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EDINBURGH:

PRINTED BY JAMES BALLANTYNE AND CO.

TO

HENRY MACKENZIE, ESQUIRE,

THESE VOLUMES

ARE RESPECTFULLY INSCRIBED.

REGINALD DALTON.

BOOK I.

CHAP. I.

REGINALD Dalton had always a singular pleasure in recalling those images of perfect repose with which he was surrounded, at the remotest period to which his remembrance could go backthe little sequestered parsonage-house, embosomed among elms and sycamores,-the old-fashioned garden, with its broad turf walks,-the long happy days spent in bright sunshine by the side of the shining lake,—the unwearied kindnesses of the mildest and most affectionate of parents.

There are few of us whose oldest impressions are not, as his were, serene and delightful; and I, for one, cannot, I must confess, divest myself of

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a sort of half pleasing, half melancholy anticipation, that should age ever draw a defacing hand over the strongest lines imprinted by the stirring events of youth and manhood, the harmless treasures of infant memory—the “ trivial fond records”—may be spared amidst the havoc.

Indeed, certain physiologists affirm, that the countenance of a man, after he is dead, is frequently found to have recovered much of the original expression it had borne, even although that had undergone signal changes, nay, perhaps almost entirely disappeared from view, during a great part of the newly-terminated life. This, if it really be as they say,—and, if I mistake not, both Lord Bacon and Sir Thomas Browne are among the number,-may, in all probability, be the result of strong natural struggles in the parting spirit to retrace, recover, or assert, what may appear, in such an hour as that, the most valuable, because the most innocently acquired, of all its fading fast-vanishing possessions. And I own, there is, to my imagination, something very agreeable in the notion of Mind and Body thus, on the brink of long separation, making, as it were,

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