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Had it been otherwise, perhaps my emotions, overpowering as they were, might have been subdued ; but while all the other characters satisfied me, his, Virginia's lover's, the very part with which I felt myself identified, was shamefully weak. I was absolutely maddened. The theatre vanished from my mind. I thought of nothing, cared for nothing but that fair young creature, and the idea possessed me, with a frightful tenacity, that I should one day be the true Icilius.

As the play pro. ceeded I became more and more lost in this idea. It was only when the wretched personator of the Roman lover came on, that the illusion vauished. And then a bitter and impatient hatred possessed me. I longed to clutch the young man, and hurl him away. And when the Roman father, in solemn and touching tones, said

You are my witnesses
That this young creature 1 present to you
I do pronounce my profitably cherished,
And most deservedly beloved child-
My daughter truly filial, both in word
And act, yet even more in act than word-

I tremblingly ejaculated, We are, we are.' A lady in the box thought I was faint and proffered her salts. I took the vial mechanically, but was not recalled; for a moment after, when the words reached my enamoured ear

You will be all
Her father has been

added unto all
A lover would be?

the query seemed addressed to me, upable longer to contain what rushed to my lips, I rose, sprang upon the seat,

more.

and shouted, “I will, I will’-but the words were broken -I felt a hand close tightly over my mouth, and myself lifted into the lobby, whence I was hurried, without a word, into a hackney coach, by the dim lights of which I discovered Mr. Connington, who had firmly grasped one arm, while a gentleman, whom I recognised as an occupant of the box, held the other. They evidently thought me mad.

• This adventure was a salutary and timely lesson. Never again did I betray any emotion. But I felt the

The drama which I had fancied would produce such mighty effects on my mind, was nothing except as it was associated with her. 0

my friend, you can have no idea of what mingled ecstacy and bitterness is involved in the love of an object of public admiration! Some. times I would have given worlds if Helen had been a tradesman's daughter, living in honorable obscurity, and then when evening came, I saw her personating the grandest female characters of history, arrayed in an ideal costume, uttering the noblest sentiments, and appearing as the faithful, the self-denying, the beautiful representative of her sex; and then, in those moments, I wished her ever to be the same. But poor Shakspeare! where was my reverence for him? Strange fantasy, the world would have thought, had I written a new commentary on his tragedies, to declare that the most eloquent line in Romeo and Juliet was Lady Capulet's, Nurse, where's my daughter? call her forth to me--and in Othello's speech, the most awakening phrase the last, . Here comes my lady, let her witness it.' Yet such they were to me, for they called first upon the stage Juliet and Desdemona.

• Many weeks flew by, and my time was ostensibly divided between Blackstone and the drama. My kinsman frequently applauded this rare union of rational and imaginative studies. "Few young men, cousin Frank,” he would say, choose so wisely. I perceive you did not study the philosophy of the human mind, at St. Andrews, in vain. Here you devote the day to legal investigations, which, questionless, have a tendency to invigorate the understanding, to create just habits of thinking, and train the judgment; then your evenings are given to the greatest imaginative amusement of this utilitarian age. You cultivate a taste for the drama. Well, well, cousin, we'll make a fine fellow of you yet.' In these remarks Mr. Connington would coincide, neutralizing his praises with the observation that Mr. Graham's dramatic criticisms were, somehow or other, more vague and less to the purpose, than before he attended the theatre. Neither of these sage observers of human nature, however, had the least idea of the true state of the case. And, indeed, it was not till late that I myself discovered with wonder which partook strangely of regret and gladness, that it was not Cordelia or Virginia that I loved, but Helen Trevor.

IV.

Hitherto

my

love had been ideal. Personal intercourse had not revealed to me the imperfections of the fair Thespian.-Report spoke highly of her character, and the earnest approbation of the public sufficiently

indicated her professional genius. Strange as the remark would seem to a mere worldly reasoner, you my friend, will understand me, when I assert that few attachments excelled mine in real and beautiful sentiment. It was much like the love which we know ardent men have cherished for a portrait, a statue, or the being of their dreams. Whatever the object of my affections, in reality, was—however tainted with the alleged evil influences of her pursuit, however intellectually endowed or morally gifted—remember that as presented to me, she was always the living portrait of departed worth, the renovated image of some hallowed being, the human embodiment of a poet's dream. Naturally favored with a clas. sical species of womanly beauty, displaying manners in which feminine grace and modesty struggled with a vivid conception of the part she was representing--you cannot wonder that a hallow of romance was thrown around the person of my idol.

I never saw her but as the personator of virtue. No other parts were adapted to her talents. And thus, to my ardent fancy, she became the personifi. cation of all that was good, and beautiful, and true.

• It was not in human nature to be long content with such a semi-interchange of sympathy. Alas! the thought struck me, all at once, that there had been no interchange, that

my heart had been given to one who knew me not that I was no more to the Thespian than the multitude who nightly witnessed her performance. I felt foolishly conscious of my wandering moods. I resolved, after long and troubled musing, to come face to face with the admired actress. And yet I feared to adventure. The charm might be dissolved, or it might be confirmed. What then? I should, at least, know my fate. Stripped of the adventitious aid of her profession, she might prove uninteresting. And then I laughed wildly at the thought I should be free! Yet, in a moment I discarded the idea. If I have been in bondage this month past, thought I, then let me be a slave forever. It seemed to me easier to die a victim to imaginary wo, than to return again to barren studies or common cares. My resolution taken, I grew impatient, yet never suffered myself to think of what I was about to do, without realizing that awe with which the German dramatist says all mortals must grasp the urn of destiny.'

Capital, capital ! exclaimed Mr. Connington, one morning, at the breakfast-table, as he laid down the Post and resumed his muffin. What is it?' inquired my cousin, taking up the paper. Why, an excellent criticism on the Portia we saw Monday night. "Ah! signed F. G., too—who can that be ?? . Who should it be but Frank Graham ?' asked the dramatist, his eye brightening at the discovery. I could not deny the authorship. Mr. Connington hastily swallowed his last cup of tea, and as he left the room, with a significant nod, remarkedWell done, master Frank; she shall know it, too"; she shall, I declare.' I was after him in an instant. My dear Mr. Connington,' said I, “pray be careful. If you choose to force this hasty notice upon the attention of Miss do it in a way which shall impress her favorably as to the author. See, see, my friend, that I am not merged in her mind with the herd of coxcomb admirers

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