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“ And yet I am sure all this passion-this agony of disappointment—was not the effect of love so much as mortification and hurt pride operating upon a sensibility, at that time of his life so morbid, that I feared for his mind. I am persuaded of this, because, while things were smooth, and he thought himself secure, his feelings were comparatively tame. He bore absence most heroically. His eyes did not sparkle, nor his countenance beam with joy, when the lady approached, and he always quitted her with calmness. Had prudence, or any other worldly cause, broke their engagement, I am mistaken if it would have cost him a sigh. On the contrary, I have seen him sigh when he has remarked how little of companionship she possessed - for a mind like his. He admired, loved her at first, as a beautiful child, but no more. He reposed upon this; expected no more; and was negatively happy. How was I astonished, therefore, to witness this burst of fury-this passion of anger-and still more at the lasting effects it seemed to produce upon him. At the distance of twelve months he could not hear her name mentioned, nor even that of the place where she dwelt, without trembling, and he shunned the pathway that led from his garden to the church-door, because several of the tomb-stones by which he had to pass recorded the name of Elizabeth.”
“ It would be difficult,” said I, “to pronounce
that this was not love, and of the object, it would be still more difficult to suppose it was."
“All that we can decide upon,” returned Granville, “ is, that the very profound and very new apothegm, that Love is blind, is founded in truth, The wonderful part of the story is, that Brownlow's cure was as unaccountable as his infatuation. This compound passion of love, anger, and resentment, dropt out of his heart of itself, without being immediately influenced by any other. He enjoyed his liberty, and coursed the world in its pleasantest scenes ; made a reputation for himself, which you see was deserved, and which went far to his success with the lady he married (Lady Elizabeth Belmore), as opposite to his former Elizabeth as light. to darkness.
“ And now go home ; ponder all you have seen and heard ; and rest assured that although, as in the case of poor Melford, a disappointment in love may lead to a destruction of mind (as, in fact, it does often to that of the body), yet such was not the intention of Nature when she indued us with such elasticity of disposition, and such good principles, as shine in Brownlow. Apply this to yourself, and so good night.”
I HAVE ANOTHER INTERVIEW WITH LADY HUN
GERFORD, WHO IS MORE DISCOURAGING AND MYSTERIOUS, YET KINDER THAN EVER.
Thou art all ice-thy kindness freezes.
SHAKSPEARE.- Richard III.
I HAVE too long neglected to mention my charming instructress, Lady Hungerford. For though she was pleased to say I no longer wanted schooling, from old kindness she admitted me as usual ; nay, as I thought, was more than ever gracious.
I did not plume myself upon this, for I had tact enough to see that Granville's friendship for me, or rather perhaps my friendship for him, which made him my constant theme, went full half-way towards the easy footing on which I was treated. Be that as it may,
I was never denied, and sometimes without waiting in the ante-room was conducted at once to the boudoir.
On one of these occasions, Lady Hungerford was not there, though she could only just have quitted
it, for her keys were in her cabinet, and several letters lay open upon the table. One of them, a very long one, was in a hand I had always too well recollected; and, to my astonishment, delight, and terror, a miniature of the writer, exquisitely painted, and giving all the sparkle as well as sensibility of her countenance, lay by the side of it.
I was quite overpowered—my eyes gloated upon it-1 fetched my breath quickly—and was lost in a trance, when my patroness entered.
She saw at once my whole situation; coloured deeply herself, with surprise and agitation, and would have been angry, had she not seen, as she said, that I was more sinned against than sinning. She, however, in a hurried manner, swept the letters from the table, and turned the face of the miniature from my eyes; though that did little good, for the back shewed one of those lovely dark tresses, which I had too often admired not to recognise.
After a minute's silence, during which she seemed to be recollecting herself, Lady Hungerford said, 66 This is most untoward.
I will own to you that I have kept this picture almost religiously from your sight, from the fear of the very effect which I see it has had upon you ;
and most seriously do I grieve to see how little you are cured when most it behoves you to be so.”
I gave a deep sigh at every thing being thus recalled, but could not help saying,
“ Surely, lady, there is some mystery hanging about this agitating subject, which, as you are so kind as to interest yourself about it, you would only be more merciful to explain. Why, may I humbly ask, does it more behove me now to be cured than at any other time, when at any, and every time, I feel that not to be so only urges me on to perdition ?"
“ I had hoped,” replied she, recovering her composure,“ never to have heard that sentiment again; and really, from your friend Mr. Granville's account, I thought that your study of the world, in which you were making such progress, had had the effect we both wished for you. This little incident has undeceived me; and I shall certainly ask my uncle to send you abroad with your friend, as soon as the event he expects happens. To remain here is madness, and pity indeed is it that so fair a fortune in expectancy should be spoiled by such want of firmness.” Then, seeing that I was about to reply, she interrupted me, saying, “ It is not that I blame your constancy, or that I do not in some measure admire it; but when so strongly forbidden by duty to her, as well as yourself — "
“ Duty to her!”
“ Yes; for why should you embarrass, and add to her uneasiness ?”
“1, madam? I embarrass? I add to uneasiness? What can this mean? Is not Miss Hastings