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ously burst open the door, rushed in, and was followed by Emerson and the others. There was exhibited to their astonished gaze, the spectacle of Anna in her bridal robes, pouring forth the agonies of her heart in deep-fetched, rapidly succeeding sobs and torrents of tears, and being supported by one of Melvyn's sisters. The lord of the castle held her snowy-white hand in his-around was a numerous party—and the priest who had arrived but a few minutes before, had just enunciated the first sentence of the matrimonial service.
“ Villain,” exclaimed Edmund, with his eyes directed to Melvyn, and flashing at the same time with boundless indignation ; and as he uttered the epithet he rushed towards his hated foe, and ere the latter had time to use a weapon in his own defence, he sheathed his sword in his bosom. Melvyn fell prostrate on the floor; but such was the jealous and deadly animosity he bore towards Edmund, that though he only survived two minutes thereafter, he partially rose up, seized his dagger, and aimed it at the breast of Anna, exclaiming at the same time, under the impression the thrust was successful, “Nor shalt thou, scoundrel, enjoy her either;" but Edmund had already seized her in his arms, and the thrust which was made at her proved mortal to Melvyn's own brother, who, in the confusion of the moment, occupied the place on which Anna had stood but a moment before.
Entering the castle of Melvyn thus unexpectedly, and finding its inmates anticipating scenes of festivity rather than of mortal conflict, Edmund and his party found no difficulty—not even resistance—in carrying off Anna in triumph. The only obstacle was the massy iron gate fronting the castle, but a sufficiency of it was instantaneously demolished to admit of their exit. They reached home in an hour or two thereafter, and on the following day Edmund and Anna again approached the hymeneal altar, were united together, and spent the remainder of their days in peace and happiness.
STANZAS TO THE ART OF PRINTING. WRITTEN AT THE AGE OF THIRTEEN, BY MISS LOUISA MATILDA MONTAGU,* DAUGHTER OF COL. MONTAGU, OF LACKHAM HALL, WILTS.
How shall I speak of thee, or thy power address,
To thee we owe emancipation bright
Guardian of freedom ! nurse of useful arts !
And whilst a spark of liberty remains
All praise be his who first to Albion's shore-
Note. “An old hand has faithfully copied out these lines on Printing. Mrs. Crawford will, probably, long since have forgotten both them and the humble individual who sends them to the METROPOLITAN, and who, in the summer of 1806, was staying at Lacock Abbey, Wilts, on a visit to their mutual friend the late Countess of Shrewsbury. Her worthy old priest, the Rev. George Witham, was at that very time busily employed in printing copies of songs and poems by Miss Louisa Montagu, riddles by the Misses Methuen, and other contributions from youthful visitors to the Abbey. The venerable confessor had purchased (at a sale of the late Marquis of Lansdowne's effects at Bow Wood) a crazy old printing-press, and thus amused himself in finding work for its decaying energies. The writer of this note was occasionally elevated to the post of ‘Printer's Devill' and, with shame be it spoken, wickedly enjoyed (as devils will enjoy) the trouble of the holy man in arranging his types, and making out the almost illegible letters. Oh that a London compositor could have seen hiin, now wiping his aged spectacles, now his rosy fat face, then bravely renewing the charge. The work completed, the smiles of beauty rewarded him for all his toil. The lovely sisters of Lord Methuen were delighted to see their riddles in print; the still more lovely Miss Wortley Montagu ( the fairest flower on Avon's classic banks ') looked with a sister's loving eye upon those rude types that ushered into more general notice the girlish productions of the future authoress of 'Kathleen Mavourneen. Truly those were pleasant times, and can never be forgotten by
M. G. D. HYDE."
A BACHELOR HUSBAND.
The gods are just, and of our pleasant vices
Shakspeare. OPINIONs are divided upon the chapter of marriage; some pretend that it is the best of blessings, others assert that it is the worst of states; the first make it out to be a paradise, with the second it is nothing less terrible than the place of eternal torment; the wiser consider it as a species of purgatory, which can hardly be considered as very inviting, especially if we reflect that the natural judges of the question are induced by self-consideration not to say all that they know of the inconveniences of their condition.
Thus the greater number of our young men, during the best years of existence, do not fail to assert that they will never marry, and yet they are almost all led to seek an establishment in marriage by a number of reasons arising from maturity, ambition, and hazard. There are many indeed, who, having engaged themselyes lightly or from necessity, return to their ancient manner of thinking, and use all their efforts to recover a portion of their former independence. These undisciplined husbands put their ingenuity to the rack, in order to emancipate themselves from their monotonous duty, and lengthen to the utmost of their power the chain which they are incapable of breaking; they invent at their pleasure important affairs which oblige them very often to absent themselves from the conjugal dwelling. These are the persons to whom is due the honour of inventing those convents for the masculine sex, which are called circles or clubs. There are even some who push their fanaticism for liberty so far, that they consider even the annoying service of the National Guard as a benefit, and who would not exchange their billet du garde for a billet de banque. Many do not hesitate to intrigue with the sergeant-major to obtain the favour of performing a service to which they are not obliged.
Independence is the craving want of our epoch, which makes itself felt in everything, and especially in marriage ;-- it is a truth which cannot be contested. The number of bachelor-husbands increases every day; amongst these rebels some have to support painful struggles and difficulties, others, cleverer or more fortunate, manage so as to enjoy their liberty in peace.
Edward Langet had often repeated—“ I shall never marry !" He was then twenty years of age, with an allowance of a hundred July, 1845. ---VOL. XLIII.---N0. CLXXI.
from my hand who the tota la Ed
guineas a year, an apartment in the Rue Vangivard, and eight inscriptions at the School of Medicine. He passed his thesis, he had the free disposition of his patrimony, and he spent it gaily. Happy times! which only pass too quickly. At twenty-four Edward had taken his degree and was ruined, with little taste for his profession, and many importunate creditors.
An uncle, to whose inheritance he had an eye, said to him one day—“My good friend, you are but losing your time; I have sunk all I possess in a life annuity, so you have nothing to expect from me, but I have a brother at Guadaloupe, who is also your uncle, and who, besides, is very rich and has no children ; it is to him that you ought to address yourself.”
The advice was good; Edward descended the Seine, to Havre, embarked on board the Jeune Amelie, and arrived safe and sound at Guadaloupe, where his uncle, Monsieur de Neuillan, received him with open arms. At the end of eight days Edward was easy as to his future prospects. After having conducted him over his rich domains, M. de Neuillan had said to him,
“All this will one day descend to you; you have ruined your'self at Paris ; let that pass, youth has its season of folly ; but that I may be sure that you will not return to your former dissipation, and so waste in riot the property that I have so hardly earned, I desire that you should marry ; my inheritance is upon this condition. I have a match to propose to you with the daughter of one of my friends, whom I look upon as my own.”
Friendship is so close a tie in the Antilles ! Edward easily forgot the promises of fidelity which he had made to a life of celibacy. The protegee of his uncle, Mademoiselle Louise d'Abelvilliers, was a young lady of sixteen, perfectly beautiful, and endowed with the most amiable qualities. She had no fortune, but M. de Neuillan made a suitable settlement on his nephew, and secured to him, by the marriage settlement, the whole of his property at his death. Edward espoused Louise, and rendered her extremely happy. At Guadaloupe one has nothing better to do than to be a good husband.
However, at the end of two years, during which time the honey moon had passed through twenty-four successive editions, Edward was beginning to feel a little sense of satiety steal in upon his happiness, when M. de Neuillan fell dangerously ill, and the physicians were not long in declaring that they had no hope of saving his life. Edward then considered with attention the new and brilliant career on which he was about to enter, and, whilst he was paying to his dying uncle the most assiduous and tender attentions, gave himself up to profound reflections upon the future.
“I am about to become millionnaire,** said he to himself,
* It is, perhaps, hardly necessary to say that a French million is £40,000 sterling.
have enough husband med by memory
“ and free to return to Paris--to Paris, where I have passed such happy days. What a joyous lịfe I might lead there, if I were yet a bachelor! but with a wife and child I must content myself with an existence, peaceable and richly insipid, and live in the midst of that vortex of pleasure as I have vegetated here. And my friends of the times past, what will they say on seeing me married—me whom they have so often heard declaim against marriage ? Shall I have virtue enough to confine myself within the rigorous line which my duty as a husband marks out for me? Shall I know how to resist the charms awakened by memory, or the new seductions with which I am about to be surrounded ?"
In this severe self-examination Edward felt a strong conviction of his own weakness, and a lively affliction in consequence, for he loved his wife, and would not, for anything in the world, have caused her the least uneasiness. The struggle which ensued in his breast, between the passions of the young man and the tenderness of the husband, was so equally balanced that it could only finish by an accommodation, and it was there that Edward displayed all the resources of a mind fertile in combinations and expedients. At the side of his uncle's death-bed, and, after having promised the old man to continue to render Louise happy, he conceived a plan of conduct, the boldest that was ever put in practice by a husband rebelling against the gentle joys of wedlock.
“For marriage, rightly understood,
A paradise below.")
And in the first place, in order to gain his end, he had the address to conceal from his wife the extent of the inheritance which he was realizing. The liquidation of the property of M. de Neuillan produced nearly a million; Edward only declared four hundred thousand francs. This precaution is strictly in accordance with the rules, and the bachelor-husbands who know their trade never fail to put it in practice, and to impoverish themselves in appearance, so that they may spend without control in their licentious pleasures the money that they have surreptitiously withdrawn from the domestic fund.
After a favourable passage, Edward re-entered, rich, husband, and father, the port of Havre, from whence he had sailed three years before, poor and a bachelor. He hastened to establish his wife in the best hotel in the town, and then set out alone for Paris, under pretext that his wife, already fatigued by a long voyage, could not with safety immediately undertake a journey by land.
“Rest yourself,” said he to her; “ as to me I will go to Paris, hire an apartment, and have it furnished; I will then return for you; but this will require some days.”
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