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thing will be retrieved in that country by the immense force marching thither.” He then denied the burning of Moscow by the French army, and charged it as an act of the governour's, adding, “It is so much at variance with the French character, that if we take London we shall not fire it.**
In about an hour Lauriston withdrew.
We cannot conclude without expressing our admiration of the careful and scholar-like way in which this work has been edited by Mr. Randolph. The remainder of his uncle's MSS. are safe in his hands, and they will not be the less welcome because they will be given to the world by one who has an affectionate remembrance of the man and appreciation of his private character, as well as that veneration for the hero and respect for his public conduct, in which we are also able to share.
WHERE God's omnific mandate worlds from chaos drew to light,
Yearning yet to reach the shore
Where th' eternal billows roar,
Around me stars of deathless youth in countless swarms emerge,
In their ceaseless ebb and flow
Towards the mystic strand they go :
As through heaven her eyes turn back
Mist-like dims the vanquish'd track
"I seek that final coast
Where the universe is lost,
* Then Pause! thou sailest vainly-an Infinitude behold!"
Meekly droop thy plumage soaring,
Bend O Eagle-thought adoring:
BY THE AUTHOR OF “ ASHLEY.”
PART THE FIFTH.
LIFE AT CASTLE MARLING. ISABEL had been in her new home about ten days when Lord and Lady Mount Severn arrived at Castle Marling. Which was not a castle, you may as well be told, but only the name of a town, nearly contiguous to which was their residence, a small estate. Lord Mount Severn welcomed Isabel : Lady Mount Severn, also, after a fashion ; but her manner was so repellant, so insolently patronising, that it brought the indignant crimson to the cheeks of Isabel. And, if this was the case at the first meeting, what do you suppose it must have been as time went on ? Galling slights, petty vexations, chilling annoyances were put upon her, trying her powers of endurance to the very length of their tether : she would wring her hands when alone, and passionately wish that she could find another refuge.
Lady Mount Severn lived but in admiration, and she gathered around her those who would offer its incense. She carried her flirtations to the very verge of propriety: no further: there existed not a woman less likely to forget herself, or peril her fair fame, than Emma, Countess of Mount Severn; and no woman was more scornfully unforgiving to those who did forget themselves. She was the very essence of envy, of selfishness: she had never been known to invite a young and attractive woman to her house; she would as soon have invited a leper: and now you can understand her wrath, when she heard that Isabel Vane was to be her permanent inmate ; Isabel, with her many charms, her youth, and her unusual beauty. At Christmas some visitors were down; mostly young men, and they were not wary enough to dissemble the fact, that the young beauty was a far greater attraction than the exacting countess. Then broke forth, beyond bounds, her passion, and in a certain private scene, when she forgot all but passion, and lost sight of the proprieties of life, Isabel was told that she was a hated intruder, her presence only suffered because there was no help for it.
The earl and countess had two children, both boys, and in February, the younger one, always a delicate child, died. This somewhat altered their plans. Instead of proceeding to London after Easter, as had been decided upon, they would not go till May. The earl had passed part of the winter at Mount Severn, looking after the repairs and renovations that were being made there. In March he went to Paris, full of grief for the loss of his boy; far greater grief than was experienced by Lady Mount Severn.
April approached, and with it Easter. To the unconcealed dismay of Lady Mount Severn, her grandmother, Mrs. Levison, wrote her word! that she required change, and should pass Easter with her at Castle
Marling. Lady Mount Severn would have given her diamonds to have got out of it, but there was no escape : diamonds that were once Isabel's; at least, what Isabel had worn. On the Monday in Passion Week the old lady arrived ; and, with her, Francis Levison. They had no other guests.
Things went on pretty smoothly till Good Friday, but it was a deceitful calm : my lady's jealousy was smouldering, for Captain Levison's attentions to Isabel were driving her wild. At Christmas, when he had spent three weeks there, his admiration had been open enough, but it was more so now. Better from any one else could Lady Mount Severn have borne this, than from Francis Levison : she had suffered the young Guardsman, cousin though he was, to grow rather dear; dangerously dear it might have become had she been a less cautious woman. More welcome to her that all the world, rather than he, had given their admiration to Isabel. Why did she have him there, throwing him into Isabel's companionship, as she had done the previous year in London ? asks the reader. It is more than I can tell : why do people do foolish things ?
On Good Friday afternoon, Isabel strolled out with little William Vane : Captain Levison joined them, and they never came in till nearly dinner-time, when the three entered together. Lady Mount Severn doing penance all the time, and nursing her rage against Isabel, for Mrs. Levison kept her in-doors. There was barely time to dress for dinner, and Isabel went straight to her room. Her dress was off, her dressinggown on, Marvel was busy with her hair, and William chattering at her knee, when the door was flung open, and my lady entered.
“Where have you been ?" demanded she, shaking with passion. Isabel knew the signs.
“Strolling about in the shrubberies and grounds,” answered Isabel. “How dare you so disgrace yourself ?”.
“ I do not understand you," said Isabel, her heart beginning to beat unpleasantly. “Marvel, you are pulling my hair.”
When women, liable to intemperate fits of passion, give the reins to them, they neither know nor care what they say. Lady Mount Severn broke into a torrent of reproach and abuse, most degrading and unjustifiable.
“Is it not sufficient that you are allowed an asylum in my house, but you must also disgrace it ?' Three hours have you been hiding yourself with Francis Levison! You have done nothing but flirt with him from the moment he came; you did nothing else at Christmas.”
The attack was longer and broader, but that was the substance of it, and Isabel was goaded to resistance, to anger little less great than that of the countess. This !—and before her attendant! She, an earls daughter, so much better born than Emma Mount Severn, to be thus insultingly accused in the other's mad jealousy. Isabel tossed her hair from the hands of Marvel, rose up, and confronted the countess, constraining her voice to calmness.
“I do not flirt,” she said; “I have never flirted. I leave that”-and she could not wholly suppress in tone the scorn she felt-“to married women: though it seems to me that it is a fault less venial in them, than in single ones. There is but one inmate of this house who Airts, so
far as I have seen since I have lived in it: is it you, or I, Lady Mount Severn?"
The home truth told on her ladyship. She turned white with rage, forgot her manners, and, raising her right hand, struck Isabel a stinging blow upon the left cheek. Confused and terrified, Isabel stood in pain, and before she could speak or act, my lady's left hand was raised to the other cheek, and a blow left on that. Lady Isabel shivered as with a sudden chill, and cried out, a sharp, quick cry; covered her outraged face and sank down upon the dressing-chair. Marvel threw up her hands in dismay, and William Vane could not have burst into a louder roar had he been beaten himself. The boy-he was of a sensitive nature -was frightened.
My good reader, are you of the inexperienced ones who borrow notions of " fashionable life” from the novels got at Mudie's library, taking their high-flown contents for gospel, and religiously believing that lords and ladies live upon stilts, speak, eat, move, breathe, by the rules of good breeding only? Are you under the delusion-too many are—that the days of dukes and duchesses are spent discussing "pictures, tastes, Shakspeare, and the musical glasses ?” — that they are strung on polite wires of silver, and can't get off the hinges, never giving vent to angry tempers, to words unorthodox, as common-place mortals do? That will come to pass when the Great Creator shall see fit to send men into the world freed from baneful tempers, evil passions, from the sins bequeathed by the fall of Adam.
Lady Mount Severn finished up the scene by boxing William for his noise, jerked him out of the room, and told him he was a monkey.
Isabel Vane lay through the livelong night, weeping tears of anguish and indignation. She could not remain at Castle Marling: who would, after so great an outrage?—yet, where was she to go? Fifty times in the course of the night did she wish that she was laid beside her father; for her feelings obtained the mastery of her reason : in her calm moments she would have shrunk from the idea of death, as the young and healthy must do. Various schemes crossed her brain : that she would take flight to France, and lay her case before Lord Mount Severn; that she would beg an asylum with old Mrs. Levison; that she would find out Mason, and live with her: daylight rejected them all. She had not Airted with Captain Levison, but she had received his attention, and suffered his admiration: a woman never flirts where she loves; and it had come to love, or something very near it, in Isabel's heart.
She rose on the Saturday morning, weak and languid, the effects of the night of grief, and Marvel brought her breakfast up. William Vane stole into her room afterwards: he was attached to her in a remarkable degree.
“Mamma's going out,” he exclaimed in the course of the morning. “ Look, Isabel.”
Isabel went to the window. Lady Mount Severn was in the pony carriage, Francis Levison driving. “We can go down now, Isabel. Nobody will be there."
She assented, and went down with William. But scarcely were they in the drawing-room when a servant entered with a card on a salver.
“A gentleman, my lady, wishes to see you.”
6. To see me?” returned Isabel, in surprise. “Or Lady Mount Severn ?”
He asked for you, my lady.” She took up the card. “Mr. Carlyle.” “Oh!" she uttered, in a tone of joyful surprise, “ show him in."
It is curious, nay, appalling, to trace the thread in a human life; how the most trivial occurrences lead to the great events of existence, bring. ing forth happiness or misery, weal or woe. A client of Mr. Carlyle's, travelling from one part of England to the other, was arrested by illness at Castle Marling: grave illness it appeared to be, inducing fears of death. He had not, as the phrase goes, settled his affairs; and Mr. Carlyle was telegraphed for in haste, to make his will, and for other private matters. A very simple occurrence it appeared to Mr. Carlyle, this journey, and yet it was destined to lead to events that would end only with his own life.
Mr. Carlyle entered, unaffected and gentlemanly as ever, with his noble form, his attractive face, and his drooping eyelids. She advanced to meet him, holding out her hand, her countenance betraying her pleasure. “ This is indeed unexpected," she exclaimed. “How very pleased I am to see you."
- Business brought me yesterday to Castle Marling. I could not leave it again without calling on you. I hear that Lord Mount Severn is absent."
“He is in France,” she rejoined. “I said we should be sure to meet soon again: do you remember, Mr. Carlyle ? You "
Isabel suddenly stopped, for with the word “ remember,” she also remembered something the hundred-pound note; and what she was saying faltered on her tongue. Confused indeed grew she, for alas ! she had changed and partly spent it. How was it possible to ask Lady Mount Severn for money? and the earl was nearly always away. Mr. Carlyle saw her embarrassment: though he may not have detected its cause.
“ What a fine boy!" exclaimed he, looking at the child. “It is Lord Vane," said Isabel
“ A truthful, earnest spirit, I am sure,” he continued, gazing at his open countenance. “How old are you, my little man?”
“I am six, sir; and my brother was four.”
Isabel bent over the child; an excuse to cover her perplexity. “ You do not know this gentleman, William. It is Mr. Carlyle, and he has been very kind to me."
The little lord turned his thoughtful eyes on Mr. Carlyle, apparently studying his countenance. “I shall like you, sir, if you are kind to Isabel. Are you kind to her ?”
“Very, very kind," murmured Lady Isabel, leaving William and turning to Mr. Carlyle, but not looking at him. " I don't know what to say ; I ought to thank you : I did not intend to use the-to use it but I-I- "
“Hush !” he interrupted, laughing at her confusion ; "I do not know what you are talking of. I have a great misfortune to break to you, Lady Isabel."
She lifted her eyes and her glowing cheeks, somewhat aroused from her own thoughts.