Page:What will he do with it.djvu/404

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394 iVHA T WILL HE DO WITH IT?

hardihood, but by the very affluence of ideas which animated his tongue, colored his language, and whether to young or old, wise or dull, made his conversation racy and original. He was a de- lightful companion ; and if he had taken much instruction from those older and wiser than himself, he so bathed that instruction in the fresh fountain of his own lively intelligence, so warmed it at his own beating impulsive heart, that he could make an old man's gleanings from experience seem a young man's guesses in- to truth. Faults he had of course — chiefly the faults common at his age ; among them, perhaps, the most dangerous were — Firstly, carelessness in money matters ; secondly, a distaste for advice in which prudence was visibly predominant. His tastes were not in reality extravagant ; but money slipped through his hands, leaving little to show for it ; and when his quarterly al- lowance became due, ample though it was — too ample, perhaps — debts wholly forgotten started up to seize hold of it. And debts, as yet being manageable, were not regarded with suffi- cient horror. Paid or put aside, as the case might be, they were merely looked upon as bores. Youth is in danger till it learn to look upon them as furies. For advice, he took it with pleasure, when clothed with elegance and art — when it addressed ambition — when it exalted the loftier virtues. But advice, practical and prosy, went in at one ear and out at the other. In fact, with many talents, he had yet no adequate ballast of common sense ; and if ever he gets enough to steady his bark through life's try- ing voyage, the necessity of so much dull weight must be forci- bly stricken home less to his reason than his imagination or his heart. But if, somehow or other, he get it not, I will not insure his vessel.

1 know not if Lionel Haughton had genius ; he never assumed that he had; but he had something more like genius than that prototype — resolve — of vrhich he boasted to the artist. He had youth — real youth — youth of mind, youth of heart, youth of soul. Lithe and supple as he moved before you, with the eye to which light or dew sprung at once from a nature vibrating to every lofty, every tender thought, he seemed more than young — the incarnation of youth.

Darrell took to him at once. Amidst all the engagements crowded on the important man, he contrived to see Lionel daily. And what may seem strange, Guy Darrell felt more at home with Lionel Haughton that with any of his own contemporaries — than even with Alban Morley. To the last, indeed, he opened speech with less reserve of certain portions of the past, or or certam projects in the future. But still, even there, hQ

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