chapter  16
4 Pages

Chapter IV

Is it not unaccountable that, in the midst of all my increased veneration for my 46 [master], the first tumult of my emotion was scarcely subsided, before the old question that had excited my conjectures recurred to my mind, Was he the murderer? It was a kind of fatal impulse that seemed destined to hurry me to my destruction. I did not wonder at the disturbance that was given to Mr Falkland by any allusion however distant to this fatal affair. That was as completely accounted for from the consideration of his excessive sensibility in matters of honour, as it would have been upon the supposition of the most atrocious guilt. Knowing as he did, that such a charge had once been connected with his name, he would of course be perpetually uneasy, and suspect some / latent insinuation at every possible opportunity. He would doubt and fear, lest every man with whom he conversed harboured the foulest suspicions against him. In my case he found that I was in possession of some information more than he was aware of, without its being possible for him to decide to what it amounted, whether I had heard a just or unjust, a candid or calumniatory tale. He had also reason to suppose that I gave entertainment to thoughts derogatory to his honour, and that I did not form that favourable judgment which the exquisite refinement of his ruling passion made indispensible to his peace. All these considerations would of course maintain in him a state of perpetual uneasiness. But, though I could find nothing that I could consider as justifying me in persisting in the shadow of a doubt, yet, as I have said, the uncertain restlessness of my contemplations / would by no means depart from me.