« AnteriorContinuar »
ishly. “ I am only lost in a labyrinth of words; and am waiting for Principle tocome and be my guide. But I am afraid she carries a dark lanthorn, which will but blind those that look."
“ I fufpect, fir,” said I, "you are lefsat loss for a joke than an argument; and that you prefer bush-fighting. For my own part, I love the fair and open field of enquiry."
* As this is a field that has no limits, nor any end to its cross roads, I am content, as you say, to sit down under my hedge and be quiet.”
“No, no ; I did not say that : for I feeyou
love to draw a sly bow at passengers.”. “ I have now and then brought down : a gull, or an owl.”
“ Have you shot any of those birds to
I felt no compunction in making this triumphant retort to his sneer. And here our dialogue ended. Though it
was a kind of declaration of war; I'mean a war of words ; which, as we became more acquainted, was occasionally waged with some asperity.
But, in one respect, Trottman was my superior. To sneer was habitual to him but it was always done in a manner which seemed to indicate that he himself had no suspicion of any such intent. So that he continually appeared to keep his temper; and never triumphed fo effectually as when he could provoke me to lose inine.
On which occasions his additional conciliatory sarcasms, accompanied with smiles denoting the enjoyment of his victory, never failed to make me feel my own littleness. And this is a leffon for which I consider myself as very highly in his debt.
I now pursued my reading; and employed the rest of the day in beginning to copy the manuscript precedents, that were to capacitate me for the practice of
law : law : for the number of which, that were in his possession, Mr. Ventilate was famed.
My ardour however had felt some trifling abatement, by the very different picture and panegyric of the law as given by Trottman, opposed to that I had been contemplating. But I had this very powerful consolation : that, as Trottman knew very little of what I supposed to be the true principles of politics, it was highly probable he was no better acquainted with those of law.
ABOVE a fortnight passed away, during which I received no word of intelligence concerning Olivia. At some moments I
felt great affliction from this suspense : at others I collected myself and determined to pursue my plan with all the vigour in which it had been conceived.
In the interval, I wrote several times to Mr. Evelyn. To this I was prompted from the very nature of my engagements and situation. Beside which I had not forgotten my pamphlet against the Eart and the Bishop, that lay ready for publication ; though the acrimony of my feelings was much abated. The propriety of making the world acquainted with this affair was one of the subjects of my correspondence, with Mr. Evelyn: to whom I had the candour to state my own opinions and sensations, on one part; and, on the other, the objections that had been urged by Turl. · In the history I had given Mr. Evelyn of myself, I was impelled, as well by inclination as necessity, to delineate the character of Turl; with which he could not but be charmed; and with his arguments and diffuasions on this fubject. With these the ideas of Mr. Evelyn entirely coincided. He wrote delightful letters; full of animation, feeling, and friendship ; and his persuasion therefore had the greater effect.
Wilmot concurred in the opinion of both; and, being thus pressed by the men whom I most loved and revered, I endeavoured to consign my refentmentand its effusions to oblivion, and to diso miss the subject entirely from my mind.
At length, my fuspense concerning Olivia found some, though far from a satisfactory, relief.
As she had paid no visit to Miss Wil mot, the latter, of course had found no opportunity to deliver my letter. One evening, however, as I was sitting after: tea with Miss Wilmot and her brother, a note came of which the following were the contents.