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he will soon be in England, and it will be then time to consider how his existence is to be disclosed to my father—But if, alas! my earnest and confident hope should betray me, what would it avail to tear open a mystery fraught with so many painful recollections ?—My dear mother had such dread of its being known, that I think she even suffered my father to suspect that Brown's attentions were directed towards herself, rather than permit him to discover the real object; and O, Matilda, whatever respect I owe to the memory of a deceased parent, let me do justice to a living one.— I cannot but condemn the dubious policy which she adopted, as unjust to my father, and highly perilous to herself and me.—But peace be with her ashes—her actions were guided by the heart rather than the head; and shall her daughter, who inherits all her weakness, be the first to withdraw the veil from her defects r"
"If India be the land of magic, this, my dearest Matilda, is the country of romance. The scenery is such as nature brings together in her sublimest moods—sounding cataracts—hills which rear their scathed heads to the sky—lakes, that, winding up the shadowy valleys, lead at every turn to yet more romantic recesses—rocks which catch the clouds of heaven. All the wildness of Salvator here, and there the fairy scenes of Claude. I am happy too, in finding at least one object upon which my father can share my enthusiasm. An admirer of nature, both as an artist and a poet, I have experienced the utmost pleasure from the observations by which he explains the character and the effect of these brilliant specimens of her power. I wish he would settle in this enchanting land. But his views lie still farther north, and he is at present absent on a tour in Scotland, looking, I believe, for some purchase of land which may suit him as a residence. He is partial, from early recollections, to that country. So, my dearest Matilda, I must be yet farther removed from you before I be established in a home—And O how delighted shall I be when I can say, come, Matilda, and be the guest of your faithful Julia!
"I am at present the inmate of Mr and Mrs Mervyn, old friends of my father, The latter is precisely a good sort of woman—lady-like and housewifely—but for accomplishment or fancy—good lack, my dearest Matilda, your friend might as well seek sympathy from Mrs Teach'em,—you see I have not forgot school nicknames. Mervyn is a different—quite a different being from my father, yet he amuses me and endures me—he is fat and good-humoured, gifted with strong shrewd sense, and some powers of humour —I delight to make him scramble to the top of eminences and to the foot of waterfalls, and am obliged in return to admire his turnips, his lucerne, and his timothy grass. He thinks me, I fancy, a simple romantic Miss, with some—(the word will be out) beauty, and some good nature; and I hold that the gentleman has good taste for the female outside, and do not expect he should comprehend my sentiments farther. So he rallies, hands, and hobbles, (for the dear creature has got the gout too,) and tells old stories of high life, of which he has seen a great deal, and I listen, and smile, and look as pretty and as pleasant as I can, and we do very well.
"But, alas! my dearest Matilda, how would time pass away, even in this paradise of romance, tenanted as it is by a pair assorting so ill with the scenes around them, were it not for your fidelity in replying to my uninteresting details? Pray do not fail to write three times a-week at least—you can be at no loss what to say." Fifth Extract.
"How shall I communicate what I have now to tell!—My hand and heart still flutter so much that the task of writing is almost impossible.—Did I not say that he lived? did I not say that he was faithful? did I not say I would not despair? How could you suggest, my dear Matilda, that my feelings, considering I had parted from him so young, rather rose from the warmth of my imagination than of my heart ?—O I was sure that they were genuine, deceitful as the dictates of our bosom so frequently are—But to my tale —let it be, my friend, the most sacred, as it is the most sincere pledge of our friendship.
"Our hours here are early—earlier than my heart, with its load of care, can compose itself to rest. I, therefore, usually