HOW happy I am that I am gone! My dear friend,
what a thing is the heart of man! To leave you, from whom I have been
inseparable, whom I love so dearly, and yet to feel happy! I know you will
forgive me. Have not other attachments been specially appointed by fate to
torment a head like mine? Poor Leonora! and yet I was not to blame. Was it
my fault, that, whilst the peculiar charms of her sister afforded me an
agreeable entertainment, a passion for me was engendered in her feeble
heart? And yet am I wholly blameless? Did I not encourage her emotions?
Did I not feel charmed at those truly genuine expressions of nature,
which, though but little mirthful in reality, so often amused us? Did I
notóbut oh! what is man, that he dares so to accuse himself? My dear
friend, I promise you I will improve; I will no longer, as has ever been
my habit, continue to ruminate on every petty vexation which fortune may
dispense; I will enjoy the present, and the past shall be for me the past.
No doubt you are right, my best of friends, there would be far less
suffering amongst mankind, if menóand God knows why they are so
fashionedódid not employ their imaginations so assiduously in recalling
the memory of past sorrow, instead of bearing their present lot with
Be kind enough to inform my mother that I shall attend to her business to
the best of my ability, and shall give her the earliest information about
it. I have seen my aunt, and find that she is very far from being the
disagreeable person our friends allege her to be. She is a lively,
cheerful woman, with the best of hearts. I explained to her my motherís
wrongs with regard to that part of her portion which has been withheld
from her. She told me the motives and reasons of her own conduct, and the
terms on which she is willing to give up the whole, and to do more than we
have asked. In short, I cannot write further upon this subject at present;
only assure my mother that all will go on well. And I have again observed,
my dear friend, in this trifling affair, that misunderstandings and
neglect occasion more mischief in the world than even malice and
wickedness. At all events, the two latter are of less frequent occurrence.
In other respects I am very well off here. Solitude in this terrestrial
paradise is a genial balm to my mind, and the young spring cheers with its
bounteous promises my oftentimes misgiving heart. Every tree, every bush,
is full of flowers; and one might wish himself transformed into a
butterfly, to float about in this ocean of perfume, and find his whole
existence in it.
The town itself is disagreeable; but then, all around, you find an
inexpressible beauty of Nature. This induced the late Count Mó to lay out
a garden on one of the sloping hills which here intersect each other with
the most charming variety, and form the most lovely valleys. The garden is
simple; and it is easy to perceive, even upon your first entrance, that
the plan was not designed by a scientific gardener, but by a man who
wished to give himself up here to the enjoyment of his own sensitive
heart. Many a tear have I already shed to the memory of its departed
master in a summer-house which is now reduced to ruins, but was his
favourite resort, and now is mine. I shall soon be master of the place.
The gardener has become attached to me within the last few days, and he
will lose nothing thereby.