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a mockery of his misery; and lost indeed to every renovating power, must be that breast to which the harmonious creation, decked in all the charms of light and cheerfulness, can yield no pleasurable sensation, no redeeming glimpse of joy, to steal it from its depth of care-yet such things are.
But they dwelt not with Charles Melville. He was in the full enjoyment of every hope—and hope perhaps is the only pleasure which mingles imagination with reality, which never cloys, however it is indulged, and which seldom fails, however it is disappointed. Mary loved him, happiness was before him, and there was scarcely a probability for fear to cling to, or a subject on which doubt could be entertained.
Charles's mind was always much affected by the scene in which he was placed, and surrounded as he now was by loveliness, he could scarcely have been unhappy. He was at Naples, in the heart of pictuVOL. II.
resque felt it necessary to return home, to account for the prolongation of his absence so much beyond the usual hour; but remembering that lord Burton, while travelling with him under the name of Wilmot, had been so much affected by the sight of this very man at Pere la Chaise, he did not mention to any of his relations who it was that had attacked sir Philip Mason, resolving, in the first instance, to question the man himself. For this purpose he returned to the baronet's house as soon as possible, and on being admitted, was about to inquire for the wounded man, when he perceived the dreadful state of agitation 'which his friend's countenance betrayed. His imanner was hurried and anxious, a bright angry flush was upon his cheek, and his eyes seemed almost starting from their sockets.
Without saying a word, sir Philip put an open letter into his hand, and pointed to him to read it, which he did. It came from signora Mori, and told the baronet, the wilderness of the world more bleak and desolate than ever. There are some that cast from them the jewels of youth, and know not how soon time will strip their feelings of all the lustre they once possessed; but not such was Charles Melville: he revelled in the dream of pleasure now opened to him, nor clouded his sunshine with a thought of its evanescence. Nature, hope, and love, were smiling upon him, and in such circumstances it is a fool who thinks, a philosopher who enjoys.
To Charles Mary's society had now become the all in all of life; she had no reserve from him; and seeing that he was never happy but when she was with him, she accompanied him in all the parties of pleasure that was proposed, to visit the antiquities, both fabricated and otherwise, which are offered to the inspection of the traveller in every direction round the city of the syren. But nevertheless, the long rides which this obliged her to take often fatigued her much, and on many occaL 2
sions she would have declined accompa. nying the rest of the party, had she not been afraid, that by so doing, she would have detained her cousin; but at length she told him frankly her embarrassment, and extorted a promise from him, that he would never be prevented from going on any expedition by her desire of remaining at home.
Another day had scarcely passed over, when the baron de S- called to invite Charles to accompany him towards Nola, in order to visit an amphitheatre which they had not before examined, and of which he had never met with an account. Charles hesitated, and looked at Mary; but Mary playfully exacted obedience of her commands; and Charles accordingly agreed, though with some reluctance, to accept the baron's proposal, in pursuance of which they set out on horseback, and after having visited some curious remains in their way, they arrived at the amphi. theatre, which Charles found well worth
attention, more perhaps than he was in clined to give it, for he was eager to return; and having examined the interior, he left the baron counting the seats, and went out to take a more general view of it.
In the shade cast by the walls he perceived a couple of lazaroni playing at a Neapolitan game, not unlike the English game of drafts. They were both sprawling on the ground, on the space marked out for a kind of board, and contented enjoyment was beaming from their eager looks and laughing faces, while their rags and persons spoke nothing but poverty and wretchedness. But there was another object which still more attracted Charles's attention. Close beside them stood a young man, whose appearance at once spoke him a distinguished gentleman, and without in the least regarding the ruin, bis eyes were fixed attentively on the two Italian beggars. There was something curious in the interest with which he looked upon them, and Charles, hardly