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the portrait upon which he had been fondly gazing, and tears coursed each other down his cheeks, as he reflected that Anna di Lucia's lot was as sure as that of the person now cold in the deep. Life, after all, was but a flitting dream; but Cun. nington felt more than ever that it was necessary to wake from that dream, with the conviction that, throughout, a vision of eternity has been preserved.
Cunnington was only three and twenty; no wonder that the burial at sea affected him,—no wonder that he felt lonely, dispirited, and agitated with many contending emotions ! It was not that there was actually any crime in loving a being so capable of inspiring love, but there are some minds who feel a quick presentiment of evil: and Cunnington firmly believed that unless he conquered his passion for the Italian beauty, that passion would be the misery of his future life; and, with all his faults, Cunnington's heart was in some points almost over-refined, for keenly as he occasionally felt the desire of embracing a stirring life on his return to England, he persuaded himself it was wrong to give to his country the residue of energies which from choice would have been offered at love's shrine : and yet how often Lady Cunnington's disappointment flashed across his mind, and he wished he could recall those hours when, leaving college, the world was before him, and he had made no choice. Meanwhile the white shores of Britain grew distinct, and although Cunnington was not exactly one of those patriots patriotically demented, so deeply is the feeling rooted, still, as he approached his native land, all regret was buried in the idea of home.
When to the deserted wide ocean succeeded the river's gay scenes,—when the waters were covered with vessels coming from every port of the globe, seeking the land of freedom, arts, and commerce, what scion of nobility,—what Englishman could fail to foster a kindred throe, what heart would not proudly throb in delight, as the noble buildings skirting the Thames grew nearer and nearer to view !
Oh, ye women! which be inclined
How beautifully does Byron describe - the Childe Harold departing from his father's hall!” how he “ had sigh’d to many, though he loved but one !" Passing over five cantos we hear
“Childe Harold had a mother, not forgot.” And Childe Harold, wild, reckless, gay as he was, loved well that mother: in that inimitable parting, “Good night,” what sweetness is contained in the lines
“My father bless'd me fervently,
Yet did not much complain ;
Till I come back again.”
It is a well-known fact, that the gay and reckless esteem most deeply those whose conduct they respect; it is perchance from the attractive power of contrast, which, as the loadstone draws the iron, is instinctively taught to respect virtue and talent.
We can fancy Childe Harold's mother the same sweetly persuasive being I fain would have the power of describing Lady Cunnington, and my indulgent readers will allow their imagination to supply the feelings which my pen faultily indites, as Cunnington, the son and heir, approached the ancestral Abbey.