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Life, however undiversified by as I left the room, I saw that he had surprising accidents or adventures, covered his face with his hands. has always some few islands scat- A month after this found me in tered here and there amidst the London, wondering at every thing I " waveless sea” for memory to rest saw and heard. The very fogs and her foot upon. Of these, perhaps, smoke were delicious. I began to the first day of leaving home is the doubt whether there existed in most prominent. With me the reality such a place as Ellersby, or change was so sudden from the whether its grey towers and oaksombre walls of the old mansion paneled apartments were not the (where, without friend or compa- creation of a hideous dream. The nion of my own years, I had grown only letters with which I had starte up from childhood) to the joyous ed from home were addressed to world of hope and happiness, that, two friends of my father-the one for a time, I felt like the captive, to Sir Wilfred Seymour, whose winwhose eyes have become so habitu- ter residence was in St James's ated to his dungeon, that they can- Square, and the other to the Father not endure the sun. A vast house, Caroglio, Rome. After I had spent to which a visitor never entered,- a day or two in town, I bethought a large establishment, with nobody me of presenting my introduction. to occupy their attention but my I was ushered into the library. Sir father and myself,—the gloomy re- Wilfred started as he received my gularity of the bousehold, and the letter_looked hurriedly over it. total want of companionship, bad “ So my old friend Lonsdale is repressed in me all the buoyant yet alive?" he said. feelings of youth. My father was My father was well when I left not unkind; he was only cold. We him a week ago.” talked together, but without the “ Your name is Edward-his only endearing confidence which ought son?” to exist between a father and his
“ Yes." son. We read together; and, in “Let me look at you more closeshort, for all that I knew, when, at ly. The eye deep brown, the forethe age of twenty, I said adieu to head white and high-the lip, the Ellersby, I was indebted to bim. nose, the smile-Edward, this The world of books, I soon found, must be your home while you rewas a very different thing from the main in Eogland. You bring back world of men-and women. Our my youth. How old are you?” parting was in the library.
« 'Twenty." “ You are going into the world, « This home will be but dull for Edward,” said my father. “ See one so young; but though I rarely that you come out from its trials and see company, I have still some temptations unscathed. You will friends who will cheer our solitude. write to me regularly, without wait- Come, let me show you your aparting for an answer. Should I die, ments.” you will be apprised of it by my I followed him to a suite of rooms attorney; should I live, I shall see magnificently furnished. He apyou here again in four years. And pointed me my own attendants, put now farewell.”
me in full possession, and again He held out his hand to me as he shaking hands with me, left me to said this. It was the first time we myself till dinner. had ever been about to part. I felt Sir Wilfred was a man of from that my eyes were filling with tears. forty-five to fifty years of age-still He drew me closer, and prest me pre-eminently bandsome, with that for a moment to his breast, and then indescribable air and manner which pointing to the door, threw himself are a truer stamp of nobility than into his chair. When I looked back the breath of kings. His appear.
ance might have been considered friends appeared to be equally unhaughty and commanding, had it blessed. The men with whom I not been tempered with the most associated seemed even to have no pleasing smile and softest voice I sisters. The world was waste-the bad ever seen or listened to. When garden was a wild: they were both silent, his features assumed the ex- unbrightened with the smiles of pression of deep and even anxious women; but the world was a very thought. He was one of that class happy world without them. I used of men with whom it is difficult to sometimes to conjecture what sort begin a conversation, but who had of additions they would be to our the art of leading the way so easily, society. They were
even that you scarcely perceived that no mentioned at our table; or if allusubject was eren mentioned unless ded to at all, it was in an epigram he himself introduced it. The first or a sneer. There was a metaphyday we dined together, we were sician, who often dined with usalone. His conversation opened to Mr M‘Selphish, who was particularme a new page in the volume of ly eloquent in their dispraise. He life. He was not perhaps so full of used to contrast “women as they information as my father; but all are with what they ought to be; he told me was conveyed in a man- and prove, in a most logical and Der so easy and flowing, so inter- convincing manner, that they were spersed with anecdotes of the great every thing that was bad and hate. then living, whose very names were ful. I thought that a man who used unknown to me, that I listened with such prodigious words, and spoke a delight I had never experienced with such authority, must be corbefore.
He never alluded to his rect in his opinions. Sir Wilfred intimacy with my father, or gave smiled when I expressed my sentime the slightest hint what circum- ments, and told me he was an ass. stances in their early friendship bad It is wonderful how the inexpeinduced him to treat me in the man- rienced are misled by the loudness ner he had done. I had never heard of a bray. him mentioned till the letter ad- I wrote an account of my mode dressed to him had been put into of living to Ellersby. I described my hands; and I felt a little delica- Sir Wilfred Seymour, and told how cy in accepting such extraordinary affectionately he had received me. attentions from a person from whom My father's silence led me of course I was not aware of any right I had to conclude that he approved of all to receive them. But I found it that had occurred, and I entered impossible to summon courage to with double zest into my new course introduce the subject. His language of life. Among my companions was so kind, and his apparent inte. there was one of the name of Maxrest in my future proceedings so well, with whom I formed a greater great, that I rested content with the intimacy than with the others. He supposition that he felt himself was more nearly of my own age, becalled upon, for reasons of his own, ing still a year or two under thirty. to pursue the course he had adopt- Our sentiments seemed almost in ed; and I recollected, too, that my all things to accord. He was an father, on giving me the letter, bad enthusiast, and so was I; and yet a told me to be guided in all things by sort of false shame kept me from Sir Wilfred Seymour's advice. confessing the extraordinary nature
Time passed on. In a fortnight of my education. I never ventured from my settlement in St James's to hint to him in what an anchorite Square, I was a gay man about ignorance of the other sex I had town, belonged to several clubs, been brought up; nor to express and criticised the opera with the how anxious I was to be introduced air of a connoisseur. Our parties to female society. He was eloat home were numerous and splen- quent in his confessions of the sudid. Our table was filled with the periority I possessed, by having my great names, both of rank and lite- feelings unblunted, as he called it, rature. There were wits, and poets, by an early intercourse with the and philosophers, but no ladies. world; but he never hinted that he Sir Wilfred was a bachelor, and his was acquainted with the very un
VOL. XXXIX. NO. CCXLIII.
never seen me.
usual extent of my superiority. He my hand to her with the devotion of appeared to know that I had led a a true cavalier. To my amazement, very secluded life, but nothing more. she looked at me with a cold and Many people think they lead seclu. haughty expression, as if she had ded lives who visit with half a county. With them every place is “Edward!” said Sir Wilfred," who a desert, and every house a hermi is that lady ?" tage that is distant ten miles from I told him she was the sister of Almack's.
my friend Maxwell; and was on the One morning, on going into Max. point of confessing to him how mad. well's apartments, I saw a lady ly I was in love, but her extraordiclosely veiled seated upon his sofa. nary conduct, as well as a gloom on I started on seeing her; and I knew, Sir Wilfred's brow, restrained me. from the burning of my cheeks, that “Miss Maxwell ?-my poor boy, I was discovering my unacquaint- I was wrong to send you into the ance with the world by a blush. world of London without a guide. Maxwell rose hurriedly to receive But as the fault was mine, I will
remedy it in time to prevent its con“ Lonsdale,” he said, “ I am hap- sequenees. Where was it you be. py to present you to my sister. came acquainted with her pus Julia, you have heard me mention “ At Maxwell's chambers." Mr Lonsdale?”
He sank into deep silence, which The lady bowed graciously; and lasted for a long time: at last he after a short time, lifting up her said "I will settle this for you. veil, revealed to me a face sparkling Maxwell has no sister.” with intelligence, and eyes so pier- “What!” I cried-but suddenly cing in their expression, that I fairly checking myself, leant back in the quailed before them. When she carriage and considered what I saw me look down abashed by the should do. Nothing more was said. perseveringness of her gaze, she We dined together as usual—and in laughed merrily as if in triumph for the evening, on pretence of the her victory, and engaged me in con. Opera or the Theatre, I sallied forth versation. All this while I could to the apartments of my friend. He not help feeling that the looks of was from home when I arrived, but Maxwell were fixed attentively our intimacy licensed me to enter. on all my motions. I therefore When I had waited about an hour, exerted myself to conceal my em- during which I recalled every inci. barrassment, and I flattered myself dent of my acquaintance with the I succeeded. After this meeting, I lady, the door was suddenly opened, felt myself impelled to visit Max and Maxwell, with two or three of well even oftener than before, and our usual associates, came into the rarely had the misfortune to miss room amidst a burst of laughter. He the society of his sister. Her gaiety started as he saw me standing diand freedom amused me, and the rectly in front of him, calm and kindness of her manners enchanted fixed. The laughter ceased, and
With every meeting her influe our companions looked on as if exence grew, till in a very short period pecting something unusual, from our first introduction, I felt “Maxwell,” I said,—“who is the that she had my destiny in her hands. lady I have met in your rooms ?” I often endeavoured to talk to Max- • Haven't I told you." well about his sister, but he either “ Is she your sister ?" answered so carelessly as to pro- “ Haven't you heard her call me voke me, or adroitly turned the con- brother?” versation to something else.
“ That is no answer to my ques. One day Sir Wilfred and I were tion-and we do not part till you in the park. An open carriage was have answered it to my satisfacapproaching, with coronetted panels, tion." and a lady and a gentleman were “ Really, Master Lonsdale, you seated within. I saw in a moment are somewhat too inquisitive ; when that the lady was Julia Maxwell. you have associated a little longer As we passed each other, I could with men, you will scarcely be so not resist the impulse, but kissed boyish as to pry into family secrets."
"You are welcome,” I said-bit- though guilty of conduct which ing my lip till the blood nearly came proved that he was base and un"to your taunts upon my youth; principled, had triumphed over one but you shall satisfy me, neverthe- whose conduct was only the result less, on the subject of my enquiry, of inexperience. And yet if any one Is Miss Julia Maxwell your sister ?” had his choice between the two, " I refuse to answer.
who would not prefer the accusation “ Then you are a villain—a das- of simplicity to that of dishonour ? tardly designing villain.”
Mr M'Selphish joined me very “Good. The boy has spirit.- soon. Melford, will you settle this little “ You shall meet him to-morrow," point for me? Let it be as soon as he said, “ at daybreak. On analy
zing the principles which have guided Bír Melford accordingly stept for your conduct, I think you are right.” ward, and, addressing me in the po- “ Then she is not his sister? litest way possible, begged me to “Oh no. I thought every body refer him to some friend. I ap- knew who Maxwell's Julia was. peared nonplused at this: as indeed And as he wanted to get quit of her, I scarcely knew any one to whom I an examination into his conduct will considered I had any right to look prove him to be right.” for assistance. Mr M-Selphish, the “How, sir! How can we both be metaphysician, however, came to my right ?” aid.
* Very easily. Philosophy is di“Mr Lonsdale,” he said, “philo- vided into two branches, the moral, sophically considered, duelling may or that by which we regulate our be said to be the action of unreflect. opinion of the actions of other peoing, and, indeed, of unintelligentcrea- ple—the intellectual, or that accordtures ; but as by the inductive pro- ing to which we judge of our own. cess of reasoning we arrive at the Now, you will perceive that accordconclusion, that none of the lowering to the philosophy of morals, we animals decide their differences of hold his conduct to be infamous; opinion by means of the pistol or and it is so. But by the rules of sword, it follows that duelling, pro- the intellectual, he holds himself to perly viewed, is one of the privileges be perfectly correct, and he is so." of humanity, and therefore is to be “What! in trying to make his cultivated like the other endowments friend marry his mistress ?” by which Providence has seen fit to “Oh! certainly ; even by the discriminate us from the brutes. I moral philosophy we are told to retherefore willingly accept the part claim the erring; what so likely to of your assistant on this occasion, have this effect as a comfortable and will settle every thing, I hope, marriage ?” to your entire satisfaction. If you “He may think so," I cried in a will wait for me at the Clarendon, I prodigious passion; “but”. will bring you all the particulars." “Ah, that's the intellectual,” in
I retired and left them to their terrupted the philosopher. consultations.
“ By Heavens! I consider his beThat Maxwell, mine own familiar haviour the most atrocious I ever friend in whom I trusted, should de- heard of.” ceive me—that he should try to invei- “ Right—that's the moral, or our gleme into the toils of a person whom view of the subject. Does Sir Wilhe had evidently presented to me in fred know the circumstances ?” an assumed character; and that I “ No.” should have been dupe enough never “Good; he might, perhaps, think to have suspected the deceit, was a your behaviour wrong." bitter subject to reflect upon. I do “How ! in resenting an insult such not know why it is, but I take the as that?" truth to be, that people, however “ His moral, you will observe, may much they hate and reprobate the be perhaps blunted by his intellecdeceiver, have a still lower opinion tual. You know, of course, that Sir of the person who is deceived. I Wilfred ”. could not belp feeling that Maxwell, " What?"
“ Has a sister."
The next morning we met as our “ He has none, sir; at least I have seconds had appointed.
I was never heard of such a relation." wounded rather severely in the
“Oh!-still, philosophically con- shoulder, and fainted from loss of sidered, the non-hearing of a thing blood. When I came to myself, I of that sort is almost a conclusive was in my own room at Sir Wilfred's, argument in its favour."
and heard a consultation going on "Mr M‘Selpbish, you have been between M-Selphish and the sur. excessively kind to me this evening, geon, who was arranging his instru. but I beg you to understand that I ments to extract the ball. do not at all perceive what is your “ You will perceive, sir," said meaping."
M'Selphish, that nature has implantVery likely-you have not stu« ed no feeling in the human 'mind died philosophy. Will you have the with the intention of leaving it untruth? Sir Wilfred has just such a employed. The most powerful of sister as Maxwell, and we have also these is that by which we are led to heard that his intention as to dispo« secure our own safety. Now, tell sing of her is the same.”
me sincerely whether there is any “The man that has the audacity risk in awaiting the chances of this to hint at such a thing, lies—if'twere young gentleman's recovery?” my brother I would make him eat “ Risk ? sir,” said the surgeonhis words."
“ do you mean to ask if he is in dan“ I am not your brother; there- geri ?" fore, logically, your threat can have “ It amounts to that, but by the no reference to me. But it is true; manner in which you have enunand more, she resides in his house.” ciated the proposition you make him
I sat still in silence, besitating the principal party interested in whether to hear more or to knock your reply. Now, that is manifestly down the slanderer before he had wrong. If he had asked the questime to utter another syllable. He tion it might naturally enough have went on
been supposed that your response “ But patience. Time, the inno- should have been directed primarily vator, is also the revealer. If before to the state of his bodily health ;a month from this time you are not but as I was the person who made convinced of the truth of what I say, the interrogation, you will see that I will give you such satisfaction as my situation was the first object of you shall demand.”
my consideration. His recovery is, “That Sir Wilfred has a-a sister ?” of course, a primary matter to him ; He nodded.
- but with me it is secondary—the “ And that he designs her as a first and nearest matter to me being wife for me?"
simply this,-am I called on, accord“Just so. I take my station upon ing to the philosophical doctrines of both the horns ; but, in the mean self preservation, to elope till his time, let us settle this affair with recovery is a matter of absolut- cerMaxwell."
tainty-or is it an absolute certainty We separated shortly after. I pro- already?” ceeded straight home to St James's The surgeon, who had been occuSquare, and lay awake all night, pied with his preparations during tormented with the remembrance of this harangue, now approached me the air of certainty with which to apply his instruments; I drew M‘Selphish spoke of the designs of back, and said, as firmly as I could, Sir Wilfred. “ Should this be so," "Let Sir Wilfred Seymour be called. I thought,—" should Sir Wilfred, Mr M-Selphish, let me not detain who has been so kind, so parental, you. Thank you, and farewell.”. be indeed villain enough to medi- “Softly; I have made an enquiry tate such a thing, then let this short of my surgical friend here, which is visit to the world be my last. Wel- of momentous interest to me-but, come again the gloomy loneliness of indeed, the safest plan will be to Ellersby; nay, welcome the bullet accept Maxwell's invitation to acof my antagonist, so that it frees me company him and Melford for a six from the contemplation of so much week's cruise in his yacht; by that wickedness and deceit.”
time your fate will be decided one