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Title: Blue-Stocking Hall, Vol. II of III
Author: Scargill, William Pitt
Language: English
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[Illustration: Front Cover]




  "From woman's eyes this doctrine I derive:
  They sparkle still the right Promethean fire;
  They are the books, the arts, the academes,
  That show, contain, and nourish all the world."
                                 LOVE'S LABOUR LOST.


  VOL. II.






[In point of _time_, this letter should not appear till later in the
series; but as it is an answer to the preceding, the Editor judged it
expedient to insert it in this place.]

My dear General, _Lisfarne_.

It gave me sincere pleasure to see your hand-writing once more; and if
I had required any thing beyond the gratification of an assurance that
you had not forgotten your old friend, to put me in good humour, the
commission which you have given me would secure all the benevolence
of which I am possessed in excusing your long silence. Most readily
do I accept the trust which you confide in me, and happy shall I be
if my exertions facilitate the event of your return to your native
land, there to enjoy the _otium cum dignitate_ to which every man
naturally aspires who has passed the best of his days in toiling for
and realizing an honorable independence.

It is one of the sophisms of this paradoxical age in which we live, to
prove that the absentee commits no crime against either patriotism,
or political economy; but I rejoice that you have not fallen into the
snare, and are coming to repose your mind, and spend your money, where
every honest man ought to bring himself to anchor; namely, in his own
country, and amongst his own people. By a lucky coincidence there is
a splendid mansion with highly finished grounds and plantations, just
offered for sale in Hampshire; and if I am fortunate enough to conclude
a bargain for the sum which I have offered in your name, I shall think
myself no ordinary diplomatist. The present possessor, Sir Reginald
Barnes, is like yourself, a _nabob_, but after rendering his demesne
at Marsden a fit residence for a prince, he is grown weary of it, and
is so anxious to dispose of the whole as it stands, that I am not
without hope of procuring all you want at a single stroke.

This letter shall be sent through Ingoldsby, to catch you at the Cape,
and of my farther negociation with Mr. Snubb, Sir Reginald's agent, you
shall have due notice. I know the place for which I am in treaty, and
therefore, if I succeed, my _trouble_ will be as _zero_. If not, I must
look elsewhere, and you shall have reports of progress.

With respect to your relations, I have the pleasure to give you
satisfactory intelligence. Your eldest brother, poor man, was
rapidly advancing towards "that bourne from which no traveller
returns," when Mr. Howard died and left him a fine estate, though
very heavily burthened, in Buckinghamshire, together with his house
in Grosvenor-square, plate, books, etcætera. To substitute the name
of Howard for that of Douglas was all the qualification required to
enable the family to take possession, and this was soon arranged.
Your brother was taken to his grave without ever having visited any
part of his new property, of which young Arthur is the heir, and a
very fine youth he is: he will soon be of age, and is now on a visit
in this neighbourhood to his aunt, Mrs. Henry Douglas, who lives at a
sweet spot which you may remember that I purchased for my invaluable
friend. A legacy of £20,000 left to your sister-in-law, by her great
aunt, old Mrs. Norton, has enabled that first of women and mothers to
reside at Glenalta, where she lives adored by her children, and by all
who surround her dwelling. I have the happiness to enjoy the beloved
society which her family affords, from which I am not more than half
a mile distant, and here I shall hope to see you, ere long, added to
the circle. Of Mrs. Howard and her daughters I only know by report:
they live _in_ the world, and I _out_ of it; but of Caroline and her
children I can venture to affirm, that had independence (beyond which
their wishes never appear to extend) been withheld by Providence, you
would never have known them in the character of needy suppliants, or
cringing sycophants. They are as much above any people with whom I am
acquainted in every noble principle of heart, as they excel all others
that I have met with in their powers of pleasing. Your nephew is likely
to make a distinguished figure at the University, and is as amiable as
he is clever.

There are three girls, all pretty and accomplished; and as to your
sister, she is such a woman as, when you have once been in her company,
will no longer permit you to remain in astonishment that our dear
lamented Henry should have preferred poverty itself in Caroline's
society, to the wealth of Potosi without her.

I trust to your own taste and discrimination for this tribute to your
departed brother when you become acquainted with the object of his
tenderest and unceasing affection; and will not take up any more time
in describing the characters of your family, nor anticipate the delight
which you will feel in exercising your own judgment as they develope
themselves to your penetrating eye.

The family of Glenalta beg to send you, through me, their affectionate
greetings, and old Bentley, who is likewise a neighbour of mine, and as
_caustic_ as ever, desires me to say how much he rejoices in the hope
of shaking you by the hand.

Farewell, my dear General! may you have a prosperous voyage, and be
permitted, ere long, to set your foot on British ground once more!
Believe me very

  Sincerely and faithfully yours,



My beloved Friend,

Your kind affection has anticipated all that I have to say: it has
pleaded for me more powerfully than I could do for myslf, and has
surely told you how much I have been engaged on returning after so
long an absence, to Checkley. At last I begin to breathe; and my
little Agnes makes such rapid advance to returning health, that I can
now, without self-reproach, indulge in the dearest pleasure of life
except that of conversing with you, and begin once more to pour out
my heart into your faithful bosom. I may now in full security of our
punctual English posts give you undisguised details of every thing
most interesting, and expect the same from you, till the happy season
arrive which will, I trust, re-unite us, and give me the delight of
re-visiting Glenalta. I must obey you before I follow the dictates of
my own feelings, and answer your questions ere I touch upon matter of
another description. "Describe your girls," you say. Well, then, in a
few words, they are dear children: Julia is a charming creature, and
if I do not take the _mother too much upon me_ in saying so, is worthy
of that friendship which is the boast and pride of her life, and which
is bestowed upon her by your Emily. _Such_ a letter as she has lately
received, describing _the retreat_! but I must not digress. Julia,
then, is really, at seventeen, a most interesting character. She is
docile as possible, singularly artless and innocent, yet possessed of
admirable faculties, which appear capable of application to a great
variety of different pursuits. In short, whatever Julia attempts she
accomplishes, and performs well, but without the slightest vanity
that I have been able to detect. Bertha is handsomer, _quicker_, and
more striking, though not nearly so solid nor reflecting as her elder
sister. She commits more faults in a week than Julia in a year, from
an impetuosity of temper which was not corrected while she was a
little one; but her contrition is so genuine, and her nature so frank,
that I always find myself loving her better than I did before whenever
she has offended. She will be fifteen, you know, her next birth-day,
and is certainly much improved since we went abroad.

The extreme youth of my dear girls, my particular _object_ in leaving
England being _truly_ the recovery of health for one of them; the
recent losses which they had sustained, and my dislike of company, all
conspired to preserve _us_ from the contagion of foreign influence;
while I was enabled, by taking my young charge entirely from home, to
break at once through a thousand ties which would have perplexed me
exceedingly had I remained at Checkley. What I should have found much
difficulty in _gradually_ unloosening, I have now boldly dissevered,
I shall not hold myself under any obligation to resume the thread of
acquaintance with any whose society may not be advantageous to my young
people, who at present furnish me with ample excuse for declining
_all_ invitations, and thus avoiding _jealousy_ on the part of our
neighbours. Julia has never been in company, and is the only one of my
girls whose age makes it _expected_ that she should go out. Bertha will
suffer no _persecution_ as yet, and my little dear Agnes is _hors de
combat_. Her delicate state affords me a reason, as genuinely sincere
as it is opportune, for lying by in perfect tranquillity; and during
this happy _interregnum_ I shall profit by your advice, and learn to
act with decision when I am forced out of my retirement.

As I consider myself only in the light of _guardian_, and have really
no _stake_ in this country myself, even the most calculating of the
neighbouring gentry must perceive that I am not bound to any particular
style of life; and the more discriminating amongst them, I may hope,
will give me credit for acting upon principle. This is all that I
want. I know how impossible it is to _please_ every body, and indeed I
wonder how an upright mind should desire the approval of a multitude
made up of the most discordant elements; but I am much puzzled,
notwithstanding, what course to steer, and shall require all your
pilotage to keep me steadily in the right track. To give you an idea of
my dilemma, I must tell you what sort of people we are living amongst,
and present you with a survey of our vicinage, before you can be of use
in directing my steps.

The Burleys, who are our nearest neighbours, are people of large
fortune, and decidedly children of this world. They have sons and
daughters all brought up in luxury. They have a house in London, go to
town every year, have large expectancies, and _so_ no doubt are full
of the present "life's futurities;" but while they are in the country,
they are inclined to be very friendly, and it will not be _their_ fault
if the inhabitants of their splendid hall and those of humbler Checkley
are not allied in close intimacy. I am quite aware how the homely adage
of "for want of company, welcome trumpery," applies upon many occasions
when fine people leave the "flaunting crowd," and come to rusticate for
a season in their country seats. But the Burleys, to do them justice,
seem to wish for a familiar acquaintance on truer principles. Sir
Thomas is a complete Englishmen, worthy, hospitable, open-hearted, up
to the eyes in county politics, and when the affairs of this _wider_
range are so balanced as not to call forth the extent of his powers,
the parish cabals supply an under plot, which is sure to keep them in
full practice for larger matters when they may arrive. At present, the
game laws absorb all that is not given to conviviality, in the circuit
of his head and heart, _without_ the pale of his own family, _in_ which
he is deservedly beloved, and _of_ which he is the sun-beam. Lady B. is
simply vapid. She is neither ill-natured nor unkind, but so exceedingly
insipid, that were not a log as troublesome as a wasp, though not
so active, you might be justified in forgetting that she makes one
of the family group. Devoured by _ennui_ herself, she operates on
all around her till the whole mass would be _vaporized_, were it not
for the broad good-humour of her spouse, who is as alert as she is
inanimate. They do not _quarrel_, however, and the young people, though
very uninteresting, are sufficiently alive to keep up something like
cheerfulness, though not of that species which the French appropriately
denominate _gaieté du coeur_. The _talk_ at Burley Hall is so
entirely of fashion, and _supposes_ such a sympathy of pursuit, as well
as conversancy with topics of which Julia is ignorant, that I question
the honesty of permitting her to associate amongst those whose thoughts
and feelings are so much at variance with her own, and of such a nature
that I never desire to see her approximate to increased congeniality
with them.

A mile farther off, we have the Henleys; excellent people, who are
from morning till night engaged in doing good. They are rich and
bountiful, friendly and good-humoured, but so strict, and so devoted
to the _letter_ of their particular sect, that if you agreed to
travel with them over a line which had been divided into a hundred
distinct measures, of a cubit length in each, and that after performing
ninety-nine steps in the series, you were to stop at the hundredth,
your former task would go for nothing, and you would be as completely
distanced as if you had never attempted to walk the course. These good
people are anxious in the greatest degree to enlist my young folks,
and like the nuns think it no harm to employ every art of affectionate
inveiglement to persuade them into an adoption of a certain distinctive
phraseology, and _form_ of thinking which I do not like, and therefore
shall endeavour to avoid without wishing to repel the kind fellowship
which is proffered, though I conclude that _our_ religion will be at
once condemned, when it is discovered that I do not disapprove of many
things which are proscribed at the Priory. I heard it rumoured the
other day, that I am considered one of the _pie-bald_ race. What am I
to do?

Well, a third description of neighbour, and by much the most numerous,
I find planted in three or four pretty places at no great distance from
Checkley. There is a family of Liner, another of Peachum, and others
whose names I need not plague you by calling over, who with competent
fortunes enjoy all the comfort of life which money can bestow, and
feel all the title to consideration which belongs to independence;
_but_ who are so intolerably dull, unimproving, and self-complacent, so
vulgar too in a perpetual rivalry of fine dinners, fine furniture, and
fine dress, which have not even the stamp of fashion to recommend them,
that my mind revolts against introducing my nieces into such a society
as they form.

A fourth order remains to be mentioned, and here my pen could
expatiate, untired of so delightful a theme. There is a family of
Stanley who live six miles from this, and with whom it would be
delightful to live in constant communion, if the distance between our
two houses did not throw a barrier in the way of daily intercourse.
They put me in mind of the Douglas circle, and can I say more to mark
the estimation in which I hold them? Father, mother, and children of
both sexes are superior to almost any people that I have ever met
with, learned, informed, accomplished, the mind is kept in a continual
round of exertion in their company, refreshing from its variety,
and stimulating from its animation. An hour passed at Brandon Court
supplies materials for a week's _rumination_; and, like animals that
chew the cud, we repose day after day, living on the nutriment which
we have collected in the fertile pastures of that attractive spot.
Nature's economy is such, in the midst of her lavish profusion, that
she seldom endows the same individual with very opposite qualities;
and we usually seek for the serenity of contemplation in scenes and
amongst people far remote from the busy practitioner. The Stanleys,
like yourselves, combine all the characteristics so rarely found in
union. At Brandon Court you have meditation, not monastic--seriousness,
not rigid--sentiment, never morbid--and practical energy, neither
coarse nor bustling. Perfect harmony subsists amongst the various
members of the interesting group. Mr. and Mrs. Stanley are truly _one_.
Every thought expressed by either, meets from the other a response
of delighted affection, whilst a joyous band of happy youth disport
around them, whose only rivalry consists in trying who shall contribute
most to the general stock of happiness, and pay most attention to the
cherished authors of their being.

I fancy that I hear you exclaim, "How can Elizabeth hesitate? Why not
cultivate the Stanleys, and forget that there is a vulgar world to be
passed by?" I will tell you why Elizabeth doubts what path to choose.
These inestimable persons are stigmatized by the paltry and mindless
animals who environ them, and the Miss Stanleys are yclept blues, while
all the rest are called philosophers.

For _myself_ you know, that I have no possible feeling upon such a
subject. Were I called _Blue_, because I was seen with the Stanleys,
or reading any thing but a novel, it would not signify. _My_ walk in
life has long been determined, and I have outlived (if indeed I ever
felt like the Mimosa upon such occasions) all sensibility to those
nick-names, which are so generously bestowed upon single women. I am
a _veteran_, and can stand fire. I can endure to be called by any
appellation, the _true_ meaning of which, is that I have preferred
remaining unmarried to being encumbered by the cares of wedded life;
and if heaven have granted any measure of understanding, have chosen
to employ, rather than let it lie fallow. But this is my individual
view of the matter. Have I a right to place my _nieces_ in society
which they would certainly love and imitate? am I to incur for them
the obloquy that waits on superior knowledge and acquirements in their
sex? impeding perhaps, also, the chances of that settlement in future
life which, though I have never desired for myself, and am in reality
very indifferent about for them, I am still bound to consider as the
ordinance of nature, besides being the point to which the artificial
laws of the world are universally directed. Many cares will necessarily
spring up in my way as I proceed, but at present, how to steer a middle
course between Scylla and Charybdis is my chief difficulty. With the
inanity of fashion, and its opposite vulgarity on the one hand; a
religion which deals too much in external observances, and the reproach
of female _learning_ on the other, is there any _honest_ method by
which, without sacrificing integrity of principle, I may _skim the
cream_ of _each_ class, and save my children from the evils attendant
upon _all_ the classes that I have described? Be my Cumean Sybil; look
into the page of destiny for me; say what is before me, and how I shall

The priest in the proverb, "christens his own child first;" you see
that I have adopted the same prudent maxim, and given you nothing as
yet, but my own story; but for this you need no apology my dearest
Caroline. Innumerable interruptions break my purposes, and deprive me
of any command over my time just now. By and by I shall be able to
write less selfishly I trust, and repay your kindness by more agreeable
matter than you will find in a _dish_ of egotism which I have served up
for your this day's fare. Before I release you, however, I must tell
you that I was not a little surprised yesterday, by the appearance of
an Irish acquaintance, Mr. Bentley, whom I have seen frequently at
Lisfarne, and uncle to George, who is, I believe, an intimate still at
your house, and Mr. Otway's. When I was at Glenalta, the young man was,
I suppose, at the University, for I did not see him, but I heard the
girls and Frederick name him familiarly.

In the midst of giving directions to my work-men, a travelling
carriage drove up to the hall-door, and I was really delighted to see
Mr. Bentley, who is a highly respectable man, but who appeared in a
new light of interest to my eyes, from all the associations which
his presence awakened. I endeavoured to shew how glad I felt to see
him; and though I could not prevail with him to make a longer stay,
he indulged me by remaining, to pass a few hours, and walk round our
pretty grounds. In the course of conversation, I asked for his nephew,
and was answered, that he was at Lisfarne, where he would remain till
Mr. Bentley, senior, returns to the county of Kerry. I spoke of the
advantage which any young person must derive from such society as that
of Mr. Otway, upon whose character I expatiated with my usual warmth.

"Yes," replied Mr. Bentley, "Otway is a noble fellow, though one
of your _oddities_; and poor George absolutely worships him, but
nevertheless; I am not very sure that his staying at Lisfarne is for
either his happiness or advantage."

"Pray, how so?" answered I, "with perfect unconsciousness."

"My dear madam," said the good man, "your friends at Glenalta are
too near I should think, for my poor boy's peace. I do not say that
_it is_ so. I only mean that such things flow naturally from near
neighbourhood, which often brings people into _scrapes_. I have known
many a heart lost through the insensible influence of contiguity.
_Op_portunity is the deadliest foe of the one sex, _Im_portunity of the
other; and between them both, many a match is brought about, to which
an unwilling consent is wrung out of parents and guardians when it is
too late to withhold one's fiat."

I looked grave, and begged him to be explicit. "Do you speak merely,"
said I, "Mr. Bentley, upon a general supposition of what may be
possible, or have you any reason to suppose that your nephew's
happiness is likely to be endangered? Not the remotest suspicion has
ever glanced across _my_ mind, and I should take it as a favour,
if, since you have touched upon the subject, you would enlighten me
farther, by mentioning the ground of your surmise?"

"My dear ma'am, it is not _actually_ surmise. I may be wrong, and must
acquit George of having given me the slightest insight into his mind.
In fact, he is very close; it is the only fault that I find with him,
and my sole reason for _suspecting_, is derived from my own observation
of his avidity to puzzle his brains about a great many useless things,
such as chemistry, botany, and the like, which never put a guinea into
a young gentleman's pocket. Now, you know that Mrs. Douglas and her
daughters are so learned, that they could sack a grand jury; though I
must do them the justice to add, that no people in the country are more
beloved than they are. Nothing can exceed their unpretending goodness.
But George has no pretensions; he must make his own way in the world,
and cannot afford to waste his precious hours in learning what I call
_fal lals_, that will never help him through life. To tell you the
honest truth, I am a little jealous of both Lisfarne and Glenalta. I
see no business that any young man has to love or like mortal better
than his own flesh and blood; and more time and wits are lavished in
these foolish _episodes_ which just end in nothing, than would put a
man many a mile forward in his professional career. People fall in love
through very idleness and vacuity. A young tenant of my own, excused
himself lately, when I asked him what could possess him to marry a
girl without sixpence, by replying, 'Indeed, sir, she lived _so handy_
that we were always together, and 'twas the same thing we thought to
get married.' Poor George would be probably dismissed by the Douglas
family if they entertained the least idea of such presumption, as no
doubt, a hope on my nephew's part, would be considered; and you will
therefore not wonder, my dear Mrs. Sandford, that I am anxious to get
my business in London, and a month at Buxton well over, that I may
return home, where it is necessary that George should see after my
affairs during my absence. I have seen a great deal of life, though not
upon a _grand_ scale; and I know the folly of romance. Mrs. Douglas,
I make no question, is as prudent as she is sensible, and has never
given her children so elegant an education, to throw them away upon
paupers. My own opinion is, that money is the only thing that does
not disappoint. I do not say the only thing that is _good_, far from
it; but while mental qualities may be only feigned, sweet tempers
and dispositions assumed but for a season, accomplishments suffered
to languish, beauty doomed to fade, money performs its promise, and
procures all the comfort, and all the happiness that it ever engages to
purchase. I repeat this every week of my life to poor George, but he is
so reserved, that I never have the satisfaction of hearing whether or
not I make any impression upon him."

To this _exposé_, I listened with the most profound attention, and
could only reply, "my dear sir, it appears to me that you are putting
trouble out to interest, and _compound_ interest, by the view that you
take of your family affairs. I can assure you that the remotest hint
has never reached me, respecting any suspicion of a feeling such as you
ascribe to your nephew, who I dare say, is too much in the habit of
venerating your counsels to fly in your face, by presuming to bestow
his affections without your approbation; though whenever he _does_, at
some distant period of his life, obtain your permission to offer his
hand in marriage, I conclude that you will have no objection to his
loving his wife better than you, as he must make a solemn vow to that
effect, and cleave to her in preference to all created things. But
of one part of your anxiety, I can with certainty relieve you; rest
assured, that if the slightest symptom appeared to warrant my friend,
Mrs. Douglas, in _imagining_ as you do, the most decisive measures
would be instantly adopted to prevent any painful result."

"I _thought_ so; I always _said_ so," rejoined hastily, Mr. Bentley.
"I knew that Mrs. Douglas had a judgment too profound not to determine
on marrying her daughters to men of fortune. I have told my opinion in
George's presence (not _to_ him, for the last thing I should desire,
would be to convey to _his_ mind, that an idea, such as I have confided
to you, ever entered _mine_), a thousand and a thousand times; and
I feel that my discernment is extremely flattered by your assurance,
that I saw how the land lay so clearly. Your allusion to interest, and
compound interest, is very just and beautiful; and I declare that you
have set my mind quite at rest."

So enraptured was the poor man, or rather I _suspect, rich_ man, with
his own sagacity, and my illustration, that I found the greatest
possible difficulty in edging in a word or two to undeceive him
respecting your mercenary projects. If none are so blind as those who
will not see, there are certainly none more deaf than such as will not
hear. Full of courtesy, bustle, and acknowledgment, this little worldly,
but goodly _puffin_, bundled himself up in his chaise, and posted
off, lightened of a load of care, and in such buoyant humour, that I
prophecy a fortnight at Buxton will do the needful, and return him in
half the time that he had devoted to his bodily weal, in a state of
perfect restoration, to Mount Prospect and "poor George."

When he was gone, I resolved on giving you intimation of all that
had passed. It is very evident to me, that this visit, which I took
so kindly, was paid at Checkley, for the sole purpose of _sounding_;
and I think that I can perceive exactly the conflict of his mind. His
vanity would be flattered to the highest degree, by even the remotest
hope that his nephew might be accepted at Glenalta, while he is also
manifestly bent on a rich wife for George with such hearty purpose,
that no disappointment is consequent upon believing, as he now does,
that there is no chance of a Miss Douglas for his niece. I am _sure_
that he has a very _snug_ store laid up somewhere or other; that being
an old batchelor, George is his object, and that had he found reason
for his conjecture in any confirmation afforded by me, he would have
taught himself to be very well pleased, while he can, as sincerely,
turn the current of his thoughts into another stream, in which he
hopes that a larger quantity of the precious metals may be found. How
comically people who are accustomed to employ a little cunning in
their devices, betray themselves. Old Bentley, however, is a worthy
man; and a very acute, though rather a vulgar observer. You need not
dread the slightest indiscretion on his part, in making the young
man a party in his cogitations. One excellent remark which he made
with much shrewdness, convinced me that you have nothing to fear on
that score. "Madam," said he, "I shall never give George the remotest
hint of what has been passing in my head. No, no, when you want to
keep young people from committing themselves, be very sure of what
you are about, in expressing your fears upon the subject. If you have
reason to _know_ that there is an understanding, why then you _must_
either sanction or refuse, and of course must speak; but if you have
to deal with timidity, or reserve, be assured that the first word is
half the battle; and in proclaiming your own apprehensions, you have
at one stroke levelled a barrier which might have remained for ever
impregnable but for your incaution."

Well, dearest friend, here is a long letter. Let me have a speedy
answer, and tell me of George Bentley; is there any foundation for his
uncle's fancy: is he a person of whom you could ever think, for one of
your dear children? My sweet girls unite in all that is affectionate to
their young friends. Farewell.

  I am ever your attached,



My dear Falkland,

Whether I blush or not is not for me to tell; but surely I feel that
I ought to do so. Yes, it is an absolute fact, that I am ashamed to
recollect the date of my last letter; and, therefore, if you please,
we will hush it up. All that I will put forward in extenuation of my
guilt is, that my journal bears weighty evidence to the truth of your
not being forgotten. In that faithful repository you will find, one of
these days, a minute registry of all that passes; and I promise myself
much amusement at some future time in recalling to my own mind, while
I read it to you, this record of the happiest period of my life. Hey
day! here is a downright confession. Even so: and I am not inclined to
retract the avowal. As I am not in love, (at least I do not _believe_
that I am,) I suppose that I have less hesitation in proclaiming
the state of my feelings than were Dan Cupid to be a witness to the
declaration of my being more at home at Glenalta, and more happy with
the Douglas family, than I ever felt at any place, and amongst any
people, since I was born. I find one great disadvantage in having lost
the thread of my good old diary, for I know not now where to begin or
what to tell you, though I would have you to know that my difficulty
does not arise from paucity of incident. On the contrary, my time
has been so occupied, and so many novelties have varied the scene,
that I am, to use a homely illustration, in the predicament of "not
being able to see the wood for trees." The _ground tint_ of life at
Glenalta is soft and reposing, without being dead; and it has latterly
been _picked_ out (my simile savours, you will say, of Long Acre) by
sundry events which have given contrast to its colouring. You are to
be informed that I am up to the eyes in all the pursuits which afford
constant delight to the Cousins: and would you believe that from
morning till night I am never conscious of time, except by its rapid
flight? Falkland, I am awakened as if from a heavy sleep, which had
dulled my faculties, and my mind seems to take new views of everything.
Will this last? If it should, the age of man is doubled by the
animation of such feelings as have been evolved in this Irish world. I
tread on air--the sun shines into my _heart_--and you will never hear
me again envying an opium-eater while I live. In three days we set out
for Killarney; and, as I will certainly devote a letter exclusively to
the _Lakes_, this shall contain a sketch of some minor exploits in the
way of sight-seeing.

But I ought not to have proceeded thus far without saying that our
Fred. returned, after his short absence, wreathed with victory; and
I would give more than I am worth to have been able to call back the
shade of Titian by some magical incantation, that his glowing pencil
might have _fixed_ that arrival in perennial freshness. Domestic love,
what an exquisite painter thou art! Not all the most skilful efforts
of factitious refinement can group and touch like this artist of

It was Frederick's plan to be his own messenger; and, therefore, as no
announcement of success or failure preceded his appearance amongst us,
suspense hung upon the carriage-wheels as it drove to the very door,
and only gave way to joyful assurance, from the uncontrolable gladness
of Domine's eye, which sparkled a contradiction, detected at the first
glance by Fanny, to the serious air with which the travellers had
determined on playfully deceiving the sisterhood. "The Science Premium"
presently resounded through the air, and a delighted group of servants,
headed by old Lawrence, wafted the glad tidings to an outer circle, who
stood peeping from behind the holly-hedge, ready to catch the first
contagion that might reach them of joy or sorrow, without understanding
how excited, or for what displayed.

When the transport seemed at its height, Mr. Oliphant abruptly
exclaimed, "But how easily you are all satisfied! Not a soul has
asked me what became of all _my_ hard work at Greek and Latin." Here
followed the news that Fred. was doubly crowned, and had also borne
away the palm of classical triumph. This was too much; the cup of bliss
was full before, and now it overflowed. No, I never saw any thing like
it; and even _this_ scene, I suppose, could never _again_ produce the
magical sensations which I felt. The intensity of emotion, and the
gradations evinced in its exhibition, from the silent, grateful tear
that trickled down the hectic cheek of aunt Douglas--then passing
through the gentle transports of Emily and Charlotte, the mad delirium
of Fanny, the honest pride of Oliphant, the full, yet chastened glow
of Frederick, the paternal exultation of old Lawrence, down to the
untutored burst of the barefooted mountaineers, reminded me forcibly
of that admirable picture by Le Thiers of the Judgment of Brutus, in
which you and I used to admire the author's tact in apportioning the
varieties of expression in all those numerous countenances, to the
exact measure of refinement in each which accompanied the feeling that
gave it birth. After the first tumult of congratulations had subsided,
I ran to the seashore, to get rid of some unwelcome thoughts, that were
not in unison with the scene which I had witnessed, when I overtook a
little band of young peasants, who were dragging along large bundles
of what we call gorse, but is here yclept furze; and this circumstance
soon turned the current of my musings.

"Where are you going, my lads?" quoth I. "Plase your honour, to get
ready the bonfires for Maaster Frederick agin the evening." "I am a
stranger in these parts, and should like to know what all this work is
for," said I, turning to a fine, active youth, who led the van. "Why,
indeed, sir, I don't _rightly_ know; but, be what I can larn, Maasther
Fred. is to be King o' the College from this time out." "Och! you fool,
Jack!" cried another, "that isn't it at all. I heard my father say just
now that he was (that's Maasther Fred.) _cheered_ round the city like a
Parliamint man, and that he flogged all the scholars in Ireland." "Well
_you're_ out too, Flurry," vociferated a third; "for Nance Hagerty
tould Kit Lacy and she ought to know, be raison of being about the
cows morning and evening at the big house, that Maaster Fred. got a
power of money for making an illigant spaach about mancipashon."

I was greatly amused. It was all the same to these poor fellows. Joy
was depicted on every face at Glenalta, and to enquire into whys and
wherefores is quite too tame for the rush of Hibernian sympathy. The
meeting with _Phil._ was another rich repast of mind; and young Bentley
seemed so share the scene like a brother. When I returned to dinner,
I found preparations going forward near the house which ended in a
piper and a dance upon the green turf, in which the young people of
the family took part. A great basket of bread-cakes sweetened with
a little sugar, and a single draught to each of Kerry cider, made
_all_ the entertainment as related to eating and drinking; hilarity
and affection supplied the rest, and I could not help remarking, that
I had never till then seen so many people made supremely happy at
so trifling an expense. With us at Selby it would have required the
winning wiles of at least an ox, and tree tierces of ale, to have
prevailed on so many people to come together. When assembled, they
would neither pipe nor dance: the gladdest tribute would consist in
a few deafening shouts, and, after some coarse and clumsy merriment,
the well-fed sons of England would stagger home, filled to the throat,
regardless of all sentiment which could not be identified with roast
beef and brown stout. Only give an Irish population permission to
share in your feelings, and you may have a crowd at your heels in a
moment, in any part of the kingdom, as I am told; but I can now say
from experience, that, if you _deserve_ affection, you may have an
honest flow of its choicest streams unbought, except by reciprocating
kindness. These poor people would endure anything for my aunt, her
children, and Mr. Otway; and though I have given you a ridiculous
specimen of ignorance, in relating the conversation of the bonfire, I
am bound in justice, as a _set off_, to add, that when the festivities
of the evening were at an end, Mr. Oliphant beckoned to two youths,
who appeared to be about seventeen or eighteen, and whom he called by
the names of Cronin and Riely, saying, "Boys, I know very well that
you are just longing to hear more about Mr. Frederick, so come in the
morning, bring your Homer, and I will show you the part in which he was
examined." The poor fellows seemed overjoyed, and kicking up a bare
heel behind, pulled each a lock of hair on his forehead in token of
thanks, neither of these young men having a hat with which to perform
the ceremony of a bow, and this extra-ordinary mode of salutation
serving as the substitute here for a more civilized mode of obeisance.
To my amazement, I now learned that several individuals are to be found
in these mountains who can read Horace and Virgil familiarly. The Homer
which was brought in the morning was a curiosity too, for so filthy, so
broken, and so disjointed a concern, I suppose you never beheld; and
it astonished me, not only to hear these tattered academicians read
passages with precision which were almost effaced, but translate with
fidelity, of which Cowper would not have been ashamed. Frederick gave
them each a new book, and I presented a trifling sum to be expended
in shoes and hats, sending off our poor scholars as happy as kings are
said to be in fairy tales. When Frederick had been at home a day or
two, he proposed that we should make the first use of his liberty in
extending our excursions both by land and water. "We will begin with
the nearest object," said he, "and as you enter with so much zeal into
our Irish character, I _must_ take you to see a person whom we have
given the name of Wise Ned of the Hill." The next day was appointed,
and we were on horseback at four in the morning, each provided with a
sort of _wallet_, containing an ample supply of sandwiches, a small
bottle of brandy, a canister of snuff for Ned, with a large parcel
of newspapers, and a tin box (which Fanny insisted on adding to our
accoutrements) to be filled with any plants which Glenalta did not
produce. In this rustic guise, accompanied by three fine dogs, one of
which is a noble animal of a species now very scarce, namely, the Irish
wolf dog, we commenced our campaign, halting at Lisfarne, to call for
young Bentley, by whom we were speedily joined. As we rode along, I
begged to know in the true Irish style what it was that we were going
to see, and why "Ned of the Hill," was worthy of a pilgrimage to his
shrine. "He is," said Frederick, "a most uncommon character, and one
who will, I think, reward your trouble in _getting at him_, for I can
tell you that his only neighbours are the eagles. Ned, like the poor
boys of Homeric memory, received an education beyond the vulgar level,
in the days of his youth. He was born of parents who were strict Roman
Catholics; and having an uncle who was priest in a neighbouring parish,
it was intended that young Edmund Burke (a promising name, you will
say) should succeed to his relation's holy office. With this view he
was taught Greek and Latin, though his temporal situation was scarcely
raised above absolute want. His father was an idle profligate, his
mother a bigot, entirely under the control of her brother, the priest.
The boy grew up in the strange jumble of fastings and confessions,
prayers and penances, with swearing, drinking, and all manner of
profaneness, acted continually in his presence, till his father was
suddenly seized with a fit of apoplexy, on recovering from which he
had some 'compunctious visitings,' and desired his son, for the first
time, to read the Bible for him. There was none to be had except one
which had been left in pledge by a poor Protestant woman, who owed
a trifle to the little shop kept by these people. Ned objected to
read out of such an unholy book, but the father insisted, alleging
that his time was hastening to a close, and it was no season to stand
upon ceremonies. A Bible was a Bible; and, if it was good _at all_ to
read it, the Protestant version could not be _very_ far astray. Ned
reluctantly complied, and felt it necessary at first, I dare say, to
perform a sort of quarantine after touching the sacred volume; but his
father desired that neither his wife nor the priest her brother should
hear a word about the matter. The invalid gradually recovered strength,
which he ascribed to the fit of piety that had come upon him; and
though he did not dream of changing his religion, and was punctilious
in his observance of its rites, he still felt a sort of superstitious
respect for the book that had been instrumental in keeping up a serious
impression of divine things upon his mind; and was not displeased at
seeing his son frequently poring over its contents after the daily task
of reading to the old man was ended."

"At length Ned, through the single and simple force of truth, became
convinced of the errors of the Romish Church; and, afraid to tell
his parents, he quitted home, and sought the aid of an exemplary
clergyman in an adjoining county. From this gentleman he received the
kindest treatment, and the most judicious advice not to be precipitate
in the adoption of a new creed. This good man gave him books, and
protected his destitute youth from persecution, to which the poor
fellow became subject, as soon as it was hinted that he was likely to
renounce Popery; but Heaven had endowed Ned with one of those acute
understandings which are rarely found in any class of men, and the
books which were given him by the excellent pastor under whose tutelage
he had placed himself, did not satisfy his inquiring mind. Contending
between a sense of duty to his family, his temporal benefit, and the
habits of his whole life, on one side, and his newly awakened, and,
as he considered, providentially directed, search after truth on the
other, he roamed about, suffering the greatest privations, sculking
in the mountains, and indebted to charity for his scanty fare, till
accident brought Mr. Otway to the spot where he lay stretched upon the
heath apparently dead, and a ragged Bible clenched in his hands. He
was conveyed to Lisfarne, where he found the asylum after which his
soul panted. When his strength was recruited, he was supplied with
such books as were calculated to meet the sagacity of his doubts,
and a short time made him a fixed and conscientious believer in the
superiority of the Protestant faith over that in which he had been
educated. About this time his father died, leaving him a little
profit-rent of fifteen pounds a year, arising out of a poor tenement
in Tralee. This is Ned's _all_, and as soon as he became possessed of
independence he resolved to quit his benefactor and devote himself to
the good of his fellow creatures. No argument will tempt him to accept
of a salary that would better his condition. A few books, newspapers,
and a little snuff, are all that he will permit any of us to add to his
hermit's fare. You will see his dwelling, and be surprized perhaps by
his remarks. The mountain on which he resides belongs to an absentee
nobleman, and Ned lives there unmolested amongst almost inaccessible
crags. The singularity of his character, its natural force, and the
genuine disinterestedness of conduct which he manifests, combine
to produce unbounded influence on the minds of the people, who,
notwithstanding the charge of heresy against him, seek his advice, and
consider his wisdom as quite oracular. Ned's life is passed in doing
good. He traverses hill and dale on foot in quest of all whom he can
succour by his counsel or sooth by his kindness. His Bible travels
with him, and in spite of the avowed hatred of the priests, and the
heavy denunciations of punishment which two or three of them have
fulminated against any one who shall listen to, or harbour, poor Ned,
he is a universal favourite, and often let in at a back door when his
hosts would not venture to receive him at the front of their miserable
hovels. He reads the scriptures incessantly, expounding and applying
them to the individual necessities of his needy neighbours. He attends
the fairs, and prevents many a quarrel. His talents as an arbitrator
are in such request that he keeps several paltry cases of contention
from the petty sessions, and is even consulted as an almanack, for the
signs of bad or good weather."

With this outline of Ned's character and history we approached his
extra-ordinary _tabernacle_, which had no appearance whatsoever of
human dwelling, till we reached it close enough to see a little wreath
of blue smoke curling up from an orifice in the rock, and were assailed
by the sharp and angry bark of a terrier, who lay sunning himself,
with a cat lying close by him on a tuft of dried heath. A few great
stones piled one upon the other, at each side of a natural aperture in
the craggy face of the mountain, seemed to indicate the hand of man in
bringing them together, and likewise to afford shelter to the entrance.
A stout wooden door opening inwards appeared the only means of ingress
to admit even the light of heaven, for windows I saw none.

A few goats were roused from their _meditations_ by our arrival, and
I had just pronounced the name of Robinson Crusoe to my companions,
when, at the end of our scramble, which had occupied three hours
in its performance, Ned himself started from his _lair_, and stood
before us clad in a strong comfortable loose coat of a greyish frize,
manufactured in this country by the poor people. He had shoes and
stockings of coarse but warm materials; and moreover, a hat, which,
though it had seen better days, defended his head from the rude blast
of this desolate wilderness, and was fastened to a button-hole by an
old red worsted garter. Such was his joy at sight of Frederick, that
some minutes elapsed before he seemed sensible that his friend had any
companions. "Oh, sir," said he, "the news came to me just as I was
lying down last night; Tom Collins sent off little Maurice his son to
Tim Scannel, who put his brother across the bay in the fishing-boat;
and he ran every step o'the way over the hills till he brought me _the

To have asked _what_ account would have been a direct insult to all
Ned's best feelings, and so Frederick thought, for he replied, "Well,
though I am grateful to poor Collins, and also to Scannel, I am very
sorry that they have been beforehand with me; I thought to have had the
pleasure of telling you myself." "Never mind," answered Ned, "they,
poor fellows, have not so many pleasures as you have, don't _begrudge_
them _that_, for they had a sore _trot_ of it bare legged over the
stones to bring me the news; and by the same token I had nothing but
two or three potatoes that were cold in the dish after my supper to
give Jack after his long tramp over the mountain, and he was afraid of
being late for work in the morning, so would not wait till I could get
him a drop of milk."

Here was a journey of at least eight miles, by the shortest route,
across the bay, performed at the end of hard day's work without the
refreshment of food or sleep, and without the expectation of a single
sixpence to reward the toil! La Bruyere, Rochefaucauld, and all the
host of the Machiavelian school to boot, could hardly _concoct_ a
bad motive out of the given materials, with all the maceration and
trituration which they could put this action through in their moral
crucible, which can contrive to disfigure so much of human nature. The
_worst_ incentive to such a deed which ingenuity could extract from
its analysis, might perhaps be discovered in that love of stimulus
common to all lively people, and of which the Irish are peculiarly
susceptible: they love to surprise, and be surprised; but I feel
certain that Tom Collins would have performed the part of _Speaking
Trumpet_ to "Ned of the Hill," without the aid of this excitement. I
am becoming enthusiastic about these Hibernians: but to return to our
mountain sage. He received us with native courtesy: his small deal
table was quickly spread with the sandwiches which we had brought,
to which Ned added a pot of fine smoking potatoes, and a red-herring
or two which he took from a stick on which they were hanging in
the chimney. Brandy and water (the latter from a stream clear as
chrystal that babbled by his door) finished our repast; and, whether
from the effect of novelty, my long ride, the purity of the mountain
air, or all united, I cannot tell, but I never remember to have
thought the best dinner in London half so good as this upon the top
of an almost trackless waste, from which we could see nothing but a
boundless expanse of ocean lying to the west. When we had finished our
luncheon, or whatever you please to call it, Ned invited us to come
and sit by the stream in which he said that we should find the finest
water-cresses that ever were seen; and "Gentlemen," said he, "I will
get you an oaten cake, and new laid eggs, and plenty of milk, before
you quit me."

In the first part of his invitation we acquiesced, but told him that
my aunt would be uneasy if we were not at home early, and would wait
dinner. "Go, then," said Ned, "and my blessing go with you; for I
would not have her suffer the smallest fretting or vexation for all
the pleasure of your company during a whole week. She is a good mother,
and a good Christian; and deserves all the love and duty that you can
shew her."

We then walked with poor Ned, and I begged of Frederick to draw him
out in conversation, that I might hear some of his opinions. When we
were about a quarter of a mile from his _fortress_, Ned invited us to
sit down in a sunny nook, formed by the rock, where the stream widened
into a large surface, and here we found the cresses with which our host
had promised to crown our simple repast. "I often," said he, "bring a
handful of potatoes here, with a grain of salt, and gather a few of
these to make out my dinner. It is a fine thing, sir, to think how
easily a man may live, and that too upon food better for him than a
lord mayor's banquet."

"You are very happy, Ned, I should think," said Bentley, who looked at
him with the most profound admiration.--"No one is happy," answered
the hermit; "but I believe that I am as much so as anybody, for I am
contented with the lot in which Providence has placed me, and would
not desire to exchange it. Man is a poor creature, his life is but a
vapour, and the less that he is in the way of temptation the better is
it for him in time and in eternity."

"Ned," said Frederick, "you have leisure for meditation, and wish that
you would tell me what you think of public affairs at present?"

"Why, sir, I should be considered a bad judge of what the public are
about, I who live in the desert; but as every man has his own way of
thinking, I have mine."

"This is," said I, "a time of great _stir_, and a great deal is _doing_
that ought to tell either one way or the other for much good or evil."

"Ned smiled, and answered, "Sir, _you_ might set up for an oracle, for
you are _sure_ to be right, as your prophecy will answer either way:
and that is the method that a great many take to get _over_ a knotty
point, when they do not know how to get _through_ it. No offence, sir,
I hope."

I really felt a little disconcerted, and my companions laughed; but I
begged Ned to explain what he thought himself of king's ministers, men,
and nations.

"Why, sir, indeed we all flatter ourselves, even such a poor humble
being as I am, that we can see all the working of the puppets, little
and big, but people are often mistaken who have better means of coming
at the truth than I have: all the way, sir, that I have to know what
is doing in the world is by the newspapers, which my young master
there (looking at Frederick) kindly brings me, and my notion is, from
spelling and putting together, that though I may never live to see the
day when such a matter will come to pass, a revolution is hanging over
these countries as sure as you are sitting there opposite to me."

"That would be a strange event, Ned," said I, "as the consequences of
those changes to which I alluded, I meant the change from darkness to
light, from ignorance to knowledge."

"Sir, I mean the same thing, though I do not give such good names to
what I think undeserving of them."

"Why, Ned," "said Bentley, "I know a place within three miles of this
spot where you go three or four times a-week to teach: how does your
conduct consist with what you have said?"--"It fits like a pea in the
pod, sir," replied Ned; "I go to give what instruction I can to a few
poor things who are longing to know God through His word; and as some
are too young, and others too weak to climb this rugged height, I go to
the foot of the mountain to meet them; and don't you think that I would
teach every man, woman, and child, if I could make them learn the road
to heaven?" I told him that Nature herself seemed to point a finger to
the course of education in Ireland, for that such surprising faculties
as I found in the poor sons and daughters of Erin could never have been
designed by their Creator to lie dormant. "Young man, we know," replied
Ned, "nothing of God's designs, and your reason for teaching right hand
and left, is about as just as if you were to burn a hay-rick in your
neighbour's farm, and when you were asked why you did such mischief,
you were to answer, that a heap of combustibles was lying convenient,
and that as combustibles were by nature made to be burned, you thought
proper to set them on fire. But, sir, my notion is, that the gentry
are, as fast as they can, changing sides with the mob of the country,
for they are winding off at the upper end of the spindle as much as
they are winding on at the bottom, and so it will be only one thing in
the place of another after all. Education seems to be declining amongst
the _heads_ of the community, as much as it is flourishing amongst the
_tails_, and, before long, it will be found that the tails will take
the post where the heads are now."

"Upon what grounds do you prognosticate this up-side-down, this new
order, or disorder, of things?" said Bentley.--"Why, sir, upon two
grounds: first, upon the ground of my natural reason, which tells me
that it cannot be otherwise; and, secondly, upon the ground of the
newspapers, which shew me that the matter is already coming to pass
under our own eyes. Without any help to my own thoughts, I should be
a fool outright if I did not know that education is bringing out all
the faculties that were rolled up like those daisies there, before you,
in their winter-quarters, till the sun warmed the mountain, and untied
the cords that bound every button of them tight and hard in their green
cases. Now, sir, God is no respecter of persons: His providence has
given understanding to the poor as well as to the rich, which only
wants what it is now receiving to bring it into full bloom, and if
the rich, who are the smaller number, neglect the instruction which
the poor, who are the greater number, are eagerly devouring, you will
find how it will be by-and-by: the lean kine will swallow up the fat;
and when men find out that their hungry wits, sharpened by want, have
gained the power belonging to knowledge, they will use it, and not rest
contentedly upon a wild heath like this, without asking themselves the
question, "Why should not we take those places that are held by men who
do not know how to fill them, and benefit ourselves and the country by
shoving out a set of pampered geese, and coming down upon their snug
nests with all the force, as I may say, of those eagles yonder?' Sir,
when things are ripe for this question, the end is at hand."

"But, my good Ned, why suppose this neglect in the higher classes? What
should lead you to conclude that, though the blessings of light and
knowledge are spreading over the mass of mankind, the upper ranks are
not holding their own, and cultivating as before, the benefits, which,
with increased liberality, they are now determined to share?"

"Why, sir, I know very well that 'as the twig is bent the tree's
inclined,' and if I look to your great schools, and your colleges, what
do I see but an undisciplined rabble, doing what they please, and the
masters, who ought to control youthful vice and folly, become like so
many ciphers. At one of your great seminaries I see murder committed
in a boxing-match, and the whole affair hushed up, as if no harm were
done. At another of your great schools, the man to whose care the
morals of your English youth are intrusted, runs away without saying a
word to any one, leaving a debt of £50,000 behind him.

"Did I not hear young Master Fitzallan tell his father the other day
that after being at a third of your great English establishments he
had never spoken but twice to the head Master of it? Don't I read
of Oxford and Cambridge time after time expelling the young lords
and high gentlemen, for every sort of misconduct and disorder? What
do _they_ learn at the University, but to gamble away their money,
and drink French wines? Sir, my notion is, that the times are out of
joint. Children don't respect their parents and rulers. Parents and
rulers suffer children to get the upper hand, and think themselves
before their time, and without taking the _trouble_ to gain wisdom. The
wholesome restraint of the old school is out of fashion; bit and bridle
are taken off, and all the world scamper in the way they like best;
while, to crown all the folly, the grandees are whetting knives to cut
their own throats.

"Suppose now, sir, that there was in all England, or any other
country, but one single regiment of men who had arms and ammunition;
and that it was the business of this single regiment to protect the
king, and stand sentry over your banks, and prevent all commotions
in your capital. If neither gun nor pistol, a dust of powder, nor a
grain of shot could get into any other hands, would not that regiment,
of only perhaps a thousand strong, be able to keep down a multitude
that we could hardly reckon? but if the tower is opened, and a hundred
thousand stand of arms taken out, and given to the people with plenty
of balls and cartridges, and they are drilled from morning till night,
learning all the new modes of squaring and filing off, the new _this_
and the new _that_, while the old regiment does nothing at all, but
stand as if it was cut of paste-board, at the palace gates, and the
gates of your city; where will the rulers be then? Why, to be sure, in
the young and vigorous recruits, who only wanted what you have put into
their hands to knock your train-bands upon their faces on the ground,
like the poppy heads that some ancient warrior cut down for a sign to
let the enemy know what he intended to do."

"But Ned have we not some long heads in Parliament that will keep watch
over our interests?"

"Yes, sir, you have a few _long_, and a great many _short_ ones. Lord
Liverpool is an honest man and a sensible man. Mr. Peel is a man that I
believe would not tell a lie to make himself a duke; and the greatest
fault I see in him, is that he is so fond of sporting, and so afraid
that any of poor Dick Martin's feeling for the suffering dumb creation,
should interfere with his diversion, that he stifles the voice of
humanity within his breast; but it will not be so always, I hope, for
the best courage is ever to be found in a tender heart. The lion and
the lamb, sir, make a fine mixture in a man's character."

"Then you think cruelty to animals a sin, Ned?"

"Think it a sin!" replied Ned, with an expression of countenance that
would had have brought thunders of applause at Drury-lane; "Yes, sir,
it is a crying sin, and one of the very worst signs of our time. It is
a foul blot upon our scutcheon. When I was a younker, the gentlemen
did not set their poor neighbours such examples as they do now, and
we see the fruits. What right has a man, who is returning home from a
bull-bait himself, though he rides a fine horse, and has ten thousand a
year, to talk to an ignorant savage that he sees on the high road for
goading a jaded bullock to market, or belabouring an overloaded ass up
the hill? or what right has any man who encourages the wicked amusement
of prize fighting, which teaches people to become brutes, and mangle
each other in cold blood, to abuse others for doing the same in hot
blood, when they meet at a fair, and meet too as enemies who think that
they are _bound_ to revenge some real or imagined wrong? No, no, sir,
preachers must be _doers_, or they will only be laughed at."

"Whom else do you think well of in our great National Assembly, Ned?"
asked Bentley.

"Sir, I like Mr. Robinson. He knows his business. He found things in a
bad condition, and it is more troublesome to mend than to make. He is
going the right way to work, and he is not frightened by opposition.
Mr. Huskisson too, sir, is a sensible man, and knows what he is about."

"What say you, Ned, to Mr. Canning?"

"Why, sir, I think that at all events he can _talk_ well, and I love
him better for one thing that he said the other day, than if he had
given me a hundred pounds in hand. Do you remember, sir, when he defied
the house to shew him any act of liberality, any treaty upon a broad
generous foundation, that was not proposed by the Tories. That was
nuts and apples, to my heart, for it was _truth_, and very well they
all knew it, for not a man dared to contradict him; even Mr. Hume, who
contradicts every thing and every body, let _him_ alone when he threw
that challenge in their teeth."

"You do not then like Mr. Hume, Ned.?"

"I should like him better, sir, if he took the trouble of being better
informed. He, sir, is the watch dog in the orchard, but he barks so
often when no harm is at hand, or when he mistakes a crow for a band of
robbers, that when the thieves come in earnest, people do not mind him,
and the uproar that he makes then, passes by unheeded, which is a pity.
However, sir, he does some good, though not so much as he might do, and
the fear of _giving tongue_ keeps many a pilferrer out of the apple

"Well, Ned, will it not be a fine thing for Ireland, if we live to see
the day when emancipation is proclaimed, and all animosity, discontent,
and rebellion, are laid in the dust?"

Ned laughed heartily. "Wait a while," said he, "and if we live to see
that day I am a pickled herring. No, sir, 'tis not because I am no
longer a _Roman_ myself that I say it, but the never a bit of good
would emancipation do in this country. The _name_ of it indeed, would
make the people light fires, and drink a double dose of whiskey, when
they heard of it; and they would shout, and those that have hats would
throw them up into the air. You would have more noise, and drunkenness,
and bloodshed, and battery for a week or so, and when that was over,
and not a rap was to be found in their pockets, or a tatter left on
their backs, they would begin to look about them, and ask one another,
what they had got? Whether the potato-garden was lowered in its rent,
or leather in its price? Whether wages were raised or the necessaries
of life cheaper than they were before; and when they discovered that
all the difference in their condition was, that Daniel O'Connell and
his partner Shiel, might stun the House of Commons in London, with
their blustering speeches as they do now the Catholic Association in
Dublin; the people would find that they had gained nothing but broken

"But though it were only a shadow, a mere name," said I, "if the
people's hearts are set upon obtaining it, will they not be happier and
more tranquil, if they succeed in the object of their wishes?"

"Why, sir, as to _wishes_, you may set an ignorant multitude wishing
for anything you please. You might make them wish, like an infant, for
the moon, though they know no more about it, than that it looks like
a fine big Gloucester cheese; but if the moon dropped down to them,
and they discovered that they could not neither eat, drink, nor wear
it; that it would neither relieve them from tithe, nor cess, pay their
rent, nor manure the ground; nor, in fact do anything but set a few
learned men in the college talking about the length and the breadth
of it; I would not go security for their being satisfied with ther
bargain. Sir, when people are set on wishing, without knowing what they
are wishing for, it is well for them if it ends as well as the fable,
in a yard of good black pudding."

We were excessively amused by Ned's dry sarcastic manner. Bentley
continued: "I think, however," said he, "that let Parliament decide
as it may, the bonds of affection between landlord and tenant will
be drawn closer by the discussions that have taken place. The poor
will love the rich better from finding the sympathy so general in
their suffering, whether the wrongs of which they complain be real or

"Not at all, sir," answered Ned, with energy, "the people are poor
and wretched; they have many wants and many grievances to complain
of, but _those_, which their landlords might relieve or redress are
never thought about, unless now and then by such a blessed man as Lord
H. or Mr. Otway. _They_ make their tenants happy, they treat them
like Christians, and among _their_ poor people you hear no cant about
emancipation, they have enough to eat and drink, they are encouraged in
their industry, protected in their rights, they enjoy all the freedom
that they require, and as much as is good for them. But, sir, the
_talking_ landlords spend their breath and spare their purses; and the
people, who are not such fools now-a-days as to be caught in springes,
know the difference between saying and doing; they understand the
_decoy ducks_ much better than you seem to suppose. I know a great man,
not a hundred miles off, who is building a house as fine as Solomon's
temple, and he makes long speeches, and shakes hands with every
ragamuffin who can give him a vote; but he is not a whit the better
loved for all that, and why should he? He is a hard landlord, and they
say that he makes his poor tenants pull down their stone walls, and
raise mud cabins for themselves, that they may bring the materials of
their former habitations to help in constructing his palace Ah, sir,
words cost nothing, and a poor man would depend more upon the kindness
that assisted him with a sack of oatmeal, or a warm blanket, than upon
all the talk, empty and flourishing, that takes up the newspapers, and
gives the county gentlemen the pleasure of seeing themselves in print.
When the people had not so much experience as they have at present, it
was easier to deceive them; but you can hardly now 'find an old weazel
(as we say) asleep on his perch;' and the _true_ characters of the
landholders are very well known."

Then said I: "Ned, if you have many such landlords, it is the less to
be lamented that they are so fond of going abroad. The absence of such
men is as good as their presence."

"No, sir, bad as they are, they could not _help_ being of some use if
they stayed at home, and spent their money in their own country. Never
believe any one who tells you that the absentees are not one of poor
Ireland's greatest curses."

"Ned," said I, "while I listen to you, and hear so many sensible
remarks from your lips, I cannot help thinking what a fine thing is
universal education, and how great a change _must_ be effected by
learning which will enable the mass of any nation to reason with the
force which you can bring to meet every subject that we have discussed
to day."

"Sir, I thank you," answered Ned, "for the compliment, but I cannot
return it without telling a lie. _Your_ reasoning, sir, is not of the
best, if you will consider the matter again, when you would say, all
as one, as that books make brains. Why should the knowledge of reading
and writing, and casting sums in arithmetic make wisdom amongst the
poor, any more than amongst the rich; and you have plenty of dunces,
sir, in the higher walks of life, who cannot argue a bit the better
for any thing that they ever got hold of in school, or at college. But
even if learning gave understanding, which it does _not_, for that is
God's gift, still, sir, it might be, with all its worth, not fit for
_us_ in our present condition. If you gave me a barrel of the best
seed corn that your rich country ever grew, I could not say but that
it was a good gift, and the grain fine grain; but if I threw it on the
surface of that barren rock yonder there, what return would it make?
Wouldn't it only bring the mag-pies in flocks about me, to eat not only
that, but what little I had before? First, fence in a bit of ground;
then, burn it, and dig it, and clear it; after that, you may sow your
grain, and it will come up and yield increase. In like manner, sir, if
you gentry would make your tenants more comfortable, give them a little
property in their labours, encourage them to decent habits, reward the
sober and peaceable, punish the bad, live amongst them, and employ
them, you would soon find your soil prepared for sowing a crop which at
present is thrown to waste, or only devoured by birds of prey."

I could have staid till midnight with poor Ned, and Bentley seemed
rivetted in attention to his acute observations and sound common sense;
but Frederick looked at his watch, and gave the signal "to horse."

As we were moving towards the place where our palfreys were in
waiting, I said to Burke, "tell me how is it that the mass of the
people in Ireland speak so much purer English than we do, though it is
_our_ native tongue, and with you _not_ so?"

"That is the very reason of it, sir, I suppose," replied this
extra-ordinary man. "You speak English amongst your poor, as we speak
Irish, by ear, and so we speak it badly enough, and differently in
different places; but _our English_ we learn out of books, because it
is _not_ our natural language, and so perhaps we may speak it nearer
to the manner in which it is written than you do at your side of the

With intelligence thus superior to his humble lot, did this _desert_
"Hampden" (for "_village_" would not suit with his desolate dwelling)
discourse with us till we were mounted. Frederick made him promise to
come to Glenalta, where he told him that a present of books awaited
his arrival: and we promised to visit him again on our return from
Killarney. With affectionate and mutual adieus, we parted, and left the
wide blank of a deathlike solitude and silence, to contrast with the
merry din of our voices and the cheerful shew of life which had been
produced by the group of men, dogs, and horses, on the gloomy heath.

I shall never forget Ned of the Hill while I live, and though his
_brogue_ is the _ne plus ultra_ of possible discord to a musical ear,
I would rather listen to him than to _almost_ any _West-Endian_ of
my acquaintance. Bentley is _beside himself_ with admiration of Ned,
and I believe would like nothing better than a cave next door to our
mountain sage, where some future bookmaker, travelling this way, might
set down the neighbours as a settlement of the Troglodites, who, by
some wonderful chance, had been cast on shore upon the coast of Kerry.
I am not yet sure how to classify Bentley. He is very worthy of a place
in my Irish Pantheon, but I have not a niche ready for him, and as I
hardly think that I shall be able to unravel his character without
help, I will ask Mr. Otway about him, some day or other, if I cannot
satisfy myself respecting certain incongruities which I perceive in his

As we neared Glenalta, Frederick observed several traces of carriage
wheels on the road, and, on examining them more nearly, prophecied that
we should find company on reaching home.

"Not at this hour, surely," said Bentley. "Mr. Otway would not drive to
Glenalta when he is able to ride or walk thither; and my uncle being an
absentee at present, _who_ is there that could venture to pay a visit
at five o'clock with any hope of being at their more distant homes in
reasonable time for dinner?"

"Depend upon it," answered Frederick, "that whoever came to Glenalta
this day, is there still. Like Cacus' den, it exhibits no returning
footsteps. All the marks of the horses' feet are in the same
direction." See what it is to live in this out of the way sort of place!

The speculation of who could have come in our absence kept our minds
for the last mile in the most animating state of inquiry and suspense.
We rode up directly to the stable-yard, on entering which, a nice
calêche and smart dennett were drawn up in order. The stable-boy could
not tell more than that "_quality_" had come, and old Lawrence, whom we
met, could only add, that they were to stay, and were _English_, but
every body was in such a bustle that, he told us, he could learn no
more. On entering the house, we found the rooms deserted, and Fanny,
who came radiant with excitement, skipping down stairs to meet us, was
the only living thing that presented itself to our view. To our eager
inquiries she would only reply, that we must go and dress, and that
when we appeared in the drawing-room that we should know who were the
guests. There was no use in expostulating, Fanny was inexorable, and to
our toilettes we were sent. As soon as mine was completed, I hurried
down stairs, and Fanny again was the first to me. She took me by the
hand, and throwing open the drawing-room door, I found my aunt, Emily,
and Charlotte all dressed, and looking full of some mystery, respecting
which I was proceeding to ask questions, when two figures bounced from
behind the large Indian screen, and who should stand confessed before
me, but Russell and Annesley. Astonishment was no adequate word to
express what I felt at sight of them. How to account for the vision,
how to express amazement, pleasure, at the unexpected rencontre, I knew
not. What a creature of circumstance is man! Though I am fond of both
Russell and Annesley, and they are the only people besides yourself,
of whom I have spoken as friends since I came here, and introduced
by character to my relations, yet a meeting with either of them in
the Regent's Park, in Bond-street, at the Theatre, or the Opera, how
insipid! Nay, sometimes even a bore. Yet here at Glenalta, county of
Kerry, South of Ireland, it was rapture to behold their faces, though
neither their personal identity nor my own can have undergone any
material alteration since we met last at Cambridge. Is it that I,
without knowing it, have got a drop of Irish blood in my veins, or that
the features of my countrymen, my schoolfellows, my College friends,
operate naturally in a strange place, like the _Ranz des Vaches_ on
Swiss hearts in a foreign land? I must leave you to develope the cause,
I have only to do with effects.

After the first tumult of surprise was over, I gained in ten minutes
the following outline respecting the hows, whys, and whens of this
sudden incursion into the wilds of Kerry. From the time when first
Russell heard of my being here, he began to devise a scheme for
slipping over in summer, but as his father wanted him to join a party
who were going to the Highlands, he did not find it an easy matter
to accomplish his plan; having been told, however, by my sisters,
that I was _bound_ to Killarney, he determined on coming to Ireland;
and, meeting Annesley, offered him a seat in his dennett. The project
resolved on by these _wags_ was, to keep me in profound ignorance
of their movements, while they watched ours, and to meet us in some
romantic spot of our Lake scenery; but in pursuing their route, they
fell in with a travelling carriage which had just _smashed_ down in
the bog, and, having left all their English _sang froid_ behind them,
they immediately jumped from their own vehicle to make a proffer of
every assistance in their power to bestow. A lady, her maid, and
footman, were the party submerged by fate beneath the murky waves
of Acheron. Literally they were all struggling out of a dyke full of
water as black as if it flowed direct from the forge of Vulcan. The
knights flew to the rescue with all the zeal of chivalric adventure,
and conveyed their fair charge to a neighbouring cabin, where a blazing
fire, for which they were indebted to the same morass that had treated
them so uncourteously, repaired the evil, and set them moralizing on
bogs and bees, which, together with the bane, provide an antidote.
They found the lady very agreeable, and moreover they discovered that
she was steering for Glenalta, upon which they drew up their _visors_,
proclaimed their names, and told her that a friend whom they were
seeking was a guest under that roof. This coincidence pleased the lady,
as savouring of a regular adventure, and she at once invested herself
with the responsibilities of a godmother, and (one good turn deserving
another) prevailed on her deliverers to step into her carriage, and
resign theirs to the charge of her servant, promising to introduce them
to the Douglas family. Well now, you naturally inquire who is the lady
whose intimacy at Glenalta warrants such a stretch of privilege? She is
a Mrs. Fitzroy, with whom my aunt became well acquainted, during her
long sojournment in Devonshire, and whose society beguiled her sorrows
in the deep retirement of Linton. Mrs. Fitzroy is a highly-gifted
person, and a most agreeable addition to our party; but to proceed with
my narrative, her visit was not a surprise to my aunt, though a very
great one to the rest of the family.

A letter came just about the time when Emily and Frederick had finished
their works in the Glen, and the unlooked for pleasure which they had
prepared for their mother, in introducing her to the rustic temple
which they had with filial fondness dedicated to her, suggested the
idea of concealing Mrs. Fitzroy's intentions, and thus repaying the
young people in _kind_, by a pleasant necromancy. Nothing could be
better managed, and my aunt enjoyed, to use the language of old Du
Deffand, a _grand succès_. I was put in possession of all this before
Mrs. Fitzroy made her appearance. Frederick, who came next into the
drawing-room, was now informed of all that had happened; and as to
my two English comrades, they were at home in a quarter of an hour,
a delightful reception for them having been doubly secured by their
_sponsors_. Mrs. Fitzroy now completed our circle, in which Mr. Otway
and Bentley had previously taken their posts, and a merrier group you
never saw.

Mrs. Fitzroy deserves to be distinguished by a separate portrait,
and therefore I must prepare my canvass, and endeavour to sketch her
likeness. She appears to be about forty; her features are well defined;
replete with intelligence, and when lit up by a gay expression,
singularly playful and pleasing. Her faculties are strong and clear,
her understanding comprehensive, and her mind apparently equal to
any exercise of its powers which she chooses to put into action. She
is evidently possessed too of considerable sensibility, which makes
her peculiarly alive to whatever is interesting in the character of
others. She and my aunt do not in the least resemble each other, but
the difference between them is not such as to impede the growth of a
very warm friendship. The young people are excessively fond of her,
and her arrival at Glenalta is considered quite a jubilee. Though an
English-woman by birth, and living almost continually amongst people of
her own country, all her sympathies are Hibernian, and she has much of
that _raciness_ in her own composition which she says is so attractive
a composition in the Irish. The delight with which she goes into the
cottages to converse with the peasantry, is something very amusing
to witness. She says that, "Irish thoughts are so _fresh_, and the
expression of them so eloquent," that she feels as if transported amid
a new order of beings. She seizes on every idea, presented in whatever
guise, with such intuitive quickness, that she charms the poor people
in return, and Tom Collins paid her an odd sort of compliment yesterday
which brought tears into her eyes: "Indeed, God bless your honour,
you're just as if you were bred and born in the bog among ourselves."
This is her second visit to Ireland, though her first at Glenalta; and
she runs about in raptures collecting traits of disposition which seem
to have a native affinity with her own. I shall tell you more of her in
a future letter.

We are to set out, a formidable _muster_, for Killarney, at six o'clock
to-morrow, and I shall not seal this till the last moment, reserving my
next exclusively for a report of our expedition. As I tell you every
thing, I cannot conclude without mentioning a letter which I have
lately received from my eldest sister, and which has caused me much
disquietude; she tells me that my uncle the General is coming home from
India, which is fully confirmed by a letter direct from himself to Mr.
Otway, and it is my mother's wish that I should be in England when he
arrives. What is still worse, there is an evident anxiety expressed
by Louisa, who, I conclude, conveys the general feeling of the family
_conclave_ in this case also, that I should quit Glenalta directly.
The rustication which I am enduring will, she says, totally disqualify
me for polite society; my manners will become boorish, my person
_unsightly_, and, in short, it is _voted_, that as it is supposed
my health is perfectly re-established, I shall quit my banishment,
and revisit the regions of civilization, which it is apprehended I
may forget, if my recal be not speedy and imperative. Then certain
hints are thrown out respecting Adelaide, and that ass Crayton, whose
coronet, were it of ducal form, and decorated with strawberry leaves
imported from Brobdignag, could never hide the length of his ears. How
short a time has elapsed since these things which now perplex would
have given me joy? I should have been thankful for a good excuse to
bid adieu to Ireland for ever; and I should have thought my mother the
first of human manoeuvrers, and Adelaide the most fortunate girl in
London to have succeeded in _hooking_ that first-rate blockhead, who,
it is likely, I am told, may be my brother-in-law. Another subject
of painful reflection is added to these, and it is a relief to my
spirit to tell you _all_ that oppresses it. Such a change has taken
place in my own mind, that I see the character of others with new
organs. My personal identity almost seems doubtful to myself, and I
can hardly believe what is nevertheless true, that Louisa's letter,
independently of the intelligence that it communicates, has shocked
me in a manner difficult to be explained within my _own_ breast, and
scarcely possible to be expressed intelligibly to another. My sister's
language is lively; she speaks of people familiar to me, of amusements
in which a few months ago I used constantly to participate; of fears
and hopes, in all of which I could have sympathized, and of events
which would have excited my vanity and gratified my pride. Surely it is
something savouring of magic that can have converted these things into
their very opposites. You have often said that I was not formed for
the society in which I was placed; that my character would have taken
another direction had it not been _trained_ by habit to a distorted
deviation from its natural bias. Perhaps you were right; but, allowing
that you were so, still I cannot account for the metamorphosis. Apply
a ligature that shall bind the branch of a tree, or a limb of the
human body, in any particular curve, and there it rests. The bark,
the wood, the pith of the one; the muscles, tendons, arteries of
the other, obey the rule of distortion, and the removal of restraint
effects no alteration; the crooked will not become straight. On the
contrary, here I am a changeling in my mother's house; I see all
objects with new powers of vision, and such as, I lament to add,
render me ill satisfied with those who stand in the relations to me
which I have now learned to appreciate. With a mind just awakened
to affection, and a heart just opened to the genial influence of
domestic love and harmony, my feelings, which this soft climate of
Glenalta has unfolded, are blighted by the very thought of Selby.
Yes, I sicken at the bare idea of return, and a consciousness which
I only felt before upon _great_ occasions, now represents the whole
mechanism of that artificial compact sealed by fashion in the most
intolerable view to my imagination. I cannot call things by their old
names; the words no longer appear to suit their purposes, and the new
nomenclature, which now seems most appropriate, disgusts me. How can
I apply the terms bold, indelicate, unfeeling, unaffectionate, to a
_sister_, and not turn with horror from such sounds; or attribute the
base design of selling a child's happiness, carrying a daughter to
market, and disposing of her to the best bidder, with all the cunning
and trickery of professed jockeyism--how _can_ I attach such devices
to the character of a mother, and not shudder as I write the word?
Yet all this is but an unexaggerated picture of those relations, as
I have hitherto known them; an epitome of that world in which I have
had my being, and though a fugitive feeling, perhaps, occasionally
whispered disapprobation, and I _have_ now and then shrunk from certain
violations of modesty or integrity in the conduct of those around
me--such starts were but momentary. I quickly rejoined the beaten
track, and pressed forward with the giddy throng. When I look at my
aunt Douglas, I feel how I could worship such a parent. When I am with
Emily, Charlotte, and Fanny, I say to myself, if I had such sisters how
I could love them; then comes the sting, I _have_ a mother, I _have_
sisters, and my mind revolts from their society. Poor Ned of the Hill
told Bentley that "man is _never_ happy." He was right, Glenalta would
be Paradise did not the unwelcome intrusion of such reflections disturb
its felicity.

I was called away, or you might have had more of my melancholy musings.
We have had a charming ride to-day, and seen some _patches_ of scenery
so beautiful, that I can hardly suppose any thing to surpass them at
Killarney, but like the fine beryls which were shewn to you and me,
that had been found in the Kremlin, and looked as if they were set in
a mass of pewter, these favoured spots are surrounded by such savage
wildness as I can scarcely describe. You could hardly imagine any part
of the dominions which own a British Monarch for their Sovereign to
present such desolation to your view as met our eyes in this morning's
excursion; but now and then we lit upon an oasis in the desert, the
fertility and romantic loveliness of which would teach the veriest
wilderness to smile. Annesley, who sketches admirably, took some hints
for his port folio, which will astonish you some time or other. Emily
and Fanny were of our party, and are excellent horsewomen. Our guests
were delighted, and we had another cheerful meeting at dinner, but the
evening was marked by a discovery which has _knocked up_ poor Russell's
repose for _this_ night, I fancy, if not for a longer season. You know
his devotion to music, in which he excels, and you are aware of his
enthusiasm in collecting national airs, amongst which he thinks none so
melodious as the old Irish strain. When the harp and piano-forte were
opened this evening, we were listening to a _descant_ of Russell's on
the favourite theme, when Frederick said, "I _do_ think Charlotte that
you might now accompany yourself. I saw you practising some days ago,
and never heard you touch the strings more sweetly."

"I am only trying to recover a little of what I have lost," answered
Charlotte, "but, if mamma does not say no, I will do the best that I
can. My old Irish airs are in the dressing-room, will you bring them

Till this moment I had never remarked that Emily or Fanny had always
accompanied, and that Charlotte only joined in glees and duets, which
she sings with her brother and sister in excellent style; but just
before I came to Glenalta she fell, as she was dismounting from her
horse, and hurt one arm so much, that it has been ever since regaining
its ordinary strength. In any _other_ family your ears would have
been persecuted from morning till night with the details of such an
accident. At Selby, I know that Eau de Cologne, Arquebusade, and every
nostrum ever invented, would have been arrayed, and there would have
been an incessant demand on the attentions of every mortal throughout
the house, but such is the difference of education, that _self_, in all
its branches, is banished from Glenalta. I had nearly forgotten that
Charlotte was hurt, and as no one boasted of her powers, I never heard
a word of her peculiar talent in music till in this unpremeditated
manner it was called forth by Russell's dissertation on the character
of Irish melody. The book was brought, Emily saved her sister the
labour of tuning, and Charlotte, for the first time, saluted our ears
with such divine enchantment as quite baffles every attempt of mine to
convey a sense of it to your imagination. Russell furnished a _study_
to Mrs. Fitzroy, who was watching the variety of his emotion with the
deepest interest. His account of Charlotte's music, perhaps, may give
you the best idea of it that words can impart:--"it is not," he says,
"earthly harmony. No mortal finger touches that harp; no human voice
is uttered in the song; that strain floats in mid air, and the soft
southern breeze has sighed through the strings"--

  "'Twas the Genius of Erin that rose from her cave,
  And poured out her lament to the answering wave."

It is not in nature to conceive any expression of sorrow more
penetrating than that which mourns in the wail of an ancient Irish
ditty. Charlotte has contrived to procure several airs which are not
in Moore's collection, and which carry internal evidence of antiquity
in the irregularity of their _rhythm_, if I may apply such a term to
music. No sea bird's note was ever more sweetly sad; and she has
picked up translations from time to time of some poetical fragments
which she has adapted with great taste, as well as judgment to the
music, for which she has often been indebted to the peasants as they
pursued their daily toil; not that _they_ sing agreeably in almost any
instance, I am told; the extreme barbarism which is induced by such
poverty as reigns in the South of Ireland, is very unfavourable to
the Muses; yet they _will_ linger amongst a people who possess such
uncommon tact in appreciating their charms, notwithstanding the homely
reception with which they are obliged to be contented. A death-song
(_vulg. caöne_ or _keen_), the words of which, I believe, are published
in a late work on the Antiquities of this Kingdom, by Mr. Croker, and
which Charlotte has set to an old _howl_ that she heard a poor woman
uttering (for singing would be a misnomer) with nasal twang, as she
milked her cow, is the most heart-rending melody that I ever heard;
and a march which she plays, to which the famous Brian Boirombh led
his troops forward at the battle of Clontarf, is remarkable for a
character of pathetic grandeur that I never found before in martial
music. Russell's feelings underwent such excitement during the evening,
that had not his sex preserved him from the simile, we should have
compared him to a Sybil in the contortions of forthcoming inspiration.
I now perfectly comprehend the pleasure which, I am informed, some of
our first-rate public performers profess in exhibiting their powers
to an Irish audience. The Irish feel music in the "heart of heart,"
and express what they feel with peculiar energy. Our English guests
are _bitten_ I promise you; I heard them both emphatically declare
their gratitude to Mrs. Fitzroy for her introduction to this "charming
family," but I _must_ have a nap before we sally out upon Lake
adventures, so fare thee well. On my return you may expect a budget.

  Vale, vale, yours ever,



Dear Arthur,

Your letter of the 10th to me, has produced a horrible combustion, and
I am ordered to recal you immediately. Well or not well, you must be
off; and as fast as coaching and steaming can bring you it will be
prudent for you to appear before your angry parent, who will vent all
her bile on us, if you do not come and relieve Adelaide and me from her
ill humour. She accuses us of having persuaded her into consenting to
your Irish expedition, and protests, at the pitch of her voice, that
she would greatly prefer seeing you dead at her feet, to beholding you
return a methodist, which she is convinced you are already become. You
have no time to lose; but lest you should not consider the reception
which I am teaching you to anticipate from your _tender mother_, too
attractive, I have another reason to urge for your speedy appearance,
which will surely turn the scale, if you are in any doubt how to act.
I gave you a hint in my last, which will prevent your being surprised
with the sequel. _La mere_ has played her game so well, that were it
not for the dreams of affrighted fancy, which represent you with parted
locks of greasy sable, mounted on a tub, and haranguing the multitude
_al fresco_--in short, if she did not believe you in the high road to
become a field preacher, unless you are one already, she would have
reason to sound the trumpet, and claim the honours of a triumph. She
gave a splendid ball by way of _clincher_, for which her cards where
out when I wrote last to you. The bait took _à merveille_. Crayton and
Ady waltzed together, after which, mamma sailed round the rooms, and
whispered to three or four friends (good telegraphs), that she wished
Lord C. was not quite so _particular_ in his attentions. "_Le bruit
court_," so rapidly said _la bonne mere_, "that things are _settled_
by the world before the parties themselves have the slightest idea of
being serious." Of course you know the _eyes of Europe_ were directed
to the pair. The buz went round, and on the following day, old Lady
Bilton bethought her of a _cheap_ return, for at least half a dozen
parties, and sent off a note to the following effect, which mamma
received before six o'clock, at which hour Crayton made his morning
call to ask how we did. Old Bilton's _billet_ was to this effect:--

"My dear Mrs. Howard,--As no one can possibly take precedence of me
in the most lively interest for all that concerns you, I have made
it a point to deny myself this morning to some particular friends,
that I may write, to tell you of the rumours which are afloat. To be
_explicit_, Lord Crayton and Adelaide Howard occupy the public mind,
and the _on dit_ of this morning is, that the settlements are _en
train_. Do say, by a line, whether I may congratulate you. To a girl
of Adelaide's expectations, the report cannot be of any disagreeable
consequence if unfounded; but should it be true, I shall long to hear

  Yours very truly,
              S. BILTON."

No sooner was Crayton announced, than he was caught and _closeted_
by _la madre_, who imparted Lady Bilton's intelligence with becoming
gravity, and sundry comments on the pain to _delicate feelings_,
produced by talking people; the necessity of being more circumspect,
her own disinterested sentiments, desire for her daughter's happiness,
dread of Adelaide's affections being engaged; all which matter,
judiciously interlarded with my uncle's great riches, speedy return,
devoted attachment to his brother's children, and her own fears that
his generosity would be so profuse as to bring all the fortune-hunting
tribe to torment us, operated so powerfully on my Lord, added to
the surprise of his _capture_ on entering the house, that the whole
matter was arranged, Ady was sent for, mamma vanished, the proposal
was made, and accepted, the horrid business-people are put in motion,
and you must come over, not only to take your seat amongst the musty
parchments, but likewise to go through the silly form of giving your
sister away. This latter ceremony is much more appropriate to the old
Indian Plutus; but there are two reasons against waiting his arrival.
One is, that we are not sure but he may leave us in the lurch; and,
secondly, he may possibly be such an outlandish sort of animal, that
we shall find it advisable to keep him in the shade. Now, it _may
be_, that if you proclaim all that I am telling you, to the tiresome
_primitives_, whose notions you seem to adopt with a degree of zeal,
which I can assure you gains no credit _here_, I dare say that the
eyes of your pious relatives will turn as naturally to the _new_, as
the sun-flower does to the _old_ light, and the blue, green, grey,
or hazel, which may distinguish the organs of your serious aunt and
cousins from each other, will be lost in the general _field argent_,
as their pupils become heaven-directed, and the white of their eyes
alone remain visible, like the sculptured orbs of so many statues.
You will then hear a volley of methodistic nonsence,--of "fraud,"
"take in," "future unhappiness," and such like mawkish stuff, which
I protest makes me feel, while I am writing, as if I had swallowed a
score of ipecacuanha lozenges; _therefore_ it will be wiser of you
to say nothing of what I have mentioned. It will be quite enough to
tell Mrs. Douglas and her gawky lasses, that affairs of importance
demand your presence in England, and that, having been cured of your
cough, the object of your visit to them is accomplished. We are the
more anxious that you should act promptly, because Russell, and that
blockhead Annesley, are gone to see Killarney, the Giant's Causeway,
and whatever other odds and ends, in the way of _lionizing_ that savage
island may offer. Now, if they _poke_ you out from the hole in which
you are buried, or stumble upon you in a bog, the ass, alias Annesley,
will begin to bray; he will tell the antediluvians of Glenalta that
Crayton is not exactly such a puritan as he is himself; that he has
gambled away money enough to build four-and-twenty chapels all in a
row. Every irregularity of his life will be dragged into notice, and
as your _good_ people are stubborn as mules in performing what they
call their "_duty_," we shall have postage to pay for some of your
aunt's homilies, and not only that, but folks who know nothing of the
world, act so entirely without line or compass, that I should not be
surprised if she took up her pen, and committed the monstrous absurdity
of addressing a _tract_ to Crayton himself.

To prevent such an absurdity must be our care, and silence is the only
plan to pursue with your Kerry relations. If possible, your mother will
write a few lines herself, but lest she should be hindered from doing
so, I may as well mention that Lady Araminta Sandes strongly recommends
a practice of which she has lately set the example, insisting on the
insertion of a clause in every modern marriage settlement, to secure a
proper provision for the lady, in case of a _separation_. I think the
council _so_ good, that whenever it comes to _my_ turn, I am resolved
to stipulate for at least a thousand a year.

The Duchess of Naresbury has fitted up her _pallazo_ in the best style,
and intends to be very splendid; but she will never _be one of us_,
with all her endeavours. She is to be "at home" on the twenty-first of
next month, and Crayton asked her permission to take young Fancourt,
who is just come back from his travels, along with him to her house.
The Duchess forgot who he was, and when _Cray._ had _ticketed_ him like
a geranium in the conservatory, "honorable Augustus, second son to Lord
Alison, a very fine young man, and my particular friend," her Grace
drew herself up with as much dignity as if she was going to pronounce
sentence, and answered, "Lord Crayton, I make it a point not to give
any encouragement to younger brothers, 'tis a dangerous folly, of which
sooner or later one has to repent. I am sorry for it, but I cannot make
exceptions. I _cannot_ receive Mr. Augustus Fancourt." Now, the rule is
certainly _sound_, though this was rather an extreme case; but you know
that our charming Byron says, somewhere or other,--I forget the lines,

                                 ----And pious mothers
  Inquired had they fortunes, and if they had brothers.

Well, Crayton was _piqued_, and as he would have felt it quite
a personal thing had he not succeeded in taking Fancourt to
Naresburg-House, he essayed again, and with great presence of mind
calmly replied, "I beg a thousand pardons, for my presumption, but I
thought your Grace liked talents, and Fancourt is an acquisition any
where. He is just come from Greece, and his _book_ comes out in six
weeks." "Oh! that is _toute autre chose_," said the Duchess; "I like
clever people excessively. You know I patronize authors, and have a
host of _protegés_ continually about me. Lord Crayton, this is quite
another view of the matter. Pray bring Mr. Fancourt; I shall be glad
to see him, and wish that he was _out_. He should have brought his
materials all ready for the press. He will be late for the season in
town. Tell him so from me, and bid him print without delay. I will
speak of his book. I will announce it to night at the Duchess of L--'s."

So ended the dialogue, and Cray. came off with flying colours. I was
interrupted here by his entrance. Poor fellow! he looked pensive I
thought; but I fancy he had a double dose of Burgundy at Lord Morley's
yesterday, and _who_ does not _wince_ at sight of the sable squadron
in perspective, of those terrible law folks with their long bills,
and yellow faces? It was not a week ago since Crayton was laughing
heartily at a monstrous sum which rich Burton of Norfolk had to pay to
his solicitors for some black letter job. Amongst the items in account
was, "To anxiety for my client, March the tenth, two pound fifteen."
How very good! When the affair was nearly at an end, old Burton thought
it would be a clever thing to spur Rosinante, and accordingly ordered
his coach and four to stop, at the "special Attorney's," persuading
Mrs. Burton, that a _friendly call_ on _market-day_, carriage and
liveries at the _door_, would diminish the bill by a cool hundred at
_least_. Mrs. B----waddled out of the coach in a full suit of green
with yellow ribbons, like a walking bank of daffodils, and spoke most
condescendingly to Mr. Pim and Mrs. Pim, and the Miss Pims, and the
Master Pims, but notwithstanding, and nevertheless, the last entry in
the account when it came in was, "To a long and tedious conversation
with Mr. and Mrs. Burton, thirteen and fourpence." Crayton is so funny!
He tells a story when he is in spirits so well!

Here comes _La Madre_ with her letter, and so _Adio_. Adelaide would
send her love, but we are to _suppose_ that she has none to spare.
_By and by_, I dare say, that she will have plenty on hand; but that
is _selon les regles_. The only danger is, that what goes _out_ love,
may come _back_ hatred. Well, Rochefaucauld says, that "hatred is
distempered love," so 'tis all the same thing in the end. I am growing
_prosy_, but do you know that the foolish story I told you in my former
letter has made such a noise, that I am provoked, and shall begin to
turn _blue_ in earnest to vex the blocks. Old Pagoda is at hand, or
I assure you it is well if my "Ostracism" were not to send _me_ into
banishment. It was rather an unlucky hit, half the young men in town
do not understand it, and it is voted a _poser_. Crayton tells me that
money is lost and won upon it daily in St. James's Street. When my
uncle is fairly come, and I have touched the rupees, and golden maures,
I will positively not keep my wits under _hatches_ any longer. After
all, it is egregious folly to give opiates to one's brains because our
exquisites are unfurnished in the upper story. I must, however, take
the matter quietly, for _under_ a hundred thousand, it will not do to
use a word of more than two syllables in length, or _any_ dimensions
_at all_ in _height_ or _depth_; but you shall see what revenge I will
have when, like the princess in the fairy tale, my "thread-papers are
made of bank-notes, and my favorite spaniel drinks out of a diamond
cup." I will then ransack Johnson's _folio_, and oblige every aspirant
to come to my levees with the pocket Lexicon in his bosom. Remember
what I have said--mum is the word. Let us not have a commission to
try whether we are of sane, or insane mind, nor yet be forced, like
Rodolpho, to seek our wits in the moon, for I promise you we should not
find a Pegasus to mount so high now-a-days. _Encore, adieu._

  Yours, ever,
  L. H.



(_Inclosed in the preceding._)

My dear Boy,

I am so full of business that I can only send you a few lines. I
rejoice to hear that you are quite well, and that "Richard is himself
again." Come to me _directly_. Adelaide's approaching marriage
requires your immediate presence, and as you are within a few weeks
of your majority, you will be able to enter into all my views for the
establishment of your sister. You know _what_ a mother I have been--how
entirely devoted to the interests of my children; and I hope, my
dear love, that I shall find you, on the present momentous occasion,
ready to give your best aid in raising money for an immediate supply.
You will feel with me, the propriety of a suitable outfit; and I am
sure that it would be as painful to your mind as to my own, were our
dear girl to want any proper accompaniment of her new dignity. The
Granvilles too (Crayton's sister, you know is Lady G.) are people of
such connection, that we must make an effort extra-ordinary, and I do
not think it will be possible to get through the necessary expenses
for less than five thousand pounds for present use. I want you also
on Louisa's account; and, _entre nous_, feel very uneasy at a silly
flight of her's the other evening. She was in high spirits at our
Thursday's _soirée_, and imprudently _let fly_ a scrap of history. As
_really_ very few young men now read any thing but the Morning Post,
and the Novel of the day, it is not surprising that Louisa's learning
confounded the party. I was much vexed, but it cannot be helped. When
_you_ come, you may be of use, in assuring all your acquaintance that
she has not a particle of _blue_ in her whole composition, and that
the long word which has made such a sensation, was picked up from
Blackwood, or the New Quarterly; that she never reads history, and
knows no more of the Greeks than of a plum-pudding. Nothing alarms me
more, than the apprehension of her taking to literature in a fit of
disgust. You see how much we have for you to do. Commend me to Mrs.
Henry Douglas and her family. They are very good people I am sure, and
I feel much obliged by their attentions to you. It is a great comfort
when folks are doomed to live in retirement, to see them enjoy it;
and nothing can be wiser than your aunt's determination to remain in
her present abode; but I need not, my dear Arthur, I am _convinced_,
impress upon your mind the absurdity of taking up such notions as
are highly commendable as well as suitable to Ireland, and confined
circumstances. You are born in another _sphere_ altogether, and must
leave your Kerry ways behind you. Lady Cantaloupe and the Comtesse de
Soissons just come! I must see them. Dear Arthur,

  Your affectionate mother,

P.S. I had a great deal to say of my dear brother the General, but will
postpone. _Au revoir._



Dearest Louisa,

On my return from Killarney, I find your packet, and hasten to say
to my mother and you, that I shall obey your summons with as little
delay as possible, consistently with all that I owe to the beloved
friends whom I am about to leave. So many conflicting thoughts press
for utterance, that I know not how or where to begin. Louisa, you will
find me a very different being from the Arthur of your recollection;
and I fear that at first the change which has been wrought in me will
not please you. If you disliked my friendship with Falkland, and less
powerful, yet still strong, regard for Annesley, what will you think
of a devotion which can only end with life for my aunt Douglas, her
children, and her friend Mr. Otway?

Yes, I own it to you. At Glenalta, in this despised and remote corner
of Ireland, which you and I have so often ignorantly ridiculed, I have
met with the most perfect happiness which it has ever fallen to my lot
to enjoy. At Glenalta I have found the kindest affection, the most
genuine refinement, not confined to mere exterior observance assumed
for strangers, but originating in the heart, and living in every
action. I have been instructed and amused; and while each hour has done
something towards the cultivation of feelings and powers which I did
not imagine I possessed, I have never been once a prey to _ennui_, that
constant and wearisome associate of my former life.

Dear Louisa, you have a good understanding and your heart is
naturally lively, and even _kind_, if you were not perverted by the
precepts, creeds, and example of that most dogmatizing of all human
teachers--Fashion. Why not break the bonds that shackle your every
thought, as well as action? Why not exchange the coarse, (alas, yes, I
_must_ speak truth) I say the coarse, unfeminine language of your last
letter for that of true delicacy and female softness? My ears are new
strung I suppose, for sounds which scarcely made a passing impression
before I came to Ireland, now grate upon the organs of sense, and
vibrate painfully to my heart.

When I picture to my mind the scene which is now acting in Grosvenor
Square, I confess that I feel disgusted almost to estrangement from
those who are the chief performers in such a drama; and you are very
right in the belief that were there any means by which without lowering
a mother's character, I could inform that _arch_-blockhead, whom she
has entrapped, of the fraud that has been employed to take him in, I
would certainly, in humbling his vanity, remove his blindness, and
charitably catch him from the brink of a precipice. What a marriage you
are _brewing_ amongst you! Were _you_ the victim about to be sacrificed
on the altar of folly, I could not restrain my feelings, which would
burst into immediate counteraction of a plot to destroy all happiness
and respectability; and I am more quiescent on _this_ occasion, _not_
because I have always loved you so much better than Adelaide, but that
I question the utility of endeavouring to snatch _her_ from the evil
to come. She has no strength of character: her mind is a mere machine,
ready and willing to be worked upon by the arts of any juggler who can
produce a certificate of skill in the only science respected by a world
holding all things in abhorrence that do not present themselves clad in
the trappings of rank and fortune.

If Adelaide were saved from falling into the hands of _one_ profligate
coxcomb, she would quickly throw herself into the arms of _another_.
Crayton is not a designing man, and that is the only redeeming
circumstance that I can see in his character--if the word character
have any meaning when applied to a person who has _none_.

Say to my mother that, as a point of duty, I shall obey her mandate,
and as soon as I am legally empowered to act, will do any thing to
assist her which can be done without injuring a property too heavily
burthened already. But, dear Louisa, you must prepare her, Adelaide,
and yourself for my absence at the marriage ceremony: I cannot perform
the part assigned to me. My mind revolts from participating in a
_trick_, and I will never sanction the fraud by becoming a witness. I
warn you of the evil, and I can do no more. We are totally unacquainted
with my uncle, who may never give us a shilling, who may dislike when
he is acquainted with his relations, and either marry, adopt a stranger
for his heir, or leave his wealth to public charities. In short, we
know nothing about him, and if it should turn out that the golden
dreams with which my mother has dazzled the imagination of a man who
has wasted his patrimony, and involved himself almost in ruin, melt in
empty air, what consequences may not be anticipated? I turn with horror
from the perspective, and dare not tell you _all_ my fears! Crayton
has an uncle too, and one from whom he expects the fortune, upon a
reversionary hope of which, he has, to my knowledge, been trading for a
long time past to supply the exigencies of the gambling table, to which
he is obstinately addicted; and the pale face which you visited on a
double dole of Burgundy, was probably attributable to a loss at play
which, under existing circumstances, it would not be pleasant to reveal.

I have now said enough to put my mother and Adelaide on their guard.
A little _candour_ would easily bring the matter to a conclusion,
and prevent the mischief which is likely to ensue; but it rests with
them to determine. I am not asked to advise, and do not say that I
am qualified to act as counsel for any one. I trust, however, that
I may be forgiven for this unsolicited interference, on the score
of brotherly feelings, which _shrink_ from the projected alliance,
splendid as it appears.

Louisa, should the day arrive, in which you become acquainted with the
Douglas family, I am not without hope of your proselytism. What joy it
would give me to see you like these charming girls, and I am the more
impatient that it _should be so_, because you have all the materials
which might promise a rich harvest, were they but used to advantage. I
would stake more than I shall ever be worth, that you will delight in
the society of our aunt and cousins, if you are ever introduced to them.

Say all that is affectionate to my mother and Adelaide, and add, that I
give them present pain, to avoid for them a severer future pang. Adieu.

  Your affectionate,



My dear Falkland,

I commence my Killarney _advices_ on the first evening of my arrival
there, or I should despair of sending you the promised packet on my
return to Glenalta. We reached our inn in gay spirits, having come
over bad and good roads alternately, and through a barren wild looking
country; but a party, composed of such agreeable ingredients, and
affording so much variety as ours did, is very independent of external
scenery. If beautiful, it affords an additional source of pleasure,
and _one_ topic more for occasional comment; if otherwise, one can
_do without_ it: the latter was our case. Having once exclaimed, How
desolate! we thought no more about the grievance of an ugly country,
but laughed and talked, exchanged places--some riding, some driving,
till we found ourselves at our journey's end, after performing
five-and-thirty miles without any misadventure. Mr. Otway had written
on before to provide "entertainment for man and horse;" so when we
arrived we had the satisfaction of finding ourselves _expected_, which
makes a _difference_ everywhere, but particularly in a situation which
cannot afford to relax in a single instance the discipline which
keeps up some appearance of order and cleanliness; however, I do not
mean to throw aspersions on our _hotelerie_, and am not one of those
who consider it fair to abuse unmercifully whatever we find near
home, while with something _more_ than philosophy, we _revel_ in the
_desagrémens_ of foreign countries, preferring dirt and inconvenience
abroad to all the luxuries of _comfortable_ England.

In ten minutes after our arrival we were assailed by all sorts of
people; boatmen wishing to engage our large party, musicians desirous
of attending us on the lakes, beggars hoping to receive charity, with
sundry applicants bringing boxes made of the red deer-hoofs, which are
very neatly manufactured here, and various cups, goblets, and other
utensils formed from the arbutus, which grows at this place in lavish
profusion; all anxious to sell their wares, and all clamorous to
recommend them.

Mr. Otway, who knows the genius of the place, and is well known here
and loved everywhere, undertook to direct our operations; and, singling
out a remarkably fine looking man from the rough personages by whom
we were surrounded, addressed him by the name of M'Carty More, and
ordered him to be ready with all possible punctuality and accommodation
at seven o'clock on the following day at Ross Castle, where we were
to embark. The workers in red deer-hoofs and arbutus, were ordered
to bring large supplies of the toys in which they dealt on the day
preceding our departure, and the beggars were dispersed with a promise
that they should have _a scramble_ when we were going away, for which
these ill-fed, worse clothed, cheerful, and easily-satisfied beings,
were as grateful as if every want had been supplied at the present and
prevented for the future.

After this _clearance_, we sat down to a repast rendered delightful by
companionship, had it been less intrinsically excellent; but Killarney
salmon ought to have a place in my journal, and should be farther
noticed _here_, were it not not to figure on the scene again. After
dinner we walked to Lord Kenmare's, and amused ourselves in his demesne,
during two or three hours, my aunt having insisted on our leaving her
at the inn, as she complained of being fatigued; and those who were
best acquainted with all her feelings, suspecting that to be left
_alone_ would soothe them, no offer was made to remain with her by any
of the group.

On our return to the inn, we were surprised to find an elderly
gentleman sitting with her, who proved to be old Bentley, and never
did I see more evident annoyance expressed in a countenance, than was
depicted in the nephew's at sight of his uncle. They met, however,
with cordiality _too_, but the younger of them, though singularly
unexcitable in general, changed colour upon the present occasion,
and appeared suddenly cast down by this accession to our party:
however, we were sufficiently numerous to prevent any _downright_
awkwardness, whatever might be the existing cause of young Bentley's
uneasy sensations; and his uncle explained his sudden appearance by
telling us, that having reached his home too late on the preceding
evening to disturb the families at Glenalta and Lisfarne, he delayed
announcing his return till the following day, when, having learned our
_elopement_, he resolved on not being left behind.

You may fancy us rather closely packed in our _dormitories_: Russell,
Annesley, and I, were crammed into a hole just large enough to hold
three small camp-beds, no bigger than births on board a Holyhead
packet: we could neither toss nor tumble, for the best possible reason,
we had not _room_ for such indications of restlessness; but we lay
quietly as sleeplessly we "chewed the cud of sweet and bitter fancy"
upon all that we had seen and heard in company with each other since
the "_English foreigners_," as old Lawrence calls them, had been at
Glenalta. In the pauses which will occur, even in the best supported
colloquy, sundry sighs, which had not quite so far to travel as from
"Indus to the Pole," were borne right into my bed by the _impetus_
with which they were sent from Russell's, and a certain melancholy
expression, which even a sigh can convey to a _finely constructed_ ear,
convinced me that my friend had lost his heart, or at least _mislaid_
it since he came amongst us. While exercising my ingenuity a little
farther, to determine the person who had committed grand larceny on
his affections, a few notes whistled from time to time, _sotto voce_,
assured me that Charlotte was the thief, and that her Irish melodies
lived in the memory of my poor _chum_. Annesley is such a sensitive
fellow, that if his heart is anything the worse for the wear since he
came to Ireland, I have it to discover; but from the specimen which I
have given above, I flatter myself that you have already decreed my
sagacity to be worthy of apotheosis, even amongst the North American

This Killarney will be a good test, I think, of our amatory tendencies,
and a romance _a-piece_ must be the result of such "means and
appliances" as a glance from Lord Kenmare's park, across the lower
Lake, promise for our _coup d'essai_ on the morrow. Mine is rather a
situation of responsibility, for, in addition to my _own_ loves, should
these bowers inspire the tender passion, I feel a God-fatherly sort
of security called for on my part, that the new guests shall conduct
themselves so as to return well pleased, and pleasing, to the last. In
short, though, like Mrs. Gilpin we are "on pleasure bent," it must be
to resemble her discretion also, "with a prudent mind," and I clearly
perceive that I shall have to enact the part of a male _duenna_.

The appointed hour found all ready, and M'Carty More, that noble
_savage_ before-mentioned, who claims to be king of the boatmen, was
the first object that we beheld on issuing from our _malapardis_. This
man is quite a character, and so strikingly fine a specimen of rude,
but manly beauty, that were he a little less weather-beaten, he might
stand for a Hercules to Canova, were he alive again, or to Chauntry.
His _calling_ renders him quite familiar with his superiors, and he
takes the command of his party as a pilot does of the ship, _pro
tempore_. Mrs. Fitzroy, whose animation is very inspiriting, and whose
enthusiasm I told you in a former despatch is glowing for the Irish
character, chose him for her _Cicerone_, and, taking him by the arm,
led the van towards the scene of embarkation.

If you wish to know, as that mad-cap Melville used to say, "who and who
were together," you may _enfilade_ us as follows. Next to M'Carty More
and Mrs. Fitzroy marched my aunt, leaning on the arm of Frederick, who,
I believe, in the midst of all the beauty that Circassia could boast,
and all the fashion that London and Paris exhibit, would still be found
his mother's prop: on her left side Bentley the elder with his hands
tight in his breeches pockets, as though he feared that their contents
were going to fly away, _paddled_ along, with unequal steps. Mr. Otway
took charge of Emily; and I observed that a simultaneous movement of
that slow and fearful nature that scarcely indicates design, incited
at the same identical moment Bentley the younger and Annesley to wish
that the disengaged hand of my cousin were safely lodged under the
protective care of a right arm belonging to them, though neither had
courage to step forward and offer himself as a candidate for the honour
to which both aspired. Moreover I made a second observation; and though
these sapient remarks were formed _in transitu_ from the threshhold of
the inn to the street, I'll be sworn that I am right. "But what was
your second observation?" quoth you. Why, it was, that the _mauvaise
honte_ which prevented our rival _beaux_ from interfering with Mr.
Otway's exclusive possession of the fair one's attention, arose from
different causes, and produced different effects in the minds of the
disappointed knights. Annesley's timidity lay in his breast, where, if
he has made the confession to himself, he has truly said that Emily's
is the character, of all he has ever seen, which comes nearest to his
abstract of perfection in woman. On this _beau idéal_ I have heard him
dilate, and thus far can decide upon his feelings. _He_ then was moved
by an incipient desire to improve acquaintance, and secure a sort of
prescriptive right to be Emily's _particular_ in our wanderings by
"wood and lake;" but the thought, though proceeding from preference
established since the day of his arrival, was an _impromptu_ of the
instant in its present shape, and the reality of the sentiment which
gave birth to the wish, confounded its ready expression; whereas in
Bentley's manner I could trace more of the guardian than the lover; he
was less anxious to appropriate Emily's society exclusively to himself,
than to prevent its being appropriated by another, and this again was
less dictated by a jealous or churlish feeling, than by a strictness
of opinion on the subject of a young lady's walking arm-in-arm with a
stranger. All this I read at a glance, and perhaps you will tell me
that such profound skill in what the French call _le metaphysique de
l'amour_, could only be learnt in Cupid's court; but the fact is, that
I am _only_ in love with the entire family, and therefore safe for the
_present_, at least, from the imputation of having been a _booby_ till
the blind god had sharpened my penetration.

Charlotte and Fanny were hooked upon my arms; Russell keeping a steady
eye upon the former's left side, which he contrived to secure as
soon as we had cleared the door; and our brace of _shy_ youths were
presently resolved into _unattached flankers_, who changed sides, fell
back, or pushed forward, as pigs, dogs, children, &c. interrupted our
progress to the water's edge. At length we were seated in our barge,
and Cleopatra on the silver Cydnus could never have swung the oar more
gallantly than we did from Ross Castle. I shall not favour you with the
history of tenfold reverberations, which you will hear when you visit
this scene of enchantment; nor shall I think it necessary to give you
such details as if I were going to raise the wind in these book-making
days by publishing, "A Companion to the Lakes of Killarney," but
hastening to our first _stop_, land you on the exquisite island of
Innisfallen, where we lingered for hours, unable to tear ourselves
from its tiny shores, every little pebbled indenture of which might
represent that where Ellen is described by the northern bard to have
landed from her skiff in Loch Cattrine.

This Killarney is a centre of legendary lore, and the lovely islet on
which we first touched _terra firma_ from our boat, was the depository
of those annals which bear its name. Domine, who did not appear in our
procession from the inn, because he had walked alone to the castle
that he might try the echo at his leisure before we came up, told us a
thousand interesting particulars of this spot, and entertained us with
various stories, rich in fabulous, as well as real events, of the olden
time. Why does not that wizard Scott, draw from a source so worthy of
his magic pen? He has been here, but passed, I am told, through Ireland
gnerally with such rapidity, that his carriage wheels hardly seemed
to come in contact with the earth. Positively, unless he can endure it
to be thought that with a few lithographic sketches in his hand, he
skimmed over the country, contracting for views _as per sample_, like a
corn merchant bargaining to replenish his stores, the author of Waverly
_must_ shew signs of having visited this little focus of imagery by
dressing one of his matchless casts in the drapery with which Killarney
could furnish his splendid powers of tasteful decoration.

Will that genius, who can transform into gems the commonest minerals
produced in a desert, and give with African prodigality, the purest
gold in return for rusty nails, and beads of glass; will _he_ permit
Erin to draw the ungracious inference from his silence, that she could
supply _no_ materials for his laboratory? and while so many immortal
records of Scotland's fame and England's glory, have been charmed
from their dark retreats by his necromantic spells, shall Ireland,
the fertile Isle of Emerald glow,--the island of saints,--the land of
heroes,--the fane of learning, piety, and music,--be left to rest
on the divided property in Fingal for all poetical memorial of her
traditional celebrity? Forbid it justice! forbid it gratitude! Let not
a people who have so liberally bestowed their praise on those numbers
in which their neighbours have been so sweetly harmonized, remain
themselves unsung!

Some of our party eloquently urging the claims of Hibernia to a
niche in the temple of Apollo, Russell, addressing himself to Mr.
Oliphant, said, "I hope that you will not mistake my object in asking
you a question which I have often heard triumphantly asked, and
never answered, namely, if Ireland was really, at a former peroid
distinguished as a seat of learning, virtue, and genius, where are her
credentials? What is become of her buildings? Where are her documents
of proof to support these fond pretensions? Now I echo this inquiry not
in the spirit of a sceptic, but because I can never in future listen to
such interrogatories with the phlegm of indifference, and I wish to be
provided with an argument to rebut the conclusion which is frequently
drawn from silence on this subject."

"Indeed, my dear sir," answered Mr. Oliphant, "I have always thought
the question very irrelevant, and the triumph very unfair. If we
boasted that Ireland had produced the finest architects in the world,
we might be desired to shew the monuments of their skill. If we
arrogated the fame of wealth, we might be challenged to point out the
palaces in which the splendid of past days had held their revels; but
we lay claim to none of these things. Our pride consists in having
been a learned and pious people. Now piety and scholarship are not so
often allied to worldly distinction in _this_ age of mankind, that we
should associate them in a _past_ time through any existing analogy.
That Ireland was resorted to for education; that she produced men
remarkable for knowledge and virtues; that her _magi_ were held in
repute and invited into other countries, to impart the treasures of
superior light; that her ambassadors took precedence upon different
occasions, of those sent by the sister kingdom, to continental courts
and councils, are matters of historical record which we have no right
to contradict, unless we can prove their falsehood; and as to the
remnants of antiquity, which are insisted upon, we may collect ample
testimony to evince a high state of former cultivation, if we make due
allowance for poverty, subsequent civil wars, and the dilapidating
influence of a damp climate. The language of Ireland bears evidence of
ancient date. Every letter in the alphabet is in itself _the name of a
tree_, which leads to the inference of originality in its design. The
round towers of this country, many of which are in the highest state of
preservation, baffle the utmost skill in research to account for their
purpose, and determine their age. Of one thing only are we certain,
and that is, of their great duration, and that, as far as present
information extends upon the subject, Persia is the only country,
besides Ireland, where buildings of this remarkable structure have been
found. Our Druidical remains are in fine preservation, in various parts
of the island. The names of several of our elevated promontories,
with other circumstances, mark the fire-worship of eastern usage
to have prevailed here. In many parts of the kingdom, ornaments in
gold and silver have been discovered, of the purest metal, and most
elaborate workmanship. I have seen some lately that were dug up in the
neighbourhood of Dublin, which, for beauty in execution and elegance
of device, may vie with any modern manufacture, and which, likewise,
are identified with eastern fashion, as the decorations to which I
allude were exactly similar to the Indian bangles, and must have been
employed as such, to deck the ancles of the wearer. In our search after
mines, we have come upon ancient excavations, and often found tools of
brass which bore testimony to the former working in different places,
and at a period so remote that the instruments used for the purpose
are formed of a material, and exhibit shapes totally unlike any of our
modern implements. In this very county are to be found curious remains
of two spacious amphitheatres which, if discovered in any other country
of the earth, would excite the liveliest competition of industry to
explain; but because these things are discovered in Ireland instead of
Tartary or Siberia, ridicule and contempt are their portion. However,
as the one flows from ignorance, and the other from coldheartedness
or jealousy, and neither affords demonstration, we may hope that they
will cease, and that a land, too fertile of soil, too rich in the
finest harbours in Europe, to have been overlooked in early times, will
regain her character which has been lost through the misfortunes of her
history. You must bear in mind that in the very remote periods of which
our accounts are scanty and imperfect, the religion of this country
was not Roman Catholic. It was a much purer faith, and free altogether
from those superstitions which now disfigure the Popish ritual. The
poor Waldenses in their vallies of Piedmont, though they have lost
much of their original simplicity in a necessary communion from time
to time with the Protestants of Geneva, still preserve, I believe the
nearest approach of any mode of worship extant, to what _was_ our creed
about the time of Saint Patrick, whose _purgatory_ was instituted many
centuries after his death. In _those_ days then, the magnificent piles
which owe their existence to the zeal of papal devotion, would not have
been erected here, whatever might have been the pecuniary abundance of
the people; and at a later time, when abuses crept in, and the pure
faith was exchanged for that inconsistent mass of human invention
appended by bigotry and avarice to gospel truth, Ireland was too poor,
and too savage a nation, to raise such mighty altars as bear witness to
the former wealth and glory of your beautiful England.

"_Some_ remnants we do possess of ancient grandeur, and we can still
shew you specimens both of Saxon and Gothic architecture, which are
worthy of your highest admiration, though they not numerous, I confess.

"Lord Elgin has transplanted much of the Athenian Parthenon into the
heart of London; what he left, is daily suffering deterioration, and
diminution. If the pride of Greece, the classic, the inimitable Athens,
should vanish, and, like the Golgotha of Troy, only exhibit the
_place_ where once stood in unrivalled grace and splendor, would you
not still declare that her temples and her statues, though crumbling in
the dust, proclaim that Pericles and Phidias _once_ had being.

"If but a single column of the once astonishing Pæstum now survived the
decay of time and the barbarism of man, would you suffer incredulity to
take her stand amid the ruins, and fulminate her tasteless anathemas
from the very scene of whilom greatness? _We_ only crave a measure of
the same candour which you liberally employ on other occasions. Let
our round towers and cromlechs, our castles and abbeys, be allowed in
evidence of our not being a nation just sprung from the sea; and suffer
our annals and chronicles to be received in testimony of our having
sent forth pious and learned men, when less favoured countries sought
our assistance. Come now, and I will shew you a fine Saxon arch in this
wee island."

As we moved on towards the ruin, we found some of our party gazing
on the lake below, from a little rocky eminence on which they were
seated, and here we caught Mrs. Fitzroy and old Bentley in furious
debate. He is an odd sort of _restive_ old fellow; sharp, clear
sighted, and very bitter in his remarks; but withal good-natured, and,
though rough, by no means implacable. Mrs. Fitzroy had been, I suppose,
expressing some sentiment in favour of the Irish peasantry, perhaps in
praise of the Herculean M'Carty; for just as we reached the spot where
the antagonists were contending, Bentley exclaimed with stentorian
vehemence, "Madam, I tell you that they are rascals, one and all. It is
a mere fiction to talk of the Irish as you do. I know them better. They
are a cringing lying race; and as to your admired M'Carty More, he is a
drunken dissolute dog; and you spoil him by letting him prate for your

"Upon my word, Mr. Bentley," answered his adversary, "your abuse is
wholesale, and spreads over too large a surface to cut deeply. I do not
agree with you; and I repeat, that such is my preference for the people
of this country, that I shall beg my friends Mrs. Douglas and Mr.
Otway to be on the look out for a cottage to suit me in their vicinity
at Glenalta."

"No, no, madam, you will do no such thing," retorted the cynic; "you
are acting more wisely. Believe me, that the most knowing people are
those who _travel about, if society be their object_. By change of
place, you come in for the best of every stage at which you halt. You
skim the cream as it were, and ought never to rest long enough any
where to alter your opinions of people, very few of whom, be assured,
will stand the test of intimacy. There is nothing truer than that
Alexander was no hero to his valet-de-chambre, and the maxim applies as
forcibly to nations as to individuals. You will tire of us, if you know
us better, and look back upon your present judgment as mere poetry.
Every oyster is made up of the fish and its shells. Swallow the one and
get rid of the others as fast as you can: they are not worth keeping,
and you will do well to throw them away."

"Not with _my_ charitable feelings," said Mrs. Fitzroy, "pounded oyster
shells are a fine corrective of acid. I would reserve them for the
good of all who require alteratives, and you should have a Benjamin's

Old Bentley is a merry wight, with all his acerbity, and as this _hit_
was made with perfect good-humour, and a playful countenance, it had a
happy effect, and seemed to raise his estimation of the powers of mind
opposed to him.

"Madam," answered he, "I thank you for your desire to make me better,
though your _sweetners_ should not succeed. I pique myself on seeing
things as they _are_, and set my face always steadily against every
species of romance."

In so saying, he gave a consequential _hem_, and turned his eyes
towards "poor George," his nephew, whose nerves are, luckily for
himself, not externally perturbable, and though I am certain he _felt_
that "more was meant than met the ear," he continued, as calmly
as possible, to converse with my aunt, whom he had engaged in a

We were now reminded by M'Carthy More that Innisfallen was only the
beginning, not the end of our progress; and, regaining our barge, we
were again embarked. This may be a proper place to tell you, lest I
should forget it here-after, that to prevent any unavailing efforts on
your part at tracing the pedigree of so great a personage as the said
King of our Killarney lake-men, the word _More_, which appears like a
sirname, is in reality the Irish for _Great_, as _Beg_ is for _Little_:
so that M'Carthy More means the great or chief M'Carthy.

We now bent our course towards Glena. If you were not coming one of
these days to see with your own eyes, and hear with your own ears, the
wonders of this little elysium, I should send you my journal at once,
where almost every tree is registered as if I were an Irish tenant,
and had planted them myself; but of description you will not have much
in my letter, or it would swell to a volume; and, as it is, you would
be bankrupt, were it not for your good luck, which again presents a
private opportunity of sending a packet to you.

At Glena we landed, and here the arbutus arrested our steps, and fixed
the party for some time in amazement at its quantity and size. Here
too, our _Monarch_ informed us that we should fish for our dinner,
inviting us to watch the process of drawing a net. Broken into groups,
we seated ourselves along the margin of the lake, and I for one could
have believed myself translated into some happier region, _at least_
intermediate between heaven and earth. As I muttered something to this
effect, I heard a sound behind me resembling the growl of a dog who
is not quite sure whether he should bark or not. I turned round, and
beheld old Bentley at my heels; and this movement had the effect which
it would have operated on one of the canine species in giving voice to
the _grumble_.

"Aye, aye, poetry and sentiment--romance and delusion! But yours, Mr.
Howard, is the natural age for all these humbugs. You will come to your
senses before your glass runs out, and find that you are mistaken in
your views of happiness."

"Well, sir," said I, "it is some comfort that at my time of life you
_admit_ of my being deceived into bliss; and as life is short, as
well as precarious, it is a great matter to be delighted even with
_shadows_. But why do you set your face, Mr. Bentley, against nature,
and insist upon forestalling the season of care, and laying burthens
of anxiety on shoulders not fitted to the toil of supporting them? The
colt in the forest is allowed to range at liberty till his strength is
matured, and he can bear the load that is destined for his back. Do
you really think that it is right to anticipate evil, and never enjoy
present good?"

"No, sir," replied Mr. Bentley; "but a wise man removes the veil from
his eyes as soon as possible, and endeavours to see through the mists
of folly and prejudice which obscure his horizon. He directs all his
energies to the pole star of truth, which will quickly place the things
of this world in their just light to his understanding, and teach him
that what is called society is a foul cheat; a dishonest compact, by
which people agree to jockey each other, and pass, like counterfeit
coin, for the things that they are not; assuming manners, professing
regard, and displaying dispositions the very opposite of those that are
exhibited when the mask is taken off in the privacy of retirement.
Then, as to sunshine, and fine scenery, let people enjoy them for the
_time_ if they will, but not imagine that a cloudless sky or perennial
green would change the heart of man and make him contented. No, sir,
independence is the only positive good of merely earthly origin; it
gives us the power of being useful to others, and of being disengaged
from the trammels of the world ourselves."

"And pray," said Mrs. Fitzroy, who leaned on my right arm, while Emily
occupied the left, Mr. Otway and George Bentley bringing up the rear
of _our_ division, "are such feelings as you express likely to lead to
your conclusion? Will riches be employed for the relief of others who
want their aid, by a man who thinks of his fellow-creatures as you do,
and looks at creation through a jaundiced medium?"

"Perhaps not always with _intention_, madam," said old _Crabstick_;
"but the beauty of money is that it works without impulse, and _must_
do good in spite of its possessor. Even a miser, who expends only
enough to preserve life, is hoarding that which, if useless now, will
circulate here-after for the benefit of mankind. And this is an extreme
case: there are few misers in the community."

"I conclude then," said Mrs. Fitzroy, "that you approve of money
matches as they are called, and would not readily forgive a son of
yours if you had one, for marrying badly, in a worldly sense?"

"Certainly, madam," answered old Bentley, with great animation, and
apparently charmed with having an opportunity in this natural manner
of giving out the whole "head and front" of his opinion upon so
important a subject, _perhaps_ with a secret view of regulating the
conduct of his nephew, "You are perfectly right, very right indeed in
your supposition, Mrs. Fitzroy. Money matches are the _only matches_.
Money meets money, there is no deception in that sympathy, all else
is balderdash; and except in a very few remarkable cases of happy
marriage, which like the flowers of the aloë, bloom only once in a
hundred years, you may pick out and select with all your care the
finest ingredients of learning, taste, accomplishments, and so forth. I
give you _carte blanche_ in your choice, but bring them together at the
altar, and in a year you will have a dish of _sour crout_ as the result
of your compound."

"How _can_ you hold such opinions of your fellow-creatures, Mr.
Bentley? It is surely you yourself that convert all mankind into acids,
by looking on them. I should be afraid if you walked into my dairy,
that the very milk-pans would turn to curds and whey on your entrance,"
answered Mrs. Fitzroy; "but were the fact really as you describe, I
should like, for the sake of curiosity, to hear how you account for
this transmuting effect of marriage on the human mind?"

"Why, madam, in various ways. In the principal number of instances, no
transmutation at all takes place; the only difference is, that people
discover each other's true characters when it is too late to remedy
their want of accordance, and then it is much worse to find yourself
ill yoked in marriage, than suffering disagreement in any other
relation of life. If children live unhappily with parents, there are
all the chances of death, matrimony, and profession, for separating the
discordant elements. If brothers and sisters quarrel, _they_ too are
free to hope at least for better days; and in both these cases the evil
in question is not of a man's own contriving. No one feels lessened
in his own eyes, however he may be otherwise vexed, if he loses at a
game of hazard; but marriage is like chess, if we are _check-mated_
there, it is our own fault, and proves our want of penetration. This,
madam, is a grand cause of unhappiness in married life. People cannot
forgive themselves for having sacrificed their liberties, and committed
_felo de se_ on their own peace. If you are not satisfied with the
causes already given, of disunion in this generally luckless bond, I
can supply you with fresh impediments to contentment, without going
out of my way in search of them. I see people every day whose wits are
all laid up in ordinary, like ships of war after a battle, which, when
once the conflict is over, are dismantled, and left to their fate.
Intellect, madam, which you ladies of the _Blue school_ make such a
fuss about, is a pretty toy in the hands and heads of single folk,
who turn it to account for pleasure or profit; but in married life,
it is not wanted. People who are buckled together, probably know each
other's sentiments upon most subjects; and no one would ever be at the
trouble of talking upon abstract matters, if the vanity of display,
the pride of triumph and the stimulus of novelty, were put out of the
question. The world of _fashion_ is not troubled with brains in either
_one_ condition or the _other_; and as for your Darbys and Joans, it is
far better for them to nod at each other in a couple of arm-chairs in
the chimney corner, than debate about morals, manners, or 'the Punic
war.' Madam, man is _sui generis_, a pugnacious dogged animal, and
requires all the restraints which public opinion imposes, to prevent
him from being rude and overbearing. Amongst strangers he _must_ not
be so, or if he give way, and outstep the bounds of propriety, he is
sure to get a timely rap over the knuckles, which calls him to order;
but in his own family he is generally a bear without its muzzle on,
and depend upon it, the less _argument_ the better between the sexes,
when once they are noosed in the holy bands. They have enough to do
to get through the daily affairs of life, without fighting in earnest
upon practical subjects; and are foolish if they throw away time in
idle skirmishing on theoretical topics. What signifies it to any man,
or woman either, whether Newton's _Principia_ be founded, or not,
in true philosophy; whether Lock's Essay on the Human Understanding
be or be not unanswerable; whether air and water are simples or
compounds; whether the earths can be turned into metals, and diamonds
be reducible, so as to leave no residuum behind in the crucible. Such
points are very useful and interesting to mathematicians, professors
of moral philosophy and chemists, but what have lawyers, physicians,
officers in the army and navy, merchants, and country gentlemen, to do
with these matters at their fire-sides? No, madam, people must, that
is, the _major part_ of mankind, must marry, for so it is ordained.
The earth must be replenished, and marriage is the nursery to furnish
a succession of young plants, as the old ones die down, and return
to their dust; but _wise_ people (I grant you that they are few in
number), purchase exemption from many of the thorns and vexations of
life by the union of well-lined purses. Prudent parents, by insisting
on good settlements and suitable _pin-money_ (as a separate income
is foolishly called), may secure their daughters against the tyranny
of present power, and future extravagance; while a man who marries a
good fortune, is enabled to relieve both himself and his wife from the
_tedium vitæ_ of each other's society, by keeping a hospitable table at
which cheerful company may beguile the monotony of domestic routine."

Mrs. Fitzroy smiled, and said, "Well, at least you are candid enough
to throw the principal odium on the male part of creation, and I
believe that many women would heartily thank you for the establishment
of liberal _pin_ money, which, according to your account, is very
_aptly_ named I think, as it is the only arrangement you say, that
attaches the parties to each other, and prevents perpetual flying off?"

"Yes, madam, in ninety-nine cases out of every hundred, money is at the
_bottom_ of domestic strife. Some women are fools and lavish, others
are cunning and narrow-minded; but, almost _all_ men are devoted to the
_love of power_, and hate to share the dominion over their coffers.
It may perhaps surprise you to hear what I am going to say, coming
from the lips of a rough mortal like myself, but I will confess that I
have never known any thing approaching to happiness or respectability
in married life where, if the woman did not manage all the pecuniary
concerns of the family, she had not at least an equal share in them. I
have a tolerably bad opinion, generally speaking, of _both_ sexes, but
of the _two_, I think yours better than my own. Lord Chesterfield, who
saw human nature in its true colours, though he abuses men and women
without _parsimony_, still allots something of a better character,
because a less selfish one to the ladies, when in his division of
mankind, he asserts that "the former are compounded of vanity and
avarice; the latter of vanity and love.'"

"I hate these cynics," said Mrs. Fitzroy; "and as to _you_, Mr.
Bentley, I feel certain, that some early disappointment in life might
tell its tale, and account for your cross-grained notions of the world.
Let me hear what Mr. Otway says on this subject."

"My opinions," said the amiable Lord of Lisfarne, so far agree
with those of my worthy friend, that I feel the imperfection of my
_species_, and have only to turn my thoughts inward to perceive the
depravity and weakness of the human heart. Yet in this motley world
there is _much_ enjoyment, _much_ rational happiness, if we use with
moderation the materials which Providence has bountifully placed
within our reach. The fact is, that this scene is _too_ alluring with
all its errors and misfortunes; and a far greater share of good might
be achieved if we did not mar our own happiness. It has been my lot
to see the finest endowments of human character united in the bonds
of wedded affection, and I have lived to see such perfect harmony in
married life, that I can never charge the preponderance of misery that
we daily witness to the state _itself_. On the contrary, were people
to employ only as much attention in this most important act of life,
as they do in any ordinary traffic, we should not have to deplore the
shipwreck of domestic happiness in ninety-nine instances out of every
hundred: but I am far from thinking that it requires to be highly
gifted to be happy. If the capacity of one vessel be as a pint, that
of another as a gallon, and a third as a hogshead, all may be _full_,
and none can be _more_ than full. I am of opinion, too, that very
unequal measures of intellect may meet both profitably and agreeably
in connubial life, though there can be no doubt of the superior charms
of such companionship as that to which I first alluded; but it is a
singular coincidence, that I should at this moment have a letter in my
pocket from a relation of my own, precisely apposite to our present
argument, which, if you like, I will read to you."

We had just requested to hear the story, when Frederick came running
out of breath, to summon us all to the beach where the nets were
drawing. We immediately started up, and hurrying towards the shore,
adjourned our debate till after dinner, when _Phil._ engaged to fulfil
his promise. Assembled on the edge of the lake, we saw several of the
finest salmon I ever beheld, brought to land, and M'Carty More having
secured two of the largest, for which he made the bargain himself, he
proposed that we should proceed to Dinas Island, where the fish was to
be roasted after the manner in which the people here are accustomed
to dress it. As we were preparing to go on board the boat, Frederick
whispered to me a remark that M'Carty had made, in his untutored
phrase, upon Bentley the elder, and Mr. Otway, as he saw them walking
forward together.

"There goes a pair that were never made to walk abreast."

"How do you mean?" said Fred.

"Why, sir, that straight and crooked, bitter and sweet, short and long,
are fitter for-harness than those two men."

"Describe them M'Carty," answered Fred. "I will then," replied the
boatman. "Mr. Otway is just what a _raeal_ gentlemen ought to be,
neither too rough nor too smooth. He knows his _distance_ (meaning, I
conclude, his station), and never mounts above it, nor falls below it;
he is mild and good like a child, though a _raisonable_ man, that has
a why for every wherefore; but Mr. Bentley, Sir, never got out of bed
in his life, that it was'nt with the left foot foremost, and so every
thing goes contrary with him."

How admirable are these rough sketches by ignorant beings of the lowest
class! Oh the exquisite beauty of Dinas! but I have made a vow not
to entangle you in bowers, nor plunge you in the silver stream. This
island is flat, and of much greater extent than Innisfallen; there is
a pretty cottage upon it, where preparations were made for our repast
by those amphibious animals who live indifferently on land and water,
and who were suddenly metamorphosed into cooks, having previously
performed the parts of rowers, and next of fishermen. They instantly
split the salmon, and having cut some stakes of arbutus, _spitted_
the fish, and fixed it in the ground, then lighting a fire all round,
completed the operation with culinary skill, and served up, in process
of time, the best dish of fish that I have tasted. This mode of
cooking has a peculiar name, and a salmon dressed in the manner that
I have mentioned, is said to be _kibbobed_, the term, as Mr. Oliphant
informed us, applied to a favourite food in Persia, which is made by
splitting and broiling fowls, as the fish was managed here, and in the
method to which we gave the name of _spatchcock_--another coincidence
between that country and the Island of Saints. When we had finished our
rural banquet, and again _filed off into_ detachments, I found myself
pursuing a beautiful pathway among the trees, along the border of the
Lake, arm-in-arm with Mr. Otway; and, when we had interchanged some
remarks on the loveliness of the surrounding scenery, I begged him to
give me a key to some of the characters that composed our party.

"Mr. Bentley is a very amusing person to me," said I, "and his _running
bass_ of _ill_ humour so _good_ humouredly expressed, forms an
anomaly in his manner exceedingly diverting. Mrs. Fitzroy too is very
agreeable, and the continual skirmishing sustained with so much spirit
on her side, between that lady and Mr. Bentley, is fully as pleasant
as "Mathews at Home;" but I am not enough acquainted to understand her
completely, and, as for young Bentley, though I _like_ him much, and
_esteem_ him more, I am not familiar with his _style_, and wish, of all
things, for some light into his history."

"You have set me a task," answered Mr. Otway, "which would require more
time to execute than we have at present to spare; but you are perfectly
right in your conjecture, that they are all three worth knowing _au
fond_ as characters of peculiar though very different construction;
and I look upon every one of them as such a well defined specimen of
its genus, that were I assorting mankind, as a cutler does knives and
scissors, I would stick my three friends on the outside of my parcels,
as indexes to the contents within each paper of the several classes to
which they belong. Though the lady claims precedence, I will tell you
something of my old neighbour to begin with:--Mrs. Fitzroy made a true
hit to-day, when she said that she was certain he had been disappointed
in early life. It was exactly the case. He began the world with humble
expectations, and was intended for the profession of an attorney.
Nature had given him a strong and shrewd understanding, set in one of
those brazen scabbards that defy the inroads of time and bad weather.
He was one of many children, and accustomed, as the sailors say, to
_roughing it_, through life. With a body in which _nerves_ were left
out, and a mind divested of any troublesome sensibilities, he _tackled_
to his calling, and had not fortune stepped in between him and the
necessity of working for his bread, would not only have been one of
the most active of the busy fraternity with which he was incorporated,
but would also, I believe, have set a praiseworthy example of upright
conduct; for I look upon him as a man of incorruptible integrity. He
had finished his _noviciate_, and was just embarking in this minor
department of the law, with a respectable coadjutor, when he began to
think that a partner of the softer sex might be a proper _coping to
the wall_ of his destiny; and accordingly he made his proposals to a
young lady of some personal attraction, and such a convenient _modicum_
of wealth as, without rendering it presumptuous to approach her,
flattered his self-complacency with the prospect of meriting, at least,
an _ovation_ for his success. There was no _if_ in the calculation;
a doubt never once insinuated itself into his mind; not that he was
a conceited or overbearing young man by any means; but his opinions,
derived from vulgar sources, were made up in bundles, endorsed, and
stowed away in the various compartments of his pericranium, where
they were alphabetically arranged like papers in the pigeon-holes of
his desk. On looking at number thirteen, letter M, and taking down
the packet, he found it docketed 'Marriage;' and on turning a page,
the following synopsis of contents may, we suppose, have presented
itself to his view:--'Eight and twenty; fair time to look for a
wife--marriage, convenient for man--indispensable for woman--idle to
marry without money--a profession, may reasonably be reckoned against
three or four thousand pounds. Any thing over five feet eight _tells_
in the appearance of a man; figure of more consequence than face,
with a man _on his preferment_ as touching the other sex.' It was not
needful to seek farther into the documents thus labelled. My worthy
friend, perhaps, heaved a natural sigh, as he involuntarily approached
his faithful mirror for the purpose of smartening his dress, and read
the mortifying sentence of 'hard featured,' which, added to the painful
certainty that he wanted two inches of standard measure, might have
damped the energies of our would-be Benedick, had it not been that
some unseen but friendly spirit so frequently takes compassion on
our humiliation, and whispers comfort in extremity. Such consolatory
unction was poured into Bentley's bosom in this trying moment. If his
optics rested on a snub nose, ferret eyes, and pock-marked cheeks,
his good genius breathed into his ear the words 'quick, intelligent,
droll;' and when the fidelity of a two-foot rule forced the unwelcome
conviction of five feet six as the utmost height to which truth would
permit him to aspire, the soothing sounds of 'well-built, compact,
genteel,' again fell on his organ of hearing, as if sent from Heaven
to encourage his faultering purpose. The toilette ended, Bentley took
his well brushed hat, and catching up a slight rattan, which not only
gave a finish to that _dapper_ activity on which he meant to rest the
character of his appearance, to which _grace_ was unfortunately denied,
but was likewise useful in supplying an object _with_ which to twirl
away an awkward feeling, should such arise, our hero set out, and
walked towards Surgeon Sharp's, with an expression in his gait which,
if called upon to translate, you would have interpreted by the words,
'secure, confiding, and self-satisfied.' Alas! what vicissitudes are
incident to our mortal career!

"Bentley returned to number one, Mortgage Row, had a rapid vision of
his chop-fallen countenance in the large brass plate upon which was
engraved 'Deeds, Bentley and Co.;' rushed to his apartment, exchanged
his black stock for an easier neck-cloth, and, whistling louder than
he had ever been known to do before, took four steps in every stride
down stairs, and joined his partner, a keen, sarcastic, but sensible
man, from whom I had the greater part of these particulars, at dinner.
But, as every man has his evil, as well as his friendly genius, rumour
has spread to the winds that poor Bentley's thoughts being unpleasantly
occupied, he wished to drown them, and swallowing a more liberal
potation than was his ordinary custom, of native spirit, diluted with
warm water, and seasoned with lemon and sugar, experience confirmed the
proverb of '_in vino veritas_,' the half-muttered sounds of 'rejected
addresses,' and stimulated the curiosity of Mr. Jacob Deeds. The
distressing confession distilled from Bentley's lips, and so entirely
did he lose all prudent controul over his feelings, that the boy who
passed to and fro with the dinner apparatus, heard sufficient of his
misadventure to make a good foundation, and splicing on from his own
invention as much as was requisite to complete the story, he published
his master's disgrace with the diligence of a bell-man that evening.
When Bentley went to court on the following day, he was attacked on all
sides, and to come to the _moral_ of my tale, this _debut_ in _love
affairs_ gave the bias which has influenced the life and character
of my honest neighbour from seven and twenty to sixty years of age.
Had _affection_ been blighted, I could not even _now_ laugh at his
expense, but his pride alone was engaged. The prudential aphorisms
which he had learned of vulgar parents, had established certain points
as fixed principles in his mind, not requiring farther discussion.
Amongst these, was the firm belief that no young woman could possibly
refuse a tolerable match, and _partiality_ having, perhaps, represented
the offer of his own hand as something _beyond_ the average of good
luck in the case of Miss Sharp, it was too much for his philosophy to
find such a flaw in a theory which might have otherwise lasted to the
end of his days, and not only this vexation in the abstract, but the
particular sting of furnishing the contradiction in his own person.
He began with rage, and finding no balsam in his wrath, he turned
on mankind, and revenged, by the poignancy of his satire against the
whole species, this fancied wrong inflicted by a single individual. In
a short time after, an advertisement appeared in the papers, setting
forth the death of a person who possessed considerable property, and
who dying intestate, and without any near relations, the next of kin
were called upon to declare themselves. At the end of a suit which
occupied four or five years, my friend's claim was substantiated, and
he was put in peaceable possession. The progress of time, which mellows
men and wine, together with the healing which affluence brought to his
pride, operated a salutary change, not in kind but degree. His mind had
received a bent which no after circumstances of his life had power to
alter, but every year has produced a softening effect, and he is now,
comparatively, smooth as oil. George, who is the only son of a brother,
who died a few years ago, will probably inherit his uncle's estate,
if he can submit to the penalty of being guided solely by his advice.
Of this I doubt, and, as I have a great regard for the young man, I
cannot help watching him with anxiety."

I delight so much in Mr. Otway, that I treasure all he says, and have
given you his account of old Bentley as nearly as possible, in his
own words; but just as I pressed him to tell me all that he knew of
the nephew, we were joined by some stragglers of our party, amongst
whom was Bentley himself. The weather was enchanting, the Lake dotted
with boats, and we perceived that our island was not sacred to us. As
we proceeded to explore the intricacies which thickets of the finest
evergreens concealed from our view, several voices assailed us at
once; we saw a number of gay-looking people land from a barge at a
little distance; feathers waved in the air, peals of laughter were
driven by the breeze, and we would gladly have retired, but a sort of
rude curiosity, common to fashionable people, impelled the strangers
to overtake and see _what we were like._ Conceive my astonishment
on hearing my name pronounced, and, in a moment, finding myself in
the midst of a group composed of Lady Matilda Murray, her pretty
daughters, her son Henry, Lord John Craven, young Lewellyn Spencer,
and half a score others, with whom I was slightly, or not at all
acquainted, and who might have been mistaken for figures hired from
a hair dresser's shop window to swell Lady Matilda's train, if it
had not been for the uproar that they made. Conscious, long ago, of
the revolution which has taken place in my mind, I never knew its
full extent till this meeting. Nay, I have often felt at intervals
that opportunity might again betray me into my former participation
in all the follies which used to occupy without interesting me; but
Dinas island has finished my conversion. The place seemed absolutely
profaned by the presence of this silly group of milliners' dolls, and
hair-dressers' dandies. It was so incongruous a sight, that, forgetting
how lately I had been one of themselves; that I too had lived in
London's west end, and that steam packets and post horses had not
ceased to be when _I_ was deposited in the County of Kerry, I wondered
like an idiot how they came to Killarney; and I believe looked as
the savage of Averon might have done, had he suddenly met the _beau
monde_ of Versailles in his forest. The whole set gathered round me at
once, and, totally regardless of the company to which I was attached,
they overwhelmed me with questions all talking together. Even Miss
Murray, whom we used to call the "sleeping beauty," seemed inspired
with animation, and became as obstreperous as her sister. When the din
had in some degree subsided, Lady Matilda, in a languid drawl, said,
"I assure you, Mr. Howard, you should not waste time in these wilds.
Reports are in circulation respecting some members of your family; and
delays are dangerous. The prize may slip out of your sister's fingers
if you are tardy. I speak as a true friend, I do assure you." "Aye,
aye," added her ass of a son, who was standing close to us, "bag the
game Howard as fast as you can, or i' faith it may fly and leave you in
the lurch."--Before I had time to utter a syllable in reply to these
impertinencies, Miss Angelina Murray abruptly exclaimed, "oh! but
would it not be excellent if Mr. Howard were to give us a sermon
_al fresco_. All the world is of opinion that he has turned Methodist,
and it would be charming to tell of this adventure when we go back. Do
dear Mr. Howard, you may make it as short as ever you please; but _do_
indulge us with a discourse. Here I will send Lord John for my cloak;
you shall put it on, and fancy it a full suit of canonicals. Pray do
not disappoint your congregation."

This wit, which appeared to be considered quite attic, was received
with bursts of laughter, which intoxicating its vapid author, she would
have gone on plaguing me with her nonsense till now, if I had not
cleared my throat, and, like a canary bird, conquered every other voice
by the vociferation of my own. At length I was heard, and succeeded in
telling Lady Matilda that I had come like herself to see Killarney;
that like her too I intended returning to town, and if arrived there
before her Ladyship, should be happy to execute her commands.

"Thank you," said she, "I shall return myself as fast as my delicate
health will permit, and shall be happy to take you back in my suite.
You seem to have got into a set of odd-looking people here. _Natives_,
I conclude; and the sooner you leave them the better. As to me, I never
was so weary in my life; and am so frightened too, since I came into
this barbarous country, that I do not attempt to sleep, though I make
two of the servants sit up every night with loaded arms to repel an
attack. It is more than my nerves can endure; and I fear that I have
already suffered in a greater degree than I am aware of."

"Are you not pleased with this scenery," said I, "Lady Matilda?"
turning a deaf ear to absurdities which I could not answer: "Killarney
is the only place with which, after hearing such encomiums as all
people of taste lavish upon its exquisite beauty, I have not been
disappointed; and the lower Lake is nothing, I am told, in comparison
of what we have to see." "_I_ shall see no more, I promise you,"
replied _Miladi_; "I have had enough of this sort of thing. The air is
too damp--it disagrees with me; and besides, the object is achieved.
_We have been at Killarney_, and may pass our travelling examination.
This sort of thing is vastly tiresome, and too fatiguing for my nerves.
Then '_le jeu ne vaut pas la chandelle_," I dread the Trosach, but I
suppose that we must make a tour in Scotland, Lord John is so bent upon
it; and really three days more in this horrible place would kill me."

Joyful to my ear were the sounds of parting; and having extricated
myself, I scarcely know how, from this "unreal mockery," I took my
leave, with a promise to call upon her Ladyship, and, bidding adieu
to the rest of her _Court_, I bounded over every obstacle of rock or
brush-wood, that separated me from my own party, and never felt the
triumph of nature and good sense to be so complete as when I regained
their society, and listened once more to their refreshing conversation.
We were not molested any farther. I saw some of Lady Matilda's
attendant swains yawn and stretch their arms, as I passed them by; and
it was not long before we discovered them re-embarked, with cloaks
spread across their knees, as a substitute for tables, and engaged in
two regular matches at cards, while their boat returned towards Ross'

_We_ lingered untired till the moon rose upon the water, and never will
the impression of that evening be erased from my imagination. We rowed
round Dinas, we coasted Glena, and again took a view of Innisfallen
wrapped in shadows. We had two bugles on board, and were so fortunate
as to secure a man of the name of Spillane, who is a capital performer,
for our principal musician. Nothing could be more rapturous than the
sensations I experienced when M'Carty, whose fine athletic form,
as he sweeps the oar, is worthy of the canvass, called to Spillane
and his brother bugler, saying, "Come, my hearties, the oars are
flagging--blast up a tune that will make the boat walk of herself."
No sooner had the word been given, than the inspiring air of Stuart
memory, called "Who'll be King but Charley?" was admirably played. The
effect was magical. The sinews that had been flaccid before, from heat
and toil, seemed braced afresh. The men were silent--sat erect--and
appeared endowed with new powers. No longer a set of slouching boors,
mumbling each his quid of tobacco, which the peasants here chew as
the Turks do opium or beetle nut, our boatmen rose in dignity as they
yielded to the talismanic influence of a strain replete with the
expression of spirit and pathos, that _rainbow_ character of music, so
deeply interesting, and of which the Irish are so sensible, that it
seems to speak directly to their hearts, in a language all their own.
The boat really _did_ appear, as M'Carty said, "to walk of herself"
over the Lake, so long, so smooth, so vigorous, was the pull, and
such perfect time did the rowers observe; but Spillane's power of
enchantment was not confined to them. The whole band partook of the
emotion which he excited. My dear aunt turned her face towards the dark
wooded side of Glena, and rivers of gentle tears were silently mingled
with the waves below. Mrs. Fitzroy stood up, fired, as she afterwards
said, with such enthusiasm, that, like Semiramis of antient memory,
she could in that moment have placed herself at the head of a warlike
host, and led them on to death or victory. She absolutely looked pale
with the intenseness of sublime sensation. Russell was, as usual, in a
state of convulsion; and all were silent, till, actuated by an impulse
compounded of all the varied sensibilities of those around me, I gave
utterance to a passing wish that I was Charles-Edward. "And _I_ Flora
M'Donald!" exclaimed dear little Fanny; who seemed delighted at having
her tongue untied, and finding a precedent in my rapture for expressing
her own--but without the most distant idea of paying me a compliment,
by coupling her destiny with mine. _Her_ wish had, in fact, been formed
without reference to me; and, had I said anything else than what I
did say, it would have equally unlocked Fanny's lips, who longed to
speak, but who was withheld by a native modesty, which is inseparable
even from her moments of greatest excitement, from being the _first_
to do so. It was _her_ turn now to govern our sympathies. She had
touched a new spring, and many a gay smile shone through the tears
that had been flowing. Many a merry peal of hearty laughter brought us
again into cheerful communion. "Miss Fanny Douglas," said Russell, "I
envy Howard, who has received so explicit a declaration of your kind
feelings towards him." Fanny looked _blank_ for a second or two before
she caught his meaning, so _single_ had been the thought that occupied
her mind when she spoke--but seizing on the new idea presented, she
blushed violently, _only_ because it _was_ new; and with that exquisite
_naïveté_ which is worth all the treasures of Golconda, she hastily
answered, "Indeed, no: I did not think of any one except my favourite
Pretender alone; but that makes little difference, for my cousin knows
perfectly well that whatever Flora could accomplish for Charles-Edward
I should desire to perform for Arthur, if he stood in need of my

I must now hurry you to the landing-place, transport you from thence
to the inn, dispatch supper, and distribute the group into their
several apartments. Russell contrived, as I squeezed into mine, which
is hardly large enough to turn about in, to impart his secret to
the faithful _porches_ of mine ear; and I have it now from his own
confession, that he is in the list of _killed and wounded_. I asked
whether he had any reason to expect reciprocity of disposition, but he
said no. "I _hope,_ but I certainly have no reason to _expect_. These
charming Douglasses love each other so much that it is very difficult
to penetrate their sentiments towards strangers. Girls in general think
little of mothers, except as necessary appendages. A _chaperone_ is
indispensable, and therefore young ladies tolerate their mammas in that
character; but these cousins of yours seem to idolize their parent, and
to be almost absorbed in studying her countenance, and reading every
thought as it arises in her soul." Annesley's entrance interrupted our
dialogue, which ended for the present; and the next morning saw us
gliding over the calm expanse which we had traversed the day before,
to visit a new region, of such perfection as, if I had not forsworn
all description, would puzzle me to find words in which to clothe it.
Traits and touches--mere memoranda--are all that I shall give you. Of
the first, I must relate one which is worthy of your moral sketch-book.
There is a narrow strait, of exquisite beauty, dividing the upper from
the lower lake, which, from the shelving nature of the ground, assumes
somewhat the appearance of a rapid. At this place it is customary for
the boatmen to quit their boats, which are dragged up by main force to
a joyous cry, which they raise in concert, as American sailors do in
heaving the anchor. It is a particularly cheerful sound, and pleasing
from the measured cadence in which it is given. While the boatmen, who
strip off their shoes and stockings, jump into the water, and ranging
themselves two and two, perform this feat, the company are always
landed, and pursue a winding path on the verge of the water, till the
boat is drawn into the lake above, and they are ushered into that
aquatic paradise.

On the night preceding this day, a poor fellow had reached this
narrow pass from the upper country in a tiny skiff. A sudden gust,
which frequently occurs in this amphitheatre of mountains, hurried
him so irresistibly down the watery descent that his little bark was
overset, and no human being living near the spot, his voice was not
heard;--unable to swim, he was drowned, and his lifeless corse was
extricated in the morning from a bed of arbutus, which lay so softly
on the surface of the lake that it appeared more like a Naiad's couch
than the bier of poor Florence O'Neil. Our men were none of them
related to him. They only knew who he was, and that he was unfortunate.
When we reached this little gorge, we were told to prepare for landing,
and M'Carty More standing up in the boat, poising his oar with graceful
ease, and making no more of its weight than if it had been a straw,
addressed himself to us all, and said, "Ladies and Gentlemen, I hope
that your honours will not take it amiss if we draw up the boat silent
and quiet, like the poor fellow himself that lay here this morning." So
saying, he and his comrades, without uttering a sound, pulled our bark
forward in the profoundest stillness; thus paying a tribute of delicate
feeling to the manes of a departed brother, which would have adorned
a far higher class in life. We were all affected by this incident,
which was quickly changed from a merely sentimental occurrence into one
of practical compassion and usefulness, by a proposal from my aunt,
that the same spot which had in the former moment been dedicated to
remembrance of the dead, should now be marked by tender care for the
living. "Here is my subscription," said she, "and when we have made
up a little sum for the widow and orphans of poor Florence, M'Carty
More, if you please, shall have the pleasure of bestowing it." Joy lit
up the countenances which had been just before honestly expressive of
sadness, and showers of choicest blessings were lavished on the mover
of this benevolent project. M'Carty's thanks were as warm, as if he
had been made rich himself; and when Russell good humouredly said to
him, "I suppose that you are flattered, by being chosen to convey glad
tidings to the poor woman and her children, and pleased that Mrs.
Douglas should put such confidence in you;" his noble reply was, "No
your honour. The lady would not have mistrusted _any_ of us; we may
all be bad enough, but there is not a man in the boat, I'll be bound
to say, would rob the widow. Every one of these lads, sir, gave half a
crown this morning to bury poor O'Neil, and while they had a potato
themselves they would not _begrudge_ the half of it to her that's left

Mrs. Fitzroy gave a searching look, and shook her head at old Bentley,
who growled under his breath, but for _once_ did not express his
scepticism in words. We now entered the upper lake, and all language
fails to do justice here.

Do you remember the happy valley of Abyssinia, described in Rasselas?
Here is in water what that was in land. So completely are you
surrounded with the magnificent range of mountains which inclose this
little world of beauty, that you seem as if separated at once from
all that is external to it. You perceive no means of either egress
or ingress, and but for the recollection of having entered by that
narrow pass which I have described, might fancy yourself let down from
the skies. This lake is sprinkled over thickly with islands, every
one of which would make a picture in itself. These are covered with
the most luxuriant evergreens, the glossy brightness of which might
warrant a belief (were fairies as efficient personages as in the
"olden time") that they had been under water till your approach, and
rose at that moment into air, "dripping odours" in all the freshness
of a new creation. While we gazed in astonishment at the scene before
us, silence again took up her sceptre, and no one appeared willing to
disturb her reign.

I cannot with accuracy describe any feelings save my own, though I
think I could read several minds amid the group; but for myself, I
felt actually raised above this nether sphere, and as if I was holding
communion with Deity, in this the first hour of my life in which I
beheld his perfect workmanship, unspoiled by the finger of man. I
was in a _trance_, and should have lost every remembrance that human
creatures surrounded me, had not M'Carty More, in a half whisper
directed to Frederick, who wins every heart which was not already his
own, interrupted my musings by saying, "Mr. Douglas, I come from the
rightful kings of this place, and though I am a poor man now, I can
make _you_ king, sir, of one of these _islands_, and, with the help
o'God, you _shall_ be king of it sure enough: pull my hearties for
M'Carty More's Island."

We were awakened from our reverie. The tear drops were brushed from
aunt Douglas's eye. Mrs. Fitzroy's cheek, which blanches with emotion,
resumed its colour. Emily and Charlotte, whose countenances are the
most pelucid, mirrors of all that passes within, were illuminated by
Frederick's approaching triumph, and Fanny's ready joy sparkled so
brightly in her eyes, as, in a poet's fancy at least, to make the
rippling of the lake, while our bark shot nimbly through its gentle
bosom, shine with more dancing radiance than the sun alone could
have imparted. Now followed a scene of mock heroic, amusing from the
gravity with which it was conducted, and curious from the mixture of
knowledge and ignorance, of law and fiction, which it involved. We
were marshalled by M'Carty in a circle, on this beautiful _spangle_ of
earth, the sovereignty of which was to be bestowed upon our youthful
chief. Frederick was placed in the midst; a sod was cut from the turf,
and an arbutus twig severed from the shrubs which hung over our
heads. With these insignia of feudal investiture, M'Carty approached
the monarch who was to be, and kneeling on one knee presented _seizin_
of his dominions, with an appropriate enumeration in correct Latin,
of the rights and royalties intended to be conveyed by this Imperial
grant, the boatmen forming a semicircle exterior to the ring already
mentioned. When Frederick received the symbols of his enfeoffment with
a graceful bow, a shout from the men proclaimed the act of acceptance;
and next followed the anointing, which was _here_ performed with
"mountain dew," alias whiskey, which I suspect M'Carty and his fellows
prefer on such occasions to oil. Two or three bottles of this Irish
usquebaugh were brought from the boat, one of them was dashed upon a
rock, and the name of "Frederick's Island," pronounced by M'Carty, who
enacted the part of high-priest. The next step was to quaff a libation
to the honour of the new monarch, in which part of the ceremony he was
obliged to join; and after drinking to the health and happiness of the
crew, Fred. was installed, desired to take his seat on the rude throne
prepared by spirituous unction for his accommodation, and to exercise
his first act of authority, in arresting the arm of Russell, who was
busily employed in cutting a fine walking-stick of arbutus.

The party were again seated in their boat, when old Bentley repaid
Mrs. Fitzroy's piercing look, of which I told you, _in kind_, and
with his _grimmest_ expression of discontent, turned to her, with,
"_There_ madam! _There_ are cunning rascals for you! Those scoundrels
will elect a king from every boat-load of blockheads that they bring
to the upper lake during the season, and will wheedle money out of the
_royal_ pocket, and guzzle whiskey at the general cost, till they have
not an eye left in their heads." How Mrs. Fitzroy would have turned the
edge of old Bentley's ire if she had been disengaged, I cannot tell,
but she was listening with so much interest to Domine, that Bentley's
tirade passed over her mind, and seemed to be shaken from it like
"dew drops from the lion's mane," while she gave her attention to Mr.
Oliphant, who is really a mine of knowledge, and who possesses the art
of rendering it always pleasing, by his unaffected simple manner, the
accuracy of his information, and the tact with which he imparts it.

The _investiture_ which we had just witnessed, called forth an
agreeable and instructive account of consecration in all its varieties
of mode, from the field of Luz mentioned in the 28th chapter of
Genesis, to the stone alluded to in the Odyssey, on which Neleus sat
"equal in counsel to the Gods." Pope, I remember, translated this
passage in four lines, which I gave to Mrs. Fitzroy, in pencil on a
scrap of paper, as Domine paused on his tide of learned lore:

  "The old man early rose, walk'd forth and sat
  On polished stone, before his palace gate;
  With unguent smooth, the lucid marble shone,
  Where ancient Neleus sat, a rustic throne."

From thence Mr. Oliphant adverted to the superstitious accounts of
the Baithylia, or consecrated stones of Phoenicia mentioned in
_Sanchoniatho_, and a great deal more very pleasantly communicated,
which you shall have in my journal, but not _here_. I must, however,
give you the history of the stone which you and I looked at not long
ago, in Westminster Abbey. It lies, you may recollect, under the old
chair on which the Kings of England are crowned in the Chapel of
Edward the First, and a Scotchman who was standing by when you and I
were there took the whole credit of this sacred relique to himself,
declaring that it was originally a supernatural gift to his country,
and had a prophecy attached to it of the highest importance to the
Caledonians. It was called "_Ni fallit Fatum_," and gave rise to the
verses which are translated into English thus:

  "Or Fate's deceived, or Heaven decrees in vain,
  Or where they find this stone the Scots shall reign."

But it seems that this precious morsel of antiquity, said to be the
pillow of Jacob, on which he laid his head, when he slept on the plain
of Luz, and dreamed of the ladder that reached to the skies, was really
wrested from Ireland (whither it had travelled from its original site,
first to Jerusalem, from thence into Spain, and thence again into this
country, where it lay treasured as it deserved to be, in the great
Cathedral on the rock of Cashel) by Fergus the First of Scotland, who
conveyed it to Scone, and on it the Scottish Kings were always placed
to be crowned, till Edward the First transported this "Patriarchal
bolster" to Westminster, where it is still preserved with veneration,
not unmixed perhaps with a certain dread of seeing the dynasty pass
away, should the stone set out again upon a _tour_, as the marriage of
Margaret of Scotland into the Royal Family of England, gave colour to
the fidelity of that prophecy to which I have alluded, when this bone
of contention quitted its Northern abode.

If Domine had not soon come to the end of his story, we should probably
have been out all night in the lakes, for so intense was the curiosity
of M'Carty and his myrmidons to devour every syllable of the tale, that
they lay upon their oars, and appeared in danger of being metamorphosed
into images of stone themselves, such fixed attention did they bestow
upon a legend which I am certain they quickly made their own.

To avoid producing a dearth of paper at Tralee, whence I procured
my last supply, I shall now pack you up, and placing you in the car
of a balloon, permit you no longer to loiter your happy hours amid
scenes of enchantment. You must neither land on Ronayve's Island,
nor accompany me to Fure Lake, nor wander by moonlight through the
Abbey of Muccruss, nor toil to the top of the eagle's nest, nor visit
Dunlow-gap, Mangerton punch-bowl, nor any other spot in this region
of fascination. Were I to indulge your passion for romance, and allow
you to linger any longer at Killarney, I should fear your becoming a
hermit, and requesting Lord Kenmare's permission to build a cell, in
which the remainder of your days would be dedicated to solitude and
contemplation. Take then your bird's-eye view of the map, as it lies
spread beneath you; return to your inn; with a mind torn between love
and curiosity, quit the society of our charming female companions,
leaving them under the care of Messieurs Otway, Oliphant, and Bentley
senior, descend from your balloon, mount a rough Kerry poney, and if
you can ride like a Tartar through the desert, you may join Russell,
Annesley, Frederick, Bentley _secundus_, and your humble servant,
in a two day's trip over Kenmare mountain, the Priest's leap, and
through Neddeen to Bantry. Oh Glengariffe, surpassing Glengariffe! thou
"brightest gem of the Western wave," in what words am I to paint thee?

This transcendent spot was the limit of our excursion, and how can I,
in general terms, more aptly sum up its attractions than in telling
you, that _reeking_, as we were, from Killarney, the matchless
scenery of which was still vibrating on every retina, shadowed in our
imaginations and resting in the hearts of all our party, who felt as
if nature was reposing, admiration drained to its dregs, and language
run out, by all that we had been called upon to see, think, and feel,
so recently, Glengariffe strung each palsied nerve anew. We rose "like
giants refreshed with wine," and experienced that delight which only
the highest excitement of mental or physical excellence occasionally
produces, namely a consciousness of power within ourselves, of which,
till thus extraordinarily elicited, we do not dream of being in
possession. Perhaps this is one of the most pleasurable feelings of the
human mind, and we now enjoyed it rapturously, surprising our own ears
with the awakened flow of eloquence, poured out from fountains which
might have been supposed already exhausted; and admiring beauties in
all around, the greatest charm of which, though sometimes undiscerned,
is the vivid reflection from our own souls. But you must only glance
your eye along that blue expanse, and catch a hasty glimpse of that
splendid bay, where the concentrated powers of France, while menacing
destruction, were themselves destroyed. Before we regain our inn, and
rejoin our friends, you must pause for a moment with me in a scene
which, from its singularity, delayed our retrograde progress.

Having mounted our shaggy steeds, we turned our faces, like Sir
Bertram, "to the wolds," and conceitedly imagined ourselves able to
retrace, unassisted, the homeward path; but we were mistaken; and after
proceeding for sometime without meeting a living creature of whom to
ask the way, we at length espied a thing scarcely human, naked almost
to the hips, and trotting at a quick, equal pace, holding a staff
horizontally in both hands, and having a tattered weather-beaten bag
that looked like an old Spanish wine skin, strapped upon his back.

"Who, and what are you?" exclaimed Russel.

This was not a conciliating address, and accordingly it was rudely
answered: "May be as good as yourself. I am a post; and my father was a
post before me."

This letter-carrier for so we interpreted him to be, never relaxed his
steady trot, nor condescended to be angry. Calm contempt appeared to be
the feeling which dictated his reply; and he would have passed on his
way with-deigning to look behind him, if Frederick had not said, in his
cheerful manner, "My good fellow, I know that you are the very man to
tell us how we shall get into the track that leads over the mountain to
Killarney, for I have lost my way, and my friends here are strangers?"

The youth immediately became a _poste restante_, and gazing benignantly
on Frederick, setting his voice to a very different modulation from
that in which he first spoke and resting his chin on the staff which he
now stuck into the ground, he replied, "Why then, indeed, I'd do more
than that for ye. Go down till you see the smoke, then turn to the left
and face north'ards; turn again to the west, and you'll find a track
that will bring you out at the kiln by a short cut, and then you can't
miss your way any more, but will get down into the _illegant_ new road,
along the upper lake which is so lonesome, and smothered in trees, that
you might be _murthered_ there in all aise, and pitched over into the
lake, and no one know what become of you during ash nor oak."

"And pray," said Frederick, "how am I to find out north and west in
this strange place."

"Then sure, your honour, I suppose, isn't such a poor scholar as that
you wouldn't know very well by the sun."

Fred. gave the poor fellow a shilling, and encouraged with this
agreeable notice, of the perfect _convenience_ with which we could
be "_murthered_," we pursued our route; and found the instructions
which he had received, accurate to a tittle. The smoke, which was the
first finger-post in the journey, brought us into a deep ravine, wild,
barren, and silent as the grave, yet judging by the wreaths that seemed
to be sent up from numerous chimnies that were invisible, populous of
human life. We looked for habitations but there was not a single roof
to be seen, nor an individual to be met with. Curiosity prompted us
to approach nearer to this uncommon defile; and here we found numbers
of poor creatures, who, terrified at the sound of so many horses'
feet, and dreading a visit from the police, were employed in hastily
extinguishing their fires. We speedily tranquillized their minds, and
then received that generous welcome and hospitality which the poorest
sons and daughters of Erin, never fail to extend to the stranger.

To be a _stranger_, far from exciting suspicion here, is a free
passport to the best which these kind people possess. Whiskey was
all which these had to offer, for this was a little colony of illicit
distillers. We tasted their _pottein_ (their name here for the purest
spirit) to oblige our hosts, and scattering a few pieces of silver
amongst them, turned to the left, then to the north, made for the kiln,
and were just descending from the moor, into something resembling a
road, when a figure stalking along the horizon, of apparently gigantic
stature, arrested our attention; we drew up, and as he _neared_ us, we
beheld indeed a prodigious form of at least six feet in height, black
as Erebus, skin, clothes, and all; and armed with a pole of fully ten
feet in length, terminated by an immense bush of holly. Warned by the
former incivility which he had excited, Russell now thought proper
to leave all enquiries to Frederick, who with a kind, "good morrow
my lad," begged to know where this Patagonian was going, and why so

"Plase your honour," answered the spectre, "I am the sweep o'the
mountains, and I'm going yander to clane some chimblies for the

What grotesque habits, and how extra-ordinary the mixture in this
country of barbarism and civilization!

Arrived at length, we found all the pleasure of joining such a circle
as we had left behind, doubled by our short absence.

An excursion such as this to Killarney, brings the people who are
included in it, so informally and so constantly together as to preclude
the possibility, I should think, of neutral feelings at parting. This
is a strong proof, one would imagine, that a state of life mid-way
between poverty and riches is the surest soil of domestic felicity.
Rise _above_ this middle standard, and you soar beyond the want of
sympathy, and owe your principal gratifications, it may be, to fortune
alone. Fall _below_ the medium, and the anxieties of life press so
painfully as to annihilate, from an opposite cause, that dependence on
each other, which constitutes the perfection of human happiness.

Falkland, did you ever expect to hear these sentiments from your friend
Arthur Howard?

We had now passed ten days in an intercourse so intimate, so
intellectual, the tastes, the faculties, of each individual had been
brought into such activity, that, like the manufacturers of soda water
who compress three or four atmospheres into a pint bottle, we seemed to
have condensed into one short fortnight, more solid enjoyment of life,
than would eke out half a century in the vapid inanity of fashionable
routine. During this blissful dream, we had known nothing of factitious
wants, nor artificial accommodations. There was a simplicity, a reality
in our pleasures which deluded us into forgetfulness that the "sweetest
are still the fleetest," because they seemed so natural that one did
not see _why_ they were to cease; and when the last evening actually
arrived, it came with a shock as dreadful, as if entirely unexpected.
The fastidiousness of former habits had vanished. Our apartments were
large, and numerous enough, our cold dinners were eaten with appetite.
We had felt no blank, and we desired no accession to our comforts.
Such are the charms of _that_ society which I reviled, because I did
not comprehend, and was unable at first to appreciate its value. Alas!
I know it now too well; and yet I am better off than my neighbours. I
may hope to pass much of my time with the Douglas family, while poor
Russell and Annesley, who are certainly minus a heart each, may never
see them again. The former will not leave Glenalta, for which place we
set out to-morrow without trying his fate. A few short months ago, and
I should have ridiculed the idea of Russell's being refused by one of
my country cousins. Handsome, gay, musical, sought after, with fair
prospects, and good connections, that Russell could not command any
possible Miss Douglas, or Miss any thing else, possessing no more than
five or six thousand pounds, was I confess what never occurred to me
as matter of doubt. I now feel apprehensions that my friend may suffer
disappointment, as with all the penetration which I can exercise, I
perceive nothing in Charlotte's manner beyond easy kindness and polite

Annesley is not a free agent: _his_ views are lost in clouds; and
should little Kepple live to be of age, his father may levy fines, and
cut off the entail which will otherwise give the estate of Compton to
Frank, who will have little or nothing, except in this event, and he
will therefore never betray his feelings towards Emily. Perhaps he may
hope that in absence they will wear away; but were this not the case,
Annesley has great self-command, and would suffer much rather than
commit himself. I know too that he has pride, which would ill brook
defeat, and in his present circumstances he could not expect to be

I think that I can perceive a knitting of your brow, and can also tell
the cause of it. I anticipate your question, and reply, before it is
asked, No, there is not the slightest tendency in my cousin's manner
indicating that Annesley's departure will leave a single pang in her
breast. Emily is free as the air of her mountains; so let your forehead
resume its unruffled serenity.

How various were the feelings of the individuals that composed our
party, and how different from those which accompanied us when we left
that place a fortnight ago. In my aunt's face I read the word _home_
written in every direction. Spite of all her efforts to be cheerful,
suppressed pain sat on every feature during her stay at Killarney;
and spite of all the natural glow which beamed in the countenances of
her children amid the pure pleasures of that enchanting scene, their
mother's looks so far alloyed their happiness as to make them sometimes
long for return on _her_ account, and therefore on their own. Mr.
Otway, too, retraced the road to Lisfarne with calm satisfaction; but
for the younger members of the group (and I believe that I may also
include Mrs. Fitzroy) the prospect of a _break-up_, the certainty of
parting, and the uncertainty of meeting again, corroded every heart.

We reached Glenalta in a beautiful sun-set, but the letters which
awaited our return have so completely absorbed my thoughts, that I pass
over sufficient materials, _at our_ rate of corresponding, to furnish
half a quire of paper, and hasten to say that a few lines from Louisa
bring me the disagreeable intelligence that I have offended my mother,
who desires me not to go to town, but to set out directly for the
Continent and join you. This I shall only do in case of finding that my
presence in London is of no use; and thither I must fly. Mrs. Fitzroy
offers me a seat in her caleche if I remain here another week; and as
there is nothing to prevent this short delay, I have arranged to be her
companion. Russell and Annesley leave this in two days, and you will
probably meet them ere long; at all events they will take care that
this packet reaches you in safety. I have inclosed for your amusement
the letter to which Mr. Otway alluded at Glena, when the conversation
between Mrs. Fitzroy and old Bentley induced him to mention having
lately received it. Mrs. Fitzroy desired a copy, and permits me to
send it to you, provided that you return it whenever you have an
opportunity. I inclose you also Louisa's letter.

You shall hear from me after I reach Grosvenor-square, and will not
envy my feelings in the interim.

  Adieu, my dear Falkland!
  I am ever your affectionate,



(_Inclosed in the preceding._)

My dear Arthur,

Your letter has made me gloomy, and my mother's temper does not improve
my spirits: she is very angry with you, and so offended by the style
of your remarks on Adelaide's approaching marriage, that so far from
wishing your presence, I am commissioned to say, it is my mother's
express desire that you should not come to town till the ceremony
is over. As you are not yet _quite_ of age, you could not be of any
absolute use at present; and she will contrive, upon the good faith
of your assistance when you are enabled to give your aid, to supply
the immediate necessity for money by borrowing on bond. This is her
message; but as her anxiety that you should quit your present situation
is fully equal to her wish that you should not come here, she would
be glad if you were to _go_ to the Continent; and as your friend
Falkland is somewhere in Italy, and his company may be an inducement to
_immediate_ arrangements, she has no objection to your joining him and
his tutor wherever they may be. It is my mother's design to hasten the
marriage as quickly as possible. She means to inform Crayton that you
have seriously hurt your leg, which will be sufficient excuse for your
non-appearance; and should he ever discover that you have left Glenalta
to go abroad while it might be supposed that you could not stir from
your sofa, it will be easy to make out a new _version_; or if the
wedding is _over_, as soon as we hope that it _will_ be, we shall not
care much about a slight inconsistency which will not signify a _rush_
when the deed is done.

You look grave, but really it cannot be helped. Nothing could be worse
than any interruption to the nuptials of Clayton and Adelaide; it must
not be; and though I _believe_ him to be a gambler, and _know_ him to
be a dunce, our sister is willing to wear his coronet, and excuse his
errors and deficiencies. For myself, I am not sorry that the bustle
of coachmakers, jewellers, milliners, &c. in which we are involved,
prevents my having time to _think_ much, for I am low, and quite out
of humour. What you say of the world is true enough, and no one feels
_how_ true except he is carried round like a fly upon its wheel; but
to stand still is worse: it makes one's head giddy to pause; and the
country after all is so flat, so utterly devoid of interest, that
tiresome as I _confess_ a London life to be, any thing is better than
the cobwebs of retirement. A rural bower sets one to sleep, even in
imagination, and the only part of the system kept _alive_ in retreat is
the muscular apparatus by which we yawn.

If I could find out any "Royal road" to happiness, I should like to cut
many of my acquaintances; but till I do, they must be endured, idle and
silly as they are.

Here comes a man with Ady's diamonds, and I am called to council. I
will write a line to Paris, _poste restante_; so as you will probably
make at once for the French capital, as a central point; you will there
receive intelligence of _our advancement_ to _the peerage_. I will send
you the newspapers that you may see how the paragraph _runs_. Old Lord
Hawkston, being our hundred and fiftieth cousin, _La Madre_ applies to
him to act your part in giving the bride away.

Called again. Coming! coming!

  Yours, ever affectionately,


[Alluded to by Mr. Otway, addressed to him, and inclosed to Charles

My dear Friend,

I hasten to obey your injunctions, and give you some account of your
amiable kinswoman, Clara Browne. On reaching York, I found a letter
from her so earnestly praying me to visit at her house, and so warmly
expressive of her wishes to make, as she kindly called me, "one of her
oldest and most valued friends" acquainted with her husband, that I
prepared as soon as I could to accept the invitation, and set out for
Stockton. I found Clara the picture of contentment, and surrounded by
all the substantial comforts and rational elegancies of life. Nothing
could exceed the openness and affection with which she received me;
and I was welcomed by Mr. Browne in such a manner as to assure me,
in the most gratifying language, that I was not a stranger to him. In
a few days after my arrival at his house, a letter on urgent business
required his presence in a distant part of the country; and I yielded
to the united entreaties of my two friends that I would take care of
Clara till his return in two days from D----.

Clara and her sister were now my only companions; and upon the first
opportunity which occurred in a _tête-à-tête_ walk, the former demanded
of me a full, free, and candid declaration of my opinion respecting
the object of her choice. I told her truly that I liked her husband
extremely, and congratulated her with all my heart on having united
herself to a man of high principle and worth; adding, that the suavity
of his temper, mildness of his manners, and polite acquaintance with
the world, attracted my admiration as sincerely as the graver qualities
of his mind commanded my esteem and respect.

"Clara," said I, "you know that I was always a plain man, and as I am
an old fellow, too, and used to abuse your fastidiousness in days of
yore, I have the more pleasure in praising now the sensible, excellent
person with whom you have allied yourself. There _was_ a time when
nothing short of a galaxy of light, a constellation of genius and
talent, would have satisfied you. I often told you then that you would
one day or other discover your mistake, and I hoped not experimentally.
I told you that good sense and a sweet disposition were of more value
than all the _brilliants_ upon which you set so high a price. May I not
now wish to hear from your own lips that you have proved the truth of
my doctrine?"

"Yes," answered Clara, "I glory in my renunciation of the follies which
marked my youth; and, as dear Edward Otway will take the same interest
that you do in my change, I shall egotize a little, and through
you make confession to him of the motives which produced it. You
remember, both of you, how I worshipped intellect, and if I am not too
insignificant to have made so lasting an impression, you may recollect
the silly energy with which I used to descant on moral virtue, and say
that, like air and water, it was certainly indispensably necessary,
but so common--so entirely a thing _of course_, that it slipped out
of calculation, and only served as a vehicle for the ingredients of
happiness, without ever presuming to be an item in the recipe. In
short, all the truly valuable parts of human character were mere
_negatives_ in my flippant creed, while to genius, intellect, and
splendid abilities, did I hold mankind to be indebted for whatever
exalts the human species. Under this delusion I passed my early years,
that period of life which the French call "_La premiere jeunesse_;" and
at five-and-twenty was still as much inclined as ever to be a dreamer,
if the marriage of my two dearest associates to what the world styles
_prodigiously clever men_, had not awakened me to clearer views, and,
by a striking practical lesson, caused me to understand that it was
possible to shine brightly as the glow-worm at a distance, and be a
sightless grub, when brought close to the eye. As one experimental
fact is better than a world of theory, I began to apply the melancholy
instruction which I derived from the unhappiness of my friends, to
my own profit. The result was a firm conviction that plain sense, and
gentle temper, resting on the foundation of a sincerely religious and
moral character, are the very best ingredients to depend upon in the
cup of domestic union; and that with a few beautiful but very rare
exceptions, the worst companion of earth at a family fire-side, is a
_man of genius_. I know that an instance now and then occurs to prove
the _possibility_ of higher things. I know that minds have sometimes
met, bringing the richest gifts of head and heart in heavenly communion
to the altar; such signal deviations, however, from the common history
of mankind, but serve to establish the opposite rule, repressing those
visions of romance, which only entail disappointment.

"When I had paid a visit of some months to each of my friends, I
perceived that their husbands were men of whom they might be _vain_
but could not be _fond_. Isabella, the eldest, had married one of your
"admirable Creighton" sort of people. He was a Mr. Mills, and set up
for a person of universal science, taste, and talent. There was nothing
too high or too low for the omnivorous appetite of his ambition; and he
has often reminded me of Johnson's sarcasm directed against Goldsmith,
"Sir, he would be jealous of Punch;" and so would Mr. Mills. There was
no trial of skill, however humble its object, in which he would not
exert his powers for the pleasure of a triumph. He knew every thing,
at least superficially, and astonished every society of which he was
a member. How clever! what talents! such a memory! such universal
information! echoed from room to room whenever he appeared; and the
sweet savour of this incense is the food upon which he lives, it is
his daily bread, and to purchase it his continual employment. How Mr.
Mills should ever have married, would surprise, had it not been that
the general habit of mankind protesting against single blessedness, he
thought it necessary to prove that he possessed superlative powers of
captivation, and accordingly set his eye on my poor friend, who, in an
hour of infatuation, consented to be his bride. That purpose being
accomplished, some newer project succeeded. He lives as if the world
were indeed a stage, and he a player, continually occupied in learning
or rehearsing a part for the next exhibition, and his wife is no better
in his eyes than candle-snuffer to the theatre (though far surpassing
him in all that gives solid dignity to human character), because she is
too wise and too honest to flatter him.

"My younger friend, Lavinia, is just as miserably yoked as her sister,
though Mr. Dormer does not resemble Mr. Mills. The latter hates
society as much as the former courts it; and _his_ weakness is that of
authorship. He writes for every newspaper, magazine, and review, that
will give a place to his lucubrations. He worries all the members of
parliament with prosing dissertations on political economy, finance,
agriculture, and commerce; he wastes his property in trying experiments
which never come to good. The restless activity of Mr. Dormer never
slumbers, and is exhibited in endless schemes, the utter failure of
which has no influence in deterring him from new attempts. He set
up a school at considerable expense, hired a master and mistress at
a large salary, to teach in a method of his own device, and found at
the end of three years, that the children had not learned to spell.
His sheep were all shorn in the winter to prove the excellence of a
theory on the fineness of wool; but, as might naturally be expected,
the poor animals all died. He plants trees at mid-summer to demonstrate
that those people are mistaken who prefer spring and autumn for the
purpose, but as you may easily anticipate, never beholds a leaf on any
of his ill-fated groves, which, after a few months of "hope deferred,"
are consigned to the oven. He drowned a favourite dog the other day
in trying a life-boat of his own construction; and broke his arm last
year by a fall from a balloon which he had inflated with some new gas,
and Icarus-like, would essay himself with _such_ success as attended
the first flight of the Dædalian wings. Though he lives at home, all
the endearing relations of life are despised and neglected. He hates
the sight of two lovely children, because they interrupt him; and
though I passed four months with Lavinia, I never saw her husband
come but twice to the room where she and I sat in the mornings: oh
the first occasion, to ask for one of her harp strings, with which to
make experiment on a new theory of vibration; and upon the second, to
beg a bit of gum from his wife's drawing-box, with which, to secure
one of his retorts. Always in a hurry, he makes a perpetual _breeze_
through the house, by the rapidity of his motions; and, as his hands
are generally imbrued in chemical compounds, not of Arabian odour,
I cannot say that the gale thus stirred, wafts perfume on its wing.
Nothing can rouse his attention to his own affairs, which would fall
into utter confusion were it not for the good sense of his wife. He
dislikes the neighbouring gentry, because he does not consider them
people of _talent_; and expends his money without any reference either
to ornament or real utility, but simply with the vain-glorious hope of
advancing his individual fame as a man of genius.

"Thus instructed by the shipwreck of others, I did not dare to fancy
that my bark would escape where goodlier vessels had foundered. I
therefore resolved, that should it be my fate to encounter the voyage
of matrimony, I would try another course; and though sunken rocks might
mar my hopes, I determined that I would steer clear of the quicksands
which had been fatal to my friends. It is but justice to the long
contemned counsel of you and my valuable Edward Otway, to finish my
story with a tribute to _him_ who furnished the comment on your text.

"Adolphus is remarkable for an excellent understanding and correct
judgment. Others may outshine him in original powers of mind, but none
can surpass him in the tasteful appreciation of merit, whatever be
its form, and wherever it exists. Kind and unselfish, he can praise
in others those attributes which he does not himself possess; and
every scheme in which he is engaged, has for its object the comfort
and advantage of his fellow-creatures. If he find that his views are
erroneous, or detect a flaw in their application, far from becoming
the _advocate_, because he was the _proposer_ of a plan, he resigns
his particular views with a noble ingenuousness, and, confessing that
they were either unfounded, or not suited to the case, seeks farther
light from whatever source is most likely to afford information. This
complete absence of pertinacity has a powerful effect in enhancing
the weight of his opinion in every deliberation, as it is well known,
that he will not adhere to the wrong side because it is that which he
had first adopted. While others pursue the 'bubble reputation' abroad,
Adolphus seeks to be loved at home, and his own fire-side is the scene
in which the best energies of his mind, and the purest affections
of his heart are expanded. I am reclaimed by his virtues from my
visionary absurdities, and shall endeavour to make all the reparation
in my power for having wandered so far from the truth by _preaching_ a
_crusade_ to the youth of my own sex, who may be inclined to deviate
into the labyrinth from which I was myself so happily extricated. If
you have any female friends to whom my tale may be useful, advise
them from the experience of Clara Browne, against an overweening
admiration of talents without due reflection on the manner in which
such talents are associated. Tell them that books, and occasional
conversation may supply all that is necessary of mental variety, while
_nothing_ is capable of compensating for the want of common sense,
disinterestedness, and affection."

Clara ceased; and as I remained a month at Stockton, after her
husband's return, I am enabled to bear a willing testimony to the
fidelity of her narrative, as well as to the soundness of her views:
and as I know how glad you will be to hear of her happiness, I have
given you this detail without fear of your being fatigued by its

  I am, my dear Otway,

  Your sincere friend,
  G. L.



My dearest Elizabeth will believe that Glenalta has charms which even
Killarney cannot boast for me. Yes; though the word _home_ never meets
my eye or ear without producing a _gulp_, which tells of other days,
when that little monosyllable of four letters contained the _world_
for me, yet repose is so necessary to my existence, that I sighed for
return to my peaceful glen, and the pain of concealing every feeling
that warred against the happiness of my beloved children, from their
acute observation, increased my restraint, and has converted the
enjoyment of my _cell_ into more positive pleasure than I have felt
for years. How gracious are the mercies shed upon our daily path, and
how tender the dispensation which so often renders what we conceive
to be inflictions, conducive to our comfort! Elizabeth, my spirits are
unusually depressed, but you are expecting an answer to your letter,
and I will not suffer my pen to forget its duty, nor wander from the
subject of your inquiry, till I have given you what little aid, my
longer experience of your present cares, may contribute. You think that
my advice would be, that you should resign yourself exclusively to
the charm of such society as you find amongst the Stanleys, No, dear
friend; I would only allow you to _prefer_ them; but there is a net
of kind, expansive benevolence which it would seem as if Nature loved
to throw more widely in scenes of rural life than in any other. "Man
made cities, God formed the country." It is very true, every heart
must acknowledge the distinction, and yours my friend would desire to
emulate, as far as the imperfect creature is enabled to do, the bounty
of that Being who has placed you where all the sweet charities of
fellowship may be called into exercise. I do not mean that you should
mingle indiscriminately, nor _over-much_ in society: I would only say
avoid unkindness; exclusion should be reserved for the unworthy, but
not visited on those who have only the misfortune to be less pleasing
than their neighbours. A judicious _assortment_ will always prevent the
disagreeable effects which sometimes spring from neglect of selecting
such people only as harmonize with each other in manners and modes of
thinking. I should be more diffuse upon this subject, were there the
slightest danger of your supposing for a moment that I could be the
advocate of an _electioneering_ system. You know how I abhor the arts
of popularity, and revere independence; but human virtues and vices
are often separated from each other by such imperceptible shades, that
in giving ourselves credit for the performance of the one, it is too
often our lot to glide into the other. Selfishness is an arch fiend,
and ever at hand to whisper temptation. I know that it is a prevailing
opinion amongst a large number of respectable and worthy people, that
we are bound to make profession of our creeds in the highways, and
in the corners of our streets, that every sentence which we utter
should tell of the sect to which we belong, every article of dress
which we wear be a symbol of distinction; and every person with whom
we converse, every book that we open, be submitted to an ordeal, and
pronounced upon, by a few self-elected judges, before we venture to
pursue acquaintance with the one, or advance in perusal of the other.

I cannot enter into this system of parcelling out mankind by quite so
restrictive a rule; I see nothing of all this in the inspired precepts
of the great Founder of our faith, whose beautiful simplicity of
doctrine and extensive charity of example, are too little dwelt upon
as matter of imitation, while His name is mingled with disgusting
familiarity in every trifling discourse.

Oh, my friend, human nature is so frail that we should not _tempt_
our pride, or our vanity, by putting on external marks that may
deceive even our own hearts, and persuade us that we are better than
others. Let our consistency be seen in our _lives_; our religion shine
through our actions; our tastes be proclaimed by our preferences; and
let us not _profess_ at all, let us not belong _exclusively_ to one
party, or one preacher. Let us catch illumnination from those who
possess more than we do, contributing our own light to such as have
less. Do not suffer your dear girls to assume names or badges. Do not
permit them to be tied down by observances. Let their books, their
society, their opinions, and their tastes, spring from their _habits_
and their _principles_. It is an _inverted_ method, to begin with
the mere trappings, and argue to the indwelling of the spirit, from
the rigidity of the letter. Set up no sign-posts; use no cabalistic
phraseology; make no premature vows, and adopt no rule but that of
your Bible in matters of religion. In matters of inferior concern, I
would advise equally against precipitancy either in proscribing or
adopting. _Parade_ is of all things to be avoided; be natural, be kind.
You will find that some, of whom you may at first have formed high
expectation, are over-rated, whilst others may rise in your estimation
as you know them better. A little _time_ settles our modes of life,
and regulates our conduct without any _eclat_ much more consistently
than any pre-arrangement of our own, and with a little patience we
may gradually _sift_ people and things, till we find ourselves placed
as nearly as circumstances permit, in the situation most suited to
our characters. My little experience leads me to certain conclusions
which had they been earlier impressed upon my mind I should have been
spared much anxiety. One of them is, that in the beginning of our
career we all _plan_ too much. We take as it were a _survey_ of all the
territory that lies spread before us, and sitting down in the pride of
full possession, we scan the map of futurity, dazzle our imaginations
with mines that are to be dug, and riches that are to be realized,
amuse our fancies with palaces to be built, and forests to be planted,
worshipping within our breasts the idol of self-complacency, while we
contemplate _ourselves_ as the _great_ engineers whose skill is to
operate these mighty improvements. We _assume_ too much, we _trust_ too
little; we know nothing but the present, and the present we despise.
Our limited vision cannot extend beyond a point, and we strain our
eyes over all created space. _Little_ things and _proximate_ purposes,
make up the real sum of happiness and virtue: but we pass by these
in contemptuous disdain, to aim at the great and the distant; the
undefined and generally unattainable. True wisdom is surely to watch
with our best attention, and cultivate with assiduity, the daily,
the hourly circumstances which arise in our path, leaving the widely
spreading consequences of unseen result, to Him who alone is acquainted
with the final issues.

I have never known a failure in any wish of my own respecting the
good of my family, which I could not resolve into over solicitude
in _looking_ too far, and _doing_ too much in my _own strength_.
Examine your heart; be sure that it is single, that no divided empire
_there_ is likely to split its councils, and lead to compromise or
dissimulation. _Simplicity_ of design is a panoply of power. Clad in
its protective guardianship, put up your prayers with confidence for
that aid, without which all your efforts will be abortive, and rising
from your knees refreshed by the blessed assurance that the sincere
suppliant is _never_ disregarded, go forth to your _daily_ task; as
you are taught to ask for your _daily_ bread. Endeavour to perform the
little duties which are allotted to a _given hour_. Neither perplex
your thoughts, nor weaken your sight by scrutinizing the hidden things,
and pouring through the darksome mists of future time, but leave it to
_become_ the present. At its appointed period your duty is declared,
and its boundary is traced: be that your _practical_ object. What mind
indeed of "lofty pitch" would be contented with the prison that I
prescribe, were I not confining the consideration to that part which we
are individually called upon to _act_ in life; but you do not mistake
my meaning. Ah! who would wish to walk over "the field of Marathon,
or wander amid the ruins of Iona," without desiring to possess the
power of abstracting thought from the fleeting moment that eludes our
grasp, to expatiate in the mighty vast of years gone by? Or who that
has ever loved and lost, would clip the spirit's wing, and stay its
airy flight from stretching beyond this narrow strait of time and
space into the boundless regions of eternal blessedness, where it is
not forbidden to seek amongst the dazzling host, the happy myriads
of the sky, for _one_ bright seraph, dearer than the rest, towards
whom the newly emancipated stranger flies to meet its fondest though
unearthly welcome? _Can_ there be danger--_is_ there impiety--in this
vision which steals with heavenly influence on my solitary musings? Oh,
if there be, speak, my Elizabeth, and I will try to curb my _waking_
thoughts, and turn imploringly to _sleep_ for the precious imagery
which perhaps my day-light dreams ought not to mingle.

  Sleep! balmy Sleep! thy poppies shed
    A pitying respite on my woes;
  Bind on thy charm around my head,
    And lull my soul to calm repose!

  Yet not those slumbers I implore,
    That steep the brain in Lethe's wave,
  Tho' such the weary sense restore,
    'Tis not this lifeless boon I crave!

  I woo thee with thy world of dreams,
    That o'er the mind in vision play
  Thro' mimic shades--by airy streams
    Where phantom Hope delights to stray.

  Now gorgon Reason sinks to rest,
    And Fancy, with unchartered range,
  Soars to the regions of the bless'd;
    The transit neither hard, nor strange.

  How radiant the etherial light!
    Credulity, companion kind,
  Has spread her wing to join the flight--
    The spirit's dungeon left behind.

  Borne upward to the glorious sky,
    Crowds of celestial beings throng;
  Whose brighter, more inquiring eye,
    Is that which beams their ranks among?

  'Twas his!--no more--the vision's past!
    Hark! is that sound the funeral bell?
  Raptures too vivid cannot last--
    That dream is but a broken spell!

There are days so sad, and feelings so overwhelming, that to make war
against their flow is as fruitless as to oppose a barrier to the sea.
Forgive me. _You_ are not one of the unskilful comforters who attempt
to impart consolation by checking the tide of sorrow. _You_ understand
better the nature of the human heart, and are aware that a little kind
sympathy is the truest balm which friendship can bestow.

I will now impart to you some circumstances which have weighed upon
spirits, at _best_ so tremblingly poised, that the slightest addition
to their usual burthen destroys the balance. As I mentioned to you, my
excursion to Killarney was, in itself, a great effort. _Such_ scenery,
and sweet music, are the most powerful exciters, in my mind, to a train
of association which I dread in company. Memory is so acutely painful,
from the minuteness with which its traces are engraved, and the
fidelity of its pictures, that I fly from whatever is likely to unlock
the stores, and present to my view _much_ that I dare not contemplate,
unless I am alone. The delight, however, of gratifying my dear children
overcame every other consideration: and I accompanied a party composed
of admirable materials, but too numerous and too gay for me. I had
not been long from home before I felt myself, for the first time,
involved in those cares which, as my children grow up, I must expect to

My dear friend Mrs. Fitzroy, whose enlivening society charmed the
whole group, was the first to awaken my attention to the expressions,
both by looks and manner, of feelings in Mr. Russell's mind, which her
quick eye discovered that Charlotte had excited. I have such perfect
confidence in the delicacy of my dear girls, that I was spared all
solicitude on the score of _conduct_; but I watched with uneasiness the
progress of a sentiment which, as it met no return, will I fear be the
cause of pain to an amiable and an accomplished young man. I find that
he is acquainted with you, and, as he talks of going into Derbyshire on
his return from France, you will probably see him, and perchance hear
his story from his own lips.

The conversation, in which he made known his attachment to Charlotte,
took place on the evening preceding his departure, and was so unlike
the common place dialogues upon such occasions, that I could not,
when it was repeated to me, repress a smile in the midst of more
serious impressions. It was a lovely evening, and the young people
had, as usual, strayed away from the elders, whose more sober views of
happiness, and less active powers of locomotion, happily prepare us, as
time advances, for the final rest.

As lovers always contrive to find the opportunity which they are
seeking, Russell soon detached Charlotte from the group, by some
appeal to her taste in particular; and when removed from all ears, save
her own, he exclaimed (and, poor fellow, I believe with genuine truth),
"How wretched is the _ending_ of such happiness!"

"It is indeed," replied my innocent Charlotte, who willingly perhaps
gave her companion a share in the feeling which she echoed.

Perhaps assured by this encouraging sympathy that all might be as he
wished, Russell continued: "Even inanimate objects interest the heart
when we are about to quit them."

"Yes," said Charlotte, "and when one lives entirely in retreat, where
the living objects are few, we do _really_ love trees, rocks, and
streams, as if they were human beings. Is it not for this reason that
mountaineers, like the Swiss, Scotch, and Irish, are fonder of their
homes than any other nation?"

This is not what Russell wanted to know, or cared to inquire
respecting. "To waste love upon trees and rocks, when so many of our
own species are dying for want of the food lavished upon _them_, is
not right," said Russell; "and _you_ are more guilty than any one,
inasmuch as your affection is more prized."

Charlotte interrupted what she perceived to be a _compliment_, by
answering: "You must not make _speeches_. The love that one feels for
rural objects, long known, and seen with daily interest, can never
interfere with better affections. It is a different thing, and _you_
must know how _very_ different, as you have a father, mother, and
sisters." The honest air of directness, which I can imagine to have
accompanied this _reasoning_ upon love, was not very favourable to
farther dalliance.

When the youthful heart is _first_ excited, and hope is felt that
kindred feeling has touched the soul in which it feels an interest,
how exquisite the happiness of developement! Like the beautiful buds
of early spring, the unfolding of each individual scale that binds
the young leaves is in itself delightful, and we do not wish to lose
a single hour of _progressive_ enjoyment, in impatience to behold the
crown of summer foliage. Did you ever meet with an old book called
"_Guadentio di Lucca?_"--It is a story in which, amongst some
primitive race of people in South America, I think the lovers are made
to declare their mutual sentiments by an interchange of buds, and, as
inclinations advance, the full-blown flower.

But to return. Russell felt that his way was retrograde, and therefore,
making an effort, he bounded over rocks, shrubs, and rivulets, and,
taking my sweet child by the hand, declared, in the spirit of Hector
to Andromache, though with the difference between _is_ and _might
be_, that _all_ relations, however fond, concentrate in the object of
tender and devoted love. To hear a confession of this nature, for the
first time, must necessarily produce confusion in the mind of so gentle
a being as Charlotte, and she told her sister that she felt quite
unable for a few minutes to collect herself. Courage was imparted at
length, by the fear of conveying the opposite of what she intended to
communicate by her silence; and, summoning resolution, she turned to
our young friend, and, thanking him kindly for the preference which he
had just expressed, added:

"I have many blessings, and I am very young. It has never before
occurred to me even to _think_, in my own case, of parting with such
treasures as I possess; and though I shall always remember your visit
to Glenalta as a period of _great_ pleasure, and _you_ as an agreeable
member of our happy party, I can say no more."

Russell urged the usual arguments. "Surely she did not mean to devote
herself to a single life. She might still have the society of mother,
sisters, brother. Marriage was the natural object of life: it was the
happiest lot when 'heart met heart.'"

"And _how_ can heart meet heart," replied Charlotte, "on a three weeks'
acquaintance? _My_ heart would require a much longer time for disposing
of itself, if I could disengage it from the ties that bind it here; and
I cannot imagine how people should be either so vain, or so confiding
as to fancy that the foundation of happiness, for perhaps a long life,
can be laid in a short moment of time."

Russell assured her that to the quick eye of a lover, moments were
years in bringing people acquainted.

"Ah then," said Charlotte, "why are so many married people unhappy?"

"They are just as well off in the end," answered Russell, "as those
who are single, and certainly, till they discover their mistakes, much

"Well, my life," replied Charlotte, "is too happy for any change of
my _own_ making, I believe. If heaven deprived me of all that I love,
it is another question, but to deprive _myself_, I cannot. My idea of
marriage is not so favourable as yours. I think it would require the
most powerful affection to render it a relation of real felicity; and
if not _that_, I should think it much worse than even an unfortunate
lot in single life."

"Have I then _no_ ground of hope," said Russell.

"Indeed, I feel wholly disinclined to marry any mortal at present,"
answered Charlotte. "To you I am scarcely at all known; and I believe
that you are entirely mistaken in supposing for an instant that we are
suited to each other. You and I have been educated in very different
schools, and could never sympathize."

"Do you then forget our musical sympathies. Am I not devoted to your
sweet melodies, and have we not often admired them in unison?"

"Oh yes, certainly," said Charlotte, "but music is a very little part
of life.--We must not stay any longer from our party, who, perhaps, are
wondering at our absence." Fanny appeared precisely as Charlotte spoke
the last word, and the latter, seizing her sister's arm, was delighted
to find excuse for terminating the conversation.

The _last_ evening is always sad, when those who have been pleased in
each other's society are to part; but there is generally also some
degree of bustle, immediately preceding a journey, which prevents the
mind from dwelling on gloomy thoughts, at least in _common_ cases; and
as all were ignorant of what had happened, except the pair immediately
concerned, there was less reserve than might have been anticipated by
any one who knew the fact that a proposal had been made and rejected.

Mr. Annesley is a very sweet young man, and he too was happy enough in
our friendly circle to leave us with regret, which expressed itself
silently in a fine and speaking countenance. We said farewell. The
morning saw our visitors set out at so early an hour that the track of
their carriage wheels alone reported of them when we met at breakfast.
Is there one bright, breathless, listening joy that ever hung upon
expected happiness which is not familiar to my memory; and is not
that memory too a faithful register of every pang that severed love
could teach the heart? How is it then, I wonder, that a tear is left
for minor griefs? Yet tears _will_ flow; and I felt the difference
between the gladsome merriment of approach, when our young friends were
introduced by Mrs. Fitzroy, and the melancholy of their departing hour.

Still we are not bereaved of our guests all at once, though I grieve
to add that another week will deprive me of dear Augusta Fitzroy, and
my charming Arthur. I have real pleasure in the hope of presenting
the latter to you one of these days, and in the mean time I prepare
you for finding him _almost_ all that I desire to see him. Such a
change I did not imagine possible, as has taken place in his mind
since he has been with us. The materials were in existence, no doubt,
but a London life has little need of _heart_, and, therefore, _his_
remained _hermetically sealed_, except when brought into action by
his inestimable friend young Falkland, whose letters, which Arthur
prsserves like "leaves of the Sybil", have rendered me acquainted with
his extra-ordinary virtues. _Now_ in full exercise, my dear nephew's
affections are the source of happiness to himself and delight to all
around. His abilities are shining, and, as habit strengthens the power
of applying them, I feel no doubt of his becoming an ornament to
society, and filling the situation appointed for him by Providence so
as to set an example worthy of imitation. Domestic anxiety at present
weighs upon his spirits, proving at once an acuteness of feeling and
exalted sense of rectitude, which promise a foundation of future
character, delightful to anticipate.

I must speak of George Bentley before I conclude; and, to answer your
inquiry in the _first_ instance, I am wholly unconscious of any ground
for his uncle's apprehensions, though had I been aware of any such
before we set out, I should not have consented to his being of our
Killarney party; however, as Mr. Bentley followed us, my anxiety was
removed. The young man is a fine and uncommon character: you shall
have a sketch of it as far as I can trace its peculiarities. George
Bentley offers a remarkable instance to prove, that what climate is to
the vegetable kingdom, such to man is the moral atmosphere by which
he is surrounded in early life. The temperature and aspect will not
indeed convert an oak into an elm; but as the sapling of either, or
of _any_ kind may be checked in its growth by the chill north-eastern
blast, and turned aside from the natural tendency of its course; or,
as the tender and languid seedling may be improved in strength by the
care which tempers its exposure, and provides shelter for its weakness,
just so may a particular bias of nature in the human mind be enfeebled
or invigorated by circumstance, that powerful agent in the completion
of its structure. Young Bentley came into the world with excellent
faculties and dispositions, but nothing could be less favourable than
that society in which they were to be unfolded. It is not the tutor's
lessons, it is the manners and opinions which _breathe_ around us, that
impart the _tone_ which distinguishes individuals from each other.
Young Bentley was formed in a different _mould_ of intellect from
all his family, and soon discovered in books, a companionship which
was denied in the circle of his immediate relations. As he advanced
in years, his mind, stimulated by a general sense of hunger, rather
than by any discrimination of appetite, sought food for the cravings
of curiosity in a library of motley mixture, accruing from various
professional hoards, and a medley of novels, annual registers, and
magazines, accumulated in a series of generations, through family
survivorship. He was not met at home by either literary tact or
talent. No, nor by that sort of tact which sometimes supplies in a
great degree, the defect of one and the other.

Let loose as it were in an immense common, without a guide to direct
him in the choice of his pasture, he devoured with avidity whatever
presented itself. He passed through school and university with
distinguished success, less the meed of brilliant talent than the
reward of diligent application, and, unfortunately for himself, was
emancipated from the trammels of education long before his age would
permit him to enter one of the learned professions for which he was
designed. The interval between the termination of a young man's
first course of scholastic discipline, and the commencement of his
professional career, is perhaps by far the most important period of
existence in determining his future fate, and no prudent parent should
permit that interval to be a long one. The mind, relieved from its
former habitual restraint, and not yet _harnessed_ in a new pursuit,
dashes wildly forward to revel in the charms of liberty, and woe to him
who enjoys such length of holyday as to unfit him for returning to the
toilsome track in which he must plod for daily bread. George Bentley
employed the _chasm_ in _his_ course, chiefly in reading every thing
upon which he could lay his hands in the region of fiction and romance.
His college studies were ended before he had passed that awkward time
of life, when neither child, nor man, the youth not knowing how to
dispose of the disproportioned length of legs and arms by which he
is encumbered, often flies from polished society in which he cannot
expect to receive much notice; and young Bentley was too amiable, too
aspiring a character to seek in low company the ease which he might
have attained at the expense of morality. Thus while he was sliding
into manhood, his days were principally occupied in solitude, amidst
a heterogeneous mass of books, except during the hours of occasional
meeting with his parents, brothers and sisters.

Inelegant, and unrefined in the habits of domestic economy, the circle
of his relations presented not a single likeness to any of the
pictures of imagination which were promiscuously piled in his memory.
What he _saw_, did not in the least agree with what he _imagined_; but
there where two powerful motives, though of opposite parentage, which
co-operated to prevent him from making the humiliating confession, even
to _himself_, that he could not trace the most distant resemblance
in his mother and sisters, to the portraits which delighted him in
story. These motives were the _vice_ of pride, and the _virtue_ of
filial piety; and these combined, determined him to try every effort
that was practicable in the way of twisting and turning, letting out
and taking in, to fit some of the drapery with which his favourite
novels abounded, on those forms which his affectionate heart would have
gladly invested with whatever he found most attractive. It would not
do: and he has at length given up the attempt, satisfied to respect
and esteem, what he cannot admire; but the effect upon his mind of
this war which I have described between his tastes and his fortunes,
is singular. Let him describe character, whether in actual existence,
or of abstract contemplation; and you would be surprised by the
accuracy of his judgment, and the refinement of his taste; yet from
having studied books more than men, and been debarred in early life
from referring the rules which he learned, to any living examples which
might have afforded a practical illustration of them, he seems at a
loss in society, and gives one the idea of a person who had attained
to a perfect skill in geography by mere inspection of maps, without
ever having stirred from a close room in the heart of London. If such
a person were suddenly brought to the coast, he would be confused, and
quite unable for some time to follow the line of bays and harbours,
creeks and head-lands, with which he was familiar on paper. When George
Bentley, at a later period extended his acquaintance, and quitted home,
a number of new varieties were presented to his view, in which he might
have found specimens of every character; but the most impressible time
of life had passed away, he did never possess, originally, the power
of comparison in any vividness, and the absence of all encouragement
to its exercise in youth, has rendered him slow, now that he is of
maturer age, in adapting objects for the first time to his patterns.
The eye accustomed only to painting, does not come at _once_ to
criticise sculpture; and a surgeon, who knows the whole anatomy of
the living subject, which _either_ is employed to represent, may be a
dunce in _both_. The things are _different_, and will remain so, unless
early habit and natural tact familiarize the mind in applying them to
each other, and seeking similitudes between them. Young Bentley's mind
and manners in fine do not amalgamate; one _layer_ lies upon the other
like a _fineering_, which does not make a part of the plank to which it
is cemented, but is glued on to a material less fine than itself. He
_reasons_ more than he _feels_, is more solid than brilliant, and wants
that beautiful _lightning_ of the mind which plays sometimes round
characters not half so intrinsically valuable as his, with fascinating
illumination. Such is my brief sketch of 'poor George,' as his uncle
calls him. The future is concealed in mist. If a child of mine ever
love young Bentley well enough to marry him, she shall have my full
consent, for I am _sure_ of all the essentials that give security
for substantial peace. The graces which he wants _may_ be dispensed
with. The virtues which he possesses are indispensible; but I shall
avoid giving _direction_ to the inclination of my girl, towards any
particular objects, not because I do not think that many a parent might
choose more wisely than young people do for themselves; but there is
something perhaps inseparable from the human heart, which renders us
more willing to excuse our own blunders, than those of even the people
whom we love best. "Youth is easily deceived;" "love is blind," &c.
Many of these flattering aphorisms occur to extenuate our own errors,
while the question of "how did _your_ experience fail, how did you
commit a mistake?" arises in the heart, though it may not be expressed
by the lips, of every young romancer, who, finding life a chequered
scene in which the _tessalæ_ of black and white, hold perpetual
contrast, attributes to the influence of a friend's advice, the failure
of those _generally_ disappointed hopes that paint the marriage state
in colours bright and fleeting as the imagination which supplies them.

This moment comes a letter from the India House, to say that my poor
brother, General Douglas, has had so serious an attack of illness,
that his voyage to England is hastened, and we are informed, that his
arrival may be looked for immediately. How this event may operate at
Glenalta, I cannot tell; but though "the noiseless tenour of my way"
should be disturbed, I shall rejoice if it be permitted me to afford
comfort and assistance to the invalid. Adieu, my Elizabeth.

  Your faithful



My dear Charles,

This letter, if not melancholy in its commencement, will surely be
tinged with a very gloomy colouring ere its close, for the day of
departure is at hand, and to quit Glenalta is no easy matter, I assure
you. Poor Russell and Annesley left us the day before yesterday. I told
you that I expected to be informed of Charlotte's reply to certain
questions which I felt confident would be _put_; but I miscalculated:
however, silence tells _some_ tales, it is said, as well as language,
and so in this case I found it. It was plain to _my_ eyes, and others
too amongst our party, that Russell chose his opportunity while we
were loitering about the Glen, to make his proposals, which were
evidently met in a feeling not _sympathetic_: an increased _activity_
of countenance told me this. It would be injustice to call it anger,
but there was an expression of eye, and a bright spot on each
cheek-bone, that seemed to indicate a very honest surprise, mingled
with what the peasants here comically call the "least taste in life,"
of indignation. If I am _right_, this is all in the strict _keeping_
with Russell's character. You and I long ago decreed that he would
never die of _love_, notwithstanding all his enthusiasm about soft
music. No; Russell loves his _own_ emotions better than the object
who excites them; and though I just feel sufficient _esprit de corps_
not in _general_ to like an individual of the other sex better for
having made one of our own look _foolish_, yet I am sincerely glad that
Charlotte has not accepted our friend; first, because she would not be
happy if she married him, and secondly, because I _do_ think that just
such a _hitch_ will do him good. He is a fine honest-hearted fellow,
and has a great deal of taste; but he surely knows it rather too well,
or at least he _shews_ that he does so, too much. Perhaps, more
truth-telling than his neighbours, _he_ only expresses what others have
art enough to conceal. You will say that I am catching infection, and
growing _acrid_ in the society of old Bentley: it may be so; but I tell
you _all_ my remarks.

Frederick and I got up to see the travellers off at _cock-crow_ on the
morning of their departure, and they left a blank which was felt by
us all. What a sweet contrast was presented in this family with what
I have so often witnessed on similar occasions, when a gay party had
reached its _finale_, and was _crumbling_ away by twos and threes!
I remember at Featherston, when the last shooting-match broke up in
Autumn, Lady Frances and Giorgina Lightfoot, who had been just saying
"_adio_" in the most melting accents to a _brace_ of departing guests
(by the bye, the very Russell of whom we were speaking was one of them)
called to Gifford and me in the moment after the post-boy cracked his
whip and the horses had turned from the hall door, to accompany them
back to the breakfast-parlour. We obeyed; and the ladies, drawing their
chairs close to the fender, and desiring us to do the same, Lady Fanny
said, "For goodness' sake, come, let us talk over those two creatures,
and _cut them up cosily_--I dote on a good _cosé_ when people have
turned their backs; don't you?" To _laugh_ was all that one had for
it; but the feeling that Gifford and I were to be brought under the
_scalpel_ of two such keen operators as our fair hostesses proved
themselves to be anatomizing the _lately defunct_, glanced across my
mind, not certainly to the increase of ease or benevolence.

How different at Glenalta! With talents ten thousand times superior
to those of the Lightfoot sisterhood, and discrimination which seems
to grow in solitude, and preserve its fineness of edge because it is
not, like a school-boy's penknife, employed to hack and hew at every
chair and table that comes in the way: the truest hospitality protects
all who go out from under this happy roof; and all that is worthy,
pleasing, and amiable, is recollected, while the _contraries_ are
held back in shade by that charity which _desires_ their reform, and
will not render a change less probable by proclaiming to mankind how
much it is required. _Here_ the absent were talked of, and thought of,
with real kindness; and could they have taken a peep amongst us from
their first evening's halt, they would have felt proud and gratified
at seeing the manner in which they were remembered. Is there any
thing so delightful as this feeling of _security_? Charlotte was calm
and unperturbed; but I thought her more pensive than usual. After
breakfast we all appeared, without saying so, as if inclined to pay a
tribute to "the friend that's awa," by not proposing any plan for the
morning; and it so happened, that though not assembled by any agreement
to meet, we had all sauntered in pairs into the wood, and all found
ouselves dropping in two and two at the Moss House, where we were at
length seated together, moralizing in concert, rather sorrowfully upon
meetings and partings, when that very diverting compound, Mr. Bentley,
followed by George, joined our party. He cannot resist the attraction
of Mrs. Fitzroy's society, and I have found out in what consists the
great difference (dearly as they love each other) between her character
and that of my aunt: it is this,--Aunt Douglas is drawn by sympathy,
Mrs. Fitzroy stimulated by opposition. The former lives more in a
region of feeling, though one in which intellect too is continually
busy. The latter, though very affectionate, can exist for a long time
without applying to the stores of her heart; and provided you give her
plenty of brains, she will feed upon them, and keep her affections
like the furniture of a state drawing-room, with the _covers on_. _Par
consequence_, then, Mrs. Fitzroy delights in seeing Mr. Bentley come to
pay a visit, and always rouses to the combat which is sure to ensue,
certain that her antagonist is strong, and feeling that "wit sparkles
in collision."

"Good morrow, good people," said our rough diamond, "I thought you
would be all as low as 'gib cats' this morning, after the departure of
those two _swains_, (casting a sidelong glance at Charlotte, which she
caught, and blushed immoderately,) and so I thought it might divert you
all, and adorn a page of Madam Fitzroy's Anthologia Hibernia, to bring
you a pretty specimen of Irish impudence which I have had to provoke me
to-day. You must know, that while I was playing the fool, and strolling
about at Killarney instead of minding my business at home, a dozen of
very fine geese were stolen from my farm-yard, by some of those sweet
primitive sentimentalists whom the fair flatterer there has decked in
such fanciful tissues, that when sent forth from the dressing-room of
her imagination, nobody knows who they are. Well, I took proper steps
to trace the thief, and have put the neighbourhood into a deuce of a
fright; but what do you think of the impertinence of some funny dog
(and here he laughed heartily as he drew out from his waistcoat-pocket
a dirty scrap of paper) who sent my large gander _twaddling_ home this
morning by himself, making such plaguy noise that all the servants ran
together to see what was the matter; I found this novel species of
carrier-bird with a small bag tied round his neck, containing a bright
new shilling, and the following ingenious sample of poetry, after
something of the leonine fashion. He then unfolded at arm's length, the
crumpled composition, and read,

  "Squire, dear, I live here,
    And you live _yander_;
  I bought your geese, for pence a-piece,
    The money I send by the gander."

We were indeed cheated out of our philosophy, and set laughing most
comfortably by the ridiculousness of this adventure of neighbour
Bentley, which, as he anticipated, was seized upon with rapture by Mrs.
Fitzroy, for her "Irish Reminiscences," but poor Charlotte was writhing
under the remembrance of her having _blushed_, and Mrs. Fitzroy, who
is very good-natured, and who saw exactly the cause, which was no
other than that of having been _suspected_ to feel what in reality
she did _not_ feel, endeavoured to relieve her by recurring to the
subject of our conversation, saying, "Oh! Charlotte, you must repeat
your last observation, I scarcely heard it. Were you not saying that
in wild places where there is no great choice of society, the bonds of
fellowship are drawn closer, and people are disposed to like each other
better than in situations which render one fastidious by the variety
they present? If _that_, my dear, was your remark, I think it a very
just one, and I believe that I may apply the rule to our young friends
who are gone to-day; one of whom, had I met him in what is called the
_world_, I should probably never have known, he is so reserved: and the
other is so volatile, that he would have been completely evaporated
over a larger surface."

Charlotte, who had quite recovered her _nerve_, answered with perfect
ease, "Well, there is great pleasure in liking our fellow-creatures,
and, if retirement produce philanthropy, it is better than the world;
is it not?" "I believe," answered Mrs. Fitzroy, that I shall be
entirely of your opinion some time or other, though we arrive at this
agreement by very opposite paths. _You_, having seen nothing of the
world, and _I_ a great deal too much of it; you inhabitants of Glenalta
are making me long for settlement amongst you; and I feel as if you
were the only set of people living

  "Whose hearts keep the promise I had from the face."

Old Bentley _fidgeted_; giving one of his rapid glances at George, to
ascertain how he stood _affected_ by Mrs. Fitzroy's panegyric, and
finding "pleased acquiescence" seated on his nephew's countenance,
suddenly clapped his hands on his knees (a favourite movement of his)
and exclaimed, "Pooh, madam! all fal lal sort of talk. You might sit
here till doomsday ringing the changes upon these matters of sentiment,
and _all_ be right and _all_ be wrong. I dare say that Miss Douglas
could say something different from what you and her sister think upon
the subject. Miss Fanny, if we call her from tying up those sweet peas,
would probably tell us something else; and our young gentlemen, all, I
dare say, could produce a different reading of the self-same thought.
The fact is, that each individual character gives its own hue to such
sort of disquisitions. Miss Douglas what do you say?"

"Indeed, Mr. Bentley, I believe that I do think differently from Mrs.
Fitzroy and Charlotte on this occasion, and so I dare say that I am
wrong; but it strikes me that the more retired the situation in which
we live, the more nice do we grow, and the more necessary do we find
_great_ congeniality in the people with whom we associate; _that_ is if
we want to love them. In the world where every variety of talent and
disposition is to be found, one can choose, and if disappointed in one
instance, try in another; but in retreat, we must make the best of the
given ingredients."

Bentley chuckled with delight, and rubbed his hands in triumph. This
keen observer knew that Emily's opinion would justify his assertion,
and moreover that it would be favourable to his views of keeping
George's hopes, _if he has any_, down to the ground, Emily being the
person, towards whom I suspect that he thinks his nephew's half averted
eyes, are directed.

"Aye, there it is," said the uncle, "all right, all wrong; exactly as
I said. Mrs. Fitzroy is social in all her tendencies. Human nature is
the book in which she principally delights to study. Her love even
of fine scenery is coupled with society. She does not like any thing
much, except with a reference to communicating her ideas, and puts me
continually in mind of a passage that I have met with in the works of
Balsac, an old French author, who says, "Que la solitude est un belle
chose, mais qu'il est agréable d'avoir quelque un qui sache répondre, a
qui on puisse _dire_ que la solitude est une belle chose." Now another
thing is, that Mrs. Fitzroy does not require coincidence so much as
intelligence. Her mind is generally in search of a good whetstone,
while Miss Douglas----."

"Oh, do not paint me, Mr. Bentley," said Emily, "I should fly from a
portrait of myself."

"And I," said Mrs. Fitzroy, "declare loudly against Mr. Bentley's
rough sketches. I will, however, admit that there is _some_ truth in
what he says, and it exceedingly amuses me to catch glimpses of his
caricatures, though they would terrify if I looked long at them."

"That is because my caps fit," answered our Diogenes.

"Your caps are so ugly that no one would _try them on_," replied Mrs.
Fitzroy. "Mr. Otway is _my_ milliner, and to prove that I do not wish
to hoist false colours, I here pledge myself to let you all see, if you
like it, whatever our friend of Lisfarne brings me this day, as answer
of a question, which I proposed to him yesterday evening, while we were
walking, and talking, on this very subject. I then made a complaint and
told him that it has been my fate most unjustly, and most painfully
to my feelings, to be thought insincere, though I know to a positive
certainty, that I err on the other side and speak the truth with less
reserve than is prudent. I told Mr. Otway, for whom I entertain the
highest regard and admiration, that his _review_ of my character might
be very useful, if, as I am, alas! on the wing, he would give me an
explanation of what seems so extra-ordinary to myself, in comparing
causes with effects; and though I shall not be paid any compliments, I
am so sure of not being made worse than I am, that, as I said before,
whatever picture I receive of myself from Lisfarne you shall certainly

"Come, madam," said old Bentley, "the coroner's inquest will be called
immediately to try the matter, and judge whether you are _murdered_ or
not, for here is Mr. Otway. I see him through the acacias, walking this
way with Mrs. Douglas."

"Then I will go and meet them," answered Mrs. Fitzroy. "Frederick, you
shall go with me. I will ask for the paper which I expect, and you
shall bring it back to be read here before I look at it myself, but I
cannot stay like a culprit at the bar, while you are all scanning me
according to evidence."

So saying, she gaily hastened away, joined my aunt, and sent back with
the following account of herself from the pen of Mr. Otway:

_Answer to Augusta's Question._

"Augusta inquires why she, who never feels conscious of desiring to
deceive, should be reckoned insincere by those who do not understand
her; and as this comprehends by far the largest portion of the people
with whom she converses, how it is that the general voice of mankind,
which is usually considered to convey the truth with respect to
individual character, is in her case a false criterion, representing
her as the opposite of what she really is? I think that I can solve the
enigma satisfactorily. Augusta is a woman of decided genius, a word
which comprehends the union of fine talent, and quick perception. She
also possesses that force of understanding which has been commonly,
though not correctly distinguished by the epithet masculine, she
herself furnishing proof that we of the other sex have no right to
the _monopoly_ which we often assume; and that, in seizing on the
_copy-right_ of solid sense, we are guilty of an untenable usurpation.
Augusta is particularly qualified to appreciate merit, for her mind
is penetrating and her taste refined; but _enthusiasm_ is the blind
that interposes to prevent the exercise of her judgment. Eager to
find materials on which to employ her intellect and affections, and
ever in search of objects that may prove worthy of exciting them; her
progress through life has been one continued voyage of discovery. She
dislikes the common track, and avoids those ports where low traffic and
vulgar merchandise are all the allurement that presents itself. She
delights in setting her sails for some _terra incognita_; and in the
true spirit of an animated adventurer, if on landing she find a few
grains of gold in the sands, she imagines rich mines in the distance,
and precipitately announcing the Eldorada of her hopes, hastens forward
to secure the treasure in prospect. Delusion has too frequently mocked
her career: not that Augusta invented a fiction; she had found the
grains of precious metal, and fancied that it was only to follow the
course of the stream, and be rewarded with store of riches; but in
ascending the current no glittering prize repays her toil. Rugged
mountains, barren rocks, and tedious flats, fatigue the eye; returning
weary and disappointed, she trims her bark and invokes a favourable
breeze, and bidding adieu to the region which had exhibited poverty
instead of wealth, she weighs anchor and steers for another coast.
Under this allegory would I present Augusta a mirror in which to behold
herself. Tired of the vapid circle by which she has been encompassed
in the world, and weary of crowds in which she found little congenial
society, she has been perpetually engaged in seeking for what might
interest her better feelings, and fill the vacuum which she experienced
in her mind. In this pursuit it has frequently occurred that some
agreeable quality met her view, and encouraged the activity of her
research; but, mistaking her own energy of anticipation for success,
she proclaims with joy, the _treasure trove_, ere she knows the extent
of its value, and from impetuosity of gratitude, is condemned to the
humiliating confession that the single attribute which she admired is
not associated with others which her own enthusiasm had supplied, but
lies, like the grain of gold upon the surface of the sand, in solitary

The apparent contrariety then, it would seem, which has obtained a
character of caprice for Augusta, is produced by the very excess of
that quality which it is denied that she possesses, and results from
a superabundance rather than a deficiency of sincerity. She speaks
nothing but the truth, when she praises prematurely, and as honestly
condemns when she discovers that her panegyric was misapplied. I
venture to predict the operation of a new process in Augusta's mind,
which if I do not greatly mistake, has been gradually awakening of late
to a sense of the only _true_ estimate. She will never, here-after, be
satisfied I think with tracing character _downwards_ from some light
ornamental decoration at the _top_; but in future only expect that
those wreaths which adorn the capital shall be firmly supported when
the pillar rises from a broad base of solidly established foundation.
The fire of a vivid imagination has prolonged the _youth_ of Augusta,
and it is only now that she is beginning to learn a valuable lesson
in morals, namely, that happiness, like liberty, is often overlooked
in the search after it. Young people, through inexperience, and
sometimes those who are older from sanguineness of temperament, expect
more from life than it has to bestow. They consider happiness as a
precious jewel never hitherto possessed, yet certainly to be found
though in what shape, place, or circumstances, it never occurs to them
to define; it is with them a sort of vague ideal charm, always to be
pursued, and as constantly eluding the grasp. Liberty in like manner,
with the same description of persons, does not consist in the absence
of restraint; in the rational enjoyment of property, or preservation
of rights. It is a loose ungovernable spirit of infringement on the
privileges of others. The mere security derived under a just and
equal administration of the laws is no better than bondage in the
eyes of what are technically known by the name and style of "radical
reformers." All this is flat and tame; they must _kick_ and _fling_,
to be assured that they are not confined; they must be permitted to do
that which has neither reference to pleasure nor utility, merely to
exercise the _power_ which absolute freedom bestows, just as a child in
a garden lays about him, and batters down the flowers on each side with
the stick in his hand, without any need of, or desire for, the things
thus destroyed. We deceive ourselves much in supposing that happiness
of mind any more than health of body depends upon _place_. I do not
say that change of scene is not often both agreeable and convenient;
but if the heart be oppressed, or there be 'a thorn in the flesh,' the
_Mordecai_ travels with us. We cannot run away from ourselves. To be
happy in the limited sense which Providence permits, let us endeavour
to make _home_ the centre of our enjoyments. The fulfilment of those
little duties which are at every moment presenting their claims, may
be thought by many a strange _receipt_ for contentment; yet it is a
very sure one, and if there ever was an axiom on the truth of which we
may rely, it is, that "the mind is its own place." Instead of looking
to new faces, and seeking in new situations for that undiscovered
_something_, we know not what, which upon approaching will, like the
sailor's "Cape fly away," always vanish, or recede from our view; let
us be assured that, in every condition of life, and in every spot of
earth, much may be done with the materials that lie immediately around
us; and if we evince no skill in the manufacture of these, we should
not turn a wider range to profit. My dear friend Augusta begins to feel
these truths, and when they come to be steadily acted upon, she will no
more be a prey to disappointment--no more be accounted insincere. Her
judgments will be slower, and therefore less apt to err; her friends
will be fewer, and chosen not for their brilliancy so much as their
worth, and Augusta will find that all the blessings which do not mock
our grasp, are to be possessed _every where_, if sought upon the only
principles which can never deceive."

"Excellent sense," exclaimed Bentley, "my opinions are not expressed
in such courtly phrase as my friend Otway uses; but I agree in the
substance of every syllable that he has written. He is quite right,
but, like the prophet who ordered a dip into the river Jordan to cure
the leprosy, your moral physicians who prescribe simples which are
to be met with in the field of our own minds, will never be attended
to. No, no, we must ransack the remotest ends of the earth for our
remedies, because no one is inclined to think his own case a common
one. Mrs. Fitzroy returned at this moment with _another_ paper in her
hand, over which she was laughing heartily. "Oh come," said she, "and
read a most delightful copy of verses written impromptu this moment for
me by 'poet Connor,' who, it appears, having missed us at Killarney,
stepped across the country to Glenalta, that he might do honour in due
form to the strangers. Arthur, he is inquiring for you, and as he is
one of the most grotesque figures I ever saw, I pray that you may look
at him."

I went in quest of the poet, as I was desired, and you may form some
idea of these Irish _improvisatori_ by the few commencing lines of
Connor's composition in praise of Mrs. Fitzroy, which, if you _admire_,
shall be preserved with their "_tail on_," along with his eulogy on
your humble servant, for a future day. What think you of the following

  "_Egregious_ Dame! thine ear benignly bend,
  And to the Muse of Kerry kindly lend
  Attention meet, while he shall aptly sing,
  And from Apollo's lyre soft music bring.
  The _ægis_ of thy sweet protection grant,
  While to thy praise he tunes harmonious chaunt.
  Glory of England! here we gladly see,
  Renowned epitome arrived in thee.
                         &c. &c. &c."

The rude figure who met my eyes on gaining the house, gave a finish
to the poetical treat; and, certainly, in all my travels I have never
seen a person less formed by nature or art to captivate _the nine_,
than this votary of the Castalian choir. He is a man of about sixty, of
Bardolphian physiognomy, who, I rather imagine, is much more frequently
indebted for the fire of inspiration to a glass of whiskey, than to the
fountain of Helicon. A large, battered tin snuff-box also contributed
its aid to enliven those numbers

  "Which warm from the still, and faithful to its fires,"

were dealt out with equal readiness and prodigality to all who looked
as if they were inclined to purchase Parnassian fame; and the same
snuff-box supplied a substitute for sand, with which ever and anon, the
bard sprinkled his effusions. Fancy a large, obtuse red face, curled
head, rough coat, of dark brown cloth, fastened with a cord round his
waist; a hat full of holes, an ink bottle cased over with a _surtout_
of pack-thread, and tied at a button-hole; a pen stuck behind one
ear, and a roll of the coarsest description of paper sticking out of
his bosom, and you have before you as much of poet Connor as I shall
give till you see his fac simile admirably sketched by Fanny's pencil
in my journal. Mrs. Fitzroy and I, whose perfections had been "theme
of song," gave half a crown each to the verse-vender, and received
another scolding from old Bentley for encouraging these idlers, who,
he says, truly enough I believe, are amongst the most worthless part
of the community. We then dispersed, and went our several ways, for
the first time since the "_English foreigners_" had been at Glenalta
without saying when shall we meet again? I am melancholy I confess.
My heart is full, as the hour of my departure advances. The last week
has brought me more intimately acquainted than ever with the excellence
from which I must tear myself; and I am sorrowful in proportion as I
compare the feelings which I brought to Ireland with those which now on
the eve of separation over-whelm me, as I bid farewell to this happy
abode of all that is best and brightest. Where shall I look for such
affection; where seek such disinterested kindness, mental improvement,
and variety of pleasurable excitement, as I have found in this charming
spot, which I nicknamed Blue-stocking Hall, and believed to be a centre
in which pedantry, dullness, affectation, and presumption, had agreed
to meet and lodge together?

Glenalta, "I cry you mercy;" if repentance merit pardon, I may hope to
be forgiven. I love even Domine, and down to the very dogs, nothing
is an object of indifference that I leave behind. How painful the
sensation that one experiences when the heart swells as though it
would burst its confine, an unbidden tear starts, and utterance is
palsied? Yet this is what we pay our money for, and delight in the
actor or the actress who can most powerfully call forth such emotion,
by only imitating those passions, and feigning those incidents which
_naturally_ affect our sympathies. Why do we thus liberally bestow our
best feelings on theatrical fiction, while we so frequently withhold
them from the legitimate claims of reality? Old Bentley would give some
reason, I dare say, for this anomaly, not very favourable to human
nature; and if I think of it I will ask him the question before I go.
We are to have strangers at dinner to-day, which is a _bore_, but my
aunt wishes to repay some of the many attentions shewn to Frederick,
since his return from Dublin, by all the neighbouring gentry, who
have been profuse of congratulation, and perhaps she is desirous of
_constraining_ us all to be more cheerful in spite of ourselves, than
the prospect of a parting scene on the day after to-morrow would
permit, were it not for a little gentle compulsion. I shall go on
writing till we set out, and shall not finish this till I reach London,
where I shall hope to find means of sending my packet as _usual_ by
private hand. What a lucky dog you are in receiving such _pounds_ of
stationery free of cost, in a country where epistolary taxation is
calculated by weight? Adieu, till to-morrow.

Well, yesterday is "numbered with the years before the flood," and
the company which, while in perspective, I thought would be a _gène_,
turned out a resource, and gave us a great deal to talk of when spirits
were flagging, and threatened to fail unless given fresh motion by
some new _impingement_ from without. The ladies who were asked did
not come, and the most prominent features among the gentlemen of the
country who made their appearance were, Mr. Fitzallan, a man of large
fortune, generally an absentee, and Mr. Ridley, another person of good
estate, together with their respective sons. The politics, manners, and
sentiments, in every possible department of conversation between these
neighbours are north and south of each other, but as they met _here_
on neutral ground, and in a _lady's_ house, all was smooth to outward
seeming. Mr. Fitzallan is a _liberal_, and very eloquent; he talked
admirably on the rights of the people, the errors of Administration,
the total want of honesty in Ministers; the shameful abuse of power,
peculation in every quarter, prostitution of the national purse, and
dereliction of justice. He sat next to Mrs. Fitzroy, whose animated
countenance almost emitted _light_, as she listened to a flow of mind
so congenial with her own. Mr. Ridley, on the opposite side, who took
his seat next my aunt, supported even the very thickest skull to be
found on the Ministerial side of Lords and Commons. To a person not
immediately engaged in conversation with either of our _leaders_,
nothing could be more comical than the effect of opposition in the
chance-medley of sounds that vibrated round the table. It was what
the printers call _a pie_, when the _devils_ have jumbled their types
into confusion. I heard liberty, authority, equal rights, wholesome
rule, universal suffrage, Kingly prerogatives, emancipation, Protestant
ascendancy, the curse of tithes, the blessings of an Established
Church, &c. in the drollest _mess_ that could be imagined. When
the speakers descended from their stilts, and, quitting the arena
of dispute on public affairs, _meandered_ into the paths of private
life, the same remarkable difference was observable in the style of
our orators. Mr. Fitzallan talked with enthusiasm of the peasantry
of Ireland as the finest, but most oppressed, people under Heaven;
declaring that West Indian slavery had nothing to compare, in its
horrors, with the subjugation of this British island; this land of
beauty, this nursery of the brave. He told some striking anecdotes of
his own tenantry, who, he said, would follow him to the confines of
earth, and that were he like Roderick Dhü, only to whistle as he rode
along, the whole country would rise in his defence. When he spoke of
his family, he dwelt on the lovely innocence of childhood, and said
how hard he felt it even to _look_ angrily. All _discipline_ he left
entirely to Mrs. Fitzallan, who was, he acknowledged, so much wiser
than himself, that he willingly relinquished every title to controul,
and gladly confessed that he was _hen-pecked_ and _chicken-pecked_,
and _pecked_ in every possible manner of _pecking_; adding, "I live,
in fact, totally under petticoat government, and find nothing suits
with my temper so pleasantly as to be led in all things by my wife."
Mr. Fitzallan's appearance is very handsome, and his manners are
perfectly polished, which gave the most finished, at the same time
the most playful tone to every thing he said, while Ridley looked as
serious in describing a game of German tactics to Fanny, as if he had
been delivering evidence before a Committee of the House of Commons on
the Corn Laws. Young Fitzallan gave a scowling glance at his father
every time that he spoke; and whenever he could slide in a word, it
was sure to be a _cut_ at the difference between theory and practice.
Young Ridley, on the contrary, seemed to hang with delight on every
word that his father uttered, though with the most perfect freedom and
considerable intelligence, he sometimes ventured a flight in praise
of some of our Opposition men, who met with no quarter from the old
man. When the party broke up in the evening Mrs. Fitzroy burst into
a glowing eulogium on Mr. Fitzallan, "who," she said, "was the most
noble creature she had met for ages. That man has such heart, he is
overflowing with love for his species, and his views upon every subject
are so generous, so exalted, so comprehensive"--

"That they comprehend _nothing_, madam," interrupted Mr. Bentley in a
high state of irritation. "I repeat, madam," continued he, "that you
were never so mistaken in the course of your life. This shewy man,
who has attracted so much of your admiration, possesses property to a
large amount in several counties in Ireland. The agent whom he employs
in this part of the country, I know to be one of the most grinding,
heartless, fellows in creation. Mr. Fitzallan is one of the worst
landlords in Ireland, and never does an act that is not dictated by
the grossest self-interest. In private life he is a compound of pride
and laxity. The former governs his conduct with wife and children, to
all of whom he behaves in the most imperious yet capricious manner;
and, _though_ he has too little controul over _himself_ to enforce
subordination in _others_, he is selfish and tyrannical with all whose
actions he can dare to command. You might have observed how small
a degree of credit he has with his son, who dotes on his mother,
and resents, as far as he can, his father's neglect of her. Madam,
Mr. Fitzallan fastened on your ear because you were a stranger, and
he found that he could play off an artillery of _words_ upon your
ignorance of his true character.

"Now there is honest Jack Ridley, whom you did not condescend to
address, I believe, for the whole day; I would bet a sovereign that
you think every syllable of what I have told you fits him to a _tee_,
and that I am either an idiot or a madman for having given you such
an account of your favourite. The _truth_ is, that you and I may
exchange our portraits, and each will then possess a good likeness,
for my worthy friend Jack is all that you ascribe to Mr. Fitzallan.
If he incline perhaps a little to what is _now_ called bigotry, it
is in defence of his King and his Church, though he would not hurt
the feelings of _any_ man, whatever be his creed. He is an excellent
magistrate, one of the best of landlords, and it is worth going from
this to Fort Ridley to see him in the midst of his family. When he
returns to-night, the smile of welcome will greet his arrival. His son
and he are probably at this moment cheerfully discussing in their way
home the agreeable party at Glenalta; and will make the fire-side group
partakers in every little incident or remark that has occurred during
the absence of two of its members.

"Were we to accompany the Fitzallans in _their_ homeward course, I
promise you that your enthusiasm would be plunged in an ice-bath ere
you had left this gate three perches behind you. Imagine the father
and son, fitted like corner-cupboards into the extreme angles of their
carriage, asleep, or feigning sleep; knees approximating, but not
_touching_, towards the centre. Arrived at the _Rialta_ (foolish name),
the gentlemen contrive to separate without a mutual "good night,"--no
"blazing hearth," no "crackling fagot;" no beaming open countenance
awaits their return. A silence dark and chill as death pervades the
mansion, and morning's sunny ray has no power over the gloomy hearts
that dwell within it. At the Rialta absenteeism stares you in the face
whichever way you turn. Offices dilapidated, plantations overgrown,
gates off their hinges, walls scolloped into gaps, weeds flourishing in
the very porch, paper hanging about your ears, bell-ropes pulled down
from their cranks, furniture thinly scattered, old fashioned, yet ill
preserved, heavy, but not magnificent: these are the dreary indications
of approach to the residence of a popular orator, who lives beyond his
means, and comes annually amongst his tenants to obtain supplies which
may enable him to pass another year in estrangement from their wants
and their wishes.

"At Fort Ridley you find tight cottages, whole fences, trim gardens,
clean walks, and warm welcome. You hear no cant about a radical reform;
but you see progressive and constant improvement. Your ears are not
assailed by cataracts of fine words, but your heart acknowledges
a continued flow of kindness and good humour. You encounter no
tirades about liberty and equality, but you find all happy in their
_own places_. Parents walking hand-in-hand, sustaining each other's
authority, not struggling for their own: children respectful and
affectionate: servants orderly and comfortable: the poor protected:
the unhappy consoled. Mrs. Fitzroy, I only say, give me one Ridley,
man, woman, or child, and I will joyfully contract to let you have as
many Fitzallans as you can steam away from us in your packet. Take
an old man's assurance, that there is little _reality_, whenever you
find much _shew_. Good wine (the proverb says) needs no bush; and when
people _do_, they need not _talk_. Things tell their own stories. "Be
not solitary, be not idle," is the conclusion of Johnson's beautiful
fiction on the Search after Happiness; and Voltaire, the very opposite
of our great moralist in all but the possession of superior talent,
finishes his disgusting, but witty, _Candide_, with words to the same
effect, '_Il faut cultiver le jardin_.'"

"You always set your face against whatever I approve," said Mrs.
Fitzroy; "but Mr. Fitzallan seems _quite_ a practical man," added
she, "and that is the reason that I like him. All his principles
are pure; and, judging by what I have seen, I should say they are
reduced to daily exercise, else how should he know so much of the
Irish peasantry, or be able to relate so many interesting anecdotes
respecting them?"--"Why, madam," replied old Bentley, "you might as
well argue to the original humour of a man who had learned Joe Miller
by heart. Mr. Fitzallan studies stage effect, and has tragedy as well
as comedy at his fingers' ends. An Irish story, well purged from its
yellow clay, and dressed to advantage, is a nice morsel, even in the
heart of London, if you do not stuff your friends with too much of a
good thing; and the gentleman of whom we are speaking knows exactly how
much pudding will choke a dog."

Mrs. Fitzroy is so genuinely diverted by Mr. Bentley, that they
always part the best friends imaginable. He now shook hands and went
home. When he was gone, Mr. Otway said of him, "There goes one of
the bluntest, and yet the kindest, people I know. It would seem
as if Nature, in forming my worthy neighbour, had been playing at
hide-and-seek with herself; for in his character there is a jumble of
the most heterogeneous materials: rude as a bear, he is gentle as a
lamb; and though sly as a fox in detecting the wiles of his species,
he is one of the most single hearted persons I have ever met with, in
all his own dealings with mankind. The penetration with which he delves
into character, is almost supernatural. He decides on a counterfeit at
a glance; and though it is rarely his habit to indulge a sentimental
vein, you would be astonished by the tenderness of feeling which
sometimes softens that rugged exterior. I know him so intimately that
I am aware of the contradictions in his mind, and he is not ashamed
of being _himself_ with me; but in common society he avoids the least
exhibition of softness, and is generally glad when he has frightened
strangers by his roughness, though upon _occasion_, if he be in the
_humour_, I have known him delighted with individuals, who, not
repelled by his frown, have braved opposition, and surmounted the
obstacles to his friendship.

"Mrs. Fitzroy is a grand favourite, notwithstanding _appearances_,
and he told me to-day in his own way of expressing sorrow for her
departure, that he expects to be like a fish out of water when she bids
farewell to Ireland."

The word farewell struck as a knell on every heart: dear Phil. sighed,
and wished us good night; and ere we separated to reap the harvest of
his blessing, Mrs. Fitzroy, in a few words, but most comprehensively
summed up _his_ character.--"Aye," said she, soliloquizing as he left
the room, "and there _you_ go! the reviewer of reviews--the critic of
critics--possessing more of every quality than you find to admire or
value in all the men of your acquaintance, yet bearing your honours so
meekly, with a mind so exquisitely balanced, a temperament so calm, and
humility so lovely, that you allow anybody to get before you and shine
out his short-lived triumph of display, while you in quiet majesty
pursue the equal tenor of your course, and, like a mighty river,
possessed between its banks, and full, 'though not o'erflowing,' wind
onwards to the sea."

I close my journal here, and shall not open the portfolio which
contains it till I awaken in the unwonted scenery of Grosvenor Square.
Adieu, Glenalta! thou sweetest Glen adieu! As I turn from this beloved
spot I feel inclined to exclaim, "Fate drop the curtain--I can lose no

London!!! Oh, my dear Falkland, how shall I take to my narrative, and
resume an occupation which _has been_ so delightful, but which loses
its charm in this disgusting round of idleness and dissipation? In any
other mood than that which I now am in, I could dilate with melancholy
pleasure on every step of my journey. I could tell you that I felt as
if my heart would break when I lost sight of the last mountain which
is visible in the distance from Glenalta. While I could gaze upon its
lofty peak, I felt as if some connecting link still bound me to a place
where all my best affections were deposited; and when all trace was
lost of every object that continued the illusion, I could not speak.
The pang was unutterable, and a thousand vague fancies crowded over my
mind, perplexing it "with fear of change," and whispering unwelcome
thoughts that I should not revisit my Irish home. There can be no
_reason_ for this, but I find now by experience what I have _read of_
before, that low spirits enfeeble the understanding, and make one
start, though at nothing.

  "'Tis only the willows that wave in the wind."

Yet the imagination conjures up phantoms of ideal existence, and I
worked myself into such a dread of death, separation, misfortune, and
I know not what, that the turning of a straw would have sent me back
again, envious of the very rocks that bent their faces towards the
happy valley which I left behind.

Mrs. Fitzroy was a charming companion, for she felt as I did; and we
were neither of us inclined to talk on any subject foreign to Glenalta.

I cannot give you a detail of our progress. We reached Dublin, where
the bustle of a new scene obliged us to turn our thoughts from those
dear friends, whose society we missed so grievously on the preceding
day. We rested only one night, and, after a calm passage of seven
hours, found ourselves at Holyhead.

Have you ever felt that as long as you are _near_ an object of
attachment, the mind is restless in the direct ratio of proximity, and,
as you recede from it, you become more satisfied, as it would seem,
from a feeling that every mile increases the difficulty of contact,
till impossibility at length stares you in the face, and produces
resignation _per force_. Is not this the reason why people who differ
most widely from each other in religion and politics are more tranquil,
and forbearing than such as are _all but_ agreed? The _little_
difference, like the _mile_ of separation, seems to have no _right_ to
interpose a barrier, and we are impatient accordingly that what appears
so easily surmountable does not give way to our wishes. Mrs. Fitzroy
and I, in the course of our philosophizing, extended the same principle
to that disgust which is occasioned by an attempt to carry imitation
beyond a certain limit. The painted statue is unpleasing, because it
assumes too much of similarity without reaching identification; and we
are nauseated by the chattering of a monkey, who is _almost_ human,
though we listen with pleasure to the articulations of a parrot.

Having left my fair charge in Worcestershire, at the house of one of
her friends, I hastened to town, and found every thing here in the
confusion attendant upon hurry. My poor mother, dreading an _explosion_
on my part, laid her plans so as to circumvent me completely, and,
on the plea of my uncle's sudden illness, which gives us reason to
expect him by the very next ship from Bengal, instead of at the
distance of some months, Adelaide's marriage has been _got up_ without
any of the usual forms, which my mother trusts to her own ingenuity
and generalship for having executed as well _after_, as _before_
the ceremony. Behold then, on my arrival, the whole house turned
topsy-turvy--servants in new liveries flying to and fro, white and
silver favours glittering on their breasts, and the wedding party just
returned from St. George's Chapel. I could hardly find a place to dress
in, nor a creature to do any thing for me. Having, however, caught
a flying lacquey, I desired that Louisa only should be informed of
my arrival, and she ran for five minutes to bid me welcome. Whether
agitated by my return, or forced into disapprobation of the graceless
contract which had just been solemnized, I cannot tell, but she flew
into my arms with a burst of emotion which I had never seen before,
and which deeply affected me. Louisa is formed for better things than
she lives amongst; but she has had no conductor. Oh may I henceforward
be truly a brother! May I be enabled to cultivate her tenderness, and
obtain an influence over her understanding! We agreed that I should be
allowed to repose in peace, and that the breakfast, departure of the
_nouveaux mariés_, _cake-cutting_, and all the idle mummery of a bridal
day, should go on without me.

My sister returned to the banquet, and my arrival was concealed from
every body, till a splendid travelling carriage drove off with Lord
and Lady Crayton, and all the _figurantes_, who are brought together
on these occasions to feed the vanity of display, had dispersed. My
mother and Louisa joined the giddy throng, and went to drive about the
park, and exhibit the hymeneal paraphernalia. I looked from a window on
the scene below, and sighed, as I thought how differently a marriage
would be conducted at Glenalta.

With eyes opened to a new order of things, I could not help musing
heavily on what I saw. A deaf man suddenly introduced for the first
time into the midst of a ball room would think the people all mad,
whom he beheld jumping about, without being able to hear the inspiring
sounds which gave activity to the feet. Perhaps, had I been engaged in
this nuptial pageant, it would have seemed, as it did to those who had
parts to act in it; but to me it appeared, from an upper story of the
house, the most senseless piece of parade that I had ever witnessed,
rendered melancholy by anticipations of events which I perceived in the
vista of Adelaide's futurity. Various analogies started to my mind. I
recollected the gay deception which precedes the sacrifice, when a poor
nun is about to relinquish the natural enjoyments of life, and lay
down her hopes and affections on the altar of superstition. I thought
of her, when dressed in all the trappings of this world's glory, she
is led, more frequently deceived than deceiving, to the temple, there
to resign her liberty and happiness, perhaps her life, and become the
sorrowing victim of an ill-fated vow.

In the gloomy solitude of a large house, emptied of its inhabitants, I
had scope for much disagreeable meditation, and wandered from room to
room, reflecting with sad foreboding, on what is likely to be the lot
of poor Adelaide, and ruminating on the heavy expenses incurred by my
mother to seal a bond of misery. The furniture of all our principal
apartments is new and sumptuous, of the last Parisian fashion, and
chosen with the best taste. The housekeeper told me that a splendid new
carriage had been purchased, and that every thing connected with this
marriage had been done in the "best-possible manner."

My mother and Louisa returned late, and much fatigued. With the former
I had but little conversation. She met me with an air of great
displeasure, and I fear that the only way by which I can reinstate
myself in her favour will prove a destructive one. My property is
already burthened to a large amount, and to extricate my mother I must
plunge myself a great deal deeper in debt. This must be done, however,
as I will use my best endeavours to set her mind at ease.

Poor Louisa and I sat up till morning, and, though her mind is a
complete chaos, she has too much natural strength of character not
to perceive the folly, as well as meanness, of the late arrangement,
in which each side has been trying to outwit the other. I find that
the Craytons set out directly after the ceremony for Dover, and are
on their route to the continent, where their sojournment is to be
regulated by circumstances. "Pecuniary difficulties," though not
defined, are confessed to, _generally_, by my new brother-in-law, who
gives his title in the hope of being paid for it in solid gold; and I
suspect that we shall find, ere long, how much his creditors have been
cajoled by an assurance that between General Douglas and me, all their
demands will be satisfied. If the speculation of my uncle's assistance
should fail, as much as the hope of aid from me must necessarily do, I
see no prospect of aught but beggary for my unfortunate sister.

Were we in the country, I should not despair of operating a great
change in Louisa's opinions; but I have scarcely an opportunity of
saying a sentence to her in private. My mother does not like to see us
alone, and the interruptions from company are incessant. I proposed
going to Selby, and should have found no difficulty in prevailing,
for in fact we are ridiculously out of season _here_, but my uncle
is certainly coming, and so speedily, that he may land while I am
writing. All the people of _note_ in town at present are, Louisa tells
me, brought together by this marriage, which is flattering to those
who take pride in it; but, not being of that number myself, I long to
be set free, and when I _am_, no time shall be lost in joining you as
quickly as possible. If I do not _soon_ set out for Paris, you shall
hear again from, my dear Falkland,

  Your affectionate,



Sir,       _Limner's Hotel_.

I am commissioned to notify the arrival in England of your friend
General Douglas, and to inform you that in the present state of his
health, he feels himself incompetent to any manner of exertion. He has
been so ill on the voyage, as to excite my constant apprehension lest I
might not enjoy the happiness of delivering up my patient alive to his
friends. He has been somewhat better since we arrived in the Channel,
and I have no doubt that a little rest will be of much benefit; but
as he means to remain in town for the arrival of another ship, which
sailed when we did, and on board which is a part of his baggage, he
will have the best medical advice here, and proceed at leisure to
Marsden, the place which you were so good as to purchase for him.
The principal object of this letter is to entreat, that if not very
inconvenient, you will come over, and allow your friend the pleasure
of shaking you by the hand once more. He bids me tell you, that he has
much to say, and that the power of communicating with you upon several
subjects near his heart, would contribute more than any medicine to
his recovery. May it be permitted a stranger to enforce this request,
by adding his testimony to the General's own conviction? It is not the
physician who "can minister unto a mind diseased;" it is the _friend_
alone who can sooth and sustain the sinking spirits, and I look upon
my patient as requiring _your_ advice as much as he does mine, though
I have had long knowledge of his complaints, and have accompanied
him from India. I will not longer trespass on your attention than to
request an immediate answer, saying whether or not you can comply with
the entreaty of which I am the medium.

  I am, Sir,
      your obedient, humble servant,
        A. PANCRAS.



My dearest Julia,

It is some time since you have heard from me, and in the interval much
has happened to disturb our even course of life. The departure of our
friends, particularly that of Arthur, produced a degree of desolation
at Glenalta, which can only be understood by such as have felt the
pangs of separation from those they love. When _you_ left us, a similar
chasm was made in our happiness, but you could not comprehend our
feelings, though you were very sorry to say farewell. You were _going_,
we were _staying_, and supposing the same measure of affection, there
must be a wide difference between the situation of a mind presented
continually with new objects that force themselves on the observation,
and one that is bound in all the melancholy associations of that
scene which had witnessed its happiness. The fresh air, the constant
movement, the necessity of speaking and interesting oneself in the
details of a journey, must save the heart much bitterness, which is
reserved for the saddened spirits left behind. I never shall forget the
tomb-like silence that pervaded our cheerful abode when the last sound
of the carriage wheels, that bore away dear Mrs. Fitzroy and Arthur,
were no longer to be heard. We _then_ only seemed to feel the full
extent of our deprivation.

Charlotte and I, unable to occupy ourselves, wandered like ghosts. Oh
the emptiness of a bedchamber from which your friend has just departed!
The pillow still bearing impress of the head which had rested on it
so recently; the spikes of lavender scattered on the floor, which,
perhaps, you had gathered yourself in a happier hour, to give fragrance
to the now vacant wardrobe; the back of a letter inscribed with the
name that now stops your utterance, and the thousand other trifles,
light as air, that take affection by surprise, and make one wretched
through every fibre of the frame! Fanny's grief had quicker vent; she
wept, till like a babe that cries itself to sleep, nature _would_ have
rest; and I envied her the power of listening with rapture, to the
history of some young cygnets, which old Lawrence had got from Bantry
as a present for her. Frederick was sincerely sorrowful, but he was
obliged to attend to Mr. Oliphant, and his mind was relieved by the
necessity of being employed.

The beloved mother who suffers more than she enjoys society, always
returns to the stillness of retirement, glad to repose after exertion,
and rewarded by the happy feeling of having practised self-denial in
order to make others happy.

Charlotte and I then were the _miserable_ of our little circle, and the
kind Phil. accordingly gave his principal attention to us. He insisted
on our being _busy_. He drove us to our gardens, to our poor people,
to the schools, all of which had been less carefully watched, while
our friends were with us. How slow is the progress of improvement.
How rapid the growth of whatever is baleful in its nature! We found
much to reclaim, and were ashamed, as well as astonished to find how
things may go astray, and run to ruin, while one is only pursuing what
appears an innocent gratification. Well, it shall not happen again. We
have now restored matters to their former good order, and if we enjoy
less _pleasure_ than we did in the midst of more varied attraction; I
feel more contentment and less self-reproach, since we have resumed our
accustomed course. I now understand that of which it was so difficult
to convince me, namely, that _company_, however delightful, is too
stimulating for a continuance, and that it is very wholesome to be left
alone now and then with one's own heart.

Letters (that blessed invention) have informed us constantly of all
that is interesting in the lives and adventures of our absent friends;
but the last accounts from Arthur have distressed mamma, and produced
commotion in our tranquil valley.

My poor uncle is in short arrived, and so ill that his physician has
written to beg Mr. Otway's immediate presence in London. It is thought
right that Frederick should accompany him as a proper mark of respect,
and also to add weight to mamma's request, that should our mild climate
be considered advisable for the invalid, he will repair as soon as
possible to Glenalta.

To lose Frederick and our friend of Lisfarne at one and the same moment
is a stroke which needs some philosophy to endure; and I am afraid that
we are not bearing it as we ought to do. Then I cannot help feeling
sadly afraid of uncle Douglas, who is, Arthur says, very _repellent_
in his manners. Poor man! he suffers much, and it is unreasonable to
expect that he should be agreeable in his present circumstances; but
I am so accustomed to the sweet accents of gentleness and affection,
that nothing terrifies me so much as the idea of severity. I feel still
more for mamma than for myself, and as the general has apparently taken
a dislike already, Arthur tells us, to my aunt Howard and Louisa, why
should we expect better at the hands of one, governed, perhaps, by
prejudice against all his family, with whom he has kept up very little

Mr. Otway and Frederick set out next week, and but for the delight I
have in the hope that they will soon return, and the latter be happy in
his cousin's society, while he is enjoying his first visit to London, I
should be inconsolable.

We have had intelligence of Lord and Lady Crayton's arrival in Rome,
where young Stanhope has seen them. Lord C. is fond of play, and poor
Adelaide Howard, I am afraid, is destined to be any thing but blessed
in her union with him. What can induce people to make the sacrifice of
liberty and peace for the sake of a paltry title? Perhaps I am careless
about such things only because I am placed in a situation where they
are of little value; but a coronet seems of small estimation in my
eyes, and I wish that my cousin had a husband less extravagant and more
domestic, though plain Mr. instead of Viscount, preceded his name. He
and Adelaide are to pass the winter in Paris.

You bid me to describe our late visitors. To say that we found them a
very agreeable addition to our party, is saying nothing that will help
you to distinguish one from the other. Yet beyond some such general
description, what can tell of strangers? If you delineate the features
of a landscape, you can speak not only of them as they seem, but as
they _are_; but what a length of time is required to guard against
misrepresentation in painting the human character, of which we can
for a long while only know the _signs_, but may remain in profound
ignorance of the motives which govern them!

You may remember how much I used to admire Miss Talbot. I saw her
frequently last summer, when she looked so pretty, and was so kind to
me, that I became quite enthusiastic in her praise; and should have
been very foolish about her, if mamma had not damped my energy, by
saying one day, "dearest Emily, do not take so much for granted: wait
to know Miss Talbot better before you give her _all_ your heart." I
felt that there must be good reason for this reproof, or I should not
have received it. I paused, and ceasing to inflate my mind with my own
exaggerations, mistaking them for realities, I _did_ wait to know
Miss Talbot better, and one _look_, though unaccompanied by a word,
darted at her father, who asked for a particular song which she did
not choose to sing, levelled the whole edifice of my admiration to the
dust. The same song which she had refused to a parent's request, she
_volunteered_ when Mr. Mortimer Fitzallan came into the room, saying,
in her sweetest accents, and with her winning smile, "I will now sing
_your_ favourite." To return after a digression, which contains my
apology for not attempting to give you exact portraits of our guests, I
will proceed to say, that as far as I am acquainted with them, I like
Mr. Annesley better than Mr. Russell, and _both_ pleased me, though
not in the same manner. The former is more gentle and reflecting than
his friend, the latter full of music and of merriment; but one is not
always merry, and if _not_, Mr. Russell's animal spirits fatigue. Then,
as to music, I think that he likes it less for its own sake, than as a
subject on which to be eloquent. Mr. Annesley _says_ less, but _does_
more than the other, in the way of those little polite attentions
which mark a wish to please; and he looks so sincere, that one feels
always ready to _believe_ whatever he utters, while the wandering eye
of his companion would indicate that his thoughts are every where, or
no where, though his tongue be employed in giving to them the liveliest
expression. Mr. Annesley's animation arises out of the occasion, while
Mr. Russell is ever intent on _seeking_ opportunity to exhibit _his_.
In conversing with the one, you find your spirits refreshed by the
natural alternation of stimulus and repose. In talking to the other,
you are made to feel that a certain measure of excitement is to be _run
out_; after which, you must lie by to recruit, ere you commence anew.
They are both polished, and have received all the advantages of modern
education, and thus ends my story of them.

Mamma will write to dear Mrs. Sandford, when she can tell her of _the
general's_ movements. Have you ever remarked how many people tack an
emphatic _the_ to any admiral, general, colonel, dean, or archdeacon,
accidentally appended to their family, just as if there were no other
of each class in the world beside their own? Adieu, dearest Julia: our
united loves to all at Checkley.

  Believe me, ever your

    Affectionate friend,



Beloved Mother,

Our dear Phil. insisted on writing the first letter from London, and as
this point was settled before we left Glenalta, you have not charged
me with neglect; forgetful I can never be. You all live continually in
my thoughts; I fancy how you are all employed during every part of the
day, and never see any thing that delights or surprises me, without
wishing that my mother and sisters were to enjoy whatever is worthy of
their admiration. This is to me a scene of wonder, and I have a great
deal of trouble in suppressing too true an exhibition of my rusticity,
and curbing my astonishment at things so common, that no one here could
comprehend my ignorance of them. London is a world full of interest
to a novice like myself, and while the charm of novelty lasts, and
curiosity is kept alive, I shall find as much happiness as I can feel
away from you; but the people with whom I meet at my aunt Howard's,
though I am told that they are of the first circle, have little merit,
I must confess, in my eyes. I ought however, to begin with the _hosts_,
before I describe the company. My aunt is as unlike you, as Louisa is
different from Emily, Charlotte, or Fanny. The former is so rouged, so
dressed, and made up, that a natural emotion, if any such live within
her breast, has no power to reach the surface. Every feature seems
fixed, as though she were a _cast_, and not a real human form of flesh
and blood. Her manners are so cold, and her eye so disdainful, that had
I come to Grosvenor-square _alone_, one glance would have been enough
to settle my resolves not to encounter a second; but she treats Arthur,
her only son, and _certainly_ a favourite, as frigidly as she behaves
to me; and with her daughter, there is a perpetual _sparring_ kept up,
which to my unaccustomed ear is perfectly dreadful, though at the same
time, she is evidently vain of Louisa's beauty and accomplishments. To
Mr. Otway she is _civil_, and towards my poor uncle, _officious_ to
excess, without being _able_ to look kind. My cousin is very handsome,
and if she had been _your_ child, would, I believe, have been very
amiable, for she is good-natured, in spite of every effort to make her
the contrary; and her love for Arthur is genuine, I believe, though
of a species very new to me. Her person is encumbered with ornaments,
and her mind with fashion. Her understanding is excellent, and _will_
break its bounds, and start forth through all the London fogs that
would obscure its light; but it is only in accidental scintillations
that Louisa's brightness discovers itself, and _then_, sarcasm is
generally the medium through which it shines; nothing can exceed the
stupid inanity of such conversation as I hear at my aunt's, where
_people_ only are ever discussed. It is one eternal round of dress,
public places, and gossip. _Every_ body is said to be out of town,
yet the streets are full. _Nobody_ is ever in London at this season,
yet the Howards live in a crowd of society, and would be very angry
with _any_ body who ventured to affirm that their acquaintance is not
_first-rate_. Mr. Otway reconciles many apparent incongruities through
his explanations, when we reach our lodgings at night, and I am already
bidding fair to part with the nick-name which Louisa has bestowed upon
me of the "novice of Saint Patrick." My _Mentor_ tells me, that London
is in fact, at this moment, full of people who are ashamed of not being
at their country seats, the watering places, or on the continent; and
are detained here _malgrè_ for want of money to go elsewhere, or pay
off the bills which continue daily to increase, while they remain in
town, _shying_ each other. It is true that the people do not imprison
themselves: they meet in the streets, in the shops, in the park, at
the theatres; but there seems to be a conventional agreement to tell
lies, which are permitted, like base metal, to circulate in the place
of sterling coin, though known to be counterfeit by all who use it as
a medium of exchange. There is a sort of _sinister_ honesty in this
compact, as deception is avoided in the universality of the fraud.
One family is detained by Dr.----, who will not suffer his patient to
undertake as yet a journey to Leamington. Another is just _going_ to
France. A third _waits_ for a carriage which has been promised by the
coachmaker, but is not _quite_ finished, and so on. Not a word of truth
in any of the stories. A country bumpkin, however, benefits by all this
_charlatanerie_, and finds food for eyes, ears, and reflection, at a
time when the metropolis ought to be according to the rules of _haut
ton_, a perfect desert.

The friendship of Arthur sets me at ease. Were it not for him, I should
sneak into a corner I suppose, and not dare to utter a word for fear of
_committing_ some Hibernicism, and bring the eyes of Europe upon me;
but, supported by my faithful Achates, I am bold, and you would perhaps
be astonished to see me _doing the agreeable_ at my aunt's evening
parties. I assure you that I make my way surprisingly, and am beginning
to feel rather triumphant. Louisa put me through a sort of ordeal
which was unpleasant enough for three or four days; but Arthur gave me
a few hints behind the scenes which enabled me to come off victorious,
and now like a _freshman_ at school, who has _boxed_ himself into
character, I am _let alone_, and actually applied to, for my opinions
upon "Shakspeare, taste, and the musical glasses." Some contrivance
is necessary, however, to slide out of a group when it happens that
a cross subject is started; but in general, I find myself _au fait_,
for a grain of intellect, like a grain of gold will hammer out into
surface enough to cover a prodigious field of "worshipful society;"
and if you are quick in picking up names, admiring the right music,
the fashionable singer, the favourite novel, and the _newest_ of every
thing, you need not draw unmercifully on your brains, nor put your
eyes in danger of Opthalmia, by poring over the midnight lamp. I fancy
Emily and Charlotte, with inquiring eyes, pressing forward together, to
ask Frederick whether his soul has not been entranced by the finished
performance of our London _belles_ on the harp and piano-forte.

Dearest girls, publish it not in Gath, if I whisper the homespun
confession, and tell you in depth of secrecy, that pleasure is a
stranger to me at our concerts. I hear compositions so chromatic,
modulations so unnatural, transitions so violent, and harmony so
entirely divested of the character which I have been in the habit of
attaching to it, that, were it not for information to the contrary,
I should not be aware that I was listening to music at all, but
should imagine myself introduced to a new and wonderful mechanism for
exhibiting the muscular powers to their utmost extent, and also trying
how far it is practicable to exert the licence of caprice without ever
touching on the borders of melody. In the same spirit of confidential
avowal I may add, that there seems to be a strict covenant between the
modern composers and the instrument-makers to murder music, and prevent
a concerto, as well as the piano-forte on which it is performed, from
a longer existence in the fashionable world than will be allotted
to the preposterous flat hats, which only require poles supporting
their circumference, to give the Regent's-park exactly the air of an
encampment. Another musical observation which I have made, is, that
every young lady on first setting down, and running over the keys of
the finest Stoddart or Broadwood, piped, barred, and _dandified_,
according to the very latest vogue, declares the instrument to be
out of tune. Quere, is this to make boast of an exquisite ear, or is
it done to bespeak mercy for imperfect execution? In either case, to
produce _effect_ it should not be a _general_ fashion; and there should
be at least a foundation of truth in the complaint; but it literally
happened yesterday evening, that Louisa's magnificent instrument had
been put into the highest order only half an hour before the company
arrived, and yet the fair competitors for fame were not a whit the
better satisfied. Perhaps after all it is necessary to talk a little
nonsense, and tumble over the leaves of whatever music is open on the
desk, to gain time for shaking back the manacles which load the wrists
of a fashionable lady with such _shekels_ of gold that their weight
is apt to determine the blood towards her finger tops. This is an
inconvenience, and certainly an alloy to the pleasure of exhibiting
richer ornaments than were ever _à la mode_ till now, but what
advantage is there without its counterpoise? It is unlucky too that
necklaces are _out_, as they afforded great opportunity in perpetual
fiddling with them to regulate the _circulation_, and shew off
bracelets and rings in the best possible position for securing white
hands and arms, during the time being.

Dearest mother, do I see you shake your head, and call this ill nature?
If I thought that a shadow of displeasure glanced over that brow on
which I pray unceasingly that I may never be the means of gathering a
cloud, I would make a vow against opening my eyes to the ridiculous
while I remain in London; but I hope that even _you_ will laugh with
me at the absurdities which we must be blind not to see, and dumb
not to tell of. If the sisters imagine that my heart is likely to be
perforated like a _cullender_, tell them that not a single missile has
reached it as yet,

  "Th' invaders dart their jav'lins from afar."

Nevertheless, I am safe, and likely to remain _unscathed_ by any
lightning from London eyes. This is fortunate; for what chance would
a poor Kerry _bog-trotter_ have of meeting "sweet return" in this
meridian blaze--this dazzling glare?

  "For sight no obstacle found here, or shade,
  But all sunshine; as when his beams at noon
  Culminate from the Equator."

I love our dear Glen better than any scenery that I have met with since
I left its sunny lawns and tangled dells; and, if I may be allowed
to compare the moral with the physical world, there is an enchanting
refreshment in the lights and shades of a refined yet _natural_
character, beyond all the glow of fashion's artificial splendour to

Last night I sat for a short time by a young lady who had something
pensive in her countenance, which brought Emily to my mind: and feeling
a sort of _attraction_ towards her, I listened to her conversation, in
which, hearing some words through the din of voices, that bespoke a
love of painting and sculpture, I determined on getting _alongside_,
as the sailors say. I did so, and we talked of the Exhibition, the
Elgin Marbles, Sir Thomas Lawrence, Chauntry, Canova, &c. but _talk_
it was, aye, "_vox et preterea nihil_." Not a particle of enthusiasm
had reached her mind, it only flickered round her lips. She had been in
Rome, had seen Naples, visited the Louvre, ransacked every _atelier_ of
every celebrated artist in her travels; and, as a matter of course, is
come back discontented with every thing in England. I sought as vainly
for a single grain of taste in her conversation as I generally do for a
strain of sweetness in the music which I daily hear: no;--terms of art
and fashionable echoes met my ear, but not a sentiment that originated
in feeling: no description drawn by a pencil dipped in the heart.

I ventured to say something, I know not what, but my remark was my own;
I was not to be found, I suppose, in the common-place book acknowledged
at present, as the reception that it encountered was a rude burst of
laughter, in which my fair antagonist's mamma, who came to present
Lord Oldfield to her daughter, joined immediately, and I should have
been the _butt_ of the company, I conclude, if my happy stars had not
sent a nobleman to my rescue, who so entirely engrossed the attention
of both mother and _ma'mselle_, that a _mouse_ would have been a
greater object than I was. Otway's lines rushed on my memory as I
gazed indignantly on this vulgar pair; for how can I give them any
more appropriate epithet? When I looked around me, and rested my eyes
on the _wool-pack_, matrons lounging in their easy chairs so large and
languid, I could not help mentally exclaiming,

  "Those lazy owls, who, perched near Fortune's top,
  Sit only watchful with their heavy wings
  To cuff down new-fledged Virtues that would rise
  To nobler heights, and make the grove harmonious."

I suppose that the immense size of the elderly ladies here, must
proceed, from the little exercise they take, and _that_ little in a
carriage which is next to not taking any; but I am told that it is the
fashion to be _monstrous_, and if beauty be reckoned by weight and
measure, the tonnage and poundage of London are prodigious.

When Lord Oldfield left my aunt's to vapour at another party, the
above-mentioned young lady of pensive mien, seemed to recollect that
she had treated me somewhat cavalierly, or perhaps she was amused
by my _outlandish_ ways of thinking, and returned to look at me, as
people used to do at the Cherokee chiefs, or Sandwich Islanders; but
from whatever motive, so it was, that she called me to her, and with a
smile of such _concentration_ as appeared to say, "_Sauve qui peut_,"
she invited me to attend her to-day and look at some statues, at the
house of an Italian newly arrived. Now I had charity enough to believe
that she had only _heard_ of them as fine specimens of sculpture, and
was ignorant altogether of what she was going to see; but before I
could reply, she added that she had begun to model from a Cupid in the
collection, and hoped that I should approve her performance. Arthur and
I had been to see these statues two or three days ago, and all I can
say is, that as I have not yet had the advantage of _case-hardening_
on the continent, I blushed as I bowed a seeming assent, resolving to
make my excuse this morning, which I have accordingly done.

If modesty be really one of those cumbrous virtues, which, like the
ponderous armour of former days, is no longer necessary in the high
state of civilization to which we have attained, why is not the word
honestly banished along with the quality which it represents? and why
do we foolishly retain the sign, if we must lose sight of the idea
to which it belongs? It would be wrong, perhaps, to charge a modern
fair one with actual vice because she can walk with perfect unconcern
through files of statues representing the human form in a state of
nudity, and _that_ too in company, it may be, of a profligate man; but
I _must_ say, that to my untutored sense, the thing is very disgusting;
and as London is certainly not the Garden of Eden, I should venture
to add, that the practice is not very safe, unless moral virtue be no
longer considered requisite to the well-being of the community, but
with other antiquities is to be only reserved for the cabinets of the
curious; _there_, as we view it clothed in venerable rust, to excite
our astonishment at the difference between the clumsy accoutrements of
our ancestors, and the convenient accommodations of our own time.

I am interrupted by Mr. Otway, who sends his love, and bids me say,
that he has a letter on the _anvil_; so I will send mine. But I have
been led into the mazes of this brilliant scene, so far remote from
_domestic_ subjects, that I find not a word in all my prosing of poor
uncle, for whom I feel both tenderness and respect. He suffers much,
and, if I am not greatly mistaken, has "that within which passeth
shew." His mind appears to me as if it had gone out of Nature's loom
a goodly tissue, but has been pulled _bias_ by untoward circumstances
of fortune and ill health. As yet I know very little of him, and he is
so reserved with his relations, that were there not certain loop-holes
through which I peep into the interior, and thence form judgment of
his true texture, the first and second words of Cæsar's _triplicate_
would answer every purpose of description in my instance; and in saying
_veni vidi_, I should tell you all that is to be known; but I sometimes
see him shake his head, and catch him now and then, his eyes suffused
with tears, and fixed intently on me. The moment of observation is that
of change, and, as a person who has dropped asleep in Church, coughs,
hems, and kicks his heels, to _prove_ how much awake he is, so my uncle
throws a tartness, an abruptness, into his manner after one of these
little affectionate _lapses_, to assure us of the sternness of his
character. My next shall be to Emily.

Adieu, beloved! My heart is with you all, though the _casket_ be far
from you. I shall have much to tell the three, _Graces_ I _will_ not
call them, Furies I _cannot_ call them: what then _shall_ I call them?
They shall be the _Destinies_, because my fate is in their hands,
and as they love and value me through life, I shall be happy or the

Remember me affectionately, if you please, to dear Mr. Oliphant, and do
not drive your little car from the door without telling Lawrence that I
enquire for him. Farewell!

  Your own



Dearest Friend,

My former letters have been faithful transcripts from the book of
our lives, and Frederick has filled up all interstices, but before I
proceed to the main purpose which induces me to write to-day, I must
indulge myself, and not _displease you_, by saying a few words of
this dear youth, whom I have hitherto only mentioned incidentally,
because I wished to see how he would bear the whirl of a London scene,
and comport himself in some situations as trying as they were novel
to him, ere I trumpeted his praise. You know how I abhor flattery,
and will therefore give me credit for believing what I express of
admiration for your son, who really astonishes me. Though introduced
for the first time to what is called, certainly not _par excellence_,
the Great World, he is neither awkward nor confused. The easy polish
of _true_ refinement which he learned at home, in the bosom of that
loved retreat where all the best affections of his noble and manly
heart are centered, _frank_ him into a metropolitan drawing-room,
as fearlessly as into your's at Glenalta; and his manners exhibit
the happiest combination of boldness, in which there is no mixture
of presumption, and modesty without _mauvaise honte_. With all the
freshness of curiosity, and the candour of one who disdains subterfuge,
he flies about collecting information--gratifying his good taste, and
honestly confessing his previous ignorance of a thousand objects which
have ceased to stimulate, if they ever did so, the vapid group by which
we are environed. The courage with which Frederick dares to express
his own thoughts, instead of borrowing the hacknied reverberation of
opinions often adopted without discrimination, and rendered current by
an idle multitude, who, contented to follow a fashionable leader, never
exert a faculty for themselves, has something in it that _commands_
attention, and I continually hear the inquiry of "who is he?" succeed
the avowal of some sentiment on his part at variance with the modish

If the novelty of Frederick's remarks occasionally excite a smile, it
is evidently always accompanied with a desire to know more of him.
Even those who would not, for any consideration, imitate his example,
involuntarily respect the _power_ of his valorous intrepidity; and that
which in a vulgar man would be denominated mere boorishness, assuming
a very different character when associated with native elegance and
good breeding, the automaton throng are forced to admit the superiority
which they dare not copy, and venerate the independence to which
they cannot aspire. I assure you also, that he is an object of great
admiration amongst the young ladies, one of whom having heard, I
suppose, that he was an Irishman, sweetly lisped a few evenings ago,
in half articulated accents, "_le bel sauvage!_" Tell Fanny that this
anecdote is _genuine_, which she may be at first inclined to doubt; and
tell her likewise that many a pretty head is half turned round to see
that Frederick lingers near the harp or piano-forte, though he _does_
come from that

                         "Land of bogs,
  With ditches fenced--a Heaven fat with fogs."

_This_ information will not surprise his sisters, who have frequently
experienced his dexterity in turning over the leaves of a music book;
and for his dear mother's particular gratification I must add, that I
know not when I have been more delighted with my young friend since we
left home together, than when any appeal to his free will has elicited
the declaration of his entire dependence on the wishes of a parent.
There is something affectingly beautiful in the generous openness, the
amiable devotion, with which this fine young man, just arrived at the
period of life so trying to the silly pride that struggles against
the semblance of authority, refers to _your_ wishes and opinion,
upon every occasion when he is called upon to enter into projects for
future amusement; and this not in the low tone and creeping attitude of
fear or bashfulness, but with the erect air of honest strength, that
glories in the fond submission, where love and duty bid it yield. His
uncle's discriminating eye has already marked these things without a
prompter's aid; and every little instance which indicates _character_,
is registered with evident pleasure in favour of Frederick, by the
acute discernment of my poor friend, on whom it is now time to say
that I have prevailed, in concert with Dr. Pancras, a very worthy man,
who accompanied him from India, in quality of attending physician,
to give up all thoughts of going to Marsden for the present. He is
totally unfit to undertake a house and establishment of his own, at
this time, and will require a long exemption from care of every kind.
His bodily frame is debilitated to a great degree, and his mind calls
for every strengthener, too, that can be administered to invigorate
its tone. His character is deeply interesting, and his situation
mental, as well as corporeal, extremely critical. The moral atmosphere
in which he is to be placed during the next six months appears, if
possible, more important to his future happiness than the climate
in which he is to breathe is of consequence to his health; and no
part of the globe furnishes such a union of all that he stands in
need of as Glenalta; I have therefore urged his passing the winter
in our valley. Till this morning I could not obtain an answer, but
at length he promises to try an experiment, not, however, _binding_
himself to any definite period of sojournment amongst us. When truth
and delicacy preside at the helm, there is no danger of steering
a wrong course. It is the manoeuvrer only who requires a pilot;
your guileless nature needs no _hints_ for regulating your conduct
towards this interesting invalid, and it is only to make you in some
measure acquainted with, not to guide you in the _management_ of his
peculiarities, that I dwell upon the description of them. _You_ knew
nothing of your brother before he went to India, and we have all lost
sight of him for many years; I cannot therefore attempt to pursue, in
any concatenated series, the circumstances which have made him what he
is. I can only trace _effects_, and judge from the data furnished by
these to my observations of what the _causes_ may have been. Since we
have been together, a thousand trifling occurrences have assisted me
in developing a character which must be unrolled with as much nicety
as is required to spread open the Pompeïan manuscripts. The slightest
accident would prove fatal in either case, and one rude touch would so
effectually destroy the delicate fabric of one and the other, as to
render fruitless any after attempt at deciphering the contents. I was
engaged in studying whatever had arisen naturally to my view, when I
one day, as usual, went to visit him directly after breakfast; he was
not in the room when I entered, and I found a volume of Shakspeare open
on the table, at which he had been reading. The book was turned on its
face, in the play of Macbeth, and a pencil lay upon the outside, which
had been probably employed the moment before my entrance in marking
with extra-ordinary emphasis the following passage:--

  "I have lived long enough: my way of life
  Is fall'n into the sear, the yellow leaf:
  And that which should accompany old age,
  As honour, love, obedience, troops of friends
  I must not look to have; but, in their stead,
  Curses, not loud, but deep, mouth-honour, breath,
  Which the poor heart would fain deny, but dare not."

I instantly replaced the volume, and mused when I left my poor friend
on the singularity of this little incident; for it is actually a fact
that, in rising to something like an abstract of his character the
night before, as I lay awake, and contemplated the several traits
which fell under my remark, these very lines were cast up by memory to
pourtray the man.

Now, philosophers tell us, that when we arrive at the same result by
the opposite processes of synthesis and analysis, we have good ground
to believe in the correctness of an argument. If so, your brother's
picture is delineated; for these affecting words addressed to Seyton
by the unhappy Thane, whether taken as a text from which to deduce,
or a conclusion at which you arrive by a previous train of induction,
equally "_land_" the observer in that morbid melancholy which has
marked Douglas for her own. His mind is of the finest material, bearing
impress of the race from which he springs. Had he lived at home, and
had his affections been cultivated in those relations which supply
successional _crops_ as it were to feed the heart, when the first
indigenous growth has died away, he would have been a very _different_
man, whether _happier_ or not we cannot tell. But loosened by distance,
and then dissevered by death from those early bonds of instinct which
"plays the volunteer within us," he formed no new connections to
keep in exercise his best feelings, which having lost the objects
prepared for them by nature, were scattered to the winds till they
became annihilated in diffusion. What a mistake it is to fancy that
a man acquires love for his species in proportion to his becoming
indifferent towards individuals? Yet this is a common error. No, true
philanthropy shines on the circumference from a glowing centre, and the
fond domestic affections are those which send out most commonly the
sweetest charities to mankind.

Douglas is not a misanthrope, but he has met with many disappointments,
as all men must do who form their early acquaintances--friendships I
will not call them--amongst the multitude who are only bound together
by the casual ties of pleasure and convenience. The temporary purpose
gained, or the transient gratification satisfied, no memory remains of
favour conferred, no gratitude survives for benefits received. While
youth continues we _waste_ our resources, because they are liberally
replenished, and in the abundance and variety of the springs from
whence they flow, we cannot anticipate a season of dearth; but the
cisterns, however bounteously supplied, will become dry at last, and
even _drops_ will, in the end, seem precious of that which we lavished
before with thoughtless prodigality. Your brother, however, is too
just to hate his fellow-creatures because he has neglected to render
himself an object of their love; but, though he does not actually
set his mind in array against them, he is too proud to acknowledge
dependence, and his temper is not sufficiently under controul to prevent
him from involuntarily revenging on society the insulation which he
has imposed on himself, by avoiding rather than courting communion
with the world, for an intercourse with the best and wisest of which
he is peculiarly gifted. It would seem as if he had laid down a law
for himself to be severe and repellent, which the natural kindness of
his character renders impossible, and the _most_ that he can achieve
is an air of uncertainty bordering on caprice, which strangers ascribe
to bad health. I suspect that during the halcyon days of youth,
religion which, in India, has been cruelly neglected, made no part
of his concern, but a mind of such height and depth as his can never
continue careless on the subject of its immortal interests; and,
if my observations be correct, he is at this moment suffering those
_transition pangs_ incident to the awakened conviction of having been
wrong, and desiring to be right, which are rendered more than commonly
poignant in his instance by that scrupulous conscientiousness which
suggests the inquiry whether his motive in searching after truth
may not partly arise from a belief that he feels "the silver cords"
beginning to give way and threaten dissolution.

You will not think me tedious in thus endeavouring to give you a clue
to the character of one who is formed in no ordinary mould, and for
whom I anticipate all the happiness which he is capable of enjoying
at Glenalta. You will have no difficulty to contend with, no plot to
sustain. Oh! my dear Caroline, it is worth coming into a sophisticated
scene like this, to behold, in all its loveliness, the beauty of a
single heart. The moral like the physical circumstances which surround
us daily, are not half appreciated, because that they want contrast.
We are ungrateful and forget our blessings. I shall have much to tell
you, which I do not like to write. Dear Arthur would furnish materials
for another sheet, but I must not lengthen this letter, already so
voluminous. Frederick's love, with mine, to the _Trias Harmonica_, and
Mr. Oliphant. Adieu, dearest friend.

  Yours ever and sincerely,



       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's note

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