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for he might have said with Lord Chesterfield, that he had endeavoured to gain the hearts of twenty women to whose persons he was perfectly indifferent.

Let us take a brief view of the process which had contributed to mould the character of Montague. If there be anything in hereditary, character, little had he drawn advantageously from that source: his infancy was consigned to a woman like Barnes, and servants of a similar stamp, only relieved by occasional intercourse with an indulgent mother, who was utterly without thought or feeling beyond the narrow conventional circle in which she moved. As his boyhood advanced, he was, from his love of horses, attracted by his father's grooms, and no small portion of their vulgarity was engrafted on his mind; after this probation, he suffered the further degradation of a public school, in which, as fag and tyrant, he strengthened and confirmed every former evil impression that he had received; from the public school he went to college, incited by his mother to the ambition of patrician association, with a view to both present distinction and future advantage. Riot and dissipation met him at the college gates, and companioned him during his abode, till he returned to his father's mansion almost callous and incapable of one pure joy or holy feeling.

Few things are more important to human happiness and improvement than the recognition of the doctrine of necessity, which makes us perceive that every creature is what it is from its organization and circumstances, and can be no other, unless change be effected upon these. Such a conviction must disarm beings of the rancorous animosity and contempt with which they are so prone to regard each other; such a conviction must induce those anxious attentions to early training and social circumstances, by means of which alone the human being can be improved.

It is my most anxious wish, that while attempting to do some good, I should give no pain; I would therefore desire to obviate the shock which the doctrine of necessity gives to many religious minds, and some moral ones. Cannot the first substitute the word consequences for reward and punishment, and carry out the doctrine of consequences as far as they please? Cannot the second feel that censure still attaches to crime, though not to the criminal ?-he, like all the afflicted, is ever the most pitiable of wretches. How spoke the purest of all beings about his persecutors? • Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.' Every crime has its source in ignorance; its perpetrator may in some respects be the most ingenious of men; but let him know what he

may,

he knows not moral truth, nor the reaction consequent upon its violation.

It grates upon my spirit, as a discord does on the ear of a musician, to hear the unpitying denunciation, the eager exposure, of each other in which so many of the human species indulge. Every censurer says (by implication at least,) like the pharisee, • Thank God, I am not as one of these.' But were he placed in a parallel position, can he lay his hand upon his heart and say he would not have been the same? No, he cannot say it. Then a truce to backbiting and bitterness, and let us go to work to remove the stumbling blocks which beset the path of the morally maimed and blind, and still more let us go to work in behalf of the rising race, lest at any time they strike their feet against stones.

After the course just described, Montague came into the scenes of domestic and social life, just what such a course was calculated to make him. He looked upon his father as an old gentleman standing between himself and his inheritance; and an event which natural affection should have taught him to deprecate, highly nurtured selfishness led him to desire. Creditors and dissolute companions weaken the bonds of filial attachment, even when they have been woven wisely by the parent's hand; but how does it chance where the accident of birth forms the only connecting tie of union, and when for every other circumstance the child has been indebted to his parent's purse, not to his personal exertions? Shall we wonder in such cases that we have the sign for the thing, and that father and son are nothing more than two men bearing the same name, with opposite views and opposing interests?

Montague was not so utterly indifferent to his mother, because she no way interfered with his expectations; she had besides been uniformly indulgent, but no respectful gratitude grew out of the recollection of that indulgence, and from her and her slavish servants he had taken the type of his opinions regarding the sex. Whilst weak himself as the echo of an almost exhausted sound, and shallow as a common water-course, he was perpetually talking of the weakness and shallowness of women, and fancied himself invested with an unalienable superiority, though cheaply purchased on the credit of sex, station, and money.

He brought to society an abundance of gallantry, of which the woman of fashion, of rank, of wealth, of which the well-dressed woman, the young and pretty woman might command as much as she pleased; but which the poor woman, the plain woman, the meanly-dressed, aged, afflicted, deformed woman would have found scant enough.

The mass of the community he regarded with indifference or derision, as the humour moved him; and it was only such as promised to promote his importance, or minister to his pleasures or his luxuries, who excited in him the slightest interest.

Florence, who, though eminently qualified to attach the lover, had not been reared to allure the libertine; who, though cordially alive to every social feeling, was perfectly untouched by any conventional one, presented to him a puzzle, which at first wounded his mind, but speedily won upon it, or rather awakened it. It had been long since he had thought anything necessary to impress a woman's heart but to meet her, gaze, and murmur his name; that as he was like Christabel, “ beautiful exceedingly,' and the heir of fourteen thousand a year, any thing more would be a work of supererogation.

But, to his astonishment, Florence neither blushed nor bowed before him. Her manner, neither shrinking nor assuming; her eyes, neither downcast nor conscious; her voice, neither timid nor tender, were all expressive of the purity which possessed her mind-a purity the result of a perfect comprehension of the general nature of humanity, and the principles upon which it ought to act. She had no vague ill-defined notions, the blended result of ignorance and its consequent suspiciousness, which induced shyness. Her modesty was, like Heaven's ether, too pure to be perceived, not the fatuous, often factitious habit, which invites invasion, or at least often provokes the attempt. This purity was her panoply even with a libertine like Montague.

He knew the tactics of the flirt, the coquette, and the prude; but he felt at fault when met by the simple, honest, intelligent selfpossession of Florence. She was ingenuous, because she cherished no thought or feeling which it was necessary to conceal; unembarrassed, because she entertained no paltry views of emulous vanity, no ulterior aims of mercenary or ambitious interest. She was gentle, not timid; fraught with the spirit of knowledge, not cumbered with its pedantry or display. Knowledge impregnated her thoughts and their expression, as the spices of Araby do its winds, filling them with more or less of sweetness, which told where and amid what they had been tarrying.

It is not here that I shall seek into the causes which originated a character so singular, nor inquire whether Florence had ever loved; it is enough to the purpose of this story to say that Montague was not the one capable of touching the springs which opened the deeper sanctuaries of her heart. Yet it is essential to the consistency of her character to acknowledge, that had he awakened her heart he would have known it, while her decision of character would have led her to adopt and induce the measures which appeared most consistent with their mutual honour and happiness.

Who does not feel the sickening, let me rather say deadening, influence of conventional opinion and usage on this point? All the most popular scenes of modern dramatists hinge upon the tricks and artifices of women, to give an appearance of inadvertency to the betrayal of passion, or the struggles and misery of concealment.

Oh, Shakspeare, that thou couldst come back among us, and with some few of the bright spirits of the present times, make the stage the high school of morals which it might be! Who is offended with thy Miranda, when she tells Ferdinand her love? Or with Juliet, when she talks of marriage to Romeo ?

The gross grovelling earthlings, who, by means of the gold they grubbed up, instituted the life's social commerce as well as its commercial traffic, thought to enhance everything by artifice; in the former case, they adopted the principles which guided them in the latter,

What a conception of modesty and delicacy must they entertain, who imagine them necessarily associated with deceit and falsehood! Sweet-voiced, bright-eyed Truth, come among men, and show them of what stuff their refinements are made! Tell them that when they ‘ paint the lily and gild refined gold,' they soon get nothing but the paint in place of the purity of the flower, and the varnish instead of the weight of the precious ore.

Lady Morgan, in her clever preface to the new edition of O'Donnel,' while defending herself against the charge of strong political tendencies, talks about ' womanly sympathies,' and the

proprieties of the sex. I cannot comprehend this. There appear to me no sympathies to which the heart of woman may awaken, by which the heart of man may not be moved; the proprieties which are imperative upon her ought to be imperative upon him. This common jargon of exclusive sympathies and proprieties belongs alone to the existing state of delusion-the show, and not the substance of morality; it grows out of the unnatural restraints placed upon women, and the equally unnatural licence permitted to men; it proceeds from the existence of the two moralities, the female morality and the male morality, which two ones, make, unlike every other arithmetical junction, when joined together, no morality at all.

There is no more certain moral salvation than love, when cherished for a worthy object; its redeeming power operated upon even Montague; his feelings and his reason, ruined as they had been, were not immediately righted, but they took a disposition to right themselves; and perhaps, had the influence so benignly acting on him been permitted to continue, the holy spirit of happiness, when she numbered her children, might have found him among them.

But Mrs. Vernon was quick to perceive the change apparent in Montague, to interpret the cause and devise the remedy. She summoned Florence one morning to her dressing-room, where, in a very graceful but in somewhat haughty manner, she informed her, that her services in the family could be dispensed with,

May I inquire, Madam,' said Miss Paget, “the motive of this? I am unconscious of having offended any one, of having neglected any duty ?'

You have not offended me, I assure you, Miss Paget; nor am I sensible of failure in any of your duties. This unpleasant business has been thrown on my hands; but in fact everything is on my hands, and we poor wives, you know, must submit. I only know that I like peace, and some how or other you are a bar to

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it. First of all, Barnes has several times complained about your interference with respect to the little ones. I'tried not to listen to her, but she says that Frank has been set entirely against her. All this originates in foolish jealousy, I dare say; but she is an old faithful servant, quite a favourite; and there are amiable weaknesses —

Florence made no attempt to stem this flood of foolishness; and Mrs. Vernon was fluent and fond of hearing herself talk.

• But I cannot conceal,' resumed the lady, that I have heard other things, to which I was obliged to give some degree of attention. Mr. Vernon disapproves of some of your sentiments and opinions,-indeed, of your plans of education generally; he has learned that you urge Emma and Celia to think for themselves, and that you admire decision of character; he thinks nothing can be more unfeminine, more adverse to their prospects. Then, there are some of his relations have a long story about your taking the young ladies to a cottage, and there is a fear of low impressions and vulgar associations, and all that sort of thing.'

*Madam,' said Florence, there has been I perceive enough of misrepresentation ; but you have not made one tenable charge, unless it be Mr. Vernon's; but I must know his meaning before I can meet it by explanation of mine. At least, I feel happy that I have escaped any animadversion from you.' * Oh, no one need fear severity from me,' replied Mrs. Vernon. * I make it a rule to regard all with lenity, especially my own sex; but since you have touched the point, permit me to remark, Miss Paget, that you will do wrong to give young men the encouragement that you have given Mr. Montague Vernon. Your position in a family puts much in your power, which strict principles would teach you not to abuse; especially as regards a being so eminently gifted as my son. He is, I am sure, incapable of an unworthy thought; I am quite sure of it; he is all nobleness; but he is young, inexperienced — Yes, certainly, in this last instance you appear even 'to myself, and in spite of myself, to blame; it is, in fact, the only one of your errors of which I feel fully convinced.'

• Madam,' exclaimed Florence, I have been utterly misunderstood in this house; to which I now perceive how much better hypocrisy were suited than truth. Your son, madam, under the sanction of his sisters, and associated with them, forced himself into my society, to which upon no other terms he would have gained admission. I wish it was possible that I could put my heart into your hand, that you might see the supreme indifference with which I regard him.'

How unsuited was the honest Florence to the sophisticated world in which she moved! Her language, yet more her manner, untainted with the sordid tone of servility, deeply offended Mrs. Vernon, who had been till now calm, because self-satisfied. But

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