Scenes of Clerical Life eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 425 pages of information about Scenes of Clerical Life.
had given him an admirable figure, the whitest of hands, the most delicate of nostrils, and a large amount of serene self-satisfaction; but, as if to save such a delicate piece of work from any risk of being shattered, she had guarded him from the liability to a strong emotion.  There was no list of youthful misdemeanours on record against him, and Sir Christopher and Lady Cheverel thought him the best of nephews, the most satisfactory of heirs, full of grateful deference to themselves, and, above all things, guided by a sense of duty.  Captain Wybrow always did the thing easiest and most agreeable to him from a sense of duty:  he dressed expensively, because it was a duty he owed to his position; from a sense of duty he adapted himself to Sir Christopher’s inflexible will, which it would have been troublesome as well as useless to resist; and, being of a delicate constitution, he took care of his health from a sense of duty.  His health was the only point on which he gave anxiety to his friends; and it was owing to this that Sir Christopher wished to see his nephew early married, the more so as a match after the Baronet’s own heart appeared immediately attainable.  Anthony had seen and admired Miss Assher, the only child of a lady who had been Sir Christopher’s earliest love, but who, as things will happen in this world, had married another baronet instead of him.  Miss Assher’s father was now dead, and she was in possession of a pretty estate.  If, as was probable, she should prove susceptible to the merits of Anthony’s person and character, nothing could make Sir Christopher so happy as to see a marriage which might be expected to secure the inheritance of Cheverel Manor from getting into the wrong hands.  Anthony had already been kindly received by Lady Assher as the nephew of her early friend; why should he not go to Bath, where she and her daughter were then residing, follow up the acquaintance, and win a handsome, well-born, and sufficiently wealthy bride?

Sir Christopher’s wishes were communicated to his nephew, who at once intimated his willingness to comply with them—­from a sense of duty.  Caterina was tenderly informed by her lover of the sacrifice demanded from them both; and three days afterwards occurred the parting scene you have witnessed in the gallery, on the eve of Captain Wybrow’s departure for Bath.

Chapter 5

The inexorable ticking of the clock is like the throb of pain to sensations made keen by a sickening fear.  And so it is with the great clockwork of nature.  Daisies and buttercups give way to the brown waving grasses, tinged with the warm red sorrel; the waving grasses are swept away, and the meadows lie like emeralds set in the bushy hedgerows; the tawny-tipped corn begins to bow with the weight of the full ear; the reapers are bending amongst it, and it soon stands in sheaves, then presently, the patches of yellow stubble lie side by side with streaks of dark-red earth, which the plough is turning up in preparation for the new-thrashed seed.  And this passage from beauty to beauty, which to the happy is like the flow of a melody, measures for many a human heart the approach of foreseen anguish—­seems hurrying on the moment when the shadow of dread will be followed up by the reality of despair.

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Scenes of Clerical Life from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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