Page:Tales of the Dead.djvu/19

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TALES OF THE DEAD.



I.

THE FAMILY PORTRAITS.

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"No longer shall you gaze on't; lest your fancy
May think anon, it moves.————
The fixure of her eye has motion in't."
Winter's Tale.

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Night had insensibly superseded day, when Ferdinand's carriage continued its slow course through the forest; the postilion uttering a thousand complaints on the badness of the roads, and Ferdinand employing the leisure which the tedious progress of his carriage allowed, with reflections to which the purpose of his journey gave rise.

As was usual with young men of rank, he had visited several universities; and after having travelled over the principal parts of Europe, he was now returning to his native country to take possession of the property of his father, who had died in his absence.

Ferdinand was an only son, and the last branch of the ancient family of Meltheim: it was on this account that his mother was the more anxious that

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