longer any barrier or difference between us, — now that I
may look upon you, and listen to you, and love you, and own
that I love you ? Why will you leave us now ? And [con-
tinued Aubrey, as if fearful of giving me time to answer] —
and every one praises you so here ; and my uncle and all of
us are so proud of you.
Why should you desert our affec-
tions merely because they are not new ? Why plunge into
that hollow and cold world which all who have tried it pic-
ture in such fearful hues ? Can you find anything there to
repay you for the love you leave behind ? "
"My brother," said I, mournfully, and in a tone which
startled him, — it was so different from that which I usually
assumed, — "my brother, hear before you reproach me. Let
us sit down upon this bank, and I will suffer you to see more
of my restless and secret heart than any hitherto have
We sat down upon a little mound: how well I remember
the spot ! I can see the tree which shadows it from my win-
dow at this moment. How many seasons liave the sweet herb
and the emerald grass been withered there and renewed ! Ah,
what is this revival of all things fresh and youthful in exter-
nal Kature but a mockery of the wintry si;)ot which lies per-
ished and Irrenewable within !
We drew near to each other, and as my arm wound around
him, I said, " Aubrey, your love has been to me a more pre-
cious gift than any who have not, like me, thirsted and longed
even for the love of a dog, can conceive. Never let me lose
that affection ! And do not think of me hereafter as of one
whose heart echoed all that his lip uttered. Do not believe
that irony, and sarcasm, and bitterness of tongue flowed from
a malignant or evil source. That disposition which seems to
you alternately so light and gloomy had, perhaps, its origin in
a mind too intense in its affections, and too exacting in having
them returned. Till you sought my friendship, three short
years ago, none but my uncle, with whom I could have nothing
in common but attachment, seemed to care for my very exist-
ence. I blame them not; they were deceived in my nature:
but blame me not too severely if my temper suffered from
their mistake. Your friendship came to me, not too late to
save me from a premature misanthropy, but too late to
eradicate every morbidity of mind. Something of sternness
on the one hand, and of satire on the other, has mingled so
long with my better feelings that the taint and the stream
have become inseparable. Do not sigh, Aubrey. To be un-
amiable is not to be ungrateful ; and I shall not love yovL the
less if I have but a few objects to love. You ask me my in-
ducement to leave you. ' The World ' will be sufficient an-
swer. I cannot share your contempt of it, nor your fear. I
am, and have been of late, consumed with a thirst, — eager,
and burning, and unquenchable : it is ambition ! "
"Oh, Morton!" said Aubrey, with a second sigh, longer
and deeper than the first, "that evil passion! the passion
which lost an angel heaven."
" Let us not now dispute, my brother, whether it be sinful
in itself, or whether, if its object be virtuous, it is not a vir-
tue. In baring my soul before you, I only speak of my mo-
tives, and seek not to excuse them. Perhaps on this earth
there is no good without a little evil. When my mind was
once turned to the acquisition of mental superiority, every
petty acquisition I made increased my desire to attain more,
and partial emulation soon widened into universal ambition.
We three, Gerald and ourselves, are the keepers of a treasure
more valuable than gold, — the treasure of a not ignoble nor
sullied name. For my part, I confess that I am impatient
to increase the store of honour which our father bequeathed
to us. Nor is this all : despite our birth, we are poor in the
gifts of fortune. We are all dependants on my uncle's fa-
vour; and, however we may deserve it, there would be some-
thing better in earning an independence for ourselves."
"That," said Aubrey, "maybe an argument for mine and
Gerald's exertions; but not for yours. You are the eldest,
and my uncle's favourite. Nature and affection both point
to you as his heir."
" If so, Aubrey, may many years pass before that inherit-
ance be mine ! Why should those years that might produce
so much lie fallow ? But though I would not affect an unreal
delicacy, and disown my chance of future fortune, yet you
must remember that it is a matter possible, not certain. My
birthright gives me no claim over my uncle, whose estates
are in his own gift; and favour, even in the good, is a wind
which varies without power on our side to calculate the sea-
son or the cause. However this be, — and I love the person
on whom fortune depends so much that I cannot, without
pain, speak of the mere chance of its passing from his j)OS-
session into mine, — you will own at least that I shall not
hereafter deserve wealth the less for the advantages of
"Alas! " said Aubrey, raising his eyes, "the worship of our
Father in Heaven finds us ample cause for occupation, even
in retirement; and the more we mix with His creatures, the
more, I fear, we may forget the Creator. But if it must be
so, I will pray for you, Morton; and you Avill remember that
the powerless and poor Aubrey can still lift up his voice in
As Aubrey thus spoke, I looked -n-ith mingled envy and
admiration upon the countenance beside me, which the beauty
of a spirit seemed at once to soften and to exalt.
Since our conference had begun, the dusk of twilight had
melted away; and the moon had called into lustre — living,
indeed, but unlike the common and unhallowing life of day
— the wood and herbage, and silent variations of hill and val-
ley, which slept around us; and, as the still and shadowy
light fell over the upward face of my brother, it gave to his
features an additional, and not wholly earth-born, solemnity
of expression. There was indeed in his face and air that from
which the painter of a seraph might not have disdained to
copy : something resembling the vision of an angel in the dark
eyes that swam with tears, in which emotion had so little of
mortal dross ; in the youthful and soft cheeks, which the ear-
nestness of divine thought had refined by a pale but transpar-
ent hue ; in the high and unclouded forehead, over which the
hair, parted in the centre, fell in long and wavelike curls;
and in the lips, silent, yet moving with internal prayer, which
seemed the more fervent, because unheard.
I did not interrupt him in the prayer, which my soul felt,
though my ear caught it not, was for me. But when he had
ceased, and turned towards me, I clasped him to my breast.
"My brother," I said, "we shall part, it is true, but not till
our hearts have annihilated the space that was between them ;
not till we have felt that the love of brotherhood can pass the
love of woman. Whatever await you, your devoted and holy
mind will be, if not your shield from affliction, at least your
balm for its wounds. Eemain here. The quiet which breathes
around you well becomes your tranquillity within; and some-
times bless me in your devotions, as you have done now. For
me, I shall not regret those harder and harsher qualities which
you blame in me, if thereafter their very sternness can afford
me an opportunity of protecting your gentleness from evil, or
redressing the wrongs from which your nature may be too in-
nocent to preserve you. And now let us return home in the
conviction that we have in our friendship one treasure beyond
the reach of fate."
Aubrey did not answer; but he kissed my forehead, and I
felt his tears upon my cheek. We rose, and with arms still
embracing each other as we walked, bent our steps to the
Ah, earth ! what hast thou more beautiful than the love of
those whose ties are knit by nature, and whose union seems
ordained to begin from the very moment of their birth ?
We are under very changeful influences in this world ! The
night on which occurred the interview with Aubrey that I
have just narrated, I was burning to leave Devereux Court.
Within one little week from that time my eagerness was won-
derfully abated. The sagacious reader will readily discover the
cause of this alteration. About eight miles from my uncle's
house was a seaport town; there were many and varied rides
leading to it, and the town was a favourite place of visitation
with all the family. Within a few hundred yards of the town
was a small cottage, prettily situated in the midst of a garden,
kept with singular neatness, and ornamented with several
rare shrubs and exotics. I had more than once observed in
the garden of this house a female in the very first blush of
youth, and beautiful enough to excite within me a strong cu-
riosity to learn the owner of the cottage. I inquired, and
ascertained that its tenant was a Spaniard of high birth, and
one who had acquired a melancholy celebrity by his conduct
and misfortunes in the part he had taken in a certain feeble
but gallant insurrection in his native country. He had only
escaped with life and a very small sum of money, and cow
lived in the obscure seaport of , a refugee and a recluse.
He was a widower, and had only one child, — a daughter; and
I Tv^as therefore at no loss to discover who was the beautiful
female I had noted and admired.
On the day after my conversation with Aubrey detailed in
the last chapter, in riding past this cottage alone, I perceived
a crowd assembled round the entrance; I paused to inquire
"Why, your honour," quoth a senior of the village, "I be-
lieve the tipstaves be come to take the foreigner for not pay-
ing his rent; and he does not understand our English liberty
like, and has drawn his sword, and swears, in his outlandish
lingo, he will not be made prisoner alive."
I required no further inducement to make me enter the
house. The crowd gave way when they saw me dismount,
and suffered me to penetrate into the first apartment. There
I found the gallant old Spaniard with his sword drawn, keep-
ing at bay a couple of sturdy-looking men, who appeared to be
only prevented from using violence by respect for the person
or the safety of a young woman, who clung to her father's
knees and implored him not to resist where resistance was so
unavailing. Let me cut short this scene; I dismissed the
bailiffs, and paid the debt. I then endeavoured to explain to
the Spaniard, in French, for he scarcely understood three
words of our language, the cause of a rudeness towards him
which he persisted in calling a great insult and inhospitality
manifested to a stranger and an exile. I succeeded at length
in pacifying him. I remained for more than an hour at the
cottage, and I left it with a heart beating at a certain persua-
sion that I had established therein the claim of acquaintance
Will the reader pardon me for having curtailed this scene ?
It is connected with a subject on which I shall better endure
to dwell as my narrative proceeds. From that time I paid
frequent visits to the cottage ; the Spaniard soon grew inti-
mate with me, and I thought the daughter began to blush
when I entered, and to sigh when I departed.
One evening I was conversing with Don Diego D'Alvarez
(such was the Spaniard's name), as he sat without the thres-
hold, inhaling the gentle air, that stole freshness from the
rippling sea that spread before us, and fragrance from tlie
earth, over which the summer now reigned in its most mellow
glory. Isora (the daughter) sat at a little distance.
"How comes it," said Don Diego, "that you have never met
our friend Senor Bar — Bar — these English names are always
escaping my memory. How is he called, Isora ? "
"Mr. — Mr. Barnard," said Isora (who, brought early to Eng-
land, spoke its language like a native), but with evident con-
fusion, and looking down as she spoke — " Mr. Barnard, I be-
lieve, you mean."
"Eight, my love," rejoined the Spaniard, who was smoking
a long pipe with great gravity, and did not notice his daugh-
ter's embarrassment, — "a fine youth, but somewhat shy and
over-modest in manner."
" Youth ! " thought I, and I darted a piercing look towards
Isora. "How comes it, indeed," I said aloud, "that I have
not met him ? Is he a friend of long standing ? "
"Nay, not very, — perhaps of some six weeks earlier date
than you, Senor Don Devereux. I pressed him, when he
called this morning, to tarry your coming: but, poor youth,
he is diffident, and not yet accustomed to mix freely with
strangers, especially those of rank; our own presence a little
overawes him;" and from Don Diego's gray mustachios is-
sued a yet fuller cloud than was ordinarily wont to emerge
My eyes were still fixed on Isora; she looked up, met them,
blushed deeply, rose, and disappeared within the house. I
was already susceptible of jealousy. My lip trembled as I
resumed: "And will Don Diego pardon me for inquiring
how commenced his knowledge of this ingenuous youth ? "
The question was a little beyond the pale of good breeding;
perhaps the Spaniard, who was tolerably punctilious in such
matters, thought so, for he did not reply. I was sensible of
my error, and apologizing for it, insinuated, nevertheless, the
question in a more respectful and covert shape. Still Don
Diego, inhaling the fragrant weed with renewed vehemence,
only — like Pion's tomb, recorded by Pausanias — replied to
the request of his petitioner by smoke. I did not venture to
renew my interrogatories, and there was a long silence. My
eyes fixed their gaze on the door by which Isora had disap-
peared. In vain; she returned not; and as the chill of the
increasing evening began now to make itself felt by the frame
of one accustomed to warmer skies, the Spaniard soon rose to
re-enter his house, and I took my farewell for the night.
There were many ways (as I before said) by which I could
return home, all nearly equal in picturesque beauty; for the
county in which my uncle's estates were placed was one where
stream roved and Avoodland flourished even to the very strand
or cliff of the sea. The shortest route, though one the least
frequented by any except foot-passengers, was along the coast,
and it was by this path that I rode slowly homeward. On
winding a curve in the road about one mile from Devereux
Court, the old building broke slowly, tower by tower, upon
me. I have never yet described the house, and perhaps it
will not be uninteresting to the reader if I do so now.
It had anciently belonged to Ealph de Bigod. From his
possession it had passed into that of the then noblest branch
the stem of Devereux, whence, without break or flaw in the
direct line of heritage, it had ultimately descended to the
present owner. It was a pile of vast extent, built around
three quadrangulp.r courts, the farthest of which spread to
the very verge of the gray, tall cliffs that overhung the sea ;
in this court was a rude tower, which, according to tradition,
had contained the apartments ordinarily inhabited by our ill-
fated namesake and distant kinsman, Eobert Devereux, the
favourite and the victim of Elizabeth, whenever he had hon-
oured the mansion with a visit. There was nothing, it is
true, in the old tower calculated to flatter the tradition, for it
contained only two habitable rooms, communicating with
each other, and by no means remarkable for size or splen-
dour ; and every one of our household, save myself, was wont
to discredit the idle rumour which would assign to so dis-
tinguished a guest so unseemly a lodgment. But, as I
looked from the narrow lattices of the chambers, over the
wide expanse of ocean and of land which they commanded ;
as I noted, too, that the tower was utterly separated from the
rest of the house, and that the convenience of its site enabled
one on quitting it, to escape at once, and privately, either to
the solitary beach, or to the glades and groves of the wide
park which stretched behind, — I could not help indulging the
belief that the unceremonious and not unromantic noble had
himself selected his place of retirement, and that, in so doing,
the gallant of a stately court was not perhaps undesirous of
securing at well-chosen moments a brief relaxation from the
heavy honours of country homage; or that the patron and
poetic admirer of the dreaming Spenser might have preferred,
to all more gorgeous accommodation, the quiet and unseen
egress to that sea and shore, which, if we may believe the
accomplished Roman, ^ are so fertile in the powers of
However this be, I had cheated myself into the belief that
my conjecture was true, and I had petitioned my uncle, when,
on leaving school, he assigned to each of us our several apart-
ments, to grant me the exclusive right to this dilapidated
tower. I gained my boon easily enough ; and — so strangely
is our future fate compounded from past trifles — I verily be-
lieve that the strong desire which thenceforth seized me to
visit courts and mix with statesmen — which afterwards hur-
ried me into intrigue, war, the plots of London, the dissipa-
tions of Paris, the perilous schemes of Petersburg, nay, the
very hardships of a Cossack tent — was first formed by the
imaginary honour of inhabiting the same chamber as the glit-
tering but ill-fated courtier of my own name. Thus youth
imitates where it should avoid; and thus that which should
have been to me a warning became an example.
In the oaken floor to the outer chamber of this tower was
situated a trap-door, the entrance into a lower room or rather
cell, fitted up as a bath; and here a wooden door opened into
a long subterranean passage that led out into a cavern by the
sea-shore. This cave, partly by nature, partly by art, was
1 ''0 ipare, litns, verum secretumque Movcre'tov, quam multa dictatis,
quam multa invenitis!" — Plinius.
" sea, shore, true and secret sanctuary of the Muses, how many things
ye dictate, how many things ye discover ! "
hollowed into a beautiful Gothic form; and here, on moon-
light evenings, when the sea crept gently over the yellow and
smooth sands and the summer tempered the air from too keen
a freshness, my uncle had often in his younger days, ere gout
and rheum had grown familiar images, assembled his guests.
It was a place which the echoes peculiarly adapted for music ;
and the scene was certainly not calculated to diminish the
effect of "sweet sounds." Even now, though my uncle rarely
joined us, v.^e were often wont to hold our evening revels in
this spot ; and the high cliffs, circling either side in the form
of a bay, tolerably well concealed our meetings from the gaze
of the vulgar. It is true (for these cliffs were perforated
with numerous excavations) that some roving peasant, mar-
iner, or perchance smuggler, would now and then, at low
■water, intrude upon us. But our London Nereids and courtly
Tritons were always well pleased with the interest of what
they graciously termed " an adventure ; " and our assemblies
were too numerous to think an unbroken secrecy indispensa-
ble. Hence, therefore, the cavern was almost considered a
part of the house itself; and though there was an iron door
at the entrance which it gave to the passage leading to my
apartments, yet so great was our confidence in our neighbours
or ourselves that it was rarely secured, save as a defence
against the high tides of winter.
The stars were shining quietly over the old gra,y castle
(for castle it really was), as I now came wnthin view of it.
To the left, and in the rear of the house, the trees of the park,
grouped by distance, seemed blent into one thick mass of
■wood; to the right, as I now (descending the cliff by a grad-
ual path) entered on the level sands, and at about the distance
of a league from the main shore, a small islet, notorious as
the resort and shelter of contraband adventurers, scarcely re-
lieved the wide and glassy azure of the waves. The tide was
out; and passing through one of the arches -worn in the bay,
I came somewhat suddenly by the cavern. Seated there on a
crag of stone I found Aubrey.
My acquaintance with Isora and her father had so immedi-
ately succeeded the friendly meeting w^ith Aubrey which I
last recorded, and had so utterly engrossed my time and
thoughts, that I had not taken of that interview all the broth-
erly advantage which I might have done. My heart now
smote me for my involuntary negligence. I dismounted, and
fastening my horse to one of a long line of posts that ran into
the sea, approached Aubrey and accosted him.
" Alone, Aubrey ? and at an hour when my uncle always
makes the old walls ring with revel ? Hark ! can you not
hear the music even now? It comes from the ball-room, I
think, does it not ? "
"Yes," said Aubrey, briefly, and looking down upon a de-
votional book, which (as was his wont) he had made his
" And we are the only truants ! — Well, Gerald will supply
our places with a lighter step, and, perhaps, a merrier heart."
Aubrey sighed. I bent over him affectionately (I loved
that boy with something of a father's as well as a brother's
love), and as I did bend over him, I saw that his eyelids were
red with weeping.
"My brother — my own dear brother," said I, "what grieves
you ? — are we not friends, and more than friends ? — what
can grieve you that grieves not me ? "
Suddenly raising his head, Aubrey gazed at me with a long,
searching intentness of eye; his lips moved, but he did not
"Speak to me, Aubrey," said T, passing my arm over his
shoulder; "has any one, anything, hurt you ? See, now, if I
cannot remedy the evil."
"Morton," said Aubrey, speaking very slowly, "do you be-
lieve that Heaven pre-orders as well as foresees our destiny ? "
"It is the schoolman's question," said I, smiling; "but I
know how these idle subtleties vex the mind; and you, my
brother, are ever too occupied with considerations of the
future. If Heaven does pre-order our destiny, we know that
Heaven is merciful, and we should be fearless, as we arm
ourselves in that knowledge."
" Morton Devereux, " said Aubrey, again repeating my name,
and with an evident inward effort that left his lip colourless,
and yet lit his dark dilating eye with a strange and unwonted
fire, — "Morton Devereux, I feel that I am predestined to
the power of the Evil One ! "
I drew back, inexpressibly shocked. " Good Heavens ! " I
exclaimed, "what can induce you to cherish so terrible a phan-
tasy ? what can induce you to wrong so fearfully the goodness
and mercy of our Creator ? "
Aubrey shrank from my arm, which had still been round
him, and covered his face with his hands. I took up the book
he had been reading; it was a Latin treatise on predestina-
tion, and seemed fraught with the most gloomy and bewilder-
ing subtleties. I sat down beside him, and pointed out the
various incoherencies and contradictions of the work, and the
doctrine it espoused: so long and so earnestly did I speak
that at length Aubrey looked up, seemingly cheered and
" I wish, '' said he, timidly, " I wish that you loved me, and
that you loved me only : but you love pleasure, and power, and
show, and wit, and revelry ; and you know not what it is to
feel for me as I feel at times for you, — nay, perhaps you
really dislike or despise me."
Aubrey's voice grew bitter in its tone as he concluded these
words, and I was instantly impressed with the belief that
some one had insinuated distrust of my affection for him.
"Why should you think thus?" I said; "has any cause
occurred of late to make you deem my affection for you
weaker than it was ? Has any one hinted a surmise that I do
not repay your brotherly regard ? "
Aubrey did not answer.
"Has Gerald," I continued, "jealous of our mutual attach-
ment, uttered aught tending to diminish it ? Yes, I see that
Aubrey remained motionless, sullenly gazing downward
and still silent.
"Speak," said I, "in justice to both of us, — speak! You
know, Aubrey, how I have loved and love you : put your arms
round me, and say that thing on earth which you wish me to
do, and it shall be done ! "
Aubrey looked up ; he met my eyes, and he threw himself
upon my neck, and burst into a violent paroxysm of tears.
I was greatly affected. "I see my fault," said I, soothing
him ; *' you are angry, and with justice, that I have neglected