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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesWhat Will He Do With It - Book 11 - Chapter 4
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What Will He Do With It - Book 11 - Chapter 4 Post by :SwingWinger Category :Long Stories Author :Edward Bulwer-lytton Date :May 2012 Read :1155

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What Will He Do With It - Book 11 - Chapter 4

BOOK XI CHAPTER IV

GUY DARRELL'S VIEWS IN THE INVITATION TO WAIFE.

Lionel had but inadequately represented, for he could but imperfectly comprehend, the profound impression made upon Guy Darrell by George Morley's disclosures. Himself so capable of self-sacrifice, Darrell was the man above all others to regard with an admiring reverence, which partook of awe, a self-immolation that seemed almost above humanity--to him who set so lofty an estimate on good name and fair repute. He had not only willingly permitted, but even urged Lionel to repair to Waife and persuade the old man to come to Fawley. With Waife he was prepared to enter into the full discussion of Sophy's alleged parentage. But apart even from considerations that touched a cause of perplexity which disquieted himself, Darrell was eager to see and to show homage to the sufferer, in whom he recognised a hero's dignity. And if he had sent by Lionel no letter from himself to Waife, it was only because, in the exquisite delicacy of feeling that belonged to him, when his best emotions were aroused, he felt it just that the whole merit and the whole delight of reparation to the wrongs of William Losely should, without direct interposition of his own, be left exclusively to Charles Haughton's son. Thus far it will be acknowledged that Guy Darrell was not one of those men who, once warmed to magnanimous impulse, are cooled by a thrifty prudence when action grows out of the impulses. Guy Darrell could not be generous by drachin and scruple. Not apt to say, "I apologise,"--slow to say, "I repent"; very--very--very slow indeed to say, "I forgive"; yet let him once say, "I repent," "I apologise," or "I forgive," and it was said with his whole heart and soul.

But it must not be supposed that, in authorising Lionel to undertake the embassy to Waife, or in the anticipation of what might pass between Waife and himself should the former consent to revisit the old house from which he had been so scornfully driven, Darrell had altered, or dreamed of altering, one iota of his resolves against a Union between Lionel and Sophy. True, Lionel had induced him to say--

"Could it be indisputably proved that no drop of Jasper Losely's blood were in this girl's veins--that she were the lawful child of honest parents, however humble--my right to stand between her and yourself would cease." But a lawyer's experience is less credulous than a lover's hope. And to Darrell's judgment it was wholly improbable that any honest parents, however humble, should have yielded their child to a knave like Jasper, while it was so probable that his own persuasion was well founded, and that she was Jasper's daughter, though not Matilda's.

The winter evening had closed, George and Darrell were conversing in the library; the theme, of course, was Waife; and Darrell listened with vivid interest to George's graphic accounts of the old man's gentle playful humour--with its vague desultory undercurrents of poetic fancy or subtle wisdom. But when George turned to speak of Sophy's endearing, lovely nature, and, though cautiously, to intimate an appeal on her behalf to Darrell's sense of duty, or susceptibility to kindly emotions, the proud man's brow be came knit, and his stately air evinced displeasure. Fortunately, just at a moment when further words might have led to a permanent coldness between men so disposed to esteem each other, they heard the sound of wheels on the frosty ground--the shrill bell at the porch-door.

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BOOK XI CHAPTER VTHE VAGABOND RECEIVED IN THE MANOR-HOUSE AT FAWLEY. Very lamely, very feebly, declining Lionel's arm, and leaning heavily on his crutch-stick, Waife crossed the threshold of the Manor-house. George sprang forward to welcome him. The old man looked on the preacher's face with a kind of wandering uncertainty in his eye, and George saw that his cheek was very much flushed. He limped on through the hall, still leaning on his staff, George and Lionel at either side. A pace or two, and there stood Darrell! Did he, the host, not spring forward to offer an arm, to
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BOOK XI CHAPTER IIINOTHING SO OBSTINATE AS A YOUNG MAN'S HOPE; NOTHING SO ELOQUENT AS A LOVER'S TONGUE. Hitherto there had been no reference to Sophy. Not Sophy's lover, but Charles Haughton's son had knelt to Waife and received the old man's blessing. But Waife could not be long forgetful of his darling--nor his anxiety on her account. The expression in his varying face changed suddenly. Not half an hour before, Lionel Haughton was the last man in the world to whom willingly he would have consigned his grandchild. Now, of all men in the world Lionel Haughton would have been
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