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The Caxtons — Volume 09 by Baron Edward Bulwer Lytton Lytton
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PART IX.




CHAPTER I.


And my father pushed aside his books.

O young reader, whoever thou art,--or reader at least who hast been
young,--canst thou not remember some time when, with thy wild troubles
and sorrows as yet borne in secret, thou hast come back from that hard,
stern world which opens on thee when thou puttest thy foot out of the
threshold of home,--come back to the four quiet walls wherein thine
elders sit in peace,--and seen, with a sort of sad amaze, how calm and
undisturbed all is there? That generation which has gone before thee in
the path of the passions,--the generation of thy parents (not so many
years, perchance, remote from thine own),--how immovably far off, in its
still repose, it seems from thy turbulent youth! It has in it a
stillness as of a classic age, antique as the statues of the Greeks.
That tranquil monotony of routine into which those lives that preceded
thee have merged; the occupations that they have found sufficing for
their happiness, by the fireside, in the arm-chair and corner
appropriated to each,--how strangely they contrast thine own feverish
excitement! And they make room for thee, and bid thee welcome, and then
resettle to their hushed pursuits as if nothing had happened! Nothing
had happened! while in thy heart, perhaps, the whole world seems to
have shot from its axis, all the elements to be at war! And you sit
down, crushed by that quiet happiness which you can share no more, and