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   Chapter 19 JULIAN'S DEPARTURE.

The Twins By Martin Farquhar Tupper Characters: 3806

Updated: 2017-12-06 00:03


Long before the general got home, still in exalted dudgeon (indeed soon after the general had left home over night), the bird had flown; for the better part of valour suggested to our evil hero, that it would be discreet to render himself a scarce commodity for a season; and as soon as ever his mother had run up to his room-door to tell him of his danger, when her lord was cross-questioning the butler, he resolved upon instant flight. Accordingly, though sore and stiff, he hurried up, dressed again, watched his father out, and tumbling over Mrs. Tracy, who was sobbing on the stairs, ran for one moment to the general's room; there he seized a well-remembered cash-box, and instinctively possessed himself of those new, neat, double-barrelled pistols: a bully never goes unarmed. These brief arrangements made, off he set, before his father could have time to return from Pacton Square.

Therefore, when the general called, we need not marvel that he found him not; no one but the foolish mother (so neglected of her son, yet still excusing him) stood by to meet his wrath. He would not waste it on her; so long as Julian was gone, his errand seemed accomplished; for all he came to do was to expel him from the house. So, as far as regarded Mrs. Tracy, her husband, wotting well how much she was to blame, merely commanded her to change her sleeping-room, and occupy Mr. Julian's in future.

The silly woman was even glad to do it; and comforted herself from time to time with prying into her own boy's exemplary manuscripts, memoranda of moralities, and so forth; with weeping, like Lady Constance, over his empty "unpuffed" clothes; with reading ever and anon his choice collection of standard works, among which 'Don Juan' and Mr. Thomas Paine were by far the most presentable; and with tasting, till it grew to be a habit, his private store of spirituous liquors. Thus did she mourn many

days for long-lost Julian.

I am quite aware what became of him. The wretched youth, mad for Emily's love, and tortured by the tyranny of passion, had nothing else to live for or to die for. He accordingly took refuge in the hovel of a smuggler, an old friend of his, not many miles away, disguised himself in fisherman's costume, and bode his opportunity.

Beauteous girl! how often have I watched thee with straining eyes and aching heart, as thou wentest on thy summer's walk so oftentimes to Oxton, there to exercise thy bountiful benevolence in comforting the sick, gladdening the wretched, and lingering, with love's own look, in Charles's village school; how often have I prayed, that guardian angels might be about thy path as about thy bed! For the prowling tiger was on thy track, poor innocent one, and many, many times nothing but one of God's seeming accidents hath saved thee. Who was that strange man so often in the way? At one time a wounded Spanish legionist, with head bound up; at another, an old beggar upon crutches; at another, a floury miller with a donkey and a sack; at another, a black looking man, in slouching sailor's hat and fishing-boots?

Fair, pure creature! thou hast often dropped a shilling in that beggar's hand, and pitied that poor maimed soldier; once, too, a huge gipsy woman would have had thee step aside, and hear thy fortunes. Heaven guarded thee then, sweet Emily; for both girl and lover though thou art, thou would'st not listen to the serpent's voice, however fair might be the promises. And Heaven guarded thee ever, bidding some one pass along the path just as the ruffian might have gagged thy smiling mouth, and hurried thee away amongst his fellows; and more than once, especially, those school children, bursting out of Charles's school at dusk, have unconsciously escorted thee in safety from the perils of that tiger on thy track.

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