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Perhaps the Baron de Scala had really a presentiment that slaves would not find any happiness in freedom, but, like many others, he did not pause to reflect upon the measures which might be taken to tame the unruly heart into a due submission to laws and conventional forms. This was the great feature to be thought of, the instruction of the ignorant heart.
But what cared the baron for the heart of a negro ? it was the labour of his hands he required ; and now moodily he heard the proceedings of the House of Assembly, and vainly endeavoured to persuade the worthy governor, the Marquis of Sligo, who had succeeded Lord Mulgrave, of the evil of the forthcoming first of August.
Uneasy in mind, and angry as he was with the times, the laws, and the constitution, the baron was still, in his own home, the polished gentleman and the hospitable
host. Both Cunnington and Di Lucia felt at home under his roof, and the charming hostess contributed to their happiness.
Locked in each other's arms, Anna had received the long-expected fraternal kiss, and both brother and sister were charming portraits of youth, grace, and beauty.
As to her happiness, Alphonzo did not even question it; he saw his sister radiant with loveliness, surrounded by every luxury, and with all the sanguine conclusions of buoyant spirits, what more could he desire ? As to Cunnington, poor fellow, he was in a perfect whirlwind of admiration. Anna was precisely a being to storm his senses, for the first look she gave him was totally devoid of her usual hauteur of expression; it seemed as if she spontaneously took him into her good graces. And she was so accomplished, so graceful, so intellectual; no politician, but quite enough interested in the times she
lived in, to listen with tolerable patience to any one who talked about the existing laws. That imperiousness of manner, that wilfulness of purpose, that queenly bearing, took Cunnington by surprise. Alice Lemington was the trusting, loving girl; Anna di Lucia,, only twenty, was a perfect and fascinating woman.
Oh! we are the creatures of a day; as the sun-dial marks differently each hour, so our inconstant hearts are ever changing. Vacillating is man, the slave of each newlyborn passion.
Where now was the memory of the hour when Cunnington bade adieu to Albion's white shores? Where the recollection that he was to begin a life of keen observation, preparatory to a political course? Where was the remembrance of the gentle girl, whose love had once filled every portion of his heart?
The fever of excitement was again upon him; not the fever of intellectual pursuits. Poor Cunnington ! he was once more in love!
The baron's keen observation was already fixed upon the young people; he watched them wending their steps down the softlybordered groves, and he felt that Anna di Lucia had at length met with a lover her proud heart was ready to accept. The baron had a severe mental struggle. It was generosity battling with love; advanced age trying to give place to youth. The struggle was hard, and love proved stronger than generosity. Hearing that Cunnington had left his native land with a wish of acquiring knowledge, the baron endeavoured to surround him with clever men, instructive books, and intellectual conversation.
Young men are slow to perceive older love; they fancy youth and advanced age
feel so differently; and although Cunnington could have dispensed with the study the baron appropriated for him, and have preferred Anna's boudoir, he could not help smiling, for he remembered the library in Cunnington Abbey, and recollected that his mother had once surrounded him with quarto volumes, but he was far from imagining the baron was his rival.
"Che sara, sara,” thought poor Cunnington ; “I am afraid I never shall be a politician, my head is scarcely ever cool, and my heart never.” And then, as a very natural sequel to these reflections, the young man wondered if politicians were ever really in love, or if they married soberly, merely for the sake of having a lady to write their parliamentary invitations.
To be candid, and give our hero his due, it is only justice to say that Cunnington. strove very hard to conquer his new pas