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homely and unimaginative enjoyments it can
He concludes that I shall arrive at this
last state in due time; and, en attendant,
as if I had jumped from childhood to maturity at one step; but that step has been over a precipice, in which my happiness has been ingulfed. It is not, it surely cannot be, a spirit of envy that actuates me; but ever since I have seen your home, and witnessed how you are loved, my very soul has pined and ached with a consciousness of the want of a similar blessing. Were I so loved, and by
one I could respect, I think I could be happy, even though I felt not that fond, that lively tenderness, which I have seen sparkle in your eyes, and tremble on your lips, when your husband has approached. It is a sad thing to look at happiness only through another's eyes. It seems to me as if the being loved, cherished, and respected, by a good and honourable man, would be sufficient for happiness : one who mingled you with all his thoughts of this world, and all his hopes of the next; who left you with regret, and returned with delight; to whom you could reveal every sentiment, every feeling, as to a second self; one whose experience was to be your guide, and whose firmness, your protection.
You and Lord Delaward give me the idea of two rational beings, united to divide the cares and share the blessings of life; while Lord Annandale and I remind me of two persons forming a
party of pleasure, into which as much amusement as possible is to be crowded, and who have no other ties, or aim, or end.
The evening we came to town, he proposed taking me to the opera : I declined, because I was fatigued, and wished to pass the first evening of my séjour in a house of my own, quietly at home. I explained these feelings ; he assented, and left the room to see to the comfort of my establishment in my own apartment, as I concluded : but no such thing. After an hour's absence he returned, dressed for the evening, wondered that I had not ordered tea, and said he was going for an hour to the opera, and then to the club; saying which, he kissed my hand, and hurried off, leaving me no less surprised than mortified at being thus deserted. Does not this first triste evening in my new abode seem ominous ? I will endeavour not to entertain the apprehension.
Over the chimney-piéce in the library in which I was seated, I observed the portrait of a lady, so beautiful, yet with such a melancholy countenance, that it increased the sadness I already endured. I felt sure it must be that of his wife- of her who was my predecessor here. He had not once looked at it on entering. How heartless! This portrait reminded me that he was a father; and its sweet, mournful expression occasioned me to experience a deep interest with regard to her child.
“ She, too,” thought I, “ has been here neglected, and, like me, abandoned to solitude. She, perhaps, loved him, and wept in agony the neglect that pains me so little : she was, therefore, more wretched.” And again I looked at that beautiful face, the eyes of which seemed to return my glance with mild pensiveness. There are some hearts in which the germ of melancholy is implanted
even from their earliest youth, and maturity only strengthens it. On such persons, the inevitable ills of life fall with a weight that, if it crush them not wholly, leaves them eternally bruised in spirit. Such a spirit was hers on whose resemblance I gazed with an interest that no portrait ever before excited in me. Every thing in that pale, lovely face announces it. Yes; I will be kind to her child ; that sweet, appealing look pleads not in vain.
I experience a strange feeling in this house, as though I were an intruder; whichever way I turn, I see around me all the indication that I have taken another's place. The house was fitted up to receive Lady Annandale as a bride; her cipher, intermingled with flowers and gold arabesques, ornaments all the furniture in the apartments appropriated to me, the gloss scarcely off them; and she— in her grave, and 1-in her place. And yet the