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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 520 pages of information about The Last Man.
the East, moving in their accustomed path, they ascend and descend the skiey hill.  When their course is fulfilled, the dial begins to cast westward an uncertain shadow; the eye-lids of day are opened, and birds and flowers, the startled vegetation, and fresh breeze awaken; the sun at length appears, and in majestic procession climbs the capitol of heaven.  All proceeds, changes and dies, except the sense of misery in my bursting heart.

“Ay, all proceeds and changes:  what wonder then, that love has journied on to its setting, and that the lord of my life has changed?  We call the supernal lights fixed, yet they wander about yonder plain, and if I look again where I looked an hour ago, the face of the eternal heavens is altered.  The silly moon and inconstant planets vary nightly their erratic dance; the sun itself, sovereign of the sky, ever and anon deserts his throne, and leaves his dominion to night and winter.  Nature grows old, and shakes in her decaying limbs,—­creation has become bankrupt!  What wonder then, that eclipse and death have led to destruction the light of thy life, O Perdita!”

CHAPTER IX.

Thus sad and disarranged were the thoughts of my poor sister, when she became assured of the infidelity of Raymond.  All her virtues and all her defects tended to make the blow incurable.  Her affection for me, her brother, for Adrian and Idris, was subject as it were to the reigning passion of her heart; even her maternal tenderness borrowed half its force from the delight she had in tracing Raymond’s features and expression in the infant’s countenance.  She had been reserved and even stern in childhood; but love had softened the asperities of her character, and her union with Raymond had caused her talents and affections to unfold themselves; the one betrayed, and the other lost, she in some degree returned to her ancient disposition.  The concentrated pride of her nature, forgotten during her blissful dream, awoke, and with its adder’s sting pierced her heart; her humility of spirit augmented the power of the venom; she had been exalted in her own estimation, while distinguished by his love:  of what worth was she, now that he thrust her from this preferment?  She had been proud of having won and preserved him—­but another had won him from her, and her exultation was as cold as a water quenched ember.

We, in our retirement, remained long in ignorance of her misfortune.  Soon after the festival she had sent for her child, and then she seemed to have forgotten us.  Adrian observed a change during a visit that he afterward paid them; but he could not tell its extent, or divine the cause.  They still appeared in public together, and lived under the same roof.  Raymond was as usual courteous, though there was, on occasions, an unbidden haughtiness, or painful abruptness in his manners, which startled his gentle friend; his brow was not clouded but disdain

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