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GLOOMY THOUGHTS : FILIAL EMOTIONS: A
JOURNEY TO THE COUNTRY: A LAWYER'S ACCOUNTS NOT EASILY CLOSED: CONSCIEN
TIOUS SCRUPLES: THE LEGACY RECEIVED AND
DIVIDED: RETURN TO OXFORD: MORE DIS
APPOINTMENT: TREACHERY SUSPECTED: AR
RIVAL AT LONDON ; DIFFICULTY IN CHOOS
ING A PROFESSION.
MY agitation of inind was too violent to be quickly appeased; it did not end with the day, or with the week; but on the contrary excited interrogatories that prolonged the paroxysm. Why was I disturbed? Why angry with myself ?
Why did I accuse Olivia of being severe, or what did the accusation mean? What were my views ? From the tumultuous state of my emotions, I could not disguise to myself that I had an affection for her: but had she ever intimated an affection for me? Was the passion that devoured me rational ? She was of a wealthy family : of the provision her father had made for her I was ignorant; but I knew that her expectations from the aunt, said to be now dying, and from others of her kindred, were great. Was I prepared to accept favours, make myself a dependent, and be subservient to the unfeeling caprice of Hector, or any other proud and ignorant relation? Did not such people esteem wealth as the test and the measure of worth? What counterpoise had I, but sanguine hopes ? of the probable fallacy of which I had already received strong proofs ; and which did not, in the pictures that fancy at present drew, burst upon me with those bright
and vivid flashes that had lately made them so alluring. My passions and propensities all led me to seek the power of conferring benefits, controlling folly, and of being the champion of merit, and the rewarder of virtue. Ought I not either to renounce Olivia, or to render myself in every respect her equal; and to disdain the degrading insolence with which any pretensions of mine would otherwise be received. Had I no reason to fear that Olivia herself was a little influenced by personal considerations ? Would she have been quite so ready to disapprove, had the advantages of fortune been on my side ? Was this inferiority entirely disregarded by her ? The doubt was grating, but pertinaciously intrusive. Would not any proposal from me be treated with the most sovereign contempt, if not by her, by Hector and her other relations ? Why then did I think of her ? It was but a very few days since the wealth and power that should have raised me,