Alice, or the Mysteries — Book 02
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Alice, or the Mysteries — Book 02

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Project Gutenberg EBook, Alice, or The Mysteries, by Lytton, Book II #204 in our series by Edward Bulwer LyttonCopyright laws are changing all over the world. Be sure to check the copyright laws for your country beforedownloading or redistributing this or any other Project Gutenberg eBook.This header should be the first thing seen when viewing this Project Gutenberg file. Please do not remove it. Do notchange or edit the header without written permission.Please read the "legal small print," and other information about the eBook and Project Gutenberg at the bottom ofthis file. Included is important information about your specific rights and restrictions in how the file may be used. Youcan also find out about how to make a donation to Project Gutenberg, and how to get involved.**Welcome To The World of Free Plain Vanilla Electronic Texts****EBooks Readable By Both Humans and By Computers, Since 1971*******These EBooks Were Prepared By Thousands of Volunteers*****Title: Alice, or The Mysteries, Book IIAuthor: Edward Bulwer LyttonRelease Date: January 2006 [EBook #9764] [Yes, we are more than one year ahead of schedule] [This file was firstposted on October 15, 2003]Edition: 10Language: English*** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK, ALICE, BY LYTTON, BOOK II ***Produced by Dagny, dagnypg@yahoo.com and David Widger, widger@cecomet.netBOOK II. "The hour arrived—years having rolled away When his return the Gods no more delay. Lo! Ithaca the Fates ...

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Project Gutenberg EBook, Alice, or The Mysteries,by Lytton, Book II #204 in our series by EdwardBulwer LyttonsCuorpey triog chth leacwk st haer ec ocphyarniggihnt gl aawll so fvoerr  ytohue r wcooruldn.t rByebefore downloading or redistributing this or anyother Project Gutenberg eBook.vTiheiws inhge atdhiesr  Psrhoojeulcdt  bGeu ttehne bfierrsgt  tfihlien. gP lseeaesne  wdhoe nnotremove it. Do not change or edit the headerwithout written permission.Please read the "legal small print," and otherinformation about the eBook and ProjectGutenberg at the bottom of this file. Included isimportant information about your specific rights andrestrictions in how the file may be used. You canalso find out about how to make a donation toProject Gutenberg, and how to get involved.**Welcome To The World of Free Plain VanillaElectronic Texts***C*oEmBopoutkesr sR, eSaidnaceb le1 9B7y1 *B*oth Humans and By*****These EBooks Were Prepared By Thousandsof Volunteers*****
Title: Alice, or The Mysteries, Book IIAuthor: Edward Bulwer LyttonRelease Date: January 2006 [EBook #9764] [Yes,we are more than one year ahead of schedule][This file was first posted on October 15, 2003]Edition: 10Language: English*E**B OSTOAK,R TA LOICF ET, HBEY  PLRYOTTJEOCNT,  BGOUOTEK NIIB *E**RGDPraovdidu cWeidd gbeyr ,D waigdngye, rd@acgencyopgme@ty.naehtoo.com andBOOK II.  "The hour arrived—years having rolled away
    LWo!h eItnh ahicsa  rtehteu rFn atthees  Gawodars d;n oa nmd otrhee rdeelay.    HNeOwM tEriRal:s  Omd.e elitb t. hi,e  1W6.anderer."CHAPTER I.  THERE is continual spring and harvest here—    Continual, both meeting at one time;  For both the boughs do laughing blossoms bear,    And with fresh colours deck the wanton prime;  And eke at once the heavy trees they climb,    Which seem to labour under their fruit's load.SPENSER: The Garden of Adonis.                    Vis boni  In ipsa inesset forma.*—TERENCE.* "Even in beauty there exists the power of virtue."BEAUTY, thou art twice blessed; thou blessest thegazer and the possessor; often at once the effectand the cause of goodness! A sweet disposition, alovely soul, an affectionate nature, will speak in theeyes, the lips, the brow, and become the cause ofbeauty. On the other hand, they who have a giftthat commands love, a key that opens all hearts,are ordinarily inclined to look with happy eyes uponthe world,—to be cheerful and serene, to hope andto confide. There is more wisdom than the vulgardream of in our admiration of a fair face.
Evelyn Cameron was beautiful,—a beauty thatcame from the heart, and went to the heart; abeauty, the very spirit of which was love! Lovesmiled on her dimpled lips, it reposed on her openbrow, it played in the profuse and careless ringletsof darkest yet sunniest auburn, which a breezecould lift from her delicate and virgin cheek; Love,in all its tenderness, in all its kindness, itsunsuspecting truth,—Love coloured every thought,murmured in her low melodious voice, in all itssymmetry and glorious womanhood. Love swelledthe swan-like neck, and moulded the rounded limb.She was just the kind of person that takes thejudgment by storm: whether gay or grave, therewas so charming and irresistible a grace about her.She seemed born, not only to captivate the giddy,but to turn the heads of the sage. Roxalana wasnothing to her. How, in the obscure hamlet ofBrook-Green, she had learned all the arts ofpleasing it is impossible to say. In her arch smile,the pretty toss of her head, the half shyness, halffreedom, of her winning ways, it was as if Naturehad made her to delight one heart, and torment allothers.Without being learned, the mind of Evelyn wascultivated and well informed. Her heart, perhaps,helped to instruct her understanding; for by a kindof intuition she could appreciate all that wasbeautiful and elevated. Her unvitiated and guilelesstaste had a logic of its own: no schoolman hadever a quicker penetration into truth, no critic evermore readily detected the meretricious and the
false. The book that Evelyn could admire was sureto be stamped with the impress of the noble, thelovely, or the true!But Evelyn had faults,—the faults of her age; or,rather, she had tendencies that might conduce toerror. She was of so generous a nature that thevery thought of sacrificing her self for another hada charm. She ever acted from impulse,—impulsespure and good, but often rash and imprudent. Shewas yielding to weakness, persuaded into anything,so sensitive, that even a cold look from onemoderately liked cut her to the heart; and by thesympathy that accompanies sensitiveness, no painto her was so great as the thought of giving pain toanother. Hence it was that Vargrave might formreasonable hopes of his ultimate success. It was adangerous constitution for happiness! How manychances must combine to preserve to the mid-dayof characters like this the sunshine of their dawn!The butterfly that seems the child of the summerand the flowers—what wind will not chill its mirth,what touch will not brush away its hues?CHAPTER II.  THESE, on a general survey, are the modes  Of pulpit oratory which agree  With no unlettered audience.—POLWHELE.rMecRtSo.r yL tEoS hLIerE  ohwand  rheotumren, ead nfdr oEmv ehlyern  vhiasidt  tnoo twhe
been some weeks at Mrs. Merton's. As wasnatural, she had grown in some measurereconciled and resigned to her change of abode. Infact, no sooner did she pass Mrs. Merton'sthreshold, than, for the first time, she was madeaware of her consequence in life.The Rev. Mr. Merton was a man of the nicestperception in all things appertaining to worldlyconsideration. The second son of a very wealthybaronet (who was the first commoner of hiscounty) and of the daughter of a rich and highly-descended peer, Mr. Merton had been broughtnear enough to rank and power to appreciate alltheir advantages. In early life he had beensomething of a "tuft-hunter;" but as hisunderstanding was good and his passions not verystrong, he had soon perceived that that vessel ofclay, a young man with a moderate fortune, cannotlong sail down the same stream with the metalvessels of rich earls and extravagant dandies.Besides, he was destined for the Church—becausethere was one of the finest livings in England in thefamily. He therefore took orders at six and twenty;married Mrs. Leslie's daughter, who had thirtythousand pounds: and settled at the rectory ofMerton, within a mile of the family seat. Hebecame a very respectable and extremely popularman. He was singularly hospitable, and built a newwing—containing a large dining-room and sixcapital bed-rooms—to the rectory, which had nowmuch more the appearance of a country villa thana country parsonage. His brother, succeeding tothe estates, and residing chiefly in the
neighbourhood, became, like his father before him,member for the county, and was one of thecountry gentlemen most looked up to in the Houseof Commons. A sensible and frequent, thoughuncommonly prosy speaker, singularly independent(for he had a clear fourteen thousand pounds ayear, and did not desire office), and valuing himselfon not being a party man, so that his vote oncritical questions was often a matter of greatdoubt, and, therefore, of great moment, Sir JohnMerton gave considerable importance to the Rev.Charles Merton. The latter kept up all the moreselect of his old London acquaintances; and fewcountry houses, at certain seasons of the year,were filled more aristocratically than the pleasantrectory-house. Mr. Merton, indeed, contrived tomake the Hall a reservoir for the parsonage, andperiodically drafted off the elite of the visitors at theformer to spend a few days at the latter. This wasthe more easily done, as his brother was awidower, and his conversation was all of one sort,—the state of the nation and the agriculturalinterest. Mr. Merton was upon very friendly termswith his brother, looked after the property in theabsence of Sir John, kept up the family interest,was an excellent electioneerer, a good speaker ata pinch, an able magistrate,—a man, in short,most useful in the county; on the whole, he wasmore popular than his brother, and almost as muchlooked up to—perhaps, because he was much lessostentatious. He had very good taste, had the Rev.Charles Merton!—his table plentiful, but plain—hismanners affable to the low, though agreeablysycophantic to the high; and there was nothing
about him that ever wounded self-love. To add tothe attractions of his house, his wife, simple andgood-tempered, could talk with anybody, take offthe bores, and leave people to be comfortable intheir own way: while he had a large family of finechildren of all ages, that had long given easy andconstant excuse under the name of "little children'sparties," for getting up an impromptu dance or agypsy dinner,—enlivening the neighbourhood, inshort. Caroline was the eldest; then came a son,attached to a foreign ministry, and another, who,though only nineteen, was a private secretary toone of our Indian satraps. The acquaintance ofthese young gentlemen, thus engaged, it wastherefore Evelyn's misfortune to lose theadvantage of cultivating,—a loss which both Mr.and Mrs. Merton assured her was very much to beregretted. But to make up to her for such aprivation there were two lovely little girls, one ten,and the other seven years old, who fell in love withEvelyn at first sight. Caroline was one of thebeauties of the county, clever and conversable,"drew young men," and set the fashion to youngladies, especially when she returned from spendingthe season with Lady Elizabeth.It was a delightful family!In person, Mr. Merton was of the middle height;fair, and inclined to stoutness, with small features,beautiful teeth, and great suavity of address.Mindful still of the time when he had been "abouttown," he was very particular in his dress: his blackcoat, neatly relieved in the evening by a white
underwaistcoat, and a shirt-front admirably plaited,with plain studs of dark enamel, his well-cuttrousers, and elaborately polished shoes—he wasgood-humouredly vain of his feet and hands—wonfor him the common praise of the dandies (whooccasionally honoured him with a visit to shoot hisgame, and flirt with his daughter), "That old Mertonwas a most gentlemanlike fellow—so d——-d neatfor a parson!"Such, mentally, morally, and physically, was theRev. Charles Merton, rector of Merton, brother ofSir John, and possessor of an income that, whatwith his rich living, his wife's fortune, and his own,which was not inconsiderable, amounted tobetween four and five thousand pounds a year,which income, managed with judgment as well asliberality, could not fail to secure to him all the goodthings of this world,—the respect of his friendsamongst the rest. Caroline was right when she toldEvelyn that her papa was very different from amere country parson.Now this gentleman could not fail to see all theclaims that Evelyn might fairly advance upon theesteem, nay, the veneration of himself and family:a young beauty, with a fortune of about a quarterof a million, was a phenomenon that might fairly becalled celestial. Her pretensions were enhanced byher engagement to Lord Vargrave,—anengagement which might be broken; so that, as heinterpreted it, the worst that could happen to theyoung lady was to marry an able and risingMinister of State,—a peer of the realm; but she
was perfectly free to marry a still greater man, ifshe could find him; and who knows but whatperhaps the attache, if he could get leave ofabsence? Mr. Merton was too sensible to pursuethat thought further for the present.The good man was greatly shocked at the toofamiliar manner in which Mrs. Merton spoke to thishigh-fated heiress, at Evelyn's travelling so farwithout her own maid, at her very primitivewardrobe—poor, ill-used child! Mr. Merton was aconnoisseur in ladies' dress. It was quite painful tosee that the unfortunate girl had been soneglected. Lady Vargrave must be a very strangeperson. He inquired compassionately whether shewas allowed any pocket money; and finding, to hisrelief, that in that respect Miss Cameron wasmunificently supplied, he suggested that a properabigail should be immediately engaged; that properorders to Madame Devy should be immediatelytransmitted to London, with one of Evelyn'sdresses, as a pattern for nothing but length andbreadth. He almost stamped with vexation when heheard that Evelyn had been placed in one of theneat little rooms generally appropriated to younglady visitors."She is quite contented, my dear Mr. Merton; sheis so simple; she has not been brought up in thestyle you think for.""Mrs. Merton," said the rector, with greatsolemnity, "Miss Cameron may know no betternow; but what will she think of us hereafter? It is