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THE NEW

MONTHLY BELLE ASSEMBLÉE.

APRIL, 1848.

THE DREAM OF THE AFFIANCED.

BY MRS. ABDY.

Dr. Walwyn, an eminent London physician, I reading standard authors, and that we detest had paid his usual round of morning visits; he modern trash; and yet, leave us in a room with had seen a number of fantastic young ladies and Milton and Shakspeare, and we shall turn from nervous old ones, and a corresponding pro- them with cold indifference to absorb ourselves portion of hypochondriacal and fanciful gentle- | in any volume by a nameless writer that boasts men of all ages.

fees.

the date of the present year, and the attraction Dr. Walwyn's patients were mostly in the of uncut leaves. Just so was it with Dr. fashionable world, and they laboured under one Walwyn: after quietly reading the inscriptions great and overwhelming malady—they had on the back of about half a hundred decidedly nothing to do. He told them the cause of their clever works, he walked on a voyage of discovery complaints in almost as plain terms as Abernethy to a side-table, and possessed himself of a himself could have done; but all was in vain: treatise on dreams, translated from the German. illness created a little variety in the monotony of Now the freshness and newness of this book their existence, and procured for them the must have been its only attraction in the eyes of solacing pity of their friends and acquaintance; Dr. Walwyn, for he had a great dislike to therefore they continued to be ill, and to reward translations from the German, and a still greater the doctor for his disinterestedness in attempting dislike to the subject of dreams; in fact, the to render them otherwise, by a golden shower of doctor, although a clever man, was singularly

calm and unimaginative-the real was everything Wearied in mind, though not in body, with in his estimation; the ideal, nothing, or worse the visits of the morning, Dr. Walwyn de- than nothing: for he considered it as a snare to termined to pass an hour with his favourite bewilder and confound the faculties of the friend, D'Arcy; their intimacy had been only of warm-hearted and inexperienced. Consequently, a few months' duration, and they were both he was strenuously opposed to the introduction bordering on fifty-an age when it is not usual of all novelties in his profession, and was very to form hasty friendships; but they were re- fond of quoting the saying of that wicked wit markably congenial in tastes and talents, and as who asserts that “phrenology and animal magD'Arcy, although evidently wealthy, led from netism are the ricketty twin-born babes of choice a life of great retirement, Dr. Walwyn felt modern enthusiasm." Dreams he held in peflattered as well as pleased by the eagerness with culiar contempt, and had also his quotations on which he courted his society.

that subject; one was from Epictetus-“Never D'Arcy was from home, but was expected in tell thy dreams; for although thou mayest take half-an-hour; and Dr. Walwyn, dismissing his great pleasure in narrating them, others will carriage and servants, entered the usual sitting- receive no pleasure in hearing them :" and room of his friend, resolved to await his arrival. another was from a sprightly modern writer, who He looked round for a book to pass away the declares, that “telling a dream is the most intervening time; a great many were arranged inexcusable piece of impertinence of which any on the shelves around the room, but they were man, woman, or child can possibly be guilty !” not new productions. We are all of us very in- The treatise in question was exceedingly insincere on the subject of the books we prefer; teresting, written in excellent language, partly nine-tenths of us openly declare, and the rest filled with clever arguments, and partly with covertly insinuate, that we are never tired of deeply interesting narratives. The clock sounded

five just as Dr. Walwyn reached the middle of acter and conduct which have hitherto deceived the volume; he could not endure the thought of our most searching investigation.” leaving it unread, and armed with a paper-knife “I have never been fortunate enough to enjoy to clear his passage as he proceeded, had reached any of those marvellous dreams," replied Dr. the last leaf at the precise moment that D'Arcy | Walwyn, “and imagine they are not very comarrived at home, just in time to dress for his six mon in England, however they may abound in o'clock dinner. Dr. Walwyn had no resource Germany." but to accept his friend's invitation to dinner, D'Arcy answered by quoting the remarkable and to plead guilty to the fact of having been dream of a country gentleman relative to the discovered absorbed in the enjoyment of a work assassination of Mr. Percival; and proceeded the subject of which had always been treated by to detail several anecdotes from Abercrombie's him with disdain. Had he been silent, the cut work on the Intellectual Powers, and Dr. Milleaves would have told tales of him; and he ligen's Curiosities of Medical Experience. wisely resolved to be beforehand with them. "I allow," said Dr. Walwyn, "that these

People are apt to be strangely ungrateful to dreams might almost stagger credulity; but we the studies that have afforded them amusement; I do not hear of them in an immediate channel how often will the prosing reader, who has sat from the dreamers. I consider it probable that for two hours poring over a double newspaper. I they have passed through the hands of many lay it down with the observation, that “there is narrators, gaining a little additional colouring not a word in it!" and how commonly will the from each, till they have reached their present maiden-aunt and bachelor-uncle, who sit up state of marvellousness." half the night to read the novels procured by The wine and dessert had by this time been their young relatives, censure the juniors for placed upon the table, and the friends were left “wasting their time over such unmeaning non-to the undisturbed enjoyment of their consense!” Now Dr. Walwyn, instead of feeling | versation. properly obliged to the book that had made an “I am almost inclined,” said D'Arcy, after a hour and a half appear like ten minutes to him, I pause, "to run the risk of your ridicule by was very indignant with himself for having con- relating to you a dream, which has materialy descended to open it at all, and therefore he influenced the events of my life.” employed the whole time of dinner in animad- “ You are a much less wise man than I have verting on German works of all kinds, and in always supposed you to be," said the doctor, particular on those which treated on the subject “ if you could allow the events of your life to be of dreams.

influenced by a dream." D'Arcy did not agree with him. “I am well “ You give me little encouragement to relate aware,” he said, “that the generality of dreams | it," answered his friend, “and I am afraid will are confused and unineaning, and also that place me on a level with the Sluggard of custom has affixed to the narration of dreams | Watts, part of whose idleness is described by bis the stamp of inanity and folly; in reality, how visitor in the wordsever, there is something in the subject intensely beautiful and sublime.”

He told me his dreams;' Dr. Walwyn uttered a short, dry cough, in before. however, I venture on my narrative, reply ; and D'Arcy continued, with enthusiasm, I must be permitted to ask you a few questions. “ Dreams appear to me as an invisible link, con-| You

? You have doubtless heard me spoken of in necting the world below with that above. We

society?" may not attempt to pierce the veil of mysteries

“ Frequently,” said Dr. Walwyn. 80 wisely withheld from us; but we may, through

“And the reports which you have heard con. the marvellous yet simple agency of the visions

cerning me do not tend to my advantage ?" of the night, obtain information of the events to

pursued D’Arcy. come, or enlightenment as to those of the past,

“I do not believe a word of them,” exclaimed which may prove to us of the most essential

Dr. Walwyn, eagerly. benefit, and which would have been unattainable « That I may teủ you how much and bom through any other source.”

| little you may believe of them,” said D'Arcy, “ What a pity," said the doctor, drily," that it is necessary that I should ask you to repeat lotteries are at an end : I went to sleep last night them.” with my head so confused by the accounts that! « Pardon me.” said Dr. Walwyn; "the reI had been poring over, that I have no doubt I petition would show me to be deficient in good could easily have extracted a lucky number from taste and good breeding, and would also u the multiplicity of figures that seemed to flit perfectly useless. Knowing and respecting you before me.”

as I do, any slanderous attacks on your character “ There is something grand and beautiful,” carry with them their own refutation." pursued D'Arcy, without seeming to notice this “Thank you for your trust in me," answered interruption, “in the thought that however dull D'Arcy, with feeling; “but as it is roaterial and uneventful the general course of our life me to know what you have heard of me, and may be, the dreams of the night may introduce I fancy I can conjecture the general bearing us to new scenes, re-unite us with lost friends, I it, I will, if you please, repeat it to you, inste and even unveil to us those intricacies of char- 1 of listening while you repeat it toʻme; and

The Dream of the Affianced.

195

shall correct me if I am mistaken. You have , the marriage, he said, had long been planned heard, I imagine, that at the dying request of between himself and the father of Claudine, but my father, I entered into an engagement of they had deemed it a point of wisdom to keep it marriage with a beautiful and accomplished girl, secret from their children till they had attained the daughter of his oldest friend ; that I pro- | the age of maturity; fearing lest a prejudice fessed the most unbounded attachment for might be excited in their minds by a premature Claudine Delamere, who on her part returned knowledge that they were expected to look to my affection; that she discovered me soon after like.' The time, however, had now arrived when our engagement at the feet of Anna Welford, a they thought it desirable that our introduction humble dependant upon her bounty ; that I im- should take place; and my father was on the plored her forgiveness for my temporary in- | point of accepting an invitation to the house of constancy, and that she generously restored me Mr. Delamere, when the illness attacked him to her favour."

which baffled all his hopes of seeing me happily D'Arcy paused.

settled before his death. I did not feel any “All this I have heard,” said Dr. Walwyn. difficulty in assuring my father of my readiness

" You have also heard,” continued D'Arcy, to comply with his desires. Mr. Delamere had “ that the wedding-day was at length fixed, and visited us two years ago, and I had been pleased every preparation made; that on the eve of it I with his intelligence and delighted with his took leave of my affianced bride with professions cordiality; he had shown me on that occasion of the warmest affection, and that early the next a miniature of his daughter; and the raven morning a letter was received by her father from tresses, large dark eyes, and coral lips of me, in which I declared, that for reasons it was Claudine, so exquisitely delineated by the artist, impossible to explain, I must beg to resign all had haunted my fancy for several subsequent thoughts of an union with his daughter. You days. Report also had mentioned Miss Delahave also heard that society marked its opinion mere to me in high terms, as being sensible, of my conduct by treating me with decided cold-amiable, and accomplished; and as my heart ness; that Miss Delamere fell into a lingering was perfectly disengaged, and in fact had never illness, from disappointment and mortification; received any but very slight and transient that I went to travel abroad, and that at a small shocks from the charms of the fair sex, I was town in Italy I unexpectedly found Mr. Delamere disposed to believe that my father had chosen and his daughter; that the latter, who was on well and wisely for me, and that I could not do her death-bed, sent to request an interview with better than follow the matrimonial path traced me; that I obeyed her summons; that her death out by his discriminating judgment. I received shortly ensued, and that I returned to England several kind and cordial letters from Mr. Delaa dejected and heart-broken man."

mere, to which I replied in suitable terms; and a “I have heard it all, D'Arcy,” exclaimed few months after the death of my father, having Dr. Walwyn, “and I disbelieve it all. Do not settled my affairs with tolerable accuracy, and degrade yourself by denying it."

| ascertained that I was the possessor of a very “ Were I to deny it,” said D'Arcy, with a handsome income, I resolved to comply with melancholy smile, “I should indeed degrade the repeated invitations of Mr. Delamere, and to myself, for every word that you have heard is claim my long promised introduction to his literally true.”

daughter. The friendly deportment of Mr. De“Impossible !” exclaimed Dr. Walwyn, in- lamere soon made me feel quite at home in his voluntarily drawing his chair a little further house, even although appearing there in the from his friend; “I have always considered you awkward character of a wooer; and the beauty, as a man of honour.”

grace, and accomplishments of Claudine far “So I trust you will still do,” said D'Arcy, exceeded my expectations; the pencil of the “ when you have listened to the explanation of artist, the rumours of society, had failed to do my conduct, in which a dream will occupy a her justice. She was tall and majestic, and considerable part; that dream has caused all the her manners, although easy and graceful, were gloom and solitude of my present life.”

dignified, and untinged by coquettry: wherever “ It is rather strange, then," observed Dr. she appeared she was surrounded by admirers; Walwyn, “ that you should speak so much in and yet to accuse Claudine Delamere of flirtation, favour of dreams.”

would have seemed as ridiculous as to have “I have reason to do so," said D'Arcy. suspected her of petty larceny. Nor did I judge “ Had not that dream been sent to me in mercy, alone from my own observations -- she was I should have been the victim of a fate too evidently sought, valued, and respected by the terrible to think upon."

families who had known her from childhood, “Pray proceed,” said the doctor; “ for once and my valet brought me continual accounts of in my life, I candidly own that I am anxious to her kindness to her domestics and generosity to listen to a dream.”

her poor pensioners. After a few days, I dis“ Willingly," replied D'Arcy; “but before I closed my attachment to her, and had the haprelate my dream, you must allow me to state piness of receiving from her an assurance of her some previous incidents in my life. My father, corresponding feelings; the only failing that I in his last illness, made known to me his earnest had allowed myself to perceive in her character desire that I should unite myself with the was a deficiency in softness and sensibility ; but daughter of his favourite friend, Mr. Delamere: love, which gives animation to the timid, also

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