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Lady charlotte Jewan Maria Carusted,
* FLIRTATION,” “THE DIVORCED,” &c.
What 'tis to love:
Oh Love! what is it in this world of ours
Which makes it fatal to be loved ? Ah! why
THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBARY 160873
ASTOR, LENOX AND TILDEN FOUNDATIONS.
GRIGGS & co., PRINTERS.
Who loves, raves 'Tis youth's frenzy--but the cure
Is bitterer still; as charm by charm unwinds,
Nor worth, nor beauty dwells from out our minds.
The fatal spell, and still it draws us on,
The stubborn heart its alchemy begun,
CHILDE HAROLD, c. iv., st. cxxiii.
“ Or all the men who have ever touched the subject of love, not one knew what form it takes in woman's breast so well as Lord Byron; and even he is sometimes at fault. A woman only can paint the endless varieties of the passion as it exists in various women under various stages of its ravages, and of their several stations and situations."
So spake Miss Clermont one day to Lord Herbert, as she sat in a window with a volume of the poet in her hand.
“ What do you say, 'Miss Clermont?” he asked, as he pulled his dog's ears till he made it scream, merely for idleness" what horrid weather it is; I cannot get one day's coursing."
“Well, never mind the weather, try to amuse yourself at home. Will you teach me billiards?”
“With the greatest pleasure,” he answered, as if she had done him the most essential service by finding him at that moment a pleasurable occupation. They proceeded to the billiard-room. Lord Herbert chose a mace from the stand, and gave it her.
“ No, no," she replied. “If I undertake any thing, I like to do it thoroughly: I will play with a cue, or not at all."
" Phoo, Miss Clermont, you will never learn with a cue, believe me; begin, at least, by the less difficult instru
“What shall we play for?” asked Miss Clermont-taking up two or three cues and poising them in her hand, as she ran her eye along them to ascertain their weight and truth of line.
Play for! That's a good joke; as if you had a chance with me. You, who never played before."
“I have played a little,” she answered, “with my brother when he was in town; but you knew little how we passed our hours at that time; we seldom saw you then; but come, let us to our game-what shall we play for?”
Nay,” replied Lord Herbert, “since you are so skilful, let our stake be that the winner shall pay the loser whatever guerdon may be most acceptable to them.”
Done," said Miss Clermont. “Done,” echoed Lord Herbert; “ and now to our game.”
She bowed, threw her cue lightly in the air, twisting it, and caught it dexterously. “Well done: that dexterity of hand and eye
makes me look at my antagonist with fear. I give you the first ball, of course-to a lady I could not be so uncourteous as do otherwise."
"A game is a game," said Miss Clermont, it is a strife and must be striven for fairly. We will both strike our balls, and according to the rule, that which lies nearest the allowed mark, shall be the right of precedence in play
Lord Herbert laughed, and bowed, and did as he was ordered; but he looked more at his antagonist than at the table, and drawing a quick sharp stroke, his ball rebounded back against the cushion, and then wandered over the table in all directions. Not so Miss Clermont's, she had placed one foot firmly on the ground, lifted the other gracefully, not in a masculine attitude in the air, and bending her figure slightly over the table, drew a gentle but deliberate and sure aim, and measured her distances so precisely that the ball stepped, as it were, into its own place.
“Now,” she said, “I take my right, having gained it. Into which of the pockets do you choose I should bag the red ball?"
“You do not mean to go through the game in this style?” he answered, laughing. “ We shall see,'
her reply. “Into the right hand pocket, then,” he answered, his eyes expressing a sort of surprise, that it was pleasant to her to create. Again he beheld the graceful line of her bending figure; her rounded arm, the delicate hand, the eye of searching and assured glance. Again she gave the electric blow; the balls flew, reeled on the pocket's brim, and then both dropped into it, as though it had been the business of her life to have mastered the game.
“By all that is skilful,” exclaimed Lord Herbert, “I wish I could do as much! but it is not possible you should always play thus; it is accident, confess it is; a lucky chance merely." " Will
you do me the favour, Lord Herbert, to place the ballsp” He obeyed. “Now, shall I cannon on the right hand side or on the left, by ricochet?"
“Oh! the impracticable by all means;" and the imprac, ticable appeared as practicable to her as the easier achieve
In fine Miss Clermont carried the whole game, without giving Lord Herbert time to make one single ball. His surprise was extreme, his praise of her skill unbounded; and as he eulogized her knowledge of the game, his own peculiar favourite game, he felt that her fascination was as complete as her skill. Some days after, Lord Herbert had collected various sporting gentlemen from distant parts of the county, and they had inet at dinner; he talked of nothing but of Miss Clermont's wonderful skill and knowledge of billiards, 'and proposed to her, in the evening, to play with him, that all might witness the truth of what he had asserted. Miss Clermont acquiesced, and she commenced in her own brilliant style of play, but gradually Lord Herbert become piqued; she saw he did so, and she imperceptibly declined from her usual security of aim, made several false strokes, and finally ended by allowing him to come off victorious; then he lauded her skill to the very skies; and she was aware that she had not piqued his vanity; she played well, but he played still better. Thus must it ever be in regard to every thing a woman does or says,
if she would wish to maintain her power over a man. The judges who had stood round the table watching the game, were quite as much deceived as Lord Herbert