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means and spirit to protect my own property? But if an affront is offered to me, submission to which is to tarnish, my cha-. racter for ever with men of honour, and for which the twelve judges of England, with the chancellor to boot, can afford me no redress, by what rule of law or reason am I to be deterred from protecting what ought to be, and is, so infinitely dearer to every man of honour than his whole fortune? Of the religious views of the mat. ter I shall say nothing, until I find a reverend divine who shall condemn self-defence in the article of life and property. If its propriety in that case be generally admitted, I suppose little distinction can be drawn between defence of person and goods, and defence of reputation. That the latter is liable to be assailed by persons of a different rank in life, untainted perhaps in morals, and fair in character, cannot affect my legal right of self-defence. I may be sorry that circumstances have engaged me in personal strife with
such an individual; but I should feel the same sorrow for a generous enemy who fell under my sword in a national quarrel. I shall leave the question with the casuists, however, only observing, that what I have written will not avail either the professed duellist, or he who is the ag. gressor in a dispute of honour. I only presume to exculpate him who is dragged into the field by such an offence, as, submitted to in patience, would forfeit for: ever his rank and estimation in society.
“I am sorry you have thoughts of settling in Scotland, and yet glad that you will still be at no immeasurable distance, and that the latitude is all in our favour. To move to Westmoreland from Devonshire might make an East Indian shudder; but to come to us from Galloway or Dumfries-shire, is a step, though a short one, nearer the sun. Besides, if, as I suspect, the estate in view be connected with the old haunted castle in which you played the astrologer in your northern tour some
four or five-and-twenty years since, I have heard you too often describe the scene with comic unction, to hope you will be deterred from making the purchase. I trust, how. ever, the hospitable gossiping Laird has not run himself upon the shallows, and that his chaplain, whom you so often made us laugh at, is still in rerum natura. : " And here, dear Mannering, I wish I could stop, for I have incredible pain in telling the rest of my story, although I am sure I can warrant you against any in. tentional impropriety on the part of my temporary ward, Julia Mannering. But I must still earn my college nickname of Downright Dunstable. In one word then, here is the matter.
“ Your daughter has much of the romantic turn of your disposition, with a little of that love of admiration which all pretty women share less or more. She will besides, apparently, be your heiress; a trifling circumstance to those who view Julia with my eyes, but a prevailing bait
to the specious, artful, and worthless. You know how I have jested with her about her soft melancholy, and lonely walks at morning before any one is up, and in the moon-light when all should be gone to bed, or set down to cards, which is the same thing. The incident which follows may not be beyond the bounds of a joke, but I had rather the jest came from you than me.
“Two or three times during the last fortnight, I heard, at a late hour in the night, or very early in the morning, a flas geolet play the little Hindu tune to which your daughter is so partial. I thought for some time that some tuneful domestic, whose taste for music was laid under constraint during the day, chose that silent hour to imitate the strains which he had caught up by the ear during his attend. ance in the drawing-room, But last night I sat late in my study, which is immediately under Miss Mannering's apartment, and to my surprise, I not only heard the flageo. let distinctly, but satisfied myself that it came from the lake under the window. Curious to know who serenaded us at that unusual hour, I stole softly to the window of my apartment. But there were other watchers than I. You may remember, Mis Mannering preferred that apartment on account of a balcony which opened from her window upon the lake. Well, sir, I heard the sash of her window thrown up, the shutters opened, and her own voice in conversation with some person who answered from below. This is not
Much ado about nothing ;' I could not be mistaken in her voice, and such tones, so soft, so insinuating-Apd, to say the truth, the accents from below were in passion's tenderest cadence too-But of the sense I can say nothing. I raised the sash of my own window that I might hear something more than the mere murmur of this Spanish rendezvous, but, though I used every precaution, the noise alarmed the speakers.; down slid the young lady's