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A STORY OF FASHIONABLE LIFE.

BY THE AUTHOR OF

"THE PERILS OF FASHION.”

IN THREE VOLUMES.

VOL. II.

LONDON:
HURST AND BLACKETT, PUBLISHERS,
SUCCESSORS TO HENRY COLBURN,
13, GREAT MARLBOROUGH STREET.

1853.

249. W. 470.

M. S. MYERS, PRINTER, 22, TAVISTOCK STREET, COVENT GARDEN.

THE COLONEL.

CHAPTER I.

“Mine honour is the weather of my fate.
Life every man holds dear. But the dear man,
Holds honour far more better dear than life.”

SHAKESPEARE.

It is a known fact that in the absence of any one physical sense, an increase of power in the others is constantly remarked :—that the blind man acquires an acuter sense of touch and hearing; the deaf have a clearer and truer visual perceptions; while the lame

VOL. II.

excel in handicraft. Arguing analogically, it may be inferred that, owing to the absence of a higher motive, the actions of Colonel St. Colmo were regulated by as sensitive and as fastidious a sense of honour, as ever actuated the most chivalrous Paladin of bygone times. Always an active-we may add professional—principle in military life; with him it had assumed a vitality, which seemed to increase as lengthened years brought more to his notice the strong necessity of some unerring rule for the conduct of man to his fellow; and, lacking the observation—or the knowledge that Christianity furnishes an infallible standard by which to measure all human actions, he rested all his faith in the arbitrary laws which men impose, obeying them implicitly and without a question of appeal.

With this deeply grounded sense of the

duties which one man owes to another when he had time to think of the strange avowal which Mrs. Villaroy's persecution and injudicious violence had drawn from Miss Mavesyn-Colonel St. Colmo felt in the position of one standing on the verge of dishonour. At the moment he had been too painfully worked upon by the pertinacity with which Mrs. Villaroy had elicited the denouement, and too deeply alarmed by the state of convulsion and unconsciousness into which the mental distress and agitation had thrown the aggrieved girl, to think of anything but her sufferings, and the cruelty which had inflicted them. But after he had assisted Mrs. Villaroy in placing her on a couch, and had watched over her partial recovery ;-after he had been dismissed by Mrs. Villaroy with the whisper-“There, thank you, Colonel, we shall do very well

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