If we have to pass through anguish to discover it and cherish the peace it gives to clasp it, calling it ours, is a full reward. Deep in his reverie, he said his adieus to Mrs. Mountstuart, and strolled up the avenue behind the carriage-wheels, unwilling to meet Laetitia till he had exhausted the fresh savour of the cud of fancy.
Supposing it done!—
It would be generous on his part. It would redound to his credit.
His home would be a fortress, impregnable to tongues. He would have divine security in his home.
One who read and knew and worshipped him would be sitting there star-like: sitting there, awaiting him, his fixed star.
It would be marriage with a mirror, with an echo; marriage with a shining mirror, a choric echo.
It would be marriage with an intellect, with a fine understanding; to make his home a fountain of repeatable wit: to make his dear old Patterne Hall the luminary of the county.
He revolved it as a chant: with anon and anon involuntarily a discordant animadversion on Lady Busshe. Its attendant imps heard the angry inward cry.
Forthwith he set about painting Laetitia in delectable human colours, like a miniature of the past century, reserving her ideal figure for his private satisfaction. The world was to bow to her visible beauty, and he gave her enamel and glow, a taller stature, a swimming air, a transcendency that exorcized the image of the old witch who had driven him to this.
The result in him was, that Laetitia became humanly and avowedly beautiful. Her dark eyelashes on the pallor of her cheeks lent their aid to the transformation, which was a necessity to him, so it was performed. He received the waxen impression.
His retinue of imps had a revel. We hear wonders of men, and we see a lifting up of hands in the world. The wonders would be explained, and never a hand need to interject, if the mystifying man were but accompanied by that monkey-eyed confraternity. They spy the heart and its twists.
The heart is the magical gentleman. None of them would follow where there was no heart. The twists of the heart are the comedy.
“The secret of the heart is its pressing love of self “, says the Book.
By that secret the mystery of the organ is legible: and a comparison of the heart to the mountain rillet is taken up to show us the unbaffled force of the little channel in seeking to swell its volume, strenuously, sinuously, ever in pursuit of self; the busiest as it is the most single-aiming of forces on our earth. And we are directed to the sinuosities for posts of observation chiefly instructive.
Few maintain a stand there. People see, and they rush away to interchange liftings of hands at the sight, instead of patiently studying the phenomenon of energy.