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lighted; since there is in youth a fund of vivacity, a natural restlessness, which, if not properly directed and suitably employed in promoting some salutary purpose, will assuredly discover itself, it may be to the temporal, and even to the spiritual, disadvantage of the person in question.
While Frederick was thus enjoying the instructions of his tutor, he mixed little with any worldly society, excepting on the occasions of his visits to Lambert-Hall. But his uncle-I may say providentially-was not the kind of man whose sentiments were likely to become agreeable to young people: therefore, though all Mr. Lambert's principles were worldly, and, in consequence, low and grovelling, he never succeeded in making his nephew adopt one of them.
It was necessary, also, that Mr. Lambert should have an object upon which he might indulge and spend his natural petulance. This object he had for many years found in the character and person of Robert. But Robert was now absent; and, as no other immediately presented itself, he now began to divert the channel of his petty malice towards his favourite Frederick.
It was impossible, with any show of truth, to call this elegant and handsome boy a bear, or to compare him to a bull-dog, or to address him as an awkward fellow and a blunderer: but Frederick's fair complexion, brilliant eyes, and prompt politeness, would admit of comparisons of another nature, and of a kind no less disagreeable to a boy. “What a pity, Frederick,” Mr. Lambert would say, “ that such a complexion as yours should be exposed to the sun! Do, my good boy, carry a parasol when you go out of doors, or, at least, wear a large hat lined with green.” And, again, the old gentleman would add, “ Master Frederick's carriage would do him honour at court. Mr. Day, we must make him a page to her majesty. How well he would look in an embroidered suit, with a plume in his cap! There now, Falconer, there is Lady Betty's carriage at the door. Run, my page, and hand the lady out: bestow upon her one of your elegant bows. Well--vastly well--politeness itself! I dare say Lady Betty was amazed. Don't eat so much beef, Frederick: do restrain that enormous appetite. You will never do to perform the lady's maid, when Mr. Day and
I act a play for the amusement of the county,
you take care of your shape."
In this manner, and to this purpose, the old gentleman went on, till jokes of this kind became quite stale, and even Frederick could hardly bear them with good-humour: but when his good-humour began to fail, the recollection of the humble, pious, and grateful principles so carefully instilled by Mr. Day would come to his aid; and, therefore, when addressed by the appellation of Miss Molly, and told to keep his hands smooth and delicate, he would often turn the matter off with a laugh, tell his uncle he would not fail to obey his injunctions, and request a present of cold cream and violet soap.
When, however, after a time, Frederick was observed habitually to conduct himself in this manner towards his uncle, and to endure all his teasing ways with great goodhumour, there were not wanting those who attributed to the boy motives from wbich, through the divine assistance, he was perfectly free: for, so far from his expecting to receive from his uncle any pecuniary benefit beyond that which he had already been fully encouraged to hope for, Mr. Day had carefully impressed him with the idea that Mr. Lambert meant to do no more for him than to put him in possession of the living, which the tutor very properly represented as being what was very generous and handsome. As I, however, have just remarked, credit was not given to Frederick for freedom from cunning and artifice, in thus accommodating himself to his uncle's humours; and some persons were even so mischievous as to write to Robert, to warn him of his cousin's designs, and to advise him to take care lest young Falconer should in the long run win so much on the affections of the father as materially to injure the son.
In answer to these suggestions, Robert replied, with his usual injudicious violence, that if his father chose even to disinherit him, he must abide by the evil; that he never would stoop to Falconer's meanness of conduct; that, thank Heaven, he had an independent spirit; that he had hands to work with, was no fine gentleman, but a true Englishman; and that he could be as happy in a cottage as in the finest palace in the world, &c. &c.
It appeared, however, when Robert again saw his father and Frederick, that, notwithstanding his boasted
carelessness and independence, he was greatly irritated against them both; and that, though he still refused to stoop to wheedle his father, as he called the common respect due from a son to a parent, he yet felt not a little angry at witnessing the favour with which Frederick was regarded at Lambert-Hall, and evinced more coldness and haughtiness of manner towards his cousin than he had ever before done.
Thus, notwithstanding the high boast which he had made about his utter disregard of his future situation in society, he was, perhaps, one of the last characters that would with dignity submit to any thing like degradation. -But to return to our narrative. The Earl of
Vand his family bad, as I before said,' been much in Town for some years, and, during that interval, Frederick had seen nothing of Lady Augusta; but when that young lady had just entered her seventeenth and Frederick his nineteenth year, the family returned, for a few months in the summer, to Clifton Castle. Robert Lambert was, during that period, at the University.
As soon as Mr. Day heard of the arrival of the family, he went to pay his respects at the Castle, and was invited to dinner by the earl. He accepted the invitation; and when he met the ladies in the drawing-room, he was greatly struck with the improvement in Lady Augusta's appearance. She had always been beautiful, but she was now more so than ever; and added to her natural loveliness, not only the elegance and dignity of high life, but a certain simplicity of manner and intelligence of countenance, which rendered her exceedingly attractive.
The young lady seemed greatly pleased at the sight of Mr. Day, and accosted him with a degree of warmth which would have been very flattering, had not the good gentleman entertained some idea that all this kindness was not to be set down wholly to his own account.
Mr. Day was hardly seated in his chair, before Lady V- asked after his pupil.
At the sound of Frederick's name, Lady Augusta started, and looked anxiously at Mr. Day.
Frederick is well,” said Mr. Day: “ I left him with his books. It behoves him now to study hard, or he will do me little credit when he goes to the University."
“ Is he grown?” said Lady V— • Is he altered ? or is he the same handsome and pleasing Frederick Falconer that he ever was?”
On hearing this question, Lady Augusta looked down, and the colour in her cheek was evidently heightened.
“ He is, Madam,” said Mr. Day, “precisely the same that he always was. But,” added he, “ as his lot must necessarily be humble, I think it would be best, in submission to the better judgment of his friends, not to introduce him too fully to a sphere of life in which he cannot expect to sustain a part. His tastes are at present humble; "he seems free from ambition; and appears quite contented with his condition: I therefore think that we should carefully endeavour to prevent his incurring habits and cherishing desires which may in the least degree interfere with his properly sustaining the character of a country parson."
You judge correctly,” said Lady V, at the same moment slightly glancing ai Augusta, but in a manner so delicate that no person would have observed it, who was not so intimately acquainted with the secrets of the family as Mr. Day.
The name of Frederick was not mentioned during the rest of the day.
When Mr. Day returned to the parsonage in the evening, he found Frederick working in his garden, and full of glee about some circumstance relative to a favourite plant. He, however, threw down his hoe, to enquire after the family at the Castle; and his benevolent tutor, who had but just now felt all anxiety lest his beloved pupil should insensibly be drawn in to admire the intended wife of Robert, now felt that there was equal danger in allowing the young lady to see much of Robert's cousin: for, notwithstanding Frederick was in his gardening-jacket, with his crisped hair deranged by the heat into which he had been thrown by exercise, there was so much of the gentleman, of the elegant scholar, and so many interesting indications of Christian and manly virtue in his appearance, that he thought it scarcely possible for any young lady to be intimate with him, without feeling disposed to regard him with preference. He felt now more than ever rejoiced that he had spoken so explicitly to Lady
V-, and he hoped that, by this precaution, he had obviated the danger which every discerning person must have foreseen.
“And Lady V — is well?” said Frederick, in answer to some remark of his tutor: “I am glad of it. And how does Lady Augusta look? Is she much grown? Is she altered ?”
“She is grown and improved," answered Mr. Day,
and looks amiable. I hope she will make our dear Robert a good wife: for, though Robert is somewhat singular, he has many valuable qualities, and really deserves a worthy partner.”
To this remark Frederick answered, with warmth, “I think, Mr. Day, that I should hate any body who was unkind to Robert: I could not bear to see Robert unhappy.”
Here the conversation dropped, and Frederick said no more on the subject of the earl's family till the next day; when he asked Mr. Day when he would take him to see Lady V
My dear boy,” returned Mr. Day, “ you must mind your studies, and I must attend to my parish: we have little time for visiting.”
Frederick pressed the matter no further; and spoke, immediately afterwards, with animation, on a subject altogether irrelevant.
Thus things passed off till Sunday, when it was impossible to vent the young people from meeting at church, without giving some reason for so doing. During the service they had no opportunity of seeing each other, but immediately after they left the church they met, and their meeting was full of warmth and affection. Mr. Day heard Lady Augusta say to Frederick, “Why don't you come to see us, Mr. Falconer? forgotten your old haunts, and the wild glen, in which we used to play so happily?"
Frederick replied, that he hoped Mr. Day would soon accompany him to the Castle, adding, that he would request him so to do.
Something then was said by Lady Augusta relative to Frederick's love of gardening on which, the young man shewed her a sprig of some geranium which he had in bis bosom.