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say nothing of the sex of the person,
who at this moment honouring this essay“ Essay? surely, sir, it begins to be a novel !—"
By no means !—and I will maintain it before any bishop, professor, or critic in Christendom, that it still is that treatise of moral philosophy I intended when I set out. I am to relate facts, and if love be a subject of moral philosophy, how can I help it ?"
I repeat then, (without disrobing myself,) Reader, wast thou ever in love ? Because, if thou wast, thou wilt call up many a pleasing recollection when thou figurest to thyself Tremaine, pensieroso, returning home, now plunging into woods
“ Of branching elm, star-proof,” now emerging into clear moon-light, and now stopping his horse on the bank of the river that divided him from Evelyn Hall, and fixing a lingering look upon its distant pediments, for no other reason that this history has ever discovered, than because they contained an amiable young person, and a respectable friend, who had made the last few hours pleasant to him. Dismounting, he delivered his horse to his
groom, and saying he would walk the rest of the way, dismissed him.
“ Que diable signifie tout cela ?” said Monsieur Dupuis, when he rushed into the hall on the trampling of horses, and heard from the groom that his master was pacing home on foot.
“ Que c'est un drôle ce gaillard-ld,” continued Monsieur Dupuis.
The groom understood, and Monsieur Dupuis meant him to understand, nothing of his exclamation, but betaking himself to the housekeeper's room, “My master no come home, he walk about to watch de moon-light,” said the valet.
" Very extraordinary, this,” said Mrs. Watson; “ what can possibly have happened ?”
Except, however, in the pleasure, Tremaine did not think it extraordinary at all. There was a calm in the air agreeable to his senses, and an interest in his thoughts which he had not felt for years; and having spent the best part of an hour on the terrace, , he retired to rest, with an equanimity surprising to himself, and particularly surprising to Mr. Dupuis.
What is more, though he rang early the next morning, it was because he had been sufficiently refreshed with sleep; which, without his being able to account for it, had been sweeter than he had for a long time known.
“I suppose I am recovering,” said he, as he opened his windows earlier than usual : “ this air is delicious, and I have none of that feverishness which used to hang upon me.”
As soon as he was drest, it was observed that he went instantly to his library, where he culled out a
volume of Marmontel's Memoirs, and actually, before breakfast, made the following extract with his own hand!
Jusque là, le plaisir des sens avoit été le seul attrait qui m'eut conduit. Ici je me sentis enlevé hors de moi par de plus invincibles charmes; c'étoient la candeur, l'innocence, la douce sensibilité, la chaste et timide pudeur, une honnêteté dont le voile ornoit la grâce et la beauté; c'étoit la vertu couronnée des fleurs de la jeunesse, qui ravissoit mon âme encore plus que mes yeux; sorte d'enchantement mille fois au-dessus de tous ceux des Armides que j'avois cru voir dans le monde."
The reader knows, or if not I am bound to tell him, that this beautiful description was of a young girl of eighteen, whom Marmontel married with all her bloom upon her, and with whom he was as happy as the day was long.
“ And why should he not?" asks some young reader of the gentler sex. Merely, young lady, because the Frenchman was fifty-four years old. “ Thay makes a sad difference,” says the young lady! Oh! but he was a Frenchman !
To be sure that alters the case again. At the same time it led Tremaine into a profound calculation, as to the true rule of proportion between the animal spirits, gaiety, and powers of pleasing, of persons born on this, or that side of the channel.
. “ As a Frenchman to an Englishman, in these respects,” said Tremaine, doubling down the book, while he took a stride along the room-“so, in inverse ratio, is thirty-eight to fifty-four.” Nothing in the world could be clearer. And as Marmontel gained Mademoiselle de Montigny and was happy,
Did he finish the calculation ?
Not exactly; for as he pondered upon it in one of the windows, his eye was arrested by a gentleman well mounted, who leaped a five-barred gate into a field that bounded the lawn, and seemed to be galloping up to the house. It was Careless, who in a trice entered the room, and said he was come to breakfast with him. Tremaine received him with more than politeness, and ordering breakfast, asked him what he preferred.
“ I myself drink chocolate,” said he, “and can recommend it to you as the right Spanish."
“ I would rather it were English,” cried Jack, “ and think Sir Hans Sloane's no bad thing; however, I trust, whatever it be, that the proper staple of an old Yorkshire breakfast is to be the foundation."
Tremaine looked inquiringly.
“I am sorry you don't understand me," said Careless, " for I mean cold beef, or good pigeon-pie,
Tremaine, having given the necessary orders, asked
if he usually hunted in July, and made flying leaps before breakfast?
“ Why no !” he said, “ but the ground was in such good order, and Lightfoot in such spirits, that I thought I would indulge him, poor brute! and besides, I like to keep him in practice.”
Tremaine then inquired if he had come from home; but found he had slept at Evelyn Hall; a thing he frequently did, particularly if bound to another part of the county: “As I am now," con
: tinued Jack, “ for I have promised Lord Bellenden's youngest son to shew him how to make a May fly, as well as wire a pike;-two things of which, with all his Greek and Latin, he is totally ignorant."
“ It is fifteen miles to Lord Bellenden's," said Tremaine,“ and you have come two already; you must be good-nature itself to go so far, to teach a young cub to throw his line."
" “ I have a great regard for his father and mother,' replied Careless; “ they wish him to be a little accomplished, and I don't mind my time for people I esteem.”
“ That is very good of you,” replied Tremaine, sitting down with him to breakfast, “ and as you have so much of it to dispose of, your neighbours must profit by your disposing of it so well. I think Dr. Evelyn said you were of no profession.”