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192

REUBEN APSLEY.

Lord Trevanian except upon equal terms; but I will make one bargain with you. We will wait a few days before we go to London to state our proposals, for Charley Duncombe writes me word that Government actions and Excheque bills will be up half, or one per cent., which will make a difference in selling out, of seventyfive, perhaps a hundred and fifty pounds, and that it is more than I can afford to lose, Mr. Reuben:"-of so much more consequence de this trifling gain appear to Goldingham, thar the whole sum of which he was about to make a donation to his adopted son.

“ Helen Tre vanian!” he again ejaculated, resuming his strat up

and down the room—“ I shall be as proud as Lucifer: I will show her to every body as my daughter, and when she's not here herseil, I'll have her portrait over the mantel-piece, tha:

may have an excuse for talking of her to al my visitors. Adod! why shouldn't Basil paint it? The lazy fellow lounges about all day, looking sulky, and doing nothing. Kneller teks me he is a good and clever artist, block heat as he is at every thing else. He shall try his

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hand, he shall do it immediately, and if the rogue pleases me by painting any thing only half so good looking as Helen, I'll give him a hundred guineas for the job. Where has he skulked to ? Send him to me, boy, send him to me.” · Reuben now became a daily visitant to his mistress, but it was judged expedient by all parties rot to avow his situation of a favoured lover until he had asked the consent of Lord Trevanian ; who was disposed to exact an implicit homage and deference, in about the inverse ratio of his deserving them; and whose opposition, since Helen was under age, it would not be prudent to provoke. Reuber, however, revealed the whole affair in confidence to his cousin Basil, and as the latter had brought with him all his painting utensils, and had gladly accepted Goldingham's commission, he accompanied Reuben to Harpsden Hall, to make a beginning of the portrait.

Dull and sluggish as were the usual perceptions of the young artist, he seemed to be absolutely electrified at the first sight of Helen.

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face, and constituted its bewitching expression, steady, and after sketching a rude outline, which morning, when he would come better provided

It was not that he was dazzled by the brilliancy
of her charms, for they had lost something of
their splendour in her recent illness and
but he was wonder-stricken at that indestruc-
tible soul of beauty, which hovered over her
Conversant as his art had made him with

, the
various modifications of female loveliness, he
had studied them rather with reference to their
physical symmetry, than to the moral effect of
which their combination was susceptible, and
had formed no conception of that diviner halo
of the face, which is not so much
as a celestial emanation from it.
readily supposed that little was accomplished
in this first essay. He was confused, and este
tated—his hand trembled—his brushes wer
of order-his canvass defective—his easel u.
was repeatedly effaced and
posed that they should adjourn till the ne

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REUBEN APSLEY.

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Basil locked himself up in his own room, threw himself into a chair, heaved a deep sigh, supported his head upon his hand, and remained in that attitude for a considerable time, lost in a black and profound melancholy. Upon his recovery from this stupor, he walked up and down the room in an agitation as vehement as his previous abstraction had been lethargic. Conscious of the disorder of his senses, he was yet utterly at a loss to explain its origin: he had seen a beautiful and interesting female. What then? She was the destined wife of his friend, his benefactor; and he could not possibly attribute his sensations to any other infuence than to the surprize of his faculties at the first sight of a new species of beauty ;-a surprize which, like the inexplicable shock of electricity, was vehement and alarming, but evanescent. With the novelty of the object its influence would cease, and he doubted not that after a few days' acquaintance, he would be enabled to gaze upon it with perfect indifference.

At their next interview he abandoned him

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self to a suppressed though passionate adnik ’tion, less 'intense perhaps and absorbing thai his first fascination, but sufficiently engrossing to drive 'everyothér thought from his mind. - Fortunately the progress of his task' was not upon this occasion inconsistent with the gratis tilt

, an cation of his vision; it even afforded him u excuse for devouring her thárras with elsed. fast and greedy'eye

, which was not as ietek engedt te smitten with the graceful 'undulations of her fine form, as it had previously been captivated article by the irradiation of beauty that played about her face.

2"" to set it: Type brad 1973 Repeated sittings upon the followitig days, presented a nearly similar repetition of the phrt. ceding scenes, the artist continuing to drink in through all his senses t of a passion, whose nature and tendency tie never 'stopped to inquire, and which he kept closely to the

smothered up and confined l within 1 bis owo 'bosomn." Externally he was "sombre, taciturn, lethargic as usual ; but within him a fire was raging, which he nourished and fed i with his whole undivided thought by night and byde.

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