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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesMy Novel - Book 10 - Chapter 6
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My Novel - Book 10 - Chapter 6 Post by :shawnnee Category :Long Stories Author :Edward Bulwer-lytton Date :May 2012 Read :782

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My Novel - Book 10 - Chapter 6

BOOK TENTH CHAPTER VI

Violante and Jemima were both greatly surprised, as the reader may suppose, when they heard, on their return, the arrangements already made for the former. The countess insisted on taking her at once, and Riccabocca briefly said, "Certainly, the sooner the better." Violante was stunned and bewildered. Jemima hastened to make up a little bundle of things necessary, with many a woman's sigh that the poor wardrobe contained so few things befitting. But among the clothes she slipped a purse, containing the savings of months, perhaps of years, and with it a few affectionate lines, begging Violante to ask the countess to buy her all that was proper for her father's child. There is always something hurried and uncomfortable in the abrupt and unexpected withdrawal of any member from a quiet household. The small party broke into still smaller knots. Violante hung on her father, and listened vaguely to his not very lucid explanations. The countess approached Leonard, and, according to the usual mode with persons of quality addressing young authors, complimented him highly on the books she had not read, but which her son assured her were so remarkable. She was a little anxious to know where Harley had first met with Mr. Oran, whom he called his friend; but she was too highbred to inquire, or to express any wonder that rank should be friends with genius. She took it for granted that they had formed their acquaintance abroad.

Harley conversed with Helen.--"You are not sorry that Violante is coming to us? She will be just such a companion for you as I could desire; of your own years too."

HELEN (ingenuously).--"It is hard to think I am not younger than she is."

HARLEY.--"Why, my dear Helen?"

HELEN.--"She is so brilliant. She talks so beautifully. And I--"

HARLEY.--"And you want but the habit of talking, to do justice to your own beautiful thoughts."

Helen looked at him gratefully, but shook her head. It was a common trick of hers, and always when she was praised.

At last the preparations were made, the farewell was said, Violante was in the carriage by Lady Lansmere's side. Slowly moved on the stately equipage with its four horses and trim postilions, heraldic badges on their shoulders, in the style rarely seen in the neighbourhood of the metropolis, and now fast vanishing even amidst distant counties.

Riccabocca, Jemima, and Jackeymo continued to gaze after it from the gate.

"She is gone," said Jackeymo, brushing his eyes with his coat-sleeve. "But it is a load off one's mind."

"And another load on one's heart," murmured Riccabocca. "Don't cry, Jemima; it may be bad for you, and bad for him that is to come. It is astonishing how the humours of the mother may affect the unborn. I should not like to have a son who has a more than usual propensity to tears."

The poor philosopher tried to smile; but it was a bad attempt. He went slowly in, and shut himself with his books. But he could not read. His whole mind was unsettled. And though, like all parents, he had been anxious to rid himself of a beloved daughter for life, now that she was gone but for a while, a string seemed broken in the Music of Home.

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BOOK TENTH CHAPTER VIIThe evening of the same day, as Egerton, who was to entertain a large party at dinner, was changing his dress, Harley walked into his room. Egerton dismissed his valet by a sign, and continued his toilet. "Excuse me, my dear Harley, I have only ten minutes to give you. I expect one of the royal dukes, and punctuality is the stern virtue of men of business, and the graceful courtesy of princes." Harley had usually a jest for his friend's aphorisms; but he had none now. He laid his hand kindly on Egerton's shoulder. "Before I speak
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