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attain goodness. In the savage Scan- to these convictions, but I am rather dinavian, or the ruthless Frank, lay summing up the impressions which I the germs of a Sidney or a Bayard. received as I saw more of this person, What would the best of us be, if he whose destiny I had presumed to take were suddenly placed at war with the under my charge. whole world? And this fierce spirit In going away, I said, “ But, at all was at war with the whole world—a events, you have a name in your war self-sought, perhaps, but it was lodgings : whom am I to ask for when war not the less. You must surround I call to-morrow?" the savage with peace, if you want the “Oh, you may know my name virtues of peace.
now," said he, smiling : “it is Vivian I cannot say that it was in a single - Francis Vivian." interview and conference that I came
I remember one morning, when a no hole where I can hide myself, and boy, loitering by an old wall, to watch let the web do the weaver's work, the operations of a garden spider, But I will imitate the spider as far as whose web seemed to be in great re- I can ; and while the rest hum and quest. When I first stopped, she was struggle away their impatient, unnoengaged very quietly with a fly of the ticed hour, I will retreat into the inner domestic species, whom she managed labyrinth of my own life. with ease and dignity. But just when The illness of my uncle, and my reshe was most interested in that ab- newed acquaintance with Vivian, had sorbing employment, came a couple of naturally sufficed to draw my thoughts May-fies, and then a gnat, and then from the rash and unpropitious love I a blue-bottle,-all at different angles had conceived for Fanny Trevanion. of the web. Never was a poor spider During the absence of the family from so distracted by her good fortune! London, (and they stayed some time She evidently did not know which longer than had been expected,) I had godsend to take first. The aboriginal leisure, however, to recall my father's victim being released, she slid half-way touching history, and the moral it had towards the May-flies; then one of her so obviously preached to me; and I eight eyes caught sight of the blue- formed so many good resolutions, that bottle ! and she shot off in that direc- it was with an untrembling hand that tion;—when the hum of the gnat again I welcomed Miss Trevanion at last to diverted her; and in the middle of London, and with a firm heart that I this perplexity, pounce came a young avoided, as much as possible, the wasp in a violent passion! Then the fatal charm of her society. The slow spider evidently lost her presence of convalescence of my uncle gave me a mind; she became clean demented; just excuse for discontinuing our rides. and after standing, stupid and stock. What time Trevanion spared me, it still, in the middle of her meshes, for was natural that I should spend with a minute or two, she ran off to her my family. I went to no balls or hole as fast as she could run, and left parties. I even absented myself from her guests to shift for themselves. I Trevanion's periodical dinners. Miss confess that I am somewhat in the Trevanion at first rallied me on my dilemma of the attractive and amiable seclusion with her usual lively malice. insect I have just described. I got on But I continued worthily to complete well enough while I had only my do my martyrdom. I took care that no mestic fly to see after. But now that reproachful look at the gaiety that there is something fluttering at every wrung my soul should betray my seend of my net, (and especially since cret. Then Fanny seemed either hurt the advent of that passionate young or disdainful, and avoided altogether wasp, who is fuming and buzzing in entering her father's study; all at the nearest corner !) I am fairly at a once, she changed her tactics, and loss which I should first grapple with was seized with a strange desire for --and, alas! unlike the spider, I have knowledge, which brought her into
the room to look for a book, or ask a was formed to over-appreciate, one or question, ten times a-day. I was two brief annotations on the margin proof to all. But, to speak truth, I were boldly hazarded, prompting some was profoundly wretched. Looking stronger link in a chain of reasoning, back now, I am dismayed at the re- or indicating the necessity for some membrance of my own sufferings: my further evidence in the assertion of a health became seriously affected; I statement. And all this from the dreaded alike the trial of the day and mere natural and naked logic of an the anguish of the night. My only acute mind, unaided by the smallest distractions were in my visits to Vi. kuowledge of the subject treated of! vian, and my escape to the dear circle Treyanion threw quite enough work of home. And that home was my into Vivian's hands, and at a remunesafeguard and preservative in that ration sufficiently liberal to realise my crisis of my life. Its atmosphere of promise of an independence. And uppretending honour and serene virtue more than once he asked me to introstrengthened all my resolutions; it duce to him my friend. But this I braced me for my struggles against continued to elude - heaven knows, the strongest passion which youth not from jealousy, but simply because admits, and counteracted the evil va I feared that Vivian's manner and pours of that air in which Vivian's way of talk would singularly displease envenomed spirit breathed and moved. one who detested presumption, and Without the influence of such a home, understood no eccentricities but his if I had succeeded in the conduct that own. probity enjoined towards those in Still Vivian, whose industry was of a whose house I was a trusted guest, I strong wing, but only for short flights, do not think I could have resisted the had not enough to employ more than contagion of that malign and morbid a few hours of his day, and I dreaded bitterness against fate and the world lest he should, from very idleness, fall which love, thwarted by fortune, is too back into old habits, and reseek old inclined of itself to conceive, and in friendships. His cynical candour althe expression of which Vivian was lowed that both were sufficiently disrenot without the eloquence that be- putable to justify grave apprehensions longs to earnestness, whether in truth of such a result; accordingly, I conor falsehood. But, somehow or other, trived to find leisure in my evenings I never left the little room that con- to lessen his ennui, by accompanying tained the grand suffering in the face him in rambles through the gas-lit of the veteran soldier, whose lip, often streets, or occasionally, for an hour or quivering with anguish, was never so, to one of the theatres. heard to murmur; and the tranquil Vivian's first care, on finding himwisdom which had succeeded my self rich enough, had been bestowed father's early trials, (trials like my on his person; and those two faculown,) and the loving smile on my ties of observation and imitation which mother's tender face, and the innocent minds so ready always eminently childhood of Blanche, (by which name possess, had enabled him to achieve the Elf had familiarised herself to us,) that graceful neatness of costume whom I already loved as a sister, peculiar to the English gentleman. without feeling that those four walls For the first few days of his metacontained enough to sweeten the morphosis, traces indeed of a constiworld, had it been filled to its capa- tutional love of show, or vulgar comcious brim with gall and hyssop. panionship, were noticeable; but one
Trevanion had been more than by one they disappeared. First went a satisfied with Vivian's performance gaudy neckcloth, with collars turned he had been struck with it. For down; then a pair of spurs vanished; though the corrections in the mere and lastly, a diabolical instrument phraseology had been very limited, that he called a. cane-but which, by they went beyond verbal amendments means of a running bullet, could serve -they suggested such words as im- as a bludgeon at one end, and conproved the thoughts; and, besides cealed a dagger in the other-subthat notable correction of an arithme- sided into the ordinary walking-stick tical error, which Trevanion's mind adapted to our peaceable metropolis. A similar change, though in a less de- frankness and a vigilant reserve. His gree, gradually took place in his man- frankness was apparent in his talk on ner and conversation. He grew less all matters immediately before us ; in abrupt in the one, and more calm, the utter absence of all effort to make perhaps more cheerful, in the other. himself seem better than he was. It was evident that he was not insen- His reserve was equally shown in the sible to the elevated pleasure of pro- ingenious evasion of every species of viding for himself by praiseworthy confidence that could admit me into exertion-of feeling for the first time such secrets of his life as he chose to that his intellect was of use to him, conceal: where he had been born, creditably. A new world, though still reared, and educated; how he came to dim-seen through mist and fog, began be thrown on his own resources; hoy to dawn upon him.
he had contrived, how he had subSuch is the vanity of us poor mor- sisted, were all matters on which he tals, that my interest in Vivian was seemed to have taken an oath to Harprobably increased, and my aversion pocrates, the god of silence. And yet to much in him materially softened, he was full of anecdotes of what he by observing that I had gained a sort had seen, of strange companions, whom of ascendency over his savage nature. he never named, but into whose society When we had first met by the road. he had been thrown. And, to do him side, and afterwards conversed in the justice, I remarked that, though his churchyard, the ascendency was cer- precocious experience seemed to have tainly not on my side. But I now been gathered from the holes and came from a larger sphere of society corners, the sewers and drains of life, than that in which he had yet moved. and though he seemed wholly without I had seen and listened to the first dislike to dishonesty, and to regard men in England. What had then virtue or vice with as serene an indifdazzled me only, now moved my pity. ference as some grand poet who views On the other hand, his active mind them both merely as ministrants to could not but observe the change in his art, yet he never betrayed any me; and, whether from envy or a positive breach of honesty in himself. better feeling, he was willing to learn He could laugh over the story of some from me how to eclipse me, and re- ingenions frand that he had witnessed, sume his earlier superiority-not to and seem insensible to its turpitude; be superior chafed him. Thus he but he spoke of it in the tone of an listened to me with docility when I unreproving witness, not of an actual pointed out the books which connected accomplice. As we grew more intithemselves with the various subjects mate, he felt gradually, however, that incidental to the miscellaneous matters pudor, or instinctive shame, which the on which he was employed. Though contact with minds habituated to the he had less of the literary turn of distinctions between wrong and right mind than any one equally clever I unconsciously produces, -and such have ever met, and had read little, stories ceased. He never but once considering the quantity of thought mentioned his family, and that was in he had acquired, and the show he the following odd and abrupt manmade of the few works (chiefly plays) ner,with which he had voluntarily made “Ah!” cried he one day, stopping himself familiar, he yet resolutely sate suddenly before a print-shop, “how himself down to study; and though it that reminds me of my dear, dear was clearly against the grain, I mother." augured the more favourably from " Which?" said I eagerly, puzzled tokens of a determination to do what between an engraving of Raffaelle's was at the present irksome for a pur- “Madonna," and another of “The pose in the future. Yet, whether I Brigand's Wife." should have approved the purpose. Vivian did not satisfy my curiosity, had I thoroughly understood it-is but drow me on in spite of my relucanother question! There were abysses, tance. both in his past life and in his charac- “You loved your mother, then ?" ter, which I could not penetrate. said I, after a pause. There was in him both a reckless “Yes, as a whelp may a tigress."
" That's a strange comparison." wicked disposition might make a cari
" Or a bull-dog may the prize- cature of your Ulysses?" fighter, his master! Do you like that I did not see Mr Vivian for three better?"
days after that speech ; and I should "Not much ; is it a comparison not have seen him then, only we met, your mother would like ?"
by accident, under the Colonnade of the “ Like!-she is dead!” said he, Opera House. Vivian was leaning rather falteringly.
against one of the columns, and watchI pressed his arm closer to mine. ing the long procession which swept
“I understand yon," said he, with to the only temple in vogue that Art his cynic repellant smile. “But you has retained in the English Babel. do wrong to feel for my loss. I feel Coaches and chariots, blazoned with for it; but no one who cares for me arms and coronets-cabriolets (the should sympathise with my grief." brougham had not then replaced them) " Why?”
of sober hue, but exquisite appoint“ Because my mother was not what ment, with gigantic horses and pigmy the world would call a good woman. "tigers," dashed on and rolled off I did not love her the less for that before him. Fair women and gay --and now let us change the sub- dresses, stars and ribbons—the rank ject."
and the beauty of the patrician world "Nay; since you have said so -passed him by. And I could not remuch, Vivian, let me coax you to say sist the compassion with which this on. Is not your father living ?” lonely, friendless, eager, discontented
“Is not the Monument standing?" spirit inspired me gazing on that “I suppose so,-what of that? gorgeous existence in which it fancied
" Why, it matters very little to itself formed to shine, with the ardour either of us; and my question an- of desire and the despair of exclusion. swers yours!"
By one glimpse of that dark counteI could not get on after this, and I nance, I read what was passing within never did get on a step farther. I the yet darker heart. The emotion must own that, if Vivian did not im- might not be amiable, nor the thoughts part his confidence liberally, neither wise, yet, were they unnatural ? I had did he seek confidence inquisitively experienced something of them-not from me. He listened with interest at the sight of gay-dressed people, of if I spoke of Trevanion, (for I told wealth and idleness, pleasure and him frankly of my connexion with fashion ; but when, at the doors of that personage, though you may be sure parliament, men who have won noble that I said nothing of Fanny,) and of names, and whose word had weight the brilliant world that my residence on the destinies of glorious England, with one so distinguished opened to brushed heedlessly by to their grand me. But if ever, in the fulness of my arena; or when, amidst the holiday heart, I began to speak of my parents, crowd of ignoble pompp, I had heard of my home, he evinced either so im- the murmur of fame buzz and gather pertinent an ennui, or assumed so round some lordly labourer in art or chilling a sneer, that I usually hurried letters. That contrast between glory away from him, as well as the subject, so near, and yet so far, and one's own in indignant disgust. Once especially obscurity, of course I had felt itwhen I asked him to let me introduce who has not? Alas, many a youth him to my father-a point on which I not fated to be a Themistocles, will was really anxious, for I thought it yet feel that the trophies of a Miltiimpossible but that the devil within ades will not suffer him to sleep! So him would be softened by that con- I went up to Vivian, and laid my tact-he said with his low, scornful hand on his shoulder. laugh
“Ah!" said he, more gently than "My dear Caxton, when I was a usual, “I am glad to see you—and child, I was so bored with Telemachus,' to apologise-I offended you the other that, in order to endure it, I turned it day. But you would not get very into travesty."
gracious answers from souls in purga" Well."
tory, if you talked to them of the hap" Are you not afraid that the same piness of heaven. Never speak to me about homes and fathers ! Enough, bee; and, what is the very deuce of I see you forgive me. Why are you the whole, even as the butterfly, you not going to the opera ? You can!” ask every flower to grow up in a mo
“And you too, if you so please. A ment; and as a bee, the whole hive ticket is shamefully dear, to be sure; must be stored in a quarter of an still, if you are fond of music, it is a hour! Patienee, patience, patience !" luxury you can afford.”
Vivian sighed a fierce sigh. “I “Oh, you flatter me if you fancy suppose," said he, after an unquiet the prudence of saving withholds me! pause, “that the vagrant and the I did go the other night, but I shall outlaw are strong in me; for I long to not go again. Music !--when you go run back to my old existence, which to the opera, is it for the music ?” was all action, and therefore allowed
“ Only partially, I own: the lights, no thought." the scene, the pageant, attract me W hile he thus said, we had wanquite as much. But I do not think dered round the Colonnade, and were the opera a very profitable pleasure in that narrow passage that runs from for either of us. For rich idle people, Piccadilly into Charles Street, in I dare say, it may be as innocent an which is situated the more private amusement as any other, but I find it entrance to the opera ; and close by a sad enervator."
the doors of that entrance, two or " And I just the reverse--a horrible three young men were lounging. As stimulant! Caxton, do you kuow that, Vivian ceased, the voice of one of ungracious as it will sound to you, I these loungers came laughingly to our am growing impatient of this honour- ears. able independence! What does it "Oh!" it said, apparently in anlead to ?-board, clothes, and lodging, swer to some question, “I have a -can it ever bring me any thing much quicker way to fortune than more?"
that; I mean to marry an heiress !". "At first, Vivian, you limited your Vivian started, and looked at the aspirations to kid gloves and a cab- speaker. He was a very good-lookriolet-it has brought you the kid ing fellow. Vivian continued to look gloves already, by-and-by it will bring at him, and deliberately, from head to the cabriolet !"
foot; he then turned away with a “Our wishes grow by what they satisfied and thoughtful smile. feed on. You live in the great world " Certainly,” said I gravely, (con-you can have excitement if you struing the smile,) “you are right please it-I want excitement, I want there; you are even better-looking than the world, I want room for my mind, that heiress-hunter!” man! Do you understand me?”
Vivian coloured; but before he “Perfectly-and sympathise with conld answer, one of the loungers, as you, my poor Vivian; but it will all the group recovered from the gay come. Patience ! as I preached to you laugh which their companion's easy while dawn rose so comfortless over coxcombry had excited, said, the streets of London. You are not " Then, by the way, if you want an losing time-fill your mind, read, heiress, here comes one of the greatest study, fit yourself for ambition. Why in England; but instead of being a wish to fly till you have got your younger son, with three good lives wings ? Live in books now: after all, between you and an Irish peerage, they are splendid palaces, and open one ought to be an earl at least to to us all, rich and poor.”
aspire to Fanny Trevanion!” “Books, books! -ah, you are the The name thrilled through me-1 son of a bookman! It is not by felt myself tremble-and, looking up, books that men get on in the world, I saw Lady Ellinor and Miss Trevaand enjoy life in the meanwhile.” by nion, as they hurried from their car
"I don't know that; but, my good riage towards the entrance of the fellow, you want to do both-get on opera. They both recognised me, in the world as fast as labour can, and and Fanny cried, enjoy life as pleasantly as indolence “You here! How fortunate! You may. You want to live like the butter. must see us into the box, even if you. fly, and yet have all the honey of the run away the moment after."