Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

BY THE AUTHOR OF MARRIAGE.

Si la noblesse est vertu, elle se perd par tout ce qui n'est pas vertueux , et
si elle n'est pas vertu, c'est peu de chose.
LA BRUYE R E,

| IN THREE voLUMES.

VOL. I.

WILLIAM BLACKWOOD, EDINBURGH :
AND T. CADELL, LONDON.
MDCCCXXIV.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

“Strange is it, that our bloods
Of colour, weight, and heat, pour'd all together,
Would quite confound distinction, yet stand off
In differences so mighty.”

All's Well that Ends Well.

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that there is no passion so deeply rooted in human nature as that of pride. Whether of self or of family, of deeds done in our own bodies, or deeds done in the bodies of those who lived hundreds of years before us—all find some foundation on which to build their Tower of Babel. Even the dark uncertain future becomes a bright field of promise to the eye of pride, which, like Banquo's bloody ghost, can smile even upon the dim perspective of posthumous greatness. WOL, I A

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

As the noblest attribute of man, family pride
had been cherished time immemorial by the noble
race of Rossville. Deep and incurable, there-
fore, was the wound inflicted on all its members
by the marriage of the honourable Thomas St
Clair, youngest son of the Earl of Rossville, with
the humble Miss Sarah Black, a beautiful girl of
obscure origin and no fortune. In such an union
there was every thing to exasperate, nothing to
mollify the outraged feelings of the Rossville fa-
mily, for youth and beauty were all that Mrs
St Clair had to oppose to pride and ambition.
The usual consequences, therefore, were such as
always have, and probably always will accompany
unequal alliances, viz. the displeasure of friends,
the want of fortune, the world's dread laugh, and,
in short, all the thousand natural ills that flesh is
heir to when it fails in its allegiance to blood. Yet
there are minds fitted to encounter and to over-
come even these—minds possessed of that inhe-
rent mobility which regard honour as something
more than a mere hereditary name, and which
seek the nobler distinction, open to all, in the ca-
reer of some honourable profession. But Mr

St Clair's mind was endowed with no such powers;
o

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

for he was a man of weak intellects and indolent habits, with just enough of feeling to wish to screen himself from the poverty and contempt his marriage had brought upon him. After hanging on for some time in hopes of a reconciliation with his family, and finding all attempts in vain, he at length consented to banish himself, and the object of their contumely, to some remote quarter of the world, upon condition of receiving a suitable allowance so long as they should remain abroad. The unfortunate pair, thus doomed to unwilling exile, therefore retired to France, where Mr St Clair's mind soon settled into that state which

acquires its name from the character of its possess

or, and, according to that, is called fortitude, resignation, contentment, or stupidity. There, too, they soon sunk into that oblivion which is sometimes the portion of the living as well as the dead. His father's death, which happened some years after, made no alteration in his circumstances. The patrimony to which he expected to succeed was settled on his children, should he have any, and a slender life annuity was his only portion.

The natural wish of every human being, the

« ПредишнаНапред »