Page images

My friend tells her own little story wil out prejudice, and without scandal, resentme and pique, which are so often indulged in modern novel writers, that it is not the le

qualification of an author to be in good humo and to wish to inspire in the reader, a simil feeling. This is, certainly, the case with r friend, who, whilst she smiles over the foibl and failings of our neighbours on the Continer and of our friends at home, does not spare h own, and in whose work, although there is assumption, as good a moral may be found, in works of greater weight, and of more in


I shall, therefore, no longer intrude on m reader's patience by further prefatory matter, by proceed, as the proxy of my friend, in her story giving it, as nearly as possible, in her own word

[blocks in formation]


will expect a wild romance—the vehicle of family anecdote and of family dishonour. If Mrs. Berkley Square read it, she will expect all the secrets of the town. Let neither be alarmed. I shall betray no secrets. I shall, in general, touch manners, not mnen. Only when truth and circumstance require it, shall any one be named; and then, under an inviola




ble anonyme. My own life has been romance enou without disturbing their fire sides. My advent have been sufficient to fill up more than these t|| volumes: yet do I hope to be able to avoid 1 egotism and prolixity in my detail.

There is a puzzle, the solution of which that un soupir vient souvent d'un souvenir.' could write it in hieroglyphics; but as I wish to easily understood, and to veil in mystery nothing necessarily, I shall state in plain English prose acknowledge the truth, namely, that" a sigh esca often from remembrance dear.” Whilst I am peru these untutored pages, I look back to the past a

a dream.

I am twenty-five years of age : yet is it To those who have doubled that period, what it be? On life as on a journey by night, “ck

and darkness rest.” We start in high spirits; we can never go fast enough; pleasure is our perspective; fashion, the spur which impels us; we flirt; we chat; we trifle by the road; yet does the time seem long. With feverish impatience, we expect something-unattained. A ray of reflective reason awakens us from

our slumbers.

We start with astonishment at the

distance which we have gone, beyond what we expected; and we are lost in amazement at the little solid good which has accrued from our journey.

A friend of mine compares life to a night passed in the mail. You embark in darkness (says he); you feel about for your neighbour; you guess at him or her; conversation commences; a man is entertaining and a woman appears fair; you think that you could, with pleasure, continue on a very long journey with your companions ; the female voice is attraetive; her touch is gentle; she sighs perhaps ; she seems B 2


listless; she grows interesting; the man is compla sant, his ideas suit yours; you appear to have corre ponding sympathies. Morning breaks, and—yo fellow travellers are nothing of what you picture

them! You are far from home; and all is disa


It seems as if I shrunk from my own story, b telling that of others. It may be so. We generall ease our embarrassment, and prepare our mind, unde any trial or trouble, by some desultory and prefator conversation previous to our going into the mai

I now begin.


Some years have rolled away-ah me! hov rapidly-since my mother and I went on a visit to : person whom I shall call Mr. Doricourt, a mos amiable man, retired in the autumn of life, from a diplomatic career, in which he had spent thirty long


« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »