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Trevethlan: (Vol 2 of 3) A Cornish Story.   By:

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A Cornish Story.





London: Printed by STEWART and MURRAY, Old Bailey.



Pur' è soave cosa, a chi del tutto Non è privo di senso, il patrio nido: Che diè Natura al nascimento umano, Verso il caro paese, ov' altri è nato, Un non so che di non inteso affetto, Che sempre vive, è non invecchia mai.


Once more we stand on the shore of Mount's Bay. Far behind we have left the whirl and tumult of the metropolis, and we hear only the hoarse roar of the surges, driven by the last winds of January to beat against the granite at our feet. When last we looked over the same waters, the yellow leaves were falling from the trees, and the little waves rippled musically upon the rock, while the voice of mourning was heard in our halls. Yet if the year was declining, there was beauty in the decay; if the season was sad, there was hope amidst the sorrow. We return to find the fields desolate, and the sea tempestuous, and our house still forlorn. The face of nature is gloomy and cold, and hope has vanished from our fireside.

Such might be among the first reflections of the orphans of Trevethlan, as they gazed from the windows of the castle over the well known landscape. They had come home, not as children from school to holiday, exulting in freedom and buoyant with hope, to exchange coercion for caresses; nor as older pupils, having learnt the value of time, merely to modify the routine of occupation, and gladden parental affection with their progress and prudence; nor yet as those who, having entered on the labour of life, know that the bow must not always be bent, and rejoice to seek relaxation around the hearth where they were nursed. Far deeper than any of these were the emotions of the sister, and dark and stern were the thoughts of the brother.

Helen's letter had fallen upon Polydore like a thunderbolt. She had, indeed, in previous communications somewhat ruffled his serenity by indistinct references to the new solicitude she detected in Randolph; but the worthy chaplain readily explained all similar hints by the novelty of his old pupil's situation. "He will become used to it before long, Mr. Griffith," Polydore would say, when the steward ventured to remind him of their difference of opinion respecting the orphans' scheme. "'Tis only the roughness of a first meeting with the world. The points will be soon rubbed smooth. There's a great difference between the Temple and Trevethlan Castle." In reply to which sort of remark, Griffith could only shrug his shoulders, and hope it might all turn out well in the end.

So when the missive arrived, in which Helen announced that her brother had proclaimed their real name, and abandoned his career, and that they should follow the letter without delay, Polydore was struck with sudden consternation. The steward was too delicate to show that he felt no similar surprise in the chaplain's presence, but to his wife he avowed that he was not in the least astonished. "A Trevethlan conceal his name!" he exclaimed. "It's not in the blood. No, Charlotte Griffith; if we are poor, we are also proud. The secret would be always on the tip of his tongue. Why, suppose he quarrelled? Not unlikely, I can tell you, in one of our house. D'ye think, Mrs. Griffith, Randolph Trevethlan would go out as Mr. Morton? Pooh! pooh!"

Mrs. Griffith rather shuddered at the idea, but she remembered sundry anecdotes of the picture gallery which forbade her to impeach the justice of her husband's position. Whatever were the cause of the return, she rejoiced at the effect, and spread the same feeling among all the little household, by her orders to prepare for the reception of her young master and mistress... Continue reading book >>

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