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BORN TO SORROW.
making feeble pretence of sketching at Rome,
and haunting the pleasant young artists' stu"WHERE LOVE IS GREAT, THE LITTLEST dios, the favourite of that genial, beer-drinking, DOUBTS ARE FEARS.”
long-haired tribe-shooting snipe in the Cala
brian marshes, and spending lazy days amid Meanwhile Time has been weaving that won the ruins of Tibur and Tivoli, refreshing his drous cable of his with all those parti-coloured mind with quotations from the classic poetsstrands of joy and woe, sorrow and grief, not very correct ones, I fear--and making sad despair and death; and many a change for bungling in the quantity. Here I shall leave good and evil has taken place in the fortunes of the genial-hearted young fellow, and return to our characters. The spring-flowers have faded our friends in London." long on the pleasant country-side; the summer- Mrs. Grantley's large house in Portmanrose has shed its bloom in solitary sweetness ; square was open to the nobility and gentry of and autumn has begun to paint the leaves with London, to come and take their pleasure therein, hectic flush- the badge of the waning year. to eat and drink and be merry-and you may be Sportsmen are beginning to think of the right sure that there was no lack of guests. deadly “ First," and there is grief and mourn- Read a play of Shakspeare's called “ Timon of ing amidst the feathered game; for many a flut- Athens," and you will have an idea, if mayhap tering victim will sally from cover in the morn- you have not observed for yourself, how ready ing of that fatal day, never to return. The and delighted are people in all the grades of bappy Londoner begins to feel the full force of society—“ gentleman, apothecary, ploughman, the idea that his summer holiday is coming to thief"-to sit down to eat and drink, and rise an end, and that he must once more leave the up to play at the expense of others. From the delights of the watering-place, the well-loved | baron of high degree, who eats off gold-plate plunge into briny Old Ocean, and the happy, and drinks of the red, red wine, to the thief lazy, do-nothing existence on the beach, for the who eats the humble cow-heel, and quaffs the dust, fog, and kindred discomforts of his own unpretending but enlivening “dog's-nose,” it metropolis. Time has been weaving his cable is the way of them--they are all the same. steadily, persistently as Fate, and has from that And now, if a fine mansion in the most select famous wallet which he carries on his back ex- part of London, hedged in on all sides by the tracted a few crumbs of kind oblivion for odour of sacred aristocracy — if carriages, and Charley Dalton. Tempered with the waters of a beautiful horse, a present from Oaklands Lethe has been the meal of the crumbs of ob- 1 Gulnare"), a magnificent chestnut, to ride livion to the young fellow; and the excitement about in the park-if a well-appointed table, and and novelty of continental travel, and knocking a bevy of guests to adorn it if a stall at the about among sharp-shooters of every kind, have Italian-if invitations to every imaginable kind contributed much to efface the memory of the of entertainment, water-parties to Richmond cruel blow he had suffered. Of course some with amateur-crews, breakfast-parties in the kind friend had sent him a paper with the details grounds of Lady Hauton, croquet-parties, of Ella's marriage in it, and he had sworn balls, picnics, routs, drums-if all these things a good deal over it, and then had lighted a can make glad the heart of young wife, then cigar, and leaned over the taffrail of bis yacht, ought her life to have been one long, blissful gazing into the still, blue waters of the Medi- dream. Then, as for dress and jewellery, her terranean, where every star was mirrored, and make-up was declared by able judges to be the thought that perhaps, after all, he was better as best in wide London; and people often enit was, Poor giri! he wished her all the joy treated an invitation to parties, where Mrs. in life, and hoped that the sky of her future Grantley was to assist, simply for the pleasure would be as pure and cloudless as the Italian of seeing her. She was like the princess in sky above him. Here we shall leave hiin for Love's Labour Lost”-a lady walled about the present, idling about in the Mediterranean, with diamonds! With all this, was she happy? I am inclined to think not. In the first place would complain the luckless losers. “Win or there was a secret between her husband and lose it's all the same with him; he takes it all her-and what wife rests and is happy till that with that infernally cool smile of his !” be discovered ? Ah! Benedict, before you pass When he married he had confessed this the irrevocable church-portal, before you make failing to the unsuspecting Ella, and had proup your mind “to abjure back and live mised to forswear anything like cards and dice cleanly,” and take unto yourself a wife, be sure and heavy play for the future: he would restrict that there exists no skeleton in any cupboard of himself to a quiet hand at whist to oblige the the capacious mansion into which you receive master of the house; or, as a great indulgence, your fair young bride. You have heard of a would play a pool of billiards with an old Indian certain Bluebeard and his inquisitive little wife, veteran; and the happy girl implicitly believed have you not? you may be sure that your own him. Alas! the flimsiness of these good resoMary will never rest till the dread secret is lutions! Very like the Borealis race are they, made patent to the light of day.
“evanishing amid the storm” of temptation and “Come, Harry, that's a dear old boy, tell me opportunity. Ella had forgotten that the who that woman was that called on you at the pavement of a certain place is made of these Hall that day, when you looked so dreadfully good resolutions, “a hall of lost footsteps," incareworn and miserable ?” would Ella say, in a deed ; and she little knew the fascination which coaxing voice, and a pretty little imperious way the love of gambling exercises over the un. of entreaty, which was irresistible in other happy victim. things. “I am sure there can be no harm | The delegates of the Temperance League may telling me all about it; besides, I am horribly rave and rant from their platforms of the power jealous !"
which drink exercises over the tempted, and how Her husband's brow would cloud over, and impossible it is to resist the terrible craving for he would reply, almost sternly, “ Ella, my love, liquor. I would not hesitate to lay these genyou know I refuse you nothing. I try to make tlemen large sums of money that the power of you as happy as I can ; but this thing I cannot drink is as the empty air when compared with tell you, believe me, and please don't worry ine the lust of gain-the all-absorbing, selfish, by asking again. Come, we shall be too late burning desire to win money! A gambler's for Lady Shendryn's party if we don't make life, look you, is one long, hopeless delusion. haste. What a fearsul swell you look, in those He never loses hope. What if he lose heavily amethysts ! I declare it is I that shall become one night ? he may, in common possibility, jealous of you, and watch you like an ogre! I make a great coup next night, and win back all have seen several captains with their whiskers his own, and more to boot; and it is only when casting sly glances. Ayez garde, ma petite !" bis hair is grey and his nerves shattered, it is
That night Ella would be distraite and only when his hands shake so much that he anxious, and very apt to cut all attempts at con can scarcely hold the cards, that he is reduced versation short with the hapless young War to hang about the tables--as we often see him office clerks entrusted to her care; and when at Baden or Hombourg-a miserable, decrepit the ball was over, she would return short, curt old veteran, hanging about “in the rear ward replies to her husband's inquiries as to how she of fashion,” and pitifully entreating some lucky had enjoyed the dancing, and seemed to shrink speculator to lend or give him a few francs to from him during the next day. Ah! too surely try his hand. “I used to break the bank once, was that middle-wall of separation growing up monsieur. Ah, Dieu ! if I could only begin, I between two loving hearts; and though at the might manage it now!" present so slight that it seemed an illusion, an Piteous, piteous to see this hoary sinner, with airy nothing, in after years it was to grow up a tear in his bleared old eye, and his feeble into the solid masonry which would debar the hands grasping unconsciously at the glittering interchange of love and respect, and keep them roulecoux - as the desperate souls on the banks painfully distant. And with all this, Ella was of the sunless river clutch at old Charon's boat horrified to find that her husband was a gam--while the impassible croupiers rake in the bler. Devotedly, madly attached to the gam- coin, and gently hint to the ruined gambler that bling-table he had been before his marriage; his absence from the table would be no great and the men of his regiment called him “lucky loss. Grantley !” for he scarcely ever rose from the “Pardon, monsieur, but you really must not écarté-table without carrying off some portion interrupt the players ! of the evening's booty; and many a callow They are very glad to see you, with your “ gryph” cursed the luckless hour which pockets lined, at the Kursaal; but, penniless, presented him as a foe to the lucky Captain, it is a different matter. You must make way for who took his losses and his gains so coolly, and the moneyed ones; and, as for your misery, to played such a steady, unerring game. Well- indulge in these feelings “is not the wear,” as known, too, was Grantley at all the West-end | Lucio says, at Baden. hells, and the card-tables of the clubs; and the Grantley had kept his promise indifferently men would often crowd round the table where well in his first stay in town after the return the “cool Captain” sat, to get, if possible, an from the pleasant Rhine-tour of the honeyinkling of the marvellous skill of his game. moon : but temptation gathers all the greater
“ That's where it is; you can't rile bim! 'force from being delayed ; and he very soon
found himself gliding back to the old habits. | about her, quoting pages from Alfred de Musset Lounging in the big bay-window of his club or Owen Meredith, handing her to her carriage, with some brother-officers, he would feel an adorning her box at the opera, hanging over almost uncontrollable desire to walk into the the rails in the park to chat with her, and stroke card-room and see the players. “This is very her horse's mane, and forfeits not aught of her slow!” he would say, with a yawn, when his name or good fame, but is allowed the title of eye was tired with watching the motley stream exemplary and virtuous wife. Perchance there of life passing and repassing in the London is no harm in it; but still, to all outward apstreets.
pearance, it looks far from proper; and people *Uncommon slow!" would be the drawled will talk. Give them a bare inch of truth, and answer of his friend. “I am bored to death they will soon manufacture an ell of slanderous with all these fellows, passing up and down, lies. This gauntlet Ella had to run, almost and with spotting and bowing to all those alone and undefended; and when the carrion painted old women in their carriages ! Tell you flies, attracted by her marvellous beauty, came what, Grantley, let's go and have a hand at | buzzing about her, daring to lower their voice écarté. Oh, I forgot-married man, and don't | in speaking to her, she had nothing to defend play. What a bore !"
| her but the innate purity of her heart: from this Nothing easier than for Grantley to have re- the idle set of danglers soon fled abashed, as fused, and borne the graceless young fellow's did the rabble rout in “ Comus” from the chaff: but in vain. The old auri sacra fames fair, shining presence of the lady. Neverthewas coming back, and he longed for the painted less, the world of society was beginning to pack, just as the old huntsman, when his shake its head ominously, and to declare that sporting-days are over, feels a feverish desire it really was too bad of Grantley to leave his to rush after the streaming hunt.
young, inexperienced wife so much alone! "Well, only one game, to kill time; “Not that she is anything but proper, my but mind, I am not going to play high-not dear," would Mrs. Backbite whisper : “but made of coin like you young fellows."
then, how many cases have we seen when such And one game of écarté would lead on to things have terminated fatally? You remember another, till Grantley was put on his mettle, and poor Mrs. Vavasour? There was a wretched allowed the hair-brained young men to double business! Vavasour used to neglect her most and treble the stakes, and would rise a winner shamefully, and always made her go out by herof considerable sums, and be in a fair way to self, while he was at the House till three or four become again a thorough-paced gambler. And in the morning. What was the consequence ? bor the hypocrite would dissemble to his They had barely been married a year when Mrs. wife!
Vavasour was talked about. Young Charley "Yes, I have been at the club, Ella, and Forester, of the War-office, was never from her met some fellows from my old regiment, and of side; and the end of it all was that she went off course we had lots to talk about; and the time with him, and left Vavasour to curse his folly. wore on almost without my perceiving it." I didn't pity the man a bit: he might have at
Aye, and almost without his perceiving it tended more to his wife and less to the Ella was begioning to distrust her husband. House." Slightly to parody the proverb, “Distrust was There is some truth in this. If the wife be entering at the door while Love was flying out left too much alone, what wonder that the through the window;" or, “Trust me all in all, voice of the tempter should make her swerve or not at all," was the wife's motto. Half- from her duty ? confidence was already doing its best to sepa-| At the time of which I am writing, all the rate the hearts that once beat only for each gambling circles of London were ringing with other's mutual happiness. Wilfully blind as the name of a certain Italian nobleman (Count she had been to the dear one's faults, deter- / della Croce), whose success at the gambling. mined as she was to see no flaw in the idol table and in the ring was a matter of everydaywhich she had set up to cherish and worship, talk. It was impossible to play a good hand, and firmly as she adhered to her marriage-vow, or make a brilliant cannon at billiards, without pure and unstained as when she knelt by someone saying, “Ah, you should see Della Grantley's side in the cathedral at Turlminster, Croce play. They say he is never beaten! It's still she could not be oblivious to the fact that certain that he has landed heaps of money since her husband stayed out much longer of nights he has been in England; and his horse, than he should—that on his return he was “ Tootletum,” won the Leger the other day, much too excited and flushed to augur the putting about seven thousand into his pocket. spending of a quiet evening in harmless talk | Daresay, though, he is a refugee, or something that she was often compelled to go without his of that kind, and lives on his wits. They are protecting arm to the myriad resorts of fashion, all Counts in Italy, you know !” where there was no lack of temptation, and in- “I suppose he plays fairly ?" said Grantley, citement to that harmless flirtation which we who formed one of the knot of men at the used to decry so in Spain, but now deem rather | “ Army and Navy ” who were discussing the more fashionable than otherwise in England foreigner. that system by which a married lady is allowed “Oh, of course he does," went on the to have half-a-dozen young men dangling I speaker, “ By.the-bye, he is coming to dinner