish no- 
tions into the heads of young people,' said the 
old woman, somewhat angrily. 

" * And what notions pray, would you think 
it right to put into their heads instead?' asked 
the man with spectacles. 

*' * Ay, ma'am, tell us that?' asked the young 
man. 

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THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 45 

" * I would put into the heads of the youthful, 
that on their own good or evil conduct, depends 
what their fate will he here and hereafter.* 

" * I thought as much,' answered the young 
man superciliously. 

" * I hope you wiU always think so,' said the 
old woman. 

" ' But, if I should not ?' 

" * Why, then, it will be all the same in a 
hundred years hence,' rejoined the old man. 

** The elderly woman was about to enter into a 
discussion on this point, when the coach stopped 
at an alehouse to take up a parcel, and she in- 
stantly forgot her desire of refuting the opinions 
of her adversary, and asked for a glass of water, 
which she kindly put to my lips, saying, * Drink 
this, my dear, it will do you good.' 

" There was something so motherly in the 
action, and in the mode of it, that it recalled 
similar acts of kindness often experienced from 
my own mother, and brought the tears afresh 
to my eyes ; but I no longer felt so strange and 
deserted like as before, now that one of my own 
sex, and a respectable looking woman too, 
seemed to take such an interest in me. 

" * You'll soon forget the country, when you 



dbyGoogk 



46 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

have once seen what a delightful place Lunnon 
is,' said the young man. * I can't hear heing 
out of it long, though I do make the folk stare 
when I go home into the country/ and he looked 
complacently at his dress. * How they do ex- 
amine the cut of my clothes, and the shape of 
my hat when I go to church.' 

** * More shame for them,' remarked the elderly 
woman, ' for when people go to the house of God, 
they ought to think of other matters than dress, 
and such like foolish things.' 

** * It will be all the same in a hundred years 
hence,' observed the old man. 

" * No, it will not be all the same,' said the 
elderly woman angrily, * and you may find it 
won't be, to your cost ; you ought not to put 
such thoughts into the heads of young people, 
if you are so weak as to entertain them your- 
self.' 

" * Weak 1' reiterated the old man, * what do 
you call weak ? I am a philosopher — a free- 
thinker.' 

" * I'm sorry for you,' said my new acquaint- 
ance, sighing deeply ; * but I suspected as much. 
Then you are weak indeed I God bring you to 
a better state of mind.' 



dbyGoogk 



THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 47 

" * Pm a bit of a freethinker myself/ said 
the young man, and he pulled up the collars 
of his shirt, conceitedly>. 

" ' Do you know what a freethinker means ?^ 
demanded the old woman. 

'* * To he sure I do — ' hah! hahl hahl know 
what it means, indeed ; that's a good idea. Why, 
it means a person who is not afraid of doing or 
saying what he thinks fit, — in short it is — it is 
a sort of a philosopher, as this gentleman very 
properly explained.' 

" * 1*11 tell you what / think it means,' replied 
the elderly woman. ' A poor weak vain mortal, 
who not having sufficient understanding to com- 
prehend the greatness and goodness of God, 
doubts or denies his power.' 

" ' You think, then, that I shall suffer here- 
after for my freethinking ?' asked the young 
man, with a contemptuous smile. 

" * I judge not, lest I be judged,' answered 
the old woman ; < but I believe, that if not here- 
after, you will suffer on earth, for as you can- 
not expect to escape from the trials and sorrows 
to which all are bom, what consolation can you 
hope for them, or where look for patience to sup- 
port them, if you disbelieve in a future state — 



dbyGoogk 



48 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

a state where the wicked cease from trouhling, 
and the weary are at rest ?' 

" * It will he all the same in a hundred years 
hence, that is my consolation/ said the old 
man. 

" * Yes, it will he all the same in a hundred 
years hence,* repeated the young man. At this 
moment we hecame suddenly sensible that the 
coach was moving with a frightful velocity, and, 
as we were descending a very steep hill, we all 
became apprehensive of danger — * O Lord I O 
Lord I we shall he killed,* exclaimed the young 
man, his face growing ghastly from the force of 
terror ; the old man grasped the holder at the 
side of the coach and clung convulsively to it, 
his countenance expressing all the agony of 
fear, while the old woman fervently recom- 
mended herself to the protection of heaven. 
We had nearly reached the bottom of the steep 
hill, when the coach was overturned, and I lost 
all consciousness of what occurred, until I 
found myself on the road side, supported by a 
woman, who was applying cold water to my face 
and temples, from which blood was streaming, 
occasioned by some cuts from the shattered 
glass of the coach-window, with which it had 



dbyGoogk 



THE LOTTERY OF LIFE, 49 

come Tiolently in contact. The old man was 
extended on the ground, groaning from the pain 
of a broken leg, the young one was bemoaning 
the fracture of his left arm, and the elderly 
woman, who had dislocated her wrist, and was 
severely bruised, was returning thanks to God 
for having escaped so well. 

" * My leg, my leg 1' exclaimed the old man. 
* Pm sure it is broken in two or three places. 
Never was there any thing like the pain I 
suffer.* 

"*My arm is much worse,' groaned the 
young man. ' No one can have an hidear of 
the excruciating torture I endure.' 

" • Let us thank the Almighty that we have 
escaped with our lives,' said the old woman. 

** * Thank God indeed,' murmured the would- 
be philosopher, * for a broken leg.' 

<<'Yes, and for a broken arm,' added the 
young man ; ' I see nothing to be thankful for.' 

" * Can you not be consoled by the reflec- 
tion that it will be all the same in a hundred 
years hence?' asked the old woman, somewhat 
sarcastically. * This is the consolation of phi- 
'iusophy is it ? just what I thought. It enables 
you to mock religion, and the dependence on 
Providence which it inspires, but it cannot 

VOL. I. D 

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50 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

teach you to support pain, notwithstanding your 
constant boast, that it will be all the same in a 
hundred years hence.' 

'' ' Get me conveyed to the next inn as 
speedily as possible, and dispatch some one for 
a surgeon,' said the would-be philosopher, writh- 
ing with pain, and turning from the calm, but 
searching glance of the old woman. 

'* ' Yes, take us to the next hinn as quick as 
you can', rejoined the young man. ' You can 
have no hidear what my sufferings are, and some 
people,' and he looked angrily at the old woman, 
'are so spiteful, that they have no pity for other 
people when they have had their precious limbs 
broken.' 

" * You wrong me, for I see you allude to me,' 
observed the old lady, * gladly would I afford you 
any relief in my power, but I wished you to 
become sensible of the weakness, as well as 
wickedness of the principle avowed by our fel- 
low-traveller.' 

'< ' Don't mind her, let her talk on ; it will be 
all the same in a hundred years hence. — Oh I 
my leg, my leg, will no one support my leg?' 

" * / will', said the . old woman and she 
extended the only hand which the accident per- 
mitted her to use, and with the utmost gentle- 
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THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 51 

ness and tenderness, supported the shattered 
limh, while four men placed the groaning free- 
thinker on a door, in order to remove him to 
the inn. A surgeon was called in, and the old 
woman refused to allow him to examine her 
wrist, until he had set the fractured limbs of 
her fellow-travellers. 

^' We pursued our journey to Lond<m alone, 
the two men being unable to proceed, and the 
rest of the route passed without accident, the 
exoellent old lady giving me the best advice, and 
a cordial invitation to visit her in Gracechurch- 
street, where she resided. She took me in a 
coach to my aunf s dwelling, for my relation 
having waited herself at the coach-office for 
nearly an hour in expectation of my arrival, had 
returned to her home, leaving instructions for 
me to follow her in a hackney-coach ; but my 
new friend would not trust me alone, so took 
me herself to my aunt's, into whose arms she 
confided me, promising to pay me a visit in a 
few days." 

** Now comes the history of the London ad- 
ventures,'' said Wilson to Thomas, ^< was there 
ever such a proser in the world as Mother 
Chatterton?" 

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52 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

" What did you say, Mr. Wilson ?*' asked the 
old dame. 

'* I said/' answered Wilson, speaking as loud 
as he could, " that I could listen for ever to 
your story, it is so very entertaining,'' and he 
thrust his tongue into his cheek, and winked at 
Thomas. 

" *Tis very kind of you, I'm sure, to think 
so," replied Mrs. Chatterton, with a look of the 
utmost complacency. 

" I hope you'll not leave out a single circum- 
stance that took place after your arrival in Lon- 
don," said Thomas, slily ; " for it would he a 
pity for Mr. WaUingford to miss any thing in 
such a lively story." 

** Indeed you are too flattering, Mr. Thomas. 
I was afraid you'd he tired of hearing it." 

" Never, Mrs. Chatterton, never. It's much 
more amusing than the history of Clarissa Har- 
lowe. Why, you have not told it to us more 
than eight or nine times. Do you rememher^ 
Wilson, how often she has set us to sleep 
with it?" The last remark was uttered in a 
low tone of voice. 

" Bless me 1 it's nearly twelve o'clock," oh- 
served Mrs. Chatterton. " Well, how time flies! 



dbyGoogk 



THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 53 

i did not think it was so late ;'* — and having 
rang for the maid, who officiated in the various 
services of cook and parlour-maid, she retired 
to her chamher, civilly wishing good-night to 
her companions. 

"I do not wonder at your looking tired," 
said Wilson, '*for the old woman's story is 
enough to set any one to sleep : I am surprised 
you can listen to it." 

" You would find it much more amusing to 
read a novel," said Thomas, *' and you could, 
moreover, close it when you were tired, which 
can*t be done with Mrs. Chatterton's clapper." 

<* Mrs. Chatterton is an excellent and kind- 
hearted woman," observed Mr.. Burton, who 
had that moment won his party at chess, and 
was consequently in unusual good humour: 
^^yes, Mrs. Chatterton is a highly respectable 
person, and merits the attention which Mr. 
Wallingford shows her, — ay, and which reflects 
credit on him," resumed Mr. Burton. 



dbyGoogk 



54 



CHAPTER V. 

One day so exactly resembled another in the 
domicile in which I now found myself, that I 
felt disposed to acknowledge the truth of Mrs. 
Chatterton's observation on the effect of a 
monotonous routine of existence. My mind 
became sobered down to it ; and I could have 
&ncied that I had been weeks, nay, months, 
instead of days, an inhabitant in the dingy 
mansion in Mincing-lane. In the evening, Mrs. 
Chatterton resumed her drowsy reminiscences, 
to which I listened with a patience, if not with 
an interest, that won her regard. Letters from 
Percy Mortimer proved, that amidst the occu- 
pations and amusements of his college life, he 
had not forgotten his humble friend, to whom, 
with all the frankness peculiar to his nature, 
he poured out his feelings as unaffectedly as 

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THE LOTTERY OF LIFE, 55 

when we rambled together through the park, at 
that pleasant home to which my thoughts so 
often reverted. 

" Well, sir,^ said Mrs. Chatterton, next even- 
ing, taking up her knitting and narrative to- 
gether, •* we left off my story at the point of my 
arrival in London. My aunf s reception was 
less cordial and affectionate than I had antici- 
pated ; and this coldness made me think still 
more firequently of those dear relations whom I 
had left behind. I was continually dreaming 
of them, and pining for the green fields, and 
the songs of the birds, the fresh air that used 
to stir my hair and make my brow feel so cool, 
but above all, for my mother and Sarah. My 
aunt cared nothing about the country, and had 
no pleasure in talking of it, which prevented 
me from opening my heart to her, so I felt so' 
solitary that I could not reconcile myself to my 
new abode. If s a sad thing, Mr. Richard, to 
live with those who have no interest about what 
one is always thinking of, and to be obliged to 
keep one's thoughts locked up in one's own 
heart, when one is longing to be able to tell 
them to those who could sympathize with us. 

'* Mrs. Elrington, for that was the name of 
my female fellow-traveller in the coach, came 

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56 THE LOTTEUT OF LIFE. 

often to see me, and my aunt allowed me some- 
times to go and spend an evening with her. 
There I met a young man, her nephew, who 
was a clerk in the firm of Mortimer, Allison 
and Finshury, and who always spent the Si^ 
bath with her. He was the handsomest young 
man I had ever seen ; had eyes as dark as a 
sloe, but so mild withal, that his glances 
moved me, whenever — and it was very often — I 
found his eyes fixed on mine. His hair was a 
bright glossy brown, and curled beautifully; 
and his teeth were for all the world like newly- 
blanched almonds. Then he had a voice so 
musical, the tones of it still dwell in my ears as 
fresh as if heard only an hour ago. 

"Well, well,** and Mrs. Chatterton wiped 
her eyes, " it is strange I never can speak of 
him without tears. This fine young man, Mn 
Richard, soon began to think that his aunfs 
house was never so pleasant as when I was in 
it, yet he loved her as tenderly as if she were 
his own mother. He remarked how my heart 
yearned for the country, and would continually 
draw me out to speak of it He took a lively 
interest in all I told him about our garden at 
home, and the flowers that filled it ; and this 
made me like him all the better. Then his aunt 

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THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 57 

used to tell me how kind and attentive he was 
to her, and what a good hushand she was sure 
he would make ; and I began to think so too, 
though still I maintained a maidenly reserve 
with him, because I had often heard my mother 
say that a young girl ought never to let a man 
know that she liked him, until he had made aa 
offer of marriage. One day, it was my birth- 
day, he brought me a present ; and that gift, 
though it was biit a trifling one, gave me more 
pleasure than any I had ever received before. 
It was a flower-pot, with a fine double wall- 
flower in it. Nol Mr. Richard, 1*11 never 
forget the effect produced on my mind and 
heart, by that wall-flower. From that moment 
to this, I have never smelt a wall-flower without 
thinking of him ; and though he has been above 
thirty-five years in his grave, the perfume of it 
brings him back to my memory, as fresh as if 
we only parted yesterday. He had heard me 
say how much I liked a large wall-flower close 
to my bed-room window at home, and was it not 
thoughtful of him to remember it? Another 
thing was strange, — which was, that from the 
day he gave me that wall-flower, it seemed as 
if he was one of those dear ones at home, for I 
could not think of them, without his being 

d3 

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58 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

mingled with my thoughts ; and, as I was con- 
tinually thinking of them, so he too was con- 
stantly in my mind — I watered my wall-flower, 
and watched it, as never flower was watched 
before. I used to wash ofi^ the black spots that 
were continually falling on it, and almost weep 
that it should be so dis%ured. Oh I the odour 
of that poor flower changed the whole place ; 
for when it stood on my window-sill, and that 
a little gleam of sunshine used to penetrate be- 
tween the chimnies and slanting roofs of the 
adjoining houses, I used to forget how dreary and 
dingy was the aspect of the spot, and was carried 
back in imagination to the garden at home by 
the perfume of my poor wall-flower. I used to 
sit thinking of my mother and of Sarah ; ay, 
and to tell the truth, of him too, who gave it 
to me, whenever I could find time. 

*' My aunt was a little disposed to jealousy, 
and soon began to think that I liked Mrs. 
Elrington better than herself. She found many 
excuses for preventing me from going to see her 
half so often as I was invited ; and whenever 
Mrs. Elrington mentioned her nephew, which 
she often did, and always with praise, my aunt 
would shake her head, and say, she was sure 
he was like all other young men, no wiser or 

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THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 59 

better than he should be. This used to hurt 
poor Mrs. Ehington's feelings very much, but 
mine still more ; and I felt my cheeks bum 
while my aunt was railing against young men 
in general ; but especially against those amongst 
them who were spoilt by doting mothers or 
aunts. 

<' Mrs. Elrington, too, though a most esti- 
mable woman, had always a great desire of 
correcting the opinions of those she conversed 
with, and would often find fault with those of 
my aunt, who, having a high opinion of her 
own wisdom, could ill brook having it called in 
question. By degrees, a coolness grew between 
the two old ladies-^Mrs. Elrington used to 
say, that Mrs. Appleshaw was an uncharitable 
woman, who thought ill of every one ; and my 
aunt used to say, that Mrs. Elrington was half 
a methodist, and much addicted to correcting 
those who were much wiser than herself. 

" Though I saw Mrs. Elrington's nephew 
much less frequently than during the first year 
of our acquaintance, I thought of him every 
day more and more ; and he, too, felt similarly, 
and used to tell me so, whenever, and it was but 
seldom, he could snatch a moment to whisper to 



dbyGoogk 



60 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

me, when his aunt or mine were looking another 
way, 

'* At length, one day Mrs. Elrington came 
to my aunt's house. The moment she entered 
I guessed there was something more than com- 
mon in the visit, for she wore her hest cloak, 
bonnet, and gown. She said, she wished to 
speak alone with my aunt, who told me to go 
up to my room. How my heart beat, and how 
my cheeks burned ; T counted every minute, and 
long enough they seemed, until, after having 
waited an hour or so, I heard Mrs. Elrington 
go away; but as I was not called down, I 
remained in my room until dinner was ready. 
My aunt's face was very red, which boded no 
good, as it always denoted when she was in an 
ill-humour. The meal passed nearly in silence, 
but she carved the joint of meat before her 
with an air of impatience, found fault with the 
maid who waited on us, helped me, as if she 
would have rather not, and gave nothing to her 
favourite cat. 

*' No sooner was dinner cleared away than 
she looked at me with a stem glance, and asked 
me if I knew what brought Mrs. Elrington to 
her house that day ? I answered that I did not ; 



dbyGoogk 



THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 6l 

upon which she said, * that the impudence of 
some people was surprising, when a poor clerk 
in a banking-house proposed to marry her niece ; 
and his aunt, forsooth, thought him entitled to 
do so — ^nay, more, came herself to make the 
offer/ 

" You might have knocked me down with a 
feather, so overcome was I by this news. I 
trembled at my aunt's anger, grieved that she 
should think the proposal presumptuous ; but, 
nevertheless, the joy of knowing that I was 
indeed beloved, and sought by the man who 
occupied so much of my thoughts, was upper^ 
most in my mind. 

" * Why, how is this?' said my aunt, * you 
don't seem the least surprised or vexed at the 
folly of that stupid Mrs. Elrington, or her block- 
head of a nephew I ' 

" Think, Mr. Richard, of her calling Henry 
a blockhead I — * Indeed, aunt,' said I, * that is 
to say — I don't know whether — I mean — that 
perhaps * 

•• * The girl is positively crazy I' interrupted 
my aunt < What does all this mean ? You 
don't know — that is, you do know, and pro- 
bably authorised this piece of impudence.' 

** < Indeed, aunt,' said I — but I could get no 

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62 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

farther, for my tears flowed so fast I could not 
speak. 

'^ * What is the girl crying about?' asked 
she ; * I suppose the next thing you will iell 
me is, that you are in love, as they call it, with 
this silly young chap ? It's no use crying, I can 
tell you, for I will have no niece of mine making 
a fool of herself. / never was in love, and why 
should you be* I should like to know ? Hand- 
some is that handsome does. If this stupid 
young man had a comfortable independence to 
support you, and leave you free from want at 
his death, you might be in love as much as you 
like, for then you would have some excuse for 
liking him ; but a poor clerk, forsooth, I never 
heard of such a thing I ' 

'* The thoughts conjured up in my mind by 
the notion of the death of the man I loved, — ^for 
the probability of so sad an event, I had never 
for a moment previously contemplated, - made 
my tears flow with increased bitterness. 

<< * You may cry until you are tired,' said my 
aunt angrily, ' but you shan't make a fool of me, 
I can tell you. You shall not see this silly young 
man, or his old fool of an aunt, any more, if I 
can help it ; for I won't have a niece of mine to 
come on the parish when she is left a widow, 

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THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 6S 

with perhaps half-a-dozen troublesome ugly lit- 
tle children to look after.' 

'' ' But, dear aunt,' said I, though I trembled 
so much I could scarcely speak; * he may not 
die before me, he is healthy, aunt.' 

'' ' Don't talk nonsense, child ; every woman 
who has common sense should look forward to 
the death of her husband ; ay, and prepare for 
it, before she marries, /did so, and insisted 
on having a comfortable provision before I con- 
sented to wed Mr. Appleshaw. If you are de- 
termined to fall in love, which I now begin to 
believe, let 991^ choose the man ; though even 
then you would act more wisely by not falling 
in love, for men take advantage when girls are 
such fools as to like them, and always make a 
poorer provision for them.' 

^' * But I know, aunt, I could not live if I 
had the misfortune to lose a husband I loved.' 

^< * Mddle-de-dee I don't tell me any such 
nonsense. Live indeed I as if grief ever killed 
any one. You are a silly girl, and know nothing 
of the world. Listen to my advice, and you 
will profit by adopting it. Never think of any 
man who cannot leave you a comfortable provi- 
sion. There is old Mr. Dobson round the 
comer, who is as rich as a jew, I have noticed 

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64 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

him looking at you very often as if he admired 
you. He would make an excellent match ; or 
there is Mr. Milderton, who keeps the tobacco- 
nist's shop in Bishopsgate-street, and who could 
settle a good round sum on you. In case you 
marry him, you need not change the mark on 
your clothes, as the M. will still serve, and this 
will save a good deal of trouble.' 

" The recollection of the odour of my poor 
wall-flower, brought in opposition to the nau- 
seous smell of the tobacconist's shop, and the 
contrast of the owner of it, whose violent squint 
and lameness I had observed when my aunt 
had two or three times paused to converse with 
him as we passed his door, renewed my tears, 
which so enraged my aunt, that she told me I 
was an obstinate, disobedient, self-willed fool; 
and that, if I ever again saw the silly young 
man I was making such a fiiss about, she would 
send me back to the country. This threat 
alarmed me, for I could not bear to think of 
leaving the place where the man I loved dwelt. 
It was something to be in the same city, to 
know there was a possibility of seeing him in 
the street, even though I dared not speak to 
him, and this was better than going wholly out 
of his reach. 

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THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 65 

"The followmg Sunday, the first ohject I 
saw on entering the pew in the church which 
my aunt firequented was my poor Henry seated 
opposite, and I tremhled from head to foot 
lest my aunt should also see him. Luckily, 
she was so short-sighted that she never noticed 
him. How my heart heat when I saw that he 
had a sprig of wall-flower in the hutton-hole of 
his coat ; and how hot I felt my cheeks grow, 
when he pressed it to his lips, and gave me 
such a tender look. I never took my eyes off 
my prayer-hook again until the service was 
over ; for I thought it would he sinful indeed, 
to give my attention to any thing hut God in 
his own temple— still the thought of Henry's 
being there was a comfort. Our prayers were 
mingling together heneath the same roof, our 
hearts were lifted up to the Almighty, and. this 
was a blessing. My aunt never perceived 
Henry ; but unfortunately, Mr. Milderton, the 
tobacconist did, and lost no time in informing her 
that the young man whom he saw coming to her 
house sometimes, had been to church the Sunday 
before, and never took his eyes off her niece. 

'' ' Oh I the cunning baggage never to have 
told me of this,' said my aunt; 'I'll soon send 
her into the country, that's what I'll do; ay, 

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^ THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

and leave her there, too, until she forgets that 
there young chap/ 

<* I was an unwilling listener to the conversa- 
tion between Mr. Milderton and my aunt ; be- 
ing seated at work in a small back room, sepa^ 
rated only by a thin partition from the one she 
occupied, and verified the truth of the old proverb 
that listeners never hear good of themselves* 

*' ' Don't blame your niece too much, she is 
young and inexperienced, and it may be that she 
never evensawthat theyoungman wasatchurch.' 

" * Don't tell me, Mr. Milderton, about her 
being young and inexperienced; as if her being 
so was not an additional reason for consulting 
me, and taking my advice in every thing ; and 
as to her not seeing that the stupid young man 
was at church, PU warrant me, she saw him 
before she sat down in her pew, ay, and planned 
the meeting too. Tm a woman, Mr. Milderton, 
and know well enough what passes in the minds 
of those young fools.' 

'' < All I can say, Mrs. Appleshaw, is, that 
she never took her eyes off her prayer-book 
during the whole service, or the long sermon.' 

<< < Fiddle-d&Kiee I you are a simpleton, Mr. 
Milderton, and don't understand women as well 
as I do. Why, they can see even when their 

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THE LOTTEar OF LIFE. &J 

eyelids are cast down, better than men can when 
their eyes are wide open. Yes, she shall go into 
the country, that she shall.' 

** Before I knew Henry, how joyful would 
this resolution of my aunt have rendered me, 
for I longed to see my old home again, and 
thought of little else : but now to leave the place 
where he dwelt, the place where I might hope to 
see him» even though the happiness of conversing 
with him was denied me, made me miserable. 
Mr. Milderton had no sooner taken his depar- 
tare, than my aunt summoned me to her pre- 
sence, and announced her determination that T 
should return to my parents the next day, add- 
ing, that she would write a few lines by the post 
forthwith, to prepare them for my reception. 

'* < I command you not to let that silly woman, 
Mrs. Elrington, know that you are leaving 
town,' said my aunt ; ' and as to her stupid 
nephewy much as I have had reason to be dis- 
satisfied with you, I do not think quite so ill of 
you, as to suspect that you would write to him.^ 

" The rest of the day was occupied in pack- 
ing up my clothes, listening to the advice, min- 
gled with reproaches, of my aunt, aud indulging 
in melancholy reflections. How often did I 
reproach myself for feeling so indifierent to the 

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68 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

prospect of meeting my fkmily — a prospect that, 
were it not for my affection for Henry, would 
have filled me with delight, while now, I could 
think of nothing hut my separation from him. 

" When at night I retired to the little bedroom 
in which I had so oftpn thought of, and dreamt 
of him, I could no longer control the tears I 
had checked in the presence of my aunt. 1 
looked again and again at my poor wall-flower, 
and pondered whether it would be possible to 
take it with me to the country ? but as my aunt 
had declared her intention of accompanying me 
to the coach-o£Sce in the morning, I knew I 
could not venture to carry the flower-pot with- 
out its being seen by her, and leading to some 
disagreeable comment ; and to put it in my box 
would be impossible. While I was watering 
the flower with my tears, Anna, the servant of 
my aunt, entered the chamber on tip-toes, and 
without shoes, and softly closing the door, told 
me not to speak above my breath, lest her mis- 
tress should hear us. 

" * Ah, miss V said the good-natured girl, 
* how sorry I am that you are going, for it was 
a pleasure to have some one in the house as 
could smile, or say a civil word to one ; for, as 
to missis, she does nothing but scold from 



dbyGoogk 



THE LOTTERY OP LIFE. 69 

morning till night ; and I am sure, miss, it's a 
blessing to you, as has friends to go to, while 
I,' and here poor Anna's tears streamed, ' am 
an orphan, and bound by the parish to missis, 
so she may scold me as much as she likes, and 
I can't help it' 

'* Having spoken a few kind words to the 
poor girl, she asked me what I meant to do 
with my wall-flower ? 

*^ ' I know, miss, you won't like to leave it 
here, for I've noticed you often and often look- 
ing at it so lovingly, just for all the world as I 
used to look at a poor sparrow I once caught* 
and kept for many months, until that wicked 
spiteful cat of missis killed it one day. I never 
knew what it was to have any thing to love, 
until I got that poor bird, miss, and I thought 
my heart would break when I lost it. I was 
thinking, miss, that when you are gone, the 
first time missis sends me out any where, 
I could take the flower, pot and all, to Mrs. 
Elrington, and tell her, with your love, to take 
care of it for your sake.' 

" I was delighted with Anna's project, for by 
it Mrs. Elrington would become acquainted 
with my departure, and Henry would learn it 
from her. I could have hugged the good girl 

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70 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

for the offer, and gladly consented to avail my- 
self of it, though conscience whispered that by 
so doing I evaded the commands of my aont ; 
nor could all the sophistry with which I tried 
to reason myself into the belief, that as the pro- 
ject had not originated with me I was not to 
be blamed for adopting it, silence my self- 
reproaches. 

*^ ' Yes, miss,' resumed Anna, * I'm sure and 
sartain that Mrs. Elrington and her nevey will 
take care of it, for I know they both like you ; 
and I'll tell 'em how sorry you were, and how 
you cried, when you looked at the poor flower, 
and I'll just give 'em a hint — (how I felt my 
cheeks glow as she added) — that it wasn't the 
parting with missis that made you so sorrowful. 
So you see, miss, that missis will find they can 
learn you are gone, and where to also, in spite of 
all her orders to me, not to take any letters for 
you, or not to give you any.' 

*^ Though grieved and mortified that my 
aunt should have mistrusted me, I desired Anna 
not on any account to tell Mrs. Elrington any 
thing that could convey a notion that I was 
ungrateful to my aunt ; a caution, that not only 
surprised, but irritated Anna. 

*' * And what had you to be grateful for, 



yGoogk 



THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 71 

miss?' asked she. < Didn't you do all the 
needle-work of the house, which, hefore you 
came, she was always obliged to put out, and 
pay dear for ? Didn't you hear with all her 
contrariness and scoldings, as if you were like 
me, a poor orphan, put out apprentice by the 
parish ? — and what has she ever done, except to 
pay for the little bit of breakfast and dinner you 
eat ? which is'n't worth being grateful to any 
one for.' 

*' I bestowed a few trifling presents on poor 
Anna, emptied the contents of my purse, 
amounting to three or four shillings, the re- 
mains of my mother's parting gift, into her 
hand, and dismissed her, overpowered with gra- 
titude, and dissolved in tears. 

** The thought that it was the last night I 
should sleep in the same town with Henry, 
kept me long from finding the repose of which 
I stood so much in need, and I was in the 
midst of a dream, in which he was repeating 
his vows of eternal love to me, when my aunt 
roused me from my sleep, uttering reproaches 
on my laziness. I hurried through my dressing, 
gulped down the hot tea offered me, and long 
before my aunt had despatched the muffins and 
buttered toast, which, as usual, she found fault 

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72 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

with, while eating most heartily of them, I was 
ready to set out for the coach-office. 

" 'Just like you/ said she ; ' put off getting up 
until the last moment, in order that I should be 
obliged to half choke myself with my breakfast ; 
and you will undertake your long journey with 
an empty stomach, get home, looking as if I 
had starved you, and then your family will 
fancy you have been ill-used.' 

*' * Suppose I put up a few nice sandwiches 
for miss ?' said Anna, who was replenishing the 
tea-pot. 

" * Do so,' answered my aunt, *but prepare 
them quickly, for I cannot wait: and if you 
hadn't been a fool, you'd have thought of hav- 
ing them ready ; but every one about me thinks 
of nothing, but leaves the burden of all things 
on my shoulders.' When we were entering the 
hackney-coach, poor Anna could not repress 
her tears. 

" * God be with you, miss,' sobbed the good- 
hearted girl, ^ and send you a safe journey. Ah, 
miss! you are happy, for you are going to 
those that will love you,' and here her tears 
impeded her utterance. 

" * Marry-come-up I' said my aunt. * Pray, 
who gave you leave to cry, just as if you were 

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THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 73 

one of the family. What, can you know of 
people loYing ? — ^you, who have neither friend 
nor relation in the wide world, and only me to 
depend on, who keep you out of charity.' 

" * Ay, so you tell me every day, ten times 
at least,' answered Anna. 

•* * Does the saucy wench dare to reply to 
me?' said my aunt, her cheeks growing red 
with anger ; hut hefore she could vent her ire 
on Anna, the hackney-coach was driven on, 
and nearly the whole time we were going to the 
office, was passed in reproaches on the ingrati- 
tude of servants, and the pity due to those who 
had the misfortune to require their services. 
Our parting was unmarked hy any tenderness 
on her part, and the tears shed by me, if the 
truth must be owned, were given to Henry and 
his kind aunt. The last words I heard her 
utter as the coach rolled away from the coach- 
office were, * Don't make a fool of yourself by 
crying, for that will do you no good; you see I 
never cry.' 

'* There were only two persons besides myself 
in the coach. One of these was an old man 
who wore spectacles, and was exceedingly deaf ; 
and the other a boy of about twelve years old, 

VOL. I. £ 

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74 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

who seemed of an inquisitive turn, as he com- 
menced a string of questions to the old man, 
who only became conscious of being addressed, 
when his impatient companion pulled the lapel 
of bis coat, an appeal which drew forth the 
confession, < lam a little hard of hearing, young 
gentleman.' 

" As our heavy vehicle rolled over the pave- 
ment, I looked anxiously in the faces of the 
persons passing along the streets, thinking that, 
bv some happy chance, I might see Henry ; and 
HO occupied were my thoughts by his image, 
I hat I fancied every tall young man I saw, bore 
y resemblance to him. When we had left the 
streets, and reached the suburbs, — where lines 
of small, trim-looking houses, with flower-pots 
in the well-cleaned windows, and little gardens 
ill front, showed that their owners aspired to 
consider them rural dwellings, — I thought how 
happy I should be, if married to Henry, and 
established in one of these neat abodes, his good 
aunt residing with us. I pictured to myself 
the simple but neat furniture, the white dimity 
curtains, with their gay chintz borders, the com- 
fortable easy chair for Mrs. Elrington, and, 
nhoye all, the quantity of double wall-flowers 



\ 



dbyGoogk 



THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 75 

with which our garden should he stocked, until 
I almost fancied that to he reality which only 
my fancy painted. I was aroused from this 
happy day-dream hy finding my cloak pulled 
hy my youthful fellow-traveller, who, when I 
turned towards him, asked me — * Are you also 
deaf? I have heen asking you questions this last 
half-hour. How I hate having people deaf, — 
don't you?' 

" * It must certainly he very disagreeahle to 
those who are so,' answered I. 

" * O I I was not thinking of them, they soon 
get used to it ; hut for those who are not deaf, 
it is very enraging to be obliged to ask the same 
question half-a-dozen times before one can make 
oneself heard. Look at that old man; you 
see he doesn't mind a bit being as deaf as a 
post ; he looks as happy as if he could hear 
every word that is said. Where are you going 
to?' 

" ' To Buttermuth,' replied I. 

'* * Have you been long in London ?' 

** * Yes, a considerable time.' 

" * What took you to London ?' 

** ' A stage-coach,' answered I, somewhat 
maliciously. 

£ 2 

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76 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

'* ' O ! 1 donH mean how you went, but why 
you went?* 

" * To stay with an aunt/ 

*^ ' What I that cross old woman that came 
with you to the coach-office ? — Didn't you hate 
her? Pm sure I should. How old are you?' 

« • Eighteen.' 

*' * Six whole years older than I am. I wish 
1 was eighteen, for then I should be done with 
school. Did you not think I was more than 
twelve years old ? — every body takes me to be 
thirteen. What's your name?' 

" * Lucy.' 

" *Lucy what?' 

" * Mildred.' — It would be tedious, Mr. 
Richard, to tell you one half the questions this 
troublesome boy asked me ; but so wholly did 
he preclude the possibility of my indulging my 
own thoughts, that I heartily wished myself 
released from his company, and formed the 
resolution, if ever again thrown into the society 
of a school-boy, to affect deafness, until I could 
ascertain that my freedom from that infirmity 
would not expose me to the annoyance under 
which I was then suffering. I had nearly lost 
patience with my inquisitor, when, the coach 



dbyGoogk 



THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 77 

having stopped to change horses, an old woman 
with a basket well stored with oranges and cakes 
approached the window, and so wholly engrossed 
the attention of my troublesome companion, that 
I had a reprieve. He expended the whole con- 
tents of his purse in purchasing a supply of her 
cakes and fruit, and laid in a stock that might 
have served a moderate appetite for several 
days. He devoured the cakes so rapidly, that 
even our fellow-traveller advised him to forbear, 
but the counsel seemed only to urge him on, 
and when they had disappeared, he had recourse 
to the oranges, the juice of which left inefface- 
able marks on my gown, in spite of all my efforts 
to protect it from his reckless mode of satisfying 
his gluttonous propensities. The motion of the 
carriage, operating on his over-charged stomach, 
produced the most painful effect on the youth, 
and its consequence the most disagreeable one 
on his unfortunate fellow-travellers. Su£Sce it 
to say, that my garments were rendered unwear- 
able, and the coat of the deaf man was spoilt. 
He bore this annoyance less patiently than I 
did; but his reproaches seemed to have no effect 
on the boy, who continued to suffer from the 
result of his gluttony until the coach stopped 



dbyGoogk 



78 



TH£ LOTTERY OF LIFE. 



at our village, and 1 was released from the dis- 
gusting position I had occupied ever since his 
illness had commenced/' 

The sound of the clock striking twelve, 
warned Mrs, Chatterton that it was time to 
withdraw for the night ; and she, unmindful of 
the sneering remarks often uttered, during the 
course of her narrative, by Messrs, Thomas and 
Wilson, assured me that she would continue her 
little history, now that she saw how much it 
interested me ; for it was a pleasure, she said, 
to find so attentive a listener. 

** And not only a pleasure but a rarity too," 
said Wilson, in an under tonej "for the old 
woman never found any of us so patient under 
the infliction. You surely can't be such a flat 
as to find any amusement in her old humdrum 
adventures?" continued Wilson, addressing 
himself to me, with a contemptuous air, which 
he took little pains to conceaL 

*' As much, probably, as you find in the novel 
which you have been reading," answered I. " I 
prefer truth, however simple and unvarnished, 
to fiction, unless it be the work of some author 
of acknowledged merit ; and as I do not attempt 
to question your right to indulge your taste. 



\ 



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THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 79 

yoa will be so good as to leave me to the indul- 
gence of mine." 

" Well said, yoang man!** exclaimed Mr. 
Murdoch, who was then lighting his hed-cham- 
ber candle, and who from that hour treated 
me with more kindness. 



dbyGoogk 



80 



CHAPTER VI. 

" Well, Mr, Richard, let me see, where did 
we hreak off last night ?'' said Mrs. Chattertoiu 

"You were just arrived at Buttermuthy" 
answered I. 

" And so I was, now I recollect it — thank 
you, Mr. Richard, for remembering it so well. 
Ah I when you come to be old, Mr. Richard, you 
will find it a great pleasure to recall the days 
of your youth, even though when those days 
were actually passing, you might have thought 
them sorrowful enough ; but time softens every 
thing, and enables one to speak of events calmly, 
that once filled the mind with sadness. I feel, 
when relating my trials to you, as if they had 
occurred to some one else, though many a tear 
they cost me when they happened ; but all con- 
nected with our youth, has in old age, a charm 
in it, just as the recollection of summer with its 



i 



dbyGoogk 



THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 81 

sunshine, blae skies, green trees, and bright 
flowers, comes back to us in the dark and 
dreary days of winter, and we wonder we were 
not more happy when that joyous season was 
ours. 

** I found my mother waiting my arrival at 
the coach-office, and although she looked more 
j^vely than I had ever before seen her do, she 
welcomed me with all a mother's tenderness. 
How changed appeared our village, and every 
thing around it ! The houses looked small and 
mean, the place itself deserted, and our garden, 
of which I had so often thought during my 
absence, and given such descriptions of to Mrs. 
Ebrington and her nephew, seemed to shrink 
into insignificance, as I passed through its 
narrow gravel walk to enter our house. The 
nxnns of our cottage, struck me as having 
diminished in size ; and the plain, but well 
scrubbed chairs and tables looked shabby after 
the smarter furniture of my aunt, and Mrs. 
Ehington. The scene was altogether difiertot 
from what I had expected, though in what the 
difPerence consisted, I really could not tell, for 
no alteration had been made during my absence. 
The change was not in the place, but in me ; 
and when I ought to have felt nothing but joy 

eS 

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82 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

at being restored to my home and kind parents 
and^ sisters, a sadness, I could neither conceal 
nor control, stole over me, and brought the 
tears to my eyes. My mother grew more grave 
as she observed my grief. 

" • I fear child,* said she, * that what your 
aunt wrote us, is but too true, and that you have 
formed an improper attachment, your obstinacy 
in continuing which, against her advice, com- 
pelled her to send you back. This is a sad 
blow to us, for though we should have been 
heartily glad to have you with us again, yet, for 
you to be sent away with only a few hours' 
notice, when we, and all our neighbours thought 
you were to remain with your aunt during her 
life, is a very sad affair. What will people say» 
or think ? Dame Parsons will be going from 
house to house, talking of it, I warrant me. — 
O I Lucy, my unthinking, but dear child, wliat 
a pity it is that you have behaved so ill I' 

** As soon as my tears would allow me to 
speak, I told the whole truth to my mother, 
who kissed me affectionately, and declared her 
perfect belief in my statement ; and, becoming 
now more composed, I unpacked my clothes, 
and having changed my -dress, set off to see my 
sister, whom my heart yearned to embrace. I 

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THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 83 

expected to find her the lively and fond crea- 
ture I had left her, hut one glance showed 
me, she was no longer the same. When I en- 
tered, she was sitting hy the cradle of her child, 
rocking it with her foot, while her hands were 
busily employed at needle-work. She seemed 
to have grown ten years older in the year and 
a half I had been absent, and there was a staid, 
orderly look about her, wholly unlike the gay 
aspect for which she was formerly remarkable. 
She made a motion to rise when she saw me, 
but looking at the cradle, checked herself, 
waved her hand towards me to indicate the 
necessity of silence, then beckoned me to her 
embrace, and having pressed me in her arms, 
silently pointed to the sleeping babe^ and 
whispered, * Poor dear little soul ! she is cutting 
a tooth, and has not closed her eyes the whole 
night.' 

'* * You look, my dear sister, as if you had not 
closed yours for many nights,' said I, remark- 
ing her heavy eyes and pale cheeks. 

** * 1 1 don't mind it,' replied she, * as long as 
my own darling can procure a little repose in 
the day. Is she not a sweet pretty creature, 
sister?' and she drew aside the little white 
curtain that shaded the child's face. The 

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84 THE LOTTERY OP LIFE. 

movement, gentle as it had been, awoke the 
infant, who forthwith began to utter the most 
piercing cries. 

" • Don't let her see you sister/ said the 
alarmed mother ; < the sight of a strange face 
always sets her crying. Poor dear pet I she is 
naturally the quietest child in the whole world, 
but cutting her teeth plagues her so, that it 
makes her quite fretful. Bless its dear, sweet, 
pretty face I — there's a darling, don't cry 1' and 
she dandled the screaming child, bestowing on it 
the most tender expressions, and covering its 
face with kisses. * Isn't your niece a beauty ?' 
asked my sister. * See what laughing blue eyes 
she has, and what a lovely little mouth !' 

** The eyes being filled with tears precluded 
me not only from judging of their colour, but 
from forming a notion of their capability of 
laughing, and the mouth being distended to its 
utmost extent by screaming, looked any thing but 
lovely when my sister called my attention to it. 

** < Ah I you can't imagine what a blessing it 
is, Lucy, to have a child,' and she looked at 
hers with eyes beaming with afiection. 

" ' How glad I am to see you again, dear 
sister,' said I, and I kissed her cheek. This 
involuntary endearment on my part passed un- 

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THE LOTTERY OP LIFE. 85 

noticed on hers, and I resumed, ' how long it 
seems since we parted.' 

"•Do you think so?' answered Sarah. 
* Baby is now seven months' old ; and as I did 
not marry until two months after you went, 
and I was nearly ten months a wife before 
I became a mother, you must have been nine- 
teen months away. Well, I'm sure I didn't 
think it had been half so long; but time 
flies so fast when one has a good husband and 
such a darling as this,' and she again kissed 
her child. * See what a dear, sweet, nice crea- 
ture she is I look at her legs, and now she is as 
quiet as a lamb — ^bless her dear heart I' 

" It was true the child bad ceased to cry, 
and for a simple reason, the mother had stopped 
its screams by filling its mouth ; but even while 
greedily imbibing the maternal nutriment, the 
tears still continued to flow from the ill-shaped 
eyes of my sister's idol, while she nevertheless 
indulged in the most lavish praises of its tem- 
per, as well as of its beauty. 

" < I am so glad you are returned,' said 
Sarah, and I felt pleased at even this expression 
of kindness, though it by no means answered 
my expectations of the joy she would experience 
at our first meeting after our long and only 

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86 



THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 



separation; but my satisfaction became dimi- 
nisbed wben sbe added, * Yes, I am very glad 
you are come back, for I wanted so mucb to 
show you my darling baby.' In fact, I discovered 
that Sarah, my own dear Sarah, at parting with 
whom I had wept so bitterly nineteen months 
before, had now become so wholly engrossed by 
her husband and child, as to regard me with 
indifference, and to desire my return home 
solely that 1 might see her child. She had no 
interest, no thought for aught save the two ob- 
jects she idolized, and was too artless to conceal 
this fact. I left her cottage with a dejected 
heart. This, then, was the meeting I had so 
often pictured to myself, so often dreamt of, 
during my absence, yet how diffisrent was it 
from what I had expected it would be ! I wept 
as I compared the reality with the imaginary 
re-union, and finding I had no longer a place 
in my sister's affections or happiness, I wished 
myself back again in London, where at least I 
was necessary to the happiness of Mrs. Elring- 
ton, her nephew, and poor Anna, the servant 
of my aunt. 

" The first discovery of the altered feelings 
of one on whom a person had fondly relied, and 
who, from infancy, had been tenderly cherished 



yGoogk 



THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 87 

aod implicitly trusted in, is a severe trial to 
the heart. I felt this, and while lamenting 
the indifference of Sarah was persuaded that 
were I the wife of Henrv Chatterton, — a lot I 
considered the most hlessed in life, — mv affec- 
tion for mj sister would have remained un- 
changed, as I never could forget our infant 
sports, and girlish confidences, when we were 
«o very dear to each other. It was with de- 
pressed spirits I then proceeded to my sister 
Betsy, whom I found husily engaged in pre- 
paring dinner for her family. The fumes from 
a savoury mess seething on the fire, impreg- 
nated the whole house, and hore evidence that 
onions formed no inconsiderable portion of the 
ingredients. 

'' ^ And so here you are, sister, hack again 
in the country, and right glad I dare to swear 
you are, to find yourself safe at Buttermuth. 
Lawk I how pale and thin you do look, to be 
sure ; but no wonder, if all that folk tell me 
about Lunnun be true. Why, I'm told one 
never can get half enough to eat there, things 
are so dear. You*D stay and dine with us, won't 
you ? and a good dinner you shall have, I war- 
rant you. Here's my children, see what fine fel- 
lows they are,' pointing to two sturdy boys and a 
girL ' Bless your heart ! they eat as much in a 



88 THE LOTTERY OP LIFE. 

day as their father, and he's no bad hand at a 
knife and fork. Throw in a few more onions 
Meggy into the stew/ addressing a red-elbowed 
wench, * and add a lump of pork, it will give 
richness to it, for the beef was somewhat lean. 
Dear me, how nicely it smells. Don't it make 
you hungry, sister ?* 

" * I want my dinner,' said the elder boy ; 
* and I too I' screamed the younger, in which 
cry the little sister joined. * And I must have 
strong ale,' said the child ; ' and I too,' reite- 
rated his brother. 

" * Will you be quiet, you naughty trouble- 
some brats, or I'll whip you all round,' said 
my sister. * They are so spoilt by their father,* 
whispered she, ' that there is no bearing them.' 
The children, as if anxious to prove the accu- 
racy of their mother's representations, became 
still more riotous and insubordinate ; and so 
great was their clamour, notwithstanding the 
angry reproaches, accompanied by sundry boxes 
on the ears from my sister, that I was compelled 
to abridge my visit and return home, with a 
head aching severely from the noise of my 
troublesome nephews, and the boisterous pro- 
ceedings of their enraged mother. 

" I found my father seated by the little oak 
table which I had so often polished in former 

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THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 89 

days, and which had lost none of its brightness 
under the care of my excellent mother. He was 
gravely listening to her justification of my con- 
duct, and embraced me afiectionately ; but, shall 
I confess it, the odour of the farm-yard, with 
which his smock-frock and leathern gaiters 
were reeking, almost overpowered me, after 
having been so long unaccustomed to it. 

" ' But what is the objection to this young 
chap that dame Appleshaw writes about?' asked 
my father. < She says that he is a weak silly 
fool, that can make no settlement on our girl 
when he dies : just what she said of me when 
I proposed to marry thee, old girlj yet Tve 
made thee a good husband as times go, haVt I ? 
and if God calls me away from thee to-morrow, 
111 leave thee free from want, and what more 
can any reasonable woman desire, I should like 
to know ? Is this same young chap a wild 'un? 
does he drink, game, idle away his time, and 
torment his old aunt ?' 

•* • No> dear father,' answered I, trembling 
while I spoke, 'he is the nicest young man I ever 
saw, — so genteel, so good, so kind to his aunt.' 

" ' Ay, there it is, always the nicest young 
man ; that's just what every one of them there 
foolish girls always says,' muttered my father. 

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90 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

" * It's just what I said about you/ rejoined 
my mother, * so you need not find fault with it/ 

" * No, dang my buttons! if I ought, or if I 
will either,' said he, and he rose from his seat 
and kissed my mother's cheek. ' And so thee 
said I was the nicest young man, and so good 
and so genteel : come, old girl, and give us 
another buss for that,' and the old man again 
affectionately embraced my mother. 

** * And what has this same young chap got to 
live on, girl?' demanded he. 

" * I never heard, father,' answered L 

" * How should she know, poor thing 1' said my 
mother; * I dare say she never gave a thought 
to the matter any more than I did, when you 
came a courting me.' 

" * What trade has the young chap got to live 
by ?' asked my father. 

** ' He is a clerk in a great banking-house in 
the city, father ; for I heard his aunt telling 
mine that he had an excellent situation.' 

*t t Why, then, he can't have less than from 
eighty to a hundred pounds a-year salary,' ob- 
served my fieither, rubbing his hands; * and the 
girl of our class that wouldn't find that enough 
to live decently and comfortably on, must be 
more unreasonable than any child of mine is I 

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THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 91 

hope ; so I think your aunt has behaved like a 
fool, and so Til tell her whenever I see her ; 
and as for the young chap, if he comes down 
here whenever he gets a holiday from his office, 
why we'll show him we are not so great or grand 
in our notions as Mrs. Appleshaw, who was 
always a selfish woman : yes, wife, she always 
was, so it's no use your shaking your head, and 
making long faces, for I always speak my mind, 
that's what I do ; and I have no notion of her 
sending off our child at a few hours' notice, just 
for all the world as if the girl had behaved 
badly, and was about to disgrace herself and us, 
and so I'll write and tell her.' 

** Evening came ; and while I arranged my 
things in the little bedroom formerly shared 
with Sarah, the perfume of the flowers floated 
in through the open window, and the song of 
the blackbird and the thrush stole on my ear. 
How often, when pent in my close confined 
chamber in London, had I recalled all that was 
now around me with a pensive pleasure, and 
compared it with that gloomy little room and 
its dreary prospect of slanting roo& and chim- 
ney-pots, where the mewing of cats, and the 
busy hum of loud voices, carriages, and carts, 
alone were heard : yet now, restored to the scene 

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9* THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

80 often and fondly remembered, it brought not 
the gratification then anticipated, and I coold 
only think of the distance that separated me 
from Henry, and the little chance there seemed 
to be that we should ever meet again. The 
odour of the wall-flower that filled the room, 
brought his image so forcibly before me, that I 
could not restrain my tears ; though it seemed 
strange too, that a perfume which, when in 
London, always recalled my home so fondly 
to my mind, could now, that I was there, 
only bring back the thoughts of Henry ; and 
gladly would I have resigned that home, so often 
pined for when absent from it, and the balmy 
air, and fresh breathing flowers of the garden, 
that filled my cheerful looking little chamber, 
for the gloomy one in London, with my solitary, 
drooping, but well-beloved wall-flower, the gift 
of Henry, and the knowledge that we were in 
the same city, and might see each other, though 
only at a distance. Nay, the sound of the 
muffin-bell, or the milkman's cry, once consi- 
dered so monotonous, would have been at that 
moment preferred by me to the carols of the 
birds, then giving such delightful music, be- 
cause those sounds would have proved my vici- 
nity to him I loved, while these I was listening 



dbyGoogk 



THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 93 

to, only reminded me of the distance that 
separated us. 

** Youn^ and inexperienced as I was, I felt 
that the fruition of our wishes does not always 
bring happiness, if indeed that hlessing ever 
can be ours on earth ; and the reflection of how 
often I had longed to be where I now was, yet 
found not that which I had anticipated, brought 
that truth home to my mind. At our homely 
but comfortable evening meal, the conversation 
of my parents reminded me that I had been long 
a stranger at the board, for they talked only of 
persons and subjects about whom and which I 
had no longer any interest, while I sat silent, 
thinking of the dingy little parlour of my aunt, 
endeared to me by the recollection that Henry 
had often been in it, and that when I partook 
the repasts with her, I was always cheered by 
the hope of seeing him the next day, or day 
after ; or, at all events, I had the consolation of 
knowing he was not far distant. How incon- 
sistent are our notions, Mr. Richard I The home 
of my infancy now seemed more strange to me 
than the abode of my aunt ; and, if the truth 
must be owned, I would have preferred support- 
ing her ill-humour for sake of remaining near 
Henry, than finding myself, as at present, far 

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THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 



removed from him ; and though with my parents, 
discovering by their conversation that they had 
got accustomed to my absence, and felt an in- 
terest in objects in which I no longer expe- 
rienced any. 

" Day after day, succeeded by weeks and 
months, passed away, but brought me no com- 
fort : the hope I had indulged of hearing, if 
not from Henry, at least from his kind aunt, 
became fainter and fainter, and I truly felt 
how 'hope deferred maketh the heart sick/ 
when time passed slowly by without bringing 
me tidings from him so dear to me. 

" The reproachful letter written by my father 
to my aunt remained unanswered, so that all 
ties with London now seemed broken ; and the 
reflection that such was the case filled me with 
sadness. How often did it occur to me to write 
to Henry ; but then came maidenly pride and 
modesty to whisper the impropriety and indeli- 
cacy of such a proceeding. No, as he wrote not, 
and, in all human probability, thought not of me, 
Eooner would I let my heart break than address 
him ; and that it would eventually break I en- 
tertained little doubt, as what maiden, in simi- 
lar circumstances, under twenty, ever does? 
and as my cheek grew paler and my appetite 



yGoogk 



THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 9^ 

failed) I used to think, that cold-hearted and 
faithless as his silence proved him to he, how 
would his conscience reprove him whenever he 
should learn that I wa3 laid in my grave ? I 
used to dwell for hours on this thought I 
even selected a sunny spot in the churchyard, 
near a heautiful willow-tree, where I wished to 
he huried ; and I determined, that when death 
was approaching, I would write a last farewell 
to him, and entreat him to visit my grave. 

'* In the twilight hour, as I sate alone in my lit* 
tie chamber, tears would chase each other down 
my cheeks, as I recalled to mind his looks, and 
words, and the soft tones of his voice ; and I felt 
that his tears too would flow, whenever he came 
to look on the spot where I was laid, and that he 
would mourn for having neglected one who 
loved him so well, until the thought of his 
sorrow melted me ; and then I would resolve not 
to let him know my fate, lest it should render 
him too unhappy. I, who had then never read 
a novel in my life, had, strange to say, precisely 
the same feelings and fancies that I have since 
found in such bopks, which makes me think 
that all young girls in love have similar ones, 
which renders novel-writing an easier task to 
women than to men. Though I met kindness 



dbyGoogk 



96 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

and affection from my family, I experienced 
little or no sympathy. My father, wholly en- 
grossed by his little farm, which occupied him 
all day, seldom saw me^ except during meals, 
wh^n he only remarked, * that the girl had lost 
her appetite ; and no wonder, from having been 
so long shut up in London/ 

** And my mother, who was busied from 
morning till night with her dairy, poultry-yard 
and household concerns, seemed unconscious 
that aught more than a delicacy of health, 
brought on by * the bad air of that smoky place 
Lunnon, and which would soon pass away, 
now that I was come home,' was the matter. 
Anxious to conceal my depression of spirits, I 
used to exert myself to the utmost, in order te 
assist my mother in her daily occupations ; but 
my heart was not in the task, and she used 
often to remark, * Well, child, how strange it is, 
you don't go about your work at all as you used 
to do before you went up to Lunnon; you, 
that would set about it, formerly, as brisk as a 
bee, I warrant me, and would carol like a bird 
all the time that the hands were as busy as 
ants.' 

** My sister Sarah had no time or thought 
for any one except her husband and child ; and 



dbyGoogk 



THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 97 

when my altered looks were remarked in her 
presence, always said, — 

" ' Ah I wait till she has a good husband 
like mine, and a sweet beautiful baby like this,' 
holding up her little one, ' and she'll do well 
enough, that she will. Why, Lord love ye ! / 
used to be as dull and moping as she is, before 
I was married ; but ever since, I have not had 
time to think of any thing but how happy I am, 
— ^busy all day long with keeping my house neat 
and tidy, and nursing this precious little dar- 
ling. Ay, get married, sister ; that's the way 
to be happy, for women are of no use, except 
to look after husbands and children/ 

" My sister Betsy we seldom saw, and when 
we did, her presence afforded little gratification. 
Her whole thoughts seemed to be engrossed by 
the coarse and unwomanly pleasure of eating ; 
and her conversation continually turned to the 
subject of savoury dishes, and the best mode of 
concocting them, on which she dwelt with an 
unction that, to use her own phrase, made her 
mouth water. 

" • How strange it is, Lucy,* she would some- 
times say to me, ' that after being so long in 
Lunnon, you have not brought home a single 
recipe for making a good dish. I wonder you 

VOL. I. F 

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98 



THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 



left town without bringing a cookery-book with 
you, — it would have been a great comfort to me, 
who am so fond of trying my hand at new 
dishes. Had aunt nothing new or remarkable 
at her table, in the way of cookery ? Well, for 
my part, I can't see^the good of people going up 
to Lunnon, except it to be to bring down some 
new inventions in the eating line. I must be 
off, for we have the finest and fattest goose to- 
day for dinner, that I've seen this year. I 
stuffed it myself, before I came out, with plenty 
of sage and onions, and it smelt so savoury, 
that the thoughts of it makes me hungry/ 
This is a specimen of the general conversa^ 
tion of my sister ; judge then if her visits could 
be any pleasure to me. 

** I sometimes wondered that I heard not 
from Anna, who was so attached to me, and 
who so deeply regretted my departure from Lon- 
don. She knew my address, and judging from 
our conversation relative to the wall-flower, 
more than suspected the anxiety I would feel to 
hear what had been said by Henry and his 
aimt, when she took back that cherished gift to 
them. Alas I I was ignorant of an insurmount- 
able obstacle to the poor girl's addressing me, 
which was, that she could neither read nor 



dbyGoogk 



THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 99 

write, and so attributed to forgetfolness, that 
which necessity compelled. 

** My Bible now became my sole consolation. 
Every moment that I could snatch from my 
household cares was devoted to its perusal, and 
by degrees, I found a calm resignation take 
the place of the fretfulness and impatience to 
which I had previously given way. No tongue 
can utter — no pen describe, the soothing effect 
of that blessed book on my mind I It is true, 
Dame Parsons, and other neighbours of ours, 
sometimes disturbed my tranquillity by their 
idle questions, dictated by a prying curiosity, 
with which they assailed me whenever we met. 
" * So, Lucy, here you are back again with 
us. Why did you leave Lunnon ? and who has 
your aunt got to take care of her now?' would 
Dame Parsons say. — * I w^arrant me the old lady 
must miss you, after being used to you, pretty 
near two years,* would another observe ; while 
a third would inquire when I had heard from 
my aunt, and when I intended to return to her ?' 
** These questions, so often repeated, I con- 
fess used to vex and mortify me ; and I, not 
having sense enough to conceal it, betrayed 
the annoyance I felt, and so confirmed the evil 
suspicions to which my unexpected return to my 

f2 

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100 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

parents had given rise. Various were the re- 
ports circulated through the village, as to the 
probable cause of my quitting my aunt, and all 
of them, as we soon learned, were any thing 
but charitable towards me. Let not people 
imagine that the unsophisticated inhabitants of 
a rustic village, are more free from the pro- 
pensity to scandal, than are those of cities, or 
less prone to credit, and circulate injurious 
surmises and aspersions. On the contrary, I 
really think they are even more addicted to 
scandal, probably because they have fewer sub- 
jects to occupy their attention. I used to weep 
bitter tears, when some gossipping neighbour, 
professing friendly motives, would come, and 
repeat to my mother the tales circulated about 
relative to me. That those among whom I had 
been bom and bred, and whom I had never 
wilfully offended, should take a pleasure in 
defaming me, grieved me so severely, that the 
consciousness of my own innocence failed to 
console me under these trials ; but this know- 
ledge of the falsehood of the reports to my dis- 
advantage taught me to extend that charity 
towards others, denied to me, and rendered me 
ever after incredulous to the evil reports spread 
against persons similarly accused or suspected. 



dbyGoogk 



THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 101 

** Months passed away, but brought me no 
tidings of Henry, or Mrs. Elrington. My aunt 
never having noticed the reproachful letter ad- 
dressed to her by my father, I now ceased to 
indulge my hopes of ever hearing from or seeing 
Henry again. 

*• Winter had now set in, with its cold and 
cheerless days, and long dull evenings, during 
which, time seemed to creep with feet of lead, 
and my spirits became even more damped than 
before; when one day, a week before Christmas, 
when the snow covered the ground, and the sleet 
was driven against the windows, I was throwing 
a few crumbs to the poor robin red-breasts 
that sought shelter on the window-sill, when 1 
saw a stranger open the garden-gate, and ap- 
proach rapidly towards the house. He was 
so enveloped in a large cloak, that muffled him 
up to his chin, that not only his figure, but a 
portion of his face was concealed, yet at one 
glance, I recognised him to be Henry. I 
uttered a faint cry, and sank breathless on a 
chair, my heart throbbing so wildly, as to deny 
me the power of speech, and to prevent me from 
flying to open the door, to give the welcome 
visitor admittance. My mother, who heard the 
knock, was the first to answer the summons. 

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102 



THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 



and in reply to Henry's inquiries for me, 
led him into the little parlour where I was 
seated. 

" To describe our meeting would be impos- 
sible ; my joy and agitation too well revealed 
the secret of my heart ; and his, satisfied my 
mother that her child had not loved in vain, as 
she had lately began to think. 

" When the emotion into which we had both 
been thrown by our meeting had subsided, 
Henry took from his pocket a letter addressed 
to my father, and handed me one from his 
aunt. 

" * This,' said he, pointing to the first, * was 
given to me by Mrs. Appleshaw, whom I left 
in good health, and whom I have latterly seen 
frequently.' 

" * How ! ' exclaimed I, in undisguised sur- 
prise, < is it possible that my aunt has become 
reconciled to you?' 

" * Yes, perfectly,' answered he ; * but the 
letter from her, of which I am the bearer, will 
explain everything.' 

^* * How long has this reconciliation taken 
place?' asked I. 

** * Only a short time, or I should have sooner 
taken advantage of it, to hurry down to Butter- 



dbyGoogk 



THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. lOS 

muth, though hut for a few hours, as it is only 
at Christinas and Easter that we are permitted 
to he absent from our office in the city.' 

" My father entered while Henry was speak- 
ingy and stared not a little at seeing a stranger 
seated so familiarly at his fire-side. 

" • This, my dear,' said my mother, * is the 
young man from Lunnon that Lucy told us 
about.' 

" • Yes, father, this is Henry,' whispered I. 

" ' And right glad I am to see you down 
here,' said my fsttlier, holding out his hand cor- 
dially, and seizing that of Henry ; * and there 
is some one else here, who is even more glad to 
see you, my lad, than I am,' and he looked 
archly in my face, and smiled and nodded, while 
I felt my cheeks grow as red as a ros^. * Sit 
you down, my boy, sit you down,' continued my 
&ther. > What I old wife, have you not had the 
gumption to ofier him a glass of warm elder- 
wine and a hot toast in it, such a bitter cold day 
as this, and after his journey? Hang it all]! the 
women never think of the creature comforts, 
when there is a bit of Ipve in the case ; but 111 
warrant me, the young man won't be sorry to 
get som'at to stay his stomach till our meal be 
ready, — and hark you, my dear, let a good fat 

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106 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

<< ' Mrs. Appleshaw/ said he, < did not for- 
merly know me as well as she has since done ; 
but she now renders me justice, and fully 
approves of me as a husband for her niece, 
provided you, sir, and her mother have no 
objection.' 

" • Who cares a fig whether she approves or 
not!' exclaimed my father, angrily. ^ / ap- 
prove, my wife approves, and as for the girl 
herself, man, I verily believe whether we did 
or not, she would continue to like you just the 
same. Take her, young man, and with her 
our blessing. I haven't got much else to give 
her ; but a couple of hundred pounds shall be 
paid you on the wedding-day, and though a 
small fortune, it is better than nothing.' 

" Henry seized my father's hand, which he 
shook heartily, kissed my mother's cheek, and 
then timidly approached to take my hand. 

*' ' Give her a buss, man,' said my father, 
and then for the first time my lips were pressed 
by those of any man, except my father. 

" How rapidly flew the hours during that 
happy day ! Even now, though age has chilled 
the heart then so warm, I feel that the remem- 
brance of that blessed time can make it beat 
quicker ; and now, in my old age, I thank God 



dbyGoogk 



t'ftE LOTTER* OF LIFfe. 107 

thai I have shared the love, and helped to 
make the happmess of an honest and worthy 
man. 

** I did not find time to read the letter of 
Mrs. Elrington until night, hut what need had 
I for any addition to my joy ? Was not Henry 
there, seated hy my side, hy a cheerful hearth, 
our affection sanctioned hy my parents, who, 
gazing fondly on us hoth, were almost as 
happy as ourselves ? Before we parted for the 
night, my father read aloud the letter of my 
aunt, the contents of which were as follows : — 

" * My dear hrother-in-law, — Henry Chatter- 
ton will he the bearer of this btter, and takes 
with it my hearty, good wishes, that you and 
my sister will reward his kindness to me, by 
bestowing on him the hand of Lucy, of which 
he has proved himself most worthy.' 

" * Whew 1' said my father, screwing his lips 
into a whistle, as he was wont to do when aught 
surprised him. ' What's in the wind now ? So, 
it is only because he has been kind to her that 
he is to get our girl I Just like her, selfish to 
the last. But what can he have done to change 
her so ?' 

" * Nothing more than any one else would 
have done in my place,' replied Henry, mo- 

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108 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

destlyj *but Mrs. Appleshaw overrates the 
little service I was able to render her.' 

" * Then she must be greatly changed, in- 
deed/ observed my father ; * for I never knew 
her to overrate any kindness or service rendered 
her before.' 

** * Pray don't be ill-natured,' said my mo- 
ther, who always pleaded for her sister. 

** • Have you played in the funds for her, and 
doubled her fortune?— have you said amen to 
all she thought right ? — and have you proved to 
her, either that you will outlive my daughter, 
and so preclude the necessity of a large mar- 
riage settlement, or that you can make one ?' 
asked mv father ; * for I know no other means 
by which you could get her to write in your 
favour.' 

** * I have done none of these things,' replied 
Henry, smiling. 

** And my mother, gently chiding her hus- 
bandy made him resume the perusal of his 
letter. 

** * I was on the eve of beggary, when this 
excellent young man discovered the approaching 
ruin of the house in which my property was 
lodged, apprized me of it, and enabled me to 
w Ithdraw my money three days before the holder 



y Google 



THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 109 

became insolvent Without his zeal, activity, 
and knowledge of business, I should never have 
been enabled to recover my money before the 
failure of the house in question, nor could I 
have procured such advantageous terms for it 
as I now have done ; for, when alarmed at the 
possibility of future risk, I determined on sink- 
ing the whole of what I possess in an annuity 
for my life, which, at my advanced age, will 
give me a much better income than I formerly 
enjoyed, Mr. Henry Chatterton managed the . 
whole affair for me.' 

*' * Just like her I ' exclaimed my father ; 
' selfish to the last ; never thinking of any one 
but herself, and sinking all to increase a larger 
income than she requires, and when she knows 
she can have so short a time to receive it : thus 
depriving herself of the power of leaving a 
flfuinea to those who are to come after her/ 

" My mother raised her hands and eyes, and 
looked the sadness she did not express ; for this 
news was a painful surprise to her, from having 
always calculated that her children would, at 
her sister's death, benefit by it. 

" * And so you only won the old woman's 
good will by helping her to cheat her nieces 
out of their expectations?' said my father. 

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no 



THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 



* Well, I can't be angry with you, for it proves 
you are not a covetous person ; but, hang me I 
if ever I'll forgive her for showing she has so 
little liking to my children, after my having 
always been so kind a brother-in-law to her.' 

" * My salary being now raised to one hun- 
dred and fifty pounds a-year,' said Henry; 
^ which, with prudence and good management, 
will enable me to support a wife comfortably, I 
have no fear for the future, and had no wish to 
influence Mrs. Appleshaw in the disposal of her 
property. Blessed with the possession of this 
dear girl,' and he took my hand, * I have 
nothing left to desire ; nor did I look for the 
fortune you are so kind and generous as to say 
you will bestow upon her, and which, if at all 
inconvenient to you, I will readily resign.* 

" * You are a generous, noble-minded fellow,' 
said my father, shaking him by the hand, * and 
if I had three times as much, it should be 
equally divided between Lucy and her sisters.' 
" The letter from Mrs. Elrington was filled 
with the kindest expressions and good wishes. 
She told me, that from our first acquaintance, 
she desired that I should become the wife of 
her nephew, but, that being so unkindly treated 
by my aunt when she made the proposal, her 



i 



yGoogk 



THE LOTTERY OF LIFE* 111 

pride had been so hurt, that she had discou- 
raged Henry from addressing me or my pa- 
rents, especially as I had never written a line 
to her, which she fully expected I would do. 
It was only on my aunt's lately acknowledging 
to Henry that she believed 1 entertained an 
attachment to him, which was the cause of her 
sending me back to my family, that she had 
sanctioned Henry's coming to propose for me ; 
and she urged me not to trifle with his happi- 
ness, but to accept him at once, adding, that 
one who had proved himself so dutiful a son 
and nephew, could not fail to be an excellent 
husband. 

" A present of a neat gown-piece from this 
kind woman, ws& taken out of Henry's port- 
manteau, and excited the admiration of my 
mother and our servant, both of whom declared 
they had never seen any thing so beautiful be- 
fore. My sisters and their husbands were in- 
vited to come and dine with us the following 
day, and came in their best clothes ; Sarah 
bringing the baby with them, its cap ornamented 
with a cockade of cherry-coloured ribbon, and 
its frock tied with the same. Betsy and her 
husband brought the two boys, who were as 
noisy as possible. My sisters' husbands, vHith 

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112 THE LOTTERY OP LIFE. 

their coarse red faces and redder hands» looked 
quite clownish near Henry, who appeared so 
genteel, that I am sure Sarah could not help 
seeing the difference hetween the two men. 
She showed the child to Henry, and asked him 
* whether he ever saw such a one in London ?' 
while Betsy declared that her's were much 
finer, adding, * she heard all the children in 
London were poor pale-faced things, as indeed, 
for the matter of that, so were the men and 
women too ;' and she looked in his face, and 
then at me, in a way which almost made me 
angry, but I felt too happy tp give way to ill- 
humour. When Betsy saw my new gown, she 
seemed quite jealous, and Sarah added, * that 
for her part, she did not care about finery, nor 
would I when once I had a dear sweet baby 
like hers, which, however, she was afraid* I 
never would have if I was obliged to live in 
Lunnun, where no one ever had fine children.' 
I felt both ashamed and angry that she should 
talk in this manner before Henry ; but I had 
noticed soon after my return home, that she no 
longer experienced the same attachment towards 
me as formerly ; and that all her affection and 
interest being centered in her husband, who 
was a very selfish man, and cared little about 



dbyGoogk 



THE LOTTEEY OF LIFE. 113 

wounding the feelings of others. My hrothers- 
in-law talked only of farming, had and good 
crops, and feeding cattle ; and, seeing that 
Henry was ignorant on these subjects, seemed 
to consider him as an inferior being, which 
greatly mortified me. In short, neither the 
husbands nor the wives were disposed to show 
any regard to the man who was to be so soon 
their brother-in-law, and seemed displeased at 
the attention and kindness with which my 
fiUher and mother treated him, while his beha- 
viour towards them was polite and friendly, 
which I could see was all for my sake. 

" Though the snow was deep on the ground, 
the sun sometimes shone out for a short time, 
and Henry and I would ramble out together. 
Oh ! how happy we used to feel, when I would 
lead him to all my favourite walks ; and, dreary 
and unlovely as the country looked with its 
leafless trees, he used to praise its beauty be- 
cause I liked it, and had so often described it to 
him when we first began to love each other. He 
used to tell me how carefully he had preserved 
my poor wall-flower, how often he had kissed it, 
and what regret he felt that both his aunt and 
himself had been absentwhen Annahad brought 
it to their house. They had never after seen 

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114 



THE LOTTEEY OF LIFE. 



her, although they wished it so much, in order 
to learn every particular relative to me. And 
unfortunately, their servant who saw Anna 
was deaf, so did not hear the message she left 
He told me how he went Sunday after Sunday 
to the church my aunt attended, in the hope of 
seeing me, and how miserahle he felt when she 
entered alone ; yet still he thought I was left 
at home to prevent his seeing me, or that I 
was ill ; and *then he used to he wretched, and 
walk up and down hefore my aunt's house, 
thinking he might catch a glance of me at the 
windows. He did not know I had left London 
until he called on my aunt to inform her of the 
danger her property was in, and actually be- 
lieved on entering the house, that I wsa still 
an inmate, and that he might be permitted to 
behold me. My aunt did not seem to believe 
his statement relative to the approaching ruin 
of the house in which her property was lodged, 
until he assured her, in the most solemn manner, 
of the fact ; and though she employed him to 
extricate her money, it was only when the 
bankruptcy of the firm alluded to was announced 
in the gazette, that she felt the extent of her 
obligations to him. Then, and not till then, 
did she confess to him why, and where I was 



yGoogk 



THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 115 

gone^ and sanction his visit to me; but she 
made it a condition that he should not leave 
London or write to me, mitil he had vested her 
money in an annuity for her life. This, and 
much more, did Henry tell me, interlarding 
his information with vows of the tenderest love, 
and so happy did I feel, that I scarcely wished 
to end those blissful days of courtship, though 
he was continually pressing me to name the 
day for our marriage. How proud used I to 
feel, as we walked arm-and-arm through the 
village, before the ill-natured gossips who had 
made such spiteful remarks on me, a short 
time before. The news of our approaching 
marriage proved the falsehood of all their re- 
ports, and they were forced to admit that there 
was not so genteel or handsome a young man 
in the whole place as Henry. 

" Every thing being arranged, I was married 
ten days after Henry's arrival at Buttermuth, 
and his leave of absence having nearly expired, 
we set out for London the day after. What a 
happy journey that was, and how kind a wel- 
come did we meet with from good Mrs. Elring- 
ton, who had prepared every thing for our 
reception. A small cottage with a little gar- 
den, at Brompton, had been taken for us, and 

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116 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE, 

our kind aunt had made it so neat and pretty, 
that I could do nothing hut admire it when I 
arrived. Henry pointed out to me a heautiful 
China flower-pot, into which the old one con- 
taining my poor wall-flower had heen placed, 
for he would not suffer it to be transplanted lest 
it should be injured, and valued the original old 
flower-pot because it had been touched by me. 
Our aunt Elrington brought me the keys of the 
house the next morning, saying that now I was 
the mistress ; but I returned them, telling her 
it would be my pride and pleasure to be her 
assistant in the household duties, and Henry 
pressed us both in his arms, while tears of joy 
started into the eyes of all three. 

" * Did'nt I tell you, my dear child,' said our 
excellent aunt, * even before you saw Lucy, that 
she was precisely the wife I should select for 
you, had I the choice of a hundred maidens ?' 

" * Yes, my dear aunt,' replied Henry, * and 
did I not say that unless I fell in love, nothing 
would tempt me to marry ? ' 

" * But / knew well enough you could'nt help 
loving Lucy.' 

" * Yes, my good aunt, and you are dearer to 
me than ever, for making me acquainted with 
her.' 

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THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 117 

^'The day after our arrival, we thought it 
right to go and visit my aunt. We found her 
full of complsuntfl of the trouble and annoyance 
entailed on her by the increased expenditure 
she had deemed it necessary to adopt ever since 
the addition to her income^ obtained by the life 
annuity. 

" With what feelings did I find myself again 
in that little parlour, in which I had so often 
thought of Henry, and grieved at our separa- 
tion; and there was he, looking all happiness, — 
my friend, my husband— from whom nothing 
but death could now part me. 

" * I hope you have insured your life for 
Lucy ?' asked my aunt ; < there is no time to be 
lost in such affairs, I assure you ; for I have 
known several men much more healthy-looking 
than you are, Mr. Henry, carried off suddenly, 
before thoy had time to make any provision for 
their wives ; and now that I look attentively at 
Toa, I think I discover some symptoms that 
indicate a delicacy of the chest.' 

"Henry, observing that I was terrified at 
this remark, could not forbear from smiling, as 
he assured my aunt that he never had a cough 
m his life ; but she, regardless of this assertion, 
urged me in the most strenuous terms not to 

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118 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

allow him to postpone the insurance; *for/ 
added she, ' let the worst happen, hy adopting 
my advice you will be comfortable when he is 
gone.' The thoughts engendered in my mind 
by her words, brought tears to my eyes, and 
Henry, vexed at her annoying me, could hardly 
conceal his displeasure. I asked her leave to 
go and see my old chamber, which I felt a 
childish desire to visit. 

" * Certainly, if you wish it,' answered she, 
* but, for the life of me^ I cannot imagine what 
pleasure you can find in going into a cold room, 
when you can stay here and enjoy a good 
fire?' 

" * Pray let me accompany you, my own l-iucy ?' 
said Henry, * I should so much like to see the 
room you occupied so long.' 

" * There is nothing to see in it, I assure you,' 
observed my aunt, * for the day after Lucy went 
away I had every thing taken out of it, in order 
that Anna, who I. caught crying there when 
she ought to have been at her work, might not 
any longer have the silly excuse she gave me, 
of being made melancholy at looking at the bed 
Miss Lucy slept on, and her chair, and her 
table, which, though the sight of them made her 
cry, yet she liked to see, just as if there was 

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THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 119 

anything to make one weep in looking at such 
things.' 

" Poor Anna followed Henry and I up stairs, 
and cordial and affectionate was her greeting 
tons. 

" * Ah I Miss Lucy, — ^but I beg pardon, you 
are now Mrs. Chatterton, — ^how glad I am to 
see you again. And the poor wall-flower, — you 
remember it, ma'am, — I'm sure I took it myself 
the moment you left the house, well knowing 
how missis would throw it out of the window if 
she found it; but Mrs. Elrington and Mr. Henry 
were both out, and though I left a long message 
with the old woman who opened the door for 
me, I never heard any more of the poor flower. 
How sorry I was. Miss Lucy — Mrs. Chatterton 
I meant to say — that I was no scholar, for had I 
known how to write I would have written to 
them, ay, and to yoU too, for my mind was con- 
tinually bent on you. Missis is more cross and 
discontented than ever, since she buys so much 
more of every thing than she used to do, for we 
can't eat half the provisions, and the rest spoils, 
and then she grows angry, and she says that all 
she wants is to spend every shilling on lierselfy 
and so not leave any thing behind her, except as 
much as will pay for her fixneraL No one knows 

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120 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

what I suffer, Miss Lucy — Mrs. Chatterton I 
mean — but next month my. apprenticeship will 
be up, and if you would have pity on me and 
take me into your service, I would work all day, 
ay, and all night too, if you required it, to show 
my gratitude.' 

" We made poor Anna a present, and Henry 
promised to place her in the family of a relation 
of his, wherle she would be comfortable, for he 
knew that if he engaged her my aunt would 
consider herself ill-used by us. Cake and wine 
was pressed on us by my aunt when we de- 
scended. 

" * Pray have some,' said she ; * don't spare 
it, for there is plenty more in the house. Now 
that my income is so much larger than formerly, 
I have a double quantity of things brought into 
the house, and not liking company, there is so 
much more than I can consume, that Anna gets 
more to eat than is good for her ; so pray eat 
plenty of cake 1' 

•* * Don't you think you would be more com- 
fortable, ma'am, if you occasionally invited a 
few friends to dine or drink tea with you ?' said 
Henry. 

♦* * Not at all ; quite the contrary ; for people 
are so fond of contradicting and having their 

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THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 121 

own way» that I never feel as if I was the mis- 
tress of my own house when visitors are here ; 
so I prefer heing alone.' 

" We took leave of my aunt, inviting her to 
visit us whenever she pleased ; to which she 
answered, * that she did not much like visiting. 
That going in an omnihus, among all sorts of 
people, was out of the question ; a cah was a 
mode of conveyance unsafe and unpleasant ; 
and as to hiring a coach, it was an expense that 
few visits were worth the trouble of incurring/ 

" How closely I clung to the arm of Henry, 
and how happy did I feel that I belonged to 
him, as the door of my aunt's gloomy dwelling 
closed after us. 

" * It is not good to live alone, my dear Lucy,' 
said he ; ' you see one of the consequences : 
your poor aunt, for poor she is, even with her 
increased income, has so long thought only of 
self, that all society has now become irksome to 
her ; and the addition to her fortune, instead of 
adding to her happiness, by giving her the power 
of assisting the less fortunate, only decreases 
her comfort, by inducing a useless expenditure, 
the fruits of which, she not being able to 
consume, are wasted, and the waste annoys 
her. Those who are not so happy as to have 

VOL. I. G 

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122 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE, 

family ties, should form friendly relations with 
deserving people ; for the heart, like the earth, 
runs to waste if allowed to remain uncultivated.' 
" Well, Mr. Richard, the wintw passed 
rapidly away, as time always does when happily 
spent, and spring hegan to manifest itself in the 
budding leaves of the trees in our little garden, 
and in the chirruping of the birds, that flocked 
to it to feast on the crumbs we, scattered with 
lavish hands for their sustenance. Henry left 
his home every morning at half-past eight, and 
returned to it at six. How frequently used I 
to find myself looking at the clock and count- 
ing the hours that must elapse before that which 
would restore him to me. Yet those hours were 
not idly spent, for between attending to my 
household duties, working at my needle, and 
preparing some little dainty with which to sur- 
prise Henry at dinner, I never was unemployed. 
I felt that a wife could never too much exert 
herself to render his home a scene of comfort 
and happiness, to a husband whose days were 
spent in providing the means for her support, 
and who devoted himself cheerfully to his daily 
toil, while she was exempt from all labour, save 
the labour of love of rendering the home he 
had given her a blissful one. 



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THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 123 

** Mrs. Ellington, the best and kindest of 
aunts, finding how anxious I was to learn all 
that she could teach, took a pleasure in show- 
ing me how to do every thing that her nephew 
liked; and I profited so well by her lessons, 
that ' in a short time,' she declared, * I could 
make puddings, pies and cakes better than her- 
self ; and as to preparing Henry's favourite 
dishes, no cook,' she said, * could surpass me.' 
The commendations of this excellent woman 
urged me to exertion, for which the praises of 
Henry rewarded me dearly. Our house was 
the abode of peace and love ; and I felt that 
every little art or industry I could use to adorn 
it rendered it still more dear to liim, whose 
daily toil was soothed by the happiness he found 
in it. I would rise with the lark to prepare 
his favourite cake for his breakfast, escort him 
a little way on his road to town, and give him, 
at parting, a nosegay from our own garden, that, 
as he used to tell me, was the envy of all the 
clerks in the office with him, its fragrance 
perfuming the whole room. When the hour 
approached for his return I would set out to 
encounter him, and we felt as much delight at 
meeting, after the separation of ten hours, as 
others do after as many weeks or months. We 

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124 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

used to work in our garden together in the 
evenings until it was dark, then enjoy our sim- 
ple evening meal with increased relish from the 
pure air and exercise, and then Henry would 
read aloud some entertaining and good hook, 
while his aunt and I were employed at needle- 
work till thehour of repose arrived, when, having 
joined in prayer, we sought our pillows. Those 
were happy days, and I trust in the Almighty 
I received such blessings with a grateful spirit. 
How often since, have I reflected on past hap- 
piness, and wondered how, having tasted it, I 
have been enabled to support the sad change 
that followed. But * God tempers the wind to 
the shorn lamb,' and He has taught me to bow 
to His holv will. 

** I had not been above six months a wife 
when my poor aunt was found dead in her bed, 
without having betrayed any previous symptom 
of illness. This event was a great shock to 
me ; and occurring when I was advanced in 
pr^rnancy, seriously affected my health. My 
mother, to whom would have devolved the fur- 
niture, china and linen of her sister, had there 
been sufficient money left to defray the funeral 
expenses, had a useless journey to London ; for, 
my aunt having acted up to her selfish principle 



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THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 125 

of expending the whole of her income, and 
being on the eve of receiving the third quar- 
terns payment of her annuity, which would have 
become due in a week after her decease, had 
only a trifling balance in the hands of her 
banker. Thus, for two quarter's income she 
had sunk the whole of her fortune, and not only 
leflt nothing to her relations, but was indebted 
to them for a portion of the expense of her in- 
terment. 

" But, bless me, it is late I Time passes so 
fast when one is thinking of days gone by, that 
I had no notion it was bed-time. I hope I don't 
tire your patience out with my old story. Good 
night, good night." 



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126 



CHAPTER VII. 

The cordiality of Mrs. Chatterton increased 
daily. She anticipated those little wants pecu- 
liar to a young man absent from female rela- 
tives ; looked over my linen, repaired it when 
required, and prepared many palatable reme- 
dies for colds and headaches, which she would 
insist on my taking ; and, in short, acted in 
every respect towards me as a parent. Her 
partiality induced the good will of Messrs. 
Murdoch and Burton, who, impressed with a 
high opinion of her, were disposed to think 
well of any one for whom she evinced a friend- 
ship. The junior clerks, Bingly, Thomas, and 
Wilson, were less liberally inclined. They 
attributed the respectful deference which the 
age and kindness of Mrs. Chatterton elicited 
from me, to a sordid and artful desire of ingra- 

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THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 12? 

tiating myself in her favour, and never noticed 
any instance of our mutual good understanding, 
without exchanging sundry smUes and signifi- 
cant glances, of which I longed for an occasion 
to show my sense of resentment, without incur- 
ring the disapprobation of either my kind friend 
Mrs. Chatterton, or Messrs. Murdoch and 
Burton. 

I had now got so accustomed to the routine 
of my daily duties in the banking-house, that 
the confinement ceased to be as irksome to me 
as at the commencement ; ' and the zeal and 
attention with which I discharged them, se- 
cured to me the good opinion of the partners 
of the firm. Even John Stebbing, the porter, 
treated me with a degree of respect he was far 
from showing towards Messrs. Bingly, Thomas, 
or Wilson, to whom he often held me up as an 
example, saying, " Ay, Mr. Wallingford is 
something like what a young man of business 
should be. He never keeps any one up late at 
night to let him in, as some others do, a thing 
which if known to Messrs. Mortimer, Allison 
and Co., would draw down their just anger.** — 
Though L occasionally heard from Percy Mor- 
timer, his letters were no longer as confidential, 
or aa long as formerly. Always kind, there was 

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128 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

a constraint and reserve in them that pained 
me, and it required all my reason to make me 
fully sensible that this was but in the natural 
course of events ; as, thrown into the daily society 
of persons of his own station in life, and with 
similar habits and pursuits, it could not be ex- 
pected that he should still retain the same 
warmth of feeling towards one whose prospects 
were so widely different, and whose destiny 
was to be in a sphere so far removed from his 
own. He sometimes referred to his associates, 
and named lords and baronets, with whom it 
appeared he passed a good deal of his time. 

Shall I confess my weakness, it gave me 
many a pang to find that others had taken the 
place I once possessed in his regard, and some- 
thing like jealousy would creep into my mind ; 
but I allowed not the feeling to dwell there 
long ; but, thankful for past friendship, i de- 
terminecj to merit future goodwill by ever re- 
taining that attachment to the son of my bene- 
factor, which had been so early implanted in 
my heart My sister Margaret wrote to me 
frequently, and it gave me the utmost pleasure 
to mark the developement of her mind, and the 
progress she was making, nearly self-taught, in 
those branches of education, in the first ele- 



dbyGoogk 



THE LOTTERY OP LIFE. 129 

ments of which I had instructed her. Mrs. 
Chatterton would listen with pleasure while I 
talked of Margaret ; and when I purchased a 
few instructive books for her, would add some 
useful gift from herself, and send kind messages. 
My mother, in return, would send ^.fat turkey 
or a couple of fine fowls, an attention that not 
only gratified her for whom it was meant, but 
conciliated the goodwill of Messrs. Murdoch 
and Burton who partook of these rural dainties. 
" Well, Richard,** resumed Mrs. Chatterton 
the next evening, ** we left off, I think, at my 
poor aunt's death, and arrival of my dear mo- 
ther in London. The kind reception afforded 
to her by Mrs. Elrington and my husband, and 
the comfortable home in which she found me 
80 happily settled, consoled her for the death 
of a sister, whose want of affection had many 
years been a source of pain to her. After 
spending several days with us, she returned to 
Buttermuth, highly satisfied with my lot, and 
blessing those who rendered it so happy. We 
took the faithful poor Anna into our service, 
and liked her not the less, that she betrayed a 
regret for the death of her late mistress that 
coald hardly be expected, when the harshness 
and unkindness she had experienced at her 

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ISO THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

hands had been taken into oonsideratioD. Time 
passed so fleetly, that when the Sabbath re- 
minded us that a week had glided by, it seemed 
as if not more than half that number of days 
had elapsed. The monotdny of those peaceful 
and happy days, far from being considered dull 
or tiresome, lent them a charm. It was a con- 
tinuous chain of pleasurable thoughts and feel- 
ings, unbroken by aught that could occasion 
pain ; and, like a clear and gentle stream, rolled 
smoothly and calmly along. How delightful was 
it to sit round the cheerful fire, my husband 
reading aloud some instructive book, while I 
actively plied my needle in making preparations 
for the expected little stranger, every thought 
and anticipation of whom sent a thrill of inex- 
pressible happiness through my breast The 
interest too which our good aunt took in the 
habiliments, increased my attachment to her; 
her drawers and presses, long unopened, were 
now ransacked in search of laces and cambrick 
for years unused, that they might be converted 
into caps and robes for the infant; and when 
Henry would put one of the little caps, with its 
neat frills, on his finger, and wonder how di- 
minutive a thing could contain the head of a 
human being, how I longed to see the dear 

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THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 131 

object for whom it was designed, and pictured to 
myself its little face, shrouded with its pretty 
lace borders. Our kind aunt, and Henry, were 
never tired of admiring the bahy clothes, and 
praising my skill in their manufacture. Mrs. 
fibington would hope that the child might be 
a boy, and like its fioither, while Henry would 
pray that it might be a girl, and like me. I 
see, even now, his bright eyes beaming with 
affection as he bent them on my face, and re- 
doubled all those attentions so gratifying to a 
wife, who is about to be, for the first time, a 
mother. 

** At length came the time of trial, and for 
smne hours my life was in considerable danger. 
But it pleased the Almighty to spare me ; and 
after being for some time reduced to a state of 
languor, as if between life and death, the first 
cry of my iniknt repaid me ten fold for all I had 
endured. Ah, what mother's heart ever forgot 
that cry! It touched a spring in mine that 
gashed forth with unutterable tenderness, and 
1 sank into a deep sleep, to awaken in eight 
hours after to the blessed consciousness of being 
indeed a mother. 

** Who can paint the delight of pressing the 
delicate velvet cheek of one's first*bom, of hear* 



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132 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

iDg its gentle breathing, or even its shrill cry! 
of looking at its fragile limbs and tiny features, 
in each of which the doting mother searches, 
and imagines that she finds a resemblance to 
those of an adored husband. Well do such 
joys repay her for weeks of sufieringi But 
when her infant's lips first imbibe sustenance 
from her breast, how indescribably delicious are 
her sensations I Tears of rapture stole from my 
eyes, as I felt the milky stream impelled by the 
dear lips of the little being who nestled to my 
heart, and saw the looks of delight with which 
its father regarded us both. Every day was 
now fraught with a new interest, for each 
brought increased strength and beauty to my 
child. When its clear blue eyes would turn 
towards the candle, or sometimes fix, for a 
moment, on my face, I could not divest myself 
of the notion that they already could distin- 
guish objects, and would almost smother it with 
my kisses. But when at length the dear babe 
would really notice those around him, and 
learned to know his father, and me, what words 
can do justice to my delight ? Then came his 
smiles when played with, his attempts to ar- 
ticulate, followed some weeks after by his suc- 
cessful effort to say mam-ma, and pap-pa; 



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THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 133 

sounds dwelt on with a rapture known only to 
a mother's heart. Then the employment of 
his rosy dimpled fingers, which he would often 
twist in my ringlets, hide in my hosom ; and, 
last of all, when he began to walk, and would 
rush into my extended arms, and crow with 
pride and pleasure at the achievement, how 
did my heart swell with rapture I 

'* My husband doted on the baby boy, and 
our good aunt lavished praises and kisses on 
him, as she taught him to clap hands when his 
father returned home, and to say, * Papa is 
tuUf^ for papa is come. I felt my happiness 
to be so great, that in the midst of its enjoy- 
ment I sometimes trembled lest some unfore- 
seen event should occur to destroy it I would 
look around on the objects so dear to my heart, 
and which constituted my felicity, until tears 
would start into my eyes, and I would retire to 
my chamber to prostrate myself before the 
Giver of these blessings, to beseech Him to 
grant me their continuance. Oh, yes I my 
happiness was too great to last, and so a vague 
and indiscribable presentiment often whispered 
tome. 

*' The first interruption to it, was the illness 
of our excellent aunt. Medical advice, and a 

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ISi THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

strict attention to the regime and medicines it 
prescribed, failed to restore her health ; and, 
after the lapse of a few weeks, it became but 
too evident that we should lose from our little 
circle that worthy woman, whose affection and 
good sense, had so largely contributed to its 
happiness. She bore her sufferings with a 
patience that endeared her, if possible, still 
more to us all, speaking words of consolation to 
us until the last, and resigned her soul^ offering 
up prayers for our happiness. Hers was, in* 
deed, the death-bed of a Christian, soothed by 
the hopes held out to her by Him whose pre- 
cepts she had foUowed, and whose promises 
disarmed even death of his terrors. How truly 
edifying was the scene that death-bed presented, 
and how often has the recollection of it since 
comforted me I Long did we miss that mild and 
cheerful face from our humble board,-Llong 
turn with a sigh from her vacant chair by the 
blazing hearth, whence we felt it would be like 
a sacrilege to remove it : and when the pleasant 
spring brought out the leaves and flowers, we 
failed not to remember with sadness, that she 
who once welcomed them with us, was gone for 
ever from this beautiful world ; for so it still 
appeared to us,^ven though we had been taught 

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THE LOTTERY OP LIFE. 135 

to know that in a brief time those fondly-loved 
may be snatched from us. The death of the 
old i^pears so natural an event, that though 
we may truly regret the loss, the sorrow is of a 
more gentle nature than when the young are 
taken from us. The memory of our good aunt 
was fondly cherished by us all. Her mild wis- 
dom, and hopeful trust in Divine Providence, 
was often referred to ; and, though gone from 
this earth, her spirit seemed still to linger with 
those who in life she had so fondly loved. 

" Our little Henry grew in health and beauty, 
—each month gave him fresh strength — and so 
wrapt up were his father and I in the lovely 
little fellow, that we desired no other child to 
rival him in our aflfection. We kept up a regu- 
lar, though not frequent, interchange of letters 
with our father and mother, who, now advancing 
iar into the vale of years, urged us to pay them 
a visit, and Henry having obtained a fortnight's 
holiday at Easter, we set out for Buttermuth. 
With what pride and pleasure did I place my 
boy in the arms of his grandmother, and see his 
grandfather, with spectacles on nose, examine 
his limbs, while he proclaimed that they were 
as firm and as fat as if the child had never been 
out of the country. The little darling, too. 

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136 THE LOTTERY OP LIFE. 

took an immediate fancy to the aged couple, — 
would climb on their knees, pat their faces with 
his fat hands, and hold up his rosy little mouth 
to them to be kissed. 

" * You have indeed, my dear,' would my 
mother say, * brought up the child well. Why 
he never cries for any thing, and always does 
what you or his father tell him : how different 
from your sister's children, who really are un- 
bearable, everlastingly screaming for something 
or other.' 

" My sisters, their husbands, and my little 
nephews and nieces, now four in number, came 
to welcome us to Buttermuth, and never did I 
encounter such noisy and troublesome little crea- 
tures. '^They spoilt one of my best gowns, by wip- 
ing their dirty fingers on it after daubing them 
with currant-jam, and screamed with anger when 
I reproved them, though in a gentle manner. 

" • Don't cry, darling,' said their mother, • you 
may wipe your fingers on my gown as much as 
you please, for I never wear any dress that can 
be spoiled. Indeed, I wonder how people who 
have children ever do, for it is so natural to the 
little dears to touch and pull every thing they 
see, that it would be cruel to prevent them.' 

" * Don't you think, sister, that your little boy 

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THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 187 

looks very delicate ? ' observed my sister Betsy ; 
'I don't like that high forehead of his. There 
was poor Mrs. Johnson's little boy who died 
last year of water on the brain, and he had just 
such a forehead.' 

'* I turned in alarm to look on the beautifiil 
brow of my child, for every thing alarms a fond 
mother ; but its perfect form, often previously 
remarked, hushed my fears, while a smile on 
the lips of my husband betrayed his suspicion 
that there was more malice than kindness in the 
observation of my sister. 

" * You should hear little Henry repeat his 
lessons and his catechism*' said my mother, 
proud of her little grandson's progress. 

" * I if you have been already setting down 
the poor child to lessons,' replied Betsy, ad- 
dressing me, * it is no wonder that he looks so 
unhealthy. Poor child I it is a pity, tor he might 
have been 9a stout and hearty as mine are, if 
he had been brought up like them.' 

** * How can you say he is unhealthy-look- 
ing?' asked my mother ; < I never saw a finer 
child.' 

" * Why, look at his fairness,' answered my 
sister, ' it is not, it can't be wholesome ; then 
his cheeks are pink, and pink cheeks. Nurse 

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138 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

Wilson sayS) are always a sign of consumption. 
There was Mrs. Tomkinson's daughter, that 
died of a decline last Christmas was a twelve- 
month, and don't you r^uember what a bright 
pink spot she always used to have on one of her 
cheeks?' 

" Again I turned in terror to look on the 
face of my boy, and again I was reassured by 
the healthful bloom on his round and dimpled 
cheeks. 

" * But Henry's complexion is not a spot,' 
said my mother, vexed at my sister's observa- 
tions. * Never have I seen a more healthy red 
and white well mixed together, and not at all 
like a spot.' 

" * He is not at all like my boys,' replied my 
sister, < only look at the diffefbnce ! ' 

" * There is, indeed, a difference, for they 
are as brown as berries, from the sun,' replied 
my mother. 

" < Ay I that's what I call a healthy look ; 
that's how a boy aught to be,' answered my 
sister. 

" When we sat down to dinner, each of her 
children at once demanded to be helped, and 
their demands not being attended to, they began 
to scream. 

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THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 139 

^ ' Do let them have something to keep them 
quiet,' said their mother, * or there will be no 
peace with them. Don't cry, Dick, my darling, 
and you shall have something so nice.' 

" • But I will cry, if I like it,' answered the 
rude urchin, and he set up a scream, which was 
quickly echoed by his brother and sister. 

" • There they go,' said their father ; * this 
is the music they regale me with every day at 
their meals. I'm sure I often wish I was deaf, 
to be saved from hearing their noise.' 

** * How can you be so cross and unjust ? ' 
replied my sister, * when you know there are 
not better children in the whole parish of But- 
tennuth.' 

** ' I know there are not more troublesome 
ones,' rejoined the husband. 

" * Ay, that's what I often tell my old woman,' 
said my father ; * there's no peace with them ; 
always screaming for every thing they see, and 
tormenting every one about 'em.' 

*' ' It's easy to see,' observed my sister, look- 
ing spitefully at 'my boy, *that new brooms 
sweep clean. The new grandchild has put my 
poor little ones out of favour ; but never mind, 
they'll not thrive the worse for all the faults 
people find with them, and I wish other people's 

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140 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

children looked as healthy as they do — that's 
what I do.' 

" We returned to our home, well pleased to 
find ourselves again heneath its peaceful roof, 
and all the better in point of health for our 
visit to the country. Months passed rapidly 
away. Our boy grew every day more interest- 
ing, and really made a surprising progress in 
his learning, considering that as yet he had no 
teachers save his father and I. Often would my 
husband hurry home, in order to give him a 
lesson before he went to bed, and as often would 
he compliment me on the intelligence and doci- 
lity of the child. Henry was now able to accom- 
pany me in my walks to meet his father, and 
when he saw him at a distance, would bound 
joyfully to meet him, leaving me far behind. 

** One fine evening that we set out on our 
usual walk, Henry perceiving his father ap- 
proach, snatched his little hand from mine, 
and ran eagerly forward. I saw him running 
rapidly along, and felt all a mother's pride in 
the grace and agility of his movements, when 
on a sudden I heard a shriek, saw a number of 
persons run, and form a circle, through which 
the driver of a stage-coach was endeavouring 
to force his horses, while the people hemmed 

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THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 141 

them in on every side, uttering reproaches and 
execrations. A vague sense of terror filled my 
mind, and caused my heart to beat so violently, 
that I could hardly move ; nevertheless I tried 
to advance, and struggled through the crowd 
now assembled around the coach, when, — oh t 
horror of horrors I — I beheld my boy, covered 
with blood, and clasped in the arms of his father. 
I saw DO more, for I fell insensible on the road, 
and awoke not to consciousness until I found 
myself in bed in my own house, and my ago- 
nized husband watching over me. 

** How dreadful was the return to conscious- 
ness I and with it the recollection of the ap- 
palling misfortune that had befallen me. My 
first burst of anguish was received on that fond 
and faithful breast that had so often pillowed 
my head, for my husband, clasping me in his 
arms, mingled his tears with mine, while whis- 
pering that we must now endeavour to console 
each other, and submit with resignation to the 
wiU of J7tfii, who had thought fit to send us 
this heavy trial. I prayed to be let see my 
child ; and though the few friendly neighbours, 
who had come to offer their aid to us in this 
time of trouble, tried to persuade me not to see 
him, Henry bore, rather than led me to the 

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142 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

little chamber where all that now remained to 
me of my precious boy was laid. O God! 
never shall I forget that sight I even now, after 
the lapse of many a long and weary year, it pre- 
sents itself to my mind's eye as vividly as when 
these aged eyes beheld it. 

^* There, laid on his little white bed, bending 
over which I had so often watched and blessed 
his slumbers, was my late blooming child, — ^him, 
whom, only eight hours before, I had seen bound- 
ing in life and health by my side, now cold and 
lifeless, but still beautiful, even in death, the 
lovely face wearing the same calm and blessed 
expression, I had so frequently remarked in it 
when he slept. The tender hand of his agonized 
father, had removed from the hair and face 
every trace of the gory stream that covered 
them when I last beheld my child, and care- 
fully concealed the mangled form from my view, 
leaving only the head revealed. The setting 
sun threw its bright rosy beams on that young, 
fair, and open brow, and on those round and 
dimpled cheeks, giving them a hue of life, and 
even tinged with red those now pale lips, so 
lately dyed with a rich crimson, that made them 
resemble a parted cherry, — those lips so often 
fondly pressed to mine, and which seldom 

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THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 143 

opened without uttering words of love. The 
casement opening into the little garden had 
not been closed, and the breath of evening 
came through it, waving the light curtains of 
his little bed, and stirring the soft, silken 
curls around his face. I could have believed 
that my darling only slept, and that a kiss of 
mine could, as it had often formerly done, 
awaken him, and I bent down and pressed my 
parched and burning lips on his cold and rigid 
ones ; but the touch brought the conviction of 
the fearful truth at once to my mind, and, 
uttering a faint cry, I again found relief in 
insensibility. A burning fever followed the 
repeated fainting fits with which I had been 
seized, and for many days, my life was despaired 
of. During this malady, I was haunted by the 
scene I had witnessed, and even by still more 
appalling ones. Sometimes I saw my boy rush- 
ing along in all his wonted joyousness ; and the 
next struggling, bleeding, and mutilated be- 
neath the feet of horses. At others, I fancied 
that I saw a^coach borne rapidly along by fiery 
steeds, and rushed forward to snatch my child 
out of their reach, but in the attempt me-thought 
I fell, and felt the wheels of the ponderous vehicle 
crush my brain, while the dying cries of my 

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144 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

boy inflicted still greater agony. It was my 
husband's hand that applied the cooling be- 
verage to my burning lips, and supported my 
aching head during this long illness, and it was 
his voice that soothed my agony, even when 
unconscious of his presence. When reason 
again resumed her empire, how did I deplore 
the sad change that had taken place in my once 
happy home. No longer did the bright face of my 
child, or his dear lisping accents enliven it. I 
missed him every hour, and was sometimes almost 
doubtful of my own identity, when now no longer 
blessed with that dear object, that lent existence 
so great a charm. My husband, fearful that 
the sight of the little bed, playthings, or clothes, 
of our lost angel, would but serve to keep alive 
the unavailing grief into which I was plunged, 
had them all carefully removed and locked up, 
so that not a trace remained to remind me that 
I had been a mother. This absence of all con- 
nected with my lost darling, made me some- 
times think that all the blissful hours enjoyed 
during his brief and spotless life, were but a 
happy dream from which I had now awakened, 
and increased, instead of mitigating my sorrow. 
I would, in such moments, endeavour to recal 
his image, his smiles, and his voice, to memory, 



dbyGoogk 



THE LOTTERY OP LIFE. 145 

in order to prove to myself that I had not always 
been childless, and when I had hroaght hack 
that adored face, now shrouded in the grave, 
and the tones of that sweet voice, now hushed 
for ever, the sense of my deprivation hecame so 
overwhelming, that I have prayed for forget- 
fdness. 

*' Alas I ungrateful as I was, I rememhered 
not, that if the Almighty had taken one bless* 
ing from me, I was still rich in the possession 
of another, — that Henry, the husband of my 
choice, the father of our lost child, was still 
spared to me, — but it is one of the peculiarities 
of grief to lose the sense of what still remains 
of happiness, in regret for what is lost I 
would sit whole days brooding over my sorrow, 
and indulging the most fantastic notions con- 
nected with it. If the rain poured in torrents 
against my casement, I would start with a 
shudder, at the thought that it was falling on 
his grave ; and so much did this idea haunt me, 
that I urged Henry to have a marble monument 
erected over the grassy mound in which he 
was laid. I visited the spot continually, and 
when sure of not being overheard, or seen, 
would kneel down and kiss the icy marble, and 

VOL. 1. H 

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146 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

address the most endearing epithets to the cold, 
dull ear of death. 

" My husband was now compelled to devote 
a more than ordinary time to the duties of his 
office, in order to make up for the days he had 
been kept away by our affliction, and my long 
and dangerous illness which followed it. When 
he returned late in the evening, he would as- 
sume a cheerfulness, that was, I afterwards 
ascertained, very foreign to the real state of 
his feelings, but which he put on in the vain 
hope of enlivening me ; while I, absorbed in my 
selfish grief, inwardly reproached him for his 
want of sympathy with it, and for so soon be- 
coming reconciled to the loss of the idolized 
object that occupied all my thoughts. 

" One evening, when I had been more than 
usually depressed through the day, and my 
husband and I were about to sit down to our 
simple meal, I heard a noise in the room, 
over that in which we were, like the falling of 
somebody, and forgetful for the moment, I 
started up, and exclaimed, * My boy has fallen 
and hurt himself, Henry, — Henry, my darling, 
come to mama I' At that moment my eyes fell 
on the face of his father, and never shall I 



dbyGoogk 



THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 147 

forget its expression I Pale as marblei there 
was a look of anguish in the countenance, that 
at one glance, revealed all that the doting father 
had suffered, and how great must have been the 
effort to conceal those sufferings from me I I 
rose, and threw myself into his arms, our tears 
mingled, and from that moment X endeavoured 
to console him, who had hitherto done violence 
to his own feelings, in order to soothe mine." 



H e 

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148 



CHAPTER Vm. 

*^Mt sister Betsy and her husband came to 
London in some months after this time, to 
have a holiday, as she said, and see all the 
fine sights. Henry invited them to take up 
their abode with us, a proposal which was 
not accepted until an exact calculation had 
been made by them, as to whether it would 
be cheaper to take a lodging and pay for 
their board, or to have the daily expense of 
hackney coaches or the stage incurred for their 
excursions from our house. H aving ascertained 
that the latter was the least expensive plan, 
they came to us ; and before they were one day 
beneath our roof, made us heartily wish them 
safely back again at Buttermuth. 

" * I did not bring any of my children with 
me.' said my sister ; ^ for I thought it ivould 
renew your grief to see what fine hearty crea- 



yGoogk 



THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 149 

tures they are. Besides, I was fearful they 
might meet with the same accident that hap- 
pened to your poor little hoy. Who'd have 
thought of his coming to such a death, kept 
tied, as he always was, to your apron string ? 
but it's always the way, when children are 
cooped up like that, they are sure to run into 
mischief the moment they get loose. I never 
heard the particulars of how it happened; 
sister, pray tell me.' 

*' A burst of tears, that I could not repress, 
checked, for a moment, my sister's nnfeeling 
inquiries ; hut they were soon renewed, nor did 
they cease until she had brought me into a 
paroxysm of grief. 

" • Well, I did not expect to find you so little 
resigned,' resumed she, * to the will of God. 
You ought to be glad ; for, after all, it is for 
the better ; for the poor little fellow was but a 
weak, sickly child after all ; and had he lived, 
would have cost you a fortune in doctors' and 
apothecaries' bills. What have you done with 
his clothes? they can't be any use to you now; 
and I was thinking they would exactly fit my 
little William, who is only a year and a half 
younger than your Henry was, but who is quite 
as big, if not more so.' 

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150 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

^' * How strange your little dinners seem to 
us,' would my sister say, when we had, at great 
incouTenience to ourselves, and no little ex- 
pense, changed our dinner hour, and provided 
what we considered a plentiful repast. * Such 
small, lean legs of muttcm and skimping pieces 
of heef^ and only two miserable little dishes of 
vegetables. To us, who are accustomed to 
great joints of fiu meat, and a profusion of gar- 
den stuff, it looks quite odd, and makes one 
much more hungry to see your dinners. It is 
lucky we did not bring any of the childien; for, 
I assure you, any two of them-woold eat up all 
that is on this table in a jifiey. Why don't you 
have large ht geese or turkeys for dinner? or 
even fowls ? We always have such a plenty, that 
we have only to send out to the farm-yard when- 
ever we wish to have poultry for dinner. Well, 
for my part, I wouldn't live in Lunnon for 
the world ; Tm sure Id be starved downright. 
Thai your house is $o clean, it makes one feel 
quite oncomfonable ; I^m always afiraid of dir- 
tying it : the bars of the grate look as bright 
as if there had nev^r b«» a fire in it ; the 
wiadaws and the stops before the door are rub- 
bed eadi mornings 1 see ; — what a waste of time, 
vou have a clean table-doth every day. 



dbyGoogk 



THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 151 

which is a piece of extravagance in a place 
where washing is so dear/ 

^^ But it would be an endless task to repeat 
one half of my sister's remarks on my humble 
ahod« and mode of living, always delivered with 
a aellK^mplacent declaration of the infinite 
superiority of her own. There was no night of 
the week that she and her husband did not visit 
some one of the theatres, and unceremoniously 
demand that a hot meat supper should be pre- 
pared for their return. 

** * I come back so peckish,' would she say ; 
^ that unless I eat a good meal I cannot close 
my eyes all night' 

*' * J do not know about the closing the eyes,' 
said her husband ; * but I'm sure I never 
heard any one snore as you do ; supper or no 
supper^ it's all the same, I can't get a wink of 
sleep for the noise you make.' 

'* < Me snore ? well, that's a good one, to be 
sure ; why, it's ^ou that snore enough to awaken 
aU the house.' 

** At length, the visit of my sister and her 
husband drew to a close ; but not until their 
innumerable wants, and indelicate avowals of 
them, had nearly exhausted my patience, and 



dbyGoogk 



15« 



THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 



considerably increased our quarter's bills to our 
trades-people. 

** The day previous to tbeir departure she 
asked me * whether I had not observed the great 
change in my husband's appearance ? He is in 
a galloping consumption, you may be sure,' said 
she ; * I saw it, and so did my master, the first 
day we came.' 

" Seeing my face become pale with apprehen- 
sion, she added, * I dare say he may live some 
months ; for, I have seen people linger a long 
time after the doctors had given them over : but, 
I think it my duty to warn you, in order that 
you may be prepared for the worst ; and, after 
all, it is better, as he is consumptive, that he 
should be taken away while you are yet young 
enough to marry again, than that he should be 
left until you are grown an old woman ; and 
now, that you will have no incumbrance, which 
is another piece of luck, you may get a husband 
well to do in the world. And I'd advise you, 
when all is over, to come down to Buttermuth, 
for there is Farmer Bolton, who is looking out 
for a wife to take care of his children, and he 
would make you an excellent husband. There's 
no use in crying, sister,' continued she, obsenr- 



y Google 



THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 



153 



ing the tears sbe wrong from me ; * we must all 
be resigned to the will of Providence ; and it's 
only flying in the face of God to be grieving at 
the trials it pleases Him to send.' 

" Horror-struck by the terrible intelligence 
conveyed in the first part of her unfeeling dis- 
course, I was scarcely conscious of all that fol- 
lowed it. I sat revolving on the possibility of 
my Henry's being indeed, as she represented 
bim, doomed to an early death, without my hav- 
ing discovered any one of the fatal symptoms 
that, as she asserted, had struck her and her 
husband on their arrival. I recalled with terror 
any cough, however slight or temporary, with 
which he had been assailed since our marriage, 
and magnified it until I blamed my own blind- 
ness to that which had become evident to others, 
and worked myself into a state of misery and 
alarm, that I had much difficulty in concealing 
from my husband when he returned home. I 
gazed with breathless alarm on his face as he 
entered the room, and attributed the heightened 
colour occasioned by exercise to the fatal ma- 
lady, which my unfeeling sister had persuaded 
me had marked him for an early death. Day 
by day I was haunted by apprehension for him. 
It was in vain that he assured me he was in 

hS 



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154 



THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 



perfect health, and that to an unprejudiced eye 
every indication of it was visible in his appear- 
ance. I could not for many months conquer my 
fears ; and when at length I began to be con- 
vinced that my alarm had been groundless, a 
letter from my sister renewed my fears, by 
reminding me that the insidious disease which 
she felt assured my husband was labouring 
under, often deceived not only the patient 
himself, but those around him ; and, conse- 
quently, she advised me * to prepare for the 

worst.' 

" But even out of evil cometh good ; for the 
anxiety into which I was thrown for months 
relative to Henry, did more towards lessening 
the grief occasioned by my child's death, than 
did all the reasoning of my friends, or my own 
prudent resolves on the subject. The dread 
of losing him filled every thought^ and the love 
I felt for him the day we were united at the 
altar, was light in comparison with that which 
I experienced, when the fear of his being 
snatched from me presented itself. Woman 
must live in, and for another, otherwise she ful- 
fils not her mission on earth ; and though its 
fulfilment may entail ceaseless anxiety, and too 
often misery, yet only when discharging it can 



yGoogk 



THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 155 

she know happiness, for then does she admi- 
nister to that of another. 

** About this period we received intelligence 
of the sudden death of my sister Betsy's has- 
band« The event was announced to me in the 
following letter from her : — 

*< < Who would have thought,' wrote she, Hhat 
my poor John would have been snatched away, 
— he who was so stout and hearty — while your 
husband, who has certainly a consumption, is 
stiU alive ? . Never was he in better health than 
the day before I lost him. He ate a good 
supper, — for poor dear soul I he had an appetite 
that made me think he'd live to be a hundred, 
—of roast goose, stufied with sage and onions, 
of which he was always very fond. I never 
saw him eat more, and then he had some toasted 
cheese, and drank some of our strongest home- 
brewed ale, not above a quart or so, and a couple 
of glasses of brandy to keep down the goose, as 
he said ; and I heard him snoring and snorting 
like, as comfortable as possible, till I fell asleep, 
and when I awoke he was dead by my side* 
The doctor who attended the inquest, said his 
death was occasioned by eating and drinking 
too much at supper ; but I'll never believe it, 
for I have seen him eat quite as much most 



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156 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

nights ever since we were married, and if it 
never hurt him before, why should it then? I 
miss him terribly, especially at meals, for it is 
so solitary to have no one to carve for one ; but 
it's no use to grieve, and I have a good deal to 
do, and to think of; for, as he died without a 
will, I come in for my thirds, and so must stir 
myself to keep things straight The children 
begin to be a great trouble to me, now that they 
have no father to give 'em a box on the ear, 
or a good blow across the shoulders, whenever 
they are more impudent than usual. You are 
a lucky woman to have no children, for the old 
saying, that ** they are a certain plague, but a 
very uncertain comfort," is quite true. I already 
find it quite impossible to manage the boys, and 
suppose that I shall be compelled to marry again 
as soon as the year is up, in order to have some 
one to keep them in order, as well as to take care 
of the farm, where every thing seems to be at 
sixes and sevens. A poor lone woman is much 
to be pitied, and so says my neighbour, Farmer 
Thompson, of Sudly. You may remember him, 
for father and mother used to talk of his being 
a little wild. He has now sown his wild oats, 
as the saying is, and has been very steady of 
late« My poor husband used to say (God for- 



yGoogk 



THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 157 

give him for being so uncharitable I) that it was 
becaase he had no more money to spend that he 
became so steady ; but I'm sure it was from 
seeing the folly of his past doings. He is a very 
personable man, and is very neighbourly to me.' 

** * I felt half offended when Henry, to whom 
1 gave my sister's letter to read, began to smile 
at the portion of it that was relative to Farmer 
Thompson. * You'll see, my dear,' said he, 
* that when the year is up, nay probably before, 
your sister will marry her neighbour, and give 
her children a step-father, who will not only 
master them, but govern her too.' 

** And so it actually turned out, even before 
the year was finished ; and in less than three 
years after. Farmer Thompson ran away to 
America, after he had spent every shilling be- 
longing to my poor sister and her children ; 
and she and them were obliged to go and live 
with my father and mother, whose comfort and 
peace, the wild doings of the boys, and the re- 
pining of my sister, completely destroyed. My 
husband kindly apprenticed one of the boys, 
and my father did the same by the other, but 
both ran away from their masters ; the one 
went to sea, and the other enlisted, and neither 
had been heard of. When Henry and I went 



dbyGoogk 



158 



THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 



to Buttermuth to visit my father and mother 
the year before we lost them,— for they died 
within a couple of months of each other, — we 
found my sister much changed. She complained 
bitterly of Farmer Thompson. 

^' * If I could only hear of his death, it would 
make my mind easy and comfortable,' said she. 

« « Why, what difference can it make to 
you ? ' observed my mother ; * he can't come 
back on account of his debts, therefore you will 
not be troubled with him any more, so it's the 
same as if he was dead I' 

" * Not at all,' answered my sister, ' for if I 
was sure he was dead, I could marry again.' 

'^ ^ Marry again I' ejaculated my mother; 
^ Heaven knows, you have had enough of mar- 
riage, 1 should think.' 

^^ * Those who have been accustomed to have 
a husband and a house of their own, never can 
be comfortable in another person's house,' said 
my sister ; ^ and though Thompson was a bad 
husband, all men are not like him. Nor do 1 
think that he would have been so bad, only for 
the way he was plagued with them two unruly 
boys of mine, who were enough to drive any 
man out of his wits. Their poor father, God 
forgive him, spoilt 'em so completely. He little 



yGoogk 



THE LOTTERY OF LIFE, 159 

thought, poor man I what trouble they would 
be to whatever step-father I gave them, or he 
wouldn't have let 'em become so unruly ; but 
people never think of whaf s to come, or if they 
did, they would be more reasonable, for sake of 
those that are to outlive them/ Henry stole 
a sly glance at me when he heard this speech, 
and I found it difficult to restrain myself from 
smiling. 

" * Well, the poor boys paid dearly for their 
unruly ways,' said my mother, ' for surely no 
poor creatures were ever more unkindly used 
than they were by their step-father. Why, 
they have ran away from home, and come here 
with their faces bearing the marks of his vio- 
lence, many a time ; and you told me, daughter, 
that you often quarrelled with that bad man 
for beating them so continually.' 

" * And more fool I,' answered my sister, 
' for taking their parts, for that only caused ill- 
blood between me and my husband ; who, if I 
had not interfered, would not have gone off to 
the public-house, as he used to do on such 
occasions, where he fell into bad company and 
renewed his old courses.' 

** * It was a pity you were so obstinate as to 
marry him against the advice of all your friends,' 

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160 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

remarked my mother, provoked into the ohser- 
vation hy the unfeeling comments of my sister. 
*We all knew well enough what a graceless 
chap he was, and what a had husband he would 
be likely to make/ 

" • Well, it's my belief, that if 1 had not had 
such troublesome boys, Thompson would have 
made a very good husband, but their doings 
spoilt his temper ; and it was all the fault of 
their poor father, God forgive him 1* My mother 
shook her head and turned up her eyes, a com- 
mon custom of hers when she dissented from 
the opinions of those she conversed with ; and 
when talking to me on the subject a few 
days after, when we were alone, she told me 
that she dreaded the future destiny of my sister, 
as she plainly saw she was not yet corrected. 

*^ ^ She has the rage to be married,' added my 
mother, * and in spite of the severe lesson she 
has received, would, if a widow to-morrow, marry 
the first worthless man who would ask her.' 

" Soon after our visit to Buttermuth, my 
husband returned from his office one evening 
with a much more grave countenance than 
usual, for he ever entered his humble home 
with a serene aspect and fond words. He told 
me, that Messrs. Mortimer, Allison and Fins- 



dbyGoogk 



THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. l6l 

bury had proposed to him to proceed to the 
West Indies, for the arrangement of some com- 
mercial concerns of theirs of great importance, 
and which, owing to the sudden death of their 
agent there, required the immediate presence 
of some confidential person on the spot. 

** < I owe them too many favours/ said Henry, 
* to decline complying with their wishes ; but I 
confess, my dear Lucy, that the thought of 
leaving you for a couple of years is so heavy a 
trial that it unmans me.' 

«<But cannot I accompany you?' inter- 
rupted I eagerly. 

" • No,' replied my husband, * it cannot be ; 
for when I arrive in the West Indies I am not to 
be stationary, but must proceed to the different 
places where the firm of Mortimer, Allison and 
finsbury have commercial transactions.' 

** Bathed in tears, I fell on his shoulder, and 
wept long and bitterly; nor could he restrain 
his tears, while he endeavoured to reconcile me 
to what he considered it to be his duty to do. 
We passed nearly a sleepless night; and when 
at length I sank into slumber, my dreams were 
coloured by the sad thoughts that filled my 
waking hours. In ten days from the one in 
which Henry announced to me the offer that 

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^ 



162 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

had been made to him, he embarked for the 
West Indies, leaving me overwhelmed with a 
grief that neither my reason, nor the hope of 
his safe return, could mitigate. Dreadful was 
that parting I Even now I cannot dwell on it. 

'^ When he was gone I wondered, and blamed 
myself for having consented to his departure. 
All the arguments and motives he had urged 
to reconcile me to the measure, seemed, now 
that he was no longer present to utter them, 
vague and dissatisfactory; and could I have 
but recalled him, never would I have permitted 
him to leave me. His departure seemed like 
a painful dream, but from which, alas I there 
was no awaking. 

** The morning alter he had sailed, when I 
awoke, I vainly put forth my hand in search of 
his. I burst into t^ars of anguish, when I 
remembered that two long and dreary years 
must elapse before I could again behold him 
to whose heart I had been so fondly pressed 
only the day before. And there was the pillow 
on which his dear head had reposed. Oh ! how 
interminable appeared the time to be got over 
Ijeforu it wf)uld again rest on itl I wished 
1 could eieep through the next two years, 
'- -^aken to welcome him back, without 

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THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. l6S 

whom life would have no longer any attractions 
for me. Every object around one reminded me 
continually of my poor Henry ; — the chair in 
which he used to sit, the table at which he 
wrote. How did my tears flow afresh, when I 
sat down to my solitary repasts, and saw his 
vacant seat I Then came the thought of how 
many tedious months must elapse before I could 
even hear from him? Days rolled on without 
rendering me more reconciled to his absence ; 
and when the evening closed in, and that I 
endeavoured to beguile the tedious hours by 
working at my needle ; how did I miss him 
who used to read aloud to me, and make me 
forget the flight of time. 

" I found some consolation in reading works 
on the West Indies, and making myself ac« 
quainted with the manners and customs of 
those with whom he was to spend so many 
months ; yet the thought of the vast distance 
that separated us was continually recurring to 
me ; and the boundless sea, with its countless 
waves rising up between us, inspired me with 
a sense of dread not to be expressed. Did the 
wind blow a little louder than usual, I trem- 
bled with terror lest it boded a coming storm ; 
and when the rain came pattering against my 

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164 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

casement, I thought that he might be exposed 
to it, and looked with sorrow at his vacant 
chair by the blazing hearth, so lately rendered 
cheerful by his presence. 

** How strange and wayward are the imagin- 
ings of love. There were moments when I 
felt with bitterness that, surrounded by new 
and exciting objects of interest, Henry might 
either cease to think of me, or lose that relish 
for his home that had hitherto formed its chief 
blessing for me. My humble abode was as a 
temple dedicated to him. Every article it con- 
tained had been selected by him, and was en- 
deared by a thousand fond recollections. Were 
it possible for me to forget him, those silent 
monitors would have recalled him to my me- 
mory, while he had nought but our Bible, a 
lock of my hair, and the sweet memory of the 
past, to remind him of me in that far and 
strange land to which every day was bearing 
him nearer. Yet there were hours in which our 
hearts must hold communion together, what- 
ever might be the distance that divided us — 
the hours of prayer at morning and night, when 
we had been wont to offer up our supplications 
to the Divinity. The Sabbath too, when we 
attended the house of God, could never be 



yGoogk 



THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. l65 

passed over without tender thought^ being 
mingled in our devotions. 

<* The consciousness of this sympathy was a 
consolation ; and ixi the hours, and on the 
occasions I have named, my beloved husband, 
though separated from me by a vast distance, 
seemed almost present to me, so certain was I 
that he too was praying while I knelt. The 
thought of our early days of love came back to 
me with vividness. Our trials, our marriage, 
and the happy days that followed it, seemed pre- 
sent to me, as if they had only recently occurred ; 
while, strange to say, it seemed as if Henry had 
been gone a whole year before half that period 
had elapsed, so long did the time of our sepa- 
ration seem. At length came a letter from him ; 
and, oh I with what joy and transport did I 
receive it ? How did my heart beat and my 
hands tremble as I broke the seal I And yet 
the reflection, that months had elapsed since 
this precious letter was written, damped my 
joy. I read it with streaming eyes, for the ex- 
pressions of tenderness with which it was filled 
renewed afresh the bitter sense of our separa- 
tion, and made the period fixed for our re-union 
seem more than ever remote. How many times 
was that precious letter read over I It was 

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166 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

placed in my bosom all day, and beneath my 
pillow at night, until another letter from the 
same dear hand arrived to replace it 

*' My parents died about this time ; my 

;i|:' mother having only survived her old and £aith- 

'^ fur partner a few weeks. They bequeathed to 

;! me a couple of hundred pounds, and left to my 

I sister Betsy, who had been wholly dependent 

ion them, the farm and stock, with one hundred 
. ,. pounds in cash. My poor sister Sarah was in 

a dying state when they were removed from this 
life, and followed them shortly after ; and she, 
having lost her only child some months before 
my father and mother, thought it right to leave 
the bulk of their fortune, not to the daughter 
they most loved, but to her who most required 
' r their aid. 

'^ The loss of my parents and sister threw a 
deep gloom over my spirits, already so depressed 
by the absence of Henry ; and while I was still 
mourning their deaths, a letter from Betsy 
reached me. She wrote, to say, that seven 
years having now elapsed since she last received 
any tidings from her unworthy husband, she 
had determined on considering him as dead, and 
on again entering the married state. 

" * I am told,' wrote she, * that when a bus- 



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THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. I67 

>aDd has been that number of years absent, 
dthout having been heard of» a wife is at liberty 
^0 marry again ; and, having found a person 
likely to render me happy, I am decided oti 
availing myself of the privilege of which I 
raly lately became aware. The person I have 
[^hosen is Mr. Macgrowler, an Irish clergyman, 
lately arrived here, and one of the finest 
preachers in the world. I may weU be proud 
[)f engaging the affections of such a man ; and, 
though, like all great men, he has got his ene- 
mies, who have left no stone unturned to pre- 
vent me from marrying him, nothing shall 
dissuade me from becoming his wife. To show 
you how superior a man he is, I send you the 
following; which letter I received from him 
this morning : — 

" * It's yourself that's a jewel of a woman ; 
and lucky enough I consider myself to have 
come to Buttermuth to have found you. Yes, 
although it may be sinful to love any thing on 
earth as I love you, I hope to obtain pardon for - 
this sin by leading you, like a lost lamb, to the 
fold from which you have so long strayed. 
Didn't I buffet Satan last night, when Doctor 
Snowgrass thried to bother me before my con- 
gregation ? * Are you in holy orthers ?' says he. 



yGpogle 



168 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

* Am I not ?' says I. ' I'd like to see the man 
that would deny it,' says I ; and with that, didn't 
I draw myself up like a king, and look at him 
as if he was nothing ? — ' Misguided man !' says 
he : • why have you left your church and your 
pastor ? Have I not been a faithful shepherd 
to my flock ?' — * Is it traiting Christians like 
sheep you'd be ?' says I : * but, faith ! that same 
doesn't surprise me ; for sure, don't ye devour 
'em?' How that sly rogue, Tom Halcomb, 
winked and laughed, and Bill Jackson enjoyed 
the joke. — * Your language convinces me that 
you are not in holy orders,* says Doctor Snow- 
grass. — * Bethershin,' ♦ says I ; •but there's many 
a one, and you have the proof of it before your 
eyes, that prefers praying in the open air with 
me, to being shut up in a close church with 
you : and as for the women, God bless them I 
I'd like to know which they prefer, you or me?' 
With that he walked off, seeing that he couldn^t 
hold up against my arguments ; and how could 
he, poor man? but that's neither here nor 
there. What I now write to you for is, to tell 
you, that the sooner you make up your mind to 
make me happy, — ay, and yourself too, — the 
better. You are, to all contents and purposes, 

* Irish for "may be so.** 

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THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. l69 

laced from your former marriage yows ; for, as 
your husband that was, has never had the 
politeness nor decency to write you a line, just 
to tell you whether he was alive or dead, during 
the last seven years, you are now free to marry 
again ; and, if he came back the week after, to 
claim you, you might turn your back on him 
and laugh in his face. We understand the law 
tin times better in Ireland than the English do ; 
so you may be sure of what I tell you. You 
say, that no clergyman here will marry us, you 
darUnt of the world I but what's to hinder us 
from going to the next county and being mar- 
ried? And, indeed, for the matter of that, 
'twill be more comfortable than being stared at 
by a parcel of fools, who, because they don't 
know the law, think you have no right to marry. 
Once you are the reverend Mrs. Macgrowler, 
you may laugh in your sleeve at the ignorant 
spalpeens. I'm coming to take a sociable bit 
of supper with you to-night — ^you jewel of a 
woman I Don't put yourself to any expense or 
throuble on account of that same. A roast 
goose, stuffed with potatoes and onions, will do 
very well ; but, mind you don't forget what I 
tould you, about the manner of boiling the 
potatoes.' 

VOL. !• I 

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170 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

*^ An attempt had been made to efface the 
next paragraph of Macgrowler's letter, but it 
had not succeeded, for a request for the loan of 
five pounds was still discernible. I lost not a 
moment in writing to my poor imprudent sister, 
to warn her against the folly and sin she was 
about to commit, and to assure her that she 
would render herself liable to an action for 
bigamy; if she persisted in carrying her project 
into effect} but, alas I my advice was disre- 
garded, and a letter from an old friend of my 
father's soon after informed me, that my unfor- 
tunate sister, after having disposed of every 
thing she possessed, had left Buttermuth with 
Macgrowler, with the avowed intention of being 
married at the first place where they could get 
the ceremony performed. 

" Ten days after this intelligence I was dis- 
agreeably surprised by the arrival of my sister 
and Macgrowler. They came in a hackney- 
coach, and I heard him coolly order the driver 
to bring in two large boxes from it. — •This, 
sister, is my husband,^ said Betsy, pointing to 
Macgrowler, who approached with open arms 
to embrace me, but I drew back, and said, that 
I could not receive him as such, and must there- 
fore Request him to withdraw. 



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THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 171 

" * Aragh I would you be for going between a 
woman and her lawful husband ? ' said h^ look- 
ing at me with a face of the most unblushing 
impudence. 

<« < I cannot, sister, consent to receive this 
man beneath my roof/ said I ; ' and, however 
painful to my feelings it may be to say so, you 
cannot take up your abode here with him. 
Should you ever want a roof to shelter you, 
and that you forsake your sinful companion- 
ship, you will find me willing to comfort and 
console you.' 

" * Why, you surely can't be so inhospitable 
as to refuse to receive my wife and I for a few 
days?' said Ma<^owler, assuming an artful 
leer, that increased my disgust for him. 

*' * I am surprised, sister,' interrupted Betsy, 
* that you can refuse to acknowledge my hus- 
band, when under this same roof you lodged 
my first husband and me when we visited 
London?' 

*' ' I refuse to receive this person, because I 
know he is not legally your husband,' replied 
L My sister now got very angry ; called me 
unkind, unnatural, and ungrateful ; and Mac- 
growler, perceiving that I was not to be talked 
into receiving him as a guest, told me I ought 

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172 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

to be ashamed of myself for being so unnatural 
a sister. 

" • Come away, Mrs. Macgrowler,' said he, 
* and don't be after wasting your breath in talk- 
ing to her. There's plenty of lodgings to be 
had in Lunnon. Hackney-coachman I hackney- 
coachman I come here man alive, and take back 
the boxes to the coach.' 

" While this scene occurred, the garden-gate 
had been left open, and a beggar woman, with 
four half-naked children at her heels, and twins 
in her arms, had entered, and were now close 
to my door, imploring charity. No sooner had 
the poor woman heard the voice of Macgrowler, 
than rushing forward, she seized him by the 
arm, looked anxiously in his face, and bursting 
into a fit of tears, she exclaimed, throwing her- 
self on her knees, ' Oh I then God in his mercy 
be thanked, for He has heard my prayers and 
granted them. Is'n't it my own Thomash that 
I have found at last? Down on your marrow- 
bones, childer, sure here's your father : praise 
be to His holy name that led me to this spot 
Ah I cuishla-ma-chree I sure it's your own poor 
Judy that came over all the way across the say* 
to look for you ; and here's the two bucka leeni 

• Sea. t Fair Boys. 

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THE LOTTEEY OF LIFE. 173 

bawns that God sent me while you were away. 
Look at the crathurs I sure they're the living 
image of your own purty self, my own jewel of 
a husband. But you don't say a word to me» 
— ^nor so much as give me^ a kiss — ^nor look at 
the twins I've brought you, though sure any 
father might be proud of 'em I And now I see if, 
how finely dressed you are — arragh, Thomash ! 
what's come to you, and where have you been 
80 long?' 

" * The woman is mad,' said Macgrowler, * I 
never saw her before in all my bom days.' 

" * Never saw your own lawful wife, and the 
mother of your six living childer, and the 
two blessed angels that are in heaven I — Oh, 
Thomash, Thomash I — avoumeen. Can you 
put this shame on your own poor Judy?' and 
the poor woman wept in agony. 

" * Daddy, daddy,' said the two elder boys, 
who now fully recognized their father, and who 
rushed up to embrace him, while the little girls i|f 

dung to their mother, and began to cry. 

"*Come, my dear,' said Macgrowler, his 
&ce flushed to crimson, * come away.' 

'' * Let go my husband, woman, and call away 
these troublesome brats,' said my sister. 

" * Your husband! i/our husband 1' repeated 



y Google 



174^ THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

the poor Irish woman, ^ then God forgive yon 
for telling such a story, and pardon him who 
stands by unmoved to hear it. Oh, Thomash 
O'Gallogher I is it mad or deceitful you are to 
deny your own lawful wife and childer, and in a 
foreign land I — ^the heart of me will break, that's 
what it will, — ogh hone I ogh hone I' and she 
sobbed in uncontrollable anguish. 

'* Macgrowler attempted to pass her, but she 
seized his knSes with desperation with one hand, 
while with the other she clasped the twins to 
her bosom. Her cries, and those of the chil* 
dren, attracted a crowd around the door, among 
which were two policemen, who entered the 
house and demanded the cause of the dis^^ 
turbance ? 

« < Take up that nasty beggar and her brats^' 
said my sister, * and send them to prison. This 
is the Reverend Mr. Macgrowler, the great 
preacher, and my husband.' 

" * Yes,' said Macgrowler, * I'm one of the 
dargy, and this lady is my wife,' 

*' ^ Don't believe him, gentlemen, don't be- 
lieve him,' exclaimed the poor Irish woman. 
' His name is Tom O'Gallogher, and he's my 
lawful husband and the father of these six poor 
children, and of two more that lie buried in the 



dbyGoogk 



THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 175 

churchyard of Killballyowen. Oh I little did I 
think that when we both knelt over their graves 
and shed our tears together, that he'd deny the 
mother that bore them;' and here her sobs 
impeded her utterance. 

"It was evident that Macgrowler's better 
feelings were excited by this appeal ; for his 
lip quivered, and his eyes became moistened, 
and I observed that he no longer tried to shake 
off the two sturdy, half-naked, but good Jooking 
boys, that held the skirts of his coat, and kept 
crying ' Daddy, avoumeen, daddy I' 

•• • Why don't you take up that troublesome 
mad woman^ and free my husband from these 
dirty boys?' demanded my sister. 

'* ' There's no occasion in life to hurt the 
poor woman or the children,' interposed Mac- 
growler, when he saw one of the policemen 
somewhat roughly endeavouring to force the 
woman to release himself 'from her grasp, while 
the other was pulling away the boys. 

" < Here's my certificate, that I have kept in 
my bosom night and day ever since I left Kill- 
ballyowen,' said the woman, drawing forth a 
small leather bag, in which was a certificate of 
her marriage, and a crooked sixpence with a 
hole in it — ^ Arraghl look there, Thomash, the 

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176 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

last gift you ever gave me when you were going 
away to England for the harvest. Many is the 
time since then that these poor children and I 
have wanted the bit and the sup, but I'd never 
part with this crooked sixpence.' 

^* One of the policemen read the certificate 
aloud^ and then asked the woman whether she 
knew any one in London that could identify her 
husband?' 

" * Sure, I never was in Lunnon in all my 
bom days,' replied she. *I came over from 
Ireland to look for my husband, when I could 
no longer bear the trouble that was breaking 
my heart, when aU the other boys that went 
over for the harvest, came back, bringing their 
earnings to their families, and brought no news 
of him. I've been thrying to keep life and 
soul together, by earning a little at the hop- 
gathering, always hoping that I would see or 
hear of him^ about whom I was thinking night 
and day, and was now on my way to Lunnon, 
though afraid to find myself and these poor 
crethurs in such an over-grown place. When 
I heard his voice (and the sound of it went 
through my dark heart like a flash of lightning, 
making it as bright as day) calling out * hack- 
ney-coachman, hackney-coachman.' Hardened 

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THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 177 

as was Macgrowler, his countenance underwent 
many changes, as he listened to the artless 
statement of the poor woman. 

" * Is there no mark by which you could 
identify your husband?' asked one of the po- 
licemen, with a magisterial air. 

" * Fifty — fifty marks,' replied the woman. 
Would'nt I know the roguish eyes, and the 
pretty forehead, and the curly hair, and the 
laughing mouth, and the nate limbs of him, 
among a thousand ?' 

'< ' I don't mean that,' said the policeman, 
* but has he no particular mark ?' 

** * Yes, to be sure he has — one of his teeth, 
at the right side of his mouth, is broken. It 
was a blow from Pat Droleghan, which knocked 
the dhudeen* hewas smoking, against the tooth, 
and broke it, and mad enough I was when it 
happened I ' 

'' * Allow me to examine your teeth,' said the 
poUceman. 

*' * Certainly sir, certainly ; with all the plea- 
sure in life.' 

" * Why, the woman is right enough, here 
is a broken tooth I ' exclaimed the policeman. 

* A short pipe. 

i3 



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178 tAe lottery op life. 

'* * O I yes, I broke it eating nuts/ said 
Macgrowler. 

" ^ And he has a large mole at the back of 
his neck, under his cravat,' said the woman, a 
piece of intelligence that brought a blush of 
crimson to the cheek of Macgrowler. 

*< < Let me see your neck, sir,' asked the 
policeman. 

'< < It is'n't very agreeable for a gentleman 
to be obliged to take off his neckcloth,' said 
Macgrowler, hesitating. 

*< * But it is not very agreeable for a gentle- 
man to be sent to Botany Bay for bigamy/ 
observed the policeman ; ' so I advise you to 
show your neck at once.' 

" No sooner had Macgrowler put his hand 
up to untie his cravat, than the woman stopped 
the movement, and turning to the policeman, 
demanded * whether a man could really be 
transported for bigamy?' 

<* * Certainly, nothing could save him,' an- 
swered he. She gave a deep sigh, her eyes be- 
came suffused with tears, and her lips quivered, 
as she earnestly gazed at Macgrowler. 

** * Now gentlemen,' said she, * that I have 
looked again, and closely examined him (whom 



dbyGoogk 



THE LOTTEEY OF LIFE. 179 

I took to be my husband) more attentively, I 
find I was mistaken. I am sorry/ and her voice 
became choked by her deep emotion, Uhat I 
have given so much trouble, but the gentleman 
need not take off his cravat, I am convinced 
he's not my husband/ 

" The effort was too much for the poor crea- 
ture, and she fell fainting at the feet of Aim, for 
whose safety she had resigned her rights. The 
children began crying, and kissing their poor 
mother, whose temples I chafed with cold water, 
while the twins were placed on a sofa. 

*• Macgrowler, no longer able to control his 
feelings, tore himself from the grasp of my 
sister, who endeavoured, but in vain, to restrain 
him, rushed forward, and threw himself on his 
knees by the side of the fainting woman, whom 
he pressed with frantic fondness to his heart, 
exclaiming, ' Judy, O I my own dear Judy, have 
I killed you by my cruelty? Is'n't it myself 
that's a baste to deny my own lawful wife, and 
pretend never to have seen her before ? Arragh I 
oome to yourself, ma voumeen,* my darlint, 
and I'll declare in the face of all the world, that 
if s yourself that's my only true and rightful 
wife.' The poor Irish woman opened her eyes, 

• My dear. 



d by Google j 

i 

V. i 



180 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

and fixed them, for a moment, with a glance 
of unutterable tenderness on the face of her 
husband. She then put her hand to her brow, 
as if to recall her bewildered thoughts, and 
after a moment's reflection, turned to the police- 
men and said — 

" * Gentlemen, don't believe what he says ; 
he's mistaken, indeed he is, and doesn't know 
what he says. That lady there,' pointing to my 
sister/ is his wife ^ sure its easily seen, for look 
how well dressed both he and she are, while 
Tm only a poor crethur, that being light-headed 
from fatigue and sorrow, made a grate mistake, 
and have given a terrible sight of trouble, for 
which I ax pardon.' 

" * Judy, my own darlint Judy I its no use to 
deny the truth ; if the gallows was before me, 
and I richly desarve it, I'd never again be such 
a wild baste as to deny you. You are my wife, 
my thrue and only wife ; and if you'll forgive me 
this time, I'll never lave you again while I live.' 

" * Then you acknowledge that you have 
committed bigamy ?' said one of the policemen. 
'You are also his wife, ma'am, are you not?' 
continued the man, turning to my sister. 

" * To be sure I am,' answered she, looking 
very much confused. 



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* N: 



THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 181 

told you SO, — ^gentlemen, I told you so/ 
3 poor Irish womaa. 
[e's my husband, and must come with 
id my sister. 

dvil a foot, Mrs. Macgrowler ; and for the 
of that, you know right well, that though 
ins hare been three times called, I have 
put off the ceremony ; for, bad as I am, 
science tould me it would be a shame to til 

lu in.' 

Ih I you vile shocking man,' exclaimed 
er, bursting into a fit of hysterical weep- 
But 111 have the law against you, that's 
'11 do.' 

ure, if I had married you, you might do 
me ; but as I have not, and as you can't 
A I have not behaved civil and genteel 
all the time, it's not over decent in you 
1 your teeth when you can't bite. And 
idy, ma voumeen, before all this genteel 
ly, I'll tell you the truth. When I was 
ig of going back to Ireland with my earn- 
er the harvest sure I got the typhus faver, 
ile I was down in it and out of my mind, 
1 people about me took every farthing I 

the world. A field-preacher, who I 
r chance, took pity on me. His name 



dbyGoogk 



1 82 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

was Macgrowler, and he had a great charactei 
for fine preaching. Well, he assisted me, and 
behaved very charitable, but he caught the 
faver from me, and it carried him off. As w( 
were both strangers in the little village when 
he died, sure a thought came into my head, aD( 
I tould the people he was my uncle ; and aftei 
giving him a dacent wake, and burying bin 
genteelly, I took possession of his clothes aD( 
his watch, and a couple of pounds that was lef 
after all expences were paid. And then it cam^ 
into my head, that as I had taken every thinj 
belonging to him, I'd take his name and ton 
preacher myself. There's nothing easier ii 
life than to turn field-preacher, for a man ha 
only to get up on a table, and threaten all tb 
people with the divil ; and throw up one's arm 
and get into a passion, and they'll sware he's 
wonderful preacher. Well, I tried my han 
in two or three little villages and had gren 
success ; that is, the people flocked round m 
and listened, and said it was a fine discourse 
but the money came very slowly, and I though 
to myself, sure if things go on this way, I'll b 
a long time before I can make up a purse 1 
take back to my poor Judy and our childer/ 
<< < Sure you were always good, cuishla-ma 



yGoogk 



THB LOTTEaY OF LIFE. 183 

nterrupted Judy, quite forgetting his 
sception, and looking at him with eyes 
with affection. 

3II, then, I came to Buttermuth, and I 
reaching, and sure enough I soon got 
[x>ngregatioii, for all the idle boys and 
i crowds of women came to hear me. 
oen are mighty fond of field preachers, 
cially if they frighten 'em about Satin.* 
stations from many of 'em to dine and 
i 'em ; and faith I mighty good males 
e me, but none of 'em was so sweet on 
is lady here. She was never satisfied 
n I was at her house, and she tould 
happy she would be if she had a cler- 
ike me for a husband ; and how she 
[ood matter of money, and could by 
er stock and furniture, and the interest 
irm get a good round sum more. And, 
B used to say I was such an elegant 
% and beat the reverend Dr. Snowgrass 
3thing, which plased me grately. All 
the notion into my head, that if I could 
sr under my false name and got hould of 
money, I would be off for ould Ireland 
ute I left the church door, and make 
Judy and the childer rich for life.' 

• Sataiu 



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184 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE, 

« < Good luck to you, my dear Thomash, for 
thinking of us I' exclaimed Judy. 

** * Thinking of you, ma voumeen dheelishi 
Sure then it's the rale love I bore^ou, that put it 
into my head to decave this lady. But she can't 
say I ever took the laste advantage of her, ex- 
cept persuading her, that as her husband was 
seven years away without writing to her, she 
might marry again. And when the business 
come to the point, I couldn't for the life of me 
bring myself to marry her, but put it off from 
day to day; and here she is, as innocent of 
any harm from me as the day I first clapped 
my two good-looking eyes on her, and she has 
lost nothing except one five-pound note which 
she lent me, and which I sint off to Killbally- 
owen the same day to my poor Judy.' 

** * Oghl then 'tis yourself that's the moral 
of a rale good husband,' murmured Judy. 

« < You are a wicked deceiver, that's what 
you are I' sobbed my sister, *and you have made 
me spend ever so much money in feasting you 
in different public-houses.'^ 

** * Is it me, you crethur of the world ? It's 
no such thing; for I often tould jou, that I'd 
rather have a good dish of potatoes and a rasher 
of bacon, with a bottle of the mountain dew. 

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THE LOTTKRT OF LIFE. 185 

the true Inishowen, than all them dainties you 
were so fond of. Wasn't it yourself that was 
always ordhering fat pullets, and geese, and 
ducks, and porther, and strong ale, in spite 
of all my good advice ; and faith ! to tell the 
truth, you ate and drank more of 'em than 
ever I did.' 

** * You vile ungrateful man I I'm only sorry 
that you had not married me, that I might 
punish you for bigamy,' said my sister, still 
weeping. 

^* ' God forgive you, ma'am, for such a 
wicked wish ; for sure, instead of being angry 
at having escaped the sin into which you might 
have tumbled had Thomash married you, you 
ought to thank God, ay, be my troth, and 
Thomash too, that you're free from sin, though 
not free from folly; for sure it was not sin- 
nble, no, nor decent either, to lave your home 
and kin with a stranger, and go thravelling 
around the country without being married.' 

" There was so much good sense in this re- 
proof, that all who were present, except the 
person to whom it was directed, acknowledged 
its justice; and I, greatly interested in favour 
of the poor Irish woman, presented her with a 
couple of guineas, for which she was most 

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186 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

gratefal, and then advised her and her hue- 
band to depart. They took leave, offering me 
many thanks and blessings; but before they 
left the house, Judy expressed her conviction, 
that what was faulty in the conduct of her 
husband, originated solely in his affection for 
her and ' the childer;' though, as she said, 
those who did not know his good heart as well 
as she did, might not think he had taken the 
best mode of showing it, in intending to marry 
another woman. 

** Imprudent and absurd as had been the 
conduct of my sister, I could not but pity the 
humiliating position in which she was now 
placed ; and yet I confess, I felt no desire that 
a person whose habits and tastes were so wholly 
opposed to mine, should take up her abode be- 
neath my roof. It is a great trial for a sister 
to be compelled to renounce all companionship 
with one so nearly allied by the ties of kindred ; 
one who has been cradled in infancy in the 
same arms, who has slumbered on the same 
pillow, who has shared the same innocent 
sports, and the same childish sorrows. The 
memory of those days of infancy and girlhood 
come back to reproach me for the alienation 
of which I felt conscious, but of which good 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



THE LOTTEET OF LIFE. 187 

sense dictated the necessity. These tender 
roniniscences of the past pleaded in my heart 
against the whispers of judgment and eiperi- 
eno^ and induced me to speak words of conso^ 
lation to my sister, who still continued to weep. 

*' ' It's no use to preach to me after this 
fashion,' said she ; ' it's easy to talk, but hard to 
practice; and any woman, who has feeling, 
would find it hard to live alone, without a hus* 
band to canre a joint of meat for one, or to help 
to blow up the servants when they require it. 
But I am yery peckish — fretting always makes 
me hungry; so, the sooner you have dinner the 
better. I should like to have a beef-steak with 
some fried onions, and a bit of Cheshire cheese 
after; and, mind you don't forget to order some 
treble-X ale.' 

'' I was hardly less surprised than disgusted 
at the free and easy style in which my sister 
issued her orders, while yet weeping over her 
disappointed matrimonial hopes and projects ; 
but I, nevertheless, sent out for the articles she 
wished for. 

" When she ascended to the room prepared 
to receive her, her first exclamation, on entering 
it was, * Well, this chamber is precisely as it 
was when my poor dear first husband shared 

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188 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

it with me. And there, I tow, is the same 
little table, on which he used to place a glass 
of biltndy and water, to be ready, in case I felt 
thirsty in the night. He had many good points, 
poor man I wis an excellent carver, which is an 
essential thing in a husband ; and could brew 
the best punch I ever tasted. He was a great 
loss to me ; and all I have to reproach his me- 
mory with is, the having spoilt his children so 
much, that their doings destroyed my happiness 
with my second husband ; compelled him to seek 
pleasure at the public-house instead of being 
comfortable at home with me ; and, in the end^ 
drove him out of the country, leaving me in the 
most painful situation in which any woman can 
be placed, that is, without the absolute certainty 
of a husband's death.' 

" * Surely you cannot wish to have this cer- 
tainty ?' said I, * if, as you say, you really like 
your husband ?' 

*< * I would not wish him dead if he was with 
me, and contributing to my happiness,' replied 
my sister ; ^ but, if he really is alive, as I may 
never see him again, would it not be more satis- 
factory to me to hear of his death? for then I 
could marry openly at Buttermuth without the 
spiteful neighbours making a fuss about it, or 

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THE LOTTEEY OF LIFE. 189 

Doctor Snowgrass protesting against it. A lone 
woman's position is, to me, a most disagreeable 
one ; some people may like it,' and she glanced 
somewhat malicioasly at me ; ' but then it must 
be those who have had the misfortune to be 
married to half-dead and alive men, that have 
been pinned down to their desks all day, and 
who come home in the evening, so tired, that 
they have not spirits to eat, drink and enjoy 
themselves.' 

•• Dinner being served, we sat down to table; 
and when the covers were removed, and the 
beef-steak and potatoes alone met the gaze of 
my sister, she gave a look of such utter disap- 
pointment, that I could scarcely refrain from 
smiling. 

" • I hope there's another beef-steak on the 
gridiron ?* said she. 

" * There will be quite enough for us,* 
answered I ; ' for I am a little eater.' 

<* * That may be ; but I have a good appetite, 
I can tell you, and especially whenever I have 
fretted ; and I've been so cut up to-day, that 
I'm as peckish as possible. Your servant doesn't 
know how to send up a beef-steak with fried 
onions, I can tell you. They should be served 
with plenty of butter, and all on the same dish. 

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190 THE LOTTERY OP LIFE. 

instead of having the onions on a separate 
plate.' 

** Observing that I did not help myself to any 
onions, she could not forbear expressing her 
wonder at my want of taste. 

** * Ah I if you had been married to either of 
my husbands, you'd have liked onions as well 
as I do/ said she : ' a beef-steak is not worth 
a farthing without them ; and I never can eat 
one without thinking of both of them, the onions 
reminds me of 'em so much. Do you know 
that this porter is but poor washy stuff? Pm 
sure your servatit did not ask for the three X's. 
But surely you're not done eating already ? for 
my part, I have not half dined. Poor John 
used to say — ay, and for the matter of that, so 
used my last husband too^ that it was a plea- 
sure to sit down to meals with me, for they 
never had to eat alone, as I kept than company 
with the knife and fork as long as th^ could 
eat. I hate a dinner without a man, for I'm 
sociable like. Have you got any pickled onions 
in the house ?' 

** When informed that I had not, she shook 
her head, and said, ' what I no pickles of any 
sort?' 

" * Na' 



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THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 191 ' 

" • Well, that is extraordinary. I hope you 
have not forgot the Cheshire cheese ?' 

" ' Its lucky you are a little eater/ resumed 
she, as the last firagment of a very large beef- 
steak disappeared from the dish, 'for if you 
had a natural appetite, there would not have 
been half enough.' 

'* A pancake was now brought up, on see* 
ing which, my sister, without any ceremony, 
ordered another to be prepared, and then asked 
for some brandy and sugar to make sauce for it.' 
** * What I no brandy in the house ?' said she 
lifting up her hands and eyes. * Well, I can't 
say you understand much about comfort. Send 
out the girl for some, and you may as well 
order a bottle, for I always take a glass or two 
of strong punch after dinner. No wonder you 
look so pale and keep so thin, when you drink 
nothing but water ; you should follow my ex- 
ample, and you'd find yourself aU the better 
for it, I can tell you, and much more sociable 
too.' 



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192 



CHAPTER IX. 

** Never did an eyening pass off so heavily, as 
that which followed the dinner I have just 
described. 

<< * Have you no neighbours to drop in and 
play a game of cards?' asked my sister. On 
being told that I never played cards, she could 
not restrain her astonishment 

'* * And how do you get through the even- 
ing?' demanded she. 

** * I read, work, or write,' answered !• 

" * Well, some people have such odd ways,' 
observed she. ^ What a relief it must be to your 
husband to see a little life in foreign parts, and 
how dull it will be for him to come back here.' 

'< The tea-things had not been removed 
more than an hour, when, althojogh she had 
eaten a plentiful supply of bread and butter 

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THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 193 

with her tea, she declared that she felt so 
hungry, that she must have a bit of something 
for supper. 

*' < A rasher of bacon and a couple of eggs — 
a welch rabbit, or any other light matter,' she 
said would do. * Whenever I make a poor din- 
ner,' added she, * I am obliged to have supper, 
or I can't close my eyes at night.' 

** My servant wholly unaccustomed to such 
demands, and my larder ill provided to meet 
them, a compliance with those of my sister was 
productive of much embarrassment in my little 
household. It being dark, my young woman 
was afraid to venture out alone in search of the 
articles required to furnish a meal, and I really 
felt unwilling to send her out at so unseasonable 
an hour. 

*' * O I for the matter of that, rather than go 
to bed with an empty stomach — (though how it 
could be empty after the quantity I had seen 
her devour, I could not imagine) — I will go out 
myself to buy what is wanted.' 

** In spite of my representations of the im- 
propriety of exposing herself to insult or annoy- 
ance in the streets, unprotected, at such an hour, 
she put on her doak and bonnet, and sallied 
forth, leaving me alarmed and ashamed at her 

VOL. I. K 

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194 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

inconsiderate proceedings. She had been absent 
nearly two hours, during which time, I really 
felt terrified lest some unpleasant adventure had 
occurred to her, in a neighbourhood so lonely 
as that in which my dwelling was placed, when 
I heard loud yoices, among which hers could 
be distinguished, and sundry knocks at the gate 
of the little garden in front of my house. I 
trembled from head to foot, while my senrant, 
not less alarmed than myself, unlocked the hall- 
door. 

*' ' Keep him prisoner, I charge you,' said 
my sister. < At your peril I charge you not to 
let him go. A young villain to rob me of the 
provisions I had just bought.' 

*• The door being opened, I beheld two or 
three policemen, two of whom held a young lad 
by the arms, while he was crying bitterly, and 
entreating to be liberated. 

" * Keep him in custody ; the young dog shall 
be punished if it costs me five pounds, that he 
shall,' said my sister. 

** * But we have found no stolen articles upon 
him,' observed one of the policemen. 

<< < Because he threw them away, the young 
robber, but I'll make him repent it, that I wilL' 

** ^ Let me go, for God sake let me go I' 

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THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 105 

exclaimed the weeping boy. ' I have not tasted 
food these two days, and have not a farthing in 
the world, nor a roof to shelter me.' 

" * Serve you right, you young thief I Mind, 
policeman, I'll have justice, cost what it may. A 
pretty pass, indeed, things are come to, if a 
respectable woman like me can't step out to 
buy a morsel of supper without being robbed.' 

** * I never meant to rob her, indeed I did 
not,' sobbed the boy. ' I only told her I was 
starving, and begged her to give me some- 
thing in charity. She began to scold me^ 
and I, grown desperate with hunger, made a 
snatch at the sausage in her hand, when she 
threw away the things she held, and caught 
fest hold of me, crying out until the police 
came up.' 

« * You see the young rogue confesses that he 
attempted to rob me, therefore you must keep 
him prisoner,' said my sister. 

<* I now advanced into the garden, and en- 
treated her to let the unhappy youth be libe- 
rated, seeing that he was driven by starvation 
to make the attempt to seize the food. 

'* * ril do no such thing, the law shall take its 
course,' replied she : ' as sure as my name is 
Betsy Thomson ['U prosecute the thief.' 

Kg 

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196 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

^* * Oh I mother, mother,' exclaimed the boy, 

* forgive me, forgive me I * 

** * Bring him up to the lamp,' said my sister, 

* that I may see his face.* 

" * Ah I mother, I wish I had never left But- 
termuth,' sobbed the poor boy, *and I never 
would, only that stepfather was always a beating 
me.* 

" * *Tis he, sure enough,* said my sister, * and 
a pretty business he has made of it ; but he was 
always a good-for-nothing chap, and I was iii 
hopes I was rid of him.' 

" * Well, dang my buttons I if ever 1 seed such 
an hunnatural mother in all my bom days,* said 
one of the policemen. 

** * No, nor I neither,' said the other. 

'' * I entreat you to let this unfortunate boy 
go,' said I to the policeman, slipping at the same 
time a five-shilling piece into his hand, * his 
mother can no longer wish you to detain him.* 

•* * But 1 will not take charge of him, that I 
won't,' said she. • 1*11 never be hampered any 
more with children ; and as for this scape- 
grace* 

" * Oh I mother have pity on me,* sobbed the 
boy. 

*^ My heart was melted : I took the unfortu- 

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THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 197 

nate youth by the hand, led him into the house, 
the policeman making no objection, and eyen 
my servant was touched to tears, while the 
unnatural mother was wholly unmoved. He 
devoured some bread with a voraciousness that 
proved he had been famishing ; and he was so 
thin, that he was almost reduced to a skeleton. 
I had a bed prepared for him, in spite of the 
fears openly expressed in his presence by his 
mother, that he would rob the house during the 
night i and my servant, previous to his taking 
possession of it, supplied him with soap and 
warm water in the scullery, to remove the dirt 
with which he was begrimed. I was obliged 
to ask my sister to cease uttering the bitter 
reproaches with which she overwhelmed him, 
and which drew tears from him. 

*' ' I told you,' said she ' before you took him 
out of the hands of the police, that I would not 
take charge of him, so now you must be answer- 
able for him, and a troublesome job you will 
have, I can teU you.' 

" When I left my chamber the next morning, 
I discovered that my sister had taken her de- 
parture. She had written me a few lines, say- 
ing that the sight of her graceless son was so 
painful to her, that she could not remain under 

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198 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

the same roof with him ; and that she might 
hear no more of him, she would not furnish me 
with her address. She hoped I would not have 
cause to repent my folly in taking him into the 
house; hut, if I had, I must rememher it was 
entirely contrary to her advice. 

" * The poor boy is very ill, ma'am,' said my 
servant : his head wanders, and he talks such 
wild things.' 

** I found him in a high state of delirium, 
imploring to be forgiven, and calling on his 
mother to have pity on him. I could not re- 
strain my tears, as I listened to the incoherent 
ravings of the poor boy, and marked the care- 
worn face on which starvation had made such 
ravages. I sent for a physician, who after 
attentively examining the unfortunate youth, 
declared that he could hold out no hopes of his 
recovery. A violent fever had seized him, and 
his constitution was so undermined by being so 
long exposed to the hardships and privations of 
extreme poverty, that he soon sunk under it. 
His reason was restored a few hours before he 
breathed his last He looked around in vain 
for his mother, and besought me to implore her 
forgiveness for him. All that kindness could 
effect to soothe his last hgurs was done for him» 

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THE LOTTERY OP LIFE. 199 

and his expressions of gratitude and resigna- 
tion, proved that he possessed a nature on which 
kind treatment would have produced the hap* 
piest result, had life been spared him. I saw 
him consigned to a humble grave, close to that 
which held my own lost child, and was thank- 
ful that his last hours were passed beneath a 
friendly roof, and his eyes closed by an aunt's 
hands. 

*' Slowly did the time pass, my dear Richard, 
and anxiously did I count it during the first 
year's absence of my husband. Every ship that 
left Barbadoes brought me letters from him, 
breathing affection and impatience to return to 
me ; but fresh difficulties were presented every 
day to the final arrangement of the business 
that had taken him there, and I experienced 
all the sickness of heart produced by hope de- 
ferred, as the period of our re-union was from 
month to month protracted. I heard nothing 
of my sister, and my recollections of her were 
so fraught with pain, that I prayed I might see 
her no more, unless it pleased the Almighty to 
vouchsafe to change her heart. 

'< Henry had frequently mentioned in his 
letters, having formed a friendship with a Mr. 
Herbertson, a rich merchant at Barbadoes, who 

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200 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE, 

pleased with his society, had shown him the 
utmost hospitality and kindness. This friend, 
an old bachelor, without any near relations, 
proposed to take Henry into partnership in his 
business, and even talked of making him his 
heir, if, after a longer intimacy, he continued 
to like him as well as he then did. 

"* These offers, however tempting,' wrote 
Henry, * I should not think myself justified 
in accepting, until I had perfectly wound up 
the complicated affisdr that has brought me 
here, and return to England to close all ac- 
counts with the firm in Mincing -lane, from 
whom I have experienced such good treat- 
ment When this is accomplished, I will, if you 
my dear Lucy, have no objection, avail myself 
of Mr. Herbertson's kind intentions in my 
favour, and conduct you to the West Indies, 
where such an unexpected and brilliant pros- 
pect opens itself to us.' 

^< At length a letter arrived, stating that the 
afiair on which he had been so long employed 
was finally terminated ; and that my husband^s 
passage was taken in the first homeward-bound 
ship. How great was my joy at this intelli- 
gence, and how was my impatience for our 
meeting increased by the knowledge that a few 



dbyGoogk 



THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 201 

months must now restore him so fondly loved 
to me. I became restless and nervous from 
the moment that I knew he had embarked. 
Every breeze, however gentle, alarmed — and 
every murky cloud terrified me. If the shutter 
of my chamber moved at night, I fancied there 
was a storm, and arose in an agitation that 
precluded sleep for many hours after. 

'* At length the joyful intelligence reached 
me, that the ship in which Henry had sailed was 
arrived in the Downs, and I instantly set off 
for Portsmouth to meet him. It was a fine day 
in spring, and every object in nature looked so 
bright, that I felt as if all around sympathized 
in the happiness with which my heart was 
overflowing at the prospect of soon being 
pressed in the arms of my dear husband. Every 
mile-stone passed was noted with pleasure, as 
bringing me nearer to him I so longed to meet, 
and anticipations of delight filled my whole 
souL Arrived at Portsmouth, I hurried to the 
place indicated, and there learned that the pas- 
sengers of the Orient had disembarked a few 
hours before, and were staying at the Crown- 
hoteL I flew rather than run to that inn, and, 
breathless with joyful agitation, inquired for 
Henry. 

k3 

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202 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

" * Mr. Chatterton did you say ma'am ?' asked 
the pert-looking waiter. — * Mary Chamber- 
maid, show this lady to No. 18, the sick gea- 
tleman's room.' 

" • Sick, sick V reiterated I, with an agonj 
proportioned to the joy that only a moment 
before made my heart palpitate so quickly. 

^^ * Yes, ma'am, the gentleman was brought 
here half an hour ago, very poorly.' 

*^I clung to the banister of the stairs foi 
support, for I felt myself becoming so faint thai 
I could hardly stand, yet I made a desperate 
effort to ascend, and at length reached the dooi 
of No. 18. I trembled so violently, that th( 
chambermaid humanely lent me her arm, and 
uttered something about her hopes that the 
poor gentleman would soon get better. 

*^ It now occurred to me, that if my husbanci 
was indeed so ill as he was represented to be, 
the sight of me, without due preparation, might 
prove dangerous to him ; so I asked the cham- 
bermaid to enter the room and announce that ] 
was arrived. I heard her do this; but J 
listened in vain for the tones of that dear and 
well-known voice, and, nearly excited to mad 
ness by the fears this silence awakened, I opened 
the door and tottered into the room. There 



y Google 



THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 203 

Stretched on a bed, his face as pale as the pillow 
on which his head reposed, lay my poor Henry, 
seemingly unconscious of all that passed around 
him. I uttered no cry, though I felt ready to 
drop, but staggered towards the bed, trembling 
lest its occupant was indeed lifeless. I touched 
that emaciated hand, and he faintly opened his 
eyes, recognized me, and made an effort to rise 
and embrace me; and then, overpowered by 
the attempt, relapsed into insensibility. The 
medical man, who had been sent for previous to 
my arrival, now came, and the captain of the 
Orient soon followed. He was a kind-hearted 
man, who had taken a great interest in his 
unfortunate passenger, and who had done all 
that lay in his power for him. He told me, 
that the rupture of a blood-vessel in the chest, 
occasioned by violent sea-sickness, had reduced 
my husband to his present weak state ; and he 
tried to encourage those hopes of his recovery, 
that it was but too evident to me that the 
doctor, who was present, did not authorize. 
Alasl a few hours justified my worst fears. 
Henry breathed his last before ten o'clock that 
night, without ever being able to utter a word, 
or even to show that he was conscious of my 
presence. How fearful was the transition, from 

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204 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

the joyful anticipations of the morning to the 
overwhelming grief of that night I Even now, 
though so many years have since passed, I 
cannot think of it without tears." And here 
poor Mrs. Chatterton wept hitterly. 

** I spent the next day in a stupor of grief, that 
left me helpless and hopeless. Incapahle of 
acting or reflecting, I was alive only to the con- 
sciousness of the overwhelming hlow that had so 
unexpectedly crushed me, when I was indulging 
in blissful anticipations of the future. And there 
lay the object, on which every hope of happiness 
had rested, cold and motionless, insensible to the 
agony I was enduring ; the pale and rigid face 
seemed to mock the anguish that filled my soul, 
and chilled my burning lips as I pressed them 
to that marble brow, over which my tears fell 
unheeded. And was it thus my Henry was 
restored to me, after nearly three long and 
weary years of absence, cheered only by the 
prospect of his return? I addressed him by 
the fondest epithets, as if he could hear the 
words of afiection that were once so soothing 
to his ear, and I almost expected to see those 
pale and rigid lips move to answer my passionate 
ejaculations. That was a dreadful day I The 
bright sun came streaming into the windows. 



dbyGoogk 



THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 205 

and its beams fell on that still, cold brow, 
rendering it even more ghastly. I shut out 
the light, whose splendour formed such a con- 
trast with the darkness that filled my soul, 
and I turned with loathing from the sounds of 
laughter, and the music of a hand-organ in the 
street, angered that sunshine or gaiety should 
exist, while he on whose life my every hope of 
happiness rested, was sleeping in death, and 
could never more enjoy either. Night brought 
better thoughts. In the silence and dim light 
of the chamber of death, I could pray for the 
resignation hitherto denied me ; and as I knelt 
by the bed on which all that remained to me of 
him so fondly loved rested, I felt that in prayer 
must I henceforth alone seek for consolation, 
imtil summoned to join him, ' where the wicked 
cease from troubling, and the weary are at rest.' 
" Never had 1 experienced the efficacy of 
prayer as on that night. Now that all hope 
of happiness here had forsaken me, I looked 
beyond the grave to find it by a reunion with 
my lost Henry and our child, and dwelt with 
satisfaction on the reflection of the brevity of 
life, and the frail tenure of that existence which 
now separated me from the loved and lost. I 
could not then think it possible that a long life 

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206 THE LOTTERY OP LIFE. 

could be lent me when deprived of all that made 
it desirable, and dreamt not that I should live 
to be the old woman you now see, and who 
calmly relates the trials that then filled her 
heart with such intense grief. 

** How strange and inscrutable is the human 
heart! mine, in its agony, shrimk at the idea 
of bearing the load of existence — become so 
oppressive by the loss of him I loved. Yet, 
now that age has deadened its feelings, and 
blunted its sensibility, — when I have outlived 
nearly all the friends of my youth and maturity, 
— I can look forward with satisfaction to a pro- 
tracted span of life, though subjected to all the 
infirmities from which old age is never exempt. 

** I experienced the utmost kindness from the 
hostess of the inn and her husband, and on the 
second day after the demise of my poor hus- 
band, I attended his remains to their last sad 
resting-place, and saw them placed by the side 
of our boy and my poor nephew. How solemn 
was the service read over him I Every word of 
it was impressed on my memory. Never can I 
forget the pang that shot through my heart as 
the first shovel-full of earth fell on his coffin. 
It seemed as if now indeed we were separated 
for ever, and a fresh sense of my bereavement 



dbyGoogk 



THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 207 

was experienced. As the earth closed over the 
coffin, until the last hit of it was hid from my 
aching sight, I bent forward loth to part from 
it ; and then exhausted by my sorrow, I sank 
on a low tomb near his grave, unable to tear 
myself from the spot. How it jarred my nerves 
to overhear the common-place conversation of 
the men employed in completing the grave I I 
felt indignation mingle with my grief that they 
could thus talk and jest, while I was over- 
whelmed with sorrow ; but when one of them 
broke into a popular song, I could support my 
vicinity to them no longer, and with trembling 
limbs and a breaking heart, I hurried to the 
coach that was waiting for me, casting many a 
glance behind at the mound of earth that 
covered the remains of him so dear to me. 

** When I entered my home again, — that home 
80 lately left with joyful anticipation of meeting 
with my poor Henry, and of returning to it 
with him, — ^how great was my anguish I Pre- 
viously to leaving town, I had taken out his 
clothes, and had them carefully brushed. His 
linen was placed on clothes-horses, for the 
purpose of being aired. His hat and gloves 
were on the commode ; and his writing apparatus 
all arranged by my own hands, to be ready for 

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208 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

his use when we arrived, met my sight ; while 
he^ for whom these fond preparations had been 
so lately made, — where was he ? Those only 
who have been in a similar situation can ima- 
gine the vivid emotions caused by beholding 
the apparel, or objects used by the loved and 
lost. The shock occasioned by the death seems 
renewed, and yet there are moments, when look- 
ing at these well-known articles, that one doubts 
that he to whom they belonged is indeed gone 
for ever. How passionately did I press them 
to my lips, and bedew them with my fast falling 
tears I How vain and empty sounded the trite 
words of consolation uttered by my servant ! I 
felt almost angry at her well-meaning but use- 
less attempt to comfort me, and sought my bed 
that I might avoid her presence. And there 
were the two pillows arranged. Oh I you know 
not — you cannot know what I experienced on 
seeing them, and yet I would not have the one, 
formerly used by him, removed for all the world ; 
and even still that pillow is always placed next 
to mine, and my head will rest on it in the 
grave. 

" You are young, Mr. Richard, and as yet 
have had no troubles, so you cannot know the 
tenderness with which a bereaved heart clings ' 

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THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 209 

to aught that reminds one of happier days. 
I am rich in relics, sacred as having belonged 
to himi and though valueless to others, I would 
not part with them for treasures that might 
tempt many a stately dame. 



dbyGoogk 



210 



CHAPTER X. 

*^ The firm behaved to me with the utmost 
kindness. They paid me a year's salary of 
my poor Henry, and the housekeeper who had 
presided for many years over this establish- 
ment, having soon after died, they offered me 
her vacant situation, which I have now filled 
forty-five years with satisfaction to my em- 
ployers and to myself, and I trust also to those 
who board and lodge in this establishment, and 
to whose comfort I can conscientiously say I 
have done all in my power to administer. It 
seems but as yesterday that I came here bowed 
down with grief, yet thankf al for having a home 
provided for me. 

" Time is a wonderful consoler, Mr. Richard, 
and when joined to religion can effect miracles. 
At first, I would weep for hours in my cham- 

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THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 211 

ber, and felt a melancholy pleasure in the in- 
dulgence. Nay, for months after, if but for a 
moment I forgot my sorrow and gave way to 
a smile, I used to be seized with remorse, and 
bitterly reproach myself that I could thus 
forget my poor Henry. But this weak indul- 
gence of grief proved its own remedy, for 
that which commenced in real sorrow, after a 
year or so, became a habit, and imagination 
was called in to the aid of memory to sustain 
the regret, I sinfully thought it my duty to 
keep up. 

'* Such is human natute, that we more fre- 
quently destroy grief than grief destroys us. 
We become, in the course of time, accustomed 
to the losses and privations which at first we 
deemed insupportable, and the sting is often 
removed from the heart, before the eye has 
ceased to weep. 

" As years rolled on, I learned to take an in- 
terest in the humble duties I was called on to 
discharge. I could think of other and|happier 
days, without the anguish experienced during 
my first years of widowhood, and having sur- 
rounded myself with the furniture and other 
objects that had belonged to my former abode, 
I could, when alone, summon up the memory 

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212 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE, 

of the loved and lost, recalled by the sight of 
what had been so familiar to them. I have 
met with invariable kindness from the firm, 
and with a friendly attention from the elder 
clerks. Indeed, the younger ones have not 
been uncivil, except that sometimes I have 
thought — ^but it might only be fancy — that they 
did not show the interest that might have been 
expected, to the story to which you, my dear 
young friend, have listened with such patience 
and sympathy." 

A few days after Mrs. Chatterton had nar- 
rated her simple history to me, my sister Mar- 
garet arrived in town, and took up her abode 
with that kind and excellent woman, who re- 
ceived her with the greatest cordiality. I ex- 
perienced the utmost pleasure in seeing my dear 
sister again, and felt highly gratified at finding 
the progress she had made in her education 
during my absence. Nor was I the only per- 
son to whom her presence afibrded satisfaction, 
for Messrs. Murdoch and Burton showed an 
interest in this new addition to the dinner- 
table, very pleasing to me, while the junior 
clerks became more particular in their dress, 
and appeared less anxious to escape from the 
little circle assembled round the tea-table of 



dbyGoogk 



THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 



213 



itterton of an eveniDg. I had no oc- 
counsel Margaret with respect to the 
1 which she ought to conduct herself 
he young men with whom she found 
ssociated. Nothing could be more 
»r correct than her behaviour towards 
bile, to the elderly gentlemen, she 
hat attention so becoming from the 
the old, — an attention which seemed 
oliarly gratifying to them. 

this time, my young friend Percy 
r arrived in London from Cambridge, 

wrote to request me to call on him at 
able hotel in the west-end. I hurried 
3xt morning by seven o'clock, in order 
ight be back in time for entering my 
the usual hour ; and was not a little 
1 at finding the porter of the hotel half 

his chair, and two or three yawning 
sed waiters reclining on benches in the 
^en I asked to be shown to Mr. Percy 
jr*s room, they all rubbed their eyes as 
n them, and looked at me with perfect 
ment pictured in their faces. 

Percy Mortimer I" repeated one of 
perciliously. " Why, he has not been 



/• 



y Google 



214 THE LOTTERT OF LIFE. 

three hours in his bed, and I dare say, would 
little like to be awakened out of his first sleep 
at such an unseasonable hour as this/' 

" But I have come by his own request.** 

** Did he name this hour ?'* 
* ^* No, certainly he did not ; he asked me to 
come to him as soon as possible, and I only got 
his note last night at eleven o'clock.'* 

" Oh I then you are the person he expected 
last night ?'* said the waiter, staring imperti- 
nently at me. ** Had you come to him then you 
would, in all probability, be now in your bed, 
as he is, for he did not let any of his guests go 
away until past four o'clock this morning." 

" I must see him, however,'* said I, •* so pray 
show me his room.** 

" If you tviU insist on disturbing him, mind 
that I warned you against it, and take the blame 
on yourself;** and so saying, the waiter con- 
ducted me to a chamber, the door of which he 
opened, and then retired. A loud snoring pro- 
claimed that my friend was asleep, but I hesi- 
tated not to disturb his slumber, a task I found 
more diflSculty in accomplishing than I had 
anticipated, for it was not until I had repeat- 
edly, and somewhat roughly, too, shaken him 



dbyGoogk 



THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 215 

by the shoulder, that he awoke, and even then, 
he was some minutes before he became con- 
scious of my presence. 

" Let me sleep, and be to you I** mur- 
mured he, yawning and stretching himself. 
" What the devil do you want ? Let me sleep, 
I tell you again, for I have a splitting head- 
ache." 

When at length he opened his eyes, he ex- 
claimed — " What, is it you, my dear Richard ?" 
and he shook me heartily by the hand. His 
was in so high a state of fever, that I could 
readily credit his assertion of having, as he 
said, a splitting headache. "Now, that you 
have awoke me, ring the bell, and have the 
windov^s opened ; and do, my dear fellow, order 
me some soda-water, with a little brandy in it, 
for that infernal champagne last night has made 
me as feverish and thirsty as the devil." 

I cannot express the surprise I felt at hearing 
my friend interlard his discourse with phrases 
that, when we parted, he would have been as 
unwilling as myself to utter. The tacit admis- 
sion, too, of the previous nighfs excess, shocked 
as much as it astonished me. But when day- 
light was admitted into his chamber, and its 
beams fell on his pale and haggard countenance, 

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216 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

I could hardly repress the exclamation of alarm 
that rose to my lips at his altered looks. 

** Why, Dick, what an outlandish-looking 
animal vou arel" said he. "Who the devil 
would suppose that you are a denizen of Lon- 
don ? By Jove ! you look ten times more coun- 
trified than our High-street shopmen at Oxford. 
Why the deuce do you not dress a little more 
like other people ?" 

This question rather annoyed me, I confess, 
for I had put on my best suit, and truth to say, 
thought myself a very presentable person. Some- 
thing of what was passing in my mind must 
have been revealed by my face, for Percy Mor- 
timer, with a kindness that reminded me of 
former times, said — 

" Come, old fellow, never mind ; you shall 
have a coat built by Berton, pantaloons made 
by Pike, a hat from Denizard, and boots 
from Gradelle. I'll teach you to tie a cravat 
h'la^mode — and if, when thus equipped, you 
will but learn to move a little more like other 
people, and look less sanctimonious, I will not 
be ashamed to introduce you among my set, 
who are, I assure you, the most fashionable at 
Christchurch. We kept it up very late last 
night } Elmsdale, the pleasantest fellow in the 

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THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 217 

world when he chooses, was in high force, and 
Asherwood quite himself. They'll astonish you, 
my boy, I can assure you ; but when you get 
used to them, you'll like them amazingly." 

** You forget that my time is so much occu- 
pied, that I have no leisure to enjoy even your 
society, my dear Percy," replied I. " I must be 
in the counting-house every morning by nine, 
and cannot leave it before five in the evening." 

'* But from five in the afternoon, the time at 
which we generally sally out for the first time in 
the day, until nine next morning, your time is 
surely your own ? " 

** I devote the evenings to reading aloud to 
my sister and Mrs. Chatterton, who is really a 
second mother to me." 

" What, do you never go to the theatres, or 
seek the relaxation of a sly supper at a tavern, 
with some of your fellow-clerks ?" 

" Never." 

" By Jove I I suspect you are turned me- 
thodist, Dick." 

<' / am unchanged, Percy ; the alteration is 
in you." 

Here the waiter announced the arrival of a 
fashionable tailor, hatter, and bootmaker, who 
were ordered to come up in succession; and 

VOL. I. L 

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218 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

while he retired to execute Mortimer's instruc- 
tions, the latter said — 

" Now is your time, Dick ; my tradespeople 
shall measure you for proper habiliments ; foi 
I swear, in your present dress you look lik< 
nothing but a methodist preacher/' 

" Excuse me, Percy, I cannot incur mme 
cessary expense/' 

" Why, what a stingy hound you are grown 
I did not, however, mean that you should pa] 
for the clothes I They can be put down in m; 
bills, and the old governor will pay for them! 

" Pardon me, dear Percy, but I really cannc 
suffer this." 

" Are you grown so proud, Richard, as t 
refuse a trifling present from me?" 

" No, indeed, Percy ; but the dress that suit 
your station would be so wholly unfit for mini 
that my wearing it would expose me to the ani 
madversions and ridicule of those with whom 
live." 

" Don't be obstinate Dick, there's a goo 
fellow ; let me order the things, and then to 
can appear with me in the set with whom 
associate ; whereas, in your present dress, it i 
impossible. You shall come and meet tbei 
here when I give them dinners, as I shall coe 



r 



> 



yGoogk 



THE LOTTERY OF LIFE, 219 

tiDually do ; you shall go to the play with us, 
and after that to some of the petit soupersy 
when you shall see some of the prettiest and 
gayest women in London. Such creatures I by 
Jove, it will do you good to look at them I'^ 

** Impossible, Percy : I must not be tempted 
to do that which my judgment disapproves." 

Here the exclamation of ridicule, which I 
saw by the expression of Percy^s face was ready 
to escape his lips, was interrupted by the en* 
trance of a young man, who, though his dress 
bore evident symptoms of having been hastily 
put on, and was not such as he would have vo- 
luntarily presented himself in before strangers, 
yet he could not be mistaken for any thing but 
a person of birth and fashion. With him en- 
tered, unceremoniously, two men, whose ruf- 
fianly appearance offered a striking contrast to 
the elegance of his. Short, and thick set, with 
countenances in which a hardened expression of 
vulgarity and impudence shone pre-eminently, 
they had a peculiar insolence of manner that 
might have revealed their calling to any one less 
ignorant on such subjects than myself. 

<* How is this, my dear Elmsdale ?'' said 
Percy Mortimer, r^arding with undisguised 

l2 



dbyGoogk 



220 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

astonishment the two intruders who stood close 
to his friend. 

" The truth is, my dear fellow/' replied Lord 
Elmsdale, *^ these two gentlemen (pointing with 
a sarcastic smile to the men) disturbed my slum- 
bers at a most unconscionable hour this morn- 
ing, and have taken such a fancy to my com- 
pany, that I have not been able to induce them 
to relinquish it ever since ; nay more, they 
seem determined to lodge me in apartments not 
quite so commodious as those I have hitherto 
been in the custom of inhabiting ; but where 
they think they may always be sure of finding 
me.*' 

'^ His lordship likes a joke," said one of the 
men, with a smile that revealed a set of teeth 
resembling in colour nothing so much as the 
keys of an old harpsichorde. 

" Ay, ay — his lordship's a vag," observed the 
other. 

" Vy, the upshot of this here matter is, sir," 
said the least ill-looking of the two men, ** that 
my lord must go with us to a sponging-house, a 
thing, his lordship by no manner of means likes, 
as why, bekase it is not the most hagreeablest 
place in the world for a gemman to find him- 



dbyGoogk 



THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 221 

self, unless he has a friend who will settle the 
business for him/' 

" Only fancy, Mortimer," said Lord Elms- 
dale, •* that rascally scoundrel, M errington the 
tailor, whom I have recommended to all my 
friends, has had the impudence and ingratitude 

to have me arrested for his d d bill. Is it 

not too bad?*' 

" It is shameful," replied Percy Mortimer ; 
but what is to be done ?" 

*• That is precisely what I came to ask you, 
my dear fellow," said Lord Elmsdale. 

<* I am as poor as Job, and not half so 
patient," observed Percy Mortimer. "The 
governor has been abominably stingy of late, 
and has threatened to cut off the supplies until I 
retrench, a thing the most difficult in the world 
to accomplish, as no one ever knows when to 
commence? How much is the sum?" 

•* Not a great deal," answered Lord Elms- 
dale, '* only three hundred ; but my purse is so 
drained by buying Barrington'd hunters, that I 
have not a guinea to spare." 

** Sell the liunters," said. Percy Mortimer; 
'* I know Asherwood is dying to have them." 

" What ! part with my horses I No ; hang 



dbyGoogk 



222 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

me, if I do I and above all to such a screw as 
Asherwood. Why, would you believe it, the 
fellow had the cool impertinence to write me a 
note an hour ago, in answer to my request to 
come and assist me, that he could not bear to 
see a friend in distress, and therefore must 
decline/' 

** You have not yet told me the amount of 
the sum for which you are in * durance vile,' " 
said Percy Mortimer. 

" Only three hundred," replied Lord Elms- 
dale. 

" You forget the costs, my lord," interrupted 
one of the bailifiB ; *' they come up to forty- 
eight — seventeen and eleven-pence.** 

"Three hundred and fifty will cxjver the 
whole," resumed Lord Elmsdale ; " and if you 
can lend me that sum, my dear Mortimer, you 
will really oblige me." 

" *Pon my soul I I have not so much at my 
banker's at this moment, and my allowance will 
not become due for two months," assured 
Percy. 

" Well, if you will accept a bill at two 
months for me, it will do quite as well," said 
Lord Elmsdale, with the utmost coolness; "and 



dbyGoogk 



THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. €23 

I dare say this gentlemaD/' turning to one of 
tlie sheriff's officers, <* will he able to get it dis- 
counted for me.' 

•* Vy, you see, my lord,* answered the bai- 
liff, ** money never was so scarce as at present, 
so I don't know whether I could get it done or 
not. There's the Marquess of Willerton, who is 
willing to pay sixty per cent, for as much money 
as he can get, and will take any quantity of 
champagne and claret at the lender's own 
prices ; and the Earl of Hardingbrook, who 
does not object to pay sixty-five per cent, and is 
as generous as a prince into the bargaui. 
When noblemen behave as sich, and hact in 
this princely manner, why money becomes 
scarcer and scarcer j so I don't think I could 
get a bill cashed for you for less than the noble- 
men I have mentioned pay." 

''No, hang it! that is too much, and I 
really cannot consent to such usurious interest," 
said Lord Elmsdale. 

'* Then you had better make up your mind 
at vonst to come with us," answered the sheriff's 
officer gruffly ; " for we have already lost all the 
morning waiting on you ; and as for usurious 
interest, I don't know what you mean, when 
the law has now passed to purtect honest men 

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224 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

by enabling 'em to get as high an hinterest as 
they can for their money. And a good job too, 
for it was a shaftie to see bow when a man was 
80 hobliging as to lend money to keep a gem- 
man out of prison, that same gemman or his 
friends would take advantage of the law against 
usury, and cheat him. But matters are now 
changed, and fathers and guardians are fit to 
go mad because they can't hindict men for 
usury ; and those as. has money to lend, drink 
a bumper every day to the health of the kind 
and sensible gemmen as had the new law 



" Will you give me your acceptance, my dear 
Mortimer ?'' asked Lord Elmsdale ; '' for I see 
there is nothing left but to comply with the 
terms of these harpies." 

<< If you will pledge me your honour it shall 
be paid, I will accept it," answered Percy Mor- 
timer. 

" I give you my honour," replied Lord Elms- 
dale. 

<* His lordship has given that to so many," 
whispered one of the men, *' that he can't have 
much of it left" 

** Ring the bdl, and send for a stamp," said 
Percy Mortimer. 

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THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 225 

** There's no hoccasion/* observed Mr. Ben 
Eliason, the sheriff's officer, drawing out a large 
pocket-book, *' I always keeps a few ready in 
this here book in case of haccidents/' 

" Draw the bill at three months date, for 
four hundred pounds/' said Percy Mortimer. 

<< That won't do, sir, no vays at all, bekase 
there will be sixty pounds . for the premium, 
and ten pounds for the interest of the sixty, so 
that the bill must be made out for four hundred 
and seventy pounds." 

*• What I is it possible that you have the 
conscience to charge interest on so large a pre- 
mium ?" exclaimed Lord Elmsdale. 

" Vy, my lord, I have a large family, and 
brings 'em up respectably, and that's hacting 
haccording to my principle. I also expects as 
how your lordship will take six dozen of my 
t)est champagne, at seven pound a dozen. 
There aint better to be had in all Lunnon, 
and it's as cheap as dirt." 

" What the devil am^ I to do with your bad 
wine ?" demanded Lord Elmsdale. 

" Vy, as other folks do, my lord — drink it." 

** Heaven defend me from inflicting such a 
trial on my constitution! Why, I was half 

l3 



yGoogk 



226 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE, 

I 

poisoned the other day when dining with Loi 
Hardinghrooke ; and your confession of havb 
made him take your champagne, expldns tl 
cause/' ohserved Lord Elmsdale. 

" Vy, then my lord, you'll add another U 

\ per cent to the bill, or I will not discount i 

r that's all ; so do as you please." 

^^ I have no house to receive it," mutter< 

I Lord Elmsdale. 

;| " Vy, can't you send it to some of them the 

young ladies, as you are friends with at tl 
hopera? 1*11 be bound not one of 'em w 
refuse it, and 'twill do 'em a deal of good, po 
young creaturs I into the bargain." 

Both Lord Elmsdale and Percy M ortimi 
laughed at this suggestion of Mr. Ben Eliaso 
who resumed, ** It's quite true, my lord, tl 
young creaturs takes to it like mother's miU 
and if there is no lady to whom you could sei 
the vine, vy p'raps this here gemman vould'i 
hobject to take it, for he seems a wery hobligii 
gemman ; and, moreover, as he has hacceptf 
the bill, it would be a genteel compliment" 
" No, no 1" said Percy Mortimer, " 1 wi 
have nothing to say to it." 

" Veil, my lord, I must say as how yo« 



yGoogk 



THE LOTTERY OF LIFE, 227 

lordship is very hard on me, and that too after 
I behaved so purlitely to you. Vy, you know 
yourself I might have harrested you yesterday 
in the park» when you was a hescorting that 
there beautiful countess as lives in Grosvenor- 
square, or have nabbed you in St. James's 
afore all them there chaps in the club vindows, 
vich would have set 'em a chattering for a veek, 
for they are mighty glad whenever a friend 
falls into a trouble, though they pretend to be 
so wery sorry, and talk and talk until they have 
told it to every one they meet, always making 
the matter a little worse than it really is." 

** Well, then, if it must be so, add the two 
per cent to the bill," said Lord Elmsdale ; ** bet- 
ter do that than poison some unfortunate person 
with your wine." 

The two per cent, was added, the bill ac- 
cepted, and given into the hands of Mr. Ben 
Eliason ; and Lord Elmsdale said to that per- 
sonage, '^ I conclude, sir, that I am now released 
from the pleasure of your society ?" 

** Not yet, my lord ; I cannot let you go free 
huntil I have searched the sheriflTs-court, to see 
if there are any other writs against you. I'll 
send off my man to examine in a jiffey. Has 



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228 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

your lordship got a sovereign in your pocket to 
^ve him to pay the expense?" 

"Whatl more to pay?" exclaimed Lord 
Elmsdale, putting his hand into his waistcoat 
pockets, one after the other ; and then drawing 
it out, he said '^ he had forgotten his purse, and 
asked Percy Mortimer to lend him a sovereign? " 
with which request the latter having complied, 
the gold coin was transferred into the hand of 
Mr. Ben Eliason ; and I, finding that it only 
wanted a quarter to nine, took a hasty leave of 
my Mend, and hurried off to' my office, which I 
entered hreakfastless, and pitying him for the 
difficulties which I plainly saw must soon en- 
viron him, from the extravagant and reckless 
associates with which he seemed to be sur- 
rounded, and the imprudent fadlity with which 
he met their demands on him. 

The next day Percy Mortimer came to me 
at five in the afternoon, the hour he knew I 
should be released from my office. Dressed in 
a style of fashion peculiar to what are called 
dandies, I could scarcely have recognized my 
friend, so wholly altered was his appearance. 
Pale and haggard, his looks but too well denoted 
that the previous night had been passed in one 



dbyGoogk 



THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 229 

of those orgies alike destructive to health and 
morals. After the first salutation was over, — 

'' I want you, my dear Richard/' said he, "to 
render me a service. The governor, as I told 
you yesterday, has grown stingy, and will not 
stand my demands for money." 

Seeing the surprise expressed in my coun- 
tenance, he added, " you look incredulous, but 
by Jove I I have stated the fact.'' 

" What I your father ? — the most generous of 
men, and the most indulgent of parents I You 
must indeed have far exceeded all the bounds 
of moderation, if you have exhausted his 
patience, my dear Percy." 

<< I must confess, Richard, that / have been 
a little imprudent ; but young men will be young 
men, and the governor has pulled me up some- 
what sharply : but to the point — I want money, 
and have come to you to know if you can pro- 
cure me a loan ?" 

" The firm will surely advance you a loan 
sooner than to me, — indeed I dare not propose 
such a measure to them," replied I. 

" Why who the devil ever dream't of asking 
you to do such a thing ? and as for my asking 
them, I would just as soon — ay, and sooner too — 
apply to the old governor himself. No, what I 



dbyGoogk 



230 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

want is, for you to try if, among any of your 
friends, jews or gentiles, you could obtain me 
five hundred pounds ?** 

** I have few acquaintances in London, my 
dear Percy, and still fewer friends. I know not 
a single money-lender in London, and conse- 
quently cannot render you the service you re- 
quire; and even if I could, the specimen of 
extortion, so ruinous in its consequences, which 
I witnessed yesterday in your .room, would pre- 
clude me from adopting any step to facilitate 
such loans. I have two years and a half salary, 
nearly untouched, and it is entirely at your ser- 
vice. Do not be offended at my proposing so 
slight an obligation to one to whom I owe so 
many and weighty ones ; and, trifling as the 
sum is to you, who are accustomed to a large 
expenditure, it may prevent your having re- 
course to money-lenders." 

" Heaven help your innocence I my poor 
Richard," Percy replied, " the sum you have 
so wisely saved, and so generously offered to 
lend me, would be but as a drop of water in the 
ocean, to relieve my wants. I have lent all my 
ready money, to my college friends, and have, 
besides, accepted their bills to a very serious 
amount, so that I now find myself positively 



dbyGoogk 



THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 231 

without funds to meet the exigencies of the 
moment, or to pay my own tradespeople, who 
are becoming clamorous and importunate." 

" But can, or will none of your college friends 
repay any of the sums they owe you ?" 

" Yes, when their governors die, but not be- 
fore. Why, bless youl they are all even worse 
off in their pecuniary affairs than I am, for their 
credit is less good, it being well known to the 
money-lenders that they have raised the wind, 
by post-obits payable on the death of their gover- 
nors, to nearly the full value pf their rent-rolls, 
whereas I have not yet had recourse to this 
measure, and the rogues know my governor is 
rich* The fact is, I like my father too well to 
calculate on his death, although he is grown 
somewhat stingy of late; but I suppose the 
insufficiency of his allowance proceeds from his 
ignorance of the expensive habits in which 
gentlemen commoners indulge in Christchurch. 
You cannot imagine the demand for money 
there. .Why, the price of three hunters will 
swallow up nearly a year's allowance. A first- 
rate horse cannot be had for much less than 
four or five hundred; and two or three hacks 
cost from eighty to one hundred each. Then a 
stud groom, with his long bills and helpers 

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232 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

innumerable, come to a heavy sum, without 
counting liveries for the said groom and helpers. 
You know not, my dear Richard, what it is to 
have a rascally valet, with a weekly book in 
which shoe-strings, and tooth-picks, blacking, 
and brushes, form the prominent items of an 
illegible, ill-spelt, and half-blotted account, 
always amounting to a sum that might stock the 
shop of a dealer in these articles. Hang me! if 
I ever can guess where my fellow gets the money 
he swears he pays for me I Add to these, bills 
for soda-water, of which beverage an inordinate 
quantity is consumed in the mornings at my 
chambers, probably because an equally inordi- 
nate quantity of wine has been consumed there 
the previous night. But there would be no end 
to the causes I could assign for my want of cash, 
were I to recapitulate even half the drains on 
my purse : suffice it to say, that never was pro- 
verb more true than that which says, ' that gold 
makes itself wings to fly away.' " 

'' I have bethought me of a plan,'! said I, 
** that may lead to some good. Allow me to 
consult my excellent and kind friend, Mrs. Chat- 
terton. She has many friends among monied 
people, and could perhaps suggest some means 
of procuring what you require." 



dbyGoogk 



THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 233 

" Sorely you do not refer to that prosy old 
woman who used, and I dare say still continues 
to set every one around her asleep hy her long 
stories?" 

" Yes, Mrs. Chatterton is, I helieve, some- 
what addicted to long stories, hut is neverthe- 
less one of the most worthy women in the world, 
and will, I know, he glad to render you any 
service in her power." 

" Very well, name my difficulties to her, and 
I will call here ahout nine o'clock this evening 
to learn the result. What a hore it is that you 
should live so far off from the haunts of civiliza- 
tion ; hut you can't help it, Richard, so it's no 
use talking ahout it. Let me see my old ac- 
quaintance, your sister Margaret; for I remem- 
ber our childish days perfectly, when I used to 
bestow on her pictures, hooks, and playthings, 
and she used to clap her hands with joy on see- 
ing me approach. Those were pleasant times, 
Richard, — ay, pleasanter perhaps than the pre- 
sent, the amusement and friends of which are 
so expensive. Good-bye until nine o'clock, — 
good-bye." 

Mrs. Chatterton had waited dinner nearly an 
hour for me, an attention I could have well dis- 
pensed with, when I saw how ill-humoured it 

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234 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

rendered the clerks, senior as well as junior. 
When the meal was over, Messrs. Murdoch and 
Burton settled at their chess-board, and Messrs. 
Bingly, Thomas, and Wilson departed for the 
theatre, for half-price enjoyment, of which they 
still retained their preference. I mentioned to 
Mrs. Chatterton, in the presence of Margaret, 
the difficulties of my friend Percy Mortimer. 

" 01 brother,'* exclaimed my sister, " I have 
five pounds; take them and give them to poor 
Mr. Percy Mortimer, who was always so kind 
to me." 

"What does Margaret say?" asked Mrs. 
Chatterton. 

I could hardly repress a smile, when I re- 
peated to her the innocent girl's offer. 

" Bless you, my dear child I" said she, " five 
pounds indeed I why, I dare be sworn, one hun- 
dred would not be sufficient to meet his wants. 
Oh I those young men — those young men — what 
terrible spendthrifts they are I And with such 
a generous father too, one who refused him 
nothing. 'Twill be a heavy blow on Mr. Mor- 
timer, that it will, when he finds out his son's 
extravagance." 

" It will be a still heavier one," said I, " if 
he finds that his son has been raising money at 

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THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 235 

ruinous interest from usurious money-lenders — 
harpies who fatten on the substance of the 
unwary." 

" Surely Mr. Percy will not have recourse to 
such a measure, Richard ? " 

" He has no other resource, my dear Mrs. 
Chatterton. He requires five hundred pounds 
to extricate him from present embarrassments, 
fears to provoke his father's anger by applying 
to him, and unless some .friend can assist in 
finding a loan for him on equitable terms, he 
will fall into the hands of the jews." 

" This must not be — this must not be/' said 
Mrs. Chatterton. '* I, yes I, who owe. all I pos- 
sess to the firm of which his good father is at 
the head, will not suffer it. I, have vested all 
my savings in the funds, and they amount to no 
inconsiderable sum. I will sell out a portion, 
and save this heedless young man from ruin, 
and his father from chagrin. But a thought 
strikes me. What if Mr. Mortimer should dis- 
cover that I have supplied his son with money, 
and imagine that in so doing I have encouraged 
his extravagance ? And, above all, should the 
assistance I mean to offer be the means of 
shielding Mr. Percy from the disagreeable but 
salutary effects of his imprudence, and so check 

• 

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236 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

the reflections likely to be awakened by annoy- 
ance, I should never forgive myself. I will see 
the young gentleman, and speak to him, and 
endeavour to make him sensible of the folly of 
his ways. If I perceive that he is resolved to 
be wise in future, I will advance even all my 
little fortune; and perhaps this act of confidence 
and good-nature, by which I expose my declin- 
ing days to the chance of poverty, may, if he 
has a good heart, assist in working his refor- 
mation.'' 

While we were yet conversing on this subject, 
Percy Mortimer entered the room. He ap- 
peared to be much struck with the alteration 
and improvement in my sister Margaret, who, 
from the pretty child he had left, had grown 
into a blooming and beautiful girl, who received 
his friendly greetings with a modesty and grace 
that increased his apparent admiration. There 
was a gravity mingled with the kindness of 
Mrs. Chatterton's reception that seemed to 
make an impression on him ; and when, after 
having made a signal to Margaret to retire to 
her own chamber, the good old lady, with great 
good sense and feeling, pointed out to Percy 
Mortimer the inevitable ruin he would draw 
on himself, and the sorrow he would entail on 



dbyGoogk 



THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 237 

his excellent father, it was evident that she had 
not spoken in vain. She then offered him the 
loan of five hundred pounds, and the delicacy 
with which she did so, made a still more forcible 
impression on Percy, whose goodness of heart 
enabled him to duly appreciate her kindness. 

It was not without considerable reluctance 
that he consented to accept her offer, for his 
delicacy' shrunk from availing himself of it. At 
length, his scruples being vanquished, it was 
arranged that the five hundred pounds was to 
be withdravm from the funds, and appropriated 
to his use as speedily as possible. 

Percy proposed to spend the remainder of 
the evening with us; and the senior clerks, 
being too much engaged with their chess-board 
to interrupt or heed our conversation, and the 
junior ones being at one of the theatres, we were 
enabled to chat with perfect freedom. Mar- 
garet, who had been summoned to make tea, 
took a part in the discourse, and surprised, as 
well as delighted Percy by the cheerfulness, 
good sense, and naivetS of her remarks. He 
seldom took his eyes off her face, and listened 
with untiring interest to her observations. At 
half-past eleven o'clock, a late hour for Mrs. 
Chatterton and Margaret, though an unusually 

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238 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

early one for Percy Mortimer, he took his leave, 
declaring that he had not passed so rational or 
so agreeahle an evening for a long while, and 
expressing his hope that he might he often per- 
mitted to repeat the pleasure. 

** He is a fine, and I am quite sure, a good 
young man," said Mrs. Chatterton, the moment 
he had departed. 

'< And so handsome," added Margaret, half 
unconsciously, her cheek hecoming suffused 
with hlushes, as the glance of Mrs. Chatterton's 
somewhat grave expression of surprise met her 
eye. 

*' Yes, Margaret, he is, as you say, handsome," 
observed that worthy woman, looking gravely 
at the blushing face of my sister ; '' but as the 
old phrase has it, < handsome is that handsome 
does ;' and the doings of Mr. Percy Mortimer, 
I regret to say, as far at least as prudence goes, 
have not been very recommendable." 

Margaret blushed still more deeply, and 
seemed occupied in intently counting the faded 
squares and flowers in the nearly worn-out 
carpet ef the room. 

The next day, as had been agreed on, Mrs. 
Chatterton left the house after breakfast, in 
order to instruct her broker to sell out of the 

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THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 239 

funds, and returned before mid-dav, bringing 
with her five hundred pounds, which were to be 
transferred to Percy Mortimer at two o'clock. 
Punctual as a lover he arrived precisely at 
that hour, and having received the money, and 
given his promissory note for the amount, he 
still lingered in the apartment, frequently, as 
Mrs. Chatterton subsequently told me, looking 
anxiously towards the door. At length he in- 
quired, but not without evident symptoms of 
embarrassment, '* where Margaret was ?" 

" She is occupied, sir," answered Mrs. Chat- 
terton, somewhat coldly, and he soon after took 
his leave. 

While we sat chatting in the evening, to our 
great surprise Percy Mortimer entered. 

'* I am come to ask for a cup of tea," said 
he; and then observing the grave aspect of 
Mrs. Chatterton, he added, ** I found last even- 
ing pass so pleasantly, that I have ventured to 
intrude again." 

Margaret coloured to her very temples; and 
the quickened movement of her heart, visible 
by the agitation of the snowy kerchjef that 
shaded her bust, betrayed the excitement that 
the visit occasioned her. I perceived at a glance 
that Percy Mortimer was not a welcome guest 

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340 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

to Mrs. Chatterton ; and from the frequent 
looks she bent on Margaret, I discovered that 
she suspected that my sister was the object that 
attracted Percy to pay this unexpected, and to 
her, unwished for visit. For myself, I felt so 
sincerely attached to this friend of my boyhood, 
that his presence afforded me pleasure, and I 
almost blamed my good old Mrs. Chatterton for 
the reserve and coldness of her manner towards 
him. Margaret blushed and stammered every 
time Percy addressed her; and though she 
seldom raised her eyes from the work which 
occupied her delicate fingers, it was plain that 
she was perfectly conscious that his were rarely 
withdrawn from her fece. 

The junior clerks, — who, contrary to their 
usual custom of visiting some one of the thea- 
tres, had remained at home during the whole 
evening, — intently eyed Percy Mortimer, whose 
dress appeared to excite no less surprise than 
admiration in their eyes. He was, or seemed 
to be, hardly aware of their presence ; though 
he acknowledged with politeness that of the 
senior qjerks, with whom he had, in his boy- 
hood, formed a slight acquaintance. When he 
had withdrawn, and that Margaret had retired 
to her chamber, Mrs. Chatterton told me it 



dbyGoogk 



THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

was her desire that the visits of Mr. Percy 
Mortimer should not be encouraged. 

" I perceive," continued that worthy woman, 
*' that he is akeady smitten, as it is called, by 
your sister ; and more still, that she is but too 
well disposed to return his attachment. They 
must be kept asunder, my dear Richard } for 
it would be but a bad return for the continued 
kindness that I have, during so many years ex- 
perienced from the firm of Mortimer and Co 
and the protection afforded to you by Mr. 
Percy's father, were we to give that young 
gentleman opportunities for cultivating an at- 
tachment to Margaret, which never could be 
sanctioned by him. We must also consider 
what is due to your sister, whose peace of mind 
might be seriously injured, were she much 
longer permitted to enjoy the society of one, 
who, whatever may be his imprudence, pos- 
sesses such agreeable manners and good looks, 
that few young women could remain insensible 
to his attentions. I know it is hard for you to 
repel the approaches of the friend of your child- 
hood ; but remember, it is necessary for his 
welfare, as well as for that of your sister, and 
that the task will become a more difficult one, 
the longer it is deferred." 

VOL. I. M 

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242 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE, 

It was impossible to dissent from Mrs. Chat- 
terton's opinion ; yet the thought of appearing 
cold or ungrateful to Percy was most painful 
to me, which she perceiving by my countenance, 
kindly undertook to explain our feelings to 
Percy Mortimer on his next visit. 

The following day, Mrs. Chatterton was sur- 
prised by the arrival of a middle-aged man of 
gentlemanly manners and appearance, who 
having announced himself as her nephew, in- 
quired anxiously for tidings of his mother and 
brother, with whom he expressed his ardent 
desire to share the fortune with which Provi- 
dence had been pleased to bless him. He was 
deeply affected, when informed that his aunt 
could give him no intelligence of his mother, 
and that his brother was no more, and evinced 
an affection towards her whom he now consi- 
dered almost as a parent, that excited a lively 
feeling in the breast of that excellent woman. 
He revealed to her, that having entered as 
cabin-boy on board an Indiaman, he had been 
so fortunate as to conciliate the good opinion of 
an old gentleman of great wealth returning to 
India, after a fruitless search for his relations, 
among whom he wished to spend the remaining 
years of his life, and to bequeath the fortune 



dbyGoogk 



THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 243 

acquired by business during a forty years' 
residence in the burning climes of the east. 

Finding neither relative nor friend in Eng- 
land, all those whom he had formerly known 
having died during his long absence, he deter- 
mined to return to Bombay, and spend his de- 
clining days among those acquaintances with 
whom he had lived during the last years ; and 
was on his voyage back, broken in health and 
spirits from the disappointment he had encoun- 
tered in England, when the attentions he had 
experienced from the active and kind-hearted 
little cabin-boy, won his goodwill. On arriving 
at Bombay, he declared his intention of pro- 
viding for the lad, took him to his house, pro- 
cured for him good masters ; and having had 
reason to be satisfied with his progress in his 
studies, and above all with the affectionate de- 
votion with which his prot^g6 repaid his kind- 
ness, he adopted him as his heir, and twenty 
years afterwards died, bequeathing to him his 
large fortune. 

Mrs. Chatterton carefully concealed from her 
nephew the folly and culpability of his mother ; 
and he, forgetful of the unkindness and selfish- 
ness which marked her conduct in his child- 
hood, took every step to discover whether she 

M 2 

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24* THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

was still living, that he might provide for her. 
The advertisements he caused to he inserted in 
the newspapers, at length elicited intelligence 
of her ; for a person, beneath whose roof she had 
expired in a state of distress, answered the 
enquiries, by which her son ascertained that 
she had contracted another marriage with a 
quack doctor, who having plundered her of 
nearly all she possessed, deserted her, soon 
after which an indigestion, produced by a sur- 
feit of her favourite dish, roast goose, purchased 
with seven shillings of her last sovereign, put a 
period to her existence. 

The aunt and nephew being all that now 
remained of the family, Mr. Jervis earnestly 
pressed his aunt to go and reside with him, 
which she having declined, he purchased a 
most commodious house for her, which he 
caused to be handsomely furnished, and insisted 
on her taking possession of it ; settling on her 
an ample income, for supplying not only the 
comforts, but the elegancies of life. 

While Fortune's ever moving wheel was scat- 
tering favours on Mrs. Chatterton, the firm of 
Mortimer, Allison, Finsbury and Co., to which 
she was so sincerely attached, encountered a 
severe reverse from the fickle goddess. The 



dbyGoogk 



THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 245 

failure of a great banking-house in India, in 
which they were partners, and the pressure of 
bankruptcies in America and at home, occur- 
ring at the same time, plunged them into such 
difficulties, that they were compelled to call a 
meeting of their creditors ; and the large for- 
tune of Mr. Mortimer, who unfortunately for 
himself had permitted his name to remain as a 
sleeping partner in the firm, becoming liable 
for the debts, was engulphed in the general 
ruin. The shock was too much for him, whose 
constitution had been weakened by long and 
recent iUness. He soon sunk under the blow, 
leaving his son Percy nearly penniless, and 
without a profession. Then it was that Mrs. 
Chatterton proved the gratitude for her late 
friend, which she had so often expressed ; for 
she entreated her nephew to come forward to 
his assbtance, and that worthy man readily 
answered to her call. 

While they were consulting on the most 
efficient means of providing for Percy, he, poor 
fellow I awakened from the follies in which he 
had lately been plunged, bitterly deplored his 
errors, and upbraided himself with a deep re- 
morse, for the anxiety and chagrin his reckless 
extravagance must have caused his father. 

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246 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

Salutary, though painful, were the reflections 
in which he now indulged ; and MrsXhatterton, 
who witnessed his regrets for the past, and heard 
his prudent resolves for the future, no longer 
excluded him from her house, where, from every 
member of the domestic circle assembled around 
her, he experienced the most cordial sympathy 
and affection. 

Percy Mortimer, bowed down by sorrow, was 
a much more interesting, and consequently, a 
more dangerous person in the eyes of a girl 
like Margaret, than when, enacting the rdle of 
a dissipated man of fashion, he seemed conscious 
of his own attractions, and doubted not their 
effect on others. The love that maidenly 
modesty might, and would have concealed from 
its object, had his prosperity still placed so great 
a disparity between them, now shone forth in 
every glance, and modulated every tone of the 
low and sweet voice of Margaret, when ad* 
dressing him. 

While affairs were in this state, Mrs. Chat* 
terton was waited on one day by Mr. Bristow, 
one of the partners of an eminent solicitors^ 
house in Lincoln's Inn Fields, who to her great 
surprise and joy, acquainted her, that a large 
fortune bequeathed to her late husband, with 

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THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 247 

reversion to her, now awaited her acceptance. 
This unexpected bequest came from Mr. Her- 
bertson, who had been several years dead, but 
whose will, having been mislaid, was only dis- 
covered a short time before, in a box that had 
been overlooked in the search made for it by 
the executors of the deceased lawyer, in whose 
hands it had been placed. 

" You are now, madam," said Mr. Bristow, 
** in the possession of no less a sum than eighty- 
five thousand pounds, — a noble fortune, which 
I heartily wish you health to enjoy." 

When the first emotions of surprise and joy 
had subsided in the heart of Mrs. Chatterton, 
she sighed deeply, and tears filled her eyes. 
" Ah I " said she, " had my poor Henry, and our 
blessed boy, lived to see this day, how happy 
would this unexpected acquisition of fortune 
have rendered me I To have seen them raised 
to affluence, would indeed have been a source 
of joy and thanksgiving to me ; but now, an old 
and childless widow, fast approaching the tomb 
where those blessed objects repose, of what avail 
is this vast wealth ? My nephew, now my only 
remaining relative, is already in possession of 
a large fortune, so needs not any portion of 
mine. Ah I had my husband and child lived — 

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248 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

but let me not b^ ungrateful, or murmur at 
the decrees of an all-wise Providence. Have 
I not" — and she looked around the tea-table 
where we were seated, and smiling through 
her tears, contmued — " have I not children 
left? Yes, Richard and Margaret — ay, and 
Percy Mortimer too ; ye shall be my children, 
and from this hour I adopt you as such. No 
thanks, no tears. You, Richard and Margaret, 
have behaved towards me with all the affection 
and duty that children could show a parent, 
and have soothed my declining days. Your 
father, Percy, was a father and a friend to me 
when I was left alone in the world, and I only 
discharge a debt of gratitude, in adopting his 
son. Messrs. Allison and Finsbury, too, shall 
be assisted, for they are childless, and a few 
thousands may be of use. Come and embrace 
me, my children, and promise that you will never 
forsake your old adopted mother, until you have 
laid her in the grave, by the side of those dear 
ones whom she has so fondly remembered. 
You, my children, Richard and Margaret, lis- 
tened to the simple story of the prosy old woman, 
without feeling, or at least, without exhibiting 
any symptoms of the impatience and disgust 
so generally experienced by the young and gay. 

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THE LOTTERY O^ LIFE. 249 

You shared my tears, when I wept in recount- 
ing the heavy trials I had undergone in losing 
my poor Henry and oUr boy, and I Wed you 
for this sympathy, so precious to a heart that 
bad been so long deprived of it. You believed 
me, when I told you of my husband's goodness — 
a goodness, that while he lived, was the blessing 
of my life, and which even now has brought afflu- 
ence, that enables me to provide so amply for 
those dear to me. Yes, my children, it was 
that goodness which no one could live near 
him without being sensible of, which won the 
esteem of Mr. Herbertson, and induced him to 
make the bequest he has done; for what could 
he know of me, except that he judged that so 
excellent a man as Henry was, could not have 
been so fondly attached to an unworthy woman? 
This great fortune then, I look on as coming 
to me from my dear husband, for it was acquired 
solely by his merit and goodness." 

The nephew of Mrs. Chatterton, who emu- 
lated her in generosity and kindness of heart, 
highly approved of her intentions in our favour, 
and lent her his assistance in carrying them into 
effect. But it was not alone to us that this 
excellent woman extended her benefactions. 
She liberally assisted the junior clerks of the 

M 3 

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iSO THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

firm, who had been domiciled with her in the 
establishment in which I had the good fortune 
to find her ; secured a competency to John Steb- 
bings the old porter, and two servants who had 
so long waited on her ; and made handsome 
presents to the senior clerks, who had, fortu- 
nately, by their prudence, secured for themselves 
a maintenance. In short, all who had formed a 
part of the domestic circle in Mincing-lane, had 
reason to bless her. By her generosity I was 
enabled to provide for my father and brothers, 
by placing them in a larjge farm amply stocked, 
where they enjoy all the comforts of life, and 
where they have accumulated a considerable 
fortune. The debts of Percy Mortimer were 
discharged by Mrs. Chatterton, by whose counsel 
he determined henceforth to be guided» He 
returned no more to college, and his noble 
friends at Chrisfchurch, having heard of the 
failure of the house to which his father had 
belonged, took no trouble to renew their ac- 
quaintance with him. 

** It is strange," said Percy to me one day, 
'* that neither Lords Elmsdale nor Asherton 
have ever replied to the letters I wrote them I 
Both are deeply in my debt, for I repeatedly 
knt them money ; and, as you are aware, I 



dbyGoogk 



THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 251 

accepted a bill for four hundred and seventy 
pounds for Elmsdale the day he was arrested by 
his tailor." 

** Both these lords,*' replied I, " know the 
misfortune that has occurred to the firm of 
which your lamented father was the head ; and 
consequently, imagine that you can no longer 
render them the same services that proved se 
opportune on former occasions. They there- 
fore are disposed, as their silence proves, to 
forget an acquaintance from whom they can no 
more derive any advantage.'' 

"But surely Elmsdale will pay the bill I 
accepted for him ?" 

" I am much inclined to doubt it : he has 
just got into parliament, which will protect his 
person from arrest; and be assured he will 
leave you to pay this bill, which, if I mistake 
not, will become due in a few days." 

** I cannot think quite so ill of him," said Percy 
Mortimer; "although I admit that his un- 
feeling and ungrateful conduct, in not replying 
to my letters, justifies your suspicions." 

In a few days after this conversation I accom- 
panied my sister Margaret and Percy Mortimer 
to the Exhibition, and while the latter stopped 
to speak to a neighbour of his late father^s. 

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852 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

Margaret and I paused before a picture from 
the admirable pencil of Edwin Landseer, 
around which several persons were assembled. 
Two young men of the group turned from the 
picture, and staring rudely at ray sister, embar- 
rassed her so much that she asked me to move 
on. I had been so intently admiring the cA^ 
^ceuvre of art before me, that I had not 
observed the impertinence of these young men, 
until the proposal of my sister to change our 
position, drew my attention to them ; and no 
sooner did I look, than I recognised in one of 
them. Lord Elmsdale. Unabashed by the 
sternness with which I regarded him, he still 
continued to gaze at Margaret, whose blushing 
cheeks betrayed the annoyance his rudeness 
occasioned her. 

At this moment Percy Mortimer joined us, 
and placing himself by the side of my sister, be- 
gan to express his admiration of the picture that 
had attracted us. Lord Elmsdale turned his 
head aside, and whispering his companion, they 
both moved off without betraying any symptom 
of recognition of Percy Mortimer, whose face 
crimsoned at this open avoidance of him by his 
old friends. I felt inclined to resent the imper- 
tinence of Lord Elmsdale's manner of staring at 



dbyGoogk 



THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 253 

Margaret ; but, unwilling to excite observation 
in such a crowd, I only showed my sense of his 
rudeness by glancing sternly at him whenever I 
saw his eyes turned towards her. As we were 
leaving the room, our exit was impeded near the 
doorway by the pressure of the crowd, and we 
again found ^ourselves in contact with Lord 
Elmsdale and his companion. The former, 
taking advantage of our proximity, pressed so 
closely behind Margaret, that I felt her shrink; 
and, turning to observe the cause, I saw him 
withdraw his hand, which it now became evi- 
dent he had presumed to touch her with. I 
pushed him from her with a violence that left 
no doubt of my intention to insult him, and he, 
becoming red in the face with anger, demanded 
"why I did so?" 

Percy Mortimer instantly said, ** Lord Elms- 
dale, your insolence to me in not acknowledging 
my acquaintance I intended to demand satisr 
fiiction for in another place ; but your ungentle- 
manly and unmanly conduct in pressing against 
this lady, requires immediate notice. Let me 
have your address, and yours also, Lord Asher- 
wood?" 

<* I am not aware that I have any account to 
render you, sir,** replied Lord Asherwood, ** and 

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254 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

consequently see no necessity to comply with 
your request" 

** Here is mine/' said Lord Elmsdale, hand- 
ing a card to Percy Mortimer ; and, with an 
air of the utmost hauteur^ he and his friend 
turned on their heels, and left the room. 

Margaret, trembling with emotion, entreated 
Percy to be calm, while her countenance bore 
evidence of the terror in which this disagree- 
able fra9as had plunged her. The persons 
around us, who had heard the conversation, 
and witnessed the giving of the card, stared so 
much at us, that in pity to the feelings of my 
sister, we hurried from the place, and having 
left her in safety at the residence of Mrs. Chat- 
terton, — reiterating her entreaties to us, '* to 
take no further notice of the rudeness of that 
odious lord," as she called him, — ^we retraced 
our steps, and entered a coflfee-house, to consult 
on what had best be done. 

Percy there wrote a letter to Lord Elmsdale, 
demanding a hostile meeting, the time and place 
to be immediately named by any friend his lord- 
ship would appoint to act for him on the occa- 
sion. I was to take this letter, and act as second 
to Percy — a position for which my inexperience 
of such afiairs nearly incapacitated me. My 

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THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 255 

own anger had been so much excited towards 
Lord Ehnsdale, that I heartily wished to punish 
him for his impudent behaviour to my sister, 
and determined on doing so as soon as Percy's 
quarrel with him was arranged. And yet, even 
while under the influence of passion, the reli- 
gious sentiments so carefully instilled in my 
youth operated on my mind, and whispered in 
the still, small voice of conscience, that to seek 
the life of another, or to expose that of my friend, 
was acting contrary to the precepts I had re- 
ceived. Yet would the libertine glance of Elms- 
dale fixed on my pure and innocent sister even 
while leaning on a brother's arm, recur to my 
memory, and kindle afresh the wrath that reason 
and religion had tried to vanquish; and the in- 
solent superciliousness of both these lordlings 
would again seem present, and add fuel to the 
flame of my anger. I found Lord Elmsdale had 
not yet returned to the hotel where he resided, 
so having left a card with my address, 1 returned 
to the coffee-house, where Percy Mortimer had 
agreed to wait for me. He, however, was not 
there ; and, on my questioning the waiter 
whether no message had been left for me by 
my friend, he informed me, that shortly after 
my departure, two men having entered the 

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ill 



236 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

eoffee-room in which the voung gentleman vi 
reading a newspaper, they had gone up a 
spoken to him, and he having entered a coa 
with them, had driven off, leaving no messa 
whatever. 

*' The truth is, sir," said the waiter, " I j 
of opinion that the young gentleman was b 
rested, and is gone with the sheriff's officers, : 
such Pm sure they were, to a sponging-house 

I gave instructions to the waiter, that in o 
any letter should arrive for me, it was to 
forwarded immediately to Mrs. Chatterton 
and then, much depressed in spirits, I retun 
to her abode. Margaret, on seeing me en 
alone, instantly concluded that something fa 
had occurred to Percy Mortimer ; and, in I 
terror and agitation occasioned by this sup] 
sition, betrayed the depth of the attachment 
him, which her maidenly reserve ^ad hithe 
concealed. 

It was in vain that I assured her that Pei 
had not seen, or even heard from Lord Eh 
dale, since the altercation at the Exhibitio 
his absence, which I could not satisfactorily ( 
plain, confirmed her worst apprehensions, a 
produced a violent attack of nerves. Mrs. Ch 
terton, too, when dinner was served, and Pei 



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THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 25? 

did not appear, became exceedingly alarmed, 
and the repast was removed untouched. I told 
her the waiter's suspicions relative to Percy's 
having been arrested : the quarrel with Lord 
Elmsdale she had not Jieard of, for poor Mar* 
garet, fearful of revealing the deep interest she 
felt on the subject, had not named it to her. 

'* What I has he again got into debt ?'' asked 
Mrs* Chatterton, her countenance betraying her 
dissatisfaction at the notion. 

I told her my opinion relative to the bill 
he had accepted for Lord Elmsdale ; but the 
worthy woman could not bring herself to credit 
that such baseness could be practised by a 
nobleman or gentleman. 

** What I leave another to suffer for a debt 
which he never incurred?" said she. " Can 
there be such a dishonourable man ?" 

While she was speaking on this subject, a 
letter was brought to me from Percy Mortimer, 
which fiiUy proved the truth of my suspicions. 
He wrote from a sponging-house in Chancery- 
lane, belonging to no less a personage than the 
identical Mr. Benjamin Eliason, whom I had 
formerly seen in the chamber of Percy Mor- 
timer, when my too good-natured friend had 
saved Lord Elmsdale from a prison, by accept- 

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258 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

ing the very bill for the amount of which he 
himself was now arrestecL 

** Go to the poor young man immediately, 
my dear Richard/' said Mrs. Chatterton ; ** but 
stay, — I forgot that it is no use going unless yoa 
take the means of liberating him. Give me my 
spectacles and cheque-book. How much did 
yon say it was?" 

** Four hundred and seventy pounds was the 
original sum, if I remember rightly," said I. 

" Well, then, I will draw for five hundred 
and fifty,** said Mrs. Chatterton ; " for pro- 
bably there will be additional expenses to pay." 



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»59 



CHAPTER XL 

SHED with the cheque for five hundred 
ij pounds, I set off for Chancery-lane, and 
\ arrived at a shabby house, remarkable 
uncleanliness, even in a neighbourhood 
every house looks dingy and dirty, I 
i to be shown to Mr. Percy Mortimer's 
lent. A tawdrily dressed woman, with 
iod shoes, led me up a flight of stairs, that 
itly had not come in contact with aught 
3r cleaning, during many a long day, and 
cumulation of dirt testified to the nume- 
ersons in the habit of using them, as well 
he extent of their perambulations in the 
x>uring filthy streets. 
lease to hopen the door, Mr. Eliason, 
be a gemman here as wants to see Mr. 
" said the woman ; on which Mr. Ben- 



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I 



260 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

jamiQ Eliason came forth from a small ro 
adjoining that at which she had knocki 
breathing not of Araby the blest, but of I 
tobacco. Eying me with a scrutinizing glas 
and drawing a key from his pocket, he appi 
it to the lock, and in another moment I foi 
myself standing by my friend Percy Mortino 
who ros^, and rushed to meet me. 

A gaudy paper, bearing several stains 
wine, and caricatures drawn in pen and i 
covered the walls of the chamber. A gb 
the frame of which was larger than the mir 
it bordered, and which said frame was cove 
with a very soiled yellow muslin, omameu 
the chimney piece ; on which were pla 
sundry delf images and vases of grotes^ 
shapes, not a single one of which had esca] 
unbroken* Window curtains of crimson mor 
trimmed with yellow fringe, were suspem 
from brass poles, terminated by the thyrsis 
Bacchus ; these same curtains had shared ^ 
the paper the libations of wine offered up \ 
bably to the jolly god, whose attribute ador 
the brass poles. The chairs and sofa were 
ricketty, as to create alarm in the mindc 
those compelled to use them, and partook 
wine stains so liberally showered on the pa 



yGoogk 



THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 26 1 

and curtains. The carpet had several rents, 
and its colours were begrimed with dirt, while 
the table, covered with a worsted cloth that 
had once been crimson bordered with a yellow 
lace, bore innumerable marks of glasses of all 
sizes, imbedded in a stratum of filth, the accu* 
mulation of many months. An odour of tobacco, 
guiltless of ever having seen the Havannah, 
impregnated the room, and disputed with an 
overcoming smell of various spirituous liquors. 
Two bottles of wine, untasted, a plate with 
some dirty looking biscuits, and another con- 
taining half a dozen of half-decayed oranges, 
with a few sheets of bad letter paper, a broken 
inkstand, and steel pen, graced the table. 
Never did I behold my poor friend Percy Mor- 
timer so wholly subdued, as when he wrung 
my hand. 

" You see," exclaimed he, " how infamously 
Lord Elmsdale has behaved to me I" 

•*Vy, lor bless you, sirl" interrupted Mr. 
Benjamin Eliason, ** I'd have laid five pounds, — 
ay, that I would, and more too, — that he'd have 
let you into this here scrape, as soon as ever I 
heard that he'd got into parliament. It's the 
way with all them there young chaps; and 



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262 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

you're not the first, by no means, as has suf- 
fered for their doings/' 

" You remember, Richard, how he pledged 
his honour," said Percy. 

" His honour 1" repeated Mr, Ben. Eliason 
contemptuously: " Vy, there's not a pawnbroker 
in all London would take that there pledge for 
a penny piece. Yen I heard him say it I 
laughed downright, for I knowed how he had 
sarved other friends afore you, sir. But you 
ha'nt dined Mr. Pursy ; wouldn't you like to 
have something ? I can have a tender rump- 
steak, or a lamb-chop sent up to you in a ji%.'* 

** No, no — thank you Mr. Eliason, I have no 
appetite, — I really could not eat," replied 
Percy. 

" But your friend, Mr. Pursy, may be he'd 
like to dine, for perhaps he was disturbed when 
he was sitting down to dinner ?" 

** No, thank you, I've dined," replied I. 

" Veil then, if as how you've dined already, 
I suppose jTou'll not hobject to my sarving up a 
bottle of champagne well hiced ? 'twill do Mr. 
Pursy good, and keep hup his spirits." 

•< No^ — no champagne," said Percy impa- 
tiently. 



dbyGoogk 



THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 263 

** Veil, if you prefers claret its all the same 
to me: I never forces no gemman to drink 
any thing he does not like. I've ad some of 
the most tiptop young noblemen and gemmen 
in Lonnon in this same room, which I always 
resarves for genteel company ; and not von of 
'em can say as how Benjamin Eliason hever 
forced him to drink against his hinclination. 
No t what I say is fair enough. Hevery gem- 
man, says I, is expected to call for something 
has a compliment to the house ; he may drink 
it hor not, jist as he pleases.*' 

** But you have already sent up sherry and 
madeira, which, though I have not touched, I 
am willing to pay for," replied Percy Mortimer. 

" Veil, and if I have, v}', that was above 
three hours ago, and has both them there bot- 
tles have got hot and stale, they are of no use 
whatsomenever to nobody,'' answered Mr. Ben- 
jamin Eliason. *< It's usual for gemmen has hoc- 
cupies the best room, which this here is, to call 
for something every hour or so, for the good of 
the house. And if it was not for this custom, 
how could I let gemmen stay here snug and 
comfortable, enjoying themselves hour after 
hour, while my men are running round the 
town with letters to their friends? And a 

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^6t THE LOTTERY OP LIFE. 

good profit my men make of it ; for wh 
can only sell a few bottles of wine at little 
than folk pay at the fashionable hotels a 
west bend, my chaps can fill their pockets 
money. — * Say Vm gone out of town, an 
servants don't know where/ says one o 
Mends a poor gentleman has sent to, ai 
slips my man a sovereign. — * Tell him I 
bed with a brain-fever, and the doctors voi 
me hopen no letters,' says a third, tipping 
a bit of gold ; and * Take back the letter 
say I'm gone to the Continent,' says a fc 
Mayhap some one or two friends, more 
rageous than the others, writes an answer 
ing, * How very sorrj- they arc, that they o 
be of no use on the present hoccasion, as 
are tied down by a solemn promise not tc 
money, nor go security for no man.* — An 
gemman writes that 'his vife von't let 
though it be well known his vife, poor 
never had power to prevent him doing any 
he pleased ; and others say, p'raps more 1 
that they are themselves so pressed for m 
that they can't help him, though they'd d( 
thing else in the world to sarve him. I've 
found sich letters half torn on this table 
the carpet, when the poor genmian has 

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THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 265 

removed to prison. Hin short, sir, there's no 
hand to the hexcuses that gemmen make their 
friends when they most want 'em ; vich makes 
me think, sir, that no von really has friends, 
hexcept those has is sure never to have the 
least hoccasion in life for their services. I've 
seen gemmen torn white and red in the face 
when my men has come hack with such lies ; 
and IVe thought as how it was a terrible trial 
to 'em too ; but when I've heard some of 'em 
say " how unlucky I if so, or so, had been in 
town, he would have immediately come to me ;" 
when I knowed all the time, that this same chap 
the poor gemman had such trust in, had given 
a handful of silver to my man to say he was 
gone from Lunnon, when he was giving a 
grand dinner at home all the while, I have 
pitied the poor gemman who was so deceived." 

" What is to be done, Richard?" asked Percy 
Mortimer. '* I see no use in remaining here 
incurring heavy expense, and think it better to 
go at once to prison." 

** I have here the means," replied, I " of ex- 
tricating you. Mrs. Chatterton, the moment 
she heard of your difficulty, gave me money to 
settle it." 

VOL. I. N 

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266 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

** Excellent woman I but what must she think 
of me?'' 

" She knows, dear Richard, that this is no 
recent folly ; she pities you for the severe lesson 
you have received ; and pardons the imprudence 
into which your good-nature and inexperience 
hurried you ; while she despises the unworthy 
man for whom you have placed yourself in this 
painful position.'* 

** Amiable and admirable as she is, and after 
all that she has already done for me, how can 
I thus trespass on her generosity ? I really am 
overpowered by the deep sense I entertain ol 
her kindness/' 

** Mr. Eliason, will you be so obliging as to 
let me know the amount of your claim on my 
friend ?" asked I. 

**Vy, let me see, sir, — the hamount with hex- 
penses and hall, comes to five hundred and 
heleven pounds, nine shillings and sixpence. 
Then there's the little hexpenses for the coach, 
the hire of this room, the vine, and other mat- 
ters. But, if you please, sir, my vife, who 
hunderstands this business, will make bout the 
bill." And so saying, he went to the top of 
the stairs, taking care, however, to lock the 



dbyGoogk 



THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 267 

door on the outside, and called out to her to 
make up the bill. 

In a few minutes he returned, bringing a 
soiled half sheet of foolscap paper, of the con- 
tents of which the following is a fiuthful tran- 
script: — 

£ «. d. 

To a Hackney Coach 8. 6 

To Happartment 2 2 

To 1 bottle of Sherry 8 6 

TodaMadein 10 8 

ToBiacmU 2 6 

To Hoiaiiges 3 

To Letter-paper 2 6 

To Sealing-wax 2 

ToWazCandlea 5 

To Man for taking letter 10 6 

£4 13 

Haying discharged all expenses, and made, 
not without the suggestion of Mr. Benjamin 
Eliason, a present of two pounds to his wife, 
which, as he assured me, ** was always done by 
every gemman has hoccupied the best room ;" 
and rewarded his own politeness by a five-pound 
note, which he told us, was the least sum he 
was in the habit of receiving on similar occa- 
sions, we gladly quitted Chancery-lane, and 
left its dingy precincts as hastily as possible. 

" We must first call at the coffee-house, to 
inquire if any answer has been sent from Lord 

N 2 

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268 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

Elmsdale," said Percy Mortimer. So we turned 
our steps thither, and found the following 
note : — 

" Lord Elmsdale, though not acknowledging 
any right on the part of Mr. Mortimer to 
demand an explanation from him, will have no 
objection to give the meeting required, provided 
Mr. Mortimer can find any gentleman (the word 
underlined) with whom his friend Lord Asher- 
wood can arrange time and place for it." 

I saw Percy's face become crimson as he 
perused this letter^ which he was in the act of 
putting into his pocket, when I urged him to 
let me see it. He resisted my entreaties for some 
time, but at length gave me the note, observing, 
'' that such insolence was beneath my notice.'* 

" It is a mere excuse to refuse me satisfac- 
tion,'' continued Percy ; *^ but I will find a 
mode of defeating it." 

I felt my cheeks glow with anger ; and had 
I, at the moment, encountered Lord Elmsdale, 
I do not think I could have resisted inflicting 
on him the manual chastisement his insolence 
so well merited ; not that the denial of my right 
to be considered a gentleman, according to his 
notion of the character, wounded me ; but that 
having insulted my sister, he was so unmanly 

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THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 



269 



seek a pretext for not meeting her 



er. 



le we were concerting on what had best 
e, Percy Mortimer saw a college friend 
Lord Mordaunt, pass the window ; and 
^ into the street, he soon returned, hring- 
th him that young nohleman, to whom 
sented me. He related the whole affiiir, 
and all, to Lord Mordaunt, who imme** 
offered to be his friend on this occasion, 
inced the kindest interest in Percy. 
ts,Ye this business in my hands," said he, 
dther come to me at Mordaunt-house, or 
have your address, that I may be ahle 
municate with you.** 
returned to Mrs. Chatterton*s, where the 
St reception awaited us ; for that worthy 
I, anxious to lessen the sense of obliga- 
nder which the grateful heart of Percy 
aier was obviously dppressed, evinced an 
sed sentiment of affection towards him. 
Itered looks of my sister Margaret, whose 
rom an extreme paleness, blushed a rosy 
I Percy entered the room where she was 
with Mrs. Chatterton, escaped not the 
glances of her lover, for that such he was, 
)r some time become evident to all. Yet, 



y Google 



270 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

as no avowal of his passion had passed his lips, 
and that his manner to Margaret was as re- 
spectful and reserved as possible, neither Mrs. 
Chatterton nor myself had thought it right to 
speak to him on the subject Mlien retiring 
for the night, my sister, as was her custom, 
shook hands with Percy Mortimer : he started 
at finding that her hand was burning. 

*' Good heavens I Mar — that is, Miss Wal- 
lingford — ^you are ill,'' exclaimed he. 

** Only a slight cold," said Margaret, " I shall 
be better to-morrow." 

'< What did he say ?" demanded Mrs. Chat- 
terton. 

** Miss Wallingford is ill — ^very ill," replied 
Percy. 

" You are right, my young friend, she is in 
a high state of fever ; and, now I think of it, 
she has looked very ill ever since she returned 
from her walk with you. Why, it was only a 
minute before you returned, Richard, that she 
was as pale as a ghost, and the instant she saw 
you she became* as red as a rose." 

*< I shall be better, indeed I shall be better, 
after a good night's rest," said Margaret, who, 
giving her arm to Mrs. Chatterton, ascended to 
her chamber. 

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THE LOTTERY OF LIFE, 271 

'^ You know not, Richard, you cannot know," 
said Percy, "how passionately, how fondly I 
love your sister. Were I possessed of millions 
they should be placed at her feet ; but, poor 
and dependant, how can I hope that she, you, 
or Mrs. Chatterton, would listen to my vows 
with patience, much less sanction them ? Ah, 
Richard ! were I the rich person I was brought 
up to think I should be, with what pride and 
pleasure would I sue for Margaret's hand ; but 

now ^yes, I know it is folly, worse than folly, 

to think of asking her to become mine." 

" If I know aught of Mrs. Chatterton's heart, 
my dear Percy," replied I, " she would not dis- 
approve your attachment to Margaret, or offer 
any opposition to its being rewarded by her 
hand ; and as to my sister, I am much deceived 
if she does not warmly reciprocate your affec- 
tion, proofs of which I have often noticed, when 
she, poor dear girl, was little aware of the dis- 
covery I had made. What my feeUngs towards 
you, my dear Percy, are, you can more easily 
imagine than I can express ; for I have never 
ceased to remember the kindness and delicacy 
with which you forgot, and tried to make me 
also forget, the difference between our births 
and fortunes, when your generous father took 

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272 THE LOTTEEY OF LIFE. 

me from comparative poverty^ to share the 
advantages of the liberal education he was 
bestowing on you, his only son. Tbough no 
longer possessed of the fortune you once antici* 
patedy I still think that had my sister thousands 
for her portion, a marriage with you would be 
the highest honour she could attain, — so y9u 
may judge the happiness it gives me to hear 
what you have just told me. I will, if you 
desire it, open the subject to Mrs. Chatterton." 
^' At what a moment doea the delightful in- 
telligence, that your beautiful sister is not in- 
different to my affection, reach me. Should I 
fall, you will tell her how fondly, how fervently 
I loved her ; and how long my poverty has 
prevented me from making known to her the 
sentiments of my heart. I cannot doubt, now 
that Lord Mordaunt has undertaken the ar- 
rangement of my quarrel, that Lord Elmsdale 
must meet me ; and though I highly disapprove 
duelling, yet as society is at present constituted, 
I have not moral courage enough to decline 
seeking satisfaction for the insults I have re- 
ceived. How many grave reflections, — ay, and 
tender ones too, my dear Richard, press on my 
mind at this moment, when my reason so 
strongly pleads against the course that worldly 



dbyGoogk 



THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 273 

opinion has urged me to adopt. I must retire, 
and pray to the Almighty for pardon for thus 
daring to disohey His precept." 

At an early hour next morning, Percy re- 
ceived a letter from Lord Mordaunt, informing 
him that he had seen Lord Asherwood and 
demanded a meeting hetween Lord filmsdale 
and him, which had heen immediately assented 
to ; '' hut previously to its taking place," conti- 
nued Lord Mordaunt, '* I told Asherwood that 
all pecuniary transactions hetween Lord Elms- 
dale and you, must be finally settled. This is 
the usual course in such matters, and you must 
not depart from it." 

In two hours after, a second letter from Lord 
Mordaunt reached Percy, in which he said 
that Lord Elmsdale not being able to repay the 
money due to Percy Mortimer, had consented 
to make an apology, which he hoped would be 
satisfau^tory to Mortimer's feelings ; in which, 
having disclaimed all intention of offering any 
offence to my friend, or to the lady in whose 
society he h^ met him at the Exhibition, he 
expressed his regret that any thing on his part 
should have justified the supposition of his 
entertaining such an intention. 

•• Is it not abominable/' said Percy Morti- 

n3 

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27* THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

mer, handing the letter to me, *' that a man in 
so elevated a sphere as that to which Lord 
Elmsdale helongs, should he so wanting in 
principle and feeling as to act in this manner ? 
he is really a disgrace to his rank." 

** I fear there are hut too many who are so/* 
replied I ; '* men who accept obligations when it 
suits their convenience, and who, forgetful of 
them, repay those who have conferred them 
with ingratitude, and insolence." 

<< That there are persons so base I cannot 
deny," observed Percy, " but does not the con- 
duct of Lord MordauDt redeem manv such* 
Nor is he, believe me, a solitary example ; for at 
college, I have known many young noblemen 
who resemble him, while those few who pursue 
the same course as Lords Elmsdale and Asher- 
wood, are happily few in number. If I have 
been the dupe of such men, the fault was mine. 
Anxious to place myself on an equality with 
young men of rank, I administered to the 
wants of those whose extravagance had placed 
them in difficulties, and foolishly imagined that 
by conferring obligations on them, I made 
them my friends. I have discovered my mis- 
take too late it is true to profit by it, but I am 
not ashamed to avow my error." 

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THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 275 

Lord Mordaunt called on Percy Mortimer 
tbe next day, and after inquiring into his pros- 
pects with all the kindness of a friend, informed 
him that he had a proposal to make, of which 
he thought his acceptance would he highly ad- 
vantageous. *' My father," continued he, ** has 
just heen appointed ambassador to Vienna, and 
requires a private secretary. He will, at my 
recommendation, immediately name you: the 
pay, though not large, wiU enable you to live 
like a gentleman; you will be lodged at the 
embassy, and have a seat at his table. If you 
require a few hundreds, permit me to be your 
banker; for be assured, I cannot have a greater 
pleasure than in being of use to you. If, as I 
anticipate, you discharge your duty in a manner 
to satisfy my father, you need entertain no ap- 
prehensions for your future career ; for he has 
interest enough, and the inclination will not I 
am sure be wanting, to push you forward in the 
diplomatic line. What say you, my dear Mor- 
timer — shall I immediately name it to him?" 

When Mrs. Chatterton was informed of Lord 
Mordaunt's friendly o£Per, she instantly told 
Percy that.it had long been her intention to 
render him independent. ** Six hundred a year 
shall be settled on you forthwith," said she. 

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276 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

^* with a considerable increase hereafter ; so 
you are at liberty to accept or decline the pro- 
posal of Lord Mordaunt, as you judge best" 

Margaret, who was present at the conver- 
sation, turned as pale as a lily; and having 
vainly tried to suppress or conceal her agi- 
tation, fell fainting on the sofa on which she 
was seated. 

No longer master of his feelings, Percy 
Mortimer betrayed his long attachment by the 
fondest epithets addressed to Margaret, who, 
on opening her eyes, discovered him kneeling 
at her feet, and chafing her cold hands in his. 

A scene of great tenderness followed her re- 
turn to animation. Percy poured forth the long 
concealed secret of his heart, and she listened to 
the avowal with a pleasure that left him little 
doubt of her participation in the sentiments he 
avowed. 

Mrs. Chatterton declared, that as the young 
people were so much attached to each other, it 
would be a pity to separate them ; and as she 
could not resign the society of Margaret, Percy 
must give up the appointment offered him by 
Lord Mordaunt, and reside with her, and 
become a country gentleman. 

While preparations were making for the 

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THE LOTTERY OF LIFE, 277 

nuptials, the estate of Oak Park, the residence 
of the late Mr. Mortimer, was brought to the 
hammer, and Mrs. Chatterton became the pur* 
chaser. 

Lord Mordaunt, who was a frequent visitor, 
was pleased to form so good an opinion of me, 
that the appointment offered to Percy, was, at 
his request, conferred on me, and shortly after 
my sister's marriage 1 accompanied the Mar- 
quess of Montrevor to Vienna. 

Before my departure, which my good and 
kind friend, Mrs. Chatterton, would gladly have 
prevented, she settled on me one thousand 
pounds a year, which enabled me to hold the 
position which I had attained, with that in- 
dependence which is so advantageous in all 
stations. My dislike to an idle life was the 
true and only plea I could urge for leaving my 
benefactress ; and as I left her with those who 
I weU knew would do all that could be effected 
for her comfort and happiness, I had the less 
compunction in resisting her entreaties to re- 
main with her. I had the good fortune to con- 
ciliate the esteem and regard of the Marquess 
of Montrevor, and after spending three years 
beneath the same roof with him and his family. 



dbyGoogk 



278 THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 

had the happiness to win the affection of the 
Lady Mary Mordaunt, whose hand was be- 
stowed on me, soon after which, through his 
lordship's interest, I obtained the appointment 
of minister to Turin. 

The nephew of Mrs. Chatterton, who be- 
came acquainted with the Marquess of Mon- 
trevor and his family, through my alliance with 
them, has married the sister of my wife, and is 
now a distinguished member of the House of 
Commons. 

Mrs. Chatterton is at present in her eightieth 
year, but still cheerful and healthy ; she resides 
at Oak Park ; and Percy Mortimer and my 
sister, with a fine boy and girl, of which they 
are the proud and happy parents, add to, if 
they do not form the happiness of her life. 

My relations have been so prosperous, that 
my brothers have married into wealthy and 
respectable families, and are now esteemed 
among the gentry of the county ; while my 
father and mother, who have converted the 
old farm-house into a neat cottage ome^ are 
frequent and welcome visitors at Oak Park. 

Lady Mary and I passed the last Christmas 
with Mrs. Chatterton; where a large family 



dbyGoogk 



THE LOTTERY OF LIFE. 279 

party, including her nephew and his wife, with 
Lord Mordaunt, were assembled ; and a merrier 
groap could not have been found. 

Lord Elmsdale, after pursuing a career of 
folly and extravagance, ended his days a short 
time ago by the pistol of a husband whose wife 
he had defamed, and who had refused to ac- 
cept the apology which the pusillanimity of the 
defamer had induced him to proffer. 

Lord Asherwood still may be seen at the 
clubs, where his dull and thrice-told tales render 
his conversation irksome to all who come in 
contact with him; and where he not unfre- 
quently vents his spleen on the blindness of 
Fortune, for having, in one of her unaccount- 
able freaks, elevated into another sphere from 
that in which he was bom, the parvenu Richard 
Wallingford. 



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281 



VERONICA OF CASTILLE. 



There dwelt not in all Castille a fairer maiden 
than Veronica d' Alcantara. Left an orphan in 
her childhood, and the heiress of immense pos- 
sessions, the guardianship of herself and fortune 
was confided to a distant relative, the Conde 
Ribiero. In his castle, in a remote province, 
were passed the first years of her girlhood ; 
where, under the superintendence of a kind- 
hearted and devoted duenna, she attained all 
the accomplishments deemed necessary for a 
lady of ancient descent, who boasted of blue 
blood in her veins, and whose wealth sur- 
passed that of every Hidalgo in the province. 
The' Conde Ribiero had a nephew, a youth of 
wild and ungoverned passions, whose name had 
been more than once linked with crime ; and 

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282 VERONICA OF CASTILLE. 

who no sooner saw the fair ward of his uncle, 
and heard of her broad lands, than he deter- 
mined to approppate both to himself. It was 
not that his heart was touched by the charms 
of the fair Veronica ; for, truth to tell, all 
captivating as they were, they made but little 
impression on him. Her wealth was the at- 
traction ; though he rejoiced that her surpass- 
ing beauty would exempt him from the suspicion 
of having sought her solely from mercenary 
motives. His uncle, the Conde Ribiero, marked 
with satisfaction the preference accorded by 
Don Manuel de Mendoza to the fair Veronica. 
He looked on the alliance of his ward and 
heir as the means of enriching the impoverished 
fortunes of the latter, and upholding the fast- 
falling dignity of his ancient house ; and in 
this agreeable prospect, forgot the vices of 
his nephew, reports of which had frequently 
reached him, coupled with irrefragable proofs 
of their truth. 

Don Manuel was a constant guest in the 
secluded castle of the Conde Ribiero, where 
no insidious art was left untried to win the 
affections of the young and lovely heiress. 
Flattery assailed the inexperienced girl in all 
the seductive tones of a man who had often. 



dbyGoogk 



VERONICA OF CA8TILLE. 283 

and sucoessfuUy, availed himself of this re- 
doubtable weapon against the gentler sex ; but 
sooth to say, though the flattery pleased her 
passing well, she loved not the flatterer. The 
vanity of Don Manuel became wounded, as 
he marked the unaffected indifference of her 
whom he had determined to wed. That he, 
the most favored of all the young men who 
distinguished themselves in the heartless course 
of gallantry at Madrid and had won the smiles 
of its proudest dames, should fail to captivate a 
mere girl, who had never left the solitude of 
her provincial abode, surprised and mortified 
him I His indifference towards Veronica soon 
began to assume a stronger, sterner sentiment — 
that, of positive dislike, as his wounded vanity 
writhed under the daily and evident symptoms 
of her distaste. Not all the dissimulation in 
which he was so well skilled, could at times 
conceal his hatred towards the fair and artless 
Veronica. Often did his more wary uncle re- 
proach him, not for the sentiment, but for its 
unwise exposure, and prophesy that it would 
preclude the fulfilment of the schemes and 
wishes of both. Then would the wily Don 
Manuel, after such advice, smooth his brow, 



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284 VERONICA OF CASTILLE. 

dress his face in smiles^ and court the heiress 
with all his practised arts ; hut she continued 
as insensihle as hefore, her perfect indifference 
rendering her as unconscious of his real dislike, 
as regardless of his affected preference. 

Veronica had now attained her seventeenth 
year, when a letter firom the -court, sununoned 
the Conde Rihiero and his beautiful ward to 
visit Madrid. This summons, a compliance with 
which could not he evaded, filled the uncle and 
nephew with alarm. The beauty and wealth of 
Veronica could not fail, they felt convinced, 
to attract universal attention and admiration ; 
and it was but too probable that the heart 
which had resisted all the arts of Don Manuel, 
would yield to one of the many suitors likely 
to try to win it in the dangerous focus of the 
courtly circle. They already saw, in anticipa- 
tion, the prey they had so long deemed their 
own, become the property of another, but 
how to avert this impending evil they knew 
not. Various were the plans devised by this 
unworthy pair to detain Veronica from Madrid 
until she should consent to become the wife 
of Don Manuel ; but the order for repairing 
thither was so peremptory, and the time granted 



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VERONICA OF CA8TILLE. 285 

for obeying it so brief, that they despaired of 
finding any satis&ctory excuse for non-com- 
pliance. 

Veronica evinced such unequivocal symptoms 
of pleasure when informed that she was soon to 
exchange her gloomy abode, for the brilliant one 
of Madrid, that her guardian and his nephew 
saw that her desire to leave the Castle de Ribiero, 
would offer a strong obstacle to any plan they 
might attempt to frustrate it Don Manuel, at 
the suggestion of his uncle, redoubled his atten- 
tions to Veronica ; and she, elated at the pros- 
pect of her speedy emancipation from a dwelling 
endeared to her by no tie of affection, no recol- 
lection of happy days, in the artlessness of her 
nature, permitted a portion of the exhilaration 
she felt, to mingle in her converse with her 
guardian and his nephew; whose vanity led 
him to attribute her unusual complacency and 
gaiety, to a growing sentiment of kindness to- 
wards himself. But while the Conde Ribiero 
and Don Manuel retarded their departure to 
the utmost permitted limit, and reflected on 
every possible means of finding a pretext for 
detaining Veronica at the castle, chance offered 
one, the very evening previous to that fixed for 
their leaving the country, which they seized 

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286 VERONICA OF CASTILLE; 

with avidity. Veronica complained of illnesSp 
and in a few hours was pronounced, hy the leech 
of the neighbouring village, to be suffering 
under the measles, a malady then raging in the 
neighbourhood. He asserted that the symp- 
toms were so favorable, and the constitution of 
the patient so good, that her recovery could 
not fail to take place in two or three weeks, 
and pronounced that he would answer for her 
safety. Under these circumstances, the Conde 
Ribiero and his nephew determined to proceed 
to Madrid forthwith, rejoiced that the beautiful 
and wealthy heiress could not be exhibited at 
court for some time, and determined to use 
every effort to prevent her ever appearing there, 
until she was presented as the bride of Don 
Manuel de Mendoza. 

Left to the care of her affectionate duenna 
and the skilful leech, and aided by an excellent 
constitution, Veronica soon recovered from her 
illness, and with all the buoyancy of mind pecu- 
liar to the young on leaving the sick chamber, 
sought the fresh and fragrant air with renovated 
feelings of delight. Mounted on her palfrey, 
and attended by an attached domestic, she 
would ride gaily forth, and for the first time 
mistress of her actions, extend her excursions 

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VERONICA OF CASTILLE, 287 

many miles beyond the walls of the umbrageous 
park, within which her duenna strictly enjoined 
her to limit them. 

Of aU duennas, Donna Olympia Albufera 
was the most tractable. She loved the Lady 
Veronica as though she had been her child, 
and never could resist her pleadings. A smile, 
or an affectionate entreaty from the fair young 
creature over whose childhood she had watched 
with almost maternal assiduity and tenderness, 
were generally found sufficient to silence the 
objections of Donna Olympia ; but a caress or 
a tear were proved to be irresistible. The at- 
tendant who followed Veronica in her eques- 
trian excursions, knew no will but hers ; and 
relying on the indulgence of Donna Olympia, 
and the devotion of Huguez, the fair heiress 
DOW took advantage of her freedom from the 
presence of her guardian and his nephew, to 
extend her rides nearly seven miles into the 
surrounding country, the wild beauty of which 
surprised and delighted her. When she returned 
at a late hour from these protracted expeditions. 
Donna Olympia forgot to chide her for her long 
absence, in the pleasure the good woman expe- 
rienced in seeing her partake her light repast 
with an unusually good appetite ; and though 

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288 VERONICA OF CASTILLE. 

she urged, the next day, her request that her 
dear young lady would not stray so hr from 
home, she welcomed her back with as much 
affection as if the entreaty had not been disre- 
garded. These were happy days, and Veronica 
felt them to be so, though health and the enjoy- 
ment of air and exercise, constituted their chief 
pleasure ; but to a young and pure mind these 
simple enjoyments furnish more gratification 
than the paUed voluptuary can find in the most 
varied amusements. 

Riding through a neighbouring forest one 
day, Veronica was surprised by encountering 
a knight, whose noble air and fine countenance, 
though seen only for a mcnnent, made a deep 
impression on her. He drew up his charger, 
and uncovered his head while she passed, 
bowing low, and fixing on her &ce an impas- 
sioned glance firom the most lustrous eyes that 
ever met her gaze. She returned the salute 
with dignified courtesy and maidenly reserve, 
and passed on, leaving the knight lost in admi- 
ration of her beauty. When she had pro- 
ceeded some distance she demanded of Hugues, 
if he knew the knight they had met ? 

'* Yes, lady," replied he, *' it is no other than 
Don Alphonso de Pampluna; I recognized 

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VERONICA OF CASTILLE. 289 

him in a moment by his noble air and fine 
face, although I have not seen him since his 
chUdhood." 

The Lady Veronica felt a complacency to- 
wards Huguez as he uttered these words, that 
she had never previously experienced ; and she 
longed to question him still farther about the 
knight, but was deterred by a consciousness 
of already feeling an interest about him that 
had never before been excited in her breast. 
Encouraged by her first and only questions 
relative to the stranger, Huguez, on arriving 
at a narrow and somewhat abrupt defile, under 
pretence of thinking his lady's safety required 
a closer attendance, advanced nearer to her, 
and resumed the subject which had occupied 
both their thoughts since they had met the 
knight. 

"Yes, lady, I knew it could be no other 
than Don Alphonso de Pampluna, the bravest 
warrior, and truest knight, in all Castillo. 
Ay, I warrant me, he remembered old Huguez, 
though it is now seven years since I last saw 
him, for he smiled when I bent me to the 
pummel of my saddle in passing him. Ah I 
I should know that smile, and those white 
teeth of his, among a thousand, that I should. 

VOL. I. o 

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290 VERONICA OF CASTILLE. 

There will be rejoicings in the castle, and in 
the village, I warrant me, at his return, for 
he is loved by all — so good, so generous, and 
so thoughtful of others. How many hearts 
will beat the quicker for seeing him I and how 
many tongues will bless his name I" 

*• I knew not," replied Veronica timidly, 
** that the Duke de Pampluna had any other 
son than the marquess, who is reported to be 
in such ill health." 

*^ Don Alpbonso is the duke's second son, 
lady," answered Huguez, not a little proud of 
the encouragement to speak given him by his 
noble mistress. *^ He has travelled much, 
madam, has been in various countries, and is 
now returned to help to soothe the last days of 
his brother, and to comfort the duke under the 
heavy calamity that threatens soon to deprive 
him of his elder son. The marquess is so 
good, that his death will cause universal regret, 
notwithstanding that his place will be nobly 
filled by Don Alphonso ; and the brothers have 
been so fondly attached since their boyhood, 
that the accession of rank and wealth will be a 
poor consolation to Don Alphonso for the loss 
of such a brother. Ah, lady I the rich and 
great have their troubles as well as the poor 

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VERONICA OF CASTILLK, 291 

and lowly, and. Heaven knows, the Duke de 
Pampluna has had his share I" 

The Lady Veronica listened to the garrulous 
old servitor with deep interest, and he, grati- 
fied hy it, made his horse amhle closer to her 
Andalusian palfrey, still keeping a little in the 
rear to mark his respect. 

** What have been the causes of the duke's 
troubles ?" inquired the Lady Veronica. 

" Bless me, lady I have you never heard the 
sad story?" 

" Never, Huguez." 

** That is strange," muttered the old man; 
" and perhaps the Conde de Ribiero would 
resent my communicating it." 

** Do tell me, Huguez," said the Lady Vero- 
nica, in her sweetest accents — those accents 
which few could have resisted, and least of all 
the ancient domestic, whose love of gossiping 
was only equalled by his love and devotion to 
his youthful mistress. 

" I am thinking, lady," said he, ** that as 
you have never heard of the sad events to which 
I referred, it is probable that the conde, your 
guardian, did not wish you to be informed of 
thraoy and consequently might resent my telling 
you." 

o2 

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292 VERONICA OF CASTILLE. 

The curiosity of the Lady Veronica was still 
more excited by this hesitation of the old ser- 
vitor to gratify it ; and she so strongly urged 
Huguez to recite the tale, and promised so 
faithfully not to divulge it, that he at length 
related it to her. 

"The Duke de Pampluna had been the 

friend as well as neighbour of the Conde de 

Ribiero, and their families frequently met. The 

duke was the happy father of two of the finest 

boys in all Spain, and he and his duchess loved 

their children so passionately, that their very 

existence seemed bound up in that of their 

sons. In his visits to the castle of the duke, 

the Conde Ribiero was frequently accompanied 

by his nephew, Don Manuel de M endoza, who 

was about the same age as the eldest son of the 

duke, and the youths practised their lessons in 

horsemanship, tilting, fencing, and shooting, 

together. The marquess, then as fine a youth 

as ever mounted a courser or handled a lance, 

so far surpassed Don Manuel in all manly 

feats, that a strong sentiment of jealousy took 

possession of the heart of the latter, and every 

new achievement of his rival increased the 

baneful passion. When, as not unfrequently 

occurred, the marquess had unhorsed or dis- 

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VERONICA OF CASTILLE. 293 

his antagonist, Don Manuel would 
»ut into the most violent fits of rage, and 
he revenged. But all this passed with 
mdants as proofs of the impetuosity of 
and was never repeated beyond their 
cle. 

le duke and duchess, with their sons, 
3 spend a few days at the Castle de 
K As usual, the three youths, followed 
ir servitors, adjourned to the manege, 
was agreed that a tilting-match should 
lace between the marquess and Don 
L The superior address of the former 
ndered him victorious, and the rage of 
Manuel, at being defeated, became so 
mable, that, observing Don Alphonso 
1 his brother's prowess, he rushed on 
ild, then only in his twelfth year (Don 
I being five years his senior), and struck 
violently with his lance, that he fell 
lis pony, the blood flowing from the 
inflicted on his arm by the point of the 
I. Maddened by seeing his brother struck 
md bleeding, the marquess rushed on 
Vlanuel, who, shrinking on one side, 
1 the blow aimed at him by his adversary, 
erced him in the side. The marquess 



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294 VERONICA OP CASTILLE. 

reeled in hb saddle, and fell fainting into the 
arms of the attendants, who had rushed to 
separate the comhatants, but, alas! arrived too 
late to prevent the misfortune which occurred. 
" At this moment, the Duchess de Pampluna, 
accompanied by the maiden sister of the Conde 
de Ribiero, entered the manege, in order to see 
her sons enjoy their exercise, little dreaming 
of the fearful sight that awaited her ; and be- 
holding both her children apparently dead, and 
their garments stained, with blood, she uttered 
a piercing shriek, and fell to the earth. Vio- 
lent convulsions ensued, in which state she 
continued until the rupture of a blood-vessel 
in the head put an end to her sufferings and' 
her life in the brief space of two hours. When 
the duke returned firom a ride with the Conde 
de Ribiero, he found that the belo?ed partner 
of his life was no more, and that he was threat- 
ened with the loss of his first-bom son, while 
the younger was not exempt from danger, the 
child being reduced to great weakness by the 
loss of blood." 

The Lady Veronica shuddered, and felt her 
previous dislike to Don Manuel increased into 
a positive abhorrence as she listened to this 
sad tale. 

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VERONICA OF CASTILLE. 29^ 

'*AhI lady, that was a fearful day, and 
never since has any one of the house of Pam- 
plona entered the castle of Ribiero. The very 
name is proscribed ; nor can it be wondered 
at, when one reflects on the affliction that luck- 
less visit entailed on the duke, for never since 
has the young marquess had an hour's health, 
which is to be attributed to the event of that 
day. The conde, your guardian, sent away his 
nephew, fearful that the retainers of the house 
of Fampluna would avenge on him the death 
of their beloved mistress, and the melancholy 
fieite of their young lord, who, from the wound 
inflicted by Don Manuel, had his lungs so 
injured, that his life has been considered in 
daily danger. From being one of the finest 
youths ever seen, he dwindled nearly to a 
shadow ; incapable of the least bodily exertion, 
he has dragged on an existence of pain and 
sufiering, to be terminated — Heaven only knows 
how soon— by death ; for it is said he is now 
reduced to nearly the last extremity." 

** And the knight we lately met, how came 
he to leave his sufiering brother, whilst he 
joumied into distant lands?" demanded the 
Lady Veronica, 

^* Why, madam, no sooner had he reached 

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996 VEROXICA OF CA*?riLLE* 

his ^teentfa jear, than remembertxig bow 
death of his lad? mother, and the suffering 
\m idolized hrother, had been caused bj ] 
Manuel, he determined to avenge them» or 
in the attempt. He never forgot that it 
in seeking to panish Don Manuel for 
a^ggress^ioQ on himself that the marquess 
cetf^ the wound that was reducing him tc 
gnve ; and the recollection made him bur 
challenge him who had brought such mi 
on his femilv. The knowledge of this re^ 
tioti» and the dread of losing the last pro 
his noble house, determined the duke on i^ 
ing Dcm Alphonso to travel ; mid he hns 
now returned, after an absence of seven y< 
to 9ee his beloved brother before be dies.*' 

Observing the effect produced on the I 
\"eronica by his narrative, lluguex^ drea 
to indispose her towards Don Manuel, 
endeavoured to palliate his crimes. 

** He was then but a mere vouth, ladv, ha 
out of childhood, and youth is ever wild 
wilfiiL Don Manuel is now changed \ I 
rant me, he has doubtless often repented 
rashness of his tioyhood ; and it is to save 
feelings ^hat the name of Panipluna is n 
mentioned in his presence. You will remei 



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VERONICA OF CASTILLE. 297 

romise, lady, and not betray my having 
ed you with this secret ?" 
1st Veronica repeated her assurance of 
revealing what he had told her, a shot 
ed from a wood that bordered the road, 
so startled her steed, that he plunged 
ly, and dashed back with fearful velocity 
h a bridle-path that led in the direction 

Castle of Ribiero. Fearful of urging 
'ht by pursuit, Huguez endeavoured to 
is lady in sight by crossing some fields ; 
an attempt to clear a steep fence that 
ined, was thrown from his horse, which 
i, and followed the course so lately taken 

terrified steed of the Lady Veronica, 
h much bruised by his fall, the old man 
i to overtake the fugitives, but tried in 
the sounds of the retreating feet of the 
were soon lost to his ear, and the most 
\ apprehensions for the safety of his 
mistress obtained possession of his mind* 
t he, panting with fatigue, advanced as 
y as his bruised leg and the infirmities 
I would allow him, the Lady Veronica 
»me rapidly along towards a deep ravine, 
[h which gushed a mountain torrent, 
Q by recent rain, and whose turbid waters 

oS 

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m 



298 VERONICA OF CASTILLE. 

had overflown their banks, and dashed impe- 
tuously over the large rocks scattered on each 
side. She saw her danger without the power 
of averting it, for every attempt to turn the 
horse in a contrary direction was in vain ; 
when at the moment the maddened steed 
was rushing down the ravine, a horseman 
cleared a high hedge on the left of the steep 
declivity, and throwing himself before him, 
seized the bridle, and arrested his further pro- 
gress. The next moment, the Lady Veronica, 
half fainting with terror, was removed from her 
courser by her deliverer, who, one glance showed 
her, was no other than Don Alphonso de 
Pampluna. 

This interview sealed the destinies of both ; 
for though no word of love was spoken, each 
experienced that deep emotion which ever 
marks the commencement of true affection, 
and yielded to the new and delicious sentiment 
that pervaded their hearts, forgetful of the past 
and regardless of the future. 

Whilst, seated on a bank, they conversed 
together, the horses tied to a tree, a peasant 
had stopped the steed of Huguez, and restored 
it to its owner ; who now joined his lady and 
her deliverer, overjoyed to find her in safety. 

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VERONICA OF CASTILLE. 299 

As the Lady VeroDica pointed out to the old 
servitor how near she had been to the foaming 
torrent, towards which her coarser was rushing 
when Don Alphonso de Pampluna rescued her, 
such an expression of gratitude and tenderness 
shone in her beautiful countenance, that Don 
Alphonso felt he could have perilled his safety 
nay, his very life — a hundred times, to have 
reaped so rich a reward. He thanked her by 
looks eloquent as her own, spoke kindly to 
Huguez, referring with a deep sigh to his 
boyish remembrance of him, and having assisted 
the Lady Veronica to mount her courser, rode 
by her side until they reached the entrance 
to the park of Ribiero. Here he took leave, 
with a manner in^which the most profound 
tenderness and deep respect struggled for mas- 
tery ; and when, after advancing a considerable 
way, the fair Veronica, urged by an irresistible 
impulse, turned to look again at the gate where 
she had left him, she beheld him, as if trans- 
fixed to the spot, still gazing on her receding 
figure. 

With what different feelings did she re-enter 
the Castle Ribiero, to those with which she 
had left it but a few hours before. She was a 
new being. Existence appeared to possess 

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300 VERONICA OF CA8TILLE. 

charms which she had not previously suspected; 
her heart heat with emotions hitherto unknown ; 
and the image of Don Alphonso was never for 
a moment ahsent from her thoughts. Donna 
Olympia Alhufera remarked with pleasure the 
heightened colour and beaming eyes of her 
lovely charge ; and talked of the marvellous 
effect of long rides in improving the complexion. 
But when, during the evening, she found the 
Lady Veronica abstracted, silent, and pensive, 
she averred that however such excursions might 
heighten the roses in her cheeks, they had not 
an advantageous influence on the spirits, for 
that she had never known her young lady so 
thoughtful before. 

In her dreams that night, the Lady Veronica 
was again with Don Alphonso. Again she heard 
the music of his voice — again her eye sank be- 
neath the tender glance of his : and she only 
awoke from her slumbers to the blissful con- 
viction that in her ride that day they should 
again meet ; for she felt this encounter to be 
certain, though neither of the lovers had al- 
luded to it the day before. It was consequently 
with an impatience more nearly approaching to 
ill-humour than she had ever previously known, 
that she saw the rain descending in showers, as 

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VERONICA OF CASTILLE. 301 

she looked from her lattice. She watched the 
dense clouds with an anxiety as deep as it was 
new, and sighed as she marked that the gloomy 
horizon portended many hours of unceasing rain. 
Never had a day appeared so interminably long 
and irksome to her as this ; she could settle to 
no occupation, though several were tried ; and 
the unsuspicious Donna Olympia more than 
once observed that her young lady must be in- 
disposed, so unusual was her pre-occupation and 
pensiveness. 

The next day the sun shone brilliantly. 
Again she rode out, and on arriving at the 
park -gate, was more than half disposed to 
take the route where she had encountered Don 
Alphonso ; but a sentiment of feminine delicacy 
forbade it, and she took, though not without an 
internal struggle, the contrary direction. She 
had proceeded but a short distance, when she 
met him who occupied all her thoughts, and 
who, even more impatient than herself for 
another interview, had been for some time 
watching for her from a neighbouring hill; 
whence, seeing the direction she had taken, he 
had galloped across some fields, and turned his 
horse so as to meet, instead of having the ap- 



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302 VERONICA OP CASTILLE. 

pearance of pursuing her. Their ride was a 
long one ; and ere they papted, an avowal of 
the most passionate love was breathed to no 
unwilling ear by Don Alphonso ; and replied 
to by downcast eyes, blushing clieeks, and a 
pearly tear that bedewed them. 

Day after day they met, every interview 
rendering them still more fondly devoted to 
each other ^ until tidings came, that the Conde 
de Ribiero was soon to return to his castle, 
and with him Don Manuel de Mendoza. 

The day this intelligence arrived, dreading 
that it might perhaps be the last when she could 
ride out attended only by Huguez, the Lady 
Veronica met her lover. His brow was over- 
cast, and his cheek pale as marble as he pressed 
his lips to the delicate hand yielded to his grasp. 
He told her that his brother, the object in life 
next to her the most dear to him, was so much 
worse in health, that a few days, perhaps a few 
hours, might terminate his existence. 

** This is most probably the last day that I 
can leave his couch of pain, until all is over," 
said Don Alphonso, and his eyes became suf- 
fused with tears, " but you will think of me, 
adorable Veronica, and while I soothe the bed 



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VERONICA OF CASTILLE. 803 

of death, your sweet voice will bid me not yield 
to despair, in losing the noblest brother and 
truest friend that man ever was blest with/' 

" Alas I'* replied Veronica, "even had this 
heavy affliction been spared, we could not have 
continued to meet, for the Conde de Ribiero 
and his nephew have announced their approach- 
ing return, and I shall no longer be at liberty 
to ride out, except attended by them." 

" These are indeed sad tidings," said Don 
Alphonso ; and his cheeks glowed, and his 
eyes flashed. " Does the destroyer of my sainted 
mother, the slayer of my beloved brother, come 
hither to behold the completion of the misery 
his accursed hand has wrought on our house ? 
Comes he here to triumph in our desolation, to 
witness the despair of my aged sire, and to see 
me consign to a premature grave, the brother 
who received his death wound in avenging the 
cowardly violence committed on me, whilst yet 
a child? His deeds call for vengeance, — be 
mine ! oh, gracious Providence I thy instrument 
to smite him/' 

" Would'st thou expose a life so precious to 
thy parent, whose sole consolation thou soon 

must be — so necessary to" " me,'* the Lady 

Veronica would have said, but modesty and 

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3(H VfiRONICA OF CASTILLE. 

terror checked her utterance, and the tears she 
could not repress, flowed down her cheeks. 

" To save my father a pang, and to preserve 
thee, idol of my soul, from sorrow, I would do 
much, hut let the destroyer of my brother be- 
ware how he crosses my path, lest my long slum- 
bering vengeance awake to annihilate him/' 

The lovers parted this day with a deeper 
sadness than either had ever felt at saying fore- 
well, though never had they uttered the word 
without a regret known only to hearts as devoted 
as theirs, when parting even for a brief space. 
As they pursued the paths that led to their 
separate homes, until their figures were lost in 
the distance, often did they pause to look back 
at each other. 

On reaching the castle of Ribiero, the Lady 
Veronica learned with dismay that a courier 
had arrived there, to announce the death of the 
conde, his master, (which event had occurred 
suddenly at an inn, on the route the previous 
night), and that the corpse of the defunct, at- 
tended by his nephew and domestics, would 
arrive the next day. This intelligence spread 
a general gloom over the castle, for the Conde 
de Ribiero, though a weak man, was a mild and 
generous master; whose greatest faults origi- 

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VERONICA OF CASTILLE. 305 

Dated in an overweening affection for his worth- 
less nephew, to whom he had bequeathed his 
fortune. Every one in the castle dreaded the 
change likely to he effected by the new possessor ; 
for Don Manuel was equally disliked and feared. 
To the Lady Veronicai who had ever experienced 
gentle treatment, if not kindness from her late 
guardian, the news brought unaffected regret ; 
but whilst she lamented the departed, she for- 
got not (and she accused herself of selfishness 
in remembering it at such a moment), that she 
was now released from all dependence on the 
will of another, and was free to bestow her hand 
where her heart was already given. Uncon- 
nected by even a remote tie of blood with the 
new Conde de Ribiero, there could no longer 
be any obstacle to her union with Don Alphonso, 
whenever he claimed her for his bride ; and this 
thought soothed the sorrow she felt for the death 
of her guardian. She determined to wait in the 
castle until the obsequies of the deceased were 
over, and then to remove with Donna Olympia 
to the home of her fathers. 

The next night, the funeral procession reached 
the castle, headed by Don Manuel, now Conde 
de Ribiero, who entered it rather as a trium- 



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306 VERONICA OF CASTILLE. 

phant conqueror, than as a mourner for the 
roost indulgent of imcles. The undisguised 
satisfaction he evinced on taking possession of 
his newly acquired wealth, no less shocked than 
disgusted the inhabitants of the castle. But 
when, with indecent haste, within an hour after 
his arrival, he ordered the corpse of the late 
conde to be consigned to the tomb, all were 
filled with indignation. 

The next morning, at an early hour, the new 
Conde de Ribiero was examining every cabinet, 
and ransacking every cofier of the deceased, 
and before noon, he had discharged all the ser- 
vitors of his late uncle, whose age or infirmities 
rendered them unfit for active service. There 
were nought but tears, murmurings, and pro- 
phetic shakes of the head, to be seen among the 
dependents, as they were ordered to leave the 
roof that had so long sheltered them, and under 
which they had hoped to have closed their eyes. 
No will belonging to the dead could be found, 
or if found (which was shrewdly suspected), 
was ever produced, and even a scanty pittance to 
support the infirmities of age, was denied those 
who had spent their best days in the service of 
the late conde. Huguez was among the dis- 



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VERONICA OF CASTILLE. 307 

missed, bat he was immediately engaged by the 
Lady Veronica, to form one of her retinue. 

On the evening of the day after his arrival 
at the castle, the conde sought the chamber 
appropriated to the Lady Veronica, and ap- 
proached, to take her hand with the air of one 
who seemed to think he had a right to it. She 
withdrew it with an air of dignified reserve that 
displeased him, and he was at no pains to con- 
ceal his displeasure. 

*< You are cold and haughty, methinks,'' said 
he, ** and receive me not as befits a betrothed 
bride to receive her future lord." 

The undissembled surprise of the Lady 
Veronica on hearing this speech, seemed to 
increase his anger, and when she proudly told 
him that she never had, and never would con- 
sider him in any other light than that of a 
mere acquaintance, his rage knew no bounds. 
He swore that she should never leave the castle 
but as his wife, and at the termination of their 
stormy interview, absolutely locked her up as a 
prisoner in her chamber, and put the key in 
his pocket. 

While this scene was passing at the Castle 
de Ribiero, Don Alphonso de Pampluna was 



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308 VERONICA OF CASTILLE* 

watching by the couch of pain of his bek 
brother, and endeavouring to cheer the gp 
of his aged sire. The first intelligence of 
death of the Conde de Ribiero was broi 
to him by the faithful Huguez, who, infor 
by Donna Olyuipia that the Lady Vero 
was incarcerated in her chamber, by the 
worthy successor of the late conde, thougl 
right to make Don Alphonso acquainted ' 
the state of afiairs. The indignation of 
lover knew no bounds when he heard of 
treatment to which she was subjected ; 
he vowed that he would rescue her from 
power of her unmanly persecutor, or peri« 
the attempt. He instantly determined to 
on the conde to restore the Lady Verc 
immediately to freedom, or to meet hiu 
single combat forthwith. 

This challenge was dispatched by a tr 
hand, and its receipt threw the Conde de Ril 
into the most ungovernable rage. He hur 
to the chamber of his fair prisoner, and 
raanded if she knew its writer. Her axk 
in the affirmative enraged hira beyond mens 
but when, after having reproached, and ( 
threatened lier with personal violence, she 



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VERONICA OF CASTILLE. 309 

knowledged, with all the ^ertS of her race, that 
she loved the Marquess de Pampluna, and 
never would he the bride of any other, his fury 
became desperate, and he vowed to take deadly 
vengeance on her loven He wrote, and fixed 
an hour and place for the combat. The spot 
selected was an opening in a forest, a few miles 
distant from the castle, a wild and unfrequented 
place, bounded on one side by a steep and 
nearly perpendicular rock, at the base of which 
flowed a deep river. 

The Conde de Ribiero, as dastardly in spirit 
as violent in temper, having heard much of the 
prowess in arms of him who had challenged 
him to combat, dreaded the result of the en- 
counter, and determined to try and take ven- 
geance by a mode less doubtful than that 
afforded by an honourable combat. Among 
his retainers, there was one named Diego, of 
great physical force and reputed skill in arms; 
and him he decided on having recourse to in 
this dilemma. He promised a large reward to 
Diego, if, when Don Alphonso de Pampluna 
advanced to the place appointed for the combat, 
he would rush out from ambush and slay him 
before he had time to draw his sword to defend 



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310 VERONICA OF CASTILLE. 

• 

himself ; promising, that if Don Alphonso fell 
not by the arm of this mercenary assassin, he 
would himself sally forth from a concealment, 
whence he could await the result of the ren- 
contre, and if required, assist in despatching 
his foe. The close of the evening was the 
hour agreed on for the meeting, and unsus- 
picious of treachery, Don Alphonso rode forth, 
unattended, to the appointed place. He had 
arrived within a short distance 'of it, when 
Diego rushed from the adjoining thicket, and 
attacked him with a fury and vigour which 
would have soon terminated the fight, had Don 
Alphonso been a less accomplished swordsman; 
but quickly recovering from the momentary 
surprise caused by the vile treachery practised 
on him, he not only defended himself from the 
thrusts of his powerful assailant, but aimed a 
blow at him that laid him, mortally wounded, 
at his feet. 

The dastardly Conde de Ribiero witnessed 
with dismay, the defeat of his mercenary, and 
would have fled, but the neighing of his horse 
betrayed his place of concealment, and the in- 
dignant Don Alphonso, hurling defiance at him, 
braved him to the combat. His pusillanimity 



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VERONICA OF CASTILLE. Sll 

afforded so easy a conquest to his opponent, 
that his anger changed to contempt, and he 
was on the point of abandoning the too unequal 
fight, when the charger of De Ribiero be- 
coming unmanageable, his rider, who was as 
little skilled in equitation as in arms, suddenly 
checked him up so violently, that the animal, 
rearing, fell with him down the precipice. 
Shocked at this catastrophe, which was the 
work of a moment, Don Alphonso approached 
the edge of the stupendous abyss, and shud- 
dered as he beheld the wretched De Ribiero 
and his steed dashed from rock to rock, their 
forms growing every instant smaller, until they 
were lost in the foaming torrent beneath. 
Another eye had also been a witness to this 
awful event ; for Huguez, having met the 
horse of the mortally wounded mercenary 
returning to the castle, and suspecting some 
act of treachery from the known character of 
Diego, mounted the steed, and directing him 
towards the place whence he had come, reached 
it only a few minutes before the dose of the 
eventful scene. 

The wounded man was conveyed to the 
castle, where, previous to his death, he con- 



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312 VERONICA OF CASTILLE. 

fessed the plot formed by his worthless mastor 
against the life of Don Alphonso. 

The first act of the latter was to deliver the 
Lady Veronica from her prison, and to lend 
her to the castle of his sire, where she was 
warmly welcomed : and soon became the bride 
of her deliverer, the consolation of his father 
and brother, and the honoured mistress of bis 
ancient house. 



END OF VOL. I. 



PtttXTVD BV WILUAM WlUXMrK»\» BOLLS WKXLDISSM, mTBA JLAXB. 



dbyGoogk 



THE 



LOTTERY OF LIFE. 



VOL. II. 



dbyGoogk 



dbyGoogk 



THE 



LOTTERY OF LIFE. 



THE COUNTESS OF BLESSINGTON. 



After loDf •lomct and tenpats overbtowne, 
TIm Sunot at length hit Joyous ftoe doth eleire : 
So triMn m Fortune all her splght hath ihowne. 
Some btlnftil houn at last must necdes a|ipeare» 
Else should attded wights oftttmes despene. 

Sexxax»*B Fab&t CIvbbvb. 



IN THREE VOLUMES, 
VOL. II. 



LONDON: 
HENRY COLBURN, PUBLISHER, 

GBEAT HABLBOROUOH STREET. 
1842. 



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m 




T 



PRTIfTBD BV WliXIAM WILOOCKflON, ROLLS BUILDIIIOA, rnTMl 



yGoogk 




CONTENTS. 



VOL. II. 

TAOB 

IN TBB L17E OF A POETEAIT PAINTER • • . 1 

k; OR, TH£ DESERTED VILLAGE .... 35 

EAM 57 

NEYXOON ........ 65 

ESTER .83 

ORUANI • 103 

ONY .187 

# c 

XEBTERS ........ 191 

QUSTTE 241 

AUTT AND HER SISTER 269 



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Digitized 



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SCENES 



LITE OF A PORTRAIT PAINTER. 



SCENE I. 



EED, my dear friend, you will destroy 
health by this incessant labour," said 
is Dormer, a young barrister in the 
le, to Frederick Emmerson, an artist, as 
at in the studio of the latter. *^ You 
i take exercise, and be more in the open 
an you are, or you will ineyitably kill 
If/' 

i is not the want of air or exercise that 
3 me, I assure you, Charles; it is the 
, the burning desire, to satisfy not only 
, but myself. You know not what it is 
k for hours, with a fair ideal in the ima- 

.. II. B 



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X SCENES IN THE 

gination which the hand in vain endeavours to 
represent, and then to feel how far short falls 
the attempt to pourtray what is so intensely felt. 
Look here I" and he drew back a curtain and 
exposed to view, a picture representing two 
young girls of such exquisite beauty, that 
Charles Dormer uttered an exclamation of de- 
light. " Ah I my friend, if these imperfect 
resemblances please you, what would be your 
feelings of admiration — of wonder — could you 
but see the originals; — then would you turn 
with the same dissatisfaction that 1 do, from 
these pale and imperfect representations of 
charms to which Lawrence himself, who so well 
understood female loveliness and so admirably 
delineated it, would have found it impossible to 
render justice. Day after day, have I vainly 
attempted to give the canvas her smile," and 
he pointed to one of the faces, *' which haunts 
me, but finding that impossible, I have endea- 
voured to paint that serious but sweet expres- 
sion which so often pervades her countenance. 
This is my last attempt ; but it almost maddens 
me to look on it ; for it is no more to be com- 
pared to her than I am to Hercules." 

" Nevertheless, it is lovely," said Dormer ; 
^* and the other beauty, who is she ? " 



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LIFE OP A PORTRAIT PAINTER. S 

" Lady Isabella Crighton, the cousin of Lady 
Emily/' 

" Lord Blasonberrie and Lady Emily Home/' 
said the servant of Emmerson, throwing open 
the door, leaving Dormer just time to rush into 
a small room inside the studio, where he had 
previously not unfrequently ensconced himself 
when similarly caught by the visitors of his 
friend. 

" Good morrow, Mr. Emmerson ; we are 
early, but I was longing to see what progress 
you had made with the portraits. Why, bless my 
soul ! they are perfect. But you have changed 
the expression of my daughter's ; yesterday it 
smiled, and I was very well satisfied, — no easy 
matter to accomplish, Mr. Emmerson, I can 
tell you, when a father has but one daughter, — 
yet now it looks grave, and I like it, if any 
thing, better than before. Yes, it is perfect" 

" I am made but too happy and proud, my 
lord, by your approbation ; but I confess I have 
not satisfied myself." 

** Come here, Emily, let me look at you — 
stand there, my child, near the picture — there 
— take off your bonnet, my love." 

Lady Emily did as she was told ; and even 
Dormer, who could see her reflected in a glass 

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4 SCENES IN THE 

opposite the door, through the opening of which 
he was peeping, confessed to himself that the 
portrait failed to render justice to the beautiful 
original 

" What do you think of the picture, my 
child?" asked the father. 

*' It appears to me to be faultless, father ; 
only, perhaps, that my cousin's resemblance is 
less beautiful than the original, and mine is a 

little too *^ handsome, she would have said, 

but a dread of being thought desirous of a com- 
pliment deterred her from uttering the word, 
and she filled up the sentence by saying — " too 
young." 

Never before had Dormer heard such a voice ; 
low and sweet, yet distinct — there was melody 
in all its tones. 

" Too young, Emily ? O I that is capital. 
Why, to hear you, one would suppose that you 
were no longer in the first blush of youth. 
Too young, indeed I why, how old do you take 
my daughter to be, Mr. Emmerson ?" 

" About seventeen, my lord." 

" Right; she is just seventeen, and not yet 
a week over her birth-day. The more I look 
on the portraits, the better I like them. — 
Isabella looks round with that haughty air I 



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LIFE OF A PORTRAIT FAINTER. 5 

have sometimes remarked in her, and Emily, 
in spite of the fine feathers which I insisted on 
her wearing, has precisely that expression I've 
remarked so often in her face, when nursing me 
when I've heen laid up by the gout. I know 
that look well, and so I ought, for I too often 
call it forth by the frequent attacks, which 
always alarm my dear little nurse," and the 
fond father drew his daughter closer to his 
side, and bestowed a glance on her so full of 
affection, that her dove-like eyes became humid 
with tenderness. '* You must come down to 
Blasonberrie Castle, Mr. Emmerson, when the 
season is over in London. You shall paint 
another picture of my daughter for me, and 
one of me for her. You see, Emily, I don't 
forget my promise to you of sitting again for 
my portrait." 

The simple ** thank you, dear father," uttered 
by this lovely girl, seemed more eloquent than 
aught Emmerson ever listened to before, and 
Dormer nearly agreed with him in this opinion. 
" When may I send for the picture, Mr. 
Emmerson? I am longing to have it home, 
now that my niece has left us : it will extend 
your fame too." 



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b 8CENE8 IN THE 

*' In a week, my lord, I hope it will be quite 
finished.'* 

<< Good morning, Mr. Emmerson, good mom- 
ing ; — take my arm, Emily.** And IxHnd Bla- 
sonberrie and his lovely girl departed. 

When Charles Dormer entered the studio 
again, he found Frederick Emmerson standing 
entranced before the picture, and so wholly 
engrossed by it, as to be unconscious of the 
presence of his friend. " No,** muttered he, 
•< I cannot bear to look on it ; it has none of 
her beauty, none of those thousand indescrib- 
able charms, which I see, but cannot pourtray. 
I must ^ 

** Not change a single feature,** interrupted 
Dormer ; *' for, be assured, your picture is as 
like as art can be to nature.** 

'* Is she not more than painting can express, 
or youthful poets fancy when they love ? ** asked 
Emmerson. 

'* Yes, indeed, she is exquisitely beautiful ; 
and what a voice I — ^it is a pity she is so chary 
of it though, for I think she did not utter 
above ten words while here. Is she always so 
taciturn ?** 

** She talks but little ; yet, strange to say, 



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LIFE OF A PORTRAIT FAINTER. 7 

I never remarked it until you asked me the 
question." 

*' Those aristocratic dames, however young, 
are apt, I am told, to remind us of our lower 
degree, of the difference of our station ; and 
there can certainly be no surer mode of effect- 
ing this than by silence.'' 

" You wrong her, she is not proud," said 
Emmerson, with a warmth that evinced how 
deep was the interest excited by all that 
touched on Lady Emily Home. 
** Is she then dull, or inanimate?" 
" Dull, or inanimate I You could not surely 
have seen her face with its varying expression, 
each and all beautiful, or you would not ask 
this." 

" How, then, do you explain her silence ?" 
" Now that you remind me of it, I should 
say that it proceeded from thoughtfiilness. 
When painting her, I have felt a sentiment 
approaching to awe in the contemplation of 
such rare, such intellectual loveliness, some- 
thing like what I believe Raphael to have 
experienced when painting those Madonnas we 
delight to look on., I could no more commence 
a conversation on ordinary topics with Lady 



dbyGoogk 



8 SCENES IN THE 

Emily Home, than I could bring myself i 
a bacchanalian song before one of Ra 
Virgins. The intelligence of her count 
precludes the suspicion of dulness, ai 
candour and gentleness of it banishes 
pride. Had she spoken often, I could n 
painted her» for her voic^ thrills throu 
frame. Her cousin, whom many migl 
nounce to be as handsome, never produc 
effect on me/' 

*^ My dear Frederick, you are smitt 
all that is good, you are 1 You may we 
your eyes and stare at me, like one aw 
suddenly from sleep, but such is the fae 

** You offend, you pain me, by this il 
pleasantry, Charles ; do not, if you lo 
resume it It seems like a profanation i 
her the subject of a jest/* 

'* By Jove 1 I was never more serious 
life, Frederick ; take care of yourself, o 
will be a desperate case. Be warned in 

" As well might I presume * to lov 
bright particular star* as this peerles: 
both are alike beyond my reach ; am 
you not the line — 

* None witbout hope c*er loved the brigbtevt (utV 



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LIFE OF A PORTRAIT PAINTER. 9 

" Yes, and the sequel, too — 

' For love will hope where rcMon would despair,* '* 

said Dormer, looking archly at his friend. 

** No, no ; the sentiment inspired by this 
lovely girl is not love ; it is something totally 
different, — awe, reverence, devotion, if you will, 
bat not that passion experienced by every-day 
men for pretty women. Never do I look on 
her without being reminded of the lines in 
Camiu — 

* A thoosand liTeried angeU lacky her, 
DriTing far off each thing of sin and guilt. 
And in dear dream, and solemn vision, 
Tell her of things that no gross ear can hear, 
TQl oft converse with heav*nly habitants 
Begin to cast a beam on th' outward shape. 
The unpolluted temple of the mind, 
And turns it by degrees to the soul*s essence, 
TiU aU be made immortal* " 

" Well, if this be not love, I know not what 
is. Deceive not yourself, Frederick, with re- 
gard to your own feelings, lest you discover 
when too late that you are their dupe,'' and so 
saying, Charles Dormer hurried from the 
studio, to avoid the repetition of the denial of 
the truth of his suspicions, which he perceived 
£mmer8on was about to utter, leaving him 
angry, and agitated at the expression of them. 

« I thought he knew me better," soliloquized 

b3 

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10 SCENES IN THE 

Emmerson. '* In love, indeed I Bah I how I 
dislike this term, used by fashionable libertines 
to express some temporary caprice often felt 
for an unworthy object, by lawyers' derks, ay, 
and even by men^milliners, to define the gross 
inclination excited towards some dress-maker, 
or retailer of tapes and bobbins. Beautiful 
Lady Emily ! how different is the sentiment 
you excite in my breast ! Even here, in the 
privacy of my studio, in which this faint shadow 
of your loveliness seems to consecrate the 
chamber, I no more durst dwell on your pic- 
tured face, though wrought by my own hand, 
with other or freer gaze than the devotee 
regards the idol of his worship, than I durst 
look into your deep azure eyes when your pre- 
sence transforms this homely room into a tem- 
ple, whose sanctity I tremble to invade by the 
indulgence of one unholy desire, one earthly 
passion. Yet I can examine the likeness of 
the Lady Isabella Crighton with as much calm- 
ness as if it was the portrait of my grandmother. 
Others, in my place, might feast upon the ex- 
quisite beauty of the resemblance I have 
wrought, lovely Lady Emily, faint and unwor- 
thy as it is, when compared with you ; but I 
approach it with awe, and shrink before the 

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LIFE OF A PORTRAIT PAINTER. 11 

calm and pure expression of the inanimate eyes 
as I should do before the radiance of the living 
ones/' 

SCENE II. 

Pale and thoughtful, Frederick Emmerson 
stood before his easel, on the day following the 
one described, and on which was placed a por- 
trait nearly finished. Seated in a chair was a 
man of about fifty-five, whose rotund form dis- 
played a vast expanse of white Marseilles, in 
the shape of a waistcoat, around which a glossy 
blue coat, with bright gilt buttons, formed an 
unpicturesque background. A huge bunch of 
seals, suspended from a massive gold chain that 
hung from the pocket of his nether garment, 
furnished occupation for one hand, the fingers 
of which were continually playing with them ; 
while the other, on the last finger of which 
sparkled a large diamond ring, reposed on the 
arm of his chair. In his well-plaited chemise- 
frill shone a solitaire of considerable value, 
which he from time to time arranged, so as 
to exhibit it still more conspicuously. The 
rubicund face that protruded above the some- 
what tightened neckcloth, told a tale of long 



dbyGoogk 



12 SCENES IN THE 

continued indulgence in the pleasures of the 
table. The chin reminded one of the breast of 
the pelican, and seemed filled with some por- 
tion of the produce of the purple grape, so 
freely quaffed by its owner, and though closely 
packed beneath the cravat, was- continually 
endeavouring to overpass its boundary. The 
lips were thick and dr}' looking ; the nose, of 
large dimensions, was of a still deeper tint of 
red than the cheeks ; and the eyes resembled 
nothing so much as bottled gooseberries. The 
forehead retreated so suddenly, that it gave the 
notion of having done so to avoid a contact with 
the fiery red nose beneath, which seemed to 
have parched up the natural crystalline of the 
eyes that twinkled near them. A dark, juve- 
nile-looking wig crowned the head, and ill 
suited the light colored and bristly eyebrows, 
which denoted the natural hue of the departed 
hair. 

" May I look, Mr. Emmerson ?" 
" If you desire it, sir ; but I think it would 
be better to wait until the portrait is more 
advanced.'' 

"No I no I rU look at once,*' and Mr. 
Bumaby Tomkinson advances to the picture. 



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LIFE OF A PORTRAIT PAINTER. 13 

" Don't you think that the face is too red ? 
/surely can't be said to have a red face ?" 

** It does not strike me as having too much 
colour." 

*' Take off some of the red, I'm sure 'twill 
look better." 

*^ It really would injure the general effect." 

" Hang general effect 1 what care I for it." 

" But my picture, sir." 

" Your picture I minet you mean ; and, as it 
is mine, I must have it done in my own way." 

" But the likeness, sir." 

** Ay, the likeness I that's the very thing I 
mean, that's what I want, to have it made more 
like ; for at present it is not at all like — not a 
bit; there is ten times — ay, twenty times loo 
much colour. And the nose I you can't say the 
nose is like. Why, it's positively redder than 
the cheeks, and that's not natural, is it ? No 
one's nose is redder than the cheeks. Tou 
must change all that, indeed you must. When 
you have changed the cheeks and nose, I'll tell 
you what next to do, for the eyes and mouth 
most be altered— totally altered." 

Emmerson nearly groaned, and felt tempted 
to decline again touching the picture ; but the 

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14 SCENES IN THE 

recollection of a mother and two sisters wholly 
dependent on him, checked the impulse. 

Mr. Bumabv Tomkinson again seated him- 
self, and said — *' Now look at me, and you will 
see that my nose is not red, and that the cheeks 
are quite of another color." 

Emmerson looked, and saw that the exertion 
of moving, and perhaps also the displeasure 
experienced by his sitter, had rendered the face 
so much more red, that his portrait looked pale 
in comparison with the original. Again the 
dispirited artist groaned internally over his 
disagreeable task, as he took up his pencil. 

** I don't think you paint diamonds well,** 
said Mr. Bumaby Tomkinson. " Why can't 
you make them shine ? Look at this pin, and 
ring; see how they glisten, and show different 
colours, red, green, and yellow, and send out 
rays I Why can't you paint them so, instead 
of merely putting a spot of white paint, that 
looks like nothing but a dab of bread sauce?" 

Emmerson's servant now announced that 
Mr. Bumaby Tomkinson's carriage was come, 
and in it a lady who desired to come up. 

** A friend of mine, who I wish to see my 
picture — may she come up, Mr. Emmerson?" 



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LIFE OF A PORTRAIT PAINTER. 15 

" Certainly, sir.*' 

And in walked the lady. " So glad to see 
youy dear Mr. B. T. ; hope 1 haven't kept you 
waiting ; longing to see your portrait. Dear 
me, how beautiful it is I The very image! Did 
I ever ? — no, I never, saw such a likeness. Just 
your smile too. It's quite perfect. Pray, Mr. 
Emmerson, don't touch it any more, for fear of 
injuring the resemblance." 

" Humph I" muttered or rather growled Mr. 
Bumaby Tomkinson, upon which the lady cast 
an anxious glance at him. *' Don't you think 
it is a great deal too red in the face, Mrs. 
Meredith?" 

" O dear I yes ; a great deal too red, ten 
times too much colour. How could I be so 
stupid as not to have seen that at the first 
glance ? But I was so delighted, and so flur- 
ried, that " 

" But don't you observe that the nose is 
unlike ? it's positively even more red than the 
cheeks." 

" Well, so it is ; where were my eyes not to 

have seen it? 01 Mr. I beg your pardon, 

your name ^" 

'* Emmerson, madam." 

*' O I Mr. Emmerson, you must be very par- 
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16 SCENES IN THE 

ticular, /—that is, we — would not have his 
nose painted the least different from what it is 
for all the world. Every one says he has such 
a good nose, quite a pet of a nose. And now 
that I look steadily at the picture, I declare I 
hegin to think it is not half so like as I at first 
thought it. Why, it's much too old — yes, posi- 
tively twenty years too old, and hasn't got that 
very remarkable sort of a look that Mr. B. T. 
has sometimes. 

" I told you, Mr. £mmerson, that it wasn't 
like ; and you see this lady, who knows my face 
better perhaps than any one else, is of the same 
opinion, /don't care about the matter myself, 
but one likes to have one's friends satisfied, you 
know." 

" Paint the cheeks a delicate pink, Mr. Em- 
moton, just like what you see; and the nose 
not a bit red, for Mr. B. T.'s nose never is red; 
and make the %ure much slighter — in fact, 
exactly like his ; and give the face that very 
remarkable look that his has sometimes. Now, 
pray mind this, and then I'm sure the picture 
will be as like as possible." 

" Yes, do what Mrs. Meredith tells you ; no 
one knows my face better than she does." 

" I know it by heart," whispered the lady. 

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LIFE OF A PORTRAIT PAINTER. 17 

which whisper produced a gentle tap on the 
arm from Mr. Bumaby Tomkinson, and sundry 
" ha, ha's*' from her. 

The announcement of another sitter sent 
away Mrs. Meredith and her friend, who left 
the studio, declaring that they would return in 
a few days, and that they hoped to find the 
picture entirely changed. 

SCENE III. 

** I hope you will be as successful as you 
always are, Mr. Emmerson," said a lady in 
widow's weeds, the paleness of whose face, 
though it told of sorrow and delicate health, 
impaired not its beauty. 

*'I trust I shall be able to satisfy you, 
madam," was the reply, as Emmerson arranged 
his canvas, and looked at his colours. 

*' I have brought his uniform, as I wish to 
have him painted in it," and a deep sigh heaved 
the bosom of the speaker. 

" How I should like to have your picture, 
mother, to hang up in my berth — but no, I 
wouldn't like the other midshipmen or sailors 
to see it ; I'd rather have a miniature, to keep 
in my desk, with my Bible and all your letters, 
or to have tied round my neck, that I might 

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18 SCENES IN THE 

look at it whenever I had a moment to m 
Whenever I get any prize-money, 1*11 se 
home to have your miniature done for 
mother, that I will." 

The speaker was a beautiful boy of ; 
twelve years old, with a singular mixtu 
gentleness and manliness in his counten 
that at one glance excited a strong in ten 
his favour in the sensitive mind of Fred 
Emmerson. The boy looked continuall 
wards his mother with such tenderness bea 
in his handsome face, that the artist a 
the beautiful expression, and ere more 
two hours had elapsed, fixed it on his ca 
During that period the mother had more 
once been compelled to leave her seat, 
pretend to be occupied in examining the ( 
ings that were hung round tlie room, in > 
that she might wipe away the tears that 
ti Dually started to her eyes, as the thoug 
the approaching separation with her son 
only tie that now bound her to exist 
haunted her. But her emotion escapee 
the observation of the youth, and a tear sp 
ing into his deep blue eyes, marked his 
pathy with it* Once or twice he rc^e froi 
chair, and embraced her, whispering wor 



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LIFE OF A PORTRAIT PAINTER. 19 

love, that only increased the gushing tears he 
sought to arrest. 

'* When I am an admiral, mother, you shall 
have as good a house as we had once — aye, and 
a carriage too, and you shall come on hoard 
my ship in my boat, manned by my sailors," 
and the eyes of the generous boy sparkled with 
animation and pleasure at the anticipation ; 
while those of the fond mother glistened through 
her tears. 

Frederick Emmerson requested her to sit by 
her son, saying, as an excuse for so doing, that 
he could paint his picture better if the sitter's 
eyes were not continually turning across the 
room to her. 

** Then I must hold her hand in mine, if I 
may not look at her,'' said the youth, <* for I 
shall be with her so short a time, that I want 
to have as much of her as possible," a naive 
avowal repaid by a glance of inexpressible love 
by the mother. 

There she sat, her eyes beaming with ten- 
derness, fixed on her son; and Emmerson, 
charmed with the maternal beauty of the cha- 
racter of her countenance, rapidly made one of 
his most successful likenesses, while the mother 



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20 SCENES IN THE 

and son were totally unconscious that he was 
not painting the latter. 

** May I now look at the portrait, Mr. £m- 
merson ?" asked the lady, after two hours' pa- 
tient sitting from the time she had changed 
her position, yet so wholly engrossed was she 
hy her melancholy reflections, as to have for- 
gotten the lapse of time. 

'* Pardon me, madam, for wishing this young 
gentleman to see my work first.'' 

The youth left his seat, and, on advancing 
near the easel, clapped his hands with delight, 
and exclaimed — " 'Tis she I — 'tis she I — O I 
mother, dear mother, how happy I am I — ^look, 
look, so exactly like you, and just as you have 
looked ever since I was made a midshipman I" 
The hoy hugged his mother with rapture, and 
then turning to Frederick Emmerson, seized 
his hand, and wrutag it, saying, ** Ah t when 
I'm an admiral, you shall see that I do not 
forget this." 

The mother, overcome hy a sense of grati- 
tude to Emmerson, for the delicacy and promp- 
titude with which he had anticipated the wish 
of her son, endeavoured to thank him ; hut 
when he held up the portrait of the beautiful 



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LIFE OP A PORTRAIT PAINTER. 21 

boy, her full heart relieved itself by a shower 
of tears. 

" Only wait, dear mother, till I get my first 
prize money, and Mr. Emmerson shall have it 
all, that he shall. O I you don't know how I 
have longed to have your picture, that I might 
look at it when I am on the sea, and so far 
from you, that it will seem all like a dream 
that I can be so distant from my own dear 
mother.'* 

" Words are poor, sir, to tell you how I feel 
your kindness," sobbed rather than spoke the 
mother, as she reached out her small and atte- 
nuated hand to Frederick Emmerson, while the 
manly boy seizing the other hand of the artist, 
wrung it affectionately, and repeated, "Only 
wait till I get my prize money, and you shall 
see,'* and " When I am an admiral all my cabin 
shall be covered with pictures of my mother 
painted by you." 

Emmerson never felt half the pleasure in 
receiving the most munificent remuneration 
given him for any of his works, that he did in 
refusing the payment pressed on him by the 
grateful mother, and in the reflection that he 
had lightened the sorrow of separation to her 
noble and warm-hearted boy. 

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22 



SCENES IN THE 



** Yes, even the poor have their enjoyme 
said he, ** when their talents enahle the 
bestow a happiness that wealth cannot a] 
command, and such occasions make me t 
for the time being the wearing cares oi 
when the existence of those dear to me 
pending on this poor hand, compel an 
cise of it that is more than my weak fram 
well support." 

SCENE IV. 

** You will not require me to sit long 
frequently, I hope," said Lady Lamertoi 
widow of a city knight and millionaire 
had bequeathed to her the greater porti 
his wealth. 

This lady was in her fortieth year, anc 
been so much less kindly treated by N 
than by Fortune, that her utmost efforts- 
they were indefatigable — to supply the ah 
of every feminine attraction by the aid o 
only served to render her ugliness still 
remarkable. A profusion of black ringlet 
over cheeks covered with rouge, and si 
eyes, whose obliquity of vision gave a pecu 
disagreeable expression to her oounteo 
Her lips were so unnaturally red, as to 



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LIFE OF A PORTHAIT PAINTER. 23 

like thin pieces of sealing-wax, and when open> 
displayed teeth whose decay might perhaps with 
reason be attributed to their proximity to their 
painted portals. A dress suited to blooming 
eighteen, and an affectation unsuited to any 
age, added to the disagreeable effect of this 
mass of ugliness, the first glance of which 
shocked Emmerson. 

^* I detest sitting, and indeed I never would 
have consented to have my portrait done, were 
it not that I have been so tormented by all my 
friends. I hope you will not require more 
than three sittings?" 

** I am sorry, madam, that I cannot specify 
precisely what number of sittings will be neces- 
sary to complete the portrait, but I hope not 
a great many." 

O I that's what all you artists say. Must I 
take off my bonnet ? " 

•* If you wish to be painted in your hair." 

*• Certainly I do. But how do you think I 
ought to be dressed ? Lord Alverstock says I 
look best in a costume J-/a- Vandyke, and Sir 
Henry St. Ives insists that a modem dress 
suits me better." 

" Whichever you prefer, madam. Will you 
be so obliging as to be seated ?" 

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24 SCENES IN THE 

** What I must I positively sit in that chair 
mounted on three high steps ?" 

** The light is most adyantageous in that 
position, madam." 

** Well, if it must be so ; you are all just the 
same, always making one sit in some particular 
chair or comer, just as if it could make any 
difference." 

** Be so obliging as to turn a little to the 
right, and look at me ?" 

" How tiresome I won't it do as well if I look 
any other way ? I hate staring, or being stared 
at. I desired two or three of my friends to 
come and stay here while I am sitting, that I 
might not be too much bored ; I wonder they 
have not come." 

" I am afraid their presence might interrupt 
my labour." 

" And why so, pray?" 

*' By preventing your sitting as tranquilly as 
could be desired." 

" How very odd 1 — but all you artists are 
just the same, always wanting one to sit as if 
one was screwed to one's chair. Let me see 
how far you have got ?" 

** Pray do not ask to see the picture until it 
is more advanced." 



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LIFE OP A PORTRAIT PAINTER. 25 

" Why, you have heen half an hour — ^yes, a 
full half hour, for I've had my watch in my 
hand all the time, and yet you do not wish to 
let me see what you have been doing ; but that 
was just the way with Sir Thomas Lawrence, 
he couldn't bear to let people look at their 
portraits the first sitting ; yes, you are all the 
same. O dear I (and an unsuppressed yawn 
followed the exclamation) how very tiresome 
sitting for one's picture is. Could you not let 
me read, or do something to amuse myself?" 

" I am sorry you ^" 

'* So you all say ; but now, do let me look, 
it will divert me a little." 

" I hope you will excuse me, madam." 

And here two or three voices on the stairs 
announced the arrival of visitors, and prevented 
the expression of impatience the lady was on 
the point of uttering. 

'* So you are come at last," said she, as two 
men of fashionable exteriors entered the room ; 
" why did you not come sooner ? I have been 
here a whole hour, yes, positively an hour by 
my watch, and am tired to death ; and Mr. 
Emmerson won't let me see what he has been 
doing." 

VOL. II. c 

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26 SCENES IN THE 

*' I only waited to give time for some pro- 
gress to be made with the picture,^ said one ; 
" and I could not get away before,'' said the 
other. 

** Do look. Lord Alverstock, and tell me if 
Mr. Emmerson has at all succeeded." 

** I have done so little," said Emmerson, 
^* that you can hardly judge." 

** Au contraire^ the sketch is very like, and 
promises to be excellent." 

" Now, let Sir Henry St. Ives see it." 

The latter gentleman examined the portrait, 
shook his head, and then said, **Dont you 
think the mouth wants something ?" 

** Certainly, I have only sketched it, and the 
want of colour " 

" O I yes, I see now, it is the want of colour, 
and Liady Lamerton has such peculiarly red 
lips." 

'* It was one of Lawrence's great merits 
that he always painted the lips so very red ; 
when I sate to him," said the lady, ** he made 
the lips of my portrait even redder than 
mine." 

" I deny that," said Sir Henry St, Ives, **it 
would be impossible ; for yours are as red as 



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"^ 



LIFE OF A PORTRAIT PAINTER. 2? 

my jockey's jacket, in which he won the Oaks 
for me last year/' 

" What a comparison 1 Did you ever hear 
such a one, Lord Alverstock?*' 

'* I should have compared them to coral, hut 
even that is too hacknied,'* answered his lord- 
ship, with a bow. 

" Well, if my jockey's jacket does not satisfy 
you, what say you to the shell of a boiled lob- 
ster ? for, hang me I if I ever see one without 
thinking of your ladyship's lips.'' 

Peals of laughter from Lady Lamerton and 
Lord Alverstock followed this last speech, 
during which Frederick Emmerson, annoyed 
and disgusted, heartily wished the group away. 

" Well, I shall never forget the boiled lob- 
ster," said the lady, ** how very original I yet, 
after all, I don't think my lips are so very 
much redder than other people's, — do you. 
Lord Alverstock?" 

" They are so much more beautiful than 
those of other people, that no comparison can 
be instituted." 

" How like you. Lord Alverstock, to say so ; 
you always are so polite, and have something 
civil to say, — hasn't he, Sir Henry ?" 

c2 

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28 SCENES IN THE 

** Alverstock doesn't want the art of 
c ompllments, I must acknowledge*** 

" 1 then you think he complimeDti 
he spoke of the beauty of my lips,*' s 
lady, with an air of pique. 

*' No, in that instance he could not 
raent ; I defy him to say more of the 
they deserve." 

" Apropos of lips — did you see Mi 
more biting hers all last evening at Lad 
wood's, to make them look red?" 

" You don't say so?*' 

" Positively/' 

** Then, by Jove I her husband has 
chance of being rid of her than I thouj 

" Why so ? do, pray tell us ? '' 

" Because her lips have half an inch 
paint on them," 

*• Poor Mrs. Luxmore I how very sb 
But are you quite sure it is true?" 

** Certain.*' 

" I had no idea that any application 
sort to the lips was pernicious/' sai 
Lamerton, her face assuming a look « 
derable alarm, on observing which the i 
tlemen in attendance on her, exchang 



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LIFE OF A PORTRAIT PAINTER. 



29 



al glances, and Emmerson wondered at 
ablushing effirontery with which both of 
answered — 

) I to be sure not, how could you know 
ling of such things, you who never have 
on to use such aids ?'' 
^o, you could spare some of your beauty, 
d of seeking to add to it.** 
lave you seen my new parure of rubies 
lamonds, Lord Alverstock?" 
have not remarked them, I confess ; but 
an look at ornaments when you are near 



)» 



Ly, that's what I say," observed Sir Henry 
es ; *< beautiful women make a great mis- 
rhen they put on rich jewels ; they should 
them to be worn by ugly women, who 
re something to set them off." 
}ut when people have large fortunes, they 
ipected to make a suitable appearance," 
be purse-proud part^^Tii^ Lady Lamertou. 
¥ith due submission to your better judg- 
" observed Lord Alverstock, ** I should 
lat simplicity of dress in people of great 
b was a mark of refined taste." 
Ind / think that if rich people must show 
ure rich, they cannot take a better method 



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30 SCENES IN THE 

than by having handsome carriages, a stable 
full of fine horses, and giving capital dinners, 
and plenty of them," said the baronet. 

" You are so fond of horses, Sir Henry,** 
said the lady. '* But bless me ! I have posi- 
tively been here two hours ; really. Lord Alver- 
stock and Sir Henry, you have made yourselves 
so agreeable that I have not felt the time heavy 
since you. came. I could not have remained 
half the time had you not been here. I hope, 
Mr. Emmerson, you have nearly finished the 
picture ? " 

** I have been unable, madam, to advance 
it much while you have been laughing or 
talking." 

" That's just the way with all you artists ; 
you fancy people can sit whole hours in a chair, 
bored to death without moving. But let me 
see it." 

" Really, madam, I " 

<< It's no use refusing, I must positively 
look,'' and suiting the action to the word. Lady 
Lamerton rose from her seat, and placed her- 
self before the picture. After contemplating 
it for a few minutes, she exclaimed, *' I don't 
think it the least like I Only look at the eyes I 
mine, surely, are very difierent?" 

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LIFE OF A PORTRAIT PAINTER. 



31 



Very different, indeed,*' said the baronet, 
rhe nose, too, is wholly unlike mine ; and 
Louth is at least twice as large. The chin 
ye a little like, but what is that dark thing 
r it ? I surely have no discoloration under 
bin?'* 

rbat is the shadow produced by the chin, 
portrait, madam, is not, as I previously 
ed you, sufficiently advanced to enable you 
Ige of the resemblance." 
rhen why is it not, pray?" 
No picture of this size, madam, and in oil, 
le sufficiently advanced in a sitting of two 
J." 

So you all say, you are all just the same. 
:, Lord Alverstock, do you think it has the 
likeness?" 

I must say I think it will be like, at pre- 
it is merely ebauchSJ* 
I'm sorry j/ou think it ever will, or ever 
be like," said the lady, angrily j " and 
last remark renders the picture more 
^tionable. Tell me. Sir Henry, iSi/ou find 
sembles me?" 

I can't say I do," replied the wily baronet ; 
t I think with Alverstock, it has a very 
uch6 look." 



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92 SCENES IN THE 

" Sir ! " said Eoimersoo, his pale che 
coming red with anger. 

** J only repeat what Lord Alverstocl 
Mr, Emmerson/' 

" Yes, Sir Henry only repeated what 
Alverstock remarked," interrupted the 
"and 1 think it very improper that you 
have given me that sort of look*** 

A peal of laughter from Lord Alv< 
seemed to increase the ire of Lady Lan 
and made Sir Henry look amazed, •* I i 
such thing/' said the peer, as soon as his 
ter subsided enough to permit him to spei 
merely said the picture was but ebaucl 
not being aware that Sir Henrj^ does noi 
French, I could not imagine the word cc 
mistaken/' 

The baronet looked angry, and th' 
offended. The first muttered something 
the folly of using French words when E 
would do better, and the latter said, tha 
her part, she never regretted her ignora 
a language which she was quite sure wa 
objectionable," 

It was clear that the lady was offender 
the peer, for having admitted that the p< 
bore any resemblance to her, and his lat 



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LIFE OF A PORTRAIT PAINTEIU dS 

\ 

at the mistake relative to the French phrase 
added to her displeasure. 

Lord Alverstock and Sir Henry St. Ives, 
both men of ruined fortunes, were seeking to 
retrieve them by a marriage with the rich 
widow. The baronet, gross and ignorant, was 
more suited to the lady's taste ; but the rank 
of the peer disposed her to barter her gold 
for his coronet. It was while her mind was 
thus undecided, that the good breeding which 
prompted Lord Alverstock to avoid wounding 
the feelings of Emmerson by agreeing in the 
unjust answer pronounced by Lady Lamerton 
on her portrait, gave the first advantage over 
him to his rival, who, not only still more needy 
in circumstances, but infinitely less delicate 
in mind, was ready to assent to whatever the 
lady, whose wealth he aspired to possess, as- 
serted. 

The party soon withdrew, and a short time 
after Emmerson read in the newspaper the an- 
nouncement of the marriage of Sir Henry St. 
Ives to the Lady Lamerton, relict of the late 
Sir Matthew Lamerton, Knight, of Clapham 
Rise. An union which the scene in his studio 
had not a little tended to facilitate. The por- 

c3 

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34 LIFE OF A PORTRAIT PAINTER. 

trait was never completed; for the simple 
reason, that the lady deeming it unlikely that 
the artist could render justice to her charms, 
never returned again to favor him with a 
sitting, and forgot to pay the half price gene- 
rally advanced on the first commencement of a 
picture. 



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85 



GALERIA; 

OR, THE DESERTED VILLAGE. 



" PoarquoU toiu fes tkommes ne Toyent-ils pas sans une emotion 
profonde les ruines» mtoe les plus bumble ? ne serait-ce partout 
umplement pour eoz un image du malbeur dont ils sentent divene- 
ment le potda? Si les dmetidres font penser i la mort, un village 
abandonn^ fait songer an peines de la Tie ; mais la mort est un mal- 
beur pr^TU, tandis que les peines de la vie sont infinies ; or, Tinfini 
n'cst*il pas le secret des grandee m^lancbolies ?**— Balzac. 



<* Would the signora like to see the deserted 
village?" asked the master of the post-house 
where we stopped to refresh our horses, on our 
route from Rome to the Castle of Bracciano; 
** it is not ahove a quarter of a mile from this 
place, and those tew strangers who travel our 
road all go to examine it." 

Luigi, for so was the master of this post- 
house named, was a handsome, intelligent-look- 



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I 



J 



36 GALERIA. 

ing man : his military bearing, and the 
tache that shaded his lip, denoted h 
served in the army ; and a politeness an< 
tleness in his manner bore evidence tl 
had been accustomed to present himself 
ladies : his language was correct, and, s 
as his appearance and manner, indicatei 
he had seen much of the world ; while 
tain romantic air betrayed that its conta 
not obliterated the natural bias of hii 
racter, which was that of a reflective and 
mental turn. • « 

" There stands the village," said he, 
ing to a mass of buildings seated on ai 
nence, overlooking the fertile valley of A 
along which the clear and sparkling ri 
that name glided like a silvery serpen 
shaping itself, sporting through verdani 
dows, and then losing itself amidst ? 
knolls. We set out to visit Galeria, ou 
municative host acting as guide ; and, t 
short walk, found ourselves on a rustic I 
at the base of the eminence on whi< 
ruined village is seated ; and which, 
from this spot, has a mos '\»icturesque a 
anoe. 



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6ALERIA. 37 

Crossing the bridge we ascended a steep and 
winding road, each turn of which presented 
rich beauties ; and arrived at an arched gate 
of stone-work, surmounted by a clock, whose 
dial still remained, though the hands that had 
been wont to mark the flight of time, had 
disappeared. 

This gate formed the entrance into Galeria, 
and the view from it was beautiful. The vil- 
lage consisted of about fifty houses, containing 
from three to five rooms each, many of them 
having their rude walls covered with gaudy 
prints of saints and martyrs, attired in robes 
of glaring scarlet, ultra-marine blue and bright 
yellow, and possessing little of the beauty of 
holiness — being most hideous to behold; the 
artist who designed them having carefully 
avoided all riolation of the scriptural com- 
mandment, ''Not to make unto ourselves the 
likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, 
or in the earth beneath, or in the water under 
the earth.** 

The doors and windows still remained, and 
some wooden articles of furniture were scat- 
tered around; the ashes stood on the deserted 
hearths, wild flowers and ivy nearly covered 



dbyGoogk 



38 GiiLERIA. 

the windows, and innumerable birds were 
flitting about, and sending forth their joyfiil 
notes. Each hoose had its garden, once neat 
and trim, as our guide assured us, but now 
presenting little wildernesses, intermingled with 
bright flowers, peeping forth from the tangled 
mazes of shrubs and weeds that had nearly 
overgrown them. A silence, interrupted only 
by the carols of the birds, reigned around; 
and as we pulled the latch of the doors of 
many of these humble cottages, and entered 
tho' deserted chambers, the echoes of our steps 
sent forth a melancholy sound. A small ce- 
metery, with its wooden and stone crosses, 
nearly covered by briars, nettles, and weeds, 
stood at one side of the village; and on the 
other was a deep well, with its bucket and 
chain, the iron thickly coated by the rust, 
which was the consequence of its long disuse 
and exposure to the weather. Near to this 
neglected implement was a stone bench, shel* 
tered by a clump of trees, where, probaUy, 
the aged peasants bad been wont to enjoy the 
delicious evenings, only to be found in a south* 
em climate ; and in front of it was a level 
space, which looked as if it had been the 



dbyGoogk 



GALERIA. 39 

play-ground, or the scene of the dances of the 
young. 

A small chapel, with its cross and hell, a 
fragment of the rope for ringing the latter 
still hanging from the wall, showed that the 
humble inhabitants of this secluded spot were 
not forgetful of religion. Here all the drama 
of life had been performed, from the eritrSe to 
the exit; but where were the performers? Not 
a soul was to be seen ; not even a domestic 
animal passing through the grass-grown streets 
— all — all were fled I 

** Ah, signoral" said our host of the post- 
house, in answer to my exclamation, ** it is a 
long and a melancholy story ; but, if you wish, 
I will relate it. My poor mother, peace be to 
her soul I often repeated it to me as we sat on 
the bench in the porch, when the moonlight 
was silvering the old gateway of Galeria, and 
shining on the dial of the clock, which looked 
like the face of a spirit. 

<*Well, signora, forty years ago, this same 
deserted village was a scene of active and 
cheerful industry ; parents surrounded by their 
children and grand-children, young people who 
had grown up together, and learned to love, 



dbyGoogk 



40 GALERIA. 

ere yet the meaning of the word was known to 
them ; for, in our sunny clime, signora, we 
experience the passion before reason is suffi- 
ciently mature to enable us to combat its 
violence ; we are unconscious of either the cause 
or the consequences. In the lonely and quiet 
spot over which we are now passing, the sounds 
of the guitar and tambourine mingled with 
the hum of joyous voices every evening, when 
amusement succeeded the labours of the day. 
Among all the young women of Galeria, Yin- 
cenza Martelli was the most beautiful; her 
slight and graceful form lost none of its charms 
in the pretty camiciuola* and short, full, plaited 
gonneUaf of our Roman peasant dress ; and her 
glossy raven hair appeared still more black and 
shining, in contrast with the 8uovfy/ettolat that 
was laid in a square fold over it. Her straight 
brows, and the bright eyes that sparkled be- 
neath them, gave expression to her oval and 
clear brown face ; and if the rose shone not on 
her cheek, the rich red of her lip made one 
forget its absence. Her teeth, signora, my poor 
mother used to say, were as white as young 

* Bodice. t Petticoat ^ Plaited kerchief. 



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GALERIA. 



41 



Dds when they first leave the shell; and 
laugh was as joyous as sunshine. The 
ibours used to pause to look at her as she 
ned from the well, an amphora of water 
er head, so balanced, that not a single 
escaped, though her hands did not touch 
ad her step was so light, that it seemed as if 
ittle feet would not crush a flower« Every 
alked of her beauty except Giovanni Spi- 
who felt its power the most — he was never 
of looking at her ; and, even while they 
yet children, the neighbours used to call 
the lovers. 

jriovanni was the handsomest youth in the 
re, and perhaps it was for this reason that 
ur first distinguished him as a fitting 
ler for Vincenza. He sought for her the 
t grapes and most melting figs ; the first 
;s of the spring and the last rose of the 
ler were sure to be hers ; for it is only by 
simple gifts, signora, that the poor and 
)le can show their affection. Vincenza 
1 receive them with pleasure, and repay 
anni with a smile and kind words ; nor 
L glance wanting such as love alone can 
w. She would place the flowers in her 



;■(; 



'(I 



dbyGoogk 



49 GALERIA. 

hair and bosom, where they remamed, until 
seeking her lowly oouch she consigned them to 
a vase of water fresh from the fountain, and 
placed them on the table close by her pillow, 
beneath the picture of the Madonna. At other 
times she would weave the flowers into a gar*- 
land for the large image of her patron saint that 
adorned the chapel ; and it was allowed, that 
no girl in the yillage could weave a garland to 
be compared with that of Vincenza. 

** The afiection of Vincenza and Giovanni 
had grown with their growth and strengthened 
with their strength ; neither could remember 
when it had commenced, or when they had been 
able to support existence asunder. Together 
they sung the love ditties that they played on 
the guitar, or danced the tarantella to the 
merry sound of the tambourine ; together they 
had knelt and prayed at the shrine of the Ma- 
donna, and ofiered up votive flowers before the 
images of their tutelar saints. Each had be- 
come associated with the thoughts, feelings, 
dreams and hopes of the other ; they had never 
contemplated the possibility of even a tempo* 
rary separation ; their little hamlet was the 
world to them, the boundary of their wishes. 



dbyGoogk 



GALERIA. 48 

and the scene where their happiness was to he 
crowned. 

''The chapel now before us, signora, was 
viewed by the lovers as the place where one 
day their vows were to be sanctified, their chil- 
dren to be baptised, and their own bodies to be 
deposited, previously to their consignment to 
their last narrow home ; all this had occurred to 
all who, under their observation or within their 
knowledge, had, like them, grown together, 
loved and married ; and therefore Vincenza and 
Giovanni believed it would be their fate. 

"This supposed certainty of the future, 
threw an additional shade of tenderness over 
the feelings of the young people : they wholly 
depended on each other for happiness, and the 
few hours of absence that the manual labours 
of Giovanni in the fields occupied, were sus- 
tained and counted with impatience by both. 
How often has Vincenza looked to the west, to 
see whether the sun gave token of seeking his 
couch, that being the signal of Giovanni's re* 
turn. Seldom had he repaired to the field with- 
out bearing in his hat a bouquet of flowers, the 
gift of Vincenza ; and as seldom did he return 
without bringing some rustic ofiering to her. 



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44 GALERIA. 

*' Ah ! signora, the richest gifts wh 
grand can bestow, yield not such pore p 
as the humble oflerings of the poor and 
I, signora, have seen much of the wo 
have served in the army, and been man 
a courier, during which time I have bei 
ployed in some noble families ; and on oc 
of marriages, have seen jewels given, 
might ransom a prince, and whose d 
lustre made my eyes ache, without the 
ferring half the delight that a single rib 
kerchief of silk has excited in the breast 
of our peasants, when presented by the 1 
love. 

" Ay, you grand ones of the earth, si 
have so many different sources of gratifi 
that when you love, it is only another 
ment added to your vast store ; but, w 
love constitutes the whole, the sole, tl 
one I You have each your different pi 
your different pleasures, and can amuse 
^ves so well, when asunder, that you < 
not on each other for happiness. Forgi 
signora, for my boldness in expressing 
flections, and permit me to return to n 
rative. 



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OALERIA. 45 

** So genuine had been the affection of the 
lovers, that it created a sympathy and respect 
throughout the hamlet; their parents treated 
them as affianced ; and each rural belle or beau 
quoted them as models of example to the other, 
when dissatisfied by negligence or coquetry ; 
for, even in the most remote hamlet, signora, a 
woman is still a woman. 

" Many years before the period to which I 
refer, a dangerous malady had reduced the 
father of Giovanni to the brink of the grave ; 
and the despairing wife had vowed, before her 
patron saint, that if her husband recovered, she 
would devote her eldest son to the church. 

*' The illness terminated favourably ; and she 
prepared to fulfil the duty she had imposed 
upon herself. Andrea was the name of the 
youth on which this rigid fortune was entailed, 
but, happily, his calm, contemplative turn of 
mind rendered him not unfitted for its en- 
durance. 

** Mobile yet a child, he was treated as a 
chosen vessel ; one who was to be an inter- 
mediate point between those dear to him and 
the God he was to serve. The monastic habit 
was assumed by him ere he had yet quitted the 



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46 GALERIA. 

plays of boyhood ; and he met with affectioiiate 
indulgence, from the knowledge that he was 
doomed soon to leave his native village and all 
that he loved, to live in cloistered solitude at a 
few miles distance. 

" The spires of his convent you may see 
yonder, signora ; but they are more visible at 
sunset, when the last rays of the bright lumi- 
nary tinge them. My mother has told me, 
that often and oflten did she see Andrea 
with Vincenza and Giovanni leaning on his 
shoulders, their arms crossed as they leant on 
him, pausing to watch those glittering spires 
fading in the horizon ; and the lovers would 
draw closer to Andrea, reminded by them, 
that soon he would be torn from them, and be 
condemned to the solitude of that cloister. 
How many hopes of affection did they exchange 
with this dear brother I Andrea, in return, 
promising to pray for their hs^piness in bis 
daily orisons before the altar, and in his celL 
They dwelt on the visits they should make 
him ; the flowers, fruit, and new honey they 
would bring him. Giovanni archly addingi 
in spite of the blushing cheek of Vincenza, 
which she vainly endeavoured to conceal on the 



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GALERIA. 4lf 

ler of Andrea, that their first-horn son 
1 he named Andrea. 

uch was the fascination of this mild and 
onate youth, that his presence was felt to 
ource of pleasure instead of a restraint to 
vers. He was scarcely less dear to Vin- 

than to Giovanni, and was necessary to 
ippiness of hoth. He had now reached his 
beenth year ; Giovanni w^ a year younger 
icenza had completed her fifteenth birth- 

In a few days, Andrea was to enter the 
nt, and his approaching departure cast a 
I over the hamlet. At this period conti- 
and heavy rain had swollen the Arona ; 
instead of the blue and limpid stream 
L you now perceive, it had become a rapid 
liscoloured flood. A pet lamb, given by 
mni to Vincenza, had wandered from the 
It to the banks of the river, into which it 
tunately fell as she approached to secure 
Jnmindful of the depth and rapidity of 
irrent, Vincenza rushed in to save her 
rite, and was soon carried away by the 
of the torrent. She was on the point of 
ag, when Andrea arrived at the spot, and 
r himself into the river to rescue her. He 



y Google 



48 GALERIA. 

seized her by the long tresses that escaped 
from the bodkin which confined them, and 
drew her towards the shore ; when, overcome 
by the exertion, and borne down by the weight 
of the monastic cloak, he was carried away by 
the current, and sank to rise no more, at the 
very moment his brother arrived to snatch 
Vincenza from the arms of death. 

'* Giovanni would have left his Vincenza 
(lifeless as she appeared), on the bank, and 
have rushed into the water to share Andrea's 
fate ; but that he was forcibly withheld by 
some of the peasants, who, returning from 
their labour, had arrived in time to witness the 
catastrophe, and to save Giovanni from suicide. 
It was many hours ere Vincenza was restored 
to animation, or that she became sensible of 
the danger she had escaped ; but when return- 
ing consciousness brought the fearfril scene 
before her, she scarcely might be said to rejoice 
in her restoration to an existence that she knew 
was purchased by the life of Andrea; and 
throwing herself into the arms of Giovanni, 
and mingling her tears with his, she prayed 
him to forgive her for having deprived him of 
a brother. 



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GALERIA. 49 

" When the lifeless corpse of Andrea was 
discovered, his clenched hand still grasped a 
tress of raven hair, which even death itself 
had failed to compel him to relinquish ; and 
his contracted hrow and compressed lips, 
marked the struggle he had made to save her 
to whom it had helonged. Bitter were the 
tears that bedewed his pale forehead, while, 
bending over him, Vincenza and Giovanni 
passionately expressed their resolution, ever 
and fondly to cherish the memory of his virtues 
and disastrous fate ; then, feeling that in losing 
this dear and trusted brother, one of the links 
of the chain that united them was broken, they 
vowed henceforth to be all to each other. 
Alas I they foresaw not that this terrible afflic- 
tion, their first in the school of trials, would be 
the cause of so much future misery, and that 
their lives, hitherto so tranquil and happy, 
were never more to know peace. 

'*No sooner had the mortal remains of 
Andrea been consigned to the grave, bedewed 
by the tears of all the village, than the mother 
declared that Giovanni, her only surviving son, 
must be devoted to the church in the place of 
him she had lost. In vain were tbe tears and 

VOL. n. D 



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50 GALERIA. 

despair of the lovers, rendered now doubly dear 
to each other by the grief that Andrea's death 
had caused them, — in vain were the interces- 
sions of relatives, friends, and neighbours, — the 
superstitious and bigotted mother was resolved 
on the sacrifice of her child, of whose fate she 
now became the sole arbitress, in consequence 
of the death of her husband, which occurred a 
few days after that of Andrea. 

" To his wife, the deceased parent, a weak 
and good-natured man, and the richest in the 
village, bequeathed all his wealth ; with the 
chief portion of which, she proclaimed her 
intention of endowing the convent as soon as 
Giovanni should pronounce his vows. This 
declaration enlisted the whole of the monks on 
her side ; and entreaties, representations, and 
promises having failed to produce any efiect on 
Giovanni, an order was procured from the 
commandant of a neighbouring town, for a 
party of military to tear him from the arms of 
his agonized and despairing Vincenza, and 
bear him to the convent, where he was kept a 
close prisoner. 

'* The deep anguish of Vincenza failed to 
produce any efiect on the obdurate mother of 



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GALERIA. 51 

her lover ; nay, the poor girl was looked upon 
by the inflexible fanatic, as an impious crea- 
ture, who wanted to place herself between her 
son and heaven. Vincenza used to sit for 
hours on a rustic seat that commanded a view of 
the convent spires ; and, when the deepening 
shades of evening hid them from her sight, she 
would return pale and silent to her cheerless 
home, and throw herself on that pillow from 
which peaceful slumber had now fled for ever. 
*'The unhappiness of the youthful lovers 
had thrown a gloom over the whole viUage ; 
for, though a superstitious dread of the monks 
had checked the expressions of the sympathy 
all felt, it had but rendered the feeling more 
profound. The sounds of the guitar or tam- 
bourine were no longer heard to break on the 
stillness of evening : gloom had succeeded to 
cheerfulness in the lately happy village, and all 
was changed. Poor Giovanni had undergone 
a system of persecution, instigated even less by 
superstition than by the cupidity of the monks, 
who wished to ensure the wealth promised by 
his mother. Coercion had been tried in vain ; 
persuasion, too, had hitherto failed to induce 
him to repeat the vows that must separate him 

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52 GALERIA. 

for ever from his Vincenza ; but when he dis- 
covered that on his compliance depended his 
sole chance of ever again leaving the walls of 
his convent, he yielded a reluctant and painful 
assent, and pronounced himself the servant of 
God, while hi& heart beat tumultuously with 
an earthly passion. 

*' Six additional dreary months were added 
to those already passed in his monastic prison, 
ere Giovanni was permitted to pass its guarded 
portals. Each hour of this period had been 
counted with bitterness of feeling by Vincenza^ 
who sometimes accused her lover of weakness 
or inconstancy, in yielding to their separation 
(unconscious of the persecution he was under- 
going), but she still oftener wept their fate ; 
shedding those bitter tears that sear the cheek 
on which they fall, and refresh not the heart 
from which they spring. 

" The mother of Giovanni was taken dan- 
gerously ill, and when her recovery was hope^ 
less, her son was permitted, for the first time, 
to leave his convent, that he might close her 
dying eyes. He arrived but in time to perform 
this filial office ; for, in a few minutes after he 
had entered her chamber, she expired. By 



dbyGoogk 



GALERIA. 53 

her bedside he found Vincenza, who had nursed 
her through her malady, and who, worn out 
by grief and watching by the sick bed, was 
scarcely to be recognised. 

** Hiose who were in the outer room de- 
dared, that for some time they heard con- 
vulsive sobs, and deep groans mingled with 
whispers ; and then a silence befitting the 
chamber of death, prevailed. When an hour 
had elapsed, and not a sound had manifested 
itself to the attentive ears of the anxious 
listeners, they entered the room, and to their 
utter astonishment, found only the lifeless 
corpse of the mother, the face still wet with 
the tears of Giovanni and Vincenza. A door, 
that conducted from the chamber into the 
garden was open, and 43vidently indicated the 
mode of the lovers' escape. 

'* Whither had th^ gone ? was the ques- 
tion all asked,' but none could solve. Could 
Vincenza, the good, the pure-minded Vincenza, 
have eloped vnth a priest ? No I so daring an 
impiety was too dreadful even to be imagined ; 
and yet, how else account for their disappear- 
ance? 
'' The two monks who had been sent to guard 



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54 GALERIA. 

GioYauni from the coovent, returned thither 
to tell the dreadful tale of sacrilege ; and their 
superior despatched emissaries through all the 
surrounding country, to arrest the unhappy, 
and as they were termed, impious pair. Still no 
tidings could he obtained of them ; no one had 
seen — ^no one had heard, any trace of them. 
The monks took possession of all that the 
deceased widow had left ; and by their rapamty 
disgusted all the inhabitants of Galeria. 

^^ Well, signora, various were the conjectures 
formed on every side, as to the probable fate 
of the lovers : they were believed to be living 
in sin together in some distant part of the 
country ; and, truth to say, many people were 
more inclined to pity than to condemn them. 

^^ Summer had come again ; the waters of 
the Arona had receded from its banks, and 
some peasants had entered the bed of the 
river, to obtain gravel for the repair of the 
road, when their attention was attracted by 
a dark mass half shrouded by sand. They 
removed it, and discovered at the very spot 
where Andrea had perished, the bodies ef 
the lovers locked in each other's arms, and 
wrapped in the monastic cloak of Giovanni ! 



dbyGoogk 



6ALERIA. 55 

'* My mother saw them, signora, and she told 
me that the long tresses of Vincenza were wound 
round the ill-fated youth, as if to prevent their 
remains from heing separated, even in death. 

*' They were the last who were ever placed 
in the cemetery : here, signora, is their grave, 
the only one preserved free from the weeds and 
nettles that overgrow the others ; for my poor 
mother performed this humhle task while she 
lived, in memory of their fidelity and misfor- 
tunes ; and since her death, I h^ve faithfully 
fulfilled the office. 

*' The monks, enraged at the pity displayed 
by the inhabitants of Galeria, pronounced a 
curse on the village, which so alarmed the 
natives, that they fled the spot, leaving nearly 
all their household goods and utensils behind } 
and this became the Deserted Village." 



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57 



THE DREAM. 



" And ye love him still, Kathleen?" 

<< Faix and I do ; sore against my will, too, 
sometimes: but troth, mavoumeen, for the 
life of me I csn't help it" 

" Yet, sure, haven't ye tould me, that he's 
as cross as may be, when he hasn't the dhrop 
of dhrink, and as cross as can be, when he has 
it, that he neglicts the childer, and snaps his 
fingers in ye'r face, when you want to keep him 
from the Dun Cow ; and afther aU this ye love 
him? Well, for my part, I 'm but a lone woman, 
to be sure, and never knew what it was — God 
be praised I — to have a man on my own floor, 
houl^ting out against me, ever since I lost my 
poor &ther — pace be to his sowll — last Christ- 
mas was eleven years ; but I think I could no 

dS 

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58 THE DREAM. 

more bear with such traitment as you put up 
with, Kathleen, then I could fly." 

" Aragh cuisla machree; it is because you've 
been a lone woman, and have not been used to 
have a man on your floor, houlding out against 
you, that it seems so hard to bear. One gets 
used to every thing in the course of time ; and 
many is the thing that seemed disagreeable 
enough at first, that has come so pleasant at 
last, that sure one has got to like it." 

" That 's what my poor ould granny used to 
say, in regard to the snuff. * When I used td 
take a snisheen at first,' said she, (may the 
heavens be her bed this blessed night!) ^I 
didn't like it much ; but afther I had taken it 
for some time, faix I got used to it, and liked 
it ; and roany's the lonesome hour it has helped 
me over.' " 

'* Well, thin, so it is with a husband's ways; 
one feels a saucy word, or an impudent shake 
of the head, just ready to answer him, but if 
one has the luck to keep in both, faix 'twill be 
a great blessing." 

*' But how did ye fimd out the craft to keep 
^em in, Kathleen ? For, troth, they come so 
quick to me, whinever I'm vexed, that off they 
go, whether I will or no." 

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THE DREAM. 59 

•* Well, then, Pegg asthorei I'll tell you how 
it all happened. Though as 'twas only a 
dhream, a simple dhream, mayhap you'll not 
think so seriously of it as I did. But dhreams 
come direct from heaven I hekase, as they 
appear .to us when we are asleep, and can't 
help ourselves, it's clear that God, who always 
purtects the helpless, sends 'em to us." 

** Then £ux, Kathleen, it's yerself that's the 
quare woman to he helieving in dhreams? But 
tell me what it was you dhreamt, avoumeen." 

*^'Twas a fine summer evening, Peggy, as 
ever shone out of the heavens. The hees were 
flitting about from flower to flower, and say- 
ing, with their playsant voices, ^ What a sweet 
life we lade I' The birds were singing such 
music, that those who had once listened to it 
with the ears of their hearts, wants no better. 
And the red sun was going to bed, behind 
purple curtains, fringed with goold, richer than 
any king^s, when I sat at the open window, — 
that same window, Peggy, that you now see. 
The sweet smell of the flowers came to me; 
the brown cuckoo hopped over the field, and 
repeated his cry as clear as could be ; the cows 
lowed in the distance, and every bird and 
baste, — ay, and the little tiny crathurs, that are 

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60 THE OREAM. 

smaller than the birds, might be heard too — 
all was so still and calm. Oh I in such sum- 
mer-nights, one may hear the voice of Heaven, 
if one keeps one's mind quiet, and looks up to 
God 1 But my mind — God forgive me I — ^was'nt 
quiet, for I was vexed and angry. * Well,* says 
I to myself, ' here I am, this beautiful night, 
and Andy promised he would come home before 
the sun had gone to bed, and there he has drawn 
his purple curtains, and put out his blessed 
light, and yet the man of the house does not 
come to me I Sure, His to the Dun Cow he's 
gone, to dhrink with them limbs of the devil; 
and this is the way that a poor woman is kept, 
like a mhoodaufif* watching the long hours, 
while he's spending the trifle he's aim'd!* With 
that, up gets the anger in my breast, and the 
heart of me began to bait, and my cheeks got 
as hot as a lime-kiln. * III go after him,' says 
I, * to the Dun Cow, and give him a bit of my 
mind, that I will I' But then I begun to re- 
member that Biddy Phelan used to go after 
Mick, her husband, until he got so used to it, 
that he would say he couldn't go till Biddy came 
for him; and I said to myself, ' It shall never 
be said, that I« a dacent girl, wint afther my 

• AfooL 



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THE DREAM. 6l 

husband to a shibeen shop.' * Bat, thin, ^would 
sarre him right, and may be teach him bether,' 
whispered the Evil Spirit in my ears, * if you 
were to spake to him afore the wild boys he's 
dhrinking with ;' and I up, and threw the tail 
of my gound over my shoulders, and crossed 
the treshold. ^ If he should speak crossly to 
yon, Kathleen, before all them chaps, would'nt 
it be a terrible downfal to ye?' said a little voice 
in my heart, no louder than the humming of a 
bee. * Faith, 'tis yerself that's right enough,' 
said I ; and I let down the tail of my gound, 
and begun to cry like a child. Well, I cried 
till I fell fast asleep ; for, though people say 
that sleep seldomer comes to the eyes that have 
been shedding tears, I have always found the 
contrary; and I remember the last thought I 
had afore I slept was. What a baste my hus- 
band was to lave me alone, while he was spend- 
ing his aimings at the Dun Cow I I slept, and 
I dhreamt that I was so angry with him, that 
I prayed to God to take him to himself, for 
that I'd rather lave him intirely, than have him 
laving me to go to the Dun Cow to throw away 
his money. * Well, you shall have your will, 
honest woman,' says Death to me; ^but re- 
member, that once I have granted your prayer. 

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62 THE DREAM. 

youll never see your husband again, except a 
corpse.' With that I saw my poor boy Ifldd in 
his bed, our bed, where we spent many a blessed 
night His face was as pale as marble, Peggy, 
when the moon is shining out in the church* 
yard. His hair was like the boughs of the 
willow, wet and drooping with the heavy dews 
of night ; and his lips were cold and silent as 
the grave. Oh, God I I shall never forget what 
I felt, when I looked at him in that moment. 
I threw my arms round him — my hot tears 
drenched his frozen face — I called him by every 
tender name — but he answered me not, he 
heeded me not. The memory of all our love — 
the happy hours of our courtship — and the more 
happy ones when I first stood on his floor as a 
bride, came back to me; and I thought I had 
never really truly loved him before, as I now 
did. And there he lay, with that beauty on his 
pale and lifeless face, that Death gives when he 
has struck the blow, just as if he wished to 
make us more sorrowful for what we have lost. 
I thried all I could to remember how often my 
poor boy had vexed me, in the hopes of its stop* 
ping my grief} but would you believe it, Peggy ? 
I could call to mind nothing but all the fond 
words and the loving actions of him, until my 

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THE DREAM. 63 

very heart seemed breakingi and I prayed to 
God either to restore him to life, or to take me 
with him. * Remember, woman,' said a voice, 
that sounded like the wind when it comes sigh- 
ing through a wood, when first the leaves be^n 
to fall, * remember that I tould you, if oncost 
I granted your prayer for his death, you should 
never see him again but as a corpse. I*m 
thinking 'tis yerself that's sorry enough for your 
wickedness in wishing for his death ; but it^s 
too late now. You couldn't bear to lose him 
for an hour or two at the Dun Cow, but now 
you must lose him for ever and a day. You'll 
see his plaisant smile no more, nor hear his 
loving voice. * Andy, Andy, cuishla machree, 
don't lave me I don't lave me I' cried I, like 
one that had lost all raison, and the big tears 
running down my cheeks I' * Faith, and I 
won't, my darlint,' said a voice, the sound of 
which I never expected to hear again in this 
world. * Sure, here I am, my colleen dhas ;' 
and he hugged me against his warm heart, for 
it was no other than Andy himself that had 
come home from the Dun Cow, and all the 
throuble 1 was in about his death was a dhream. 
From that night I have never scoulded him, 
nor said a cross word about his going to the 

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64 THE DREAM. 

Dun Cow; for whenever an angry thought 
was coming into my head, I remembered my 
dhream, and thanked God he wasn't dead." 

" Oh, Peggy, dear I Such warnings as that 
are blessed things, and teach us to bare and 
forbare. Praise be to His holy name who 
sends 'em I'* 



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65 



THE HONEYMOON. 



^ Some penons pay for m month of honey with a life of vinegar.** 

Novels and comedies end generally with a 
marriage, because, after that event it is sup- 
posed that nothing remains to be told. 

This supposition is erroneous, as the history 
of many a wedded pur might exemplify ; for 
how many hearts have fallen away from their 
allegiance, after hands have been joined by the 
saffron-robed god, which had remained true, 
while suffering all the pangs that from time 
immemorial have attended the progress of the 
archer-boy ? 

Passion — possession — what a history is com- 
prised in these two words I But how often 
mig^t its moral be conveyed in a third — ^in- 
difference ? 

Marriage, we are told, is the portal, where 

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66 THE HONETMOON. 

Love resigns his votaries to the dominion of 
sober Reason ; but, alas I many have so little 
predilection for his empire, that they rather 
endeavour to retain the illusions of the past, 
gone for ever, than to be content with the reality 
in their power. 

During the days of courtship, the objects 
beloved are viewed through a magic mirror 
which gives only perfections to the sight ; but 
after marriage, a magnifying glass stands to 
supply its place, which draws objects so un- 
pleasingly near, that even the most trivial 
defects are made prominent. 

Courtship is a dream — ^marriage the time 
of awaking; — ^fortunate are they who can lay 
aside their visions for the more common-place 
happiness of life, without disappointment or 
repining. 

The hero and heroine of our sketch were 
not of these; they had loved passionately — 
wildly. Their parents had, from motives of 
prudence, opposed their union, considering 
them as too young to enter a state which re- 
quires more widsom to render it one of hap- 
piness, than most of its votaries are disposed 
to admit. 

This opposition produced its natural result, 



dbyGoogk 



THE HONEYMOON. 6? 

an increase of violence in the passion of the 
lovers. Henri de Bellevalle was ready to com- 
mit any action, however rash, to secure the 
hand of Heroiance de Montesquieu, and she 
did all that a well brought up young French 
lady could be expected to do, — she fell danger- 
ously ilL Her illness and danger drove her 
lover to desperation, while it worked so effec- 
tually on the fears of her parents, that they 
yielded a reluctant consent to the marriage, 
which was to be solemnized the moment that 
she was restored to health. The first inter- 
view between the lovers was truly touching: 
both declared they must have died had their 
marriage not been agreed to, and both firmly 
believed what they asserted. 

Henri de Bellevalle being now received as 
the future husband of Hermance, passed nearly 
the whole of his time with her, seated by the 
chaise-Iongtie of the convalescent, marking, 
with delight, the return of health's roses to 
her delicate cheek, and promising her un- 
changing, devoted, eternal love. 

'*Yes, dearest Hermance," would he say, 
*' Hermance, you are mine, wholly mine I I 
shall have no will but yours, never shall I quit 
your presence. Oh I how tormenting it is to 

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68 THE HONEYMOON. 

be forced to leave you, to be told by your 
mother that I fiitigue you by the length of my 
▼isits, and to be absent from you so many long 
and heavy hours. And you, Hermance, do 
you feel as I do ?— do you mourn my absence, 
and count with impatience the hour for our 
meeting ?'' 

The answer may be guessed; yet though 
tender as youthful and loving lips could utter, 
it scarcely satisfied the jealous and esigeant 
lover. 

''But will you always love me as at pre- 
sent ?*' asked the timid girL <* I have heard 
such strange tales of the difference between 
the lover and the husband; nay, indeed, I 
have seen ; for the Vicomte de Belmonte new 
leaves my poor friend Elise for whole hours, 
yet you may remember that before they were 
married, he, too, would hardly bear to be 
absent from her side. Ah I were you to change 
like him, I should be wretched." 

** You wrong yourself and me, my adored 
Hermance, by supposing me capable of acting 
like De Belmonte; and, besides, your poor 
friend, though a very charming person, does 
not resemble you. Ah ! what woman ever did ? 
If she only possessed one half your charms he 

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THE HONEYMOON. 



69 



1 not tear himself away from her. No I 
est ; years shall only prove that my passion 
ou can know no change, and never, never 
[ the husband be less ardent than the lover I 
ve planned all our future life : it shall pass 
summer day — bright and genial. We will 
e from Paris, which I have hated ever 
} I loved you ; its noise, its tumultuous 
sures distract me. I could not bear to see 
gazed at, followed, and admired. No I I 
my Hermance, that it would drive me mad. 
you, my beloved, will you not sigh to leave 
pleasures of the metropolis, and to exchange 
Dwd of admirers for one devoted heart?" 
How can you ask such a question ?" replied 
mance, pouting her pretty lip, and placing 
little white hand within his ; *^ I shall be 
g;hted to leave Paris ; for I could not bear 
ee you talking to the Duchesse de Monforte, 
a dozen other women, as you used to do 
in I first knew you ; and when all my young 
ads used to remark, how strange it was that 
married women oteupied the attention of 
young men so much, that they scarcely 
k any notice of us spinsters. I should be 
y jealous, Henri, I can tell you, were you 



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70 THE HONEYMOON. 

to show more than distant politeness to any 
woman but me." 

And her smooth brow became for a moment 
contracted, at the recollection of his former 
publicly marked attentions to certain ladies of 
feshion. 

The little white hand was repeatedly pressed 
to his lips, as he assured her again and again, 
that it would become irksome to him to be com- 
pelled to converse with any woman but herself; 
and her brow resumed its former unruffled 
calmness. 

** I have taken the most beautiful cottage 
om^ at Bellevue ; it is now fitting up by Le 
Sage, as if to receive a fairy queen. Such a 
boudoir 1 how you will like it 1 We will walk, 
ride, drive, read, draw, and sing together — in 
short, we shall never be a moment asunder; 
but perhaps, Hermance, you will get tired 
of me? 

*^ How cruel, how unjust to suppose it pos- 
sible!" was the answer. 

In such day-dreams did the hours of convales- 
cence of the fair invalid pass away, interrupted 
only by the pleasant task of examining and 
selecting the various articles for the trousseauy 



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THE HONEYMOON. 71 

rendered all the pleasanter by the impassioned 
compliments of the lover, who declared that 
while each and all were most becoming, they 
still borrowed their best grace from her whom 
they were permitted to adorn. 

He taught her to look forward to wedlock as 
a state of uninterrupted happiness, where love 
was for ever to bestow his sunny smiles, and 
never to spread his wings. They were to be 
free from all the ills to which poor human 
nature is subject Sorrow or sickness they 
dreamt not of; and even ennuis that most 
alarming of all the evils in a French man or 
woman's catalogue, they feared not ; for how 
could it reach two people who had such a de- 
lightful and inexhaustible subject of conversa- 
tion as was offered by themselves. 

At length the happy mom arrived ; and after 
the celebration of the marriage, the wedded 
pair, contrary to all established usage in France 
on similar occasions, left Paris and retired to 
the cottage omd at Bellevue. 

The first few days of bridal felicity, marked 
by delicate and engrossing attentions, and de- 
licious flatteries, flew quickly by; reiterated 
declarations of perfect happiness were daily, 
hourly exchanged ; and the occasional inter- 
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72 THE HONEYMOON. 

ruptions to their tite^tSte^ offered by the yisits 
of friends, was found to be the only drawback 
to their enjoyment 

After the lapse of a week, however, our 
wedded lovers became a little more sensible to 
the claims of friendship. Fewer confidential 
glances were now exchanged between them, 
expressive of their impatience at the lengthened 
visits of their acquidntances ; they began to 
listen with something like interest to the gossip 
of Paris, and not unfrequently extended their 
hospitality to those who were inclined to 
accept it In short, they evinced slight symp- 
toms of a desire to enter again into society, 
though they declared to each other that this 
change arose from their wish not to appear 
unkind, or ill-bred, to their acquaintances 
They even found that such casual interruptions 
served to give a new zest to the delights of 
their Ute-ct-t^tes. Yet each marked, in secret, 
that ** a change came o'er the spirit of their 
dream }" and that when no visitors dropped in, 
the days seemed unusually long and monotonous. 
— They were ashamed to acknowledge this 
alteration, and endeavoured to conceal their 
feelings by increased demonstrations of affec- 
tion, but the forced smiles of both, insensibly 



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THE HONEYMOON. 7^ 

extended to yawns ; and they began to discover 
that there must be something peculiarly heavy 
in the atmosphere to produce such effects. 

When they drove, or rode out, they no longer 
sought the secluded wooded lanes in the ro- 
mantic neighbourhood, as they had invariably 
done during the first ten days of their mar- 
riage, but kept on the high road or the fre- 
quented one in the Bois-de-Boulogne. Her- 
mance observed, with a sigh, that Henri not 
unfrequently turned his head to observe some 
fair ecjuestrian who galloped by them, and Henri 
discovered, with some feeling allied to pique, 
that Hermance had eyes for every distinguished 
looking cavalier whom they encountered ; — 
though to be sure it was but a transient glance 
that she bestowed on them. Each was aware 
that the change equally operated on both ; but 
neither felt disposed to pardon it in the other. 
Hermance most felt it ; for though conscious 
of her own desire to see and be seen again, she 
was deeply offended that her husband betrayed 
the same predilection for society . They became 
silent and abstracted. 

** I am sure," would Hermance say to her- 
self, ** he is now regretting the gaieties of Paris ; 
and this fickleness after only two weeks of 

VOL. II. E 

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74 THE HONEYMOON. 

marriage I It is too bad ; but men are shock- 
ing creatures I — yet, I must own, Paris is much 
more agreeable than Bellevue. Heigh-ho I 
I wish we were back there. How I long 
to show my beautiful dresses and my pearls 
at the soirSes I — and when Henri sees me, 
admired as I am sure I shall be, he will become 
as attentive and as amusing as he used to' be. 
Yes ! Paris is the only place where lovers are 
kept on the qui vive by a constant round of 
gaieties, instead of sinking into a state of 
apathy, by being left continually dependent on 
each other," 

While these reflections were passing in the 
mind of Hermance, Henri was thinking it was 
very strange that she no longer amused or 
interested him so much as a few weeks before. 

" Here am I," he would say to himself, 
** shut up in this retirement, away from all my 
occupations and amusements, leading nearly as 
effeminate a life as Achilles at Syros, devoting 
all my time to Hermance ; and yet she does 
not seem sensible of the sacrifice I am making. 
Women are very selfish creatures : there she 
is, as abstracted as if two years had elapsed 
since our marriage, instead of two weeks ; and 
I dare be sworn, wishing herself back at Paris 

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THE HONETMOON. 7^ 

to display her trousseau^ and be admired. — 
This fickleness is too bad I but women are all 
the same. I wish we were back at Paris ; I 
wonder if they miss me much at the club ?" 

Henri no longer flatteringly applauded the 
toilette of Hermance, a want of attention which 
no woman, and least of all, a French woman, is 
disposed to pardon. 

He could now (and the reflection wounded 
her self-love), doze comfortably while she sung 
one of his favourite songs — songs which only a 
few days before, called forth his most passionate 
plaudits. 

He no longer dwelt in rapturous terms on 
her beauty ; and she, consequently, could not 
utter the blushing yet gratified disclaimers to 
such compliments,, or return them by similar 
ones. No wonder then, that their conversation 
having lost its chief charm, was no longer kept 
up with spirit, but sunk into common-place 
observations. 

" Yes 1" Hermance would mentally own, " he 
is changed — cruelly changed." 

She was forced to admit, that he was still 
kind, gentle, and affectionate ; but was kind- 
ness, gentleness, and affection, sufiicient to 
supply the place of the rapturous romantic 

£ 2 

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76 THE HONEYMOON. 

felicity she had anticipated ? No I Hermance 
felt they were not, and pique mingled with her 
disappointment These reflections would fill 
her eyes with tears ; and a certain degree of 
reserve was assumed towards Henri, that tended 
not to impart animation to his languid, yet 
invariably affectionate attentions. 

Each day made Henri feel, still more forci- 
bly, the want of occupation. He longed for a 
gallop, a day's hunting, or shooting ; in short, 
for any manly amusement to be partaken of 
with some of his former companions. 

Hercules plying the distaff could not be 
more out of his natural element, than our new 
married benedict, shut up for whole hours in 
the luxurious boudoir of his wife ; or saunter- 
ing round and round again through the pretty, 
but confined pleasure ground which encircled 
his cottage. It is true, he could ride out with 
Hermance, but then she was so timid an eques- 
trian, that a gallop was a feat of horsemanship 
she dared not essay ; and to leave her with his 
groom while lie galloped would be uncivil — 
After they had strolled, arm-in-arm, the usual 
number of turns in the pleasure-ground, re- 
peated nearly the same observations, that the 
flowers, weather, and points of view, had so 

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THE HONEYMOON. 77 

frequeotly elicited, — ^looked at their watches 
and were surprised to find it was not yet time 
to dress for dinner. At length that hour 
arrived, regarded by some as the happiest of 
the twenty.four ; and our wedded pair, found 
themselves at the table, with better appetites 
and less sentiment than lovers are supposed to 
possess. In short, the stomach seemed more 
alive than the heart — a fact which rather asto- 
nished the delicacy of the gentle Hermance. 

During the first few bridal days, their ser- 
vants had been dismissed from attendance in 
the saUe^d-manger^ because their presence was 
deemed a restraint. Besides, Henri liked to 
help Hermance himself, without the interven- 
tion of a servant ; and with the assistance of 
dumb-waiters, their tite-h-tSte dinners had 
passed off, as they said, deliciously. 

In the course of a fortnight, however, they 
required so many little acts of attendance, that 
it was deemed expedient to dismiss the dumb- 
waiters, and call in the aid of their living sub- 
stitutes. 

^* How tiresome it is of our cook,'' said Henri, 
^' to give us the same potage continually." 

<* Did you not examine the menuf** replied 
Hermance. 

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78 THE HONEYMOON. 

'^ I scarcely looked at it," was the answer, 
•* for I hate ordering dinners ; or, in truth, 
knowing what I am to have at that repast 
until I see it, and here, I vow (as the servant 
uncovered the entries)^ are the eternal cdte- 
letteS'd^agneau and JUets-de-volaille; which we 
have so often, that I am fatigued with seeing 
them/' 

" Do you not rememher, cher ami^^ said 
Hennance, " that you told me you liked saupe- 
aVr-riz better than any other, and that the 
entrees now before us, are precisely those which 
you said you preferred?'* 

" Did I, love?** replied Henri, with an air 
of nonchalance ; " well, then, the fact is, we 
have had them so firequently of late, that I am 
tired of them ; one tires of every thing after a 
time/* 

A deeper tint on the cheek of Hermance, 
and a tear which trembled in her eye, might 
have told Henri th^t his last observation had 
given rise to some painful reflections in her 
mind. But, alas! both blush and tear were 
unnoticed by him, as he was busily engaged in 
discussing the JHets-de-volaille. 

" You do not eat, dear Hennance,** said 
Henri at length, having done ample justice to 

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THE HONEYMOON. 79 

the decried entries. ^^ Let me give you a little 
of this rdti, it is very tender.'* 

" It is only more unfortunate for that,*** 
replied Hermance, with a deep sigh ; ** but I 
cannot eat ;'* and with difficulty she suppressed 
the tears that filled her eyes, while a smile stole 
over the lips of her husband at her sentimental 
reproach. 

Hermance felt hurt at the smile, and offended 
at observing that Henri continued to partake as 
copiously of the rdti as he had previously done 
of the entrees. How unfeeling, how indelicate 
to continue to devour, when she had refused 
to eat I 

As soon as dinner was concluded, and the 
servants had withdrawn, Henri remarked, for 
the first time, that the eyes of his wife were 
dimmed with tears. 

'* How is this, dearest I" exclaimed he, — 
" you have been weeping — are you ill?" and 
he attempted to take her hand, but it was with- 
drawn, and her fece averted, while she applied 
her handkerchief to her gushing eyes, and wept 
with uncontrolled emotion. ** Speak to me, I 

* Tfae words used by m French lady to her husband on a similar 



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80 THE HONEYMOON. 

beseech you, Hennancel" continued Henri, 
endeavouring again to take her hand ; " how 
have I offended you ?" 

'^ I see it, I see it all, but too plainly," sobbed 
the weeping Hermance ; ^* you no longer love 
me I I have observed your growing indifference 
day after day, and tried not to believe the cruel 
change ; but now," — and here her tears streamed 
afresh—" I can no longer doubt your fickle 
nature, when I hear you avow that you get tired 
of every thing — which means every person — 
and this to me, who, only a few weeks ago, you 
]Nrofessed to adore I Oh I it is too cruel t why 
did I marry?" and here sobs interrupted her 
words. 

" You wrong me I indeed you do, dear Her- 
mance ; I said one tires of things ; but I never 
said, or meant that one gets tired of persons. 
Come, this is childish ; let me wipe these poor 
eyes," and he kissed her brow while gently 
performing the operation. 

" Then why have you seemed so different of 
late? " sobbed Hermance, letting him now retain 
the hand he pressed to his lips. 

** In what has the difference consisted, dear 
love ? " asked Henri. 



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THE HONEYMOON. 81 

'* You no longer seem delighted when I enter 
the room, or join you in the garden, after heing 
absent half an hour. 

" Hcdf an hour I " reiterated Henri, with a 
fiiint smile. 

" Yes I a tr/tofe half hour," replied Hermance, 
placing an emphasis on the word *' whole." 
" You used to appear enchanted when I came 
into the saloon at Paris, and always flew to 
meet me. You never admire my dress now, 
though you were wont to examine and commend 
all that I wore ; and you doze while I am sing- 
ing the songs, which a few weeks ago threw 
you into ecstasies." 

Poor Hermance wept afresh at the recapitu- 
lation of the symptoms of her husband's growing 
indifference, while he soothed her with loving 
words and tender epithets. 

Having in some measure reassured her by 
his affectionate manner, harmony was again 
established ; but the veil was removed from the 
eyes of both, never again to be resumed. 

They perceived that the love — unceasing, 
ecstatic — of which they had dreamt before their 
union, was a chimera existing only in imagina- 
tion; and they awoke with sobered feelings, 
to seek content in rational affection, instead of 

eS 

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82 THE HONEYMOON. 

indulging in romantic expectations of a happi- 
ness that never falls to the lot of human heings ; 
each acknowledging, with a sigh, that even in 
a marriage of love, the hrilliant anticipations 
of imagination are never realized ; that disap- 
pointment awaits poor mortals even in that 
brightest portion of existence — the Honeymoon. 



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83 



MARY LESTER; 



A TALE OF ERROR. 



*< Quel vago impallider che*J dolce riso 
D'un mmona nebbia ricoyene. "^Pc<rarcA. 

** One lovely biuh of the pale virgin thorn, 
Bent o'er a little heap of lowly turf, 
It all the sad memorial of her worth — 
All that remains to mark where she is laid.*' 

Joanna BaiUWs << Rajpur,** 

It was a lovely eyening in the early part of 
August, 1827, when a brilliant sun was sink- 
ing in the horizon, and tinging all round with 
his golden beams, that a travelling carriage 
and four was seen rapidly descending a hill on 
the north road. In the carriage, supported by 
pillows, reclined a young man, on whose high 
brow and noble countenance disease had stamped 
its seal in fearful characters, though the natural 

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84 MARY LESTER. 

beauty of the sufferer still shone forth trium- 
phantly over the ravages of ill health. His 
languid head rested on the shoulder of a young 
and beautiful girl, and his upturned eyes were 
fixed, with an expression of unutterable love, on 
hers. The last rosy rays of sunset, falling on the 
pale brow of the young man, shewed like a red 
cloud passing over snow, and contrasted sadly 
with its marble hue. 

" Mary, my blessed love," said the invalid, 
** pull the check-string, and order Sainville to 
urge the postillions to advance still quicker." 

" Be composed, dearest Henry," replied the 
young lady; " observe you not that the velocity 
with which we advance has increased the diffi- 
culty of your breathing? You will destroy your- 
self by this exertion." 

** Mary, you know not how essential it is to 
my peace of mind that we should reach Gretna 
Green most rapidly; every moment is precious, 
and the anxiety that preys on me is even still 
more fatal to my frame than the velocity of our 
pace. Tell Sainville then, dearest, to urge the 
postillions." 

Mary pulled the check-string, and Sainville 
soon stopped the carriage, and stood by the 
step. The change that the last hour had pro- 
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MARY LESTER. 80 

d on the countenance of bis master struck 
^rvant with dismay ; and he almost feared 
should see him expire, as, gasping for 
th, he turned his eager eyes on those of 
ville, and laying his hand on the arm of 
alarmed servant, said, " Remember, Sain- 
, that my life — nay, more than life, depends 
ly reaching Gretna Green in a few hours. 
i the postiUions gold — promise them all, 
y thing, if they will advance with all pos- 
' speed* 

he postillions urged their steeds, and the 
iage whirled along with fearful rapidity, 
e the invalid pressed with a nervous grasp 
small trembling hand that rested within his. 
/^ho were this young and interesting pair, at 
Be dreams of love and happiness the gaunt 
1 Death smiled in mockery, while he held 
dart suspended over them? To tell you 
they were, it is necessary to return to the 
ge of Dawlish, in Devonshire, where dwelt 
I. Lester, the widow of a field-officer, who 
killed at the battle of Waterloo; and who 
his still young and beautiful wife, with an 
nt daughter, a scanty provision, and little 
, save the distinguished reputation that his 
1-known bravery had gained in a life devoted 



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i 



86 MART LESTER. 

to the service of his country, and sealed by his 
blood. 

Colonel Lester's had been a love marriage ; 
but, unlike the generality of such unions, the 
love had increased with the years that had 
united them ; and they felt so happy as nearly 
to forget that their marriage had deprived them 
of the affection and countenance of their mutual 
relatives, who had declined all intercourse with 
two poor and wilful persons, as they considered 
them, who were determined to marry from pure 
affection, contrary to the advice of all their 
friends. It was not until death had snatched her 
husband from her, that Mrs. Lester felt the con- 
sequences of her imprudent marriage. Lefit alone 
and unprotected, with an infant daughter, how 
did she wish to claim for her child that protec- 
tion from her family for which she was too proud 
to sue for herself I And it was not without many 
struggles with her pride that she had a[)pea1ed 
to their sympathy. This appeal had been unan- 
swered ; for the relatives to whom it had been 
addressed found it still more prudent to decline 
an intercourse with an ill-provided widow, than 
it had formerly been to renew one with the 
happy wife of a meritorious officer, likely to 
arrive at distinction in his profession. 

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MART LESTER. 87 

Mrs. Lester retired from the busy world, and 
fixed her residence in a small neat cottage at 
Dawlish, determined to devote her whole time 
to the education of her child. This spot had 
been endeared to her by her having spent some of 
the happiest days of her life there, with Colonel 
Lester soon after her marriage; and she found 
a melancholy pleasure in tracing their former 
haunts in its neighbourhood, when, leaning on 
his arm, and supported by his affection, the 
future offered only bright prospects. All the 
love she had felt for her husKand was now 
centred in his child; and the youthful Mary 
grew, beneath a mother's tender and fostering * 
care, all that the fondest parent could desire — 
lovely in person, and pure in mind. 

She had only reached her sixteenth year, 
when, in the summer of 1827> the young Lord 
Mordaunt came to Dawlish, to try the benefit 
of change of air in a complaint which threat- 
ened to terminate in consumption. The cottage 
next to Mrs. Lester's was taken for the invalid; 
and his physician having occasion to refer to 
that lady for the character of a female servant, 
an acquaintance was formed that led to an in- 
troduction to his patient, who found the society 
of the mother and daughter so much to his taste. 

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88 MARY LESTER. 

that no day passed that did not find him a 
visitor at Woodbine Cottage. He would spend 
whole hours by the drawing or work-table of 
Mary, correcting her sketches, reading aloud 
to her, or giving descriptions of the different 
foreign countries he had visited. 

Lord Mordaunt was a young man so at- 
tractive in person and manners, that it would 
have been difficult for a much more fastidious 
judge than Mary Lester, not to have been 
captivated by his attentions ; and his delicate 
health served still more to excite a strong in- 
terest for him, while it banished all thoughts of 
alarm, even from the breast of the prudent 
mother, who looked on him with sorrow, as 
one foredoomed to an early grave. It is per- 
haps one of the most amiable proofs of the 
tenderness of women's hearts — their sympathy 
and affection, which health and gaiety might 
fail to produce. The power was exemplified in 
the conduct of Mary Lester ; for when, in their 
daily walks, in which Lord Mordaunt now at- 
tended them, his pale cheek assumed a hectic 
hue, from the exertion, and his eyes beamed 
with more than their usual lustre, those of 
Mary would fill with tears as she marked the 
first precursors of decay. With trembling 

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MARY LESTER. 89 

anxiety she would urge him to repose himself 
on some rustic bench ; and when he yielded to 
her entreaties, would hang over him with feel- 
ings, of whose source and extent her innocence 
kept her in ignorance, or led her to attribute 
solely to pity. 

Days passed away, each one increasing the 
attachment of the young people, and confirming 
the fears of Lord Mordaunt's physcian, while 
he alone appeared unconscious of his danger. 
His passion seemed to bind him by new ties of 
life; and when pain and lassitude reminded 
him that he was ill, he looked on the blooming 
cheek and beaming eye of Mary, and asked 
himself — if one, who felt for her the love that 
quickened the pulsations of his throbbing heart, 
could be indeed approaching the cold and cheer- 
less grave ? and he clung with renewed hope to 
existence, now that it had become so valuable. 

At this period, a sprained ancle confined 
Mrs. Lester to the house; and she confided 
Mary every day to the care of Dr. £rskine and 
his patient, to pursue their accustomed walk. 
The doctor was skilled in botany and geology, 
and the neighbourhood of Dawlish presented 
many specimens in both sciences capable of 
arresting his attention ; hence the lovers were 

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90 MART LESTER. 

frequently left alone in their rambles while he 
collected treasures for his hortus siccus, or 
cabinet; and the conversation, which, under 
the eye of the dignified matron, or grave 
doctor, had always been confined to general 
topics, now became purely personal When 
young people begin to talk of themselves, senti- 
ment soon colours the conversation ; and, from 
sentimental conversation to love, how quick is 
the transition! When Lord Mordaunt first 
avowed his passion, the pure and heartless 
Mary's innocent reply was, " O I how happy 
dear mamma will be!'' But a cloud that 
passed over the brow of her lover, shewed 
that he anticipated not the same efiect on 
Mrs. Lester. 

" Do not dearest, if you value my peace,** 
said he, " inform your mother of our attach- 
ment. My family would oppose it so strongly, 
that she would think herself obliged to refuse 
her sanction — ^nay, she would I am sure, think 
it her duty to prohibit our meeting. A separa- 
tion from you I could not support ; and but 
one mode awaits us to avert it. Fly with me, 
my beloved Mary, to Scotland ; our marriage 
once accomplished, my family must be recon- 
ciled to it — at least, they cannot divide us ; 

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MARY LESTER. 91 

and your mother will be saved the blame of 
having aided it." 

Day after day, the same reasoning was tried 
by the impassioned lover, and listened to with 
less reluctance by the too confiding girl ; and 
as she heard the tender reproaches he uttered, 
and his reiterated avowals of his increasing ill- 
ness, caused, as he asserted, by the anxiety that 
preyed on his mind at her hesitating to elope 
with him, and marked the growing delicacy of 
his appearance, her scruples and fears vanished, 
and, in an evil hour, she left the happy home 
of her childhood, and the unsuspecting mother 
who idolized her. A thousand pangs shot 
through the heart of this innocent and hitherto 
dutiful daughter, as she prepared to leave 
the peaceful roof that had sheltered her in- 
fancy. She paused at the chamber door of her 
sleeping parent, and called down blessings on 
her head, and was only sustained in her re- 
solution to accompany her lover, by the recol- 
lection she was to confer happiness — nay, life, 
on him, and, that a few days would see her 
return to her mother, the happy wife of Lord 
Mordaunt. 

It is the happiness they believe they are to 
confer, and not that which they hope to receive. 

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92 MARY LESTER. 

that influences the conduct of women ; and 
many a one has fallen a victim to generous 
affection, who could have resisted the pleadings 
of selfishness. At the moment of leaving her 
home, Mary thought only of others : her lover 
and her mother occupied all her thoughts, and 
never, perhaps, did she more truly love that 
mother, than when unconsciously planting a 
dagger in her heart, by the step she was about 
to take. Never let the young and unsuspect- 
ing do evil, in order that good may ensue. 
Mary knew that she was about to do wrong ; 
but she was persuaded by her lover, that it 
was the only possible means of securing their 
future happiness ; and she yielded to the 
temptation. 

The valet of Lord Mordaunt, who was in the 
confidence of his master, made all the necessary 
arrangements for the elopement ; and the lovers 
left the village of DawHsh while the unsus- 
picious mother and Dr. £rskine soundly slept, 
unthinking of the rash step the persons so dear 
to them were taking. 

They had only pursued their route one day 
and night, when the rupture of the blood-vessel 
in the chest wrought so fearful a change in 
Lord Mordaunt, that he became sensible of 

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MART LESTER. 93 

his danger, and trembled at the idea of dying 
hefore he could bequeath his name to his 
adored Mary. His whole soul was now bent 
on fulfilling this duty; but» alas! the very 
anxiety that preyed on him only rendered its 
accomplishment more difficult. Still he pro- 
ceeded, resisting aU Marjr's entreaties to stop 
to repose himself, and was within a few stages 
of his destination; — no post-horses were to 
be had, and the agonies of disappointed hope 
were now added to the mortal pangs that shot 
through the frame of the dying man. He 
was removed from his carriage and laid on a 
couch, while the agonized girl bent over him 
in speechless woe. 

" Remember, Sainville,*' murmured Mor- 
daunt, in broken accents, **that this lady 
would have been my wife, had life been spared 
me to reach Gretna. Tell my father and 
mother that it wis I who urged — who forced 
her to this flight, and to look on her as their 
daughter.*' 

Here agitation overpowered his feeble frame, 
and he sunk fainting on his pillow, from whence 
he never moved again, as death, in a few hours, 
closed his mortal sufferings. The hapless Mary 
stayed by him while a spark of life yet lingered ; 

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94 MART LESTER. 

but when the hand that grasped hers relaxed 
its hold, she fell m a swoon nearly as cold and 
rigid as the corpse beside her. For many days 
a violent fever rendered her insensible to the 
miseries of her situation. During her delirium 
she repeatedly called on her mother and lover 
to save her from some imagined enemy who 
was forcing her from them, and the mistress of 
the inn, and the chamber maids who assisted 
her, were melted into tears by the pathos of 
her incoherent complaints. 

Intelligence of the death of Lord Mordaunt 
had been dispatched to Mordaunt Castle, the 
seat of his father, and in due time, the confi- 
dential agent of his lordship, accompanied by 
a London undertaker, arrived to perform the 
funeral obsequies. 

Youth and good constitution had enabled 
Mary to triumph over her malady ; and, though 
reduced to extreme languor, reason once more 
resumed its empire over her brain ; but, with 
returning consciousness, came the fearful heart- 
rending recollection of the death-scene she had 
witnessed, and she shrunk, with morbid dis- 
taste, from a life that now no longer offered 
her a single charm. Her entreaties won from 
the humane mistress an avowal that the mortal 



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MART LESTER. 



9.5 



IS of him she had loved were to be re- 
fer interment the following day, and she 
d upon looking at them once again. It 
irening when, pale and attenuated, pre- 
y only the shadow of her former self, 
Lester, supported by the pitying females 
ad watched over her illness, entered the 
>er of death. Her eyes fell on the marble 
md finely chiselled features of Lord Mor- 
beautiful even in death, and an invo- 
y shudder betrayed her feelings. She 
led to be left alone, and there was an 
tness and calmness in the looks and ges- 
Lhat pleaded for this last indulgence, that 
•ed a compliance with it irresistible. She 
I at the face so beloved, every lineament 
cb was graven in ineffaceable characters 
r heart, — that face which never before 
er glance without repaying it with one of 
arable tenderness. While she yet gazed 
te despair, and tears, nature's kind relief, 
lenied to her burning eyes, the last rays 
I sun, setting in brilliant splendour, fell 
i calm countenance of her lover, tinging 
trble paleness with faint red. 
t was thus, Henry, you looked when I 
aw the sun's dying beams fall on your 



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96 MART LESTER. 

beautiful brow,*' ejaculated tbe beart-brokea 
girl ; " ah, no I for then those lovely eyes, now 
for ever veiled in death, sought mine with looks 
of deep, deep love, and silenced the reproaches 
of tbe monitor within my breast. But now, 
O God of mercy I who shall silence it, or who 
shall speak comfort to me ? Look at me once 
again. Henry, adored Henry I let me once 
more hear the blessed sound of that voice I" 
and she paused, as if awaiting the result of her 
passionate invocation. Then, turning away, 
**FoolI senseless fool that I am!" she ex- 
claimed, *' he heeds me not I he has fled for 
ever ! and I am alone — alone, for evermore — ^in 
a world that can never again hold forth a single 
illusion to me. O mother I dear dear mother I 
and was it for this I deserted you ? I thought 
to return to you a proud and happy bride, and 
that he would plead, successfully plead, for your 
pardon for my first fault But there he lies, 
who should have pleaded, cold and speechless, 
and I live to see him so lie. Henry I belov^ 
Henry ! thy lips have never yet pressed mine ; 
pure and respectful love restrained each ardent 
impulse, and in thy devoted attachment I found 
my best shield. But now, now, when thine 
can no longer return the pressure, O I let me 



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MARY LESTER. 97 

thus imprint the first seal of love I" and she 
pressed her pale and trembling lips to the cold 
and rigid ones of Mordaunt, and fainted in the 
action. 

It was long ere the kind exertions of the 
women, who rushed in from the adjoining room 
on hearing her fall, could restore animation to 
the exhausted frame of Mary ; and when they 
succeeded, the first sentences that struck on 
her ears were the following dialogue between 
Mn Sable, the undertaker, and Sainville. 

^' Je vous dit, dat is I tell you, Monsieur 
Sable, dat cet demoiselle, dis young lady, vas 
to be de lady, c*est k dire, I'epouse — de yife 
of my lord. He cannot tell you so himself, 
parcequ'il est mort, for he be dead ; but I do 
tell to you vat he did tell to me with his last 
words/* 

" Why, you see, Mr. Sainville," replied the 
obtuse Sable, '^ I cannot outstep my orders ; 
and the affair has a very awkward appearance, 
to say the least of it A portionless young 
lady, as I understood her to be, eloping with a 
rich young nobleman of splendid expectations, 
and in the last stage of consumption— why, look 
you, it has a very suspicious aspect. The 
marquis is a very stem and severe nobleman, 

VOL. II. F 

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98 MARY LESTER. 

and the marchioness is as proud as Lucifer ; 
neither would for a moment countenance a 
young person who had no legitimate claims on 
their consideration, and whom they would 
naturally look on as an artful adventuress, who 
had taken advantage of the weakness and par- 
tiality of their son to entrap him into an engage- 
ment which, luckily, he did not live to complete. 
Mr. Scruple, the lawyer, has explained all this 
to me ; and therefore, neither he nor I can 
interfere in making any arrangements for the 
return of the young person to her friends } and 
as to her accompanying the funeral procession 
to Mordaunt Castle, it is out of the question." 
'* And dis you call religion and humanity in 
dis country?" said the angry Sainville, ''had 
my dear young lord lived three hours longer, 
cette jeune et charmante demoiselle, dat is, dis 
young lady and pretty lady, would have been 
Miladi Mordaunt, and Monsieur Scruple and 
yourself vould have bowed de knees to her with 
great respect. De marquis and de marchioness 
must den have treated her as la veuve — de vidow 
of deir son, and all homage and honours vould 
be given to her ; but now dat she vants every 
ting, you give her notings, and my dear dead 
lord's last words go for noting at all, except 



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MART LESTER. 99 

ne ; but I will not desert her who vas so 
by my dear lost master. I vill attend 
» her home." 

re a burst of tears interrupted the angry 
I of poor Sainville, who only felty while 
reasoned. But what were the feelings of 

at this coarse exposS of her position ! 
ras ready to sink into the earth ; and, for 
nent forgetting how useless was the mea- 
she ran to the bed where lay the inani- 
corpse of Aim who once would have shielded 
'om even the approach of the semblance 
3ulty and throwing herself on the lifeless 

called on Henry, her dear Henry, to 
ct and save her, and to vindicate her 
cted purity. 

return of fever and delirium kept the 
tunate Mary many days on the brink of 
[rave, and those around her thought that 
hour must terminate at once her life and 
ings. When consciousness again returned 
;r, she found that Sainville, the faithful 
nt of Lord Mordaunt, having performed 
ast melancholy duties to the mortal re- 
s of his loved master, had returned to offer 
ervices to conduct her to her mother. She 
kfuUy accepted them; and when able to 

f2 



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i 



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e 



100 MARY LESTER. 

bear the motion of a carriage, Sainville, hanng 
secured the attendance of one of the women 
who had nursed her in her illness, placed her, 
propped by pillows in the most comfortable 
chaise he could procure, and slowly retraced 
the route they had so lately pursued under 
such different circumstances. Mary's agonized 
thoughts dwelt on the sad contrast of the only 
two journeys she had ever taken, and were only 
drawn for moments from the lover she had lost, 
to the mother she was going to meet. '* If I can 
only reach her arms, lay my throbbing head on 
her bosom and die, I have nothing left to 
desire,'' thought the heart-stricken girl. But 
her cup of bitterness was not yet quite filled to 
the brim, though she believed it was overflow- 
ing. Arrived at Dawlish, she observed an 
unusual silence in the streets through which 
the carriage passed: Sainville being recognised, 
many persons approached him, and, waving 
their heads, observed, '* You have come too late 
— it is all over — the funeral took place an hour 
ago. 

Mary heard no more ; she was borne sense* 
less into the desolate home, where no fond 
mother waited to receive her; for she who 
would have taken her to her heart had that day 

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MART LESTER. 101 

laid in the grave. The shock which the 
nent of her daughter occasioned Mrs. 
r brought on a paralytic seizure, from 
i she was but slowly recovering, when a 

letter, filled with the bitterest reproaches 
3ost unfounded accusations from the Mar* 
of Deloraine, the father of Lord Mor- 
;, caused a fresh attack, which in a few 

terminated her existence. This letter 
nritten during the first violence of grief, 
taring of the death of an only son, the last 
of an ancient house. He attributed that 
I to the fatigues of the hurried journey to 
And, which fatal step the proud marquis 
itly accused the mother of abetting. He 
led the unhappy Mary with epithets that 
k daggers into her mother's breast, and 
3[ht on a return of her malady, which ended 
ath. By the imprudence of the old female 
int, this harrowing letter was given to 
f. She read every word, while cold tremors 
k her exhausted frame ; and having laid 
letter on her heart, closed her eyes, as if 
come with fatigue ; and it was not until 
\ hours after, that the old attendant found 

the slumber was the sleep of death — 
ating with her life her first and last error. 



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103 



ISOTTA GRIMANI; 



A VENETIAN 8TOEY. 



•• VcDiee»pioiiddt7, bned upoD the wm, 
A marW of maB*f ailcrpriie and power; 
OkxkNM eva in thy rain, who em gaie 
On thee, and not bethink them of the patt 
When thou didrtriaeaa by mafiriin'i wand. 
On the bine waters Uke a mirror spread, 
Refleetinf temples, nalaecs* and denes. 
In many lengthened shadows o^er the daqp f 
They who flnt learsd thee, ttttle deemed. I ween. 
That thou, their reAige, won from out the sea, 
(When de spo tism drove them firom the land) 
Shookl bend and CiU by that same cold stern thrall. 
That exiled them, here to ersct a home. 
Where freedom mifht their children's birthright be. 
Wealth, and its oOprlng Luxury, combined. 
To work thy ruin by Corruption's means. 
How art thou fidlen ftom thine high estate. 
The Borne of ocean, visited lllKe her. 
By pilgrims Journeying flrom their distant lands. 
To view what yet rcmabis to voueh the past. 
When Aou wert gloriooa as the«even crowned bills. 
Ere yet barbarian hordes had wrought their doom. 
Here Commeree flourished, pouring lidies in 
With floating Argosies ftom cBstant ports ; 
And paytag sAth a lavish hand Ux Art, 
That stiB lends glory, Venice, to thy wallsl 
Mere came the trophies of thy prowess, too. 
The steeds, Lysippus. that thy dUati wrought. 
Along thy waten* lined by pslaees 
(Rich, and Cmtastic, as a poetTs dream). 
Are mingled minarets, fretted domes, and spires. 
Of rsccst sculpture, that appear to float 
Gently away upon their liquid base. 
Nor doth this seem more wondrous than an dse 
That meets my gaae where all things seem untrue; 
As if Romance a fitting home had found. 
To people with creations of the bndn." 

Chis, Bignor, is the Palazzo Grimani,*' said 

; ciceranet as we stepped from our gondola 

a marble staircase, nearly covered with a 

een and iriudnaus substance, the sediment of 



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lOi ISOTtA OBIMANI. 

the impure water of the canal, which was not 
only offensive to our olfactory nerves, but dan- 
gerously slippery. 

A loud ring of the bell summoned the custode^ 
whose eyes twinkled with pleasure in anticipa- 
tion of the itfonamano, for which his accus- 
tomed palm already felt impatient. Having 
opened the ponderous doors which creaked on 
their rusted hinges, and unclosed the massire 
shutters that excluded the light and air, he 
donned a faded livery-coat, that looked as if 
coeval with the palazzo itself, and after many 
respectful salutations to me, and familiar ones 
to my guide, conducted us from the large and 
gloomy entrance-hall, where he armed himself 
with a huge bunch of keys, to the grand suite 
of apartments. The interiors of Venetian pa- 
laces bear a striking resemblance to each other. 
Each contains nearly the same number of sa- 
loons, hung with leather stamped with faded 
gold or silver, tapestry, velvets, and silks, 
crowned by 'ceilings, whose gorgeousness makes 
the eyes ache. Each apartment has the usual 
number of exquisitely-painted and gilded doors, 
with architraves of the rarest alabasters and 
marbles, and most of them have small cham- 
bers, peculiar to Venetian houses, projecting 
from a large one, ovbr the canal, offering some- 
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ISOTTA GRIMANI. 105 

thing between an ancient oratory, and modem 

botidoir, and affording a delicious retreat for 

a sietta^ a book, or the enjoyment of that not 

less-admired Italian luxury, the dolcefar niente^ 

which none but Creoles and Italians know how 

to enjoy. It is not the fine carvings, the massive 

and splendid furniture, the rare hangings, nor 

the gorgeous ceilings, on which the eye loves 

to dwell in those once magnificent, and now, 

alas I fast-decaying edifices. No I though they 

claim the tribute of a passing gaze, we fix on 

the glorious pictures, the triumphs of Genius 

and Art, in which the great and the beautiful 

still live on canvas, to immortalize the master 

hands that gave them to posterity. 

Having stopped more than the usual time 
allotted to travellers, in silent wonder and admi- 
ration, before the golden-tinted chef-d^cBUvrea 
of Giorgione, whose pencil seems to have been 
dipped in sunbeams, so glowing are the hues it 
has infused ; and having loitered, unwilling to 
depart, before the ripe and mellow treasures of 
Titian, in whose portraits, the pure and elo- 
quent blood seems still to speak, I was at last 
preparing to quit the palace, intending to re- 
serve for another day the pictures of Tintoretto, 
Bassano, and Paulo Veronese, whose velvets 

f3 

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106 ISOTTA GRIMANI. 

and satins attracted my admiration more than 
the finest specimens of those materials ever pro- 
duced hy Lyonese, Genoese, or English loom, 
when my eyes and steps were arrested by ^ 
picture from the pencil of the Veronese, more 
beautiful than any that I had yet seen. It pour- 
trayed a young and lovely lady, in a rich Vene- 
tian dress, with a countenance of such exceeding 
expression, that it fascinated my attention. 

'* That portrait, signer, attracts the admira- 
tion of your countrymen, more than any other 
in this fine collection,'' said the custode^ observ- 
ing the interest it had excited. << It represents 
the only child of the great Grimani, and was 
painted by Paolo, soon after he returned from 
Rome, where he went in the suite of her noble 
father, who was ambassador at the papal court 
Yes, signer," continued the custode^ drawing 
himself up proudly, '4t was in this very palazzo 
that Paolo Cagiari, then lately arrived, po(»r 
and unfriended, from Verona, was taken under 
the protection of Grimani, and beheld those 
cenas^ whose gorgeousness he has immortalized, 
rendering the suppers of Paolo Veronese more 
celebrated than the famed ones of the luxurious 
Lucullus." 

The custode betrayed not a little self-corn- 

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I80TTA GRIMAKI. 107 

plaoency at this display of his erudition ; and 
my cicerone^ while he whispered to me that 
Jacopo Zuocarelli passed for a very learned 
man, seemed not a little vain of his compatriot. 

^< The signora must have been singularly 
beautiful,'' remarked I to Jacopo ; *' but an air 
of deep melancholy pervades the countenance/' 

'< Yes, signer, and great cause had the ill- 
fated lady for grief," and he sighed deeply. 

« Family secrets cease to be such, after the 
lapse of centuries. Signer Jacopo," said I; 
'* and if not trespassing too much on your time, 
I should much like to hear the history of the 
original of that beautiful portrait before us/' 

'' It is a long story, signer," muttered Jacopo, 
shaking his head, and pulling from his waist- 
coaUpocket a large old silver watch, that looked 
as if it were one of the first made by Peter Hele, 
and which he regarded in a way that indicated 
rather an unwillingness to gratify my curiosity. 
The chink of a purse which I drew from mine, 
and the electrifying touch of a piece of gold, 
vrhich I placed in his hand, quickly overcame 
his reluctance, and having expressed his desire 
that his communication should be made to me 
alonej I dismissed my cicerone, who seemed 
offended at the exclusion. 

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108 ISOTTA GRIMAMI. 

"" Yes, yes, I warrant me, signor, Leonardi 
is sadly vexed because I would not let him listen 
to my story, that he might himself tell it to 
eveTj fatestihre who may come to see this pa- 
lace, and so take the bread from my mouth : 
that is the way with them all, a grasping and 
avaricious race I The story, signor, is as much 
my exclusive property as is the right of showing 
the pictures ; and these are not times, the saints 
know, to yield up to another one of the sole 
means left me for earning a scanty subsistence. 
Paverta nan i vizio. Heaven be thanked I else 
were many culpable. Besides, signor, I could 
not bear to have the history of a descendant of 
this noble house mutilated by vulgar lips, and 
profaned by obscene commentaries. How could 
such a person as Leonardi comprehend the feel- 
ings, or do justice to the motives of a scion of 
the Grimani stock ? No ! signor, it requires 
not only learning, but some similarity of senti- 
ment with the noble, to execute befittingly such 
a task as this I" 

Jacopo drew himself up, and looked so self- 
complacent, that I feared he would forget the 
heroine of his promised tale, in his more vivid 
interest for her biographer. Some little symp- 
tom of impatience was, I fear, but too visible 

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ISOTTA GRIMANI. 



109 



ny countenance, for he apologized for his 
"ession, which he said had been solely occa- 
ed by the evident curiosity of the artful and 
iping cicerone. 

Well, signor, to begin my story, the Lady 
ta Grimani, whose portrait is before us, was 
ddered the most beautiful of all the ladies 
Venice in her day ; yet though nobody con- 
3d this fact, none of the young Venetian 
les were so deeply penetrated by it as Rodrigo 
nfredoni, a descendant of one of the oldest 
[lies we can boast. This same Rodrigo 
ifredoni was esteemed the handsomest man 
^enice, and so far surpassed the other young 
les, that it might well be said of him, ' Na- 
I lofoce k pot ruppe la sfampaJ His fortune 

unhappily not only unequal to support the 
lity of his name, but, alas ! insufficient to 
ply the wants of even a private gentleman. 
' This poverty had been entailed on him by 
prodigality of his ancestors, and compelled 
1 to dwell in a palace, crumbling fast to 
ay, surrounded with every badge of the an- 
it splendour of his house : thus reminding 
I, with increased bitterness, of its fallen for- 
es. He felt his poverty, signor, as only a 
»ud spirit feels itj it made him still prouder ; 



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1 10 ISOTTA GRIHAN^. 

and thig drew on him the dislike and sarcasnw 
of his unimpoverished but less noble eontempo« 
rarieSy which though not displayed in his pre- 
sence, — ^for his was not a temper to have borne 
even the semblance of an indignity, — were freely 
exhibited in his absence. The consciousness of 
his poverty haunted him like a dark shadow^ 
forbidding present enjoyment, and precluding 
future hope. But if his pride stood between 
him and those who would have willingly ex- 
tended their friendship to him, it also saved 
him from much humiliation. Why did it not 
preserve him from love ? 

" Rodrigo Manfredoni, while yet in the flower 
of manhood, led a life of great seclusion, pass- 
ing whole days in poring over the mildewed 
and musty tomes, with which the vast library 
in his palazzo was stored ; forgetting, in reflect- 
ing on the past, the mortifications of the actual 
present 

*< Well can I, signer, understand the tranquil 
pleasure of such a life, for I have pursued it 
for years. Yes, great is the luxury of living in 
the past, when the present and the future are 
clouded. It is a consolation, signor, to con- 
verse with the great and wise of antiquity, who 
give us their best thoughts, when the weak and 

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I80TTA GRIMAMI. 



Ill 



Idly-minded modems give us but words, and 
se not worth remembering/' 
Lfter this sally, a pause of self-gratulation 
lied : finding himself, however, unsupported 
Bi respondent admiration from me, Jacopo 
rtly resumed. 

' Rodrigo mixed rarely in society ; and when 
t, the cold dignity of his bearing, and the 
smonious reserve of his manners, repelled 
approaches to fiamiliarity. 
' * As proud as Lucifer,' was the phrase 
lerally applied to him when he was the sub- 
^ as not unfrequently happened, of animad- 
sion ; * and handsome as a fallen angel too I ' 
lid some fair dame murmur, as her eye 
need on his noble countenance and stately 
ire. 

' At a grand 7^ given to celebrate the six- 
Dth anniversary of the birth of the Lady 
»tta, all the nobles of Venice were assembled 
this palace, and amongst them came II Conte 
mfredoni. It was the first time that the 
dy Isotta had been seen, except in the pri- 
:j of the domestic circle ; but the fame of 
r rare beauty had gone forth, and all were 
lious to judge if it had been exaggerated, 
le ladies were strongly disposed to think that 



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J 



112 ISOTTA GRIMANI. 

her charms had been over-praised ; the young 
nobles, on the contrary, were sure that more 
than justice had not been rendered them ; and 
the old ones were content with the knowledge 
that whatever doubt might exist as to her pre- 
sent attractions, none could be ofiered as to the 
vast wealth of her father, whose sole heiress 
she was. 

** But though the guests at the palace were 
prepared to see beauty of no common order, 
they were astonished at the surpassing love- 
liness of the Lady Isotta. All eyes were fixed 
on her, while hers fell beneath the passionate, 
glances they encountered at every side; but 
not until they had met the deep gaze of Rodrigo 
Manfredoni, — a gaze whose soul-beaming ex- 
pression sent the bright blood mantling to her 
delicate cheek, — did she derive any satisfaction 
from the admiration she excited ; while he stood 
as if rooted to the spot, unable to remove his 
eyes from her faultless face. When the Lady 
Isotta lifted her snowy eyelids again, the same 
deep, passionate gaze encountered her timid 
glance ; and neither ever forgot the look they 
then exchanged. 

" Yes, signer, however you cold inhabitants 
of the chilly north may doubt it, there is such 

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JSOTTA GRIMANI. 



113 



ing as love at first sight, and this story 
» it, for in un batter (Pocchio^ their hearts 
gone. 

When the cena, which in those days 
fs crowned 9l fSte^ was announced, the 
^ Isotta's heart palpitated with the hope 
the only cavalier on whom her eyes had 
1 for a moment, would approach to lead 
[> the banquet, and involuntarily she looked 
rds him. Again their eyes met, though 
ais retiring from the apartment, and had 
le moment turned to bestow a parting 
» on the beautiful being, whose image 
ilready stamped on his heart, 
rhat glance, signer, was like the dart the 
lians let fly when retreating — it took a 
and fatal aim; and from that moment, 
' thought, every feeling of the young 
I, was absorbed by the stately and hand- 
stranger. 

'Where is Manfredoni?' demanded Gri- 
y looking round. ' Will he not, on so joy- 
n occasion as the present, break through 
eneral habits of austerity, and partake our 
ity ? He surely will not depart without 
[ing a bumper of ruby wine to the health 
3 heiress of our house ?' 



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114 ISOTTA GRIMANI. 

'* * His excellency has left the palace,' replied 
the major domo ; and a smile was exchanged 
hy many of the guests around — a smile that 
passed not unheeded hy the fiedr mistress of 
theJSte. 

'< < Yes, he is proud as Ludfer/ was the 
rejoinder to a remark made hy one of a group 
near her. 

<* < And of what,' asked a young nohle, with 
a sneer, * except it be of his poverty ?' 

** ' That,' replied another, ' would be a 
curious cause for pride' — (the speaker was a 
rich man). 

<* * And yet,' said a distinguished-looking 
cavalier, * when a man is the last descendant 
of so ancient a house as Manfredoni's, without 
the means of supporting its pristine splendour, 
he may well be pardoned the pride that induces 
him to decline partaking hospitalities he can- 
not return/ 

*' Isotta felt an instantaneous predilection 
in fieivour of the last speaker ; and Manfredoni, 
with his noble air, and high and pale brow, 
round which clustered short and profuse curls, 
dark as the raven's wing, seemed invested with 
new attractions, now that she learnt that he 
was proud and poor, — a union of qualities, that 



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ISOTTA GRIHANI. 



115 



sver uncongenial to the worldly natures 
ten, seldom fails to excite interest in the 
rous minds of women. 
* His house is ancient enough, heaven 
its/ said a former speaker, ; ' so ancient, 
it must soon crumhle in ruins over its 
er's head, unless he can find some rich 
3SS to act as a Caryatide, and prop it up, 
lat he turn his vast store of erudition to a 
tahle account, hy discovering the philo- 
er's stone : which no one has a hetter chance 
oding, if the old proverb be true, that ia 
rta e ia madre di tuUi VartV 
How Isotta shrunk with disgust from this 
r, and turned from the splendour and 
ty around her, to dwell on the image of 
ifredoni, with his deep melancholy eyes, — 
e eyes that had encountered hers with a 
ce of such passionate tenderness. She 
ted him to her imagination, retiring from 
^ded and illuminated saloons of her home, 
e dark and cheerless chambers of his ruined 
ce, and a tear dimmed her eye at the pic- 
her £uicy formed. 

Thi^fite ended, and the guests retired. 
Lady Isotta sought her sleeping-room with 
mgs as new as they were overpowering. 



y Google 



116 ISOTTA GRIMANI. 

Love had entered her youthful hreast in the 
guise of pity — one of the most irresistible the 
sly archer can assume to win woman's heart. 
She turned with distaste from the costly elegance 
of every object that met her gaze, because they 
formed a painful contrast with the ruined home 
of him she already loved — that home whose 
cheerless desolation her fancy had but too faith- 
fully pourtrayed. Her attendant, who was no 
other than her nurse, who had never left her 
since her birth, struck with the pensiveness of 
her countenance, inquired with anxiety, if she 
were ill ? 

** * No, cara Beatrice^ only fatigued with all 
the noise and glare,' and she sunk languidly on 
a low couch near the window. * Extinguish 
all the lights save one, and veil that ; for all 
this gilding, and the glowing colours of the 
hangings, oppress me by their brightness.' 

" * Did you not tell me, Beatrice miat* asked 
Isotta, eagerly, after a moment's pause, * that 
before you came to this palace, you had dwelt 
with the Manfredoni?' 

" * Yes, carissima signorinaf* replied th6 
nurse ; * I have told you often of the happy 
days I spent in that noble family: so often, 
that I thought, that is I feared, you were weary 

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ISOTTA GRIMANI. 117 

of hearing the name, you looked so coldly in- 
different when I repeated it; but why, cara 
signoroj do you ask me now ?* 

** Ere the Lady Isotta could reply, the 
sound of a guitar was heard from a gondola 
beneath the balcony. She made a sign to have 
the casement opened, and her nurse had no 
sooner done so than she exclaimed, 

" * Surely I know that voice ?* and on look- 
ing again, Beatrice discovered in him who 
touched the instrument with a master's hand, 
no other than II Conte Rodrigo Manfredoni. 

^*.Now was the cause of her youthful lady's 
question explained ; but if any doubt remained, 
it was removed by the song that followed the 
first prelude. 

SONO. 

Doth slumber Teil thine ejes of light. 
That thine like stars in dewy night ; 
Or dwell they on the moonlit sea, 
Whence glides my gondola to thee ? 

Each gentle brecie that miirmiirs by, 
Seems perfumed by thy balmy sigh : 
They stole their fragrance from thy lip, 
As bees from flow'rets, sweetness sip. 

Thine eyes, but thrice mine own have met. 
But oh ! their softness thrills me yet, 
As woman's glance ne*er thrilled before. 
Waking this heart to hope once more. 



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118 ISOTTA GRIMAKI. 

Sleep on — ^but be thj dretma of mcr 
For in thy dumber I would be 
Thy thought, as thou for erer art 
Enshrined within this burning heart. 

Still o'er thy conch may angris keep 
Their watch, to guard thee while in sleeps 
And mayst thou wake refreshed and biightt 
As opening roses meet the light 

Oh ! conldst thou dream, how in my sou!* 
That ne'er till now knew Lore's control. 
Thy glance has chased away despair, 
And 611ed iu place with viaiona fair! 

** Isotta sat covered with blushes, her eyes 
cast down, lest their dewy radiance should dis- 
close how truly every note of the melodious 
voice she had listened to, touched an answmng 
chord in her heart, and her maidenly reserve 
alarmed lest her nurse should discover how 
deeply she participated the feeling expressed 
by the singer. 

** Beatrice sighed deeply as she bade her 
lady good night ; but the fair Isotta was too 
much engrossed by the new and delicious emo- 
tions which occupied her breast, to observe 
the unusual pensiveness of her afiectionate at- 
tendant, who, with the prescience of age, already 
foresaw the danger that menaced the peace of 
the heiress of Grimani. 



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ISOTTA GRIMANI. 119 

'* The gondola disappeared, and the siguora 
sought her pillow, to dream of love, as only 
pure minds and noble natures dream, ere expe- 
rience has dimmed the brightness that youth 
sheds upon all around it. 

'^ Night after night, might the same gondola 
be seen beneath that balcony, and the same 
liquidly harmonious voice be heard floating 
from it; but no longer were the notes tremu- 
lous fix>m timidity, as on the first serenade; for 
now he who sung was assured of the answering 
affection of the lady of his love. The nurse, 
won over to their interest by her attachment to 
the lovers, had consented to be the medium 
of correspondence between them, and no day 
passed without bringing an interchange of let- 
ters, in which the passionate feelings of both 
were poured forth, with all the genuine fer- 
vency that a first love, and in the sunny South, 
can dictate. Those were happy days, signer, 
and they felt them to be so; but when was 
bliss found to be of long duration? I have 
read that happiness resembleth the bird of 
Paradise, which, though often in view, never 
lights upon the earth. 

** And now a vague rumour reached the 



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120 I80TTA GRIMANI. 

nurse, that the hand of the Lady Isotta was 
promised to II Conte Barbarigo, a young no- 
bleman of immense possessions, but of a stem 
and coarse mind, in short, the very reverse of 
the noble Manfredoni. Too soon was this 
rumour confirmed by Grimani announcing to 
bis gentle daughter, that in a few days she was 
to become the bride of Barbarigo. 

** Overpowered by the suddenness of the blow 
that threatened to prove fatal to her peace, she 
nearly fainted ; and her father having left h&r 
to the care of her faithful nurse, retired without 
suspecting that aught save maidenly reserve, 
and surprise, had produced the agitation and 
deep emotion he had witnessed. Into the sym- 
pathizing bosom of Beatrice were poured all 
the sorrows of the Lady Isotta; axiously did 
both anticipate the nocturnal visit of Man- 
fredoni, that he might be consulted on the 
course to be adopted. 

** At the accustomed hour his gondola was 
moored beneath the balcony, and the following 
song thrilled on the ear and heart of her to 
whom it was addressed, the elasticity of spirit 
it breathed, forming a sad contrast to the 
gloomy presentiment that filled her breast. 



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ISOTTA ORIMANI. 121 

SONG. 

Love can waken hope 

In hearts where long it slept ; 
Lore can make J07 beam 

In eyes that long have wept 

Love can make all bright, 

That clouded was before; 
*Ti8 life's purest gift. 

And Heaven can grant no more. 

Fortune, now I scorn 

Thy persecuting hate, 
For on Love alone 
Depends Rodrigo's fate. 

" How did the happy security of her lover, 
as indicated in his song, add poignancy to the 
depressed feelings of his lovely mistress I 

'* A letter detailing the announcement made 
to her hy her father, and which she had spent 
the last hour in writing, was thrown with the 
accustomed bouquet of flowers into the gon- 
dola, which she saw float away, with a heavi- 
ness of heart, to which she had hitherto been a 
stranger. 

*< At an early hour the next morning, the 
nurse betook herself to the Palazzo Manfre- 
doni, and as she passed through its vast cham- 
bers, and contemplated its faded splendour, she 
sighed at the cheerless prospects of her young 

VOL. II. 6 



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122 ISOTTA GRIMANI. 

lady, to whom no alternative was left, but po- 
verty and love, or splendour without affection. 
Yet still the faithful nurse had enough of the 
woman left in her heart, though it was chilled 
by age, to be quite sure that the Lady Isotta 
would be happier in the ruined palace of Man- 
fredoni with him for her wedded lord, than in 
the magnificent one of Barbarigo, married to 
its heartless owner. 

** Women, signor, all believe in the inde- 
structibility of love, and the necessity of reli- 
gion ; and she is no true woman who doubts 
the power of either. 

** Beatrice found Manfredoni pale and sterner 
than she had ever previously beheld him; and 
it was evident from his haggard looks, and dis- 
composed dress, that he had not slept. 

" * How fares your lady, good nurse?' asked 
he. 

" ' Alas I signor, but sick at heart.' 

" *Fool, fooll that I was,' exclaimed Rod- 
rigo, passionately, ' to cast over her young and 
sunny life, the dark cloud that has so long 
loured on mine. It was madness I nay, worse, 
to win her — to share a love so unprosperous 
as mine must ever be ; andyet, selfish maniac 



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ISOTTA 6RIMANI. 123 

that I was, I forgot all the misery in which I 
was steeped, in the intoxicating happiness of 
loving and being beloved/ 

" ' That happiness, eccellenza^ is still yours/ 
said the nurse. 

« < Call it not happiness, it is misery, Bea- 
trice, situated as I am. What, would you have 
me transplant the beautiful but delicate flower, 
from the sunny home where it grew, and flou- 
rishes, to the cold and cheerless spot in which 
I am forced to dwell? Would you, nurse, who 
love her, urge me to unite her bright destiny 
with my dreary one? Is this ruined pile,' and 
he looked around him with bitterness, < a suit- 
able home for her who has been cradled in 
luxary, and who knows not even by report, the 
privations that stem poverty imposes? Behold, 
good nurse, the fast-decaying walls of my ances- 
tral house, and tell me if loving, nay, adoring, 
Isotta as I do, I could dare condemn her to 
share such a fate as mine? Would not she, 
bright and lovely as she is, appear in this 
gloomy abode, like a sunbeam illumining a 
prison, or like the flowers she gave me yester 
evening' — (pointing to the batiquet, which was 
in a vase of rock crystal enriched with precious 
gems, one of the last wrecks of the costly trea- 

g2 

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124 ISOTTA GRIMANI. 

sures of Art that had appertained to his ances- 
tors) — * sadly out of her natural sphere ?* 

" * Woe is me, eccdlenza^ that you thought 
not of all this, ere you had won her virgin 
heart,' replied the nurse; *hut now that heart 
is yours, will not the Lady Isotta he more 
wretched in splendour without you, than in — * 
Beatrice paused. 

" * Poverty with me, you would say,' inter- 
rupteil Manfredoni, and the colour rose to his 
very brow. 

" * But, signer, my lord her father loves her 
dearly, he may relent, and ^ 

" * Bestow the richly-dowered heiress of his 
house on the ruined Manfredoni,' said Rod- 
rigo. 

" * Well, well, signer conte, there would be 
nothing strange in that; your house is as an- 
cient as his own, and heiresses as richly en- 
dowed as his, have intermarried with your great 
ancestors. But if he should refuse,' said Bea- 
trice, urged on by her knowledge of the im- 
moveable attachment of her mistress, and the 
misery that must be hers, unless united to 
Rodrigo, • why not make her yours secretly 
before the altar, and so preclude the possibility 
of her being forced to wed another ?' 

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ISOTTA GRIM AMI. 125 

** Manfredoni turned to her haughtily, and 
she was awed by the dignity of his aspect, and 
the sternness of his regard, as he exclaimed, 
* You forget that Grimani might consider me 
rather as the stealer of his heiress, than the 
passionate lover of his beautiful daughter I' 

<* * Can you allow pride to influence you at 
such a moment, signer ?' asked the nurse, re- 
proachfully, * or can you reflect more on what 
her father may thinks than on what she must 
Jeelf Pride, eccelienzoj ought to keep people 
from getting into scrapes, but alas t it seldom 
does, and woe is me, still more seldom helps to 
get them out of them.' 

''What more the good nurse said, 'twere 
bootless to repeat, let it suffice to say, that her 
representations, aided by the passionate love of 
Manfredoni, conquered his pride, and that she 
was the bearer of a letter from him to the Lady 
Isotta, filled with expressions of an affection as 
true and ardent as ever quickened the pulses 
of a youthful heart, yet breathing the remorse 
he felt at urging her to an union, which must 
expose her to poverty like his. Isotta had no 
dread of this gaunt spectre which has appalled 
so many stout hearts, and impelled to so many 
vile actions. Her notions of it were, like all 

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126 ISOTTA GRIMANI. 

those of her high station and unhounded wealth, 
vague and indistinct. Thej presented only to 
her imagination less gorgeous salonsj fewer 
domestics, less luxurious repasts, and there was 
nothing to alarm her in such a prospect ; bat 
she thought not of it She dwelt only on the 
happiness of being indissolubly united to her 
dear Rodrigo, and of haying him ever — ever, 
near her. Her fother, she was sure, would 
pardon their stolen nuptials, her first, her sole 
ofience, and would soon learn to love Man- 
fredoni, — how could it be otherwise? Bat 
even had she witnessed the dreary reality of 
her lover's situation, hers was not a mind to 
have shrunk from partaking it, or a heart that 
would have cooled beneath the chilling influence 
of poverty. 

<< The generous devotion of Isotta vanquished 
the last struggles of pride in Rodrigo's breast, 
and it was agreed that on the ensuing night 
the nurse should disguise her young lady in the 
mantilla of her niece, and with her leave the 
Palazzo Grimani, meet in the next street Man- 
fredoni, who was to conduct them to a church, 
where a priest would be in attendance to join 
their hands, and pronounce the nuptial bene- 
diction. On the morning of this eventful day. 

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I80TTA GRIMANI. 1^7 

II Conte Barbarigo was led to the apartment 
of Isotta, by her father, and presented as her 
affianced husband. The trembling lady essayed 
to address her parent, but her timidity over- 
powered her resolution, the words died on her 
lips, and he left Barbarigo to plead his own 
suit, ere she had recovered sufficient self-com- 
mand to speak. How greatly was her repug- 
nance to her suitor increased, when in him she 
recognised the person who had so unfeelingly 
and contemptuously commented on the poverty 
of Manfredoni, the first night that she had ever 
seen him I He poured forth a rhapsody of 
compliments to her, and self-gratulations on his 
own good fortune in having secured a prize 
which all must desire to possess, and seizing 
the trembling hand of Isotta, would have pressed 
his lips on it, had she not instantly and proudly 
snatched it from his rude grasp, informing him 
that though his suit was sanctioned by her 
father, she had quite determined on not acceding 
to it. The surprise with which he heard this 
declaration was mingled with more of indigna^ 
tion than was befitting a lover to display before 
the lady to whose affection he aspired ; and his 
tone approached to insolence as he demanded, 
rather than entreated to know, if he was to 



dbyGoogk 



128 ISOTTA ORIMANI. 

attribute her refusal of his addresses to a pre- 
ference for another, or to a personal dislike to 
himself. Her natural dignity led her to resem 
the impertinence of his manner by answering 
that she considered it quite sufficient to state 
that she decidedly declined his offer ; and so 
saying, with an air of offended delicacy, she 
withdrew from the chamber. 

** Grimani was nearly as astonished, and 
quite as vexed as Barbarigo, when the latter 
recounted to him the unfavourable result of his 
interview with the Lady Isotta. 

" * Be assured she loves another,' said the 
rejected suitor, regarding his image compla- 
cently in the mirror opposite to which he had 
taken his station, * otherwise I do not think 
she could have declined my proposals so de* 
cidedly.* 

" * Her loving another is out of the question,' 
said Grimani ; * for she has never seen a man 
except myself and her confessor, since the night 
of her presentation. I must ascertain the 
motives of this inexplicable refusal, and J trust 
the result will prove that she cannot long remain 
inexorable to your vows.' 

** Grimani hurried to the apartment of his 
daughter, giving way to the first angry feeling 

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ISOTTA 6RIMANI. 129 

she bad ever excited in his breast ; and sternly 
demanded why she had presumed to act in dis- 
obedience to his wishes. 

'* The Lady Isotta tremblingly avowed her 
repugnance to Barbarigo, and falling at the 
feet of her father, confessed that she loved 
another. 

" * How ? — when ? — and where/ asked the 
astonished and enraged Grimani, 'have you 
seen any one to love? Tell me instantly, I 
coDDmand you/ 

'* The name of Manfredoni had no sooner 
been pronounced by her faltering tongue, than 
his rage became ungovernable. 

•* • What!' exclaimed he, * would you wed a 
beggar — one whose palace is crumbling into 
ruins around him, and only fit for the abode of 
the foul birds of night ? One whose ungovern- 
able pride and squalid poverty, render him the 
subject of ridicule among all the nobles ? It is 
absurd, and excites my choler, to think that a 
daughter of mine should be so infatuated ; but 
I shall conquer this obstinacy/ 

'< Kindness might have softened the feelings 
of Isotta, but the contemptuous expressions 
used by her father aroused a pride and wilful- 
ness hitherto foreign to her nature ; and as he 

63 

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130 ISOTTA GRtMANI. 

left the apartment, uttering invectives against 
her and her lover, she rejoiced in the thought, 
that in a few hours she should he Manfiredoni's 
bride, and atone to him by her devoted love, 
for all the slights and injuries poverty had 
entailed on him. At the appointed hour Isotta, 
disguised in the habiliments of her nurse's niece, 
and with her veil drawn closely over her face, 
supported by the arm of the faithful Beatrice, 
stole tremblingly from the home of her child- 
hood ; and being met by Manfredoni, was con- 
ducted to church, where a priest joined their 
hands. Never did Hymen's bonds unite two 
more enamoured hearts than Rodrigo's and 
Isotta's, who now pressed each other^s hands, 
and listened to each other's voices for the first 
time. The progress of their love had been so 
rapid, that no opportunity of meeting had of- 
fered at any of the files to which both might 
have been invited, and to enter the Palazzo 
Grimani clandestinely, thereby compromising 
the delicacy o^ her who was dearer to him than 
life, was never thought of by the honourable 
and high-minded Rodrigo. But even had such 
been his desire, his fair mistress would not have 
consented, nor would the nurse have permitted 
a step so likely to prove injurious to the unsul- 

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ISOTTA GRIMANI, 131 

lied purity of her young charge. Now, how- 
ever, as the husband of Isotta, he had a right 
to enter, and the nurse willingly took charge of 
the ladder of ropes, with which, on leaving the 
church, the bridegroom had charged her, and 
which she was to secure to the balustrade of 
the balcony, and throw down when his gondola 
approached. 

<* It was not without deep reluctance that the 
married lovers separated on arriving near the 
Palazzo Grimani, though with the assurance 
of meeting again in the space of a few brief 
hours. The nurse had to entreat and chide, 
again and again, yet still those fond hands, that 
had never before that night been interlaced, were 
loth to quit the tender grasp that bound them 
together, and their enraptured ears drank in 
the new and unaccustomed tones of those deli* 
cious voices, that had hitherto only been heard 
faintly at a distance, now breathing whispers 
of fervent, happy affection, uttered in all the 
sincerity and confidence that wedded love can 
alone bestow. 

'* The new-made bride and her nurse re- 
gained their apartment in safety, the ladder 
was made fast, the Lady Isotta trembling at 
the seeming fragility of the rope, and Beatrice 

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132 ISOTTA GRIMANI. 

reassuring her of its streDgth. How often and 
proudly did the bride press to her lips the 
golden symbol of that union on which the 
church had so lately bestowed its benediction, 
and repeat, that now not even her father could 
separate her from her husband. The lady had 
retired to her couch, and the nurse having 
heard the gondola approach beneath the bal- 
cony, some twenty minutes before the appointed 
hour, uttered an exclamation at the impatience 
of love, which had sent Manfredoni so much 
sooner than she looked for his coming, again 
entreated her lady not to permit her lord to 
speak save in the lowest whispers, lest his 
voice should be heard, withdrew, leaving the 
nuptial chamber in total darkness, the moment 
she heard the ladder of ropes fall into the 
gondola beneath. 

** Quickly a step was heard ascending, the 
casement was closed, and Jsotta whispered, 

" * Rodrigo, my love, my lord, my husband! 
speak to me only in the lowest tones, for we 
may be overheard. Does not our stolen mar- 
riage appear like a dream? It is only this 
blessed ring that you so lately gave me at the 
altar that convinces me I am indeed your wife, 
for ever, and ever yours.' 

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ISOTTA GRIMANI. 133 

Two hours had flown by» when Grimani, 
ed into his daughter's chamber, followed 
ight armed men, who buried their stilettos 
I in the breast of him on whose shoulder 
head of Isotta reclined, and whose death- 
^k awoke her from slumber. 
The blaze of their torches fell full on the 
of the murdered man, in whose scowling 
iments, she discovered not the countenance 
er husband, but those of the hateful Bar- 
go. 

• « • • • • 

The suspicion that secret meetings had 
^n place between the lovers had determined 
mani to employ spies to watch the palazzo 
ight A conviction that the Lady Isotta's 
ction of his suit had arisen from a prefer- 
i to another, had induced Barbarigo also to 
ch, and he did so in person. On the pre- 
Ls night, he had seen a gondola approach 
balcony of the Grimani palace, had heard 

serenade, and observed the lady and her 
se let drop a letter to the cavalier who was 
t, he had tracked the gondola on its return 
the Palazzo Manfredoni, and ascertained 
t it was its master who had thus held a clan- 
tine correspondence with the Lady Isotta* 




134 ISOTTA GRIMAMI. 

Suspicions, the most iDJurious to her honour, 
flashed on his unworthy mind; yet still the 
desire to possess her hand, and hy that means 
acquire the immense wealth to which she was 
heiress, remained in its pristine force. The 
ensuing night he again approached in his gon- 
dola, with the intention of watching the move- 
ments of his riyal, and of frustrating, if possi- 
ble, his plans, when seeing the ladder of ropes 
thrown down, and the light withdrawn, he in- 
stantly adopted the fiend-like notion of taking 
advantage of the discovery he had made, and 
of thus securing by the most foul means, the 
prize he sought to possess. 

** Before ascending the balcony, he charged 
two of his gondoliers, who were, in truth, 
bravoes in his pay, to intercept any gondola 
that approached the palazzo, and to silence for 
ever, with their stilettos, any cavalier who 
might occupy it. Too well had his orders been 
obeyed, for the corse of Manfredoni, pierced 
by many wounds, was a few days after drawn 
forth from the canal. 

*' Grimani's spies had discovered that a cava- 
lier had entered the apartment of his daughter 
by a ladder of ropes ; but as he was with the 
Council of Ten, in the palazzo of the doge, he 

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ISOTTA GRIMANI. 135 

s not apprized of the circumstance till nearly 
) hoars after it had occurred. Concluding 
it the nocturnal intruder could be no other 
m Manfredoni, he determined on taking sig- 
i vengeance on him» by getting him shut up 
the prison of the inquisition ; but when he 
md his daughter in the arms of him whom 

imagined to be her seducer, his vindictive 
le knew no bounds, and he ordered the at^ 
idants to efface the stain on the honour of his 
cient house, bv the blood of him who had 
licted it. 

" The piercing shriek with which the Lady 
)tta recognised the face of her infamous be- 
lyer, was the last knell of her departing rea- 
D. She never showed the slightest symptom 
recollection after, except by insisting on being 
WB.JS attired as a bride ; a harmless fancy, in 
lich her unhappy father indulged her, and 
sited on a low ottoman, she would sit for 
lurs gazing on the nuptial ring which still 
icircled the finger on which Manfredoni had 
aced it. 

" Beatrice, signer, was the great-grand- 
other of my father, she related this stor>^ so 
'ten to her descendants, that one of them, 
istinguished for that love of literature, which 



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1S6 ISOTTA GRIMANI. 

marked our family, and which without vanity, 
I may say, has descended to us from hther 
to son, wrote down the particulars, which I 
'have so many times perused, that I repeat 
the history can amare^ as you may have ob- 
served, signer, with my own comments there- 
upon. And by whom could the sad tale be 
related with greater claims for sympathy than 
from a descendant of the faithful nurse of its 
unhappy though lovely heroine ?" 



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137 



MATRIMONY. 



" A tomething light as air— a look, 
A word anldnd or wrongly taken — 
Oh ! loTe that tempeata nerer shook, 
A breath, a touch like this hath shaken. 
And ruder words will soon rush in. 
To spread the breach that words begin : 
And eyes forget the gentle ray 
They wore in courtship's smiling day i 
And yoices lose the tone that shed 
A tenderness round all they said ; 
THI fast declining, one by one. 
The sweetnesses of love are gone. 
And hearts, so lately mingled, seem 
like broken douds— or like the stream, 
That smiling left the mountain's brow. 

As though its waters ne'er could serer. 
Yet, ere it reach the plain below. 

Break into floods, that part for ever.*' 

Lalla Rookh. 

" We had a very agreeable party to-day, and 
the Merrington's are really pleasant people. 
Their chef is a good artiste, and they always 
manage to draw around them people who suit 
each other/' said Lord Henry Fitzhardinge to 
his young and fair wife, as they drove from 



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138 MATRIMONY. 

Lord Merrington's mansion in Grosvenor- 
square. 

Lord Henry Fitzhardinge, be it known to 
our readers, was just six weeks married ; and 
the said six weeks had passed in a sojourn at 
the lakes, where a picturesque dwelling on the 
banks of Windermere had enabled the newly- 
wedded pair to enjoy all the privacy so much 
desired during the early days of marriage. 
This dinner at Lord Merrington's had been 
the first accepted engagement since their arrival 
in London, a few days before, and consequently 
was the first interruption to the tSte-d-tite re- 
pasts to which they had lately been accustomed. 

"But you are silent, Emily," resumed he, 
"did you not think the party an agreeable 
one?" 

" Not particularly so," replied the lady. 

" I wonder at that," rejoined Lord Henry, 
" for you sate next the Marquis of AUerton, 
who is considered a remarkably pleasant man." 

" I am rarely delighted with utter strangers, 
I confess," resumed Lady Emily ; " but this is 
an old-fashioned peculiarity from which you 
seem to be exempt." 

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MATBIMONY. 139 

" Delighted is a strong expression, Emily, 
particularly as applied to utter strangers I But 
now do, like a dear, good girl, tell me what 
has gone wrong?'' 

So saying, he drew his wife tenderly towards 
his side, and stooped to impress a kiss on her 
delicate cheek. — Lady Emily shrank from his 
embrace, and turned her head in an opposite 
direction, a movement that excited the first 
symptom approaching to displeasure that she 
had ever caused in the mind of her husband. 

Unwilling to indulge in this growing dissa- 
tisfaction towards his fair young wife. Lord 
Henry again addressed her, saying, " Pray, my 
sweet love, leave off this child's-play, and tell 
me why you are out of humour ?" 

"Out of humour!" reiterated the lady; 
**tveUt if you designate unhappiness by the 
epithet of ill-humour, I had better conceal my 
feelings altogether." 

It was now Lord Henry's turn to echo the 
words of his wife. 

" Unhappiness 1 " repeated he ; " why Emily, 
you really surprise, as well as mortify me. In 



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140 MATRIMONY. 

Heaven's name, what cause for unhappiness 
can^ou have?" 

By the light of the carriage-lamps, he now 
saw an embroidered handkerchief applied to 
the eyes of his wife, and plainly heard the 
rising sobs, that heaved the shawl which 
covered her beautiful bust Again he wound 
his arm fondly round her symmetrical waist, 
and whispered, 

" Emily, my own Emily, why do you weep? 
Indeed, you alarm and distress me/' 

At this moment, the carriage stopped at 
the door of their mansion in Belgrave-square, 
which being thrown open, showed the well- 
lighted vestibule in which were ranged some 
half-dozen liveried domestics, headed by the 
maltre^h6tel and groom of the chambers, for- 
mally drawn up to receive their lord and lady. 
Each and all of the inquisitorial band stole 
furtive glances at the face of Lady Emily, on 
which the traces of recent tears were but too 
visible. 

She thought not of the prying eyes that 
marked her sadness, being engrossed wholly by 



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MATRIMONY. 141 

the feelings that occupied her mind. Not so, 
however. Lord Henry : he observed that the 
attention of his servants was awakened, and 
experienced additional dissatisfaction from his 
apprehension of the comments they were likely 
to make on their lady's evident emotion. 

He offered his arm to assist her to ascend 
the stairs ; but she affected not to see that he 
did so, and held by the balustrade. The groom 
of the chambers, who preceded them, had no 
sooner thrown open the door of her ladyship's 
dressing-room, than Lady Emily hastily rang 
the bell for her femme'de'chambre ; thus pre- 
cluding the explanation which her mortified 
lord anxiously sought. The lady sank into a 
bergdre^ and gave free course to the tears sup- 
pressed while ascending to her room ; and just 
as she was sullenly repelling the attempt of 
Lord Henr}^ to wipe them from her cheek, 
Marabout her attendant entered. 

« Oh, man Dieu 1 vat miladi is eel, n^est-ce- 
pas f Vill I send for de doctors, de apotecaries, 
and every body ?" 

So saying, the bustling Frenchwoman ran 
to the toilet-table, and seized a fla5on of eau-. 

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142 MATRIMONY. 

d'Hongrie, which she held towards the nostrils 
of her weeping mistress. 

** O miladi ave de asteriks ; I see veil sodio- 
ting make miladi eel, or somehody vex her." 

And this discreet conjecture, was followed by 
a suspicious glance towards Lord Henry, who 
was affectionately holding the little white hand, 
on the delicate finger of which, he had placed 
the nuptial ring but six fleeting weeks before. 

As he looked on the flushed cheeks, down 
which the tears were streaming from red eyes, 
he could hardly fancy that the being before 
him was the lovely creature whom, only a few 
hours previously, he led forth beaming with 
health and gaiety ; and it must be confessed 
the change in her appearance, excited more 
ill-humour than pity in his heart ; for candour 
compels us to declare that, mcdgri all the poets 
who have prated about the attraction of beauty 
in tears, we have never yet seen a single illus- 
tration in proof of their assertions on this point, 
nor met a single husband who did not shrink 
in distaste from the exhibition. 

" What can be the matter with her ? " thought 
Lord Henry. *' This is a pleasant commence* 



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MATRIMONY. 143 

ment of the conjugal scenes that Mortimer 
used to describe I Well, I thought Emily was 
exempt from such folly ; but all women it seems 
are alike.'* 

Though these unpleasant thoughts passed 
through his mind, he nevertheless checked the 
oppressive attentions of the bustling Marabout^ 
poured out a glass of water, which he held to 
the swollen lips of his wife, and applied some 
eau-d^Hongrie to her flushed and throbbing 
forehead. 

During these operations, Marabout deeply 
mortified, remarked with the acuteness peculiar 
to her class, and a satisfaction caused by her ill- 
will towards Lord Henry for having repulsed her 
troublesome petits soins^ that her lady evinced 
a very unusual coldness towards her liege lord. 
" Ahal" thought the saubrette^ "de moon 
of oney is over ; she cry, he look cross ; she 
not say one vord of all de loaf she say to him 
at oder time — tant mieux, dey make me vexed 
vid deir too much loaf/* 

Lord Henry, finding that his presence af- 
forded no relief to the inexplicable chagrin of 
his wife, at length withdrew to his dressing- 



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144 MATRIMONY. 

room; and, truth to say, never before felt so 
little impatient to rejoin her. He passed in 
review all that had occurred at dinner and 
during the $oir6e at Lord Merrinton's; but 
could discover no cause for the tears he had 
witnessed. They must have consequently pro- 
ceeded from ill-humour; yet Emily had been 
so sweet-tempered ever since their marriage, 
that he could hardly bring himself to think 
that without any provocation she could be thus 
unreasonable. At length, his toilette de nuit 
completed (and he had taken more than thrice 
the ordinary time employed for the opera- 
tion), he sought the dressing-room of his wife. 
Though prepared for bed, she had not dis- 
missed Maraboutj who stood beside her chair 
with a mingled look of consternation and pity, 
as if her lady was in imminent danger. 

** Milor, madame is so eel, dat I tink it be 
very proper to send for one or two doctors.** 

" Do, for Heaven's sake, speak Emily 1" said 
Lord Henry; " are you ill?" 

" I shall be better by and by,** sobbed the 
lady; *^but do not speak to me, I cannot bear 
it, indeed I cannot,*' and here she wept anew. 



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MATRIMONY. 145 

" You may go, Marahmit^* said Lord Henry. 

" Mais mUoVy si miladi — " 

" Go," repeated Lord Henry, impatiently, 
" your presence is not required." 

The femme-de'Chambre having withdrawn, 
Lord Henry once more entreated his wife to 
acquaint him with the cause of her tears. 

" Do not ask me, Henry, I'll try to forget 
it ; but indeed, I have been so — wounded, so — 
wretched, that — ," and a fresh burst of tears 
interrupted the completion of the sentence. 

" But you really must tell me, Emily ; why 
should you have any concealment from me ?" - 

** How strange, how unfeeling, Henry, that 
you should not have guessed I Ah I this proves 
that there is little of that sympathy between us, 
that I foolishly fancied existed." 

"Well, I assure you, Emily, however unfeel- 
ing it may appear, I cannot even imagine what 
has distressed you ; and as it is growing late, 
and you have occasion for repose, I entreat you 
will at once tell me ?" 

" Can it indeed be possible, Henry, that you 
were not aware that my agitation proceeded 
from the attentions, ay, the marked attentions 

VOL. II. H 

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146 MATRIMONY. 

you lavished on that odious Lady AUerton, all 
the time of dinner?" 

" Marked attentions, Emily I Why I swear, 
that nothing more than the ordinary politeness 
expected from every man towards the woman 
he sits next at dinner, was paid hy me/' 

" Oh 1 Henry, how can you say so ? when 
you know you talked to her all the time ; yes, 
and you laughed with her too, when she was 
speaking of some book that she had read, and 
that you had read, but of which I don't know 
a page ; and you were both so much amused 
at finding your tastes agreed, that neither of 
you seemed to think of any one else at table. 
Oh I she is an odious flirt, and I never shall 
like her, that I shan't, and so I let her see, 
when she said she would call on me.'' 

'^ Good heavens, Emily I is it possible that 
vou can have been so absurd, as to ofiend a 
person, who is, in every respect, so desirable an 
acquaintance — a woman, universally considered 
to be one of the most distingu6e in England ?" 

*^ And you, Henry, is it possible that you 
have the courage openly to display your entiche- 
ment for her, even to my face? This is too 



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MATRIMONY. 147 

craell" and here the tears of Lady Emily 
flowed afresh. 

** You really provoke me, Emily j how can 
you be so foolish as to imagine for a moment, 
that an idea of paying any thing more than 
common politeness to Lady AUerton, ever en- 
tered my head?** 

** Do you call it nothing more than common 
politeness, to look in her face each time you 
addressed her, or that she spoke to you? to 
offer to pour out water for her with such a 
softness of manner, as if it were me to whom 
you were speaking? m^, whom you have a 
thousand times swore that you adore. And 
all this attention to a person whom you have 
never seen above half-a-dozen times in your 
lifer 

" Who ever heard of such folly? Emily, 
Emily, I never expected such absurd weakness 
from you I What is there more ill-bred, than 
to avert the eyes from the person with whom 
one converses ? And really as to offering water 
in a soft tone of voice, I cannot help laughing 
at such a charge. I cannot conceive any one, 
with the pretensions to gentlemanlike manner, 

H 2 

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148 MATRIMONY. 

addressing a woman in any other than a gentle 
tone." 

" There is a vast difference in the modes of 
looking at, or speaking to people, Henry; and 
you know it as well as I do, you positively 
looked with tenderness on that odious woman 
whom I shall always hate, and only occasionally 
glanced towards me ; with a provoking smile, 
too, as if it was quite natural that she should 
he the principal object of your attention at table. 
I could not swallow a morsel, and felt ready 
every moment to burst into tears ; while that 
tiresome husband of hers, kept boring me with 
his officious civilities, instead of checking the 
disgusting levity of his coquettish wife, which 
he ought to be ashamed to permit.'' 

" What injustice and absurdity 1 Lady Aller- 
ton accused of being a coquette, and guilty of 
levity I Never was there a charge so wholly 
unfomided." 

^< Oh I I see. Lord Henry, you cannot bear 
to have the least fault found with her. You 
would have all the world think her as perfect 
as you do.'' 

*' I perceive. Lady Emily, it is useless to 



dbyGoogk 



MATRIMONY. 149 

persist in my endeavours to pacify your ridi- 
culous suspicions, and therefore I shall abstain 
from any further explanation/' 

'< You adopt the general mode used by those 
who cannot justify their conduct But I am a 
fool to suffer from your unkindness. I should, 
like you, forget that I am married, and think 
only of the person who happens to sit next me ; 
and if I loved you as little as you do me, this 
would be an easy task ; but I — I — ^'^ and sobs 
checked her utterance. 

This avowal of love awakened the tenderness 
of Lord Henry, which, truth to own, had been 
slumbering during the discus^on, sent to sleep 
by the ruefully-changed aspect of his wife, and 
this first display of unfounded jealousy. He 
threw his arms fondly around her, swore that 
no woman on earth could fascinate his eyes but 
her ; and that he did violence to his inclina- 
tions, by showing even the ordinary attentions 
of society to another. 

His appeased wife once more smiled, and 
lavished on him all the touching demonstrations 
of tenderness, which are the consolations for the 



dbyGoogk 



MATRIMONY. 151 

" Really, Emily, you are very provoking, 
thus to confound ordinary civilities with those 
attentions peculiar to affection.'' 

" And you, Henry, are more than provoking 
in employing this sophistry to impose on my 
inexperience." 

With a patience, the exercise of which was 
very new to Lord Henry, and a tact not gene- 
rally possessed, he endeavoured to explain the 
attentions every man was expected to pay to 
the lady hy whom he happened to he placed ; 
and urged that any omission of them would be 
deemed a solecism in good breeding. Lady 
Emily listened with sundry symptoms of impa- 
tience, while her caro sposo touched on those 
points, and interrupted him by declaring that 
she never could become used to see him paying 
attention to any woman but herself. 

" Let me entreat you, Emily, unless you wish 
to render us both objects of ridicule to all our ac- 
quaintance, conquer these unreasonable foncies, 
and learn to draw a line of distinction between 
the civilities which all men are obliged to offer 
to women in society, and those that are prompted 
by a decided preference. To have you named 



dbyGoogk 



15^ MATRIMONY. 

as a jealous wife, would be painful and humi- 
liating to me ; and better would it be to aban- 
don society altogether, than to subject ourselves 
to the mockery that always awaits those who 
expose their weaknesses." 

" But can you heed what a whole set of peo- 
ple, about whom we cure nothing, may think ?" 
asked Lady Emily. ** One wish of yours, dearest 
Henry, is of more importance to me, than the 
opinion of the whole world united I Why should 
not my wishes have an equal influence with 
you?'' 

*^ Explain those wishes, Emily, that I may 
distinctly comprehend them; for at present, 
I confess I do not quite understand your 
meaning.?' 

" Well, then, my beloved, when we are obliged 
to go into society, or receive at home, I would 
wish you, when compelled to speak to other 
women, never to look at them with those dear 
eyes, just as you do at me when we are alone; 
but while speaking to them, to look at me, and 
never to talk to them on any but the most 
commonplace and uninteresting topics: never 
to become animated during the conversation. 



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MATRIMONY. 153 

and never to indulge in those soft and deep 
tones of voice, to which I cannot bear any 
woman's ear but mine should listen." 

Lord Henry burst into a laugh, which he 
vainly endeavoured to suppress ; but it found 
no echo from his wife. 

" Would you not also wish me always, Emily, 
to select the ugliest and oldest woman to sit 
next/' 

" Unfortunately, Henry, as the stupid rules 
of precedence leave no choice, such an arrange- 
ment, however desirable it might be, is not 
practicable ; but as the mode of gratifying my 
wishes, which I pointed out, is, I hope you will 
adopt it" 

" Now imagine me, my own Emily, seated 
by a lady at dinner, while you are on the oppo- 
site side of the table. An epergne obstructs 
our eyes from encountering without an exer- 
tion; but, in order to satisfy you, I, while 
addressing a comment on the heat or cold of 
the day, the dulness of town, or the dust of 
the park, to my female neighbour, turn round 
like a machine on a chimney-top, to catch 

h3 



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154 MATRIMONY. 

your glance, giving you the preconcerted look 
of tenderness, which if ohserved by the guests 
around, would set them all laughing at us." 

While uttering these words. Lord Henr)' 
enacted the gestures he described, so comically, 
that Lady Emily was forced to join in his mirth, 
and they separated for the morning, in perfect 
good-humour ; but without having come to any 
definitive understanding as to what Lady Emily 
couldf or could not patiently bear. 

In the street, Lord Henry encountered an 
old friend and schoolfellow, Mr. Sydney, whom 
he had not seen for some time ; and anxious to 
present him to Lady Emily, invited him to dine 
with them en trio. When he came home, to 
escort her on horseback, he mentioned the plea- 
sure he anticipated in making his chosen friend 
known to her. 

** Sydney is an excellent fellow, and I am 
sure you will like him if only on my account, 
for he is one of my dearest friends." 

Lady Emily looked disconcerted, but said 
nothing. 

** How is this, love?" asked her husband, 



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MATRIMONY. 155 

*' you do not seem pleased at my having 
asked Sydney to dinner." 

" Why, to say the truth, I had anticipated so 
much happiness in a Ute-d-Ute with you, Henry, 
after that large, and dull party, yesterday, that 
I confess I am a little disappointed, however 
amiahle your friend may be." 

** He is a good-humoured, kind-hearted crea- 
ture," resumed Lord Henry. ** We travelled 
all over the continent together, lived in one 
house in London, while I was a gargon ; and, 
in short, were for many years inseparable." 

•* Oh, yes 1 I remember you used to be con- 
tinually praising him, and wondering whether 
he would like me," said the lady, with a counte- 
nance in which little sjrmptoms of pleasure were 
visible. 

" No, there you wrong me. I could not 
doubt whether he, whether every one, could 
resist liking my Emily ; and I only hope she 
will like him ; for I confess I should be an- 
noyed, if my wife did not like the man I most 



esteem." 



I dare say we shall get on very well ; only. 



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156 MATRIMONY. 

as I have before told you, [ am not given to 
take fancies to strangers." 

Lord Henry felt hurt and mortified at the 
tone adopted by his wife on this occasion ; and 
the reflection it induced, led to a longer silence 
than usually occurred between them. Lady 
Emily was the first to break it. 

" I suppose, Henry," said she, pettishly, "that 
your thoughts are so occupied by your friend, 
that you have none to bestow on your wife ?" 

" I was thinking, Emily, that I wished my 
wife evinced a more cordial feeling towards my 
friend." 

Further private conversation was precluded 
by their being joined by two or three acquaint- 
ances, who left them not until they returned 
from their ride, when it was time to adjourn to 
dress for dinner. 

When Mr. Sydney arrived. Lord Henry led 
him, with all the unceremonious cordiality of a 
brother, to Lady Henry. 

" Emily has heard me speak of you so often/' 
said he, " that she feels as if you were as old 
friends as we are." 



dbyGoogk 



MATRIMONY. 157 

The formal courtesy, and the top of her 
gloved fingers which met Mr. Sydney's out- 
stretched hand, ill accorded with this assertion ; 
hot Mr. Sydney, though somewhat checked in 
his friendly advances, attributed the coldness 
of his reception to the youthful timidity of the 
fair creature before him, whose exquisite love- 
liness justified his friend's taste, and disposed 
Sydney to like her. 

" 1 met Aubrey yesterday," said Mr. Sydney, 
^* and never saw a man so totally changed by 
wedlock as he is. He seemed afraid to show 
the pleasure he felt at meeting me, and posi- 
tively shrank in dismay when I bantered him 
on some of our former joint follies. I have 
heard, that when a man weds, it is deemed 
necessary for him to change his servants, but I 
was not aware he should change his friends. 
How strange, that marriage should produce 
such a metamorphosis ! But this is one of the 
mysteries of that holy state, which a gargon 
never can comprehend. You, I see, my dear 
fellow, are unchanged : thanks, I suppose, to 
the amiability of Lady Emily." 



dbyGoogk 



158 MATRIMONY. 

Had Mn Sydney not been so exceedingly 
short-sighted, one glance at Lady Emily would 
have rendered him aware of the indiscretion he 
had committed ; but unconscious of the change 
in her aspect, he continued to talk. 

'' How long it is, since we last met I** said 
Mr. Sydney, as soon as the servants having 
retired allowed a perfect freedom from con- 
straint. 

** How frequently did I think of you at Rome 
and Naples, where we passed such pleasant 
days together !" 

Lady Emily looked displeased; and her 
husband observing the expression of her coun- 
tenance, made an effort to turn the subject of 
conversation. 

** I quite long to take Emily to Italy, and 
show her all our old haunts, Sydney," said he. 

" Apropos of our old haunts," observed Mr, 
Sydney, " whom do you think I met at Alb- 
ano, when I went there to seek a little fresh air, 
after having been half broiled by an unusually 
warm May at Rome ? Can you guess ?" 

*< I have not the most remote idea,'* replied 



dbyGoogk 



MATRIMONY. 159 

Lord Henry, with a look of such perfect in- 
difference, as indicated he had no curiosity on 
the subject. 

" Well, then, I encountered the bewitching 
widow as you used to call her, Mrs. Montagu 
Clifford, still in a state of single blessedness, 
though she had exhibited her white teeth, and 
sung her Spanish letrillas all over Italy. By 
the bye, she made kind inquiries after you, 
though I suspect you hardly merited them." 

Lady Emily's cheek grew red, and she gave 
a glance of anger at her husband, that brought 
the scene of jealousy of the previous night for- 
cibly to his recollection. Again he endeavoured 
to direct the conversation to other topics ; but 
his wife observing his effort, far from showing 
any sense of gratitude, denoted by her angry 
glances her suspicion that he dreaded some 
disagreeable disclosure from the loquacity of 
his friend. She rose to withdraw, and, though 
afiectionately urged by Lord Henry to stay 
with them a little longer, left the room ; say- 
ing, she doubted not that they would be glad 
to have a tHe-a^Ute^ to talk over their agreeable 
reminiscences of past times. 

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160 MATRIMONY. 

Lord Henry was ill at ease, as he marked 
the look of displeasure that clouded the coun- 
tenance of his wife ; and the anticipation of 
another scene of tears, sullenness, or reproaches, 
haunted his imagination so forcibly, that his 
friend at length struck by the air distrait^ with 
which he listened to him, proposed adjourning 
to the drawing-room. 

Arrived there, they found that Lady Emily 
had retired to her apartment, leaving a message 
with the groom of the chambers that a bad 
headache obliged her to withdraw. 

" I must quit you, Sydney, for a short time,** 
said Lord Henry, looking not a little discon- 
certed, '* to go and see Emily ; she has not 
been well of late, and was suffering all the 
time of dinner." 

He sought his wife's dressing-room, not as 
hitherto, with lover-like steps of impatience ; 
but rather as a culprit who dreads a reproof, 
though he had no consciousness of having given 
offence. Few things can be more disagreeable 
than this same anticipation of a lecture, or 
what is still worse, a cold or sullen reception, 
from a beloved object whom one is anxious to 

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MATRIMONY. l61 

please, yet who takes umbrage at trifles, aod 
resents the imagined offence either by recrimi- 
nation, silence, or tears. He felt an incipient 
dread of the time likely to elapse before he 
could return to his friend; the wearisome 
efforts to be employed to extract an avowal 
of the imagined grievance, the protracted cha- 
grin of the grieved, and the necessarily pro- 
longed attempts to console. 

As these thoughts passed through his mind, 
he was almost tempted, malgre his sincere 
affection for his wife, to wish himself once 
more a bachelor, with all the comfortable inde- 
pendence, and irresponsibility attached to the 
state of single blessedness. He entered the 
chamber with even more than usual gentleness; 
but ere he had crossed its threshold, a signal 
from the self-important MarabaiU^ indicated 
the necessity of a more stealthy pace. 

** MHoTj miladif est bien souffrantej she 
have de megrin, de chagrin,'* whispered the 
femme'de-chambre^ glancing reproaches all the 
time she spoke at Lord Henry; who felt a 
more than ordinary disinclination towards the 
attendant of his wife, on observing the air of 

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162 MATRIMONY. 

impertinent confidence assumed by her on this 
occasion. 

He approached the lit de repos, on which 
Lady Emily reclined, and seeing that she slept 
not, he ventured to hope that her indisposition 
was not of a serious nature. 

** I am very poorly," said the lady ; " my 
head aches dreadfully ; but pray do not let me 
detain you from your friend.'* 

" If you really are ill, Emily, can you ima- 
gine that I could leave you ? The supposition 
is unkind." 

A dead silence followed this remark, broken 
only by the deep sighs of Lady Emily. 

*' Had I not better immediately send for 
medical advice?" asked Lord Henry, affection- 
ately, and he took her hand in his. " There 
is, however, no symptom of fever in this dear 
hand," said he, and he pressed it to his lips. 

" You surely ought not to leave your friend 
alone any longer?" said Lady Emily, with an 
air that denoted her expectation that her hus- 
band would reply, ** What are all the friends 
in the world to me, when you are indisposed? *" 

** I will just go to Sydney, send him away,'' 

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MATRIMONY. l6S 

resumed Lord Henry, '*and return to you 
immediately.'' 

'* No, really, I cannot permit you to sacrifice 
the pleasure of Mr. Sydney's society, in which 
it was previously quite evident you took such 
delight," said the lady ; *' for you had neither 
eyes nor ears for any one else during dinner ; 
and remained so long with him after it, that I 
considered it not to he unlucky that my illness 
furnished an excuse for leaving you to enjoy 
your tete-d-Mte.^ 

** How can you be so unreasonable — so 
childish ?" asked Lord Henry. 

** I think Mr. Sydney might have had the 
tact to forbear repeating his reminiscences of 
yotir bachelor days, and your bewitching widow, 
in my presence, at least," said Lady Emily ; 
** for it cannot be agreeable to find the epithet 
bewitching, which I foolishly thought you had 
never applied to any one but me, has been 
lavished on a person who, judging even from 
the mode in which she was named, seems litide 
better than a husband-hunting adventuress." 

Lady Emily's cheeks flushed, and her eyes 



dbyGoogk 



164 MATRIMOKT. 

sparkled with animation, if not anger, as she 
uttered this reproach 

".Good Heavens, Emily 1 how silly, how 
ahsurd, thus to take offence where not the 
slightest was meant to he offered I Do you 
suppose I could, without compromising your 
dignity, and leading my friend to helieve that 
you were weak and unreasonahle, like too 
many other women, make him understand that 
references to my bachelor days are interdicted? 
Would you not have cause to be offended, if 
I told him your foolish susceptibility on this 
pomt?" 

" There could be no necessity for such a 
measure. Lord Henry, had you, as you ought 
to have done, explained to your obtuse friefid, 
that you wished to forget all your past life, and 
to remember events only from the date of our 
affection." 

" Sydney would laugh at me were I to con- 
fess any thing half so ridiculous," replied Lord 
Henry. 

" Oh ! if you attach more importance to 
Mr. Sydney's opinion than mine, I have no- 



dbyGoogk 



MATRIMONY. l65 

thing more to say," and a cambric handker- 
chief was applied to the tearful eyes of the 
lady. 

" Emily, Emily, why will you thus trifle with 
our happiness ? What would you have me do 
to satisfy you? A short time ago, I little 
doubted that I should ever be compelled to 
ask the mortifying question, for I believed you 
were satisfied — were happy. Tell me what are 
your wishes, for I cannot endure the repetition 
of scenes such as these." 

" I wish," replied the lady, her accents 
broken by sobs, ''that you would avoid all 
those odious people with whom you lived before 
you knew me ; and thus preclude the chance 
of my feelings being wounded by their indeli- 
cate reminiscences of a time when, as they 
would fain make me believe, you were gay, 
amused — nay, Henry — happy, without me; 
me, on whom you have said a thousand times 
within the last three blissful months, your 
happiness wholly and solely depended. I can- 
not, indeed I cannot, dear Henry, bear to hear 
them refer to your past life, when even the 



dbyGoogk 



166 MATRIMONY. 

idea that you could have lived without me 
inflicts torture I ** 

There was so much tenderness in this send- 
ment, unreasonaUe as the wishes of her who 
uttered it were felt to he by her hushand, that 
the displeasure which her exigeance might 
have produced, was forgotten in the affection 
which it evinced ; and still more softened by 
the appealing look of the dark, lustrous eyes, 
fondly fixed on his face, he pressed his lips on 
her fair brow, and called her his dear, his own 
Emily. 

'* I have quite forgotten poor Sydney all this 
time," said Lord Henry, •* I really must go to 
him.'* 

" Oh I Henry, how can you think of any one 
but me? Heaven knows I never bestow a 
thought on any other human being than you ; 
yet here, even in the moment that I am dis* 
posed to forget the chagrin of the last three 
hours — chagrin that has weighed more heavily 
on my spirits than I can express — you can 
remember this tiresome friend of yours, who 
has caused it alL No, I never shaU^ never can 



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MATRIMONY. 



167 



happy, until you break asunder your odious 
ihelor friendships ; forget all your previous 
I and learn to think that you have only 
Uy, truly, lived since we have known each 
er.'' 

Lord Henry felt a strong inclination to smile 
this romantic notion of his wife, which how- 
T flattering it might be to his vanity, augured 
for his prospect of that good understanding, 
1 freedom from constraint, which he thought 
;h essential ingredients in the cup of connu- 
I felicity. But he conquered the disposition 
laughter, looked as grave as he could, and 
ving again pressed the delicate little hand, 
Id out towards him in a reproving posture, 
t the room to join Sydney ; preparing sundry 
iations of the illness of Lady Emily, as an 
ology for his protracted absence. Truth to 
f, he felt not a little abashed at the con- 
iousness of the ridiculous figure he should 
ike while detailing these same apologies to 
s friend. 

"Pshaw I" muttered he, **a bachelor can 
(ver understand these sort of conjugal embar- 



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168 MATRIMONY. 

rassments; a brother Benedick would divine 
the whole thing in a moment" 

On entering the library, he found it empty ; 
and, though relieved from the necessity of 
making false excuses, the thought that Sydney 
would be sure to go to his club, and account 
for his unusually early apparition there, by 
detailing the sudden illness of his hostess, and 
the absence of his host, with his suspicion of 
the cause. 

" I shall be an object of ridicule among the 
whole club," said he, and this presentiment 
tended not to smooth his brow, as with no in- 
considerable portion of irritation, he again 
sought the dressing-room of his wife. 

" How kind, dearest Henry, to have dis- 
missed our tormentor, and to have returned to 
me so soon ! How did you get rid of him ?" 

" He saved me all trouble on that point,** 
replied Lord Henry, with a look that denoted 
any thing but satisfaction, " by taking himself 
off." 

<'0h, I am so glad I" said Lady Emily; 
" for I anticipated his staying at least half an 



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MATRIMONY. l69 

hoar. But you don't look as if you participated 
in my gladness, Henry I Can it be possible 
that you prefer his society to mine ?** 

** I confess, Emily, that I am annoyed at his 
going off without any explanation. Sydney 
can be sarcastic, and comic too, when he 
pleases : and his version of my uxoriousness 
given to our mutual friends at the club, could 
not fail to draw their quizzical animadversions 
on us both.'' 

<* And this is the man you call your friend, 
Henry ? How unlike my notions of one I " 

" Sydney, nevertheless, has proved himself a 
very sincere friend, on more than one occasion, 
Emily." 

•* Yet you believe that he would be capable 
of turning you into ridicule at the club I This 
was not the sort of friendship that subsisted 
between dear Frances Lorimer and me. She 
would not, could not breathe a word to imply a 
censure on me« Ah I ours was, indeed, a true 
friendship I Did we not write to each other 
every day such long, long letters, always cross- 
lined ? Did we not dress in the same colours, 
wear bracelets of each other's hair, and rings 

VOL. II. I 

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170 MATRIMONY. 

with the same devices ; dote on the same poetry, 
read the same works of fiction, like and dislike 
the same people ? and in short, assimilate our- 
selves in dress, sentiments, and pursuits, until 
each had lost her own identity in that of her 
friend ? And yet, Henry, this friend I have 
neglected, nay, I have forgotten, in the all- 
engrossing affection you created in my hreast ; 
while ^oi« can attach importance to the opinions 
of this Mr. Sydney, whom you admit to be 
capahle of giving a sarcastic version of your 
attachment to your wife I" 

** Your inexperience, Emily, unfits you for 
judging of mundane friendships. Those between 
men, are wholly difierent from the romantic, 
exaggerated, and unenduring delusions, named 
friendship, by girls in their teens, commenced 
in the school-room, and ended in the honey- 
moon." 

" Mine for dear Frances ended not in the 
honeymoon; for was it not a sweet occupation, 
during the first days of our marriage, to write 
and tell her of my happiness?" 

" But our honeymoon is scarcely yet over, 
Emily, and nevertheless, you confess that you 



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MATRIMONY. 171 

have neglected, nay, forgotten your friend. 
Now, I wrote no exaggerated accounts of my 
connubial bliss to Sydney, nor did he expect 
that I should. Yet our friendship has remained 
the same, ever since we left Eton together; 
and 1 confess I should be pained at its being 
diminished, or broken off, notwithstanding that 
I acknowledge my belief of his capability of 
quizzing my conjugal faihlesse to our mutual 
acquaintance at the club." 

" Oh, Henry 1 it is so provoking to hear 
your worldly-minded sentiments on subjects so 
sacred as loVe and friendship!" 

*' Should you not rather say, Emily, that it 
is fortunate they are not more exalted; since, 
as you prohibit the indulgence of the latter, as 
being incompatible with the duties entailed by 
the former, an adherence to friendship would 
expose me to your displeasure?'' 

*' You wilfully misunderstand me, Henry, 
indeed you do. No one attaches more value 
to friendship than I.'' 

" Then why wish to wean me from Sydney?*' 

** Because he has no feeling, no sympathy, 
no tacL" 

i2 

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172 MATRIMONY. 

** He is not generally accused of being defi- 
cient in these qualities, Emilv, I assure you.** 

" And I persist, Henry, in thinking, that if 
he really possessed them, he would not, on the 
first day he was presented to your wife, refer 
in her presence to your bachelor days, and your 
bewitching widows ; because none but an ob- 
tuse-minded man could be unconscious that a 
refined woman, fondly attached to her husband, 
could be otherwise than deeply pained at such 
reminiscences." 

Neither parties were convinced by the argu- 
ments of the other ; nay, more— each consi- 
dered the other unreasonable. Mutual affection, 
however, operated as a soother, in this their 
second matrimonial dissension, as effectually as 
it had done on their first ; and like an April 
sun which quickly dries up the showers that 
preceded its appearance, soon banished every 
trace of discontent, and again all was love and 
peace. But brief was the duration of this 
halcyon state. A late night in the House of 
Commons, led to as angry a debate between 
Lord Henry and Lady Emily, as is often wit- 
nessed vnthin the House ; and the disputants 

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MATRIMONY. 173 

stood in as much need of being called to order, 
as the most animated member who ever incurred 
and deserved the remonstrance of that much 
enduring functionary, the Speaker. 

Quarrel No. 3, was not so easily adjusted as 
the former two ; for domestic disagreements 
have this peculiarity, that each succeeding one 
finds those engaged in them less disposed to 
make or accept concessions. It were tedious 
to relate the arguments offered by Lady Emily, 
to prove that a husband who loves his wife, 
could not, or at least ovght not, to attend the 
House of Commons ; and the logical reasoning 
by which Lord Henry endeavoured to convince 
her, that he who discharged not his duty to 
his country, was not capable of being a loving 
spouse. Arguments, nay, even tears, were 
found unavailing to convince Lord Henry that 
his attendance at St. Stephen's was a just cause 
of unhappiness to his wife. He sternly per- 
sisted in his resolution to attend the House of 
Commons, when any subject of importance was 
likely to be discussed.; and three days, felt to 
be of interminable length by Lady Emily, rolled 



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174i MATRIMONY. 

over their heads, before a perfect reconciliation 
was accomplished. 

But alas I this estrangement of three days, 
led to a result that furnished cause for future 
dissension. The consciousness that a cold 
reception awaited him at home, induced L<Nrd 
Henry, one night that the House of Commons 
had adjourned at an earlier hour than ordinary, 
to yield to the request of some old friends, to 
drop into their dub and sup ; and so agreeable 
did he find his companions, that he returned 
not to his home until daylight. Poor Lady 
Emily, who had impatiently counted the many 
hours of his absence, by the pendule on her 
table, met him with a face pale as marble, on 
which the effect of her late vigil and anxiety 
might be traced in legible characters. Her 
pallid looks were a reproach that his conscience 
whispered he had merited ; and which might 
have been more effectual in precluding similar 
sins on his part, than any other means, had 
she trusted to them alone. But unfortunately, 
she recapitulated all she had endured; the 
hope that every step in the square, every sound 



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MATRIMONT. 175 

of carriage-wheels, were his ; and the conse- 
qaent alarm and disappointment that followed 
the firustration of these hopes. Men are seldom 
so little disposed to pity the sufferings they 
have caused, as when conscience tells them they 
have heen in the wrong. 

Lord Henry became ennuyi^ as his cara 
sposa dwelt on the misery of her solitary vigil, 
and somewhat brusquely remarked, ^' that it 
might have been avoided had she more wisely 
sought her pillow. The house did not adjourn 
until very late ; he could not get away sooner, 
and he hoped she would never again sit up for 
him.'* 

" And this," thought Lady Emily, « is the 
ccmsolation offered me for my anxiety, and 
the many hours of wretchedness undergone 
during this long, long night. Oh, Henry I 
who that saw you in our delicious dwelling, by 
the calm lake of Windermere, whose unruffled 
surface was not smoother than the current of 
our lives, and where an hour passed away 
from me, was counted as an infliction not 
bearable, could believe that you could thus 
change I'' 

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lyfi MATRIMONY. 

The tears stole down her pallid cheek as she 
made this reflection, and hathed her pillow as 
she continued to ponder long after her husband 
had tasted the balm of sleep denied to her. 

The next day, as they rode through the 
park, one of his companions of the previous 
night joined them, and referred to its agree- 
ability. 

" We got a very good supper, did we not ?** 
said he. *' No one can prepare a supper like 
Ude.** 

Lord Henry positively blushed, as the re- 
proachful eyes of his offended wife were fixed 
on his face. 

" Do you know,** continued his friend, who 
was not un peu indiscret et bavard, '^ that poor 
Aubrey is not allowed to go to Crockford's, 
Madame son Spouse thinking the frequenting 
of that agreeable club, incompatible with the 
dignified position of a married man. The 
consequence is, that Aubrey swears he never 
enters the place, yet contrives to sup there most 
nights on his way back from the House of 
Commons, and persuades his wife that he was 
detained at the house. Every married man 

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MATRIMONY. 177 

now endeavours to secure a seat in parliament, 
because it furnishes so good an excuse for late 
hours and absence from home." 

Lord Henry looked as embarrassed as he 
felt, and heartily wished his indiscreet friend 
a hundred miles off; while Lady Emily felt as 
much indignation as grief, at thus discovering 
that the deception practised by other men, had 
been indulged in by him whom she believed to 
have been as incapable of finding pleasure in 
the haunts of his bachelor days, as of descend- 
ing to a subterfuge to conceal his renewed 
attendance there. Trivial as this error of the 
husband may appear to some of our readers, it 
aimed the first blow at the confidence of the 
wife in his veracity — a blow so fatal to conjugal 
happiness. He felt all that was passing in her 
mind ; and, with the unreasonableness peculiar 
to selfishness, was more disposed to resent the 
censure implied by her looks, than to atone for 
the cause of it. 

He argued in his own mind, that as the 
duplicity to which he had descended had been 
instigated by what he called her absurd ex- 
igeance, his practice of it was consequently 

iS 

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\ 

I 178 ICATRIMONT. 

oompulsory. How many men haf 
reasoned^ and how many women ha? 
the same results by their imprudci 
tions, and resentments when such e 
have been disappcnnted I 

Never did a pair, who had only 1 
worn the chains of Hym^s, enter 
with feelings less attuned to love 
Henry and Lady Emily. Mutual 
tion pervaded the minds of both ; ; 
to say, this very dissatis&ction owe 
ness and exist^ice to an ill-regn1at< 
which led each to expect in the 
freedom fitmi error, rarely, if ever, 
weak mortals. 

«< I thought him soperfect,** said 
to herself, **so inca^ble of felsel 
what a cruel disappointment I** 

** How unjust I how absurd I** tl 
Henry, ^*to resent as an injury 
deception produced by my desire oi 
her pain, which I knew my hones 
the supper at Crockford's, would ha 
Women are the most unreasonable ( 
the world. If one tells them the 



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MATRIMONY. 179 

pout or weep ; and wbat man can patiently 
bear either of these feminine habitudes? If 
one conceals the fact, from the desire of saving 
them from annoyance, then, forsooth, the poor 
devil of a husband is, if detected, regarded as 
a monster of deception and falsehood, and 
punished for the very error into which a too 
compassionate disposition led him.'' 

The Ute-d'tSte dinner, anticipated with plea- 
sure by husband and wife, proved more dis- 
agreeable to both, than they, a few hours before, 
had imagined possible. Each dreaded a re- 
currence to the subject that pained them, yet 
could think of no other. The evening passed 
not more pleasantly than the dinner, and was 
felt by both to be interminable. What a 
melancholy contrast did it offer to the delicious 
ones enjoyed in their solitude, when they were 
all the world to each other I — ^before she had 
learned to doubt his truth, or he to dread or 
resent her displeasure. 

The announcement that his cabriolet was at 
the door, was a relief to them. He muttered 
a few words of his regret at the necessity of 
leaving her ; and, as his lips slightly pressed 

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180 MATRIMONY. 

her cheek, it required no little effort on her 
part to repress the tears that were ready to 
hedew them, while she sUentlj and passively 
received, without returning his caress. It was 
not thus that they had been wont to part even 
for an hour. He would fondly loiter, unwilling 
to tear himself from her presence, and she would 
as fondly urge his stay. But now — all was 
changed, and they felt^ but dared not revert to 
the alteration. The tears, repressed in his 
presence, flowed abundantly when Lord Henry 
left the house. They were the bitterest his wife 
had ever shed ; for they mourned the death of 
those young and romantic hopes of happiness, 
the completion of which are to be found only 
in the pages of fiction. 

While Lady Emily still continued to weep in 
uncontrollable emotion, the doors of the library 
were thrown open, and before she could discern 
who entered, she was fondly pressed in the arms 
of her sister. Lady Lutterworth. The senior 
of Lady Emily by three years, and nearly that 
period a wife, Lady Lutterworth had acquired 
all the experience which is the inevitable result 
of a constant intercourse with society. She, too, 



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MATRIMONT. 181 

had, during the first months of her marriage, 
wept over the destruction of those illusions 
peculiar to the young and romantic ; illusions 
&ted to he dissolved hy the soher realities of 
life — and had learned to value the steady afiec- 
tion of the hushand, which supersedes the more 
animated, hut hrief devotion of the lover. She 
had passed through the phases of the honey- 
moon, and noted the harometer of love, from 
extreme heat to variable, and found the quick- 
silver remain steadily fixed at temperate. — 
Nevertheless, though she might somtimes give 
a sigh to the memory of her departed illusions, 
she was satisfied, nay, more, was happy in her 
domestic life. Arrived but late that evening 
in London, from the continent, where she had 
been sojourning during the last two years, she 
could not repress her impatience to embrace 
the dear sister she had left budding into beauty 
when she last beheld her, and had hurried ofi^ 
in a voiture de remise^ from the Clarendon, as 
soon as she and her lord had finished the late 
dinner that awaited their arrival. 

'< But how is this, dear Emily, you have 
been weeping?" were the first words uttered 

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182 MATRIMONY. 

by Lady Lutterworth, after haviog again and 
again pressed her sister to her heart 

<* IVe been nervous, and somewhat low- 
spirited," replied Lady Emily, and the tears 
streamed afresh from her eyes as she spoke. 

^< Where is Lord Henry ? I long to become 
acquainted with my new brother,** said Lady 
Lutterworth. 

'' He is gone to the House of Commons," 
answered Lady Emily. 

" Which I dare say you find to be just as 
plaguy an affiair as I used to consider the House 
of Lords the first year of my marriage, fCe$t4se 
pas, ma chdre petite eoBwr f Oh, how well I 
remember counting the long, dull hours, that I 
thought interminable, while my lord and master 
was discharging his senatorial duties, listening 
to the pungent satire of a Lyndhurst, or the 
bitter irony of a Brougham. I recollect, too, 
the heroic courage with which I resisted the 
attacks of the drowsy god Morpheus, for the 
praiseworthy purpose of being able to tell Lut- 
terworth what a sleepless wretched night I had 
passed. 1 have struck my repeater, when so 
overpowered by drowsiness as to be almost in- 
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MATRIMONY. 183 

capable of counting its silvery sounds, that I 
might be able to acquaint my caro sposo how 
many, many hours I had counted* And then 
how ofiended, how angry I used to feel, when 
he has said, 'Why not go to sleep, Louisa? 
You would then have been unconscious of the 
tardy flight of time, and I see you can hardly 
keep your eyes open.' I did learn wisdom, did 
go to sleep, and acquired sufficient philosophy 
to be amused the morning after a late debate, 
in listening to a ftwmk of it from Frederick, 
instead of looking, if not uttering reproaches 
for his having occasioned me such long vigils/' 

"But where is Lord Lutterworth?" in- 
quired Lady Emily. 

*' Indulging in a most comfortable ni^to, in 
a chair which he has pronounced to be perfect 
for such indulgence," replied Lady Lutter. 
worth. '' He will then visit his dub, hear the 
an^its and become aufxU of all that is passing 
in London, which will be retailed and detailed 
to me at dijeAner to-morrow." 

'< And does he indulge in these siestas in 
your presence?" demanded Lady Emily, her 



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184 MATRIMONY. 

brow elevated into on angular curve, indicative 
of displeasure and surprise. 

'^Does he no</" answered Lady Lutter- 
worth. ** Yes, my dear little sister, et sans 
cSrSmonie, sans peur, et sans reprocheJ'* 
" And you suffer it?" asked Lady Emily. 
<* Ay, more ; arrange the pillow, and make 
as little noise as possible, lest I interrupt his 
slumber,'* answered Lady Lutterworth. 

** But surely, sister, this is very undignified I 
We ought not to forego those attentions, those 
petits sotnSf to which we are entitled, and which 
form the agrSmens of wedded life." 

** Yes, Emily, during the honeymoon, per- 
haps ; but be assured that the sooner a wife 
resigns these petits soins only voluntarily paid 
while she is yet a bride, the better will it be for 
her future happiness. Let her receive with 
pleasure every demonstration of her husband's 
affection, without ever exacting a single one. 
Let her ever welcome him with smiles, and 
conceal the tears his absence costs her. If he 
will sleep, and husbands have all a peculiar 
tendency to court * tired nature's sweet restorer, 



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MATRIMONY. 185 

balmy sleep/ is it not wiser to ensure his grati- 
tude, by administering all gentle appliances to 
render bis slumbers agreeable, tban to resent, 
though unable to prevent, the indulgence." 

'^ But then, sister, we are so loved, so adored, 
during courtship, and the early days of mar- 
riage, that it is difficult, if not impossible, to 
bring ourselves to be content with the com- 
monplace civilities, into which husbands allow 
their attentions to degenerate when the honey- 
moon is over." 

'^ Wo to her, £mily, who cannot soon and 
cheerfully submit to be content with such I It 
is the false notions engendered during the 
days of courtship and the honeymoon, that lay 
the foundation for many, if not all the dissen- 
sions that too frequently imbitter married life- 
Men, the lords of the creation, forego their 
prerogatives, when they stoop to sue and pro- 
pitiate those whom they believe themselves 
bom to protect, if not to command. The object 
attained, for which this sacrifice was offered, 
they quickly resume their natural and ill-con- 
cealed sense of superiority, and begin to treat 



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186 MATRIMONY. 

her, whom they seemed to consider a goddess, 
as a creature sent into the world to contribate 
to their wants and wishes. A deposed monardi, 
driven from the throne where he commaoded 
oniversal homage from his subjects, is not 
placed in a nunre feJse position, by expecting 
similar demonstrations of respect in exile, than 
a wife is, who exacts in the staid and nnro- 
mantic position of a matron, the devoted atten- 
tions offered to her during the illusive hours of 
courtship and the first bridal days. Let then 
both the deposed sovereigns resign with ' decent 
dignity' the homage they can no longer com- 
mands and they will best ensure that continued 
regard which, though more homely, is not less 
precious." 

The words of Lady Lutterworth made a 
deep impression on the mind of her fair young 
sister, who, the moment that lady retired, 
sought her pillow; and though a few natural 
tears dewed her cheeks, as she resigned the 
sweet but delusive hopes of youth and romance, 
which led her to imagine that the husband 
would ever continue the lover, she went to sleep 



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MATRIMONY. 



187 



ith the firm resolve of seeking content, and 
F conferring happiness in the discharge of her 
uties. 

When Lord Henry returned from the House 
r Commons — and this night he did so without 
ropping in at his cluh — he found his fair 
rang wife asleep, her cheeks still retaining 
tie traces of recent tears. There was some- 
tiing peculiarly touching in the sight of that 
eautiful and youthful fiace, thus marked with 
Drrow, though under the hlessed influence of 
leep. The rich crimson Ups still quivered, 
nd hroken sohs escaped them, like those of a 
lumbering child who had wept itself to uncon- 
ciousness I and a tear still trembled beneath 
he long silken lash that shaded the fair and 
lelicate cheek. 

Lord Henry stood in mute admiration, re* 
[arding the lovely object before him, and felt 
ill the lover's enthusiasm and husband's tender- 
1688 revive in his heart, from the contemplation* 
His own name, uttered in the softest tone of 
ifiection, stole from the lips of the sleeper; and 
>ni8 followed by a sigh so deep as to agitate the 
snowy drapery that shrouded her finely-formed 



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188 MATRIMONT. 

bu8t. That sigh appealed more powerfully to 
his feelings, than the most eloquent speech 
could have done ; and he reproached himself 
severely for having caused it 

"Poor, dear Emily I" thought he, "even in 
her dreams I am remembered. And I can be 
so unfeeling as to blame her disappointment 
at finding me so much less faultless than she 
expected I So pure a mind as hers cannot be 
expected to make allowance for the breach of 
veracity she has discovered, where she thought 
all was truth I And I, like a brute, could be 
angry, instead of endeavouring to soothe her 
wounded feelings I " 

These salutary reflections produced a happy 
result. The morrow's sun shone on the recon- 
ciliation of Lord Henry and Lady Emily. He 
acknowledged the error into which a desire to 
avoid displeasing her had hurried him; he ex* 
plained the sacrifices entailed by the conven- 
tional usages of fashionable life; the necessity 
of occasionally submitting to them; the expe- 
diency of a wife's cheerfully yielding to these 
unavoidable interruptions to domestic bliss; 
and by a perfect confidence in her husband, and 



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MATRIMONY. 189 

a freedom from exacting a monopoly of his 
attentions only practicable in the solitude of 
their country-seat, exempting him from the 
painful necessity of concealment or prevari- 
cation. 

The tenderness with which his advice was 
bestowed, ensured its adoption. From that 
day forth Lady Emily learned to bear seeing 
her husband behave with the courtesy practised 
by every well-bred man towards women, with- 
out feeling any jealousy; submitted without 
uneasiness to his frequently engaging his old 
friends to dinner, nay, could smile at the men- 
tion of the '* bewitching widow," and hear of 
his occasionally supping at his club without 
being made unhappy. 

A letter despatched a few days after to her 
dear friend. Lady Frances Lorimer, in answer 
to one from that young lady announcing her 
approaching nuptials, contained such excellent 
advice on the danger of young wives exacting 
attentions only paid during the days of court- 
ship, that it had the best effect on that lady. 
This judicious counsel considerably lowered 
the exaggerated and romantic expectations 

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190 MATRIMONY. 

she had previously indulged of the unbroken 
felicity of wedded lovers, and saved the husband 
of Lady Frances from the scenes of domestic 
chagrin that had clouded the conjugal happi- 
ness of Lord Henry and Lady Emily Fitzhar- 
dinge, during their first entrance as a wedded 
pair into fashionable life in London. 



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191 



THE GAMESTERS: 



A FRENCH STORY. 



'< Let no man trust the first false step of guilt, 
It liangs upon a predpiee. 
Whose steep descent in last perdition ends." 

** Such is the fate of guilt, to make slaves tools. 
And then to make 'em masters by our secrets.'* 

Madame de Tournaville was left a widow 
at an early age, with an only child, a daughter 
of ten years old, whose beauty and docility were 
as remarkable as a certain nervous tempera- 
ment, that gave to her a shynesi^ and timidity 
which checked the playful gaiety of childhood, 
and rendered her susceptible of fear on the 
slightest occasions. 

The long illness of her husband, and the 
confinement and anxiety it entailed, followed 



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192 THE GAMESTERS. 

by ber deep grief at bis deatb, bad so impaired 
tbe naturally delicate bealtb of Madame de 
Toumaville, tbat in a few montbs sbe followed 
bira to tbe tomb j leaving her daughter, with 
a large fortune, to tbe guardianship of a rela- 
tion, the Comte de Breteul, who bad been for 
many years the intimate friend of Monsieur 
de Toumaville, and the adviser of bis widow 
during the few months tbat sbe survived him. 
Tbe Comte de Breteul was a widower with 
a son and daughter, both senior to Matilde de 
Toumaville by six or seven years. Tbe young 
De Breteul was in tbe army, where be bad 
already distinguished himself, and Louise his 
sister had but lately returned from tbe pension^ 
where she had been educated, to preside over 
the establishment in tbe patemal mansion. 
Louise de Breteul was beautiful, gentle, ami- 
able, and accomplished, with a steadiness and 
decorum remarkable for ber years ; and with 
manners whose suavity never failed to conciliate 
tbe good opinion of those who bad opportunities 
of knowing her. She soon acquired tbe devoted 
affection of the youthful Matilde, and repaid it 
with sisterly attachment, and an unceasing care 

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THE GAMESTERS. 193 

bestowed on her education. The Comte de 
Breteul's exterior was more distingue than 
attractive ; for though he possessed tair noble 
in an eminent degree, his countenance was for- 
bidding, and in spite of the polished elegance 
of his manners, repelled confidence and fami- 
liarity. 

He occupied a fine hotel in the Rue de Va- 
rennes, Faubourg-Saint Germains, and lived in 
a style suitable to the large fortune he inherited 
from his ancestors. It was with pleasure that 
Louise superintended the studies of her in- 
teresting protegee^ and with pride that she 
marked her progress in them. Matilde had a 
great facility in acquiring all that was taught 
her, and an affectionate and grateful manner 
of evincing her sense of the kindness and zeal 
of her instructors, that increased their exertions 
in the pleasing task. Her beauty, which had 
been remarkable from her infancy, developed 
itself with increased charms as she advanced 
towards womanhood ; but the timidity of her 
character, instead of diminishing, appeared 
unhappily to become more fixed. The gazelle 
was not more shy than Matilde, nor more 

VOL. II. K 

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194> THE GAMESTERS. 

graceful ; for her timidity had nothing of gnu- 
cherie in it. Those who could have seen her 
chasing a hutterfly in the garden among flowers 
scarcely more hlooroing than herself, or stand- 
ing on the point of her delicate feet striving^ 
to peep into a bird's nest, while she held 
back the branches of the shrubs that concealed 
it, would have allowed that she looked like 
some fabled wood-nymph, whose element was 
flowers and sunshine. A strange voice or step 
never failed to alarm her, and send her flying, 
like a startled dove, to the side of Louise, whose 
presence always reassured her. 

Louise de Breteul had refused several unex- 
ceptionable proposals of marriage, being deter- 
mined not to leave her father, and above all, 
her young eldve^ until tempted by some ofier in 
which her heart was more interested than in 
those she had already received. Time had 
passed with rapid strides, and Matilde was 
now entered on her sixteenth year. As yet 
she had seen nothing of the world, and Louise 
who preferred the calm enjoyment of the do- 
mestic circle to the gaieties that courted her 
abroad, had partaken but rarely of them. The 



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THE GAMESTERS. 19^ 

hours fled cheerfully and happily by» occupied 
in reading, drawing, music, and embroidery. 
It was a pleasing sight to behoLl these two 
young and lovely girls engaged in their daily 
avocations : Matilde seated by the side of her 
friend, would read aloud to her ; while Louise, 
at the end of each page, commented on the 
passages, or in turn read to Matilde, while she 
exercised her pencil, and the freshly-plucked 
roses in the vase, which she loved to copy, 
wore not a brighter hue than graced tier cheek, 
when Louise commended the fidelity with which 
she had transferred them to paper. 

They would wander for hours through the 
umbrageous shades of the vast garden belong- 
ing to the hotel, watching the growth of the 
beautiful flowers and plants with which it 
abounded,^ and admiring the rare birds in the 
aviary, which they were accustomed to feed, 
and which sent forth joyful notes when they 
approached. 

About this period, Gustavo de Breteul ar- 
rived at Paris to visit his family, and was 
accompanied by a brother officer, the young 
Vicomte de Villeneuve, whose presence soon 

Kg 

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196 THE GAMESTERS. 

seemed as gratifying to Louise as it was dis- 
agreeable to her father. He would observe 
the movements of his son's friend with an anx- 
ious eye, and if he conversed with, or seemed 
to show any attention towards Matilde, he be- 
came evidently discomposed, and almost stem 
towards the Vicomte de Villeneuve. The cold- 
ness of the reception given him by the Comte 
de Breteul prevented not the frequent visits of 
that young gentleman to the H6tel de Breteul, 
and it soon became visible that he was more 
attracted there by the smiles of the fair sister 
of his friend, than even by the friend himself, 
warm and sincere as was his attachment to 
him. A mutual sentiment of the most tender 
nature had taken place between the Vicomte 
and Louise, which was soon revealed to the 
delighted Gustave, who loved his sister, and his 
friend better than aught else on earth, save a 
certain demoiselle^ the only sister of that friend, 
to whom he had plighted his faith; having, 
during the last year, conceived for her a pas- 
sion as sincere as it was reciprocal. In fact, 
his present visit was made expressly with the 
intention to solicit his father's consent to (heir 



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THE GAMESTERS. 197 

union, and his friend had accompanied him ta 
give all the necessary information relative to 
the fortune and prospects of his sister. The 
attachment which the Vicomte de Villeneuve 
had formed for Louise, seemed to complete the 
anticipations of happiness that Gustavo nou- 
rished in his hreast, and he looked forward 
with feelings of delight to the douhle alliance 
of the two families. Gustave was about to' 
solicit an interview with his father to lay open 
the state of his heart, when the Comte de Bre- 
teul required his presence in the library. 

" I have sent for you, my son," said he, " to 
talk over future plans, in which you are deeply 
interested, and I flatter myself that in fulfilling 
them, you will find that I have not been un- 
mindful of your happiness. For a long period 
I have decided on bestowing on you the hand 
of my fair and amiable ward, Matilde de Tour- 
naville. Her person, all must admit to be 
lovely; her accomplishments, gentleness, and 
good sense, no one can doubt ; and her fortune 
leaves nothing to be desired by the most pru- 
dent father. But how is this? you seem far 
from feeling the delight T had anticipated; 

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198 THE GAMESTERS. 

you have not, you cannot have, a single objec- 
tion to urge against Matilde." 

" Far from it, my father," replied Gustave ; 
** no one can be more ready to acknowledge the 
charms and good qualities of Mademoiselle de 
Toumaville than myself; but my affections are 
bestowed on another, and when you summoned 
me to your presence, I was on the point of 
demanding an audience to declare to you the 
state of my heart — I love, and am beloved by 
the sister of my friend ; and only wait for your 
sanction to ratify the vows we have inter- 
changed.** 

" Do I hear right?" asked the angry fa- 
ther; while disappointment and rage strove for 
mastery in his agitated breast. '*Is it thus 
that you would dash to the ground the hopes 
which I have so long indulged ? But no I you 
cannot be so ungrateful, so selfish — you will, 
now that you know my wishes, abandon this 
silly project, and give your hand to Matilde." 

" Never I my father,** said Gustave, firmly 
but respectfully ; " my vows are pledged to 
Elise de Villeneuve : her fortune — ^though to it 
I have not given a thought — is equal to tha^of 

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THE GAMESTERS. 199 

Matilde ; her family is more noble, and there- 
fore no reason can exist for declining a marriage 
on which all my hopes of happiness depend." 

^* Are my feelings, then," said the father, 
'^ to be counted for nothing ? And how long is 
it since French fathers have ceased to exercise 
the right of disposing of the hands of their 
children ? In England, where sons are so neg- 
ligently educated that the heir of every noble 
house thinks he has a right to select a wife for 
himself, such infractions of duty may possibly 
occur ; but in France, we are not yet arrived 
at this degree of licence ; and I declare to you, 
that I never will consent to your marriage with 
any one but Matilde/' 

So saying, he quitted the room, leaving Gus- 
tave perfectly confounded by this first display 
of harsh parental authority, but fully resolved 
to resist it. He determined on writing a letter 
of remonstrance to his father ; and unwilling 
to acquaint his friend with the unfavourable 
result of the interview, lest he should feel 
offended at the unaccountable objection of the 
Comte to the proposed union, he decided on 
leaving Paris for a couple of days, both to 

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200 THE GAMESTERS. 

afford time to his father to reflect coolly on his 
letter and give it a definitive answer, and to 
avoid meeting De Villeneuve, until he had 
received it Writing, therefore, a hrief note 
to his friend to apologize for his absence, he 
departed from Paris, a prey to gloomy thoughts, 
which formed a painful contrast with the joyful 
anticipations in which he had indulged only a 
few hours before. 

Ignorant of the state of irritation into which 
his son's declaration had plunged the Comte 
de Breteul, De Villeneuve, with the permission 
of Louise had sought him, and demanded her 
hand. An angry refusal, and an intimation 
that his future visits would be dispensed with 
in the Rue de Varennes, was the answer that 
awaited the disappointed and astonished lover, 
who left the library, the scene of his audience 
with nearly equally strong sentiments of dislike 
towards the father, as of passionate tenderness 
for the daughter. Previously to quitting the 
house he sought his beloved Louise, and in a 
few hurried words related to her the cruel dis- 
appointment he had encountered. He urged 
her to be firm, and should her father speak to 

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THE GAMESTERS. 201 

her on the subject, he implored her to avow 
with candour their attachment, and the convic- 
tion of its stability. 

How had a few hours changed the happy 
prospects of the lovers I They were ccmfounded 
by the unexpected turn affairs had taken; for 
so unexceptionable was the fortune and position 
of the Vicomte de Villeneuve, that a doubt of 
his proposals being listened to with pleasure by 
the Comte de Breteul, had never occurred to 
them. Louise felt this disappointment of the 
heart, with perhaps more severity, that it was 
the first she had known. Her feelings had not 
been deprived of their virgin purity by a suc- 
cession of youthful fancies, each chasing away 
the recollection of the former; an evil which 
too often affects youthful minds, whose facility 
to receive impressions is in general greater than 
their power to retain them. Her attachment 
to De Villeneuve was her first lesson of love; 
she felt it to be indelible, and was overpowered 
with anguish at finding the obstacles that im- 
peded her happiness. She waited with impa- 
tience the return of her brother, — he who alone 
could sympathize with her, could counsel, or 

k3 

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202 THE GAMESTERS. 

intercede for her. The feelings of this gentle 
and high-minded girl, which had hitherto pre- 
served their even tenour, like some gliding 
stream flowing smoothly along, and reflecting 
only the fairest images on its glassy surface, 
were now like the mountain torrent, swollen hy 
rains, and rocked hy the tempest 

When Matilde, unconscious of passing events, 
approached her loved guide and protectress, to 
pursue the appointed studies of the day, it was 
only hy a violent efibrt that Louise could assume 
an appearance of calmness. The force of her 
emotions struck her with alarm ; and as Matilde 
displayed her drawings, or played some fovoar- 
ite air, to which she had endeavoured to give 
more than usual expression in order to win the 
commendations of her friend, Louise shrank 
abashed from the innocent and happy girl, self- 
reproved by the thought, that while she thus 
abandoned herself to the engrossing emotions 
that filled her heart, she was unhallowed for 
the part of monitress to one whose purity had 
never been sullied by passion. 

Two gloomy days had tediously drawn to a 
conclusion when Gustave returned, and the 



dbyGoogk 



THE GAMESTERS. 208 

unhappy Louise poured into his sympathizing 
ear the disappointment with which her hopes 
bad been crushed. He found a long letter 
from De ViUeneuve, written under all the ex- 
citement of feelings which the interview with 
tbe Comte de Breteul was calculated to pro- 
duce; and urging Gustave not only to give him 
a speedy meeting, but immediately to arrange 
for him an interview with Louise in his pre- 
sence; declaring that to endure existence any 
longer without seeing her he felt to be impos- 
sible. He implored Gustave by the love he 
bore to Elise, by their long friendship, and by 
his affection for Louise, to grant this request. 
He proposed that they should meet in the 
garden of the H6tel de Breteul, which could 
be arranged by their admitting him by a pri- 
vate door that opened into the Rue de Babylon. 
Gustave consented to this plan, and while they 
are conserting measures to carry it into effect, 
we must take a retrospective view of the cir- 
cumstances that had led the Comte de Breteul 
to offer such an unaccountable opposition to 
the happiness of his children. 

In early youth he had made what is called a 



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204 THE GAMESTERS. 

love-match, and daring the brief duration of 
his wedded life had possessed a happiness that 
rarely accompanies marriages in the formation 
of which passion has had more influence than 
reason. The Comtesse de Breteul, on her 
death-bed, to which in a few fleeting hours a 
violent maladv had conducted her, with the 
short-sighted selfishness of an ill-regulated af- 
fection, had extorted from her agonized hus- 
band a solemn promise that he would never 
give her a successor in his heart, or place over 
his children an alien mother. This request, 
framed by love, led, as we shall see, to the 
most fatal results, and drove from the pale of 
domestic bliss a man who might have dispensed 
and partaken that blessing. The first violent 
grief of the bereaved husband having subsided 
into the stagnant calm of morbid melancholy, he 
sought in vain to find relief in his former avo- 
'Cations. Books failed to give him their wonted 
solace, because every page of his favourite 
authors teemed with passages marked by the 
pencil of her he sought to forget; and the 
sympathy of their tastes, brought thus before 
him, renewed the overwhelming grief her loss 



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THE GAMESTERS. SOS 

had occasioned. His home bad now become 
unbearable to him, for it was fraught with 
images of the past Her vacant chair opposite 
to his own ; the tabouret on which })er delicate 
feet used to repose; the vase, now empty, in 
which the flowers she loved were wont to adorn 
her table; the unfinished sketches from her 
pencil, still resting on the easel ; and her harp 
standing where she had last awakened its tones, 
all — all, spoke to him of the happy past, and 
rendered the present insupportable. It was 
to flj from this state of gloomy grief that he 
sought forgetfiilness in play; that fearful re- 
medy which, like the poisons introduced in 
medicine, is so much more destructive than 
the malady it may banish. The excitement at 
first produced was such a relief to his harassed 
feelings, that he had recourse to it as the victim 
of acute pain flies to opiates, when suffering 
has conquered fortitude, and forgetfulness for a 
few brief hours is all he hopes to obtain. The 
fatal habit of play grew on him, — nay, soon 
became the engrossing passion of his life, until 
fortune, fame, peace, all were sacrificed to its 
destructive indulgence. His large funded pro- 
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206 THE GAMESTERS. 

perty, touched by the burning fingers of the 
reckless gamester, had melted like snow before 
the sun, and when Madame de ToumaviUe 
placed in his power the ample fortune of her 
orphan daughter, he stood on the verge of ruin, 
into which, without this timely aid, in a few 
months he must have inevitably been plunged. 
The gradations of vice are only imperceptible 
to the wretched dupe who passes through them. 
A few months before, and the Comte de Breteul 
would have spumed the idea, that he could be 
even suspected of risking the property of his 
own children, a property which he considered 
as a sacred deposit confided to his care; but 
now he blushed not to risk that of his youthful 
ward, and saw thousand after thousand of it 
disappear in the same fatal gulf which had 
swallowed up his own. 

The Comte de Breteul had not lost the vast 
sums that had led to his ruin without having: 
made acquaintances as disreputable to his fame 
as the pursuit by which he formed them was 
destructive to his fortune. Men of all coun- 
tries, as ruined in reputation as in purse, had 
now become his associates ; sums of money lost 

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THE GAMESTERS. 207 

to them, which he had not always the power to 
pay, had placed him in their disgraceful 
dependence, and they no longer felt under their 
former restraint in his presence. The Comte 
de Breteul, a naturally proud man, had not 
reached this humiliating state of degradation 
without frequent self-reproach, and sickening 
feelings of disgust ; hut the hope, the deceptive 
hope of regfuning his losses, that hope which 
lures the gamester to destruction, still led him 
on. He had heen living on credit for some 
months, and retained but a fe^ thousand francs 
of the once large fortune of Matilde de Tour- 
naville in his possession, when by the death of 
a relation a large sum of money was bequeathed 
to her, which was to descend to him and his 
children in case of her dying childless. This 
had occurred only a few days before the arrival 
of Gustave de Breteul at Paris, and the guilty 
and ruined father determined on forming a 
marriage between Matilde and his son, which 
would ^ve him the power of appropriating at 
least a portion of this money to his own press- 
ing exigencies, and prevent the discovery of 
his dishonest waste of her paternal fortune, as 

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THE GAMESTERS. 

he knew that hoth Matilde and Gastave would 
leave the whole of their pecuniary concerns to 
his management. 

With this plan in view, the only one which 
offered a chance of concealing his dishonour- 
able conduct, and its ruinous results, it may 
easily be imagined with what dread he watched 
the looks of the Vicomte de Villeneuve, trem- 
bling lest any attachment should be formed 
between him and Matilde, and with what anger 
he discovered his son's engagement to Made- 
moiselle de Villeneuve, which offered a bar to 
the completion of his plan. The marriages of 
his children in the family of De Villeneuve 
could not take place without the state of his 
fortune being made known ; and once known, 
would they, could they be permitted by any 
prudent parents? Who would consent to re- 
ceive the portionless son and daughter of a 
ruined, dishonest gamester? No, his gentle 
and high-minded Louise, and his honourable 
and impetuous Gustave, would be spumed by 
the parents of De Villeneuve, and he — he 
would be the cause of all this. There was 
agony, there was bitterness in the thought, and 

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THE GAMESTERS. S09 

the reproaches which his too lately-awakened 
conscience whispered almost avenged the crime 
that excited them. The unhappy man still 
loved his children, fondly, truly loved them : 
and perhaps the cruel injustice he had com- 
mitted in reducing them to poverty, added 
poignancy to his affection ; for remorse and 
pity were allied to his parental feelings. 

This affection for his offspring, which, had 
he heen untainted with the vice that had caused 
his ruin, would have been a source of the purest 
happiness to him, was now the instrument of 
his heaviest punishment ; for the pangs of dis- 
appointed hope which he had inflicted on them 
in opposing their love, recoiled on his own heart, 
making him feel that he had brought misery 
on those whose felicity he might have insured. 

He was writhing under repentance for the 
past, and terror for the future, when le Che- 
valier Roussel was announced, and his presence 
added poignancy to the bitter feelings to which 
the guilty Comte de Breteul was a prey. 

Roussel was a chevalier (Tindustrie, who, 
though far from being sans reproche^ was sans 
peur^ and who had attained a proficiency in 

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^10 



THE GAMESTERS. 



the science he professed, never ac 
the price of infamy. Luckily fo 
it is so, the exposure which uiti 
such characters limits the power 
that their knowledge of the art 
wise afford them. Gamesters, lil 
pass their lives in endeavouring t< 
but never arrive at the end to wl 
sacrificed ; and dazzled by allurii 
ficent dreams of ever-eluding ricl 
tlieir days in equal disappointmet 
Le Chevalier Roussel was a mi 
ill crime, that he had become 
less of its consequences. Nei 
ration to commit any enormity, ho 
present itself to him, but his m 
and desperate fortunes prompte 
a ready as^jcnt ; invariably con 
with the sophistical reasoninj 
alrcadv led him into so much truil 
more or less in the long catalog 
of no importance. He had passe 
of sin, and felt there was no ri 
this desperate consciousness of hi 
ijrnominy prompted him to tak 



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THE GAMESTERS. 211 

pleasure in luring others to pursue a similar 
course. He now came as an importunate cre- 
ditor to the Comte de Breteul, determined to 
enforce payment coute qui coute. The haugh- 
tiness and ill-disguised contempt for Roussel 
and his associates, which that unhappy man 
could not always conceal, had engendered a 
feeling of hatred in the breast of the chevalier, 
which induced him to vow that he would 
humble the proud spirit of his arrogant debtor, 
by plunging him into crimes that would reduce 
him to a level with himself. Hitherto De 
Breteul was unstained by any other delinquency 
than his appropriation of the fortune of his 
ward, and the vice which led to it. He was 
ignorant of the arts by which he had been 
plundered, and had only advanced the Jirst 
step in the career of a gamester, that of being 
the dupe, but had not yet arrived at that of 
being the defrauder, which, according to some 
writer, is the second and inevitable stage. In 
yielding to the crime of robbing his ward, he 
had disguised the enormity of the action to his 
paralyzed feelings of rectitude, by the sophistry 
of a vitiated parental tenderness, which whis- 

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I 

i 



f 



21 « THE GAMESTERS* 

pered that the course he had adopt 
only means of rescuing his chil 
poverty and shame. The conversic 
afi^tioDS intended as sources of hap 
the acutest torments the guilty can 
is but one of the fatal and certain a 
of crime. The love which the 
man bore his offspring, now became 
of his vices; he shrank reproved 1 
untarnished integritv of mind, and i 
proofs of attachment and respect th« 
on him, with shuddering roneciousi 
they knew his guilt they would tui 
with shame and loathing. 

Roussel found him almost madd 
various and conflicting emotions ivli 
him, and his presence and its cause 
to increase his excitement. 

" Why, why have you come to i 
demanded the comte, " Have I n( 
you to appear here ? You might 1 
to me, or trusted to our meeting \ 
place; but here, where my child i 
ward reside, this is no fit place foi 
i% for tis to meet;" added the al; 



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THE GAMESTERS. 213 

correcting the first observation, as the recollec- 
tion of the power which his creditor possessed 
flashed on his mind. 

" I must say that your reception is not very 
gracious/* replied Roussel ; " but I forgive it, 
because I see you are agitated — I am come for 
the money you owe me; I have forborne to 
press you for some days ; but my wants are so 
urgent, that I can wait no longer." 

It was in vain that the Comte de Breteul 
pleaded for time, even for a few days, to enable 
him to comply with this arrogant and hostile 
demand ; Roussel was inflexible. 

" I know all the intricacies of your situation," 
said the wily gamester, " you are ruined, irre- 
coverably ruined ; you have not only spent your 
own fortune and that of your children, but you 
have robbed your ward — nay, start not," seeing 
that De Breteul was angered, '* for he who hesi- 
tated not to commit the action has no right to 
take offence at the name.. In a short time, the 
course you have pursued micst be notorious, and 
what then will be your position ? Branded by 
a crime that adds disgrace to the poverty you 
have drawn on your children, how could you 



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214 THE GAMESTERS. 

again meet them? But one way remains to 
save them from penury, and you from infamy." 

'^ Name it, name it I'' cried the agonized 
father (forgetting in his anxiety for his children, 
the indignation which the insolent familiarity of 
RousseFs observations had excited), " and if my 
heart's blood be the price, willingly, oh I most 
willingly shall it be paid." 

" You speak idly," said the unfeeling Rous* 
sel \ '* of what advantage could your death be 
to your children ? You can leave them no inhe- 
ritance, but — shame I for, were you by suicide 
to evade the exposure that awaits you, your 
children must still bear the disgrace of year 
crime, which cannot be concealed. No, your 
death avails them not, but the death of — 
another, would save you and them" 

** What I would you make me an assassin, 
base and wicked as you are?" asked De Bre- 
teul, while his cheek became blanched, and his 
lips trembled with emotion. 

" You suffer your imagination to get the 
better of your reason, and of your good manners 
too," said Roussel, with a malignant scowl ; *' I 
am neither so base nor as wicked as yourself; 



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THE GAMESTERS. 215 

for I have plundered no orphan confided to me 
by a dying parent Yes, yes, you may look as 
fierce as you please, yet you dare not deny the 
degrading accusation. You fiave violated the 
most sacred trust that man can repose in man ; 
you have committed an act of dishonour that 
admits neither of extenuation nor atonement ; 
and as a traitor to the dead, and the despoilcr 
of the living, I denounce you I But come, it is 
useless for us to quarrel ; our disunion will do 
more mischief than good perhaps to both of us ; 
so let us remain friends," he added with an 
ironical smile, *^ for yours is not a position in 
which you can make an enemy with impunity." 

Rage and shame struggled in the breast of 
the once proud Comte de Breteul, as he found 
himself, even in the lofty chambers of his noble 
ancestors, triumphantly bearded by the reckless 
miscreant, to an equality with whom his fatal 
passion for gaming had so unhappily reduced 
him. 

" You are more alarmed by words than 
deeds," resumed Roussel ; " you resent the 
accusation of your crime, but you shrank not 
from its commission, else would your ward be 



dbyGoogk 



21 G THE GAMESTERS. 

now the heiress of a nohle patrimony instead of 
helng a defiraaded pauper. You have sponta- 
neously and remorselessly devoted her to beg- 
gary and humiliation ; and yet, forsooth, in the 
redundance of your exceeding charity, you 
would hesitate, nay, turn in horror from the 
less cruel act of abridging the suffisrings of the 
victim you have yourself created. She is youngs 
and innocent, therefore her transition from this 
world of care to a belter and happier state, 
must be a desirable event. Let her live her 
natural time, poor and unfriended, what has 
she to hope, and what must she not have to 
endure? Her beauty will expose her to the 
snares of the wealthy and designing libertine ; 
and her poverty will instigate her to become his 
prey. Remember, too, that a long life of misery 
and shame may await her ; for degradation and 
infamy, though they murder peace of mind, but 
slowly undermine the physical sources of exist- 
ence. You who have reduced her to the pros- 
pect of this career, can alone save her from its 
endurance, by sending her pure and undefiled 
to heaven. You will thus rescue your children 
from poverty, and all its humiliating attendants^ 



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THE GAMESTERS. 



217 



ind yourself firom everlastiDg disgrace — do you, 
nn you hesitate ? If so, take the consequences 
f your weakness ; and rememher, when it wUl 
e too late, that you had once the power of 
xtricating your children and yourself from the 
Btribution which now awaits you." 

" I will not, I cannot imbrue my hands in 
inocent blood,*' said De Breteul, with horror 
epicted in his face ; " all — every thing is 
Btter than such a crime," and he looked with 
irror at his hands, as if he already expected to 
)e them dyed with the sanguine stream of life. 

" Who talked of shedding blood ?" aaid the 
afty Roussel j " faugh — faugh 1 not I, I'm 
ire ; such barbarisms are now exploded irom 
vilized society. But let us not dispute about 
3rds ; listen to me without interruption ; — 
ademoiselle de Toumaville dead, vou succeed 

the large property she has lately inherited. 
bis will be amply sufficient to enable you to 
place the fortune left her by her mother, to 
tisfy any inquisitive heir that may spring up, 

also to leave a provision for your children ; 
10, thus enabled to marry the objects of their 
oice, will bless you for their happiness. 

VOL. II. I 



i 



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218 TH£ GAMESTERS. 

accomplish these most desirable results, you 
have only to send a soul to Heaven as pure as 
when it left the hands of its Creator. I am 
your friend ; and can instruct you to extinguish 
the vital spark, so as leave no possibility of 
detection. The death of this young person is in- 
dispensably necessary to preserve your honour, 
peace — ^nay, your life ; and yet in return for the 
accomplishment of an object so imperious, I 
only require you to pay me the sum of twenty- 
five thousand francs, in addition to the sum 
you already owe me, and which I must have 
forthwith." 

The sophistry of Roussel, acting on the ex- 
cited feelings of the fallen and guilty De 
Breteul, triumphed over the remaining senti* 
ments of humanity in his demoralized heart. 
The proverb says, that they whom destiny 
would destroy, she first renders insane; and 
. experience proves, that fate never wholly con- 
quers man, until he has yielded up reason at 
the shrine of passion. 

In the unhappy Comte de Breteul, we find 
another instance of the truth of this maxim. 
Hideous and glaring as was the &llacy of the 



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THE GAMESTERS. 219 

inculcation, yet his mind being prostrated by 
the conflicts and temptations to which it had 
been subjected, this wretched man, instigated by 
a knave more plausible, more crafty, and more 
callous than himself, was ultimately induced to 
implicitly believe, that in order to conceal the 
crime of appropriating his ward's fortune, and 
to preserve his children from disgrace, he was 
justified in laying on his soul the fearful crime 
of murder — of steeping himself in guilt a hun- 
dredfold more atrocious than that which he had 
already committed. 

Let no one who has entered on the path of 
vice say, so far, and no farther will I go. The 
first step leads to destruction ; for, rarely can 
the wretch who has taken it, extricate himself 
from its consequences. 

But though De Breteul listened to the pro- 
posal of Roussel, it was long ere he could bring 
himself to do more than listen to it. To leave him 
thus conscience-stricken and alarmed formed 
no part of the plan of Roussel, and he insisted 
that his dupe should accompany him to a res^ 
tavrant to dine ; at the same time proposing 
that afterwards they should once more try their 

l2 

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220 THE GAMESTERS. 

luck at the gaming-table. Glad to escape from 
an interview with his daughter and Matilde, 
in his present state of mind, De Breteul left his 
house with Roussel, who having ordered a dm- 
ner recherchij and after it plied his companion 
with wine» disclosed to him his plan for destroy* 
ing the beautiful and innocent orphan. He 
proposed to procure, from the mechanics by 
whom it is employed, a quantity of wax of a 
peculiar tenacity, and to spread it very thick on 
a piece of linen. De Breteul was to enter 
Matilde's chamber while she slept, and placing 
this preparation on her mouth, to press it 
tightly until it should produce suffocation, and 
yet leave no external marks of violence. Excited 
as he was by wine, and maddened by circum- 
stances, still the mind of De Breteul recoiled 
from the perpetration of this atrocious crime ; 
but the modern Mephistophilcs, too skilled in 
all the fiendlike arts of temptation to allow him- 
self to be baffled by either the apprehensions or 
contrition of his intended victim, led him once 
more to the gaming-table, that certain and 
fatal gulf of every manly virtue. 

There, having by the same unfair mean$ 



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THE GAMESTERS. 221 

which had already reduced him to ruin, de- 
spoiled him of the few thousand francs he yet 
possessed, with a heavy additional debt, despera* 
tion rendered him reckless ; and he was ready, 
even eager, for the commission of any crime his 
betrayer might dictate. Armed, therefore, with 
the intended instrument of destruction, they 
returned at a late hour to the Hdtel de Breteul. 
And now we must leave them prepared for 
guilt, while we return to the other parties in 
this domestic tragedy. 

It had been decided that the interview 

between the lovers and Gustave de Breteul 

should take place in the garden, when all the 

fiunily in the hotel should be in bed, with the 

exception of the Comte de Breteul, who was in 

the habit of returning late. As he sometimes 

entered by the garden, it was also arranged that) 

to prevent his detecting the interview between 

his son and daughter and De Villeneuve, as 

soon as the latter was admitted by the small 

door, from the Rue de Babylon, the two friends, 

with Louise, should retire to the most distant 

part of the garden. 

These arrangements having been narrated^ 

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222 THE GAMESTERS. 

we must now proceed to the night of the in* 
tended rendezvous. Louise had retired to her 
chamher, which though it was next that of 
Matilde, looked on the court, while Matilde's 
opened on the garden. She was impatiently 
awaiting the signal concerted with her brother, 
for her to join him in his room, whence she was 
to pass into the garden, with which it com- 
municated, when Matilde rushed into the apart- 
ment pale and terrified, declaring that she had 
heard voices at her window, and that she was 
afraid to remain alone in her chamber. It im- 
mediately occurred to Louise that the voices 
heard by Matilde were those of De Villeneuve 
and her brother, and anxious to join them, as 
also to quiet the alarm of the agitated girl, she 
desired her to enter her bed, and that, as she 
had no fears, she would occupy Matilde's ; a 
proposal that was readily accepted. 

Having left Mademoiselle de Toumaville 
restored to composure, Louise wrapped a shawl 
round her, and stole to the door of her brother's 
chamber, when she met him comibg in search 
of her. They quickly entered the garden, 
found De Villeneuve at the private door, which 

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THE 6AMESTBR8. 223 

Gnstave opened for him, and all tbree retired 
to a remote spot, where half an hour flew 
rapidly by, ere they had thought that even a 
quarter of that brief period had elapsed. 

A heayy shower of rain induced Gustave to 
conduct the reluctant Louise to the house, and 
while she sought her pillow, and resigned her- 
self to the balmy influence of sleep, he returned 
to his friend, and passed a couple of hours in 
discussing their plans for the present and the 
future. They were at length about to separate, 
and had approached the private door, when, to 
their utter amazement, they discovered a man 
with his hat drawn over his eyes, and enveloped 
in a large cloak, applying a key to the lock 
with one hand, while in' the other he held a 
dark-lantern. They both rushed forward and 
seized him, under the conviction that he was a 
robber ; while he, in evident trepidation, stated 
that he had entered the garden with the Comte 
de Breteul, and was retiring, making use of the 
key given him by that gentleman. There was 
an evident embarrassment and mystery about 
this person, that led them to doubt his state- 
ment, and Gustave insisted on his returning 

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2'i4t THE GAMESTERS. 

with them to the house, in order that they might 
confront him with the comte. Finding them 
hent on this course, he was forced to yield, and 
turning to Gustave, he said, 

** Well, he it so. You say you are his son. 
Now mark me ; he will not thank you for this 
interference; but on your head be its con- 
sequences. A time may come when you will 
wish that you had not stopped me/' 

Gustave and De ViUeneuve conducted the 
stranger to the door of the chamber of the 
Comte de Breteul, which, contrary to his usual 
custom, they found locked on the inside, and it 
was not until Gustave had repeatedly called to 
his father that the latter replied ; but he still 
declined opening the door, and his voice be- 
trayed evident symptoms of agitation. 

The stranger cried aloud to him, 

<« De Breteul, I have been stopped, in leaving 
your garden, by your son, who holds me a 
prisoner until you have certified that I accom- 
panied you into this house ; was thence return- 
ing to my residence, and that the key I was 
employing for that purpose was confided to me 
by yourself/' 

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THE GAMESTERS. 



2«5 



*' Yes, yeSy my son, all that he states is cor- 
net,*' groaned rather than spoke the Comte dc 
reteul ; " so let him depart in peace." 

" Excuse," continued he, addressing the 
ranger, " the interruption you have met with, 
pray you ; for my son knew not that you were 
— " "friend" he would have added, but the 
rord died on his tongue. The rebuked young 
len looked at each other in silent amazepient, 
nd allowed the stranger to depart ; who, dari- 
ng on them a glance, in which every malevo- 
ent passion was expressed, hastily and in silence 
nthdrew. 

Gustavo and De Villeneuve slowly lefib the 
inte-room, pondering on the extraordinary oc- 
currence they had witnessed, and willing to give 
he stranger time to quit the garden ere they 
mtered it. As they paced the gravel-walk, 
Grustave broke silence by saying, 

" This is all very mysterious ; I cannot com- 
prehend how my father can hold intercourse 
with a man such as he who has left us ; for if 
ever I saw villain written in the human coun* 
tenance, it surely is in his." 

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226 THE GAMESTERS. 

De Villeneuve paused for a few minutes, and 
then replied, 

<< My dear friend, there is a subject on which 
I had intended to have spoken to you^ but deli- 
cacy has hitherto induced me to postpone it ; 
as, however, our rencontre with this mysterious 
stranger seems m some way connected with it, 
perhaps it is better that I should now disclose 
it. Your father is looked upon as a gamester — 
nay, more, report states him to be a ruined 
one. This stranger may be, must be, one of the 
wretches who frequent the gaming-houses, and 
who have aided and participated in his ruin. 
How else can we explain your father's inter- 
course with such a man, and the agitation which 
his voice denoted ? This knave probably re- 
turned to-night with his dupe to the hotel, to 
receive either money or valuables for sums lost at 
play ; and your father, ashamed to let the porter 
see him enter with such a companion, admitted 
him by the garden, and evidently intended that 
he should have retreated by the same route* 
Had we searched him, we should most likely 
have found either the contents of your father's 



dbyGoogk 



THE GAMESTERS. 227 

coffire-fortey or some vauable jewels ; but, n'lm- 
partet it must be our business to relieve ilie 
Comte de Breteul from any distress he may 
have brought on himself by this fearful passion 
for play, and so terminate all intercourse be- 
tween him and such dangerous and disgraceful 
associates as the maQ who has left us. I have 
a large sum of money in my own power, the 
fortune left me by my aunt ; it shall be all at 
his service, and I, my dear Gustave, shall be 
but too happy if I can extricate from his present 
dangerous entanglements him who is the father 
of my Louise and of you, and who, I trust, may 
soon be miAe and my sister's/' 

To find the parent, whom, from his infancy, 
he had reverenced nearly as much as loved, a 
reputed and dangerous gamester, was a cruel 
blow to the filial feelings of Gustave ; and to 
see him the acknowledged associate of the vile 
person who had left them, was a severe humi- 
liation ; but the warmth of friendship displayed 
on this emergency by De Villeneuve soothed 
him, and while passionately thanking his warm- 
hearted friend, a strong sense of gratitude and 



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228 THE GAMESTERS. 

affection for a moment superseded his other too 
painful emotions. *' Here," said De Villeneuye, 
*' take this pocket-hook ; I had nearly forgotten 
it» though I brought it in consequence of the 
reports I heard, and the opinions I have formed 
of the extent of your father's pecuniary embar- 
rassments. It contains half the sum at my dis- 
posal, and to-morrow the remainder shall be 
forthcoming. Nay, dear Gustave,'' seeing his 
friend hesitate, '* do not pain me by a refusal. 
Are we not brothers as well as friends, and will 
not your father shortly be mine ?" 

Gustavo yielded to the solicitations of De Vil- 
leneuve, and they parted, animated by cheering 
hopes of the morrow — that morrow so fraught 
with misery. But let me not anticipate. 

De Villeneuve had reached the door of the 
garden, and was about to apply the key to the 
lock, when a sudden blow from a dagger pros- 
trated him on the earth. Rapidly drawing the 
reeking weapon from the deep wound it had 
inflicted, the assassin struck it a second time 
into the body of his victim ; then deliberately 
wiping it in the grass, he concealed it beneath 



dbyGoogk 



THE GAMESTERS. S29 

his cloak, and hurried from the spot, carefully 
locking the door after him, and taking away 
the key. 

The Comte de Breteul and his son met in the 
breakfast-room at the usual hour on the follow- 
ing morning, the former with an embarrassed 
air and a care-worn brow, while his heavy eyes 
denoted that repose had been a stranger to his 
pillow. Gustavo felt for him, and accounted 
for his troubled looks by the knowledge he had 
acquired of his pecuniary difficulties and entan- 
glements. There was no recurrence made to the 
rencontre of the past night, and both laboured 
under a restraint that neither knew how to 
surmount, when the door opened and Matilde 
entered. 

At the sight of his ward, a cry of horror 
escaped from the unhappy Comte de Breteul, 
and he fell fainting on the floor. Gustave and 
Matilde assisted to replace him in his chair, 
and animation had but just returned, when 
Claudine, the aged attendant of Louise, rushed 
distracted into the sahn^ and with cries of 
anguish and despair, announced that her dear 



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230 THE GAMESTERS. 

young lady, her precious Mademoiselle Louise, 
was dead ! 

The confusion, horror, and grief of the £amily 
may be imagined, but cannot be described. Gus- 
tavo and Matilde flew to the chamber where the 
beautiful Louise lay extended cold and motion- 
less, but lovely even in death. The brother, 
nearly frantic, ordered the servaiits to fly for 
doctors, and commenced chafing her cold limbs, 
totally forgetting in this new and overpowering 
affliction the state of his father, when a party of 
gendarmes rudely entered the room, and made 
him their prisoner, on the charge of having 
murdered the Comte de Vijileneuve in the gar- 
den on the previous night. They dragged him 
from the room, where lay the inanimate form 
of Louise, unmindful of his entreaties and 
frantic prayers to be allowed to continue his 
efforts to restore her, and forced him into the 
salon^ where his wretched father continued in 
nearly a state of insensibility. They now ex- 
amined his person, and on discovering the 
pocket-book of De ViUeneuve, whose name 
was written in it, and the large sum it con- 



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THE GAMESTERS. 



231 



dned, they declared that this evidence of his 
oilt was conclusive. 

They subsequently, either casually or inten- 
onally, added, that the anonymous information 
ley had received that morning, stated that the 
ocket-book would be found in his possession, 
od that the body of the murdered man was 
oncealed beneath some shrubs in the garden, 
here they had discovered it. When the 
rretched father heard the accusation against 
is son, the pride and idol of his life, he tried 
[> speak, but the effort was unavailing ; the 
lowers of motion and utterance were paralyzed, 
ind his son was forcibly dragged a prisoner 
rom the house that contained a dead sister 
ind a dying fetther. 

Gustavo was overwhelmed with horror by 
he accumulated misery of his maddening situa^ 
ion.. The murder of his friend — that friend 
M) fondly cherished, whose life he would wil- 
Imgly have sacrificed his own to have saved, 
seemed to add the finishing blow to his despair; 
and he — he charged with the murder I Oh I it 
was too, too horrible ! and he closed his eyes 



1 



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232 TH£ GAMESTERS. 

as if to shut out the dreadful images that pre- 
sented themselves to his mind. 

He had not been many hours in prison, 
though the mental sufferings he was enduring 
made them appear an eternity, when Claudine 
arrived to acquaint him that he had no longer 
a father, the Comte de Breteul having expired 
shortly after his son had been dragged from 
his presence. 

*' Father, sister, friend, all — all are gone I ** 
groaned Gustavo ; " would to Heaven that I 
were with them I '' and he threw himself in 
agony on the wretched bed on which he was 
sitting. 

" No I dear Monsieur Gustavo," said Clau- 
X dine, ** all are not yet lost ; you have still a 
friend, for the Comte de Villeneuve yet lives, 
and the doctors say he will recover." 

<* Oh I God be thanked I" exclaimed Gus- 
lave ; *< tell me, tell me, my good Claudine, 
how this has occurred ?** 

" Why, my dear young master,'' resumed 
she, ** when the comte was found, as they sup- 
posed, dead in the garden, he was only in a 



dbyGoogk 



THE GAMESTERS. 233 

deep swoon from loss of blood. He was soon 
restored to animation ; and though he is very 
weak and languid, the doctors all say he will 
certainly recover. He has already spoken, 
and declared your innocence, God be praised I 
as also his knowledge of the assassin ; so that 
in a few hours you must be released from this 
hateful prison." 

To return thanks to the Almighty Providence 
that had preserved De Villeneuve, and justified 
himself from the foul crime with which he 
stood charged, was the first movement of Gus- 
tavo ; but soon came the bitter recollection of 
the death of his father and Louise, that dearly- 
loved sister and companion of his youth. 

'* My sister I my blessed sister I" exclaimed 
Gustave: "Oh! had you been spared me!" 
and a burst of passionate grief unmanned him. 

•* You see, my dear Monsieur Gustave," 
said Claudine, " the Comte de Villeneuve was 
supposed to be dead," laying an emphasis on 
the word supposed, " and yet he is still alive. 
God is good ; so do not despair, for our pre- 
cious mademoiselle may be restored to us." 

" What do you, what can you mean, Clau- 

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234 THE GAMESTERS. 

dine ? Oh I keep me not in suspense I** cried 
the agitated Gustave, '* tell me, tell me, does 
she live ?" 

** Be calm, my dear young master, prepare 
yourself for joyful news. She does live, and 
you shall soon see her. Under Providence, 
the dear Mademoiselle Matilde and I saved 
her ; for hy friction and restoratives we had 
elicited signs of life before the doctors came, 
and they say she will recover if she is kept 
quiet." 

The joy of Gustavo may be imagined : he 
hugged the good old Claudine again and again, 
and it was only on recollecting the death of his 
father that he could check the transport which 
the recovery of his sister had occasioned. He 
hastily dismissed Claudine in order that Louise 
might not be deprived of her care, and sat him 
down to reflect on the occurrences of the last 
few eventful hours. 

A short time brought the order for his re- 
lease from prison, and he flew to his home, 
where he found his sister much better than his 
most sanguine hopes had led him to expect 
The only account she could give of her sudden 

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THE GAMESTERS. 235 

seizure was, that she was awaked from sleep 
by a sense of suffocation, and when she tried 
to move, her endeavour was violently repressed 
by some person who forcibly held her, until 
her struggles were terminated by insensibility. 
Tlie appearance of the mysterious stranger in 
the garden recurred to the recollection of Gus- 
tave, and suspicion that he was in some way 
connected with the tragic events of the previous 
night, rushed to his mind. These suspicions 
were confirmed by De Villeneuve, who told him 
that as the moonbeams fell on the countenance 
of his assassin when he gave him the second 
wound, he recognised in him the miscreant 
whom they had discovered in the garden. The 
meeting between the friends was most affecting. 
The danger to which Louise had been exposed, 
was concealed from her lover y lest in his pre- 
sent langidd state, a knowledge of it might 
occasion an excitement which should be preju- 
dicial to his recovery. 

When Roussel and the Comte de Breteul 
had reached the chamber in which they sup- 
posed Matilde to sleep, her guardian had not 
sufficient resolution to enter it j and therefore, 

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^6 THE GAMESTERS. 

on the hardened Roussel devolved the commis- 
sion of the murderous task, which his wretched 
and vacillating accomplice dared not even to 
witness. Thus, the panic-stricken slave of 
conscience, he remained coweringly on the 
threshold, while his own daughter was at- 
tempted to he made the victim of her parent's 
guilt I 

Just as the fiend-like assassin conceived he 
had completed his atrocious crime, he was 
alarmed by the sound of voices in the garden. 
He hastily removed the hateful mask before 
the final extinction of the vital spark had been 
effected, and then carefully wiped from the 
pale face of the unfortunate girl all stain and 
discoloration, until not a vestige remained of 
the means that had been employed. De Bre- 
teul, overcome with feelings of remorse and 
horror, and shrinking from the sight of the 
murderer, after a few hurried words of pro- 
mised reward, let him out of the house, giving 
him the key of the garden-door; and then 
overcome with terror, had locked himself in 
his chamber. The recontre of Roussel with 
his son appeared to his guilty conscience as a 

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THE GAMESTERS. 237 

certain clue to the detection of his crime, and 
he passed a night of such fearful torment as 
had shaken his frame, and death already waved 
his dart over him. 

The sight of Matilde, whom he helieved 
dead, achieved the blow ; but ere he sank 
under it, he had the misery of beholding his 
son seized as a criminal, and of meeting his 
fate without a friend or relation to close his 
dying eyes, yet happy in thus escaping the 
infamy his crimes merited. 

When Roussel had left the presence of the 
friends on the fatal night, he concealed himself 
in the garden, in the hope that chance might 
disclose to him some portion of their intentions. 
Tlie result answered his expectations, for he 
overheard all their conversation. He thus dis- 
covered that the gaming propensities of the 
Comte de Breteul were now known to his son, 
and that the plan suggested by De Villeneuve 
of assisting him with money, would probably 
extricate his dupe out of his hands. This 
knowledge alone would have been sufficient to 
instigate him to the commission of any atrocity; 
but his rancorous mind was stiU further ex- 



dbyGoogk 



238 THE GAMESTERS. 

cited by the disgust and antipathy the friends 
had exhibited towards himself: and thus im- 
pelled both by apprehension and malignity, he 
determined to remove the one and gratify the 
other, by murdering De Villeneuve and ac- 
cusing Gustave of the crime. The pocket-book 
and money given by De Villeneuve, if found on 
Gustave, would, he felt certain, be received as 
conclusive proof of his guilt. He retired to 
his lodging, wrote a note to the oommissaire de 
police^ informing him of the murder, and then 
resolved to absent himself for some time from 
Paris, fearing that the Comte de Breteul, in 
the horror of seeing his son accused of murder, 
might betray the other fatal part of the tragedy, 
and implicate his safety. 

On leaving Paris, Roussel directed his course 
to Mantes ; where, having remained a few days, 
he took an outside seat on the Diligence to re- 
turn, and was one of three people killed by the 
overturning of that vehicle. 

Thus perished, within a week from the period 
of his double attempt at murder, a wretch whose 
life had been one long tissue of crime, and with 
him was buried the secret of the guilty partici- 

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THE GAMESTERS. 239 

pation of the Comte de Breteul» whose children 
were thus happily saved the deep and enduring 
misery which must have arisen on their know- 
ledge of their parent's infamy. In a few months 
the douhle alliance between the houses of De 
Villeneuve and De Breteul took place, and 
they enjoy all the felicity they deserve. The 
amiable Matilde has found a husband in a near 
neighbour of De Villeneuve's, and continues 
as much attached as ever to her dear friend 
Louise, whose society constitutes one of her 
greatest sources of happiness. 

Nothing now remains except to wish our 
readers all the blessings enjoyed by our hero- 
ines and heroes, but without their trials, and to 
impress on their minds the counsel to Beware 
of gaming. 



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^^1 



THE COQUE TTE: 



A TALE. 



Catherine Seymour was the prettiest girl at 
/beltenham« and of this fact no one seemed 
Qore fully aware than the young lady herself; 
et, strange to say, each new proof she received 
f it, in the admiration she excited, appeared 
give her as much satisfaction as if she had 
^een sceptical as to the extent and power of 
ler personal claims, — a scepticism of which no 
me suspected her. There are some passions 
bat increase with their gratification. Ambition 
md avarice are of this number; but the thirst 
For admiration is still more insatiable, and, if 
onee indulged, is rarely if ever satisfied. Of 
this truth the vanity of Catherine Seymour 



VOL. II. 



M 



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242 THE COQUETTE. 

offered an example. Left with an only sister, 
orphans, at an early age, they had been confided 
to the care of an aunt fuUy competent to the 
task of superintending their education, and 
forming their minds, had she found Catherine 
as docile and unspoilt as her sister Frances, 
who was three years her junior ; but, unhap- 
pily, Catherine had imbibed, from a vain and 
weak-minded mother, the pernicious belief of 
the supremacy of beauty, and the no less per- 
nicious conviction that she possessed beauty of 
no ordinary degree. Her aunt endeavoured, but 
in vain, to correct the overweening vanity of 
her niece ; but it had taken too deep root ever 
to be eradicated, and its consequences exposed 
her not unfrequently to the ridicule of her ene- 
mies, and to the pity of her friends. 

Catherine was now in her twentieth year, 
and boasted of having achieved nearly as man? 
conquests as she had numbered years; the last 
three Cheltenham seasons had witnessed her 
triumphs, and various had been the admirers 
assigned to her by the ephemeral visitors of 
the place. Still she remained unmarried, and 
unsought in marriage, — a circumstance that 



dbyGoogk 



THE COQUETTE. 243 

astonished herself much more than it did any 
of her acquaintances, who proclaimed that she 
was too great. a flirt and coquette to he sought 
for any longer partnership than that of a hall. 

Frances had now completed her seventeenth 
year, and though much less hrilliantly attractive 
than her sister, it was generally remarked that 
the admirers who were drawn to Mrs. Seymour's 
hy Catherine'sheauty, were retained by Frances's 
natvetij gentleness, and animation. Many had 
heen the young men who had, on a first acquaint- 
ance, entertained thoughts of seeking Cathe- 
rine in marriage; but the second or third ball 
of their s^'aur generally opened their eyes to 
the ruling passion of the young lady, who 
thought it absolutely necessary that each new 
comer should yield homage to her charms, and 
sought this homage so openly as to disgust the 
admirers previously acquired, who were shocked 
at witnessing the coquetries directed to others 
that each had thought so agreeable when him- 
self was their only object. 

Catherine's vanity for a long time rendered 
her unconscious of any diminution in the atten- 
tion of admirers, or the transfer of them to her 

M 2 

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244 THE COQUETTE, 

sister; for as long as the places of the seceders 
were supplied hy new flatterers, she thought 
not of them; but when, at the close of the 
fashionable season, she found herself neglected, 
and saw Frances securing unequivocal marks of 
regard from those who had once sought her own 
smiles, she felt a sensation as new as it was 
painful to her vain mind, and endeavoured by 
every means in her power to win back her 
former admirers. 

At this period arrived Sir Richard Spencer, 
a handsome younjf man, of ancient family, large 
fortune, and agiCeable manners. He had only 
lately returned from a continental tour, and had 
come to Cheltenham to visit an uncle who had 
been his guardian. No sooner had he seen 
Catherine than he became fascinated by her 
beauty, and her sparkling vivacity riveted the 
chains that her charms had thrown over him. 
For a week he danced with her every night, 
rode with her every day, and saw his attentions 
received with such apparent pleasure, that he 
only waited a longer acquaintance to declare 
himself a suitor for her hand. His uncle had 
observed all this partiality with no slight por- 



dbyGoogk 



THE COQUETTE. 245 

tion of alarm ; for his annaal visits to Chel- 
tenham had made him acquainted with the 
coquettish propensities of Catherine. Had he, 
however, heen slow to remark them, his notice 
however could not fail to have been called to 
them by the uncharitable inuendoes, piquant 
jests, and sapient predictions of the mothers 
and aunts of aU the young ladies with whom 
he came in contact, who, in virtue of their 
consanguinity, take peculiar pleasure in ani- 
madverting on the errors, imagined or real, of 
the reigning belle of their coterie^ from the 
disinterested motive of making them generally 
known to the marrying men. 

Mr. Sydenham hesitated whether he should 
inform his nephew of the besetting sin of Miss 
Seymour ; for being a man of the world, he had 
not reached his fiftieth year without having 
observed that the interference of friends and ad- 
visers often only serves to accelerate the mar- 
riages it was meant to avert, and he hoped the 
arrival of some new admirer might furnish his 
nephew with ocular demonstration of the fact 
he wished to impress on his mind, namely, the 
habitual coquetry of Catherine. When, how- 

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246 THE COQUETTE. 

ever, he saw the intimacy daily increasing, and 
that the season drew near its close without 
offering any new beau as a rival, anxiety for 
his nephew induced him to ask Sir Richard if 
the reports in general circulation of his attach- 
ment to Miss Seymour were correct, " or 
merely,'* added Mr. Sydenham significantly, 
*' like the various reports which have assigned 
the young lady to half a dozen different suitors 
every year that I have been here.*' 

Sir Richard blushed and looked embarrassed, 
for there was something in the remark and tone 
of his uncle that displeased him ; but quickly 
recovering himself, he replied, that he certainly 
admired Miss Seymour very much, thought her 
a charming person, but that as yet he had not 
proposed to her, though he had nearly deter- 
mined on so doing in a few days. Alarmed 
for his nephew's future happiness, which he 
thought could not fail to be compromised by 
such a marriage, Mr. Sydenham lost sight of 
his usual coolness and judgment, and with 
more warmth than discretion, revealed every 
particular he had seen or heard of the co- 
quetry, that all agreed to attribute to the 



dbyGoogk 



THE COQUETTE. 247 

young lady. The natural consequences ensued. 
The lover defended with much more warmth 
than the uncle attacked; nay, the injustice, 
as he imagined, of the censures passed on 
Catherine, only served to increase his affection. 

He left Mr. Sydenham's house and proceeded 
directly to that of Mrs. Seymour, which he 
quitted an hour after as the accepted lover of 
her niece. The terms of intimacy on which Sir 
Richard had been received at Mrs. Seymour's 
had given Frances an opportunity of appre- 
ciating his various good qualities and powers of 
pleasing, until she had unconsciously learned 
to regard him with feelings of interest much 
stronger than she was aware of. 

The first moment that she became sensible of 
this, was when Catherine, in the flush of grati- 
fied vanity, burst into the room where Frances 
was practising at her harp, and proclaimed 
that she was the affianced wife of Sir Richard 
Spencer. ** I shall be so happy," added Cathe- 
rine ; " for he has a fine house in Grosvenor- 
square, and a magnificent place in the country. 
He is to have the family jewels reset for me, 
and will write by this post to order two new 



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248 THE COQUETTE. 

carriages. This is delightful — don't you envy 
me, Frances ? Fancy how I shall outshine all 
those who have heen giving themselves airs 
here!'' 

Frances hardly dared to trust herself with 
words, so overpowering and new were the 
emotions that overwhelmed her ; hut on press- 
ing the cheek of her sister, her tremulous lips 
hreathed forth wishes for her happiness as sin- 
cere as if that happiness had not heen secured 
at the expense of her own, as she at that moment 
felt it to he. In all the gay anticipations of the 
future, amidst self-complacent recapitulations of 
the splendour that awaited her, the good quali- 
ties of him who was to hestow them, were never 
alluded to hy Catherine ; and Frances could 
not suppress a sigh as she reflected that, had it 
heen her happy lot to have heen chosen hy Sir 
Richard Spencer, himself, and not his posses- 
sions, would have heen the chief ohject in her 
anticipations of happiness. 

Mrs. Seymour rejoiced in the prospects of 
her niece ; but could not conceal from herself 
that they promised a more brilliant future for 
Catherine than for him who was to share them ; 



dbyGoogk 



THE COQUETTE. 249 

and she thought with regret, that a day might 
come when the ardent lover might have cause 
to lament his choice. 

The gentle Frances, in the privacy of her 
chamber, schooled her heart to conquer this 
its first predilection ; and when she met Sir 
Richard, and was addressed by him as his 
future sister, she stifled the pang that struggled 
in her breast, and offered him her congratula- 
tions with kind cordiality. But still each day 
'discovering some new quality, or some fresh 
trait of amiability in her sister's suitor, in- 
creased the admiration and esteem for him that 
had become rooted in the pure and fresh feel- 
ings of Frances; and it required a constant 
effort on the part of the innocent and unhappy 
girl, to conceal the preference she had so un- 
consciouslv entertained from him who had ex- 

m 

cited it, and those who surrounded her. Often 
did she pray for the speedy completion of the 
marriage, thinking that when it had taken 
place, and that Sir Richard had become indeed 
her brother, her feelings towards him would 
alter; and she firmly resisted his and her 
sister's proposal to accompany them to London 

M 3 

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250 THE COQUETTE. 

when the ceremony should be over, being deter- 
mined to avoid living under the same roof until 
she had conquered her fatal attachment. 

Catherine, now sure of her conquest, no 
longer took the same pains to retain that she 
had taken to acquire it. She seemed to re- 
ceive the attentions of Sir Richard as a right 
rather than as a pleasure ; and as he saw more 
of her in the domestic circle, he was struck 
with the conviction, that the most sparkling belle 
of a ball-room is not always the most agreeable 
companion at home. The undeviating sweet- 
ness of temper and mild cheerfulness of Frances 
made themselves observed by the contrast they 
offered to the petulancy and not unfrequent 
vapidness of her sister, who wanting the excite- 
ment of fresh admiration, often sunk into ina- 
nition, or shewed unequivocal symptoms of 
ennui — little flattering to the amour propre of 
a lover, though not sufficiently marked to give 
him the right of resenting them. Had he 
known the effort it cost Frances to assume a 
cheerfulness of manner, when her spirits were 
bowed down by the consciousness of an attach- 
ment she felt it was a crime to indulge, how 

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THE COQUETTE. 251 

much more would he have esteemed her, and 
how infinitely valued the self-command — one of 
the noblest qualities a woman can possess — 
that thus enabled her to perform the duties to 
those around her, and to contribute to their 
happiness, when she had ceased to look forward 
with hope to her own I 

Sir Richard was summoned to London by 
his solicitor for the final arrangement of the 
marriage settlement, and the day before his 
departure, when walking with Catherine and 
her sister, they met a young man of fashion- 
able, but unprepossessing appearance, to whose 
rude stare and familiar nod Sir Kichard 
Spencer retunied a very cold bow. " Who is 
that?" asked Catherine, whose experienced 
eye, at one glance, detected a man of fashion in 
the stranger, and whose vanity was gratified by 
the fixed stare with which he regarded her. 

"That,** replied Sir Richard, "is Lord 
Wilmingham ; we were at college together ; 
but he is a man whose reputation and manners 
I so much disapprove, that I avoid all inter- 
course with him as much as possible." 

Three or four days after Sir Richard^s 

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252 THE COQUETTE. 

departure, the last ball of the season was to 
take place, and, to the surprise and displeasure 
of Mrs. Seymour, Catherine announced her in- 
tention of attending it. In Tain her aunt and 
sister dwelt on the impropriety, now that her 
marriage was announced, of going to a ball in 
the absence of Sir Richard. She was obstinate, 
and thinking herself freed from the jurisdiction 
of her aunt, persevered in her intention ; and 
Mrs. Seymour was obliged to accompany her, 
to prevent her placing herself under the pro- 
tection of some less unexceptionable chaperoned 
as she intended to have done in the event of 
her refusal. 

They had only been a few minutes in the 
room, Catherine glittering with ornaments pre- 
sented to her by Sir Richard, and attracting 
general admiration by her beauty and anima- 
tion, when Lord Wilmingham approached with 
Lady Severn, who presented him to Mrs. Sey- 
mour and her nieces. He immediately engaged 
Catherine's hand for the next dance ; and, to 
the surprise and indignation of Frances, she 
observed her giddy sister receiving with undis- 
guised pleasure, his marked attentions. Mrs. 

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THE COQUETTE. 253 

Seymour noticed this condact with equal pain ; 
and made several signs to Catherine that she 
was drawing the eyes of all around on her by 
her flirtation ; but the wilful girl persevered, 
and had the imprudence to continue to dance 
with Lord Wilmingham, even when custom 
required a change of partners. 

At the end of the second dance, Mrs. Sey- 
mour joined her niece, and endeavoured by the 
coldness of her manner, to check the forward 
and presuming attentions of Lord Wilming* 
ham; but it was evident the encouragement 
given him by the young lady rendered him 
careless of the disapprobation of the old ; and 
he continued near Catherine, engrossing her 
conversation for the greater part of the even- 
ing. 

They had no sooner entered the carriage to 
return home, than Mrs. Seymour reprehended 
her niece for the levity and impropriety of her 
conduct. Catherine angrily asserted her right 
of receiving what she chose to call the polite 
attentions of any or every person who offered 
them. The discussion ended like the gene- 
rality of discussions when one person is in the 

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254 THE COQUETTE. 

wrong, yet determined not to avow it — in 
mutual displeasure ; and Catherine retired for 
the night, with the fixed determination of 
giving Lord Wilmingham every opportunity of 
cultivating her acquaintance ; while Mrs. Sey- 
mour felt equally decided on prohibiting it. 

Frances sought her sister next morning, and 
with afiectionate mildness, reminded her of what 
Sir Richard Spencer had said of Lord Wil- 
mingham ; and that, having so spoken, he 
would naturally feel displeased at finding that 
his affianced wife had formed an acquaintance 
with him in his absence. Catherine petulantly 
disclaimed Sir Richard's right to control her 
actions until the marriage had taken place, 
adding, that circumstances might prevent its 
ever taking place ; and when Frances shewed 
her surprise and displeasure at this comment, 
she triumphantly demanded whether it would 
not be more eligible, as well as agreeable, for 
her to be Countess of Wilmingham, than the 
wife of a simple baronet ; adding, that Lord 
Wilmingham was much more to her taste in 
every respect than Sir Richard. " But," said 
the heartless coquette, " I shall not discard 

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THE COQUETTE. 255 

the latter until I am quite sure of the former ; 
so don't look so alarmed Frances, for I know 
what I am about/* In vain were Frances's 
representations of the dishonourable conduct 
her sister was pursuing, that sister was deter- 
mined on following her own selfish plans ; and 
they parted mutually dissatisfied. 

Frances, while grieving over the heartlessness 
of her sister, and the unhappiness its possible 
consequences might entail, was angry with her- 
self for feeling that the effect it would produce 
on Sir Richard touched her more deeply than 
that which it would have on the ^estiny of her 
sister; but no one selfish hope or sentiment 
entered into her pure mind, though love, that 
promoter of selfishness in so many breasts, 
reigned triumphantly in hers. 

When LordWilmingham called at Mrs. Sey- 
mour's door next day, he was not admitted ; 
and Catherine, who anticipated this denial, took 
care to let him see her at the window, and to 
show, by the cordiality of her salutation, that 
his not being received was not her fault. When 
the ladies walked out in an hour after, he im- 
mediately joined them, and not all the cold 

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256 THE COQUETTE. 

looks and constrained manner of Mrs. Seymour 
and Frances, could chase him irom the side of 
Catherine until he had escorted them back to 
their home. The next day he called again, 
was again refused admittance, and, as on the 
former day, Catherine exhibited herself at the 
window, expressing by her looks and gestures 
how much she regretted not being allowed to 
receive him. Such evident encouragement 
would have led a much less presuming man 
than her new admirer to persevere in his atten- 
tions. But Lord Wilmingham wanted no such 
encouragement. He seldom reflected on the 
possible effects of any of his actions either to- 
wards others or himself: the gratification of 
his own selfish enjoyments occupied all his 
thoughts, and to accomplish any plan that led 
to them, he would stop at no sacrifice, except 
that of self. Devoted to pleasure, he sought it 
in every shape in which it presented itself to 
his eyes or imagination ; and in his chase of 
the ignis fatuus which for ever lured him on, 
many had been the victims who were left to 
weep over their credulity and his perfidy. A 
violent hatred to Sir Richard Spencer had been 

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THE COQUETTE. 25? 

engendered in his mind, on observing a year 
or two before, the marked coldness with which 
his advances to a renewal of acquaintance were 
declined by the baronet, and he only waited an 
opportunity of avenging his mortified feelings. 
He came to Cheltenham with a dissipated young 
man of fashion of his acquaintance, and the day 
after was struck with the beauty of Catherine, 
when he saw her walking with Sir Richard. 
Public rumour soon made him acquainted with 
their engagement, and with fiend-like malice, 
he determined to seek an introduction to her, 
and to follow it up by attentions that could not 
fail to offend the baronet, even if they did not 
succeed in shaking the fidelity of his betrothed. 
The absence of Sir Richard, and Catherine's 
own levity, soon furnished the unprincipled 
libertine with an opportunity to follow up his 
plans ; and the first night of their acquaint* 
ance, in the brief space of a few hours, with 
insidious compliments, half avowals of love, 
and affected broken sentences of despair at her 
engagement, he made the infatuated and vain 
coquette believe that she had inspired him with 
a violent passion, and that she had only to break 

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258 THE COQUETTE. 

through her engagement with Sir Richard to 
have the coronet of Lord Wihningham offered 
for her acceptance. The encouragement given 
him hy Catherine far surpassed his hopes ; with 
a single glance he penetrated her character; 
for his own had qualities rendered him quick- 
sighted, and furnished him with an unerring 
clue for discovering those of others. At mo- 
ments he almost determined to discontinue his 
attentions, and let the marriage proceed, think- 
ing that such a wife would he sure to be the 
severest misfortune that he could desire to b^fal 
his enemy ; but then his vanity urged him to per- 
severe, that he might humiliate and wound the 
feelings of Sir Richard, by winning the affec- 
tions of his betrothed mistress, when he fancied 
himself most sure of them. Though he admired 
the beauty of Catherine, he felt no stronger 
sentiment towards her than mere personal ad- 
miration. She was one of the last women he 
would have selected for a wife, as, in this respect, 
he followed the wisdom of the wicked, if wisdom 
can ever rest with such, in requiring in those 
with whom they would connect themselves that 
virtue and goodness to which they are conscious 



dbyGoogk 



THE COaUETTE. 259 

of not possessing even a claim in their own 
persons. 

Catherine was to be made the instrument of 
this unprincipled man's vengeance on her a£S- 
anced husband; and, when this was accom« 
plished, he cared not what might become of 
her. 

Finding Mrs. Seymour's precautions deprived 
him of seeing Catherine, he determined to write 
to her; and having observed she was conti- 
nually at the window or balcony that looked 
towards the road leading from Mrs. Seymour's 
suburban villa to Cheltenham, he decided on 
being himself that evening the bearer of a letter, 
which he intended to throw up to the balcony. 

Sir Richard having terminated his business 
sooner than he anticipated, left London without 
apprizing his fair friends at Cheltenham, in- 
tending to give them an agreeable surprise, by 
presenting himself at the villa when they least 
expected him, and was approaching it when, in 
the twilight, he observed a man throw some- 
thing up to the balcony, and a female imme- 
diately after advance to speak to him. The 
noise his horse's steps made were evidently 



dbyGoogk 



260 THE COQUETTE. 

heard by the persons, for the female quk^Iy 
retreated from the balcony, and the man, who 
could not conceal himself. Sir Richard having 
come too suddenly upon him, proved to be Lord 
Wilmingham. Astonishment and indignatioo 
took po8sessi<m of his mind, and his first im- 
pulse was to stop him ; but Lord Wilmingham 
galloped quickly away, and Sir Richard entered 
the house, surprised and alarmed at what he 
had witnessed. 

The possibility that the woman who was car- 
rying on a clandestine correspondence with the 
worthless Lord Wilmingham might be his own 
Catherine, his afi&anced wife, had never, for a 
moment, suggested itself to his imagination. 
No, that was beyond the pale of possibility ; 
but he instantly concluded that it was Frances, 
and was shocked and grieved, beyond measure, 
that one so young, and whom he had considered 
so pure-minded and amiable, should have de- 
graded herself, with a person of whose reputa- 
tion and bad conduct he had informed her. 
He found Mrs. Seymour and Catherine in the 
drawing-room, and the agitation the latter dis- 
covered on his entrance, was viewed by him as 



dbyGoogk 



THE COQUETTE. 26l 

a flattering proof of the effect his unexpected 
arrival produced on her ; but when, in a few 
miiiutes after, Frances entered the room, and 
on seeing him (not having heard of his arrival) 
Unshed deeply, trembled, and then turned pale, 
he could not suppress a marked coldness of 
manner at what he considered the indubitable 
proo& of her conscious guilt ; and, during his 
visit, she frequently found his eyes fixed on her 
face with an expression of severity, as new as 
it was painful to her. Not wishing to commit 
her with her aunt, until he had first spoken 
with Catherine, and tried the efficacy of his 
own representations to Frances, he contented 
himself with merely remarking, that he had 
met Lord Wilmingham near the villa; and 
stealing a glance at Frances, observed her 
cheeks suffiised with blushes, while Mrs, Sey- 
mour discovered evident symptoms of discom- 
posure. Had he looked, at that moment, at 
Catherine, her visible embarrassment must 
have struck him, but having judged poor 
Frances guilty, he confined his examination 
to her. 

" Lord Wilmingham is a most dissolute and 

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262 THE COQUETTE. 

unpriDcipIed young man," added Sir Richard, 
with warmth, ** and a most improper acquaint- 
ance for ladies. When I saw him so near your 
abode this evening, I feared he might be re- 
ceived by you on visiting terms, and I regret 
not having more strongly warned you against 
him before my departure. 

He stole another look at Frances, and found 
she blushed more than ever ; while Mrs. Sey- 
mour replied, that Lord Wilmingham had 
been presented to them, but that Frances 
having told her Sir Richard had expressed a 
dislike and disapprobation of him, she had 
declined his visits. *< Does this young creature, 
then, add hypocrisy to levity and imprudence ?" 
thought Sir Richard, and the indignation he 
felt was expressed in the stem glance be cast 
at Frances, who, observing it, became more 
confused and agitated than before. 

When he came to the villa next day, he 
found Frances alone, and immediately, in a 
grave and brotherly tone, remonstrated with 
her on the danger and impropriety of carrying 
on a elandestine correspondence, and with a 
person whose bad reputation she had herself 

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THE COQUETTE. 263 

cofnmunicated to ber aunt. The alarmed girl 
demanded an explanation, and he angrily told 
her all that he had seen the night before.^ 
She trembled, turned as pale as death, and 
appeared ready to sink to the earth ; and he, 
pitying what he considered to be her feelings 
of shame, took her hand with kindness, and 
promised that if she would break off all cor- 
respondence with Lord Wilmingham, he would 
recur to the subject no more ; and hastily left 
the room to go in search of Catherine in the 
garden, leaving Frances more dead than alive. 

'< And must I lose his esteem too," sobbed 
the unhappy girl, ** and be considered by him 
as having pursued a conduct abhorrent to my 
nature ? All but this I could have borne ;'' 
and tears of wounded pride and delicacy gushed 
in torrents from her eyes. << Oh I could I be 
but vindicated in his eyes I But no I this 
never can be, without exposing her he loves, 
and making him wretched by the discovery ; 
and I will bear all rather than that he should 
suffer." 

This is woman's love, when woman is, as 
nature meant her to be, pure-minded and un- 

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264 THE COQUETTE. 

selfish ; her own sufferings appear more easy 
to be borne than that of him she loves ; at 
least, she is always ready to make the experi- 
ment when she thinks it can save him. 

Frances sought her sister when Sir Richard 
had retired at night, and with tears and burn- 
ing blushes declared the humiliating suspiciona 
to which the improper conduct of that sister 
had exposed her. 

" You did not, I hope, undeceive Sir Rich- 
ard?" said the selfish Catherine ; '* for what 
he thinks of your proceedings can be no sort 
of consequence to you ; but if, after all, I 
should marry him, it would be very disagree- 
able to have him discover that it was I^ and 
not you^ who was the object of Lord Wilming- 
ham's attentions. 

The unfeeling and indelicate selfishness of 
her sister shocked and disgusted Frances, who, 
having entreated her never again to see Lord 
Wilmingham, under pain of telling the whole 
truth to their aunt, left her to seek in her own 
chamber, the only consolation that now awaited 
her — the consciousness of having acted as she 
believed she ought 



dbyGoogk 



THE COQUETTE. S65 

A sleepless night, and the agitation she had 
experienced, affected the health of Frances so 
.much, that the next morning saw her on the 
bed of sickness, unable to rise ; and when Sir 
Richard came in the evening, he found Mrs. 
Seymour in great alarm, the physician who had 
been called in having pronounced Frances in a 
high state of fever. Mrs. Seymour and Cathe- 
rine being in attendance in the chamber of the 
invalid. Sir Richard was left alone, and occu- 
pied himself in turning over the leaves of some 
albums until it became too dark to see. Waiting 
to bid Catherine adieu before he retired for the 
night,- he reclined on a sofa in a recess near 
the window, and fell into a slumber, from which 
he was awakened by voices from the balcony. 
Half asleep and awake, he had not time to 
move, when the following dialogue struck his 
ears, and he became rooted to the spot as he 
listened to it : — 

*• No, I tell you positively, 1 will not marry 
Sir Richard," said Catherine, "even though 
the day is fixed. I never liked him, and now 
I dislike him more and more every day." 

" But may 1 rely on you?" said a voice, 

VOL. II. N 

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266 THE COQUETTE. 

which Sir Richard instantly recognized for 
that of Lord Wihningham. 

" Yes, yes — 1 promise never to have any one 
but you,'* replied Catherine ; ** but only fancy," 
continued she, <* that stupid Sir Richard saw 
you throw the letter the night before last on 
the balcony, and fancied that it was Frances 
who took it up ; he lectured her, and the sim- 
pleton, luckily for us, let him remain in his 
error. She thought this heroism entitled her 
to the privilege of scolding me, and has given 
me a lesson worthy of aunt. But that is not the 
strangest part of the business ; the agitation 
caused by all this has brought on a fever ; under 
the influence of which she has revealed — ^but no, 
you would never guess, so I must tell it to you 
—nothing less than that she is in love with 
this stupid Sir Richard. But hush I did I not 
hear some noise ? Go away, and come back at 
the same hour to-morrow night.** 

Sir Richard had listened with breathless 
horror and astonishment to this dialogue ; but 
when the injustice he had committed towards 
the pure-minded and excellent Frances was 
revealed, and her passion for himself was dis- 

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THE COQUETTE. 267 

covered, his arms involuntarily dropped on the 
sofa; and this was the noise that interrupted 
Catherine's revelations, and made her dismiss 
Lord Wihningham. For a moment he was 
disposed to approach the halcony, and shew the 
unworthy pair that he had heard the whole of 
their conversation ; hut a little reflection taught 
him, that in so doing, Catherine would be 
aware of his having heard her sister's secret, 
and that thus the delicacy of Frances would be 
wounded. He therefore remained quiet until 
his faithless mistress had passed out of the 
room ; and then seizing his hat, he left the 
house offering up fervent thanks that he had 
discovered, ere too late, the duplicity, mean- 
ness, and total want of principle of her whom 
he had regarded as his wife, and filled with 
admiration for the amiable Frances, and anxiety 
for her safety. 

He wrote a brief and explicit letter to 
Catherine next morning, acquainting her that 
he had seen her interview with Lord Wilming- 
ham the night before, and declining all preten- 
sions to her hand, he left her to explain the 
cause to her aunt, and for ever broke off the 

N 2 

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268 THE COQUETTE. 

projected alliance. The vain girl for a short 
time rejoiced at his dereliction, helieving that 
she should now become the wife of Lord 
Wilmingham ; but when having despatched a 
few hurried lines to that worthless man, an- 
nouncing the fact, she received only a cold 
billet saying that he was called to France on 
business of importance, and wishing her all 
happiness, without even so much as hinting 
that they should ever meet again, her vanity 
and want of principle received its own pu- 
nishment in the deep humiliation which the 
frustration of all her ambitious hopes entailed 
on her. 

In a few months, Frances became the happy 
wife of Sir Richard Spencer, and is now the 
no less happy mother of four lovely children ; 
while Catherine continues to exhibit her faded 
charms at Cheltenham, with as little prospect 
of changing her name as her character, and 
is pointed at by moralising mothers and warn- 
ing aunts, as a fearful example of the dangers 
of coquetting. 



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«69 



THE 



BEAUTY AND HER SISTER. 



PART I. 



** Be sure, Rainsford, not to let Miss Emfly put 
up her veil while she is walking, and keep her 
in the shade as much as possible,'' was the pro- 
hibition uttered by Lady Mansel to the upper 
nurse, previously to the morning promenade of 
the young lady. 

'< But whf/f Mrs. Rainsford, may I not put up 
my veil?" asked the child in a few minutes 
after, when this prohibition was referred to by 
the attentive nurse. '* I am so warm, and I 
want so much to see all the pretty primroses, 
cowslips, and daisies around us, and this dis- 
agreeable veil does so torment me, making every 

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270 THE BEAUTY 

thing look as green as itself, and clinging to 
my lips every time I open them." 

" Then don't open them, miss," was the 
reply of the sapient nurse, an advice that her 
youthful and lively charge was but little dis- 
posed to follow. 

"But a?Ay," reiterated the child pertina- 
ciously, •* may I not put up my veil, as well as 
sister does hers?" 

" Because your mamma is afiraid that the 
sun would spoil your complexion, miss." 

" Why will it spoil mine more than sister's ?" 

" Miss Mansel's skin is not so fair as yours, 
miss ; and therefore, my lady is not so particular 
about it." 

"Then I'm sure I wish that mine was as 
brown as the gypsy's we saw the other day, if 
I might but walk in the sunshine, and see the 
beautiful flowers, without this tiresome veil." 

"You'll not wish that, miss* when you're 
grown up to be a woman." 

" Yes, but I shall though, for what's the good 
of being fair?" 

^' It makes people handsome, miss." 

" And what's the good of being handsome ?" 

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AND HER SIST£ll. 271 

'* It's a great good» miss, for then they are 
admired." 

" But grandmamma says it is better to be 
good than handsome, and loved than admired. 
What is the difference between being loved and 
admired, Rainsford?" asked Emily. 

"I'm sure, miss, 1 hardly know," replied 
Rainsford, looking puzzled. 

"That's what you always say," rejoined Emily 
poutingly, '^ when I ask you a question." 

" Well, then, miss, as far as I knows, the 
difference is — one admires those that are hand- 
some, and Idves those that are good." 

" But could not one be handsome and good 
too, Rainsford?'' demanded Emily, with a look 
that indicated a consciousness of being the 
first. 

"I suppose it's very diflEicult, miss, seeing 
as how there are so very few in the world that 
are both." 

" Grandmamma says that beauty is far in- 
ferior to goodness," said Emily, " for that on 
goodness depends our happiness." 

" Her ladyship is right," said Mrs. Rainsford 



dbyGoogk 



272 ^HE BEAUTY 

complacently, — for Rainsford, be it known to 
our readerc, was a plain woman, — ** * handsome 
is as handsome does/ say I, ' and beauty is 
but skin deep after all,'" continued she. 

^* Then sister is not handsome, and that* s the 
reason why she is allowed to walk out without 
a veil?*' 

'* I didn't say she is not handsome. Miss 
Emily," said Mrs. Rainsford, alarmed. 

** I thought you did," replied the acute child, 
with a thoughtful air. 

** No, indeed. Miss Emily, I said no such 
thing ; and I should get into great trouble if you 
told Miss Mansel, or my lady, or the Dowager 
Lady Mansel, that I said so." 

** But why should you get into trouble if I 
told them?" 

** Because no lady likes to have it said that 
she is not handsome." 

** But if it is true, then ladies would not be 
vexed ? — for grandmamma says people should 
always speak the truth." 

** Not about people's lookSf miss, I assure you, 
for it would offend many." 



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AND HER SISTER. 273 

" Then it is only good to speak the truth 
about things^ and not about persons^ — is that 
what you mean, Rainsford ?" 

** Indeed, Miss Emily, you do so puzzle me 
with your questions, and you take one up so, 
that there is no knowing how to answer you, 
so I won't say another word while we are out ;" 
a resolution to which the embarrassed Mrs. 
Rainsford adhered, while the naive Emily 
was left to pursue the reflections which the 
preceding dialogue had given birth to in her 
mind, and which conduced to the philosophical 
conclusion, — that to be fair, was a great draw- 
back upon enjoyment, as it entailed the neces- 
sity of always wearing a veil in the sunshine, 
and the newly acquired worldly wisdom, that 
people disliked being told they were not hand- 
some, however true the assertion might be. 

Another year saw Miss Emily transferred to 
the care of Mademoiselle Lavasseur, a French 
governess, and now commenced another species 
of annoyance, to which she was subjected by 
her beauty. Miss Lavasseur was not only 
extremely plain, but had a physiognomy that 
would for ever have excluded her from being 

n3 

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27* THE BEAUTY 

selected by a disciple of Lavater^s for the post 
she now filled. A consciousness of her ugli- 
ness, though it failed to engender humility, 
gave birth in her enviouB breast to an uncon- 
querable dislike to all who possessed beauty ; 
hence, Emily became the object of her aversion 
and injustice. 

The injudicious exhortations of Lady Man- 
sel, not to permit Emily to study too much, for 
fear of injuring her eyes ; not to allow her to 
draw, or write, except standing, lest it might 
contract her chest ; not to play the harp or 
pianoforte, though for both these instruments 
she had evinced considerable talent, lest the 
points of her fingers should be flattened, in- 
creased her dislike to her young charge. 

But, en revanche, Emily was permitted to 
devote more than double the usual time given 
to the acquirement of such an accomplishment, 
to her maitre-de^dansey that her carriage and 
movements might be improved, their natural 
grace, though remarkable, not satisfying the 
false and fastidious taste of her lady mother. 
Miss Mansel being destitute of personal at- 
tractions, it was resolved that their absence 

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AND HER SIST£R. TJS 

should be atoned for by the most assiduous 
cultivation of her mind; her ill-tempered go- 
verness urging her to increased attention to 
her studies, by injudiciously reminding her 
that she was not a beauty, and consequentlyt 
must be well educated* The system pursued 
towards both the young ladies, was calculated 
to produce the worst results; but fortunatelyt 
neither of them had bad tempers, and the good 
sense of their grandmother served as a cor- 
rective to the evil influence that presided over 
the school-room* 

*' Beauties may be allowed to be ignorant,^ 
would Mademoiselle Lavasseur often say, look- 
ing spitefully at poor Emily, as she sat in a list- 
less posture, her small mouth frequently dis- 
tended to a yawn, induced by the ennui, arising 
from want of occupation ; an observation that 
never failed to bring a blush of humiliation to 
the cheek of the elder sister, and of shame to 
that of the younger. 

''Are all beauties silly, grandmamma?" 
would Miss Mansel ask ; a question which led 
the good old lady to an exposition of the mani- 
fold dangers to which beauty subjected its 

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276 THE BEAUTY 

possessors, not the least of which, consisted in 
the erroneous helief, often entertained, that its 
presence rendered the cultivation of talents and 
acquirements unnecessary. Emily's naive in- 
terrogation of, " Are all clever people disagree- 
able, grandmamma?" called forth a reply that 
convinced her that clever and disagreeable 
were not synonymous terms, however much the 
conduct of Mademoiselle Lavasseur, — who was 
vaunted by Lady Mansel as a model of clever- 
ness, — had led the child to that conclusion. 

" Hold up your head. Miss Emily, and turn 
out your feet Why bless me I how ungrace- 
fully you are lounging in your chair,*' was the 
often repeated remark of the governess. 

**I 9m so tired,'' uttered between a sigh and 
a yawn, was the general reply. 

** Tired, indeed I and with what, pray? — with 
doing nothing, I suppose." 

** Yes, I believe so ; for I do so want to have 
something to do." 

** Well, then, sit straight, turn out your feet, 
and unravel this floss silk, it will occupy you ; 
but mind you hold it with the point of your 
fingers, lightly, airily, not as a housemaid holds 

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AND HER SISTER. 277 

her duster, but as a lady ought to hold whatever 
she touches. And you. Miss Mansel, you also 
seem fatigued.'' 

'* Yes, mademoiselle, I am a little tired. I 
have learned so many lessons to-day that they 
are. all mixed up in my head together, just as 
the pieces of my dissected maps are, when I 
shake them over the table. I can't remember 
any one of them distinctly, and the confusion 
this causes in my head makes it ache," replied 
the jaded girl, whose pale cheek and heavy eyes 
bore evidence to the truth of her assertion of 
fatigue. 

<* But remember, ma ch^e^ that when you 
go to dessert, your mother will examine the pro- 
gress you have made during the day ; and how 
gratifying it will be, while people are remarking 
the beauty of your sister, as they are continually 
doing, that you also get some praise. This will 
be the reward of your diligence, ma chkre^ and 
is it not worth studying for ?" 

** Grandmamma told me," said Miss Mansel, 
thoughtfully, ** that the object of instruction 
was to strengthen the nund, and not for the 
display of acquirement." 

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278 THE BEAUTY 

'' Your grandmamma is an old lady, who 
goes little into society, and consequently knows 
nothing of the present mode of thinking on such 
points/' replied the superficial and flippant 
governess. " Nous avons changi toute cela^ I 
can assure her ladyship, and people are now 
only anxious to acquire what they can show off; 
on the same principle that our shopkeepers in 
France lay in little more stock than they can 
exhibit in their windows/' 

As the lessons of Miss Mansel were repeated 
aloud to her governess, her sister received the 
benefit of oral information, to which she listened 
with interest, as a relief from the tedium of idle- 
ness, — hence she gained a general elementary 
knowledge ; and not having, like her sister, a 
number of tasks to learn by rote, the informa- 
tion she thus attained became fixed in her 
mind. Miss Mansel was a prodigy of acoom* 
plishments, but in the art of thinking, — that art 
so little cultivated in modem systems of educa- 
tion, — she was totally unversed. Her mind was 
filled with a mass of crude and undigested know- 
ledge, over which she possessed no power. It 
was like a lumber-room, in which things, not 

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AND HER SISTER. 279 

in actual use, were stored away, but being piled 
one on another without order or method, it was 
difficult to get at any of them when required ; 
while her sister, whose knowledge was so much 
more limited, could reason and reflect on that 
little, and render it available. 

At seventeen, Miss Mansel was introduced 
to the fashionable world ; and, in the course 
of a short time, was celebrated as a young lady 
of great accomplishments. Her drawings were 
honoured by the approbation of an illustrious 
personage, herself remarkable for her love of, and 
skill in, the art of design, and were pronounced 
worthy of the admiration of all the cognoscenti. 
Her performance on the harp and pianoforte, 
was allowed to rivalize with that of the most 
scientific performers of the day ; and she spoke 
French, Italian, German, and Spanish, quite 
as fluently as if she could think in any of these 
languages, — a power denied her in them, as well 
as in that of her native one. In short, Miss 
Mansel resembled an automaton wound up to 
go through a certain number of exhibitions, all 
of which she performed with precision ; and 
this, in fashionable circles — the only society she 

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280 THE BEAUTY 

frequented — was amply sufficient to satisfy those 
who look not beyond the surface, of the just 
claims the young lady possessed to the applause 
with which her exhibitions were crowned. The 
admiration which the musical talents of Miss 
Mansel excited, induced her vain mother to 
give frequent concerts, at which most of the 
celebrated public singers of the day were in- 
vited to assist, and all the extensive circle of 
her fashionable acquaintance were present. It 
was fearful to see this young and innocent girl 
placed by the side of opera-singers, whose vices 
were tolerated for the sake of their voices; 
and disgusting to mark the easy familiarity 
with which some of these signers and signoras 
returned the condescending politeness of their 
patrons. 

Miss Mansel not only soon became inured to 
the public exhibition of her musical talents, but 
the applause they excited became necessary to 
her enjoyment. All her other accomplishments 
were neglected, that this one should have more 
time bestowed on its cultivation ; and she sub- 
mitted, without murmuring, to a Csttigue nearly 
equal to that to which the professional singers, 

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AND HER SISTER. 281 

with whom she was so constantly brought into 
contact, were subjected. 

** I shall follow your advice, and propose to 
Miss Mansel," said Lord Westonville, a bache- 
lor of forty, to his lady mother. 

Certain symptoms of a want of renovation 
in both health and purse, had led his lordship 
to adopt this prudent resolution ; but he was 
wiUing to lead his mother to imagine, that in 
the adoption, he was wholly influenced by her 
advice. 

** She is no beauty, it is true,'' continued he, 
with something like a sigh (for he still retained 
some portion of his youthful predilection in 
favour of good looks) ; ** but she is an admirable 
musician, and sings charmingly." 

" Yes," replied Lady Westonville, " she is, 
indeed, a most accomplished young woman, and 
let me tell you, such are the most rational com- 
panions after all. For my part, I am astonished 
that men can be so silly as to marry beauties — 
(her ladyship had never been one) — ^but such 
folly generally brings its own punishment. 
Look at Lord Leominster — see what he got by 
marrying a beauty ; then there is Mr. Marly, 

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^82 THE BEAUTY 

what a position is he placed in I and all for- 
sooth, because he would marry a beauty — I have 
no patience with such fools I" and the good old 
lady got angry at the bare recollection of the 
folly on which she commented. 

''Well then, the die is cast," said Lord 
Westonville ; and, in truth, had he not so fre- 
quently cast the die^ he had not been compelled 
to seek a rich wife instead of a handsome one ; 
" To-morrow I will make the offer." The offer 
was made, and accepted eagerly by Lady Mansel, 
to whom the ancient noblesse and high fashion 
of the suitor were irresistible attractions; and 
calmly by her daughter, whose most pleasurable 
anticipation of the future, arose from the power 
she concluded that her marriage would confer, 
— of giving many, and going to all the recherche 
concerts of every season. She thought with 
complacency, of the vast extent of the library 
at WestonviUe-house, and fully decided on dis- 
lodging the precious tomes that filled it, and 
converting it into a salle'de-musique, where she 
should preside, surrounded by applauding ofno- 
teurs and envious professors. When bantered 
by some of his 7'otie companions on the prospect 

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AND HER SISTER. 283 

of his becoming a Benedict, Lord Westonville 
would laughingly assert, that he would acquire 
harmony at least, by the change, and that he 
gained not^s in every way by the arrangement, 
— ^while the bride elect declared that she would 
give mch concerts as would excite the envy of 
all London. 

The marriage soon took place, '' the happy 
conple," — as the newspapers announced them 
to be, — were whirled off with all due celerity 
to his lordship's country seat, where the new 
made matron was delighted by finding a ball- 
room affording ample space for a salle-'de' 
mu9iquef large -enough to hold five hundred 
people comfiyrtably, as she styled it 

'' But where are they to be found ?" asked 
her lord ; '' and where are the performers to 
come from?" 

" Can we not manage it, as easily as they do 
the musical festivals, in the provincial towns ?" 
was the sapient reply of the lady. 

" Why, not quite so easily," rejoined Lord 
Westonville, "the performers being, in the 
eases you allude to, paid from the funds received 
from the audience ; and, as I conclude your 

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284 THE BEAUTY 

ladyship— (and he uttered this with a smile 
approaching to a sneer) — does not intend to 
sell admissions to your concerts, the expense of 
those on the extensive scale you propose would 
he far too great for most private fortunes, and 
certainly for mine ; so you must make up your 
mind to be satisfied with performing to a very 
limited audience, while we are in the country." 
We will leave the " happy couple to pass the 
honey-moon," with as little discord and as few 
jars as may be expected between two persons 
so little formed to play a duet together ; while 
we return to Emily, the unaccomplished beauty, 
now installed in all the honours of a successful 
debutante^ for fashionable celebrity, much to 
the satisfaction of her lady mother, and the 
great delight of herself. Admiration followed 
her steps wherever she turned ; every girl with 
pretensions to beauty, — and many without any 
cause for such, — adopted her coiffure^ while 
affecting to depreciate the fisice it so well suited. 
Robes were named c^ter^ songs written on, and 
galoppes and mazourkas composed Jar her. 
The newspapers *' prated of her whereabouts'' 
with all the flattering unction with which these 

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AND HER SISTER. S85 

signs of the times first dictate to the puhlic, and 
then re-echo its voice. No one off the stage ever 
danced so well as the beautiful Emily ; and this 
her sole accomplishment (we mean no puni)made 
dancing the rage during the hottest summer 
ever remembered in London. She insured the 
brilliant success of a fancy-fair, by the announce- 
ment of her intended presence ; and the sale of 
an annual, by granting her portrait for its fron- 
tispiece. She bore her blushing honours joy- 
ously, if not meekly, satisfied with herself and 
the world— that is, the fashionable world, the 
only one of which she knew any thing. Life 
seemed to her as a continued festival, during 
this the first season of her entrance to society. 
Fdte followed ffete, and ball — ^ball, interrupted 
only by operas, plays and concerts. A train of 
admirers hovered round her at night, at every 
party she attended, and caracoled beside her 
carriage as she was driven through the Park, 
to the excitement of no slight portion of envy 
in the breasts of her contemporaries, if not 
competitors. 

Many were the aspirants for her smiles, and 



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286 THE BEAUTY 

some of the number were well disposed to 
seek her hand ; but as yet, no one of her 
admirers satisfied the ambitious views of her 
mother, who, in the plenitude of her wisdom, 
made high rank and great wealth (two advan- 
tages that, of, late years, rarely meet in the 
same person), indispensable requisites in the 
fortunate man who was to possess the hand of 
her beautiful daughter. Among the crowd of 
admirers there was one, whose air dutingui 
and fine countenance had excited a more than 
common interest in the mind of Emily. 

At the first two or three balls at which they 
had met he had been her partner, but after 
that, though she saw him at every ball given 
during the season, he sought her hand no 
more, and only noticed her by a formal bow. 
This piqued her curiosity, — if it did not do 
more ; and more than once she involuntarily 
looked towards him, but quickly turned her 
eyes in another direction, on finding his fixed 
on her face, with a glance that betokened 
evident admiration. How strange, that he 
should appear to admire, and yet not approach 



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AND HER SISTER. 



287 



ler I And frequently did Emily find herself 
ndeavouring to solve this unaccountahle con- 
iuct of his. 

Henry Wilmot, for so was this gentleman 
lamed, occupied more of the thoughts of the 
eauty than did all her admirers put together. 
She was not in love with him, it is true, hut 
he was very well disposed to hecome so, pro- 
dded she had any good reason to think that 
ie loved her ; for Emily possessed a large share 
>f modesty and maidenly reserve, and was of 
he same opinion as Lady Mary Wortly Mon- 
ague, who, in her verses to Sir William 
lounge, says — 

'* Oar wishes slioiild be in our keeping, 
Till you tell ub what they should be.** 

Though, hy the hye, and par parenthese. Lady 
Mary was, at the moment she wrote the said 
verses, violating the decorimi she praised, as 
the lines that follow those we have quoted 
[X)nt4in a decided declaration of love for the 
baronet, which drew from him as decided a 
rejection and rehuke bs ever was written. No ; 
Emily was not a girl to let herself love a man, 
however captivating, who had not professed 



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288 THE BEAUTY 

himself captivated^ though she did think oftener 
of Henry Wilmot than she had ever thought of 
any of his sex. 

The season drew to a close, and many a dis- 
appointed hope and aching heart marked its 
rapid flight. The streets became hotter and 
more deserted ; the mignonette was running fast 
to seed in all the windows of the fashionable 
squares and streets ; and the flowers, nearly as 
faded as their mistresses, were no longer redo- 
lent of sweets, but nearly covered with dust, 
drooped their withered petals over the jardi- 
niers that they lately adorned. Dense clouds 
of dust, and unsavory odours assailed the eves 
and olfactory nerves of those who went into the 
streets, and ,the Park resembled a vast sheet 
of too often washed nankeen, the sun having 
" made the green" one dingy yellow ; over 
which the smoke-dried trees waved their dusty 
leaves. A few carriages still rolled along, in 
which sat young ladies, straining their eyes to 
catch a view, en passant, of the last beaiix of 
summer^ the Lord Johns, Henrys, and Edwards, 
the partners of many a ball ; and a few fiedr 
equestrians might still be seen cantering along; 

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AND HER SISTER. 289 

while groups of young men were arranging 
tbeir parties for grouse shooting in Scotland, 
with all the animation that the prospect of a 
change of scene and habits never fail to pro- 
duce in the sybarite minds of such idlers. Here 
and there might be seen some gallant gay Lo- 
thario, with pale-yellow gloved hand resting on 
the door of a britscha, whose mistress listened 
with anxiety to the whispered plan of meetings, 
at whatever place her liege lord intended to take 
her during the autumn; and husbands were 
assiduously looking after — ^not their own — ^but 
the wives of their friends, and arranging visits 
at their different chateaux during the partridge 
and pheasant shooting. 

Many a fair cheek had lost its bloom, and 
many a heart its peace, during the last three 
months ; and many were those, who now going 
into the distasteful solitude of a country-house, 
or the more distasteful amphibious existence of 
a watering-place, carried with them the memory 
of blighted hopes and remembered errors, while, 
perhaps, the selfish men who had led to both, 
were anticipating with pleasure a total change 
of scene, and an escape from the shackles, either 

VOL. II. o 

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990 rUE BEAUTY 

imposed, or threatened to be imposed, on their 
freedom. h(mg bills and long hoes were pre- 
valent; husbands looked sulky, &ther8 rawose, 
mothers grave, and yomig wives mdanoholy. 
But, alas! for those who wished to become 
wives, and saw the day of departure draw near, 
with the conviction that the part of die old pro- 
verb which states that ^' man proposes and God 
disposes,'' is ontrue now-ardays ; for never were 
men so little given to proposing, except it be at 
icartS^ — they, indeed, were in a most pitiable 
state I 

How did the aombra perspective of the pa- 
ternal mansion, with its diamal occupations, 
and long drowsy evenings, alarm them I The 
grassy parks, with their nsUe old trees, qmad- 
ing their mnbrageous shadows over herds of 
browsing deer or glossy kine,— the interminable 
avenues, across which glided the timid hare, or 
the woods through which flew the startled phea* 
sants, were thought of with dread, as compared 
with the parched and dusky Paric; where^ if 
neither shade nor freshness was to be obtamed, 
beaux were to be met with, and hope might be 
indttlged. But to return from young ladies in 



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AND HER SI8TER. ^l 

general, to one young lady in particular, Emily 
saw the close of the season arrive with much 
the same feelings that she would have left a hril- 
hBnt/He — the regret of its departure cheered 
by the belief of its certain renewal. Her cheek 
was a shade more pale, her eyes a degree less 
brilliant than three months before; for late 
hours, heated rooms, and the rational mode — 
universally adopted during a London season — 
of running through a course of balls, routs, 
operas, concerts, and plays, that would impair 
the most robust constitution, had somewhat 
weakened hers, and rendered a temporary re- 
tirement necessary, if not desirable. She never- 
theless quitted London the undeposed sovereign 
of its beauties, having reigned, and been acknow- 
ledged as such a whole season, — an empire that 
few beauties have so long sustained undisputed. 
We pass over the long autumn, and longer 
'winter, spent in the country, which intervened 
between her first and second season in London, 
lest our readers might find die detail of it as 
dun as our heroine did the reality. Accus- 
tomed to the factitious excitement of continual 
amosement, and as continual admiration, the 

o2 

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292 THE BEAUTT 

monotony of a country life appeared insupport- 
ably dull to one who possessed so very few re- 
sources within herself, for rendering the flight 
of the arch enemy. Time, less tediously felt 
Dancing, the only accomplishment she had 
acquired, was nearly useless, when its practice 
was only called into action at an occasional dull 
county ball, to be opened with a still more dull 
county member, or provincial dandy. BooIls 
she was debarred from enjoying by the prohi- 
bition of her mother, who left but few, and 
those not of an amusing character, within her 
reach ; so that it is not to be wondered at, that 
poor Emily sighed for the return of spring, 
when she anticipated again enjoying the same 
round of brilliant amusements and intoxicating 
admiration, that had rendered the past season 
so delightful to her. It is true there were mo- 
ments—nay, more than moments — hours, when 
wandering through the fine scenery of her home, 
her heart acknowledged the charms of all-beau- 
teous nature, and her imagination revelled in 
them. The velvet lawns, the fields enamelled 
with flowers, the trees waving their leafy ho- 
nours over grassy mounds, rendered almost 

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AND HER SISTER. 293 

impervious to the sunbeams that tried to pierce 
through them, and the rising woods, whose 
dense green seemed as a verdant wall, exclu- 
ding all, save the blue mountains, and bluer 
skies that rose above them. The wild birds 
sending forth notes of joy, and the rich flowers 
exhaling perfume, — each, and all of these had 
charms for Emily; but she wanted some one 
to whom she could say how charming all this 
was: or, perhaps, she wanted still more that 
cultivation of mind that would have enabled 
her to derive a still greater enjoyment — an all- 
sufficing sense of peaceful happiness, and grati- 
tude from such scenes and objects. The poetry 
of such scenes was slumbering in her soul as 
music in an instrument, but it required a master 
hand to awaken it. 

Behold her once more whirled into the giddy 
vortex of fashion, fully counting on being again, 
as formerly, its idol. 

Alas I she was now a deposed sovereign; 
another, not a fairer, but a newer votary, was 
proclaimed the reigning beauty of the season ; 
and Emilv found herself thrown down from the 



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9Q^ THE BEAUTY 

throne, to which, only a few fleeting months 
before, she had been elevated by the fickle 
crowd, who now offered to her successor the 
homage that had been hers, and burned the 
incense that had smoked on the altars raised 
to her charms, on that erected to those of 
another. Her coiffure was no Icmger adopted 
by other belies; her peculiarities no longer imi- 
tated;, robes were no more named alter her; 
songs no longer written on, nor new gallopades 
nor waltzes dedicated to her. Fancy-fairs hailed 
her no more as their magnet of attraction, and 
annuals sought not her countenance. In short, 
she had fallen into the sear and yellow leaf, — 
her occupation was gone I 

Emily looked into the mirror to see if this 
strange change in her late brilliant positicm 
arose from a diminution in the beauty that had 
achieved her empire ; but for once a mirror 
deceived not; for it gave back from its po- 
lished surface the same lovely face, only wear- 
ing a more reflective expression than it exhi- 
bited the year before. Ix)ndon now became 
irksome to her; wherever she went she saw 



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AND HER SISTBR. 295 

her suocesflor receiving the homage so lately 
hers, or heard the most exaggerated reports of 
her charms» and their influenoe. 

*' I too was a heauty I'* sighed poor Emily, in 
the solitude of her dressing-room ; when, with 
more pensiveness than the Arcadians are re- 
presented on perusing the inscription on the 
tomln in Poussin's delineation of one of the 
fairest scenes in Arcady the Blest» she contem* 
plated her own image in the mirror. 

**Bttt of what advantage was my heauty?" 
soliloquized Emily; **it won me a short-lived 
admiration, it is true, hut it did not win me 
love." And then followed the recollectioB of 
Hei^ry Wilmot, mingled with a feminine curi-> 
osity, in which a stronger feeling than mere 
womanly vanity might he traced, of whether he 
too admired the new heauty ? ** Ah V* sighed 
Emily, ^^ had I not heen dazzled by the general 
admiration I excited, I might have created a 
real sentiment of affection in some worthy heart; 
but idols meet with more public worship than 
private devotion.'' 

Emily no^ began to thinks a mental operation 
to which few young ladies of seventeen are much 

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296 THE BEAUTY 

prone, and fewer still have leisure or capabili^r 
for, in a London season. Seldom is an acquaint- 
ance formed with thought, without its ripening 
into K friendship— ihe most advantageous per- 
haps of all those which heauty ever forms. She 
sought hooks, and found in the good ones placed 
in her hands hy a few acquaintances, whom her 
unpretending simplicity of character and gentle- 
ness of manners had captivated, a source of 
inexhaustible interest and delight Her mind 
quickly expanded, and her natural acuteness 
enabled her to comprehend, as it were intui- 
tively, and at a grasp, the knowledge that a 
neglected education had hitherto debarred her 
from. The charming naiveU of her remarks, 
and the natural good sense that distinguished 
them, attracted those whom her ephemeral 
celebrity had kept at a distance; and, from their 
conversation, she derived at once instruction 
and delight Her thirst for information was 
only to be satisfied by deep draughts of the 
Pierean spring, and the feusility with which she 
acquired knowledge, soon became apparent. Her 
countenance gained new charms by the expres- 
sion of intelligence it now wore ; and she ceased 

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AND HER SISTER. 297 

to sigh at the recoUection^'-nay, almost to re- 
memher the days of her vain triumph, with 
regret, or to lament its cessation. 

Among the persons who frequented the house 
of Lady Mansel, was Dr. Herbert, a man of 
singular skill in his profession, and as singular 
for the vast erudition with which his mind was 
stored, and the readiness with which its attain- 
ments were brought forth in his conversation, 
which was at once profound yet perspicacious, 
imaginative, and brilliant. Dr. Herbert was 
scarcely more richerchi as a physician, than as 
an instructive and amusing companion : his opi- 
nion on literary points was generally respected; 
and, while prescribing for the bodily ailments 
of his patients, he was never inattentive to the 
mental ones, and could always name the work 
most likely to afford amusement, or beguile the 
tedium of convalescence. It was the good for- 
tune of Emily to attract the attention of this 
clever and worthy man, and to inspire a warm 
interest in his breast. His frequent visits to 
the mother, who was, or fancied herself in want 
of his skill, gave him constant opportunities of 
conversing with the daughter. He supplied 

o3 

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298 THE BEAUTY 

her with well chosen books, and elicited her 
sentiments on them, drawing forth her dormant 
powers of mind, and, by supplying it only with 
healthful food, strengthened while cultivating 
it. Dr. Herbert was also the physician of Mrs. 
Wilmot, and happened, inadvertently, while 
sitting with that lady one day, to mention what 
a charming person Miss Mansel was. 

"Yes, very beautiful, I understand," said 
Mrs. Wilmot ; — " but uninformed — a mere 
beauty." 

" But a very unspoilt one, mother," observed 
her son, who was looking over the morning 
papers ; " for I never saw a girl so much 
admired betray so little symptom of vanity." 

It was now the turn of Dr. Herbert to speak, 
and he pronounced an eloquent eulogium on 
Emily : he admitted how grievously, her educa- 
tion had been neglected, and dwelt with anima* 
tion on the good sense that led her to apply, 
with such patient diligence, to repair this mis- 
fortune, and the natural ability that rendered 
this task so easy and successfuL In short, the 
good doctor said all that he thought, and nothing 
more than his prot^g6e deserved; and as he was 



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AND HSR SISTEIU 299 

known to be no €nthuuast> his opinion was 
respected by bis faearerst one of whom was but 
too well disposed to belieye all that could be 
asserted in favour of the beautiful girl he had 
danced with twd or three times the previous 
season, and avoided ever after. Why had he 
avoided her ? Ah, there lies the mystery I — a 
mystery that ofben puzzled and paiued the fair 
Emily to solve, but which, if she had solved, 
the pain would not have been diminished. 

Attracted by her beauty, Henry Wilmot had 
sought an introducticm to Miss Mansel, though 
with a preconceived prejudice against professed 
beauties, that required all the unaffected mo» 
desty of Emily's demeanour to conquer suf- 
ficiently, for him to seek her acquaintance. 
He attributed to maidenly reserve and youthful 
timidity, the monosyllabic replies with which 
she met all his remarks on the last new novel, 
or the light literature of the day. He held in 
dread, if not in horror, the well read young 
ladies of the modem school, who read all, 
judge all, and pronounce on aU, with courage 
at least, if not often with judgment ; yet still 
he could have wished that the lovely creature 



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SOO THE BEAUTY 

he was addressing had been less reserved in 
expressing her opinions ; for he thought, and 
with reason, that there is no better criterion 
for judging of a woman, than by the books she 
prefers, and the passages in them that she 
remembers. He consoled himself with the 
belief, that so intelligent a countenance could 
not belong to a dull or weak intellect, and that 
on a further acquaintance, her reserve would 
subside, and permit him to form a better esti- 
mate of her mental qualifications. 

At this epoch, dining one day at Lady 
Tyrconnel's, where the beauty of Miss Mansel 
was the subject of conversation, some one re- 
marked that that young lady was very deficient 
in conversation, never replying but in mono- 
syllables. 

" That is not very extraordinary," observed 
Lady Tyrconnel; "for her late governess is 
now with my daughters; and a very clever, 
intelligent person she is ; and she tells me, that 
Lady Mansel prohibited her second daughter's 
being instructed in any of the accomplishments 
taught young ladies, dancing, alone excepted, 
fearful that the application necessary for acquir- 



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AND HER SISTER. 301 

ing them might impair her beauty ; so that the 
poor girl literally knows nothing, being only 
sufficiently instructed to prevent her speak- 
ing ungrammatically in French or English. 
Mademoiselle Lavasseur declares, that since 
her infancy the poor young person has heard 
of nothing but her beauty, and that conse- 
quently, she is bite comme Dieu sait qitoi. 
Lady Westonville, the elder sister, not being 
a beauty, ,was allowed to acquire all that 
mademoiselle could teach her, aided by the 
best masters in London. ; so she is, I under- 
stand, a prodigy of accomplishments." 

As Lady Tyrconnel was known to be neither 
peculiarly ill-natured, nor of unstrict veracity, 
had no daughters to bring out, whose success 
in society Kmily might have endangered, and 
was herself past the age of being either envious 
or jealous of the beauty of the season, Henry 
Wilmot listened to her statement with painful 
interest, and a perfect belief in its correctness. 
Now were the monosyllabic replies of Emily 
accounted for, and the resolution formed, which 
he afterwards adhered to, of avoiding her ; for 
a merely beautiful girl, without mental cultiva* 

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302 THE BBAUTT 

tion, was^ in his opinion, little better than an 
automaton, and one he should blush to love ; 
though to loTe her he felt a very growing 
inclination. Dr. Herbert's description renewed 
all this feeling ; and the first time he encoun- 
tered Emily at a ball, he, to her surprise and 
pleasure, asked her to dance. 

The gaUope over, seated by the side of his 
fair partner, Henry Wilmot talked on the 
common topics of the day, and no longer 
was he answered by concise negatives or affir* 
matives, though her manner was quite as fiir 
removed from that unbecoming freedom which 
marks so many young ladies, as from the stupid 
common-places that appertain to the conversa- 
tion of others of the sex. Her observations 
were characterised by good sense, refined taste, 
and that delicate tact which is a sure proof of 
mental superiority, and were delivered in words 
at once well chosen and elegant, and with a 
tone and manner equally removed from an 
awkward reserve, as from levity or boldness. — 
Henry Wilmot became fascinated, and sought 
the hand of Emily at every ball diuring the 
season ; while she, never opened a book without 



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AND HER SISTER. 903 

wondering what Mr. Wilmot would think of it, 
or dressed for a fdte, without hoping that her 
toilette would please him. It was towards the 
close of the season, at a dej&Ani given to five 
hundred friends, hj the Marchioness of Wal* 
dershaw at her beautiful villa, that Henry 
Wilmot declared himself the lover of Emily, 
and sought her permission to address her 
mother. She had known, for some time, that 
he loved her } for what woman, however young, 
remains long ignorant of a passion she has 
inspired ? and least of all, when she partakes 
it. Yet this avowal, though it convinced her 
of what she would have been wretched to doubt, 
the afPection of him to whom she had given her 
heart even before he asked it, brought a pang, 
that foUowed quickly the first joyful sensation, 
almost overpowered by maiden bashfulness, 
that his declaration filled her soul with. 

Emily remembered with dread her mother's 
often repeated assertion, that never would she 
grant her hand to any untitled suitor, whatever 
his wealth might be, and that nothing less than 
a marquisite, at least, would satisfy her views. 
Knowing this, and knowing also the obstinacy 



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304 THE BEAUTY 

of her mother's character, why — why had she 
encouraged the attentions of Mr. Wilmot ? and 
why had she allowed herself to love one whose 
suit her mother never would sanction ? These 
were questions that Emily asked herself, alas I 
too late. The mischief was done, and her heart 
shrank before the prospect that presented itself 
to her mind. How was she to tell Henry that 
nothing short of a strawberry-leaf coronet could 
satisfy her mother's views ? And yet, was it 
not better to tell him so, in kind and sorrowing 
words, than let the avowal come in harsh and 
imperious ones from her mother ? Henry Wil- 
mot's fortune was so large, and his family so 
ancient, that it never occurred to him that 
Lady Mansel could reject his proposal ; hence 
the embarrassment and pensive air of Emily 
alarmed and almost offended him. She broke 
her mother's sentiments to him with all the 
tact that so peculiarly belonged to her ; and to 
console him, promised that to no one save him, 
should the little hand that trembled in his, ever 
belong. 

In short, Emily left the garden of Walder-^ 
shaw-house, with plighted vows, though she 

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AND HER SISTER. 305 

sighed as she reflected how remote was the 
period at which (if ever) she could become 
Henry Wihnot's wife. She saw, in triste per- 
spective, long — long years of hope deferred and 
sickness of heart ; with candidates for her hand, 
encouraged by her mother, and repulsed by 
herself, and the consequent discord her repulses 
would be sure to cause, embittering her life. 
All this, and more, Emily foreboded, for she 
bad imagination as well as sense ; and never did 
a young lady seek her pillow the night of the 
first positive avowal of love from the man she 
prefers, with more sadness than did she. 
'' Yes," sighed Emily, Shakspeare was right, 

** The conne of true love never did run smooth. 
But either it wis different in blood— 
Or dse mi^nfted, in respect of years ; 
Or else it stood upon the choice of friends — 
Or if there were a sympathy in choice. 
War, death, or sickness did lay siege to it. 
Making it momentary as a sound. 
Swift as a shadow, short as any dream. 
Brief as the lightning in the oollied night. 
That (in a spleen) unfolds both heav*n and earth ; 
And, ere a man hath power to say behold. 
The jaws of darkness do devour it up— 
So quick bright things come to confusion.** 

" And now mine will be the dreary lot of 
dragging on existence with a heart and hand 



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306 THE BEAUTY 

pUgbted to one, whom my Bother never will 
sanction*" 

Pkurents find it difficult to understand that 
the creature, who for years was ohedient to 
their commands, and dependent od their will, 
should, on arriTing at womanhood, refiiae com- 
pliance with the first, and assert their inde- 
pendence of the second. They forget that 
their offspring, in ceasing to be dbildren, are 
prone to entertain sentiments and opinicms that 
are often totally opposite to theirs, and are 
jealous of the freedom of volition, if not of 
action, that they seek to display. 

To permit daughters to think, feel, or act 
for themselves, is far from agreeable to the 
generality of parents ; who feel it, as one may 
imagine the parent bird of a nest to do when 
she first sees her young ones take wing and 
then fly away for ever, while she is left to 
brood over the forsaken nest* It never entered 
into the weak mind of Lady Mansel, that her 
daughter could for a moment dispute her wisbes, 
and this conviction she too often betrayed in the 
avowal of her plans and expectations for Emily's 
future prospects, to admit of her remaining 

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AND HER SISTSR. 807 

ignorant of her mothw'g imagined supremaey 
not onlj over her ccmdud hut her destinj^. 
Luckily fiur her danghter^ Lady Hansel seldom 
attended halls and routs, so that she was con- 
fided to the care of a chaperone^ who observed 
not, or if she observed, reported not to madame 
mdrcj the constant attentions of Mr. Wilmot to 
Emily. 

A visit was now to be paid to Lady Weston- 
ville, the first since her marriage ; as that lady 
had not seen her mother or sister since that 
period, Lord Westonville not having quitted 
his seat in the country since he had taken his 
bride there.- Melancholy was the parting of 
Emily and Henry Wilmot, yet she resisted his 
urgent entreaties, and the secret inclinations of 
her own heart, to keep up a clandestine corres- 
pondence with him. ' When were they to meet 
again? was a question, that both scarcely 
dared to ask themselves, for the next spring 
seemed at an interminable distance from August, 
to those who loved, and must be through these 
long intervening months separated. Both felt 
— but Emily's woman^s heart much more poig- 
nantly — the certainty that day after day, week 

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808 THE BEAUTY AND HER SISTER. 

after week, and month after month, must roll 
away before they could again meet To breathe 
the same air, to be sure that their eyes would 
encounter in the streets or in the Park, each 
and every day, had hitherto given happiness ; 
then the balls, routs, and concerts, where they 
could always exchange a few words, and where 
Emily could, and regularly did, d la d^robi^ 
give Henry the bouquet she had worn — had 
kept alive hope and strengthened afiection, and 
was much to hearts that loved like theirs, — 
and now all this was to cease t 



END OF VOL. II. 



PIUXTXO BY WILLIAM Wl UXXJKaOH* ROLLB BUI1J>IIC(M, WMTtEM. I.AJI1. 



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THE 

LOTTERY OF LIFE, 

VOL. III. 



dbyGoogk 



dbyGoogk 



THE 



LOTTERY OF LIFE. 



BY 



THE COUNTESS OF BLESSINGTON. 



After long ttonnci aod tcmpefU orciblowiie. 
The Sunne u length hli Joyous face doCh dme: 
So when m Fortune all her spight hath ihowne. 
Some bliaftful boun at last must needes appcare. 
Else should afBkrted wights ofUimes despeere. 

SrXViBK'S FaBBT QVBMfB. 



IN THREE VOLUMES, 
VOL. III. 



LONDON: 
HENRY COLBURN, PUBLISHER, 

OBBAT MABLBOBOVOH 8TBEET. 
18^. 



d by Google 




ntnn-Ko bt wiluam wivoocwmK^ motx» bcilsow*, mm un> 



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CONTENT& 



VOL. III. 

YAOB 

THX BSAUTT AKD HXB 8I8TBB, (PABT II.) .1 

TBS AMTIDOTS TO LOTE 87 

TBS OLD IRISH OBNTLSMAN 117 

XADBUNA 151 

ANNETTE; OB, THE OALERIAN 183 

TBS YOONO MOTHCm ....... 195 

THE CHALET IN THE ALPS •>. '.' \ * ' . . . 219 

SEMOB8E, A TBAOMENT : ', ' -^X .^ . • 241 

THOUGHTS ON LORD BYRON , * f ' , . .251 

APROPOS or BORES 259 

TBS BAY OP NAPLES IN TBE SUMMER OF 1824 . 287 

TBS PARVENUS 271 



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THE 



BEAUTY AND HER SISTER. 



PART II. 

The journey to Weston ville Castle, was as 
dull as a journey could be, undertaken by 
a mother who thought only of two objects : 
the first, the pleasure of seeing in her own 
baronial castle, in all its feudal splendour, 
the daughter, for whom she had secured the 
rank and privileges of nobility ; and the second, 
the expectation of soon seeing her second 
daughter even more brilliantly placed: while 
Emily thought only, that every mile they went, 
took her still further from him she loved, and 
from whom, long — long months would separate 
her. That either of her daughters could be 

VOL. III. B 

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^2 THE BEAUTY 

unhappy under the circumstances she desired 
for them, their mother would not allow herseK 
to doubt ; for grandeur and wealth were, in 
her opinion, the only real sources of terrestrial 
happiness. 

But as all journeys, whether agreeable or 
otherwise, must have an end, the close of the 
second day brought Lady Mansel and Emily 
to the massive gates of Weston ville Castle ; and 
as a glorious sun-set tinged the well wooded 
landscape before them, and shone on the coro- 
neted griffins that surmounted the columns of 
the gates, the elated mother smiled with com- 
placency, and even condescended to acknow- 
ledge by a stately bow, the low one of the grey- 
headed porter, as he threw back the gates to 
give her carriage entrance. Every step, as they 
approached the castle, increased the happiness 
of Lady Mansel, for every object presented to 
her sight spoke of grandeur, and above all, 
of feudal grandeur, ^fhe inequalities of the 
richly wooded park, here rising into abrupt 
acclivities crowned with oaks, coeval with the 



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AND HER SISTER. 3 

castle, and there spreading out into green and 
velvet lawns, through which serpentined a clear 
and rapid river, spanned by a handsome stone 
bridge of one arch, that might have vied with 
that of the famed Rialto at Venice, for its beauty 
and solidity. Herds of deer were browsing 
around, and flocks of sheep, and droves of 
cows, were seen in the distance, winding their 
way to the homestead. 

The repose and freshness of the scene was 
soothing to the feeKngs of Emily, and as she 
caught a view of the green vistas, past which 
the carriage was rapidly whirled, she mentally 
promised herself the enjoyment of many a ram- 
ble among them. Nothing increases a love 
of rural scenery, or enhances its enjoyment so 
much, as a love of reading. Emily, during the 
last few months, had acquired a passion for it, 
and the books judiciously selected by Dr. Her- 
bert, and afterwards chosen by Henry Wilmot, 
had been perused with an avidity, and were 
remembered with a distinctness, known only to 
those bom with an inherent love of literature, 

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4 THE BEAUTY 

and long debarred from the power of gratifying 
their taste for it. Every fair scene in nature 
now excited new feelings of delight in Emily ; 
she traced in them the sources of inspiration of 
the poets who had the most captivated her fancy ; 
and in the thousand nameless but delicious sen- 
sations they awakened in her breast, and the 
thoughts to which they gave rise, Emily was 
herself a poet, though totally unconscious of it. 

" How different is Westonville Castle from 
the generality of noblemen's seats I " exclaimed 
Lady Mansel, as she caught the first view of 
its lofty towers and massive buttresses, rising 
through stately trees, " This is indeed a castle, 
and a feudal one ; how unlike the modern puny 
buildings, misnamed castles, with their white 
stone fronts and tiny towers, looking like card- 
castles or baby-houses for overgrown puppets. 
How happy Priscilla must be, as the mistress 
of such a residence 1 " 

The good lady's soliloquy was interrupted by 
their arriving at the drawbridge, and as the 
carriage rattled over it with a stunning noise, 



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AND HER SISTER. 5 

that nearly deafened Emilv, she could hear her 
mother's voice, expressing her admiration of 
even this somewhat disagreeable remains of 
baronial grandeur. 

Lord Westonville met them in the entrance- 
hall, all courtesy ; and Lady Westonville having 
hastily embraced her mother, was in Emily's 
arms, where she was long and fondly pressed, 
before the latter had time to look around her. 
Not so Lady Mansel : she saw, remarked, and 
praised all, to the evident satisfaction of her 
noble son-in-law, as he led her along, Lady 
Westonville and her sister following. 

** How glad I am that you are come, dear 
Emily I" said the mistress of the castle. " This 
is such a dull place that I am ennuii nearly to 
extinction ; no balls, no concerts — only think, 
Emily, no concerts I — you look incredulous, but 
positively it is true. No one to applaud when 
one sings, or to understand when one has con- 
quered a difficulty in music. Apropos of dif- 
ficulties — only fancy when I had been prac- 
tising for several hours to make myself perfect 



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THE BEAUTY 

in a most difficult cavatina, which I at length 
mastered, and appealed to Lord Westonville if 
it was not very difficult, his coolly answering 
that it was, hut that he only wished it had 
heen impossible; and when I told him that 
it was a very uncivil remark, he said he 
supposed I, of course, knew who had origi- 
nally made it? I naturally concluded it was 
himself, and told him so ; when — would you be- 
lieve it, Emily ? — he looked very ill-natured, and 
said that if half the time given to conquer such 
difficulties as the one I had just achieved was 
bestowed in acquiring useful information, men 
would more frequently find rational companions 
than scientific performers in their wives, and 
that I should not be ignorant that it was the 
celebrated Dr. Johnson who had originally 
made the observation he had repeated." 

The splendid library into which Lord Wes- 
tonville led Lady Mansel, followed by Emily 
and her sister, drew forth expressions of admi- 
ration in Lady Mansel, and excited ^efeeU 
ing in Emily. *• How can any one be dull," 

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AND HER SISTER. 7 

thought she, ^'with such resources as this room 
contains, within her reach?" hut she sighed 
at rememhering how little calculated her sis- 
ter's education had heen to enahle her to appre- 
ciate its treasures, and mentally promised that 
she would use every endeavour to open to her 
that fountain of peace and unalloyed enjoyment 
— reading, — whence she had herself derived so 
much advantage. • 

" Have there heen many hrilliant private con- 
certs this season?" demanded Lady Weston- 
ville of her mother, almost as soon as they were 
seated ; a question that hrought a smile, half 
supercilious and half pitying to the lip of her 
lord. 

" Name not concerts to me, my dear Pris- 
cilia," replied Lady Mansel ; " the very name 
makes me nervous." 

Lord Westonville looked applause, and said 
— " Indeed, I do not wonder, for one is posi- 
tively ennuii to death hy them. Every day of 
the season hrings at least half a dozen letters 
fipom signars who play on one string, or who 
have invented an additional one to the regular 

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8 THE BEAUTY 

number ; from prodigies from every land, with 
most, unpronounceable names, and unbearable 
performances, who come to England, that cul- 
de-sac and el dorado for charlatans to chanone 
theAr notes for ours, and laugh at our credulity 
in believing in their wonderful attractions." 

" How can you say so?" said Lady Weston- 
ville ; " but vou have no soul for music." 

" No, I reserve my soul for something wor- 
thier ; but though I have no soul for music, as 
you say, Priscilla, I have an ear^ and that has 
been often most marvellously offended by the 
wars waged against harmony by many of the 
signors and signoras who come over to discover 
the badness of our climate, the obtuseness of 
our ears, and the gullibility of our natures, and 
go back to their own countries with their easily 
acquired wealth, to laugh at our folly, and pro- 
nounce that there is no nation that knows so 
little of music as ours, or pays so extravagantly 
for it," 

** You are always declaiming against music," 
said Lady Westonville. 

**No, you mistake, Priscilla; it is the abuse, 

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AND HER SISTER. 9 

and not the use of music to which I object. I 
think good music a high source of gratifica- 
tion, and a great humanizer of the mind and 
temper." 

" But you object, as I do, my dear lord," 
chimed in Lady Mansel, with an air of self- 
complacency, '' to being pestered all day, and 
every day, with beseeching letters to honour 
signor this, or signora that's concert with your 
patronage ^ and at having, heaven only knows 
how many half-guineas to pay for tickets one 
never used, and to people one hopes never to 
see." 

** But, dear mamma, you used to like concerts 
nearly as well as I do ; how comes it then that 
you have lost your taste for them ?" 

<< I never liked public concerts, Priscilla, I 
can assure you ; and only liked private ones for 
the pleasure of. seeing all the mothers of my 
acquaintance dying with envy and jealousy, at 
your so far excelling their daughters." 

Emily blushed at the stupid avowal ; Lady 
Westonville looked pleased at having her past 

bS 

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10 THE BEAUTT 

triumphs referred to ; and her lord's elevated 
eye-brows, and a suppressed smile that played 
over his lips» denoted that his favourable opinion 
of his mother-in-law was not increased by her 
candour. 

While looking over the newspapers, at a late 
breakfast next day. Lord Westonville announced 
that ** His majesty had been graciously pleased 
to create William Henry Wilmot, Earl of Dun- 
keld. Marquis of Dunkeld, with remainder 
to his son, Henry Cxeorge Wilmot, Viscount 
Finmore, and in case of his dying without 
male issue lawfully begotten, the marquisate 
to descend to the next male heir, and to his 
heirs," 

" How unaccountable," saidLord Westonville, 
*^ that one of the oldest of the Scots earls could 
condescend to accept a new made title ; for my 
part, I cannot understand such a want of self- 
respect," and he drew himself up with an air 
of dignity. *' I have heard that he found great 
difficulty in persuading the premier to consent 
to the patent's being extended beyond his son, 



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AND HER SISTER. 1 1 

but patience and perseverance have accom- 
plished it." 

Emily felt the blood mount to her cheeks at 
this allusion to Henry Wilmot ; but as no one 
of the party were aware of the interest she took 
in him, her blushes passed unnoticed. 

** Well, I am almost as great an admirer of 
ancient titles as your lordship can be," said 
Lady Mansel, *^ of which I gave a proof in 
making poor dear Sir Hildebrand refuse to be 
made a baron, when his late majesty was gra- 
ciously pleased to offer .to bestow that dignity 
on him. * No, Sir Hildebrand,' said I when he 
showed me a letter from the premier, ' let us 
not be among the new made nobility ; I prefer 
being the wife of the oldest baronet in England 
to being .that of the youngest baron ;' never- 
theless a marquisate, added to so ancient an 
earldom, is not to be slighted, and I think 
Lord Dunkeld was right in accepting it." 

" Mamma has not forgotten her predilection 
for strawberrj-leaved coronets," thought Emily 
with a sigh, ** and would be now more disposed 



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12 THE BEAUTT 

to be civil to Henry on account of this remote 
chance of poBsessing one." Lady Mansel having 
various letters of importance (as she said) to 
write, but which, in fact, were merely epistles to 
several of her female friends, who having been 
less fortunate than herself in finding magnifi- 
cent feudal castles for their daughters, she was 
impatient to vex and mortify, by a description 
of that which hailed hers for its mistress. Many 
were the letters, dated " Westonville Castle,'' 
and sealed with a seal having a similar inscrip- 
tion, that left her fair and fat hands by the next 
post, in which the most pompous descriptions 
of the place, and the brilliant position of her 
daughter were given, — every line of which 
she knew would speak daggers to the dear 
Mends to whom they were addressed. While 
her ladyship was penning her florid description, 
and Lord Westonville was taking his accus- 
tomed ride, the sisters were left to enjoy a 
Ute-h^Ute. 

" Well, dear Emily," said Lady Westonville, 
intrenching herself in her bergeret " what a 



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AND HER SISTER. 13 

consolation it is for me, to have some one to 
whom I can tell how bored I am in this fine 
castle, that mamma seems to think so charm- 
ing, and that I would willingly barter for the 
smallest house in Upper Brook or Grosvenor 
Street, or even one in a less agreeable position. 
I remember once hearing that tiresome and 
pedantic Lady Roseath say, that in solitude, 
however beautiful, one always wanted some 
person to whom one could say, how beautiful it 
was; but I think one wants much more, to 
have some person to whom one can say, how 
dull — how insufferably dull it is I" and she 
sank into the luxurious chair, with a look of 
exhaustion, and a half-repressed yawn, that 
indicated the ennui to which she had long 
been an unresisting victim. 

** I do all that woman can do to abridge Hhe 
leaden-footed hours,' to which I cannot give 
wings," continued Lady Westonville; ** par 
parenihhey the concetti is, like most Italian 
ones, pretty ; and I met it the other day in a 
song in the last new opera, — mais hitas I quoi 



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14 THE BEAUTY 

fnire? One can't stay in bed much after two 
in the afternoon, nor remain much longer than 
two hours dressing; that brings me to half- 
past four, when I take what old dowagers and 
nurses call an airings which lasts till half-past 
six, through a park that looks as if only made 
for herds of fat deer to browze in, or through 
a village where all the men, women, and chil- 
dren, make bows and coortseys to me; then I 
come home to dress for a drowsy Ute-a-tHe 
dinner, with mio caro sposo, or a nearly as duU 
a one, with a few of our delectable country 
neighbours. Heigh-hbl Emily, who would be 
a dame chdUlaine^ to endure such a vegetating 
kind of existence as mine ?" 

" But your music, Priscilla ; how comes it 
that you have left that, which used to fill up so 
many hours of your time, out of the catalogue 
of your diurnal occupations ?" 

" Simply, cara sorella^ because it no longer 
forms one of them," 

. '* Is it possible, that having arrived at such 
rare excellence, you have left off your music ?" 



dbyGoogk 



AND HER SISTER. 15 

*' Sach is however the fact How was it pos- 
sible to continue to devote whole hours to its 
practice with no- eager ears to listen, or hands 
to applaud— nay, more, with a husband who 
looked like a martyr all the time I was dis- 
playing my skill on the harp or pianoforte? 
As well might you expect an orator to go 
through a long oration, or a professed wit to 
utter his ban rnotSf without a soul to listen, or a 
danseuse to ascend in air (as we have seen the 
sylph-like Queen of Dance, Taglioni do) with- 
out the beating of white gloves, as me to practice 
without the cheering prospect of applause." 

" But do you not read ?** 

'* Oh, yes I all the musical reviews in the 
papers, the accounts of all the concerts and 
operas, and critiques on the singers." 

" You don't read any of the light literature 
of the day then?" 

" Light do you call it? Ma foil I find it 
monstrous heavy. Novels on fashionable life 
are so impertinent and untrue, that I have no 
patience with them. They make us talk non- 
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16 THE BEAUTT 

sense below oar intellects^ or epigranunatic witty 
sentences above them. You know how mono- 
tonously insipid is the routine of fSoshionable 
life, leaving positively nothing to describe; yet 
the modern novelists paint their views of it 
much as the artists paint transparencies, colour- 
ing their pictures much more coarsely than a 
faithful copy of the reality ought to admit'' 

*^ Belle lettre and poetry have surely charms, 
Priscilla?'* 

" Hilas! ma tres chere soBur^ I have not yet 
discovered them ; for I have merely dipped 
lightly into either." 

'^ Let roe, dear Priscilla, make you Jbetter 
acquainted with them ; for though I have 
only recently cultivated their intimacy myself, 
I long to induce you to like them; you, m 
return, shall teach me the elementary parts of 
the science of music, which at present I love, 
as one ignorant of botany does sweet-scented 
plants, because they are sweet, but without any 
more knowledge." 

*^ Crede tnia, you will find me but an unapt 



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AND HER SISTER. 17 

scholar, sorella ; nevertheless, I will submit to 
your wishes." 

The two sisters forthwith commenced a 
system of mutual instruction ; and as neither 
were deficient in natural ability, their progress 
was rapid. Lady Westonville soon became 
quite as fond of reading as Emily ; and even 
when Lady ManseFs departure left her in soli- 
tude, she no longer felt it, as hitherto, irk- 
some. Her husband having discovered her 
newly acquired taste for study, recommended to 
her attention the works most likely to increase 
it ; and being a well-educated man, opened the 
stores of his mind in conversation with her, 
instead of, as formerly, talking only of trivial 
subjects. Mutual respect and companionship 
sprung up between them ; and her accomplish- 
ments were now considered as most agreeable 
accessories to their evening hours, because no 
longer looked upon by her who possessed them 
as the whole and sole object of a woman's life, 
but as a means of rendering some portion of it 
a source of deUght to herself and others. 

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18 THE BEAUTY 

Lady Mansel and Emily proceeded from 
Westonville Castle to Worthing, where they 
intended sojourning some weeks, for the henefit 
of the sea air, which had heen recommended 
for Emily, whose drooping health and depressed 
spirits had lately excited the fears of her 
mother. 

Emily Mansel was not a love-sick, weak girl, 
abandoning herself to a hopeless passion, though 
it must be confessed, her attachment to Henry 
Wilmot was almost without hope : — ^no, she 
struggled to bear up against the depressing con- 
viction, that her youth, if not her life, might be 
wasted in hope deferred, and her heart sickened 
at the cheerless prospect. During her walks 
on the beach, attended only by her maid and a 
footman, she daily met a group that excited 
her interest, though the persons who composed 
it were unknown to her. It consisted of a 
pale and languid-looking man, of about forty, 
supported by pillows, and wheeled in a merlin 
chair. By his side walked a lady of singular 
beauty, in whose expressive countenatice the 

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AND HER SISTER. 19 

traces of care and anxiety were deeply marked; 
and on a donkey, attended by a male and 
female servant, was seated a lovely boy of 
three years old, whose rosy cheeks and short 
crisp curls, resembling those of the antique 
statue of the infant Hercules, denoted a more 
than ordinary vigour. The appearance of this 
healthful child formed a painful contrast with 
that of the invalid, whose eyes followed the boy 
with an expression of pride and pleasure, that 
betrayed the paternal tie that united them ; 
while the lady looked from the father to the 
son with an air of melancholy, which told that 
the fearful dissimilarity in their aspects had 
not escaped her attention* 

Each day that Emily encountered this group 
the cheek of the invalid grew paler, the eyes 
more eager in their glances, and, as usual, they 
followed the robust boy, who bestrode his donkey 
with as much hilarity as Bacchus is represented 
to display when astride his wine cask. He 
would try to urge the animal's speed by apply- 
ing the ornamented whip, of which he seemed 



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20 THE BEAUTT 

not a little vain, to its shoulder, crying out 
boldly, " See, see, papa, how I make it go! do 
leave that nasty chair, and mount a horse, and 
come with me." 

" Pray, my lord, don't hit Neddy," cried the 
panting nurse, who with difficulty kept by 
the side of the ambling donkey; while the 
delighted parents looked at their child with 
their hearts in their eyes, as his profuse curls, 
agitated by the quick movement of the animal, 
wantoned in the air, and was blown against his 
rosy cheeks. 

" How like he is to your portrait at home, 
dearest I" said the lady with a sigh ; " it must 
have been painted when you were his age." 

" Would that I dare hope, Mary, to see a 
boy of his," answered the father ; " but that 
is not to be ; I shall be in the vault of my 
ancestors long — long before our boy has ceased 
to be a child." 

Emily passed rapidly on, that she might not 
be a listener to a conversation, every word of 
which, though totally unacquainted with the 

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AND HER SISTER. Ql 

interlocutors, had deeply pained her ; her heart 
was filled with pity for them, and a sentiment 
of self-reproach mingled with it, as she reflected 
how much more to be deplored was the position 
of the lady she had passed than was her own, 
for in one case, even hope was denied, the 
pallid face of the invalid too well denoting 
that he was fast approaching *Uhat bourne, 
whence no traveller returns." She left the 
road to enter a nursery-garden, her thoughts 
still occupied with the unknown group she 
had passed, when her ears were assailed by 
loud cries from the road, which was parallel 
with the garden. 

She rushed to the hedge that divided them, 
and beheld a stage-coach dragged along with 
fearful velocity, while on the road lay a blood- 
stained mass, round which were collected half 
a dozen people ; and female shrieks were min- 
gled with the loud voices of men. 

That something dreadful had occurred she 
felt certain, and her heart sickened with ap- 
prehension. She proceeded as fast as her 



Vi 






dbyGoogk 



22 THE BEAUTY 

trembling limbs would bear her to the epot, 
and became nearly transfixed with horror, as 
she beheld the lovely woman she had so lately 
passed on the road, clasping to her breast, is a 
state of distraction, the crushed and gory cone 
of the lately lovely child she had seen on tbe 
donkey but a few minutes before ; his goUeo 
and luxuriant curls dabbled with Uood, ud 
his cherub face so mutilated, as to retain do 
trace of its beauty. 

The unhappy father, who had witnessed tbe 
terrible catastrophe, was seized at the mooeot 
with an attack of paralysis, and his counteDiDce 
was awful to behold, for it was evident he was 
still in possession of his mental faculties, thcn^ 
his physical ones had nearly all sunk tsAs 
the blow he had just received* Emily flew w 
support the distracted mother, who still cla$p<!<i 
the bleeding corse of her child, and se^ the 
servants incapable of thinking, and nearh d 
acting, she commanded them to conduct the 
wretched parents to the house of the noRerr* 
man, while she despatched a messenger to 



dbyGoogk 



AND HER SISTER. 23 

Worthing for a physician, and a carriage to 
move the unhappy pair to their home. 

The sobbing nurse told Emily, that his little 
lordship, as she styled the child, had persevered 
in hitting the donkey with his whip, until the 
animal became restive, diverged from the foot- 
path where they were leading him, and a stage- 
coach, rapidly driven, coming suddenly up at 
the corner of the road, the leaders shied at the 
donkey, and by a violent plunge, brought the 
unwieldy vehicle over the ass and its luckless 
rider, crushing both to death in an instant. 

While Emily was supporting the fainting 
mother, who had sunk exhausted into the arms 
of one of the attendants, a travelling chariot 
approached rapidly, and was stopped by the 
crowd, which had already collected. A well 
known voice exclaiming, " Oh, God I it is — it 
is my cousin I" struck on the ear of Emily ; and 
in an instant after Henry Wilmot was assisting 
her to bear the fainting lady to the nursery- 
man's house. Here a new trial awaited him ; 
for speechless, and apparently dying, they found 



dbyGoogk 



24* THE BEAUTY 

the Marquis of Dunkeld, for he it was, who 
it was evident recognized his cousin Henry 
Wilmot, and looked at him with an expression 
of unutterable anguish. 

" Oh, Emily 1 dear Emily 1 what a scene for 
you to witness," exclaimed Henry, as she bathed 
the temples of Lady Dunkeld with water ; and 
he gently removed her lifeless son from her 
conyulsive grasp, and then pressed again and 
again the palsied hand of the father, who vainly 
struggled to articulate. Medical aid soon ar- 
rived, — doctor after docttor coming to offer 
assistance, — ^but alas I their efforts were un- 
availing, for I^ord Dunkeld breathed his last 
before his unhappy wife had recovered from the 
swoon into which she had fallen. Emily sup- 
ported her in the carriage in which she was 
placed, nor left her until she was laid in her 
bed. Her affection for Henry Wilmot was 
immeasurably enhanced by observing the ten* 
demess and attention he lavished on the hapless 
widow of his cousin, and the deep regret he 
evinced for the fatal events she had witnessed. 



dbyGoogk 



AND HER SISTER. ^ 

Before she left the house of mourning, she pro- 
mised to return speedily* again, to watch over 
the unhappy lady so deeply bereaved ; and her 
lover felt more than ever attached and devoted 
to her, as he witnessed her sensibility and sooth* 
ing kindness to his afflicted relative* 
* Innumerable were the questions of Lady 
Mansel when her daughter had returned, as to 
all the particulars of the fearful catastrophe that 
had occurred, with even the most minute details 
of which she wished to be made acquainted ; 
and, when a burst of tears, which Emily could 
not controul, as her obtuse mother dwelt on the 
particulars, had relieved her excited feelings, 
she was not a little shocked to hear her parent 
express her wonder that she could thus weep 
for utter strangers* She made some objections 
to Emily's immuring herself in a sick room with 
a tearful mourner ; but yielded assent at length, 
not as her daughter believed, to the pleadings 
of humanity, but if the truth must be confessed, 
because she recollected that the mourner was a 
marchioness, and that attentions paid to her at 

VOL. III. c 

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26 THE BEAUTT 

such a period, would probably lead to a friend- 
ship that might considerably extend her visiting 
list, and knowledge of a portion of the nobility 
with whom she had hitherto formed only a 
slight acquaintance. Lady Mansel's concerts 
and balls were always fully and fashionably 
attended ; and she, in return, was engaged to 
most of the parties given to some three or five 
hundred persons every season by gre^t ladies, 
when all on their porter^s list were invited, 
and many amongst the number who never were 
seen at the reoherch6 reunions in the same 
mansions. Lady M ansel was always one of the 
crowd, but never was she invited to a dinner 
where cabinet ministers and ambassadors, with 
a sprinkling of the Slite of London, were to be 
found. She was never seen at a petit soupir 
after the opera, or Vauxhall, or at private 
theatricals at Monmouthshire-house, and felt 
rather indignant at coming in contact with the 
(}uintessence of fashion only in crowds. Here 
then was an excellent opportunity of esta- 
blishing a friendship with one of the leaders 



dbyGoogk 



AND HER SISTER. 



27 



of haut tofif and she determined it should not 
be lost. 

Emily devoted many hours of every day to 
Lady Dunkeld, and had the consolation of find- 
ing that her presence was most soothing to that 
lady's feelings ; and when Henry Wilmot, now 
Marquis of Dunkeld, left Worthing to accom- 
pany the remains of his relatives to their last 
home, he entreated Emily to continue her kind 
attentions to his widowed cousin. A similarity 
of disposition and tastes drew Lady Dunkeld 
towards her youthful friend, who could sympa- 
thize in her sorrow, and dwell on the only pros- 
pect that can cheer a mourner — that blessed 
future, — where the lost are found. Lady Dun> 
keld had been for some months prepared for a 
fatal termination to the malady of her husband, 
still, with the wilfulness of love, she had refused 
to believe it was possible that she should lose 
him so soon ; for how difficult is it to believe 
that a mind still vigorous^ and a heart glowing 
with affection, are to pass away from all they 
ding to — from all whose happiness they make — 

• c2 



dbyGoogk 



28 THE BEAUTT 

even though the frail tenement they oocopy, 
gives warning of its fragility I 

But even when the adoring wife permitted 
herself to believe that the husband of ber 
choice, the preferred lover of her youth, might 
leave her on earth a bereaved and desobte 
widow, still Her blooming, her beautiftil boj 
was before her, with health glowing on his 
dimpled cheek, sparkling in his clear bright 
eye, and displaying itself in every movement 
of his vigorous frame. J%, at least, would li?e 
to cheer her wounded heart and support his 
ancient name ; but now, father and son were 
both in one hour snatched from her for CTer, 
and she was left with only the memory of the 
past, and the hope of a blessed future to sup- 
port hen She would sit the whole day with 
the portraits of her husband and son before 
her, telling Emily, who listened with pitjing 
interest, of all the details of their goodness, 
and all the endearing peculiarities so fondlj 
dwelt on by the mourner. The marked books 
and manuscripts of Lord Dunkeld, with his 



dbyGoogk 



AND HER SISTER. 29 

gloves, his pencils, and pen, were ever near her, 
and the toys of her lost boy, were never out of 
her sight She was thus surrounded by all that 
could keep them alive in her memory ; and the 
dwelling on them, to one who could sympathize 
in her feelings, seemed to pour a balm on her 
sorrows. 

As soon as the Marquis of Dunkeld had 
performed the last sad duties to his deceased re- 
latives, he went back to Worthing to visit his 
widowed cousin. Perhaps the prospect of meet- 
ing Emily increased his impatience to return, 
for however good are men, even the best re- 
quire some selfish motive to induce them to seek 
the house of mourning. Emily was leaving 
Lady Dunkeld's residence to proceed to her 
own, when she met the marquis, who had left 
his carriage at the inn. He insisted on accom- 
panying her home, nor could he resist address- 
ing her in the language of love, entreating 
her permission to lay his proposals before her 
mother, that he might at least be admitted as 
an accepted suitor, during the months they both 
deemed it necessary should elapse before they 

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30 THE BEAUTY 

met at the altar. They had jost oome in ngbt 
of Lady Mansel's residence, when EmSy ai- 
sented to this request, and the spot beiD<r i 
retired one, and Lord Dunkeld deeming dot 
they were unseen, he could not resist the id- 
pulse of pressing her hand to his lips. On 
the balcony of her house, was seated ladj 
Mansel, with a telescope on a stand before 
her, through which she was looking, and as 
they approached it, it became evident thai 
she regarded them with glances in whkli 
dissatisfaction was strongly pourtrayed. Lord 
Dunkeld left Emily at the door, declaring Us 
intention of calling on her mother next dat, 
and Emily proceeded to the drawing-rooiD, 
where she found Lady Mansel red with anger, 
and not disposed to repress its exhibition. 

« Emily, I am shocked,'* said she, *' at see- 
ing you, on whose prudence I had such io- 
plicit reliance, permit an unknown adTentnrer 
to escort you, — nay, more, to allow him to ase 
familiarities of the most indec»it, the most 
flagrant kind.** 

Emily was petrified with astonishment, 6r 

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AND HER SISTER. 31 

truth to say, the pressure of her hand to her 
IoTer*8 lips had been forgotten in the declara^ 
tion that preceded it 

" Yes, Emily, you may well look ashamed,'^ 
resumed her mother, ** to be seen giving such 
open encouragement to some nameless adven- 
turer. Why has not the brilliant position of 
your sister excited a laudable ambition in your 
mind, to be equally well married ? But of one 
thing be assured, you shall never have my con- 
sent to admit the attentions of persons, who, if 
they had been presentable, would long since 
have been known by me ; and now I insist on 
being made acquainted with the name of the 
ignoble looking individual wh(r escorted you to 
the door, and had the audacity to kiss your 
hand ; a disgusting freedom, which I witnessed 
bv means of the telescope, and which shocked 
me so much, that I could have broken it with 
pleasure.** 

It now occurred to Emily, that Henry WiU 
mot had never been presented to her mother, 
and that his accession of rank was totally 



y Google 



S€ THE BEAUTY 

unknown to the old lady; Emily having an 
unaccountable shyness in naming it to her, 
from thinking that she might attribute the 
frequency of her visits to the widowed mar- 
chioness, to some matrimonial view on her 
cousin, for Lady Mansel was one of those over- 
nice ladies, who saw motives in others, that 
never existed but in her own fertile imagina- 
tions. 

** I insist on knowing his name, and in- 
stantly,*' said Lady Mansel ; ** I am persuaded it 
is a vulgar one, for his appearance denotes it" 
Now be it known to our readers, that Lord 
Dunkeld was not only an extremely handsome 
man ; but remarkable for possessing Fair nobk 
et disttngu6y so that Emily felt vexed at her 
mother's wilful injustice to his personal attrac- 
tions, and this piqued her for the first time of 
her life to disobey her commands, by with- 
holding the name of the unknown. 

" I tell you, Emily, that I am determined on 
knowing his name,*' repeated she, her anger 
increasing. 



dbyGoogk 



AND HER SISTER* 33 

'* He will call on you to-morrow, and tell it 
to you himself," answered Emily, repressing a 
smile. 

** Oh I then I suppose he is coming to demand 
your hand ?" said Lady Mansel, now worked up 
to a positive rage. 

" Yes, mother," was the reply. 

^* Was there ever such coolness, such auda* 
city?" exclaimed Lady Mansel, '^tell me, I 
command you instantly, tell me his name." 

** The Marquis of Dunkeld," answered 
Emily, quietly. 

A fit of tears came to the now joyful mother's 
relief. 

*'Come to me, my dear Emily, my sweet 
child, that I may embrace you I Oh I how 
happy I feel, and so that very handsome, noble- 
looking man, is the Marquis of Dunkeld ? I 
thought he must be a person of distinction 
(quite forgetting all that she had recently 
asserted to convey her belief of the reverse) ; 
and, so to-morrow he is to come and ask mf 
consent, the dear man I I am sure I shall like 

c3 

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34 THE BEADTT 

him excessively, (so she did all marquises): 
Ah I Emily, yon are more close than I inn- 
gined, for now all your consolatory Tisits to 
the widowed marchioness are explained." 

Emily's cheeks burned at the indelicacy mi 
injustice of this suspicion. " Well," resumed 
Lady Mansel, ** the old saying is a true one— 
it's an ill wind that blows nobody good ; for had 
not that poor paralytic marquis died, and tk 
boy been killed, you might never have been a 
marchioness after all.*' Shocked and woooded 
as Emily felt, she knew it would be useless to 
explain her sentiments to her mother, who wooU 
not, or could not, understand them, andwbi) 
continued from time to time to exclaim — '' Ah' 
Emily I you are very sly, and more close than I 
took you to be." 

The next day Lord Dunkeld was presented in 
due form to his future belle meref who gradossly 
accepted his proposals, and the succeeding three 
days were passed by Lady Mansel in writia! 
letters to all her friends, announcing the bril- 
liant prospects of her daughter. << I have eien 



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AND HER SISTER. 



35 



reason (wrote she to one lady, who had more 
than once implied her douhts of the wisdom of 
the system adopted by Lady Hansel in bringing 
up her daughters) to be satisfied with the re- 
sult of my system— two more brilliant illustra- 
tions of its success could not be looked for, than 
are found in the Countess of Westonyille and 
the future Marchioness of Dunkeld." 

Emily was \e^ to the hymeneal altar, nothing 
loth, four months after her loTcr's accession to 
his title, and is now the happy mother of two 
boys, and as many girls, who she has decided 
shall never be brought up on Lady Mansel's 
system ; and Lady Westonyille has become an 
agreeable and rational companion to a kind 
husband, and an affectionate and judicious 
mother to a boy and two girls, who enjoy all the 
blessings of a careful cultivation, without the 
drudgery and confinement to which her child- 
hood had been exposed. 



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dbyGoogk 



37 



THE ANTIDOTE TO LOVE. 



■ ■ " « Oh 1 we do^ dSeni^ 
There's not a day of wedded life, if we 
Coimt at its close the little, bitter sum 
Of tboogfats, and words, and looks unkind and forward. 
Silence that chides, and wonndings of the eye — 
Bnt prostrate at each others feet, we should 
Each night forgiTe 



!ao this is no dream, and we are at length 
aples I ** said a very lovely woman to her 
)anion, a tall, handsome man of about 
ty-eight years of age, and evidently not less 
ten years her senior, on whose arm she 
as they ascended the stairs of the *' Grande 
agne," on the Chiaja, marshalled by the 
lord of that ezcelloit hotel, and escorted 
leir courier. 



yG00gl( 




40 TH£ ANTIDOTE TO LOVE. 

good uncle Mortimer, who can see nothing out 
of the common in the most romantic incident, 
and who laughs at even the most touching story 
founded on la belle passion.** 

** * He jests at scars who never felt a wound,' 
Ellen i for uncle Mortimer, it is asserted by his 
contemporaries, never experienced a preference 
but once in his life, and that was not pour les 
beaux yetis: de la dame de ses pensees^ maispour 
sa rente de dix miUe Iwres par anJ* 

** Poor uncle Mortimer I I remember that 
when mamma once reproached him with this 
little episode in his life, he defended himself by 
quoting the lines, 

• What dust we date on when tit man we love ! * 

< If man be dust,* said he, * woman being part 
and parcel of him, must be similarly composed ; 
and gold dust being more to my fancy than any 
other sort of dust, am I to be blamed for my 
preference for it?*" 

*' He is not the only one who has a similar 
.taste, though he is perhaps one of the very few 
who would acknowledge the hct/* 



dbyGoogk 



THE ANTIDOTE TO LOVE. ^ 

" But to resume, Henry j you really grow 
caUous," 

** I deny it, Ellen ; give me a single proof in 
support of your assertion ?*' 

" I could give you innumerable ones, Henry, 
but will confine myself to the last instance — 
your accusation of my fancying a romance in 
every place that holds out an inviting aspect 
for being the scene of one. Time was, and 
that not more than six short months ago, when 
you were as much disposed to believe in romance 
as I am, Henry \ but marriage is a sad enemy 
to such belief, and when we return to England, 
I shall not be surprised to see you ensconced in 
a corner with, and joining in the dry laugh of 
uncle Mortimer, when he chuckles over some 
tale that has excited the mournful sympathy of 
all the rest of the family circle." 

** As you are so severe on me, Ellen, I may 
be perinitted to predict that while I am laugh- 
ing with uncle Mortimer, you are listening, for 
the hundredth time, to aunt Beauchamp's nar- 
rative of die death of her husband ; which, 



lari 



dbyGoogk 



42 THE ANTIDOTE TO LOVE. 

though it occurred a quarter of a century ago, 
is repeated with all the demonstrations of sorrow 
that a recent calamity of that nature is calcu- 
lated to produce.*' 

** How can you indulge in plaisanteries on 
such a subject, Henry?" 

"And how can you listen with dewy eyes 
and pensive brow to her lamentations ?** 

" You pain me by exhibiting this want of 
sensibility. You may smile, and look incre- 
dulous, but you really do.*' 

" Well, she shall not be vexed, there's a good 
child, and so let us kiss and be friends ;" and 
suiting the action to the words, Mr. Meredith 
drew his beautiful wife towards him, and pressed 
his lips to her fair cheek. 

The pair thus introduced to our readers, had 
been married only six months, five of which had 
been passed on the continent. Theirs had been 
what is called a love match, and had been pre- 
ceded by a passion of more than a year and 
a half ; the family of the Lady Ellen having for 
several months rejected the addresses of Mr. 



dbyGoogk 



THE ANTIDOTE TO LOVE. 43 

Meredith, on the plea that neither his station 
nor fortune entitled him to her hand. During 
this period of douht and trial, Mr. Meredith 
displayed every symptom of a devoted attach- 
ment. He followed the Lady Ellen like her 
shadow, in spite of the angry looks of Madame 
sa mire^ and the cold ones oi Monsieur son 
pire. He might be seen every day hovering 
near her, as she rode, escorted by her brother, 
through St James's Park, looking defiance at 
every young man who presumed to ride by her 
side i and at every scene where the elite of 
&fihion congregate, there might he be met, his 
eyes ever fixed on her fieu^e, as if unconscious 
that any other woman was in the room. Nor 
was the lovely Lady Ellen regardless of his 
devotion to her charms. Her eyes were often 
turned towards him ; and it was observed that 
she replied only by monosyllables to the ani- 
mated remarks of the beaux who flocked round 
her ; a peculiarity which served as an indubi- 
table proof of her preference for Meredith, when 
the politeness that induces young ladles to con- 



dbyGoogk 



44 THE ANTIDOTE TO LOVE* 

verse readily with every young man who shows 
them attention, is taken into consideration. 

Various were the modes adopted by the Lady 
Ellen to testify her sympathy with the attach- 
ment she inspired in the breast of Mr. Mere^ 
dith. A flower from her bouquet was often 
seen to drop as he stood near her, and nearly at 
the same moment, by some strange chance, he 
was seen to let fall his glove at the same spot 
At operas and concerts they looked unutterable 
things during the progress of any passionate 
words wedded to sweet music. Many were the 
suitors rejected by the Lady Ellen, nearly as 
much to the discomfiture of the earl and coun- 
tess, her papa and mamma, as of theirs. She 
had been talked to, and talked at^ in the home 
department ; had been reminded of the folly of 
refusing a coronet with strawberry-leaves, and 
an offer of pin-money to the tune of one thou- 
sand a year ; yet still she persisted in declaring 
she would marry only Mr. Meredith. 

The earl affirmed she was a fool, and the 
countess denounced her as an unnatural daugh- 



dbyGoogk 



THE ANTIDOTE TO LOVE. 45 

ter, not to sacrifice her own absurd predilection, 
for the reasonable one indulged in by herself 
for a coronet Uncle Mortimer laughed more 
than ever, and swore it was all sheer obstinacy 
on the girl's part ; while aunt Beauchamp wiped 
her eyes, and said her dear £llen's attachment 
reminded her of her own to her poor lost Sir 
Evelyn, whose death she should never cease to 
deplore. 

** Nor I neither, I can assure you, sister," 
replied Mr. Mortimer. 

•* I was not aware of your sympathy, brother; 
but though tardy, I am nevertheless grateful 
for it.*' 

** Oh I hearing the same lamentations for five- 
and-twenty years must create an impression ; 
and hang me, sister, if I would not prefer to 
have Beauchamp alive, and quarrel with him 
every day, as I used to do, rather than have to 
listen to your regrets for his loss. Why, there 
is your poor friend, Mrs. Effingham, how much 
more to be pitied she is I'' 

" Pitied, brother I She who has her bus- 
band — the lover of her youth — the — ** 

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46 THE ANTIDOTE TO LOVE. 

** Yes, sister, the indifferent, neglectful hus- 
band of her maturity, and the hater of her old 
age!*' 

" Old age, brother 1 Why Mrs. Effingham 
is only my age." 

" I thought she was a year or two younger.*' 

" Really, brother, I must say that you have 
very extraordinary notions/* 

" But to resume, sister, how glad poor Mrs. 
Effingham would be to change places with you, 
and to have only the fictitious sorrow founded 
on an erroneous reminiscence of a dead hus- 
band's qualities, in the place of a real one — 
based on the daily experience of a living one's 
defects 1" 

** How call you imagine that the dear departed 
Sir Evelyn would ever have behaved unkindly 
to me ? He who was all love, all tenderness — 
who lived but in my smiles," and here the good 
lady drew forth her cambric handkerchief, and 
wiped the tears that dimmed her eyes. 

** But remember, he was a husband only two 
months, sister ; the honeymoon was scarcely 
over when he died. It was too soon to show his 

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THE ANTIDOTE TO LOVE. 47 

temper, or to engage in those discussions, from 
which, I believe, no minage is exempt." 

'* Spare my feelings, brother. He had the 
most faultless temper; he never would have 
entered into discussions, and /-./—loved him 
too well ever to have contradicted him. Even 
now his dear face is as well remembered as if 
the eyes that have so long wept his loss, had 
beheld him yesterday ; and the tones of his dear 
voice still live in my memory. Oh I why was 
I doomed to lose him, or why have I outlived 
him?" 

Here Lady Beauchamp wept afresh, and her 
brother turned up his eyes, and twisted his 
mouth in a very comical fashion, as if to sup- 
press a smile, or an ejaculation. 

*^ Beauchamp would now have been sixty-two, 
had he lived," said Mr. Mortimer, **and would 
have been a very infirm old* man." 

" Sixty-two, brother I why what can you be 
thinking of?" 

«< Was he not thirty-seven when he died, 
sister? and is not that twenty-five years ago» 



dbyGoogk 



48 THE ANTIDOTE TO LOVE. 

last April ? Thirty-seven and twenty-five, by 
all the rules of arithmetic, make sixty-two/^ 

The lady assented with a sigh, and a shake 
of the head, and murmured that *^ Some people 
had a surprising memory about ages." 

<< Beauchamp would have been a martyr to 
the gout,** resumed Mr. Mortimer, •* for he had 
several attacks before his marriage.** 

** You mistake, I assure you, for he repeat* 
edly informed me that his physician had erred 
in entertaining this opinion.** 

** J think he had also a strong tendency to 
erysipelas in the face, for I remember it used 
to look very red.** 

** Good heavens, brother I how little you can 
remember him 1 ** 

** He was getting bald, and his hair was 
already gray when he died," pursued Mr. Mor- 
timer. 

** He bald I lie gray I oh I I see yon do not 
retain the least recollection of him. Here, look 
at this,'* and she drew from her bosom a 
gold medallion, which she opened, and held a 



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THE ANTIDOTE TO LOVE. 49 

miniature of Sir Evelyn Beauchamp to her 
brother. 

" This picture never could have been like 
him, and must have been painted when he was 
only twenty. By the bye, I now remember its 
having been done as a gift for that girl with 
whom he was so desperately in love, and who 
jilted him. Let me recollect what her name 
was; — El — Elrington, so it was. Maria £1- 
rington, who eloped with a man in the guards, 
and died the year after." 

'^ This miniature, brother, was painted for 
me, and never was in any hands but mine ; and 
you labour under a great mistake, a very great 
mistake, in thinking it was painted for Miss 
Elrington, with whom my ever-to-be-lamented 
Evelyn had but a very slight acquaintance. — 
Often has he told me that he never entertained 
a passion for any woman but me ; nay more, 
that he had determined on never marrying, 
before he saw me." 

** And you were fool enough to believe 
him, sister I Why all men tell the same story 

VOL. III. D 

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50 THE ANTIDOTE TO LOVE. 

during the honeymoon, notwithstanding they 
had heen refused and jilted hy half the 
women in London/' 

*^ He never was refused, I kfiaw, for he was 
not a man that any woman with disengaged 
affections could resist — ^nor was he a person 
to propose marriage, unless he was truly, pas- 
sionately in love, as was the case when he asked 
for my hand." 

" Whew /•* said Mr, Mortimer, in something 
resembling a whistle, *' what gulls you women 
are I you will believe any thing that flatters your 
vanity. You little dream how many women 
rejected poor Evelyn before you took pity on 
him. Why he was known by the name of 
the solicitor-general. Indeed, I always thought 
it was this very cause that led him to ask your 
hand, and that the circumstance of your having 
somewhat outstood your market — for you were 
past iive-and-twenty when you married — ^led to 
your acceptance of it." 

'' I was no such thing, brother ; you will 
allow me to know my own age, I hope ?" 



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THE ANTIDOTE TO LOVE. 51 

" Not if you persist in asserting that you 
were not past twenty-five when you married. 
I can show you your age, day and date, marked 
down in the family bible, sister ; so it's no use 
disputing about that point." 

" You are always entering into disagreeable 
discussions, brother, I must say." 

" And you, sister, induce, if not compel 
them, by your strange notions. What can be 
the object of trying to take off a year or two 
from your age ? After you have turned fifty, of 
what importance can it be ?'' 

« Really, brother, your rudeness is unbear- 
able.'' 

<< Speaking truth, then, and rudeness, are it 
seems synonymous. But women always accuse 
a person of rudeness who happens to speak of 
their age. Why it was only the other day, 
when that poor Mrs. Effingham was relating 
her sufferings, from the bad temper and gross 
selfishness of her spouse, that I chanced to 
say, * Why you ought to be used to them, for 
you have now been six-and-twenty years en- 

d2 

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52 THE ANTIDOTE TO LOVE. 

during them,' that she absolutely got red with 
anger, and endeavoured to persuade me that 
she was only three-and-twenty years married. 
Ah, sister I you are a lucky woman, you may 
depend on it, to have passed the last quarter 
of a century in peace and quiet, instead of 
being harassed as that unhappy Mrs. Effing- 
ham has been ; for depend on it, had Beau- 
champ lived, he would have led you a sad 
life/' 

^^ And what has my life been since I lost 
him ? A continued scene of grief ; my only 
source of consolation consisting in the hope of 
being united to him in another world. Yes, I 
shall see his dear face again, and readily shall 
I recognise it, for no day has elapsed since he 
was snatched from me, that I have not kissed 
this portrait twenty times, and dwelt with a 
melancholy pleasure on its lineaments." 

" But has it- never occurred to you, sister, 
that, as you have grown twenty-five years older 
since he saw you last, he may find some diffi- 
culty in recognising youf You are terribly 



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THE ANTIDOTE TO LOVE, 53 

altered, I do assure you ; much more so than 
you imagine." 

** Not more so than you are, hrother, I can 
tell you.'* 

Such were the discussions continually pass- 
ing between Lady Beauchamp and Mr. Mor- 
timer, discussions in which the pensive widow 
always suffered the most ; for, being of a. 
morbidly sensitive nature, she acutely felt the 
sarcasms of her brother, whilst he, shielded by 
his callosity, was proof against her weak re- 
prisals. Lady Ellen was the declared favourite 
of her aunt, who fancied that her niece re- 
sembled her exceedingly ; and gratified by this 
resemblance, which existed only in her own 
brain, lavished on her not only attentions and 
presents, but warmly espoused her interests in 
the affaire de ccBur with Mr. Meredith, whom, 
she asserted, forcibly reminded her of her dear 
departed Evelyn. Of a soft disposition, and 
naturally prone to romantic notions, it is not to 
be wondered at that Lady Ellen imbibed from 
her aunt a love of the imaginative and unreal. 

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54 THE ANTIDOTE TO LOVE. 

not a little calculated to influence her happiness 
in after life. This tendency had been increased 
by the prohibited attachment of Meredith, until 
it had grown into a most unhealthy state of 
mind ; leading this fair and youthful creature 
to behold in every man and woman under forty, 
whom she encountered, a victim to the tender 
passion, which she believed to be the sole end 
and aim of existence. 

Lady Beauchamp avowed her intention of be- 
queathing the whole of her fortune to the Lady 
Ellen ; believing that this announcement would 
induce her parents to consent to her union with 
the object of her choice, as it removed the ob* 
stacle of a want of sufficient fortune for the 
young people. But this very circumstance only 
added to the reluctance of the Earl and Coun* 
tess of Delafield to consent to the union ; as 
they said that, with such a fortune as Lady 
Beauchamp intended to bequeath her, their 
daughter ought to make one of the most brilr 
liant marriages in England. The sneers and 
laughter of Mr. Mortimer tended not a little to 



*o* 



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THE ANTIDOTE TO LOVE. 55 

strengthen the dislike of Lady Ellen's parents 
to her marriage. He declared that love was a 
mere infatuation, the existence of which de- 
pended wholly on weakness of mind ; adding, 
that a marriage with Mr. Meredith would cure 
the disease, it was true, but would leave his niece 
at liberty to discover the error she had com- 
mitted in contracting such a mis-alliance, and 
that her reflections under this discovery would be 
attended with more pain than a disappointment 
of the heart could ever have occasioned her. 

It was so long since Lord or Lady Delafield 
had experienced any emotions connected with 
the heart, that they had forgotten its influence 
on human happiness, and adopted the opinions 
of Mr. Mortimer, not perhaps the less readily 
that he had a large unentailed estate to be- 
queath, and had let drop sundry insinuations 
that his favourite sister. Lady Delafield, would 
be his heiress, provided he had reason to be 
satisfied with her prudence. The fair Lady 
Ellen resisted every effort used to induce her 
to give up Mr. Meredith. Her aunt and her- 



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56 THE ANTIDOTE TO LOVE. 

self prided themselves not a little on this con- 
stancy, yet there were not wanting those who 
maintained that self-will and obstinacy had 
more to say in the pertinacity of her attach- 
ment than real affection. Among these ill- 
natured people was Mr. Mortimer. 

" You believe, forsooth," he used to say, 
^* that Love, all-mighty Love, as fools term it, 
is pour quelque chose in this affair, but you 
egregiously mistake, and had you consulted me 
in the commencement of the business, I would 
have convinced you of the truth of my asser- 
tions. I would have advised you to have told 
this silly girl — * You are at perfect liberty to 
marry Mr. Meredith, and become a nonentity 
in the world of fashion ;* and you would have 
seen how soon she would have abandoned the 
silly project But your injudiciously displayed 
opposition has fostered her imaginary passion 
into a confirmed obstinacy ; for this, be assured, 
is the secret cause of all the love-matches that 
take place." 

While matters remained in this state, a rela- 



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THE ANTIDOTE TO LOVE, 57 

tive of Mr. Meredith's died, and bequeathed 
him a very large fortune ; an event which pro- 
duced a great alteration in the feelings of Lord 
and Lady Delafield. They now discovered that 
their daughter's happiness depended on her 
union with Mr. Meredith ; a discovery they 
were so little prepared to make a few days pre- 
viously to his accession of fortune, that they 
pointedly prohibited the Lady Ellen from speak- 
ing to him whenever they met in society. He 
was now pronounced to be a very eligible parti^ 
and a very superior man. He was received 
with every demonstration of cordiality in Han- 
over-square, and permitted to lavish those petits 
soins peculiar to an innamorato on the object 
of his aflPection during the time occupied by the 
lawyers in examining title-deeds and drawing 
up the marriage settlements. An acute observer 
might have remarked, and uncle Mortimer 
failed not to do so, that there was less ardour 
in Mr. Meredith's manner since he had been 
received as the acknowledged suitor of the 
Lady Ellen, than when his attentions were pro- 

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58 THE ANTIDOTE TO LOVE. 

hibited. It is true, he came every day to see 
her ; sat whole hours with her ; occupied the 
chair next her at dinner most days, and brought 
her the rarest flowers and most costly gifts; 
yet having no longer any obstacles opposed to 
his happiness, he sank, from an anxious and 
jealous lover, into a very enjoyable state of 
affectionate composure, and at last received her 
hand at the altar with a sober satisfaction that, 
six weeks previously^ he would have deemed it 
impossible he should have experienced on an 
occasion, the bare idea of which had made his 
pulse throb with emotion. The Lady Ellen, he 
confessed to himself, was not less lovely than 
before, nor less devoted to him ; but there was 
something more flattering to his vanity, in re- 
ceiving prohibited marks of attachment, that 
exposed her to the risk of incurring the dis- 
pleasure of her father and mother, than in 
being the object of those open proofs of afiec- 
tion, sanctioned by their approval. The Liady 
Ellen was too young and inexperienced to notice 
the change in her lover, or even if she had 



dbyGoogk 



THE ANTIDOTE TO LOVE. 59 

observed it, to have analyzed the cause. Happy 
beyond measure herself, the somewhat mdolent 
complacency of his manner, was deemed to be 
symptomatic of the fulness of content, and 
though she had occasionally felt something like 
surprise at detecting a scarcely suppressed 
yawn on the face of her betrothed, she banished 
the recollection by recalling to her mind in- 
stances of his past anxiety and ardour. Love 
has already lost something of its bloom and 
freshness, when the memory of the past is re- 
ferred to as a solace for the present ; and to 
this solace the Lady Ellen found herself not 
unfrequently recurring. She had yet to learn 
that lesson, reserved for all her sex, namely, 
that more ardour is exhibited by lovers in the 
pursuit, than is evinced in the attainment of 
the object of their affections ; and that many a 
passion which resisted innumerable obstacles, 
has sunk into indifference when they were 
conquered. 

The novelty and excitement attending this, 
her first visit to the continent, kept her spirits 



dbyGoogk 



60 THE ANTIDOTE TO LOVE, 

in a state of Activity and cheerfulness, that 
prevented her from noticing the want of those 
indescrihahle attentions, lavished by bride- 
grooms during the honeymoon. Perhaps, too, 
the premature adoption of a most husband-like 
mode of good-humoured indolence from the 
period of his reception as an acknowledged 
suitor, until that of their nuptials, had pre- 
pared her for the unlover-like conduct now 
pursued. But at length, and she sighed as 
the discovery forced itself on her mind, she 
became painfully conscious that he indulged 
more frequently in the luxury of a siesta than 
was consistent with politeness ; that he yawned 
without eveu an attempt to conceal his weari- 
ness ; and seemed more intent on the enjoyment 
of the delicacies of the table, than desirous of 
the more refined one of conversation. These 
/ alterations had gradually been developed, and 
on their arrival at Naples, where our story 
opens, the Lady Ellen Meredith, who had for 
some time owned with sadness to herself, that 
it is possible to feel disappointment in a mar- 



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THE ANTIDOTE TO LOVE, 61 

riage with the cherished object of affection, 
was now disposed to hint the discovery to her 
caro sposo. If there be a place on earth more 
calculated than any other to engender indolence 
in those previously exempt from it, or to force 
it into luxuriance when its germ has been 
planted, Naples, soft, effeminate Naples, is the 
spot ; its genial climate superinducing the in- 
dulgence of the dolcefar niente, as enervating 
to the mind, as it is to the body. Yes, Par- 
thenope, the siren of old, who selected this 
enchanting shore for her abode, still exercises 
a power over its visitors, charming them into a 
state of dreamy, but pleasurable lassitude. 

The day after the arrival of the Merediths, 
Lady Ellen had her books unpacked, her draw- 
ing implements arranged, and after breakfast, 
seated herself at a window, to enjoy the beau- 
tiful prospect it commanded. The sky was 
blue and cloudless, and the sea azure, calm, 
and unruffled as the heavens it mirrored. The 
vivid green plants in the Villa Reale, refreshed 
the eye, fatigued by the too dazzling brightness 



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62 THE ANTIDOTE TO LOVE. 

of all around, as a glowing sun shed its beams 
on the scene. Innumerable white sails were scat- 
tered over the bay, sparkling like huge pearls 
on a bed of sapphire, and Capri looked as if 
placed as a couch for the giant genius to whom 
the protection of this lovely city was confided. 

** Do come here, dear Henry," said Lady 
Ellen, " and participate with me in the delight 
of beholding what I now see t I feel, whilst 
looking at the prospect spread out before me, 
the want described by Zimmerman as being 
experienced in solitude, of having some one to 
whom I can say, how lovely it is." 

** I looked from the window, a full half-hour 
before breakfast, love, and agree with you that 
the view is very pleasant; but I have had 
enough of it for the present, and confess I 
prefer, just now, a lounge on this sofa, which 
is not so ill-stuffed as are most of those to be 
found in Italian inns." 

The lady sighed, but urged him no more, 
and was soon lost in a delicious reverie, inspired 
by the scene she was gazing on, when the snor- 



dbyGoogk 



THE ANTIDOTE TO LOVE. 63 

ing of her husband, who had fallen asleep, in- 
terrupted it. Now, be it known to our readers, 
that few noises are more disagreeable to female 
ears than that of snoring. Whether this be 
owing to its reminding them of the indifference 
that permits the indulgence of sleep in their 
presence, in hours not appropriated to slumber, 
a conviction so mortifying to vanity, or whether 
it proceeds from the fact, that in no position 
does a man appear to such disadvantage, as 
when stretched on a sofa, he draws attention by 
this noise, to the incivility of which he is guilty, 
we cannot presume to say : but we never met a 
woman, whose temper, however placid it might 
naturally have been, was not ruffled by hearing 
a man snore in her presence. Lady Ellen 
Meredith experienced this emotion now, as she 
murmured, *^ Eternally lounging on sofas, and 
as eternally falling asleep I I could forgive the 
sleeping, bad as it is, in a person who six 
months ago I could not have believed was 
subject to this infirmity; but really the snoring 
is too annoying. If any one had told me, before 



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64 THE ANTIDOTE TO LOVE. 

I married, that Henry could snore, I would 
have refused to credit it How like a large 
Newfoundland dog he looks, squatted on the 
sofa ; his black curly locks too, that I have so 
often admired, at this moment, add to the re- 
semblance. Heigh-ho t what different beings 
lovers and husbands are I I really can endure 
this noise no longer. Henry, Henry I" and 
she approached the sofa and awoke him. 

" What is the matter, love ?*' asked he, half 
opening his eyes, stretching his arms, and 
yawning. 

"You snore so dreadfully that I cannot 
bear it." 

"Do I love? how odd!" 

He extended his arm to a table, near the 
sofa, took up a book, and began reading, while 
Lady Ellen occupied herself with Sir William 
GelPs Pompeii. But she was not long per- 
mitted to enjoy it, for in less than ten minutes 
il marito was again fast asleep, and snoring 
still more loudly than before. She felt ashamed 
when the laquais^de-place entered, to inquire at 

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THE ANTIDOTE TO LOVE. 65 

what hour the carriage would be required for a 
giro^ that even he should witness what pained 
her ; and having hastily dismissed him from 
the apartment, she endeavoured, but in vain, 
to banish her sense of the discordant sounds 
that assailed her ears, by fixing her attention 
on her book. 

While the snoring continued, so loudly as to 
be audible in the ante-room, the door of the 
salon was thrown open, and the Marquis of 
Windermere entered, following on the heels of 
the servant who announced him. Neither the 
noise of his entrance, nor the salutation which 
took place, awoke the sleeper, who still conti- 
nued to snore loudly ; and the Lady Ellen felt 
the blush of shame dye her cheek, as she 
marked the glance of astonishment which the 
marquis cast on the sofa, and its noisy occu- 
pant. Lord Windermere was the very last 
person that she wished to see at such a moment, 
for his was the strawberry-leaved coronet which 
she rejected for the husband, whose snores told 
a tale of ill-breeding and neglect, that she 

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66 THE ANTIDOTE TO LOVE. 

shrunk from being witnessed by any one, and 
least of all, by him who had only a few months 
before sought her hand. 

She awoke her husband, who rubbed his 
eyes, yawned, and stretched his person on the 
sofa, with as much freedom from ceremonious 
constraint, as if he imagined himself alone, and 
then muttered something about being dis- 
turbed. But when Lady Ellen said, "Lord 
Windermere is here," her caro sposo quickly 
arose from his recumbent posture, had the 
grace to look somewhat ashamed of himself, 
and made an awkward excuse, in which the 
heat of the weather was cited as the cause of 
his drowsiness. 

The Marquis of Windermere was universally 
considered to be one of the best-looking young 
men about London. Peculiarly well dressed, 
and scrupulously polite to women, he was so 
general a favourite that the Lady Ellen's re- 
jection of him was a matter of surprise to their 
mutual acquaintance, and when her marriage 
took place, many were the observations to 



dbyGoogk 



THE ANTIDOTE TO LOVE. 67 

which it gave rise; people wondering "how 
she could prefer Mr. Meredith, to one so infi- 
nitely his superior in every respect as the Mar- 
quis of Windermere. This question she now, 
for the first time asked herself, as her eye 
glanced from one to the other ; the well-dressed 
ci-devant admirer's well-hrushed coat, unrum- 
pled cravat, and nicely arranged hair, forming 
a striking contrast to the deranged toilet and 
person of her hushand. But if the dress and 
appearance offered an unfavourahle contrast, 
how much more so did the manner I That of 
the marquis uniting the refined good-breeding 
of the best society, shaded by a pensiveness 
always attractive to women, but particularly so 
to her who knew herself to be its cause. 

** How could I have been so blind as to 
accord the preference to Henry ?*' thought 
Lady Ellen to herself. "Lord Windermere 
would not pass half his time in sleeping on 
sofas, or in picking his teeth in easy chairs, 
leaving me to amuse myself as best I may." 
This reflection was followed by a deep sigh. 

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68 THE ANTIDOTE TO LOVE. 

which though it escaped the ears of il marito^ 
was heard by the marquis ; whose voice always 
soft, and whose manner ever gentle, became 
still more so, when he addressed Lady Ellen. 

Lord Windermere had been some days at 
Naples, and had taken up his abode at the 
Grande Bretagne, where the Merediths arrived 
the previous evening. Having seen their names 
in the list of new guests, he lost no time 
in paying them a visit, anxious to avoid the 
appearance of pique, often attributed to dis- 
carded admirers. He had anticipated to find 
his fortunate rival still enacting the part of a 
happy lover, showering attentions, and petits 
soins on Lady Ellen, and experienced some- 
thing like a feeling of envy at the idea of wit- 
nessing them. His surprise, therefore, was 
not light, when he beheld the scene that pre^ 
sented itself on his entering the apartment, 
one glance of which had revealed the exact 
state of the case. 

On discovering that Lord Windermere inha- 
bited the same hotel, Mr. Meredith expressed 



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THE ANTIDOTE TO LOVE. 69 

a hope that they should see as much of each 
other as possible, requested him to dine with 
them that day, and proposed that he should 
accompany them in their giro of sight-seeing. 

The proposal was acceded to ; and before 
the evening had closed in, a habit of cordiality 
seemed established between the parties, that it 
would have required a ten days' contact in an 
English country-house to have formed. The 
facility with which youthful husbands sanction, 
nay invite, habits of daily and familiar inter- 
course, in the bosoms of their &milies, with 
young men, permitting them to lounge in the 
boudoirs of their wives half the mornings, to 
wander from salon to salon like tame lap-dogs, 
and to make one of every riding-party, excur- 
sion to Greenwich, and drive to Richmond, 
has often furnished subject of surprise to sober- 
minded people, and more often topics of scandal 
to censorious ones. Whether this unthinking 
folly proceeds from the ennui experienced by 
the youthful Benedicts in their mSnageSj and 
which leads them to seek relief in the society 



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70 THE ANTIDOTE TO LOVE. 

of an habituS de maisori^ or whether it owes its 
origin to the still more hlameahle, but not less 
frequent, folly of wishing to see their wives 
admired, we will not pause to inquire ; but a 
habit more pregnant with danger, to young 
and inexperienced women, never was devised, 
nor more fraught with baneful consequences 
to those of a matured age. 

The eagerness with which Mr. Meredith 
sought the society of Lord Windermere piqued 
Lady Ellen. 

^' He is already tired of our uninterrupted 
<^te-a-/^te^," thought she. " I might have 
known this by the undisguised symptoms of 
weariness I have so frequently detected in him; 
but I confess I was not prepared for seeing him 
thus seize with such avidity, the society of the 
first slight acquaintance of his that chance has 
thrown in our way ; and with a person, too, who 
once wished to stand in so near a relation to me. 
He is not disposed to be jealous at all events,^' 
and she sighed while making the reflection. 
'* He does not love me enough now to be so. 



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THE ANTIDOTE TO LOVE. 71 

Time was that I could scarcely appease his un- 
founded jealousy, or silence his unreasonable 
suspicions.'* 

Women who are the least prone to give cause 
for jealousy, are precisely those who are most 
pleased at exciting it, as they invariably receive 
it as an incontestable proof of affection ; while 
those, whose levity and imprudence are calcu- 
lated to excite the baneful passion, deprecate or 
resent every symptom of it. The Lady Ellen 
would not have been sorry to discover some 
indication of an incipient jealousy in her hus- 
band towards her former suitor, and marked 
the absence of any such infirmity, as presump- 
tive evidence of his indifierence. 

" What a very agreeable man Windermere 
is I" said Mr. Meredith ; *' and how flattered 
I ought to feel, Ellen, at your according me the 
preference over hinu" 

'' I was just thinking so," replied Lady 
Ellen, and a malicious smile played about her 
rosy lips. 

'M am sorry that tfou thought so, Ellen, 



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72 THE ANTIDOTE TO LOVE. 

though it was natural that / should," and Mr. 
Meredith looked a little uneasy. 

" Why to say the truth, Henry, you give me 
so much time for reflection, that it is not to be 
wondered at that I indulge in it" 

" I, Ellen, what do you mean ? Why, I 
never leave you 1 " 

" Very true ; but you forget that much of 
your time when near me is passed in slumber. 
What is the difference whether you are absent 
or present in person, if you are absent in spirit? 
I would prefer to know that you were amusing 
yourself, or taking healthful exercise, away 
from me, than to be assured of your presence 
only by hearing you snore." 

This reproach, slight as it was, pleased not 
Mr. Meredith; for he was one of the many 
men, who erroneously believe that there is no 
necessity for being ceremonious with one's wife, 
and who are prone to resent any insinuation 
that she is of an opposite opinion, as an insult. 

*' You make no allowance, Ellen, for the 
effect of this warm climate, and the idle life, to 



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THE ANTIDOTE TO LOVE, 7^ 

irhicli I have been so unused, and which I have 
ed since we left England/' 

*• It is your own fault that you have led an 
die life ; for half the time wasted in siestas on 
the sofa in every hotel in which we have been 
sojourning, might have been agreeably and 
profitably employed in investigating, instead of 
superficially viewing, the museums and antiqui- 
ties in which Italy is so rich." 

** But jou forget that these things are new to 

me, and that I have not yet acquired the tastes 

and pursuits of a virtuoso^ or an antiquarian." 

*' That they are new to you, is in my opinion 

a raisan de ptus^ for being interested in them, 

if the charge made against all your sex be true, 

that novelty in all things is a great attraction 

to them." 

This first specimen of a matrimonial discus- 
sion, which, like all similar ones, produced no 
favourable result in the feelings of those engaged 
in it, was interrupted by the presence of I^ord 
Windermere, who came to escort them in their 
giro to view the beautiful environs of Naples. 

VOL. III. £ 

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74 THE ANTIDOTE TO LOVE. 

His arrival was a relief to Lady Ellen and 
Mr. Meredith ; for both felt, now that once the 
ice was broken, the possibility, if not the incli- 
nation, of expressing sentiments much less 
agreeable, than either had ever previously 
indulged in ; and were glad of being saved from 
what they considered a dangerous position. 

As long as the restraint induced by good 
breeding is not thrown aside, the harmony of 
conjugal life is safe, even though a dissimilarity 
of opinions may exist between the parties ; but 
the first sally of recrimination rends the veil of 
illusion, and all the bloom and delicacy of affec- 
tion is for ever impaired. 

While driving over the Strada Nuova, the 
beauty of the scenery of which drew forth ex- 
clamations of delight from Lady £llen, Mr. 
Meredith questioned Lord Windermere relative 
to the hunting at Melton the previous season 
— spoke of capital hacks for riding to cover, 
and first-rate hunters — instituted comparisons 
between different packs of hounds, and evinced 
a much more lively interest about the field- 



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THE ANTIDOTE TO LOVE. 75 

sports in England, than relative to the ex- 
citing scenery around them. Lord Windermere 
pointed out the objects most worthy of attention 
as they drove along, participated in the gratifi- 
cation experienced by the Lady Ellen, and 
turned the conversation as much as good breed- 
ing permits, from those topics to which her 
husband was disposed wholly to confine them. 

Many were the symptoms of petulance invo- 
luntarily exhibited by Lady Ellen during the 
drive, as her husband would interrupt some 
animated description of Lord Windermere's, by 
a question, or reference to the chase ; and 
though they escaped the observation of Mr. 
Meredith, they were noted by the marquis^ who 
failed not to remark the want of harmony 
between the youthful couple. The contrast 
offered by the assiduity of manner, and highly- 
cultivated taste of Lord Windermere, and il 
maritOf was not lost on the young wife ; who 
found herself frequently wondering at the blind- 
ness that could have induced her to reject the 
one, and accept the other. 

E 2 

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76 THE ANTIDOTE TO LOVE, 

When a wife institutes comparisons injurious 
to him whom she has vowed at the altar to love, 
honour, and ohey, she has already profaned the 
sanctity of marriage ; and when the indulgence 
of selfishness, and negligence towards his wife, 
on the part of the husband, have provoked 
such, he must be accounted guilty of having led 
to the crime. Lord Windermere was neither 
a vicious nor a designing man. He had not 
sought the society of the Merediths with any 
intention of endeavouring to disturb their con- 
jugal felicity ; but being a vain man, his visit 
was paid from a motive of showing them that 
the Lady Ellen's rejection of his suit had not 
rendered him inconsolable, which he imagined 
they might be led to think, had he refrained 
from immediately renewing his acquaintance 
with them. 

Vanity often tends to produce as lamentable 
results as vice, if it find the mind of its pos- 
sessor unsupported by strict principles. Wib 
have said that Lord Windermere was a vain 
man : his vanity had been wounded by the 

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THE ANTIDOTE TO LOVE, 77 

preference accorded by Lady EUen Meredith 
to his rival ; and now that he witnessed indi- 
cations of her consciousness of having discovered 
her error in her choice, he instantly determined 
on leaving no effort untried to render her still 
more sensible of her mistake. Observing the 
taste for the romantic in which she indulged, and 
the equally visible predilection for the common- 
place entertained l^ her husband, he artfully 
adopted a line of conduct the most calculated 
to induce her to believe, that he and lie alone 
comprehended her feelings, participated in her 
tastes, atid was constituted to secure her happi- 
ness. This determination was formed the very 
first ^ay of their encounter at Naples. The 
success with which he doubted not it would be 
crowned, offered a salve for his wounded vanity, 
too tempting to be refused ; and an occupation 
to fill up the vacant hours that lately had fallen 
heavy on his hands, too agreeable to be rejected. 
He now made a constant companion in all 
the excurs^ions taken by the Merediths, and a 
constant guest at their tables divided his box 



dbyGoogk 



78 THE ANTIDOTE TO LOVE. 

at the San Carlo with them; got up delicious 
luncheons in the environs, served when least 
expected; serenades on the moonlit bay; and, 
in short, found means to render the 9^our of 
the husband and wife so pleasant at Naples, 
that neither thought of leaving it, or contem- 
plated quitting the society of him who rendered 
it so delightful. 

Lord Windermere now filled the dangerous 
position of an ami de mnisim^ a position fraught 
with temptation to do wrong, and opportunity 
toeffisctit; and which, if not followed by actual 
evil, is sure to incur the worst suspicions 
of it, in those who witness the reprehensible 
familiarity to which it leads. Mr. Meredith, 
now freed from the reproach of leaving Lady 
Ellen alone, while he indulged in his noon- 
day or evening siestas^ abandoned himself to 
both sans gine ; often lulled into them by the 
sweet voice of his wife, or the sonorous one 
of Lord Windermere, as they sang duets toge- 
ther, or read the Italian poets aloud. When 
some fine passage in an author elicited the 



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THE ANTIDOTE TO LOVE. 79 

commendation of the Lady Ellen, Lord Win- 
dermere would lay down the book^ and ex- 
press his sympathy in her opinion, with an 
earnestness that left no doubt of its genuine- 
ness, and with an expression of countenance 
that would have banished doubt, had any such 
suspicion existed in her mind. At such mo- 
ments, a loud snore from Mr. Meredith, would 
remind them that they were not alone, and an 
involuntary look of horror from his sensitive 
wife, would meet with such a glance of sympa- 
thizing pity from Lord Windermere, as sent 
the red blush to her cheek. Those were dan- 
gerous moments, and both felt them to be so, 
as a suppressed sigh heaved the bosom of the 
lady, and an unrestrained one agitated that of 
the gentleman. 

Mr. Meredith did not understand Italian, 
a circumstance which offered an excuse of 
which he daily, hourly, availed himself, of 
slumbering whilst they spoke, sang, or read, in 
that mellifluous language. Nor was he sorry 
for being furnished with so good an excuse 
for indulging in this his favourite propensity, 

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80 THE ANTIDOTE TO LOVE. 

which had now gained on him so much, 
that he would have found it diflScult to resist 
its impulses, were he so disposed, which was 
far from being the case. Mr. M^*edith was 
one of the many men who pass through iife 
with much enjoyment and little pain; for he 
was naturally healthy, good-tempered, and had 
as little sensibility as imagination. Possessed 
of what is in general parlance termed a good 
heart, but which might more aptly be deno- 
minated a good stomach, his humour was 
equal, and free from any tendency to ill-nature. 
Devoted to the pleasures of a good table, a 
luxurious couch, an easy carriage, and what he 
called a quiet life, uiiich meant the absence of 
all exciting conversation or grave reflection, he 
was as happy as possible, and as little dispose<l 
to interrupt the enjoyments of those who found 
them in other sources. 

Such are often the men most prone to marry; 
and are the least likely to promote the happi- 
ness of a wife, unless, like themselves, she is 
disposed to find contentment in the gratification 
of the same unrefined propensities that consti- 

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THE ANTIDOTE TO LOVE. 81 

tute theirs. Such men seek a wife as they do 
a good dinner, and trouble themselves as little 
about the result, unless when reminded by 
some domestic misfortune, or intestine feud. 

Mr. Meredith beheld the growing intimacy 
between his wife and friend without the slightest 
alarm. Satisfied with the constant recollection 
that Lady Ellen had rejected the marquis to 
accept him, a fact which it gratified bis amour 
propre to remember, he never reflected that 
when she had done so, she had as little know* 
ledge of him as of her other suitor; and more- 
over, had been urged into obstinacy by the ob- 
jections of her family against himself, and their 
as injudicious eagerness to induce her to accept 
his rival. His poverty too, when first he at- 
tached himself to her, had great weight witli a 
romantic girl like Lady Ellen. She thought it 
praiseworthy and heroic to be constant to a 
pipor admirer, and to refuse a rich ; and the 
unwise counsel of her aunt. Lady Beauchamp, 
encouraged her in this error. Now that she 
experienced the difference between him, who 

£3 

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82 THE ANTIDOTE TO LOVE. 

from having been at first an ardent lover, had 
degenerated into a goodnatured but careless 
husband, and the ever attentive, and cultivated 
companion permitted to be her constant asso- 
ciate, she was not slow to discover the supe- 
riority of Lord Windermere ; and as if anxious 
to make amends for the injustice of which she 
had been guilty, in preferring Mr. Meredith, 
she now endowed the former with all the qua- 
lities which romantic women are prone to think 
they find in their admirers, many, if not all of 
which, exist only in their own excited imagi- 
nations. There is no surer method for render- 
ing persons desirous tp seem possessed of certain 
qualities, than by attributing them to them. 
** You are so full of imagination" — " You have 
so much feeling" — and that greatest of all com- 
pliments, *'You are so different from other 
men," frequently, and involuntarily repeated by 
Lady Ellen to Lord Windermere, whenever a 
generous sentiment escaped hb lips, had worked 
miracles in him; for he each day became more 
prone to indulge in such, and certainly more 



dbyGoogk 



THE ANTIDOTE TO LOVE. 83 

devoted in his attentions to her who praised 
him. 

Wholly unconscious of her danger — without 
a friend to warn, or a husband to guard, she 
yielded to the fascination of a flatterer, who 
might, had she accepted his profiered hand 
some few months before, have become as neg- 
ligent of the gift, as him on whom she had 
bestowed it; but who, piqued into assiduities, 
by the stimulus of wounded vanity, enacted the 
lover^s part so well, as to deceive her to whom 
his attentions were devoted into a belief that 
he passionately, truly loved her. 

Men have a thousand ways of conveying this 
conviction to a woman's mind, without express- 
ing it by a formal declaration, a step which a 
man of the world will carefully eschew, unless 
he encounters a woman ignorant of what is due 
to les convenances de la soditS. 

The Marquis of Windermere knew that to 
risk an avowal of his flame, would be to put 
-the object of it on her guard against him ; con- 
sequently, he avoided this measure, and adopted 



dbyGoogk 



84 THE ANTIDOTE TO LOVE. 

the less open, but not less effectual mode of 
paying his court, by an uninterrupted series <tf 
attentions, too delicate to give offence, yet too 
marked, to be mistaken by her to whom they 
were offered. The Lady Ellen Meredith im- 
plicitly believed that she was tenderly beloved 
by Lord Windermere, nay, was gratified by 
the belief ; though had she been questioned as 
to the proofs which led to this conviction, she 
-could only have been able to refer to impas- 
sioned looks, deep sighs, broken sentences, and 
unremitting assiduity^ While her admirer 
abstained from an open declaration of his 
passion, she did not consider herself blameable 
in permitting innumerable other demonstra- 
tions of it ; and while she received these 
•demonstrations with complacency, he saw no 
reason to despair of ultimately tri^imphiag over 
her virtue. Matters stood in this «tate, when 
several new English arrivals at Naples, soon 
became initiated in the liaison supposed to 
exist between Lady Ellen Meredith and the 
Marquis of Windermere. 



dbyGoogk 



THE ANTIDOTE TO LOVK. 85 

** How blind must Meredith be l** said one. 

" What a deucedly cool hand Windermere 
must be I" exclaimed a second. 

** And what a shameless woman s/ie must 
be ?" observed a third. 

" Oh I they were old lovers," said another, 
and 

* On «n revient toujoun & tea premiers amoun/ 

as the old song says/' 

*' Meredith is not such a fool as people 
imagine," cried one of his old acquaintance. 
** He has had enough of matrimony, and will 
not be sorry to get rid of his chains." 

While these charitable comments were in- 
dulged in by their compatriots, two, at least, 
of the persons who excited them were little 
conscious of their existence. Mr. Meredith 
was as sure that he was still preferred to Lord 
Windermere by his pretty wife, as he was on 
the day she had rejected his rival for him ; 
and yet all his acquaintances at Naples, at 
least the portion of them composed of his coun- 
trymen, proclaimed him either the dupe, or 



dbyGoogk 



86 THE ANTIDOTE TO LOVE. 

the accomplice of Lord Windermere. If Lady 
Ellen reflected at all on the impression likely 
to be entertained of her, which is rather doubt- 
ful, she would have stated her belief to have 
been that all the people, with whom they asso- 
ciated, must see how devotedly attached to her 
Lord Windermere was, yet how pure and firee 
from impropriety the attachment was. Lady 
Ellen was not singular in indulging this infa- 
tuation with regard to her position, or the 
notion that would be likely to be entertained 
of it by others; for most women free from 
actual guilt, or even the intention of it, deceive 
themselves into the false belief that they will 
escape the suspicion. 

Lord Windermere was the only one of the 
three persons implicated in the affair who had 
an idea of what was likely to be said or thought 
of the business ; and, truth to say, was deterred 
by no honourable feeling, from pursuing a line 
of conduct but too well calculated to confirm 
the evil suspicions entertained by so many of 
his acquaintance. 



dbyGoogk 



THE ANTIDOTE TO LOVE, 87 

Lady Ellen Meredith's reputation became 
the by-word, the jest of all Naples, while those 
who reviled, received her with the demonstra^ 
tions of as much respect as if her virtue had 
never been questioned. 

'* As long as she is countenanced by her 
husband," said they, " we can have no excuse 
for not behaving to her as usual." A mode of 
reasoning, founded on a system of immorality 
highly prejudicial to the true interests of 
society ; offering as it were a premium for the 
successful duplicity of the wife, who adding 
artifice to vice, first wrongs, and then dupes 
her husband ; or to the dishonourable conniv- 
ance, or supine negligence of the husband, who 
sanctions the sins, or is ignorant of the shame 
entailed on him by her whose honour he should 
have defended as his dearest possession. 

At this period, the uncle of Lady Ellen 
Meredith, Mr. Mortimer, arrived at Naples, 
and soon became aufait of the reports in cir- 
culation against his niece, and sensible of the 
dangerous position in which she was placed. 



dbyGoogk 



88 THE ANTIDOTE TO LOVE. 

" The Marquis of Windermere lives alto- 
gether with you, I observe," said he to Lady 
Ellen, two or three days after his arrival. 

" We see a good deal of him," was her reply. 

** And I am sure you now agree with me, 
that he is a very pleasant person." 

'' Yes ; indeed, uncle, I have often thought 
since we have been here, how judicious your 
commendations of him were." 

*< You have — ^have you? what a pity it is 
you did not find this out some eight or nine 
months ago I But do you know, niece, I do 
not think my commendaticms were judicious?" 

^* How I have you changed your opinion of 
him, uncle?" 

'* In some respects, perhaps, I have ; but 
the reason that I think my commendations 
were not judicious is, that I am persuaded that 
had I dispraised him, and applauded Meredith, 
Lord Windermere might have been this day 
your husband." 

Lady Ellen sighed deeply, but unconsciously, 
and the sigh was not unremarked by her uncle. 



dbyGoogk 



THE ANTIDOTE TO LOVE. 89 

*' Nevertheless," resumed he, " although I 
approved Lord Windermere for the husband 
of my niece, I do 7io^ improve him as her ad- 
mirer, now that she is the wife of another/' 

Lady EUeu Meredith's cheeks became tinged 
with the brightest red. ** You are so — so odd 
— so strange in your notions," murmured she. 

** No, not so odd* nor so strange neither; for 
I dare say most uncles have, like me, an objec- 
tion to their nieces having an admirer, unless 
it be les Gures^ who are said to sanction their 
nieces having onet at least ; but charity begins 
at home.'* 

*^ I really do not know what you mean, 
uncle." 

** Then you must be less quick of apprehen- 
sion than usual, Ellen, or else your signoras in 
Italy have accustomed you to the fashion of 
married ladies having cavalieri serventi ; for 
what I mean ist that Lord Windermere appears 
to occupy that place with you, and all the 
English at Naples are commenting on it in a 
very spiteful manner." 



dbyGoogk 



90 THE ANTIDOTE TO LOVE. 

** Good Heavens I is it possible that people 
can be so very ill-natured, so very unjust, as to 
find cause for censure in a woman's receiving 
common civilities of a man who is the friend 
of her husband?*' 

** And are you so very inexperienced, niece, 
as to think that a young and pretty woman can 
have a man following her about all day, and 
sitting by her all the evening, without people 
thinking that a more than ordinary or tolerated 
attachment exists between them?" 

*' But surely when a woman's husband, her 
lawful protector sees nothing to condemn in such 
attentions, no one ebe has a right to question 
the propriety of her conduct ?" 

" But her husband may be a knave or a fool, 
and in either case he is unfit to be her pro- 
tector ; and people, though they may have no 
right, will, nevertheless, take the liberty with- 
out it, of passing very severe comments." 

** Comments which those who know their 
own honour and integrity can despise," and 
Lady Ellen looked the indignation she felt. 



dbyGoogk 



THE ANTIDOTE TO LOVE. 91 

** And what will they gain hy despising 
popular opinion, niece?" 

" They will gain their own self-respect by 
asserting their independence." 

" A sentiment worthy of your aunt Beau- 
champ, Ellen." 

Now, as Lady Ellen knew that Mr. Mor- 
timer held her aunt Beauchamp's opinions in 
utter contempt, nothing could be better calcu- 
lated to ofiend her than the allusion made by 
him to the resemblance between the sentiment 
she had just expressed, and those of that lady, 
and consequently nothing could more indispose 
her to respect his advice, or to adopt it. People 
seldom reflect on the necessity of avoiding 
every thing that can wound or ofiend, when 
they bestow counsel ; for, however well-meant 
may be the motive of giving it, the receiver 
rarely accepts it with the satisfaction with 
which it is given ; and a sense of superiority 
implied by the adviser, predisposes the advised, 
even though convinced of the value of the 
unpalatable potion, to reject it. The truth of 



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9i THE ANTIDOTE TO LOVE. 

this assertion was now proved by the mode in 
which Lady Ellen replied to her ancle. 

** I hope/' said she, bridling up as people call 
it, when a person holds up his or her head in a 
more elevated position than usual, — '* I hope 
that my sentiments may always be worthy of 
my aunt Beauchamp, and then I shall have 
nothing to reproach myself with ;" and she 
walked out of the room with an air of offended 
dignity, that would not have disgraced the 
prima donna of St. Carlo, in her grandest rdle. 

" Whewl" muttered Mr. Mortimer. "So, 
so, madame ma ni^, you are angry, are you ? 
then the affair is more grave than I imagined ; 
for when a woman gets angry, not with herself 
for giving cause for scandal, but with those 
who draw natural, though not perhaps kind in- 
ferences from her conduct, it is a certain sign 
she IS in danger. I have alarmed her, how- 
ever, and that may do some good. What fools 
women are to be sure ! *' continued he, thinking 
aloud. " Here is this silly girl quarrelling 
with me because, forsooth, I disapprove of her 



dbyGoogk 



THE ANTIDOTE TO LOVE. 9^ 

flirtation with Lord Windermere, when only a 
few months ago she was ready to wage war with 
me^ because I wished her to marry him. Give 
a woman her head, and she will be sure to run 
against a post. Here is this niece of mine — 
who, less than a year ago, fancied she could not 
live unless wedded to Meredith — now as tired 
of his drowsy habits, and selfish indulgence in 
the creature comforts, as ever she was of a 
worn-out robe or a faded ribbon ; and I'll be 
bound fancying herself as much smitten with 
Windermere, as she before believed herself to 
be with Meredith. But I must keep her from 
falling into a scrape after all, even though it 
be against her wilL'^ 

That evening, Mr. Mortimer made one of 
the party at dinner with the Merediths ; and 
as usual, Mr. Meredith, soon after cofiee, ex- 
tended himself on a sofa, and resigned himself 
to the influence of sleep. Mr. Mortimer felt 
that he was de trap in the room, and Lord 
Windermere and Lady Ellen looked as if they 
were equally convinced of this fact. The lady 



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94 THE ANTIDOTE TO LOVE. 

walked into the balcony (balconies, par paren- 
t/iiscy are useful resources on such occasions), 
and bent her head over the fragrant flowers 
placed there. Lord Windermere was not slow 
in following her: and Mr. Mortimer heard 
them converse on the softening effect of moon- 
light on the feelings, in tones so sentimental, as 
to convince him that theirs owned the influence 
of it, at that moment. Now Mr. Mortimer, he 
it known to my readers, was, like many other 
sexagenarians, subject to attacks of pain in his 
face and ears, that rendered him very fearful of 
exposing himself to the night air, even in 
the mild and genial climate of Naples ; con- 
sequently, though most desirous to interrupt 
the tMe-^'tite on the balcony, he dared not 
venture out on it. Finding, however, that 
Lady Ellen and Lord Windermere seemed 
determined to remain there and enjoy their 
privacy, he left the room, and putting on his 
great-coat and cloak, and tying a silk handker- 
chief over his ears, under his hat, he returned ; 
and, to the surprise and dissatisfaction of the 



dbyGoogk 



THE ANTIDOTE TO LOVE, 95 

occupants of the balcony, took his station there 
beside them. The ludicrous figure he pre- 
sented, might have provoked the laughter of 
even the most serious ; and, as he held a hand- 
kerchief to his mouth to exclude the air, he 
offered one of the most rueful objects imagin- 
able. But neither his niece nor her admirer 
were disposed for mirth. They had been in- 
dulging in sentimental rhapsodies on sympathy 
of soul and unison of tastes, until they had 
worked themselves up into the belief, that they 
stood apart from the generality of human beings, 
and were by far too refined, and too spiritualized, 
to be understood, except by each other. 

They ceased speaking when Mr. Mortimer 
joined them, but their looks were eloquent. 
The moonbeams at that moment fell on the 
beautiful face of Lady Ellen, giving to her 
finely-chiselled forehead the snowy tint of a 
marble statue. Her luxuriant tresses bound 
round her small head, and her white dress 
jhlling in folds to her feet, added to the re- 
semblance. Lord Windermere's eyes were fixed 
on her face with an expression of such undis- 

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OG THE ANTIDOTE TO LOVE. 

guised and passionate admiration, as could 
leave no doubt of his sentiments on whoever 
chanced to behold him ; and Lady Ellen^s eyes 
were turned to the heavens as if to search in the 
mystic disk of the moon, the secrets of futurity. 

** I think I heard you both speaking of the 
softening eflfect of moonlight on the feelings,** 
said he, with a rueful glance at the luminary. 
" Now for mt/ part, I think it hardens the feel- 
ings confoundedly ; for hang me, if ever I felt 
less softened than at this very moment. And 
as to the pleasantry of this scene, which you 
have been enjoying for the last hour, why it is 
enough to give any body the chronic rheuma- 
tism, or a fit of the ague." 

So saying, he entered the saloon, removed 
his wrappings, and comfortably took possession 
of the second sofa, precisely vis-d-vis to the one 
occupied by Mr. Meredith. 

The Marquis of Windermere and Lady Ellen 
soon after left the balcony, looked at each sofa, 
tenanted by a noisy sleeper, and then at each 
other with glances of tender commiseration. 

^^ Will you read to me?" asked Lady Ellen. 

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THE ANTIDOTE TO LOTE. 97 

" If you wish it You know t/our wishes are 
laws to me. Shall it be Dante ?" 

** If you please ; I am sad to-night, and dis- 
posed to hear something grave/' 

" You are sad I Oh I Lady Ellen, 4o not 
indulge in sadness, it would make you too — 
too dangerous." 

Lady Ellen blushed, and averted her eyes 
from the impassioned gaze of her admirer, and 
he took up a volume of Dante, and having 
looked over a few of its pages, commenced 
reading the beautiful episode of Francesca da 
Rimini. As the soft melodious voice of Lord 
Windermere pronounced the following passage, 
Mr. Mortimer, who only feigned sleep, and 
perfectly understood Italian, thought it not a 
fitde analogous to the position of the reader 
and Lady Ellen. 

•' Ifm B% eonoflcer U prima ndice 
Del nof tro amor tu hai ootanto affetto» 
Fard, eome ooltii, che piange, e dice. 

Noi leggiavamo mi giomo^ per dildto, 
Di Landlotto, come amor lo ttrinte 
Soli eravamo, e lenst alcmi sotpetlo. 
Per pii^ fiate ^ oodii d iospiiiie 



VOL. III. 



dbyGoogk 



98 THE ANTIDOTE TO LOVE. 

Qaella lettnrnt e loolorocd 1 nso : 
Ma lolo rni punto fa quel, che d Tinse. 
Qiumdo l^cnimo U £stato tuo 

Ewer baciato da eontanto amante, 
Quettiy che mai, da me non fia diTiao 
La bocca mi liaoci6 tutto treoMiite :" 



Here Mortimer, no less alarmed by the tre- 
mulous tone of Lord Windermere's reading, 
than by the visible emotion of Lady Ellen, lest 
a similar dSnauemeni to that which the marquis 
was reading, might occnr, yawned aloud, rose 
from the sofa, and pnmounced the concluding 
line of the poem, 

'* Qnel giorno pti mm li kgemmo ««aiite»'* 

in a mock heroic style, ludicrously contrasted 
by the sentimental one of Lord Windermere. 

Lady Ellen looked, and felt embarrassed; 
and the marquis, though he endeavoured to 
conceal his displeasure at the interruption, be* 
trayed it by his heightened colour and flashing 
eyes. The book was lud down, and a pointed 
reference to the lateness of the hour from 
Mr. Mortimer, led to Lord Windermere's 
taking leave. Lady Ellen, who dreading a lec- 
ture from her uncle, also withdrew, leaving him 



dbyGoogk 



THE ANTIDOTE TO LOVE. 99 

alone with her sleeping caro sposo. Mr. Mor- 
timer looked at him as he lay supinely stretched 
on the sofa, giving proof of his proximity only 
hy occasional snores. 

" You are a pleasant fellow I *^ ejaculated he j 
*' a nice guardian to a handsome young wife, 
with as strong a spice of coquetry in her nature, 
as in that of any of her troublesome sex. Yes, 
you resemble a sleeping partner in a bank. 
You take no trouble, but trust your credit 
and your property at the discretion of others. 
'Twould serve you right, you indolent blockhead, 
were you to meet with the fate of so many Bene- 
dicts, who leave creatures only just out of their 
nurseries in positions fraught with danger, and 
are then surprised at what follows." 

He approached the sleeper; called him 
several times, but in vain ; and at length was 
compelled to shake him by the shoulder. 

*' What's the matter? — where are Ellen and 
Windermere? — why have you awakened me?" 

'* I have awakened you that we might have 
some serious conversation together." 

f2 

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100 THE ANTIDOTE TO LOVE. 

" Well, let it be short, * dear Nunky, if thou 
lovest me,' for I am half asleep, and well dis- 
posed to seek my pillow, for that sofa is some- 
what of the hardest." 

" The subject, Mr. Meredith, on which 1 
consider it my duty to speak to you, is one of 
such grave import to you, and of such dear 
interest to me, that it cannot be discussed 
quickly. ' 

^* Why, what then can it be about ? Any bad 
news from England?" 

"No!" 

** Then T am sure I cannot even guess what 
the subject can be." 

** Your blindness, your infatuation surprise 
me. Can it be possible that, unmindful of the 
danger to which you expose her, you leave your 
young and inexperienced wife in the daily, 
hourly society of Lord Windermere, heedless 
of the censorious observations made on her and 
you, until her reputation and your honour have 
become the topic for scandal in every English 
circle at Naples?" 



dbyGoogk 



THE ANTIDOTE TO LOVE. 101 

** What I Lady Ellen's repatation, my honour 
called in question ? You astonish, you confound 
me; hut you must surely he in jest, you cannot 
be serious?" 

** This is no subject for jesting, what 1 have 
told you is the fact" 

** Only let me know the man who has pre- 
sumed to question either her honour or mine, 
and I will " 

** Call him out, I suppose. This is the usual 
mode of silencing reports ; but I never knew it 
to answer." 

" How is it possible such a calumny could 
have been circulated ? We who are so fondly 
attached to each other, who have been so few 
months married, and who are inseparable, for 
you must observe that I never leave her." 

<* It would perhaps be better if you did some« 
times, rather than to remain whole hours — ^yes, 
Mr. Meredith, whole hours — fast asleep in her 
presence ; leaving her to enjoy the dangerous 
contrast afforded by the attentions and conver- 
sation of an agreeable man who keeps himself 
wide awake." 

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102 THE ANTIDOTE TO LOVE. 

** But it is kDown to every one that my wife 
refused Windermere because she preferred me. 
This fact should surely disarm malice, and 
silence slander. Had she preferred him, she 
might have married him; but having preferred 
7nej is it at all likely that she would now, when 
morality, virtue, every thing forbid it; but, 
above all, her attachment to me, — ^is it likely, 
I ask, that she could now be suspected of loving 

" When she accorded the preference to you, 
Mr. Meredith, you forget that she knew litde 
of you except through the casual intercourse 
afforded by a ball, a concert, or the crush-room 
at the opera, and of Lord Windermere she 
knew rather less. The injudicious, because 
angrily expressed opposition to your suit, which 
her parents offered, and the secret encourage- 
ment she met with from my poor foolish sister, 
Lady Beauchamp, excited a girlish fancy for 
you, who were her first declared admirer, in 
my niece's breast, into a flame which, like a 
fire of straw, would have quickly died away, 
had not such fuel been added to it. The 

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THE ANTIDOTE TO LOVE. 103 

efforts and recommendations of her family to 
induce her to accept Windermere produced 
precisely the contrary effect which they in- 
tended ; so that her marriage with you can no 
more he attributed to a real b&ndjlde affection 
on her part, than her rejection of him can be 
traced to any personal dislike." 

« Allow me to '* 

'* I will allow nothing until you have heard 
me. Well, then, to resume. She carries her 
point ; marries you ; comes abroad ; and you, 
instead of being her cheerful companion, her 
attentive husband, and her watchful guardian, 
become, if not indifferent, careless ; and if not 
unkind, negligent. You sleep whole hours, 
leaving her either totally alone to reflect on the 
difference of a lover and a husband ; or in the 
still more dangerous position of a Mte^Mte 
with a very fine young man, to grow even more 
fully aware of the contrast" 

<* Good Heavens I you do not mean to say 
that Lord Windermere has forgotten-^has vio- 
lated the rights of hospitality ?" 

** If he has not, t/ou have not been the ob- 

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104 THE ANTIDOTE TO LOVE; 

stacle, for you have certainly given him every 
opportunity/* 

" But my wife — Lady Ellen — surely die 
never would — ^never could——" 

" Why are you to expect my niece to he • that 
faultless monster that the world ne'er saw?' 
Like all young women, she prizes admiration, 
attention, and an agreeable companion. You 
have ceased to offer to her any of these agrS- 
mens; and have negligently, unwisely, per- 
mitted another to supply them.'' 

*^ How coidd I think, how could I dream 
that she who preferred me could ever bestow a 
thought on another ; and that other, one whom 
she had rejected for me?" 

*' Yet most men might have thought of this 
possibility, Mr. Meredith, and even those who 
slept not half so much as you might have dreamt 
of it The fact is, your vanity led you into the 
error you have committed ; fortunately, it is not 
too late to be retrieved." 

« What shall I— what can I do ?" 

*' Follow my advice, and all will yet be 
welL" 

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THE ANTIDOTE TO LOVE. 105 

" I will leave Naples to-morrow j take her 
away from the society of Windermere.** 

'* And by so doing commit a greater folly 
than the previous one. To tear her away thus 
abruptly from the society of one with whom you 
have permitted her to live on habits of constant 
intercourse, would not only be sure to excite a 
livelier interest for him in her mind, but would 
confirm every evil report in circulation here on 
the subject*' 

** What then is to be done ? I am wretched 
— I am miserable." 

'< You might in a short time have been ren- 
dered both ; but at present I see no cause for 
despair. Abandon the habit of sleeping on sofas 
and chairs ; show the same attention to your own 
young and pretty wife that you would imagine 
it necessary to show to the young and pretty 
wife of any of your acquaintance. In short, 
behave towards her as Lord Windermere does. 
You cannot have a better model for delicate 
attentions on which to form yourself.'* 

Meredith writhed under this sarcasm : but 

f3 

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lOfi THE ANTIDOTE TO LOVE. 

Mr. Mortimer was not a man to spare the feel- 
ings of another. 

** Betray no s}inptom of suspicion, and never 
forget that as yet your wife is innocent of any 
thing, except an almost unconscious flirtation, 
into which your folly has led her; and that 
Windermere only culpable of a weakness in 
yielding to a temptation that few could resist*-^ 
to love, or to fimcy he loves, a woman whose 
constant society you have left him to enjoy. 
You must enter the lists with him to win again 
the preference once allotted to you over him by 
my niece, and I must endeavour to find the 
means of conquering any predilection she may 
be disposed to entertain for him." 

** If you can accomplish this, how happy, 
how grateful you will make me I" 

** What strange animals men are, Meredith 1 
Half an hour ago you slept, careless and ccm- 
tenr^, ignorant that danger menaced I now you 
begin to know the value of the possession you 
then appreciated so little that you disdained to 
guard it.** 



dbyGoogk 



THE ANTIDOTE TO LOVE. 107 

** I see, I feel my error, and if indeed I have 
not irretrievably lost Ellen's affection — oh! 
there is bitteniess in the thought — I will " 

" Be more attentive, n^est ce pas f En aU 
tendant, followmy instructions. Instead of sleep- 
ing on your sofa to-morrow, let us play a parti 
oi Scarti. This will keep you awake, keep my 
niece and Lord Windermere from sentimental- 
izing on the balcony, and prevent me from catch- 
ing a cold by enacting the triste rdle of a Marplot 
on the said balcony. These points are some- 
thing gained. Leave the rest to chance." 

" You surely jest I What, propose cards to 
a man whose feelings are tortured as mine are ? 
Never was there so puerile, so (permit me to 
say) ridiculous a project, and never was there 
any one less disposed to follow it than I am, 
under the present excitement of my mind.** 

'* Do not be obstinate, follow my counsel in 
this point, and I venture to pronounce that you 
will have no cause to repent it." 

'* Well, for this once I yield to your advice, 
though I confess I cannot comprehend its ad- 
vantage." 

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108 THE ANTIDOTE TO LOVE. 

Mr. Meredith sought his pillow that night 
with a heavy heart : and was rejoiced to find 
that Lady Ellen was asleep, as he dreaded ex- 
posing to her the state of his mind. Long did 
he hrood over the communication made to him 
hy Mr. Mortimer ; and hitterly did he accuse 
himself for having, hy his supineness, exposed 
his wife not only to censure, but to positive 
danger. It required no slight exertion of his 
self-control, to conceal, the next day, the anxiety 
and agitation that reigned in his breast; for 
now that his eyes were opened, he remarked 
with many a jealous pang, the assiduities of 
Lord Windermere, and the complacency with 
which they were received, and felt astonished 
that they had hitherto escaped his observation. 
He ceased not, during the many hours, which 
he fancied interminable, to observe every inci- 
dent, however trivial, that tended to confirm 
the suspicions now excited, and was frequently 
on the point of betraying the anger to which 
they gave birth. 

Evening at length came; and when Mr. 
Meredith, from habit, moved towards the sofa. 

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THE ANTIDOTE TO LOVE* 109 

where he had been wont to enjoy his siestOf 
and Lady Ellen and her admirer looked senti- 
mentally towards the balcony, Mr. Mortimer 
said, 

<< Come, come, Meredith, let us have a game 
of cards. It is much better than sleeping on 
the sofa, or catching cold on the balcony, as I 
did hist night." 

JjOI^ Windermere looked as if he wished the 
proposer of cards a thousand miles off, and Lady 
Ellen declared that she did not know a single 
game. Meredith half-yawning uttered some- 
thing expressive of his indifference about play, 
but his willingness to do any thing agreeable 
to Mr. Mortimer, who declared that he would 
instruct his niece in macao^ a game so easily 
and quickly acquired, that even a child could 
learn it in five minutes. The reluctance of 
Lord Windermere and Lady Ellen was over- 
ruled by the pertinacity with which the uncle 
of the latter adhered to his desire; and the 
party sat down to cards. Guinea stakes were 
proposed by Mr. Mortimer, and assented to by 



dbyGoogk 



110 THE ANTIDOTE TO LOVE. 

the other two gentlemen, while the lady, per- 
fectly ignorant of the game, was placed under 
the guidance of her uncle. At first she paid 
little attention to the play, nor did Lord Win- 
dermere enter into it with much more ani- 
mation ; but when, after a few rounds, he 
became the dealer, with a small pile of gold 
before him, Mr. Mortimer with pleasure re- 
marked, that instead of, as hitherto, keeping 
his eyes constantly fixed on the beautiful ftkce 
of Lady Ellen, they were employed in looking 
at the cards. She, too, when having three 
successive times been dealt an eight, and con- 
sequently been paid twice the amount of her 
stake by the dealer, began to take much more 
interest in the game, and evinced with childish 
joy her satisfaction at having been so successfuL 
A nine was now dealt to her, and her gaiety 
increased ; she impatiently held out her small 
white hand to receive the trifling amount of 
the sum she had risked, her eyes sparkling, 
and her cheeks blushing with the gratification 
of the new passion which had been awakened 



dbyGoogk 



THE ANTIDOTE TO LOVE. Ill 

in her mind; and, as the uncle marked the 
added heauty given hy the unwonted excitement 
to her face, and glanced at Lord Windermere, 
to notice whether he also observed it, he de* 
tected an expression of dissatisfaction almost 
amounting to dislike in his countenance, as his 
eyes were turned on her &ce. He continued 
to lose, and evinced such evident symptoms of 
discomposure at his ill luck, as to render him 
perfectly unamiable, in spite of his efforts to 
master his ill-humour. It became apparent 
that Lady Ellen remarked the change effected 
by play on her admirer; for she looked at him 
from time to time, as his cheek flushed, and 
he bit his nether lip, with no less astonishment 
than disapprobation. 

At length fortune changed, and the pyramid 
of gold which Lady Ellen had won, and to 
which she had frequently pointed with childish 
exultation, began to crumble away ; as dealing 
the cards she enriched all the others, and im* 
poverished herself. She now began to exhibit 
certfldn evidences of anger, and then became 



dbyGoogk 



112 THE ANTIDOTE TO LOVE. 

much incensed, when Lord Windermere, for- 
getful in the excitement of gambling, of the 
biens^ifice of wt homme camme ilfaut^ and the 
rdle of an admirer, evinced more desire to 
receive his winnings from the fair loser, than 
did even Mr. Mortimer. 

Mr. Meredith was the only one of the three 
men who did not remind her that he had won 
from her, and she remarked this with some- 
thing like a feeling of gratitude. But how did 
this feeling increase when, towards the close of 
the evening, having lost not only the large sum 
she had previously won, but all the money she 
possessed, her husband uttering a well-timed 
compliment, that one so favoured by Nature, 
could not expect to be equally so by Fortune, 
who being blind, could not see her whom she 
persecuted, placed before her all the gold from 
his pile, and afterwards declined accepting pay- 
ment when he won from her. She contrasted 
the conduct of Mr. Meredith with that of 
Lord Windermere, glanced from the counte- 
nance of the one to the other, and observed. 



dbyGoogk 



THE ANTIDOTE TO LOVE. 113 

that while that of the former exhibited good 
temper and serenity, that of the latter was 
flushed by excitement, and lighted up by ava- 
rice. She asked herself whether this could be 
the same &ce that only a few hours previously 
had beamed with softness and sentiment? and 
turned from the contemplation, perfectly cured 
of her growing predilection for its owner. 

But determined that her cure shotdd be 
complete, Mr. Mortimer increased the stakes, 
which consequently added to the excitement of 
Lord Windermere, until he displayed such an 
ill-bred exultation when his avarice was grati* 
fied by winning, and such ill-humour when it 
was defeated, that totally unconscious that she 
herself had exhibited the same defect, though 
in a less degree, she conceived a positive dis- 
like to him, which became so evident, that her 
uncle gave sundry glances of satisfaction to 
Mr. Meredith. 

The marquis as he undressed at a late hour, 
to seek his pillow, confessed to himself, that 
although Lady Ellen was very beautiful, he 



dbyGoogk 



114 THE ANTIDOTE TO LOVE* 

should never again think her so, after having 
seen her onfeminine passion for play^ her odious 
love of money, and the mauvaise manihre with 
which she lost or won. 

'* No»'' said he to himself, *' the illusion 
is over. I am glad she is not my wife — I 
never could fancy her again, and so ailanM to 
Palermo." 

The Lady Ellen Meredith heard of his depar- 
ture the next day without regret; and reflects 
ing on the change in her sentiments towards 
him, whispered to herself, *' If play can render 
a person so disagreeable, as it made him, it 
ought to he avoided. No, I will never gamble 
again." 

A resolution to which she steadily adhered. 

The English at Naples wondered for three 
whole days, why Lord Windermere departed 
so abruptly. They were during that period 
divided in conjectures whether any disagreeable 
detection had been made, or whether, discover- 
ing his passion to be hopeless, the lover had 
fled in despair. The greater number adopted 



dbyGoogk 



THE ANTIDOTE TO LOVE. 115 

the first supposition^ and this was strengthened 
by the unusual attention of Mr. Meredith to 
bis wife, which they charitably pronounced to 
be exhibited expressly to prevent suspicion. 

Mr. Meredith was never afterwards known 
to sleep out of bed, or his wife to sentimen- 
talize* 



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dbyGoogk 



117 



THE OLD IRISH GENTLEMAN. 



In the suburbs of the village of Comery might 
be seen two cottages, not more than a quarter 
of a mile apart, both of the same dimensions, 
but widely different in appearance. One had 
been newly thatched and white-washed; the 
glass windows shone brightly, and a few flower, 
pots, in which were some hardy geraniums, 
graced them. Some parasitic plants were creep- 
ing against the white walls ; and in front, was 
a small but neat garden, well filled with simple 
and blooming flowers, around which were hover- 
ing innumerable bees, whose hives, ranged 
along the southern wall of the cottage, added to 



dbyGoogk 



118 THE OLD IRISH OENTLEMAN. 

the air of comfort and cheerfulness of the rural 
picture. 

The other dwelling offered a very striking 
contrast. The walls of the cottage were stained 
with mud and patches of green damp, and the 
thatch in many parts had disappeared, or was 
overgrown hy weeds. The windows had many 
more panes broken than whole ; and through 
the broken ones protruded various unseemly 
articles of wearing apparel, thrust in to supply 
the place of the glass, A huge heap of dung 
raised its unshapely mass against one side of 
the house ; and on the other, a pool of stagnant 
water, verdant from the accumulation of indes- 
cribable vegetable matter that half filled it» sent 
forth most unsavoury exhalations. Some ducks 
were floating merrily on the bosom of this 
opaque pond, or lough^ as the owner of the 
dwelling would have called it ; and sundry long- 
legged pigs were supinely wallowing along its 
filthy banks. The mingled noises of cocks^ 
hens, turkeys, and geese, stunned the ears of all 
who approached, as these domestic favourites 



dbyGoogk 



THE OLD IRISH GENTLEMAN. 119 

were in turn assailed by four or five curly- 
headed, ragged urchins, whose rosy cheeks and 
sturdy limbs bore evidence of the nutritious 
qualities of potatoes, and whose activity in 
chasing the frightened birds kept these last in 
constant exercise. Two or three dogs, who 
occasionally joined in the warfare, barked, or 
growled a deep bass to the treble of the birds 
and the shrill laugh of the children; only inter- 
rupted for a few minutes when the loud voice 
of an old man, who sat smoking his short pipe 
at the door of the house, commanded them to 
*^ hould their whisth, and not to be bothering 
the brains out of him, and the sowls out of the 
poor oreathures of fowls.** 

In a porch in front of the first-mentioned of 
the two cottages, which in tidiness and beauty 
might have lost nothing by comparison with the 
neatest of those in England, sat two women, 
busily employed. The elder one, far advanced 
in the vale of years, was knitting stockings ; 
and the other, a comely matron of middle age, 
was sewing a garment of linen, white as the 



dbyGoogk 



120 THE OLD IRISH GENTLEBCAIT. 

snowy pigeons that were revolving in airy flight 
over her head, or sometimes descending to pick 
up the huck-wheat dispensed with a liheral hand 
in the farm-yard adjoining the garden. 

** Well, then, sure it's myself, Mary dear, 
that's come up to have an hour's talk with you, 
this fine day," said the old woman, in accents 
that could leave no douht of her country. ** And 
see, I've brought my knitting,'' resumed she, 
'< that you shouldn't be scoulding me for being 
idle, as you always do when I'm not at work." 

" Why, I think people may as well work 
while they are talking," said the other, with a 
half smile ; ** and it saves time." 

'*OghI Mai'y, it's yourself that's always 
talking of the value of time. Sure a body might 
think it was gould, by the fuss you make about 
it" 

« I wish, Katty my dear, I could make you 
and our neighbours understand that time is as 
valuable as gold, for then you would not per- 
haps waste it so much." 

<< Well, Mary, if the mother that bore ye — 



dbyGoogk 



THE OLD IRISH GENTLEMAN. 121 

and a dacent woman she was, as ever stepped 
in shoe-leather — was to hear you, she wouldn't 
believe you were her child, when you're always 
finding fault with our Irish ways. Ah I she 
was a &ne ^ough houragh* housekeeper, that 
she was, though I say it that oughtn't to say 
it, bekase as how she was my aunt" 

** I only find fault because I wish to see my 
country people as industrious and as economical 
of time as the English are, among whom I've 
spent so many years of my life." 

" Well, you needn't he regretting 'em so 
much; for I don't think, Mary Magee, that 
you'd be afther finding a more elegant house in 
all England, grand as it is, than this same house 
of yours, here. Why, it's too fine to live in ; 
and every thing about it is so clane, that I'm 
always afraid to dirt the place when I come to 
see you I What an elegant porch this is ; flowers 
growing up against it, too, quite genteelly I 
Why, I've seen Micky, your husband as busy 
as the bees that are buzzing around us, getting 

* Profttie. 
VOL. III. G 

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122 THE OLD IRISH GENTLEMAN. 

every thing ready for your coming over, just for 
all the world as if he was preparing to receive 
a bom gentlewoman. * She's been so many years 
used to have every thing tidy and nate about 
her house, in England/ says he, ^ that she'd be 
miserable if I hadn't this place a little dacent 
for her.' And sure he thried all he could to 
get me and my ould man to take pathem by 
him, and to do up our tiniment ; but we're too 
ould to change our ways, or to be bothering 
ourselves with alterations. Besides, it's a great 
comfort not to be afraid of spoiling things by 
dirting 'em ; and with us, childer, pigs, dogs, 
and fowls, enjoy themselves, man and baste, as 
we say, without ever being put out of the way. 
But whisht, look down at the road, Mary — 
there he goes, and may God bless him while he 
lives, and the heavens be his bed when he takes 
the last sleep I Look at the fine face of him, 
7na vourneen^^ with the eyes as blue as the 
heavens over his head, and the white locks that 
ai'c streaming down his fresh^coloured cheeks 

* My dear. 



dbyGoogk 



THE OLD IRISH GENTLEMAN. 123 

as pure as the snow on the Slieve^ne^Man moun- 
tains I Sure, it does the heart of me good to 
see him." 

** But why is he made so much of by all the 
neighbours?" asked the younger woman. 

" Why ? Ah, then, sure it's aisy to see you 
must be a stranger in these parts to ask the 
question. Isn't it himself that spent oceans of 
money, and, when that was gone, coined thou- 
sands of green acres into gold, to give to those 
that wanted it ; and kept a house, the smoke 
of whose chimneys, burning night and day, 
went up to the sky to tell God how well he fed 
the hungry ? Why, the smoke of his kitchen- 
chimney might be seen twenty miles off; and 
the smell of the meat, roasting and boiling, fry- 
ing and broiling, drew every one who wanted a 
good dinner to the big-house, where plenty and 
cead miUe faltJwugh houghs* always awaited 
them." 

" Why did he leave the big-house, then, 
neighbour?" 

* A thousand welcomeff. 

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1S4 THE OLD IRISH GENTLEMAN. 

'* Arragh, bekase them beasts of bailifl^ 
wouldn't let him stay in it any longer; bad 
luck to 'em night and day for driving him away 
from us I for it was a sore day for Comery when 
he left it/' 

^* How could the bailifl^ drive him away, if 
he had a right to stay ?" 

" If he had a right to stay I 'Pon my soul, 
Mary Magee, you make the heart of me beat 
quicker, and the anger get into my head» by 
your foolish questions." 

" I'm very sorry, Katty honey, for that same ; 
for Him above knows, I had no thought to vex 
you. But I don't quite understand how a gen- 
tleman is to be driven from his house and home 
by bailifi^, if he has done nothing against the 
law." 

" Against the law I — bad luck to the law I 
isn't it the ruin of us all ? Don't tell me of law 
which has beggared more than one-half the 
parish, and will never stop till it has beggared 
the other! Law, indeed I Isn't it another 
name for the devil ? — God forgive me for say- 



dbyGoogk 



THE OLD IRISH GENTLEMAN. 1^5 

ing such a word. The very sound of it makes 
me angry, and good cause I have for that same/' 

'* But you have not told me, Katty dear, how 
the bailiffs had power to turn away Mr. O'Do- 
noughough from the big-house.'* 

" Power I — sure haven't they power to do 
whatever they like when the law tells 'em?" 

** Did he do any thing against the law, then?" 

*^ He ! — ^never. But bekase he couldn't pay 
the wine-merchant for all the port, and sherry, 
and claret, that used to be floating about the 
dining-room, enough to swim a big ship, the 
spalpeen of the world put a press* into the 
house i after that a latitat ; then fiery faces ;t 
and then, them blackguards of bailiffs, who, if 
a gentleman owes a thrifle of money, have no 
more respect for him than if he was nothing at 
all, came and took possession." 

*' What's a press, Katty dear, and a latitat ? 
The fiery faces, I guess, must be the two red- 
nosed bailiffs that the garsoons always pelt with 
stones when they go through the village." 

* Proceti. t ^*>^ Facias. 



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126 THE OLD IRISH GENTLEMAN. 

" Whjf God help you, you creathure of the 
world ! Arragh, sure, as I said before, it's aisy 
enough to see you're a stranger in these parts, 
not to know what a pross, a latitat, and fiery 
faces main I You'll not be long here, I can 
tell you, before you know 'em better ; for there's 
not a brat of a boy, no, nor a girl neither, in 
all the bhoreens,* that isn't cute enough to 
know that much/* 

" Well, but tell me, Katty, why Mr. O'Dc 
noughough was forced away from the big* 
house." 

•* Why, cuishla ma chree^ when the people 
found out that the bailifife were in the house, 
the butcher said, ' I'd never be the first man 
to put an execution into the house,' says he ; 
< But as Mr. Hooper, the great wine-merchant 
from Dublin, has put one in, I may as well 
thry, and get my money.' So he up and gets 
a detainer. Thin comes the grocer, with a 
bill as long as the pedigree of the O'Donough- 
oughs — and sure there aint a longer in all 

* Suburbs of a town or Tillage. 



dbyGoogk 



THE OLD IRISH GENTLEMAN. 127 

Ireland — and he says, / I must be paid for my 
tay, and sugar, and coffee, and spices/ Ogh, 
the vagabone of the world I — when I think that 
there wasn't a poor woman within ten miles 
that was ever allowed to want a cup of bohay — 
ay, be me soul, nor a dhrop of wine, if she was 
sick or sorry, and cinnamont, cloves, and sugar 
to put into it I Sure it's no wondher that the 
bill for spices was a long one, any way. Afther 
that comes the miller for his flour. * Well, 
sure,' says the ould masther, * I can't owe 
Barney Donovan much for flour ; for hasn't he 
had every shafe of whale that has grown on my 
farm for the last twenty years, and I never took 
a shilling of money from him for that same ? ' 
But Barney up and tould him, that though the 
whate on the farm might find flour enough for 
one large family, it couldn't supply all the poor 
in the neighbourhood, who got bread from the 
big-house. Ogh, Mary Magee, there never 
was such another customer in the whole world 
as the ould masther ! He never left any thing 
on the hands of the thrades people, that he 



dbyGoogk 



128 THE OLD IRISH GENTLEMAN. 

didn't I The chandler thin takes the law for 
the soap and candles sent to the big-house for 
many a long year, and a terrible bill it was ; 
and no wondher, for the ould gentleman couldn't 
bear to see a dirty child in the whole parish ; 
and well the poor neighbours knew it : for 
when they wanted a supply of soap, faith they'd 
turn out the childer with dirty faces into the 
road whin the masther was coming that way, 
and whin he scoulded 'em for having them so 
black, they'd say they hadn't a bit of soap to 
wash 'em, and he'd ordher a stone of it to be 
sent to 'em next day. Thin, the ould women 
were always begging for rushlights for the long 
nights whin they were sick, and snuff and 
tobacco for wakes, and they never were denied; 
so how could the ould gentleman help owing a 
power of money to the chandler ? The tailor 
was the next, and his bill for frize coats alone, 
for the poor ould men, and cloaks for the ould 
women, of the parish, was a terrible one, let 
alone for the masther's clothes and the liveries. 
** The blacksmith was the last who took the 



dbyGoogk 



THB OLD IRISH GENTLEMAN. 129 

law. He had shod the horses for years and years, 
and a blessed number of thim there was in the 
stables. He was the dacentest of all thim that . 
sarved the masther for generations, and he 
cried down salt tears whin he tould me that if 
he only got the money due to him for forcing 
open doors, picking locks, and making new 
keys every year at the big-house, his childer 
would be rich people now. Well, Mary, one 
afther another they put in executions. The 
boys in the neighbourhood wanted to go up 
and mhurdher the bailiffs ; and the ould women, 
and, to tell the truth, myself among 'em, advised 
the gorsoons not to lave a bone in their bodies 
unbroken : but Mr. O'Donoughough, suspect- 
ing that the love of the people would lade 'em 
to shew their respect for him in this manner, 
sent down a line to say, that if a single hair of 
the heads of any of the baili£& was touched, 
he'd never forgive whoever did it. Thin the 
boys wanted to smash the windows of thim that 
put in the executions — ay, be me throth, and to 
bait 'em too — but the masther ordhered them 

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ISO THE OLD IRISH GENTLEMAN. 

not to break the law, and the spalpeens of the 
world were allowed to go unpunished, — ^more 's 
the pity I Think, Mary Magee, what it was 
to have executions for thousands and thousands 
of pounds put into that house where, for years 
and years, there was nothing known but feast- 
ing and rejoicing — where the poor were clothed 
and fed, and where the door was as open as 
the heart of the owner. Ogh^ chane,* ma 
voumeen t that was a sore day for poor Co- 
mery ; and there were more dhry throats than 
dhry eyes there thin any way. 1*11 never forgit, 
when we were all bemoaning over the fire in 
the Widow Macgrath's little houlding, Padheen 
Murdoch said, 'Why, isn't it a big shame for us 
to sit U7i-kenthahaing\ here, instead of making 
thim bailifi^s cry that did the mischief? Sure 
the masther only tould us not to hurt a hair of 
their heads ; and, as most of them wear wigs, 
we may bait 'em right well without touching 
their hair I' Poor Padheen was always a 
dacent and cute boy, God rest his soul ! He, 

* Alas ! woe it me ! ^ Lamenting; 



dbyGoogk 



THE OLD IRISH GENTLEMAN. ItJl 

wasn't like those that sarved the house for 
years, the ungrateful varmint I afther all the 
good he, the masther, I main, had done 'em, 
thinking he never could give 'em enough work 
to do, or huy too much from them. Sure, the 
butcher himself allows, that the big-house took 
so much mate, that all the cows and sheep 
sould to him from the farm on the estate 
wouldn't half pay his bill ; and sure, no won- 
der, when half the parish — ay, be me soul, and 
more than half — ^never had occasion to buy a 
joint three times in the year, as all that could 
have esquire clapped to their names dined 
most days of the week in the great oak-hall at 
the big-house ; and the days they did not dine 
there were passed in thrying to recover from 
the effects of the too good dinners eaten, and 
the too much good wine dhrank there. Sure, 
didn't three parsons, Kirivan, Morrison, and 
him that came afther him. Parson O'Driscol, 
die, one of hoppoplexy,* t'other of hii)digesty,t 
and the last from a narrow sipilas,;}; from eating 
too much at the big-house ? And no less t^an 

• Apoplexy. t Indigestion. * Erysipelas. 

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ldS2 THE OLD IRISH GENTLEMAN. 

four doctors, one afther another, died from the 
same cause. I didn't much pity the doctors, 
any way ; for they are all for starving their 
patients, and cramming themselves, for all the 
world like the fowls sint up for the English 
officers to the Duhlin market. And while the 
gintry were fed in the oak-hall, be me soul, 
the tradesmen and hangers on, and all who 
were on the shovgh-^-raun^ were as well fed 
in the sarvants' hall ; the only difference in 
life being, that the oak-hall company had first 
cuts of the joints, and the sarvants and their 
friends the second. Then came the bocoughs* 
to the scullery door — lame, blind, and the 
tn/ioodaunsf into the bargain, and lashings 
they got to eat and to carry away. Niver was 
such eating and dhrinking in this world ; no, 
nor never will be in the next, for all the people 
tells us of the blessings that will be there. 
Beer and cider flowed like the sea, and 
whisky was as plenty as the water in the river 
Suir, and as clear and bright, but more nou- 
rishing.'* 

* Beggannen. f FooU. 

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THE OLD IRISH GENTLEMAN. 133 

^* Then it seems the old gentleman paid for 
little of this extravagance ?" 

^* Paid, indeed I faith he was too much of a 
gintleman to bother his head about paying. It 
is not what he had been used to ; no, nor his 
father before him. From generation to gene- 
ration they had gone on feeding rich and poor, 
and clothing as well as feeding those that 
wanted it ; and, let me tell you, that whin a 
gintleman has to be ordering grand dinners in 
the morning, to be eating 'em in the evening, 
and to be thrying to sleep off the effects of 'em 
in the night, not to talk of shooting and hunt- 
ing, he can find but little time to be thinking 
of bills, let alone paying 'em." 

" Well but, Katty dear, that's what I call 
very wrong. People should be just before they 
are generous ; and pay their debts before they 
give away money or food that isn*t theirs." 

" That isn't theirs ! What do you mean by 
that, Mrs. Magee ? — I 'd like to know. ^V^ly, 
wasn't it his own the moment he bought it, 
woman?" 



dbyGoogk 



134 THE OLD IRISH GENTLEMAN. 

"No, Katty, not till he paid for it" 

" Ogh, mhurderl mhurderl was there ever 
sich nonsense? Sure, if nobody thought a 
thing their own, until they paid for it, by me 
conscience, there's few people would have much 
property to boast of. But you're a quare era* 
thur, Mary Magee, that's the truth of it ; and 
you picked up all them mean notions when you 
were across the herring-pond, and can't get 
'em out of your head. I'm sorry for you^ troth 
I am ; for I see you can't understand how a 
real Milesian gintleman ought to live; and 
you think that he ought to be putting his 
hand in his pocket to pay for things, just 
for all the world like that poor mean fellow 
Mr. Herbert,*' 

" Mean fellow 1 Oh, Katty, how can you 
call him so ? He that does so much good, that 
employs the poor all the year round, finding 
some occupation for every one 1" 

" And more shame for him to be working 
the poor crathurs off their legs ! If he gave 
'em a thrifle for nothing, then, indeed, I'd sav 



dbyGoogk 



THE OLD IRISH GENTLEMAN. 135 

something of him; but doesn't he get hard 
work for his wages?" 

" Katty, Katty, how can you forget all the 
good he has done since he came amongst 
you?" 

''Good, indeed? — Is it him? He wants 
people to work like niggers — ay, faith, and 
makes 'em too ; and where 's the compliment, 
or the great goodness in paying 'em for their 
hard labour ? If, as I said before, he gave 'em 
the money for doing nothing, that would be 
goodness." 

''No, Katty, that would be folly, and an 
encouragement to idleness ; whereas Mr. Her- 
bert provides work, and pays for it liberally, 
teaching those who are willing to labour to 
depend on it for their support, instead of eat- 
ing the bread of idleness given to them through 
mistaking charity." 

" Och I and don't be telling me of your Mr. 
Herbert I 'tis little I think of him and the 
likes of him : give me the ould masther, Mr. 
O'Donoughough, the real gintleman iix)m top 
to toe." 

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136 THE OLD IRISH GENTLEMAN. 

" But this real gentleman has ruined all 
those who supplied his house.** 

** Is it him ? Not he, indeed 1 — quite the 
conthrary. Did he ever huxter, and dispute, 
and hait down the price of any thing? Not 
like Mr. Herbert, who will only pay the 
market prices.** 

" Yes, Katty, but remember Mr. Herbert 
does pay.** 

" And no thanks to him either, when he*s 
making money every day, planting, dhraining, 
and getting railroads carried." 

" It will be long before he derives any profit 
from these works, which require so large an 
expenditure. But look at the constant employ, 
ment, winter and summer, he finds for the poor ; 
those that used to be months out of work, with 
their families starving." 

" No ! Misthis Magee, there was no one 
allowed to starve while the masther was at the 
big-house, and that I'd have you to know. 
Starve, indeed!" 

<< Well but, Katty, is it not better to have 
the means of supporting one's family honestly 

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THE OLD IRISH GENTLEMAN. 137 

by one's own labour, than to be obliged to 
depend on charity ?" 

" Whin there's no charity to be had people 
must labour, Misthis Magee ; but if the ould 
masther was at the big-house no one need 
work." 

** And so much the worse ; but you don't 
surely, mean to say that Mr. Herbert ever 
refuses charity where it is really required ?" 

" Didn't he refuse Tom Macguire t'other 
day?" 

** Because Tom is well able to work, and 
wouldn't." 

•* Tom hasn't been accustomed to it, poor 
boy! He used to earn lashings of money, as did 
many more in the masther's time, going out 
baiting the covers for the gintlemen that used 
to be out shooting from the big-house. Many's 
the tinpinny he used to get; and when, by 
any lucky accident, he got shot in the legs, 
they'd give him a piece of gould, and he'd be 
off to the fairs and pathrens in the neighbour- 
hood until every farthing of it was gone. Often 

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138 THE OLD IRISH GENTLEMAN. 

have I seen Tom Macguire and some more of 
the boys picking the shot out of their legs with 
knitting-needles, and heard 'em hoping they'd 
soon have more of the same good luck, it 
brought'em so much money. Ogh I times are 
sadly changed with poor Tom, and it's no 
wondher he has taken to the dhrink to comfort 
him. Little did I think he'd ever be reduced 
to ax a Sassenagh^ for charity." 

*' Nor ought he to ask any one^ Katty dear, 
when he has health to work." 

'* But I tell you he's not used to it." 

" And I know Mr. Herbert isn't used to 
give charity to those that can earn, and won'L^ 

" Ogh 1 I see, Mary Magee, that you're 
entirely changed into an Englishwoman by the 
many long years you spent in England, and 
nursing them English childer ; and you have 
such quare notions, that it's no use talking to 
you. Faith, you, an Irishwoman bred and 
bom, ought to be ashamed to disparage your 
own counthry, and to set up another above it" 

• A stnmger. 

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THE OLD IRISH GENTLEMAN. 139 

" You wrong me, indeed, Katty honey, for I 
love Ireland dearly ; and it's because I do, that 
I would wish to see my countrymen taking 
pattern from Englishmen, and learning to value 
their time, and to depend on their labour. But 
you have not told me what became of Mr. 
O'Donoughough after all the executions were 
put in the house?" 

"Sure, thin a cant* was called; and as 
none of the gintry of the neighbourhood would 
attend it for fear of hurting the ould masther's 
feelings, the things sould for little or nothing 
to the little blackguard brokers from Water- 
fqrd, Carrich-on-Suir, and Clonmel. Ogh I 
'twas they that carried off the lobt anyway. 
The estate was sould out and out ; for, un- 
luckily, 'twas'nt tailed on Miss Grace." 

** Who was Miss Grace?" 

" The masther's only daughter, to be sure, — 
the biggest beauty and the greatest darlingt 
that ever was bom. No, Mary Magee, you 
may believe me when I tell you, that there isn't 

* An Auction. * Treasore. 



dbyGoogk 



140 THE OLD IRISH GENTLEMAN. 

the match for Miss Grace CyDoiioughough in 
ail Ireland. Ogh I 'twas enough to melt the 
hardest heart to see her whin the bailifi came 
and took all ; yet she did not shed a tear, only 
looked so palci and she minded nothing hut 
thrying to comfort the ould masther. 

" * My child, my own Grace,' said he, * can 
you forgive me for letting it come to this? How 
unpardonable has my conduct been I' And the 
tears came rolling down his cheeks, and she put 
her arms around his neck, and kissed him until 
his tears were all shining on her dark ringlets 
just for all the world like the dew on the leaves 
of the lauristina ; and her young fair cheek, 
pressed against his ruddy one, looked like a 
lily near a damask rose ; while his white locks 
were mixed with her shining black ones, just 
as one sees the snow hanging in wreaths 
from the branches of the larch. I saw it all 
through the glass-door of the study, whin 
I was thrying to condole with my sister- 
in-law, Anstey O'Donnel, the nurse of Miss 
Grace, who never left her since she was 



dbyGoogk 



THE OLD IRISH GENTLEMAN. 141 

bom ; no, nor never will till she — Anstey, I 
main — is carried feet foremost to the church- 
yard. ' Come, my dear father I' says Miss Grace. 
• Where would you have me go, my child?' 
says he. * To Clonea, where I have secured 
such a pretty cottage, and prepared every thing 
for your reception.* — * Then you have long fore- 
seen what would, what must have been the fruit 

of my folly, while I * And here the big 

tears came down so fast he couldn't finish what 
he was saying. And she had foreseen, sure 
enough, as her mother before her had, that the 
noble-hearted ould gintleman was spending 
thousands where he ought not to have spent 
hundreds ; and this grieved the daughter as it 
had grieved the mother, who, many people said, 
died of a broken heart from the dread that her 
child would be reduced to want." 

'* And wouldn't the gentleman listen to his 
wife or his daughter, and for their sakes leave 
off his extravagance ?" 

<* How could he, poor gintleman ? Sure 
often and often he promised the misthis he 



dbyGoogk 



142 THE OLD IRISH GENTLEMAN. 

would turn over a new leaf: but then would 
come some company, invited months before, 
for the shooting, or the hunting, or the fishing; 
and, as he used to say, there was no good in 
thrying to save in the winther, bekase ould 
friends would be coming. Then in the summer, 
there was the races at one place and another, 
all within an aisy distance of the big-house; 
and people would think it so quare, and so 
they would, faith, if the house wasn't filled 
with company as it always was for genera- 
tions and generations. So you see, Mary, 
he could never find the time to turn over the 
new leaf, either in winter or summer: so 
't wasn't his fault, poor dear gintlemani as you 
see, and, indeed, many a one has tould me, 
'tis a mighty hard matter to do it, for one never 
knows where or how to begin. Well, but I 
was telling you, he cried ; and 'tis a terrible 
thing, Mary, to see a man, and, above aU, such 
a man, shed tears. ' You may forgive me, my 
own Grace,' says he, ' but I never can forgive 
myself. Slie^ who is in heaven, warned me of 



dbyGoogk 



THE OLD IRISH GENTLEMAN. 143 

what must happen/—^ Oh, my dear father, he 
comforted, I pray you,' said Miss Grace, the 
tears streaming down her cheeks ; and again 
and again she kissed his forehead. With that 
poor Anstey hegan sohhing, and so did I too, 
for I couldn't help it, and so we stole out of 
the room that the masther and Miss Grace 
mightn't know we were there They went off 
to Clonea the next morning, followed by the 
blessings of the poor and the good wishes of 
the rich j and they live in a little bit of a 
cottage that you might steal out of the hall of 
the big-house without its being missed; but it's 
so neat, and so tidy, and so sweet, that it's a 
pleasure to look at it ; and then Miss Grace is 
from morning till night thinking of nothing 
but how to please her father. And the farmers 
around are always sending 'em chickens, and 
butter, and eggs, and every thing they think 
they would like, though Miss Grace does all 
she can to prevent 'em; and isn't it herself 
that has refused great offers of marriage be- 
kase she wouldn't leave her father, and never 
will?" 

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144 TH£ OLD IRISH GENTLEMAN. 

*' But how has Miss Grace been able to do 
all this for her father?" asked Mary Magee, 
wiping her eyes which had been moistened by 
Katty's story. 

"Oghl thin, did I forget to tell you that 
her godfather took more care of her worldly 
prospects than her real father did ; and, having 
died a year before the break-up of the big- 
house, left Miss Grace two hundred pounds 
a-year for her life, out of which she makes 
not only the ould masther happy, but con- 
thrives to do a power of good to the poor into 
the bargain? The masther comes here now 
and then, just to see the ould place and the 
ould faces, and proud and glad are we to see 
him : God bless him, and long may he live ! " 

It was about three months after this conver- 
sation, that Katty and Mary Magee were again 
seated in front of the latter's dwelling, the 
one as formerly engaged in needlework, while 
the other was knitting stockings. 

" WeU, thin, sure, Mary Magee, 'tis your- 
self that was sly enough, any way, never to have 
tould us a word of the courtship until the wed- 

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THE OLD IRISH GENTLEMAN. 145 

ding-day was fixed, when you must haye known 
from your husband long ago that his masther 
was going to be married to Miss Grace O'Do- 
noughough." 

•* Why, to tell you the truth, Katty, I did 
not think it right to speak about the courtship 
of my husband's master until I knew that the 
young lady had accepted him/' 

" Ogh I by me soul, Mary, you're almost an 
Englishwoman in all your ways ; and only that 
the mother of you was my own aunt, which 
makes you me cousin-garmint, I'd neyer belieye 
you had the true ould Irish blood in your yains, 
you're so quare. And so Mr. Herbert has 
bought the big house, and all the estate along 
with it, and Miss Grace will be misthis of the 
house she was bom and bred in after all, praise 
and glory be to His name who settles every 
thing for the best I Well, the heart of me 
warmed to Mr. Herbert, which is more than 
eyer I thought it would do to a Sassenagh, and 
above all to one as makes people work like 
iiigg®^ ^^111 I heard how he sent round every 

VOL. III. H 

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146 THE OLD IRISH GENTLEMAN. 

where to buy up all the ould family pictures 
that belonged to the big house, and paid six 
times as much for 'em as they were formerly 
sould for at the cant/' 

" When you know Mr. Herbert as well as I 
do, Katty, your heart toill warm to him, I can 
tell you ; for, though he is not a gentleman 
who makes professions of kindness, never was 
there so considerate a person, or so just a 
one." 

*' Always barring the ould masther, Mary ; 
for I can never allow any one to be put before 
him. I am tould that nothing can equal the 
elegant furniture that is putting into the 
Bighouse, and that the ould masther's own 
rooms are doing up for him as if he was a 
king." 

" Yes, indeed, Katty, every attention is paid 
to his comfort ; and Mr. Herbert behaves to 
him just as if he was his own father — so 
respectful, and so affectionate, my husband teUs 



me.** 



And why not, pray? Isn't it a great 



dbyGoogk 



THE OLD IRISH GENTLEMAN. 147 

honour for Mr. Herbert, or the like of him, 
to marry into such an ould ancient family, 
with a pedigree as long as the bleaching- 
green ?*• 

" But Mr. Herbert is of a very old fistmily 
himself, Katty." 

" Why, didn't people tell me that his fistther 
was only a banker ?" 

** It is very true that his father, the Honour- 
able Mr. Herbert, own brother to an earl, was 
a banker." 

'' Arragh I let us alone, Mary Magee, and 
don't be afther telling us that a real lord's bro- 
ther would keep a bank, just like Jimmy De^e- 
reux at Carrick-on-Suir, that keeps the bank 
and the cloth-shop I " 

<' Bankers in London, Katty, are quite dif- 
ferent from those in small towns in Ireland ; 
and many of the younger branches of noble 
fiunilies are partners in banking-houses.'* 

** Well, that beats out Banahger and Balinas- 
loe tool Who'd ever believe that lords' bro- 
thers and sons would come to such a pitch I — 

h2 

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148 THE OLD IRISH GENTLEMAN. 

But thim English lords aint to be compared 
with Irish; they haven't the true Milesian 
blood in their vains afther all, or, if they had, 
they'd rather be without a shoe to their feet, a 
coat to their backs, or a morsel in their sto- 
machs, than take to business : so it's well for 
Mr. Herbert, rich as he is — and they say he is 
as rich as the Irish king Crat/shots* — that his 
childer, whenever they come, will have a drop 
of the right sort in 'em. Ogh ! you may smile 
if you like, Mary Magee, but blood isn't wather, 
I can tell you." 

Twelve months after the conversation above 
recorded, between Katty O'Shaghnessy and 
Mary Magee, a general rejoicing at Comer}' 
marked the birth of a son and heir at the big- 
house. Great was the alteration effected during 
that short period in the appearance of the vil- 
lanre, and the habits and feelings of its inha^ 
bitants, on whom the example and protection of 
Mr. and Mrs. Herbert had produced the most 

• CroeBui. 



dbyGoogk 



THE OLD IRISH GENTLEMAN. 149 

salutary change. It is true, a few of the old 
people like Katty O'Shaghnessy remained in 
some particulars wedded to their prejudices ; 
nevertheless, they all entertained a lively senti- 
ment of gratitude towards Mr. Herbert, and an 
affection bordering on adoration for his wife, 
who, now blessed with ample means, left nothing 
undone that could tend to their improvement 
and comfort. 



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151 



MADELINA 



A ROMAN STORY. 



** I COMMAND you to 866 that grac6l6ss varkt, 
Joseppa, no moro ; no good can come to him ; 
he has heen a disobedient son, and is the talk 
of the whole village, for his idleness, and his 
insolence/' 

This was the prohibition of Giovanni Vitelli, 
one of the most affluent farmers in the neigh- 
bourhood of Albano, to his only child, Made- 
Una, the pride and darling of his old age. Tears 
and imploring looks, were the only answer given 
to the stem mandate, by the gentle Madelina ; 
but they produced more effect on the heart of 



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i5Q MADELINA. 

her loving father, than the most eloquent appeal 
could have done. He pressed her to his hreast, 
and, "My poor child I'* broke from his lips, 
as he affectionately patted her glossy raven 
locks. 

" Do not think that I would willingly pain 
you, my girl," said Giovanni. " The Madonna 
knows, how much it costs me to see these tears, 
and these poor pallid cheeks ; but Joseppa is 
indeed unworthy of you, and a union with him 
can be productive only of misery and disgrace.** 

" Oh ! my father, surely you judge him too 
severely,** replied the weeping maiden ; *• idle, 
and unthinking, he may be, but his heart is not 
bad, and he may yet be reclaimed.** 

" Do not anger me, Madelina, by this weak 
defence. It is thus ever with you women ; you 
fancy a man is never irreclaimable, as long as 
he affects to love you ; and ye think, simpletons 
as ye are, that the heart cannot be a bad one, 
wherein ye fancy yourselves treasured. Would 
a good heart have allowed its owner to indulge 
in follies — nay, worse than follies — crimes, until 



dbyGoogk 



MADELINA. 153 

his ill conduct brought his poor mother to her 
grave?*' 

** But Joseppa repents his evil doings, indeed 
he does, dear father." 

" And shows his repentance," interrupted 
Giovanni, *^ bv a total neglect of his little farm, 
and continual wanderings among the mountains, 
where, if rumour is to be believed, he has formed 
some most discreditable and dangerous alliances. 
Even our good pastor told m o ■ ■■" 

•* Oh I what did he say, my father ? he who 
is so good, so mercifull" said MadeUna, her 
cheeks becoming deadly pale. ** Has lie too 
pronounced against Joseppa?" 

*^ He has warned me that this reckless youth 
is pursuing desperate courses, that he has been 
seen holding stealthy converse with men of 
whom nothing but e\il is known ; and that he 
is out night after night, no one knows exacily 
where, but every one suspects^ for no honest 
purpose." 

Little did the father or the daughter imagine, 
that he who was the subject of their conver- 

h3 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



154t MADELINA. 

sation, was a listener to it, or the thirst for 
vengeance which it awakened in his breast 
Joseppa had been hovering round the cottage, 
to see Madelina, and through the open window 
had heard the whole discourse. Some days 
elapsed, during which Madelina saw or heard 
nothing of Joseppa, and she formed the reso- 
.lution of adopting the advice of her father, to 
whom she was fondly attached. But though 
she could not even entertain the idea of ulti- 
mately giving up Joseppa, without tears of an- 
guish, and heartfelt pangs, still she resolved 
never to destroy the happiness of her only 
parent, by persevering in encouraging a suitor, 
whom he so much disapproved. 

"No, my father," would the affectionate 
girl ejaculate to herself, when alone, " your 
Madelina will never desert you, nor leave your 
hearth lonely ; you have lost the dear partner 
who made your life, and mine too, happy, and 
your child will never cause you a pang." 

Every recurrence to her mother, whom she 
had followed to the grave, two years before, 



dbyGoogk 



MADELINA. 155 

soltened the heart of Madelina, and rendered 
her more devoted to her remaining parent; 
yet her passion for Joseppa was still unsub- 
dued, for the poor girl thought, with the 
sophistry of youthful minds, that, so long as 
she refused to join her fate with Joseppa's, she 
could injure no one by allowing his image to 
retain its place in her heart She carefully 
avoided all the haunts where she had been 
accustomed to meet her lover, though the effort 
cost her many a sigh, and many a longing, 
lingering glance did she cast from the door of 
the cottage to see if he was hovering nigh. 

Ten nights after the prohibition of her father 
to see Joseppa, she was awaked from her slum- 
ber by a gentle tap at her window. How did 
the heart of Madelina palpitate at the well- 
known sound I Yet her good resolution of not 
seeing him was remembered, and she moved 
not. The tap was now repeated more loudly, 
and fearful that her father might also hear it, 
she arose and opened the casement. 

** Cruel Madelina," said Joseppa, ** how 



dbyGoogk 



156 MADELINA. 

many days have I lingered about the cottage 
in the hope of seeing you I I am a fool to love 
you thus, when you, ungrateful that you are» 
love me no longer.*' 

" Oh, Joseppa 1 how can you say so ? you 
know how dear you are to me, and what sorrow 
it gives me not to see you ; but my father has 
forbidden it, and even in speaking to you now, 
I am disobeying his commands/' 

'* And know you not why he has used this 
tyranny?" asked the lover with a scornful 
smile. 

" Alas 1 too well," was the answer. ** Your 
neglect of your farm, your recklessness, your 
frequent wanderings in the mountains, and 
worse than all — oh, Joseppa! the intimacy you 
are said to have formed with wicked men, 
whom all dread. These are the reasons why 
my father separates us." 

" You are his dupe, I tell you," said the 
wily Joseppa. ^* All that he asserts is untrue, 
and only invented as an excuse to prejudice 
you against me, that he may accomplish his 



dbyGoogk 



MADEMNA. 157 

project of marrying you to the rich dotard, 
Thomaso." 

"What do I hear?** uttered the alarmed 
Madelina ; " but no — it is impossible ; my 
father could not be so cruel — no, Joseppa, I 
cannot believe it." 

" I knew you would not," replied he, with a 
scornful smile ; " no, it is only of me that you 
are disposed to believe evil, and no tale is too 
improbable for your credulity. You will never 
credit your father's plans until he has com** 
manded you to receive the disgusting dotard 
as your husband, and then you are, forsooth, 
too dutiful a daughter to dispute his orders. 
But I waste time in attempting to remove the 
bandage from your eyes. Adieu, faithless Ma- 
delina I May you be happy, while I — " and 
he moved away, as if overpowered by his 
emotions. 

" Stay, in pity stay, dear Joseppa I you wrong 
me, indeed you do I I love you as truly as ever, 
and the Madonna knows how much I have 
suffered in obeying my father, and avoiding 
your presence.'' 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



158 MADELINA. 

" Can you forget," resumed Joseppa, " how 
many times you have vowed to be mine? how 
often, when I have brought chaplets of flowers 
to hang on your window, have you flown to 
this casement, which to-night you opened so 
reluctantly, and allowed me to intwine your 
pretty fingers with flowers from the chaplet; 
but I see you are changed, Madelina.** 

" No, no," replied the poor girl, softened 
by his appeal to past hours ; " I still love 
youl" 

" Well then, prove it to me," said Joseppa, 
** by letting me come here to-morrow. Your 
father is going to Rome to sell some sheep, he 
will be absent all day, and we shall be able to 
converse without interruption, perhaps, for the 
last time. Your future husband goes with him 
to Rome, to arrange every thing for your mar- 
riage: for I saw them last evening in deep 
consultation with the pastor, and I am sure all 
is settled." 

A noise in the chamber drew the alarmed 
Madelina's attention, and she shrank with 
superstitious dread, when she saw the lamp 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



MADELINA. 159 

that burned before the Madonna, flaring with 
such force against the glass of the picture that 
it cracked it in many pieces. 

« Beholdr* said the affiighted girl. " What 
an unlucky omen — the gift of my poor dear 
mother, offered up at my birth, is destroyed I 
Oh I Joseppa, this misfortune arises in my 
disobedience towards my father," and tears 
chased each other down her cheeks* 

" See you not," said Joseppa, " that the 
picture was destroyed exactly at the moment 
that I was telling you that they were arranging 
your marriage with Thomaso ? The Madonna 
then gave you this intimation that she would 
abandon you, if you consent to form that hateful 
alliance. Depend on it, this is the real meaning 
of the omen, which can have no evil conse- 
quences, if you remain true to your vows with 
me. But I must away; — to-morrow, when they 
are gone, I shall be here. Until then, adio 
Madelina mia /" and he was out of sight ere 
she could utter the refusal she meant to give to 
receiving his visit. 



dbyGoogk 



160 



MADELINA. 



Madelina passed a sleepless night, the con- 
sciousness of having disobeyed her father filled 
her with remorse, but the idea even of a mar- 
riage with Thomaso, alarmed her beyond mea- 
sure. 

Wlien she met her father next morning, she 
for the first time dared scarcely lift her eyes to 
his. Her embarrassment, added to her pale 
cheeks and heavy eyes, led Giovanni to believe 
that she was unwell, and drew from him many 
expressions of affection and endearment, as he 
pressed her to his breast, and blessed her, as 
his sole comfort. She was ready to throw herself 
at her father's feet and avow her disobedience, 
when the voice of old Thomaso, calling out to 
know if he was ready, prevented the move- 
ment ; and Giovanni again blessing her, with 
even more than his accustomed fondness, hur- 
ried away to join his friend. 

She stood at the door, and watched the 
receding figure of her father, his white locks 
floated round his ruddy face, and thrice as he 
turned to look back at Madelina, and waved 



dbyGoogk 



MADELINA. l6l 

his hand affectionately to her, she was tempted 
to call him back, and thus avert the meeting 
with Joseppa. She left not the door, until her 
parent's figure was lost in distance ; and when 
she entered the cottage, she wept as if her 
parting with him was to be one of long dura- 
tion, instead of, as she imagined, a few brief 
hours. 

Joseppa came not until noon ; and when he 
entered, seemed agitated and alarmed. He 
accounted for it, by stating that he had ascer- 
tained the certainty of the plan of Madelina's 
being immediately forced into a marriage with 
Thomaso ; and by his wily representations, per- 
suaded the simple girl that her only chance of 
escape rested on eloping with him. His pas- 
sionate remonstrances, and entreaties, won on 
her gentle nature ; but it was not until he had 
repeatedly assured her, that when they should 
be married her father would relent, and receive 
them back with all his former affection, that 
she consented to fly with him. 

While she was making the few necessary 



dbyGoogk 



16S MADELIKA. 

preparations, her unprincipled lover was not 
idle. He, by the assistance of an instrument 
with which he had provided himself, forced 
the lock of the coffer in which Giovanni kept 
his money, and took possession of its contentSt 
carefully concealing his turpitude from his in- 
nocent and hapless dupe. He had prepared a 
horse on which he placed Madelina behind 
him, who left the happy home of her infimcy 
with many tears and blessings, breathed for 
the father she was deserting. Their route 
led by the churchyard, where the mother of 
the weeping girl was interred, and her tears 
streamed afresh as she beheld the white cross, 
with its chaplet of faded flowers, that marked 
the humble grave. 

" Let us stop, dear Joseppa, for never have 
I hitherto passed this spot, without offering up 
my prayers for the repose of the soul of her 
who was so dear to me ; of her, who is, perhaps, 
now looking down with sorrow on her unworthy 
child." 

'^ No I it is impossible for us to stop," replied 



dbyGoogk 



MADELINA. 163 

Joseppa, *' soon, very soon, dear Madelina, we 
shall return here after we are united at the 
altar, and then we will invoke a hlessing on 
our union from the spirit of the departeds To 
remain now, would he to expose ourselves 'to 
the observation and evil tongues of all who 
might see us ; therefore, we must advance/^ 

So saying, Joseppa urged forward his horse, 
while the trembling and weeping girl clang to 
him, her heart divided by feelings that absorbed 
every other — ^regret and remorse at deserting 
her parent, and love, passionate love, for him 
with whom she was flying. 

''When my father returns, and finds no 
Madelina to welcome and embrace him,'' would 
she say to her lover, " how bitter will be his 
disappointment I '' 

** And when the dotard Thomaso finds no 
young bride awaiting him, how angry will he 
be!" would Joseppa reply; well aware that, 
only by sustaining this hateful image in her 
mind, he could silence the remorse that was 
already inflicting its pangs on her heart ; for. 



dbyGoogk 



164 MADELINA. 

fondly as she loved Joseppa, never would she 
have fled with him, had he not taught her 
to helieve that her &ther was determined on 
forcing her to wed old Thomaso— an idea that, 
it is scarcely necessary to say, had never once 
entered into her parent's head. 

They stopped not until they had reached 
Velletri, where the marriage-ceremony was 
performed, and whence Madelina proposed that 
they should despatch a messenger to announce 
the event to her father, and demand his per- 
mission to return. This wish being complied 
with, she fondly resigned herself to the hap- 
piness of the present, and to the sanguine anti- 
cipations of the future. 

The affectionate bride now gave expression 
to all those terms of endearment that maiden 
modesty had hitherto restrained; and as she 
drew her fingers through the dark curly locks 
of her husband, and looked with eyes beaming 
with love in his face, she whispered that the 
presence only of her father was necessary, to 
render her the happiest creature on earth. — 



dbyGoogk 



MADELINA. 16J 

She observed with a chagrin, that threw a 
damp over her spirits, that every allusion to 
her parent seemed to displease Joseppa ; and 
having gently reproached him for it, he told her 
that he was jealous at finding that she thought 
so much more frequently of another than of 
him, and that his presence could not suffice to 
make her happy. 

This excuse reassured her, and pressing his 
hands witbin hers, she replied, ^* Oh, Joseppa, 
when with my father, how often did I reproach 
myself for being insensible to his affection, and 
thinking only of you I and now, that you are 
mine, that nothing but death can separate us, 
forgive tne, that his dear image is so conti- 
nually present to my imagination. But we 
shall soon be with him, and then this heart 
will have only place for Iiappiness ; for with a 
husband so loved, and so dear a father, I can- 
not experience a care." 

Could Madelina have known what was pass- 
ing through the mind of her husband during 
such .ccgiversations, how would she have shrunk 



dbyGoogk 



166 MADELINA. 

from his embraces, and recoiled with horror 
from the hands she now pressed to her heart, 
with all the fondness of an adoring bride ! 

The next day the messenger returned from 
Albano, bringing the fearful intelligence that 
Madelina no longer had a father. He, and old 
Thomaso, who had accompanied him on the 
route to Rome, to dispose of the product of 
their joint farms, had been robbed and mur- 
dered on the road ; and the soldiers were sent 
into the mountains in search of the brigands, 
who were supposed to have committed the 

deed. 

To describe the anguish of the unfortunate 
Madelina would be impossible. She accused 
herself in bitter terms, as having caused this 
misfortune by abandoning her home; and drew 
forth sullen reproaches from her husband, when 
his representations, that whether she was in 
the cottage near Albano, or on the route to 
Velletri, the murder would equally have been 
committed, had failed to convince her that her 
flight had nothmg to do with the fatal event 



dbyGoogk 



MADELINA. I67 

She insisted on returning immediately, that 
she might see aU that remained to her of her 
parent; and urged it with such passionate 
entreaties, that Joseppa yielded an unwilling 
assent, evidently actuated by the suspicious 
looks of the persons around, who seemed to 
regard his unwillingness with surprise. The 
violence of Madelina's grief, drew forth more 
of sullenness than of sympathy, from her un- 
feeling husband. 

*<Do you not still possess me?'' would he 
say, but in a tone that expressed more of 
reproach than consolation, while the wretched 
woman could think only of the father she had 
lost, and who died by an assassin's dagger. 

*' I was happy and smiling, while they mur- 
dered him I " she continued to exclaim. *< Oh, 
father! dear father I little did I think when 
you thrice turned to look at me, as I stood at 
the cottage-door, that I should never see you 
again 1 Had they no pity for your gray hairs ? 
those dear venerable locks that I have so often 
kissed.'' 



dbyGoogk 



108 MADELINA. 

The sternness of Joseppa repelled his un- 
happy wife from weeping on his breast, or 
seeking his sympathy ; and now, for the first 
time, came the painful conviction that never 
should she find in him, one who would fondlv 
share and strive to alleviate any of the afflictions 
of life that might befall her. 

" If," she exclaimed, ** while only a few hours 
his bride, he can thus see my anguish unmoved, 
nor partake my sorrow for the dearest, best of 
parents, he can have no heart ! Oh I my father, 
you warned me, but I was deaf to your council 
— the last you ever gave your miserable child," 

Before Madelina and her husband had arrived 
at the cottage near Albano, the bodies of her 
father and Thomaso had been interred. This 
event, which increased her grief, as she had 
counted on once more beholding the venerable 
face she was now doomed to see no more on 
earth, seemed to gratify Joseppa, who made 
some unfeeling reflections on the inutility of 
^ving way to sorrow, or on desiring to view an 
object that must shock her already agitated 



dbyGoogk 



MADELINA* l69 

mind. The neighbours flocked round to try 
and speak comfort to the poor ^rl, and their 
soothing kindness formed such a contrast to the 
sullenness of Joseppa, that it became doubly 
painful to hen All the wealth that the father 
of Madelina left was now Joseppa's ; and thus 
pat into possession of the means of a comfortable 
subsistence, for a short time he seemed inclined 
to attend to rural occupations, and to busy him- 
self in plans for improving his farm. During 
this brief period, the passionate grief of his wife 
subsided into a settled melancholy; but her 
afiection for him became still more deep. It 
was true she saw, and marked with anguish, 
his selfishness, his utter recklessness of all but 
his own gratification, yet still she clung to him 
with a fondness and devotion resulting from the 
genuine afiection of her nature, which lavished 
the pure treasure of its feelings on this, the first 
object that awakened them into life. Yet the 
intensity of her attachment rendered her more 
feelingly alive to his want of the qualities that 
would have insured her a return of her seoti- 

VOL. III. I 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



170 MADELINA. 

ments, and secured the happiness that was still 
a stranger to her breast, which yearned for 
sympathy and companionship. 

No tidings had yet been received of any dis- 
covery of the assassins of her parent, thoagh 
the papal government had offered large rewards 
for their apprehension, and soldiers were con- 
tinually sent into the mountains in search of 
them. Month after month rolled away, and 
Madelina was now likely to be soon a mother ; 
this circumstance, which she fondly expected 
would have led to an increased kindness on the 
part of her husband, seemed to displease rather 
than to gratify him, and all the woman and the 
wife was wounded by his rude observations od 
the subject. 

About this period she awoke one night, and 
found with alarm that her husband was no longer 
by her side. She arose, and having wrapped 
herself in a cloak, advanced to the door in time 
to discern the receding figures of two men muf- 
fled up in mantles, parting from Joseppa, who 
was approaching the house. When he saw her, 



dbyGoogk 



MADELINA* 171 

he became transported with rage, and exclaimed, 
** What I can I not leave the house even for a 
few minutes without your pursuing me as a spy? 
I command you never again to follow me ; for 
I repeat, I will not be watched I " 

The heart of poor Madelina trembled at the 
stem unkindnessof her husband, and she shrunk 
back alarmed from the severity of his glance. 
A new cause for uneasiness was now furnished 
to this unhappy woman, by observing that her 
neighbours no longer sought her cottage as for- 
merly, to chat away an evening hour. When 
they met her, unaccompanied by her husband, 
they were as kind and friendly as in past times ; 
nay, she even fancied there was an air of pity 
in their manner towards her, which led her 
to conclude that they were aware of Joseppa's 
harshness. 

But when he was with her, they passed 
rapidly on, merely exchanging a word or smile 
of recognition, and seeming nervously anxious 
to avoid him. He too observed this repugnance, 
and many were the half-uttered menaces with 
which he marked his sense of it. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



17^ MADELINA. 

He now frequently disappeared for whole 
days, and such was the sternness of his looks 
and manner, that Madelina dared not question 
him on the subject. 

At length she became the mother of a male 
infant, and not only did she feel towards the 
babe all the tenderness that was peculiar to her 
affectionate heart, but its birth seemed to in- 
crease the enthusiastic fondness she bore to- 
wards its father ; while lie scarcely noticed the 
infant, and to Madelina's repeated appeals to 
him as to its beauty, sullenly replied, that for 
his part he *^saw nothing remarkable in it, 
and thought it was like all other infants, very 
plain, and much given to crying." How did 
the heart of the youthful mother feel wounded 
at such moments I And yet all this unkindness 
failed to alienate her love from her unworthy 
husband. 

The cur^ of Albano sent one day to desire 
Joseppa to go to him. The message evidently 
produced considerable agitation in him, and he 
seemed most reluctant to comply with it. After 
some hesitation he went; and, on his return, 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



MADELINA. 173 

Madelina observed that his brow wore a more 

threatening aspect than ever, and that some 

evil passion was struggling in his heart. He 

muttered broken sentences to himself, clenched 

his teeth, while his eyes shot forth gleams of 

ungovernable fury ; and to her request to be 

informed of what the cur^ wanted with him, he 

imperiously replied by a command to question 

him no more. 

On that night a tap at the window caught 
the attention of Madelina, as she lay on her 
sleepless couch, revolving in her mind what 
could be the subject of the curb's interview with 
her husband. He too heard it, and arose gently 
from the bed, casting a look at her, as if to be 
assured that she slept He left the house with 
noiseless steps, and returned not until day was 
already dawning. He passed the greater part 
of the day in bed, saying that he was indis- 
posed, and when the shades of night fell over 
the earth, he left his home, telling his wife, 
that he should be absent for a day or two. The 
second day of his absence, Madelina was no less 



dbyGoogk 



17 4f MADELIKA. 

surprised than alarmed, by a band of soldiers 
entering her cottage, and searching it minutely 
in pursuit of Joseppa. 

•* Of what — oh I of what is he accused?" 
asked the trembling wife ; a fearful presenti- 
ment of his having committed some crime, 
having connected itself in her mind with his 
secret interviews with the strange men at night, 
and his frequent absence. 

" Know you not that the good Cur6 of Al- 
bano was murdered yesterday ?•* replied one of 
the soldiers, ** and that your husband is " 

** Hush I " said the commander of the party, 
<* we are not here to answer questions, or to 
explain the motives of our visit Prepare your- 
self to accompany us to Rome, for we must 
convey you to prison.** 

" To prison I Oh, Mother of God I what 
have I done ?** shrieked the unfortunate Made- 
lina. *< I am innocent, indeed I am innocent I " 
And she threw herself at the feet of the sol- 
diers. At this moment some of the neighbours 
came in, and taking pity on her misery, en- 



dbyGoogk 



MADELINA. 1?^ 

treated the soldiers to let her remain in the 
cottage. ^ 

** She is good, and simple/' said they, '^ and 
never did any thing wrong, except in marrying 
her wicked husband.*' 

The soldiers having no -orders to arrest her, 
consented to let her remain, and set out in 
pursuit of Joseppa and his accomplices. One 
or two of the most kind and charitable of her 
neighbours ofiered to stay with her during the 
night ; but she declined their offer, under the 
plea that she was so fatigued aud exhausted, 
that she re({uired rest, and would immediately 
retire to her couch. 

When they had all left the cottage, the unfor- 
tunate Madelina determined to go into the 
mountains in search of her husband, to apprize 
him of the pursuit of which he was the object 
In which direction to go, she knew not, and 
must trust to Providence for directing her steps 
to him. In the cottage she could not stay, 
while his danger was every moment presenting 
itself to her imagination in the most terrific 



dbyGoogk 



176 MADELINA. 

forms. No! she would seek him out, and warn 
him of the per^ that menaced him, even though 
death should be her fate. She looked around 
at the little room, in which the happy days of 
her childhood had been passed. Each homely 
article of furniture,* endeared to her by long 
use, was identified with the memory of her lost 
parents. There stood the old arm-chair, in 
which her father had been wont to recline after 
the labours of the day ; and the rosary of her 
mother, which she had so often seen her pray 
with, hung on the same hook that supported 
the Madonna, before which its accustomed lamp 
was burning. She fancied that the picture 
looked at her with a countenance of pity, and 
she threw herself on her knees before it in 
supplication. 

** Harshness — neglect — all, all, I could hare 
borne without a murmur,'' sobbed Madelina, 
" for I felt I deserved it, for violating the com- 
mands of my father ; but that the breast on 
which this head has lain, should be the abode 
of crime, and the hands these lips have kissed. 



dbyGoogk 



MADELINA. i77 

be stained with blood, ob I it is too, too ter- 
rible, and chills me with horror I But no, I 
will not believe it, my child, my child," looking 
at her infant, who was calmly sleeping, ** thy 
father cannot be an assassin I" 

She wrapped her babe carefully in a warm 
shawl, and securing it on her back, threw a 
cloak over her, and with noiseless step stole 
from the cottage, and pursued a wild path 
that led to Monte Cavo, the most steep of the 
neighbouring mountains. Every noise alarmed 
her, and every shadow startled ; yet she ad- 
vanced rapidly, the hope of saving her husband 
giving fleetness to her steps, and courage to her 
trembling heart. The moon rose in unclouded 
majesty, tinging all around with its silvery 
Ught, and as she gained the acclivity of the 
mountain, th^ country for a vast extent stood 
exposed to her view. There was a calmness in 
the air, and the scene, that offered a marked 
contrast to the tumultuous agitation of her feel- 
ings ; and as she paused to rest her weary limbs, 
and supply her infant with the genial nourish- 

i3 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



178 MADELINA. 

ment whicb, with fbeble cries it had been 
demanding for the last half-hoar, a deep me- 
lancholy seemed to replace the terrors of the 
previous moment. But who can picture the 
despair of the wretched mother, when she found 
that no longer could her bosom furnish suste- 
nance to the parched lips of her in£Euit, whose 
cries penetrated to her very soul? The terror 
and agitation of the last few hours had produced 
this effect, and her courage failed before it. She 
arose from the bank on which she had seated 
herself, and with trembling limbs pursued he^ 
course, endeavouring to stop the cries of her 
child, by pressing her lips to its, while her 
burning tears fell on its innocent face. 

She was nearly sinking to the earth, from 
fatigue, when her eyes fell on some glistening 
object, moving in a copse of wood, at some dis- 
tance ; and before she had time to ascertain 
what it was, she found herself surrounded by 
four men, whose dress and arms too well ex- 
plained their profession, to leave her in doubt. 
One of them shook her rudely by the arm. 



dbyGoogk 



MADELINA. 179 

demanded her name, and why she was there ; 
while another made some coarse remark on her 
personal attractions, adding, that she would be 
a desirable acquisition for their cavern. 

Her terror almost deprived her of speech, 
and her child, who had been awakened from 
the slumber into which exhaustion had thrown 
it, soon began to cry, its wail increasing the 
agony of its wretched mother. 

A whistle was now heard from a distance, 
which being answered by one of the brigands, 
who surrounded Madelina, two more of the 
party joined them, and in one of the new comers, 
the unhappy woman discovered her guilty hus- 
band, in a brigand's dress. He seemed for a 
moment confused at being thus detected ; but 
quickly recovering himself, he sternly demanded 
why she had presumed to follow him ? A few 
harried words had hardly told him of his 
danger, when another brigand ran up to the 
group in breathless haste, and informed them, 
that a formidable party of soldiers were ad- 
vancing, to whom, from their great superiority 



dbyGoogk 



loO MADELISA, 

of numbers, resistance would be vain, and tbat 
immediate flight or concealment among the 
underwood, was the only chance of escape that 
remained. The brigands dispersed, and fled in 
different directions ; Joseppa throwing a dark 
cloak over his shoulders, desired Madelina to 
follow his steps, while he rapidly sought a tan- 
gled maze of shrubs in the forest, where they 
might evade the search of their pursuers. They 
reached the spot, and he, with his gun separated 
the branches, beneath which he concealed him- 
self and his wife, commanding her not to move. 
The voices of the soldiers were now heard in 
the distance, and she clung to the side of Jo- 
seppa in breathless terror, feeling only alive to 
his danger, and totally regardless of her own. 
At this moment, while the footsteps of the 
soldiers were heard approaching nearer and 
nearer, the hapless child resumed its cries. 
Madelina felt the hand of her husband grasp 
the child, its wailing ceased in one instant ; and 
their pursuers, led to the spot by the cries of 
the infant, were in the next, beating the bushes 



dbyGoogk 



MAD£L1NA* 181 

with their bayonets. One of them inflicted a 
deep wound on the arm of Madelina, but no 
cry, no murmur escaped her, her child was only 
pressed closer to her breast, as her warm blood 
flowed over it A second bayonet wounded 
Joseppa, and his inyoluntary movement disco* 
vered them. They were dragged forth amidst 
the shouts and execrations of the soldiers ; but 
their violence was less appalling to Madelina, 
than the maledictions with which Joseppa 
greeted her j when with eyes glowing with fury 
and malice, he fiercely accused her of being the 
sole cause of his detection. Some hard blows 
from the soldiers, who were manacling his arms, 
betrayed their sense of his barbarity ; but she 
threw herself between them and him, and im- 
plored them not to injure him. 

And now it was that Madelina turned her 
eyes on her child ; — but, oh, heaven I who can 
paint her despair and horror, when the moon- 
beams falling on its face, showed her its coun- 
tenance, blackened and distorted, and she felt 
that she held a corpse in her arms I The 



dbyGoogk 



1S2 MADELIKA. 

savage and unnatural father, to silence its cries 
— ^had strangled it I 

Joseppa was conyeyed a prisoner to Rome, 
where, being convicted of the murder of the 
cur^, and also of having assassinated the father 
of his wife, and old Thomaso, he paid the 
penalty of his guilt, with his life. Madelina's 
reason never recovered the fearful shock it had 
sustained on discovering the death of her child; 
and she has ever since been the inmate of a 
madhouse, whence her gentleness, and uncom- 
plaining melancholy, have won the pity of alL 



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183 



ANNETTE; OR, THE GALERIEN: 



A TALE. 



Annette Moran was the prettiest girl at a 
village in the department of the Is^re, famed 
for the beauty of its female inhabitants. She 
was the only person who doubted this fact; 
and her evident freedom from vanity, joined to 
the unpretending simplicity and mildness of 
her nature, rendered her beloved, even by those 
of her own sex, who might have felt inclined to 
contest charms less meekly borne by their pos- 
sessor. Among the many candidates for the 
hand of Annette, Jules Dejean was the one who 
had won her heart. Their marriage had been 



dbyGoogk 



184* ANNETTE, 

long agreed on, and they only waited to have a 
sufficient sum laid by, the fruits of their earn- 
ings and economy, to enable them to commence 
their little minage. Annette might be seen, 
every evening, busily engaged in spinning the 
yam that was destined for the linen of her 
future establishment, while Jules sat by her, 
reading aloud, or indulging with delight, in 
anticipations of their marriage. How often did 
he endeavour, during the period of their pro- 
bation, to persuade his Annette, that they 
already had sufficient funds to commence house* 
keeping. Charles Vilman and his Marie, with 
many other notable examples, were produced to 
prove that a couple might marry and be happy 
with less than five hundred francs, and Annette, 
half convinced, stole a timid look at her mother, 
who answered it, by shaking her head, and say- 
ing, " Ah 1 that's all very well, because Charles 
and Marie have no children as yet, so that they 
are as free to work as if they were single. But 
people are not always so fortunate as to be 
married three years without having a family ; 



dbyGoogk 



ANNETTE. 185 

and when a young woman has one child in her 
arms, and another beginning to walk, she can 
attend but little to her work." 

This reasoning never appeared quite con- 
clusive to the comprehension of the lovers, 
though it brought a brighter tint to the cheeks 
of Annette, and a roguish smile to the lips 
of Jules, and neither seemed to think it was 
peculiarly fortunate, for married persons who 
loved each other, not to have children, though 
they did not dispute the point with la bonne 
mhre Moran. 

About this period the cur^ of the village 
died, and his place was supplied by a young 
clergyman, who came from a distent part. The 
r^et felt by all his flock for the good old 
pastor, was not lightened by seeing in his suc« 
cesser a man, whose youth excluded the hope 
that his advice or experience could replace 
that of him they had lost. Nevertheless, the 
urbanity and kindness of Le P^re Laungard 
soon reconciled them to him, and he became 
popular* Le P&re Laungard was a young man 



dbyGoogk 



186 ANNETTE. 

of prepossessing appearance, and some natural 
abilities ; but with passionB so violent and irre- 
gular, that they rendered him most unfit for 
the holy profession he had adopted. Like pent> 
up fires, they raged but with the more viol^ioe 
because they were unreyealed ; and hypocrisy 
and artifice were called in to assist him in hiding 
feelings that he took more pains to conceal than 
to suppress. Some irregularities had marked 
his conduct at the cure he had left, and these 
had been represented to the bishop of his 
diocese, but that prelate refused credence to 
any statements against the young priest, and 
looked on him as a persecuted son of the church, 
whom he was called upon to protect against its 
enemies. Le P^re Laungard had no sooner 
seen Annette than he became enamoured of 
her, and it required all his powers of dupli- 
city and afiected sanctity, to yeil his passion, 
while in his heart he cursed the profession 
that rendered this duplicity necessary. When 
he became acquainted with the afiection and 
engagement of Annette and Jules, the most 



dbyGoogk 



ANNETTE. 187 

ungoyernable jealousy was added to the stings 
of unlawful passion ; he abandoned himself to 
plots for breaking off the marriage, and a 
thousand fearful and horrid thoughts passed 
through his ill-regulated mind. 

At times, actuated by the stings of con- 
science, he would throw himself on the earth, 
and with burning tears bewail his wretched 
fate, and having humbled himself to the dust, 
he would pray for power to conquer this fatal 
and unhallowed love ; but some innocent proof 
of affection given by the lovers in his presence 
would soon excite afresh all the evil in his 
nature, and he would look on them as did the 
serpent in paradise, envying the happiness of 
our first parents, until overpowered by the 
feelings that consumed him, he would rush 
into solitude, and abandon himself to all the 
violence of his disposition. 

He used every effort in his power to insinuate 
himself into the good graces of Annette, and, 
by the softness and impassioned earnestness of 
his manner, he succeeded in exciting an in- 



dbyGoogk 



188 ANNETTE. 

terest in her mind — the more readily accorded, 
that her whole heart heing engrossed, and the 
passion that filled it heing fuUy reciprocated, 
left her disposed to think well of, and feel 
kindly towards, all the world. Often did 
Annette, in the innocence of her mind, and 
with that complacency, which a mutual affec- 
tion engenders, ohserve to Jules, what a pity it 
was that Le P^re Laungard, a good-looking, 
amiahle young man, with so much sensibility, 
should be for ever excluded the pale of con- 
jugal ties. " To live without loving/* said the 
pure Annette, *' appears to me to be impossible, 
and though he may like all his flock, as I do 
my friends and companions, still that is so 
different, so cold, and unsatisfying a feeling in 
comparison with that which you, dear Jules, 
have awakened in my breast, that I cannot but 
pity all who are shut out from entertaining a 
similar one." Jules felt none of this pity or 
sympathy for Le Pfere Laungard, for with the 
instinctive perception of quick-sighted love, he 
had observed the furtive glances of the young 



dbyGoogk 



ANNETTE. 189 

priest directed to Annette, his disordered air, 
and changing countenance, his agitation, and 
tremulous voice, when addressing ber*^ and he 
liked not the flashing of Laungard's eye, when- 
ever, as the affianced husband of Annette, he 
availed himself of the privileges that character 
gave him, of holding her hand in his, or en- 
circling her small and yielding waist with his 
arm. The purity and reserve of Annette im- 
posed a restraint on Le F^re Laungard, that 
but increased the violence of his passion, and 
as the time approached for her nuptials, it 
became more ungovernable. 

According to the usages of the Roman 
Catholic religion, persons about to be united, 
confess to their priest the night previous to the 
marriage ceremony, and receive the sacrament 
the next morning, prior to its celebration. 

Annette went to the church, which was 
about two miles distant from her home, accomr 
panied by a female neighbour ; and on arriving, 
was told that Le P^re Laungard could not re- 
peive her confession until a later hour in the 



dbyGoogk 



190 ANNETTE. 

evening. Her companion becoming impatient 
to return to her home, quitted Annette, who 
informed her that Jules would come to conduct 
her back to her mother. Her friend left her 
in the twilight, in the church, reposing on a 
bench, and met Jules on the road, whom she 
advised not to interrupt the devotions of his 
jiancke^ as it would be some time ere she would 
have finished. He loitered about, and at length 
becoming impatient, proceeded to the church ; 
where not finding Annette, and concluding that 
she had returned by another route, he hastened 
to the house of her mother. She had not 
arrived there, however, and the most fearful 
apprehensions filled his mind* He returned 
again to the church, and knocking loudly at 
the house of Le P^re Laungard, which joined 
it, demanded when Annette had left the sacred 
edifice. The priest replied, through the window, 
that she had left the confessional at nine o'clock, 
and that was all he knew. Agonized by the 
wildest fears and suspicions, Jules aroused all 
his friends in the village, and they proceeded 



dbyGoogk 



ANNETTE. 191 

in every direction, calling aloud on Annette ; 
and the night was passed in vain searches for 
the luckless maiden. 

Morning, that morning which was to have 
crowned his happiness for ever, by making 
Annette his own, saw Jules, pale and haggard, 
distraction gleaming in his eyes, and drops of 
cold perspiration bursting firom his forehead, 
approach with his friends the bank of the 
river, which they proposed to draw with nets, 
as being the only place as yet unexplored. 

While we leave them employed in this 
melancholy o£Bce, we must return to the female 
friend who had left Annette at the church. 
She sought an interview with the servant of 
the priest, whom she closely questioned, as she 
maintained that the unhappy girl had decided 
on returning by a certain route, and had she 
done so, she could not have failed to meet 
Jules, and consequently suspicions of foul play 
were excited in her mind. 

The servant stated that Le Pire Laungard 
had given her a commission to execute at the 



dbyGoogk 



192 ANNETTE. 

village the evening before, and had told her 
she might remain there until twelve o'clock. 
This unsolicited permission struck her as 
something extraordinary, and she did not avail 
herself of it to the full extent. She returned 
about nine o'clock, and having let herself in, 
was eating her supper, when she heard a violent 
struggle in the room above that where she was 
sitting, and a sound of stifled groans. She ran 
up stairs, and finding her master's door fastened, 
she demanded if he was ill, as she had been 
alarmed by hearing a noise. He answered 
that he had merely fallen over a chair ; but 
there was a trepidation in his voice which 
announced that he was agitated. 

This was all that the servant could state ; 
but it was enough to point the suspicions 
already excited, still more strongly to the 
priest 

The river was drawn, and close to its bank 
was found the corse of the beautiful and ill- 
fated Annette. Her dishevelled hair, and torn 
garments, bore evidence to the personal violence 



dbyGoogk 



ANNETTE. 193 

she had sustained, ere she had been consigned 
to a watery grave, and the livid mark of fingers 
on her throat, mduced a belief that her death 
had been caused by strangulation, ere she had 
been plunged into the river. Fragments of 
her dress, found attached to the briers, and 
locks of her beautiful hair caught in them, 
gave indications of the route by which her 
corse had been evidently dragged along, and 
were traced even to the door of the priest's 
house ; but when the servant came forth, with 
a fragment of the kerchief Annette had worn, 
and which she had found in the ashes where 
the rest had been consumed, there was no 
longer a doubt left in the minds of the spec- 
tators, of who was the perpetrator of the hor- 
rible deed. 

The murderer fled, pursued by the villagers; 
but having rushed into the river, he gained the 
opposite side in safety ere they arrived to see 
him agam resume his flight He passed the 
frontier, entered Piedmont, and there overcome 
with the sense of his guilt, and nearly dead 

VOL. III. K 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



194 ANNETTE. 

with fatigue, he gave himself up to the dvii 
authorities. 

He was soon after claimed hy the Freoch, 
tried, and condemned to the gallies for life ; 
where he still drags on a miserable existence, 
not daring to lift his eyes from the ground, 
lest he should meet the glance of horror his 
presence never fails to excite in all who see 
him, and know his crime. 

Jules no longer able to remain in a spot now 
rendered insupportable to him, gave up his 
little fortune to the mother of his Annette, 
enlisted at Grenoble, and soon after met bis 
death, gallantly fighting at Algiers. 

The house of Le P^e Laungard has been 
razed to the ground by the inhabitants of the 
village ; and a monument has been erected to 
the memory of the lovely, but unfortonate 
Annette. 



dbyGoogk 



195 



THE YOUNG MOTHER. 



** I HAVE ordered the curricle to be at the door 
at four; and I hope you will not disappoint 
me again Emily, as you have so frequently 
done of late, for I have set my heart on driving 
you to-day." 

" You know, dear Algernon, what pleasure 
I always have in being with you/' 

"Why, so you say ; but really, Emily, I 
begin to doubt your assertion on this point; 
for you have always some excuse for not riding 
or driving with me, when I ask you." 

" Now this reproach is unkind, Algernon." 

" Yet, nevertheless, it is true." 

k2 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



196 THE YOUNG MOTHER. 

** But you know, dearest, the fault has not 
been mine; the poor dear baby really has been 
looking pale of late ; and I, consequently, am 
uneasy when he is out of my sight.'' 

" You bear my being out of your sight, 
however, Emily, with great equanimity ; more 
so, indeed, than is flattering to my vanity : but 
the truth is, since you have become a mother, 
you seem to have forgotten that you are a 
wife." 

*' How can you make so unjust an assertion, 
knowing, as you do, that never did a wife 
more fondly love a husband than I love you? — 
cruel, unkind Algernon 1" 

" I do not wish to give you pain; nay, do 
not weep Emily, but hear me patiently. Have 
I, ever since our boy was bom, now some three 
months ago, been able to enjoy a tranquil hour 
of your society? When you are not in the 
nursery, from which you are seldom absent an 
hour, your whole thoughts and conversation 
are occupied on the baby. If the poor little 
fellow looks rather more red in the face than 



dbyGoogk 



THE YOUNG MOTHER. 197 

usual, you think him feverish and flushed ; if 
pale, then you pronounce him to be suffisring. 
At one moment you fancy him cutting his teeth ; 
and, at the next, you tremble at the idea of 
some one of the hundred maladies incidental 
to infants, and which you imagine him to be 
labouring under.'* 

'^ I did not expect, Algernon, that you would 
have the harshness to blame me for loving our 
child; I did not think '' 

** Now, Emily, you really provoke me I Is 
there no medium in a mother's love ? Are her 
whole thoughts and time to be surrendered to 
this one egotistical passion, while all other 
duties are neglected or forgotten ?" 

**1 was not aware that I neglected any 
duties ; and the maternal one I have been led 
to consider the most sacred of alL" 

<* I am willing to admit its claims, but not 
to the total oblivion of all other obligations. 
As a husband, have I not a right to your 
society? As a master of a house, am I not 
privileged to demand the devotion of some 



dbyGoogk 



198 THE TOUN6 MOTHER. 

portion of it for the duties of hospitality ? Yet 
do you not daily leave me alone whole hours, 
while you sit in the nursery, and find some 
pretext against receiving company every time I 
propose it ? If I read to you, you start up in 
the most interesting passage, thinking you hear 
the child cry, though it would require the 
lungs of a Stentor to he heard from his nurseiy 
in the lihrary. If I tell you some piece of 
news, that would formerly have amused you, 
you look distraite^ or ask me some question 
that has a reference to the child. With every 
disposition to make allowance for the natural 
fondness of a young mother for her first-bom, 
and to indulge my paternal affection, I really 
feel my domestic comfort so much impaired, 
that I am sometimes fearful I shall view the 
caiise of this change in you with some portion 
of the dissatisfaction that the effect produces 
in my mind/' 

"Good heavens, Algernon I how can you 
blame me for loving this cherub ? Who couU 
resist the darling's smiles?" 



dbyGoogk 



THE TOUNG MOTHER. 199 

** I can judge little of his smiles, Emily, for 
the urchin has been generally screaming when 
I haye happened to see him/' 

A paroxysm of tears was the only reply the 
young mother vouchsafed to make to this re- 
mark ; but no answer could so eloquently appeal 
to the father's feelings. He wiped the tears 
from her fair cheeks, nay, kissed the lids on 
which they still trembled ; while she, casting 
an imploring look at him, uttered, between 
rising sobs, — ** Do not, oh, do not, Algernon, 
say that my darling is cross I Mrs. Spencer, the 
month-nurse, my maid, and his nurse too, de- 
clare, th^ never — never saw such a dear an- 
gelic babe in their lives, so quiet and sweet- 
tempered." 

** And so, I dare be sworn, good fussy Mrs. 
Spencer, has told every mother of every child 
she has given pap to for the last thirty years. 
The evidence of "jonr femme^e^hamhre^ and 
our boy's nurse, is equaUy liable to suspicion." 

" Now, Algernon, you are do incredulous, 
and, I must say, so ill-natured I " 



dbyGoogk 



200 THE TOUNO MOTHER. 

" Well, my own Emily, if it be any comfort 
to you, I am quite ready to admit, that our 
little fellow is not more addicted to crying than 
children of his age in general are, but then 
you must concede one point to me, and that is, 
that his lungs are more powerful." 

*' Thank God that they are so ; for I tremble 
when I hear Lady Melthorpe's poor little boy 
cry ; his tones are so feeble, as to indicate 
weakness of the chest ; while ours ^" 

** Screams like a boatswain, you would say ; 
fCest-ce-pas?^^ 

" No, I would say no such thing ; I would 
say that his voice is so sonorous, so manly, as 
to prove his strength and pulmonary force." 

" Well, Emily, will you, or will you not, 
leave him for the enormous space of two or 
three hours to the care of his nurse and her 
suivantes^ and drive with me ? " 

" Yes, Algernon, you may count on me." 

" Now you are my own good Emily of other 
days. Adieu, dearest I I shall be at the door 
in the curricle precisely at four. Au revoirf' 



dbyGoogk 



THE YOUNG MOTHER. 201 

and he kissed his wife's fair brow, with as much 
fondness as in his first bridal days. 

Punctually at four he was at the door, when, 
instead of seeing her arrive, a little twisted 
billet was handed to him by his wife's footman. 
He had so often received many similar missives 
of late, always conveying excuses for appoint- 
ments broken, or party deranged, that he 
disliked the very sight of one ; and he tore this 
open with no little impatience and vexation. 

As usual, it contained her regrets for not 
being able to accompany him — *' But, really, 
the poor dear baby seemed so restless and un- 
easy, that she had thought it necessary to send 
for Dr. Wilbraham, and could not bring herself 
to leave the sufiering angel." 

While he perused this note, Dr. Wilbraham 
himself was seen descending the steps of the 
door, and to the questions of the father, replied, 

** Pooh, pooh I my lord, the child has nothing 
whatever the matter with him ; you must really 
prevent her ladyship from sending off for me 
when there is not the slightest occasion for my 



dbyGoogk 



202 THE YOUNG MOTHER. 

presence, for it interferes extremely with my 
engagements. The child is a healthy child, 
my lord -, but he will render his mother any 
thing but healthy, if you do not prevent her 
tormenting herself all day, and every day, with 
some fancy about him." 

Lord Mordaunt stepped from the curricle, 
bounded lightly up the stairs, and, as he ex- 
pected, found his wife in the nursery, seated 
by the side of the cot in which their infimt was 
sleeping. The nurse, with a face of alarm, 
was bending over, and her assistant, looking as 
stupidly frightened, as she thought the circum- 
stances of the case required. Lady Mordaimf s 
pale face formed a contrast to the rosy one of 
the slumbering child, and her beautiful eyes 
bore traces of recent tears. Lord Mordaunt 
might have pitied her, had it not been for the 
communication of Dr. Wilbraham ; but with 
that still fresh in his mind, and the initatkm 
of the disappointment, he felt more disposed to 
roprehend than conmiiserate her anxiety. 

*< I have seen Dr. Wilbraham^ Emily," said 



dbyGoogk 



THE YOUNG MOTHER. 203 

he ; *' and he has confirmed my foregone con- 
clusion, that nothing is the matter with the 
child." 

'* Dr. Wilbraham is an unfeeling man I" re- 
plied Lady Mordaunt, with a degree of asperity 
very unusual to her; *'and I am convinced 
my sweet boy is unwell : only look how flushed 
he is." 

'* He will become less flushed," said the 
father, ** if the free current of air that ought 
to circulate around his cot, is not impeded by 
three persons standing so close to it." 

At this hint, the nurse and her assistant 
withdrew to the far side of the chamber ; but 
Lady Mordaunt still bent over the cot. 

"Look, Algernon," she whispered, "see 
how he smiles ; it is asserted, that infants are 
generally sufi^ing when they smile in their 
sleep." 

" And so you say they are when they cry," 
interrupted Lord Mordaunt ; " and then I am 
disposed to agree with you in opinion. You 
look far more unwell than that little chubby 



dbyGoogk 



204 THE YOUNG MOTHER. 

fellow ; 80 let me counsel yoa to leave him to 
finish his slamher, and enjoy- his dreams which 
are evidently pleasant, and come with me a few 
miles into the country, that you may hreathe a 
little fresh air." 

This time, Lady Mordaunt yielded to the 
wishes of her lord, for she perceived symptoms 
of impatience and dissatisfaction in his couiite- 
nance and manner, that rendered her unwilling 
to still further excite his displeasure. In 
driving through the streets, they passed a baby 
linen warehouse ; and the fond mother, who 
had been, hitherto, silent and abstracted, ex- 
claimed, " Oh I what beautiful caps I what an 
exquisite robe I Do, dear Algernon, let me 
stop and buy it for our darling I'' 

'* Really, Emily, you must excuse me ; you 
know I hate shopping, and a curricle is not a 
carriage the best suited for such occupations. 
You can come in the chariot, and without me, 
another day." 

In the next street, a silversmith's shop 
attracted her attention ; and forgetful of her 



dbyGoogk 



THE YOUNG MOTHER. 205 

husband's declared dislike to shopping, she 
eagerly expressed her desire to stop, that he 
might assist her in the selection of a coral and 
hells for their dear boy. She was '* sure that 
the flushing of the cheeks of the dear little 
fellow, arose from dentition having commenced, 
and she wished to lose no time in giving him a 
coral and bells." 

Again, Lord Mordaunt declined complying 
with her wishes; and, perhaps, in doing so, 
betrayed indications of petulance: however 
that might have been, she became silent and 
abstracted, until he, piqued by her taciturnity, 
said, " What can you be thinking of, Emily ?" 

*'I was thinking," she said, with a sweet 
and artless smile, which at once disarmed his 
impatience, 'Uhat, in four years from this 
time, I shall be asking you to give our boy a 
Shetland pony, like that which Lord Hawthorn- 
dale has bought for his son." 

There was no resisting this naive avowal of 
her thoughts, and her husband more than 
smiled, while he demanded '< Whether she had 



dbyGoogk 



206 THE YOUNG MOTHER« 

not yet thought of the boy's departure for Eton, 
and future entrance at Christ Church?" 

" Thought of it 1" repeated Lady Mordaunt, 
pensively ; " ah, Algernon I you little imagine 
how often I have thought of it — ^nay, dreamed 
of it — and the anticipation fills me with cha- 
grin i but I trust, that by accustoming myself 
to reflect on it, I shall become more reconciled 
to the inevitable separation when it arrives." 

Lady Mordaunt was so gentle and sweet- 
tempered, that her husband, though piqued 
by her devoting the whole of her time and 
thoughts to their child, could not persevere in 
censuring her weakness, when he saw that his 
reflections on it gave her pain; but, finding 
that he could no longer look for companionship 
with his wife, unless he consented to enact the 
part of second nurse, he took to fi'equenting 
the clubs, which, since his marriage, he had 
seldom entered ; and went into female society, 
where, though he was at first only amused, he 
soon afterwards became interested. 
' This new career very naturally led to the 



dbyGoogk 



THE YOUNG MOTHER. 207 

establishment of a flirtation, with a lady who 
devoted so little of her time or her thoughts to 
her children, as to have no inconsiderable por- 
tion of both at the service of any man of fashion 
who administered to her vai^ty by his attentions. 
Lady Mordaunt, happy in being left unmolested 
by the complaints or sarcasms of her husband, 
to pass the whole of her hours with her child, 
never suspected that she owed this indulgence 
to his having found consolation elsewhere for 
the loss of her society. When they met, which 
was now but seldom, she had a thousand parti- 
culars to relate to him of '^dear little Algernon." 

" He could crow ; yes, positively, he could 
crow 1 " 

*'And what the deuce does that mean?'' 
asked Lord Mordaunt ; *' enlighten me, Emily, 
iPor I am not particularly well skilled in nursery 
phraseology." 

<* Oh, crowing is the dearest, sweetest sound 
in the world I something between speaking and 
laughing ; and while Algy crows, he chuckles 
and " 



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208 THE YOUNG MOTHER. 

"Don't say he chuckles, I heseech you, 
Emily; it is a horrid word, and a horrid action. 
Why, Lord Mappleton is always chuckling, and 
that abominable fat Sir John Meadowway, 
and half the other disagreeable people that one 
knows, are everlastingly chuckling." 

** But our boy's chuckling is quite another 
thing! oh, you should see him I you should 
hear him, Algernon ; do let me bring him to 
you!" 

And away glided the young mother, who 
quickly returned, bearing in her arms a fine 
fat rosy-cheeked boy, who grasped the silken 
ringlets of her hair in his dimpled fingers, and 
laughed in her face as he strained them still 
more vigorously. 

It was a beautiful picture to see that young 
and lovely creature, herself scarcely yet arrived 
at woman's age, looking with love-beaming eyes 
at her child, and exultingly showing him to his 
father ; and Lord Mordaunt felt the beautv of 
the picture, and drew mother and child within 
his arms, and pressed them to his heart, with 



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THE YOUNG MOTHER. 209 

a livelier sense of affection than he had for 
many months experienced ; but, unfortunately, 
the child, who was not accustomed to see his 
father, or to be embraced except by his mother 
or nurse, burst into a loud and piercing cry, 
and bedewed his mother's robe and bosom with 
his tears. 

^'Take him away I take him away I" ex- 
claimed Lord Mordaunt, piqued at being 
treated as a stranger by his child ; *' I hate 
cross children!'' 

" Indeed, Algernon, he is not a cross child; 
he only cries because he sees you so seldom, 
and " 

" Vou do well to reproach me, Emily I you, 
who drove me from my home, by allowing that 
little screaming urchin to engross all your time 
and thoughts ; in fact, to convert you into an 
upper nurse I'' 

<< Reproach you I Oh, Algernon, how can 
you be so unjust, so cruel as to say so ?** And 
here Lady Mordaunt's tears mingled with 
those of her child. 



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210 THE YOUNG MOTHER. 

Her husband left the room, a prey to that 
ill-humour which never fails to result from the 
consciousness of error. He would have been 
glad to have found an excuse for its indulgence 
in the reproaches of his wife, which he fdt 
aware he had merited ; but her gentleness and 
uncomplaining sweetness angered him, by ag- 
gravating the sense of his own misconduct 
Still, her beautiful face, bathed in tears, tad 
her appeal against the injustice and cruelty of 
his accusation of having reproached him, dwelt 
in his mind, and more than once was he tempted 
to return to the room he had so abruptly left, 
and seek a reconciliation with her. 

It was under the influence of such feelings, 
that in passing through Grosvenor Square, 
he encountered the carriage of the lady who 
had lately engrossed so much of his time.— 
The check-string was quickly pulled ; and the 
prancing steeds were nearly thrown on their 
haunches, by the alacrity with which the coach- 
man obeyed the somewhat impatient signal of 
his mistress ; two tall footmen rapidly presented 



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THE YODNO MOTHER. 211 

themselves at the door of the carriage at the 
same moment that Lord Mordaunt approached 
it. They quickly fell back» while he, in no 
very good humour, listened to a torrent of 
queries and reproaches, for not having come 
at his usual hour to pay his diurnal visit. 

The contrast between this imperious and 
querulous woman, and the gentle, yet sensitive 
one, whose tears he had so lately caused to flow, 
and had left, without uttering even a word of 
affection to soothe, never struck him so forcibly 
before ; and as if to render the contrast still 
more complete, the lady, having exhausted 
her complaints of his negligence and rudeness, 
commenced a history of her domestic annoy- 
ances. 

<< I have been bored to extinction," said she, 
*' ever since I saw you last. One of the children 
has been taken ill with some one of the innu- 
merable diseases to which these little animals 
are subject ; and their wise father, who enacts 
the rdle of head-nurse, has taken it into his 
head to hncy it a very serious illness. We 



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212 THE YOUNG MOTHER. 

have had no less than three physicians called 
in ; and they, of course, pronounce the malady 
to be of a dangerous nature; as they always do 
on such occasions, to enhance the merit of the 
cure." 

Lord Mordaunt felt a sentiment approaching 
to loathing, as he looked at the handsome 
woman before him, and listened to her expres- 
sions of unnatural indifference to her child, 
and remembered the doting mother, whi^e 
excessive affection for her offspring he had so 
often censured. 

** There is nothing so tiresome as those little 
creatures," resumed Lady Dorrington, " with 
their never-ceasing maladies, except it be their 
father, who turns the house into an hospital 
whenever they get ill. It is so very trying 
to my nerves, particularly" — and she looked 
languishingly at him — '*as I have not been 
well of late ; Lord Dorrington wants me to put 
off my ball for to-morrow night, as if that could 
cure the tiresome child ; but really, I cannot — 
now that all the preparations are completed." 



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THE YOUMG MOTHER. 213 

It was with difficulty he could conceal the 
disgust that every word she uttered excited 
in his mind; and he pleaded business for 
abridging the monologue of her grievances. 
And this was the woman he had preferred to 
his fair and gentle wife I How did her gross 
egotism and selfishness disgust him I And how 
did he blame his own weakness, which led him 
to accord her the preference ! 

While this scene was passing in Grosvenor- 
square, one of a different nature was taking 
place at his own house. Mrs. Percival, the 
aunt of Lady Mordaunt, had surprised that 
lady in tears, a few minutes after her husband 
had so abruptly quitted her ; and believing her 
agitation to have been caused by a discovery of 
the entanglement of Lord Mordaunt with Lady 
Dorrington, which had now become a subject 
of animadversion in the circle in which they 
moved, she incautiously used some expressions, 
that revealed to Lady Mordaunt the painful 
fact, that her husband had found consolation 
abroad, for the loss of her society at home. 



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214 THE YOUNG MOTHER. 

" You may well weep, Emily," said her well- 
meaning, but not sensitive aunt; ''for be 
assured it was your own unreasonable conduct, 
in permitting yourself to be so wholly engrossed 
by your child, that drove Liord Mordaunt to 
seek female society, in any other house than 
his own. The experiment is a dangerous one ; 
but, perhaps, it is not yet too late to remedy 
its result Tears are inefficacious ; smiles, 
though difficult to be worn on such trials, are 
more likely to win back the truant to his home ; 
and therefore, I earnestly advise their adoption. 
It is, at all times, the duty of a wife, by gen- 
tleness and patience, to lead her husband to a 
return to the path of duty ; but it becomes still 
more imperiously so, when an error on her 
part, has occasioned his transgression.** 

Bitterly did Lady Mordaunt now deplore her 
own unthinking conduct, in having alienated 
her husband from his home. Well did she 
remember the representations he had unavaQ* 
ingly made, on her in&tuation ; and, as jealousy 
for the first time, sent its envenomed pangs 



dbyGoogk 



THE YOUNG MOTHER. 21.5 

through her hitherto unsuspecting heart, she 
felt that her love for her hoy was not so pas- 
sionate, as that which now agonized her for 
his father. But though grieved, deeply grieved, 
by the discovery she had made, there was no 
anger in her sorrow. Hers was a nature 
more prone to suffer acutely from wounded 
affection, than to resent the injury. Now did 
she recall to memory, the anger with which 
her conscious husband accused her of reproach- 
ing him, when she simply meant to explain 
why the child cried; and fervently did she 
determine never to utter a word that could 
offend him ; and henceforth, if she should be 
so fortunate as to lure him back to his home, 
to devote only those hours to her child, which 
Lord Mordaunt's avocations left at her dis- 
posal. 

She wondered, at present that the veil was 
removed from her eyes, how she could have 
been so unthinking, as not to have reflected on 
the danger to which she was exposing her hap- 
piness, in disgusting so fastidious a man as her 
husband with his own domestic circle. But 

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2l6 THE YOUNG MOTHER. 

she remembered also, and the recollection sent 
a thrill of pleasure through her heart, that he 
had fondly drawn herself and his child to his 
breast only that very morning ; and there was 
so much tenderness in the action, and in the 
manner of it, that she felt his heart was not 
irretrievably gone from hen 

Her aunt left her, satisfied that her advice 
would be attended to, and indulged no slight 
portion of self-complacency on its forethought 
and prudence, and the good result it was likely 
to produce. 

Lady Mordaunt, deeply penetrated with a 
sense of her own imprudence, and most anxious 
to atone for it, greeted her husband, when she 
next saw him, with a contrite tenderness, that 
might have led an observer to imagine that she 
had a much stronger motive for self-reproach 
than the one that actuated her present conduct ; 
while he, conscious that his faidt, though the 
natural effect of hers, was of a much deeper 
dye than the error that occasioned it, was sen- 
sibly touched by the gentleness and afiection of 
her reception. 

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THE YOUNG MOTHER. 217 

** How is our boy, my own Emily?" asked 
Lord Mordaunt. ''Do let me see the dear 
little fellow, for I am determined to give him 
frequent opportunities of getting accustomed to 
my face — ay, and to my embraces too, that he 
may no more be alarmed at either.'* 

" And I, dearest Algernon," replied the 
delighted wife, ** am determined to be always 
ready to go with you, where and when you will ; 
if, indeed, you can overlook my folly in having, 
ever since our boy was bom, ceased to be your 
companion, or to render your home as happy as 
it ought to be/* 

She was clasped in her fond husband's arms 
before she had concluded the sentence; and 
from that day he ceased to maintain any other 
correspondence with Lady Dorrington, than the 
mere ceremonious one of occasionally leaving a 
card at her door. 

Thenceforward, too. Lady Mordaunt, while 
fulfilling with judicious attention all the duties 
of a fond mother, never ceased to remember and 
to discharge those of a wife. 

VOL. III. L 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



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219 



THE CHALET IN THE ALPS: 



A TALE OF HUMBLE LIFE. 



In a secluded spot, in the wild and desolate 
regions of the Alps, dwelt two families, the 
only inhabitants of the place. The two chalets 
occupied by them, and a few patches of land 
laboured into fertility by hardy and incessant 
toil, with a herd of goats, which sought their 
scanty food wherever the rare and stunted 
herbage appeared, were the only symptoms of 
human habitation visible for some miles. A 
more dreary spot can hardly be imagined, than 
that where the chalets stood. Winter reigned 
there with despotic force during nine months of 

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220 THE CHALET IN THE ALPS. 

the year; and the approach of summer was 
hailed with a delight known only to those who 
have languished for its presence through many 
a long and cheerless day, surrounded by the 
dreary attributes of the gloomy season. 

Mountain rising over mountain, covered with 
eternal snow, and divided by yawning chasms, 
whose depths none had ever ventured to pene- 
trate, met the eye at every side ; the inter- 
mediate prospect only broken by the presence of 
a few hardy tannen and pine trees, whose dark- 
green foliage formed a striking contrast to the 
snowy mantle, which, like the funeral pall of 
dead nature, covered the earth for nearly three 
parts of the year. 

The first symptom of vegetation was wel- 
comed in this wild spot, as the first-born is by 
a mother who has long pined for oflspring; 
and, as the rays of the sun melted the froz^i 
surface of the mountains, and sent a thousand 
sparkling streams rushing down their sides, 
falling with a pleasant sound into the deep 
glens beneath, the hearts of the inhabitants of 



dbyGoogk 



THE CHALET IN THE ALPS. 221 

the chalets became filled with cheerfulness, and 
the rigours and sufferings of winter were for- 
gotten. 

Martin VignoUes, with his wife and two 
daiaghters, occupied one of the rude and com- 
fortless residences in this solitary spot ; and 
the widow Bauvais, and her son, the other. 
The husband of the widow had been one of the 
most bold and adventurous chamois-hunters in 
the Alps ; and lost his life in the chase of one 
of those wild animals, leaving his wife and son, 
then an infant, wholly dependent on the kind- 
ness of their sole friend, Martin Vignolles. 
Nor did this friend fail them in the hour of 
need. He became as a brother to the bereaved 
wife, and a father to the fatherless ; sharing 
with them his scanty subsistence, and culti- 
vating the patch of land which the deceased 
had laboured into fertility. 

Years passed away, and the widow's son had 
now grown into manhood, while Annette Vig- 
nolles had just completed her sixteenth year, 
and Fanchon her sister, her twelfth. The 



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2^2 THE CHALET IN THE ALPS. 

young man was light, agile, and hardy, like 
most of the children nurtured in the wild 
regions where he had heen horn ; and where 
activity of person, and firmness of mind, are 
continually called into exercise, by the danger 
and difficulty with which the means of existence 
are procured. The melancholy of his widowed 
mother, who had never ceased to lament the 
husband of her youth, had tinged the mind of 
her son with a softness, and disposed it to a 
susceptibility, which though it impaired not 
his animal courage in the hour of danger, 
exercised a powerful influence over his affec- 
tions, rendering him almost a slave to their 
empire. 

Annette VignoUes was a creature of remark- 
able beauty, and quickness of feeling. She had 
been from her childhood as a daughter to the 
widow, and had never known a thought, a wish, 
nor a hope in which the widow's son had not 
been included. 

It was soon after Annette had reached her 
sixteenth year that her father, in endeavouring 



dbyGoogk 



THE CHALET IN THE ALPS. 223 

' to extricate one of his goats, which had fallen 
from a cliff, missed his footing, and was hurled 
into an ahyss, nearly filled with snow, where a 
certain but lingering death awaited him, had 
he not been rescued by the intrepidity of 
Michel Bauvais, who, at the risk of his life, 
descended where no human foot had ever before 
dared to tread, and saved Martin VignoUes 
from his perilous position. 

This accident was followed by the total loss 
of the use of VignolW limbs ; who, from that 
day, became unable to afford the least assistance 
towards the maintenance of his family. Then 
it was, that the widow and her son endeavoured 
to repay the debt of gratitude due to their 
neighbours. Michel laboured for them with 
unremitting toil and alacrity, and suffered them 
to experience no diminution of the few com- 
forts, if comforts the strict necessaries of life 
might be called, to which they had hitherto 
been accustomed. Anxiously but unavailingly 
had the widow tried to prevent Michel from 
pursuing the hazardous profession of his lost 



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224 THE CHALET IN THE ALPS. 

father. In all other respects the most docile 
and obedient of sons, he evinced in this a wil- 
fulness that often filled her heart with the 
most gloomy forebodings — forebodings which 
infected the mind of Annette with fearfiil 
apprehensions, whenever he was absent on 
those dangerous enterprises. Yet, when he 
returned home, bending under the weight of 
his spoil, and made light of the fears of his 
mother, or silenced them by his caresses, the 
whole circle collected in the chalet of Mar- 
tin VignoUcs felt too happy to chide him; 
though all never sought their humble couches 
without offering up fervent prayers for his 
safety. Often would the widow dwell on the 
past, not less with a view of warning her son, 
than from that yearning of the heart towards the 
dear departed, felt by all who have known the 
misfortune of losing the partner of their youth. 
** It was just such a night as this," would 
she say, " that I expected my poor Claude 
for the last time. Ah I how well do I re- 
member it I I made up a good fire, prepared 



dbyGoogk 



THE CHALET IN THE ALPS. 225 

his supper, and carefully swept the hearth, for 
my dear husband always liked to see a blazing 
fire, and a clean hearth. Michel slept in his 
cradle, and smiled in his sleep, poor innocent, 
little dreaming of the dreadful misfortune that 
hung over us. I tried to work ; but the needle 
slipped from my fingers, they trembled so. I 
opened the door, and stood on the ledge of the 
rock near it, to listen for his step — that step 
I was never again to hear. The moon was 
shining, as now, like silver, and the frozen 
tops of the mountains were sparkling with 
light, except when a cloud passed over her 
bright face, and then a dark shadow fell on 
them. I knew not why it was, but a cold 
tremour shook my limbs, and my heart trem- 
bled } the branches of the pine creaked dis- 
cordantly, and the wind, which a minute before 
had been still, sighed mournfully through the 
leaves. I looked around, but all appeared so 
cold and bright, so unfeeling-like to my fears, 
that I turned from the view, as one turns from 
a selfish, heartless person, who has no pity for 

l3 

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2S6 THE CHALET IN THE ALPS. 

our misfortunes, and I came back to the house 
to seek comfort in looking again at my sleeping 
child. Oh I what a long night was that I I 
thought it was the most miserable I e?er should 
pass ; but I have passed many a more wretched 
one since, for then I had hope. I remembered 
through the weary hours how he looked, and 
what he said. He stood on the threshold he 
was never more to pass, looking back on us 
with a smile, which I, at the moment, thought 
too gay a one when leaving us ; but which, 
when I recalled it to my memory in that night, 
seemed sadder than a smile ever was before. 
How often have I thought of that smile since I 
I followed him a few steps, and kissed him 
again, — woe is me I it was for the last time, — 
and he chided me because the tears started into 
my eyes. But his chiding was gentle, so it 
ever was ; and when he got to the last pine- 
tree, he turned round and waved his hat to me. 
Ah I neighbours, who could have thought that 
I was never more to see him ?" 
Tears interrupted the widow's melancholy 



dbyGoogk 



THS CHALET IN THE ALPS. 227 

reminiscences, nor did they flow alone ; for 
Annette's, too, coursed each other down her 
cheeks ; not so much, the truth must be owned, 
from sorrow for poor Claude Bauyais, whom she 
could not remember, as from the dread of the 
possibility of a similar fate awaiting his son. 

Annette and Michel loved with no common 
passion. Their attachment had grown with 
their growth, and strengthened with their 
strength. All their notions of the past and 
the future were identified with each other ; 
and the possibility of separation never occurred 
to either, save when the widow related the 
melancholy parting with her husband, which, 
though often repeated, never failed to excite 
the tears of Annette, and the seriousness of 
her lover. Love, at all times so engrossing a 
sentiment when felt for the first time in youth- 
ful hearts, was all-powerful with these simple 
children of nature, whose thoughts, wishes, and 
hopes were centred in their own narrow circle. 
Their parents witnessed the affection of their 
children with satisfaction. They had, from 



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228 THE CHAI.ET IN THE ALPS. 

the birth of both, arranged their marriage, and 
never doubted that the attachment which they 
desired should spring up between them, would 
prove as warm and ardent as it really was. 
Motives of prudence had induced them to defer 
the marriage of the young people, until Michel 
had attained his twenty-first year ; and the 
misfortune that had befallen the father of 
Annette, by leaving him and his family de- 
pendent on the exertions of the young man, 
rendered the resolution of procrastinating the 
marriage still more necessary. 

It was on a cold night in the early part of 
autumn, when winter had anticipated its visit 
by many weeks, that Michel Bauvais, return- 
ing to his home through a narrow pass in the 
mountains, was attracted by the barking of a 
dog ; and, on approaching the spot whence the 
sounds came, discovered a man nearly in a state 
of insensibility, over whom the faithful animal 
was uttering his melancholy cries. It was not 
without considerable difficulty that he suc- 
ceeded in restoring suspended animation to 



dbyGoogk 



THE CHALET IN THE ALPS. 229 

the stranger, and then he slowly led him to the 
humhle chalet, where his mother assisted him 
in his exertions to render the visit of their 
unexpected guest as comfortable as their limited 
means permitted. The warmth of a good fire, 
and some •boiled goat's-milk, had such a salu- 
tary effect on the invalid, that he was shortly 
able to thank his preserver, and to inform him 
that he was an artist, who, in his search of 
the picturesque and sublime scenery which he 
wished to delineate, having advanced farther 
into the mountains than prudence warranted, 
had lost his way ; and, after many hours passed 
in fruitlessly endeavouring to regain it, had at 
last sunk exhausted into a slumber, whence in 
all human probability he might, from the in- 
tense cold to which he was exposed, have never 
awakened, had he not been rescued by Michel 
Bauvais. 

The young artist was pressed by his poor but 
hospitable hosts, to continue with them a day 
or two, until he had recovered sufficient strength 
to ensure a safe return to his home. He opened 



dbyGoogk 



230 THE CHALET IN THE ALPS. 

his portfolio, and delighted their inexperienced 
eyes with sketches that might well have daimed 
approbation from those accustomed to see the 
finest drawings. Annette was called to share 
in the gratification their display afforded, and 
her beauty and artless grace excited so much 
interest in the young artist, that he immedi* 
ately made a portrait of her, which filled her 
lover with joy and gratitude. 

The vicinity of the wild spot inhabited by 
the two families, possessed such attractive 
scenery, that the painter prolonged his stay 
several days for the purpose of sketching die 
different views. Annette would hang with 
delight over his drawings, and listen with 
scarcely less pleasure to the songs he would sing 
her while making them. She would loiter at 
night an hour or two after the usual hoar of 
seeking repose, to hear the youdg artist's 
description of the towns and their inhabitants 
in which he had dwelt ; and had a thousaixl 
questions to ask relative to scenes of which 
hitherto she had been in perfect ignorance. 



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THE CHALET IN THE ALPS. 231 

At first, Michel shared in the interest which 
was awakened in her mind ; but soon a jealous 
feeling, occasioned by witnessing how much of 
her time and attention was engrossed by the 
stranger, took possession of his mind. He 
became moody, captious, and harsh to her, 
towards whom he had never previously evinced 
a symptom of ill-humour. This sudden, and to 
Annette, unaccountable change in his temper, 
only aggravated the cause that led to it ; and 
the poor simple girl, repulsed by her lover each 
time that she sought to address him with her 
wonted and afiectionate familiarity, took refuge 
in the mild and amusing conversation of the 
young painter. When Michel was compelled 
to be absent from the chalet in search of fuel, 
or to lead home the goats, it was evident that 
his moodiness increased ; and when he returned, 
it was excited almost to frenzy, by finding 
Annette seated by the stranger, listening with 
unconcealed delight to his songs, or the stories 
he related to her. 

The whole character of Michel became 



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032 THE CHALET IN THE ALPS. 

changed. No longer the gay youth, whoee 
cheerfukiess had heen the life of the chalets, his 
ilUhumour was now a source of chagrin to all 
its inhabitants, none of whom, owing to their 
simplicity, suspected its cause. Often in the 
moodiness of his spirits, when stung into anger 
by some innocent familiarity exhibited towards 
the stranger by Annette, he almost cursed the 
hour when he saved him from death, and led 
him to the chalet to fascinate her who hitherto 
had never lent her eyes or ears with pleasure to 
aught save himself alone. 

Sketches of Annette multiplied every hour. 
The artist found her figure so graceful and 
picturesque, and it gave such a charm to his 
drawings, that he was never tired of copying 
it; and sooth to say, Annette, with all her 
simplicity, had enough of woman's vanity m her 
heart, to be pleased, if not proud of the artist's 
evident admiration of her. 

At this time, too, the young painter, who 
sometimes amused himself in the composidoD of 
simple songs, addressed the following one to 



dbyGoogk 



THE CHALET IN THE ALPS. Q33 

Annette, and this piece of rustic gallantry 
excited the jealousy of her lover into still greater 
violence. 

'* Beiutiful nMiden, as pure as the snow 
On thine own natiTe mountains, wherever I go, 
rU think of thee artless and fair as thou art* — 
Though soon, ah ! too soon, I from thee must depart. 

•* 111 think of thee beamiug as now with a smile. 
And thy innocent couTerse that oft did beguile 
The long hours of evening, and of thy sweet song 
That the wild mountain-echoes so love to prolong. 

** Beautiful maiden, oh ! blest be thy lot 
With the youth who has won thee, though I be (orgot. 
My prayer shaU ascend to the Heavens for thee, 
When distant thy sweet face no more I can see.** 

One evening when Michel returned to the 
chalet, he found the stranger platting the long 
tresses of Annette, who was innocently laughing 
at the awkwardness with which he performed 
the operation. Michel had, from her infancy, 
always reserved this task as a labour of love 
for himself; and his feelings could not have 
been more wounded had he discovered her in 
the arms of the stranger. 

" How, faithless girl I " exclaimed he, ** and is 



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234 THE CHALET IN THE ALPS. 

it come to this ? Is all shame gone, that yoa 
let a stranger touch those tresses, that my hands 
alone have heretofore pressed ? And you, un- 
grateful man I is it thus you repay me for 
having saved your life? But I will fly from 
you both for ever I " And so saying, he rushed 
from the chalet with the frantic haste of a 
maniac. 

The stranger, alarmed by his violence and 
impetuosity, the cause of which he for the first 
time clearly discerned, and deeply pained that 
he should have furnished the occasion for the 
development of a passion which now raged with 
such fury, fled in pursuit of Michel, leaving 
Annette overwhelmed with surprise and grief. 
Dreadful were the sufierings of the poor girl, 
as hour after hour elapsed, bringing with them 
no tidings of her lover or his pursuer. At early 
dawn, after a night of such wretchedness as she 
had ever previously been a stranger to, she 
stood in front of the chalet, straining her eyes 
in the hope of discerning her lover ; when her 
young sister descried a figure in the distance, 



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THE CHALET IN THE ALPS. 2S5 

and pointed it out to her. The most fearful 
apprehensions filled her breast, for there was 
but one fif^re to be seen, and that with the 
quick sight of love she discerned was not his. 

Alas I the fears of Annette were but too well 
founded. Durand, the young artist, only re- 
turned to prepare for the reception of the corse 
of the ill-fated Miche], which, after a long search, 
was discovered, owing to the barking of his 
dog, in the very spot whence, but a few days 
before, he had rescued him who was the inno- 
cent cause of the groundless jealousy that led to 
his own destruction. Whether the unhappy 
youth had wilfully precipitated himself into the 
yawning gulf, or that in the rapidity of his flight 
he had overlooked his vicinity to it, and so had 
accidentally ftdlen in, was never ascertained. 
The charitable-minded of the few persons col- 
lected from the neighbouring hamlets, were 
disposed to adopt the latter supposition, while 
those less good-natured, declared their convic- 
tion that the deceased, driven to madness by 
jealousy, had thrown himself into the chasm. 



dbyGoogk 



2S6 THE CHALET IN THE ALPS. 

where his mutilated remains were found — a 
helief in which they were strengthened by the 
frantic self-accusations of the wretched Annette, 
who, with piercing cries, declared herself to be 
the cause of all. Fearful was the picture pre- 
sented at the two chalets, so lately the scene of 
peace and content. The poor old mother of 
Michel Bauvais, rendered nearly insane by this 
last terrible affliction, sat by the corse of her 
son, and, gazing fondly on the pale face, mur- 
mured from time to time, ** Yes, there he lies, 
as his father did before him, twenty years ago. 
Gone from me, without a parting word — a single 
embrace. These cold lips, that never uttered 
a word of unkindness to me, cannot return the 
kiss that I imprint on them. Ah, my son! 
never before did they receive the touch of mine 
without returning the pressure. How often in 
my dreams have I seen you as you now lie, cold, 
speechless, without life, and I have awoke in 
agony, to bless God that it was but a dream ! 
But now I oh ! my son, my son, who will close 
the weary eyes of your wretched mother, who 



dbyGoogk 



THE CHALET IN THE ALPS, 2^7 

will lay her in the grave I The wicked spirits 
of these dreary mountains first envied me the 
possession of my poor Claude, and snatched 
him from me, and now they have torn away my 
son. Often have I seen a light too bright for 
mortal ken, shine into his room, when he slept, 
as if the moon itself had entered his casement, 
and cast all its beams around his head, just as 
it used to do around that of his poor father. I 
ought to have known it boded no good, but 
I dared not think that my child would be taken 
from me. I have heard such sighs and whis« 
pers, too, in the night, when the wind has 
shook the chalet, and the snow has been drifted 
against the windows with a violence that has 
dashed them to pieces. Ah I I ought to have 
known that even then the evil spirits that haunt 
these wild mountains were planning his destruc- 
tion r 

So raved the poor woman, in all the inco- 
herence of a grief that unsettled her reason, 
until some of the inhabitants of the nearest 
hamlet came to remove the corse for interment, 



dbyGoogk 



23 S THE CHALET IN THE ALPS. 

wben, uttering a piercing sbriek, and clasping 
it in her arms» she fell senseless on the coffin ; 
and when raised, was found to be dead. An- 
nette had lost all consciousness of the misery 
around her, in a brain fever, which kept her 
hovering between life and death during many 
days. When health once more began to tinge 
her pale cheek, it was discovered with sorrow 
by Durand, who had watched over her with 
unceasing solicitude and unwearying care, that 
reason reassumed not its empire in her brain. 
Perfectly harmless and gentle, she did all that 
she was told to do, with the docility of the most 
obedient child, but was utterly incapable of the 
least reflection, or of self-government. Durand, 
considering that he was the cause, though the 
innocent one, of the afflictions that had befallen 
these poor families, insisted on becoming their 
support for the future. He prevailed on the 
helpless old Martin VignoUes to accompany 
him, with his two daughters, to Paris, where, 
having established them in his home, he left 
nothing undone to promote their comfort For- 



dbyGoogk 



THE CHALET IN THE ALPS. 239 

tune, too, favoured tbe worthy young man who 
so religiously fulfilled his self-imposed duties ; 
for his pictures, justly admired, produced such 
high prices, that, after a few years, he secured 
a handsome competence, and became the happy 
husband of the pretty Fanchou, the sister of 
poor Annette, to whom he had given an educa^- 
tion that rendered her in every way suitable to 
be the companion of a person with a cultivated 
mind. Old Martin VignoUes lived to see the 
marriage of bis Fanchon, and died blessing his 
children. 

Poor Annette still survives, innocent, gentle, 
and fondly beloved by her sister and Durand, 
with whose little children she delights to play, 
ofiering subjects for his pencil, the representa^- 
tion of which often draw crowds of admirers 
round them in the gallery of the Louvre. 



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241 



REMORSE: 



A nAQMESr. 



** No weftpon can tuch deadly wounds impart. 
As conscience, roused, inflicts upon the heart* 

" Postillion," cried a feeble but sweet voice, 
** turn to your right when you have ascended 
the hill, and stop, as I intend to walk up the 
lane.** 

The postillion obeyed the command, and with 
more gentleness than is often to be met with in 
his station, opened the chaise-door, and, having 
first given his hand to her female attendant to 
alight, assisted a pale and languid, but still 
eminently beautiful woman, whose trembling 

VOL. III. M 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



24f2 REMORSE. 

limbs seemed scarcely equal to the task of sup- 
porting her attenuated frame. 

** Be so good as to remain here until I re- 
turn/' said the lady, who, leaning on the arm 
of her attendant, proceeded through the leafy 
lane, the branches of whose verdant boundaries 
were animated by a thousand warbling birds 
sending forth notes of joy. But ill did those 
gay sounds accord with the feelings of her who 
traced this rural walk, every turn of which 
recalled bitter remembrances. 

On reaching the gate that opened into the 
pleasure grounds of Clairville, the stranger was 
obliged to pause and take breath, in order to 
gain some degree of composure before she could 
enter it. There are some objects and incidents, 
which, though comparatively trifling, have a 
powerful effect on the feelings ; and this the 
unknown experienced when, pressing the secr^ 
spring of the gate, which readily yielded to her 
touch, with a hurried but tottering pace she 
entered the grounds. Here, feeling the pre- 
sence of her attendant a restraint— who^ though 



dbyGoogk 



REMORSE. 243 

an Italian utterly ignorant of English, as also 
of the early history of her mistress, was yet 
ohservant of her visible emotion, and affection- 
ately anxious to soothe it — she desired her to 
remain at the gate until her return. In vain 
Francesca urged that the languid frame of her 
dear lady was unequal to support the exertion 
of walking, without the assistance of her arm ; 
for with a firm, but kind manner, her mistress 
disclarcd her intention of proceeding alone. 

It was ten years since the feet of the wan- 
derer had pressed the velvet turf over which 
they now slowly bent their course. She was 
then glowing with youth and health } happy, 
and dispensing happiness around; but, alas I 
Love, gentle Love, spread his bandage over her 
eyes, blinded her to the fatal realities of the 
abyss into which he was about to plunge her, 
and, in honied accents, whispered in her in&- 
tuated ear a thousand bland promises of bliss 
to come. How were those promises performed? 
and what was she now ? She returned to this 
once cherished spot, with a mind torn by re- 

H 2 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



244 REMORSE. 

morse, and a form bowed down by disease. 
She returned with the internal conviction, that 
Death had laid his icy grasp on her heart, and 
a few days, at most, if not a few hours, must 
terminate her existence. But this conyiction, 
far from giving her pain, was regarded by her 
as a source of consolation; and this last earthly 
indulgence — that of viewing the abode of her 
children — ^she did hot feel herself worthy of 
enjoying, until conscious that her hours were 
numbered. 

She proceeded through the beautiful grounds, 
every mazy path and graceful bend of which 
was familiar to her, as if seen the day before. 
Many of the improvements suggested by her 
taste, and still preserved with care, brought 
back heart-sickening recollections of love and 
confidence, repaid with deception and ingrati- 
tude ; and though supported by the consolations 
of religion, which led her humbly to hope that 
her remorse and penitence had been accepted 
by Him who has promised mercy to the re- 
pentant sinner; yet her heart shrunk within 



Digitized by VjOOQIC 



REMORSE. 245 

her, as memory presented her with the review 
of her transgressions, and she almost feared to 
hope for pardon. 

When she had reached a point of the grounds 
that conunanded a prospect of the house, how 
were her feelings excited by a view of that 
well known, well remembered, scene ! Every 
thing wore the same appearance as when that 
mansion owned her for its mistress ; the house 
had still the same aspect of substantial gran- 
deur and repose, the level lawn the same vel- 
vet texture, and the trees, shrubs, and flowers, 
the same blooming freshness, as when she 
daily beheld their beauties. She, she alone 
was changed. Time was, that those doors 
would have been opened wide to receive her, 
and that her presence would have dispensed 
joy and pleasure to every individual beneath 
that roof; while now her very name would 
excite only painful emotions, and its sound 
must be there heard no more. Another bore 
the title she once was proud to bear, sup- 
plying the place she had abandoned, and 



dbyGoogk 



246 KBMORSE. 

worthily discharging the duties she had left 
unperformed. 

She gazed on the windows of the apartment 
in which she first hecame a mother, and all the 
tide of tenderness that then burst on her heart 
now came back to her, poisoned with the bitter 
consciousness of how she had fulfilled a mothei^s 
part Those children dearer to her than the 
life-drops that throbbed in her yeins, were now 
beneath that roof, receiving from another that 
afiection and instruction that it should have 
been her blissful task to have given them; and 
never, never must she hope to clasp them to 
her agonized heart. 

At this moment she saw the door of the 
house open, and a lady, leaning on the arm of 
a gentleman, crossed the lawn ; he pressed the 
hand that reposed on his arm gently between 
his and raised it to his lips, while his fair cmn- 
panion placed her other hand on his with all 
the tender confidence of affection. In this ap- 
parently happy couple, the agonized unknown 
recognised him whom she once joyed to call 



dbyGoogk 



REMORSE. 247 

husband, the &ther of her children, the partner 
whom she had betrayed and deserted ; and her, 
whom he had chosen for her successor, who 
now bore the name she once answered to, and 
who was now discharging the duties she had 
violated. Religion and repentance had in her 
so conquered the selfishness of human nature, 
that after the first pang — and it was a bitter 
one — had passed away, she returned thanks 
with heartfelt fervour to the Author of all good, 
that it was permitted her to see him, whose 
repose she had feared she had for ever destroyed, 
enjoying that happiness he so well merited ; 
and ardent was the prayer she ofiered up, that 
a long continuance of it might be his lot, and 
that his present partner might repay him for 
all the pain caused by her misconduct. 

She now turned into a shady walk, anxious 
to regain the support of her attendant's arm, 
which she felt her exhausted frame required, 
when the sounds of approaching voices warned 
her to conceal herself. Scarcely had she retired 
behind the shade of a luxuriant mass of laurels. 



dbyGoogk 



248 REMORSE. 

when a youthful group drew near; the very 
sight of whom agitated her ahnost to fainting, 
and sent the hlood back to her heart with a 
violence that threatened instant annihilation. 

The group consisted of two lovely girls, their 
governess and a blooming youth, on whom the 
two girls leant Every turn of their beautiful 
countenances was expressive of joy and health ; 
and their elastic and buoyant steps seemed 
scarcely to touch the turf as, arm linked in 
arm, they passed along. The youngest, a rosy- 
cheeked girl of eleven years old, begged her 
companions to pause while she examined a 
bird*s-nest, which she said she feared the 
parent-bird had forsaken; and this gave the 
heart-stricken, for those were the children of 
the unknown, an opportunity of regarding the 
treasures her soul yearned to embrace. How 
did her bosom throb at beholding those dear 
faces — ^faces so often presented to her in trou- 
bled dreams I Alas I they were now near her 
— she might, by extending her hand, touch 
them — she could almost feel their balmy 



dbyGoogk 



REMORSE. 249 

breaths fan her feverish cheek, and yet it was 
denied her to approach them. All the pangs 
of maternal affection struck on her heart ; her 
brain grew giddy, her respiration became op- 
pressed, and urged by all the frenzy of a 
distracted mind, she was on the point of rush- 
ing from her concealment, and prostrating 
herself before her children. 

But this natural, though selfish, impulse was 
quickly subdued, when a moment's reflection 
whispered to her, will you purchase your own 
temporary gratification at the expense of those 
dear beings whom you have so deeply injured? 
Will you plant in their innocent breasts, an 
impression bitter and indelible ? The mother 
triumphed over the woman; and, trembling 
with emotion, she prayed that those cherished 
objects might pass from her view, while yet she 
had strength and courage to enable her to per- 
severe in her self-deniaL 

At this moment the little girl exclaimed, 
** Ah I my fears were too true, the cruel bird 
has deserted her nest, and here are the poor 



dbyGoogk 



250 REMORSE. 

little ones nearly dead I What shall we do 
with them?" 

** Let us cany them to our dear mamma," 
said the elder girl ; ** she will be sure to take 
care of them, as she says we should always 
pity and protect the helpless and forsaken." 

The words of the children struck daggers to 
the heart of their wretched mother. For a 
moment she struggled against the blow, and, 
making a last effort, tried to reach the spot 
where she had left her attendant ; but nature 
was exhausted, and she had only tottered a few 
paces, when uttering a groan of anguish, she 
f6ll to the earth bereft of life, just aa Francesca 
arrived to see her unhappy mistress breathe 
her last sigh. 



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251 



THOUGHTS ON LORD BYRON, 

SUGGESTED BY A HCTUKE B£P&E8ENTING HIB CONTEMPLATION 
or THE COLISEUM. 



** Arches on arcbes 1 as it were that Rome, 
Collecting the chief trophies of her line, 
Would build up all her triumphs in one dome. 
Her Coliseum stands; the moonbeams shine 
As *twere in natural torches, for divine 
Should be the light which streams here, to illume 
This long explored but still exhaustless mine 
Of contemplation; and the azure gloom 
Of an Italian night, where the deep skies assume 
Hues which ha?e words, and speak to ye of Heaven, 
Floats o'er this vast and wondrous monument. 
And shadows forth its glory. There is given 
Unto the things of earth, which Time hath sent, 
A spirit's feeling, and where he hath lent 
His hand, but broke his scythe, there is a power 
And magic in the ruined battlement, 
For which the palace of the present hour 
Must yield its pomp, and wait till ages are its dower." 

There was not, perhaps, in the brief but 
troubled life of Lord Byron, a period in 
which his mind rose to so high an elevation. 



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252 THOUGHTS ON LORD .BTRON. 

as during liis short residence in the " Eternal 
City." Emancipated, by satiety, from the 
thraldom of the passions, to whose inglorious 
empire he had at Venice previously resigned 
himself, the view of the '* Noble of Nations'* 
awakened associations that stirred the dormant 
enthusiasm of his slumbering genius, which 
never took a nobler flight than from Rome. 

He was wont to dwell with unusual compla- 
cency on the powerful influence exercised over 
his feelings by its ruins, which spoke more 
eloquently to him than aught that had ever 
before appealed to his imagination. Not only 
did they excite his genius, but they softened 
the acute sense of injury, real or imagined, 
under which he writhed, by reminding him of 
the transitoriness of life, and the vanity of 
human grandeur. Ever prone to egotism, he 
identified his own ruined hopes with the wrecks 
of ages around him: and thought with less 
bitterness, if he could not only wholly foi]get 
the wrongs inflicted on him, while beholding 
the once proud monuments of antiquity, on 



dbyGoogk 



THOUGHTS ON LORD BYRON. 253 

which greater injuries had heen heaped, crumb- 
ling fest into decay. Byron's feelings, which 
were intense, were the true source of his inspi- 
ration. They acted on his imagination, which, 
as he often avowed, could by no other means 
be impelled into action. A smiling landscape, 
or a modern palace or temple, however beautiful, 
would have created only painful emotions in his 
mind, because he would have contrasted them 
with his own blighted existence; but grand 
and imposing ruins, and all that spoke to him 
of desolation, touched a chord in his heart that 
vibrated, and in his sympathy with inanimate 
objects he half forgot his own griefe. How 
often has it been urged by those unacquainted 
with the extreme sensitiveness of a highly po- 
etical temperament, that Byron's feelings were 
imaginary. Such persons are ever ready to 
believe that those richly endowed with the 
adventitious gifts of rank, fortune, and great 
personal attractions, can have no cause for 
unhappiness, because they, being deprived of 
them, imagine that the possession of such 



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254 THOUGHTS ON LORD BTRON. 

advantages would insure felicity. Such miodB, 
and they are too many, are more disposed to 
reproach than pity sufferings which, however 
produced hy too great susceptibility of feelings, 
inflict, not imaginary, but real misery on their 
possessor. As not even the most phiknthn^ic 
observer, who ever studied the natural history 
of the oyster, has been known to pity it for tbe 
malady to which the pearl, so generally prixed, 
owes its birth; so not even the most ardeot 
admirer of the productions of genius has been 
known to lament the price at which their anthor 
wrought them, though that price were health 
and happiness, both of which blessings are 
endangered, if not precluded, by the tempera- 
ment, which, if not constituting the posses- 
sion, is at least peculiar to genius. 

There are some fortunate exceptions to the 
dommon lot of poets, men, who, in the bosoms 
of their families, living far away from the bosy 
world, have never had their susceptibilities 
excited into unhealthy action, by the thousand 
nameless vexations incidental to a contact with 



dbyGoogk 



THOUGHTS ON LORD BTRON. 255 

general society. Such men, surrounded by af- 
fectionate friends, and partial admirers, solace 
themselves after the fever of composition, in 
the commendations and soothing attentions of 
their domestic circle, and may well be thankful 
for their exemption from the maladies of their 
less favoured brethren of the craft; but let 
those who would triumphantly cite them as in- 
stances of the compatibility of genius and hap- 
piness, reflect, that they owe their safety to a 
prudent retreat from the world, and not to 
a conquest over it 

The fourth canto of " Childe Harold's 
Pilgrimage," offers irrefragable proof of the 
powerful and salutary influence exercised over 
Byron's mind by the view of Rome. Who can 
peruse that portion of it, suggested by a moon- 
light visit to the Coliseum, without feeling that 
the poet was there in his proper element ; and 
that his genius, touched by the sublime scene, 
gushed forth in all its grandeur, identifying 
for ever his name with the monument he has 
immortalized? The third act of ** Manfred'' 



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£56 THOUGHTS ON LORD BTRON. 

was also written at Rome; for Byron, dissap 
tisfied with the one written at Venice, pro- 
hibited the publication until he should find 
his mind in a mood to render justice to the 
subject. Often have I stood on the spot where 
Byron reclined when drinking in inspiration 
at the Coliseum, and mentally repeated the 
lines — 

*< Amidst this wreck, wbere tbou hast made a sbrine 
And temple more divinely desolate, 
Among thy mightier offerings here are mine. 
Ruins of years — ^though few, yet full of &te ; — 
If thou hast ever seen me too elate. 
Hear me not : but if calmly I have borne 

Good, and reserved my pride against the hate 
Which shall not whelm me, let me not have worn 
This iron in my soul in vain — shall they not moum?* 

At Rome Byron was brought into contact 
with several of his compatriots, and the con- 
duct of many of them towards him — characte- 
rized, as it too often is, by an ill-bred and 
unrepressed exhibition of curiosity, which seeks 
its own gratification, heedless of the annoyance 
inflicted on the object that excites it — stuog 
him to the souL He had so often experienced 
bhe rudeness of being followed and looked at, 



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THOUGHTS ON LORD BTRON. £57 

as if he were some curious animal, that he 
confounded the gaze of admiration for the poet^ 
which was not unfrequently bestowed on hira, 
with the stare of malevolence meant for the 
fnatit which he had sometimes detected; till, 
disgusted and irritated, he shrank from social 
intercourse with the English, and retired to 
the solitude that he could people with the bright 
creations of his imagination — *' the beings not 
of clay,'' in apostrophizing which he expended 
those fine sympathies which were repelled by 
his fellow-men. 

Well can I picture him to myself rushing 
irate from a circle, where the impertinence of 
some individual, assuming the garb of prudery, 
had insulted him by a marked avoidance, or a 
supercilious recognition ; impertinences, which 
though contemptible, were sure to produce pain 
and irritation to his too susceptible feelings. 
Can it then be wondered at, that, under such 
inflictions, the finest aspirations of his genius 
were mingled with bitterness? or that he turned 
with dislike from the generality of his coun- 



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258 THOUGHTS ON LORD BYRON. 

trymen? A Persian proverb says, that "the 
arrows of contempt will pierce even the shell 
of the tortoise;" how then mast they have 
lacerated the thin epidermis of that most 
sensitive of all human beings, a poet? who, 
in the agony of the wounds, forgot the unwor- 
thiness of the inflictors. 



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959 



"APROPOS OF BORES." 

KXLATSD BY THX LATS JOSXPH JBKYLL, X8Q. TO THE COUNTESS 
OF BLSSSQfOTON. 



Apropos of bores I how frequently is the plea- 
sure of society injured, if not destroyed, by the 
bores who infest it I and how seldom can we 
recall a single day, the enjoyment of which has 
not been deteriorated by their intervention I 

One of the annoying peculiarities of bores is, 
to select the moment for relating some stupid 
anecdote, or for asking some silly question, 
when a witty, instruQ^iye, or interesting con- 
versation is going on, to which one is desirous 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



€60 APROPOS OF BORES. 

of listening. A particular instance of this vex- 
atious propensity once annoyed me excessively; 
it occurred at a dinner given by my late worthy 
friend, Sir William Garrow. 

" Pray tell us,** said he to a man who sat 
near him, *' that adventure of yours in the wine- 
vaults of Lincoln's Inn, of which I heard a 
garbled account the other day." 

I, who always like an adventure, pricked up 
my ears at the sound ; and the individual thus 
questioned commenced the following story : — 

" A friend of mine went to Madeira in an 
official situation some years ago. He speculated 
largely in wine, and sent home several pipes, to 
be kept until his return. He wrote to request 
me to find them a safe cellarage ; and I, in con- 
sequence, applied to a jfriend, a barrister, to 
procure me permission to lodge the wine in the 
vast cellars of Lincoln's Inn Square. I was 
furnished with a key, that I might have ingress 
and egress to this sombre spot when I liked ; 
and having, one day, a vacant hour in my 
chambers, it suddenly entered my head that I 



dbyGoogk 



APROPOS OF BORES. S6l 

would go and inspect the wine depdt of mj 
absent friend. 

<< Armed with the key I sallied forth, and 
engaged the first porter I met to procure a 
candle, and accompany me to the cellar. You 
are not, perhaps, aware that these vast vaults 
are twenty feet beneath the square, and the 
entrance of them many feet, I believe one hun- 
dred and fifty, removed from any dwelling, or 
populous resort. 

<* We entered the gloomy cavern, and locked 
the door on the inside, to prevent any idle per- 
son, who might by chance pass that way, from 
taking cognizance of the treasure it concealed. 
So great was the extent of the vault, that our 
feeble light scarcely enabled us to grope our 
way through its murky regions ; but, at length, 
we reached the spot where I knew the wine of 
my friend was deposited, and had the satisfac- 
tion of finding the pipes were in perfect con- 
dition. We were preparing to return, when 
the porter, who held the candle, made a false 
step, and was precipitated to the earth, extin- 



dbyGoogk 



262 APROPOS OF BORES. 

guishing the light in his £bl1L Never shall I 
forget the sensation I experienced at that mo- 
ment I for the extent and tortuous windings of 
the vault impressed me with a rapid conviction 
of the difficulty, if not impossibility, of disco- 
vering the door. The alarmed porter declared, 
in terror, that we were lost, inevitably lost; 
that he should never see his wife and children 
more, and cursed the hour he left the light of 
day to explore the fearful cave, that would now 
become his tomb» on which no fond eye could 
dwell ; and he cried aloud in an agony of de- 
spair at this gloomy contemplation. I urged 
him to restrain his useless lamentations, and 
seek to grope our way in the direction of the 
door ; and, after having occupied full two hours 
in fruitlessly wandering through as many various 
and devious turnings, as if in a labyrinth, we at 
length discovered the object of our search. 

'<'0 God be thanked, God be thanked!' 
exclaimed the porter with frantic joy, * then I 
shall again see my wife, my little ones I' and 
he seized the key, which was in the lock and 



dbyGoogk 



APROPOS OF BOR£S. 2G3 

turned it with such force, that it snapped, the 
head remaining inextricahly secured in the 
wards, 

*« « Now, now we are indeed lost I' cried he, 
throwing himself on the ground ; < all hope is 
at an end, for we might knock and scream here 
for ever, without heing heard. Why — why did 
I come with you ? It is plain you are an un- 
lucky man, whoever you are, and your ill-fortune 
falls on me.' 

" I tried to comfort him, though seriously 
alarmed myself; but he hecame angry, telling 
me I could be no father or husband, to talk 
coolly at such a moment, and with a certain 
prospect of death, by famine, staring us in the 
face. 

** * Oh, Lord I oh, Lord I' cried he, starting 
up in terror, '< the rats are gathering round ; 
they will devour us before hunger has done its 
work 1' 

<< I have all my life, had a peculiar antipathy 
to these animals; and confess that, when I 
found them stumbling over my feet, and heard 



dbyGoogk 



264 APROPOS OF BORES. 

them miming at every side, an increased 
shudder of horror and fear chilled my hlood. 

** ' Let us stave in one of the pipes of Ma- 
deira,' said my companion, ' that we may forget 
in the excitement of wine, the horrihle death 
that awaits ns. Yes, let us get drunk.' 

^ I refused to adopt this project ; and my 
rdusal again drew forth his reproaches on my 
bdng an unlucky man, and his conviction that 
I had no heart in my hody, as he expressed it, 
or no wife and little ones expecting me at 
h<mie, or I would not take matters so easy. 

** How many thoughts did I give to the dear 
oljects to whom he referred, as I now dwelt 
with anguish on the fearful prohahility of my 
never again heholding them I We searched 
in vain for a slone or any other implemoit 
with which to wrench the lock or force the 
hinges, hoth of which resisted all our efforts. 
Hour after hour passed away. How intermi- 
nahly long appeared their flight I the siknoe 
only hroken hy the mingled reproaches and 
lamentations of my companion, and the in- 



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APROPOS OF BORES. 265 

creased noise of the rats, which now, becoming 
more courageous, assailed our feet. Each hour 
strengthened my conviction of our inevitable 
death in this horrible subterranean place, where 
probably, our mortal remains would not be dis« 
covered, until every trace of identity was de« 
stroyed by the ravenous animals around us. 
My blood ran cold at the reflection, and my 
heart melted at the thought of those who were 
doubtless at that moment anxiously counting 
the hours of my unusual absence. I seized the 
arm of my companion, and ** 

Here one of the company proverbial for his 
obtuseness, and who had repeatedly attempted 
to interrupt the narrative, seized my button, 
and, in a loud voice, said ^* How do you think, 
Jekyll, I should have got out?"* 

" You would have bored your way out, to be 
sure,*' answered I, impatient at the interrup- 
tion ; and the more so, as, at this instant, the 
butler announced that the ladies were waiting 
tea for us. 

I ascended to the drawing-room, fully in- 

VOL. in. N 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



266 APROPOS OF BORES. 

tending to request the sequel to the story ; but 
a succession of airs on the piano^ accompanied 
by the voices of the ladiies, precluded the possi- 
bility of conversation. In a few days after, I 
met some of the party, and questioned them 
respecting the conclusion. One declared that 
he had forgotten all about the story ; another 
said, it had set him off to sleep, and so he 
missed the denouement ; a third avowed that, 
being deaf in the left ear, he had not heard 
more than a few words ; and a fourth told me, 
that a tiresome person next him took that op- 
portunity of giving him the particulars of a 
county meeting, as detailed in the momiog 
papers, not omitting a single line. 

Consequentiy, to this hour I am igmMrant 
how the gentleman and porter escaped from 
the vault 



dbyGoogk 



9&J 



THE BAT OF NAPLES, 

IN THB SUMMER OF Ittl. 
A SKETCH. 



It is evening, and scarcely a breeze raffles 
the calm bosom of the beautiful bay, which 
resembles a rast lake, reflecting on its glassy 
surface the bright sky above, and the thousand 
stars with which it is studded. Naples, with 
its white colonnades, seen amidst the dark 
foliage of its terraced gardens, rises like an 
amphitheatre; lights stream from the windows 
and foil on the sea beneath like columns of 
gold. The Castle of St. Elmo crowning the 
oentre; Vesuvius, like a sleeping giant in grim 
repose, whose awakening all dread, is to the 

n2 

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268 THE BAT OF NAPLES. 

left; and on the right are the Tine-crowned 
heights of the beautiful Vomero, with their 
palaces and villas peeping forth from the groves 
that surround them ; while rising above it, the 
Convent of Camaldoli lifts its head to the 
skies. 

Resina, Portici, Castel-a-Mare, and the 
lonely shores of Sorrento^ reach out from 
Vesuvius as if they tried to embrace the Isle 
of Capri, which forms the central object ; and 
Pausilipo and Misenum, which, in the dis- 
tance, seem joined to Phxdda and Ischia, 
advance to meet the beautiful island on the 
right. The air, as it leaves the shore, is laden 
with fragrance from the orange^treea and jas- 
mine, so abundant round Naples; and the 
soft music of the guitar, or lively sound of the 
tambourine, marking the brisk movemente of 
the tarantella, steals on the ear. — ^But hark I a 
rich stream of music, silencing all other, is 
heard, and a golden barge advances ; the oars 
keep time to the music, and each stroke of 
them sends forth a silvery light; numerous 



dbyGoogk 



THE BAT OF NAPLES. 269 

lamps attached to the boat, give it, at a little 
distance, the appearance of a vast shell of 
topaz, floating on a sea of sapphire. Nearer 
and nearer draws this splendid pageant; the 
music falls more distinctly on the charmed 
ear, and one sees that its dulcet sounds are 
produced by a band of glittering musicians, 
clothed in royal liveries. 

This illuminated barge is followed by another, 
with a silken canopy overhead, and the curtains 
drawn back to admit the balmy air. Cleopatra, 
when she sailed down the Cydnus, boasted not 
a more beautiful vessel ; and, as it glides over 
the sea, it seems impelled by the music that 
precedes it, so perfectly does it keep time to its 
enchanting sounds, leaving a bright trace be- 
hind, like the memory of departed happiness. 
But who is he that guides this beauteous bark ? 
his tall and slight figure is curved, and his 
snowy locks, falling over ruddy cheeks, show 
that age has bent but not broken him : he looks 
like one bom to command — a hoary Neptune, 
steering over his native element ; — all eyes are 



dbyGoogk 



270 THE BAT OF NAPLES. 

fixed, but his follow the glittering barge that 
precedes him. And who is she that has the 
seat of honour at his side ? Her fair, large, 
and unmeaning face wears a placid smile ; and 
those light blue eyes and fair ringlets, speak 
her of another land ; her lips, too, want the 
fine chiselling which marks those of the sunny 
clime of Italy ; and the expression of her coun- 
tenance has in it more of earth than heaven. 
Innumerable boats filled with lords and ladies, 
follow, but intrude not on the privacy of this 
royal bark, which passes before us like the 
visions in a dream. 

He who steered, was Ferdinand, King of 
the Sicilies ; and she who sat beside him was 
Maria Louisa, Ex-Empress of France. 



dbyGoogk 



271 



THE PARVENUE. 



<< Prat don't ask the Nicksons ; — ^indeed, it 
will NOT do to have them to meet the Duke of 
Netherby, and the other smart people whom 
we have invited for the twenty-third of next 
month.'* 

'* What I not invite my own sister, Mrs. 
Winterton? really you surprise me I" 

'< Well, / see nothing at all surprising in the 
matter ; and if / don't ask either my sister or 
brother to our smart parties, I don't know why 
you should invite yours." 

<* More shame for you, Mrs. Winterton, not 
to ask them ; but that's your aflair, they know 



dbyGoogk 



272 THE PARVENUE. 

it is not my fault, for I am not a man to be 
ashamed of my relations because they happra 
to be less prosperous than myself; — ^but you 
may do as you like with regard to your rela^ 
tions, mine I insist on being invited." 

" How can you be so obstinate, Mr. Win- 
terton ? you know not the injury it may be to 
your children/* 

" In what way, my dear ?" 

<< In what way ? how strange to ask such a 
question I Do you not know that the whole 
study of my life is to get ourselves and our 
children into good company ?'' 

<* I ought to know it, my dear, for I hear 6t 
little else than the schemes you lay to accom- 
plish this measure/' 

" A la banheut, Mr. Winterton." 

*' Do let me, I entreat you, Martha, once 
for all, make you sensible how ridiculous you 
render yourself by interlarding your conversa- 
tion with French words.*' 

<* And let me tell you, Mr. Winterton, that 
it is worse than ridiculous in you, to wish me 



dbyGoogk 



THE PARVENUE. ^S 

to speak otherwise than as all people of fiishion 
do. But I see plainly that you make a point 
of contradicting, and opposing my wishes jn 
all things/' and here a flood of tears stopped 
the utterance of Mrs. Winterton, and hrought 
her good-natured hushand to her side. 

'* Now don't cry, Martha, you know I can't 
hear to see you in tears. There's a good little 
soul, don't cry any more I " and the uxorious 
Mr. Winterton kissed the inflamed cheek of 
his wife, which, hathed in tears, looked like a 
red peony after a shower of rain. 

" Well, then, my own dear Richard," sobhed 
the lady, allowing herself to he mollified, and 
determined to carry her point with her good- 
natured husband, '< I hope you will not ask me 
to invite the Nicksons for the twenty-third of 
next month ? Only think how ill it would look 
to see in the Morning Po9t their vulgar names 
coming after those of the Duke of Netherby, 
the Marquis and Marchioness of Ardcastle, 
the Earl and Countess of Beltonville, the Vis- 
count and Viscountess 61 Underweston, Lord 

nS 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



27^ 

it is ^ot 1 
ashamed ( 
to be less 
may A^ as 
tions, wi"^2^' 

«« How c 
terton? yov 
your childr 

« In whii 

« In who 
question ! 
study of m} 
children intc 

" I ought 
little else thi 
plish this mt 

'' Alabo7 

*' Do let 1 
for ell, nmke 
render your? 
tion with Fr 

^ Ajid let 



Ld 



THE PAXVEyTL. 

-^fMitli, and Lord hm^ T^mwarh 



^3- lot omit Af ma* c^^XIcksong 

-c ind then s vRcniaaie? That, 

n^r ^aonqiieiBas c jr^aoisr'iieaDoy- 

a=L AndiswzP'X :isiC3ec!;.Martl)a, 

^^SL Toa iwiii * ^'ed > ar advioey and 

Tmt moit send :iie is o< oar compnT to the 

ipraiipen.. &is.iii3T jpmionvaD onbeoom- 

jjg^Q^gesmm^^ '^ our hoqiitalitj* 

«ir& :k& ^<cqui » die use (^ giiw 

fcj-s }t Tjissm, I shoold fike to 

^»-ii Jmiit oKtrf ^«^ ^«*«^ 

« Wt^ ^^^ I im 9orry, tery sorry, 

p^'^D ^T^at ywi are i? r^^-' 

ttei«riidii£B 








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lE PARTENUE. 



«75 





lave acquired of it has not 
ier or a better woman." 
i to being happier, fifr. Win* 
permit me to be the best judge 
iigs, chaque une a son gmtL*^ 
ave an occasional fit of the gout, 
r it, as I do other trials, that is. 
Id, but I do not thiAk it kind of 
ImeofiL'' 

re ever such a man I what in the 

(Ier has your gout to do with the 

hich we were conversing?" 

I hear you say gout ? I did not 

the other words in your French 

t ril swear to the word gout, for 

as plain as it ever was pronounced," 

knew the French language, Mr. 

ou woul^je aware that gout means 

^ that I B^^^ bscrv ed • every one to 



-y 



Idoi 
irou a^ 



he French language, 

ni) ignorance of it, 

-bred of you to speak 



dbyGoogk 



276 THE PAEVBNUE. 

it when we are alone. I have managed to make 
a large fortune, Martha, and with a fair and 
honest name^ too, without knowing a word of 
any language hut my own. A man who can 
make a plum may do without French." 

<< How often have I hegged of you to leave 
off talking of plums I** 

** And how often have I heen compelled to 
remind you, Martha, that my plums have 
sweetened your cup of life.'' 

** Really, Mr. Winterton, you are growing 
personal; and to hear you talk, one would 
imagine you were an Spicier '^ 

" Awhat?'* 

" A grocer.** 

** And could'nt you say so at once, without 
calling it an epee sir ?" 

« Was there ever so provoking a man?" 

** I have business to attend, Martha^ and 
cannot stay here, losing my time, and my 
temper too; but mind you, I will have the 
Nicksons here on the twenty-thirdt** and so 
saying Mr. Winterton quitted the library, 



dbyGoogk 



THE PARVENUE. 277 

leaving his wife in a very ill-humour^ which 
she was well disposed to yent on whoever came 
in her way. 

She rung the bell* and ordered the servant 
who answered it, to inform Miss Winterton 
that she desired her presence, and in a few 
minutes a very lovely and lady-like looking 
girl» of about nineteen, entered the room. 

** I sent for you, Emma, to consult how I 
can get out of the scrape in which the obstinacy 
of your &ther will place me. Only fancy, he 
insists on having the Nicksons to dine here on 
the twenty-third of next month, when the Duke 
of Netherby, and many other people of fashion, 
are to be here." 

*' I do not see how.it is to be avoided, 
mother, if my father has decided on it." 

'< Do you not think it would be possible 
to make Mrs. Nickson understand that I 
would prefer her not dining here on that day, 
without giving her room to complain to your 
father?" 

'* 1 do not know how this is to be effected ; 



dbyGoogk 



278 THE PARVENUE. 

but I am quite sure my aunt Nickson would 
never complain to my father.^ 

** Have I not told you, a hundred times, to 
leave off saying my aunt Nickson ? There is 
nothing so vulgar. People of fSBishion never say 
my aunt : can you not say Mrs, Nickson?** 

** Aunt looked surprised and hurt when I 
did so, the last time she was here ; and she is 
so mighty kind and affectionate.** 

*• Stuff— nonsense ! I will not have you call 
her aunt, so there's an end of it But as she 
is so mighty kind and affectionate^ could you 
not give her a hint that our table only holds a 
certain number, — that I have already filled up 
the list, and that, consequently — though I 
think it right to engage her, and should like 
to do so — I fear the room will be so crowded 
and so hot, that I shall not have room, and 
that I should not be sorry if even some of the 
present number of guests sent excuses. You 
are a fiftvourite with her, and can easily, by the 
practice of a little tact, make her understand 
that I don't wish them to come.** 



dbyGoogk 



THE PARVENUE. «79 

" Really, my dear motherp I don't ** 

** For mercy sake t spare my poor nerves the 
£sitigue of another debate; I have had suffi- 
cient annoyance this morning, already, by your 
fiEither's obstinacy, without your tormenting 
me ; but there never was a woman so harassed 
by her family as I am, or so crossed in my 
efforts to establish them in fashionable society." 

" I am very sorry " 

'' Oh I so you all say, when you have deter* 
mined to take your own way ; but if you were 
really sorry, how easy it would be to meet my 
wishes, and assist me in carrying them into 
effect But I am not the dupe of your pre- 
tended regrets : no, I am well aware that your 
vulgar relations " 

'* Mr. William Nickson has called, madam, 
and requests you will see him,'' said a servant, 
on opening the door of the library. 

'* Why did you say I was at home ? Did I 
not give orders to say not at home to any 
visitors this morning ? *' 

** I thought, madam ** 



dbyGoogk 



280 THE PA&VKNUE. 

*< I don't want yoa to think ; I pay you to 
obey instructions, and not to think." 

** Dear mother, my cousin William is wait- 
ing all this time.'' 

**Let him wait: who sent for him? Re- 
member, once for all, that when I say not at 
home, no one is to be admitted. You may tell 
Mr. William Nickson to oome in." 

** I fear I have disturbed you, aunt," said 
a fine young man who entered the library. 

^* Why, I must confess I was occupied ; but 
even when not so, I have a great dislike to 
being broken in upon of a morning," and Mr& 
Winterton looked as ungracious as her speech. 

The handsome nephew appeared abashed for 
a moment, but after an efibrt, recovering his 
self-possession, extended his hand to take that 
of his stately aunt, who merely deigned to give 
him the point of her fat and fubsy fingers. 
Not so did his gentle cousin greet William 
Nickson, for her cheeks became suffused with 
blushes, as her hand was clasped in his ; and a 
close observer might have discovered the plear 



dbyGoogk 



THE PABVENUE. 281 

sure beaming in her intelligent countenance as 
she met his glance. Mrsl Winterton all this 
time maintained a cold and haughty demeanour, 
as if she awaited an explanation of the cause 
of the visit of her nephew, while Emma ques- 
tioned him about the health of his mother and 
sister, with an earnestness that denoted the 
interest she felt in the subject. 

*< My mother wished me to call, in order 
that you should name a day for coming to dine 
with us, aunt" 

*' At this season, I fear it is totally out of 
the question. I have not a day, or indeed an 
hour to myself. My engagements are so nu- 
merous, that I cannot find time to fulfil even 
one-half of- those I form; judge then, whether 
I can devote a whole evening to feunily con- 
nexions?" 

« I am very sorry ; but perhaps my uncle 
and my cousins could manage to come ?" 

<* Mr. Winterton can do as he pleases } but 
for my daughters, and Reginald, it is wholly 
out of the question." 



dbyGoogk 



28S THE PARVENUE. 

*^ My mother will be greatly disappointed,'' 
said William Nickson, and he and his fair 
cousin looked the disappointment he declared 
his mother would experience, 

'* I have not seen Reginald for a long time," 
observed the young man. 

" I suppose not,*' answered Mrs, Winterton ; 
** he has been hunting in Leicestershire, and 
going a round of visits in country-houses, when- 
ever the first permitted his absence from 
Melton. He has only just arrived in town, 
and has not a moment to himself, poor fellow I 
Emma, I want you to write some notes for me, 
to Lady Ardcastle and Lady Beltonville." 

Emma looked distressed at this palpable 
hint for the abridgement of the visit of h^ 
cousin, and then approached the vnriting table. 

** I hoped to meet you last night, at Lady 
Ardcastle's musical party," said William 
Nickson, 

<< Were you there ?" asked his aunt, with an 
air of undisguised surprise. '* How long have 
you known the Ardcastles?" continued she. 



dbyGoogk 



THE PABVENUE. S8S 

. *^ Since last season," replied William Nick- 
son, calmly, ** The music was not super-excel- 
lent last night, but the petit souper after, was 
very agreeable." 

** Who was there?" asked Mrs. Winterton, 
her cheeks becoming flushed with anger. 

"The usual set The Netherbys, Derlqr- 
shires, Beltonvilles, &c. But I will not inter- 
rupt you any longer ; " and, again touching the 
tips of his aimt's fingers, and pressing the whole 
of the delicate, though plump and dimpled 
hand of his cousin Emma, William Nickson 
lefit the room. 

" Look over the fashionable intelligence in 
the Mtyrning Post, Emma, and see if there is 
any notice of the musical soirSe at Lady Ard- 
castle's, or whether Mr. Nickson's name is in 
the list of the guests. Is it not extraordinary 
that we should have been left out a second 
time?" 

" Lady Ardcastle has a numerous acquaint- 
ance, mother, and cannot invite all for the same 
evening.** 



dbyGoogk 



284 THE PARVBNUE. 

''That is 60 like yoa^ Emma, always dis- 
oovering an excuse for erery one I find fault 
with. But you have no feeling, no pride; 
none of my family have, I am sorry to say.** 

'' Here is the list of the company, mother," 
and Emma read aloud a long catalogue of more 
than half the peerage, while her angry mother 
groaned in spirit, as she listened to the reci^- 
tulation of dukes and duchesses, marquises and 
marchionesses, earls and countesses, &c. who 
formed the party. 

'' Is William Nickson's name in the list?** 
asked Mrs. Winterton. 

'' Yes, here it is," answered Emma. 

*' Well, this does surprise me. What they 
can see in Aim, and why we should be omitted, 
is really unaccountable. Here have I been 
asking the Ardcastles, the BeltonyiUes, and 
the Underwestons to dinner over and over again, 
and they never invite us more than once during 
the season ; and when they do, never have any 
of the people to meet us, that I want to become 
acquainted with. Is it not too provoking?" 



dbyGoogk 



THE PARVENUE. 285 

** If I may be allowed to give an opinioo, 
mother, I should say, that in your place I 
would either not invite them at all, or at least, 
invite them much less frequently." 

" Then you would act very fooUshly, I can 
tell you, young lady. Do you suppose I ask 
them because their society gives me any plea- 
sure ? Not at all ; for, in spite of all I used 
to think be/bre I knew lords and ladies, their 
company is less amusing than that of the people 
we used to have when we lived in Russell-^ 
square/' 

<* Ah, mother I those were indeed pleasant 
days, when aunt Lindsay, uncle Tomkinson, 
and aunt and undo Nickson used to dine with 
us so often. We have had no such agreeable 
dinners since we have been in Grosvenor- 
sqoare.^' 

^* Agreeable dinners, indeed I I wonder, 
Emma, that you can have profited so little by 
the expensive education I have bestowed on 
you, as to think such dull, humdrum fieonily 
parties agreeable* But to resume, mind you 



dbyGoogk 



286 THE PABVENUE. 

do not forget to make Mrs. Nickson under- 
stand, that it will be quite as well that she 
does not dine here on the twenty-third; but 
let this be done without committing me^ and 
drawing down vour C&ther's anger, for as he 
is so absurdly tenacious about the Nicksons 
being invited, he would resent my interferraice 
in defeating his wishes. And now, Emma, 
there is another subject on which I think it 
my duty to speak to you : I have observed 
that you receive with marked coldness the 
attentions of Lord Haversham.'' 

** As I entertain no preference for him, I 
have thought it right to discourage his atten* 
tions as much as possible.'' 

'* And may I inquire what objections yoa 
can possibly urge against him?'' 

<' Neither his appearance or manner please 
me." 

** Then you must be very difficult to be 
pleased, for I know not a more good-looking or 
agreeable man. His title is one of the oldest 
in &e peerage, and his seat is one of the most 



dbyGoogk 



THE fARVENUE. 287 

admired in England. Do not play the fool, 
Emma ; a coronet is not to be had every day 
in the week, I can tell you, and you may never 
again have such a chance of wearing one.'' 

** But surely, mother, if I feel no preference 
for him who owns it — if, on the contrary, my 
sentiments towards him are much more nearly 
akin to dislike, you would not have me en- 
courage his addresses ?" 

^* Stuff I — ^nonsense I I would have you a 
countess, the envy of all your female friends, 
taking a distinguished lead in the fashionable 
world, instead of, as at present, being merely 
tolerated in it." 

^' Indeed, mother, I am unfitted for fashion- 
able Ufe I" 

'* Fiddle-de-dee I — don't teU me any such 
thing. What have I been sacrificing such vast 
sums of money for, ever since your infancy, 
except to fit you for fashionable life ? and now, 
forsooth, you tell me you are unsuited for it I 
I expect that you will henceforth receive the 
attentions of Lord Haversham with the &vour 
they merit, or—" 

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2S8 THE PABVBNUE. 

•* Hear me, mother I indeed I ^ 

** I will hear Dothing, Emma ; you now know 
m? wishes, and if you refuse obedience to them, 
yoa must not expect the kindness and indnL 
gence to which you have hitherto been accns- 
toroed." 

^' On all subjects, but the one on which the 
happiness of my future life depends, yon may 
always, dear mother, count on my obedience ; 
but on thai I cannot — dare not yield it." 

*' But what can be your objection to Lord 
Haversham ? " 

<* His reputation, his manner." 

" His reputation, forsooth I Why, where 
can a daughter of mine have acquired such 
notions ? So, because his lordship has been a 
little wild in his youth, and is a little free in 
his manner, he is found to be objectionable? 
Do you not know that reformed rakes are said 
to make the best husbands V* 

** What woman of delicacy, mother, would 
trust her happiness to the keeping of such a 
man? What woman, with a pure mind, cfmld 
condescend to be the companion^of a man whose 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



THE PARVENUE. 289 

days have been passed among the dissolute of 
his own sex, and the degraded of ours ?" 

** Look at Lady Augusta Falconbridge, who 
bestowed herself and her fifty thousand pounds 
on Lord Warrendale, who was considered one 
of the wildest roues about town, and yet she is 
a very happy woman." 

''She chose him, mother; and the woman 
capable of making such a choice, has no right 
to complain." 

** And no reason either, for he is a most 
good-natured and indulgent husband/' 

'* But if Lady Warrendale possessed the 
pride and delicacy that a well educated young 
woman ought to have, could she be happy with 
a man who has not one rational pursuit, or one 
refined sentiment ?" 

'' He only does what half the noblemen of 
his time do. They all race, hunt, game, and 
give themselves up to pleasure.** 

'' I could not be happy, mother, with a man 
who lived this sort of life, and should for ever 

VOL. III. o 



dbyGoogk 



290 THE PARV£NUE. 

reproach myself, were I to unite my destiny 
with such a one." 

<* Then you are indeed unreasonahle, Emma. 
What, not be happy when mistress of a fine 
seat in the country, a splendid mansicm in 
town, rich equipages with your coronet embla- 
zoned on them, an entrSe to the most courtly 
circles, and the right of precedence over all of 
inferior rank ? If you knew the world as well 
as I do, you would not hesitate to accept the 
ofier of one who could insure you these advan- 
tages — advantages that so many of your sex 
would be transported with joy to have placed 
within their reach. Look at my position, 
Emma, — one fraught with so much pain and 
humiliation to me, that the wealth of your 
father, by placing all luxuries, and appliances 
of fortune in my power, only serves to render 
more tantalizing. Had I but rank, joined to 
the wealth we possess, I should command an 
entree to every circle, instead of being, as now, 
excluded from the select, and only admitted 



dbyGoogk 



THE PARVENUS. 291 

when a crowd is received. I should not be com- 
pelled to submit to the humiliations so often 
endured from the insolence of capricious women 
of rank, who condescend to partake of our 
luxurious dinners, only because your father 
lends liberal assistance to the wants of their 
spendthrift lords. Yes, I should be happy if I 
possessed but rank ; and yet this great, this 
dazzling advantage, you foolishly, and I must 
say, wickedly decline, although you know your 
acceptance of Lord Haversham would render 
me so happy." 

« But has it never occurred to you, my dear 
mother, that the advantages you have enume- 
rated cannot confer happiness? Be assured, 
that those whose birth bestow them, have little 
enjoyment in the sense of their possession ; and 
that even you, were they accorded to you, would 
soon lose all pleasure in them, and desire some 
other imaginary good.'' 

<* All your reasoning may be very fine, Emma, 
hot it does not carry conviction to my mind. 
Far from it j and if you wish to prove your 

o2 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



292 THE PARVENUE. 

affection for me, you will accept the proposals 
of Lord Haversham, and give me the satb- 
faction of seeing my daughter wear a coronet, 
though I must not hope to possess one myseW* 

'^ Would that you tasked my ohedience and 
affection on any other point than this, and 
gladly would I obey you, but " 

'^ I will hare no buts, Emma ; — ^you will 
marry Lord Haversham, or I disclaim you fiv 
my child I " and so saying Mrs. Winterton left 
the room angrily, and loudly closing the door 
as she withdrew, and leaving her daughter to 
weep at her unkindness. While she yet in- 
dulged in " the luxury of woe," which, howe?cr, 
was no luxury to poor Emma, her father entered 
the library, and observing her deep emotion, 
requested to be made acquainted with the caose. 
When informed of it, he good-naturedly told 
her that she might calm her fears, for that she 
never should be compelled to a marriage repog« 
nant to her feelings. 

** But how is it, my dear Emma, that I have 
been deceived on this point?" .asked Mr. \t^ 



dbyGoogk 



THE PARVENUE. 293 

terton. <*Your mother assured me that you 
had no ohjection to marry Lord Haversham, 
and when I made some animadversions on his 
past conduct, which alarmed me for your future 
happiness, I was told that you were satisfied 
on that head, — an assertion which, I confess, 
somewhat surprised me. I am mortified at 
this deception, and did not look for it" 

** Do not, my dear father, I entreat you, 
suffer it to cause any misunderstanding hetween 
my mother and you. I should never forgive 
myself were I to he the cause." 

*^ You are a good girl, Emma — ay, a very 
good girl I" and the affectionate father kissed 
his daughter's cheek. " And I must take care," 
continued he, ^* that your happiness is not com* 
promised." 

Mrs. Winterton had hitherto been so sue* 
cessful in carrying every point on which she 
had set her mind, with her uxorious husband, 
that she was by no means disposed to abandon 
her project of compelling her daughter to wed 
Lord Haversham, however that daughter's feeU 



dbyGoogk 



294 THE PARVENUE. 

ings were opposed to the measure ; and ivben 
Mr. Winterton, with more energy and fimmess 
than he was wont to exercise in any discossiiBi 
with her, dedared that no coercion should be 
practised towards his child, in a matter in 
which the happiness of her future life was at 
stake, her anger knew no bounds. She accused 
both father and daughter of having conspired 
to defeat the plan she had proposed to ennoUe 
the family, and uttered the severest reproaches 
against the mild and unoffending Enuna, who, 
in the warmth of her anger, she declared had 
endeavoured to sow the seeds of dissensira 
between her and her husband. 

The anger of his wife Mr. Winterton oouU 
resist, but her tears had hitherto ever found 
him vulnerable. Their effica<r^ were now tried, 
and his presence in her chamber, to which she 
pertinaciously confined herself, was the agnsl 
for a flood of tears, which ceased not while he 
remained in it 

The attempts of Emma to show the dutiful 
attention which her heart prompted to her 



dbyGoogk 



THE PARV£NUE. 295 

mother, were rejected with anger and disdain ; 
and if not wholly prohibited from entering 
her chamber, her presence there evidently dis- 
pleased, instead of conciliating her parent. The 
indulgence of her wrath, and the penance of 
confinement which she inflicted on herself, at 
length really produced the illness on Mrs. 
Winterton, which she had previously counter- 
feited and now the anxiety of her kind-hearted 
husband knew no bounds. If he did not by 
words implore his daughter to sacrifice her 
own happiness, in order to gratify the unrea- 
sonable wishes of her mother, his alarm, his 
wretchedness, and remorse, for having, how- 
ever inadvertently, occasioned (as he persisted 
in thinking he had done) the illness of his wife, 
were so many appeals to Emma's feelings to 
consent to her mother's wishes. 

It was in vain that the physicians — and there 
were no less than three called in to attend Mrs. 
Winterton — assured him that her indisposition 
was not of a dangerous nature, and that a few 
days would restore her to health — her husband. 



dbyGoogk 



296 THE PARVENUS. 

listenmg more to her own reiterated dedaration 
of her sufferings than to their opinions, gave way 
to an alarm and anxiety that greatly impaired 
his own health, never rohust, and which had 
latterly heen often interrupted hy a tendency 
to attacks of hlood to the head. Four days 
after the physicians had heen called in to Mrs. 
Winterton, her hushand was found dead in his 
chair, having heen seized with a fit of apoplexy 
while writing a letter on husiness. 

Heavily did this affliction fall on Emma, who, 
fondly attached to her father, found even the 
deep sense of religion, which dictated resigna- 
tion to the Divine Will, insufficient during the 
first davs of her sorrow to enahle her to suhmit 
to this severe privation. Her mother's grief 
was loud and clamorous ; hut, like all violent 
passions, it soon exhausted itself ; and when, 
on the will being opened, it was discovered that 
she was left sole executress, with a jointure of 
no less than six thousand a-year, a sum of 
fifty thousand pounds solely at her own dis- 
posal, and the house in Grosvenor-squarei 



dbyGoogk 



THE PARVENUE. 29? 

with all its contents, and carriages, horses, &c., 
it was observed that, although she talked inces- 
santly of the generosity and " unbounded love 
of her dear departed husband— the best, the 
kindest of men," her tears flowed much less fre<* 
quently, and she quickly began to take a lively 
interest in those mundane afiairs, in which, 
during the first weeks of widowhood, few women 
who have lost a fond husband, interfere. 

Mrs. Winterton had used her influence over 
her too easy spouse, to induce him to leave his 
son and daughter dependent on her to a certain 
degree. The son, to whom he bequeathed two 
hundred and fifty thousand pounds, and the 
reversion of his mother's jointure of six thou- 
sand a-year, was not to have possession of his 
fortune until he reached his thirtieth year, and 
until that period was to receive only an allow- 
ance of two thousand pounds yearly. Emma 
was left fifty thousand pounds, to be paid on 
her marriage, provided it was contracted with 
her mother's consent, but if otherwise, the sum 
was to be vested in the hands of trustees, to 

o3 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



298 THE PARVENUE. 

accumalate for her of&pring when arrived at 
maturity, and a yearly allowanoe of five hun- 
dred a-year only was to he allowed for her use. 

Triumphantly did Mrs. Winterton dwell on 
this proof of confidence reposed in her hy ** the 
dear departed," hy leaving his children so 
wholly in her power. " Yes, poor dear >Ir. 
Winterton well knew who to trust in, and she 
would strictly carry into effect his last wishes." 

Mr. and Mrs. Nickson, and their son, came 
to the house of mourning to offer the consola- 
tion of which Emma stood so much in need on 
this melancholy occasion. Loving her as a 
daughter, they affectionately pledged themselves 
to fill the place of the father she had lost, while 
William Nickson, if he asked her not to con- 
sider him as a hrother, showed those unohtni- 
sive hut soothing attentions that mark the 
existence of even a more tender sentiment than 
hrotherly regard. 

The presence of Mr. and Mrs. Nickson, 
uever acceptahle to Mrs. Winterton, was now 
less than ever so ; and as the death of her hus- 



dbyGoogk 



THE PARVENUE. S99 

band removed the necessity of concealing her 
dislike to his worthy sister and her husband, 
she soon allowed them to perceive how un* 
palatable their society was to hen She declared 
that she preferred the solitude of her own 
botuiair, where she might, free from interrup- 
tion, indulge in the grief she professed to 
experience ; so they, nothing loth, devoted the 
hours of their daily visits to Emma, who 
derived comfort and consolation from their 
presence. Grief, that softener even of stubborn 
hearts, had peculiarly disposed the gentle one 
of Emma Winterton to the softer affections. 

William Nickson not only soothed her sorrow, 
but did more, he shared it. Sincerely attached 
to his late uncle, he was a real mourner for his 
death ; and fully appreciating the selfish cha* 
racter of his widow, and suspicious of the evil 
use she was capable of making of the powers 
he had entrusted her with over the destinies of 
his children, he trembled for their happiness. 
Young Winterton, a well-disposed but rather 
spoilt young man, had always been his mother's 



dbyGoogk 



SOO THE PARVENUE. 

favourite, and as he possessed considerable in- 
fluence over her, William Nickson felt less 
anxiety about him ; but Emma, the beautiful 
and gentle Emma, was, he feared, but ill able 
to resist the tyranny of her self-willed and im- 
perious mother, and these reflections, origi- 
nating in his deep interest about her, rendered 
him more than ever assiduous and kind to her. 

Pity is a dangerous sentiment to indulge in, 
and particularly when its object is a beautiful 
young girl. William Nickson soon experienced 
this fact, for he was far-gone in love with his 
fair cousin before he was aware of the extent 
of his devotion to her. But if pity is a dan- 
gerous guest in youthful hearts, gratitude is 
not less so, and Emma, soothed and charmed 
by the sympathy she found in her cousin's, 
had given him hers before he asked for 
the gift, though certainly not before he had 
be^i taught to consider it the most precious 
donation ^t could be bestowed on mortal 

Each discovered the secret of his and her 
heart nearly at the same time. Now the dif- 



dbyGoogk 



THE PARVENUE. SOI 

ficulty of keeping secrets has long been known, 
and although women are pronounced to expe* 
rience this same difficulty much more than 
men, we must nevertheless, in the present in* 
stance, accord to the lady the merit of having 
guarded hers much more carefully than Wil- 
liam Nickson did his, for he had revealed it to 
her before he even suspected that she had any 
secret to disclose. In short, they had pledged 
their troths amid sighs and tears, and they felt 
as if their afiection was sanctified by the regret 
they experienced for him who, had he lived, 
would have approved and rewarded it, as, next 
to his own children, his only sister's son was 
the object nearest and dearest to the heart 
of the deceased Mr. Winterton. Yet, while 
plighting their vows, both felt conscious that 
never would Mrs. Winterton consent to their 
ratification; but William Nickson consoled 
himself, and his beloved Emma too, by dwel- 
ling on the circumstances that rendered the 
opposition of that lady of less importance, 
namely, the ample provision his father could» 



dbyGoogk 



302 TH£ PARVENUE. 

and would, make for him, and the power this 
gave him of proving even to Mrs. Winterton 
the disinterestedness of his attachment to her 
fair daughter. 

Ere two months from the death of her good 
father had elapsed, Emma Winterton again 
found herself assailed hy the renewal of her 
mother's persuasions to induce her to wed 
Lord Haversham; and no longer did they 
come in even so mild a form as in the lifetime 
of her parent ; for now, relying on the extent 
of her power over the fortune of her daughter, 
Mrs. Winterton assumed a tone of command 
when she found persuasions unavailing, to 
enforce obedience to her wishes. Emma's home 
now became every day more irksome to her. 
The coldness of the reception afforded to the 
Nickson family by her mother, was such as to 
preclude the frequent visits they would gladly 
have paid in Grosvenor-square, and the en- 
couragement given to those of Lord Haversham 
was so marked, that it was but too plain that 
Mrs. Winterton, was far from abandoning her 



dbyGoogk 



THE parvenue; SOS 

intention of havrng his lordship for a son- 
in-law, however averse her daughter was to the 
project 

It was in vain that Emma, hy the most deci- 
ded coldness of manner, endeavoured to discou- 
rage his oppressive assiduities j he persevered 
in them with as much pertinacity as if they 
were acceptable to their object, and as he was 
a constant guest at the dinner-table, and a daily 
morning visitor in Grosvenor-square, oppor- 
tunities for annoying her were not denied him. 

At length it occurred to Emma, that as her 
mother would not listen to her firm refusal of 
never becoming the wife of Lord Haversham, 
it would be best at the first occasion furnished 
to her, to explicitly state her unalterable reso- 
lution to himself. In pursuance with this plan» 
when, a few days after, Mrs. Winterton had 
purposely left her daughter alone with Lord 
Haversham, and his lordship was reiterating 
protestations of d6v(mementj Emma, in a tone 
which could leave no doubt of her firmness, 
told her soudisant admirer that the continua* 



dbyGoogk 



304 THE PARVEKUE. 

tion of his attentions were as unavailing as 
they were disagreeable to her. 

" And may I inquire what your objections 
to me are?'' asked Lord Haversham, his face 
red with wounded vanity. 

" I see no necessity for entering fiu-ther on 
the point," said Emma; *' let it sufBce that my 
determination is definitive, and that, as yoa 
are now aware of it, I expect that I may be 
spared from any future reference to this sub- 
ject,^' and so saying she quitted the room, 
leaving the noble lord a prey to angry emotions. 
He rang the bell, and requested to see Mrs. 
Winterton, who soon made her appearance, 
and when he had related to her his discom- 
fiture, evinced so deep a sympathy in his feel- 
ings, that her anger exceeded his. 

^* A thousand thanks, my dear madam, for your 
kindness," said the wily lord, " but I fear all ex* 
ercise of it on the present occasion will be useless. 
I have long thought that your daughter was 
but little disposed to listen to my suit, and I 
only persevered in it because you advised it." 



dbyGoogk 



THE PARVENUE. 305 

" And I stiU advise it/' replied Mrs. Win- 
terton, *^ she will not, cannot, be such a fool as 
to run counter to my wishes, and she shall be 
your wife, for I am not a person to be trifled 
with, I can assure you." 

" Why, really, my dear madam, it is rather 
a disagreeable thing to have a lady forced, as it 
were, to accept addresses that I believe I might, 
without vanity, say that many women, yes, very 
many women, would be proud to receive." 

** I can well understand your feelings. Lord 
Haversham, and cannot blame them. Emma 
is a fool, and perfectly blind to her own in- 
terest, or she would not have declined the 
honour you were ready to confer on her. I am 
more hurt by her undutiful conduct than I can 
express, for she knows how desirous I am for 
the alliance. — I am really to be pitied. Lord 
Haversham— yes, deeply to be pitied," and 
here tears came to the relief of Mrs. Winterton, 
and coursed each other down her red cheeks. 
<* It is not enough