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life. Some of the author's ideas are paradoxical. The twentieth chapter is entitled "Rejuveniscence." Nature is Life, subject to particular presentations. Death is but the development of a new life, often the advancement of the old. Thus, the changes the earth has undergone, laid open by geology, and which may again occur, are but successive suites of animals and plants, enduring for ages, to be superseded by others, perhaps for a long succession of time. Thus the world may be considered, as far as certain of its forms go, to be in a continued state of progression. Perhaps this sentiment is carried a little too far in some of its applications. Health and Disease, Miracles, the Resurrection, Mortality and Immortality, Dreams, Analogies of Nature, the Law of Prefiguration, &c., Instinct and Reason, Summary, Inspiration, and Life Epitomised in Genius, are some of the heads treated upon.
We have not space to comment on these, still less to mark out those points to the reader which appear to us not sustainable, as well as to show those which we deem to be sound. We are the less concerned on this head, because it must be clear both to the author and his readers that it would be impossible in a limited space to examine and detail all those points in which we agree or disagree with the author, who is evidently one that has thought very deeply in building up his system-if that term may be used in relation to his labours. It suffices that he has, in expressing his views, brought out collateral lights, in many instances, upon those points in which there can be little difference between thinking men. He has shown the connexion of natural history with his subject, and made use of its phenomena for illustration. It may be said that we have not done justice, but the nature of our notice of the work must be considered more as a mere "notice" than a judgment in relation to it. The work has been much read, for the present is the third edition. We rejoice that such is the fact, because it shows the merit or the reverse of the author's ideas out of the question-that there are readers enough left, who, turning their vision aside from the huge mass of trivial matter that at present clogs the press, can enter with zest into the consideration of those themes which the boundless field of speculative thought presents to well-regulated minds, whether such thoughts partake most of the vapoury images that " come like shadows" and "so depart,' or gradually assuming a substantial shape, are in the end received as new and worthy truths.
To say that the presentation to the world of the fruits of pure imagination, and airy theories which may result from their admission by a portion of the community, is an evil because it may be adverse to current notions or established feelings and habits, is to bar all mental advance. The world moves, and things in it must move in accordance. The consideration of novelties which present themselves to the mind, if they are proved valid and equal in that respect to those which are generally received, have a right to occupy a similar position, and must rank accordingly. Their validity is the main point to be considered by readers. Even under the head of amusement, the examination of a work, novel in theory and the employment of the mind in such a pursuit, is a far more worthy thing than the perusal of those works which, without truth, simplicity, or erudition, and those of France more particularly, without morality, occupy precious time as if they were valuable treasures to our fleeting humanity.
We confess that there is something pleasing, could they but be proved true, in several of the ideas detailed in this work. That death should be but a rejuveniscence is a pleasing notion, flattering human vanity, but with a rejuveniscence, without a consciousness of the past as a guide to improvement, it would be of no moment to us. That geological successions are similar as regards the past, and simple advances towards the state in which the earth became adapted for the reception of man, has been admitted, and that the renewals of all things will continue for an unknown period of time, the death of organic and inorganic substances or matters at one time being no more than a herald to a further advance at hand, these are agreeable speculations as affects matter. Their due consideration is a task to which the author's ingenuity and labour, his zeal in the promulgation of his sentiments, and freedom from all gloom of his views in respect to the future, eminently entitle him. Every writer has a just claim to the public attention, more especially when the nature of his subject is deeply interesting. There has been no stint of thought in Mr. Grindon's work. Its interest is great. As he grounds most of his opinions upon what is consonant with Holy Writ, he may be read and studied by every denomination of Christians, except those who believe their own creed infallible, and that any change in views, religious or political, that has been once settled by habit is a sort of bold treason. The present work has been, and will be, read extensively. We have said we do not agree with some things it puts forth, but it merits that consideration which to all such works is a duty, or more, at least, than a mere gratification of curiosity. It is a source of knowledge to a certain extent, even where there is a dissent from principles, most of which it is but justice to state are not presented here ex cathedrâ, but are fairly left to the reader's own consideration, after being put in a mode that leaves no doubt of the writer's earnestness. The misfortune is that too little is proved; but such is the case with all that is speculative and pleasant, calculated to cheer that view of human nature which we are apt to regard, perhaps, as too sombre, with the best colouring we can put upon it. If the work made clear the hopes it does but excite, it would be, indeed, a treasure in the way of discovering a medicine for the unequivocal suffering of our common nature, and that of far more efficacy than those hopes which some are apt to cherish on their own vagueness. Demonstrative deficiency is, we still fear, not to be removed by the illusions of the imagination alone, however brilliant and cheering their aspect; yet we must not abandon the poetry of our existence to substitute cold reality without the latter be of weighty concernment, and no less clear than imperious as regards our more important interests. All that is not plain to the organs of sense must be planted and nurtured in the imagination before it is received as an established truth.
OR, WROUGHT BY HIS OWN HAND.
A LIFE ROMANCE.
BY THE AUTHOR OF "GRANVille de Vigne," &c.
PART THE SEVENTH.
THE ASHES IN THE LAMP.
THERE was no moment when Lady Vavasour was so resistless as en negligée in her own dressing-room. With half the pearls and diamonds of her regalia glittering on her in the presence-chamber of St. James's or the Tuileries, though perhaps more dazzling, she was less dangerous than reclining among her cushions like the odalisque of a harem, with the light softly shaded and the air scented with attar of roses, with her shower of hair unloosed, and the folds of some texture, white as snow, or delicate in colouring as the blush on the opal, half enshrouding, half unveiling her, as the sea-foam the goddess. She was so lovely, then, at midnight or morning! and it was a privacy wherein so few saw her, while of even those few, each believed himself the only one!
Strathmore looked at her where she lay, with her feet softly sheathed in pearl-broidered slippers, and a slight smile of amused reverie just parting her lips. He adored her beauty now as madly as at first, and his eyes dwell on it unsated; indeed, with a fiercer and fonder delight, because it had been long his own. It was the morning after Hernani, and he thought of the hint that had been thrown out to him the night before, with disdainful ridicule, and bitter scorn of the man who had employed such methods to implant the lie he had not even dared repeat. Long ago at White Ladies he had suspected where the root of Erroll's bitterness upon her lay; in the last few weeks at Auteuil his suspicion had strengthened into certainty, and this morning, as he felt her hand wander over his brow where he lay at her feet, he repented that he had allowed the memory of any friendship to stay him, and that he had not washed out with fitter punishment the coward envy that had sought to revenge itself on him by the suggestion of a hideous suspicion. Truly all better things are swept away betwixt men, when once the face of a woman has come between them!
"What are you thinking of, caro?" she asked him, softly touching his hair.
In her husband's house they were as secure from intrusion as though they had been alone in Naxos or Cyprus. Celeste was always without en sentinelle on such occasions, and even that precaution was needless. "I was thinking-how faithless to me if they would make many could."
"What a wide field for speculation-there are hundreds! Well, if they succeeded, I should not expect you to complain."
"Hush! Do not jest about that."
"Why not?" she laughed. "Love wisely taken is a jest, you know.
You would have no right to complain, Cecil. One may be queen of all the world, but not sovereign of Oneself; and our hearts are like Ben Jonson's blow-balls,' now here, now there, wherever the winds of chance and caprice like to float them. Indeed, I should expect you to take your congé with the most tranquil grace. Come! what would you do if I said I loved you no longer ?"
The question was asked with that mocking malice which was part and parcel of her nature; this delicate, youthful creature loved to torture! His passionate eyes looked up into hers with the jealous love of Othello. "Do! God knows! Take your life or my own-or both!"
The answer was not wholly a jest, too deep a meaning lay in the look he fastened on her and the unconscious vibration of his voice; and, for once, she felt a vague terror at the force of the love she had delighted to excite and feed, till it lost all reason in its madness; for once she felt that she had roused what she could not so easily allay, and that the weakness she triumphed and tyrannised over, was a strength which might one day menace her, when no words of hers would be able to soothe it away. For the moment she feared the work of her own will, the next she gloried in her power, and laughed, her white fingers caressingly wandering among the dark chesnut waves of his hair.
“What a horrible answer, Cecil! One would think we were in the Cinque Cento! You swift, silent Strathmores have much more of the Italian in you than of the English nature. You ought to be a Colonna or a Malatesta, with the steel in your sleeve, and the poison in your ring. What! has one love become so necessary to you, that life would be unbearable without it? Oh, Lucifer, Son of Morning, how art thou fallen!"
"But my fall has opened heaven to me, not exiled me from it," smiled Strathmore, as he lay at her feet. Why do wonder at you answer? my Love has turned to crime in its agony more than once since the world began."
Perhaps but not in our world—————”
"Where passion enters all worlds have the same law! You have made me learn the same madness as an Israelite learnt from Mariamne a thousand years ago, as twice a thousand a Spartan learnt from Cleonice." "Who both taught it to be slain by it! What an ominous souvenir! You would not slay me, Cecil?" And the loosened tresses swept against his brow, and her eyes looked laughingly yet lovingly into his.
Almost I could, rather than other eyes should feast on you. Ah, Marion! when men love as I love, they loathe the very daylight to look on what they idolise.'
"Tu es fou," she interrupted him, but the words were spoken so softly that they were themselves a caress. "It is a madness, Cecil! But why, I wonder, are men who love us as you do, imperiously, avariciously, jealously, and would hate us as pitilessly, always most dear to women? Why? It is very bête."
Why? Because you know no love, worth the name, ever yet bore the shadow of a share in what it loved; because you delight to feel selves the mistresses of a man's life, and taste your power to give him misery or rapture, to yield him a god's delight, or cast him out to worse torture than the cursed! To learn how men can love, women must be loved as I love you."
"Ah, my cold, proud Strathmore, what lava flames lay beneath the ice!" she murmured, while the smile still hovered on her lips. "You did not know your own nature till I loved you !"
As she stooped towards him, her caress lingering on his brow, the forward movement dislodged a note which lay among the laces, silks, and Eastern stuffs piled on her luxurious couch, so that it fell, with its superscription upward, upon Strathmore's arm. He took it up to throw it towards a table which stood near, attaching no import to it, but Lady Vavasour with a quick movement interposed her hand, and as he to her he caught sight of the handwriting. Coupled with the memories of the night that was just passed, it struck on Strathmore with a keener suspicion.
"You correspond with Erroll ?" he said, quickly, keeping the note in his hand.
"I invite him to dinner, and he answers me," she said, carelessly, with a little half-suppressed yawn; "and I do it pretty often, since he is so adored a friend of yours.'
"Is this a dinner acceptation?"
No, a refusal. I fancy Milly Mostyn said something about his going back to England."
She had moved her hand again as if to receive the note, but had checked herself, and lay with her head resting on her arm, with negligent grace, and her lashes drooping languidly. Nothing could be more easily indifferent than her manner, but as his eyes fastened on her, a faint colour deepened the sea-shell bloom on her cheeks, and Strathmore noted it with the swift Moor-like jealousy that always runs in leash with such a love as his. On his impulse he would have wrenched the envelope open; honour and courtesy compelled him to restrain himself, but he did not give up the note.
"Will you permit me to read this? I have my reasons," he asked her. He believed she might resent, but could not refuse him.
The single prohibition was uttered with disdainful nonchalance and haughty sovereignty; the superb and graceful indignation of a proud woman subjected to a doubt that is insult.
"No? Why not? You claim your right to my confidence, I claim my title to yours."
She raised herself upon her arm from her cushions, with questioning wonder in her eyes, and a smile of scorn upon her lips-she, Marion Vavasour, to be arraigned in judgment by a lover who was as wax in her hands, and whom she could have bent to any sin, or any folly, at her word! She to be doubted, questioned, opposed!
"Confidence!" she re-echoed, with a scornful curl on her lovely lips, and an angry light in her eyes, very new to them, for Marion Vavasour was by nature of a sunny, insouciant temper, rarely troubled by irritation or bitterness. "What confidence can be needed in such a trifle? You have lost your senses, Cecil, I think. Certainly, since you presume to disbelieve my word, I shall not allow you to insult me by verifying it."
"It is not I who have lost my senses but you your memory, Marion,' said Strathmore, the black jealousy in him leaping into sudden life. "Discourteous or not, I must doubt either your word or your recollection. This is a strangely lengthy dinner refusal.""