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Mary a very pretty little fortune by the hope of Mary's love stimulated me to time she came of age.
increased industry. The first thing the good little girl did The subject I had chosen for illustraafter they had settled in their new house, tion was the statue scene in the “Winwas to persuade her mother, whom I ter's Talc,” at the moment when Leontes found to be a very agreeable and accom- stands transtixed before Hermione, hardplished woman, to let me paint her por- ly daring to recognize her as his living trait. I have studied many heads since wife. I had had great difficulty in procurMrs. Wyllford sat to me, but never re- ing a model for Leontes ; but at last sucmember one with which I was more im- ceeded in engaging one through the aspressed at first sight. Hers was a beauty sistance of a brother-artist, who sent him of which it might truly be said that it to me one morning with a letter of recimproved with age. Just as the first onimendation. He was a tall, well-made autumnal tints only enhance the charms man, whose age perhaps was under forty of what was last month's summer land- —rather too young, in fact, for the charscape, so some faces, I think, become acter he was to personate, if his hair, more interesting in middle life than in which was turning permaturely gray, the fullest bloom of youth. There was had not supplied the deficiency. "I gathsometimes a sweet sad smile on Mrs. ered from my friend's letter that he Wyllford's features, which told of pa- had seen better days-and, indeed, the tient suffering and unwearying love moment he entered my studio I was throngh many a year of trial. I did not struck by his appearance. His features know her history then, but bad heard bore all the evidence of gentle birth; that she had married as a schoolgirl, and yet there were marks of want and and that the union had been an unhappy care upon them which seemed incomMary never mentioned her father's patible with their refinement.
His name to me, and I took care to avoid a manner was particularly quiet and subsubject which I knew would be painful dued, and, unlike most models whom I to her. She had now grown up a fine, had engaged, he seldom spoke, even fair-haired, rosy-cheeked girl of seven during the short interval in which be teen, and, after the renewal of our ac was allowed to rest from what is techni. quaintance, I confess that the boyish cally called the “ pose." affection wbich I felt for her at school After a few sittings he seemed to gain soon ripened into a stronger passion. confidence, and, finding I was interested In short, I fell in love with her, and, in in him, gave me, one dark November the language of diffident suitors of the morning, while a dense black fog oblast century, bad reason to hope that I scured the light and rendered painting was not altogether despised. But how impossible, the following account of his could I, a young tyro, just entering on life. my profession, without prospect of an in “You are right, sir,” said he, “in supheritance for years to come, how could I posing that I was born in a better station venture to make known my case without of life than this. I've been too proudthe possibility of offering her a home? perhaps too foolishly proud—to own it As the little pinafored dependent on the to those who have employed me in this doctor's bounty, she was an object of way before; but there is something compassion; but as the heiress of five about you which leads me to trust you hundred pounds a year, she might with my secret-or, at least, that part marry a man in some position nay, of it which I dare to speak of.” would probably now have many such I assured him that I would not betray lovers at her feet. I was determined, his confidence, and he went on, his voice at all events, to defer saying a word to trembling as he spoke : her on the subject until there was some “I was the only son of an officer in prospect of my professional success. I the Indian army, who had married late was engaged on a picture which it was in life, and at the time of my birth was my wish to send to the ensuing Royal living on half-pay in the west of England. Academy Exhibition. If it were accept- My mother died when I was ten years ed, I thought I might venture to look for old; and my father, who indulged me further commissions; and the bright in every way as a child, dreading what
he conceived to be the bad iniluence of at least for me to think that I was with a public school, determined to educate bim in his last moments; that he freely me himself at home. The motives which forgave me the pain I had caused him ; induced him to make this resolution and-grieved as I am to say it—that he were, no doubt, very good; but experi- did not survive to see the subsequent ence has since taught me that, in doing misery of which I still seemed doomed so, he made a grievous mistake. A pri- 1 to be the author. vate education may, indeed, answer well Finding that I was now in the pos. in exceptional cases; but as a rule, and session of a small inberitance, I deterparticularly when boys are waywardly mined not to leave 11— until I could inclined, it is the worst of all systems. assure myself of the prospect of a speedy When I went to college, at the age of union with her for whose sake I had nineteen, I had seen nothing of the labored long and steadily, and without world. I found myself suddenly eman- whose gentle influence I felt I might cipated from parental control, in the soon relapse into former habits. I had midst of dangerous pleasures which had kept my promise. I had relinquished all the charm of novelty, and associating all thoughts of pleasure until I had atwith companions whose example no ex- tained a qualified position; and now I perience had taught me to avoid. Nat- came to claim my reward. Her guardurally impulsive in my temperament, I ian admitted the justice of my plea ; the was soon led away, step by step, into dear girl herself blushingly avowed her follies and vices which I had never learnt affection, and within twelve months after to see in their proper light. I soon be my father's death we were married. came deeply involved in debt, and, much "I found my wife everything that I to my father's disappointment, left Oxford had pictured ber. Kind and gentle as without taking a degree.
she was lovely; she had ever a sympathiz"He received me with coldness, and ing word for me in trouble or anxiety; even severity, and told me that if I ever and though her husband was always her hoped to reëstablish myself in his favor, first consideration, she gained the adI must speedily reform my habits, and miration of all our friends by her sweet enter at once on the study of the profes- and winning manner.
I look back upon sion which he had chosen for me. It was the first few years of our marriage as the his wish that I should qualify myself for happiest in my life. I had already begun the bar; and with this end in view, I to practice at the bar with some pros. was placed in a solicitor's office at pect of success, when unforeseen HI
calamity occurred, which, combined with “I can conscientiously say that at this my own selfish conduct, completely period of my life my habits were steady, turned the tide of our good fortune. and that I looked forward with earnest “ It was soon after the birth of our ness to taking that position in the world first-our only-child, that my poor wife which my birth and education ought to was seized with a dangerous illness, on bave given me. I had, moreover, an recovering from which she was ordered additional incentive to industry. I be change of air. The waters of a celecame attached to the daughter of a gen- brated German spa were mentioned as tleman who had been one of my father's likely to suit her case; and hoping to oldest friends. She had been left an compensate by economy for what I orphan, and in charge of the lawyer's might lose in professional practice, I defamily with whom I had become profes- termined to accompany her on the Consionally connected. As we were both tinent. extremely young, her guardian, although “ The little watering place to which he knew that my affections were return- we had been recommended was by no ed, would not hear of any formal engage- means expensive. We hired furnished ment until I had shown, by an altered lodgings in a good situation; my wife course of life, that I deserved her. In soon found the benefit of the air, and due time I came up to London to read was on a fair road to recovery, when law; and had scarcely been called to the our baby was also taken ill. To a man bar when my father died. Deeply as I who, like myself, has never been accusthen felt his loss, it is some satisfaction tomed to the society of children, the
weary noise and constant crying of in- . It is an old story. I went on and on, infants are extremely irritating, and, hav- curring fearful losses-still hoping to reing brought an excellent English nurse trench — and rose at length from that with us, I soon became glad to escape accursed board—a beggar. from a source of annoyance which I could “If even then I had had the courage to not remove, and which would soon have tell my wife everything, to implore her tried a less nervous man than I then was. forgiveness, it might not have been too Unfortunately the adjoining town—like late to retrieve my fortune, or at least most German spas—had its kursaal, and have gained our bread in some humble, its gaming-table. At first the beauty of but honest employment. But I dared the gardens there, which were laid out not. I have braved since many a danwith great taste, attracted me. An ex- ger by sea and land, and faced what cellent band played on the grounds; and seemed to be inevitable death in many when
my wife was prevented by her do- shapes, but I could not then endure to mestic duties from accompanying me, I meet her calm sweet face-to take our frequently walked there alone, wonder- child upon my knee again, and bear the ing that so many people could bear to agony that must ensue from such conthrong those close and crowded rooms, fession. I knew that my wife expected when there was so much that was at- her old guardian and his family to join tractive outside.
us the day after my ruin was completed. “One unlucky morning a heavy shower I knew that at least the little property of rain compelled me to take shelter, she would inherit on coming of age within the building. I walked about would be hers. Little as it was, it from room to room to wile away the might keep them from starvation. Why time, and at last found myself by the should I return to a home which I had rouge-et-noir table. At first I looked blighted, and drag those innocents down on out of curiosity; and was surprised into the slough of misery which my own to find, after all I had heard of the hor- folly had created ? I was still young, rors of gambling, that here it was con- strong, and healthy, and I determined ducted in so quiet and orderly a manner. to seek my fortune alone—to earn subI watched the croupiers, now raking in, sistence by the sweat of labor. My now doling out the glittering coin. I mind was made up. I wrote a few hurwatched the players, men, women, even ried lines to my wife, and then tore mychildren, throwing down their florins self away-from her—from my little one, with apparently a listless air. I little for ever. thought beneath that assumed indifference what aching brows and anxious “My life since that never-to-be-forgothearts were there. A little girl of ten ten day has been one of extraordinary had just won a large heap of gold, and vicissitude; my means sometimes rising ran away with it to her mother, who to the level of a competence, sometimes was knitting on a bench outside. How reducing me to the verge of mendicancy. well I remember her smiling happy face For years past I have sought my living as she poured the money into the wo- in different countries, and in various man's lap.... (Good God! what may ways, and had nearly realized a little forthat mother have since had to answer tune in California, as a gold-digger, when I for ?).... I could resist no longer. I lost everything on a voyage bome by shipAung down a napoleon, and presently wreck. I worked the rest of my passage doubled my stakes--another, and won to England before the mast, and an aragain. I left the table richer by some tist who was on board, knowing my pounds than when I went to it. Would straitened circumstances, gave me his that I had lost every sou in my pocket! address in London, and has since emI might then have left the rooms for ployed me as a model. This led to
As it was, encouraged by success, other introductions, and among others I went the next day, and the next to yourself, sir. You were good enough sometimes losing, sometimes winning to express an interest in me, and I have At last I grew bolder, and played for told you my story; but I beseech you, higher stakes, and then.... why should spare me the sad humiliation which a I linger over the details of this misery? I knowledge of my previous life would
surely bring me in the eyes of those ing with her daughter, to look at my from whom at present I must earn my picture. I confess that the prospect of living. I have suffered long and bitterly seeing Mary generally put everything for the past, though, God_knows, not else out of my head; but on this occamore than I deserve. But I still retain sion I was not sorry, when the time arpride enough to beg that you will not rived, to find that her mother entered inquire my name. Let me be known to my studio alone. The “ little houseyou and to your friends as 'George,' keeper,” as she used playfully to call her the artist's model."
daughter, had been detained by some The fog had cleared away at the con- domestic matters, and would follow her clusion of this strange recital, but I had presently. no heart to paint that day. I was almost I thought I would first show Mrs. sorry I had heard poor“George's” story: Wyllford my picture, and then, while his I was in no position to help him, and portrait was before her, detail the outthe aspect of his bronzed and weather- lines of poor "George's” story, and enbeaten face, now rather excited my deavor to enlist her sympathies in his sympathy as a man than raised my ad- behalf. She sat down before the easel, miration as
an artist. It is lucky, looking, as I thought, younger and pretthought I, that the head of Leontes is tier than she had ever seemed before. nearly finished; this story would have The subject that I had chosen was altered its character considerably on my familiar to her-indeed she had herself canvas. The man was fit for better suggested it. Camillo was supposed to things than this-yet how could I help be addressing Leontes in the lines : him? I was only just beginning to
“My lord, your sorrow was too sore laid on: support myself—and moreover, if I had Which sixteen winters cannot blow away, had the means, I felt sure he would bave So many summers dry: scarce any joy accepted nothing in the form of charity. Did ever so long live; no sorrow, Warmly expressing my sympathy, and
But killed itself much sooner." assuring him that he had not mis- She kindly praised the attitude of Herplaced his confidence, I excused myself mione, the dresses and acessories of the from further work that afternoon, deter- picture, which I had studied with some miping, in the mean time, to reflect on At last her eye rested on the the best means to adopt for his assistance. figure of Leontes. She looked at it long He thanked me for wbat I had said, and earnestly. promised to return on the following “I want you to be interested in that day, and went off to fulfil another en- head,” I said at length, in joke. gagement.
“Why?” said she quickly, and growIt was only when he had gone that I ing, as I thought, rather pale as she remembered many questions which I spoke. “Was it studied from nature? I should have liked to ask him respecting see you have only just finished it: thethe fate of those whom he had so cruelly the paint is hardly dry, and-would you deserted. And yet if they had been mind opening the window ?-the smell alive-if he had tried, or wished to find of the oil is a little too strong for me." them out again-would he not have told My studio window was one of those me? At one moment I felt ashamed for lumbering contrivances which swing on commiserating a man who had thus self- a pivot. I went behind the chair to ishly abandoned those who should have comply with her request, and while enbeen dearest to him (even under the gaged in arranging a prop to keep the circumstances which he had detailed); sash-frame in its place, I began to tell at another I realized the bitter trials he her briefly the story of my model's life. had undergone; thought of the anguish he I was interrupted by a loud cry of pain, must have endured, before he could make and turned round to find Mrs. Wyliford up his mind to take that fatal step, and falling from her chair. I rushed to her felt how heavy had been his punish- assistance, and found that she had alment.
ready fainted. There was water in the I determined to consult my good adjoining room, and I hastened to fetch benefactress, Mrs. Wyllford, on the sub- it. As I hurried back I was met by ject. She was coming the next morn-| George, who had just come to keep his
appointment, and to whom I hastily ex Sir Charles is the eldest son of Charles plained what had happened. Between Lyell, Esq., of Kinnordy, Forfarshire, us we lifted the poor lady up, and laid who died in 1849. He was an accomher on the sofa. In doing this, her head plished author, and possessed great literhad fallen on my arm, and it was not ary taste. He was also warmly attached until I raised it, that we saw how deadly to scientific pursuits, and his researches pale she was. I poured some water in botany resulted in the addition of between her lips and begged George to numerous valuable discoveries in that get some doctor's help without delay. particular branch of science. But he stood like one transfixed, mut Sir CHARLES LYELL was born at Kintering incoherently.
nordy, on the 14th of November, 1797. “For goodness' sake,” I said, “make He received his early education at Mid. haste-no time is to be lost! What is hurst, in Sussex, and subsequently enterthe matter?"
ed as a student at Exeter College, Ox. “I think I am going mad,” said he as ford, graduating as Bachelor of Arts in he fell upon his knees beside the couch. 1819, and taking his Master's degree in “Raise her head a little more--this way, 1821. At Oxford the youthful student boy, this way,” he shrieked, in pitiable was afforded the opportunity of attend
“ Heavens ! how like she is to ing the lectures of the celebrated Dr. - Mary-Mary.-0 God! it is my wife Buckland, then professor of geology. herself!"
This opportunity he seized with avidity,
and thus acquired a taste for the science It was indeed the wife that he had which he has since cultivated so successleft ten years ago –
who had survived fully, and in connection with which he is bis cruel desertion-struggled with pov- justly regarded as the leading authority. erty and many trials-maintained her- Sir Charles was intended for the bar, self' heroically by her own exertions, and and commenced practice as a barrister, was now, thank God! in a position to but what Shakspeare terms“ father antic save him from the misery which his folly the law,” had few charms for him, and and selfishness had occasioned. She had not being dependent on his profession recognized his portrait while I was tell. for a livelihood, he soon cast aside his ing her George Wyllford's story, little wig and gown, and devoted himself to thinking how closely it was interwoven the culture of geology. On the opening with her own; and it was the sudden of King's College, in 1832, he was apshock which occasioned her swoon. I pointed professor of geology, but this have little more to add in explanation. position he subsequently relinquished. Within twelve months from the date of Sir Charles Lyell was one of the early this event, I married Mary Wyllford. members of the Geological Society, and, Her father is an altered man. His wife's from the time of the formation of the fortune was an ample one, but he never society to the present, he has enriched spent a penny of it without her consent. its Transactions with his contributions. My picture was accepted at the Royal One of his earliest papers was published Academy Exhibition, and, wonderful to in the second volume of those Transacrelate, was well hung. Since then I have tions, and was entitled, “On a Recent painted from hundreds of men, women, Formation of Freshwater Limestone in and children ; but I can safely say that Forfarshire, and on some Recent DeposI never heard from any of my sitters, its of Freshwater Marl; with a Comany narrative which bas interested me parison of Recent with Ancient Fresh80 much as the Model's Story.
water Formations; and an Appendix C. L. E. on the Gyrogonite, or Seed-vessel, of the
Chara.” This paper was published in SIR CHARLES LYELL, BART.
1826, and another in the same year, in
Brevoster's Journal of Science, entitled, In connection with the accurate like-“ On a Dike of Serpentine cutting ness of this eminent geologist, who is also through Sandstone in the County of Forpresident of the British Association for far.” In 1827, two other papers occur the current year, we present our readers in the Geological Transactions. In a brief sketch of his life.
year also he wrote an article in the