Page:Demon ship, or, The pirate of the Mediterranean.pdf/9

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9
OF THE MEDITERRANEAN.

Colonel Francillon.'—'He is fortunate in possessing so warm a friend,' said Margaret, with careless politeness; but I thought I perceived, through this nonchalance, a slight tone of pique, which was less mortifying than her indifference. 'I know not,' said I, 'any thing which causes such a sudden and enchantment-like reversion of the mind to past scenes and feelings, as an unexpected rencontre with those who were associated with us in the earliest and freshest days of our being.'—'Nothing certainly,' answered Margaret,' reminds us so forcibly of the change that has taken place in our being and our feelings.'—'True,' replied I; yet for the moment the change itself seems annihilated; our hearts beat with the same pulse that before animated them, and time seems to have warred on their feelings in vain.'—'Perhaps to have taught a lesson in vain,' said my companion. I added, rather diffidently, 'and what lesson should time teach us?'—'It should teach us,' she answered, that our heart's best and warmest feelings may be wasted on that which may disappoint, and cannot satisfy them.'—' I read your lesson with delight,' answered I; 'the only danger is lest we mistake the coolings of time for the conquests of principle.' She seemed pleased by the sentiment, and by the frankness of the caution. 'It may be,' she said, 'in the power of Time and Disappointment to detach from the world, or at least to produce a barren acknowledgment of its unsatisfactoriness, but it is beyond their unassisted power to attach the soul with a steady and practical love to the only legitimate, the only rational source of happiness. Here is the touch-stone which the self-deceiver cannot stand.' I was silent. There was a delicious feeling in my bosom that is quite indescribable.—'These,' I said, 'are the sentiments of Colonel Francillon; and since we have been on the subject of old friends, I could almost make up my mind to give you his history. It really half resembles a romance. At least, it shews how often, in real life, eircumstances—I had almost said adventures—arise, which in fiction we should deride as an insult to our taste, by the violence done to all probability. Come, shall I give you the history of your former acquaintance?'—'Give me the history!' said Margaret, involuntarily, and with some emotion—it seemed the emotion of indignation.—'Ay, why not? I mean, of eourse, his Indian history; for of that in England, perhaps, as your families were acquainted, you may know as much as I can.'

I confess my heart began to beat quick and high, as, taking advantage of Margaret's silence, I began to tell my own history.—Francillon had, I observed, arrived in India, animated in