Copyright: This work is in the public domain in the USA only.
Excerpt: ...from the type before him, the feeling of contrast that he had known before pressed upon Mr. Carleton's mind; the feeling of self-reproach, and the bitter wish that he could be again what he once had been something like this. How changed now he seemed to himself not a point of likeness left. How much less honourable, how much less worth, how much less dignified, than that fair innocent child! How much better a part she was acting in life what an influence she was exerting, as pure, as sweet-breathed, and as unobtrusive, as the very rose in his hand! And he doing no good to an earthly creature, and losing himself by inches. He reached his room, put the flower in a glass on the table, and walked up and down before it. It had come to a struggle between the sense of what was and the passionate wish for what might have been. "It is late, Sir," said his servant, opening the door "and you were " "I am not going out." "This evening, Sir?" "No not at all to-day. Spenser, I don't wish to see anybody let no one come near me." The servant retired, and Guy went on with his walk and his meditations looking back over his life, and reviewing, with a wiser ken now, the steps by which he had come. He compared the selfish disgust with which he had cast off the world with the very different spirit of little Fleda's look upon it that morning; the useless, self-pleasing, vain life he was leading, with her wish to be like the beloved disciple, and do something to heal the troubles of those less happy than herself. He did not very well comprehend the grounds of her feeling or reasoning, but he began to see, mistily, that his own had been mistaken and wild. His step grew slower, his eye more intent, his brow quiet. "She is right, and I am wrong," he thought. "She is by far the nobler creature worth many such as I. Like her I cannot be I cannot regain what I have lost I cannot undo what years have done. But I can be something other than I am! If there be a system of remedy,...