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THE LONDON SEASON.
"Half the misery of human life consists in our making a wrong estimate of it, and on being disappointed when we find out our fault. We do not often begin it at the right end. We put a much higher figure in the sum than it will bear, and we cry like a school-boy when the addition is wrong."
We should surely find it a profitable habit -profitable, I mean, merely in the way of personal enjoyment-to keep the scale of our expectations invariably low; for they are then as certainly met with a rebound in the reality, as confident hopes find their sure depression.
Lady Carew's visions of the enjoyment to be derived from the London season had recently become contracted into the expectation of a repetition of Lea experiences,
She had not
removed to a town house.
calculated on the effects, on one of Sir Harry's volatile mind, of the constant change of thought and diversion of feeling, produced by the perpetual sight of different faces, and the fulfilment of many and varying engagements.
It was inevitable that Sir Harry and Lady Carew should be much asked out, and that the society of the beautiful young bride should be greatly courted; while she herself received the attentions and adulation which her appearance, her position, and her novelty alike demanded. Harry possessed a large circle of unexceptional visiting acquaintance, with whom he seemed to be fairly popular; as they wisely overlooked his peculiarities, in the fact of his personating one of the oldest baronetcies in Great Britain-which is in itself a kind of moral worth, and is therefore frequently, and rightly, held to be a passport for every
virtue. Nor were his peculiarities (on which I am truly sorry to be obliged to touch at all) so glaringly apparent in the constantly-shifting kaleidoscope of a crowded London season, as they had been when he formed the central figure in the focus of the regards of a country neighbourhood; and Zara ceased to wonder (a dangerous habit into which she had recently fallen) how she could so entirely have overlooked them in her pre-nuptial acquaintance with her husband, brief though it had been.
She herself became unexpectedly aware of many dear friends, whose warm regards. she had not before known herself to possess; family connections, hereditary acquaintances, and many others-whom she knew at least by name, and who appeared to have always taken a silent interest in her welfare, which now became a loudly open one in her prosperity.