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THE LAW OF ATTRACTION.
T DON'T suppose many people believe in I love at first sight. I will not argue that it is either possible or the reverse, but I believe that some persons are intensely attracted to others from the first moment of meeting—long to look into their eyes, to touch their hands, to be in their presence, and feel the strongest reluctance to be parted from them. I do not say this is love at first sight, but that so strong an attraction is generally followed by a violent passion on the part of the one attracted. One cannot but recognise the existence of sympathies and antipathies,
though few; perhaps, would go so far as a friend of mine, who asserts that if he were placed blindfold between two strangers at dinner, he should immediately feel which was the more sympathetic to him. Why are we acted upon by sympathies and antipathies ? Who can account for them? We meet a person, against whom we immediately conceive a violent antipathy; we become silent, and oppressed by his or her presence. Is it a warning ? And yet the chances are that any such person will never be thrown into antagonism with us, will never have the least power of injuring us. And then again we take a violent fancy to some one who turns out after all a very poor friend.
“We had better dine together,” says Mrs. Vivian, “and you shall go to thetheatre with us afterwards. · La Grande Duchesse.'”
“I like Schneider.” “So do I.”
“Oh! those everlasting last words," growls Charles Vivian through the doorway. “ The woman (if ever there was one) who could let a man go when he had said good-bye once, deserves to be crowned with rubies."
“Well, I suppose I must go. Good-bye again, Guy.” Guy wishes there were more last words, and that they could be spun out until Mrs. Scarlett re-appeared; but Mrs. Vivian hurries away, and her lord says impatiently, “Come, Guy, get your hat and let's be off.”
So they jump into a remise and are driven to the stables, where they criticise and admire, and for the time forget everything else. The most love-sick knight gets half an hour of oblivion in a stable full of good horses—that is to say, if he be an Englishman, and fond of horses and what Englishman is not?
THE LAW OF ATTRACTION. . 105 Later, Guy meets a young “ blood” of his acquaintance, the Vicomte de Trois Etoiles ; very horsy, and exaggeratedly English in everything but his boots and accent. He is driving a magnificent blood mare, just come over from England, up the Champs Elysées, in a tilbury by Peters. His groom is the neatest, knowingest young Cockney out-his coat is by Poole, and his brindled bouledogue Billee (the most ferocious of his species) has put a sum I should be afraid to mention into the pocket of Bill George.
The Vicomte insists on Guy mounting to his side, and dismisses the groom; and Guy, fancying the mare exceedingly, accedes and regrets it bitterly the moment after-for he is a good whip himself, and a genuine lover of horses. The mare has magnificent action, but that is not enough for her master-he must rattle her up to the Arc de
Triomphe at break-neck speed; and every moment he gives a little flick of the whip, making her break her trot, and get so irritable that she is covered with foam and sweat, while every vein stands out of her satin skin. If I had my own way I would make it the test of good coachmanship to drive without a whip at all—bien entendu that you are sitting behind a good animal.
Guy was frantic, but he was doomed now, to sit and curse inwardly for at least sixty minutes, and something else he saw in the Bois did not tend to sweeten his temper. When they had made the tour du lac and were returning, a barouche passed them. Mrs. Vivian smiled, and waved two fingers at Guy.
Mrs. Scarlett did not even see him—she was looking at and listening to a man who sat opposite, and was discoursing to her with the greatest animation. Guy was