Page images
PDF
EPUB

at the paltry excuses that were made in answer to his just remonstrances on this ill treatment. But, as we have observed, he had loved the injurer, for many real virtues, for long-tried honour in the world, and long-tried friendship towards himself; and when he found that even such a man had failed and forgotten Kim, it went to his very heart. At first, he thought he had fallen into some error concerning him, or at best that he was merely capricious; and, being open and confiding himself, he sought explanations, which he thought would instantly restore things to their old level. But he was shocked to find that the man he had so loved took refuge from his advances in coldness; and the few explanations he condescended to make were of a nature so frivolous, so bordering, indeed, upon equivocation, that something very like indignation and haughty reproach on Tremaine's part marked their separation. The feeling was not diminished by seeing this person fall immediately under the government of the upstart above-mentioned, who had wound about his naturally honourable mind, by a train of the most obsequious flattery, to which, it need not be observed, Tremaine neither would nor could condescend.

The result was, that he almost pitied while he renounced him; and though, we repeat, he might have been disposed to laugh at a person less richly

Dupe, and fool!” exclaimed he, on recovering a little, “ ever to trust the simplicity of nature ! It makes me sick! My Eugenia ! Monson's Eugenia! any body's Eugenia !”

The impression sunk deep, and lasted long; for he found he had dearly and honourably loved this child of romance. To have been so played with, so duped by baby sweetness, even though she might have amused and duped herself at the same time, was a blow which he could not easily forget. But that, with the apparent openness of heaven, with such a charming ingenuousness of temper, she should be so deliberately false in her love, cut him to the heart. Too proud to reproach her, however, and indeed too much ashamed of himself to enter on the subject at all, he in the end contented himself with simply enclosing her own letter, in a blank cover, and immediately left the Limousin.

The sequel of this adventure is no longer connected with Tremaine's history; but the reader may still like to know what became of the speculation to which our hero felt he had been sacrificed: I will therefore relate it as he learned it from Monson himself.

Returning over the Pyrenees from the tour of Spain, and stopping at Pau to view the birth-place of Henri Quatre, he observed within the precincts of the castle an English gentleman, seemingly on the

same errand as himself, whom he presently found to be Monson. Though they had met but for a minute in the rencontre that has been mentioned in Auvergne, their interest about each other had been so great, that upon this second meeting they could not help giving signs of mutual recognition. At first they were formal; but this wearing off, they passed the evening together at the inn, en vrais compatriotes ; during which, Mrs. Belson and her daughter being naturally made the subject of conversation, Tremaine was astonished to learn that Monson, who had come to France for the express purpose of seeking his early love, had himself broken off with her, upon discovering what had passed between her and Tremaine.

“ My heart,” said Monson, “ shocked at the sudden transfer of her affections, not merely from me to you, but from you to me; and though I attributed much to her mother, and believed that her inconstancies to us both proceeded more from a temporary ebullition of romance than a want of principle, or sordid design, yet, feeling this was not a character that could make me happy, I gave up my pursuit, and left her, in sorrow for her weakness, but with my affection quite cured.”

Tremaine could not help, admiring his new acquaintance for the delicacy as well as firmness of his character; and when they separated, set it to his own

was

heart as an example which it needed, in recovering itself from the wound it had received. For though forced to withdraw all regard from Eugenia, the affection he had given her had been so pure, so founded in what he thought her unsophisticated nature, that it was long, and not till after all esteem for her had ceased, that his heart finally parted with her image. wie

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

"fol.

" I rather would entreat thy company,
“To view the wonders of the world abroad,
“ Than living dully, sluggardized at home,
" Wear out your youth in shapeless idleness."

SHAKSPEARE.

The immediate effect of this adventure was to throw Tremaine back upon high and polished life, "With an increased favour towards it, produced by the disappointment his hopes had just received amidst the simplicities of a humbler station. Hence, when some one had praised the flowers of the valley, he was heard to say,

6 Give me the diamonds of the court; they are quite as pure, and a thousand times more brilliant! The flowers, too, will fade, and are then even offensive; the purity of the diamond lasts for ever.”' : Is it not strange, that, with all his powers, attainments, and habits of philosophizing, he had not till now perceived that simplicity is the growth of no particular soil, and attached to no particular rank; that it depends upon character alone; and that, although the chances are against it in a court, the obscurity of the remotest village will not exempt its inhabitants either from disingenuousness, weakness, or falsehood?

Cured of love, and particularly of village love, he now commenced what he had long meditated, and partly had begun,—the tour of Europe; and he betook himself with vigour to the study of the men, manners and institutions, the arts, policy and resources of foreign countries.

Still, however, whatever his pursuit-whether in morals, politics, or arts—his dear romance never abandoned him; and of all the hours that he passed away from his native land, those which were occupied in floating in airy visions on the Rhine, or Lake Leman, were those which he most seemed to enjoy. In the end, however, the courts

er, the courts of Europe, and all its princes, its eminent men and celebrated

[blocks in formation]
« PreviousContinue »