“I would trust him, Miss Fairman, and I do,” I answered with a faltering tongue. “I appreciate his character and I revere him. I could have made my home with him. I prayed that I might do so. Heaven seemed to have directed my steps to this blissful spot, and to have pointed out at length a resting place for my tired feet. I have been most happy here—too happy—I have proved ungrateful, and I know how rashly I have forfeited this and every thing. I cannot live here. This is no home for me. I will go into the world again—cast myself upon it—do any thing. I could be a labourer on the highways, and be contented if I could see that I had done my duty, and behaved with honour. Believe me, Miss Fairman, I have not deliberately indulged—I have struggled, fought, and battled, till my brain has tottered. I am wretched and forlorn—but I will leave you—to-morrow—would that I had never come——.” I could say no more. My full heart spoke its agony in tears.
“What has occurred? What afflicts you? You alarm me, Mr Stukely.”
I had sternly determined to permit no one look to give expression to the feeling which consumed me, to obstruct by force the passage of the remotest hint that should struggle to betray me; but as the maiden looked full and timidly upon me, I felt in defiance of me, and against all opposition, the tell-tale passion rising from my soul, and creeping to my eye. It would not be held back. In an instant, with one treacherous glance, all was spoken and revealed.
* * * * *
By that dejected city, Arno
Where Ugolino clasps his famisht sons.
There wert thou born, my Julia! there thine eyes
Return’d as bright a blue to vernal skies.
And thence, my little wanderer! when the Spring
Advanced, thee, too, the hours on silent wing
Brought, while anemonies were quivering round,
And pointed tulips pierced the purple ground,
Where stood fair Florence: there thy voice first blest
My ear, and sank like balm into my breast:
For many griefs had wounded it, and more
Thy little hands could lighten were in store.
But why revert to griefs? Thy sculptured brow
Dispels from mine its darkest cloud even now.
What then the bliss to see again thy face,
And all that Rumour has announced of grace!
I urge, with fevered breast, the four-month day.
O! could I sleep to wake again in May.
WALTER SAVAGE LANDOR.
* * * * *
IMAGINARY CONVERSATION. BY WALTER SAVAGE LANDOR.
SANDT AND KOTZEBUE.
Sandt.—Generally men of letters in our days, contrary to the practice of antiquity, are little fond of admitting the young and unlearned into their studies or their society.
Kotzebue.—They should rather those than others. The young must cease to be young, and the unlearned may cease to be unlearned. According to the letters you bring with you, sir, there is only youth against you. In the seclusion of a college life, you appear to have studied with much assiduity and advantage, and to have pursued no other courses than the paths of wisdom.