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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesAlice, Or The Mysteries - Book 4 - Chapter 5
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Alice, Or The Mysteries - Book 4 - Chapter 5 Post by :BabyCat Category :Long Stories Author :Edward Bulwer-lytton Date :May 2012 Read :3267

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Alice, Or The Mysteries - Book 4 - Chapter 5

BOOK IV CHAPTER V

SEE how the skilful lover spreads his toils.--STILLINGFLEET.


THE party had not long returned to the rectory, and the admiral's carriage was ordered, when Lord Vargrave made his appearance. He descanted with gay good-humour on his long drive, the bad roads, and his disappointment at the _contretemps that awaited him; then, drawing aside Colonel Legard, who seemed unusually silent and abstracted, he said to him,--

"My dear colonel, my visit this morning was rather to you than to Doltimore. I confess that I should like to see your abilities enlisted on the side of the Government; and knowing that the post of Storekeeper to the Ordnance will be vacant in a day or two by the promotion of Mr.-----, I wrote to secure the refusal. To-day's post brings me the answer. I offer the place to you; and I trust, before long, to procure you also a seat in parliament. But you must start for London immediately."

A week ago, and Legard's utmost ambition would have been amply gratified by this post; he now hesitated.

"My dear lord," said he, "I cannot say how grateful I feel for your kindness; but--but--"

"Enough; no thanks, my dear Legard. Can you go to town to-morrow?"

"Indeed," said Legard, "I fear not; I must consult my uncle."

"I can answer for him; I sounded him before I wrote. Reflect! You are not rich, my dear Legard; it is an excellent opening: a seat in parliament, too! Why, what can be your reason for hesitation?"

There was something meaning and inquisitive in the tone of voice in which this question was put that brought the colour to the colonel's cheek. He knew not well what to reply; and he began, too, to think that he ought not to refuse the appointment. Nay, would his uncle, on whom he was dependent, consent to such a refusal? Lord Vargrave saw the irresolution, and proceeded. He spent ten minutes in combating every scruple, every objection: he placed all the advantages of the post, real or imaginary, in every conceivable point of view before the colonel's eyes; he sought to flatter, to wheedle, to coax, to weary him into accepting it; and he at length partially succeeded. The colonel petitioned for three days' consideration, which Vargrave reluctantly acceded to; and Legard then stepped into his uncle's carriage, with the air rather of a martyr than a maiden placeman.

"Aha!" said Vargrave, chuckling to himself as he took a turn in the grounds, "I have got rid of that handsome knave; and now I shall have Evelyn all to myself!"

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BOOK IV CHAPTER IXA SMOKE raised with the fume of sighs. _Romeo and Juliet_. IT is certain that Evelyn experienced for Maltravers sentiments which, if not love, might easily be mistaken for it. But whether it were that master-passion, or merely its fanciful resemblance,--love in early youth and innocent natures, if of sudden growth, is long before it makes itself apparent. Evelyn had been prepared to feel an interest in her solitary neighbour. His mind, as developed in his works, had half-formed her own. Her childish adventure with the stranger had never been forgotten. Her present knowledge of Maltravers was an
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BOOK IV CHAPTER IVHENCE oft to win some stubborn maid, Still does the wanton god assume The martial air, the gay cockade, The sword, the shoulder-knot, and plume. MARRIOTT.THE hall was cleared, the sufferer had been removed, and Maltravers was left alone with Cleveland and Evelyn. He simply and shortly narrated the adventure of the morning; but he did not mention that Vargrave had been the cause of the injury his new guest had sustained. Now this event had served to make a mutual and kindred impression on Evelyn and Maltravers. The humanity
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