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[1087] In an unfinished tale, Margaret has given the following studies of character. She is describing two of the friends of the hero of her story. Unquestionably the traits here given were taken from life, though it might not be easy to recognize the portrait of any individual in either sketch. Yet we insert it here to show her own idea of this relation, and her fine feeling of the action and reaction of these subtle intimacies.
Now, however, I found companions, in thought, at least. One, who had great effect on my mind, I may call Lytton. He was as premature as myself; at thirteen a man in the range of his thoughts, analyzing motives, and explaining principles, when he ought to have been playing cricket, or hunting in the woods. The young Arab, or Indian, may dispense with mere play, and enter betimes into the histories and practices of manhood, for all these are, in their modes of life, closely connected with simple nature, and educate the body no less than the mind; but the same good cannot be said of lounging lazily under a tree, while mentally accompanying Gil Blas through his course of intrigue and adventure, and visiting with him the impure atmosphere of courtiers, picaroons, and actresses. This was Lytton's favorite reading; his mind, by nature subtle rather than daring, would in any case have found its food in the now hidden workings of character and passion, the by-play of life, the unexpected and seemingly incongruous relations to be found there. He loved the natural history of man, not religiously, but for entertainment. What he sought, he found, but paid the heaviest price. All his later days were poisoned by his subtlety, which made it impossible for him

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Lytton (2)
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