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her mine; for nothing else CAN atone for what I’ve gone through for her. I hope your next letter will not reverse all, and then I shall be happy till I see her,–one of the blest when I do see her, if she looks like my own beautiful love. I may perhaps write a line when I come to my right wits.–Farewel at present, and thank you a thousand times for what you have done for your poor friend.

P. S.–I like what M—- said about her sister, much. There are good people in the world: I begin to see it, and believe it.


Dear P—-, To-morrow is the decisive day that makes me or mars me. I will let you know the result by a line added to this. Yet what signifies it, since either way I have little hope there, “whence alone my hope cometh!” You must know I am strangely in the dumps at this present writing. My reception with her is doubtful, and my fate is then certain. The hearing of your happiness has, I own, made me thoughtful. It is just what I proposed to her to do–to have crossed the Alps with me, to sail on sunny seas, to bask in Italian skies, to have visited Vevai and the rocks of Meillerie, and to have repeated to her on the spot the story of Julia and St. Preux, and to have shewn her all that my heart had stored up for her–but on my forehead alone is written–REJECTED! Yet I too could have adored as fervently, and loved as tenderly as others, had I been permitted. You are going abroad, you say, happy in making happy. Where shall I be? In the grave, I hope, or else in her arms. To me, alas! there is no sweetness out of her sight, and that sweetness has turned to bitterness, I fear; that gentleness to sullen scorn! Still I hope for the best. If she will but HAVE me, I’ll make her LOVE me: and I think her not giving a positive answer looks like it, and also shews that there is no one else. Her holding out to the last also, I think, proves that she was never to have been gained but with honour. She’s a strange, almost an inscrutable girl: but if I once win her consent, I shall kill her with kindness.–Will you let me have a sight of SOMEBODY before you go? I should be most proud. I was in hopes to have got away by the Steam-boat to-morrow, but owing to the business not coming on till then, I cannot; and may not be in town for another week, unless I come by the Mail, which I am strongly tempted to do. In the latter case I shall be there, and visible on Saturday evening. Will you look in and see, about eight o’clock? I wish much to see you and her and J. H. and my little boy once more; and then, if she is not what she once was to me, I care not if I die that instant. I will conclude here till to-morrow, as I am getting into my old melancholy.–

It is all over, and I am my own man, and yours ever–



My dear K—-, It is all over, and I know my fate. I told you I would send you word, if anything decisive happened; but an impenetrable mystery hung over the affair till lately. It is at last (by the merest accident in the world) dissipated; and I keep my promise, both for your satisfaction, and for the ease of my own mind.

You remember the morning when I said “I will go and repose my sorrows at the foot of Ben Lomond”–and when from Dumbarton Bridge its giant-shadow, clad in air and sunshine, appeared in view. We had a pleasant day’s walk. We passed Smollett’s monument on the road (somehow these poets touch one in reflection more than most military heroes)–talked of old times; you repeated Logan’s beautiful verses to the cuckoo,* which I wanted to compare with Wordsworth’s, but my courage failed me; you then told me some passages of an early attachment which was suddenly broken off; we considered together which was the most to be pitied, a disappointment in love where the attachment was mutual or one where there has been no return, and we both agreed, I think, that the former was best to be endured, and that to have the consciousness of it a companion for life was the least evil of the two, as there was a secret sweetness that took off the bitterness and the sting of regret, and “the memory of what once had been” atoned, in some measure, and at intervals, for what “never more could be.” In the other case, there was nothing to look back to with tender satisfaction, no redeeming trait, not even a possibility of turning it to good. It left behind it not cherished sighs, but stifled pangs. The galling sense of it did not bring moisture into the eyes, but dried up the heart ever after. One had been my fate, the other had been yours!

[*–“Sweet bird, thy bower is ever green, Thy sky is ever clear; Thou hast no sorrow in thy song, No winter in thy year.”

So they begin. It was the month of May; the cuckoo sang shrouded in some woody copse; the showers fell between whiles; my friend repeated the lines with native enthusiasm in a clear manly voice, still resonant of youth and hope. Mr. Wordsworth will excuse me, if in these circumstances I declined entering the field with his profounder metaphysical strain, and kept my preference to myself.]

You startled me every now and then from my reverie by the robust voice, in which you asked the country people (by no means prodigal of their answers)–“If there was any trout fishing in those streams?”–and our dinner at Luss set us up for the rest of our day’s march. The sky now became overcast; but this, I think, added to the effect of the scene. The road to Tarbet is superb. It is on the very verge of the lake–hard, level, rocky, with low stone bridges constantly flung across it, and fringed with birch trees, just then budding into spring, behind which, as through a slight veil, you saw the huge shadowy form of Ben Lomond. It lifts its enormous but graceful bulk direct from the edge of the water without any projecting lowlands, and has in this respect much the advantage of Skiddaw. Loch Lomond comes upon you by degrees as you advance, unfolding and then withdrawing its conscious beauties like an accomplished coquet. You are struck with the point of a rock, the arch of a bridge, the Highland huts (like the first rude habitations of men) dug out of the soil, built of turf, and covered with brown heather, a sheep-cote, some straggling cattle feeding half-way down a precipice; but as you advance farther on, the view expands into the perfection of lake scenery. It is nothing (or your eye is caught by nothing) but water, earth, and sky. Ben Lomond waves to the right, in its simple majesty, cloud-capt or bare, and descending to a point at the head of the lake, shews the Trossacs beyond, tumbling about their blue ridges like woods waving; to the left is the Cobler, whose top is like a castle shattered in pieces and nodding to its ruin; and at your side rise the shapes of round pastoral hills, green, fleeced with herds, and retiring into mountainous bays and upland valleys, where solitude and peace might make their lasting home, if peace were to be found in solitude! That it was not always so, I was a sufficient proof; for there was one image that alone haunted me in the midst of all this sublimity and beauty, and turned it to a mockery and a dream!

The snow on the mountain would not let us ascend; and being weary of waiting and of being visited by the guide every two hours to let us know that the weather would not do, we returned, you homewards, and I to London–

“Italiam, Italiam!”

You know the anxious expectations with which I set out:–now hear the result–

As the vessel sailed up the Thames, the air thickened with the consciousness of being near her, and I “heaved her name pantingly forth.” As I approached the house, I could not help thinking of the lines–

“How near am I to a happiness, That earth exceeds not! Not another like it. The treasures of the deep are not so precious As are the conceal’d comforts of a man Lock’d up in woman’s love. I scent the air Of blessings when I come but near the house. What a delicious breath true love sends forth! The violet-beds not sweeter. Now for a welcome Able to draw men’s envies upon man: A kiss now that will hang upon my lip, As sweet as morning dew upon a rose, And full as long!”

I saw her, but I saw at the first glance that there was something amiss. It was with much difficulty and after several pressing intreaties that she was prevailed on to come up into the room; and when she did, she stood at the door, cold, distant, averse; and when at length she was persuaded by my repeated remonstrances to come and take my hand, and I offered to touch her lips, she turned her head and shrunk from my embraces, as if quite alienated or mortally offended. I asked what it could mean? What had I done in her absence to have incurred her displeasure? Why had she not written to me? I could get only short, sullen, disconnected answers, as if there was something labouring in her mind which she either could not or would not impart. I hardly knew how to bear this first reception after so long an absence, and so different from the one my sentiments towards her merited; but I thought it possible it might be prudery (as I had returned without having actually accomplished what I went about) or that she had taken offence at something in my letters. She saw how much I was hurt. I asked her, “If she was altered since I went away?”–“No.” “If there was any one else who had been so fortunate as to gain her favourable opinion?”–“No, there was no one else.” “What was it then? Was it any thing in my letters? Or had I displeased her by letting Mr. P—- know she wrote to me?”–“No, not at all; but she did not apprehend my last letter required any answer, or she would have replied to it.” All this appeared to me very unsatisfactory and evasive; but I could get no more from her, and was obliged to let her go with a heavy, foreboding heart. I however found that C—- was gone, and no one else had been there, of whom I had cause to be jealous.–“Should I see her on the morrow?”–“She believed so, but she could not promise.” The next morning she did not appear with the breakfast as usual. At this I grew somewhat uneasy. The little Buonaparte, however, was placed in its old position on the mantelpiece, which I considered as a sort of recognition of old times. I saw her once or twice casually; nothing particular happened till the next day, which was Sunday. I took occasion to go into the parlour for the newspaper, which she gave me with a gracious smile, and seemed tolerably frank and cordial. This of course acted as a spell upon me. I walked out with my little boy, intending to go and dine out at one or two places, but I found that I still contrived to bend my steps towards her, and I went back to take tea at home. While we were out, I talked to William about Sarah, saying that she too was unhappy, and asking him to make it up with her. He said, if she was unhappy, he would not bear her malice any more. When she came up with the tea-things, I said to her, “William has something to say to you–I believe he wants to be friends.” On which he said in his abrupt, hearty manner, “Sarah, I’m sorry if I’ve ever said anything to vex you”–so they shook hands, and she said, smiling affably–“THEN I’ll think no more of it!” I added–“I see you’ve brought me back my little Buonaparte”–She answered with tremulous softness–“I told you I’d keep it safe for you!”–as if her pride and pleasure in doing so had been equal, and she had, as it were, thought of nothing during my absence but how to greet me with this proof of her fidelity on my return. I cannot describe her manner. Her words are few and simple; but you can have no idea of the exquisite, unstudied, irresistible graces with which she accompanies them, unless you can suppose a Greek statue to smile, move, and speak. Those lines in Tibullus seem to have been written on purpose for her–

Quicquid agit quoquo vestigil vertit, Componit furtim, subsequiturque decor.

Or what do you think of those in a modern play, which might actually have been composed with an eye to this little trifler-

–“See with what a waving air she goes Along the corridor. How like a fawn! Yet statelier. No sound (however soft) Nor gentlest echo telleth when she treads, But every motion of her shape doth seem Hallowed by silence. So did Hebe grow Among the gods a paragon! Away, I’m grown The very fool of Love!”

The truth is, I never saw anything like her, nor I never shall again. How then do I console myself for the loss of her? Shall I tell you, but you will not mention it again? I am foolish enough to believe that she and I, in spite of every thing, shall be sitting together over a sea-coal fire, a comfortable good old couple, twenty years hence! But to my narrative.–

I was delighted with the alteration in her manner, and said, referring to the bust–“You know it is not mine, but yours; I gave it you; nay, I have given you all–my heart, and whatever I possess, is yours! She seemed good-humouredly to decline this carte blanche offer, and waved, like a thing of enchantment, out of the room. False calm!–Deceitful smiles!–Short interval of peace, followed by lasting woe! I sought an interview with her that same evening. I could not get her to come any farther than the door. “She was busy–she could hear what I had to say there.” Why do you seem to avoid me as you do? Not one five minutes’ conversation, for the sake of old acquaintance? Well, then, for the sake of THE LITTLE IMAGE!” The appeal seemed to have lost its efficacy; the charm was broken; she remained immoveable. “Well, then I must come to you, if you will not run away.” I went and sat down in a chair near the door, and took her hand, and talked to her for three quarters of an hour; and she listened patiently, thoughtfully, and seemed a good deal affected by what I said. I told her how much I had felt, how much I had suffered for her in my absence, and how much I had been hurt by her sudden silence, for which I knew not how to account. I could have done nothing to offend her while I was away; and my letters were, I hoped, tender and respectful. I had had but one thought ever present with me; her image never quitted my side, alone or in company, to delight or distract me. Without her I could have no peace, nor ever should again, unless she would behave to me as she had done formerly. There was no abatement of my regard to her; why was she so changed? I said to her, “Ah! Sarah, when I think that it is only a year ago that you were everything to me I could wish, and that now you seem lost to me for ever, the month of May (the name of which ought to be a signal for joy and hope) strikes chill to my heart.–How different is this meeting from that delicious parting, when you seemed never weary of repeating the proofs of your regard and tenderness, and it was with difficulty we tore ourselves asunder at last! I am ten thousand times fonder of you than I was then, and ten thousand times more unhappy!” “You have no reason to be so; my feelings towards you are the same as they ever were.” I told her “She was my all of hope or comfort: my passion for her grew stronger every time I saw her.” She answered, “She was sorry for it; for THAT she never could return.” I said something about looking ill: she said in her pretty, mincing, emphatic way, “I despise looks!” So, thought I, it is not that; and she says there’s no one else: it must be some strange air she gives herself, in consequence of the approaching change in my circumstances. She has been probably advised not to give up till all is fairly over, and then she will be my own sweet girl again. All this time she was standing just outside the door, my hand in hers (would that they could have grown together!) she was dressed in a loose morning-gown, her hair curled beautifully; she stood with her profile to me, and looked down the whole time. No expression was ever more soft or perfect. Her whole attitude, her whole form, was dignity and bewitching grace. I said to her, “You look like a queen, my love, adorned with your own graces!” I grew idolatrous, and would have kneeled to her. She made a movement, as if she was displeased. I tried to draw her towards me. She wouldn’t. I then got up, and offered to kiss her at parting. I found she obstinately refused. This stung me to the quick. It was the first time in her life she had ever done so. There must be some new bar between us to produce these continued denials; and she had not even esteem enough left to tell me so. I followed her half-way down-stairs, but to no purpose, and returned into my room, confirmed in my most dreadful surmises. I could bear it no longer. I gave way to all the fury of disappointed hope and jealous passion. I was made the dupe of trick and cunning, killed with cold, sullen scorn; and, after all the agony I had suffered, could obtain no explanation why I was subjected to it. I was still to be tantalized, tortured, made the cruel sport of one, for whom I would have sacrificed all. I tore the locket which contained her hair (and which I used to wear continually in my bosom, as the precious token of her dear regard) from my neck, and trampled it in pieces. I then dashed the little Buonaparte on the ground, and stamped upon it, as one of her instruments of mockery. I could not stay in the room; I could not leave it; my rage, my despair were uncontroulable. I shrieked curses on her name, and on her false love; and the scream I uttered (so pitiful and so piercing was it, that the sound of it terrified me) instantly brought the whole house, father, mother, lodgers and all, into the room. They thought I was destroying her and myself. I had gone into the bedroom, merely to hide away from myself, and as I came out of it, raging-mad with the new sense of present shame and lasting misery, Mrs. F—- said, “She’s in there! He has got her in there!” thinking the cries had proceeded from her, and that I had been offering her violence. “Oh! no,” I said, “She’s in no danger from me; I am not the person;” and tried to burst from this scene of degradation. The mother endeavoured to stop me, and said, “For God’s sake, don’t go out, Mr. —–! for God’s sake, don’t!” Her father, who was not, I believe, in the secret, and was therefore justly scandalised at such outrageous conduct, said angrily, “Let him go! Why should he stay?” I however sprang down stairs, and as they called out to me, “What is it?–What has she done to you?” I answered, “She has murdered me!–She has destroyed me for ever!–She has doomed my soul to perdition!” I rushed out of the house, thinking to quit it forever; but I was no sooner in the street, than the desolation and the darkness became greater, more intolerable; and the eddying violence of my passion drove me back to the source, from whence it sprung. This unexpected explosion, with the conjectures to which it would give rise, could not be very agreeable to the precieuse or her family; and when I went back, the father was waiting at the door, as if anticipating this sudden turn of my feelings, with no friendly aspect. I said, “I have to beg pardon, Sir; but my mad fit is over, and I wish to say a few words to you in private.” He seemed to hesitate, but some uneasy forebodings on his own account, probably, prevailed over his resentment; or, perhaps (as philosophers have a desire to know the cause of thunder) it was a natural curiosity to know what circumstances of provocation had given rise to such an extraordinary scene of confusion. When we reached my room, I requested him to be seated. I said, “It is true, Sir, I have lost my peace of mind for ever, but at present I am quite calm and collected, and I wish to explain to you why I have behaved in so extravagant a way, and to ask for your advice and intercession.” He appeared satisfied, and I went on. I had no chance either of exculpating myself, or of probing the question to the bottom, but by stating the naked truth, and therefore I said at once, “Sarah told me, Sir (and I never shall forget the way in which she told me, fixing her dove’s eyes upon me, and looking a thousand tender reproaches for the loss of that good opinion, which she held dearer than all the world) she told me, Sir, that as you one day passed the door, which stood a-jar, you saw her in an attitude which a good deal startled you; I mean sitting in my lap, with her arms round my neck, and mine twined round her in the fondest manner. What I wished to ask was, whether this was actually the case, or whether it was a mere invention of her own, to enhance the sense of my obligations to her; for I begin to doubt everything?”–“Indeed, it was so; and very much surprised and hurt I was to see it.” “Well then, Sir, I can only say, that as you saw her sitting then, so she had been sitting for the last year and a half, almost every day of her life, by the hour together; and you may judge yourself, knowing what a nice modest-looking girl she is, whether, after having been admitted to such intimacy with so sweet a creature, and for so long a time, it is not enough to make any one frantic to be received by her as I have been since my return, without any provocation given or cause assigned for it.” The old man answered very seriously, and, as I think, sincerely, “What you now tell me, Sir, mortifies and shocks me as much as it can do yourself. I had no idea such a thing was possible. I was much pained at what I saw; but I thought it an accident, and that it would never happen again.”–“It was a constant habit; it has happened a hundred times since, and a thousand before. I lived on her caresses as my daily food, nor can I live without them.” So I told him the whole story, “what conjurations, and what mighty magic I won his daughter with,” to be anything but MINE FOR LIFE. Nothing could well exceed his astonishment and apparent mortification. “What I had said,” he owned, “had left a weight upon his mind that he should not easily get rid of.” I told him, “For myself, I never could recover the blow I had received. I thought, however, for her own sake, she ought to alter her present behaviour. Her marked neglect and dislike, so far from justifying, left her former intimacies without excuse; for nothing could reconcile them to propriety, or even a pretence to common decency, but either love, or friendship so strong and pure that it could put on the guise of love. She was certainly a singular girl. Did she think it right and becoming to be free with strangers, and strange to old friends?” I frankly declared, “I did not see how it was in human nature for any one who was not rendered callous to such familiarities by bestowing them indiscriminately on every one, to grant the extreme and continued indulgences she had done to me, without either liking the man at first, or coming to like him in the end, in spite of herself. When my addresses had nothing, and could have nothing honourable in them, she gave them every encouragement; when I wished to make them honourable, she treated them with the utmost contempt. The terms we had been all along on were such as if she had been to be my bride next day. It was only when I wished her actually to become so, to ensure her own character and my happiness, that she shrunk back with precipitation and panic-fear. There seemed to me something wrong in all this; a want both of common propriety, and I might say, of natural feeling; yet, with all her faults, I loved her, and ever should, beyond any other human being. I had drank in the poison of her sweetness too long ever to be cured of it; and though I might find it to be poison in the end, it was still in my veins. My only ambition was to be permitted to live with her, and to die in her arms. Be she what she would, treat me how she would, I felt that my soul was wedded to hers; and were she a mere lost creature, I would try to snatch her from perdition, and marry her to-morrow if she would have me. That was the question–“Would she have me, or would she not?” He said he could not tell; but should not attempt to put any constraint upon her inclinations, one way or other. I acquiesced, and added, that “I had brought all this upon myself, by acting contrary to the suggestions of my friend, Mr. —–, who had desired me to take no notice whether she came near me or kept away, whether she smiled or frowned, was kind or contemptuous–all you have to do, is to wait patiently for a month till you are your own man, as you will be in all probability; then make her an offer of your hand, and if she refuses, there’s an end of the matter.” Mr. L. said, “Well, Sir, and I don’t think you can follow a better advice!” I took this as at least a sort of negative encouragement, and so we parted.


(In continuation)

My dear Friend, The next day I felt almost as sailors must do after a violent storm over-night, that has subsided towards daybreak. The morning was a dull and stupid calm, and I found she was unwell, in consequence of what had happened. In the evening I grew more uneasy, and determined on going into the country for a week or two. I gathered up the fragments of the locket of her hair, and the little bronze statue, which were strewed about the floor, kissed them, folded them up in a sheet of paper, and sent them to her, with these lines written in pencil on the outside–“Pieces of a broken heart, to be kept in remembrance of the unhappy. Farewell.” No notice was taken; nor did I expect any. The following morning I requested Betsey to pack up my box for me, as I should go out of town the next day, and at the same time wrote a note to her sister to say, I should take it as a favour if she would please to accept of the enclosed copies of the Vicar of Wakefield, The Man of Feeling and Nature and Art, in lieu of three volumes of my own writings, which I had given her on different occasions, in the course of our acquaintance. I was piqued, in fact, that she should have these to shew as proofs of my weakness, and as if I thought the way to win her was by plaguing her with my own performances.

She sent me word back that the books I had sent were of no use to her, and that I should have those I wished for in the afternoon; but that she could not before, as she had lent them to her sister, Mrs. M—–. I said, “very well;” but observed (laughing) to Betsey, “It’s a bad rule to give and take; so, if Sarah won’t have these books, you must; they are very pretty ones, I assure you.” She curtsied and took them, according to the family custom. In the afternoon, when I came back to tea, I found the little girl on her knees, busy in packing up my things, and a large paper parcel on the table, which I could not at first tell what to make of. On opening it, however, I soon found what it was. It contained a number of volumes which I had given her at different times (among others, a little Prayer-Book, bound in crimson velvet, with green silk linings; she kissed it twenty times when she received it, and said it was the prettiest present in the world, and that she would shew it to her aunt, who would be proud of it)–and all these she had returned together. Her name in the title-page was cut out of them all. I doubted at the instant whether she had done this before or after I had sent for them back, and I have doubted of it since; but there is no occasion to suppose her UGLY ALL OVER WITH HYPOCRISY. Poor little thing! She has enough to answer for, as it is. I asked Betsey if she could carry a message for me, and she said “YES.” “Will you tell your sister, then, that I did not want all these books; and give my love to her, and say that I shall be obliged if she will still keep these that I have sent back, and tell her that it is only those of my own writing that I think unworthy of her.” What do you think the little imp made answer? She raised herself on the other side of the table where she stood, as if inspired by the genius of the place, and said–“AND THOSE ARE THE ONES THAT SHE PRIZES THE MOST!” If there were ever words spoken that could revive the dead, those were the words. Let me kiss them, and forget that my ears have heard aught else! I said, “Are you sure of that?” and she said, “Yes, quite sure.” I told her, “If I could be, I should be very different from what I was.” And I became so that instant, for these casual words carried assurance to my heart of her esteem–that once implied, I had proofs enough of her fondness. Oh! how I felt at that moment! Restored to love, hope, and joy, by a breath which I had caught by the merest accident, and which I might have pined in absence and mute despair for want of hearing! I did not know how to contain myself; I was childish, wanton, drunk with pleasure. I gave Betsey a twenty-shilling note which I happened to have in my hand, and on her asking “What’s this for, Sir?” I said, “It’s for you. Don’t you think it worth that to be made happy? You once made me very wretched by some words I heard you drop, and now you have made me as happy; and all I wish you is, when you grow up, that you may find some one to love you as well as I do your sister, and that you may love better than she does me!” I continued in this state of delirium or dotage all that day and the next, talked incessantly, laughed at every thing, and was so extravagant, nobody could tell what was the matter with me. I murmured her name; I blest her; I folded her to my heart in delicious fondness; I called her by my own name; I worshipped her: I was mad for her. I told P—- I should laugh in her face, if ever she pretended not to like me again. Her mother came in and said, she hoped I should excuse Sarah’s coming up. “Oh, Ma’am,” I said, “I have no wish to see her; I feel her at my heart; she does not hate me after all, and I wish for nothing. Let her come when she will, she is to me welcomer than light, than life; but let it be in her own sweet time, and at her own dear pleasure.” Betsey also told me she was “so glad to get the books back.” I, however, sobered and wavered (by degrees) from seeing nothing of her, day after day; and in less than a week I was devoted to the Infernal Gods. I could hold out no longer than the Monday evening following. I sent a message to her; she returned an ambiguous answer; but she came up. Pity me, my friend, for the shame of this recital. Pity me for the pain of having ever had to make it! If the spirits of mortal creatures, purified by faith and hope, can (according to the highest assurances) ever, during thousands of years of smooth-rolling eternity and balmy, sainted repose, forget the pain, the toil, the anguish, the helplessness, and the despair they have suffered here, in this frail being, then may I forget that withering hour, and her, that fair, pale form that entered, my inhuman betrayer, and my only earthly love! She said, “Did you wish to speak to me, Sir?” I said, “Yes, may I not speak to you? I wanted to see you and be friends.” I rose up, offered her an arm-chair which stood facing, bowed on it, and knelt to her adoring. She said (going) “If that’s all, I have nothing to say.” I replied, “Why do you treat me thus? What have I done to become thus hateful to you?” ANSWER, “I always told you I had no affection for you.” You may suppose this was a blow, after the imaginary honey-moon in which I had passed the preceding week. I was stunned by it; my heart sunk within me. I contrived to say, “Nay, my dear girl, not always neither; for did you not once (if I might presume to look back to those happy, happy times), when you were sitting on my knee as usual, embracing and embraced, and I asked if you could not love me at last, did you not make answer, in the softest tones that ever man heard, ‘I COULD EASILY SAY SO, WHETHER I DID OR NOT; YOU SHOULD JUDGE BY MY ACTIONS!’ Was I to blame in taking you at your word, when every hope I had depended on your sincerity? And did you not say since I came back, ‘YOUR FEELINGS TO ME WERE THE SAME AS EVER?’ Why then is your behaviour so different?” S. “Is it nothing, your exposing me to the whole house in the way you did the other evening?” H. “Nay, that was the consequence of your cruel reception of me, not the cause of it. I had better have gone away last year, as I proposed to do, unless you would give some pledge of your fidelity; but it was your own offer that I should remain. ‘Why should I go?’ you said, ‘Why could we not go on the same as we had done, and say nothing about the word FOREVER?'” S. “And how did you behave when you returned?” H. “That was all forgiven when we last parted, and your last words were, ‘I should find you the same as ever’ when I came home? Did you not that very day enchant and madden me over again by the purest kisses and embraces, and did I not go from you (as I said) adoring, confiding, with every assurance of mutual esteem and friendship?” S. “Yes, and in your absence I found that you had told my aunt what had passed between us.” H. “It was to induce her to extort your real sentiments from you, that you might no longer make a secret of your true regard for me, which your actions (but not your words) confessed.” S. “I own I have been guilty of improprieties, which you have gone and repeated, not only in the house, but out of it; so that it has come to my ears from various quarters, as if I was a light character. And I am determined in future to be guided by the advice of my relations, and particularly of my aunt, whom I consider as my best friend, and keep every lodger at a proper distance.” You will find hereafter that her favourite lodger, whom she visits daily, had left the house; so that she might easily make and keep this vow of extraordinary self-denial. Precious little dissembler! Yet her aunt, her best friend, says, “No, Sir, no; Sarah’s no hypocrite!” which I was fool enough to believe; and yet my great and unpardonable offence is to have entertained passing doubts on this delicate point. I said, Whatever errors I had committed, arose from my anxiety to have everything explained to her honour: my conduct shewed that I had that at heart, and that I built on the purity of her character as on a rock. My esteem for her amounted to adoration. “She did not want adoration.” It was only when any thing happened to imply that I had been mistaken, that I committed any extravagance, because I could not bear to think her short of perfection. “She was far from perfection,” she replied, with an air and manner (oh, my God!) as near it as possible. “How could she accuse me of a want of regard to her? It was but the other day, Sarah,” I said to her, “when that little circumstance of the books happened, and I fancied the expressions your sister dropped proved the sincerity of all your kindness to me–you don’t know how my heart melted within me at the thought, that after all, I might be dear to you. New hopes sprung up in my heart, and I felt as Adam must have done when his Eve was created for him!” “She had heard enough of that sort of conversation,” (moving towards the door). This, I own, was the unkindest cut of all. I had, in that case, no hopes whatever. I felt that I had expended words in vain, and that the conversation below stairs (which I told you of when I saw you) had spoiled her taste for mine. If the allusion had been classical I should have been to blame; but it was scriptural, it was a sort of religious courtship, and Miss L. is religious!

At once he took his Muse and dipt her Right in the middle of the Scripture.

It would not do–the lady could make neither head nor tail of it. This is a poor attempt at levity. Alas! I am sad enough. “Would she go and leave me so? If it was only my own behaviour, I still did not doubt of success. I knew the sincerity of my love, and she would be convinced of it in time. If that was all, I did not care: but tell me true, is there not a new attachment that is the real cause of your estrangement? Tell me, my sweet friend, and before you tell me, give me your hand (nay, both hands) that I may have something to support me under the dreadful conviction.” She let me take her hands in mine, saying, “She supposed there could be no objection to that,”–as if she acted on the suggestions of others, instead of following her own will–but still avoided giving me any answer. I conjured her to tell me the worst, and kill me on the spot. Any thing was better than my present state. I said, “Is it Mr. C—–?” She smiled, and said with gay indifference, “Mr. C—– was here a very short time.” “Well, then, was it Mr. —–?” She hesitated, and then replied faintly, “No.” This was a mere trick to mislead; one of the profoundnesses of Satan, in which she is an adept. “But,” she added hastily, “she could make no more confidences.” “Then,” said I, “you have something to communicate.” “No; but she had once mentioned a thing of the sort, which I had hinted to her mother, though it signified little.” All this while I was in tortures. Every word, every half-denial, stabbed me. “Had she any tie?” “No, I have no tie!” “You are not going to be married soon?” “I don’t intend ever to marry at all!” “Can’t you be friends with me as of old?” “She could give no promises.” “Would she make her own terms?” “She would make none.”–“I was sadly afraid the LITTLE IMAGE was dethroned from her heart, as I had dashed it to the ground the other night.”–“She was neither desperate nor violent.” I did not answer–“But deliberate and deadly,”–though I might; and so she vanished in this running fight of question and answer, in spite of my vain efforts to detain her. The cockatrice, I said, mocks me: so she has always done. The thought was a dagger to me. My head reeled, my heart recoiled within me. I was stung with scorpions; my flesh crawled; I was choked with rage; her scorn scorched me like flames; her air (her heavenly air) withdrawn from me, stifled me, and left me gasping for breath and being. It was a fable. She started up in her own likeness, a serpent in place of a woman. She had fascinated, she had stung me, and had returned to her proper shape, gliding from me after inflicting the mortal wound, and instilling deadly poison into every pore; but her form lost none of its original brightness by the change of character, but was all glittering, beauteous, voluptuous grace. Seed of the serpent or of the woman, she was divine! I felt that she was a witch, and had bewitched me. Fate had enclosed me round about. _I_ was transformed too, no longer human (any more than she, to whom I had knit myself) my feelings were marble; my blood was of molten lead; my thoughts on fire. I was taken out of myself, wrapt into another sphere, far from the light of day, of hope, of love. I had no natural affection left; she had slain me, but no other thing had power over me. Her arms embraced another; but her mock-embrace, the phantom of her love, still bound me, and I had not a wish to escape. So I felt then, and so perhaps shall feel till I grow old and die, nor have any desire that my years should last longer than they are linked in the chain of those amorous folds, or than her enchantments steep my soul in oblivion of all other things! I started to find myself alone–for ever alone, without a creature to love me. I looked round the room for help; I saw the tables, the chairs, the places where she stood or sat, empty, deserted, dead. I could not stay where I was; I had no one to go to but to the parent-mischief, the preternatural hag, that had “drugged this posset” of her daughter’s charms and falsehood for me, and I went down and (such was my weakness and helplessness) sat with her for an hour, and talked with her of her daughter, and the sweet days we had passed together, and said I thought her a good girl, and believed that if there was no rival, she still had a regard for me at the bottom of her heart; and how I liked her all the better for her coy, maiden airs: and I received the assurance over and over that there was no one else; and that Sarah (they all knew) never staid five minutes with any other lodger, while with me she would stay by the hour together, in spite of all her father could say to her (what were her motives, was best known to herself!) and while we were talking of her, she came bounding into the room, smiling with smothered delight at the consummation of my folly and her own art; and I asked her mother whether she thought she looked as if she hated me, and I took her wrinkled, withered, cadaverous, clammy hand at parting, and kissed it. Faugh!–

I will make an end of this story; there is something in it discordant to honest ears. I left the house the next day, and returned to Scotland in a state so near to phrenzy, that I take it the shades sometimes ran into one another. R—- met me the day after I arrived, and will tell you the way I was in. I was like a person in a high fever; only mine was in the mind instead of the body. It had the same irritating, uncomfortable effect on the bye-standers. I was incapable of any application, and don’t know what I should have done, had it not been for the kindness of —–. I came to see you, to “bestow some of my tediousness upon you,” but you were gone from home. Everything went on well as to the law business; and as it approached to a conclusion, I wrote to my good friend P—- to go to M—-, who had married her sister, and ask him if it would be worth my while to make her a formal offer, as soon as I was free, as, with the least encouragement, I was ready to throw myself at her feet; and to know, in case of refusal, whether I might go back there and be treated as an old friend. Not a word of answer could be got from her on either point, notwithstanding every importunity and intreaty; but it was the opinion of M—- that I might go and try my fortune. I did so with joy, with something like confidence. I thought her giving no positive answer implied a chance, at least, of the reversion of her favour, in case I behaved well. All was false, hollow, insidious. The first night after I got home, I slept on down. In Scotland, the flint had been my pillow. But now I slept under the same roof with her. What softness, what balmy repose in the very thought! I saw her that same day and shook hands with her, and told her how glad I was to see her; and she was kind and comfortable, though still cold and distant. Her manner was altered from what it was the last time. She still absented herself from the room, but was mild and affable when she did come. She was pale, dejected, evidently uneasy about something, and had been ill. I thought it was perhaps her reluctance to yield to my wishes, her pity for what I suffered; and that in the struggle between both, she did not know what to do. How I worshipped her at these moments! We had a long interview the third day, and I thought all was doing well. I found her sitting at work in the window-seat of the front parlour; and on my asking if I might come in, she made no objection. I sat down by her; she let me take her hand; I talked to her of indifferent things, and of old times. I asked her if she would put some new frills on my shirts?—“With the greatest pleasure.” If she could get THE LITTLE IMAGE mended? “It was broken in three pieces, and the sword was gone, but she would try.” I then asked her to make up a plaid silk which I had given her in the winter, and which she said would make a pretty summer gown. I so longed to see her in it!–“She had little time to spare, but perhaps might!” Think what I felt, talking peaceably, kindly, tenderly with my love,–not passionately, not violently. I tried to take pattern by her patient meekness, as I thought it, and to subdue my desires to her will. I then sued to her, but respectfully, to be admitted to her friendship–she must know I was as true a friend as ever woman had–or if there was a bar to our intimacy from a dearer attachment, to let me know it frankly, as I shewed her all my heart. She drew out her handkerchief and wiped her eyes “of tears which sacred pity had engendered there.” Was it so or not? I cannot tell. But so she stood (while I pleaded my cause to her with all the earnestness, and fondness in the world) with the tears trickling from her eye-lashes, her head stooping, her attitude fixed, with the finest expression that ever was seen of mixed regret, pity, and stubborn resolution; but without speaking a word, without altering a feature. It was like a petrifaction of a human face in the softest moment of passion. “Ah!” I said, “how you look! I have prayed again and again while I was away from you, in the agony of my spirit, that I might but live to see you look so again, and then breathe my last!” I intreated her to give me some explanation. In vain! At length she said she must go, and disappeared like a spirit. That week she did all the little trifling favours I had asked of her. The frills were put on, and she sent up to know if I wanted any more done. She got the Buonaparte mended. This was like healing old wounds indeed! How? As follows, for thereby hangs the conclusion of my tale. Listen.

I had sent a message one evening to speak to her about some special affairs of the house, and received no answer. I waited an hour expecting her, and then went out in great vexation at my disappointment. I complained to her mother a day or two after, saying I thought it so unlike Sarah’s usual propriety of behaviour, that she must mean it as a mark of disrespect. Mrs. L—- said, “La! Sir, you’re always fancying things. Why, she was dressing to go out, and she was only going to get the little image you’re both so fond of mended; and it’s to be done this evening. She has been to two or three places to see about it, before she could get anyone to undertake it.” My heart, my poor fond heart, almost melted within me at this news. I answered, “Ah! Madam, that’s always the way with the dear creature. I am finding fault with her and thinking the hardest things of her; and at that very time she’s doing something to shew the most delicate attention, and that she has no greater satisfaction than in gratifying my wishes!” On this we had some farther talk, and I took nearly the whole of the lodgings at a hundred guineas a year, that (as I said) she might have a little leisure to sit at her needle of an evening, or to read if she chose, or to walk out when it was fine. She was not in good health, and it would do her good to be less confined. I would be the drudge and she should no longer be the slave. I asked nothing in return. To see her happy, to make her so, was to be so myself.–This was agreed to. I went over to Blackheath that evening, delighted as I could be after all I had suffered, and lay the whole of the next morning on the heath under the open sky, dreaming of my earthly Goddess. This was Sunday. That evening I returned, for I could hardly bear to be for a moment out of the house where she was, and the next morning she tapped at the door–it was opened–it was she–she hesitated and then came forward: she had got the little image in her hand, I took it, and blest her from my heart. She said “They had been obliged to put some new pieces to it.” I said “I didn’t care how it was done, so that I had it restored to me safe, and by her.” I thanked her and begged to shake hands with her. She did so, and as I held the only hand in the world that I never wished to let go, I looked up in her face, and said “Have pity on me, have pity on me, and save me if you can!” Not a word of answer, but she looked full in my eyes, as much as to say, “Well, I’ll think of it; and if I can, I will save you!” We talked about the expense of repairing the figure. “Was the man waiting?”–“No, she had fetched it on Saturday evening.” I said I’d give her the money in the course of the day, and then shook hands with her again in token of reconciliation; and she went waving out of the room, but at the door turned round and looked full at me, as she did the first time she beguiled me of my heart. This was the last.–

All that day I longed to go down stairs to ask her and her mother to set out with me for Scotland on Wednesday, and on Saturday I would make her my wife. Something withheld me. In the evening, however, I could not rest without seeing her, and I said to her younger sister, “Betsey, if Sarah will come up now, I’ll pay her what she laid out for me the other day.”–“My sister’s gone out, Sir,” was the answer. What again! thought I, That’s somewhat sudden. I told P—- her sitting in the window-seat of the front parlour boded me no good. It was not in her old character. She did not use to know there were doors or windows in the house–and now she goes out three times in a week. It is to meet some one, I’ll lay my life on’t. “Where is she gone?”–“To my grandmother’s, Sir.” “Where does your grandmother live now?”–“At Somers’ Town.” I immediately set out to Somers’ Town. I passed one or two streets, and at last turned up King Street, thinking it most likely she would return that way home. I passed a house in King Street where I had once lived, and had not proceeded many paces, ruminating on chance and change and old times, when I saw her coming towards me. I felt a strange pang at the sight, but I thought her alone. Some people before me moved on, and I saw another person with her. THE MURDER WAS OUT. It was a tall, rather well-looking young man, but I did not at first recollect him. We passed at the crossing of the street without speaking. Will you believe it, after all that had past between us for two years, after what had passed in the last half-year, after what had passed that very morning, she went by me without even changing countenance, without expressing the slightest emotion, without betraying either shame or pity or remorse or any other feeling that any other human being but herself must have shewn in the same situation. She had no time to prepare for acting a part, to suppress her feelings–the truth is, she has not one natural feeling in her bosom to suppress. I turned and looked–they also turned and looked and as if by mutual consent, we both retrod our steps and passed again, in the same way. I went home. I was stifled. I could not stay in the house, walked into the street and met them coming towards home. As soon as he had left her at the door (I fancy she had prevailed with him to accompany her, dreading some violence) I returned, went up stairs, and requested an interview. Tell her, I said, I’m in excellent temper and good spirits, but I must see her! She came smiling, and I said, “Come in, my dear girl, and sit down, and tell me all about it, how it is and who it is.”–” What,” she said, “do you mean Mr. C—-?” “Oh,” said I, “Then it is he! Ah! you rogue, I always suspected there was something between you, but you know you denied it lustily: why did you not tell me all about it at the time, instead of letting me suffer as I have done? But, however, no reproaches. I only wish it may all end happily and honourably for you, and I am satisfied. But,” I said, “you know you used to tell me, you despised looks.”–“She didn’t think Mr. C—- was so particularly handsome.” “No, but he’s very well to pass, and a well-grown youth into the bargain.” Pshaw! let me put an end to the fulsome detail. I found he had lived over the way, that he had been lured thence, no doubt, almost a year before, that they had first spoken in the street, and that he had never once hinted at marriage, and had gone away, because (as he said) they were too much together, and that it was better for her to meet him occasionally out of doors. “There could be no harm in them walking together.” “No, but you may go some where afterwards.”–” One must trust to one’s principle for that.” Consummate hypocrite! * * * * * * I told her Mr. M—-, who had married her sister, did not wish to leave the house. I, who would have married her, did not wish to leave it. I told her I hoped I should not live to see her come to shame, after all my love of her; but put her on her guard as well as I could, and said, after the lengths she had permitted herself with me, I could not help being alarmed at the influence of one over her, whom she could hardly herself suppose to have a tenth part of my esteem for her!! She made no answer to this, but thanked me coldly for my good advice, and rose to go. I begged her to sit a few minutes, that I might try to recollect if there was anything else I wished to say to her, perhaps for the last time; and then, not finding anything, I bade her good night, and asked for a farewell kiss. Do you know she refused; so little does she understand what is due to friendship, or love, or honour! We parted friends, however, and I felt deep grief, but no enmity against her. I thought C—- had pressed his suit after I went, and had prevailed. There was no harm in that–a little fickleness or so, a little over-pretension to unalterable attachment–but that was all. She liked him better than me–it was my hard hap, but I must bear it. I went out to roam the desert streets, when, turning a corner, whom should I meet but her very lover? I went up to him and asked for a few minutes’ conversation on a subject that was highly interesting to me and I believed not indifferent to him: and in the course of four hours’ talk, it came out that for three months previous to my quitting London for Scotland, she had been playing the same game with him as with me–that he breakfasted first, and enjoyed an hour of her society, and then I took my turn, so that we never jostled; and this explained why, when he came back sometimes and passed my door, as she was sitting in my lap, she coloured violently, thinking if her lover looked in, what a denouement there would be. He could not help again and again expressing his astonishment at finding that our intimacy had continued unimpaired up to so late a period after he came, and when they were on the most intimate footing. She used to deny positively to him that there was anything between us, just as she used to assure me with impenetrable effrontery that “Mr. C—- was nothing to her, but merely a lodger.” All this while she kept up the farce of her romantic attachment to her old lover, vowed that she never could alter in that respect, let me go to Scotland on the solemn and repeated assurance that there was no new flame, that there was no bar between us but this shadowy love–I leave her on this understanding, she becomes more fond or more intimate with her new lover; he quitting the house (whether tired out or not, I can’t say)–in revenge she ceases to write to me, keeps me in wretched suspense, treats me like something loathsome to her when I return to enquire the cause, denies it with scorn and impudence, destroys me and shews no pity, no desire to soothe or shorten the pangs she has occasioned by her wantonness and hypocrisy, and wishes to linger the affair on to the last moment, going out to keep an appointment with another while she pretends to be obliging me in the tenderest point (which C—- himself said was too much). . . .What do you think of all this? Shall I tell you my opinion? But I must try to do it in another letter.


(In conclusion)

I did not sleep a wink all that night; nor did I know till the next day the full meaning of what had happened to me. With the morning’s light, conviction glared in upon me that I had not only lost her for ever–but every feeling I had ever had towards her–respect, tenderness, pity–all but my fatal passion, was gone. The whole was a mockery, a frightful illusion. I had embraced the false Florimel instead of the true; or was like the man in the Arabian Nights who had married a GOUL. How different was the idea I once had of her? Was this she,

–“Who had been beguiled–she who was made Within a gentle bosom to be laid–
To bless and to be blessed–to be heart-bare To one who found his bettered likeness there– To think for ever with him, like a bride– To haunt his eye, like taste personified– To double his delight, to share his sorrow, And like a morning beam, wake to him every morrow?

I saw her pale, cold form glide silent by me, dead to shame as to pity. Still I seemed to clasp this piece of witchcraft to my bosom; this lifeless image, which was all that was left of my love, was the only thing to which my sad heart clung. Were she dead, should I not wish to gaze once more upon her pallid features? She is dead to me; but what she once was to me, can never die! The agony, the conflict of hope and fear, of adoration and jealousy is over; or it would, ere long, have ended with my life. I am no more lifted now to Heaven, and then plunged in the abyss; but I seem to have been thrown from the top of a precipice, and to lie groveling, stunned, and stupefied. I am melancholy, lonesome, and weaker than a child. The worst is, I have no prospect of any alteration for the better: she has cut off all possibility of a reconcilement at any future period. Were she even to return to her former pretended fondness and endearments, I could have no pleasure, no confidence in them. I can scarce make out the contradiction to myself. I strive to think she always was what I now know she is; but I have great difficulty in it, and can hardly believe but she still IS what she so long SEEMED. Poor thing! I am afraid she is little better off herself; nor do I see what is to become of her, unless she throws off the mask at once, and RUNS A-MUCK at infamy. She is exposed and laid bare to all those whose opinion she set a value upon. Yet she held her head very high, and must feel (if she feels any thing) proportionably mortified.–A more complete experiment on character was never made. If I had not met her lover immediately after I parted with her, it would have been nothing. I might have supposed she had changed her mind in my absence, and had given him the preference as soon as she felt it, and even shewn her delicacy in declining any farther intimacy with me. But it comes out that she had gone on in the most forward and familiar way with both at once–(she could not change her mind in passing from one room to another)–told both the same barefaced and unblushing falsehoods, like the commonest creature; received presents from me to the very last, and wished to keep up the game still longer, either to gratify her humour, her avarice, or her vanity in playing with my passion, or to have me as a dernier resort, in case of accidents. Again, it would have been nothing, if she had not come up with her demure, well-composed, wheedling looks that morning, and then met me in the evening in a situation, which (she believed) might kill me on the spot, with no more feeling than a common courtesan shews, who BILKS a customer, and passes him, leering up at her bully, the moment after. If there had been the frailty of passion, it would have been excusable; but it is evident she is a practised, callous jilt, a regular lodging-house decoy, played off by her mother upon the lodgers, one after another, applying them to her different purposes, laughing at them in turns, and herself the probable dupe and victim of some favourite gallant in the end. I know all this; but what do I gain by it, unless I could find some one with her shape and air, to supply the place of the lovely apparition? That a professed wanton should come and sit on a man’s knee, and put her arms round his neck, and caress him, and seem fond of him, means nothing, proves nothing, no one concludes anything from it; but that a pretty, reserved, modest, delicate-looking girl should do this, from the first hour to the last of your being in the house, without intending anything by it, is new, and, I think, worth explaining. It was, I confess, out of my calculation, and may be out of that of others. Her unmoved indifference and self-possession all the while, shew that it is her constant practice. Her look even, if closely examined, bears this interpretation. It is that of studied hypocrisy or startled guilt, rather than of refined sensibility or conscious innocence. “She defied anyone to read her thoughts?” she once told me. “Do they then require concealing?” I imprudently asked her. The command over herself is surprising. She never once betrays herself by any momentary forgetfulness, by any appearance of triumph or superiority to the person who is her dupe, by any levity of manner in the plenitude of her success; it is one faultless, undeviating, consistent, consummate piece of acting. Were she a saint on earth, she could not seem more like one. Her hypocritical high-flown pretensions, indeed, make her the worse: but still the ascendancy of her will, her determined perseverance in what she undertakes to do, has something admirable in it, approaching to the heroic. She is certainly an extraordinary girl! Her retired manner, and invariable propriety of behaviour made me think it next to impossible she could grant the same favours indiscriminately to every one that she did to me. Yet this now appears to be the fact. She must have done the very same with C—-, invited him into the house to carry on a closer intrigue with her, and then commenced the double game with both together. She always “despised looks.” This was a favourite phrase with her, and one of the hooks which she baited for me. Nothing could win her but a man’s behaviour and sentiments. Besides, she could never like another–she was a martyr to disappointed affection–and friendship was all she could even extend to any other man. All the time, she was making signals, playing off her pretty person, and having occasional interviews in the street with this very man, whom she could only have taken so sudden and violent a liking to him from his looks, his personal appearance, and what she probably conjectured of his circumstances. Her sister had married a counsellor–the Miss F—-‘s, who kept the house before, had done so too–and so would she. “There was a precedent for it.” Yet if she was so desperately enamoured of this new acquaintance, if he had displaced THE LITTLE IMAGE from her breast, if he was become her SECOND “unalterable attachment” (which I would have given my life to have been) why continue the same unwarrantable familiarities with me to the last, and promise that they should be renewed on my return (if I had not unfortunately stumbled upon the truth to her aunt) and yet keep up the same refined cant about her old attachment all the time, as if it was that which stood in the way of my pretensions, and not her faithlessness to it? “If one swerves from one, one shall swerve from another”–was her excuse for not returning my regard. Yet that which I thought a prophecy, was I suspect a history. She had swerved twice from her avowed engagements, first to me, and then from me to another. If she made a fool of me, what did she make of her lover? I fancy he has put that question to himself. I said nothing to him about the amount of the presents; which is another damning circumstance, that might have opened my eyes long before; but they were shut by my fond affection, which “turned all to favour and to prettiness.” She cannot be supposed to have kept up an appearance of old regard to me, from a fear of hurting my feelings by her desertion; for she not only shewed herself indifferent to, but evidently triumphed in my sufferings, and heaped every kind of insult and indignity upon them. I must have incurred her contempt and resentment by my mistaken delicacy at different times; and her manner, when I have hinted at becoming a reformed man in this respect, convinces me of it. “She hated it!” She always hated whatever she liked most. She “hated Mr. C—-‘s red slippers,” when he first came! One more count finishes the indictment. She not only discovered the most hardened indifference to the feelings of others; she has not shewn the least regard to her own character, or shame when she was detected. When found out, she seemed to say, “Well, what if I am? I have played the game as long as I could; and if I could keep it up no longer, it was not for want of good will!” Her colouring once or twice is the only sign of grace she has exhibited. Such is the creature on whom I had thrown away my heart and soul-one who was incapable of feeling the commonest emotions of human nature, as they regarded herself or any one else. “She had no feelings with respect to herself,” she often said. She in fact knows what she is, and recoils from the good opinion or sympathy of others, which she feels to be founded on a deception; so that my overweening opinion of her must have appeared like irony, or direct insult. My seeing her in the street has gone a good way to satisfy me. Her manner there explains her manner in-doors to be conscious and overdone; and besides, she looks but indifferently. She is diminutive in stature, and her measured step and timid air do not suit these public airings. I am afraid she will soon grow common to my imagination, as well as worthless in herself. Her image seems fast “going into the wastes of time,” like a weed that the wave bears farther and farther from me. Alas! thou poor hapless weed, when I entirely lose sight of thee, and for ever, no flower will ever bloom on earth to glad my heart again!