« AnteriorContinuar »
his bright career bad nearly been interrupted. so grateful to his ear, and his dislike of others After supper one evening in the mess-room, was always disarmed by fatlery, or a convicwhen the bottle had circulated freely, au officer tion that the offender was attached to his mentioned the uame of the motber of Lord persou. So insatiable was his thirst of dis. Avondel's recreant bride among the disreput tinction, that it often couuteracted his selfable characters of her time. The enthusiasm esteem, and the passion of being first in every of an unsubdued attachment urged him to de company so far possessed hiin, that had some fend the lady's reputation. High words en extraordinary chauce placed bim in a groupe sued; they ended in a challenge, but the con. of rustics, like ' mighty Casar he would sequences were prevented by their general's have been the best wrestler on the gieen,' ordering them buth under an arrest. He re rather than have passed upregarded Couscimoved it next morning, aud told Lord Avon ous of his weakness in this particular, he was del, in friendly confidence, that the cause he scrupulous in the choice of his companions. meant to have esponsed was indefensible. The lie formed few friendships ; be distrusled the horrid suggestion I have before alluded to now world too much to have any confidant, and returned with teufold violence. The lady who having been early robbed of those blessings had deserted him had certainly been educated which would bave softened his high indignant under the immediate auspices of this infamous spirit, his chief ain through life was to stek mother. If he bad subsequently associated and guard the bauble reputation. with those women who blend the characters of
“In pursuit of this fancied good, he had good and beautiful, his native caudour would sacrificed much of his paternal fortune to have resisted the injurions suspicion, in spite | munificent, patriotic, and splendid actions. of the irritatiou incident to such deep sorrows He had by this incurred the common lot of and unprovoked wrongs. But a camp rarely obliging some worthy and grateful people, he exhibits any trait of female excellence. Dis had also armed ingratitude and koavery with next residence was in a dissipated Italian the power of doing him injuries. He suffered court, and there he finished that dark outline this latter circumstance to dwell toe much of treachery, folly, licentiousness, and caprice, upon his mind, without considering that those .to which his proud and lacerated heart affixed who aim at popularity should be prepared to the name of woman.
encounter rebuffs. The emoluinents of his “ The man who has quarrelled with one appointments proved inadequate to the largehalf of his species is seldom on very good ness of his soul, and as he felt equally incaterms with the other, especially if he has
pable of checking the impulse of policy or beallowed himself to believe that he is himself a neficence, he saw for himself no future alterbeing of a superior order. In reality, Lord native but poverty or dependence. To the Avondel's merit was duly appreciated by the latter he could not submit; reputation, hogoverument he served, and the society with
nour, truth, attachment to his beloved country, which he associated; but his early disap all forbade bis becoming the tool of power. pointment had made biin one of those not The former he fancied he could bear-indeed, uncommon characters in bigh life, who, with his personal wants were few : plain in bis hagreat apparent gentleness and urbanity, are bits, temperate in his enjoyments, and utterly really hard to please. He measured human void of all expensive vices, he only wanted to nature by the standard of perfection, and be travsported to those times when eulogists, whatever fell below it he beheld with pity, in content with camelion's food, crowded the difference, or contempt. He was, however, bare balls of honourable poverty, to have been prevented by a regard for his own character, personally contented with 'the bermit's maple from exposing those sentiments. He would dish and beechen bowl uustained with wine,' be great, was not without ambition,' and hav. to laugh at all the wants and to despise all ing obtained tbe reputation of being the best the enjoyments of luxury. bred man in Europe, he took care to restrain “ In this disposition he landed in England, every expression which would invalidate his disgusted with the world, though it had paid title to that distinction. Though pride was him for his waste of time and fortune by a his ruling passion, it was not pure from the large return of the coiu he most valued; dismean alloy of vavity, and with all his affected gusted with ininistry, but not on account of preference for retirement, he was born for a his recal; for the deranged state of bis finanpublic life. Its difficulties exercised his great ces compelled him to wish to be removed from qualities, and his noble avarice pointed not that station, where the grandeur of bis views at wealth but at fame. Though apparently and the steady integrity of his priuciples made jadifferent to his owu praises, no music was him act rather like a guardian angel, devoted
to the service of others, than as a mercenary | by preserving a manner rather paternal than adventorer bent on securing his own emolu amatory. ment. Neither did his dissatisfaction at go “ Still, however, her society pleased, and vernment arise from disapprobation of their : her partialily soothed bim. None of bis perincasures, vor yet from their not having given fections were overlooked; his exalted sentihim some lucrative sinccure as reward for ments were never uttered to the winds if Miss his services. On the contrary, he approved Mandeville was present. She recorded all his of their general plans, and as he scorned to opinions, she wept for his past dangers, she avow his wants, so he estimated his services felt for all his wrongs. This really was very too highly to believe they could be repaid hy captivating in a woman who could give not a pecuniary reward. His resentment arose only competency but affluence to her busband. from sonje breach of etiquette in the letters of: This woman too was young, docile, gentle, recal, which spoke less of his deserts than he and almost even to his fastidious fancy beau. expected.
tiful. There were traits in her countenance “He had experienced the probity and fidelity which reminded bim of one he wished he could of Sir Walter Mandeville, in some very trying for ever forget. He regretted be had discoincidents in his early life, and when hvis con vered a resemblance, and now believed it only duct had been recently censured in the House consisted in the samc general expression of of Coinmons, the good baronet bad so far com sensibility and delicacy. Insensibly he grew bated his natural shyness and acquired indo-happier. All men were not unjust, perhaps lence, as to hurry to London with a view of all women were not faithless, wayward, and ju Auencing all his connections to unite in the capricious. He was awakened from this defence of his friend. Certainly his motives agreeable reverie by Sir Walter's proposal, and were more honcurable than his services were Lady Mackintosh's hinting that he was pubapparent, but gratitude was a predominant i Vickly suspected of a design on Emily. He feature in Lord Avondel's mind, and his at. no longer allowed himself to consider what tacbments, though few, were indelible. The was soothing to bis own feelings, but what liis evoui which ill bealtlı and want of occupation own fame and her advantage required; and his had considerably increased during his voyage, l parting advice to Sir Walter was dictated by was much dissipated by his residence at Man. i that disinterestedness which ever marked his deville castle. He saw there characters widely | conduct. Nor were the praises of Lady Paudifferent from those he had lately mixed with; || lina Monthermer accidentally introduced; he they required no study and little precaution. l was persuaded that Emily ought to forget him, He had only to appear amiable and agreeable, and he fancied piqued vanity would be a strong aud to drink largely not merely of the draught || auxiliary to induce a young lady to withdraw of adulation but also of the more grateful be her heart from one who would be thus copious verage of admiration and love. For let it not in the praise of another. be supposed that a man of Lord Avoodel's “ The objects which Avon Park presented penetration could long mistake the language to his view excited the most soul-harrowing of Emily's downcast eyes, or not feel gratified recollections. The last time he had been there at a conquest so flattering to self-esteem. Yet was the day he had received the mysterious the pæans of triumphant vanity could not make letter that had given such a dark colouring him insensible to the claims of honour. He to his mind. He walked over his grounds, knew bis character would suffer in the estima
and saw the plantations he had formed when tion of the world, if he were suspected of bav- | bope buoyed him up with the most flattering ing surreptitiously stolen the affections of an expectations. Not a shrub that he heard inexperienced, wealthy heiress, who, when she her admire but he hastened and planted it gave him her beart, seemed as much circum- there. They grew and Aourished as rapidly scribed as Eve was in ber choice of Adam. He as his own joys had faded. The buds were revolted from the idea of injustice to the just swelling with all the luxuriant promise of young lady, from stooping to mean expedients | early spring; he viewed their stately growth, to repair his fortune, and from the danger of and then contemplated himself a ruin tending entrasting his honour and bis peace to the earthward, never more to be attired in the guardianship of a fair novice, whose extreme || cheerful colours of joy and hope. smiplicity of mind and manners might change “ But where was she for whom he had forminto levity or folly when she mixed with the ed this paradise of rural bliss, the Eve who world. He determined, therefore, whatever should have walked in these groves? He might be the issue, to avoid all self-reproach, blamed himself for conforming to that rigid
A a 2
injunction of offended bonour which bad for- !| vamely, that his affairs were rather intricate bade him to inquire her fate. She might be than desperate, and that wherever he went his innocent, faithful, wretched; requiring his manners would gain popularity, and his chaassistance, and bewailing his neglect. If the racter enforce respect. strange in pediment to wliich he had alluded “Refined and upright minds only can duly were renoved-No, impossible! Her letter appreciate the exquisite satisfaction of koowtold him the bar was eternal.-He returned to iug, that they depend not on the forbearance the saloon, threw himself ou a sofa, gazed on
or bounty of others for the means of existence. the border which she bad painted, and the The satisfaction derived from this noble con.. chimney piece which had been executed ac sciousness, was too congenial to the feelings cording to her design To stay the tide of of Lord Avoodel to permit his undivided at. reflection was impossible. He allowed himself tention to rumiuate ou the festering wounds to expiate on the visions of his early life, while
of love or resentment. With all the dignity all lois subsequent experience deepened the of a Cincinnatus, he turned his mighty mind conviction that they were indeed visions of to rural occupations. Much as be affected to bliss worth far more than whatever ambition renounce bope, he was in fact the constant presented to crown the hero's and the pa- dupe of expectation, being ever in pursuit of triot's toils.' Could they be realized ? No, what the world did not afford, a felicity coulthe bar was eternal. Poor little Emily! she mensurate with his vast desires ; and he al. was an amiable girl, but there was a sublimity, ways saw in some unattainable desideratum or a nobleness of mind, in ber who once possessed future possibility, those ideal phantoms which his heart Besides, could he offer himself to increased his disrelish of his present enjoythe fair heiress while labouring under the ments. This turn of mind had indeed one weakness of a pre-attachment? No,' said advantage, it animated him to perpetual exAvondel, 'I may be wretched but I cannotertion. He now resolved to bend the stubhorn be base, and I will continue to bope she will genius of the plain, to form bis quincunx, aud soon forget me.' Doubtless his lordship was to rank his vives, not without an expectation very sincere in his wish, and it was only of being admired as the Palenion 'who led the unaccountable start of peevishuess which rural life in all its joys and elegance, such as made him exclaim,
-Frailty thy name is Arcadian song transmits,' though without the woman,' on being informed by one of his Lon- | most distant wish of meeting with a Lavinia, don correspondents, that the town was in daily “ This metainorphosis was, however, preexpectation of Lord Glenvorne's being married | vented by the arrival of two letters from Lonto Miss Mandeville.
don; the first was from Sir Walter Mandeville, “ If Lord Avondel were really mortified at and contained many dolorous circumstances. this intelligence, he had an opportunity of This London journey,' said he which I experiencing the coinforts which are derived || undertook to please you, turns out very ill. from conscious rectitude, and to abate bis Not that I dislike town more than I expected, chagrio hc had cause to congratulate himself for I have found great benefit from a quack on his escape from a woman of so much levity. // medicine for my asthma, and if people do His energetic iniud did not long remaju supine, laugh at me they are too civil to let me see and be struggled to subdue bis regrets. Re. them; but Emily don't seein contented, and nouncing every view of improving his fortune she is so pale and thin that you would bardly by faction, court attendance, or matrimonial know her. Her physician talks of ordering her alliance, he determined to gather up the to her vative air, and I believe they never prewrecks and subdue bis desires, to be content scribe air till they have tried every thing else. with what remained. Probably Lord Arondel She's a very good girl, and if she dies I hope I is not the first nobleman who, returning to his sball soon follow her, for Lady Mackintosh estate after a long absence, discovers that bis was married last week. I never thought she steward has provided him with a vast deal of could have overcome her grief for my old friend employment. The Earl found he had 10 settle Jeremiah, but women are strange creatures, embarrassed accounts, to redress the wrongs even the best of them. The letter concluded of many of his tenants, to restrain the pecula- with several juvectives and mournful progtions of others, to rescue his manorial rights 'vostics, accompanied with a wish to see Lord from poacbers, to establish order and impartial Avondel once more before he died. justice among his dependents, and to cultivale “ The other letter was from a leading memthe good opinion of his neighbours. He ap. ber of administration, acquainting the Earl, plied himself with avidity to these pursuits, that by bis Majesty's command, he informed and soou made two agreeable discoveries, i him of the royal wish to call him to his couo.
cils, by nominating hiin to an honourable and whence Sir Walter, gratificd by the fulfilinent eficient situation in the management of pub. of all his earthly wishes, had removed to Maj. lic affairs. Lord Avondel decided that each deville castle. Emily was by this time quite of these dispatches required a personal reply. I convinced that she had not overrated the virThe character of Palemon was laid on the tues of her lord, and that she had obtained a shelf, the toils of Cincinnatus were suspended, complete knowledge of his temper, though and he alighted from his travelling chariot in
uniform habits of wbatever is great and good Berkley-square sooner than an express could || could not rightly be described by a terin which have announced bis intention of so doing. implies caprice and infirmity. She therefore
“He found Sir Walter auxious and agitated, continued wrapped in bright and blissful vibut out so infirm and declining as he suppos- | sions, somewhat clouded however by her re. ed; and from this evident exaggeration of his gret, that she must often be deprived of her fears for himself he augured favourably with || foru's society, and her fear that she shoulú be respect to Emily, to whom he immediately inequal to fill the public station his ministe. turned the conversation. “Report, my goou | rial connections required her to occupy; The friend,' said he, led me rather to expect a society and advice of her aunt became therebrilal summons. Lord Glenvorne's attach-fore the only desideratum that was wanting ment is no secret, and we bave fixed the happy to crown lier bliss, and she was particularly day, and drawn the settlements, in Cumber- anxious to secure it during her noviciate in lund.'
life, well knowing that the errors and awkReport,' returned Sir Walter, ' is the warduess of a debut are remembered by the same lying gossip she was three thousand uncaudid when graceful ease has supplanted years ago. Lord Glenvorne certainly is in love trembling ignorance, and the five polish of selfwith Emily, nor will be take a denial, though || respecting politeness has rubbed of the irre. he has been told she is engaged.'
gularities of careless sincerity. Ou reperusing “Engaged? Sir Walter,' said the Earl, Lady Selina's letters, she discovered a sug. giarting.
gestion that ihe separation was not meant to “ Yes, my lord,' resumed the baronet, with be perpetual, but was only to last till she was much apparent coolness, to a whimsical per Lady Avondel, and had made herself perfectly Verse fellow, who seems to have neither love acquainted with her lord's temper and secure por gratitude.' 'It is impossible, resumed of his affections. The interdict was therefore the nobleman, 'that Miss Mandeville can de in ber opinion removed, as these events had vote her afiections to a man of this description taken place; she accordingly resolved 10 cow. Allow me to converse with her on the subject.'l municate ber wishes tv her husband, and en
“With all my heart,' answered Sir Walter, 1 gage hiin to orercone her aunt's reluctance. ringing the bell; I tell you she saw him in a She felt convinced that inistake and causeless masquerade domino, and all the plain suits in | pique, combining with exuberant delicacy, bad the world won't drive him out of her head | been her motive for declining an invita:.o., again.'
which probably she would readily accept alle “I cannot,' said Lord Avondel, ' affect to it communicated in proper form, and sanctione doubt intelligence so flattering; and if Miss | ed by the request of bim from whom it ought Mandeville still believes my character deserves
lo originate. such a preference, I have only to assure her “The young Couutess determined not only that gratilude and love are as much mates to press her suit inunediately, but to heigliten of my beart as honour and rectitude. But I the certainty of success by a lilile romantic hear her step, I must not wound her delicacy || effect. She look care to be surprized by her by taking her by surprize. Inform ber I will lord in the act of kissing her aunt's picture, do myself the honour of waiting vo ber this and to hurry it away with a mock embarrassevening.”
mnent, wbich indicated a desire to be thought To be brief, as love has little of interest | detected in a fault. Avoudel gaily proclaw.ed
himself of a jealous disposition, and protested but to ihe parties, it will be sufficient to say
that a regard for his own honour made it ne. that, with the approbation of Lady Selina Delamore, rather mysteriously and coldly Emily fraukly avowed her guilt, told him lic
cessary he should discuver all hier intrigues. expressed, Emily and Lord Avondel bebrad a rival whom she must ever iuve, on u huin coine man and wife.
In Vol. II. p. 30, she bad doated from her intancy, and without the story thus proceeds:
whom she could not be happy. It was the “ The honey-moun had now expired, and person who first taught me to love you,' said the Avondels were resettled in Berkley square, she, playfully holding up the picture he at.
tempted to force from her. Supposing it the : ever explain to you the motives for her con. miniature of her unc'e, the Earl threw over it! dnet' a Vacant glance, which soou settled in a glare
* Never.' of horror. He sbuddered, staggered against a
“ Yet you say she taught you first to love chair, bis hand still bolding Lady Avondel,
me?' but it was with a cold convulsive grasp. The Laily Arondel then related the circunpale and morbid expression of his countenance stances atteveling the opening of the casket, alarmed the Countess.
" You are ill, my
and added, thougla ber aunt's behaviour on dearest lord,' said she. No, not ill,' was
that occasion excited some suspicious of their the reply. He attempted to walk across the early attachment, yet when she heard the story room, but his emotion was to vivleut for dis of her lord's wrougs she deemed it impossible guise. After a sort of gasping pause, be asked they could originate from a woman whose virhs young loride how long she had possessed
tuc and wisdom sbe bad so long kuowu and that picture? The terrified Emily answered
so deeply revered. that it was given her by her dearest aunt,
“ Listen to me, Emily,' said the Earl: Selma Delamore, the friend and guide of her
' Selina Dclamore was exquisitely beautiful iulaney, and next himself her best protector (his eye glanced on the minişture wbich lay and friend.
upon the table, and then revoited as from the “She your friend,' exclaimed the Earl,she sight of a basilisk). She was exquisitely beauthe guide aud protector of your insavey! the liful,' he repeated in a faultering accent, while worthless womau who perjured herseli tu make
the strong recollection of her attractions beme wretched !' Indigoation difl'used a buru
wildered his discourse. She had at least the ing glow over his countenance, while he con appearauce of innocence, truth, superior da fessed how poignantly he felt bis well-remein
licacy, correct judgment
“() she possessed the reality,' interrupted “ Emily suuk involuntarily upon her knees,
the Countess; "she is a pattern of piety, and bathed her luri's haud with tears. 16 goodness, and benevolence.' forgive me,' she cried. If you forbid I will
“ Tell me,' said the Earl, aighing and press not desire ber society, but indeed I must ever
ing the band of his wife, you certainly ré love her.'
semble ber; tell me where does she live? “ Do you then,' said the Earl, fixing an eye
“ At Lime Grove, my lord, il _shire; of stern regard upon his wife, `justify her, and
she leads a life of most perfect retirement and believe I provoked the treatment I endured?'
sanctity.' Never, never,' returned the Countess,
“And does she know of our union?" alarmed b. yond measure at the first harsh ex
“ () yes, I correspond with ber frequently. pressiou she had ever heard from the god of
In all her letters she does the fullest justice to her idolatry. “Till now I never knew who had
your bigh deserts, and instructs me to deserve wronged you. But my aunt is so good, so
“ Sball 1,' said the Earl, 'too severely task just, so consistent, I must believe some strange mistake, some calumnious misrepresenta
your acquiescence by requesting you to tell tion,
me what you know of Selina's history” “Go on, madam, if you suppose that even
Emily readily complied. It was interwoven had the whole world preferred an accusation
witb ber own. She just recollected the death against me she would have been justified in
of her mother, who fell an carly victim to a discariling me unbeard, circumstanced as we
life of dissipation; she remembered bein: then were'
wayward, sickly, and neglected, when her aunt “ O my lord, call me still your Emily. In
removed her from an unprincipled governess, deed, I should have believed you against the
who despised the unvalued girl, and Aattered
the promising heir, till the pitiable orphans whole world.' “ Hear me, my Emily,' said the Earl, raising | She depicted the infantine establishment at
increased their misfortunes by inutual enmity. her, “ this posture becomes neither you nor
Lime Grove, where they grew healthy, happy, me. I am convinced that I have not a second
and affectionate. Her first affliction was the time embarked my peace where perfidy and
loss of her brother's society, when ber uncle guilt threatens me with instant shipwreck. I
removed him to Mandeville castle. The rest never practised disguise to you, I told you
of ber narrative was a description of Lady I had loved. My present distress so over
Selina's manpers.” powers iny fortitude that you must perceive mine was no common passion. Yon say Lady Shortly after it was settled that Emily Selina educated you from your infancy, did she should request her aunt, Lady Selina, te