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It is not always easy, perhaps not possible, to account, satisfactorily, to our own minds, much less to furnish to others, a ready and satisfactoire solution of the various emotions and sudden alternations which our feelings undergo. I experienced all this on the present occasion, but am utterly at a loss fully to explain the mental phenomenon. As, however, I went forward, a stronger emotion, or, what some lexicographers designate it—to whose wisdom I hold it always (when convenient to purpose) right to appeal-a vehemence of passion, took possession of me. The ground over which I now moved, was sacred ground,-sacred to friendship,for there, on former, happier days, I had, either walking or riding, been blessed with the society and conversation of the friends of my heart,—and with a mournful sensation, which suddenly threw its chilling influence over me, I exclaimed, mentally, _“Days of pleasure past by, and never to return, whither have ye fled ?”
From the reverie into which I had unconsciously fallen, I was roused by the louder rattling of the coach wheels, the sound of which had become more dense, in consequence of a wall, which was erected along the road side, preventing its escape or expansion. I looked out, and perceived the fair and princely domain of the Earl of Egremont, spreading before me. These were the serpentine walks by which I had often wound up the beautifully abrupt elevations of the park, and there too, in their sylvan magnificence, the clumps of oak and chesnut trees, beneath whose shade I had frequently sauntered and mused, while the blazing sun threw fiercely round his meridian rays, or when the mild beams of the sylvan moon played upon the waters in the valley beneath. Further off, I beheld the ivy-clad monument or tower, which rose like the strong hold of some bandit chieftain, or lordly baron's castle, in the days of feudal warfare. Instantly, as the building became visible, my mind turned mechanically to the period, when upon the beautiful lawn, which extends to a considerable extent on one side of its base, I had viewed, with a moment's pleasurable sensation, my friends bounding over the enameled earth, like the fawns by which they were surrounded, while playing at base-ball, and then, retiring to the roomy chambers of the antique building, refreshed themselves with wine and fruit; while I, in moody frame, ascended to its lofty battlements, and gazed solitarily and sadly on the vast scenes before me, while" ever and anon,” tears of anguish furrowed my cheeks, as I thought, that with sensibilities formed for the enjoyment of happiness, circumstances appeared to have put it for ever from my grasp. While thus I mused, a shuddering sensation crept over
The buried feelings of other times were resuscitated,--and placing my hand upon my feverish forehead, I resumed my seat, from which I had partially risen, lured by the magnetic influence of the objects which half enchanted me. We pressed rapidly on ;-fresh scenes came and went, each alike familiar, and in a few minutes we entered the little, irregular town, which first gave the title of lord to the noble William De Percy, from whom, in a long and honourable line, the present George O'Brien Wyndham received the coronet which encircles his brow.
I have frequently been amused, in various parts of the country, by the scenes which I have witnessed, while a change of horses was obtained. The obsequious bowing of coxcomb waiters,—the put-on politeness of innkeepers,-and the blustering importance of the man of the whip, with half a score et ceteras, would furnish any observant, book-making elf with subjects for bulky tomesboth useful and amusing-almost ad infinitum. I was not in the humour for such entertainment, on the present occasion, and therefore, before the wheels had quite ceased from their rotary motion, I had left the vehicle, and was on my way to the house of an old friend. The greeting given and received, was just such as it should have been ;-it was honest and homely, after the good old English fashion, without any of the hollow profession, and cold, empty grimace of Frenchified etiquetté: a hearty shake of the hand, with “how do ye do?glad to see you,—what refreshment will you take ? &c. &c., was followed by an immediate supply of what I wished for; and while that was being disposed of, a number of questions were proposed by the smiling, happy lady of the house, seconded by
two young ladies, all of which had I attempted to answer, would have subjected me to the loss, either of certain grateful viands, or of the coach, if not of my very breath. With a little maneuvering, however, I succeeded in satisfying myself, and what is much more wonderful—the ladies too, and jumped up to depart. After another hearty greet, with an explicit promise shortly to visit them again, I closed the hasty interview, and with “ farewell, and farewell,” given and returned, hasted across the fields, to waylay the coach, as it left the town.
“This," thought I, as I strode forwards, "is one of the bright spots which serve to enliven the map of human existence; but like the joys of life, or life itself,-evanescent as a sunbeam in a stormy day; or like a meteor's flash, we cannot say 'tis here, before 'tis gone.
“ The present moments just appear,
Then slide away in haste,
But only say, 'they're past.'"
My journey, upon the whole, was a pleasant one; and after employing some weeks in visiting several places in the western part of Sussex, I returned, according to my promise, to spend a few days with, and enjoy the company of my highlyesteemed friend, as well as to take a solitary ramble or two,
Through scenes and haunts to memory dear.
On the second morning of my visit, I prepared to put into execution my mental-formed resolve, and accordingly sallied forth, beneath as clear a sky as ever cheered the heart of mortal. I have no memoranda of the almost innumerable stoppages I was doomed to suffer, before I had proceeded many yards from the house, by the frequent meeting of old friends with smiling faces. Fearing that I should lose more time than I could well spare, if I did not make my escape from the vicinity of the town, I struck off to the right, and taking a circuitous rout, entered a village at the end of an half hour's walk, in which, formerly, I had spent some of the most happy hours of my existence. With half-hurried steps, I approached the habitation which once was occupied by a family whose memory will ever be dear to me. I advanced to the gate in front of “Star Cottage,”such was the unobtrusive name which it bore,but no smiling countenance looked a welcome upon me as formerly; no happy, silver-toned voice, in the cadence of friendship, pressed me to enter. No, no; all was changed: the finger of mutation, which the flight of time had employed, had left heart-sickening evidence that it had been busy there. On one side the door, I saw a flower yet existing, which, years before, my own hand had planted : it looked the sad memento of former days. It had indeed survived, amidst the wreck which other things had experienced; yet even it, on a nearer view, appeared like the being who had