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appointment of my wishes, with the most studious benevolence; and to finish the whole, when he knows that I wish Mr. Malden to go abroad with Charles, he takes that very opportunity of presenting him a living, which renders his stay in England imperative.”
“ But are you sure he has done so ?” demanded Caroline: “ and if he has, was he not bound in gratitude to do all he could for Mr. Malden, who has always been so attentive to him ?”
66 Sure that he has done so !” cried sir Charles ; “ why, girl, I have got Mr. Malden's note in my pocket: besides, Malden might have waited for a living: he is quite a young man-not above two or three-and-thirty I would have given him one in a year or two, twice as good.” “ Then who do
you intend to go with Charles ?” demanded Caroline.
“Oh,” replied her father, “ that does not so much signify; only I was provoked at Burton doing so at this moment: but
Mr. Malden writes to me, that there is a young man, a Mr. Wilmot, for whom he will be responsible, who will be happy to undertake the charge, and so I have replied that that will do as well.”
“ Nay, then,” replied Caroline, “if Fre-. deric has done no harm, why be so angry with him?"
“ No harm!” cried sir Charles; but he was interrupted by the return of his son, who had been driven in by a shower.
Well, Charles, have you been poetizing in the park ?” demanded his sister, as he entered the library.
No, truly, Caroline,” answered her brother; “ I had no subject just at this moment.”
“I am glad to hear it, Charles-I am glad to hear it,” said his father : “ too fond of that poetry; it is the bane of young men: they go on fostering fancy, which only throws dust in their eyes,
till the whole world becomes, as Berkeley would have it, a delusion,"
“ But, my dear sir," replied Charles,
you would not surely blot out the poor poets from society altogether?”
“ No, no,” replied sir Charles, “I do not mean to say that poets may not be good in some degree in a state, but then I would have then appointed by government, and not allowed to write more than a certain quantity. It is a mania, Charles, that you are very much afflicted with, and see if your fine imagination does not get you into a scrape some day. I shall tell your tutor when you go abroad, to let you do any thing but write poetry.”
“But apropos to going abroad,” said Charles, with a smile : “I wish to know what are the plans you have formed for me on that subject: you know, my dear sir, I always like to follow them exactly."
“ Nonsense, Charles," replied his father, laughing; "
you always get your own way, and then try to persuade me that it is mine. It seems Mr. Malden cannot go with you; but he has a friend, a Mr. Wil
mot, who will do as well; so I intend
you to set out as soon as possible, for which purpose we will go to London next week, and from thence you can proceed to Paris, and so on through Switzerland, to Italy: all the minor arrangements of your tour, of course you will form for yourself. Perhaps I have been too harsh about Burton after all,” continued the old gentleman, after a moment's thought: “I remember him some ten years ago—a gay, talented, high-spirited youth; but that unfortunate duel still hangs upon his mind, and never gives him peace.”
“ Concerning that duel I much wished to ask you,” said Charles : " was there any fault to be attributed to Burton ?"
“ Not in the least-not in the least," replied his father: “I will tell you how it happened. Frederic was travelling in Germany, and then an elegant young man of about one or two-and-twenty; he there became slightly acquainted with a colonel Stanhope, a man of low origin, I believe,
but who had raised himself high in the service of some of the petty states, by his great personal courage and daring, which was very conspicuous. He was, however, a gambling, debauched, unprincipled scoundrel, as appeared afterwards, and that not being at all the sort of companion to Burton's taste, the acquaintance dropped ; and Frederic, after having spent a-year or two in Italy, returned to this country, and intended to have come from London directly down here; but two days before he proposed setting out, he met, it seems, an old college friend, whose name does not signify-he was a great fool, that's enough. But Burton engaged himself to dine with him: amongst those at table was this colonel Stanhope, and Frederic soon began to suspect that most of the others were sharpers, who had assembled round his friend, on the certain information that some relative had left him a large fortune, without bequeathing him any brains to take care of it.