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born under the Arctic circle, was destined to play the part of a
Queen under the tropic of Cancer, had an agreeable person, a
cultivated mind, and manners in the highest degree engaging.
She despised her husband heartily, and, as the story which we
have to tell sufliciently proves, not without reason. She was
interested by the conversation and flattered by the attentions of
Hastings. The situation was indeed perilous. No place is so
propitious to the formation either of close friendships or of deadly
enmities as an Indiaman. There are very few people who do not
find a voyage which lasts several months insupportably dull.
Anything is welcome which may break that long monotony, a sail,
a shark, an albatross, a man overboard. Most passengers find
some resource in eating twice as many meals as on land. But the
great devices for killing the time are quarrelling and flirting.
The facilities for both these exciting pursuits are great. The
inmates of the ship are thrown together far more than in any
country-seat or boarding-house. None can escape from the rest
except by imprisoning himself in a cell in which he can hardly
turn. All food, all exercise, is taken in company. Ceremony is
to a great extent banished. It is every day in the power of a
mischievous person to inflict innumerable annoyances. It is every
day in the power of an amiable person to confer little services.
It not seldom happens that serious distress and danger call forth,
in genuine beauty and deformity, heroic virtues and abject vices
which, in the ordinary intercourse of good society, might remain
during many years unknown even to intimate associates. Under
such circumstances met W'arren Hastings and the Baroness Imhoff,
two persons whose accomplishments would have attracted notice
in any court of Europe. The gentleman had no domestic ties.
The lady was tied to a husband for whom she had no regard, and
who had no regard for his own honour. An attachment sprang
up, which was soon strengthened by events such as could hardly
have occurred on land. Hastings fell ill. The baroness nursed
him with womanly tenderness, gave him his medicines with her
own hand, and even sat up in his cabin while he slept. Long
before the Duke of Grafton reached Madras, Hastings was in love.
But his love was of a most characteristic description. Like his
hatred, like his ambition, like all his passions, it was strong, but
not impetuous. It was calm, deep, earnest, patient of delay, un-
conquerable by time. Imhotl‘ was called into council by his wife

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