‘And now he yawns,’ is what I shall say
of you only when I am sure you have just heard a good
thing. You really are the best fellow of your
set that I have come across, and the only one pretending
to brains. Your modesty in estimating your value
as a leader of Pandours will be pleasing to them who
like that modesty. Good-bye. This little
Emilia is a marvel of flying moods. Yesterday
she went about as if she said, ’I’ve promised
Apollo not to speak till to-morrow.’ To-day,
she’s in a feverish gabble —or began
the day with a burst of it; and now she’s soft
and sensible. If you fancy a girl at her age
being able to see, that it’s a woman’s
duty to herself and the world to be artistic—to
perfect the thing of beauty she is meant to be by
nature!—and, seeing, too, that Love is an
instrument like any other thing, and that we must play
on it with considerate gentleness, and that tearing
at it or dashing it to earth, making it howl and quiver,
is madness, and not love!—I assure you she
begins to see it! She does see it. She
is going to wear a wreath of black briony (preserved
and set by Miss Ford, a person cunning in these matters).
She’s going to the ball at Penarvon Castle,
and will look— supply your favourite slang
word. A little more experience, and she will
have malice. She wants nothing but that to make
her consummate. Malice is the barb of beauty.
She’s just at present a trifle blunt.
She will knock over, but not transfix. I am
anxious to watch the effect she produces at Penarvon.
Poor little woman! I paid a compliment to her
eyes. ‘I’ve got nothing else,’
said she. Dine as well as you can while you
are in England. German cookery is an education
for the sentiment of hogs. The play of sour
and sweet, and crowning of the whole with fat, shows
a people determined to go down in civilization, and
try the business backwards. Adieu, curst Croat!
On the Wallachian border mayst thou gather philosophy
Dexterously as Wilfrid has turned Tracy to his uses
by means of the foregoing correspondence, in doing
so he had exposed himself to the retributive poison
administered by that cunning youth. And now the
Hippogriff seized him, and mounted with him into mid-air;
not as when the idle boy Ganymede was caught up to
act as cup-bearer in celestial Courts, but to plunge
about on yielding vapours, with nothing near him save
the voice of his desire.
The Philosopher here peremptorily demands the pulpit.
We are subject, he says, to fantastic moods, and
shall dry ready-minted phrases picture them forth?
As, for example, can the words ‘delirium,’
or ‘frenzy,’ convey an image of Wilfrid’s
state, when his heart began to covet Emilia again,
and his sentiment not only interposed no obstacle,
but trumpeted her charms and fawned for her, and he
thought her lost, remembered that she had been his
own, and was ready to do any madness to obtain her?