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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesKenelm Chillingly - Book 8 - Chapter 8
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Kenelm Chillingly - Book 8 - Chapter 8 Post by :jimh1626 Category :Long Stories Author :Edward Bulwer-lytton Date :May 2012 Read :2951

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Kenelm Chillingly - Book 8 - Chapter 8

BOOK VIII CHAPTER VIII

SO, then, but for that officious warning, uttered under the balcony at Luscombe, Kenelm Chillingly might never have had a rival in Walter Melville. But ill would any reader construe the character of Kenelm, did he think that such a thought increased the bitterness of his sorrow. No sorrow in the thought that a noble nature had been saved from the temptation to a great sin.

The good man does good merely by living. And the good he does may often mar the plans he formed for his own happiness. But he cannot regret that Heaven has permitted him to do good.

What Kenelm did feel is perhaps best explained in the letter to Sir Peter, which is here subjoined:--


"MY DEAREST FATHER,--Never till my dying day shall I forget that tender desire for my happiness with which, overcoming all worldly considerations, no matter at what disappointment to your own cherished plans or ambition for the heir to your name and race, you sent me away from your roof, these words ringing in my ear like the sound of joy-bells, 'Choose as you will, with my blessing on your choice. I open my heart to admit another child: your wife shall be my daughter.' It is such an unspeakable comfort to me to recall those words now. Of all human affections gratitude is surely the holiest; and it blends itself with the sweetness of religion when it is gratitude to a father. And, therefore, do not grieve too much for me, when I tell you that the hopes which enchanted me when we parted are not to be fulfilled. Her hand is pledged to another,--another with claims upon her preference to which mine cannot be compared; and he is himself, putting aside the accidents of birth and fortune, immeasurably my superior. In that thought--I mean the thought that the man she selects deserves her more than I do, and that in his happiness she will blend her own--I shall find comfort, so soon as I can fairly reason down the first all-engrossing selfishness that follows the sense of unexpected and irremediable loss. Meanwhile you will think it not unnatural that I resort to such aids for change of heart as are afforded by change of scene. I start for the Continent to-night, and shall not rest till I reach Venice, which I have not yet seen. I feel irresistibly attracted towards still canals and gliding gondolas. I will write to you and to my dear mother the day I arrive. And I trust to write cheerfully, with full accounts of all I see and encounter. Do not, dearest father, in your letters to me, revert or allude to that grief which even the tenderest word from your own tender self might but chafe into pain more sensitive. After all, a disappointed love is a very common lot. And we meet every day, men--ay, and women too--who have known it, and are thoroughly cured. The manliest of our modern lyrical poets has said very nobly, and, no doubt, very justly,


"To bear is to conquer our fate.


"Ever your loving son,

"K. C."

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