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in society passed away; and when she retired to rest, she felt that the chief subject of her thoughts was he who had dispelled her first fears. She felt deeply grateful; and when she called her father's warning to mind," Distrust them, Alice, distrust them," she thought that it could not be meant for men like him. Her young heart was full of a sweet feeling, quite new to it; she fell asleep, and dreamed of Henry Mansfield.


ENRY Mansfield, the hero of the foregoing chapter, was the next heir to the ancient Barony of Esdale, in Scotland. The peerage was English as well as Scotch, and the present possessor was Mansfield's grandfather, a man well stricken in years, and infirm both in mind and body. Young Mansfield's father had been dead some years; and now, though still very young, he found himself in early expectation of an old and noble inheritance. The estate which accompanied the title was small, but unencumbered, and the name was held in high respect far and wide through the country. The long line of barons who had borne the name, and who stretched away far up into the mythical times of Scottish history, had always been the wisest in council, and the bravest in the field. In fact, every branch of the family, in whatever direction it had shot out, carried its head high, and asserted its mental superiority. The lords of Esdale were renowned for


their strong will and vigorous action-irresistible weapons, when wielded by a wise and upright hand. And hence, as their wisdom and vigour were heirlooms in the family, and seemed to be as much part of their inheritance as the wild hills which formed their estate, so the proud name of Esdale had from generation to generation been feared, honoured, and beloved. Almost the only exception to the rule, and the only offshoot from the fine old tree which had hitherto grown awry, was Mansfield's father. Born at a time when the hardy breeding of his fathers had begun to give place to the softer treatment of the present times, the child, by its mother's influence, was kept back so long from all those manly sports and exercises which had strengthened the minds and limbs of his ancestors, that he never acquired an inclination for them. His father, pressed with many and weighty duties, had little time to give the boy, and saw, only when too late, how the mistaken kindness of his wife had softened the iron firmness which was the boast of his family. Every whim had been fostered, every want supplied, every domestic taught to consider the young lord's will as law, until it became a second nature to them to obey his commands without question or murmur. had become peevish, fretful, and effeminate, but,


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at the same time, exacting and imperious. The ready obedience which had followed his commands, and the fact that he was always receiving, and never called upon to give, had debased his nature with the most degrading selfishness. In his estimation the world was made for him, and man born to serve him. He had, to be sure, the strong will of his father, but it was without root. There was the weapon, with which his family had hewed their way to eminence, but the wise head which had guided that weapon was not there. fine tree which some convulsion of nature has uprooted, it merely rested on the ground in which it should have grown. It would shake easily from side to side; but once fallen, its rise was little to be hoped for. The honest pride of his fathers had dwindled away to conceit, and their firmness to obstinacy. With false confidence in himself, and opposing all things for opposition's sake, he was, like most obstinate persons, the victim of any vulture who chose to prey upon him; and, never having been to school or college, he was profoundly ignorant, with a high opinion of his own acquire



Such was the young nobleman at the age twenty. He came to London, and was entered at the Temple; but his idle and dissolute conduct soon

produced his dismissal from the barrister's chambers where he was put to study. He then bought a commission in the army, and was as quickly cashiered for disorderly behaviour. Thus, turned adrift, he soon overstepped all bounds; and as his education and manners little fitted him for the refined society of his equals in rank, he sought the company of those below him, where his name and purse always made him welcome. Soon every retreat of vice and infamy knew him better than they knew themselves, and young Mansfield's entrance was hailed with acclamation as the signal for boundless licence and ribaldry. His features inflamed and swollen with wine, and his eyes bloodshot and glaring with excitement, he would keep up the fury of the game till daylight broke in on the gamesters; the broad and beautiful daylight, which put out the guttering lights, and shone on the lank hair and drooping features of the players. But this could not last, and the young profligate's finances began to fail him. Thanks, however, to the selfishness of his disposition, his coffers were not empty quite so soon as was to be expected, for he never spent or lent with the careless open hand of some of his companions; yet they were empty at last; and those places where his name had been shouted as the rallying-point of mirth and licence,

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