" What have I done to thee, that thou shouldst lift
Thy hand against me? Wherefore wouldst thou strike
The heart that never wrong'd thee? "
" 'Tis a lie,
Thou art mine enemy, that evermore
Keep'st me awake o' nights. I cannot sleep,
While thou art in my thought."
FLYING from the house, as if by so doing he might lose the thoughts that had roused him there into a paroxysm of that fierce passion which too much indulgence had made habitual, he rambled, only half conscious of his direction, from cluster to cluster of the old trees, until the seductive breeze of the evening, coming up from the river, led him down into that quarter. The stream lay before him in the shadow of night, reflecting clearly the multitude of starry eyes looking down from the heavens upon it, and with but a slight ripple, under the influence of the evening breeze, crisping its otherwise settled bosom. How different from his — that wanderer! The disappointed love — the vexed ambition — the feverish thirst for the unknown, perhaps for the forbidden, increasing his agony at every stride which he took along those quiet waters. It was here in secret places, that his passion poured itself forth — with the crowd it was all kept down by the stronger pride, which shrank from the thought of making its feelings public property. With them he was simply cold and forbidding, or perhaps recklessly and inordinately gay. This was his policy. He well knew how great is the delight of the vulgar mind when it can search and tent the wound which it discovers you to possess. How it delights to see the victim writhe under its infliction, and, with how much pleasure its ears drink in the groans of suffering, particularly the suffering of the heart. He knew that men are never so well content, once apprised of the sore, as when they are probing it; unheeding the wincings, or enjoying them with the same sort of satisfaction with which the boy tortures the kitten — and he determined, in his case at least, to deprive them of that gratification. He had already