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Falkland, Book 2. by Baron Edward Bulwer Lytton Lytton
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FALKLAND

By Edward Bulwer-Lytton


BOOK II.

It is dangerous for women, however wise it be for men, "to commune with
their own hearts, and to be still!" Continuing to pursue the follies of
the world had been to Emily more prudent than to fly them; to pause, to
separate herself from the herd, was to discover, to feel, to murmur at
the vacuum of her being; and to occupy it with the feelings which it
craved, could in her be but the hoarding a provision for despair.

Married, before she had begun the bitter knowledge of herself, to a man
whom it was impossible to love, yet deriving from nature a tenderness of
soul, which shed itself over everything around, her only escape from
misery had been in the dormancy of feeling. The birth of her son had
opened to her a new field of sensations, and she drew the best charm of
her own existence from the life she had given to another. Had she not
met Falkland, all the deeper sources of affection would have flowed into
one only and legitimate channel; but those whom he wished to fascinate
had never resisted his power, and the attachment he inspired was in
proportion to the strength and ardour of his own nature.

It was not for Emily Mandeville to love such as Falkland without feeling
that from that moment a separate and selfish existence had ceased to be.
Our senses may captivate us with beauty; but in absence we forget, or by
reason we can conquer, so superficial an impression. Our vanity may
enamour us with rank; but the affections of vanity are traced in sand;