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of the seraph in her aspect; for her eyes were deep blue, as an Italian sky; and her figure so light and tragile, that when she glided from one place to another, you would scarce have thought that she was a material being. She was one year younger than Michael, but many years behind him in knowledge; for, although she was an apt scholar, and thoughtful withal, she had not the inquisitive mind of her brother, and she was more contended with the superficial, as woman indeed ought to be. Ella Moore was most truly maiden-like ; she seemed to have an intuitive perception of all that it became girlhood to be ; she never aspired beyond her proper sphere; nor suffered herself to descend below it. I have seen her when a transient ebullition of feeling has betrayed her into what she deemed an excess, shrink back as though she were frightened at her own boldness, and assume a more becoming serenity. And it was nature, not art, that restrained her: she had not been taught to school her emotions, and she knew nothing of conventional obligations; she was regulated in all that she did by an innate sense of the beautiful and becoming ; and, if she had been raised from the cottage to the palace, she would have graced her elevated situation equally with her more lowly one.
Of the character of John Smith, the personification of the reasoning faculty, or judgment, the following extract of a letter written to Doveton, by him, after he had left school, will give a sufficient idea:
“The most amiable qualities of our nature require certain modifications. Even love, wherein you abound to such fullness, must be modified, or it will betray you into excesses not only dangerous but vicious. It is a mistake to think that what is amiable in itself must in its increase become still more amiable. Directly one good quality, by its enlargement, begins to clash against another, it has arrived at an excess which must be moderated ; for one virtue administers to another, and when it ceases to do so, it changes its nature, and is no longer good. Agesilaus was once heard to exclaim, “Oh how hard it is both to love and to be wise.” Love warring against wisdom is not to be cherished, but to be cast out with contumely and disgrace. I question whether more evil does not result from the misdirections of the better qualities of our nature than from the onward progress of our baser ones, even as a treacherous friend is more dangerous than an open enemy.
“I should be almost ashamed of myself for writing down such palpable common-places, did I not feel assured that these very common-places will be much more useful, and, perhaps, more novel to you, than the most subline and original truths, which, were I capable of giving birth to them. I should refrain from declaring in your presence. You have too much of the original and the subline (?) already, and what you want is a little of the common-place. I think that I see you, as ou read this last sentence; but do not look so contemptuous, I beseech you, nor utter your indignant ‘Pshaws,' nor exclaim, ‘Grovelling worm '
“For man is oft-times nobler when he creeps
and this reminds me that I intended to tell you, that if you read any more poetry, read Wordsworth's, and if you can manage to do so, read it always in the open air, with a beautiful prospect before you, and, perhaps, you will learn, from this greatest of good men, how to possess yourself in lowliness of heart.
“I do not infer that you are proud ; but you are too exclusive in your sympathies. I have heard you complain that none sympathize with you : how can you expect it when you sympathize with no one * You voluntarily separate yourself from the herd, and then complain of your solitary lot. Take it upon my philosophy, Doveton, that the world will not trouble itself to quarrel with you ; so that if there should be any schism between you, be assured that you have quarrelled with the world. Come down then to the level of humanity; for he is the truly wise man who moves with the stream, , and yet avoids its impurities; who is content with the world as he finds it, looking upon all things with a quiet eye, neither envying those above him, nor despising those beneath him, and readily sympathizing with all. Do not think that because ou have set your thoughts upon lofty matters, and indulge in high aspirations, and talk about ove, and glory, and knowledge, and such like abstractions, that all meaner things are contemptable, and that you lower yourself by ceasing to generalize; for such, believe me, is not the case.
“I have heard you talk about the delight of boyhood, and yet you refuse to share in the very sports which engender them. You talk about the beauties of the creation, and will not stoop to examine a flower; you talk about domestic happiness, and yet look with contempt upon the woman who sits by the fire side, employed upon the fabrication of a pin-cushion. You attach no specific ideas to the blessings of which you speak; how then can you expect to enjoy them I am afraid that these dim abstractions of yours are productive of every little happiness. But let me assure you, Doveton, and I know not how I can embody my assurances in better language than that of the poet whom I have before had occasion to cite, that
‘The dignity of life is not impaired
is a still happier man, who, for those heights
Need I say more to convince you that there is no wisdom in thus always aspiring heaven-ward
“If you expect to possess yourself of happiness in the lump, I fear that you are doomed to endless disappointment. It is no easier to do this, believe ine, than it is to carry off a house, or a bridge, or a cathedral bodily. Brick by brick we most accomplish the task; and a number of small pleasures, like a number of small stones, consummate the structure of our happiness.
“Do not, then, refuse to take what you can get, because you are not offered all that you want. I never knew any good arise from thus grasping at an imaginary whole, instead of contenting one-self with the reality of a part ; there is little wisdom in this rejection of small gifts, this yearning after consummate felicity ; especially as the losty-headed traveller, who will not stoop to pick up the small blessings which lie scattered in his path, is not always the most impervious to the annoyance of the petty difficulties obstructing his way There is very little philosophy, I am sure, in refusing to derive happiness from the same source that supplies us with wretchedbess—from trifles; and, if I am not much mistaken, l know one who will stop to pick a poison herb, but not to cull a sweetly-smelling flower.
Gerard Doveton gives an account of his studies at school, and describes his mind to have been endowed with analytical power, that enabled him to separate the grain from the chaff with little labour and difficulty, and thus, though he was less industrious than his school-fellows, easily to out-strip them. Notwithstanding this power, however, and its attendant advantages, Doveton was not satisfied with the result of his studies.
“Yet, when I examined more closely the nature of my aspirations, I found that their ultimate object was not to be known, but to be loved. I looked upon fame, but as the ‘minister of love.’ If I desired to exalt myself above my fellows, it was mainly, that I might render myself more worthy to claim their sympathy and affection ; it was with the hope that the admired of the many might be a fit object to be loved by the few. I little thought at that time, neither do I think so now, though I well know that it is a common belief, that there is uo greater stumbling-block in the way of love, than fame; I was more charitable in my philosophy. I did not hold that to be great is to be envied ; for I thought that love and admiration are stronger principles than envy.
* We live by admiration, hope, and love;
and I did not think so meanly of my fellow-creatures, as to believe, that by the encouragement of
qualities opposite to these, we submit to a state of endless degradation. For if we ascend by admiration, doubtless by envy we are debased.”
His aspirations were not to be known, but to be loved, a beautiful and characteristic thought !
Doveton takes to a regular course of deep study, and advances far into the regions of “Science, Poetry and thought;" but in this, as in everything
else, he shews himself the creature of impulse, rather than of reflection, and runs into excess.
“Month after month passed away, and I felt that I was daily acquiring strength. I had now become the denizen of a new world; but l know not whether it was a world of happiness or of misery; for, in looking back upon this period of my existence, I can distinguish but one feeling, — an allabsorbing desire after knowledge, actuating and wholly engrossing me. In the ardour of my pursuit, I forgot the end, and thought only of the means; or, rather, the ultimate was obscured by the immediate object of my travail; the means became the end. I lost sight of love and glory in the distance, and beheld only knowledge that was near at hand. Whether I was happy all this time, I do not know; —I never knew. It was all to me like the excitement of battle ; I had no breathing moments to consider whether my feelings were F. or otherwise. When I was not actually engaged in study, I was pondering over what I had last read. My brain was always at work ; the thoughts of the closet pursued me into the fields: it was in vain that I went abroad for recreation : I could not unburthen my mind. I set my body in motion, I bared my forehead to the breeze, I looked around me at the circumjacent country, -but I could not rid myself of this heavy intellectual thraldom, I could not be fancy-free. Even outward objects, which I beheld palpably, took shape and colouring from the most prominent remembrances that my recent studies had stamped upon my mind. I roamed with Petarch in the meadows about Avignon; I was with Tasso in the dungeons of Ferrara ; I set with Ben Jonson, and other choice spirits of “The Appollo,” in the Old Devil Tavern, at Temple:Bar. Then, at other times, when the pages of the metaphysician had been the last over which I had bent, I would fancy myself with Socrates in his Athenian prison, whilst the old man, with a serene aspect, and in a calm voice, delivered that wondrous discourse which Plato has enshrined in his Phaedo; or I would sit beside Epictetus, the stoic, in the palace of Marcus Antoninus; or with Seneca, philosophizing in the death-agony ; or weep over the degradation of our Bacon, whose wisdom redeemed us from the ignorance of the dark' ages in which he found us. It was to the study of the leading metaphysical writers of all nations, that I principally devoted myself. , System after system did I explore, seeking wisdom in this multitude of counses, but, not finding the jewel that I sought, I searched deeply, and with the most unwearying perse. verance ; but the further that I advanced into the inner places of science, the more hopeless was my uncertainty and bewilderment. I asked, with Pilate, ‘What is truth?' and first one philosopler, and then another, unfolded his little scroll of intelligence before my eyes, and answered : “Thou will find it here : in my system is that which you seek.” What could I do, thus distracted, but endeavour to judge wisely for inyself?. I endeavoured; and patiently dissecting the machinery of each system, I arrayed their several constituent parts one against the other ; and with the utmost candour, and all the discrimination I possessed, did I then attempt to make mine election from amongst the multitude of antagonist arguments which I had laid out for examination before me. I failed ; but never was there a failure productive of more lasting advantages. I could not make mine election; I found not what I sought ; and the phoenomena of the human mind were greater mysteries to me now than ever. But though I had not unlocked the portals of truth, I had found that which I knew must be a key to them : I knew the causes of my failure, and they were these ; that I had entered the regions of philosophy without comprehending the language of the philosophers; that there was in this country not one, but many languages; and that this plurality had not only been productive of endless difficulties to all travellers in their dominions, but had likewise been the immediate origion of almost all their intestine disputes.
“Having arrived at this discovery, I recommenced my inquiries de noro, by endeavouring, aster the fashion of the algebraist, to invent a sort of universal vocabulary, to which I might reser all the different terms of different metaphysicians; and thus reducing them to one common language proceed without any fear of discovering, after months of travail, that I had been following up words instead of ideas, and had made divers journeys, by different roads, all leading to the same final resting-place. How often does the downfall of an error form a pile, whereby we may ascend unto truth.”
He neglects even the Moores for this intense study, forgetting that even knowledge may be acquired at too dear a rate; and he suffers for his indiscretion :
“But this state of things could not endure very long; and before the autumnal winds had stripped the trees of their foliage, I became sensible of very strange sensations throughout my whole frame. There was a film over my eyes, a dullness in my brain, a feeling of extreme weakness in all my limbs. I found it difficult to read, and still more difficult to comprehend the little that was reflected upon my vision. There was a continued noise in my ears, as though a rapid stream had been rushing impetuously through my head. All was dim, chaotic, confused. I scarcely knew who I was or where I was. I went about from one room to another, and ordered myself to the daily goings on of life, but all my movements were mechanical. I scarcely had any will to direct me. Others spoke to me, and I made answer, but I knew not what I was saying. I felt neither hunger nor thirst, but I presented myself at all the meals of the family, and ate, because I was accustomed to eat. I retired to my chamber at night, but if sleep be a forgetting, I am sure that I rarely slept. I passed many days in a sort of dim consciousness; a glimmering twilight of the intellect ; and then at last the crisis arrived.
I had over-worked my young brain. One night, after I had retired to my sleeping apartment, all the sensations, which I have above endeavoured to describe, came upon me with increased violence. I thought that my dissolution was at hand, and that I was about to be benumbed into a state of torpor, which would prove the fore-runner of death. Perhaps I do not employ the right expressions; for I find it extremely difficult to describe my physical sensations. I felt an extreme oppression about every part of my body, and more especially about the regions of my brain. A dull, heavy, binding pain seemed to grasp me. Such was the weight of the super-incumbent atmosphere, that I felt as though mountains were being piled upon me, as they were upon the vanquished Titans. I opened my chamber window, and I looked around me, but I saw nothing but a pale sheet, of silver. The full orbed moon was shining brightly in an almost unclouded sky, and I was sensible of the light, but of nothing else ; no shape, no shadow was distinguishable. I endeavoured to collect myself, but in vain. I walked up and down the room once or twice, thinking that, perhaps, motion might relieve me, but something heavy seemed clinging around me, and my limbs were exceedingly weak. I shook myself, but to no purpose for 1 could not set myself free. . Then I sat down upon the ground, and I bathed my temples with water, and went again to the open window, that the night-air might blow upon my forehead ; but I felt no coolness therefrom. Then I threw myself down on the bare floor, and pressed my hands tightly against both sides of my head, for the noise which I now heard was like the roaring of a mighty cataract, and all was darkness, both within and without. I had no other sensations but that of a continuous flowing through the the cavities of my brain, and of a binding feeling about my brow, as though it were girt about with a circlet of iron ; and then, suddenly, all was still, and I seemed to fall into a complete insensibility. The noise had ceased, and the pain had ceased, and I was conscious of nothing further.”
In the account of his severe but imprudent studies, of which we have given only brief specimens above, and in the strikingly eloquent and touching description, of his subsequent illness and the images that passed through his mind during its continuance, we have reason to believe that the author describes only his own melancholy experiences and sufferings.
As we have expressed an opinion that we should have preferred the cousin Emily of the novel even to Ella, we deem it right to give the author's sketch of the latter. Ella is more transcendental; but there is a natural grace and beauty in Emily, according to the author's description of her, which have an irresistible charm for us; and, we think, that there is not a character in the voluune more beautifully drawn than her's :
But my cousin Emily—what shall I say of her My beautiful little cousin, with her laughing eyes, and her rosy lips, which had a smile on them all day long. Oh how palpably her image rises up before me, as 1 beheld her, at the time of which I am now writing, in all the grace and purity of extreme youth, full of life, and love, and cheerfulness, the gladdest spirit that ever moved along the earth, shedding sunshine all around her, and making music wherever, she went. She was barely thirteen years of age, and the prettiest little creature in the world, with her nut-brown hair, soft, glossy and profuse, streaming adown her back and clustering over her shoulders, with her targe, dark, grey eyes, lucid with love and merriment, and her dimpling, blushing, oval cheeks, which invited you every moment to kiss them, and her full lips which pouted, when you did, with an expression of mock gravity, which was at beautiful discord with the mirth swimming in her eyes, though she endeavoured, with all her might, to frown, and to look angry—a most abortive endeavour, always,
For, lo directly after
and my cousin Emily would cry out “You naughty man!” and shaking her bright ringlets, run away with the swiftness of a fawn, her little feet gliding along as though they scarcely touched the ground; my playful, dear cousin Emily
She was the sweetest tempered creature in the world, and was never so happy as when she was doing some little act of kindness towards another. To hear you express a wish was sufficient; off she would run up-stairs, or down-stairs, for a book, across the lawn for a flower, or into the garden for a handful of fruit, singing all the way as she went like a bird, and laughing, when yon told her, upon her return, that she was “a dear, good, kind-hearted creature, for taking so much trouble.” And how well she knew the tastes of every one—how well she knew what little offering would be most acceptable to each. If an unseen hand had been at work for you in the house, you knew, at once, that it was my cousin Emily's. If you loved flowers, you would be sure to find a fresh nosegay in your plate when you took your seat at the breakfast-table ; and all your favourite flowers would certainly be in the bouquet. If you were musical, she would sing to you all day, in the sweetest voice you ever heard in your life; if you were a painter you would be sure to find your colors and your pallets all ready for you at your own hour every day. If you delighted in books, you would always find your chamber well stored with them; and, child as was my cousin Emily, she it was who selected them from the library, well knowing whether the pages of the poet, or the philosopher, or the historian were best adapted to your individual predilection; indeed, wherever you moved in her father's house, you beheld traces of her “gentle spiriting.” Who arranged the bouquets in the vases, and the bijouterie on the china-table, and the books in the library, but my cousin Emily Whose handicraft was visible in the ottomans and the hearth-rugs, but my cousin Emily's 2 Whose voice was heard singing along the gallery, or past your chamber-door, ere you were stirring in the morning, but the veice of my cousin Emily Always cheerful, and always active, yet, apparently, always at leisure, it was wonderful to think how much she did in the day, for she always appeared to be doing nothing. Every body loved her, for she was kind to every body; the servants of the house almost worshipped her; and her father-oh! never was there an only child more doated upon by an only parent. As for myself, it filled me with delight to look upon my cousin Emily. She was to me the impersonation of those “household charities,” so often mentioned in the pages of my favourite poet, and I never alighted
*. those two words without blessing my sweet little cousin Emily with all the servour of my eart.
Doveton discloses his love for Ella, to John Smith, and the dialogue which ensues is in several passages eloquent and impressive, and is throughout characteristic and well sustained. We quote it entire.
I found the man of sense in his lodgings, making notes upon one of Pindar's Olympiads. His table was groaning under the weight of Stephens’. Thesaurus, Facciolati's Latin Lexicon, and sundry other books of reference, less bulky in their dimensions. He wore a grey frieze dressing gown, and a pair of carpet slippers, in regular reading costume, and altogether he looked comfortable, and independent; not a pale-faced, lean student, but a stout, healthy-looking scholar, who neither ate nor slept the less for his industry, nor suffered the lamp of learning to consume one drop of the oil of health. He used to say that, “in the pursuit of knowledge, if the mind travels so fast that it exhausts the energies of the body, the weakness of the body will retard the advances of the mind, as a worn-out fellow-traveller clings to his companion for support, and then both of them labour on with difficulty.” But I was not, by any means, disposed to coincide in this opinion ; for when my body has been weakest, my mind has been always most strong ; and I think, that there is nothing which more deadens the intellect than a rude state of animal health. I should like much to enlarge
upon this subject, but I do not think that it is the province of the novellist to indulge in such subtle disquisitions.
The first thing that Smith said to me was, “Well, Doveton, have you heard from Anstruther, Esq., of Charlton Abbey, in the country of H — ?”
I shook my head, and replied, “But there has not been time yet.”
“Plenty,” said Smith,; “if he had written by pest, on the day after his arrival, you might have received your money by this time,”
“But, my dear fellow!” I returned, “ consider the circumstances of the case;—a dying mother, and all the miseries attending upon a death-bed scene. You may well give him a week, after the funeral, to recover his self-possession.”
“Pshaw l’exclaimed John Smith.
There was a pause: I had nothing to say in reply to that decisive monosyllable. But Smith, changing the subject, presently asked, whether I had recovered my carpet-bag 3
“Yes!” I cried, with an air of triumph; for I had the advantage of Smith there.
“And, in the way, I suppose, that I recommended to you?” said the man of sense, with a smile.
“By no means,” replied the man of imagination, drawing himself up with the air of a conqueror.
“I left it behind me, at Merry-vale, and Michael Moore was kind enough to forward it.” “And, pray, who is Michael Moore?”
This question induced an explanation; for I really liked Smith. . I was of an open, confidin nature; and I loved to unburthen my heart to any one who had inspired me with affection. So told him the whole history of the Moores; my friendship for Michael, and the love 1 bare towards Ella; and my suspicions that they were other than they seemed.
Smith's face wore a serious aspect, as he said, “Have you ever reflected upon the nature of your alliance with these people t”
“What do you mean?”
“Simply this," said the man of sense ; and slowly and calmly his words came forth, as he
continued : “It o. from your story, that you are enamoured of this Ella Moore, and that the girl returns your affection. Is this the case !”
The blood mounted to my very forehead, as I replied, “Yes, it is,”
“And have you ever reflected upon the probable issue of this mutual attachment? You say that the girl is beautiful ; she is a cottage-girl, far beneath you ; young, simple, and confiding. Now, listen to me, Gerard Doveton : I have long known you, and 1 fully believe in the kindness of your heart and the integrity of your principles. I do not think that you are a villain.”
“A villain "I exclaimed, starting from my seat, and clenching my hand I spoke.
“Nay, Doveton, hear me out,” said Smith, with the utmost calmness. “I say that I do not think you a villain. I believe you to be honest, generous, and kind-hearted. I do not think that you would ruin this girl.”
* Let me beseech you, Smith, to spare me these negative compliments. I do not see why you should tell me that you do not think me a villain.”
“Because, though I do not think so, others, perhaps, may. You are more than eighteen, the girl two years younger. As children, you might have consorted harmlessly together; but now, Doveton, your own good sense must point out the necessity of breaking off this alliance. It is a pity that you should have proceeded to this extremity, for it will cost you much anguish to break asunder the link that so long has bound you together.”
“It will break my heart 1"