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the flowery haunts of flirtation, and then up the thorny steeps of love! Yes, Ebenezer Grunter has left book-making for love-making. Weep, weep, ye Nine ! and smile and triumph,
So full were Babie and her Ebenezer of their love, their “nods, and becks, and wreathed smiles,” that the advent of the Count was to them of little importance, and they did not retrace their steps in his honour, but merely directed him where to find Ellen and Mr. Lindsay. He heard that Mr. Lindsay was at home with Miss Tibby, but that Ellen had roamed into a neighbouring pine-forest, which rose behind the gardens of the villa, and where she was wont, attended only by a huge, curly, red dog, a Swiss of a peculiar breed, to whom she was much attached, to sit, enjoying the fragrance of the budding pines, the beauty of the opening mosses, wild-flowers, and strawberry-blossoms, and the light and shade, which, chequered as through cathedral aisles, the vistas and archways formed by the tall, the slender, and the graceful pines.
There it was Ellen's wont, while Mr. Lindsay wrote or read in his study, to “sit in the centre, and enjoy bright days.” Now, with “Shakespeare's self, she speaks and smiles alone”—now roams through the romantic Past with that great magician — Walter Scott! -Now weeps and trembles over the mournful truths, the beautiful but sad philosophy, and the wild spirit-stirring poetry of that great mental anatomist, who, if he ranks elsewhere as the heir at once of Shakespeare and Sir Walter, has established, in those searching and most mournful papers, collected under the title of “ The Student," a right to rank, as an essayist, beside Addison and Johnson.
And this casket of gems, which Tragedy might be proud to wear, these stars of thought, illumining the darkness of so mournful a night (for what else is life, when painted as it is ?), Ellen had found among the treasures of the villa, and read for the first time. She had read it with delight both in English and Germanrejoiced to see that the thoughts it contains, like gems of the first water, shine in any setting. It is well translated, and is, perhaps, in Germany, the favourite work of by far the most popular of our English authors, among that thinking people—one, in whose cause they nobly cast aside all national jealousy and prejudice, and love, and honour, with the loyalty due to the monarch of that realm, which is not bounded by seas or mountains — the mind. Yes, she had read this work in sight of the eternal Alps, which seemed to her pure and aspiring as the genius she was dwelling with. Here, too, she had first followed,with beating heart and quickened pulse, the exquisitely-told adventures of poor Jack Sheppard, and admired the genius that could invest his fate with an interest that makes that work the most popular of its class, and leads it in triumph through hosts of en
vious detractors, to place it in the hands of Truth, and bequeath it to all after-time. Here she had made acquaintance with the witty and pathetic Boz, while each change “ of many-coloured life he drew;" fallen in love with dear Pickwick, wept for poor little Oliver, learned to loathe Squeers, to cherish Smike, to shudder at that well-drawn villain Ralph, a villain whom, with all his villany, we cannot despise (a great triumph that !), and to follow, in fancy, poor little Nelly, in her poetical and touching pilgrimage with age and want.
With all these intellectual stores at hand, and with a soul to feel and to appreciate them, Ellen's solitude had been cheered, like Numa's of old! Genius, omnipresent Egeria! a blessing upon thy sweet visitings a blessing upon all who win us for a while from this vale of tears, who bear us on the buoyant wings of their great spirits to grand or pleasant scenes, who take the prisoned soul and lap it in Elysium!
When De Villeneuve hurried along the opening glade, and entered the forest, he distinguished a white robe flowing over the bright green grass, and a sunbeam, making its way through the dark pines, like Love struggling through the closing shades of sorrow and despair, lighted on the Madonna-brow and long gold hair of the entranced Ellen. Her guardian dog heard the step; she heeded not; he barked aloud, and pulled her skirt. She raised her eyes from her book, grew red, then pale, then red again with surprise and hope (for she had been long an exile, and he came from home and Julian), and then, rushing for. ward, she welcomed De Villeneuve with a joy which awoke in the vain heart of the Frenchman the idea that he was loved.
“Oh! come, come to the villa with me. Quick! my uncle will be so very glad to see you to hear of Julian.”
“Of Julian! I have not seen him for a long time. Has he not been over here ?"