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Anna St. Ives by Thomas Holcroft

Part 11 out of 11

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see this is not my hand-writing--My hand must never write more--But I
would employ the little strength I have, in relating 'the last scene of
this eventful history'. My sister is my amanuensis. These surgical
meddlers issued their edict that I should not speak; but they found I
could be as obstinate as themselves: I would not suffer a probe to be
drawn at me till I had written, for when they begin I expect it will
soon be over.

I remember I ended my last at the very minute I was about to mount my
horse. It was a wintery day. The rain fell in sheets, and the wind
roared in my face. My pistols were charged and locked in my pocket.

I rode full speed, but I set off too late! When I approached the
madhouse, I heard the most piercing shrieks and cries of murder!--They
mingled with the storm, in wild and appalling horror!--I rang
violently at the bell!... A ready and an eager hand soon flew to open
the gate--It was Anna St. Ives!--A boy shewed her the way--It was her
cries and his, mingled with the blasphemies of the wretches above,
which I had heard!

Her first word again was murder!--'Fly! Save him, save him!'

I rushed forward--The noise above stairs was dreadful--I blundered and
missed the stairs, but the terrified boy had run after me to shew me. I
heard two pistols fire as I ascended--The horror that struck my heart
was inconceivable!--A fellow armed with a bludgeon was standing to
guard the door. My pistols were unlocked and ready: I presented and
bade him give way--He instantly obeyed--I made the lock fly and
entered!--The first object that struck my sight was Frank, besmeared
with blood, a discharged pistol in his hand, defending himself against
a fellow aiming blows at him with a bludgeon, Mac Fane hewing at him
with a cutlass, and the keeper, who had just been shot, expiring at his
feet!

I fired at Mac Fane--My shot took place, though not so effectually but
that he turned round, made a stab at me, and pierced the abdomen almost
to the spine. But he had met his fate; and the return he made was most
welcome!--He fell, and the remaining antagonists of Frank immediately
fled.

Frank is living, but dreadfully hacked by the villain Mac Fane. They
tell me his life is safe, and that his wounds are deep, but not
dangerous. Perhaps they mean to deceive me. If so their folly is
extreme, and their pity to me ill placed. I well know I deserve no
pity.

With respect to myself, my little knowledge of surgery teaches me that
a wound so violent, made with a cutlass in such a part, must be mortal.
But mortality to me is a blessing. To live would indeed be misery.
Torments never yet were imagined equal to those I have for some time
endured: but, though I have lived raving, I do not mean to die canting.
Take this last adieu therefore, dear Fairfax, and do not because you
once esteemed me endeavour to palliate my errors. Let my letters to you
do justice to those I have injured. To have saved his life who once
saved mine, is a ray of consolation to that proud swelling heart, which
has sometimes delighted to confer, but has always turned averse from
the receiving of obligations, I would have been more circumstantial in
my narrative, were it not for the teasing kindness of my sister.

Once more, and everlastingly, adieu!

C. CLIFTON

P.S. ADDED BY LOUISA CLIFTON

As to a friend of my brother, sir, I have taken the liberty to delay
sending the letter, till his wound has been examined. The surgeons are
divided in their judgment. Two of them affirm the wound is mortal; the
third is positive that a cure is possible; especially considering the
youth and high courage of the patient, on which he particularly
insists. I dare not indulge myself too much in hope: I merely state
opinion. Neither dare I speak of my own sensations. Of the worth of a
mind like that of Mr. Clifton, you, sir, his friend and correspondent,
cannot be ignorant. The past is irrevocable; but hope always smiles on
the future. Should he recover--! Resignation becomes us, and time will
quickly relieve us from doubt.

L. CLIFTON

LETTER CXXVIII

_Anna Wenbourne St. Ives to Mrs. Wenbourne_

_Grosvenor-Street_

I return you my sincere thanks, dear madam, for your kind
congratulations; and think myself honoured by the great joy you
express, at my safety and the deliverance of Mr. Henley. I will not
attempt to describe my own feelings; they are inexpressible; but will
endeavour to obey your commands, and give you the best account I am
able of all that has befallen us.

For this purpose, I inclose the narrative written by Mr. Henley during
his confinement; and three letters addressed to my friend, Louisa, but
never sent; with a copy of a letter dictated by Mr. Clifton to his
friend, Mr. Fairfax. To these be pleased to add the following
particulars of what passed after Mr. Henley's narrative breaks off, and
the sudden interruption of my third letter by terror. Mr. Henley heard
but had no time to write their last consultation. It was the eagerness
of the keeper which overcame the reluctance of Mac Fane to the murder,
till he should have procured the bond of Mr. Clifton. The keeper was
violent: he had bargained with his two men to assist in the murder, for
fifty pounds each; and he told Mac Fane, if he would not consent, they
would proceed without him, and he should have no share of the eight
thousand pounds.

This argument had its effect: Mac Fane had some doubts relative to the
money won of Mr. Clifton; and four thousand pounds was a temptation not
to be resisted.

Mr. Henley omitted mentioning a circumstance that occurred of some
moment, because he did not know the meaning of it. Probably they had
planned it out of his hearing. The day before the attack, the keeper
returned him his watch and purse, with the same sum, but not, as Mr.
Henley thinks, the same pieces, it contained when delivered. The
purpose of this, it appears, was to make him believe the keeper a man
of his word.

On the morning of the intended murder, previous to the assault, the
keeper came up to Mr. Henley; but not into the room. He talked to him
with the usual security of his chains, and proposed that Mr. Henley
should deliver up the bank-bills, which the keeper now told him he knew
to be in his possession; with a promise that they should be returned,
as the watch and purse had been. An artifice so shallow was not likely
to impose on Mr. Henley. He had determined how to act, relative to the
bank bills, and answered it was true they were in his possession; but
that he would not deliver them to the keeping of any other. Immediately
after this repulse, the keeper, Mac Fane, and the two attendants
ascended.

The keeper (I speak after Mr. Henley) was much the most confident, and
seemed chiefly fearful that Mr. Henley should slip by them. He
therefore stationed one of his men at the outside of the door, which he
ordered him to lock and guard. Himself, Mac Fane, and the other entered
the room; the keeper and the man each with a bludgeon, and Mac Fane
with a pair of pistols and his cutlass hanging by his side.

Mr. Henley had purposely kept up a good fire, and had the bank bills in
his hand. He bade them keep off a moment, as if he wished to parley;
and they, desirous of having the bills quietly, remained where they
were. Mr. Henley then took the bills one by one, repeating the amount
of each to convince them that the whole sum was there, and then
suddenly thrust them into the fire. They all rushed forward to save
them, and this was the lucky moment on which Mr. Henley seized the two
arms of Mac Fane, who, on account of his weapons, was the principal
object, and who, intending to fire at him, in the struggle shot the
keeper. The other pistol Mr. Henley wrested from him, during which
contest it went off, but without doing mischief.

Mac Fane then drew his hanger, and made several cuts at Mr. Henley, who
was attacked on the other side by the keeper's man.

In the heat of this conflict Mr. Clifton arrived; and what then
followed, his letter will inform you.

It is necessary I should now say a word of myself, and of the small
part which I had in this very dreadful affair. And here I must remind
you of the boy, so often mentioned in Mr. Henley's narrative; for to
him, perhaps, we all owe our safety. At least, had it not been for him,
Mr. Clifton could not certainly have gained admission.

The poor fellow heard and saw enough to let him understand some strange
crime was in agitation. He has great acuteness and sensibility: he
looked at me when I first came, in a very significant manner; and would
have spoken had he dared.

The door of the room in which I was shut was both locked and bolted;
but the man that was set to guard it was wanted, for a more
blood-thirsty purpose.

I need not inform you how much my fears were alarmed, the moment I
found myself in the custody of the man by whom I had at first been
seized. But how infinitely was my terror increased when I heard the
voice of Frank, which I did very distinctly, and presently afterward of
the horror about to be committed! My shrieks were incessant! The poor
boy heard them, and though shrieking with terror almost as violent as
my own, yet had the presence of mind to come and set me free.

Mr. Clifton's ringing was heard at the same moment. The top bolt of the
gate was high, and I opened it with difficulty; but despair lent me
force. It certainly could not have been opened time enough by the boy.

Of this and the following scene, and of the agonizing sensations that
accompanied them, I will attempt no further description. I will now
only relate by what means, and whose aid, we left this house of horror.

You know, madam, with what activity my dear Louisa exerted herself, and
employed every expedient in her power. You are likewise acquainted with
the zeal of Mrs. Clarke, her niece Peggy, and the two men, her husband
and brother. Their ardour increased rather than abated.

Mr. Webb, whose watchings and efforts were incessant, saw Mac Fane step
out of a hackney-coach into the shop where Mr. Clifton lodges. This I
understand to have happened on the ninth evening of my confinement. It
was natural that this circumstance should immediately excite suspicion
and alarm. The coach was dismissed, Mac Fane remained, and Mr. Webb
continued hovering about the door, waiting in expectation of seeing him
come out, till two o'clock in the morning, but waiting in vain: after
which, concluding that he had missed him, he quitted his post.

On the morrow, by very diligent enquiry, he found out Mac Fane's
lodgings; but he had not been at home all night. The same ineffectual
search was continued during that and the next day; but, on the morning
of deliverance, Mr. Webb met a person with whom he had formerly been
acquainted, who told him of the house hired by the keeper, and
mentioned the names of his two assistants, with rumours and surmises
sufficiently dark and unintelligible, but enough to make Mr. Webb
suppose it was possible the persons he was in search of were there
confined.

The intelligence was immediately brought to Louisa and Sir Arthur, and
application as immediately made to the magistracy. Webb had obtained
very accurate information of the site of the house; and, what was more
effectual, had prevailed on his informer to lend his aid.

The relief he brought, though too late to prevent mischief, was not
wholly useless; Mr. Clifton was the first object of our care; for Mr.
Henley, though bruised, cut, and mangled has received no serious
injury. Laura was likewise sent for and relieved from her prison.
Proper conveyances were soon provided, and we all removed as fast as
possible from this scene of horror.

You may be sure, madam, we did not forget to bring the boy with us. Mr.
Henley has an affection for him, which the poor fellow very sincerely
returns; and finds himself relieved from the most miserable of
situations, and placed in the most happy.

That I may wholly acquit myself of the task I have undertaken, I must
just mention the Count de Beaunoir. He is a gentleman of the most
pleasant temper. Urbanity is his distinctive mark, for in this quality
most of his flights originate. He has thought himself my admirer, but
in reality he is the general admirer of whatever he supposes excellent.
When he was told of my being affianced to Mr. Henley, instead of
expressing chagrin, he broke into raptures at our mutual happiness, and
how much it was merited. He does not seem to understand the selfishness
of jealousy.

Perhaps, madam, you have not heard the last accounts of the physical
gentlemen, relative to Mr. Clifton. The surgeon who first gave hope is
now positive of a cure; and his opponents begin to own it is not
impossible, but they will not yet allow that Mr. Clifton is out of
danger.

The Count de Beaunoir has paid Mr. Clifton the utmost attention; he
visits him twice a day, and, according to the accounts my friend gives
me, infuses a spirit of benevolence and affection into his visits which
are highly honourable to his heart. Indeed I and Mr. Henley have
several times met him there: for you may well imagine, madam, we are
not the least attentive of Mr. Clifton's visitors. It is at present the
sole study of Mr. Henley, which way best to address himself to a heart
and understanding so capable of generous sensations, and noble
energies. There is an attachment to consistency in the human mind,
which will not admit of any sudden and absolute change; it must be
gradual: but thus much may with certainty be said, Mr. Clifton does not
at present, and I hope will never again, treat with complacency those
vindictive but erroneous notions which had so nearly proved destructive
to all. He makes no professions; but so much the better; he thinks them
the more strongly. His mind preserves its usual tone; is sometimes
disturbed even to excess, and bitterly angry, almost to phrensy, at its
own mistakes; but has lost none of those quick and powerful qualities,
by which it is so highly distinguished.

Sir Arthur, madam, has desired me to communicate a circumstance, which
I shall readily do, without the false delicacy of supposing that I am
not the proper person. It is agreed, between him and Mr. Abimelech
Henley, that the marriage between me and Mr. Frank Henley shall take
place in a month; to which I thought it my duty to assent. I am sorry,
madam, that Lord Fitz-Allen should continue to imagine his honour will
be sullied by this marriage: but I am in like manner sorry for a
thousand follies, which I daily see in the world, without having the
immediate power of correcting one of them.

A. W. ST. IVES

LETTER CXXIX

_Coke Clifton to Guy Fairfax_

_London, Dover-Street_

It is not to be endured! They drive me mad! I will not have life thus
palmed upon me! There is neither kindness nor justice in it. I will
hear no more of duty, and philanthropy, and general good! I am all
fiend!--Hell-born!--The boon companion of the foulest miscreants the
womb of sin ever vomited on earth!--The arm in arm familiar of
them!--In the face of the world!--This it is to be honourable!--I
am a man of honour, a despiser of peasants, an assertor of rank!--

Day after day, hour after hour, here I lie, rolling, ruminating on
ideas which none but demons could suggest; haunted by visions which
devils only could conjure up! And wish me to live? Where is the charity
of that? Angels though they be, they have made me miserable! I know I
have injured them; I don't deny it. Say what they will, they cannot
forgive me--Shall I ask it?--No!--Hell should not make me! I will have
no more favours; I am loaded too much already.

For it cannot be true!--Their hearts can feel no kindness for
me!--Oh!--

I have lost her!--For ever lost her!--Yet even this deep damnation I
could bear, I think I could, had I not made myself so very foul and
detestable a villain!--It is intolerable!--The rage of cannibals to
mine is patience! I could feed on human hearts; my own the first and
sweetest morsel!

Well, well!--Her I have lost; him I have injured!--Injured?--Arrogance,
outrage, contempt, blows, imprisonment, and murder!--These are the
damning injuries I have done him!--took greatness upon me; I mimicked
tyranny, and pretended to inflict large vengeance for petty
affronts!--I trusted in wiles, and imagined mind might be caught in a
net!

Lo how the adder egg of vanity can brood in its own dunghill, and hatch
itself to persecution, rape, and murder!--Lo how Guilt and Folly
couple, and engender darkness to hide their own deformity!--The picture
is mine!--Black, midnight rape, and blood red murder! A horrid but
indubitable likeness.

There are but two ways, either to live and pursue revenge, or to die
and forget it--Of the pursuit I am weary. I have had a full meal of
villany, and am glutted: its foulness is insufferable, and I turn from
it loathing. Then welcome death! Again it would have sought me, but for
their eternal officiousness. It is in vain. There are swords, pistols,
and poison still. Life has a thousand outlets: and to live, knowing
what I know and never can forget, would be rank and hateful cowardice!
I am determined. I will listen to their glosses no more. Persuasion is
vain, and soothing mockery.

Yet one act of justice I will perform before I die. Send me my
letters, Fairfax. They shall see me in my native colours!--Send them
directly!--There is consolation in the thought--They have dared to shew
letters that exposed them to persecution and malice--I will shew what
shall expose me to contempt and hatred!--Let them equal me if they
can--I am Clifton!--Inimitable in absurdity, in vice damnable!--

Take copies if you will. Proclaim me to the world! Read them in
coffee-houses, nail them up at the market cross! Let boys hoot at me,
and trulls and drabs pluck me by the beard!--What can they?--It is I,
myself, who hold the scorpion whip!--'Tis memory!--What! Envy, rage,
revenge, hatred, rape and murder, all possessing one man?--Poor
creature! Poor creature!--Pity him, Fairfax!--Pity?--Ask pity?--Despise
him! Trample on him! Spit in his face!

C. CLIFTON

LETTER CXXX

_Frank Henley to Oliver Trenchard_

_London, Grosvenor Street_

How violent and reiterated are the conflicts, between truth and error,
in every mind of ardour!--And, of all errors, the love of self is the
most rooted, the least easy to detect, and supremely difficult to
eradicate. We can pardon ourselves any thing, except a want of
self-respect; but that is intolerable.

I described, in my last,[1] the dissatisfied state of mind of Mr.
Clifton. But, while he imagined he should die and soon lose all memory
of a scene become so irksome to him, his dissatisfaction was trifling,
compared to what it is at present. Repugnant as the idea was to his
habitual feelings, still I have more than half convinced him that
suicide is an act as cowardly as it is criminal. Yet to live and face
the world, loaded as he imagines with unpardonable crimes and
everlasting ignominy, is a thing to which he knows not how to consent.
To combat this new mistake, into which he has fallen, has for some time
past been my chief employment. No common efforts could assuage the
turbulence of his tempestuous soul. Energy superior even to his own was
necessary, to subject and calm this perturbation. But, in the
simplicity of truth, this energy was easy to be found: it is from
self-distrust, confusion or cowardice, if it ever fail.

[Footnote 1: Omitted.]

I have just left him, and our conversation will give you the best
history of his mind, which is well worthy our study. I found him
verging even toward delirium, and a fever coming on, which if not
impeded might soon be fatal. He keeps his bed; but instead of lying at
his ease, he remained raised on his elbow, having just finished a
letter to his friend. Louisa had described the state of his mind, and I
resolved to catch its tone, that I might the more certainly command his
attention. Without preface, and as if continuing a chain of reasoning,
he addressed me; with his eye fixed, in all the ardour of enquiry.

What is man?--What are his functions, qualities, and uses?--Does he not
sleep trembling, live envying, and die cursing?--And is this worth
aught?--Is it to be endured?--Why do I suffer life thus to be imposed
upon me?

It is not suffering: or, if it be, such sufferings are of our own
creation--To the virtuous and the wise, life is joy and bliss.

Perhaps so--Wisdom there may be, and truth and virtue. And, for the
virtuous and the wise, the full stream of pleasure may richly flow: but
not for me! Pretend not that I may walk with the gods! I who have been
the inmate of fiends! I, who proposed glory to myself from the most
contemptible of pursuits! I, who could dangle after coquettes and
prudes; feed on and inflate myself with the baubles of a beauty's
toilette; and, in the book of vanity, inscribe myself a great hero, a
mighty conqueror, for having heaped ridicule on the ridiculous; or
brought innocence to shame, misery, and destruction! And this I did
with a light and vain heart! Did it laughing, boasting, exulting!
Satanic dog! Pest of hell! What! Stretch souls on the rack, and then
girn and mock at them for lying there! 'Tis the sport of devils, and by
devils invented!

Your present indignation is honourable both to your heart and
understanding.

Oh, flatter me not!--Vain, supercilious coxcomb!--I spread my wings,
crowed in conceit, threatened, resolved, laughed at opposition, and
kicked the world before me!--Oh, it was who but I!--And what was it I
proposed?--Fair conquest?--Honourable opposition?--No!--It was
treachery, covert malice, and cowardly conspiracy!--A league with
hell-dogs!--Horrible, blood-thirsty villains!--And baffled too;
defeated, after all this infernal enginery! Nay, had I been so wholly
devil as to have joined in murder, what would have followed? Why they
would next have murdered me; and for the justice of the second murder
would have hoped pardon, even for the hell-born guilt of the first!

Do not, while you detest and shun one crime, plunge into a greater.
This agony is for having been unjust to others; you are now still more
unjust to yourself. You will not suppose yourself capable of a single
virtue: yet, in your most mistaken moments, you never could be so
illiberal to your enemies.

Would you persuade me I am not a most guilty, foul, and hateful
monster?--Oh be more worthy of yourself, avoid me, detest me, curse me!

I will answer when you are more calm.

Calm?--Never, while this degraded being shall continue, shall such a
moment come!--I calm? Sleeping or waking, I at peace? I pardon
hypocrisy, treachery, blows, bruises, prisons, chains, poison, rape and
murder? Ministers of wrath descend, point here your flaming swords,
annihilate all memory of what manhood and honour were, and fit me for
the society of the damned!

Forbear!--(Never before did I address him in such a voice--The last
dreadful word of his sentence was drowned, by my stern and awful
violence; which reason dictated as the only means of recalling his
maddening thoughts, from the despair and horror into which they were
hurrying--I continued)--Frantic man, forbear! Recall your wild spirits
and command them to order. How long will you suffer this petty slavery?
How long shall the giant rage, and expend his strength, in tearing up
stubble and rending straws?--Stretch forth your hand, and grasp the
oak--Labours worthy of your Herculean mind await and invite you. Away
to the temple of Error; shake its pillars, and make its foundations
totter!--Be yourself--Shall the soaring eagle swoop at reptiles, the
prey of bats and owls?

Do not mock me with impossible hopes--What! Have you not held the
mirror up to me, and shewn me my own hatefulness?

Are you a man? Will you never shake off this bondage? Oh it is base!
it is beneath you! Of what have you been guilty? Why of ignorance,
mistakes of the understanding, false views, which you wanted knowledge
enough, truth enough, to correct. Have not many of the godlike men whom
we admire most been guilty, in their youth, of equal or of greater
errors?--Thus, alas, it happens that minds of the highest hope, and
most divine stamp and coinage, are cut off daily; swept away by
that other grand mistake of man-kind--'Exemplary punishment is
necessary'--So they say--But no--'Tis exemplary reformation! Can the
world be better warned by a body in gibbets, than by the active virtues
of a once misguided but now enlightened understanding? The gibbet will
remain an object of terror to the traveller, who dreads being robbed
and murdered; but an incitement to despair, in the mind of the
murderer!--Banish then these black pictures from your mind, by
which it continues darkened and misled; and in their stead behold a
soul-inspiring prospect, of all that is great and glorious, rising to
your view! Feel yourself a man! Nay you shall feel it, in your own
despite! A man capable of high and noble actions!

Here, Oliver, I at this time left him. His eye remained fixed, and he
was silent; but its wildness was diminished: the frown of his brow
disappeared, and his countenance became more clear. Such associations
as these tokens denoted ought not to meet interruption. However I took
care to return in less than an hour; fearful lest he should decline
into his former gloom, which was little short of phrensy. I had been
fortunate enough to reduce his discordant feelings to something like
harmony; and the moment I entered his room the second time he
exclaimed--

You are a generous fellow! A magnanimous fellow! You can work
miracles!--I know you of old--Can bring the dead to life!--Can almost
persuade me that even I, by living, may now and then effect some
trifling, pitiful good; may snatch some of the remnants, the offals of
honour--But aught eminent, aught worthy of--

Be calm.

No! It cannot be forgotten, or forgiven!--Cruel, malignant, remorseless
wretch!

Can you speak thus of the present?--You know you cannot!--And wherefore
unjustly insist on the past? Be firm! Conquer this pride of heart!

Why, ay--Pride of heart! It is the very damning sin of my soul!

Exorcise the foul fiend then, and in its stead give welcome to firm but
unassuming self-respect. Arise! Shake torpor from you, and feel your
strength! It is Atlean; made to bear a world! Cherish life, and become
worthy of yourself! What! Would you kill a mind so mighty? Do you not
feel it, now; possessing you, emanating, flaming, bursting to spread
itself?

Why, that were something!--Could I but once again get into my own good
liking--! You are a strange fellow!--You will not hate me! Nay, will
not suffer me to hate myself!--Damnation! To be cast at such an immense
distance! Oh it is intolerable! It is contemptible!--But I will have my
revenge!--Some how or another I will yet have my revenge! And, since
hate must not be the word, why--! But no matter--I will have no more
vaunting--Yet, if I do not--! I have had a glimpse, and begin to know
you--The soul of benevolence, of tenderness, of attention, of love, of
all the divine faculties that make men deities, infuses itself and
pervades you--Had I but been wholly fool, I had been but partly
villain--But I!--Oh monstrous!--The fiends with whom I was leagued to
me were angels!

Why, ay; contemplate the picture, but do not forget it is that of a man
you once knew, who is now no more. He has disappeared, and in his stead
an angel of light is come!

Stop!--Go not too fast!--I promise nothing--Mark that!--I promise
nothing--Do not imagine I am now in the feverish repentance of white
wine whey--You would have me stay in a world which I myself have
rendered hateful--I will think of it--I know your arts--You would
realize the fable of Pygmalion, and would infuse soul into marble!

There is no need; you have a soul already; inventive, capacious,
munificent, sublime!

Ay, ay--I know--You have a choice collection of words.

A soul of ten thousand! Nay, an army of souls in one!

And must I submit? Are you determined to make a rascal like me admire,
and love, and give place to all the fine affections of the heart?

Ay, determined!

Oh, sister!--(Louisa at this moment entered.) To you too I have behaved
like a scoundrel! A tyrant! A petulant, ostentatious, imperious
braggart!

You mistake! replied Louisa, eagerly. You mistake! You are talking of a
very different man! A being I could not understand. You are my
brother!--My brother!--I have found the way to your heart! Will make it
all my own! Will twine myself round it! Shake me off if you can!

The energy with which she spoke, and looked, and kissed him, was
irresistible! He was overpowered: the tears gushed to his eyes, but he
repressed them; he thought them unmanly; and, seeing his medical friend
enter, exclaimed--I have surgeons for the body, and surgeons for the
mind, who cut with so deep yet so steady a hand that they take away the
noxious, and leave the wound to suppurate and heal!

Can we do less? said I. Ours is no common task! We are acting in behalf
of society: we have found a treasure, by which it is to be enriched.
Few indeed are those puissant and heavenly endowed spirits, that are
capable of guiding, enlightening, and leading the human race onward to
felicity! What is there precious but mind? And when mind, like a
diamond of uncommon growth, exceeds a certain magnitude, calculation
cannot find its value!

I once more left him; and never did I quit the company of human being,
no not of Anna St. Ives herself, with a more glowing and hoping heart.
But why describe sensations to thee, Oliver, with which thou art so
intimately acquainted? To bid thee rejoice, to invite thee to
participate in felicity, which may and must so widely diffuse itself,
were equally to wrong thy understanding and thy heart.

F. HENLEY

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