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Falkland, Book 4. by Baron Edward Bulwer Lytton Lytton
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FALKLAND

By Edward Bulwer-Lytton


BOOK IV.

FROM MRS. ST.JOHN TO ERASMUS FALKLAND, ESQ.

At last I can give a more favourable answer to your letters. Emily is
now quite out of danger. Since the day you forced yourself, with such a
disinterested regard for her health and reputation, into her room, she
grew (no thanks to your forbearance) gradually better. I trust that she
will be able to see you in a few days. I hope this the more, because she
now feels and decides that it will be for the last time. You have, it is
true, injured her happiness for life her virtue, thank Heaven, is yet
spared; and though you have made her wretched, you will never, I trust,
succeed in making her despised.

You ask me, with some menacing and more complaint, why I am so bitter
against you. I will tell you. I not only know Emily, and feel
confident, from that knowledge, that nothing can recompense her for the
reproaches of conscience, but I know you, and am convinced that you are
the last man to render her happy. I set aside, for the moment, all rules
of religion and morality in general, and speak to you (to use the cant
and abused phrase) "without prejudice" as to the particular instance.
Emily's nature is soft and susceptible, yours fickle and wayward in the
extreme. The smallest change or caprice in you, which would not be
noticed by a mind less delicate, would wound her to the heart. You know
that the very softness of her character arises from its want of strength.