Page images
PDF
EPUB
[graphic]

these in abundance, but how rarely to be seen is the smile fresh from the joyous heart.

Teresa was left much alone by her careless husband, and solitude was what she most coveted under her peculiar feelings. Their residence was situate on the banks of the beautiful lake, and at some little distance from the town, and Teresa passed hours in exploring the environs of her villa, or acquainting berself with the legacies bequeathed to posterity by the immortal bards of this gifted country. Sir Edward St. John had formed many acquaintances, and recognized others in Como, and his whole time was divided between gambling with his countrymen and obeying the caprices of a pretty, coquettish Frenchwoman, to whom he had transferred his worthless regard. The young Comtesse de Bertin was married to a little fat, bustling, forward man; but she was the most refined coquette it is possible to conceive; the power of her eyes was marvellous, and by candlelight she really looked beautiful. She was a thorough Frenchwoman, without the slightest tinge of

[graphic]
[graphic]

heartless creatures, without a spark of feeling, and that their whole conversations were composed of mean scandal and pointless satire! “It is a sad thought,” she would mentally exclaim,“ and I bless Providence, that with all my wretchedness, (and it is sore,) I still retain the full freshness of sensibility, and a heart fully alive to generous emotions. I would not exchange my ardent, aspiring, enthusiastic, thinking soul, though overcast, and, as it were, flooded by sorrows; I would not exchange with the fairest, noblest, or richest of such pieces of worthless clay, whose highest aim is an establishment, and whose most exalted exercise of intellect is an Italian song or new dance !"

But the majestic scenery surrounding her, and the absorbing nature of Teresa's studies, soon soothed her mind, and elevated her thoughts above petty every-day annoyances. A tranquil, retired life was the one best suited to her, and she became, if not happy, resigned. She was never idle for an instant, as she held nothing to be more dangerous that that “ dolce relation of Lord G. She had a brother, who shortly afterwards went abroad; he was just twenty at that period, and the most de. lightful, refreshing, unsophisticated creature we ever met. He was like a noble war-horse on the verge of rushing into the battle, inspired by the clangor of military music, pawing the earth and panting for action. He had always lived amongst his own beautiful mountains, lakes, and glens, and he burned in desire to be launched upon the mighty ocean of busy, stirring life. He was daily expecting a commission in the army, and never did any human being long with more ardour to go abroad than he did. And yet he loved, as such characters alone can love, sincerely and devotedly; and the object of his affection was worthy of it; so fair, so gentle, so pure-minded a being one seldom encounters.

[graphic]

He once said to us, before her, “I could not endure a life of tame happiness; let mine be a short career of fierce enjoyment, rather than a long, insipid one!” His poor Emily

« PreviousContinue »