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Again Lionel was almost 'irresistibly impelled to explain his error, and to throw himself upon the generosity of the man he had offended. He was again interrupted by his companion, who replied, in a tone of rising passion, “ I care not, Sir,whose brother you may be, and not enjoying the honour of a personal acquaintance, I am no judge of the personal perfections of Louisa Herbert; but as the expressions you have used with regard to the language of my friend apply equally to my own, I must tell you that they are such as I cannot brook, and further," Here his speech was cut short by their antagonist, who observed, with a calmness which was neither ruffled by passion nor by alarm, “ the peculiar situation in which Mr, Vernon is placed obliges me to repeat my request to him in the first instance ; at a proper time, Sir, I shall be at your service.” The genuine impulse of the heart had in Lionel's bosom given way to the influence of false shame. Should it be said that he had submitted to reproaches which his friend thought himself obliged to resent ?That Captain Grahame had risked his life in Lionel Vernon's quarrel ?
It was a moment of pain and delirium: he muttered a few words expressing that the affront was addressed to him only, and that it became his duty to resent it. He paused and was sorry for what he had said ; but he believed it was too late to retrieve his error. What remained was soon decided ; seven o'clock the next morning was named as the time of their meeting: and they separated. Such was the origin of a dispute upon whose issue two valuable lives were to be hazarded.
Lionel returned to his hotel, and spent some time in solitude before he could rightly collect his ideas, and consider the situation in which he was placed. But then what agonizing reflections presented themselves! He thought of the memory of his Father, of the doctrines he had inculcated, of the manner in which they had been neglected. He pictured to himself Louisa weeping for the fate of her Brother, and endeavouring to invoke justice upon his destroyer. When he strove to avoid these melancholy visions, and to seek consolation in that religion of which he had been ashamed to profess himself a servant, he remembered the hand which had written, “ Thou shalt do no murder!" and the lips which had said, “ Agree with thine adversary quickly!” Night came and brought no rest. How full of horror was its darkness! The morning dawned brightly, and Captain Grahame arrived to summon him to the place of rendezvous. Herbert was there before him. He was attended by an old military man, who came immediately to Lionel, and expressing his regret for the occasion which brought him to that spot, begged to know if there was no way yet open for reconciliation. Lionel seemed again disposed
to act under the influence of proper feelings. “ Consider, Lionel,” whispered his second, “what will the world say!”. The momentary impulse was subdued. The old officer was repulsed with a cold reply. Their stations were taken in silenee. They fired together, and Lionel fell.
The surgeon who was in attendance hastened to the spot. The unfortunate youth still lived, but the wound was mortal. He was conveyed to a neighbouring cottage, where he expired in a few hours. Previously to this he shook hands with his antagonist, and appeared to join mentally in prayer, but preserved an unbroken silence.
It is time for us to close the scene. Louisa is now the inmate of a religious house in the south of France: for Lionel, he rests id the sleep of death, despised by the many who only saw in him the thoughtless, the hasty, and the extravagant; but deeply lamented by the few who knew him as the warm, the generous, and the affectionate. Let his faults sleep with him, or be only remembered that they may warn the inexperienced to acquire fixed principles, and to avoid a temporizing morality; to conceal no feelings, but those of guilt, and to assume the appearance of no sentiments, from the actual existence of which they would recoil.
GOLIGHTLY'S LETTER. OF. CONDOLENCE.
January 8, 1821. My Dear CourteNAY,–I cannot think how that poor wretch Swinburne could contrive to invent so many imaginary, Miseries in the Christmas Holidays. For my own part, I have absolutely been trying to discover, or rather verify, some of them, by my own experience, and, as I have been totally unable, I shall be cruel enough to accuse him of being the sole cause of all his unhappiness. Well, let him rest for a melancholy moping sort of being. I only hope that he will not send, and that you will not publish, any more of his complaints ; indeed I am heartily, sorry that I did not join my vote to Oakley's for the expulsion of the first, for I hear them abused wherever I go; and, with all his affected love for Eton, people ought not to know, as I never did before, that there was such a kind of person there. I think you might describe your sorrows with much greater justice ; for I conclude that you have been writing all you can, and revising all you have had in the way of contributions, which, 1 should think, was little enough. What could have induced you to promise an“ Etonian ” for the Ist of January? You will never be able to do any thing without
the regular meetings of the Club, and the inspiring sanction of the Privy Council. I do not know how you will be able to appease his Majesty, or Messrs. Knight and Warren'; but when it does come out, which, it is devoutly to be hoped, will happen by the 1st of February, do not let us hear any thing about “ unavoidable delays," “ unlucky accidents,” « unforeseen circumstances,” and such-like flummery; but tell the plain honest truth--that the boys would not write when they could amuse themselves better; and I am sure all charitable people will pardon you much sooner than if you had filled a page with the most elaborate excuses. However, we shall soon come together, and then we shall see what can be done to set this dilatory publication on its legs again.
Well, I think by this time I have prosed quite long enough, and probably you will think so too, considering that you have been the object of the attack. But prithee, good Peregrine, take all this in good part; and now you shall be refreshed a little by the opinions of all the erudite company I have lately met, respecting the merits of our conjoint labours.
In the first place, you must know that I came to Mr. Seymour's the second week in the Holidays, and have remained here ever since; and, as my visit is pretty nearly elapsed, I take the first opportunity of recording and collecting the precious observations, Jest they drop from my memory in the interval before I see you.
Now the good people, many of them old Rawsdon Court acquaintances, have only read the two first Numbers, which is a very · happy thing. These, indeed, I sent them, and their curiosity has not led them to inquire after the third; so that, at present, I can„not be accused of putting them in print. If I were, I should undoubtedly transfer the blame to Rowley, as it is ten to one if any of them remember the signature.
To begin systematically, I was asked by some person, “ Pray, Sir, can you inform me what was the origin of. The Etonian ?!” For this I referred him to the First Number, and advised him strongly to purchase it, as indeed I did every one else. Shortly afterwards he said, “ And may I ask what may be the end of it?”“ Oh!” replied I," it is quite out of my power to tell you; but I hope it is as far off as possible.” You will excuse my pun, the more so as I tell it myself ;- but, apropos, to speak seriously, I sat one day at dinner next to my old friend and nomenclator, Mr. Ormsby, who condemned most unequivocally our general levity, our innumerable puns, unnatural double entendres, and the like, evidently not flowing from the momentary wit and impulse of the author, but introduced by clumsy and deliberate mechanism. By way of example, he fell most fiercely upon “Lovers' Vows;" and I assure you I had great difficulty in somewhat alleviating his objections, which I was the more anxious to do, as the article was a great fa
vourite of mine. “Why,” said he," why do you not rouse that Martin Sterling of yours from his lethargy? He seems to be a boy of sound steady talents, and would give a weight and decided principle to your work, in which it is sadly deficient.”
I fully coincided in some of his opinions ; informed him that the obnoxious puns were greatly removed from the Third Number, and that we intended in the Fourth to bring forward an excellent production of his favourite, upon“Principle;" and another, equally good, of your own, upon “Silent Sorrow.” By the bye, why should you hoard up such a number of good articles after they have been given notice of and formally acknowledged ? By all means give them insertion as speedily as possible. For instance,-M Farlane's “ Bogle of Anneslie;" “ The Genius of Æschylus contrasted with that of Sophocles ; " “ Sterling's Review of the present state of Literature at Eton;" “ Le Blanc's Castles in the Air," &c. &c.
The punch-bowl, and Sir Thomas Nesbit's warm and constant praises of porter, and Musgrave's “ vehicular metaphors,” have given serious alarm to many sober and well minded people in this vicinity; insomuch so, that I really believe they consider our respectable Club, with the exception of yourself, Montgomery, Sterling, and Le Blane, as little better than a collection of topers, coachmen, and such-like characters ; indeed, I have some trouble in persuading them that Musgrave has left off driving, and that I have not been called to the honourable office of punchmaker since the second meeting; all the rest having been totally on business.
A valiant old Wykehamist, who was no other than our friend Mr. Thompson, attacked me most violently for libelling his favourite school; and moreover accused us of ignorance, certainly not without a cause, for it seems we have been guilty of the grand mistake of spelling his Founder's name with an i instead of a y. Moreover, he launched out into a violent Philippic against the laxity of Eton discipline; which he instanced by their permitting such a foolish Publication to continue. “ We manage those things better at Winchester,” said he, “ at least we did so when I was there. The boys had too much to do to think of scribbling for amusement's sake. Latin and Greek are what you are sent to learn ; and if you do them well it is quite sufficient. This meddling with English must take away from your attention to your studies, and does you neither good nor credit, I can assure
This was all very disagreeable and very annoying to me; but I knew he was rather fretful in his temper; and, as he was old and I young, it did not become me, even if I had been inclined, to answer him. The most difficult opponent I engaged with was a
young Lady, who complained of our having taken unpardonable liberties in our observations on female characters in sundry parts of our Publication-adding withal this pithy quotation
“ The proper study of mankind is man.” I defended myself as well as I could, and promised that we would be more circumspect for the future. Surely she could not say that men escaped with impunity
Can you believe that, after our solemn asseveration and evident disclosure in our Second Number, there are still people wicked enough to suppose that the dreadful conspiracy against our fame, our honour, our best interests, never in reality existed? This really provoked me greatly; I assured them, I protested, I proceeded to appeal, but all in vain; they still remained incredulous. Some means must be adopted against the offenders, and then there is some chance of these cavillers being satisfied.
One day I was terribly annoyed by a gentleman arrived fresh from London, who, on being introduced to me as an Etonian, begged to know if I was the Golightly who cut such a conspicuous figure in “ The Etonian.” I confessed that I was; looking miserably ashamed the whole time. I longed to be Oakley, to have a “No” at the tip of my tongue. “Well,” said he, “ I can hardly believe you; for on my going to Warren's to inquire after the Fourth Number the other day, I was credibly informed that a son of Mr. Sergeant Raide was the principal Manager, and that the Club, punch-bowl, &c. were all ideal. I was violently alarmed during the whole of this speech, lest he should blunder upon “ Rawsdon Court;" so I lost no time in setting him right, and afterwards discovered, to my great comfort, that he was an entire stranger, and neither knew Rawsdon Court, nor its inhabitants.
I have borne all these trials and torments with incredible patience; but that you, my dear Peregrine, should be mistaken for this Raide, when we all know that there is no such boy in the School, is too provoking to be ludicrous.
I find myself beginning to be in a passion ; -80, with my best wishes for the speedy appearance of No. IV., remain,
Your Majesty's most loyal
F. G. P.S. I inclose you a few stanzas, which perhaps may serve to fill up a vacant space in one of your Numbers. I am going to my uncle's in Wiltshire, on Wednesday, for three or four days; I am invited to a delightful party there, and I will send you an account of it.-Direct to me, at Henry Peak's, Esq., BurbageHall, near Salisbury.