My next quotations will suffer a process of abridgement. I intend them to present the substance of three letters, reduced as follows:
Weak as he may be, Mr. Philip Dunboyne shows (in his second letter) that he can feel resentment, and that he can express his feelings, in replying to Miss Helena. He protests against suspicions which he has not deserved. That he does sometimes think of Eunice he sees no reason to deny. He is conscious of errors and misdeeds, which-- traceable as they are to Helena's irresistible fascinations --may perhaps be considered rather his misfortune than his fault. Be that as it may, he does indeed feel anxious to hear good accounts of Eunice's health. If this honest avowal excites her sister's jealousy, he will be disappointed in Helena for the first time.
The third letter shows that this exhibition of spirit has had its effect.
His imperious young lady regrets that she has hurt his feelings, and is rewarded for the apology by receiving news of the most gratifying kind. Faithful Philip has told his father that lie is engaged to be married to Miss Helena Gracedieu, daughter of the celebrated Wesleyan preacher--and so on, and so on. Has Mr. Dunboyne the elder expressed any objection to the young lady? Certainly not! He merely objects, on principle, to looking forward. "How do we know," says the philosopher, "what accidents may happen or what doubts and hesitations may yet turn up? I am not to burden my mind in this matter, till I know that I must do it. Let me hear when she is ready to go to church, and I will be ready with the settlements. My compliments to Miss and her Papa, and let us wait a little." Dearest Helena, isn't he funny?
The fourth letter has been already mentioned.
In this there occurs the first startling reference to Mrs. Tenbruggen, by name. She is in London, finding her way to lucrative celebrity by twisting, turning, and pinching the flesh of credulous persons afflicted with nervous disorders; and she has already paid a few medical visits