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waited on his most influential guardian-told him he was aware his father, from hospitality and good nature, had incurred obligations which the law did not compel his son to pay; but which he could not but think that equity and good feeling did. He begged that these might be added to the other claims, and that the trustees would endeavour to procure him a commission in the army. He was gazetted to a cornetcy; and entered life at an age when, if the manlier traits are ready to be developed, the worthless ones are equally sure to unfold themselves. Few of us that have not found the first draught of life intoxicate! Few of us that have not then run wild, as colts that have slipped their bridle! Experience that mystic word—is wanting; the retrospect of past years wakes no sigh; expectant youth looks forward to future ones without a shade of distrust. The mind is elastic—the body vigorous and free from pain ; and it is then youth inwardly feels, although not daring to avow it, the almost total impossibility that the mind should wax less vigorous, or the body grow helpless, and decay.
But Sir Henry was cast in a finer mould, nor did his conduct at this dangerous period detract from this his trait of boyhood. He joined his regiment when before the enemy, and, until he came of age, never drew on his guardians for a shilling. Delmé's firmness of purpose, and his after prudence, met with their due reward. The family estates became wholly unencumbered, and Sir Henry was enabled to add to the too scanty provision of his sister, as well as to make up to George, on his entering the army, a sum more than adequate to all his wants. These circumstances were enough to endear him to his family; and, in truth, amidst all its members, there prevailed a confidence and an unanimity which were never for an instant impaired. There was one consequence, however, of Sir Henry Delmé's conduct that he, at the least, foresaw not, but which was gradually and unconsciously developed. In pursuing the line of duty he had marked out-in acting up to what he knew was right-his mind became too deeply impressed with the circumstances which had given rise to his determination. It overstepped its object. The train of thought, to which necessity gave birth, continued to pervade when that necessity no longer existed. His wish to re-establish his house grew into an ardent desire to aggrandize it. His ambition appeared a legitimate one. It grew with his years, and increased with his strength.
Many a time, on the lone bivouac, when home presents itself in its fairest colours to the soldier's mind, would Delmé's prayer be embodied, that his house might again be elevated, and that his descendants might know him as the one to whom they were indebted for its rise. Delmé's ambitious thoughts were created amidst dangers and toil, in a foreign land, and far from those who shared his name. But his heart swelled high with them as he again trod his native soil in peace—as he gazed on the home of his fathers, and communed with those nearest and dearest to him on earth. Sir Henry considered it incumbent on him to exert every means that lay in his power to promote his grand object. A connection that promised rank and honours, seemed to him an
absolute essential that was worth any sacrifice. Sir Henry never allowed himself to look for, or give way to, those sacred sympathies, which the God of nature hath implanted in the breasts of all of us. Delmé had arrived at middle age ere a feeling incompatible with his views arose. But his had been a dangerous experiment. Our hearts or minds, or whatever it may be that takes the impression, resemble some crystalline lake that mirrors the smallest object, and heightens its beauty; but if it once gets muddied or ruffled, the most lovely object ceases to be reflected in its waters. By the time that lake is clear again, the fairy form that ere while lingered on its bosom is fled for ever.
Thus much in introducing the head of the family. Let us now attempt to sketch the gentle Emily.
Emily Delmé was not an ordinary being. To uncommon talents, and a mind of most refined order, she united great feminine propriety, and a total absence of those arts which sometimes characterise those to whom the accident of birth has given importance. With unerring discrimination, she drew the exact line between vivacity and satire, true religion and its semblance. She saw through and pitied those who, pluming themselves on the faults of others, and imparting to the outward man the ascetic inflexibility of the inner one, would fain propagate on all sides their rigid creed, forbidding the more favoured commoners of nature even to sip joy's chalice. If not a saint, however, but a fair, confiding, and romantic girl, she was good without misanthropy, pure without pretension, and joyous, as youth and hopes not crushed might make her. She was one of those of whom society might justly be proud. She obeyed its dictates without question, but her feelings underwent no debasement from the contact. 'If not a child of nature, she was by no means the slave of art.