« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
INDEX TO VOL. LIII.
Anselme. By H. Scott, Esq., 231.
66, 194, 304, 453.
“ The Rock,” etc., 267.
Annie. By Mrs. Edward Thomas, 32.
Wine Song, (from the German), 51.
Adrian : a Tragedy in Five Acts, 109.
In me, expect no longer to find the man who parted from you, four years ago, full of present joys and bright anticipations for the future; since then, my life has been so chequered, that when I look back upon its events, I can scarcely believe the interval so short. My foreign mode of dress and, maybe, foreign appearance sufficiently indicate that I have not followed up the profession I had been bred for, namely, that of a clergyman, but that I must have spent no inconsiderable portion of my time abroad. If you can have patience to hear the relation of
my fortunes, you may perhaps find in them some interest; to a stranger they could be of none, but you, I flatter myself, are still my old college chum.
You will remember a large mansion in the park which ran
* Continued from page 356, vol. lii. September, 1848.-VOL. LIII.—NO. ccix.
parallel to my father's garden, with the trout stream intervening. It commanded more than ordinary attention from the singularity of its architecture, which could scarcely be applied to any age, yet the exquisite taste with which its approaches and garden walks were laid out pleased, while it struck the eye of the traveller. The owner, it was manifest, must be a man of refinement; if not quite classical, his taste was far from vulgar, and never extravagant. The lord of this property was, in fact, a man of talent and discernment—a great patron of science, and lavish in his expenditure upon all connected with art. unmarried. His father had died but lately, leaving him the whole of his wealth; he had no other relation in the world with whom to share it. Little was known either of the character or previous life of Lord Welwyn. Indeed, at the time I now speak of, he was on his first visit to his patrimonial estate. It was said that he had spent his youth in foreign parts, where he had no doubt acquired that taste for the beautiful which he seemed so desirous of expending upon the adornment of his mansion—for several skilful men were then engaged with that task, under his personal superintendence. While this work was in progress, he devoted himself entirely to its prosecution, seldom absenting himself even for a day, and visiting none of the neighbouring gentry. This last was impolitic enough, as it raised jealousy. Then scandal was not slow to spread all sorts of curious tales concerning himself and household.
My time, however, was too fully occupied to spare attention for scandals, even had my disposition desired it. On quitting college, where, as you will remember, I took my degree, I repaired at once to my father's abode, while awaiting my appointment to some living, which I hoped either by interest or merit soon to obtain. Here my studies were great. And they were not fruitless. I gained a complete knowledge of theology, the classics, French and Italian. I was indeed a complete bookworm, yet, my propensities in this respect led not to bookworm habits. I loved to ramble over the adjacent country, to contemplate nature as she appeared in her different guises, to stray along the banks of the trout stream, to roam about the forestpark of Welwyn. My studies, too, suffered no interruption from this, for my book was still my companion, as it was in my closet at home.
At the foot of an oak, the pride of Welwyn forest, I was reclining one lovely July day, and attentively engaged in reading, when a footstep struck upon my ear, and raising my eyes, I found a gentleman walking towards me, up one of the avenues. He carried a gun, and a fine setter followed him. I had no difficulty in recognising in his haughty step and bearing, the