The Project Gutenberg eBook of Lodore, Vol. 1 (of 3)

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Title: Lodore, Vol. 1 (of 3)

Author: Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

Release date: February 14, 2021 [eBook #64555]
Most recently updated: October 24, 2021

Language: English

Credits: Laura Natal Rodrigues at Free Literature (Images generously made available by Hathi Trust Digital Library.)





In the turmoil of our lives,
Men are like politic states, or troubled seas.
Tossed up and down with several storms and tempests,
Change and variety of wrecks and fortunes;
Till, labouring to the havens of our homes,
We struggle for the calm that crowns our ends.











Absent or dead, still let a friend be dear,
A sigh the absent claims, the dead a tear.


In the flattest and least agreeable part of the county of Essex, about five miles from the sea, is situated a village or small town, which may be known in these pages by the name of Longfield. Longfield is distant eight miles from any market town, but the simple inhabitants, limiting their desires to their means of satisfying them, are scarcely aware of the kind of desert in which they are placed. Although only fifty miles from London, few among them have ever seen the metropolis. Some claim that distinction from having visited cousins in Lothbury and viewed the lions in the tower. There is a mansion belonging to a wealthy nobleman within four miles, never inhabited, except when a parliamentary election is going forward. No one of any pretension to consequence resided in this secluded nook, except the honourable Mrs. Elizabeth Fitzhenry; she ought to have been the shining star of the place, and she was only its better angel. Benevolent, gentle, and unassuming, this fair sprig of nobility had lived from youth to age in the abode of her forefathers, making a part of this busy world, only through the kindliness of her disposition, and her constant affection for one who was far away.

The mansion of the Fitzhenry family, which looked upon the village green, was wholly incommensurate to our humblest ideas of what belongs to nobility; yet it stood in solitary splendour, the Great House of Longfield. From time immemorial, its possessors had been the magnates of the village; half of it belonged to them, and the whole voted according to their wishes. Cut off from the rest of the world, they claimed here a consideration and a deference, which, with the moderate income of fifteen hundred a-year, they would have vainly sought elsewhere.

There was a family tradition, that a Fitzhenry had sat in parliament; but the time arrived, when they were to rise to greater distinction. The father of the lady, whose name has been already introduced, enjoyed all the privileges attendant on being an only child. Extraordinary efforts were made for his education. He was placed with a clergyman near Harwich, and imbibed in that neighbourhood so passionate a love for the sea, that, though tardily and with regret, his parents at last permitted him to pursue a naval career. He became a brave, a clever, and a lucky officer. In a contested election, his father was the means of insuring the success of the government candidate, and the promotion of his son followed. Those were the glorious days of the English navy, towards the close of the American war; and when that war terminated, and the admiral, now advanced considerably beyond middle life, returned to the Sabine farm, of which he had, by course of descent, become proprietor, he returned adorned with the rank of a peer of the realm, and with sufficient wealth to support respectably the dignity of the baronial title.

Yet an obscure fate pursued the house of Fitzhenry, even in its ennobled condition. The new lord was proud of his elevation, as a merited reward; but next to the deck of his ship, he loved the tranquil precincts of his paternal mansion, and here he spent his latter days in peace. Midway in life, he had married the daughter of the rector of Longfield. Various fates had attended the offspring of this union; several died, and at the time of his being created a peer, Lord Lodore found himself a widower, with two children. Elizabeth, who had been born twelve years before, and Henry, whose recent birth had cost the life of his hapless and lamented mother.

But those days were long since passed away; and the first Lord Lodore, with most of his generation, was gathered to his ancestors. To the new-sprung race that filled up the vacant ranks, his daughter Elizabeth appeared a somewhat ancient but most amiable maiden, whose gentle melancholy was not (according to innumerable precedents in the traditions regarding unmarried ladies) attributed to an ill-fated attachment, but to the disasters that had visited her house, and still clouded the fortunes of her family. What these misfortunes originated from, or even in what they consisted, was not exactly known; especially at Longfield, whose inhabitants were no adepts in the gossip of the metropolis. It was believed that Mrs. Elizabeth's brother still lived; that some very strange circumstances had attended his career in life, was known; but conjecture fell lame when it tried to proceed beyond these simple facts: it was whispered, as a wonder and a secret, that though Lord Lodore was far away, no one knew where, his lady (as the Morning Post testified in its lists of fashionable arrivals and fashionable parties) was a frequent visitor to London. Once or twice the bolder gossips, male or female, had resolved to sound (as they called it) Mrs. Elizabeth on the subject. But the fair spinster, though innoffensive to a proverb, and gentle beyond the wont of her gentle sex, was yet gifted with a certain dignity of manner, and a quiet reserve, that checked these good people at their very outset.

Henry Fitzhenry was spoken of by a few of the last generation, as having been a fine, bold, handsome boy—generous, proud, and daring; he was remembered, when as a youth he departed for the continent, as riding fearlessly the best hunter in the field, and attracting the admiration of the village maidens at church by his tall elegant figure and dark eyes; or, when he chanced to accost them, by a nameless fascination of manner, joined to a voice whose thrilling silver tones stirred the listener's heart unaware. He left them like a dream, nor appeared again till after his father's death, when he paid his sister a brief visit. There was then something singularly grave and abstracted about him. When he rode, it was not among the hunters, though it was soft February weather, but in the solitary lanes, or with lightning speed over the moors, when the sun was setting and shadows gathered round the landscape.

Again, some years after, he had appeared among them. He was then married, and Lady Lodore accompanied him. They stayed but three days. There was something of fiction in the way in which the appearance of the lady was recorded. An angel bright with celestial hues, breathing heaven, and spreading a halo of calm and light around, as it winged swift way amidst the dusky children of earth: such ideas seemed to appertain to the beautiful apparition, remembered as Lord Lodore's wife. She was so young, that time played with her as a favourite child; so etherial in look, that the language of flowers could alone express the delicate fairness of her skin, or the tints that sat upon her cheek: so light in motion, and so graceful. To talk of eye or lip, of height or form, or even of the colour of her hair, the villagers could not, for they had been dazzled by an assemblage of charms before undreamt of by them. Her voice won adoration, and her smile was as the sudden withdrawing of a curtain displaying paradise upon earth. Her lord's tall, manly figure, was recollected but as a back-ground—a fitting one—and that was all they would allow to him—for this resplendent image. Nor was it remembered that any excessive attachment was exhibited between them. She had appeared indeed but as a vision—a creature from another sphere, hastily gazing on an unknown world, and lost before they could mark more than that void came again, and she was gone.

Since that time, Lord Lodore had been lost to Longfield. Some few months after Mrs. Elizabeth visited London on occasion of a christening, and then after a long interval, it was observed, that she never mentioned her brother, and that the name of his wife acted as a spell, to bring an expression of pain over her sedate features. Much talk circulated, and many blundering rumours went their course through the village, and then faded like smoke in the clear air. Some mystery there was—Lodore was gone—his place vacant: he lived; yet his name, like those of the dead, haunted only the memories of men, and was allied to no act or circumstance of present existence. He was forgotten, and the inhabitants of Longfield, returning to their obscurity, proceeded in their daily course, almost as happy as if they had had their lord among them, to vary the incidents of their quiet existence with the proceedings of the "Great House."

Yet his sister remembered him. In her heart his image was traced indelibly—limned in the colours of life. His form visited her dreams, and was the unseen, yet not mute, companion of her solitary musings. Years stole on, casting their clouding shadows on her cheek, and stealing the colour from her hair, but Henry, but Lodore, was before her in bright youth—her brother—her pride—her hope. To muse on the possibility of his return, to read the few letters that reached her from him, till their brief sentences seemed to imply volumes of meaning, was the employment that made winter nights short, summer days swift in their progress. This dreamy kind of existence, added to the old-fashioned habits which a recluse who lives in a state of singleness is sure to acquire, made her singularly unlike the rest of the world—causing her to be a child in its ways, and inexpert to detect the craftiness of others.

Lodore, in exile and obscurity, was in her eyes, the first of human beings; she looked forward to the hour, when he would blaze upon the world with renewed effulgence, as to a religious promise. How well did she remember, how in grace of person, how in expression of countenance, and dignity of manner, he transcended all those whom she saw during her visit to London, on occasion of the memorable christening: that from year to year this return was deferred, did not tire her patience, nor diminish her regrets. He never grew old to her—never lost the lustre of early manhood; and when the boyish caprice which kept him afar was sobered, so she framed her thoughts, by the wisdom of time, he would return again to bless her and to adorn the world. The lapse of twelve years did not change this notion, nor the fact that, if she had cast up an easy sum in arithmetic, the parish register would have testified, her brother had now reached the mature age of fifty.


Settled in some secret nest,
In calm leisure let me rest;
And far off the public stage.
Pass away my silent age.

SENECA. Marvell's Trans.

Twelve years previous to the opening of this tale, an English gentleman, advanced to middle age, accompanied by an infant daughter, and her attendant, arrived at a settlement in the district of the Illinois in North America. It was at the time when this part of the country first began to be cleared, and a new comer, with some show of property, was considered a welcome acquisition. Still the settlement was too young, and the people were too busy in securing for themselves the necessaries of life, for much attention to be paid to any thing but the "overt acts" of the stranger—the number of acres which he bought, which were few, the extent of his clearings, and the number of workmen that he employed, both of which were, proportionately to his possession in land, on a far larger scale than that of any of his fellow colonists. Like magic, a commodious house was raised on a small height that embanked the swift river—every vestige of forest disappeared from its immediate vicinity, replaced by agricultural cultivation, and a garden bloomed in the wilderness. His labourers were many, and golden harvests shone in his fields, while the dark forest, or untilled plain, seemed yet to set at defiance the efforts of his fellow settlers; and at the same time comforts of so civilized a description, that the Americans termed them luxuries, appeared in the abode and reigned in the domestic arrangements of the Englishman, although to his eye every thing was regulated by the strictest regard to republican plainness and simplicity.

He did not mingle much in the affairs of the colony, yet his advice was always to be commanded, and his assistance was readily afforded. He superintended the operations carried on on his own land; and it was observed that they differed often both from American and English modes of agriculture. When questioned, he detailed practices in Poland and Hungary, and gave his reasons why he thought them applicable to the soil in question. Many of these experiments of course failed; others were eminently successful. He did not shun labour of any sort. He joined the hunting parties, and made one on expeditions that went out to explore the neighbouring wilds, and the haunts of the native Indians. He gave money for the carrying on any necessary public work, and came forward willingly when called upon for any useful purpose. In any time of difficulty or sorrow—on the overflowing of the stream, or the failure of a crop, he was earnest in his endeavours to aid and to console. But with all this, there was an insurmountable barrier between him and the other inhabitants of the colony. He never made one at their feasts, nor mingled in the familiar communications of daily life; his dwelling, situated at the distance of a full mile from the village, removed him from out of the very hearing of their festivities and assemblies. He might labour in common with others, but his pleasures were all solitary, and he preserved the utmost independence as far as regarded the sacred privacy of his abode, and the silence he kept in all concerns regarding himself alone.

At first the settlement had to struggle with all the difficulties attendant on colonization. It grew rapidly, however, and bid fair to become a busy and large town, when it met with a sudden check. A new spot was discovered, a few miles distant, possessing peculiar advantages for commercial purposes. An active, enterprising man engaged himself in the task of establishing a town there on a larger scale and with greater pretensions. He succeeded, and its predecessor sunk at once into insignificance. It was matter of conjecture among them whether Mr. Fitzhenry (so was named the English stranger) would remove to the vicinity of the more considerable town, but no such idea seemed to have occurred to him. Probably he rejoiced in an accident that tended to render his abode so entirely secluded. At first the former town rapidly declined, and many a log hut fell to ruin; but at last, having sunk into the appearance and name of a village, it continued to exist, bearing few marks of that busy enterprising stir which usually characterizes a new settlement in America. The ambitious and scheming had deserted it—it was left to those who courted tranquillity, and desired the necessaries of life without the hope of great future gain. It acquired an almost old-fashioned appearance. The houses began to look weatherworn, and none with fresh faces sprung up to shame them. Extensive clearings, suddenly checked, gave entrance to the forests, without the appendages of a manufacture or a farm. The sound of the axe was seldom heard, and primeval quiet again took possession of the wild. Meanwhile Mr. Fitzhenry continued to adorn his dwelling with imported conveniences, the result of European art, and to spend much time and labour in making his surrounding land assume somewhat of the appearance of pleasure-ground.

He lived in peace and solitude, and seemed to enjoy the unchanging tenor of his life. It had not always been so. During the first three or four years of his arrival in America, he had evidently been unquiet in his mind, and dissatisfied with the scene around him. He gave directions to his workmen, but did not overlook their execution. He took great pains to secure a horse, whose fiery spirit and beautiful form might satisfy a fastidious connoisseur. Having with much trouble and expense got several animals of English breed together, he was perpetually seen mounted and forcing his way amid the forest land, or galloping over the unincumbered country. Sadness sat on his brow, and dwelt in eyes, whose dark large orbs were peculiarly expressive of tenderness and melancholy,

"Pietosi a riguardare, a mover parchi."

Often, when in conversation on uninteresting topics, some keen sensation would pierce his heart, his voice faltered, and an expression of unspeakable wretchedness was imprinted on his countenance, mastered after a momentary struggle, yet astounding to the person he might be addressing. Generally on such occasions he would seize an immediate opportunity to break away and to remain alone. He had been seen, believing himself unseen, making passionate gestures, and heard uttering some wild exclamations. Once or twice he had wandered away into the woods, and not returned for several days, to the exceeding terror of his little household. He evidently sought loneliness, there to combat unobserved with the fierce enemy that dwelt within his breast. On such occasions, when intruded upon and disturbed, he was irritated to fury. His resentment was expressed in terms ill-adapted to republican equality—and no one could doubt that in his own country he had filled a high station in society, and been educated in habits of command, so that he involuntarily looked upon himself as of a distinct and superior race to the human beings that each day crossed his path. In general, however, this was only shown by a certain loftiness of demeanour and cold abstraction, which might annoy, but could not be resented. Any ebullition of temper he was not backward to atone for by apology, and to compensate by gifts.

There was no tinge of misanthropy in Fitzhenry's disposition. Even while he shrunk from familiar communication with the rude and unlettered, he took an interest in their welfare. His benevolence was active, his compassion readily afforded. It was quickness of feeling, and not apathy, that made him shy and retired. Sensibility checked and crushed, an ardent thirst for sympathy which could not be allayed in the wildernesses of America, begot a certain appearance of coldness, altogether deceptive. He concealed his sufferings—he abhorred that they should be pryed into; but this reserve was not natural to him, and it added to the misery which his state of banishment occasioned.

"Quiet to quick bosoms is a hell."

And so was it with him. His passions were powerful, and had been ungoverned. He writhed beneath the dominion of sameness; and tranquillity, allied to loneliness, possessed no charms. He groaned beneath the chains that fettered him to the spot, where he was withering in inaction. They caused unutterable throes and paroxysms of despair. Ennui, the dæmon, waited at the threshold of his noiseless refuge, and drove away the stirring hopes and enlivening expectations, which form the better part of life. Sensibility in such a situation is a curse: men become "cannibals of their own hearts;" remorse, regret, and restless impatience usurp the place of more wholesome feeling: every thing seems better than that which is; and solitude becomes a sort of tangible enemy, the more dangerous, because it dwells within the citadel itself. Borne down by such emotions, Fitzhenry was often about to yield to the yearnings of his soul, and to fly from repose into action, however accompanied by strife and wretchedness; to leave America, to return to Europe, and to face at once all the evils which he had journeyed so far to escape. He did not—he remained. His motives for flight returned on him with full power after any such paroxysm, and held him back. He despised himself for his hesitation. He had made his choice, and would abide by it. He was not so devoid of manliness as to be destitute of fortitude, or so dependent a wretch as not to have resources in himself. He would cultivate these, and obtain that peace which it had been his boast that he should experience.

It came at last. Time and custom accomplished their task, and he became reconciled to his present mode of existence. He grew to love his home in the wilderness. It was all his own creation, and the pains and thought he continued to bestow upon it, rendered it doubly his. The murmur of the neighbouring river became the voice of a friend; it welcomed him on his return from any expedition; and he hailed the first echo of it that struck upon his ear from afar, with a thrill of joy.

Peace descended upon his soul. He became enamoured of the independence of solitude, and the sublime operations of surrounding nature. All further attempts at cultivation having ceased in his neighbourhood, from year to year nothing changed, except at the bidding of the months, in obedience to the varying seasons;—nothing changed, except that the moss grew thicker and greener upon the logs that supported his roof, that the plants he cultivated increased in strength and beauty, and that the fruit-trees yielded their sweet produce in greater abundance. The improvements he had set on foot displayed in their progress the taste and ingenuity of their projector; and as the landscape became more familiar, so did a thousand associations twine themselves with its varied appearances, till the forests and glades became as friends and companions.

As he learnt to be contented with his lot, the inequalities of humour, and singularities of conduct, which had at first attended him, died away. He had grown familiar with the persons of his fellow-colonists, and their various fortunes interested him. Though he could find no friend, tempered like him, like him nursed in the delicacies and fastidiousness of the societies of the old world;—though he, a china vase, dreaded too near a collision with the brazen ones around; yet, though he could not give his confidence, or unburthen the treasure of his soul, he could approve of, and even feel affection for several among them. Personal courage, honesty, and frankness, were to be found among the men; simplicity and kindness among the women. He saw instances of love and devotion in members of families, that made him sigh to be one of them; and the strong sense and shrewd observations of many of the elder settlers exercised his understanding. They opened, by their reasonings and conversation, a new source of amusement, and presented him with another opiate for his too busy memory.

Fitzhenry had been a patron of the fine arts; and thus he had loved books, poetry, and the elegant philosophy of the ancients. But he had not been a student. His mind was now in a fit state to find solace in reading, and excitement in the pursuit of knowledge. At first he sent for a few books, such as he wished immediately to consult, from New York, and made slight additions to the small library of classical literature he had originally brought with him on his emigration. But when once the desire to instruct himself was fully aroused in his mind, he became aware how slight and inadequate his present library was, even for the use of one man. Now each quarter brought chests of a commodity he began to deem the most precious upon earth. Beings with human forms and human feelings he had around him; but, as if made of coarser, half-kneaded clay, they wanted the divine spark of mind and the polish of taste. He had pined for these, and now they were presented to him. Books became his friends: they, when rightly questioned, could answer to his thoughts. Plato could elevate, Epictetus calm, his soul. He could revel with Ovid in the imagery presented by a graceful, though voluptuous imagination; and hang enchanted over the majesty and elegance of Virgil. Homer was as a dear and revered friend—Horace a pleasant companion. English, Italian, German, and French, all yielded their stores in turn; and the abstruse sciences were often a relaxation to a mind, whose chief bane was its dwelling too entirely upon one idea. He made a study, also, of the things peculiarly befitting his present situation; and he rose in the estimation of those around, as they became aware of his talents and his knowledge.

Study and occupation restored to his heart self-complacency, which is an ingredient so necessary to the composition of human happiness. He felt himself to be useful, and knew himself to be honoured. He no longer asked himself, "Why do I live?" or looked on the dark, rapid waves, and longed for the repose that was in their gift. The blood flowed equably in his veins; a healthy temperance regulated his hopes and wishes. He could again bless God for the boon of existence, and look forward to future years, if not with eager anticipation, yet with a calm reliance upon the power of good, wholly remote from despair.


Miranda.—Alack! what trouble
Was I then to you!
Prospero.—O, a cherubim
Thou wast, that did preserve me!


Such was the Englishman who had taken refuge in the furthest wilds of an almost untenanted portion of the globe. Like a Corinthian column, left single amidst the ruder forms of the forest oaks, standing in alien beauty, a type of civilization and the arts, among the rougher, though perhaps not less valuable, growth of Nature's own. Refined to fastidiousness, sensitive to morbidity, the stranger was respected without being understood, and loved though the intimate of none.

Many circumstances have been mentioned as tending to reconcile Fitzhenry to his lot; and yet one has been omitted, chiefest of all;—the growth and development of his child was an inexhaustible source of delight and occupation. She was scarcely three years old when her parent first came to the Illinois. She was then a plaything and an object of solicitude to him, and nothing more. Much as her father loved her, he had not then learned to discover the germ of the soul just nascent in her infant form; nor to watch the formation, gradual to imperceptibility, of her childish ideas. He would watch over her as she slept, and gaze on her as she sported in the garden, with ardent and unquiet fondness; and, from time to time, instil some portion of knowledge into her opening mind: but this was all done by snatches, and at intervals. His affection for her was the passion of his soul; but her society was not an occupation for his thoughts. He would have knelt to kiss her footsteps as she bounded across the grass, and tears glistened in his eyes as she embraced his knees on his return from any excursion; but her prattle often wearied him, and her very presence was sometimes the source of intense pain.

He did not know himself how much he loved her, till she became old enough to share his excursions and be a companion. This occurred at a far earlier age than would have been the case had she been in England, living in a nursery with other children. There is a peculiarity in the education of a daughter, brought up by a father only, which tends to develop early a thousand of those portions of mind, which are folded up, and often destroyed, under mere feminine tuition. He made her fearless, by making her the associate of his rides; yet his incessant care and watchfulness, the observant tenderness of his manner, almost reverential on many points, springing from the differences of sex, tended to soften her mind, and make her spirit ductile and dependent. He taught her to scorn pain, but to shrink with excessive timidity from any thing that intrenched on the barrier of womanly reserve which he raised about her. Nothing was dreaded, indeed, by her, except his disapprobation; and a word or look from him made her, with all her childish vivacity and thoughtlessness, turn as with a silken string, and bend at once to his will.

There was an affectionateness of disposition kneaded up in the very texture of her soul, which gave it its "very form and pressure." It accompanied every word and action; it revealed itself in her voice, and hung like light over the expression of her countenance.

Her earliest feeling was love of her father. She would sit to watch him, guess at his thoughts, and creep close, or recede away, as she read encouragement, or the contrary, in his eyes and gestures. Except him, her only companion was her servant; and very soon she distinguished between them, and felt proud and elate when she quitted her for her father's side. Soon, she almost never quitted it. Her gentle and docile disposition rendered her unobtrusive, while her inexhaustible spirits were a source of delightful amusement. The goodness of her heart endeared her still more; and when it was called forth by any demand made on it by him, it was attended by such a display of excessive sensibility, as at once caused him to tremble for her future happiness, and love her ten thousand times more. She grew into the image on which his eye doated, and for whose presence his heart perpetually yearned. Was he reading, or otherwise occupied, he was restless, if yet she were not in the room; and she would remain in silence for hours, occupied by some little feminine work, and all the while watching him, catching his first glance towards her, and obeying the expression of his countenance, before he could form his wish into words. When he left her for any of his longer excursions, her little heart would heave, and almost burst with sorrow. On his return, she was always on the watch to see, to fly into his arms, and to load him with infantine caresses.

There was something in her face, that at this early age gave token of truth and affection, and asked for sympathy. Her large brown eyes, such as are called hazel, full of tenderness and sweetness, possessed within their depths an expression and a latent fire, which stirred the heart. It is difficult to describe, or by words to call before another's mind, the picture so palpable to our own. The moulding of her cheek, full just below the eyes, and ending in a soft oval, gave a peculiar expression, at once beseeching and tender, and yet radiant with vivacity and gladness. Frankness and truth were reflected on her brow, like flowers in the clearest pool; the thousand nameless lines and mouldings, which create expression, were replete with beaming innocence and irresistible attraction. Her small chiselled nose, her mouth so delicately curved, gave token of taste. In the whole was harmony, and the upper part of the countenance seemed to reign over the lower and to ennoble it, making her usual placid expression thoughtful and earnest; so that not until she smiled and spoke, did the gaiety of her guileless heart display itself, and the vivacity of her disposition give change and relief to the picture. Her figure was light and airy, tall at an early age, and slender. Her rides and rambles gave elasticity to her limbs, and her step was like that of the antelope, springy and true. She had no fears, no deceit, no untold thought within her. Her matchless sweetness of temper prevented any cloud from ever dimming her pure loveliness: her voice cheered the heart, and her laugh rang so true and joyous on the ear, that it gave token in itself of the sympathizing and buoyant spirit which was her great charm. Nothing with her centred in self; she was always ready to give her soul away: to please her father was the unsleeping law of all her actions, while his approbation imparted a sense of such pure but entire happiness, that every other feeling faded into insignificance in the comparison.

In the first year of exile and despair, Fitzhenry looked forward to the long drawn succession of future years, with an impatience of woe difficult to be borne. He was surprised to find, as he proceeded in the quiet path of life which he had selected, that instead of an increase of unhappiness, a thousand pleasures smiled around him. He had looked on it as a bitter task to forget that he had a name and country, both abandoned for ever; now, the thought of these seldom recurred to his memory. His forest home became all in all to him. Wherever he went, his child was by his side, to cheer and enliven him. When he looked on her, and reflected that within her frame dwelt spotless innocence and filial piety, that within that lovely "bower of flesh," not one thought or feeling resided that was not akin to heaven in its purity and sweetness, he, as by infection, acquired a portion of the calm enjoyment, which she in her taintless youth naturally possessed.

Even when any distant excursion forced him to absent himself, her idea followed him to light him cheerily on his way. He knew that he should find her on his return busied in little preparations for his welcome. In summer time, the bower in the garden would be adorned; in the inclement season of winter the logs would blaze on the hearth, his chair be drawn towards the fire, the stool for Ethel at his feet, with nothing to remind him of the past, save her dear presence, which drew its greatest charm, not from that, but from the present. Fitzhenry forgot the thousand delights of civilization, for which formerly his heart had painfully yearned. He forgot ambition, and the enticements of gay vanity; peace and security appeared the greatest blessings of life, and he had them here.

Ethel herself was happy beyond the knowledge of her own happiness. She regretted nothing in the old country. She grew up among the grandest objects of nature, and they were the sweet influences to excite her to love and to a sense of pleasure. She had come to the Illinois attended by a black woman and her daughter, whom her father had engaged to attend her at New York, and had been sedulously kept away from communication with the settlers—an arrangement which it would have been difficult to bring about elsewhere, but in this secluded and almost deserted spot the usual characteristics of the Americans were scarcely to be found. Most of the inhabitants were emigrants from Scotland, a peaceable, hard-working population.

Ethel lived alone in their lonely dwelling. Had she been of a more advanced age when taken from England, her curiosity might have been excited by the singularity of her position; but we rarely reason about that which has remained unchanged since infancy; taking it as a part of the immutable order of things, we yield without a question to its controul. Ethel did not know that she was alone. Her attendants she was attached to, and she idolized her father; his image filled all her little heart. Playmate she had none, save a fawn and a kid, a dog grown old in her service, and a succession of minor favourites of the animal species.

It was Fitzhenry's wish to educate his daughter to all the perfection of which the feminine character is susceptible. As the first step, he cut her off from familiar communication with the unrefined, and, watching over her with the fondest care, kept her far aloof from the very knowledge of what might, by its baseness or folly, contaminate the celestial beauty of her nature. He resolved to make her all that woman can be of generous, soft, and devoted; to purge away every alloy of vanity and petty passion—to fill her with honour, and yet to mould her to the sweetest gentleness: to cultivate her tastes and enlarge her mind, yet so to controul her acquirements, as to render her ever pliant to his will. She was to be lifted above every idea of artifice or guile, or the caballing spirit of the worldling—she was to be single-hearted, yet mild. A creature half poetry, half love—one whose pure lips had never been tainted by an untruth—an enthusiastic being, who could give her life away for the sake of another, and yet who honoured herself as a consecrated thing reserved for one worship alone. She was taught that no misfortune should penetrate her soul, except such as visited her affections, or her sense of right; and that, set apart from the vulgar uses of the world, she was connected with the mass only through another—that other, now her father and only friend—hereafter, whosoever her heart might select as her guide and head. Fitzhenry drew his chief ideas from Milton's Eve, and adding to this the romance of chivalry, he satisfied himself that his daughter would be the embodied ideal of all that is adorable and estimable in her sex.

The instructor can scarcely give sensibility where it is essentially wanting, nor talent to the unpercipient block. But he can cultivate and detect the affections of the pupil, who puts forth, as a parasite, tendrils by which to cling, not knowing to what—to a supporter or a destroyer. The careful rearer of the ductile human plant can instil his own religion, and surround the soul by such a moral atmosphere, as shall become to its latest day the air it breathes. Ethel, from her delicate organization and quick parts, was sufficiently plastic in her father's hands. When not with him, she was the playmate of nature. Her birds and pet animals—her untaught but most kind nurse, were her associates: she had her flowers to watch over, her music, her drawings, and her books. Nature, wild, interminable, sublime, was around her. The ceaseless flow of the brawling stream, the wide-spread forest, the changes of the sky, the career of the wide-winged clouds, when the winds drove them athwart the atmosphere, or the repose of the still, and stirless summer air, the stormy war of the elements, and the sense of trust and security amidst their loudest disturbances, were all circumstances to mould her even unconsciously to an admiration of all that is grand and beautiful.

A lofty sense of independence is, in man, the best privilege of his nature. It cannot be doubted, but that it were for the happiness of the other sex that she were taught more to rely on and act for herself. But in the cultivation of this feeling, the education of Fitzhenry was lamentably deficient. Ethel was taught to know herself dependent; the support of another was to be as necessary to her as her daily food. She leant on her father as a prop that could not fail, and she was wholly satisfied with her condition. Her peculiar disposition of course tinged Fitzhenry's theories with colours not always their own, and her entire want of experience in intercourse with her fellow-creatures, gave a more decided tone to her sense of dependence than she could have acquired, if the circumstances of her daily life had brought her into perpetual collision with others. She was habitually cheerful even to gaiety; yet her character was not devoid of petulence, which might become rashness or self-will if left to herself. She had a clear and upright spirit, and suspicion or unkindness roused her to indignation, or sunk her into the depths of sorrow. Place her in danger, and tell her she must encounter it, and she called up all her courage and became a heroine; but on less occasions, difficulties dismayed and annoyed her, and she longed to escape from them into that dreamy existence, for which her solitary mode of life had given her a taste: active in person, in mind she was too often indolent, and apt to think that while she was docile to the injunctions of her parent, all her duties were fulfilled. She seldom thought, and never acted, for herself.

With all this she was so caressingly affectionate, so cheerful and obedient, that she inspired her father with more than a father's fondness. He lived but for her and in her. Away, she was present to his imagination, the loadstone to draw him home, and to fill that home with pleasure. He exalted her in his fancy into angelic perfection, and nothing occurred to blot the fair idea. He in prospect gave up his whole life to the warding off every evil from her dear and sacred head. He knew, or rather believed, that while we possess one real, devoted, and perfect friend, we cannot be truly miserable. He said to himself—though he did not love to dwell on the thought—that of course cares and afflictions might hereafter befal her; but he was to stand the shield to blunt the arrows of sorrow—the shelter in which she might find refuge from every evil ministration. The worst ills of life, penury and desertion, she could never know; and surely he, who would stand so fast by her through all—whose nightly dream and waking thought was for her good, would even, when led to form other connexions in life, so command her affections as to be able to influence her happiness.

Not being able to judge by comparison, Ethel was unaware of the peculiarity of her good fortune in possessing such a father. But she loved him entirely; looked up to him, and saw in him the reward of every exertion, the object of each day's employment. In early youth we have no true notion of what the realities of life are formed, and when we look forward it is without any correct estimate of the chances of existence. Ethel's visionary ideas were all full of peace, seclusion, and her father. America, or rather the little village of the Illinois which she inhabited, was all the world to her; and she had no idea that nearly every thing that connected her to society existed beyond the far Atlantic, in that tiny isle which made so small a show upon her maps. Fitzhenry never mentioned these things to his daughter. She arrived at the age of fifteen without forming a hope that should lead her beyond the pale which had hitherto enclosed her, or having imagined that any train of circumstances might suddenly transplant her from the lonely wilderness to the thronged resorts of mankind.


Les deserts sont faits pour les amants, mais l'amour
ne se fait pas aux deserts.


Twelve years had led Ethel from infancy to childhood; and from child's estate to the blooming season of girlhood. It had brought her father from the prime of a man's life, to the period when it began to decline. Our feelings probably are not less strong at fifty than they were ten or fifteen years before; but they have changed their objects, and dwell on far different prospects. At five-and-thirty a man thinks of what his own existence is; when the maturity of age has grown into its autumn, he is wrapt up in that of others. The loss of wife or child then becomes more deplorable, as being impossible to repair; for no fresh connexion can give us back the companion of our earlier years, nor a "new sprung race" compensate for that, whose career we hoped to see run. Fitzhenry had been a man of violent passions; they had visited his life with hurricane and desolation;—were these dead within him? The complacency that now distinguished his physiognomy seemed to vouch for internal peace. But there was an abstracted melancholy in his dark eyes—a look that went beyond the objects immediately before him, that seemed to say that he often anxiously questioned fate, and meditated with roused fears on the secrets of futurity.

Educating his child, and various other employments, had occupied and diverted him. He had been content; he asked for no change, but he dreaded it. Often when packets arrived from England he hesitated to open them. He could not account for his new-born anxieties. Was change approaching? "How long will you be at peace?" Such warning voice startled him in the solitude of the forests: he looked round, but no human being was near, yet the voice had spoken audibly to his sense; and when a transient air swept the dead leaves near, he shrunk as if a spirit passed, invisible to sight, and yet felt by the subtle atmosphere, as it gave articulation and motion to it.

"How long shall I be at peace?" A thrill ran through his veins. "Am I then now at peace? Do love, and hate, and despair, no longer wage their accustomed war in my heart? and is it true that gently flowing as my days have lately been, that during their course I have not felt those mortal throes that once made life so intolerable a burthen? It is so. I am at peace; strange state for suffering mortality! And this is not to last? My daughter! there only am I vulnerable; yet have I surrounded her with a sevenfold shield. My own sweet Ethel! how can I avert from your dear head the dark approaching storm?

"But this is folly. These waking dreams are the curse of inaction and solitude. Yesterday I refused to accompany the exploring party. I will go—I am not old; fatigue, as yet, does not seem a burthen; but I shall sink into premature age, if I allow this indolence to overpower me. I will set out on this expedition, and thus I shall no longer be at peace." Fitzhenry smiled as if thus he were cheating destiny.

The proposed journey was one to be made by a party of his fellow-settlers, to trace the route between their town and a large one, two hundred miles off, to discover the best mode of communication. There was nothing very arduous in the undertaking. It was September, and hunting would diversify the tediousness of their way. Fitzhenry left his daughter under the charge of her attendants, to amuse herself with her books, her music, her gardening, her needle, and, more than all, her new and very favourite study of drawing and sketching. Hitherto the pencil had scarcely been one of her occupations; but an accident gave scope to her acquiring in it that improvement for which she found that she had prodigious inclination, and she was assured, no inconsiderable talent.

The occasion that had given rise to this new employment was this. Three or four months before, a traveller arrived for the purpose of settling, who claimed a rather higher intellectual rank than those around him. He was the son of an honest tradesman of the city of London. He displayed early signs of talent, and parental fondness gave him opportunities of cultivating it. The means of his family were small, but some of the boy's drawings having attracted the attention of an artist, he entered upon the profession of a painter, with sanguine hopes of becoming hereafter an ornament to it.

Two obstacles were in the way of his success. He wanted that intense love of his art—that enthusiastic perseverance in labour, which distinguishes the man of genius from the man of talent merely. He regarded it as a means, not an end. Probably therefore he did not feel that capacity in himself for attaining first-rate excellence, which had been attributed to him. He had a taste also for social pleasures and vulgar indulgencies, incompatible with industry and with that refinement of mind which is so necessary an adjunct to the cultivation of the imaginative arts. Whitelock had none of all this; but he was quick, clever, and was looked on among his associates as a spirited, agreeable fellow. The death of his parents left him in possession of their little wealth: depending for the future on the resources which his talent promised him, he dissipated the two or three hundred pounds which formed his inheritance: debt, difficulties, with consequent abstraction from his profession, completed his ruin. He arrived at the Illinois in search of an uncle, on whose kindness he intended to depend, with six dollars in his purse. His uncle had long before disappeared from that part of the country. Whitelock found himself destitute. Neither his person, which was diminutive, nor his constitution, which was delicate, fitted him for manual labour; nor was he acquainted with any mechanic art. What could he do in America? He began to feel very deeply the inroads of despair, when hearing of the superior wealth of Mr. Fitzhenry, and that he was an Englishman, he paid him a visit, feeling secure that he could interest him in his favour.

The emigrant's calculations were just. His distinguished countryman exerted himself to enable the young man to obtain a subsistence. He established him in a school, and gave him his best counsels how to proceed. Whitelock thanked him; commenced the most odious task of initiating the young Americans in the rudiments of knowledge, and sought meanwhile to amuse himself to the best of his power. Fitzhenry's house he first made his resort. He was not to be baffled by the reserved courtesy of his host. The comfort and English appearance of the exile's dwelling were charming to him; and while he could hear himself talk, he fancied that every one about him must be satisfied. Fitzhenry was excessively annoyed. There was an innate vulgarity in his visitant, and an unlicensed familiarity that jarred painfully with the refined habits of his sensitive nature. Still, in America he had been forced to tolerate even worse than this, and he bore Whitelock's intrusions as well as he could, seeking only to put such obstacles in the way of his too frequent visits, as would best serve to curtail them. Whitelock's chief merit was his talent; he had a real eye for the outward forms of nature, for the tints in which she loves to robe herself, and the beauty in which she is for ever invested. He occupied himself by sketching the surrounding scenery, and gave life and interest to many a savage glade and solitary nook, which, till he came, had not been discovered to be picturesque. Ethel regarded his drawings with wonder and delight, and easily obtained permission from her father to take lessons in the captivating art. Fitzhenry thought that of all occupations, that of the pencil, if pursued earnestly and with real taste, most conduced to the student's happiness. Its scope is not personal display, as is the case most usually with music, and yet it has a visible result which satisfies the mind that something has been done. It does not fatigue the attention like the study of languages, yet it suffices to call forth the powers, and to fill the mind with pleasurable sensations. It is a most feminine occupation, well replacing, on a more liberal and rational scale, the tapestry of our grandmothers. Ethel had already shown a great inclination for design, and her father was glad of so favourable an opportunity for cultivating it. A few difficulties presented themselves. Whitelock had brought his own materials with him, but he possessed no superfluity—and they were not to be procured at the settlement. The artist offered to transfer them all for Ethel's convenience to her own abode, so that he might have free leave to occupy himself there also. Fitzhenry saw all the annoyances consequent on this plan, and it was finally arranged that his daughter should, three or four times a week, visit the school-house, and in a little room, built apart for her especial use, pursue her study.

The habit of seeing and instructing his lovely pupil awoke new ideas in Whitelock's fruitful brain. Who was Mr. Fitzhenry? What did he in the Illinois? Whitelock sounded him carefully, but gathered no information, except that this gentleman showed no intention of ever quitting the settlement. But this was much. He was evidently in easy circumstances—Ethel was his only child. She was here a garden-rose amidst briars, and Whitelock flattered himself that his position was not materially different. Could he succeed in the scheme that all these considerations suggested to him, his fortune was made, or, at least, he should bid adieu for ever to blockhead boys and the dull labours of instruction. As these views opened upon him, he took more pains to ingratiate himself with Fitzhenry. He became humble; he respectfully sought his advice—and while he contrived a thousand modes of throwing himself in his way, he appeared less intrusive than before—and yet he felt that he did not get on. Fitzhenry was kind to him, as a countryman in need of assistance; he admired his talent as an artist, but he shrunk from the smallest approach to intimacy. Whitelock hoped that he was only shy, but he feared that he was proud; he tried to break through the barrier of reserve opposed to him, and he became a considerable annoyance to the recluse. He waylaid him during his walks with his daughter—forced his company upon them, and forging a thousand obliging excuses for entering their dwelling, he destroyed the charm of their quiet evenings, and yet tempered his manners with such shows of humility and gratitude as Fitzhenry could not resist.

Whitelock next tried his battery on the young lady herself. Her passion for her new acquirement afforded scope for his enterprizing disposition. She was really glad to see him whenever he came; questioned him about the pictures which existed in the old world, and, with a mixture of wonder and curiosity, began to think that there was magic in an art, that produced the effects which he described. With all the enthusiasm of youth, she tried to improve herself, and the alacrity with which she welcomed her master, or hurried to his school, looked almost like—Whitelock could not exactly tell what, but here was ground to work upon.

When Fitzhenry went on the expedition already mentioned, Ethel gave up all her time, with renewed ardour, to her favourite pursuit. Early in the morning she was seen tripping down to the school-house, accompanied by her faithful negro woman. The attendant used her distaff and spindle, Ethel her brush, and the hours flew unheeded. Whitelock would have been glad that her eyes had not always been so intently fixed on the paper before her. He proposed sketching from nature. They made studies from trees, and contemplated the changing hues of earth and sky together. While talking of tints, and tones of colour spread over the celestial hemisphere and the earth beneath, were it not an easy transition to speak of those which glistened in a lady's eye, or warmed her cheek? In the solitude of his chamber, thus our adventurer reasoned; and wondered each night why he hesitated to begin. Whitelock was short and ill-made. His face was not of an agreeable cast: it was impossible to see him without being impressed with the idea that he was a man of talent; but he was otherwise decidedly ugly. This disadvantage was counterbalanced by an overweening vanity, which is often to be remarked in those whose personal defects place them a step below their fellows. He knew the value of an appearance of devotion, and the power which an acknowledgment of entire thraldom exercises over the feminine imagination. He had succeeded ill with the father; but, after all, the surest way was to captivate the daughter: the affection of her parent would induce him to ratify any step necessary to her happiness; and the chance afforded by this parent's absence for putting his plan into execution, might never again occur—why then delay?

It was, perhaps, strange that Fitzhenry, alive to the smallest evil that might approach his darling child, and devoted to her sole guardianship, should have been blind to the sort of danger which she ran during his absence. But the paternal protection is never entirely efficient. A father avenges an insult; but he has seldom watchfulness enough to prevent it. In the present instance, the extreme youth of Ethel might well serve as an excuse. She was scarcely fifteen; and, light-hearted and blithe, none but childish ideas had found place in her unruffled mind. Her father yet regarded her as he had done when she was wont to climb his knee, or to gambol before him: he still looked forward to her womanhood as to a distant event, which would necessitate an entire change in his mode of living, but which need not for several years enter into his calculations. Thus, when he departed, he felt glad to get rid, for a time, of Whitelock's disagreeable society; but it never crossed his imagination that his angelic girl could be annoyed or injured, meanwhile, by the presumptuous advances of a man whom he despised.

Ethel knew nothing of the language of love. She had read of it in her favourite poets; but she was yet too young and guileless to apply any of its feelings to herself. Love had always appeared to her blended with the highest imaginative beauty and heroism, and thus was in her eyes, at once awful and lovely. Nothing had vulgarized it to her. The greatest men were its slaves, and according as their choice fell on the worthy or unworthy, they were elevated or disgraced by passion. It was the part of a woman so to refine and educate her mind, as to be the cause of good alone to him whose fate depended on her smile. There was something of the Orondates' vein in her ideas; but they were too vague and general to influence her actions. Brought up in American solitude, with all the refinement attendant on European society, she was aristocratic, both as regarded rank and sex; but all these were as yet undeveloped feelings—seeds planted by the careful paternal hand, not yet called into life or growth.

Whitelock began his operations, and was obliged to be explicit to be at all understood. He spoke of misery and despair; he urged no plea, sought no favour, except to be allowed to speak of his wretchedness. Ethel listened—Eve listened to the serpent, and since then, her daughters have been accused of an aptitude to give ear to forbidden discourse. He spoke well, too, for he was a man of unquestioned talent. It is a strange feeling for a girl, when first she finds the power put into her hand of influencing the destiny of another to happiness or misery. She is like a magician holding for the first time a fairy wand, not having yet had experience of its potency. Ethel had read of the power of love; but a doubt had often suggested itself, of how far she herself should hereafter exercise the influence which is the attribute of her sex. Whitelock dispelled that doubt. He impressed on her mind the idea that he lived or died through her fiat.

For one instant, vanity awoke in her young heart; and she tripped back to her home with a smile of triumph on her lips. The feeling was short-lived. She entered her father's library; and his image appeared to rise before her, to regulate and purify her thoughts. If he had been there, what could she have said to him—she who never concealed a thought?—or how would he have received the information she had to give? What had happened, had not been the work of a day; Whitelock had for a week or two proceeded in an occult and mysterious manner: but this day he had withdrawn the veil; and she understood much that had appeared strange in him before. The dark, expressive eyes of her father she fancied to be before her, penetrating the depths of her soul, discovering her frivolity, and censuring her lowly vanity; and, even though alone, she felt abashed. Our faults are apt to assume giant and exaggerated forms to our eyes in youth, and Ethel felt degraded and humiliated; and remorse sprung up in her gentle heart, substituting itself for the former pleasurable emotion.

The young are always in extremes. Ethel put away her drawings and paintings. She secluded herself in her home; and arranged so well, that notwithstanding the freedom of American manners, Whitelock contrived to catch but a distant glimpse of her during the one other week that intervened before her father's return. Troubled at this behaviour, he felt his bravery ooze out. To have offended Fitzhenry, was an unwise proceeding, at best; but when he remembered the haughty and reserved demeanour of the man, he recoiled, trembling, from the prospect of encountering him.

Ethel was very concise in the expressions she used, to make her father, on his return, understand what had happened during his absence. Fitzhenry heard her with indignation and bitter self-reproach. The natural impetuosity of his disposition returned on him, like a stream which had been checked in its progress, but which had gathered strength from the delay. On a sudden, the future, with all its difficulties and trials, presented itself to his eyes; and he was determined to go out to meet them, rather than to await their advent in his seclusion. His resolution formed and he put it into immediate execution: he would instantly quit the Illinois. The world was before him; and while he paused on the western shores of the Atlantic, he could decide upon his future path. But he would not remain where he was another season. The present, the calm, placid present, had fled like morning mist before the new risen breeze: all appeared dark and turbid to his heated imagination. Change alone could appease the sense of danger that had risen within him. Change of place, of circumstances,—of all that for the last twelve years had formed his life. "How long am I to remain at peace?"—the prophetic voice heard in the silence of the forests, recurred to his memory, and thrilled through his frame. "Peace! was I ever at peace? Was this unquiet heart ever still, as, one by one, the troubled thoughts which are its essence, have risen and broken against the barriers that embank them? Peace! My own Ethel!—all I have done—all I would do—is to gift thee with that blessing which has for ever fled the thirsting lips of thy unhappy parent." And thus, governed by a fevered fancy and untamed passions, Fitzhenry forgot the tranquil lot which he had learnt to value and enjoy; and quitting the haven he had sought, as if it had never been a place of shelter to him, unthankful for the many happy hours which had blessed him there, he hastened to reach the stormier seas of life, whose breakers and whose winds were ready to visit him with shipwreck and destruction.


"The boy is father of the man."


Fitzhenry having formed his resolution, acted upon it immediately: and yet, while hastening every preparation for his departure, he felt return upon him that inquietude and intolerable sense of suffering, which of late years had subsided in his soul. Now and then it struck him as madness to quit his house, his garden, the trees of his planting, the quiet abode which he had reared in the wilderness. He gave his orders, but he was unable to command himself to attend to any of the minutiæ of circumstance connected with his removal. As when he first arrived, again he sought relief in exercise and the open air. He felt each ministration of nature to be his friend, and man, in every guise, to be his enemy. He was about to plunge among them again. What would be the result?

Yet this was no abode for the opening bloom of Ethel. For her good his beloved and safe seclusion must be sacrificed, and that he was acting for her benefit, and not his own, served to calm his mind. She contemplated their migration with something akin to joy. We could almost believe that we are destined by Providence to an unsettled position on the globe, so invariably is a love of change implanted in the young. It seems as if the eternal Lawgiver intended that, at a certain age, man should leave father, mother, and the dwelling of his infancy, to seek his fortunes over the wide world. A few natural tears Ethel shed—they were not many. She, usually so resigned and quiet in her feelings, was now in a state of excitement: dreamy, shadowy visions floated before her of what would result from her journey, and curiosity and hope gave life and a bright colouring to the prospect.

The day came at last. On the previous Sunday she had knelt for the last time in church on the little hassock which had been her's from infancy, and walked along the accustomed pathway towards her home for the last time. During the afternoon, she visited the village to bid adieu to her few acquaintances. The sensitive refinement of Fitzhenry had caused him to guard his daughter jealously from familiar intercourse with their fellow settlers, even as a child. But she had been accustomed to enter the poorer cottages, to assist the distressed, and now and then to partake of tea drinking with the minister. This personage, however, was not stationary. At one time they had had a venerable old man whom Ethel had begun to love; but latterly, the pastor had not been a person to engage her liking, and this had loosened her only tie with her fellow colonists.

The day came. The father and daughter, with three attendants, entered their carriage, and wound along the scarcely formed road. One by one they passed, and lost sight of objects, that for many years had been woven in with the texture of their lives. Fitzhenry was sad. Ethel wept, unconstrainedly, plentiful showery tears, which cost so much less to the heart, than the few sorrowful drops which, in after life, we expend upon our woes. Still as they proceeded the objects that met their eyes became less familiar and less endeared. They began to converse, and when they arrived at their lodging for the night, Ethel was cheerful, and her father, mastering the unquiet feelings which disturbed him, exerted himself to converse with her on such topics as would serve to introduce her most pleasantly to the new scenes which she was about to visit.

There was one object, however, which lay nearest to the emigrant's heart, to which he had not yet acquired courage to allude; his own position in the world, his former fortunes, and the circumstances that had driven him from Europe, to seek peace and obscurity in the wilderness. It was a strange tale; replete with such incidents as could scarcely be made intelligible to the nursling of solitude—one difficult for a father to disclose to his daughter; involving besides a consideration of his future conduct, to which he did not desire to make her a party. Thus they talked of the cities they might see, and the strange sights she would behold, and but once did her father refer to their own position. After a long silence, on his part sombre and abstracted—as Prospero asked the ever sweet Miranda, so did Fitzhenry inquire of his daughter, if she had memory of aught preceding their residence in the Illinois? And Ethel, as readily as Miranda, replied in the affirmative.

"And what, my love, do you remember? Gold-laced liveries and spacious apartments?"

Ethel shook her head. "It may be the memory of a dream that haunts me," she replied, "and not a reality; but I have frequently the image before me, of having been kissed and caressed by a beautiful lady, very richly dressed."

Fitzhenry actually started at this reply. "I have often conjectured," continued Ethel, "that that lovely vision was my dear mother; and that when—when you lost her, you despised all the rest of the world, and exiled yourself to America."

Ethel looked inquiringly at her father as she made this leading remark; but he in a sharp and tremulous accent repeated the words, "Lost her!"

"Yes," said Ethel, "I mean, is she not lost—did she not die?"

Fitzhenry sighed heavily, and turning his head towards the window on his side, became absorbed in thought, and Ethel feared to disturb him by continuing the conversation.

It has not been difficult all along for the reader to imagine, that the lamented brother of the honourable Mrs. Elizabeth Fitzhenry and the exile of the Illinois are one; and while father and daughter are proceeding on their way towards New York, it will be necessary, for the interpretation of the ensuing pages, to dilate somewhat on the previous history of the father of our lovely heroine.

It may be remembered, that Henry Fitzhenry was the only son of Admiral Lord Lodore. He was, from infancy, the pride of his father and the idol of his sister; and the lives of both were devoted to exertions for his happiness and well-being. The boy soon became aware of their extravagant fondness, and could not do less in consequence than fancy himself a person of considerable importance. The distinction that Lord Lodore's title and residence bestowed upon Longfield made his son and heir a demigod among the villagers. As he rode through it on his pony, every one smiled on him and bowed to him; and the habit of regarding himself superior to all the world, became too much an habit to afford triumph, though any circumstances that had lessened his consequence in his own eyes would have been matter of astonishment and indignation. His personal beauty was the delight of the women, his agility and hardihood the topic of the men of the village. For although essentially spoiled, he was not pampered in luxury. His father, with all his fondness, would have despised him heartily had he not been inured to hardship, and rendered careless of it. Rousseau might have passed his approbation upon his physical education, while his moral nurture was the most perniciously indulgent. Thus, at the same time, his passions were fostered, and he possessed none of those habits of effeminacy, which sometimes stand in the gap, preventing our young self-indulged aristocracy from rebelling against the restraints of society. Still generous and brave as was his father, benevolent and pious as was his sister, Henry Fitzhenry was naturally led to love their virtues, and to seek their approbation by imitating them. He would not wantonly have inflicted a pang upon a human being; yet he exerted any power he might possess to quell the smallest resistance to his desires; and unless when they were manifested in the most intelligible manner, he scarcely knew that his fellow-creatures had any feelings at all, except pride and gladness in serving him, and gratitude when he showed them kindness. Any poor family visited by rough adversity, any unfortunate child enduring unjust oppression, he assisted earnestly and with all his heart. He was courageous as a lion, and, upon occasion, soft-hearted and pitiful; but once roused to anger by opposition, his eyes darted fire, his little form swelled, his boyish voice grew big, nor could he be pacified except by the most entire submission on the part of his antagonist. Unfortunately for him, submission usually followed any stand made against his authority, for it was always a contest with an inferior, and he was never brought into wholesome struggle with an equal.

At the age of thirteen he went to Eton, and here every thing wore an altered and unpleasing aspect. Here were no servile menials nor humble friends. He stood one among many—equals, superiors, inferiors, all full of a sense of their own rights, their own powers; he desired to lead, and he had no followers; he wished to stand aloof, and his dignity, even his privacy, was perpetually invaded. His schoolfellows soon discovered his weakness—it became a bye-word among them, and was the object of such practical jokes, as seemed to the self-idolizing boy, at once frightful and disgusting. He had no resource. Did he lay his length under some favourite tree to dream of home and independence, his tormentors were at hand with some new invention to rouse and molest him. He fixed his large dark eyes on them, and he curled his lips in scorn, trying to awe them by haughtiness and frowns, and shouts of laughter replied to the concentrated passion of his soul. He poured forth vehement invective, and hootings were the answer. He had one other resource, and that in the end proved successful:—a pitched battle or two elevated him in the eyes of his fellows, and as they began to respect him, so he grew in better humour with them and with himself. His good-nature procured him friends, and the sun once more shone unclouded upon him.

Yet this was not all. He put himself foremost among a troop of wild and uncivilized school-boys; but he was not of them. His tastes, fostered in solitude, were at once more manly and dangerous than theirs. He could not distinguish the nice line drawn by the customs of the place between a pardonable resistance, or rather evasion of authority, and rebellion against it; and above all, he could not submit to practise equivocation and deceit. His first contests were with his school-fellows, his next were with his masters. He would not stoop to shows of humility, nor tame a nature accustomed to take pride in daring and independence. He resented injustice wherever he encountered or fancied it; he equally spurned it when practised on himself, or defended others when they were its object—freedom was the watchword of his heart. Freedom from all trammels, except those of which he was wholly unconscious, imposed on him by his passions and pride. His good-nature led him to side with the weak; and he was indignant that his mere fiat did not suffice to raise them to his own level, or that his representations did not serve to open the eyes of all around him to the true merits of any disputed question.

He had a friend at school. A youth whose slender frame, fair, effeminate countenance, and gentle habits, rendered him ridiculous to his fellows, while an unhappy incapacity to learn his allotted tasks made him in perpetual disgrace with his masters. The boy was unlike the rest; he had wild fancies and strange inexplicable ideas. He said he was a mystery to himself—he was at once so wise and foolish. The mere aspect of a grammar inspired him with horror, and a kind of delirious stupidity seized him in the classes; and yet he could discourse with eloquence, and pored with unceasing delight over books of the abstrusest philosophy. He seemed incapable of feeling the motives and impulses of other boys: when they jeered him, he would answer gravely with some story of a ghastly spectre, and tell wild legends of weird beings, who roamed through the dark fields by night, or sat wailing by the banks of streams: was he struck, he smiled and turned away; he would not fag; he never refused to learn, but could not; he was the scoff, and butt, and victim, of the whole school.

Fitzhenry stood forward in his behalf, and the face of things was changed. He insisted that his friend should have the same respect paid him as himself, and the boys left off tormenting him. When they ceased to injure, they began to like him, and he had soon a set of friends whom he solaced with his wild stories and mysterious notions. But his powerful advocate was unable to advance his cause with his masters, and the cruelty exercised on him revolted Fitzhenry's generous soul. One day, he stood forth to expostulate, and to show wherefore Derham should not be punished for a defect, that was not his fault. He was ordered to be silent, and he retorted the command with fierceness. As he saw the slender, bending form of his friend seized to be led to punishment, he sprang forward to rescue him. This open rebellion astounded every one; a kind of consternation, which feared to show the gladness it felt, possessed the boyish subjects of the tyro kingdom. Force conquered; Fitzhenry was led away; and the masters deliberated what sentence to pass on him. He saved them from coming to a conclusion by flight.

He hid himself during the day in Windsor Forest, and at night he entered Eton, and scaling a wall, tapped at the bedroom window of his friend. "Come," said he, "come with me. Leave these tyrants to eat their own hearts with rage—my home shall be your home."

Derham embraced him, but would not consent. "My mother," he said, "I have promised my mother to bear all;" and tears gushed from his large light blue eyes; "but for her, the green grass of this spring were growing on my grave. I dare not pain her."

"Be it so," said Fitzhenry; "nevertheless, before the end of a month, you shall be free. I am leaving this wretched place, where men rule because they are strong, for my father's house. I never yet asked for a thing that I ought to have, that it was not granted me. I am a boy here, there I am a man—and can do as men do. Representations shall be made to your parents; you shall be taken from school; we shall be free and happy together this summer at Longfield. Good night; I have far to walk, for the stage coachmen would be shy of me near Eton; but I shall get to London on foot, and sleep to-morrow in my father's house. Keep up your heart, Derham, be a man—this shall not last long; we shall triumph yet."


What is youth? a dancing billow,
Winds behind, and rocks before!


This exploit terminated Fitzhenry's career at Eton. A private tutor was engaged, who resided with the family, for the purpose of preparing him for college, and at the age of seventeen he was entered at Oxford. He still continued to cultivate the friendship of Derham. This youth was the younger son of a rich and aristocratic family, whose hopes and cares centred in their heir, and who cared little for the comfort of the younger. Derham had been destined for the sea, and scarcely did his delicate health, and timid, nervous disposition exempt him from the common fate of a boy, whose parents did not know what to do with him. The next idea was to place him in the church; and at last, at his earnest entreaty, he was permitted to go abroad, to study at one of the German universities, so to prepare himself, by a familiarity with modern languages, for diplomacy.

It was singular how well Fitzhenry and his sensitive friend agreed;—the one looked up with unfeigned admiration—the other felt attracted by a mingled compassion and respect, that flattered his vanity, and yet served as excitement and amusement. From Derham, Fitzhenry imbibed in theory much of that contempt of the world's opinion, and carelessness of consequences, which was inherent in the one, but was an extraneous graft on the proud and imperious spirit of the other. Derham looked with calm yet shy superiority on his fellow-creatures. Yet superiority is not the word, since he did not feel himself superior to, but different from—incapable of sympathizing or extracting sympathy, he turned away with a smile, and pursued his lonely path, thronged with visions and fancies—while his friend, when he met check or rebuff, would fire up, his eyes sparkling, his bosom heaving with intolerable indignation.

After two years spent at Oxford, instead of remaining to take his degree, Fitzhenry made an earnest request to be permitted to visit his friend, who was then at Jena. It was but anticipating the period for his travels, and upon his promise to pursue his studies abroad, he won a somewhat reluctant consent from his father. Once on the continent, the mania of travelling seized him. He visited Italy, Poland, and Russia: he bent his wayward steps from north to south, as the whim seized him. He became of age, and his father earnestly desired his return: but again and again he solicited permission to remain, from autumn till spring, and from spring till autumn, until the very flower of his youth seemed destined to be wasted in aimless rambles, and an intercourse with foreigners, that must tend to unnationalize him, and to render him unfit for a career in his own country. Growing accustomed to regulate his own actions, he changed the tone of request into that of announcing his intentions. At length, he was summoned home to attend the death-bed of his father. He paid the last duties to his remains, provided for the comfortable establishment of his sister in the family mansion at Longfield, and then informed her of his determination of returning immediately to Vienna.

During this visit he had appeared to live rather in a dream than in the actual world. He had mourned for his father; he paid the most affectionate attentions to his sister; but this formed, as it were, the surface of things; a mightier impulse ruled his inner mind. His life seemed to depend upon certain letters which he received; and when the day had been occupied by business, he passed the night in writing answers. He was often agitated in the highest degree, almost always abstracted in reverie. The outward man—the case of Lodore was in England—his passionate and undisciplined soul was far away, evidently in the keeping of another.

Elizabeth, sorrowing for the loss of her father, was doubly afflicted when she heard that it was her brother's intention to quit England immediately. She had fondly hoped that he would, adorned by his newly-inherited title, and endowed with the gifts of fortune, step upon the stage of the world, and shine forth the hero of his age and country. Her affections, her future prospects, her ambition, were all centred in him; and it was a bitter pang to feel that the glory of these was to be eclipsed by the obscurity and distant residence which he preferred. Accustomed to obedience, and to regard the resolutions of the men about her, as laws with which she had no right to interfere, she did not remonstrate, she only wept. Moved by her tears, Lord Lodore made the immense sacrifice of one month to gratify her, which he spent in reading and writing letters at Longfield, in pacing the rooms or avenues absorbed in reverie, or in riding over the most solitary districts, with no object apparently in view, except that of avoiding his fellow-creatures. Elizabeth had the happiness of seeing the top of his head as he leant over his desk in the library, from a little hillock in the garden, which she sought for the purpose of beholding that blessed vision. She enjoyed also the pleasure of hearing him pace his room during the greater part of the night. Sometimes he conversed with her, and then how like a god he seemed! His extensive acquaintance with men and things, the novel but choice language in which he clothed his ideas; his vivid descriptions, his melodious voice, and the exquisite grace of his manner, made him rise like the planet of day upon her. Too soon her sun set. If ever she hinted at the prolongation of his stay, he grew moody, and she discovered with tearful anguish that his favourite ride was towards the sea, often to the very shore: "I seem half free when I only look upon the waves," he said; "they remind me that the period of liberty is at hand, when I shall leave this dull land for——"

A sob from his sister checked his speech, and he repented his ingratitude. Yet when the promised month had elapsed, he did not defer his journey a single day: already had he engaged his passage at Harwich. A fair wind favoured his immediate departure. Elizabeth accompanied him on board, almost she wished to be asked to sail with him. No word but that of a kind adieu was uttered by him. She returned to shore, and watched his lessening sail. Wherefore did he leave his native country? Wherefore return to reside in lands, whose language, manners, and religion, were all at variance with his own? These questions occupied the gentle spinster's thoughts; she had little except such meditations to vary the hours, as years stole on unobserved, and she continued to spend her blameless tranquil days in her native village.

The new Lord Lodore was one of those men, not unfrequently met with in the world, whose early youth is replete with mighty promise; who, as they advance in life, continue to excite the expectation, the curiosity, and even the enthusiasm of all around them; but as the sun on a stormy day now and then glimmers forth, giving us hopes of conquering brightness, and yet slips down to its evening eclipse without redeeming the pledge; so do these men present every appearance of one day making a conspicuous figure, and yet to the end, as it were, they only gild the edges of the clouds in which they hide themselves, and arrive at the term of life, the promise of its dawn unfulfilled. Passion, and the consequent engrossing occupations, usurped the place of laudable ambition and useful exertion. He wasted his nobler energies upon pursuits which were mysteries to the world, yet which formed the sum of his existence. It was not that he was destitute of loftier aspirations. Ambition was the darling growth of his soul—but weeds and parasites, an unregulated and unpruned overgrowth, twisted itself around the healthier plant, and threatened its destruction.

Sometimes he appeared among the English in the capital towns of the continent, and was always welcomed with delight. His manners were highly engaging, a little reserved with men, unless they were intimates, attentive to women, and to them a subject of interest, they scarcely knew why. A mysterious fair one was spoken of as the cynosure of his destiny, and some desired to discover his secret, while others would have been glad to break the spell that bound him to this hidden star. Often for months he disappeared altogether, and was spoken of as having secluded himself in some unattainable district of northern Germany, Poland, or Courland. Yet all these erratic movements were certainly governed by one law, and that was love;—love unchangeable and intense, else wherefore was he cold to the attractions of his fair countrywomen? And why, though he gazed with admiration and interest on the families of lovely girls, whose successive visitations on the continent strike the natives with such wonder, why did he not select some distinguished beauty, with blue eyes, and auburn locks, as the object of his exclusive admiration? He had often conversed with such with seeming delight; but he could withdraw from the fascination unharmed and free. Sometimes a very kind and agreeable mamma contrived half to domesticate him; but after lounging, and turning over music-books, and teaching steps for a week, he was gone—a farewell card probably the only token of regret.

Yet he was universally liked, and the ladies were never weary of auguring the time to be not far off, when he would desire to break the chains that bound him;—and then—he must marry. He was so quiet, so domestic, so gentle, that he would make, doubtless, a kind and affectionate husband. Among Englishmen, he had a friend or two, by courtesy so called, who were eager for him to return to his native country, and to enter upon public life. He lent a willing ear to these persuasions, and appeared annoyed at some secret necessity that prevented his yielding to them. Once or twice he had said, that his present mode of life should not last for ever, and that he would come among them at no distant day. And yet years stole on, and mystery and obscurity clouded him. He grew grave, almost sombre, and then almost discontented. Any one habituated to him might have discovered struggles beneath the additional seriousness of his demeanour—struggles that promised final emancipation from his long-drawn thraldom.


Men oftentimes prepare a lot,
Which ere it finds them, is not what
Suits with their genuine station.


At the age of thirty-two, Lord Lodore returned to England. It was subject of discussion among his friends, whether this was to be a merely temporary visit, or whether he was about to establish himself finally in his own country. Meanwhile, he became the lion of the day. As the reputed slave of the fair sex, he found favour in their gentle eyes. Even blooming fifteen saw all that was romantic and winning in his subdued and graceful manners, and in the melancholy which dwelt in his dark eyes. The chief fault found with him was, that he was rather taciturn, and that, from whatever cause, woman had apparently ceased to influence his soul to love. He avoided intimacies among them, and seemed to regard them from afar, with observant but passionless eyes. Some spoke of a spent volcano—others of a fertile valley ravaged by storms, and turned into a desert; while many cherished the hope of renewing the flame, or of replanting flowers on the arid soil.

Lord Lodore had just emancipated himself from an influence, which had become the most grievous slavery, from the moment it had ceased to be a voluntary servitude. He had broken the ties that had so long held him; but this had not been done without such difficulties and struggles, as made freedom less delightful, from the languor and regret that accompanied victory. Lodore had formed but one resolve, which was not to entangle himself again in unlawful pursuits, where the better energies of his mind were to be spent in forging deceptions, and tranquillizing the mind of a jealous and unhappy woman. He entertained a vague wish to marry, and to marry one whom his judgment, rather than his love, should select;—an unwise purpose, good in theory, but very defective in practice. Besides this new idea of marrying, which he buried as a profound secret in his own bosom, he wished to accustom himself to the manners and customs of his own country, so as to enable him to enter upon public life. He was fond of the country in England, and entered with zeal upon the pleasures of the chace. He liked the life led at the seats of the great, and endeavoured to do his part in amusing those around him.

Yet he did not feel one of them. Above all, he did not feel within him the charm of life, the glad spirit that looks on each returning day as a blessing; and which, gilding every common object with its own brightness, requires no lustre unborrowed from itself. All things palled upon Lodore. The light laughter and gentle voices of women were vacant of attraction; his sympathy was not excited by the discussions or pursuits of men. After striving for a whole year to awaken in himself an interest for some one person or thing, and finding all to be "vanity,"—towards the close of a season in town, of extreme brilliancy and variety to common eyes—of dulness and sameness to his morbid sense, he suddenly withdrew himself from the haunts of men, and plunging into solitude, tried to renovate his soul by self-communings, and an intercourse with silent, but most eloquent, Nature.

Youth wasted; affections sown on sand, barren of return; wealth and station flung as weeds upon the rocks; a name, whose "gold" was "o'erdusted" by the inertness of its wearer;—such were the retrospections that haunted his troubled mind. He envied the ploughboy, who whistled as he went; and the laborious cottager, who each Saturday bestowed upon his family the hard-won and scanty earnings of the week. He pined for an aim in life—a bourne—a necessity, to give zest to his palled appetite, and excitement to his satiated soul. It seemed to him that he could hail poverty and care as blessings; and that the dearest gifts of fortune—youth, health, rank, and riches—were disguised curses. All these he possessed, and despised. Gnawing discontent; energy, rebuked and tamed into mere disquietude, for want of a proper object, preyed upon his soul. Where could a remedy be found? No "green spot" of delight soothed his memory; no cheering prospect appeared in view; all was arid, gloomy, unsunned upon.

He had wandered into Wales. He was charmed with the scenery and solitude about Rhyaider Gowy, in Radnorshire, which lies amidst romantic mountains, and in immediate vicinity to a cataract of the Wye. He fixed himself for some months in a convenient mansion, which he found to let, at a few miles from that place. Here he was secure from unwelcome visitors, or any communication with the throng he had left. He corresponded with no one, read no newspapers. He passed his day, loitering beside waterfalls, clambering the steep mountains, or making longer excursions on horseback, always directing his course away from high roads or towns. His past life had been sufficiently interesting to afford scope for reverie; and as he watched the sunbeams as they climbed the hills at evening, or the shadows of the clouds as they careered across the valleys, his heart by turns mourned or rejoiced over its freedom, and the change that had come over it and stilled its warring passions.

The only circumstance that in the least entrenched upon his feeling of entire seclusion, was the mention, not unfrequently made to him, by his servants, of the "ladies at the farm." The idea of these "ladies" at first annoyed him; but the humble habitation which they had chosen—humble to poverty—impressed him with the belief that, however the "ladies" might awe-strike the Welsh peasantry, he should find in them nothing that would impress him with the idea of station. Two or three times, at the distant sight of a bonnet, instead of the Welsh hat, he had altered his course to avoid the wearer. Once he had suddenly come on one of these wonders of the mountains: she might have passed for a very civilized kind of abigail; but, of course, she was one of the "ladies."

As Lodore was neither a poet nor a student, he began at last to tire of loneliness. He was a little ashamed when he remembered that he had taken his present abode for a year: however, he satisfied his conscience by a resolve to return to it; and began seriously to plan crossing the country, to visit his sister in Essex. He was, during one of his rides, deliberating on putting this resolve into execution on the very next morning, when suddenly he was overtaken by a storm. The valley, through which his path wound, was narrow, and the gathering clouds over head made it dark as night; the lightning flashed with peculiar brightness; and the thunder, loud and bellowing, was re-echoed by the hills, and reverberated along the sky in terrific pealings. It was more like a continental storm than any which Lodore had ever witnessed in England, and imparted to him a sensation of thrilling pleasure; till, as the rain came down in torrents, he began to think of seeking some shelter, at least for his horse. Looking round for this, he all at once perceived a vision of white muslin beneath a ledge of rock, which could but half protect the gentle wearer: frightened she was, too, as a slight shriek testified, when a bright flash, succeeded instantaneously by a loud peal of thunder, bespoke the presence of something like danger. Lodore's habitual tenderness of nature rendered it no second thought with him to alight and offer his services; and he was fully repaid when he saw her, who hailed with gladness a protector, though too frightened to smile, or scarcely to speak. She was very young, and more beautiful, Lodore was at once assured, than any thing he had ever before beheld. Her fairness, increased by the paleness of terror, was even snowy; her hair, scarcely dark enough for chesnut, too dark for auburn, clustered in rich curls on her brow; her eyes were dark grey, long, and full of expression, as they beamed from beneath their deeply-fringed lids. But such description says little; it was not the form of eye or the brow's arch, correct and beautiful as these were, in this lovely girl, that imparted her peculiar attraction; beyond these, there was a radiance, a softness, an angel look, that rendered her countenance singular in its fascination; an expression of innocence and sweetness; a pleading gentleness that desired protection; a glance that subdued, because it renounced all victory; and this, now animated by fear, quickly excited, in Lodore, the most ardent desire to re-assure and serve her. She leant, as she stood, against the rock—now hiding her face with her hands—now turning her eyes to her stranger companion, as if in appeal or disbelief; while he again and again protested that there was no danger, and strove to guard her from the rain, which still descended with violence. The thunder died away, and the lightning soon ceased to flash, but this continued; and while the colour revisited the young girl's cheek, and her smiles, displaying a thousand dimples, lighted up new charms, a fresh uneasiness sprung up in her of how she could get home. Her chaussure, ill-fitted even for the mountains, could not protect her for a moment from the wet. Lodore offered his horse, and pledged himself for its quietness, and his care, if she could contrive to sit in the saddle. He lifted her light form on to it; but the high-bred animal, beginning a little to prance, she threw herself off into the arms of her new friend, in a transport of terror, which Lodore could by no means assuage. What was to be done? He felt, light as she was, that he could carry her the short half-mile to her home; but this could not be offered. The rain was now over; and her only resource was to brave the humid soil in kid slippers. With considerable difficulty, half the journey was accomplished, when they met the "lady" whom Lodore had before seen;—really the maid in attendance, who had come out to seek her young mistress, and to declare that "my lady" was beside herself with anxiety on her account.

Lodore still insisted on conducting his young charge to her home; and the next day it was but matter of politeness to call to express his hope that she had not suffered from her exposure to the weather. He found the lovely girl, fresh as the morning, with looks all light and sweetness, seated besides her mother, a lady whose appearance was not so prepossessing, though adorned with more than the remains of beauty. She at once struck Lodore as disagreeable and forbidding. Still she was cordial in her welcome, grateful for his kindness, and so perfectly engrossed by the thought of, and love for, her child, that Lodore felt his respect and interest awakened.

An acquaintance, thus begun between the noble recluse and the "ladies of the farm," proceeded prosperously. A month ago, would not have believed that he should feel glad at finding two fair off-shoots of London fashion dwelling so near his retreat; but even if solitude had not rendered him tolerant, the loveliness of the daughter might well perform a greater miracle. In the mother, he found good breeding, good nature, and good sense. He soon became almost domesticated in their rustic habitation.

Lady Santerre was of humble birth, the daughter of a solicitor of a country town. She was handsome, and won the heart of Mr. Santerre, then a minor, who was assisted by her father in the laudable endeavour to obtain more money than his father allowed him. The young gentleman saw, loved, and married. His parents were furiously angry, and tried to illegalize the match; but he confirmed it when he came of age, and a reconciliation with his family never took place. Mr. Santerre sold reversions, turned expectations into money, and lived in the world. For six years, his wife bloomed in the gay parterre of fashionable society, when her husband's father died. Prosperity was to dawn on this event: the new Sir John went down to attend his father's funeral; thence to return to town, to be immersed in recoveries, settlements, and law. He never returned. Riding across the country to a neighbour, his horse shyed, reared, and threw him. His head struck against a fragment of stone: a concussion of the brain ensued; and a fortnight afterwards, he was enclosed beside his father, in the ancestral vault.

His widow was the mother of a daughter only; and her hopes and prospects died with her husband. His brother, and heir, might have treated her better in the sequel; but he was excessively irritated by the variety of debts, and incumbrances, and lawsuits, he had to deal with. He chose to consider the wife most to blame, and she and her child were treated as aliens. He allowed them two hundred a year, and called himself generous. This was all (for her father was not rich, and had a large family) that poor Lady Santerre had to depend upon. She struggled on for some little time, trying to keep up her connexions in the gay world; but poverty is a tyrant, whose laws are more terrible than those of Draco. Lady Santerre yielded, retired to Bath, and fixed her hopes on her daughter, whom she resolved should hereafter make a splendid match. Her excessive beauty promised to render this scheme feasible; and now that she was nearly sixteen, her mother began to look forward anxiously. She had retired to Wales this summer, that, by living with yet stricter economy, she might be enabled, during the winter, to put her plans into execution with greater ease.

Lord Lodore became intimate with the mother and daughter, and his imagination speedily painted both in the most attractive colours. Here was the very being his heart had pined for—a girl radiant in innocence and youth, the nursling, so he fancied, of mountains, waterfalls, and solitude; yet endowed with all the softness and refinement of civilized society. Long forgotten emotions awoke in his heart, and he gave himself up to the bewildering feelings that beset him. Every thing was calculated to excite his interest. The desolate situation of the mother, devoted to her daughter only, and that daughter fairer than imagination could paint, young, gentle, blameless, knowing nothing beyond obedience to her parent, and untaught in the guile of mankind. It was impossible to see that intelligent and sweet face, and not feel that to be the first to impress love in the heart which it mirrored, was a destiny which angles might envy. How proud a part was his, to gift her with rank, fortune, and all earthly blessings, and to receive in return, gratitude, tenderness, and unquestioning submission! If love did not, as thus he reasoned, show itself in the tyrant guise it had formerly assumed in the heart of Lodore, it was the more welcome a guest. It spoke not of the miseries of passion, but offered a bright view of lengthened days of peace and contentedness. He was not a slave at the feet of his mistress, but he could watch each gesture and catch each sound of her voice, and say, goodness and beauty are there, and I shall be happy.

He found the lovely girl somewhat ignorant; but white paper to be written upon at will, is a favourite metaphor among those men who have described the ideal of a wife. That she had talent beyond what he had usually found in women, he was delighted to remark. At first she was reserved and shy. Little accustomed to society, she sat beside her mother in something of a company attitude; her eyes cast down, her lips closed. She was never to be found alone, and a jeune personne in France could scarcely be more retired and tranquil. This accorded better with Lodore's continental experience, than the ease of English fashionable girls, and he was pleased. He conversed little with Cornelia until he had formed his determination, and solicited her mother's consent to their union. Then they were allowed to walk together, and she gained on him, as their intimacy increased. She was very lively, witty, and full of playful fancy. Aware of her own deficiencies in education, she was the first to laugh at herself, and to make such remarks as showed an understanding worth all the accomplishments in the world. Lodore now really found himself in love, and blessed the day that led him from among the fair daughters of fashion to this child of nature. His wayward feelings were to change no more—his destiny was fixed. At thirty-four to marry, to settle into the father of a family, his hopes and wishes concentrated in a home, adorned by one whose beauty was that of angels, was a prospect that he dwelt upon each day with renewed satisfaction. Nothing in after years could disturb his felicity, and the very security with which he contemplated the future, imparted a calm delight, at once new and grateful to a heart, weary of storms and struggles, and which, in finding peace, believed that it possessed the consummation of human happiness.


Hopes, what are they? beads of morning
Strung on slender blades of grass,
Or a spider's web adorning,
In a strait and treacherous pass.


The months of July, August, and September had passed away. Lord Lodore enjoyed, during the two last, a singularly complacent state of mind. He had come to Wales with worn-out spirits, a victim to that darker species of ennui, which colours with gloomy tints the future as well as the present, and is the ministering angel of evil to the rich and prosperous. He despised himself, contemned his pursuits, and called all vanity beneath the vivifying sun of heaven. Real misfortunes have worn the guise of blessings to men so afflicted, but he was withdrawn from this position, by a being who wore the outward semblance of an angel, and from whom he felt assured nothing but good could flow.

Cornelia Santerre was lovely, vivacious, witty, and good-humoured; yet strange to say, her new lover was not rendered happy so much by the presence of these qualities, as by the promise which they gave for the future. He loved her; he believed that she would be to the end of his life a blessing and a delight; yet passion was scarcely roused in his heart; it was "a sober certainty of waking bliss," and a reasonable belief in the continuance of this state, that made him, while he loved her, regard her rather as a benefactress than a mistress.

Benefactress is a strange word to use, especially as her extreme youth was probably the cause that more intimate sympathies did not unite them, and why passion entered so slightly into their intercourse. It is possible, so great was the discrepancy of their age, and consequently of their feelings and views of life, that Lodore would never have thought of marrying Cornelia, but that Lady Santerre was at hand to direct the machinery of the drama. She inspired him with the wish to gift her angelic child with the worldly advantages which his wife must possess; to play a god-like part, and to lift into prosperity and happiness, one who seemed destined by fortune to struggle with adversity. Lady Santerre was a worldly woman and an oily flatterer; Lodore had been accustomed to feminine controul, and he yielded with docility to her silken fetters.

The ninth of October was Cornelia's sixteenth birthday, and on it she became the wife of Lord Lodore. This event took place in the parish church of Rhyaider Gowy, and it was communicated to "the world" in the newspapers. Many discussions then arose as to who Miss Santerre could be. "The only daughter of the late Sir John." The only late Sir John Santerre remembered, was, in fact, the grandfather of the bride, and the hiatus in her genealogy, caused by her father's death before he had been known as a baronet, puzzled every fashionable gossip. The whole affair, however, had been forgotten, when curiosity was again awakened in the ensuing month of March, by an announcement in the Morning Post, of the arrival of the noble pair at Mivart's. Lord Lodore had always rented a box at the King's Theatre. It had been newly decorated at the beginning of the season, and on the first Saturday in April all eyes turned towards it as he entered, having the loveliest, fairest, and most sylph-like girl, that ever trod dark earth, leaning on his arm. There was a child-like innocence, a fascinating simplicity, joined to an expression of vivacity and happiness, in Lady Lodore's countenance, which impressed at first sight, as being the completion of feminine beauty. She looked as if no time could touch, no ill stain her; artless affection and amiable dependence spoke in each graceful gesture. Others might be beautiful, but there was that in her, which seemed allied to celestial loveliness.

Such was the prize Lord Lodore had won. The new-married pair took up their residence in Berkeley-square, and here Lady Santerre joined them, and took possession of the apartments appropriated to her use, under her daughter's roof. All appeared bright on the outside, and each seemed happy in each other. Yet had any one cared to remark, they had perceived that Lodore looked even more abstracted than before his marriage. They had seen, that, in the domestic coterie, mother and daughter were familiar friends, sharing each thought and wish, but that Lodore was one apart, banished, or exiling himself from the dearest blessings of friendship and love. There might be no concealment, but also there was no frankness between the pair. Neither practised disguise, but there was no outpouring of the heart—no "touch of nature," which, passing like an electric shock, made their souls one. An insurmountable barrier stood between Lodore and his happiness—between his love and his wife's confidence; that this obstacle was a shadow—undefined—formless—nothing—yet every thing, made it trebly hateful, and rendered it utterly impossible that it should be removed.

The magician who had raised this ominous phantom, was Lady Santerre. She was a clever though uneducated woman: perfectly selfish, soured with the world, yet clinging to it. To make good her second entrance on its stage, she believed it necessary to preserve unlimited sway over the plastic mind of her daughter. If she had acted with integrity, her end had been equally well secured; but unfortunately, she was by nature framed to prefer the zig-zag to the straight line; added to which, she was imperious, and could not bear a rival near her throne. From the first, therefore, she exerted herself to secure her empire over Cornelia; she spared neither flattery nor artifice; and, well acquainted as she was with every habit and turn of her daughter's mind, her task was comparatively easy.

The fair girl had been brought up (ah! how different from the sentiments which Lodore had thought to find the natural inheritance of the mountain child!) to view society as the glass by which she was to set her feelings, and to which to adapt her conduct. She was ignorant, accustomed to the most frivolous employments, shrinking from any mental exercise, so that although her natural abilities were great, they lay dormant, producing neither bud nor blossom, unless such might be called the elegance of her appearance, and the charm of the softest and most ingenuous manners in the world. When her husband would have educated her mind, and withdrawn her from the dangers of dissipation, she looked on his conduct as tyrannical and cruel. She retreated from his manly guidance, to the pernicious guardianship of Lady Santerre, and she sheltered herself at her side, from any effort Lodore might make for her improvement.

Those who have never experienced a situation of this kind, cannot understand it; the details appear trivial: there seems wanting but one effort to push away the flimsy web, which, after all, is rather an imaginary than real bondage. But the slightest description will bring it home to those who have known it, and groaned beneath a despotism the more intolerable, as it could be less defined. Lord Lodore found that he had no home, no dear single-hearted bosom where he could find sympathy and to which to impart pleasure. When he entered his drawing-room with gaiety of spirit to impart some agreeable tidings, to ask his wife's advice, or to propose some plan, Lady Santerre was ever by her side, with her hard features and canting falsetto voice, checking at once the kindling kindness of his soul, and he felt that all that he should say would be turned from its right road, by some insidious remark, and the words he was about to speak died upon his lips. When he looked forward through the day, and would have given the world to have had his wife to himself, and to have sought, in some drive or excursion, for the pleasant unreserved converse he sighed for, Lady Santerre must be consulted; and though she never opposed him, she always carried her point in opposition to his. His wishes were made light of, and he was left to amuse himself, and to know that his wife was imbibing the lessons of one, whom he had learnt to despise and hate.

Lord Lodore cherished an ideal of what he thought a woman ought to be; but he had no lofty opinion of woman as he had usually found her. He had believed that the germ of all the excellencies which he esteemed was to be found in Cornelia, and he found himself mistaken. He had expected to find truth, clearness of spirit, and complying gentleness, the adorning qualities of the unsophisticated girl, and he found her the willing disciple of one whose selfish and artful character was in direct contradiction to his own. Once or twice at the beginning, he had attempted to withdraw his wife from this sinister influence, but Lady Lodore highly resented any effort of this kind, and saw in it an endeavour to make her neglect her first and dearest duties. Lodore, angry that the wishes of another should be preferred to his, drew back with disappointed pride; he disdained to enforce by authority, that which he thought ought to be yielded to love. The bitter sense of wounded affections was not to be appeased by knowing that, if he chose, he could command that, which was worthless in his eyes, except as a voluntary gift.

And here his error began; he had married one so young, that her education, even if its foundation had been good, required finishing, and who as it was, had every thing to learn. During the days of courtship he had looked forward with pleasure to playing the tutor to his fair mistress: but a tutor can do nothing without authority, either open or concealed—a tutor must sacrifice his own pursuits and immediate pleasures, to study and adapt himself to the disposition of his pupil. As has been said of those who would acquire power in the state—they must in some degree follow, if they would lead, and it is by adapting themselves to the humour of those they would command, that they establish the law of their own will, or of an apparent necessity. But Lodore understood nothing of all this. He had been accustomed to be managed by his mistress; he had been yielding, but it was because she contrived to make his will her own; otherwise he was imperious: opposition startled and disconcerted him, and he saw heartlessness in the want of accommodation and compliance he met at home. He had expected from Cornelia a girl's clinging fondness, but that was given to her mother; nor did she feel the womanly tenderness, which sees in her husband the safeguard from the ills of life, the shield to stand between her and the world, to ward off its cruelties; a shelter from adversity, a refuge when tempests were abroad. How could she feel this, who, proud in youth and triumphant beauty, knew nothing of, and disbelieved the tales which sages and old women tell of the perils of life? The world looked to her a velvet strewn walk, canopied from every storm—her husband alone, who endeavoured to reveal the reality of things to her, and to disturb her visions, was the source of any sorrow or discomfort. She was buoyed up by the supercilious arrogance of youth; and while inexperience rendered her incapable of entering into the feelings of her husband, she displayed towards him none of that deference, and yielding submission, which might reasonably have been expected from her youth, but that her mother was there to claim them for herself, and to inculcate, as far as she could, that while she was her natural friend, Lodore was her natural enemy.

He, with strong pride and crushed affections, gave himself up for a disappointed man. He disdained to struggle with the sinister influence of his mother-in-law; he did not endeavour to discipline and invigorate the facile disposition of his bride. He had expected devotion, attention, love; and he scorned to complain or to war against the estrangement that grew up between them. If at any time he was impelled by an overflowing heart to seek his fair wife's side, the eternal presence of Lady Santerre chilled him at once; and to withdraw her from this was a task difficult indeed to one who could not forgive the competition admitted between them. At first he made one or two endeavours to separate them; but the reception his efforts met with galled his haughty soul; and while he cherished a deep and passionate hatred for the cause, he grew to despise the victim of her arts. He thought that he perceived duplicity, low-thoughted pride, and coldness of heart, the native growth of the daughter of such a mother. He yielded her up at once to the world and her parent, and resolved to seek, not happiness, but occupation elsewhere. He felt the wound deeply, but he sought no cure; and pride taught him to mask his soreness of spirit by a studied mildness of manner, which, being joined to cold indifference, and frequent contradiction, soon begot a considerable degree of resentment, and even dislike on her part. Her mother's well-applied flatteries and the adulation of her friends were contrasted with his half-disguised contempt. The system of society tended to increase their mutual estrangement. She embarked at once on the stream of fashion; and her whole time was given up to the engagements and amusements that flowed in on her on all sides; while he—one other regret added to many previous ones—one other disappointment in addition to those which already corroded his heart—bade adieu to every hope of domestic felicity, and tried to create new interests for himself, seeking, in public affairs, for food for a mind eager for excitement.


What are fears, but voices airy
Whisp'ring harm, where harm is not?
And deluding the unwary.
Till the fatal bolt is shot?


Lord Lodore was disgusted at the very threshold of his new purpose. His long residence abroad prevented his ever acquiring the habit of public speaking; nor had he the respect for human nature, nor the enthusiasm for a party or a cause, which is necessary for one who would make a figure as a statesman. His sensitive disposition, his pride, which, when excited, verged into arrogance; his uncompromising integrity, his disdain of most of his associates, his incapacity of yielding obedience, rendered his short political career one of struggle and mortification. "And this is life!" he said; "abroad, to mingle with the senseless and the vulgar; and at home, to find a—wife, who prefers the admiration of fools, to the love of an honest heart!"

Within a year after her marriage, Lady Lodore gave birth to a daughter. This circumstance, which naturally tends to draw the parents nearer, unfortunately in this instance set them further apart. Lady Santerre had been near, with so many restrictions and so much interference, which though probably necessary, considering Cornelia's extreme youth, yet seemed vexatious and impertinent to Lodore. All things appeared to be permitted, except those which he proposed. A drive, a ride, even a walk with him, was to be considered fatal; while, at the same time, Lady Lodore was spending whole nights in heated rooms, and even dancing. Her confinement was followed by a long illness; the child was nursed by a stranger, secluded in a distant part of the house; and during her slow recovery, the young mother seemed scarcely to remember that it existed. The love for children is a passion often developed most fully in the second stage of life. Lodore idolized his little offspring, and felt hurt and angry when his wife, after it had been in her room a minute or two, on the first approach it made to a squall, ordered it to be taken away. At the time, in truth, she was reduced to the lowest ebb of weakness; but Lodore, as men are apt to do, was slow to discern her physical suffering, while his cheeks burnt with indignation, as she peevishly repeated the command that his child should go.

When she grew better this was not mended. She was ordered into the country for air, at a time when the little girl was suffering from some infantine disorder, and could not be moved. It was left with its nurses, but Lodore remained also, and rather suffered his wife to travel without him, so to demonstrate openly, that he thought her treatment of her baby unmotherly; not that he expressed this sentiment, nor did Lady Lodore guess at it; she saw only his usual spirit of contradiction and neglect, in his desertion of her at this period.

The mother pressed with careless lips the downy cheek of the little cherub, and departed; while Lodore passed most of his time in the child's apartment, or, turning his library into a nursery, it was continually with him there. "Here," he thought, "I have something to live for, something to love. And even though I am not loved in return, my heart's sacrifice will not be repaid with insolence and contempt." But when the infant began to show tokens of recognition and affection, when it smiled and stretched out its little hands on seeing him, and crowed with innocent pleasure; and still more, when the lisped paternal name fell from its roseate lips—the father repeated more emphatically, "Here is something that makes it worth while to have been born—to live!" An illness of the child overwhelmed him with anxiety and despair. She recovered; and he thanked God, with a lively emotion of joy, to which he had long been a stranger.

His affection for his child augmented the annoyance which he derived from his domestic circle. He had been hitherto sullenly yielding on any contest; but whatever whim, or whatever plan, he formed with regard to his daughter, he abided by unmoved, and took pleasure in manifesting his partiality for her. Lodore was by nature a man of violent and dangerous passions, add to which, his temper was susceptible to irritability. He disdained to cope with the undue influence exercised by Lady Santerre over his wife. He beheld in the latter, a frivolous, childish puppet, endowed with the usual feminine infirmities—

"The love of pleasure, and the love of sway;"

and destitute of that tact and tenderness of nature which should teach her where to yield and how to reign. He left her therefore to her own devices, resolved only that he would not give up a single point relative to his child, and consequently, according to the weakness of human nature, ever ready to find fault with and prohibit all her wishes on the subject.

Cornelia, accustomed to be guided by her mother's watchful artifices, and to submit to a tyranny which assumed the guise of servitude, felt only with the feelings implanted by her parent. She was not, like Lady Santerre, heartless; but cherished pride, the effect of perpetual misrepresentation, painted her as such. She looked on her husband as a man essentially selfish—one who, worn out by passion, had married her to beguile his hours during a visitation of ennui, and incapable of the softness of love or the kindness of friendship. On occasion of his new conduct with regard to her child, her haughty soul was in arms against him, and something almost akin to hatred sprung up within her. She resented his interference; she believed that his object was to deprive her of the consolation of her daughter's love, and that his chief aim was to annoy and insult her. She was jealous of her daughter with her husband, of her husband with her daughter. If by some chance a word or look passed that might have softened the mutual sentiment of distrust, the evil genius of the scene was there to freeze again the genial current; and any approach to kindness, by an inexplicable but certain result, only tended to place them further apart than before.

Three winters had passed since their marriage, and the third spring was merging into summer, while they continued in this state of warlike neutrality. Any slight incident might have destroyed the fictitious barriers erected by ill-will and guile between them; or, so precarious was their state, any new event might change petty disagreements into violent resentment, and prevent their ever entertaining towards each other those feelings which, but for one fatal influence, would naturally have had root between them. The third summer was come. They were spending the commencement of it in London, when circumstances occurred, unanticipated by either, which changed materially the course of their domestic arrangements.

Lord Lodore returned home one evening at a little after eleven, from a dinner-party, and found, as usual, his drawing-room deserted—Lady Lodore had gone to a ball. He had returned in that humour to moralize, which we so often bring from society into solitude; and he paced the empty apartments with impatient step. "Home!—yes, this is my home! I had hoped that gentle peace and smiling love would be its inmates, that returning as now, from those who excite my spleen and contempt, one eye would have lighted up to welcome me, a dear voice have thanked me for my return. Home! a Tartar beneath his tent—a wild Indian in his hut, may speak of home—I have none. Where shall I spend the rest of this dull, deserted evening?"—for it may be supposed that, sharing London habits, eleven o'clock was to him but an evening hour.

He went into his dressing-room, and casting his eyes on the table, a revulsion came over him, a sudden shock—for there lay a vision, which made his breath come thick, and caused the blood to recede to his heart—a like vision has had the same effect on many, though it took but the unobtrusive form of a little note—a note, whose fold, whose seal, whose superscription, were all once so familiar, and now so strange. Time sensibly rolled back; each event of the last few years was broken off, as it were, from his life, leaving it as it had been ten years ago. He seized the note, and then threw it from him. "It is a mere mistake," he said aloud, while he felt, even to the marrow of his bones, the thrill and shudder as of an occurrence beyond the bounds of nature. Yet still the note lay there, and half as if to undeceive himself, and to set witchcraft at nought, he again took it up—this time in a less agitated mood, so that when the well-known impression of a little foreign coronet on the seal met his eye, he became aware that however unexpected such a sight might be, it was in the moral course of things, and he hastily tore open the epistle: it was written in French, and was very concise. "I arrived in town last night," the writer said; "I and my son are about to join my husband in Paris. I hear that you are married; I hope to see you and your lady before I leave London."

After reading these few lines, Lord Lodore remained for a considerable time lost in thought. He tried to consider what he should do, but his ideas wandered, as they sadly traced the past, and pictured to him the present. Never did life appear so vain, so contemptible, so odious a thing as now, that he was reminded of the passions and sufferings of former days, which, strewed at his feet like broken glass, might still wound him, though their charm and their delight could never be renewed. He did not go out that night; indeed it seemed as if but a minute had passed, when, lo! morning was pouring her golden summer beams into his room—when Lady Lodore's carriage drove up; and early sounds in the streets told him that night was gone and the morrow come.

That same day Lord Lodore requested Cornelia to call with him on a Polish lady of rank, with whom he had formerly been acquainted, to whom he was under obligations. They went. And what Lodore felt when he stood with his lovely wife before her, who for many by-gone years had commanded his fate, had wound him to her will, through the force of love and woman's wiles—who he knew could read every latent sentiment of his soul, and yet towards whom he was resolved now, and for ever in future, to adopt the reserved manners of a mere acquaintance—what of tremor or pain all this brought to Lodore's bosom was veiled, at least beyond Cornelia's penetration, who seldom truly observed him, and who was now occupied by her new acquaintance.

The lady had passed the bloom of youth, and even mid life; she was verging on fifty, but she had every appearance of having been transcendently beautiful. Her dark full oriental eyes still gleamed from beneath her finely-arched brows, and her black hair, untinged by any grizzly change, was gathered round her head in such tresses as bespoke an admirable profusion. Her person was tall and commanding: her manners were singular, for she mingled so strangely, stateliness and affability, disdain and sweetness, that she seemed like a princess dispensing the favour of her smile, or the terror of her frown on her submissive subjects; her sweetest smiles were for Cornelia, who yet turned from her to another object, who attracted her more peculiar attention. It was her son; a youth inheriting all his mother's beauty, added to the fascination of early manhood, and a frank and ingenuous address, which his parent could never have possessed.

The party separated, apparently well pleased with each other. Lady Lodore offered her services, which were frankly accepted; and after an hour spent together, they appointed to meet again the next day, when the ladies should drive out together to shop and see sights.

They became not exactly intimate, yet upon familiar terms. There was a dignity and even a constraint in the Countess Lyzinski's manner that was a bar to cordiality; but they met daily, and Lady Lodore introduced her new friend everywhere. The Countess said that motives of curiosity had induced her to take this country in her way to Paris. Her wealth was immense, and her rank among the first in her own country. The Russian ambassador treated her with distinction, so that she gained facile and agreeable entrance into the highest society. The young Count Casimir was an universal favourite, but his dearest pleasure was to attend upon Lady Lodore, who readily offered to school him on his entrance into the English world. They were pretty exactly the same age; Casimir was somewhat the junior, yet he looked the elder, while the lady, accustomed to greater independence, took the lead in their intercourse, and acted the monitress to her docile scholar.

Lord Lodore looked on, or took a part, in what was passing around him, with a caprice perfectly unintelligible. With the Countess he was always gentle and obliging, but reserved. While she treated him with a coldness resembling disdain, yet whose chiefest demonstration was silence. Lodore never altered towards her; it was with regard to her son that he displayed his susceptible temper. He took pains to procure for him every proper acquaintance; he was forward in directing him; he watched over his mode of passing his time, he appeared to be interested in every thing he did, and yet to hate him. His demeanour towards him was morose, almost insulting. Lodore, usually so forbearing and courteous, would contradict and silence him, as if he had been a child or a menial. It required all Casimir's deference for one considerably his senior, to prevent him from resenting openly this style of treatment; it required all the fascination of Lady Lodore to persuade him to encounter it a second time. Once he had complained to her, and she remonstrated with her husband. His answer was to reprimand her for listening to the impertinence of the stripling. She coloured angrily, but did not reply. Cold and polite to each other, the noble pair were not in the habit of disputing. Lady Santerre guarded against that. Any thing as familiar as a quarrel might have produced a reconciliation, and with that a better understanding of each other's real disposition. The disdain that rose in Cornelia's bosom on this taunt, fostered by conscious innocence, and a sense of injustice, displayed itself in a scornful smile, and by an augmentation of kindness towards Casimir. He was now almost domesticated at her house; he attended her in the morning, hovered round her during the evening; and she, given up to the desire of pleasing, did not regard, did not even see, the painful earnestness with which Lord Lodore regarded them. His apparent jealousy, if she at all remarked it, was but a new form of selfishness, to which she was not disposed to give quarter. Yet any unconcerned spectator might have started to observe how, from an obscure corner of the room, Lodore watched every step they took, every change of expression of face during their conversation; and then approaching and interrupting them, endeavoured to carry Count Casimir away with him; and when thwarted in this, dart glances of such indignation on the youth, and of scorn upon his wife, as might have awoke a sense of danger, had either chanced to see the fierce, lightning-like passions written in those moments on his countenance, as letters of fire and menace traced upon the prophetic wall.

The Countess appeared to observe him indeed, and sometimes it seemed as if she regarded the angry workings of his heart with malicious pleasure. Once or twice she had drawn near, and said a few words in her native language, on which he endeavoured to stifle each appearance of passion, answering with a smile, in a low calm voice, and retiring, left, as it were, the field to her. Lady Santerre also had remarked his glances of suspicion or fury; they were interpreted into new sins against her daughter, and made with her the subject of ridicule or bitter reproach.

Lord Lodore was entirely alone. To no one human being could he speak a word that in the least expressed the violence of his feelings. Perhaps the only person with whom he felt the least inclined to overflow in confidence, was the Countess Lyzinski. But he feared her: he feared the knowledge she possessed of his character, and the power she had once exercised to rule him absolutely; the barrier between them must be insuperable, or the worst results would follow: he redoubled his own cautious reserve, and bore patiently the proud contempt which she exhibited, resolved not to yield one inch in the war he waged with his own heart, with regard to her. But he was alone, and the solitude of sympathy in which he lived, gave force and keenness to all his feelings. Had they evaporated in words, half their power to wound had been lost; as it was, there was danger in his meditations, and each one in collision with him had occasion to dread that any sudden overflow of stormy rage would be the more violent for having been repressed so long.

One day the whole party, with the exception of Lady Santerre, dined at the house of the Russian ambassador. As Lord and Lady Lodore proceeded towards their destination, he, with pointed sarcasm of manner, requested her to be less marked in her attentions to Count Casimir. The unfounded suspicions of a lover may please as a proof of love, but those of a husband, who thus claims affections which he has ceased to endeavour to win, are never received except as an impertinence and an insult. Those of Lord Lodore appeared to his haughty wife but a new form of cold-hearted despotism, checking her pleasures whencesoever they might arise. She replied by a bitter smile, and afterwards still more insultingly, by the display of kindness and partiality towards the object of her husband's dislike. Her complete sense of innocence, roused to indignation, by the injury she deemed offered to it, led her thus to sport with feelings, which, had she deigned to remark, she might have seen working with volcano-power in the breast of Lodore.

The ladies retired after dinner. They gathered together in groups in the drawing-room, while Lady Lodore, strange to say, sat apart from all. She placed herself on a distant sopha, apparently occupied by examining various specimens of bijouterie, nic-nacs of all kinds, which she took up one after the other, from the table near her. One hand shaded her eyes as she continued thus to amuse herself. She was not apt to be so abstracted; as now, that intent on self-examination, or self-reproach, or on thoughts that wandered to another, she forgot where she was, and by whom surrounded. She did not observe the early entrance of several gentlemen from the dining-room, nor remark a kind of embarrassment which sat upon their features, spreading a sort of uncomfortable wonder among the guests. The first words that roused her, were addressed to her by her husband: "Your carriage waits, Cornelia; will you come?"

"So early?" she asked.

"I particularly wish it," he replied.

"You can go, and send them back for me—and yet it is not worth while, we shall see most of the people here at Lady C——'s to night."

She glanced round the room, Casimir was not there; as she passed the Countess Lyzinski, she was about to ask her whether they should meet again that evening, when she caught the lady's eye fixed on her husband, meeting and returning a look of his. Alarm and disdain were painted on her face, and added to this, a trace of feeling so peculiar, so full of mutual understanding, that Lady Lodore was filled with no agreeable emotion of surprise. She entered the carriage, and the reiterated "Home!" of Lord Lodore, prevented her intended directions. Both were silent during their short drive. She sat absorbed in a variety of thoughts, not one of which led her to enter into conversation with her companion; they were rather fixed on her mother, on the observations she should make to, and the conjectures she should share with, her. She became anxious to reach home, and resolved at once to seek Lady Santerre's advice and directions by which to regulate her conduct on this occasion.


Who then to frail mortality shall trust,
But limns the water, or but writes in dust.


They arrived in Berkeley-square. Lady Lodore alighted, and perceived with something of a beating heart, that her husband followed her, as she passed on to the inner drawing-room. Lady Santerre was not there. Taking a letter from the table, so to give herself the appearance of an excuse for having entered a room she was about immediately to quit, she was going, when Lodore, who stood hesitating, evidently desirous of addressing her, and yet uncertain how to begin, stopped her by speaking her name, "Cornelia!"

She turned—she was annoyed; her conscience whispered what was in all probability the subject to which her attention was to be called. Her meditations in the drawing-room of the Russian Ambassador, convinced her that she had, to use the phrase of the day, flirted too much with Count Casimir, and she had inwardly resolved to do so no more. It was particularly disagreeable therefore, that her husband should use authority, as she feared that he was about to do, and exact from his wife's obedience, what she was willing to concede to her own sense of propriety. She was resolved to hear as little as she could on the subject, and stood as if in haste to go. His faltering voice betrayed how much he felt, and once or twice it refused to frame the words he desired to utter: how different was their import from that expected by his impatient auditress!

"Cornelia," said he, at length, "can you immediately, and at once—this very night—prepare to quit England?"

"Quit England! Why?—whither?" she exclaimed.

"I scarcely know," replied Lodore, "nor is it of the slightest import. The world is wide, a shelter, a refuge can be purchased any where—and that is all I seek."

The gaming table, the turf, loss of fortune, were the ideas naturally conveyed into the lady's mind by this reply. "Is all—every thing gone—lost?" she asked.

"My honour is," he answered, with an effort, "and the rest is of little worth."

He paused, and then continued in a low but distinct voice, as if every word cost him a struggle, yet as if he wished each one to be fraught with its entire meaning to his hearer; "I cannot well explain to you the motives of my sudden determination, nor will I complain of the part you have had in bringing on this catastrophe. It is over now. No power on earth—no heavenly power can erase the past, nor change one iota of what, but an hour ago, did not exist, but which now exists; altering all things to both of us for ever; I am a dishonoured man."

"Speak without more comment," cried Lady Lodore; "for Heaven's sake explain—I must know what you mean."

"I have insulted a gentleman," replied her husband, "and I will yield no reparation. I have disgraced a nobleman by a blow, and I will offer no apology, could one be accepted—and it could not; nor will I give satisfaction."

Lady Lodore remained silent. Her thoughts speedily ran over the dire objects which her husband's speech presented. A quarrel—she too readily guessed with whom—a blow, a duel; her cheek blanched—yet not so; for Lodore refused to fight. In spite of the terror with which an anticipated rencontre had filled her, the idea of cowardice in her husband, or the mere accusation of it, brought the colour back to her face. She felt that her heedlessness had given rise to all this harm; but again she felt insulted that doubts of her sentiments or conduct should be the occasion of a scene of violence. Both remained silent. Lodore stood leaning on the mantelpiece, his cheek flushed, agitation betraying itself in each gesture, mixed with a resolve to command himself. Cornelia had advanced from the door to the middle of the room; she stood irresolute, too indignant and too fearful to ask further explanation, yet anxious to receive it. Still he hesitated. He was desirous of finding some form of words which might convey all the information that it was necessary she should receive, and yet conceal all that he desired should remain untold.

At last he spoke. "It is unnecessary to allude to the irretrievable past. The future is not less unalterable for me. I will not fight with, nor apologize to, the boy I have insulted I must therefore fly—fly my country and the face of man; go where the name of Lodore will not be synonymous with infamy—to an island in the east—to the desert wilds of America—it matters not whither. The simple question is, whether you are prepared on a sudden to accompany me? I would not ask this of your generosity, but that, married as we are, our destinies are linked, far beyond any power we possess to sunder them. Miserable as my future fortunes will be, far other than those which I invited you but four years ago to share, you are better off incurring the worst with me, than you could be, struggling alone for a separate existence."

"Pardon me, Lodore," said Cornelia, somewhat subdued by the magnitude of the crisis brought about, she believed, however involuntarily by herself, and by the sadness that, as he spoke, filled the dark eyes of her companion with an expression more melancholy than tears; "pardon me, if I seek for further explanation. Your antagonist" (they neither of them ventured to speak a name, which hung on the lips of both) "is a mere boy. Your refusal to fight with him results of course from this consideration; while angry, and if I must allude to so distasteful a falsehood, while unjust suspicion prevent your making him fitting and most due concessions. Were the occasion less terrible, I might disdain to assert my own innocence; but as it is, I do most solemnly declare, that Count Casimir——"

"I ask no question on that point, but simply wish to know whether you will accompany me," interrupted Lodore, hastily; "the rest I am sorry for—but it is over. You, my poor girl, though in some measure the occasion, and altogether the victim, of this disaster, can exercise no controul over it. No foreign noble would accept the most humiliating submissions as compensation for a blow, and this urchin shall never receive from me the shadow of any."

"Is there no other way?" asked Cornelia.

"Not any," replied Lodore, while his agitation increased, and his voice grew tremulous; "No consideration on earth could arm me against his life. One other mode there is. I might present myself as a mark for his vengeance, with a design of not returning his fire, but I am shut out even from this resource. And this," continued Lodore, losing as he spoke, all self-command, carried away by the ungovernable passions he had hitherto suppressed, and regardless, as he strode up and down the room, of Cornelia, who half terrified had sunk into a chair; "this—these are the result of my crimes—such, from their consequences, I now term, what by courtesy I have hitherto named my follies—this is the end! Bringing into frightful collision those who are bound by sacred ties—changing natural love into unnatural, deep-rooted, unspeakable hate—arming blood against kindred blood—and making the innocent a parricide. O Theodora, what have you not to answer for!"

Lady Lodore started. The image he presented was too detestable. She repressed her emotions, and assuming that air of disdain, which we are so apt to adopt to colour more painful feelings, she said, "This sounds very like a German tragedy, being at once disagreeable and inexplicable."

"It is a tragedy," he replied; "a tragedy brought now to its last dark catastrophe. Casimir is my son. We may neither of us murder the other; nor will I, if again brought into contact with him, do other than chastise the insolent boy. The tiger is roused within me. You have a part in this."

A flash of anger glanced from Cornelia's eyes. She did not reply—she rose—she quitted the room—she passed on with apparent composure, till reaching the door of her mother's chamber, she rushed impetuously in. Overcome with indignation, panting, choked, she threw herself into her arms, saying, "Save me!" A violent fit of hysterics followed.

At first Lady Lodore could only speak of the injury and insult she had herself suffered; and Lady Santerre, who by no means wished to encourage feelings, which might lead to violence in action, tried to soothe her irritation. But when allusions to Lodore's intention of quitting England and the civilized world for ever, mingled with Cornelia's exclamations, the affair assumed a new aspect in the wary lady's eyes. The barbarity of such an idea excited her utmost resentment. At once she saw the full extent of the intended mischief, and the risk she incurred of losing the reward of years of suffering and labour. When an instantaneous departure was mentioned, an endless, desolate journey, which it was doubtful whether she should be admitted to share, to be commenced that very night, she perceived that her measures to prevent it must be promptly adopted. The chariot was still waiting which was to have conveyed Lord and Lady Lodore to their assembly; dressed as she was for this, without preparation, she hurried her daughter into the carriage, and bade the coachman drive to a villa they rented at Twickenham; leaving, in explanation, these few lines addressed to her son-in-law.

"The scene of this evening has had an alarming effect upon Cornelia. Time will soften the violence of her feelings, but some immediate step was necessary to save, I verily believe, her life. I take her to Twickenham, and will endeavour to calm her: until I shall have in some measure succeeded, I think you had better not follow us; but let us hear from you; for although my attention is so painfully engrossed by my daughter's sufferings, I am distressed on your account also, and shall continue very uneasy until I hear from you.

"Friday Evening."

Lady Santerre and her daughter reached Twickenham. Lady Lodore went to bed, and assisted by a strong composing draught, administered by her mother, her wrongs and her anger were soon hushed in profound sleep. Night, or rather morning, was far spent before this occurred, so that it was late in the afternoon of the ensuing day before she awoke, and recalled to her memory the various conflicting sentiments which had occupied her previous to her repose.

During the morning, Lady Santerre had despatched a servant to Berkeley-square, to summon her daughter's peculiar attendants. He now brought back the intelligence that Lord Lodore had departed for the continent, about three hours after his wife had quitted his house. But to this he added tidings of another circumstance, for which both ladies were totally unprepared. Cornelia had entered the carriage the preceding night, without spending one thought on the sleeping cherub in the nursery. What was her surprise and indignation, when she heard that her child and its attendant formed a part of his lordship's travelling suite. The mother's first impulse was to follow her offspring; but this was speedily exchanged for a bitter sense of wrong, aversion to her husband, and a resolve not to yield one point, in the open warfare thus declared by him.


Amid two seas, on one small point of land,
Wearied, uncertain, and amazed, we stand;
On either side our thoughts incessant turn,
Forward we dread, and looking back we mourn.


Accustomed to obey the more obvious laws of necessity, those whose situation in life obliges them to earn their daily bread, are already broken in to the yoke of fate. But the rich and great are vanquished more slowly. Their time is their own; as fancy bids them, they can go east, west, north, or south; they wish, and accomplish their wishes; and cloyed by the too easy attainment of the necessaries, and even of the pleasures of life, they fly to the tortures of passion, and to the labour of overcoming the obstacles that stand in the way of their forbidden desires, as resources against ennui and satiety. Reason is lost in the appetite for excitement, and a kind of unnatural pleasure springs from their severest pains, because thus alone are they roused to a full sense of their faculties; thus alone is existence and its purposes brought home to them.

In the midst of this, their thoughtless career, the eternal law which links ill to ill, is at hand to rebuke and tame the rebel spirit; and such a tissue of pain and evil is woven from their holiday pastime, as checks them midcourse, and makes them feel that they are slaves. The young are scarcely aware of this; they delight to contend with Fate, and laugh as she clanks their chains. But there is a period—sooner or later comes to all—when the links envelop them, the bolts are shot, the rivets fixed, the iron enters the flesh, the soul is subdued, and they fly to religion or proud philosophy, to seek for an alleviation, which the crushed spirit can no longer draw from its own resources.

This hour! this fatal hour! How many can point to the shadow on the dial, and say, "Then it was that I felt the whole weight of my humanity, and knew myself to be the subject of an unvanquishable power!" This dark moment had arrived for Lodore. He had spent his youth in passion, and exhausted his better nature in a struggle for, and in the enjoyment of, pleasure. He found disappointment, and desired change. It came at his beck. He married. He was not satisfied; but still he felt that it was because he did not rouse himself, that the bonds sate so heavily upon him. He was enervated. He sickened at the idea of the struggle it would require to cast off his fetters, and he preferred adapting his nature to endure their weight. But he believed that it was only because he did not raise his hand, nor determine on one true effort, that he was thus enslaved. And now his hand was raised—the effort made; but no change ensued; and he felt that there was no escape from the inextricable bonds that fastened him to misery.

He had believed that he did right in introducing his wife to the Countess Lyzinski. He felt that he could not neglect this lady; and such was her rank, that any affectation of a separate acquaintance would invite those observations which he deprecated. It was, after all, matter of trivial import that he should be the person to bring them acquainted. Moving in the same circles, they must meet—they might clash: it was better that they should be on friendly terms. He did not foresee the intimacy that ensued; and still less, that his own violent passions would be called into action. That they were so, was, to the end, a mystery even to himself. He no longer loved the Countess; and, in the solitude of his chamber, he often felt his heart yearn towards the noble youth, her son; but when they met—when Cornelia spent her blandest smiles upon him, and when the exquisitely beautiful countenance of Casimir became lighted up with gladness and gratitude, a fire of rage was kindled in his heart, and he could no more command himself, than can the soaring flames of a conflagration bend earthward. He felt ashamed; but new fury sprung from this very sensation. For worlds, he would not have his frenzy pried into by another; and yet he had no power to controul its manifestation. His wife expostulated with him concerning Casimir, and laughed his rebuke to scorn. But she did not read the tumult of unutterable jealousy and hate, that slept within his breast, like an earthquake beneath the soil, the day before a city falls.

All tended to add fuel to this unnatural flame. His own exertions to subdue its fierceness but kindled it anew. Often he entered the same room with the young Count, believing that he had given his suspicions to the winds—that he could love him as a son, and rejoice with a father's pride in the graces of his figure and the noble qualities of his mind. For a few seconds the fiction endured: he felt a pang—it was nothing—gone; it would not return again:—another! was he for ever to be thus tortured? And then a word a look, an appearance of slighting him on the part of Casimir, an indiscreet smile on Cornelia's lips, would at once set a-light the whole devastating blaze. The Countess alone had any power over him; but though he yielded to her influence, he was the more enraged that she should behold his weakness; and that while he succeeded in maintaining an elevated impassibility with regard to herself, his heart, with all its flaws and poverty of purpose, should, through the ill-timed interference of this boy, be placed once more naked in her hand.

Such a state of feeling, where passion combated passion, while reason was forgotten in the strife, was necessarily pregnant with ruin. The only safety was in flight;—and Lodore would have flown—he would have absented himself until the cause of his sufferings had departed—but that, more and more, jealousy entered into his feelings—a jealousy, wound up by the peculiarity of his situation, into a sensitiveness that bordered on insanity, which saw guilt in a smile, and overwhelming, hopeless ruin, in the simplest expression of kindness. Cornelia herself was disinclined to quit London, and tenacious pride rendered him averse to proposing it, since he could frame no plausible pretext for his change of purpose, and it had been previously arranged that they should remain till the end of July. The presence of the Countess Lyzinski was a tie to keep her; and to have pleaded his feelings with regard to Casimir, could he have brought himself so to do, would probably have roused her at once into rebellion. There was no resource; he must bear, and also he must forbear;—but the last was beyond his power, and his attempt at the first brought with it destruction. In the last instance, at the Russian Ambassador's, irritated by Cornelia's tone of defiance, and subsequent levity, he levelled a scornful remark at the guiltless and unconscious offender. Casimir had endured his arrogance and injustice long. He knew of no tie, no respect due, beyond that which youth owes to maturer years; yet the natural sweetness of his disposition inclined him to forbearance, until now, that surrounded by his own countrymen and by Russians, it became necessary that he should assert himself. He replied with haughtiness; Lodore rejoined with added insult;—and when again Casimir retorted, he struck him. The young noble's eyes flashed fire: several gentlemen interposed between them;—and yielding to the expediency of the moment, the Pole, with admirable temper, withdrew.

Humiliated and dismayed, but still burning with fury, Lodore saw at once the consequences of his angry transport. With all the impetuosity of his fiery spirit, he resolved to quit at once the scene in which he had played his part so ill. There was no other alternative. The most frightful crimes blocked up every other outlet: this was his sole escape, and he must seize on it without delay. Lady Lodore had not even deigned to answer his request that she should accompany him; and her mother's note appeared the very refinement of insolence. They abandoned him. They left the roof from which he was about to exile himself, even before he had quitted it, as if in fear of contamination during his brief delay. Thus he construed their retreat; and worked up, as he was, almost to madness, he considered their departure as the commencement of that universal ban, which for ever, hereafter, was to accompany his name. It opened anew the wound his honour had sustained; and he poured forth a vow never more to ally himself in bonds of love or amity with one among his kind.

His purpose was settled, and he did not postpone its execution. Post-horses were ordered, and hasty preparations made, for his departure. Alone, abandoned, disgraced, in another hour he was to quit his home, his wife, all that endears existence, for ever: yet the short interval that preceded his departure hung like a long-drawn day upon him; and time seemed to make a full stop, at a period when he would have rejoiced had it leaped many years to come. The heart's prayer in agony did not avail: he was still kept lingering, when a knocking at the door announced a visitor, who, at that late hour, could come for one purpose only. Lord Lodore ordered himself to be denied, and Count Casimir's second departed to seek him elsewhere. Cold dew-drops stood on Lodore's brow as he heard this gentleman parley in a foreign accent with the servant; trying, doubtless, to make out where it was likely that he should meet with him: the door closed at last, and he listened to the departing steps of his visitor, who could scarcely have left the square, before his travelling chariot drove up. And now, while final arrangements were making, with a heart heavy from bitter self-condemnation, he visited the couch of his sleeping daughter, once more to gaze on her sweet face, and for the last time to bestow a father's blessing on her. The early summer morning was abroad in the sky; and as he opened her curtains, the first sun-beam played upon her features. He stooped to kiss her little rosy lips:—"And I leave this spotless being to the blighting influence of that woman!" His murmurs disturbed the child's slumbers: she woke, and smiled to see her father; and then insisted upon rising, as he was up, and it was day.

"But I am come to say good-bye, sweet," he said; "I am going a long journey."

"O take me with you!" cried the little girl, springing up, and fastening her arms round his neck. He felt her soft cheek prest to his; her hands trying to hold fast, and to resist his endeavours to disengage them. His heart warmed within him. "For a short distance I may indulge myself," he said, and he thought how her prattle would solace his darker cares, during his road to Southampton. So, causing her attendant to make speedy preparation, he took her in the carriage with him; and her infantine delight so occupied him, that he scarcely remembered his situation, or what exactly he was doing, as he drove for the last time through the lightsome and deserted streets of the metropolis.

And now he had quitted these; and the country, in all its summer beauty, opened around him—meadows and fields with their hedge-rows, tufted groves crowning the uplands, and "the blue sky bent over all." "From these they cannot banish me," he thought; "in spite of dishonour and infamy, the loveliness of nature, and the freedom of my will, still are mine:—and is this all?"—his child had sunk to sleep, nestled close in his arms; "Ah! what will these be to me, when I have lost this treasure, dearest of all?—yet why lose her?" This question, when it first presented itself to him, he put aside as one that answered itself—to deprive a mother of her child were barbarity beyond that of savages;—but again and again it came across him, and he began to reason with it, and to convince himself that he should be unjust towards himself in relinquishing this last remaining blessing. His arguments were false, his conclusions rash and selfish; but of this he was not aware. Our several minds, in reflecting to our judgments the occurrences of life, are like mirrors of various shapes and hues, so that we none of us perceive passing objects with exactly similar optics; and while all pretend to regulate themselves by the quadrant of justice, the deceptive medium through which the reality is viewed, causes our ideas of it to be at once various and false. This is the case in immaterial points; how much more so, when self-love magnifies, and passion obscures, the glass through which we look upon others and ourselves. The chief task of the philosopher is to purify and correct the intellectual prism;—but Lodore was the reverse of a philosopher; and the more he gazed and considered, the more imperfect and distorted became his perception.

To act justly by ourselves and others, is the aim of every well-conditioned mind: for the sight of pain in our fellow-creatures, and the sense of self-condemnation within ourselves, is fraught with a pang from which we would willingly escape; and every heart not formed of the coarsest materials is keenly alive to such emotions. Lodore resolved to judge calmly, and he reviewed coolly, and weighed (he believed) impartially, the various merits of the question. He thought of Lady Santerre's worldliness, her vulgar ambition, her low-born contempt for all that is noble and elevating in human nature. He thought of Cornelia's docility to her mother's lessons, her careless disregard of the nobler duties of life, of her frivolity and unfeeling nature:—then, almost against his will, his own many excellencies rose before him;—his lofty aspirations, his self-sacrifice for the good of others, the affectionateness of his disposition, his mildness, his desire to be just and kind to all, his willingness to devote every hour of the day, and every thought of his mind, to the well-bringing-up of his daughter: a person must be strangely blind who did not perceive that, as far as the child was concerned, she would be far better off with him.

And then, in another point of view: Lady Lodore had her mother—and she had the world. She had not only beauty, rank, and wealth; but she had a taste for enjoying the advantages yielded by these on the common soil of daily life. He cared for nothing in the wide world—he loved nothing but this little child. He would willingly exchange for her the far greater portion of his fortune, which Lady Lodore should enjoy; reserving for himself such a pittance merely as would suffice for his own and his daughter's support. He had neither home, nor friends, nor youth, nor taintless reputation; nor any of all the blessings of life, of which Cornelia possessed a superabundance. Her child was as nothing in the midst of these. She had left her without a sigh, even without a thought; while but to imagine the moment of parting was a dagger to her father's heart. What a fool he had been to hesitate so long—to hesitate at all! There she was, this angel of comfort; her little form was cradled in his arms, he felt her soft breath upon his hand, and the regular heaving of her bosom responded to the beatings of his own heart; her golden, glossy hair, her crimsoned cheek, her soft, round limbs;—all this matchless "bower of flesh," that held in the budding soul, and already expanding affections of this earthly cherub, was with him. And had he imagined that he could part with her? Rather would he return to Lady Lodore, to dishonour, to scenes of hate and of the world's contempt, so that thus he preserved her: it could not be required of him; but if Cornelia's heart was animated by a tithe of the fondness that warmed his, she would not hesitate in her choice; but, discarding every unworthy feeling, follow her child into the distant and solitary abode he was about to select.

Thus pacifying his conscience, Lodore came to the conclusion of making his daughter the partner of his exile. Soon after mid-day, they arrived at Southampton; a small vessel was on the point of sailing for Havre, and on board this he hurried. Before he went he gave one hasty retrospective view to those he was leaving behind—his wife, his sister, the filial antagonist from whom he was flying; he could readily address himself to the first of these, when landed on the opposite coast; but as he wished to keep his destination a secret from the latter, and to prevent, if possible, his being followed and defied by him, an event still to be feared, he employed the few remaining minutes, before quitting his country for ever, in writing a brief letter to the Countess Lyzinski, which he gave in charge to a servant whom he dismissed, and sent back to town. And thus he now addressed her, who, in his early life, had been as the moon to raise the tide of passion, incapable, alas! of controlling its waves when at the full.

"It is all over: I have fulfilled my part—the rest remains with you. To prevent the ruin which my folly has brought down, from crushing any but myself, I quit country, home, good name—all that is dear to man. I do not complain, nor will I repine. But let the evil, I entreat you, stop here. Casimir must not follow me; he must not know whither I am gone; and while he brands his antagonist with the name of coward, he must not guess that for his sake I endure this stain. I leave it to your prudence and sagacity to calm or to mislead him, to prevent his suspecting the truth, or rashly seeking my life. I sacrifice more, far more, than my heart's blood on his account—let that satisfy even your vengeance.

"I would not write harshly. The dream of life has long been over for me; it matters not how or where the last sands flow out. I do not blame you even for this ill-omened journey to England, which could avail you nothing. Once before we parted for ever, Theodora; but that separation was as the pastime of children in comparison with the tragic scene we now enact. A thousand dangers yawn between us, and we shall neither dare to repass the gulf that divides us. Forget me;—be happy, and forget me! May Casimir be a blessing to you, and while you glory in his perfections and prosperity, cast into oblivion every thought of him, who now bids you an eternal adieu."


Her virtue, like our own, was built
Too much on that indignant fuss,
Hypocrite pride stirs up in us,
To bully out another's guilt.


The fifth day after Lord Lodore's departure brought Cornelia a letter from him. She had spent the interval at Twickenham, surrendering her sorrows and their consolation to her mother's care; and inspired by her with deep resentment and angry disdain. The letter she received was dated Havre: the substance of it was as follows.

"Believe me I am actuated by no selfish considerations, when I ask you once again to reflect before the Atlantic divides us—probably for ever. It is for your own sake, your own happiness only, that I ask you to hesitate. I will not urge your duty to me; the dishonour that has fallen on me I am most ready to bear alone; mine towards you, as far as present circumstances permit, I am desirous to fulfil, and this feeling dictates my present address.

"Consider the solitary years you will pass alone, even though in a crowd, divided from your husband and your child—your home desolate—calumny and ill-nature at watch around you—not one protecting arm stretched over you. Your mother's presence, it is true, will suffice to prevent your position from being in the least equivocal; but the time will soon come when you will discover your mistake in her, and find how unworthy she is of your exclusive affection. I will not urge the temptations and dangers that will beset you; your pride will, I doubt not, preserve you from these, yet they will be near you in their worst shape: you will feel their approaches; you will shudder at their menaces, you will desire my death, and the faith pledged to me at the altar will become a chain and a torture to you.

"I can only offer such affection as your sacrifice will deserve to adorn a lonely and obscure home; rank, society, flatterers, the luxuries of civilization—all these blessings you must forego. Your lot will be cast in solitude. The wide forest, the uninhabited plain, will shelter us. Your husband, your child; in us alone you must view the sum and aim of your life. I will not use the language of persuasion, but in inviting you to share my privations, I renew, yet more solemnly, the vows we once interchanged; and it shall be my care to endeavour to fulfil mine with more satisfaction to both of us than has until now been the case.

"It is useless to attempt to veil the truth, that hitherto our hearts have been alienated from each other. The cause is not in ourselves, and must never again be permitted to influence either of us. If amidst the avocations of society, the presence of a third person has been sufficient to place division between us;—if, on the flowery path of our prosperous life, one fatal interference has strewn thorns and burning ashes beneath our feet, how much more keenly would this intervention be felt in the retirement in which we are hereafter to spend our days.—In the lonely spot to which it will be necessary to contract all our thoughts and hopes, love must alone reign; or hell itself would be but pastime in comparison to our ever-renewing and sleepless torments. The spirit of worldliness, of discord, of paltry pride, must not enter the paling which is to surround our simple dwelling. Come, attended by affection, by open-hearted confidence;—come to me—to your child!—you will find with us peace and mutual love, the true secret of life. All that can make your mother happy in England, shall be provided with no niggard hand:—but come alone, Cornelia, my wife!—come, to take possession of the hearts that are truly yours, and to learn a new lesson, in a new world, from him who will dedicate himself entirely to you.

"Alas! I fear that I speak an unknown language, and one that you will never deign to understand. Still I again implore you to reflect before you decide. On one point I am firm—I feel that I am in the right—that every thing depends upon it. Our daughter's guileless heart shall never be tainted by all that I abhor and despise. For her sake, for yours, more than for my own, I am as rock upon one question. Do not strive to move me—it will be useless! Come alone! and ten thousand welcomes and blessings shall hail your arrival!

"A vessel, in which I have engaged a passage, sails for New York, from this place, in five days time. You must not delay your decision; but hasten, if such be your gracious resolve, to join me here.

"If you decide to sacrifice yourself to one who will never repay that sacrifice, and to the world,—that dreary, pain-haunted jungle,—at least you shall receive from me all that can render your situation there prosperous. You shall not complain of want of generosity on my part. I shall, in my new course of life, require little myself; the remainder of my fortune shall be at your disposal.

"I need not recommend secrecy to you as to the real motive of my exile—your own sense of delicacy will dictate reserve and silence. This letter will be delivered to you by Fenton: he will attend you back here, or bring me your negative—the seal, I feel assured, of your future misery. God grant that you choose wisely and well! Adieu."

The heart of Lady Lodore burnt within her bosom as she read these lines. Haughty and proud, was she to be dictated to thus? and to follow, an obedient slave, the master that deigned to recall her to his presence, after he had (so she termed his abrupt departure) deserted her? Her mother sate by, looking at her with an anxious and inquiring glance, as she read the letter. She saw the changes of her countenance, as it expressed anger, scorn, and bitter indignation. She finished—she was still silent;—how could she show this insulting address to her parent? Again she seemed to study its contents—to ponder.

Lady Santerre rose—gently she was taking the paper from Cornelia's hand. "You must not read it," she cried;—"and yet you must;—and thus one other wrong is heaped upon the many."

Lady Santerre read the letter; silently she perused it—folded it—placed it on the table. Cornelia looked up at her. "I do not fear your decision," she said; "you will not abandon a parent, who has devoted herself to you from your cradle—who lives but for you."

The unhappy girl, unable to resist her mother's appeal, threw herself into her arms. Even the cold Lady Santerre was moved—tears flowed from her eyes:—"My dear child!" she exclaimed.

"My dear child!"—the words found an echo in Lady Lodore's bosom;—"I am never to see my child more!"

"Such is his threat," said her mother, "knowing thus the power he has over you; but do not fear that it will be accomplished. Lord Lodore's conduct is guided by no principle—by no deference to the opinion of the world—by no just or sober motives. He is as full of passion as a madman, and more vacillating. This is his fancy now—to quit England for the wilderness, and to torture you into following him. You are as lost as he, if you yield. A little patience, and all will be right again. He will soon grow tired of playing the tragic hero on a stage surrounded by no spectators; he will discover the folly of his conduct; he will return, and plead for forgiveness, and feel that he is too fortunate in a wife, who has preserved her own conduct free from censure and remark, while he has made himself a laughing stock to all. Do not permit yourself, dear Cornelia, to be baffled in this war of passion with reason; of jealousy, selfishness, and tyranny, with natural affection, a child's duty, and the respect you owe to yourself. Even if he remain away, he will quickly become weary of being accompanied by an infant and its nurse, and too glad to find that you will still be willing to act the mother towards his child. Firmness and discretion are the arms you must use against folly and violence. Yield, and you are the victim of a despotism without parallel, the slave of a task-master, whose first commands are gentle, soft, and easy injunctions to desert your mother: to exile yourself from your country, and to bury yourself alive in some unheard-of desert, whose name even he does not deign to communicate. All this would be only too silly and too wild, were it not too wicked and too cruel. Believe me, my love, trust yourself to my guidance, and all will be well; Lodore himself will thank, if such thanks be of value, the prudence and generosity you will display."

Cornelia listened, and was persuaded. Above all, Lady Santerre tried to impress upon her mind, that Lodore, finding her firm, would give up his rash schemes, and remain in Europe; that even he had, probably, never really contemplated crossing the Atlantic. At all events, that she must not be guided by the resolves, changeable as the moon, of a man governed by no sane purpose; but that, by showing herself determined, he would be brought to bend to her will. In this spirit Lady Lodore replied to her husband's letter. Fenton, Lord Lodore's valet, who had been the bearer, had left it, and proceeded to London. He returned the day following, to receive his lady's orders. Cornelia saw him and questioned him. She heard that Lord Lodore was to dismiss him and all his English servants before embarking for America, with the exception of the child's nurse, whom he had promised to send back on his arrival at New York. He had engaged his passage, and fitted up cabins for his convenience, so that there could be no doubt of his having finally resolved to emigrate. This was all he knew; Cornelia gave him her letter, and he departed on the instant for Southampton.

In giving his wife so short an interval in which to form her determination, Lodore conceived that her first impulse would be to join her child, that she would act upon it, and at least come as far as Havre, though perhaps her mother would accompany her, to claim her daughter, even if she did not besides foster a hope of changing his resolves. Lodore had an unacknowledged reserve in his own mind, that if she would give up her mother, and for a time the world, he would leave the choice of their exile to her, and relinquish the dreary scheme of emigrating to America. With these thoughts in his mind, he anxiously awaited each day the arrival of the packets from England. Each day he hoped to see Cornelia disembark from one of them; and even though accompanied by Lady Santerre, he felt that his heart would welcome her. During this interval, his thoughts had recurred to his home; and imagination had already begun to paint the memory of that home, in brighter colours than the reality. Lady Lodore had not been all coldness and alienation; in spite of dissension, she had been his; her form, graceful as a nymph's, had met his eyes each morning; her smile, her voice, her light cheering laugh, had animated and embellished, how many hours during the long days, grown vacant without her. Cherishing a hope of seeing her again, he forgot her petulance—her self-will—her love of pleasure; and remembering only her beauty and her grace, he began, in a lover-like fashion, to impart to this charming image, a soul in accordance to his wishes, rather than to the reality. Each day he attended less carefully to the preparations of his long voyage. Each day he expected her; a chill came over his heart at each evening's still recurring disappointment, till hope awoke on the ensuing morning. More than once he had been on the eve of sailing to England to meet and escort her; a thousand times he reproached himself for not having made Southampton the place of meeting, and he was withheld from proceeding thither only by the fear of missing her. Giving way to these sentiments, the tide of affection, swelling into passion, rose in his breast. He doubted not that, ere long, she would arrive, and taxed himself for modes to show his gratitude and love.

The American vessel was on the point of sailing—it might have gone without him, he cared not; when on the sixth day Fenton arrived, and put into his hand Cornelia's letter. This then was the end of his expectation, this little paper coldly closed in the destruction of his hopes; yet might it not merely contain a request for delay? There was something in the servant's manner, that looked not like that; but still, as soon as the idea crossed him, he tore open the seal. The words were few, they were conceived in all the spirit of resentment.

"You add insult to cruelty," it said, "but I scorn to complain. The very condition you make displays the hollowness and deceit of your proceeding. You well know that I cannot, that I will not, desert my mother; but by calling on me for this dereliction of all duty and virtuous affection, you contrive to throw on me the odium of refusing to accompany you; this is a worthy design, and it is successful.

"I demand my child—restore her to me. It is cruelty beyond compare, to separate one so young from maternal tenderness and fosterage. By what right—through what plea, do you rob me of her? The tyranny and dark jealousy of your vindictive nature display themselves in this act of unprincipled violence, as well as in your insulting treatment of my mother. You alone must reign, be feared, be thought of; all others are to be sacrificed, living victims, at the shrine of your self-love. What have you done to merit so much devotion? Ask your heart—if it be not turned to stone, ask it what you have done to compare with the long years of affection, kindness, and never-ceasing care that my beloved parent has bestowed on me. I am your wife, Lodore; I bear your name; I will be true to the vows I have made you, nor will I number the tears you force me to shed; but my mother's are sacred, and not one falls in vain for me.

"Give me my child—let the rest be yours—depart in peace! If Heaven have blessings for the coldly egotistical, the unfeeling despot, may these blessings be yours; but do not dare to interfere with emotions too pure, too disinterested for you ever to understand. Give me my child, and fear neither my interference nor resentment. I am content to be as dead to you—quite content never to see you more."


And so farewell; for we will henceforth be
As we had never seen, ne'er more shall see.


Lodore had passed many days upon the sea, on his voyage to America, before he could in the least calm the bitter emotions to which Cornelia's violent letter had given birth. He was on the wide Atlantic; the turbid ocean swelled and roared around him, and heaven, the mansion of the winds, showed on its horizon an extent of water only. He was cut off from England, from Europe, for ever; and the vast continents he quitted dwindled into a span; but still the images of those he left behind dwelt in his soul, engrossing and filling it. They could no longer personally taunt nor injure him; but the thought of them, of all that they might say or do, haunted his mind; it was like an unreal strife of gigantic shadows beneath dark night, which, when you approach, dwindles into thin air, but which, contemplated at a distance, fills the hemisphere with star-reaching heads, and steps that scale mountains. There was a sleepless tumult in Lodore's heart; it was a waking dream of the most painful description. Again and again Cornelia assailed him with reproaches, and Lady Santerre poured out curses upon him; his fancy lent them words and looks full of menace, hate, and violence. Sometimes the sighing of the breeze in the shrouds assumed a tone that mocked their voices; his sleep was disturbed by dreams more painful than his daylight fancies; and the sense which they imparted of suffering and oppression, was prolonged throughout the day.

He occasionally felt that he might become mad, and at such moments, the presence of his child brought consolation and calm; her caresses, her lisped expressions of affection, her playfulness, her smiles, were spells to drive away the fantastic reveries that tortured him. He looked upon her cherub face, and the world, late so full of wretchedness and ill, assumed brighter hues; the storm was allayed, the dark clouds fled, sunshine poured forth its beams; by degrees, tender and gentle sensations crept over his heart; he forgot the angry contentions in which, in imagination, he had been engaged, and he felt, that alone on the sea, with this earthly angel of peace near him, he was divided from every evil, to dwell with tranquillity and love.

To part with her had become impossible. She was all that rendered him human—that plucked the thorn from his pillow, and poured one mitigating drop into the bitter draught administered to him.

Cornelia, Casimir, Theodora, his mother-in-law, these were all various names and shapes of the spirit of evil, sent upon earth to torture him: but this heavenly sprite could set at nought their machinations and restore him to the calm and hopes of childhood. Extreme in all things, Lodore began more than ever to doat upon her and to bind up his life in her. Yet sometimes his heart softened at the recollection of his wife, of her extreme youth, and of the natural pang she must feel at being deprived of her daughter. He figured her pining, and in tears—he remembered that he had vowed to protect and love her for ever; and that deprived of him, never more could the soft attentions and sweet language of love soothe her heart or meet her ear, unattended with a sense of guilt and degradation. He knew that hereafter she might feel this—hereafter, when passion might be roused, and he could afford no remedy. Influenced by such ideas, he wrote to her; many letters he wrote during his voyage, destroying them one after another, dictated by the varying feelings that alternately ruled him. Reason and persuasion, authority and tenderness, reigned by turns in these epistles; they were written with all the fervour of his ardent soul, and breathed irresistible power. Had some of these papers met Cornelia's eye, she had assuredly been vanquished; but fate ordained it otherwise: fate that blindly weaves our web of life, culling her materials at will, and often wholly refusing to make use of our own desires and intentions, as forming a part of our destiny.

Lodore arrived at New York, and found, by some chance, letters already waiting for him there. He had concluded one to his wife full of affection and kindness, when a letter with the superscription written by Lady Santerre was delivered to him. It spoke of law proceedings, of eternal separation, and announced her daughter's resolve to receive no communication, to read no address, that was not prefaced by the restoration of her child; it referred him to a solicitor as the medium of future intercourse. With a bitter laugh Lodore tore to pieces the eloquent and heart-felt appeal he had been on the point of sending; he gave up his thoughts to business only; he wrote to his agent, he arranged for his intended journey; in less than a month he was on his road to the Illinois.

Thus ended all hope of reconciliation, and Lady Santerre won the day. She had worked on the least amiable of her daughter's feelings, and exalted anger into hatred, disapprobation into contempt and aversion. Soon after Cornelia had dismissed the servant, she felt that she had acted with too little reflection. Her heart died within her at the idea, that too truly Lodore might sail away with her child, and leave her widowed and solitary for ever. Her proud heart knew, on this account, no relenting towards her husband, the author of these painful feelings, but she formed the resolve not to lose all without a struggle. She announced her intention of proceeding to Havre to obtain her daughter. Lady Santerre could not oppose so natural a proceeding, especially as her companionship was solicited as in the highest degree necessary. They arrived at Southampton; the day was tempestuous, the wind contrary. Lady Santerre was afraid of the water, and their voyage was deferred. On the evening of the following day, Fenton arrived from Havre. Lord Lodore had sailed, the stormy waves of the Atlantic were between him and the shores of England; pursuit were vain; it would be an acknowledgment of defeat to follow him to America. Cornelia returned to Twickenham, maternal sorrow contending in her heart with mortified pride, and a keen resentful sense of injury.

Lady Lodore was nineteen; an age when youth is most arrogant, and most heedless of the feelings of others. Her beauty and the admiration it acquired, sate her on the throne of the world, and, to her own imagination, she looked down like an eastern princess, upon slaves only: her sway she had believed to be absolute; it was happiness for others to obey. Exalted by adulation, it was natural that all that lowered her elevation in her own eyes, should appear impertinent and hateful. She had not learned to feel with or for others. To act in contradiction to her wishes was a crime beyond compare, and her soul was in arms to resent the insolence which thus assailed her majesty of will. The act of Lodore, stepping beyond common-place opposition into injury and wrong, found no mitigating excuses in her heart. No gentle return of love, no compassion for the unhappy exile—no generous desire to diminish the sufferings of one, who was the victim of the wildest and most tormenting passions, softened her bosom. She was injured, insulted, despised, and her swelling soul was incapable of any second emotion to the scorn and hate with which she visited the author of her degradation. She was to become the theme of the world's discourse, of its ill-natured censure or mortifying pity. In whatever light she viewed her present position, it was full of annoyance and humiliation; her path was traced through a maze of pointed angles, that pained her at every turn, and her reflections magnifying the imprudence of which she accused herself, suggested no excuse for her husband, but caused her wounds to fester and burn. Cornelia was not of a lachrymose disposition; she was a woman who in Sparta had formed an heroine; who in periods of war and revolution, would unflinchingly have met calamity, sustaining and leading her own sex. But through the bad education she had received, and her extreme youth, elevation of feeling degenerated into mere personal pride, and heroism was turned into obstinacy; she had been capable of the most admirable self-sacrifice, had she been taught the right shrine at which to devote herself; but her mind was narrowed by the mode of her bringing up, and her loftiest ideas were centered in worldly advantages the most worthless and pitiable. To defraud her of these, was to deprive her of all that rendered life worth preserving.

Lady Santerre soothed, flattered, and directed her. She poured the balm of gratified vanity upon injured pride. She bade her expect speedy repentance from her husband, and impressed her with the idea, that if she were firm, he must yield. His present blustering prognosticated a speedy calm, when he would regret all that he had done, and seek, by entire submission, to win back his wife. Any appearance of concession on her part would spoil all. Cornelia's eyes flashed fire at the word. Concession! and to whom? To him who had wronged and insulted her? She readily gave into her mother's hands the management of all future intercourse with him, reserving alone, for her own satisfaction, an absolute resolve never to forgive.

The correspondence that ensued, carried on across the Atlantic, and soon with many miles of continent added to the space, only produced an interchange of letters written with cool insolence on one side, with heart-burning and impatience on the other. Each served to widen the breach. When Cornelia was not awakened to resent for herself, she took up arms on her mother's account. When Lodore blamed her for being the puppet of one incapable of any generous feeling, one dedicated to the vulgar worship of Mammon, she repelled the taunt, and denied the servitude of soul of which she was accused; she declared that every virtue was enlisted on her mother's side, and that she would abide by her for ever. In truth, she loved her the more for Lodore's hatred, and Lady Santerre spared no pains to impress her with the belief, that she was wholly devoted to her.

Thus years passed away. At first Lady Lodore had lived in some degree of retirement, but persuaded again to emerge, she soon entered into the very thickest maze of society. Her fortune was sufficient to command a respectable station, her beauty gained her partizans, her untainted reputation secured her position in the world. Attractive as she was, she was so entirely and proudly correct, that even the women were not afraid of her. All her intimate associates were people whose rank gave weight and brilliancy to her situation, but who were conspicuous for their domestic virtues. She was looked upon as an injured and deserted wife, whose propriety of conduct was the more admirable from the difficulties with which she was surrounded; she became more than ever the fashion, and years glided on, as from season to season she shone a bright star among many luminaries, improving in charms and grace, as knowledge of the world and the desire of pleasing were added to her natural attractions.

The stories at first in circulation on Lodore's departure, all sufficiently wide from the truth, were half forgotten, and served merely as an obscure substratum for Cornelia's bright reputation. He was gone: he could no longer injure nor benefit any, and was therefore no longer an object of fear or love. The most charitable construction put upon his conduct was, that he was mad, and it was piously observed, that his removal from this world would be a blessing. Lady Santerre triumphed. Withering away in unhonoured age, still she appeared in the halls of the great, and played the part of Cerberus in her daughter's drawing-room. Lady Lodore, beautiful and admired, intoxicated with this sort of prosperity, untouched by passion, unharmed by the temptations that surrounded her, believed that life was spent most worthily in following the routine observed by those about her, and securing the privilege of being exclusive. She was the glass of fashion—the imitated by a vast sect of imitators. The deprivation of her child was the sole cloud that came between her and the sun. In despite of herself, she never saw a little cherub with rosy cheeks and golden hair, but her heart was visited by a pang; and in her dreams she often beheld, instead of the image of the gay saloons in which she spent her evenings, a desert wild—a solitary home—and tiny footsteps on the dewy grass, guiding her to her baby daughter, whose soft cooings, remembered during absence, were agonizing to her. She awoke, and vowed her soul to hatred of the author of her sufferings—the cruel-hearted, insolent Lodore; and then fled to pleasure as the means of banishing these sad and disturbing emotions. She never again saw Casimir. Long before she re-appeared in the world, he and his mother had quitted England. Taught by the slight tinge of weakness that had mingled with her intercourse with him, she sedulously avoided like trials in future; and placing her happiness in universal applause, love saw her set his power at nought, and pride become a more impenetrable shield than wisdom.


Time and Change together take their flight.

L. E. L.

Fitzhenry and his daughter travelled for many days in rain and sunshine, across the vast plains of America. Conversation beguiled the way, and Ethel, delighted by the novelty and variety of all she saw, often felt as if springing from her seat with a new sense of excitement and gladness. So much do the young love change, that we have often thought it the dispensation of the Creator, to show that we are formed, at a certain age, to quit the parental roof, like the patriarch, to seek some new abode where to pitch our tents, and pasture our flocks. The clear soft eyes of the fair girl glistened with pleasure at each picturesque view, each change of earth and sky, each new aspect of civilization and its results, as they were presented to her.

Fitzhenry—or as he approaches the old world, so long deserted by him, he may resume his title—Lord Lodore had quitted his abode in the Illinois upon the spur of the moment; he had left his peaceful dwelling impatiently, and in haste, giving himself no time for second thoughts—scarcely for recollection. As the fever of his mind subsided, he saw no cause to repent his proceeding, and yet he began to look forward with an anxious and foreboding mind. He had become aware that the village of the Illinois was not the scene fitted for the development of his daughter's first social feelings, and that he ought to take her among the educated and refined, to give her a chance for happiness. A Gertrude or an Haidée, brought up in the wilds, innocent and free, and bestowing the treasure of their hearts on some accomplished stranger, brought on purpose to realize the ideal of their dreamy existences, is a picture of beauty, that requires a miracle to change into an actual event in life; and that one so pure, so guileless, and so inexperienced as Ethel, should, in sheer ignorance, give her affections away unworthily, was a danger to be avoided beyond all others. Whitelock had performed the part of the wandering stranger, but he was ill-fitted for it; and Lodore's first idea was to hurry his daughter away before she should invest him, or any other, with attributes of glory, drawn from her own imagination and sensibility, wholly beyond his merits.

This was done. Father and daughter were on their way to New York, having bid an eternal adieu to the savannas and forests of the west. For a time, Lodore's thoughts were haunted by the image of the home they had left. The murmuring of its stream was in his ears, the shape of each distant hill, the grouping of the trees, surrounding the wide-spread prairie, the winding pathway and trellised arbour were before his eyes, and he thought of the changes that the seasons would operate around, and of his future plans unfulfilled, as any home-bred farmer might, when his lease was out, and he was forced to remove to another county.

As their steps drew near the city which was their destination, these recollections became fainter, and, except in discourse with Ethel, when their talk usually recurred to the prairie, and their late home, he began to anticipate the future, and to reflect upon the results of his present journey.

Whither was he about to go? To England? What reception should he there meet? and under what auspices introduce his child to her native country? There was a stain upon his reputation that no future conduct could efface. The name of Lodore was a by-word and a mark for scorn; it was introduced with a sneer, followed by calumny and rebuke. It could not even be forgotten. His wife had remained to keep alive the censure or derision attached to it. He, it is true, might have ceased to live in the memories of any. He did not imagine that his idea ever recurred to the thoughtless throng, whose very name and identity were changed by the lapse of twelve years. But when it was mentioned, when he should awaken the forgotten sound by his presence, the echo of shame linked to it would awaken also; the love of a sensation so rife among the wealthy and idle, must swell the sound, and Ethel would be led on the world's stage by one who was the object of its opprobrium.

What then should he do? Solicit Lady Lodore to receive and bring out her daughter? Deprive himself of her society; and after having guarded her unassailed infancy, desert her side at the moment when dangers grew thick, and her mother's example would operate most detrimentally on her? He thought of his sister, with whom he kept up a regular though infrequent correspondence. She was ill fitted to guide a young beauty on a path which she had never trod. He thought of France, Italy, and Germany, and how he might travel about with her during the two or three succeeding years, enlarging and storing her mind, and protracting the happy light-hearted years of youth. His own experience on the continent would facilitate this plan; and though it presented, even on this very account, a variety of objections, it was that to which he felt most attracted.

There was yet another—another image and another prospect to which he turned with a kind of gasping sensation, which was now a shrinking aversion to—now an ardent desire for, its fulfilment. This was the project of a reconciliation with Cornelia, and that they should henceforth unite in their labours to render each other and their child happy.

Twelve years had passed since their separation: twelve years, which had led him from the prime of life to its decline—which forced Cornelia to number, instead of nineteen, more than thirty years—bringing her from crude youth to fullest maturity. What changes might not time have operated in her mind! Latterly no intercourse had passed between them, they were as dead to each other; and yet the fact of the existence of either was a paramount law with both, ruling their actions and preventing them from forming any new tie. Cornelia might be tired of independence, have discovered the hollowness of her mother's system, and desire, but that pride prevented her, a reunion with her long-exiled husband. Her understanding was good; intercourse with the world had probably operated to cultivate and enlarge it—maternal love might reign in full force, causing her heart to yearn towards the blooming Ethel, and a thousand untold sorrows might make her regard the affection of her child's father, as the prop, the shelter, the haven, where to find peace, if not happiness.

And yet Cornelia was still young, still beautiful, still admired: he was on the wane—a healthy life had preserved the uprightness of his form and the spring of his limbs; but his countenance, how changed from the Lodore who pledged his faith to her in the rustic church at Rhyaider Gowy! The melting softness of his dark eyes was altered to mere sadness—his brow, from which the hair had retreated, was delved by a thousand lines; grey sprinkled his black hair,—a wintry morning stealing drearily upon night—each year had left its trace, and with no Praxitelean hand, engraven lines upon the rounded cheek, and sunk and diminished the full eye. Twelve years had scarcely operated so great a change as here described; but thus he painted it to himself, exaggerating and deforming the image his mirror presented—and where others had only marked the indications of a thoughtful mind, and the traces of over-wrought sensibility, he beheld careful furrows and age-worn wrinkles.

And was he thus to claim the beautiful, the courted—she who still reigned supreme on Love's own throne? and to whom, so had he been told, time had brought increased charms as its gift, strewing roses and fragrance on her lovely head, so proving that neither grief nor passion had disturbed the proud serenity of her heart.

Lodore had lived many years the life of a recluse, having given up ambition, hope, almost life itself, inasmuch as that existence is scarcely to be termed life, which does not bring us into intimate connexion with our fellow-creatures, nor develope in its progress some plan of present action or anticipation for the future. He was roused from his lethargy as he approached peopled cities; a desire to mingle again in human affairs was awakened, together with an impatience under the obscurity to which he had condemned himself. He grew at last to despise his supineness, which had prevented him from struggling with and vanquishing his adverse fortunes. He resolved no longer to be weighed down by the fear of obloquy, while he was conscious of the bravery and determination of his soul, and with what lofty indignation he was prepared to sweep away the stigma attached to him, and to assert the brightness of his honour. This, for his daughter's sake, as well as for his own, he determined to do.

He had no wish, however, to enter upon the task in America. His native country must be the scene of his exertions, as to re-assert himself among his countrymen was their object. He felt, also, that, from the beginning, he must take no false step; and it behoved him fully to understand the state of things in England as regarded him, before he presented himself. He delayed his voyage, therefore, till he had exchanged letters with Europe. He wrote to his sister, immediately on arriving at New York, asking for intelligence concerning Lady Lodore; and communicating his intention to return immediately, and, if possible, to effect a reconciliation with his estranged wife. He besought an immediate reply, as he did not wish to defer his voyage beyond the spring months.

Having sent this letter, he gave himself up to the society of his daughter. He occupied himself by endeavouring to form her for the new scenes on which she was about to enter, and to divest her of the first raw astonishment excited by the contrast formed by the busy, commercial eastern, with the majestic tranquillity of the western portion of the new world. He wished to accustom her to mingle with her fellow-creatures with ease and dignity; and he sought to enlarge her mind, and to excite her curiosity, by introducing her to the effects of civilization. He would willingly have formed acquaintances for her sake, but that such a circumstance might interfere with the incognito he meant to preserve while away from his native country. We can never divest ourselves of our identity and consciousness, and are apt to fancy that others are equally alive to our peculiar individuality. It was not probable that the name of Lodore, or of Fitzhenry, should be known in New York; but as the title had been bestowed as a reward for victories obtained over the Americans, he who bore it was less to be blamed for fancying that they had heard with pleasure the story of his disgrace, and would be ready to visit his fault with malignant severity.

An accident, however, brought him into contact with an English lady, and he gladly availed himself of this opportunity to bring Ethel into the society of her country people. One day he received an elegant little note, such as are written in London by the fashionable and the fair, which, with many apologies, contained a request. The writer had heard that he was about to return to England with his daughter. Would he refuse to take under his charge a young lady, who was desirous of returning thither? The distance from their native land drew English people together, and usually made them kindly disposed towards each other. The circumstances under which this request was made were peculiar; and if he would call to hear them explained, his interest would be excited, and he would not refuse a favour which would lay the writer under the deepest obligation.

Lodore answered this application in person. He found an English family residing in one of the best streets of New York, and was introduced to the lady who had addressed him. Her story, the occasion of her request, was detailed without reserve. Her husband's family had formerly been American royalists, refugees in England, where they had lived poor and forgotten. A brother of his father had remained behind in the new country, and acquired a large fortune. He had lived to extreme old age; and dying childless, left his wealth to his English nephew, upon condition that he settled in America. This had caused their emigration. While in England, they had lived at Bath, and been intimate with a clergyman, who resided near. This clergyman was a singular man—a recluse, and a student—a man of ardent soul, held down by a timid, nervous disposition. He was an outcast from his family, which was wealthy and of good station, on account of having formed a mes-alliance. How indeed he could have married his unequal partner was matter of excessive wonder. She was illiterate and vulgar—coarse-minded, though good-natured. This ill-matched pair had two daughters;—one, the younger, now about fourteen years old, was the person whom it was desired to commit to Lodore's protection.

The lady continued:—She had a large family of boys, and but one girl, of the age of Fanny Derham;—they had been for some years companions and friends. When about to emigrate, she believed that she should benefit equally her daughter and her friend, if she made the latter a companion in their emigration. With great reluctance, Mr. Derham had consented to part with his child: he had thought it for her good, and he had let her go. Fanny obeyed her father. She manifested no disinclination to the plan; and it seemed as if the benevolent wishes of Mrs. Greville were fulfilled for the benefit of all. They had been in America nearly a year, and now Fanny was to return. She herself had borne her absence from her father with fortitude: yet it required an exertion of fortitude to bear it, which was destroying the natural vivacity of her disposition. Gloom gathered over her mind; she fled society; she sought solitude; and spent day after day in reverie. Mrs. Greville strove to rouse her, and Fanny lent herself with good grace to any exertion demanded of her; yet it was plain, that even when she gave herself most up to her desire to please her hostess, her thoughts were far away, her eye was tracing the invisible outline of objects divided from her by the ocean; and her inmost sense was absorbed by the recollection of one far distant; while her ear and voice were abstractedly lent to those immediately around her. Mrs. Greville endeavoured vainly to amuse and distract her thoughts. The only pleasure which attracted her young mind was study—a deep and unremitted application to those profound acquirements, to the knowledge of which her father had introduced her.

"When you know my young friend," continued Mrs. Greville, "you will understand the force of character which renders her unlike every other child. Fanny never was a child. Mrs. Derham and her daughter Sarah bustled through the business of life—of the farm and the house; while it devolved on Fanny to attend to, to wait upon, her father. She was his pupil—he her care. The relation of parent and child subsisted between them, on a different footing than in ordinary cases. Fanny nursed her father, watched over his health and humours, with the tenderness and indulgence of a mother; while he instructed her in the dead languages, and other sorts of abstruse learning, which seldom make a part of a girl's education. Fanny, to use her own singular language, loves philosophy, and pants after knowledge, and indulges in a thousand Platonic dreams, which I know nothing about; and this mysterious and fanciful learning she has dwelt upon with tenfold fervour since her arrival in America.

"The contrast," continued Mrs. Greville, "between this wonderful, but strange girl, and her parent, is apparent in nothing more than the incident that made me have recourse to your kindness. Fanny pined for home, and her father. The very air of America was distasteful to her—we were not congenial companions. But she never expressed discontent. As much as she could, she shut herself up in the world of her own mind; but outwardly, she was cheerful and uncomplaining. A week ago we had letters from her parents, requesting her immediate return. Mr. Derham wasted away without her; his health was seriously injured by what, in feminine dialect, is called fretting; and both he and her mother have implored me to send her back to them without delay."

Lord Lodore listened with breathless interest, asking now and then such questions as drew on Mrs. Greville to further explanation. He soon became convinced that he was called upon to do this act of kindness for the daughter of his former school-fellow—for Francis Derham, whom he had not known nor seen since they had exchanged the visions of boyhood for the disappointing realities of maturer age. And this was Derham's fate!—poor, mis-matched, destroyed by a morbid sensibility, an object of pity to his own young child, yet adored by her as the gentlest and wisest of men. How different—and yet how similar—the destinies of both! It warmed the heart of Lodore to think that he should renew his boyish intimacy. Derham would not reject him—would not participate in the world's blind scorn: in his bosom no harsh nor unjust feeling could have place; his simple, warm heart would yearn towards him as of yore; and the school-fellows become again all the world to each other.

After this explanation, Mrs. Greville introduced her young friend. Her resemblance to her father was at first sight remarkable, and awoke with greater keenness the roused sensibility of Lodore. She was pale and fair; her light, golden hair clustered in short ringlets over her small, well-formed head, leaving unshaded a high forehead, clear as opening day. Her blue eyes were remarkably light and penetrating, with defined and straight brows. Intelligence, or rather understanding, reigned in every feature; independence of thought, and firmness, spoke in every gesture. She was a mere child in form and mien—even in her expressions; but within her was discernible an embryo of power, and a grandeur of soul, not to be mistaken. Simplicity and equability of temper were her characteristics: these smoothed the ruggedness which the singularity of her character might otherwise have engendered.

Lodore rejoiced in the strange accident that gave such a companion to his daughter. Nothing could be in stronger contrast than these two girls;—the fairy form, the romantic and yielding sweetness of Ethel, whose clinging affections formed her whole world,—with the studious and abstracted disciple of ancient learning. Notwithstanding this want of similarity, they soon became mutually attached. Lodore was a link between them. He excited Ethel to admire the concentrated and independent spirit of her new friend; and entered into conversation with Fanny on ancient philosophy, which was unintelligible and mysterious to Ethel. The three became inseparable: they prolonged their excursions in the neighbouring country; while each enjoyed peculiar pleasures in the friendship and sympathy of their companions.

This addition to their society, and an intimacy cultivated with Mrs. Greville, whose husband was absent at Washington, formed, as it were, a weaning time for Lodore, from the seclusion of the Illinois. There he had lived, cut off from the past and the future, existing in the present only. He had been happy there; cured of the wounds which had penetrated his heart so deeply, through the ministration of all-healing nature. He felt the gliding of the hours as a blessing; and the occupations of each day were replete with calm enjoyment. He thought of England, as a seaman newly saved from a wreck would of the tempestuous ocean, with fear and loathing, and with heart-felt gladness that he was no longer the sport of its waves. He cultivated such a philosophic turn of mind as often brought a smile of self-pity on his lips, at the recollection of scenes which, during their passage, had provoked bitter and burning sensations. What was all this strife of passion, this eager struggle for something, he knew not what, to him now? The healthy labours of his farm, the tranquillity of his library, the endearing caresses of his child, were worth all the vanities of life.

Thus he had felt in the Illinois; and now again he looked back to his undisturbed life there, wondering how he had endured its monotonous loneliness. A desire for action, for mingling with his fellow-men, had arisen in his heart. He felt like a strong swimmer, who longs to battle with the waves. He desired to feel and to exert his powers, to fill a space in the eyes of others, to re-assert himself in their esteem, or to resent their scorn. He could no longer regard the past with imperturbability. Again his passions were roused, as he thought of his mother-in-law, of his wife, and of the strange scenes which had preceded and caused his flight from England. These ideas had long occupied his mind, without occasioning any emotion. But now again they were full of interest; and pain and struggle again resulted from the recollection. At such times he was glad that Ethel had a companion, that he might leave her and wander alone. He became a prey to the same violence of passion, the same sense of injury and stinging hurry of thought, which for twelve years had ceased to torture him. But no tincture of cowardice entered into his sensations. His soul was set upon victory over the evil fortune to which he had so long submitted. When he thought of returning to England, from which he had fled with dishonour, his cheek tingled as a thousand images of insult and contumely passed rapidly through his mind, as likely to visit him. His heart swelled within him—his very soul grew faint; but instead of desiring to fly the anticipated opprobrium, he longed to meet it and to wash out shame, if need were, with his life's blood; and, by resolution and daring, to silence his enemies, and redeem his name from obloquy.

One day, occupied by such thoughts, he stood watching that vast and celebrated cataract, whose everlasting and impetuous flow mirrored the dauntless but rash energy of his own soul. A vague desire of plunging into the whirl of waters agitated him. His existence appeared to be a blot in the creation; his hopes, and fears, and resolves, a worthless web of ill-assorted ideas, best swept away at once from the creation. Suddenly his eye caught the little figure of Fanny Derham, standing on a rock not far distant, her meaning eyes fixed on him. The thunder of the waters prevented speech; but as he drew near her, he saw that she had a paper in her hand. She held it out to him; a blush mantled over her usually pale countenance as he took it; and she sprung away up the rocky pathway.

Lodore cast his eyes on the open letter, and his own name, half forgotten by him, presented itself on the written page. The letter was from Fanny's father—from Derham, his friend and school-fellow. His heart beat fast as he read the words traced by one formerly so dear. "The beloved name of Fitzhenry"—thus Derham had written—"awakens a strange conjecture. Is not your kind protector, the friend and companion of my boyish days? Is it not the long absent Lodore, who has stretched out a paternal hand to my darling child, and who is about to add to his former generous acts, the dearer one of restoring my Fanny to me? Ask him this question;—extract this secret from him. Tell him how my chilled heart warms with pleasure at the prospect of a renewal of our friendship. He was a god-like boy; daring, generous, and brave. The remembrance of him has been the bright spot which, except yourself, is all of cheering that has chequered my gloomy existence. Ask him whether he remembers him whose life he saved—whom he rescued from oppression and misery. I am an old man now, weighed down by sorrow and infirmity. Adversity has also visited him; but he will have withstood the shocks of fate, as gallantly as a mighty ship stems the waves of ocean: while I, a weather-worn skiff, am battered and wrecked by the tempest. From all you say, he must be Lodore. Mark him, Fanny: if you see one lofty in his mien, yet gracious in all his acts; his person adorned by the noblest attributes of rank; full of dignity, yet devoid of pride; impatient of all that is base and insolent, but with a heart open as a woman's to compassion;—one whose slightest word possesses a charm to attract and enchain the affections:—if such be your new friend, put this letter into his hand; he will remember Francis Derham, and love you for my sake, as well as for your own."


It is our will
That thus enchains us to permitted ill.


This was a new inducement to bring back Lodore from the wilds of America, to the remembrance of former days. The flattering expressions in Derham's letter soothed his wounded pride, and inspired a desire of associating once more with men who could appreciate his worth, and sympathize with his feelings. His spirits became exhilarated; he talked of Europe and his return thither, with all the animation of sanguine youth. It is one of the necessary attributes of our nature, always to love what we have once loved; and though new objects and change in former ones may chill our affections for a time, we are filled with renewed fervour after every fresh disappointment, and feel an impatient longing to return to the cherishing warmth of our early attachments; happy if we do not find emptiness and desolation, where we left life and hope.

Ethel had never been as happy as at the present time, and her affection for her father gathered strength from the confidence which existed between them. He was the passion of her soul, the engrossing attachment of her loving heart. When she saw a cloud on his brow, she would stand by him with silent but pleading tenderness, as if to ask whether any exertion of hers could dissipate his inquietude. She hung upon his discourse as a heavenly oracle, and welcomed him with gladdened looks of love, when he returned after any short absence. Her heart was bent upon pleasing him, she had no thought or pursuit which was not linked with his participation.

There is perhaps in the list of human sensations, no one so pure, so perfect, and yet so impassioned, as the affection of a child for its parent, during that brief interval when they are leaving childhood, and have not yet felt love. There is something so awful in a father. His words are laws, and to obey them happiness. Reverence and a desire to serve, are mingled with gratitude; and duty, without a flaw or question, so second the instinct of the heart, as to render it imperative. Afterwards we may love, in spite of the faults of the object of our attachment; but during the interval alluded to, we have not yet learnt to tolerate, but also, we have not learned to detect faults. All that a parent does, appears an emanation from a diviner world; while we fear to offend, we believe we have no right to be offended; eager to please, we seek in return approval only, and are too humble to demand a reciprocity of attention; it is enough that we are permitted to demonstrate our devotion. Ethel's heart overflowed with love, reverence, worship of her father. He had stood in the wilds of America a solitary specimen of all that is graceful, cultivated, and wise among men; she knew of nothing that might compare to him; and the world without him, was what the earth might be uninformed by light: he was its sun, its ruling luminary. All this intensity of feeling existed in her, without her being aware scarcely of its existence, without her questioning the cause, or reasoning on the effect. To love her father was the first law of nature, the chief duty of a child, and she fulfilled it unconsciously, but more completely than she could have done had she been associated with others, who might have shared and weakened the concentrated sensibility of her nature.

At length the packet arrived which brought letters from England. Before his eyes lay the closed letter pregnant with fate. He was not of a disposition to recoil from certainty; and yet for a few moments he hesitated to break the seals—appalled by the magnitude of the crisis which he believed to be at hand.

Latterly the idea of a reconciliation with Cornelia had been a favourite in his thoughts. The world was a painful and hard-tasking school. She must have suffered various disappointments, and endured much disgust, and so be prepared to lend a willing ear to his overture. She was so very young when they parted, and since then, had lived entirely under the influence of Lady Santerre. But what had at one time proved injurious, might, in course of years, have opened her eyes to the vanity of the course which she was pursuing. Lodore felt persuaded, that there were better things to be expected from his wife, than a love of fashion and an adherence to the prejudices of society. He had failed to bring her good qualities to light, but time and events might have played the tutor better, and it merely required perhaps a seasonable interference, a fortunate circumstance, to prove the truth of his opinion, and to show Lady Lodore as generous, magnanimous, and devoted, as before she had appeared proud, selfish, and cold.

How few there are possessed of any sensibility, who mingle with, and are crushed by the jostling interests of the world, who do not ever and anon exclaim with the Psalmist, "O for the wings of a dove, that I might flee away and be at rest!" If such an aspiration was ever breathed by Cornelia, how gladly, how fondly would her husband welcome the weary flutterer, open his bosom for her refuge, and study to make her forget all the disquietudes and follies of headstrong youth!

This was a mere dream. Lodore sighed to think that his position would not permit him to afford her a shelter from the poisoned arrows of the world. She must come to him prepared to suffer much. It required not only the absence of the vulgar worldliness of Lady Santerre, but great strength of mind to forgive the past, and strong affection to endure the present. He could only invite her to share the lot of a dishonoured man, to become a partner in the struggle which he was prepared to enter upon, to regain his lost reputation. This was no cheering prospect. Pride and generosity equally forbad his endeavouring to persuade his wife to quit a course of life she liked, to enter upon a scene of trials and sorrows with one for whom she did not care.

All these conjectures had long occupied him, but here was certainty—the letter in his hand. It was sealed with black, and a tremulous shudder ran through his frame as he tore it open. He soon satisfied himself—Cornelia lived: he breathed freely again, and proceeded more calmly to make himself master of the intelligence which the paper he held contained.

Cornelia lived; but his sister announced a death which he believed would change the colour of his life. Lady Santerre was no more!

Yes, Cornelia was alive; the bride that had stood beside him at the altar—whose hand he had held while he pronounced his vows—with whom he had domesticated for years—the mother of his child still lived. The cold consuming grave did not wrap her lovely form. The idea of her death, which the appearance of the black seal conveyed suddenly to his imagination, had been appalling beyond words. For the last few weeks his mind had been filled with her image; his thoughts had fed upon the hope that they should meet once more. Had she died while he was living in inactive seclusion in the Illinois, he might have been less moved; his vivid fancy, his passionate heart, could not spare her now, without a pang of agony. It passed away, and his mind reverted to the actual situation in which they were placed by the death of his mother-in-law. Reconciliation had become easy by the removal of that fatal barrier. He felt assured that he could acquire Cornelia's confidence, win her love, and administer to her happiness; he determined to leave nothing untried to bring about so desirable a conclusion to their long and dreary alienation. The one insuperable obstacle was gone; their daughter, that loveliest link, that soft silken tie remained: Cornelia must welcome with maternal delight this better portion of herself.

He glanced over his sister Elizabeth's letter, announcing the death of Lady Santerre, and then read the one enclosed from Lady Lodore to her sister-in-law. It was cold, but very decisive. She thanked her first for the inquiries she had made, and then proceeded to say, that she took this opportunity, the only one likely to present itself, of expressing what her own feelings were on this melancholy occasion. "I am afraid," she said, "that your brother will look on the death of my dearest mother as opening the door to our re-union. Some words in your letter seem indeed to intimate this, or I should have hoped that I was entirely forgotten. I trust that I am mistaken. My earnest desire is, that my natural grief, and the tranquillity which I try to secure for myself, may not be disturbed by fruitless endeavours to bring about what can never be. My determination may be supposed to arise from pride and implacable resentment: perhaps it does, but I feel it impossible that we should ever be any thing but strangers to each other. I will not complain, and I wish to avoid harsh allusions, but respect for her I have lost, and a sense of undeserved wrong, are paramount with me. I shall never intrude upon him. Persuade him that it will be unmanly cruelty to force himself, even by a letter, on me."

From this violent declaration of an unforgiving heart, Lodore turned to Elizabeth's letter. This excellent lady, to whom the names of dissipation and the metropolis were synonymous, and who knew as much of the world as Parson Adams, assured her brother, that Cornelia, far from feeling deeply the blow of her mother's death, was pursuing her giddy course with greater pertinacity than ever. Surrounded by flatterers, given up to pleasure, she naturally shrunk from being reminded of her exiled husband and her forgotten child. Her letter showed how ill she deserved the tenderness and interest which Lodore had expressed. She was a second Lady Santerre, without being gifted with that maternal affection, which had in some degree dignified that person's character.

Elizabeth lamented that his wife's hardness of heart might prevent his proposed visit to England. She did not like to urge it—it might seem selfish: hitherto she had let herself and her sorrows go for nothing; could she think of her own gratification, while her brother was suffering so much calamity? She was growing old—indeed she was old—she had no kin around her—early friends were dead or lost to her—she had nothing to live on but the recollection of her brother; she should think herself blest could she see him once more before she died.

"O my dear brother Henry," continued the kind-hearted lady, "if you would but say the word—the sea is nothing; people older than I—and I am not at all infirm—make the voyage. Let me come to America—let me embrace my niece, and see you once again—let me share your dear home in the Illinois, which I see every night in my dreams. I should grieve to be a burthen to you, but it would be my endeavour to prove a comfort and a help."

Lodore read both of these letters, one after the other, again and again. He resolved on going to England immediately. Either Cornelia was entirely callous and worthless, and so to be discarded from his heart for ever, or after her first bitter feelings on her mother's death were over, she would soften towards her child, or there was some dread secret feeling that influenced her, and he must save her from calamity and wretchedness. One of those changes of feeling to which the character of Lodore was peculiarly subject, came over him. Lady Santerre was dead—Cornelia was alone. A thousand dangers surrounded her. It appeared to him that his first imperious duty was to offer himself to guard and watch over her. He resolved to leave nothing untried to make her happy. He would give up Ethel to her—he would gratify every wish she could frame—pour out benefits lavishly before her—force her to see in him a benefactor and a friend; and at last, his heart whispered, induce her to assume again the duties of a wife.


What is peace? When life is over,
And love ceases to rebel,
Let the last faint sigh discover,
Which precedes the passing knell.


Lodore was henceforth animated by a new spirit of hope. His projects and resolves gave him something to live for. He looked forward with pleasure; feeling, on his expected return to his native country, as the fabled voyager, who knew that he ought to be contented in the fair island where chance had thrown him, and yet who hailed with rapture the approach of the sail that was to bear him back to the miseries of social life. He reflected that he had in all probability many years before him, and he was earnest that the decline of his life should, by a display of prudence and virtuous exertion, cause the errors of his earlier manhood to be forgotten.

This inspiriting tone of mind was very congenial to Ethel. The prospects that occupied her father had a definite horizon: all was vague and misty to her eyes, yet beautiful and alluring. Lodore gave no outline of his plans: he never named her mother. Uncertain himself, he was unwilling to excite feelings in Ethel's mind, to be afterwards checked and disappointed. He painted the future in gay colours, but left it in all the dimness most favourable for an ardent imagination to exercise itself upon.

In a very few days they were to sail for England. Their passage was engaged. Lodore had written to his sister to announce his return. He spoke of Longfield, and of her kind and gentle aunt to Ethel, and she, who, like Miranda, had known no relative or intimate except her father, warmed with pleasure to find new ties bind her to her fellow-creatures. She questioned her father, and he, excited by his own newly-awakened emotions, dilated eloquently on the joys of his young days, and pleased Fanny, as well as his own daughter, by a detail of boyish pranks and adventures which his favourite school-fellow shared. The freedom he enjoyed in his paternal home, the worship that waited on him there, the large space which in early youth he appeared to fill in all men's eyes, the buoyancy and innocence associated with those unshadowed days, painted them to his memory cloudless and bright. It would be to renew them to see Longfield again,—to clasp once more the hand of Francis Derham.

A kind of holiday and festal feeling was diffused through Ethel's mind by the vivid descriptions and frank communications of her father. She felt as if about to enter Paradise. America grew dim and sombre in her eyes; its forests, lakes, and wilds, were empty and silent, while England swarmed with a thousand lovely forms of pleasure. Her father strewed a downy velvet path for her, which she trod with light, girlish steps, happy in the present hour, happier in the anticipated future.

A few days before the party were to sail, Lodore and his daughter dined with Mrs. Greville. As if they held the reins, and could curb the course of, fate, each and all were filled with hilarity. Lodore had forgotten Theodora and her son—had cast from his recollection the long train of misery, injury, and final ruin, which for so long had occupied his whole thoughts. He was in his own eyes no longer the branded exile. A strange distortion of vision blinded this unfortunate man to the truth, which experience so perpetually teaches us, that the consequences of our actions never die: that repentance and time may paint them to us in different shapes; but though we shut our eyes, they are still beside us, helping the inexorable destinies to spin the fatal thread, and sharpening the implement which is to cut it asunder.

Lodore lived the morning of that day, (it was the first of May, realizing by its brilliancy and sweets, the favourite months of the poets,) as if many a morning throughout the changeful seasons was to be his. Some time he spent on board the vessel in which he was to sail; seeing that all the arrangements which he had ordered for Ethel and Fanny's comfort were perfected; then father and daughter rode out together. Often did Ethel try to remember every word of the conversation held during that ride. It concerned the fair fields of England, the splendours of Italy, the refinements and pleasures of Europe. "When we are in London,"—"When we shall visit Naples,"—such phrases perpetually occurred. It was Lodore's plan to induce Cornelia to travel with him, and to invite Mr. Derham and Fanny to be their companions; a warmer climate would benefit his friend's health. "And for worlds," he said, "I would not lose Derham. It is the joy of my life to think that by my return to my native country I secure to myself the society of this excellent and oppressed man."

At six o'clock Lodore and Ethel repaired to Mrs. Greville's house. It had been intended that no other persons should be invited, but the unexpected arrival of some friends from Washington, about to sail to England, had obliged the lady to alter this arrangement. The new guests consisted of an English gentleman and his wife, and one other, an American, who had filled a diplomatic situation in London. Annoyed by the sight of strangers, Lodore kept apart, conversing with Ethel and Fanny.

At dinner he sat opposite to the American. There was something in this man's physiognomy peculiarly disagreeable to him. He was not a pleasing-looking man, but that was not all. Lodore fancied that he must have seen him before under very painful circumstances. He felt inclined to quarrel with him—he knew not why; and was disturbed and dissatisfied with himself and every body. The first words which the man spoke were as an electric shock to him. Twelve long years rolled back—the past became the present once again. This very American had sat opposite to him at the memorable dinner at the Russian Ambassador's. At the moment when he had been hurried away by the fury of his passion against Casimir, he remembered to have seen a sarcastic sneer on his face, as the republican marked the arrogance of the English noble. Lodore had been ready then to turn the fire of his resentment on the insolent observer; but when the occasion passed away he had entirely forgotten him, till now he rose like a ghost to remind him of former pains and crimes.

The lapse of years had scarcely altered this person. His hair was grizzled, but it crowned his head in the same rough abundance as formerly. His face, which looked as if carved out of wood, strongly and deeply lined, showed no tokens of a more advanced age. He was then elderly-looking for a middle-aged man; he was now young-looking for an elderly man. Nature had disdained to change an aspect which showed so little of her divinity, and which no wrinkles nor withering could mar. Lodore, turning from this apparition, caught the reflection of himself in an opposite mirror. Association of ideas had made him unconsciously expect to behold the jealous husband of Cornelia. How changed, how passion-worn and tarnished was the countenance that met his eyes. He recovered his self-possession as he became persuaded that this chance visitant, who had seen him but once, would be totally unable to recognize him.

This unwelcome guest had been attached to the American embassy in England, and had but lately returned to New York. He was full of dislike of the English. Contempt for them, and pride in his countrymen, being the cherished feelings of his mind; the latter he held up to admiration from prejudiced views; a natural propensity to envy and depreciation led him to detract from the former. He was, in short, a most disagreeable person; and his insulting observations on his country moved Lodore's spleen, while his mind was shaken from its balance by the sight of one who reminded him of his past errors and ruin. He was fast advancing to a state of irritability, when he should lose all command over himself. He felt this, and tried to subdue the impetuous rush of bitterness which agitated him; he remembered that he must expect many trials like this, and that, rightly considered, this was a good school wherein he might tutor himself to self-possession and firmness. He went to another extreme, and addressing himself to, and arguing with, the object of his dislike, endeavoured to gloss over to himself the rising violence of his impassioned temper.

The ladies retired, and the gentlemen entered upon a political discussion on some event passing in Europe. The English guest took his departure early, and Lodore and the other continued to converse. Some mention was made of newspapers newly arrived, and the American proposed that they should repair to the coffee-house to see them. Lodore agreed: he thought that this would be a good opportunity to shake off his distasteful companion.

The coffee-room contained nearly twenty persons. They were in loud discussion upon a question of European politics, and reviling England and her manners in the most contemptuous terms. This was not balm for Lodore's sore feelings. His heart swelled indignantly at the sarcasms which these strangers levelled against his native country; he felt as if he was acting a coward's part while he listened tamely. His companion soon entered with vehemence into the conversation; and the noble, who was longing to quarrel with him, now drew himself up with forced composure, fixing his full meaning eyes upon the speaker, hoping by his quiescence to entice him into expressions which he would insist on being retracted. His temper by this time entirely mastered him. In a calmer moment he would have despised himself for being influenced by such a man, to any sentiment except contempt; but the tempest was abroad, and all sobriety of feeling was swept away like chaff before the wind.

Mr. Hatfield,—such was the American's name,—perceiving that he was listened to, entered with great delight on his favourite topic, a furious and insolent philippic against England, in mass and in detail. Lodore still listened; there was a dry sneer in the tones of the speaker's voice, that thrilled him with hate and rage. At length, by some chance reverting to the successful struggle America had made for her independence, and ridiculing the resistance of the English on the occasion, Hatfield named Lodore.

"Lodore!" cried one of the by-standers; "Fitzhenry was the name of the man who took the Oronooko."

"Aye, Fitzhenry it was," said Hatfield, "Lodore is his nickname. King George's bit of gilt gingerbread, which mightily pleased the sapient mariner. An Englishman thinks himself honoured when he changes one name for another. Admiral Fitzhenry was the scum of the earth—Lord Lodore a pillar of state. Pity that infamy should so soon have blackened the glorious title!"

Lodore's pale cheek suddenly flushed at these words, and then blanched again, as with compressed lips he resolved to hear yet more, till the insult should no longer be equivocal. The word "infamy" was echoed from various lips. Hatfield found that he had insured a hearing, and, glad of an audience, he went on to relate his story—it was of the dinner at the Russian Ambassador's—of the intemperate violence of Lodore—and the youthful Lyzinski's wrongs. "I saw the blow given," continued the narrator, "and I would have caned the fellow on the spot, had I not thought that a bullet would do his business better. But when it came to that, London was regaled by an event which could not have happened here, for we have no such cowards among us. My lord was not to be found—he had absconded—sneaked off like a mean-spirited, pitiful scoundrel!"

The words were still on the man's lips when a blow, sudden and unexpected, extended him on the floor. After this swiftly-executed act of retaliation, Lodore folded his arms, and as his antagonist rose, foaming with rage, said, "You, at least, shall have no cause to complain of not receiving satisfaction for your injuries at my hands. I am ready to give it, even in this room. I am Lord Lodore!"

Duels, that sad relic of feudal barbarism, were more frequent then than now in America; at all times they are more fatal and more openly carried on there than in this country. The nature of the quarrel in the present instance admitted of no delay; and it was resolved, that the antagonists should immediately repair to an open place near the city, to terminate, by the death of one, the insults they had mutually inflicted.

Lodore saw himself surrounded by Americans, all strangers to him; nor was he acquainted with one person in New York whom he could ask to be his second. This was matter of slight import: the idea of vindicating his reputation, and of avenging the bitter mortifications received from society, filled him with unnatural gladness; and he was hastening to the meeting, totally regardless of any arrangement for his security.

There was a gentleman, seated at a distant part of the coffee-room, who had been occupied by reading; nor seemed at all to give ear to what was going on, till the name of Lodore occurred: he then rose, and when the blow was given, drew nearer the group; though he still stood aloof, while, with raised and angry voices, they assailed Lodore, and he, replying in his deep, subdued voice, agreed to the meeting which they tumultuously demanded. Now, as they were hastening away, and Lodore was following them, confessedly unbefriended, this gentleman approached, and putting his card into the nobleman's hand, said, "I am an Englishman, and should be very glad if you would accept my services on this painful occasion."

Lodore looked at the card, on which was simply engraved the name of "Mr. Edward Villiers," and then at him who addressed him. He was a young man—certainly not more than three-and-twenty. An air of London fashion, to which Lodore had been so long unused, was combined with a most prepossessing countenance. He was light-haired and blue-eyed; ingenuousness and sincerity marked his physiognomy. The few words he had spoken were enforced by a graceful cordiality of manner, and a silver-toned voice, that won the heart. Lodore was struck by his prepossessing exterior, and replied with warm thanks; adding, that his services would be most acceptable on certain conditions,—which were merely that he should put no obstacle to the immediate termination of the quarrel, in any mode, however desperate, which his adversary might propose. "Otherwise," Lodore added, "I must entirely decline your interference. All this is to me matter of far higher import than mere life and death, and I can submit to no controul."

"Then my services must be limited to securing fair play for you," said Mr. Villiers.

During this brief parley, they were in the street, proceeding towards the place of meeting. Day had declined, and the crescent moon was high in the heavens: each instant its beams grew more refulgent, as twilight yielded to night.

"We shall have no difficulty in seeing each other," said Lodore, in a cheerful voice. He felt cheerful: a burthen was lifted from his heart. How much must a brave man suffer under the accusation of cowardice, and how joyous when an opportunity is granted of proving his courage! Lodore was brave to rashness: at this crisis he felt as if about to be born again to all the earthly blessings of which he had been deprived so long. He did not think of the dread baptism of blood which was to occasion his regeneration—still less of personal danger; he thought only of good name restored—of his reputation for courage vindicated—of the insolence of this ill-spoken fellow signally chastised.

"Have you weapons?" asked his companion.

"They will procure pistols, I suppose," replied Lodore: "we should lose much time by going to the hotel for mine."

"We are passing that where I am," said Mr. Villiers. "If you will wait one moment I will fetch mine;—or will you go up with me?"

They entered the house, and the apartments of Mr. Villiers. At such moments slight causes operate changes on the human heart; and as various impulses sweep like winds over its chords, that subtle instrument gives forth various tones. A moment ago, Lodore seemed to raise his proud head to the stars: he felt as if escaping from a dim, intricate cavern, into the blessed light of day. The strong excitement permitted no second thought—no second image. With a lighter step than Mr. Villiers, he followed that gentleman up-stairs. For a moment, as he went into an inner apartment for the pistols, Lodore was alone: a desk was open on the table; and paper, unwritten on, upon the desk. Scarcely knowing what he did, Lodore took the pen, and wrote—"Ethel, my child! my life's dearest blessing! be virtuous, be useful, be happy!—farewell, for ever!"—and under this he wrote Mrs. Greville's address. The first words were written with a firm hand; but the recollection of all that might occur, made his fingers tremble as he continued, and the direction was nearly illegible. "If any thing happens to me," said he to Mr. Villiers, "you will add to your kindness immeasurably by going there,"—pointing to the address,—"and taking precaution that my daughter may hear of her disaster in as tender a manner as possible."

"Is there any thing else?" asked his companion. "Command me freely, I beseech you; I will obey your injunctions to the letter."

"It is too late now," replied the noble; "and we must not keep these gentlemen waiting. The little I have to say we will talk of as we walk."

"I feel," continued Lodore, after they were again in the street, "that if this meeting end fatally, I have no power to enforce my wishes and designs beyond the grave. The providence which has so strangely conducted the drama of my life, will proceed in its own way after the final catastrophe. I commit my daughter to a higher power than mine, secure that so much innocence and goodness must receive blessings, even in this ill-grained state of existence. You will see Mrs. Greville: she is a kind-hearted, humane woman, and will exert herself to console my child. Ethel—Miss Fitzhenry, I mean—must, as soon as is practicable, return to England. She will be received there by my sister, and remain with her till—till her fate be otherwise decided. We were on the point of sailing;—I have fitted up a cabin for her;—she might make the voyage in that very vessel. You, perhaps, will consult—though what claim have I on you?"

"A claim most paramount," interrupted Villiers eagerly,—"that of a countryman in a foreign land—of a gentleman vindicating his honour at the probable expense of life."

"Thank you!" replied Lodore;—"my heart thanks you—for my own sake, and for my daughter's—if indeed you will kindly render her such services as her sudden loss may make sadly necessary."

"Depend upon me;—though God grant she need them not!"

"For her sake, I say Amen!" said Lodore; "for my own—life is a worn-out garment—few tears will be shed upon my grave, except by Ethel."

"There is yet another," said Villiers with visible hesitation: "pardon me, if I appear impertinent; but at such a moment, may I not name Lady Lodore?"

"For her, indeed," answered the peer, "the event of this evening, if fatal to me, will prove fortunate: she will be delivered from a heavy chain. May she be happy in another choice! Are you acquainted with her?"

"I am, slightly—that is, not very intimately."

"If you meet her on your return to England," continued the noble;—"if you ever see Lady Lodore, tell her that I invoked a blessing on her with my latest breath—that I forgive her, and ask her forgiveness. But we are arrived. Remember Ethel."

"Yet one moment," cried Villiers;—"one moment of reflection, of calm! Is there no way of preventing this encounter?"

"None!—fail me not, I intreat you, in this one thing;—interpose no obstacle—be as eager and as firm as I myself am. Our friends have chosen a rising ground: we shall be excellent marks for one another. Pray do not lose time."

The American and his second stood in dark relief against the moon-lit sky. As the rays fell upon the English noble, Hatfield observed to his companion, that he now perfectly recognized him, and wondered at his previous blindness. Perhaps he felt some compunction for the insult he had offered; but he said nothing, and no attempt was made on either side at amicable explanation. They proceeded at once, with a kind of savage indifference, to execute the murderous designs which caused them to disturb the still and lovely night.

It was indeed a night, that love, and hope, and all the softer emotions of the soul, would have felt congenial to them. A balmy, western breeze lifted the hair lightly from Lodore's brow, and played upon his cheek; the trees were bathed in yellow moonshine; a glowworm stealing along the grass scarce showed its light; and sweet odours were wafted from grove and field. Lodore stood, with folded arms, gazing upon the scene in silence, while the seconds were arranging preliminaries, and loading the firearms. None can tell what thoughts then passed through his mind. Did he rejoice in his honour redeemed, or grieve for the human being at whose breast he was about to aim?—or were his last thoughts spent upon the account he might so speedily be called on to render before his Creator's throne? When at last he took his weapon from the hand of Villiers, his countenance was serene, though solemn; and his voice firm and calm. "Remember me to Ethel," he said; "and tell her to thank you;—I cannot sufficiently; yet I do so from my heart. If I live—then more of this."

The antagonists were placed: they were both perfectly self-possessed—bent, with hardness and cruelty of purpose, on fulfilling the tragic act. As they stood face to face—a few brief paces only intervening—on the moon-lit hill—neither had ever been more alive, more full of conscious power, of moral and physical energy, than at that moment. Villiers saw them standing beneath the silver moonbeams, each in the pride of life, of strength, of resolution. A ray glanced from the barrel of Lodore's pistol, as he raised and held it out with a steady hand—a flash—the reports—and then he staggered two steps, fell, and lay on the earth, making no sign of life. Villiers rushed to him: the wound was unapparent—no blood flowed, but the bullet had entered his heart. His friend raised his head in his arms; his eyes opened; his lips moved, but no sound issued from them;—a shadow crossed his face—the body slipped from Villiers's support to the ground—all was over—Lodore was dead!


En cor gentil, amor per mort no passa.


We return to Longfield and to Mrs. Elizabeth Fitzhenry. The glory of summer invested the world with light, cheerfulness, and beauty, when the sorrowing sister of Lodore visited London, to receive her orphan niece from the hands of the friend of Mrs. Greville, under whose protection she had made the voyage. The good lady folded poor Ethel in her arms, overcome by the likeness she saw to her beloved brother Henry, in his youthful days, before passion had worn and misfortune saddened him. Her soft, brown, lamp-like eyes, beamed with the same sensibility. Yet when she examined her more closely, Mrs Elizabeth lost somewhat of the likeness; for the lower part of her face resembled her mother: her hair was lighter and her complexion much fairer than Lodore; besides that the expression of her countenance was peculiar to herself, and possessed that individuality which is so sweet to behold, but impossible to describe.

They lingered but a few days in London. Fanny Derham, who accompanied her on her voyage, had already returned to her father, and there was nothing to detain them from Longfield. Ethel had no adieus to make that touched her heart. Her aunt was more to her than any other living being, and her strongest desire now was, to visit the scenes once hallowed by her father's presence. The future was a chaos of dark regret and loneliness; her whole life, she thought, would be composed of one long memory.

One memory, and one fatal image. Ethel had not only consecrated her heart to her father, but his society was a habit with her, and, until now, she had never even thought how she could endure existence without the supporting influence of his affection. His conversation, so full of a kind penetration into her thoughts, was calculated to develop and adorn them; his manly sense and paternal solicitude, had all fostered a filial love, the most tender and strong. Add to this, his sudden and awful death. Already had they schemed their future life in a world new to Ethel: he had excited her enthusiasm by descriptions of the wonders of art in the old countries, and raised her curiosity while promising to satisfy it; and she had eagerly looked forward to the time when she should see the magical works of man, and mingle with a system of society, of which, except by books, he alone presented any ensample to her. Their voyage was fixed, and on the other side of their watery way she had figured a very Elysium of wonders and pleasures. The late change in their mode of life had served to endear him doubly to her. It had been the occupation of her life to think of her father, to communicate all her thoughts to him, and in the unreflecting confidence of youth, she had looked forward to no termination of a state of existence, that had began from her cradle. He propped her entire world; the foundations must moulder and crumble away without him—and he was gone—where then was she?

Mr. Villiers had, as soon as he was able, hurried to Mrs. Greville's house. By some strange chance, the fatal tidings had preceded him, and he found the daughter of the unfortunate Lodore bewildered and maddened by her frightful calamity. Her first desire was to see all that was left of her parent—she could not believe that he was indeed dead—she was certain that care and skill might revive him—she insisted on being led to his side; her friends strove to restrain her, but she rushed into the street, she knew not whither, to ask for, to find her father. The timidity of her temper was overborne by the wild expectation of yet being able to recall him from among the dead. Villiers followed her, and, yielding to her wishes, guided her towards the hotel whither the remains of Lodore had been carried. He judged that the exertion of walking thither, and the time that must elapse before she arrived, would calm and subdue her. He talked to her of her father as they went along—he endeavoured to awaken the source of tears—but she was silent—absorbed—brooding darkly on her hopes. Pity for herself had not yet arisen, nor the frightful certainty of bereavement. To see those dear lineaments—to touch his hand—the very hand that had so often caressed her, clay-cold and incapable of motion! Could it be!

She did not answer Villiers, she only hurried forward; she feared obstruction to her wishes; her soul was set on one thought only. Had Villiers endeavoured to deceive her, it would have been in vain. Arrived at the hotel, as by instinct, she sprung up the stairs, and reached the door of the room. It was darkened, in useless but decent respect for the death within; there lay a figure covered by a sheet, and already chilling the atmosphere around it. The imagination is slow to act upon the feelings in comparison with the quick operation of the senses. Ethel now knew that her father was dead. Mortal strength could support no more—the energy of hope deserting her, she sunk lifeless on the ground.

For a long time she was passive in the hands of others. A violent illness confined her to her bed, and physical suffering subdued the excess of mental agony. Villiers left her among kind friends. It was resolved that she and Fanny Derham should proceed to England, under the protection of the friends of Mrs. Greville about to return thither; he was himself obliged to return to England without delay.

Ethel's destiny was as yet quite uncertain. It was decided by the opening of her father's will. This had been made twelve years before on his first arrival at New York, and breathed the spirit of resentment, and even revenge, against his wife. Lodore had indeed not much wealth to leave. His income chiefly consisted in a grant from the crown, entailed on heirs male, which in default of these, reverted back, and in a sinecure which expired with him. His paternal estate at Longfield, and a sum under twenty thousand pounds, the savings of twelve years, formed all his possessions. The income arising from the former was absorbed by Lady Lodore's jointure of a thousand a year, and five hundred a year settled on his sister, together with permission to occupy the family mansion during her life. The remaining sum was disposed of in a way most singular. Without referring to the amount of what he could leave, he bequeathed the additional sum of six hundred a year to Lady Lodore, on the express condition, that she should not interfere with, nor even see, her child; upon her failing in this condition, this sum was to be left to accumulate till Ethel was of age. Ethel was ultimately to inherit every thing; but while her mother and aunt lived, her fortune consisted of little more than five thousand pounds; and even in this, she was limited to the use of the interest only until she was of age; a previous marriage would have no influence on the disposition of her property. Mrs. Elizabeth was left her guardian.

This will was in absolute contradiction to the wishes and feelings in which Lord Lodore died; so true had his prognostic been, that he had no power beyond the grave. He had probably forgotten the existence of this will, or imagined that it had been destroyed: he had determined to make a new one on his arrival in England. Meanwhile it was safely deposited with his solicitor in London, and Mrs. Elizabeth, with mistaken zeal, hastened to put it into force, and showed herself eager to obey her brother's wishes with scrupulous exactitude. The contents of it were communicated to Lady Lodore. She made no comment—returned no answer. She was suddenly reduced from comparative affluence (for her husband's allowance had consisted of several thousands) to a bare sixteen hundred a year. Whether she would be willing to diminish this her scanty income one third, and take on herself, besides, the care of her daughter, was not known. She remained inactive and silent, and Ethel was placed at once under the guardianship of her aunt.

These two ladies left London in the old lumbering chariot which had belonged to the Admiral. Now, indeed, Ethel found herself in a new country, with new friends around her, speaking a new language, and each change of scene made more manifest the complete revolution of her fortunes. She looked on all with languid eyes, and a heart dead to every pleasure. Her aunt, who bore a slight resemblance of her father, won some degree of interest; and the sole consolation offered her, was to trace a similarity of voice and feature, and thus to bring the lost Lodore more vividly before her. The journey to Longfield was therefore not wholly without a melancholy charm. Mrs. Elizabeth longed to obtain more minute information concerning her brother, her pride and her delight, than had been contained in his short and infrequent letters. She hazarded a few questions. Grief loves to feed upon itself, and to surround itself with multiplications of its own image; like a bee, it will find sweets in the poison flower, and nestle within its own creations, although they pierce the heart that cherishes them. Ethel felt a fascination in dwelling for ever on the past. She asked for nothing better than to live her life over again, while narrating its simple details, and to bring her father back from his grave to dwell with her, by discoursing perpetually concerning him. She was unwearied in her descriptions, her anecdotes, her praises. The Illinois rose before the eyes of her aunt, like a taintless paradise, inhabited by an angel. Love and good dwelt together there in blameless union; the sky was brighter; the earth fairer, fresher, younger, more magnificent, and more wonderful, than in the old world. The good lady called to mind, with surprise, the melancholy and despairing letters she had received from her brother, while inhabiting this Eden. It was matter of mortification to his mourning daughter to hear, as from himself, as it were, that any sorrows had visited his heart while with her. When we love one to whom we have devoted our lives with undivided affection, the idea that the beloved object suffered any grief while with us, jars with our sacred sorrow. We delight to make the difference between the possession of their society, and our subsequent bereavement, entire in its contrasted happiness and misery; we wish to have engrossed their whole souls, as they do ours, at the period of regret, and it is like the most cruel theft, to know that we have been deprived of any of the power we believed that we possessed, to influence their entire being. But then again, forgetting her aunt's interruptions. Ethel returned to the story of their occupations, their amusements, their fond and unsullied intercourse, her eyes streamed with tears as she spoke, while yet her heart felt relief in the indulgence of her woe.

When the ladies returned to Longfield, it became Mrs. Elizabeth's turn to narrate. She had lived many years feeding silently on the memory of by-gone time. During her brother's exile, she had seldom spoken his name, for she felt little inclined to satisfy the inquisitiveness of the good people of Longfield. But now her long-stored anecdotes, her sacred relics, the spots made dear by his presence, all were a treasure poured out bounteously before Ethel. Nothing appeared so natural to the unfortunate girl as that another should, like herself, worship the recollection of her adored father. To love him while he lived, to see nothing in the world that had lost him, except his shadow cast upon its benighted state, appeared the only existence that could follow his extinction. Some people, when they die, leave but a foot of ground vacant, which the eager pressing ranks of their fellow-creatures fill up immediately, walking on their grave, as on common earth; others leave a gap, a chasm, a fathomless gulf, beside which the survivor sits for ever hopeless. Both Ethel and her aunt, in their several ways, in youth and age, were similarly situated. Both were cut off from the great family of their species; wedded to one single being, and he was gone. Both made the dead Lodore the focus to concentrate, and the mirror to reflect, all their sensations and experience. He visited their dreams by night, his name was their study, their pastime, their sole untiring society.

Mrs. Elizabeth, the gentlest visionary that had ever outlived hope, without arriving at its fruition, having reached those years when memory is the natural food of the human mind, found this fare exceedingly well adapted to her constitution. She had pined a little while cut off from all heart-felt communication with her fellow-creatures, but the presence of Ethel fulfilled her soul's desire; she found sympathy, and an auditress, into whose ever-attentive ear she could pour those reveries which she had so long nourished in secret. Whoso had heard the good lady talk of endless tears and mourning for the loss of Lodore, of life not worth having when he was gone, of the sad desolation of their position, and looked at her face, beaming with satisfaction, with only so much sensibility painted there as to render it expressive of all that is kind and compassionate, good-humour in her frequent smile, and sleek content in her plump person, might have laughed at the contrast; and yet have pondered on the strange riddle we human beings present, and how contradictions accord in our singular machinery. This good aunt was incapable of affectation, and all was true and real that she said. She lived upon the idea of her brother; he was all in all to her, but they had been divided so long, that his death scarcely increased the separation; and she could talk of meeting him in heaven, with as firm and cheerful a faith, as a few months before she had anticipated his return to England. Though sincere in her regret for his death, habit had turned lamentation into a healthy nutriment, so that she throve upon the tears she shed, and grew fat and cheerful upon her sighs. She would lead the agonized girl to the vault which contained the remains of her brother, and hover near it, as a Catholic beside the shrine of a favourite saint—the visible image giving substance and form to her reverie; for hitherto, her dreamy life had wanted the touch of reality, which the presence of her niece, and the sad memorial of her lost brother, afforded.

The home-felt sensations of the mourning orphan, were in entire contrast to this holiday woe. While her aunt brooded over her sorrow "to keep it warm," it wrapped Ethel's soul as with a fiery torture. Every cheerful thought lay buried with her father, and the tears she shed near his grave were accompanied by a wrenching of her being, and a consequent exhaustion, that destroyed the elasticity of the spirit of youth. The memory of Lodore, which soothed his sister, haunted his child like a sad beckoning, yet fatal vision; she yearned to reach the shore where his pale ghost perpetually wandered—the earth seemed a dark prison, and liberty and light dwelt with the dead beyond the grave. Eternally conversant with the image of death, she was brought into too near communion with the grim enemy of life. She wasted and grew pale: nor did any voice speak to her of the unreasonableness of her grief; her father was not near to teach her fortitude, and there appeared a virtue and a filial piety in the excess of her regret, which blinded her aunt to the fatal consequences of its indulgence.

While summer lasted, and the late autumn protracted its serenity almost into winter, Ethel wandered in the lanes and fields; and in spite of wasting grief, the free air of heaven, which swept her cheek, preserved its healthy hue and braced her limbs. But when dreary inclement winter arrived, and the dull fireside of aunt Bessy became the order of the day, without occupation to amuse, or society to distract her thoughts, given up to grief, and growing into a monument of woe, it became evident that the springs of life were becoming poisoned, and that health and existence itself were giving way before the destructive influences at work within. Appetite first, then sleep, deserted her. A slight cold became a cough, and then changed into a preying fever. She grew so thin that her large eyes, shining with unnatural lustre, appeared to occupy too much of her face, and her brow was streaked with ghastly hues. Poor Mrs. Elizabeth, when she found that neither arrow-root nor chicken-broth restored her, grew frightened—the village practitioner exhausted his skill without avail. Ethel herself firmly believed that she was going to die, and fondly cherished the hope of rejoining her father. She was in love with death, which alone could reunite her to the being, apart from whom she believed it impossible to exist.

But limits were now placed to Mrs. Elizabeth's romance. The danger of Ethel was a frightful reality that awoke every natural feeling. Ethel, the representative of her brother, the last of their nearly extinct race, the sole relation she possessed, the only creature whom she could entirely love, was dear to her beyond expression; and the dread of losing her gave activity to her slothful resolves. Having seldom, during the whole course of her life, been called upon to put any plan or wish of her's into actual execution, what another would have immediately and easily done, was an event to call forth all her energies, and to require all her courage; luckily she possessed sufficient to meet the present exigency. She wrote up to London to her single correspondent there, her brother's solicitor. A house was taken, and the first warm days of spring found the ladies established in the metropolis. A physician had been called in, and he pronounced the mind only to be sick. "Amuse her," he said, "occupy her—prevent her from dwelling on those thoughts which have preyed upon her health; let her see new faces, new places, every thing new—and youth, and a good constitution, will do the rest."

There seemed so much truth in this advice, that all dangerous symptoms disappeared from the moment of Ethel's leaving Essex. Her strength returned—her face resumed its former loveliness; and aunt Bessy, overjoyed at the change, occupied herself earnestly in discovering amusements for her niece in the numerous, wide-spread, and very busy congregation of human beings, which forms the western portion of London.


You are now
In London, that great sea, whose ebb and flow,
At once is deaf and loud.


There is no uninhabited desart so dreary as the peopled streets of London, to those who have no ties with its inhabitants, nor any pursuits in common with its busy crowds. A drop of water in the ocean is no symbol of the situation of an isolated individual thrown upon the stream of metropolitan life; that amalgamates with its kindred element; but the solitary being finds no pole of attraction to cause a union with its fellows, and bastilled by the laws of society, it is condemned to incommunicative solitude.

Ethel was thrown completely upon her aunt, and her aunt was a cypher in the world. She had not a single acquaintance in London, and was wholly inexperienced in its ways. She dragged Ethel about to see sights, and Ethel was amused for a time. The playhouses were a great source of entertainment to her, and all kinds of exhibitions, panoramas, and shows, served to fill up her day. Still the great want of all shed an air of dulness over every thing—the absence of human intercourse, and of the conversation and sympathy of her species. Ethel, as she drove through the mazy streets, and mingled with the equipages in the park, could not help thinking what pleasant people might be found among the many she saw, and how strange it was that her aunt did not speak even to one among them. This solitude, joined to a sense of exclusion, became very painful. Again and again she sighed for the Illinois; that was inhabited by human beings, humble and uncultivated as they might be. She knew their wants, and could interest herself in their goings on. All the moving crowd of men and women now around her seemed so many automata: she started when she heard them address each other, and express any feeling or intention that distinguished them from the shadows of a phantasmagoria.

Where were the boasted delights of European intercourse which Lodore had vaunted?—the elegancies, and the wit, or the improvement to be derived from its society?—the men and women of talent, of refinement, and taste, who by their conversation awaken the soul to new powers, and exhilarate the spirits with a purer madness than wine—who with alternate gaiety and wisdom, humour and sagacity, amuse while they teach; accompanying their lessons with that spirit of sympathy, that speaking to the eye and ear, as well as to the mind, which books can so poorly imitate? "Here, doubtless, I should find all these," thought Ethel, as she surveyed the audience at the theatres, or the daily congregations she met in her drives; "yet I live here as if not only I inhabited a land whose language was unknown to me, for then I might converse by signs,—but as if I had fallen among beings of another species, with whom I have no affinity: I should almost say that I walked among them invisible, did they not condescend sometimes to gaze at me, proving that at least I am seen."

Time sped on very quickly, meanwhile, in spite of these repinings; for her days were past in the utmost monotony,—so that though the hours a little lagged, yet she wondered where they were when they were gone: and they had spent more than a month in town, though it seemed but a few days. Ethel had entirely recovered her health, and more than her former beauty. She was nearly seventeen: she was rather tall and slim; but there was a bending elegance in her form, joined to an elastic step, which was singularly graceful. No man could see her without a wish to draw near to afford protection and support; and the soft expression of her full eyes added to the charm. Her deep mourning dress, the simplicity of her appearance, her face so prettily shaded by her bright ringlets, often caused her to be remarked, and people asked one another who she was. None knew; and the old-fashioned appearance of Mrs. Elizabeth Fitzhenry, and the want of style which characterized all her arrangements, prevented our very aristocratic gentry from paying as much attention to her as they otherwise would.

One day, this gentle, solitary pair attended a morning concert. Ethel had not been to the Opera, and now heard Pasta for the first time. Her father had cultivated her taste for Italian music; for without cultivation—without in some degree understanding and being familiar with an art, it is rare that we admire even the most perfect specimens of it. Ethel listened with wrapt attention; her heart beat quick, and her eyes became suffused with tears which she could not suppress;—so she leant forward, shading her face as much as she could with her veil, and trying to forget the throng of strangers about her. They were in the pit; and having come in late, sat at the end of one of the forms. Pasta's air was concluded; and she still turned aside, being too much agitated to wish to speak, when she heard her aunt addressing some one as an old acquaintance. She called her friend "Captain Markham," expressed infinite pleasure at seeing him, and whispered her niece that here was an old friend of her father's. Ethel turned and beheld Mr. Villiers. His face lighted up with pleasure, and he expressed his joy at the chance which had produced the meeting; but the poor girl was unable to reply. All colour deserted her cheeks; marble pale and cold, her voice failed, and her heart seemed to die within her. The room where last she saw the lifeless remains of her father rose before her; and the appearance of Mr. Villiers was as a vision from another world, speaking of the dead. Mrs. Elizabeth, considerably surprised, asked her how she came to know Captain Markham. Ethel would have said, "Let us go!" but her voice died away, and she felt that tears would follow any attempt at explanation. Ashamed of the very possibility of occasioning a scene, and yet too disturbed to know well what she was about, she suddenly rose, and though the commencement of a new air was commanding silence and attention; she hastily quitted the room, and found herself alone, outside the door, before her aunt was well aware that she was gone. She claimed Captain Markham's assistance to follow the fugitive; and, attended by him, at length discovered her chariot, to which Ethel had been led by the servant, and in which she was sitting, weeping bitterly. Mrs. Elizabeth felt inclined to ask her whether she was mad; but she also was struck dumb; for her Captain Markham had said—"I am very sorry to have distressed Miss Fitzhenry. My name is Villiers. I cannot wonder at her agitation; but it would give me much pleasure if she would permit me to call on her, when she can see me with more composure."

With these words, he assisted the good lady into the carriage, bowed, and disappeared. He was not Captain Markham! How could she have been so stupid as to imagine that he was? He looked, upon the whole, rather younger than Captain Markham had done, when she formed acquaintance with him, during her expedition to London on the occasion of Ethel's christening. He was taller, too, and not quite so stout; yet he was so like—the same frank, open countenance, the same ingenuous manner, and the same clear blue eyes. Certainly Captain Markham was not so handsome;—and what a fool Mr. Villiers must think her, for having mistaken him for a person who resembled him sixteen years ago; quite forgetting that Mr. Villiers was ignorant who her former friend was, and when she had seen him. All these perplexing thoughts passed through Mrs. Fitzhenry's brain, tinging her aged cheek with a blush of shame; while Ethel, having recovered herself, was shocked to remember how foolishly and rudely she had behaved; and longed to apologize, yet knew not how; and fancied that it was very unlikely that she should ever see Mr. Villiers again. Her aunt, engaged by her own distress, quite forgot the intention he had expressed of calling, and could only exclaim and lament over her folly. The rest of the day was spent with great discomfort to both; for the sight of Mr. Villiers renewed all Ethel's sorrows; and again and again she bestowed the tribute of showers of tears to her dear father's memory.

The following day, much to Ethel's delight, and the annoyance of Mrs. Elizabeth, who could not get over her sense of shame, Mr. Villiers presented himself in their drawing-room. Villiers, however, was a man speedily to overcome even any prejudice formed against him; far more easily, therefore, could he obviate the good aunt's confusion, and put her at her ease. His was one of those sunny countenances that spoke a heart ready to give itself away in kindness;—a cheering voice, whose tones echoed the frankness and cordiality of his nature. Blest with a buoyant, and even careless spirit, as far as regarded himself, he had a softness, a delicacy, and a gentleness, with respect to others, which animated his manners with irresistible fascination. His heart was open to pity—his soul the noblest and clearest ever fashioned by nature in her happiest mood. He had been educated in the world—he lived for the world, for he had not genius to raise himself above the habits and pursuits of his countrymen: yet he took only the better part of their practices; and shed a grace over them, so alien to their essence, that any one might have been deceived, and have fancied that he proceeded on a system and principles of his own.

He had travelled a good deal, and was somewhat inclined, when pleased with his company, to narrate his adventures and experiences. Ethel was naturally rather taciturn; and Mrs. Elizabeth was too much absorbed in the pleasure of listening, to interrupt their visitor. He felt himself peculiarly happy and satisfied between the two, and his visit was excessively long; nor did he go away before he had appointed to call the next day, and opened a long vista of future visits for himself, assisted by the catalogue of all that the ladies had not seen, and all that they desired to see, in London.

Villiers had been animated while with them, but he left the house full of thought. The name of Fitzhenry, or rather that of Lodore, was familiar to him; and the strange chance that had caused him to act as second to the lamented noble who bore this title, and which brought him in contact with his orphan and solitary daughter, appeared to him like the enchantment of fairy land. From the presence of Ethel, he proceeded to Lady Lodore's house, which was still shut up; yet he knocked, and inquired of the servant whether she had returned to England. She was still at Baden, he was told, and not expected for a month or two; and this answer involved him in deeper thought than before.