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and the boy believed her. In his own No wonder, poor Roland! that those house a firm union was formed against deep furrows contracted thy bold Roland, and protected by the cunning front, and thy hair grew gray before which is the force of the weak against its time! the strong.
Fortunately, perhaps, for all parIn spite of all, Roland could never ties, Roland's wife died while Blanche forget the tenderness with which the was still an infant. She was taken young nurse had watched over the ill of a fever— she died delirious, wounded man, nor the love-genuine clasping her boy to her breast, and for the hour, though not drawn from praying the saints to protect him from the feelings which withstand the wear his cruel father. How often that and tear of life-that lips so beautiful deathbed haunted the son, and justihad pledged him in the bygone days. fied his belief that there was no paThese thoughts must have come per- rent's love in the heart which was petually between his feelings and his now his sole shelter from the world, judgment, to embitter still more his and the “pelting of its pitiless rain." position — to harass still more his Again I say, poor Roland !—for I know heart. And if, by the strength of that, in that harsh, unloving disrupthat sense of duty which made the ture of such solemn ties, thy large force of his character, he could have generous heart forgot its wrongs; strung himself to the fulfilment of the again didst thou see tender eyes bendthreat, humanity, at all events, com- ing over the wounded stranger-again pelled him to delay it-his wife pro- hear low murmurs breathe the warm mised to be again a mother. Blanche weakness which the women of the was born. How could he take the south deem it no shame to own. And infant from the mother's breast, or now did it all end in those ravings of abandon the daughter to the fatal hate, and in that glazing gaze of influences from which only, by so terror! violent an effort, he could free the son?
Roland removed to France, and guine hopes, confided his son to this fixed his abode in the environs of man's care. The boy's natural quickParis. He placed Blanche at a con ness mastered readily all that pleased vent in the immediate neighbourhood, his taste; he learned to speak and going to see her daily, and gave him- write French with rare felicity and self up to the education of bis son. precision. His tenacious memory, The boy was apt to learn ; but to un- and those flexile organs in which the learn was here the arduous task-and talent for languages is placed, served, for that task it would have needed with the help of an English master, either the passionless experience, the to revive his earlier knowledge of his exquisite forbearance of a practised father's tongue, and to enable him to teacher, or the love, and confidence, speak it with fluent correctness — and yielding heart of a believing though there was always in his accent pupil. Roland felt that he was not something which had struck me as the man to be the teacher, and that strange; but, not suspecting it to be his son's heart remained obstinately foreign, I had thought it a theatrical closed to him. He looked round, and affectation. He did not go far into found at the other side of Paris what science-little farther, perhaps, than seemed a suitable preceptor-a young a smattering of French mathematics; Frenchman of some distinction in but he acquired a remarkable facility letters, more especially in science, and promptitude in calculation. He with all a Frenchman's eloquence of devoured eagerly the light reading talk, full of high-sounding sentiments, thrown in his way, and picked up that pleased the romantic enthusiasm thence that kind of knowledge which of the Captain ; so Roland, with san- novels and plays afford, for good or evil, according as the novel or the closed with practice, tlie happiness of play elevates the understanding and self-sacrifice, and how “good deeds ennobles the passions, or merely cor- should repair the bad !". rupts the fancy, and lowers the stan. It was the misfortune of this boy, dard of human nature. But of all with his daring and his beauty, that that Roland desired him to be taught, there was in his exterior and his the son remained as ignorant as be- manner that which attracted indulgent fore. Among the other misfortunes interest, and a sort of compassionate of this ominous marriage, Roland's admiration. The Frenchman liked wife had possessed all the supersti- him-believed his story—thought him tions of a Roman Catholic Spaniard, ill-treated by that hard-visaged Engand with these the boy had uncon- lish soldier. All English people were sciously intermingled doctrines far so disagreeable, particularly English more dreary, imbibed from the dark soldiers; and the Captain once morpaganism of the Gitános.
tally offended the Frenchman, by callRoland had sought a Protestant for ing Vilainton un grand homme, and his son's tutor. The preceptor was denying, with brutal indignation, that nominally a Protestant -- a biting the English had poisoned Napoleon ! derider of all superstitions indeed! So, instead of teaching the son to love He was such a Protestant as some and revere his father, the Frenchman defender of Voltaire's religion says shrugged his shoulders when the boy the Great Wit would have been had broke into some unfilial complaint, he lived in a Protestant country. The and at most said, “ Mais, cher enfant, Frenchman laughed the boy out of ton père est Anglais c'est tout dire." his superstitions, to leave behind them Meanwhile, as the child sprang rapidly the sneering scepticism of the Ency- into precocious youth, he was perclopédie, without those redeeming mitted a liberty in his hours of leisure, ethics on which all sects of philosophy of which he availed himself with all are agreed, but which, unhappily, it the zest of his early habits and advenrequires a philosopher to comprehend. turous temper. He formed acquaint
This preceptor was doubtless not ances among the loose young haunters aware of the mischief he was doing; of cafés, and spendthrifts of that and for the rest, he taught his pupil capital — the wits! He became an after his own system-a mild and excellent swordsman and pistol-shot plausible one, very much like the -adroit in all games in which skill system we at home are recommended helps fortune. He learned betimes to to adopt Teach the understanding, furnish himself with money, by the all else will follow ;" “Learn to read cards and the billiard-balls. something, and it will all come right;" But, delighted with the casy home “Follow the bias of the pupil's mind; he had obtained, he took care to thus you develop genius, not thwart school his features, and smooth his it." Mind, Understanding, Genius manner, in his father's visits — to fine things! But, to educate the whole make the most of what he had learned man, you must educate something of less ignoble knowledge, and, with more than these. Not for want of his characteristic imitativeness, to mind, understanding, genius, have cite the finest sentiments he had found Borgias and Neros left their names in his plays and novels. What father as monuments of horror to mankind. is not credulous ? Roland believed, Where, in all this teaching, was one and wept tears of joy. And now he lesson to warm the heart and guide thought the time was come to take the soul?
back the boy—to return with a worthy O mother mine! that the boy had heir to the old Tower. He thanked stood by thy knee, and heard from thy and blest the tutor-he took the son. lips, why life was given us, in what But, under pretence that he had yet life shall end, and how heaven stands some things to master, whether in open to us night and day! O father book knowledge or manly accommine! that thou hadst been his pre. plishments, the youth begged his ceptor, not in book-learning, but the father, at all events, not yet to return heart's simple wisdom! Oh! that he to England- to let him attend his had learned from thee, in parables tutor daily for some months. Roland consented, moved from his old quar- seemed low, petty—that grated on ters, and took a lodging for both in him as gentleman and soldier—there, the same suburb as that in which the not for worlds would I have braved teacher resided. But soon, when the darkness of his frown, and the they were under one roof, the boy's woe that spoke like scorn in his voice. habitual tastes, and his repugnance And when, after all warning and proto all paternal authority, were be- hibition were in vain, Roland found trayed. To do my unhappy cousin his son, in the middle of the night, in justice, (such as that justice is, ) a resort of gamblers and sharpers, though he had the cunning for a short carrying all before him with his cue, disguise, he had not the hypocrisy to in the full flush of triumph, and a maintain systematic deceit. He could great heap of five-franc pieces before play a part for a while, from an him-you may conceive with what exulting joy in his own address; but wrath the proud, hasty, passionate he could not wear a mask with the man, drove out, cane in hand, the patience of cold blooded dissimula- obscene associates, flinging after them tion. Why enter into painful details, the son's ill-gotten gains; and with so easily divined by the intelligent what resentful humiliation the son reader? The faults of the son were was compelled to follow the father precisely those to which Roland would home. Then Roland took the boy to be least indulgent. To the ordinary England, but not to the old Tower ; scrapes of high-spirited boyhood, no that hearth of his ancestors was still father, I am sure, would have been too sacred for the footsteps of the more lenient; but to anything that vagrant heir !
THE HEARTH WITHOUT TRUST, AND THE WORLD WITHOUT A GUIDE.
And then, vainly grasping at every disreputably smart, were seen lurking argument his blunt sense could sug- in the corner of the street, or peering gest—then talked Roland much and in at the window, slinking off if they grandly of the duties men owed — saw Roland-and Roland could not even if they threw off all love to their stoop to be a spy. And the son's father-still to their father's name; heart grew harder and harder against and then his pride, always so lively, his father, and his father's face now grew irritable and harsh, and seemed, never smiled on him. Then bills no donbt, to the perverted ears of the came in, and durs knocked at the son, unlovely and unloving. And door. Bills and duns to a man who that pride, without serving one pur- shrunk from the thought of a debt, as pose of good, did yet more mischief; an ermine from a spot on its hide! for the youth caught the disease, but And the son's short answer to remonin a wrong way. And he said to strance was,-“ Am I not a gentlehimself,
man ?-these are the things gentle“Ho! then my father is a great men require." Then perhaps Roland man, with all these ancestors and big remembered the experiment of his words! And he has lands and a French friend, and left his bureau castle--and yet how miserably we unlocked, and said, “Ruin me if you live, and how he stints me! But if will, but no debts. There is money he has cause for pride in all these in those drawers—they are unlocked." dead men, why, so have I. And are That trust would for ever have cured these lodgings, these appurtenances, of extravagance a youth with a high fit for the gentleman' he says I and delicate sense of honour : the am?"
pupil of the Gitános did not underEven in England, the gipsy blood stand the trust; he thought it conbroke out as before ; and the youth veyed a natural though ungracious found vagrant associates, heaven permission to take out what he knows how or where ; and strange- wanted—and he took! To Roland looking forms, gaudily shabby, and this seemed a theft, and a theft of the coarsest kind: but when he so said, existence. He had not found happithe son started indignant, and saw in ness in that liberty he had won, nor that which had been so touching an room for the ambition that began to appeal to his honour, but a trap to gnaw him, in those pursuits from decoy him into disgrace. In short, which his father had vainly warned neither could understand the other. him. His most reputable friend Roland forbade his son to stir from was his old tutor; he would go to the house; and the young man the him. He went; but the tutor was same night let himself out, and stole now married, and was himself a forth into the wide world, to enjoy or father, and that made a wonderful defy it in his own wild way.
alteration in his practical ethics. It It would be tedious to follow him was no longer moral to aid the son through his various adventures and in rebellion to his father. Vivian experiments on fortune, (even if I evinced his usual sarcastic haughtiknew them all, which I do not.) And ness at the reception he met, and was now, putting altogether aside his right requested civilly to leave the house. name, which he had voluntarily aban- Then again he flung himself on his doned, and not embarrassing the wits at Paris. But there were plenty reader with the earlier aliases as- of wits there sharper than his own. sumed, I shall give to my unfortu He got into some quarrel with the nate kinsman the name by which I police-not indeed for any dishonest first knew him, and continue to do so, practices of his own, but from an until - heaven grant the time may unwary acquaintance with others less come!-having first redeemed, he may scrupulous, and deemed it prudent to reclaim, his own. It was in joining a quit France. Thus had I met him set of strolling players that Vivian again, forlorn and ragged, in the became acquainted with Peacock; streets of London. and that worthy, who had many Meanwhile Roland, after the first strings to his bow, soon grew aware vain search, had yielded to the indigof Vivian's extraordinary skill with nation and disgust that had long rankled the cue, and saw therein a better within him. His son had thrown off mode of making their joint fortunes his authority, because it preserved than the boards of an itinerant Thespis him from dishonour. His ideas of furnished to either. Vivian listened discipline were stern, and patience to him, and it was while their inti- had been wellnigh crushed out of his macy was most fresh that I met them heart. He thought he could bear to on the highroad. That chance meet- resign his son to his fate-to disown ing produced (if I may be allowed to him, and to say, “I have no more a believe his assurance) a strong, and, son." It was in this mood that he had for the moment, a salutary effect upon first visited our house. But when, on Vivian. The comparative innocence that memorable night in which he had and freshness of a boy's mind were narrated to his thrilling listeners the new to him ; the elastic healthful dark tale of a fellow-sufferer's woe and spirits with which those gifts were crime-betraying in the tale, to my accompanied startled him, by the father's quick sympathy, his own sorcontrast to his own forced gaiety and row and passion-it did not need much secret gloom. And this boy was his of his gentler brother's subtle art to own cousin !
learn or guess the whole, nor much Coming afterwards to London, he of Austin's mild persuasion to conadventured inquiry at the hotel in the vince Roland that he had not yet Strand at which I had given my exhausted all efforts to track the wanaddress ; learned where we were ; derer and reclaim the erring child. and, passing one night in the street, Then he had gone to London—then he saw my uncle at the window — to had sought every spot which the outrecognise and to fly from him. Hav- cast would probably haunt—then had ing then some money at his disposal, he saved and pinched from his own he broke off abruptly from the set into necessities, to have wherewithal to which he had been thrown. He re- enter theatres and gaming-houses, and solved to return to France-he would fee the agencies of police; then had try for a more respectable mode of he seen the form for which he had watched and pined, in the street below was nothing to criminate, had been his window, and cried in a joyous de- suffered to quit Paris, and had taken, lusion, “ He repents !" One day a let- it was supposed, the road to England. ter reached my uncle, through his Then at last the poor Captain's stout banker's, from the French tutor, (who heart gave way. His son the comknew of no other means of tracing Ro- panion of swindlers !-could he be sure land but through the house by which that he was not their accomplice? If his salary had been paid,) informing not yet, how small the step between him of his son's visit. Roland started companionship and participation! He instantly for Paris. Arriving there, he took the child left him still from the could only learn of his son through convent, returned to England, and the police, and from them only learn arrived there to be seized with fever that he had been seen in the company and delirium-apparently on the same of accomplished swindlers, who were day (or a day before that on which) already in the hands of justice; but the son had dropped shelterless and that the youth himself, whom there penniless on the stones of London.
THE ATTEMPT TO BUILD A TEMPLE TO FORTUNE OUT OF THE RUINS OF HOME.
“ But,” said Vivian, pursuing his began to meditate, we were all leaving tale, “but when you came to my aid, London-he should have the stage to not knowing me--when you relieved himself. And then boldly he resolved me-when from your own lips, for the upon what he regarded as the master first time, I heard words that praised scheme of life—viz., to obtain a small me, and for qualities that implied I pecuniary independence, and to emanmight yet be worth much.'-Ah! (hecipate himself formally and entirely added mournfully,) I remember the from his father's control. Aware of very words--a new light broke upon poor Roland's chivalrous reverence me-struggling and dim, but light for his name, firmly persuaded that still. The ambition with which I had Roland had no love for the son, but sought the truckling Frenchman re- only the dread that the son might vived, and took worthier and more disgrace him, he determined to avail definite form. I would lift myself himself of his father's prejudices in above the mire, make a name, rise in order to effect his purpose.
He wrote a short letter to Roland, Vivian's head drooped, but he raised (that letter which had given the poor it quickly, and laughed-his low mock- man so sanguine a joy—that letter ing langh. What follows of his tale after reading which he had said to may be told succinctly. Retaining Blanche, “ Pray for me,") stating his bitter feelings towards his father, simply, that he wished to see his fahe resolved to continue his incognito ther; and naming a tavern in the city
- he gave himself a name likely to for the meeting. mislead conjecture, if I conversed of The interview took place. And him to my family, since he knew that when Roland, love and forgiveness in Roland was aware that a Colonel his heart-but (who shall blame him?) Vivian had been afflicted by a runaway dignity on his brow, and rebuke in his son-and, indeed, the talk upon that eye-approached, ready at a word to subject had first put the notion of fling himself on the boy's breast, Viflight into his own head. He caught at vian, seeing only the outer signs, and the idea of becoming known to Tre- interpreting them by his own sentivanion ; but he saw reasons to forbid ments-recoiled ; folded his arms on his being indebted to me for the intro- his bosom, and said coldly, “Spare duction—to forbid my knowing where me reproach, sir-it is unavailing. I he was : sooner or later, that know- seek you only to propose that you ledge could scarcely fail to end in the shall save your name, and resign your discovery of his real name. Fortu- son.” nately, as he deemed, for the plans be Then, intent perhaps but to gain