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TYLNEY HALL. 229

hand you are now holding you shall never possess let it

go, link not one finger with hers, or the hour shall

come when you will curse your own cruel love for pulling

her down with you into an unripe grave. Yes, it shall

"

close over you like this !

As she pronounced the last word she threw a stone into

the stream, where the water instantly swallowed it up out

of sight, and before the first diverging ring had reached

the bank, the speaker was twenty paces distant, and was

seen walking swiftly away, with the graceful easy movements

that characterise the females of the western islands.

To say that Grace, or even Raby himself, was uninfluenced

untrue :

by the woman's forebodings, would be probably

the human mind in youth, imbued with a touch of ro-

mance, is prone to superstition ; indeed,

love itself is a

superstitious passion, and this religion of the heart, like

the Roman Catholic faith, is apt to associate itself with

mystical theories, emblematical rites, idolatrous worshipping,

and miraculous legends. What lover, who believes

in his lady's transmutations, that her smile will turn a

wilderness into a garden of Eden, can refuse his faith to

the Philosopher's Stone ? What admirer can gaze on his

mistress in her becoming full-dress, without thinking that,

like Belinda, she hao had the help of more than mortal

hands, fairies and sylphs, in every fold of her gown ?

What adorer can watch his own likeness reflected in his

empress's eyes, and deny that the starry spheres are influential

on the fate of man ? Not one. Initiated in love,

we become adepts in all other occult sciences, and are

devout alchemists, astrologers, and Rosicrucians. Everyday

creeds and studies, and common-place images, will

not suit the high tone of the exalted phantasy. The all-

important course of true love seems like the mortal pro-

gress of a soul assaulted on one side by legions of devils,

and defended on the other by banded angels. Hope

watches for signs, and Fear for omens ; and the same intense

spirit of affection, which invokes round the head of its

object the bright shapes of joy and promise, is apt to con-

jure up the dark phantoms of difficulty and danger that

encircle its feet. The brightest sunshine throws the darkest

Q 3

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