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loyalty signified that submission to the law, which, while it inculcated fealty to an individual for the good of the community, called upon every true patriot to withdraw his allegiance from the mistaken monarch who should attempt to subvert the constitution which he was appointed to guard. This contingency appeared to him to be rapidly approaching. From the avowed religion of the Duke of York, the next heir to the throne, as well as from the political measures of the Cabal, he saw clearly that it was intended to introduce Popery and arbitrary power; and, as he did not believe that the people of England would tamely submit to this double outrage upon their rights and feelings, he was not sorry to withdraw himself from the approaching struggle, at least until the arrival of the moment when he might contribute his individual efforts to the good cause, with some prospect of benefiting his country
Under the influence of these impressions he retired to the Chateau in Normandy, which, together with the ample estates that surrounded it, had been presented to them by the munificent Constantia; and its romantic situation, combined with the amiable and lively character of the French people, and the facilities of more frequent communication with their benefactress, attached him permanently to the spot. If ever the reader have travelled the beautiful lower road from Paris to Rouen, he has doubtless paused upon the heights that overhang Saint Ouen to admire the rich prospect before him, watered by the Seine, there a broad and majestic river, studded with numerous green and romantic
islands. Upon those heights, and in full command of this picturesque and extensive view, stood the Chateau until the time of the Revolution, when it was purchased by the Bande Noire, and demolished for the sake of the materials. The stables, however, converted into a farmhouse, and still exhibiting the remains of the Comptonarms over the Porte-cochère, are now in existence; and the name of the Bois de Compton, retained to this day by the wood that sheltered the back of the mansion, sufficiently attest its site.
Freed from all the painful circumstances and disheartening associations, that had hitherto checked, though they could not entirely suppress, the natural exuberance of her spirits, and animated by the principle, that the innocent happiness of the creature must be the most acceptable offering to the Creator, his beloved Julia constituted the delight of her husband, and dispensed cheerfulness and gaiety over the whole sphere in which she moved. Jocelyn's own experience had convinced him that vicious indulgence was not less discreditable to the head, than dull and disappointing to the heart;—not less culpable as a crime, than contemptible as a proof of stupidity;—and the example of Julia now afforded him a perpetual evidence that there is no felicity so pure, no joyousness so unfailing, as those which spring from the self-satisfaction of virtue. All the misanthropical notions which he had for a moment imbibed, when he was seeking to justify his own evil courses by attributing the same depravity to others, he now utterly abjured; protesting, in his vindication, that he had never been a misogynist, since, in his pro
gress through life, he had invariably found that all the more exalted, heroical, and sublime instances of constancy, virtue, disinterestedness, and self-devotedness, had been furnished by the female sex.
Well, indeed, might he say so, after the sacrifices Constantia had made for his happiness; well might he continue to entertain that feeling as he perused her letters. In those high and holy effusions, whose celestial ardour was not, like that of Eloise, desecrated by the remains of an earthly passion, she congratulated herself more and more upon the choice she had made, and painted, in glowing colours, the pure and unalloyed felicity of her existence. Her enthusiasm had now assumed that tendency, to which, by the constitution of her mind, it had always been peculiarly adapted: her heart had found an object, upon which it might pour out its affections even to overflowing; the yearnings of her soul might now satiate themselves to the very fulness of fruition. Only attached to this fleshly scene by the exercise of her charities, and by her correspondence with Julia and Jocelyn, she was, in all other respects, filling an intermediate existence, heavenly in all her thoughts, feelings, and aspirations, although her spirit was not yet set free from earth. She contemplated the world as a glorious and majestic, though fleeting, pageant, whose chief use was to lift
her thoughts to the Creator. Earth, with its sun and moon, the stars and clouds with their overhanging firmament, were but as conductors that brought down to her bosom the heavenly flame of holiness; or rather they were as stepping-stones for her imagination, by which she was
enabled to pass over the depths of space, and climb up to the highest heaven, to hear the melody of seraph harps and angel voices, and gaze upon the ineffable glories of the divine presence, until, in an antepast of the celestial beatitudes, her soul fainted with excess of ecstasy. These flights of the spirit, escaping for a short while from the body that encaged it, might be termed raptures, visions, dreams--but what dull reality of life, what «sober certainty of waking bliss,» was ever half so pure, so sweet, so exquisite?